Thursday, 30 October 2008

They’ve Lost the Plot!

I’m wondering what on earth is going on with the press and TV.

I watched the news at lunchtime with a sense of wonder. Yes, wonder at what’s going on with the media here in the UK.

So what was on the news?

Well, there was an inspiring item about a soldier who received the George Cross from the Queen today. In Afghanistan he had thrown himself onto a live grenade to shield the other members of his patrol. Amazingly he survived! Was this the top story? No, it got a short mention near the end.
There was another story about hundreds of soldiers marching through Colchester to honour 15 service personnel killed in Afghanistan. No this came at the end of the news.

Then there was the Jean Charles de Menezes inquest where witnesses were giving evidence about the lack of warnings given by the police before they shot Jean Charles in the head on the Tube. No, not the top story.

What about the economy and the fears for the success of largest shopping centre in Europe that’s just opened near London? No!

The freak hail and floods in Devon? No!

The UN fears about thousands of people fleeing from rebels in the Congo? No!

The Pakistan earthquake? No!

The election in the USA? No, no, no! None of these.

The main story the press have had a feeding frenzy with, is the one about DJs, Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand and the prank calls they made to actor Andrew Sachs on their Radio 2 show. Yes, they are grown men, grossly overpaid and they behaved like a pair of puerile boys, stupid and very nasty. It's sad that this type of thing passes for cutting edge humour with the young these days. However to make this the main story for three days is ludicrous when you consider what else is happening in this country and the rest of the world. I have no doubt the main story will be exactly the same tomorrow as the resignations and suspension are commented on.

Who decides what makes the main news stories these days? Makes you wonder! I think they’ve definitely lost the plot.

Me? I'm losing the will to watch the news on TV or read the papers!

Oh No! It's Her With That Camera Again!


Oscar


This is my lovely little fellow Oscar.

He's getting on a bit now. In the photograph above he was sixteen, now he's nineteen. Like Cary Grant he carries his age well.

These photographs are from a couple of days ago and he doesn't look a day older!

What's going on now?




Please tell me it's not the grandchildren here again.





False alarm thank goodness. Just her with the camera. Does she never give up? It's such a hard life being a cat.

In this weather all he wants to do is sleep. Trying to get an active picture of him proved impossible. I'll be back!

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

My First Award!



Merle very kindly nominated me for the Million Dollar Friend Award.

Now this is the very first one for me so it’s very special, a million thanks Merle.

Apologies to Merle for the delay in doing this, she must think I've forgotten about it but I haven't! It's just taken me so long to actually organise it.

Beginner that I am hadn’t a clue what to do but she graciously sent me the guidelines and here they are:


The Million Dollar Friend Award comes with the following rules :

1. Only five people allowed.

2. Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog.

3. One has to be someone new or recently new to your blog and live in another part of the world.

4. You must link back to who gave you the award.

It was hard to choose as there are so many lovely people who comment on my site. I wondered whether my Blogging friends already had this award so I tried checking and if I’ve dropped a clanger apologies!

With these rules in mind . . . I bestow The Million Dollar Friend Award on the following friends :


***********
Brenda

***********
Renie

***********
Old Lady Lincoln


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and my new reader Hippo Chic


Monday, 27 October 2008

Installing a Husband

Dear Tech Support

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewellery applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as:

  • Romance 9.5 and
  • Personal Attention 6.5

and then installed undesirable programs such as :

  • Football 5.0
  • Cars 3.0 and
  • Fishing 4.1

Also Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2. 6 simply crashes the system.

Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?

Signed Desperate

DEAR DESPERATE

First, keep in mind:

  • Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while
  • Husband 1.0 is an Operating System

Please enter command ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.

If that application works as designed Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications:

  • Jewellery 2.0 and
  • Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to:

  • Grumpy Silence 2.5
  • Happy Hour 7.0 or
  • Beer 6.1

Please note that Beer 6. 1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)

In addition, please do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 -program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly.

You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance.

We recommend:

  • Cooking 3.0 and
  • Hot Lingerie 7.7

Good Luck!

Tech Support

I can't take the credit for this, a colleague sent it to me!

Chocaholic Alert!


Hot Chocolate Fondant Pudding with a Gooey Centre

Now I’m not a chocaholic. Not that I refuse a Thornton’s Continental when one is offered or a Cadbury’s Flake. I do enjoy chocolate, milk chocolate, now and again. I just don’t crave it and I never buy it for myself, only for my grandchildren.

