Alright I've relented, Christmas is reinstated.
The "Old Grump" has been up in the loft to get it. It smells a bit musty and dusty, it's even a little bit rusty, bits have broken off of it and been wired back on. It leans precariously to one side and has to be positioned carefully so as not to topple over, but it can not be replaced, because it is:-
I love my varifocals, I don't know how I would manage without them. The pair I'm wearing now are so good that I forget I am wearing them, so I've put off changing them for as long as possible. Four weeks ago I decided the time had come. I'm having to use a magnifying glass to stitch, so off to the opticians I went. I've been to the same highstreet optician for years and never had any problems, but that optician has just been taken over by another big highstreet name. Oh dear! It may be just coincidence but things have not gone well.
The sight test and choosing of frames went smoothly enough, one pair of varifocals and one pair of varifocal sunglasses ordered. Two weeks later I went to collect them, tried them on, couldn't read with them. Dispensing optician was called, various things tried, measurements taken but to no avail, they had to go back for new lenses.
A week ago I got the call, glasses ready,but there was so much snow that I didn't get to go for them until yesterday.
Young woman goes into back of shop to get glasses, I was beginning to think she had got lost, where has she got to, is this a bad omen? Yes it was. They were better but I still couldn't see as clearly as I should through them. Young woman just sits looking at me with no comment. I suggested that perhaps I should try on the sunglasses. Couldn't read at all through them. Young woman says "It' probably, because of the tint". "What!" There's almost an argument in the shop, but I restrained myself. I suggest that the frames may just need a slight adjustment. Young woman says " Yes but I'm not trained to do that, you'll have to see the dispensing optician". Good, I thought, I may be getting somewhere. Young woman sits looking at me. "Well, aren't you going to get him?" "It's his day off." I didn't think that was good enough, there were eight members of staff milling about, but they only have one dispensing optician. Young woman sits looking at me. I pointed out to her that something had to be done, because the glasses weren't right for me. "Well, can you see the next print size up" she asked. My blood's beginning to boil by now. " I need to see the small print." Then she says, "You could see the optician". " Yes, I'll do that". Click, click, click on the key pad. "You can see him at 2.45 this afternoon". This was at 10.30am. I gave up. I've made an appointment to see the optician on Monday. Please, keep your fingers crossed for me.
With the wild birds that is. Half a sack of seed has gone in one week. I think we will have to put them on rations.
I tried to take a picture of them, but they were disturbed by something and flew away. I'm thrilled to see that we are being visited by a couple of Tree Sparrows. They were plentiful when I was a little girl and now are a rare sight. I remember my Dad teaching me the difference between the House, Tree and Hedge (Dunnock) Sparrow, the lawn was full of all three of them eating the scraps we had put out.
Bad light, steam on the window, too cold to go out. All makes for a terrible photo :-)
The icicle has grown. 42 inches now.
It isn't growing where anyone is likely to walk below it, but I wonder if it is safe to leave it there?
Look how grey the sky is.
We've got some beautiful icicles hung from the roof. I couldn't get the longest one in the camera frame, no matter what angle I tried. I should have opened the window, but I didn't want to let the cold in the house. So I put on a coat and tried from outside, but that didn't work either. I think it must be nearly three feet long and two inches thick.
I've just had a tape measure out and it's roughly 32". I wonder if it will have grown tomorrow?
I would like to pay a tribute to our milkman, who has valiantly slipped and slid his way through all this awful snow to deliver our milk. He's a star. I've just seen my neighbours coal being delivered as well. Resourceful, luckily his other hat is a farmers.
Well! The snow came, but it timed itself just right to allow me to go on my planned "outings". The local weather forecast sounded favorable, so we braved it and headed off, first for York. The road out of our village hadn't been gritted and had to be negotiated carefully, but we made it to the main road and that was clear. In York we met up with "Dizzy Daughter" and then had a train ride to Leeds. Leeds City Centre didn't seem to have had any snow, so luckily there was no slipping and sliding under foot. I tried to get pictures of our destination, but they were so blurred I can't show them. Well, maybe I'll show two of them and then you can see how bad they were.
