Thursday, 22 February 2018

Daft Apeth

The hen houses rise in the distance

I made a fish pie before 9 am and was out clearing the Ukrainian village of last year's overgrowth soon after.
It's been back breaking but satisfying work seeing two of the old hen houses being  resurrected . the seven more dilapidated houses and the old goose house , I dragged down the field to add to a rapidly growing bonfire.
My back is aching like a good 'un
At lunchtime I indulged myself in a spot of cloud watching with the dogs around me.
The neighbours are used to seeing me supine in the grass but one did refer to me as being a "Daft apeth" A phrase I have not heard since my mother died.
Daft Apeth is an old North England colloquial saying which means "silly sod..or  a bit of a fool"
It's an affectionate term and is one that I expect will die out within the next couple of decades or so
whats your dying out phrase?

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Hanging On

Trendy Carol makes a mean beef stew.
The cancelled pancake lunch took place at the Nazareth chapel yesterday and Carol was doing the cooking, so I dug out a couple of plastic food containers and went along.
I was the only person in the village that paid for a take away!
Trendy Carol ( in a fresh springtime outfit and matching shoes) ladled out her stew in the foyer of the chapel which had seen better days and behind her came the low murmur of locals and the click of cutlery on plates.
I was glad that a few people had turned up.
The two village chapels and the church are just about hanging on, but their congregations are somewhat sparse and aging now. With the village shop gone, and apart from the village hall " dos" such as the Flower Show and the pub, they remain to be the only venues where people can meet.
Anyhow, as usual, I am digressing.

This morning I received an email from a fellow blogger. They shared a painful memory sparked by a previous post of mine. The email was matter of fact, and in no way sorry for itself. To me it was what blogging is all about. It was about sharing something.
A private sharing from a public discussion .
Another blogger Rachel shares her honest and sometimes raw thoughts on line and I adore her for it. I try to be open with my thoughts but like most men, I pull my punches when it suits.
Honesty in blogging opens you up for support from the likeminded but it also opens you up to trolls and the unstable.
That's the way of the net.

Now I rambling so I am off to mark out my  'Bosoms'
The vegetable plot resurrection starts today.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Feather Theme

I didn't adore the film although it was very sweet
But I did love this opening theme

Has Anyone Been To Sweden?

Old Blue Eyes

The Prof is in Brussels
He facetimed me when I was sat at the kitchen table completing my " admin"
He always chuckles when I tell him I'm doing admin in a sort of " what the hell have you got to administrate?" Kind of way
But I was busy with my admin!
I booked a flight to Ireland in May to catch you with my best mate Nu at her country cottage realising  that I fly to Cork just a few hours after getting back from Gothenburg with the Prof. I'm carry his bags when he attends a conference in Sweden's 'second' city.
Can anyone out there suggest " day time " things I can do when the Prof is busy?
A few weeks after Sweden my family is meeting en masse in Sitges, Spain for my sister's 70th birthday which will be great fun
It suddenly feels a very small world.

I booked the dogs into their usual kennels with a click of my laptop button and messaged the boffin to see if he could cottage sit without me needing to leave the kitchen table.
Today it's so easy to organise your life in front of a ten inch plasma screen.

I propped up my iPad against my coffee cup in order to watch the Olympic curling heats and as I tapped away on my laptop, I'm finding the sport strangely hypnotic....mind you the lead Italian team curler does have the deepest blue eyes this side of Korea

Monday, 19 February 2018


I, like everyone else has been insulted many times during a lifetime that has lasted ( so far) some 55 years.
Insults at school , in childhood are often incredibly painful and barbed
They can often set you up for a lifetime of self doubt.
I've been insulted within relationships, within family, friendships and by strangers
I've been insulted in the street, in the pub and on the road!
As a nurse I have been insulted at work ....many many MANY times.

Other insults can be incredibly funny, even though you may be the brunt of them
I remembered one such one yesterday
Years ago, I was called to an incident where a manic depressive patient ( now referred to as bipolar disorder) had stripped a billiard table of snooker balls and had lobbed them through the windows of the psychiatric Ward above the one I was working.
I ran onto the ward, breathless and worried only to see the female patient ( who was incredibly manic) being " cornered" by two female members of staff as she threw a chair at them
The patient  looked at me and laughed. She was in her seventies had a cut glass accent and resembled  Helen Hayes
" The cavalry has arrived! " she bellowed "one fat ugly gay cunt in crappy trousers!......" 
I tried to diffuse the situation by feigning chagrin
" what's wrong with my trousers?" I asked the patient as the female nurses moved in
"You're wearing them lard arse " the patient yelled
And as I dived in to help the ward nurses she kneed me in the bollocks
" Go down fat boy!" Was all I heard as she was led away
I was half laughing to myself moments after my head had hit the floor
But then laughing at yourself was a defence mechanism

It it still is!

Can you remember your worst insult?

