A Pick And Mix To Sweeten Saturday

Who does not love the chance to go and pick their own sweeties for a dolly bag? You take your empty paper bag and you are allowed to wander around the sweetie displays and using the scoops provided collect whatever combination of sweets you like best!

There have been a lot of questions and answer posts floating around in recent weeks. I have loved seeing the questions provided by our Queen of Questions, Teresa, aka The Haunted Wordsmith. I have loved reading the answers from other bloggers too. You may be aware that I have had a lot on my mind with the loss of my gorgeous Goldfinch – my loss, Australia’s gain.

I had started posts in response to Teresa’s questions and not had time to finish them. So I thought I would go through my drafts folder and try to compile a pick and mix of the questions I was clearly most enthusiastic about (which seem to be mostly about food!) and compile my pick and mix post of Teresa’s recent questions. I have narrowed it down to twenty questions – so ten today and ten tomorrow is my plan, as twenty make an extremely long post!

Ten Pick And Mix Questions From Teresa

To Sweeten Saturday:

What do you put in your sandwich?

Avocado.

But I like variety. I would probably add some salsa or sundried tomato. I love hummus too, especially with either roasted vegetables or falafel. I might occasionally have goat’s cheese, and sometimes add beetroot. Grated carrot and pesto. Diced celery, carrot, cucumber and mango chutney. (I love all cheese but I am not very good with dairy.)

Oh I am hungry.

Have you ever played a sport?

Oh yes. I love playing sports – much much more than watching sport. In fact to be honest, I don’t think I like watching sport at all now. I just want to jump up and join in.

swimmingMy sisters and I were competition swimmers. That was our thing. But because we were fit and had a great lung capacity, we seemed to be pretty good at most sports. I was on the school team for everything.

I don’t have great hand eye coordination though. I have a lot of energy and stamina. I have no fear, but very little skill. So my best position in any sport is in defence. I will take on any opponent. But once I have won the ball, I am pretty useless. I have to pass it to a team mate because I can’t run with the ball, I just trip over. I am not always very precise in my aim or the force with which I pass the ball.

I have played football (soccer that is), hockey, basketball, rounders (which I think is a bit like baseball), netball and other sports. But I am usually in some kind of defense position. Whatever I play I enjoy. I don’t tire out, I love running around, I will tackle anyone on the other team, but once I have won possession of the ball, I have to give it to someone else because I am so useless with it.

What is your favourite soup?

I love variety again! I like soup!

I love butternut squash soup. But if I have avoided dairy for a long time, stilton and broccoli is yummy. I love a spiced lentil soup. I love parsnip soup. A creamy vegetable soup. I like sweetcorn chowder. I love a garlicky mushroom soup or a vegetarian onion soup. I like roasted beetroot and garlic soup.

What is one song that best describes your day so far?

But to be honest, most days here in London, I feel as if I am running around from here to there trying to squeeze in everything I have agreed to do in a day!

What is the oldest thing in your refrigerator right now?

I think a jar of rose harrissa paste. I forget to use it. It has probably been there for about three months.

Most of my fridge contents are salad and soya milk or cashew milk, with the occasional bottle of white or rose. Things don’t stay in my fridge for long.

If you had to stay up all night, what is one thing that would keep you awake?

People.

Even if I am exhausted, when there are people around me I can’t fall asleep. If I am on a night flight where all the other passengers around me are sleeping, I will be wide awake clutching tightly to my purse. I just don’t feel safe or relaxed to fall asleep with people around me, especially if they are strangers. I feel as if I am very vulnerable!

I have had to do a lot of night shifts whilst working in health-care and I have worked very late nights trying to meet deadlines on various voluntary projects. If I am on my own, I have to keep drinking coffee and getting up and going for a walk. But if I am with other people, it is not difficult to stay awake. We chatter and laugh while we are working. I have a story about a nighttime project and a hilarious situation we faced with an alarm – we were all in tears laughing. Whenever I tell the story, nobody seems to understand how funny it was. But at the time, we were all shaking with laughter.

If your kitchen could talk, would it have a horror story?

20180601_192241-1I wrote a full account in the post below:

But in essence, it involved an explosion of red wine, all over the ceiling, cupboards, worktops, floor and all over the pale coloured sofa. I thought my landlord would lynch me!

What is your favourite museum to visit?

