Saturday, 30 November 2013

Recently Read....

I thought it was time to resurrect my "Recently Read" category; these are books which I have read for the sheer fun of it, not because I have asked for books to review over at The Garden Window.

Because of NaNo in November, I have not had chance to do a lot of recreational reading, but I did enjoy these:

Although I have not worked as a midwife for 16 years, I still love reading about it :-)

Our dear John lent me his wine-making reference book after I sampled a glass of his wonderfully lethal Rhubarb wine !

This was a lovely read about the city of St David's. It was also topical for my NaNo project.

This is an old but excellent guide to St David's, which I have had for a long time and it was second-hand even then.....

I have been making this wonderful book last for as long as I possibly could; I was very sad to get to the end of it. Mother Dolores Hart was an accomplished actress  and gained a certain degree of notoriety for giving Elvis his first on-screen kiss; she gave up her acting career to become a cloistered Benedictine nun and this remarkable book tells the story of her life, her acting career and her life in the convent.

 This was research for my NaNo and I loved every page. When I can afford it, I will be buying a copy for myself but as it is an academic special interest book, it is extremely expensive indeed.

A friend recommended this book and said it would give a great insight into the religious spirituality which pervaded Bavaria at the time when Pope Benedict was growing up. A thoroughly enjoyable book about the life and work of the Pope.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Sad News

We are now only a one-hamster family; Abby's dear little companion Charlotte died last Friday and was buried with full Hamster honours in our back garden on Saturday

I am sure Abby will want another one in due course, but at the moment her grief is a bit too raw and there have been many, many tears. Hamsters are wonderful pets, but I wish they had a longer lifespan....

Margo, who was from the same litter as Charlotte, continues to give us pleasure and we hope she will remain healthy for a while longer yet.

NaNo 2013

 Despite the injured thumb, I managed to finish my NaNo project successfully for the fifth year running.

I am delighted, exhausted and feel as though my brain cells have been forcibly extracted and discarded :-)

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The Tale Of The Navy-Blue Thumb

 Monday started off pretty much as I expected it to.  I went to Latin class, felt my brain ooze out of my ears after 2 hours of extremely hard work, did some errands and came home again.  This is when the day began to go downhill on a serious level!

I still can't work out exactly how I managed to do this, but I managed to slam the car door very hard on to my right thumb.  Much to my surprise, I did not shout, scream or swear.  I simply walked into the house with tears streaming down my cheeks, went straight into the kitchen, ran the cold water tap and immersed my poor thumb under the water.  By this stage of my right thumb nail was at least 50% discoloured and had had turned navy blue but the pain was starting to subside a little, probably because I was about to develop frostbite...

I carried on my tasks round the house for the rest of the day, feeling the thumb throbbing ominously; by the time I had logged on to Facebook in the early evening and was talking to my dear friends Babushka Laura and Babushka Margaret, I was in a substantial amount of pain, and was beginning to seriously wonder whether I had fractured my thumb.  I went to bed having taken large quantities of painkillers and rested my hand on a soft pillow.

When I woke up the next morning, 90% of the nail was now completely navy blue and it really did hurt a ridiculous amount - the thumb was throbbing in synchrony with each and every heartbeat, as if it was about to explode, and it was swollen to at least twice its normal size.  After we had taken the girls to school, The Hubster and I made our way to a hospital which has a very good minor injuries unit.  Within 50 minutes, I had been assessed, my thumb X-rayed, the nail perforated to let out the large amount of collected blood underneath it, and the thumb had been securely dressed and splinted.  I had indeed fractured my thumb!

It is only when you can no longer use your thumb properly that you realise how much you really do depend upon it in everyday life.  Even the simplest tasks proved almost impossible to do one handed; I could not brush my hair properly, I couldn't even tie my own shoelaces without extreme difficulty..  I was almost as completely incapacitated as if I'd had broken my arm.  Needless to say, this has made typing almost impossible and the only way this blogpost has been brought to you is by the miracle of voice recognition software and a microphone which Mrs. DoomHamster remembered that she had left in the computer case in her old bedroom before she left to go to America :-)

The good news is that the pain has almost gone completely and the bruising is resolving; I am waiting to hear from the hospital when I will be able to remove the splint.  I can guarantee one thing, I will definitely be much more careful what I shut car doors in the future!

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Free Vintage Knitting Patterns

I was delighted to find a source of free vintage knitting patterns today, when I was busily engaged in researching the history of knitting :-)

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Psalms and NaNoWriMo

This is simply glorious.
 I am listening to it while I write my daily 1670 words for NaNoWriMo 2013; my topic this year is a fictionalised version of the Life of St David of Wales. It seems very fitting to listen to the Psalms which St David knew and loved from the time he was a young child....

Remembrance Sunday

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

by John McCrae, May 1915

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Stormy Weather

Updated to replace a broken link :-)

We have had the mother and father of a storm this weekend! One brave soul went out along the coast and filmed the coast along Porthcawl town, and here is the result:

Saturday, 2 November 2013

NaNoWriMo 2013

In a fit of complete and utter lunacy, I have signed up to do NaNoWriMo again this year.

As normal, I started yesterday with a blank page on my word processing program and an equally blank mind, but once the initial panic after the first twenty words - ending in my thinking that I cannot possibly do this - the words started to flow and the story to take shape.

I have added a gadget to the sidebar so you can see how well or how poorly I am progressing towards my goal of 50,000 words by the end of November.

Wish me luck!

St David Walking Through My Home Town

 I am extraordinarily grateful to Mr Roland John Ford, who generously donated his time and his talents to produce this lovely and evocative illustration based on my blog post about Dewiscumbe  and the Holy Well of St David :