Put some cheerful pictures on before you read my moany blog.
I want to say I'm sorry not to have been on here for some time, and to thank you for being so loyal, as I can't believe this last month I have had over two thousand and six hundred people still pull my site up. When I’m down! I can never write my blog until I feel better, and I just try to keep as cheerful as I can on FB.
The fact is, usually I’m one of those cheerful types who does get on some 'never always happy' peoples nerves. In fact I sometimes get on my own nerves!
This has been a couple of difficult months. I know people don’t want to hear moans and groans. But right now I’m just going to say, I have been right miserable and sad, sad, sad. Just blame the pills!
I also lost my last blog, having broken my favourite comp! It seems after a couple of months trying to repair it, it has given up and going to comp heaven! ‘It was fine until all the cello tape I had stuck it up with was taken off!’ Anyway, I am waiting for my comp lady coming today to hopefully transfer all my work to the one I’m using right now.
I keep writing this in bits and pieces, so if I repeat myself, just move on to the next bit. Actually I was going to tell you how awful coming off these diabolical steroids have been, but just scrolled down and I have already said it all. Except to say this month end, I am now going down to just three steroids a day. My first thought when my doc said that, was can I travel? I asked him and he said, ‘Why not?’
‘Reasons to be happy!!’ I can travel soon. ‘Malta here I come, for at least a month. Well in around Oct, or Nov!’ I have had a smashing day out to Skipton, Yorkshire, with a lovely, friend, although we missed our other sweet friend. It’s a really old market town and most of the buildings are built out of beautiful Yorkshire stone. They are a treat to just look at. also bought some of my books from Amazon and liked the way they are presented. I bought them for friends who like me, liked to hold a book when they're reading. I had a nice message from Rose who is the organiser of the, The International Women's week, in York and she has told me now that the date is set for March. I sent her my two books and she said she was travelling for quite some time and was taking the books to read with her. I had a message saying she had read the first and was almost through the second. She then said, 'Reading them made her really look forward to my being a speaker at the York week.' I just hope I don't let her down!!
Also, have had a lovely visit, and hugs off my three years old, great grandson Tyler, and invitation to my great grand daughter Amelia’s Christening. She is another little beauty, smiles all the time. ‘Biased?’ not me!
This what I wrote a week or two ago
I have been sad for several reasons and one of them is because of that awful shooting in Tunisia. Sad that there are people who are so callous, they murder for no real reason, but to hurt the whole nation. They knowingly have hurt Tunisia, just out of pure malice. I haven’t been there but have heard so often how decent the people are there. I do get so worried about, how life is going to be for my great grandchildren.
Also life is so unfair! A family who I don’t know very well but who is distantly related lost their husband and father at 45. He was ill for a long time but he suddenly passed away. When someone is ill for years it doesn’t help the family to be prepared for that to happen. Anyway I just felt sad for the wife because she still has youngsters to bring up. Some people have so much they don’t know what want is! Others have so little life is hard all the time!
I have told you, that I was on steroids last year, and kept on them too long. I was on 60 mgs a day from 5th October and now am down to 5mgs as I have had to be weaned off them. These have made me have many problems and I want to say to anyone young or old, just don’t take drugs. I have already talked about them, but have to say, I have had to fight depression this, last few weeks. So that’s the reason why, I haven’t been in touch. Because in other words; I have been a miserable, ‘So and So.’ I must say I have had support from a grand bunch of younger friends. Who will never know how grateful I am to them. Probably because they may never read my blog anyway!
Yes I’m back, and no I haven’t popped my clogs as we Northern Brit’s, used to say when I was a lot younger. Obviously to people who haven’t heard the saying, it means no I haven’t died. I guess that saying came from when we had the Northern wool and cotton mills, everyone wore clogs to work then. Even in our shipyards a lot of men wore them, and when I was young some of the kids used to wear them all the time. I guess they didn’t wear out as quickly as shoes. That saying; ‘I must admit is even older than me!’
This has brought a memory back it's a sad one I'm afraid. This one is around 1948. My best friend’s cousin came to visit them, and I was shocked because she had never seen the sea before. But then I had never seen a mill! She came from Burnley or Blackburn, they were mill towns. She only wore clogs and because she was older than my friend and was a teenager, I thought it was awful for her to have to wear clogs.
We were just at the age when we wanted to be like the film stars that we saw when we went to the pictures. My dream of glamour was to lay on a chase lounge and to hold a cigarette holder like Rita Hayworth. ‘Never did because when I tried my first cigarette I hated it!’
It was strange when we took my friends cousin to the beach for the first time. To see what we thought was an almost grown up girl, tucking her dress into her nicker legs and running into the sea like one of the kids then getting so excited. My friend had a younger sister about out age who hadn’t come. When I asked her why she just went quiet, and my friends mother shook her head at me. So I knew to shut up because mam was always shaking her head at me. I found out later that her dad was in prison. Because when he was drunk and they were waiting for a train he pushed the little sister hard and she fell onto the lines and lost her hands to a train as it flew through. In those days families kept things that happened like that behind closed doors. The child would have been treated like an invalid. Ok no more misery tales.
