Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Street names?

Watching the TV series about Queen Victoria has brought my childhood into focus in an unexpected way.
When, after the war I was returned to live with my mother it was to a small row of very squalid houses near to the town centre of Rochdale.
The name of this street was "Sir Robert Peel St."
So far as I remember no one knew anything about Sir Robert but as a very little girl writing out my address involved this rather cumbersome title.
It was a very poor street consisting of two up, two down rows of tiny homes . No one had a toilet. The one loo for the whole row of houses was up a very dark alleyway. I would have to be desperate to go out at night to use it.
So Sir Robert did not have anything salubrious in Rochdale.
When my dad came home from the army he explained that Sir Robert had instituted the police force which had been known as "peelers"
This was the full extent of anyone's knowledge but until we were rehoused about ten years later this was the main part of my address.
Peel street was a much longer row of houses leading outwards from the town centre. None of this exists any more I don't think.
We were all moved out to go to live on a new housing estate when I was in my teens but this very impressive address was mine during all my school years.
The portrayal of the man on the TV reveals a man with a Lancashire accent...he apparently came from Bury so I am not sure why this depressing terrace in Rochdale was named after him.
This name was one of the first to sit permanently in my brain...and still does oddly...
it jolts me back to a time when life was hard. Much harder than it should have been for growing children. But me and my brother survived!

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Monday, 16 October 2017

Ophelia approaches!

So far so good.....but the forecasts are not good.
It is windy outside. The car which flew up onto a nearby hedge last week is still there..perhaps they are waiting for it to be blown back into the road. Ophelia could help with that!
It's not yet so bad that it's impossible to walk out there...but...
Everything has been tied down.
I am not going anywhere today except to bring my wheely bin in before it joins the flying car in the hedge.
I feel much easier in my mind now I have been reassured that there are no loose tiles on my roof...
Ophelia is on her way...hatches need battening down...
I have a good friend in the air today...but the planes seem to be flying...
My cleaner can't get here...but that's nothing to do with the storm...she has a broken bone in her foot...so I am on my own...but it could be much worse.
I shall occasionally post updates providing the wifi remains intact...
I hope all these dire warnings are exaggerations but I have to be ready...
And I am!
Getting the bin in safely was a bit fraught but we survived. This is the day they have arrived to remove the flying car from the hedge....
Looked very fraught to me!

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Sunday, 15 October 2017

A man on my roof!

It was Saturday yesterday and therefor not a day when I was expecting a roofer to arrive ready to work!
I had rung him during the week to come to look at the damp patch in the bathroom.
It started a couple of months ago but whilst I was away it had got much worse.
This is a young man I trust. After a different man had given me an estimated bill for work needed in the loft which totalled almost five thousand pounds this young man had looked, investigated and told me I didn't need it. It was a scam.
So naturally it was him I went back to.
He was very thorough. Up in my loft he found no sign of light, nothing could be getting through! The area over the bathroom was dry...so where had the damp come from?
He got his ladders out. There was nothing wrong with the roof. All the slates were intact...
Over a cup of tea we discussed the problem. It could only be condensation.
He wiped a hand over the dark stain. It was not wet. It was mould .
He left leaving me to wonder what to do next.
Get the ceiling painted? Try wiping it off? Always leave a window or door open up there?
As a small irritation it really doesn't matter. The main things is knowing that my roof is good and that nothing is wrong in my loft space.
I can live with a bit of mould...but it remains a bit of a mystery. Whilst I was away how had condensation arrived in my bathroom?
Any ideas?

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Saturday, 14 October 2017

A hurricanes tail?

I am remembering the great storm...we lived in Essex at the time. Trees were uprooted , my husband couldn't get his car out, huge old trees lay across our road.
The house itself was untouched but the garden was laid waste.
We are promised another storm on Monday. The tail end of a hurricane is coming our way.
Living high on a cliff looking out to sea I am expecting the worst.
In the past winds have broken the door off the summerhouse and knocked some young trees over.
There have been days when I've been flattened against my gate. Being knocked sideways is something I've got used to, making me reluctant to leave the house in bad weather.
So this weekend I will try to get everything into safe positions. All garden furniture has to be stored in my barn.
I have trees tied into the hedge already but I shall check for any weak links.
Since moving here ten years ago I've put in about twenty five trees and even more shrubs.....
My garden has been under threat before but I can't remember a hurricane coming in our direction.
This old farmhouse has stood firm through hundreds of storms over the years....she should be alright but I do fear for her roof.
My gardener and I went to look at the roof yesterday. It looks intact, no loose tiles .....so far...
Oh dear!

