Thursday, 27 July 2017

Bad Habits

I'm late blogging today.
It's my sister's Flower Show tomorrow ( she holds a rather large and grander fete-like show in Prestatyn over two days) and I have been preparing my exhibits as well as cooking turkey meatballs for supper and a large ginger cake to enter in my show!
A delivery lorry got stuck on the hind-leg corner briefly at lunchtime and it's driver came over to pat Winnie who was making frantic kissing noises at him from behind the kitchen wall as well as to reassure me that his truck had not done any damage to the wall.
As he chatted he absent mindedly itched his arse with his hand down the back of his jeans.
I wondered afterwards if he was having sandwiches for lunch.
Funny what you think about when you are waiting for a ginger cake to bake.

Bad habits, we all have em!
Once a previous boyfriend, who was not known to be particulary humorous ( or even nice for that matter) once sent me a photograph of a pair of my underpants that I had once discarded on his bathroom floor. He sent it me as a postcard through the post and addressed it to my place of work!
The underpants had a skid mark on them!
Luckily for him, I found this all rather amusing and not at all embarrassing.......having said this the photo came to my office directly and was not circulated on the shop floor....even though it had passed through the Royal Mail!

Is it bad form pointing out others bad habits?

Ok you know what's coming!
What's your worst habit?
Answers on a postcard please
I'd be interested to know

Wednesday, 26 July 2017


If you said to me what  cinematic memory I have of the depiction of the wartime evacuation of Dunkirk, I would tell you the shock machine gunning of Bernard Lee through the back of his dufflecoat on a French Beach would feature high on my list. So it is with some interest that I went to see Christopher Nolan's version of Dunkirk with The Prof this evening.

Nolan's film is an intimate epic. It follows the intersecting stories of just a handful of servicemen juggling time jumps within the narrative  as it does so and with a sparse and incredibly tense style we follow the increasingly desperate  plight of the survivors as they await rescue.
Nolan shows the forces on the beaches but pulls away from the massive " crowd" shots of previous films keeping the action more intimate with close scenes of the claustrophobic sinkings of the navy ships, and the tight dogfights above the grey channel.

This is not a " talkie" film. The overwhelming noises of war, the screams of the bombs, and of the men IS the dialogue of the movie ( supported by a stunning musical score)  and I must say that the movie is at times an uncomfortable, exhilarating  and incredibly tense rollercoaster ride.

Kenneth Brannagh almost steals the show in one brief scene as the commanding officer of the British forces. To the strains of Nimrod he stands fast on the one functioning jetty and weeps a tear as the flotilla of little boats proudly sail into view from the channel ports.
It's a wonderfully uplifting moment in an otherwise very dark movie.
Mark Rylance and Tom Glynn Carney play father and son civilians who pilot their boat to help with the evacuation. An oxygen masked Tom Hardy turns up as a heroic Spitfire pilot and Fionn Whitehead is especially good in his role of a lone soldier desperate to get home at any cost.

You don't quite feel the scale of Dunkirk as a sweeping military event in this movie, but boy do you get the feeling of what those poor trapped souls went through nearly eighty years ago!

One Of My Flip-Flops Is Missing!

lt's been a showery morning so I left my wet flip flops by the front door and busied myself with making boiled fruit cakes, a coffee cake and a low cal tikka masala curry from scratch!
Terence from the Flower Show Committee and I have gone head to head with our boiled fruit cakes over the years, with me winning the cup twice and thrashing his arse in the judging year after year.
I intend to beat him again next week!
Anyhow as usual I digress.
Well, at midday I went out to feed The Bachelors, ( who had already chased the postman down neighbour Mandy's drive btw)  and I suddenly realised that one of my flip flops was missing !
I hopped around for a bit, but it was nowhere to be seen in the garden
Who would take a fucking flip flop I wondered.
Anyhow In between waiting for my boiled fruit to cool a friend called round for a chat about some upsetting health news they had received . The older we all get the more common are such conversations. While we were talking over the garden wall, Mary managed to get onto the kitchen table and ate 3 ounces of glace cherries....but I am digressing again.
Below is the Flower Show's generic recipe for the Boiled fruit cake class for your information

This must be made in a round 7 inch tin

4oz Marg
6 oz soft brown sugar
12 oz mixed dry fruit
2oz chopped cherries
8oz self raising flour
Half level teaspoon of mixed spice
Small tin of crushed pineapples 8oz
2 eggs

Heat oven 180c
Grease and line tin

Put marg,sugar, fruit and juice into pan and bring to the boil, stirring

Cool mixture by placing saucepan into cold water add flour, spice and mix well.
Add eggs and mix, note it will be a wet mix

Pour into tin and bake 1.5 hours turn oven down if browning

I ran out of marge and went up to the garage to buy some. Unfortunately they dont sell marge but the trip wasn't wasted as the sales assistant who knows me informed me that I had my third Best Walking Dead T shirt on inside out and back to front! 
When I got home I also found my flip flop in the middle of the road! 
Hey ho

Tuesday, 25 July 2017


We took the dogs ( minus Winnie ) up the Gop at sunset.
Not much to report so I shall leave you with this summer happy song

