Monday, 19 March 2018

Not Back just visiting

Not back yet , a week off should do it...perhaps more....I got into my head that I had to blog everyday
Of course... I couldn't and Ursula's bile upset me more that it should
I need to recharge the batteries !
I just wanted to share that a badger broke into the bachelors' hen house last night by digging under the entrance and removing the stone step and  then lowered the portcullis door enough to squeeze in....
It must have taken it bloody's winter and badgers are hungry
How sad...
The Ukrainian village is now totally silent ....

Friday, 16 March 2018

.....Have A Kit-Kat

After 12 years blogging I've decided to take a break for a little while
A bit of an energy change is required .
Hey Ho..... watch this space. X

Thursday, 15 March 2018


Yesterday Mrs Trellis told me of an innovative new school initiative to combat bullying.
Instead of discussion groups, witness statements or counselling, the children involved were given a real baby to care for.
At first, I thought that this rather  theatrical intervention was concerning itself more with the act of caring for another living thing rather than anything else but I was only half right as Mrs Trellis explained more.
The important part of this exercise was crying.
The crying of the baby.
For when the baby naturally cried when it was hungry or wet or uncomfortable the children automatically tried to pacify it. They showed natural empathy and concern for the baby and reacted in a positive way to its tears.
It was hoped that this reaction to  the crying baby would be transferred to a positive reaction to the crying of a fellow pupil and according to Mrs Trellis, the experiment worked and levels of bullying decreased.
True or not, the story is an interesting one.

I am reminded here of the reaction of a boy of around six to William when they came face to face outside the school at home time. The boy, after making his usual fuss of the ever avuncular Winnie pointed to William's noticeably odd blind eye asking what was the matter.
I told the boy and his mum that William was blind and to approach him from his good side if he wanted to pet him.
The boy, as young as he was, carefully reached out and rubbed the gentle William on the chin with one hand, and gently covered his bad eye with the other.
" poor little boy" the boy cooed
Empathy is a wonderful thing

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

A Vegetable Samosa

A seagull whipped a vegetable samosa from out of my hand outside Marks and Spencers today.
I'd only had one bite of it too!
I don't know just what was worse
The fact I was still hungry or the fact that a passing couple found the whole thing hilarious.
I should have known better.

The plumber has just been. He's returning tomorrow or Friday to fix the leaking toilet. Winnie joined him when he laid down on the bathroom floor with his head at the U bend. She pushed herself around the other side to get a glimpse of what he was seeing.

It's cold today and I've lit the fire early. I am listening to a podcast from radio 4 a police mystery -A Small Town Murder with Meera Syal . It's very good.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

The Shape Of Water

Hawkins and Spencer 

I  adored Guillermo del Toro's Pan'Labyrinth. 
A child's nightmare fantasy set against the violence of the Spanish Civil war was a tour de force Adult fairy tale piece which still haunts me over a decade since I first saw it.
I always thought that nothing could quite beat it, and although I really wanted to love The Shape of water, Del Toro's revisit to the world of strange creatures and the flawed people that come in contact with them, wasn't quite as good as his first triumph....not quite.

I think we all know the story by now.
In a 1962 government research centre an amphibious humanoid creature is being studied and brutalised by special agent Strickland ( Michael Shannon) A mute and lonely domestic worker Elisia (Sally Hawkins ) secretly interacts with the creature , and a strange love affair starts between the two before the creature is ordered to be killed.
Helped by fellow cleaner Zelda ( Octavia Spencer) and closest gay best friend Giles (Richard Jenkins), Elisia then breaks the creature out of the facility with the violent Strickland in hot pursuit .

In anyone else's hands this might have been a Beauty and the Beast type  fairy tale full of whimsy and sentimentality but typically del Toro has produced a dark, multilayered and strangely credible story about loneliness, damage and loss. Elisia, Giles and Zelda are the " water" of the title as they are damaged people mouldered by their lot just like water is shaped by the vessel it finds itself in. Elisia is mute and is defined by her silence, Giles is in his own words born at the wrong time and Zelda is trapped in an unhappy marriage and it is their varying interactions with the creature that sets them free of the confines of their lives.

Hawkins is truly wonderful and without saying a word is incredibly moving as a woman who has found love for the first time in her sad life. I have to say that the  scene where she silently stands up to the psychopath Strickland with just one look is a revelation and incredibly moving all at the same time.
Jenkins , Spencer and the granite faced Shannon are equally impressive with Shannon echoing Sergi Lopez's brutal baddie performance from Labyrinth.
Del Toro does love his psychopath baddie , and Shannon is truly evil in this movie , so much so I had to look away at two of his more horrific moments !

