Saturday, 31 July 2010

What's your Colour?

My son has had his appendix removed today and is now recovering in hospital. All has gone well thank goodness.

The last day of July and I've been thinking, what do colours mean to you? I was prompted to ask the question because of the lovely summer colours that abound in the community right now, green trees, bright flowers and people with colourful outfits.

What's your favourite colour?

Mine's green and that probably comes from my junior school days when I belonged to the 'green' house; we wore coloured sashes during sport: green, yellow, red or blue.

The psychic world uses colour all the time, yellow for the mind, intelligence, wisdom and learning, green for healing, harmony and the heart, pale blue for communication, honesty, faith and music, deeper blues for the psychic, intuition and the spiritual are just a few.

If you were to assign a colour to each day of the week, what would they be?

Here's a few thoughts of my own.


Monday's child, fair of face. This is the least favourite day of the week and I can understand that, particularly after a good weekend, workers least look forward to getting back to the grind. Still, a lot of work gets done as the new week presents itself and the momentum starts to gather pace. Washing, drying, ironing. Although people don't look forward to it, the day itself is a mixture of stuttering and starting, so for me, the mixture of feelings is a mixture of colours, blue and red which ends up as purple - a dreamy day.


Tuesday's child is full of grace. The week is fully underway with the tiredness of Monday out of the way and the plan for the rest of the week is clearer, the mind is in the right frame and things are achieved in the home and at work. This is a blue day,almost a non-day.


Wednesday's child is full of woe. Mid week entertainment is taken for reward and for a break and the memory of 'Monday feelings' are long forgotten. Work and projects in the home and workplace are routine and embedded and don't take too much thought as the routine has kicked in. This, for me, is the solid, bright and for the child, an emotional orange day (nothing to do with 'Orange Wednesday'.)


Thursday's child has far to go. Hints at the weekend are in the mind and the pace of life speeds up as things need doing in the next couple of days and planning for the next break invades our thoughts. Good time to meet people and communicate because the thought processes are clearer. Leisure is important now and chances are taken because there's only one day left needed to recover. Hoovering, dusting, lunch with friends. A precision day, a sparkling electric blue.

Friday (Yellow Friday!)

Friday's child is loving and giving. Here it is, the last day of the productive week for most and even for those not at work, the weekend is upon us. Work is completed, early in some cases, plans are made, a good day for thinking and looking forward to days and nights out with family life coming together. A bright day, intelligence, anticipation, happy and definitely yellow.


Saturday's child works hard for a living. This is a real mixed day of personal achievement and relaxation, doing what you want to do in your own time. Shopping, garden, odd jobs, sport, decorating, shorts and sandals, entertaining, cooking, visiting, pub, pictures, television, nights in, late nights, lie ins. This is my very own green personal day for getting re-balanced.


A child born on the Sabbath day is fair and wise and good and gay. For those not working, a day of leisure, a throw back from days of a stronger sense of Biblical duty. No rush to do anything much. Bacon & Eggs, tea and toast in bed, church, wash the car, Sunday supplements, Sunday best, ride in the car, out for a walk, ice cream, Sunday roast, relaxing, Sunday night drama on the TV, early to bed... ready for... Monday. This is my red day, for passion, indulgence, a restrengthening and refreshing of the soul and for body and self.

The picture above is a Microsoft XP stock picture - thanks to them for the rainbow.

Chat soon


Friday, 30 July 2010

Found McBurney's Point, (It's not in Cornwall)

Now I'm not a fanatical social animal at all. I guess that's from many many years of simply not being able to afford to go to the pubs etc etc., so I (we) are well out of practice and I really don't miss it at all. Our social life is fairly gentle and the odd 'do' at work often compensates in pleasant evenings around the very nice bars in the 'middle-aged' circuits in towns and city nearby, once in a Sheffield flood.

Tonight was going to be one of those nights with colleagues in Beverley, an East Riding market town. Except, my middle son, it appears, probably has appendicitis. We collected him from work tonight because he wasn't well and my wife took him straight to hospital where the latest text says he is waiting to see the surgeon for confirmation of the diagnosis. So, I'll cheerfully leave my colleagues with it and no doubt hear the tales from them on Monday.

