- A retired Engineer, ex-Army and ICI, alone since my wife Joan died a year ago.My main likes are Local History, Gardening, Reading, and keeping my brain active with any kind of puzzle or Suduko.
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Today at 10:01
Morning all and thank you for the thoughts. Daughters and I looked at photo's, talked, though it never gets any easier. Norton Church Cemetery is a mass of Snowdrops.
Awoke from a broken sleep to sunshine and blue sky, it is definitely warmer, no damage from the high winds last night though did hear a few bumps in the night, probably went straight down the hill what ever it was.
Thank you all Frank.
Yesterday at 09:35
Bright Sunshine here in Stockton, it is lighting the whole house up the garden is steaming, we have a warm though stiff breeze as well. Hold your arms out here Verdun and the wind will carry you to Russia.
It is not brightening my mood, exactly six years ago to the minute when Joan passed away, My daughters and I will be having hugs later today.
2 days ago at 16:18
How big is the lawn? The best way is get a couple of bags of Washed Sand, plus a bag of compost and mix what you need to use after aerating the lawn. It also depends on what you use for aerating, a garden fork pushed in will take the sand and compost mix. Some hire machines have hollow tines which remove a divot that would take your grit and compost mix providing it is grit and not pea gravel. use a good hard broom for sweeping the mix into the holes, you may need sweep it over a couple of times to get it all down. Good luck.
2 days ago at 16:01
Topbird, Most children of school age helped out on farms or smallholdings, the holiday coincided with Hay making and Harvest, we got two weeks in September October to do the Potato and Root vegetable picking, To many it was a chore, the scrabbler drawn by Tractor or more usually Horses turn the root or potato's up and then you walked the rows with creels bending and picking the Potato's a two wheeled heavy cart called a Rully would come along the rows and you emptied your creel into the cart, you were glad to straighten your back to take the creel to the cart. We went to school as normal, busses then ran us out to the Farms and we would be among some of the locals mainly women who would pick on any lad shirking or missing too many potato's, it would very often be cold so we wrapped up, we would get a tea break always welcome and the farmers wife would bring sandwiches cake and tea to the barn for lunch, usually better food than some of the pickers normally saw. We then got back on the bus and back to school to be signed off, we got paid I think it was two shillings a day which to us was a lot of money, fish and chips were sixpence the Cinema or Dance one Shilling, tea and bun in the interval would be three pence or free if I gave the girl on the counter a dance, I never paid.
On my Uncles Farm I got to drive the Rully or the Hay Wain which ever we were doing at the time and in later years the Fordson Tractor, once I got it going, that big starting handle was lethal, it hated me. I loved the farm work or working with our own animals not all Town Kids did, manure mud smells, it was all part of the countryside we were used to it, hard luck on those who were not.
2 days ago at 14:28
We always grew a field of Turnips mainly for animal food in winter, we would lift and store them by hand. You grabbed the top shook the muck off and with a short sickle (curved knife) snagged the leafy top and root off. We would lift some and leave some unless it was too wet then we would lift the lot, it was water rotted them not the frost. We would prepare them for the animals by dropping them in a big hand operated machine that diced them then mixed with some grain feed them to the animals in the barns.
The funny part is I did enjoy the Troopships The first one the Empress of Scotland was a liner, we were last on so got a top deck with Bunks sixteen to a mess deck in which we slept and ate, the bunks folded to the wall and Mess tables and long benches dropped down, the food was collected Navy style in containers and shared out between 8 men per mess table, it was good filling food and plenty of it.
We took some of the first married families out to the middle east and beyond, I could not take my Accordion so took a Harmonica, we formed a band and entertained the lads and lasses, we had some right good knees up sessions. Getting the bunks down one night there was an announcement, "Any one who can dance will be welcome in the main Salon there are ladies here short of partners. Yup heard that one before we will end up moving pianos or something. Twice more the Tannoy called and we took no notice, that was officer territory we did not mix. The SSM came into the mess you get your uniform on you can dance and get up there, he managed to get four of us and what a shock we got, ATS WAAF WRENS and WVS plus Married women going out to meet their husbands, I knew about them having been put on Guard to keep the men off their deck, I had given up when it turned out to be the opposite. Friendships were made Dance partners lined up, we had four dance nights to a live band from the Crew, it turned into a good time for us young unattached lads. Was on quite a few different ships round the Med and back home then the Ferries to Germany Holland and Belgium, we did a lot of crossings, the trips into and out of Hamburg were always the best for food and entertainment.
Daughter and Hubby do Dance cruises, costs them a fortune in evening wear Pamela says you cannot wear the same dress twice??? why not my underwear lasts a years then i wash it whether it needs it or not.
2 days ago at 12:38
Fidget, saw that programme and it brought back memories. Mother my Sister and Myself spent a week at Saltburn every year, we had a small holding with animals so Dad stayed home. We had a small car Ford 8 all our gear would be loaded and off we went, long distance then, less than half an hour now. We would be in a B&B the old style, Breakfast dead on 08:30 Tea at five o clock. Saltburn pre-war was a lovely place Italian sunken Gardens, Cliff lift to the beach, a lovely pier and a miniature rail way running up and down the valley, always a brilliant week We even managed to get the last holiday in 1939 just before war was declared, after that all our beaches were mined wired and had blockhouses built.
