Friday, 17 November 2017

Things Lost

I noted this photo of the Prof and I the other day.
It was taken perhaps a decade ago in Central Park
I tell you this because I miss that hat ! ( mine not the Prof's)
I lost it on the plane home I think

Im always losing, breaking  and  mislaying things
I'm terrible for it
There are so many well loved things I have let go over the years! And it bugs me
This evening , on the last dog walk I've thought about them

For example,
My signed  autograph photo  of Olivia deHavilland
A watercolour of a smiling tiger ( the first piece of art I ever bought)
A Charlotte Rhead vase! -Worth a small fortune,
My reply letters from the entire cast of Tenko ( I wrote to each one of the actresses in 1980 as I was such a fan)
A framed victorian photograph of a courtng couple from my grandmother's old house.
A multicoloured hand knitted jumper, ;a gift from my-mother) from 1978....I looked like a male prostitute in it( accorrding to my father!)
A scarf worm by my first male chrush ( A pupil from Ruthin School!)
A hand crafted crucifix made by a psychiatric patient of mine in York
An all encompassing wicker chair bought from an art shop in York
A photo of my sister Janet with her horse's foal Kelly from the 1970s
My first dog -Finlay's collar
A "book"I wrote when I was 18...a review on disaster movies
A letter of thanks from a relative of a patient of mine  in Sheffield who said " you hugged me when I didnt know I needed to be hugged"
All of the cards my grandparents sent to me
Maureen mcgovern's " best of her hits " Album"
And finally a Christmas Card from the relative of a patient that died on my ward on spinal injuries!
It said " you made me laugh, when I thought I never would again  "
That moved me more than any of the others

A Thing Of The Past

I can't remember when I last received a real letter.
Hand written or typed, inside a stamped envelope and posted through the letter box to be snatched by William who adores baiting the postman.
Yesterday I received a short letter of thanks from The Trelawnyd School's " Eco Committee" for the Flower Show donation to their garden project area.
It rather amused me as it is clear that the Eco Committee consists of a group of small children.
Did we have " committees" in primary school?........shit it was fingers on lips and drink your milk at Penmorfa Primary!

Twenty minutes ago another thank you letter arrived! This time from the Village Friendship Group

Thursday, 16 November 2017


Twelve years is too long not to have seen old friends, and this afternoon it was lovely to catch up with two of the best.

It's all a bit shaky as we were balancing on the back of Dale's wheelchair/bike

Moving On

NMC Online Link

"Dear Mr John Gray
Your registration expires on 30/11/2017
We recently emailed you to advise you that your annual registration fee is due. According to our records you have not yet paid this fee. It is essential that you pay this fee now so that your registration can be updated on time. If you have not paid the fee before your registration expiry date, your registration will lapse."

Nurses have to pay £120 a year in order to work in clinical practice and regular as clockwork from 1986 I have begrudgingly paid my dues on time.
This time, and after much thought, I am going to let my registration lapse.
It is not a decision I have made lightly, as nursing has been an integral part of my identity since I was twenty years old, but now I am ready to let go of my last tie to a vocation that has served me well for so many years.

Ironically  an old nursing pal of mine contacted me out of the blue recently and this afternoon I am meeting up with her and her husband in Chester for lunch. Her husband was an old patient of mine from my Spinal Injury days so the meeting ( our first since I left Sheffield) will be timely and oh so nostalgic.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Posh Porn

The plumber returned to tinker away with all of the radiators this morning and Winnie, with her serious face on, shadowed his every move, her nose inches from his tinkering!
When he came downstairs he mentioned that he saw one of our original bits of art propped up in the Prof's office
" I like your bit of posh porn!" He quipped
I was  embarrassed and just smiled weakly

Man The Pumps!

Sandra, the village Hall's caretaker spied me down Byron Street and hurried over with her elderly Pug.
As my dogs surrounded him for multiple botty sniffs she gave me one of those I'm glad to have bumped into you moments and asked if I would help her with her Christmas Fair which is booked on the 2nd of December .
Could I Marshall the troops and man the kitchen?
Of course I said I could, Sandra is such a sweetheart

Ps Nice to see the Aussie's jumping on the ever growing bandwagon

Tuesday, 14 November 2017


The plumber seems like an old, safe pair of hands.
He arrived early with a slightly dim and very loud sidekick in order to remove an ancient radiator in the kitchen and to replace it with a shiny new one.

I find myself getting all " blokey" when in the company of practical men.
I call them " mate" and ask them technical questions that I have no way of understanding when answered.
It's the same phenomenon I used to see when my English sounding father used to talk to an old Welsh Farmer at the farm my sister kept her horse. My father always suddenly acquired a Welsh accent when they chatted, a fact he never had any insight into
It's the chameleon in us I guess

Anyhow I've never really been happy in an all male environment .
I once worked on an all male ward in psychiatry. Male staff, male patients, male domestics, male doctors.
It was a dreadful experience where too much testosterone, banter, crudeness and Micky taking ruled the day.
I was far too fey to have felt comfortable in that environment.
I never could fit in with it was a rehash of the misery of games at school.

