Are You ‘Mutton Dressed as Lamb’? Oh, I Do Hope So!

If you’re mutton dressed as lamb, well hello!
But what exactly does this mean?

  • Does it mean that we don’t fit into the stereotypical role of dressing like our parents did?
  • Do we look as though we still have a spark in there somewhere and, well, it’s not normal?
  • Are we keeping up with the world as it is today, when we should have had the ‘decency’ to let go?

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Oh, I do hope so!
Come join me to fight against other people’s expectations …… .
Let’s face it, wisdom is wasted on the old and we still have minds full of useful information, don’t we? So let’s laugh together and make the world (as it is) a better place!

See you here, I hope!

Does Age Change Us as People?

I’ve discovered that the person you see as a parent or parent-in-law isn’t always the grandparent that your children see. And I know why.
As young parents, we dash from pillar to post, try to make ends meet, fool ourselves that the more money we earn the better lives our children will have …. and whatever else you would like to add to this list. As a result, we are so busy working that we don’t seem to have the chance to relax and that means that the person our children see is a stressed adult who isn’t that approachable.
When that very same person becomes a grandparent; not only are they more laid-back in the presence of their grandchildren but they have also reached a more comfortable style of life, they have less ’home’ responsibilities (e.g. washing and ironing for adults and teenagers) and they are definitely less stressed.
If I could turn the clock back, I would love to spend less time worrying over money and more time with my children but the truth of the matter is that, unless you have a money fountain somewhere which pays your bills for you, life would no doubt prove to be just the same…….
Keep buying those lottery tickets, eh?

Absence Really Does Make the Heart Grow Fonder … .

Being a UK native of sixty two years of age, and having now lived in what I refer to as ‘the outback (non-tourist part)’of Spain, It becomes clear to me that the things we miss the most are the smallest of needs.

It goes without saying that we miss family and friends but, these most important needs aside, I miss:-

• Carpets – oh to be able to feel that same warm touch when walking barefooted on a carpet. Here in Spain, where floors are invariably tiled, the idea of walking barefoot seems ludicrous.

• Oven shelves which are welded front to back – here, our oven has shelves where the individual rails which make up the shelf pass from left to right. You try pushing your casserole dish over what feels not dissimilar to driving over a cattle grid.

• Flies UK style – while you will know that you get bitten by mosquitoes in hot countries, I wonder if you know that flies also bite. I never got bitten by a fly in England but, here, it’s an everyday occurrence.

• Birthday / Christmas, etc. etc. cards – if you are in tourist Spain, it’s simply an enclave of Britain and you lack for nothing. In non-tourist Spain, there are no cards to be had so, when I am in England, I stock up with packs of cards and I also stock up with the sticky labels which denote son, daughter, husband etc., so as not to get caught out when it comes to the need to send a personalised care. I have, on several occasions, had to send notelets (with the sticky label attached), as none of the cards in my decreasing store seem to match the need.

• Entering competitions, as many of them say that you must live in the UK (and the computer knows I don’t!)

• The lovely supermarket treats I see advertised on televison, when I know I can’t buy to enjoy them.

I’m sure there’s more things I miss and, as you can see, they’re not life-threatening issues ….. but not to be able of have them (okay, I’ll put the flies to one side ….) really does hurt.

It really does …. .

Reflecting on That Magical Hall of Mirrors.

If you’re sitting in a coffee shop and reading this article, then you’re blessed with good eyesight or, with corrective glasses, you still have that same gift. But have you ever wondered about your eyes, those balls of jelly, what it is about them that make you able to see and also what it must be like when glasses can’t do it for you?

In a nutshell, it all seems to be about light and reflection and, after having lost my eyesight on Christmas Eve in 2010, and having to wait until the following April to see almost as well as I did before, I get the strangest feeling of that ‘Hall of Mirrors’ that used to delight the oldest of us when we visited the shows at the seaside resorts, when our parents took us away for the day. In one mirror you could see yourself as a ‘page three’ shape, though the real you would need to lose a couple of stone and yet, in another, you could see what overeating could result in. Others offered a delight of strange shapes and the experience gave you a chance to laugh at yourself and at your friends and family. It was a simple pleasure worth having.

Bad eyesight that cannot be corrected takes the simplest of things away from you, things you didn’t really think about before. Descending stairs blend into one, contrasting floor tiles look like steps and you proceed with caution, the computer and the supermarket are definitely out, as the glare (what glare, I hear you ask) may prove crippling and the housework (every cloud has a silver lining) becomes difficult. You might pass friends in the street, only to be judged as unsociable and, as regards to travelling alone, what was once an independent act, now becomes a perilous journey. Independence slides away from you and your confidence finds a new but lower level. Those jelly balls might be the windows to the soul but they are also the levellers of life.

