Sunday, 26 February 2017

Pie Drama

The whole village, indeed the whole valley lost it's power last night.
The Prof  wasn't best pleased as I had just put in a mince pie in the oven which he was looking forward to greatly.
He stropped around the cottage like Bette Davis as I dug out candles and a torch so I went to check on Old Trevor, Pat the animal helper and two other elderly neighbours.
I need not have worried, for everyone over fifty lived through the power cuts of The Three Day Week, so all would have had a  candle at the ready when all the lights went out

For those that dont know The Three Day Week was a government initiative to conserve electricity due to the 1973 oil crisis and British Coal Strike.  The general population had to deal with prolonged and regular  power cuts over that winter and even tv stations were forced to end their broadcasting early in an attempt to conserve power! 

I was eleven during the January Winter of 1974 so I vaguely remember those quiet drab evenings sat with a duvet in the living room surrounded by candles. I also sort of remember the pungent smell of the primus stove as my mother made tea and the worry that the tropical fish, their tank all wrapped up in an old sleeping bag would make it through the night.
No one seemed to complain much as I remember, they just got one with it.
Nowadays everyone would be apoplectic with rage and would be flinging themselves around in hysterical abandon searching for someone to rant at.
Then my mother just bought an extra flask and made sure she was up to date with her library books!

It was nice taking the dogs around a deserted and dark village. Almost every house had small pools of candle light illuminating their windows and the place looked as it would have done in the 1930s before mains electricity visited  the population.
As we walked around I spied another torch flicking to and fro and bumped into Cameron the teenage boffin, who was checking if anyone needed assistance. He too was enjoying the drama and the peace  of a dark village.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Ward Nite Out

Late last night I found myself waiting for a lift home from the back entrance of a somewhat " lively" establishment in a nearby town.
I was enjoying standing in the cold with the light rain on my face
The place was filled with rowdy, good-natured drinkers , most of them looking for anything between a snog and a shag. Many of the revellers were robustly drunk.
I was sober having sipped my pint of beer for an hour or so and half finishing a coffee martini cocktail which was a gift from a sweet friend.
I am out of practice with ward night outs!
It's not that I am antisocial, I am not! but I find the banging music, raucous laughter, skirts the size of   face flannels that would barely cover Sharon Stone's muff and the general scrum for the bar all a bit hard work.
It was nice to go to say goodbye to the four junior staff nurses who now have moved on to different work lives.
But I was glad to get home to bed to sleep and snore alongside an already comatose husband and a Welsh terrier who was dreaming Welsh terrier dreams .

Friday, 24 February 2017

Coffin Talk

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

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

Thursday, 23 February 2017


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

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Hollow Smile

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

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

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

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

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

It's all go!

Pastures New

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

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

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

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

Monday, 20 February 2017

The Walking Dead Season 7 Eps10

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

Looking Like Shite

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

She loves me so

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Shit Bags

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

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

Saturday, 18 February 2017