Blog of Oonah V Joslin -- please visit my Parallel Oonahverse at WordPress

where I post stories and poems that have not been seen elsewhere - also recipes and various other stuff.

and see me At the Cumberland Arms 2011

Friday, 28 March 2014

Food for Thought for Friday -- What was I doing with a sewing machine?

A woman about half my age with some very big veg.

I was recently having a clear-out and I decided to give away a sewing machine, which I had not used in fifteen years or so and hardly then, to a friend's daughter. A week or so later my friend came to visit me after my operation and along with some flowers, brought this crumpled photo.  It had been in the sewing machine box.

We'd gone down the The Eagle in Brynna, S Wales, our local at the time. It was August. My sister Esme was over with us on holiday and I had bought tickets for the Saturday Night Draw. One of the prizes was some giant vegetables that had won at the local show -- and here they are.

My little kitchen was busy for the next few days. Pumpkin Pie, Leek soup, Cream of Tomato Soup, Marrow and Ginger Jam, Vegetable Chutney... Somethings don't change.

Thing is that whilst these vegetables were impressively huge, none of them had much flavour! I did my best with them and the results were edible.

I hadn't seen this photo in years. Was I ever that young? (about 30). Was my hair ever that red? Did I really wear that horrible blouse? Where did that young teacher go? She looks nice. I don't remember her very well.

I remember we watched the Perseids out the back 'til about 1 am. Lots of shooting stars. I can almost taste them.
Life's like that.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Food for Thought for Friday -- Vernal Equinox

My favourite shrub Ribes is already in sweet bloom. Its raspberry-like flowers bright against the evergreen hedge.

Helibores, daffs and forget-me-not Jack Frost compete in the circle. Bits of colour brighten the border.
 I see a little rhubarb growing and the chives are up.    
Spring is with us :)

Friday, 14 March 2014

Food for Thought for Friday -- Sans Gall Bladder

And it's been a big week since last Friday. Having gone to the doctor and in much pain for 5 days, I was sent to the hospital's Surgical assessment unit. Nil by mouth and a scan later I found myself on Saturday's list!

How do you feel about having this surgery? asked the surgeon.
The words abject and terror came to mind but I recognised that fact that despite all my nice low fat diet food, my gallbaldder was determined to give me grief and it was at last time to part company. So Saturday about 4pm they wheeled me down.


The costume wasn’t becoming;

turquoise and blue dolly-mixture

gown – loose ties, open at the back.

But I wore it well.

I was glad they offered no mirror.

A furtive feel beneath crisp folds

told me my hands were cold.

I felt terror.

My feet were flight-sock warm,

constricted like the cuff of the machine

or the tight furled fronds of a yet unopened fern.

I breezed a joke or two.

Panicking, I emerged

out of  mist and half remembered fears. I heard clearly

my name. The reassurance of a cup;

that first blessed sip.

©2014 Oonah V Joslin

I had a very bruised arm and hand when I awoke. Ms Robinson, my surgeon told me it took 17 attempts to get a canualr into a vein. They kept collapsing. I AM my mother's daughter!!!
I am glad they put me under quickly as soon as they realised what was going on. I only felt the first try.

a week on

I am beginning to feel much better now and I will continue to eat low fat because otherwise not having a gall bladder there's nowhere to store it. The consequences can be -- unpleasant. But at least now I can have a wee treat now and then and along the way I have learned to cook in quite a different way and I have lost two stone in the process.

Thank you to the nurses, cleaners, surgical and assessment teams at Wansbeck Hospital, whose endless patience and tremendous skills helped me and so many others on a daily basis.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Food for Thought -- Life's Landmarks

Today is one of those times that makes you think and takes you back and makes you grateful you were born. You see this lady
Nina -- 1914 - 2003

was born 100 years ago today and without that event I would not be here and nor would Arthur, (Stuart d.1999) Annabelle, Margaret, Esme or Christine. And none of the children of those children and none of the grandchildren or greatgrandchildren -- Have we got to great great yet? I am not sure. But none of my stories or poems would have been written either.

She was 40 when I was born and I am not the youngest. And because there were so many of us I cannot claim that I knew her as I would have liked. I do know she would have loved to be a writer. English was her favourite thing at school and she just loved it when teacher said write a story. We had that in common she and I. I wish she could have read my stories and seen the work I do at EDP. She did see some of my early poetry. She didn't say much about it. That was not her way.

I wrote a poem about her several years ago. You can find it on page 60 - 61 The Ranfurly Review. 
Room for Living  Do take a look. But I think it is fair to say that a lot of who she was and what she gave me comes through in my writing.She led a good life.Was widowed at 45 and I haven't included three children who died as babies and several miscarriages. She kept going through thick and thin. Not much choice.

Mind you she had a good sense of humour -- schaddenfreund sort of humour but to be fair she laughed when she fell too!!She was tough. She had to be! And although sometimes I wish she could have been a little more affectionate, that was not in her nature and we always knew she knew us all as individuals and she loved us, every one.