a personal blog

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Shuffling in

I’ve been faithfully renewing this domain every year, and it’s nearly due for renewal again. Of course I hate blogging. I hate journaling, though I give it a try at the beginning of every year. It’s just one more thing to beat myself up about. And a lot has changed since my last post back in 2014. There’s been a change in the family personnel. Jack, our dear and beloved black-and-white cat, died in may last year of kidney failure. We now have Ollie and Luna, two dark brown and white tabbies. Luna is featured in the photo at the top of the page, and Ollie is at the top of this post. We also have new hens in Willow, Laurel, Hazel, and Holly. We still have Shelley, but Buttercup died of a heart attack in january this year.

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I’ve got folks visiting from swap-bot and I haven’t tidied the place up yet! If you’re here from swap-bot, welcome! And if you’re not, but you’re here anyway, welcome to you too!

I have taken leave of my senses obviously, as I’ve signed up to nanowrimo. I tried it a couple of times a long time ago, but didn’t get anywhere, so I missed the last two years. But with me now doing a creative writing course, I thought, oh what the heck! Nothing ventured and all that. I have a blog for it, of course, at HerWords. It’s a blogspot blog with my own domain. I have a fair few blogs in fact: around four at the last count. I can’t resist them!

I will try to write more tomorrow, but right now I must get on with things! So, nos da for now!

Letters and all that kind of thing

I’ve been riding one of my hobby horses again, this time letter-writing, penpals, stationery and all that sort of thing. I’ve also been looking at a lot of blogs on the subject. I toyed with the idea of starting up a new blog on letters and penpalling, but thought nah, why make work for myself? I might as well just add posts on that to this blog and get that silly idea right out of my head. Letter blogs are great, but it is only one facet of my butterfly personality, so I don’t need to specialise. If you get my drift.

I’ve decided to do something daft (what again?) and write a letter every day for a year. I picked today to start, which is probably a silly idea as I also decided to try making a minizine every day in july as it’s international zine month. But obviously letter writing is going to be the topic of one day’s minizine, so I fuss two cats with one hand. (My daughter invented that saying because, as an ornithologist, she really does not like the bird in a hand phrase.) I’ll make a separate post about that later as daughter and I are about to go to have lunch at our favourite Indian restaurant, the Shilam. Though we call it the Shilpa, in honour of Shilpa Shetty. (She has a wikipedia entry, if you don’t know who she is.) So, I had better go and get booted and suited and head out for delicious noms!

Grrrr verisign. Just saying

So, verisign is putting the price of com/net/org domains by 7% again. I can’t understand why they need to put the price up every year. It’s not as if they have to buy a lot of stock that’s also gone up in price. So I’ve decided to let most of my com/net/org domains drop and replace them with instead. Those are cheaper and Nominet don’t hike up the price every five minutes when they feel like it.

In other news: Shelley has been laying eggs for around 16 days now! She lays the cutest little eggs that are half the size of Inara’s. However, she’s now gone broody and is proving to be a stubborn little madam about it too. Typical black rock! (Even though she’s only half a block rock.) I’m doing my best to stop her, but I’m not hard-hearted enough to force her to sleep outdoors again. I did it for one night and felt like a right cruel so-and-so. It didn’t help when she kept making miserable sounding little cheeps every time she saw me. Hens!

Vote for change?

I had a look at the website this evening. They reckon that if I vote for Plaid Cymru it will help a hung parliament to be acheived. But you know what? I’m not going to do it. Call me crazy, but I don’t give a gnat’s chuff for parliament. It’s full of lying liars and it won’t be any better for a hung, drawn or quartered government. I vote for my local MP, he’s the one who matters to me; it’s his actions which will directly impact on Ceredigion. I like our LibDem MP, he’s one of the good guys, which is pretty rare these days. So I’m voting for him. The hung parliament campaign can get stuffed; they’re not going to help when I’m worried about battery hens, or my husband needs someone to go bat for him with Arriva Trains Wales when they act like numpties once again.

I’l vote Plaid when the elections for the National Assembly rolls around because the best government for Wales is Welsh. But for the big one, it’s LibDem all the way for me.


