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Saturday, 20 December 2008

Christmas Titbits and a Yuletide ode

Oh Dear!
No Santa and sleigh from The Rotary Club's annual collection this year. Wait for it....Yes it's been cancelled on the grounds of 'Elf and Safety' !

To quote Littlejohn, 'You couldn't make it up'.

I'm so disappointed, it used to be the pre- Christmas highlight of 'The Avenue'.
After the collections had been made, the 'neighbours' used to get
together and have a glass or two of Christmas cheer and nibbles.
Nevermind, no doubt there will be some sort of 'get-together', over the holiday.

Now then, a Christmas ode for my blogging friends,
and wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous
New Year......

Christmas is forever, not for just one day for loving,
sharing, giving are not to be put away like bells and
lights and tinsel in some box above a shelf.

The good you do for others is the good you do yourself.

[Norman Wesley Brooks 1976]

Di.xx

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Jingle Bells

This little yarn is for my friend Welshcakes Limoncello, from the Siciliy Scene blog. She hasn't been too well of late so I hope it will make her chuckle!

As most of you know I come from the grand City of Liverpool. Sadly the City is often maligned by the media and anyone else who cares to jump on the bandwaggon.
How wrong they are!

Liverpool is a great and vibrant City.

We live in a lovely leafy suburb, surrounded by woodlands and verdant parklands, complete with lakes and gardens. Sefton Park has the magnificent Palm House, which was recently restored to it's former glory.

There are two things you can't take away from Liverpool people is their wonderful sense of humour and the ability to laugh at themselves.

Last year, at the beginning of December the local Rotary Club were carrying out the customary door to door collection on behalf of designated charities.
This is quite an event, complete with a large float on a flat back lorry, decked out with a Christmas Grotto Scene, with Santa and his Elves, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, who, of course, was at the front pulling them along in the sleigh.

All was going well until a 'boy racer' came hurtling along the road and crashed into the back of Santa's Sleigh...

Gracious me, what a kerfuffle..Poor Santa was knocked off his sleigh and ended up with Rudolph and the Elves on top of him.
Just as Santa was gathering himself together, the North Star on a six foot pole, attached to the heavily securred metal collection box, crashed down onto the hapless chap. Not to be daunted by his predicament, he lay on the ground laughing his head off.
Talk about seeing stars....he saw more than the North Star that night!
Rumour had it that he had been partaking in a little nip of Whisky or three, from his hip flask, hence his insensitivity to the situation!

He sustained bruised ribs and a broken leg and spent several days in Hospital.
Good job he had his hip flask...must have obliterated the pain.

Rudolph had to be 'put down' and the Elves were sent back to the Grotto for rest and recouperation.

The poor Santa in his 'day job' is a Health and Safety officer for the local council, or should I say 'Elf and Safety'....Ho ho ho !

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Doldrums

As it is more than a month since I wrote anything on my Blog and as several kind Bloggers have e-mailed me, to enquire of my well-being and whereabouts, I feel compelled to give you an update.
I am still struggling with health issues and up to my eyes in prescibed drugs it is difficult to find inspiration. With this in mind, I thought, perhaps I may have a general chit chat or even a 'rant'!

Here goes.......

DT and I are thoroughly depressed with the on-going financial failings of this awful Government. Everything we have both worked so hard for and saved for, to use in our retirement, is quckly fading away. When we both retired we were quite comfortably off, not now! We live in a quite large house which we would like to sell and buy something smaller but because of the current financial climate it is an impossible task without losing a lot of money. In the meantime we are using savings (what's left of them) to subsidise our outgoings.

Neither of us have ever been dependent upon the state, we have paid our taxes at higher rates and worked hard to save for later life. We are both in our early sixties and look forward to lots more happy years together

Then it was 1997 and along came NuLab...

'A new day has dawned has it not'?...... spouted the supercillious, grinning idiot Blair.....'No more boom and bust'....roared the brooding, so called, 'psycholgically flawed', Iron Chancellor Gordon'Prudence' Brown.

Our savings and investments (all in Blue Chip Companies), have lost three quarters of the value, in the time NuLab have been wrecking the economy, of this, once wonderful Country.
They are disappearing faster than an ice cube in the Sahara Desert.

I have been around long enough to see the damage sucessive Labour Governments can do to the economy, having worked in the Banking and Financial Services sector for most of my career.

