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CFM Babs from Chorley FM


Writer's Cramp from an Impatient Gardener!

Posted by CFMBabs , 12 April 2009 · 1,026 views

It was so beautifully put by Barefut: writers we are! And we owe it all to Carrie, AKA Jefa, for making it possible for us to express our feelings in a blog and not making the whole thing an unreadable sham,which would be the situation in my case.

Not since high school has my English been more called for. It's a long time since I donned my school tie and skipped off merrily through the gates. That wasn't the case -- oh no! in fact I hated school and everything in the classroom, even the teachers and most of the pupils. I hated the school uniform, the shoes we wore (well they were like walking on bricks) and the whole scenario of a boring Math lesson with an equally boring teacher. Much has changed, thank goodness, since then. My best friend happens to be a teacher and now all I wish for is to go back and have the chance to listen more carefully.

I've had writer's cramp this week. It's not that nothing has happened, in my life something always does! I just kind of dried up like other things I have going on but I won't go into that! I've spent far too much time in the greenhouse and as a result I've got a sore finger, so much for green fingers, eh! It's red and cracked and I can't bend it, can you hear me snarling? Anyway my plants are doing well, Yay! and I'm well on my way to producing self sufficiency in the veg department. I find myself glued to the TV -- the gardening channel. My daughter walks out of the room in a huff as I switch channels from boom, boom na,na,na! to some old gardener with a limp and slow voice explaining the knack of pruning your plums! Funny but I remember doing the same when I was young -- how boring was a gardening programme then?

I've learned a lot -- who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks, or is it something you evolve into as you grow older? The need to grow plants and potter around in a greenhouse is definitely a plateau you reach in middle age, I reckon! I never saw myself going down that road and here I am, not only going down it but sweeping it as well, with mucky nails and sore finger to boot!

I sat in the greenhouse yesterday, marvelling at all the little seedlings and urging them to grow. You see that's just me -- impatient! If I could wave my magic wand they'd be growing faster than Jack's beanstalk but that's fiction I know, but what a pity!

You definitely need patience! I'm learning to calm down and not disturb the soil to see if the seed has split, but the suspense is killing me! If they don't come up in a couple of days, I'm hovering over the seed tray with two little voices in my head --"Go on have a look, you know you want to!" Then comes reason, "Don't peek, be patient, they'll emerge when good and ready!" I usually walk away at this point as the temptation is so strong but I'll be back an hour later to see if they've sprouted -- what am I like?

So I'm an impatient gardener and an almost dyslexic blogger. Carrie can you grow things as well because I need some help?


Whine By The Glass!

Posted by CFMBabs , 06 April 2009 · 867 views

Cheers! Barefut. Bottoms up! That whine certainly hit the spot! Oh how I empathise with you, although I no longer have that time of the month -- one less womany thing to worry about eh? I do however, have all the aches and pains of something we still share --Vintage Sclero!

The memory thing too has me wondering about my sanity. Things that I associated with the elderly or the absent mindness that a woman of a certain age falls victim too, are becoming too frequent for even me not to forget! I'm pinning my hopes on my age followed by sclero and hopefully not on the unmentionable word that won't go away since my mother died of dementia! Silly I know, to think that I may be going down the same road but when it happens to your nearest and dearest, there's always that nagging suspicion!

Battling with a cough and a nose which runs like a tap, I can also empathise with your situation. Do we not have enough to bear? Not only am I fighting battles of my own, but I'm battling my father's corner too! The fact that since September he's been at home no more than 5 weeks consecutively, then back into hospital for another dose of sympathy whilst I run around like the proverbial lap dog, visiting him and doing his laundry on a daily basis. Oh it's not that I mind, it's just that it's expected of me being the dutiful daughter. I drew a line under the present hospital stay because by my reckoning I was more needy of the bed than he was! Suddenly I'm the uncaring daughter who's duty to kneel before him is in question!

I'm just waiting for the first snide remark from his medical attendants then I'll let go! Do they realise that I run on rationed nuitrition and the fact that I may also be slightly ill. My dad has COPD so I'm not suggesting he's faking illness but loneliness certainly plays its part.

Thank goodness I no longer work for a living. I simply wouldn't have time to do all the things that are expected of me!


Tomato Bug

Posted by CFMBabs , 03 April 2009 · 1,040 views

I can't seem to shake off this cold! Just when I thought it was merrily on it's way; it came back worse than before and dare I say has ruined my chances of becoming a radio presenter for this week anyway! I could hardly air my croaky, bunged up voice, could I? So instead I'll cough and splutter my way around until I'm germ free.

