musings (201) fun Monday (76) friendship (64) K9 (13)

Monday 28 December 2009

fun Monday

Gattina asks about Christmas decoration(s) special to you.

I'd thought of taking pix of perhaps the tree, wreath on the front door or other sparklies; then I had another idea.
THE Christmas decoration that means the most to me is 60 miles away in my home town. They have been putting out a Nativity scene at the entrance to the Castle grounds for longer than I've been around.

Each year, Christmas was made special when my Dad took me to see the Nativity scene.

Yes, there are similar scenes near where I live, but none have the special magical appeal of the one that was part of my childhood.

Now, I read that idiot 'revellers' have stolen 5 of the figures! They have even broken off a wing from the angel... I feel so upset, so annoyed. How could they do that and why?
Councillor Robinson added: "There is little else I can say to express my disgust, other than to suggest perhaps the town should not provide a crib next year?"

Monday 21 December 2009

fun Monday set by Faye

I realize that a lot of people don't get into writing and mailing out holiday greetings, especially since we can be in contact with friends and family 24/7 through technology--phone calls, texting, twittering, face-booking, blogging, e-mailing, videoing. But, for most of us it's still a treat to see a holiday envelope mixed in with the bills and junk mail in the mailbox, especially if it's a handwritten message.

Am late taking part, only learnt from tweet by Cynicalgirl what today's topic was.

Some folk are tech savvy, but there are still quite a few who put pen to paper. Hence, a mixture of snail-mail cards and e-cards.
E-cards are lov
ely especially the animated ones. But, to receive a hand-written card is special as when the sender has enclosed a note telling of the past year's events in their life.

, time rushes by taking with it old friends who have 'left this vale of tears'. Another friend has been anxious about writing cards this year simply because of the number of names she's had to cross off her list.
As she remarked, 'at her time of life; funerals seem to hap
pen more often'.

Then, there are those who having sent cards regularly for tens of years,
suddenly leave you off their mailing list.

This year, the flow of cards dried up days ago... As for the rest of the mail? Some bills are onlne (no need for snail-mail). Junk mail has been almost eradicated thanks to TMS the Mailing Preference Service.

Today's post has arrived! Another Xmas card from former colleague, and a dog-e-gift ready for me to personalise and forward to recipient.The latter is a virtual gift!

Otis a Labrador pup in training to be a guide dog for the blind.

Friday 18 December 2009

hooray for neighbour!

Today, we can't get out of our driveway as it's blocked by workmen, lorries and plant (diggers, pneumatic drill n big whizzy).
Am I upset? Not in the slightest. Why? Cos they are doing a repair that's been needed for years n years.

Quite a while ago the council had our pavements dug up and replaced. At that time we complained about the way ours had been done. Sloping in all directions with odd cambers. Council came to inspect n said it was 'within' accepted tolerances! Friend with Health n Safety qualifications disagreed. Council adamant 'nothing wrong'.

Moving on a few years, neighbour who has recently lost most of her sight thro' diabetes, stumbled n fell. She reported the incident. Now, we are getting the pavement modified. What a pity the Council didn't rectify the problem earlier!

Thursday 10 December 2009

Wendishness to the rescue!

Oh lookie….I’m hosting Fun Monday again….

I saw Cynicalgirl beg and the moment I saw her post I came up with a great idea for a Fun Monday assignment that isn’t Christmas related and I do hope many will join in this one.

Okay, your mission, should you choose to accept it is this – we’re at the end of decade and in the media we’re seeing a lot of highlights, mishaps, misfortunes etc.. that have happened in the news. But what about everyone else? I would LOVE to see your highlights and lowlights from the “noughties”. Photos would be fantastic but you don’t have to – the choice is yours.

This will take some time I think...
- Toyota Yaris
- baptism when our god-daughter became a godmother
December my Mac book pro!

The lowest of the low has to be dear friends who are no more...
Pol, Liz, Shirley and Mike
Not forgetting the loss of our dear girlie Kira , long-coated GSD and real 'teddy bear'

Reached the end of my working life. Illness and anxiety, pressures of work took their toll. Yet another futile, pointless egregious waste of money aka some £30000 spent by the school to undergo OFSTED! Institutionalised torture!

Now for something more cheerful!

