Sunday, 29 July 2012

Things we did in the school holidays, part 2

During the early part of the summer holidays, before my family moved to Lancashire we lived in a village  "just" inside the Peak District, and the Pennines were just about all around.  Things grew later than they do here, and usually for the first week of the holidays we would spend time looking for Whimberries.  Unfortunately these were quite tasty and we only ever seemed to find enough...and bring them home to make a "saucer pie".  For the uninitiated, a saucer pie is what you make when the filling is in short supply.  My elder brother always tried to lay claim to the pie.  Not quite sure why, as he rarely came picking with us, and when he did he ate just as many as we did.

I've been asked for the recipe for the pie. It's just standard short crust pastry on a greased saucer, fill with fruit of choice, and then cover with another layer of pastry. Oh, and sweeten fruit to taste.   If I was very lucky Grandma would make a saucer strawberry pie for me on my birthday. :)

It's ever so quiet here.

Edwin has gone to Scotland for a couple of weeks to spend some time with Becki at her Dad's house.  Becki is working this summer, so we haven't seen so much of her.
It's awfully quiet here though, with just Spark, Shadow and Finny for company.  Finny isn't really much company though as he is Edwin's goldfish, so no in depth conversations with me and him.  I suppose I should start getting used to this, as in September Edwin goes away to university to study illustration. 
So if you catch me talking to myself, give me a nudge, after all don't want the men in the white coats coming to take me away.  Mind you, some might say that maintaining a blog is a sort of talking to yourself.  So perhaps I'm already part way towards going mad, who knows?

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Holiday so far

I'm on summer break from work at the moment. Haven't done much apart from read, knit and some housework.
Today though , I decided it was time I tried to get back swimming.  As I haven't been for such a long time.  I went at noon and managed to swim 16 lengths, which is quarter of a mile.  I didn't push myself for more, as I felt I needed to get used to swimming again.  The other reason being, I had walked there, so had to factor in the walk back home, so swimming until I was exhausted would have been a very bad move. 
I feel good , but now one of my knees feels like it wants to bend wrong way when I walk.
I hope I can keep it up.  There is really no good reason why I shouldn't swim more, apart from fitting it in, and the holiday seemed to be the best time to get into a routine about it.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

FIrst ever British winner!

I'd like to say congratulations to Bradley Wiggins for his Tour de France win.

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Ok, what have you done with the butterflies?

For the last couple of years I have taken part in the butterfly count that is usually held around this time of year.
In my bit of the alleyway behind my house I have a Budleia, (butterfly bush,) and I didn't get chance to cut it back in March due to lots of other stuff going on.  So...Bertie the Butterfly bush is huge!  He's covered in wonderful smelling flowers, and not a butterfly in sight.  Only a handful of bees.  I'm loath to cut him back yet, because if the weather gets warmer, as the forecasters claim it will, we could have a later than usual show of butterflies.  There are hardly any bats about either, but this I suppose goes hand in hand with the lack of flying insects.
How about the butterfly situation near where you are? Have you seen many? What about Bats?
Another thing I've noticed is a lack of Swifts, again, they feed on airborne insects.

Quick update.
I have just seen the first butterfly of the summer on Bertie.  The tiniest butterfly I have ever seen. Not sure what sort it was.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Bending the truth for adverts?

Is it worth bending the truth for an advert, so that it catches the eye, and promotes the product?
Well, maybe.  But to me they shouldn't portray something that is out of kilter...unless it is completely out of kilter.
The one which is annoying me at the moment is the Specsavers Advert.  The one where a couple in a car arrive to catch a ferry, and end up on an aircraft carrier.
I know that the tagline is "Should have gone to Specsavers", but civilian and military docks are not shared in this country.  So there really is no way they could have ended up on the deck of an aircraft carrier.
I am quite happy for the British Gas men , (are they all men in the vans...another post...sexist advert?) to zip around an imaginary space where everyone lives on their own personal planet...but it is quite obvious that it is fantasy, similarly the talking kitchen and household appliances in I think it is Scottish Power's advert. 
Can the advert makers please remember to get some facts correct.  I could see some people worrying when their family goes off to catch a ferry, warning them not to drive onto any waiting aircraft carriers.  And the people who would say that , would not believe it was impossible to do.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

You can't choose your relatives

Lats evening I had a call from one of my aunty's.
We chatted OK about this and that.
Then I mentioned my lovely friend who left two years ago.
She was OK with that...until I mentioned that he was not from the UK.
***Hides head in hands***
I'd completely forgotten her response to one of my cousins marrying a man whose mother was a true West Indian!
The conversation went quite well until I mentioned my very special friend is not from UK, tyhen it was...."Be Careful!" Etc.
The reaction is even more hurtful to me as I have been subject to "racial abuse", despite being from UK.
I can only excuse my Aunty because that is how she was brought up...and has lived in a rare ified "white community " since she married. With her husband a successful banker, and living in the better off places.
However, it seriously upset me to be warned away from the most lovely man I have  met, just because he isn't a UK born person

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Things we did in the school holidays, part 1

I don't know about you, but the summer break from school doesn't feel like as long as it was when I was at school.  Even though it is actually a week longer, we only used to get 5 weeks, unless you went to the local grammar, in which case you had 6 weeks.  I didn't go to school here until I was almost 14 and even those holidays seemed to stretch out forever.
So...what did you do to pass the time during school holidays?
One thing we used to do, especially if it was a wet/cold necessarily summer...was  that we would "do" jigsaws
I don't know if the British are peculiar in the way they do jigsaws.  That is make the picture up and then after it is finished and has been admired for the appropriate length of time,  (I think this was in direct proportion to how long it had taken to complete.)  We would break it up and put it back in the box, to be enjoyed again another time.
Are the French the only people who think this is peculiar?  As I know that when my parents holidayed in France once they bought a puzzle and completed it.  The owner of the gite knew they had got a jigsaw and was invited to admire the finished product.  Then Mum went to break it up, at which the owner said "Non!", disappeared and came back with a piece of wood and some cling film.  Slid the board under the jigsaw and then cling filmed the jigsaw.  Telling my parents they should frame the jigsaw.
Anyway, that is besides the point.  Whenever we did jigsaws at home...usually just my younger sister and myself...Mum would come to see how we were doing and perhaps help.  (Mum always seemed to be busy in the kitchen when we were younger.)  As time went on and the jigsaw picture merged we would start to have trouble, because there would be a key piece missing.  I don't know how long it took us to twig...but Mum would put a piece, sometimes two in her pinny pocket. Just so she could put the last piece in.
Last week my sister took Mum a jigsaw, which Mum has been busy doing, what I am wondering is...has my sister tucked a piece into her pocket so Mum will find herself a piece short?
I'll let you know.