High and low..

The garden is full of promise. I look high for Apple blossoms. When I find loads I think a little like Mr Homer Simpson,

…hmmm apple tarts. Bob, he looks low on the ground and finds  …strawberries and I know he adores ice cream, so he thinks of them.

Everyone is different but food does feature a lot in our lives, don’t you agree?

Our favorite things, by Bob & Ellie

Some of this list will not be a surprise to many people.

Bob’s top 5 favourite things

  1. A soft cushion to lie on – important for aging creaking bones – even if I sometimes roll off it.mde
  2. A bone to crunch on – the crunching reminds our two legged friends that we are still here.
  3. Sunshine and kids, – Sunshine provides much needed heat and the kids provide much needed treats. (M has me on a diet again.)
  4. Dinner – I dream in food in particular, strawberries.wp-image-1108616780jpg.jpg
  5. A hug – who doesn’t like a hug?

Ellie’s top 5 favourite things,

1 . She doesn’t care what size or colour but specifies there should be plenty of tennis balls

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2   Play time –

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3. Working, particularly in wooded areas

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4.  Boat trips, they come in handy for collecting lost in the river tennis balls.

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5.  Bob!

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Maria’s Stuff: On the topic of diets ….

The word “diet” never sat well with me. As a chunky teenager, I always felt – fat. But joining an athletic club, plus cycling to and from school soon slimmed me down. As a result of this experience I have always, had an interest in cooking, dietary requirements and exercise. I apologize if this sounds pompous but it is the truth, I like food and I like to think healthy, always have and hope I always will do so.

When I stopped coaching athletics in primary schools I decided this extra time should be devoted to me, getting fitter. The main reason is simply,  I volunteer with a rescue group and I don’t want the fact I am older than some of the crew mean I am automatically thought of as too old to crew a boat or use Ellie for tracking. So I started going to a gym for classes and this progressed to Cross fit which I am hooked on as it has made me more aware of flexibility core strength etc, which can only mean a fitter me.

Hisilicon K3

Birthday Burpees – what a way to celebrate your birthday.

However I suppose in my long-winded way, the point of this whole tale is in general people do not stretch themselves, we take the easy way out, as I did for years saying I walk every day so I am fit enough. Truth is I have learnt a lot about myself, my body and  about the correct way to eat, (for me) and would love to encourage everyone to do the same. There is no magical diet but there is a way to eat (diet) to suit each one of us given our body shapes, our past times and our budget. It simply takes time to discover it. What do you think?

Maria’s Stuff: Children’s story: Betty’s Do-whacky’s.

Betty is a Grandmother who loves inventing things.

“Gadgets, Do-wacky’s” she calls them.

Her inventions hang from the ceiling in her workshop.  Everything will be useful some day, Betty says. Especially, the wind powered dog walker and even the grass-growing timer.

Betty would love to invent a special car just for her.  A car, which will not collect great bumps and dents whenever she tries to park it. Until then, Betty cycles everywhere.

She is easy to find with her hair pulled into a high bun, which perches on top of her head like a small bird having a rest. Her eyes are large and dark brown. When she laughs, stars tumble from her eyes.

Baby-sitting and Bird Watching.

Betty was babysitting Jim.  She watched him carefully because, Jim loves trouble. Betty did not want any accidents.

Betty’s white cat Sourpuss was sleeping on the floor.

“W-h-a-t ?”  Jim, a very yoghurt faced Jim asked. He waved his spoon around. Dollops of yoghurt flew off his spoon and landed on Sourpuss.

“What indeed Jim!” Betty said. She stopped eating and put down her own spoon. Betty said,  “Well done, your first word. Say it again!”

“Whaaaattt?” he shouted.

Betty picked Jim up. She danced around the room hugging him. It was a hop, skip and jump dance over the toys on the floor.

Wouldn’t it be handy if I could just fly over all of this mess?  But I’d need a flying suit or gadget of some sort! Then an idea danced about in her head until a picture of it formed. “What a brilliant idea, – a flying suit.”

Later when a nice clean Jim was back in his own house, Betty began to work on her idea.   “How heavy could it be? ” Betty said aloud waving her hands in the air.  “I can imagine how it would feel to fly high with the birds. Splendid.”

Betty went outside. She looked up at the sky. “I need to study the birds for clues” she said to the blackbird sitting on her fence. He didn’t like the sound of that and flew off.  A floating feather gave her the answer.

“If humans had as many feathers as birds then they could fly couldn’t they?”

The Feather Hunt.

The group of children were fidgeting and whispering excitedly as they stood in Betty’s garden. Something great was about to happen.

