Tag Archives: active body

Meandering on Monday

Pluviophile

Pluviophile  – I learned this word from a blogging buddy, VivinFrance, who I’m sorry to say is no longer with us.  Still miss her.

I’m English so I like the rain and walking in it – that is of course, if I’m properly dressed. And today it’s pouring down.  So I’ll get properly attired and face the rain. I’m so thankful that I am able to walk again on my own.  Until recently I had to have somebody with me when I walked but two weeks ago I was given the all clear.  So another thing to add to my gratitude list.

Then shortly before 1pm the rain stopped and the sun came out.  Just to be expected in a NZ summer.  So I decided that rain gear wasn’t necessary and I would go for a walk.  But once I started I didn’t know when to stop.

I started up our long drive and put on the MapMyWalk Ap. Up the drive to the road and then down these 132 steps, then along to the village for coffee. I decided to come the other way home forgetting that it was all uphill.  There were some steps on the way but far fewer (36).   So 3.4kms in 57minutes. Very pleased with myself

Quetta Street Steps.jpg

Once I got home I realised how out of practice I was, so have to do more of this walking to get back into shape.  So a cup of tea, Stacey Kent on Pandora and my book and all was very well with my world.

Books tea

And today I have been given the date for my driving test.  When one suffers brain injury following an accident, one’s licence is immediately suspended for six months.  My friendly ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) Case Manager set this up for me.  So on October 6 I go for an off road test and then when I pass that, I will have another test driving my own car around the streets.  Hooray – the final hurdle in this latest “adventure”.

Oh and those of you have hung in since 2011 will know that this will be my fourth driving test.  I wonder if it will be as easy as the others.

And if you missed those posts and would like to read them, here they are:

The Driving Test 
Driving Test No 2
Driving Test No 3

 

 

 

 

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Saturday

Six word Saturday button

It’s Saturday again so here we go. If you would like to participate please either click on the picture above or click this link.

OFF TO THE GOLDEN DOOR TOMORROW!!

So today I shall be busy with last minute chores so that I can leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow.  We have to be at the airport at 4am so we shall stay at a friend’s house overnight and then he will take us out to the airport.  What a good friend 🙂

Lotte is going to stay with him for the time I am away.  He is looking forward to that and she seems to settle in wherever I leave her.  She has her coat, her brush, her rug and a couple of toys so she will be fine.

Tai Chi

6am Tai Chi at The Golden Door

When I have been to the Golden Door before I haven’t had access to the internet.  Things may have changed but I suspect I shall not be writing blogs until I return.

And in case you think this is a holiday, here is a typical day at Queensland’s Golden Door:

  • 6.15am   Welcome a new day with Tai Chi Qi Gong at sunrise.
  • 6.45am   Enjoy a guided bush walk on our pink, blue or green courses; or Get wet and wild with deep water running in the bottom pool or challenge yourself with high intensity spinning class.
  • 8.00am  Buffet breakfast of seasonal fruit, Golden Door signature muesli and specialty breakfast cuisine.
  • 9.00am  Morning stretch class held in the gymnasium, a gentle and relaxing way to start your day.
  • 9.30am-11.00am  A health & wellbeing workshop aimed at providing you with the knowledge to make positive lifestyle changes.
  • 10.45am   A healthy and nutritious morning tea served in the dining room.
  • 11.00am – 1.00pm  Take part in the various daily exercise activities and spa treatments available. Try something new or take a challenge.
  • 1.00pm   A sumptuous buffet lunch served in the dining room.
  • 2.00pm-6.00pm    Choose from a variety of activities and seminars available to enjoy. Indulge at the spa where your relaxing massage, refreshing body treatment or luxurious beauty treatment awaits.
  • 3.45pm  A healthy and nutritious afternoon tea served in the dining room.
  • 6.30pm  Be rewarded after a busy day with a mouth watering buffet dinner created by our Executive Chef David Hunter and his team.

But it is enjoyable and I always come back renewed and filled with great plans for the future.  They usually last about two weeks, but hey it’s fun.


Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
World Health Organization, 1948

That Green Thing

I received this email from a young friend (well she is one of my surrogate daughters really) and although I have seen it before I thought I would share it with you.  So if you have seen it already, please bear with me.

Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman,
that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.  The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.”  The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”

She was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

  • Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
  • Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things, most memorable besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property, (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribbling. Then we were able to personalize our books. But too bad we didn’t do the green thing back then.
  • We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.
  • Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.
  • Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them)?,not a screen the size of the state of Montana . In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.  Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.
  • We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.
  • Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we older folks
were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Use it up, wear it out, make it do,
or do without.
New England proverb

It’s Never Too Late

Vintage Red Book

I have just finished reading the novel Vintage Red by Michael Judge.

The introductory blurb says :  “Racy, blackly comic; laced with wit, both dry and expansive; wicked ear for dialogue; cuts through to the bone, exposing venality of church and state – just a sample of the praise that greeted the arrival of this impressive first novel.” and “An original new voice and a breathtaking achievement”.

The story tells the story of a property magnate who finds after his wife’s death that she lead a disturbing life that he knew nothing about.  Throughout the book we read about this other life and also about the husband’s domestic failings, his public amorality and his personal hypocrisy.

We learn how the wife meets a shy school teacher one afternoon and her life changes dramatically.  But because of her upbringing and Catholic religion, she will not leave her husband even though she has found a man to give her the love and affection withheld from her by her husband.

In many ways this is a story that has been told so many times already and there are no great surprises in it.

I am not sure that I would recommend it.  At times it dragged and I found the long passages that concentrated on the husband’s shoddy dealings both personally and professionally rather boring.

BUT the point of this blog is to say that this first novel was published when the author was eighty-three years old.  Since then he has had two further novels published to great acclaim.

We know that it is never too late to achieve what we want, and doesn’t this prove it?  So what would you really like to do that you have said ‘Oh well, it’s too late now” or “I’m far too old for that”.

I have blogged in the past about the members of the Young at Heart choir, i have mused on Chronology vs Biology and many of my posts dwell on what we can do whatever our age.

I have spoken about drawn your attention to people in their 80s and 90s achieving great feats of physical endurance; those elders who have achieved university degrees; those who have taken off to live in a different culture away from friends and family.

What have you been putting off because you thought you were too old?  Today really is the first day of the rest of our lives.  And we don’t know how many more we will have.  This was brought home to me when my husband died suddenly.

So start that novel, write your poem, your life story or whatever; book that parachute jump or deep-sea dive, call the travel agent and go and explore that different country.

sky diving at 92

Skydiving at 92? (Source: Faded Tribune)

Be bold and courageous. When you look back on your life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did.
H Jackson Brown jr, author of
Life’s Little Instruction Book

A different walk today

“These boots are made for walking
and that’s just what they’re gonna do.”

It has been a beautiful day here.  Bright sunshine but unfortunately strong winds and so the temperature has never really reached any great height.  But it is most pleasant to take a walk around the shore and take in the sights.

Marine reserve

We started our walk into the brisk wind and found some very interesting houses.

We are told that the woman of this house always wanted to live in a lighthouse, so while she was away overseas on a trip the husband had one built for her.  True or not it’s a good story.

Life boat house

Immediately to the left of that house sits this one.  As you can see it has a life boat built into the facade.  No information on why it’s there or who put it there  is available but it makes another good talking point.

Two horses house

And to the left of that is this house.  Why there are two horses above the garage is anybody’s guess.

The ocean

If you look really hard you can see the South Island in the distance.

All three of these houses sit with their backs to a high cliff and the sea in front.  It would be an exciting place to live when the southerlies blow and the wind whips up the waves.  But today it was relatively calm.

Hazard warning

The road to the quarry

We then drove a little way around to the Red Rocks Scientific Reserve.  Red rocks or Pariwhero in Maori is an area steeped in myths and legends.  The rocks  are ancient pillow lava formed 200 million years ago by undersea volcanic eruptions. Small amounts of iron oxides give the rocks their distinctive red colouring.

There is always more than one story in Maori folklore and the red rocks are no exception.   In one story  Kupe – the famous Polynesian explorer – was gathering paua (abalone) here when one clamped his hand. He bled and stained the rocks red. In the other story, and the one I prefer, the daughters of Kupe, fearing for his safety on a long voyage, they gashed themselves in grief over his absence.  The red is their blood.

Red Rocks

There is an unmanned Scientific Centre that gives historical notes and information on the surroundings and the habitation of the area.  This is one such information tablet.

