Sunday, 28 July 2013


Last August, Ted and I watched
a very interesting Horizon programme.
The doctor Michael Mosley
was expounding the virtues on the body
to following a two day fast.

Sitting on the sofa like Tweedle Dee
and Tweedle Dum.
We looked at each other and decided there and then
 from that day on, that is exactly what we would do.

Pretty much for a year we have followed it.
Pretty much?
Let me explain...
Over the course of the year,
it caught on.
We founder members felt smug when
folk started talking about it.
'Oh yes, well we've been on it since last 
Ted was doing it more for the health
reasons, his last two blood tests have 
proved it's worked.
However Butterball here
has slowly gained weight.
Personally I blame it pretty much
on my palazzo pants.
You say entering stage right, scratching your head.
The image I realise of a sixty + in
Bollywood floppy trousers isn't perhaps 
a good look...
however, elasticated waists are the way forward
in my world.
Shifts slashed to the muff and beyond,
when worn with the aforesaid flowing breeks,
are decorous for a daft tart of declining years.
The problem lay, under the output of
one whole Lancashire cotton mill...
Okay call them baggy.
The bod was growing; the elastic like the train
was taking the strain.

The lass in this sad tale i.e. me,
was dutifully fasting two days, and yes 
you've guessed it, filling her boots
on the others.

Ted, a man, was doing what men do.
Routine is a bloke's comfort blanket.
Marmite on one slice of dry toast
Monday to Friday.
Wait for it...
two slices with butter and jam 
at the weekend.

By now sylph-like,
the job for him was a goodun.
Naturally, I hated him with
a passion.

Once a week, in the early light
I creep down,
do as many of the necessaries
as is humanly possible.
Cross to the studio,
strip off and as gently as a mouse,
lightly step onto the scales.
The truth is, I'm slowly

I've decided to call it the
Dorian Grey Diet.

I'm the one in the attic,
Ted meanwhile, is 
youthful and looking 
 good for his advancing years.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Can you help...

I urgently need to locate some traces.
Along with burning my bra I desperately 
need some to kick over.

I don't know whether it's the weather,
but I'm all of a doodah.

Can't settle,
too lazy to do anything,
'Oh alright... Eat!'

I've suddenly had a brain-wave...
Before my passport photo needs replacing with
the phizog of the old crone that is now me.
I will take to the open road, rail-track and sky.

Aaron, a long time ago told me of a book he'd read
about a postman who on the cusp of retiring,
had a cunning plan.
He decided that the letters in the box he had just 
emptied for the final time,
he would deliver personally.
With that in mind...

Today, I think I'll iron my red spotty handkerchief,
locate a sturdy stick from the hedge and be off.
My itinerary will be as follows...
Derbyshire to walk and talk with Mr. YP,
he's in need of an old gal's wisdom.
I will then go to Trelawnyd, sneak into the
hen house and give Mr John Grey a 'lovely
surprise' on gathering his morning eggs.
Up to Stafford to see Viv; with the sturdy stick,
I will whack her.  I'll show her the meaning of
raw talent.  My only-child jealousy rides again!

From there off up to Jayne, who I think
is near the wild Northumberland coast.
Over the dye bath we can sit
comparing spells.
Weeing into a pot will fix our friendship,
 and act as a mordant for her latest batch
of loveliness.

Travelling down-country I will
call on Nilly and Mr N.
who knowing my luck will be at Ardingly.

Linc's next...  Afternoon tea, with home-made
dog biscuits, jam and cream. 
Made by a fragrant woman who resembles
Mary Archer with grey hair.
I will survey her garden and much against my better
judgement, advise on my newly emerging take on
 Roughty-Toughty Picturesque gardening. 

Elaine, will quickly get on the phone

to her bro, who on hearing I'm hoving to,
will instruct Gunnera, his valet to inform
Gladys, his wife, the housekeeper, to air the West wing.

By this time in need of a complete change of scene,
 a charabanc to City Airport,
where a private jet will fly me down to
see Cro in France.
From there, I will fly business class to
Angola and with Marcia's help, kick Tom into touch.
She will get her kitchen.

A short hop to Cairns,
the birthplace of those yappy dastardly dogs.
Where I will chill with the lovely Carol.  

Back home with plans for my next foray
into blogland.  If you haven't been
mentioned this time...
be afraid, very afraid...

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Doris is dreaming...

of writing a play.

The title...
Two Weddings, A Funeral
and lots of Births.

Scene 1
The Highlands of Scotland

The camera pans in from the sea,
across the barren land.
Where on a peat bank we see
a woman laid exhausted by her labours.
Getting her breath back from the toil of
peat digging, she thinks of the difference
in the two women's lives.
One a young girl just married sailing off
on her honeymoon.
And her, in the prime of life, scratching
a living out of the soil.
Envy, she acknowledges is
the feeling bubbling up inside.

