Monthly Archives: January 2007

Z gets wrong* with her children

I went next door to return Dilly’s glasses to her, which she had left in the drawing room. She only wears them to drive, so had not realised they were missing.

“Granny’s in trouble” observed Al. Dilly laughed. “I gave Squiffany some orange juice out of a carton, which I diluted. She took one taste and handed it back, saying ‘Me don’t like this orange juice’.”

Mine is freshly squeezed. I have turned my granddaughter into an orange juice snob.

On the other hand, it was a nicely constructed sentence; one grammatical error, but not an uncommon one in small children.

*An excellent Norfolkism. Pronounced ‘gits raahng’.

Z does not have a hangover, which is just as well

Dilly needed to go shopping, but Squiffany didn’t feel like going out. So she visited Granny. We did some painting. Then we decided to make cakes.

Butter and sugar are effectively mixed by hand

The bantams were keen to help and donated three eggs

Fingers were made before thumbs, as my father used to say, obscurely

Mm, cakes

Mmm, cakes and orange juice.

Ro is cooking sausages for himself, for Z and the Sage are partying!!(!)

Not knowing what to wear brought forth many sympathetic and encouraging comments, for which thank you.

I am wearing a rather old, but not that often worn (it is so elderly that, who knows, it may even be fashionable again soon), long, midnight-blue velvet skirt and a (I’ve been searching my brain for the colour, for purple, mauve and violet would not do, and I have it at last!) heliotrope silk top, which is sort of ruched so that it fits without being tight. It is sleeveless and has a sequined border. As you can see, I do not really have the vocabulary to describe clothes, they are not my forte.

I have gone rather more overboard on my jewellery, which is all gilden and diamondy, and am wearing my necklace and earrings that I bought in Chennai, which is alternate ruby and sapphire five-pointed flowers on a gold necklace. They are Sri Lanken rubies and sapphires and not good ones, it was not expensive, but it is pretty. I am sporting Perfume, which I rarely do, I usually sport the aroma of unadulterated Z.

Time to go, darlings.

Z has nothing to wear

We are going to a Party tomorrow night. The Sage is required to wear his dinner jacket. I started mentioning this gently some while back, and became slightly more insistent a week ago as, I pointed out, there was still time to send it to the cleaners/darn the moth holes/buy a new one (this last is not to be taken seriously). Much to my surprise, he sprung to his feet and said “I will go and check on it NOW, as you have kindly reminded me.” He returned a couple of minutes later, looking highly smug, saying that it is still in its dry cleaner wrapper, he having sent it after the last wearing.

I was vastly impressed. I should also like to point out that, when I married him, the Sage (who was not yet so named as he had not earned the title) believed that it was up to a mother or a wife to deal with all matters of clothing. For a few years I did, indeed, buy shirts and socks and underwear and send clothes to the cleaners. But then I realised that, whilst it may be up to the mother of a small boy to do these things, a Man can do it on his own account. And I didn’t want to be the mother to my husband, for we have no Oedipusish leanings round here. It took quite some time for him to adjust, during which he went round with holes in his socks and only three working shirts, but we got there.

So, the Sage is sorted. Isn’t it easy for a man? He will put on his dinner suit and a smart white shirt and swear at his bow tie for a bit and he will look wonderful and suitable, and I don’t know what to wear at all. I don’t know where to pitch it. And I haven’t bought anything dressy for evenings for years and years. It is a party in our friends’ house to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. They are considerable landowners but wear their wealth lightly and understatedly. They have a beautiful house but not a smart one. They give great parties but not, usually, very formal ones. She is quite an informal dresser normally, but their parties do not normally mention DJs, so I think they must be upping the stakes someone for the momentousness of the occasion.

