Archive for January, 2011

Postaday2011: Optimist or pessimist?

OOh this is an easy one for me, I am definitely an optimist. I mean how much nicer is it to look for the positive and hope for the best bits of things? My glass is definitely half full, with smatterings of hope that soon it is going to be brimming. How dreadful it must be to have a half empty glass and not seeing any hope of getting it refilled. Come on! I believe most definitely in the law of attraction, what you think is what you attract so if you think negative things or fear something, then you increase the probability it is going to happen. Again there is no contest, I would rather be positive and attract the great things in life.

It all sounds easy and in reality it is. It is all about changing the way you think. Imagine getting up late and feeling angry, rushing around, slamming around and moaning just encourages everything around you to go wrong. Just by relaxing and believing everything will be ok, you will change your whole day. Try smiling and acknowledging all the good things that happens. I must admit I can be a bit laid back and tend to anticipate events. Take going to work by public transport. I always left in plenty of time but once on the train there is nothing you can do should a delay happen. I observed people getting stressed and shouting into mobile phones, pacing around looking out of windows, muttering to themselves and I just smiled. All out of my control, a short message to say I will be in asap, then I would sit back and relax. I do not want my day to remain as it could be if I was angry. If only everyone else could see that. I am a great people watcher and that was one great situation to watch the habits of people. I try to imagine what might happen when they get home.. ‘kick the cat’ syndrome? It all has a knock on effect.

Think then just what it would be like if we just took a deep breath and said ‘ok, this is what has happened, can I change things? no!’ so I will sit and relax, read my book or whatever. Often striking up a conversation with someone will make the time pass and hopefully make them feel less stressed about it all. I arrived to work relaxed, sometimes thankful, especially if I had a difficult class to teach, not quite the right attitude but hey! I’m not perfect – quite. But by being calm about things the rest of my day remains calm and those around me are also calmed. A bit like a ripple in a pool.

It reminds me of a quote, ‘As man thinketh, so is he.’ I never understood what it meant, there are many more but they all say the same thing. The person I am each day depends on my thoughts for that day. I know people who every time you ask them how are you they go into the ‘poor me’ speech. ‘I’m knackered’,  ‘ I am tired’, ‘I have a headache,’ and guess what? their day stays exactly the same, dull, tiring and a drag. Just by being positive and looking forward to the day makes it sunnier and easier to cope with whatever it throws at you.

I am definitely an optimist and see the good in everything. There is always a reason that has caused things to happen, we need to look at the wider picture. Those yobs on the street? they are just kids that have probably had a really negative start to life. Call a kid a lout and he/she will be. I remember being in another town on holiday with H, who was still working on being positive, and not being able to find somewhere. The only people around were a group of rough looking youngsters. I suggest going to ask them but H makes some comment on yobs etc. So I go to walk toward them and he stops me, bless him for being protective, but I ignored him and went up to the dozen or so lads and said ‘ excuse me guys, can you tell where….etc.’ I was met with a group of young men that were all too happy to help, who smiled, were polite and pointed us in the right direction. I think H learned something that day. If he had taken his bad attitude to what he thought looked like to him a local yob gang, they would have reacted as he would have expected maybe…

Be positive, I say, look for the good or the reasoning, treat people as you would like to be treated and be happy. Look at the world with a smile, smiles are contagious and spread quickly, much better to get a smile back than a scowl and who knows, you might just make somebody else’s day.

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Postaday2011: Late again!

I have done it again! Late, and far too late to write a proper blog despite all my efforts to do one earlier. It was a good day despite being busy. My son, daughter in law and granddaughter Emily came over and my two youngest daughters with Maica and Millie. I was very good and got up early.. my apologies to my neighbours when I vacuumed at 9.30 this morning… I got everything done so I could actually relax and enjoy the children. They even persuaded me to take a walk with them in the glorious sunshine. Painful but I managed it. How precious it was to spend a lot of time just chatting to Maica while the mummies, and one daddy, with babies, or babies to be, had time to talk without all the little questions.