I have the time, just in case you are thinking, to write this as I cook tea for the rest of the family while my other half is with him at Hull Royal Infirmary. You see I can multi task (I can smell burning!!!)


After putting the fire out in the kitchen (not really, but the waffles were a bit crispy) I went to the hospital to see the boy and he's having his appendix out tonight or tomorrow.

Ah well. The weekend hasn't started too well has it and to cap it all, I got wet because it's pouring down with albeit much needed rain? In fact, even the grass verges, which have looked greenish are now looking decidedly straw coloured. But there is one thing, the geraniums in the garden are glorious, they obviously love the dry weather.

Having a much needed cuppa - ahhhhhhhhhh - and need to keep an eye on the Euro Millions to see if can get a share of the £23M.

Chat Soon


Sunday, 25 July 2010

Boots Brigade... join here

The reason I don’t sing anymore is that I can’t sing for toffee. Even in the bath, I resist for fear of annoying the rest of the household. Occasionally in the car – alone – I might burst into song, but can’t reach the high notes no matter how hard I bellow.

Music at school was fun and we had one hour a week with Geoff Floater, a gifted musician, piano and organ player and choir leader. Geoff is in his eighties and still around today.

We all had to sing together in class and hold the notes and Geoff would root out the ‘Boots Brigade,’ those who couldn’t sing at all, and they would be given an instrument to play, the triangle or tambourine etc. When I was about 15 or 16 years of age, Geoff decided to form a choir, the Cottingham Singers. I am guessing that there were around forty in this mixed voice choir ranging from my age right through to retired people in their seventies.

There were sopranos and altos, baritones and tenors. I was firmly a baritone but could occasionally strain myself and by crossing my legs, could reach a tenor’s range on a good day and with a back wind. Their first concert, although they were practising for around a year or eighteen months before that was in 1973/74.

We sang in practise once a week at Cottingham County Secondary School (as it was then - sometimes called Harland Rise although bizarrely, it was located on Harland WAY), and usually ended up afterwards in the Blue Bell pub in Cottingham on the West Green when I was old enough.

Our concerts were few but hugely enjoyable. The annual concerts started in 1974. We sang at the Guildhall in Hull, in the hall at the school and visited old people’s homes at Christmas for carols, some of our best performances. We even shared the stage with a Welsh male voice choir and this is where my memory lets me down, I can’t remember their name, but that was astonishing.

Geoff eventually gave that up and I started working shifts at aged 19, I had to give up because I couldn’t devote my time to it. I joined instead for a short time the Hull City Police Male Voice Choir which no longer exists. We sang at the Methodist Hall in Hull, a huge auditorium and at the Hull City Hall in concert with famous baritone Ian Wallace who died in 2009 aged 90.

I couldn’t give dedicated time to choirs with life starting to move into the adult world of work and more important commitments and I never sang in a choir again. It’s NOT like riding a bike either, you can forget and lose the techniques and tricks of the trade and without practise, I join the world of the Boots Brigade.

Cottingham Singers exist today – a registered charity, and their website is here.

Fun times and rewarding too.

A vicar goes to the zoo and accidentally falls into the lion’s enclosure. Seeing a very hungry looking lion approaching, the vicar gets to his knees in supplication, puts his hands together and starts praying. Incredibly the lion does the same thing.

“A miracle!” shouts the vicar.

“Don’t interrupt, “said the lion, “I’m saying grace.”

Chat soon


Friday, 23 July 2010

Purrfect Mewsic

Let me say right from the start of this blog that I am not animal mad. Mad? yes, an animal? not any more, animal-mad? definitely not.

Nevertheless, the household routine has descended to a temporary stutter while two new additions to the family are slowly introduced into our lives. And, like the rest I've been mesmerised by their antics and already their characters have been established.

Say hello to Jack and Jill. Rescue cats born at the end of April and despite their very similar looks, they were born three days apart and are from two different litters. Our do
g died this year which was very sad, but I've had a cat since I was born apart from ten years while the dog reined. The cats were not supposed to appear until the end of October, but my other half fell in love with these two whilst at the vets getting the budgies claws clipped so we took the dive and I gave my blessing, much to her surprise.

