Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Putting OnThe Glitz....



I've been looking through the shops' Christmas folders ...

It's not enough any more to crawl out of bed , shove the Roast of your choice ( Turkey, Beef, Goose or Nut ) into the oven and collapse over some burnt toast, while admiring the contents of someone's stocking . No, one's supposed to dress up for the occasion ...in special Christmas gear. And I don't just mean a Santa hat . You've all got to have the right onesie

You
 
 The children

The dog

And the husband


Whilst drinking an Apple, Banana, Mango, Avocado and Spinach smoothie
                
         ....I'm looking forward to it

Monday, 11 December 2017

Snow , Salt And Socks.


Yesterday it snowed everywhere . And , as a family , we don't really do snow .

In Leeuwarden , I sat cosily inside , eating baked apples and reading a murder story. In Amsterdam , YD resolutely walked round the block and rushed back up to her flat and Netflix . In London , Smitonius refilled both bird feeders.  In Leicester , Middle Daughter and family were mildly surprised to find they had two sleds and took them off to the park , after lunch.

Here the Town Hall dusted off the salt spreaders and they trundled round town with flashing golden lights all day , joining in the Christmas fun . Then the local news warned us that so much slushy,  salty snow could freeze solid overnight and might make early roads extremely dangerous .

And this morning , I opened an email from MD to find a photo of Elder Grandson's lower lip twice as large as usual with some decorative embroidery on it . Not a sledding accident ; no sooner than they'd got home than he'd fallen on the stairs , split his lip and ended the day in A&E . Outraged, later on the 'phone today to me, he explained , "I had SNOW on my sock".

Oh dear , perhaps he'll never be part of the bobsleigh team. 

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

How Can I Have Forgotten ?


It's only 340 days or so ago , so how can I have forgotten that days in December shrink from twentyfour hours to seven , that in December rolls of Sellotape are only two foot long and that in December the town's entire population takes it in turns to join the queue in the Post Office.

 That there'll be wet snow on the day you've arranged to meet a vague acquaintance for coffee and icy fog when you go Christmas shopping in Groningen . And no heating on the train when you come back from Amsterdam.

Still , at least this year , even though M&S has closed in Holland, I've managed to get hold of a Christmas pudding , know where the nutcracker is and have posted the cards so if all else fails Christmas won't be a complete washout.

 
And I've seen the perfect Christmas shoes.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Keeping Busy In My Old Age ...



No , I haven't slipped down the back of the sofa or gone off on a round the world trip ... 

I've just been pursuing a certain Pokemon character . I've got the whole thing down to a T .

Pick the toy shop with the most plastic clutter in the window . Fight your way though a sea of pink sparkly things and fluffy things . Interrupt one of the employees who is rushing out of the stock room with a trolley piled high with shiny boxes .

The best informed member of staff usually looks too young to work anywhere . You might in fact remember him from his pre-school meltdown days , in which case don't remind him that he was frightened of the swing or forget to admire his almost-moustache . Don't try to impress him with your computer skills ; let him find the right Pokemon pages.

If  they haven't got what you want , don't despair . Have a coffee and look in another shop or two .

 By day three , get on a train and widen the search.  Eventually, like me,  you'll find something roughly right and the manager will throw in a free pack of Pokemon cards, delighted with the prospect of getting rid of you .

On the way back to the station, remember that Birthday Boy and all his/our relatives will need Christmas presents next month .

Monday, 6 November 2017

Bits and Pieces



Aldi have always sold roasted almonds . I was just rather surprised last week to find that the ones they now stock are adorable . It says so on the packet .

I'm temporarily immortal , having just had the 'flu vaccination .Can't help feeling that if I'm going to do anything remotely risky , this might be the moment .

Though when we tried some Tai Chi this week at the gym , it was swiftly demonstrated that I'm not going to be part of any band of Superior Pensioners weaving graceful patterns in the local park's dawn light . Not having any coordination at all , I kept on getting teetery and tied in knots . All attempts to remain serious , graceful and balanced reduced me to giggling hiccups , so I had to retire to the treadmill instead .  There's something very sobering about the treadmill ...
The Class Swot persevered and , taking to it like a duck to water , asked for more next week . Meanwhile I seemed  to be rediscovering my teenage silly-arse self .

The sun shone for an hour this afternoon and I took the chance to have a coffee on the balcony . Sudden commotion as two little boys cycled past , bells ringing and bellowing "Alarm !", "Alarm! " . Had I not just poured out the coffee , I might have joined them ... it looked much more fun than dusting . 

 
Is everybody else's deep freeze full of pumpkin soup too ?

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Miaow !

The new ... in theory , temporary ... municipal library which rejoices in the name "Pop-Up Library" ( such a dispiriting name ) is full of bewildered Leeuwarders , cardboard boxes , new machines , an assortment of old armchairs and new Ikea dining tables , a windup gramaphone and the roaring of mechanical dinosaurs in the lobby .
And , depending on the time of day , Dutch lessons for bewildered foreigners , spontaneous Bible lessons by a young man in a wooly hat ,  unofficial lessons/workshops on how to use the new machines for the older staff by the very youngest stagaire  and weird clanking of hot water pipes .
 No , it's not the most peaceful of places any more . 

Until I sat down at one of the tables this afternoon to hunt for my library card and found a cat .


 I think all libraries should have a cat and I hope he comes to the old jail/new library , sometime in the Spring . 

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Maternal Solicitude ...

When the children 'phone , you naturally want to hear all their news , so you ask about what's been going on . How are their children , partners , partners' parents , work , their friends , the cats , the garden  ? ...  yes , being related to me must be like being picked up by the KGB .

It's an empty nest thing , I suppose . For some reason it took me ages to get used to not knowing what they were wearing that day , once they'd left .
A fully furnished picture of their home life makes them seem nearer .

And now Younger Daughter has introduced a further character ... After years of showing no interest in gardening or of growing anything at all , she now has a plant .
So now , of course , every week I'm also asking after Mint . Together we glowed as she reported that it had two new "branches" ( she's still not mastered the jargon but it's just a question of time ) ...

Now , as long as I don't start saying , "And how's Minty this week ? "...