Friday, 20 October 2017


ok ...I wasnt going to post anything else but I have just watched Hilary Clinton being interviewed on the UK chat show Graham Norton's show
Now Last year I heard her interviewed on radio 4,- and she came over as a rather bland character
But tonight with Norton's relaxed interview style She came across exceedingly well.....the President the US should have had

Georgy Girl

My former post depressed me greatly, well more precisely , the comments did , so I have plucked this entry from BBC 4 's programme Easy Listening Hits at the BBC ( which is presently showing)
To lighten the mood!



The nearest I've gotten to my new kitchen

I'm not a very patient person. 
Red tape,lack of information not doing things when I was told things were going to happen are things that drive me bananas .
...and I am a very assertive customer. 
The new kitchen is planned and I am awaiting final costings as the original plans forgot to take into account some heating pipes. 
Last week the plumber gave me just one hour notice of a no show ( without an explaination) and blocked me totally on social media after I told him it was inconvenient . His offer for another appointment has so far not been forthcoming.
The new local plumber is coming out on Sunday to give me a quote for some work and I'm hoping the kitchen fitter can sort out our " slot" very soon.

Project managing is bloody stressful

Thursday, 19 October 2017

If You Can't Say Something Nice ...don't say anything at all

Stans garden in spring

My mother used to use this statement a lot when I was a child. She' was referring to gossip in the main and how some people always remarked about someone else's negative points rather than their positives.
This was rich as my mother could be waspish as they come, but you sort of get the gist of where she was coming from.
One of the trophies in the flower show is in need of replacing . It's a cheap looking cup and so the committee were unanimous in the decision to change it and it seemed fitting that the cup was renamed as a dedication to someone who has supported the flower show so well over the years.
The name of Stan H was mentioned and agreed upon, as he always produced the most beautifully kept pensioner garden in the entire village and yesterday,, I had the opportunity of asking him if it was alright if we did so.
Typically Stan, who is in his nineties , was gardening when I asked him and at first, he slightly misunderstood what I was saying, thinking that I wanted him to purchase the cup for us.
When I explained that the committee was buying it and wanted to rename it as a mark of respect of what he had contributed to the show over the years, he grew silent and seemed greatly moved by the gesture.
He offered me his hand still in its gardening glove and we shook firmly.
" Thank You" he said quietly.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

A Ghost Story

With Halloween approaching today Village Elder enjoyed sharing a tale of how , years ago, a troubled local stalked the dark lane outside our cottage with a loaded shotgun.
He enjoys telling a good story and should be employed as a teller of tales, as he'd make a fortune
scaring  the  bejesus out of any small child with a healthy imagination.
Years ago, on a cold and very dark autumn evening , I am sure the dogs saw a ghost in the garden of a bungalow next to the church. We had three dogs then. A five year old Welsh terrier called Finlay, Maddie a Scottish terrier and Meg a Welsh terrier puppy and I remember clearly that when we passed the Church gates all three dogs stopped short and refused to move forward along the lane.
They did not appear frightened but looked more curious and a little perplexed and all three seemed to be looking at the same spot several feet from the ground in the centre of a lawned part of the garden.
It was the oddest thing to witness as there was nothing for me to see, but the dogs, in their stillness had seen something and their quiet vigil was the most unnerving of experiences I can tell you.

That walk was cut very short I can tell you!

As we slowly approach Halloween......please share your own ghost story!
I'd be interested to hear them

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


Walking Back from the Flower Show Review meeting tonight the committee members all stopped to admire our new kitchen window on the lane  which no longer sports it's usual antique French lace curtain.
" You'll need to sort that out " said Pat the  animal helper
" I saw you in your underpants the other morning" she remarked dryly

Ps this photo is NOT ME

Love 'n Death

Many years ago The Prof was overcome by carbon monoxide fumes from a faulty boiler.
He was alone in his flat and was only saved, literally from death, by a neighbour who heard him collapse against a mirror in the bathroom.
Fate, destiny, good fortune, luck was smiling on him that day.
Without that neighbour he would have died.
And I wouldn't be sat here writing this
I was thinking about this today after a farm lorry just skimmed me as it turned up the Marian. The driver had misjudged the gap between me and the trailer and as I picked up Mary before stepping into the hedgerow to give it room, I felt the whoosh of the metal body work an inch from my face.
I nearly drowned when I was ten.
It was in Lloret del mar and I slipped out of my rubber ring!
It was a near silent drowning and I never met the man who pulled me out at the last minute.
Without him, The Prof would be without a husband!

