Thursday, April 04, 2013

Time Waits for no Man...

Why is it, the older we get, the faster time seems to move on?  When younger I seemed to be able to fit in countless chores each day, walking the children each afternoon, time for gardening, hobbies, other forms of enjoyment, with still time to spare.  But of course - in those days - we had no TV.
Now, it seems that I hardly seem to do anything 'useful' at all each day, and almost certainly because I am watching TV programmes that I hope will give me inspiration to 'do something' more interesting.

At least yesterday I really did scoot off with/on Norris, although only to our local shopping parade. It was a lovely sunny day, but bitterly cold.  However, I had wrapped a wide and warm scarf around my neck, covering my mouth, nose and ears, with only my eyes peeping over the top, and this kept me really warm.  Other than going to the cash-point, the chemist (now called a 'pharmacy', why do they keep changing names?), and the butchers (for a slice of tongue for B, and some spicy cheese for me, and 2 lbs of lambs' liver for me to freeze), just 'window-shopped'.  Was out for about an hour, so at least managed to get some (very) fresh air, and it was good to have a warm (well, it felt warm) sun shining on me most of the time.

What with Norma the Hair first thing today, and my daughter arriving in about an hour, that's my morning just about used up.  This afternoon more cookery progs on TV that I hope to watch, so it looks like it will be tomorrow morning before I start writing out the recipes for the Foodbank. If short on time I may have to take the weekend off from blogging, just to make sure I get the work completed.  Have to see how things work out tomorrow.

Thanks for comments,  and pleased to hear from Rachel that Leamington Spa, although having major changes in the main street, this has been done sympathetically.  Myself am a 'Warwickshire' girl, being born in Coventry, and know that county well.  We used to often go to Warwick Castle when we lived in Leamington, and remember a Doll's Museum at the top of a street at the side of the castle wall.  In the museum was a very large (fabric stuffed) doll exactly the same as the one my parent's bought me (it was taller than me when I first had it). 

Both Kathryn and Granny B felt that the new series 'The Great British Sewing Bee' was lacking.  I had settled down to watch it with interest, but for some reason (perhaps because it was a bit boring) I fell asleep quite early on, but can watch it again on iPlayer, but am sure it will be repeated on BBC 1 or 2 over the weekend.

Thanks for the wine recipe Kathryn.  You came to mind a couple of days ago when I was watching a cookery prog. where two chefs travel the country in a van (fitted up as a kitchen), and compete against each other in the local shows.   On Tuesday the van was parked in the ruins of Wycoller Hall, the show being held in Trawdon (?).  Believe both are fairly close to Burnley (where I think you live).
Have visited Wycoller a few times, and just fell in love with the place, although at that time it was just a derelict village, the idea/planning being that the few cottages around the small green could be used by craft-workers, for visitors to see their skills in action. 
Did read later that some of the cottages were put the above use, and Penelope Keith (of the Good Life et al) and her husband were intending to purchase one of the homes close by, but they were unable to due to them not being 'crafts people'. 
Many readers will have seen (as it is often repeated) the original film 'The Railway Children', and see the shot, filmed shortly after the family moved to the country, where the three children were sitting on a very small bridge spanning a stream.  That stream flowed through the centre of Wycoller, and the Hall was reached by crossing the bridge from the village road.  Don't think the road went right through the village, there just for entering it and leaving the same way.
Such a tiny village, even the Hall didn't seem THAT big, and in its day must have been very quaint.

We do have problems in this country Pam with our 'wheelie bins' and the other, smaller, storage boxes provided by the council.  The 'wheelies' are quite large, up to chest height, and so most people tend to keep them fairly close to their gates, making front gardens look very untidy.  They are only supposed to be put on the pavement on the day of collection (otherwise could be fined).  What I dislike is that when the bins are emptied, they are often left across a footpath rather than close to a fence or wall (for the owner to put back into the garden), as happened yesterday when I had to get off the scooter to move a bin as it was in the middle of the pavement with a wall on one side and a big tree the other.

Interesting to hear Jane, how Aldi and Lidl are raising their 'standards'.  Suppose if they still keep 'slightly' under the price ranges of the larger stores, they will continue to keep customers, and maybe gain more.  It's now got to the stage of very many food items being sold for "£1 a pack", or 'offers' at 50p pack (some with that clever trick of pricing these at 49p just to make these look a lot less expensive). 

Am surprised that - in this day and age - I've been able to 'survive' without any school qualifications at all, and this because I was still slightly behind my class when it came to physics and chemistry, the more 'advanced' maths, and many other subjects.  So - as my mother felt I would be more useful if I stayed at home - left school without taking the School Certificate (as it was in those days).

My mother's idea was that I could do all her 'domestic shopping' for her, which was very little as all I had to do was take her grocery order to a large store in town, then the foods would be delivered later. My dad used to buy the meat from the butchers, and the greengrocer came to the house twice a week.  Of course the milk was also delivered daily.  Think I used to buy bread locally.
My main reason for staying at home was to be more of a 'companion' to my mother I suppose as she rarely left her home, had a cleaner several days a week to do the housework, so - with no TV at that time - had plenty of time and very little to do with it, although do remember she read a lot of books, owned many and I collected others each week for her from the town library.

My mother taught me to read well before I began school at five years old, and once I'd got past 'the cat sat on the mat', then moved onto Enid Blyton,  but also grew to enjoy reading my mother's adult novels, my favourite being 'The Whiteoak Chronicles', and some of A.J. Cronin's books (was one called 'The Stars Look Down'?).  She also owned many books written by Warwick Deeping, and I was particularly fond of these.  My dad used to prefer crime novels by Edgar Wallace, and I read those too. 
We had a large family bible (I still have this), that I was allowed to read only on a Sunday, but there were other religious books in the house that used to frighten me to death, as when reading that if we sinned (such as telling a lie) would mean we would always go to Hell.   And I believe that for YEARS!  But then who knows, maybe it is true.

Whilst still enjoying Enid Blyton, I also discovered books such as the Pollyanna series, and What Kady Did etc.  I'd read any books that came my way, but in my later years now prefer reading non-fiction and autobiographies. 

Other than being a 'companion', and perhaps because my mother used to prefer to spend her afternoons reading (happily alone), I was 'allowed out' most afternoons, if not to run errands, in good weather able to play tennis at the club across the road.   Then, being very fed up with having nothing worthwhile to do (at least it felt like that) asked my parents if I could go to secretarial college to learn shorthand and typing.  This they agreed as this might prove useful, as my parents, and uncle and his friend, had just started up their own business (which really flourished).  My mother did all the book-keeping, and my father needed someone to type his letters.

Learning to type is probably the most useful thing I've every learned, for although cookery became my 'reason to be', letters to editors needed to be typed, recipes and fact sheets also, and although this can be done by just hitting the right letters on a keyboard, it can take a very long time.  As a (now) very speedy touch typist, this is one of the reasons my blog is so long, I just can't stop my fingers tapping away.
The interesting thing is, if anyone asked me where a certain letter is on a keyboard, I really couldn't tell them other than remembering only  'a,s,d,f,'  and 'qwerty'.  Even if I close my eyes and imagine a keyboard in front of me, still can't place the requested letter.  Yet, sitting writing now, my brain  works out what keys to hit to form the words all by itself.

Daughter has just arrived, so regretfully will have to wind up my blog for today.  Hope to include recipes tomorrow.  If the spell check works, then errors will be sorted, if not apologies for have no time to read it back and make corrections myself.  TTFN.