Filed: Family Life

I’m not one of those who finds the bad English you come across on signs and restaurant menus when on foreign holidays as hilarious as the average Daily Mail reader.

The poor souls are doing their best to make a bob or two from us British tourists with our bizarre spelling and odd grammar and odder newspaper habits. Read more ›››

It has been another unwintery winter, at least until today when I opened the curtains to a very white car park that the night before had been the main road past our house.

Where it came from I’m not sure as it was simply raining hard when I went to bed and not especially cold. And it has showed no sign of stopping, well not until mid-afternoon. Read more ›››


When I was a youngster, a regular sight on the streets where I lived was the rag and bone man who would take old clothes and other junk in exchange for balloons and other knick-knacks.

His cry of ‘raaaag bo’ would have us kids scuttling round the house in search of anything we could swap, which wasn’t easy since nothing much got thrown away until it was beyond repair, so most of the old clothes we had were on our backs. Read more ›››

Dad’s Doodlebug


Strange how conversations pan out. If you asked me how me and dad got from talking about how he needed a new pair of slippers to his close encounter with German Doodlebug during the war, I couldn’t tell you, but that we did.

It happened around Christmas in 1943 or 1944 and was one of several scary experiences, even though he never got closer to the front than the Home Guard. Read more ›››

Note To Self

I watched the Scotland and England rugby match on Saturday for no other reason than it happened to be on the BBC. Rugby union about too stop start for my tastes and the rules get more arcane every season – I much prefer rugby league.

But I was interested in the shot of Scotland’s Finn Russell at the end of the game that showed markings on the back of his left hand. At first I thought it must be one of those strange tattoos that sportsmen are so keen on these days, but then realised it was actually a numbered list of instructions. Read more ›››


Oh dear, I’ve finally succumbed to the temptation of posting a photo of last night’s dinner, but at least I didn’t feel compelled to share it with the world as seems to be de rigueur among the Twitterati.

I’m not a great cook, in fact I still limit my aspirations to mediocrity, but sometimes I hanker after something specific and have no option but to don my apron and make a mess in the kitchen. Read more ›››

Flying Scotsman

Flying Scotsman Poster

One of my dad’s favourite childhood memories is being taken on a day out to York by my gran. When they arrived there by train, instead of going off somewhere, they hung around in the station. Dad found out why when the Flying Scotsman pulled up at the platform and there on the footplate was my granddad in his blue overalls and his face black with coal dust. Read more ›››


About the only time I catch onto something that has gone viral is when I catch a dose of the flu, unless I happen to be alerted to it by by one of the blogs I read, and so it was in the case of the rude waitress.

This video in a Chicago fast food spot has swept the interweb apparently, although it passed me by. My own experience in the US is that waiting staff are jolly and polite as a general rule, but I’d pay good money to witness a performance like this. Read more ›››

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