Monday, 24 July 2017

Matilda & Angel

It was 1987 and it was winter night filled with snow in York.
I was transferred to take charge of an elderly ward as staffing was dire.
I was a very junior staff nurse supported by two support workers.
The support workers were two Jamaican ladies of mature years.
I was told to refer to them with a respectful " Mrs Lewis and Mrs Dawson by the handover nurse
" They will show  you the ropes" I was told carefully.
I had never really spoke to a person of colour before. You never saw many non whites back then in North Wales and Chester, where I grew up and trained as a psychiatric nurse, but I was bright enough even then not to pull rank on two experienced nurse aides, and so I stepped back and allowed myself to be told what to do.
Mrs Lewis and Mrs Dawson worked at their own pace. They were unhurried and respectful, as they washed dirty bottoms and undressed the confused and the mute and I watched with some awe as together they bedded down 25 confused elderly ladies with the tired  and practiced ease of two broad hipped grandmothers that had seen some hardship over a 40 year career.
They sang together as they worked and they laughed and hugged their patients with some warmth when hugs were needed and by midnight the ward was quiet as they dished out their own suppers of rice and peas and jerk chicken at the nurses station.
I was given a plate too, with a napkin and a glass of homemade ginger cordial  and as I listened to them chat and laugh and I answered their questions about my home and family I realised just how sheltered I had been for the first 20 years of my life
At 6 am I asked their Christian names.....Matilda and Angel,  I was told and we all laughed....
It was a cold and snowy night in York and I took charge of an elderly ward of 25 senile patients
And I learnt more about good nursing care and life from twoblack,  big hearted support workers in 10 hours than I ever did from six months of my psychiatric nurse training.

Wild Flowers

The Flower Show Committee has shown an interest in taking over the care of the village Flower beds. Having said this some bright spark has planted  out two with wild and cottage flowers this year and the results, are rather beautiful. 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Carrot Goldfish On A Sunday Night

Sunday night and no nursing shift to contend with as per! 
We have spent most of the afternoon titivating the back garden as it has been entered into the " ornamental" class of the Garden section of the Show. Our old teddy boy judge Mr Butler will judge the village gardens tomorrow and will be accompanied by Matriarch Irene with her clip board. His adjudications will be read out on the 5 th! 
The Prof is reading in the armchair by the window. 
I am sat on the couch covered by Welsh Terriers.  
Jenny O sent this latest entry in the novelty veg class. 

Dream Kitchen

I'm 55 and have never had a kitchen I could be proud of! 
Finally , at retirement I have been just given the green light to " sort it" 
We are going to have a new kitchen!!!!!!..with a floor ! With 1940s cupboards, with a ceramic sink under the window and with large bottles of milk in a free standing refrigerator  while the cookies bake in the oven

This is what It will look like 

Saturday, 22 July 2017

A Call To Arms

It's a sad fact that whilst calls to Samaritans are on the up ( and considerably on the up since the introduction of it's freephone number 116123!) the number of volunteers the organisization has to deal with calls from the suicidal, the distressed, the unhappy and the lonely are dwindling rapidly.
There are many factors that have come into play to explain this worrying trend. Volunteer apathy and the fact that the baby boomers no longer have the spare time they once had to give to altruistic endeavours may be partly to blame where as , busier lives, competition from the more " sexy" charities and changes to the charity practice have their own parts to play in people leaving the service.
Whatever the reason, my local branch of Samaritans is now down to just 25 members. ( see link below) and we despirately need new blood

Samaritan training is comprehensive, interesting, thoroughly supportive and at times great fun. It provides a chance for you to give something back to the community. A community that sadly needs a service where kindness, a little warmth, some common sense and a listening ear is often all that is required to keep someone on the straight and narrow.

Friday, 21 July 2017

Be Still My Beating Heart

My Slightly Surreal Life!

Sometimes life in Trelawnyd can be somewhat surreal
Yesterday was a case in point.
At 3pm I walked past the village Hall
All I could hear was " Elvis"  singing Viva Las Vegas to  rapturous applause!  
The Friendship Group is 35 years old!
They organised a buffet and an Elvis Impersonator !
How wonderful was that?

Ps Auntie Glas's house
I note the the kitchen table is still there, i am in two minds to ask her daughter to sell it to me

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Unprofessional Behaviour

As the echoes of the news of my retirement filter through the interweb, I have been in touch with several old workmates, a couple of which reminded me of certain situations where I wasn't the most professional of nurses!
Here are a few memories , many long forgotten ( by me)

  • Before selfies were popular, I once took my own photo with the ward wound camera as I posed next to six sleeping patients in their beds!
  • I once washed a patient while wearing an oxygen mask ( I was told piped oxygen was a cure for a hangover)
  • Working with a rigid ward sister, I once removed her padlocked suggestions box from the wall and filled it with a snack plate of cheese and biscuits(?) before replacing it.
  • I once gave a prank playing colleague a cup of tea with a patient's dentures placed in the bottom
  • I once gave an hysterical patient a victory v sweet telling her it was a sleeping tablet
  • A support worker I had was well know for sitting in a favourite easy chair on nights. One Christmas I arranged for her husband to collect it and he wrapped it in colourful Festive paper and a big bow and gave it to her for her main gift!
  • Working on a mother &baby psychiatric unit, I was caught washing a baby's bum under a sink's mixer tap!
  • I once set up a false urine bag on a patient's bed complete with a goldfish in it!
  • I was once friendly with a paralysed patient who due to a pressure sore was only able to mobilise face down on an adapted hospital trolley. Without him knowing I drew a smiley face on his buttocks
  • There are more stories regarding false turds made out of chocolate, sitting on a patient's dog on a home visit, a flying full urine bag bursting.....shoplifting psychiatric patients in Woolworths.... dropping a patient down a fire escape and getting a drunk colleague's arse stuck in a window of the ward's linen room,  that I wont go into detail about.............