Don’t scream!

Well, this is my last blog in my blogging experiment. Is blogging going to be my new hobby then I can hear you all screaming. Well no it’s not. I have enjoyed taking time to nourish you all with my wonderful insights but as I read back the entries I have made, I have come to one main conclusion – I have turned into Victor Meldrew from One Foot in the Grave!

It seems there are a lot of things that frustrate me about modern living – mind you it wasn’t too good in the “olden days” either without washing machines and computers. However I like being alive and I like my life.

I live in hope that no-one every says to me again the immortal words “ah bless”. I want to find the portal to sock world so that I can encourage the odd socks back again to live in unity with their partners in the sock draw. I want to understand why the younger generation has changed it accent and I’d like to understand what they are talking about.

I shall go on wearing unsuitable clothes and moaning at staff in restaurants when they don’t listen and try to poison me. I shall ignore anyone who includes the title Silver when they refer to me and I shall find beauty in the spider webs that fill my house and not make war on them.

I am going to “kick back” and enjoy life. I’m going to try lots of new things and continue with the old things that I like. I shall spend less time on the computer and more time with the real world. I want a real life – not a virtual one.

And so if you email me and you don’t get a reply, don’t be surprised – I will reply at some point – I’m probably just out trying something new.

Thank you all for reading my offerings and for the kind things you have said. I would love to leave you with a piece from George Carlin, an American comedian and favourite of mine,  who has excellent views on life. If you don’t know him I’d like to share him with you.

This is what he said:

Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we’re kids? If you’re less than 10 years old, you’re so excited about ageing that you think in fractions.

“How old are you?” “I’m four and a half!”

You’ll never say thirty-six and a half.

You’re four and a half, going on five! That’s the key

You get into your teens, now they can’t hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead.

“How old are you?” “I’m gonna be 16!” You could be 13, but hey, you’re gonna be 16!

And then the greatest day of your life . . you become 21. Even the words sound

like a ceremony . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!

But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there?

Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There’s no fun now, you’re

Just a sour-dumpling. What’s wrong? What’s changed?

You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you’re PUSHING 40.

Whoa! Put on the brakes, it’s all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.

But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60.

You didn’t think you would!

So you BECOME 21,

TURN 30,

PUSH 40,

REACH 50

and

MAKE it to 60.

You’ve built up so much speed that you HIT 70!

After that it’s a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!

You get into your 80’s and every day is a complete cycle;

you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime.

And it doesn’t end there. Into the 90s, you start going backwards;

“I Was JUST 92.”

Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again.

“I’m 100 and a half!”

May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!

HOW TO STAY YOUNG

1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay “them.”

2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down.

3. Keep learning. Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain idle. “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” And the devil’s name is Alzheimer’s.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath.

6. The tears happen. Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person, who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. Be ALIVE while you are alive.

7. Surround yourself with what you love , whether it’s family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don’t take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county; to a foreign country but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell  people that you love them , at every opportunity.

AND ALWAYS REMEMBER: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,

but by the moments that take our breath away.

And if you don’t send this to your friends – who cares? But do share this with someone.

We all need to live life to its fullest each day!!

Bye Everyone

Silverteen

xx

Web Web Web

I just can’t understand why I can’t beat the webs. I don’t mean the WWW dot type of web, I mean spiders webs. Now I am not fanatically house proud. I am more the sort that will panic when I know we have visitors coming and try to find the floors under all the dog beds, shoes, books (and other stuff that magically appears) so that I can clean them.

I live with two dogs and two other adults. That means six feet and eight paws (often twelve paws when a doggy friend comes to stay) and so what chance do I stand of keeping my white – yes white, kitchen floor clean.

I do sometimes have a cleaning fit. It doesn’t happen very often but it did occur yesterday morning. What triggered it I can hear you all asking. Well, it was when I went out into our laundry/boot/dog/rubbish room, opened the back door to the garden and walked face first into a huge spiders web.

Now I like spiders, I don’t even mind the webs when they are not over my face but I do draw the line when they decide to take over . I know it’s not the resident spiders such as the large one called Henry who lives in the living room and travels across the carpet from one end of the room to the other of an evening. He usually causes pandemonium as the dogs think he is a supper snack and we have to save his life. Then there is the small round very dark one called Jemima who lives under the toilet roll holder in the toilet. She is very sweet but does tend to stare at you when you are doing what you went in there to do, which is a bit disconcerting.