Will have to say bye for now. Will write more happy stuff next time. Loads to write but this is time to close.
So Thanks again friends
Take care and be happy.
Hi all, just a sorry for some reason my last blog has disappeared completely I have no idea what has happened. I did drop my other comp which I mainly use and it has to be mended. I still can't understand how I lost the one blog. I will be writing my next one in a couple of days, just want all my friends to know. I'm still here!!!
Take all and be happy.
Above I hope! Are Ecuadorian Indians playing their delightful pipes, in my town centre. Lower pic is another Saturday, this is an older Rocker in my town centre. My era in my second teenage years, around 1980. It has taken me over an hour to get these pics on. Don't ask!
I hope you enjoyed the couple of true stories about my WW2
experiences. ‘I guess if you have read my books you have heard it all before!’ I have been a bit poorly so thought
they would let you all know I haven’t forgotten you. I know I have moaned about taking steroids for so long they have given me many problems that I didn’t have. Well at least one problem had been solved, I have my sight back in my right eye as I have had it laser. One big problem with it! I can see so well, I now find a dozen jobs that need doing in my house and garden. Still I’m on the mend and it’s all up and go now. Waiting for my gardener to get in touch! ‘Sounds posh can’t do gardening right now and he is a very nice young man.’ Anyway wondered where he was and poor lad hasn’t been too well either, still hopefully here next week. Just wish him all the best.
It has been quite and an emotional time for me as we have had so many programmes on about WW2, the sad and happy times I still remember. My life changed completely after WW2 finished. I lived in more of a war Zone then, than I did in the blitz. War leaves a lot of people who have been badly injured, but without the wounds that show!
Where has our summer gone? I can’t remember ever having a May like this. Yes, I know all old people say this about all kinds of things. Still, May is my birthday month and I always remember it being a nice month. I was so pleased when our new Princess was also born on my birthday.
(I had a lovely birthday, lots of visitors, cards and pressies; in fact it lasted three days!)I might be old but I haven’t forgotten how to celebrate.
May is usually what I would call a kind month, when the weather is soft and gentle. Not sweltering heat or the cruel wind and rain we in the North West have been having. I have many small birds come into my little garden as I feed them daily and this year so far I have had to feed them as if it’s still winter. I feel so sorry for them, as I lie in my comfortable bed and listen to torrential rain and the wind belting at my window.
Well, we also have had our elections these last few weeks as well. I always vote and it was hard this time! All I really want is a Prime Minister and a Parliament with a few lines and wrinkles on their faces. Just want to have someone with the experience of a real life. Enough said, as we now have to live with the choice of the people. It’s what we call democracy, and at least it’s our right that we have it. It’s our choice, a free world.
I have been writing this for three days, and I have been up since around six am this morning to get it finished. I’m sitting with my front curtains closed because I know my old man will be over as soon as he sees them open. I had made a definite choice to stay home for two days to get some of the dust up that I can now see. Also to write this letter. Of course the sun had finally come out for those first two days, still a cold wind blows. Of course on the first day the sun called me to pull a few weeds out, and then I had to sit on my veranda for a rest for a minute enjoying the sun. As I sat quietly a couple of black birds took turns to have a bath and I couldn’t move in case I disturbed them. I forgot, I also had to fill my washing machine, as it was such a good drying day and there’s nothing nicer than seeing your washing out on the line in the sun, and that smell of fresh linen as you bring it in is something else!
No, I’m not really quite so slow at writing, but as I make a habit of saying; life interferes with the best made plans. And I haven’t time to not stop to enjoy it. Also had a lovely friend call yesterday afternoon and had a nice catch up. Then my friend Sooty called and had to sit on my knee for an hour. It’s a really hard life!!
I have a lot of new friends on FB right now from all over the world and what a grand crowd they are. I do have lovely old friends on there already, who I love!
In the last few months many of these new friends have become quite special as well. I would never have thought that it could happen but they have become less than strangers through FB. This is because they put so many pictures and talk about their lives with friends and families. Many have the same views as me. ‘I guess I’m a bit opinionated about what I believe in.’
Oh yes here I go again. We have had our great Keswick to Barrow walk. Again 40 miles over hills and moors, in all weathers. Over 2,000 walk it and they are all sponsored. They earn tens of thousand for charity and do they get mentioned on the media? Only the local one! On the same day, it was the ten mile London marathon. It was on every news programme!! Well that's my yearly rant. All I want to say now is Well Done: All you Barrow to Keswick Heroes, and all the people who are there to support them!
A busy month May. We also have the well known Eurovision Song Contest. A waste of time for the Brits it's pretty well known we wouldn't win now we are in the EU. So we put in poor quality songs and sadly some of the singers aren't too good. Cynical? 'Not me.'
I usually write about one of my memories from my past and today just putting on FB I had a lovely memory brought back to me. It was a picture of one of my new friends and she was at Smith Mountain Lake. I have spent quite a few happy times there with very dear friends. It is the largest manmade lake, if I’m remembering right. My friends had a beautiful house on the side of it for some time after they retired. My friend Pat was sister to Tom and Vivian whose house it was. Vivian is her S-I-L really but they are as close as sisters! I loved going across the lake in Tom’s boat for dinner to a lovely Chinese restaurant, and to another restaurant for breakfast in the morning on several occasions. Tom even let me drive the boat some of the time. They also had a wonderful memorial for the fallen soldiers from WW2, in which they mentioned Britain's fallen also.
