Thursday, 3 November 2011

I have learnt from Floss (trocbroc.blogspot) that I have been what the French call, cocooning and very nice too! I have been at home most of the time and have occasionally gone on a jolly at the weekend.

On Saturday we sat in a quintessentially English country pub; log fire burning, good home cooking aromas wafting, beautiful watercolours and local history displays on the walls, reading the newspapers. It was interesting to read that a survey had been done about what makes us happy and the list was largely made up of the simple things in life like freshly laundered bed linen, the smell of mown grass and cuddles.

I may go awol but I still seek out all things cheery every day. I am astonished at just how many I find. So in no particular order, off we go!

Reasons to be cheerful number one...

Four more pounds lost since I was last here so that's a total of 11 lbs in five weeks! And no they are not down the back of the sofa where one wag suggested I looked for them! (lbs v £'s!)

Reasons to be cheerful number two...

The joy of a new ball of wool.

I made a hat!

Reasons to be cheerful number three...

The first log fire of Winter...

Reasons to be cheerful number four...

Shiny Vintage Austins - all in a row. We ummed and aahed over our favourites.

Funnily enough, we both liked the cream. Though Steve said he also favoured the Black. I liked the grey as well..... Until I looked inside; nose pressed to the window, very un-ladylike - thank goodness no-one saw! These cars are so basic - I couldn't even see a hand-brake lever thingy. I suppose there must be some such contraption somewhere??? Anyway far more perilous than lack of brakes - NO HEATING!!!!!!!!! Come back Rita Rover all is most certainly forgiven, oh dear one!

Reasons to be cheerful number five....

Freshly laundered sheets and a new book - Mrs Miniver - what a charming read that was.

Reasons to be cheerful number six...

Napkins for Christmas - they remind me of Rob Ryan's work and make me smile.

Reasons to be cheerful number seven....

Coral coloured gerbera reminding me of "weed" in the Flowerpot Men!

Reasons to be cheerful number eight...

October remained warm, sunny and largely dry; the Midlands has had it's driest year on record according to one news report. So I have continued to potter outdoors. I have enjoyed many walks and carried on gardening. We still have roses, sweet peas, honeysuckle, clematis and geranium all in flower; yet the leaves are turning and dropping from the trees revealing redundant birds' nests and Winter pansies and a confused Spring primrose are adding to multi seasonal borders - very strange!

Hope you are all well :)


"So of cheerfulness, or a good temper, the more it is spent, the more it remains."

Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Reasons to be cheerful number one...

My son phones home from university.

"How are you?" I hope I don't sound anxious.

"Good!" The teacher in me longs to shout "It's well or ok or fine but not good." The Mummy in me just breathes again - he sounds happy, so I'm happy.

I ask my usual question, "Do you need anything or is this a chit chat 'phone call?

He gives his usual reply, "It's a chit chat call".

"Oooh lovely!" I take my drink to my favourite chair. We talk maybe once a week so this is to be savoured!

We talk for over an hour. He tells me about his uni reading. I tell him about the new book club I've joined.

He tells me to Google this poem that he read on his course.....

Mother, any distance greater than a single span by Simon Armitage

Mother, any distance greater than a single span

requires a second pair of hands.

You come to help me measure windows, pelmets, doors,

the acres of the walls, the prairies of the floors.

You at the zero-end, me with the spool of tape, recording

length, reporting metres, centimetres back to base, then leaving

up the stairs, the line still feeding out, unreeling

years between us. Anchor. Kite.

I space-walkthrough the empty bedrooms, climb
the ladder to the loft, to breaking point, where something
has to give;
two floors below your fingertips still pinch
the last one hundredth of an inch... I reach
towards the hatch that opens on an endless sky
to fall or fly."

I am choked.
He thinks that's funny.

I tell him he's gorgeous.
He's embarrassed.
I think that's funny.

We say bye.

I check supper which has been cooking the while.
It's burnt. Ruined.
I don't care.

I had seen beyond my usual round.
It is good when your children teach you.

Reasons to be cheerful number two....

Son number two ( aka the Bisto kid as he usually comes in sniffing the air asking, "What's for tea?" ) comes in as I am scraping the burnt supper from the casserole dish.

"I have burnt tea!"

"MMmmm!" he grins agreement surveying the casserole charcoal. He tells me about the good bits of his day. I am happy he has had a better day than of late.

He goes to bathe.

I phone Steve and tell him he has a stupid wife who burns the tea.

He offers Chinese and a bottle :)

Reasons to be cheerful number three...

