Monday 28 February 2011


I've lived in a particularly low lying area of Lincolnshire for 25 years and, touch wood and without tempting fate, have never felt worried about flooding. To my knowledge there has never been a flood in living memory because we have a good drainage system and sluice gates to move water from vulnerable areas out to sea. There are people on call at all times to man these gates and it has worked well (so far).

Now I'm worried. Why? Well see what you think of this. This week we received two carrier bags full of crap. I apologise for these pictures being on the "huh" but I don't know how to turn them around!

In total we received 8 large posters, 12 medium posters, 2 small posters, 12 long posters, 8 fridge magnets, 16 costers, 4 key rings and 2 mugs. They now clutter up the office because no-one likes to throw them away.

My question is, why not spend this squandered money on flood defences? Or is this too simple for them to understand?

Thursday 24 February 2011


Take a look at this video on eddybluelights blog today I don't want to give too much away but the thesis is that all pop songs over the last 40 years have been based on the same 4 simple chords. If you decide not to take a look you will be missing something amazing.

And now for something completely different. I was invited into my grandson's/
greatgrandaughter's school to talk about my experiences in the London suburbs during the Second Word War. My grandson Taylor is 9 and this is the poem he wrote about that talk. Now of course I'm not at all biased, but I think that he has great talent.

The crocodile reference relates to a game we used to play jumping off of the garden wall onto the grass which had become a crocodile infested river. I told this story in response to the question "what sort of toys did you have during the war". Answer - none but we were very inventive!

Nanny’s Memories of the War

Boom, bang, crash, thud,
Planting seeds in the mud
Under the bomber’s moon
Daddy will be home soon

I’m never getting out of this
I hope the bombers do miss
I’m never getting out of here
I hope daddy is near

Daddy brings home a tin
I think chocolates within
I need to get away from the crocodiles
I’m not supposed to look at the air craft files

Quickly, quickly turn the dial
The fire station is a mile
St Paul’s is still there
In our beloved town square

By Taylor Graham

Monday 14 February 2011


This afternoon I went on an errand for my friend. On the way into town my 'phone rang. I nearly wrecked the car trying to find the 'phone in my bag so that I could yell at the caller "I'm driving, I'll call you back". Couldn't find 'phone, pulled over. It stopped ringing. "1 lost call - view". I viewed. My friend. Maybe I don't need to go on the errand after all. I call back. Busy. I call back. Busy. I call...well you get the drift.

I sit in the layby for a while hoping she would call me back. She doesn't. I drive off. Peep, peep. A message. I pull over. 1 voicemail. I access voicemail. Voice tells me that I'm not set up for voice mail. What sort of f.....g service lets someone leave a message on a service that isn't set up? Grrrr! I try ringing friend again. Busy. I drive off. Phone rings. I pull over. 'Phone stops ringing. Friend. I call friend, she answers and apologises for ringing me in the first place, she meant to ring someone else. Oh my, how we laughed.

Now take a look at this. The video is 12 minutes long but, provided you understand our weird British humour, is very, very funny.

Friday 11 February 2011


When I was in the process of winding up Davy's estate this time last year I rang up the Inland Revenue to enquire about his overpayment of tax. I was told that if a rebate was due it would triggered when his final tax return had been submitted.

This was duly sent off in December and I waited patiently for the rebate. In mid January I rang the Inland Revenue with another query and while I was speaking to their "operative" I asked when I could expect this rebate.

The delightful young man checked and said, yes there was a rebate due, but I had to submit Form R27 to claim it. No-one had told me that! Out of interest I asked what would have happened if I hadn't asked the question and was told it would just sit in the account, unclaimed.

The form went off on 21st January and as I hadn't received an acknowledment of receipt I thought I'd better check it out. Another delightful young man told me that he doubted if it would have been dealt with yet, put me on hold while he looked into it and came back with this information, and I quote, "Post received between 22nd/28th January will not be dealt with until 25th February". I laughed. "What do you mean "will not be dealt with?"" and he said "it won't even be opened, it just sits in a pile". Now I'm not normally a rebel but come the revolution.............

Calm down Ann, deep breath! OK, I'm in the zone again. A friend sent me this joke this morning and it lightened my mood again:
A Little Christian Humor

Jesus and Satan were having an on-going argument about who was better on the computer. They had been going at it for days, and frankly God was tired of hearing all the bickering.

