Monday, 28 February 2011

Pancake Day Looms

And with it sugary thoughts of mouthwatering lemony delights, back in the days when I had two small children, plus their Dad, ready to devour them. I used to approach tea time like a well planned battle ( lunch time pancakes were impossible, thanks to school) .
With a large griddle heating on the stove, a tiny coffee cup of oil standing nearby  (so it was easy to measure one quarter teaspoonful as needed to keep the pan stick free) and three large dinner plates at hand, I was ready for the off. The sugar canister and lemon juice were in Dad's control, for I soon learned small children can do dreadful things with these ingredients if left alone.
And so the fun would begin.We decided before hand who would get the first pancake off the production line, and the lucky chosen one would come close to the dining room hatchway, and watch Master Chef (me) as I dipped another tiny coffee cup into the batter and poured its contents onto the griddle, with a satisfying hiss..I was never a pancake tosser - a large kind of fish slice let me flip them over once the first side started to bubble, and from then on, it was a race to see if the cook or the munchers won each round!.Happy days!

It was Willow's Magpie that called forth these memories, although her illustration is a trifle gory! I can promise you, no blood was spilt in my kitchen on any Shrove Tuesday!

A bloody hand print on the glass?
Things came to a pretty pass
when pancake day turned very sour
and ended when I murdered our
kiddywinks - the dreaded crew
who shouted "More! Two will not do!"

This is dedicated to my kids, who used to demand a constant supply of pancakes until their little bellies were full to bursting! Hehehe! I hasten to add, they are to this day alive and kicking, and as fond of pancakes as ever!

Who Could Resist

A Fairy? Look at this one for example. What is going on I wonder? Here's my guess!

All very well saying "If the shoe fits!" in that wise way, but why not use a bit of Fairy Powder to produce a perfect match, shoe to foot?

This is my Microfiction Monday 140 characters for Susan over at Stony River, where you can find more examples of brevity for your amusement...

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Photo Fun

How's about this for a picture to start the memories flowing? Totalfeckineejit, The Poetry Bus driver and original instigator of the whole thing, has given us a selection of photos, with a request to write fourteen lines of poetry about one of them as the price of a Ticket To Ride in his vehicle this week.

Mention of fourteen lines made me think 'Sonnet', a poetic form of which I am inordinately fond. But being contrary, my muse kicked that idea into touch, and instead came up with a more light hearted set of seven rhyming couplets, of sorts, to add up to the required number.

The photo itself is so delightful, I can't resit the temptation to cross reference it to Alan and Kat's Sepia Saturday, despite this being Sunday, and despite the Poetry Bus journey starting on whichever day the driver revs the engine!

Lazy Days

Once life was leisurely,
simple, pleasurely.
A donkey and cart
pleased a boy's heart
when he held the reins.
The ill gotten gains
of a day in the sun
for everyone,
might be found
in hedges around
the place.
But to chase
the berries or flowers
might take hours!

Friday, 25 February 2011

Long Ago And Far Away

My Dad The Sailor-Smoker!
As Sepia Saturday is on the horizon again, and features ships this week, I though I'd share this photo of my Dad enjoying a spot of sunshine - and I hate to say, a cigarette! I've probably mentioned some of the following details before - in which case forgive me - but not all of you will have read my earlier ramblings!

During the war,when Dad was away at sea, Mum and I stayed with Granny Ada. Mum shared Gran's double bed in the back bedroom and my cot was against the wall to the left of the door, with the fireplace at its foot.  I don't remember this ever being lit, though I swear black's white I once saw a tiny mouse scuttle to hide under its basket. Mum denied it, but to this day, I'm certain it wasn't a figment of my imagination.

The base of the cot was the usual, old fashioned, wire framed base which balanced on the ledge at  the  bottom of the bars. One night, I must have fidgeted a bit enthusiastically, for one end of the base fell off the supports, and I found myself  head down, feet up, as though I was on the slopes of Portsdown Hill!  Guess I was so used to the bombs, it was no surprise to encounter a different kind of thing that went bump in the night.

'Mum!'  I called out in alarm. Gran, who was either still awake anyway, or simply quicker to come to than Mum, looked across and said 'It's alright Dorry, she's still tucked in!'- as if she was prepared to leave me at that precarious angle for the rest of the night! Luckily, Mum saw things differently… (Long afterwards,when I was older, we all three managed to laugh at the ridiculous situation many times over.)