They've seen a squirrel for the first time in their lives and the squirrel was more than interested in them too, albeit
through the window. The boy (who is smaller) likes tea and both like climbing curtains. The budgies got some attention on the first day, but interest in them is waning, for now anyway. So there we are. Here are some early pics.

I've been thinking about music for the last couple of days and in particular my singing days when I was a teenager firstly in a mixed voice choir and then in a male voice choir - fun days and I'll be reminiscing over the weekend on that topic.

Just a short blog today and here are some groan-worthy cat puns:

How do you know when a cat has eaten a duck?

It's a little down in the mouth.

Did you hear about the cat who swallowed a ball of wool?

It had mittens.

Why did the cat join the Red Cross?

It wanted to be a first aid kit.

Why are cats so fond of music?

Because they are mewsical.

Chat Soon


Saturday, 17 July 2010

I name this child... erm...

I had to laugh the other day while listening to 'Sally Traffic' on BBC Radio 2 drive time programme that was hosted by Dale Winton some time last week on the way home from work.

She said that there'd been an accident on the A165 at a place she said she couldn't pronounce - Skirlaugh. Skirlaugh is a small village in East Yorkshire and the name is pronounced by locals as 'Skir - la.'

We don't make it easy for people do we? There is a street in Hull named Belvoir Street. Now anyone with a modicum of French at school would pronounce it something like 'Bell-v-waar'. No - locals here call it 'Beaver', like the animal.

Now this is apart from anything like trying to pronounce people's surnames. As we travel along the road to more diverse communities and ethnic origins come from around the globe, it is getting more difficult. You only had to listen to the commentators in the World Cup to see how occasionally they struggled, and that's with practice and a pronunciation unit to back them up.

Now this, of course is nothing new. Take the BBC classic comedy series, Dad's Army. The man in charge (allegedly) was Captain Mannering. Except his name was actually Main-Waring, hyphenated, yet it's pronounced 'Mannering'. How does that work?

The funniest (sorry Vincent) is the argument about poor Van Gogh and how to say his surname properly. Phonetically you can hear Van Goff, Van Go or Van Gock. In fact according to the Dutch (it is after all their language), his name is pronounced like its ending with a Scottish Loch, Van Gokh.

Don't worry if you're none the wiser, we can't even agree how to say Tutankhamun, is it Toot-an-car-mun or Tootan-car-mooon? Who cares, he
won't mind, he's been dead 3,342 years!

The last one that comes to mind for now was highlighted in the film, Night at the Museum (1 & 2) with the famous native American Indian tracker, Sacajawea, and the characters certainly had fun with that one.

Lets stick to the name theme for today's story.

A young native American Indian boy was speaking to his father and asked why their tribe always had such descriptive and illustrative names.

"Well," said his father, "When your brother was born, I walked out of the tent after the birth and saw an Eagle soaring high above, so I called him Soaring Eagle."

"When your sister was born, I walked out of the tent after the birth and saw a deer running across the prairie, so I called her 'Running Deer.' Why do you ask, Two Dogs Screwing?"

Chat soon


Friday, 16 July 2010

Riddle me once, riddle me twice

I love the immediacy of blogs, the above picture was taken in my village about ten minutes ago as the sun sets on this showery day, and hey perhaps the old adage: 'red sky at night, shepherd's delight' may be true?

Here's a riddle for you

A precipitation of weather comes your way.
The solution? Add a "d" and it will run away.*
*Answer at the bottom of the blog.

After a few weeks of glorious grass browning summer, we have been beset by Atlantic low pressure systems running in wind and rain. The British Open Golf Championship was even temporarily suspended today because of the inclement weather.

I live in what could be called the Humber basin, on rising ground to the north of the river. It is odd, but we often have weather that is slightly different than our neighbours in the East Riding of Yorkshire. Clearly the river is an influence, so we often get fogs when lower ground doesn't, others bizarrely get frosts when we don't. If you look on the BBC weather maps for their forecasts, they usually have a patch of slightly different weather over the Humber area covering Hull, East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire.

