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Drat My Camera


My thanks to Donna for this lovely Tag.


Yesterday was my ‘work’ day instead of Tuesday.

Driving along the country road to the farm I was watching out for the pheasants of last week.  The ‘ones that got away’. My camera was ready sitting on the passenger seat, batteries charged to the full, so I drove along in hope.

I wasn’t disappointed as there on a raised verge beside the wall on my left was one lonely cock pheasant.  He froze as my car approached and didn’t seem to know what to do.

‘Photo Shoot!’ I cried out loud to nobody but myself…Lol!

I took one whilst he was stood like a statue but it was from inside the car and through the windscreen.  The flash wiped it out.  I thought ‘next time’ and set off for work.

This silly old pheasant hadn’t got a brain.  Instead of flying up and over the wall it ran down off the banking in front of my car hither and thither..lol!    At slightly over 0 miles per hour I snailed slowly along the road so as not to run the silly ‘Road Runner’ over.

I stopped, it stopped, I stopped it stopped, and I thought…its a stand off.  Make the most of it so I got a hold of the camera again.  This time the photo took, but it was still taken through the windscreen.  It wasn’t too bad I mused.  Then I set off in the hope he would get out the way before I squashed him.  He took flight and landed on the wall parallel with the door on my right side.  I was so close!   Had the window been opened I could have grabbed him without hardly stretching out my arm.  He stood there looking at me all wide eyed, so again I thought..’ wind the window down and grab the camera’ but when I turned to take a picture the batteries dropped out of my camera.  Two days before we left to go on holiday to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland I dropped it and have since had it taped with gaffer tape.  When the camera is switched on the surge of power pushes the blessed batteries out the camera.  The pheasant was still there!!  On the wall ..looking straight into the car at me and I missed it!   ****Bleep!  ****Bleep!  And I’m not practising to be a road runner here either. 

What an opportunity missed.   Oh well!   Next time.   Lol!

Today I’m off out looking for fungii.  I got lots of photos of various fungii last year after the rains of Autumn, so I hope to see a nice variety today.

So for today…be happy.  I know this week has been a sad one in JLand at the loss of dear Penny who we all prayed would ride through her latest chemo’ treatment for leukemia. It was not to be.  I don’t think she would want us to be sad forever.  I for one want to smile and remember that brave lady who still walked down the hospital corridor to keep in touch with us all even though she was so poorly. How much love did she shine out to us all by doing that?  No…I will remember her love and thoughfullness and smile.

Have a good day and stay well and happy.

My quote of the day below..

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions—the little soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment in the disguise of a playful raillery, and the countless other infinitessimals of pleasurable thought and genial feeling.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge



                                    DON’T FORGET TO CHECK!




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My thanks to Donna for this beautiful Tag.

Good Morning!

I have had such a lovely time browsing everyone’s journals recently.  You are all a talented bunch!

I may not have had time to leave a reply in each of them as I have many alerts…like the rest of you no doubt.  Sorry about that.

Congratulations to Donna for winning the Artsy Entry.  That was one supremely well written piece of work.   Very well done!


I’ve been taking a review of summer, off and on over the weekend.  I’ve looked back on many happy moments and smiled.

One stands out and I want to share it with you.

I wrote of Hollie my grandaughter coming to visit and I posted some of her activity pictures whilst she stayed with us for a whole week.

It was a day when we were setting off early as we had planned lots of things to do.  We all mucked in and made the picnic sandwiches etc.  Before we set off we checked all the regular security things we all do.  Lights off, no dripping taps,doors locked, grandma checking she has her purse and keys, lastly we fed the fish. On turning to come back in Hollie said…"Grandad better turn the tap off over the pond or it will overflow while we are out." 

Bless her!

She was unaware that the filters recycle the water via a pump and the water level is a constant. (Evaporation excepted).


One day last week I asked Bryan if he thought Post Knott was too difficult for me to walk up as its been a few years since I attacked that vantage point. Its the hill opposite my stone seat when I go for my ‘walk around the block’. 

He takes the children up there regulary when they come to visit.

I have sat there on my stone bench opposite it wishing for the day when I could attack it and look at the view, take pictures and bring them back to share on here.

