Rhyme and No Reason!

Blogger, author and rhymester who likes to find the humour in life.

Christmas Trees Around the World. — December 10, 2015

Christmas Trees Around the World.

Colleen has come up with a wonderful idea of us all sharing photos of our Christmas trees and she will collate all the pics so we get a good look of Christmas around the world. 

My tree is an artificial 6ft black Christmas one. I have had this now for about 12 years. When I first moved into this house with Miss Hap (she was 3 months old at the time), I didn’t have any Christmas decorations, so my younger sister bought me this tree which came with some lovely silvery decorations which set it off perfectly.

I still use the same decorations. but I also have added to them a little over the years. Two of them were ones that Miss Hap Made when she was 4 and 5 years old



These two decorations were recently sent over to me from a special blogging friend Wendy. The shells are from near her home in Australia and she made these beautiful decorations in my favourite colours for me and some also for our mutual friend Mary-Anne who lives in Canada in her favourite colours. I actually received 5 of them, and they are so pretty.

Episode 244: It Takes All Sorts….. — March 23, 2015

Episode 244: It Takes All Sorts…..

Isn’t it funny how we all have our little ‘ways’. or foibles that are part of our make-up but other people might find a little odd or unusual….

One of my old ladies had got quite long hair, but it is really thin, She has these 3 hair combs which she likes to put her hair up with every morning, The problem is, I am rubbish with hair! Not only that, trying to get these combs to stay in is a nightmare as they just slide out. You have to be really careful as well as you can’t try to dig them in as there is only really scalp with a small smattering of hair, so it is going to hurt. She is no longer able to do it herself either, and is understandably fussy about how it is done!

Miss Hap loves the bright lights, literally! She cannot go into a room day or night without turning on the light. We can tell where she had been due to the house looking like ‘Blackpool Illuminations!’ It does drive us mad at times, especially when it is broad daylight outside.

Now my mum wears ‘pop socks.’ For those that are unfamiliar with them, they are knee-high tights with a big band around the top to keep them up (which has a kind of tourniquet effect). Not the most attractive of hosiery but much favoured by the older lady due to their comfort and ease of getting on and off. The problem is, they do not flatter. Anyone. Especially if the outfit they are wearing is above the knee. The expanse of pudgy, flesh between pop sock and bottom of hem resembles uncooked dough.She loves them though and that is that!

Mr Grump has a bit of an odd habit (in my opinion anyway). He has a set time to ‘go to the toilet’ (poo) every morning, I mean, it is like clockwork. Well it would be except for one thing. it takes him half an hour to go! It is just so weird to me that he gets up, goes out with the dog for a walk then goes! It’s not as if the walk kick-starts things into action, so to speak, as it takes half a bloody hour! Is this a man thing?

So what about me? Well I couldn’t really think of anything (or more honestly, I had trouble choosing just one thing) so I chose the fact that I like to eat my meat last when having a meal. I also do not like any gravy or sauce on my meat (It is fine on potatoes or veg). I do try to remember when going out to eat, not to do that, but I find I don’t enjoy my food as much. Strange  I know.

Do you have any funny little ways or habits?

Episode 187: Shedding Some Light on the Subject! — February 28, 2015

Episode 187: Shedding Some Light on the Subject!

I know this is a bit controversial but hate those bloody energy lightbulbs! Yes, I know,shocking isn’t it?! (Well they might be if they produced any sort of power).  I am aware about carbon footprints and all that sort of thing, but I do still like the good old-fashioned 60 watt bulb.

I have lived in my house for 11 years now; It was a brand new property which had special fittings in the upstairs landing and hall downstairs for the energy lightbulb. That was all very lovely except for a couple of years later when I had to get a replacement, none of the shops sold them!II had to send off for them and they were pretty expensive at £10 apiece! Compare that to the £1 or so cost for a normal light bulb and you can see one reason I hatred them.

Having a brother who is good with electrics helped as he took out those fittings and put the general ones in, so I could use either standard light bulbs or energy bulbs as the mood took me.

Surprisingly, I do quite often use the energy ones in the hall as have got a little better over the years. It no longer takes about 5 seconds for the light to realise that it has been switched on, and kick into action, It is almost instantaneous nowadays.

A couple of nights ago Miss Hap informed us that we had a power cut, well, kind of anyway. She had turned the light on in the bathroom upstairs (it has a normal light bulb) and it blew causing the lights to all go off. Mr Grump had to climb up to the fuse box and flick the switch back on to restore light.

Anyway Mr Grump fitted a new bulb and all was sweetness (and light) in our household. Well, until I went to have my bath the next morning, I turned on the light to be greeted by this eerie kind of greenish glow. It was pretty horrid and I literally had a quick dip before getting out of there.

