Monday 23 February 2015

Bits and pieces

I’m Stuck
The Internet is so sloooow today.  I had forgotten what it was like to have to wait for sites to open and it is most frustrating.  I wonder why it's happening.  Perhaps it is responding to my body and brain in some way.  They too are on a 'go slow' at the moment.
Also on a go slow is the increase in the number of followers on my blog.  In fact, I think it may be stuck for ever.  It has been on 196 for some time and I have been waiting for it to reach the 200 but I think Google have changed the system so people who decide to follow now are referred to Google + instead.  196 is such a frustrating number to be stuck on!

In January GB passed through Heswall on his way from Shrewsbury to Glasgow (intentionally – not through some misinterpretation of his satnav!).   

We had lunch in Avanti and caught up on each other’s news.  It’s a while since we saw each other and there was so much news we didn’t even have time to do a crossword!

I am trying to ensure I do at least two reasonable walks each week, whatever the weather.  Sometimes it’s poor

Sometimes it’s pleasant.

On a more local walk – just to the post office – I found these Deer Mushrooms (Pluteus cervinus) outside the Pensby Nursing Home.

As I walk I have been making up Haikus.  It’s great fun.   The essence of haiku is "cutting" (kiru). This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji ("cutting word") between them, a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.  Traditional haiku consist of 17 syllables, in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 respectively.    Modern Japanese haiku (現代俳句 gendai-haiku?) are increasingly unlikely to follow the tradition of 17 syllables or to take nature as their subject, but the use of juxtaposition continues to be honoured in both traditional and modern haiku. There is a common, although relatively recent, perception that the images juxtaposed must be directly observed everyday objects or occurrences.

Calves ache, knee twinges,
Thighs burn, toe throbs, and hip pains.
All in a day’s walk.

Rattle of long-dead beech
Cars whoosh, crows caw and siren blares;
Pensby, ten a.m.

It’s time for chocolate
According to LoveLoveHealth chocolate reduces anxiety and decreases depression.
“Yes, that’s correct, chocolate. However, I’m not talking about your average gas station chocolate bar. Dark chocolate is highly beneficial for your brain health. The darker and purer the chocolate, the better. Dark chocolate contains tyrosine, which is linked to an increase of dopamine. Dopamine has a direct effect on our emotional well-being, and stimulates the pleasure centres in our brain. Dark chocolate also releases endorphins, allowing you to feel a sense of happiness. In terms of anxiety, dark chocolate reduces cortisol levels. This is the hormone that makes us feel stressed. Time to get your chocolate fix!”  It’s just a shame I don’t really like strong chocolate.

The Kittipusses
Annabel and Mac have now been given the Freedom of the House (excluding kitchen and main bedroom) and are enjoying roaming.  But at the end of the day Annabel would rather find a lap and Mac is happy just cleaning himself as he lies on the floor. 


  1. Sorry to hear that your web is slow - that happened to us last week and it was really difficult to get any work done.

    Glad the pusses now have the run of the house. Our two always wash excessively after being in the cattery (presumably washing off the strange smells) so it doesn't surprise me that Mac is spending a lot of time washing. At least they both look relaxed. If only I could give them a cuddle through the computer.

  2. Is that grass in your photos? I've forgotten what it looks like since we haven't seen any since November! The snow just keeps coming! Anyway, your walk looks lovely, the kitties look content, your Haiku is cute and now I'm craving some dark chocolate! Have a good week!

  3. I just bought 100% chocolate bar yesterday. I'm going to cut it up and make gluten free and sugar free cookies. I looked on the ingredients of the chocolate bar and there is only one: cocoa. Grams of sugar- 0. It might be a bit bitter but I've got some agave to make my cookies taste sweet. The only thing with that is that the calories are high. I like your haiku.

