About Me

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Typical Piscean, dreamer, story teller in the tradition of my country, I love to write. I'm not sure that I'm any good at it, but getting the words down has its reward.

13 August 2019

All that ancestry stuff!

I have been lazy, busy, and forgetful when it comes to blogging...uninspired on occasion too, if I am to be honest.  I have the best of intentions to sit down and to post, but, then something comes along, there's a mad burst of activity and then the lazy feature kicks in.  Lately, Ancestry has been the main cause of bursts of energy.  

After the hell of last years summer, it was a welcome break to get a text one Sunday afternoon from a favourite cousin.  I hadn't seen this particular cousin for nigh on 28 years.  The boy who left Ireland had returned - a family man, and the thirteen years difference in our ages (me being the elder) had disappeared.  Among a host of traits we discovered we shared, including the colour of our eyes being our Granny's colour, a love of family history was a major factor in a happy reunion.

The text read..."Seeing as how you are the only one of my relatives who seems to have any idea of where our mutual ancestry comes from originally, and according to cousin X, you have the details at your finger tips, can I drop out next weekend for a chat about our shared ancestry?"  A week later and an adventure started.

He had signed into one of these sites that tells you who you are.  A few listings were a bit shaky as in such details as our mutual Grandfathers birth date, the surname of a great-great-grandmother and the birthplace of another key ancestor.  He argued that the information had come from verified records and census.  

I brought forward a diary kept by one of the many grand-aunts and my personal knowledge and memories of a grand-uncle and his sister, a spectacular lady who died at the age of 96 when I was twelve and with whom I had spent a lot of time listening to her reminisences of her family...and computers do not come any more effecient than her brain.  Sharp as a razor right to the end.

Her sister, who died aged 87 in 1947 and who was her elder by a goodly number of years, had kept diaries since she was in her teens.  Sharp tongued, and on occasions nasty, her daily commentary on life here were informative and interesting.  That she spoke of people who were her friends was of particular interest to me, as their grandchildren were the friends I grew up with from childhood. There was a gap in the diary keeping around her twenty first year.  She had met a young man from the local town, and had fallen deeply in love.  

Unfortunately for her, her sharp tongue and a penchant for jealousy sent him flying into the arms of someone with a better control over a sarcastic tongue, and it was only some years later that he admitted to my grandfather that, sarky and all as Norah was, she was never as bad as the "one I married".  Cold comfort to Norah.  That was the last of her chances. 

Diary keeping resumed and commentary could be knife sharp on occasion.  One of her biggest annoyances was the fact that her brother, my grandfather, chose to marry late in life, a lady some 18 years his junior, and he was no longer available to be ordered about.
The Little Sugarload Mt. Wicklow.

So, The Cousin and I started on our trips across the land, to visit the hometowns of those who came before us.  It has made for interesting visits.  Grandfather x 4 times hailed from the borders of Counties Wicklow and Carlow, a mountain farming family who married a Wicklow sheep farmers daughter.  Wexford has featured prominently in the history, and, as I have always known, my married name is the same as my great-grandmother's maiden name.  She and her husband moved from Wicklow to the house next door from where I live.  Nothing like keeping it in the family.

The Cousin, God love him, is totally confused by all the forebears on grandfather's mother's side.  She who shares a name with me.  The two names that keep coming up are Simon and Kate, and there are so many of them that he now lists them as Simon The first, and so on.  Or he did until he found out more of that branch of the family tree.  There are Simon's crawling out of the woodwork.  If you'll pardon the expression.  My mother-in-law used to graciously inform me that I should be honoured to have married into the family name she also had married into.  Suffice it to say that when I informed her, bluntly, that I didn't need to marry her son to have that name, I already had it in my family tree, we heard no more about the matter.
Courtown Beach, Co Wexford.

So, The Cousin and I shall be off on our trails again in either September or October.  Great grandfather, he who married the namesake grandparent, hailed from the West of Ireland.  We shall be travelling through Galway and Sligo and probably a drop down into Clare as we pursue our investigations.  I am loving the whole journey in company that is very much on my wavelength.