No I am not waging war against the likes of Henry and Jemima, it’s the ones that try to cover the doors with webs and catch us on the way through them. I have discovered something amazing about webs – they are almost indestructible. I have tried using my Dyson which is a lovely strong machine to gather them up, but no. They just stick together and form a pad over the nozzle. If you then try to get it off with your fingers, they get all sticky and it is very hard to remove. I had to resort to Cif last week and I have to say, I wouldn’t recommend it as hand cream.

The webs just on the garden side of the door were really bad. This was when I had my light bulb moment – or so I thought. I pulled the back door closed and got the hosepipe!! I let rip with a full blast on the webs from top to bottom. Oh how I wished I hadn’t! I hadn’t closed the back door properly and so I had to spend half an hour bailing water out of the laundry room and drying the carpets. And the webs looked nice and clean and almost like new hanging just where they were. It’s not fair!

A friend of mine said that if I spoke to the spiders nicely, they would go away – a bit like bees. I waited until the family were out of earshot (I wouldn’t want them to think I am weird) and had a long conversation with the main spider who I knew for certain was just at the back of the cupboard where I couldn’t see him. All I can say is that my friend is nuts. There were more spiders than ever the next day.

I also have a problem with dust. I just can’t understand where it comes from. Perhaps in Summer with all the windows and doors open I should expect it but yesterday while it was pouring down, I polished all the glass tables. When I went back into the room later that day – the dust was back! Why oh why isn’t there a dust portal in my house where it can all disappear through. (see my previous post to understand this comment)

I suppose I am a bit of a minimalist. I am not a lover or “knick knacks”. I don’t like patterned carpets or wall paper either and so my home is very plain. I like things to be clear and tidy. It comes from when I was a child and my grandmother would always say “don’t put it down, put it away” Somehow this has always been stuck in my head, and to me it makes sense. Putting in down and then putting it away later is two bits of work. Just putting it away straight away is just one bit of work. Simple! The trouble is the rest of the family don’t think like that, neither do the dogs. Many is the time I have tripped over shoes and bags, stepped on the dogs squeaky toy (I never get used to this, it always make s me jump) and walked into a house that looks as though it has been picked up and shaken.

When I go to other peoples houses, they always seem full of nice things, very homely and nice but I know that if I chose some patterned paper or something like that, then it would irritate me before the first week was out. I like my peace and calm.

So to keep my home clean and tidy I need to solve one problem as a time. The webs are the first thing to sort out. I wonder if a flame thrower would work?…………

Art or Hibernation?

I love Summer, especially the warmth and being out of doors. Over the last two years I have however begun to dislike Winter. I think this is because I feel the cold more and so this year I decided that I would develop new hobbies to keep me busy.

This should be quite an easy thing to do but it hasn’t quite worked out that way.

My first thought was that I should “Join” something. I brought up a list of things I could join within a large radius of where I live and it was then I realised that this was going to be harder than I thought.

The WI and local Flower group ( as lovely as they are) were immediately dismissed – its just not my thing. Teaching at the – and here it comes again – Silver Surfers Club was also filed WPB. The badminton group has a two year waiting list and so does the table tennis club, so even if they had let me in with my poor standard of getting balls or shuttles back over the nets, it’s a no go!

I then tried the bowls club ( they do it indoors in winter). This was a real laugh, we had to be ‘interviewed” to see if we are suitable – the cheek of it! They decided we were but when they said I had to wear a grey pleated skit and a white blouse to go and play there, I decided that they definitely were not suitable! They commented that they found it hard to get young people – I wonder why! What a lot of snobbery is connected to these groups.

I hate golf, I hate gyms, too old for hockey (they can all run faster than me now) and It’s a bit cold and wet for winter. Having decided that the club side of things is just not for me, I turned my attention to arts and crafts.

Now I don’t have an artistic gene in my body, I can’t paint, I can’t draw. Knitting is boring and so is sewing. The last time I made a blouse was about forty years ago and somehow I had three sleeves – you see why I’m not keen? I think that you also have to have a science degree to get a sewing machine working!

I do have one talent, I can weave but only scarves and all my friends and relatives have cupboards full of my scarves so it is a bit of a waste of time really.

In desperation I took myself off to a large arts and crafts shop. It was like a paradise for clever people. From cake decorating to glueing paper on boxes to make them look pretty, sewing, embroidery, pottery, card making, model building I was spoilt for choice. However I jumped in, bought a cardboard tissue box, some pretty paper and a pot of glue and a brush. I was assured by the sales lady that I would absolutely love it and nothing could go wrong. Oh I should have known better!

