WIP Wednesday on Thursday Thoughts Day

The mosaic table top is finished and installed in our living room and looks quite nice and appropriate there I think.

I should have posted this yesterday but got carried away with planning our week away.  Regular readers will have followed my posts on our trip to WW2 sites in France, Belgium & Holland last October and as the model show that Phil attended at the end of that trip is on again in a couple of weekends time, so we are having another week travelling before we get there.

Still sorting it out, but we’ll be doing Arnhem and the Overloon Museum again, definitely Nijmegan which we missed last time, and possibly a bit of Germany, but ending up at the model show in Eindhoeven.  Of course a camera (or 2 or 3!) will be coming with me, and I’m hoping to give the Rolleiflex SL35 a good workout, but I’ll still need my Fuji for the model show.

Got a bit of a hiccup to sort out in Germany, who knew there were 2 Munsters??  I (now) know one has an umlaut over it and the other doesn’t, but it’s a bit confusing!  The Munster we want to go to is not as short a travelling distance as the one we THOUGHT we were going to. 🙄 Never mind, there’s still time to cancel the hotel! 🤣 But there’s a panzer tank museum in the far away Munster that Phil really wanted to go to, so we may yet decide to do it. Phil will have a fit when he gets home from work and I appraise him of this situation. The moral of this sorry tale is- CHECK YOUR UMLAUTS people! Make sure they’re not sneaking up behind you to b ite you on the ass! 

Laters Gaters 😀 

Thursday Thoughts

Easter is nearly upon us, so for those of you into the resurrection thing, Happy Easter! and for those who are otherwise inclined, Happy Ēostre!

Good news and bad news from Fraggle Manor, the good news being I purchased the new macro lens released by Fuji I think back in February.  I didn’t think they’d ever get round to it, and their 60mm macro lens that I have been using, was a disappointment to me after having been used to the Nikon 105mm, which was just awesome. I am chuffed as nuts with the new Fuji 80mm, so much better than the 60, it’s bigger, and heavier, but it’s quality all the way.  It has OIS for the shaky-hand brigade (moi) and a minimum focus distance of 25cm and full-scale 1:1 reproduction ratio. It’s a bit slow to focus (as was the 60) but that doesn’t matter, macro isn’t about speed shooting. I love it already and here are some test shots

and yes that is my cherry blossom tree’s first lot of flowers, might be a tad early as we’re forecast another few days of bitter weather, but the tree doesn’t seem to care.


So whats the bad news? Stress has arrived at Fraggle Towers in the shape of a new kitchen. When Phil semi-retired he decided to get the house into shape, and has decorated a few rooms himself, but we came to the conclusion that as the fridge freezer was in death throes, and other bits of the kitchen were in a poor state, we would go all out and have a new kitchen. It started this week on Monday, with the kitchen stripped out, first phase electric and plumbing (i.e shutting everything off) and plastering. Today was to be floor- levelling day, with the new kitchen units due at 7.30am on Tuesday after the bank holiday, and the fitters following hot on their heels. But the leveller hasn’t turned up. Neither has the plumber who is supposed to remove a floor heater thingy that’s still plumbed in so the concrete can be poured.  Of course I’ve been in touch with the project manager guy, and he’s passed on my number to the plumber and leveller to have them ring me when they’re on the way, but it’s 5.30pm now so I think they won’t be here today.  Phil thinks they’ll come tomorrow or Saturday, I hope he’s right or Tuesday morning is going to be a right palaver.

In the meantime, we have converted our little conservatory into a mini kitchen, microwave, breadmaker, kettle, cool~bag as a fake fridge and our little chest freezer all in there, and prior to this week I spent a day cooking lots of different dinners for us so we don’t have to rely on take outs.  Sweet & Sour chicken, Chicken in black bean sauce, lasagne, Chile con carne, spaghetti bolognese, portions of spaghetti, rice, mash.  We’re eating better than we normally do when we had a kitchen! My mosaic shed is now a storeroom for all the kitchen stuff, most of which we didn’t know we had 🙂 Tonight though we’re going to see Phil’s sister and have dinner there while we do a load of washing in her machine. Nice to have family nearby.