27 July 2018

Catching up, yet again

I shocked myself earlier this year when I realised that I had not blogged in over a year.  The road to hell, the nuns used to tell us, is paved with good intentions.  At that rate, I'll have toasty feet when my time comes. 😂

Since I last blogged life has hit with one wallop after another, but I'm still standing, as Elton's song goes.  In April an elderly friend and mother of my late, lifelong friend who had passed away five years previously, went to join her much loved and very lamented daughter.  In May I was threatened with retinal detachment - survived that but keeping watchful eye on it...the optician's eye that is...what, did you think I was punning?  Me?...well! In June YD underwent major surgery for an 8 kilo cyst and a huge clot.  She is recouperating well.  Here at home, fussed over by a doting father, and a grateful mother, both of whom are so grateful to have her with us, alive and looking forward to being her older sisters Chief Bridesmaid next Saturday.  In June ED was talking about calling off the wedding, so grim was the prospect in her eyes that YD would survive all that was ahead of her.  However, she is with us, healing at a pace that is a marvel to the Health Nurse who attends her on a daily basis.  She has a wound following the operation that many a Soldier wounded in battle would respect.

The quietest of the two siblings, she has a stoic character and has borne with grace and equinamity all that she has gone through.  If I sound biased, then replace it with maternal pride and thanksgiving for a much maligned health service that came through for her and a Gynaecologist/Oncologist who has been awesome in his work, his dedication and his very cool head.  Mere words cannot express our gratitude to him and his team.  On the day of the operation the most wonderful part of the day came with his call "All has gone according to plan, she's come through beautifully".  He and the team took their time deciding the best way to tackle a multi complex issue, a case of hasten slowly as my late Mother would have put it.  It frustrated Himself and ED, but I have to say from I first was introduced to him as head of the team taking care of her, I had a sense of calm and a feeling he would bring her through.  He did.  

Next week ED will marry the love of her life, supported by family and friends and her pride and joy she tells me will be her beautiful bridesmaid - her sister.  She is already referring to the wedding as "we get married and then celebrate YD surviving and being with us on the day".

There are two or three more hurdles to overcome before life, hopefully, settles back to some form of normality.  It will never be the same again, we no longer take "feeling great" to mean all is well.  YD was feeling great and in the meantime, a nasty great cyst was growing within.  It is never a bad thing to have a check up with your GP - and a GP who is about his/her business and alert and attentive.  

So here I am, on the catch up again.  At least due to upgrading each week I will definitely be online one day a week, so I intend to blog on that day.  I have missed blogging, and missed reading the blogs of my favourite bloggers, but for today catch up is enough.  

19 February 2018

Not a year since

I could not believe that a whole year has gone by since I last blogged.  Unbelievable!  Getting a signal has been my biggest problem, and I finally got the whole range of problems sorted out by getting a mobile modem.  Now I can sit in comfort, anywhere in the house and type to my hearts content.

This year started with the whole family being afflicted with the horrendous flu that went the rounds.  Added to that snow decided to fall randomly, we had nights of hard frost, early mornings with snow and then the odd spring like day dotted in between.

Madam Pounce passed away in her sixteenth year, peacefully, on 6th December, 2017.  Cranky, complaining and wilful to the end, OH and I returned home from shopping that day and found her curled up, as if soundly asleep, in the flower bed under her beloved YD's bedroom window.  Apart from her tail looking as if she had backcombed it, she appears to have had a very peaceful passing, most probably her heart just gave way.  She is buried with other pets that have made their mark both on our lives and this place.

Queen of all she surveys
Madam Pounce [Aka Angel]
April 2001 - December 2017

We have decided that we shall not replace her for a year or two.  Already the bird life in the garden has increased tenfold; we have Goldfinches, Chaffinches, and Bullfinches in abundance, all flitting across the lawn.  At first they seemed in shock, waiting for the inimitable Mme Pounce to land in their midst, but the Tweeting Times soon spread the word and the flocks started to appear.  The garden looks just like it did in my childhood, brimful of birds.

30 January 2017

Confused? I'll say I am

😏So, my PC decides to upgrade itself; fine, but it could have told me it was going to do that, and then it could have made a nice cup of tea for me and told me of the changes it would make.  Add to that the mischief it got up to - great for rising the blood pressure - and the changes that wrought is it any wonder that I'm not at my best and that confusion has set in.   

So, here I am, warm in the study with new wood burning log stove burning wood warmly...cuppa to hand, stack of books ready to topple over in a bid to attract my attention [coming darlings, just let Bossy Boots upgrade something else and then we can start] and...Oh! God NO! Sheena Kickthecat is coming up the garden path, trailing various quantities of scarves, of various hues and what looks like a file containing every sheet of paper ever written on, anywhere, at anytime in the world.

