Tuesday 27 February 2018

A letter to Siberia

Dear Siberia

Apparently it's you who have kindly sent us the Weather we're currently having. Now, I'm sure it's well meant (after all, we get on with you as a country don't  we?), and it's always a pain sending things (wrapping it, queueing at the post office, wondering whether it's arrived, waiting for a thank you note etc.), so I really appreciate that. Thank you.

But. We are different from you. We are not ready for this kind of Weather. We don't have those furry hats and boots and the nice warm houses I'm sure you must have. In short, we are cold. I went riding yesterday, and I haven't been that cold since I was turfed off the school bus into a snow drift aged about twelve ( the bus has broken down, and I had to walk a couple of miles to get home).

So please, please take this Weather back. It's not that we're not grateful; we're just not ready. I've just visited an elderly neighbour (I too am an elderly neighbour, come to that), and she is cold too. We had coffee huddled round her gas fire;  me in coat, gloves, scarf and hideous but wonderful Uggs; she in an assortment of layers.

But in the course of our chat, I did come up,with a wonderful book title: Sunbathing in Siberia. What do you think? Now all I've got to do is write it. If it's published, I promise I'll dedicate it to you. Provided you take back your Weather 😰

Sunday 25 February 2018

A poem I wish I'd written....

I find the poem Forgetfulness deeply reassuring. Funny, and oh, how true! It's four minutes into this clip.

Friday 23 February 2018

The Me Too campaign

But not me, I'm afraid. Am I alone in being sick and tired of all these "celebrities" whinging about a pat on the knee? Soon, a man won't be able even accidentally to touch a female back or shoulder without being labelled a "sex pest" (awful tabloid-speak). I've had my fair share, and some of it was unpleasant, but I've lived to tell the tale.

I've counselled many people who were victims of sexual abuse, and it destroys lives and families. Some of the tales I've heard beggar belief, and I've wept over at least one. It is appalling, and I would be the first to condemn it. But these protestors in their posh black frocks diminish the severity of real sex crimes by putting themselves in the same category. Some of them may have suffered genuine abuse, so this doesn't apply to them, but for the most part, these experiences sound relatively trivial.

Come on, girls! Whatever happens to real, stand-up-for-yourself feminism? A slap or a kick where it hurts should sort the monster out. And as for you guys, I feel sorry for you, as from now on you really are going to have to watch yourselves in case you find that you're accused of something you are completely unaware of.

Saturday 17 February 2018

A whinge about crusts

You know those tiny crusts on the ends of sliced loaves? The odds are, they won't get eaten, as they're too small to be of any use. This infuriates me.

So I phoned Hovis, a major offender, and complained to them about the ridiculous size of their crusts.  I was told that as the loaf had to be exactly 27 slices (or something) that was the only way it would work. In vain did I tell them about waste, lack of foresight etc. My words fell on stony (or in this case, stoneground) ground. They can manage a good size with their multi seed loaf, so why not with others? I hate waste, and there are just so many breadcrumbs you can use.

What do you do with your crusts, apart from feed the birds? Now, be honest...

Saturday 10 February 2018

Valentine's day and surprises

Valentine's day has for many years been what my late mother called "a commercial racket". Today, the shops are full of pink/red cards and those red roses that flop as soon as you get them home (do men now KNOW this? And they'll be way past their best by Wednesday, even if they don't flop).

But the prize goes to my beloved son-in-law.

"So, do you want flowers on Valentine's day?" he asked my daughter. To which she (reasonably) replied: "you don't ASK me! THAT'S NOT WHAT THIS IS ABOUT!"

 As she later explained to me, not only has be spoilt any surprise, but now she looks greedy if she says yes, and won't get any if she says no. He's put her in a lose-lose position.

And my own dear husband? Well, he's just told me, joyously, that a son is planning a "surprise" visit on my birthday.


Wednesday 7 February 2018

Old book, new look...

This is the new look for what used to be THE BIRDS, THE BEES AND OTHER SECRETS, which comes out later this year. I was sorry to have to abandon the title, but it was attracting the wrong sort of attention...The publisher and I have spent ages trying to come up with something better, and we've ended up with a compromise (title).  I like the clean, clear look, and just hope potential readers will too...