This makes for great conversations (as we Brits like to) on the weather, how it affects us and gives us the opportunity to complain whatever the weather!

I am always asked 'what's on for the weekend?' before I leave work on a Friday and my colleagues and I have a round-robin of our activities. One colleague is going to Doncaster (South Yorkshire, UK) with a friend to watch a snooker exhibition by great stars of the snooker world of yesteryear, then on to Nottingham the following day for some shopping with their respective wives.

My other (much younger) colleague and her new partner and friends are going to Leeds and visiting the Birdcage cabaret experience for the weekend of drinking, shopping and more drinking.

My weekend plan is cutting the grass on Saturday weather permitting! I know how to party. And yet, this must be an age thing, I am perfectly content to be at home with family around, reading, pottering and doing things around the house and doing things spontaneously. Although the weather forecast is not very good, the weather won't stop us doing what we want to in our own time.

I try not to watch too much television at any time, although when I walked into the living room last night a rugby league game was on. Now this is surprising because none of us are rugby league fans and don't know much about the game although my wife's family are fans. Hull FC Vs Hull Kingston Rovers was on Sky and what a cracking game of rugby it was - very exciting indeed. This is unique in the sport of rugby league in that this is the only genuine derby game in the game as both teams come from within a city's boundary. Hull are from the west of Hull and are known as the Airlie Birds and Kingson Rovers are from the East and are nicknamed the Robins, (hence their red kit).

By the way, don't ask me what an Airlie bird is or was, I suspect it is an imaginary creature, no-one seems to know! If you do, let me know. The picture (left) is from its very own Facebook page.

Chat soon



Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Anyone good at maths?

If anyone knows where the flaw is in this (sometimes I can get number blind), please let me know, if not, it seems I'm the only worker left!


The population of this country is approximately 60 million.

32 million are retired.

That leaves 28 million to do the work..

There are 17 million in school or at Universities.

Which leaves 11 million to do the work.

Of this there are 8 million employed by the UK government.

Leaving 3 million to do the work.

1.2 million are in the armed forces preoccupied with killing Osama Bin-Laden, and fighting in Afghanistan .

Which leaves 1.8 million to do the work.

Take from that total the 0.8 million people who work for Local County Councils. And that leaves 1 million to do the work.

At any given time there are 488,000 people in hospitals or claiming Invalidity Benefit.

Leaving 512,000 to do the work.

Now, there are 511,998 people in prisons.

That leaves just two people to do the work.

You and me.

And there you are,

Sitting on your arse,

At your computer, reading this blog.

Is it any wonder that we are in such a mess and that I am stressed out through trying to cope on my own?

Chat soon

Thanks to Ian McP by e-mail.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Book Worm

My other half has been away for three days over the last weekend from Friday until Sunday tea time on her religious jaunt to Leeds for a conference where she acts as one of a number of carers to the predominantly aged audience in case of an emergency.

This gave me a weekend to myself, more or less, after having waded through the list of 'things to do.' So a Saturday lunch with two very good friends which lasted over an hour and a half was a wonderful distraction to domesticity and an even greater distraction was spending an hour browsing in the local Waterstones book shop which was packed to the gunnels, followed by a cappuccino and for a treat, a slice of carrot cake (£2 a slice).

Books are still such an important part of my life. I have hundreds of books and I give most of the fiction books away once I've read them to friends or my sister in law who then passes them on to her husbands workplace 'library.' I have tried to read on-line and it's difficult to sit at a pc and read - I soon get distracted. I have a few audio books on my iPod which is okay, if you can find a good book read by someone with an interesting voice. One audio book I have is Jerome K Jerome's
Three Men in a Boat read by the hugely entertaining and highly versatile Hugh Laurie. Not only is the book good, Laurie makes it captivating.

On the other hand, I got Melville's
Moby Dick as an audio book and the voice of the American actor who read it was droll, boring and monotone which spoiled the enjoyment and characters remained bland an uninteresting as a result. Reading the reviews given by fellow purchasers on iTunes is very useful indeed.

