Bloganuary week 2

I don’t blog daily. I’m sort of taking part in Bloganuary by posting a summary of the week’s prompts.

Some responses have been brief.

quill

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8th Jan        How far back in your family tree can you go?

Another short one. . .

I have the name of my birth mother on my original birth certificate. No father recorded.

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9th Jan       What is the most memorable gift you have received?

I can’t recall any memorable gifts.

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10th Jan     Has a book changed your life?

Not that I am aware of. Including, sadly my own.

four book covers

11th Jan     How do you define success?

Success is when you move on to the next goal without having to change track.

Now happiness… that’s a different question altogether.

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12th Jan    What chore do you find the most challenging to do?

Flushing out the fishpond pumps.

Hosing the filters is messy but necessary and relatively straightforward. (I am so glad we’re not on a water meter.)

Getting into the pumps is a mission, and I don’t do it often. One pond has a pump that’s fastened with screws (now where did I put that screwdriver?) and the other pond’s pump has clips. Both are tough to undo and a pain to line up and reconnect.

picture of pond and waterfall

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13th Jan       If you had a billion US dollars, how would you spend it?

A priority would be a home big enough to have the extended family all around for dinner at once. Caterers as required… regular cleaners and a gardener. And a house-sitter to look after the dogs if I want to visit anyone without them.

I have four children. I’m sure they would help me spend the rest.

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14th Jan       What is your preferred mode of travel?

That depends where I’m going. And when. And why.

When I was working, I preferred to travel by train to conferences, rather than drive a long way. Back then, I got up early and would get drowsy driving long distances. And in those days, I lived near a rail or underground station.

For shopping, I need the car. I shop once a week and fill too many bags to carry on a public transport – even if it were available.

For socialising, I’d prefer to travel by public transport and relax with a drink. But once I’d moved away from the London Underground station we lived near for decades, I found that public transport rarely goes from where I am to where I want to go.

Even in the London suburb close to the home I moved from, it took two buses or a local overground train to get from my new home to any underground line for travel into work. Needless to say, I drove most days (which took a similar amount of time to cover seven miles North to South London through the Blackwall Tunnel).

To travel the three miles to my mother’s house without a car, I would have to take three buses travelling around the houses to cover a ten to fifteen minute drive.

Then I met my present hubby who hardly ever drinks alcohol and, even now, enjoys driving.

Which is fortunate.

Once we moved away from London, we found that, out here, our nearest town, three miles away, has little in the way of bus services, and the railway station is way out on the other side of town. There is no bus service to the station. Trains stop running to it at 9pm anyway, and are cancelled at the drop of a hat. Replacement bus services are likely to leave early if there’s nobody waiting at the station when they arrive, so heaven help you if you’re running just a lee-eetle bit late.

When we first arrived, buses used to pass the end of our drove hourly, and would stop if you hailed them (as long as the driver saw you). There have been cuts since then so I don’t know what the position is now. Looking out across the field from the window where I type I rarely see a bus these days.

(‘These days’. . . Isn’t that a telling phrase to give away one’s antiquity?)

Our neighbour’s daughter used to get a bus into school from town. (Her mother would drop her off before starting work.) That bus was removed from the schedules in the latest round of cuts, just before Christmas, so she now has to be driven to school by a parent (10 miles, 16km) and collected in the afternoon.

So much for saving the planet.

Giving up our cars for alternative transport is not an option out here – not just for us oldies, but for anyone. And, given the way the locals drive, I wouldn’t suggest cycling on these narrow, subsiding, roads with no pavements or walkways, never mind cycle paths. Drivers whizz along, bouncing over potholes and overtaking dangerously. They wouldn’t survive long driving like that in the london suburbs. But then, they wouldn’t often be able to reach such speeds in the first place.

Maybe that’s an item to add to the previous question about how I would spend my billion dollars. I’ll have an armour-plated vehicle please, and a chauffer to drive me. And maybe a private aircraft, to avoid the roads altogether.

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drawng of a writer

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Rant over.

