Tag Archives: Guests

Guests

3 Mar

I thought Toby was scratching at my door at his usual five a.m. the other night. He never wants to go out; he wants to remind me that his breakfast is due in two hours and forty-five minutes.  I am never allowed to forget it: he will growl at me several or fourteen times between then and quarter-to-eight.

It wasn’t Toby; it was Spud, trying to slip a note under my door; and it wasn’t five; it was sometime after one.  He came in, as I was now awake, for spare bedding.  He said ‘Excuse me’ but I was half asleep and didn’t register until he knocked me over, having expected me to move.

The note was to explain, in case I woke up in the night and wandered around in confusion, that two of his friends had phoned at one a.m. to beg a bed.  They had been to a party which Spud had decided not to attend because of travel difficulties (three buses there; three buses back) and, because they live several towns over, had nowhere to sleep once they were kicked out.

We are not the sort of people to see teenagers on the streets, so of course the Hub had said ‘yes’.  Besides, they are both in Godspell, with Sam playing Jesus.   We want it to be a success and a destitute lead is not in the remit.

Spud was given his instructions by the Hub and, when the boys arrived some time after two, Spud opened the door and declared: ‘Sorry.  There’s no room at the inn.’

We might be kind but we will have fun at your expense.

Have You Met Pseu? I Have!

17 Sep

I had a visitor on Friday, the lovely Pseu.  Although she takes a mean photograph, she is a little camera-shy.  However, she agreed to allow a rare photograph to be taken, as proof that she was here:

She came, as all good visitors ought, bearing gifts:

Really thoughtful gifts, prettily arranged in a basket:

  • Writing Magazine, because I write
  • Earl Grey loose tea, because I drink Earl Grey tea
  • A strainer, because I…well, let’s not go there
  • A bottle of South African wine, which is where all wines given to me should come from
  • A bag of Maltesers, because anyone visiting me without them is refused admittance
  • And a delicate vase, for which she omitted to bring delicate flowers, but I let that pass.

As I said, truly thoughtful gifts.

I gave her a piece of paper and a cardboard box.

That reminds me of when our Anglican church was based at the local Methodist church for a couple of years: when we moved on to our present home, the congregation of St John’s commissioned a beautiful banner of half a rainbow, to match one that we had, of the other half of the rainbow.

We gave them a tin of biscuits.

&

Pseu was a delightful guest, if tall; and we had a lovely afternoon together.  I forced myself to make lunch:

And I even cleaned up, in her honour:

She arrived as I was washing the toilet, but I’m not showing you a photo of that. Unless there’s a demand for it?

I’m pretty sure I remembered to wash my hands before serving the food.

*

I interviewed Pseu a couple of weeks ago, and I saved it for today, so you could share in the fun.

TLH:  What’s the weirdest request you have made/someone has made of you?

PSEU:  That’s a trade secret.

TLH:  This interview might be a little duller than I had envisioned…  How many colours has your hair been?

PSEU:  When I was little I was blond. It didn’t last long. By the time I went to school I had dark brown hair. Since then I have been darker brown. I tried henna once in the 70’s but it didn’t change my colour at all. Occasionally I’ve had low lights – hints of copper, little glints of gold. They never looked natural, and I’m not a great one for artifice.  Maybe next time I should come back as higher maintenance?  Currently I’m going silver at the edges, so my hairdresser kindly combs a little colour to match my own. So not very exciting there, hey?

TLH: Well at least it’s an answer…  How do you feel about misplaced apostrophes?*

PSEU:  I read Lynne Truss’s Eats, shoots and leaves and agreed with her every step of the way.

TLH:  The right answer.  It’s why I let you through my front door.  Can you do a foreign accent?

PSEU:  I’m pretty good at a Welsh accent, boyo.

TLH:  Will you share an embarrassing moment?

PSEU:  When I first met my Cyclomaniac, he wasn’t a cyclomaniac, but a medical student.  He had a red rose delivered to the ward where I was working as a student nurse.. it was Valentine’s day, but he didn’t realise I had days off.  So a few days later, when I came back on duty the whole ward knew about my rose and presented it to me, in front of the desk, so everyone could see.  I didn’t even know who it was from and took an hour or more to stop blushing.

TLH:  Sweet!  I’ve got one like that at home.  Annoying, aren’t they?  Tell us something about yourself you haven’t yet shared in your blog.

PSEU:  I passed my driving test when I was about 26 because no-one does district nursing on a bicycle any more, and it was about time I got my act together.  I wanted to get out of ward nursing.  It took two attempts to pass.  I had given up on learning at 17, without even trying the test, as I found my father very difficult to learn from.  I nearly gave up at 26.  I’m glad I didn’t. (Nowadays I would have reported the instructor for intimidation or harassment, or something, but we didn’t do that in the 80s).

TLH: What are you reading at the moment?

