Rhyme and No Reason!

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

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 1.3: The List of Desires — January 19, 2016

The Great Book of Lists Chapter 1.3: The List of Desires


Image courtesy of Wikipedia

This week’s list for La Duchesse d’Etat’s Great Book off Lists  is all about our hopes and wishes for 2016. Not necessarily specific goals or resolutions, just things that we would like to accomplish. Here is mine:

  • Attend the Annual Blogger’s Bash  in June. I am hoping to be able to go this year. It will be so exciting meeting up with fellow bloggers who I have come to know over the past year and a half. Many of you already seem like friends that I just haven’t met yet and I am so looking forward to actually seeing you in the flesh!
  • I’d really like to get stuck into editing and re-writing the book that I did for NaNoWriMo. I have had some really helpful and constructive feedback to what I have done so far, and this has spurred me on to want to make something out of it.
  • Get a grip, and make some lifestyle changes. I know this sounds like a resolution and it is, kind of, but I actually need to do it for the sake of my health. Luckily, there are two blogs that I follow that are very helpful here. Sally gives loads of helpful information and tips about nutrition, and I know I can ask her anything aout diet, and she would be able to help, plus she has been on a huge weight loss journey herself so understands the problems that can arise, trying to lose weight. Likewise Colleen, with her ‘Mindful Mondays’ gives advice, encouragement and support to those of us that are trying to embark on a healthier lifetsyle.
  • Take a few more Future Learn courses. I do love these little mini courses, as they are so interesting. I know I have mentioned them before, but for someone like me, that likes to learn about all kinds of different things, these bite sized lessons can give me a little insight into all sorts of subjects, and feeds my brain the knowledge it craves!
  • Get down to the beaach more often! Despite only living about twenty minutes or so from the seaside, I hardly managed to get down there last year, for one reason or another. This year, I am going to make the most of it!
Episode 354: Love-Hate Challenge — May 31, 2015

Episode 354: Love-Hate Challenge

Rob over at the V-Pub has nominated me to take part in this challenge. Please go and check out his blog if you haven’t already; he has lots of things to tickle your fancy, both naughty and nice!

In this challenge, I have to list ten things that I love and then ten things that I hate.   Then, I’ll nominate 10 bloggers to do the same.  Here goes:

Things I love:

  1. I love to laugh.
  2. Seeing the sunshine, that always makes me feel happy.
  3. Hearing my daughter’s laugh (she has a cute little screechy giggle)
  4. Enjoying a BBQ with friends and family
  5. Blogging of course 🙂
  6. Learning new things. Knowledge is a wonderful thing that I can’t get enough of!
  7. Flowers, especially scented roses and sweet peas…..beautiful.
  8. Swimming, especially in the sea
  9. Getting lost in a really good book
  10. Music especially from 60s, 70s and my favourite the 80s!

Things I hate:

  1. Bad manners. There really is no excuse for this.
  2. Trying to lose weight…where on earth is my willpower?
  3. Heights, I really am hopeless with heights and can’t even look at things on tv if it shows a view from on top of a high building or something
  4. Cruelty of any kind whether to animals or humans!
  5. Scammers. Those that prey on the elderly and the vulnerable.
  6. Brussel sprouts and broad beans….YUCK!
  7. Daddy-long-legs, wasps and other creatures!
  8. Scraping ice off the car in the winter!
  9. Being woken up when I have fallen asleep on the settee!
  10. Shouty people.

Here are my 10 nominees for the Challenge should they wish to join in (there is of course, no obligation)

Fourth Generation Farm Girl

My Travels with Depression

Homemade Naturally

The Indecisive Eejit

Diary of a Dublin Housewife

Joeyfully Stated

Heels and a Toolbox

A Prompt Reply


Wild Daffodil

Episode 193: The Best Of British! — March 3, 2015

Episode 193: The Best Of British!

Us Brits are a breed apart you know. We have our own little ways that make us stand out from the crowd. We may be a small little island, but we know how to make our make on the world! This is the kind of thing that puts the’ Great’ into Great Britain.