Hopefully everything will sort itself out with the kitchen, and then it’ll be a good news day! Luckily I have a magic button which should make everything OK, feel free to use it yourself if you have a need!

scary biscuits! 😱


Thursday Thoughts

It’s all about the snow of course. The pesky white stuff that is inundating the British Isles at the moment. Facebook is full of camera phone shots of people’s back gardens or streets, the news is all about the disruption to schools and travel.  The met office is issuing yellow, amber, red weather warnings. (Don’t go out if you’re in the red area as you’re likely to die!). People went out and stock piled food items so nothing is left in the smaller shops. 20 vehicle crash on the A19, the A1 is closed now too and police warnings telling people to stop being stupid and stay home.  The whole of the North East is shutting down. People living in Canada, USA, Finland et al look at us and laugh at our inability to cope with this weather.  We have a few gritters careering about ineffectually, and there is a tractor company that turns them into snow ploughs for rent here and there, but on the whole we just shut up shop and hunker down until it’s gone. Disfunctional Britain due to snow.  Our excuse is that we don’t get snow very often, have even heard that we haven’t had it for over 30 years!  I must have been living in a parallel universe most of my life then.   This is me back in 1961, I’m the cuteypatooty on the right…

That white stuff  happened every year of my childhood, for a couple of months at a time, didn’t stop us going to school, we walked as we got older. Didn’t stop Mum from going to work in her car.  The roads were cleared every night and we had heaters in the classrooms. This was in Yorkshire by the way, I wasn’t living in the arctic. Oh but that was back in the olden days our snowflake (!) generation say, less traffic on the roads – what they really should say is less idiots on the road. I drove to work yesterday and the amount of stupid I saw had me swivel eyed all morning.

In 2009 here we had a month of snow, and I went to work as usual


but came off worse for wear when going downhill in Newcastle and an idiot in a great big Landrover pulled out of a side road and hit my car, knocking me into several other cars parked up on the other side of the road

I was really peed oft at the driver, he blamed me!!  The insurance sorted that one out so no harm done, and I continued to go to work in the replacement insurance vehicle.

The following year we had even more snow,

Herky 2010

Yoyo 2010

I went to work then too, without incident that year thankfully, but had to take Phil to work and pick him up a couple of times as his car couldn’t get off our estate, we live at the bottom of a little hill.  So why on earth everyone thinks we don’t get snow so it’s not worth investing in the equipment needed to keep the country going is beyond me.  I’m lucky to be off for the next few days, but come Monday I’ll be going back to work no matter the weather, if the roads are open that is! No metro service from here to there and the buses are irregular if at all. 🙄

Phil and I took a walk to our local shop this morning

for milk and vodka supplies 🍸 so we’re tucked up indoors with the heating on. Of course I’ve been taking pictures, (hasn’t everyone?!) mostly on film camera’s but also with the fuji,


and day

my bathroom window this morning


and I’ve been making sure to put food. out for the birds, they’re having a right old time at the Happy Eater tree, and I got some shots of our Bobby Robin in his element

Christmas card 🙂

snow bound.

and finally for a quick giggle press HERE



Thursday Thoughts

This picture I took at about 1am last night, thats superbluebloodmoonlight through the window.  It’s a little bit fuzzy as I was in my jammies and didn’t have my glasses on & I may have had a couple of vodka’s previously too 🙂 .  I didn’t get up at 4am to shoot the red and bigger moon as for us it would be in the north west, and there’s a house in the way from my bedroom window. Also 4am, well meh! Maybe next time, 2037 will see me in my late 70’s and maybe 4am won’t be too bad then. (Hah!)

Phil got up at 4.30am to go to the loo and he checked and couldn’t see it so didn’t wake me up. He got up again at 6am and couldn’t find his way out of the bedroom as it was so dark, crashed about a bit and woke me up. “What are you doing!?” “Feeling unwell, gonna go and make a cup of tea, take some nurofen and then come back to bed, go back to sleep, I’m OK” He brought me tea at 9am, “I can’t believe it” he says, “I just got over the flu and now I feel like I’m back to square one!”  We sat in bed and had tea, read the papers, chilled out and got up. Down in the kitchen he tells me it hurts to cough, to breathe.  At midday he went for a lie down, thats a first, even with flu he didn’t ‘have a lie down’. At 1pm he gets up, comes down, is shaking and shivering and holding his arms across his chest. Sharp pains in his chest. Looks like death warmed up.  “I think you need to go to A&E”. “They don’t like it when you go there with flu stuff. There’ll be a long old wait to see anyone.”  “This isn’t just flu I think, this is sharp chest pain, maybe pneumonia or something” (thinking to myself I fekking hope this isn’t a heart attack).  “Maybe when I’ve had a cup of tea and let the nurofen work. ”  “OK, I’m gonna put a face on just incase”. I come back with a face on, he’s still shivering, shaking, breathless. “OK I’m gonna put some jeans on, we’re going to A & E”.