The following year a baby is born.
The woman has taken a rasp to her rough hands
in order to spin silk.
From the finely spun thread a baby cardigan
is made and sent.
A boy! Two boys in fact.

Scene 2
A farm in Yorkshire
5 years later

Work on the farm stops to watch
the wedding on the television.
She is five years older.
Envy has no place here,
just gratitude at an excuse to escape
the unending toil.

Sitting watching, little does she realise,
 fast forward seven years and she will
know all of these people and they will know her.

Scene 3

That Sunday as she is
due to go in to work,
the news breaks that there has been 
a terrible accident.
All through that strange time in history,
she is in the thick of the family.
She thinks back to the time on the hilltop.
Feeling this time, nothing but sadness.

Scene 4

The boy she used to call William
is now a man
and has just had a son
of his own.

A happy ending.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Things in my life that somehow fall...

short of my expectations.

The word coffee on the page, gets me strangely excited.
Opening the pack, the aroma has the same effect.

Even my daily, one cup of the real thing,
never really hits the mark.
The smell of fresh coffee,
somehow is so much better than the taste.

We have a fish and chip wagon that
parks every Wednesday evening by the village pond.
The fish is so fresh, the chips are crispy.
Every few weeks we treat ourselves.
Ted has cod and chips,
I have cod and nick five of his chips;
only the best looking ones naturally.
I open a tin of Farrows peas and the job's a goodun.
This chefette has a night off.
And of course you know what's coming...
the idea is so much better than the
partaking thereof.

Gardening I love,
particularly poring over the seed catalogues.
I choose the wackiest, the wildest, 
the plants with attitude.
I till, I scheme, I clear, I enjoy.
Every morning with the merest wisp of fabric covering my more than ample bits,
I promenade up to my potager.  Shrinking violet I aint!
Mug of tea in hand, I proceed in the manner of a great and noble queen,
distributing alms to the poor.
All is good in my little world, well,
 all the while I'm in control. 
At vast personal expense I plunder my personal fortune
to employ the best pest controllers in the world.
They must always remember I am
the fat controller, what I say goes.
All frogs at my approach dive for cover, for fear of
a whiskery wet kiss being planted on their
slug-slimed face.

But wait, there is a power greater than mine, and
she goes under the name of...
Mother Nature.

And this is where my interest wanes.
She's a thug in female form.

All my winter plans go to pot; everything peeks,
looks spectacular, then at the speed of a rat up
 a drainpipe, goes over.
The wild flower meadow is not to put too
fine a point on it, looking pale and wan.
Not at all like the wildflower meadow
Lady Constance lay in with the the gamekeeper.

The poppies, even with my dead-heading are
getting more frail by the minute.

Err... I beg to differ Mr Kipling,
best you stick to baking cakes.

Meanwhile back to my hammock, for a little light shadow gardening,
it's like shadow boxing only gentler.


Sunday, 21 July 2013

It won't surprise you to know...

the NW coast of Scotland gets a lot of rain.

This is a tale of a cotton-tail
called Rabs who was a victim
of a very sustained period of rain.

Walking up to the phone box,
 I saw a dead baby rabbit in the water swollen ditch,
beside which a tiny shivering
baby bro/sis was huddling.
I gently lifted the little mite up 
and scuttled home.

This is Rabs in a half pint 
Coronation mug

How to raise him was the next question?
I guessed he wasn't even weaned,
so I started the long process of
gently dribbling from my hand, tiny 
amounts of goats milk into his hungry mouth.

He against all odds survived,
better than that, he thrived.

A house rabbit who strangely
thought he was human.

Katie, the Westie, took to him; 
they were great pals playing hide and seek
around the sofa.

Rabs was potty trained in an evening.
I lined a cut down plastic container 
with newspaper, every time Rabs looked as
if he was about to produce poo of the currant kind,
I plonked him in the rabbit commode.
By the end of the night, he knew what was expected of him.
The next day I put the container under the sofa to
give him a degree of privacy,
even a rabbit needs a modicum of decorum.
He had the newspaper, so the job was a goodun.
He could take so long as he liked.

He quickly became part of the family,
even to the extent of jumping up onto the
arm of the chair and helping himself to
salad on the side of my plate.
On one occasion sitting writing a
letter in the armchair, he jumped up
and pinched the top off my pen.
The word flew off the page...
'You'll never believe why this has 
happened!' I wrote to my coz!'
Visitors who came to call,
would stop mid-sentence as they 
caught a fleeting glimpse of a grey
furry creature disappearing behind the chair.
'Was that a rat?' writ large in their eyes!

He would sit in the tiled surround of
the old thirties fireplace, stretched out
basking in the heat.

We made an ark for Rabs 
so that he could enjoy the garden.