Another is on the fur seals. These are males who have lost  fights for territory in the breeding colonies at the top of the South Island.  As it is a bachelor colony there are no females and so you are not likely to come upon a seal pup here.

Fur seals

There is also information on early quarrying activity in the area. And I shall write about the quarry and its activities and eventual closure in another post.

Quarry

“I dream of hiking into my old age.”
Marlyn Doan
, 1936 – 2005

My September Years

“One day you turn around and it’s summer
Next day you turn around and it’s fall
And the springs and the winters of a lifetime
Whatever happened to them all?”
So sang Frank Sinatra –
listen to the song here

Autumn

As one grows older and has time to look back, we can marvel at the many things we have seen and done.  The people we have met, the places we have visited.  We can also perhaps ponder on the road not taken and the options and opportunities not taken up.

I consider myself to have been immensely fortunate throughout my life.  I was brought up in London during and after the Second World War by two loving and supportive parents.  From reading some of the blogs, I know that not everybody was that fortunate.

I married at a young age (19) and stayed married to that man until he died 41 years later.  Of course, there were bumps along the road, what good marriage hasn’t survived a few of those, but in the main it was very good.

We travelled around the world because my husband worked for an international company and was transferred to different places.  Consequently, my children learned to fit into new places and to make friends easily; they can enter a room knowing nobody and within a few minutes be in the middle of a conversation with a group of people.  Luckily, I have always found making new friends easy.

The busy years were good and full for all of us.  And the years that followed after the children left home,  when we had only each other to concern ourselves with were also very good.  We were able to do all the things we had planned and when my husband retired early we took trips to parts of the world we had always wanted to see.  I had only just started my own business at the time, and as I was some 10 years younger than he, was not ready to retire.  But we often talked about what we would do when I retired.

But as Charles Aznavour sings The thousand dreams I dreamed, the splendid things I planned and The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men (Robert Burns “To a Mouse”) then needed to be adapted to this new life I now live alone.

The places we still had left to visit after my husband died will remain unvisited.  Travelling is not nearly as exciting or interesting on one’s own.  Who wants to marvel at a fantastic view or a beautiful painting if there is nobody to discuss it with then or later over a glass of wine?  These things and places will remain unvisited by me.  In some ways I am now an onlooker in life.  I see others doing the things we planned.  I see others walking into the sunset holding hands and am slightly envious that they still have each other.

Having said that, I am still making memories each day, with my friends and family.  My grandsons never fail to amaze me at what they do, what they already know and what they are learning.  They certainly will learn so much more than I’ll ever know.  How lucky am I that I get to share in parts of their lives.

“But now the days grow short, I’m in the autumn of the year
And now I think of my life as vintage wine from fine old kegs
From the brim to the dregs, and it poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year”

Apart from a couple of hiccups along the way – a brush with osteomyelitis and breast cancer and the death of my husband and both parents, all my years have been good.   I am very thankful for that and look forward to the next years being as good.

And just because I like this picture and Marilyn Monroe’s quote –

Red Shoes

If only I was still able to wear those heels I would really be in my element!

“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot!”Marilyn Monroe

Blowing away the cobwebs

After being inside for the past 5 days, apart from the short trips to the Open Home on Sunday and the Doctor’s office yesterday, I decided that both of us needed a walk today.

So Lotte and I got dressed to go out.  the sun was shining and where I live there was little wind.  After a quick lunch with a friend, during which Madam was confined to the car much to her annoyance, we went to the harbour.

Lambton Harbour

Lambton Harbour via Wikipedia

Here in Wellington one can walk for several kilometers around Lambton Harbour.  The old port of Wellington has been reclaimed and opened to the public.  An old building has been converted to apartments, a large arena has been built and several of the sheds have been converted to other uses.  Te Papa (Our Place in Maori) is  our National Museum and it sits on reclaimed land in the harbour.

Shoreline plaque

via Wikipedia

So as you can imagine it is a very pleasant place to walk on a sunny afternoon in Spring.  But by the time we arrived there the wind had got up – well this is Windy Wellington after all – and poor little Lotte had to contend with the wind blowing her ears back from her head, almost inside out.  I do wish I would remember to take the camera with me when I go out as she was quite a sight to see.