Talking about driving reminded me of the second day I arrived in the USA. My cousin who I stayed with, took me out in her car and we went around the block. She then got out and said you take it now. Hmm, well I did! I learnt right away that stop, means stop, over there. Here isn’t quite the same. It was a good job I was younger then and I guess better looking. Still I just have to get this finished so will tell you next time.
It's taken me five days to write this, had to stop yesterday had long lunch with some very funny younger lady friends. Now I have to say goodbye as a friend is calling and I have to get to town after that. At least he will give me a lift! If there any mistakes friends, just ignore them please, or I'll never get this finished.
Bye and be happy everyone. No idea why its just gone pale!
I am sending another of my true stories of my war, as it just seems to be the right time. I have felt quite emotional, watching the television cover on the BBC of the 70 years anniversary. I have to tell you I go into the kids head when I write the stories and use colloquial language when I write. so any mistakes are the kids fault.
Well as usual you aren't getting the pictures quite like I wanted them to be. Not unusual friends, but I try hard! So here goes.
A peck of muck hurt no one. We kids had heard, and had that said to us many a time. Still my Mother wasn’t happy when I came home that day.
This is a story about one day in mine and my group of friend’s life in the Second World War. I lived in the same a northern shipyard town as I do now.
Because we were building ships, submarines and guns, we were badly blitzed and 1941 was terrible. We spent most nights in our shelters and it was terrifying time for everyone.
A lot of children were evacuated after that. I spent over three years away from home as I was evacuated and was moved five times before I came home. Funnily enough after that really dreadful time in 1941; we were only spasmodically attacked. So I came home in 1944 when I was eight.
Many of us had fathers who were in the services so they weren’t home to keep an eye on us. Also a lot of mothers had to work because the money they received from the services wasn’t enough for them to live decently on. Also many of the women found a new freedom in work.
Kids had to make the best of the times then and we were always in groups which we called, the gang.
The gang I was in was most of the younger boys and girls out of mine, and the surrounding streets. They ranged from three to ten years old. There were always quite a crowd of us. It was a time of much bigger families.
This one sunny day, we decided to go up to our Abbey Amphitheatre and to spend the day, because we always had a really good time there. So we set off with our usual packed lunch, jam butties and a bottle of water. It was a good couple of miles from where we lived, and it took us an hour or more to get there.
We had to make sure it was a nice day because it was such long walk. ‘It was even longer walking back at teatime because some of us kids had short legs and the bigger lads usually messed about!’
It was a good job we didn’t take any of the babies that day. 'We used to take them two or three in a pram up the park. We couldn’t take them up the Abbey because it was too far to push the old pram as it had a buckled wheel. Also we liked climbing right to the top of the Amphitheatre.
If we had fallen down there, I think we would have had more than skinned knees. 'It was great up there when we had snow.' In summer, we would play up and down the hill all morning. Then we would come down to have our food on the river bank.
On this day when we got down to the bank of the river we had a sad time. We found a dead sheep lying there in the grass. We all crowded round poking it to make sure it was dead. I thought we should say a prayer, but one of the girls called Rose had a better idea.
She said, “Should we bury it?” We all thought that was a great idea. It was a lot heavier than we thought it would be and it really smelt terrible. SO we carried it with one hand and held our noses with the other. When we started to drag it to some bushes it stunk a lot worse, and lots of bluebottles flew off it. Then it dawned on us we hadn’t any thing to dig a hole with. We all sat round it to think.
One of the bigger boy’s called Barry said, “Let’s cover it with sticks and stuff.” So we spent a very happy hour finding lots to cover it up. Someone even found a piece of old sacking to put over it and we made it a cross out of twigs.
Rose crossed herself and said, “God Bless this sheep.” Then we decided it should have a name, because God wouldn’t know which one it was. Of course everyone argued because they wanted to name it.
Then Barry decided, “I’m gonna call it Doris after mi mam, and I’m the oldest.” ‘He was too big to argue with.’
So, Doris it was. When we had sung a hymn and said a prayer we finished the ceremony. Then feeling full of goodness but starving, we sat down to eat our bread and jam. We all shared our bottles of tap water with each other. Always wiping the top though because some of the kids always had snotty noses, even in the summer. By then all of us were feeling very happy because of our good deed that day.
When I arrived home for tea I couldn’t wait to tell my mam how kind we were. Instead of being impressed she played pop with me.
She said, “It’s a wonder you all don’t get diphtheria, it must have been full of maggots. Go and wash your hands right now.”
I couldn’t see it being any good washing them then, but I did as I was told to do.
Bye for now friends. I hope all my old friends who read this, find this story brings good memories back to them.
Take care and be happy.
