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Monday 25 December 2023

A Quiet Christmas

Over the years I have had noisy Christmases, sad Christmases, busy Christmases.  These days my Christmas of choice is very quiet.  I get lots of invitations to go out but I prefer to spend it alone, just me.  

The only exception I make is to go to church.  The last few years (apart from the 2020 lockdown) I have gone to this delightful church at Market Rasen to celebrate Holy Communion and give thanks that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us and we beheld his glory, full of grace and truth.

 It's also a thanksgiving for all my family Christmases over many years as it means that their regular vicar can have some precious time with her children on Christmas Day.


May your Christmas be blessed. 


Friday 1 December 2023


 I've forgotten how long I've had this Advent stable but it has to be the best part of twenty years!  I think I paid around £60 which seemed a very lot at the time but I think it was a good buy.  (Lakeland still have something similar but they're now around £100!)

Advent doesn't really start until Sunday (which is the fourth Sunday before Christmas) but, like most Advent calendars, mine starts today.  Each door has a figure hidden behind it and the last twelve are on the other side.  Today I found a shepherd who seems to have lost his sheep and is perhaps seeking divine inspiration as to how to find it..  

Check for Norad tracks Santa with the help of Rudolph's nose and heat seeking sensors on satellites 22.600 miles above the earth.  

Wednesday 29 November 2023

Z is for Zest

 Not the stuff removed with great care from the skin of a lemon but the sheer joy of living!

And that's what I want!  I want to live life with zest.  I want to embrace new experiences and treasure old ones.  

In this series of twenty six blog posts over one year, two months and four days I have reflected on my life ranging from big things like doing VSO in Nigeria and later being one of the first English women to be ordained priest to minutiae like enjoying a cup of coffee or taking pleasure in make do and mend.  I have shared things with you and many of you have responded with the events of your own life.

So for you too I want zest.  May your life have zing and zip.

Sunday 26 November 2023

Y is for youth

Library of the State Scool Library Service, Uyo, Nigeria 1973

 When I was young I never thought about being old.  I'm older now than my grandmother was when I was born but she always seemed very old to me so I suppose I seem very old to the children around me now.

I think I made the most of my youth.  George Bernard Shaw said that youth is wasted on the young but I don't think so. 

One of the most exciting things I did as a young woman was to go to Nigeria on Voluntary Service Overseas.  I was a newly qualified librarian when I flew to Lagos in September 1973 to help set up school libraries in the area which had seen the Civil War just a few years earlier.  Schools had been commandeered as army camps by both sides and such libraries as there had been, had been looted.  I helped set up a model library and train library assistants who had never seen a library until they were employed to run one!

My VSO came to a very abrupt end in September 1974 when I was in a motorcycle crash and I had to be repatriated.

Saturday 25 November 2023

The X Factor


What's your X factor?  By which I mean, what's the thing which makes your life really worthwhile?  I know that for many of you, the X factor will be your family: the children, grandchildren and maybe even great grandchildren whose faces are not just in the photographs around your room, on your phone or in your wallet, but even more. always in your mind and heart.  

I've never had children so my closest relative is a nephew whom I see about three hours each year and after that it's cousins.  I get on with all of them but I don't think they are really the source of life's meaning for me.

I've heard it said, "If you've got your life and your health, that's everything" and that may be true but my health isn't all that wonderful either!

And yet I think I have a wonderful life.  My faith is central to that life and that faith brings with it an attitude of gratitude.  I've no children or close family but I have lots of people who care about me and help me.  My health isn't great but I am able to live a rich life and I can afford to buy things to enable me to live independently and safely.  I am able to contribute to community life by being a good neighbour and by being a worship leader.  I have enough commitments to make me feel valued but not so many that I feel overwhelmed.

So, what's your X Factor?

Thursday 23 November 2023

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to any American readers who have popped in.  Have a lovely day.

We don't have anything like Thanksgiving here but an American lady has married into my (extended) family so we had an early Thanksgiving dinner last night for fourteen of us.  Tonight only four of us would have been able to be there, and she felt that all the family giving thanks was more important than doing it on the right day.  So I feasted on turkey and a whole lot more last night.  I was too podged to eat desert.  Hope you enjy your meal as much!