We set off but it wasn’t to be.   I was stopping too many times and it was a struggle as I was quite breathless climbing the long steep relentless sloping path which leads up to the bottom of the hill.  There is the hill itself to climb after climbing the path.

Bryan disappeared round a corner as I stopped to take some pictures, (and have a rest) as usual!  Then he came back to look for me.  He got cross with me and said "Right we are going home, you can’t make it if  you are stopping too many times.  It’s obvious you are struggling".  So….I never got to the top.  I would have made it on my own, eventually, ( I think) but it would have taken quite a while as I am a stubborn old biddy! I wouldn’t have given up, even if it had taken all day.  I live up to my zodiac sign…Taurus the bull.  Lol!

He was right of course.  It was too difficult for me.  I was upset as I became aware once again of how weak I have become since my treatment and I am not a happy bunny.  I was exhausted when I got home and stiffened up quite painfully.   I took another shorter walk another day, just around the block, and that wasn’t too bad.  We took it easier and it isn’t as hilly.  Besides we got to chat and ‘rest’ when we bumped into some dog walking friends.  So that gave my ‘old ticker’ a chance to take a breather.

It’s quite upsetting to find that I cannot do some of the things I once took for granted but I hope to goodness they will return with perseverance.

I have slept on and off over the weekend since then.   My body must need to build up again.  Drat!  I’m not used to this weaker ‘me’. I have always been such a physically capable person.  Plus I thought things would have returned to normal by now.

Still there are worse off folks than me. So I must be thankful.

I have placed some photos in my album above for you to see.  You can’t tell how steep the slope is from these, but it is relentless until you get to the top. I reckon I am just going to have to build up with longer daily walks until I get there.  Probably some time in the winter at this rate….Lol!

I did notice that autumn has raced in when we weren’t looking.  The leaves are falling, the brambles are fast ripening and some of the ‘Conkers’ *chestnuts are already dropping off the trees.  They are lying on the ground in their sputnik cases waiting to be stamped on for their hidden treasures by the child in us.   I love doing that.  Its too soon yet as the nuts are still small.

Meanwhile…I have turned off alerts for a few days just so that I can catch up on myself.  I will be back….what’s that I hear?  A groan?   Well thanks a bunch!      Lol!

Quote of the day..


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
Henry David Thoreau

Bye for now…take care and God Bless.


Jeanie xxx


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At last I have found time to make an entry since we travelled down to our grandaughter Amy’s christening at the weekend.

The motorway was busy!   At one stage near Blackpool we came to a halt, then we slowly crawled past a couple of junctions in the pouring rain. That was maybe a good thing as I hate motorways and spray off the other vehicles when its raining.  At least there were no speed merchants flying past at warp speed!  Just the usual ones who used all the lanes for overtaking, I’m sure you have all experienced those.  And passed them in the end wearing a smug smile at their vain attempts to pull a fast one on everybody.  

Well I must admit ….I did.   lol!  There are some idiots on the motorways these days.

There was a large Festival taking part in Weston Park, the Stately Home where my son and daughter-in-law got married. Some roads were closed, as were junctions, in order to help the flow and congestion of those attending the Festival   We avoided that by setting off later in the day arriving at teatime instead of lunch.   Thank goodness Martin mentioned that to us before we set off.

The motorway was just as busy even then!

Anyway…as for Amy Grace’s Baptism….it went wonderfully well.  She was so alert and awake, as well as so good, that the vicar attempted to hold her during part of the service when the parents and godparents left the alter to sit down.  He was enamoured with her.

She was a little angel! 

There wasn’t a peep out of her even when she was annointed with the water from the font.  As good as gold she was!   Bless her!

The church, if you look at the photos, has been adapted for modern use.  A floor has been put in mid way up the height of the church and now the actual church is upstairs with function rooms downstairs which serve the local church going community.

At least this church is being used well, although at the service the vicar was forced to ask local churchgoers to walk past of an evening to check on things, as the roof is being renovated and there are some bad people climbing up there onto the scaffolding, from time to time, stealing the lead off the roof!  What is the worlds coming too?  There is nothing sacred!

The hymns and service were relayed onto the screen above the altar.   Very high Tech!

