Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Syrian Mothers Day party.

I have not written this blog for over a month, and I expect I am doing it into nothingness as everyone will have given upon me, but I went to such a heartwarming event last night that I felt I had to write something down.     The Syrians celebrate Mothers Day on 21st March as a national event.  Daughter J and family have been involved in fund raising for the refugees in Brighton and we were invited to the party. There were masses of children in their best sparkly clothes, adults too, (the Syrians do like sparkly) I felt a bit underdressed.   There was amazing live music,dancing and tasty food.    It was a great party.  I was so glad to be there and see how well they were coping with the difficulties and sadness in their lives    There were many Brighton people there too also who had taken refugees into their homes and and it was working out really well.  I wish I could, but no one under fifty five can stay in the old folks complex where I live.     

Ditchling has been celebrating the hundredth birthday of its oldest famous resident this week, Vera Lynn. She and her daughter Virginia live just up the road from me -in fact I used to go to Virginia for a foot massage, so I was particularly interested in all the shenanigans. I loved the programme on TV last Saturday with dear Vera looking very sprightly and enjoying life. She really is a splendid woman, going off to Burma and dangerous places to sing to `her boys` . And the songs, though sentimental do speak to the heart.
Dear brother P  is just about to celebrate his ninetieth birthday, and that will be the next celebration, we are all getting so blooming OLD.  

Monday, 13 February 2017

More Museum Tales.....

It is half term and the Brighton Darlings are spread far and wide. Daughter J and Tiger are walking along the Cotswold Way with a group of friends,, doing about 12 miles a day and probably covered in mud at this moment, but texts say `its lovely` Son in law D is on a Mindfulness Retreat in \Devon, Grand- daughter G went to Guernsey to play in a Rugby match, and grand son R frequently phones from Vietnam where he is teaching a class of 5 year olds. I enjoy hearing of all their adventures, but glad to be sitting at home on my sofa watching the squirrels. 

Many of my usual activities are on half term too, but not the Museum Tales creative writing course which has started up again. I am far and away the oldest, but I am enjoying the punk rock exhibition which is on at the moment.  It is 30 years since that burst upon the scene. My children were teenagers then but it strangely passed me by. We are bidden to write about Rebellion` and that appeals to me as I have always had a rebellious streak.

I am enjoying my afternoon working in the hospice charity shop and have more or less got the hang of the till now and only occasionally ring up a thousand pounds instead of ten pence.     I am so pleased when customers find a garment that really suits them or a book that I have read and recommended.   There is a lovely atmosphere among the helpers.

I am on one of my frequent trips to the Eye Hospital this afternoon, always a difficult manoevre as there are no buses from Ditchling to Brighton so I have to drive and hope that the drops in my eyes wear off quickly so that I can see to drive home.    I try not to mind the injections and they don`t hurt but there is something scary about having a needle stuck in your eyeball.  Still I am so lucky to get it done at all and I love the NHS and have always had wonderful treatment.

I have just read Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleve and  found it an excellent read. It reminded me of when I was ten or eleven and living in North London during the Blitz, cowering in the cupboard under the stairs when the bomb fell outside our house. It did not explode and as far as I know it is still there.   We all had to go and live with a Mrs Tickle in the next road until it was declared safe.    But the book was about about the real horrors of the blitz and the war on the lives of ordinary people, and also of racist attitudes which were appalling. 
I have decided not to write about D.Trump or Brexit. It is all just too awful for words.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Getting the Cold Shoulder....

I have been without a car recently. My ancient Nissan Micro ground to a halt on the M 23 on a perishing cold afternoon and I was stuck on the hard shoulder for quite a while.. Not a good experience especially as I had dear brother P with me who is even older than I am. However we survived,  thanks to mobile phones and the very kind A A man, and in spite of a worrying time being towed along the motorway, I got home safely.   The car needed a new clutch at vast expense but it seems as right as rain again now.
P. had been staying for a few days and we had our usual poetic breakfasts and scrabble, which was lovely,  and now life is back to my old routine, except that I have a new weekly activity: I am working at a hospice charity shop on Mondays.   I am not very good with the till, having never used one before. I keep putting too many noughts so that it registers hundreds or thousands instead of just one pound and it took the supervisor ages to sort it out when cashing up at the end of the day but I have only worked there twice, and I hope I will improve.   Apart from that I really love the job and they are a friendly lot. It is nice to start something new.

I saw a brilliant film at the Village Hall last week: Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance. It was so exciting, and really brought back memories of that Cold War time and the Berlin wall and everything.  It was a true story too.   With all the news being so worrying at the moment, it is quite comforting to remember how bleak it all seemed in the sixties and seventies and we have nevertheless survived.

This Friday, the day of the presidential inauguration in USA , there is a campaign to hang banners on all the bridges in U.K (maybe elsewhere?) saying `Build Bridges not Walls` which is a quotation from Martin Luther King.    Some of my family are involved in this and I am very glad about that.
The combination of Trump and Brexit is a bit overwhelming at present.

I am off now to try and find some Seville oranges and do some marmalade making. That is the best way I know of  cheering up these dark winter days.