2002 was my first trip abroad in many years (20+) so I needed a new passport. Even crossing the Irish Sea is easier with a passport.
Dublin is a charming, pocket handkerchief sized cosmopolitan capital city. I've been lucky enough to stay there with friends on several occasions in the 'noughties'. Discovering the Gravity Bar (Guinness Storehouse), Jamesons distillery, strolling along the Liffey by day and by night. Temple Bar restaurants, bars and shops.
Craic is an Irish word, redolent with fun, laughter and cameraderie. The Irish Tourist Board website is well worth looking at to find out more.

I said it was a work i n progress...
More highlights...
2000 saw me taking up the personal challenge of studying with the OU (Open University).
What a learning curve!
Began with tech and geosciences. This led me to become even more interested in both subjects and joining OUGS the geological society. From that, I began to do fieldwork, something I'd enjoyed many years previously. Culminating in a visit to Iceland (place I had to see). 12 days of travel, along the south, east and north, the reverse of the 'Golden Route'. Returning from Akyureri following a difficult route south thro' Iceland's interior. Wearying, worrisome but well worth the effort. Haven't been on any more field trips to date.

Wednesday 9 December 2009

she's done it!

What has she done?

Bought a shiny new Mac book Pro and begun the long, fascinating journey into the World of Mac...

Okay, own up the hype about 'ease' of use is both true AND false at the same time.
The keyboard is a delight to use. But, who decided to 'simplify life by removing the hash key!!!
Luckily, I found a blog with useful tips including the gem that
alt +3 gives...# the missing hash key. Jumping for joy...
Yes, the movies to instruct how to do various things are good, but is the difference between Mac n Windoze so great? Time will tell.

Of course, life would have been a lot simpler if I hadn't needed to reset router to default, reconfigure and redo everything.

And there are lots more things to do/redo such as teach Safari my preferred sites, learn to get it to use Lastpass?

Just been experimenting with iphoto! Stunned amazement at it's recognition of places!

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Cynicalgirl hosts Fun Monday

A big part of many holidays is the music, but none more so than Christmas, whether or not you celebrate. It’s everywhere–on the radio, TV, in the stores. While many of the songs are lovely and happy and a part of the holiday tradition, a few songs just drive you insane after awhile. Especially since they tend to be repeated over and over, day after day.

So, my question is this: What Christmas (or other holiday) song would you prefer never to hear again, and why? It could be one song in particular, or songs by a certain singer, or a version of a song you usually enjoy that grates on your nerves. We promise not to judge. It’s your chance to vent.

If you have a YouTube version of the offenders handy so we can share your pain, all the better.

Now, if you'd asked for a favourite, I'd have found it an easier ask...

There are so many boringly tedious renditions played as musak in shops, malls, shopping centres and streets around now...

Pet hates must include anything sung by Jim Reeves, I'm shuddering at the thought...

Are two of the particularly saccharine ones!

This has to be where I admit to once having owned a vinyl LP of Reeves' Christmas songs. At that time they seemed pleasant. Now, they set my teeth on edge.

Perhaps, another reason would be that the LP, along with all my others and 45s were thrown away by my mother (and the stereo too).

Ending on a happier note...I can't help but enjoy listening to

Pogues - Fairytale of New York

And the boys from the NYPD choir were singing Galway Bay
And the bells were ringing out for Christmas day.

Sunday 29 November 2009

Sayre hosts Fun Monday

Your assignment for this Fun Monday:

"How will you express your inner-Giver this season? Do you donate to a major charity? Do you serve food in a soup kitchen? Is your generosity something private that you do without recognition or do you hand the guy on the corner a dollar whenever you drive by?

Not only do I want to know what you do, but how you do it, why you do it, and a story about your activity and how it made you feel."

I'm going to put a different slant on this...
To me, giving is an all year round activity, not just for Christmas (as the saying goes).

This is where I acknowledge that I find it far, far easier to give than to receive. Partly it's the way I was treated by my mother. Her idea being that 'what's mine is mine, and what's yours is also mine.' She would throw things away because she'd decided to get rid of them...and if they weren't hers...then all the better. In retrospect, I reckon she was ill, that's the generous version of how I react to her legacy.

This Christmas, DH n I have gone halves on something we can share, a 'shopping trolley' i.e. small run-around (Yaris).