Wednesday 22 November 2023

W is for Worth it!

 It's been sad to see several bloggers decide not to post anymore but it was kind of them to tell us and not leave us wondering what had happened to them.  

I've been blogging on and off since July 2014.  I've two blogs and the other one is "off" even more than this one!  I only post if I have something I really want to say.  Blogging is a creative outlet for me, the only regular outlet I have for writing.  It's a way of recording some of the events of my life in an orderly manner.  I can float my hopes and dreams.  I can make friends through reading and commenting on other people's blogs and appreciating their comments on  mine.

Because I only write when I have something special to say, I take very long breaks and it is always hard to get back after a break.  

But I enjoy other people's blogs and this is my contribution to the blogosphere.  Like all bloggers I love reading comments.  Non bloggers may not know that we can see the number of visitors we have (but not their identity) and I find it amazing what a high proportion of visitors have no inclination to comment.  I wonder why?  Is it too complicated?  I know some blogging platforms are more complicated than others.  Are they deterred because some blogs (not this one) don't publish comments until after the blogger has approved them?  Personally I delete comments which are obviously intended to advertise betting or escort services but very rarely anything else but other bloggers have had big problems with inappropriate comments so pre approval is understandable.  

For it is commenters and fellow bloggers who make the effort worthwhile.  Thank you for reading.    

Yes,  it is definitely WORTH IT!

Monday 20 November 2023

V is for Village (now updated)


According to people who were born here, I live in a town.  According to incomers I live in a village.  Because I was stuck for V, for the purposes of this blog post, I'm calling Caistor a village.  Sorry, Caistorians.  T was for Treats. 
Roman wall

Caistor has been here quite a long time and its centre is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, being the site of a Roman encampment.  The only "Roman" bit which can be seen today is a smallish heap of stones which looks rather like a rockery.

The Gad Whip
This heap of stones is just to the south of the church of St Peter and St Paul.  The oldest parts of that date only to around 1050.  Inside the church there is a curious article called the Gad Whip.  Until 1846 each Palm Sunday the whip was waved three times over the head of the parson during the second reading at Mattins.  There's more about this peculiar ceremony here.  There are well over fifty listed buildings in Caistor, a significant number for such a small place but most are Georgian or Victorian.  

There's quite a lot going on here.  We have a Civic Society, a Women's Institute, Brownies, Rainbows, sports clubs, amateur dramatics and social events for everyone.  Volunteers keep the place looking wonderful both with flowers on the summer and lights and displays around Christmas.  

When I retired I had to choose somewhere to live and I wanted somewhere that was friendly with things to do.  I think I chose well

I understand there is a problem with the link to the Gad whip,  It can be found at  Scroll down and you will find it!

Friday 17 November 2023

U is for UFOs

 Show me some one who has no UFOs and I'll show you someone who isn't a crafter!

UFOs (UnFinished Objects) or PhDs (Projects half Done) seem to be an inevitable part of being creative..  

There's the garment cast on but only the back and half the front actually knitted.  I started a jumper in 2018, shoved it in a drawer and when I got it out a few weeks ago I discovered a hole, maybe moth, more likely mechanical damage.  I pulled it down completely as it was knitted on a circular needle and I'm trying again with a different pattern.

I started a patchwork quilt in 1975.  It was intended to be for a single bed but it's now heading for king size.  In a couple of years it will reach its Golden Jubilee.  Maybe that's a good target for finishing it.  

Then there's the stash of fabric and wool just waiting to be used:  sometimes it's materials bought for a project which never materialised or just as often, it's stuff kept "just in case". 

But I am now sharing with you one object which is no longer unfinished.  Two years ago I started my temperature scarf, knitting one row for each day and using a different colour for each degreee celsius.  I started on my seventieth birthday and finished the day before I was 72.

MyPhD has now graduated.

