Weekly Photo Challenge: Symbol


I thought I would have a go at this. I’m not sure if it will work (fingers crossed I’ve got it right.)

I have been a fan of old British films for a long time now, and the first one I remember watching and enjoying was Brief Encounter. For those who don’t know the film, it is set in the Forties, when a suburban housewife and a doctor meet at a railway station and fall in love. Their love is doomed as both of them are from backgrounds that shunned extra marital affairs. The film starred Trevor Howard (real brother of Ashley Wilkes from Gone With The Wind) and Celia Johnson, and was written by Noel Coward.

The station where they meet is the station at Carnforth in the North West of England. K*** and I were having a few days break, and I wanted to see the place. It was a great few days away (a wedding anniversary actually, but don’t ask me which one) and the trip to Carnforth was one of the highlights.

I have a lot of photos from the trip, but this one is of the station tearoom, where the couple met and ultimately parted. The tearoom has been faithfully restored to the same as it was when Brief Encounter was filmed, and it was quite an unusual feeling to be sitting in the same room, effectively where two famous stars of the classical days of British film sat. I have tried to work out the actual position where we sat, in relation the film, but that was too difficult. A beautiful symbol of a bygone age that has been lost forever.

So now what ….


     Well it’s been over a month since my last post, and I really think I need to put ‘fingers to keyboard’ if you’ll excuse the paraphrase. I suppose my last posting was more of a rant than anything else, but I still cannot get over the price of postage from Hong Kong. I have had another ‘bargain’ from the web. I like writing with a fountain pen. I have a couple of Parker pens, you know, the ones with the arrow pocket clip, but I wanted one that used real ink. I bought one from eBay (not mention the price, but it was cheap) and decided that I wanted blue/black ink. It reminded me of my schooldays. A quick trip at lunchtime to that high street stationers with the common English name, left me lost for words. Well words that can be said in polite company anyway !! A standard bottle of Quink ink (only the best) came in at a staggering £7.98. Even their own brand was only 49p cheaper. I could hear the internet calling me.  I now have a bottle of the said blue/black ink, at the more reasonable price of  £3.97.

     Anyone sick of Comic Relief yet? I don’t have a problem with the idea behind the on going project of Comic Relief. No, the problem I have, is the celebrity hijacking of the concept. The clue is in the title …. Comic !!!! I think it should be, like they keep saying on the TV, ‘Do something funny for money"’, which is a brilliant tagline. So why do we see, every week, on the CR dancing program, a jumped up bunch of kids called One Direction. It appears that these nonentities have done a video,in Africa, where they visit various places, and stand around looking shocked and distraught at the poverty and desolation, before flying back to the UK, probably business class, to earn another £100k peddling their drivel that passes for music. I say, take the money that is spent on that trip, and use that to help the needy in Africa. If the BBC think that the tearful expressions on some  overpaid ‘boy band’ is likely to make me put my hand in my pocket …….

Here endeth the second rant !

    What else has pissed me off ?? Maybe for another day then.

     I would like to revisit, part of the first line of this post “….it’s been over a month since my last post….”. I am sat here, whiskey to the left of my keyboard, thinking, why is this? The conclusion I have come to is one of three things: inspiration, motivation and laziness! I could also add ‘timing’, but that is for another day. Basically, writing wise, I’m lazy. I sit at the computer, every night, from around 10pm and what do I do? I go on Facebook or Twitter. I read online newspapers. I read other peoples blogs. What I should be doing is writing!!! But then the motivation kicks in. “What is the point?” I will say to myself. “Very few people read my stuff!” So with no motivation, any inspiration I may have, get trampled before I start. I recently subscribed to a magazine dedicated to writing. I, even more recently, cancelled that subscription. It did nothing for me. No motivation, no inspiration, nothing. I have to say, my creative spirit is wavering at the moment.

     Now, on a completely different track …… I have started knitting again! I bet that shook you! I have been a knitter for about 45 years. Maybe a little longer. I started, when I became fascinated with knitted baby clothes, and their prices. My mother told me it was ten times cheaper to knit a matinee coat (remember them anyone??) than to buy one. So she showed me how to start and some very very basic stiches, and off I went. About a week later I showed off with a pair of blue, double knit mittens. Granted, they were different sizes, with no way of actually making them stay on baby’s hand (no ribbon to tie them on with, as I did learn how to make a hole until the following week) but still it was a great achievement.

     Since then, I have knitted many baby clothes, a large angora bat-wing jumper, a beautiful cable stitched Shetland cardigan and many more things. And now I have started again. It is all the fault of a new weekly magazine that has two balls of wool on the cover. I’m into magazine 6, but I think it will be the last one. At £4.50 a week it has become too expensive, but it has been good to revitalise an interest, that I was quite good at.