I read the blogs of a couple of local writers and they are very interesting indeed, entertaining too, but I guess that's something to do with the characters of the bloggers themselves as well, but reading local books is just as important as reading a well known and established author.

What did I buy in Waterstones? I bought a Penguin book of
Pocket Jokes - no, not jokes about pockets. I bought an AA CityPack guide to Las Vegas and one for San Francisco (we're going there in October for four days in each place). Two CJ Sansom novels based at the time of Henry Vlll with Matthew Shardlake as a lawyer and private detective, Dark Fire and Dissolution. Although I've read the Lord of the Rings triology about three times (apt) I've never read Tolkien's The Hobbit, which I should have read first so as that was on a 2 for 3 offer, I picked that up too.

My final purchase was Simon Hughes,
And God Created Cricket billed as an 'irreverent history of the greatest game on earth,' which, after watching one of the most boring games of football for ages during the World Cup Final, I am sure is correct.

So there we have it. Plenty to go at for the next few weeks.

I was reminded today of two Les Dawson jokes:

'The wife's mother said, "When you're dead, I'll dance on your grave." I said, "Good, I'm being buried at sea!"'

'The wife's mother said, "How would you like to have a chat with me?" I said, "Through a medium!"'

Enjoy the week.

Chat soon


Thursday, 8 July 2010

Too cold, too hot?

I hope this blog finds you well and enjoying this warm balmy weather. Some people are complaining it's too hot! Can't win; they've been complaining about the snow and cold and now it's too hot. I wonder if it's a British character trait? Last night I did my meditation outside in the back garden and at 10.30 pm it was still 20 degrees Celsius with no breeze and glimmer of light still in the western sky. Beautiful.

The noise from Barton Bike night was going on until quite late, but this wasn't distracting, in fact noise can be incorporated into meditation so it doesn't become distracting.

Barton Bike Night is held at Barton in North East Lincolnshire, just across the River Humber and the Humber Bridge and has been taking place for about 14 years. This village (or very small town) attracts motorcyclists from as far away as Poland one night a year and the population of 10,000 increases to 20,000 in one fell swoop for one night only. They come to admire the vast range of motorcycles, get royally entertained by the villagers of Barton and then disappear into the night for another year and it's all very well behaved and good humoured.

It brings much needed cash into the economy and apart from the odd light shower, the weather was kind to them.

I haven't spoken too much about my spiritual life lately, but in just a few words, it steams ahead with a regular weekly circle with Shirley Ann in Hornsea and a fortnightly circle with Margot literally just down the road from me in Hessle, East Yorkshire. I'm just planning another paranormal investigation to be held in early August in Hull and the psychic art is still moving forward.
I will be planning to do the second part of my Reiki in a couple of months, once I've arranged this with the tutor Maureen.

I've heard today from a class colleague from the Arthur Findlay College The Spirit, the Psychic and the Artist course in Essex that I attended earlier in the spring. Stefanie from Germany, a talented photographer, sent some photographs she had taken during the course, it was lovely to hear from her.

I was talking to my neighbour, my sister in law and we've both commented how things have changed in the garden this year. Since the floods in 2007 which devastated parts of our area in Yorkshire and other parts of the UK just as badly, the ground has been poor, the bugs voluminous, especially midges and greenfly and the flowers/shrubs not particularly exciting in quality.
This summer however after a solid and long cold winter, there are fewer bugs by FAR, the flowers are magnificent (I've got two roses that have not flowered at all for the last four or five years, this year they are full of bloom) and the weather seems consistently warm.

It seems the seasons have returned to what they should be and at the right time.

Finally, the best Yorkshire story can be found on the BBC online web site:

World Cup 2010: Englishman Howard Webb to referee final

In fact Howard Webb is in fact a Yorkshireman and the first English referee in a World Cup Final since Jack Taylor in 1974. Many congratulations.

Chat soon


Sunday, 4 July 2010

This little piggy went to market...

It's a grey fresher day out there, but it's still a little muggy; I've just put some towels on the line for her indoors while she's out so praying it doesn't rain because I'll forget and then it's the doghouse for me.