It’s a long walk from the carpark to reception, we have to stop a few times for him to catch his breath, I always have to walk fast to catch up with his long strides, but not today, I take baby steps and hold his arm. We get to reception, answer the book-in questions. “Go through those doors and take a seat, I’ll ring through.  Just as we sit down, “Mr.Hyslop!” a young chap nurse calls, and they take him off into a cubicle. That was astonishingly quick! I sit and read my book. I keep reading my book. I read my book some more. I keep looking up the corridor at every page turn.  I keep reading my book, then I look up and he’s on a trolley being pushed back into the cubicle. I go and see him to find he’s been off for a chest X-ray.   The nurse comes in and gives him a big syringe full of antibiotics into the cannula in his arm and sets up an IV with a litre of normal saline. “What’s happening?” “Just had an ECG which they say is normal..” (PHEW! no heart attack!) ” had blood tests, my white cell count is up and I’ve a temperature of 38 point something, (I forget) so they gave me IV paracetamol, and now just waiting for the results of the X-ray”.  “OK, I’m staying here now, got bored out there”. (I wasn’t bored, I was fretting, I needed to see/know what’s happening.)  A Doctor comes in, she’s at least 15 years old. Asks him about allergies – none, drinking/smoking habits – lots. Phil apologises for coming into A&E with flu, “Don’t, you did the right thing, your X-rays show there’s pneumonia.” Shock on Phil’s face, not so much on mine. “We’ll have to keep you in for 24hrs-” dismay on both our faces. “Can’t I be treated at home!!??” “We’d really like to keep you in, monitor your temperature and do more blood tests in the morning to see how the white cell count is doing.

I make to go home to get an overnight bag for him. I can’t find my way back to the carpark through the hospital so walk all the way round the outside before I find the car.  I come back park up, find A&E after a couple of wrong turns. He’s been moved to the Emergency Admissions ward. Can’t find it, I get directions from kindly nurse. Can’t get in, ring a bell. Wait. Wait some more. There’s a notice, ring bell and please be patient as we are busy. Wait. Wait some more. A Nurse coming on duty lets me in but says “only stay a few minutes, visiting time is at 7pm”. It’s 5pm. I find Phil sitting in a chair next to a bed, he looks OK, the IV drugs have helped, he’s not shivering and shaking, I’m relieved.  It still hurts him when he coughs, and it hurts me to see it, but I’m an ex–nurse, so I am stoic.

I try to go home to wait for 6.35pm. I can’t find my way back to the carpark through the hospital so walk all the way round the outside before I find the car. Again. I get home in time to eat a pasty and beans with sausages, (comfort food) and go back again. More doctors have been to see him, he has pneumonia and pleurisy, the result of the Aussie flu or whatever flu strain he had. More blood tests in the morning.  He’s in a 4 bed ward with 2 other chaps, but it’s roomy, not claustrophobic, I took him his biscuits, and chocolate, and he’s doing OK, but was flagging by the time I left. I found my way out through the hospital easily this time, and cried when I got in the car. It’s been a bit of a day.



Thursday Thoughts

It’s taken me a while to get back here to The Other Place while I’ve been concentrating on getting 2017’s posts up on The Universe blog.  I didn’t know what to do with this place either for 2018.  I kept reading other people’s posts about exciting goals/resolutions for their blogs in 2018, but couldn’t really get enthused about any for my own. I didn’t want to keep doing the same old thing, but couldn’t get inspired or think of a project.  On top of the creative limbo, I’ve had and still have the damned flu thing that’s sweeping the world. Phil has it too, so we are a sorry pair at the minute,coughing and spluttering and sniffling our way through the days wishing it would go away. :/

I have though now found a little project I’ll share on the blog.  Last year I wrote a post on the Hipstamatic app on the  iPhone (HERE) and I’ve just bought the latest new lens/film pack for it.  When I looked at the ‘my gear’ section I find over the years I’ve built up 87 different packs, that comes to about £86! Not much in the grand scheme of things, (I’ve had the app since it came out in 2009) £9 per year really, but I’ve never really used the packs purposefully.  I’ve taken pictures with it of course, and then faffed about with the ‘lenses’ and ‘films’ to process the shot, but never chosen a pack first for a specific shot. So this year I’m going to take a picture with every pack, and see what each one does. Monday Mobile Moments will be resurrected for the project.

I still do the Sunday Challenge over on Ipernity photo site and I thought I just might post those shots here too. Probably on a Sunday 🙂

For regular visitors, you’ll remember last year I decided to grow my own veg, and what a disaster THAT turned out to be (goddamned horrid worm thingys) though I did get a few tasteless potatoes  and a good crop of herbs. So this year I’m just growing herbs, building on success and ditching the failure seems a good way to go 🙂 . Instead of trying to grow food, I’m making the effort to cook it instead, not that I don’t already, but I’m trying out lots of new recipes I’m finding on various cooking blog sites, and I might feature the good ones on here, I could do with some practice on food photography.

I love reading blogs where people review books, TV, movies etc and I’m not very good at that so I’ve been thinking I might have a go now and then, but I’m blowing hot and cold on it as it doesn’t involve my camera!  I think my pictures are much more interesting than my words.

So we will see. There’s not much structure in this is there?  🙂 but I’m OK with that, I’ll post stuff willy nilly as and when and that’ll do.

