29 July 2018


This is a story of long ago, published in 2009, which illustrates my opinion of our wonderful police force.

Set the scene:

My son and I lived in a very large house, divided into two flats. My flat was on the ground floor, accessible by front and side doors. The side entrance was reached via an alleyway between houses, and through a gate that led to the yard.

As a single Mum I had to work. Arrangements were made for Jon before and after a school day but there were times when he was alone in the house. He was very young when this episode took place. In those days it wasn’t illegal to leave a child alone and I made sure people knew he was there and to look out for him, including the neighbour upstairs.

‘Never open the door to strangers.’ I warned. ‘Always ring the office to check it out.’

One day, the dreaded call was received.

Two men had entered the side gate and were knocking on the door.

Scared boy rang his Mum.

‘Okay,’ I said, trying for his sake to keep calm. ‘So what are they doing now?’

‘They’ve gone down the garden,’ said young son. 

The garden also provided access to the French doors in my lounge.


‘Don’t open the door,’ I said, trying not to scare my boy.

Leaving him holding on the phone, I went to the switchboard and rang the police on a different line. Told them a young child was alone in the house and two men were trying to get in. 

On our way, they said, after taking details of son’s name and age.

Went back to talk to my son … and learned that the police had already arrived. Yes, as quick as that. I could hear them calling to him through the door, telling him not to be afraid. I grabbed my coat and ran while switchboard colleague rang the neighbour.

Two men were apprehended.


They had entered my property to use the toilet.

How did they know it was there?

I didn’t have a milkman!

On arriving home, neighbour in the upstairs flat told me she had seen the men enter the outside toilet, situated further down the yard. She had a perfect view from her window. Apparently, the police arrived as they were coming out.
When things were settled I wrote to the General Manager of the Dairy to complain about the men taking such liberties. Had a nice letter back, was assured that steps had been taken to reprimand the culprits but that their excuse was taken as legitimate and they would not lose their jobs.


The mystery was solved.

I discovered that my cousin’s husband had taken a job as a milkman.

Near to my house, his colleague had skidded and fallen onto a broken bottle.

Gashed his thigh!

In order to see to the wound my relative called at my house for help. and, since no-one opened the door, they went to the outside toilet.

‘Well,’ said cousin’s husband, ‘he could hardly drop his trousers in the road.’

I asked why he didn’t tell me about it, but he said he felt such a fool. After the interview with the boss he couldn’t face my wrath as well.

So here’s the point of relating the story:

Our police didn’t waste time then and they don’t waste time now. No matter what people say, when we need help they never let us down.

28 July 2018


1.   I’ve changed my hairstyle. Fed-up having to set it every morning, I rebelled and went straight. It’s the norm now, isn’t it? Every female I see has long straight hair. I might be too old for the long but can carry off the straight. Funny how it makes me feel younger.

2.   Sad about England’s Football Team in the World Cup.

3.   Pleased about Wimbledon, even though I wasn’t rooting for anyone in particular.

4.   Tidied a box of bits and bobs. Amazing how many bits and bobs that still seem too important to chuck out.

5.   Charlie has a cute nose. I tell him daily that I love his little nose and he puts his head up so I can touch it.

6.   Early morning huskiness wears off as the day progresses. Wish it would wear off a bit earlier.

7.   I am not the only one who can’t understand women on TV. Their speech seems to have changed to low key, fast mumbles. The men are okay, though.

8.   What on earth has Google done to my email set-up? Without warning I have lost all saved mail. Having to adjust/learn three new systems is a pain.

9.   I had a thought for item No.9 but forgot it by the time I reached the computer.

10.  Found a new hairdresser who comes to the house. Only wanted a haircut but the saving of £35 compared to what I paid at a local salon plus taxi rides was more than welcome. 

26 July 2018

A Short Piece, by me

Boy and Girl

(by me)

Play as kids
Each one doing
as the other bids
Holding hands
Happy now
With this kiss
make the vow

No longer kids
Each one doing
as parent bids
Lays the law down
far too young
to settle down
raising young

in war torn state
love and tears
now separate
Shame on parent
who denied
the right to love
before bombs

23 July 2018


One headline amongst hundreds:
Middle aged man attacked, held on the ground and repeatedly stabbed.

Fortunately for those responsible for this terrible and worrying act he/she/they didn’t kill the man, therefore the guilty party, when found, will escape the death penalty …. or they would if there was one. I have said it before and am saying it again.