  • You can tell a Brit on holiday a mile off. We are the ones that are burned to a deep shade of lobster red, on the vast expanse of exposed skin we have on display. Why bother with suncream? We are determined to get a tan and we don’t go in for sunblock,Oh no, that is for sissies!
  • Similarly the Brit abroad is going to seek out the only English cafe/pub around so that they can continue to eat the kind of food that they are used to, Why would they want to try the local cuisine and experience something new when they can get fish and chips  and a pint of lager at Joe’s Cafe!
  • Over in our own country, in the summer, whatever the weather, you will often find the hardy Brit swimming in the sea when it is pouring with rain, and ‘sunbathing’ on the beach in a swimming costume when there is no sun to be seen! (seriously, I am guilty of both of these). It is summertime, You are at the beach. You will bloody well enjoy yourself. This was how I was brought up!
  • We apologise for everything! If someone barges into us, we say sorry.Even if we bump into a lamp-post we apologise!
  • We queue for everything! Yes us Brits do love a queue; everywhere from supermarkets to the loos! Woe betide anyone that tries to jump the queue though! You will get some serious dirty looks, and someone might even be brave enough to tell you off!
  • Tea is the curer of all ills. If you have had a shock, a cup of tea will calm you down. Feeling peaky? Have a nice cup of tea. Also if you want any work doing by anyone, you need to have a tea on tap! It’s the workmen’s fuel (together with a bacon butty)!
  • We are very modest, It is very bad form to ‘blow your own trumpet’ so if someone gives us a compliment they will wish they hadn’t! We will turn it around, and put ourselves down, and make you feel dreadful for daring to mention how wonderful we are!

So there you have it, the best of British in a nutshell!!

Episode 53: Our Pet Pooch! — November 22, 2014

Episode 53: Our Pet Pooch!

Although my parents had a dog when I was younger, I’ve never had one myself, until 2 years ago when Roxy came into our family…..

I had mentioned to Mr Grump that I would love to have a dog; he loves all animals so was definitely in agreement. We also thought it would be lovely for Miss Hap to have a pet to love and learn how to look after. Of course, we wanted to make sure that we got the right dog for us, that would fit into our family, and that we would be able to give the right care to.I had also done a bit of research online as well, to see what types of dog were good with children, and amongst my favourites were the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

We decided that we wanted to get a rescue dog if possible, as there are so many pets that need re-homing. We contacted a few centres locally but they mostly had large dogs or staffies, which I didn’t think would be right for us. I e-mailed one centre and asked to be considered if they had any small dogs that needed placing, left my contact details and left it at that.

About a fortnight later when I got in from work Mr Grump asked me to phone the rescue centre which I did. They informed me that a young mum with 5 kids,and a puppy that she couldn’t take care of as it was too boisterous!  She needed them to come and get it NOW before she dumped it. The rescue centre asked if I would be interested which of course I was. All she knew was that it was a Cavalier King Charles spaniel puppy, just what we were looking for. I contacted the woman direct who invited us to come and see her. we were straight on the motorway and an hour later met little Roxy for the first time…..

We were all instantly smitten with her. She was so excited to see us, jumping up at us, tail going like the clappers; she had actually been very well looked after, she was microchipped and had all her injections; the harassed woman just came to the end of her tether as she had so much going on!  We ended up taking her home with us that evening along with all of her paraphernalia! The rescue centre were amazed when we told them, but thrilled that Roxy had got a new loving home.

On the journey home, Roxy snuggled into my lap, and was as good as gold. She settled in with us so quickly it was unbelievable.Mr Grump took charge of feeding her and taking her out for walks, and Roxy absolutely adores him! About a week after getting her we took her to the beach.  I went in for a swim with my sister and her labrador Milo came bounding in after us. Two minutes later I saw this little face and flapping ears working its way towards me, Roxy wanted to join in.