But we both welcomed the opportunity to get out on such a lovely day.


I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love.  For me they are the role model for being alive.
Gilda Radner
, 1946 – 1989
American comedian and actress,

 

BOROBUDUR YOGYAKARTA, INDONESIA

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  Mark Twain 

August in New Zealand is deep mid-winter.  Each year, my husband and I would take ourselves off for a few weeks or occasionally months, to get away from the dreary days of winter.  And way back in 1989 we chose to go to Bali in Indonesia.

We had been several times before and had thoroughly enjoyed the place and the charming people of that island.

Paneeda cottages

Paneeda View Hotel, Sanur

We decided on a simple Balinese hotel for one week.  The Paneeda View hotel was recommended to us by our travel agent.  It was set right on the beach and was a lovely, gentle way to start our holiday.

Sengiggi Beach Hotel

Sengiggi Beach Resort, Lombok

 This was to ne followed  by a week at a 4 star resort on Lombok Island (the only resort on the island at that time).

Putri Bali Hotel

Putri Bali Hotel, Nusa Dhua

and a final week at a fantastic hotel at Nusa Dhua.

The Peneeda View Beach Resort in Sanur was idyllic.  Very laid back and charming.  Unfortunately, several years later this area of Bali became infamous for the Bali Bombings that killed 202 people many of them overseas visitors.

However, when we were there it was a lovely, peaceful part of Indonesia in which to holiday.

We had explored the island on previous trips including Ubud the arts centre of the island.  We had seen the rice paddies set in terraces on the high slopes and watched the ducks being herded to market along the streets.

Borobudur temple

So this time we decided to venture further afield to Java.  I had heard of Borobudur the 9th Century Buddhist Temple in Jogjakarta and the biggest in the world.   I knew that it had been constructed as a ten-terraces building and rose to 42 metres.  The first seven terraces are in a square form, two upper terraces are in a circular form and the top terrace is where the huge Buddha statue sits facing west.

One has to walk clockwise from the entrance to the temple to understand the sequence of the stories that early sculptors set into the concrete.

We got up really early to cram as much into our day as possible.  We were told that one simply turns up at the airport – no pre-booking –and boards a plane.  We bought the tickets and were given 2 snack boxes.  Then the plane arrived and the locals rushed to the gate to grab a seat.  We were pushed and shoved and eventually we found two adjacent seats.  The seat back on mine was broken and I had a most uncomfortable journey.

Merpati Airline

via Wikipedia

Merpati is the domestic airline of Bali and I must say I really hoped (and still hope) the maintenance of the engine is better than the maintenance of the interiors.

The hostess passed around small packs of lukewarm ‘juice’ and then we opened the snack packs.  We were each faced with a curled up white bread sandwich and a soft biscuit.  Needless to say neither of us ate that ‘lunch’.

When we left the plane (having left behind the snack packs of course) we were accosted on all sides with noise, people and smells.  Traffic in Java is manic.  Six or seven lanes moving each way, ignoring traffic signals, other traffic and pedestrians.

Jogyakarta traffic

Jogyakarta traffic

But all was forgotten and forgiven when we got our first sight of Borobudur.

Borobudur stoopas

via Wikipedia

What a magical sight and surely this building must rank up there with the pyramids for the sheer scale of what was achieved all those years ago.

Borobudur

Image via Wikipedia

Our guide told us it was is a shrine to Buddha and was built over a period of some 75 years in the 8th and 9th centuries.  Constructed out of an estimated 1,600,000 blocks of volcanic stone, dredged from the river and assembled solely by human labour, and is famed for its 1,500 intricately carved reliefs, covering a total length of five kilometres end-to-end.

The first archaeological study of the site was initiated in 1814 by Sir Stamford Raffles, founder of Singapore. First restored in 1907, the monument suffered from neglect and war and was almost rebuilt in the 1970s under the guidance of UNESCO, who designated Borobudur as a World Heritage Site. The massive restoration process involved the removal and refurbishing of over one million blocks, rebuilding the foundation and adding drainage systems.

When we visited one could get inside the temple and also climb the hundreds of steps to the top layer.  Unfortunately, my late husband was unable to climb and so stayed down enjoying the sunshine and the views.

I still think about this magical day.  The return to our hotel was equally as frenetic, but it was all worth it to see this magnificent building.

