Sunday, 26 March 2023


The ukulele band gave a “spirited” performance and won over the local crowd quite magnificently 
I was on the door , selling raffle tickets and window panes and did well at both. Suffice to say I was busy And had to keep sending friends to the bar for a beer….
Over 150 people turned up including lots of old faces  

And would you believe it 
The lovely Chic Eleanor ( centre) 
Turned up 

Affable despots Jason and wife claire with Claire’s dad 

Gwawr and the lovely Tracy Manchester 

Locals from the village  Turpins  et al 

An action shot of Velvet Voiced Linda , Village leader Ian and bouncy Bridget 

Neighbour Sailor John and  Med…

Hattie and Adam 

The object of the night was to publicise the TCA and not to make a profit 

But with food sales ( all my chilli sold) raffle tickets and pledges for the window panes as well as the band donating their gig to us for free we made a rather impressive profit 

I got home to walked the dogs around 11.30:…..I was pissed and walked  into the garden arch without a clue….big laceration on forehead  lol 

A great night ….of a place …we all felt a part of /

Saturday, 25 March 2023

Chilli Mouth

 I went to the hall which was almost ready for the Children’s party this morning.
The whole idea of today was to sell the Hall as a social venue. 
The children’s tables were lined up and decorated and the popcorn machine was out and smelling glorious, so we ticked the box there. 
Bales of straw lined the stage with the TCA posters on them, giving the hall a sort of Ceilidh feel and the bar, for later was hid away in the corner for later. The bar tonight will be run by The Crown ( the village pub)

Bridget had set up a wedding table, using the utilitarian chairs and table from the hall and it looked lovely.we are advertising the Hall as a do-it-yourself wedding venue so this corner speaks for itself.

As for the chilli ?
Well I’m sick of the fucking taste of it!
I’m made four batches so far
One more at least to go

One in the oven

Friday, 24 March 2023

A Long Time Dead

I usually listen to LBC Radio when I’m sitting down to my bucket of coffee and now much reduced breakfast , but there seems a lot of shouting everywhere at the moment. Shouting on the tv, on radio, in real life and in blogging, that I’ve turned on classic fm.
To be honest that was all a bit much too and so I’m now sat in silence 

Last night David Sidaris discussed how he was once berated by a woman for talking about vaginas. He made  a simple enough point, for as a fifteen year old aide in a psychiatric hospital he was once witness to a naked 80 year old woman having “ therapy” a scene which would have turned himself gay if he hadn’t been gay already. 
The point of his essay was simple, for when David left the sadness and restrictions of covid lockdown, the complainer’s power was diminished to nothing. 
I get this…covid was poisonous in so many ways 

Last night, a friend phoned. Like me they have just entered their seventh decade and they were feeling it, like I do after two long day shifts. 
They talked about feeling on the last lap of life so to speak, where they needed to do all those things they’d planned to do, before age and illness and covid and the like could stop them.
I recognised this feeling 
That last Hurrah kind of feeling.
So what do you want to do ?” I asked.
I want to see the Sagrada Familia” they said 
Feelings intertwine..they always do. Mortality, and age and real life and post covid lethargy and a sense of a clock ticking…

“So let’s go” I said

And so we are going to see it in July!  

Thursday, 23 March 2023



I’ve spent the afternoon playing with bits of paper, this was after I photographed the village telephone box which the TCA is renovating into an information centre, book swap and noticeboard.

I am Sat on the stage of the Memorial Hall in silence with only the ghosts of villagers past for company.
The hall has its own distinctive smell. 
Slightly musty, of polish, and wood floors and old doors, and sunlight trapped inside an airless huge room by long windows framed with old fashioned curtains.
I love the smell of the Hall.

It reminds me of all of the above , as well as the Flower Show and of long, tired but happy days in Summer when the tiny cream painted side windows were forced to be opened by the sheer numbers of people in the hall.
I cut photos out and pinned them to the noticeboards and remembered and was almost done when the Velvet Voiced Linda, buoyant Briget and Nick arrived to help set up
Then the ghosts disappeared as the chatter of the modern day villagers filled the space with echoes.


