Monday 26 August 2013

Z has moved house. Sorry...

...if you've come here from a link I've left on a comment, but I find that if I sign in with name and URL, I don't have the option of subscribing to comments, so I still use my Blogger sign-in.  My blog has moved here.  Same name, same furniture, different address.

Thursday 8 August 2013

The removal van is packed

This morning, I packed Rupert's bag while Russell took him for a walk, and I think it's time to pack and go here too.  I'll leave comments on here for a few more days so that you can tell me if you have any difficulties with logging in over there.  However, all posts and comments have been transferred.  I need a Blogger or similar ID to be able to comment on many sites so this blog will stay here as it is.

If you haven't visited it yet, please drop in, you will be very welcome.

If you would like to leave a comment, you need to register with a name of your choice and an active email address, where you will be sent a password - you then sign in with your username and password and if you tick the box it will remember you.  You will get a profile page but you don't need to do anything on that - however, if you wish comments to appear under a different name than the one you've entered, you can add it and if you want a different password, you can change to one of your choice.  Any difficulties, please leave a comment here while they're still switched on, or email me at the address on my profile - oh, I see my profile has vanished.  Just click on Z and look for 'contact me.'  Please don't sign in with your Wordpress, Blogger or any other password, just with your own name or blogname and your email.  No outside agency has any access to your details or comments.

See you at  And if you have been, thanks for listening.

Wednesday 7 August 2013

Rupert's last day with Z

This is our final day with Rupert, our friends' little spaniel pup.  Sam and Hannah are due to come and pick him up tomorrow morning.  The visit has been an unqualified success - which we expected, no problems were anticipated - and the only slight disappointment has been that we've not been able to let the dogs out in the garden unaccompanied, just in case any of the bantams have got out.  But they can go off the lead on the marshes, where they have a brilliant time.  They both love the water and play riotously, but with complete good humour.  Ben is very kind to the smaller dog, although sometimes clumsy, but Rupert is quite unbothered at being trodden on and can hold his own in a play-fight.
 Asleep on the bed
Asleep on me

He is also very, very affectionate and cuddly.  Although he woke early this morning and wanted to play, which I could have done without, having been fast asleep at 5.45.
Other news on the home front is that Weeza and Phil's house purchase seems to have had all problems ironed out and the contract is due to be signed tomorrow, with completion early next month.  There's a bit of work they want to do before moving and more in due course, but it's going to be beautiful.
If anyone is having difficulty registering here, do let me know (my email address is on my profile here) and I can do it.  If you want an avatar/photo against your comments, I think it'll work if you add your own blog to your profile.  The advantage of commenting there is that it will be published immediately, with no need for me to approve it.  Also, though Ro has succeeded in uploading all comments, further ones won't be taken over from here.  I shall turn off comments here when I stop updating on this site in any case.

Tuesday 6 August 2013


I've had a few queries about comments on the new site, so have checked with Ro, who builds websites for a living (Senior Interface Developer, he is - I suppose it's inevitable that at least one of my children should have a job title I don't really comprehend) and uses Wordpress regularly, which he says is excellent.

The new blog is not a wordpress. com blog but a stand-alone site that uses WP tools.  So a Wordpress ID doesn't work to sign in with, you need to enter in your details to register.

Categorically, does not have access to comments on and there is no crossover.  If you register, your comments won't appear anywhere else and they won't be available for marketing or spamming.

If you don't want to store cookies on your computer, Ro recommends that you let your browser store your password and then, rather than clicking 'Remember Me,' which does store a cookie, you just have to click 'Login.'

I'll post on both sites for a few more days and then just leave a link here.  Ro has transferred all the posts and pictures and some of the comments, but there are about 28,000 of them and it's straining the system a bit.

If you read blogs on an iPhone, it's a lot nicer on the new site and the commenting is easier too.

Many, many thanks to Ro for setting this up for me, the site itself wasn't so much bother (though I kept going back to him with little points, mostly about the commenting set-up) but the transfer of 3,000 posts was and it took him the whole evening.  He has been extremely kind and patient throughout and I appreciate it all very much.

Monday 5 August 2013


'Want to do' - ah, there's a thing.  There are things one might yearn to do but know the opportunity might or will never arise (a friend of mine has hankered since childhood for a trip into space, but I think she will never have the chance), things that one intends to do, things one hopes might happen.  I tend not to wish for the impossible and I don't even plan ahead that much, but will take an opportunity if it presents itself.

A friend (a different friend, in fact it's Rupert's owner's mother) took a break from her job as a teacher while her children were small and, once they started school, decided to learn some new skills.  So first she learned Japanese and then photography and took a GCSE in each.  I can see the point of the exam in those cases because it was a measurable mark of success, whereas I refused to take exams when I was learning the clarinet because, if anything, I felt it would hold me back.

