Restoration Project 4

Stuck at home recovering from a virus, I got bored. Consequently I ended up filling my time by renovating and updating this site's appearance. I hope you like it.
The other event to relieve the monotony was the delivery of not one but two exciting packages. To be honest I was still half asleep when the first arrived by courier. As he fled off at sprinter-pace, I had no idea whether it was because my dressing gown and unbrushed hair were enough to frighten even the most hardy of van drivers or if it was because he had targets or deadlines to meet. I suppose I'll never know.

In any event after he had left, I realised that I appeared to have accepted  a package containing a camera tripod. We were somewhat taken aback by that until Mister E checked the tape securing both ends of the box. Fortunately it was indeed from a helpful spare parts outlet with which he'd placed an order. 

You can't imagine the excitement that followed in unpacking a new panholder and knobs for the mar…

I'm Going Viral

Sometimes I think retirement is turning me into a hypochondriac. When I recorded in this blog my first illness after being sniffle-free for the first fifteen months of retirement, I never  for a moment thought that it would be the first of many viruses that I would succumb to. Where on Earth do they come from?
The latest one started with an invasion of my throat, but after a week I finally thought I'd conquered it and enjoyed a lovely day out in Knaresborough. Then, boom, it struck again; this time on both right and left flanks i.e. both throat and ears. Honestly a girl (and a senior one at that) can only take so much and the latest drone attack on my nasal cavities (it's not a cold, there's no sniffing) has me on the verge of surrender.
"Don't visit me," my mother, bouncing with her own good health, said on the phone, "Oh, and I'm not coming to see you either. Viruses act in unpredictable ways."
Wisdom indeed, or has she been working on scientific…

Caree in Wonderland

Mention afternoon tea to me and I can't help visualising white fluffy ears and hats with 10s/6d price tags on them. The presence of a teapot on a table immediately conjures up what was the shocking image for me as a child of the Hatter and March Hare 'trying to put the Dormouse into' it.
Maybe it's the fear that I won't be allowed to sit down and enjoy the comforts of good baking; ' "No room! No room!" they cried out when they saw (her) coming.'
Somewhere along the way the gift of a copy of 'Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland' when I was young together with an adult life spent in a neighbouring village to Croft on Tees where Lewis Carroll moved with his family when he was 11 years old, has clearly had an effect upon me. With a daughter who attended the school still connected to the church at which the author's father was the Rector, it's perhaps little wonder that the book continues to have an impact.
These days of course thanks to the …

The Diamond Club

There seems to be a continuous debate online as to the terminology to apply to our generation. "Seniors" is a popular description and certainly better than "senior citizens" or "the blue rinse brigade." "Boomers" is widely used and clearly preferable to "the over-sixties" or even "pensioners" and don't get me started on "old-age pensioners": yikes!
As you've probably noticed I tend to use "retirees" on this blog but that's probably a reflection of my legal upbringing where there's a tradition of  adding "ee" or "or" onto the end of all kinds of words (think "mortgage" or "grant"), rather than a sensible vocabulary choice.
Recently,  however, inspired by receipt of an e-mail from that well-known do-it-yourself store, B&Q, I thought for a moment that "diamonds" could be the perfect name. With their association to sixty years what could be a …

A Grounding Experience

In light of the hot sunny weather, Wednesday morning's Yoga classes have moved outdoors. Forget wobbling in the studio, as an alternative I can wobble outside.
The strange thing is either all those physiotherapy exercises have really worked or connecting to the Earth isn't as far fetched as we might think. Either way, bare feet, uneven lawn, the branches of a large oak tree above with its dense foliage filtering the sunlight, birds singing, insects hovering and amidst it all I can suddenly hold a very elementary version of the tree pose.
I have to confess to feeling relieved as a result. So much is now known about the need for both muscle strength and balance to aid mobility, prevent falling and preserve independence as we age that I have even been practising standing on one leg whilst cleaning my teeth. Don't try it, toothpaste inevitably ends up dripping down the front of whatever you are wearing!
No from now on I am happy to draw my inspiration from trees that live for hun…

A Poison Spree

 It shows how up to date I am in the garden (thanks to all the wonderful summer weather over the last couple of months) when I finally get around to clearing shelves in the garage. However, and retaining a gardening theme, I attacked all those historic containers of pesticides and weedkillers that have been sitting there for years (in one instance over a decade and a half) with a vengeance. Having resolved to adopt organic methods several years ago, it was a long overdue clearout.
Imagine my surprise when a check of the labels revealed a host of containers with chemicals now banned within the E.U., although luckily some, if not most, I've never actually used. Whatever were farmers and gardeners thinking of throwing volumes of bifenthrin, malathion, permethrin (even their names are frightening) onto plants in the hope of discouraging insects, not to mention copper sulphate to treat fungus and sodium chlorate and simazine onto weeds. All poisons of one degree or another that have bee…

Fame, Fortune and Retirement in Bristol

 To be honest the title of this blogpost is, shall we say, misleading although I would certainly count myself as fortunate to have spent two nights in Bristol this week.

It is a most attractive city and I say that despite the fact that every patch of grass we saw was totally scorched and for the most part attempts to keep flower borders watered and blooming had been abandoned. Tourists, however, flock to the harbour with its converted sheds now hosting eating, drinking, exhibitions, a cinema and museums including Brunel's SS Great Britain restored to its original Victorian splendour. 

There's also a wonderful old town area with a market and pedestrianised streets. 

As for Temple Meads Station with its crenellations - wow!
The purpose of my visit was not to seek fame, although I had been invited to speak at an inaugural event organised by Linkage Network to promote a retirement project in Bristol. Despite the searing heat, attendance at The Watershed on Wednesday evening exceeded e…