Wednesday 26 February 2014

A Reading Day

(Artist unknown)

Sunday 23 February 2014

What a smile can do!

We are often out (or I am in bed) when the electricity and gas meter readers call.  They leave a little card and we take the reading and leave it in the window.

This week the card was a bit different.  It had a smiley face on it.   

It’s amazing the difference that made.  Instead of cursing that I had to move the washing machine, behind which the electricity meter is crammed, my face lit up and I went to show Jo the card.  What a difference a little smiley face made.  

We put the reading in the window and when we came back from being out the next day we found this little slip had been put through the letterbox.

Sadly I haven’t been able to find out how to contact the local G4S to say how good we thought it was and that the meter reader (assuming it was done on his or her own initiative) deserved a bonus!

I too used a smiley face this week and was suitably rewarded.  It related to my postcard swapping activities.

When postcards come from some countries they are hand-stamped by their post offices. When this happens the stamp (or frank as it is more properly known) is usually placed in such a way that the stamps are not overly covered with inky waves.  Also, because the postcard doesn’t go through a machine it is not damaged.

But when the franking is done by a machine all too often the pretty stamps are totally obliterated.

And the card itself is scraped, covered in inky marks or otherwise damaged.  


The other day I decided to put all the cards I had to send that day into a plastic cover and on top I put a yellow sticky asking if the cards could be hand stamped if possible and added a smiley face.  I addressed one of the cards to myself to see what happened.  This was the result. An undamaged card and a pleasant frank.

Thank you Post Office.  In future I shall do this each time.

What a difference a smile can make.

Saturday 22 February 2014

Give peace a chance

 During the process of Postcrossing I have met a very intelligent and pleasant young lady of 8 years of age named Katya.  Katya comes from the Ukraine.   

Yesterday she sent me an e-mail about postcards.  But at the end of the e-mail was this message.

“We live in a small village near a small town and we do everything well! But today there were problems with withdrawals from ATMs, banks close, long queues at petrol stations for benzine! In Kiev, very bad! Kill people, fire! Kiev was very beautiful! What a pity! The government does not want to give up power! People are dying!    

We appeal to all: If you have a connection with the press, television, government, please help to stop the bloodshed and restore peace! Thank you!”

I don't know enough about the situation to take sides and maybe neither 'side' is completely right or wrong.  If you want a clearer explanation of the situation the BBC news site is probably as good as any.  There is also a YouTube video of a fourteen year old in Kiev which you may want to watch. 

If you can do anything at all, however little - like writing to your local elected representative - please help to keep Katya and her 8 year old friends safe and once more enable her to visit the beautiful city of Kiev before the city is destroyed and without her being in a firing line.

This is how Kiev should look -

Friday 14 February 2014

February 14th

Tuesday 11 February 2014

The last two weeks in pictures…

Been feeling yuck…

(I shall spare you a photo!)

Son-who-watches-films became 26.

Liverpool beat Everton 4-0 and then beat Arsenal (who were at that time top of the table) 5-1.   The Reds are currently fourth, only six points behind the leaders Chelsea.  Manchester United are nine points behind Liverpool, in 7th place below Everton in 6th.  Other than topping the table - which we did at Christmas -  I can't think of a better situation to be in.

Our Amaryllises (is that the plural?) flowered.

And the Orchid which Partner-who-loves-tea bought at the beginning of October has never stopped flowering for a single day since it arrived in the house…

It's rained every day.

We had some sushi – my first ever!

 PWLT gave me a couple of USB sticks - a penguin and an owl.

 I received lots of postcards…  Guess which country this lovely one came from?

And I used my Christmas present of early 20th century postal scales to weigh an envelope or two.

 Enjoy the next few days...  (in fact enjoy the rest of your life!)

Saturday 1 February 2014

Liverpool 4 – Everton 0

It’s the Superbowl tomorrow…      Good luck to the Seattle Seahawks tomorrow but the outstanding sporting event of the week month  year  decade on Merseyside was Liverpool’s thrashing of their rivals from across the park – Everton.  Non-sporting persons may want to ignore this post and come back in a day or so..

Liverpool 4 – Everton 0

On Tuesday night, Liverpool ripped up the history books, recording their biggest victory in the Merseyside Derby since 1982, and their biggest at Anfield in this scrap for local supremacy since 1972, by cutting Everton to pieces with the pace and precision of their counter-attacks. The Kop loved it, chanting “Liverpool are magic, Everton are tragic”,  a reminder of the late Emlyn Hughes’ grabbing of the microphone at the civic reception held at St George’s Hall after the 1977 European Cup final.

Captain Steven Gerrard was the mainstay of the team as always.  His sixth goal of the season was Liverpool’s 150th in all derbies at Anfield. He has now scored nine times against Everton (only Ian Rush, with 25, has scored more for Liverpool in derbies). It had to be Gerrard, who loves the derby intensity and significance, scoring the opener.

A slightly more selfish professional, Daniel Sturridge, struck twice, and missed a penalty which will staying missing for a while.

Luis Suárez put in another outstanding 90 minutes, including Liverpool’s fourth goal which started after a rather unequal foot race against Phil Jagielka from the halfway line. Embodied by the tireless Suárez, Liverpool’s work-rate was of the highest order.

If Gerrard and Sturridge vied for the man-of-the-match honours, Suárez’s willingness to cover back as well as race forward, registering his 23rd goal of the season, was also worthy of praise. Philippe Coutinho left to a standing ovation, deservedly so because of the intelligence of his vision and distribution.

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