Saturday, 27 February 2010

Thank you, Johnny Nash.

The post below won't let me edit - this is the title!
(Also conincidentally = coincidentally)
I was boiling to write yesterday - I don't know if I should stop listening to Today or whether a rant a day keeps complacency away.

"The public expect us to make year on year efficiencies."

Do we? Does no one else know the story of Bazie's donkey? Haven't I mentioned it before?

Down Eckington behind the wreck are the ranches - don't think the American West, think allotments where you allowed to keep animals. In my mum's youth there was a man call Baz who had a ranch and kept a donkey on it. He was a mean man, and obviously not very bright, because he decided to economise by feeding his donkey gradually less and less.

One day he went down the Miner's very disgruntled, "Does tha know" he said, "I'd got that donkey down to one straw a day and she ups and dies on me!"

Anorexia is maybe not just an eating disorder. Isn't it obvious that both private businesses and public services as well as people can be too thin.
"Adults and parents are responsible for children not the media."
So: parents are not adults? The media is not run by adults?

By this point I was scribbling in the margin of the puzzle page ( and making fatal mistakes in the Sudoku) and it struck me that this was my first breakfast alone for more than a week and Mum had been taking the brunt of my rants, which is why I'd got them out of my system by 9 o'clock.
On to today:

I was singing "I can see clearly now" on the way back from the paper shop at 7:45 [Yesterday was a three coat day. Unfortunately I only have two so the tea time walk was short and damp.]. There was a hint of sunshine to come - a patch of blue, the pavement barely damp...
At 8:15 I looked up from my breakfast

to see that it was snowing again!

They had enough in Scotland yesterday to bring down power lines and leave thousands without electricity - apparently it was the wrong kind of snow -wet large flakes.

It had stopped in 10 minutes and by 9:00 we were off to collect the Thompson and Morgan parcel that, of course, they had tried to deliver the one day this week when the house was empty at 11.30. The seeds were in it but not the potatoes or onions.

We averaged 116 s.p.m. over 65 minutes. Angel is now curled up dreaming. This is her on Wednesday night - she had a haircut on Tuesday. The picture is conincidentally my favourite bit of one of Susan's.

Monday, 22 February 2010

115 steps a minute!

So, I've found a baseline for my steps a day - although I'm tempted not to include my present walks or I'll end up spending all day walking - and today I had to do 10 minutes of fast -or as they say 'optimum' - walking pace. I found out two things.
  1. If I go at a reasonable speed it doesn't take me 10 minutes to get to the park, it was 7 this morning.
  2. Angel is NOT happy to stay at my side - I think I must have been dragging her half the time (which, incidentally, would not do my technique, my speed or my pace length any good). I'm not sure because I didn't turn round to look, just kept her on a short lead and kept on going. So maybe while I'm training me into better walking habits, I'll be training her too. I sometimes wonder if she likes following other people so much because I'm not enough of a leader.

I did 109.5 steps a minute today, which was not bad considering 2 above and the fact that the causeway was treacherous with ice slush and snow. The aim is at least 115. I did feel as if I had had some exercise when I finished the 10 minutes, half way across the football pitch, though so I am going to persist.

This is the end of St Mary's yesterday morning - I'm going to have to do it after dark to get the stained glass window. Jude did the sermon and it was about temptation to sin. She said it was harder to preach about sin to us than to teenagers and it made me think of how Howard seemed to imply I didn't sin. Jude is right the older you are the harder your sins are to spot. The sermon and prayers thought three to mind to go with Jesus's 3 temptations in the wilderness. Temper, reason and fear. The long term two are the sin of the other brother in the prodigal son and the priests in 'cast the first stone' - I'll have a go at them when I've had some success with the easier (haha) three.

The writing is going OK - I've done 5,000 words and when I have got stuck, I've worked through it - taraaah.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Into Lent

This Lent, I'm planning to add, not take away:
  1. read Luke

  2. write for half an hour a day

  3. follow the walk yourself healthy plan

With those in mind I've ordered a study book from Jude to read Luke by and a pedometer from joanna hall. It's only day three but I'm on target so far.

This time last year, I'd planted some seeds - today I ordered new veg seeds. It is cold this year but there was snow this time last year too so I have no excuse.

This is last February in Cross Flats Park.

This is this February in Fox'n woods.

My RHS seeds came this week. I'd ordered sets - trees, grasses, bulbs and perenials. I can't remember why now.

This is one of the shrubs - phygellius

and this is a geum - isn't it a gorgeous colour.
I think that is why I ordered sets - for the surprise.
Reading Luke is a bit of a surprise too - he has the shepherds but no kings. And the angels offer peace for those favoured by God. I always thought it was to all men.

Friday, 12 February 2010


I'm just back from a few days with mum. We finished sorting and labeling the box of photos and I rephoto'd the Sitwell Street ones as well as finding booklets of Eckington reminiscences full of pictures of the village - some places I'd totally forgotten, like the Sally Army Hall.

This is Susan and Alan Finney outside our house.

Here, we're down Tricia's back garden.

These two are the last of the old houses still standing on the street. The Goslings lived in the bottom house - they played out in the summer in no shoes and no knickers.

I'm on my fourth version of the fox on the roof. I spent a morning wandering round the village taking photos to help with the mapping. The trouble with pictures in my head is that they inhabit more than 4 dimensions in there - everything fits in a way that it won't on paper!

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

If I knew that I could die - WHAT?!

I guess it's that time of year.

I should get out the lightbox

But it's national. At the moment it is not enough for radio 4 that people are dying through no fault of their own, or even through the selfish disregard of those who could help keep them alive, we have to have a daily discussion about how we should/should not be able to plan our own deaths. Isn't part of the significance of death that it is at its best in no-one's control? You get to adult and you know you will die.
The power to say 'no', efficient contraception, abortion and ceasarians make the where and when of giving birth 'a personal choice' for some tiny proportion of the world's population - but not the baby - now somebody wants our family - parents, siblings, children to decide when we die.
The majority of the world is fighting to stay alive, we are discussing, Costa style, our 'right' to make someone else take control of our death.



I did the earlier before I went to get my leg bandaged and so had some thinking time on the bus. I think what provokes me about 'I've got a right to be killed' is

  1. the attempt to extend personal choice to total control - when you start demanding a law to allow you to dictate others' actions then what happens to their personal choice ?
  2. Is it meant to be out of consideration for your relatives - some kind of I don't want to be a burden? But if you don't trust them to want you to live how can you trust them to kill you when you want to die?
  3. How can you expect anyone else to take the decision that now is the time when you, by not killing yourself, have not yet reached that decision?