Friday, 29 March 2013

Good Friday

I am receiving messages to say folks are decorating their pace eggs and making their Easter bonnets; I have my decorations out ready to work on my bonnet- but I think I will be thwarted by juniors who are far more imaginative than me- but so long as the games are fun (and egg jarping always is!) then I don't mind.

The new PVCs are ready to go! However it is picking snow again and not a lot of sunlight.....
I told you I recycle everything- even natural things like sunlight or air temperature or wind. We have wanted to make our own 'fuel' for 25 plus years and have done so much research. Wind- supposedly (according to Environment Agency) not enough coming our way- Huh! Really? Tell that to our neighbour's fences which constantly come down on our garden border plants. Ground source heat pump- which H1 wanted- (& we have worked on one of these years ago with a friend who did install) maintenance if it has to go downover rather than across a garden? lifting floors to install pipes? slow speed of warming up property? we have been told by those that have them that the pump itself actually takes more power than what you are producing. So moving on.... solar panels? we do not use a lot of hot water. All the friends we have taken to PVC panel meetings over the years have installed them- but not us- partly because tree shade on any single panel would have stopped them all producing- but now some panels work individually so shade doesn't affect them all. So here we go........ We are not so much interested in the tarriff earned by putting our excess electricity back into the National Grid- we just want to put something back and be a bit self sufficient. H1 is so excited he is going to become boring because I know he will give me daily/ nay- hourly readings!

Still the weather is quite dark and freezing and it is Good Friday; none of my daffodils are out for Easter weekend- sometimes I have had a daff from the garden for H1's buttonhole on March 1st but not this year. My potatoes are not chitting well in the icy, cold garage and farmers say your spuds should be planted by Good Friday.

Ooh friends have doves- how exotic that seems to me- and they have had a baby dove! However magpies have attacked and killed the daddy; magpies have so proliferated in the last 10 years- and they are such a menace to other birds.
The cold weather has killed about 10,000 UK lambs this Spring (what Spring?)- can that really be true?

My newly acquired USB cable for downloading pics from my mob has arrived in the post and won't work- my PC is too old methinks.

I cannot put off sewing my Easter bonnet any longer- I'm off.....

Monday, 25 March 2013


I am fed up.

Fed up with the cold- an easterly wind straight off the sea (& the Continent) put paid to a trip out on Friday. First we went to Howick Hall- closed due to high winds- even the tearoom. So on to Amble for fish and chips- we could barely get the car door open against the wind (but we managed- where there is a will there is a way!); then via 10th Avenue Cakes in Seaton Delaval (wow! loads of geocaching equipment and fab cakes) and on to Tynemouth with a treasure hunt. 3 clues in and I asked to go home - yes I was kitted out with all my outdoor gear (though I didn't have my thermals on - that I do admit). I am a wimp- first time I have ever just declared that I was frozen and I wanted to go home.

Fed up with grey skies since October

Fed up with snow picking across the North every day- though I gather we have escaped the really bad snow elsewhere in the country is experiencing. So I am not really having a moan about that. Though it is almost April- come on......

Fed up with not being able to get outside to garden. We walked 6 miles last week- in mud up to our knees- actually I do not mind mud- the views and companions were smashing; maybe I need more light, Vitamin D or fresh air. I could have gone walking in the Lake District but was told not to book in as there would be a party on - and there wasn't after all.To be honest we probably missed a cold snowy weekend- but the fun would have been good.

Fed up because I cannot decant photos from my simple, little mobile phone to my old, trusty PC; there should? be a connector cable to the USB in the mob box but there ain't one. Agh! Frustration.

Fed up because although the film the Ladies went to see today (Guilt Trap?- see? so engaging I can't even remember its name!)was no epic but just a comfy 'sit and watch' rom com..... there is nothing on the cinema of any consequence at present it seems.

Fed up because H1 recorded 2 Midwives programmes which I watched then discovered he'd then recorded the wrong midwife programmmes so the other 8 of my series are missing. Actually that really doesn't bother me either- missing television programmes never does.

Really none of the things above make me fed up

So far I have even been lucky and missed the sore throat that is circulating ......

Fed up because life is full of uncertainties at the moment- and I do not like uncertainties- they unnerve me.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

'Abigail's Party' , 'Argo' and ancient Egyptians

Do I seem ubercritical if |I say Hollywood seems to churn out so many films suggesting the Americans won everything? Argo was exciting and full of tension but it seemed to me that actually the Canadians played a large part in evacuating those hostages.

Back to the Theatre Royal..... and while Abigail's party proved no problem, that of her neighbours did; it made us all cringe as everything from Aspro, Ford Capris and Estee Lauder Youth Dew reared their heads from the 1970's and Play for Today all those years ago.

Putting back MY booster cushion, I moved on to a great 30th birthday party at the Brandling Arms. I do not think H1 recalls much of his conduct that night.... and D3 appeared next day in her 'shades'..... but with a complete mix of people, it was a sparkling night.