Hi all, I was thinking about the date today and thought about how it was when I was woken up that night. I thought I would put the child I was view of the war on. It was easy to put it on because it's Chapter Thirteen in my book, all I had to do was copy and paste! (The picture is from my second book because I couldn't manage to find a pic of our street party.) Five hours later I have managed to get a short version on, from 'Cos That's The Way It Was; and the picture, of 'Cos That's The Way It Is; on. When I wrote this part of the chapter I was in the head of a 9 years old child from my working class shipyard town. I'm still that person, but now 70 years older! I hope it brings lots of memories back to many of my friends. x
Mam’s shaking me. "What's the matter Mam?" I can’t wake up properly.
"Get up Jane, it’s over! Can't you hear all the noise?" I think the war has started again, so start to have a cry.
“No silly, listen." Mam is really excited. Then I hear it, bells ringing, car horns beeping, ships hooters blowing, and air raid siren again, but we don't have raids anymore. I hear music and people shouting and laughing out in the street.
"What is happening Mam?" I rub my eyes I can't wake up and think I must be dreaming.
Mam’s crying and laughing at the same time. “The war is over, over, the war’s over!” She is so happy.
I jump out of bed, wide awake now.
"Get dressed you can come out in the street with Tom and me. This is a very special time. There won't be another like it.”
It is! The street is full of magic, there are people everywhere kissing, hugging and crying. Someone starts to play an accordion, everyone starts to dance and sing. Mam swings away from me and I stand fascinated and in a magic land.
An airman in his blue uniform grabs me and starts to swing me along with the dancers. I’ve never felt so happy and grown up. We dance for hours. No one is tired or hungry, just full of elation. The, war is over at last and everything is going to be OK. It’s dawn before Mam puts me back to bed, she even gives me a kiss. I don't think any grownups go to bed at all this night. All they want to do is to listen to Mr Churchill on the wireless.
On the eighth of May, every one in our town celebrates. There are bonfires lighting up the sky. Like thousands of others, Mam takes us up to the town hall. There are so many tall people there I’m scared I might lose Mam. Everyone is so happy they are all cheering, clapping and kissing. I listen to the bells ringing, ships sirens and hooters blowing again. Watch the searchlights dance across the sky; listen to the bangs that are fireworks not bombs. There’s a group of big boys going up and down Abbey Road banging drums and everyone has put lights on everywhere. It’s all magical! Though still young I realise I am watching and hearing something that I will never ever forget. No one who hasn’t witnessed this will ever be able to imagine it. We have a street party and every one is out, stringing up red, white and blue flags, paper flowers in red white and blue are arranged around our doorways. I have no idea where people have got them from.
Mam tells me the flags are made out of white sheets, some are dyed red and blue then cut up. Tables are put up all down the street, people bring out sheets to make long table cloths and everyone manages to find some party food, egg and spam sandwiches, jellies and blancmanges, I hate blancmange! There are home made biscuits not even broken and lots of home made lemonade. We wear funny hats that some of the women have made out of paper and a man plays his accordion. Someone has dragged a piano out, which they start to play. At the end of our party we all stand up and sing God Save The King. It is the most exciting day of our lives. At night when they have cleared our mess away, the grownups play the piano and we all dance till we can’t stay awake any more.
Things don't get easier though, rationing is still very much in force and food is even shorter. Mam says Dad will be coming home soon, but he doesn't, not for what seems like a long time.
Hi all this is the back of our old and beautiful Town Hall. It is looking as it is because an excellent photographer from Barrow-In-Furness has taken it. I am glad I was good Florist, because I will never make a good photographer! I was going to put another pic on here but this came on so large, and most of you know, I'm not up to knowing how to cut pic's down to a smaller size, yet.
Further down I give my excuses for being late writing this fortnightly, as I said I would try to. I don’t think most of you who have been reading my letter for sometime will be surprised!
We have had the strangest weather, this last couple of weeks. All over Easter we has the thickest fog I ever remember.
My childhood Easter memories are of sunshine, and my one new summer dress.
It was 1947, I was just ten when we moved to a new street and it was full of kids. ‘Families were quite large in those days!’ I became best friends with two girls my age. That first Easter Sunday although we all went to Sunday school, we were different religions. Well, I actually wasn’t able to go to church much, but Easter Sunday was different. So I went to the Salvation Army, because it was a happy, clappy sort of place. We girls always played on what we called the bomby. It was the part of the street that had been bombed in the WW2. When we met before we went to Sunday school it was really funny to us because we all had the same style dress on. The only difference was mine was brown candy stripe, Pat’s was green and Irene’s blue. The reason why we had the same dresses were our mum’s had been to the same draper’ shop. It was called, The Busy Bee, and people were allowed to pay weekly for them after they bought them. It was called getting them on tic in those days!
I went to Blackpool this Easter Monday, just a day trip in a coach. A fairly new friend who has come to live near me asked me if I would go with her. Her husband wasn’t too well, and anyway we all know how much men like shopping. I never told her that strange things can happen when I travel.
