I am crouched behind my laptop at the moment, trying not to make eye contact with the dogs through the French windows.  They are eating ‘Pigs Ears’ if they see me looking they will want to bring them in and show them to me. apparently they are delicious!

I am having 5 minutes peace with the last cup of coffee out of the pot.  I feel I deserve it, I have already been to the Dentists,  had two fillings and scrubbed the kitchen floor and planned dinner for tonight.

A good job that I checked my calendar before I went to bed.  I had it firmly fixed in my head that my Dentists appointment was on Wednesday which was terribly inconvenient and I did think that I might have to ring them this morning and try to alter it.  As you can imagine I was delighted to find that it was today first thing and am even more delighted that now it is over and done with.

I am hoping for a sit with my book this afternoon, it is very good a Bryant and May ( I know you older people will instantly think boxes of matches, nothing to do with it), Detective series, by Christopher Fowler, this one is called ‘Strange Tide’.  The books are slightly eccentric but usually very compelling reading along the lines of ‘locked room’ mysteries.  You could read them in order, there is a constant thread through them all but it wouldn’t totally spoil it if you didn’t and each one is better than the last but then you generally find that with a series of books.

The characters get more rounded out and the writing slicker.  I always think this about Ian Rankins books.  If you have the time and patience go back and read one of his early books and then one of his latest.  Both will be great but the difference will surprise you.

The dogs have flooded back in, pigs ears a fleeting memory and gone for a nap in their room and I am going for a nap in mine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It is not Arthur Swallows Fair at Stoneleigh tomorrow (Monday), my Other Half read it ‘upsideways’ and actually it is on the 22nd January.

Thank goodness we found out today.  I would never have forgiven him for getting me out of bed at the crack of morning needlessly.

We all had a better night last night, dogs permitting and I am nearly awake now but not quite raring to go.  More coffee please.

‘Raring’  I haven’t ever written that word before.  I am tempted to put an ‘e’ in but the spellchecker likes it as it is.  I do spell badly and most times not even notice but I can’t do those cryptic messages on my phone.  I have to write proper! But then I can’t always find the punctuation and it all turns into a sort of anagram.  Technology always defeats me in the end.

Jason, technology wizard and thankfully, son-in-law with a penchant for cake, fixed my laptop after my Christmas hiatus, but now I find that I can’t up load pictures from my camera without some kind of password?  Which I have no memory of at all, although I am quite willing to confess that he has probably given it to me and I have instantly forgotten it.

And apparently  (here Jason shakes his head despairingly), I have about 40,000 dead emails which have never totally deleted and that is why my machine runs so slowly.  We are working on getting rid of them.  Up to now he hasn’t figured out how to get rid of them all at once without clearing out everything.

And so if you listen carefully you can hear the slow tired click of the ‘delete for ever’ button when we have nothing better to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Proper got a touch of the miseries these Dogs.  Barked all night on and off and are sulking this morning, probably because we are all sleep deprived and each of us in turn has told them off.

They don’t bark all the time but when they are feeling sad and deprived they make a silly whistling noise rather like the ‘Clangers’ and I keep looking around for the ‘Soup Dragon’.  Maybe whoever thought of the Clangers had whistling dogs!

I have no idea what upset them so much in the night but hopefully it was just a blip and now we can all sink back into our normal routine, please!

So we are all a bit ‘zombified’ this morning and I am ready for my afternoon nap even though it is only 10am and I have only just had my toast.  I feel another pot of coffee coming on.

Tomorrow there is a new Fair, somewhere on the edge of Coventry.  Just down the road from here so if we get the chance I would like to go and have a look.  If it is our sort of thing it would be very handy, we have great gaps in our calendar for this year and already we are a bit stir-crazy.

Some months we are going to be really busy with Fairs but in between we need a couple of convenient ones to fill in.  I think convenient is the watch word as we get older and more wimpy.

My Other Half tells me that it is Arthur Swallow’s Fair at Stoneleigh on Monday morning.  It is the one he used to hold at Donnington and has had to move because the venue was no longer available.

We used to do some good buying at Donnington and were even tempted to stand.  We really need to clear some of our old stock and if I can get out of bed I am tempted to go and look at Stoneleigh and see how its going.

It always takes a few Fairs to find out whether it is going to be good or not, some of us Dealers are a bit set in our ways!

Enough rambling on, time to get up from here and get on.  Things to do and places to go.