Nathan and Lauren, my grandchildren love chocolate and they love chocolate cake and pudding. So when I watched TV chef Phil Vickery on the TV programme, This Morning, making these chocolate puddings, I knew I had to try the recipe for them. The recipe is here along with a video of the chef making the puddings. There are a couple of ads first and a brief description of the different types of chocolate. The video and instructions are very good.

Link to video and recipe
http://www.itv.com/Lifestyle/Food/ThisMorning/Recipes/Hotchocolatefondant/default.html

I made the puddings and they were fabulous!

A few things to note before you try this:

1. My mixure made more than 6 puddings, I ended up with 9. Maybe my ramekin dishes are smaller than the ones on the programme. When I make this again I’ll halve the ingredients and still get at least 4.

2. Eat them immediately. They go a little hard if you don’t. As they tell you in the video you can leave the mix in the ‘fridge for a while before you bake it. Just add a couple of minutes to the cooking time.

3. They are delicious but very rich. I could only eat half of one pudding. Wish I’d had some crème fraîche to take the edge off. So be warned!

Awesome Grandmas Who Blog

Well I have to say I've never thought of myself as awesome. The Pyramids, Grand Canyon, Taj Mahal and Durham Cathedral, now they fall into the category of awesome.

However Renie Burghart got in touch and told me that she and I, along with Grannie Annie had been nominated as "Awesome Grandmas Who Blog" by Lemondrop. How on earth did they find out about us? There must be millions of Bloggers out there. Amazing!

What's strange is that Lauren Bohn who wrote the article said that only 5% of bloggers are over 50. So we are in the minority yet we have more time for blogging than younger people. Maybe we need to spread the word more. Have to say I don't know anyone else who Blogs young or older. Younger people in my family use Facebook and other social networking sites but I'm not keen on them. I prefer the diary style of blogging.

Lauren Bohn asked for recommendations of other grandma bloggers, so just to let you know I've nominated a lot more grandmas who blog. Keep an eye out you might be in there soon.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Special Friends!

Yesterday I went to my grandson Nathan's school assembly. He’s 10 and in Year 6, his final year at primary school. The assembly was to celebrate the Special Friends project that his school has been running for a long time now. The school’s motto is “caring, sharing and helping others” and this project is one of the ways that the motto is put into action.

The children in their final year who are 10 - 11 years old are paired up with children in the Reception class, aged 4 – 5 years, who are just starting their school life. They spend time together every day, getting to know each other, showing the little ones around the school and playing together. Every Friday the two classes look forward to spending their last lesson of the day playing together. They play football, rounders, jump on space hoppers and pogo sticks and they play the traditional games like ring a ring a roses, hopscotch etc and generally get to know each other. It’s a great idea where the little ones know they have someone who’ll always look out for them and help them if they have any problems. The older ones enjoy the responsibility given to them, caring for and sharing time with the little ones, not to mention going back to playing the games they enjoyed when they were small. Fun is the order of the day!

The assembly was amazing, very informative, it made you laugh and also brought a tear to your eye as the children showed us what being a Special Friend is all about. They sang hymns and songs, acted a short parable of sharing, read poems and told us in their own words what it meant to them.


I remember when Nathan started this school 6 years ago and how he often talked about his Special Friend Paul who was 10. Paul was obviously important to Nathan and he still has the teddy bear that Paul bought him that first Christmas in his new school. I didn't know much about the Special Friend scheme then or how important it is in the school and to the children. The OfSTED school inspection picked up on the ethos of the school and commended the Special Friend scheme in their final report. The school is one of the top primary schools in the City.
Now it’s Nathan’s turn to take responsibility for his Special Friend, Benedict. Nathan talked about Benedict even before he met him in September; it was obviously something the school prepared them for. We met Benedict, his Mam and baby brother on Friday, they are lovely. Benedict was very shy with Nathan at first but that’s changing and his confidence in school is developing. The relationship is obviously an important one to them both and I think Nathan enjoys having a little boy to play with. Much more fun than a little sister! I look forward to hearing about what they are doing over the next year.

I don’t know whether the new school Nathan will move to next year operates anything like this. It would be great if they do, but it’s a huge school and it may be difficult to organise. However it’s possibly needed more there than in the primary schools. That move to secondary school is a very difficult one, the schools are huge and the age range is 11 to 18. Maybe he’ll even meet up with his special friend Paul who will be in his last year in 6th form then. Who knows?

Next year it will be Lauren, Nathan’s little sister’s turn, when she joins the Reception class. I look forward to going to her Special Friends' Assembly in 2009 and meeting her new Special Friend!

Favourite Places

Durham Cathedral There are some places you visit and they stay with you, they're so special.  This is mine! I've blogged abo...