“What do you want us to do?” the tallest of the children called Harry asked.  Harry was in a hurry to get back to his game boy.

“I need your help, please. To collect loads of feathers.”

“What type of feathers?” This was from Sara a very nosy little girl.

“Dog feathers,”her brother said digging her in the ribs.

Sara glared at him. “I meant what size? Big ones or little ones Betty?”

‘All sizes, types and colours, but only ones that have fallen off birds. You are not to chase the birds.’ She added this as she noticed Jonathon eyeing up a very fat pigeon waddling across the road.

They set off at a run. Feather pillows suddenly became featherless. The empty pillows were stuffed with the most unusual items, old socks (mostly of the smelly variety), sheep’s wool and Harry had a brain wave of filling the empty pillowcase with a cabbage from the garden.

Hen houses and hedgerows were searched. Trees were climbed and bird-cages were emptied. Betty found some feathers in the hedge where Sourpuss slept and she put them in a box inside her workroom.  She went to sleep that night dreaming of skies filled with flying children. Much safer than airplanes Betty decided before she fell asleep.

 The Flying Suit.

 

The next morning after a large breakfast of cereal, two hard boiled eggs and three slices of toast, all washed down with a pot of strong tea, Betty went to her workroom.

The sight of the large box stuffed with feathers, sitting at the door, was a surprise. Betty dragged the box indoors. She emptied it onto the floor. The feathers were all co lours and sizes, some were bright yellow, others were as dark as a lump of coal. Betty felt a tingle of excitement run through her. Taking her oldest boiler suit Betty began to cover it in feathers. She was no good at sewing so she was gluing them to the fabric. It was a sticky, tricky job.

At one o clock the back of the suit was covered in feathers. The wings were her next problem. Walking around her workroom she glanced up at the ceiling. There was the answer, – two old kites dangling above her.  Betty began to work again.

By nightfall Betty was hopping about with excitement. It was finished.

The suit looked strange but impressive. Betty wondered who might test it for her.

“I’ll do it.” Licking her lips and rubbing her hands together, she sensed an adventure about to happen.

Betty Goes Flying!

 

Betty woke the sun up. She pulled on loads of clothes, because, she was afraid the sun might forget to shine. On went her warmest jeans, thick socks, boots, two tee shirts, a huge woolly jumper and matching hat. Plonking her sunglasses on her head, she said, ‘I’m ready.’

Betty quickly loaded the suit on to her wheelbarrow. Pushing the barrow to the old barn in the field next to her house didn’t take long. She was huffing and puffing harder than any wolf blowing down a house. She looked about her for a moment or two.

‘How, and where, will I land?’ She looked about her.

The ground looked hard. The cows in a field beside her looked lumpy.

‘What I need is a nice soft landing pad.’ Betty opened the door of the barn and

smiled. Hay, lots and lots of hay! ‘I’d prefer to land with a bounce instead of a thud!’ She said making a giant hay bed in the field.

Her next job was to climb the ladder into the hay loft.  She looked from the barrow to the loft. It was a long way up. ‘Best have the suit on just in case I fall.’

Putting on the suit was hard. With a lot of wriggling and groaning, she managed it. Climbing the ladder was tricky. Her flapping wings kept getting in the way.

Standing on the upper floor of the barn Betty pushed open the upper door and looked out at the wide countryside before her. The sun, now awake and interested, was beaming down on her.  The ground looked a long way down.

‘I’m not too sure about this,’ she whispered.

A gust of wind came hurtling in through the doorway. The wind was singing as it neatly collected Betty on its way out.

She was tumbling along. Betty was flapping her arms up and down at a terrible pace.  She realized something important. It didn’t matter how fast she flapped her arms because it was the current of air, which was carrying her.

By now Betty was tired. Oh my, I need a rest, she thought. There was a huge roar beneath her. Looking down she saw a small airplane. I’ll take a lift on that, Betty thought and holding her wings by her side she dropped towards the plane.

Landing was a bit tricky and noisy as Betty kept shouting things like, “Mind my new wings you big galoot!” to all of the birds who came to watch. They were flapping about and getting in her way.

Finally there she was – sitting on the wing of the plane looking about her.  I wonder where my house is? Another question popped into her head. ‘How do I get back?’

The pilot couldn’t understand why one side of the plane was dipping slightly. The co-pilot could as he spotted Betty land. He was trying to speak.  His mouth didn’t work! He tried rubbing his eyes to make her disappear but it didn’t work. Betty was waving at him.

“There’s a granny sitting on our wing!” he spluttered.

The pilot chuckled, “What? A Granny on the wing, nonsense.”

