Sunday, September 30, 2012

And now for something completely different

Forty years ago, when DH and I had only been married a few years, the children were small and money was very tight, one of our greatest pleasures was listening to the radio. Back in those dim and distant days, radio meant, of course, the BBC, since in Britain commercial radio didn't start broadcasting until 1973.

We listened avidly to classic drama, current affairs and comedy and one of the now almost forgotten gems we loved was a comedy series, written and performed by the hugely talented Ronnie Barker, and entitled Lines from my Grandfather’s Forehead.  Back then Ronnie Barker was almost unknown, but the skilful and very funny short sketches he wrote for the series foreshadowed the immensely popular work he would later create as he became a household name.

Our absolute favourite among those sketches is one we have never forgotten and despite our increasingly unreliable memories, we can still recite chunks of it to each other after all these years. Tonight, however, DH made my day by discovering that it is now on YouTube, and I have just had the enormous pleasure of hearing it again and finding it just as funny and as clever as I found it back in 1972.

Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats for the Three Minute Hamlet.


Friday, September 28, 2012

It’s a conspiracy!

Since we got back safely to the UK, it feels as though the world of technology has been ganging up  against DH and me.  We arrived home in Wales on Thursday of last week to find that our phone line was out of order. Thankfully the engineers were able to come out the next day and have repaired the line after a fashion, but the phone is still crackly and our broadband is poorly again. Even the arrival of a brand-new router this week hasn't solved the problem completely, which is why your wonderful posts are piling up in my Reader faster than I can read them, let alone comment on them.

The dishwasher too chose this week to down tools decisively. I’d forgotten just how much washing-up two hungry people can generate in a day and how long it takes to do it. The more expensive model we chose last time not having lasted as long as we had expected, we chose a very basic one as a replacement and I already love it. Price is definitely not everything…..

Then there was the jungle which we usually call a garden. We always expect it to be pretty shaggy by the time we come back from our summer in France, but this year’s enormous rainfall has nurtured truly rampant growth everywhere and it’s taken every spare minute when it hasn't been actually pouring down (not that there have been too many of those since we got back) to begin to bring it back under control. I did mention that gardening is my main form of exercise, didn't’ I?

The crowning touch to a difficult week came when I logged onto Blogger earlier in the week to find that the powers-that-be at Google have finally carried out their threat and have pulled the plug on my beloved and comfortable old Dashboard. I hate the new interface with a passion because it is just so difficult to use for a person with cataracts and mine are definitely getting worse. This will be my first post using it and I am not looking forward to the experience. I may be some time…. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Little boxes

…and big boxes and bags of all shapes and sizes. Suddenly I can’t see the living-room furniture for all the clutter. Yes, the Transit household is packing up and heading north again and another summer in Normandy is rapidly drawing to a close. Of course it will be good to see Wales and our family and friends again, but that doesn’t stop me feeling the usual pang at uprooting myself from what has become a much-loved home and area.

After getting up well before dawn on Tuesday, we leave France on the early morning ferry and by that evening we will be having supper with DS and his family. The next day will be spent with DH’s mother and by Thursday evening we will be home in Wales, rapidly taking the weight off the very small campervan’s uncomplaining suspension.

I plan to while away some of the almost six-hour Channel crossing drafting the post I’ve been promising you all for ages. It’s just been so busy here recently, with friends to visit, the village soirĂ©e or evening meal and social to attend, and a hundred and one neglected and now last-minute jobs to finish, that writing has had to take a very back seat. But the nights are drawing in and once I’ve unpacked and put everything away again, that will mean much more time for quieter occupations such as blogging.

So it’s au revoir to Normandy until next year and soon we’ll be welcoming each well-known landmark, as we make our way back over Offa’s Dyke to the green hills and quiet valleys of our beloved Mid-Wales. I am so very fortunate to be able to spend my life in such beautiful places.

Image via Google