Friday, 24 February 2017

Coffin Talk

I missed Gay Gordon's funeral service.
I fell asleep on the couch and woke up in my uniform with a pair of surgical forceps poking into my nether regions.
I was annoyed at missing it, for I suspect it would have been an interesting bun fight.

I have only been to one funeral service that could have been described as entertaining. It was the funeral service of a nursing colleague which had been choreographed by a talented humanist speaker who knew just how to balance pathos with mirth. He had the congregation eating out of his hand.
Most of the other fifty or so services I have attended have promoted feelings which have been a mixture of profound sadness, dissatisfaction and disappointment ( I shall explain this in a bit) and of duty and respect.
A few have been somewhat surprising ( for all of the wrong reasons ) one, I remember was gut wrenching and overwhelmingly emotional and one ice cold memorial featured just two mourners ( including myself) and three crematorium staff.
I have given eulogies at three funerals and was slightly drunk at one other after too many nips from a friend's hip flask. I have been present when in a family funeral car we were sideswiped by a lorry a minute from the church and I have walked into the wrong service at a crematorium in Sheffield  which ran two ceremonies at the same time.
Abide with me has, I think, been the most common of hymns sung.
The funniest piece of music played, I remember hearing was the theme from The Benny Hill Show and at one funeral of a long term psychiatric patient I once nursed, the order of service was almost halted by strangled laughter after another patient kept yelling  IS HE DEAD? continually through the prayer section.
The worst funerals, I always think, are those that fail to capture the essence of the deceased. I often blame sub standard clergy for this one, vicars that fail to do their homework before opening their gobs.
One Priest, who looked as if he was doing the congregation a favour, said of a long standing and successful nurse I once knew that her life " was full and interesting because she enjoyed the archaeological tv show " Time Team" and crossword puzzles!" 
I could have bust him in the mouth for that one.

Thursday, 23 February 2017


Doris has turned out to be a bit of a bitch.
The electricity has been off a couple of times and in the Churchyard one of the trees splint almost in half and has crashed to the ground.
Winnie took one look at the horizontal rain and promptly ran back into the kitchen to have a piss on a rug.
Her expression said it all
" you've got to be fucking kidding" 

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Hollow Smile

She smiled with her mouth but not with her eyes.
I've noticed the fact several times now when I've met her.
I think I know why she seems a little sad.
Moving into a small village can be isolating especially when you have a new baby to look after.

I saw her yesterday, when I was fixing the light over the back door. She was pushing the baby down the lane to feed the sheep, mother and child, she reports miss the hens and geese dreadfully.
I asked her if she felt a bit isolated ( isolated felt a better word to use than the more stark lonely) and immediately I know I'd touched a nerve.
She looked as though she could have cried then and there.

It may not be a panacea to all of her ills but I thought that I will ask her to join the Flower Show Committee. We are due a meeting in the spring.

It's 7.15 am and I'm nursing a coffee whilst listening to John Hurt's " Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell"  monologue on BBC . It's going to be a busy few days, me thinks for not only have I two back to back night shifts to deal with ( a favour for a friend with child care problems ) but I'm taking neighbour Trevor to his outpatients appoinment this morning (a sixty mile round trip) and have to fit in a leaving party for five intensive care staff who have moved onto bigger and better things as well as squeezing in Gay Gordon's funeral which takes place on Friday morning!

And storm Doris  is all set to strike on Thursday morning!

It's all go!

Pastures New

This morning I recieved an email from a smallholder from Gwynedd . He told me that Camilla Parker Bowles and her " sisters" were doing very well indeed.
The email was a welcomed one, but it did twang the heart strings just a little.

Several weeks ago the geese left the Ukrainian village for pastures new.
I didn't blog about this fact , for it was rather a sad time.

It was a hard decision to make, but with the hens' removal to the safety of barn life and under the shadow of avian flu I finally made the decision that the geese had to be found a new home.
And I wanted total control over this change.
This year I retire from work. The Prof's work could and probably will change to pastures new and we also have the opportunity to travel a little more, and so I wanted the girls on a farm with care 24/7.
I " interviewed" several interested parties and eventually chose a small holder from the back-and-beyond in deepest Wales. He is an interesting character as he is good with animals and fairly poor with people.
He was also as poor as a church mouse,as it was evident that his income went on animal care and not designer clothing!
It was this quiet dedication that allowed me to make that final decision.
Now Camilla has the space to fly without risks of crash landing on the nearest bin lorry. The group now have a safe haven with a pond and a new owner who only leaves the farm to to the weeks' shopping.

I still miss the geese but I am so happy they are settled in their new home.
Was it actually seven years ago when they arrived?

Monday, 20 February 2017

The Walking Dead Season 7 Eps10

Relationships don't last too long in The Walking Dead ask Maggie, Sasha and Rosita if you don't believe me! Rick has been with Michonne just one series now and the " boys" Aaron and Eric seem to be hanging on in there but everyone else seems to be suffering from Walking Dead Widow syndrome.
Everyone but Carol and Daryl.
These fractured characters have been friends since the close of season 1, and it was an absolute joy for the series audience to see them reunited in tonight's episode.
Carol and Daryl are the heart of team Rick. They are both victims of  domestic abuse, but have blossomed in this dangerous new world and although still very much  damaged goods, their vulnerabilities have propelled them into two of the most cherished characters in the entire show
Tonight when Daryl, the borderline Aspergers warns off Richard with the words
 " if she ever gets hurt...she dies....she catches a fever....gets taken out by a walker....gets hit by lightening...anything...anything....happens to her...and I'll kill you."
It brought a lump to my throat!
The Walking Dead needs such characters.
Without them, it's just a gore fest.