That’s just one ‘incident’. I have given up trying to count the vast amount of murders there are each day.

Murder is a crime, therefore it should be treated as one, not as something to play out by far too many people.

I can’t bear to read about children being slaughtered by their own parents. Is this normal? Why the hell are we English tolerating such behaviour?

Steps have got to be taken to stop the violence that is going on in my country. I know some folk are against the death penalty. I remember it well but throughout my childhood I only heard of a young soldier who was hung for murdering a girl on local parkland. I remember thinking that it served him right for taking another’s life. Now it is common to take lives and get away with it.

Okay, there’s always a prison term. Have you ever been inside a prison? Well, In my various jobs with Probation Service and Police CID, I learned that prisoners had it rough. They deserved punishment. Not so now. Putting people in prison is no good, not now they have it so good.

I heard the other day that prisoners might soon be allowed to have sex! A week in the stocks would be a better idea.

Punishment should be extreme. Killing a guy/woman/child should qualify the perpetrator for the same. I think they call that ‘an eye for an eye’. Why let him live when a loved one has been slaughtered?

I remember the days when hanging was in fashion. The prisoner didn’t suffer, at least the powers that be made sure that there was no pain. It didn’t happen often, only in extreme cases. But you rarely heard about a murder in those days. Why? Because hanging was a deterrent.

Sad to say - we have become soft in our dealings with murderers. Some will say that we would be treating like with like. But…. It WAS a deterrent and that is what we need now.  Maybe if it was brought back our teenagers would go back to playing football instead of walking the streets armed and ready to kill.

Finally, to prove my point that there are people out there who deserve to be shot.

Three year old boy, out shopping with mother, 
victim of acid attack, injuring body and face. 4 men arrested.

I ask again, what the hell is going on in this world and why should we tolerate such appalling behaviour?

20 July 2018


Have I mentioned Charlie lately? Answers on a postcard, please. Ooops, don’t got carried away.

The fight for the rocking chair has developed into a minor war. A normally placid cat when at home (I can’t say what he’s like outside) he is beginning to state his claim on MY chair.

I use the chair at certain times of the day and the sofa at certain times. Depending on what I want to do whilst sitting down. One chair is for TV viewing, the other for complete relaxation. I am definitely one to abide by rituals and, evidently, so is the cat. I told him this morning that I only use the rocking chair three times a day and he should respect that. (1) take breakfast sitting in the chair, (2) eating dinner off a tray sitting in the chair), and (3) all evening sitting in the chair. The alternative is to eat dinner at table!

This all came about when I disposed of the dining room table and rather than walk into another room, where there is a dining room table (country cottage design, which I love). I could sit with tray on lap and feast my eyes on activities in the garden (birds, squirrels, foxes) and then I would be in the sitting position that suits me best for watching TV.

Why not use the dining room table, I hear you ask!

Well the answer is that I have been taken over by laziness. You’ve no doubt come across it on occasions. It was late getting to me. It had to wait until laziness took hold of my brain and body. Having to set up table, carry in crocks as well as lunch was harder than flopping in a chair with a plate of goodies and telly to watch. So, no thanks to Charlie, I am back in the dining room where I can watch cars go by and maybe one or two neighbours. Okay, I got the cars right, but neighbours? Seldom see any activity in that area. They’re probably eating lunch or watching TV. None have cats so their home is their own.

Today, I got sneaky. I had lunch in the dining room and when finished I noticed that Charlie, bless him, was nowhere to be seen. My guess was that he was out sunbathing. As I still had washing up to do I devised a plan. I piled everything to hand on the rocking chair. I’ll show the selfish creature who’s boss. 

17 July 2018


(another photo courtesy of the photo store)

Surprise, surprise. Young Luke (a helpful young man who does this and that to earn a few pennies) made a discovery. In an attempt to tidy the back garden, the bit near the house that has lots of cotoneaster, plus ivy growing where it shouldn’t. It’s been growing where it shouldn’t since my Joe did the gardening. It looked quite attractive but when the ivy threatened to take over I set Luke to work on it.

It transpired that the two plants mentioned had completely taken over what seems to have been a flower bed. Neither Joe nor I knew it was there. Presumably the previous owners had created a bed for flowers and surrounded the whole with house bricks. I must be going back a long time because we moved in about thirty years ago and the cotoneaster was well established then. I don’t recall ever seeing a flower bed so the cotoneaster must have been very busy before we arrived.   

