Category Archives: Anniversaries

Happy Anniversary To Me . . . and Postal Votes!

I had a notice from WordPress today and, apparently, it’s been 4 years today, since I started Blogging on here.

It actually amazes me that I’m still doing it 4 years on, especially when I think of all the times when I just wasn’t well enough to come on here and whitter away, as is my habit!

The irony that today is the anniversary hit me when I saw it as, apart from checking my emails, I’ve been avoiding any kind of media today that I can, as I can’t bear the suspense with all the general election furore going on. Not because I don’t care, but because I care too much, and the results mean far too much to me, and many thousands of other disabled people.

Talking of which, I spoke to my daughter on the phone earlier on. She lives in Bristol, and we live in west Wales, and so we spend a lot of time either on the phone, or chatting through Facebook, especially when she works abroad.

Anyway, she was telling me of the hoopla she had to go through today, in order to vote – and that she was very nearly tempted not to do so, but for her strong sense of fair play, and even stronger stubborness of character – which she insists she inherited from me – as if!

My daughter works all over the place as a fire performer, and she also helps to manage and direct other stage performances, with other performers, too, and so she travels a huge amount, all over the UK, and the EU, with the occasional trip to the USA and, as she wasn’t sure where she’d be at the time of voting, she had applied for a postal vote. She was accepted for this, but her voting pack hadn’t turned up by the time she had to go off to another festival, and so she assumed this meant that she wouldn”t be able to vote that way.

As as it happened, she ended up back in Bristol a couple of days ago and so, after catching up on everything, and everyone, she needed to, she decided to stroll down to her local voting station, with plenty of ID to prove who she was, to ask if she could do her vote that way.

She arrived, and spoke to one of the helpers, who checked her ID, then checked for her name on the list, and was told she couldn’t vote, because she had a postal vote. My daughter explained that she hadn’t received it in the time needed before she had left for her work at a festival, and that it still hadn’t been there when she checked her post on returning home. She also had to explain that she hadn’t been informed by anyone that this precluded her from voting in person. The lady asked her to wait while she found out what my daughter needed to do to be able to vote.

A few minutes later, she was told that, in order to do be able to vote today, she would have to travel right across Bristol, opposite to her present location, and go to a particular building, and register to vote with them. As it happens, my daughter had a friend with her, who had a car, and her friend offered to take her to the place – an hour and a half away by foot, 30-40 minutes by public transport, or 20-30 minutes by taxi – always supposing she had the money spare for a taxi, of course.

They managed to find the building, and my daughter went to the office she was supposed to, then explained the situation to the people working there, who were puzzled that she was sent there in the first place, as it was the wrong building, and also puzzled that nobody had rung them up to check with them, before my daughter started out to them. They then told my daughter where she should actually have been sent – and it was, once again, right across the other side of Bristol!

My daughter’s friend offered to take her there, too as, by now, even she was angry at the runaround my daughter was being given, and was determined she’d be able to have her vote, and so they set off again, and eventually got to the proper place where, once again, my daughter had to explain why she was there.

Fortunately for everyone, this was the correct place at last, but my daughter then had to fill in all the same forms she had filled in when she first applied for a postal vote then, once they were signed, she was handed a printed-out postal voter’s form, which they then asked her to fill in, fold, and put into the sealed envelope, and then to place in the ballot box.

All-in-all, what had started out as her idea to take a leisurely walk down to her local polling station to vote, actually took her over 3 hours, a lot of petrol and miles, and a couple of arguements – in fact, the final lady to speak to her, thanked her for persevering in the face of everything being put in her way to trying to vote!

If my daughter wasn’t the determined woman she is, she might have given up in the face of all these obstacles in her way and, as we chatted on the phone, and I congratulated her for her perseverance, she was sat in a cafe, having something desperately needed to eat and drink, as she’d had nothing since her morning toast, and we both wondered how many more people were put off voting today,  by the same kinds of things happening to them?

To be fair, it probably was just a concatination of events, totally out of everyone’s control but, with so many postal votes not turning up where they should be in this election, we did have to wonder whether my daugher’s postal vote was one of these, or not?

Neither of us knows who it is, in charge of the postal voting system, nor how partisan they may be with one party or another but, for people like me, who are disabled and unable to leave the house to vote, or people like my daughter, who work all over the place, and can’t guarantee getting to their local polling stations, that postal vote is a necessary thing for us to be able to express our decision on who we want to represent us in Government, so to have it being abused, or even just not being correctly used, is an attack on our very democracy!

