Friday, 28 December 2012


We still haven’t cleared up after Christmas.   Presents to stash away or hang in the wardrobe, dishes and plates brought for special visitors have to be re-stored, and leftovers still hanging around have to be eaten or binned tout-de-suite!   So much money is spent at this time of year that it is best not to think about it.   Still a great time was had by all.

Everything seems to be about money in one way or another these days.   Shops are desperate for money to be spent, students need money to live, to party and celebrate the holidays, and if you want to rent or buy a flat you sure must have money.  When I was a child I had an uncle who owned a Pawn Shop (Really!  No kidding!)   Outside his shop was a big sign which said “Money Talks for You a Loan” and at the end of the sign was a big finger pointing to the door of the shop.   It was funny and it was clever   And lots of people used his pawnshop in those distant hard-up days.   Come to think of it, I heard that pawnshops are being much more used again these days.

In the USA they are absorbed in something called the Fiscal Cliff.   It appears most of the Democrats want to save the serious financial situation by putting up taxes for the people who earn most money.   Some say that should be for people earning above $250,000 while others suggest to tax earnings above $500,000.   Then again the Republicans say no to all tax rises.   They want the government to reduce the country’s deficit by CUTTING SPENDING.   Presumably this would be on WELFARE and STATE PENSIONS ETC.   It is a familiar story for countries all over the world – two opposing arguments – two opposite political ideologies.   Watch and listen and hope and pray for sanity and workable solutions to arrive.

Snippets of news:

1.      There is a petition going around in the USA requesting the deporting of Piers Morgan because he has spoken out against the gun laws in America.   Lots of people do not like to be criticised about their culture.   They say Brits are jealous of their American dream.

2.      Mrs. Thatcher was unsure of what to do about the Falklands invasion in 1982 – so it has been revealed today.   Also information has come out today that she discussed ways to dismantle the Welfare State.   Well, there you go!

3.      It will soon be Hogmanay and we will all have to start celebrating and partying again.   OMG will it never end?   I think old Gerald and old Margaret will get into their nightgowns and snuggle under the duvet and dream of how to have fun in 2013.     Grandson Calum and his mother, youngest daughter Maggie called today.   We discussed Christchurch, New Zealand and wondered if it was bigger or smaller than Inverness.   I said NO.   I was wrong as Calum could tell from his smart phone.   Christchurch is much bigger, having a population of 350,000   Mention anything preceded by ‘I wonder’ and young ones will produce their phones to tell you the answer.   What a funny world!

4.      Bought Gerald a weighty tome for his Christmas.   It is a book called ‘Spillover’ written by David Quammen, an American writer.   It is about viruses which can spread from, for example, bats to horses, and even from animals to humans.   I thought he might be interested, him being an animal breeding research scientist.   However, I think he finds the present a bit daunting and perhaps harrowing.    He tells me he also finds it to be intriguing.    Nevertheless I feel quite cruel to be burdening him.   Also he was given a calendar of gorgeous pin-up girls.   Poor soul!   He is after all 86 years old.

5.      Do have a wonderful New Year’s celebration.   And sing Auld Lang Syne to your heart’s content.   Maybe we will look again at “Dinner for  One” on YouTube like Germany and Austria do every New Year’s Eve.   The drunken butler is so funny!  We need all the laughs we can get.   Happy 2013 to all my friends, enemies and relations.

Thursday, 13 December 2012


Today I have weighed out the fruit and nuts for three Christmas cakes.   This I have done every December for as long as I can remember.   Why three?   I rather stupidly keep up the habit of helping out my two daughters at this busy time of year.   Especially busy as we all know for housewives and working mothers.   So I have weighed out the dried fruit and added a little brandy to each bowl.   I’m doing this year’s baking in stages.   First stage:  concentrate on the task until you’re fed up, or until you wish to make the lunch for two, do the ironing (much needed task) or go on line and write a topical blog!   Well it will be short this time, I promise.

Talking about teachers, I heard briefly on the radio that Michael Gove is prodding and provoking teachers in England about their proposed work-to-rule because of a deterioration in their working conditions.   He has suggested that head teachers should dock the pay of their teachers if they consider they have not stayed clear of any such disruptive action in school.   One pundit on the page I was reading suggested that Gove’s plan was to provoke an all-out strike of teachers, in order to divert attention away from the government and all the things going wrong for David Cameron and his friends.   It was suggested that the newspapers would love such an event as a school strike.   They could get their teeth into that.

Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph seems to be getting its teeth into the Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, who it has been revealed had some claims for alleged expenses for housing.  Ninety thousand pounds is the sum I read about.   We shall await the result of the enquiry proposed.   She is the person in the government who has deal with the newspaper editors after the report of the Leveson Inquiry into ‘phone-hacking and the rest.   How will she cope?   Is this for Cameron, a case of “Another one bites the dust”?

We have got used to the accusations for the government of their Minishambolic governing methods.   But how about the new phrase of some politicians, imported from the USA, about their ‘shovel-ready’ projects which would encourage growth in our country.   And David Osborne who is keen on helping ‘strivers’ and loves ‘hard-working’ families.   Out of my sight you ‘medium-working’ families!   And as for you non-employed idiots – I despair of you!”   At least, I think that’s what some of our ‘leaders’ think.

On a lighter note, I heard in an advertisement on TV that a great CD for Christmas is called something  like “Now that’s what I call Christmas”.   I think I will seek it out.   I need cheering up!   On the home front, last night in bed, I got exasperated with my pyjama trousers as they do not turn with me when I turn in bed.   Gerald riposted that he had the same problem.   “I am going back to nightgowns”, I said.   “Maybe I’ll get one for you, Gerald.   And a little matching nightcap.   That would suit fine!”   So I leave you with that strange image.   “Gerald in a nightgown and still going strong!”   Don’t eat too much Christmas Cake this year, and behave yourselves, just like I always do!   And a very merry Christmas, and a happy NewYear!!!