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

Tuesday 25 December 2018

Hodie Christus Natus est

Decades ago, when I was part if a choir, we spent weeks learning how to sing Benjamin Britten's
Ceremony of Carols

To this day, Christmas is associated in my mind with our performance at the Cathedral.

The music and words are most fitting for Christmastime.

Hodie Christus natus est 
Hodie Salvator apparuit: 
Hodie in terra canunt Angeli, 
Laetantur Archangeli: 
Hodie exultant justi, dicentes: 

Gloria in Excelsis Deo, Alleluja

However, 2018 has been a most unkind year for several people I know.

In Cornwall, November brought news of the demise of Vic's wife.

December brought news of an old friend via a 'round robin' note from her younger daughter. Both daughters live away...Lis in Scotland and Helen in Wales.

In the last year Olwen had two cataract ops which failed meaning that she lost her sight.
Now she's in the care of a local residential home and according to Helen, well cared for.

Then there was a panicky phone-call from another friend age 91. Bert has spent the last year caring for his wife who has been in and out of hospital.

Treatment for on-going heart problems. Followed by admission the Walton hospital where they specialise in neurosurgery. Two brain bleeds later, his wife is still alive but with severe memory impairment.

Next, there's my neighbour...her aunt  (b. 1927) and uncle (b. 1931) are similarly going to and fro home to hospital and so-on...

Neighbour is spending today taking her uncle to visit her aunt in hospital.

Tuesday 9 October 2018

After a certain age...

the medics, opticians, dentists and various hospitals become part of everyday lie.

Today at the opticians it was almost easier to list what's working properly than to list various difficulties.

Hip-replacement op will be required probably age over 70 as the penny-pinching NHS opine that it ought not to be done before that age.

Cataracts have appeared and are developing in not one, but both eyes. Otherwise both eyes are healthy and sight remains appropriate to allow me to drive. Still on two-year callback but with the caveat to come back earlier if I notice significant worsening.

Post-herpetic neuralgia will be with me until the end of days.

Tomorrow's appointment at a different major hospital is to investigate shoulder probs. The 'Jury' is out as to whether there are any fractures, whereabouts and how many are to be determined. However, in due time as in a two and a half week wait for the appt.

Himself is not a 'happy bunny' having had a long wait this morning before I came out of the opticians to be taken back home.

How long the wait might be tomorrow is another unknown factor; as too are the charges for parking at the hospital. Two other hospitals let you have the first half-hour 'free'. Scuse the pun, bit time will tell.

This month also entailed a check-up at the dentists - come back in six months...

Sunday 26 August 2018

Karma or...

Quote Longfellow
“Though the mills of God grind slowly, yet they grind exceeding small; Though with patience He stands waiting, with exactness grinds He all.”
We have persisting down rain which is brilliant for water supply purposes and hopefully will prevent the utility company from implementing such controls as a hosepipe ban which was mooted at the start of August.

The 'doomed' property after some 80+ years of careful maintenance is typical of a 1930s dwelling.

In the 1930s  linear development became a common settlement pattern. The dwelling under new ownership was the latest to be built 1932 and it was not until 1934 that the settlement was extended. Behind the dwellings was a farmer's fields. Services to and from the properties were typical of the times.

Hence each property has its own Rodding Eye

A rodding eye is a vertical pipe that has a curved junction which sits below ground with a drain or sewer system. There is access to these pipes via a small, oval-shaped cover which is provided at ground level, allowing them to be reached in the event of a blockage within the pipe.

The paranoid pair have more problems as we found out just now. Drainage or rather sewage problems of their own making.

We found this out as the utilities workmen called round here to ask if we had any drainage problems. 

Conversation led to them learning from us that the properties still have rodding eyes. Gratitude abounds as they would never have discovered the problem for themselves. Being thanked by the engineers was graciously accepted.


Of course the vexatious incomers were nowhere to be found when the utilities engineers arrived. All they'd done was leave a garden gate open for the engineers to do what they would. 

Twas solely because those engineers came across D when going from door-to-door to see if any other properties had similar problems that they learnt how to fix that particular problem.

Saturday 25 August 2018

Paranoia par excellance

40 years of peace, neighbourliness and harmony.

Then property was sold and took some 6-8 weeks of builders let run riot with the property.

Person objected to photographs being taken from the street. 'Do not photograph my house, please'.

That led to closed curtains front and side. Paranoid woman decided people were staring too much.

Obviously strapped for cash, having taken on a property they could never afford solely because it was sold in a hurry. Next they decided to waste money they do not have on a fence they do not need.

Latest person today was quoting fro a 6-foot high fence! Laughable in the extreme. Paranoid pair have decided they need a 6-foot high fence...but there is already a suitable fence in place. Yet, they have made no attempt to put in fencing on the two sides of 'their' fencing which is in need of repair / replacement. Instead they are determined to put up a fence on the boundary that does not belong to them.

Now, dear readers do you understand the ludicrous situation. People who are in such penury that they have kept furniture from the previous owner. They also are using curtains some of which a over 10 years old. 

