Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Bluebells

Although my favourite colour is yellow
My favourite flower is the Bluebell.......
Bluebells have featured often in the background of my life.
My garden has 6 bunches of Bluebells, one lovingly  transferred from my previous home in Sheffield, a plant stolen from the grounds of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire over 18 years ago.

In my kitchen stands proud a large collection of Art Deco Burleigh Ware pottery of varying designs. 
My favourite is, of course , Bluebell ...a few splashes of blue, black and green, beautifully simple and beautifully pleasing. 


My car is called Bluebell and she stands for everything positive at a time in my life I had very little and as a child one of my favourite place to play was in Bluebell wood , a small copse of trees located on the hillside between Prestatyn and Gronant. . 
My grandparents are buried near the same Bluebell Wood, their headstone facing their beloved Liverpool.

Every Early May I would often go to Bodnant Gardens as the Bluebells would be out and old readers of 
Going Gently May remember The last Mabel Post with a visit to the wonderful Bluebell Wood




The first painting my husband and I bought together was a gentle Victorian watercolour of a Bluebell wood . I miss it so. I miss it because it is so beautiful and subtle and understated 
He took it when he left and I miss looking at it 

Last year I split a large garden knot of Bluebells from my garden and planted it in the corner of the old graveyard. This year I will check if it has been taken 
And started a new colony of gentle blue just opposite to the cottage windows 

Rhymes

 I had a dream about my grandmother last night.
She was reciting a rhyme, one that she taught me as a child.
When I woke I remembered it, in its entirety 
Has anyone heard this before? 

I went to my grandmother's garden
I went to my grandmother's garden,
and I found an Irish Farthing,
I gave it to my mother,
who bought a little brother,
The brother was so cross,
We put him on a hoss,
the horse was such a dandy,
we gave him a glass of brandy,
the brandy was too strong,
we put it in a pond,
the pond was too deep,
we put it on a heap,
the heap was too high,
we put it in a pie,
the pie was too little ,
we put it in a kettle,
the kettle had a spout ,
and they all jumped out! 


What rhyme do you remember?

While I remember my fraternal grandmother used to sing this 



Monday, 22 February 2021

Chins Up


Not long to go! Chins up
Just caught up with boris 

 

Spring

 


I couldn’t quite believe the blue of the sky this afternoon. The temperature and feeling around the village was springlike and after a short sleep Mary and I went out to post letters.


Today is the first day of Bridget’s foodbank and the telephone box on Well Street was filled


The younger children are back in school and their squeals at playtime made Trelawnyd come alive ago


The chapel and Christine and Bryn’s old house is up for sale.
It doesn’t look as though it was originally built in 1700. 
Once a corn and wheat market hall , then later a chapel, I wonder what it’s next resurrection will be 


Ruth Corker Burks

 https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/short-cuts/acts-of-love-YHscwjqeVlO/

This link is a small gift 
I’m sorry that many of you may not be able to access it, given where you are in the world. But for the ones that can....it is a little gem of a broadcast.
Start your listen at 18.43 minutes in.
You want to listen to the story of a single mom in 1980s mid America
It is the height of the aids pandemic and Ruth Corker Burks finds Jimmy a patient dying of AIDS in a local hospital. 
He is fast approaching death and is shunned by his family and the nursing staff. 
Only she in a wonderfully moving act of compassion enters his room and his last moments of life.

I listened to this podcast on the way to work last night and had to stop the car for a few moments to process the power of it..

Please give it a go and tell me what you think

Sunday, 21 February 2021

Finlay

 

This is Finlay
My very first Welsh Terrier.
In one way he was the son I never had and as my first dog he broke my heart more than any animal had a right to. I was sent the photograph this morning.
And I felt emotional at the kitchen table when I saw it, right in the middle of an entertaining and stimulating three hour zoom lecture titled “ Wind in Film” 
I was so glad that during one discussion group no one seemed heard me fart very loudly as I forced out a cough..having said my box went green.......so they might have done....
A Freudian slip, perhaps given the lecture subject.
I very much enjoyed the analysis of the clips we watched together
I do so miss talking about film with people who see more than just basic entertainment 
It sounds snobby 
But I do.

Anyhow I’m doing an extra night shift tonight to cover sickness and as we are quiet I may get the opportunity to catch up with film studies homework. 
Hattie has booked Mary in for a cuddle this afternoon. 

I think I will have avocado and egg on toast for a late brunch

Saturday, 20 February 2021

A Little Night Music


What does it make you feel 

 

Three Weeks

 Do you remember the Monty Python sketch what have the Romans ever done for us ? 
Well in the same vein I’m going to ask
What has the lockdown ever done for me? 

I’ve decorated the cottage living room, bought new chairs, carpet and The Trendy blue sofa as well as a new desk 
My sister has redesigned and rejuvenated the gardens front and back.
I’ve read a score of new books
I’ve rekindled friendships on what’s app video
I have spring cleaned the whole cottage..twice
Re booted my finances and ordered all my paperwork 
And have sorted all my old photographs and keepsakes into files and books
I have learned to sing via zoom
I have zoomed weekly for film lectures 
I have gay quizzed weekly on zoom 
I have cooked and painted on zoom
Zoom is here to stay.
I have been supported by villagers old and new
And have been the recipient of kindness often daily.
I have been able to lend Mary out for cuddles and doggy therapy .
I have watched too much tiktok videos and have walked on the beach
I have been grateful for work and the discipline of getting up in the morning.
I have almost finished my art wall and I have reintroduced plants back into the cottage.

