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A mere cat?

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 Seen on a friend’s FB  this brings a smile to my face and the music is charming  too.

www.youtube.com/watch

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If you see this post a poem

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Carol Anne Duffy, the Poet Laureate asked fellow poets to bear witness to the matters of war last summer as the Iraq enquiry approached and the war in Afghanistan escalated.  This touched me.

In Times of Peace

by John Agard

That finger – index to be exact –
so used to a trigger’s warmth
how will it begin to deal with skin
that threatens only to embrace?

Those feet, so at home in heavy boots
and stepping over bodies –
how will they cope with a bubble bath
when foam is all there is for ambush?

And what of hearts in times of peace?
Will war-worn hearts grow sluggish
like Valentine roses wilting
without the adrenalin of a bullet’s blood-rush?

When the dust of peace has settled on a nation,
how will human arms handle the death of weapons?
And what of ears, are ears so tuned to sirens
that the closing of wings causes a tremor?

As for eyes, are eyes ready for the soft dance
of a butterfly’s bootless invasion?

Books Read in 2009

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 I’m keeping to an average of more than one book a week ; 1.5 this year.
My book of the year came very early "A Thousand Spendid Suns" by Khalid Hosseini, read in January for my bookgroup. Nothing exceeded the strong emotions and tears this book generated.

Books Read in 2009
January
1. One Good Turn – Kate Atkinson (9)
2. The Night Watch – Sara Waters (8)
3. A Grave Man – David Roberts
4. Grumpy Old Women – Judith Holder
4. A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khalid Hosseini(Ethelreaders)(10)
5. Mary Reilly – Valerie Martin
6. At Your Own Risk – Derek Jarman
7. Affinity – Sara Waters (9)
8. The Child in Time – Ian McEwan
9. Last of the Late Developers – Peter Wyton
10. Edward Trencom’s Nose – Giles Milton
February
11. The Reader – Bernhard Schlink (9)
12. The Other Side of the Bridge – Mary Lawson(8)
13. David Golder – Irene Nemirovsky (9)
14. Wonder Boys – Michael Chabon (8)
15. The Coffin Dancer – Jeffery Deaver
16. Not the End of the World – Christopher Brookmyre (8)
17. Stories from your family tree – Ruth Symes
18. Boiling a Frog – Christopher Brookmyre (9)
March
19. 31 Songs – Nick Hornby
20. How to Talk to a Widower – Jonathan Tropper (Ethelreaders)
21. C – John Diamond (9)
22. In a Dry Season – Peter Robinson
23. The Stone Monkey – Jeffrey Deaver
24. The Front – Patricia Cornwell
25. State of Happiness – Stella Duffy
26. Extreme Motherhood – Jackie Clune
27. At the Stroke of Madness – Alex Kava
28. Bloodlines – Fiona Mountain
April
29. Without Consent – Georgie Hale
30. Emma – Jane Austen
31. Be My Enemy – Christopher Brookmyre (7)
32. Like – Ali Smith (8)
33. Something to Fall Back On – Maureen Lipman (didn’t finish)
34.Why Don’t Penguins Feet Freeze – New Scientist
35. Last Chance to See – Douglas Adams & Mark Carwardine
36. Charlotte Gray -Sebastian Faulks (re-read for Ethelreaders)
37. The Water Clock – Jim Kelly
May
38. The Fire Baby – Jim Kelly
39. Dare to be a Daniel – Tony Benn (library)
40. Firmin – Sam Savage
41. Feel – Chris Heath
42. Fatland – Greg Critser
43. Why do people hate America- Ziauddin Sardar and Merryl Wyn Davies
44. Ghostwalk – Rebecca Stott(Ethelreaders)(10)
June
45. A Snowball in Hell – Christopher Brookmyre (8)(library)
46. The Road Home – Rose Tremain (library)
47. One of Us -Melissa Benn
48. The Dead Heart -Douglas Kennedy (library)
July
48. Scapegallows – Carol Birch (library)
49. The Righteous Men – Sam Bourne
50. A Line in the Sand – Gerald Seymour
51. The Empty Chair – Jeffery Deaver
52. The Mortal Sickness – Andrew Taylor
53. The Twelfth Card – Jeffery Deaver
54. The Last Sorcerer – Michael White(library)
55. Blinded – Stephen White
August
56. The Colour – Rose Tremain (Ethelreaders)
57. The Cold Moon – Jeffery Deaver
58. Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem – Peter Ackroyd (10)
September
59. The Suspicions of Mr Whicher – Kate Summerscale (8)
60. The Casebook of Victor Frankenstein – Peter Ackroyd (library)(9)
61. The Stranger House – Reginald Hill(10)
62. The Innocent – Harlen Coben
63. Losing You – Nicci French(9)
64. Murder Most Fab – Julian Clary (library)
October
65. The Truth – Terry Pratchett
66. R is for Richochet – Sue Grafton(library)
67. Past Imperfect – Julian Fellowes( Ethelreaders)
68. The Blackpool Highflyer – Andrew Martin
69. The Other Hand – Chris Cleave(Ethelreaders)(8)
November
70. Linger Awhile – Russell Hoban (library) (8)
71. Expecting Someone Taller – Tom Holt
December
72, The Outcast – Sadie Jones( Ethelreaders) (8)
73. Silk – Allessandro Barrico (8)
74. Ye Gods – Tom Holt
75. Crack Down – Val McDermid
76. A Touch of Frost – RD Wingfield (7)
77. To War in Spain(Penguin 60) – Laurie Lee (10)
78. Little Black Book of Stories – A.S. Byatt (8)