I have no patience with anything. All I want to do is sit close by the fire and it's a real shame because we've just had the best week of sun for over a year! My poly tunnel is beckoning me -- a new addition to my garden as well as the green house. I have lots of plants waiting to be planted but I'm afraid they'll have to wait until I get the better of this bug.

My tomatoes and cucumber are all at seedling stage and coming on quite well. A few more weeks and they should have more leaves and be well on their way to planting in the green house or poly tunnel. I get quite excited at the prospect of home grown tomatoes. The smell is awesome and one I remember from being quite young. For me to reproduce that same smell will be a test of knowledge -- let's see how much I did learn and how closely I listened to the old master which was my Uncle John, who learned his ability to grow tomatoes from my Granddad (His Dad).

I kind of miss the constant visitors who came to buy his tomatoes, but he did have 4 large green houses full of plants. I can see them now, all in a line with just a little passage through the middle. They all seemed to be suspended in mid air-- on string! and the smell- Mmmm! Pounds of little red tomatoes swayed on branches as you passed by and I could never resist picking one or two as I went. They were so good it was like eating apples. Firm and juicy not soft and squidgy like the ones you buy in the shops -- and the taste -- like the strongest tasting fruit exactly as they smelled -- tomato! no mistaking.

If I can re create that same smell in my green house then it's a tribute I'm willing to pay to my family of tomato growers. I've managed to get 50 or so seedlings from one packet of seed, more than enough to fill my green house. I guess we'll be eating tomatoes all summer long and I can't think of anything better -- can you?


Bunged Up!

Posted by CFMBabs , 01 April 2009 · 988 views

So much for blowing my nose through a forest of tissue paper-- this cold is wearing me down. I'm bunged up, can't breathe and I sound like I've had a helium blast on account of my nose not performing. It could not have come at a worse time! I know that there's never a good time to catch a cold but when I'm on the brink of stardom in my own right, I'm gonna sound pretty awful on the radio!

It's an old cliché -- "It might be hayfever." A good example but I don't and never have had hayfever! It's just a common cold and I know that in a couple of days I'll be more like myself again, even though I've had this nuisance for over a week! My daughter just rang from college.

"Bumm, hav got a cold, by dose is blocked up -- all your fault!"

My squeaky voice echoed down the line. "Dever bind love, just keep blowing your dose -- ab sorry for givin it to you!"

Of course my hubby has had a much worse dose. You'd think he was suffering the Bubonic Plague with all the moaning he's done. Demanding chicken soup was one thing but I warned in advance that I would not mop his brow!

A lovely day in prospect. The place to be is outdoors with my germs instead of breeding them in here. I could always potter around in the greenhouse this afternoon and watch the world go by. My tomatoes need thinning, so too my beetroot. What a way to while away a few hours and think of Greece -- Hey! I haven't mentioned Greece for ages, so there, I just did!


Greenhouse Sanctuary

Posted by CFMBabs , 31 March 2009 · 921 views

I'm having a bad day! You know it's gonna be bad when the blog I've been writing for half an hour, disappears in one click. Argghh, no! I can't be bothered writing it again!

I'm suffering from a cold --- sinusitis actually. I resemble a mucous projecting monster and speak like by dose has a clamp on id! But I saw Barefut's blog and her envy of my greenhouse and it sort of perked me up a bit knowing that I may have introduced a fellow blogger into a botanical and horticultural pastime --- yes the greenhouse is a very handy retreat!

When I've had enough of the world (or enough of my better half that is), it's sanctuary to sit and cool off however ironic that sounds. In my case it does both: my temper cools off, my hands and feet warm up -- what more could you ask? My little chair placed with enough room to stretch out and enjoy!

Having a greenhouse is a "must have" if you suffer from Raynaud's. It not only provides warmth but a break from doing nothing constructive. At the end of the day you may have an array of goodies -- if the slugs don't have them first -- and an attractive display for your friends to envy.

I think they should be available on prescription. Gone are the days when you thought the greenhouse was for grandparents and their prize dahlias. It's a health tonic and lifesaver!


Growing Pains

Posted by CFMBabs , 30 March 2009 · 1,014 views

The sun shone and out came the masses. I've never seen so many folk wandering around in one day as I did yesterday. I think the bad winter drove everyone deep into their caves and the general feeling is one of hope and feeling the sun on your skin.

