Sunday, 14 August 2011


When I was at boarding school, somewhere round about eight years of age, my friend and partner in crime, Nova and I were caught by Matron one morning eating toothpaste.  We knew we were for it, God save the mark and perish the memory; a fate worse than death; a large dose of Syrup Of Figs, and for no other reason than that she knew it made us feel sick.  Try as we might, we couldn't get rid of the taste.  It hung on for hours

However if we had an accident or were upset in any way, we were taken to the head mistress's sitting room, patted on the head and given a packet of dried a special treat! 

Wet or dry I have hated figs ever since.  Even the word brings back the taste and the nausea.  They evern look as they should smell unspeakable.

Yesterday evening, however, Alice, (bless her) changed my life.  She walked towards me laden with fresh-from-the-tree figs.  I've never seen fresh figs before, but when she told me what they were, that horrid taste came back to me.  She offered me a couple, but I refused as politely as I could, but my daughter, Holly accepted them with glee.  "Mum, they're yummy!" she exclaimed. "Not a bit like the figs you buy at Christmas."  They were pear shaped and green and not at all like what I'd been brought up with.

Tentatively I ate a piece.  This wasn't fig!  This was glorious; sweet and juicy.  I felt a bit like "Mole" in "The Wind In The Willows"  ("oh, my, oh, my1")

Now I'm on a mission......Leave figs alone!  don't liquidise them or dry them.  Why do we have to mess things around?  They're wonderful straight from the tree.

Oh, by the way, whoever thought up sun dried tomatoes?

Friday, 12 August 2011


                                                               MAKING MUSIC

  last night I watched a DVD of the choir group "Libera". (maybe not everyone's cup cup of tea, but) I was spell bound.  It wasn't just the singing and the enthusiasm of the group; it was also the quality of life it gave them and the tremendous opportunities that  opened up for them; travel, team work, resposibility and application.
           This morning I was reading "BROTHER OF THE MORE FAMOUS JACK" by Barbara Trapido, "We sing 'Oh, Worship The King'in four parts unaccompanied."     This immediately took me back to my childhood and christmases when we sang "'Twas In The Winter Cold", also in four parts and unaccompanied.  I remember that with great fondness.  It was lovely.
     Since then I have loved singing and choral music.  Always somewhere to go; something to look forward to.
      This may sound rather simplictic, but maybe if more young people were more strongly encouraged to read music, sing and join a group, (pop or classical, whichever suits,) it would give them a sense of purpose, streets and streets ahead of rioting and looting.


Monday, 8 August 2011


I was in school one morning and reading a story
About a peculiar bug”
A very odd shape it looked like a beetle
Topped off with the head of a slug.

The bug was discovered” the story went on,
“By a young school boy” , as I recall,
“Who found that its diet consisted of bricks
Which it ate as it crawled up the wall.

The boy kept the bug secretly to himself,
And much as he tried to keep cool,
He was scared that the bug would eventually chomp
Its way through the entire school..

One day as the creature was eating the wall,
It disappeared down a small hole,
It turned out, the hole was the boiler room pipe,
Now the bug was beyond his control.

A whole week went by and the poor worried boy
Went to see if his bug could be found,
He looked in the boiler room, to his surprise,
He saw thousands of bugs all around.

They were stuffing their faces as they climbed the walls,
Eating bricks concrete rubble and earth;
It would seem that the warmth and the big boiler’s heat,
Had caused the first bug to give birth.”.

The story was ended, there was a short pause,
Then a small voice said, “Ros, d’you think maybe,
If I went and stood somewhere warm for a bit,
I would …. well, you know…have a baby?


Sunday, 7 August 2011

Does anyone know?

Can anyone tell me about Carola Dunn?  I downloaded one of her books the other day because the title caught my attention, but for some reason  I couldn't find any reviews

Saturday, 6 August 2011


My daughter, Hannah and her partner, Andy are staying with me for the weekend, as they are going to a friend's wedding locally.
 I think I mentioned earlier, that I have Cerebral Palsy,  I waa born with it, (personally I prefer the word Spastic, but I get shoch horror and dirty looks from people these days when I use it, so I use it whenever I can)

I used to be able to walk.  It looked a bit strange, but I got from A to B.  Now I have decided that sitting down is a better idea.  Sitting down is good.  I have a broken right knee cap, and nerve damage in my left leg brought on by a hip replacement, and only one weight bearing leg.  Each time I fell over I crashed down on to my hip replacement.

 I was strictly ordered not to do this, as, if it dislocated, there was a srong possibility the medics would not be able to relace it, and the idea of being "hipless in Hampshire", or anywhere else for that matter, doesn't exactly thrill me, _oh, and I forgot to mention the ankle I broke in April which is still in a cast.  So I decided to take to a wheelchair.  It turned my life around.  My hip is relatively safe, and my face no longer gets rearranged by a pavement as often as it used to.

My family and I just minutes after a sky dive
in August 2010
The point of all this is that Andy (See Hannah's partner, first paragraph) was telling that the other day he read a report in the paper saying that the government was clamping down on people receiving disability benefits, because most of them were shamming illness.  It turned out that about 70% of claimants were doing just that.  Well I say to you out there, if you can sham my lot, you can have my benefit and my Equity card, but if it's all the same to you, I'll keep my daughters.  That said, I confess I can't help feeling a tad smug.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

This aternoon, I listened to a play on Radio 4 about how grief can bring people together. I don't often listen to the afternoon play these days because I think that, for the most part, modern radio drama has lost its "edge" in the last two or three years. "Stream, River, Sea" by Peter Souter, starring Alex Jennings and Juliet Stevenson, however, held mey attention, and seemed to "tick all the boxes" in my experience, (my husband died four years ago) except one.

When Juliet Stevenson said something like "They say it takes seven years to get over the loss of a loved one," I started to twitch.

Who are "they?" and how on earth do "they" know? Did they just pick a number out of the air? (probably) did they do a national survey? (probably not) and who wants to "get over" the loss of a loved one, anyway? I don't; I'd like to be able to live with it calmly (rather like a scar; it fades and can be forgotten for a time, but every now and then, it itches.)

Surely no one can put a time limit on grief. It's an individual thing which takes as long as it takes, and if it takes the rest of your life, then so be it. I sometimes wish people wouldn't pontificate quite so much.

When my husband died, my sister who has phoned me nearly every day since he was diagnosed with cancer, gave me just one piece of advice which I've never forgotten. When a friend's mother died recently, I turned that advice into a poem and sent it to her and her family.

Come, share your grief, and if it makes you cry
To tell the story of your loss and pain,
Then think of a huge jar of grief, and try
Imagining that those shed tears will drain
The grief away, the level sink, and so
Then, inch by inch, by month, by week by day,
The empty space within the jar will glow
With tiny sparks of hope, where grief held sway.
Yes, it will hurt, but with your falling tears,
The grief inside the jar will sink still more;
And even if its ebbing should take years,
Your grief will fall away and hope will score.
So if grief looms, and hope’s a distant star,
Then let your tears flow freely, and think…..Jar.

Is my grief jar empty?  Will it ever be empty?  Who knows?