Wednesday, 30 May 2012


Not horses but the things for charging appliances. I am no techie but I do have a laptop, a smart phone, a Kindle and a Nintendo (for Solitaire) - maybe I am a bit techie after all! I keep their chargers, all different and none interchangeable, in separate plastic bags within a canvas carrier with compartments. In the night, they are overtaken by feeding or breeding frenzy and climb out to intermingle their wires with knots that would baffle the most advanced Boy Scout. Back in they go to defeat me with their double thingumabobs when I have vital blogging work to do. So far - and I am crossing all fingers - they have not succeeded in reproducing but I just know that, one morning, I am going to find hundreds more of them, all inextricably entwined and silently laughing at me.

Monday, 28 May 2012


This lovely flower is one of my favourites. Sometimes called Granny's Bonnets, it springs up every year from apparently dead soil and bursts like a delicate firework all over my borders.  I have purple and mauve but my neighbour has a lovely deep pink colour.  I am so envious that I may just pop out one dark night when they are in pod and ... Next year I shall also have super reddish rockets!!!

Friday, 25 May 2012

My wireless mouse

I love - loved - my wireless mouse. He was black and fitted my hand perfectly with a feel of suede to the touch.  In his tummy was a neat slot for the widget that goes into the side of the laptop, so useful! There was also a red light which flickered violently when you picked him up as though his little heart was panicking at being off the gound.  So why the past tense? I have lost his widget and he doesn't work. I have ordered another similar but it won't be the same and I feel as if I am in mourning. Ah - maybe I left the widget in the laptop when I took it to the computer doctor for a health check?  Do you think I am becoming too anthropomorphic about these items? Or even mousomorphic!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The simple life

"Love but few and simple things;
Simple life much comfort brings." Thomas a Kempis
I love this quotation and the philosophy it expresses. A good night's sleep, a walk on the beach followed by a Mocha and a chocolate truffle and, a little later, a gin and tonic by the fire ... Possibly not quite what he had in mind but quite simple and such a comfort!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

My right ear

I have a particular liking for my right ear. I nearly said that I am very attached to it except that seems the wrong way round as it is, I hope, strongly attached to me.  It sticks out prominently and even disturbs my sleek, glossy, bobbed hair.  In the nursing home where I was born, they swaddled the new babies and laid them on a table on their right sides for the loving parents to come and cuddle, but they forgot to check that the ears were flat against the heads.  Consequently we all have right ears almost at 90 degrees but I love this relic of a bit of ancient history. Imagine a world of perfect ears - how dull and bland!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

While you're on your feet ...

My extreme dislike of this expression dates from my childhood when, as an only child, I lived in a non-centrally heated house with my parents.  On a winter's evening we would be sitting round the fire, dreading having to go out into the icy rooms beyond. If a call of nature happened and the unfortunate victim (usually me!) stood up to go to the bathroom, my mother or father would say: "While you're on your feet, could you make a pot of tea, bring some coal in, stoke the fire, lay the table for breakfast tomorrow and put hot water bottles in all the beds?" Consequently we sat there, crossing our legs with increasing rigidity, until one of us gave in and dashed out shouting, "I can't wait!"  This was merely a temporary remission as, on return, there would be the lugubrious refrain: "While you're ..."

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Voice recognition sub-titles

I do not know whether to love or hate those strips of text that cross the TV screen attempting to translate what someone is saying. They are both inept and hilarious. The best was an account of someone with a shotgun firing "pellets indiscriminately." First it said that it fired "pets indiscriminately" and then corrected itself, claiming that the gun fired "poets indiscriminately." Now we poets are a feisty lot and yet we do nothing without discrimination. We object to this implication.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Bank Holidays

What are they for? Why are they always on a Monday? Why are they bunched together in April and May? Who likes them? Why does it always rain on them? Please put a cross by any that you cannot answer. I have given them the maximum five crosses. They are therefore the opposite of my postie!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

My audience

I have a website and five blogs, one in the process of metamorphosing into another website like some bright butterfly. (Confused already? So am I!) That one is called Classics of English Literature: essays by Barbara Daniels (catchy eh?) and, at the moment, has a couple of arcane paragraphs about prefigurement and the double time scheme in "Othello". I thought no-one would be interested until I got round to discussing why the hero is a bit of a chump. But yesterday 19 people from Russia were glued to my thoughts on the best editions for knowing your Second Quarto from your First Folio. I love you all - all nineteen. And the one Bulgarian.

Friday, 4 May 2012

P.S. to Broadband

My ailing black box (see below) spent a day lying on a chaise longue taking regular aspirins and suddenly woke up feeling better. I am now deeply enamoured of it. It knows what it is doing and tells me all about its improving strength. The problem is that I don't know what I am doing. Every time I put a post on Facebook two photos of me appear, grinning like deranged twins. I have cookies in my browser and a bundle on my bitly. All very worrying - so I'm off to that chaise longue with a packet of aspirins.

Thursday, 3 May 2012


Everyone else had broadband whilst I was spending megabucks on Mochas in the bar of a local hotel with wi-fi.  So yesterday I installed its diddy black box with its three lovely blue eyes.  Then I read the booklet.  It seems that it takes ten days to settle down and achieve full speed.  Ten days! What is it doing meanwhile?  I picture it lying on a sofa like some Victorian spinster with the vapours waiting for a sniff of smelling salts to wake it up and get it going.  I feel such guilt about the poor thing's sickly health that I have drawn the curtains round it and will use it very gently and infrequently until it has completely recovered from its tumultuous journey. Off to the Three Salmons again!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Baked Apples

Even the ubiquitous Bramley is charmed when baked. I dig out the core, widen it and press my special mixture well into the hole. This compound is dried fruit well marinated (in an ancient Spanish liquid of unknown origin) with plenty of moist dark brown sugar. I then cut a shallow equator in the skin, pop it in the oven and hey presto - a fluffy delicacy! There must be a magic moment when the hard apple turns into candy-floss but I always miss it. Please don't phone me when I am performing this sorcery.