Monday, 24 July 2017


By lunchtime today it was a pleasant day here in North Yorkshire.   Perhaps a little too much breeze and from the North West, which made it a little chilly,   but it was a great improvement.   Now, at 8.03 (isn't the time indicator in the corner of the computer screen handy?) the wind has dropped, the sky is clear and blue and the sun is shining.

Walking round town just after lunch I saw that there were many holidaymakers here and most of them were sitting outside pubs and restaurants having lunch.   I noticed one pub in particular - tables outside and people eating fish and chips, pie and chips, mountains of food - well it is holidays after all, although I did notice that most of the folk eating were rather overweight.   But what horrified me was how so many of them were smoking (they were outside, not in the restaurant) and then coming on to the forecourt to stub their cigarettes out on the top of an upturned plant pot and then poke the rest down the hole.

There was a time when it really was socially acceptable to smoke - in fact it was very sophisticated.   My Aunt Nell in the thirties and forties considered herself to be a very 'modern' woman.   In her mushquash coat and her beautiful hat (her sister was a milliner) she was a smoker par excellence.   Never outside of course, but after lunch out would come her smart orange box of du Mauriers and her elegant cigarette holder - I used to think her the bees knees.   (coincidentally she did die of lung cancer at quite an early age).

Now, visiting hospital, it is quite usual to see really ill people outside the door in their wheelchairs having a smoke.   What are they thinking of?   Or is it me who is a killjoy?   I would like to know what you think.   Are you happy to 'live and let live' or does it worry you to see people killing themselves after all the medical evidence?

Sunday, 23 July 2017


The 1940's week end was set to end at around five today.   Yesterday torrential rain fell in the morning for a couple of hours and then it was a lovely  day.   Today dawned fair and the sun has shone for most of the day.   At about a quarter past four the sky filled with black clouds and by half past four heavy rain was falling again.   So I would say that the people who arranged the weekend have been jolly lucky.   All those posh uniforms, all those elegant hats, fur stoles and glamorous dresses can go back home and be stored in their wardrobes in pristine condition.

I didn't go.  Instead we went for our usual Sunday lunch - all four of us today - and then sat in the bar over tea/coffee until almost half past four.   Now I am home and shall put on the News to see whether Chris Froome was triumphant - I do hope so, it was richly deserved.

After that I intend to watch 'Wild Alaska'.   The farmer and I went many times to Canada and the US and the one trip we intended to make and never got to do was to go up the inside passage to Alaska.  So I shall watch it from the comfort of my armchair;  now that I am so immobile the chances of going are getting more remote by the day.

Saturday, 22 July 2017

1940 again

It is our town's 1940's week-end and although it was pouring with rain (and I really mean pouring) this morning, when I drove through on the way to take my son and his wife out for lunch, the town was heaving with RAF officers, Army officers, Naval officers, French resistance couples (berets and striped shirts and red neckerchiefs) and couples wearing the civilian clothes of the era (women in the most delightful hats) - I didn't see a single private - they all seemed to have a commission!
By afternoon the sun had come out and everything was going with a swing.   We went for a short drive around the lanes.   The river was a raging torrent

Friday, 21 July 2017

New people

Today, out to lunch again (again? well yes, I was out on Wednesday and am out again on Sunday and then next Tuesday), the restaurant got busy and the waitress asked if we minded sharing a table with two other people.   Of course we didn't mind, especially as we were at the coffee stage and would soon be ready to go.

How lucky we were to have said yes.  We met two of the nicest people imaginable and had a lovely half hour chatting while we waited for their lunch to arrive.   These chance meetings can turn out to be a delight and frankly should never be turned down.   Having the chance to have a conversation with someone new can be very refreshing.

We exchanged the names of restaurants,  shared places we had visited, chatted  about trivialities - all with a lady of ninety and her son perhaps in his sixties.    He obviously adored his mother and she likewise and together they made a fascinating pair. I hope they thought the same about us.

As my father used to be fond of quoting (Rabbie Burns I think but I am sure someone will put me right if it is not so) 'Oh would some power the giftie gi' us, to see oursel's as others see us'!

Thursday, 20 July 2017


This afternoon we played ukuleles for a group in Richmond - these were people with forms of dementia and it was a pleasure to play for them and their carers because they enjoyed it so much and sang along with such gusto.

