Last things first; I have had trouble putting a pic on here. Blamed my server, but I was working on my old computer, and it isn't well and wouldn't let me put it on. Sorry if you receive this twice, with me complaining on the first one. This is a lovely pic of a train going over a Viaduct.
I have steam had coming out of my ears this week. Barrow-In-Furness has allegedly been called the unhappiest place in Britain. Where do these people get their facts from? And what I would like to know how much do they charge?
How could we be sad we are surrounded on three sides by wonderful beaches?
Right now I’m sitting in my front room looking out at a beautiful evening sky. I have windows
on two sides and although the sky is darkening as it changes, there are stripes of peach running into orange, then flame red as it dips into a calm as a piece of glass sea. We have had wonderful weather, changeable but warm I haven’t had to put my heating on since May, so what is there to moan about?
The only thing I can think is that the folk who do the interviews, only wandered around our high street. We are tough Northerner’s and if they came up, ‘Full of themselves,’ as we say here, they would get short-shift. Also we have a job problem, and many of the youngsters do come into town to meet as there is very little else for them to do.
We used to be Lancastrian, and I wish we still were. We are a town that struggles everyday to get our fair share of anything, from our County council, or from whoever is in government at the time. ‘But, and it’s big but.’ In our Evening Mail every night, almost every page has one group or another arranging a charity event or donating money from one they have organised. That’s because most of the inhabitants have their heart in the right place.
Anyone who has read my books, ‘Cos That’s The Way It Was, and ‘Cos That’s The Way It Is, about the lives of Barrow people in WW2 will know we have never had it easy. Also that we have built some of the best ships in the world, which makes us a proud town.
Happily we have had two people in our corner that I have seen on telly, sticking up for us. One was our famous chef, the Hairy Biker. He said, ‘I could live anywhere I want to now, but I love my home in Barrow and always look forward to getting home.’
Then, this morning I was watching the Wright Stuff and Mr Mathew Wright. Started a sentence which was, ‘Barrow-In-Furness has been chosen as the unhappiest town in Britain.’ I almost turned the telly over before he made one of his hurtful statements. Instead he said, ‘I like Barrow I have been there and it’s a lovely place.’ He now has a fan forever!
Barrow was always a working class town where the men were dower, and loved to pull the world to pieces over their pints in the men’s clubs, no women allowed! Times have changed, and of course women are allowed into their domain now. I wouldn’t like to be young again, and I wish the world was a more peaceful place for our children’s children to grow up in.
Well enough of my ranting.
This past three or four weeks have been busy as usual I think I said I was having my tiny place painted. Anyway it’s done, it took 12 days which was quite a long time! (I think the painter who is a friend as well enjoyed the lunches I made for him.) Still it looks very nice and bright now and it won’t need doing again for quite a long time. Thank God! I then had a two or three hospital appointments. All came out good. What would us old ladies do without the NHS? Oh, yes and I
have paid the stamps for it for fifty years, as I’m sure most of you who read this have. ‘Well perhaps not for fifty years!’
Ok I’m going to talk about better things; I went on another trip to Scotland, for four days and three nights. I went with Lochs and Glens, a new tourist coach company to me. It was the best tour provider that I have travelled with. The coach was comfortable; the driver was excellent, a bit of a Dell Boy. He told us not to buy the shortbread in The Woollen Mill, as he could get it at three boxes for ten pound for us. Told us not to forget to mention his name and which tour
when we bought anything there. Also he wanted us all to go on the 'Mountain Gondola on Aonach Mor,' it’s in the same mountain range as Ben Nevis. He said, he could get at a special price of ten pounds each. It was only ten pounds, twenty pence anyway for seniors. I don’t blame him as I know tour drivers don’t get too well paid. But I said no, and my friend who is 94 also said no. He talked my friend into going with him he said he was afraid of heights as well, but he would go with
her. He said to me, quite sarcastically. ‘You’ll be sorry when everyone comes down and
raves about the view. Luckily Joyce thought about it and said no she would stay with me. Just looking at the picture made me dizzy, it was one of those things that hang from an electric line with a metal bar, hanging down holding every one inside up.
I have seen a view of seven states in the USA, after going up what I think was called a Perpendicular railway, on a trip to New Orleans. I think I have told you before, I have slid stiff with fear around the Glass Horseshoe in the Grand Canyon, and I been to the top of Sears skyscraper in Chicago, to see the views. It used to be the tallest building in the world.
Now because I’m old enough to have that heart attack, whic I thought I was going to have the three times I talked myself into going somewhere I didn’t want to. I declined again. So my friend Joyce, myself and three other people stayed in Fort William and enjoyed just hanging out. When he came to pick us up he told us what we had missed and I asked him if he went on that time, He said, ‘Of course I always go on.’
Still he was a great driver and I would go in the coach he was driving any time.
One of the reasons I didn’t go on the Mountain Gondola was because I also have a reputation of managing to have strange things happen when I’m travelling.
This tour was faultless! Good coach, lovely hotel, nice room and very nice meals which were well presented and the staff couldn’t do enough for you. The hotel was called Loch Long Hotel, and was sitting at the head of Loch Long. We did a tremendous amount of travelling with lots of stops at beauty spots. In all a great success.
We arrived back to Barrow at the right time and I had my suitcase! In all, trauma free!
What on earth could happen now? I phoned my taxi, and a lovely couple who sat at the table with us were going home my way, so I happily offered to drop them off. They wanted to share the price with me but I refused as I was going past their house. The taxi arrived and I pulled my suitcase over, beside it and got into the front seat of the taxi. We arrived at their road, the taxi driver pulled up to drop the couple off, and I said mines the purply pink suitcase. He looked at me and said, 'There isn’t one in here. hThe taxi driver said, 'The husband had been helping to put the suitcases in the boot.) They all looked shocked, but not as shocked as I felt. Everything including my computer was in it. The driver was panicking with me as it was over 15 minutes since we left the coach drop off. He just set off back to where we had left; but we managed to get every red light. I sat in shock and then I said to him. ‘Well, I guess you will think I’m strange but someone up there takes care of me.’ He looks at me as if to say you should be so lucky. So I close my eyes and say, ‘Please don’t let my case be gone!’ We arrived back to the square where the coach had stopped. Thirty minutes later and it’s sitting there beside the bus stop. Not a soul around, my taxi drivers face was a picture.
He just said, ‘I can’t believe it.' I was surprised that it hadn’t been reported to the police as a suspect package. Still in all it was a very lucky day for me.
My books are for sale in The Dock Museum and I often have coffee or lunch with some
of my Fybro friends in the cafe. I was talking to one of the men who work there and he said he had a strange thing happen. It seems a teacher had bought one of my books and brought it back because she couldn’t read it to her pupils because of the sex in it. He had already bought them for his mother and said he had read them and enjoyed them. The only thing I could say was, ‘Well they are true stories and history proves that they had sex in those days.’
I have to say bye for now, I feel as if I've been rambling on as usual.
So take care all and be happy. Well happier than people think we Barrowvians are!!