It’s what, the second week of the election campaign and I’m bored already. Actually, I was bored last week. Hate politics with a passion. Hate. It. Can’t stand the two major parties as they’re both a bunch of lying liars. It makes me laugh (or would if I wasn’t so bored with it) that they’ll be promising us the moon on a stick if we vote for them. And then they’ll turn their backs on us as soon as they get into government. Mind you, on election day itself I’ll be voting three times as I have L and P’s proxy votes. We all want to vote for the same party, so I won’t have to grit my teeth and put an “x” in a box next to anyone completely contemptible. (And no, I’m not saying which party. We’re still allowed to have secret voting.) We arrived at the same conclusion quite independently, which is nice.

I can remember when I was young and Mum took my sister and I to the voting station. She had been told, in all serious, by an older woman, that it was her duty to vote for the same party as her husband. Else she would “cancel” his vote and his was the most important. What the feck did women fight for, when silly people could actually believe rubbish like that? I’m glad to say my mother told her that she’d vote for who she wanted, whether her husband voted the same way or not. And he probably didn’t.

Anyway. Bored now. Show me kittens.

Beginning again

No, not beginning a blog all over again (though I’ve been guilty of that a fair few times). I lost just about everything I’d ever put onto a computer over the past few years, when my external hard drive fried. I don’t know what happened: a tech bod my husband consulted thinks there may have been a sudden power surge that fried its little bits. At the moment, it’s being sent to a company who, hopefully, touch wood, will be able to recover the data. It has graphics, websites, stories, my OU essays: all sorts of things. I’m trying not to think about what is on it, or I’d cry.

I’ve been able to get back most of my sites by downloading them from the ‘net. The problem is, so many of them had their passwords stored on the hard drive and I hadn’t put them in a notebook, as I usually do. Thankfully, some of them were on my resellers, which enabled me to change the passwords, so I could them download them. Some have been lost. I had cancelled one reseller and company that hosted another of mine had closed down. I had reassigned the domains, but had not yet uploaded the content, which is sitting, you’ve guessed it, on that hard drive. I can only hope.

However, I was very naughty today and treated myself to a new .nu domain. I’d been renewing and noticed Namecheap’s “marketplace”. Which is where customers of theirs can sell their domains. I’d bought one through that before and now I thought I’d just check the .nu domains. Just in case. And bought I know, I know. So now I have seven .nu domains. Seven! *sigh* I am addicted to the pretty things.


I was sitting on the ‘bus this morning, as you do. It was a typical tuesday morning crowd. There was a young woman with her two year old son on her knee at the front, and I sat down in the seat behind her. And then was treated to a lengthy discussion by her, of the birth of her son, blood clots and all. Apparently, she delivered her son herself, despite the presence of her mother and a midwife in the room. She then went on to tell all and sundry about her son’s forthcoming operation to drain a cyst on his brain. To give her her due, she did not aim her comments at the rest of us. It was all part of a conversation she was having with a man three rows away. Why could he not move to sit beside her? I don’t know the answer to that one. But she seemed to think it necessary to conduct her discussion at length in a very loud voice, just to make sure it carried to the back seats.

Then, while I was waiting for the ‘bus back home later, two young women arrived and met up with a friend sitting at the ‘bus stop. They then proceeded to talk about their recent smear tests and one woman’s IVF treatment, again, in loud voices, just so the rest of us got the picture. It was not edifying, I can tell you.

Is it just me, or am I old-fashioned in thinking that the intimate details of one’s intimate life are best shared in a more, well, intimate environment? I’ve noticed that the young seem to feel it acceptable to conduct every detail of their lives in public and the more people who are let into the details, the better. As well as blaming the parents, I blame this texting culture. Just watch an average episode of the Jeremy Kyle show and you’ll see what I mean. In one episode, there was a young lady who talked about having got pregnant at a ‘bus stop. What’s next: maternity units at ‘bus stops? It’s no wonder that the elderly feel bewildered and frightened by it all. Personally, I’m disgusted.

I’ll Never Stop Being A Mummy

Today I want to write about mummy blogs (or mommy blogs, if you’re from t’other side of the Big Pond).  Oh, and why they irritate me.

Oh come on, I don’t mean that I’m irritated by people, specifically mothers, who blog about their kids.  I read Dooce, and some other blogs by mothers. But, it would seem that mummy blogs are limited to women who are mothers of small children: babies, toddlers and so on. So what about someone, i.e. me, who is the mother of a 23-year-old daughter. Am I not a mummy too?

