Reminiscing

I seem to be in a reflective mood at the moment. Now I think about it, it may not be such a bad idea actually to log some memories down before I lose many more marbles. Certain things I see on tv are triggering memories from when I was young, especially about my mum and dad. I’ve done postings about each of them recently and here’s another about my mum which I’m certain you’ll find slightly intriguing…

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More surprises

Well my last posting on the subject of surprise endings took a while to get going. To be honest  I was scratching around for inspiration until Mr Josh happily popped into my mind. I was actually going to write about two quite separate subjects before that and I might still get round to them later.  But the surprise thing seemed to resonate with me and it might have been a little  intuitive because lo and behold we were delighted by some more surprises which are worth sharing I hope.

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Surprising turns

Now the majority of blog/vlog sites are single subject affairs. People talk about the one thing that really interests them be it fashion, celebrity, make-up, football, politics, animals, cooking…whatever. And from what I can see, the more focused you are the more likely you are to become a billionaire by the age of 25.  But all you really know about is lipstick. I do wonder if Jamie Oliver ever wants to talk about his interest in, say, Southend United or tortoises or Northern Soul music instead of fucking food recipes. Do you ever think he gets bored out of his box whilst counting his £millions? You’re probably right – nah. Continue reading

Hairstory

Let’s face it recent postings have been a bit of a snore-fest with me droning on about my emotions, favourite scraps of culture (who cares really?) or about my antagonism with Government Ministers over their handling of the coronavirus situation. Now I know people care intensely about the situation but my opinion? People couldn’t give a monkey’s and rightly so. But one thing always seems to provoke a nice reaction from my little band of readers; any story where I expose my foibles, shortcomings, or highly embarrassing life experiences. And having compiled 3 volumes of the moments by now (which I’m seriously thinking of publishing) you’d think there’d be nothing left to lay bear. But you’d be wrong…

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Close family

Now regular readers will know we’re a close family. I have 3 beautiful grown up daughters, 2 fine sons-in-law, 4 wonderful grandsons and, of course,  my wife Caz who I love more than anything. I’m biased and this must sound cheesily gushing I know, but they really are decent and fun people and I like to be near them as much as possible. So this lockdown has been tough on us, emotionally.

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Hero

Aged 11, I passed my exams for a very good Grammar school and my folks were absolutely chuffed to bits. They always believed in the importance of education, home ownership, a strong work ethic and personal development. So for their eldest child to make it to Baines GS was a proud moment, not least because for the previous few years I’d shown no great aptitude for learning and was placed in the bottom quartile in every exam. So in the final year at primary school they paid for me to be privately tutored – it must have been a stretch for them – and it was enough to get me through the 11 plus.  Hurrah!

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Food memories

Well my last two postings have been a tad reflective and this one’s a bit nostalgic too, but in an upbeat way. I was explaining to Carol why I prefer mini-sized pork pies and to eat them warmed rather than cold. You can see I’m a man of sophisticated tastes. The reason is that when we were kids my mum or nan would take us shopping into town (Blackpool) and we’d queue up like dozens of others to buy some pork pies from the butcher’s called Priestley and Berry’s (later JH Berry & Sons). The pies were all made on site and the real knack was to time it to co-incide with a new batch coming straight from the ovens when they were still hot and at their freshest. Continue reading

Life

Today would have been my youngest brother’s 60th birthday, sadly we lost him very suddenly and shockingly 3 years ago after he was diagnosed with incurable cancer. The same cancer as I had. My lovely sister, the baby of the family, is currently undergoing really difficult treatment for a nasty form of spinal cancer. She’s managing the situation with courage and lots of strength. My dad in his late 80’s had a procedure to remove a cancer spot only recently. My wife’s sister and brother have both overcome having the disease and her niece has similarly come through the experience successfully. Yesterday we spoke with a dear dear friend who is recovering from having a major operation to remove cancer and in a week or so’s time she’ll resume her chemo treatment. The operation went as well as could be hoped and we’re crossing everything that the prognosis remains entirely positive and her recovery continues totally. It’s a horrible horrible disease but I’m in awe of the work that the NHS does in helping people deal with it. I know they get lots of stuff wrong and I’m the first to complain when their admin is hopeless, they postpone procedures at the drop of a hat, and keep you waiting endlessly. But they saved my life at least 3 times and many people we know have cause to thank them too. I wanted to post something uplifting to celebrate people fighting and winning their battles with cancer but wanted to avoid something mushy like ‘You raise me up’. I thought this might be approriate especially since anyone who’s had to spend the night on a hospital ward knows, no-one sleeps…