Monthly Archives: July 2016

Friday Poem – Dare to Dream

dare to dreamSearching for a suitable poem for today, I literally stumbled across this poem by a poet called Paul Adolphus. That is pretty much all I know about him – his name.

He was written some beautiful poems and this one stood out for me – we should all dare to dream.  Without dreams and hopes what we?

Dare to Dream

Set your goals way up high
Shoot for the stars
Aim for the sky
Great things you can achieve
When you try
Never lose hope
Never let your dreams die

When others try to bring you down
Wear a smile and never a frown
Perseverance will win you your crown
Respect will get you around

Never succumb to the sting of defeat
When you stumble and fall
Get back on your fee
In the face of adversity never retreat
Keep your goals in sight
Till your mission is complete

Believe in yourself and the rest
will fall into place;
No need to rush
You’re not in a race
Do one thing at a time
At your own pace
Your destiny awaits you
Victory is yours to embrace

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Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush …

toothbrushDisturbing fact I read in the paper yesterday was the according to a survey 1 in 4 people do NOT pack a toothbrush or toothpaste when they go on holiday.

URGH!

Can I just say that’s totally minging!

Seriously, how could you go on holiday for a fortnight and not brush your teeth once?

Sure, I pack light when I go away.

I don’t need hairdryers or hair products bar shampoo – I like the sea scrunch look and I never use a hairdryer anyway.

I don’t need the entire Bobbi Brown/Max Factor make-up counter – minimalist look.

BUT, the one thing I never, ever leave home without is my toothbrush and toothpaste. It’s another one of my thing’s I’m fairly fanatical about – brushing my teeth morning, noon and night.  And I’ll let you in on a little secret … I’ve never, ever had a filling (touches all the wooden objects I can see)

However, most people seem to pack everything including the kitchen sink when going on their annual fortnightly summer vacation – but despite their seemingly groaning toiletries bag they forget toothbrush and toothpaste … on purpose!

How?

Why?

Words fail me!

 

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FILM REVIEW: The BFG

bfg

  • Film Guide: PG
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Would I recommend it: Definitely

Roald Dahl has to rate up there as one of the best and most-loved writer of children’s books … ever.

I love his books and have read them all to SC – and if you get a chance to visit his museum – do – it’s amazing.

We’ve even read his autobiography of his childhood – it’s definitely worth a read and I guarantee you will never look at liquorice laces in the same way again!

But The BFG is definitely a firm favourite.

Being old enough to remember the cartoon version, voiced by the inimitable David Jason, I wasn’t sure that anything could top it let alone a live-action version (seems to be all the rage these days taking an animated film and live-actioning it!)

But, how wrong I was.

The film stayed true to the book with only a slight veering off course at the end – where the giants are not thrown into a pit, but somewhere else and Sophie lives happily ever after, which we never actually find out in the book.

The lovely Mark Rylance took the role of The BFG – totally unrecognisable, but utterly wonderful.  From the moment he emerged from the darkness you warmed to him.

12 year old Ruby Barnhill literally steals the entire film with her portrayal of the orphan Sophie – she was lovely to watch and the moments between her and the BFG were just magical.

Rounding off the main cast is Penelope Wilton as the queen – there is no one who could have played her better.

I laughed – seriously and out loud – I defy anyone not too – especially after the queen and all the royal subjects drink frobscottle (if you’ve read the book you’ll know what happens next!)

I sat mesmerised at the dream catching – truly magical.

I cried – seriously and with tears rolling down my face – there were some very tender moments and the music by John Williams (who better) added to the emotion and I just couldn’t help myself – mind you I do cry very easily when watching, or reading anything.

I sat enthralled from the first moment until the last credits rolled – it was, in my opinion, a great cinemagraphic tribute to one the world’s best writers.

I loved it, so did SC.

If you get a chance to see it, please do – and if you’re anything like me – take a packet of tissues!

“I am brave!”

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Twiddlemuff and the Art of Knitting

A Twiddlemuff or to Twiddlemuff, that is the question?

Either way you say it, it sounds a little bit “Carry On” doesn’t it?

“Would you care for tea m’Lord?”

“No thanks my good man off for a bit of Twiddlemuff!”

Actually, though that could not be further from the truth.

Until a few months ago I too was totally oblivious to what a Twiddlemuff was. It was only when I had a quick flick through my mum’s WI monthly newsletter (as you do when you have nothing better to do) when I saw a small article that caught my eye. The headline was “Twiddling for Dementia” – and again even the headline raised an eyebrow!

So what is a Twiddlemuff?

It is also known as a Sensory Band or Dementia Sleeve, which are double thickness knitted hand muffs embellished with bits and bobs (such as buttons, ribbons, bells, etc) attached inside and out to provide a stimulation activity for restless hands in patients suffering from dementia.

After reading, a little lightbulb went PING! in my head. Ah, I thought, an opportunity to  knock another item off the old bucket list. The art of knitting.

Now, since I wrote my bucket list (or things to do in my 40s) I have knitted precisely one item. A very small scarf (10 stitches across) in plain knit stitch only which is currently residing on small boy’s toy bunny.

So as you can tell I am not the world’s best knitter, by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought it would give me a chance to practice and hone my skills whilst at the same time doing something worthwhile.

