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

Friday 29 June 2012


Check-up at the dentists, we see a lovely lady who is always cheerful and smiling so puts one at ease. But, she wasn't in her usual room.
We went in together and OH took his seat in the chair first. Much laughing and joking layer and he was free to leave complete with a free sample of toothpaste.
My turn and as I'm on meds for high blood pressure, no leaning back for me.
OH still on the room joking away. No cleaning and scaling as the set in the room wasn't working.
Recently, I've been trying to take better care so it was good that the dentist commented positively on my efforts.

Thursday 28 June 2012

Well done, my friend!

Freddy the horse - a sturdy guy

The route taken around the Mary Townley Loop

Memorial to Lady Mary Townley who inspired and set up the trail.

End of the journey - my dear friend rightfully pleased with her accomplishment.

Monday 25 June 2012

Flaming June at last...

Moody Blue, one of the new roses.

An arch of roses.

Wonderful colour.

Peas in flower with some starting to pod.

Clematis - 'feet in the shade, flowers in the sun',

White clematis heading skywards...

Thursday 21 June 2012

Second time around

Starlight Express, musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Richard Stilgoe

A romance performed on skates.

It's a few years since I last saw a production of this unusual musical. So, when it came to the Lowry, I thought, 'Why not?' The music was just as good as before, but the same could not be said of the performance.
Nothing wrong with the casting, they were very good.

So, what was/were the problems?
They stemmed from that good old saw, 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. Meddling around with the 'choreography', shortening the performance and attempting it on a far smaller stage.
They went overboard on lighting effects and louder sound, but this did not compensate for the size or lack of size of the stage. I note it's comping to Liverpool, but once again it's one of the smaller theatres. Makes me glad I saw the full size version.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Still delving

thro' 'family' history but not my own family tree.
If you excuse the pun, I decided to branch out.
The 1911  census is a mine of interesting information and gives an insight into life and times at the beginning of the 20th century. 
I took  a look at some of the 'important' families living in imposing buildings. 
Waddow Hall on the outskirts of Clitheroe, is a 17th century manor house and 'home' to the Girl Guides organisation. I have fond memories of sitting and singing round the camp-fire. 

In 1911 it was home to the Garnett family, with James Garnett esq. head of the family and a cotton manufacturer. He had a wife, daughter and there was a companion. They had 4 servants.
Cook - Leicester
Attendant - one Patrick age 33 from County Carlow (SW of Dublin).
House maid - Willington, Cheshire
Waitress - Sunderland
Kitchen maid - York

In the nearby village of Waddington, there was a school house. The head teacher's household included wife, son and a visitor - Beatrice, telephonist (Blackburn GPO)

The Buck Inn has an inn keeper (widow) and her niece (servant).

His name was William John

but he was known to everyone as Jan. 
Cornishman thro' and thro' in thought, word and deed. When I knew him he was deaf in one ear and some thought him slow. He was anything but that; he took time to measure up what was said and if he needed to reply. Jan when you got to know him had a brilliant sense of humour and very dry wit.
Phoning him to say you were coming round to see him...he'd chuckle and reply...'no, can't do that'. Then say he was putting the kettle on and not to be late.
Born in a cottage in a small hamlet of but a few houses, he spent his life in West Cornwall, never venturing far (like a lot of folk round about). He never went far 'up country'. 

That part of Cornwall is isolated even for Cornwall. Folk in one village having fallen out with a neighbouring village avoid going there except if needs must.

Insular and isolated with a dialect broad Cornish...'pard', mi 'ansome, when addressing someone.
Entin' down as in hard, heavy thunderstorm rain.
Mizzle - mist and drizzle 
Fret - local weather when low-lying fog clings everywhere and everything gets soaked. Flights are suspended from the local airport and if it's bad enough the ferry stops sailing. Made worse as the fog horn sounds for days on end. The original local foghorn had a low rumbling sound that seemed to sink into your bones along with the rain and fog. But, if it went on long enough you eventually got used to it.
Emmets, Cornish for ants and used to describe the tourists.
Gusson - never as in no, really?

