Thursday 31 December 2015

A year of failure

Wendy* has had an astonishing record in keeping her last lot of new year resolutions, and I really admire her. I, however, have not. Here are/were some of mine:

1. Finish the novel. No. Well, not quite.
2. Take at least two books to Oxfam every week.  No.
3. Ditto unwanted clothes. No.
4. Drink less. Actually, yes. We've been better this year, but I suspect only because we haven't felt so tempted. Not sure why.
5. Be tidier. No, though I did turn out one drawer. This wasn't nearly as rewarding as I'd hoped, and I can still no longer remember what's  in it (sticking plaster? Batteries? String?).
6. Write a to-do list in my diary each week, and stick to it. No and no ( which probably accounts for the failures above).
7. Not fall of the horse. No.
8. Blog less. Yes, I think...Well, a bit less.

Oh dear. This isn't looking good. But tonight, we are having our own little party, and we are going to make Resolutions. Both of us. And stick to them.

Watch this space (unless I resolve to do give up blogging altogether, which is a possibility).

Happy new year!

Monday 28 December 2015

On the pleasure of buying daffodils in December

I wandered lonely as a cloud
(In Sainsburys, quite hard to do),
When all at once, not quite a crowd,
But little sprays came into view.
Between the cheeses and the tills,
Bunches of early daffodils.

When often on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
I dream of spring. The time when I
Can shop for flowers as well as food.
But now, my heart with pleasure thrills -
A pound a bunch, for daffodils!

Sunday 20 December 2015

A Christmas story

Recently, as I struggled through the crowded town, I saw a small boy running along behind his mother.

"Why's it called Christmas?" He shouted after her.

I didn't hear her answer, but it put me in mind of this story.

In the jeweller's window, half hidden among the Christmas tinsel, glitter and flashing fairy lights; the expensive rings and bracelets and necklaces; someone had placed a little wooden manger, with a tightly-swaddled figure of the Christchild. Anyone watching closely might have noticed that the tiny figure appeared to awaken, look around as though dazzled by his surroundings, start at the jangling sounds of the Christmas music  and the cries  of excited customers, and begin to sob. A manicured  hand reached into the window from behind, and swiftly removed the little manger, replacing it with an expensive bejewelled watch.

"Why are taking that out?" someone asked.

"Oh, this old thing? It looks out of place here. We don't need it any more, so I decided to bin it.  Besides, what's it got to do with Christmas?"

Sunday 13 December 2015

Happy Christmas

This crib, entirely knitted by my very clever daughter-in-law, seems the ideal illustration for a cyber card to wish all followers and passers-by a really happy and peaceful Christmas.

(I may be back before Christmas if a thought strikes me, but I really ought to be shredding red cabbage, wrapping presents, making mince pies and panicking).

Thursday 10 December 2015

Jehova's witnesses and coincidence

After yesterday's post, in which I mentioned that I'd dreamt about Jehova's Witnesses the night before they actually pitched up on our doorstep, here are two more unrelated coincidences (nothing to do with dreams).

I'm sure you heard about the captain of the tragically shipwrecked Costa Concordia, who just happened to "fall" into a lifeboat (and then refused to get back on his ship). Well, in today's Times, there's the sad story of the man accused of rape. No, no, quoth he, in reply to the charges against him. It wasn't rape at all. He just happened to "fall" onto the victim and penetrate her. It was all an accident, you see. (He seemed to forget that a degree of physiological readiness would have been necessary for this to happen, never mind the removal/undoing of at least some clothing.)

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Entrepreneurial ideas

Just the two, but they could just bring in a bit more than writing.

1. Fluorescent dog food. This will emerge from the other end of the dog as luminous turds, which glow in the dark (we live in a lane beloved of the irresponsible owners of incontinent dogs. The lighting is poor, and the turds lurk unseen. This make me furious.)

2. A new company: A very reliable person, with blameless references, will sit in your house and wait in for the gas man/new boiler/Jehovah's Witnesses* or whatever while you go out to work/play tennis/ride a horse. For a bit extra, the blameless person might even do the ironing.

What do you think?

*We had two of those yesterday, which was spooky, as I'd dreamt they were coming. I told them exactly what I'd told them in my dream (which had served as a kind of rehearsal).

Tuesday 1 December 2015

To my teachers

Miss W: if you hadn't sent me out of the room (for standing on the table) I would never have run home. Actually I think I was quite enterprising for one so small (5 years old). But you should have noticed I'd gone. You had a duty of care, didn't you?

Miss R : I know we shouldn't have been climbing trees during school time, but we were pretending to be monkeys. And we were only  nine years old.

Miss B: I'm sorry about the mice. Why didn't you send me to the head? I certainly deserved it. Just saying "Frances, I think you should put those away now" wasn't going to do the trick, was it?

Miss D (the head): I promise we weren't doing anything sinister. We just discovered that if we rolled a roll of toilet paper under the partitions, it would unravel itself all the way along the row of lavatories. It was just a bit of fun. We were all sent to you, and I still don't understand why.

Miss Y: that essay on "silence" you made me write, because I was pretending to be an opera singer. You weren't supposed to hear me.You weren't even in the room when I started.

Miss D (head) again: making me write out the school rules with reasons was a waste of time. I still won't underage what they were for.

To the person who gave me (another) disobedience mark: that was totally unfair. There was no school rule about collecting the cream off everyone's school milk and making it into butter. It harmed nobody. Plus, it made excellent butter.

I hated school.