Monday, 17 July 2006

Another one bites the dust!

Not quite, but I'm off for an extended while.

Going walkabout even though I may not go anywhere!

And when I'm back I'll come and make my presence known.

Anyway, it has been wonderful :-D

[Note: Comments switched off across the blog]

Thursday, 13 July 2006

Just another day

  1. Trying to get work done, more deadlines....

  2. Local friend phones me at 12.15pm desperate for me to come round and help hoover and dust her house prior to very important visitor at 1pm. I do it and get out her house with my Dyson and cleaning materials in the nick of time. Her visit is a success I hear and she no longer needs to throw herself under a train!

  3. 16 year old daughter is sorting details of her going on a summer holiday with friends to Spain. Asks our advice but snubs it. Ooo-er. This is the holiday we are part funding as an early birthday present.

  4. My middle-aged brother might be seriously wanting to give up drugs and is looking for help. I'm researching the options.

  5. Surprise delivery of flowers, teddy and helium balloon, from a very grateful client. It has truly been a work of love over the last weeks and it is nice to get the appreciation.

  6. The sun is shining and I can't help feeling cheerful. I'd like to take it easy.

  7. However, back to trying to get that other work done!

Original Comments:

Comment deleted

This post has been removed by the blog administrator.

Thursday, July 13, 2006 7:56:00 PM

Chandira said...

:-) Flowers are always nice, aren't they? Lucky you.

Glad to hear your bro is wanting to kick a few bad habits. There are options. Having given up cigarettes, my main breakthrough was in stopping identifying myself as a 'smoker'. Sounds kind of obvious, but it was a real epiphany for me, and a huge step forward, to stop thinking of myself as belonging to some group of people that smoked, somehow. Then I managed to let go of the physical habit, once the mind had been changed in that way. Sounds like he's headed in the right direction, and has taken the biggest step.

(OK, again, without typos..)

Thursday, July 13, 2006 7:57:00 PM

St Jude said...

Ooh de ja vous, your day feels a little like an echo of one of my days from long ago. Just remember to take some time for yourself.

Sorry I am a Grandma, just can't get out of that mode sometimes.

Friday, July 14, 2006 9:30:00 PM

doris said...

Chandira Thanks! I spoke to my brother last night, and he seems to moving towards doing something but is still not there yet.

St Jude It has been a strange few days really. I just visited your blog - wonderful stuff! I loved your story about the false teeth :-D

Saturday, July 15, 2006 11:13:00 AM

Ghone said...

You missed off making sure you to post to your blog!

Saturday, July 15, 2006 1:13:00 PM

Gerald Ford said...

"Trying to get work done, more deadlines...."

Don't bother. I tried that today, Saturday, and ended up playing computer games for 3 hours. Better to keep the ol' expectations low. ;p

Saturday, July 15, 2006 8:03:00 PM

MrsDoF said...

Do we get to see a picture of the flowers and teddy?
I need a bit of vicarious cheering up meself!

Kudos to your brother.
Mental attitude is half the battle.
I know. I have another 58 pounds to walk off.
~~love and Huggs, Diane

Sunday, July 16, 2006 12:52:00 AM


No titillating tidbits
nor tantalising morsels

No nocturnal meanderings
nor knowledgeable quirks

No grinding observations
nor twinkling witticisms

Nowt to tout
Too tired to spout

Friday, 7 July 2006


Over the last 18 hours I've been searching through all my photographs to find all and any of my girlfriend who will be having her 50th birthday in a few weeks. We have been firm friends since I was 16 and have shared our lives over the years. She lives in Germany so we only meet up maybe annually but we have met up enough to have many memories. I'm going to scan the photos and make a montage or a photo story book. Not quite sure but need to pull my finger out because I'm off to Germany at the end of the month to surprise her. She has no idea I am coming over for her birthday!

In amongst my boxes of memories are some cringemaking stuff I wonder what to do with. For instance, the love notes I wrote over many years to the man I thought I would always love. Sentiments such as "forever" seem so hollow when re-read after the passage of time and events. I haven't time to deal with them now and just stuffed them back where they were. It somehow feels disloyal to Mr Doris to have them but on the other hand these are about the father of one of my kids.

