Barry came to visit us yesterday (Saturday). His mummy and daddy were having some time on their own (it was his mummy’s birthday), doing some shopping and having lunch out. As a young doggy, Barry would run around all the time, but he is now seven and likes nothing better than an afternoon snooze. I invited him to write a guest post, but he declined. He was more interested in curling up for a blissful sleep.
There is a reason for this middle-age dog’s tiredness. His mummy and daddy have had their garden totally fenced. Completely. And so, for the first time in his life, Barry is able to run in the garden without being on a long lead so as not to escape. Mind you, I expect he’s working on that. He is, after all, a Patterdale terrier and terriers’ raisons d’etre is to escape. At first he didn’t quite seem to believe his luck, being lead-free, but then he enjoyed chasing up and down the lawn. No wonder the little chap was tired when he arrived yesterday. Not only a run around the garden, but his mummy and daddy had taken him for a walk in a nearby park.
Yesterday and today have been quiet days for us. I’ve pottered … well, I think that’s the word … doing a bit of housekeeping, a little cooking, sometimes sitting and reading, or watching a DVD. I made cauliflower cheese yesterday for our lunch (and kept two portions for our lunch today – we don’t mind having the same meal two days running if it’s economical and saves cooking again.)
We had it on trays while watching the News on TV. I know it’s not the best way to eat, and watching the News is not exactly something which aids digestion, but it was a cosy way of eating our Saturday lunch.
We didn’t have a newspaper yesterday – sometimes the Saturday paper really annoys us, with too many sections, few of which we actually wish to read. Sunday’s paper is better; fewer sections but more interesting ones. I even like the Stella magazine in the Sunday Telegraph although some of the fashions are not only outrageous, but outrageously priced. Today, a leather shirt (I can’t think that that would be comfortable) priced at over two thousand pounds and a skirt, a mere snip at around six hundred pounds. Obviously, there are women who will buy these things, not only because they are wealthy but also because they will think they are the very glass of fashion. Sadly, fashion and style aren’t always close relations. Having said that (sorry, cliché) I do enjoy reading Stella magazine; it keeps me in touch with the latest skin-care and make-up products and new trends in décor. Not that these trends influence me, but I like to keep up-to-date in my knowledge of such things.
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One thing I would like to mention here is that I think I inadvertently upset one reader, Jane in America, by my remarks about Hallowe’en. This is what I said:
“Items for Hallowe’en are on the shelves, so on my next visit [to the supermarket] I will be buying some of them for Trick or Treat night. While we don’t particularly like Trick or Treat night, or rather Hallowe’en as we still prefer to call it, many children do enjoy it, but it does seem to have overtaken our traditional Guy Fawkes (or Bonfire) Night, on 5th November.”
As a child and as a young adult with two small sons, we loved Bonfire Night, when there was a bonfire and fireworks’ display at our children’s primary school. There were hot dogs to eat and fizzy drinks for the children and hot drinks for the parents. But since those days, Hallowe’en, another tradition where children would have Hallowe’en parties, has become Trick of Treat night, when instead of holding parties, children knock on strangers’ doors and yell “Trick or Treat!” Some, of course, are escorted by their parents and they are then usually polite and look quite sweet, in a way, dressed as witches and all manner of ghoulish creatures, but we have had teenagers arrive, often in groups, and while they perhaps mean no harm, they can appear rather menacing in the eyes of some older folk.
I took down from the shelf a book called Mother Tells You How. This is a collection of practical tips which were in Girl comic which was a best-selling weekly comic in the UK from 1952 to 1960. I loved this comic, and especially the picture strips. Here are two featuring Hallowe’en and Bonfire Night.
They are very much of their time but I think it demonstrates the lack of commercialization in the 1950s, how the fun was home-made and not bought ready-made in a supermarket. Bonfire Night was much ‘bigger’ than Hallowe’en in those days, with children making an effigy of Guy Fawkes who would eventually be put on top of the bonfire, and they would be told of how this man (and others) attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Trick or Treat night, which I believe originated in America, has since overtaken Bonfire Night in popularity, and while in my youth children would stand in the centre of the village or town with their home-made ‘Guy’ and ask people for “a penny for the Guy” (meaning some money towards fireworks), they didn’t go around knocking on the doors of strangers’ (or even neighbours’) demanding “trick or treat.” I would not wish to spoil any child’s fun and I appreciate that times have changed; we always answer the door and hand out sweets and loose change, but I know which kind of celebration I prefer.
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As we didn’t have the paper yesterday and as I was ‘rationing’ (as I did’t wish to finish it too quickly) Alan Titchmarsh’s lovely book, The Haunting (for although I’ve more on order, they haven’t yet arrived) I thought it might be fun to watch a DVD which I bought a few weeks ago …
This is an excellent film of three black women mathematicians who worked for NASA, a most enjoyable and uplifting film.
Today (Sunday) has been another quiet day, which began with porridge and the paper in bed.
Porridge (aka Oatmeal) is a lovely way to start the day, isn’t it?
Off now to make chicken curry for our supper this evening, then a read of the paper, a little more of Alan’s novel, and a cup of tea.
Until next time.