We all know that we don’t appreciate what we’ve got until it’s gone and that should make us appreciate health and safety regulations, rather than hate the time they take to implement, making life slower and, on occasions, less fun. After all, didn’t we find it fun to take the odd risk, rather than think sensibly? Well, those of us who didn’t do any damage to ourselves.

Maybe health and safety for eyes goes beyond wearing protective glasses. That’s why opticians are there and don’t forget the all-important ophthalmologist who can look inside your eye, spin it round in his own hall of mirrors, take a cross-section view without resorting to scissors or knives and maybe even see a trace of your family’s eyesight history at a glance. That glance could allow corrective action before there is a need for curative exploration.

We spend a lot of money on cars, as we always want one better than the last one yet, when it comes to health, we think about the cost. I’m still trying to work that one out but caring for your own health should be given the number one place on your busy agenda. Once that’s addressed, everything else falls into place.

Every morning when I open my eyes, I realise that I can see. Having been without it for that short period of time makes me appreciate just what I’ve got. The next time you’re sitting in the coffee shop on route to wherever you have to go, and taking a moment to do a little reading while you have your cuppa, remember to appreciate those wondrous jelly balls, as you can’t replace them for newer models!

Not yet, anyway …. .

We Didn’t Get Food Poisoning, Did We?

Ah, remember the days when your mother made a huge pan of broth and it lasted days and days? Remember how she warmed it up every day and none of us got food poisoning?
And now, in today’s world, we are given ‘sell by’ dates, ‘best before’ dates and ‘display until’ dates? Why has life become so technical?

Is food of a poorer quality?
Are those preservatives working against us?
Is it all baloney?

Who knows?

Well, it seems a newly-married couple may know the answer:-

 

Beat that, eh?

Migrants Entering the UK.

While I was reading the Daily Mail online yesterday (27 August 2015), I came across three very interesting articles:-

• More and more migrants are entering the UK, in contrast to David Cameron’s promises.
• One in four babies is born to migrants.
• Saying no to migrants is not about racism but about fact. This country is far too small to take migrants in their droves.

Well done to the person in the third article, because saying no is indeed not about racism. I know it might seem silly but I always used to worry that if many more people come to live in England, then do what is natural as to raising family, this little tiny deposit of land may sink. By sink, I did not mean financially from the strain but actually go under, never to be seen again.

Mmmmm ….. it is a sobering thought.

Will the population of 2030 see our country no longer a Christian one? Will English lifestyle be confined to the history books? While we, as mutton, may not be around to experience such massive changes, our children will and that concerns me.

A lot.

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‘i’ What?

When you’re young, you don’t realise that the day will come when everything might seem to be outside your reach and with i ‘phone’, i ‘pod’ and i’pad’, I think I’ve now reached that point.

But then, have I?

Well, do I need any of these things? Do I need extra ‘whizzes’ and ‘bangs’ or can life still go on without them?

It’s all a racket and one which the youngsters of today need, in order to keep up with the Jones’s of the 21st. century.

I’ll stick with the straightforward stuff thank-you, as I’ve reached the age where I’m no longer in competition with anybody. Oh, the glory of being older!

Still —- those iphones are pretty clever!

Capitalising on the Capital Letter … .

Remember the day when a capital letter was only to be used on the name of a person, a place and title of a book or film? I do.

Today; capital letters appear so often in writings, that it makes even me start to query whether they should be there. That’s because we see them being incorrectly used so often that, after time, they become ‘correct’, as everyone who reads regularly sees the capital letters and accepts that, well, ‘this is the way it is’.

Remember the old ‘eleven plus’ exams, and also the GCEs and CSEs, when you had to correctly punctuate a piece of work? Whereas as I had confidence back then, I would now need to query what I have always known.

It’s sad, don’t you think?

Or doesn’t it matter anymore?

(Mmmmm …. I hope there aren’t any mistakes in this post ….)

Mutton, Lamb, or Hogget?

There’s mutton, there’s lamb and, it seems, there’s hogget.
So what is this hogget?

• Lamb meat is less than one year old and doesn’t take long to cook. This young meat contains little fat.
• Hogget meat is between one and two years old. It has a stronger flavour and more fat than lamb.  Hogget requires a little longer cooking time as well.
• Mutton meat is over two years old and has the strongest flavour of the three. It has much more fat and requires much more cooking time.

So there you have it!

While lamb is the one which seems to be most favoured, and indeed the one we see in the supermarket,  it appears that mutton and hogget should be sought out.  Try your local farms for these meats and enjoy that stronger flavour.