Drugs, food and science

Brighid sent me a link to a very interesting post by Anne, last night, I thought many of you might like to read it.

Drugs, food and science.

I suggest you read the article first before  my thoughts below.

I am no scientist, but the part about the medications, particularly statins, I certainly agree with. I was prescribed statins a number of years ago, and ended up almost bedridden, unable to stand upright and in constant pain. I could not remember what I was supposed to be doing half the time, though I put that down to my being in pain.

Statins are cheap and that is why they are so widely prescribed. Two of my brothers, one in Australia and another in Dublin, had the same trouble as I had with meds. Each spoke to me at different times without knowing the other had done so. The common denominator for the three of us was a problem with Statins. I gave them the name of my replacement drug and told them to go back and talk to their doctors. Thankfully they listened and life has improved for all of us.

There are people out there who are on prescribed medications , and without consultation buy over the counter rubbish because Joe Soap swears by it. They forget it can react in a bad way to the prescribed items they are swallowing.

Now, the story about Mr Green Smoothie, pleading for donations to make a video, scares me. We are told he says:

He has everything he needs to make it (except money). He is an experienced film maker, has the necessary equipment, has doctors lined up to do blood work, has amazing athletes to cooperate — presumably to consume green smoothies. All he needs to prove his hypothesis — that green smoothies enhance athletic performance — is money.

If the evidence is so strong, how come some professionals are not ready to back him?

The GMO argument is another mine field and alas, I do not know enough to make any claims one way or the other. I do know that every second person I meet these days seems to suffer from some allergy.

I wonder if it is the age of the internet and the speed of how news, both good and bad travels the globe. You know how it is: A first hand story, becomes unrecognizable by the time it is fourth hand. This article is a case in point:

Could new polypill save thousands of lives?

The National Health Service (NHS) is our UK government provided health care. It shows how stories can spread like wildfire.

In my grandparents day, they did not have modern medications and antibiotics, so depended on the local ‘healer’ for remedies. We had a book at home years ago of these ancient remedies and they would scare the life out of you.

Enough from me, I need to make my breakfast.

Five years

In ways five years is not a long time.

Sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago.

While searching online for something totally different this morning, I somehow came across this:

The people behind the blogs say hello, please.

That one little sentence brought bloggers out of the woods… like a colony of ants on a sunny day. Well over forty of them stood as if at an AA meeting to recite their names and share their blogs.

Looking down that list, they were all familiar names to me, most I had met in real life. A fun bunch of people, quite a few were younger than my daughter. Only one that I know of, has been taken from us and the woes of this world. RIP Debbie. Many have moved on to other more instant distractions like Facebook and twitter, but quite a few continue to blog.

I had met the questioner across a crowded room a few months earlier. Bloggers, meetings, social events, they all went hand in hand. I was often heard to say back then: The wonderful thing about blogging, is that you get to know the person from the inside, without the distraction of the outer wrapping!

Our friendship grew and we have remained friends. I think!!!!!

Why am I mentioning this today, you may well ask. As Ramana would say: Serendipity!

It has come to my notice that Blog Awards Ireland 2013 announced the date for the awards event on 12th October 2013 in the Osprey Hotel in Naas.  Nominations are now open.

Anyone from around the globe, can nominate their favourite Irish blog for one of the thirty one categories.

In previous years all nominated bloggers needed to be resident on the island of Ireland to be eligible. This year there is a new category:

Best Blog From The Irish Diaspora

This category is open to any blogger who has Irish roots and lives overseas. It can be about any topic and must be a good quality blog. Open to those blogging in all countries.

I do notice an extra question for this category: From which county in Ireland does the blogger hail from? An answer is required in order for the Nomination to be accepted. So sorry, being third generation Irish will not help. :sad:

You can add a ‘Nominate Me’ Button to your blog sidebar.

Nomination button for Blog Awards 2013

Nomination button for Blog Awards 2013

Full instructions of how to do so can be found on the link above.

Now before you go rushing off to nominate all your sisters, cousins and aunts, I would advise you read the list of criteria.  Three of the twelve are below:

  • Are blog posts written consistently/updated regularly?
  • Interaction on the blog in the form of responding to comments and engaging in conversations.
  • Attractive design and ease of navigating.

