Eine Taube Auf Dem Boden

The Germans, instead of “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” say:-

“besser ein Spatz in der Hand als eine Taube auf dem Dach”

Well, when I got up this morning we had a bloody Taube on the floor in the hallway.

Our lovely gentle little moggy, which has only one way into the house at night and requires a five feet jump onto the window ledge before she can come into a hole in the mosquito net just big enough to squeeze through, managed to leap up with a  half dead pigeon in her mouth. Hut ab!!!


Continue reading “Eine Taube Auf Dem Boden”

For Sipu or anyone really.

I have been thinking. Big thinking!

Mankind is not doing very well is it? Wars, financial crises, ISIL, people becoming so old that we can’t afford to look after them, religion and all the associated suffering because of it, babies washed up on sea shores, migration at “biblical proportions”….I could go on all day.

So, as I said, I have been thinking. Just as when our computers become clogged up with garbage and cease to function properly we reboot or even reset to manuafcturers settings, maybe mankind also needs a reset.

What would this include? Here are just a few ideas to get started.

  1. Euthenasia for over 80s
  2. Concept of needing to “work” to exist needs changing
  3. Religion abolished
  4. Introduction of democracy throughout the world, especially in the West
  5. World Government
  6. Abolish money
  7. Genetically engineer humans to remove the ‘greed’ gene.

Over to you Sipu 🙂

Off To The Mountains

Hip Hip Hip Hooray

We’re off to the Pyrenees
Tomorrow, not today
To test out our poorly knees

Hip Hip Hip Hooray

We’re going to escape the heat
I tell you where we’ll stay
A place that little can beat
A country very small
Where Catalan is spoken
Where mountains stand very tall
And the Euro is just a token

So see you when we get back

Next weekend hopefully
That’s if we don’t lose our track
And end up in the Alps 🙂

Janus: The best I Can Do For Tonight – Prawn Stew

This is one of our favourites – Protein-Packed Prawn Stew

It is an ideal meal after a hard day out walking or when time is short as it is high in protein and is ready in just 15-20 minutes.

A fresh baguette is also a must for mopping up the tomato sauce.


Preparation time is short – 15-20 minutes.

Continue reading “Janus: The best I Can Do For Tonight – Prawn Stew”

Crazy ramblings after an odd few months.

Hello all, as you may have noticed I have been away more-or-less continually since February.

It was an odd time. I spent a total of 3 weeks during the last three months at home, the rest being spent travelling backwards and forwards to Nuneaton, where my parents used to live.

Mum and Dad went into hospital on the same day. Mum came home after a few days and was attended by care workers four times a day. Dad remained in for six weeks after a fall which hurt his back. He was medically fit, but couldn’t walk for some reason that they didn’t really understand. Before Dad came out of hospital Mum was back in with kidney and heart failure. I held her hand for two weeks until she finally lost the battle on 18th April. Dad went into a care home two days before she died. He was medically fit but not able to walk except very short distances with a frame. After he understood that Mum was gone, he turned his body off. It was as if a switch was thrown and he died on 22nd May.

Why am I telling you all his? Well, I am not looking for sympathy, and am certainly not wishing to make anyone sad with such news. I would like to tell you what I have learned from the recent events.

Firstly, I had a very good relationship with my Dad and we were very close. I was the ‘chip off the old block’. We understood each other. Conversely, my connection to Mum was not so good. We were very different characters and never seemed to get close all through my life. I had expected that I would have very little emotion on her death, whereas would find it hard to deal with the loss of Dad. Well, the opposite happened. I was good for nothing immediately following Mum’s death, whereas I took Dad’s with very little emotion or sadness. Is this because of our past relationships working the opposite to what I would have imagined or is it simply that Dad wanted to die as he had lost his life partner, therefore it is difficult to be upset when it was his wish?

The second thing I learned is the power of the mind. Mum’s body and organs were in a severely ill condition for the last two months of her life. Even the doctors told me two weeks before she died that she only had a few hours left. But despite the terrible condition she hung on, never complained and always gave us a weak smile. She fought until the very last breath, against all the odds. Dad was medically fit when she died, but after 66 years of marriage had no wish to carry on alone. He closed his eyes, shut out the world and managed to destroy his body in one month, such that he died quickly. The contrast between their ends was controlled more by their will to live or die, than by their medical condition.

Despite the loss of my parents in such a short time I really can marvel at what I have seen and learned from them recently.

My Dad

Dear all, I have just written this as an entry to the writing competition on MyT.

Am not sure whether you will find it interesting enough to read, but simply wish to share it with anyone who does.

My Dad

Given what many would consider an unfortunate Christian name of Basil on 15th April 1925, my father was born into a large, poor family only 50 yards from the cliff tops in Lowestoft.  He was one of seven children, a family smitten by tragedy during his childhood.

The eldest, Horace, was killed in 1939 soon after the beginning of World War 2. Dad’s oldest sister, Edith died also when he was 14, from tuberculosis. She was his very close and favourite sister. Her death had a dramatic effect on his behaviour during that time. Continue reading “My Dad”

I am spitting nails

I can’t believe what I have just heard. Maybe writing on here will help me to vent my anger.

Over a week ago my auntie died in the UK. She was 95 and had a stroke a few months ago, as a result of which she was transferred from her home of 60 odd years to an old people’s home near her birthplace of Lowestoft. We were never very close due to distance but I did have a soft spot for her as she was a loving gently person, with a great lust for life. However, at 95 the loss is not so painful as she had a wonderful life. (Her husband only died a couple of years ago)

The funeral will be in January some time. This will be over a month after her death. When I enquired why the delay I was told that her doctor (the one that saw her in the home) is now on holiday until the new year and all other doctors at the practice refuse to sign the death certificate as she was not their patient.

The next time someone tells me that I should be proud of the NHS they will receive a punch on the nose.

The Nag’s Head – Nuneaton

As some of you may have read in my entry to the September photo competition, I originally intended to enter with a ‘then and now’ of the Nag’s Head Pub. I have many fond memories of this particular pub and was quite disappointed when I arrived at the scene last week, during a home visit to see my parents, only to find that it had recently been demolished.

Some people advise never to go back. It is generally good advice as I often feel quite depressed as I see more and more of my old memories destroyed. However not going back is not an option for me as I have my parents, many aunts and uncles (all 90 years old plus or minus a few years), one of my two children and five grandchildren all living there, not to mention the 30 or so cousins and their children and grandchildren. Anyway, this is about the Nag’s, not me.

This is believed to be the Nag’s Head around 1890.

Nags 1890

Continue reading “The Nag’s Head – Nuneaton”



Two weeks ago our dishwasher gave up the ghost.

As most of you know, I will be moving to Spain in two months, so I decided that it wasn’t worth buying another one here in Toulouse, just to have an extra large item to move.

Therefore we have spent the last couple of weeks washing up by hand.

We have found so many advantages of not using the dishwasher that we are now considering not having one in future.

These advantages are:-

1) Enjoying a chat about our day while washing up after the evening meal

2) Always have clean crockery and pans ready for the next meal. Previously we needed many more as some were ‘waiting’ in the dishwasher until it was full.

3) Never leaving the kitchen a mess after a meal as the pots needed to be cleaned straightaway.

4) Clearly the cost is lower when doing it by hand

5) We have found that it doesn’t really take so much longer to wash up than previously to load and unload the dishwasher.

It would be interesting to hear your views on this.