I so enjoyed just listening to the chatterings of my little three-year old Maica, I think it gave her Mum a well-earned rest for her ears. We just sat and had a conversation about anything she wanted to talk about. The way the orange peel looked like a star or a little man after we’d peeled it. Papa building a plane in the lounge, Mummy growing a baby, why all the babies were here. Sorting out relationships was fun. We decided they all came to grandma’s house because I was mummy to their mummies and daddy, and grandma to the babies, including her. The hardest thing was to say why I lived with GrampyHarry. Hmm in terms easy enough for a three-year old, not easy at all. In the end she accepted that GrampyHarry and I lived together because it was like she had Mummy and Daddy , Millie had Auntie Tabby and Uncle James and Emily had Uncle Scott and Auntie Claire. Simple! well she was ok with that.

This week also promises to be a busy week, the dinner party we had to cancel for Saturday will be this Saturday instead. I froze the Haggis to ensure their safe keeping, they would have been fine but, well just in case. I have a follow-up appointment to find out whether I do have anything between my ears, Not looking forward to that either but hey ho… and I have also to do a mountain of ironing that has suddenly crept up on me. All that as well as normal household stuff and before I get to do my things like painting and writing.. Ah well.

So, another rather boring blog entry but at least I did one. Thank you to my children for a wonderful day, will add some pictures to this post tomorrow but meanwhile I am off to my bed to have a well earned sleep.

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Postaday2011: technology

So I have 15 minutes to write on what technology I couldn’t live without… Serves me right for being late after a busy day, happy busy day with family I might add, then well-being Friday night, a bottle of red wine… So to this technology. I am a gadget freak so this is such a difficult topic, maybe we should start with electricity. Now that is some technology, ok ancient now and very sophisticated but imagine being without it. No light, no washing machine, cooker, vacuum cleaner and as for my dozens of fabulous kitchen gadgets that would be useless, my technology has to be electricity.

I am sure there are loads of other ideas but when and as I think of them, each is powered by electricity. I don’t go out often but think of clubs, pubs, cinemas, shops, freezers, escalators, trains, heating and then the medical profession and surgery… No, I am thinking as hard as I can and I still think the greatest technology has to be electricity. I mean even the ecological saviours like wind turbines and solar panels are all for .. yes.. electricity to run modern technology.

If you want to go basic well I guess it has to be washing machines and vacuum cleaners, a bit more advanced then it has to be computers, which covers everything from mobiles to everything in modern life . I have two minutes to go but it still all boils down to… Electricity …. going to publish now or be late… again xx

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Postaday2011: Oops!

I know I said I would not make any excuses so I won’t but yesterday I just ran out of time, very similar to today’s efforts at blog writing. Trouble is you see, I love reading. I also get so sad and lonely when I finish  book and have this sort of gap. I recently read the Steig Larson trilogy, ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ etc. and I came up with a cunning plan to avert the missing something when I finish a good book. What is it? What can be better than 3 books to keep me going? Why five of course. I bought the ‘Shardlake’ books written by CJ Sansom and I am in seventh heaven. Firstly, I love historic novels, secondly, my interest lie in Medieval Britain and thirdly they are brilliant books and there are five large volumes . So herein lies my reason for not getting my blog done yesterday.

I had other things to do that filled my day and got a phone call for advice on my poorly grand-daughter which caused me to sit up and wait for a reply, well I couldn’t concentrate on writing. On hearing she was ok around 11pm I was going to write my blog and go to bed but I was tidying the lounge first and well my second book in the series just lay there on the settee… I finished it around 1.30 am. Had to be done, such a well written book that you need to know what happens, so there that was my excuse… no not excuse, my reason for not getting anything written yesterday.