Saturday, 17 February 2018


I almost didn't blog today.
A case of real life getting in the way of blogging
Apparently there was an 4.5 Earthquake in Wales today

A local wag reported on his Facebook page that there was over 40£ worth of damage
The animals were traumatised by the quake, they say animals pick up on the 

Ps. I see that hippo-on-the- lawn is appantly back after almost a three year hiatus
It doesn't feel right to me.....
At all

Friday, 16 February 2018

George Day

The passenger Seat to himself 

" They are taciturn, aloof and not for everyone !" 
So warned our dog breeder when we went down to pick up our first Scottish terrier
I didn't know what taciturn meant so I smiled politely.
A gaggle of ten scotties bounced around our feet like fat black beetles.

I later found out that taciturn actually means reserved and reticent, which are perfect adjectives to describe a dog which has become synonymous with the Art Deco style, Highland whisky and George Bush Jr.
I must add here, that I would also describe Scotties as being fiercely loyal, quietly comic and at times dreadfully grumpy little dogs who keep themselves to themselves when all about them is swirling.

Today is George day. He has been to the groomers, got to sit in Mary's co pilot seat and has accompanied me in interviewing prospective volunteers where he sat quietly in the corner with curious black button eyes which followed everyone's conversation .
He has refused to accept pats on the head from three strangers but has wagged his tail hopefully when  someone unwrapped a fisherman's friend . He's bloody friendly when food is concerned.

He will follow me into the hairdressers when I get my hair cut this afternoon and will arrrrrooooo loudly when I tell him we are going. Scotties aren't friendly to strangers but they are vocal when approached....painfully so at times.

Anyhow, I'm typing this in Marks and Spencer's. I'm having a coffee and a mooch -George is eating a small packet of cooked ham all to himself in the car.
It's another treat just for him today.

There is white in his coat now and a slowness in his step, but he's twelve years old so he's allowed to look a bit faded around the edges.
Aren't we all

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Soup That Blows Your Tits Off

I've spent much of the morning clearing the field of rubbish in the freezing cold but sunny weather we've got today. William , Winnie and George mooched around after me whilst Mary was tied up at the gate . I cannot train the hunter in her and set free she will chase Irene and the bachelors until exhausted. The older dogs behave themselves with livestock.
It's amazing what winter crap I collected. Bin bags full of plastic bags, plastic flowers ( blown over the fence from the cemetery) paper and wrappers are the most common but I did find an empty bottle of Malibu and a child's plastic hammer on my travels..
I swept the wood burner flue out when I got back in to warm my hands then I  ate homemade  red pepper and carrot soup laced with chilli for lunch ( which incidentally blew my tits off).
I was going to offer done to old Trevor who lives behind our cottage but I thought the chilli may cause a drastic problem with the digestive tract of a 94 year old.

Anyhow I digress.
Last night the affable Despot Jason and I went to see the much acclaimed play The Weir at Theatre Clwyd . The subject of the piece ( which was set in an isolated Irish pub) was one of rural Irish ghost stories ( the supernatural kind as well as the emotional baggage kind that follow us around for most of our lives) and it sort of dovetailed my recent post on ghost stories quite nicely as we highlighted In our post production discussion in the car on the way home)

The Weir has  four local men jousting at the one room rundown country pub.
Jack ( Sean Murray) and Jim ( John O'Dowd) are lonely single men who drink together for company at Brendan's ( Sam O'Mahoney) bar. They are envious of the more successful Finbar ( Louis Dempsey) who arrives with a young woman called Valerie ( Natalie Radmall- Quirke) who has just come to live in the area.

As the group drink, the men start to share ghost stories in order to impress Valerie, but as their stories become more personal and painful in nature, the cathartic nature of the conversations encourage Valerie  to share a tragic and ghostly story of her own.
The Weir is a dark and at times creepy play which starts to come alive when the ghost stories ( each one progressively more chilling than the last ) start. The supernatural nature of the subject matter highlight the personal backstories of the characters where the themes of grief, loss, loneliness and regret are just as important as the ghostly goings on .

Sean Murray is excellent as the lonely, blustery Jack but for me it was Natalie Radmall Quirke's tear stained final monologue that was a real standout .

Natalie Radmall-Quirke plays Valerie 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018


Going Gently provides The Prof with a somewhat shadowy home.
Here he is often depicted as the bellowing straight guy to my bumbling, shabby, slightly comic fool.
He huffs and puffs like a Victorian patriarch when I fall over, dress inappropriately and wax lyrical over a zombie tv programme and seems to be constantly disappointed by my slap dash country ways.
Some of this is true, some is exploited for comic effect...that is the truth of blogs

He is my husband and I love him dearly.
But I am no Doris Day.
I'm not an easy spouse despite my depiction of self as a Mother Theresa/ James Herriot sort crossed with Alan Bennet.
The truth is  that I am an opinionated, stubborn and at times incredibly difficult character to live with and The Prof has lived with me for two decades.
I was thinking only yesterday of when we actually started to live together and do you know that I cannot remember the date clearly.
One day I was living in a large Victorian terraced house in Hillsborough all alone with my cats then the next  the Prof had filled the left hand side of my empty wardrobe with natty clothes and had his own office in the back bedroom!
It all felt very fluid and right.

Our wedding day was the happiest of my life
It felt very right too.

He is my valentine