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Friday, 5 February 2016


Just a short update on the grandchildren.

I saw baby Rosa on Wednesday for the first time in 2 weeks and she has changed a lot during that time.  She took a little while before she got used to me again but quickly started smiling and laughing.  She is approaching 6 months.

She likes playing with silver kitchen foil because of the crinkly noise it makes ~ under supervision of course.   

She is doing very well but lets us know with severe determination when she wants a feed. 

For the last two days I have been looking after young Peter and he loves getting involved 'helping' with various projects like vacuum cleaning and washing up.  Don't they just love anything to do with water . . . :)

Something amused him no doubt on this snap.

He is playing with my screwdrivers again . . . :)

They moved into a three bedroom house recently and I have been helping them move over the last two weeks.  It is all done now and they are settling in well.  Peter loves his new home and much larger bedroom. They live very close to me, just up the road and round the corner.

Wishing you a very pleasant weekend.

Oh . . . . I should have described the foil item as a "survival blanket" which of course is harmless to babies . . . 

Thursday, 21 January 2016


I continue to look after Peter on Thursday and Friday and constantly strive for new things to gain his interest.

He was 2 in October. My, doesn't time fly?

As far as keeping him amused and providing an interest for the day, I have found that nothing is more effective than practical things, like making paper aeroplanes which fly and using tools and screwing two pieces of wood together.

I made this little woodwork project for him when he was here last week ~ he was fascinated watching me drilling and making pilot holes, and here is his new 'toy'. 

I am intending making a garden playhouse for the grandchildren in the summer and this simple joint is part of the design and will be used to screw the four sides together.

I gave him the correct screwdrivers, spanners and screws and boy was he as happy as a sand boy screwing and unscrewing ~ he already knew the correct way to tighten (clockwise) and to loosen (anti-clockwise) and for one so young he 'cottoned' on to it very quickly.  He knew from opening and closing his milk bottle lid when we always get his milk ready in his beaker each morning. He cottons on to things so fast and realises that threads work the same way universally. 

He stands on some steps and works over the kitchen sink. This seems his favourite spot and spends hours screwing and unscrewing . . lol and doing other projects and watching me draw pictures sometimes.  

Today I even introduced him to a ratchet screwdriver and he has almost mastered that as well. 

"Hey Grandpa! ~ these tools and wood are much better that any of my toys!"

"Hey Buster! . . . well done . . but what about the small screws?"

"Ok Grandpa . . . I'm just about to start them but first I want to make sure the little screwdriver does not fit the large screws!"

"Well done Mr Cool! or should I say Mr Hunky Enough! Where did you get those shades?"

Peter is coming again tomorrow. I shall have to dream up another project.  

I am so looking forward to the warmer weather when he can help me build some bird boxes and tables in the warmth and in the garden .  I am sure I can delegate some tasks to him by then.

Thursday, 24 December 2015


Christmas seems to come round so quickly these days, and here we are, another one is due in half an hour.  Time seems to be travelling much faster in recent years.

I hope Santa is well organised and his reindeer are all fuelled up with carrots.  Little Peter has left some out for them when they visit him, and there is a mince pie and a glass of sherry for Santa.  I'm not sure how Santa is going to gain access to their little flat because there is no chimney, but I am sure he has a contingency plan.  Santa must consume an enormous number of mince pies, numbering several million, during the course of his evening's work . . . and I hope he does not lose his driving licence after all those alcoholic drinks, and is able to fly in a straight line  . . . perhaps he should have said, "No! No! No!", and abstained.  He must have a continuous toilet problem in addition to having time to deliver all those presents in such a short time, getting stuck up chimneys and kissing Mummies under the mistletoe.

Well, it remains for me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and hope you have a very enjoyable Christmas holiday.  I did not have time to grow a beard so I used shaving cream, just in case you didn't notice.

I am enjoying my Christmas tree this year.  Thank you Peter for helping me put it up.  Perhaps in a couple of years Rosa may be able to help out as well.