From then on Holidays were on Uncle Arthurs farm, working but to a lad great fun, Hay Making, Harvest, Tattie picking and Turnip snagging besides all the work with the animals, holidays for all of us in war time and long after would be a day cycling to a country village and back with a couple of sandwiches and bottle of water. To lads and lasses of my age who seemed to have freedoms modern children do not have, we were free to roam, find fruit to pick down wandering country lanes where hedges would have Apples Pears and Plums as well as berries to pick and eat at will, always taking some home for pies or jam even though we had orchards, war raging round us but we seemed to be carefree, Gerry had already had one go at me and missed by a few hundred yards, you got that "to hell" feeling life can be cut short enjoy it whilst you can.
My own family long after the war and often others in the family had two weeks holiday somewhere every year without fail, they still talk about those times, it was always for them but Joan and I would usually find somewhere to dance, that was our part of those holidays. My Daughter is going on another cruise wanted me to go, no thanks done that, we called them troopships.
3 days ago at 10:02
Morning all busy cleaning up for my cleaning Lady coming to clean up, cannot have her walking into a left over weekend party can we.
Fairygirl Exceptional Daughter, well that is what Wonky thinks, I told you all girls of five did double digging in pouring rain while Dad sat in the greenhouse. Rooting out tree roots was normal for ten year olds without using the winch on the tractor. The best one was when you asked for a doll I said you will have to earn it never expecting you to go play the bagpipes in the Town Square whilst our Westie did the Highland Fling on a box. The only mistake you made was hitting Nessy over the head with your hockey stick when she tried to nick the Salmon you caught, no one has seen her since, very bad for the tourist trade. Keep sending the Water of life, "oh" and some thermals for under my Kilt, the cat is beginning to protest when I shove him up there to keep the essentials warm.
You are a Daughter any Dad would be proud of as I am proud of all my Daughters, had to be i was outnumbered, keep going girl way too early to retire.
20 Feb 2017 19:27
Wonkey, I honestly feel sorry for your particular generation, you missed out when the economy suddenly went pear shaped. We had gone through the war and the austerity after, our parents had the struggle of getting me through school until 16, the most we could hope for, university was what Southeners did. We had to learn money management the hard way, it also gave us the urge to better yourself, Dad would tell me no one owed me a living, if you get a days pay do a days work and my wife Joan worked at her school for twenty odd years, she handled the money very well, in time we fulfilled most of our wishes, you will never complete the bucket list we did have fun trying. We did help our children and they paid us back, they are comfortably settled, now the grandchildren need help and I do not expect a return, they work to stand still. Although they appear to have it all, they do not, what to us were luxeries are things they must have or fall off the cliff. It is hard for me to watch, we were programmed for a hard life they are not, they will not always accept help saying they will cut down on something, I love them for that attitude.
20 Feb 2017 14:19
GWRS I remember getting Mortgage relief on the first house. Local rents were around £8 a month Joan and I signed mortgage papers for £13/10/0 a month then got tax relief bringing it down to £11/10/0 a month. It seemed like a millstone round the neck at first but one year later the local rents had gone up to £10 a month. Fair enough that had the rates cost in it but we had to pay rates. For the princely sum of £3,300 we got a four bedroom house that sold later for £22,000 setting us up for what I have today.
One of my Granddaughters who bought a flat with the new Government Scheme for people starting on the housing ladder with help to get the initial down payment is now stuck until the scheme runs out. She also pays some off her Student loan each month only the interest on the loan comes to more than she pays so the debt increases, madness. Of course we had it hard, hard work by both Joan and I pulled us up by the boot straps, we gave our children a good head start and they all did well having got the work ethic from Joan and I. Watching a young man being interviewed for a job on a TV programme I nearly fell off my chair when on being asked what his expectations were he said a job at £35,000 a year would start him off nicely. He is in for a shock the quick snack places are full of graduates working there because they cannot get the work they trained for. I would not like to be starting it all now, a mad mad world.
20 Feb 2017 10:29
Dove yes in many ways we have made things better, in some ways worse, talking to my Granddaughters both in good jobs with steady salary yet neither get what I get sitting here doing nothing,(well not quite doing nothing). We could see our way to good pensions they cannot, we could save for the future with decent interest rates on savings they cannot, we could in time afford a Mortgage they cannot. Bank of Mum and Dad is now bank of Grandparents as well, I have and do back my grandchildren to help them move forward otherwise they would be going backwards. OK so I can afford it although it took hard work over a long period to get there, the point being no matter how hard they work at the moment they cannot do the things we did.
As to Politics with idiots in Government who sent our troops gaily off to war to boost their own ego's well I remember the Middle East we left absolute chaos then did it again in 1956 not learning that interfering in other peoples politics never works. In some ways a big improvement other ways rubbish.
