Thursday, November 26, 2009


I'm sure I've said it before, but one of the things I most gained from being in Ghana, which I never imagined, was meeting people from all over the world. I now have both acquaintances and people I consider friends all around the world. It gave me a chance to learn about other ways of doing things, other traditions, sayings and cultures, and learn that the British way of doing things isn't necessarily the only way (Pancake Day...!)

One of those things was when an American friend came to stay with me exactly two years ago in Kumasi on the way to or from doing some research. It had barely registered with me, but before we ate our very un-thanksgiving-y dinner (it certainly wasn't turkey, although we may have treated ourselves to a take away!) she explained that we had to say what we were thankful for.

As our friends across the pond start to wake up and facebook statuses declare thankful messages and wishes of goodwill to each other, I was reminded of this time!
I'm being a bit of a grump at the moment, nothing seems to be going my way, but I guess it's even more important when I'm feeling melodramatic and hard done by and sorry for myself to count my blessings! I'm not going to list them as I think it gets a bit trite and I bet there are a million bloggers doing the same. But I have resolved to be a bit chirpier.

And I'll read this again in 24hours when that resolve dissolves.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


I went shopping yesterday.

Three significant happenings happened.

1) I walked in, turned round and walked straight out of a well known high street shop* on principle, because they had none other than MARIAH CAREY wailing about all she wanted for Christmas. On NOVEMBER THE THIRD. We've not even had Bonfire Night yet. We've not even started our daily advent calendar chocolate fix. We've not even had a FROST yet.

*(mentioning no names but it's initials could also stand for the Bagshot Hypertension Services)

2) I bemoaned the lack of NICE long-sleeved warm jumpers around in the shops. They're all either something only a short sighted granny would wear, a grey/tan/vomit colour, don't go beyond ones elbow, or are in some kind of a loose knit and are, merely more for show, rather than giving any kind of extra insulating layer.

3) Whereas I normally only go into Marks and Spencers to head straight for the underwear section, hood up sunglasses on so I won't be spotted, I found myself willingly and unwittingly wandering round the various clothing lines, looking with interest at the jumper selection (see #2), admiring their denim lines, and searching for long sleeved pyjames (maybe my (unsuccessful) pyjama search should have been number #4. As maybe should my discovery of the Most amazing pair of shoes in NEXT. I have never in my life looked twice at any pair of Next shoes. Is this a reflection on me or Next??).

Why, I hear you ask, are these such significant happenings?

These things are all significant because they are proof I am a) getting old and b) turning into my parents. I would never have worried about the sleeve length of a jumper a few years ago. And the mere thought of buying jeans from M&S!!!! !!!!!

My beloved Father hates 'pop' (he says it in a very particualr manner, as though it were a rather nastyy taste in his mouth) music in shops at the best of times and the idea of sleigh bells and key changes on November the third would send him doolally. My mother, meanwhile, is always asking me 'if I've looked in M&S' for whatever new piece of clothing I may need, while both of them keep muttering things like 'well if you will wear silly little clothes...' when I complain at the cold.

So, I did what ever self respecting young lady would do after such revelations, I went and purged myself of all such thoughts by trying on several beautiful pairs of shoes. Not in Next. Not in M&S. And certainly not in the (Botswanan Hip Society).