“We are going to ban plastic straws in the cafeteria.”

From a French magazine.


For the last three years I have been attempting to cultivate a difficult corner in our ‘meadow’.  It is a very uncultivated  area of grassland, apart from mowing, which is a slalom that hubs undertakes, not me. I cannot handle the petrol mower. He’s glad of it I believe, as it’s a task that is uniquely his own. I don’t mind at all!

Why is grass-cutting a slalom? About the time of year when you have to decide to do a cut, our wild orchids burst forth and flower. They are prettily  multiplying. Last year we discovered amongst the ‘crop’ of Orchids one that was a bit different. To my surprise, research threw up that it is known as the Common Spotted Orchid.  The spots are on the leaves. These Orchids are becoming hard to find.  Anyway, hubs carefully mows around all of the Orchids. How he manages to control that heavy bit of machinery to such a fine art, I do not know.  It’s paying off though, as this year I saw that we had increased our Common Spotted Orchids by 100%: we now have two!  One is at the front of the house and the other one is near the whirly washing line at the back of the house.

Common spotted Orchid-a rarity

The difficult corner is a nice sunny corner where I have seen plants thriving then suddenly horribly wilt and die.  Hubs was creating a bund there between us, the chain link fence and our neighbouring farm. When the sheep are milling around behind the fence, there is likely to be all sorts of temporary run off courtesy of them. In addition, to keeping unwanted nettles and other grassy weeds under control there is the occasional farm spraying just in that location, usually broadened out by the prevailing winds.  My Lamium and other hardy plants couldn’t cope with it. Yesterday, with some difficulty, I pulled out the Lamium. Talk about networks of roots.  They would have been ideal to hold the soil in position, if the circumstances had been right.  Meantime, I put on my thinking cap. Question; what grows easily and well forward of that corner? Looking around me I had a eureka moment. Of course, grass grows no problem.  So, I have planted a small cluster of evergreen ornamental grasses and for good measure, I have put a fascinating evergreen Curry Plant in the mix.

This was the only plant that thrived in ‘the corner’ patch last year. It came from a seed dropped courtesy of birds I suppose.  At its peak, supported by a pair of my tights, which were tied to the fence,  it stood at approximately  5ft.7″ high. We let it seed, sadly, there is no sign of it this year.


Sprog is in Austria. While we were having a chat, an Austrian flat mate barged in, interrupting our conversation. The flat mate was determined to speak and make her requests in the English language.

Flatmate wanted sprog to take stuff that was no longer required to the equivalent of a swap shop, this time, no taking, just donating. “Please”, the flat mate asked, “bring the back the bag, it is practical”.

There was a stick with no ball on the end…(don’t ask) someone else’s jumper, and the flat mate’s old underwear…..

“I have washed my underwear, but a friend told me“, said flat mate,” that if the cloth has been near any fungus it, [the underwear] must be cooked. It should be alright now, I have cooked it”.



A card arrived yesterday; we are fortunate to receive many lovely greetings. This card though, was a real puzzle. Who on earth were the people who signed it!

Hubby trawled the internet and found some interesting personalities in the U.K. with similar names, who were not known to me. I checked the envelope. Yes, it was correctly addressed, in fact the detail was absolutely right. It was obviously a card sent by people who knew us.

It is one of those uncomfortable happenings, when someone cares enough about you to send you their wishes and hopes for you, and you have no idea who it or they are. It bothered me all day.

Last night, hubby had an idea,:idea: I checked it out…….voila! Eureka! Apart from being really, really pleased that I now knew who had thought kindly of me, I was very touched. I have known the family, for about three years, on and off; the odd chance meeting in the street, or a community event, on rare occasions, a coffee group. This year, they have checked out my address and sent me a card. It has given me a warm glow.


The best way to reduce youth interest in social networking sites is for the 17 years-25 years age groups (and older, in that case) to join in. This is, according to survey results announced today, what has happened on BeBo, MySpace and probably others.

It is reminiscent of the revival of denims and other fashion jeans. Those of the senior generations who had already been there, raked through their historical wardrobes and strutted their stuff in denims again. I still do. I can hear it now: “Yeah man, who would be seen wearing ‘wrinklies’ clothes? It ain’t cool”.

I am wondering whether there is a wee bit of hijacking of blog sites, such as this one, where there appear to be distinct signs of twittering going on, rather than familiar blog posts. Has anyone else noticed?


Goodness Gracious me! It is so! Anyone islands hopping in the U.K. and certainly, Scotland, requires picture I.D. which may be requested when arriving at the ports. This is a grandiose name for the quay sides of all the little harbours from which many of the small and medium ferries ply their transport trade.

