Sunday, 29 November 2009

Thanksgiving meal

We planned to go swimming today, but somehow the time ran away and all we seemed to do was to go round one supermarket after another. Having generally exhausted ourselves we stayed home, and started preparing for the Thanksgiving meal tomorrow, and made ourselves a nice dinner in the process.

Today we tidied up the house and began the preparations for the meal. Poppy and Ben arrived first, quickly followed by Tania and Robert. Although we had put snacks in the conservatory, everyone was drawn naturally to the fire and we had drinks and chatted until Lorraine and Pete arrived.

I had previosly laid the dining room table, and we had our Thanksgiving meal in soft lighting with candlelight and sparkling white wine, followed by the red wine, and chatted for several hours; it was a very nice evening.

Lorraine and Pete stayed overnight, and the next day we had a light breakfast of pancackes and coffee, and spent time talking. Lorraine showed us pictures of the unusual house she will be buying soon.

After they left Mas and I, feeling at a bit of a loose end, took ourselves off to The Man in the Moon for a roast Sunday dinner. In the afternoon I listened to the classic serial on the radio: ' Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,' by John Le Carré.

Christian sent pictures from Basel which is having a food market, and everything gearing up for Christmas. In the evening we watched New Ticks, but it was rather a depressing episode. And so to bed.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Injection, 'restraint' and a sausage

Mas went to the surgery and had his swine flu injection, and went off to meet a friend at lunch time. I walked off to Edgware and got some shopping. Later I did some more painting, on my 'restrained ' picture, and later fearing I may go mad and add some bright colour declared it 'finished' to myself.

Later, showing it to Mas, he thought it was good...not that he is prejudiced in my favour in any way! Luckily he seems to be having no ill effects from his injection today.

Today we went to Borehamwood to get shopping and cat food. While there, we bumped into Marion who is keeping busy as usual. We went to The Golden Plaice and had a fish and chip dinner which we enjoyed, and were also given a sausage for the cat!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Dreary weather and a Cool Cat

On Sunday I seemed to spend the whole day washing up and cleaning the kitchen. This being partly due to a soup disaster. I put a container of soup onto the blender, which unluckily was turned on by mistake, and before I could put the lid on had plastered the walls, ceilings, curtains, floor and me with tasty thick soup!

We had one loud clap of thunder which caused us to unplug the computers, phone line and TV, but after a cup of tea all had quietened down again.

On Monday I did lots of necessary chores like sorting the house insurance out for the next year, and I cancelled my appointment for the swine flu injection after thinking about it for a great deal, and on advice from Christian. To take a break in the afternoon we watched Angela Landsbury in Murder She Wrote, but I don't really like these as all the people seem so completely unreal.

Tuesday, and the weather is still dreary with lots of rain. I sent some emails, and continued trying to paint my 'restrained colours' picture. Salty is bored as it is raining so much, and keeps meowing at me so that I will play with him all the time; I am beginning to think I will have to go out into the rain to get some peace and quiet.
Joan sent this picture of Lucky Jim, who is looking handsome and healthy, sitting on moss that looks nice enough to eat.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

In the swim with chickens

Mas and I went swimming in the afternoon; it did not seem very tempting as the weather was dreary and grey. There were not many people in the pool, but Mas got talking to a man who was trying to learn how to swim. After showering and dressing we felt more lively than we had when we going into the pool.
I called Pete to see how he was, and while we were chatting his cat Calliope was meowing pitifully as she was trying unsuccessfully to bite Pete while he was talking.
There have been heavy rainfalls in some places, and in one area in Cumbria they had 12" in 24 hours which is the heaviest rainfall in the UK since they started keeping records.

Today Mas worked on his computer, and I raked and collected leaves from the garden, admiring the colours on the leaves of the cherry blossom tree. One of the neighbours from down the road stopped to talk; she was surprised to know that Salty belonged to us as he sits on her fence sometimes while he is admiring the chickens next door. I was surprised to hear about the chickens as I had recently said to Mas that I would have thought people would keep chickens while times are so hard now.

Later I saw Poppy who independently told me she wanted to have chickens, and had been looking up on the Internet how to care for them. She also said she would call for me sometimes when she was going to walk the dog, and we could walk together.

In the afternoon we went to Borehamwood and got some shopping, and a cat collar for Salty. When we got home I put a collar on Salty with the cat door magnet on it and, surprisingly he was purring all the time while I adjusted it.

Laater we had a thunder storm and hail. In the evening we watched an episode of Merlin which is silly, but fun.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Art and Antiques at Olympia and Xmas decorations

It was a grey, windy drizzly day, and I spent time 'being restrained'. I also emailed Christian who has been sending me articles and links about the swine flu injection. I also heard from Christiane and we planned when to meet tomorrow as she has tickets for the Art and Antiques Fair at Olympia.

Today we met up at 10.30am, and travelled to Olympia on underground trains. We were not quite sure if her ticket would admit two of us, so en route we planned an alternative day out. As it happened we were both admitted after having our handbags searched.