Miss Hap also moaned about the light when she went to the bathroom, It was a really ugly low energy lightbulb, with the emphasis on ‘low energy’. We nagged at Mr Grump to change it as it was giving us a headache.

When I came home from work later on, I saw that indeed the bulb was changed, Great, he managed to do one of the chores I had left him before I went to work. During the evening I needed to nip to the loo so I went to the downstairs one,

The eerie greenish glow appeared casting its gloom in the room. It seemed to make everything appear grubby. I was not impressed with this at all. It’s bad enough that it had the audacity to be called a ‘light’ bulb, but to have this almost CSI quality of showing up every speck making everything appear grimy was annoying.

Mr Grump managed to persuade my niece’s fiance to take him shopping today as the weather was appalling and we needed some bits. I decided to leave them to it and didn’t go with them. Big mistake, Not only did they forget to buy some normal light bulbs but they decided to stop off at the pub on the way home for a ‘quick pint’!

It seems that he was running a bit low on energy and needed a bit of perking up himself!

Episode 74: It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas……. — December 13, 2014

Episode 74: It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas…….

Today I could no longer put off the inevitable and it was time to put up the Christmas decorations!  Miss Hap was getting excited and, given her way, they would have been put up a couple of weeks ago! I had asked Mr Grump to get the decorations out of the loft  last night as that is somewhere where I NEVER venture. It is far too dangerous for someone as clumsy as me. For,if I don’t break my neck getting up there, one wrong move could send me plummeting headfirst over the bannister and down the stairs. I spend enough time at the hospital as it is, and did not want to experience it ‘from the other side’!

My morning didn’t exactly start very well. I have been bone tired this week for some reason. Mr Grump was on an early start for work this morning and had sneaked out about 5am. Unfortunately for me, Miss Hap heard him leave and the next thing I knew she had got into my bed and decided it was high time I got up. I did so very reluctantly as I still felt shattered.

Anyway, once I had finally come to, after several cups of tea, we decided that we would  take the dog out for her walk before we did anything else. Now Roxy gets really excited  like most dogs when she sees her lead, and it took me a while to clip it on her collar as she was dancing about wildly.Once fastened, we headed for the front door. Oh, its locked, and Mr Grump has the key. We can’t get out! As he left so early, he locked us in. I looked around for my keys but didn’t have them as they were on the key ring with my car keys, and my car had gone to be fixed! Great! Roxy is going berserk, frustrated at us not going anywhere!

I decided to phone Mr Grump as he was due home soon, and I wanted to know how long he would be. He answered but was nowhere near home,and the job was talking a lot longer than expected! He told me that I did have a front door key at home in my bag. I turned out my handbag, work bag and coat pockets, no key! I knew there was no bloody key anyway,, it was with the car! I phoned Mr Grump back to rage at him for a bit as I was mad; the dog was going crazy, Miss Hap was moaning loudly as we couldn’t get out of the back gate either due to something that was Mr Grump’s fault! The poor dog had to settle with being ran around the back garden on her lead by Miss Hap, so at least it appeared she was being taken for a walk!

I was not feeling  that festive by now, but we put on one of the music channels for a bit of Christmas music, and Boney M’s Mary’s Boy Child had me singing along loudly and tunelessly. lifting my mood completely. Myself and Miss Hap even managed to lift up the heavy box with the Christmas tree in,and transport it downstairs without injury or harm to either of us or the tree! Plus it only took two attempts to correctly assemble it! The end result was lovely though, and we enjoyed ourselves singing and dancing along with the music as we decorated the tree.

Mr Grump came home soon after we finished, and took poor Roxy for her walk. When he came back he dangled my front door key in front of my face, which he HAD thoughtfully separated from the car keys. It had been hanging up in the kitchen the whole time on my Betty Boop key ring, but he didn’t think to tell me it was there!

He wasn’t off the hook though as the rest of the decorations still needed to be put up around the room, plus the lights outside!  That wiped the smugness off his face! Miss Hap decided to bugger off to Nanny’s as her job here was done. I however, was designated drawing pin holder…..’It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas’!

Episode 57: Oh No, Christmas Is Coming! — November 26, 2014

Episode 57: Oh No, Christmas Is Coming!

There’s only 4 weeks until Christmas

And I’ve not even started my shop

No presents, no food, and no booze yet

 I don’t even have any pop!

The town is all lit up and sparkling

Santa’s grotto has also arrived

The shops are blaring out music

The old Christmas favourites revived!

All the heart-warming adverts on TV

They are sure to bring a tear to the eye

But my festive spirit is lacking

And I’ve not even made a mince pie!