The Blog Awards are a wonderful platform to discover new friends and sure you never know whose bed you might end up in… even if like me, you get to sleep in it alone!

As we say in Ireland: Have a think, then go nominate and don’t forget to book your bed while you are at it!

Musically needling my yarn

On Saturday afternoon I read about WWKIP – World Wide Knit in Public Day. We were encouraged to hold events not alone on the day but throughout the whole week 8th to 16th of June.

I did go out on Saturday, bringing my wool and needles. I had my crochet and not knitting, but that was allowed. I did not plan where I was going. I have no idea what I expected, but my walk provided no inspiration for a location, so I headed home with my needles not seeing the light of day.

Sunday brought blue skies with 20°C sunshine and a determination to try again to air my yarn and needles for real this time. I had visions of sitting in dappled sunshine and working away.

I chose Clotworthy House/Antrim Castle grounds as there were now plenty of options for places to sit.

In the shade of a well dressed tree, perhaps

A Sun dressed tree to feast the eyes

A Sun dressed tree to feast the eyes

As I walked Through the Courtyard I came across this sign.

Music in the Garden with The Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra

Music in the Garden with The Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra

Bingo! I thought.

Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra (UYJO)  would be playing in the parterre from 2pm for one hour.

People were beginning to gather and the seats were set out ready and waiting

People were beginning to gather and the seats were set out ready and waiting

So I had my walk and came back in time to find a seat, and enjoy the music as I tapped my feet and worked the fingers on my crochet.

Making the final checks as we settled down

Making the final checks as we settled down

No need for formal dress and bow-ties, it was a day to soak up some vitamin D.

“You were not knitting!” I hear you shout.

“Oh yes I was! Well, crocheting actually.”

Both crochet or knitting were allowed according to the website. I had a cardigan in progress and there is less chance of losing stitches when crocheting than with knitting while working out of doors. It was also in a striking shade of Raspberry and more lightly to catch attention, which was the whole point in the exercise: To draw attention to and encourage others to take up or return to the hobby.

Sharing my work and yarning!

Sharing my work and yarning!

It was easy to set the work on my knees as I applauded the young talent. Vocal soloist Ayesha Akkari, entertained us with several numbers including Knock on Wood and Everything.

Vocal soloist Ayesha Akkari Knocks on Wood

Vocal soloist Ayesha Akkari Knocks on Wood

As we listened and tapped our toes, I had the bright idea to speak to musical Director Ken Jordan and ask for a photo to prove I was there. So when the programme ended I walked forward and asked to speak for a few moments.

I Thanked them for their wonderful music and singing as well as the exercise for my tapping toes. I explained why I was playing with my needlework as I listened and said I would be going home to write a blog post about my adventure and linking it to WWKIP. I asked if they had a website or Facebook page to which I might add a link.

Then the crunch bit I dared to ask if I could have that photograph with them. I was even brazen enough to suggest a swap…

Musical Director Ken Jordan & Vocalist Ayesha Akkari
with Grannymar on Saxaphone.

Fair swap – My needlework for a Saxaphone! Do you think I will be allowed to join?

I love to see young talent encouraged and acknowledged. They are a fine group of young people, I wish them well with a life filled with music. May they continue to bring joy, by sharing their talents with the world around them for many a long year!

As they plan their futures I will enjoy listening to the CD they presented me with.

Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra Twenty Twelve CD

Ulster Youth Jazz Orchestra
Twenty Twelve CD

Perhaps some of these young people will read this post, so may I ask my readers to do me a small favour as a sign of encouragement for them. I know where most of you hail from on this globe of ours, but the youngsters will have no idea. At the end of your comment can you please say where you are writing from. e.g: Pune, India or St Johns, Newfoundland, ( I know those two will appear).

Just as I reached the car park, I was stopped by a lovely couple. She wished to ask me about my ‘knitting’. “So that is what you were looking at all the time!” Her husband said.

She had been a knitter, very fond of traditional Aran patterns, in the past and I discovered she also dabbled in cross stitch and other aspects of Needlecraft too. Seeing me working away gave her the urge to begin all over again. She does have a gilet in mind to knit – a great idea if you dislike doing sleeves!

We spoke about wool and I was telling her about a little coffee chop with a section for wool and needles. Several small finished items along with the patterns are on display to encourage people to have a go. It turns out she knew the family that own the shop – the world gets smaller every day! I gave her my card and hope she picks up that phone some day soon. I would love to meet and natter about our ventures with Needlecrafts.

