Thursday, 13 April 2017

Hot Cross Buns

Today is Julia`s anniversary and also grand daughter T`s thirteenth birthday.   Daughter J and family plus friends are walking over the Downs from Brighton to Ditchling (seven miles) for lunch and birthday cake and then we will read aloud some of Julia`s poetry and share memories.  J and I always feel a bit tearful and odd at this time of year so it is good to get together
Tomorrow I am having a Hot Cross Bun party to which I have invited all the Dumbrellites.  As my sitting room is small I am holding it at the Meeting House,which is five minute walk down the lane. This has caused great consternation amongst some who on reading the words Quaker and Good Friday on the invitations seemed to think that it was a Quaker indoctrination ceremony and they felt unable to come, so I fear I may be left with forty hot cross buns and a large uneaten Simnel cake, but never mind, they can go in the freezer,

On Easter Sunday I am planning a picnic and egg rolling down Lodge Hill in Ditchling after \Meeting though the weather forecast is not good. I remember doing this on St Giles Hill in Winchester many times over the years. There is something about chucking painted eggs down a grassy slope and running whooping along behind them that I find very exhilarating in a ritualistic, heathenish sort of way.

Then at the end of next week, we are celebrating brother P`s ninetieth birthday with a sibling get together and also a family do.   .Sister J and I are struggling to write an Ode but we have used up all the best lines on his seventieth and eightieth, plus a few in between.

I have just read the latest Sebastian Faulks novel: Where my Heart Used to Beat. It is a bit reminiscent of Birdsong and is really excellent and very thought provoking.

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.