Last night my dear husband woke me up at 1am to tell me it was snowing 🙄 and though I’m eye-rolling, really I was pleased and stayed up for half an hour watching it come down in big fluffy white blobs.  I took a shot of it with the iPhone which came out pretty rubbish

but this morning I set the alarm for sunrise time and watched the transformation

Here comes the sun doo-dn doo-doo

Most of it’s thawed now, yet again a one day snow day for us, though the west of the country still has swathes of it and no doubt Scotland has a good share.

Oh and one more thing, for Frego fans, she got a gorgeous box of chocolates for Christmas, which she didn’t share at all! I imagine she will be popping up in the blog now and then.






Thursday Thoughts

I haven’t been blogging for a couple of weeks, though have popped in to everyone else’s blog of course. No Mundanity Monday’s, no Thursday Thoughts here, and no ‘places wot I went to’ on the Universe blog.  Last week I completely lost all motivation to pick up my camera. Would have loved to do some snow scenes but it came and went whist I was at work and then it just turned cold and meh.  On Monday this week I woke up with what people call Manflu and I call a bad cold + chest infection, so am sniffing and coughing my way through the week.  At least it will be over (I hope!) by Christmas.

Ah yes, here it comes again, and my world is split between those ramping it up going bonkers with presents, decorations, parties, shopping, etcetera, etcetera,etcetera, and those who are bah humbugging and grumbling at the commercialisation and having to buy presents when they don’t really want to.  If I analyse it down, the bonkers lot are younger, mainly women, and have kids, and the humbuggers are older, mainly men, whose kids flew the nest long ago, if they had them.  🙂 .

I figure it’s impossible to ignore it, the radio is playing the same old crappy Christmas songs they play every year ad nauseam, the TV is full of crappy Christmas movies I wouldn’t watch if you paid me, and I daren’t even check out the family facebook pages! They’re all on the mad side.

Christmas here at Fraggle Towers will be mostly a quiet affair, we have a tree up now, on the 12th, not the 1st of December

though my decorations are old and worn, there’s still a bit of sparkle going on

We went to Cyprus one year for Christmas, and had dinner in a Chinese restaurant, we were the only ones there, and the lady owner gave us a Christmas decoration for a present.

And though it was nice to be away, there’s really nothing like Christmas dinner at home.  It’s always just me and Phil for Christmas Day, the kids always do their own thing, which is grand. We’ll be having roast leg of lamb and I’ll push the boat out on the veggies to go with it.  Pudding will not be an option, we can’t manage 2 courses these days!

At some point Phil’s kids and grandkids and his sister + hubby will come over for an afternoon and I’ll make a load of vol-au-vents and party food for it, and that’ll be our socialising done!

We don’t do presents, everyone gets money, we figure our grandkids are overloaded with stuff they won’t even remember getting by the week after, so when it’s all over they can have a little spend themselves. Phil and I decided long ago that surprising each other was a pain in the arse and we’d both rather just get what we want when we want it, so birthday and Christmas present became obsolete, and it removes the worry of what to get!  I haven’t posted Christmas cards since forever, think they are a complete waste of paper, I’d rather ring some one up and have a chat.  So on the whole I quite like Christmas, the tree looks pretty, we’ll have a lush dinner and a few glasses of something nice, watch movies that have nothing to do with it, see our loony family for a little while, and have a week off work. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. 🙂

I hope you all have the Christmas that’s perfect for you!










Thursday Thoughts

Woke up to this today!  We haven’t had proper snow up here for  7 years, so it was a bit of a shock.  The last time was bonkers

Yoyo in the snow 2010

but I don’t think it’s going to last this time, it’s almost all gone now.  It was nice to see it, well at least I thought so, but most people don’t seem to like it.  Our country seems to have lost the ability to cope with snow, more than a day of it and schools, trains, the roads come to a standstill.  People don’t know, or haven’t been taught how to drive in it.  When I was growing up in Yorkshire every winter would have weeks of snow, I think they still get more of it there than anywhere else in England, and Scotland gets the main share of it being the Northest (yes it IS a word, it’s in Fraggles Dictionary) part of GB.  Ah well, icy roads in the morning will cause a bit of chaos, then slush and rain and then back to rainy normal winter.

Tomorrow night is the Camel Parade in South Shields which I did attend last year but only managed a few decent shots, you can see them HERE  but am (weather depending) going again tomorrow evening and hopefully this year will do  better, I managed not to get a decent shot of a camel last time. Or the drummers. And my fireworks were a bit dodgy 🙂  so fingers crossed for a better result.  At least now I know what to expect and get in position, there were a lot of pushy people getting in the way last time so I will need armour plating this time!

