The seats were arranged in a semi circle and in the centre stood a lone table, no chair, just a table placed a foot away from the wall and covered with a cloth. Near the edge there was an orange mug, a mobile phone and a letter. To one side a light turquoise rug had been placed on the floor and a brightly covered shopping bag leant against the wall.

And that was it, apart from 40 people sat in the seats!

It was the stage for a play performed in our local village hall by the Library Theatre Touring Company. A play written by Geraldine Aron and performed by Deborah Kelly as Angela.

It is the story of Angela Lipsky whose husband Max has a mid life crisis and leaves her to live with Rosa, a Mexican woman with big hair and little English, and her search for a new life and happiness. She tells of bizarre dates, suicidal tendencies at Christmas, her disapproving catholic Irish mother, shifty divorce lawyers and dodgy counsellors. And then she meets Dr Steadman on a Wild West singles weekend in deepest Wales…..

Laugh – it was hilarious, and the description of her visit (in shawl and dark glasses) to the sex shop really caused a stir and made the tears roll. Hugely empathic, devastatingly honest with a mixture of comedy and pathos it was also thoroughly enjoyable. And the large glass of wine in the interval certainly added to the occasion.

What a great evening out and a brilliant divorce!

Talking over the table last night after our evening meal my daughter suddenly says,

“My friend’s bought a wi-fi kettle.”

“A what?”

“A wi-fi kettle. She can turn it on first thing in the morning whilst still in bed using her phone.”


“And if you’ve forgotten to fill it up with water the night before?”

“Oh it tells you how much water’s in it too.”

Stunned silence.

The appliance of science. Now I know technology is clever and often a wonder to behold, but a kettle you can boil remotely. Why bother. Is time so precious, such a scarce commodity or some people just plain lazy?

Intrigued I looked into it further. You probably already knew (I didn’t) it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s no end to the number of household appliances you can control. But I couldn’t find one to raise the toilet seat for those unforeseen emergencies in the night!

And what happens when there’s a power cut or you forget to charge your phone up, or delayed in traffic…..

Maybe it’s just me and I am missing something here.

First posted on Bubblews at “http://www.bubblews.com/news/2755403-why-what-is-the-point”

April 1st, April Fools’ Day or All Fools’ Day is the day for jokes and playing tricks on friends and family.

I bet there are few reading this who when young didn’t say to a friend ‘Hey, your shoelace is undone’, or pointed to their father’s trousers saying in a serious voice, ‘Dad, your flies are undone’.

But where does this strange custom originate? The origins are said to lie within Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, although the reasoning does seem a bit vague and obscure, and to be honest I don’t get it. Similarly another often cited source says we owe it to the French and the adoption of the Gregorian calendar when  New Year celebrations moved from the last week of March to 1 January. Thereby those still celebrating on 1 April were derided as ‘poisson d’Avril’.  It does sound feasible but the new calendar was introduced over the space of nearly a century, so perhaps not! However, the French do still pin paper fish on people’s backs and shout ‘poisson d’Avril’.

Whatever the origins April Fools’ Day has been with us for a long time and celebrated in many countries. In Scotland it’s known as ‘Hunt the gowk day’, gowk being a cuckoo or daftie, and here in England you have to get your April fool before midday or you become the fool yourself.

Television and the media have been responsible for some good April Fools gags over the years too, including:-

In 1957 the BBC reported on the bumper annual spaghetti harvest in Switzerland showing pictures of workers picking it from the trees.

BBC Radio reported in 1976 that the planet Pluto would be passing behind Jupiter and the resultant gravitational alignment would temporarily reduce Earth’s gravity, and for a while people might experience a floating sensation.

1998 saw Burger King’s newspaper advert announcing the new ‘Left-Handed Whopper Burger’ (same as the original but rotated through 180 degrees) for all left handed Americans.

In 1972 the body of the Loch Ness Monster was fond, and in 2008 a rare colony of flying penguins was discovered.

I am sure you have heard of many others, so whatever you do on April Fool’s Day, enjoy your jolly japes and jokes but be careful about what you see on the television or read in the newspapers!

No it’s not a song by Paul Simon it is what’s happening on Facebook!

Facebook is now expanding its gender options so you no longer need to be “male” or “female” or even “don’t know” you can be one of up to 50 alternatives. Oh and if you don’t care for “him” or “her” you can be a “them”.

I am not looking to offend anyone or ridicule these changes which quite clearly some people find personal, very important and necessary. I am just utterly floored by the fact that there are up to 50 alternatives, the majority of which I had never even heard of and now that I have heard of them don’t even know what most of them mean.