And now some 22 years later, I still get ‘goose bumps’ when I think about Borobudur.  It ranks with my first sight of the Grand Canyon for sheer, breathtaking beauty.

“I can’t think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.”
Bill Bryson, American travel author

Forgot to mention that before we went to Bali this time I foolishly agreed to my hairdresser’s suggestion to have a light perm put into my hair.  Result – Bali hair.  Total frizz.  It looked as if I had put my finger into a power socket.


My Morning Pages

“Writing is a form of personal freedom.  It frees us from the mass identity we see in the making all around us.  In the end, writers will write not to be outlaw heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals.” 
Don Delillo, American Novelist 1926 –

Do you find that your mind wanders in all directions?  I start out to read a blog, that puts me on a certain trail, from there I go to another trail and on and on it goes.  Several hours pass and I have done nothing except follow these bloggers, their thoughts and mine. This is really stream of consciousness and reminded me of a task I used to set all of my Life Coaching clients.

I discovered this process when reading and following Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way – it is now also an online course.  She calls it Morning Pages – a stream of consciousness writing.

I started to write my Morning Pages shortly after my husband died.  It was cathartic.  I could write down all the hurts, anger and disappointments and get them out of my system rather than laying them as a burden on friends or family.

Even before I started using this process a friend of mine told me how she wrote out all her frustrations with her husband who having retired, wanted only to play golf and spend time mainly with his male friends.  She got the angst and anger out of her system onto the pages.  By doing so she rid herself of the frustrations and anger without any major rows with her husband.  And in the process, she discovered that , what she really wanted to do with her life was run a bed and breakfast operation.  She now does that very successfully.

So with this example in front of me I took the idea on board and used it to determine where I was headed and if I wanted to go there.

As it worked for me I then, with some adaptations to reflect that my clients weren’t necessarily artists, I introduced it into my Life Coaching practice.  Of course, I gave credit to Julia Cameron and I encouraged my clients to either purchase a copy of the book or at least borrow a copy from the local library.

My clients were encouraged to start writing three pages by hand, each day when they first awoke.  Before the thoughts and interruptions of the day intruded.  All the minor (and perhaps some of the major) irritants that flow through our days can be written out in the Morning Pages – get them onto the page and out of the mind.

My clients were told that this was non-negotiable.  The pages had to be hand written every day.  Research has shown that handhandwrittenmulates a bunch of cells at the base of the brain called the reticular activating system (RAS). The RAS acts as a filter for everything your brain needs to process, giving more importance to the stuff that you’re actively focusing on at the moment—the physical act of writing brings it to the forefront.  Author Henriette Anne Klauser who wrote Write It Down, Make It Happen, says that “Writing triggers the RAS, which in turn sends a signal to the cerebral cortex: ‘Wake up! Pay attention! Don’t miss this detail!’

They were told to “Ignore your inner censor who is very quick to point out that there are other things you could be doing.  Or who says you are not doing these pages correctly.  Get out of bed and begin your Morning Pages.  Just keep your hand moving across the page.  Three pages of whatever comes into your mind.  If you can’t think of anything to write then write that “I can’t think of anything to write”.  You could fill all three pages with this one sentence, but it is likely that in the process of writing this several times other things will pop into your head.”

I also recommended that they didn’t go back and reread what they had written.  Just write.  Why put it back into your head?  And if it was written several weeks ago it has no doubt been dealt with by now.

Stream of consciousness writing is a technique to achieve release.   Our minds have the capacity to think about all our problems and feelings but our minds can become clouded if there is too much information or if one occurrence is overpowering.  We can’t think clearly and the problem takes on a life of its own.

Jennifer Blanchard experimented with Morning Pages and she wrote a blog about it .  Why don’t you give it a try?  It could be quite liberating whether you consider yourself an artist or not.  In fact, just writing your blog each day makes you an artist.

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe
shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”
John Jakes, American author 1932 –

And for no reason other than I like it –

“My days of whining and complaining about others have come to an end.  Nothing is easier than fault finding.  All it will do is discolor my personality
so that none will want to associate with me. 
That was my old life.  No more.” 
Og Mandino, American author 1923-1996 author of The Greatest Salesman in the World.


