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Thursday, 2 June 2016


I received a text message this morning and it changed my day. It was such a peasant surprise.

The Blood Transfusion Service wrote to me concerning my donation to them last week. Nothing unusual about the donation ~ I do it every three months and have been donating on and off for the last 50 years and done so well over 100 times.  The text message was to thank me for my donation and to inform me that my blood has been sent to Birmingham Children's Hospital, and that every donation counts.  

This is the first time I have had any feedback as to where my blood went and whom was/were the recipients, and I realise that it is illegal for them to provide any information other than in general terms. 

It gladdens my heart that in some way I have helped a little child, although of course I would greatly prefer that the child was not ill or in hospital in the first place.  

I am going to keep donating for as long as I am able.

If you feel you are able to donate please consider doing so . . a pint donated can save three lives and there is nothing more precious we can give someone than our own living blood and in a way breathe life into them.  Thank you. . . . :)

Saturday, 30 April 2016



I had Peter over again yesterday and his dad joined us in the afternoon because he was on holiday.  The weather was a bit disappointing so we stayed at home and entered the plane making profession.  We started designing and manufacturing aeroplanes using Duplo, one of Peter's favourite building toys, and competed vociferously for available building material. 

It appeared that young Peter thought he was the chief Quality Control Manager because he exacted very harsh and severe treatment to all our designs and smashed almost all the 'brain childs' of his dad and grandpa.  Very few of our creations were allowed their tests and maiden flights and destined for recycling.

He seemed to approve of the WW1 biplane, shown in the photograph, and it somehow survived all his belligerence, so he loaded two plastic passengers aboard.  He made a hasty take off to an unknown destination across the room, and caused his pilot to make a very rough and bumpy landing. His flight attendants lacked decorum when he ordered the passengers off the plane, shouting a loud, "Get out!" . . . lol. 

Tut tut, you'd never hear that from a British Airways or Virgin Atlantic crew.  Jonathan and I were in hysterics.    

In the photo the background shows our family 'rogues gallery' and in the foreground is my Freddie Flintstone coffee mug, which can be seen quite clearly.

The red table and chairs are over 30 years old and belonged to my daughter, Selina, when she was little. During the morning I was sewing my jeans in the next room and I heard a few noises and was amazed to see that Peter had moved the table, chair and heavy box of duplo all by himself near my chair.  I was summoned into the room by a "Grandpa, come . . . build bricks with me . . . now!"  . . . oh he is so impetuous . . lol

When they had gone home I had the bricks all to myself and proceeded to start building a very large jumbo jet . . . . lol

I must finish it and show him next time he comes.  I expect it's working life will be extremely short . . lol

Thursday, 28 April 2016


Two Henry's are better than one!

Peter, my little helper arrived this morning together with his vacuum cleaner, a fully working Henry, who was delighted to meet his big green brother . . they got on famously . . lol. The little red one has it's own batteries and really sucks up dust.

"Grandpa! me work big one . . . it works better . . you have mine!"

. . . and he then proceeded to clean under the table.

I had to have a little chuckle.

It reminded me of his wanting to help me cut the lawn a while ago, and wants to do everything himself.  

He always insists on emptying the grass clippings:

On Saturday his Mummy and Daddy bought him a playhouse and we have been busy painting it . . . hopefully we can get it assembled at the weekend.

We'll get him a little table and chair to go inside, and finish off the roof with some felt roof tiles.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016


3 years, darling.
Miss you so much!

Cherished memories of 40+ years together. Thank you.

Until we meet again, Maria . . . . . X

Tuesday, 22 March 2016


"Grandpa, Grandpa . . . stair rail broken . . . me fix, now!"
And with that my dear little grandson, Peter, fetched his tools . . . 

. . . . proceeded up the stairs . . . .

. . . .  and laid them carefully in a row when he reached the top.

The problem was well known to me. For as long as I can remember the top fixing bracket of the stair rail had come away from the wall and the rail was flapping about.  I had tried several times to repair it with larger fixings . . . to no avail, and I had always meant to do something more drastic to fix it.  So I thought no better time than the present, and we could make it into an interesting little project.

We had been watching Bob The Builder on TV and, being a favourite of Peter's, I quoted Bob, saying, "Can we fix it?" . . . and together we laughed and said, "Yes we can!"

I said we needed some stronger tools so I got my drill and drill bits and I asked Peter if he would like to unscrew the top stair rail bracket from the rail and from the wall, and without hesitation he did ~ no problem. He already had a good appreciation of screws, screw drivers and which direction to turn for screwing in and screwing out, so it came quite naturally for his 2.5 years.