Sazmoe has been given the wherewithal to buy a washing machine for her new home. Neighbour has hyacinths, ready potted up for her to enjoy over the next few months. I'm finishing off knitting a scarf as another gift.

Giving is an ongoing activity...

Simple minor acts of generosity happen because at the time "it seems right so to do".

Saturday 21 November 2009

Wendishness hosts Fun Monday might be nice to share some of the things we are thankful for in our lives.

Feel free to share in words, photos or both, be as creative as you like or just list them down. I think it will be a nice start to the week. I hope you’ll join in – everyone is welcome.

Sunday's christening of Evie, daughter of Si n Shel; part of my extended family. Family because they so generously allow me to be part of their family. How did it come about? To cut a very long story short...we must head back in time to school days...

'N' and I were in the same form, shared similar wicked sense of humour, learnt early on that the best way to survive was to bend rules not break them.

Over the intervening years...we've become to each the sister we never had...hence the link to the wonderful family she married into.

- being godmother to S, N's daughter
- Sharing joint birthday celebrations
- Seeing in New Years
- picking up where we left off, no matter when we meet up or after however long...
- partners who have also become firm friends
- attending family events
- long weekends in Dublin

minor rant with apols to Rantz

Spent part of yesterday in bank queue. Annoyed at brutish, bad-mannered behaviour of another customer ahead of me at the counter.
Yes, some people probably need have their cell phones surgically removed because they are so addicted. It's bad enough having their incessant, nerve-jangling ring-tones shattering one's thoughts,and blasting thro' one's consciousness. Worse by far is the adjunct rude behaviour this entails. Customer with phone welded to their ear, conversing at the counter; treating the bank clerk like an atm!

For months on end,£££££s have been frittered away on ad campaign by the Govt warning against the spread of flu germs. Obviously a waste of time, money and effort. Came across mother and young lad, latter obviously, full of cold germs. From the look of him, mother had probably kept him off school! Not only was she allowing him to handle everything within reach in the store, she let him cough and sneeze over the goods he was handling!

Monday 16 November 2009

fun Monday

Ari_1965 of Beyond My Slab wants to know:

What is the oldest possession in your house or flat? Describe it or show us a picture. Where did it come from? Why do you hang on to it?

Good timing! My oldest possession is my christening bracelet, and today I've been out shopping for another. Not for me, but for Evie Grace who is being christened next weekend.

Hoping she likes it when she's old enough to appreciate it and that she hangs on to it as I have mine.

Looking back, I seem to have been better at losing things rather than keeping them.

Saturday 24 October 2009

who was who

Latin -Miss Mills and briefly Mr Walker aka Ducky
English - Miss Kippax Mrs Davies Mrs Tyson Miss Helm aka omelette
Maths - Miss Haslam (horizontal striped dress on her portly frame)also attempted to teach tennis - back stroke like a golf swing... Mrs Kaye lovely lady, never taught me; but opened her home once a week to share her love of music with sixth formers (opera, tea n biscuits)member of Huddersfield Choral Society, Manchester Philharmonic Society; husband taught Maths at CRGS boys school
Music - the inimitable Charlie Myers Fellow of the Royal Schools of Music (more mouth move-ment)
French - Miss Shackleton Mr Moss (form tutor U4 alpha)Mrs England (formerly teacher of the deaf)
Physics - Miss Hetherington lovely lady, encouraged saving with Yorkshire Penny Bank
Chemistry - Mr Brown (you there, Girl)cream - scum that rises to the top
Biology - Miss Bottomley best topic most useful for GCE was life story of a spider
Domestic Science - Mrs Forster - dictated instructions - how to iron handkerchief!
History - Miss Kate Glisbey (Sixth form tutor 6G)
Geography - Miss Rawes (my inspiration)

A rant is called for

Pendle Hill
'HALLOWE'EN revellers are being advised not to head for Pendle Hill next Saturday.
The hill will be closed to fairground rides, mobile catering units and parked cars from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Saturday, October 31st'.

Remembering the times when Pendle was a quiet as the grave, especially on All Hallows, today's revellers seem intent on ruining Hallowe'en. Am 'beside myself' with anger at anyone defiling Pendle.
By all means party on in your homes, pubs n clubs AND LEAVE PENDLE ALONE.