30 of us spent today pulling the brains out of ancient Egyptians at the Durham Oriental Museum as we learned the art of mummification. I have been to the Museum before several times but I learned SO much today; 'as an archaeologist what do you think this 4,500 year old artefact in your hands was?' Brilliant guesses and interested questions.

Oh! Cardinals in conclave in Rome so I think I will have a look for smoke.

'The Mousetrap' and 'Lincoln'

I really did think somewhere in my blog I mentioned that we'd been to see 'The Mousetrap' but I can not find it so maybe I dreamed it.  I often plan what I might write about then when I get to my desk there is nothing of any consequence to tell you, even though it seemed pretty interesting in the wee small hours when I am an insomniac!

To go back to 'The Mousetrap'.... H1 and D3 have waited so long to see this- Agatha Christie fans both. Me? I can take it or leave it. So I booked us in at the Theatre Royal after 60 years of waiting. We were not impressed; all of the opinion that while the set was good, frankly an amateur theatre group could do it just as well- and NO! I won't tell you who dun it.

Having tried to find a spare minute for weeks to go to see 'Lincoln' we managed to creep into the Gate to a tiny studio and just before the film disappeared off the popular screens;  I studied and loved Tudors and Stuarts but it would have helped if I had known more about how the American political system worked particularly back then.
Ok.... so Lincoln (a clever man -I knew that; a story teller to diffuse situations of tension; a man who kept in touch with the common people; apparently a family man- and seem to understand that losing a child can make a woman overprotective) wanted to stop the Civil War between N and S; yep! so far so good ....the South confederacy had slaves so he quietly delayed any conciliation with the South over the war and (here's where I am not with it) attempted to get enough votes in the Senate to stop slavery (his other desperate wish). Was that the 13th Amendment? thus if the South had no slaves, then the freed blacks would no longer fight for the South any more so the South would lose the war and it would end anyway so Lincoln would get both his wishes. Is that what it was all about?

I do not usually like Daniel Day Lewis (bit too intense for me) but I could see why he got the Oscar for Lincoln.

Phew! I am away for a cuppa

Saturday, 2 March 2013

The wedding

Perfumed Daphne

My bottom has at last sat itself upon a chair....


Last week the family came home.
D2 iced  D1and C's 3 tier wedding cake (while I HAD to look after baby A! such a hardship! Let me at her- she is just smiley smiley smiley). We went to Eslington Villas for lunch to celebrate D3s 30th birthday (and D2's 32nd)- a secret from her who thought in the excitement we'd all forgotten her big day of becoming elderly!

Relaxation with bridesmaids and dvds....

Then amid photographers, manicures, pedicures (thank heaven for Layla) hairdressers, florists, makeup artists, etc we prepared for D1 and C's big day...... The bride had something old (a  1950s sixpence), something new ( her dress), something borrowed (a pearl pin from her sister's bouquet) and something blue (dress lift loops inside her bridal gown) and a silver sixpence in her shoe. No 'hoy oot' as there were no children available to catch the coins thrown by the bride's father- (there is a chickenpox epidemic here).

A vintage car took bridesmaids and mother of the bride to the church; son-in-law M and baby A followed us. The only sour note in a beautiful day and I shall not even deign to detail the keep-fit lady (nay she was no lady) who made M move the car (containing the baby) so she could park outside the church.

The marriage service was concelebrated and the registrar P was as delightful, relaxing and efficient as she always is.

We did a 'takeover' of Beamish Hall; fires blazing.... M playing the music during canapes and aperitifs... the WinterGardens looked beautiful, Master of Ceremonies was super and I don't think I am biased in saying the meal and the service were excellent.
D1 had done the stationery (based around the black and white theme - Newcastle United?) which was much admired and the 3 tier cake was baked by me, iced by D2 and cut in the evening when more guests had arrived.(and when there were a variety of burgers, chip cones etc served) Hip Operation played live and we danced till coaches at 1 a.m.

We awoke to beautiful snow drifts!
We dined in yet another magnificent dining room for breakfast (Bobby Shaftoe must have had a lot of money from his entrepreneurial exploits)
Local farmers ploughed us out about lunchtime and we headed home for another wee party with some of the kids- relaxing playing table football , eating sweets and spring rolls!
Between the lot of us we may not have two hapennies left to rub together but it was SO worth it.....

Everyone has gone now , beds and towels washed and dryed in the glorious sunshine all week; we emptied the chuch of wedding flowers since it is Lent and now the house is perfumed with ivory lilies, roses, freesias.

There! You asked- so that should bring you up to date.....

My blue hyacinths cast a sweetness ALL over the house and will always remind me of the Princess Mary Maternity Hospital (long gone and gentrified into luxury apartments) and L's birth 30 years ago.

Now my mind turns to Spring... seed potatoes, compost, Lenten hellebores, and daffodils.

Easter can't be far away! Planning my bonnet.......