Friday, 24 May 2013


in order to get the full force
of these words, you need to say it out loud, in
a Billy Goat Gruff voice.

Yesterday on arrival back from lipreading class and
shopping, I was just putting the car away
when up the drive came a group of people.
Ted being an ex-copper decided to investigate,
like you do, or to be more precise...
like you did in his day!

They were looking at our row of cottages, and telling their
daughter's French husband and family about them living in the
cottage at the opposite end to us, thirty years ago.

Like a galleon under full sail I got stuck in
'Come in and have a look at how our cottage has changed since you left!'
Now I ought to own up here, that to coin a phrase...
I have got previous.
All my life I have the desire to show folk a good time.
The joke in the family is I would invite
strangers in off the street, and believe you me, I have!

What's this got to do with dusting?
I invited them in, secure in the knowledge that the house was clean.
Because Ted does it while I'm out of the way. 

'Have some tea, coffee, cake?'
They, I could tell, thought I was some mad half-crazed woman,
and to be honest they'd be sort-of right.
The mum and I (she, I suspect was out of a similar mould)
got on like a house on fire.
Our row apparently, was the hospital for the row
across the way, which was the Workhouse.
Details of which, I am sure as promised, she will send.

I have this funny notion that when in foreign
lands, the only way to get a feel for the country
is to see the locals in their homes.

In Palau a couple of years ago, in the restaurant of the hotel, 
we got chatting to a lovely family celebrating their
very old grandmother's special birthday.
We raised a glass to her, had a super time talking
and having fun.
The next day, the waiter said the family had thought how lovely we were(?)
and wanted to ask us to come to their home.  They decided against it
because they imagined we would think it strange.
Well, you can tell exactly, how upset I felt?

Kindred spirits.


  1. Palau, Palau?... Is it on the East Anglian coast - between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft? I'm sure I've heard of it.

  2. Nay! It's between the Isle of Dogs and Bermondsey... plus due to the Gulf Stream it's bloody hot!


  3. Have you blogged about Palau before? I'd love to read about it having never met anyone else who has ever been there.

    1. Darling boy, No I haven't blogged about it, for lots of reasons... Pin back your ears and don't take anything personal, I have too many memories of the old days when folk would invite you around to show you their holiday slides. Now I fully realise that I am full of contradictions, because I love seeing old photographs? Pictures that illustrate a story, now that's a different thing. Added to which I do have a problem with appearing flash and name-dropping about my many and various exploits. I am lucky to have had a very action-packed life; my head is full of funny things that have happened to me along the way. As a consequence sometimes I get reminded of places I've been to, and more to the point the folk I've met. The two posts of yours that stay with me are the theft of your 'bits', the follow-up revenge story, and the powerful post about the bag of coins.

      Have you been to Palau, your reply suggests you have? Email me if you really want a more in depth chat about a truly magical place.


      P.S. I love your irreverence coming from a hard-core of caring.

  4. Have you ever come a cropper with your open-hearted ways, LL? Smashing to find out about the history of your house too.

    1. Luckily no Nilly!

      On one occasion, walking back from my father's house on the Ouse to my little cottage in Alma Terrace, I saw a group of people looking up into a tree watching an owl. The group moved off, leaving just me and a young American guy; we got into conversation and he said he was travelling through Europe. Well, you know what's coming... I suggested he come back for coffee. I said I bet in all your travels you haven't been into someone's home, he said no! Can you believe that? I honestly feel that you can only get the feel of a country if you see folk in their homes. He was a lovely guy, we had a brilliant evening with him teaching me how to juggle. It was only afterwards when friends fell back in horror, I realised that perhaps I was too trusting! The thought made not one jot of difference, you won't be surprised to learn! Now about your calling on me, when you're in this neck of the woods?


  5. Hi LL,

    No dusting at my house either, you disturb it, it settles back down as dust, may as well leave it alone!(Got that tip from my husband years ago)

    I have wonderful memories of travelling in Greece, meeting the people there, they welcome you into their homes and offer you coffee, ouzo and cake. A beautiful place to journey in and meet the people at its heart.

    Finally LL, that panacota with lime and a spoon, i want to dig in deep to its voluptuousness...

    1. Lovely to see you back blogging Therese. My mum always used to say "You haven' t dusted properly Linda!' How can you dust improperly... naked?

      If only we were more like they are in Greece.