'When witches fly on a cold winter's night
We won't tell a soul, but we'll bolt our doors tight.'

Friday 23 October 2009


Autumn brought news of times past. Sad news of one of my former teachers who has died aged 82.
This led to reminiscences of school days, 1960s, 1970s, junior and grammar schools.
Junior school where dinners were cooked centrally at a local secondary school and delivered by van. Teachers ate in the tiny staff room, the Hall was used by pupils and overseen by martinet dinner ladies. In the last year, I was given the responsibility of serving lunch to the teachers...
Each day, Linda and I arrived early to do 11+ practice tests before giving out hymn books for morning assembly. The rest of Miss Astley's class did their 11+ practice while we collected in and stacked away the books in their cupboard. How different school was! We were expected to remain silent and were given stars at the end of the day to reward us.
Needlework/ embroidery was taught to the girls and our reward in the Summer Term was for a small group to spend the afternoon doing embroidery in the company of the Headmistress in her office.

Monday 7 September 2009

ought not to laugh but...

how ridiculous! Chatting with former colleague, I learnt she has done nothing to improve her tech skills in last 8 years!
Now, she's in a situation where she needs to learn to use Windows Vista asap. Fine, but...this is the person who couldn't cope with computers running on Windows 95!

Made me laugh when she didn't know which operating system new pressie laptop works on...

Work is expecting her to become au fait with Office 2007, never having even managed to cope with Office 2003. Her aim, to learn to use Word 2007 and PowerPoint in one day. Go figure...

time passes so quickly

Hadn't realised quite how long it was since previous post. (slapped wrist).
Last few days there have been worrisome news reports from my home town. Fires broke out in the town centre.
Mixed reports, some say *not arson* but...unlikely coincidences.

Found out first via Twitter, then Facebook n lastly a text message.

Tuesday 18 August 2009

once again

I went for a fasting blood test. Given slip/bag for the 'wrong' hospital, decided to take the easy way out.
At great expense, local authority has built a medical/council centre near here. Thought I'd try out the new medical facilities. There's a dedicated phlebotomy centre with proper nurses, not just folk filling in.
Chatted with nurse n mentioned probs with bruising; also requested blue needle.
It worked!!!
Small puncture wound virtually no bruising! Not quite as good as the specialists, but then this clinic is in walking distance.

Friday 24 July 2009

grumpy gal

Take person with some health probs and give them meds that cause yet more probs.
Let her take meds that cause ankles to swell up like balloons.
Reluctantly, change meds to others with their own nasty side effects
  • dry throat with hacking cough
  • swollen ankles (again)
  • dizziness
  • sudden loss of balance
Let her see 'health professional' to discuss problems, tell her you'll phone back (Monday)

So, I waited, waited and waited, Monday went with no phone call
Nurse apparently is there Mon., Wed. and Fri.
Try phoning. *nurse not due in until 10 am*
Leave message asking nurse to phone like she promised on Monday.

No she didn't phone, so I phoned her.

Like a game of 'Chinese whispers' but with my health.

Another 'promise' to contact me once more. No, I shall not be surprised when she fails to phone again.

Note to self
If only I could change doctors/surgeries, but what are the chances????

fun Monday

Mariposa is hosting this week and wants to know:

Let's talk about TEARS. What images spring to mind when you hear the word ‘tears’? Have you ever had tears of laughter and tears of joy? When was the last time you had tears of joy? Tears of laughter? Tell us about it!

The 1980s were a decade of *tears of sorrow*. Guess it was being an only child of 'old' parents. But, aunts, uncles, mother and father all departed this world in that decade. It seemed a constant round of funerals, wills and so on.

Tears of joy and laughter happen frequently whenever our god-daughter pays us a visit.
Also, the antics of our increasingly large 'puppy' cause laughter ending in tears. He reminds me of the cartoon character Scooby do bounding around or grabbing the older girlie by her tail and tugging.

Wednesday 15 July 2009

ages ago

I thought it was time for an update, then life went pear-shaped in Cornwall.

When on holiday, one doesn't expect to learn that a friend has died suddenly, nor that the grieving widow wants to rely on you for as long as you can be **useful**

Neither does one want to become **piggy in the middle** between "warring" widow and ex-wife of the deceased.

