Posted in Art, Creative, Filmmaking, History, TV, writing

Happy due South Day

Just because…

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This is what happens when you combine the fantabulous Paul Haggis, the Amazing Leslie Nielsen and the breathtaking Canada, mix in a little Shakespeare, in one little TV show …

A few months ago I wrote this post about online fandom.  Even without online fandom that there was at the time, I would have fond memories of this TV show.  Anyway, since the episode containing this speech (Swansong ep “Call of the Wild”, in case you’re wondering and want to go back and find it) aired, the random date chosen to feature in this speech has had a place in many DS fans’ hearts as ‘Due South Day’.  So, here it is.

Click here for Buck Frobisher’s 11th March Speech

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Happy March 11th.

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Posted in History, Home, Life

Happy St Piran’s Day

I just found out, by way of a trending #ashtag on twitter, that today, 5th March, is St Piran’s Day.  I’m chiding myself for not remembering this earlier.

For if I didn’t identify as Welsh, the very next choice would be Cornish.  OK, so apart from  my cousin, born and bred there with a Cornish father; none of my family can actually claim Cornish heritage.  My dad moved there from Scotland as a small boy and pretty much grew up on Land’s End.  His little sister was a baby, also born in Scotland,  Their youngest brother came a few years later and was born just over the border in Plymouth I believe.  Dad was a lifeguard at Sennen Cove and frequented the infamous sufing village, Skewjack. He and my mum met when she was down there on holiday with her family from Barry. When they married, they settled in Cornwall, where I was then born.  When I was 2 (ish, I think), with Dad being away at sea a lot, we moved back to Barry, so mum wasn’t so alone when he was away and had my grandparents and aunts and uncles nearby.  And so my siblings were subsequently born in South Wales.

Years later, my Dad’s sister, still in Cornwall, and married a Cornishman, had their son; and, despite the family having lived and loved in West Cornwall for many years; decades even; I was no longer the only one who had been born there.

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However, although I only briefly lived there on a permanent basis as an infant; over the years I’ve spent many a summer with relatives down there, and even more holidays and trips.  Even my chameleonic toungue kicks in and after a few days of wandering ’round Penzance shops and hanging out in Sennen, I start to fall into a slight Cornish twang.  I’ve even given time to studying the not-so-widespread Cornish language and love making connections with Welsh.

And my husband still maintains I only married him for his surname … being proud of being born in Cardiff, it would appear that a family of 7 brothers in generations gone by, left the farmlands of St Just to find work in Cardiff Docks, and hence littered South Wales with countless distantly related Cornish-sounding names…

Posted in Family, Home, Life, Nails, Women's Issues

Stuff My Grandmother Taught Me\.

Well, technically, it’s grandmotherS (plural); and a few more things from other relatives, thrown in for good measure.

But, given the nature of my commitment to take this opportunity to blog about me while I still can … in case the day comes where I can’t pass on snippets of wisdom to my children, or grandchildren, this list has been turning over in my mind for a couple of weeks.

Without further ado, and in no particular order:

  1. Always write in black ink.
  2. Always carry a spare pair of tights in your handbag, in case of ladders.
  3. Immediately remove or repair chipped nail polish.
  4. Only prostitutes paint their toenails.
  5. Never go out with wet hair
  6. Never put the milk in the mug with the teabag before the water.
  7. Always warm the pot.
  8. Wear sunglasses / Always protect your eyes from UV rays.
  9. Always say please & Thank You
  10. Don’t start shaving your legs. Wax them. (Wish I’d known that before I started shaving them…)

Before anyone starts picking holes in the list….I haven’t researched any.  Most are more likely to be old-fashioned snobbery.  But hey ho, this is the way I was brought up.

