Family Gathering

We went on an expedition to another cousin’s house last night. Maps were consulted. Traffic conditions considered. Cousin’s older sister agreed after a few ‘phone calls to come with us. Watches were synchronised. Cousin’s brother and his wife arranged to meet us at our destination.

I was the only one who had been there before, but I had no memory of how to get there. I just knew it was quite near Uncle Bill’s. The satnav was consulted.

We stopped en route so we could arrive bearing gifts.

We were greeted by a hen who followed us to the front door. I thought she was going to come into the house, and Cousin did too, but the cousin who opened the door refused her admission. Uncle Bill was already there. The house belongs to one of his sons. Continue reading


An Urge to Post

I had no intention of blogging tonight. I should be on my way to bed, it’s an early start tomorrow. But I read Outward Hounds latest and it reminded me of why I have stuck this blogging mularky for so long. There are bloggers out there whose writing is sublime. Their pages may not garner as many hits, likes or comments as others, but bloody hell, it’s amazing to be able freely to read their output.

I love the way that the internet has put me in touch with people from the other side of the world, people who I shall probably never meet, never have a conversation with other than via the keyboard, yet with whom there is a connection. Thank-you Tim Berners-Lee. Continue reading

Returned from Northern Ireland

So much for the glamour of air travel. The wind whipped the rain cruelly across the backs of my calves as I walked the hundred or so yards across the tarmac.Yet this morning the sun shone and I sat in the garden grooming Westie Boy. Back at the airport, there was a queue on the steps to the plane. My hand on the rail longed to be inside a warm glove. The man in front of me swung his bag. If I hadn’t ducked I’d have been knocked out, maybe stretchered off to A&E at The Royal. Cousin unknowing, back in her house, imagining me safe in London.
Consolingly, once aboard I got my favourite seat at the front, by the window and escape hatch. The stewardess warned me I might get wet knees on take off when the water would run back into the plane. She was right. I forgave the toddler behind me for kicking my seat when I heard her excited voice as we rose over Belfast; “I can see the whole world!” Her accent was English. “Can you see Granny’s house?” asked her mother. They were an echo of how we must have been when we travelled to Ireland years ago; my mother’s country Derry accent contrasting with her two Home Counties bred children; how obvious we were visiting her family; how dépaysée she would have sounded In Surrey. Continue reading