Welcome Rain

Rain was forecast for midnight. I went to bed, but was still awake at 11.30, not because it was hot (it was still 29C) but because I was fizzing with excitement at the idea of rain. Once I realised this, I calmed myself down and went to sleep. I woke up at 2am. No rain. I looked out of the window at clear skies and a beautiful full moon and realised the rain probably wasn’t coming.

Rain was forecast for the morning. The skies were blue, with little white flutters of cloud high up. It didn’t rain. After work, in the afternoon, under skies that were still blue, I watered the garden.

A bit later I went out again with the recycling and some peelings to go in the compost. My downstairs neighbour M was hanging out her washing. She’s an animal lover, and we have been talking about her  possibly looking after MasterB from time to time if I have a long day, or if I’m away for a couple of nights. It seemed a good opportunity. I needed to do a couple of bits and pieces indoors, then some shopping, so we decided to liaise when I got back. Continue reading


A Welcome to New and Old Friends

In the past few weeks a number of people have signed up to follow this blog. Thank-you, and welcome! Most of my new readers do not have blog pages or WordPress identities and do not comment – my silent readership. I admit I am intrigued at this new, at least to me, trend. I recognise one person, that’s you Judy – hi! – but no one else.

Some new followers do have pages, though I admit I haven’t checked most of them out. The truth is I am not just an undisciplined cook, I am am also an undisciplined blogger. I get the urge to post in bursts and not at all, and the same goes for my reading of blogs I follow, so you may find, as Pat, Ruth, IngridD, Nitzus, Nadbugs and Gilly for example will have learned, that my comments and likes equally come in bursts interspersed with long silences. Other blogs I read, like or not, but rarely comment on. That doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t enjoy them. Continue reading

The Future

If you live in the UK you cannot be unaware of the current debate about refugees coming mainly from Syria. Voxpops by current affairs programmes reveal a divided response. There are those who say we have a moral responsibility to let people who are fleeing situations we are fortunate never to have experienced come into our country. Others say there is no room and no jobs.


It’s not easy.


It’s complicated by the current governement’s determination to dismantle the welfare state. So to those who are already in need and facing ever increasing cuts may see refugees as a threat to their own existence.


It’s classic divide and rule territory.


I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t watch those images of the drowned toddler being lifted from the sea with dry eyes. Continue reading

Sicilian Holiday (1)

Cigno didn’t seem the most obvious name for the hotel’s female tortoiseshell cat, but with a mixture of languages and mime, the proprietor explained she was called after the swan for her elegance and beauty.

The cat’s name wasn’t the only thing that surprised me about Sicily.

When I lived in France, I met several Sicilians and they were uniformly serious and dour. So I was unprepared for the smiling, friendly attitude of the locals. My efforts at speaking Italian were met with patience.

Encouraged,  I persevered, dragging words and phrases from my memory, gradually piecing them together with a few bits oif French and Spanish like glue. My top moment was being congratulated for asking for a glass of house red wine in perfectly grammatical Italian.

Perhaps we were like the first swallows of spring. Heralds of tourists to come bringing our money to their businesses. Or maybe it was a tradition of welcome to the outsider.

Again,  Italians from the mainland had told me what a closed society Sicily was. Neighbouring villages, they said, eyed each other with suspicion, and preferred to marry among themselves.

I had visions of inbreeding, low foreheads and lower intellects.

Instead, Rumanian girls who had arrived looking for work had married the local boys. Happy families of mixed nationalities displaying no anxiety or coldness about differing cultures.

So it was a shame and a shock to meet the only miserable Sicilian of the trip on the last day, just hours before we left. He opened up the monastery for us to visit, but seemed to have left his smile at home. He glowered, arms folded, as we looked about. Maybe he had a cold in the head, but as an advert for the loving nature of God and the Christian church, he left a lot to be desired.