Sunday, 20 January 2019

A Vagina On The Chopping Board

I have a favourite coffee shop that I go to.
It's comfortably shopworn and trendy in that way the ones in New York were in the 1990s
It reminds me of happier days.
The barista asked me if I was ok. I had been crying almost solid for twenty minutes before I arrived but that was at the last quarter of Stan And Ollie and not for any emotional jacuzzi I was going through.
I laughed after she asked me and just said " very Sad film" 
" I've seen the trailers for the new Dumbo" she said "I was sobbing buckets at those"
We smiled conspiratorially at each other.

This weekend has been somewhat better than last. I've had company and goals to complete that's why.
Friday I made a friend a meal and today its another cinema trip, this time with Gorgeous Dave. 
We are off to see a morning showing of the horror thriller Glass ( his choice) - it's the only time he can free from his kids... that that's cool. He's a big badminton player too, so when I'm better we'll have a game, him no doubt in some Lycra number with perfect legs.
Me in my trackie bottoms with dirty paw prints on.

The log lady had dropped a pile of seasoned wood a couple of days ago and this morning called around for her money as I was eating breakfast. She waited in the kitchen as I scrabbled around for the notes but was kept amused by Winnie as per.
It was only after she had gone when I realised that I had left my vagina out overnight on the chopping board.
I think I may need to explain myself here.........

Nowadays male nurses are trained to catheterize women , but in my day this was not just so, and so when I went to work in the private sector with effectively no trained nurse back up. I told myself that I needed to expand my role somewhat.
The first step towards this was to get my hands on an anatomically precise vagina!
This I have done and off I went yesterday, searching the mysteries of the female " inner world" thanks to a rubber vag propped up on a baking potato!
The log lady never said a word

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Stan And Ollie

A homage should, in my mind, be carried out with some affection and this cinematic homage to the wonderful  talents that were Laurel & Hardy has affection in bloody bucketfuls.
It's a truly sweet story which has made an absolutely lovely film.
Set in the 1950s when the duos' careers were on the wane, we follow the ever chirpy Oliver Hardy ( John C Reilly) and his more cynical and slightly more savvy sidekick Stan Laurel ( Steve Coogan) on their come down tour of Northern Britain's second rate theatres.
Plagued with ill Heath and the memory of a friendship testing contract problem, the men's relationship is challenged further by career worries and complicated by the arrival of their wives from the US.
Reilly and Coogan not only play the comics they become the comics and their reenactment of the most well loved of Laurel & Hardy set pieces have to be seen to be believed. They are just THAT good a modern day audience lapped them up with the gusto of their 1930 counterparts.
Having said all this, it is the chemistry between Reilly and Coogan that makes the film work so well. They capture a genuine and often poignant affection that was held between the two men and their scenes together, especially those after Hardy is taken ill have a resonance and power all of their own.
I never stopped crying for the entirety of the last third of the film.
Wisely, halfway through the story brings the comics' wives into play and we meet the wise cracking Lucille Hardy ( Shirley Henderson ) and straight talking Russian Ida Laurel ( Nina Arianda ) both fiercely protective of their husbands. Their spiky scenes together provide a spark that complements the platonic and brotherly love affair which is essentially the story of their husband's relationship together and which is one that is portrayed with so much respect and love.

A double act of their own Henderson and Arianda)

Keep em Coming

I went to see Stan and Ollie this afternoon and cried all through the last third of it.
It was a delight!
I'll review it tomorrow.
First, I must share with you the latest postcard entries which were all delivered today.
I've enjoyed reading them as much as looking at them
Enjoy xx and thanks xxx
Ps carol ( who send the album) and Brian please email me

Friday, 18 January 2019

The Next entries

The British ( and Dutch!) postcards are coming in!
The postman has just given me one of those wry and thin " what the fuck?" kind of Smiles

Just to remind you, details of the competition can be viewed here

Please send All postcards to me at

Bwthyn y llan,
Cwm Road,
LL18 6 EF
North Wales,


I'm making a friend supper this evening.
They are in need of a bit of TLC and a bit of pampering.
Salmon and prawns with a light sauce, home made mini roast potatoes and mixed veg
Tiny sticky toffee pud and a low fat ice cream
And flowers...a small bunch of flowers.
There has to be flowers
I've only just realised that I haven't made anyone supper for maybe six months....
That's a long time for a nurturer/feeder to go without pushing food in a gob.

I miss feeding someone every day.....there is something fundamental in watching someone enjoy their food; almost a primeval pleasure in fact.
An empty plate , the feeling that you have gifted someone not only an enjoyed meal but some time and effort on your part, is a powerful vindication to a caregiver, and it is one I have inherited from my grandmother who showed her affection and love through the gift of good plain cooking.
Set against an upbringing of austerity, rationing, the war and finally the limits of a state pension, meals were planned, often frugal but oh so enjoyed, even to the last crumb
" I enjoyed that" she would often say after what I thought as a mediocre meal of left over ham. Potatoes and gravy and I always knew that she meant it. She was thankful for her food and that pleasure was passed to me , that little boy sat at the Formica topped dinner table tucked away in the tiny annex to her bungalow hall .

Preparing and eating a meal is a privilege for all
We have sometimes forgotten this fact me thinks.....


Later more postcards! The postman is late today

Thursday, 17 January 2019

A Dog Called Beau

I caught this video on Lisa's blog tonight and it just about finished me off
Only Jimmy Stuart could have written it, for only he could have read it.