Sunday, 6 December 2015


This Christmas is the first I'm able
To erect my tree upon a table.
I have not done this for two years
Without my wife ~ I want no tears.

This year I had my little boy
My grandson, Peter ~ so much joy.
At home he'd helped his Mum and Dad
To get their tree up at their pad.

I got to thinking it would be great
If we did it here without a wait
The tree was in boxes in the attic
And felt good about it ~ quite ecstatic. 

When Peter came to visit me
I said, "Will you help me with my tree?"
His little face broke into huge broad smiles
From ear to ear, and as wide as miles.

"Grandpa, tree, up in roof, you get it . . . get it,
Me help . . put up , me, me . . . . don't forget it!"
I got the ladder out and ascended
And got the boxes down, how splendid.

We got a little table ready
So tree would rest there, nice and steady.
We put the tree up together there
And found the lights, plus a new pair.

When we turned them on, as a test
His little face beamed, I was so blessed.
We put the lights onto the tree
He wanted to do it and said, "Me, me, me!"

We found the baubles waiting there
And Peter hung some up, without a care.
We added some nice Christmas things
A crib, angels and a bell which rings.

I think next year I'll delegate
And let him do it all . . . lol . . . bless him.

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


I have been under the weather lately with a sore throat, high temperature, bad cough and general 'yuckiness' ~ I am feeling a little better now but not quite right yet . . . 

This photo of Baby Rosa, received today, cheered me up.

She is a happy bunny these days and she smiles, squeals with delight and gurgles away very merrily.  All is well provided she gets enough feed and boy she is a hungry little thing.

She has more than doubled her weight.

I remember last year receiving a Christmas card from my daughter and son-in-law saying something like, "Happy Christmas Dad, love from Selina, Matt and ?"  I missed the significance of the '?' until Selina said, "Read it again, Dad!"

I jumped for joy.

Her Nana Sue, Matt's mother, was far more observant and she jumped for joy too, without any prompting.

Our lives are all the richer for having her and I can say I have never seen her mother happier in her whole life.  It is wonderful to see her like that.

Peter loves her to bits already.

I am having him to look after on Thursday and Friday and I am going to decorate the Christmas tree with him, which I know he will enjoy.  He helped his mum and dad at his house and as far as I can tell he has not knocked it over yet.  I have bought some new fairy lights for the occasion. 

This is the first time I have felt like putting the tree up since I lost Maria in April 2013.  Life is much easier now.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Autumn Leaves

I have been a little busy of late but managed to get a few shots of beautiful Autumn Leaves.  Reminds me of the song my daughter used to sing.

Two weeks ago I drove a party of elderly people from a nursing home to Slimbridge, a bird sanctuary founded by Sir Peter Scott in 1946.  He was the son of Captain Robert Falcon Scott who died of frostbite at the South Pole in 1912, beaten there by Amundsen who survived with his party.   

It was a delightful day at Slimbridge and all the residents and staff enjoyed their day out.  Sir Peter Scott's statue stands amongst them in this photo.

The Flamingos seem happy as always:

. . . .  . and a couple of shots with beautiful Autumn Leaves took my fancy:

When I returned back to the Residential Care Home, where my wife worked for 12 years, and owned by my very good friend Pat, she informed me that our priest was visiting the cemetery the next Monday with some parishioners to bless the graves and would I like Maria's blessed.  I attended and brought Peter with me since I was looking after him that day . . . so we blessed Maria's grave and I sprinkled some Holy Water. Bless you my darling.

Isn't it beautiful ~ nothing but the best for her.
There's a little room for a few words for me later . . . :) . .  . and at the foot shall read Reunited For Ever.

While we were there I asked the priest if he would bless my Great Grandfather's grave who died in 1905.  I found out and was shocked that he had committed suicide by hanging himself whilst at work.  He moved to the south west 60 years before we did from Liverpool and I found him whilst researching my family tree.  I found him on the 1901 census and was amazed to discover he lived in my home town. I found his house, his workplace where he was factory manager, and his grave and to my horror discovered through death certificates ordered that he AND his father had both taken their own lives, his father, John a few months before James was born.