Thursday 16 November 2023

T is for treats

 Not the big treats like a cruise or a wonderful meal out, but the little things, often very inexpensive, which bring a smile to my face each day.

There's the first cup of coffee when I get up in the morning.  Or later in the day, iced water by my side,  

There's the pleasure I get each time I open my cupboard and see the lovely china which I now use everyday and not just on special occasions.

There's the joy of an audiobook read by a talented actor who brings the story alive in a special way.  

There's the gratitude I feel when someone brings me a bunch of flowrs, especially flowers fresh from their garden.  

There's the hilarity I feel when Jack means to tell me he's ravenous but instead tells me he's ravishing.  Fortunately for his blushes that was said on the phone!

There's my annual treat which I had this week, of visiting the seals who each year come ashore not too far from here and have their pups.  

At the end of each day getting into a bed made up with white, pure cotton sheets.  

Wednesday 15 November 2023

S is for Sabbath, Sunday and the Shape of the week

I was very amused at the comments about my early rising time on my last post.  No-one would want to rise at 4am!  Neither do I but that's how it is.  I often wake much earlier than that but I don't allow myself to get up before 4am.  

But the shape of my week is something about which I make very conscious decisions.  Sunday has always been a special day for me.  Worship is central.  Sometimes I lead and preach, sometimes I am grateful for someone else's ministry.  Then it's usually home for a quiet day at home.

And before that I usually have my Sabbath.  I started this habit many years ago.  Lockdowns seemed like one long Sabbath!  My Sabbath is less structured now but it is more part of my nature.

Then Mondays I often swim, Tiesdays and Fridays it's the gym, Wednesday Annie-the-home-enhancer or Jack-the-lad may come.  There might be a Women's Institute meeting or coffee or lunch with friends.  I could shop in Brigg or just go out on my trundle truck to enjoy this lovely town.

But always I am glad to come home to the peace of my bungalow. to listen to audiobooks or to knit or just to be.  

Tuesday 7 November 2023

R is for Retirement


I love it!

The other questions from "Q is for Questions" were about retirement and how I spend my time.

I spend my time with a smile on my face.  I get up between 4am and 5am and look at how the day is likely to unfold but, when I switch the light out at night and think back, the day has rarely gone as planned.  

I think I am very lucky to have been born in the nineteen fifties.  Childhood was a time of innocence and wonder.  The sixties were a time of change and challenge.  My whole life has been a time of scientific advancement in ways that would have been unimaginable when I was a toddler.  Opportunities for women have opened up more and more as my life has gone on.  

And now I am fourteen years into a lovely, secure retirement.  The bungalow is comfortable and safe thanks to my lovely landlord and the efforts of Annie-the-home-enhancer and Jack.  I have a car and trundle truck so can get out when I want to.  I have hobbies to enjoy while I am at home and friends to laugh with when I go out.  I still lead some worship but am choosing to do that less.  

I am able to drop everything and go out for the day or spend a few days dog sitting.  If I would prefer to be at home, the craft stash provides me with challenges and entertainment.  

And in everything I am secure in the love of God.  I am truly blessed.

Saturday 4 November 2023

More answers: ambitions

Poppy Patchwork asked What plans have you, things to do before you get too old and regret not doing them?

Can I let you into a secret?  I want to go on another cruise!  

I felt a little deprived when I was seventy as covid was raging and anyway I had just had a replacement knee so my activities were limited.  When I was sixty I had hosted a lunch party but at seventy it was a quiet lunch at home with just a couple of people.  So I decided that I would celebrate when I am seventy five.

I never thought that I would enjoy cruising but about twenty years ago my sister, who was in poor health, decided she wanted to achieve a few life ambitions which included cruising off Alaska and seeing whales in their natural habitat.  She was a wheelchair user and needed an assisitant so our Mother paid for me to go as well.  I loved it and when I retired I took another cruise to see New England in the Fall.  It was on Queen Mary II and left Southampton on my birthday so I felt it had my name on it!  
Queen Mary II

This time I want to go to either the Arctic or the Antarctic.  Probably the Arctic.  I've seen a wildlife watching cruise which I quite fancy.

