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Thursday 31 December 2015

End of year

October to December are the darkest days. From time immemorial people have been driven to find and use light sources to chase away the darkness.

In recent years these months have become tainted by loss. 
November 2014 and now December 2015 click on the mouse friends have passed away. In both cases the tyrant cancer claimed their lives.

Words can not express the chasm left behind by their departure. Their families have a long painful journey ahead as they come to terms with what has happened.

Unlike yesteryear blogging has enabled them to share their loss and their feelings. In one case the person kept her blog going as long as possible. It remains a rich vein of memories.

I shall not name names, it would be disrespectful to do so.

Farewell my friends.

Wednesday 30 December 2015

Farewell 2015

I am not going to miss you. In fact, I shall be heartily glad to consign you to the past.

How was 2015?

The sort of year you never want to repeat, at least my experience of it has left behind some not so good memories.

I spent from Dec. 2014 and all the way thro' 2015 recovering from major surgery (no details). Suffice it to say that December's op was life changing but at the same time the important part is staying alive to face the future.

Himself also had a major op (hip replacement) which went like clockwork as the saying goes. He went from as our American friends would say extreme pain 24/7 to being pain free. As another saying goes 'you can't see the join'. In fact the community care (district) nurse brought her colleague with her to confirm it and to discharge him from outpatient care.

Some happy parts of the year - coffee and friendly chats with neighbours. We even managed to go for a Chinese meal together. It had been delayed by one or more of us having ill health, but we did it. The three of us have our birthdays in November, December and January. Not good months to go out at night. In 2016 we will find another occasion to celebrate our birthdays no matter when. We like the Chinese restaurant. They have grown used to us and although we officially have a 'set' menu, they let us alter it according to our needs without any extra charges. Our blind friend tends to go there more often with different sets of people.

The three of us are still fund raising towards research into diabetic retinopathy. M & M do the sorting of donated goods and then the sales. I do anything that requires using technology.  We began by making craft goods to sell and it grew from there.

Monday 28 December 2015


Recently, a genealogy site has begun to make parts of the British 1939 census details available for a price.

Fortunately, being a subscriber meant I received a discount code which opened a record of my choice at a much reduced price. But, some parts are still blacked out unless that person died before 1991. 

This means I have to do some guesswork. My memory tells me that during WWII (1939-1945) my grandparents had a lodger. I have no idea apart from the lodger being male. Looking at the street it appears that other houses have an extra person that's not part of the family. 

There's no record of whoever lived at no. 1. Yet, I knew the people living there and that they'd been in the house since new.

Whilst the discount of 50% was applicable (one record) I've opened some more to read and to save.

In the news

Mona Helen Muriel Stonyer from Hereford...

The London Gazette posted her demise 

4 Grove Road, Hereford, Spinster. 26th July 1990.

How come this lady made the news in the 21st century? Apparently an academy came across notebooks from her schooldays. Some bright-spark had the idea to investigate further and compare then with now.

Books dating from 1929-1930 were found during the emptying and relocation of Broadlands Primary School. 

Close-ups showed the meticulous hand-writing and drawings from biology. Then, it struck me when one of today's pupils commented on how neat and tidy they were. Cue a memory from long ago, okay 1950s and to my generation not 'that' long ago. We were taught to always do our best work and that meant neat handwriting and careful drawings. No-one ever rushed through their work, there was no incentive to do it faster. Then, we could and did focus our attention on our studies with nothing to distract us. 'No talking' was the rule, and although rooms were light and airy windows on one side were too high to look through even when standing. The opposite wall would have looked into the corridor and out to the quadrangle but its windows were opaque.

 Who was she? MONA H M STONYER was born in Hereford1914.

The more it rains...

The more I come to the conclusion that the North-South divide remains very much in place.

Media go-fors have headed to more of the flood hit areas. They have gathered to interrupt ongoing work with facile, futile questions.

Of course an historic city, York now claims most of the coverage.

The good folk of Cumbria and Lancashire have lost the media spotlight. Their desperate plight remains but the news-hounds have moved on.

Then there's the knowledge gap, made worse by the popular news media that have their words / writings set for a reading age typical for a 10-year old child. 

Yes, my cynicism knows no bounds.

Because happenings are in the Northern England, rubberneckers from the south have arrived to look, spout words then scuttle back to the S.E. (Having spent ££££s on themselves).

Thursday 17 December 2015

Tis the Season?

Reading the latest magazine it was heartening to read that -

 "You will have heard it said that there is so much busy-ness at Christmas that we lose the heart of it. Buying, shopping, wrapping, and choosing...   It’s very easy to find ourselves disconnected from the very story which should have meaning to us: the birth of Jesus."

Media broadcast 'Christmas' carols, but so many of them are merely catchy tunes with empty words. Films with 'Christmas' in the title, that are all about a mythical man in a red suit, nothing to do with St. Nicholas and even less to do with the Nativity.

In childhood years, a favourite part of December was to walk 'up street' to Castle Gate to see the Manger and listen to the old carols. The background scene changed from twinkling stars to the Star of Bethlehem. Figurines amidst the strewn hay depicted the nativity. How fortunate to have such a precious scene to view and listen to.

Times have changed and not for the better. Now I read the on-line news instead of visiting the scene. I no longer want to go because of the various acts of gratuitous vandalism that have occurred over the intervening years.


CLITHEROE'S Mayor says there might not be a Nativity crib scene at the Castle gates next year due to persistent theft of its figures. In the early hours of Boxing Day, around 3-45 a.m., five figures including baby Jesus, Mary, an angel and shepherd, were taken from the crib.

Drunken revellers?

 CCTV cameras picked up images of two people in their 30s or 40s taking the figures. They left the castle grounds by the Eshton Terrace gate in the direction of Mitchell Street carrying the figures. One wing of the angel had broken off and is now in the hands of the police.


"A MODEL of the baby Jesus has been found on the roof of a Clitheroe church.
The unusual find was made while St Mary Magdalene’s gutters were being cleared. The nativity piece, which is around a foot in length, disappeared from the town’s crib three years ago."
Sadly, Clitheroe's nativity scene is not alone in receiving the unwanted attentions of vandals.
To end on a happier note - I used to really enjoy Christmas Eve as I walked across town to St. James for the yearly midnight services.
Another joyful memory floats to the surface...walking to St. Matthews in a village in the High Peak to take part in the Carol Service.