Thursday, May 29, 2008


Paul recently showed concern at my absence from the blog so to redress it, here's a rare post from me. I might even make another one shortly! The link is a clip from the PRS memorial DVD which should be finished soon. This particular clip is just a simple slideshow of the site as it was in Sep last year. I put it on Youtube to see how it came out and to see how many hits it might get. I'll be taking it off in a few days.

I've had to put the link in as I haven't figured out how to post a direct link to Youtube so it shows as a pic in the Blog post.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The final pic

This pic is from my mobile phone which is a better quality camera than I use normally (or so the megapixels tell me). The pictures that I have downloaded are just a snapshot of the atmosphere of Wembley and obviously cannot convey the atmosphere that the home of English football creates to all that walk through its doors. To those that have not entered, it is truly magical and the hairs on the back of one's neck stand up as you take you seat and see the teams emerge from the tunnel. I am fortunate that I have been to both Wembley's, there is nothing like it. (only a PRS reunion bash)

The team salute the 37,500 fans and a parting shot of the home of football.

The moment of triumph. I am reminded of Henry V's speech on the eve of the battle, those who were not there will wish they had been. Not the exact words but ...........................

A few more from that historic day

The Tigers

Tigers fans salute the winners. Wembley was magic, 86,618 - not bad for a play off I think.

Another very special place....

...well to us anyway.

And obviously visited on a glorious day...

By someone calling himself 'Oldigitaleye''. ('Old'? Well some of us wouldn't mind being your age, Oldigitaleye!)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

HMT Empire Ken

Thought I had a picture somewhere of the Empire Ken, - I was sent an email with a copy of the page of the shipping records from that voyage in February 1956. My Mums name and those of my brother and myself are in it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

H.M.T. Empire Trooper

I have a couple more somewhere,but will need to delve deep into my other chest.

Empire Fowey

H.M.T Dunera

weekend fun.....

...enjoy the weekend, folks: hope the sun shines well in your neck of the woods!...

Spot the ex PRSite?

Another end-of-week quiz for those who feel inclined. As a bonus, can anyone name the one in the middle?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

104 years of waiting. The Tigers have never been to Wembley. 'Ull is simply buzzing and a further 1500 tickets go on sale at 0900 tomorrow. 36,000 were sold in three days and those who missed ut are at the KC Stadium already camped out.

Come on you 'Ull

Wembley Way here I come

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Let's Dance

Found this clip - it is about dancing at weddings really - but I am sure we all recognise some of the styles at reunions - as I said before I hold my hand up to the dances to the dance floor bit - just thank goodness we don't have the DJ that he goes on about!

Health care

There is no doubt that Americans believe their private system is the best health care in the world. I'm here to say it's not. They are also very quick to condemn 'socialized (sic) medicine' (no pun intended there!) when, basically, none has had any experience of it and their 'opinion' is moulded by those who profit from maintaining the status quo - basically huge insurance companies and drug manufacturers with pots of money at their disposal and consequent serious political clout.

'Emergency room service' (casualty to us) is overrun by those who cannot afford medical insurance. Those who are insured are in a constant battle with insurers over what constitutes appropriate care - doctors can diagnose and prescribe treatment but the insurance companies have the final say over what they will pay for.

'Off the street' care is limited by the risk of litigation through malpractice - and the premia for malpractice insurance essential to any doctor are astronomical.

Drugs cost a fortune - significantly more than anywhere else on the planet. So much so that people organise bus trips to Mexico and Canada specifically to fill prescriptions! (mostly Canada because current paranoia has Mexico labeled as a hotbed for emergent terrorism - although it is much cheaper than Canada)

Having said all that, IF you have first class insurance (bloody expensive - for our family around $2,000 a month and I'm not kidding!) and IF any treatment prescribed falls within recognised and approved insurance criteria then hospitals are comfortable (comparitively) and private rooms are normal - will all Mod. Cons. - at a cost of about $1,500 per night! Lengthy hospital stays are therefore most unusual.

And there's the real rub. Insurance companies impose a maximum lifetime amount for which they will pay. Once you've reached that maximum you are (to coin an Americanism) shit out of luck. Your insurer will drop you like a hot brick and no other insurer will carry you!

On the whole, socialised medicine has many merits. Where it probably goes off the rails is when more manpower and money goes into administration than into the provision of health care, the reason for its very existence.

Another old photo

My grandmother is in centre of the photo with some of her brothers and sisters circa 1899. It is alleged that they looked very different from each other and it has been suggested my great grandmother used to entertain men friends while my great grandfather was shovelling coke at the gasworks. The blonde-haired lad at the front is my great uncle Edwin. He died in 1916 as a sergeant in the King’s company of the first battalion the Grenadier Guards, when in September the Guards Division were called up to try and retrieve the debacle of The Somme.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The thread hasn't dried up- more Grannies

My grandmother centre, following my father’s christening. Leaning against the gate my uncle shot down after a bombing raid on the Tirpitz during WWII. Sorry not much in the way of stockings on display here.

