Archive for the ‘A to Z challenge’ Category

Have you noticed how often the number three crops up in our lives?   Do you ever wonder why three seems to be so significant?  The number three appears to play an important part in our beliefs, religions and arts.


The Three Bears

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

The Three Little Pigs

The Three Stooges

The Three Musketeers

Three Blind Mice

There are 3 witches in Macbeth

Books are often Trilogies


The Holy Trinity

The Hindu Trimurti

The Three Jewels of Buddhism

Mind, body and Spirit

Three wise men

Jesus rose from the dead on the 3rd day

Three virtues: Faith, Hope and Charity


Baseball – 3 strikes and the batter is out

Cricket –  if a bowler takes 3 wickets in a row it is called a hat trick


It is unlucky to be the third person to light a cigarette from the same match or lighter; yet

we say “Third time lucky”.

When we want everyone to do something together, we may call out “On the count of three”.

You wait ages for a bus and then they come along in threes


Three primary colours

Three wishes

 I have listed  just a few of the “Three’s” I can think of.   Maybe you can add some more, or have a theory on “Three”.


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You will have gathered from D for Discretion in Dealing with Daughters that daughter #2 is getting married.

Late last year, on a shopping trip, she and I called into a dress shop for a browse.  A beautiful dress and jacket caught our attention.  This was an expensive shop; the outfit cost almost £400.   So we decided to be sensible and wait a few months for the sales.

For Christmas, Daughter #2  bought me a money pot, the kind that you have to smash open to get to the cash. The intention is to save as much as I can until May and then we can go shopping together for my wedding outfit.  I have religiously filled it with 20p pieces and £2 coins.

Money Pot

Just over a month ago, I bought my wedding outfit without said Daughter and without breaking the money pot.

There, on the rail in the shop, beckoning: “I am here, I’ve been waiting for you. Come and buy me”, was the dress and  jacket – IN MY SIZE reduced by 70%!!   Well you can’t ignore a bargain like that can you?

So I bought it.

Daughter #2 was not happy because she wanted to come wedding outfit shopping with me.  I think it was to make sure I didn’t buy anything dreadful or embarrassing.   However, the dress and jacket has got her seal of approval despite me daring to venture out on my own.

The dead bird fascinator

I bought a fascinator at the same time.  A smart collection of feathers, bows and veil.   I liked it until last week when I tried it on again and all I could see was a dead black bird on my head.  I just couldn’t get that vision out of my head.  The fascinator had lost its fascination.

When Daughter #2 came to stay this weekend,  I told her about my dead bird.  She said she would rather I wore a proper hat anyway.   So, Saturday and Sunday became hat shopping days.  What comes first?  The outfit or the hat?   There is always going to be a problem no matter which way round.

Eventually we found a hat in Marks and Spencer.   The trouble with buying anything from M&S is that you stand a very good chance of meeting up with it again.   As Mother of the Bride, I don’t want to see someone else at the wedding with the same hat.

We both looked at each other and the same thought flashed between us…….. take the fascinator apart and add it to the hat.  What a brilliant idea!  That way there will be no one with the same hat.  My very own millinery masterpiece.

Voila!  An Incredibly Ingenious Individual wedding hat.

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H is for Halt

I have come to a halt with the A to Z Challenge.  I am sorry to fall by the wayside at such an early stage.  Today being H is a good day to call a halt.

It is taking over my life.  I am thinking about it all the time : “what has happened today, that I can match up with A B C”.  I don’t want it to become a chore, blogging is supposed to be fun.

My little side blog ” A Daily Jotting” is losing its purpose.

I thought the Challenge was a good idea – it still is, of course, but not for me.

I am struggling to connect my idea of little day to day note of things going on with a letter of the alphabet.  So my friends, I will drop in from time to time, if the rules allow, should a jotting link in with whatever is the letter of the day.

Meanwhile, enjoy all the other 1000+ blogs and please call by once in while to see what is going on in my life.  I will continue to read the great and interesting A to Z Challenge posts.

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Four reasons why I love France (there are more, but today is F and four is a nice round number).

1.    I love the french lifestyle – their laissez-faire ways.

2.    I love the french houses – their shabby chic flare.

3.    I love french food – particularly frangipane flan.

4.    I love french wine – especially Fleurie.

My cousin is lucky enough to live in Fontainebleau, France,  just south of Paris.  I visit her as much as I can via Eurostar.

She doesn’t shop for food in supermarkets, she shops in a super market,  open every day and sells the most wonderful fresh food.  I have seen strawberries the size of apples!  There is no need to buy a weeks worth of food, you can  buy what you need as you need it.   The baker (la boulangerie/patisserie) is open early every morning and are still baking in the evening.    Just imagine how fantastic it is to wake on a Sunday morning, and  pop out to buy freshly baked patisserie – my favourite  apricot and almond croissants.