We never think that life can be so fickle and death so arbitrary
I've thought it today and it frightened me. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

The End Of The World

11am Trelawnyd

Ophelia hit West Wales harder than here in Trelawnyd so The Prof's University closed for business at midday. With him home with the car I was able to take William to the vets for his medication review.
The Spanish vet, with the sexy lisp saw us and she mentioned the strange phenenomen this morning when the sun went all red and the sudden darkness sent the bachelors scurrying back to their hen house.
" I heard it was Sand from the Sahara , pushed up into the atmosphere by Ophelia " I told her
" It was like the end of the world " she lisped seriously

Didn't Ophelia drown?

I had jobs planned today but with Ophelia sneaking up on us and with the prospect of the coastal trains being stopped the Prof has taken the car to work.
The sky is presently an odd shade of pale yellow and it feels somewhat strange outside so much so that two sets of passing walkers have already commented on it as they saw me cutting the last of the decent flowers in the garden.
It does feel that a storm is on its way

I am having one of my Jane Asher days today.
Cutting flowers, mowing the lawn,making banana bread, washing clothes, making a broccoli and broad bean tagine.
It's all go here. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Leadmill

Now apart from Diane M and YP, I suspect that not many people here will " get" this blog entry, but it was sparked by a photo Diane took which I have shameless nicked to illustrate this trip down memory lane.
In the 1990s nurses, as I am sure they do today, worked hard and played hard. Unofficially nurses from Lodge Moor Hospital went out en masse on a Thursday night and tanked up would all end up at Sheffield's famous Leadmill nightclub.
Now the leadmill had been going for years before I went to it, and indeed is still flourishing today and I am sure the inside of this former factory and works building situated a stone's throw from The Midland Railway station, has not changed very much from its original industrial form.
On Thursday nights there would be at least five or six young men in wheelchairs at the night club. Each one would be accompanied by a nurse and each one was still an inpatient at the city's Spinal Injury unit. The night club was a kind of rite of passage for many a patient who was physically and more important, psychologically adjusting to their paralysis.
Of course it was a chance to test the boundaries of their condition. Bladders no longer able to function properly were pushed to capacity by too much ale, spasms knocked unfeeling legs out of foot rests and negotiating a thousand or so drunken people all dancing to Abba when you want to get to the bar in a wheelchair is no mean feat.
The Leadmill management quickly Sussed that most of these patients were being accompanied by a nurse " carer" who pretended to push the patient into the club and therefore circumvented the long queue outside.
Only the most disabled ( and by that they ment patients who couldn't push themselves ) could have a nurse they said 
This was an easy rule to break. The patients just pretended to be helpless and the nurse carers pushed them in before a grumbling queue!
Of course there was the odd mishap. One lad, I remember got into a fist fight with  Barnsley thug and ended up on the head injury ward for his sins but most patients survived their late night rehab sessions at Sheffield's premier night spot.
That's more than many a student did.....after all.....students that mineswept drinks ( minesweeping for those that don't know is where you go round stealing drinks left by the dancers) often had a nasty surprise. For when a patient's urine leg bag was overfull of lager looking piss, it was common for the nurses to teach them to empty it into a pint glass which could be then left on the shelves at the side of the club for disposal !
Happy days

Saturday, 14 October 2017

The Snowman

We went to see the serial killer movie The Snowman tonight, which was two hours I am not going to ever get back.
The Prof enjoyed the gratuitous shots of Michael Fassbender in his underpants though

" Not What I had wanted it to be...."