Feel free to add your own rants in the comments 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Bloganuary week 2

    1. Opportunity would be a fine thing…
      My adoptive mother was told by the adoption society that my mother was an identical twin whose sister covered for her while she was in the nursing home having me. Each time I was pregnant I wondered if it would be twins, but it never was.

      Like

      1. My last son was a twin but unfortunately we lost his twin early in the pregnancy. Very sad at the time but now I look back at it as a blessing as my youngest son weighed in at 11lbs 1oz!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. A monster!
    Interesting… they seem to get bigger with each one, don’t they? My last was born two months early – to the day. She was a healthy 4lb 5, so I think if she’d gone to term she would have been an elephant! And I’d been told I have a ‘small pelvic opening’.
    Which is a bit of a bummer after spending my teens and twenties trying to reduce the bulk of my pelvic area.

    Like

  2. Your comments on public transport out in the sticks are spot on. I am a great believer in making those who are in government use public facilities and only public facilities, the NHS, state education and public transport. I cannot think of anything that would improve these services more quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was pretty disgusted with suburban bus services once I moved off a main road, but rural public transport is pathetic. If people can’t rely on it, they won’t even consider it.
    I can’t see any way these services can survive unless they are rationalised (why run double-decker buses all day for a handful of customers?) and subsidised – and I’m not a natural supporter of subsidies.
    Only when services are seen to be adequate and reliable will travellers start to use them and plan journeys around them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The bus services in and around Cambridge are brilliant, with a bus into Cambridge every twenty minutes from St Ives Park and Ride. In Cambridge the buses are full I had to stand on a double-decker in what was a quiet part of the day.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. But in Cambridge you have customers to pay for transport services.
    In my mind, the word ‘service’ means more than something you pay for. It means providing something people need; whether or not there are enough of them to make it financially viable. And if the powers-that-be are serious about getting people out of their cars, they’re going to have to seriously shift their thinking about the alternatives they’re offering.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have no idea about my family tree. My sperm donor is your average WASP – White Anglo-Saxon Pervert! On his side I’m English, Irish, Scotch, Dutch, German. This is a part of me I deny, except for the wee part that’s Irish, ever since I found out that Kelly is Gaelic for ‘Warrior Maiden’.
    I’m Sicilian on the egg donor’s side. My grandparent’s are from Sicily. My grandmother is from the country in a small village called ‘Alcoma’. My grandfather is from Palermo, which is the home of the Mafia. He wasn’t in the Mafia, but something tells me he probably had his share of Mafia connections.
    I would love to go there someday, but I’d be afraid I’d be shot once I got there. His last name is Curcio. There are many in the Mafia with that name. If anyone found out, I could be in danger of losing my life.
    I don’t associate with the sperm donors side and when I moved to Florida, I had my name legally changed. When people ask me what my nationality is I always say Sicilian. I definitely look more Sicilian than English. I look nothing like any Anglo-Saxon.
    Another aspect of being Sicilian is that I have a lot of black in me. In the 1300s the Moors invaded Sicily and found the women quite attractive, if you know what I mean. For that reason, many Sicilians have darker skin, coarser features, kinkier hair. You don’t see it now, but when I was younger, my hair was so thick like a long afro. I lost so much hair because of menopause. I’m still mourning my hair.
    My grandmother’s name was Illuminata. My grandfather’s name was Salvatore. My egg donor’s name was Fortunata. When she had all of us, she gave us all Anglo-Saxon names. I resented that so much. How much I would have loved to have a beautiful Sicilian name. When I found out that ‘Kelly’ means ‘Warrior Maiden’ in old Gaelic that’s when I started really loving my name. Mind you, I still wish I had a Sicilian name.
    As an interesting tidbit, I have a cousin who looks EXACTLY LIKE Annette Funicello. I mean EXACTLY! I don’t mean kinda, sorta, resembles. I mean EXACTLY! Have I made my point? When I was very young, I used to think all cousins looked like Annette Funicello! LOL!
    Someday I would love to get my DNA checked out. Since the Moors were black Arabics who lived in North Africa, I probably have a lot of Arabic in me. It would be soooo interesting to find out. I’ll probably find out that I’m a Mafia Princess! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

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