By golly ~ red onion marmalade is delicious !

Never a dull oment

laundry waiting in garden for new washing machine which should be here tomorrow.

Well ~ another fascinating day ~ 10.30 Sue's allotment friend BETTY came for a tarot reading but we somehow sat down and chatted for a good hour before getting round to the Tarot ~ the cards seemed to make a lot of sense to her and as always we taped the reading on the kitchen radio ~ querents seem to find it very helpful as they can listen to the whole session again quietly at home ~ and again, as always, I taught her how to use a pendulum, though unfortunately she left the pebble she chose on the table (though she came back for it next day) but she can make one with something else until I see her again ~ a key, a ring, a heavy bead ~ anything small and heavy that can be threaded onto a length of twisted cotton ~ Betty got strong clear YES and NO swings right from the start ~ excellent.

Yesterday while we were having a tea break, Richard, Jack and me, with toasted hot cross buns (Sainsbury's are super ~ I treat my self to a pack of four with every online order) I was telling them about pendulum power ~ Jack was very interested but I felt Richard's eyes were beginning to roll ~ you know, in disbelief!   Anyway, having invited them to choose one each from my collection of pebble pendulums, Richard immediately got strong clear YES and NO signals and was obviously both amazed and won over !!   Jack had a signal, but a feebler one.

With Sainsbury's online shopping I generally try something new each time ~ one absolutely delicious find is their RED ONION MARMALADE from 'The Mercers of Yorkshire' and certainly lives up to their  Really Fantastic  claim ~ for a lunch time snack it is enough to spread the sweet sticky stuff onto a crispbread ~ and if I'm making cheese-on-toast I spread the bread with RED ONION MARMALADE before adding the cheese ~ oh, AGA cheese-on-toast is not actually toasted but popped in the oven for ten minutes till browned and bubbling ~ so look out for this Yorkshire delicacy, Folks ~ Red Onion Marmalade from the Mercers of Yorkshire ~ I'll give you a photo.

Such a strange email from an old friend ~ the message had gone out to a dozen or so ~ a minor celebrity in the world of film had died and her two cats were needing a new home, and as they are sisters and had never been parted, a home together.   To anyone interested these celebrity cats, presently living in Paris, would be hand-delivered anywhere in the UK.   I couldn't help feeling the lure of the celebrity owner was paramount, which reminded me of my own brief, VERY BRIEF, celebrity after the Country File film when complete strangers were crossing the road to shake my hand ~ quite ludicrous, of course, but it does tell us something about our current hunger for celebrity !!   With the email there was a charming photo album of the two black-and-white sisters ~ all very odd !

I haven't had a washing machine since Saturday so I shall be jolly glad when Penny Wise brings new machine tomorrow afternoon ~ meanwhile I have a large laundry basket full ~ tea-towels and dusters mainly, from yesterday's great kitchen operation ~ tonight I'm leaving it out on the yard but I will be happy to get it all washed and out on the line while the weather is so fine.

Friday evening : Susan Harty turned up at lunch time yesterday shortly after Betty had gone ~ she only intended to stay a few minutes but was still here two hours later ~ more interesting chat, but I was certainly ready for a flop by the time she left ~ Susan was terribly crippled in a car accident some years ago and gets around in a wheel chair though she was able to shuffle from it to my Ercol chair which was good ~ we left her electric wheel chair out on the yard.   Susan has had a very interesting life ~ with three small boys of their own, she and Nick adopted three small girls, and they now have a huge family what with partners and offspring ~ recently it was his 80th birthday and their Diamond/Golden wedding anniversary and they took them all out to Austria for a week ~ Austria is Susan's favourite country and has been since she was a school girl and had an Austrian pen friend.

Today has been pretty hectic too ~ changed my sheets first thing and then went over to bank for money to pay for new washing machine plus housekeeping.   Glorious again, though when Georgie rang she told me in Driffield they'd had heavy rain early on but it had cleared up later ~ poor girl, she'd hung her washing out and was just off for a hospital appointment when the rain started and it all had to come in again.

I'm worried about my girls, both of them ~ the Powers-that-Be are always encouraging women to go out to work, always ranting on about Working Mothers, ignoring how much work is involved in running a house, coping with laundry and keeping everybody clean, fed and happy.  And that, even with all our modern conveniences.   Kate is a Conservationist with Halifax Council and until recently was one of a team of five, but one of them retired, one of them moved away, another one is on Maternity Leave or something and suddenly Kate is doing the work that five of them were doing ON HER OWN ~ those who have departed are not being replaced ~ she had opted for a four-day week which was a God-send giving her a day to herself, time to draw breath before the weekend ~ but she has had to go back to full-time working which brings in a bit more money but sounds as if it is slowly killing her ~ and this even though their boys are nearly grown up, Dan at Uni and Doug coming up to his O Levels.   And Georgie seems to be in a constant state of exhaustion ~ she works in Beverley for the North Humberside Council and has managed to get every-other Friday off but this means she has to be at her desk by 8.0  (or maybe 7.30 ~ I must check with her) ~ in my single parent days, in Winchester after our divorce, I wrote a diary of disintegration : "Falling Apart" which was never published though I did write a couple of articles for The Guardian on the subject.  Never mind the new men and sharing domestic chores and all that crap ~ in just about every household it is the Mother who carries the responsibility for keeping the whole jolly show on the road ~ I don't know how I survived, and today's young mothers must be fairly shredded up.

Saturday evening : Well, the washer came and it is absolutely splendid ~ at Keith Bedlington's suggestion I got it from a small local shop, PENNYWISE ~ a BOSCH energia model A*** for £260 and the price includes plumbing the new machine in and taking the old one away ~ pretty damned good ~ in the last 24 hours I have done SIX loads, and even left one lot out on the line overnight ~ it was perfect weather for a major laundry operation and during the day I've got everything dry and most of it ironed ~ what a relief to have caught up with a six-day baclog !

Earlier I took Bill's book along to Chris in Blackburns Yard (we don't use apostrophes for the names of Whitby yards) but they weren't in so left package on their garden seat, but the wind was quite wild and I worried that somehow the folder would come open and the sheets be scattered around the yard so shuffled back and moved it to a safer place under a polytunnel ~ they phoned me later and had found it OK.

David Matthews was back this evening and I went in to number 4 to see what damage the imprisoned starling had caused ~ fortunately he had shut the door onto the stairs so shit and feathers were at least confined to the one room, and even the piles of shit were modest, unlike the foul and smelly splatterings that seagulls produce ~ the bird lay dead, of course, worn out no doubt from panic and its attempts to escape.   From now on, David will leave a key with me so that someone can always get in should there ever be another drama like this ~ Mary and Terry had keys for all our cottages, but now I am the only actual resident, perhaps I should hold them instead.

There was another frightful situation once in number 7 ~ when the fresh lot of visitors arrived and unlocked the door, they found the place swarming with wasps, thousands and thousands !   Nobody dared go in until the Pest Control Officers had been (and it was lucky they could be contacted on a Saturday afternoon) and deal with them ~ they discovered a large nest in the roof space, made from wasp spit and chewed up plaster shavings, like a beautiful round football ~ the wasps had gained entry through a hole in the brickwork no bigger than a 50p coin ~ once we realised they were there, we could see them flying in, in formation,in an endless line, one every six inches or so ~ by the time the Pest Control Men had fnished there were piles of dead and dying wasps ~ I think the would-be visitors stayed in a b&b for a couple of nights until the corpses had been cleared away and the smell of fumigation had cleared !   Terrifying !



My smart new BOSCH washer !!