Monday 23 March 2009


This time last year OG was recovering from major surgery to remove and reconstruct his bladder. The good news was that the operation was a success and there was no discernable trace of cancer in his major organs but the bad news was that of 6 lymph nodes analysed, 2 were found to be cancerous. It was an emotional roller coaster.

He then went on a coarse of chemo which made him so ill that Spring and Summer were virtually written off. His weight dropped dramatically and he was very, very poorly. But in the autumn he bounced back again and here he is still fit and well today to tell the tale. Amazing. We do know that he is not entirely out of the woods yet, but each day is a minor miracle to be enjoyed and cherished because this time last year we were in despair.

Yesterday afternoon, Mothering Sunday, we had been invited to spend with the family at our daughter’s house. The little ones had a great time in the swimming pool while the adults indulged their passion for eating and drinking. I have a reputation for never getting drunk, but yesterday that reputation was ruined. BUT I didn’t insult anyone, so I guess that was a bonus.

Before we went to the pool party I read of an interesting concept in education that may be worth watching. In this country there has been a move to upgrade the fabric of the educational establishments but we still have pupils leaving school poorly educated without being able read or write.

In Sweden they have decided that an excellent building is not as important as excellent teaching and they are developing a website portal with all lesson plans covering the national curriculum available for teachers and pupils to download. This means that instead of teachers having to spend many hours constructing their own teaching plans they can now spend the time more profitably in mentoring and coaching pupils.

The average teacher spends 17 hours actually teaching, but using this method this can be increased to 27 hour. They have 50-minute meetings with each pupil to work out the best way to access this buffet of learning to meet individual learning abilities and set goals, with some more suited to study periods and some to more traditional workshop learning. During the week one-to-one meetings take place to assess progress. Pupils also attend university style lectures.

Anything that makes learning interesting has to be worth trying

And finally… a hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Friday 13 March 2009


Propped up in bed, drinking our first cup of coffee of the day we learned this fascinating fact. First, we were informed, we had blogging, then we had twittering and now we have snarking. Snarking, the reporter explained, is to make derogatory comments about something or someone (normally a celebrity), in a blog.

The news item then went on to tell us that a model is sueing a snarker in New York. On hearing this OG announced to the TV "my wife snarkes me" and to me "can I sue you?" " sure you can darling, just make sure you find another sucker to love, cherish and obey you first"

My first snark today is to ask why on earth the BBC is wasting my hard earned licence fee money reporting this inane piece of s..t and passing it off as news?

Material for my second snark awaited we when I opened my emails. DogLover had sent me this jolly little ditty.

Gordon Brown is my shepherd, I shall not work.
He leadeth me beside the still factories.
He restoreth my faith in the Conservative Party.
He guideth me in the path of unemployment.
Yea, though I wait for my dole,
I own the bank that refuses me.

Brown has anointed my income with taxes,
my expenses runneth over my income,
surely, poverty and hard living will follow me all the days of his term.
From henceforth we will live all the days
of our lives in a rented home with an overseas landlord.

I am glad I am British,
I am glad I am free.
But I wish I were a dog
and Brown was a tree.

Am I now officially a snarker! ?

Wednesday 11 March 2009


This was emailed to me by one of my daughters. Thanks Tracie, I know it's a send up, but I couldn't have put it better myself. I have actually been saying to OG that the PC crap is getting to feel like Nazi Germany/communist Russia must have felt. Paranoia fuelled by the fear of family, friends and neighbours reporting "inappropriate" behaviour to the authorities. The Carol Thatcher golliwog incident being a good example. And now I am going to stop ranting. Promise! Well, for today anyway!!

And finally ... I believe that sometimes when I'm angry I have the right to be angry, but that doesn't give me the right to be cruel.

Sunday 8 March 2009


In Belfast on 10th August 1976 a terrorist, trying to escape pursuers, lost control of his car and plowed into a woman and three children. All of the children were killed. A woman living nearby heard the impact and when she saw the carnage vowed that this slaughter of innocents had to stop. Enough was enough

She went knocking on doors begging and pleading with people to put an end to this violence once and for all. Her appeal found a ready response. More and more people rallied to her call. One of the first to do so was an aunt of the three children.

These two women went on to form the Northern Ireland Peace Movement and in 1976 they received a Nobel Peace Prize.

Their names are Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan but unfotunately in the ensuing years they were discredited .

I mention all this for three reasons.

1. Here we are, 32 years later, still listening to news of two soldiers killed and four injured in a cowardly attack in Northern Ireland last night.

2. A new political party has been formed for the express porpose of shining a light into the murky world of British politics. How long will it be before the founders of this party are also discredited and personally vilified? This is a British sickness that has to stop.

3. Watching Peter Mandelson on the Andrew Marr show this morning smuggly reassuring us all that the British Government will resolve the global crisis and ensure that the international banking system is made more transparent makes me dispair.

Whenever will we learn.

Wednesday 4 March 2009


There are some very interesting people out there in the blog-sphere and I would like to pass this Smile Award, kindly given to me by, on to some of them.

So ….here are a sample of the many, many blogs that make me smile, and sometimes even cry. Enjoy.

As for me, I am having and “interesting” day with my “interesting” husband.

Today he is clearing our sitting room of “stuff” so that he can rip it to pieces. Here are a couple of “before” pictures. He is moving the fireplace to where the French doors are, putting in a new window where the fireplace is, fit patio doors where the window is, take down two columns that used to support the stairs and take down the beams. Whew! No wonder he gets grumpy! OG = Old Grumpy – geddit?

OG just tried to apologise for being snappy earlier and I said “Don’t mellow me out, I’m just telling everyone what a bastard you are”.

And finally … my husband and I may divorce over religious differences. He thinks he’s God and I know that he isn’t.