On the stroke of midnight ~ New Year's Eve on Whitby beach

Ah # that's more like it ~ Rudolph among the crystal balls !

The Birthday Pair ~ Kate and Alan with their two ~ Dan and Doug ~ on a recent visit to Whitby

Whitby flood

Georgie rang me just after 8.0 to see whether I was flooded as reports on TV and radio that Whitby is cut off ~ as we spoke the Aga service engineer arrived from Malton ~ roads are all passable except the Ruswurp one ~ it seems that last night there was serious flooding in centre of town as surging Esk met high tide !   Aga annual service £105 and I think it is only twice in all these years that the Aga has let me down ~ pretty amazing !   It is pouring again as I type ~ I must go and make lunch and get going again after my flop.   Thank God I don't have to go out in it !

As it is new year, let me check hits on both my blogs :

hits for www.joypeach.com : 306, 391

and for www.joypeach2.co.uk : 20,602  

Pretty bloody amazing !!

Wednesday 4.30pm   and it''s still pouring !    To add to the general misery it gets dark soon after 2.0pm !   But at least we are not flooded though pump in basement of number 3 seems to have switched itself on as water pouring out of pipe onto yard ~ hope David's cellar is OK ~ photo from him of their ski party in French Alps and there does seem to be plenty of snow.  These dark dreary wet mornings it is harder and harder to get out of bed ~ in spite of this I'm always ready to flop by 2.0pm ~ a symptom of decrepitude I guess.

Reading another of Jennifer Johnston's gripping novels : Shadow Story ~ I am totally hooked on Jennifer Johnston !

Kate and Alan are hoping to come over at the weekend, for just the one night ~ it is their birthdays ~ his on Friday, hers on Monday ~ they have booked a family room in Youth Hostel it will be lovely to see the three of them (Doug too) but not much fun driving over from flooded Hebden Bridge to flooded Whitby ~ in PMQs I noticed Whitby was listed along with York and Leeds in question about increasing flood defences !

Barbara and her family went down on the beach on the 31st to welcome in the New Year with other revellers ~ as well as marvellous firework display the Northern Lights were active, glowing green and glorious out to sea ~ she sent me a photo which appeared on facebook on the 'share' option so I guess I am allowed to put it here.

Friday 5.0pm ~ It's been raining most of the day and it's cold ~ with the heating on from 6.30 the temperature up here is scarcely 18 ~ loads of ironing this morning as I couldn't face it last night ~ I do hate it piling up like that.   Alan's birthday so I must phone him later ~ they should be over here tomorrow morning for 24 hour visit staying at Youth Hostel with Dougie ~ Kate's birthday on Monday ~ he will be 51 and my baby 52 !!

The red cabbage is even better than usual ~ I added a teaspoonful of grated ginger to mix ~ enough for two more meals.   Prepared a list of benefits I am enjoying thanks to Attendance Allowance which Mo might include with the renewal form she is coming to fill in for me on Wednesday : help in the house (Sue), Richard the gardener, bedding to laundry, able to eat properly thanks to Sainsbury's online delivery and most important of all, I am no longer afraid to turn the heating on ~ annual estimate has just come from e-on £1,609 but even this amount does not faze me nowadays and such bliss to keep warm.

Radio4 seems to be having a politeness campaign with Anne Widdicombe after lunch and other features during the day ~ one thing she mentions as being particularly bad is the way today's children don't bother to say thankyou for Christmas or birthday presents ~ I remember that Boxing Day was always given over to thankyou letters ~ we'd all sit round kitchen table writing to Granny, Aunts and Uncles and Special Friends with someone ticking  the list as pile of letters grew ~ mind you, it was sometimes a problem getting more than a minimal letter out of them : "Dear Granny, thank you so much for the colouring book and crayons ~ I hope you and Granddad had a happy Christmas, with love from Kate..."

Nowadays it is true that kids don't bother with a letter or even a phone call ~ I had to have a row about this a few years back with Will's lot (otherwise a delightful pair)  and haven't sent them anything since ~ I'm pretty sure my £10 or whatever was an insignificant amount to them with plenty of other affluent relatives.   I always used to send book tokens : £5 for a five-year-old, £12 for a twelve-year-old etc until one of them told me "Nobody reads books any more, Granny !"     They are too busy playing on their smart phones and ipads !   Depressing really, but maybe they do come to reading eventually.   We are all good friends again now and they even phone to thank me for a card.

Oh Lord ~ the situation in Syria gets more dreadful by the day ~ Assad's tactic is to besiege a city letting no-one in or out, and cutting off all supplies of food until people are dying of starvation ~ even, it is reported, eating GRASS and SOIL !    He is said to have agreed to let Aid through on Monday but many more will have died by then ~ having destroyed so much of the country, and driven millions to seek refuge in Europe, is this his plan for those that remain ~ death by starvation !   To think that in 2016 nothing can be done to stop him.

 

Haven't asked his permission, but here is David and party in French Alps, and in spite of reports to the contrary it looks as if there is no shortage of snow.