I am spoilt for choice here in London…but honestly the one museum that draws me back again and again as it truly fascinates me is the The British Museum.

I wrote about my love for the British Museum in the post below:

What is your favourite flower?

Oooooh – so hard to choose. But there is one flower, that I think makes my heart leap in a special way. The bluebell!

I love it because most people know better than to try to pick them to take them home and put them in a vase. If you want to see my favourite flower, you put your wellington boots on and traipse into the shady woods to see them carpeting the woodland floor. That’s where they belong, not in a vase.

Around the end of April they might start to appear and hopefully last well into May. Carpets of blue on the forest floor. It is one of the most beautiful events of the year for me.

It is absolutely enchanting. I don’t know how many countries have bluebells that erupt in the forest each spring. But it is an incredible vision to behold that I would hope everyone on earth would have chance to see.

What is your favourite dessert?

I love variety – you are going to be bored of me saying that! I don’t think you could ever put a sweet dessert in front of me that I would not devour with relish! My preferences only change according to the season. In winter I like a hot indulgent dessert, in summer I like light fruity desserts.

The only thing I am a bit snobbish about is either shop-bought pre-packaged desserts, or if I go to a restaurant, and I genuinely feel I could have made a better job of making the dessert than the professional kitchen staff have. When I first started baking all by myself, I remember looking through recipe books and picking out cakes and pastries I wanted to learn how to make. My very first choice was profiteroles. I reckon I was around twelve years old. I followed the recipe and instructions faithfully and out came perfect profiteroles. So I am a snob. I can’t buy them from a supermarket because I know mine are so much better.

 

Do You Even Know What A Triple Salchow Is?

We are all at it again! Rory says: THREE…? and we cannot resist responding! Well, here is my triple Salchow for Rory:

Daily Fun Three

Name Three …

 

Cold things?

December

January

February

 

Hot things?

Vegetarian Vindaloo

Steaming cup of tea

And of course…Goldfinch

 

Boy’s Names beginning with Z?

Ziggy

Zack

Zaine

I have male friends/colleagues with the above names – although I think Ziggy is a nickname. Still!

 

Countries beginning with the letter G?

Ghana

Guyana

Greenland

 

Animals species that begin with the letter P?

Peacock

Porcupine

Panther

(A blogger likened me to a panther recently – I took it as a compliment – I think it means I have a smooth, seductive mystique? I was flattered, but too shy to ask for an explanation. But I don’t resemble a panther in real life – I am the opposite to mysterious or seductive or smooth. More like a rabbit or a squirrel or a duck in real life I think.)

 

Things that are square?

The dinner service I use when I have more than four guests. They are so annoying to clean.

My brother-in law (don’t tell Mandy I said that – eeeek!)

The Georgian window panes in my front door.

 

Holidays you have been on?

Sweden! – wooo hoo!!! The most fun I have ever had!

Texas, USA

Caravan Park Scarborough, Yorkshire (Never again)

I have been to lots of other places, but these are probably the most memorable holidays – memorable for good and bad reasons.

 

Words that rhyme with Pink?

Blink

Think

Sink

 

Urban Legends?

I am not sure what you are looking for with this, things which have a legendary fame or myths about living in the city?:

The legendary Kriskitch cafe in London – yummy!

You can board a train on the London Underground Circle line and go around and around all day and you will only pay the minimum travel fee.

It doesn’t matter if you accidentally wander in to the bus-lane, the traffic cameras don’t usually work.

 

Things that are pink?

pink blacmange.jpgBlancmange

Piglets

My face when I am with Goldfinch – forever blushing at what he is whispering into my ear!

 

Things to do with baseball?

The ball

The bat

The bowler

Am I thinking of cricket? They are almost the same right?

 

Marvel Heroes?

Oh dear… Now you’re asking! The only comic I ever read was Dennis The Menace, before I decided he was incorrigible and gave up on him.

The one that wears his underpants on the outside of his trousers

The one that Michelle Phieffer played…was it Batwoman?

The green one – well he goes green when he gets angry. I think it’s supposed to be good anger. He only gets angry at the baddies – correct me if I am wrong.

 

Ice Cream Flavours?

Has to be non-dairy ice-cream for me:

Pistachio

Peanut-butter caramel

Espresso

 

Things that comes from the ocean beginning with the letter O?