I could wax lyrically for ages on the many things  I like about France but  this is just a short post for F.  Instead I will share these photos of Fontainebleau and Paris with you.

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My daughters

I have two daughters who I love dearly.    Both are high powered career women in their early 30s.  One is married with two children and the other is getting married in the Summer.  Both are trained in man-management and dealing with difficult situations.

So why, when it comes to planning a hen night is there such an issue?

Do they speak the same language to each other, I ask myself.    One tells me one thing and the other says something different.  They have clearly had the same conversation, but each has an alternative slant.  Perception is how we see and hear a situation often in different ways – this is a clear example.

Daughter #2, the one getting married, has her bridesmaids arranging the hen night.   She knows what she wants but also wants to ensure that whatever is arranged, everyone invited is happy to do.   Did I not teach her that you can’t please everybody?

She is not prepared to say “I want to do this and please arrange it”.

Daughter #1 can’t understand why it has to be a weekend away.

“What is the matter with going to the pub?” she asked.

She was married 10 years ago, things have changed since then.

Daughter #2 says “All I want is for her to say she will come for the whole weekend, I don’t know what she is doing”.

Daughter #1 says “We have spoken at length regarding the weekend”.

Wiser friends are adamant that a mother MUST NOT get involved in daughter to daughter discussions, as it is the mother who will come away with egg on her face.  She only has to get it wrong and mum is the one who is the villan.

I know, I do listen,  I have tried to keep my own counsel, but when daughter #2 asks if I would speak to daughter #1 to say how important is it to her that she comes for the whole weekend, it is very difficult to say no.

So when daughter #1 responds  that she values her weekends with her children,  and doesn’t really want to be away all weekend, when she could just go for the Saturday and take the late train home, what can I say?

I can see both sides.  I just want to sit on the fence please.

It was so much easier when they were little.  I would sit them down and explain both points of view  (probably  biased towards my point of view, because that would make life easier).   I was the tough one, “The Mum”, the one who said what was what.   Hugs, cuddles, gentle words, a drink and a biscuit would solve almost all differences of opinion.  Now I tread lightly and meter every word for fear I have misinterpreted their words and make things worse.  They still need me, though,  mum is there to sort out problems no matter how old you are.  The phone will always be answered, text and emails will always be responded to, and no plea for assistance will be refused.

The bottom line is that my two toughies are just jelly babies inside.

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For many reasons, I won’t go into, my Mum and I have never experienced a happy mother/daughter relationship.  That was until two years ago when she moved from Hertfordshire into a Residential Care Home around the corner from me, on the Sussex Coast.  She was 89 and I was 57.

Slowly, with love, care and attention from the Home, a  poorly, frail and difficult old lady was transformed into a different person.   Mum attends all the activities and goes out once a week in the mini-bus for a day trip – usually to Devil’s Dyke near Brighton.   You might not think this unusual but I am talking about a woman who in the previous 10 years had become a virtual recluse, refusing to go out or have visitors who were not family.

I call in on a regular basis after work to sit with her when she has her tea.  I take her out in her wheelchair down to the seafront, we have tea and cake in the café and chat.   In two years we have built a wonderful mother/daughter relationship.  The one I have always wanted and am so glad I have had this opportunity.  It would have been awful had she died two years ago.  I would never have known what a lovely happy old lady my Mum could be.

Today is Mother’s Day.  I bought her a plant and a card and was ready to go and visit her this afternoon, when I received a call from the Home.  They have a tummy bug outbreak and have closed their doors to all visitors to contain any illness within the Home.   I feel really sad that I can’t see her today and tell her how much I love her.

At least I can do that soon, there are those who have lost their Mum, so I know how blessed I am to still have her with me.

PS  I know the A to Z Challenge is Monday to Saturday, this is Sunday and my blog is a daily jotting, so I am using a ‘literary’ licence.

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This little phone has caused me to waste a whole Saturday afternoon.   It is an HTC Wildfire – chosen because it had one of the best reviews. An Android Touch phone,  I was quite excited when I ordered it.

You see, my trouble is that I am like a dog with a bone when it comes to technology.  I won’t let things get the better of me.   Supposedly “user friendly” with the instruction manual stored on the phone.  That was totally impractical.  I  sat at the dining room table all afternoon, with the manual downloaded onto my PC.  Usually I am very good getting to grips with things – this left me frustrated.  Not only did it take time to find out that the contacts transferred onto the SIM from my old phone have to then be imported to “Phone Contacts” – not clearly explained, I had to get used to a touch phone.  How men with larger fingers manage I really do not know.

I have now got the special ringtone for my daughters “Here come the girls” downloaded, and my commonly used numbers all in one place.  I have Facebook  and Twitter linked as well as my emails.   Now, all I need is for someone to give me a call so that I can use it!  I feel quite exhausted.

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