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Filed under Anniversaries, Changes, Choices, Daughters, Democracy, Disability Issues, Family, Ideology, Politics, Postal Voting, Proportional Representation, Self-interest, Travelling

Happy 2nd Anniversary To Me!

I’ve been really lax about keeping my Blog up to date over the last few months. Unfortunately, both myself and Mr Night Owl are having various health problems, which have taken both the urge to write and, frankly, the energy to do so, right away from me – and anybody who knows me at all well, will know just how bad things are if I can’t do that!

But I just had to write this today because, as I was just checking my emails, I found an email from WordPress wishing me a Happy Anniversary, as I’ve been with them for 2 years today!

2 years!!

Where does the time go?

. . . . .  and now I sound like an old Granny, who can’t quite work out how she got to be that person, instead of the young thing she still is in her head! Lol

Once I’ve got some energy back, I’ve got some pics of the stuff I’ve been crocheting ever since my last post about the subject, and I’ll put them on here, with all the usual details – but, until then, I do hope you are all having a better time of it than we are at present 🙂

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1 year old today!

I didn’t realise – at least, until I just read a message from WordPress – that it’s been exactly a year since I started this blog!

My word! Doesn’t time fly! 🙂

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It came at last! :)

I got my certificate through at last and, although I was excited that it had come, I was also a little disappointed at how flimsy the paper was that it was printed on 😦

But, at least it’s here at last, and Hubby immediately went out to get a suitable frame for it, and it’s now hanging up on the living room wall 🙂

As I told you before, I’ve taken up crocheting to while away the time, and I have to say that I’m really delighted with how well I’ve taken to it. I know my work is still a bit rough around the edges, so-to-speak, but I’m really enjoying creating stuff that’s going to be useful to loved ones.

The first things I made were a series of headband/ear-warmers for my daughter, in a variety of colours, so she can keep her head and ears warm this winter. As she’s got a head full of dreads, she’s finding it difficult to find anything suitable to wear around them, and my stuff has really fit the bill, I’m glad to say 🙂
Here’s a picture of one of them:






This is made with a Dusky Lilac DK Acrylic Wool, and a 5.00mm hook.
The Yellow rose was made with the same gauge of wool and hook.
I got the patterns free from:
http://www.youtube.com/watchv=HJLIsyyn_CM&feature=player_detailpage 
&
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3gqvaSFEYOg

The Rose pattern can be found at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94vYpcZ3W64&feature=relmfu


I also made her my first crocheted pair of fingerless loves, which she was really happy to get, as she had just given away her only pair to a Jamaican friend she’d met up with at her latest mini festival, and who was freezing cold in our so-delightful weather. Lol

They’re not perfect, but I didn’t think they were too bad for my first attempt, and Brex loves them, so that’s all that counts really 🙂

Here they are:

These were made with an Emerald Green DK Acrylic Wool and 4.00mm + 4.5 mm hooks.

I got the pattern from:

http://www.woolcrafting.com/crochet-gloves-pattern.html

On the subject of crocheting, I’ve been searching the internet for projects to make, and have come up with enough stuff to keep me busy for the next 5 years! 🙂


I’ve also come across Plarn – yarn made out of all those useless carrier bags that take centuries to break down!

I actually made a big ball of it, just out of the bags we’ve got stored at the moment, and I plan to make a pair of long-sleeved fingerless gloves for my daughter, which she plans to use with a costume she’s making for her stilt-walking/fire dancing work. We’re both looking forward to see how they turn out, and I’ll put a photo of them on here – that’s if they turn out okay, of course! 🙂


It was our 29th wedding anniversary yesterday (8th) and, as most of our friends have to work, we decided to invite them over for a meal this Saturday just gone. A good family friend makes an awesome Rogan Josh curry, so we based our meal around that. The food turned out well, and we all had a great time. 

One of our friends, Hannelore – a fantastic craftswoman, had made me the most gorgeous jewellery set I’ve ever seen – a torc necklace that fits me perfectly, and a pair of lovely dangley earrings to match. 