The Shape Of Water is really worth the effort. It's magnificently atmospheric, and despite its oddness, strangely believable. It's moving , engaging and , I warn you, darkly shocking.
But I found it perhaps just half an hour too long.

Community Association A Notice

Up and down the country small communities are developing innovative initiatives to better the quality of life at home. Last night we heard of community oil buying clubs, local wind turbines that offset local electricity charges, after school groups and the like and out of the discussion came the firm decision that Trelawnyd requires it's own community Association .
The initiative has been spearheaded by Ian Papworth, who lives down our lane and after he had gardened support around the village a preliminary meeting took place in the village Hall last night.
Around twenty five villagers attended the meeting and it was encouraging to see a lot of younger faces alongside the usual old pongos like myself in the hall.
The gist of the meeting was to discuss the need of such an association-a group that could compliment the work of the formal community council and individual enterprises such as The Friendship and Conservation groups..and from the get go there was a general consensus that communities like Trelawnyd are at risk of becoming faceless housing estates in the country, estates without a heart..a centre if something was not done.
A brain storming exercise threw up a myriad of ideas.
A woman's Institute branch, craft group, kids group, film nights, theatre group, village meal, conservation initiatives, social activities, litter picking and that was in just ten minutes.
It was all very encouraging.
There was a lot of bright thinking and expertise that could be shared

Eight or so residents volunteered to sit on a committee to further develop the association and calls are now being sent out again for ideas from Trelawnyd-ites who couldn't go to last night's meeting to contribute to the discussion

This is the reason for my post today.
So I am passing on Ian's contact to the village again. If you are interested in being part of the new Association , or if you have any ideas to support it please contact Ian directly on the above email. Alternatively you can let me know what you think and I can pass information on to Ian personally.

Monday, 12 March 2018

90 Minute Window

I saw Affable despot Jason this morning as I was walking through the village, he yelled from his car window "How's your kidney?"
I should have yelled back "My Kidney is fine...its my bladder that's buggered!"
but his sympathy was near enough.
It was nice to be asked.
My "affliction" remains  and is becoming somewhat tiresome. The antibiotics for sure are kicking in, but (so much as it irritates me) Ursula was right, Urine infections in men can be so much more troublesome than those in women......(now let that comment put the cat  amongst the pigeons!)
I am still plagued with frequency, which means that I have to have to be within spitting distance of a loo every hour and a half or so.
To some this would be a minor irritation.
but loos can be few and far between in rural North Wales.

stuck in a traffic jam outside the village today ( with my legs firmly crossed)

I am telling you all this as part as a bit local colour, (oh and to elicit some small scale sympathy from sweet natured blog readers)  but the whole sad thing has been a sobering experience as so many people have to suffer so much greater and life affecting ills than mine and do so without comment, fanfare or complaint.
I am complaining as I am usually fit and well.....
I am complaining as I have been up five times overnight
and I am complaining as I feel a bit sorry for myself.
and there I should shut the fuck up
I have a dear friend who is undergoing the nauseating treatment for cancer. I have another who has a chronic condition which means 24/7 fatigue.
I also suspect that given the demographic of my followers a few hundred people out there are presently fighting their own battles against ailments and conditions which cause them pain, upset and sadness, and do so behind closed doors, unknown to the sympathy of the many.
To them I say
"I'm sorry"

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Bella & Lizzy

My sister Ann has an ability to put a narrative to an object
It's a way of storytelling inherited from our mother.
She is investigating our family tree and yesterday showed me a photo I had never seen before

The photo shows two teenage girls.
They are of my very Scottish great aunts. Aunt Bella and Aunt Lizzy and the photo was sent to their brother , my grandfather during World War One .
He was in hospital after being gassed in the trenches .
My sister noticed the tiny drawing pin hole in the top of the post card
" The photo was pinned over his bed when he was recuperating " my sister mused
I suspect she was right.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Out Of Hours

I'm typing this in A&E reception. I'm waiting to see the doctor from the Wales out of hours service.
I have an appointment time which seems to be running to time. The Walking wounded , I am informed will have to wait 5 hours to see the doctor.
Two men sitting behind me smell heavily of stale alcohol and vomit.
Such is life.

I've never had a bladder infection as bad as this before. I'm fine until I suddenly get the urge to go and boy do I need to go there and then!
So much so I had to suffer the indignity of an unavoidable accident just as I was putting petrol in the car.
Hopefully no one noticed.
I've hidden my urine sample under my coat. I've already tested it at home.
I need antibiotics for sure and a good sleep. This getting up thing, every hour isn't good.
Hey ho