Saturday 9 June 2012

In memoriam but without sadness

Recently I've been wandering happily thro' archives (family history).
In my case it's more awkward as I have no surviving relatives. So, I took a break and digressed. 
We had a long-time friend MGL who had always wanted to investigate his family history, but, as with many things in life...just never got round to it. He passed away as the saying goes some years ago in peculiar circumstances, but that fitted his life which had been a cross between the boringly familiar and the less ordinary.
He had a life-long obsession with aircraft and in particular #633 squadron so he collected aircraft magazines and had them leather-bound.
Another obsession was mining as in tin mining in a certain isolated part of Cornwall. So he collected all sorts of paraphernalia connected with Levant.

Family history?
G stood for 'Gillick' and now I know that was his mother's maiden name. Some of the records concerning the life of MGL are connected with Nottingham.
Mother born there, father too and MGL himself.
Looking back thro' records...
Basford, Nottingham birthplace of MGL and mother.
Grandfather 1911 census - lace shipper and merchant. (Nottingham famous for lace industry).
Great-grandfather 1891 census - from Scotland, occupation Tailor.

What was MGL's occupation? Headmaster of a junior/infant school...granted early retirement because of illness (high blood pressure). Soon after retirement he was put on the transplant list and had two successive operations, leading to jaundice, diabetes and depression.

How did we come across him? Holidaying (camping) in Cornwall (1980s). MGL and missus were in a caravan and we joined them for coffee from time-to-time to escape the rain.

MGL and missus separated/divorced soon after he retired. Then, in 2004 in Rushcliffe...MGL remarried in the June, followed by ex-missus re-marriage in July. She kept the family 'home' whilst MGL took missus #2 to Cornwall where he bought a 'pig-in-a-poke' kind of property which gave him endless problems.

A loveable guy and excellent headmaster by all accounts; but totally impractical. He hadn't a clue or even the slightest grain of nous.
Missus #2 was/is an odd character...MGL had problems with attempting to control diabetes. On one occasion he almost became comatose, but was brought round by friends who were staying with them; not missus #2 who preserved her ignorance of all things connected with diabetes.

Several days after his death in 2009...the police came across him, locked inside his the tin mining area...

Farewell MGL part of your story has at last been told.

Sunday 3 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee

All the to-do and fuss about 60 years has set me thinking. So, too has an online conversation I've been having about sewing machines.

Junior the time we'd reached the 11+ class my hand sewing skills were at their best. The last project was an apron. How boring some might think...
Age 11 and our aprons were cut out, hemmed, pleated and embroidered by hand. I no longer have mine, nor any image apart from my mind's eye. But, the hemming was so fine, that the teacher thought I hadn't done the seam until she tried to move it and actually apologised...something quite unheard of, hence it stuck in my memory.

The embroidery was in a band across the bottom just up from the hem and some 6 inches deep. A work of art if I say so myself.

On to grammar school where we were taught to use sewing machines.

First the hand machine and then the treadle. I grew to love using the latter. 

Electric machines? There was one at home which my mother insisted on teaching me to use.

Saturday 2 June 2012

Here's a health...

"Here's a health to the (King) Queen and a lasting peace,
To faction an end, to wealth increase;
Come, let us drink it while we have breath,
For there's no drinking after death;
And he who will this health deny,
Down among the dead men let him lie.

Let charming beauty's health go round,
In whom celestial joys are found,
And may confusion still pursue
The senseless woman-hating crew;
And they that woman's health deny,
Down among the dead men let him lie.

In smiling Bacchus' joys I'll roll,
Deny no pleasure to my soul;
Let Bacchus' health round briskly move,
For Bacchus is a friend to love;
And he that will this health deny,
Down among the dead men let him lie.

May love and wine their rites maintain,
And their united pleasures reign,
While Bacchus' treasure crowns the board,
We'll sing the joys that both afford,
And he that won't with us comply,
Down among the dead men let him lie."

A North Country maid up to London had strayed
Although with her nature it did not agree,
Oh she wept and she sighed and so bitterly cried,
How I wish once again in the North I could be.

  Oh the Oak and the Ash and the bonnie ivy tree,
  They flourish at home in my own country.

I like not the court, nor the city resort,
Since there is no fancy for such maids as me;
Their pomp and their pride I can never abide,
Because with my humour it does not agree.

Oh the Oak and the Ash and the bonnie ivy tree,
  They flourish at home in my own country.