Monday 28 April 2014

Things my grandmother has learnt today

1. Nothing - repeat, nothing - removes superglue from fingers. Not even nail  polish remover. She's tried that. She'll just have to wait unti it...drops off. Fortunately, her fingers are no longer sticking to each other.

2. Oil seed rape is now high enough to hide a good-sized deer. These leap out suddenly in front of horses, causing consternation, and potential accidents (today, she managed to stay on. Not like last time).

2. "April showers" is a misnomer. They are more like April monsoons. She's just got caught in one.

3. She is very weary of wearing her winter uniform of jeans, shirt, sweater, trainers. She would like to paint her toenails red and give her feet an airing. No-one's seen them (the feet) since about September.

4. Her youngest grandson (that's me) is both beautiful and cheerful, and this post is really an excuse for my photo. She says it's cheered her up.

Saturday 26 April 2014

I absolutely ache...

...for the mother who appears to have killed her three small disabled children. She was apparently a devoted mum, who gave up her job to care for them. She had gone ahead with having the younger ones (twins)with whom she was pregnant when the elder one was diagnosed, although she was told that it was genetic. She seems to have done all the right things until (it would seem) she must have reached breaking point. These children were wheelchair bound and tube fed, and needed round the clock care. Their future was bleak. She must have been at her wits' end to do what she did, and now she will have to live with that for the rest of her life.

I have a disabled sister. Her future turned out to be good, largely due to her huge determination and astonishingly posive attitude, but I remember what a strain that put on our parents, and how much (to my shame) I resented the amount of attention she was given, when we were children. And there was only one of her. And she was eventually able to lead an independent life. The lot of this poor woman was unimaginably worse.

I feel uncomfortable about the mawkish placing of flowers and teddies outside the home of this family - a custom that has become increasingly popular, especially since the death or Princess Diana -but I hope they were placed as much in sympathy with the mother as sadness over her children's deaths.

She's going to need it.

Thursday 24 April 2014

What did you dream about last night?

While waiting in for A the plumber (see last post for details. There's now a veritable tsunami flowing across the kitchen floor), I thought I'd like to see what anyone who reads this dreamt about last night. Other people's dreams can be deeply  boring, especially in novels, but I really would like to know. However, no cheating, please!

(In case you ask, I dreamt that I was helping the first female Pope get ready for her first Easter address. She dressed and undressed under a huge, modest tent, but we had trouble finding her hairbrush.)

Wednesday 23 April 2014

In praise of the those with practical skills

Lord Finchley

Lord Finchley tried to mend the Electric Light
Himself. It struck him dead: And serve him right!
It is the business of the wealthy* man
To give employment to the artisan.

Thursday 17 April 2014

Call yourself a Christian!

I wasn't going to post again before Easter,  but something a fellow blogger wrote made me think again.

I am a Christian. There. I've said it.

Time was when it was fine to admit to being a Christian. Not any more. Things have changed, and if you tell people you're a Christian, they seem to see you in a different light altogether.  They also tell you how much the church has to answer for, from wars to child abuse, and so it's easier in some ways to keep quiet.

They also make assumptions.

Some time ago a friend of mine, who was angry with me, suddenly shouted at me "call yourself a Christian!" I was very taken aback, because apart for the fact that she knows I sing in the church choir, I had never, to her, "called myself a Christian". But she had made the connection, and a judgement, and I was condemned. Because of course Christians are supposed to behave so much better than everyone else, even (and especially) by those who have no faith at all.

But...I am a Christian. Not a good one; not a particularly prayerful one; certainly not a preachy one. I rarely mention it, and I have a long way to go. And I have lots of doubts. But basically, it seems to make sense. I make no judgements about those of different faiths or none; I don't know whether I am "saved" (whatever that means). I certainly don't deserve to be. But there it is.

I recently read a wonderful book: "Unapologetic", by Francis Spufford. It is a very readable
exposition of why he's a believer. And no. He's not preachy either. He's not even a paid-up theologian; just a (very good) writer. In fact, the book is full of the F word, and very down to earth. But just in case, at this Eastertide, anyone reading this might be interested, I do commend it. If nothing else, it makes for very entertaining reading.

Happy Easter (again)!

Tuesday 15 April 2014

Happy Easter!

This is a busy time of year (small children, large horse, visiting family etc) so I thought I'd get this in early. I hope all of you - writers, non-writers, photographers, readers,cat/dog/horse-lovers et al  - enjoy the Easter weekend, and have a very pleasant break. (These eggs have just been decorated  by my young granddaughters.)

Thursday 10 April 2014

The writing on the wall...

...for any MP is the news that s/he "has the full support of the prime minister". After that, it's just a matter of time. I nearly posted about this a couple of days ago apropos Maria Miller, with the arrogant headline "you read it here first", but thought better of it.

But everyone knows it now. Isn't it odd how Joe Public only has to help himself to a couple of pounds from the till, and he's out on his ear. MPs, on the other hand, are allowed to "step down" or "resign" with some dignity intact. Oh, and she's getting redundancy pay. The fact that she's giving it to charity is immaterial. She is being rewarded for her dishonesty.

Suddenly the Monster Raving Loony Party doesn't sound such a bad idea (if it still exists?).

Cynical? Moi? Perish the thought.

Friday 4 April 2014

Featuring Fairfax

The blogger at where's my effing pony (I'm afraid I don't know her name. If you're reading this, apologies) has said she wants more news of Fairfax, so here he is. He's a bit shy abot the frayed pink lead rope (he wanted a blue one) and the tatty headcollar, and would like to explain that neither item was his choice (they weren't mine, either. They came with him, like Paddington bear's duffle coat. And as I explained to him, if he's turned out in the field in this headcollar, it doesn't matter if it gets muddy. To which he replied, whose headcollar is it, anyway? And I said....oh, never mind).

Anyway, Fairfax is very well, thank you, although we could both have done without the low-flying helicopter and the paraglider and the Thing in the Hedge that we came across this morning, but we recovered (the photo was a Before photo. We didn't take an Afterwards one). He may speak for himself at some stage, but he's still thinking about it. Unlike Titch, he's not given to talking about himself, and he didn't have a Very Posh Father (in fact, he has no idea who his father was; or his mother come to that. His parentage, like his birthday, is cloaked in mystery).