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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.

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.

Beautiful flowers to make me happy

 

Today is just a short jotting and break from A to Z challenge to bring me back into line because I did C yesterday instead of today.  So that makes tomorrow, Tuesday, D day.

Today I returned to work having been off sick since last Tuesday.  I sniffed and snorted and filled my waste paper bin with tissues.  Everyone made the necessary “oh poor you” noises.  It didn’t help much as I didn’t want to be there anyway.  Not that recovering from a virus would make any difference, I don’t want to be there even when I am well.   I keep telling myself that I am lucky to have a job, without it I would lose my home.  I need a salary to pay the mortgage and the bills, let alone the day to day living expenses.   What a necessary evil work is, especially if you are not doing a job you enjoy.  How many of us have that luxury?

I can hear you say, well do something about it then, you can change your life if you want to.   I know, there is a voice in my head that says the same thing, but I have got to a stage in my life when I just want an easy life.  Perhaps I am just being defeatist and negative, or maybe I am just tired.  I shall have a bath, go to bed and have a good night’s sleep.  Tomorrow is another day, things will look more positive, after all it is D-Day tomorrow!

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.


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.

The end of my lilies

Today, I threw out my lovely lilies, because they are getting floppy and dropping their pollen.  Such a shame, because of my sinus infection I haven’t been able to enjoy the beautiful perfume they exude.  Oh well, off to Waitrose to treat myself to some more.  However, Sunday is Mothers Day so perhaps I should wait a while in case the girls send me flowers.  Wouldn’t that be good!