There was a singer and keyboard player as well as a flautist backing up those of us who could reach the notes.   Am I alone when I say some of the hymns these days are sung a wee bit too high for my vocal chords?  I enjoyed joining in though when I could.

We all trooped back to Martin and Rachel’s for tea followed by a lovely buffet lunch.

Rachel’s mum made the fruit cake for Amy’s cake and a friend decorated it for them.  As you can see by the photos it was beautifully presented!

I can be seen eating a Raspberry Pavlova cake which again Rachel’s mum made.   That was to die for!   Yum!  (Even though I have diabetes type 2 it was worth it.) Wicked!

If Bea is reading this my hair is not as bad as she envisaged..bless her!   My bald spot can be camouflaged by backcombing it and ‘nailing’ it with hairspray….lol!

Some of Rachel’s nieces made chocolate fudge cake and chocolate brownies which went down a treat too.

In one of the photos of the christening cake is a view of Rachel’s Nan.  The christening gown was made or her 94 years ago.  It has now seen 19 Christenings since then.

So, there you are, we all grazed and chatted and grazed some more and learned a bit more about each other since last time.  I really enjoyed myself.  The thirteen children who came too were very well behaved, even though it rained and kept thm indoors most of the day.  Congrats to them!

Rachel’s Dad Paul told me he has volunteered to be a driver for CancerCare in his area and says that he enjoys helping in this way.  How very generous of him to do this for folks like myself who have/had cancer and need transport when they have none of their own or are too unwell to drive.   Since my Bryan doesn’t drive I needed this help sometimes throughout my treatment and it was a relief to know that help was there if needed.

Where would we be without volunteers I ask?  Thank you Paul and others like you!


Hmmmm!  As I sit here typing and looking out my window onto the garden I can smell the scent of fresias. Its too cold to be outside but I have them sitting in a vase beside me here at the kitchen table.  The smell is divine!

I can’t help but stop typing and inhale their intoxicating perfume.

Today, here in the Lakes, its cool but sunny.  There is a breeze which is sweeping the grass and leaves onto their shiny silvery sides which has created a wet look, to my eyes, although it’s really dry and hasn’t rained all day.

I’m told we are to be comforted for our lack of summer and sunshine by having an Indian Summer.   Please make that soon!

I had to put the heating on last night.  I was numb to my bones.

When I spoke of summer and how I don’t call it summer until my dragonfly has visited…I had no sooner written that in my journal when I went outside and there he was.  Sizing up his mating arena.

By the time I got back outdoors having found my camera, he had disappeared, again!  Fiddlesticks!  That same morning that I speak of, I saw a fox in the woodland behind us.  Strangely enough, although we have deer visiting and once had red squirrels too, (now only grey ones) it is unusual for us to see a fox during the day.  Suburban folks see more than we do here.  Even city folks do too.

I reckon it’s because the farmers shoot to kill in the countryside. 

Talking to my masseur the other day she said she keeps a smallholding.  She recently lost seven hens to a fox.  They don’t eat them all.  They just get a blood lust and kill as many as they can.  Beautiful creatures though they are they are murderers too.





"Have you ever sat in a train and watched another train passing
you? You can look right on through its windows to the green fields
and pleasant vistas beyond. Or you can gaze at the partitions
between the windows and see nothing but their dingy drabness. So it
is with everything in life. You can look for the good, the joyful
and happy — and not merely see only these but manifest them in your
life. Or you can look for trouble, for sickness and sorrow — and
find them awaiting you around every corner."
    — Robert Collier

Bye for now.

God Bless


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The Ark


MySpace Graphics at GlitterBell.com

This weekend we will be travelling down to celebrate the Christening of our fifth grandchild, Amy Grace.
Amy is four months old already. Before we know it she will be up and running around with her brothers. Time waits for no man.
We last saw her three weeks ago and already she had grown and smiled at me whenever I talked with her. She is a little gem.