Of course, she soon knew how to get around Mr Grump, and he spoils her rotten! She sits on his lap in the evenings and trots off after him everywhere, as she knows that she will often get an extra treat, looking up at him with her beguiling eyes. She sleeps in our room (her little bed didn’t last long), but always noses into Miss Hap’s room before bed to make sure she is ok!

She does get a little jealous though if Mr Grump shows affection to anyone (or anything else). If I ever dare to sit with Mr Grump then she will either turn her back on us, and sulk, or she will paw at me trying to get me away!  She doesn’t like being late for her walk either and if Mr Grump thinks he might get a sneaky lie-in on the weekend he is very much mistaken. She will jump on his head to wake him up, then race downstairs and bark at the coat rack until he gets his jacket on to go out.

I feel so blessed that we have Roxy in our lives… it was such a coincidence how we came to get her, and I am so pleased that she is now a member of our family.

Episode 48: Dad Dancing…. — November 17, 2014

Episode 48: Dad Dancing….

I was thinking about my dad this morning, and what a character he was. Born and bred by the sea, he thought nothing of going swimming in all  weathers. Rain never hampered him, in fact, he used to tell us kids that it was warmer in the water when it rained! That was certainly true in his case as he always wore the same pair of skimpy Speedo trunks (no daughter, or son for that matter,should have to see their dad in Speedos, but he would not be told)!

His idea of sun tan lotion was olive oil! Turning frequently in the sun, and slathered all over in grease, he roasted up a treat and was always a golden brown colour in the summer! As well as the dreaded Speedos, he also had a penchant  for VERY short shorts, which he teemed with the obligatory ‘mandals’ (as I like to call them, you know, the strappy man sandals that look good on no-one)! This attire he would wear even into his early 80’s.

Aside from his love of swimming Dad loved to try and get the most out of life He and my step-mum would travel extensively all over the place and I have a lovely collection of postcards I received, with his indecipherable scrawl (it would normally take a couple of attempts at reading it before it sank in what he had written), detailing all the things they had been getting up to.

They also had a property in Spain where they lived for six months of the year to avoid the harsh  English winters (who can blame them)! When they came back home though they had all these clubs that they went to, one of which was the ‘Recycled Teenagers Club.’ This was my dad to a tee.. He was always up for a challenge, and I remember him and my step-mum at one of my niece’s 18th birthday party. Someone (probably Dad) had asked the DJ to play the ‘Macarena’. As soon as it started him and my step-mum were straight out of their chairs with a speed that belied their aging years, and onto the dance  floor, trying to drag some of us up on the way. (I have got 2 left feet and decided to sit that one out).

Anyway, off they went onto the floor with all the ‘youngsters’ . I can still picture to this day my dad’s face, eyes closed, totally oblivious to everyone around him, concentrating on the music and the steps he had to do. I roared my head off when it came to the hip thrust bit, although a bit alarmed that with the effort he was putting into it, his back might give out! He was having a whale of a time, and stayed on the dance floor for quite a while!

Not only did he like to dance, but he also loved music. Although he couldn’t read a note, he could somehow manage to play anything by ear, and he would sometimes sing along in his rich melodious voice, whilst the rest of us would bang on a tambourine, or plink on the electric keyboard to accompany him! So much better than sitting in front of the tv!

Needless to say, Dad reached out and grabbed life with both hands, he wanted to experience lots of different things. He loved food, and had a very hearty appetite (he was never overweight though). I don’t think there was anything he wouldn’t eat; even though the rest of us wimped out at the hottest curry, dad would relish it. if we were too fussy to eat out food, dad would polish it off, as he hated waste.

He was also very articulate and knowledgeable. It seemed to me that he knew something about everything! Education was extremely  important to him, and he always tried to encourage us to do well at school (whether we wanted to or not)! He was the type of man who mixed easily with anyone from any background. He always found something interesting to  say, and had a wicked sense of humour (I hope that some of this has rubbed off on me)!

My dad sadly passed away a couple of years ago now. He still did as much as he could right up until he was no longer physically able, and still kept his positive attitude throughout…I was feeling a bit down today, but thinking about my dad, has put a smile on my face, as he was always such fun to be around despite his dodgy taste in swimwear!