For one thing, ‘What on, earth can happen on a day trip?’ We set off and had a good driver, until we pulled up into the coach depot. We changed drivers! I’m sure the new driver was as old as me. Not saying it makes everyone a bad driver because they are old. But I think they had pulled him out of a retirement home. Blackpool is around 80 miles and usually takes around an hour and a half to get there. It took us three hours, poor man was so slow, I could have passed him on a bike. That would have been if I could ride one! He dropped everyone who wanted to just see Blackpool off. Then took my friend, myself and six other people on to a shopping Mall called Freeport. We landed up passing there and on our way to Fleetwood a tiny fishing port. Any further and we would have had to swim. My friend had to direct him back to where we should have been. He dropped just 8 of us off and went for a rest. Did worry a bit when he came back he asked us how many had got off as we went off the bus too quick for him to count us. Long day and all I bought was a salad and a stir fry.
I wonder if anyone else feels like me I don’t like calling it a blog because I feel I’m writing a letter to friends. Well so far everyone has been very nice to me!
I said I was going to try to write it fortnightly and I did get up on Sunday last, ‘Only one day late!’ Thinking I would stay in and settle down to do it. I had no plans made, of course from early morning it changed.
I even didn’t draw my curtains at first because I knew my old man would be waiting for his drink and biscuits. I peeped out and there he was sat on my garden table. He was wet through and looked so sad I had to open my door for him. I was going to say, ‘He looked like a drowned rat.’ As the saying goes! Actually he looked like what he was, ‘A half drowned cat.’ An hour went by as I dried him, put the heating on for him, and fed and watered him. Then I fed the birds and had my breakfast, not without him sitting on my knee. Two hours had gone by and I had to turn my comp on. Sooty definitely thinks my comp is competition, so tries to sit on it. By then I had, had a phone call from a friend suggesting we should go out for lunch. Now at my age you don’t say no to an offer like that. When he came to pick me up he suggested a very nice pub called The Crown Hotel not far from me. I thought, ‘I wonder if he realises it is quite expensive.’ It was a lovely lunch and when I went to get my money out he waved his hand.
He said, “It’s on me.”
“Thanks but why?” I was surprised.
We usually go Dutch or if he has helped me with some little job in the house or garden I have treated him.
He said, “It’s for your birthday.”
“It isn’t until 2nd of next month.” I said, ‘I hope you don’t think I’m not going to last that long.’ Also thought, ‘Oh heck I should have had that wine when he asked me.’ I also realised eating a large lunch would probably make me too tired to write and I was.
Anyway he laughed and said, “I’ve told you, that you are definitely an Alian, with your strange health problems. They’ll probably just beam you up.”
Well that would be different!
So my idea of writing to you every two weeks, has definitely gone out of the window. It’s now three weeks, as no doubt some of you will have realised. I also thought that I would write shorter letter, which this is. So far it’s a bit shorter, but there is so much more I wanted to write.
I’m going out to the Italian tonight with a group of my younger women friends, celebrating one of their birthdays. It will take most of my day getting ready, at my age it is a lot more work, can’t just throw a pretty dress on and call it a day! I’m looking forward to having a lovely meal and they keep me laughing all night. ‘The red wine helps as well.’ It is like having a tonic and really brightens my life. The laughter I mean, not the wine.
I think I should say bye, and write the next letter sooner than later. I am on the mend, and will be on my travels as soon as pos, then hopefully will be much more interesting.
Bye friends and any others that read this.
Take care all and be happy.
This feels quite surreal; here I am watching an over five hundred year’s old body of, ‘Well what was left of it!’ Richard the Third, being buried. He was the one who allegedly killed the twins in the Tower of London. Only we Brits could manage so much Pomp and Ceremony. Many thousands of people came to watch the funeral procession. My brother lived in Leicester for quite a few years, the Cathedral is beautiful. Not sure if we ever parked on the particular car park, none of them are beautiful. Still it is a quite unique situation. How many kings are found buried under a car park? Leicester is a very multi cultural city, and there people seem to live together without the troubles that seem to rear their head in other places. I think the fact that King Richard the Third being interred in the Cathedral will bring a lot of tourists to the Cathedral, and that is always good for any town or city.
Why does it always happen at the wrong time? I wasn’t going to whine on about these darn steroids, but now they have caused my right eye to mist over. At the same time for some reason my computer has gone into battery save, which of course makes it practically impossible to see the little white arrow. I did find the instructions on how to right it, thought I was so clever. Still it went straight back into save mode. Having no idea how I fixed it; I have no idea how to put it right. So I’m writing this with one eye closed, ‘Not my right one I hasten to add.’
On my face book, I keep seeing the dreadful weather that some of my friends in many countries are having. Some of the pictures of the snow are so beautiful; it must have been great fun for the children. Even though it is obviously very hard for the people who are trying to get on with their daily lives. I realise how lucky we are here, although I can see we have climate change. I worry so much about my grandchildren’s children’s future.