And then there is the newspaper clipping which makes me chuckle. Along with a number of other "leading women" (because of the job I was doing at the time) we were asked to give our views on a section of society. Mine was politics. At this point anyone who knows me now would laugh and splutter that I should be spouting views on politics. Of course I have them and always have but again, the course of time and having children and losing confidence has taken its toll. But I was there spouting politics.

I love that old chestnut the media use when they want to interview someone.... the interviewee who has been dragged out from somewhere so that the media can illustrate their point, suddenly becomes a "leading person in the field" or a "top person" and the such like.

But I digress. It has been lovely looking through the photos. Finding the one of me at the airport at the age of 12 just before boarding the plane on my own to fly across the world. I suddenly remembered that I was careful about the look on my face. That I shouldn't look too excited and must look like I was sad to be leaving my parents. I was terribly sad to be leaving my beloved little sis but heck, apart from that I was thrilled. It is quite funny because I have a muted smile in that pic which is unusual for me because throughout the years I have grinned in my pics almost no matter what was going on. Oooo I sound like a cold and manipulative person but you have to be sometimes to survive.

Original Comments:

Chandira said...

LOL... Looking through old photos is fun! I burned most of my other stuff before moving to the States, but I have years of old diaries, back as far as about 12 years, with all sorts of stupid stuff about old boyfriends! It is cringemaking.. But, it shows you far you've grown.

Yes, thanks, feeling better today, and less delerious. At least you can't spread colds on the internet! Everybody else is avoiding me. ;-)

Friday, July 07, 2006 10:20:00 PM

Annie said...

I've been looking at old photos recently, what with the move and all that. I've looked wistfully at my sons' baby photos, and wished that I could have them back as little blonde smiling babies.
I've looked through wedding photos with a lump in my throat, and wondered how I got from that pretty, promising twenty-two year old to where and who I am today.
I've looked at photos of my ex with my boys and offered them to the boys, trying to explain that it's not because I don't want them, but because they might want them in the future.
I've looked at photos of old friends, and felt sad seeing the ones who have dumped me because I 'abandoned' my kids. It's such a bittersweet thing to do looking through old photos. I'm just glad that I didn't keep my old diaries as well!

Saturday, July 08, 2006 5:04:00 PM

golfwidow said...

Loved the title of your blog but now I'm liking the content even better than that.

Saturday, July 08, 2006 9:30:00 PM

Jo said...

I know what you mean Doris :-) old pictures can be so evocative. They never grow old, they have a power to put you right back somewhere instantly.

What's this nonsense about not believing you could be a 'leading woman' spouting about politics etc?!! You are completely believable hon...your ideas and opinions here are always extremely thoughtful and perceptive.

Have confidence Doris! ;-) For all I know, you might actually be the Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions!

(PS You're not are you?!)

Sunday, July 09, 2006 1:04:00 AM

Carol said...

Well she knows now, doesn't she? :))

Sunday, July 09, 2006 5:18:00 PM

doris said...

Chandira Yes, it certainly is an indicator of the miles travelled and the ways we have grown. Summer colds are ick, glad you are feeling a bit better.

Annie Ahh for those baby pics of our little treasures as cute ones.

Golfwidow Cooo, thanks!

Jo ROFL - Under Secretary of State for Work and Pensions more like under the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. (Quick I better rush off and find out if that person is male or female and decide how provocative I wish to be!)

Carol Nah! I don't write such things about someone who reads here.... I have another friend or two in Germany. Strange how one country can end up featuring again and again in a person's life.

Sunday, July 09, 2006 11:00:00 PM

Anji said...

What a fascinating memory lane you've got. I think I would have been careful of the expression on my face at 12 years old too, if I'd had to part from my family. My diaries aren't half as interesting, but I could tell you what I had on my sandwiches 30 years ago today, if you like!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 9:47:00 AM

doris said...

Go on then Anji - what DID you have on your sandwiches 30 years ago today?!

Sandwich fillings are a whole subject in itself. I can reciprocate and tell you what I had day in and day out!

