Planting a rose bush

Today we planted a rose bush in Anna’s garden. It’s a beautiful variety of old rose called Gallica. According to Roy, they are the oldest garden roses, originally grown for their healing qualities, and put on a spectacular but once-only display of bloom in Summer. R. gallica var. officinalis – The Apothecary’s Rose – is the original red rose of Lancaster. I like to think of that growing there in my memory.

We were both very moved. I hope it flowers next year.

The hottest chilli in the world!

This morning – yes I am more courageous first thing - I ate a Moruga Scorpion. It’s one of the hottest chilli peppers in the world. Ever since I started doing Salsa, I’ve got into Latin culture and food, but the spiciest thing I’d ever eaten was a hot-sauce enchilada, until today! Mary (bless her) found one from who knows where and presented it to me on a plate.

Roy stood by with a pint of water telling me I didn’t have to eat the whole thing. But I managed it, right down to the stem. He then told me the Moruga Scorpion isn’t actually from South America, it’s from Trinidad, but I said it was near enough. Tick!

*Four hours later my throat’s still burning. I’m worried it will never go away.

99 Red Balloons

Today I let go of 99 red balloons. I remember back in the 80s when that song came out, I saw what was she called - Nina? - on Top Of The Pops. She had hair in her armpits and I remember thinking, how cool is that? At the time it was really important to me; a message you could be who you wanted as either a girl or a boy. When I think about it now it still makes me smile.

Anyway, I let go of all these balloons with little messages attached. Some just said ‘hello’, some said ‘be yourself’, a few said ‘life is for living’. I didn’t put anything more (mainly because I couldn’t fit it in), but actually it was a good thing, because you don’t need to say much to people you don’t know. Really you’ve just got to give them a smile. And I hope, wherever they landed, that’s what they did.

I’ve just Googled it: it’s Nena (she was German).

Flash the message,
Something's out there.
Floating in the summer sky.
Ninety nine red balloons go by.

Rubik's cube challenge!

Well (I’ve decided to forget the ‘dear diary’ stuff, it’s just not me), today I completed a Rubik’s Cube! When it first came out I could only ever do two sides, and I’ve always wanted to do it properly. I told Roy I’d ordered one and he laughed. It takes a lot to make my husband laugh, so when he does I know he means it. I was annoyed. Ooh I’m suddenly liking this diary lark, there’s not many people I could have said that to…

When it arrived, Roy insisted it were simply a matter of memorizing an algorithm. He talked about upside, downside, inverse and whatnot then stood over and watched while I tried to do it. Finally I told him I couldn’t concentrate with him looking at me and sent him away. He said I wouldn’t do it by myself but I told him to come back in an hour and see.

Fifty five minutes later I’d not even done one side let alone two, but I certainly wasn’t going to give Roy the satisfaction. So I nipped to the Kabin for some stickers and swore Rita to secrecy. Thank goodness Norris weren’t on’t till!
Roy, I’m sorry I cheated. I’ve never cheated or lied to you in me life as far as I know, but this time, it was worth it to see your face*.

*Lie to Roy. I’m not sure that should be a tick, maybe a cross.

Conquering my fear of...

This evening I’ve conquered my fear of puppets. Not on purpose, Roy surprised me. I know I’d sort of promised to if he had driving lessons, but I didn’t for a minute think he’d act on it. I’m not joking I nearly ran out the room.

I know I’d sort of promised to if he had driving lessons, but I didn’t for a minute think he’d act on it. I’m not joking I nearly ran out the room. I love my husband… but a puppeteer he is not.

Dear Diary

That sounds weird. I’ve never kept a diary before. Feels a bit formal, l mean I’m hardly Anne Frank. That’s the only other diary I’ve ever read, at school for O Level. I loved it (not the O Level, which I failed) but the book. What a brave girl, facing all that. But my diary isn’t the same. It’s not a ‘talk about your feelings’ diary, it’s a ‘memorable moments’ diary, of all the things I’d like to do before I bow out. Kind of like a bucket list, but I hate that, makes me think of buckets and kicking, and I prefer to think of it more gracefully - like the end of a dance. Anyway, ‘write a diary’ tick!

I’m not just writing it to tick it off me list, but so I can leave something. Not for you Roy - you’ve got so many memories of me already, and I know your memory, you won’t need a diary to jog it. No, this is for Hope and Ruby, who won’t have those memories. This, my lovely girls, is for you. And when you’re old enough to read it, I hope you might remember the funny lady in the red anorak, who looked after you every now and then.

Next off the list: Sang karaoke with my husband on his birthday. Okay he didn’t actually sing, but he did read the words to “I Had The Time Of My Life” from Dirty Dancing off the screen. He got a standing ovation, my very own Patrick Swayze (though I’m still waiting for that lift in the air). Fiz and Tyrone did a brilliant ‘Summer Lovin’. Who knew that boy had Elvis hips? And Mary sang six songs, including both the Barbara Streisand and Donna Summer parts of “Enough Is Enough”. We’d all had enough by then.

Two of the three degrees

Top marks to Mary for effort... if nothing else!

Happy Birthday Roy