But turning to look out of the window the pilot got a surprise. “Oh my.”

“What shall I do,?” the co-pilot asked.

“Ask her to buzz off, politely though, if she is like my own granny, we will be in trouble no matter what we say.”

He opened the window of the small plane and shouted in his most polite voice, “Excuse me. Would you mind, hopping off our wing and flying away?”

Betty stared at him. Was he stupid? she wondered. If she knew where to fly to then she would not be sitting on his plane. “Could you please tell me how to get to Ballytrickle?”

The pilot shouted back, “Two miles that way.”

“Thanks ever so much,” said Betty as she was sucked underneath the plane by a current of air. Turning towards the sun, which was hiding behind a cloud, Betty headed home. As she neared the barn she spotted a tiny toddler playing in his garden. She swooped down near him. He saw her coming and his mouth opened wide but no sound came from him. His toy car was made from plastic and very round. Instead of crashing on to its side, it wobbled for a bit. He started to cry!

“Sorry baby,” Betty said. The barn appeared before her. Seeing the giant bed of hay she aimed herself at it and closed her eyes. Landing was a very bouncy affair as she bounced from one part of it to another. She ran out of hay and rolled onto the ground. ‘Ouch!’ Betty sat up to look at the damage.  The left-wing was in tatters but Betty was in one piece.

“I did it!” She said to a bewildered looking cow. Then she put her suit back into the barrow and headed for home.

Time for an extra-large brunch, Betty might fly like a bird but she won’t eat like one, she thought.

“Rashers, sausages, egg and tea all for little old me,” she sang, as she walked. This was followed by an extra long nap.

Bob’s diary: An Ode to my love…

O, love of my life

you brighten my day

energize my body,

bring my senses to life,

fill me with delight

I thank you, O dinner

you are daily enjoyed

with heartfelt appreciation.

 

bob in wood final

 

Bob’s Diary: To cheer Maria up…

talking 1Yesterday was Mother’s day and though her two kids did an amazing job, cooking dinner and surprising her with some spectacular bird earrings. I know Maria still missed her own mum… so….

We decided to cheer her up by beginning our expedition plans to find that Ogre.

I’ve been watching Dora, and learnt a lot,

Looking for Dora the Explorer.

Looking for Dora the Explorer.

So I now know preparation is the key for finding a species, in this case an Ogre. We started by gathering together the following items:

stuff in barrow

1.  Food

 2. Fairy Cakes

3. In case of emergency phone

4. Binoculars

5. Food

6.  First aid kit and book.

7.  A silver star

8. –  We are still waiting on this one,  it is a map of the wood where he lives …until then we will  practice our drills…

talking 2

Ellie:  Hang on a moment, Bob. Why have we got a star?

Bob: all travellers know that if you are lost you can find your way by looking at stars, so we are bringing our own, just in case

ball on stick 1

Ellie: And a ball on a stick?

Bob: Its the old donkey thing, you know donkey being led by a carrot on a stick,

Ellie: No I don’t understand.

Bob: You are a collie/husky, you like balls, see I’ll show you..

donkey

Ellie: Nope sorry I don’t get it..

Bob: Don’t worry you’ll get the hang of it. We just have to pick the correct mode of transport to be pulled.

2nd veh

 Ellie: now that looks plain stupid.

Bob: which one?

3rd veh

vehicle 1

 

Ellie:  Hmm.. I don’t think you’ll get any donkey to pull any of those.

ellies final word

 

But I wouldn’t mind a drive in a Ferrari.

Bob’s Diary: Who let him in?

Friday, I had a great dream and a pretty nifty sleep,

bob sleep

then I noticed

bobs discovery

Him.       Who let the bear in?

ellie and bear

 Ellie wasn’t impressed either.

So….

circle the wagons

We decided to circle the wagons, tighten the defense line.

Above all protect… our dinners.

Bob’s Diary: 5 Wonderful things I accomplished yesterday.

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1.  I let Maria pet me for half an hour (she thought she was brushing me)

     – it lowers her stress levels.

2. I ignored Ellie and slept all afternoon.

3. I went for a walk

4. I ate all my dinner.

5. I helped exercise the neighbors scrawny cat.

Please tell – What did you accomplish?

Bob’s Diary: New Quest – Catching an Ogre

How to catch a scheming Ogre.

1.    Promise him the sun, moon and stars

2.     Don’t give him a straight answer just imply you will do everything he requests.

3.      Never mention money,

4.       Always smile and sympathise – even if you think he is the world’s best twat.

5.        Minions  (mine is called Ellie) come in handy for not only carrying out soon to be forgotten promises but also for taking the blame.

ellie and bob 007