So what I want to do at present is -

1 Get the new blog up and running, with vast appreciation of Ro's help.

2 Take the CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) on a motorbike.  What I then do with it will depend on how much I really enjoy it, but it's a challenge I seem to have set myself without quite realising I was going to.

3 Continue with the social life and doing things for pleasure.  I've been doing pretty well at this all year, it's something that usually drifts during the spring and early summer.  I start with good intentions in the autumn (I go by school years still more than calendar ones) but, when busy, it's the things you want to do rather than the things you must do that slip first.  I have got something vital on at school that needs to be prepared for this month and done in the first half of next and I'll tell you about it in due course, but then I have two holidays booked, one with Wink and one with Nadfas and I've arranged to go and visit Badgerdaddy in October too (and hope to call on John G on the way, though I haven't let him know dates yet).  Then Wink will be having an operation and I'll spend quite a lot of time with her.  So, though I might not manage many social things at home, I'll be doing them somewhere.

4 On my 'I'm going to bloody well do this because I'm not a wuss' list is getting over this ludicrous inability to be out of my depth, literally.  Fear of water has to go, it's not going to govern me much longer.

5 At present, though it'll probably last all of another month, my nails are looking okay and I'm putting stuff on to strengthen them.  They are dreadfully weak and when they break, I neglect them in despair and then, when worrying in the dark reaches of the night, I bite them.  That is a shaming admission from someone of my age, but if Roses and Mig can stop smoking, I can stop doing something I should have grown out of half a century ago.

As is sensible with a 'to-do' list, one should always have an item that can be ticked off pretty quickly.  So, though it's not yet quite finished, here's a link to the new blog.  Which will include the whole of this blog very soon, I trust.  I might post on both until I'm sure what I'm doing over there, but then this won't be updated any longer and there will just be the link to that, though the archives will remain here too.

On the new blog, I'm afraid you'll have to register once to leave comments, but just with your chosen name and an email and then you won't have to do it again, there won't be a wv and it will be published immediately.  Hope it all works ok, let me know about any problems.  Ronan says that it's always possible the whole thing may go awry when he uploads more than 3,000 posts from here to there and he may have to start again, though he hopes not.  So do I, it's not as if this is a hobby for him and he's being very kind as it is.

Sunday 4 August 2013

Not likely to change

See previous post.

It's rare that I buy really casual clothes.  I never had a lot of money to spare for myself, having had children very young (the advantage of that is that they can fend for themselves by the time you're in your forties), and what I did have went on books and music.  So it seemed wasteful to spend what I had on anything that wasn't good.  So no dungarees - though being short and having the firm, if completely erroneous belief that I was stubby, I'd have assumed they wouldn't suit me in any case.  And platform shoes - no, didn't like them.  I went without new shoes until they went out of fashion because all shoes for young people had them and I was stubborn.

We had a good many dogs when I was growing up, and no cat dared enter our garden.  Russell won't have one, being a bird lover - I know that not all cats kill birds but he wouldn't take the risk.  I rather like cats and wouldn't mind having one, but I don't know if we'd suit because I'd make a few rules.  The first one would be no creatures brought in to the house, dead or alive, the second would be no cat is allowed on a place where I prepare or keep food.  I have no comprehension of people who, otherwise hygienic, allow a cat on their kitchen table.  If you're not hygienic, fair play.

The hotel I was born in and where I lived for four years was 1930s.  Since then, I lived in Edwardian houses until this one, which is some 450 years old.  I don't mind the idea of a new house, it's just not likely to happen.

It seems that blogging was made for me.  If I didn't have a blog, I still don't think I'd keep a diary, except the appointments one - and I'd not willingly go back to a paper one, at that,  The phone is far more convenient.

Yes, I hope I will travel more.  Russell's passport runs out in December and he's never used it, and only used the previous one once, so travelling will be done alone or with friends/family.  I think it's very good to be self-reliant, though.

My dear stepfather, Wilf, had a son but, although I know his name and that he used to live on the Isle of Wight (and still may do), I know nothing more.  I think he'd be in his mid to late sixties now.  The surname is Edwards, which wouldn't make tracking him down very easy - but then, why would I?  Wilf hadn't seen him for many years and he died more than 25 years ago.  I let it go.

Never had the opportunity, except by displaying a very untypical exhibitionist streak.  If I had my own swimming pool - but that's extremely unlikely too.  Besides, I don't like swimming pools and I'm afraid of being out of my depth.  If there's a fear waiting to be conquered, that's it however.

