Tuesday, 6 June 2023

The Future and another “Happy Birthday”


I wrote the previous blog whilst in the library in college.
It’s boring as it is bland.
I picked the dogs up from a friend in Craig Y Don, who had been watched them and we drove into Conwy
Where I had to ask a stranger to hold the dogs when I went into the famous Edward’s Butchers for a chilli Scotch egg. 
In the end I bought a black pudding scotch egg too, and we sat on the quayside and shared them together
Bloody lovely they were too.
I went to Conwy for a think.
From September things will be rather different 
More academia, more need for personal discipline, and some serious self reflection 
Between then and now I have Venice, Barcelona and Rome to enjoy then it’s knuckle down and work
Funny how things can change 
Five years ago, I had retired and was planning to leave the village
Now I’m embarking on a new career and a new direction, a journey which is scary and exciting all mixed together and I’m part of village life more than I’ve ever been.

We sat in a line on a bench. Dorothy to my left, the Welsh to my right.
I kept the chilli scotch egg for myself , but the dogs loved their third each portion with a small bite taken out for me. 
It’s four of us against the world now
And sharing a scotch egg is a luxury only we know how beautiful

We were all late back home after a full tiring day. So much so Dorothy refused to leave the back seat and had to be carried into the cottage. 
I missed choir 
Which was unfortunate
But this video was sent to me by Hattie 
Our choir’s tradition of celebrating everyone’s birthday 

It moved me greatly 
And perfectly ended the day 


 Today’s small treat was an iced latte.
I bought it after going for my level four counselling interview.
I try to get myself one small treat a day.

We also had a chance to talk to a group of the level 4 trainee counsellors without the tutors being there which was illuminating . My application is in and so are my references . So it’s fingers crossed
I’ll start in September .

Monday, 5 June 2023

Dandy’s Flag and Le Otto Montagne


I think I’ve told you before that the city of Chester is located a stones throw over the Welsh border into England. It is the city I did my psychiatric nurse training in and is now one I visit often for film, theatre, book club and coffee. 
For ages now I have always been impressed with a giant Ukrainian flag flying high over Dandy’s landscaping Business on the Welsh side of the border. The flag is immense, some  45 feet by 25 feet and I’ve always wondered just why the company has chosen to fly such a huge flag.
Now apparently the yard used to fly a normal sized Welsh dragon flag,but changed it to a similar sized Ukrainian flag at the start of the war, and some small minded Welsh nationalist complained, and questioned just why a Welsh business should support a country so many hundreds of miles away .
Dandy’s replied with the towering flag.
I loved this simple yet effective statement of support and of rejection of blind nationalism.

This afternoon I went to see Le Otto Montagne ( The Eight Mountains) 
A slow, beautifully paced Italian film chronically four decades of friendship between Bruno ( Alesandro Borghi) and Pietro (Luca Marinelli), this film takes its time examining the complexities of male relationships and underlines how difficult it is for men to verbalise their feelings and rationalise their thoughts and motivations . 
The piece has unfairly been termed a straight Brokeback Mountain , which is lazy, as this film is a nuanced , incredibly sad, story of an intense relationship forged from loneliness and need. 

Sunday, 4 June 2023


 I had to look surprised when at the family barbecue I was presented with a “surprise “ birthday cake 

Strange Things

 It’s a lazy blog today thanks to Ali who requested I share more of my odd bits so to speak.
It’s a beautiful day and the garden and planters need watering .
The shooting range in nearby Trelogan sounds busy but the putput of the shotguns are muffled by the circle of hills to the west and are not too invasive.
I’m going to a family barbecue later which will be lovely 

My wolf and Badge salt and pepper shakers standing guard over my homemade letter rack

My gargoyle of course

My obese camel 

The first thing I made in pottery my horse

My little homage to Gormley’s terracotta crowd

Blogger Gayle’s sketch on wrapping paper framed

My bathroom puffin

My 2£ tetradactyl plate

My 5£ plastic toucan 

Bearded man with a big cock

My carved eagle, a gift from villager Colin Endres before he died

Saturday, 3 June 2023

Albert The Dinosaur

I saw my birthday dinosaur on Facebook ( link below)
And he intrigued me so much , that I had to buy him.
Judy who made him, kindly sold me him at friends rates as she likes Going Gently
I was asked if I would post more photos of him 
So here he is

I have several such pieces hidden away in plants and in corners, the gargoyle in the fireplace, my fat naked man looking gloriously buff on my desk, my homemade camel with the enormous hump in my window.
Nu’s homemade daisy fruit bowl on my bedroom drawers, my stone family figures on the kitchen art wall

Funny what pleases eh? 

