Tag Archives: reading blogs

Day 76

I started reading some blogs last night, which took the best part of an hour. It was more entertaining than surfing eBay, but it didn’t help me in my search for cheap medallions, so it was a case of swings and roundabouts.

I meant to read some more tonight but I seem to have swerved from the path of righteousness and started browsing poetry sites looking for ideas on writing better poetry. No luck so far. Practical help is hard to find. Tomorrow night I will read more. It has now crept into the early hours of the morning and I need to make sandwiches and get to sleep.

First, however, I need to get to 250 words.

We are now seeing a more normal pattern to the business, with more regular customers returning and some trade customers – even one from overseas. It makes life a bit more interesting and stops me wondering about the future quite so much. I have just over two years to go before pension and would hate to find myself unemployed, as it would be awkward to find a job and even more awkward to stretch one wage between the two of us.

Even ten years ago I’d just have gone asking for work, or started something up myself, as I did with the gardening when I decided antiques were no longer paying. Now, with white hair and a walking stick I’m not quite as employable as I once was.

I could, as I said to Julia, go on the street and sell my body. Her reply that only medical researchers would be interested was, I feel, a touch unkind.

I am going to lit this as “uxorial unkindness” in the Tags, as I am on a quest to use more words.

More stained glass. Well, I like stained glass.


Day of Rest

I fell asleep in the evening, woke, ate, wrote and slept in the chair again, waking stiffly at 2am. So I went to bed. By seven I was ready to get up again, as my back was telling me lying down wasn’t a good idea. I have just spent a couple of hours catching up with other bloggers. Try Growing out of Chaos or Billy Mann. Also enjoyed Matthew Paul and the usual suspects, including Derrick and TP. I always feel guilty adding links, as there are loads of great blogs out there that I enjoy but take for granted. Almost forgot Paol Soren, and some breath-taking views of Tasmania. I read that two hours ago and I’ve crammed so much in that I’ve already started to forget things. If I have failed to link to your blog, I assure you that it isn’t personal.

The rest of the day is unlikely to be quite so productive as I have to stop and cook breakfast now (that’s how we can tell it’s Sunday – breakfast is made by cooking rather than by pouring milk on it). That will involve sitting in front of TV for a while and chatting. It’s what we do. If I had my life over again I would try to eat at a table with no TV, but I’ve slipped into various bad habits and I don’t have the energy to fight them all.

Ideally, of course, I’d have a separate breakfast room with chafing dishes and a footman to serve, but that’s diverging from reality in a significant way.

So, time to make breakfast.



I started the day with a clear plan. So far I have had a bacon sandwich and three cups of tea, replied to comments, written a haibun prose section (which came to me as I was outing my socks on) and caught with paosoren, a wide-ranging blog relating to Australia. I now know a lot more about poisonous caterpillars and slouch hats than I used to. The plan had also encompassed reading more blogs, but I’ve had to shelve that. It’s mid-day already and it doesn’t seem to be much to show for a morning’s work. Of course, as the “morning” started at 9.45, I can’t expect too much. It could have started at 6.45, but after looking at the clock and thinking for a few minutes I decided that 6.45 was too early to start on Sunday.  Even if I had got up at that time I would probably have fallen asleep later in the day, so I wouldn’t have gained much.

I didn’t exactly cover myself in glory regarding the wakefulness front last night. After posting, I went and watched the last half of a programme about Victoria Wood. As Julia decided to go to bed when it finished, I used the “plus one” channel to watch it from the beginning again. Unfortunately I only manged to get part way through before falling asleep. As a consequence, the middle years of her career are still a mystery to me.

It was interesting to find that she was a hard-working perfectionist who said that lots of people could do what she did. This reinforces my belief in hard work and determination being the way forward. It’s a shame I wasted most of my life thinking you needed talent to be successful. That, it appears, is just the icing on the cake. The ability to be successful without having talent certainly explains a lot of things I have seen on TV over the years.