It looks as though he is left handed like his mum and dad, but I am not so sure.  Anyhow, it took him a while but he got all five screws out and then we took the fixing bracket away and kept it safe with the screws.  The wall was very soft and crumbling so I cut out all the loose stuff and removed a lot of very soft and quite useless cement.  I got a large drill bit ready and fitted it into my electric drill and Peter passed it to me:

Fortunately we did not need anything as big as this . . . lol

 Peter was watching, wide eyed and taking it all in.

I drilled it out deeply ready for filling with a special paste which sets rock hard like concrete after 24 hours.

There was quite mess so I asked Peter to fetch the vacuum cleaner which was in my bedroom, just across the landing.  He brought the attachments and then pulled the hoover, unwound it and plugged it in then switched it on and then used the nozzle to clean out the holes  ~ all by himself.  Then he hoovered the stairs clean.

"Good boy, good job!"  He looked as proud as punch to be helping.  Then he switched the hoover off, switched off at the wall, unplugged it and wound in the cord again. He did it all in the right order.

I got the paste ready and worked it into the holes and said I would have to fill it in two or three goes because it was so deep.  He understood and said, looking at it, "Grandpa, wet, wet, don't touch!" . . . and then we went downstairs.

Two days later, after more filling and allowing to set rock hard, he came to help me again and we attached the bracket to the rail and piloted three new holes into the wall.  Then I drilled three new screw holes, knocked in the plastic fixings, and screwed the bracket firmly into the wall.

It has never been more secure ~ well done Peter.

I asked him if he was Bob the builder and he said, "No, Grandpa ~ you Bob!"  . . . bless him. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016


I had an interesting afternoon with my granddaughter, Rosa and her mama, my daughter, Selina.

It followed an interesting morning gardening at The Rectory, where I work one half day a week with my good friends Sue and Fran.

When I arrived at my daughter's house little Rosa was playing in her baby rocker, situated in the kitchen, while mummy baked some cakes for daddy's birthday tomorrow.

Little Rosa was in fine form and voice ~ we were singing nursery rhymes and she was laughing and screeching joining in ~ I have never seen her so chirpy.  She sat on my knee and we played for an age and a little later her mummy fed her and then said she wanted to do some more work in the kitchen, so I said I would take her out for a walk in her pram.  She loved it and obviously felt totally at ease with me because she was laughing and gurgling like there was no tomorrow.  I was out with her for an hour and whilst walking I stopped and took a photo.

Then she really started laughing. It was almost as though she was imagining her saying, "Grandpa! please make me a pram which goes as fast as the one in the video!"  lol 

Then she fell asleep and I kept walking.
When we returned home she awoke and I handed her to her daddy who had just returned home from work.  

It was time to say goodbye since I had some shopping to do, and I was quite amazed that when I said goodbye to her she extended her little arms all by herself for me to pick her up and give her a little cuddle.

Thursday, 3 March 2016


It is Thursday and I am with Grandpa for the day. We are entertaining two ladies this morning/afternoon ~ a little girl 6 months older than me and Nana Sue.

What is a boy to do while waiting to meet a young lady?
Blow bubbles of course. What a silly question.

Gosh Grandpa . . . what a beauty and it did not go pop straight away.

The door bell rang and so we go to the door and meet our visitors, Iris and Nana Sue.

It's not long before Grandpa gets out the cakes and makes the grown ups a cup of coffee.  Those cakes are yummy and Iris and I had two each and poor Grandpa and Nana Sue had just one. Of course in these photos I had already eaten mine.

Then it was play time. Grandpa 'wound us all up' (typical of him) and we chased around the house on my car and tricycle whilst being hotly pursued by a large Caterpillar. 

Grandpa managed to get just one action shot because we were going so fast and Nana Sue was pushing Iris.

The tricycle was my daddy's when he was a little boy and the caterpillar, which we call "Clatterpillar", was my Auntie Selina's, so it must be 30 years old at least.

Iris and I loved being chased by monsters (Grandpa and Nana Sue no less) and we shrieked and ran for cover.  

We both almost got the hang of riding the tricycle, but we need a bit more practice to get it right.

Things quietened down a bit and Grandpa let us play a duet on his piano.  

Later we changed sides so Iris could play the melody, while I played the bass line.

The time flew by so quickly and we noticed the weather was improving so we decided to visit a local farm where there are lots of animals to see, and then would have some lunch out.

Here am I with a sheep which lets you stroke it.

Iris wore a cow mask . . . 

We stayed around for a couple of hours, walking and seeing the animals but it was a bit muddy.

Then Iris started to cry and when we asked her what was wrong she said, "I want to go back to Peter's house and play monsters again!"

So off we went and continued our enjoyment for the afternoon and Iris loved playing with my toys. 

When it was time for them to go I gave Iris a little kiss and a hug. I hope I can see her again.