We seem to have a shortage of pear trees!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

stepping out...

...does this remind anyone else of a certain dance, entitled " the school step", reminiscent of PRS socials? :)

And now.....reality!....or not.....

During our absence in UK (see earlier posting) our cats Chloe and the domestic terrorist Osama bin Lintott had clawed a rug almost to the backing tape. So, She Who Must be Obeyed went to Pets' Mart and bought a scratch pad for them - made of heavy duty corrugated cardboard. It came with a sachet of catnip for which both cats have developed quite an affinity. Now they're are going wild to scratch at the pad and lick at the weed and it seems to have a mildly narcotic effect on them.

So psychedelia rules.....and both cats are extremely docile just now!

On the topic of incorrigible:

Encouraged by your welcoming comments Paul, I proffer:

There once was a lady named Jane
Who liked a bit now and again
And again and again
And again and again
And again and again!

I'm not a pheasant plucker.............

On a lighter note, my daughter Kate called me from New Orleans today to say she'd just seen a bumper sticker saying, "We should have picked our own damned cotton!". After I'd stopped laughing, I had cause to reflect that anyone with a bumper sticker like that in New Orleans must have cojones the size of the combined Magdeberg Hemispheres......................then it occurred to me he probably just had a big gun!


Hi all.

Your US correspondent has just returned from a whirlwind trip to UK occasioned by aged parents being admitted to West Suffolk Horsepiddle, one with a broken hip and the other with an inflamed gall bladder.

Seems to me both 'nursing' and 'care' are rare commodities indeed at this establishment. Without my sister's continuous and frequent diligence, there is no doubt Dad would have died and Mum would have been treated for entirely the wrong ailment! What an utter shambles!

With a broken hip, Dad couldn't have been further from the loo without being in the car park outside. Calls for assistance were ignored and Sis arrived several times to find him sitting in pee. He wasn't selected for special treatment in this regard - several others were in puddles too! Three seconds to provide a bottle in a timely manner or half an hour to clean up an elderly and by now distressed patient who was in pain to start with, strip and remake the let me see.....which makes more sense......? God's teeth, old folk are entitled to their dignity. It's embarrassing enough to have to ask for help going to the loo. To have the requests routinely ignored is downright degrading!

I'm not even going to elaborate on how the complete cock-up that passed for continuity, the sloppy patient care and indifference to repeated requests for medical attention during his 60 days there could have cost him his life - the reason I flew over in short order. Nor will I expand upon Mum nearly receiving treatment for a chest infection when an inflamed gall bladder was the reason for her being there. Thank God for my sister because the nursing staff at West Suffolk are clearly not up to the task!

Bloody disgrace.

Can anybody guide me, please, as to where a suitably barbed missive might best be directed to achieve maximum exposure of this travesty masquerading as health care?

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Part Of Our Heritage - Bluenose

This is the boat I mentioned in an earlier post. The clip is taken from a made for TV series on Canadian heritage and features the race between the Bluenose and an American boat. She held the record for 20 years, the Bluenose II has never raced.

Monday, May 05, 2008

circa 1916

My Grandmother and her children, taken in 1916. My Mother is the little doll on the left with the ringlets. The baby boy on Grandmas knee died in 1937 at the age of 21, of T.B. The other boy was a survivor at birth of twins, they are all gone now. A part of my family history.

More Grandparents

Hope nobody minds me posting a pic of my Grandparents, they were dear people and I still miss them to this day. Note Grandads silver watch chain.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Breakfast Sketch Part 2

Classic! This gave me a real howl, havent seen Morecambe and Wise for years, but to my mind they are unbeatable. Hope you enjoy it too.

Ottawa Tulip Festival

I hope I do this right this time!! I dont live in Ottawa, obviously, but the Tulip Festival is on up there now and I thought this would interest you, especially Paul. In 1945 the Dutch Royal Family sent 100,000 bulbs to Ottawa in gratitude for Canada having sheltered Princess Julianna and her daughters for the preceeding 3 yrs. Princess Margriet was born in Ottawa Civic Hosp, the maternity ward being declared officially a temporary part of the NL so the birth could formally be claimed to have occurred on Dutch territory. In 1946 Julianna sent a further 20,500 bulbs requesting a display be created for the hospital, and promised to send 10,000 more each year. There is a very strong bond between Canada and the NL as Canadian troops played a huge part in liberating Holland. The statue is The Man with Two Hats and it was donated by the NL - identical to a statue in Apeldoorn in the NL.