Yes, yes, I know our Beloved Leaders would like us to forget all about being English and St George’s Day, but I was born English, I grew up English, and I still feel English, OK? In fact, I take every opportunity to fill in official forms with ‘English’ as my nationality, if it’s an option. I’m bloody-minded like that.

So, happy St George’s Day. Even though he was not himself English, we adopted him, and now he’s ours.

I no longer have a St George window flag for my car (they get torn by the wind, don’t you know?) and it isn’t looking like rain today, so the little doggies won’t be wearing their St George raincoats, but here’s a picture of the Princess Renie and Captain Jack Sparrow in them from a previous year.


And that chair up there? I spotted that at the Motorhome Show one year. Shows a startling lack of respect, don’t you think? Rubbish stuffed in the drink holder and some kind of plastic bag attached to it … It’s symptomatic, you know, of how the government scheme to abolish England is working all too well.

So keep waving the flag, if you want to stay English! EnglandFlagEmotie

Posted on April 17, 2014 in Funny, Life, the Universe and Everything, Oddities by Jay6 Comments »


Well, I seem to have gone one better!

This is a little linseed growing on one of our non-slip rugs.  How did that happen, you ask?  Is our house that damp?  Well, no.  It’s rather more interesting than that!

You see, when Sid had his corn surgery, we had to make him a little walkway over the patio stones once his bandage came off, because the ground was too hard for him to walk on comfortably.  It was an emergency, so I grabbed a number of non-slip rugs we had handy and laid those down, and it was a huge success. We really didn’t expect to be able to use them in the house ever again, but as Sid got better and we had time to look around, we found a slightly less soft but considerably tidier option: a series of outdoor runners made from what they laughingly describe as ‘outdoor grass’.


At about that time, I fell ill with this wretched virus. It’s been two weeks now and while I managed to brush the dirt from most of those rugs and wash them before I was incapacitated*, one got left draped over one of the garden chairs outside, and forgotten.

In the meantime, the little birds have been coming regularly for their seed and – being right messy little tykes – scattering it everywhere.  Some of the seed got into the fibres of the rug.

It rained.  It sunned.  And the  little seeds grew – just like a handful of cress on damp kitchen paper, and with about as much long-term future to look forward to.

Several of them sprouted, but I didn’t notice until I’d already brushed the heads off most of them when I went to get the last rug in this morning.  That one up there is the only one left.

And now that’s gone too, because the rug is in the washing machine!

Farewell little flax sprout. It was a damn good try, and it made me smile, so you have become today’s post for the 100 Days of Happiness.

* They washed beautifully, by the way, and look almost as good as new.


I missed this last month, but I do love a good photo blogging challenge! This one (oh, ha ha!) is from ‘A lil hoohaa’. The challenge is to provide five photos, taken during the designated month, all illustrating the given theme. This month’s theme, as you see, is ‘One’.

So, I’ve just trawled through my March photo files to see what I could find, and I came up with these.

At the top, one classic red phone box, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It’s actually in Wennington, one of the most picturesque and well-preserved villages around these parts. It is full of thatched cottages, old-fashioned signposts and even has a duck pond (which, coincidentally, had one solitary duck on it when we passed through).

Around the same time, early in March, I took this picture of one of my dogs, Jeffie.


His coat must surely be one of the most unusual colours, but you see, he is black. And the trouble with a black dog is that the night is also black, and soon after dusk, he disappears from view – even when he is on his lead. That’s the reason he is now Hi Vis Jeffie.

While we are on the subject of dogs, here is a very rare picture of them both sharing ONE bed!


Now, if Jeffie had been in that bed first, there is no way that Sid would have got a look-in. He’d have been warned off in no uncertain terms. But because Sid was there first, and Jeffie desperately wanted that bed, he curled right up close to Sid so he could fit in too.

Next, I found a sweet picture of one of the twins in her doorway ‘Tigger’ bouncer. This one is Sophie, and her sister was in the doorway opposite. They had a whale of a time!


And lastly, yesterday I took my camera into the garden to take a few pictures of the spring flowers, and I found this little fellow, looking all new and velvety, on a climbing rose.


One solitary velvet mite. A bit bigger that the more common red spider mite, these are not saprophytes and do not feed on plants, but are parasitic on other (larger) insects.

If you’d like to join in with this challenge, pop on over to A Lil Hoohaa’s blog and grab the badge!


There seems to be a new trend on social media. I believe it started with Twitter, which is a form of social media I have no truck with, so I didn’t see it until it arrived on Facebook. It seems to consist of women posting a ‘selfie’ of themselves with no make-up, and it’s supposed to raise awareness of cancer. Oh, and some men are getting into the act by posting a picture of themselves WITH make-up, which is interesting.

Raising awareness of cancer is a laudable aim, but there are two problems. One is that no mention is ever made of cancer when the pictures are posted, and the other seems to be that nobody is actually donating anything, either time or money, to any cancer charities, hospitals or individuals*. Nobody even seems to be dedicating their selfie to someone they know who has cancer.

My selfie is up there, taken with my Macbook Air. You won’t notice much difference between this selfie and any other photo you may have seen of me, because I very seldom wear make-up anyway (unless you count nail-varnish which I do wear when my nails are not broken and flaking), but there it is.

I’d like to dedicate this selfie to a very sweet woman who died recently of brain cancer, very young. I didn’t know her terribly well, because she was largely an internet friend, but her lovely, sparkly personality and infectious sense of humour made a huge impression when OH and I did meet her in person and we are both very saddened by her loss.

I’d also like to dedicate it to my sister-in-law’s brother who has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumour. He too is a lovely person. He has a wonderful, dry wit and is kind and gentle. I won’t ask why it is that both these lovely people were afflicted with this particular illness. It seems a cruel joke, but let’s face it, that’s life. It’s the luck of the draw.

These are not the only people in my life with cancer. I have a cousin with some type of Hodgkins – or non-Hodgkins, I can never remember – lymphoma, at least two relatives who’ve had breast cancer, and I’ve lost a brother-in-law with cancer of the prostate which ended up in his liver, and a friend of the family with lung cancer. OH and I have both had treatment for cancers of differing types. A friend’s father is being treated for melanoma.

My point is, surely these days we all know someone who has, or has had cancer – or at least know of someone? Surely there is no point is saying ‘let’s all be aware that cancer is here and can strike at any time’ without also saying ‘… and here’s what you can do to help’?

So how about this: Let’s begin to change this fairly meaningless meme into something which has a point.

If you have read this or seen a ‘selfie for cancer’ or two, why not donate something? It doesn’t have to be much, and it doesn’t matter which cancer charity you donate to. Or you could donate your time to visit someone with cancer, either just to chat or to help with shopping, cooking, transport or gardening. It doesn’t even have to be human cancer, because all animals can get cancer. Go sit with a friend’s dog who has recently had surgery so they can go shopping or something.

Drop a pound into a charity tin when you see one. Write a card to someone who is in hospital, a hospice, or simply home alone recovering. Do anything … but don’t just post a picture and forget it.

*Babs tells me that there should indeed be a link to donate with each selfie, which makes so much more sense! She tells me that the information which should be included is: Text SELFIE to 70330 for a £3 donation.

In the absence of this knowledge, I donated to the Marie Curie Foundation.