     Well, that’s it for now, but I hope to start blogging a bit more often from now.

After the Party … Leeds Festival 2011


Well it’s over for another year, and how do I feel about it this year. Mixed feelings really. I suppose the weather Leeds Festival Mudhad a lot to do with it. The continuous rain on Friday, left me feeling very depressed. Then there was the mud, which really made the weekend, very hard work. I know festivals are supposed to be wet and muddy, but ….

We did not camp after the Thursday night. S****’s tent got a quite a bit of water inside. One of the door flaps did not get closed properly, so the floor of the tent was quite wet. Some rain got under the roof vent on my tent and leaked a bit. We only live a couple of miles away, so it was as easy to go home to sleep. With the added benefit of a cooked breakfast.

On Saturday, they had the bright idea of laying straw on top of the mud !! I’m sure I read, that they used to make houses out of straw and mud !! The walking was a bit easier, but the mud had started to dry out and was very thick. Sunday was much dryer, in Seasick Stevefact it was very pleasant. We did get to see a number of bands, but never even went near the comedy tent. For me, the highlight of the whole weekend, was seeing Seasick Steve. A real experience, made even more so by the fact that before his second song, he brought on John Paul Jones, bass guitarist from Led Zeppelin !! Such a legend.

This was followed a bit later by Madness. I’m afraid, I did get a little carried away with Madness. I’ve always liked them, and when you’re in the middle of a large crowd, close to the front and wedged in, there is not a lot you can do. you just have to go with the flow. I paid for it later though. My legs were like lead weights for a couple of days !!!

All in all, I probably enjoyed it more than I think. Next year ?? Well I don’t think I/we will be camping this time!

Wednesday again … so soon


The hospital appointment went well. No waiting about much, which is one of the features of York District Hospital. That is probably why North Yorkshire NHS Trust is in such a bad way financially. 

My consultant does not seem worried about the progress of my condition. He did explain a bit more about the problem I have. It seems tYork District Hospitalhat the valve that is not working correctly, is in a part of the heart that is more difficult to repair. He explained that repairing this valve is not an operation that is usually done in Britain. so what we are looking at is a replacement valve. This also has its risks and downsides. A metal valve and life on Warfarin. But he did say that I am not at that stage yet, and that here is no point doing an operation when it is not yet needed.

My new works laptop is due any day now. I’ve not taken the old one out of the drawer since last Wednesday. There’s not much point really, as I think the battery has died. It did not seem to be charging when I last used it. I have taken the floppy drive out as there is no point throwing that away, when I may be able to use it somewhere else. It will fit the other laptop, if not my new one.

I emailed the tickets and poster off this evening. I just hope they are alright. It is difficult to know what someone wants, when you only hear the details second hand. I think they look quite good, but we will wait and see. I think I will offer to laminate some of the posters. They will look better, when they are attached to the street lamps.

I planted out my Dahlias on Monday. There is about 14 of them, and they look quite good. They have done a lot better than the Nasturtiums I planted. I have the strangest feeling that the compost was too good for them. I recall reading somewhere, that they grow better in poor soil. The leaf-beat has been a great success too. We have lots and lots of leaves, and managed to cook some on Sunday night, albeit not really enough to go round.

That old work colleague from my cooks days, that I contacted on Friends Reunited, sent me a ‘jokey’ email today. I get quite a few of them from various people (mainly Sue), but this was quite a useful one. I was just reading through the list of people that he had sent the mail to, when I spotted the email address of another old colleague who I would like to keep in touch with. We met up a few years ago, when his son was going to the same school that my son goes to. This may be just the step I need to find another old friend from those days, who I would dearly like to get in touch with. That would be really interesting. JT was the guy who got me interested in computers in the first place. I have trawled the internet, trying to find him, but to no avail. I will email RH tomorrow…fingers crossed.

Holiday …. all done


Well back to work tomorrow. In some respects, the week seems to have flown by. In others it dragged a little. The drive there was quite reasonable. It was all motorway, M1, M62, M60, M61, M6, M55 with a short distance on an a road at each end. I don’t mind the motorways. I don’t seem to get a frustrated on M roads. We only had one hold up. It lasted for about 40 minutes and was due to some kind of spillage on the M6. A couple of very stupid girls in the jam. Sat in the middle lane, music on full blast, bouncing up and down in their seats. Suddenly the passenger opened the car door and started dancing in the middle of the road. Stupid.