This ambition influences quite a lot of things I do.  It's motivated me to get fitter so that I can enjoy the trip.  It's motivated me to continue to lose weight.  It's motivated me to organise my finances.  The very idea brings a smile to my face.  All those things are contributing to a happy, healthy retirement now.  

Friday 3 November 2023

More answers: disability

 Elizabeth in Cornwall asked, "With your 'truck', do you find that people are less or more helpful nowadays? And what about accessibility in general?" 

I love my truck!  Most people call them mobility scooters but that sounds so dreary that mine is my trundle truck.

I'm on truck number three.  They last about six years before their reliability becomes doubtful.  I replace the batteries after about three years.  My "Rascal" was paid for largely by a grant from a charity for decrepit Anglican clergy and I was very grateful as scooters are nearly £2000 each time I need one.  I have a car with a ramp so together the TT and I can go places.  

It's a freedom which I really value.  Maybe you can walk anywhere you want.  Maybe you don't have to plan your activities as a disabled person living in an able-bodied world.  I don't want much help and I value my independence and TT means I can do so much more.

I'd like to be able to do even more.  I'd like to travel by rail but Network Rail allows only very small scooters.  They are more accommodating for wheelchairs.  Most public transport is the same which means that only accompanied people can use it and I usually travel alone.  

I use a Blue Badge, not because I need to park very close to stores etc, but because I need to open my car dor fully.  Occasionally I hear people sounding off about this privilege but I have been known to tell someone, "Yes I agree it's very unfair.  I would give you my disabiity if I could but I can't so I am very sorry."

For the most part people are very good about offering assistance.  In shops they will offer to get things from high shelves.  Friends and strangers alike will carry hot drinks or trays for me in cafes.  Doors will be opened so I can ride through. 

My biggest problem can be fending off inappropriate help.  People grab hold of me without asking what sort of help I need.  I find that annoying and, to be honest, disrespectful.  We don't grab people without their permission except in an emergency and I resent being treated as an inevitable emergency.  If you grab my right arm when I am walking you run the risk of both of us tripping as you will be depriving me of the ability to control my stick and it will become a trip hazard.  If you ask me if I need help I will explain what I need or I will thank you for the offer if I decline it.  "No thank you" is a reasonable response so please don't assume you know my needs better than I do.  

Thursday 2 November 2023

Questions and answers

 I'm going to take a few posts to answer questions starting with one from Jackie.

How did you and Jack meet?

When I was working, my vicarage had a coal fire in the sitting room and Jack had a side-line as a chimney sweep.  That's how we met originally but, as I am sure you realise, nothing is straightforward with Jack.

As he was leaving the first time he told me he always gave a present to his customers.  The first time it was a tin of shoe polish but  subsequent gifts included Winnie -the-Pooh sticking plasters, rum flavoured bubble bath and a bunch of carrots with a knife to scrape them.

Soon after that first visit I went to see an elderly gentlman whose wife had just died and there was a familiar face in the corner.  The funeral was for Jack's mum.

Jack continued as my chimney sweep for as long as I lived in that house but one day I came home and found him waiting to talk to me.  His daughter wanted to get married in the same church in which Jack and Mrs Jack had been married.  I explained the procedure and we shared a cuppa before he left.

As he was leaving he said, "Your garden looks a mess!" so I said, "If you think it looks a mess you do something about it."  And he's been looking after me ever since.  

I conducted the wedding of both his daughter and his son, and the funerals of both his parents and his brother.  Sadly Mrs Jack died during the first lockdown and I wasn't allowed to take her funeral but I did write something for another minister to read.

Bereavement is always hard but it was especially hard during lockdown when the usual sources of support weren't avaiable so I tool to phoning him each morning and we still talk most mornings.

I still make lists for him.  But then again, I still make bacon butties and leek soup for him.  So he shouldn't complain,

But he will.  Even though I gave him a hat labelled "Horticultural Enhancer".

Wednesday 1 November 2023


Several people have emailed to ask if I am OK.  Thank you for your concern.  I'm fine.  I'm sure you will be glad that you haven't shamed me.