Episode 46: Turning Full Circle….. — November 15, 2014

Episode 46: Turning Full Circle…..

Me and Mr Grump go back quite a long way (30 years to be precise)! We first met at a small Army Barracks where we were both stationed. I had literally just got out of  basic training and was still quite a shy and quiet 18-year-old (One of the reasons I joined the Army was to ‘come out of my shell’ a bit). He was a cocky and confident 21-year-old Army chef (definitely a good start there, he loves to cook, I love to eat)!

Anyway, I didn’t pay that much attention to him at first, preferring to concentrate on the food he was dishing up. I had not been on the camp that long, and it was still a bit of an ordeal for me going into the cookhouse as it was always packed, and I didn’t know many people yet; however, if I wanted to eat I had to go in…simple!

I had made a  couple of friends in basic training who had gone before me to this posting, and I ended up sharing a room with one of them,who went on to become my best friend (we are still in contact today) Karen, (this friend) and I decided to take advantage of the private strip of beach that we had on this camp, and headed off for a paddle in the sea.

We ended up going for a proper swim as it was a gorgeous, hot day, we had a little time to kill, and wanted to make the most of it. what I didn’t mention is the fact that, as it was an ‘off the cuff swim’, we hadn’t dressed for the occasion, and were just wearing shorts and t-shirts. Mr Grump, (actually back then he was spiky haired, and very lean and fit) and a friend of his had the same idea and were also having fun in the sea, swimming and splashing about.

They got out a little before Karen and I, and were just hanging around on the beach. As I came wading of the water, Mr Grump came over to me with his jacket which he thoughtfully wrapped around me. I thanked him for his kindness and we eventually went on to have a rather tempestuous two-year relationship.(oh, and he  later told me that he knew exactly what was in store for him, as my yellow shorts, white top, plus underwear,  had gone completely see-through in the water AND he had a bloody good look before bringing me the jacket to spare my blushes)!

We did get engaged during the two years, but were much too young and immature really, plus Mr Grump was being posted elsewhere and was a bit of a Jack-the lad in those days! We ended u going our separate ways, and although Karen and I both left the army after 3 years, Mr Grump continued to serve.

I came back to my home town, and life moved on…I did occasionally think about Mr Grump, and at one time, went to visit his mother in Wales for a few days. I didn’t see him at that time, as he was off serving abroad somewhere. Anyway, I ended up getting married, and much later  I had my beautiful daughter . He of course also went on to have children and marry.

As I mentioned, I was still in touch with Karen, and one day she told me that she had seen Mr Grump on Forces Reunited, and that he would be pleased to hear from me. I was really shocked  after all the time that had passed, but was so curious. After all, I had thought about him many times over the years, so anyway I bit the bullet and contacted him.

We sent messages back and forth for a while but then finally decided to meet up. I had been single for a few years as Miss Hap’s father and I had split when she was a very young baby. I had arranged to meet him in a local Supermarket car park, but he got lost as had to drive for a couple of hours to get there, Finally he made it there and seeing him was like the years just melted away (well aside from the fact that he had put on a few stone and his  hair was bald on top and long at the back which he put into a pigtail)! That was it for both of us…. after a few weeks, he moved in, and six months later we married! (By this time I had got at him with the hair clippers, he lost a load of weight, I put a load on), but we were happy

Karen and her family of course came to the wedding, and she was one of our witnesses;  Miss Hap was our gorgeous bridesmaid and  we had a small, intimate ceremony (so intimate I didn’t realise the room would only hold 4 people (and the huge dress that I had chosen), so a few of our family stood outside the window looking in at us exchanging vows!! We did have a reception at the local pub though for everybody and it was a wonderful day.

It just goes to show, how unpredictable life is! I never would have guessed, that after being apart for 25 years, Mr Grump and I would not only meet up again, but I would eventually become his wife, even if it took me 30 years to do it!!

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