Mystery History

Thank you to Lolsys for the mystery history tag.

The rules are

  • 150 word limit
  • Write a piece of historical fiction or poetry about the photo
  • Try not to use the words tree & green
  • Tag 3 people to do the same with the photo


A once pristine, unspoilt wilderness. A setting dominated by seemingly timeless giants observing the natural flow of seasonal life. A world in perfect balance.

Then the natural order is broken. Intruders. Men. A small community is built to feed on the local resources. Houses start to dominate. More and more of the timeless giants are felled.

Then the local order of men is broken. The magnet of towns with unnatural smoke spewing giants is to great. Men leave to join they’re brethren. The unnatural community falls silent.

The tainted wilderness is again returned to natures giants. Slowly they begin to purify the landscape again.

But for how long. Industrial Revolution. Modern world progress. Towns becoming sprawling cities. Consuming forever landscapes. Time running out on natures giants.


My Nominations

A Pondering Mind

Baffled Mum

Sadje – Lifeafter50forwomen

Blue Croc

Captain Chaos with his beloved blue crocodile. That poor croc needs years of therapy.


When a parent dies it is so tough it is difficult to explain the feeling. That’s a so called adult speaking. Imagine what it’s like for a young kid.

I lost my dad when I was 21. He had been ill for years. I got the feeling during the last period of his life that he was trying to keep going just to see me graduate. Sadly he missed out by a few months. It was a numbing experience but the pain was mitigated a bit as I had been expecting it to happen for ages. I was sort of prepared. My mum died a couple of years back. It was a complete shock. But a five years earlier she had suffered a massive stroke. Doctors told us to prepare for the worst. Yet in a month she was back in her house – still able to live independently. In some respects it felt like the years after the stroke were a real bonus. She got to spend time with her grandson.

But for our son we have no mitigating factors. He had just been to his beloved grannies funeral and a week later his mum goes into hospital for some routine tests. His mum deteriorated rapidly and completely unexpectedly. He was visiting his mum in the hospice two weeks later. For someone so young that’s devastating.

We still get tears but now he can talk about his mum. He can laugh at the good memories. But the anxieties caused by that period of death are still impacting his daily life. He is so worried about becoming ill and also about losing others close to him. Today is common. We have had anxiety about catching illnesses. Worries about dying. On top of that every time I sneeze or cough he runs to make sure I’m ok. We try to find ways to ease the anxieties but it is still so tough for him…..


Son comes back from school to be greeted by Captain Chaos and a well chewed croc. That’s one thing that works.


When I told our son about the Great Blogger Bake-off he smiled and said

Oh dear Dad. It’s a good job they haven’t perfected actual food tasting over the internet.”

Very true. I remember the attempts which even the garden birds refused. We call it Weapons Grade cooking.

You had better practice.

Good idea.

So tonight we had a practice. And what a practice…

Sticking to my current dietary fad. My attempt is going to be Gluten Free and Dairy Free. AND now Sugar Free. It’s a good job every food cupboard has at least 3 jars of out of date honey…. Also found 2 jars of out of date pesto – probably not much use in baking.

Wow Dad is that supposed to be a cake. Or is it a pancake.”

Sadly son it’s not a pancake.

Is it ok if I don’t try it. Better not give it to birds – just in case.”

We will be publishing posts detailing what the challenge is

for THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF all of next week.

Look out for future posts!

The Great Bloggers Bake-off

Will you be the Star Baker?

It’s all up to Jeanne!



and Crushed Caramel (Learner at love)

would like to invite you to join us for



with our special judge ajeanneinthekitchen



Are you the Queen of the Kitchen?

We would love you to take part in our baking challenge!


star baker

We will be publishing posts detailing what the challenge is

for THE GREAT BLOGGERS’ BAKE-OFF all of next week.

Look out for future posts!

An introvert?

Building a snowman here while lots of people walked past looking at me as if I was crazy. Five yards to the right is a high street full of shoppers and tourists.

I know I tell a few tales that might suggest that I am an extrovert. I really don’t think that’s the case. After the all too many retreats into my protective shell I often here something like “I thought you were an extrovert”.