Oldwife – it is a real fish Rory, honest!

Octopus

Oil – well below the ocean…but often it is leaked into the ocean by bafoons! Grrrrr!

The Effulgent A Guy Called Bloke (or Rory) Has Nominated Me For The Sunshine Blogger Award

It has been pouring down with rain here in London. Yesterday was grey and cold and damp, and I ended up with a right old soaking because my umbrella collapsed. Thank goodness I have a ray of sunshine in my drafts folder all ready to brighten up the weekend!

sunshine bloffer award 3.jpg

Around a week ago Rory, the creator of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! nominated me for The Sunshine Blogger Award as you can see from his post below:

The Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination 2018 6 & 7

Rory is one of the loveliest bloggers around. It is always a treat to be nominated by him!

Rory’s Rules

Now normally at this point, I would list the rules of The Sunshine Blogger Award, but on this occasion we have an advanced rule – THE NOMINEE EXEMPTION CARD rule – as explained by Rory below:

“Ok, l am going to do this slightly differently – l am going to nominate some of my favourite bloggers for this award but give them the Nominee Exemption Card …. This allows them however to answer the questions l pose should they wish, but they do not have to nominate others unless they wish to.”

I am going to accept the Nominee Exemption Card on this occasion…because I have to admit, I am tired! I want to go to bed! And it will take me at least another half an hour to prepare a list of nominees and come up with some questions. I hope everyone is alright with me accepting Rory’s provision on this occasion – any complaints can be forwarded directly to Rory @ A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

Rory’s “Unique” Questions For His Nominees

1) What’s the most fun you have ever had without being under the influence of something or someone?

Oh Rory…I could tell when I read the first question this was going to be fun! I have little experience with being “under the influence”…I might have the occasional half glass of vino or cider, but I am a lemonade girl for the most part! See the video below for a blast from the past!

Oh my goodness I have had fun.

  • I love playing games with a huge gang of us. In my twenties about fifty of us would go to the nearby woods and play a version of “hide and seek” named “40/40”. You may know it by another name. Basically there is a base that you have to reach before the seeker finds you. The seeker takes a risk that the further they wander away from that base the more chance the hiders have of getting back there without being seen. For safety reasons we used to play it in teams of three (we were usually playing in the dark). You had to link each other’s arms and if one let go, the whole team were disqualified. It was so much fun.
  • I was a contestant in a Bollywood version of Strictly Come Dancing – that was hilarious!
  • I have had so much karaoke fun.
  • I love ceilidhs – they are fun – although after the one I went to a couple of weeks ago I had bruises all over me. Some of the men seem to think it is a rugby match.
  • We have had pine-cone wars in the woods in North Wales with a huge gang of friends and family members.
  • The snow-mobiles our friends took us on in the middle of the night in Northern Sweden – WOW!
  • We went go-carting on a frozen lake in Northern Sweden…I ended up skidding way off the track and then driving the wrong way round the track.
  • Lots of fun on construction sites (safety first of course) working with some incredible characters – especially working with roofers! Lots of singing “up on the roof”.

2) What’s the most fun you have ever had without the obvious, naked?

swimwearWithout “the obvious” being the cause…I am not often naked Rory!

Hmm…do I have any naked stories that I am willing to share on my blog-site???

I have had fun “almost naked”…except for my swimming costume, which is always a modest one-piece because I am a real swimmer. Lots of swimming games and snorkelling.

Maybe in hospital…I was naked accept for a thin smock thingy the hospital had put over me. I woke up in the middle of the night with water splashing on my face. I was so groggy and heavily tired (it was after my attack and I was still in quite a bad way although I was mobile at this point) I really did not understand what was happening because I could sense it was raining outside. I wondered it there was some kind of a leak coming through the ceiling.

I pressed my buzzer, and a nurse came and asked if I was alright. I told her there was a leak in the ceiling. She looked up and could not see anything. She told me to try to sleep. I did, but the water kept on splashing in my face. I rang the buzzer again. The nurse came again and tried to reassure me there was no leak. I became so distressed that eventually I could not bear the splashing any longer, so I climbed out of bed. I was attached to an IV drip which was keeping me hydrated and feeding a type of medicine that I had not been successful at keeping down when they tried to give it me in tablet form.