Sheena, don't get me wrong, is a lovely woman.  She moved into the village about ten years ago, drove Mum mad when she discovered that Mum was a veritable enclycopedia on the history of the village. She would just show up at random times, and, as Mum taught music up to a month before she passed away aged 80 and was a member of everything going on locally and not so local, Mum was usually in a rush out the door. The family joke was you had to make an appointment to see her.

Sheena, darling girl turning 68 next birthday, usually opened conversations with "Now, I know you're probably very busy with your wee students but I just wanted to ask..."  Initially it was alright, a bit mystifying with the "wee" bit as Sheena came from Drimnagh originally, and that is not in Bonny Scotland.  Sheena worked during the week so she would usually call on Saturday afternoon; and initially Mum was quite happy to tell her the local folklore. But...

Sheena takes copious notes, edits them and then contradicts everyone who has an ancestry greater than 80 years in the village; all contradictions ended with - back then - "...and Mary told me so and she should know!".  She once told a neighbour that she felt she could be called the "Jane Marple of the village".  He's still howling with laughter.  He put his own nickname on her "Biddy Butt" and it took.  Refer to her as Sheena and you get a blank look, Biddy Butt and "the look" passes from eye to eye.  We'll say nothing about the soft chuckles.

When Mum passed away, Sheena arrived up at the wake.  Neither of my two girls had met her before, and I had only seen her in passing [Mum putting the accelerator to the floor and hitting 60+ in 40 mph zones] so she...well I don't quite know whether to say "swanned" or "sauntered" so take your pick, into the house, and proceeded in a leisurely manner to go into all the rooms in the house.  Meeting her coming out of what had been my room as a child, Eldest asked her was she lost.  Eyeing Eldest up and down she asked her "and who are you then?" which, given how much Eldest adored her Grandmother, was the proverbial red rag to the bull. 

An enraged "MAAAAAAAM" hollered down the hall, I came out from the sitting room where Mum was being waked and in a mood to swing anything that came to hand out the door [the Parish Priest having been telling me all about my Mother, me being a total stranger to her it seems, and that he would do the eulogy and not her lifelong pal who knew her better than anyone - besides her only child] and there was Sheena.  Smiling politely [alright, so those that know me well would say "smiling like a wolf about to devour a juicy rabbit] I asked her who she was and could I assist her.  "I'm Sheena Kickthecat, I was Mary's closest friend and I am looking for her notes on village history".  AHA!

At this juncture, I should mention that her surname is Irish and she pronounces it in such a way that ~"Kickthecat"~ is what it sounds like.  I still haven't worked it out yet.

"Well, Sheena [safest option] you see Mum never kept notes, all the history and family lineages were in her head.  There is a tradition of seanachai in our family and so..."  My reward was a huge smile and an inquiring eyebrow raised.  "...and you of course will follow in her steps..." a quick glower over her shoulder at Eldest warning her not to say I already do, I replied "no, regrettably I never succeeded in that.  I take after the other side of the family".  A quick prayer to all deceased ancestors at that point, seanachai comes in from both parents.  Eventually, an hour and two cups of tea later both she and the Parish Priest were last seen wandering down the garden path in mutual empathy. 

I managed to avoid her until the Village History Festival a couple of years ago, but when a neighbour [a mere 56 years residency] told her that I was the go-to for information, she started haunting me.  Eventually, Himself, with retirement on the horizon and a strong dislike for the lady in question, told her in polite language one Saturday afternoon that she should ring before coming up and that he didn't like people just popping in.  He said it with a straight face too. 

I think it's beginning to wear off, I'll have to set him on her again.  Two weeks ago she arrived as I was about go to keep a hospital appointment.  I managed to deal civilly with her, but it really has to stop.  She has the whole place driven mad, and now that the last of Mum's generation has passed away, there are now only five of us who fill the category of "Old Village". [wherein our families arrived 1865, 1874 and two in 1900 and one in 1917.  '65 was a good year for our family]. 

Needless to remark all five have their own histories off pat, handed down from Mother to daughter, and I have both mine and all of theirs off as well.  Useful tool actually, when it comes to living in a small village.  When you know the history you'll never fall out with anyone once you keep the facts to yourself.  There's no point is starting a feud by coming out with the juicy news that in 1910 X's Grandfather threw a rusty horseshoe at Y's Great Grandmother's herd of goats and scattered them for miles around the area.  That must have been some temper he had...

12 January 2017

The start of another year...