I went to the webpage shown in the magazine article for the pattern which said that I should cast on 28 stitches (easy when you know how, I favour the thumb method myself) and then do stocking stitch. Now clearly when I went to my “The Knitting Book” I must have not had my glasses on because I could have sworn blind that stocking stitch was Knit one Purl one.

This was my result after 5 or 6 rows!

twiddlemuff1

 

 

 

 

 

Disaster!

I could not work out why the darn thing was not getting any longer.

Until, I took a closer look.

When it comes to knitting I am very much a beginner’s beginner. Sure I knew how to do a basic knit stitch, but that still involved my concentrating really hard and sticking my tongue out of the corner of my mouth. Knit one Purl one was causing consternation, purely because having read in my knitting bible that to a do a purl stitch the yarn should be in front of the needles.

And therein lay my problem.

What I was doing between each stitch was actually moving the ball of wool so all I was doing was knotting rather than knitting, which is why the thing wasn’t getting nay longer.

Unravel, throw needles down in despair at how rubbish I am and leave it.

For a few weeks, and then I found another pattern, courtesy of Knit for Peace which seemed a lot simpler to follow, since it said you could use just normal Knit stitch, and then it actually explained stocking stitch.

Clearly I had been wearing my “daft” head (as Worzel would have put it) because stocking stick is knit one row and then purl one row – oh, how much simpler.

So recasting 60 stitches we had Twiddlemuff Part 2.

And after a while my knitting resembled something identifiable:

twiddlemuff2

 

 

 

 

 

And yes, I still had 60 stitches.

Sure, I am still as slow as the proverbial snail, in fact I timed it and it takes me 4 mins and 34 seconds to knit one row – a little bit longer for purl. But I am almost, so very nearly at the end of my ball of wool and it looks quite good.

I think I must have not used a 150g ball of wool, as it is not the required length.

Guess Bunny now has a blanket!

I will buy another ball of wool and start Twiddlemuff Mark 3 – then I can send it off.

I will update you on the progress of the next Twiddlemuff soon.

In the meantime, I’m off to Twiddlemuff!

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Wolf-Whistling to become a hate crime – seriously?

In the immortal words of John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious, man?”

Why?

If anyone takes being wolf-whistled at offensively then maybe they should just lighten up a bit.

And before you all go off on one, yes I know sexual assault and harassment are very serious offences and should be dealt with accordingly, I get that. But a wolf-whistle?

If that’s the case, then surely if women yell obscenities at men across the street about getting their kit off, that should be treated in the same vein?

Yes?

No?

Wolf-whistling has been the playful banter, and I use the word banter loosely here, of building sites for years.  It’s harmless fun. And as long as it stays that way why should it matter.

Feminism, schmemenism!

Now, in all seriousness I am not a dog and do not respond to a whistle (I’m a cat, I will take a message and get back to you 😉 ), but I like being wolf-whistled at.

I don’t take it seriously and 9 times out of 10 they will pretty much wolf-whistle anyone – I mean they must if they whistle at me, right? 😉

But getting a wolf-whistle makes me feel a bit zingier – maybe it’s just that little bit of attention. God! that makes me sound so needy, I’m not but everyone needs a little attention sometimes to feel alive – it’s like that little jump your heart does when you get a text from someone you like.  Nothing horrible, just lovely and quite nice actually.

 

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Friday Poem – Grief

griefToday’s poem is called “Grief” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) and she was one of the most prominent poets of the Victorian era.

I had intended to do a poem about grief and loss today because my lovely cousin was called to heaven earlier in the week, but after the horrific events of last night in Nice and the recent bombings in Iraq and Bangladesh this poem seems to have even more significance today.

The poem’s meaning is all about the fact that true grief is draining on all emotions because there is no hope left.

Grief

I TELL you, hopeless grief is passionless;
That only men incredulous of despair,
Half-taught in anguish, through the midnight air
Beat upward to God’s throne in loud access
Of shrieking and reproach. Full desertness,
In souls as countries, lieth silent-bare
Under the blanching, vertical eye-glare
Of the absolute Heavens. Deep-hearted man, express
Grief for thy Dead in silence like to death–
Most like a monumental statue set
In everlasting watch and moveless woe
Till itself crumble to the dust beneath.
Touch it; the marble eyelids are not wet:
If it could weep, it could arise and go.

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Love is … like an exam!

examExcept there’s no revision needed for the first sitting, thankfully, however, it’s one of the those where you can re-sit and hopefully get better until you get the grade you want 😉

Sometimes the problems are easy – in which case you answer and move on swiftly to the next one.

Sometimes the problem is a multiple choice – always tricky, and it’s not for nothing it’s called multiple guess!!!

If you seriously have no clue from the options, just take your pick.  Word of warning though, you can’t go back and change your mind after!

If you know the answer, then go for it and delete all the other options from the list.

Sometimes the problem is a little bit more tricky and requires a lot more thought.

My headmaster always said if you’re faced with a tricky problem  in an exam move on to the next and go back when you’ve finished the paper – unfortunately though life is not quite that simple.

So with a tricky problem you have 2 choices.

You can either move on to the next problem, but there is no going back – you have to keep moving forward – and if you find yourself wishing you could, sorry, no can do. You made your choice.

Or you can work on the problem until it is solved and feel satisfied that you tried.

As for me, I think this is one exam I will never, ever pass.

Far too tricky for me, so I’ll just sit quietly at the top of my tree admiring the view 😉

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