I started wandering around the ward with my smock thingy unfastened so I was fully exposed from behind! I am glad most of the patients I passed were sleeping. I was mooning the whole ward!

Another nurse found me and was chuckling slightly and asked me where I was going. I explained I could not cope with the leaky ceiling and I was going to ask someone else to look at it.

She took me back towards my bed and she said she could not see any water coming from the ceiling. I kept telling her there was a leak. Anyway…because she had stayed around she happened to notice that there was a drip noise splashing onto the floor. She kept on looking up at the ceiling and hearing the splash splash. She was puzzled. Eventually she worked out it was my bag of fluids that was going into me intravenously…the bag had a puncture and fluid was dripping out and it had been landing on my face while I was in bed.

The first nurse felt terrible. It was her that had put that bag of fluids up and she realized she must have punctured it somehow. More was splashing out rather than going into me intravenously.

3) What’s the most fun you have ever had whilst under the influence of something or someone?

I remember playing the animal pair game at two o’clock in the morning with a big group of friends after a summer barbecue my friends had held. After all the food, we had ended the night sitting chatting underneath the stars and I remember we were finishing off the booozy fruit punch. Then we started playing games…and one of them was the animal pair game.

Have you ever played the animal pair game? Someone has written out on scraps of paper the names of animals – like cow, dog, cat, pig, sheep, lion etc. There will be two scraps for each animal. Everyone randomly pulls out a scrap. Then when the whistle is blown the idea of the game is to find your animal match by making the sound of your animal.

It is one of the noisiest games I play (usually when there is a big family get-together in North Wales). Everyone is running around and you hear this din of mooooos, wooooofs, meeee-ows, oinks, baaaaaas and roooooaaaars. It’s absolutely nuts! Especially after boooozy fruit punch.

4) What’s the stupidest question l have ever asked of you?

So the first time I was ever tagged for one of Rory’s challenges I was kind of baffled by how I was going to begin to answer half of the questions. Immediately, I took the delete three and replace them with your own option…but it still left me with a handful of questions that I did a really bad job of answering.

It took me a while to get used to some of Rory’s questions – but now I love his challenges! In fact…I feel that working on posts in response to Rory’s challenges has helped me to develop my own style, and I love him to bits for that – because I was a bit confused with what my style was when I first started blogging. I try to show my appreciation for the effort he puts in to creating these challenges by using finesse and panache when I am preparing my response to publish!

The question below was in the first Rory challenge I ever attempted and I have included my answer:

Would you rather be eaten alive by wolves or eat another human alive?

vegetarian.jpgWhat a choice! These are all boy questions.  Rory – did you write these questions?

I am a vegetarian – so I don’t know if that helps answer that one!  I have no problem with other people eating animals – that is allowed.  Eating another human is not allowed.  Of course neither would I particularly desire to be eaten by wolves.  But I might be dead already and it would be beyond my control.  But there is no way I would eat a human.

5) What’s the question you want to answer but no one yet, even me has not yet asked you?

Ask me about my dream wedding!

Go on…I know you want to hear all about it! Men love hearing all the detailed description about a woman’s dream wedding don’t they? NOT!!!

To be fair…there are very few of my friends who would have the patience to hear about my dream wedding – why should bloggers be interested?

6) What’s your suggestion for the Christmas Challenge?

Hows about…let’s see how long we can all go without mentioning it?!!! Ay karumba they’ve been selling tat in the local shopping mall since August. I can’t stand the commercialism and the waste. I am all for days off work and being with family (I am going to Wales) but pleeeeeeeze, it is a so cringe worthy how much of a commercial jackpot it is.

And the songs…I don’t want song posts…I can’t cope with the radio or going to the local shopping center because of all the annoying songs.

Can I just hibernate instead? Wake me up in January when it is all over please. But of course I cannot wait to have a few days off work so I can be with my family!

7) What is the craziest blog you have ever read, and l don’t mean mine?

Oooooh…how could I possibly answer that question? I have seen a couple of really crazy blogs I must admit.

I must have accidentally clicked “follow” on one blog which is probably the polar opposite to anything I would want to read, because I suddenly had this message which horrified me saying “thanks for following” and when I looked at the site belonging to the blogger it was from…my reaction was “Aaaaaagh! Unfollow unfollow unfollow! Aaaaaaagh!”

