Saturday, 30 December 2006

Today I passed a Cannon Hygiene Van and noticed it sports a royal coat of arms on the driver door, with the message underneath ' providers of sanitary services to the queen'. I like observing these royal stamps of approval on everyday items, the queen mother STILL eats weetabix, from beyond the grave, that's how good it is. Has she tried the new Oatibix? And did you know that the queen uses Addis dustpans, brushes and little steps to reach items in her cupboards? I wonder whether the royal palaces have those 'sanitary bins' in each WC in each palace, and whether the van driver of the van I saw is the sole servicer of these items, or whether all the vans get the crest, not just the one who does the royal palaces. Or, in fact, whether the ladies in waiting only have one cubicle with effective service provision in each palace?


Tuesday, 26 December 2006

We found the Meon Valley railway line walk today and used its levelness for H to try out her bigger bike ( a tip special ) and for A to try out her bike, which needs more than one adult and lots of patience. We intend to go back and do more of the route which was recommended to us by Josh and Libby, I believe. Thankyou.

Can not bear to inflict cracker jokes on you all, and assume you have heard too many of your own. Wonder how you get a job writing them though? A few people I know would do a great job. I have a new mobile phone. It is very smart and does everything you need and more. It cleans your shoes and teeth. I went to the 'help' section but did not understand any of the words in it. I went to 'help' because I did not understand any of the other words on the screen. I found a tutorial which was good, it showed me what I am missing, like if you go for a run, you can hit your mobile phone at the end and it tells you how far you have run, how fast, how many beats per second your heart was doing, whether you should be dead and that running is a stupid idea in the first place. And it does all of that OUT LOUD with the voice of a lady called Ellen. Cool eh?

For a Christmas present for my pa, R and I typed up some of his notes and his family tree, and I enjoy doing this as there is so much inside my dad's brain, and somehow I love feeling rooted in the past with all those names and places, somehow I belong there. Lots of his family members lived around where he lives now, and has done for the past 60 years. I love going home because it is a real home, where my dad came as a toddler and before him, his aunt and uncle and 2 cousins lived there. So, since the house was built just before the second world war, it has pretty much been lived in by my dad with his parents, and then with my mum and me and my brother, and I belong. My dad's mum is ther person I am most quickly associated with in the family, and sometimes it seems to me for my negative qualities - bossiness, talkativeness, impatience. So it is good for me to hear some good stuff about her and her family history and see myself in a better light from this angle of history. Where would the world be without bossy, impatient and talkative women? Someone had to be the one to tell the cavemen to pull themselves together and get down to Aldi's deep freeze section instead of wandering around the forest trapping rabbits.

Aldi has been a big hit this Christmas. Everything nice we have eaten or drunk, Rob's mum asks where it is from and the answer is always Aldi. Yes, I know; it means being unfaithful to Bitterne Precinct, but I trust you will allow me a few small manoueveres further afield. In the spirit of Christmas.

I have been reading Luke 1 and 2 over and over again as some way into understanding more about Mary and how that might help me understand myself better. It is amazing, when you read it from her point of view - she had angels and prophets talking to her and she was so much of an underdog, a poor, young, woman, with a dubious story about her pregnancy being from God... it shows me that God really can do anything with anyone. Even me.

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Aladdin at Ferneham Hall in Fareham. It can not be beaten as panto goes, what a great afternoon. Keith Harris and Orville are always going to be a winning combination at panto, and all the sing a longs, jokes, slapstick, dancing, love story, booing and 'oh no he isn't' - hey - some of you might think I am joking but those who know me well know that OH NO I'M NOT! I loved it , the horde of kids we went with all loved it and R said it was even better than last year. The good over evil triumphs in the end storyline gets in everywhere, and panto brings together so many aspects of life in a positive way. I still would love to be in a panto, nearly managed a chorus part in Lou's panto ( she is Aladdin) but was out on the crucial night of auditions/ arm twisting.

I swam at BLC this morning, nice to see the morning gang still going strong and to catch up with B, who I see at Pilates each week but first met in the changing rooms. In the spring we went to Furzey together and she is a joy giving person to see first thing in the morning. Yoga on Monday night was good, I worked hard and am pleased with my progress. MUST get R to take some photos for you.

Apart from exercise and pantomime, I have been thinking some about Mary, the mother of Jesus as a way into Christmas. I taught a godly play style story on the nativity at school which went down suprisingly well considering it was their first attempt and only their second day with me as their new teacher. Being in school for the last 2 days of term was fun, a good way to get to know my class in a relaxed setting. Spent some time yesterday with Andrea and Matty, friend from Winchester who R used to work with and her son who is a bit younger than H. We went to Itchy Valley and ran around trying to keep warm. A and I had a hopping race, closely monitored by H and Matty and some of the other park users. A is a soul friend who I feel looks into my heart and knows me, even tho we don't get to see each other much. She shares my passion for Aldi food and charity shop trophy hunting, we are planning a day out in Eastleigh to pick up the post sales bargains together before too long. Hey! Have never told you how good Eastleigh is. Will remedy that... it is like Bitterne but bigger and better. Has a Pound Land, which is a close second to Wilkinsons in my favourite shop top ten of all time. Fareham is like Eastleigh but bigger and better. It has Wilkinsons and Pound Land. I need to go and lie down, getting giddy with the excitement of Fareham.