Daffodils in Nottingham

Nearly 1.00 now and time to make lunch. I’m not entirely sure what it’s going to be, but I have a few minutes to think. After my disastrous failure to order the groceries online, we are a little short of provisions this week.  However, we have beans. We have bread. If I was in the habit of representing my menu choices diagrammatically the intersection would be beans on toast.

The picture of a Herring Gull perching on the head of the Cook statue at Whitby can be taken as a metaphor for our history of colonialism. Or it might just be that I was looking for a bird photograph that didn’t have a robin in it.

That was taken in April 2017. The daffodils are from April 2018 and the Magpie from April 2019. \by April 2020 the photos are all downloaded from the Library, or feature food and eBay purchases. I haven’t been getting out much.


Wednesday Morning and Procrastination is in Full Swing

On Wednesdays, our day off, I traditionally get up earlier than Julia and go downstairs with thoughts of making her breakfast. This thought never gets past the computer, as  I can never resist using a bit of quiet time to write.

Today I sat down, checked emails, read and commented on a number of other posts and settled down to write this. They last ninety minutes seems to have gone in a blur and has covered polio, books, A A Milne, a famous England cricketer in the shower, academic redundancies, several poems, an article on whether Covid has killed our ability to socialise and an anecdote about bird feeding. Plus a few  bits and pieces as I replied to comments on my own blog.

Though I always feel bad about not reading other blogs properly, I do find that time only stretches so far. I may have to stop watching so much TV. Quiz programmes are probably good as a way of keeping my brain active, but they do tend to blur into cookery (which isn’t so mind enhancing) and popular culture (which I am sure reduces my ability to think).

A Robin singing in the fog

The sky outside my window is what Julia refers to as a “Simpson’s Sky” – bright blue with lots of cloud-shaped white clouds. If you have watched the cartoon you will know what I mean.  They don’t have cirrus in The Simpsons.

This sort of sky, when accompanied by a lot of movement in the shrubbery and tree tops, and by temperatures cold enough to require heating in the house, is a clear indicator that it is one of those “brisk” spring days, rather than a day for picnics. However, as it’s considerably better than a  a day with grey clouds and drizzle, I will accept it and allow it to raise my spirits.

Wow! I just noticed that it’s 11.00. Julia has made breakfast and I have been reading more blogs. I must get a grip on time.

I’ve been to Crowland, seeing it through the eyes of a visitor. I have written about Crowland several times. Four times, I think. My blogging life was about more than lockdown, bacon sandwiches and arthritis at one time. But time, as thy say, is a great wrecker.

Crowland Abbey



Too Many Thoughts

It’s a bit nippy today, but seems bright enough as I look past my computer screen to the world outside.

I made a start on a couple of projects last night – cataloguing my collection and sorting things out to make a start at selling on eBay. I’ve been saying I will do this for several years now. I will do more today,in the hope that it will become a habit. Later I will have to order some padded envelopes.

Recently I have fallen behind with my blog reading, which is a shame, as there are lots of great blogs to read. Again, it’s a case of establishing a habit. Unfortunately my head is full of other things, and I really have to get that done. I will b back to reading blogs later today but for now I need to write.

Ten minutes with pen and paper upstairs has given me enough to write about for the rest of the day and I want to get that done before I lose the impetus. I’ve not done much writing recently and need to start  again. When I’ve done today’s notes Istill have a couple of weeks of ideas to work on.

So that’s where I am – to many things to do and not enough time or brain to do it. Today I will do the things that make me happy – writing and reading and tomorrow I will do things that need doing but aren’t as pleasurable – listing, sorting and cookery.

And with that plan in mind, I had better get on with it.

Heron at Arnott Hill park – he looks as happy as I feel

Just a quick note about parker pens – the orange one I use in my stock picture is almost deceased. It seemed flimsier than previous pens, and when I gathered them for a comparison, it definitely was flimsier.

The first problem was an internal leak which left staining that you could see from the outside – this looks shabby. Then a crack developed in the cap. The nib is excellent, but the rest of it is not up to scratch. As Parker have ignored all my hints that I would like free pens in return for mentions on the blog, I feel I can mention their shoddy build quality. My Parker experience has been disappointing. I have several older pens that have lasted 30 years so this one is a particular disappointment.