So, as both females *lost it* and independently chucked their toys out of their pram as the saying goes...Good riddance to both say I.

Rites of passage such as funerals are public events, so relict stood no chance of banning wife no 1 from the funeral. Fortunately, we decided to stay home as it was too far to travel.

I know that an inquest was scheduled, but as communications with relict broke down, unless I ask/pay for copy of death certificate, I'll remain none the wiser.

Friday 19 June 2009

flaming June and I do not mean the weather!

  1. dog-powered flight! led to black eye n fractured ribs
  2. Cornwall friends -1 as guy died suddenly
  3. Good news! The arrival of baby girl Evie Grace, daughter of Simon n Shelley
1. Take 2 large GSDs on leads, stand at caravan door n be hauled out as they chase after something
Land uncomfortably on grass, nose bleeding, one dog loose n other standing over you seeming concerned. Realise life has become painful.

2. Guy has argument with wife (again) goes missing (again) but unlike previous times fails to return home. Police find him deceased. Chaos n limbo ensue cos he needed to by identified, before post mortem to be followed by inquest.
Guy leaves behind a minefield of problems for widow to sort out i.e. debts etc.
Ex-wife makes a nuisance of herself thus upsetting n greatly annoying widow.
Series of vicious circles, inquest therefore only interim death certificate, police hang on to personal possessions including wallet, driving license and credit cards. Widow stymied unable to do much apart from organise funeral but ex-wife interferes.

3. Some good news! Simon n Shelley celebrate the safe arrival (today) baby Evie Grace 8lb 10oz. Time for me to finish n post crochet baby clothes n card

Wednesday 29 April 2009

cornish trivia

D chatting with Ron n Beryl catching up on events n doings locally. Zaq (puppy) feeling left out vaulted over caravan 1/2 door and rushed to join them. Beryl with news that R & J have gone 'up country' for a few days (Surrey) to visit poorly relation.

Mike called round with a stack of aircraft mags for D to read. Update...M takes over as President 2009-2010 Mount's Bay Rotarians.

Road repairs to double S bends on main road, road closed n traffic diverted up local country lane. Suddenly, peace is shattered...heavy traffic along usually empty lane.

Peace is shattered again! This time by the weather...balmy Spring sunshine replaced by torrential rain and flash flooding!

Sadly the storm cut short 3 young lives near Zennor. Car they were in washed away downstream as a usually babbling brook transformed into wild raging torrent sweeping all before it. One young man escaped to raise the alarm, but was the only survivor. Two bodies found n one still missing.

From the Western Morning News-

"Divers, the fire service, Coastguard and rescue helicopters spent the weekend combing the rugged stretch of coast. A digger was brought in to aid the search, with 20 police officers and police dogs involved.

Meanwhile, a seven-mile stretch of the South West Coast Path has had to be closed because of damage caused by the torrential rain. Cornwall Council yesterday issued an emergency closure order for the stretch through Zennor, Morgan and Towednack. It hopes repairs can be carried out as soon as possible.

The council also announced it was closing B3306 in Zennor for safety reasons after the foundations of a culvert were damaged."

missing out

Missed out on this week's Fun Monday because of lacking internet access Doh!
21st century hasn't reached far-flung Cornwall and they are supposed to 'go digital' from beginning of July?
Peacefulness and tranquillity abound, manana is too fast in comparison to the Cornish 'drekkly'.
There are NO wi-fi spots for miles around!

Cell phone 'coverage' is a joke. Check it out the coverage is at best negligible.

Mobile broadband? Go figure!

Hence, laptop left at home, cell phone switched off unless I travel to somewhere with coverage.

Amusing to watch people wandering in search of phone signal. Feeling helpful, I say 'try up the lane, or up the hill'. The look on the face has to be seen to be believed.
Am only being truthful...

Along the lane, past the cottage, stand in the next gateway by the wall and you'll get a signal. Climb Richard's hill and the signal is stronger.

Friday 17 April 2009

Sayre smiles hosts Fun Monday

Take a picture of the thing that helps you get through the day and inspires you to have the best day you can.

Already thinking of several things that inspire me, my dogs the garden flowers... One photo is not going to be 'enough' she says, laughing!