Now I am home again and the Chiropodist has been and I feel as though I am walking on air.

Coming into the empty house is hard and I am still at the stage where I need to keep busy.   My son has been back to the Specialist today and can carry on as normal, so let's hope all is well this time.


Wednesday, 19 July 2017


Well they always say there are rarely more than two hot days together in an English Summer.  Well here in North Yorkshire the last two days have been pleasantly warm and sunny but today I wake up to dull, cloudy conditions with a light rain falling.   But much preferable to the weather in Coverack in Cornwall - a really desirable holiday destination just gearing up for the season.

In the village last night they had a flash flood with the river rushing through four feet above normal.   It was all over in minutes but holiday lets and residents' houses alike were flooded.   The Dunkirk spirit seems to have prevailed and the villagers assure holidaymakers that all will be back to normal in double quick time.   Let's hope so - the holiday industry is the main source of income down there and also of course many people are looking forward to their holiday break.

Two hours of hard work last night at our Ukulele practice evening - very enjoyable but intense concentration needed.   Today I am out to lunch with friend D - we meet about once each month to catch up on our news.   That is the extent of my activity today so I may well pack a few more boxes, although I have nearly reached the stage where I can afford to relax until I get a firm moving date and then bring in a few helpers.   If I am not careful I pack something and then realise I need it (e.g. shoe cleaning kit).

Tuesday, 18 July 2017


This morning was our monthly Strugglers meeting at the Quaker Meeting House.   Here about ten of us meet once a month, sit quietly for a while and then discuss whatever happens to come up.   It is a really refreshing hour and a half of  serious discussion.   Well, I say 'serious' but sometimes it is anything but.   However, the topic really doesn't matter; what matters is that the folk involved get something off their mind, are able to sort it out in their mind with other like-minded people and perhaps as a result get worries or troubles into some kind of proportion.

Living alone does often involve bottling up some worry or other until it takes over the whole of one's thinking and often keeps one awake - as mine did the night before last when I really had hardly any sleep at all.   At least last night I slept like the proverbial log.

Lunch out afterwards for two of us (Seafood Platter - Smoked salmon, prawns, smoked mackerel, green salad, mayo and a nice warm brown roll -  afterward we succumbed to a tartlet of cream topped with raspberries, kiwi and the like).  At least I shalln't starve.


Monday, 17 July 2017

Sorry but I accidentally pressed the wrong spot on John's (Going Gently) post and I seem to have messed the whole thing up.   As my son is laid up with a detached retina, I am just hoping that this works and also that I can answer some posts today.
If not hopefully all will be well in a few days when he is upright again.

Lovely views

This morning early Tess and I    walked across the newly silaged field which was wet with dew.   Already the sun was warm, the grass was short enough to walk easily and the rabbits were about, much to Tess's delight.

Each time I walk amongst the fields I am conscious that my time here is coming to an end, that I shall be living in an altogether different environment - but I am also sensible enough to realise that it will be much better for me to be in a bungalow and nearer to services.   If my walking
gets much worse I can always get myself a buggy to get from a to b.

As we walked suddenly a hare got up at our feet and ran.   Tess saw it but didn't attempt a chase - I expect she knew that, given the hare's speed, it was a totally pointless task.   As you know, the hare is my favourite animal, so I was thrilled to bits.

Ukulele practice this afternoon so all my jobs were done early this morning - now I  can sort out my music ready for this afternoon.

Sunday, 16 July 2017


Sunday - it comes round so quickly but now that we have got into the habit of always eating at The Golf Club Sundays have become bearable.  There are five of us, all widows, going today and the visit usually takes up around three hours so that by the time we all get back home it is almost evening.

E and T's Golden Wedding celebration was lovely.   After a very dull and windy day the sun finally came out just in time.   Although it was windy their garden is very sheltered so we didn't notice.   In fact the garden was very pretty with a lovely display of one of my favourite old roses - American Pillar.   Around fifty people enjoyed a great selection of nibbles - I ate far too many but they were too good to resist.

Today has dawned with a little more sun promised and much less in the way of breeze.   Time to get dressed (dressing gowns are  so comfortable when one lives alone) and take Tess for a pleasant walk down the pasture, which has been recently silaged so that the grass is short.   We might even get as far as the farmer's resting place - a spot we love to visit.