It raises interesting scenarios. Some islands are served by small ferries and not everyday. There are times when mums in labour are hurried to hospitals on the mainland for particular maternity services. Would a mum who travelled with a bump, be allowed to make the return journey and gain access to her home island, with a little person not yet in possession of formal picture identification? 8|

The little offshore islands do not have sophisticated checking equipment,like airports; this creep of I.D. is no doubt, kidology. It could be seen that one of the main uses of photo I.D. in these circumstances, would be to check a printed name against a manifest. Those who have booked well in advance will be on that type of listing. Car passengers, in general, are. Many foot passengers are not.

Oh what a tangled web we weave …….and what a mish mash. 🙄


I have been hustled and bustled at storm force levels today. Tonight, I am all done in. I feel really battered. A gorgeous sunny day, absolutely devastated by gales rising to storm force 10. There were more risings to storm level than were good for me.

Early start with jobs around the house.
Dentist at 10.30 – twenty miles away; careful driving required.
Grocery shopping from 11am – not too far to walk into the store, (be unsteadily pushed) from car park.
Trip into the local town from 11.40am – parked close to shops needed.
Got battered by winds, while waiting to cross road.
Drove to county hospital to visit someone. Wards hot from sun; patient didn’t realize extent and power of the wind, being safely out of it.
Just leaving; shocked to learn a closer friend was also on the ward with a serious illness. Dived in to see her. Felt bad about leaving after ten minutes.

I had twenty minutes to drive twenty miles on a varied speed limit road. Storm gusts constantly hit the car, side on, mostly, and the drive became a game of skill and steering wheel grip.

Now I look back on the day, it started like a whirlwind here indoors, with me rushing to get essential things done.

Time to slow down.


It was too cold to wait outside the bank for hubby so I sat inside and people watched.

He seemed outwardly sober yet there was enough borderline behaviour and noise to make you think otherwise. I’m sure I’ve seen this guy before, in the same place, slightly more inhibited. He’d met up with his brother, brother has come home;( I remembered he did that before). They shared a bottle – presumably the hard stuff, whisky – he wanted to know how much was in his account to draw on. It wouldn’t be much. The teller was careful and asked the guy how much he wanted. Yes, he had enough in the account for that sum. With it he was going to buy a bottle for him and his brother to have with their stew.

“There’s something wrong here, you’re not wearing a wedding ring”. says man to attractive girl working at the next till. She’s too young she tells the guy and gets on with the transactions with her customer. I’ll tell ‘ee what, if I was a bit younger lass, I would grab ‘ee.


About 11.30pm on the 7th April, I remembered I had washing outside drying on the line, my second load. It was very, very windy day, though mild, but close to gale force. I prided myself on my prowess getting the washing pegged out on the line. :p

By lunchtime it was really cold. I grabbed the washing off the line – my first load- as quickly as I could, at that point deciding I couldn’t face a cold battering for the second wash that was ready for drying.

At tea time, the wind subsided a little. I timidly put my nose out the door and decided I could risk pinning the second load of laundry on the line. That was why, late at night, I found myself, in the dark, taking washing off the line. The items were cold but dry.

The next morning, when I arose, I saw the rain was falling steadily. The day was best described as one of April showers, some of them pretty heavy. The wind had not gone, but it was less pervasive, and best of all, I had got my second wash load in, in good time.


I nearly forgot to mention it, more likely I wanted to forget it. Today, I went to have a dental check up with a new dentist. During and after the examination I was totally tongue tied; I couldn’t think of vocabulary. In the end I blurted out that I must going senile. It’s how I felt and I was so cross with myself about it as well. it was not an experience I want to have again in a hurry.

I don’t think it helped that there were several people in the room, at least three women who could not all be dental nurses, one wore a green outfit and looked quite severe. The others became a blurr of white and blue. The dentist was sitting on a chair placed at the head of the patients’ seat. I knew he was the dentist because he wore clinical white clothing.

The eyes were large, a bit bloodshot, and had an expression of impatience. Apart from his hair, hands and body, that is all I saw. It was a bit unnerving. He said something which had to be repeated because of the large, thick, surgical mask he was wearing. Mr dentist had a bad cold and rightly didn’t want to infect anyone else.

I am sure my new Mr dentist’s somewhat alarming presentation and all the unnecessary bodies in the room, really threw me off balance and contributed to my loss of personal expression and the ability to exchange a few ordinary words. 😳 =>

‘******* & *****’ >:-[