Hannah Churchill

Most of us know the vignettes that make up Little Women.
Amy’s pickled limes. Jo’s selling her hair. Meg’s love of the Ball and Beth’s piano.
The stories are almost as real as those in our own families, especially if you grew up with siblings.
Last night I went to see a one woman show in Theatre Clwyd where actress Hannah Churchill reenacted most of the novel as Jo, hiding away in the attic after Beth’s death. Here she writes her book in her head, playing each sister in turn, only supported by a quiet Laurie, who plays an accompaniment on Beth’s piano

Churchill’s jumping from one character from another works best when Amy and Jo are portrayed which is unsurprising given their powerful personalities. Meg, Beth and Marmie are slightly less successful , but only slightly, as at times the play becomes incredibly moving. (Beth’s illness) and even exciting ( Amy falling through the Ice)
It’s a hard gig really as we all know the story and bringing a fresh look at it must be hard.
So hats off to Hannah Churchill who did a very good job of carrying the story.

I’ve broken the back of my assignment and will finish that today. This afternoon I’m going to the hall to sort out the noticeboards for the open day on Saturday.

Wednesday, 22 March 2023



With Boris on the firing line today at Partygate, I’m amazed to hear that it’s three years since the first lockdown . Three years!!
I’m almost overwhelmed by the thought.
I’m looking at the art wall in the kitchen… the start of Lockdown there was only a couple of paintings there…..

The dogs and I had a serious chat this morning, 
Over in the Churchyard, in the weak sun of the morning.
Well I did most of the talking to be fair and Mary and Dorothy hung on every word as they have a want to do.
Roger spied an early bee flying in disorientated circles near the flowers on Auntie Gladys’ grave and smiled to himself .
He never listens  to anything more serious .
Albert limped over and head butted Roger who almost toppled over in shock
I left the boys to it.

I feel more energised than I have in a while. 
I feel more in control and more hopeful with things
I think I’ve been a little depressed over lockdown and a smidgen beyond it
And I told the girls so this morning.
I’m sure they nodded carefully

I have them a big smile and told them that
I’ve just booked a trip to Rome 
It’s in September and I’m going alone.
If a friend wants to join me ….then great.
If not, that’s cool too

Im going to Rome, and I will be able to fit in my best Walking Dead T shirt ….the Large one….
Not the extra large one when I do so.
I fly from London and hopefully see friends there before I go.

What do you think? I asked the gang
Dorothy blew a kiss and Mary pushed forward to be first
Roger was now watching crows in Well Street trees and hadn’t a clue

Io Vado a Roma…Bella

Tuesday, 21 March 2023

It’s Time

 For all of my adult life I have battled with my weight.
Comfort food is my go to despite on line healthy Korean recipes , mindful sushi and photographs of nice soups 
I eat on a late evening 
When things are quiet and I’m not diverted with “stuff”

I lose weight when I’m ready to do so, and have done so before 
And I’m ready…more than ready now to get my ample arse into gear.
So there you have it.
I’ve joined weight watchers again, weigh in college and choir day every Tuesday 
It’s up to me now 