I was going to give y’all my thoughts on Trump’s latest fiasco, I mean, why is he having a pop at us??   WTF was all that about?  But I won’t, because really I can’t stop sniggering about the fact that he mistakenly sent his tweet to our Prime Minister initially to a lady called Theresa May Scrivener, who had 6 followers , then had to delete it and send it to our PM Theresa May.   Ms.Scrivener lives in Bognor Regis (how awful is that name for a place) a seaside town in the south of England, and of course now she is being interviewed by the press and now known as ‘the wrong Theresa May’.  (honestly I’m laughing whilst I’m writing this! 😀 ) Her responses to the interviewer from Associated Press are a joy,

“If I wanted to be famous, I would have gone on ‘X Factor,”  –  “It’s amazing to think that the world’s most powerful man managed to press the wrong button,” she said, adding, “I’m just glad he was not contacting me to say he was going to war with North Korea.”

Ah the mind boggles.  I keep thinking, what would you do if apropos to nothing in your life, you got a tweet from POTUS to say he was going to war with North Korea?

I wonder how many followers Ms.Scrivener has now .  He managed to increase Britain First’s followers by lots of thousands. I bet they’re over the moon.

I know it’s not funny really, but if you didn’t laugh sometimes, you’d face~palm yourself so hard you’d knock yourself out.   To cap it all, at the end of his tweet to the PM he says, “We are doing just fine!”  Yep, you’ve not long had the worst mass shooting, a Right Wing fracas where someone killed a girl by running her over, Tillerson is about to be dumped, your son in law is under investigation over your Russia collusion, and your people are even more diametrically and vitriolically opposed than our Leavers & Remoaners, yep, you’re doing fine Trumplestiltskin, doing fine. 🙄.   Whatever I think of our politicians, and it isn’t good thoughts people, not good at all, even our worst (Boris, Rees-Mogg, Davies, Gove I’m looking at you) are not in Trump’s league of stupidity , incompetence, and national self-harm.  But close enough.

So that’s me not giving my thoughts on Trump’s latest fiasco. 🤪

Laters Gaters







Thursday Thoughts

The weather turned very rainy over the last couple of days, I thought it would never stop last night, but this morning was beautifully sunny at 7.30am and I thought ‘yippee!’ I’ll do some photography, but by 10am the clouds had come back, and the wet stuff started all over again.  Never mind, the weekend is going to be sunny, though cold, and Sophie and I are going to the Diwali festival in Sunderland, am so looking forward to photographing it, as I’ve never been to one before.  I’ll save the info for the Report.  I did however notice a lady chaffinch visiting the happy eater tree today, along with a robin, blue-tit and great tit.  They all move so fast, and it was raining so the photos are not brilliant, but I do like to try!

blue tit

great tit


lady chaffinch

The robin made me laugh, he wasn’t happy about Lady Chaffinch visiting, and had a flurried charge at her a couple of times, he doesn’t bother with the tits, I think they are far too quick, and he hides when the spuggies come as they are even more feisty than he is!

I also spent a goodly amount of time shooting one of Phil’s guitars. I have taken pictures of his guitars before, and we have the Rickenbacker on a canvass on the wall. Phil said now he also wants one of his fender, but wasn’t happy with the shadow that cuts off the curve of it at the bottom end. That happened because I shot it in a completely dark room and light painted it from the side.  So today I got out my black background, shut myself in the ‘dark room’ and reshot it but this time light painted both sides.  I’ve just shown him the re-do and now he thinks he likes the original best! Maybe! 😬. I’ve read professional photographers blogs where they moan about ‘difficult’ clients!  😀 😀

Give us a vote, the original is on the left, and my reshoot on the right, which one do you like best and why? I can’t choose, I took them both!

It’s Thanksgiving in America, and my blog reader and Facey pages are full of Happy Thanksgivings, with lots of references to Turkey’s and Pie’s.  Of course over here we have a Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving on or near the Sunday of the harvest moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. Harvest Thanksgiving in Britain also has pre-Christian roots when the Saxons would offer the first sheaf of barley, oats, or wheat to fertility gods. When the harvest was finally collected, communities would come together for a harvest supper. When Christianity arrived in Britain many traditions remained, and today Harvest Thanksgiving is marked by churches and schools in late September/early October (same as Canada) with singing, praying and decorating with baskets of food and fruit to celebrate a successful harvest and to give thanks.  Collections of food are usually held which are then given to local charities which help the homeless and those in need.  Not quite the same Turkeyfest and Pumpkin Pie thing that the Americans do! And we are very quiet about it, at least I’ve never seen Happy Harvest Festival meme’s everywhere!  But each to his own, and I wish all my American bloggers a Happy Thanksgiving Day.