PSEU:  I’m currently reading several things…including September’s Good Housekeeping (in order to try out a few new recipes), the latest issue of Prole - there’s some good stuff in this magazine (and I’m looking to see if maybe I could write well enough to submit something!).  I’m also reading Dark Matter, a ghost story, by Michelle Paver (a gift, and not my usual style of book) and The Children’s Book by AS Byatt, (though not progressing very well with it).  In the queue: Engleby by Sebastian Faulks, Temples of Delight by Barbara Trapido and Brief Lives by Anita Brookner. Well that’s just a few in the queue.  I have a propensity to buy more books than I can read…often in second hand book shops.  My read books are in alphabetical order, in a bookcase.  My unread books are not (though my spice rack is).

TLH:  What would you give up rather than your computer?

PSEU:  I’d give up TV, but DON’T take away the radio. (Please).

TLH:  Could you give up blogging?

PSEU:  I feel I’m a little addicted, so it would be hard.

TLH:  Tell us why we should read your blog.

PSEU:  My blog is a hotchpotch of glimpses. I love taking photos, especially close-ups. I like to write and the blog is an outlet for that, and I love the interaction with those who come to visit and to make comments.

Photograph  ©copyright Pseu at Pseu’s blog.

Not a dull interview after all; and I hope it tempts you to visit Pseu at her blog, where you will see some fabulous photography, at the very least, and read some interesting poetry and snippets about her life.

Thank you, dear Pseu, for the interview, the gifts and, best of all, the visit.

Blog Visits

14 Sep
Blogging Readiness

Blogging Readiness (Photo credit: cambodia4kidsorg)

Another blogger is coming to lunch today!  It took some delicate negotiating, given my self-confessed stalking tendencies. She agreed to come here only after I assured her we have a back door through which she can escape if my self-absorbed monopolising of the conversation becomes too much for her.  She doesn’t know the back gate is locked and she’ll have to climb up onto the roof of the new shed and over the fence.  I have warned her not to wear heels, just in case.

Excluding Viv, who I count as my OU friend who also blogs, not as my blogging friend who I met through the OU, she will be the first friend I have made through blogging who I will have met in person.   She will be pleased to learn that my everyday conversation is not as convoluted as that last sentence.

I have almost met one other blogger – Sarah, she of the blog named after a disease (Sarsm).  Sarah regularly phones me from Germany and I love our chats. We know each other well, without having met.  I love the internet.   And her cheap rate telephone contract.

Don’t expect any photos of today.  My Mystery Guest doesn’t post any of herself or her family on her own blog, so I have to respect that, no matter how much I sulk.

I’ll ask her if I can at least take one like this:

My shadow. I have two arms, of course, but obv...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or this:

English: Labeled human leg bones created for u...

 (Mariana Ruiz Villarreal). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll tell you all about it over the weekend, if she hasn’t sworn me to secrecy; or taken out the inevitable restraining order.

Have you ever met any of your blogging friends?  Were the police involved?

Five Word Saturday Evening

25 Aug

We got the house back!

All of our visitors, young and old,  have gone; lunch was successfully provided; the house is ours once more.

Hooray!

Thanks for the great food advice, everyone.

Now, what shall I serve the two fellas coming to watch the match tomorrow afternoon?

Olive What She’s Having

19 Jul

 

In 2003 I went to Open University summer school: a week of being a ‘real’ student, with lectures and boozing  – you could buy wine at lunch and dinner!  I didn’t, but it was exciting knowing it was available.

I chose Manchester for my summer school – seven minutes by train from Stockport so I could come home if it was all too much for me.  It wasn’t.  I had a fabulous time; it’s in my Top Ten List of Best Experiences Ever.

One of the week’s benefits was that I made lots of new best friends, never to be heard of again once the week was over, except for two: Mangetout, who some of you know via her blog; and Becky.

Becky doesn’t blog because she’s too busy doing real stuff, like earning a living; you can visit her website and if you or your staff need training in something, Becky can provide it.  I know she’s good at what she does because, on the last day of summer school when we all had to present the project we had been working on, not only was she the only person not to mumble and/or overdo it, she actually sounded like she knew what she was talking about.

I was so impressed by Becky that when they let us out midweek to do our own thing, I latched on to her visit to Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery because I knew she’d guide me safe home again to the campus.  And she did.  Without her, I might be not-blogging, living homeless in Salford and thinking Man United were a good team because I couldn’t find my way back to civilisation.  Please thank her if you love your Laughing Housewife.

Becky and I supported each other online while completing our degrees.  My support must have been much better than hers because she got a better degree than I did.  I forgave her for that and we remained friends via Facebook.

Becky and her family live darn sarf but we don’t hold that against her.  She makes occasional excursions oop north to visit relatives; she made one such visit this week and she and her lovely husband Tony spent the afternoon with us on Tuesday.  It was delightful.  Spud popped his head in to be polite and stayed several hours, running up the electricity bill because he had left his X-Box on, not expecting to be away from it for too long.

