Weblog Commenting and Trackback by HaloScan.com rockpool in the kitchen: 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Yes well. Granny and Beloved saw. And the dogs escaped again - thanks to Local Yokel's ability to find weak spots in the fence. Beloved and Mr Handsome are again scratching their heads.

G and B meantime are proud owners of a simpering Barbie Doll. Gulp. Fact that Barbie Doll is clad in local costume, barely excuses it. What might do, somewhat, is that the simper comes courtesy of Aurora, owner of the libidinous billy goat that impregnated the unfortunate Ruby, leading to her demise; (not that was Aurora's fault or the billy goat's come that. Causal factors do not necessarily imply culpability: nature comes into it somewhere. Also sheer bloody bad luck not to mention the fate of femaleness: pregnancy is, can be dangerous, always has been, always be. Tra la la.)

Aurora also suffers from being female - ie lousy partners and too many children. She supplements her inadequate income and miserable health - she's a slave to arthritis which Beloved's offerings of cider vinegar don't relieve much, if at all - by various handicrafts: painting pottery plates, dressing dolls, making crochet hats and bags etc. Yesterday she brought around a plethora of Barbies clad in different versions of local dress, festive, daily and from different parts of the island 'Choose,' Granny ordered a bemused Beloved, who's barely been forced to confront one Barbie before - though this may change now he has a granddaughter - let alone several. 'The one with the striped skirt,' he said hurriedly. The striped skirt one now simpers on the dining-table, and Granny is 30 euros poorer.

'Is it too expensive,' Aurora asked. 'It's a lot of work.' Granny didn't have the heart to say it was too expensive - think of all the efforts - if subsequently dangerous - made by Aurora's equally hard working billy goat -and besides, it's not Aurora's fault either that the pound is barely worth a euro these days, and Aurora probably needs the money more than she does - more than probably. So Granny is 30 euros poorer today and will be even poorer if the TV man comes back to fix, finally the satellite dish; he didn't have the right bolts yesterday. Turns out the dish isn't on its last legs, the satellite is and will be replaced in due course. Meantime he can make do and mend, for a price; the way things always are.

It meant Granny was spared Gok Wan last night anyway. Granny approves of GW in principal but you can have rather too much of him - one episode or even half an episode is more than enough - so she got another lovely dose of the Wire instead. Tonight if she's lucky she might get more than Kevin McC's ankle. On the other hand, despite the wonders of Kevin, she'd willingly settle for The Wire and Dominic West yet again. That series is a marvel. Even Beloved admits it will just do.

She can still get the internet, though - so will point you to these headlines from the BBC news site: this and also this. Even though the headlines - 'Amazon ants abandon sex for a world without males' and 'Red Mercury hoax sparks Saudi sewing-machine frenzy... .- are, as always, a bit more intriguing than the actual stories, both, she thinks, add to the gaiety of things, at least as observed by her small mind. Enjoy.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Life goes on

Beloved Daughter came: Beloved Daughter left; the usual thing with adult children: first joy then loss again. (Though, to be realistic, much as Granny loves her kids, she knows that like most people with grown-up young she would not want them around all the time. Once the nest flying time has come - and gone - the abandoned parent can enjoy independence too, and mostly does. It's an enjoyment Beloved Daughter had a whiff of, minus both husband and child for almost the first time since Beloved Eldest Granddaughter was born, so able to get on with her own activities, uninterrupted. She looked forward to being with them again, though, in the end. (She said she would be, anyway. Though not with the kind of enthusiasm that might have meant she'd also had enough of her mother - or the wind, come to that. She's tactful that way, Beloved Daughter.)

Good weather alas did not come; nor, by definition, did it go. It blew, it clouded, it rained a bit. Granny and the BD had a good time together just the same, walking, eating, appreciating the landscape, getting sun when they could. Though they did get some sun ( a little) most days, BD admitted wishing she had brought more sweaters and never once got to wear her shorts.

Granny who had still been melancholy when BD arrived felt a good deal better by the time she left, despite spending other parts of the happy week reading, with surprising pleasure Julian Barnes' semi-autobiographical dissertation "Nothing to be frightened Of". About a) his fear of dying and b), if incidentally, his irritation with his mother, it not only made her both laugh and think, she could also like most of us identify with both the fear and irritation. The more wryly perhaps because she is so much nearer to death at her age, and by the same definition much more likely to be the parent who causes the irritation than the offspring who feels it. All very commonplace as Beloved would say. But also all too real.

