Friday, 28 November 2014

Black Friday


There is only one thing against living in a 18 th Century cottage and that in Winter, even in full daylight , the place can suddenly look gloomy and very dark.. This is what the living room looks like at 10 am
It's so miserable that all four dogs with Albert in tow, have taken themselves off to bed.
Chris is still working in London this morning and will be taking his mother to the Ritz for tea. The two of us went a few years back and all I remember was that The scones balanced upon their silver cake stand were ten times smaller than Auntie Glad's and that everything was brightly lit, shiney and " bling"

Looking back on things the experience of tea at the Ritz  was a little over facing but quite magical in as much just occasionally it's nice to do something out of your comfort zone.
Having said that, don't go to the Ritz tearoom hungry.....you'll bloody well leave hungry.

This morning, in the gloom of Black Friday, I had a large cheerful  slice of fruit pie for breakfast
Christine from Chapel Street called yesterday, she had made me one as a treat and with a strong cup of coffee from my thick american coffee mug, it was as good, if not better than anything I had eaten in the Ritz Palm court.



Thursday, 27 November 2014

Traditions


For a few weeks now I have been collecting little piles of Christmas bits and pieces. Chocolate money, tiny birds for the Christmas tree, little silver stars ..just little gifts that can be seen in most shops at this time of year.
I have developed a tradition of sending a package of these items to my mother in law in Broadstairs and to two friends...one in Yorkshire and the other in Australia.
The gifts are inexpensive, a little silly even , but I would never miss collecting and sending them.....its a silly tradition I get a lot of pleasure from......and I hope it's a tradition that the recipients enjoy just as much.
WHAT PERSONAL TRADITIONS DO YOU FOLLOW AROUND CHRISTMAS?
I'd be interested in hearing them.....

Ps Phyllis is eating well this morning. Her run is safely locked up again

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

The Bastard and Phyllis Diller ( with update)

Not so white and fluffy..Phyllis post attack
11.40 am
Today "The Bastard" got into the run of the smallest and most vulnerable hens I own. (" The Bastard" regular readers may remember, is the feral cat that has been leading Albert a somewhat merry dance over the past few months.) With small rabbits is short supply, I have seen him lurking around Phyllis Diller's run, but he has always kept his distance until this morning.
This morning he saw that I had not replaced the overhead door to the run properly and had grabbed his chance for a small fluffy white feathered meal.
I heard the commotion from the back kitchen, and as I reached the field, two of the geese and both cockerels had driven the Bastard off from the run. In his panic to flee, the cat had dropped Phyllis into the mud , where she lay shocked and covered in dirt, so I scooped her up and hurried back to the cottage......as I went I could see " The Bastard " standing on the Church wall, his tail whipping angrily from side to side.
Attacked hens don't do very well,
So very quickly I checked her over, cleaned a couple of bites on her neck and back and after I gave her some antibiotic, I smartly wrapped her in a tea towel and lay her quietly on a cushion next to the hastily lit log burner.
That was three hours ago and Phyllis is still lying quietly in the dark next to the fire. Her head is moving a little more and she's looking a little more alert , so I will take her out soon and return her to a warm nesting box
I have a feeling she will survive.
Hey ho

19.45 pm
I have just staggered over to the field with my wellies sliding everywhere in the mud to check on Phyllis in her coop.
She shares the hut with one other refugee ( a warren called Bodica..who used to live in the old Still House in the village)
I peeped in with a flashlight to see both hens cuddled up and fast asleep together
Phyllis is fine!

