Sunday, August 10, 2008

Last post for a while

Hi everyone,

I've decided to have a break from blogging for about a year,
partly as I feel less enthusiastic to keep a diary going, and
also I've got less and less time to do so, as I'm pursuing
other interests and have increasing family commitments (baby-
sitting and the like).

We've had one of our daughters staying with us this past week,
with her toddler, Mini, and the two of them are staying another
week with us. I'm delighted to have them of course, but it
means I've got less time to be doing anything else.

I will comment on other people's blogs from time to time, and
you will be able to see what we're doing, from this link to my
Flickr site.

I may come back with a different blog design (more like a
Wordpress one, with Blogger hosting it) and a different blog
title ... I will contact my regular readers nearer the time.
(If you're not on my blog roll and would like to know when I'm
restarting, please let me know via my email address at the bottom
of this page).

Ta-ta for now.

(PS ... update-12/8/08 ... looks as though Little Frosty-Ponk will
make it ... HCG blood level 305 ... normal for very early pregnancy
is over 25 units ... Hurrah!)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

I don't believe it !

I don't often feel angry about things these days. Yes, there are
things that annoy me like rising food & energy prices, but these
don't really get my hackles up.

However there was something which almost made me shout out a few
days ago. I was walking along our road to pop a letter into a
postbox, when I saw a woman in her 30s drive by in her car with
two small children sitting in the back - two children under 5.
I was amazed to see her smoking a cigarette while driving ..
her car window was slightly open, but my immediate thought was
about all the cigarette smoke her children would be inhaling.

I've no problem when consenting adults are smoking in a confined
space (in their own car or home). If they wish to kipper
themselves, then that's their choice. But I think that smoking
with children in the same confined space is bordering on child

I remember well doing a late evening home visit back in the 70s,
to a family on a Nottingham council estate. Their 6 year old boy
was ill with a bad cough. And sure enough, the poor child did have
a bad cough -- he was lying in a smoke-filled living room. The air
was thick with cigarette smoke, with both mum and dad puffing away o
on their fags. I felt ill myself having to sit for 20 minutes or
so in that fug. My prescription for the kid -- plenty of fresh air.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Yes we can !

I was amused to read that the catchphrase "yes we can", used
by Barack Obama back in January in one of his victory speeches,
is the same catchphrase used in the "Bob the Builder" children's
TV series.

I've dug up a few references to all the above, if you wish to
spend a few minutes looking at them .... A, B, and C.

Our granddaughter, Little A (the taller girl above), is very prone
to temper tantrums at breakfast time, if her food and drink isn't
served up fast enough. Her orange juice has to be given to her within
a few seconds of her entering the kitchen ... if not, she starts
screaming, followed by head-butting the ceramic-tiled kitchen floor.

Our other granddaughter, Mini, can be demanding but in a quieter sort
of way. The only temper tantrum she's had so far was outside Costa's
(Coffee Shop) in Wimbledon's Centre Court, when the shop was shut one
morning for technical reasons. She's used to getting a small cup of
frothy milk or a chocolate milkshake, together with some cake or a
cookie there
. She collapsed in a heap and shouted the house down,
she was so cross. She's obviously acquired some posh habits in her
life so far.

Mini could have done with a hot line to Obama ... "Can you fix it?" ...
"Yes we can!"

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Highlights of the past week include ...

First of all going to see the Juliette Binoche film Paris
last Tuesday, which Mrs C and I thought was great. It’s
a bitter-sweet look at Parisienne life, with the plot
centred around a brother and sister and what's happening
in their lives. The brother is a man in his 30s who has
just been diagnosed with a terminal heart disease, and so
is put on the waiting list for a heart transplant. His
sister (played by JB) comes to live with him with her
children to support him. There are several other characters
interwoven into the script to make it more interesting.
A lovely film for which I award a five star rating.

I was interested to read the reviews of the film
beforehand, on the IMDB site, which gave me some useful
insights about the film. I thought the reviews also gave
some interesting insights as regards the reviewers

Those of you who live in the UK will be dismayed by
British Gas’ announcement to raise energy prices by a
further 30/35% this year … while at the same time as
announcing a massive profit … £140 million of this is
to be given to their shareholders … great news for the
directors and the shareholders, but appalling news for
more and more people finding themselves in fuel poverty.
Good news possibly for the environment, as rising prices
will encourage us to use fuel more sensibly (& to
insulate our houses more). We will be keeping our house
cooler this coming winter and we'll wear more layers of

I recall some years ago when one of our nieces stayed
with us a few months one wintertime. She wandered
around our house, wearing only a T-shirt and jeans, and
insisted that we keep the house warmer for her. She’s
now in her own house, paying her own fuel bills, and
dresses more sensibly.

As some of you will know, I’m keen to save money when
I can, and thanks to reading Martin Lewis’
Moneysavingexpert website, I’ve found a cheaper way of
getting car breakdown cover. I’ve been with Green Flag
for many years, and have had excellent service from them
on the rare occasion I’ve had to call them out. The
renewal premium this coming month is £82 (the same as
last year) for comprehensive cover.

This coming year I’ll go with AutoAid Breakdown Cover,
which works in a different way to Green Flag, but which
is a lot cheaper at £36 a year.

This weekend, Mrs C and I are in London, staying with
one of our daughters (L) and her partner and Little Mini.
Mini is as delightful as ever, and is acquiring more vocab
as you’d expect. She’s very good at copying words and
actions ... last week she refused to give the TV remote
control to her mum, until L said the word please.
Mini is now 18 months old.

The exciting thing that’s happened today is that L has gone
for implantation of a five day old embryo (which was created
at the same time as Mini, but which has been frozen all this
time). The chances of success are low unfortunately even in
the best hands. L has been told that her success rate is only 25%
(for implanting just one embryo of this age) … so we’re
keeping our fingers doubly crossed that Little Frosty-Ponk
will make it.