Feeling perky at 11.58 am ( or Sleep Clinic part 2)

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A couple of weeks ago I posted about going into the sleep clinic for more tests. This is what happened.

So those of a sensitive nature can avoid the horror of me "wired up".

Read more here

Channel 4 or The League of Gentlemen

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I love this ad for More 4, but what is it about British males and  drag? Where else would a highly respected historian appear in drag on TV every night?

Does David Starkey remind you of Tubbs from League of Gentlemen, or is that just me?

Mothers’ Day

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Today is Mothers’ Day in the UK and so with the usual sense of trepidation I picked up the phone to speak to my mother.  The first call drew no response. I worry and then put it aside. -she could have been in the garden, the bathroom or  didn’t have her hearing aid in. Half an hour later I try again and a frail voice says "Hello?"

"Hello Mam, I’m just calling to wish you a "Happy Mothers’ Day" as I don’t think the card will have arrived. "

"Oh. Thank you, and the same to you!"

And off we go into the distorted world of the Alzheimer’s victim.

How is she – "I’m fine, how are you?"
I mention my neck is still a problem and she is hugely sympathetic; so unlike her real self. We "talk" about my car accident ,but she thinks I was run over and keeps coming back to how awful it was for me to have been hit by a car.

She mentions that she "doesn’t get out much these days".
Interesting , as she’s never said that before AND she went missing two weeks ago on one of her frequent trips to the shop at the bottom of the street. One of at least 5 trips a day she makes to the shop.

I try to ask her  about her grandmother. I’ve been looking at old family photos as part of my research into our family history. I know the answers, but I want to see if she can remember. Although this is supposed to be an area where the memory stays the longest I get nowhere. My questions are met with nervous laughter. 

"Where did your granny live?" Laughs.
"What was your Dad’s Mam called?" Laughs.

I give up and ask what she is doing for lunch. I know that she goes to my sister’s every Sunday and unless my brother’s wife has stepped in because it’s Mothers’ Day, that should be where she’s going.

" I’m going to my daughter’s , it’s just around the corner".  That’s true, although she can’t bring my sister’s name to mind even though she sees her every day.

I say goodbye and she thanks me for calling. She has no idea who I am; she probably hasn’t for a year now. It all adds up; she didn’t send me a Christmas card; I sat at Christmas dinner with her and she thought I was my sister’s friend, and made asides to me about my sister’s parenting skills; I didn’t receive a birthday card from her on my birthday earlier this month and when I talk to her on the phone she behaves as if I’m someone she knows, but she can’t remember my name and doesn’t recognise it when I introduce myself.

I call my mother out of duty, but then I always did. We have always had a difficult relationship and it got worse after my Dad died as she became a bitter old lady only interested in my siblings offspring.
My mother has gone and has been replaced by a nicer person. Well. at least someone who is more polite to the strangers who are her children.

Going to sleep

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When they said "Can you come in at short notice" they definitely meant short notice. I was called yesterday to see if I could go in for my sleep study either last night or this evening. So I’m off to the hospital tonight.

Later this evening I’ll be all wired up like this.
Wednesday they’ll do lots of follow up tests so I won’t be back for 24 hours.

When I did the home study I had the worst night in months, so this could be fun (not).

See you in a couple of days.

Night night.

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