Thursday Thoughts

Such a lot going on in the world, another mass shooting in the USA, allegations of sexual abuse from Hollywood to Westminster, Saudi Arabia purging corruption (waggles eyebrows).  I already did my thinking about guns and the USA when the Vegas thing happened, the Texas thing didn’t even seem like a shock, it’s just how things roll over there these days.  It’s hard to have sympathy for a country who’s president says mass shootings are not a ‘gun issue’.  Only the people can change things, and sadly not enough of them won’t/don’t.

The Saudi thing is interesting, but I’ll wait to see where it ends up before committing too many thoughts on it, the Crown Prince has certainly got an agenda though.

The sex abuse thing, well that’s gone ballistic, and whilst Kevin Spacey is being edited out of his latest movie and being replaced by Christopher Plummer, here we have the suicide of a labour MP who topped himself without knowing what the allegations consisted of.  I have never been sexually abused or assaulted, can’t even think of a time when anyone put a hand on my knee and I’d like to  think if they did, my withering look would have them cease and desist.  But I am an old bird with the confidence that age brings, and a lot of the ladies, and men, who are now making the allegations were young, and working in places where their bosses are male and powerful.  Of course, allegations are just that until proven otherwise, but that isn’t the case for Weinstein, Spacey et al.  There’s been no arrests or trials, oh I’m not saying they didn’t do what they’re accused of, seems pretty obvious they did, but it seems pretty obvious because I’m reading about it on the web, on social media outlets, in the newspapers, seeing it on the news.  This has been the trial, the verdict and the punishment, all without a court of law.  That seems to be the way it’s going anyway.

I believe Weinstein and Spacey are holed up getting ‘treatment’ in the same private rehab centre, “Gentle Path at The Meadows is especially designed to treat and work with male sex addicts … “We also understand that when men gather together with the intention of changing the core of who they are, without distraction from the outside world, a container of safety is created in which they can begin the recovery process,” the website states.  “patients learn how to use their interactions with horses as a way to move past barriers in their own relationships with family and friends”.   Horses??? 🙄   Are horses going to train them to keep their hands to themselves and their dicks in their pants?  It makes me laugh that it’s they who need to ‘recover’, what about the people they (allegedly) abused? Maybe some grovelling and reparation to their victims would be a better way to go. And a prison sentence. Without horses.

So that’s da nooze, and my thoughts on it.

I’ve finally finished the damned tiger table, for those of you who remember the work-in-progress article I did for Clockwork Clouds (which you can read at https://clockworkclouds.wordpress.com/2017/09/20/5225/ the last stretch was traumatic to say the least.  It all went horribly wrong when I had to transfer it to the table, I didn’t use enough tile adhesive, and when I came to soak to the brown paper loads of the tiles came loose.  I’d also used too much PVA glue and it was just ugh! a nightmare. I was not happy.  But I worked on putting as much right as I could, and this is the end result.

I learned a lot about what not to do and not how to do it, and that’s the best that can be said!  The next project is already in my. head and that will be done in a completely different way.

laters gaters 🙂


Thursday Thoughts

Well this is my first chance to do a post since returning from our holiday on Monday night.  Washing done, photo’s (633!) all sorted and uploaded to my photo site, and was back to work yesterday. I also had a dental appointment yesterday afternoon that has resulted in me having to take the rest of this week off!  Dental pain and trauma is just so horrible, and I’m surviving on soup :/ .  Never mind it’ll all get better soon I hope.  I’ll be posting the main reports on all the places we visited over on the universe blog.  I’ve cried a fair few times this holiday, at the wickedness of war, the sadness of young men buried too soon, the humility of those who survived, and at the kindness of strangers in other lands.  I’ve learned a lot of history, and seen some amazing places, had some lovely food, met some really cool people, driven many miles through France, Belgium and Holland and had a great time in the company of my wonderful, slightly mad husband.  We lost everything we had at least three times, where’s my purse? Where’s my other camera battery? where did I put this, that and the other.  Phil left his box of models on top of the car in the carpark in Dover and only realised 10 minutes after we checked into the hotel, (run Forest! Run!).  We got into Europe via Calais without a hitch but got searched by armed soldiers (they looked no older than 18!) on the way back at Calais. Then searched by the UK border force at Calais. Then pulled off and questioned and searched by the UK border force in Dover- practicing for Brexit no doubt! I pity all those Brits who go off to Provence and the like every summer, they’re in for a treat! 😀  Driving in Europe is lovely. Long straight motorways and no-one sits in the middle lane holding everyone else up, the only traffic jam was getting around Antwerp on the ring road, but even that was moving reasonably well.   Got back to Dover and then took 13hrs to do the what should be a 6hr journey home, because of roadworks, traffic jams and stupid sods who crashed and had the A1 closed!  In Europe we  found Radio 4 on AM and got edumacated about Lucien Freud the artist, the Russian revolution, on womens hour we laughed at Sarah Milligan and listened to Hilary Clinton about democracy and social media. Turned off the god spots but found  Jane Gardam (author) talking to Kirsty Young on desert Island discs, all fascinating stuff. Phil did his judging at the model show, which was huge and heaving with modellers, trade stands, club displays and some amazing models in the competition, over 2000!  I couldn’t photograph them all but did the best I could before my eyes went all googly.  Here are a few I-phone shots I took along the way

Dinner at our fave Chinese restaurant the night before we sailed.