Hey ho

Monday, 20 March 2023

Less is More


I jammed in Everything, Everywhere All At Once this afternoon, in between essay writing and the pre TCA launch meeting at The Velvet voiced Linda’s home. The film was what I expected to be honest, a full one, in your face , frenetic romp of movie with lots to say, even more to see and a cast that was clearly enjoying every bleeding moment of their time on screen.
It’s just not for me .
A conventional story started at a cracking pace. Blink and you’d miss half of what was going on. Evelyn ( Michelle Yeoh) is a frazzled owner of a busy laundromat. She is swamped with difficult customers, a mounting tax bill, a lesbian daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu) who wants and needs validation, a smiling  cheerful husband ( Ke Hue Quan) who wants a divorce and a demanding , negative father ( James Hong) visiting from Hong Kong 
The family meet up with the IRS inspector Deirdre Beaubeirdre ( a hilarious Jamie Lee Curtis) in an effort to sort out their failing business and this is where everything is turned on it’s head and present day characters become superhero alter egos in a parallel existence 
Fart and you’d miss something as the off beat comedy drama suddenly became surreal, absurd, a fantasy based martial art dream like time busting bit of anarchy. 
And that’s when I left it .
Now I know I wasn’t suited to this kind of genre, I placed the above less-is-more clip from Pride and Prejudice as an example of just why I didn’t enjoy it, but I did pick on the films main theme, namely Evelyn being trapped in a life she can’t control or even wished for. 
Michelle Yeoh is a beautiful actress and much of this theme was shared by her to the audience in just a few telling expressions and glances in the very first reel. That would have done me.
She was sublime
But the film took its own narrative path and for some that was challenging, exciting and innovative .
It just sort of bored me . 
I did love the performances though. Quan is genuinely sweet as Evelyn’s hopeful/ superhero husband. 
Jamie Lee Curtis clearly enjoyed herself as the baddie of the piece and Yeoh has that amazing ability to move you with a  mere glance. 
She has an old soul that woman

I did walk out eventually , and I’m sorry but it was necessary , it was a case of the Emperor’s New Clothes for me
I did so want to love it . But I didn’t 


 I’m off to the library for the day 
Trendy Carol will be collecting the dogs.
I’m taking her dog Bengy to the groomer tomorrow 

I work better in the library and have always enjoyed sitting alongside people who are studying
I was once picked up by a floppy haired student in a hole filled green jumper in the reference library in Sheffield . 
His name was Alan 
He dropped a piece of paper with his telephone number onto my desk.

I also remember watching a Muslim woman support a distraught stranger in that same reference library.
A bit of kindness with someone going out of their way for another
It still sticks in my mind after thirty years 

And my biggest Library joy was this 

Anyhow back to today, I grabbed some clothes
Brushed my teeth 
Stuffed my notes in my very untrendy Sainsbury’s bag for life 
And hurried to the car with my flask of tea.
Only then did I realise I was wearing a green jumper with holes in the neck

Sunday, 19 March 2023

Sheffield Botanical Gardens

I remembered his face, but not his name 
I had forgotten it a second after he told me.
I was wrong footed at the door what with the dogs barking and all.
So it took several minutes to restore order, quiet and peace.
I sat him on the couch , and I sat on the grey chair under the lamp 
He refused the offer of tea.
Albert walked through sniffing loudly before we cut to the chase

I will call him Jim 
Jim used to enter my flower show a decade ago 
He asked about the “ Sponsor a pane “ initiative for the hall, that’s why he was there
His partner had died four years ago now and he wanted to sponsor a pane in her memory
But they had lived almost 7 miles away so he wasn’t sure he could fit the criteria
I told him of course he could sponsor one.
He was so worried that he didn’t qualify 

We chatted
“ I miss her on Sunday’s the most “ he told me gently “ having breakfast which we made together listening to the radio “
“Cooking alongside someone without chatting “
I nodded and told him that I was divorced so understood a little tiny bit of what he described .and 
Jim surprised me by saying without any guile
“Oh Divorce can feel worse than a regular bereavement “ 
We talked about it for a while and I was oh so grateful for his insight and vindication , …he was divorced too

He booked a pane of glass in memory of  his partner 

And I told him the inspiration of the whole event was the fact that for his 31st birthday, many years ago,  I had sponsored a pane of glass in Sheffield’s newly revamped Botanical Gardens glass house Pavilion, for the Prof ….
How Good Is That.” Jim said with a smile 

Brain Worm

This is my favourite video relating to self care, love it to death.
It’s 10.30 am and I’ve already walked the dogs, straightened the cottage and enjoyed Breakfast

Ham and eggs on toast with coffee.
The blog is the final distraction before I get down to writing my assignment .
No radio today

A patient at work keeps playing it….it’s my brain worm this week

And finally to work