 

 

 

 

 

Our 18 year old Grand Daughter is having a bit of trouble with the growing-up concept.  It is not that she is feckless, she has a job, goes to college, socialises and is charming and delightful and clever but tries to please everyone and even her self sometimes.  She struggles to fit everything in and finds that there aren’t enough hours in a day and often ends up in a heap of tears with a long list of ‘must do’ deadlines.

I have always had trouble with the concept of growing-up and deadlines but now I am old I do find that it is easier.  I run out of steam half way through a day anyway and have to have a little sit down and a cup of tea and sometimes a little nap and pace myself or try to anyway.

But I do remember being 18 years old and getting home in the mornings just in time to set off for a days work.  And when my sister and I were saving up to go to Spain we took on a couple of morning paper rounds as well but every now and again when we got the chance we slept the clock round just to recharge our batteries.

There are not going to be any wonderous words of wisdom here I am afraid.  Being young is great, delightful, constant, marvellous and at times petrifying, scary and stressful.  And so is being grown-up and grown-old.

So Tilly my lovely girl, make of it what you will, we are all here for you, whatever!

And as the saying goes ‘Been there, done that, got the T-shirt’ and as a last resort ‘crossed fingers for luck’ sometimes helps.

 

 

 

I started to read a Nigel Slater book last night, he was writing about Winter, he was saying that he loves the colder weather, it fills him with energy and how often people are negative about it.

Made me think, many of my blogs start with remarking on the miserable weather.  From September onwards I am doom laden about Winter.  Unlike Nigel I am not an outdoorsy, winter loving person.

As I get older I hate the complications of living the cold parts of the year.  Lovely to have an open fire, blazing logs toasting toes, but for all its joyousness it creates extra work and responsibilities, clearing out and cleaning, fuel to be moved, baskets filled.  Too late to sort all this out at 6 in the evening.  Has to be done and sorted and lit by early afternoon or what’s the point? And then it needs looking after, if you don’t tend a fire it sulks and goes out (rather like me).

And going out, even to the bottom of the garden necessitates boots and scarves if not coats.  And scurrying from door to door to keep off the wind/rain/snow, shutting it all out firmly and living like troglodytes (never written that word before, totally relying on the spell checker), I hates it, as my daughter would say!

Sorry you Winter lovers, I like opening a door and wandering out, bare foot usually if in my own garden, soaking up the warmth of the sun, watching the washing crisping on the line.  Opening all the windows and doors and letting the breeze freshen the house, absolute heaven!

I am trying not to wish the days away but I do long for the Spring and Summer

 

So cold this morning but having said that it is dry.  Hooray!  I am a bit fed up of mud.

The back garden looks like the Somme after two armies have fought over it.  Quite amazing what three dogs can do.

And now that I have had a bit of a moan, I do love to see them playing out there.  Just like children they play hide and seek and tig and chase and every now and again it all gets too exciting and they  erupt into a whirling snarling blur and all has to be soothed and then two minutes later they are back to playing.

They are a revelation to me.  They are not so very different to cats, they respond to the tone of your voice. they know when you are cross/pleased with them and every now and again they need a cuddle, in spite of their size.

And just like anyone else they get jealous of each other, are always up for a treat or a snack and are full of curiosity about everything.

I quite like them but wouldn’t volunteer to have any of my own.  Compared to cats they need a lot of looking after.  Cats like to do their own thing and will flick you the V’s and vanish for hours.  After one of our cats died we discovered that he used to spend his afternoons visiting an old man several houses away!  Dogs want to be with you always , and gaze at you with soulful eyes if you should dare to reject them.

T have issued a statement that in my dotage (about now really) I would like a framed picture of a Goldfish.  And perhaps the only other animal related thing would be a list of runners for tomorrows horse races and a small account at the local Bookies!

My sisters and I (sounds like something that the Queen would say),  each in turn as we got big enough,  had what was called in those days a ‘Bride Doll’ for Christmas.

I called mine Angela, I have no idea why and I loved her dearly, still do even though she has been packed away in the bottom of my wardrobe for over half a century.  She was just the right size that all my younger sisters baby clothes fitted her and I used to play with her for hours.

She. along with living with my younger sisters and my Mothers practicality was all the training for being a ‘Mum’ that I had when my own children were born.

The same for most women to some degree or other I expect.  You really learn as you go along and as I discovered with my second baby, don’t expect anything you learnt from the first to apply to the second, except that with each child you tend to panic less most of the time!

I did anyway and I feel that should I have gone on having more, by about the 6th it and me would probably have been ‘zen’ like in our calmness.