My Father, who was a Master Printer and a staunch Socialist, was absolutely mortified when, at the age of eighteen that I announced I was going to vote Conservative. He launched into a lecture of how he and my mother had worked hard to make sure that I, and my siblings, had a good education, and 'this is how you repay us'. This made me smile because I knew, my mother, unbeknown to him, voted Conservative, however, to save the peace let him think she was of the same political persuasion as him.
I did point out to my Father, that the very reason he'd had made sure I'd had a good education was the very reason that I was able to form my own political opinions and not to be swayed by his assumed family tradition of voting labour. he harrumphed a bit but eventually we agreed to differ.

A few years later when he was managing a large printing works and having had several 'wild cat strikes' on his hands, he, according to my Mother, 'saw the light', and changed his vote to Conservative. he never did tell me about his change of heart. A lovely, kind but rather proud man was my Father.

Talk about a leopard changing his spots!

There....Rant over...I look forward to your comments my dear Blogging Chums!

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Mothers-in-law.

Mothers-in-Law law are often the butt of so many comedians jokes, sometimes, quite unfairly. There are a lot of good alternative comediennes around but I've yet to hear any of them berating their husband's or partner's mothers.
Why is this I wonder?

Is it because we 'girls ' stand together as the Sisterhood and believe that we are beyond reproach, or, is it because men feel threatened, often by three adult women, influencing their lives; ie. wife, own mother and, mother-in-law?

I have had two Mothers-in Law. The first was a 'She devil from Hell' and the second was absolutely lovely, most of the time, (after all nobody's perfect)!

As I am a Mother-in-law to two Sons-in law, I know I am treading on dangerous territory, but, apart from the occasional, faux paux, usually committed by me when I am trying to be 'Wonder Woman' and getting stressed, particularly when entertaining so many , when they all come to stay at the same time,
I feel we have a good relationship.

I have a great deal of love and respect for them both, so, I dearly hope this is reciprocated. I shall be eternally grateful for my beautiful Grandchildren. They are both good and loving husbands and fathers. I must also say, they are also good and kind to me, and of course, DT.

Which self respecting, Mother-in-law could ask for more......

Sadly, not in the case of my first Mother-in Law!
Oh dearie me no! The She Devil from Hell.

This woman left a trail of misery wherever she went.

I could write a book about the terrible things she did to me.
Her party piece was writing the most appalling poison pen letters to my friends and family, accusing me of being a prostitute, amongst other things.

All this was going on whilst her Son and I were planning to marry. At that time I was a member of the Church Choir and a Sunday School Teacher. Laughable really, but then, not so funny!
My family could have taken legal action against her, but as the wedding was looming, and they genuinely liked my husband-to-be, also, they were concerned for my future happiness, so, they chose not to.

The marriage lasted twelve years.....She got her own way in the end. Sadly, when her Son died last year they were not speaking, she even wrote him a nasty letter when he was so terribly ill. Needless to say, her Grandaughters havn't seen or spoken to her for 25 years. She tried to have them taken into care when I divorced her Son. She wrote one of her infamous poison pen letters to The Social Services, again, saying the most appalling things about me. I believe her ultimate plan was to get custody of them and then, have her Son live with her, together with the girls.This was never going to happen because She and her Son had a 'love-hate' relationship.

Oh boy! Did I stand up to her then.

The Social Worker who visited my home was delighted to meet us and assured me there was absolutely no chance of her carrying out her threats....particularly when I enlightened her with 'The She Devil's' previous form, re the 'letters and accusations'..Crazy Woman...In a way I feel sorry for her, she's missed so much.
She's well into her eighties now and lives alone, without any family or friends to care for her.

Now to Mother-in Law number two.....

Oh boy what a refreshing change...Dear Olive ...

From the day she and Jim (Grandpa DT), met me and The Girls, we were welcomed into the family with open arms.
Olive had the most infectious chuckle and used to say, when reminiscing about the first time she met the Girls,(they already had two lovely grandaughters), 'Yesterday we had two Grandaughters and today we've got five'.

When DT and I got engaged they were delighted and couldn't wait for the Wedding.
Olive used to visit my dear Mama when she was ill and housebound.
Sadly Granpa DT died a few months before we married but, on the day, Olive said, 'Jim is with us in spirit'.
She was a deeply religious lady but never attempted to inflict others with her religious views. It would not have mattered to me had she done so because I had so much respect for her.
Sadly she died many years ago, but she had a good and meaningful life, The Girls and I loved and respected her dearly.