Weather was kind to us though, no rain to speaBlackpool Tower Circusk of until Friday, but quite windy. I caught a bit of sun on the the Thursday and Saturday. On Tuesday we did the walk from the lake at St Anne’s to Lytham which was nice. Wednesday saw us in the Blackpool Tower. We went to the circus, but it was not the youngest’s type of thing. He lasted an hour, which was not bad for him. It is not the same though. I was quite disappointed with the whole show. The clowns seemed to reply more on vocal humour than the slapstick. Mind you, no body can come close to Charlie Caroli, and I think was expecting too much. Thursday was a trip to Marton Mere. We saw the leaflet last time, but never got there. Interesting place. It seems it Marton Mere is a 10,000 year old lake. One of only two natural lakes in Lancashire, and it was remarkably clean and litter free, despite  being next to a caravan site.

Saturday, saw us back up at Lytham/St Annes again. A different walk this time, and a lot less windy. Here comes the rantLytham Windmill … I get sick of seeing dogs everywhere. I worked it out, every third person/couple/family had a dog or dogs. They all seem to be on extremely long leads, when they are on leads at all. I never remember seeing as many dogs when I was a kid. And talking of kids (rant part two), why are they so noisy these days. Always screaming, and out of control. not like when I was young……… showing signs of age now.

One annoying thing though. I like to walk through the Pleasure Beach at Blackpool. Very rarely go on any of the rides (too pricey these days), but I enjoy marvelling at the amazing The Big One attractions. Not any more …… there is now a £5.00 charge for people just to walk round. So that means, those who go with their kids, and look after the bags and prams, now have to pay for the privilege. An absolute disgrace, and I think may be a wrong move, as I think some people just won’t go.

Set off home on Sunday at around 10:00 (I like to get home early on the last day) and was home for 12:15. It could have been 11:30 if we had not stopped for coffee.

All my plants/seedlings were okay. Eldest had done quite well there. The house was okay, no problems there. Just one problem, but we talked it through, and I think he got the message.

Cue Elaine Paige…….


Reading this William Woodruff biog, has got me thinking of my own past. So I have decided to try and write about my earliest memories (see what I did with the title … Memories … Elaine Paige ??). I don’t know where I am going with this yet, but I will start with the house.

Number 15 Hill Top Mount, Leeds 8. No fancy postcodes in those days. Just a house number, a street name and a district number. It was just off Shepherds Lane, at the back of the Constitutional Club on Roundhay Road.

I’ll take you in. It’s funny, but I don’t remember going in through he front door much. Anyway, to the right of where the gate used to be, (pinched by ‘chumpers’ years before1) was the ‘privet’. A large hedge that hid the bay window at the front of the house. I don’t remember the front door really (this is going to be good, I think I’ve forgotten more than I can remember), although there was a small window above the door. I remember getting in that way one day, but I don’t know why.

Through the door and you entered the hall. About 10 maybe 12 feet down the hall, on the right hand side was the door to the ‘front room’, to which we may return later (depends how this goes). Next to that were the steps (only posh people called them ‘stairs’ in those days). In front of you then was the door to the kitchen.

As you went through this door, the first thing you noticed was , opposite you, was the back door. I never remember this door ever being shut !!! Even in winter, the door was always ajar.We now turn right. On the right hand side was the kitchen table and chairs. I think the table had a yellow Formica surface, with four chairs that had seats that matched the table. Just past that was the entrance to the cellars (no door here). At the end of the room, next to the cellar steps was a cupboard, that I think had all the ‘dry goods’. Next to this was the range. It was black. Painted I think, probably with black lead paint. We did not cook on this range, but the fire was always lit. This was where the water was heated in what was called ‘a back boiler’. To the left of this, in the corner was a large stone sink. I think there was a crockery cupboard above this. Along the back wall, was the kitchen window, and a large wooden work surface, where everything was done. I seem to remember this had drawers, where we kept things.

As I said, we did not cook on the range …… we had a gas cooker, at the top of the cellar steps. Literally at the top of the the steps. Mum used to stand on the top step to cook, with a 10/12 step staircase behind her. It would not be allowed to happen these days. Health and Safety would have had a fit. But in those days, there was no H & S telling you what was safe and what was not. You took care, or you got hurt .. end of story.

The kitchen always seemed to be huge. I remember that there was not a lot of other furniture in the room, except for a wicker nursing chair, and a paraffin heater.

Enough for now ……

1 NB for those who do not know, ‘chumpers’ were people that went ‘chumping’. That is, people who went pinching anything that was burnable, to put on the bonfire on bonfire night.