Jack has been nagging at me.  But that didn't shame me even though he tried very hard..  

The person who has REALLY shamed me is Sue in Suffolk.

Last year she too started an alphabet of blogging.  She finished within the thirty days of November.  Mine started in September and is still not finished over thirteen months later.

She's started at A again today.  So I think the time may have come to get back blogging and answer the questions you kindly left for me.  I really ought to finish my first alphabet before she finishes her second!

See you tomorrow.  

Wednesday 16 August 2023

From Jack and Millie

 Hello Everyone,

I thought it was about time I did a post again.    I hope you are all keeping in the best of health and free from all ailments. 

 As you know, the vicar and I don’t agree about everything!  For example, she rang me one morning: we talk every day except Sundays of course as she has other important things to do instead of spending half an hour chatting to yours truly.  This particular morning she interrupted me drying the dishes.  It turns out that the vicar lets hers dry naturally.  I don’t know if she is astute or lazy – you’ll have to make your own mind up on that one.  When I stand at my kitchen sink, I am looking at the main road and I can watch the traffic and the people walking past and some days that’s all I will see.  

When you’ve lived with someone 53 years (my wife died three years ago) and you lose that someone, life becomes very lonely at times.  Thanks to the vicar, I kept my little Shi Tzu, Millie for company.  Millie used to go to my daughter when I went to help people.  Mary, thank goodness, told me Millie would be a big help to me, so I kept her and she’s always by my side. 


One thing Mary disapproves of is my cooking.  The first time I tried to make custard to have with my banana, it turned out like scrambled egg.  I was brought up not to waste food so that night I had bananas and custard on toast.

Another night I did myself four of those long German sausages.  I forget what they are called but I told the vicar I’d eaten four Wurlitzers with mustard and onions.  She nearly burst her sides laughing as she explained that a Wurlitzer is one of those huge organs which used to rise up through the cinema floor. 


My life wouldn’t be the same if I hadn’t met the vicar all those years ago – there I go being nice again.  She’ll say I’m just buttering her up to make sure the bacon butties and leek soup are always served.  Last time I went she sent me home with three home-made Christmas puddings.


I haven’t been so much this year as all the building work was happening in the early part of the year so the garden was a bit out of hand (like the householder!) but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the garden is coming along nicely.  Mary’s having guests this week so I’ll make sure the back garden is in tip-top order.  She calls that her garden.  I was given the front garden.  That one is very wet and takes a lot of managing but I don’t mind.  She keeps me fed and watered all the time.  One good thing is that there is no longer a list waiting for me.  I think that this being nice to her may have got me into a hole I can’t dig myself out of. 

I hope the Brits among you enjoy the summer (if we get one) and everyone everywhere can make the best of every day.  No-one knows what’s around the corner.  Take care of your neighbours and yourselves.


Jack and Millie-the-dog

Millie's mark 
(with love)

Sunday 23 July 2023


 This isn't about the break I have had from my blog - although I apologise.

It's about a short break I had just a few miles from home.

An acquaintance was worrying about her dogs as she couldn't get a sitter while she had a short break, so I volunteered.  She's now a friend!

It was sheer delight to stay in her lovely home.  Didn't I have a wonderful view every time I opened the front door?  All that stood between me and these trees was a ha-ha.  

And Hiccup?  She's the border terror shown here with her younger sister, Holly.  

A glorious break for me.  And my new friend was able to enjoy her holiday in Florence. 

Monday 19 June 2023

Q is for questions

It's also for "Quite hopeful that you have some for me!"  This post is the first of two, I hope.  The second will be Q2 later in the week.  

(Marcia, yours will be on the R post.)

Saturday 10 June 2023

P is for Post Pandemic

 For a long time I was writing about adjusting to lockdowns or coping with entering everyday life again.  I am very aware that for many the effects of covid are still all too present but I'm writing about me and my life.  So far I haven't caught the virus, but I have been affected by it.  

