Monday, 24 July 2017

What happened to June?

It is only after a few anxious queries as to whether I am still alive that I realised that I have missed out June altogether.  It is not that I have been living it up or that anything exciting has happened. Quite the reverse, the summer days have just gone by in pleasant haze.
The Dumbrells Court garden party was a success though it was a damp, chilly afternoon and I had to wrap up some of the over nineties with rugs and cushions, but everyone consumed vast quantities of cake, scones and strawberries and cream  I was helped with it all by grand daughter T plus two of her friends as waitresses and daughter J as well.  Granddaughter T, though only thirteen is a born organiser, good at `crowd control`.   Last night we went to a party and played impro games,did a `turn` if we wanted to, and had a bring and share meal and there was a a raffle for a charity. T can quieten a roomful of talkative people, get then to buy raffle tickets and she MC`d  it all with ease.    I don`t know where she inherited this talent from, certainly not me.  It is tremendously useful.
I have just returned from a week away visiting old friends: in Limpley Stoke, Winchester and Kendal. This included two 91st birthdays, going to Meeting in Winchester and a Parish Tea and Evensong in the Rectory garden and lots of chats and catching up.     It was lovely to see everybody and the train journeys all went without dire incidents.    Friend C (with whom I went up North ) and I had our usual lunch of hot cross buns with cheese and marmalade on the train, as we always do. We also went to a Poetry Reading in Grasmere, by Simon Armitage which was brilliant . Daughter Julia had known him and I was able to have a chat and that warmed my heart.

My life has been transformed by my new state- of -the- art hearing aids. I got them on Friday, NHS ones of course, but they are much better than anything I have had before. The trouble is that everything is extremely loud now including my own voice. Driving my old banger of a car sounds alarming, like a tank, and turning on the tap is like Niagara Falls.   I can hear clocks ticking and people breathing  and I do not have to anxiously lip read. Daughter J said that I was always looking baffled , hopefully no longer.

It takes up so much time as an Old Person, just keeping intact, what with going to the dentist, chiropodist, eye hospital, plus swallowing various pills. No wonder the NHS is on,the rocks.

Monday, 12 June 2017

May is over and I hope for the best.....

I went to a gospel choir concert last night in Brighton,. What an experience. Well over a hundred singing their hearts out, and not only singing but waving, clapping swaying, jumping up and down. The huge hall was packed with families, babies, old grannies,   All very different from the sober choral events that I used to take part in at Winchester Cathedral in the old days. I went to it with a sober Quaker friend who used to belong to the Gospel choir. She said she loved it . I was amazed.   It was rather hot and loud for me but I enjoyed the exuberance of it all.

I had just recovered from my sleepless night on Thursday.  I didn`t intend to stay awake all night but I got so caught up in it all. I watched it on BBC4 , the alternative version with Richard Osman, David Mitchell and Paxman and it was hilarious.  I wonder what will happen now. I have begun to feel almost sorry for Mrs May, everybody is being so nasty about her. But it was such a joy to see our dear Jeremy vindicated and treated like a hero.  I was sad that the Greens didn`t do better but at least Caroline Lucas got in for Brighton with an even greater majority, she is the only one that talks any sense in my opinion.

I have been meeting up with my Syrian refugee friend every week, and trying to help her with her English homework.    Next Saturday, she has asked me to a party to celebrate the end of Ramadan, which is being held at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, and she is allowed to bring a guest. A benefactor is paying for it all.    Daughter J is going too. I feel totally unworthy because I haven`t fasted for a month and also I have done so little for the refugees anyway.    I am trying to think what to wear as they will all dress up to the nines and they love a bit of glitz.  I am hoping I will find something at my charity shop where I work on Monday afternoons.   I so enjoy my job there and can manage the till now without ringing up £100 instead of 10p  which I did at first, causing chaos with the cashing up.

I am organising a garden party for the residents here on Midsummer Day, 24th June. Brother P has done a lovely invitation for me on his computer (with colour pictures of strawberries and teapots) as that sort of thing is now entirely beyond me.    I was going to ask them all to bring a garden chair, but have now realised that none of us could actually carry a garden chair as far as the lawn. So I am hoping for help from grand daughter T and her friends. I now just pray for fine weather.   The gardens here are looking particularly splendid so I hope for the best.   

Friday, 26 May 2017

Summer is icumen last.

Summer seems to have come at last. The roses are out at Dumbrells Court in all their lusciousness, the birds are singing fit to bust and the view from my sitting room window is heavenly. The only trouble is that I love just sitting on my sofa looking at it, and reading a book, when I know I should be out and taking more exercise.   There is a sort of collective guilt when you are an Old Person like me.   I mustn`t be a drain on resources and the NHS by becoming feeble and helpless so I must eat healthily, lose weight and keep moving.     In the meantime, Mrs May and dear Jeremy are handing out inducements in their manifestos to do more for us oldies but there`s also a sting in the tail with the dementia tax and the pinching of our winter fuel payment.   It is all very worrying.

Last week Daughter J and I went up to London to celebrate grand daughter M`s twenty-fifth birthday. We met for lunch in Hyde Park where later M and her sister G had a swim in the Serpentine in the rain but they said it was lovely. We wanted to see the horses as M has a new part time job at the Hyde Park Riding Stables. She leads rides with immensely rich celebs and others along Rotten Row and canters about in the Park.    To counteract this she has another part time job with Camden Council  teaching very deprived kids to ride bikes in Somertown near Kings Cross.   She also has a day job with an environmental project so her life is full of interesting contrasts.

The Brighton Festival is in full swing. Last week I went with son in law D to hear Jeremy Hardy.  D and I often go to stand up shows together. It was in the Theatre Royal, a huge theatre, absolutely packed,and he spoke for about two hours of brilliant mostly political satire. I don` know how he does it.   We really enjoyed it.  I also went to a film with J called Collisions where you had to wear goggles and head set and it was an` all round experience`.    It was about the effect on an Aboriginal settlement of a nuclear test in the Australian bush,   You felt you could touch the people, it was quite eerie.   Today I am going to hear a jazz singer Julie Roberts plus Herbie Flowers She is performing at the Quaker Meeting House in Brighton,  I have heard her before and she is amazing.

Later in the afternoon I am going to funeral at the crem of a Quaker Jewish woman who was part of the Kindertransport as a child.She was a member of our Ditchling Quaker Meeting and she was a remarkable woman.

I saw the film I Daniel Blake at our Film Club in the Village Hall last week. I was deeply affected by it.  I do feel that all politicians should see it and also anyone who works for the Benefits system.