Posted by: tabliope | November 26, 2020

Essential Xmas Songs

Thanks to zungg I have something to blog about today because in one of the comments he asked about my essential xmas songs. For me it’s all about sentimentality and memories of people and places.

I’d start with Away in a Manger to remind me of all those nativity plays I have sat through over the years, either for work or for family. Many years ago one of my nieces was a shepherd and she stood on the edge of the stage and shouted that she didn’t want to go to Bethlehem, then sat down and refused to move.

Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt. My father-in-law had bought this record as a present for his new wife, my mother-in-law and it was brought out every xmas. Modern life meant that we had it later on CD. After he died we worried about playing it at xmas but it was all fine.

Silent Night/Stille Nacht

Germany does Xmas extremely well and I used to love hearing this being played in the markets every year.

Little Drummer Boy

Particularly because of how it is used in this episode of the West Wing. Gloriously sentimental.

Jona Lewie Stop the Cavalry

This song divides people and I know many people who hate it but I like to hear it and it signifies the start of the Xmas season when I hear it for the first time.

Sleigh Ride – The Ronettes.

jolly and good fun

Once in Royal David’s City

When we’re doing the preparation on Xmas eve we usually have Carols from Kings on the radio and this is the processional hymn (as it is for most CofE carol services) and it starts so gently with one chorister then builds strongly through the verses. It’s the one carol Mr T is happy to sing.

Now all I want for Xmas is for Zungg to start blogging again.

Posted by: tabliope | November 25, 2020

Ask a busy person …

The less I have to do then it seems the less I am able to do. I’m struggling with these last few days of our lockdown because I don’t have anything that I HAVE to do. Once I’d gone through my lists of assignments, errands, voluntary jobs and etc then I simply wound down and even writing a blog post felt like such.a.chore.

I’ve given myself loads of chores this lockdown like a really tough boss saying you really need to do this. And I’ve done it all but now I’ve reached the limit and I need to be doing something to someone else’s time for a while so I’m really glad that I can get back to the bookshop next week and have something else to moan about.

Posted by: tabliope | November 24, 2020

And in ‘what’s new today?’

Yes, we’re still admiring the hallway; along with this I wander in and out of the dining room to see how sumptious it looks with its beautiful dark red walls. There’s a DIY chain that mixes all the fancy colours so when I chose the Farrow and Ball Refectory Red we buzzed straight to B&Q and got them to mix it up for a fraction of the price. I have no idea why one paint company is more expensive than another and when I spoke to a decorator about this the explanation made my eyes glaze over and I have little memory of it.

As part of my good works in the community I went to the local hospital pharmacy today to collect a prescription for an elderly lady who is shielding. There were very few people in the waiting rooms and only a few chairs spaced out so no one would be next to anyone. Hand santizer every few yards with incident tape blocking off various entrances. Whilst it felt very odd, it also felt quite safe.

It’s dusk, the sky is grey and my lamps are on but I am keeping my curtains open until it gets very dark.

Posted by: tabliope | November 23, 2020

Have we reached the end of November yet?

I feel like the 4-year-old in the back of the car asking when we’re going to get there. Writing a blog post a day is pretty strong but doing it during a lockdown is difficult when we are doing nothing.

I say we’re doing nothing but I have managed to sort surds out and I’m really rather pleased about that. My interior design skills were let loose and we finally have a lovely hall and dining room. Paint is great, it changes so much. Our hall is amazing because I moved all the coats and shoes that hung on the pegs and moved them to the under stairs cupboard, removed the pegs and got Mr T go paint the wall and there’s a sweet little table with a plant on it and now I can appreciate my beautiful Edwardian hallway.

Other than that we aren’t doing much at all other than admiring the hallway

Posted by: tabliope | November 22, 2020

Desert Island Discs

Every single time I listen to Desert Island Discs I find myself distracted by what my eight discs would be. Me me me me and more about me. It changes all the time but I’m going to write a list now and see how I feel about it an a few months. It’s not like I’m ever going to be invited on to Desert Island Discs so it’s not too important. The deal is that you choose 8 discs, a luxury item and a book. You are given the Bible and the complete works of Shakespeare.