For me the beginning of the end of the pandemic was 11th February 2021, the day I had my first vaccination.  As I was leaving the vaccination centre I remarked to one of the stewards that it felt more like a party than a health appointment.  "Everybody says that" was her reply.

Two years in, this is "the new normal" but like all normals it will evolve as I change and society changes.  Personally I sailed through lockdowns and sorted out a lot in terms of reprioritising, decluttering, reorganising and so on.  

So, what's changed?  I think I have sorted my life out quite a bit.  That's not just decluttering stuff, it's working out more of what I really want to do.  I went for lunch this week with a friend I hadn't seen for nearly four years and I want to keep that friendship going but there are other things I have ditched.  My Trefoil Guild has folded and I have decided that I want to go to the daytime Women's Institute only.  I learnt quite a few computer skills, including Zoom and Facetime, and those are still a big part of my life.  I have done more sewing and knitting but less paper craft.  

I think the biggest change though is that I have developed a new reslience.  I have more confidence in my ability to face the future with equanimity.  

(my "Q" post will be about questions.  I may be asking you some, but are there any you would like to ask me?  I don't guarantee I will answer but I'll do my best!)

Saturday 3 June 2023

O is for Older Than I Was

 I'm 71 so there is no denying that I am older than I was.  But no matter how old you are, you are older than you were.

There are things which I can't do now which I could do when I was sixty one, but I don't want to get to eighty one regretting that I didn't celebrate the the things I could do when I was seventy one but can do no longer.  I still drive, have days out, manage my finances, very occasionally wear heeled shoes, dance around the kitchen, and terrorise people when I am on my trundle truck.  One day some or all of those things will no longer be possible but they are fun as long as they last.    

There are things which are even better as I get older.  I have more time to make things, to linger over a coffee in the garden, to experiment with recipes.  I am happier to say"no" to things I don't want to do, I can savour the things I do want to do.  and I have lots of time each day to sit and relax knowing God is with me.  

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Two visitors to my garden

One had to rescue the other!

The amphibian is making his way out of the garden.  The other visitor wants potato and leek soup so will be staying a while.

Wednesday 10 May 2023

The celebrations continue


Our Federation Choir came to sing to our Women's Institute today to help us celebrate the coronation.  It was great to join in with Jerusalem for starters and then to listen to The Women's Singstitute  singing around the British Isles with such oldies as  The Skye Boat Song, They're Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace and Ferry Cross the Mersey. Best of all they sang our county song, The Lincolnshire Poacher.  

Afternoon Tea (at lunch time!) was followed by a celebration cake.  And a VIP to cut it.

And to put the icing on my personal cake, I won the competition with my replica anointing spoon.  

It would appear that the link to my post about the anointing spoon may not be working.  You can find it at

Monday 8 May 2023

Clarissa the Crowned Corgi

 Remember Normanby church which I mentioned yesterday?  It has a new guard dog at the gate.  Meet Clarissa.

I wonder if corgis will continue to be seen as the royal dog.  The present King and Queen favour Jack Russels.  Battersea specials.

Sunday 7 May 2023

Great fun, this retirement lark

Stainton le Vale

 One of my close (clergy) friends has been on a cruise around the world in eighty days (lucky girl!) and will be back next weekend.  So next Sunday will be the last of a run of twelve Sundays when I have been booked to take her services.  These are the churches where I have been doing my bit with God's help.  It's still a joy to serve Him but it's getting to be a rather tiring joy!
Normanby le Wold

Great fun, this retirement lark.  I started to draw my pension over thirteen years ago but I keep being needed to cover for sickness and holidays.  I'm no longer willing to cover because a parish wants more services than the regular clergy can take but I want the regular clergy to have holidays and to recover from illness so I still help out.  

I'm glad to help because I care about my fellow clergy and their congregations.  There are far less clergy on the payroll now than when I started in ministry over thirty years ago and those who are in stipendiary ministry are having to work even harder.

I'm leading worship next Sunday then I have one Sunday off before I take two services the last Sunday in the month.  Great fun, this retirement lark!


