Hello, it's good to see you here. Thank you for calling in. We have been enjoying glorious summer sunshine here and I can't remember when it last rained, I've had to water the pots - in April! Other things have been good too, so I thought I'd share with you some things which have made me happy over the past week.
I keep a wish list of books which I would like to read and last December, when several of you recommended The Christmas Chronicles by Nigel Slater, I added it to the list. I keep the list on my mobile 'phone so that if I am out I can have a look in charity shops or second-hand bookshops as I rarely buy new books for myself, that would seem very indulgent indeed. I also check Oxfam Online periodically. Do you know about that? It's a great big online charity shop and I have found some real bargains there. Unfortunately, not all of my purchases have lived up to their descriptions; I received one book which had obviously been dropped in a bath and then dried out and another which was full of pencilled annotations, underlinings and highlighter pen marks, but overall, the experience has been good. Here's a link, if you'd like to hop over and have a look - https://www.oxfam.org.uk/shop
Last weekend I received an e-mail informing me that Oxfam Online were holding a sale so I got out my wish list and I had a look at the website and I found a used copy of The Christmas Chronicles for £19.99. That's £6.01 less than the listed price of a new copy but I still thought it was too much, especially for a second-hand book. I then checked into Amazon and found that I could buy a new copy for £14.84! That's more than £11 less than the listed price and as I still had some birthday money stashed away, I bought it. Please be assured that I haven't bought a book from Amazon for years, I don't like the way they operate and I prefer my money to support a real shop which provides employment for real people, especially my local independent bookshop, but I'm afraid my willpower faded when I was presented with such a bargain. The book arrived on Monday and I am delighted by it, as I suspected I would be because I enjoy his weekly column in my Sunday newspaper. I have dipped into it a little and have put it away so that I can enjoy its seasonal comfort at the end of the year.
During Lent I took part in an online photo challenge, posting a daily photo on my Facebook account using given themes. On Tuesday the theme was My Playlist which left me a bit stumped so I posted this photo of an old-fashioned kind of playlist.
(I rather feel that I've given myself away with this!) My neighbour, who acquires and sells vinyl, commented that I don't have the first volume of Greatest Hits and I replied that I don't, although I do have ABBA Gold and More ABBA Gold on CD. Within ten minutes he was at my back door, presenting the Best Beloved with a copy of ABBA Greatest Hits! "I don't like to see Mrs Tiggywinkle go without," he said. What a lovely thing to do! I was intrigued to see that on this album, the name is spelt without the first B being reversed, as it is on all my albums, but as I have been writing this post I have been listening to a programme about ABBA on the radio and I have learned that the B was reversed for the first time on the cover of Arrival, which is their best-selling studio album and which was released after Greatest Hits. (My copy was bought for me by my grandparents, at my request, for Christmas in 1977. I was thrilled to discover that the lyrics for all the songs were printed inside on the sleeve so that I could sing along. I still do, although I no longer need to read the lyrics.)
On Wednesday we retrieved some items from storage and cleaned them up ready for Tom Kitten to use. They belonged to his aunt and have been at the back of a garage for years. A couple of years ago, ivy grew in and dripped its sap all over them - I had no idea ivy could be so mucky. A vigorous brushing, some lengthy scrubbing with a solution of washing soda and a good hose down brought them up almost as good as new and I felt very satisfied indeed with my afternoon's work. These bits of plastic brought back many happy memories and I hope they will create many more.
On Friday I ate several hot cross buns. I absolutely love them but I don't eat them until Good Friday which begins with the most delicious breakfast. This made me very happy indeed.
On Sunday I went to a sunrise service at Holy Trinity Church in Dawley with three very good friends. Members of the church had built a replica tomb in an unused spot in the churchyard and used it to tell the Easter story to several hundred children during the last couple of weeks. It was the perfect place for our service and as we were leaving after a breakfast of bacon sandwiches and hot cross buns, the sun had picked its way through the trees to illuminate it. It literally made us gasp as we stepped out of the church. Our service was broadcast live on BBC Radio Shropshire and as we drove home, we listened to the highlights, condensed down to a five minutes. I had let the Best Beloved know about the highlights and he listened to them at home; when I arrived, he opened the door and said, smilingly, "I could make out your voice, singing!" If you would like to listen to it, it's apparently available on the BBC Sounds app.
My friend Cerys took this photo of Sue, dressed as Mary Magdalene, waiting by the empty tomb.
Back at home I spent a happy hour baking cakes for us to take out for lunch. We spent the afternoon with The Teacher, Flashman and Tom Kitten, picnicking and lazing in the sunshine in the ruins of Lilleshall Abbey as butterflies fluttered by. It was an almost perfect afternoon, marred only by the fact that The Mathematician wasn't with us as she wasn't able to come home for Easter.
In the evening I had a long bath, deep and hot, with lavender-scented bubbles and a good book before donning my pyjamas and eating two more hot cross buns, toasted and buttered. I think it might be the best Easter Day I have ever had.
I hope that you, too, have had some happiness this Easter.
I hope that you, too, have had some happiness this Easter.
See you soon.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x