Monday, 18 March 2019


Casting the right actor in a drama is often the unsung skill of filming a drama
And the casting of Eleven year old Cailey Fleming in The Walking Dead has been a godsend to season 9.
The preteen has matched stalwarts Norman Reedus and Danai Gurira scene for scene in her role of Judith Grimes giving the whole reboot of the franchise a greater depth and heart and she kind of reminds me of Margaret O' Brian because of her ability to cry on cue

Kinda lingers

Shabby, chic and now sweeter smelling

The other week I gave a polite diminuative Indian woman a lift home from work.
With some shame I noted that immediately after she sat down in Bluebell she opened the passenger window several inches.
" I am sorry about the dog smell!" I told her, oblivious to the eggy hair smell myself
And she nodded with grace
" I didn't know what the smell was "  she countered then changed the subject.
As soon as I got home I shampooed the back seat within an inch of it's life.

As a ward manager it was once left to me to challenge a member of staff who had a marked problem with body odour . It was probably one of the hardest managerial problems I ever had to deal with and despite thinking I had been compassionate and incredibly diplomatic over the event, there were many tears before bedtime on that shift.

Smell has so much more an effect on what we think of a person than we ever would admit to.
It's subtle yet not so subtle.
The smell of cold cream hurtles me back to memories of my grandmother's kisses.
The smell of stale tobacco still reminds me of my mother.
The wardrobe in my bedroom still smells of my husband
I work in a place that smells of jasmine and stale urine pong there!

This morning members of the community association are coming round for me to hand over the flower show reins so to speak, and so remembering the Bluebell Incident I've embarked on operation dog snot removal. Spring cleaning that was once only the prerogative of pre Mother in law visits.
I'm not going to suffer the shame of that opening of the window again.

ps/ the Association members didn't turn up! but at least I have a clean smelling cottage to enjoy
hey ho

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Chatty Cathy

The stormy weather we have experienced over the past few days is gradually subsiding.
On the village website Mr Lancelot put on a post asking if anyone had seen his recycling bins. He lives on the side of the Gop and I suspect they have been blown clear across the fields.
You can tell it's been cold and rough as apart from a quick glimpse of Animal helper Pat crossing the road and the scene of Trendy Carol ( sporting a new Northside jacket) with her head down against the gales , the village has been deserted.
Oh I still see old Trevor every day and we have gotten the administration of his daily enoxoparin injections down to a fine art. My best time from ringing doorbell, walking into lounge checking syringe, giving subcutaneous drug, disposable of sharps in yellow hazard bin to walking out has been a magnificent fifteen seconds. Mind you Trevor was quick sticks on the opening of the old pyjama bottoms!

I cleaned the church the other day and I felt I was in the set of one of those dark Grand Guignol moves of the 1940s, with the wind howling around the gable ends as loud a pack of wolves.
I had to switch the lights on to calm myself down.
There was a folk concert in the Hall last night but I couldn't get myself into gear to go as I had promised myself.
Next time I will, but not a day after three night shifts.

This morning I feel much brighter and chatty ( hence this tit perky blog entry). The first job of the day is to plan the week as I have another cluster of night shifts over next weekend.
If I don't plan, I tend not to do......
And so I've booked badminton with GD, theatre in Chester with my sister ( only cheap seats ) two Sam shifts where I am mentoring new starters, lunch out with a friend, a cinema trip, some " business" meetings, a morning to act out an Obi Ben Kanobi moment with the new Flower Show Padawan AND I managed to snaffle the very last return ticket to see An Evening With Ian McKellen at Theatre Clwyd on Tuesday.....I will have to miss choir but I have already emailed my apologies to Jamie the 1940s moustached choir master Andy asked for some homework to do in the guise of the bass parts of Dorme Dorme via email....I can practice it in the car in Tesco's car park.
Jamie won't mind, Ian McKellen is a gay god of some stature!
Oh and the prizes for the winners of the postcard competition will be here next week. I ordered them an age ago but customer care is not what it used to be. The gifts will be posted on , but please winners can you remind me of your