I only buy cheap pens, I admit, because I am forever putting them down and losing then, but Parker prices seem to have gone up and build quality has gone down. This, as history shows, is a perfect recipe for losing market share, or even bankruptcy. You don’t need as degree in business to spot that, but it’s an error people still make. All those young geniuses in their shiny offices with big salaries and gleaming German cars, and they can’t spot that.

Parker, I don’t want free samples of your inferior pens, but if you have any well-paid jobs in marketing or  quality control I’d be happy to sell my principles and work for you.

It’s leaf. It may or may not have a deeper meaning. But mainly it’s a leaf.

Meanwhile, Julia has had her results from yesterday’s covid test – negative again.

Monday, a Day of Promise

I rose at a moderate time, washed up and made breakfast. I tried to make Julia a heart-shaped fried egg but the egg didn’t quite spread inside the frame and then it started to stick to the pan and in the end it looked like three-quarters of an egg, as long as you knew it was supposed to be an heart. If you didn’t know what it was meant to be you wouldn’t have known what it was. My own egg was much more successful as I set out to produce an odd-shaped free-form fried egg with crispy bits, and that was exactly what I ended up with.

Once they were shoved into a cob with bacon and mushrooms it didn’t matter what shape they were. All that matters to me is that my yolk is hard. I don’t really like runny yolks at the best of times but they are a hazard to shirt fronts when used in a sandwich. Julia likes her yolk soft, but as my wife of thirty years, she is accustomed to disappointment.


I have read the comments on my posts, added the word ‘cyanosis’ to one and added a couple of lines to another.

My first post of the day is now done, my new medication has been delivered by a hospital volunteer and Julia is clinking with menace as she sorts jam jars and emanates expectations. She wants me to start filling the skip with bits of shed. She has dragged it to the driveway and it is now time for me to do my bit. I will potter out to offer support and supervision in a moment, then come back to this.

By the magic of WordPress I am now back.

She had been struggling to dismantle a bookcase which had suffered from years of standing in a leaky shed and is therefore un-salvageable. This is the sad state of quite a lot of stuff, including things that had been safely stored in the dry garage last time I saw them. Married men will recognise the note of pain in my writing.

Anyway. the bookcase fell apart from a few taps with a rubber mallet. If I had been able to access a proper hammer it would have taken considerably fewer taps. With a proper Enoch I reckon one blow would have done it. That’s right, when I am in full swing, we are never far from a Luddite link.

Last night, whilst relaxing, I started to read WordPress. I haven’t really done that for years now. It was a very pleasant experience. I’m going to write another few posts to top my total up to two thousand then I’m going to cut back on posting and increase my reading.

Don’t get me wrong – I like all the blogs I read, but I’ve been limited in the last few years and have struggled even to keep up with sporadic reading of my regulars. Given a little more time I’m going to enjoy more reading, particularly as I was able to catch up with a few people I haven’t read for years.

Despite the weather, which features a cold breeze and a threatening low grey sky, I’m feeling quite sunny today, and am hoping that this frame of mind persists.

I’m going to throw in a few cheerful flower photographs from Harlow Carr Gardens and make beans on toast for lunch.

All photographs are irises in spring from our visits to Harlow Carr Garden, apart from the header which is Julia in the Mencap garden at Wilford.

Blood Test Thursday

It’s light this morning, and I’ve breakfasted on overnight oats with blueberries so I’m all set up for the day.

I’ve answered last night’s comments on the blog, come up blank for an idea for a post, and made a mental note that I need another night of reading posts to catch up with people.

That reminds me that I also have a report to write tonight. Sigh.

I’m 12 days behind with some blogs, as I found last night, so I do apologise if you are feeling neglected. That gives me an idea for a post – Blogging and a Lack of Time.  I will develop that later, as I don’t have time now. (Sorry – predictable but true).

My leg just started ringing, which means it’s time to get down to City Hospital, moan about parking and let someone stab me in the arm.

Nobody told me life would be like this.