I will however, write an extra one or two to make sure I have enough entries, even if they are two to a day occasionally. Actually I reckon I have done really well so far. I have had some positive feedback on the my town blog so I thought I would give a view of my hometown next… Hastings. That might take a while because there is so much to say about Hastings. There are loads more places to write about in Gosport but I will get round to covering everything little by little . As I am late again tonight, I will endeavour to write early tomorrow, have a dinner party tomorrow evening… just covering my back here…. and include two entries. xxx

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Postaday2011: My town:Gosport.

I have often said, many times in fact, just how much I hate living in Gosport. Based on the fact that I had previously lived an idyllic life in the heart of the countryside on the edge of the Downs, below Bow Hill and the biggest natural Yew forest in Europe, I am sure no-one can blame me for thinking that way. After all, who in their right mind would swap brick walls and heavy traffic for the hundred and eighty degrees of sky, forest, wildlife and fresh air of a working farm village. Maybe I should say no more and take a look at just what Gosport does have to offer. This first picture is of Falklands Gardens which is at the harbour.

Gosport is a small town on a peninsula, unlike most seaside towns both Gosport and Portsmouth, which is a short ride across the harbour on the ferry, are flat. A boon if you have difficulty walking I can tell you. The only problem comes, well I make light of it because I am not a driver, but traffic is a major issue and one to be considered if going off the peninsula because there is only one road, both in and out. This means such a lot of congestion at peak times but instead of looking at the down side, I am determined to show Gosport’s good bits. This view is from the top of Portsdown Hill which overlooks Portsmouth Harbour from this point. Gosport is across the water to the right of the tower but I think this gives the best view to demonstrate the ‘flatness’ of the terrain. The views from here are breathtaking and change regularly with the tide and the weather and it is only a short car ride out of Gosport.

The walk along the harbour gives a wonderful view across to Portsmouth with all it Naval attractions. Some say we have the best of Portsmouth because we can see it all. From the Warrior pictured here to the Spinnaker tower, across to Spice Island and out to sea, it is relaxing just to sit and watch the ships and ferries sail by too. Of course the other side of what we call the creek, is also a beautiful place to walk and there are many areas around Gosport to access these walks. Monk’s walk is one of them, behind St Vincent’s College another and to walk across the other side of town will take you to the rear of the old Haslar Hospital. Each of these places has its own charm. 

From the Harbour Walk on the left here you can watch the ferries going to and fro across to Portsmouth. There is always something to watch and see.

On the other side of the peninsula the views are just as beautiful and you can see the war ships in the Dockyard, there are also some interesting wrecks in the mud flats too. Because of its Naval history Gosport also boast several museums; Explosion, the Submarine Museum and the across the water the Naval Dockyards.

A little further afield Lee on the Solent has a lovely beach with nearby ice-cream parlor and  shops. There are some great restaurants there too. Also nearby is Stokes Bay a wonderful and very popular place to walk, windboard, fly kites or just walk on the beach and the village of Alverstoke which boasts a fantastic fish and chip shop.                                                                   

  My favourite nearby village has to be Titchfield  but before getting there Stubbington also has a lot of charm and some really good shops. For me the church in Titchfield is just one of the lovely things to see. I guess I love it for its rural setting.   There are, as you can see many lovely places in and around Gosport and although I knock it is only because I prefer to live the country life and miss it so much. There are very few birds where I live, mainly sparrows, seagulls, pigeons and starlings. I rarely see any others which is a great source of disappointment to me but as though to make up for it the starlings provide an aerial display like no other. In the summer  they begin to gather on the rooftops by late afternoon. When you walk out of the back door the sky is filled with the chattering and chirping of hundreds of little starlings all lined up upon the rooftops and chimneys along our street. In the picture here they have just begun to gather, by the time they have finished which can take quite a while, there is little space for another bird. The sound is loud and I imagine could be quite intimidating to anyone not keen on birds. Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’ springs to mind….  Shortly after this  great gathering the chattering ceases and they fly up in their thousands, huge flocks of starlings that create quite a picture in the sky but best of all is to be at the ferry, preferably Portsmouth side. I watch in amazement every time at the perfect geometric shapes that each separate flock creates in the sky. Flock after flock arrives, dances in the sky and then by some silent signal every one disappears beneath the platform of the station that stands over the harbour on a pier. Such perfect timing and synchronicity. Thousands of birds all in the sky at the same time and not one of them gets in the way of another, so tremendous to watch.                                                                                                                                      So, there are a lot of great places in Gosport, God’s Port Harry likes to call it, or if you’re coming in by road the sign says ‘G’spt’. So guys next time you are looking for that special spot, we have it down here, It is worth a visit.