Three weeks to go







Friday, 19 February 2021

Where have you been all my life Jackie Weaver?



The mysterious “P” in my last post commentated thus
“ Just wondering if any Trelawnyd online meetings can be as entertaining ala Handforth Parish Council and Jackie Weaver. John?”

Well P, first let me explain the above video for those not aware of it. This video is part of a local council meeting in the North of England where old beefs and fall outs between the counsellors came to a head when a local council official , the placid and wonderfully patient Jackie Weaver was sent in to trouble shoot the Egos. 
In Wales, we in the villages of Gwaenysgor & Trelawnyd have an officially elected Community Council which are responsible for generally local and small scale affairs. I was part of this council a few years ago now, when the village was “ run” predominantly by a phalanx of middle aged, white heterosexual men.
My appointment was a small step towards diversity back then  and today I am glad to say that there are several women and younger men on the committee, but back then there was only one delightful troublemaker amid the serious old school members.
The troublemaker was a character I used to blog about a lot in the early days of Going Gently , and that was the Red Faced Welsh Farmer.
The RFWF could be described thus
Think of the classic actor Robert Newton in full pirate voice aka Long John Silver but dressed in an ancient tweed hat, grubby tweed jacket and cardigan and driving an old red Land Rover, with the driver’s window forever open” 
He looked and sounded every inch a farmer pretending to be a pirate.

Now the RFWF was famous for his temper and his no nonsense approach to everything village based. If he liked you , he would bend over backward to help you in anything you asked of him and after a shaky start ( we had a row over a large blue water butt of all things) he proved a godsend when I needed an expert hand constructing my pig pens and eventually taking them to be slaughtered. 
But if he didn’t like you,( and he would be first to say that there were several on the then community council  committee he hated) he was a right old bugger and at every meeting amid the boring crap of building requests and road sign issues, he would challenge the group decision making with points of order, mischievous shenanigans, secret taping of discussions and challenges to the ineffective clerk who, I am sure had to take a Valium before each meeting in order to cope.
It was great fun watching him take the floor. Throw out his conspiracy theories and shout  and bellow over his deafness which made things even more complicated and much more entertaining.
I now realise that I adored the old pirate’s chutzpah and his devilment and his cunning and when he died, I wasn’t surprised that the huge marble church at Bodelwyddan was filled to standing room by hundreds of Welsh farmer types in their black funeral coats standing shoulder to shoulder.
They don’t make them like that anymore



Hitchcock & The Queen


I took part in a zoom lecture about Hitchcock’s spy films last night and in one discussion group 
had a lively debate about The Thirty Nine Steps 
One London lady was rather tired and emotional after a very bad day and ended up talking about the Queen’s 
We will meet again speech with a large glass of red in hand 
I’ve never seen 30 fixed smiles on zoom before
It was somewhat of a surreal evening

Off to work now....will miss the big gay quiz tonight as I won’t be back in time
Mavis is flying the Welsh flag 



 


Thursday, 18 February 2021

Bloody Lovely

 


This morning I thought it was time for a scotch egg.
Over the years I have worked very hard in designing a high flavour , lower calorie scotch egg the size of a large hand grenade.
I’m feeling rather altruistic today so I shall share my recipe. 

Lean pork mince ( enough to cover four large organic eggs which have been boiled for four minutes)
A bulb of garlic roasted 
Dry herbs
Paprika 2 tea spoons 
2 eggs beaten 
1 large packet of Panko*  breadcrumbs 

When the garlic cloves are still warm, squeeze out the insides which have the consistency of a paste and mix it with the pork mince, dry herbs, onion salt , pepper and paprika 
Don’t add onions if tempted as they make the scotch egg wet and breaks the pork ring.
Shell the eggs and wrap each one in the mince. Be generous and make sure the scotch egg is large , the size slightly bigger than a tennis ball.
Roll the scotch egg in the egg then press handfuls of the panko breadcrumbs into the meat.
Repeat the process and place of greased oven tray.
Roast at 200 degrees , until the egg is golden and Crispy

Serve one egg per meal with an apple salad coleslaw or low fat creme fraîche as the pork is a little dry

Enjoy!  

My four eggs will make four meals......
No real news today . I have my second covid vaccine appointment for next week.
Alfred Hitchcock lecture tonight on zoom 


* Panko are made from a crustless white bread that is processed into flakes and then dried. ... These breadcrumbs have a dryer and flakier consistency than regular breadcrumbs, and as a result they absorb less oil. Panko produces lighter and crunchier tasting fried food

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

The Goat In The Dark



 I adore that moment after work where the PPE comes off and you take the first proper breath out of 12 hours.
Tonight the night air was cool and moist and refreshing in the hospice car park
And in the spitting of raindrops I stood and said hello to a family group of mountain goats who had hunkered down for the evening on the grassy bank behind Bluebell 
I heard the other nurses and support workers leave, but I wasn’t in a huge hurry to follow them.
So I chatted to the nearest goat who watched me carefully through bored eyes until I grew damp and properly refreshed and my mask almost turned into blue mush

Ole Laya Loila

 I can’t wait to sing this at choir again 


I drove past my favourite cafe in Colwyn Bay early this morning on my way to work.
It was still dark
For weeks it has looked somewhat dilapidated and empty with whitewashed windows and an unkept sign proclaiming a simple “ Shut”
This morning the mismatched chairs and wooden tables were back in their untidy islands and the counter top swept clean in readiness for the stacks of coffee cups and plates stood neatly behind.
The whole place shrieked 
“ I’m ready....I’m ready post lockdown”
It made my heart sing just a little