Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Watching the world go by

I've just seen something very sad. An elderly lady who lives up the street and round the corner, walked past my window. Why is that sad? She didn't have her dog with her. Every morning she has been walking past with her dog, I see her in the street and give the dog a treat, she has had him since he was a puppy. Three weeks ago she had to have him put to sleep, he was developing all sorts of ailments as older dogs do. It wasn't fair to keep him going. Last week I spoke to her, she shed a tear and so did I.

The lady herself has not been well, needing hospital treatment, but she is still a bit shaky on her legs. She walks quite slowly, but at least she is making the effort to get out, walking around the block for the exercise, even without her dog.

Sitting at my table I can glance up from what I am doing and see people passing my window. The same people pass every morning. B walks by, taking Scruff for a walk. A rather portly man goes to the shop for his newspaper. He used to have difficulty walking and was rather nervous about the possibility of falling down, but now he has one of those push along frames on wheels and it's given him a lot of confidence. There's no stopping him now. Mr Z from up the road goes to fetch his paper also. He uses a stick to steady himself, as does another elderly gentleman from across the road as he goes for his paper.

Sometimes a delivery van pulls up and the driver knocks on a neighbours door. I watch to see if anyone answers. If there is no one in I go out and offer to take the parcel in, it saves the driver having to take it back and try again another day. They have enough work to do as it is, with 100 deliveries and collections each day.

We have a man in the village who goes round with a mower cutting people's grass. It is a summer job for him and he has regular customers. Sometimes he walks by my window pushing his mower, sometimes he has it in a barrow if he has to carry other garden tools as well. When he is busy and the grass is growing like crazy he has someone to help him.

I see dog walkers passing my window, they look to see if I am around and give me a wave. Dexter is a beagle, and Bog is a big gangly dog like a wolfhound. Lulu and George come past, and if Charlie the spaniel is in his garden across the road he runs along the fence barking like crazy. Bog doesn't come past very often now. his owner says he doesn't want to walk very far now he is getting on a bit, and is happy to stay in his garden. When I am walking that way I call in and see how he is. Sometimes I see Bailey the poodle going past, or Lady dragging her owner along, ha ha.

On a school day the mums with their little ones pass my window on their way to school. Sometimes the kiddywinks are walking, sometimes they are on their scooters or bikes. All are safety conscious as they are clad in the latest helmets, gloves, and brightly coloured clothing. They rush along ahead of their mum's and are told to wait at the end of the road. The bigger kids walk to the end of the road and wait for the bus to take them to the big school two miles away. They always seem to have their shoulder bags dangling around their knees, must be very uncomfortable, it must be the fashion. I wonder if they have bruised knees. I remember having a satchel to carry my school books about. Mum couldn't afford a nice leather one, I had to have a cheap canvas bag.

I live a few house into a cul de sac, it's a dead end road, so everyone at the bottom end has to come past my house when they come and go. Ha ha, guess who has just come past, J the grass cutting man. He was pushing his mower with one hand and pulling his barrow with the other. He will be trying to get his cutting done while the sun is out, before the rain comes again.

In the afternoon the postman comes along, pulling his cart. We used to get a delivery every morning, but since they re jigged the rounds we get two men coming in a van and they do the whole village of about 1,000 houses. They move the van around and park in several different places, coming back to it to refill their carts.

Very occasionally I look up to see a huge 40 ton truck pass my window, and I know for a fact that the driver will have great difficulty getting out. The turning circle at the bottom end is not really big enough to get round, and they end up churning the grass verge up. Oh, I know their feelings of panic very well. It is usually foreign drivers who make the mistake of coming down here. They are usually following their sat nav. I always rush out to help, and if the driver does not understand the directions I am trying to give him I will get in my car and say follow me, then take them to where they want to be. Some of them are miles away from their delivery point, but as we are surrounded by weight limits it is a bit confusing for them.

There is a mix of all ages around me which is what I like. It's nice to pass the time of day with retired people like myself, and also chat to the young ones when I walk about with dogs or do a litter pick. I see we have some Chinese people recently moved into the village, I think they are relatives of the people who own the Chinese takeaway. They walk backwards and forwards past my house. I don't personally buy food from there, but it does seem quite popular at teatime.

So there is a snippet of village life, the view from my window.

I will sign off now, I have things to do. Before I go, someone asked about Welshcakes. They are made in Narbeth, South Wales, by Tan y Castell Foods, and have sultanas and currants in them. They may be eaten from the pack, or microwaved and served with butter of jam, or you could put cream or ice cream on them. They come six in a pack. Mine is priced at £1.75, I paid just 20p. Here is the link to more information.
Catch you tomorrow. Toodle pip

Adding a PS to this post. On the way out today, in my car, I found the postman and gave him a packet of Welshcakes. I really shouldn't eat two packets anyway. He was chuffed, said he would share with the other postman when they stopped for their break. I was chuffed that he was chuffed.
   

25 comments:

  1. How kind of you to hop in your car and show them where they need to go. If only more people were as thoughtful the world would be a better place. Can't comment on the pets as it makes me cry x

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  2. It's heart breaking that the lady's dog is gone....so sad. I lost my little guy, Rowdy 3 years and I feel the pain daily. It is very interesting to watch the world go by!