We have had no rain for over a week, and although it was still freezing on some of the nights our grass was looking parched and plants were calling out for water. Last night out of the blue, it torrented down all night. Two days ago it was so windy I couldn’t go out. I didn’t really need to go out, and I realised I couldn’t walk down my hill to get the bus. Instead I sat here trying to get on with my writing. Looking out of my window I could see the grass practically glowing in the sun that came out, it seemed to turn green again, just like that! Even though the wind was still blowing a hooly, my place was so warm I had to turn the heating off. The sea was very high and roaring in. As I watched the sea there were two or three Kite surfers challenging the waves and they I’m sure were having a great time. Even the sky had several blue patches. A helicopter flew over the airfield; I love how close we are as the small private planes come in over our roof tops. My friend Sooty was sitting outside on the grass, he suddenly rolled onto his back and rolled around like a kitten. I can see the joy that the warm sun brings to this old gentleman, and I think, ‘At last spring is on its way.’
‘I did drive until I moved here; I guess you all know I’m a bit of a greeny!’ I was told that if I didn’t drive my car for a year it would save enough fuel to fly to the USA. As I have dear friends there, and I like to visit them whenever it’s possible. So I gave up driving here thinking I was helping the atmosphere. I do realise now after ten years that it hasn’t helped much.
Well my friends who have read my letters for some time already know how much I love my town and I do go on. I know I do; but our town has been a butt of jokes from people who don’t even know the town. They call us the longest cul-de-sac in Britain and talk as if we live in the back woods. Yes we are a poor working class town, and that’s because of pure neglect from our parliament, we are too far from London in the North West. It’s time each county governed itself. We were once a proud ship building town, we now build nuclear subs and they too are built to the highest standards. Our craftsmen are some of the best in the world.
Ok all this is because; I am really going to brag now!
Barrow-In-Furness has come in the top 10 as the one of the most desirable places to live and three miles from us Dalton-in-Furness, a small town has come 3rd in the top ten. Dalton was here before Barrow became a large booming port, and has a lot of history. The survey was carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research; the study also took into account employment prospects and affordable housing.
I have a theory that the fact that we stick out into the sea, makes us safer, we have much less heavy crime than many towns our size. This is mainly because we really only have one main way into and out of the area. Apart from coming in by sea and that can be difficult because our tides go in and out twice daily. As I have already said, I live beside our small private airfield and we do get a plane or helicopter two come in daily and it’s surprising how any change at the airfield is noticed. After all I do live on a retirement site, and there are around three hundred small homes many of the retired people spend a lot of hours just sitting and looking out of their windows at the views and they don’t miss anything!
Oh for some constant spring weather. At least it would encourage me to get up earlier. I love my comfy bed and I love listening to my radio from around 6am. I listen to radio two and the young man who heads it is called Chris Evans. I think I might be repeating myself! Anyway while I’m listening to him, I think of all the things I’m going to write on my blog and in the warmer weather I get up early to start to write it. Now it’s around 8am to 9am and my inspiration, (Ha ha.) Has waned.
I had a very nice day yesterday I went with friends to a Railway Museum at Haverthwaite. The weather wasn’t promising but came out lovely as it has today. We had a great lunch there then went on the steam train to Lakeside. We could have had a trip to Bowness by crossing the lake on one of the boats that cross many times a day, but I think we were to full of the good food we had been served, and thought better of it. I used to have Lakeside Hotel as one of my very good customers and they did wonderful weddings. ‘They still do.’ Anyway this isn’t about a wedding. They had a very important conference, which consisted of a very large group of Japanese business people. The firm who had hired Lakeside decided it would be nice to have a banquet on one of the old gondoliers. I was asked to decorate it, it meant many garlands etc. I loved the idea, and had another very good florist working for me. She always loved a challenge and I was confident that she and I could do it justice. This was when I found out something about her that I couldn’t believe. She was so afraid of water she couldn’t go on the boat even though it was moored to the side. She said, ‘If it was The Queen Mary and it was in dry dock she I have gone on it, but I wouldn’t go down below.’ We managed to get round it. She worked on the side of where it was docked and the other help ran up and down passing me the garlands and arrangements that didn’t have to be done in situ! Well here I am again, rambling on. I had no idea I was going to write about the gondolier, but memories come flooding back.
I guess I should say goodbye. I have thought I should write this fortnightly because I never manage to write everything interesting that I have thought about. Believe it or not, I have just had to stop to answer my phone. It was one of my men pals and he wanted to call to bring me some salmon for dinner. I didn't say yes because I have a nervous breakdown every time I write this and am so near
the end I'm paranoid that I'll mess it up.
So Bye again and take care all. Be happy!
Hi friends I seem to have managed to lose the ending on my blog. I never end without saying Goodbye and Wishing you all Well.
So Bye to everyone and be happy.
Hi all, and welcome to all my new friends.
Well, I have found out today that my blog provider has made changes on the site. I have no idea why, and have no idea how to use the changes! 'Yet.' The two pictures on the top are from the beach that I look out on from my window. My two friends let me put these pictures on last year sometime in Autumn. Not the ones I expected to put on this time. But hey, they are very nice!
I write my blog in office word, then cut and paste as I find I can lose it easily as I write it on my site. Problem with older fingers! So I had written this before I found out my site had changed, please bear with me as I wrote everything below earlier.
The first thing I will say to all you lovely new friends is, ‘I make mistakes on here. As my already blog friends will tell you. My grammar and spelling at times can be a tad unusual and my putting a picture on it can often be strange.’