A bull whip Part two

Right class; who remembers A bull whip?

1bullWhip

bull whip from Wikipedia

Ach, come on now, sure it was only five days ago. There might be some excuse for me right now, sure aren’t I getting on a bit….. and drugged to the gills, so you can expect me to get a fact or three wrong. Right?

No way. Not with a legal eagle for a toyboy. He keeps me on my toes.

He swears on all dem big hard bukes. You know the ones….. Every TV drama about the law from Perry Mason, to Rumpole of the Bailey, The Good Wife or Kavanagh Q.C. have a wall of leather bound legal books behind a ginormous desk!

I bet my toyboy eats them for breakfast.

So where did I go wrong?

First off:

Brian reminds me that he joined the musical society after he left school, through a couple of lads who were already members at the time. He began by making some posters for a Talent Competition to raise funds… then he was asked to man the sweet shop at the intervals and slowly he became more involved. he remembers coming to see me at home, prior to Viva Mexico which was a production before Kiss Me Kate.

Secondly:

I did go to Callaghans for the whip, but they were not theatrical outfitters as I stated in my earlier post. They were saddle harness and horse-clothing makers, at 13 to 16 Dame Street, Dublin. That was why asking for and having the whip free of charge for the duration, made such an impression on Brian. I know I should have given the memory corner of my brain a big stir before submitting my homework to print, so with knuckles well rapped, ;) I did a little research and found this humorous poster:

Callaghan & Co

Callaghans Poster from Wikipedia

P.J. Bourke, were theatrical costumiers, in Dame Street, Dublin, (1906-1994). They were in-laws of Eamonn Andrews – Presenter of This is your life (Uk Version). He married Grace Bourke, who lived with her family on the same Avenue where I grew up.

While looking for a photo of Bourkes, I found this interesting article from May 1993.

Gings, another theatrical costumier, was to be found on the other side of the street and I found a picture of Gings in Dame Street Click on the link to see it.

So I got there eventually, sorry it took so long.

A bull whip

Tilly, The Laughing Housewife teased us with a pun the other day:

I’ve planted a riding whip.
I’m hoping for a nice crop.

It was the second mention of a whip in recent days, so I decided it was a sign.

A sign to tell you a little story…..

Meet Brian

Meet Brian

I tease Brian that I knew him since he was wearing short trousers & knee socks. Not quite, but he was in his final year at school when we met at a newly formed Musical & Dramatic Society. We encouraged young school leavers to join, it gave them an interest, a way to mix and interact with adults of a wide variety of ages, to discover new talents and most important – kept them off the streets.

You may not have met Brian before, but you have certainly heard of him. He was the young man who conferred the title Grannymar on me way back in my late twenties. It was a joke to begin with, but everyone in the society latched on to using it, so it stuck. With time it became very much part of me.

Was he being disrespectful? Not a bit. With four brothers & a younger sister, I was well used to the nicknames they had for me!

Brian, now a retired Legal Eagle, spends his time between his homes in Dublin and Spain. All down the years he kept in touch, even if it was a post card from some exotic far flung shore.

One particular post card stands out. A very young Elly (just learning to read), ran to discover what caused the letterbox to rattle. She lived in hope that it might be another letter from her Nana, or a surprise from one of her relations far away.

On this particular occasion it was a Post Card addressed to Grannymar, at my address.

“It’s from Brian!” I was informed.

“It says: I am now an im pe cu nious Barrister. What is im•pe•cu•nious?” asked Elly.

“It means he has no money!” I said.

“Huh! Impecunious…. on Holiday in Ibiza?” Threw back miss Elly. *

Anyways…… the card was placed on the counter and off she went to play.

Right. Where was I? Oh yes, back to the Whip!.

I had a call from Brian the other morning while I was pottering around the house. He was walking back to his Dublin home after leaving his car in for a service. You see the world around you from a different perspective when on two feet, instead of behind the wheel.

Although it was a road he knew well and travelled almost daily when at home, he noticed something outside a house that made him think of me, So he phoned. I’ll keep you guessing for the moment, as it might provide an opportunity for a blog post at a future date.

I did ask if he had taken a photo, but no, he was more interested in sharing what he found, than taking pixtures!