Today I took myself off for an hour long massage through at Kendal. My daughter’s school friend Elsa is a partner in a beauty salon which offers all sorts of treatments. I noticed an Indian head massage on the list. I think I might have one of those soon to see what its like. Although I had a block of aromatherapy treatments at CancerCare during my chemo treatment, this woman who massaged me today was able to shut me up from talking and relaxed me. Unlike Rosalie at the CancerCare Unit. I lay ther in a semi drowse for the last fifteen minutes of my treatment. I didn’t want it to stop. But….I will go back.
My thanks to Elsa who gave me the massage voucher for my birthday last May. I still have a hairdressers voucher to use from another friend. I think I might have my hair cut very short. Its easier to look after. Now that I am on this anti cancer treatment, it causes thinning of the hair and my hair has lost all its body and life. It just looks thin and neglected all the time…. so short it will be….sooon!

After the massage, I had a slow trundle around the shops in town and I ended up buying myself a skirt and top outfit in black and gold and another black top which once was £40.00 reduced to £4.00 in the Evans (Fat Shop) shop. This one was a size 16 which fit me perfectly so I am chuffed with that.
Well…time to leave you but I hope to be back soon.

My dear friend Sybil sent me this ….I’m sure you will like it.

The ARk

In 2007, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in Tewskbury, England and said,
"Once again, the Earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see
the end of all flesh before me. Build another Ark and save two of every
living thing, along with a few good humans." He gave the CAD drawings,
saying, "You have six months to build the Ark before I start the unending
rain of forty days and forty nights."

Six months later, the Lord returned unto Noah and found him weeping in
his yard, but of the Ark, there was no sign. "Noah!" the Lord roared," I
am about to start the rain, Where is the Ark?"

"Forgive me, Lord," begged Noah, "but things have changed. I needed
Building Regulations approval because the Ark was to be over 30metres.
I’ve been arguing with the Fire Brigade who insist that it is fitted with
a sprinkler system and fireproof doors and my neighbours claim that I
should have obtained planning permission prior to building the Ark in my
garden because it is a development of the site – even though in my view
it is a temporary structure, but the roof is too high. I had to appeal
to the Secretary of State for a decision.

The Local Area Access Group complained that my ramp was going to be too
steep and the inside of the Ark was not fully accessible to the disabled
and that there were not disabled toilets or the gangways were too narrow
for wheelchairs Then the Department of Transport demanded a bond to be
posted for the future costs of moving power lines and overhead
obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark’s move to the sea. – I
told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they wouldn’t listen to

Getting the wood was another problem.. All of the decent trees have Tree
Preservation Orders upon them and we live in an area of Special
Scientific Interest, set up in order to preserve the spotted owl that
lives around here. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I
needed the wood to save the owls – but again, they wouldn’t listen. When
I started to gather the animals, the RSPCA threatened me with
prosecution. They insisted that I was confining wild animals against
their will. They argued that the accommodation was too restrictive, and
it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space. The
gay rights activists threatened to hold a demo in my garden as they
learned that I was planning on only taking on a female and male of each
species – they said that was homophobic and was against the Civil
Liberties Act.

Then the County Council, The Environment Agency and The Rivers Authority
ruled that I couldn’t build the Ark until they had conducted an
environmental impact study on your proposed flood.

I’m still trying to resolve a complaint with the Equal Opportunities
Commission on how many ethnic minorities I’m supposed to hire for the
building team.

The Trade Unions say that I cannot use my sons as they insist that I have
to hire only CSCS accredited workers with Ark-building experience. To
make matters worse, Customs & Excise have seized all of my assets,
claiming that I’m trying to leave the country illegally with endangered

So forgive me, my Lord, but it would take me at least another ten years
to finish this Ark." Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine,
and a rainbow stretched across the sky. Noah looked up in wonder and
asked, "You mean you are not about to destroy the world, Lord?" "No,
Noah" said the Lord, "The Government has already beaten me to it."

Oh well….that’s the way of the world now.
Take care …Stay well…God Bless.
Jeanie xx

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I came across this little poem which must have been in a newspaper at one time as the paper is going yellow with age.
Its looking a bit dog eared, so I thought I would place it here on my MSN journal for posterity.
I hope you enjoy it….
Just two days in each week
Are all that most will seek,
Tomorrow and Yesterday.
The latter barely done,
The former to be won……
Forgetting that the best is here today. 
So don’t put off the will
To do that job until
Tomorrow’s here with all it’s "oh’s and ums."
That phrase you’ve often heard
Is true in every word….
Tomorrow is a day that never comes.
Tomorrow is a day
Still a lifetime away,
And yesterday is part of history.
So do now all you would
You know you really should.
For today is always here, it has to be.
Fro today is always here, it has to be.
Its dry here in the Lakes….and it feels a bit warmer too.   We have been experiencing 11 degrees lately.
Hope you are warmer where you are.
Click on the picture below to enlarge it and read the words.