The dogs and I are now off to Colwyn Bay Promenade for a blow . Albert is sleeping off his home caught and decapitated meal of baby rabbit. The body had been thoughtfully left on the bathroom floor this morning.
I'll leave you with a look at a linocut I got's an early birthday gift to myself ...they are all the rage at the moment.
The simplicity of it pleases me.
It's titled Nature Table

Saturday, 16 March 2019


Long before the Japanese inspired art sleeve tattoos were made popular by big biceped police officers , home made tattoos were the prerogative of tough little sailors, regular old lags and of riff raff
There is nothing more creepy than a bad tattoo.
Years ago I once had to bath a psychiatric patient who suffered from a general paralysis of the insane ( for those that don't know GPI is a particularly nasty dementia caused by untreated  syphilis )
He was a former sailor who was covered in home made tattoos, most of which where depictions of the sexual abuse and degradation of women.
I hated washing him. I hated the feeling of his skin. I hated reading the "I fucked Delores" statement on his skinny breastbone and I hated looking at images of big breasted women tinged blue/ white by hypoxia and paper thin old skin.
I wore gloves when I bathed him , not because I was worried about the syphilis.
I felt dirty touching him because of the tattoos.
On his forearm was a line of small daggers. These I was told was a visual representation of the number of men he had stabbed during a lifetime of crime.
There was, however one small tattoo that reminded me that this little terrier of a bad guy was in some way human
Over his knuckles was dotted the inked message
I đź–¤ My mum

Friday, 15 March 2019


I'm on a run of nights
So no news....just work
When I'm in bed Mary stands guard over the cottage
Button brown eyes watching our small world

Thursday, 14 March 2019


I was in Llandudno yesterday and heard that the famous Kashmir Goats had come down from the storm lashed  Great Orme to cause havoc in the town. I only got a glimpse of one big guy trotting across the A546

A Woman's Place

Rachel Philip's in her blog written yesterday talked about being brought up in a household dominated by men
She noted that it was expected that she worked just as hard as her brothers. Brothers that were taught to sew and mend though perhaps not to cook.
I suspect her mother worked just as hard as all of the men and cooked
Women are very good at doing the quiet martyr thing.

Like many gay men do, I grew up in a household dominated by women,
Early on I learnt that women were housewives who fiercely guarded and equally despised their roles within the home.
The home was my mother's life. there was no thought of a career, an education and even hobbies outside of it, and I quickly became aware of the principle of the hard done by martyr. A middle aged Cinderella with too many chores to complete
It was my maternal grandmother who injected fun into her housewife role.
Her zest for the simple caring role gave me a love of baking and simple cooking and storytelling.

In 1982 I met Harriet Knowles at a mental health day centre. I had just left work in the National Westminster Bank and had been accepted as a volunteer at the centre during a long hot summer. In the autumn I was due to start my nurse training at the West Cheshire Hospital.
Harriet was a retired social worker, University lecturer and a local counsellor  back then and came into the centre a couple of times a week to teach the clients "home skills"
well spoken and incredibly well educated she often would cut baking classes short in order to run a poetry writing exercise or a discussion on things in the news. I remember one afternoon she even organised a cream tea complete with scones and bone china with mental health patients who had never even seen a doily after which she told stories of her time at Oxford University during the 1930s and her wild holidays in Nazi Germany with many bright young things

Harriet told a story of how she would cook dinner for her academic husband and three children after a day social working whilst reading poetry  from a book propped up on the window ledge.
"Life was a juggling act! SOOOO I juggled EVERYTHING!!! she told us with gusto
"Do everything...try everything!" was her mantra
and alongside a motely group of long term mental health patients I learned for the very first time that a woman's place wasn't always located in the home