Banksy in Dover making a point, or unmaking one I suppose.

white cliffs and seagulls (no bluebirds!)

waiting for dinner in Bruges

where did I put the car park ticket!!??

lunchtime selfie in Waterloo

one top of Lions Mound, Waterloo

soldier at Calais

going home



Thursday Thoughts

Phil and I were having a conversation the other night which led me on to thinking about my childhood growing up in Huddersfield, Yorkshire for the first 11 years of my life. I was telling him what an idyllic childhood I had and it really was. Then I read Pete’s story about drowning when he was a boy, and that reminded me too of where I lived as I had a similar experience when I was a nipper.

I lived with my Mum and her Mum and Dad, in a house that was in the first street to be built in the area, and though they are humble terraced houses, they are now listed buildings, so can’t be replaced.  I lived there until I was 11 yrs old,  when Mum met and married George, who was in the RAF.  I haven’t been back there ever, and wondered if the houses were really still there, or if the surrounding fields and land had been built on now, the road updated perhaps, I was pretty sure my memories of the place would not match up and going back to visit would probably be a disappointed.

But of course, I have the technology to virtually visit, and so I cranked up google maps and took screenshots of the place!

The house where I grew up

The plaque that says FP on it, means fire point, I think firemen would have plugged a hose in to that if there’d ever been one.  I wish I could find out when it was built, but all my googling on that has come to naught.

The window panes have changed, ours had the old leaded type in a diamond pattern, but it looks the same other than that, I can almost see my Mum’s Riley Elf parked in front of the windows there.  And me,  hurtling out of the front door, across the road, jumping over the wall, running down the fields to the stream at the bottom to race float sticks, and catch tadpoles or tiddlers (little fish)  and bring them home in a jar.

This is looking up the road as if you were standing outside the front door.

The wall is still there, though lower than I remember (or was I just shorter?) and the lamp post is modern where the old one was black cast iron. The lamp part always brought to mind the police lamp at the start of the Dixon of Dock Green TV programme, (google that young people!)  and it had a prong sticking out near the top that you could swing on if you stood on the wall and jumped.   Newer, much newer, houses have been built down from the wall, so you can’t run down to the stream now, but the view is still there. I love the armchair my could’ve-been neighbours have out front!

In winter back then, the snows would come, and for a couple of months at least my world would be a white playground, the fields wrapped in pristine sparkly shrouds, and I had a shit hot sledge. Up the road this time, then turn right at the stile, up the field to the top, then wheeeeeeee! all the way down.

The stile is still there, you can see it just near the tree on the right, but that old wall up the field is crumbling now.

We played up there a lot, me and the other kids who lived in the old terraces, and somewhere in that woodland is a tree house we made, maybe there’s still a bit of it hidden in the branches.   At one point the council laid new piping along the bottom edge of the field, sewage works maybe, and large pale grey concrete cylinders lounged around at the bottom of the field waiting  for their funerals.  At the weekends we would jump on and off them just for the hell of it.  Once I landed on an old piece of wooden board which employed a rusty old nail, and it went straight through my foot between the bones. I cried, and bled a fair bit, and my pals helped me limp home to Mum.  Of course we didn’t really do hospitals in those days unless you were in danger of dying on the spot, so my Grandma slapped some Savlon and sticky plasters on the hole, and sent me off to play some more.

At the end of the row of terraces, in front of the last house, was a big old coal bunker, about the size of a small car. Stone built and painted blue it had a thick slate roof on it and at the front a little wooden door.  The coal used to be delivered by horse and cart, and the coal man would shove the lid off a bit and haul sacks of coal into the bunker, and each house had a wooden scooped shovel to go and fetch the coal from the little door when you needed it.   One of the lads, David,  lived in the bunker house, and sometimes we’d play jumping off the outside window ledge of his house, onto the top of the coal bunker.  It wasn’t a huge gap and not far to fall, so no-one bothered us to stop, but one day I must’ve had beans in my pants as I jumped high enough to catch my nose on the washing line David’s Mum had strung out.  More blood and crying, and I still have that scar across my nose.