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Postaday2011;The Weather and housework.

How can a day change so much in just a few short hours? When I got up this morning it was fairly dim and sort of grey but by the time I had made the bed and had a cuppa the sky had little patches of blue dotted with multi-colour clouds. Not necessary a good sign but I accepted there were some blue skies ahead. True to my thinking by ten o’clock the skies were blue and the sun was bringing warmth and light to our little terraced home.

What is it about sunshine that grabs the brain by the stem and forces its host to think ‘I must clean, I must clean.’? I mean it isn’t compulsory and could have been left till another day, couldn’t it? Maybe not, another part of my brain kicks in and says: ‘Don’t put off till tomorrow, what you can do today.’ Eh? What? Where on earth did that come from? There seems to be some sort of conspiracy going on in there, Am I the only one that notices it?  I just thank my lucky stars I don’t live near my daughter in Florida, my god! I would be on a forever cleaning frenzy. By the way the picture here is a sunset but it serves perfectly to demonstrate the colour of the clouds.

Speaking of which, I am aware that pink clouds in the morning generally mean either a shepherd or a sailors warning, depending whether you are a country person or local to the sea. Anyway, that besides, I clean. The house looks so much brighter and better after I have finished too, why is that? I clean regularly even when it is dull outside?

I have my lunch some delicious chicken and bacon soup that I made from last night’s meal, followed by a quick check of my inbox. Driven by the cleaning madness, I sweep all the junk from all my mail folders, send some important emails then decide to carry on with the blitz upstairs having completed downstairs but… the blue sky has gone and by two o’clock the day is decidedly grey. My mood alters accordingly, my get up and go has got up and gone, well almost. I did do a tidy up and there are surfaces that scream at me to dust them. So why, oh why is it taking me such an effort.

Despite it all I fight the greyness that threatens to overwhelm me and continue my housework upstairs. My kids think there is something wrong with me because I actually like cleaning my home and I can’t explain to them the buzz you get when it is all spotless, sweet-smelling and shiny. Until recently when we visited my younger daughter and were ushered into the bathroom where she had found time for the first time since her baby was born to do a spring clean. I was so proud of her, not for doing the cleaning, it wasn’t dirty for heaven’s sake but I was proud because of the look on her face. I could see she had finally ‘got it’. Another one of mother’s sayings, I know, I know, so hang on and I will explain. She had found the feeling, you know the sense of pride and achievement when a job has been well done. Instead of knowing in the back of your mind that you have something you know you have to do, you can sit back and relax and have no guilt feelings .

Maybe I am the only one that feels that way but it’s the feeling I have when I have to clean my house , top to bottom before going on holiday. I can enjoy my holiday knowing that I come back to a spotless home. A sense of pride and smugness. I mean can you imagine having a wonderful relaxing holiday but knowing in the back of your mind that you come back to a lot of cleaning to do? Then we tend to go on holiday in the summer when the weather is nice. I wonder what it would be like if it was a winter holiday and the weather dull. Hmmm.