I know you are all want to know whose blog this was so you can start following them, but the answer is NO!

8) What is the theory of what is?

What is or What if? – could this be a typo?

Well, since a theory, by Google’s definition, is a contemplative and rational type of abstract or generalized thinking, or the results of such advanced thinking….I can understand the theorist starting his train of thought with “what if….?”

However, “what is….?” requires a less theoretical and more of a factual reply.

Wouldn’t you agree?

9) What is the colour red when mixed with Tripping the Light Fantastic?

I have no idea! Is this a cryptic question? It could be a really lush cocktail?

To “trip the light fantastic” is to dance nimbly or lightly, or to move in a pattern to musical accompaniment. Who dances more nimbly or lightly than a ballerina?

So a red ballerina. Or a ballerina wearing red. There was a film called “The Red Shoes”.

10) What is the answer to the Dodo, like seriously why?

Why…?

I think they are lovely. They have bred them up on my brother-in-law’s uncle’s farm. The farm lies in a secluded valley in a remote area in North Wales. The dodos are the sweetest and most docile of all the “different” animals we have had up at the farm.

They are much more docile than the pushmi-pullyus which are so very hard to herd.

The giant lunar moths have concerned the local villages who are afraid their woollies are going to be gobbled up. But we have assured them we don’t let any of the animals go hungry.

PLEASE SEE FOOTNOTE AT BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

11) And finally, what is the answer to this riddle?

There is no answer!

Why do I say that? Because there is no riddle. No riddle, no answer to a riddle.

Please don’t ask me to explain!

__________________

Well….thank you again Rory for nominating me for The Sunshine Blogger Award! I hope you enjoy my answers!

I hope any bloggers reading this find it as fun as I did! Rory and Caramel Creations – so much fun!

*FOOTNOTE: You do know that I am making this up don’t you. Other than the dodo, the other animals I mentioned are all from Dr Doolittle. We do not breed any of them on any of the farms in North Wales.

FOWC with Fandango — Advanced

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/11/11/your-daily-word-prompt-unique-november-11-2018/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/11/finesse/

They Say Everything Good Comes In Threes

Friday fun to be had with a challenge from Rory, the creator of A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip! as detailed in his post below. I have loved reading other blogger’s answers today – so much fun! I could not resist joining in:

Friday’s Fun 3

klee-1949981_960_720

Please feel free to create a post yourself with your three things challenge and pingback to Rory!

I have posted a list of some of the other bloggers at the end of this post. Have a little lookie for more Friday fun!

Name three things…

You can dunk in tea or coffee?

Party Ring biscuits – ooooh go on then!

Churros (well dunking them in hot chocolate would be a better idea)

Hob-nobs – the marines of the biscuit world (nod to Peter Kay)

You can enjoy at a carnival?

Face-paint – it’s not often that you have a legitimate excuse for face paint

Dressing up in clothes as if you are part of a cabaret act

Carnival capers like jumping up on a passing float and grabbing the microphone

You can’t enjoy when it’s windy?

Walking out of the hair dressers after spending £80 on a cut and blow dry with a senior stylist

Sweeping up the leaves off the drive-way (as soon as you have finished you turn around and the drive is covered with leaves again!)

Wearing a wrap-round skirt – Goldfinch says nobody will mind!

Your body can’t do?

Fit into the jeans I wore as a teenager

Pull-ups – my upper arms are so weak!

Keepie-uppies (I used to back in the day, but I am absolutely hopeless at them now…use or lose your soccor skills) – you all know what keepie uppies are don’t you?

You don’t learn at school?

How to deal with probate

How to change nappies

How to book a holiday

You can put onto a pizza?

Black olives

Rocket (or artichoke)

Pesto (instead of a tomate pasata)

You can eat with?

Chopsticks

Knife & Fork

Spoons

You don’t suggest you do at home blindfolded?

blindfold

Use the Sabatier knives – I cut my fingers every other day even without a blindfold

Put your undies on

Ironing – it won’t work well, for so many reasons

That are important to you?

Life

Time

Love

That you love to do at the beach?

kicking waves.jpg

Get my feet wet

Run my fingers through the sand

Play games like football with a big gang of friends

That you do in the morning?

Eat breakfast

Brush my teeth

Have a shower

That you do every time you log in to your blog?