Grape hyacinths,stan
ding proud in the Spring sunshine.

Hellebore aka Lenten Rose, looks fragile yet thrives in Winter thro' to Spring. Bright splashes of colour to brighten drab, dark days.

Monday 13 April 2009

Fun Monday

Yes, I dream but rarely remember apart from the first few moments after I awake. For many years there was a recurring dream, probably a result of visits to the dentist as a child. In those days preventative dentistry did not exist; it was gas + extractions. There was no escape. I can still feel, smell and taste the rubber mask + gas they used.
My dream/nightmare? A conveyor belt of teeth seen between glowing red bars!

After my father passed away, there was another, vivid recurring dream, a much pleasanter one. It seemed to me I was home with him in a variety of pleasant situations, so life-like as to appear tangible. Sun-shining, warm with gentle breezes and the pair of us content in each other's company. Him pottering around the garden and greenhouse with my younger self for company.

news reporting

Isn't it odd, the different takes on the same news story! Listening as usual to Radio 5 live, heard interview security advisor about rescue of US captain. Interviewer asked the 'right' questions, nothing daft. Interviewee knowledgeable painted accurate picture of situation.

Later posts by the media bore no resemblance and were nothing like as truthful.

Thursday 26 March 2009

Another Wednesday

returned to Lowry, Lyric theatre this time to see "Brief Encounter" loosely based on the Noel Coward film of the same name. But, Noel Coward didn't have comedy in his film. Kneehigh Theatre Company injected their own comedy highlights into the production.
A miniature steam train crossing the stage.
Betty the waitress on a kid's scooter.

Lunched at Pan Asia, even quieter than last week, but the food was just a good.This time we took the Metro tram to Boundary, one stop later but similar distance from the theatre. Caught the return tram from there, managing the be seated unlike last week. We got to Oxford Rd. station in good time to get an earlier train, arriving back half an hour early.

Last theatre production for me to visit until July. Barbara's going in June to see Cabaret. I'm going with her in July to see West-side Story.



Sunday 15 March 2009

looking forward to

Wednesday and trip to Manchester (with Barbara) to the Lowry Theatre. Train from Hough Green to city centre, stroll to the Chinese Arch and Panasia restaurant (all day buffet).
Metro (tram)to the Lowry.
Calendar Girls

Hoping will lunch in Chinatown at the Pan Asia.

Saturday 14 March 2009

In Memoriam

Sadness clouds my world, Liz is dead!
In February 2007, Liz wrote:I've got my medical retirement; now I can take life off hold..(fibromyalgia).

In June 2008 - I've been having trouble with my eyesight for a while now - despite getting a new prescription last November. I've been perceiving things as "dim", noticed a slight change in my colour vision, and occasional difficulties in seeing things in certain areas of my peripheral vision, as well as increasing difficulty with "normal" sizes fonts & print.

July 2008

She was diagnosed as having a sub arachnoid haemorrhage...

Someone I knew years ago on having a similar diagnosis was immediately rushed into hospital (Walton specialised in brain surgery) and operated upon successfully.

Not my darling Liz, she was kept waiting throughout 2008 until March 2009. Her op was delayed until March she is dead!

"Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned."

Edna St. Vincent Millay from Dirge Without Music

Tuesday 10 March 2009

time it was, I have a photograph

Preserve you memories, they're all that's left of you (to paraphrase Simon n Garfunkel)

Today, my god-daughter arrived with her mother (my one true friend).
S ought to have attended a business meeting, but 10 minutes away from here, she had a message to say 'Meeting cancelled'.
Having almost reached her destination, she continued and arrived to spend the morning here.
Conversation ranged across topics old and new, as it does when we get together. A n I go back some 45 years so there are a lot of memories.
Dogs as in GSDs figure largely, from the original Shan, thro' Sheba, Major n Kira to our present day canine companions.
Shan was favourite when S was but a toddler, Sheba took over followed by Major.
Toddler S arrived to see Auntie Joanie, barged her way past two puzzled barking dogs saying to them "'lo dogs" then "bye dogs" as she made her way to me.
Another time, S was playing with Major whilst the adults chatted in the garden one sunny summer afternoon. Voice called out "the dog prickled me!"
D quickly extracted S from the pyracantha into which she had tumbled.Even today, S remembers the event well
. Especially as both sets of parents n god-parents had at the time collapsed into fits of laughter.

