Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Meanwhile .......

It has been such a long time since I posted anything that I have wondered if I should give up altogether. I had very good intentions of writing regularly, I'm sure that I even had lots of ideas but life got in the way again.

So, what's been happening in rainy Devon for the past few months? I had a totally unexpected spell in hospital and discovered that the NHS is in a much better state than the press would have us believe. From the moment that I arrived in the emergency department, I was treated with kindness and consideration and the utmost efficiency. No waiting on a trolley in a corridor, no ill-kept wards or staff who can't speak English. Maybe our local hospital is an exception but I cannot sing its praises too highly.

We have had some joyful family gatherings and a steady stream of visitors who expected a sunny break in Devon, only to find it has been one of the wettest summers ever. The garden has suffered from the constant rain too.

The forced inactivity gave lots of time for reading and I worked my way through the Orange shortlist as well as my entire TBR pile. Knitting and sewing projects have been completed and several cupboards have been sorted. Every cloud has a silver lining if you look hard enough!

The best day of recent weeks was a writing workshop that I attended, run by my friend D of 60 going on16.  This was a first for me and I was very nervous about writing spontaneously and having to read out my efforts for other people's comments. It proved, however, to be a thoroughly enjoyable experience: D is an excellent leader, inspiring confidence and giving encouragement. I can't wait for the next workshop and I'm enrolling on her 10 week course in the autumn.

The highlight of the summer has to be, of course, the London Olympics. Team GB is certainly doing everything to lift our spirits in this gloomy weather. Cycling, rowing, sailing, horseriding, triathlon, athletics - the excitement has been relentless and there is more to come.

The family response to the Olympic spirit has been mixed: four year old Millie was here in my house watching a brilliant display of gymnastics with her mummy, while three year old Charlotte was watching the same event at home in Bristol with her daddy.

 In a telephone conversation that evening, my son and daughter discussed the children's reaction:
asked if she would like to do gymnastics, Millie replied, "No, I couldn't do that."  Whereas Charlotte thought for a few seconds and said "Hold my biscuit," before bending over to attempt a forward roll. "Hold my biscuit" has already earned a gold medal place in the family glossary. We are working on Millie's lack of competitive spirit!


  1. "Hold my biscuit." I love it! We have family phrases, too. Like, "Just say when." But you have to say it with a cowboy drawl. It was so nice to hear from you. I'm sorry about your stint in the hospital; I hope all is well. Millie has always struck me as one of those deep, brilliant thinkers. It's in her expressions. I'm sure she's cooking up something clever that will make everyone say, "Hold my biscuit!" I admire Charlotte's spunk.

    1. It is very nice to hear from you, Jodi!

      I love those family phrases that can have everyone in stitches while strangers look on in puzzled amazement! My son put all of ours together in a book a few years ago and gave us each a copy for Christmas - he called it The Nixonary.

      You have Millie summed up very well. Even as a tiny baby she looked at us with a deeply thoughtful, intelligent expression.

  2. Delighted that a) you are feeling better and b) that you are blogging again, M.

    It probably matters not one jot that Millie doesn't appear to have competitive inclinations - I suspect that she won't need them! The competitive gene passed me by completely; for example, I much preferred reading 'How to be Topp', the fictional Molesworth's hilarious account of life at St Custard's, rather than fretting about being top . . . Meanwhile, I comfort myself with the thought that a balanced world needs competitors and observers.

    Thank you for your kind words about the writing workshop to which I can only add that committed, enthusiastic participants make a leader's task not simply easier but more enjoyable too. It was very rewarding to hear what everyone produced during that session.

    1. D, I am going to try to do some blogging on a regular (probably not daily) basis. Then I'll be able to tell my teacher that I have been practising!


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