I was browsing through my wardrobe the other day, amongst clothes I haven’t worn for ages, and I came across a very nice black tailored short-sleeved top – a little jacket, but not the sort you wear anything underneath. I was highly pleased and put it on. I could not do up the buttons! It is not a matter of weight gain, it is, um, Development. That is, of course, another matter. I have a cleavage now, which I used hardly to have and one has to wear different clothes. More fitting and lower cut, which sounds as though it Should Not Be, but loose clothes make you look as if you are actually that big all the way down and around, and high necks make you look all puffed out. It is not, I hasten to add, that I am exactly busty. It is all, furthermore, home grown. But why? It all started when I took up the clarinet, all that good breathing and chest muscle development. But it must have carried on since then, because this little black top is not that old – five years perhaps? Which, in my terms, is practically Brand New (I’m not big on clothes shopping).

There’s nothing for it. I’m going to have to brave the cold of my bedroom (we like a warm bed and a cold room and don’t heat the bedroom) and check out the wardrobe.

Well, it is Sunday and I have time on my hands

You Are a Cinnamon Jelly Bean

Sassy and bold, your behavior is often shocking – even to those who know you well. And while you’re too hot to handle, people still are addicted to you.

Sassy? Er, no, I is a Good and Quiet Girl

Your Personality Profile

You are dependable, popular, and observant.
Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.
In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.
You don’t mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.
And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!

Some of this.

Your Career Personality: Original, Devoted, and Service Oriented

Your Ideal Careers:

Art director
Book editor
College professor
Film director
Graphic designer
Stage actor

I quite like these, though.

Thanks to DodderyOldFart, who so obviously isn’t.

ABC tag. I don’t know what happened to UVWXYZ. I think it is blatant letterism

A- Available or single? Neither
B- Best Friend? I’m not sure that I’ve ever had one, really. I’m closest to my family. I have a few friends from childhood, but I don’t see them often as we don’t live close to each other. I have good friends now, but not one ‘best’ friend
C- Cake or Pie? You want me to choose? Can’t I have both? Fish pie then
D- Drink of Choice? Strong black coffee, weak black tea (preferably Lapsang Souchong), red wine. Or mint tea, white wine, Lady Grey tea. Or gin and tonic, champagne, beer. Or draught Guinness, root ginger and honey in hot water, ice-cold water with a squeeze of lime juice. Or malt whisky – Laphroaig, or whiskey – Bushmills.
Right now, I’m drinking Lady Grey

E- Essential Item? My handbag. That makes me feel so middle-aged
F- Favorite Colour? I wanted an emerald. So the Sage bought me one. But my engagement ring is sapphire. Um. Blue
G- Gummi Bears or Worms? What, real worms? Or are they an alternative sweet? I like gummi bears, I have childish habits. I also like real worms, but would not care to eat one. Both chewy and gritty, I should think
H- Hometown? I live in mahsraE, a village near yagnuB (excuse the backspeak). I grew up in Lowestoft
I- Indulgence? A winter’s evening by the fire, with music and candles
J- January or February? January, so long as we have snow. If we don’t get snow until February, I reserve the right to change
K- Kids? Three, grown up
L- Life is incomplete without? Books, music and Radio 4. But if I had to choose, books
M- Marriage Date? 24th May 1973
N- Number of Siblings? One elder sister. She lives in Wiltshire and we visit each other when we can. Sometimes we meet in London. Sometimes, we even go on holiday together, which I think is a pretty Good Sign
O- Oranges or apples? Today, oranges. I squeezed two for breakfast
P- Phobias/Fears? Deep water. I am afraid of drowning. I’m not too good even in shallow water as I have to hold on to something if I’m out of my depth
Q- Favourite Quote? “She was small and delicately put together, but she looked durable.” The Big Sleep. Raymond Chandler
R- Reason to Smile? The sun shone today, the birds sang and I used my pruning saw
S- Season? I like all the seasons. I love to see things growing in spring, the new growth on the trees and the longer days. I love the English summer sun, which is just hot enough for me as long as I keep out of it directly, I love the smells of autumn and the ripeness. I enjoy crisp wintry weather and long evenings by the fire, dog on my lap
T- Tag three people! Ah. I need to check who hasn’t done this. Back later

I suspect this is meant more to encourage than to describe

My Inner Hero – Paladin!

