sing-a-long now… ♫♫♪ we don’t need no educashuuuuun…..the times they are a changing..♫♫♪

Welcome…take a seat and grab a coffee…its gonna be a bumpy ride….

So just lately I seem to be in touch with a few people I went to High School with thanks to good old Facebook. I did at one time have a slight flutter with Friends Reunited but I just seemed to attract all the weirdo’s from way back in’t day on there. When it was announced that it was to be discontinued a few months back, did I imagine the sigh of relief across the country? Now I can choose to have past friends and acquaintances back in my life. Believe me there are some that have sent me requests and have been firmly refused *shudder* I’ve heard some real horror stories…

I guess I should come clean and say that my High School days did not contain my finest moments. I had a very sweet/sour experience…and unlike some I wouldn’t go back for all the wine boxes in Sainsburys….
I’m like everyone else and I can look back to being around 14 or 15 years old and remember the music and the fashions and laugh, sigh and sometimes almost spontaneously combust with excitement if I’m reminded of back then and I have a good audience to play to. I find it surprising how many harp on back to ‘The Good Old Days’ but when you point out the bad bits along with the good they don’t like it and say they don’t remember any bullying and bad behaviour. I don’t mean the naughty ‘high jinks’ stuff we all used to run around doing like knock and run, I mean the stuff that was done to actually physically and mentally hurt others.

This week though I’ve been reminded of some of the more awkward and difficult times. The starting point came after a shared statement on Social Media about sexuality.
Nowadays most people are (or want to appear as) supportive towards teenagers growing and developing their own opinions and now as adults they mainly accept the place of LGBT  in society.

If you are my age or older, you know this wasn’t always so…

Are you ready for this? Let me take you down my time tunnel to a High School in a West Yorkshire mill town in the mid to late 1970’s.

**make a spooky  being sucked down a hole noise here**
I was what was charmingly termed by adults of that time as an ‘early developer’… 14 I was stick thin with ample sized boobs. Remember that most heterosexual 14 year old boys get excited about ANY size of boobs no matter what era they are from.
There always seemed to be comment about it, amazingly from the girls as well as boys. As an adult I can see this was probably due to the fact they didn’t have such nice boobs and wanted to impress everyone by being the most popular mouthpieces. It seemed to be that if you took care of your appearance and boys took notice , then you were a ‘slag’…and if the wrong kind of other girls noticed you did it better than they did then you were ‘a slag’ even more…
I had many occasions of being asked out by lads, only to quickly find myself fighting off their fumbling advances, often being grudging told ‘but you did it with ****’ (all lies by the way….just to set the record straight!) It’s now amusing, but it was frightening at the time, to remember being followed home and stoned all the way by a disgruntled lad who didn’t get his way in a dark corner of the youth club… odd that he married a rather nice sensible girl I knew straight out of school…
Another time I was walking through a ginnel near some shops and a group of 5 or 6 lads from the year below me at school  passed me and as they pushed and jostled me between the walls one of them squeezed my boob….. This 13 year old took on almost celebratory status among his mates. Within the week the chinese whisperers had it that he’d consensually ‘felt me up’ in front of all his mates..
I was just too shown up and embarrassed to make any reasonable defence against them. Today I’d hope any 15 year old girl in that kind of position would whistle blow straight away…..and I hope the lad now he’s grown- if he has daughters  he’s scared shit less because he remembers HIS behaviour !!

I remember girls back then being so contradictory that my head would spin. I was ‘Best Mates’ with a girl from the street I lived on for about two years. At 15 I had a boyfriend stupidly known as ‘Killer’ (wonder what happened to him, I’ve seen more ‘killer’ looking goats…lol), looking back he was a drip,  but as teens do we fell out. He asked  my best mate out, she said yes. He kept sneaking back along the road onto my house pestering me to go back out with him. So …I did the ‘grown up’ thing and told her because he was making a fool of her…WRONG!! Oh boy did that blow up in my face! You see my friend was one of the ‘hard’ ones – the one who if you didn’t do as she said she’d get violent and push you around a bit. So when she loudly proclaimed me as jealous and trying to split them up all the other girls who were fond of their faces and hair agreed…as did all the ones who were a bit bitchy and jealous of anyone else who breathed. The boys would join in with the more popular girls and cat call and mock . I suffered scenes like one girl cornering me and saying ‘Ive heard you fancy my boyfriend’… frightened of her and her cronies I whispered ‘No, I don’t even like him’….for that I got some rough shoving around for ‘not liking her boyfriend’….It’s hardly surprising I distanced myself from my peer group in that last year of school.

