Monday, October 20, 2014

Unaccustomed as he was.........he went hungry....

Pa made me smile today.
He asked me when I was off to Paris for the weekend.
On Friday I said...on the Eurostar.

He thought for a minute and said 'well just to let you won't get a decent breakfast there'
Why? said I....
He laughed to himself and said 'well last time I went, after I'd had a cup of coffee - not tea mind you but coffee - and some sort of roll, I was waiting for my breakfast......and I waited and waited and waited...until the dining room was almost empty, and someone told me that there was no proper breakfast.....imagine that....apparently what you get there is continental'.....

The 'last time he went there' was nearly 60 years ago.......a young northern married man who had never been abroad before and was with a Church group taking his young daughter to Lourdes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Time for tweed and tights.......

When dressing each morning now, for me,  it seems that we have shifted into that season of 'crikey I need a cardi' and 'bare legs today? I don't think so'.....and the dresses and t-shirts are being ignored in favour of something more substantial to cover my pale, slim, firm young limbs. Oh hang much as I wanted to type that description of my body I must confess it may not be quite correct......exactly. I cannot tell a lie (well that isn't exactly right either...) but I'm not a size 12 anymore.
I know! who knew?......but the size 12 boat has be replaced by a solid ocean going heavy freight boat.....substantial and work ready but not overly a joy to behold. The sky may look like this......
so you could be fooled into thinking that the weather was bright breezy and warm.....
but trust me, when dressing,  the time for layering is upon us. Ladies am I right? So I was very happy to spot this beauty in a charity shop........

A  Boden Moon Tweed skirt in Autumny colours.

I'm thinking of wearing this sweet thing with a cashmere cardie,
 boots and I just can't decide what colour tights......
My daughter said that perhaps wearing flat shoes with the whole shebang was not the way to go.
I thought it might look chic but then an image of Margaret Rutherford (lovely lady that she was) flashed into my mind and my cankles need the kindness of knee length boots.

Earlier this year I had imagined that I would approach my 60th with a diet so that the day itself would be fireworks and fizz and me being smug about having reached the big Six Oh without being huge......shallow? me? oh yes.......but don't judge me please...we all have our funny little ideas....and anyhoo
 there was a problem with my plan......Aldi.......yes the purveyor of fruit and veg and chainsaws.
 This otherwise fabulous shop sells cheap chocolate with nuts in it that is just heaven on a stick to eat....and so I do......every night.....and have done for months............
and really? who cares?  As the days shorten and the temperature changes I love the fact that Autumn is the time to hunker down, eat up, and cherish comfort.......bring on the woodsmoke in the air smell and the walks in the crisp frost, followed by plenty of comfort food and I'm a happy gal.
Time to bring out the slow cooker I think.........

Sunday, October 12, 2014

A reminder to my selfish self.......

I certainly am appreciating the work/life balance that a reduction in working hours brings.
I am poorer financially but so much  looser if you know what I mean...less tightly wound.
There may not be the same amount of money in the paycheck each month but my-oh-my a 3 day week is fan-bloody-tastic. Who cares if you can write your name in the dust on the furniture in these here parts......housework is very over rated. As long as the bed is made and the dishwasher is on
then s'all good with me. I do wish I had fully realised this really important fact when the kids were at home.
Sometimes, now, I stand on the landing and look into the empty bedrooms and recall those years when the rooms weren't empty and tidy.  When the kids were in them, either alone or with friends, and there were books and uniforms scattered around and music playing and I seemed to spend lots of time frowning and worrying and dusting and hoovering and picking up clothes and towels, and cooking and washing up and dealing with dentists and school trips..... daily life and work and school and activities and sleepovers and.........y'know.....was immersed in the whole, noisy, busy, blessed, gorgeous, tiring, laughing, crying, shouting amazing familyness.
Which, as you probably know, goes by in a ...look....there it was...gone. Sigh.
And as much as I tried, it was hard each and every day to stand still and appreciate the now..relish the loveliness....relish the love.
So, now, semi-retired that I am, I hardly ever dust, or worry about tidying up.....and do sometimes feel sad that I wasn't a little more cavalier with regard to all the chores etc., back when the kids were with us. That I was a little less tense. I was tired and I didn't have the sense to see things differently back then.
You just do the best you can I guess.
Now, with just the two of us here, the place stays fairly presentable and we devote more time to being just us. I am certainly a little older and I hope wiser...more relaxed I like to think.
So we love this little window of time we have together.
Which is not to say that we don't love it when the kids visit. This weekend our girl is here with us for a flying weekend visit from that-there-London and our son and daughter in law are joining us for lunch later....and I have given some thought to what is important I'm not going to dust or hoover .....but try to listen really hard to the people in my life that I love.
I telephone my parents less and less now (although the weekly visits continue) because daily calls became such a ....chore. Sad, but true.
So. As the kids will be here today I will try to pay attention - to them and what they say.  I know that I'm not terribly good at keeping quiet .... I'm an 'interrupter' and I hate myself for is a constant work in progress with me more listening........more really listening.......because I suspect that one day it might not just be their physical presence I miss.....but the sound of their voices.

Saturday, October 4, 2014


The sky really was that blue.
For four days.
Wonderful views.
Lemon tarts and cherry brandy.
Best meal ever in a small Russian restaurant.
A 40% proof vodka...chilled glass.
Smallest glove shop ever seen.
Cheap taxis.

Suitcase unpacked and passport put away...just for 3 weeks though...when they will be needed again.
So far I'm liking the 'travel instead of a party' plan..very much indeed.


Just for now.