I love reading through the "boring" details of Mr Doris' boyhood diaries. About his paper delivery jobs, the weather, what he did at school and sometimes what he had for dinner! Tinned peaches were big and a delicacy back in the 70s! ;-)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 10:52:00 AM

Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Sleepwalking sex

Fascinating programme on TV last night about sleepwalking. A subject close to my heart as a lifelong sleepwalker.

My sleep activities are quite mild in comparison to some of the sleep murders and sleep eaters going on out there. Apparently I am only one of 2,600 people in the UK sleep walking.

My sleepwalking is a shade different in that I often have a vague memory of it after the event and even as it is happening or at some point know that I am asleep and tell myself to remember it, or something like that. Quite wierd really.

Apparently there is a whole species of people who specialise in having sex during their sleep walking activities. Well...... I have to say, that I did that once - that I remember. Hubby was more than delighted to be woken in the middle of the night and rose to the occasion and did not realise until the morning that I had actually been asleep. He wasn't complaining and would be quite happy to oblige anytime!!!

Original Comments:

Jo said...

ROFL - I bet he got a bit of a shock when you said you were asleep! It would be enough to dent any chaps confidence! ;-)

My middle daughter sleepwalks sometimes - we'll find her confused downstairs in the middle of the night, seemingly awake, but not. All we can do is gently guide her back to bed.

BTW I'd have thought there were far more than 2600 sleepwalkers in the UK? That's amazing.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 10:53:00 PM

jane said...

WOW you most definately are in a small minority. Sleep walking murders would be a very interesting book. I mean, one that actually did it & was unaware, in reality. Not that I want anyone to. You know what I'm saying. (right?)
heh, I'm so glad hubby "rose to the occassion." That Mr. Doris, he deserves to be loved whether you're awake or dreaming. ;)

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 10:22:00 PM

Cheryl said...

We saw the same programme and both blogged it - but you saw sex and I saw murder.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006 11:12:00 PM

Ghone said...

I have awoken 'fully enagaged'. Mrs Pig seemed to be quite accomodating!
It seems are minds can be quite active even whilst sleeping.

Thursday, July 06, 2006 10:45:00 PM

Curly K said...

I wish I had the option to sleepwalk for sex. As I live alone it would entail breaking and entering - hardly mood inducing stuff!!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006 11:02:00 AM

BadAunt said...

I haven't sleepwalked since I was in my 20s, but I have a student who told me that he sleep-shops. He goes outside and buys things from the vending machines outside his apartment. He only knows because his mother has caught him several times.

My most worrying sleepwalking experience was waking up with my room in a mess, like it had been burgled, me stark naked, and sand in the bed. I had gone to sleep in pyjamas, clean, and with a tidy room. The beach (with sand) was two blocks away.

I never did find out what happened.

Monday, September 11, 2006 7:15:00 PM

Saturday, 1 July 2006

Somme Day

If my grandfather had been killed during the Battle of the Somme in 1916 there are 77 of us that would not be alive today.

Just now, the Last Post was being bugled on the TV during the 90th anniversary remembrance ceremony. Those gatherings are important and we should not forget. It made me pause thinking about my own family.

My grandfather may not have been at the Somme but he was at Ypres. I have a copy of his war records as he joined up through the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. It even includes his medical records. He didn't spend much time at the front though I think any time must have been a nightmare. He was gassed on a number of occasions which was quite a curious weapon at the time. No-one can be sure but some family think it was the gassing that turned him crazy. One moment a charming man and the next a violent bastard who terrorised his wife and many children. The emotional scars being passed down to us next generations even 90 years later.

As an example of his mental brutality, years later during the Blitz on London he would take his very young children onto the roof of their house to watch the planes bombing overhead. He would say that if God was meant to take them then they were not going to hide in the bomb shelter. My mother was one of those children but she does not remember and I wonder if it is somewhere in her subconcious.

When the bugles play think of those that died, suffered or were left behind, and spare a thought for those that lived and went on to terrorise their own families.

PS. I just looked up his dates... amongst other campaigns he was involved in the Third Battle of Ypres which is often referred to as the Battle of Passchendaele. He was first gassed on 20 August 1917. It was called "mild" and he was back at the front less than 2 weeks later. Previous to that he had had gunshot wounds at Vimy Ridge. He was gassed again (I am not sure where) on 16 February 1918 which is listed as "severe".