I look forward to lots of comments, especially from my male blogging friends!

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Then I saw him standing there.

Many years ago I was the witness,(matron of honour),at a friend's marriage, to a chap I had introduced her to. There were two single men also attending the wedding. One was a M. Ross, Esq. and the other was DT, (Darling Trubes).
As I had introduced my friend to her soon to be husband, she was hell-bent on returning the compliment.
Still smarting from recently being divorced, I really had no intention of diving headlong into another relationship so soon, despite my friend's bungled efforts to 'match-make'!

We arrived at the Registry Office, and then.....

I saw him standing there!
Well..My heart went boom,
When I crossed the room,
and..He held his hand in mine...

We proceded with the Marriage ceremony and every time I turned around to check that the five children were ok, (my three, and my friend's two), all I could see was DT siiting in the centre of the children, with a smiling face and twinkling eyes.
The children behaved impecably throughout the ceremony. It must have been D.T's calming influence because they didn't move....Just too good to be true!

After the 'nuptuals' we proceeded to the local hostery for the reception.
DT offered me and the three girls, (aged 9, 7 and 4yrs), a lift in his car, which I gratefully accepted.
The children scrambled into the back and I sat in the front alongside DT.

All was quiet on the back seat apart from a bit of giggling and whispering.
Suddenly a little voice 'piped up' 'Well, if she marries Mr Ross she would be called Diana Ross and we could be 'The Supremes'! Another little voice chipped in, 'Well I want her to marry Mr.DT. because 'Aunty M' said he's got a much better job and lots more money than Mr.Ross....He's a much better catch and better looking too!.... What was the expression....

'From the mouths of babes, comes words of wisdom'.....

'Open up ground and swallow me now', I thought, as I turned crimson with embarrassment. Needless to say DT was highly amused and took all this in good fun....I really didn't expect to see him again...

However, a Month later at the Local Womens's Institute Dance, to which he'd invited me, (without The Supremes, I may add), who, were tucked up in bed with Grandma baby sitting.. we toodled off for a sumptuous Banquet and Disco at a wonderful local hotel....

Oh, we danced through the night,
we held each other tight,
Then, before too long,
I fell in love with him,
Well, I've never danced with another,
Since, I saw him standing there.

Three weeks after the WI Dance DT came around for Sunday Roast, we had been dating in between time and DT used to, some times call around early evening, and would invariably end up at the table playing board games with the children whilst I prepared supper..... However, Back to the Sunday Roast!

Everyone was sitting nicely around the table, and as I carried in the dinner, 'up piped' another little voice saying...'When are you going to marry my Mum'?

I nearly dropped the Roast Chicken, and again, blushed crimson in embarrassment....'Oh ground please, please open up and swallow me', again, I cringed.
Then, another little voice added, 'Look at Mum, she's gone all red'....

Again all this was taken in good humour by DT.
I really expected him to do a 'runner ', and join The Foreign Legion...
Bearing in mind DT was the eternal batchelor and was never in any rush to get married too any of his former girl friends.


Five years later we were married. Although, all the while, our relationship was getting stronger, DT, was never a man to rush into things, he wanted the three girls to accept him and also, I needed time to recover from an acrimonious divorce, which was, in some ways, like a bereavement.

During DT's Speech at the wedding he raised his glass to me and the three girls and said how happy he was, because he had fallen in love, not only with me, but, with the 'whole package', from when he first met us.

The whole package included One large Alsation Dog called Victor, A Guinea Pig called Gilbert, a one eyed Cat called Nelson, Two Goldfish and a White Mouse called Ben..... I guess he married the whole menagerie, (package).

We have just celebrated 20 years of Happy Marriage, thanks to my little 'Matchmakers'!

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Ladies and their 'Unmentionables'.

Why is it that ladies of a certain generation are very particular about their 'undies'?
My dear Mum-in- Law would never hang hers out to dry on the washing line in the garden, and placed them discretely on a clothes maiden indoors, out of sight, and of course, always referred to them, as her 'unmentionables'.