Now, because I am more comfortable in my own skin, I can cope better with company which is out of my comfort zone so to speak.

And when all else fails the offer of a hot cup of tea and a large chocolate biscuit always seems to break the ice.

Dealing with workmen at home can be rather stressful!
What are your stories?
I'd be interested to know

Ps I've just furnished the guys with tea and kitkats and the testosterone filled apprentice has just asked where I got my bespoke cheese board from as he " absolutely loved it's design!

My sister Janet designed it !

Monday, 13 November 2017

" For Being Such A Cool Dude"

It's good to say this but The Walking Dead, after a somewhat shaky start, is now back on form.
During a tense fourth episode , King Ezekiel has lost most of his subjects in a surprise attack. carol is left to face the saviours alone and good, happy old Jerry (Cooper Andrews)comes  up trumps with his theatrical axe.
The episode has everything: a deposed king who is really a flim-flam man, a woman of fifty who can kick ass better than Sigourney Weaver and a sweet natured Polynesian who has suddenly become a firm fan favourite! Oh and Richk and Daryl kick some saviour ass and do some Bro bonding
Pity Shiva had to die but I suspect the CGI budget was probably well over what it ought to be .  


A very nice inspector for the RSPCA came around this morning as I was making parsnip soup. She had reports of an " umkempt goat" being dumped in a field.
After we popped over to the Ukrainian Village she was happy that Irene, was not unkempt, dumped or even a goat!
I have no problem with well meaning people worrying about animals, even though they don't understand Scottish sheep look scruffy when moulting
The inspector said she would try and help me find a field mate for Irene.

I always feel very guilty when I deal with officials in uniform.
I can resort to babbling when stopped by the police , (which has happened several times when I have driven home late after Samaritans ) it's a false guilty/ nervous kind of thing!
The RSPCA inspector was lovely and was busily kissing Winnie on the Forehead as the terriers crowded around her but I still found myself admitting to her that when I was eight I poured peppermint essence into our pond which killed all of my mother's goldfish!

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Remembrance Sunday

I was reminded of this wonderful talking heads episode of the BBC series Queers today
Wonderfully moving...stick with's worth it


Kenneth Branagh makes a rather good Belgium detective in Murder on the Orient Express.
He has a certain twinkle in the eye and a steely kindness which was sadly lacking in Albert Finney's 1974 overblown creation . I liked him
The film is ok. It's not as good as the " original" but it passed muster with nice performances from Branagh and Michelle Pfeiffer as the wisecracking Mrs Hubbard. Unfortunately most of the cast don't have any time to flex their dramatic muscles and so the talents of Manuel Garcia Rulfo, Judi Dench and Olivia Coleman just stand around looking worried.
I found myself missing Ingrid Bergman and her " little brown babies!" 
Oh , and I hated that the closing credits featuring the magnificent train disappearing into the sunset was spoilt by the now obligatory modern day power ballad hoping it will win an oscar for best song.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Diary Of A 1950s Welsh Housewife

I get up before the Prof and make sure I am neat and tidy for the day ahead.
I check my reflection in the bathroom mirror before anything else
Hair perfect....make up discreet .....apron straight!
Now to prepare breakfast.
The Prof has his boiled egg and soldiers in bed with a strong cup of sweet tea, he is reading Boffin's Weekly.
I wake the children. They are such naughty children too as none of them want to get out of bed in the mornings! No pancakes for Winifred this morning as I notice she has put on too much weight recently. An extra few laps around the hockey pitch is the order of the day me thinks.
Men don't want to see extra large knickerbockers airing on the clotheshorse do they?
That sort of thing gets their roving eyes started .
After checking that William, Mary and baby George have washed behind their ears, it's a brisk walk around the village before breakfast and out they go to play.

I need to get cracking with my chores.
After quick race around with the old ewbank and some elbow grease with a duster and the house is looking all spick and span. I change into a clean apron and bang out a dozen jam tarts and meat pie before running hubby a nice hot bath.
I've already laid out a fresh cardigan for him to wear.
While he soaks I pop on my coat and hat and picking up my wicker basket I trot to the village shop.
Mrs Trellis is buying her usual quarter of tea and a French fancy as I wait in line.
Tut tut tut I think , " a moment on the lips a lifetime on the hips !" But I say nothing...I'm far too nice.
Mr Jason the shopkeeper gives me a wink and says he's got a Cumberland sausage just in with my name on it, we laugh gayly.
I politely refuse Mr Jason's sausage and purchase instead three slices of ham and a tomato for the Prof's tea. Keeping your man fed and watered is the sure way to maintain a happy marriage my
mother always told me....oh and acting like a right whore in the bedroom helps a bit too!

To be continued......

Friday, 10 November 2017


The Prof was attending an awards do and asked for me to pick him up at 7.30 .
He said we would go out for dinner.
I scrubbed up, donned my New York duds and was about to drive the 20 miles to meet him when I got the message
Awards overrun won't get out until going on ten pm
At 9.45 I was eating a service station coronation chicken sandwich in the car park