Click that little bell sign in the top right corner to look at the notifications: comments, likes, follows etc and then try to answer any comments.

Click onto WP Reader and look through the posts of other readers

Check out the writing prompts and see if I have any ideas for posts

______________________________

Other bloggers who have taken on the three things challenge today:

Friday’s 3 Things Challenge

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/fridays-fun-three-another-fun-challenge-from-a-guy-called-bloke/

https://sparksfromacombustiblemind.com/2018/11/09/three-for-the-road/

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/name-three-things/

https://lightmotifs.wordpress.com/2018/11/09/triplets/

Name Three Things

3 things……..

https://teleportingweena.wordpress.com/2018/11/10/name-3-things/

Queen Of The Cleaners

Imagine being assigned the task of training thousands of young single men everything that they some how did not seem to learn at home. To be fair, some of the young single men were already proficient with domestic tasks, but an embarrassingly large number had not the faintest clue of what to do to in the clean and tidy department.

Now who could take on a task like that?  A very special lady affectionately called Auntie Margo by those thousands of young men!  She was the undisputed Queen of The Cleaners for decades!

For almost sixty years Margaret’s assignment as a full-time volunteer was training young people to be fully domesticated and useful so that they can be sent anywhere in the world and will know how to look after the accommodation they are provided. (Her first assignment had been in the kitchen where she cooked and baked for the volunteers). She trained them in all the tasks that were required of them if they wanted to remain in their career as full-time international volunteers.

Auntie Margo was strict.  She made sure those boys took their responsibilities seriously. Notes would be left to remind a young man if he had not done something.  If a young man was careless and neglectful on a regular basis, they would be reported to the accommodation manager.  He might have “a word” with them. If the young man still did not improve their habits, then the accommodation manager might have to ring the supervisor of the young man while he is at work (for example the young man might have a volunteer assignment as an electrician or a carpenter/joiner or a job in accounts or in the huge kitchens or in the garage as a mechanic) and explain that the young man should be asked to leave his work assignment and return to his accommodation immediately where Aunty Margo would meet him and give him a refresher training session in the domestic tasks required of him and the state to leave his room in when departing for work!

I think it was a fantastic arrangement!  Can you imagine if that was practised universally?  Being at work and having your boss approach you with the order that you need to go straight home and make your bed and empty the bin and pick your clothes up off the floor and then return to work at once!

Tasks included:

  • Making their own bed in the morning
  • Emptying their bins/recycling
  • Wiping their bathroom sink clean after washing or brushing their teeth
  • Using squeegee/cloth to wipe down their shower screen and tiles after showering
  • Washing their dishes, drying them and putting them away
  • Wiping down and drying their kitchen sink after using
  • Keeping their room tidy, free of clutter
  • Folding/hanging their clothes and putting them in drawers or in their closet
  • Cleaning/dusting/polishing/hoovering/mopping…all the basics of house-keeping!

Now some of the young single men had left their family home and were struggling to get used to life in London so far away from their family and friends. They may have been shy or lonely.  But there was always at least one person looking out for them and making sure that if they needed to talk, she always had the door to her house-keeping cupboard (which was an office and storage area) wide open.

I know many men now in their forties and fifties who say that when they first moved to London, it was Aunty Margo who made them feel welcome.  They made frequent trips to visit her and gobbled slices of fruit cake and guzzled tea while she listened to their challenges and gave them encouragement.

When I moved to London to become a full-time international volunteer, Aunty Margo was still working as a volunteer despite being in her nineties!  She no longer trained new volunteers, but she was one of a team of sixty house-keepers who she had been involved in training.  Each new volunteer is still trained by a house-keeper so that they know what is expected of them and they still have to take those responsibilities seriously.

In my third year as a volunteer working in an infirmary, we started to receive phone-calls from night security to say they were worried about Aunty Margo. Sometimes we would go down to the reception area at one o’clock in the morning and Aunty Margo would be working away with her feather duster and microfiber cloths polishing the glass tables.  Or she would be in the dining room at three o’clock in the morning waiting for hundreds of other volunteers to arrive for breakfast.  We kindly and tactfully helped her to realize the time and suggested she might want to rest.

