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Monday, July 28, 2014

Answer Me This...


1. What’s your favorite thing on YouTube?
I have loved this advert Samuel L Jackson did for Barclays Bank for years. I downloaded it in case it vanished from YouTube, but it is still there! I am not a huge YouTube user; sometimes trailers, occasionally music videos and the odd funny bit here and there.

2. Who taught you to drive?
A combined effort if ever there was one. Sometimes my Dad - he was the chilled laid back option and on occasion fell asleep before we got home (!); also my Mum - she sympathetically braked whenever she was in a car with me, even when I'd been driving for years. Mostly a driving instructor. I was never an enthusiastic driver (I learnt because I grew up in a village where the bus service stopped at 6pm). When I stopped driving for health reasons I didn't (and still don't) miss it.

3. What’s your favorite thing to cook?
I quite like doing my sweet potato curry; it's nice and easy. Peel and dice the potatoes (about one medium sized one per person); but them with a small bit of oil in a large pan and add a teaspoon of madras curry paste. Cook for a few minutes and then add a can of coconut milk. Cover the pan and simmer for fifteen minutes and serve with rice.

4. Are you a hugger or a non-hugger? Why?
I hug friends and family; but I have to have know them a good long time. I'm not terribly comfortable with sharing my personal space with people I don't know well.

5. Where do you pray best?
In church. I'm a lapsed-Anglican and I don't pray very often.

6. When is the last time you saw/spoke to your grandparents?
I saw my grandmother back in about May. She is my only living grandparent. She lives a good way from us down on the South Coast; and as I don't drive and she doesn't much it is special occasions that usually bring us together. I do speak to her a lot though; I aim for once a week.

Granny at my wedding (maternal side) - fabulous at 92

Granny Nita with our dog Lucy (paternal side)

Grandad and me (maternal side) - we had a lot in common

Eugene (paternal grandfather) died when Dad was a baby

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Social (112)

Social Sunday

Linking up with Ashley and Neely for the Sunday Social
Today is all about threes.

1. 3 favorite songs right now
That's a tricky one. I don't actually listen to much music much (which my massive music collection  of over 5,000 songs on this laptop would make you doubt).
  • Louis Armstrong "What a Wonderful World" (we've had a holiday celebrating our first wedding anniversary, and that was our first dance).
  • Allegri's Miserere 
  • Anne Murray "Can I Have This Dance"

2. 3 favorite movies that remind you of summer
I'm not sure that I have movies that remind me of summer... Saturday movie night is a big thing in our house so we watch a lot of movies!
  • Now You See Me - superb movie that we watched in the cinema on one of the too hot to handle days last Summer. I got the BluRay for my birthday this year, and it is just as good second time round
  • Lego the Movie - no, you are never too old to unleash your imagination and watch this "awesome" movie - I've been playing the Xbox game so really stamped on this summer.
  • Grease - a very summer movie (it's in the song Summer Loving' - let's face it!)

3. 3 favorite articles of clothing you own

  • Right now my linen trousers, excellent for keeping cool
  • Any of my light cotton shirts, keeping cool without the sunburn!
  • My African dress, one of dresses I own (the very short list includes my wedding dress!)

4. 3 items on your wish list
  • I really want to get a soup maker, my god-mother can't rate hers highly enough and Husband loves my vegetable soup. They also do juices so it's a 'twofer'!
  • A list of books as long as your arm about London; lucky for me my Mum gave me some money for my birthday - so some shopping on Amazon is due!
  • A string of white pearls. I adore my grey pearls that my parents gave me for my 30th birthday, but MiL gave me some beautiful pearl bracelets for my birthday and they need a companion :-)

5. 3 books you would recommend to someone
  • Stronghold by Melanie Rawn; the first of a six book series - dragons and sunrunners in a medieval sort of world. I first read this when I was doing a temporary summer job as a cleaner, and I hung out in the attic kitchen between tasks and devoured this (and the following) books
  • To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer - the first of the sprawling Riverworld series... everyone who lived, ever, along the banks of a river which is the entire world - food is provided magically and nobody ever dies...
  • My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell - the story of nature on a greek island, but also the joys (?!) of family life. I wore out my original copy as I used to take it every where I went when I was young... I was scared of staying away from home and this was my comfort blanket!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Occasional Tourist

We've been busy this last week (and will be next week) enjoying the sites and sounds of London - drop by the Occasional Tourist for more details.

Sunday Social (111)

Social Sunday 

Linking up with Ashley and Neely

1. What is the most difficult thing you have been through?
We all have difficult things; at the time they seem insurmountable - but after time, looking back, worse things happen. For me there are two difficult things that stand out; I'll deal with them chronologically.

The first was, in 2002, discovering that I had MS. On one level it was a relief; strange things had been happening with my health for over 4 years and to have a name to put against it (and finish the endless tests) was good. MS, is however, an incurable disease. It is a life sentence that leads a lot of people (not all) to some sort of disability whether it is visual, physical or mental.  You can read about some of my experiences here.

The second, back in 2010, was the death of my beloved father. Although during my teenage years we had a stormy relationship, once I left home and grew older we would speak several times a week on the phone (often on my bus journey home from the tube). I can't say more than I have in the post just after he died; or remembering him; sometimes with photos; or even poems. If it is hard for me, it hurts more to think of my adored mother... half of one of the most perfect marriages I have known.

Sketch - on their wedding day, Mum & Dad

2. What was your best birthday?
Hard to say. Husband makes my birthday special for me every year; gifts ranging from just what I wanted to I love it and didn't know it was out there! Cake for breakfast... lots of fun and love.

Memorable birthdays (not quite the same thing) are obviously the big number ones: 16, 18 and 21... there was also a party that I shared with one of my best friends whose birthday is exactly two months before me.

Sweet 16
Keys to the door
All grown up
3. What has been your favorite thing you’ve done in your own city?
Oh the choices! I love London, and know (parts of) it intimately. Last year Husband and I spent our two weeks honeymoon being tourists in London; we're doing the same again for our first anniversary this year. I think my number one (at the moment) is 'The View from The Shard'. London (and the UK's) tallest building; finally with a viewing platform (take that One Canada Square!). You get to see the whole city from a new perspective. We went on opening day last February and again yesterday. I have a feeling it won't be our last visit either! For other amazing spots in London there are a good few here.

4. What is your idea of the perfect date night?
I like to stay at home; maybe get a take-out rather than cooking; some beer (for Husband) and wine (for me) and some excellent movie fodder (a Marvel comics based film perhaps?). Sat together on the Sofa of Sloth, preferably with the cat on the chair!

5. Have you ever been to a blogging conference? If so which one(s)? If not do you want to?
I haven't. They aren't very big in the UK. I don't think I'd like it much unless someone I knew was definitely going to be there. I've had to go to networking events for work in the past; and I found the painful and not very useful. If there was the right event in the right place the I might go along...!