I made a little wooden cross for him a few years ago and had an inscription plaque made.  In those days it was frowned on by the church for people to take their own lives and they were buried at the edge of the cemeteries in unmarked graves.  I had a few services said for them both and the priest gladly blessed his grave and said a powerful prayer for them both and this was all against a delightful carpet of autumn leaves beneath our feet and I sprinkled Holy Water on his grave.  Young Peter was there, James' Great Great Great Grandson.

For those interested this story about my Great Grandfather I wrote a post and it is a fascinating read ~ my second post I wrote.  It is eerie in places and full of incredible coincidences and I feel in some way I was meant to discover James and unearth the story and in some way set him free and I feel both he and his father are now fully at peace.  It is very strange also that Maria's and later my grave will be only 40 yards from James.  I might get a headstone made for him soon.  The full story is HERE 

It was Remembrance Sunday last Sunday and I remember those brave young men in all the wars who fought and lost their lives striving to make this a better place for us to live.  Thank you guys.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

Out Of The Darkness Comes Welcome Light

We, my family, were hoping for a ray of sunshine to chase away a dark cloud hanging over us, but yesterday a flood of light returned to our lives.

Many will know that my family has been blighted with cancer problems in recent years, and we have lost some much loved family members.

First, my dear wife Maria in April 2013 after a 16 year battle with breast cancer.

Then, six months later my daughter's father-in-law was struck down quickly with cancer of the oesophagus, six weeks after diagnosis.

Then my sister's husband, Harry, who passed away recently after his 15 year battle with prostate cancer.

My dear sister, Maggie May, at Nuts In May, also suffered two vicious cancer attacks, first in 2009 when a secondary cancer appeared like lightning and the primary was not evident anywhere so the oncology people did not know for certain what they were dealing with. Fortunately they picked the correct chemotherapy and that stopped it in it's tracks.  They did say without this treatment she would not have survived more than a few months and not seen her 70th birthday.  She enjoyed a short period of remission but it returned with vengeance in 2011 to her lower back and she had to undergo 30 blasts of radiotherapy.  Her and Harry seemed to be taking it in turns to undergo chemo and radiotherapies for their cancers.  

Maggie's treatment seemed to have done the trick and she has been in remission, or hopefully cancer free ever since. The doctors said the chances of a complete cure were very slim and checked her periodically.  Yet to everyone's surprise she remained cancer free and they regarded her somewhat as a walking miracle.

Then she had to undergo all the stress of Harry's illness which weighed very heavily on her physical health and recently she detected something was far from right with her and feared the return of cancer.  She could not get herself sorted out because she was too busy lovingly looking after Harry and visiting him in hospital, and latterly in a nursing home.  In addition to all this she had to battle with the medical authorities and the nursing home to make sure Harry received the best care possible.

After Harry's passing she had a consultation at the oncology centre and they detected something was wrong and ordered a CT scan and a biopsy. That was last week and we were sweating ever since, fearing the results which came at her consultation yesterday.  She was quite convinced the news would be bad and everyone was rather doubtful.

People have been praying for her all over the world ~ wonderful blogging friends of her's and mine, with one lady adding her on no fewer than three church prayer lists.

The consultation to discuss the results was yesterday and the news was better than any of us dared to imagine.  Maggie is completely clear of cancer and can resume a normal life, which she so deserves so much after losing her husband. 

The culprit is fibrous tissue about the size of a golf ball and a haematoma, both which can be completely cured, plus a hairline fracture of her pelvis which is healing well.  She must have got that during one of Harry's falls.

I want to thank everyone who prayed for her and for all your good wishes. I have lost too many friends and loved ones and now I still have my sister.

Please visit Maggie if you have the time ~ she has written a short post herself . . . HERE

Light indeed has returned to our family.