Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Westward Bound



I'd like to wish all my readers A HAPPY NEW YEAR. I'm a bit late doing this as I've been away.

Yesterday, I caught a coach from a major coach station in the east of England to get back to my home in Bristol which is in the South West.  
Nothing strange about that, you may say, as people are taking such trips all the time.
However, this journey was like no other that I'd ever experienced. 

The last passenger had just boarded the coach with great difficulty as she was quite disabled, old and frail and in a very long gown that seemed to trip her at every step. After she was safely strapped in, there was a bang when the coach next to us came too close and knocked the door of our coach quite badly. I was sitting right by it but was not hurt in any way.
There were *workers* from the station buzzing round and all giving advice as to what should be done. This caused quite a delay.
About five men tried hard to shut the door but it wouldn't lock as it was slightly out of alignment owing to a bar that was now bent from the impact.
It was decided that the door could be locked from the inside by a special lever, and with brute force, a gang of men managed to shut the door which would mean we were now all locked in.
Feeling a bit uneasy, I thought they knew what they were doing and sat back to relax for the duration of the journey which would take about two and a half hours using the Motorways.
I noticed the first thing that went wrong was that we had a very annoying alarm that wouldn't stop, because of the damage to the door. We had to put up with that noise all the way home The next thing I noticed was that the driver twitched an awful lot, making his body jerk forwards quite violently at times..... a bit like Tourette's but without the shouting. He only ever drove with one hand and coughed violently all the way home and constantly blew his nose and yawned a lot. All this didn't inspire confidence and I vowed I'd never sit in a seat near a driver again. Best not to know these things are happening and sit behind it all.
We got home to our Bus Station but then found we couldn't get the door open even when the lock was undone. The driver had to summon help from his window and several workers could not get the door to budge an inch but by now the annoying alarm was silent.
It was decided we should all make our way to the emergency exit where we had to go down steep steps and slither down from quite a great height when the steps finished.
I fortunately didn't jar my back or hips as I could so easily have caused further damage than I already have.
I was the last off the bus except for the old lady who was by then crying. I don't know how she could possibly have got off the bus through such a difficult exit but the driver was trying his best by the time I left the bus station.
I did think of her all evening after I got home and it affected my getting to sleep for a long time.
It wasn't until afterwards that I realised what a dangerous journey it was, being locked in with only the emergency exit that was facing the the *fast lane* of the motorway and would take at least 15 minutes to evacuate the coach and the elderly disabled lady wouldn't have managed to get out at all.
Anyway, all's well that ends well, for me and the majority of the passengers.

The coach in the image I used has nothing whatsoever to do with this story as I just picked the it at random.


Sunday, 18 December 2016

A Peaceful, Happy Christmas


Well, we're nearly there now. Christmas cards sent, presents bought and wrapped. Most of the Christmas carol services and concerts are over and only a couple of activities left before Christmas Day.
I've had a lovely time so far but will appreciate some time to myself before the Christmas visitors. arrive.
 The weather seems very unseasonal and warmish but it hardly gets fully light and is inclined to be rainy. It could be a lot worse. though, remembering other Christmas times from my past.

I'd just like to wish all my readers a very peaceful Happy Christmas.

Monday, 28 November 2016

In The Space of a Few Days.....


In the space of a few days, I have started to enjoy Advent and am well on the way with plans for Christmas.
Since my last post, I have quite got into the the spirit of it all and was asked last Sunday, to light the first Advent candle in Church. I'm also going to sing at a few different venues with one very large choir that I belong to and a smaller group in our church.
This week I'm going to meet a friend who has come over for a short while from USA, as she and her husband are staying in a Bristol Hotel and we'll have a pub lunch along with other friends (we've done this for a few years now). I've known her since we were 10 years old at school together. She travels all over the place to catch up with her many friends in England. She's been married to an American and has lived in USA for years.