You know though , I had it easy compared to the ones who were ‘different’. The ones labelled as ‘lezzies’ ‘bummers’ and ‘homos’
You had only to raise your eyes in the changing rooms to be accused by some of looking at their breasts, or someone elses breasts. I even witnessed one girl with just her ‘speed bumps’ showing get to be ridiculed and made to lower her towel and show them because she was self conscious and trying to hide.
To me though it seemed the boys had it worse. Tales of who would try ‘bumming’ in the PE showers…little underdeveloped quiet lads who were ridiculed, had their towels and underwear pinched etc etc….it was bullying in the extreme and its one of the reasons I’m such an ambassador for Anti Bullying today, in fact all of the above is.

I can’t count how many times my Mum would say ‘you not going out?’ and I’d just smile and settle back on my bed with my book or lock myself away and play my records. I was ok. I’d never tell or complain, that was just, well, it just wasn’t done.
I’m not saying that it was constantly like this for me…I’m just pointing out that for some it was.funny-fit-earrings-high-school
I think I finally grew into my skin and learned to love myself for myself at around 19/20….and Ive never looked back. Confidence is a beautiful thing. It gives you power.
My 16 year old Hairy Cave Teen ‘s escapades quite often make me chuckle. His High School experiences have been so vastly different to my own. He has a fabulous group of friends both male & female and the way they are all supportive and accepting makes me smile. These kids seem to embrace the differences between each other. Its really nice and gives me a warm fuzzy feeling that’s nothing to do with my glass of wine Ha!

He gave me a reminder of my ‘musical youth’ He went to Manchester Academy this week with three mates to see a favourite band , Enter Shikari.
In High School I went to see ‘Kenny’ at Dewsbury Town Hall (remember the song? ‘The Bump’)…and going to Batley Variety Club to see both Showaddywaddy and The Drifters were highlights of my teens. This is Top Secret from my kids…..but by almost the end of high school I’d taken to going to The Poacher and The John F Kennedy pubs in the town centre with new, older friends that surprisingly are still good mates of mine, because by then I suppose I started to CHOOSE who I hung around with. Once again I’m not saying every decision I made was a good one, but at least I was among friends.
Last week as the HCT went off to a party I agreed with most of my close mates that it doesn’t do to remember what went on at parties YOU went to at 16 or you wouldn’t let them out of the house….


Im going to end this by sharing that some really lovely people are back in touch recently. One friend is still beautiful…still married to her high school boyfriend and still as lovely as I remember xx
Another friend that I actually went through Junior school and High School with has turned up…a bit like me, dog eared on the corners but scrubs up well and has a fighting spirit to set the world to right xx

..and two old school mates who I have seen blossom from a fledgling romance to a full scale relationship that it’s been such an absolute pleasure to watch it unfold on Facebook.
Lesson to take away this week..?
Be kind, always …and you’re never too old for love & romance

See ya


After doing the family laundry ..the name is Vickers…

I’m going into full genealogical geek mode during this scribbled page or two…it may catch your interest or not. Researching our family tree was always going to interest me because of two reasons, one- my love of all things historical and two – I’m very nosey.

I’ve had some fabulous hours spurring off from a person on the tree finding out they emigrated or ran away or had eighteen children and died of exhaustion! My biggest gasps of pleasure have been for the individuals ~ particularly on a branch of my Mums ancestors~ that I’ve found in various Yorkshire prisons. It even got to be a joke here! When I’m researching that name Mr G will say are you doing the ****’s…look in the prisons….eek!
One of my favourites from that family got married at 19 to a Black lady whose family were travelling Music Hall performers. I should imagine that wasn’t an easy decision back in 1890 in a Yorkshire Mill town. The fact that within a year she was in Manchester still travelling with her family, a new husband from Sheffield under her belt and that my ancestor does time for vagrancy and drunken behaviour makes the mind boggle!

Of course there is William too. Our Famous William Whitaker who drops off the face of the earth from 1861. I can tell you this…I WILL FIND HIM!!

For today I’m going to get down on paper once and for all, for all the descendants of James Earnshaw Vickers, the researched and concluded facts of his illegitimate birth (my Family are descendants of his son Ernest Vickers- born Ernest Earnshaw in 1892). Hopefully this will stop the speculation that we are in fact ‘not Vickers stock’ and that James was the son of another man.

I was born a Vickers. There was a very old rumour whispered in my family and from being a child I heard it in many guises. My Dad would tell us that his Great Grandfather had a ‘double barrelled name’ and that part of it was dropped as he didn’t like it. The Surname he had was Earnshaw Vickers and he dropped the Earnshaw part and thus the whole of his family followed.