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The Hospital Story

Temperatures:    -2°C/28°F

Condition:   Partly Cloudy

Wind:   CALM 0 KPH

Relative Humidity:   91%

Barometer:   29.62 Steady

Reported from:   Carlisle 07/02/2007 3:20 PM GMT















Its another cold one today!   Brrrrrr!
My little car is iced up solid…again!   My neighbour helped me to drive it into the sun yesterday before I went out shopping.  I had used a whole large can of de-icer on it and it still froze solid inside the car so I couldn’t drive it away until it thawed out properly. 
Our front door is North facing so we only get the sun on the street just as it is going down at the end of the day.
I haven’t got writers block…far from it!   I just need a change of mental views so I have decided to place a quick entry on here today to keep in touch with my new friends who like to come and visit.  Besides….blogging is quite addictive once you get into the habit.  I love reading everyone else’s too.  They are all so diverse in outlook.  It’s people watching from the comfort of my own home, which is what all writer’s are supposed to do as a matter of habit.   That’s the way to glean experiences of characters….so my tutor says anyway.  Personally, I have read thousands of books and lived long enough to have experienced enough diverse characters from all walks of life that can help people any story I write in the future.
So here I am and its Wednesday already!  I have been burrowing away here and time has flown.  Our weather is really nippy.  If my outside thermometer hadn’t gone for a ‘Wizard Of Oz’ spin in those last high winds we had recently, I could have told you what temperature it was outside.  My guess would be that it reached at least  minus 6 and more likely minus8 degrees.
We have frost hoaring up all the plants, walls and benches in the garden, as though it were snow.  Thank goodness for central heating and our log burner too for snuggly back-up.
I had an e-mail from a very dear friend this morning.  She works as receptionist telephonist at the main desk in our local hospital and this little story touched her so much she passed it on to me knowing how soft hearted I am too.
I had read it before but in a slightly different way as the person who eventually got the bed by the window ‘coveted’ the story tellers bed.  This rendition suits me better.
***********************             ***************************
Hospital Window

A great note for all to read it will take just 37 seconds to read this and change your thinking

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room. One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs. His bed was next to the room’s only window. The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back. The men talked for hours on end. They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on vacation.

Every afternoon when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite detail, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine the picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man couldn’t hear the band – he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with such descriptive words.

Days and weeks passed.

One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window. The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside.

He strained to slowly turn to look out the window beside the bed.

It faced a blank wall. The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this window

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, "Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you."


There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.

Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled.

If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.

"Today is a gift, that’s why it is called the present."


i’m trying,yet again above, to place an mp3 on here for you to play.  I hope it works.  If not I shall come back and delete it if I am told it doesn’t.

Have a lovely day….mine is calling me to thaw out the car as I have to nip to Grasmere today, Wordsworths village, to collect Bryan. He is out and about there with a friend and needs collecting for a diabetic clinic appointment this afternoon.

The fells today, as I look out of the front window, are burnished gold by the sun and there’s not a cloud in the sky.  I will away and thaw out this ‘ice-lollypop’ car of mine….

Take care wherever you are and stay warm and happy! 

God Bless.

Jeanie xx


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Good Morning!

Sorry not to have been around yesterday.  I had a multitude of tasks to do and one of those was the crafting of my story for my Beginner’s Writing Class at Kendal’s Brewery Arts Theatre today.

One of the tasks was to do a little writers exercise by asking ..Who Am I ? by using similes.

My little bit of a quiz input is below.   I’m sure you can do better…

What Am I?  (c) Jeanie Kirkby


My skin is as black as a starless night

And hard as iron.

I have two glowing eyes as red as molten lava.

I stand, legs splayed like pylons in a field.

