Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Normal Things Happen

I'm sorry I missed posting yesterday.  I fell asleep before I realised I hadn't! 

Yesterday I went to York.  Suddenly I seem to be able to get out.  I had been trying to get there for months and months and yesterday I just went.  I just pottered along on the train (about 30 minutes, max) and thought that York station would be an awesome setting for a werewolf and vampire battle.

There are wonderful iron pillars and stairs and arches - too much iron for fairies to take part.  I pottered along to the Minster.  I'm not a great fan of York Minster.  It's run more like a museum than a church and I had to pay £11 to get it.  It isn't a bad price if you are relatively local, because that £11 will allow admittance for the next twelve months, but the poor American or Japanese tourist will pay out and not be able to take advantage again. 

A service was starting when I got there so I sat in.  It was a nice service in a side chapel, but you could hear the tourists in the rest of the building and at one point a tourist from somewhere in South East Asia wandered through Holy Communion to check the panels behind the altar.  Western Europeans have been doing the same thing for centuries, so turn about is fair play, but it does show that it isn't perhaps the most religious church.  On the other hand, the minister was lovely and very clear that anyone who wanted to take part was incredibly welcome.  I got some pics of the outside of the Minster.

Today I had a driving lesson.  I got up to 60mph for the first time (no casualties) and I was driving in crazy traffic and switching lanes.  I also ended up venturing into the outskirts of Bradford, getting quite close to the town centre.  Bradford is notorious for scary driving, at least locally, and I was so glad to be heading out again. 

There is a gap at the moment as bear is away, but he is back tomorrow.  I'm off to bed now to get some rest before he's back. 

Saturday, 22 September 2018

I Am Unimpressed

At the moment, it isn't big things that are crushing me down.  It's the little things, like the washing machine issues over the summer or trying to negotiate what bear actually needs to take on his Residential on Monday compared to what he thinks he needs.  Today it was the Insurance cover for the boiler.  Scottish Power are passing over the whole boiler maintenance to Domestic and General.  I have no quarrel with Domestic and General as they already cover the washing machine, and Scottish Power haven't been the worst energy company I've spoken to.  How bad could it be?

Today I found that while the information arced through the air between one company and the other, the radiator cover somehow dropped.  So instead of getting out early for a much needed walk somewhere with trees, I spent three hours on the phone between the companies.  I wish I was exaggerating, but I'm not.  I am potentially without cover for the next month through no fault of mine and it is getting to the time of year when the radiators start coming on.  I feel flattened by it. 

I did managed to get out for a short walk.  We have been very lucky with the weather here.  I've been soaked to the skin and I've been almost blown over but we have had it so easy compared with other places.  Even so, there was this tree near my bus stop.

The trunk was looking quite ripped and I suspect that the whole tree may have to come down. 

I called in to Aldi on the way back and found myself buying some copper coloured tinsel type yarn.  It was £2.99 for 200g, and impossible to resist.  It called to me.  I really need to stick to online shopping. 

Now I am going to drag myself off to bed.  I need to pack for bear tomorrow, so I'll need all the rest and resources I can get. 

(NB I've replied to the comments left since yesterday)

Friday, 21 September 2018

Drink May Have Been Taken - Again

I really can't be trusted.  I do enough daft things sober.  Adding any sort of drink to the mix is a recipe for disaster.  

On the other hand, booking a ghost tour of Leeds Library for only £39 has to be a bargain.  I mean, it's research, and I may have some interesting ideas come from it.  I've just written a short story about a haunted library which could turn into something more, so when I saw it, I had to go for it!  

It's more than £39, of course.  I'll have to have a taxi home, and there's the bus fare there, and while there is no mention of other expenses in the booking form, there's bound to be stuff that I will want to buy.  It is still a bargain!  

DH is still suffering from whiplash a month after the accident.  He has a physio appointment tomorrow, so fingers crossed that he will start getting better.  I'm a little worried about him, but I will make a fuss of him and hopefully he'll be fine.  This weather is no good for aches and pains, though.  I will be happy when it settles down.  

I was looking for pics of Leeds Central Library on the internet when I remembered that I took some pics a few months ago.  It's not brilliant, and I'll try and get some more, but here is a flavour of Leeds Central Library's architecture.

I can't see any evidence of ghosts in that, but it's an old building, so there may be some hope!

Thursday, 20 September 2018

Still No Casualties

I had a bad driving lesson today.  I kept stalling.  And due to various factors, it was a shorter run than normal so I ended up driving in Leeds City Centre in busy traffic.  No casualties, as I said, and I'll take that as a win. 

The rain has been heavy today, and I will be glad when it settles down.  The weather forecast for next week is tentatively okay, and, as bear will be on his residential trip in North Yorkshire which includes walking down streams, I'm glad of it.  Tonight we had 'The Trying On Of New Clothes' as bear checked out all the stuff he needed.  I can't believe how much stuff he has been asked to take.  I included a pack of paper soap instead of a bar or small tube of liquid soap as I thought it would travel better and give bear some talking points.  I am not packing sun cream.  I have had long, intense and difficult negotiations just getting bear to wear sun cream in June.  I'm not going to waste my time and money packing sun cream for late September in North Yorkshire. 

The rain was an added challenge during the driving lesson, and I got utterly soaked when I nipped over to pick up some cream for my eczema from the doctor, but at least it wasn't windy.  Yesterday was strong winds, today was rain and tomorrow is forecast to have strong winds and rain.  Just the rain was bad enough.  When I got in, water was dripping from my hair and my clothes were soaked.  Bear wasn't much better when he got in.  I am slightly lacking in sympathy as he has lost his bus pass already. 