I really need to get started

There are so many things still to get

I will make more of an effort

But it’s still not  December yet!

Episode 40: Christmas Crackers!!! — November 10, 2014

Episode 40: Christmas Crackers!!!

As we are well into November, everything is getting geared up for Christmas. The shops are starting to get decked out, and the festive goodies are already on display in some Supermarkets (even though most of the Christmas food will be out of date way before then)!!

As I may have said before, I come from rather a large family, most of whom have had the same upbringing, but it is funny how we all have our own ideas and traditions at Christmas time…..

My Mum, up until fairly recently lived in quite a large house which had separate dining room, living room and kitchen. The cupboard under the stairs in the dining room was chock-a-block with Christmas decorations. There were those huge plastic placards with snowmen or a Father Christmas on it; she had a box with her nativity scene, baubles, tinsel, strings of coloured lights (every year we sat there going through bulb by bloody bulb trying to work out which one had gone so the lights would work); she had church candles, christmas candles, a hanging santa which said ‘Ho Ho Ho!’ when you smacked it’s arse; another hanging Santa that everyone smacked their head on as they went upstairs; plus all of the dangly garlands and hanging sparkly bits…oh yes Mum loves a bit of sparkle at Christmas.

The only problem with that is, once my step-dad had sadly died and Mum got older,  one of us had to put the damn things up. Now this was a mammoth task..and more often than not involved a few of us, which was not always easy to co-ordinate! The end result was to look like a fairyland Grotto. My younger sister always got the job of taping up the front-room windows and stencilled little snow shapes onto them, which always looked nice but was a pain to do. I usually tackled the lights which never worked, and then our husbands would set about putting up all the other hanging bits and pieces under Mum’s fierce direction

Instead of leaving us all to crack on with it, she would tell whilst balancing precariously on whatever furniture was handy, “could you just lean over a bit more to the left as it’s not straight” . You try to oblige and  are struggling to keep your balance, but just manage to reach the desired spot when the drawing pin bends and breaks, so you have to start again!

All of this is usually carried out to the sounds of Westminster Cathedral Choir (one of Mum’s favourites) belting out Christmas carols in their high-pitched voices, (which actually feel like a drill through your head after a while) or if we are lucky, the usual Christmas album that nearly everyone has which my sister or one of the kids has brought over!

Anyway, once the job is done, and we have stood outside on the street to admire the decorations, lights and windows, Mum is left to fill up her shelves with ornaments, candles and other nick knacks. This is not the end though because of course, the tree has to be put up as well. She used to have a real tree but bought an artificial one some years ago which needs to be assembled!

I have done this job on many an occasion and it is not pleasant!! Firstly, the tree has to be retrieved from the garden shed, where it has become buried under all the summer stuff, chairs,, loungers etc. The garden shed has MICE which means I will scream my head off at any movement, and run out of the shed, This of course means that it takes ages to find the tree..

Once I have got it assembled a while later,  it is another fight with the lights that have to go on it, not to mention all  the baubles, bells, bows,robins and God knows what else, (not forgetting the obligatory fairy at on the top) before Mum would be satisfied with it. It was usually, by the way, only about the first of December at this point!

I just have to mention the one and only Christmas i spent with my Dad and step-mum. Myself and younger sister were about 11 and 13 at the time, We had traveled down to see him by coach and were excited to see what kind of Christmas we would have…..

My step-mum was a bit fussy about the decorations… she did not want any drawing pins in her walls or ceilings so poor Dad, with our help, put up everything we could with Sellotape! She was also not a very good cook either and as Dad wanted some home-made mince pies, and hers had turned out so hard they could be used as breeze blocks, me and my sister made them.

On Christmas day my brother and his wife (who lived in the same town) were invited over for lunch with us. He was in his early twenties, and at the time belonged to a motorbike group. He could appear a bit intimidating with all of his tattoos, earrings and leathers, and I know my step-mum was a bit wary of him….anyway we waited AGES for lunch. All of us in my family take after my Dad as far as large appetites go (step-mum eats like a bird) We offered to help but it was refused, and finally we were asked to sit around the table. At last!!! We sat there for a good 20 more minutes, until finally the sliding door to the kitchen opened (which was in the same room) and out she came with the turkey. We all clapped and cheered which nearly made her drop it, such was her rage!

As we sat around enjoying the meal, something strange happened….the decorations we had put up started falling down around us, one by one!  On this occasion she had shut the kitchen door, so the steam and heat from the kitchen had built up and rendered the Sellotape useless thereby everything around us literally came unstuck!  Me and my sister were trying not to giggle as yet another decoration landed around us! Dad caught step-mum’s eye, and  carried on tucking into his turkey blissfully!!

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