Monday, 16 April 2018


This is my farewell blog. I think I have been writing it, firstly, as Crumbs on the Aga and then Ditchling Daze, altogether for about ten years.      But the gaps are getting longer and I find that I am becoming more and more repetitive as my life is largely a round of appointments at the Eye Hospital, visits to outpatients, going to the chiropodist, the dentist, the hearing aid place or driving other old folk from Dumbrells Court for the same sorts of things. Otherwise sitting on the sofa watching the squirrels. Well, that is not really true as I do go out every day. This morning it is my music group when I inexpertly play my cello with four other musicians, tomorrow is the choir and improv group in the evening,  on Wednesdays I work in the Charity shop and Thursdays,  it is the Nibbles and Scribbles writing group, and Quakering on Sundays, quite apart from seeing my lovely family from near and far.
I hope some of my followers may read daughter Josie`s blog, Plot Partners. She writes about her allotment and also her writing life and it is a good read.

I do love Tracey Emin`s Art Installation in St Pancras station.   Big pink letters saying:  I Want My Time With You.   That is what we all want and need: time to be with friends and family,   time to do interesting and creative things with other people.    
( I much prefer it to her Unmade Bed.)

The following is something we sang at the Choir a few weeks ago, a sort of Goodbye Blessing:

May the long time sun shine upon you
May all love surround you
and the pure light within you
Guide your way on.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

I`ve Got a Little List.....

To my consternation, I see that a big chunk of the my last blog has disappeared. Apologies for its rather abrupt conclusion.  I imagine a pathetic group of words floating about in cyber space trying to find where they are supposed to be.   

I am just listening to Saturday Live on Radio 4 and it is all about Lists. I am an inveterate list maker, sometimes more than once a day. I even write things down on lists that I have already done just so that I have the pleasure of ticking them off.    I write lists for the day, the week, the month, and the year and sometimes they are practical, like `Buy washing up liquid` or they are more philosophical,like Do Something Creative Today though theses days that often only means marmalade or a pie.  Apparently Leonardo do Vinci was a great list maker, also Einstein, though one of his consisted of ways his wife could improve her behaviour.

I have really enjoyed the snowy weather, firstly because I have spent a lot of time just watching the birds through my sitting room window. I have never been a bird person and usually there are just very pushy crows, pigeons and magpies out there plus the squirrels of course. But I have been tipping Lidl`s muesli ( I dont like it) on the patio and I have been amazed: thrushes, blackbirds, nuthatches ( I looked it up! ) robins, bluetits, sparrows, and other inrecognisable ones have been flocking down. Also it all looks simply beautiful, especially when the sun shines on the snowy fields and hills. The other nice thing is that there has been the most heartwarming kindness from neighbours and friends in Ditchling calling in and phoning to make sure I am all right.    It is quite amazing. 

Anyway, the snow is melting today and I am off to Burgess Hill to the Hospice Shop.   I do not suppose there will be many customers, but it will be nice to go out rather than sit on the sofa as I have been doing for the last four days.     

Thursday, 25 January 2018

I am writing this whilst sitting (fully clothed) for the Grey Ladies Life Drawing class in Ditchling. They gather every Wednesday in the Meeting House, but they used to meet in a house in the village called Grey Ladies,hence the name.        I am quite happy to sit still for a couple of hours as it is what I do every Sunday, well for an hour at any rate.    The wind is howling outside and it is deluging with rain so it is nice to sit here in the warm on a bleak January morning.

This afternoon I work as a volunteer at the Hospice charity shop in Burgess Hill which is in a rather chaotic state still after Christmas. I try to tidy one small coner each week but it doesn`t last.  Every five minutes someone comes  with several bulging black bags of mostly unsaleable stuff. Often it is the result of their clearing out a  beloved parent`s home so we have to be sympathetic, but we often feel in despair as to where to put it all.  It goes to an enormous warehouse to be sorted and some of it can be recycled hopefully ..I get more and more anxious about rubbish and all the plastic bags.    How is it going to end I wonder.

I am pleased that the marmalade making season is here. Grand daughter T is coming round after school to make the first batch.   We alternate chopping and stirring with games of Scrabble. Though only thirteen she is a formidable opponent.

I went as a volunteer to do a Memory test the other day. It was for a charity for people who had sustained a head injury and they wanted elderly people who were `normal`  though I am not sure that I fit into that category. It lasted just over an hour and I thoroughly enjoyed it.   I did well at  the word questions (due to all the Scrabble perhaps) but I was not so good at the shapes and pictures. There was no marks or pass or fail at the end as far as I know and I was given ten quid which I happily spent at Waitrose.

On Monday it was my monthly stint at the Eye Hospital. No wonder the NHS is running out of cash with us oldies having these expensive injections and scans. The place was, as always, absolutely packed . What is odd is that nobody else ever takes anything to do, they just sit there for hours staring into space. I always take a good supply of books and crosswords etc. The doctors and nurses all look exhausted.             It must be overwhelming, the sheer numbers of us. The encouraging thing is that my sight is better than it has been for years and I was actually playing the cello in my music group and realized that I was not wearing any specs.   It may have been partly due to the fact that grand daughter G`s boyfriend has just installed a much brighter light in my sitting room and that makes a huge difference.

We had a talk after Meeting last Sunday by Tony Tree about allithe Quaker skeletons found in the Pavilion Gardens in Brighton    The original Meeting House and burial ground were there in the late 17th century but had to be moved eventually to its present location in Ship Street in 1802 because the home of the Prince Regent`s mistress, Mrs Fitzherbertfelt  was overlooked by the Quakers.The skeletons are now going to be reburied up in the cemetery. What a palaver.