For those interested, I published a short story today on the new author website here.  After tomorrow, I won't be sharing many links, but new posts will show up under the blog roll so you can keep an eye out there or subscribe to the new site.  I'm still working things out, so I hope you will look kindly on my efforts as I try and work out what exactly I'm clicking!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Windy Wednesday

First off, we are on the edge of the really bad weather, and it's nothing like the troubles that the Philippines and the USA have suffered, but it is windy.  I got dropped off at Aldi instead of home after my driving lesson (swerved a lot of fallen branches, no casualties) and I snapped this pic.

I recognised the type of willow some genius planted at the edge of the car park.  There used to be one like it at the edge of my great-aunts' garden and it lost branches at every high wind - some of them large!  The tree grew really tall as well, so it had plenty of range when it was shedding those branches.  Fortunately it never hit my great-aunts' bungalow, but, as the tree grew, it was a worry.  I mentally shook my head sadly at the thought of branches falling on cars, and then I realised that not only was it still windy, but I was standing right in the path of further branches.  I shook my head at my own idiocy and got shopping.  I shouldn't be allowed there on my own.  Fortunately today it was just a tub of honey instead of the sparkly silver yarn they still have in store.  I cannot think of a single use for sparkly silver yarn, but it calls to me.  I have to move with purpose when I go past that part of the Aisle of Temptation.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to be having a driving lesson at roughly the time the forecast says our area is likely to be hit by extremely heavy rain.  I suppose I need to learn how to drive in all conditions, but I'm not looking forward to it.  It feels like autumn has got here really early. 

wherethejourneytakesme left a comment about needing to set like jelly before getting up in the morning.  I am totally stealing that!  It perfectly describes the state I'm in before and after my early morning cuppa.  Speaking of which, I think my early night may come earlier than usual tonight.  I'm exhausted!

Tuesday, 18 September 2018


I am a night owl.  I work best when I get up late and go to bed late.  Bear is an early bird.  Very early on we came to an arrangement that meant that he could manage with me barely functional for the first few hours of his day.  I get everything sorted the night before.  I make sure uniform, books, schoolbag and any letters or payments are dealt with and set things out for breakfast.  In the mornings I stagger downstairs and sit sort of fester while he starts his day.  Bear has been known to leave homework until first thing of the morning it's due in, but that is between him and his conscience.  I have been firm and told him that getting homework done is up to him and if he doesn't do it, the consequences are on him.  It sort of helps that bear doesn't do breakfast.  I have begged, pleaded and occasionally sent him into school on a bowl of custard.  At the moment he is tucking in to breakfast bars.  They are not brilliant, with far too much sugar, but there is a hint here and there of nutrition in the oats and I'm just grateful that he will eat anything. 

Now that bear is getting the bus to high school, he gets up @ 5.45am (ie, fifteen minutes before he normally gets up).  I drag myself down soon afterwards.  Theoretically, everything is there.  He can sort himself out with food and drink and he doesn't need me.  I could, in theory, not get up.  It's not going to happen unless I am seriously poorly - just like most mums, I've got to try and be there for bear.  DH is being more heroic as he gets up a lot earlier than he needs to so that he can walk bear to the bus stop - at bear's request, I hasten to add - before going off to an insanely busy job.  I'm doing a lot less than many mums, but the early mornings are killing me.  I am nodding off as I type this. 

Bear is totally worth it.  He's apparently got a lot of points, which mean something in school and he is tremendously proud of it.  He has settled into High School as if he had been going there for years. 

Once I pass my driving test, I will be able to sleep in until 6.30, or maybe even as late as 7am.  My normal inclination would be to wake up sometime around midday, but 7am would be an improvement.  I had another lesson today and the instructor said that once I passed my test, I would be okay and that I would be a safe driver.  I had a few hiccups as it was my first lesson after a week or so as the cold has been awful and I didn't want to share it with my awesome instructor, but today I managed, and I swept around a roundabout like a boss!  I also overtook a cyclist and there were no casualties. 

Once I managed to crack getting an early night, I'll be fine.  Until then, well, here is an image from free-images.com which sums up my inclination.  I think I may get some brandy in and see if a tot will send me off to sleep.

Monday, 17 September 2018

Spring Onions

Bear may not be very sporty, but he likes to be active.  Today he was off school as his school was holding entrance exams.  Apparently a lot more kids applied this year.  So he spent some of the morning lounging around in his pyjamas, then he hung around after finally getting dressed, then he hung around outside, then he hung around inside.  Finally his pal came round.  His pal had been to school, but was still feeling restless.  They decided that they wanted to go to the shop that was at least ten minutes away. 

'Muuuuum, can I go to the shop?'
'What do you want there?  We've got loads of stuff in.'
Bear thought for a few moments.  'I don't know.  Do you want anything?'
My house is stuffed.  I need a lot less, not more.  I rattled my brain.  'Could you pick up some spring onions for me?'

Bless them, at the thought of helping me they leapt into action and went the long way there and back.  I now have to think what to do with the spring onions.  I am thinking I may sautee them in the tiny frying pan to add to an omelette.  I finally found it, but I wouldn't bet against losing it again tomorrow.

Here it is - for £2.49 I got a pan that is perfect for a quarter onion.  The biro is just a standard ball point and I put it in there for scale.  The bowl is 12 cm or 5 inches across - tiny!