I’ve not seen any blogs by older women with older children. It’s usually the 20-somethings who are blogging about their own kids. Which begs the question: is blogging confined to young women? Actually it begs for another question: are the thoughts, memories and opinions of mothers of adults not worth tuppence ha’penny?

Being the parent of a child who is an adult has its own problems, worries and amusements. There’s the whole empty nest symdrome for starters. I was fully prepared for the fact that my daughter had more or less home when she went off to university at the age of 18. Then, we were living in Merthyr Tydfil and she went to university in Aberystwyth, which is quite a considerable distance, especially when you’re a family with no car and no one can drive anyway. Then, just before she started her final year, we actually moved to Aberystwyth. She lived in town, in a student flat, but came home on the ‘bus every saturday, with a bag-full of washing. I would also meet her in town on a tuesday, to have lunch and do a little shopping together. We actually became closer, L and I, enjoying some mother and daughter time.

After graduation, she stayed at home and worked in a local pet chain store for a while, then she went away to Anglesey to work for the RSPB for six months. She came home again for a few more months, then in october 2008 she went to New Zealand for seven months. Again, it was back home for four months, then she started an MSc at Manchester Metropolitan university. So again, she has left home. I have no idea what she’s going to do when she graduates this year. She might come home for a while, get a job locally, or she might be off again. I know she’d like to work as a warden on Skoma Island one day, and she’s often talked about working in the South Pole, of all places!

So as you can see, it really is not the same as being the mother of a toddler. When my daughter was very young, there were no blogs. Imagine that! No internet as such either. I know, it’s the stuff of nightmares, but I coped. We all coped, in fact, at that time. But if there were no blogs about it, does that mean that it didn’t exist? Of course not, I’m being absurd. What I am trying to say is that it is the category “mummy blogs” that annoys me. It doesn’t leave any room for blogs that go beyond the early teens, nor does it acknowledge that motherhood is for life: the life of the child and the mother.

The reason why baby/toddler mummy blogs are so popular is because of the commercial potential of them. Advertisers do not want to hear about old people, unless they are in the context of old folk’s homes, provision for the elderly etc. There is no commercial reason for sponsoring parental blogs when the child is an adult. The ‘net is about now, not then; anything that happened yesterday is old and boring.

Well tough. As I wrote in an earlier post, I really don’t care what other people write about. I am a mother, I am the mother of a 23-year-old daughter who might end up working on the moon one day and I’d like to blog about it. In fact, I willblog about it, if that ever happens. (Could you know, she is very interested in exo-biology.) This is a mummy blog; and a cat blog, and a hen blog and a making cards blog and a whatever-I-feel-like-at-the-time blog. Sorry, no pigeonholes here.

Hwyl Fawr 2009

I’m not going to do one of those “that was the year” things. Oh who am I trying to kid, of course I am!

Thankfully, none of the cats broke any of their legs this year and we didn’t loose any of them either. Our hen Zoe died early in the year. Inara learned to cope and to look on me as her flock. But we got 6 new hens anyway, in june. Sadly, one of those died just last week. But all in all, it wasn’t an expensive year for vet’s bills and such.

L was in New Zealand and came back at the end of may. We really missed her. She took a while to find her feet again once she was back, but she successfully applied to do an MSc at Manchester Metropolitan. I finished and passed my first Open University course towards my BA in English language and literature, and started the next course. I even seem to be doing well with the essays. P started working for the Home Office. It’s not fun there and he’s hoping he’ll be able to move on before too long. But hey you know, it’s a job. So, not really a bad year for the family.

Health-wise, I seem to be handling the diabetes and high cholesterol very well: the doctor is certainly pleased with me. But I’ve now got high blood pressure as well. I’m on medication though and that seems to be working. Thank the Goddess I live in Wales and get all my medication for free. Bless the National Assembly!

And that’s it for the year really. It wasn’t terrible and it wasn’t great, but it wasn’t something that I’d cringe to look back on. I wonder what 2010 will be like. It’s the title of a novel by Arthur C Clarke for one thing. Why aren’t we living on the moon, wearing anti-gravity boots and flying around with jet packs?

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