Monday, 27 September 2010


This morning I stood warming through under a hot shower spray and realised I was a wimp; I have given in to autumnal temperatures. I reflected on my subservience to chill factors....while heat played on my cellulite I realised
a) the dryer is up in the utility room and is festooned with tights and jeans while outside heavy, sodden T shirts hang sadly on the line.
b) I was so cold in bed that I have swopped the 4.5togs for 9.5tog duvets before October 1st.
c)I have brought the indoor plants in from the patio where they have spent the summer; to thank and reward me for the warmth they have all broken out into flower.
d)I have worn a jumper today!In fact I have installed shorts and T shirts on the ceiling shelf above the wardrobe and brought sweaters and cardigans down from on high.
e)We have had the central heating on and the lounge fire.

So days are getting shorter and the porch light needs to be put on earlier- there is the doorbell......

...and to think H1 braved the drift of rain to play golf while the Ladies dodged walking and went to the cinema at the Gate wherein Julia Roberts was (painfully) finding herself. Newgate Street seems so much darker and narrower between Darn Crook and Clayton Street.

We have attended a really interesting (honest!) talk on 'Diversification in Farming in Northumberland' (Think farm shops, Northumbrian cheeses AND Doddington's Icecream and it becomes more interesting!).
We have walked 6 miles back to Wallington from up near Cambo and managed to avoid any forecast showers.
I have read much of 'Miss Garnet's Angel' and wondered why I wasn't struck on Venice the twice I waded through the grafitti, muck and rain that greeted me there; maybe Angel Raphael wasn't guiding me inspite of my links with his/her celestial body at school.

I baked for hours and realised how wonderful friends are who make massive efforts to bake to help one; M, M, A and B all arrived laden with cakes and muffins to add to my trays which sold well at D3's Family Fun day.

I am thinking political , philosophical thoughts....

I wonder how new Labour leader Ed Miliband will handle 'the House' when the unions put him in while the party, MPs, and MEPs voted his brother in; apparently Ed is not married to the woman who has(&is) bearing his children and has not put his name on the birth certificates- what a role model for the country- I won't be voting for him.

According to letters to our MP which she has forwarded to me in response to my emails, it looks like the coalition Government will cut their financial input for medical research which charities fund; I have also signed a petition to plead with the coalition government as it looks as though (Early Day Motion 413) the coalition may stop funding free school meals; I know parents should feed their children but in the event that they don't, why punish the poor and vulnerable who have no voice? It seems the poorer echelons of society are carrying the can for what the bankers caused (& who are still getting big bonuses).

Where are my banners and duffle coat from the Sixties?

Monday, 20 September 2010

Plummet or plum it?

We have catapulted into autumn; temperatures have dropped- to 9 C last night; rain showers have been like stair rods; evenings have been the best & sunniest part of the day. Should I dig out the autumn duvets? I have even supped porridge and the Ladies went to the (free) Discovery Museum for a day to avoid rain and chill- surprisingly a day there was not long enough....

Still in Menorca mood we hosted a barbecue- I played boules & other garden games in my fleece; as the evening drew in we adjourned to the kitchen table for Cluedo- you will have gathered board games are our thing!

I thought I would take a photo of wor Jackie (Milburn of course) on the Boulevard especially for Menorcan P. who asked was he still on Northumberland Street- Hey up! St James's Park is silhouetted in the background!

We have looked like a weatherman and woman popping in and out to hangout/gather in holiday washing dependent on drizzly conditions. This intermittence has led to much reading- at last finished 'The Tenderness of Wolves'(so what was her name?), 'The Gift' by Cecilia Ahern (strange tale of Time) and '3rd Degree'(by James Patterson- not usually my type, very American cop, but quite intriguing). Now to Bookcross them........

We walked in showers around Horsley ; the hedgerows were laden with berries- rowan, elderberry, hips and haws; ash and sycamore keys are ready; acorns and conkers are littering the drove roads; leaves are colouring and falling. I was surprised at how some farmers have not harvested in cereal crops yet even though wheat, barley and rye ripened up so early this year. Autumn is the 'season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' so we went fruitpicking; damson and plum jam now adorn the garage shelves alongside the jars of summer fruit jams.

I admit we have done a lot of gallivanting of late; after meals out (Zizzi and Pizza Express give offers which are too good to ignore!!) No wonder the style speaker at Eslington Villa tried hard to ignore my plaintive attempts to catch her eye when the ladies went to 'How to Create a perfect body in 5 minutes with illusion' Harrumph!

We 3 made a snap decision to go to the Theatre Royal after lots of excellent reviews on 'The King and I'; brilliant especially Anna.

That reminds me (!?) the Pope has been to the UK. I can't warm to said Pope so have not seen anything about his trip- eeeh! Heathen! I think I expected so much real world 'fresh air' from the 1962's Vatican Council that John 23rd pulled on the Holy See lot- and Cardinal Ratzinger has closed the window (standing behind Pope John Paul too)........

I cannot write a blog without writing about the Great North Run- I love it - it makes me feel so proud- not just of Newcastle upon Tyne but of all those people who have personal reasons for tackling a half marathon. I feel so choked as I watch the 54 thousand runners stream over the Tyne Bridge as the Red Arrows streak the sky above. D2 was working on a breast cancer charity tent on the Leas alongside the stewards, masseurs, St John's Ambulance, teabrewers and sandwich makers who volunteer for this event; how many people from all over the world come to run this for so many charities- and the costumes of the funrunners- bananas and sunflowers, donkeys and Darth Vaders, Buzz LightYear and pink bras- wonderful! Many of the locals from South Shields come out with icepops and misting hose pipes on hot days, boiled sweets, orange slices etc.

PS When is a pumpkin ripe and ready to take off the plant? Anyone out there know?

Monday, 13 September 2010

I cried!

The cases and I are sitting folorn and empty on the landing; they await manhandling into the loft to be hidden and discarded till the next season; I am there sorting out washing into piles of white cutoffs, shorts,and T-shirts into washing-machine sized heaps. I have fallen off the end of a lovely, lovely week with friends in Menorca and I admit I am sad.

It took so long for Facebook and offspring to reunite us after 20 years and nothing between us had changed. K and I can still talk for England!

We four (and Jack)

drifted (often with glass in hand) around a beautiful island.... bumping into Richard (Branson)...eating at D. M, and S's sister's expensive and superb Biniarocca hotel (where L gave us cuttings of the most fragrant plant- 'Ladies of the Night')

....drifted around Mahon harbour with 'the twins' in P's boat, passing cruisers, Admiral Lord Collingwood's house, bars (admittedly we didn't pass all these)

Good company, good food (4lbs on in a week!), good friends, white painted houses, much laughter, beautiful coves, great memories (what a memory K has!), fab music, adult playgrounds (which didn't interest P & H1)

and wonderfully good hospitality.

Goodness me! How I cried.. Parting is such sweet sorrow.....Supposing I don't see K, P, and J again?