the cow cushion my friend Lucy gave me years ago ~ one of my treasures

Fire ! Fire !

Confession ~ I always get the Guardian with S's delivery in spite of the fact that I can no longer read it ~ the double sheets are perfect for wrapping kitchen rubbish up for the dustbin

The fire alarm on the landing has been pinging away all weekend which means the battery is running down ~ I rang the Fire Station and someone is on the way : "it's a big tall fellow I need, explained ~ but don't we all !  Have just ordered the 2018 Dodo Pad ~ Mary sent me one the very first year they came out which must be coming up to fifty years ago ~ certainly while I was still married ~ and I've bought one every year since ~ even at my age and half blind I cannot survive without it, the DODO PAD !   Spent an hour 'filing' email ~ most of which could be deleted ~ when I have a good clear out it soon fills up again and mostly with junk ~ Mary is just back from Keynsham half  way between Bristol and Bath ~ well nearer Bristol really ~ when we were girls (with Rachel and Rita) we often used to cycle that way either via Whitchurch and Queen's Charlton or the other way starting from Brislington Vicarage ~ in summer, we could get down to the river for a picnic or a paddle, the River Avon ~ KEYNSHAM brings back so many happy memories ~ that's where Mary came from, and I grew up in Bristol, and I think David's Alison came from Pensford between Bristol and Wells ~ Mother taught at Pensford Primary School for several years taking Helen with her to the Infant Class ~ amazing as it sounds, she swam  EVERY MORNING before school in the out door pool which may have contributed to her angina OR just the opposite, may have contributed for her good health (other than confusion) up to all-but 102 ~ who knows ~ if I had any gumption I should be taking a dip in the sea every damned day, instead of which I am totally house bound.  Sue was here to change my sheets for the laundry ~ I have to admit I have not always been so regular with changing bedding ~ I can't believe I changed all the beds so frequently, not when there were four singles and our double ~ but every body bathed every night so it probably didn't matter ~ maybe I washed one lot of bedding every couple of days ~ we all survived anyway.   After I started working at HCC I arranged for an elderly friend to be there when the xhildren got home from school and she'd do the ironing for me which was a wonderful help though I don't think I ever ironed bedding/   Just at the time when the duvet was coming into fashion I was taken in by a persuasuve fellow who offered to turn the children's eiderdowns into duvets ~ he took William's I remember and brought it back a few days later much depleted ~ I guess that from every three eiderdowns he could make a duvet without detection ~ a complete con but fortunately I only fell for it the once.   Having stolen much of the content of Will's eiderdown, he than charged me for the theft !   And poor Will needed another blanket on his bed ~ what a mug I must have been (and probably still am today).   Barbara has gone up to Scotland for a week with Sheerings who organise trips all over the country at very fair prices and staying in very comfortable hotels ~ I shall miss her ~ without being my official Carer, she does keep an eye on me ~ yesterday afternoon she rang twice while I was wallowing in a delicious bath thanks to Annabel's Melts ~ rather worried that I was not answering, she tried once more before coming rounbd to check but by thenI was dried and dressed and watching The Blue Planet : but good to realise she was concerned ~ I could so easily have been lying in a heap at the bottom of the stairs ~ thank you, my friend !

Tuesday and the fire alarm on the top floor is pinging away like mad so had to phone Fire Station again and someone will come this afternoon ~ the two alarms must have been installed at the same time and so no wonder they give up the ghost at the same time ~ Mary popped in, and then the Firemen, Paul and Chris and as well as replacing the second smoke alarm, this one on the top landing, they checked all electric sockets so J feel wonderfully safe.   By 3.30 it was practiclly dark which is very depressing ~ I'm going up to have a bath before thinking about supper.   Up here there is a terrific draught coming through the window ~ as in other years. I must roll up an old towel alomg the window cill which will probably be enough ~ Mary asks if we are happy for them to decorate the yard again as they did last year ~ NO PROBLEM ~ as I remember, it looked amazing. . .

Wednesday ~ forgot PMQs ~ nurse came and gave me a flu jab so that's good ~ cold, wet and miserable and dark by 3.30 ~ as it was too wet to garfen, 10 o'clock Richard came in for coffee and chat ~ I feel we have become good friends ~  S's delivery dealt with ~ can't imagine going shopping these days ~ I really am pathetic.   Watched Grand Design llast night and thank the Lord for my thoroughly traditional house ~ how do people actually live in some of these weird and outlandish houses ?   Are the architects simply trying to be different ?   Clever ?   

9.30pm having watched Mary Berry in some grand house ~ charming and informative ~ I must remember to watch next week ~ definitely wintery ~ so far no snow though every bulletin the North Yptk Moors are mentioned ~ Amazon is pretty amazing ~ ordered a couple of things this time yesterday and lo-and-behold the parcel arrived at lunch time !   After all the years of reading The Guardian and even having twenty or so articles in it over the years it comes to this ~ my eye sight is so poor that I can no longer read it but I'm ashamed to say I get it purely to wrap kitchen rubbish in ~ wonderfully large sgeets and twenty or so per day ~ Saturday's edition is most useful with various supplements ~ Sport, Family. Financ, Travel ~ for disposing of kitchen rubbish The Guardian lasts me ten days or more !   

Friday pm and SO gloomy ~ reminded by Georgie, I have a booked a delivery slot with S's for Friday 22nd ~ just put a few things on the list to be completed neaer the day ~ I could so easily have forgotten ~ having trouble remembering my paypal password ~ better install a new one.   In spite of the cost, I'm putting the heating on after lunch and the fire too in the evening ~ how delicious an electric blanket is ~ it comes on at HIGH around 9pm giving me a lovely warm bed to start with and this weather I then keep it on all night at the lowest setting ~ what self-indulgence ~ had a piece of baked salmon last night for supper with  small potatoes and garden peas but how do I get the fishy smell off the cutlery ~I tried leaving forks in jug of water on Aga with a few drops of vinegar in it but it hasmade no difference ~ and I made sure I was using the common or garden cutlery NOT the silver plated stuff.   The 2018 Dodo Pad has come so I shall sit down with it in a mo to fill in all family birthdays and read the jokes ~ hope I live to see 2018 in  an act of faith ordering the jolly diary

wacky raspberries filled with raspberry yogurt