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Coffee With Bunty (and Other Stories)

Bunty...well as near as dammit
Chris is away until Saturday and in between work commitments will be meeting his mum in London for afternoon tea at the Ritz no less. I am on holiday from the hospital this week but have offered to do overtime if they need me. They dont which is a bummer as I need a bit extra cash before Christmas...so I have volunteered to cover a couple of 4-7am shifts at Samaritans= they are the shifts no one likes to do..so its an early night for me tonight.
I felt , I needed a day out today, and so I thought I would take myself off to a matinee after meeting Bunty, the lesbian smallholder, for coffee .
Bunty, as it happens, is a girl that really doesnt "do"coffee!
Bunty lives with her girlfriend on a tiny farm up in the hills towards the village of Llanfair Talhaiarn (The village goes by the shorter nickname of Lanfair T H btw) so we arranged to meet in a coffee shop in the little town of Abergele.
I got there early so was sipping a nice americano when Bunty hurtled in like the proverbial bull in a china shop dressed in her usual pair of mens jeans and checked shirt
.I ordered her a "normal" coffee and had to smile when after her coffee arrived she bellowed a question at me "and what the fuck is this?" pointing to the tiny square of wrapped chocolate in her saucer. Bunty likes to make a big performance about all things twee and proper and I now understand its all a bit of a act/
a bit like Brian Blessed's yelling all the time!
We chatted about all sorts and she reluctantly agreed to have a turkey and cranberry sandwich "("friggin panini's at 11.45!!!!!" she snorted) before I told her I had to go to catch the 12.35 early showing of The Imitation Game 
"GOING TO THE CINEMA ? ON YOUR OWN???? ITS PRACTICALLY  THE MORNING?!" she bellowed again
"youre FRIGGIN NUTS!"
I smiled at the people behind us who were looking a little wary
"why dont you come/" I asked her "Benedict Cumberbatch is supposed to be very good in it"
"He's that funny looking twat isnt he?" Bunty grunted,
straight to the point is our Bunty
 I took that as a no!
I cant say , I was too disappointed
I couldn't envisage Bunty being quiet for 2 minutes ...let alone 2 hours!



The Imitation Game as it turned out, is a worthy but ever so slightly dull stab at exploring the work of math genius Alan Turing at Bletchley Park during the war. It was his pioneering work that led to the cracking of the German Enigma Code, a service that went un noticed by the authorities who did nothing to help him in 1951 when he was arrested and charged with gross indecency for having sex with another man in his own home!
I couldn't quite believe my eyes and ears when the character chose to take the alternative punishment on offer to him  which was to agree to a chemical castration!( he didn't want to be be imprisoned because she couldn't leave his life work developing a working computer)
how bloody sad

I think Bunty was right, she would have hated it


For Rambler


Rambler left me a message asking what was the story behind the photo of "Red the miracle quail" on my sidebar
well its four years ago now but here is the link


Baby Red
Adult Red


Monday, 24 November 2014

The Walking Dead, Episode 7 : Crossed


It's One more episode to the mid season finale when we all know someone will get finished off
So in tonight's episode we had a bit of infill
Eugene , the geek woke up,
, Rosita and Glen did some bonding while Tara found a yo yo,
Maggie got all bad ass with great Ginger Abe
      And Daryl chalked up the best use of a zombie skull in the whole 5                     
Oh and Beth used 5 % epinephrine in a very odd way
( and I am an ITU Nurse , so I should know)

Anyhow
Who will kark it next week?
Will it be Beth or Carol?

My nerves are shot to ribbons
If carol dies
I riot

When you thought it couldn't get any worse?

Welcome to my world
I took a video of a lovely sunrise this morning, when I got back after night shift
I put the IPad down and switched on the video by accident
and recorded 
this somewhat catarrh filled version of "let it go " as I did the washing up
It does go on somewhat, so I suggest you do some dusting if you switch it on
It sums up the day somewhat
It's a day for pottering
I'll have  proper news tomorrow 
Chris is away all week in London ( did you get that susie?)
X

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Cast Of Characters

Trelawnyd Characters circa 1957

Last night there came a tap-tap-tapping on the cottage window.
Out of the darkness, we could just make out the familiar fluorescent yellow of a workman's jacket
It was village elder Islwyn waving a small packet of cough sweets.
Over the years if Chris and I come down with a cold, Islwyn has always taken it upon himself to drop off much needed cough sweets.
It's a little kindness that has become a kind of tradition.
Today, I thought I'd bring together some of the cast of Trelawyd characters that get mentioned in passing during an average week here on Going Gently 
The village has no more odd characters than anywhere else.....it's just that I probably look a little closer than most in order to find them