The dwelling has been turned into a money-pit. Load-bearing walls have been demolished and the backdoor blocked-up.

How to ruin a property in a couple of months!

Pity the dwelling was put on the market for such a low price. The paranoid pair would have been far better off in Wimpey-wonderland.

From 2000 to 2018

With Marie now one of the dear departed, the property fell to her four sons. Son number one didn't need / want any money so he enabled the youngest son to buy out the other shares in the property. Thar left youngest son in sole charge of the property.

He now had two bungalows, one in the N.W. and the other in the East Midlands. For over a decade he happily moved to and for to live in both properties as and when he wanted.

Unfortunately, youngest son went on to develop Parkinson's disease.

Nephew (son of richest brother) sold up to release equity.

Neighbours had enjoyed 40 years of friendship and true neighbourliness.

In only two-three months those that bought the property for a pittance have proved themselves to be the type that have a high nuisance value.
It has become obvious that they are unable to cope with the necessary refurbishment of the property. Guess they over-extended themselves. However, anther problem is their lack of experience, knowledge of the necessities, lacking the gumption to organise themselves.

Only the terminally inept employ a firm of builders only to leave them to their own devices. In the 2-3 months the builders had complete freedom to do what they would, no-one ever visited to check what was being done.

Similarly the plumber and electrician were left to their own devices. Plumber ended up being called back some dozen times because of difficulties.

Ignorance and malice-aforethought personified.
One of the first events was total destruction of a decades-old wisteria.
Next, both front and back gardens had well-maintained lawns.

When we looked after the gardens, it used to take a day to mow, edge, trim the lawns.
New inhabitants haven't even bothered to acquire a proper lawn mower. The lawn mower they attempted to use was an old push mower! needless to say, all it did was make a mess.

They have shown themselves to be paranoid, disruptive, vexatious and mentally unstable.

Today they caused a nuisance by making a false claim.

Nuisance call / report #1

Time to create an incidence log.

Nuisance claim 26/01/2018
(Cadent manages the national gas emergency service)

Report - Parts per million - Meter reading ZERO

Since we recently had a Smart Meter installed, it has already been proven that our property and utilities conform to modern Gas Safe Standards.

Cadent - What we don't do

  • We don’t produce gas.
  • We don’t own the gas that flows through our pipes. We only transport the gas through our pipeline networks.
  • We don’t repair gas appliances.
  • We don’t send out gas bills.
  • You do not pay your gas bill to us

Their petty vindictiveness becomes more and more apparent.

17-08-2018 some time round about 2300 hours 'blues and twos' accompanied by flashing lights. Seemingly another false alarm instigated by the trouble-makers.

Thursday 16 August 2018

From 1932 until 2018

The bungalow was home to one family who bought it from new. When Marie moved in the dwelling was the last one, there were no others. The bungalow housed Marie and her growing family throughout the 20th century. When she looked out of her kitchen window, all was rural with a clear view across to the Pennines.

Suffice it to say that when you have a neighbour like Marie, there was mutual respect and friendship was in abundance.

Time rolled on and Marie brought up her family. She and her husband raised 4 boys. Two married and one made a success of everything he did. He's become the sort of person for whom 'money is no object'. He passed on success to his son, who seems to have inherited the golden business touch.

One made and lost money several times eventually his business in Cornwall led him to being declared  bankrupt. He went on to live in South Africa. He and his bosom male buddy run a successful accommodation business in Cape Town.

One married twice and both marriages failed. Marie had liked wife #1 and they became friends. Marie altered her will when she had had enough of wife #2 and excluded her. 

Marie lived alone after her husband died (1984) and all the lads had moved out. She died towards the end of 2000. Her funeral was well-attended; I took the afternoon off to go to the church service. The church was full.

One of her sons died in 2002.

She might have lived on her own, but she was hardly ever lonely as so many people visited her, cared for her and looked after her.

The eldest (richest) son always sent her a hamper from Harrods for Christmas.

Every Tuesday she passed across her shopping list and told us of any little jobs she'd like doing.

She is as the saying goes sadly missed.

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Six months on or thereabouts

Finally got appt. for the osteology dept. at the hospital.

Left early and it was good thing we did because of road closures, diversions, and rush hour.

The signposting for the diversion was worse than useless. Only useful sign said 'Road Closed'.  Thinking back, it must be some 40+ years since I regularly drove the highways and by-ways  of that part of the city. Even went past the detached house where I was in digs for a couple of years.

Surgeon was busy, some 45 mins late, but so long as I know I need to wait, that is no problem. 

The idea of injections was floated and discounted, They would be most uncomfortable and unlikely to have even the slightest positive effect. 

I now have to tackle the idea of weight-loss more seriously.

Sunday 15 July 2018

West Riding, Derbyshire, Hants and Middlesex

Take a family of textile workers in the West Riding. One son rather than follow into the textile trade becomes a joiner. Cyrus became a skilled wood-worker craftsman. For no apparent reason he moves to and settles in Derbyshire where he sets up in business and employs several workers. His younger brother joins him from the W. Riding.