I was very much in the limelight yesterday; surprising how much attention one gets whilst in the garden. I wasn't exactly in the garden all day though; for most of it I was down the road with my spade and a bag full of bulbs to plant. My idea that next spring and indeed through the summer, there would be a parade of colour against the new fence.
My biggest problem was setting about doing it! Every time I stuck my spade in the soft ground a car full of people stopped and asked if I was doing a spot of planting? Well why else would I be stood, not in Sunday best but in boots, old jumper and pants that had seen better days, holding a bag of daffodil bulbs in one hand, spade in the other, if I wasn't about to plant something. Sometimes you have to wonder if nosiness is just all it was or we have a nation of empty heads!

I must admit that I resembled a scarecrow; perhaps they were just a bit curious -- but as the day went on I grew tired of people asking questions; even if I was about to grow something in my greenhouse. By 3pm I was the village celebrity, "She's about to grow something!" By 5pm I gave up, came indoors and wondered why I'd bothered entertaining the masses for free -- who needs local radio?

Today we have rain -- good news for the plants I managed to get in the ground -- and by all accounts I may get something done today. My tomatoes are growing, cucumbers are well on their way and I've put in peas,
carrots, cauliflower and celery. My potatoes are ready to plant so I might just sneak round the back, if no one is looking and put them in cautiously before anyone sees me.

My biggest problem is picking out the seedlings. I reckon I lose most of the packet trying to grab them with my stupid fingers. My trick is now to use more trays and less seed in each one so I can get them out easily.

I think the old term of "Growing Pains" describes my situation quite well!


Never Give In

Posted by CFMBabs , 27 March 2009 · 913 views

I was asked to do a radio stint -- me to do a show?
I'd been doing it some years now so I couldn't say no!
Me to sit in the hot seat broadcasting on the waves
Who knows what new horizons this little action paves?
Okay, I have scleroderma but no one will ever see
I'm just a voice on the airwaves, little ole me

So I place the headset over my ears and then begin to speak
The microphone quite close to me, I watch the needle peak
I hear the music playing, my voice is loud and clear
It's kind of surreal me just sitting here
I'm talking away to no one, yet thousands hear my voice
I have to play the music of everybody's choice

I can't believe I'm sat here doing my own bit
They said I was done for, can't work -- not fit
Yet here I am in media, something I've never done
It's like a little battle fought and know that I have won
You're never too old to party, show an old dog new tricks
Well let me tell you folks I'm a DJ who lays bricks
I've built my own cottage, and so far made it through
Don't ever let the doctors tell you what you cannot do

I sit back at the table for I am mighty proud
See I told you that you can never be too owd
And if you think you're done for -- never ever give in
Coz each day dawns a battle waiting for you to win


Miss Pronunciation!

Posted by CFMBabs , 26 March 2009 · 946 views

I'm gonna have to be careful with my lingo over the next few weeks. What can a person do when she can no longer eat, drink or make merry? -- swear; that's it that's my only vice!

Of course others would disagree but overall I don't think I'm that bad of a person. Okay, my accent may be a bit strange -- certainly strange if you're not from the UK! My "A's" sound much like "H's" No good when you're on the radio live on hair! I actually said this last week -- can you believe? I said "Beat some hair into it" I was referring to making a cake and hair was not on the list of ingredients. I think I need some elocution lessons!

The DJ had some problems with my simnel cake.
"Simmer cake" she said.
"No, simnel" I said.
"Simner" she asked again.
"No -- S I M N E L" I spelled back.
"Oh! Simel" she smiled!
"Oh forget it, It's a fruit cake with marzipan" I clarified.

It was quite a funny sketch, quite unrehearsed -- there with her posh DJ accent and me with my unpronounceable simnel cake, made good listening if you're from Lancashire, it's the DJ they don't understand!

I try and pronounce my English slowly but it sounds worse when you're trying to be someone you're not. And that's where DJ training will come into it. I think I have to develop a rather nasal approach and speak rather quickly with a bit of gobble-de-gook thrown in. Most of the DJ's I currently sit with, chew the microphone and sway on the chair whilst talking -- is this the specified requirement I wonder?
Usually the desk will light up with all manner of bulbs and then the phone goes wild -- how do you concentrate with all this mayhem?

One feature I will be introducing is Compost Corner and 80's 90's and Now; Compost Corner being a humourous take on gardening by my personal gardener Bill Tuttle -- fictitious of course! And the 80's 90's and Now run down -- 3 songs from that era back to back.

It all kicks off tomorrow when I begin my training. On air from 11 and then back next week co-presenting a show. After that I'm on my own -- oh, my! Then the fun will really start!

Do they know what they've let themselves in for?


Radio Ga Ga!

