Monthly Archives: March 2008

An Afternoon Stroll

Yesterday I went for a walk. The sun was shining but being a very cold day I wrapped up well. The direction was planned before leaving home. Learning from my blogging friends I now bring my camera with me. Ok, to some of you it is a toy camera but it caters to my very amateurish needs.

Many years ago Co Antrim in Northern Ireland played a major part in the Linen Industry. Scattered across the Countryside are the skeletons of Flax and linen Mills.

Amongst the trees is an old Flax Mill, no longer used for treating flax. The major part of the building is now derelict, but work of some form takes place in smaller newer buildings at the rear.

I love the character of the place and always wonder why so many places are allowed to die and new faceless buildings erected close by. Surely with modern methods it should be possible to at least keep the shell and modernise the interior.

Further along the road is a dam, one of three that were used to wash the flax before it was then laid out in the fields to dry and bleach. This is the only dam now at the mill the others were drained and filled in years ago.

A stream runs alongside the main building and further upstream it borders private land and has been landscaped.

Shortly after taking these shots a shower of bitter hail stung my face and I returned to the warmth and comfort of home.

Do you wash your Smalls?

Do you wash your smalls before wearing them?


I heard on BBC Radio 4 News headlines at noon that “Woman suffers anaphylactic shock from underwear she bought in Primark UK”. I checked the News links but cannot find it anywhere at the moment.

What the heck was the underwear made from. Surely she washed the items first.

I twittered about it and immediately someone came back to say she never washed new items. How many others out there think New = Clean?

When we buy new clothes they look perfect, clean and crisp but are they? They usually have some form of finishing product on them, particularly blouses and shirts to give them the crisp look. In the shop alone how many times have the items been handled. Think about it. Do you pick up clothing items to examine them? Are your hands clean. Do you try them on? Have you had a shower before going shopping or have you nipped in after a hard sweaty day in the office? How many others have done that before you. Were you/they eating on the run before entering the shop… perhaps snacking on Peanuts or other known irritant.

In the making process how many hands have touched the fabrics. Did the items fall on the floor in the workshops and was it clean. So many of our clothes come from overseas sweatshops where staff are paid a pittance. If you were paid a pittance would it encourage you to take pride in your work? Is hand washing part of the culture?

If companies are focused on profit margins will they really care about the working conditions of the manufacturers or workshops.

Now your Easter Bonnet may not take washing, but please launder the clothes that touch your skin.

Happy Easter.

No Post

I think I over slept.

The head is foggy and there will be no post.

Royal Mail has the day off and so will Grannymar.

Talk among yourselves for now

Back tomorrow.

Thursday Special ~ Question Time

I have a question

A Sunday school teacher asked her class why Joseph and Mary took Jesus with them to Jerusalem. A small child replied: “They couldn’t get a baby-sitter.”


Once you’re in heaven, do you get stuck wearing the clothes you were buried in for eternity?


What disease did cured ham actually have?


Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the Bus lane?

^_^ ^_^ ^_^

If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons?

Moving and Shaking

I know several people with itchy feet syndrome.

It seems to be more evident as spring raises its sleepy head from the grey blanket of winter. The new life we see around us like the first snowdrop or crocus pushing its way through frozen ground or daffodils fluttering in the breeze make us hanker for new growth in our lives. The new growth might manifest itself in a change of routine, a new hobby, a career move or a new relationship.

None of these will happen unless we are open and willing to accept change. Sometimes the idea of change is difficult to accept. We are changing every day without realising it. We are a day older and the happenings of the previous day have left a mark, even if we are unable to see it.

Firstly we must be open to the change and prepare for it. If you are going to a party, and know your heart’s desire will be there, what do you do? Have a shower, wash the hair, wear clean pressed clothes etc. In other words = Prepare

If you are going to the Gym, well you need the new shorts & top and of course the right trainers = Prepare

If you are going to an Art class, well you need to buy a sketch pad and pencils or paints and brushes = Prepare

What about the career move? = Prepare

How do I suggest you do that? Go read an excellent blog post from one of my Toyboys; Rowan Manahan puts it so much better than I ever could. I would go as far as saying keep a copy of the post close to you and read it on a regular basis. It applies not only to job hunting but to life itself:

Being prepared – getting a foot in the door and not in your mouth

Now when you find your truelove and make your millions, don’t forget to come back and tell Grannymar.