Eventually,  I was old enough to go upstairs on my own, and I had another lucky escape one day. On Gran's dressing table stood a candle  and a box of matches. How exciting! I thought I'd have a go at lighting it, as I'd seen Uncle Fred strike enough matches to light his cigarettes. It might be fun to have a go myself…   I struck the match on the side of the box, and joy, joy, it lit ! However, the smoke drifted up my nose something awful, and made me catch my breath. I quickly blew hard to put the flame out. At this point, Mum realised I'd gone AWOL, and up the stairs floated the dreaded words, 'What are you doing up there?' Then I got the dressing down I deserved, for the smell of the spent match was enough to give the game away, without my spluttering. As if the German bombs and incendiaries weren't enough, I was doing my own pyromaniac impression. At least it put me off smoke for the rest of my life, so cigarettes never became an attraction.
Me with Granny Ada

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Goggling at Google

This image is the heading on today's Google page.
Am I the only one who finds annoying the rapidly changing succession of ludicrous attempts at portraying the letters      G O O G L E in ever contorted forms?
With the number of idiosyncratic happenings so many of us find in and around Google Blogger, would their technical people not be better employed ironing out some of these glitches, rather that playing games with their heading, ad nauseam?

Grouch, moan, groan, grumble... Who agrees with me?

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Shock Horror!

Have you ever caught sight of yourself in a mirror and, for a split second, not known you were looking at YOU? It's a slightly unnerving experience, though I'd be hard put to work out why. I mean, surely we always know what we look like at some level of consciousness?

But what about old photos? I was looking through the tiny computerised images of ones that my Bro sent me, and one dark photo made me want to take a closer look. Hence the shock was me!? Caught half-blink, and taken in only available light, it gives a strange, other world feel to the me-that-was, back in 1974...ish.

I seem to remember, Bro often 'bounced' the flashlight by directing it towards the walls or ceiling, and that may be what he did in this case.

Many of his rolls of film were not developed and printed as soon as he'd finished them, but travelled, unseen, all the way to New Zealand, and endured the traumas of a flooded basement before his dogged persistence rescued them and transferred his images to the computer.

 I always knew he was a dab hand with a camera, but being able to see his pictures en masse, in miniature, as they appear in my folders, gives me a whole new perspective of The Bearded Wonder, as I affectionately think of him! LOL

And now here's a beautiful 'Family Tree' photo of his wife and children that was taken round about the same time as my mug shot. Have a putty medal for it Bro! It's a corker...

And a big thank you to The Power Behind The Throne who was probably responsible for this shot of The Artist At Work! >>>>>>>>

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Look Out People!

On clicking the 'Comments' tab which appears on the dashboard page of Blogger, I saw that mine was telling me nine thousand plus comments were on the list! Now, this seemed like an awful lot of wasted computer brainpower, so I clicked 'select all' and 'delete'. As soon as I'd done this, I had misgivings. The screen told me 25 comments had been deleted, and when I went to my latest blog page to inspect the damage, 25 of my 36 comments received regarding Auntie Dorothy, had indeed been deleted FROM MY BLOG PAGE! Not from the stupid list under the comment tab of the dashboard, as I'd expected. Thank goodness the 'all' wasn't ALL, or I'd have no comments anywhere.

I can't believe
1) That I was daft enough to trust anything on Blogger without asking somebody else first, and
2) That Blogger has such an apparently useless feature in the first place.
Any comment may be deleted at any time by the blog owner, so why this confusing belt and braces job?

 Apologies to all my lovely followers who took the time and trouble to write me explanations of their own name likes and dislikes. I have inadvertently resigned them to the great Hole In The Sky where such Blogger Gaffs finally come to rest. I'm SO sorry, people!

LATE EXTRA Some mistakes can be rectified! By laboriously going through my email notifications of comments, I've managed to re-instate all except seven of those I deleted. Although they show the Jinksy name on them, the correct author's name does appear at the end of each. Better than nothing, eh?!!

Friday, 11 February 2011

What's In A Name?

Auntie Dorothy
Looking through my picture folders just now, I found this photo I took many years ago.

I still love looking at this beautiful lady, who was one of my husband's aunties.  She, together with my own Auntie Nell, who was also christened Dorothy, was part of the reason why we chose to give our  daughter the name Dorothy for her middle name. Unfortunately, this was not appreciated by my offspring, even though I explained it meant 'Gift of God', and was particularly appropriate as I had almost given up producing a baby!
I wonder how many of us are happy with the names our parents chose for us?

I've linked this to Sepia Saturday, as Friday is so close to the weekend! 

Saturday Morning Extra! I've just remembered I have a photo of her taken on 21 December, 1921. Even more beautiful, eh?

Monday, 7 February 2011

Those Were The Days

Way before the advent of towns and shops, let alone supermarkets, people set great store by local markets. Self sufficiency was a way of life, but villagers still needed to buy, or barter for, produce not of their own making. Today, Monday's Child has an illustration by Kate Greenaway, of one such market, for which I've supplied a little ditty for the youngsters - or the young at heart - which amounts to the same thing! Thanks, bkm!