Saturday 6 May 2023

Coronation Day 2023

I feel it's pretty unfashionable to say this, but I am looking forward to my day in front of the TV watching the Coronation.  We have a Caistor "Street Party" tomorrow which I may go, to but today I have sorted a plate of snacky bits, and got my knitting out for a day at home.

I wrote yesterday about the 1953 bash but this one will be very different.  I haven't heard of any distribution of Coronation mugs to school children, but maybe that wouldn't be appropriate in a time of fiscal restraint.  I have seen a few Coronation souvenirs.  I had hoped to buy a commemorative tin of biscuits so that I could eat the bikkies and keep the tin, but none of our local supermarkets had such a thing.  I understand that M & S had some but that's quite a way for me to go.  Instead I have had to buy an empty tin which is probably better for my waistline.  

What there has been a lot of is single-use tat like single use Union Flag decorated bowls, plates and hats.  This seems a shame as the King has tried to emphasise sustainability in the elements of today over which he has had influence. 

Looking back at my pictures of the 1953 street party there is a noticeable lack of decorations.  This time my neighbours have displayed the Union Flags and bunting which they used for the Diamond Jubilee, VE Day and the Platinum Jubilee.  I went through my not inconsiderable stash and made guardsmen for my bungalow.  Don't worry they'll get stashed away for whatever we have next!

Friday 5 May 2023

Coronation 1953

No, I'm not on this one!

 To be honest, I don't remember it!  I was less than two years old but I was Miss Coronation Queen for our street.  

I lived on a quiet street and there would  not have been many cars around.  Residents just decided anong themselves to have a street party - there was no need to ask anyone's permission in those days!  Dressing up costumes were all home made.

We lived about half way along the street so my parents and our neighbours took their dining tables outside and all the children had a feast - quite an event in those years of post war austerity!  I am the little tot at the far end of the table.

All schoolchildren received a commemorative mug from the Local Education Authority.  I was far too young to be at school so my parents bought me my commemorative gift themselves, this replica of the anointing spoon.

Friday 28 April 2023

N is for Nancy

 Nancy was my mother.  I've written about her several times over the years but I've never told you about the time she was the (late) Queen's understudy.

When the Queen did an official visit to open or inspect anything,  timings, safety etc had to be checked.  Obviously HM knew exactly what she was doing but anyone due to be presented to her wouldn't be so sure.  There would be a rehearsal so that everything would be alright on the big day.

In 1974 the Queen came to open a major steelplant in Scunthorpe but my mum (who was about the same height) was the understudy for the walk through.  She had to arrive in the a car so positioning could be checked and red carpets perfected and then she walked though the steelworks.  The stopwatch was in use throughout.

At one point she caught her heel on one of the many railway tracks which run through the works and the rehearsal had to stop until the problem was sorted.  Everybody practised bows and curtsies, the photographers checked their angles then everyone went home (slightly more) confident about The Big Day.

Tuesday 25 April 2023

The restyle begins

Front drive -complete with Portaloo!
 Jack is coming today and today the sorting of my garden begins.

I think I have had the best builders in the world working on the alterations.  They have been so kind and courteous, anxious to make the whole process as easy for me as possible.  I haven't been able to use the drive for several weeks but each time I have parked my car on the street they have been there to carry stuff into the house for me.  It has been difficult for me to get to the wheely bins but they have taken rubbish out for me.  They have appreciated the copious supplies of tea and coffee (and have even remarked on the fact that I always use proper coffee amd posh mugs!) but they have well deserved every mug. 

Back gardeb skate board run!


And my neighbours have been great too.  The drive and front path haven't been available to me so my neighbour asked the builders to take a panel out of her fence so I could step through and use her drive.  Whenever I have apologised to any neighbour for the noise, dust and inconvenience they have all said they are delighted that things are being made easier for me.

And now I need to butter up Jack.  There will be a lot to do and I will have a large deficit of Brownie points as I won't be able to cook lunch for him today (I've been invited out so he will moan) but no doubt he too will avail himself of the unlimited tea.

And he too will do his bit to make my garden wonderful.  After he's cleaned the windows so I can see it!