Sunday, 2 February 2014

Frilly Yellow Rays of Hope

It was good to get out of my home-office and get some fresh air. But as January grumbled through its last few miserable days, the rain kept coming, the sky stayed grey and the cold wind blew my hood off and made me screw up my face like a prune. I shivered gloomily as I plodded around town and worked my way through my list.

In the last shop, something small and green caught my eye. Bunches of daffodil buds, tightly wrapped up in themselves at the top with thin leafless stalks, in groups of 15 or 20 with elastic bands holding them together. "Excellent", I whispered to them, "you're here because spring is nearly here. You'll make me feel better".

I bought a bunch, came home, released them from their elastic band and let them relax in a sturdy blue plastic beaker full of cold water from the tap. For the rest of the day, the daffodils didn't move. They seemed unimpressed, too chilly to bother. "Don't expect us to cheer you up", they seemed to mutter.

On the following day they hadn't bloomed, but the tight green buds at the top seemed a bit less tightly wrapped than the day before. "Well, maybe we'll try ... if you move us into the sun", they murmured.

The next day the sun came out, and the daffodils decided to bloom. "Ta daaah!" they grinned. And I love them. Frilly yellow rays of hope that remind me that winter is nearly over and spring is on its way.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

An Old Man's Old Song

A baker friend of mine posted a photo of a cake on Facebook, with the words "For the Cake of Auld Lang Syne" written in icing on top. Quite funny but a bit random, I scoffed. But then I remembered that it's Burns Night tonight ... and then I remembered that I wrote this wee post exactly one year ago today ... and I decided to share it with you:

An Old Man's Old Song

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne

I have just learned that Robert Burns, Scotland’s favourite poet, wrote that song. Or at least he heard an old man singing a version of it, wrote it down, changed it around a bit and then it was his. A sweet, nostalgic celebration of friendship; all around the world, people hold crossed hands and sing it heartily to see the New Year in.

Tonight is Burns Night, and millions of friends of auld acquaintance will mark the great man’s birthday with bagpipes, whisky, poetry and a wee speech read to a haggis.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Seduced by a Bergamot

I've got PG Tips, Peppermint Tea and Apple & Mango ... but NO EARL GREY. Cuppa catastrophe! And the fact that I mind, very much, indicates that something strange has happened to my tea-drinking habits.

You see, dear Reader, I've been absorbing a steady stream of ordinary bog-standard builder's tea several times a day since my late teens. But to my great surprise and for no apparent reason, I've recently switched to Earl Grey and now I can't go back! What the ...? Have I gone posh? Have I become delicate in my middle age? What is about Earl Grey that has turned my head and taken up residence in my mug, perhaps forever?

I googled it of course. Apparently it's the flavour of Bergamot that has seduced my tastebuds - a funny sour little Mediterranean orange that thinks it's a lemon and, according the Daily Mail online (so it must be true, er, right?) can help to lower cholesterol and protect against diabetes. So if you'll excuse me, I really must dash to Waitrose ...

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Hello Again

Wow, I was mighty prolific as GBS in 2008, eh? I wrote 4 times as many posts that year as I did in the following 4 years altogether. And I wrote no GBS posts at all in 2013! I've been a bit busy, y'see. I blogged elsewhere, but it all seemed a bit pointless. Elsewhere just didn't work out for me.

So if anybody who knew me (well, knew me in a bloggy, electronic sort of way) in 2008 is reading this, here's an update on my life: I still live down south. I'm still married to the lovely Big G. I work part-time doing PR/marketing stuff for a local business. I also work for a theatre, publicising the marvellously eclectic assortment of shows that are performed there. My little kids are not so little now - they're 12 and 13 already - so much of my day is spent providing vast volumes of food, dodging mood swings, discussing tricky social situations and negotiating peace deals between fragile young teens as they blaze and blunder along their own precarious and prickly paths through adolescence.

There's lots more to tell. But later, dear blog, later.