The conversation was excellent:

Tilly Bud: Let’s talk about me and how wonderful I am and all the things I’ve done and how great I am and how great I am and let’s talk about me some more.

Becky: [Laughs in all the right places.  Because she’s lovely like that.]

We talked about summer school, Shakespeare and poetry; politics, religion and family; and why the government are cocking up Olympic security – we had no solutions, but that’s not our department, is it?  We vote; let them sort it out.   I can’t give you chat specifics because I was too engrossed to make my usual notes.

I spent Monday having a massive clear out so we looked reasonably tidy.  My eldest child may never get into his room again; but he hardly visits, so I’m not too worried.

Cleaning on Monday meant I could concentrate on the food on Tuesday morning, for their late-morning arrival.  Preparing food for visitors is hard work and requires a qualification in logistics to be ready/not too warm/not too cold/have time for a brew and catch-up first/edible.  That’s why I did sandwiches.  Aren’t they pretty?

And no reports of food poisoning; always a bonus.

I had to make sure the food was prepared before they arrived: I needed to take photographs for you.  Also, I don’t like to be in the kitchen when I have guests. Or ever.  My guests were too interesting to be left for long with my family. Every time I made tea I missed fascinating conversation and my son laughed at me for spending the day one topic behind.

I had a small hysterical moment when I tried to open these cakes where the packet says, Open Here.  The packet doesn’t say, But you can’t do it with wet hands and if you take a knife to a packet that you’ve been gripping with wet hands you might stab yourself.

I managed to fit in one of my 101/1001 tasks during the visit: Try a new food. Our guests brought goodies, including olives.  I have never eaten olives.  I have never fancied eating olives.  I am game for a small challenge, however, so I wrinkled my nose and popped one in.

Eurgghh!

Becky did warn me they were garlic and chilli olives, but I like garlic and I like chilli.  I don’t like olives.

The Evil Olives (centre)

Burning tongue, watering eyes and roiling stomach aside, thank you, Becky and Tony, for a wonderful afternoon.  Be sure your biscuits found a good home, and we will talk about you behind your backs long after you’ve forgotten us.

 

Don’t Stress – It’s A Guest Post

26 May

Have Stress Relief Now is about helping YOU!  Ever have too much to do, and not enough time? Interested in shedding a few pounds? Wonder what’s the most effective way to organize both your personal and professional life? Interested in finding that someone special or improving your current relationship? If you’ve ever pondered on questions like these, then Have Stress Relief Now is for you. The site provides you with resources to manage your personal and professional life.

Have Stress Relief Now is a free online membership site created in 2009 by author and freelance writer, Tinisha Johnson, who resides in Colorado with her family.  It started as a blog, and has turned into a full launched website as of 2011.

After a failed marriage and two small kids, Tinisha thought it best to take a new route in her life; one that involved various ways to manage stress on different levels. Stumbling upon the following three books:  Unstoppable Women by Cynthia Kersey, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, and Do You! by Russell Simmons, these books literally changed her life, and from that change, Have Stress Relief Now website was created.

Tinisha wanted to make the information she provides through the site diverse, because let’s face it, everyone’s problems and stress are sometimes different and unique. By signing up to become an online member, the site will introduce you to all types of articles, services, products, and prizes that are of high quality and have proven results in the area of stress management.

To learn more about Have Stress Relief Now, visit the website: www.HaveStressReliefNow.com

Visit Tinisha at her tour page at Pump Up Your Book!

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2011/04/27/have-stress-relief-now-virtual-inspirational-website-tour-may-2011/

GIVEAWAYS

During the month of May, “Have Stress Relief Now,” will be giving away a $40 and $10 Amazon Gift Card, along with a free Ebook entitled “How to Manage Stress Before it Manages You.” Both give-a-ways will be accessible through the winners email.

There will be a total of 2 winners. 1st winner will win a $40 Amazon Gift Card and a free Ebook. 2nd prize winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card and a free copy of the Ebook.

http://www.havestressreliefnow.com/currentgiveaway.htm

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I Get Great Guests

9 May
Fish and chips.

Image via Wikipedia

My visitors have been and gone, back to their home that used to be my home till I didn’t want it to be my home, didn’t miss as my home, wrote reams of poetry about what a sucky home it was, got that home out of my system and then realised I felt homesick for it.

My visitors were good visitors – when you give me a hug with one hand and a packet of Maltesers with the other, you not only please me, you compliment me by subtly letting me know you read my blog.

My visitors insisted on buying us all a traditional fish supper (the end of paragraph 2 refers).  My visitors were warm and funny and never once mentioned how clean my house was, though I know they were thinking it.

I like having visitors.  Visitors bring me gifts, make me laugh, refuse to let me cook, and give me a reason to clean up every three months or so.

Em & Ay, you are welcome back any time.  Don’t forget the Maltesers!

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