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.

served my time and what a surprise!!!

As I was saying in my last post after being taken home by the village bobby Fred, for scrumping (stealing apples), I did my two weeks of hell sitting in my bedroom for eighteen hours a day going stir crazy, wondering if all my friends had forgotten I existed ( as it turns out they had all visited and been told I was grounded).

leading JIM, astray..little sod!!!

This memory has just sprung to mind after the episode with the scrumping. I was being a really good lad, when one of my older cousins Dave, came to stay. He was three years older than me and was supposed to be staying for two weeks. As it turned out, he was sent packing after five days (I will explain).

On the first day, it was not a problem. Dave and I went to play in our local woods, looking for grass snakes and playing, being Tarzan: swinging over a stream by a rope which we had tied to a sturdy tree branch. We then went home, had our dinner then off to bed. That's when I knew things were not going to be good. As soon as we got in my bedroom, Dave said "you're on the floor. Your bed's too small for two and I am the oldest" (oh bugger I thought).

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Oh what a day!!!!

As I was saying in my last blog, my friends and I had enjoyed a couple of trouble free trips to our local orchard---picking apples and pares. I was ten at this time. Being very clever ---sneaking in and out like ninjas or so we thought. Little did we know, the owner of said orchard had seen us on our second trip and it seems that scrumping whether  you're a ninja or not, was not going down well with Mr. Davies (owner of orchard). After planning our third trip to restock our tree house with much needed fruit (we were also Robin Hood and his merry men part time) we arrived at lunchtime as we knew or thought we knew everyone would be eating. We also made the biggest mistake of all which was climbing the same tree. As I was in mid pick, I heard this voice from below saying "now then young Jim what will Joe have to say about this?" (I never knew that was my grandfather's name at that time). I realised straight away that it was the village bobby (policeman). He said "now you can all get down here" so I and my mates Mark and Paul (they were brothers) climbed down to meet our fate. "Now" said the bobby as he gave us each a slap round the face "you two can go home" he meant Mark and Paul. "Why them" I asked--another slap was the answer "because you and me young Jim are going to see your grandfather Joe!" (the penny then dropped oh sod) .


Let's Begin 

Hi my name is Jim. I was born in the UK in 1954 into a very big family. like most in my era  I did not appreciate just how blessed I was to have been born in time when you could leave your door unlocked  and all your neighbours knew each  other. Unlike today when kids get home from school and go to their bedrooms to watch TV,  play games on their xbox or text friends and mum brings them some junk food nuked in a microwave oven (I know that is not the case in all house holds). In most cases, both  parents have to work which leaves little time for family bonding. 

I came from a single parent family but was lucky to be surrounded by aunts and uncles. My mother's mum, my grandmother, had seventeen sons and daughters and although my mum had to work full time my grandma and granddad helped raise me (we lived with them in the family house). Also, we lived in in the country side in Cheshunt , Hertfordshire. At that time, it had the biggest nursery industry in Europe which is where my mum worked growing fruit and veg.

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. ...