It was a great Christmas, everyone was in total agreement.  We sat around the table taking our ease, chatting and laughing, opening crackers in a desultory manner.  The turkey cooked to perfection and all those I love present.
The cat, in a state of shock, was even allowed to sit in front of the fire.  Principally because since we got an inset stove I'm not afraid of her usual trick of trying to see what's up the chimney when the flames go up.  This new feature in our family room has also removed my long held fear of a spark on the carpet setting the whole place alight. 
Believe you me, up at this height when the gales blow, it is a distinct possibility.  Since my childhood I can remember occasions when my Mother put out the fire on gale force nights, as she called them, and we felt the cold chill of a winter's night, rather risk a downdraught and it's consequences.  The view is glorious...but as with anything you pay a price.
The general topic of conversation, however, on New Year's Eve was, on occasion, rather grim.  Neighbours dropped in, an old friend who has moved back to Ireland arrived unexpectedly by very welcome nonetheless, and the right kind of relative, those you know make such an event were with us during the day. 
The conversation ranged from changes in the place in the almost nine years since Mum passed away, to how much youngest daughter is enjoying her new job.  After three years of seeking work this was truly a gift from Santa, and the smile on her face as she hurries off to work is definitely my best present.
Chief topic of chat was the future.  Where will things go from here on a global and national basis.  We're Irish.  We love talking politics.  We love trying to see into the future...we're all convinced we're mystic minded, but with the way the world stage is playing out, this year there were no definitive "we will..." this year; "If God spares us we might..." was more the norm. Even during the Recession when everything went totally pear shaped, we Irish kept the bright side shining as best we could, but this year...well we'll cross everything, pray to God and steer clear of the rocks...and hope that things won't be too bad.
The cat, facing either her 14th, 16th or possibly 15th year has no such worries.  OH will continue to feed her as if she was suffering from malnutrition.  The rats will continue to sit waiting for her now corpulent form to catch up with them.  I think they misjudge the hussy.  One found to his cost last night that Madam may be making up for the skinny years with a girth like a beanbag, but she can still cut it with the best.
On the lane two houses have been sold.  One of the neighbours was a childhood friend and will be very much missed, the other, well let's just say that the new people are truly friendly and we look forward to seeing their smiling faces for a long time to come.
Mary Mulgrave* bought herself a new car.  The other one was 25 years old.  No scrappage deal could tempt her to get rid of Horatio as she called her car.  She's already a liability on the road.  Things go beep she tells us.  It's one of "them new fangled gewgydags" and she's been back to the sales man twice to order them taken out.  As he explained to her, they keep the car running.  Well, her son did warn her that she should have bought second hand.  There's a dent on the front wing.  That came about because the "whatjacallit" beeped [seat belt alarm to you] and the button she thought was a demister started telling her where to drive..."sure didn't she know the roads better than that gobbledeygook thingummy" she told us.
A very Happy New Year to one and all...I'm off to find a lane Mary can't drive on, and where there is shelter from the gales and Mozart playing in my ears so I can't hear anymore world news!
 * Not her real name

24 November 2016

As Autumn folds into Winter and Christmas is just around the corner

As Autumn folds into Winter and Christmas is just around the corner, we are basking in sunshine here in the garden today.  That is not taking into account the bitterly cold east wind, whistling like the Bean Siodh [ban-shee] around corners, or the presence of wasps harvesting windfall apples.  We have been busy putting winter colour into the garden this autumn.

Himself has put the garden to bed, sinking into the sofa before a roaring fire each evening with a sigh as he “complains” how busy he is.  The roaring fire is now safely ensconced behind a glass door.  We opted for an infill style stove in the family room and a more traditional wood burning stove in my study.  He is in his element, coming up to three years since he retired, life in the garden is his idea of heaven, today is his first day of indoor decoration.

We had a lovely week in Kerry in September despite Atlantic gales, heavy rain and sleet, snow and heat – and all that in two hours - one of the days.  We know how to read the cloud formations and where they’re heading so it is a simple matter of going opposite to the sunshine.  To my delight, I found, way off the beaten track, a warehouse filled with material that would lift any dressmaker or upholsterer’s heart, at prices that were way below shop prices. 

For €15 I bought beautiful net curtains for study and bedroom. A pair of navy tartan curtains at €5 have now been transformed into curtains for the shelving in the utility room and, taking the tab off the top of the other curtain in the pair, I now have a very nice table cloth for Christmas day.  I splurged out in another shop on two sixteen piece plain white dinner services.  At home, locally, I would have paid over €80 – in the little side street shop in Listowel the two sets cost me €38 and they are just what I was looking for.  My “Bargain” brain being thus satisfied, all that was left was to enjoy the colours of the hedgerows.