I'm blaming the cold for making me shake.
What were we doing at Leeds Town Hall? We were there for this:-
I think I need a new camera.
It was well worth the effort in getting there and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
That was on Thursday. Friday night brought more snow, and Saturday morning was a 7.30am start.
Where to this time?
Once again the dodgy road out of the village and still only -2deg. This time the main road was not quite so clear. It had been treated, but there were still short stretches of icy snow. Again the first destination was York railway station, and again I met up with "Dizzy Daughter". This time we were taking the train to Harrogate, our final destination being the "Knitting and Stitching Show". Ooh! that was fun, but a bit hard on the bank balance. Well it does only come around once a year.
We headed home on the 5pm train and then walked through the centre of York, which was feeling very festive, St Nicholas Fair was on and people were very merry, it must have been the hot chestnuts and mulled wine. By the time we reached "Dizzy Daughters" house our fingers were so cold they hurt and I was feeling very tired. The "Old Grump" came to pick me up and a plan was hatched to call for fish and chips for supper, which we did and we were glad of them, because by the time we arrived home at 7.30pm it was already -5deg. and we needed something hearty to warm us up.
I was just going to publish this post, when I happened to look out of the window and LOOK:-
Here it comes again, SNOW. The shiny blob is the room light reflecting in the window.
It's been a quiet week here in "Doohieville", so far. Well, for "Doohie" that is. Not so for the "Old Grump". The cloakroom lavatory became inoperable, but with a piece of wire and a little ingenuity, the "Grump" fixed it. No sooner than that was fixed, the bathroom lavatory broke. Just a small part of the button which you press to flush, but of course you can't replace just a small part and your model is the one no-one has ever seen before. So a whole new flushing mechanism had to be purchased and fitted by the "Grump". Then a light fitting exploded at "Dizzy Daughter's" house. New light fitting and new light switch required, guess who went to the rescue? Yes the "Old Grump" again. Poor "Old Grump", all this whilst battling multiple health problems and in constant pain with back trouble. I don't know what we would do without him.
I have found a strange phenomenon comes with blogging, it is called, "Wish I'd got a picture of that". Yes, I've found myself regretting not taking a photo of a broken toilet flusher. How sad is that? I think my camera is going to travel with me all the time from now on and I'd better by a bigger card for it. Then next time something breaks I'll be ready to get snapping. :-)
Every Year, the same old dilemma, "To vaccinate or not to vaccinate". I hate having to take my little man for his vaccinations, I worry that they could have an adverse effect on him. Every year I ask the same questions and get the same answers and I always take the vet's advice and let Ollie have his jab. He's never had a reaction to the vaccine before, but this year he was unwell for a couple of hours and I noticed that the vet had used a different brand. He was back to his normal self after having a sleep, but already I'm agonizing over whether to let him have them next year. I think I'll be very reluctant next time.
Oliver is usually very good when he visits the vet, but earlier this year he had an anal gland abscess (very painful). When we went for his vaccination, the vet wanted to check that everything had healed properly, which meant that Oliver had to have an embarrassing examination, which he would rather not speak about. Unfortunately, it hurt and Oliver turned into "Devil Dog".
The awful thing is he has to be checked out again in March. Oliver is not impressed.
Yesterday was a "Can't Be Bothered" day. Every job I began was left unfinished, because I couldn't be bothered with it. I'm never happy at the end of that sort of day, I feel frustrated at the lack of achievement. I wonder though if "Can't Be Bothered" days are needed to recharge the batteries, because today has been a "Get Things Done" day and I'm feeling much happier about it.
I wish I'd had my camera with me today. I never have it with me when I see something really special. Today it was the trees, the colours were so spectacular that they took my breath away, but they will have to live in my memory. I've missed the moment. I'm not a photographer so I probably wouldn't have been able to capture the magic anyway.