Friday, 2 June 2023

Cottage Sun


My sister Ann gave me a plant pot stand for my birthday so , today as it’s sunny, I have been playing around with it as well as filling the hanging baskets with delicate pink annuals, which replace the pinks underneath the honeysuckle 
It’s Mindful work which I’m good at treating myself in between with glasses of iced coffee laced with agave nectar.

The cottage shines in the sun
It kind of comes alive and seems even to breath with its windows open and a breeze wandering the rooms from the south west.
The dogs mooch into the back garden to lie in the sun and I play ludovico Einsudi and Christopher Beck’s Under The Tuscan Sun as I plant up and water in.
I found myself scanning the shaded bit of wall for Albert too

Chic Eleanor called around this afternoon, with a bunch of peonies, she stayed for coffee
I’m working tomorrow as a favour for a colleague 
So I will be mindful and quiet for the rest of today.
Thanks to everyone for my best wishes yesterday 
They were gratefully received 

Thursday, 1 June 2023


 I wrote a whole post this morning and read it then binned it.
Suffice to say I feel a little odd
Yes just a little odd. 

Shortly I’m going to wash my face, put on a clean new shirt and my lovely and lurid green shoes and will meet a friend for breakfast at Bryn Williams. 
Early evening I’m going to see the Finnish action film Sisu which is a real horror fest by all accounts.
I have opened a few gifts this morning (my nephew sent me a new pencil case for college in September which was lovely) and I will fit in a cry this afternoon, birthdays get you like that sometimes

Thank you for your kind wishes, cards and messages .I’m very lucky to have so many, and I appreciate each and every one….

Look at the photo carefully and you will see Dorothy asleep with a tea towel in her mouth
I had used it to wipe up some sweet Korean dipping sauce and she’s been sucking the drips


Thanks to an anonymous friend a pair of Albert Socks 

My birthday gift to myself my own red footed dinosaur sculpture

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Jog On

I’m going into work later on overtime
So the Mocca pot is on and it’s chill morning time.
I’ve opened birthday cards which have arrived a day early ( I’m not one for saving them for the actual day) and I’ve had a row with a hiker who complained that Roger had frightened her when she went to pat Dorothy on the head.
So it’s not been that chilled really…

Now before I am lectured by some psychobabble amateur about having an anger problem, I will assure you that I do not, but like many people in their sixties, I won’t put up with bad or stupid behaviour 
The woman in question had obviously seen Dorothy dozing and had made a fuss, so true to form Dorothy had galloped over to the wall in the hope of a face rub or even better something edible. As that was going on , Roger gave his usual protective bark and bounced up next to his sister in order to see what was appertaining .
The woman shrieked and jumped back, so Roger barked even more. 
and that’s when I walked out to intervene. 
“ He’s a bit vicious “ the woman said pointing to the still bouncing Roger 
He nearly bit me” she called out as her fellow hikers stopped next to her.
Rubbish” I said and the woman puffed herself up, ready for an indignant disagreement
“Don’t try to pet dogs you don’t know” I told her
The woman glared at me and started to huff and puff
Which I dismissed with a Curt “ Jog On “ 
A phrase I like almost as much as  “Cheap Shoes”
Jog On covers more bases me thinks.

I’m 61 tomorrow….bloody hell John 
JOG ON !!!


Tuesday, 30 May 2023

Radishes at Choir


Only at a Welsh Country Choir
I walked in after nearly a year away and was presented with a handful of radishes from Alto Diane fresh from her garden. 
Like all supportive groups , It took off roughly where I left it.
Gentleman Farmer nodded brusquely and whispered “ You’re back then”which was sweet and Heulwen , Di and Claire gave me a big hug. 
Jamie and his 1940s RAF moustache welcomed me back too, but quietly as I left. 
And clutching my song sheets, radishes and water bottle I felt just a little emotional as I turned for home