Little Meme


Things that are supposed to smell nice, and do

A freshly bathed baby

Freshly washed hair

Bread or cake freshly baked from the oven

Bacon grilling

Eternity perfume

Things that are not supposed to smell nice, and don’t

Dirty socks

Rotting food


Unwashed Bodies

Stale urine, (but it is great for the compost heap!)

Things that shouldn’t smell nice, but do



Nail varnish

Warm Tar

Pipe smoke

I’d love to spend a penny…

Another leaf has fallen from the tree that is my life.

My sister phoned to let me know about the death this morning of a man who was part of our childhood. Small in stature, but big in heart, he was known and respected throughout the neighbourhood. You have heard about him before today, I talked about him here.

Mr ‘O’ was always helpful, always happy and smiling. He owned the local newsagents and sweet shop. We were allowed to dally for an hour before deciding how to get the best value for the pennies burning a hole in our hot little hands. “How much is a this Mr O”, or “How many of those for a penny” were questions always answered with patience and a smile.

When he knew that Jack & Grannymar, yes, it was always Jack first, were coming down to Dublin for a weekend he ordered an extra copy of Jack’s favourite English paper!

Sweet jars

Sweet jars in a row like these will always be a reminder of Mr O. RIP.

Food Monday ~ Stuffed Bacon Rolls

Happy St Patrick’s day to one and all!

I went looking for a green, white and yellow dish, alas I could not find one.


12 slices maple cured streaky bacon
½ lb sausage meat
2 ozs Bread crumbs
few dried apricots chopped
1tsp sunflower seeds
few sultanas
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 eggs
227g tin water chestnuts chopped
Black pepper
dash Worcestershire sauce
pinch mixed spice

Stretch the bacon with the back of a knife. Combine all the remaining ingredients. Divide the mixture and wrap in a slice of bacon. Place in an oven proof dish and bake for 25-30 minutes.

The important things in life

I have an acquaintance with a life sentence!

She has received the news none of us want to hear. The illness she has is not curable and the time scale is very short. Three young children wander about the house bewildered because they know something is wrong, yet they do not know what it is. Mum is prone to crying and dad and granny are constantly trying to reassure her.

Mum realises that she will never see her children grow up, not be there for many more birthdays, or family celebrations, or to comfort them in times of need. She worries that they might forget her. Or that they will remember her as the person always lying under a rug on the couch crying.

She has baby name tags, early pictures, bootees, baby toys and locks of hair in a treasure box. I have suggested to her to have three boxes, one for each child with their name on it, in her own handwriting. Then place the items for each child in their special box. Next I suggested that she write letters to each child in turn.

“Start writing now”, I said; “beginning with how you felt when you heard that they were expected, the planning and preparations for their arrival”. I suggested she tell them how special they are and about the little things that made her heart sing. Write about her feelings for them now, and of all the hopes and dreams she carries for them.

Put each letter in an envelope and seal it, Put each child’s name, and the date when you want them to get it, on the front. Think about this date, 18th, 21st birthdays of even on your death.

What better gift can a mother give!

While writing this I received an email from a dear friend. The attachment was a story:

The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “yes.”

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now,” said the professor as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things…. Your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favourite passions— and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else— the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

“Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and put out the rubbish. Take care of the golf balls first- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked.”

The coffee just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.

The Stills of Life

Still proud ~ of my Elly

Still thinking ~ I’m 30 in my head

Still grateful ~ for life, love and friends

Still enjoying ~ meeting new friends

Still wondering ~ what I am here for.

Still hoping ~ to be a grandmother one day

Still working ~ out what life is all about

Still facing ~ life one day at a time

Still pleased ~ about life’s little pleasures

Still trying ~ to learn something new everyday

Still glad ~ I started to blog

Still amazed ~ people read the rubbish I write

Still eating ~ a little of what I fancy. Never mind the Doctors!

Still dancing ~ round the room on rainy days

Still breathing ~ works best when not chasing Toyboys!

What about You?