The First Entries

The first postcard entries

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Postcard Challenge


Right here are the rules for the Postcard Challenge
( see previous post for further details)
Please remember itsvall a bit of fun


All postcards must be posted with an appropriate stamp and not hand delivered


They can be bought, or homemade but must be in standard postcard size


They must have the name of the sender clearly marked


They must arrive at my cottage no later than the 16th Feb


If you want a postcard reply from me your full postal address must be included


The judge's decision ( i.e. Mine) is final


Each category will be awarded an " appropriate" prize


You can enter more than one class


The categories of post cards that can be entered are

Best animal based postcard

Best gay postcard

Best country of origin postcard

Best retro postcard

Best dirty postcard

Best original postcard 

Best arty postcard

Funniest postcard

Most beautiful postcard

Best Scotch Egg Postcard

Best card not in any category 

A Thing Of The Past

A real pleasure....postcards on the mantle

I need to think "happy thoughts" today.
Yesterday I had a particularly unpleasant encounter at work which I know am more of a match for sorting and today I am going to a funeral . Two things that sadden but don't overwhelm even though I am still full of cold and had to miss choir last night after I had literally lost my voice on Saturday .

Today 's post is a lament for a changing fashion.
It's also a competition
It's all about the pleasure of receiving a post card.

We don't really send postcards anymore, certainly we don't from our holiday destinations, With the Internet , Instergram, blogging, postcards are now sent virtually with Facebook now able to proclaim instantly " look at us! Look at where we are!"
These "postcards" are seen but are seldom remembered.

And so today I'm setting you all a challenge
Send me a postcard from your small part of the world through the post.
No virtual cards will be accepted, all entries have to be posted with a stamp from your local post box!
All entries will be posted here and the most striking card will be given a traditionally Welsh prize.

A bit of frivolity is needed today. It's a grey, overcast depressing day here.

My address

John Gray
Bwthyn y Llan,
Cwm Road,
North Wales
LL 18 6EF

Tuesday, 15 January 2019


Over the years I have received a myriad of gifts and sweet gestures from blog readers.
Thankfully,  non of the posted items have been in the Tom Jones' lady knickers genre of personal token but over twelve years I have gratefully received a whole shopful of hand crafted items, dog treats, scotch eggs and the like as well as suitcase sized collections of cards and letters.
Years ago, the oddest gift which was delievered to the cottage was two bags of layers pellets and a couple of bales of hay! whilst only last year a couple who mysteriously referred of themselves as Adam the bear and Lulu, sent me a Barbara Stanwick DVD, a miniature bottle of bourbon and a massive bar of chocolate " for my Gay Bridget Jones moments" as it was described on the package! 
Recently two anonymous dearhearts send me some cash through the post. Surprise gifts that humbled me greatly.
Recently the postman woke me up in order to deliver a blown paper package of about a foot long.
" Another Strange one" the postie commented in his usual unsmiling way before handing it over. 
The package was from the Irish Rebublic and the address on it simply said

John Gray,

The gift had no accompanying card, senders address or note with it.
When I opened it, this is what I found

The. Virgin Mary

Monday, 14 January 2019


Yesterday afternoon there was a faint tap,tap,tap on the kitchen window.  Taps on the kitchen window that faces the lane are always from Trelawnyd-ites  Locals are always told they can get my attention that way.
It was a chap from Well Street and he was with his large and floppy footed setter dog.  I had suggested that they call around several months ago but I think he was embarrassed to do so... I was glad that had eventually turned up. Better late than  never. The setter is a nervous type and so, it must be said is the owner especially when other dogs are involved and so a vicious circle of anxiety and reciprocal agression had been set up when they walked around the village and met up with one of the 100 or so dogs that live here.
 I offered the dubious owner a bit of common sense dog therapy and yesterday he decided to give the winnie-therapy ago. The plan was simple He held his dog close when I brought Winnie out on her lead and I told him to loosen the tension of his lead and follow us. Winnie would take the lead and he would follow and down the lane and into the old churchyard we went.  At first  the settler held his head high and gazed nervously at Winnie waiting for a moment to lunge but Winnie  gave him a brief stare which said " oh do fuck off" and turned her back on him . She cant be doing with nervous dogs..... their skittishness is lost on her sanguine nature
 The setter's  nervous agression just had nowhere to go.  And so we walked, walked indian file around and around the Church with the setter following Winnie by a few inches much to the wide eyed astonishment of his owner.  After ten minutes the anxious setter looked as bored as Winnie with the whole situation whilst more importantly the owner had shed much of his own anxiety .
 It was as simple as that!!!!!
After we walked I told the owner that we should stop by the lytch gate and chat about bollocks in order tomakie the dogs wait until we were ready to go home.  I dont think he quite got it but the dogs understood for both yawned and stood bored as the Alpha males talked above them.
 Its not rocket science  Youve just got to think on a dog's  level   

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Best Laid Plans

Eight people so far have shown an interest in the allotment.
I think that is a good start.
Weekends are traditionally a time to clear the weeds away.

Weekends have become something of a sad time, which is a habit I now need to change. I have always been used to my own company during the week, even when I was " married" such is the life of someone who has a partner who often worked elsewhere. But I always had the weekends in part or in entirety with someone else " there" 
Now the weekend can stretch and bore and remind a person that they are alone with only a nursing shift to bookend the days alone.

Mrs Trellis sort of told me off today when I alluded to it. 
She has been living alone for well over a decade, a fact she reminded me of kindly
She was as polite and as twittery as usual but the message in her conversation was clear
" Stop feeling sorry for yourself , you're not the only one" 

I've got a few things planned next week. Choir, work, a funeral, lunch out with a friend, Sams and next Sunday a trip to the cinema with the georgous Dave, I just need to add in a few more things in I guess.

"The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry........"
let's hope not