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  3. We have lived in 4 houses all were cu-de-sacs. I like cul-de-sacs because you get to know people, people who walk past are all familiar, you soon spot a stranger or an unfamiliar car, so I think it is better for security. I felt a bit choked for the lady who's dog has passed. They do keep you going, they force you to get out everyday. I am reading a book called 'Anxiety for Dummies', one of the tips was to get a dog! They are good for our mental and physical health. Never seen Welsh cakes before but will keep a look out and try them, sounds delicious. Debbie

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  4. Ilona,
    Your bit of the world sounds wonderful. You have an excellent spot to watch and interact with the world going by, I wouldn't give that up either!! We get little traffic going by our house. It says so much about you that you know and wave or speak to so many of those going by. Well written and so descriptive. Thank you for sharing your view with us.

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  5. Enjoyed the snippets of life in your neighbourhood ~ having lived in the same house for 20 years, I also have seen changes as families have moved in or out ~ It's good that you are so community oriented and helpful :)

    Your previous post had me thinking back when I used to drink coffee ~ I also liked coffee whitener until I learned what was in it. I found the following on google ~
    "Not only is there no "cream" of any kind in Coffee-Mate's Original Powder, but there are also no natural food ingredients whatsoever - they are really nothing more than a crafty blend of toxic chemicals." Wondering what your thoughts are on that.
    Liz

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    1. Hi Liz. Most of the ingredients on some of the food I buy have lengthy lists of what's in it. I try to choose wisely, but don't bother to read every packet, jar, box, or tin. For instance, this jar of tartar sauce I am dipping into has a Polish label on it. I haven't the foggiest idea what's in it, but I like the taste of it. Although I try and eat healthily, I am sure that some obnoxious chemicals must find their way into my body. When I drop down dead then that is the time to start worrying.

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    2. I don`t think you`d worry anymore after dropping down dead, Ilona. I know that I wouldn`t worry after dropping down dead, lol.

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  6. Hi Ilona, Jane at Technobillies here... I had to put that because my Google account is now different and I wasn't sure you would recognise me - technology is not really my thing... I'm the 'billies' side of things lol... anyway, I wanted to say how lovely this post is. I have been transported back to a village in Britain and I even started to feel a little nostalgic for 'home' ... this is the first time I have felt that way since I left 18 months ago. xx Thank you for this.

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    1. Hello Jane, I didn't mean to make you homesick. I have been reading your blog and you seem settled there. I think we can all make a wonderful life for ourselves, wherever we choose to live. It's all in the mind.

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    2. I agree with you. You could make your home anywhere as long as you make the effort to learn the language and integrate with the local population. Just speaking from my own experience.

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  7. Hi, I'm so happy to be able to subscribe to your blog by email now. Is that new? I may not have noticed it when I have been to the website before.

    I've really enjoyed reading your posts.

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    1. Hi Sherri, I added that feature a few months ago, glad you find it useful.

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  8. Oh, coffee mate, have you looked whats in it? It might have a nice taste but it's made with non food toxic stuff, there was a big hoo ha about it a while ago. I've not had it since, I thought what am I doing eating as healthily as possible then ingesting toxic poison voluntarily. Have a look at the label Ilona you'll soon lose your taste for it. Gwen

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  9. Love the glimpse into village life! So glad that you look out for your neighbors.
    I live in the country, so don't have any really close neighbors...both a blessing and a curse perhaps. :D

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  10. What a great post. I enjoyed hearing about the comings and goings along your road. Do you remember the Joanie Mitchell song " Morgantown"? It reminded me of that somehow.

    So sad for the lady who lost her dog.

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  11. Really enjoyed reading about your slice of life Ilona.
    Wendy (Wales)

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  12. Beautiful post today Ilona. X

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  13. You just need a pic of the view!

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    1. Hi Anon. Best not to post post any photo's of the immediate area around my house for security reasons. I did once, from my bedroom window, when the snow was on the ground and all the identifying features were covered. There have been pics of my back garden, and my village, but I'd rather not give clues as to the exact location of my house.

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    2. I understand completely.

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  14. This was just lovely! If the snow ever melts here, i'll be able to watch the comings and goings through my window, too. Thanks for sharing!

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  15. I love coffee mate in coffee only reason I don't buy it is cause bit pricy for me just lately been having 3 teaspoons of cream in coffee instead of milk it's delish my once a day treat sometimes two :) Louise

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  16. Thank you for a view out your window. I really enjoyed reading about all the people who pass by during the day. I wish I had some Welsh cakes right now - they are delicious.

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  17. Mary in Perth Australia9 April 2014 at 09:01

    I loved reading this little insight into your morning. It reminds me a bit of my sister's village in Leicestershire, and I take myself there in my daydreams when I'm feeling a little homesick. Love that you know all the dogs and their owners. How nice to look after each other too.

    I am really enjoying your blog.

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  18. I went past Narberth, home of the Welshcake, twice a few weeks ago on my way to Milford Haven. I decided to go through mid Wales and all was well until i got into Haverfordwest where there was a sign for a 14'9'' bridge and my trailer was 15'3" so i had to turn back and go the other way round.
    I used to use coffee mate when i used to do nights away, it mixed in better than marvel which went lumpy and taking fresh milk wasn't practical unless you bought a £400 truck fridge.

    We live on a main road near a busy junctionso there's lots of people passing by and the added entertainment of the occasoinal crash. It always follows the same pattern, they crash, get out, look at the damage, start argueing and pointing with their arms flailing around and then start wandering around whilest on their mobiles. Never a dull moment.
    Dave.

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