My daughter took a picture of me wearing them, so I’m posting them for everyone to see (although the picture doesn’t do them the justice they deserve) – and also a link to Hannelore’s shop, where she’s got some awesome stuff up for sale, in a variety of mediums, and prices – you really should have a look, as I think her stuff is amazing!:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/AstridsJewelGarden?page=1

Here’s her Blog, where she shows how she makes some of her stuff, and also shows some of her artwork, which is also fantastic to see:

http://paperbeadsinspiration.blogspot.co.uk/

You can also ‘meet’ her at the following places:

https://www.facebook.com/AstridsGarden


http://twitter.com/AstridsGarden


I’m just going to finish off with a couple of pictures of my girl, waiting to do what she does best – dancing with her fire wings at the Burning Man Festival, which has just taken place in the USA 🙂

Brex getting ready to perform her fire dance.
Brex performing in front of the Burning Man

I’m so very proud of my girl! 🙂

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Filed under Anniversaries, Celebrations, Crochet, Daughters, Family, Friendship, Travelling

Due to start on the 10th . . .

Well, everyone who wants to has introduced themselves in my tutorial group. There are a few familiar names from my previous course, which is great, and everyone else seems to be freindly, and willing to share who they are. 🙂

Our tutor seems very nice, and has already set us a few Ice-breakers, so that we can get to know each other and, presumably, she will have a sense of what we are capable of before the course starts.

I’ve just sent off my dummy TMA, so now it really feels as if I am actually starting! Lol

I’ve actually done the first week’s activities – more to break myself back into study-mode really – but I don’t want to get any more ahead of myself, and have stopped there until the course catches up with me, so-to-speak. Lol.

Just from the short Ice-breaker exercises, I can see that most of the group are going to be excellent writers, so I’m feeling a bit nervous that I’ll be able to keep up with them, or even be in the same league as them, come to that! I guess I’ll have to look on it as a spur to excell myself . . .

It’s actually my 26th wedding anniversary today, although we’re not celebrating it as such until saturday – which happens to be the start of the course! Yet another reason I’m glad I’ve got slightly ahead of myself. {g}
Mind you, I think that is one of the best advantages of this distance learning – if I need to, I can catch up with what’s being posted at any time convenient to myself, so at least we can celebrate on saturday without me feeling guilty of neglecting the course! 🙂

.

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Filed under Anniversaries, Study Group, Studying

40th Anniversary of the Open University

I was looking on the BBCi Player for something to watch, and I came across a programme celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Open University.

Lenny Henry was fronting it as he had been a student at the O.U., and I found it fascinating how the whole conception of a University education for all had been envisioned and made possible all those years ago, when I was just a child of 7 – there, that tells you my age, doesn’t it? {grin}

I remember all those late night-early morning programmes, normally on some obscure, to me, scientific topic, that I ended up watching when my daughter was a baby, and teething, or ill and, although I didn’t understand a lot of it, it still fascinated me. Then, later on, as TV became a lot more sophisticated, how I enjoyed the many programmes made in conjunction with the BBC, especially all the earth sciences ones. They brought a taste of the world into my back-of-the-beyond home, which started up that thirst for learning once more, although I chose Literature and Humanities, rather than Science.

This programme has also made me think of how easily it might have been stopped at a few points in it’s early years – and I wondered just how many people’s lives would have been so different if it hadn’t been continued. I will be forever thankful for all those early pioneers, both in government, and the course writers and tutors, for all their work that ensured that the O.U. became a leader in home learning.

It makes me shudder a little, to think of how easily I might not have been able to continue my education. An education that had been halted due to financial necessity, as I was needed to bring home a wage packet at the time I wanted to go on with my learning. It amazes me that I hadn’t really heard of the O.U. at that time, at least, I wasn’t aware that it might be an option for me, otherwise I would definitely have become a student then. I guess the people responsible for advising me of my options, as conservative as they were, didn’t think it necessary to mention this wonderful choice – I guess I’ll never know why. But I am eternally grateful, to my daughter initially, and then my husband, for encouraging me to “go for it,” as my daughter said!

Because of all those dedicated people, 40 years ago, I am now half-way through my degree and, even now, I’m desperately trying to think of ways that I can finance going for an MA once my BA is under my belt!

That’s the problem with this O.U. lark – it’s so impossibly addictive! {grin}

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Filed under Anniversaries, Learning, Memories, Open University, Studying, TV