MRS TRELLIS (of North Wales)
A  diminutive but vital little widow who can be seen most days being dragged around the village like a minnow in a kingfisher's beak by her psycho sheepdog Satan.
She can be often seen practicing the piano in her living room window

GAY GORDON
( who is not gay but just incredibly upbeat all of the time/-hence the nickname) can be seen hurtling around Trelawnyd in his suped up invalid trolley. Incredibly loud he is well known for adding the " "FLOWER!"  when addressing anyone and everyone and is an exuberant baker responsibe for the " monster fruit cake" sold as refreshments at last year's flower show

PAT ( The Animal helper)
If you want anything done in Trelawnyd you ask Pat to be a part of it.
A villager from birth Pat is school governer, active member of the Women's Institute, Flower Show Committee member ( and winner of the craft and domestic cups on more than one occassion), conservation group member, and all around good egg.
In a crisis, she is the woman that would turn up, sleeves rolled up, to help.

AFFABLE DESPOT JASON
Is responsible for injecting humour into most  village based activities. Only yesterday he stopped his car in order to cheerfully berate the pea green colour of my very trendy trousers when I was out with
the dogs. Usually seen with his two daughters in tow ( who always remind me of the Mendoza sisters from Banana splits.) he is the village hall caretaker and is an avid fan, strangely enough, of Jack the
ripper!
Jason's daughters

VILLAGE ELDER ISLWYN
If there is a project in the village that needs sorting, Islwyn is the person that can be relied upon to sort it. Famous for eating a bacon sandwich in his own family grave ( he was extending it himself btw) he has single handedly extended and re landscaped the village graveyard.
Known as " Steve" by some of the non Welsh speaking villagers.

AUNTIE GLAD
Yes, rapidly approaching her century, she is still baking, still taking the bus down to Rhyl to do her shopping and still walking the length of London Road to be first at the Church door for Sunday
services. A legend in her own lifetime.

Dr  CHRIS
A somewhat shadowy character, who spends most of his time harrumphing at the state of the cottage kitchen after he arrives from a 14 hour day at the university only to find me cutting the shitty clingons from a dog's arse on the draining board.
As I type this, he is presently eating a bowl of porridge watching Thoroughly Modern Millie

Supporting Characters 

THE VICAR
Always cuts an impressive figure when he sweeps into church with his black " Dracula" Cape on.
He is a rector with rather a rakish sense of humour who  is usually accompanied by Gaynor -the - organist , a lady with twinkling eyes and a repartee of Joan River-esque one liners.

CHRISTINE
Another village elder who is responsible for one of my most genuine and affections memories of present day  Trelawnyd? On Christmas Eve , during the church service, the Vicar will complete the nativity scene at the front of the Church by grandly calling for the baby Jesus to be brought forward
" Mrs Davis..Bring on the Baby Jesus!" He calls , and Christine will walk down the aisle with Jesus in her hand.
It's a lovely moment and my very favourite one in the service.

SON OF THE RFWF
Long term readers of Going Gently will recall hopefully with some affection, the exploits of the RFWF ( Red Faced Welsh Farmer)  A larger than life farmer who sounded for when of a better word,
just like Robert Newton from Treasure Island as he sped past in his battered and old tweed hat and equally battered and old red landrover.
After his death a year or so ago, it is nice to see that his son Ed has taken over his father's role on the community council and in village initiatives. As it turns out, his landrover is blue!

And there are others too numerous to mention......Irene the flower show matriarch, Ralph the gentleman farmer.........Pippa with her bad tempered hound Meg........Hubert the old baker, Stan and Kit ( she makes our bespoke hand knitted slippers)
 ....Cameron the teenage boffin ......I could go on......and on.......and on........