On my History Board some hanker after the old tin bath era forgetting or in most cases never knowing what those days were really like, our politicians seem to hanker after Empire not knowing what that was really like. To me the World does not appear safer than during the cold war, we who were there know how close that came.
20 Feb 2017 09:52
Thank you all for the birthday good wishes, it does really give you a lift. A real family day with the house overflowing. I was in my chair Grandson one side sitting on the arm Granddaughter t'other side and nearly nine month old Great Grandson on my knee holding court, he knows who is centre of attention. I was thinking this is what it is all about, we had our chance to make this a wonderful world and failed now it is their world.
My cake complete with fire brigade in attendance was one of those things you lot post on here "imagines" imojians, Mojo's, what ever it was nice.
19 Feb 2017 11:01
Thank you all for the good wishes, I am having a sit and cup of tea before the riot starts. I keep reaching 21 but it is over and over a bit like Ground Hog Day.
19 Feb 2017 10:56
Fairyirl Daughter watch it you are still young enough to go over my knee and be spanked, 99 indeed, that is what I put in my Mr Whippy.
Thank you all for those lovely wishes and cakes, this is a spell of peace with a cup of tea before they all land.
Last edited: 19 February 2017 10:56:55
19 Feb 2017 09:51
What Happened? Went to sleep as normal last night counting Dinosaurs woke up this morning and found i was a full year older, how does that happen. Looked in the mirror hair the normal Ash Blonde my Daughters call it white? the usual number of creases on my face, Humour lines I say Daughters call them wrinkles has the world gone mad.
Lovely Granddaughters came yesterday and did lunch, today all of them are coming to lunch, thank goodness i do not have to cook it.
May be absent for a day or so, I have other memories this week, they never go away.
17 Feb 2017 23:36
Clare Your greenhouse supplier will also sell Aluminium staging (the name of the benches in the greenhouse) they come flat pack you bolt them together and they are the right height, fit them on the side opposite the one the sun shines in. You can have a little part for potting if you wish though it takes up room where you could put plants, I have a potting bench in the garage but light enough to drag out into the sunshine if we get any.
You will need heat in Winter if you wish to grow things, usually we just store plants that need protection although I do have a Frost Guard electric fan heater it rarely kicks in.
Get your G/house up and ready then we will make a plan of what to grow and when, there is no rush end of March is the start of most planting and seed sowing.
17 Feb 2017 14:56
My Generation have vivid memories of the Concentration camp tattoos plus the nazi party ones as well, not a good picture and i was never enticed to have one done as some Squaddies did in Alexandria and Port Said usually drunk out of their minds. If we were intended to have body embellishments we would be born with them. Just my opinion of course.
17 Feb 2017 14:41
My Daughter has had two, built one painted it then moved so had to buy another and do it all again. Special timber paint can be bought from B&Q plus undercoat, daughter said it took two undercoats and three top coats, you can get any colour you need at the paint mix area. Do not do it in this weather wait for the warmer drier times and make sure the wood is perfectly dry. They put good Lino down on the floor for easy cleaning, lights and a small heater (electric) finished it off the children play in it winter and summer. Go on line to one of the suppliers of the cabins they usually have advice on painting. Hope this helps.
17 Feb 2017 12:02
Lissa, I am with Busy Lizzie, starting too early does not produce the best plants, it also depends on where you live, the South of the Watford gap will be two weeks ahead of us in the NE, we start things in March and can still have frost into May. Light is also essential plants grow leggy with too much heat and not enough light, growing seedlings on a window ledge needs a reflector either tinfoil or white board behind and still turn the plants daily. The cost of buying and running special lighting to my mind would not pay just to gain probably a week, we sow late but still get the length of growing season anyway, is it worth it.
17 Feb 2017 10:52
Posy, think of the taste, a Tesco cabbage has been massed produced wrapped transported stored and then delivered to each shop. Everything grown starts to lose goodness from the second you lift or cut it, the Farm shop cabbage will have had a quick shower after being picked probably that morning, have a few holes in the leaves but the taste is beyond any Tesco produce. Fair enough the Super Market are cheaper easier and no holes in the leaves plus not everyone lives near a farm shop. Foxes are five minutes from us a market garden who had stalls in Stockton Market for many years. I use it because i am sick of looking at cabbage and lettuce with the stalks black with age and no taste. If you blanche and freeze the left over cabbage it will do another meal and still tastes better. Our local Butcher makes coleslaw and has different size pots you choose the same with Peasepudding. The Black pudding is local made not with dried blood. I think back to when my mother did all that with our own pigs, it was normal now Tesco's are normal, somethings are not for the better OK I am too old I will get my flat cap.
17 Feb 2017 10:33
Stockton has sunshine, all around, the steam is rising off the ground, there are blue skies on high and the clouds are scudding by, it makes me sing, you daft auld thing, it must be spring.
Apologies to the song "gimme sunshine" I get carried away or is that should be.