Extroverts don’t tend to

  • Have a nervous stutter when talking to strangers
  • Frequently wait for the coast to be clear before you leave the house
  • Turn in the opposite direction when you see someone who might talk to you
  • Avoid social and family gatherings
  • If I do go to a social event, be the awkward one stood in the corner behind the potted plant

So why the drastically opposite personalities. For the first time I thought about it during yesterday’s sleepless night.

Is because I am an Ambivert. A bit of an introvert and a bit of an extrovert.

Is because I am an extrovert permanently stuck in an introverts shell.

Is it because I don’t really fit into this world and occasionally I feel the need to do some grand action to confirm that I do fit.


Is it a pressure release for my building anxiety levels.

Is it because I want to be extroverted and when I do find a group of friends I feel confident with I then act out my dreams.

Is it one or two too many sherbets during my younger days.

Is it because I am basically daft.

Is it because I too frequently switch off my brain.

Who knows. I do know that my extroverted moments are becoming very rare these days. Especially since the world changed. But at least I can look back at some interesting memories. Some reasonably funny, many extremely embarrassing. Most importantly no animals or other people were hurt in the making of these moments.


Today we have an outbreak of manbola. Streaming cold, coughing, sneezing, sore throat …. just didn’t want to get out of bed. I have to admit I am a …….

The dog walk must have been some sight. Gloves, 2 T-shirt’s, Fleece, Jumper, body warmer, waterproof and woolly hat. And that was just the dog.

It’s one of the big downsides of being a single parent. Whatever the relative severity of the manbola – you don’t have the option to not get out of bed or just sit in a chair with a hot water bottle. No one to share the workload. So you just have to get on with your jobs while croaking out conversations with our son. Powered by hot ginger drinks and tea. It’s days like this you want to drop your caffeine ban.

It also gives you plenty of worries. It emphasises that many single parents (and a number of parenting couples) often operate without having an option b in place. If something serious happens to a parent(s) what happens to the kids. It’s a sobering thought.

I am an amateur at these things. So many parents have had much worse situations to deal with for so many more years. I have so so much respect and admiration to you heroes. So we battle on. In the scheme of things manbola isn’t that bad really.

AND one definite plus of manbola is that you just can’t smell the cat litter when you change it….

Real Neat Blog Award

Thank you to Rory (a guy called bloke) for the Real Neat Blog Nomination.

The rules are quite simple

  • Answer the 7 questions posed
  • Gift 3 Bloggers with the award
  • Pose 7 new question.

Make a list of 10 items or things you bought and never used or regretted buying?

  • a V2000 video recorder was purchased in 1988. It was phased out the same year and I could only find two cassettes to record on,
  • a Talbot Samba car. I only had it 3 days before the engine exploded,
  • a mandolin – never used,
  • pink leg warmers – what was I thinking of,
  • Lycra cycle pants – what was I thinking of,
  • a waffle maker – used once produced something with the consistency of a rubber glove,
  • a portable solar charger – I bloody live in Yorkshire we don’t get any sun,
  • a mobile phone which had a rubber shell which was supposed to be indestructible – smashed into a thousand pieces first time I dropped it,
  • an indestructible pet toy for our mad dog – lasted 4 minutes,
  • a remote control toy submarine – on its first outing at the local lake it dived really well but never resurfaced.

Describe the strangest dream you’ve had in your life? Last nights was a bit weird. I was an apple in an apple tree. I was swaying in a gale force wind. I couldn’t do anything apart from wait and wonder when I would fall.

What is that one thing you would never do even if someone offered you all of the money in the world? Do a ouija board.

What was the most embarrassing moment of your life? Too many to mention. A particular one comes to mind. At university was involved in a sports day. The final event was a tug of war. In front of probably 200 people I was the anchor (last person on the rope) for one of the tug teams. Thirty seconds into the battle all was going well but then I started to feel my tracksuit bottoms starting to slip. Being unable to take my hands off the rope I had to just endure the sinking feeling (and laughter) as my bottoms slipped down to my ankles. The tug of war lasted 4 minutes. The longest 4 minutes of my life.