Perhaps Facebook should introduce a new gender just for me – “baffled”.

The 50 genders are:-

Cis Female
Cis Male
Cis Man
Cis Woman
Cisgender Female
Cisgender Male
Cisgender Man
Cisgender Woman
Female to Male
Gender Fluid
Gender Nonconforming
Gender Questioning
Gender Variant
Male to Female
Trans Female
Trans Male
Trans Man
Trans Person
Transexual Female
Transexual Male
Transexual Man
Transexual Person
Transexual Woman
Transgender Female
Transgender Person


Whichever way you look it’s 2014.

Happy New Year everyone!


Golden Lake






What a fabulous autumn it has been with nature’s colours truly magnificent.

A 20 minute walk from where I live along a farm lane, across a field and up into the woods brings you to Lake Gourmire, a natural lake formed as a result of glacial action during the last ice age. Surrounded by trees and sheltering beneath the cliffs of Sutton Bank it is also a place of legends and stories.

Supposedly there is a lost village in its bottomless depths and a hidden undercurrent which once deposited a witch into a well some 9 miles away and a goose 12 miles away completely stripped of its feathers……

And then there’s the story of the local knight and the white horse.

The knight coveted the white arab mare of the Abbot of Rievaulx and one evening came across the abbot in an Inn. He asked the abbot to swap horses so he could tend a dying farmer and the two rode off. But the knight could not control the white horse and it bolted as if the very devil was after him taking horse and rider over the edge of the escarpment and into the lake. As he plunged to his doom the knight heard a mocking laugh and twisting round saw that the abbot was suddenly transformed into the devil himself.

Whether you believe the tale or not there is no disputing the family of swans currently residing there. Usually they are at the far side of the lake and when you walk round they are…at the far side of the lake! Today the swans were at my side of the lake so I followed them. Most of the time they were feeding, heads down, bottoms up in the air.

It certainly amused the ducks, they were cackling away like dirty old men laughing at a rude joke.



The Shed

“Hello Cynthia, on your own again, no Maurice?”

“Need you ask. He’s where he always is these days, Linda, in the shed.”

* *

Maurice Dibblethwaite was indeed in his shed and at that moment stepping out of a neatly ironed blue boiler suit which he hung carefully onto a wooden hanger before hooking it over a double brass hook behind the door. Satisfied it was straight he turned his attention to the table, a six sided oak table with an adzed top he had finished a couple of months earlier. He unfolded a lace table cloth, smoothed it out, placed a vase and flowers to one side and arranged the cups, saucers and plates, silver knives and cake forks. Two of everything. Finally he set down a plate of potted meat sandwiches, scones and a Victoria sponge cake.

* *

“I’ll not see him till I go out there and shout to say tea’s ready. Even then he sometimes says to just leave it outside on a tray. Other times out he comes and for a few hours I get back the Maurice I once knew and loved…… ”

She shrugged and sighed wearily.

“Cynthia, is everything alright?”

“It’s Maurice, he’s become impossible. Take this morning. He was up at six, brought me up a cup of tea in bed like he always did and then starts baking. I mean, Maurice, baking. Then I discover my best china’s missing from the sideboard. Linda, everything in this house is slowly disappearing into the shed.”

* *

“A scone, or a piece of cake?” said Maurice smiling across the table. “I baked them this morning specially. More tea? Oh, you haven’t touched a thing. I do hope everything’s to your liking?”

* *

“Linda, I don’t know what to do any more. I’ll swear he’s having an affair with a bloody shed.”

“Well have you said anything, Cynthia?”

Cynthia ignored the question. “A few weeks ago I found him ripping up the carpet in the spare bedroom to put in the shed. So naturally I asked what the hell he thought he was up too. He just exploded, said it was none of my business. He even threatened me. I’m frightened, Linda. Scared of Maurice and a bloody shed.”

They both peered out of the kitchen window towards the shed, sitting at the bottom of the garden surrounded by neatly tended borders and painted in two shades of blue with blinds and pretty curtains at the windows.

* *

“Yes, I know,” said Maurice. “They’re looking at us. I can feel it too. Saying unkind things, talking about us. They don’t understand. But I told her not to interfere. I did warn her. Now let me freshen your tea, and do help yourself to another scone. I just need to pop out for a few moments.”

Maurice rose out of the armchair and plumped up the cushion. Then he took the coat hanger from behind the door and began pulling on his blue boiler suit. He picked up his tool bag, opened the shed door and stepped out into the sunshine. “I shan’t be long,” he said, locking the door behind him.


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