Finally fed up, God said, 'THAT'S IT! I have had enough. I am going to set up a test that will run for two hours, and from those results, I will judge who does the better job.'

So Satan and Jesus sat down at the keyboards and typed away.

They moused
They faxed
They e-mailed
They e-mailed with attachments..
They downloaded
They did spreadsheets!
They wrote reports
They created labels and cards
They created charts and graphs
They did some genealogy reports
They did every job known to man
Jesus worked with heavenly efficiency and Satan was faster than hell.

Then, ten minutes before their time was up, lightning suddenly flashed across the sky, thunder rolled, rain poured, and, of course, the power went off...

Satan stared at his blank screen and screamed every curse word known in the underworld.

Jesus just sighed....

Finally, the electricity came back on, and each of them restarted their computers. Satan started searching frantically, screaming:

'It's gone! It's all GONE! 'I lost everything when the power went out!' Meanwhile, Jesus quietly started printing out all of his files from the past two hours of work.
Satan observed this and became irate. 'Wait!' he screamed. That's not fair! He cheated! How come he has all his work and I don't have any?' God just shrugged and said, JESUS SAVES ...

Have a good day.

Tuesday 8 February 2011


Handbagged! Woman pensioner foils sledgehammer jewellery store raid by clobbering six thugs with her bag.

Take a look at this, it's a testament to "70 year old girl power "
. The moral of this story has to be - never, never, never underestimate the "swinging sixties" generation.

Another story I liked was the one about a little girl who put a message in a bottle. A boy called Richard found it and sent her a postcard to which she never responded. Some years later, while clearing out her loft, she found the postcard and realised that it had been sent by her husband who she had met by chance in a sandwich shop in Beverley, Yorkshire. I think this has to be a case of extreme serendipity!

Wednesday 2 February 2011


Two news items caught my eye on Breakfast TV this morning. They were both inspirational and filled me full of hope for the human race.

The first was a story about homeless children who go to Quintin Kynaston School in north London. The Headteacher, Jo Shuter, is so concerned about them that she is fundraising to raise £2,000,000 to provide them with a proper home. She doesn't want it to be a hostel, but a place where they will have space and naturing care. She has 17 children who are officially homeless and another 20 who she says "sofa surf". And they are a few among many. It's estimated that there are 75,000 homeless children currently in education.

A boy and a girl in the "homeless" catagory were interviewed. They are both in 6th form, want to go on to further eduction, were articulate and are obviously intelligent. The boy was thrown out of his home by his mother in the middle of winter a couple of years ago. He lived rough for a while and now lives in hostels which he describes as filthy. The girl didn't explain her homelessness but said she was very sad that her friends could go home to their families whereas she is on her own and has no-one to look after her.

During all this trauma they both continued their schooling which was a stable constant in their chaotic lives. And their one bit of luck is that they go to a school that cares and wants to change things.

Good luck to you Jo Shuter, you are one of lifes unsung heros. In this world of cynicism and "what's in it for me" it's inspirational to think there are still people like you. We need more.

The second news item also focused on education. It was an interview with Prof. Brian Cox the eminent astro physicist who is currently working on the Large Hadron Collider in Cern. No slouch. He said that in a poll of 3000 parents science was seen only as an option for brighter students.

He claims that you don't have to be a genius to be a scientist. Science isn't only goggles and bunsen burners, it's curiosity about how life started and how will it end, wondering if we live on the only inhabited planet, etc. The why, who, when, questions. All it takes is enthusiasm, passion and practice. Like practicing the piano it takes repetition and dedication. Yeh, right! He then blew my mind away when he said that he only achieved a Grade D in maths in his A Levels! What!!!!

He recommends that students interested in science should visit the Big Bang Fair which is travelling around the country starting 10th March.

As a "taster" here he is talking about the end of the world. Note: remind me never to get in a car with him when he's in the driving seat. Mind you, it would be a different matter if he was in the back seat!

He is a complete nutter and an amazing man. I highly recommend that you watch more of his stuff on youtube, especially his story about being a rock god. Wonderful. What a great communicator.

The thing that I believe Jo Shuter and Brian Cox have in common is that neither have been constrained by conventional thinking. They don't accept that something is impossible, they just go on and do it anyway. God bless you both.