My own dear Mama, whenever she stayed with us, always insisted on washing her 'unmentionables' by hand and hanging them to dry on the radiator in her room. This used to drive me potty as I washed everything else for her with the family wash and, I hate washing being hung up to dry on radiators. There was just no way her 'unmentionables' were going to be displayed to all and sundry on a washing line!

I had a lovely Auntie May, who, in her later years, had a mild form of dementia, and was sweetly confused.
She happily,resided in a Nursing Home in Southport, where, she was well cared for until, sadly, she passed away.

Her daughter, my cousin 'Joybells', as she is affectionately known, within the Family, collected her one day from the Nursing home,for her to spend some time with her family at their home in Hertfordshire.
Auntie May settled herself in and unpacked her suit case. Joybells, on assisting her asked her where her undies (panties) were. Whereupon, Auntie May looked rather vague and started to giggle, then toddled off to watch television. 'Oh no, thought Joy, the Care Assistant had forgotten to pack them'.

She phoned the Nursing Home and they were adamant that they had been packed, Joy, by then, was getting increasingly frustrated with the situation, so she more or less 'tore a strip off' the Assistant then dashed out to the nearest Marks and Spencers and purchased Auntie May 12 pairs of old ladies 'unmentionables'. She then, dashed back home to put them away and prepare supper. All this was done in a day of a 450 mile round trip to collect her beloved Mama.

After supper, Joy was putting the new 'undies' in a drawer and opened the wardrobe to put Auntie May's coat away and.... Lo and Behold...there... hanging on individual hangers .... all neatly lined up at the end of the wardrobe....Yes, you've guessed... Auntie May's 'unmentionables.

Poor 'Joybells', then had to eat 'humble pie' and telephone the Nursing home to apologise profusely to the 'ear battered' Care Assistant.
Auntie May thought this was all very funny and couldn't understand what all the fuss was about. She then proceeded to hang up her twelve new pairs of 'unmentionables on a further twelve hangers in the wardrobe, snuggled herself up in bed and fell asleep giggling!
Must be a genetic thing in my family, amongst the ladies 'Knickermania' perhaps?

Just off now to wash my unmentionables and hang them discretely on a radiator.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Do I Hear A Waltz ?

This the title song of a Broadway Musical first performed in 1965. It was written by Rogers and Sondheim. I don't know very much about this Musical other than the storyline is that of an American Spinster, who could not give herself emotionally, (whatever that means), until she falls in love.

She has a doomed affair with a married man during a vacation in Venice.

Many years ago I used to sing in a ladies choir and one of the lady soloists named Edith, who had never married, used to sing this at many of the Concerts that we performed.
In fact, it was one of the most requested song in our very varied programme.

Most of our audiences were older ladies in Residential Care homes and Senior Citizens Clubs. For some reasons, which you may understand, when you read the lyrics, that, whenenever Edith performed this song, many crinkly old faces were wreathed in knowing smiles, and many faded old eyes, regaining their lovely true colours, glistened with with tears.

Here are the lyrics. (Sorry I can't sing it for you)!

Do I hear a Waltz...

Do I hear a waltz?
Very odd but I hear a voice,
There isn't a band and I don't understand it at all.

I can't hear a waltz,
Oh my lord there it goes again!
Why is nobody dancing in the street?
Can't they hear the beat?
Magical, mystical miracle,
Can it be true?
Is it true?
Is it me?
No it's you!

I do hear a waltz,
I see you and I hear a waltz,
It's what I've been waiting for all my life... to hear a waltz.

Do I hear a waltz?
Oh my dear don't you hear a waltz?
Such lovely Blue 'Danubey' music,
How can you be still,
You must hear a waltz!

Even strangers are dancing now,
An old lady is dancing in her flat,
waltzing with her cat.

Roses are dancing with Peonies.

Yes it's true,
Don't you see?
Can't be you!
Must be me!

Do I hear a waltz?
I wan't to share it 'cause...
Oh boy, do I share a waltz!

Sadly Edith the soloist died a few years ago and I never did pick up the courage to ask her what was behind her reason for singing 'Do I Hear A Waltz'. I always felt it held some deep significance in her life but she never revealed what that significance was.
She was a very tall, good looking and beautifully groomed lady. She certainly had an 'aura' about her, however, she was a very private person, that was, until until she opened her mouth to sing, in her beautiful Contralto voice.


