Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Charity shops

I love a good rummage in a charity shop particularly when I emerge with a designer bargain. The sense that I have contributed to a good cause adds to the satisfaction as does the feeling of helping to recycle. I buy books there and, when I have read them. I take them back: a double benefit. Yet most of all it is the thrill of the chase and the satisfaction of returning home with the loot. There's something primitive about it. Our local St. David's Hospice branch is especially tempting because of its up-to-date window displays and keen staff. If Napoleon had lived now he would have called us a nation of charity shop keepers and that would be a compliment.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Radio 4

I am increasingly furious about the way that long wave Radio 4 suddenly starts transmitting cricket commentaries instead of the usual programmes. You can tell the instant you switch on by the background buzz that this will be a tedious day of reportage of wickets and cake. In my area we cannot receive digital radio or good FM and so we are stuck with this boredom until the desired programme goes up on iPlayer. I have spoken harsh words to my poor little analogue device which normally serves me so well but how can I survive a wet Sunday morning without The Archers' Omnibus.

                                         It does look somewhat dejected, don't you think?

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The truth about dogs

My lovely lurcher, Tess, lived before the age of easy digital photos and so this one of her puzzled by a wind-up mouse, is rather clunky.  She had an individual personality (if you can say that about an animal) and was friendly, curious, middle-range intelligent - and did not always do as she was told. I therefore enrolled her at Dog Obedience Class for Beginners where she behaved in exemplary fashion and was swiftly promoted to Intermediate. (I regret to report that she was so over-excited when her name was read out that she created a puddle on the polished floor.) Yet I soon noticed that she was even worse than before when outside the group, wantonly refusing my calls and eating forbidden chocolate biscuits from the table.
Conclusion? Dogs have only a certain amount of obedience inside them and so, if they use it all up in class, there is none left for the rest of the week.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015


Yesterday I went to a Yoga class. I am an avid believer in exercise and do Pilates and long walks daily. Why am I now aching all over? As the teacher's melliflous voice asked us to twist our bodies into various postures, I thought my only problem was telling my right from left. I am now hobbling round with difficulty and the dark suspicion that one form of exercise does not help with another. Photographs of my suffering muscles would be too traumatic for casual viewing.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Inside magazines

Why is it that, no matter how many sheets of unwanted advertising I take out of a magazine before opening, there are always 3 more when I settle down to read?

Saturday, 21 March 2015


To the painter, safe on shore, there is something romantic about lighthouses and the stories they evoke of life at sea in storms and hazards. Also we may wonder about the solitary keepers in days gone by and how they lived - and kept sane.

Friday, 20 March 2015

International Day of Happiness

As declared by Google, this is today. I will do my best but I do wonder about others in some parts of the world.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Life elsewhere?

Yesterday I heard a lively and informative lecture by Professor Mike Edmunds about when and if we will find life elsewhere in the universe. I had often wondered in vain why it is so vital to discover evidence in just one more place bur he explained it clearly. If such evidence is found, say on Mars, it proves that our planet is not unique in this way and, since we know now there are many, many other planets, we may be sure that life must occur in other places. Scary?

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Knit Henry VIII

I gather from this week's Radio Times that a Welsh grandmother called Denise Salway has knitted Cromwell and the King from Wolf Hall. There are photos of these realistic dolls! When I told my daughter about this and suggested she made them and others also, she replied: "That will be my next project, Mum. But do they have removable heads?"

Saturday, 14 March 2015


What bugs me about my pc is its habit of updating itself and preventing me from using it whilst it does so. "Just wait - I need to clean my teeth," it tells me. I know it's old but does it have to be so boring and annoying? I'm moving on to a Chromebook - I'm told they attend to themselves modestly in the background. Fingers crossed.