There was a lot to see of both the antiques and the art which had been collected from a variety of periods including Art Deco. It was an interesting exhibition, and I found some of the art quite amazing. I really liked this small, jewelled, enameled picture.

After a while we stopped for a tea/coffee break and made a picnic from the food we had bought with us, and talked of interesting things for a while. We then continued looking, and Christiane found out where she could get her pearls professionally restrung from one of the dealers.

When we had seen everything' we decided to go home on the bus so that we could see the Christmas lights which have been turned on now. We caught the bus and looked at the decorations which seemed better than for a few years, but it was difficult to see as there was a log jam of buses in the way. We got off at Oxford Circus, where the decorations did not seem quite so good, and then walked to Tottenham Court Road to get the train home as the buses seemed to be going so slowly.

I felt quite tired by the time I got home, so we relaxed and watched TV. While we were doing this the tabby cat into the house through the cat door, but ran away when he saw me. Later I saw him in the garden with Salty.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Two films and two paintings

I woke up from a nightmare, which is unusual for me. Once we were downstairs we had a suspicion that the rogue tabby cat has been in the house again as Salty's food was neatly eaten, and the plates licked clean. I spent some time on necessary housework, then took out some of my paintings. I decided to put two of them on the website, so photographed them.

In the afternoon we watched Diagnosis Murder and in the evening a tape of Heaven's Gate; it is visually beautiful, but I had not remembered that it had such an enigmatic and negative ending.

Today , after breakfast I began painting a view using very restrained colours which is quite a challenge for me. Having had enough of being restrained I thought I would have lunch, as I went downstairs I noticed I had paint under my fingernails, so scrubbed my hands, and glancing in the mirror found I had dark paint on my teeth, which gave me a jaunty medieval air.
Later as a respite from subtlety I put my bright pictures up on my website.

In the evening we watched Les Visiteurs, with Jean Reno and Christian Clavier. Despite having seen this quite a few times it always makes me laugh, and that is a good way to end the day

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Lunch with Robert and bright walk

Salty took his hedgehogs upstairs this morning, and put them on the bed. He had black oil on both his ears, so later I tried to remove it with detergent which did not work at all. Trying my old remedy I warmed up some butter and rubbed it into his ears, and did get off some of the oil. Salty was looking very dishevelled and scruffy with patches of fur stuck together, and smelling strongly of butter, and by the time I was finishing up he was growling, and so was I. Later he thanked me for doing it though.

It was windy and wet, but we decided to go to St. Albans and have lunch with Robert. Poor Tania is still feeling tired after the flu, so decided not to join us. We met in Sazios and had a bottle of wine and lots of talk while we ate. The weather had improved a bit, and we got our shopping from the market afterwards as the traders began packing up. Later I heard that there had been a tornado in Essex, it lasted for less than a minute, but the tornado tore roofs off and did a lot of damage.
Once home Christiane phoned and said she could not meet as we had planned to go to the Tom Merrifield exhibition in Hampstead tomorrow.

We woke up to a bright day, and as we were having breakfast Salty entertained us by pouncing on the rainbow lights from the crystal that I had made spin slowly in the sunlight. Mas and I decided to go for a walk and take advantage of the good weather, so we walked in Edgwarbury Park, round the flower beds, the football pitch as the players were packing up, and into the forest. We saw lots of squirrels running about, and birds feasting on berries.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Flu jab and Friday 13th!

In the afternoon I walked down to the doctor to have a seasonal flu injection. There were a lot of us waiting, and before I went in a patient came out feeling rather faint, and he said it had been very painful. When it was my turn it was quick and painless, and then I was told I should have a swine flu injection, and should book an appointment before I left.

I went off to the library and returned my books, and then found some new ones to take home. Looking at the biographies I was surprised to see that John Le Mesurer had been divorced from Hatti Jacques, and that his subsequent wife had an affair with his best friend Tony Hancock. If all that had happened today it would have kept the gossipy celebrity magazines going for months.

Pete phoned, and we chatted for a while which was cheering. In the evening we watched The Odd couple by Neil Simon, with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, which had some very funny scenes.

Today I walked off to Edgware as we had a circular telling us that Mas should have a swine flue jab too, (because he lives with me) so I went to make an appointment for him. There was a lady shouting in the reception area in a very arrogant way, and I was pleased to leave as it had been so noisy I could not hear myself think. I also picked up Mason's medicines from Boots chemists, but when I got home we found that they had left out the essential medication.

We drove down to Edgware and sorted it all out. The drivers all seem to be driving in a reckless and strange way today, so we then went off to Stanmore, and Mas had another go at sorting out his bank account and setting up direct debits. Everything seems very annoying today, and we remembered it was Friday the 13th (ooo err). This done, we had lunch in the Man in the Moon to cheer ourselves up, and a glass of red wine, and left feeling more relaxed.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Suspicious and virtuous characters

I spoke to Margaret who has been feeling ill for quite a while. I also managed to catch up on a few emails, and went for a long walk in the afternoon.