I truly believe Edith did hear her Waltz!

Do you hear a Waltz?...Do tell


I will share my 'Waltz' with you, on my next post.....

Monday, 14 April 2008

Michael. Z Christianson. RIP. 01.05.07.

This is a Tribute, to the dear Father of our Three Daughters.

Sadly, he died last year, after a valiant fight against Pancreatic Cancer.
As many of you will know that I have been very happily re-married to Darling Trubes for 21 years and he has been a wonderful Step-Daddy to the Three Girls, and a 'Fab' Grandpa to our three grandchildren.

Michael and I divorced 26 years ago. On reflection, we married far too young, but people did marry a lot younger then. We had had always been in touch, particularly on special Family occasions. We had a courteous relationship he too, re-married and was very happy in that relationship.

It hit home to me, how we all missed him, when, the extended family, attended Darling Olivia'`s second birthday celebrations. Although he was desperately ill, last year, he strugggled to attend her first birthday party.
Sadly he died a few weeks later.
Michael was the only son of a guy called Chris Christianson, who was a Flight Lieutenant in The Royal Canadian Airforce during WW2. His Family still live in Calgary on the West side of Canada.

He was 'shot down' over Holland and sadly, didn't get to meet his only son. Michael was born after his Father died. Chris was 22 years of age ....so young ....so sad.


My song is to you. Michael.


There were Bells on a Hill,
but I never heard them at all,
No I never heard them at all,
'Til' there was you.

Rest in Peace...Mike..

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Terms of Endearment

'Tilly Mint'.

I was recently asked by fellow blogger Thud, if, I knew the origin of the name 'Tilly Mint'. On researching this question I discovered that, it alludes to a female Scouser, (Liverpool lass), who, has ideas above her station.
Ironically, my father used to address me by this 'term of endearment', when, I was a stroppy teenager, and 'looked down' my imperious nose, upon his advice, and observations, regarding my general lifestyle, and demeanour.
On reflection, I was, a bit of a 'Tilly Mint'.

For heavens sake, I was a wild child of the Sixties.

We invented everything, including, Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll, The Beatles, Flower Power, The Beach Boys, Surfing at Woolacombe Beach.
I Didn't indulge in all of these things. Not telling you which I did indulge in, either !

Real Teenagers didn't exist until then, believe me.

My sister, who is eight years older than me, was a demure, Snub-Nosed 'Paragon of Perfection', according to my mis-guided parents. Hmm... how little they knew.
She was a teenager in the fifties ,and liked all the soppy crooners of that time, including Johnny Ray, Frankie Lane, Pat Boone,and 'Ol Blue Eyes', himself, Frank Sinatra.
I know Bill Hailey and the Comets, and then, Elvis were around, but I could never have imagined her jiving in the aisles of the local flea-pit to 'Rock around the Clock' and ripping out the seats.
...Oh dearie me, no. That would be more likely her naughty little sister, Moi, indulging in such wayward behaviour, had I been old enough.....Tilly Mint..Indeed !

I set about shattering this conception, as soon as I hit sixteen ,( and not so sweet).

I 'dropped out' of Education and rebelled. (more stories to follow at a later date)!

For my punishment, I was levered into a respectable job in Lloyds Bank Trust Company.. where 'Miss Goody two Shoes', worked.

The Parents probably thought she would be able to 'keep an eye on me'.

Thankfully, 'Big Sister', married and moved to Worcestershire, so, I was able to be my own person in the workplace, without being talked down to, and generally, being bossed about.

Don't get me wrong, I get along fine with my Sister, but through my parents blatant favouring of her, always made me feel, that, I lived constantly in her shadow.
Actually, when standing next to her now, I do, literally, 'stand in her shadow' She's a very large lady and I believe, weighs a good deal more than I do.
Now, I ain't no lightweight, some may say 'cuddly', but I do try to keep a check on my weight , diet, etc.
My sister lives in Brittany N.W. France, which is an absolute gourmets' delight. Needless to say, she enjoys the delicious local fare, with relish. Unfortunately she is diebetic, and really shouldn't eat half the stuff she does. C'est la vie!

I sometimes think my sister is locked in a 'fifties', time warp. She still finds it difficult to speak to me as the mature person that I am , not the teenage sister, of many years gone by.....Tilly Mint..indeed !

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Health Issues......Again !!