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Friday, 13 October 2017

Daily horrors.

Sex, violence, theft, human trafficking, prison riots, all in the news on a daily basis....
The fall of Rome is coming to mind. When the northern hoards destroyed the glory of that city after years of decadent rulers, it was sacked, its treasures stolen and its people scattered....
This is now what is coming to mind every morning on hearing the news...
It is becoming almost commonplace to hear that a gifted powerful man has used his power to obtain sex.
That this power has subjugated children to sexual objects is for me the most appalling news. The shock on hearing what Jimmy Saville did has been eclipsed by worse news of other powerful people using their positions to obtain sexual favours from both sexes.
Fame is powerful. To use it to make other people do your bidding is crass and it seems has been done far more frequently than we ever realised.
The news day by day brings more horrors and more unfortunate people who need help.
For someone like me, brought up by Victorian grandparents during the war every day's news brings new shocks.
I apologise for being old and Christian....but I am truly shocked by each day's revelations.
One of my friend advised me not to read the papers or listen to the radio but that's something I can't do. To cut myself off from the world and its problems is not a choice I can make.
The image of an old dear tutting away at what the younger generation gets up to was never going to be me. And yet here we are!
This over crowded world is struggling. Epidemics, war and poverty are all means of cutting down our human numbers...
No wonder I pray. I invite you to join me. Amen.

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Thursday, 12 October 2017

What next?

I can remember no time from the past when the future looked so uncertain.
No one actually knows just how Brexit is going to impact us.
Hearing of huge queues at airports, flights delayed to Europe, passport checks which used to be easy now being made complicated doesn't help. Here everything seems uncertain...our electricity bills seem set to rise..as do all our fuel requirements..
The number of times I hear the words...."But of course we don't really know that just yet."
Mrs May, clearly under pressure is trying very hard to stay positive but her words yesterday "There is no repeat referendum." betrays a nervousness that grows daily.
We are all anxious right now....all our bills look set to rise very soon. Maybe once we know the terms of our divorce we should be given the opportunity to vote again.
We really can't blame the EU for not making it easy for us...they feel let down and betrayed.
The people who so far have been taking credit for our altered status in the world are looking decidedly dodgy right now.
Hate crimes against our immigrants are reported daily...we are feeling insecure and the need to blame someone is the result.
We can have no way of knowing what's coming...but the way our politicians are talking to us right now doesn't help. They seem not to know either!
I say again...I am glad to be an old woman...with any luck I can sit on my cloud and be an observer.
The next few years are looking very dodgy!

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Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Flying cars!

An eventful day yesterday....not actually for me but the village was on the alert.
A phone call alerted me to the fact that a car had crashed just outside my house....I hadn't noticed it....but as soon as I looked out I saw it....
It was in the hedge but how it had got there was the mystery...it was actually on top of the hedge rather than in it.
I went out to look, rather worried in case anyone was still in there.
It was empty and me and a neighbour stood and discussed the possibilities of anyone getting a car aloft....was it a small airbus in disguise?
We made sure no one was trapped inside at some peril to ourselves, being out on the road is not recommended....this is more country lane...no pavements..just very thin green bits.
Vehicles roared past us and I gingerly made my way home.
There I found its picture on Facebook, complete with a slice of my house in the background.
Naturally everyone wanted more information but me and my fellow natterer knew nothing.
I was fairly sure that someone somewhere knew about it...ribbons of police tape floated in the breeze.
Later I got a visit from the pleasant local policeman. He said the people involved were unharmed....this was astonishing given that it was upside down and at least ten feet off the road. How it got there without wings is the mystery.
Speculation went on all day...most of it unprintable.
It's still in position this morning...I await further events with interest...

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