These two adorable kittens belong to my granddaughters. They are 4 months old. The grey one is a tom and the black one is his sister.
They've just been neutered and spayed but seem to be racing around as usual so can't be in any discomfort.
It's good that I can go and play with them when ever I like but don't have the responsibility of looking after them with my unpredictable health problems and circumstances.
Although they have quite a few toys, the one thing that gets them really excited is a rolled up piece of paper that they toss about and chase at full speed round the house, causing mayhem all around them.
Now they've learnt how to jump on the table, it will be interesting to see how my son gets on with the Christmas catering. I've been invited along with my daughter and grandsons.
We are fully prepared to *muck in* as son put it but hope that doesn't mean cooking the whole thing!


Friday, 25 November 2016

Mixed Feelings About Christmas.


It's that time of the year again when I suddenly realise that Christmas is just round the corner and the panic starts to seep through.
Today is Black Friday. Well we didn't have that until recently when it started to spread here from America and I, for one won't be part of it. 
I'm pleased to hear that so far, the big stores are not packed with people all fighting with each other as though their lives depended on getting a so called bargain that probably isn't genuinely a bargain at all. Some of the stores are empty of shoppers, put off by some of the scrabbles that amounted to violence during previous years.

I got out the Christmas cards this morning and looked at my list from last year. As usual I had to strike off several names of people who have died since last year. It's one of the depressing sides of ageing....people starting to pop off all around you.

On the positive side, there are all the activities and concerts that schools put on for our grandchildren. There are the choir practices for the carols at concerts and church that will be looming up. Christmas arrangements to be made with our families about who is going where and how we'll cope with the catering.
Surprises to think of.
How to go about decorating the house for Christmas this year...... if I decide to bother, though I probably will.
I like to think of the true meaning of Christmas but we've all got sidetracked with commercialism.

Of course for me, there's one very important person missing, but life has to go on. I always buy myself a present from him and can almost hear him saying, "Go on, treat yourself". He was a generous man. This will be my second Christmas.......




Friday, 11 November 2016

The Eleventh Hour of The Eleventh Day of The Eleventh Month.


This spectacular display of model soldiers in shrouds was lined up outside College Green, near Bristol Cathedral today and will be there for several days.
A Somerset artist, Rob Heard, modelled these soldiers individually meaning that each one is unique and then he hand wrapped them in silk shrouds. This took him two years to complete.
Just under 20,000 men were ticked from a list of soldier conscripts and volunteers who fell on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, World War 1.

It is mind blowing to think this number of men were slaughtered on the first day of the Somme. Many more would follow.

We must never forget the great sacrifice that was made then and in all the wars since, so that you and I could have our freedom.

A very humbling thought.



Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Scary Changes



First it was Brexit and now Trump!
Over here, it has been likened to *Brexit on Steroids!*
People on this side of the Ocean are really shocked and dismayed. Some American Nationals on local Radio were crying while some were overjoyed.
While I completely agree with democracy, and we must have that at all costs, I really hope that our fears are unfounded and that it will all work out well.
In the meantime, I will miss the Obama family and the way they conducted themselves in an upright way with grace and dignity.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

A Pink-fleshed Apple and Bloggers Who Are Not Blogging!


I've just been to visit my son who shared an apple with me and the flesh was pinky red. It tasted halfway between being sweet and also being sour. At times it tasted either way, but was very good. He was pleased that he got two apples from a small tree that I bought him for his Birthday last June.

I was inspired to write about the lack of Blogging going on right now by Addy, one of my Blogging friends, (and I can't for the life of me get the link in my post as the way to do it has all changed since I last did one.) She may be found in my side bar under the name of Alcoholic Daze! Maybe this is why people are not Blogging so much these days.... everything is getting too difficult.
I know Google + has prevented me from commenting on some people's blogs as I really don't want to change over and some have even got different systems that also prevent me from commenting. It used to be so easy!

I started to write a blog in 2008 when my granddaughters lived with me. There was plenty of material to write about in those days because the children kept me busy with lots of amusing little episodes to share.
However, as children grow older, privacy must be respected and they really don't like being written about now, even when disguised heavily.
I suppose in those early days, I put in three posts a week and made some good blogging friends.
They were virtual of course, because we never really get to know a person this way, but never the less, when people I felt close to stopped writing over the years, I really missed them. Some of them have died, which is even worse.
There were others that came and went but generally people are not writing very much these days.

So what has happened to everyone?
is Blogging going out of fashion?