Thursday, 23 July 2015

Not Another One...

Yesterday evening, on my way out to collect a friend, I threw my hand-bag onto the floor in the back of the car and then noticed that someone had put a letter through the guest room window. Since investigating couldn't possibly wait until later I went back into the house to see what it was about. After satisfying my curiosity I returned to the car, climbed into the open door and absently reached with the key for the ignition.

No ignition.




If one gets into the back seat instead of the driver's seat one is unlikely to find the ignition.

Climbed out, got into the front of the car and guess what?


Ignition just where it was last time I drove!

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

How Many Stupids?

Wouldn't you have thought that two stupids was enough for a day?

Firstly there was the cappuccino incident, then there was the chicken stock odd-hap as technically it didn't matter but in practice, well, eeeugh and bother. And then, when I really thought I'd done enough for one day there was the dill pickle oops.

So, the cappuccino: (this may not surprise the more regular readers among you, as there have been cappuccino incidents in the past). I keep sugar in a gold tin marked Christmas Spice which used to hold a very nice candle. It is necessary to have foodstuffs sealed in this house as it can be a bit damp (no foundations or central heating, common to most old houses here in the west!). Under the sugar tin resides the curry tin, also gold but clearly marked 'Simba Mbili Curry Powder'. You can see where this is going right? Youngest and I made curry dip to go with the carrot sticks at lunch and I had moved the sugar to get to the curry, so when I went to get sugar for the cappuccino I picked up the top gold tin...and it wasn't sugar!

I pride myself on being thrifty and frugal, but even I could not drink curry flavoured instant cappuccino. Stupid No. 1.

This evening I was filling up my hot water bottle (yup, our summer is so delightfully hot we are still using hot water bottles at night and keeping the fire in day and night), picked up the water jug and as there was steam coming out poured the contents into the hot water bottle. It wasn't until I was stoppering it that I smelled chicken stock and remembered that I had earlier decanted the newly boiled stock into the water jug to cool...what a waste of good stock! I suppose I could have still used it but it smelled kinda rubbery and cleaning out the hot water bottle was no joke either. Stupid No. 2...sigh.

You see why I might be excused thinking that two stupids was enough?

The pickle jar is unimportant too, but annoying. I bottled up some home-made dill pickles to give to people tomorrow and refrigerated the jars. Then this evening I suddenly realised I had forgotten to label them. Forgetting condensation I stuck labels on, which promptly slid off, the ink ran, and I have had to wind sellotape around the jars to try keep the practically illegible labels attached. Very efficient and decorative looking. Stupid No. 3...grrrr.

So Murphy's Law is alive and well and having a great time in my house.

Anyone who wants him can have him.

Soon, please!

Thursday, 9 July 2015

The Sandwich Generation

When I first heard the term 'The Sandwich Generation' I thought yummy! coleslaw and bacon? or cheese and ham? But after another moments' thought I decided it was a really condescending term to use to describe a stressful way of living for many, many families. The situation may be more prevalent with our increasing longevity, but people, often women, have been working to keep children and parents, and very often nieces, nephews, uncles and aunts adequately cared for for generations.

What is difficult to understand is the sheer volume of busyness involved in keeping up with all the demands and duties. As a mother I thought my girls were high maintenance as toddlers! Then they got to be teenagers and I thought, well this is fun, but I was permanently wrecked with all their school and activities and friends' socialising. They are in their 20s now and although they are away it shows no sign of slowing down...and they are independent, resourceful young women.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the parents have aged, slowed down and need increasing attention and assistance. There are days I have to decide whose need is greater and let one family member down in preference to another.

And besides all that there is the small matter of part-time work and self-employment to try and keep a roof over my head and stay out of debt.

On any given day I can be listening to one daughter on the phone, having another rock up unexpectedly and wonder why there's no bread in the freezer (another sister finished it at the weekend), help folks with the garden heavy work, assist another daughter with getting the washing machine in her new flat working and then on the end of the phone via multimedia messages (excellent invention) help her find the whereabouts of the water valve when the kitchen subsequently floods, bump into someone else in town and take their shopping home for them so they can have a decent walk (dry days are increasingly rare!), and eventually return home having forgotten to do all my own errands.

I'm lucky as I've only had part-time occupation for years so I have the time for other people, and still time to be ill myself. What about others? Those with bedridden parents or disabled family members? What about those who are financing family members' care and are so tightly strung financially they can't see the wood for the trees? What about those who become so isolated in their busyness of minding others that they become depressed and too worn out to function efficiently. I know several families where the wife works full-time, with children still in high-dependency mode, and parents and parents-in-law who need constant care. What about them?

This may be the reality for many people but it is not easy, usually thankless (who thanks anyone for 'doing their duty'?) and as the only realistic end can be the death of someone, how can they look forward to that without all sorts of guilt and grief?

Like I say, I have it easy compared to many and still my resources are not such that I can offer too much help to others without making myself more ill. Eldest's partner copes admirably with her illness and disabilities, the other girls come and go with just the usual hiccups, my parents are still pretty independent and I have siblings among which to divide the responsibility.

It's a tough situation.

And then some idiot says 'you only work part time? and your children all grown? sure what do you do with yourself?'


Give me a moment to myself and I'll figure an answer to that...

Friday, 3 July 2015

A Summer Problem

The last week or so I keep noticing that my pyjamas are muddy.
Odd, thought I.
How'd my pyjamas get muddy?

Finally I figured why...(intelligence en't my strong suit!)

With the arrival of the lovely warm weather we have been enjoying the last few weeks, I have been getting up very early to make tea then walking straight outside whilst the kettle boils. I pick beans, do a bit of weeding, water the windowsill pots, inspect what new has come up or flowered overnight, and just generally potter in the yard.

Hence, muddy pyjamas!

I know most people would get dressed before heading outside, but even when we were children we used to be outside in our pyjamas, both really early and really late if it was hot and we couldn't sleep. Not an everyday occurrence here in the windy north west of Ireland, but an enduring summer habit nonetheless.

So I guess that muddy pyjamas are just another sign that summer is finally here.

And its beautiful up here under the mountain.
Bag End, home to Mr Underhill?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...