Category Archives: Overheard

Hilarious or puzzling snippets


On the train on my way back from retreat yesterday (the retreat was, by the way, fabulous – spent a whole day just sitting out in the garden reading), I overheard the following snatches:

‘An aging housewife, that’s what he thinks I am’, followed shortly by ‘There’s no way you could ever get him to say…’ and then I couldn’t get the next bit. Intriguing, I thought, this sounds like a very intimate conversation to be having loudly on a train. But I caught no more. Getting off the train, I spied the speaker, an elegant looking woman of a certain age, accompanied by an equally elegant white haired man. No further clues. If you were the speaker or listener, or can suggest what/who they were talking about, please get in touch!

PS I am still pretty daunted by the huge pile of things to be done, not to mention the book, but a weekend of sheer indulgence in a beautiful place has made me feel generally a bit more able to tackle life. Managed to get various bits of admin done today, including the one which was causing me most anxiety (to do with National Insurance and Carers’ Allowance – I hate sorting financial matters). And it was solved with one simple phone call… I should know better by now, that things are never as big as they seem when they’re looming.


So I start a blog which is, at least partly, focused on depression. Trouble is, when I’m depressed I can’t face posting on it and can’t think of anything to say, and when I’m not (roughly one week in four, it seems at the moment) I’m too busy trying to make the most of the brief good time. Which usually means I tire myself out and bring the depression back quicker.

I’m coming out of a big low at the moment, which started a couple of weeks ago, so my perspective is probably distorted, but the cycle does seem to be swinging to higher highs (though not clinically manic) and what feel like lower lows, but probably aren’t, they just look lower in contrast with the greater height of the highs. Hope that makes sense. However high the highs are, I’m not yet ready for the four years’ worth of filing and ten years’ worth of decorating that are awaiting me.

Meanwhile, my husband is up a ladder at the back of the house replacing the down pipe, and having stuff transported from below in a bucket on a rope held by his assistant. I went down there to make some tea a little while ago and I heard the assistant saying ‘Would you prefer a longer screw?’. I had to laugh. Yes please…. (but not from his assistant).

PS I have just mistaken the noises my son is making at the computer, for our very vociferous cat. Perhaps my son is turning into a cat.

PPS I’ve just, via a stats search, looked at a blog post of mine from two years ago and found it refers to ‘four years’ worth of filing. That’ll be six years now, then.

A good day

What a pleasant day I have had. Slept lateish, and as Genius Brat was still off school, decided not to go to Pilates and leave him alone. Then The Grouch came home unexpectedly as the customer he was going to was not in, so I left him in charge and walked to the gym, where I swam 20 short lengths and sat in the Jacuzzi for a while. Then to coffee and the crossword at my latest favourite café, and by the time I’d finished both the coffee and the crossword, it was time for lunch so I stayed on and had that as well. Then another walk home, followed by a little sleep in the afternoon.

Finally this evening I drove (in rush hour, that was the only unpleasant bit) to Hackney where I spent four hours helping to stuff and stamp a Catholic Worker mailing. Stuffing with me, unexpectedly, was the daughter of a former director of the London Mennonite Centre, whom I first met when she was about four or five, and who is now 21 and over from America to do voluntary work. She has grown up into a lovely young lady and it was a delight to see her.

The stuffing team was fed with a wholesome veggie meal and two sorts of cake, and they were still stuffing (but near the end) when I left just after 10.00. It is such a treat for me to work as part of a team, an experience you don’t normally get as a freelance writer.

So: exercise, indulgence, mental challenge and a ‘work frolic’ all in the same day. Really ready for bed now…

Parliamentary expenses – the last word

Heard on Radio 4 (no less) the other day: ‘The MPS have milked the gravy train to the hilt’. Quite.

And now for more profuse apologies: If you are wondering why I haven’t blogged for weeks, blame it all on Facebook, the second biggest timewaster in history (decide for yourself what the first is…). I also had Bible notes to write on Proverbs, and half-term in the middle of them, so not much blogging time. But FB is the biggest culprit.

Must try harder, as the school report said…

Fuzzy communication

Just heard a contributor to ‘From our own correspondent’ on Radio 4 saying that there were ‘6,000 down telephone lines in China needing to be repaired’. Well, I’m not surprised they don’t work, if they make their telephone lines out of a goose’s underneath feathers. Apparently Mr Wen, the prime minister (as opposed to Mr – or Dr – Hu, the president!) went to give a ‘warm and fuzzy’ pep talk to citizens who were affected by the heavy snow. Presumably that (the talk, not the snow) was made of goose feathers too?

Do as I say…

..not as I do! I was very amused, and slightly proud, to hear my son (13) in the back of the car, coming back from swimming, giving his little friend (8) a serious lecture on the importance of SATS and GCSEs and how they can affect your future life. I think I’ll quote him back to himself next time he is reluctant to do his homework…

Overheard in Tesco…

.. An elderly lady asking an assistant where the goose fat was. More strangely, she added ‘in a bottle’. But weirdest of all was that the assistant actually knew where it was. Do I really believe Tesco stocks goose fat? In a bottle? And what would she use it for – rubbing on her husband’s legs to insulate him for the winter?