What has happened to singing while we work, Our brains need constant stimulation, Hearing loss symptoms, Give an old geezer a camera and a Spanish Tortilla recipe, ready in 20 minutes

Hello – hope you are all enjoying your retirement and finding many activities to keep you occupied.  There’s so many things to do and see and many tell me the are busier now than when they are working.  However, unfortunately some of our number are not so well and I want to send special good wishes to one of my readers, Joan Blain, who has had MS for more than 40 years.  She has taken a bad fall and broken both her legs and has some internal bleeding.  I’m in contact with her daughter so hope for some positive news soon.

What has happened to singing while we work

I wonder do you remember your parents singing or whistling while they went about their chores.  As a child I lived in a small cottage in the High Street and in the early morning you could hear men walking by whistling or humming.  My mum could always recognise who they were and would comment saying ‘……. is a bit late this morning’ or other such comments.  My paternal grandma was always humming or singing hymns.  We lived next door to her for most of my childhood and I can’t remember an actual conversation with her.  In later years I understood that she was very deaf and found it hard to communicate so singing must have been her outlet.  My mum loved all the old hymns, especially those of Ira D. Sankey.  To diverse Sankey was an American  Gospel Singer (Born 1840).  His most popular Sacred Songs and Solos, widely known as “Sankey & Moody” are still in use today.  Mum’s housework was always accompanied by one of these hymns sung with vigour.

Are we now too embarrassed to sing out loud or do we rely on the radio or other popular devices to uplift our spirits.  I suspect that’s the case.

Our brains need constant stimultion

Has anything new inspired you recently.  I know our brains need constant stimulation so what about trying to learn Arabic.  Spoken by nearly half a billion people, one of six official languages of the United Nations, Arabic is the fifth most spoken language in the world and is fast becoming a mainstay of international communication.   It’s probably a crazy idea but a language school named LanguageConvo are offering a free trial – dare I press the button to have a go.  I’ll let you know in my next post.  In the meantime post a reply about what’s inspired you recently. 

Hearing loss symptoms

I subscribe to Silversurfers – over 50’s lifestyle and news website from the UK and thought you may be interested in a list of hearing loss symptoms discussed in a forum.  Hearing loss runs in my family and when I was told I needed a hearing aid I absolutely hated the idea.  I must admit to not wearing my aid all the time.  Fortunately I was able to be fitted with one that sits inside the ear and is not easily visible and has three settings.  My biggest problems come when I am with a group of people so I just have to wear the aid otherwise I miss what is being said.  This admission will cause a few smiles from people who know me !!

Here’s an exert from the article:

Hearing loss is something that affects most people eventually but social stigma around it means the average person takes about 10 years after they notice the first symptoms, to seek help.¹

Untreated hearing loss can make understanding conversations and joining in more difficult, which can lead to stress, social isolation and even depression. Recent studies have also shown a link between hearing loss and the development of dementia in older adults.

Here are some of the common signs of hearing loss. If you recognise any of these situations in yourself, or someone you know it would be a good idea to book a hearing test.
* You have the TV or radio volume uncomfortably loud for other people
* You find It difficult to hear dialogue in the cinema or theatre
* Telephone conversations are hard work
* You ask people to repeat things or misunderstand what they say
* You have difficulty following conversations in groups
* You feel isolated because you cannot hear properly
* You avoid situations that you used to enjoy because of the way you hear
* Someone suggests you might not be hearing as well as you need to



Ken has produced a medley of his outings over the past year which I thought you may enjoy.  I have already posted some of these in their entirety in the past, so you may need to fast forward here and there.  He so enjoys his camera and making short films, it’s a great hobby for, as he puts it,  an old geezer.  It seems many men find it hard to adapt to life after full time work, so a camera is a good opportunity to get out and about.



Spanish Tortilla

Though Spanish Tortilla is a great brunch dish, it can also be cut into smaller pieces to make a nice little appetizer or tapas for a party.  Either way, it is a great dish that takes very little time to cook and only 10 minutes to prepare.  Serves 4.


* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 1 pound red potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
* 1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced
* 6 eggs
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 8″ oven-safe skillet. You can use a 10″ or even 12″ skillet, but know that your tortilla espanola will end up very thin and more difficult to slice.

2. Add the potatoes and onion to the skillet, flipping and stirring so that they are coated by the oil. Fry over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and beginning to brown.

3. Remove the potatoes and onions to a paper towel to soak up some of the oil, and reduce the heat to low.

4. Whisk the eggs with the salt in a small bowl.

5. Return the potatoes and onions to the skillet, and pour the eggs over the top. Cook over low heat for 3-4 minutes, shaking the skillet occasionally so the eggs don’t stick to the bottom. After a few minutes, the eggs should be browning on the bottom.

6. Slide the skillet into the oven and turn the broiler on high. Broil for 3-4 minutes, or until the top of the tortilla espanola is cooked through and browned.

7. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.


I’m going to say bye bye for now with a quote from Amelia Earhart





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About Janice Graham

I was born in England in 1938 and migrated to Australia in 1976. During my working years, along with my husband Ken, I managed a goat dairy and distribution business supplying health food products. At the same time I took up the challenge of helping build a mud brick home and lived a somewhat 'alternative' lifestyle. Since retirement I have published three e-books, two on vegetarian cookery and a collection of short stories from my younger years. My pastimes are studying the Spanish language, volunteering as a Crisis Counsellor and Community Visiting. I have been married for 54 years, have a son and a daughter and five grandchildren plus a little terrier called Sophia.

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