Sunday, June 4, 2017

Worst time, to be a man-child!

Let me start by saying that "no child who is on the edge of becoming a man should be told that he has a baby sister" like this.

Let me explain. It was during the summer holidays of 1968. I clearly remember. It was a Friday and on the Saturday, I was due to go to Wales with the army cadets which I had joined six months earlier. As I have explained in earlier posts, I was not close with my mum as she was always at work. She usually came home, ate and went to bed. Very little contact and on her day off, Sunday, she would stay in bed.

So on Friday night, I was laying in bed--- not able to sleep because of the excitment of where I was going, when I heard my mum calling out for her mum, my nan. She was really screaming then I heard my nan calling for my aunt to call an ambulance. So I left  my bedroom and went to look in my mum's room. My nan saw me and took me back to my room and told me not to worry. She said "your mum's okay".

Thursday, May 4, 2017

my first encounter

This will only be a short blog as it concerns my Uncle Roy who I mentioned in a previous blog. After the high of my tenth birthday, I had spent the next few weeks learning to ride properly. But one Sunday, I had a small mishap. I was cycling down our street when a dog ran out in front of me and I swerved to avoid it. Unfortunately for me, one of the cars was ( there were only two on the whole estate) was parked in the road. I hit the front of the car with a thud and fell off my bike. I quickly got up, picked up my bike and looked around with embarrassment. I thought that's lucky I'm okay. I was about to get back on my bike when a heard a Scottish voice say "hold on, are you okay?" I looked round and saw this man. I did not know I said "ye im okay." He said "you do not look okay. Look at your trousers. I looked down and saw that one trouser leg was torn at the knee and was covered in blood. The man sat me down called to his wife and said call for an ambulance. Luckily we had a public call phone box on our estate so after five minutes the lady  returned and said the ambulance is coming. "Where do you live?" said the man who had told me his name was Jack. So I told him and he sent his wife to get my nan who was the only one home that morning. My nan turned up at the same time as the ambulance so she came with me to the hospital. I needed ten stitches in my knee. It turns out I had put my knee through the headlight of the car when I hit it .

Monday, May 1, 2017

there's always one rotten apple!!!

In the Summer of my twelfth year, I learned another valuable lesson-- not all of your family can be trusted.
One of my aunts, named Mary, was married to a Polish man called William. My other uncles and aunts didn't really get on with them for two reasons. One, they owned their own house in which they are living---making them snobs. The other reason was, because my Uncle William they said "was a bloody foreigner" and this I heard from my own mother's mouth--- one Sunday morning, when she was talking to her sister, my Aunt May.

Yet, despite all of these criticisms, Mary and William used to have me at their house a lot during the holidays to play with my cousins, Peter and Paul, and never forgot anyone's birthday--always came on Christmas eve with presents for everyone. Mine was always a ten bob note (50 pence) but this Christmas, it was a fishing rod complete with reel, line, hooks and floats---making me so keen for Spring to come.

Oh what a Birthday!

I will never forget the day of my tenth birthday. I got up expecting to receive the usual clothes passed down from my older cousins, second hand shoes, etc. But I was in for the suprise of my life when I arrived down stairs. There was not one present waiting for me. In fact, all I got was--- "what do you want for your breakfast Jim?" this was said by my Nan. "Sorry but that's all I can offer" she said. "It has been a bad year for all your aunts and uncles so they have no clothes to spare this year. But don't worry, I'm sure Christmas will be better." I was absolutely gutted while she said this. I noticed my grandfather who was sat in his armchair had a strange smile on his face.

once upon a sting---don't play with bees!!!!

By the time I was twelve, I had mastered the task of cleaning and feeding the chickens, mucking out the rabbits and feeding, as well as watering them and tending the vegedable garden. My grandfather said at the beginning of the Easter holidays, he would start showing me how to look after the bees. This he told me in the kitchen---on my last day at school just before the holidays. My nan, who was sitting in her rocking chair in the corner, looked up and said "you should teach young Jim to do better than you taught his Uncle Jim at his age."

Sunday, April 30, 2017

box of chocolates...

A lot of you must wonder why I don't talk about  my mum on here. Truth be told, I really did not know her. Apart from sometimes seeing her at supper---very occassionally. She spent so many hours at work that our paths rarely crossed. On the odd occassion that I saw her, she usually was sleeping. At that time, it was not uncommon for people in the nursery industry (greenhouse) to work 90 hours a week. 

My one real regret is that by the time I left school, my mum was really more like a person I just happened to know. That is why you will mainly read stories of my grandfather, my nan and uncles.

I regret it, but that's life. 

As Forest gump says in the film: "life is a box of chocolates-- you don't know which one you will get."

Saturday, April 29, 2017


I hope that any one that reads these posts will forgive me for the order they appear. I started them after my wife Kathleen encouraged me to start putting  my stories about life into written form.

This was because I was telling her about my childhood and how much it differs from today. So my thoughts do not come in any particular order. Just what springs to mind at the time of sitting at this keyboard. So forgive me if I go back and forth with my time line of events. 

I'm not a writer. Just someone remembering a bygone era.

Worst time, to be a man-child!

Let me start by saying that "no child who is on the edge of becoming a man should be told that he has a baby sister" like this. ...