Monday, 23 October 2017

Whatever the weather....

Oh dear, I am getting so lazy about writing up this blog, but one reason has been that I was without any internet for about ten days due to my changing from BT to Talk Talk which was a right pallaver. There were long conversations with an unintelligible bloke in South Africa, and though I tried every whichway and enlisted the help of many people,  I ouldn`t get it to work. In the end an engineer came from Burgess Hill and took five minutes to connect it just by changing a filter thing. In the meantime I had completely got used to no email and had gone back to writing letters and using the telephone.
Now I cannot get the printer to work and battle daily with it, so I  have been unable to print off the Guardian cryptic crossword and my brain is getting addled.
My life consists of struggling with technology and visits to the Hearing Aid place, the eye hospital, the dentist, chiropody clinic and organising my general physical maintenance.   It all doesn`t leave much space for nice times with family and friends, and intersting outings.  But luckily, brother P is coming next weekend to stay and we are going to two concerts with Brighton Early Music Festival: a performance of Pygmalion by Gluck and another of early string quartets.    No doubt we will have poetry breakfasts, fierce Scrabble matches and nice meals together.    We will try not to discuss our health problems.
Dear grandson Rob is going off again on his travels next week, Cambodia this time to meet up with his girlfriend and then they are going to Australia. He has saved up from working very hard as a chef in Hove for the last few months. We will miss him.
The weather is very worrying at the moment: red skies from the Sahara last week and then hurricane Brian which made me think of the dear cats Brian and Shirley.  But really nothing has been so bad as the Great Gale of 1987 when I got back from work at the Winchester hospital to find my the windows blown out in Chesil Street and  devastated trees everywhere.  My mother always used to say that she didn`t notice the weather and I must try and do the same.  

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

My eighty seventh birthday is looming up, but as so many of my friends and neighbours are well into their nineties, I still  feel comparatively young.

There are various jollities planned, including a family get together a gala improv night, and a sedate tea party for some of the Dumbrellites with the bone china cups and saucers gleaned from the Winchester dump aka the Recycling Centre years ago.

It is also Quaker Week and I foolishly volunteered to organise a coffee morning at the Ditchling Meeting House and I doubt if any punters will turn up.     It will probably be us local Quakers eating the home made cakes and chatting to each other.It is difficult  to think of ways of drawing in the populace as the Quaker image is still of women in funny bonnets and men wearing hats like the ones on Quaker oat packets.

Brighton is abuzz with the Labout PartyConference at the moment and there are Fringe events with people queuing up   and a general air of excitement.    Our Jeremy is doing well and it is something to feel cheerful about amongst all the direness of Trump and Brexit and the rest.

I still feel quite confident  driving round the Sussex lanes (and into the outskirts of Brighton where I catch the bus) and having watched the programme on TV about centenarian drivers including one who was still proficient at 105,  I hope I can continue to do so, but I am infuriated by the fact that all the meters round here will not take money any more   You have to have a smart phone which  85% population now have.    But I can`t hear the instuctions in busy traffic, and can`t read them if it is dark and I can`t do the keypad easily either, so I still rely on my ancient mobile phone and seethe with rage when I cannot park near the hospital, or even outside daughter J`s house.   

I have just seen the film Victoria and Abdul and thoroughly enjoyed it as I love Judi Dench and a lot of it was filmed at Osborne House in the dear isle of Wight. It is a bit of a pantomime with all the courtiers getting infuriated with Victoria`s goings on but apparently true.    Hard to imagine our dear old Queen behaving in such a rebellious manner.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Deaf Sentence

I re read Deaf Sentence by David Lodge last week while on holiday, it was on a bookshelf in the house we rented at Freshwater Bay. Last time I read it I was not deaf myself, but it really struck home this time.  It is about an elderly linguistics professor who gets into an embarrassing situation due to not hearing what a woman says to him at a party.   My deafness is at its worst  in a large group especially when it includes small children and I constantly have to guess, usually wrongly, what has been said, with or without my hearing aids.     It must drive the rest of the family barmy, but they were very patient.    
However, it was a great holiday in a really comfortable enormous house,with plenty of bathrooms and huge sofas.   It was near the beach so the more energetic of us could nip over the road for an early morning swim.    The Island is still as beautiful,  and wonderfully unchanged.   It is so reassuring to find that there is still the shop on the corner selling `ham on the bone` and slicing bacon up on a machine,  (though we ate neither as we are all mainly vegetarian these days)  There were about eighteen round the table for most meals and we took it in turns to cook and shop.    Having the three little boys, my great grandsons, was a joy and seeing them running in and out of the sea at Compton Bay as my kids used to do was lovely.          
It was a week with hardly any mobile phones (no signal)  radio, or television, and lots of swimming, walking, cycling, Scrabble and other games, and talking (though for me only the last two)    Coming back here to Dumbrells Court, it seems so quiet with all of us oldies.   And boringly neat and tidy too.
Unfortunately when I got back, I discovered to my horror that I had inadvertently turned off the fridge freezer when I left  (absentmendedness or senility?) so I was faced with a mountain of rotting food  including all the blackberries and apples I had squirrelled  away for making crumbles later and quiches and pies for future Quaker bring and shares. What a disaster.    I felt really guilty when I went to the dump with my black bagged load, as if I were disposing of a body.
How I love these late golden days of summer.    In spite of dodgy knees,I can still walk up Lodge Hill accompanied by an imaginary Bradley Wiggins and I had better start blackberrying again to replace the last lot.