Despite the dull and dreary after noon, I shall complete my housework and still sit back and smile despite knowing it won’t look anywhere as good as it would if the sun was still shining. Still I have proved to myself that even if I do nothing and go nowhere I can still blog about it. I mean the weather and housework as a topic! I should be getting lost in my set of books that beg me to read at every possible moment, painting maybe, baking a cake but anything rather than talking about the weather. I shall go out on a bright note with a picture of summer. Just to see if that doesn’t lift my spirits a bit more. Wait a minute if I half close my eyes … surely not. Is that God glaring at me over the horizon? I mean I really wasn’t criticising honestly. If you can’t see it, screw your eyes up and at least tell me I’m not going mad.  xx

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A lazy day with Millie and stuff.

Don’t you just love them? Lazy days I mean and of course Millie, my best time waster ever. I hadn’t planned much of a day anyway and a friend was coming over in the afternoon but I have such a sore throat still that I called and let her know so she could decide whether to come or not. I’d hate to pass this bug on, it really is nasty. My daughter called and asked if she could come over with 6 month old Millie. I can hear you saying ..she put off a friend but wants to see her grand-daughter, what about infecting her? Well actually, it was Millie I caught it from in the first place so I figured it would be ok and having seen her nearly every day and she hadn’t got re-infected, I assumed it is ok. Just in case anyone might think what a terrible grandmother I am.

Playing with Millie is so satisfying, the instant she sees me her little face beams from ear to ear and makes me feel the happiest person in the world. Those little smiles light up every thing and everyone around her, such a sunny baby which is another reason  for not feeling guilty for not doing what I should be doing. Actually, it was really nice to spend a day with my daughter. We had lunch and chatted, put the world to rights and shared some quality Mummy / daughter time too. Tabby asked about knitting something so I showed her how to read a pattern and refreshed all the things she knew once before but had forgotten. I have always got bits of wool lying around in my cupboard and it was lovely to be able to supply what she needed. In fact, the afternoon despite being lazy has told me that I need to a bit more minimising. I am a hoarder and never throw anything away if I think there might be a use for it later on, therefore, although my place looks tidy every available cupboard space is filled with stuff.

Stuff is important because you never know when you are going to need it, right? Well I have stuff for knitting and crochet, stuff for dressmaking, stuff for patchwork, stuff for cross stitch, stuff for beading, stuff for lace making, stuff for painting, stuff for drawing.. there is a difference, stuff for doing on the computer later, like photographs etc, stuff for writing and each in its own separate category, stuff for baking, stuff for cooking, kitchen stuff,  Oh, and then there’s my library, thousands of books all over the house and I could go on and on and on. I need a bigger place really and that is despite having a room of my own just for my arty crafty stuff. I love my stuff and today proved that you do honestly never know when you will need it.

I spend many hours organising and reorganising my things, filing them or categorising them, Books are not exactly the Dewey system but I know where to lay my hands on any book I have ever had because they are all placed together by subject matter, either topic, or if fiction, by author. I get a great deal of satisfaction knowing I can lay my hands on anything I want because I am so organised. What I can’t get over is my need to keep updating my stuff. No I don’t have a problem with OCD, I just like being tidy and being able to find things. I guess my childhood was pretty messy and we moved around a lot so having somewhere to keep my things was difficult, especially being the only girl in a large family of boys. That’s my excuse anyway. But and another thought has just hit me; It’s nearly spring! that’s spring cleaning time. I know that’s boring so I shall start with my papers and books then I shall think about the physical cleaning that is more difficult for me to do.

I can see it now, all my stuff in a pile, or piles, on the floor and me wondering why on earth I started it. Dust bunnies stare at me having been disturbed from the top of  furry bookshelves. Fairy dust glitters in the sunlight from the window every time I move around. The bin suddenly become miniscule when I need something styled on a tardis. Then I go over the stuff I wrote previously and don’t remember why I wrote it but stop to congratulate myself on each piece because I didn’t think I could write like that but as it has my name on it must be my work. It all takes time and I am happy when it is all finished. Trouble is, much as I love doing it, I would rather spend the time with my grandchildren… Maybe that means I am getting older…

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