“Anyway, I wouldn’t really like to without permission.” Says he.

“Then you should do what I do, and knock on the door and ask permission. You never know you might be invited in for tea and curranty cake. It might even lead to inspiration for your next novel.” I suggested.

“Did I ever tell you I did that at Bram Stoker’s house?”

Apparently not, so I emailed a link to the piece I wrote about Bram Stoker’s house.

Later that day he replied to my mail:

Excellent… but one could expect no more. Russian jewels bit amazing… imagine us giving a loan to Russia at that time… when some people did not have their breakfast.. should we not remind them of that now?!

He continued:

I remember when we needed the bull whip for Kiss Me Kate – you told us you walked into Callaghan’s, then in Dame St and said to the men there:

I have a problem and wonder if any of you gentlemen could help me?

I need a whip!

The rest is history – we got the whip – beautiful worked in plaited leather and it was there for all the rehearsals and the show – essential for rehearsal to get familiarity with its use.

You have not lost your touch.

Plaited bull whip (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Plaited bull whip (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So there you go. I was a brazen hussy back then.

Callaghan’s, then in Dame St in Dublin were Theatrical Outfitters. I managed to talk my way out of the shop, with as we say in Dublin: the lend of a loan of a bull whip, for the duration of rehearsals and the Show run, without having to pay a rental fee!

Do you think I have changed?

The moral of the story is: if you want something, just ask. The worst that anyone can say is NO!  It does help if you ask nicely!

I spent quite some time trying to find a video clip of the Finale Act 1 of Kiss me Kate, to let you see the bull whip in action, but alas, I could not find a descent version.

* In our house the ‘no biscuits rule’ was set in place as soon as we thought of booking a holiday. Well, we all need to save our pocket money for our holidays. Right? ‘No biscuits’ actually applied to bought biscuits/cookies and sweets. I still filled the tins with home made cake and cookies.

I actually got away with that one…. For YEARS!

The deed is done! I have a NEW HOME

I have cogitated for a year or so, about updating my blog face. A couple of pals set about the task, but work got in the way so I was sitting all forlorn and aging on the byways of life.

Formatting on my old outdated blog, in the last few days was driving me to distraction, plugins were no longer compatible, so after a chat with Elly. I took the bull by the horns and moved house.

This is where you can find the all new bright and shiny Grannymar. So go on and bookmark it.

Well almost!  So far I only have blog posts from way back in the last century moved and it will take time to deal with the others.

The old blog will stand for the moment until I decide which of the 2,400+ posts, in 33 different categories to pull over to my new home. Please be patient with me.

In the meantime, Let the party begin……

Remember http://grannymar.wordpress.com.

30 Questions About Music I Like.

Ramana had a post the other day that gave me food for thought…. sometimes I wish he would just send the food instead of the work. ;)

Do I know thirty songs?

Well now, let me see how I get on…..

1: A song you like with a colour in the title: Brown Girl In the Ring – Boney M.

2: A song you like with a number in the title: Twenty Tiny Fingers – Alma Cogan

3: A song that reminds you of summertime: Here Comes Summer – Dave Clark Five

4: A song that reminds you of someone you would rather forget about: These Boots Are Made for Walkin – Nancy Sinatra

5: A song that needs to be played LOUD: Love Changes Everything – Michael Ball and Il Divo

6: A song that makes you want to dance: The old fashioned way – Charles Aznavour

7: A song to drive to: She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain – Opry Gang

8: A song about drugs or alcohol: Little Old Wine Drinker Me –  Dean Martin

9: A song that makes you happy: Yellow Bird – Roger Whittaker

10: A song that makes you sad: If You go away – Julio Iglesias

11: A song that you never get tired of: Bring Him Home (les Mis) – Colm Wilkinson – Four Tenors

12: A song from your preteen years: How Much Is That Doggie In The Window – Patti Page

13: One of your favourite 80’s songs: Walking in the air – Aled Jones

14: A song that you would love played at your wedding: Just the way you are – Billy Joel

15: A song that is a cover by another artist: I (Who Have Nothing) – Shirley Bassey

The lyrics for “I (Who Have Nothing)” were translated into English by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. They are based on the Italian song “Uno dei tanti” which was released by Joe Sentieri in 1961.