I'm a Paladin!

I strive to help others, and to bring truth and harmony to the world however I can*. Whether times are good or bad, you can always count on me**. I’m a shoulder to cry on, a champion for the helpless, and an all around nice person***.

How about you? Click here to find your own inner hero

*Can’t you just see my tongue curling into my cheek here?
**Preferably good.
***Not all around, you should just see my other side.

Character Stats:

Rogue (14)
Warrior (6)
Wizard (12)
Paladin (15)

I think it’s Rogue, almost equal with Paladin (what’s a paladin, anyway?) that really describes me.

I did this a few days ago and have forgotten whose blog I got it from. Sorry.

The family story – part 11 – the Land Army, part 1

If the farmer had expected a landgirl who would feed the hens and not know a cow from a bull, he received a pleasant surprise. Not only was Jane a knowledgeable countrywoman, she was determined to earn the respect of the men by working hard and well and expected no concessions. She was of medium height, slender, with curly brown hair … I have no photos of her when young, but she was told she looked like Deanna Durbin. She loved horse riding and enjoyed working with the horses – there were cart horses and an ex-polo pony. Nearly all the farm work was done with horses or by hand, rather than with tractors or other machinery. It was a family farm run by two brothers and the other workers were older men, beyond the age to be called up. Other Land Girls did come along, but they were all from the city and were teased – not unkindly – for example someone would rub his arms, comment on the draught and ask the girl to run and shut the five-barred gate.

Jane prided herself on her skill with horses. She could judge to an inch how to take a load of hay through a gateway and, small as she was, she could manage the biggest cart horse. The cows liked to be milked by her as she was more gentle than some of the men and took into account their personalities. However, she told of one time when a particularly cussed-natured cow, known as a kicker, waited until the pail was almost full before lashing out, tipping out all the milk and knocking Jane flat on her back. “You sod” she exclaimed, to the great amusement of the men, who had never heard her swear.

She found aspects of farming hard. There was one pig kept for the farm each year, which was bought in as a weaner and fed all the household scraps, boiled into swill, the leftover buttermilk and grain as required, and then slaughtered in the autumn to feed the household during the winter. She avoided the pig, as she felt she could not eat any animal she had looked in the eye – but one summer day, it was standing in its sty, front trotters on the gate, and looked hopefully at her. She went to greet it, scratched its head, talked to it…she said she went very hungry that winter. She couldn’t touch a mouthful of the meat and the farmer’s mother, who thought she was ridiculously sentimental, would not give her any alternative food. You would think she would have been allowed to fill up on potatoes and bread; it was a farm after all, but she was strictly rationed.

My mother was passionately opposed to identity cards as a result of her Land Army experiences. She said that they were more nuisance to the law-abiding than anyone else and – well, quite a lot else that this place is irrelevant to put. She told one tale of a blistering hot day, when she, on her own with the sheepdog, had to move a flock of sheep from one field to another a mile down the road. This was going well until PC Jobsworth stopped her and asked to see her ID card. She hadn’t got it. She hadn’t thought of herself as going off the farm and she was in her lightest summer clothes. She pointed out that a) he knew her and b) it would take an unusually determined spy to drive a flock of sheep to disguise her tracks. Constable Jobsworth gave her a lecture on ‘there’s a war on, you know’, which she had to listen to as, in despair, she saw the sheep wandering off in all directions. It took a long time to round them all up again.

The worst job was pulling up the various beets – sugarbeet, mangle wurzels, turnips and the like. You had to pull them up, chop off the leaves and toss them to the side to be loaded onto a cart. This was an autumn job and muddy beets are hard to get a grip on, for pulling and for chopping. It was often cold and wet and standing at one corner of a field, seeing acres of beet stretching ahead of you, is a daunting prospect. On the other hand, she enjoyed hoeing carrots. She had a short hoe that she had to bend to use – the men had all rejected it. She found that she could put her back into the job and work quicker than any of them.

This is too long to go in one post, more another time