Rediscovery

“Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it.  Action has magic grace and power in it.”  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1749-1832, German playwright poet, novelist and dramatist.

I have just discovered (or maybe rediscovered) an all-purpose wonder that has been lurking in my cupboard for a while.

Recently, a friend asked me to pick up 20 kgs of bicarbonate of soda (aka baking soda) for her.  When asked what she was baking I was told it was for clearing the moss and algae off the driveway.  So I thought well I would give it a go.

Driveway

Brushed on - now what?

Apparently all one does is brush it on the surface and then when it rains it does its magic.  Well it is supposed to rain tomorrow so I shall see if it works.

When I met my friend for lunch on Wednesday she reported that her driveway is now clear of moss and algae.

We then started to talk about all the other uses for this long forgotten miracle in the kitchen.  Did you know:

  • Cleaning Sinks Either place bicarbonate of soda directly onto a damp cloth or make up a paste of soda with a little water. Wipe around the sink & rinse well.
  • Blocked Drains Pour about 16 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda down the sink and then pour in about 120ml of white distilled vinegar. Put the plug in for a couple of minutes as the 2 chemicals will fizz. Rinse through with boiling water.
  • Oven Cleaner Dampen the floor of the oven, sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda and dampen again. Leave the mixture overnight and then remove with a cloth. Rinse with hot water.
  • Fabric Conditioner To make your own fabric conditioner, mix equal quantities of water, bicarbonate of soda and vinegar in a storage bottle, take care as the vinegar & soda will fizz up. Add ¼ cup of conditioner to your wash.
  • Deodorizing  Drains  To freshen drains & help prevent blockages, pour a cup of bicarbonate of soda down the drain and then wash down with some boiling water.
  • Pet Odors To help freshen carpets, sprinkle bicarbonate of soda on the carpet, leave for 10 minutes and then vacuum up.

And the list goes on.  I particularly liked the idea of a paste of bicarb to remove tea and coffee stains from cups.  As I drink both black tea and black coffee, my mugs regularly stain.  Until now I have used bleach to clean the stains away.  From now on I shall use my trusty new friend.

Lotte

And I found out, again from the same friend, that it is good to brush bicarbonate of soda into a dog’s coat.  This apparently, removes all dead dander and makes the coat shine.  I haven’t managed to try this out yet.  Lotte has retired to bed after her walk and shows no interest in having her coat covered in white powder.

Having discovered this hidden wonder I then got out my very old and battered copy of Mrs Beeton’s Cookery Book.  This one was published in 1894 – wow 117 years ago!

Mrs Beeton's cookery book

1984 Edition - Cost One shilling

This little gem opens with:

“It is not given to us all to become famous, but in this busy world there are few who, metaphorically speaking ‘need waste their sweetness on the desert air’ or in less poetical language, lead a useless life.  Specially does this apply to women, whom though perhaps less gifted with brain power than the sterner sex, have yet a greater versatility of talent, and who, if they seek it, can always find a vocation.”

What do you have to say about that?

Then onto another gem.  “A Good Housekeeping Cookery Compendium”.  This was published in 1957 and I remember purchasing this copy when somebody came around the office selling the book.  Mine looks as if it has had a hard life but I think that’s because when I was first married I didn’t know how to cook anything much more than an egg.

This little darling tells me:

“The money spent on food is the most important part of the household expenditure, and you will want to get the best possible value for your money.”  So what has changed in 54 years?  It goes on “It is obviously wise to deal with reliable tradespeople, so compare both quality and prices….bearing in mind that it is false economy to buy inferior goods to save a few pence.”

Then I picked up the book and it opened on page 393 – and the recipe was for stuffed mushrooms.  Well according to Shirley Conran author of Superwoman (among others) ‘Life’s too short to stuff mushrooms”  And if you are not old enough to know Shirley Conran she showed women of my generation that they didn’t have to be drudges (Dirt? Sweep it under the rug. Ironing? Hire someone to do it). Her book sales made her a millionaire. She survived a ‘humiliating’ marriage to design tycoon Sir Terence Conran  . And although Shirley Conran is, well, a bit dotty, she is still a force to be reckoned with.

Here endeth another rambling post.

“My idea of superwoman is someone who scrubs her own floors.”  ~Bette Midler

And just because I like it here is a shot of my favorite red shoes