My insides glow as radiant as a fiery summer sunset.

Sometimes, when the wind blows I exhale like a chain smoker.

And on the return breath I inhale, roaring and crackling like a forest fire.

I smell like an aroma therapist’s bag of oils full of Holly, Cherry, Oak and Pine essences.

Don’t touch me when I am awake or I will scorch you like a branding iron!



My classwork story is unfinished which even I find frustrating as each week we are given a new task just as we are getting our teeth into the story we began before.

I lost a day this week (Wednesday) as I bumped into an old friend in the Supermarket when I went out for a loaf of bread.  We met at ten thirty in the morning, had coffee together in the cafe, I drove her home and got invited indoors and we set off blethering again until three thirty.  We reluctantly said goodbye to each other as we both knew it would be some time before we got round to catching up again. She has four granchildren now to both her daughter’s.  One of her dauhter’s has adopted two children, half brother’s, within the past three years and needs Mum’s helping hands as her youngest is just walking round the furniture now.   Those were the days.

Anyway…I digress..that’s why my story is unfinished also, as I had set out in my mind how much time I had to push myself to get it done.  Now I have been playing catch up since.   Lol!

Our other task was to archive a speciality language use which we had no previous interest or knowledg of and write the words down seperately and then place them in a box?  I will let you know why, if there is a class today.  The reason why I say that is Britain hasbeen lashed with storms throughout the night and more expected today. Our tutor lives in the Eden valley which has been getting a lot of flooding just lately.  Couple that with high winds as well as a light dusting of snow which I am looking out the window onto this morning here in the Lakes, and classes may not happen today. We will see.  I live at the top of a very steep hill and my twelve mile route to Kendal is over hilly terrain.

I hope to come back later to add to my journal but meanwhile…a bit of my story  is below.   We were given the opening line of..  ‘When it emerged from the shadows he knew the angel……’



Shadow Land?  Jeanie Kirkby (c) copywright


When it emerged from the shadows he knew the Angel

had come for him but he wasn’t ready to go yet!

He wanted to stop time – to retrace his steps until he was able to make the decision that would change the outcome of this moment – his last moments on earth.

Like the Angel he realised he was a seperate entity from his now broken body lying there on the road to Basra. 

He watched as his buddies ran crouched along the ditch lined with the detritus of past refugees fleeing from the city.

He could hear his menyelling and shouting on each other, checking out if the other was o.k. Then a raised voice called his name loudly and louder still when he got no reply.  He wanted to answer but already the light was becoming brighter. He instinctively knew what that meant. 

It had nothing to do with the explosion close to the Warrior armour personnel carrier he had been walking alongside moments before.  Neither was he afraid to follow the Angel into the light as it beckoned him with an alluring smile of tender affection that reminded him of his deceased parents. 

But he wasn’t ready to go…not yet! 

There were unfinished words of comfort and hope he needed to share with his wife and children.   He had never taken the chance to write those personal  comforting words in that ‘bluey’ letter to his family.  He hadn’t wanted to face up to the possibility of leaving them alone without him. That had felt to him like tempting fate. Twenty eight was too young to die. He was invincible.  He and his wife and family had their whole lives ahead of them. 

Now he begged for one last chance to tell them more thoughtfully how much he loved and cared for them. How much he wanted to stay around for them and be a part of their lives.  What he wanted to say could not be covered in a few lines of ‘You must write a letter to your family in case the unspeakable happens’.

All who wrote that letter prayed that it would never be read, him included.

It always happened to someone else, didn’t it? 

Otherwise how could you face daily sorties amongst the civilian clothed Fedayeen paramilitary fighters, who were still loyal to Saddam Hussein and determined to fight you to the death.  Men fully prepared for a martyr’s death and a willingness to sacrifice their lives for their country, beliefs, and the promise of everlasting happiness in heaven with their seventy virgins and seventy wives?

His Battle Group of armour, infantry, artillery, engineers and support units were each given a structured task specific to ousting the Fedayeen from their fragmented pockets of resistances; hiding in various safe areas throughout Basra.