Tuesday 3 March 2009


March arrived taking me completely by surprise.
Last couple of weeks have been eventful. GSD girlie diagnosed with pyometra (infection of the womb), fortunately, we got her to the vets in time and she was operated upon.
Pyometra is a silent killer if left untreated.

Saturday 14 February 2009

Wakes Weeks

Sarah Lancashire TV programme, Disappearing Britain about Lancashire Wakes Weeks.

Mill towns used to shut down for a fortnight each year, during which, maintenance was done on machinery in the cotton mills.

I grew up in the mill town Clitheroe, Lancs. in the mid 20th century when Wakes Weeks still survived. The various towns closed one after another, so no two were on 'holiday' at the same time. Families used to save up all year to have money for the fortnight because they weren't paid while the mills were closed.

Even in the 1950's - early 1960s, the tradition survived, and people by then had holidays with pay. Essential shops (grocers) opened in the mornings, newsagents sent lads to sell newspapers in parts of the town (mornings).

Saturday 7 February 2009

the Dust will Wait Hosts Fun Monday

Show me in pictures and/or tell me in words, what defines the place where you live.

First has to be The Bridge
Wherever you go, no matter how you travel you see the Bridge. Should the bridge be impassible or lanes reduced the whole area for miles around snarls up with traffic.

Next, the Airport Hotel former air traffic control tower and listed building.

Thursday 5 February 2009


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Tuesday 3 February 2009

February 2009

began with warnings of severe weather particularly for SE England. Commentators remarking on the 'worst snow for 18 years' and the number of school closures.

1963 winter was much more severe, the River Ribble froze; I walked there with Dad to watch people on the ice; including a professional ice skater.

Schools remained open, I walked to school thro' lanes and streets banked up with snow.

No-one considered staying home even when they had to dig themselves out of their houses.

Steam trains kept running, Beeching hadn't yet axed most of the lines.
Moving on to grammar school, they too remained open throughout snowy winters. Anyone local remained in class, whilst those bussed in were sent home.

Mid 1970s at college in Liverpool, trudged along Queens Drive through the snow to attend early morning lectures, only to find them cancelled.

The school I worked in 1975-2002 also refused to close in winter. One memorable occasion, the heating failed, pupils were sent home, yet the Head insisted staff stay at work.

Staff were obliged to report to work whatever the weather on penalty of retribution by the Head .

Sunday 1 February 2009


  • Mary Queen of Scots married
  • James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell
  • BBC Neil Oliver (archaeologist)
  • Hepburn
  • Chaucer Pilgrim's Progress
  • BBC2
Now to link them

Neil Oliver was presenting his History of Scotland programme about Mary Queen of Scots.
He reached the part in her life where she married Hepburn.
The name had connotations, reminding me of sixth form English Literature studying Chaucer.
BBC2 were broadcasting Chaucer's Pilgrim's Progress. In those days few homes had TV with BBC2
Only one person had BBC2 her name? Hepburn

A group of us went to watch the programme at her house.


I have uploaded to Picasa

Saturday 31 January 2009

following trains of thought

itsmee wanted to know about visiting to Iceland.

Studying geosciences led me to membership of OUGS Open University Geology Society. Ever since I first studied geology at school, the place I wanted to visit was Iceland. It became my trip of a lifetime, my must do, I had to find some way to get there.

Reading a fiction book [insert details here] which described Iceland's scenery and a journey across it's wild interior, fuelled my intention to visit 'sometime'.

The opportunity arose when OUGS organised a field trip and I hastened to claim a place.
So, I flew from Manchester to Glasgow, met up with the rest of the group and had the happy experience of flying (Icelandair) to Reykjavik.

We had expert tuition from a retired prof of Geology who, having spent years in Iceland, had a network of Icelandic friends and contacts. Travelled by coach with Jan (driver) and a cook.
It was a great set-up. The idea being to make an economical journey visiting the sights without overspending. We split into teams of four, each taking a turn to help the cook with the catering.

Travelling the Golden route in the reverse direction to the usual tourist trips and staying in a series of varied accommodation ranging from guest house to community halls.