I stick by most of them when I can.  Sunglasses, mainly.  Tea, always – there’s only one way to make tea. Oh, and by not painting my toe-nails I save myself a heck of a lot of time/money/hassle!  They get filed and cleaned and buffed and that’s about it 😉

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Posted in Christmas, Family, Home

Christmas tree; Oh Christmas tree

OK, this draft was started 3 months ago!  I did mean to post it during the run up to Chriustmas.  Obviously.  It’s about a Christmas tree.  The Christmas tree in the picture was still up.  I was staring at it while typing,  I couldn’t avoid it! And then … well, life happened, stuff happened.  It always does when I’m trying to write something meaningful.  Or alcohol fuelled.  Although the case with the latter is that said alcohol invariably runs out and I’m left with random traces of what I was intently thinking when the thought process began…
I’m pretty anal when it comes to doing things properly, particularly around the house.  everything has to be done just-so.  Organised.  Planned.  In the same order each time.

If I’m out, working or whatever, and O/H decides to ‘help’ by doing the laundry, it ends up being more work.

If I have a laundry day, I have all the laundrybins emptied, bedrooms scouted for socks and pants hidden under beds and down the sides of cupboards; everything washed according to colour/material/owner/importance; at suitable temperatures and speeds; dried in a suitable method corresponding to the labels/requirements; then folded/ironed/flattened; and all put away carefully, all in the same day.

If O/H decides to ‘help’ ; it’s a hotch potch of things all washed at 60 on the ‘quick wash’ setting, chucked in the dryer; and piled into a washing basket and left to crease until the “cleaning fairy” comes to sort it out.

So, recently, now that I’ve been working my Christmas Job for a couple of weeks, I’ve been out of the home more than I’ve been in it.  And when I’ve been in it I’ve been trying to sleep.

And last year, he complained he was left to ‘do it all’ (i.e. wrap the presents) himself.  So, we’ve already had a present wrapping evening.

He brought the 4 (yes, 4, very large) boxes of Christmas decorations (that we’ve collected over the years in our various countries and locations around the world) and set up the tree (that’s 5 years past its 10-year guarantee and still looking good; so we’ve saved cutting down 15 perfectly innocent trees) ; and then, with the help of the children (ARGH!), and now, the Scout Elf (don’t shoot me, it’s our first year; and I have a friend to blame for introducing the idea); have been helping…D.I.S.A.S.T.E.R

Years ago, I was a stickler for everything being red and gold, only, on the main tree.  And NO LAMETTA!  (Mother had a phase of chucking far too much – although ANY is far too much as far as I’m concerned – lametta, very randomly, all over the tree after meticulously placing every other ornament; no I’m allergic to the stuff.  Emotionally.)

When we moved around; it was nice to have the odd ‘special’ ornament placed with pride to display, amongst the carefully selected co-ordinating decorations.

And, I have my preferred order of placement….you know….lights first; then all the gold ornaments, each varying size/shape group done seperately, then all the red ornaments, in a similar fashion, standing back in between the placement of each group of ornaments to ensure the feng shui is just right and the placements look even and equally distrubuted around the entire tree (from each angle from which the tree can be viewed, of course); followed by the intentionally clear and consice placement of the special, one-off, family heirloom ornaments, showing our family life over the years and around the globe.  Some represent family members who can’t be with us.  Others show images or are themselves reminders of the children as they have grown up, from their different Christmasses, to particularly delightful hand made ornaments from school.

Finally, any large expanses of green remaining (not much), is filled with some classy looking, thick and sumptuous tinsel, in corresponding colours to the rest of the decor.

And, last but not least, the angel we’ve had since our first Christmas together is then places atop the tree.

Not this year.

Nope.  I ended up coming home to the ready decorated tree that the children and O/H had decorated themselves.

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And I lacked the energy all season to bother removing everything and starting again.

So, I spent all December looking at it.  And it drastically reduced my Christmas viewing pleasure of “Christmas 24” and other such sappy seasonal film channels, since the tree was positioned in very close proximity to the TV.

(Incase anyone’s wondering, the tree train track is usually there, since it was given to #1 for his first, or second, Christmas; it’s just usually blended in better and more effective and pleasing to the eye.  Also, you really have to have the train running on it to enjoy the full effect…)

Lesson learned.  Stealthily decorate the tree in the middle of the night next year before anyone else gets their hands on the decorations boxes …