Three hours in the conservatory, me, a pot of glue and a brush – what a recipe for disaster! There was more paper stuck to my fingers and my glass table than to the box. I ran out of paper despite the sales lady saying I had plenty and would become an addict to my new hobby. I don’t think so. It took me ages to scrape the glue off my fingers and the brush and the box I had to throw away – once I had detached them from my table. Another idea down the pan.

And so I am still facing Winter without a new hobby. I shall just have to stick to my computer games and my books. However my friend has come up with the idea that once a month, we should do something we have never done before. Her list includes pole dancing, abseiling, belly dancing, rally driving, archery, horse racing, bell ringing and morris dancing! Her plan is that we just turn up and try these things without joining anything. If we don’t fancy it when we get there we will just go to the pub, which in my book is a much better idea.

So I am going to remain useless this winter and just snuggle down into hibernation like my tortoises and stick my nose out just occasionally to try something new. I have decided that I quite like hibernation!

What was that?

Being the age I am, I really hate management jargon especially having spent years in management trying to work out what people were talking about. When I was thinking how to share this with you. I did a bit of blue sky thinking. I checked in the box, connected the dots then drilled down into them. I tried to touch base with you all then couched the idea as we are probably not all singing from the same hymn sheet. I needed a bio break and some air cover, so I thought outside the box, created a matrix from my thought shower and now I’m pushing the envelope – still with me?

If you are then you are are doing well. All of the jargon sounds absolutely ridiculous when you hear it all going on in business meetings. It seems that no one can just simply say what they think any more. I get the feeling that staff today feel they are not professional if they don’t speak the lingo. I think it’s the opposite. I think people who just say what they mean have much clearer mind sets than those that resort to the fashionable quotes and they are the people I used to employ. Feeling like this I thought I would tell you my personal interpretation of management jargon.

Blue sky thinking – Its a lovely day – lets have a picnic!

Check in the box – Wonder what they have bought me for my birthday?

Connected the dots- One of my favourite things in a puzzle book. I like to try and guess what its going to be.

Drill down – I hate the dentist but at least the modern drill isn’t as bad as the old ones where it felt they were drilling right through your jaw bone.

Touch base – racing for the flat thing on the ground in American baseball

Couch the idea – Yes it is a good idea, crash out on the couch and watch a film – You just need some chocolate and popcorn.

Not all Singing from the same hymn sheet – A mix up in church! Probably because they have Silver Servers!

Bio Break – Breaking the seal on a bottle of Baby Bio plant food. And thats another thing, I know things have to be childproof but do they have to be “old” proof as well. I have ruined many a knife and screwdriver trying to get the top off my favourite jar of olives.

Matrix – an awful film starring Keanu Reeves. It was so boring

Thought shower – Well I thought about a nice long hot bath and then thought no I’ll have a shower

Needing Air Cover – when the dog is lost and you need the police spotter plane to find him.

Pushing the envelope – Pushing an envelope full of money over the counter to be counted and then deposited in the bank.

I have to say that sometimes bits of jargon can be useful. In another lifetime I had a large team of people and every summer we would have a “Blue Sky Thinking” afternoon. This always went down well with senior management and councillors alike. In reality I arranged an afternoon of cover for my team and we all piled in our cars and went to the local park for a few hours for a picnic and a game of french cricket. This down time with laughter and fun refreshed their minds and made them a “team” more than any round the table brain showers ever did.

So please, lets have more plain speech, no more made up ridiculous sayings and then perhaps we’ll all know whats going on!!

Food food, glorious food!

I love food! The problem is that if I love it too much, it tends to stay with me and make me large in places that shouldn’t be large! Luckily last year I had an operation which meant I had to eat really small portions for a long time. It sounds bad but the really small portions came about five or six times a day. Bliss! Eating all day and I lost weight.

I’m not a fussy eater although a lot of my friends dread me coming to dinner in case they kill me. I am a vegetarian (not so unusual today). I don’t wear weird sandals or hair shirts, I just don’t eat meat, fish or eggs. Not really a problem for most average cooks. The problem seems to be because I am allergic to garlic. I can hear the howls of sympathy from here, but I don’t need your sympathy because I hate the stuff anyway!