As the years have progressed this story has been fleshed out by various rumours passed down from around the year of 1864 when my Great, Great Grandfather James Vickers Earnshaw was born.

Yes, that’s right, not Earnshaw Vickers…he was born Vickers Earnshaw, the ‘Vickers’ part being his given second name not his Surname


The story unfolds before you of a young woman (my Great, Great, Great grandma) Jane Earnshaw.

In 1864 Jane, aged 18, gave birth illegitimately to her son James. On his birth certificate he is named as James Vickers. His Surname is Earnshaw. Jane had James baptised at her local Church. He is recorded as ‘James’ son of Jane Earnshaw-spinster. This is an unusual event for two reasons. The first is that for a single mother in 1865 to do that is almost unheard of because of the prejudices and the ‘shame’ of single mothers from the era. The other reason is that 16 months later Jane baptised James again, in the same church alongside his baby brother Henry. Jane is once again named as James’ parent, but he is given the first two names, like his birth certificate of ‘James Vickers’. Henry’s entry in the box below has both parents listed as they had married earlier in 1865. His Parents being of course James and Jane VICKERS (nee Earnshaw)

My Aunt has done a lot of research on this too. So armed with all the tools of the trade, her knowledge and help from genealogical groups and individuals, here is the verdict…
The fact that Jane named her son ‘James Vickers’ points to James Vickers being his father. Most experts seem to think that Jane baptised her son when he was so young with the churches blessing because he wasn’t expected to live and was gravely ill in some way. The same experts say that naming the father this way on birth certificates was a standard practice back then when the father was not on the scene. Why did Jane and James do it this way? I don’t think we will ever know, but I suppose some relationships back then were probably as full of rows and separations as ones in today’s society.

The following year James and Jane marry just two months before their son Henry is born.
They then baptise both boys together.Earnshaw V

The 1871 Census finds the family together and lists James Junior as James Vickers…son of James Snr Head of the House

The 1881 Census finds the family together and lists James Junior as James Earnshaw…son of James Snr Head of the House
James Junior married Clara Horner in August 1889 under the name of James Earnshaw Vickers
The 1891 census find James Jr and his wife living with other family members and they are listed as James and Clara Earnshaw

Then…and I think this is the  particular census and listed facts that cause all the confusion…In 1901 the family is together, Mum , Dad and four children, including my Gt Grandad Ernest. All listed under the surname E. Vickers. My Aunt has a copy of Ernest’s Birth certificate and he was registered at birth as Ernest Earnshaw…NOT VICKERS!! Shock!! Horror!!

Is it really that surprising? After All it is his Fathers LEGAL surname.
The 1911 census find the whole family listed as Vickers
Ernest married my Great Grandma Sarah Jane Whittaker in December 1911. He married under the name of Ernest Vickers and his father is listed as James Vickers
The family has lived as Vickers since that time. I have no clue as to if this was done legally (doubtful) or it became legal through the passing of time being known by another Surname.


Now for the dirty laundry bit….lets hope I can peg it out clean and fresh smelling and not offend anyone….
Ernest Vickers had a long running extra marital affair dating from the early 1940’s that produced 2 other children when he was in his 50’s. He eventually separated from Sarah and went to live with his lover sometime in the early 1950’s. He died of cancer in Killingbeck Hospital Leeds in 1960 aged 68.
As with most families, Sarah’s children closed ranks around their Mum and became very protective of her. I remember Sarah being a gentle but quite firm person. Her Grandchildren remember her with great love and affection.

The fact does remain though that the rumours of illegitimacy resurfaced around this difficult time. No more so than when Ernest died and the Funeral director had to enquire of Sarah what name her husband had at birth for his death certificate. Obviously , not only would this have ben upsetting and traumatic for Sarah but it would set tongues wagging , not least I should imagine for family members who were still angry and upset at Ernest for his deplorable behaviour towards Sarah.

My Aunt faced and still faces disbelief from family members….but facts are facts and I stand firmly by her side on this matter.

From my own position the only two FACTS we can establish here are that …

  1. James Vickers Snr WAS the father of Jane Earnshaw’s son James Vickers Earnshaw…and that our Family Name evolved back to Vickers after being used in different connotations over the years.
  2. Ernest (Earnshaw) Vickers was a feckless twat especially in his later years who deserved the disdain of his wife Sarah and her Children.