The first time I was left alone for a whole day with my baby I was petrified.  I had read the books, listened to the ‘Experts’ and had buckets of advice from everyone but none of it helped.  She was helpless and trusting and I was supposed to know what to do!

The responsibility of being a Mum was overwhelming and the only consolation, and really the only person who totally understood was my Mum.

She didn’t lecture/instruct or anything like that.  We sat down with a nice cup of tea and she confessed that was exactly how she had felt and still did at times.   And the relief of realising that I wasn’t expected to know it all, all the time was a marvellous revelation.

I loved Mum dearly and we bumbled along together through all our crisis not always agreeing. in fact ‘The blind leading the blind’ but to the outside world we were Mothers and knew what we were doing!

Only to each other over another cup of tea could we confess that nine times out of ten we were quaking inside, she was my rock and I miss her still and always will.

Now I am the Mum, with a daughter who is a Mum herself and we bumble along often quoting my Mother as we sit gossiping/putting the world to rights over our cups of tea.

 

 

 

When you get old you will find that enough sleep is enough (I hear some say never) and you just have to get up.  Old bones ache and fidget and the siren song of the coffee pot or whatever calls.

I have been awake since 5am, no particular reason perhaps fidgeting dogs or the gritting lorry going by or maybe just the swish of tyres on the wet road outside.

Anyway as one does when trying not to disturb everyone else in the house I lay for a while setting the world to rights,  read my book for an hour then got up very quietly.

Not quite quietly enough to fool the dogs into having an extra hour in bed so I put my coffee pot on and fed them their breakfast.

1/4 past 7 now, I could be doing a million small domestic things but the excuse is that it would be a shame to waken the sleeping so I can sit here and not feel the least bit guilty about it

Amongst my rambling pre-getting up thoughts this morning was my Dentist.  I have an appointment with him this afternoon.

A pleasant man and over the twice yearly check ups and treatments we have got to know each other quite well albeit on a surface level.  He and his wife were expecting their first baby this Christmas, such a life changing and joyful thing and they have flitted into my thoughts every now and again.

I don’t want to give them a card, they will have many and I don’t really presume to know them well enough to buy a proper present but a tradition in our family is that each new baby is given a silver coin, folded into their chubby little hand for a moment.  It is supposed to mean that they will never want for a penny or two.

Not real silver, usually a half-crown but in modern times a 50p piece will do, it is the magic of it not the coin that matters and in the bottom of the old brown enamel jug that my Mother used to throw all her change into I think that I might just have the right coin.

That old brown jug has become another kind of tradition.  We have all carried on slinging our change into Go Granny’s jug and if you are short of change you just help yourself.

When it gets so full that it is too heavy to pick up, we do a bit of sorting but basically most of it gets put back in and if you are short a few ‘bob’ (Shillings for the young) we could probably help you out.

A coin out of Granny’s jug will be perfect and she would be pleased that we are passing the magic on.

 

Time to join the real world again, things to do.

Firstly and most importantly sort out the calendars and diaries and send apologies to people who I forgot to send Christmas wishes to.

From about the middle of December I tend to pile all the post on one side and just filter out the Christmas Cards leaving the rest to be sorted  –  about now.

The theory is that then I can send Cards to those that would enjoy a catch-up even a postal one.  I tend not to have a list  to work down every year, I prefer to donate the money that I don’t spend to charities that I choose and it works in a kind of hit and miss way, so if you got missed sorry but you can bask in the glow of a charitable giving.

And this year I have gotten so laid back that I know that I have missed a couple of Christmas Birthdays and at this rate early January ones.  I am on it, as we speak!

And we made an executive decision not to unload after the last ‘abandoned because of snow’ Antique Fair in December and with a few little tweaks take the same stuff again.   There were some good bits and pieces and not that many customers managed to get so hopefully it will all appear reasonably fresh.

And having said that I have books to catalogue and some silver plate to clean and so it goes on.  There is always stuff to do a never ending list.  Oh yes! And I bought a load of posters last week and they want sorting and fettling.

And on the domestic front,  a fridge to sort of course full of left over Christmas and New Year, time for it all to go.

Todays menu will be a little eccentric, you are welcome!

 

Well, we made it!

Another Christmas conquered and a Happy New Year to you all.

And now cup of coffee in hand it is time to set off into the challenge of a whole pristine, unsullied 12 months.

I always feel ridiculously optimistic at this time of year and today I am not even going to think of any of the negatives, the ‘ifs’ and ‘maybes’ and ‘what ifs’.  That is as much thought as they are getting.

This day is going to be wreathed in the golden glow of positives.

And I am happy to share with you all. xx