Glass half full

The country singer Lee Ann Womack probably isn’t on any of my itunes playlists. However fate, a.k.a. music shuffle, determined that I would listen to her ‘signature’ hit “Dance” the other day.

When I am travelling by air, I end up listening to a lot of my music that I have amassed in iTunes.

The lyrics are powerful with the underlying message of grasp opportunities that present themselves and never fail to be in awe of the world!

November in northern europe can be a very grey and dreary month and just as Lee Ann was telling me ‘if I get the choice to sit it out or dance ‘, that I have to take the ‘dance option’ , I was presented with the most beautiful sunset from the aircraft window.

So lesson 1 noted, enjoy the world!

And of course you don’t need to be at 30,000 feet in the sky for such opportunties. Every park or garden offers us the chance to appreciate autumn colours and the changes in nature around us as it prepares for winter.

But this was just a mere pre cursor to what happened the next day.

I witnessed for the first time in my life, someone responding to a heart attack victim …I know both the responder and the person having the heart attack….someone you would not categorise as high risk..a young Mum, healthy eating, healthy living, non smoking…… but sometimes these unexpected incidents do happen. Fate, or God (and I have the greatest and equality of respect for those who share my faith, or have none) decided that this first aider was there and had the courage and training and strength to give both CPR and use the defibrillator (that again thankfully was nearby) to bring her back to life, and keep her alive for some 15 minutes until the ambulance arrived.

I am in awe of that man and what he did.

And my New Year’s resolution (but effective now..) is to get expert training and develop those same skills myself.

Not the usual content for my blog but a very positive outcome and a lesson learned that we are all vulnerable.

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The Three Bears

When it comes to porridge making, the three bears really have the market sown up.

Not for them the concept of one size fits all.

Want a big Daddy size bear portion? …sure we can do that. Want it quite sweet, just as Mama bears likes it?…of course, not a problem. Temperature, naturally we can serve it ‘not too hot, not too cold’. Although it’s never been officially documented, I am told Goldilocks gave them a 5* Trip Advisor rating in her most recent review.

Sadly though, for most of us, stopping off at the cottage in the woods is just not an option for us as we journey through life and have a need for sustinence.

My day job from time to time necessitates me travelling by train and a fate will often dictate me just missing a train and having an hours wait for the next one meaning a late evening arrival home.

Now one hour is questionably not long enough to exit the station, find a restaurant, order food, wait for food, eat food , request bill, wait for bill, pay bill…and then hot foot it back to the station.

Simple answer…fast food? Hmmm..well maybe, but I think I said goodbye to actually enjoying McDonald’s, KFC or even the more upmarket 5 Guys after it becoming an inevitable ‘go to’ for sustenance when in need on just too many occasions.

That’s not to say they don’t serve a purpose..but it’s not for me.

So back to the Three Bears.. how do you find something that’s not to slow to prepare, gets served to your table by friendly and personable staff and you actually can have a potato that doesn’t have to be of the chipped variety?

Well somewhat late in my life I discovered Nandos. I appreciate people from across the globe read this blog and Nandos are big…but not global. For those who haven’t experienced it, in summary they are South African-Portuguese themed Peri Peri chicken restaurants.

Fast food style, but table service and restaurant ambience. They can be found in UK, North America, Middle East , India and South Africa. Ok perhaps not for everybody but if you were like me and had assumed they were ‘not for you ‘…you may be pleasantly surprised! And if you do want chips..they do them too,as well as mash and a host of other choices!

And for the avoidance of doubt I have no commercial or affiliation with them…I just thought it worth sharing this…

Enjoying my blog?…yes the subjects are varied and esoteric ..but so is life! Happy saturday

May contain nuts..

We are all familiar with the mountains of form filling that accompanies any request for credit. The guardian’s of these funds will ask searching questions about the state of our bank accounts, how spendthrift our lifestyle is ..do we burn money? or save money?

…and do we have dependants that we need to support.

After some recent form filling I realised that I have in all innocence been not 100% truthful and failed to declare a dependant.

A dependant squirrel..that by stealth has been becoming part of our household.

At first it was just social calls, a little run around the garden, a bit of jumping tree to tree and that was it.

Well nice to have use made of the garden in the winter. So not a problem.

Along comes spring and then he began calling round for meals..very particular to bird seed and peanuts…oh and also the container that they were in as well. Plastic mesh on a bird feeder was no match for him.

And so to summer, my strawberry plants were of great interest. Individual strawberries were picked and consumed sitting on the garden gate staring in at me intently.

Now I am no expert lip reader but at least once I saw him mouth the words..’any sugar or cream to hand?’. The strawberries lasted about two weeks and now it’s the gooseberries. There is a slightly different technique for these. In case you didn’t know it, squirrels love gooseberries but only the inside. So each skin has to be peeled off and discarded in disgust.

Next on the calendar will be the raspberries, plums and possibly apples. This squirrel may not have learnt much from his parents about ‘ask, don’t just take ‘ but he certainly paid attention to the 5 fruit and veg a day message.

So we seem stuck with our new dependant and soon need to have a difficult conversation with him about making his own way in the world and becoming a net contributor to our household.

In readiness for that conversation I did research and found there are jobs that squirrels can do. However it seems that these new additions to the workforce are not always well received… let’s just hope he has more success than his American squirrel cousin and doesn’t get fired on his first day…

…even squirrels have a tough time in the workplace it seems.

Why this blog? Click to find out more……

Looking for love? …then eat more fruit

In the 1960’s and 1970’s in Britain there was a well used ‘to the point’ advertising strapline of eat more fruit adorning any self respecting greengrocers shop and delivery van. I imagine some civil servant back in the day from the Department of Health had hastily drafted a memo with this suggestion for the well being of the country and hey presto,job done. These days it would require the services of a top marketing company, some focus groups and a campaign project team on a few ‘away days’ to come up with the same…for a mere 1000 times the cost of the 1960′ version.

However put this thought (and strapline) just to the side for one moment……..

A friend of mine has just confided in me her despair with on line dating. Despite signing up with two well known services, she is not happy with the quality. She keeps being sent frogs but not princes. It seems that although it’s accepted you have to kiss a few frogs before you meet your prince, she is not impressed by the ratio of 23 to zero.

Working on the basis of ‘maybe it’s me’ that is wrong, she went on an eat well, look healthy, feel good regime and signed up to daily fruit & veg boxes from a local deli.

Well, it has worked, but not in the way you might think. The deli employs a selection of strapping young men to deliver and for my friend, she has never had so many princes ringing her door bell as of late. No quality issues there and the cost of the fruit and veg works out cheaper than the dating website.

And I can inform you at least one date has transpired…and not of the edible kind of a Moroccan palm tree!