Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Time goes by so .....

Time goes by so slowly fast
I can hardly believe it’s over a week since I last posted on this blog.  Where does the time go?  I have a theory about that.  Everyone knows that the years go more quickly the older you get.  But had you realised that the months are of different lengths?  I don’t mean Thirty days hath September, April, June and November and all that.  Danielle, a friend in the USA, was saying how ill-prepared she was for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  That immediately made me realise that November is a far shorter month than any other on the calendar.  Never mind that it has thirty days.  Its days are shorter and fly by at twice the speed of October’s.  One minute you are saying how nice the leaves look as they begin to turn into their autumn dress.  Next minute it’s Thanksgiving and the butcher is telling you he’s sold out of turkeys.   And if November is the fastest month of the twelve surely February is the slowest.  Wet, cold, windy… It just drags on forever.  And there is no way round it.  Even if we could get the United Nations to agree on a new calendar it would still go quickly when you had a lot to do and creep by when you were anxious for the new season to arrive.

Postcards Galore
I have a separate postcard blog but the sending and receiving of postcards has become such a major part of my life that I must mention it here on my main blog.

We have a daily post apart from Sunday.  It is delivered to the door and flops through the letterbox and onto the mat.  And nowadays the sound of it arriving is sometimes the highlight of my day.  Even if the day has something else exciting happening I can’t wait to see what the postman has brought.  It is rare for there to be no postcards at all.  I now have so many Postcrossing cards travelling and so many friends who use it either as a means of swapping cards or as a means of communication.  These latter have sent so many beautiful and interesting cards that I couldn’t choose just one or two to show you here but I thought I’d show you some of the more interesting ones from strangers. 

I suppose this doesn’t wholly qualify as a stranger – it is from someone who went to the same Prep.  school as me.  He is now in the Cayman Islands:-
 Cats seem to be the subject of so many cards nowadays.  This one is painted by Anton Gortsevich and came from Sasha in Russia.
This cat came from Oksana in Belarus and is one of many painted by the super artist Irina Zeniuk.

Books Galore
Charlie Lovett’s “The Bookman’s Tale” (2013) is one of the most delightful books I’ve read for a while.  A thriller, a novel of love and obsession, the hero is an antiquarian bookseller and it bobs back and forth between the 1980s, the 1990s and the 1870s.  What more could I want? 
Danielle in Nebraska mentioned on her blog a series of old British crime stories called the British Library Crime Classics.  I took a look at them on Amazon and found a set of five at a reduced price, all by authors I had never heard of.  I got them and if the first one is anything to go by this series is a great discovery.   The one I’ve read is “The Lake District Murder” by John Bude (the pseudonym of Ernest Elmore, co-founder of the Crime Writers’ Association).  Published for the first time since the 1930s, it particularly appealed to me because I knew all the places referred to – they were part of what I considered my second home in my youth.
 In that youth I read all the Agatha Christie books.  I could never exactly count how many there were but around 66 with 14 collections of short stories.  One I hadn’t read was “Black Coffee”.  That was for the simple reason that it hadn’t been published – it was first published in 1998 being the first of her plays to be novelised by another author- Charles Osborne.  Originally performed in 1930 it stars Hercule Poirot and is a typical, enjoyable Agatha Christie read.
Yet another crime story I’ve read recently is “The Shadows in the Street” by Susan Hill (2010.
And now for something for completely different.  Terry Pratchett has a new children’s book out – “Dragons at Crumbling Castle” (2014).  Fourteen early stories, dug out from the archives, that show off the skills of the young Terry, provide an early look at the Carpet People and who couldn’t love Hercules the Tortoise.
Two books I’ve started but have yet to finish are “Stormbird” by Conn Iggulden (the first in the Wars of the Roses series) and “The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul”.  Both are proving most enjoyable.

Blank Notebooks
I love blank notebooks.  I can’t resist buying them, especially if they have lovely bindings.  And my family are well aware of this love and treat me to new notebooks on my birthday and at Christmas (hint, hint).  What I then write in them varies enormously.  Last week Heather commented on the importance of the written word – written for oneself as opposed to composed on the computer and, sometimes, created with an audience in mind.  I promptly started writing a diary again in one of those lovely notebooks.  It survived two days and then missed four days.  I must be more disciplined but at the same time I shall not force myself to make an entry every day.

The Spillchucker
Every so often I comment on the vagaries of the spellchecker.    

This week I had an e-mail from a friend which asked for my elephant number.  I gave him my phone number instead.