Photos of Passchendaele

Photos and memories of Passchendaele

Original Comments:

Stegbeetle said...

My Grandmother's two brothers were both killed in France during the First World War, although I'm not sure specifically where and when.

Gas, wire, mud and death, we can only dimly imagine the Hell on earth of trench warfare and the waves of young men waiting to meet their destiny.

We will remember them and their loved ones whose lived were touched by their trauma.

Saturday, July 01, 2006 11:09:00 AM

Cheryl said...

I can't help noticing from your second link that the dead of the 1915 and 1916 battles were still there, presumably rotting away in the mud just where they had fallen.
Having to trench in through that and clamber over it all would have sent me quite completely cuckoo, never mind gas.

Saturday, July 01, 2006 3:02:00 PM

MrsDoF said...

"spare a thought for those that lived and went on to terrorise their own families."
That sentence hit home for me. My dad was in the US Navy during the Korean Conflict and was wounded in 1951. He collected a 60% DAV check for the rest of his days.
Seven operations on his left leg, two on his right, and a specially fitted car to accomodate his afflictions.
Sweetest guy ever when he was sober, but mean as hell when he had been drinking.
I can remember being about age 6 or so and calming him down after a night terror where was reciting the parts of a machine gun.
War is a terrible idea whose time should have been long gone.

Saturday, July 01, 2006 5:17:00 PM

Jo said...

Some years ago I went round the battlefields, and spent some time at a section of trench system which has been kept as a permananet memorial to the soldiers of the Somme. It was an area held by the Newfoundlanders, and is dominated by this huge Caribou statue looking down over the battlefield. The site is owned in perpetuity by the Canadian government.

Even there, even standing in the trenches (all grass covered now of course) the carnage is still unimaginable. The German lines were no more than 100 yards away - you can stride over to them in less than a minute, through the deeply rutted, shell pitted field. And yet the soldiers who went over the top that that day never got close, never had a chance.

And then the cemetries...full of young men little older than my children...

And the Lutyens memorial to those with no grave at Thiepval...60,000 of them.

If I recall Doris, Vimy Ridge was the scene of terrible fighting and was taken later by the Canadians with major losses. It was also the scene of one of the biggest underground 'mine' detonations of the war, as Allied tunnelers dug under the German lines and let of this immense explosion. Which was - I think I'm right - heard as far away as London.

It's shattering - even after all these years.

I can quite believe it destroyed your grandfather's mind. I guess there must have been so many like him suffering unrecognised Post Traumatic Stress...

Going up on the roof with the bombers overhead with his family sounds perhaps like the action of a man who deep down didn't understand why he had lived, maybe didn't believe he should have when his friends were killed...?

Sunday, July 02, 2006 1:33:00 AM

doris said...

Stegbeetle Have you looked up assuming your relatives were citizens of the Commonwealth.

Cheryl One of the soldiers said on that website the only firm thing underfoot were the bodies of the dead. Sheer madness. I agree that would be enough never mind the gas.

MrsDoF How awful for you too. War is appalling and it isn't just about the horrifying stuff at the front but also the after effects.

Jo Thank you for sharing your visit. I haven't been on such a trip but I was once at a museum in recent times where they had recreated a trench. It wasn't even muddy or knee high in water but it was appalling.

Vimy Ridge was a major victory for the Canadians and interestingly was the one that my grandfather made a big deal about. I'm not sure but I don't think he was so "proud" of Passchendaele. It is an awful business. (BTW my grandfather is not Canadian and happened to be over in the States before the war started and joining up in Canada was one way that citizens felt they could do their bit for the war effort.)

Nearly a hundred years later the fact he joined the Canadian army, and that they have their war records better organised and publicly available, unlike the UK, means that I was able to verify some of the family legends about him.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 11:32:00 AM

decrepitoldfool said...

Politicians don't suffer the horrors of war, nor the after-horrors. If they did they'd make more than the perfunctory effort to avoid it, instead of making grandiose speeches about it.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 4:29:00 PM