Aunty Margo was showing the first signs of Alzheimer’s. Over the next two years it became obvious that it would be helpful for Aunty Margo to have more support. She moved into the infirmary and was assigned a team of carers to make sure she was safe 24-hours a day.  She is very energetic and powerful.  She loves people and conversation.  She loves singing and dancing.  She loves baking and knitting and drawing.

We had lots of visitors coming to check up on the incredibly popular Aunty Margo.  Even more memorable were the trips out of the infirmary (which were almost daily).  In nicer weather we often went out for a drive and went to animal parks, shops, garden centers, cafes or we took Aunt Margo to visit the house-keepers she adored.  But we took her to other locations.  She went to visit all the maintenance team (electricians, plumbers, joiners), she went to visit the gardeners, she went to visit the accounts department, the legal department, the garage full of mechanics.  She always caused a riot!

What a woman!  She brought all work to a stand-still as everyone wanted to come out and see dear Aunt Margo.  She loves people! She has the most fantastic sense of humour and it was gorgeous to see her laughing and joking with a big group of men, she would throw her head back and let out huge guffaws of laughter! And she would sing, and then everyone would sing!  The entire finance department would be swaying while they sang along with Aunty Margo!

This was her favourite song!  We have produced a video with hundreds of volunteers singing “Your Are My Sunshine” to play for Aunty Margo whenever we wanted to remind her of how much she was loved!

But Aunty Margo doesn’t seem to become down-hearted.  She is still going strong, a bundle of energy and fun, who loves people and loves life!  We like to take a feather duster when we go out, because she still wants to feel she is useful.  So whenever she can she will start dusting and polishing.

All of her efforts and hard work over the years are very much appreciated.  But more than anything it is her bubbly, vivacious, fun-loving, musical, warm-hearted, generous character that along with her dynamic energy has made her one of the most popular and loved volunteers.  I could share many many stories about her…I am sure I will share more (just keeping an eye on the length of this post) for almost every day with Aunty Margo was memorable!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Lorra Lorra Laughs In Liverpool

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By the time I reached Liverpool with some friends who I grew up with, I finally started to feel I was relaxing.  It has been a long time since I have had a two week holiday.  Maybe ten years or so.  Normally I spread out my annual leave and have long weekends or take a random day off because a friend is passing through London and wants to see me.

At first I still had the pent up “places to be, people to see” rush rush mode switched on inside me.  But after a couple of days of realizing how incredibly slow the public transport routes are, I accepted you can’t rush outside of London.  I am not insured to drive anyone’s car at the moment.  In London, I don’t miss having a set of wheels at all. But outside of London, you have to accept a different pace enforced by the schedule of the buses and trains.

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The day in Liverpool was great fun.  We did a bit of a whirlwind tour of some of the locations I was keen to see and then we relaxed with a phenomenal feast in a restaurant up in China Town.

My ear was delighted to hear very strong Liverpool accents again.  I have a few friends in London who grew up in Liverpool but their accent is blending with a southern hue. But hearing raw scouse is fantastic!

If you are a tourist visiting Liverpool, I am more than happy to recommend to you a visit to the Albert Docks.  It was so pleasant to be near the river on a blistering hot day. Walking through the colonnades provided plenty of much needed shade.  There are great museums and a myriad of little shops and cafes.

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This photo came out rather blurry I am afraid.  The boat was just moving so quickly, I found it hard to focus.  It was packed with passengers at their leisure who were waving at us.  It looked so colourful in the sun today gliding along the River Mersey.

We did not take any boat trips today…we had too long a list of other places we wanted to visit.

Liverpool seemed very vibrant and lively today.  I think we were as well.  We laughed so hard, I felt I had a pain developing in my side.  I notice immediately the propensity Liverpool people have to laughter.  They truly like a chuckle and it is so easy to ignite what turns out to be a conversation of pure comedy.

And we were singing, we sang songs we knew off by heart that “The Beatles” were famous for.

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It is so so good wandering around a place that you have been visiting since childhood, arm and arm with friends who you have known since childhood.  To have no time limitation because you are on “holiday” and can explore and play like a child.  Oh we did!

I don’t want to overload you with holiday spam!  But, if you can tolerate a few posts about my travels around the North West of England and North Wales this week…while I am on my hols!  I would love to show you around.  I could do my whole “Tour Guide Barbie” thing and tell you facts and figures that would probably give you more of a laugh than impress you.

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We had a lorra lorra laughs in Liverpool.