Looking Like Shite

I do so try to explain to the Prof about the toll shift work takes on a soul
Yesterday was a case in point.
I finished a night shift (7.30 pm to 8.15 am ) then came home..slept from 9 am to midday then was woken up by a bowl of fish pie! ( which was bloody lovely btw) I then took the dogs out then went to Conwy for a drink and a read of the papers in a lovely real ale pub we found recently......the Prof had a few pints of real ale.....I had two strong coffees and Mary had a packet of crisps!  Great to find a dog friendly we sat in the snug with a group of Liverpudlian hikers , I tried to explain that If I woke the Prof up at 1am and took him out to a night club , he too would feel and look like this....
He just doesnt get it!
Fucking rough! ......roll on retirement

She loves me so

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Shit Bags

Tom will like this....
It's about dog shit.

I don't feel neighbourly today. I'm tired.
Sure I was  friendly to Rowenna when she complained that the church bin had not been emptied,,( but she is so sweet that it didnt take much effort) but when a certain hatchet face old prune screamed at me when winnie was mid dump on an expense of badly kept lawn outside her council owned property I was ready for a fight albeit a velvet glove sort of fight.
I was just about to scoop the offending turd up into a bag when the old fart yelled out
" get that dog off that grass!" 
Now..I know it was more out of devilment rather than maliciousness  but I turned to the woman, smiled a sweet smile and said in a polite yet firm tone
This kind of attitude drives em bananas! 
As I tied up the 2 lb poo and plonked it into my pocket, she started again, though there was noticeably less aggression in her voice
" I'll ring the council!" She called
I smiled again
" You do that!" I trilled sweetly
"I will " she shouted 
" Good" I replied.
Yes it was all rather juvenile but I couldn't help myself.
" and when your at it, get them to cut your grass"
The woman " harrumphed" as we moved on watching me carefully over folded arms.
I could have then kissed George with a big sloppy Scottish terrier kiss,
For as he  jauntily trotted up behind us ( he is off his lead at this particular part of our constitutional) he  stopped briefly at a stone animal which decorated this woman's path and without prompting loudly pissed on it!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Friday, 17 February 2017

Photograhed as she contemplated life this evening

kitchen Sink News

Yesterday I recieved an email from one of the community council members.
He asked me to post it on today's blog in order to raise awareness of the event.
I agreed

Hi John, Great blog entry today - I nearly wept over my laptop. It always breaks me up.

On a different issue, as I know many in the village follow your blog, and only if you feel it appropriate, could you plug the drop ins for discussing community transport .
"Community transport drop in events 22/02/17 - 4.30pm-5.30pmGwaenysgor Village Hall and 24/02/17 - 4.30pm-5.30pmTrelawnyd Memorial Hall"
The Community Council have arranged them with FCC
With the declining public transport in our area we need to do something on a community basis and I was hoping to get as many people there as we can to discuss what we can do.
Thanks John - if you feel it inappropriate then I will not feel offended.


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Bring Him Home

This blog should be viewed after the proceeding one if that makes sense.
Bear with me....if you follow my instructions, it will make sense.

Seventy people more or less filled St Michael's Church for Colin Endres' memorial service. Seventy people is not a bad turn out for someone in their mid eighties I thought.
Every pew was filled.
Sailor John and Mandy, Animal Helper Pat and her daughter Joanne, Farmer Basil, Jenny the former postmistress, old Trevor, Sheep man Graham, the head of the community council, and a score of old faces sat at the back of the Church as the family took the front pews.
Gaynor, the mad organist looked natty in her checked jacket.
The vicar looked traditional in his long frock. 
It was a nice service. 
The funeral usher came from Denbigh and was a practised baritone. He provided a spirited descant to the chorus of Calon Lan.
After  the service, Yola, Colin's wife took her time to process down the aisle and as we sat there, Gaynor switched on a recording of Bring Him Home from Les Miserables.
I suspect that the recording was this  version, and although it is said to be a common song to be played at a funeral, It was the first time I had heard it at such a service. 

As the elderly and strong voices from the village choir filled the church, many in the congregation bowed their heads with the sudden emotion of it all.

Butterscotch Angel Delight

After a somewhat energetic appointment with a dental hygienist , I called into the Mcdonald's drive through for a coffee. It was mid morning.
On impulse, while my coffee cooled I drove up past the Monastery at Pantasaph and pulled up outside Auntie Glad's nursing home.
The new manager met me at the door and shook my hand formally. She wanted to know who I was.
She asked me to wait as she thought Gladys was having a lie in after being somewhat poorly.
I waited in the small dining room, where one deminuative resident eyed me carefully from her wheelchair.
" who are you here to see?" She croaked
" Gladys Jones" I replied
" Her room is next to mine", she told me " She's had a wee infection!"
" oh dear" I said smiling weakly.
The manager appeared and told me that Gladys would recieve me in her room.
I didn't stay too long, for Gladys was slightly vague and tired but she recognized  me and sounded like her old self when I informed her there was a funeral in the village this afternoon.
" Mr Endres' funeral !"
Mr Endres had helped run his wife Yola's family shop for many years
Now the Welsh love a good funeral and Gladys is no different in that respect and immediately she was giving thought to what she would wear for the service, plans I managed to divert with some more chatter about the Flower Show committee and Gay Gordon's recent death.
I even toyed with the idea that I may take her to funeral myself, but thought against it as she was not quite well enough.
Next time, I thought, if permission was granted

As I left , I smiled at the woman in the wheelchair, who was now sat at the lunchtable.
She smiled back showing a wide expanse of gums
" We're having butterscotch angel delight for pudding today" she told me