It does however create a small problem when I go out to restaurants. If there isn’t a vege option on the menu the conversation usually follows the pattern of “Well would you like some fish? Perhaps an omelette then? DaH!!! I’m Vegetarian I scream “Just vegetables, on their own then?” is the response. There is then the problem of making sure they don’t serve up my vegetables with a spoon that has been serving up any garlic. There are of course the usual wise cracking waiters, “would madam like the cheesecake or the Tiramasu?” Then comes the “One tiramasu – no garlic” yelled down the restaurant.

I’m not a brilliant cook but I try. The people who come to dinner keep coming back so it can’t be too bad. I always leave a packet of indigestion pills on show in the bathroom just in case anyone needs them but so far I’m the only one that has needed them.

I have improved over the years. When I got married nearly half a century ago, our first visitors for a meal were an aunt and uncle. I decided to cook a roast chicken (brave as I hadn’t really achieved much more than boiled eggs at that stage) The chicken seemed to take ages to cook then I realised I hadn’t taken the bag off it. I kept going and proudly dished up the chicken ready for carving, although it didn’t smell very nice. My uncle carved but stopped after one slice. It seemed I had left the giblets in a plastic bag inside the bird! I didn’t know what giblets were then either. The fish and chips my uncle went and bought was very nice though (I wasn’t a vegetarian in those days).

One of my dislikes are restaurants that charge high prices and then starve you! So call “fashion” cookery. A large white plate with a huge brim will appear. On it one pea, one slice of carrot, a teaspoon of potato and a tiny bit of meat in the middle, all decorated with wiggly lines of some red stuff. You can get all the food on your fork at the same time and just have the one mouthful! And for that you have to pay a high price. In one restaurant I did say “nice appetiser how long to the main course?” My companions who love that kind of snobbery were aghast, the waiter treated it as a joke. He was probably laughing all the way to the bank! I hate pretension. Still I might try it next time I throw a bash, it would be cheaper and I might not burn anything.

I do like cakes though. I used to love making birthday cakes for my relatives and friends. I’m not very good at icing and so my cakes are always on the comic side. For my sisters 50th birthday I created Stonehenge on the top of the cake – it looked really good and so I added the words “Happy Birthday to an Ancient Monument” Not sure if that one went down too well. I guess my sense of humour is not always appreciated. My other efforts have included a porcelain toilet complete with a toilet roll stand and toilet roll and the immortal words “Happy Birthday – Another year down the pan!” That one did go down well. My favourite one was the breast cake! Two pudding basins made the main part and they were put side by side and decorated in pink icing with a lace bra iced on them and two cherries set in the right places. I thought it looked really good. I needed something nice to put on it so I added “To help you keep abreast of your birthdays” I wish someone would ask me to ice their wedding cake, I have lots of ideas for that!

Now I’m trying to find a hobby for winter, but its fraught with difficulties! Tell you next time.

The Necessary Nudist!

I hate and always have hated clothes shopping. I know, I know! I can hear you yelling in disbelief at me but I can’t help it. Shopping is boring, yes, your heard right – shopping is boring!

It is especially boring if you have to go and buy something for a special occasion. Now I have a uniform. Its jeans and a T-shirt in summer or jeans and a jumper in winter. I do have more that one set of clothes – I have to have something to wear while the first lot is in the washing machine, I am not entirely stupid (contrary to public opinion).

The problem with shopping is, if I see something that I really like and that fits and looks ok, then invariably it is going to be out of my price range. Ergo, anything in my price range doesn’t fit and looks grim, therefore why bother. I only bother because, although I am not against joining a nudist colony, I really feel the cold.

What I want to know is who actually designs all the clothes in the shops. I think there is a set pool of designers made up of people who are very good at making money, people who are very good at brainwashing other people and another set of people who don’t know what they are doing but think they do!

Lets take an example. When did you actually last see an old lady with a blue rinse? No I thought so, not for about thirty years and so why then, do they still make ghastly looking dresses made out of patterned material that you wouldn’t line a dog kennel with? In one shop recently I saw a dress with large mauve and green swirls (it looked as though the wearer had been using a food processor on beetroot and cabbage and the lid came off) and it was pleated at the waist (90 and pregnant?) and this was a “fashionable” high street store. Just what are they thinking? The other dresses could have been used as uniforms in the local building society!