I was never a runner and, since finding out about my congenital hip problem, that's just as well.  If I'd been very sporty, I'd have needed a new hip in my forties.  I'd hate to be in a marathon, too many people.  When I did run, it was on my own.  Bungee jumping - blimey, no.  It would dislocate my hip now, but I'd never have done it, not for anything.  I'd have jumped out of an aeroplane if required, no objection to that - but not now - hip again, I'm afraid.

I married from home, so never lived alone.  Apart from the obvious awfulness of the reasons for it happening - ie death or divorce - I could well imagine, if things had been different and I hadn't remained married for forty years, that I'd like living alone.

If my children had been younger, they'd have read Harry Potter and so would I.  But I've never had a reason to.  I daresay I will, one of these days, probably when a grandchild lends me their copy.  And maybe one day I'll catch a film on tv and it won't be on Christmas afternoon when I've spent all morning cooking and then eaten too much, so won't go to sleep in the middle of it.

I should write a 'want to do' list next - as Sir Bruin surmises, little of this will be on it.

Saturday 3 August 2013


I seem to remember that the last time I mentioned things I'd never done, they included being on a motorbike, and we all know where that led, and is still leading.  All the same, here are some more nevers.

I have never worn dungarees or shoes with platform soles.  Russell has never worn jeans or a teeshirt.

I have never lived with a cat.

I have never lived in a new house.

I had never kept a daily journal (as opposed to an appointment diary) for more than a few months until I started blogging.  What a transformation!

I have never visited Scandinavia.  Nor the Americas, nor Australasia.  I don't get out much, frankly.

I have a stepbrother whom I have never met, and I don't see how I'm ever likely to.

I have never swum naked, and that's another really unlikely one.

I have never run a marathon, bungee jumped or parachuted and I never will (forbidden on medical grounds).

I have never lived alone.

I have never read a Harry Potter book or seen one of the films all through (when one is on at Christmas, it has always sent me to sleep).  This is no boast but a simple matter of fact.

Friday 2 August 2013


Roses came over today for lunch, though we didn't eat it until late, what with one thing and another.  We drank wine, made a bonfire and walked the dogs.  And talked, of course.

Tail end of the bonfire.
Ben and Rupert.  And Roses.

And my contact lens has gone to the back of my eye again.  I was just putting it in this morning when Russell sharply told Rupert to stop (chewing Ben's cuddly bone).  I looked up and it vanished.  I'm a bit fed up.  It took several days, last time, to re-emerge.  It seems to do no harm, it's just uncomfortable and I will have to wear glasses, which is a nuisance.  I hate the barrier that glasses give when I'm talking to someone and I can't read or do anything much except see with my distance glasses on, so have to keep putting them on and off.  

Thursday 1 August 2013

Z feels a bit scatty

Gus is much better, thank you.  Weeza is taking him back to the doctor tomorrow as arranged, but we're all hopeful that the medicine will do the trick.  We'll go over and see them at the weekend, taking Rupert as we're sure the children will love him.

I knew I was due to pay the balance of my October holiday within the next few days, but couldn't remember the due date, the amount I owed nor the name of the travel company.  I'd received confirmation and an invoice of course, and carefully put it in a sensible place.  Lord knows where.  I couldn't find it anywhere.  Luckily, I had sent details of my renewed passport by email so was able to find the name of the company, so I phoned and came clean and the nice woman on the telephone looked me up.

Soon afterwards, the internet connection went down.  I went through all the correct procedures to try and restart the hub, but no joy.  I phoned to check there wasn't a local issue and this exchange wasn't mentioned, then phoned the helpline number and was put in a queue.  10 - 20 minutes, I was told, so got on with things while I was waiting.  After a while, I thought I'd better just check - and the internet was on again.  I dunno.  Some sort of glitch at the exchange, I suppose.  Still, at least I didn't have the embarrassment of finding out when on the phone to the broadband guy.

We're into our second and last week of Rupert's stay.  It's going very well, he settled down pretty quickly.  Hannah left a shirt of hers that she'd been wearing, on my suggestion, to console him when he missed her and he took it to bed with him the first night.  He does carry it around with him, but not every day.  I'd hoped to let the two dogs out in the garden together, but bantams fly over the wall into the garden sometimes and I don't want to risk them being chased.  So they're getting walked on the lead, for the most part.  They get plenty of exercise chasing each other over the house, it's doing them no harm.  I had been letting them have a run on the marshes, but Jonny has let the cows onto the first marsh now and I don't take the risk.  I've no idea how sensible Rupert would be and fear of him running up to them and being swiped off his feet by half a ton of cow is making me cautious.

Time for our late-night trot round the village.  I like going out in the dark, though I take my phone in case I need some light.  The other night, they found a hedgehog and were very interested.  Luckily, I realised and pulled them away before they picked it up - well, Rupert isn't big enough, but Ben is.  And I'd have had to spend the next hour removing fleas, I daresay.