Posted by CFMBabs , 25 March 2009 · 997 views

The phone rang constantly yesterday, in fact I lost circulation in my arm just keeping the receiver raised to my ear. When my my mobile rang too I let out a small scream of desperation! luckily it was a number I recognised from the radio station and happened to be that of a DJ's private cell phone, so I knew it was a call I must take.

I wasn't prepared to hear that I'd been chosen to host my own show. There was some talk about it long ago but I either didn't fit the criteria or it had simply slipped their minds I will never know but here I am panicking wondering what to do for my first show? I repeated myself several times, "I need some training." It's not all about playing tunes you know -- there's a deck with computers and all manner of switches just waiting to be pushed.

My hubby thinks it's just a matter of spinning a record. It's at that point that I remind him of his 50 years; he lives so far in the past, I'm sure he thinks we use vinyl 45's and 78's! Well since we are a local station without funding and most of the DJ's have certainly past their sell by dates and given the fact that we are volunteers, I can forgive him for thinking we use terms such as "Fan Dabby Dozy!" or "Groovy Tune, Man!" I may even throw in some floral shirts, moustaches, bell bottom pants and neon lights but this is not a 70's disco show!-- I always knew I had a face for radio though.

The deck looks more like the controls of the Starship Enterprise and we have a "Scotty" to boot! He's one of the DJ's on the Sunday show. I might just be screaming, "Beam me up!" by the end of the day! So you see it's not as easy as you think, this old radio job. I may be creaking a bit and I'm a bit grey around the edges but I intend to rock the place and I hope the listeners take kindly to me!

So what do you talk about for 3 hours! Mostly rubbish and things you never needed to know! I don't even know what the number one chart tune is at the moment -- no doubt I will find out! My forte has to be the eighties, it was kind of my era and fortunately there is renewed interest in music of that period. I can't do a whole show of Duran Duran or Spandau Ballet, though, so I'll have to catch up to date with my daughter's prized CD collection.

On the whole my hubby thinks it's quite cool to have a wife on the radio! My daughter just shrugs with embarrassment. I'm fairly sure she won't tell her friends -- I think she thinks I've finally gone round the bend! And with that I heard a great statement yesterday which kind of makes me empathise with it. Man flicks through his wedding album with his son. Son says, "Is that the day mum came to work for us?" I thought it summed it up quite well, although I think I'd add my bit and say, "No that was the day he won the lottery."

Now where did I put that Donny Osmond LP?


Nosey Neighbour Gets More Than Bargained For

Posted by CFMBabs , 24 March 2009 · 944 views

My nearest neighbour is three fields away, lucky you I hear you say! I'd go as far as to say we have no neighbours and sometimes it's a good job that we don't -- imagine living next door to a menagerie and a self styled DIY-er; I shudder at the thought and we happen to be the perpetrators.

Well considering that our neighbours are three fields away due south it's not surprising that we hardly know anything about them. We've got as far as their name and would recognise them if we happened to meet but that's about as far as it goes. I nearly crashed my car this morning when I saw a huge "For Sale" sign in the field as I passed. Not only is the house for sale but the land too and stating that it is potential building land. YIKES! My land lies directly besides theirs and is far bigger and dare I say more picturesque! I raced to the college in order to get back quickly to see if I was mistaken -- I'm not!

Now I'm not a Hooray Henry type conservationist but this is a sad day. It's not the fact that I shall have neighbours closing in on me, they'll still be three fields away, but it's another chunk of rural England being ripped up. My hubby's eyes lit up with pound notes when I told him the news, the fact that our land is now considered more of the same and eligible for development, got him making plans in his head far removed from roses round the door!

No doubt there will be much controversy and I for one will object -- my hubby will be well on the other side of the fence; the fact that he keeps muttering millions, is scaring me! I thought he was going to hand his resignation in at work the way he predicted the future at lunchtime, and when my daughter realises what it could mean for us, she'll have her coat on already, dreaming of shopping and fast cars!

I did a really sneaky trick, well you would if you were me I'm sure? I rang the estate agent and asked for a price, pretending I was a potential buyer. I'll stop the blog right here because my action as proverbial nosy neighbour has shook me to my boots. My head is buzzing and the likeliness to join my hubby over the fence is ever more tempting. Those millions my hubby had in his head weren't far out, put it this way, I couldn't buy that place if I won the lottery and it would take something like that to purchase it -- what on earth is our place valued at then?

I said I was going to end the blog and I am! I'll go and stick my head in the sand somewhere and hope it all goes away! -- Can I open my eyes now?

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