Who was Spotty Muldoon ?
Well, I don`t know who he was, but I sure know how he must have felt.
I am sharing yet another 'health issue' with my dear Blogging Chums, as so many of you have been enquiring of my whereabouts, via e- mail and telephone; So, Here goes.....
As most will be aware that, I am really a bit of an 'Old Crock' and have probably bored for Britain on my recent 'Back' problems. Not content with having had Rheumatoid Arthritis for several years, then the Synovial Cyst saga, I have decided to hit the Jackpot and develop a very nasty skin condition called Pemhigoid ! Don`t ask, look it up, if you`re interested,(at your own peril). I feel like the Dennis Potter Character in his wonderful play about 'The Singing Detective'.
My Consultant Rheumatologist referred me to a Consultant Dermatologist, who, was quite baffled by my rash. To my horror , he thought it may be Scabies. I broke out in more spots art the very thought of having the 'S' word. He was most disappointed when after performing a skin biopsy that it wasn`t. Apparently 'S' is extremely easy to treat. Needless to say I was quite relieved to know that it wasn`t, but then, mortified to learn the nature of my latest affliction, which is far more difficult to treat than scabies.

Are you all itching yet ?

I have been put on a course of Steroids (nice) and now, after being weaned of Morphine, re cyst I am now up to my eyes in Steroids, which I may have to take for some time.
I believe Steroids can do strange thing to ladies....I just hope I
don`t grow any extra 'bits', surplus to requirements. Perhaps, now is the time, to run off and join the circus!

Darling Trubes, in his own jocular style, suggested that I get into training for the next Olympics as a Shot Putter and follow in the footsteps of Fatima Whitbread.
You can imagine that Moi was not amused, so, when he`d picked himself up of the floor, he apologised profusely, then added, "Perhaps Boxing may be more suitable for you to indulge yourself in".... Cheek !
The current side effects afflicting me, at present, are, constant chattering, hyper-activity and a feeling of euphoria.
So there it is..... must away now... Just going to re-decorate the Hall Stairs and Landing and then enter the Annual Mersey River Swimming Competition !(Before supper that is !), Chin Chin !

Sunday, 24 February 2008

The Birthday Treat.

We arrived at the Inn at Whitewell, in the Trough of Bowland Lancashire, to a very warm reception. It was bitterly cold outside but on entering the Inn we were immediately warmed by the blazing log fires, a large pot of coffee together with, warm home made scones and clotted cream, accompanied by a Cognac, (for medicinal purposes only)!
Our room was delightful, furnished with a large Four Poster Bed and a roaring Peat Fire. The room has spectacular views of The River Hoddle, which is surrounded by glorious rambling hills, and edged by The Forest of Bowland.
Charles Bowman is the owner and his ancestors date as far back as the 15th Century. One of the ancestors was a Bowman at the Battle of Agincourt, it is believed that his bows were made from the wood of a local yew tree.
After 'sprucing ourselves up', we wandered down to dinner. What delights awaited us! We decided to eat in one of the many cosy rooms spread around the bar area, each room complete with a huge roaring log fire.
DT dashed to the bar, with indecent haste, I may add, to order his favourite ale, Blonde Witch, which, for some unfathomable reason, he calls it 'Blonde Bitch' and then looks at me with a mischievious glint in his eye. Bearing in mind, I am indeed a 'Blonde', I wonder, "whatever can he mean"? He thinks this is all very funny and has a jolly good chuckle to himself. Oh well, he is actually, quite funny, often unwittingly so. I settled for a Gin and Tonic.
We dined on sweet juicy scallops followed by venison in a wild berry sauce for DT, and duckling breast in a red wine jus for me. To complete our feast we had creme brulee. I have to confess, when having three courses, I usually get quite full half way through the second, so, I usually, surreptitiously, slide what I can't eat on to DT's plate.
It was a wonderful evening, recalling times with our parents, three darling daughters, friends and family. Sadly the parents have all died now, so, we are officially the 'Oldies' although I don't feel 'that' old.
Eventually we toddled off to our lovely warm room and settled down for a good night`s snooze. The temperature outside, was minus 4 degrees, so the peat fire was more than welcoming.
We awakened in the morning to the thickest hoare frost I can ever remember. The trees looked enchanting and part of the river was frozen over. Every thing was quiet and still. A Winter wonderland indeed !
Breakfast consisted of porridge, poached haddock with poached egg for me, and the full English Breakfast for DT. All was going well until, I again, surreptitiously, slid half of the poached haddock onto DT`s plate, when he announced in a rather loud voice to a very quiet breakfast room, to quote, " You know Darling, I think I`ve reached an age when I really should eat less". He is a joy to cook for and appreciates good food. Being of medium height and quite stocky, he takes some filling, a bit like a Rugby Prop Forward but minus the cauliflower ears and bent nose.
Well, you can imagine my reaction by this public statement, after all he`d dispatched in the past 24 hours. I dissolved into helpless fits of giggles, which were accompanied by puzzled looks from the other very quiet diners, the more they looked, the more I laughed. "What have I said, he enquired innocently", "Nothing Darling", I replied, not wishing to hurt his feelings. I just wondered who he was trying to convince? He really is such a "Sweetie".
After all that food, we decided to have a walk in our 'Winter Wonderland', so we set off to a delightful little village called Wray to walk along the river. As we walked , the sun came breaking through the mist, causing the frost on the trees to glisten. It is a long time since I've experienced such gorgeous Winter weather. Magic!
We spent another evening at the Inn, again enjoying the ambience and eating more delicious food. This was a lovely Birthday treat and I returned home refreshed and Happy.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Whiter than White in the Lions den'