Typically, families had a set of names that were passed down through the generations. In this family those names are

Cyrus - this name stands out as being a more unusual one.
I have traced the various people christened Cyrus from the West Riding via Derbyshire to Portsea and thence to London, Middx.

Cyrus Alfred born Portsea, Hampshire to Frederick (son of Cyrus from W. Riding) and his third, yes third wife Mary.

Wife #1 Sarah Ann - died

Wife #2 Rebecca -  married Frdk 1880
By 1891 Frdk has moved to Portsea, Hants.

Wife #3 Mary - widow already had 3 children from first marriage (Arthur, Ernest and Lionel)

Fred son of Frederick and Mary (Portsea)

Brother Walter, draughtsman worked at H. M. Portsmouth Dockyard.

When their father dies in 1925, Walter and Frederick inherit £1009 18s 10d.

Walter and Fred's brother Cyrus Alfred b. 1897 becomes well-known baritone and works in the theatre industry. Moves up to London to become theatre manager. Marries Bertha - a theatrical wig dresser.

Frederick - Cyrus' brother leaves W. Riding to follow Cyrus to Derbyshire. Leaves Derbyshire for America in 1857 only to perish a few years later in an accident.

Cyrus' son Frederick has family in Derbyshire and the 1881 census proves he is working in the family business.

However, by 1891 he's in Southsea where he lives until the end of his days. How or why he ended up leaving Derbyshire and creating his third family remains a mystery.

Change, change, change

Recently peeps in an online forum have been posting about P.G.C.E. which nowadays bears no resemblance to way back when.

Some of the daft ideas would be priceless if they were joking; but sadly daft ideas prevail.

Took me back to times long past.

Spending time on observation in primary school. The staff worked in a challenging area (inner city). One school inspection comes readily to mind. The Nurse sent lots of children home because if various infestations. 

Then there was a C of E school in a borough that had Middle School and Primary schools only had children up to the age of 9. Then they went to Middle School and finished off at secondary. The junior school was across a busy road from the church which had grassland behind it.  They had a special visitor one day as the Bishop of Wigan toured the school.

Previously, there were school in Cumbria and Rose Lane Liverpool. the former was experimenting with open classrooms, a specially built school where all classrooms were open, no doors! Rose Lane primary, the expectation was to teach the Headteacher's class (gulp). Typical of urban schools several pupils did not have English as first lang.

Sunday 1 July 2018

Unused as we are to fine weather

for several weeks there was rain, rain and yet more rain. This has been replaced by unforgiving, relentless sunshine.

Looking at the Cornwallive website, there have been numerous reports of fires. Although the charitable might opine that the fires had natural causes; it is becoming more apparent that some are the result of carelessness whilst others are apparently arson. Carn Marth, Redruth has according to police been set alight deliberately.
Crews from Tolvaddon, Falmouth and Perranporth all tackled the blaze with hose reels and beaters, and had it fully extinguished by 3.30 a.m. on Sunday, and passed the incident to Devon and Cornwall Police to investigate.

Cheap, portable throwaway barbecues have been the culprit on several occasions. Divers people failing to ensure they have been dowsed, and improper disposal have led to more fires.

In Lancashire, high up on the Pennines large areas of moorland have been set ablaze. To say we are in the 21st century...the outbreak is being dealt with using 'beaters' hardly a 21st century solution. In particular Saddleworth Moor has large areas where the fires have set alight layers of peat moorland making it almost impossible to control. Peat can remain smouldering for a long time.

Other areas that have caught fire include Bidston, Cheshire and Formby (Ainsdale) areas much frequented by tourists.

Long time no posts but

Osteoarthritis is the dominant theme all day everyday. 
Last December on meeting 'specialist' for was agreed that:-

  • am too young for them to operate
  • need to lose weight
  • carry on carrying on
  • by the way 'we' prefer not to operate more than once
  • and in my words to self 'carry on suffering'
  • agreed condition is serious enough to operate but remember the age barrier
  • no steroid injections as there's little chance of any positive effect
  • yes, the hip joint is now misaligned due to osteoarthritis
However, on seeing G.P. one of my shoulders is now also showing signs've guessed it...osteoarthritis.

As I have been finishing off a course with the O.U. that has dominated most of my time.

I chose EA300 Children's Literature which turned out to be intensive, time-consuming and most enjoyable.

Wednesday 3 January 2018


Side gate with uneven path

Double gateway

Someone else can care for all that grass!

Wondering what new owners or developers will do?

Photo designed to make rooms appear larger.

Time for a clear out.

1932 bungalow part of linear suburban development. 

One family owned the property until 2018. Four sons raised there, each went their separate ways.

One moved to South Africa
Eldest now lives in the S.E. having moved nearer to grandchildren.
Another was in the police force and died in the 20th century.
Finally, the youngest brother, the one that could not bear to part with this dwelling...has had decision-making taken out of his hands.
Eldest brother, probably egged on by domineering wife, sent nephew up north to get rid of the place.