Baby I love You – The Ramones

Anchorage – Michelle Shocked

Teenage Kicks – The Undertones

Piano Concerto No 5 in F Minor – JS Bach (it’s from Hannah and her Sisters)

I saw her standing there – Beatles

The Colours of Christmas – John Rutter

Four Strong Winds – Neil Young

You’re my World – Cilla Black

They’re not particularly favourites but some of them are ones I imagine singing along to on my desert island because no one will be able to hear how awful a singer I am. It’s impossible to choose a book because it would be like choosing your favourite child, but if forced then I’d go for George Orwell and hope I’d be allowed the collected works otherwise I’d have Down and Out in Paris and London or A Clergyman’s Daughter.

And my luxury item? A few years back it would definitely have been cigarettes but I can’t imagine a time where I would ever want to smoke again so I’d ask for a supply of red wine. I’d prefer white but I probably wouldn’t have a fridge on my desert island.

Posted by: tabliope | November 21, 2020

Small Kindnesses

There’s a poem by Danusha Lameris which I see frequently and I like it enormously. I like the sentiment of it and I like small kindnesses. My day is always made better by someone doing something for me that is relatively minor but that they don’t have to do; a smile, a compliment, cheerfulness, anything really. I try very hard to do the same and that always makes me feel better in some way.

Paradoxically the #BeKind movement filled me with rage, perhaps because they’d hijacked something that so many of us have been doing perfectly well for years.

Small Kindnesses

I’ve been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say “bless you”
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. “Don’t die,” we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don’t want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, “Here,
have my seat,” “Go ahead — you first,” “I like your hat.”

Posted by: tabliope | November 20, 2020

It has come to this…

…blogging about my lunch. We had some lovely Brie for lunch today; it was at its very best, squidgy ripe and tasty. It could be scooped rather than sliced. I’m not sure what qualifies as a good Brie, this was just from the supermarket rather than from a specialist Brie monger but it was lovely. In preparation for Brexit, it was from Somerset so not really sure that it qualifies as Brie at all but it was very good.

I suspect that if I’d had children I’d have been a bit like this mother

Posted by: tabliope | November 19, 2020


If this was a film then the critics would have piled on by now saying what a travesty it was to continue the cycle and we should have been left on a high after the end of Lockdown! It’s getting dark earlier, it’s cold and that wonderful weather of the first lockdown is hard to remember. I had to have a very serious talk with myself the other day because I just couldn’t be bothered to do anything. This is in a house with so many books, my piano and other assorted hobbies that lie abandoned. We live in a beautifully green area with a river 5 minutes away and wonderful walks but I couldn’t find any enthusiasm. Anyway after reminding myself how much I did have I went for a walk and got a grip while I was out there.

Posted by: tabliope | November 18, 2020

In Pope is Catholic news..

According to an old pal of hers Ivanka Trump is obsessed with status. I’m not sure what any old school friends of mine would have to say; she talked too much and told stupid jokes. Maybe it’s just as well I never became famous, or perhaps it’s actually cause and effect.

Posted by: tabliope | November 17, 2020


Today I have to wait for a delivery and I’ve got a time window of 4 hours when it may be delivered. My best use of this time is tidying our study, shredding old papers and organising the bookshelves. It’s going well; I discovered all my old workbooks from when I was learning Greek so spent a little while trying to see what I could remember. I could order us dinner and tell people I’m married. Then I found lots of German stuff; I could do a whole lot more with that and I’m always a bit annoyed with myself for not keeping my German going. Must try harder.

As ever, I blame the fact that everything is a mess on the fact that we don’t have sufficient storage or the right type of storage. And not that I’m easily distracted and not a completer finisher.

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