It's been a lazy day recovering from my week's course but this morning in the warm sunshine, my youngest lad and I had a walk down to the farmer's market just underneath the Humber Bridge in their car park. I didn't want to buy anything particularly, but took a few pennies with me just in case which is just as well. There were some punnets of strawberries being sold by one farmer, a 'cancelled order' for a pound each and they looked immaculate so a bit of a bargain. I spent the money we saved on an mint choc chip ice cream.

I may as well make the most of little luxuries because when the new Government tries to implement between 25% and 40% (reported in the news yesterday) cuts in public service spending, I may well not have a job to get out of bed for.

Although the farmer's market isn't a long standing tradition round here which is surprising considering we are in the countryside, up until the foot and mouth outbreaks, cattle markets and other country village and town markets have been more common place. The Humber Bridge market isn't big by any means, but there's plenty to look at and it comes on the first Sunday of the month. Today we were entertained by what my son calls folk jazz, a quartet consisting of a couple of acoustic guitars, an electric mandolin and a flute. Their parting shot as we left was the Kinks song, 'Sunny Afternoon.'

Lazing on a sunny afternoon/In the summertime...

There were pies of all descriptions, meats, breads, honeys and jams, conserves and preserves, plants and herbs, hand made jewellery and garden ornaments, cup cakes, roast venison and red wine sandwiches, eggs by the thousand, fruit and vegetables, cheeses of every type, free parking and music to entertain the masses. What more could you ask for? A cup of tea and an ice cream. Very British.

Not very British was Nadal's Wimbledon men's final trophy win this afternoon, not the only Spanish dominance in sport at the moment, although the Spanish were very lucky to win against Paraguay in FIFAs World Cup, unlike Nadal who frankly was bloody good!

It's ages since I did a list, here are some song titles* that are likely to appeal to pensioners (use your imagination):

Hit me with your walking stick;
Staying alive;
I'm still standing (oops, spoke too soon!)
Speak up little Suzie;
These shoes were made in Dorking;
Bet you look disoriented on the dance floor;
See the blue rinse mounted on Virginia;
Stairlift to heaven;
Goodness gracious, great balls of wool;
Don't go breaking my hip;
Three steps to... (now, what did I come up here for?)

Chat soon

*Thanks to 'I'm sorry I haven't a clue'

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Hoping for a sunny July

White rabbit, white rabbit, white rabbit - hello July.

Four fifths of my course done now in sunny Warwickshire and looking forward to trekking back to God's own county tomorrow afternoon, equally as sunny I hope, Yorkshire - home. As the day's learning has finished and got back to my room, I've just seen Serena Williams storm to victory at Wimbledon; my goodness she's a powerful machine!

By the way, aren't our youngsters (GBR) doing so well at Wimbledon, champions in the making.

Well the newest learning experiences in leadership have been:

Leadership exercises (team work, group dynamics and problem solving);
Intrapreneurial Leadership (one step on from entrepreneurial);
Ethics and leadership;
Values based decision making;
Negotiate and Influence;

Tomorrow we'll finish on 'principles for change' and 'planning for success'.

Boy, do I need my weekend off.

I went for another (shorter) walk last night around the lakes nearby and sat and relaxed on a bench and drew a landscape of a lake and practised portraits. There were a few more people around because it was so nice I guess and what was lovely was that everyone said hello and stopped to pass the time of day with a stranger - me. We were all enjoying the benefits of mother nature as well as landscaped and beautifully maintained countryside.

Ironically, I was told that the lakes were man made quarries originally, must have been many years ago, but they are now a thriving home of a vast array of birds, insects, trees and plants and one guy told me the lakes were full of fish. Well done to whoever was responsible; a lesson to be learned by others about protecting and enhancing our environment.

I've had the pleasure of watching a filmed radio show on my iPod Touch this week on an evening which I would thoroughly recommend as a real laugh and a real fun time. This is one hour and 45 minutes of hilarity in front of a live audience at a theatre: "I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue" hosted by the late Humphrey Lyttelton, whose comic timing was exceptional. He was aided and abetted by Barry Cryer and Graeme Garden as well as Tim Brooke-Taylor and Jeremy Hardy.

Chat soon