Someone has their work cut out to make it look presentable again.

14 July 2018


I am still having a good clear out, sorting this, removing that, and destroying the rest. Most of my Women's Institute papers have either been moved elsewhere  or destroyed. Today, I  came across this oldie which circled round the WI for many years. 


There is nothing the matter with me,
I am as healthy as can be.
I have arthritis in both my knees
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak, and my blood is thin
But I’m awfully well for the shape I’m in.
Old age is golden, I’ve heard it said
But sometimes I wonder as I get into bed.
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,
My eyes on the table until I wake up.
Is there anything else I could lay on the shelf?
How do I know that my youth is all spent?
Well, my get up and go has got up and went.
But I don’t really mind when I think with a grin
Of all the grand places my ‘getup’ has been.
I get up in the morning, and dust off my wits.
Then pick up the paper and read the ‘obits’.
If my name is still missing , I know I’m not dead
So I have a good breakfast and go back to bed.
The moral is this, as this tale I unfold,
That for you and me who are now growing old
T’is better to say “I’m fine” with a grin
Than to let them all know the real shape you’re in.

08 July 2018


1.   Rubbish! We have a good collection system. One week it’s garden stuff, another week it’s household waste. And I never lift a finger, except to fill the bins. I used to print off the date schedules for collection but now I just look out of the window to see which bins the neighbours have put out. It doesn’t matter which date it is, since I have what they call assisted collection. One of the pleasures of old age!

2.   People complain about the state of the roads which, when I drove a car, I always found to be okay. They should try using a scooter on pavements! Workmen do good jobs filling holes they made, but when there are several (by several I mean lots and lots) they should get together and make sure the surface is flat and even. Sometimes I have to drive over so many it’s like being on a switchback.... scary!

3.   Found a gardener!

4.   Isn’t it a waste of energy when you rush into another room to do something only to find you can’t remember what it was you rushed for?

5.   New visitor on lawn: a young fox. As I write he is surrounded by three magpies and an audience of two, e.g. Charlie and me. Foxie made out he was sleeping, leastways he lay for a long time with his eyes shut. Cunning or what? We left him in peace.

6.   Just booked another grocery delivery. Maybe this time I will have remembered everything, unlike the past few weeks when I had to add an item to my on-line order.

7.   Late June/early July and a heat wave in the UK. Definitely worth recording since we were still cold when we should have been boiling hot for most of June. Not to worry, we’re told it will all end next week. Now where did I put that woolly jumper…

8.   I am now the proud possessor of a water meter which should reduce yearly payments by about £200. Also got a refund! Not sure why my late husband didn’t want one.

9.   A wet flannel was always used to help cool down during summer months. That was years ago which proves what lousy summers we’ve been having. Until now!

10. Gave up having milk delivered. Got fed up looking for change to pay and having to wait for milkman to knock the door when I should have been out and about. Neighbours have milk delivered and the roundsman makes enough noise to wake the dead. Three o’clock in the morning! On a Friday, he can be heard shuffling empty bottles and cranking crates. Why Friday? That’s when he gets his money. Neighbours put it in a special hiding place so why does he need to wake the entire neighbourhood?

04 July 2018

The W.I.

This was my badge

As you all know I was a dedicated member of the Women’s Institute but it always comes as a shock to find the WI mentioned in novels. I don’t know why it should be a shock, after all we’ve been around for almost a century and we do exist in all walks of life. 

I recently read a detective story by Peter Robinson concerning an investigation into the identity of a skeleton. Examination of the bones revealed that it was female and that she was murdered.

The search for answers led the detective to a woman who once lived in the area and who knew the suspected identity of the long time deceased. It seems the victim was a girl who flaunted her assets at all and sundry.

In conversation with the detective inspector the woman revealed how she herself, being a year older and a woman of the church, vehemently advised the victim to adopt a healthier lifestyle, join a club, maybe mix with a better class of people. The conversation went like this…. and I quote from Peter Robinson’s book In A Dry Season:
  • Inspector: Do you know if she had any enemies?
  • Woman: Not what you’d call enemies. Nobody who would do what you have just described. Many people, like myself, disapproved of her. But that’s quite a different thing. One would hardly murder a person for not joining the Women’s Institute.

Oh, I don’t know! Think of the rise in membership if women were threatened with certain death if they didn’t join.