Saturday, 10 June 2023

Keyboard Warriors

It’s still very warm and dry.
The field grass is tinged with yellow and the roses in the front garden are fully in bloom.
Around six  we had the threat of a storm  but nothing moved past the rumble of thunder until almost seven when it rained without lightening. 
The thunder grumbled on until almost 8pm

I’m watching Barry Manilow at the BBC 

I’m doing another overtime shift tomorrow afternoon.
All monies are going to my counselling fund.

I’d like to think that blogger is frequented by older internet users.
People that have learned to play nice for the most part.
As we all know that’s not always the case. 
Earlier someone complained there were too many videos posted on Going Gently …fair point , but felt the need to add a petulant and negative so I didn’t watch any

Most bloggers I have physically met have proved to be delightful characters. Indeed only a couple of weeks ago, I met up with Libby and had a lovely time, over a gin and tonic, mutually shared information from the written word expanded into the verbal where it becomes real and tactile.
I’ve had friendships with bloggers which  have proved disappointing and I’m now a firm believer that much of this kind of phenomenon is an example of Over familiarity breeds contempt .

Blog friends often turn up daily, feel that they know you and in extreme cases feel that they can say anything to you that in real life they would never say to the face of an enemy let alone a friend.
A little while ago a commentator informed me that I disgusted them. Then they used personal insults to support a view they neither had personal  experience of  or practical facts about. 
It’s a common phenomenon seen with online interactions , akin to road rage.

Another blog follower once referred to me in a comment with such venom and rudeness that I was shocked to my core. At 60 I think I’ve had a good 55 years experience of making friends and during that time had never been spoken to in such a way. 
I cut all contact there and then.
I would not let my best friends talk to me like that, let alone someone who had never met me

Without the nuances, parameters and reality of physically meeting up, proper friendships on line I feel are rare.
Which is sad, as is the bile which is unleashed from faceless and angry people 
Keyboard warriors 
Fuck em

Halle Bailey - 'Part Of Your World'

It has amused me that this iconic scene has been hijacked by hundreds of women and gay men and been reenacted all over the world.


All great fun 
I’m hydrating at home today. It’s hot here and we’ve not seen rain in weeks.
The lawn is started to yellow in the sun and I got dehydrated yesterday which allowed my bladder to play up. 
An extra antibiotic and fluids by the bucketload have almost sorted me out, but I’ve had to cancel lunch with my friend Colin in Chester this afternoon which is a bummer. 
We are off to Venice in just under a week.

The neighbour popped in to give me some of her sweet peas which I’ve put in my fox vase 

Friday, 9 June 2023

Fatty and Big Guy

 When you walk dogs, your mind wanders.
I never chatter to them like some people do. 
We walk in silence 
Talking is only for brief orders 
Dogs know where they are if things are kept simple.

I thought about Fatty this morning.
Fatty was the hero in one of my Grandmother’s stories and the only story which featured her as a very young woman. At 16 she worked in a warehouse in Liverpool which stored animal feed and somehow had become isolated on one of the upper floors when there was a blackout.
My grandmother loved this story as it had every element of suspense . 
A young girl trapped in a dark factory, 
Rats running along the floor over her feet and an open winch door five stories above the street only inches away. 
But my grandmother added her usual comic flourish and that was her manager Fatty who came to her rescue after being called time and time again and who kept replying by shouting “ I’m coming !  fatty’s coming! “ 
As a child I would be crying with laughter when Fatty came to her rescue 
It was a good story, and one always well told and I was glad I remembered it this morning.

Sometimes , all it takes is a short phrase or a few words to wizz you back to a moment when you were important in a stranger’s life. 
Moments like these can be rare.
But they flash forward into consciousness like miniature shoals of fish do when they swim past you in the sea. 
I was drinking coffee in The Flat White Cafe with a friend the other day when a family of a dad and two older kids walked in to find seats. The dad had a kind face and he looked at me and immediately smiled 

“ Hello Big Guy” he said warmly and suddenly his hands were on my shoulders patting me like a long lost relative 
“Big guy “told me the lost context and I suddenly knew who he was.
He was the husband of a patient I nursed four years ago and “ Big Guy “ was how they always referred to me when we met over drugs, and district nurse visits and talks about symptoms and needs and worries.

We chatted briefly. 
Polite hellos and updates on the kids and him followed  and minutes later they were sat at their own table ordering cakes and tea whilst I ate mine. 

And twenty or so minutes later my friend and I stood to go
As we did , I waved a slightly awkward goodbye to the man and his family , all of whom waved back
The husband nodded his head and mouthed a silent  “Thank you” as I turned to leave

And I tipped my chin in receipt 

I’ve lost another 2 lbs this week, 
It’s a slow work in progress
But I still feel a bit of a big guy
Still a bit of a fatty

Thursday, 8 June 2023


Lazy morning
Coffee, breakfast and online newspaper .
I’m doing an extra overtime shift later at work
I can recommend this low calorie breakfast wrap

 Left over sushi rice and beans flavoured with rice wine
Two large table spoons of 0% yogurt,
Mix with one avocado 
Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper 
Add fresh coriander
Wrap in low calorie tortilla wrap

Wednesday, 7 June 2023

Wash Day

 It’s nearly 2.30 pm 
Time for writing and then a siesta 
I’ve been on the go since 8 am
Today’s blog is a chatty one, 
Nothing heavy, emotional or arch,
Just observations of a day of jobs.

First chore was dog showering.
This is the most onerous 
For it entails a certain amount of bulldog wrestling.
Now no matter how nonchalant I act Dorothy always knows what’s coming and for a solid and heavy bitch she can hide herself in the most surprising of places. This morning she managed to get into the lowest shelf of the bedroom bookshelf and I was sure she was holding her breath as I scanned the room for her. 
Dorothy hates showers.
Now that’s not entirely true as she hates getting wet and being washed but when I have to get the Fanny cloth out to give her tuppence the once over, she gently warms to the theme of the experience and embraces it totally. 
It’s just the thought of the shower she detests.
Now the Welsh love a hot shower. They would have one everyday if I left the shower door open. Their only negative is afterwards both will career around the cottage like loons, wetting bedclothes and furnishings in their wakes.
Today I didn’t mind as all the washing was done. Bedspreads, duvet cases, pillowcases and towels. All washed and hung on bushes, walls and the field gate to dry.

The ancient floorboards in my bedroom were swept and washed and left to dry, and I washed the carpet in the living room free of wet paw prints and doggy smells.
Underwear hung on the garden chairs

I cook linguine for lunch with a tiny bit of olive oil and Parmesan and drank tea as the mokka pot is soaking in the sink.
Then I water the patio planters by hand ( there are 47) and then the front garden basket and pots and lay the spare bed duvet on the front lawn to dry.
The cottage smells of detergent and honeysuckle 
The honeysuckle flowers have bloomed overnight around the front door 

And smell glorious .
Time for a kip in the armchair.

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?