Daily Prompt: Blossom

via Daily Prompt: Blossom

nectarine blossom

nectarine blossom

Whenever  I see blossoms in spring I think how pretty they are but I also remember my mum who would say “Never bring blossoms in the house. It’s bad luck.”

I have no idea why it is bad luck. Some superstitions make some kind of sense. Don’t walk under a ladder. Well, that could get you into an accident.  Peacock feathers in the house are unlucky, well they might look like they have the evil eye to some people.

I ended up doing some reading about plant related superstitions and wrote a post about it entitled “Superstition – Unlucky Plants”  . 

To my surprise it turned out to be my most popular post ever. Who knew so many people were interested in why blossoms shouldn’t be brought into the house or why you should not have red and white flowers in the same vase ? That was a new one on me too when I read about it. If you want to know why read my post.

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Prompt: Natty

via Daily Prompt: Natty

Natty. Does anyone even say that any more? I think of this word as being used in the context of men’s fashion. I suppose there are still natty dressers about but these days  men and women too, seem to dress down rather than dress up to go out.

When I was young you wore your “good clothes” to go shopping in the city, out to lunch or dinner or to the theatre. Nowadays anything goes it seems.

I admit that I too prefer comfort to fashion but if I am going out I don’t wear the old jeans or dog hair covered track suit pants that I would wear at home. I make an effort.

There are fashions for all ages, shapes and sizes, not all of them appeal to me but everyone can look natty if they really want to.

1901 Sartorial Arts Journal Fashion Plate Men's Patch Pocket Suit

Daily Prompt: Lifestyle Choices

via Daily Prompt: Lifestyle

Lifestyle is a very modern day concept. We are all searching for the perfect way to live our lives. We envy the lifestyles of some and disapprove of others. Perhaps, after religion, lifestyle choices may be one of the most contentious issues on the planet.

The choices of whom to marry, whether to have children, where to live, what work you will do and what faith you choose to follow can all be lifestyle choices that may upset others.

Even in the relatively wealthy western world we may not be allowed to make those choices ourselves.

Nobody would choose to live in poverty. Who chooses hunger and homelessness as a lifestyle?

Tributes left for Wayne “Mouse” Perry who was murdered near this spot earlier this year.

Unemployment is not a lifestyle that most people would choose. The world is changing, jobs that existed fifty, even twenty years ago are gone forever.  Research suggests that in the next fifty years even more jobs will be lost because of changes in industry. That is going to change the lifestyles of many and we need to start thinking about how it is to be managed.

War is not a lifestyle that anyone would choose either. One day you are going about your business with a home, a family and a job and the next it is all gone and you are fleeing for your life possibly to end up spending your days in a camp denied the chance to start again. How I would love the politicians responsible to experience that lifestyle and see how they like it.

Lifestyle choices; sounds a bit of a joke now doesn’t it?

 

 

Daily Prompt: Don’t Panic

via Daily Prompt: Panicked

Wallpaper

Douglas Adams first wrote “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” for BBC radio in 1978. It became a TV series and several books.

I never heard the radio series but read all the books and loved the television series. I did not bother to watch the more recent movie as I  rarely enjoy remakes.

Douglas Adams would tell a story about how he first thought of the idea of writing a story about hitchhiking round the galaxy when he was hitchhiking in Europe in the early 1970s.

However, sometimes I wonder if he was influenced indirectly by another British television comedy from a few years earlier. “Dad’s Army” 1968-1977.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062552/?ref_=ttep_ep_tt

British people of a certain age will remember the show which was about a British Home Guard platoon in a fictional seaside town. One of the main recurring characters in the show was Lance-Corporal Jones a WWI veteran who was very excitable. In the event of a mishap Jones would run around waving his arms and yelling “Don’t Panic!” although usually he was the only one who was panicking.

Clive Dunn-1973.png
Link – Clive Dunn as Lance-Corporal Jones “Don’t Panic Captain Mainwaring.”

Although the humour in Dad’s Army was very different from Hitchhikers both shows were absurd and amusing and I enjoy watching reruns.

Did Douglas Adams have the phrase “Don’t panic Captain Mainwaring !” running through his head when he was creating the guide which had “Don’t Panic!” inscribed on the cover in large friendly letters? I wonder.

Gray Must Be The New Black

via Daily Prompt: Gray

Gray, or grey as I usually spell it is a neutral shade that I had no objection to seeing until it started turning up everywhere.

I can see the sense in using neutrals in decorating and in fashion but in decor particularly interior designers seem to have become obsessed with grey.