16: One of your favourite classical songs: O Mio Babbino Caro – Kiri Te Kanawa

17: A song that you would sing a duet with on karaoke: Islands In The Stream – Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers

18: A song from the year that you were born: The Anniversary Song – Al Jolson

19: A song that makes you think about life: Que Sera Sera – Doris Day

20: A song that has many meanings to you: Barcelona – Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé

21: A favorite song with a person’s name in the title: Cecilia – Simon & Garfunkel

22: A song that moves you forward: What a wonderful world – LOUIS ARMSTRONG.

23: A song that you think everybody should listen to: The Impossible Dream – Matt Monro

24: A song by a band you wish were still together: When I’m 64- The Beatles

25: A song by an artist no longer living: You ‘re nobody ’til somebody loves you – Dean Martin

26: A song that makes you want to fall in love: Dance Me to the End of Love – Leonard Cohen

27: A song that breaks your heart: Empty Chairs at Empty Tables (Les Mis) – Michael Ball

Maybe this choice should be next to #23, The words might apply to many a home in war torn countries or the homes of those who never return from fighting or are victims of man’s inhumanity to man.

28: A song by an artist with a voice that you love: Sunrise, Sunset – Perry Como

29: A song that you remember from your childhood: You are my Heart’s Delight – David Whitfield

From Land of Smiles, I was in a school production of this! A chorus girl, that’s me!!

30: A song that reminds you of yourself: When I Grow Up – Shirley Temple

You need to see the actions for this one….

What do you think, is it me?

Nancy

It is with great sadness that I share with you some sad news.

My dearly loved friend Nancy Leitz, known to all of you for her sense of fun, laughter, stories and not forgetting her love of vinegar & caster sugar, has not been very visible on my blog recently.

Since Thanksgiving, Nancy’s husband Roy has been fighting a mighty battle of illness. Unfortunately illness won on Wednesday morning, and Roy passed away in his home with the love of his life Nancy by his side.

Roy was a larger than life character, generous family man and a person of great wit, who always had a strong work ethic and he loved to travel.  He will be remembered by family and friends for his stories…

Wonderful stories that Nancy shared with me on many an occasion. You can read one of them here at The Elder Storytelling Place, where Nancy has found an outlet, and is a regular contributor.

Please keep Nancy and her family in your thoughts & prayers in the days & months ahead.

Buttons

Some people like the chocolate variety, usually made from milk chocolate, they are not for me.

I prefer buttons of different varieties.

A selection of buttons from my sewing box.

Button pin badges all acquired from bloggy Geeks! ;) Yes, my Elly is a Geek and the one who pushed me kicking and screaming into the playground of blogging etc.

On a recent visit to Ellyland, I discovered a wonderful repurposing of these little button badges and I wanted in.

“Bring your badges next time, I will sort them out for you!” says Lady E.

I did.

She did!

Not a very good photo, but you get the idea.

The buttons were sorted. Not all were the same size, or depth at the back. Pins were removed, and replaced with very strong magnets. A layer of glue was used to afix the magnets. The magnets are so strong that they danced about the table above and would not sit in a row.

Some backs had a plastic backing to hold the pin, so they were not suitable to use, others were too big or too small.

Even with spacers between them, the magnets held tight.

I had to be careful taking them home. I could not put them in my handbag, my mobile phone was in there. The laptop bag was also out of bounds, so I put them in a pocket of a pair of lined walking trousers and rolled them up in my little case and they were fine.

Now they are home:

Magnetic buttons on my fridge, remind me of my bloggie friends.

Needing distraction

The rain is washing the windows, the wind is howling like a wolf round my bundle of bricks and I am willing my roof to stay put. Well cocooned under the duvet, I am wondering if I could stay here for a week? The crumbs from toast are uncomfortable and it is difficult to navigate my way through the world of blogs with only my nose and one eye outside the covers. I better be brave and face the world outside my bedroom.

Sometimes looking for inspiration, I find it helpful to trawl back through my past life in this place. No. Not under the duvet, but to travel back through my blog.

Along the road of my blog life I have done some strange things and stepped up to many challenges.

Then one day, we beat the band altogether with a spanking new and scary challenge. It was so scary, we have not yet repeated it.

But who knows….  If the comments today prove interesting and varied, I might toss them in a drum and see what I come up with!