  4. Yes it was good to catch up. Hopefully there will be lots of time for crosswords in the spring. My Eagleton Notes had been stuck on 97 for around a year. It went to 98 recently. My Blogland is quite small though and a lot of people follow it via Facebook. I'm not sure who follows it on Google+. In fact I never use it intentionally.

    1. I'm not sure if there is a way of checking who is following on Google+. Like you, I don't tend to use it.

    2. Oh dear. I had delusions of follower grandeur or perhaps I am just plain forgetful. I only have 78 followers on Eagleton Notes. I have well over 100 on my New Zealand blog (which would seem to indicate something but I'm not sure what). I'm not really sure that the numbers mean anything though because as we all know many people 'follow' but don't and many people don't 'follow' but do.

  5. I've been stuck for a while on 99 followers... I suspect it does not really matter much though, as some of those 99 probably aren't still actively following, while others may be without showing up in the statistics.
    About chocolate, I heard a doctor say on TV today that chocolate also gives better sleep and prevents heart problems and diabetes. 30-40 grams per day of 70% chocolate recommended... Yay! (Means I can stop feeling guilty...)

    1. I know that a lot of the 196 are no longer following it's just my desire for neatness - 200 is so much tidier. I would find 99 even more infuriating!

  6. Good for you, taking walks each week no matter what! It's excellent for your health and well being.

    The cats are beautiful, i'm glad they are settling in, and i hope your internet speed goes back up to normal.

  7. Behold the Green Grass. All that Remains of the Dreams of Warriors (Forgive me if I am not prefectly accurate Brain Injury'll do that) from the Memorial near he remains of the Prisoner of War Camp near Featherston. Sorry I am not a Follower as such but do have a link to your blog on my sidebar :-) I have 2 Followers so don't feel so badly.

  8. I like your Haiku. No way could I do that in my head! Good to see GB but he looks pale. I guess that's his winter look with which I am unfamiliar. I just imagined him then as I considered ending my sentence with a preposition! Good to see the cats settling in so happily.

    1. Ending with a preposition! That is the sort of English up with which he will not put.

    2. Pauline going to the gym here on Lewis I realise just how white my legs have become. However they now match all the other white legs here.

  9. Good to know about your walks, I am not as brave as you and don't get out when the weather is not to my liking.
    Like you, I don't enjoy the really strong chocolate but prefer they dairy milk variety. That reminds me - I have not had a single piece of chocolate yesterday, rather unusual for me!

  10. So glad that Annabel and Mac are settling in to their new home....lots of love makes it easier.

  11. Don't take the number too seriously. For instance, I'm not sure if I "follow" you in Blogger. But I read you through "Feedly". I inform you that yo have 24 readers there... :D

  12. Now you're stuck in 197 ;-)

    1. Thank you Eva - At least I know it still moves! And I bet you are my first follower in Morocco.

  13. |Talking of chocolate, I just got a wonderful mug cake recipe off someone else's blog. You can use strong chocolate but it is sort of diluted by the rest of the cake. And it's made in the microwave, yay! 4 tbsp flour, 5 tbsp sugar, 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 egg, 3 tbsp milk, 3 tbsp melted butter (or oil), 3 tbsp chocolate chips, 1 tsp vanilla extract.

    Mix it up in a bowl: I just whisk it with a fork.

    If you are using choc chips, sprinkle a few more on the top.

    When out of chocolate, I use muesli instead.

    Divide between two sturdy and fairly large coffee mugs.

    Microwave on medium-high for 1 minute, then for another 30 seconds, more or less according to your oven.

    It is perfectly cooked when moist and gooey in the middle.

  14. My favorite cat was the same color as Mac. We named him Morris for the cat food commercial cat. I could call him like the dogs and he'd come running. Dark chocolate- my very favorite. I just wish Reese's Peanut Butter Cups would come out in dark chocolate. Jenny's recipe- definitley worth trying! BTW get over feeling bad about your follower total- I don't have that many even with Google +! I hope you stay well because I love hearing from you.


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