The piper played a merry tune,
though dressed in night attire.
He should have waited for the moon
to peep around the spire!

The butcher looked on with alarm
but children ran a-pace,
for music added extra charm
to the quiet market place.

Lady Greensleeves could, I'm sure
sell her cabbages to kings,
or stripey marrows to the poor,
for they were handsome things.

The baker balanced on his head,
with careful concentration,
a tray of pies and rolls of bread -
he deserves our admiration!

The villagers from far and near
soon came to join the fun.
That market day, it's very clear,
was enjoyed by everyone.

Sunday, 6 February 2011


This is a Google Image - not mine!
Blogpals know I usually post about my life's little traumas as and when they happen, but I've been mulling over this one for a while. Leaving out medical minutiae, suffice it to say, a 'phone call from my Doctor last Wednesday had me zipping to the surgery to pick up a prescription.

The pills were to be taken four times a day, with or after food, so as it was lunchtime by then, I quickly made a ham sandwich and a salad, and dutifully swallowed a tablet. I thought, as it was relatively large, that it had scratched my throat on the way down, for I noticed an uncomfortable sensation in the tonsil area that had me swigging more water, then opting for a choc-ice to cool it down.

The leaflet which came in the pill packet caught my eye, as I started to fill my pillbox, and it unfolded to show the following:- Like all medicines, it can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.
It didn't take me long to realise I was one of the few!  My throat was itching, and the irritation even spread inside up to my ears! I looked in a mirror, and my uvula looked swollen and there was a bright red rash down the side of my neck. Eek!

Within a few seconds, I felt my lips swelling, at which point I rang the surgery for advice. The receptionist said she'd get the Doctor to callback immediately. It was getting hard to talk by now, so when Doctor Hughes told me to phone for an ambulance, I asked her if she could do it for me.

Next , an operator from the ambulance service telephoned and said she's stay on the line until I could tell her the medic's car was at my door, which it was within a couple of minutes.

By this time, I had red patches appearing on my skin, and I was itching like fury. The medic opened her box of tricks, while asking me lots of questions, and put  a cannula in my arm , into which she injected a hearty dose of  Piriton.

About five minutes later, the ambulance plus two more medics appeared on the scene, and transported me to the Emergency Department of Queen Alexandra Hospital - about a ten minute drive away.
At this point , I was the colour of a lobster, and felt as though I had sunburn, and was shivering into the bargain.
Thus I spent an entertaining three hours being poked, prodded, wired up, fed pills and kept under observation until I once again resembled a human being instead of a crustacean!.
I was then allowed home, none the worse for my little adventure, but a few days anti-histamine pills kept my brain rather dozy, hence the time delay before letting you share in the excitement! Hehehe!

A Serious Note Creeps In

In one of those Blogland coincidences, as a subject for his Sunday 160 characters, Monkey Man suggested 'War?', then proceeded to write a fun piece about a different kind of explosion. But the word to me has a profound meaning, for I was born during one, and grew up with its aftermath in evidence all around the stricken city of Portsmouth. Which perhaps explains my own 160 this week.

I think wars create more problems than they solve. The warring factions need to communicate, understand their opponents viewpoint, or hostility will continue.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Crest Of A Wave?

Not quite! My Dad often drew crests of a different kind, when he was on board ship. I always liked this one, because of the garlanded animal... The caption reads 'Royal Warwickshire', and below the signature it says 'Fowey' - one of the ship's Dad served on.

It's another offering for Sepia Saturday, taken from my Pa's Autograph Album.

LATE EDITION EXTRA !  I've found this cap badge for The Royal Warwickshire Regiment,  thanks to Google , which could be purchased for the princely sum of £7.50 ! There's lots of information available if anyone wants to know more about the regiment.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Early Morning Or Late Night?

It's 1.30am, whatever you want to call it. Probably that explains why my brain has decided to post Willow's Magpie picture, for a quickie before bed...

I think a thick brick
is not as thick as a plank,
but far swankier.
P.S.Steven says that should be 'thwankier!' He's right!

Who says a haiku has to be sensible? 

Perhaps I should have gone straight to bed at that point. But no. Instead, I wanderered along a Blogland path or two and found the name Napple Notes had been taken in vain by a Welsh lady (one whom I have visited before) who bears the delightful name of Ada Trellis. It was clear from what she had written, that 'sensible' was probably the last adjective one would choose to describe her penmanship, if her latest post was anything to go by... Click on her name to decide for yourself whether we are sisters under the skin...