I want to apologise to my usual blog friends, for being boring lately. ‘Sometimes, I bore the h--- out of me!’ As you all know from the beginning of October I haven’t been able to live my life as full as I usually have done. Not everything is sorted out yet but I’m not going to dwell on it. I need a change and soon I am going to take a month off and to change my views from my windows. Although they do make up some for lack of adventure in my life. And to my new friends, I would say you would perhaps understand my life better if you go back and read some of my older blogs.
What a strange month this has been! Although I’m not complaining, strange at least takes away the word boring. The first thing I am going to tell all my friends who are already with me when I write my blog, is what has happened to me on Fb.
Most of you will all know how these LIKE pictures come up all the time Fb. Most of them asking you to like whoever or whatever they are about.
Occasionally there’s something interesting and one caught my attention. It wasn’t an advertisement, it was a piece about the well known singer Annie Lennox. It was her 60th birthday, and I was totally surprised at what she had written. ‘I have always thought of her as a really strong woman!’ She was saying, that women her age were being discarded because of a really strong youth culture that is so important now. That as soon as we become a certain age, all that is expected of us is to talk about our weight, wrinkles fashion and hair. I guess somewhere along the line I’ve missed all that.
‘Although I have been bored out of my mind sometimes when friends have spent time admiring a chair, or a piece of wall paper?’
Give me a sunset, a new baby or most scenes from my window which faces over the sea and I can admire those for hours. I spent time in Scotland last year because I couldn’t travel abroad and like our Lake District which is on my doorstep; it was awesome. I must hasten to add every country I have visited has been the same. The beauty in this world is breath taking!
Back to Annie! There were so many women who wrote her and agreed with her, from fifty upwards. They were having a hard time being older and I could see how very vulnerable they were feeling. Thank goodness, there was another lady of 92 years came on and said she didn’t feel as if she was ignored as she had many friends of all ages and many hobbies that kept her extremely busy.
Those of you who really know me, also know I keep really busy and positive. So I put a message on saying, ‘Hi I’m eighty in a year and a bit and I’m not invisible to anyone.’ I also went on to say, ‘I’m a Florist or a Floral Designer to my lovely American friends but I worked in London and Surrey after I was divorced, I did many different jobs. ‘I went to the USA at fifty for a year and worked in a flower shop.’ I also said, ‘I came home and opened a flower shop and then when I retired I went to college to learn Creative Writing and somehow manage to get an A level.
It was between Christmas and New Year, when the piece by Annie was on my Fb. As I wanted to read the piece from Annie again when I found more time, I put it into my favourites. I reactivated it on the ninth of February, and in that time until now! Astonishingly, I have had 5,000 likes, 150 requests to be a Fb friend and over 160 of the most uplifting messages from people all over the world. They couldn’t have come to me at a better time.
Well one of them did say, ‘I really admire you, but do think you could proof read your answers.’ I just hope she doesn’t read this. If I had to keep going back over my messages I would never get an answer written.’ I must say I know she is right! I pulled her profile up and she is an English teacher at Ohio University. I never had a full week at school after I was eleven and left at fourteen. So sorry but I’m a lost cause.
I have stayed in three days this past week to get my blog written but, Mice and Men wait for no man. Not sure if I have the right metaphor here, but you will know what I mean. On my first day I was determined not to answer the phone or look at my messages. My old man called at 8am for his drink and biscuits and I just had to sit and cuddle him. He sat as usual staring into my eyes and dribbling. I really know I have someone who loves me after Sooty has sat on my knee. I had finished my breakfast by then but bang went an hour and a half. I pulled out the computer I like to write on, and it slipped off my knee, broke a couple of bits, so spent half an hour fixing it. It’s difficult sticking cellotape over cracks. I managed it in the end and it worked! By then I needed a cup of coffee.
Started to write at last, then home phone rang, only really old friends use it so I answered it. By now it was 11am and I was just going into the shower. On the phone was my very dear friend John, we go back a long way. He wanted to visit me and now needs a carer to be with him. He has the same birth date as me ‘2nd of May,’ but is 11 years younger and has had dementia coming on for the last two years. I always know how lucky I am when I see how he struggles to remember things. It’s so sad to see as I feel as if I have already lost a best friend. Still, I was so pleased when he remembered and told his carer friend that we had the same birthday.
Anyway the day passed without my writing a word of my blog.
I forget the odd thing and said to my young friend who used to work with me. ‘I think I might have Altzihmers. She just laughed and said. ‘Well you must have had it in your forties because you were just the same then.’ Made me feel better!
As usual I am having a problem with putting a picture on. I thought I could put this one on further down where I have written about it. Guess you will be able to follow what I've written about it when you come to it. I was going to put a picture of our beautiful, Furness Abbey in the snow on here at the top. But no; it couldn't be that straight forward. When I put the pic of the Abbey on, it was way out of proportion. I so need an editor! Or perhaps a few lessons. I am going to send this without checking my grammar, If I make a few mistakes I know you'll forgive me.