His platoon, part of the Royal Irish Regiment commanded by a second Lieutenant of similar age, was securing the main link road from Basra to Baghdad. The second Lieutenant had placed him, as Corporal, in charge of a section of seven of his closest buddies, all of whom had managed to stay together through boot camp in Catterick, Yorkshire. 

They were tasked to reconnoitre a side road with houses and jetties leading upstream to Margil, the garden suburb fanning out from the forest of cranes at the wharves of the Old Basra port and the railway station; had they been able to go a little further they would be able to look across to the island that faces the Shatt El-Arab Hotel, where Basra’s airport was sited until the 1960s when it was moved to Shuaiba.

It was still hot and humid. Dusk was falling as their long day came to a close. Curfew had not yet begun as they searched and examined every nook and cranny of the twisting lanes and roads.  It wouldn’t be long before they were bivouacking and getting their tired heads down for a much needed sleep.

Their night vision glasses were futile as they tried to walk ahead unseen.. Shifting shapes loomed large then small on the mud brick walls of the houses on either side of them as the sun swung low on the horizon.

Stealth, they found, was futile as their shadows lead the way ahead and around unseen corners.  And so they rejoined their Warrior positioned on the main highway. 

The armour of the Warrior is designed to withstand an explosion from 155mm shell at 10 metres and direct fire from machine guns up to a calibre of 14.5 mm.

Not so a man.

It was difficult to recognise the enemy when they dressed the same as the citizens.  So they watched each others back by turning and watching with every counted step as though involved in a well choreographed dance.  Their senses heightened close to breaking point.  Everyone was a suspect.  Nothing could be discounted. Nothing!

Even the smiling following children could not be accepted as totally neutral. 

When it came there was no warning, despite their honed alacrity.

A group of women dressed in burka’s stood about twenty feet away, huddled up against a wall talking low.  Suddenly they revealed themselves to be Fedayeen with machine guns and hand held rocket launchers.

Tiredness, the closing of the day, stray thoughts of comfort and sleep soon to be had, had dropped his guard just this once….only once!  Fatally!


And soooo………End of part one…..more to follow…


I now have a couple of stories like that which I suppose I can follow up on one day.  Meanwhile this isn’t getting me organised to face the day.

Stay safe well and snug.  have a good day wherever you are.


God Bless

Inspirational link below…
Below is a poem I came across by the author Mike Subritzky (c) 2000
whilst I was archiving information for my little bit of a story.  Enjoy it….






I never did learn his name
but I know he was married, and had kids.
I know this because the Padre spoke of his family,
during the Memorial Service.

I know he was an Australian,
and by all accounts a good soldier,
and a damn fine photographer.
I know that because they published
some of his work in ‘Reveille’.
– after the Military Funeral.

We brought the guns into action that morning
just after first light,
and then slept beneath the dappled
shade of our camouflage nets.

We were hidden in rocks,
not far from the river,
which ran swiftly over the masses
of grey South Island boulders.
Relaxed and rested after a week
or more of intense Gunnery Training.

I’d been all over the world,
and the name of the place "Windwhistle"
was about as forgetable to me as a hundred
other places that I had sweated,
slept, and soldiered through.

Still, it’s funny how the hand of fate
can intervene, and burn an instant
of time and space into the very core
of your living memory.

I never did learn that Aussie Soldiers name,
but I watched him die;
crushed beneath the unforgiving tracks
of an armoured fighting vehicle…
just in front of my hidden howitzer.

In slow motion I, and my gun detachment,
watched in silent terror as he bent
to retrieve a lense-cap,
while that tank, angry and loud,
turned on itself and swept him beneath the tracks;
engulfing him in a sea of blood and agony,
beneath those unforgiving tracks of armour plate.

It seemed so very sad and futile
when the young Gunner yelled to me
"Sarge, shall I go and try and help him…
I’ve got a shell dressing taped to my rifle butt?"
"No son" I replied "Just remain at your post,
and pray for hiswidow".

It seemed such an odd name "Windwhistle",
but I never did forget it, or the events of that day.
It’s funny how fate can intervene; and brand your mind forever,
with an instant of pain…and an eternity of horror.

Mike Subritzky
161 Battery RNZA
"Golden Fleece"




The above photo was dragged from a new programme on Yahoo called Flickr thanks to a new found friend Guido.  It works!

