Monthly Archives: December 2012

So rude…getting a wrong number, and just putting the ‘phone down

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This is a mini-rant. If you ring me, and accidentally key in the wrong number, and realise this when you hear my dulcet tones answer: please, just say “Sorry, wrong number” or some-such, before you put the ‘phone down. It won’t hurt you, I promise. I just don’t understand why it’s so difficult, given that we all do it.

Different strokes for different folks….

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It snowed this week where I live. It didn’t settle. Lots of people expressed disappointment about this. Many people hold this romanticised view, upheld by many Christmas songs and films… I kind of like snow myself, but I am aware of the disruption it can cause on the roads, etc, and this makes me a bit ambiguous about it. I was reminded of this a couple of years ago when trying to visit my Grandmother in the far north of Cumbria. Two routes we tried were impassable, and it was touch and go whether the third route would be accessible, but fortunately we made it in the end. The locals had snow shovels and wellies in the boots of their cars as standard.

My Grandmother had a healthy respect for the danger of snow. There was a really bad winter during the war when the farm they lived in was unreachable by road. They burned antique furniture to keep warm, and the only supplies they got were delivered by rail, and were literally thrown from the train on the Pennine route, about two miles walk away.

As a child, I used to spend a lot of time on their farm. Some of my happiest childhood memories are located there. I used to ‘help’ at hay-making time, and had my own hay-fork, shortened for my use. But whilst I remember this as idyllic, my Grandmother remembered this as being very hard, back-breaking work, which it was, if you were an adult.

It is incredible how different events/circumstances are idyllic or terrible, depending on your circumstances or situation at the time. I know I need to remember this when I talk to people. One (wo)man’s meat is another (wo)man’s poison…

Blackpool, I love you!

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Years ago, I used to visit Blackpool as a child. We used to visit relatives, who lived near Stanley Park, and have a pudding made by Auntie Madge,  which was superb, and foreverafter known as Auntiemades’spud…We always saw the illumintations on the way home. For those outside the UK, these are lights on the promenade. Tacky, possibly, but somehow, a bit marvellous. Later, Blackpool had the nearest ice skating rink, and we used to visit from the youth club. Older still, and Blackpool was a great place for a tacky weekend…Happy days!

Recently, the teenager was going away to Germany for a week with the school. I took the chance to go away for a few days. There is nothing like Blackpool to blow away the cobwebs on the seafront…Mother and Stepfather were staying in Blackpool and I booked into a hotel near the Tower.

Turns out that the lady who owned the hotel was brought up in my village. I bought my daughter a parrot who repeats your speech.. which seems entirely natural in Blackpool… The Dealers Market by the Winter Gardens is wonderful. I indulged myself with a 1950’s Wade dish… in my defence it is out on display and in use! I met up with an old school friend who lives nearby. We caught up with who had run away with whom….I like the fact that there is no fake language with Blackpool.  No  Chocolate Cake Code. You know, how someone tries to persuade another person to have another piece of cake…and the person says ” Oh no, I  couldn’t possibly…. it will go straight to  my hips!” and you are meant to argue until they have the cake that they were always going to eat anyhow….Just accept it and eat it…what’s the problem with cake exactly?

Which I suppose takes us to the point of “Say what you mean, and mean what you say”.  I am a Northener, from farming stock, so this comes naturally to me.  And if you are not saying anything that is going to hurt someone elses’s feelings, I don’t see why it should be a problem to anyone to anyone else…

Getting more work done

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I work at home and don’t get as much done as I would like. It’s easy to become distracted at home, and feel obliged to wash-up, put the washing machine on, etc. Some of it is to do with working at the dining table, in an open-plan living space. Having a designated work-room would make things easier, in that there would be a space for everything, and I would not have to put everything away at the end of work. Much of my time is spent looking around for tools I have put down at the other end of the room. It is not possible just to work at the dining table. I need to move around, and change position every so often because of a hip and back problem. That’s when I put stuff down. Also, I make cups of tea and watch daytime tv when I am not using the sewing machine and doing some hand sewing. This is not good.

So. I have been offered the opportunity to work out of the back of a shop. This is an excellent offer, and I am hoping I will get more done. I shall let you know!