The upside of having a new phone is organisation.
It can do everything and it forgets nothing.
Yesterday I found myself going through an old notebook.
It was the sort that most of us have from time to time.
Scribbled notes, telephone numbers...names from the past.
I tiptoed through the pages, cherry picking the contacts I needed to store in my new shiny smart phone.
One name caught my eye. I shall call her Helen.
Helen and I were friends and colleagues in Sheffield and we worked very effectively together.
She was a consultant and I was the ward manager, and apart from sharing a respect and depth of knowledge in the field we found ourselves in, we shared a wicked sense of humour, similar emotional intelligence and benefited from liking  each other a great deal.
She moved away before I left Sheffield and as friends do sometimes when life gets in the way, we lost touch.
Yesterday I spied her old mobile number, hidden away in a corner of my notebook
It was twelve years old , so I doubted it would be current, but on impulse I messaged her.
The reply came back almost immediately and messages shot back and forth with gay abandon even though she was at work and couldn't really " speak"
We have arranged to meet up and even though texts are notoriously unemotional sometimes, something in the tone of it prompted me to ask "are you happy?"
The reply moved me with it's honesty
"Not life isn't awful. Just not what I wanted it to be"

Friday, 13 October 2017

Before Albert ...there was Joan

Joan a day before she died three years after moving to Wales

Before Albert there was Joan
Joan was a true Yorkshire cat
She was vocal, opinionated and assertive
She stood no messing and she was quick to love.
Her and her sister Betty were my first pets in Sheffield.
Joan lived until she was 20 Betty died at 19
They were sisters with spunk!
I remember very well the first time Joan met our first dog Finlay
Finlay was a sweet natured Welsh Terrier pup.
He bounced up to her in our old dining room like a loon and was promptly battered within an inch of his life

Note to all!
Never Cross A Sheffield Lass with frivolous behaviour
Yorkshire Gals hate fuss


Albert in his kitten cardboard box

In the Autumn of 2008 on a whim I drove into the animal rescue centre at Dyserth and asked a remarkably wizened old lady with an unlit fag hanging out of her mouth if she had any cats who could hold their own against a quartet of terriers. She told me that she hadn't but took my telephone  number " just in case"
That very afternoon she rang me
" we've just had an older kitten brought in by a woman with two staffies" she rasped
" He's a feisty little bugger".
I called down to the shelter later that day and literally minutes after seeing him, I took possession of a tiny wide eyed black kitten with a sad history.
Albert was the only survivor of a littler of feral kittens . His mother had brought them up in a farm outbuilding next to a busy road and had herself been killed the day after Albert's brother had been knocked over by a milk lorry.  Albert and his sister had carried on in a fashion through the charity of one of the farm workers. It was the farm worker who had rescued him after Albert's sister was killed on the same patch of road.
It was the farm worker's wife who had re homed Albert after one of their staffie crosses had taken a dislike to the kitten.
The sob story was worthy of Walt Disney's BAMBI.
Albert arrived wide eyed yet remarkably calm, and set up home inside a cardboard box placed carefully on the dining room table. For six weeks he lived on the table and on the kitchen cabinets without once setting a foot on the floor ( even the cat littler was placed out of dog sniffing) and for six weeks he drove the dogs mad by remaining just that bit out of reach.
The resulting hysteria bubbled just under boiling point as the terriers lived in a permanent state of cat arousal
It was a long , long month and a half!

Then it all changed.
For one very cold night , he left the safety of the kitchen table and took his place in front of the fire with the other dogs as if he had been doing so for years
Apart from William raising a single eyebrow , nothing was ever said about this sudden assertion .

For nine years now Albert has been a true delight.
He's been knocked over by a car , breaking a leg, (which he still can't bend properly)
He has killed hundreds of rabbits, mice , small rats and birds
and he has gone out of his way to be an active  part of the cottage dog pack spending a few minutes every day head rubbing each dog in turn in happy recognition of a friend well loved.

Albert is a constant backdrop to the more boisterous animals at bwthyn y llan, and is necessary to the running of the place as oxygen