When I was doing things in the kitchen I noticed a couple of suspicious characters looking at Ben and Poppy's house, but luckily Ben had seen them and told them to clear off, which was good.
Mas went over to talk to Poppy and Ben for a while in the evening.

Despite the weather being really cold Mas and I reluctantly dragged ourselves out and away, and went swimming. As it was so cold there were hardly any people in the pool. At one point two very tattooed people jumped into the pool, and swam for about five minutes and left looking virtuous and pleased with themselves. Mas and I managed to stay in for an hour. We felt much warmer when we left, and invigorated.

On the way home we stopped off to get some food for Salty, and a couple of other things.
In the evening I began to think about what I want to paint next, and trying to whip up some enthusiasm.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Fun flying visit and burglary

Pete phoned to say he and Lorraine would be calling in briefly before going to a wedding reception at Hatfield House, around 6.00 in the afternoon. They also planned to stay overnight and have breakfast with us before going back to Brighton.

I tidied up a bit, and they arrived as planned. We managed to have time to chat before they went off for the evening. Mas and I had dinner and watched TV until they returned. Then Mas made a sandwhich for them.

In the morning we had a light breakfast, just toast and coffee, but hung around talking for a while, and sorting out a few jars of jam for them to take. I tried to persuade Pete to take some of his books and old records, but he only took a couple of books back. They left before lunch as Lorraine's parents were visiting Brighton briefly.

When they left we felt at a bit of a loss, so went to Stanmore and got shopping, and had a Sunday lunch at The Man in the Moon which was very enjoyable.
Later that night we found out that the house next door, but one, had been burgled, probably when we were out. The robber had forced the front door and gone in that way!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Alls well that ends well

Mas was to meet friends , so I did more leaf sweeping, and walked for a while in the afternoon. I saw Maheena and Glen briefly, and Ben and Poppy, otherwise a fairly uneventful day.

We went to Stanmore, and Mas found out that money had been fraudulently taken from his account, so after several consultations the bank said that they were unable to prevent these people from taking more for about three weeks, which seems extraordinary. From our point of view the only thing to do seemed to be to close the account and open a new one which is what Mas did. After this we went to the Man in the Moon for a restorative coffee, but this turned out to be so horrible that I could not drink mine. What is going on?

Today I had to go back to the hospital again to see one of the surgical team. Once again I was reassured that all was well, and given another appointment for May next year; I am so pleased that they are taking such good care of me.

When I left the hospital I found it had been raining, but the sun came out briefly and I looked at St. Stephen's church which is undergoing restoration.

When I got home I caught up on a few emails. Mas had bought a couple of Larel and Hardy fims, and we watched one of them. Toby phoned in the evening and chatted which was a nice end to the day.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Tania getting better, and good news for me

On Monday I walked to Stanmore and posted my letter to claim £20, 500.00 as I have been told I have won this! If only! I also went to the bank and got a small amount of shopping and walked back in the sunshine. I saw Ben who is rebuilding the entrance to their house, and also saw Maheena and Glen, and chatted to each in turn.

I swept up leaves as usual, and later called to see how Tania was. She had the flu in a mild dose, but it still seems pretty horrible, and she did not sound well at all, but is over the worst now.
I then spent ages working out how much we spend on gas and electricity, and changed our supplier which should save us more than £100.00 a year, in theory. At this rate I will soon be rich!

Today I went off to hospital to find out the results of my scan. After waiting for almost two hours I saw the doctor who told me that my scan was clear, and blood tests were fine too. I am glad that they take such good care of me!

When I left the hospital, the sun was shining after a heavy downpour of rain, and all seemed right with the world.

In the evening we went next door to Glen and Barry's, and had some sherry, lots of talk and dinner with them. Having put the world to rights we took the long journey home, and watched a quick episode of P.G.Woodehouse's Jeeves and Wooster before bed. A good day!

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Swine Flu and Halloween followed by rainbows

Yesterday was our day to go to St.Albans, but when we phoned Robert we found out that poor Tania has got Swine Flu. I decided it was safest not to meet with Robert as my immunity may be a little low. In any case I was feeling a bit under the weather and did not think the drive would make me feel better, so I decided to take it easy all day.

Later Mas and I got some shopping at Stanmore, and stocked up on Halloween treats. We only had two groups of children visit, the younger ones being watched by their parents at a safe distance. Sadly people are afraid for the safety of their children. Later, people started letting off fireworks, and this will probably go on for weeks now, but is not very comfortable for the animals.

This morning the sun was shining while we had breakfast. This time of the year the sun is so low that it shines through the Chrystal ball, that Toby bought in Portugal, which hangs in our window. This causes an array of small rainbows, that look like exotic tropical fish, to cover walls and ceiling. As they move slightly it gives Salty endless fun chasing them and trying to catch them.

I had a nice email from Therrie giving me all the interesting news from Basle, and did a bit more pinning and sewing. For someone who does not like sewing I seem to do lots of it.