Monthly Archives: July 2009

Used Stamps

When I was young we used to collect the stamps from all incoming letters.  They were saved in a large envelope and when it was full, passed on to a charity.  The stamps needed to be in good condition and still attached to a small section of envelope.  The chosen charity then soaked and removed the stamps from the backing paper and when dry sorted them according to country and price denomination.  They were then sold to stamp collectors.

Down the years in each place of employment, I continued to collect the stamps from all the post and pass them on.  I still to this day, remove the stamps.  Nowadays the number of letters has reduced and most are franked, but I do receive some stamped items from across the globe.  My problem now is where to send them.  Several of the recipients from the past no longer collect them.

Do you know of a charity that accepts used stamps today?


Once more I would like to remind you about FCB@5 (Friday Consortium Blogging at Five p.m.).

To date we had topics selected by:

  • Ashok – India = Stereotyping
  • Conrad – USA = Creativity

Today it is the turn of Ramana – (Pune, India) to provide us with something to test the grey cells.  While the boys are scratching their heads and prancing about on their keyboards I am off to play chase the dust…..

See You at 5pm!

Back Scratching!

On the BBC, they refer to the summer months as the silly season. Our UK Parliament goes into recess, and the boys at the Beeb seem to think that the world of news has hibernated. In order to justify the licence fee, they scrape the dregs of the barrel for stories to fill the early morning programme from 6am to 9 each weekday.

The other day they told us about Ranchers in the good old US of A, that are now docking the tails of cows so that the farmers who milk them, are not fanned by a warm wet and fragrant fertilizer filled tail, as they work. “Holy Cow” (with due apologies to the anarchic Hindu), what will they think of next?

The boys at the ‘Loose Consortium’ are suffering their own silly season; Global warming has gone to their heads.

It all began with ‘Ramana the anarchist’, causing a stir here on my blog, about my shapely legs! For penance I set him a task to give us an essay on Ganesha on his blog. Off he went with his tail mouse between his legs to make reparation. Conrad got jealous at the lack of attention, so he invented ‘Tony, the God of holy water’!

Ashok, our legal eagle is busy with his nose in his books to keep me on the right side of the law, while Maynard, who does not have a blog, announced that he would be scratching his back on a tree. Funny stuff this back scratching….. Now I know he likes playing out on the range, but I can feel it in my water, and Ireland is full of water, that his range is very broad. 😉

I am stirring my pot, a slow process and in the mean time I leave you with this wise old Elephant….

The Blind Men and the Elephant

by John Godfrey Saxe (1816-1887)

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, Ho! What have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
I see, quoth he, the Elephant
Is very like a snake!

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain, quoth he;
‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: Even the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!?

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
I see, quoth he, the Elephant
Is very like a rope!

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!


So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

I have no idea where I found this poem it has been in my archives for some time, waiting for just the right moment.

Handy Hints for Wednesday ~ 37

Keep salt moisture free. Put two grains if rice in the shaker. It will absorb moisture.

Need a spectacle cleaner? Vinegar diluted in water rubbed on the lens and then polished off with a soft lint free cloth. Voila! Like new again.

Easily reduce ashtray smell. Keep a small amount of baking soda in ashtrays at all times.

Anyone tried this tip to stop cabbage odours? Throw a couple of walnut kernels in pot while cooking.

When you need soft butter quickly…. If your butter is frozen or very solid, grate it.

I am learning….


  • Sit upright in a high chair with arm rests.
  • Avoid low chairs.
  • Use a sock aid to put on stockings.
  • Use a long handled shoe horn to put on my shoes.
  • Not to pivot on my  leg when walking or allow my leg to rotate out or in excessively.
  • Remember NOT to cross my legs while sitting or lying in bed (wonder if I can do it while fibbing?).
  • Have one way traffic in bed – get in and out of bed on the side of the hip to be operated on.
  • Use a pillow between my legs in bed to keep my new hip in the correct position (do you think I could get away with substituting a toyboy?).

Any takers for my sandals….

Food Monday ~ Potato Cakes

Occasionally for lunch I enjoy potato cakes with Clonakilty black pudding and stewed apple.

Potato Cakes

1½ lb potatoes
1 Egg, beaten
2 tablespoons Spring Onions, chopped
Flour for dusting
1oz Butter

Peel the potatoes and cut in 1inch chunks.Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for 12 minutes, until cooked.Drain well mash, then beat in the egg, stir in the spring onions and season to taste.Shape spoonfuls of potato into rounds about ½ inch thick on a lightly floured board.Melt the butter in a large frying pan and fry the potato cakes in batches for about 5 minutes until golden brown, turning once.

The Healing Tree

About a week ago I had a blog post with trees and leaves at its heart. Today a tree is mentioned but from a completely different angle and purpose.

From time to time I have brought to your attention a piece of sculpture from my travels and each one has been well received. Now I have another one.

I had reason to visit Antrim Area Hospital, not for the first time, but the other day I was well prepared, the visit was short and I had brought my camera.

The Healing Tree is a bronze cast sculpture, by Brian Connolly who hails from Ballymoney, Co. Antrim, in Northern Ireland. It is sited in the Forecourt and owned by Antrim Area Hospital.

The theme is ‘mutual support’ and the hollowed-out figures of two men and two women are in a sitting position, about 1.2 metres high. They are positioned in a circle, facing outwards, with each supporting the other. The rear surface of each figure is textured with elements of bandages and embedded leaves. The tree in the centre is an ornamental Norwegian Maple and it is “symbolic of life around which we are placed”.

Unfortunately there was a car on my tail as I was leaving the car park, so I was unable to stop and photograph The Swans another sculpture on a bank at the side of the roadway.

Did You forget?

Friday posting will be at the later time of 5pm (GMT + 1:00)

We are now into week 2 of the ‘loose consortium’ and the subject today will be…..



Ah, why spoil the surprise… come back at five to see what topic Ashok has chosen for us.

In the meantime I am off to have a nice cup of coffee…

Don’t forget to visit:

for their take on the subject for today.