A piece of the jigsaw is missing. Steve is coming home via Chinese and bottle, Son 2 has off- loaded his better day & his manager's plans for him, son 3 has shared his uni days and how he is managing ... so I 'phone my eldest son and we natter.

After we have put the phone down it rings again... "Don't forget you still haven't come to see the new flat...." (400 mile round trip was impossible health-wise until now) and we chat for half an hour more.

So now I sit and sigh.

We have all dispersed again.

Each to our own space.

Yet I am still and so are they; Mother and son, any distance.


Monday, 17 October 2011

Walking, planning ahead and enjoying now.

Reasons to be cheerful number one...

After morning prayers, a friend and I go walking across the nature reserve and through the woods; chit chatting about family, planning walks for the next two Mondays and discussing our views on the mighty Anglican Covenant being voted on soon.

The world put to rights, I come home and hang out the washing; thankful to return to the usual, and the undemanding - my domestic covenant is far easier to deal with :)

Reasons to be cheerful number two...

A chicken casserole gently plup, plupping at a simmer. I can relax knowing supper is sorted.

I have even set the table as this afternoon I want to catch up on some long neglected housework (like dusting!) and then in the late afternoon, when I am usually prepping supper, I hope to sit and sew awhile.

Reasons to be cheerful number three...

The pleasure of planning ahead whilst enjoying the here and now of bulb planting.

Happy Monday :)


The happiest people seem to be those who have no particular reason for being so except that they are so."

William Ralph Inge.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

The last two days have involved 4 hours of tests yesterday and today an MRI brain scan which I hate - I can cope with the incredible noise and the claustrophobic tunnel just about - it's when they put the cage thingy over my head that I just want to run for the hills. So I went in with an eye mask on so I couldn't actually see what was going on and I hummed my favourite hymns and prayers throughout.

Knowing that I am at the end of my tether cheeriness wise when it comes to this test my husband told me as I went in - "I'll take you to IKEA straight after, OK?"

OK? You bet!


Reasons to be cheerful number one...

A trip to IKEA.

"Welcome to IKEA......!" Steve read the sign as we drove in adding.... " and suffer all ye who enter here!" He hates IKEA! But he was very brave and pretended to enjoy it! I got a few Christmas presents for friends and some goodies for us........

A bargain £2:89 throw, a small clear square vase for my bargain or garden bouquets and cuttings , a 49p red mouse mat, napkins, some red battery fairy lights for a plant in the dining room, and two candle goblets (can be used with tea lights later). the glass is a pale green.

Mmmm, I see a red theme going on......

Reasons to be cheerful number two...

As we ate lunch out - another treat after tests - I said to my husband. "I'm not sure whether to trust all these tests"

"Why ever not?"

"Well in the cognitive test they said my arithmetic is good."

"Well that doesn't add up," he grinned. "It was never good before you were poorly!"

Cheeky!!!!! (But true!!)

Reasons to be cheerful number three...

We drove home on an open stretch of motorway cutting through open fields. The sun blazed in a clear blue sky. It felt like mid Summer rather then Mid October. I turned the opera cd to full blast and wound the windows down.

The wind tangled our hair, the music blasted eardrums, the sun burnt my face and I felt young and alive and carefree.

And I looked at Steve and he was looking at me like I was loony but he grinned anyway :)

Happy weekend :)


Mirth is like a flash of lightning, that breaks through a gloom of clouds and glitters for a moment; cheerfulness keeps up a kind of daylight in the mind, and fills it with a steady and perpetual serenity."
Joseph Addison

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Reasons to be cheerful number one

Clank, clank, clank of the spoon on the wok; a culinary percussion as I cook stir fry.

Reasons to be cheerful number two...

Playing ripple patterns in lime.

Reasons to be cheerful number three...

Some carnation heads fall off as I arrange them. I offer them a reprieve in an egg cup by the sink where they are offering some unexpected cheery colour in return.

And the sun is shining again - ye ha!


"Cheerfulness in most cheerful people, is the rich and satisfying result of strenuous discipline." Edwin P Whipple.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Birthday girl, flower girl, and slimming girls

Reason to be cheerful number one...

A silly birthday card for my niece.

Reason to be cheerful number two...

I am a flower girl - they always cheer me!

Reason to be cheerful number three...

The Wednesday weigh in - another lb lost - total 8lb thus far, some new friends made and we survived the exercise part of the class!

Happy Wednesday.


Ps I am not overweight merely underheight - lol!