I have written a little of this letter before this. So I am just going to start to tell you what happened to me this last weekend first. It really lifted my spirits. I have had a horrible January, as many other people say they have had. What with the crappy weather, illness and relationship problems. So many of my friends have been as glad I am to see January pass. I hope that if any of you have had similar you are all feeling more optimistic now that February is here The reason I’m telling you this is because when I’m down I can’t be cheerful and I don’t think any of you all want to hear my moaning.
This last weekend on Sunday the first of Feb, I had a day out to Manchester. A lovely writer friend asked me if I would like to go to meet a group of The Northern Writers there. ‘We went on the train. It was packed to capacity by the time we arrived, lots of people standing. It was Sunday! Which surely must be the quietest day of the week and they say they need more profit?’ Sorry I off on a tangent.
We met for a casual lunch at?? Ups sorry can’t remember the name of the very large book shop. It could be Cornerstones. If I start to look it up I will probably lose my thread. It had a great feeling, very cosmopolitan and good service.
I haven’t been writing for some time and started to feel who would want to read what I write? Then I met the nicest bunch of hard working writers there. They gave me so much support telling me to get on with it. In the nicest way! One young lady was coping with doing at least four different and very interesting jobs. They made me feel much more optimistic. So I'm going to finish my next 'Cos.
I thought I could put my picture here but as you already know I didn't manage it.
I have had to wait to find out off my Fibro friends if I could put this picture on. I think it is really lovely one of the some of the girls. (Girls! Well at my age they are all girls to me.) Such a grand bunch! This was our get together for our Christmas lunch. It’s a Jacobs’s feast and everyone made it special. We have it in Newton pub at Dalton. It was fine for the none drivers, as we could have a Christmas drink. I know I have said I don’t drink a much and have never liked cider but the fruit cider is so good. I could get hooked on it! Mind you I have never been able to drink more than two large glasses of wine on a night out.
Well I have taken today off to try to get rid of my head cold and to settle down to write to you all. Talk about procrastinate; It’s now 3pm and I’ve put my comp on again, and started to write this. It’s about the 5th time since I meant to start my writing. First I decided I had to fill the washer, feed the birds. Let my old man in for his drink and biscuits, and then of course he needed half an hour sitting on my knee, while I stroked his chin. Then just in case anyone called unexpectedly I had to make the bed, get my rubbish ready for collection tomorrow, wash the pots, and look at my messages of Fb. By then it was time to have lunch. Now I have to sign off until tomorrow as I’m still having problems with my eyes because of these darn steroids.
Good morning all, Yesterday morning when I got up all the fields, garden and hedges were pure white with ice. My bird bath was a complete block of ice, when I went out to fill my bird feeder; I had to pour a kettle of water onto it. It was the coldest night I have known in ten years. I couldn’t have walked down my hill to the sea and from what I could see from my window, I’m sure the edge of the sea was frozen. It was beautiful new painting to view from my warm home. But it must be really hard on the poor birds and animals.
This is the piece I started to write way over a week ago.
Well, we have had 50 to 60 miles an hour winds here on Walney Island this week. Today though when I woke up it was really quiet. It was around 8-30 and I was just making my bed when we had a long roll of thunder. I was surprised as it seemed really out of season. Then it seemed to be drizzling, which turned into a flurry of snow. I had just turned my washing machine on because I didn’t think today was a day to venture out. But by 9-30 it was light and bright. We have had about four seasons within the hour!
Back to now, I have listened to the weather forecast and seemingly there is going to be snow all over. Here I am sitting and looking out at a beautiful morning. It is so bright and sunny, although the bird bath was frozen again, it isn’t as cold as yesterday and the sea is really calm. Days like this make me feel so lucky to have this view, to be warm and not hungry.
I was just looking at my fb messages and an old friend has put a picture on about nylon and how far it has come. She mentioned the first nylon stockings we were able to buy. One of the boys in my street had been called up to do his two years in the army. He served his time in Germany and on his first leave was telling us girls about nylon stockings. As we had heard about them we really wanted a pair. Our stocking were still Lysle and although they had different thicknesses they were pretty ugly. Anyway he said he could buy us a pair and bring them back on his next leave, but they were one shilling and sixpence a pair. (Seven and a half pence.)I just have to have a pair and as I was fourteen and working I gave him the money. My pocket money was only, two shillings and sixpence and I had to save up for my clothes out of that. When I did get them, they were worth it though, I thought I was the cat’s whiskers! I think he bought them from an American soldier.
Thinking about the boys being conscripted at eighteen. I remember how they went in as boys but came out as young men. Some of them didn’t make it home though. My Husband lost his younger brother, he died in Egypt. It was a dreadful time for the family, his Mother and Father, were informed and told he had already been buried over there. They could do nothing about it then, and were never even given a proper explanation as to how he died. It was nineteen fifty three and there was still a lot of unrest in the world including Egypt. How things have changed and for the better in some ways now. No parent would ever be treated as my husband’s parents and many other families were now.
Time to say Bye. I hope all is well with you and take care everyone.
Hi, I'm Lilian, I live on Walney Island, a small peninsular in the North West of England, part of the Barrow In Furness district.