Sometimes if I really do have to find something, I strike lucky and find the perfect dress or skirt – and its in my price range – and I like it! The problem comes when I try it on. I’m a size 14 and the fit is ok – except – where is the bottom of the dress? It stops just below my bottom, or if I am lucky, halfway between my bottom and my knees. Now the teen part of me thinks this is great. I loved the mini skirt – I had loads of them but somehow a mini skirt on the “silver” part of me just doesn’t work. Although my legs are still holding me up and can look a lot better in black tights there is still something sad about a 70-year-old in a mini skirt. So my heart is saying “yes, yes you look great” but my head is yelling “don’t be a moron!” Luckily my head wins the battle and I go off and find a nice pair of jeans.

It’s the same with buying tops. Now this may come as a shock to some of you, and I don’t want you to get upset, but wobbly arms and wrinkly skin WILL be yours at some point. It only gets bad when you point left to something and the rolls of wobbly flesh go right! Then it can be more noticeable. I am not what you would call “well endowed” In fact you could almost say my shoulder blades are larger than my boobs and its possible I could look as though I am going backwards. I don’t like high-necked clothes even in winter but there seems to be nothing between high-necked and open to the waist!. What looks good on other people tends to look like a bin bag on me.

Sometimes when I’m out and about I see the perfect outfit for me. The trouble is it’s usually on someone walking past. I have actually been know to stop someone in the street and say “I hope you don’t mind my asking but where did you get your top, it looks fab” Most people are too taken aback to be upset and I have the information and I’m off before they get to think about it.

I think the only solution is to design my own, but then I would have to make them and that’s where it would all go wrong. And so I am destined to long miserable trips around the shops hoping I may just trip over something I can wear. I think my husband has it right when he says, we are getting old, get used to it! He’s right – Its not the clothes that matter, it’s the smile that makes the sun shine and the laughter that sounds church bells. It’s who we are that’s important and so fellow wrinklies, when you enter a room, let them see your personality first before they notice your clothes or alternatively, wear fancy dress!

I’m looking at food next time!

Slap weh, Tek, Yudone know?

I overheard a conversation the other day. I wasn’t eavesdropping, well not intentionally. I was holding the dog outside a shop while waiting for my other half. A young lad around 15 I suppose, all testosterone but not yet shaving sort of age, was on the phone, I presume to a friend. The conversation went a bit like this: Hi bruv, yeah wassup, cool man etc etc. The strange thing was, this young man was very blond, very English and wearing a blazer from a local private school and yet he was speaking in a loud pseudo Jamaican accent. Now I have two problems with this. One, I can’t understand what they are talking about and the other, (and this is not just an age thing) I resent that they don’t want to be English any more. I suspect this started with the rappers (another pet hate of mine and this probably is an age thing) That is fine if they are Jamaican but if not, why not use English?

We are so lucky to have the country we have, probably one of the most tolerant in the world. We have history going back hundreds of years, we have great traditions like cheese rolling down hills and carrying barrels of tar set on fire through the streets of the village. We have morris dancers with bells and sticks and proper pubs with gardens and fish and chips and every year we burn effigy’s of our so-called traitors. Why of why would you want to pretend to be from the Caribbean and lose the wonderful English accent that is admired around the world. Mind you, it’s not just the pseudo Caribbean thing I have a problem with, it’s the “only way is Essex” thing as well. Now I have a shock bit of news – the only way is not essex! The word Like does not have to be in every sentence such as “well she was like and he was like”. How boring it makes the conversation!! And wicked does not mean it’s nice, it means its more likely to be evil! And how rude of people to say “Shut Up” when I tell them something interesting (or maybe I’m deluded and they are just telling me to shut up)

How am I supposed to be “with it” and stay young if I haven’t a clue whats being said! More importantly I think it is so sad that so many people want to follow a trend like lemmings heading for the cliff when they could be individuals and therefore so much more interesting.

I love individuality! I love the people who are different, who have a spark about them with the courage to have a go and follow-up their somewhat mad ideas. Life is so very short. I’ll let you into a secret. Silverteen comes from the fact I am elderly so fall into the “silver” category – and how annoying is that! Silver surfers, silver splitters, silver line and to cap it all, silver tsunami relating the increasing number of older people. So yes I come into the silver category but that’s only on the outside. I’m still seventeen inside! The passing of the years is very frightening, suddenly the time has gone and the time in front is much much shorter. That means every day should be enjoyed. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you make the best of the day. I love Jenny Josephs poem called “When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple “ I’m in her camp!!

Next time I write to you it going to be about clothing…..Oh don’t get me started………

By the way, just to help you, the translation of the title is Awesome, fabulous, do you understand!