Posts

Evidence that Fran is acquiring technical skills

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Happy Christmas, lovely followers! I know it's not been the year any of us would have ordered (had we been asked) but here and there I have tried to offer humour, cheer and a moment's distraction. Thanks so much for being around, for reading, and for your super comments which I love until they are funnier than my own.  I hope you are able to spend some time, however limited, with family or friends. Our plans were disrupted but we're still able to see one set of family so, counting our blessings!  I've been adding videos to my Youtube channel and these two are Christmas-themed, so I offer them here for your entertainment over the holiday. The first is a poem, the second a song. Take your pick or enjoy both :)  See you in 2021 😊

Evidence that Fran is perhaps over-thinking during Zoom events

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I've been to so many Zoom events lately, often those for writers. Here are thoughts I have during them.   1. Do my nostrils look like the Wookey Hole caves to anyone else? 2. I bet I'm not the only one drinking red wine out of a tumbler to pretend it's Ribena.  3. I wish someone had warned me that when you surreptitiously check your phone, your face lights up like a beacon.  4. That woman's dog is so tiny it would do better as a sandwich filling.  5. How embarrassing that I posted the Clapping reaction just as that man told a tragic story.  6. Do my nostrils look like the Wookey Hole caves to anyone else? 7. Hey, if I tilt my head back just a little like *this*, I reduce the number of chins by a sixth. 8. Crap, no! My Chat message saying, 'I'm loving this' came up just as that lady was describing her latest rejection from a publisher.  9. If I turn my camera off, I could eat this Snickers bar then claim technical problems.  10. Do my nostrils look like the W

Reasons why Fran is desperately in search of earbuds

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My try-to-get-fitter walk in the fields today was a silent one. I usually listen to the radio through earphones but have lost one of the soft earbuds and nothing spoils a walk more than having hard plastic nudging up against your fragile tympanic membrane. The BBC's  'Woman's Hour' is a brilliant programme but loyalty has limits.  It was disconcerting, walking in silence. Listening to radio distracts from the disturbing reality that my legs are propelling me in forward motion because, if I think too hard about this, I frighten myself.  Today, while walking, I had to listen to my own thoughts.  And now I've listened to my own thoughts, I remember why I like radio better. The inside of my head is like a wastepaper basket.   Be grateful that I only offer you a brief excerpt.  Oh, look, that bird is - / Where did I put that mark scheme. I'll need it for - / My shoes are getting muddier./ Maybe mash with the fish tonight / really muddy / The trees are definitely more

For Remembrance

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I wrote a poem for Remembrance Day based on Ecclesiastes 3 verses 1-8. You may know the original verses better as a famous Pete Seeger song.  First, here are the verses as they appear in the Old Testament. Following them is my own poem 'There is a Clock-Strike' Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (New International Version of the Bible) There is a time for everything,      and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2       a time to be born and a time to die,      a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3       a time to kill and a time to heal,      a time to tear down and a time to build, 4       a time to weep and a time to laugh,      a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5       a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,      a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6       a time to search and a time to give up,      a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7       a time to tear and a time to mend,      a time to be silent and a time to speak,

Evidence from your kitchen that you are not as young as you were

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1. You remember when scrambled eggs were cooked in saucepans.  2. You're not alarmed by one of these.  3. You own a ceramic mixing bowl the size of a canyon.   4. You feel fleeting remorse over bought pastry. 5. To you, a large apron is something you wear for baking, not an overhanging belly.  6. You have a book in which you have written recipes. Some pages are stained with syrup or oil.  7. You do own a bendy silicone muffin tin but you're suspicious of it.  8. You have cinnamon sticks in a jar but have yet to google 'What to do with cinnamon sticks'.  9. You've claimed you had a spiraliser as a child but found you were wrong ....   10. You've had a favourite knife since 1993 and still use it even though you have new ones.  11. When you make crumbles, you always say, 'This is how we did it in Domestic Science.'  12. You know about not slamming an oven door when there's a Victoria sponge in there.  13. You measure in ounces and if the recipe uses 

Evidence that there are all kinds of ways to choose baby names

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One remarkable fact about my mother, who took her own life at thirty-one after years of alcoholism, and was in most respects disorganised and chaotic, is that she named all four of her offspring before birth. We all had a name ready-made, whether a boy or girl.  It's one of the few positive memories I have of her parenting. But you have to suck the juice out of some situations.  So efficient! That's the birth-name equivalent of having everything in labelled Tupperware, arranged on your kitchen shelves in size order. I can assure you, my mother's kitchen did not look like this. So, she wasn't consistent, but the name idea counts in her favour.  Here's how it worked.  I am Frances. If a boy, I would have been Francis.  My brother was named Leslie. He would have been Lesley. My sister was Christine. She would have been Christopher. My younger sister was Michaela. She would have been Michael. Have you ever heard of anyone else doing this? Usually, you hear people say, &

Reasons why Fran misses her local post box

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The post box on the corner of my street has been out of use for months. It's encased in black and yellow sticky tape that makes it look like a crime scene. This may well be the case. Perhaps some bored youth popped a lit match in there as his contribution to the wellbeing of his local community. Whatever the reason, the Royal Mail seem to have decided not to reinstate it and that means that if I want to post a letter or small parcel, I can't just shuffle down our small street in my slippers without my upper lip plucked. I have to don shoes, a jacket and some pretence of respectability for the ten-minute trek up the hill to the local shopping arcade where the next nearest post box is. My efforts are nothing compared to those my gran would have gone to. Her corner shop was only a few doors down yet she still applied perfect lipstick, her best coat and a fresh headscarf merely to fetch a tub of Blue Band margarine or a tin of peaches.   'Gran,' we'd say. 'It's