Related image

These days when something becomes popular on television everyone seems to jump on the bandwagon regardless of their own taste or perhaps because some people feel that they have to follow trends. I don’t know.

I have been spending a lot of time browsing real estate listings and grey is becoming the predominant colour that home interiors are being painted. I consider this a modern look and I don’t like it when it is used on an old home. Some houses have been completely repainted in grey even the kitchen. It feels as if all the character has been washed out of the home.Image result for minimalist living room ideas

I understand that this style is called minimalist. It makes me feel depressed. If I were to find a house that I really liked and it was painted entirely in grey the first thing I would have to do would be to repaint it.

Recently I had my own house repainted on the outside. I chose a neutral cream colour for the weatherboard similar to what it had before but I wanted a bit of colour on the window sills and when the painter gave me a paint chart I marked a colour called Manor Red. I obviously did not mark it clearly enough and came home one day to find all my sills had been painted grey! At one time I probably would have shrugged that off but the recent outbreak of greyness everywhere made me determined that not a drop of grey paint would touch my home. I called the painter and had him repaint the sills so all was well.

 

Stop and Smell the Bacon and Eggs

Daily Prompt: Fry

Frying gets a bad press these days. It is associated with an unhealthy diet of fatty foods and frowned on by health authorities and vegetarians. Last year animal rights group PETA  even suggested that Eggs and Bacon Bay here in Tasmania should have its name changed.

For me, as for many British people around the world, the Great British Breakfast is still high on the list of comfort foods. When I was growing up we would have bacon and eggs for breakfast at weekends when there was more time to enjoy it. I loved fried eggs and a rasher of lean bacon. We preferred the leaner bacon and cut the rinds off. Mum thought streaky bacon was a waste of money as you got such a lot of fat in it.  She used to fry with lard but later changed to a polyunsaturated cooking oil or if we had run out a dab of table margarine would do the trick. We would usually add fried bread on the side and sometimes a tomato and maybe even a sausage and baked beans. It was a big filling meal washed down with numerous cups of tea and we took our time over it. These were the time when we would have long talks. Mum would tell stories about when she was a little girl or what it was like in England during the war and other stories of days before she was married. We’d talk about what we would do if we won the lottery, where we’d like to go and what we’d like to see and do. We laughed  a lot and usually ended up making a second pot of tea. Eventually breakfast would come to an end when mum would suddenly realise that she had to “get on” and put the Sunday roast in the oven (another weekend tradition).

I rarely cook bacon and eggs for my breakfast now as it isn’t the same for one person on her own. I do occasionally make it for my evening meal in winter, if I’m tired and don’t feel like cooking. As I said, it is comfort food for me. Naomi and I were delighted to find that we could have bacon and eggs for breakfast on Explorer of the Seas last year. We would get up early and go up to the Windjammer Buffet for breakfast. It was quiet first thing in the morning and we could enjoy our breakfast and plan our day in  a leisurely way. As our morning plan usually included laps around the pool deck I did not feel guilty about eating fried eggs and bacon.

Lyme Regis harbour 02b

Daily Prompt: Passport

via Daily Prompt: Passport

Passport application form

Passport application form

I’ve always been rather fascinated by borders. If you live in Australia you need a passport  if you plan on going anywhere offshore, except to Tasmania contrary to what some people believe.

My most vivid memories involving passports are from the time that David and I travelled to the UK via China and Russia. I was travelling on a British passport while David had an Australian one.

As we travelled by train the passport control officers would usually come aboard at the border to check passengers passports. Most of them did not have a lot of English. In our compartment were two other tourists, one carrying a Canadian passport, the other a Japanese one. It was quite unnerving the way they would stare at our photos and back at us stony faced.  Sometimes we had to leave our compartment and stand in the corridor while it was searched. We heard that some Chinese passengers were put off the train. I have no idea whether their passports were not in order or they were stowaways .

Corridor in a carriage on the TransMongolian Express 1990

Corridor in a carriage on the Trans Mongolian Express 1990

Some weeks later we arrived in England on a ferry from Rotterdam. Passport control at the ferry terminal had two queues. One for British and EU passport holders and one for non EU. I joined one queue and David the other.

Surprisingly I was processed very quickly. The officer even said “Welcome home.” although I had not lived in England for more than twenty years. David meanwhile was still working his way to the head of the queue. I mentioned this to my officer and he quickly called David over to join us and stamped his passport on the spot. I guess it did help to be married to a British citizen on that occasion. I wonder if that queue is going to be way longer after Brexit?

Travelling with a new passport last year I noticed that passport officials still stare at your photo and at you with a stony expression. Perhaps they are just concentrating.