What is the most stupid thing you’ve done in front of a crowd? Arm wrestled a Greek Power Weight Lifter during a University Prom Show (when you are drunk you will volunteer for anything). The prize was if I lasted more than 20 seconds then I could have free drinks for a week at the bar. If I failed then I had to sing on stage. I lasted less than 2 seconds and apparently I screamed in pain as my wrist was smashed into the table. However when I did my rendition of Run to the Hills – it was audiences turn to scream in pain…

If you were marooned on an island with one person whom you know personally, who would you like it to be? Without a doubt my son. Or maybe Paul (he has a boat).

Would you rather Be the funniest person in the room or the most intelligent? Given what I know about myself – I would happily be either (just once anyway)….

My Nominations (please only take this up if you really want to do it, absolutely no obligation, this is mainly about recognising your great blogs)

Blind Wilderness

Mom Life With Chiari

Lolsys Library

My 7 Questions

What is your worst ever fashion disaster?

What was your big dream as a child?

What was the worst thing you did at school?

Would you rather meet a ghost or an alien or Donald Trump?

Would you rather have lots of friends or one great friend?

If you could be one cartoon character who would it be?

What’s the funniest thing you have ever done?

Cat and stress?

The Boy Cat is happy. Getting his tummy tickled. Apart from eating and sleeping, that is his favourite thing. It provides such a great stress release for the human.


You find out that the cat has been lying on your Black T-shirt. White cat hair is not a great look on black….

The cat – a stress reliever and stress provider….


This is another photo from Whitby. For some reason the WP app for the IPad refused to accept it yesterday. Maybe it’s my not new iPad but the app is becoming almost unusable. Anyway today the photo seems to work and it will get its moment.

My partners ashes are still in the house. We have a sort of make shift shrine in a room overlooking the garden. Now she has been joined by 3 energetic gerbils. She would like that. At some stage we will start to scatter the ashes but not yet. It just hasn’t felt like the right time (for both of us). My mums ashes have been scattered in a cemetery (with the help of a squirrel – see earlier post…)

I asked our Son about if he was ready to start the process.

“Not yet Dad. Dad do ashes go off”

Don’t think so. They urn doesn’t have a use by date on (don’t think badly of me, but I did check). But an urgent google check confirmed no safety time pressures. But it did reveal some additional factors to consider.

  • The Vatican has issued guidance that Catholic remains should be buried in cemeteries rather than scattered or kept at home. However this clearly doesn’t apply to Quakers.
  • Ashes containing bones don’t decompose so they shouldn’t be scattered around plants.
  • UK Law is fairly easy going when it comes to scattering ashes. Nothing specifically exists to prevent scattering. You only need to secure the landowners permission.
  • In Germany cremated MUST be buried in a cemetery. Switzerland are quite relaxed as long as it’s not for profit. France does open up a few scattering options.
  • In the U.K. it is legal to scatter ashes in water or the sea. The only restriction being that you need to get the permission of the water stretches owner. In the US you need to scatter ashes at least 3 nautical miles out (and inform the EPA)
  • Currently you can take ashes out of the U.K.. The Tunnel and Eurostar are the most relaxed. However Brexit may change all this.
  • In the U.K. it is ok to bury a pet in your garden if you own the property, it has domestic use and (if I’m reading the legal stuff correctly) the pets have not been declared as Hazardous Waste.

So for the for the time being I suspect my partner won’t be going too far. So I can give her the daily updates about our son. As my partner was so very organised I strongly suspect that if roles had been reversed then I would have been out of the door within months not years.

I hope this all doesn’t sound a bit too matter of fact or flippant. This post could so easily have been extremely dark. I vividly remember driving my partners ashes back from the crematorium. It’s burnt into my sole. I was fine until I got back into the car. I put the urn on the front seat and quietly said “time to go home my love”. Suddenly the Dam broke. I completed collapsed into a deluge of tears and despair. Didn’t stop for hours. My lowest ever point.

Deep down I am worried. I am not sure the brittle foundations that my new self is built on are strong enough to cope with another one of those final car journeys to scatter the ashes.