Another friend obviously meant to say ‘Glad you liked them’ but the phone decided she meant ‘God you liked them’.  Or perhaps she really had not expected them to be enjoyed and meant ‘God! You liked them?’  Who knows.

And when I mistyped postcrossing and wrote ppstcrossing instead my e-mail system suggested I really meant cross-dressing.  Duh!


  1. I just read your post, while visiting Jakarta Indonesia - thank you for writing it brought a huge smile to my bored face today. These last couple of days I have been sitting at my wife's family home bored to death - I'm from Canada and married an Indonesia lady.
    I in my youth collected postcards I wonder what happened to them? I still like to send a post card to friends especially my older ones - come to think about it I often send to the younger grand children before but not any more... I should start again.
    Anyways I love your blog.

    1. Thanks doe visiting me, Marty. I hope the rest of your visit wasn't too boring. I expect your grandchildren would love receiving a postcard. There is so little personal mail around nowadays.
      Some of my early postcards went when we did a car boot sale but fortunately my son wanted the rest so they stayed in the family and I since he has lost interest I have now reclaimed them. I want to blog about some of them one day but the time seems to slip by without me getting there...

  2. You have hit the nail on the time head absolutely Bruv. As someone with five years more on the clock I can tell you it doesn't stop speeding up. Living in two countries in 6 month trenches meant that time flew even faster although the months didn't alter in the same way. For me the months before and after the transition flew meaning that I had four even quicker months each year.

    The spillchucker provides some of the most amusing, some of the most frustrating and some of the most puzzling messages in modern communication. It has also brought a new law to the effect that the send button is always pressed just at the moment in the checking read-through that you notice the error.

    1. Oh yes, GB - I agree entirely about the new law. We should think of a name for it. How about propel lore - or should that be propeller?

  3. I love the cross dressing picture!! Those Victorians weren't half as stiff and joyless as they are so often portrayed, were they!
    To me, every month flies by. For many months afterwards, I still was somehow mentally stuck around the time of my birthday in March. I know that it had a lot to do with me being away for so much of the time (one week every month) for my course. After the course ended, work got very, very busy all of a sudden. And then it was August already, with my Mum's 70th birthday week, and where did September go? October whirled by, and November is nearly over - it's incredible, really! But I like it that way, and although I marvel at how quickly time passes, I don't feel stressed out. I enjoy all the different activities, and I have decided to do them; nobody forces me to prepare for Christmas etc.

  4. I never know if you and some other bloggers are not posting, or if it's me because I limit my time at the computer because of my pain. Any way, glad to hear for you, you write so much about one of my favorite subjects- reading, I will have to investigate about some of the books you mentioned.

  5. And here I was thinking it was because of my older age and the slowing down of body parts that I couldn't seem to get a lot more done this month....thanks for clearing that up for me.
    Love your postcards...well worth waiting around for the mailman.

  6. Cross dressing! Heeheehee! That's a spell check for you.

    Those are fun postcards, i don't blame you for wanting to see what the mail brings each day.

    As to February, i agree, it's short on the calendar but often long on misery.

  7. This post is so fun! Yes, February is a short month in days but when I was a kiddo it seemed to drag on forever. You see, my birthday is the last day of Feb. When you're a kid you can't wait for that special time. Now as an adult I think it sometimes flies by! I don't wait so anxiously for my age to increase another year! I kept a diary from age 12-16 and what's written in there is priceless! (but for my eyes only!). I once read a story about a man who only put 10 entries in his journal. When you read those 10 little entries you get a good picture of who this man was and his outlook on life. I often wonder how much more wonderful it would have been if he wrote 10 times more things! I keep my blog as a journal but I do find that I fall into the "writing for the audience" trap once in a while. The written word in letter form is a treat. I love getting letters. Once my Mom sent me a letter and enclosed a recipe for zucchini bread....my favorite line in that recipe is suppose to say "Mix in a large bowl"...only Mom wrote, "Mix in a large bowel"....my favorite recipe ever! Thanksgiving is in a few days and this month has flown by...along with this year. Thanks for being a wonderful blog buddy..it's one of my many thankful things this Thanksgiving!

    1. Thank you for such kind words! If we had Thanksgiving over here I would reciprocate - but I'm thankful every day for you and all the other friends I've made through blogging.
      You see - that's another problem with the spillchucker - it wouldn't have picked up your Mum's recipe word because it's proper word any way! Perhaps she just meant the Puccini wasn't for infants! :-)

  8. i've had "The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul" for a while now and haven't read it yet.
    I love the Irina Zeniuk cat, he's great! :-)


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