I've had an enjoyable day at the Embroiderers' Guild meeting in York. Learned something new, as I always do and saw some lovely work by the speaker, Serena Partridge. I especially liked the tiny miniature gloves which she had made. http://saatchionline.com/serenapartridge
A new blog has just been set up by the "York Guild". It's very new, so there's not a lot to see yet, but do keep having a look, because some amazing work is produced by some very talented people. Look at my blog list.
Jacket potatoes wrapped in foil and cooked in the fire.
Pie and peas.
Yorkshire Parkin made by Grandma.
Dad nearly burning the house down. Well not quite, but I think things nearly got out of hand. He had a load of old wood delivered from somewhere for the bonfire and some of it had grease or oil on it. It caused quite a blaze. Mum was panicking because she thought the kitchen windows were going to crack. Small fires were starting up all over the garden, caused by flying sparks and I remember Dad running around with a bucket of water and a stirrup pump, putting them out.
Safer at an organized display, but not as much fun.
Here in Yorkshire, tonight is "Mischievous Night". I don't know what the origins of this night are, but after dark, children and adolescents go out and about looking for opportunities to play pranks on their neighbours. As a child I remember going out with friends knocking on neighbour's doors and then running away, rattling dustbin lids, but never anything which would cause real harm. Our exploits were mostly ignored, because they were expected. Nearly every year, Mum or Dad had to go down the street to find our gate which had mysteriously departed from it's hinges, but we never had damage done, it all seemed like harmless fun. However,perhaps it was my conscience knowing that we were doing something wrong or the fear of being caught which meant that I never really enjoyed this night.
I remember Grandad C. telling me about his escapades on "Mischief night" which would have been in the first decade of the nineteen hundreds. One of which involved a long length of cotton and a button. The thread was somehow fastened to a window frame with the button dangling against the glass. It was then draped across the garden to a hedge (behind which the perpetrator could hide), when the thread was pulled the button tapped against the window, thus annoying the occupants of the house. When someone left the house to investigate what was happening the window tapper would have disappeared, but was probably watching from some vantage point in order to see the person re-enter the house, getting treacle on their fingers which had been liberally smeared over the outside door handle. Elaborate, but it really happened.
It seems that now "mischievous night" is not quite so innocent. Tales of paint being thrown and other damage being done. The paintwork on our car was damaged a few years ago by an egg being thrown at it, not to mention what it did to my nerves. It made such a loud bang when it hit the car. A friends living room window suffered a similar fate last year.
Luckily we live in a small village where not much happens, but we'll still be, raising the drawbridge and lowering the portcullis.
You probably think that this dish of chocolates is for offering to children, trick or treating.
You'd be wrong. I'm sorry, but I do not agree with trick or treating.The chocolates are all for the 'Old Grump' and me. We'll turn out the lights and hope that they think we are not at home. Yes we are a pair of 'Old Grumps'.
Of course, we don't turn them away if they do turn up, we just don't encourage something we don't agree with.
My daughter is away for the weekend, so Mortimer Bunny Fluff has come to stay.
He used to come with his mate, Willow Bunny Fluff, but sadly she went over the 'Rainbow Bridge' earlier this year.
Mortimer and willow were rescued bunnies and they came from the R.S.P.C.A. Since joining our family they have been very much loved bunnies and Willow is very sadly missed.
The pictures above were taken in 2005, when the bunnies used to scamper around the house.
Mortimer is now an old man who suffers from arthritis and I'm afraid he doesn't always make it to his litter tray. So now he has to stay in his pen, but with twice daily medication and constant cleaning of his pen, he is still a happy chap.
What has happened to the keeping quality of cheese? I'm sure it used to last longer than one week. I was looking forward to a wensleydale cheese and apple chutney sandwich for lunch. I had to think again.
I'm not the only one to have noticed that cheese is not keeping very well, three other people have mentioned it to me. What are the 'creamery people' or the supermarkets, doing to it?