Wednesday, 13 December 2006

On my blogger dashboard it says you can do team blogs. I am all for team sports that don't involve falling over, so if any Bitterne enthusiasts out there want to join in, get in touch. Only a quick trip to 'Total Workout' with Fran at BLC today. A bit of the old kickboxing, some sit ups, press ups, lunges, it was good for me. And would be good for you too, possibly as a pre morris dancing limber up? I noticed today at a pub that they have a Morris side doing a Mummers Play there soon. Now, I read 'Return of the Native' by Hardy for my A level English, and that involved a mummers play. I have never seen one. I think Morris dancers are getting a bit above themselves if they think they are good enough at dancing to branch out into acting. They need to practise dancing in time with the music and with each other first.

H has a CD of Christmas music and one tune is about wassailing. I suggested that a modern day translation would be 'carol singing' but know I could be horribly inaccurate and would appreciate any comments from anyone who can correct me. It sound like the kind of thing mummers would do.

Conversation between 2 morris men:

- What do you do in your spare time?

- I mummer and wassail.


Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Today I went to a splendid house near Overton, which is near to Basingstoke but probably wants to keep that quiet. I was there to meet my spiritual director, for a direction. Then I went for a windy, windy walk - very blowy, not very many corners to turn. I was interested to see the chalkiness of the soil around there, and the use of land for sheep grazing. They are organic sheep. The home I was blessed by was one of a network of 'Quiet Gardens', although this particular one lets you come in the house and sit by their fire in the winter. It was a fabulous home with Aga and chaise longue and ticket stubs to Polo on the kitchen notice board. Very pleasant hosts and such a wonderful idea to open your garden and home for quiet. I don't think it is a ministry I will be taking part in somehow. I went with a very busy mind and left with a quiet mind, so guess it works. There is a website called Quiet Gardens or something inaginative if you need one.

I mentioned my spiritual director. It sounds very grand, doesn't it? Like she tells me what to do and I do it! Ha! We have met three times now and it is good for me to have someone outside of my friendship and family circle who is trained and experienced in listening and is wise and has a different world view to me. She makes some suggestions for areas of prayer and disciplines I might want to consider to help me in making the changes I have said I want to make. Ang calls her my 'life coach' but that sounds a bit intense too. ' OK Kay, today you are going to do 300 sit ups before breakfast, feed the hungry, house the homeless and then stop for a fair trade cup of tea'. That should take you to 11.15 am. Head to the UN, find cure for HIV, etc etc - like I need a life coach!

Overton is not like Bitterne. It has a deli, a gun shop and a wedding dress shop. Clearly the people of Overton do more eating, shooting and wedding, and less bowling, house buying and Iceland shopping. They don't know what they are missing.

Sunday, 10 December 2006

Bitterne is always the best place to start. I did not wish to mislead the public into thinking I was robbing Barclays Bank. Only of biros, and even that I resisted. Nicky is the treasurer of our toddler group and needed my paw print on a cheque, hence a good excuse to visit the precinct. I did legit business in Bitterne on Thursday, when I was looking for some A5 envelopes ( could not find them, thanks to Lorna who went back later that day for a good rummage and produced the goods). Ideally I wanted them with 'Lloyds TSB' emblazoned on the front, as I am keen to start a 'Catch me if you can' kinda thing going in Bitterne, where there are many banks and building societies waiting for a scam. I nearly purchased some trousers in Barnados. However, the ladies at the till were too slow EVEN FOR ME, and I gave up as we did have a painted wall to watch dry. Superdrug were once again the chemist of choice, will happily accept sponsorship on my blog from the Bitterne branch. A checked in at the creche I did a good few lengths swimming in the finest pool this side of Harefield. A select bunch of die hard enthusiasts in December, so none of that bumping into people and instead I could use the time to pray and be and think. One gentleman did engage me in conversation but I just waved my butterfly arms at him, put on my nose clip and trouser clips and headed for the deep end. I did cycle all the way to and from Bitterne on that day, btw. With a 3 year old on the back of my bike, which adds to the challenge coming up that hill.

Another shopping excursion took me to Macro. What a fine emporium that is. It is so vast you can not see one end from the other ( I guess a bit like Australia) and there is a cafe in the middle, presumably for people who have lost the will to live and can't find the way out. Having said that, I did not sample the beverages as was on a tight schedule, so it might be the next best place for posh coffee. Will try again.

Tuesday, 5 December 2006

There is a sign in Bitterne Post Office which says:

'Customers who require assistance should ask for help.'

I do not make these things up. And there was me, tap dancing, playing the alpine horn and blowing my nose loudly, thinking that was what it took. But not in Bitterne! They had thought ahead with that sign. Spent a good half hour in Barclays Bank, waiting for a friend who forgot me. They have good toys and free pens, if you are in Bitterne and need either. I popped into the irresistable Scoops of Bitterne, an Aladdin's cave of tat. Nothing to interest me today, usually I can spend most of R's salary in there in one go. It is worth a look next time you are there.