My drowning incident happened when a rare event occurred, I got to play with the posh lad who lived further on up the road.  Their house had a drive and a locked gate

and I’m not sure how it happened but I was asked to go and play with him at the house.  They had a small rectangular pond in the front grounds, and I remember the water was dark and had a lily pad or two on it.  The boy told me there were fish in the pond so I leaned over to try and see them and pitched face first into the water. I must have been 6 years old or thereabouts.  I didn’t know how to swim, and it was so dark in there,  I don’t know if I panicked, all I remember is darkness, and then Mrs. Posh was stood in the pond fishing me out and bashing my back.  I remember her tweed skirt, stockings and shoes were soaked.  I wasn’t invited again sadly.  I should think she was more shocked than I was and didn’t want to be reminded!

Also up the road, was Snow Leas Farm, you could see the sheep in the fields behind it.  We’d walk past it on our way to school and wrinkle our noses at the sheep poop smell.

No sheep now, but landscaped garden and more houses further down I think from the map.   I looked up the farm and found it had been for sale around 2013 for £700,000!  I read the sales blurb  and loved it, “Set in a highly convenient and sought after yet little known semi-rural location, Lamb Hall Road is a hidden treasure to the East of Huddersfield, the area has managed to retain its rural character while being one of the best addresses in this area. A rural idyll with  fascinating views,  which combines rural scenes and buildings of industrial heritage.”  Well if only we’d known!! When Mum married George and we moved to RAF camps, she sold our family home for £1100.  I try not to  think of George as the worst thing that happened to Mum and me, but mostly fail. But that’s another story.

I know now, that our house had been lived in by members of my family since at least the 1800’s, and my great great Grandad and Grandma Rowland and Ada Jessop were buried in the church further down the road. That’s been demolished some time ago, but the graveyard is still there, and I found a site that has pictures of all the graves,

Grave 143 JESSOP Sacred to the memory of Rowland, husband of Ada Jessop, Died October 17th 1934 aged 70 years. Also the above Ada Jessop Died Feb. 16th 1937, aged 72 years. Also Leonard son of the above Died Jan. 16th 1907, aged 18 years. “Love never Dies”

I am so glad the ambience of the place has not been destroyed as it has grown, the newer houses don’t interfere with the view, the hill they are all on being so steep, and the original buildings are still all there.   The google car went round in 2013 so only 4 years ago.  I am aching to go back and take my own photo’s of it all, and sometimes it’s hard not to pine for simpler times. I still want, need, to run out the door, over the wall and down to the stream.


Thursday Thoughts

My first thought is it’s Wednesday!  But I have learned about a useful feature of WordPress which is ‘scheduling your posts’.  So you can schedule a post! Yay!  It is apparently for people who can’t bear to be missed while they’re on holiday, or have a regular post they do (like say.. a Thursday Thought or Friday Film post, for example 🙂 ).  So as I a) can’t bear to be missed, haha, and b) have a regular Thursday post, I am taking advantage of this useful feature.

I’m going away tomorrow, so won’t be here to post on the day.  I’m off to somewhere I’ve forgotten for a work thing.  Brenda my boss is picking me up and footing the bill for the hotel as we have this thing called ‘CPD’.  Continuous Professional Development.   The National Health Service staff all have it too, so Phil also goes through all this.  It means that if you work in health matters, you keep doing training and courses all the way through your working life, so the public/patients/clients can be kept safe with your wonderful array of underpinning knowledge.  Basically if you’re in the NHS you attend a course of some sort, in the learning facilities of the hospital, sometimes do a test of some sort, and then ‘reflect’ in writing, on how this will affect your practice  going forward.  For the NHS staff this is a complete bind, as they are already overworked and overstretched, (and underpaid). So , lots of them give up home time with the family and stick their heads in books, or online training, or writing, etc etc.  For some, like Phil, CPD came into effect when they’d already been doing the job for 20-30 years, so being taught to suck eggs by a fresh faced ‘educational facilitator’ elicits Orc-like feelings, commonly known as ‘stress and bloody incensed’. But they still do the work, have to, in case they’re audited – their job depends on it.

In the Private sector, CPD is the same, but not. Your company pays for you to stay in a nice hotel, manufacturers give lectures on the tech of their latest products in a nice conference room and give out free notepads and pens with their logo on, and a choice of sparkling and spring water bottles free coffee and pastries at break time, and nice lunch provided.  They’ll also pay for lush dinner out in the evening and sometimes that includes drinks, which is not a good idea really for my profession, they like a drink or two. Or several when it’s free.  You still do the work, have to, in case you’re audited, your job depends on it.

I know lots of my colleagues will love the chance to get together and talk shop, it’s a nice break from the norm for them,  independent private sector audiologists are usually one man bands, and the weekend training sessions with extra’s are a chance to be with their peers, and do a bit of networking.  For me though, I’d rather be at home with my hubby.

I haven’t any new photo’s, but one of my pals says, if in doubt, do a cat, so here are a couple of pictures of my boys Herky and Yoyo, they’re both in the pet cemetery that is known as ‘the garden’ now, one day I’ll tell their story.