Wednesday, 13 March 2019

Like Maureen O'Hara

Yesterday's frivolous blog entry generated a somewhat unexpected response
Some 18 readers have admitted in kissed a policeman (or/woman)
How wonderful.
In my long distant experience, the policeman more or less pushed me up against the wall and kissed me......I didn't do much of the snogging back, and it was all a bit John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara as I remember.
He was all big and butch and had a beard of a lumberjack
and I was flung around like a red headed Colleen
This strange moment happened at the fire exit of the mother and baby unit I worked on in a York psychiatric hospital.
The policeman was bumming a cup of tea from the night staff whilst on his rounds around the grounds.
And I can't really remember how the kiss came about. But I know I must have been flirting
Like a clumsy adolescent Labrador .
And I suspect he wanted to teach me a lesson

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Durme:- who has kissed a policeman?

We sang this lullaby tonight again at choir
I've only just realised that I'm 56 and have never sung a lullaby to a child
I've never paddled a canoe either
Never shagged a stranger,
And have never worn a three piece suit

However I have once kissed a policeman when he was on duty
but that's another story

A Quiet Place

I picked up the oil painting yesterday....the one that I had treated myself to after a trip to the theatre.
It's title is A Quiet Place  and I'm pleased with it .
It's replaced a painting I loved dearly. One of a Bluebell wood and although the colours in my new painting are more muted and almost ethereal, I think I've chosen a lovely substitute.

Storm Gareth is sweeping in. I'm still on holiday
And I am a loss of what to do today.

Monday, 11 March 2019

On Deaf Ears

Connie and Daryl 

The reboot of The Walking Dead continues with many of the older characters taking a back seat to the  newer characters. It's an interesting situation which seems, in part, to be working.
Connie ( talented deaf actress Lauren Ridlof ) has teamed up with the monosyllabic  Daryl to fight the Whisperers and both are just as  stubborn and arsey as each other which alludes to a possible  romance in the future and new evil bad guy Beta ( Ryan Hurst) who looks like a Klingon from Star Trek makes Negan look like a bloody pussy cat.......we all know....that Negan is going to make good....the old couple from Hilltop are going to be Whisperer bait alongside Rosita, Eugene  and maybe Nabilla from Kingdom and the doe eyed Lydia is going to take over from Maggie
The series is moving away from the original disaster movie narrative I loved so much in season 1,2 and 3 and now has become a true American Western reboot....

Cassidy McClincy as Lydia 

The evil Beta


I'm a naturally shy individual....I know that a few of you may find that surprising.
So, having been told that I am sure you now understand just how difficult dealing with the officialdom that so often  keeps divorce company has been for me.
Taking an advocate with me has proved useful for they have been in the situation where objective notes and questioning can supplement my more emotional responses.
I've always told patients to have an advocate with them when being interviewed by a consultant or a nurse.
Two heads are always better than one .
Twice as much information can be taken in.
Twice as many questions can be asked and therefore potentially,  answered.
Having said all this I'm getting better dealing with things alone

Shyness is a curse.
It really is.
Over the years it has stopped me doing so many things I may have enjoyed if I had only had the chutzpah to do so.....thank god it is an affliction that can be overcome by practice
But For a truly shy Child or adult, it can be a terrible thing, almost akin to a disability

I am not a lover of The Smiths 
But I am reminded of their song Ask 

"Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
You'd like to
So, if there's something you'd like to try
If there's something you'd like to try
Ask me, I won't say no, how could I?"

I am now sat in the cafe near the Mostyn Art Gallery. I'm in between interviews with my financial advisor and Solicitor and I need caffeine.
I've just had a conversation with an arty type, a new age man with a bun with whom I shared a table.
He asked me if I was Welsh as he wanted to know what the word " Cariad " meant
The barista had called him that when she took his order
" It means " Loved one"" I told him and he looked suitably impressed
The Barista was a pretty little thing