Friday, February 20, 2009


I have my sad face on today because I must take a short leave of absence from my blog!

We will be taking a planned holiday in our motorhome ( yes-I KNOW-I'm back to a caravan again) for about a week and a half.

Normally this is a pleasurable thing we do at this time of the year to find some sunshine, but it will be a wrench not being able to easily connect to the internet as we shall be touring around. However I will have a camera at the ready for some picture stories on my return.

Take care in the meantime, and happy blogging! See you soon!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


I am back to my late husband again and would like to share an amusing tale with you , to show that even though his poetry is quite serious, the man himself was an extremely charasmatic and funny person.

Back in the 60/70's Alex worked for BBC television at their White City studios in London - where they still operate from . He was a back-stage technician and worked many of the shows, and had a lot of fun. Because of the nature of his job he worked long hours, with often nothing to do in between shoots. He loved clowning around and one day he decided, along with one of his mates, to ask the make-up girls (who also had long periods with nothing to do) to make them up as women. The girls agreed and ' went the whole hog' with not only the make-up but the hair-do as well! The result on Alex was so good that he really did look like a woman and the girls took a head and shoulder photo of him. At that particular time the ' Ariel' magazine which was the BBC's staff magazine was running the annual " Miss BBC Competition"! I bet you can guess what I am about to write --YES Alex sent his photo up with a psuedenym -- and then forgot about it.

So here is the photo.....
Can you guess which one is him?
It is the top left hand picture.

That night he came home and showed me the picture, saying that it was a girl who had just joined their team. I thought she was quite good looking and was feeling a bit jealous that he had bothered to take a picture of her, when he told me it was himself! I HADN'T EVEN RECOGNISED MY OWN HUSBAND? I too thought it was a hoot that he had entered it into the BBC contest.

The outcome actually was almost disastrous. They picked the finalists by photo selection only and I might add here that there were more entrants than those I have shown above. Alex ( can you believe) was chosen as one of the finalists, which meant that he had to go before a panel in a swimsuit parade ( haha). Of course it was at this moment that he decided to ' come clean' and confess that he was really a guy! And a normal one - with four children. There was a huge fuss and he was almost offered the door! Thank goodness they didn't. The daily Mirror gave Alex a two page coverage with photos titled ' Father of four in the Miss BBC contest final"! Ah well! That was my man!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mum and Dad 1930's

So this is a picture of Celia and Frank, my Mum and Dad. I think it was taken in the 1930' s, they might have still been courting or perhaps newly married. I don't think that Dad was much of a ' looker' , bless him, but he was such a great, kind, loyal man who Mum adored. She told me that when she met him she was attracted to his fine head of black hair and beautiful teeth .

They belonged to a motor-bike club and had a big bike and sidecar and would go away for weekends with the club. Not long after they married though, they were involved in a bad accident on Blackfriars bridge; there were no traffic lights in those days and a car crossed and hit them. Apparently, Dad swerved to avoid the car crashing into the sidecar ( where Mum was) and took the full force of the impact on his leg. The outcome was 18 months in and out of hospital where surgeons battled to save his crushed leg. This they finally did achieve, so that was the really good news for them both, but the bad news for Mum was that the shock of it all caused Dads lovely black hair to fall out, so he was bald before he was thirty, and not only that he lost ALL of his teeth as well!! Good job Mum really loved him ( smile).

Sunday, February 15, 2009


The lovely lady in the picture above is my Mum, Celia, when she was just fifteen. What a character she was!

She met my Dad, Frank, in a queue outside a picture house in East London. Mum was with a girlfriend and Dad was with his mates. They all started chatting, but when they got to the front of the queue , the theatre was one seat short, so Frank said she could sit on his lap!!! Which she did!! Forward lass ( smile). She told me she sat with him throughout the film and then Dad made a date with her for the next day. As they parted he insisted she take his watch, knowing that she would have to turn up; How romantic is that? That was in 1923!
They got married when Mum was 21, and I wasn't born until she was 33! She always told me that she was having such a good time, she thought she would wait. They worked hard and played hard all their life and were so happy. I was their only child, probably a bit spoilt,
but I think I had a great upbringing- I always felt that I could discuss any thing with them, particularly Mum.
They were married for 57 years before my Dad, sadly, passed away. Mum then lived with us until she passed away in 2007 aged 99. What happy memories I have of both of them. There are so many stories about them that I could tell, but am finding it a bit too emotional so will leave the tales for perhaps another time.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


When I get older losing my head

Many years from now

Will you still be sending me a Valentine,

Birthday greetings, bottle of Wine.......................when I'm 64!

Well I'm 66 now and the answer is "YES" folks!

Happy Valentines day to all--have fun!

My thanks to John,George Paul and Ringo who shaped my life.

Friday, February 13, 2009


Firstly I would like to say how devastated I was to see the news this morning of plane crash at buffalo with a loss of 49 lives. I cannot even begin to imagine the grief of the families who lost their loved ones. My heart goes out to them.

I have a genuine fear ( more like a terror) of flying!
I expect all those of you who regularly fly from place to place around the world will not quite understand this fear. Perhaps not all of you are always comfortable when boarding a plane, even nervous -- BUT YOU DO IT! I cannot. It has been a dread of mine since I was young and repeatedly had nightmares about a plane crashing. Bizarrely so, I was never actually in the plane when it crashed.

Actually, I did try flying 3 times! When I was in my late twenties and was an executive , I had to fly from Manchester to the Isle of Man for meetings. The situation was that I found I couldn't let go of the seat, I felt so traumatised. Each time it got worse so that was the end of that.