Below is a letter which our district nurse dropped off for us for a laugh….it will be a year ago gone January 6 when Bryan my husband had his heart attack right in the middle of my chemotherapy.  Inconsiderate man!   Lol!

I joke!   And its all behind us now thank God!

As the nurse was visiting him at home after his hospital stay he teased her mercilessly about being a mere woman etc etc. Bryan is a bit of a wag and he teases women friends as well as this nurse  about knowing their place in the world. Men are the superior race and so on…..don’t worry!   He knows different really!   Lol!

There was a good bit of laughter and banter going backwards and forwards and then she left.  Later on in the day and envelope came through the door which read as follows..


For the attention of Mr Kirkby!


Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had given their new wives duties to perform:

Terry had married a woman from Scotland, and bragged that he had told his new wife to do all the dishes and housecleaning in the house.  He said it took a couple of day but on the third day he came home to a clean house and all the dishes were cleaned and put away.

James had married a woman from Ireland and he bragged that he had given his new wife orders to do all the cleaning, dishes and the cooking.  He told them the first day he didn’t see any results, then the next day it was better and by the third day his house was clean, the dishes done and there was a huge meal on the table.

The third man said that he had married a Lancashire lass.  He boasted that the duties he had orered her to do were to keep the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table every day.   He said the first day he didn’t see anything, the second day he didn’t see anything, but the third day most of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little bit out of his left eye; enough to fix himself a bite to eat, load the dishwasher and call the landscaper.

Woohoo!   One up on her!

Well…the weather sems to have settled a bit for now here in the Lakes…
I have copied my entry from my AOL journal from yesterday to saveme time re-writing it everything out again.  I’ve also changed the music to my favourite Dr Hook.  I hope you enjoy it.

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Good Morning!
 Below is a little bit of a poem which I wrote once over, I came across it again whilst delving through my pictures and files.  I thought I would just add it here today.  Anyway…we need a bit of summer sunshine in this sepia coloured land at the moment.
I hope you enjoy it.
Take it easy and have a lovely day.  Its Not raining here….isn’t that wonderful?


 Photo by magicgenii.


Bee Patrol   copywright by magicgenii
Inside the tangled twisted curlicues of parasol leafed flowers
A whitetailed buzzing bumblebee whiles away the hours –
Flitting to and fro’ between the vivid orange bugles –
As if in Nature’s wondrous way she’s forgotten to be frugal
A multitude of tumbling flowers cascade towards the ground
In rainbow coloured abeyance, curtseying to the sound –
And touch of the humble bumblebee on sweet nectar flower patrol
Unaware it’s being watched by an amazed and ponderous soul.
Inspirational Movie thread below….

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                                       A Happy New Year To All!
I hope you all made your resolutions and are still sticking to them?  Hmm?
I came across a couple of poems the other day and I found them so humerous.
I hope you do too.
Here they are below.

December 26

by Kenn Nesbitt

A BB gun.
A model plane.
A basketball.
A ’lectric train.
A bicycle.
A cowboy hat.
A comic book.
A baseball bat.
A deck of cards.
A science kit.
A racing car.
A catcher’s mitt.
So that’s my list
of everything
that Santa Claus
forgot to bring.

Deep in Our Refrigerator

by Jack Prelutsky

Deep in our refrigerator,
there’s a special place
for food that’s been around awhile . . .
we keep it, just in case.
“It’s probably too old to eat,”
my mother likes to say.
“But I don’t think it’s old enough
for me to throw away.”

It stays there for a month or more
to ripen in the cold,
and soon we notice fuzzy clumps
of multicolored mold.
The clumps are larger every day,
we notice this as well,
but mostly what we notice
is a certain special smell.

When finally it all becomes
a nasty mass of slime,
my mother takes it out, and says,
“Apparently, it’s time.”
She dumps it in the garbage can,
though not without regret,
then fills the space with other food
that’s not so ancient yet
We have constant rain here in the Lakes…its like living under a waterfall.
I hope the weather is better where you are.
I hope to come back soon and enter some more of my own poems.  its just taking a bit of time working out where everything goes on this MSN weblog.
Take care and enjoy the rest of today.

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