Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Pausing For Breath...

Today is Ash Wednesday - the start of Lent. If you want to join in the Lent Pauses, please comment on this [or subsequent] posts- and I shall add your name to the list in my sidebar. Same format as previous years [see here] - and do not feel pressured to blog every weekend. But if you have some helpful thoughts to share, in this season of reflection, then please do join in. My apologies for being slow in advertising this - life has been rather busy of late!

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Stick Yer Finger In Yer Ear...

...and go TIng-a-ling-a-loo
Stick yer finger in yer ear, and go TIng-a-ling-a-loo
Just like old Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo
Stick yer finger in yer ear, and go TIng-a-ling-a-loo

We used to sing this to the children when they were tiny. I never knew any other verses [but it appears to have been recorded by Benny Hill - who sang about Nelson at the Battle - despite the fact he died ten years before!] I thought about the song last week when I dug out some soft toys from a box in the loft. I gave them a thorough wash and then let them dry on the radiator. 
Snoopy was one of my 21st birthday presents, I cannot remember where the blue and yellow puppet was from - and the monkey was a gift to baby Liz from my brother Adrian.

In the best tradition of Uncles, Adrian has always given great gifts. The monkey's label declares his name is Rutherford [we approved of a soft toy named after the father of nuclear physics] His wonderful digits fit into his ...erm...facial orifices. He can indeed stick his finger [or toe] in his ear, or his thumb in his mouth

And yes, to the great delight of both uncle Adrian and niece Liz [and disgust of my Mum] Rutherford can also stick his finger up his nose! I shall endeavour to be Very Laid Back when my grandchild discovers this.

I am amazed to find these are selling for around £20 on the internet as 'vintage toys'. Not planning on selling this one though.

Monday, 8 February 2016

What's Afoot?

People have different opinions about footwear inside the house.

  • some go barefoot
  • some wear socks
  • some wear slippers
  • some wear their everyday shoes

Now that I have a lovely soft bedroom carpet, I do skip about barefoot in the mornings and the evenings - most of the time I wear my slippers in the house, and sometimes if I am dressed up to go out [or have just come back in] I may stay in my shoes for a while. I rarely go about in stockinged feet, in case I slip over. 
Lots of my friends have a 'no outdoor shoes in the house' rule. I try to remember to take my slippers with me when I visit them. And there's always a heap of shoes by the front door.

So I was interested to discover that not a million miles from here, there is a company which makes shoes to keep by the back door. This came about, according to their website because "As far back as I remember my wife, the kids and I spent so much time rushing in and out of the garden through the kitchen door in all weather getting soggy socks and then walking onto the carpets to find dark grubby patches appearing daily - always a bone of contention!!" 
I don't know why they were running around in their socks all the time, in and out of doors. But I do see that it makes sense to have 'outdoor' footwear. My last pair of slippers did not have waterproof soles, and if I forgot and went out to the dustbin, or to retrieve a can of food from the shelf in the garage, my feet got damp. My current slippers [blue suede ones, above] have got decent soles- but I rarely go outside in them. I keep a very old pair of clogs by the back door.

These are ancient [purchased for £5 in a sale in 2002] and used to be a smart beige colour. They have been through the washing machine a couple of times. But they are comfortable, and the rubber soles underneath are fine. It takes moments to step out of my slippers and into these. 

The posh ones produced by this local company are cute to look at - but at £20 a pair I really don't think I shall be buying any. I have wellies for serious wet weather and gardening. 
What do you wear on your feet around the house? And do you have shoes by the back door to put on for trips outside to the recycling bin?

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Lost For Words

I read an amazing story on the BBC Website this week. An American Tourist went to Iceland for a holiday, picked up his hire car, programmed the SatNav and drove to his hotel. Except the poor chap has mistyped the address. His hotel was on a major road int he capital of Reykjavik - Laugavegur. Except he typed Laugarvegur . the poor man inadvertently added an extra R. This resulted in a six hour detour and he ended up in the pretty fishing village of Siglufjordur, where there is a road called Laugarvegur. 

It looks a very beautiful place, and he was welcomed and treated royally by the locals. He is now a media sensation in Iceland. It seems that many Reykjavik guidebooks mis-spell this word, so it may not have been his fault [though I wonder why he didn't stop when his one hour drive from airport to city turned out to be so much further]
But it made me think how adding or removing a letter R from a word can completely change its meaning
petty/pretty    small minded, or beautiful
card/cad         an amusing chap, or an unreliable chap
stray/stay       wander, or remain
aid/raid          help. or steal
cook/crook      chef, or criminal
toy/tory         plaything, or politician
lard/lad          fat, or fellow
tire/tie           to wear out, to bind together
work/wok        labour, or chinese cooking pan 
heath/hearth  bleak outdoor landscape, warm fireside
drying/dying   removing of moisture, or ending of life

My final two pairs were inspired by Paul's words in Roman 6
"The payment for sin is death - but God gives us the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus"
fee/free and paying/praying

Can you find any more good pairs?

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Book This Date

Today is National Libraries Day - so get down to your local branch and bury yourself in a book!  If we don't use our libraries, we will lose them. I understand that the Ferndown Branch is due for a visit from the Gruffalo sometime this morning. Find out about what's on in your area here

Books are so precious, and so important. I believe passionately in encouraging young children to read. One of the best bits about becoming a Grandmother will be the delight of sitting down to read books with my grandchild. And if you learn to love reading as a child, that love stays with you into adulthood. I love the Judy Blume quote...

Friday, 5 February 2016

Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr Hitler?

The film is out today. It wasn't filmed in the forests round Thetford, and apart from Ian Lavender [the stupid boy is now playing an elderly officer], I don't think there are any 'originals' left. I will reserve judgement until I have seen it. But the trailer is fun...

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Try These For Thighs!

As promised, a review of Hugh F-W's Chicken with Lentils and Rosemary. Liz made this for me two weeks ago, and I picked up my own copy of the Waitrose magazine and made some for Bob and myself. We did not eat the whole thing, but portioned some up for the freezer. It was very easy to put together, I had all the ingredients to hand apart from the chicken thighs. I found one thigh was an adequate portion for me [Bob had two] and we had savoy cabbage alongside. I made one evening meal, and put the rest in the freezer [that was 5 portions] for about £3.00. 

The picture top right is Hugh's from the Waitrose magazine - and the one bottom left is mine. [You can also find the recipe here] Lovely warm, filling food for a cold winter's evening - and another meal for the Year of the Pulses!