Currently she is waiting for a man to come and inspect their errant TV satellite dish. If he comes up with some solution she and Beloved will be denied the pleasure of watching a prolonged shot of, say Kevin McCloud's ankle, the picture having frozen there and stayed frozen for a long time. You can see Granny likes Kevin McCloud and Grand Designs. A lot. What she wasn't so so looking forward to last night was the prospect of wall to wall Henry VIII, not to mention the dread David Starkey - imagine a prolonged view of any part of his anatomy - so she was quite glad when the satellite did its disobliging thing and she and Beloved could settle down to the next episode of The Wire. Six episodes into that they are beginning to get the hang of it. Of such things are their windy Lanzarote evenings made. (Beloved doesn't do Darby and Joan evenings sitting by the fire reading... he thinks it's unsociable. A pity really. Joan would do them- but having picked, having got to love this Darby, she does go along with him, some of the time at least.)

And the dog fence? The hole has been fixed and all three canine horrors have spent the whole morning in their enclosure. "Maybe we've solved the problem," Beloved said over lunch on their most sheltered patio - the wind you see is still blowing even if the sun is out. 'That's what you said last time," Granny said. "We'll see."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


No, Granny has not jumped into the sea round Lanzarote and waved goodbye for good. But she was beset by sinus trouble last week and she has got Beloved Daughter staying now - neither of these things leave much time or energy for blogging. In the course of the sinus she succeeded in backing the truck into a parked car and getting a ticking-off from the police for not reporting it to them: result yet another 90 euro fine.... turns out even such small things have to be reported to the police here. (So much law to run around when it comes to small things, so much seemingly licensed evasion on large ones; just look at all those illegal houses/hotels/car parks that won't be pulled down.) Beloved says their truck insurance will go up for sure. He was very nice about it though. He is nice about things like that - and all too inclined to back into things himself.

Meantime the war of the dog fence continues; the canines are finding ever more ingenious methods of getting over or under it - the most ingenious by far turning out to be the Local Yokel, his intelligence not highly rated up till now. But given that the LY is descended from street dogs that was probably a mistake: street dogs have to be pretty canny to survive, a cannyness passed on in their genes no doubt, which is yet another tiresome example of the equally tiresome - and ruthless - notion of the survival of the fittest. Much thought will have to be put into the latest - also tiresome - round of the contest between man and beast. Granny will keep you posted.

Oh and the winds have got up to welcome Beloved Daughter. They would, wouldn't they. One problem with the winds now is their effect on television reception. Once upon a time, only rain could interfere with the satellite signal. But they've moved the satellites around a lot and now high winds - or not even very high winds - do still worse and can remove it for days, more or less. Mr Surfer /Tellyfixer has advised building a wall round the satellite dish, but that will have to wait till next week: Mr Handsome has taken the week off, and Granny does not want Beloved to risk his neck on the roof even if he was willing to; which he is not, much as he does miss his Channel4 News and Time Team.... (Not that she'd wish Mr Handsome's neck in danger either. But Mr H does have somewhat more sense about such things and is a good deal steadier on his feet, besides. You know how it is.)

Granny and BD went for a good walk today in sheltered ravines along with the Beautiful Wimp. Unfortunately Granny forgot to take the mobile that was supposed to summon Beloved to pick them up and her attempts to use the public telephone were unavailing as well as expensive; not having used such an instrument in years she had forgotten about not hanging up between calls so long as there was credit left. She and BD had to sit in a cafe for a long time - an equally expensive activity - before Beloved turned up; fortunately he'd put the lack of a call down to Granny being out of signal range. So no problem there, apart from the vanishing euros and the thoughts assailing her as she watched another aged parent and offspring pair, in this case a Spanish speaking Englishman with an extremely ancient, skinny, clearly demented, but very tanned, beach-clad and sun-hatted old mother, sitting at the next table. Some people are much nicer and more patient than Granny could ever be, she thought. She tried not to think she might be like that herself before too long - the aged mum that is. Oh dear. Oh dear.

As must be obvious, Granny is in a hurry. Beloved's cooking - and the washing-up incurred thereby - is due for her attention. Night Night.

Click Here