On day two of our holiday we travelled out to Brandon Head.  The brambles were top-heavy with blackberries, rose hips from the dog roses that gracefully fragranced summer evenings and the deep red holly berries shone like beacons of welcome.  The mountains were at that stage when the deep purple of the heather is slowly turning to a rich molten brown and the mulberry bushes were the icing on the cake.  I was put in mind of the lines
        “Where the bee lurks, there lurk I…”

We used to sing this in choir in school.  Our class were the bane of Mother Stella’s life.  Coming in on two-part harmony wasn’t our forte…had she tried Gerry and the Pacemakers she might have had better luck.  Still, something stuck in our sludge like brains…her description of our intellect.

We celebrated 38 years since we first met on Hallowe’en Sunday.  This year, instead of going out for a fancy meal, we decided that we would take off early on Sunday and head out to the university town of Maynooth in Co. Kildare, travelling through the lovely little villages of Clane, Sallins, Saggart and Prosperous on the way.  The hedgerows were ablaze with full Autumn colours reminiscent of a Robert Kincaid picture.  Across the fields the lines of trees, in various hues, was intoxicating.  We picnicked near Clane, along the canal side, admiring the barges tied up along the quay.  Such a lovely elegant manner of travel.  We have promised ourselves a trip along the Royal Canal next Spring.

Inspired by our day out we decided on Bank Holiday Monday to head off again.  This time we took the road to Roundwood in Co Wicklow cutting off just before the village to take the road to the Sally Gap.  My sister in law always amuses me by calling it Sally’s Gap, thinking it refers to a girl called Sally.  Instead is named for the willows [also known as sally-rods] that were prolific once upon a time in those parts.  No matter how many times I tell her the true origin of the name, and I am the local on this, she [non-local] always insists she is right.

From a view point along the Gap route, we looked down on Lough Dan where the t.v., series “Vikings” is filmed.  The lake was like a still black mirror reflecting the scree down the mountainside.  Further into the valley the trees were like a beacon of wine, silver, gold, bronze and winter green.  It was as if a carpet of jewels had been laid at our feet and we could only feast our eyes with this intoxicating sight, frustrated that we had forgotten to bring along a camera and, needless to remark, my phone decided to indulge in a touch of rigor mortis otherwise known as flat battery!

Onwards to the crossroads and decision making time.  Turning left would bring us back to Enniskerry and Roundwood, straight ahead would bring us to Blessington and its lovely lakes and a right turn would take us to Kirrikee and the opportunity to travel down the mountainside to visit Gleann na Smol [glen of the thrush] and a chance to pick up some fresh free range eggs.  No contest, we turned right and the view ahead was awesome.  Miles and miles of moorland.  Grasses of cream and green and wine, turf banks covered by ling and overhead a lone hawk hovered.  As we turned down the steep road, barely a lane, for Gleann na Smol, two grouse broke cover and swiftly flew low across the road to hide in a fold in the turf.

Luck was not on our side.  Mrs Duck was not in laying form.  She is on strike until January.  Given that the road down to the glen is almost vertical, we won’t be risking the icy journey through the mountains to find this hidden gem.  Spring will come and with it Aylesbury duck eggs.  We finished our journey at Johnny Foxes famous pub in Glencullen with an Irish coffee and then home by Kiltiernan to a warm fire and hot meal.

As I write I am under observation.  A large and very chubby Robin is sitting on the vegetable garden fence.  He is not too pleased with life.  The mild autumn has meant that the Mother Robins have seduced the males and there is an abundance of Robins this year.  Territorial wars have broken out. 
The Great-tits are flying around at high speed calling “News!  News!” and we may have to bring in the stately Bullfinches to negotiate a peace treaty.  The front garden is being strongly contested by two ebullient robins.

The chubby chap from the veggie garden has been named “The Bomber” after the famous Kerry football star of the ‘70’s The Bomber Liston whose feats on the playing field made the Kerry team the legend it is.  Over near the clothesline, Paudie Robin holds sway, named for another great Kerry stalwart Paudie O’Shea.

The Bomber Robin
One of our first stops when we arrive in Kerry is at the late Paudie O’Shea’s pub on the road to Slea Head.  Everyone who is anyone globally is in a photo up on the walls of the Pub.

And so the kitchen has had a facelift, new emulsion on the walls, the ugly entrance to the attic now possessed of a glamourous door, brass handle and twenties style architrave.  A pull on the handle and a stair unfolds to allow me investigate the one area of the house I have never visited in over 60 years…the attic.  Oh God! Another area to sort out.