I have just been doing the rounds of my favourite blog sites and the current themes are primarily about the integrity of The Honourable Members of the British Parliament.
Lakelander has a good analogy about a certain suspended Honourable Member, by the name of Conway, which you can read about on his Blog Site.
Without sounding like a "Grump";
Am I alone in becoming more and more enraged by the mendacious behaviour of some M.P.s? The behaviour of Mr Conway regarding the supposed employment, and subsequent payment, of friends and family, through the generous Parliamentary Allowances System is a total sham.
Do these people pay N.I.Contributions and Income Tax ? If so, a record of such should be available for scrutiny, also the amounts paid to these people, hours worked, and work done. We the tax payers are their "Employers" not the `Honourable Members. It is our money, they are so generously giving to their friends and family, not theirs ! This is not a "Slush Fund". This is Taxpayers Money, intended to be used for our benefit.

There, Now the rant is over I am compiling a list of M.P`s I would like to throw into the Lions Den and the reasons why.
Feel free to add to the list.
1. Anthony (freebee} Blair and his money grubbing wife.
2. John Prescott and his "Property" developing sons.
3. Alan Milburn. He resigned from a Ministerial role to "spend more time with his family".....Why ? NuLab don`t do resign...was this something to do with a Directorship of a Company, some how linked to a Government Department ?
4. Tessa Jowell......inexplicably separated from her husband over an alleged "cash payment" from that nice Mr Berlusconi. (Tony and Chezzas friend)
5.Peter Mandelson The European Commissioner, and a special loan arrangement from the then, Paymaster General. Geofrey Robinson.

The list is endless regarding the dodgy behaviour of many, in this so-called "Whiter than White Government. Who would you like to throw to the Lions and why ?

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Health Scare

Well, I consider myself to be a "tough old bird" but was almost floored when, my Consultant Rheumatologist informed me on Tuesday, that I have a Synovial Cyst on the Lower Spine. Not malignant, "they say" (whoever they are)! Needless to say I have been scouring the Internet for information, I am glad to say, this seems to be the case! Treatment is initially Cortisone Injection in the affected area, Ouch! Should this fail then it`s an operation, Cripes!
Have any of my Blogging Chums or their friends etc come across this condition? Apparently it`s quite rare, any words of wisdom or indeed, comfort, would be most welcome at this time. Maybe old Trubes just aint as tough as she thought she was!
The most annoying thing is that I opted out of BUPA 18 months ago to save £2000 pe year....Now that`s what I call "Sod`s Law". However I have been well looked after by the NHS to date. In Liverpool we have one of the most highly acclaimed teaching Hospitals in the world. I can substantiate that claim as I`ve met Medical Students from all around the Globe during my recent French Studies at the University. That`s something I`ve dearly missed, I had to drop out for a year because of the wretched back problem, Drat! However, I will go back as soon as I`m fixed.
There, I feel better already....... A problem shared is a problem halved.....Voilla !

Shaky and Silver Linings.