Pills, potions, drink, hypnosis, counselling etc etc, all of those were never an option for me. I am anti all drugs, and a control freak and always have been . So now we travel around Europe on terra firma in a camping car, which is great- honestly! Nevertheless I do have this nagging feeling now I am pegging on a bit, that I will never get to see the really exotic places. Oh I forgot to mention that I am also not happy on a boat either, unless I see land in view! I can hear you thinking " this lady is a freak", and you might be right, although friends and family consider me to be reasonabley normal.
Ah well I guess I shall just have to live with it unless anyone can come up with a solution?

Thursday, February 12, 2009


The eye pauses,
breath scattered its imperfections;
without speaking
a dog passes,
and we're supposed to be friends.
My daughter
with her individual fingers
collectively touches my brain,
scratching new words
with a nail
about my dripping mouth.
And her ear the cup I fill
saying, sing me that song
again, father;
it sounds wrong,
or if not wrong, then oddly right.
My voice, disarmed,
picks up some other air
from a different corner,
how the tongue tastes fear,
her question counts my age.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Back in 1973 , Alex and I bought a lovely old timber framed house near the Medway towns in Kent, England. The house was a bit ramshackle but ideally large for our family of four daughters in that it had 4 bedrooms. A strange old lady had lived there with her 3rd husband , and we soon learned from the local police inspector that she and her family had quite a ' history'. She kept a pet chimpanzee whom she used to dress in childrens clothes which we found was also bizarre. However we did go ahead and bought this house with its pretty gardens.

Not long after moving in we were rummaging around in the attic when we came across the above painting, and also some beautiful old victorian glass photography plates which we knew were quite valuable. The painting itself was genuinely old and had a gash ( which you can see in the photo) as though someone had slashed it with a knife; the signature had worn away , but on the back was (is) a yellow ( with age) sticker stating that it was exhibited during the last world war as a painting by Benjamin Robert Haydon, the famous English historical painter. We waited for the lady to come back and claim the articles which she had left behind, which she did eventually , but she only wanted the glass plates. We took the painting to Sotheby's in London, but they couldn't definitely identify it , but did advise us to have it cleaned and mounted ( which we did) but advised us not to have it repaired. Since then it has taken pride of place in all of our homes ( we moved about a lot) but we still don't know the origin of this painting;

Is there anyone out there who can help?

Monday, February 9, 2009


Since I started blogging, this January, I have found that it has really taken over my thoughts and my life! It is the first thing I think of in the morning and the last thing at night! How SAD is that? Am I normal? I want , so much, for the blog to be interesting , and, hopefully, informative.

I have found though, that I derive great pleasure from expressing my thoughts and ,on this blog, my late husbands words . It is cleansing and gives me particular satisfaction knowing that some people are actually reading it; even if they weren't,I know the pleasurable feeling would be the same. What I hadn't expected though, was the community feeling, the knowledge gained through others blogs, the making of new invisible friends ,the sharing of ideas, and basically the FUN of it all .

The down side is that my pile of ironing us getting ever higher, the dogs are not getting so many walks, the housework has gone to pot, I am piling on pounds through lack of exercise, and I wonder why the days seem much shorter. Perhaps I should get out more?

Friday, February 6, 2009

My Lovely Doberman

In an earlier post about my dogs, I featured my two Afghan Hounds in a photo and mentioned that I would post a picture of my lovely doberman;

Here he is in all his glory , and this photo was entered in Charlie's Alphabet Challenge , see post below for information.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

My favourite one


A cortege has just passed.
Huge black motor cars
cutting their ponderous way
through the street. The occupants
all have washed this morning,
and donned black habits
and white manners through which
little grains of shock discreetly
stammer on whisky breath
of spiked dawn tea, and tangle
in the netting and respectable gloom.
There are tell-tales on the faces:
poor whoever it was
going to a better place
there was a smile on his face
he's at rest, you see
thank God it's not me.
Something comforting about a funeral,
somebody else's; second chance perhaps.

Cars of all colours belting past now.
The street takes a deep breath
and smiles as though it had never happened.

This is my favourite poem of Alex, my late husband, who always managed to see the funny side of things, and remark on them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I cannot believe that it's 7.30 in the evening and I have achieved practically nothing all day! Or have I ? Let me look back at my day...........I awoke at 8am watched the SKY news with the first cuppa, showered, plastered on the make -up hoping it would take off 5 years ( it never does, but I feel better when I can hide behind it), then bounced ( yes I did say bounced) downstairs to take breakfast (toast & coffee) with my partner and my cousin ( who I havent seen for years) who is staying for a few days. UMM, then we talked, swapped family photos, went out to town to show off the nice bits ( cathedral, river, park etc), bought a baguette for lunch, and drove home again; Then we had lunch, I had a nap (I KNOW) for an hour then we played with the dogs, took a tour of the grounds - a slow tour-, etc etc. Finally watched deal or no deal and then I came to the office realising that I hadn't played with my computer all day!!!! So here I am, disgusted with my totally unproductive day and having just 10 mins to find something to write about before I get ready to go out for dinner. So there it is -- in a nutshell.

Hope you lot did something better --have a good day/evening x

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Alphabet fun

check out Charlies' alphabet challenge on the ' laughter Minute' blog ( see my bloglist), it's fun. You have to post a photo a day for the whole of February- each photo has to associated with the letter of he alphabet eg A for feb. 1st - B for feb.2nd and so on. Best photos will be judged. I have joined in and I wish him luck.

As Before, Comment Defines Expertise For Good Honest Ideas. Judge Kindly Little Magical Nuances On Photos, Quaint, Rich, Sensual Touches Uncover Valuable Ways, Xceeding Your Zeal!

errr used a little bit of poetic licence!