Christmas is on the horizon and I am remarkably ahead on the present-shopping line.  I’m slightly suspicious that someone has been left out, but my list has been long drawn up, written in, for once, legible script, and pinned on the back of a book on my desk where the super-sleuths in this house would never think of searching.  Sometimes I think they are 03 not 30+.  

Dingle Bay Kerry

The view from Mt Brandon...next parish

10 July 2016

Sunday and the living is easy...after another week!

I had the house to myself today, so I decided to have breakfast in the Garden Room, sit back and relax with a good book and forget about the world for a while.  It's been one of those weeks...again!

Afterwards, I decided that I would sit in the study, and listen to a Mozart piano concerto for a while; I have a random selection on the computer and it reminds of me of my childhood listening to Mum playing our piano.  Even now, eight years on since she passed away, former pupils and their children who were former pupils often stop me in the supermarket, or in the street, to say how much they loved learning to play, taught by her they also got lessons in local history, and a running commentary on whatever birdlife was flitting in the bush outside of the room where she taught.  On the wall is a picture of John B Keane, one of my favourite Irish authors and a Kerryman to boot!

The veranda was painted for the first time five years ago in sage green.  We're now repainting; inspired by The Durrells, we're going forget-me-not blue and I have mixed two tubs of emulsion to create a new colour; brilliant white [half a tub left over from last years redecorting programme] and magnolia [a quarter tub] and for good measure a quarter tub of a light lemony cream emulsion.  We will be gorgeous!  Even Mme Pounce approves.  I'll put up a picture of the new look when it is finished.  I'm moving away from sage green and winter holly green on flower pot holders, to the forget-me-not blue and a lovely deep wine colour and the cream/lemon/white mix.

We spent the week in something like suspended animation, a cousin of Himself's rang the week before to tell us that she would be spending her holidays introducing her new beau to friends and family.  They met in Scotland a couple of years ago at a Rugby match and are now an item, she told him.  He issued an invitation to lunch for last Wednesday as it was one of two days we would be guaranteed to be at home all day. 

"Lovely" she said, "we'll see ye then around twelve thirty on Wednesday".  

Cometh the day, not cometh the cousin.  Half twelve rolled into half one, and two thirty became three.  Luckily I had prepared a salad lunch [as Mum used to call them] and they never left the fridge where I had placed them until she should arrive.  Around four, aggravated by not hearing anything, and I suspect embarassed as she is usually a stickler for the conventions, he rang her.  

"Oh I forgot", she gaily replied.  "We got chatting over coffee and time ran away, besides which I'm on holidays".  Through gritted teeth [all his own] he suggested a phone call would have been nice.  

"Not at all" said she [risking life and limb for keeping him from his veranda painting], "sure what would ye have been doin' anyway?"  No comment.  Smirk!

"Well" says she brazenly "tell ye what, we'll drop in sometime tomorrow just for a coffee, say around three in the afternoon?  We can fit you in between visiting my old school pal Maureen and he wants to see the Art Gallery place in town".  

"Lovely" returns himself.

Thursday afternoon paint brushes were downed at two pip emma, a quick shower and there we were, sitting relaxing [well I was relaxed, I know she wouldn't show, we've been down this road with her before] in the sunshine in the garden.  At four thirty, growling like a Kodiak bear, he stalked off to change into his painting garb and blue paint flew in every direction.  We have a beautifully blue speckled veranda floor now, forget-her-not?

Friday dawned and after going off to do the weeks grocery shopping in the morning, I left him mixing more emulsion to paint the walls of the veranda while I went off to visit my last surviving aunt who lives in a care home about ten minutes away.  Knowing that Theresa would, inevitably turn up, I left a tray of buns and goodies and cups etc., on a tray in the kitchen.  

"What's that for" he asked; "so you only have to boil the water for the tea or coffee when they arrive".  

"They won't" he snorted, "your man is going back to Scotland tomorrow and we won't get a visit".

Four o'clock, while having a good chuckle over family history with my aunt, the cell phone rings.  

"Can you come home please?, would you mind? they'll be here in an hour, she just rang".  

"I'll be back at five" I told him, and I was true to my word.

Twenty to eight her car slid into our front yard.  "Ah sure there ye are" she greeted us gaily, "didn't I tell you we wouldn't be putting ye out if we were a trifle late".  If Himself had a custard pie to hand, she might have gotten it in the face!