Once a month I would drive the 110 miles
to Inverness for building supplies etc.
On one occasion I returned to
find him very badly injured quivering in the
covered area of his run.
His front leg looked as if it had been
broken and the skin on his tummy had been peeled back.
I can only think a weasel had attempted to get at him.
With careful nursing he survived.

He would sometimes be reluctant to come in,
who could blame him?
He would escape my clutches and run off.
Always allowing me to catch him.
Well that is until the last time...
Time to go!

The sad thing is, he didn't make it going alone,
he was found, dead under the bee hive.
The question this begs is,
 did I do the right thing?

Us humans think we know best...
I'm not so sure!

This was Minty, one of the pet lambs.
Life is tough being truly self-sufficient and yes 
we did eat him.  

On a happier note,
this is the croft in Achnacarnin
overlooking the bay of 

 Rowan, the goat is sat on her favourite
rock watching the world go by.

Aaron, Katie and me

Aaron is wearing a hand spun jumper
made by me from beautifully soft 
Shetland wool.

These memories were deep 
in the old grey matter, long forgotten.
Until the lovely John Grey told us 
about Roland.

Thanks John.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Down and out in...

Royal Tunbridge Wells.

I should have been a bag lady.
Time enough I suppose.

This morning, at sparrow fart
I was up.

Always one to jump on a band wagon
I thought I'll do what others bloggers do...
I'll make a video of the early morning garden.

Off I trot, mug of tea in one hand,
camera in t'other.
Mindful of turning off the
water canon (Scarcrow) I proceeded
up the garden.

As it's early I stop myself from crying
'Camera, ACTION!'
My voice drops to a husky whisper
in order not to wake the slumbering dead.
You always feel so blooming self-righteous
when you're the only person up.
Bit like I suppose, how it must feel 
when you're sober and every one else is ratted.

Nothing is missed, every boring detail is recorded.

Steven Spielberg I slip
smugly back into the slumbering cottage.
I attach my equipment to the laptop and wait for the
film clip to download.
The photo's of Lettice in the grass
are done.
I wait...
I wait...
I wait a bit more,
it's tummy's still rumbling so
it must be working...
mustn't it?

I hit the movie icon,
fiddled with a few things...
what is that?

Have I made a horror movie?

Who exactly is this old tart sitting here in front of the laptop...


The mirror in the bathroom has obviously been lying.

The only way forward as I see it,
 and if push comes to shove, I'd rather not 
is... to 
Celebrate the wrinkles, stuff my belongings
into a bag and take to the open road.
I must confess I've always had yen for
tramps, added to which,
at least I'll look the part.

What happened about the video?
You may well ask!
Haven't got a clue...
sunk without trace!
It's in there somewhere,
Am I bothered?

After the shock of the old crone
in the early morning light, I sort of lost interest
in my artisticals.


Friday, 19 July 2013

You just feel it in your water when...

the ghastly signs of ageing 
are there for all to see.

1.   Pottering in the garden wearing mauve
gardening gloves and pink sunhat, looking all the world like
Barbara Cartland

'The right diet directs sexual
energy into the parts that matter'

2.   Falling madly in love with gay men;
no need to wear a hard hat and
high vis vest.

3.   Laughing so hard you give yourself a problem,
well two actually...
You start wheezing, 
Lettice's Tena pads become strangely appealing!

4.  Reading other peoples' blogs
remind you of things that have happened
to you i.e. John Grey's blog today
about the baby rabbit.
Must remember to tell you of the bunnikins 
I reared in the Highlands.
This neatly leads me to No 5.

5.   Always having so many funny things
to tell; folk begin to think you're a
Walter Mitty character
or an flash monkey,
(not sure which is worse?)

6.   Men not looking at you twice,
well in my case they still do...
'What is she wearing?'
writ large in their eyes.

7.   Saying outrageous things, 
which I've done all my life.
Problem now is, strangers think...
'Has the old girl lost the plot?'
What they don't know is, I never had the 
frigging thing in the first place!

8.   A glass of Madeira before dinner*

9.   When your chin needs more attention
than the old man's.

10.   Having a regular date with the
chiropractor; before you know it,
monthly sessions will be diarised (awful word) for the
flaming chiropodist

11.   Deep inside you can feel your hatred
of dahlias, dying.

(Husband No 6* used to buy me roadside-sold maroon dahlias
{a more miserable colour for 
a flower you couldn't wish to have!} 
How I stopped myself from sticking them up his compost heap
I'll never know!
  Next , you'll be eyeing up chrysanthemums.

12.   Lusting after men for their brains
instead of their bodies.

13.   Unlucky for some...
Your bosoms growing
exponentially larger than
the rest of you.

14.   Reading the travel sections
and knowing you've been to more places,
seen more things than is good for a girl.

Happy and content is the
best destination...
I've arrived!  


* Same old porkies!