Sunday, 22 February 2009

Road-kill potatoes and other stories from the Midlands

I like hearing stories of the old days, as well as stories of the current days, when I get together with my family. Last weekend was good on both fronts. Most laughs (at my father's expense) went to his much drawn-out tale of the roadkill potatoes that he rescued, and that my mother was very grudgingly conceding to eat, but only as chips (fries). Most revealing was the fact that my mother had actually played squash with my father in their pre-marriage (according to him) or early-marriage (according to her) days. My mother, playing a sport (even if only twice)? This does not compute. Young love my husband concluded. I'm inclined to agree. The husband after all did undergo an afternoon of being taught how to swim properly in the early days of courtship which I now realise he must have hated. What the social services would have made of my mother's childhood game of borrowing neighbour's children to take for walks when she was bored of playing with the dolls, I can't imagine. Apparently the next-door neighbour in question wasn't too pleased to find her baby abandoned in the front garden, forgotten by my mother and her friend. But should she really have been lending her out? My sister-in-law took notes for future childcare options. The final image I'll leave you with is my mother and her friend, off school with chickenpox, walking the street calling 'Unclean! Unclean!' This being the 1940s Britain, I think the bells were probably imaginary.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Things to do when you're bored (2)

Tell people some of the things you had for your birthday, such as
  1. a pair of red shoes from Hotter
  2. a fruit cake steeped in tea from Betty's
  3. a book on wild swimming

Think you know more about me now?

Things to do when you're bored (1)

Read Domesday Book. Well, perhaps less 'read', more 'skim'. I was disappointed to learn today that nowhere really really close to my particular part of the urban jungle that is the greater West Midlands connurbation was included. On the other hand the village I currently reside in in Cambridge is.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

A stitch in time would have saved nine

I found myself with three pairs of gloves in my pockets at the shops today. All have holes. All of which I'd made a mental note to stitch up some while ago when they were the start of holes. Looks like a job for when there's something on TV. Another well-worn phrase much in my mind today is the one about getting back on the horse when you fall off it. In this case exchange a bicycle for the horse. It's quite annoying that we were snowed in again today - it has caused a delay in my getting back on my bike after being knocked off it yesterday. I chose to walk to the shops rather than get on my newly fixed bike. Hmm, I'm not keen on getting back in that traffic, I thought. Bother, I hate that. I think it'll be a few weeks of taking the river path (which I love, but which is longer) before I get back into the fray. It reminds me of when I got a hockey ball (grass hockey) right in my eye. After that I found myself strangely conscious of how high girls really swung those sticks. Mind, I got some serious kudos from rugby types for my face of brown, purple, green and yellow. A real picture. Shame I was trying to sell graduating students photographs at the time.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Don't travel unless you have to

This is the universal message to the southern UK today. My husband told me it applied to me, as he would have a heart attack wondering if I made it back from work in London, even if I had made it in. Yes, the country is paralyzed by 6-10 inches of snow. And, I have to admit it, I'm embarrassed given the snow conditions we were travelling considerable distances in over Christmas in the US. But, seeing a ray of hope, perhaps the US trains are as badly affected by snow as in the UK? But that would not be a rescue from embarrassment. The county will be rightly full of Poles saying "You call this weather?!" I dread to think what will happen if the Gulf Stream does get diverted, although the husband has said we'll have moved to near Mile High Stadium by then. In the meantime I have requested a moratorium on cracks about the inability of the UK to deal with weather. As these had already began before 7am I don't hold my breath, but the husband did promise to try...