A rather sad note for me is that my own Dad (another James Vickers!) would have loved all this family tree stuff. He loved going off looking for family graves even when in the first throes of the horrible Alzheimer’s devil. My Dad passed on to me the love of history in all its forms and I keenly miss him being here when I make new discoveries and I can’t share them with him.
James Henry Vickers  is one of Sarah’s grandsons…and he loved her, but he’d be the first to stand in line and shout …I AM A VICKERS

…and I’m with him !


B xx

♫♪♫ SEE SAW…Margery Daw♫♪♫

Ohhh what a happy  hormonal day I’m having today!
Other ladies ‘of a certain age’ will appreciate this scribbly rant …quite a bit I hope.  You young, beautiful, wrinkle free nymphs can bog off or store the info for 25 years plus…it’s up to you…

Men? Well you airy fairy big girls blouses can eff right off back to the football or Grand Theft Auto …REAL men will stay and read and try to gain some insight into what their beloved ladies are ….or will go through…

Firstly my hairstyle is of a very sexual nature today …i.e. it’s all ****ed….

Then there’s the fact my bladder has decided to become very overactive and I want to pee every ten minutes. I can honestly see me taking out shares in Tena Lady if this carries on. I DO NOT want to plan trips out of the house around where the public loos are thankyouverymuchta!


This facial hair….had it some years now, no stranger to the tweezers….but now its snowdrop WHITE???? WTF!!! Whilst I’m on the subject of body hair, why do I not have to shave under my arms any more? I dread to think its migrated to under my chin *shudder*

My mouth tastes yuk…I probably have the breath of many camels…yuk…yuk ..YUK!


My boobs..not overly large but ample I suppose, they are getting in my way flopping about like they do. Don’t get me wrong , they are not quite spaniels ears yet…but im going to start asking older busty folks about the secrets of rolling them up techniques


But most of all…my mood!
I’m a happy bunny. I live a fairly charmed life here with Mr G and our gang of growing offspring but….but….OHHHH I DON’T KNOW!!moody

That’s just it! I DON’T KNOW (only horribly hobbled hormoned crones understand this feeling….)

I have swung today from Mother Teresa-like beatific smiling, being happy and content to swearing like a rabid navvy on rum because I stood in the dogs water bowl in my slippers (stop laughing)

But the biggie of the day (so far…)…I’ve had a full tearful tantrum that any toddler would be proud of  because I realised I’ve answered the door to the window cleaner, stood and paid him his due… in my jumper and leggings ….. (wait for it….) It’s a chunky jumper and, I realised an hour afterwards, unmistakably INSIDE OUT. So there I am. Dragon Breath, shit hair, white whiskery face, needing a wee with my jumper on inside out (did I mention that?). I can with hindsight see that the odd smile on his face was a smirk and I swear I now I wish I’d shoved his head in his soapy bucket and KICKED it!

The dog has just run away upstairs just in case I spontaneously combust from bashing the keyboard….

After washing my face and calming down … I started to giggle ….it turned into a laugh at myself…more tears…this time happy ones. GAWDS SAKE…it’s all *See saw ~ margery daw* fun and games here…but the way I feel at times Johnny and his Master can feck right off…


Until tomorrow folks… unless Mr G has me in a straight Jacket….


B xx


PS…at least I’m not binging…wOOp!

This entry was posted on January 7, 2016. 2 Comments


Hi there! Happy New Year !

Wecome to 2016 in the Gobby House


Full of what? I can hear you ask (and the obvious word that you thought of first is not the answer I seek……)

I am full of positivity, joy ,love and until just recently , chocolate and all things festive.

I’m not the kind of person that makes New Years Resolutions. I fail miserably because I feel them like pressure and it sets off the whole *worry-eat crap-feel sick-worry-eat crap* circle.
I have in my positive state of mind started back 100% on track with the new Weight Watchers Smart Points plan.
Last year I spent too much time yo-yoing from being on plan then off plan and quite frankly not in the right frame of mind for losing weight. I don’t know why! If I did I’d have sorted it!

I wanted to literally have my cake and eat it. Oh and I DID!  If there was no  chance of cake appearing then I’d just make one for a celebration thus we had….

Birthday-have a cake!

Anniversary-have a cake!

Good school reports-have a cake!

Dogs Birthday -have a cake!

The pimple dried up on your chin? -have a cake!

I found myself eating more and more sweet, fatty things as the year progressed. I have always maintained I don’t have a sweet tooth but last year I certainly found my sweet tongue, brain and belly.

This past Christmas I was such a glutton that on one evening I spent the whole night in bed groaning with tummy ache and feeling very sick. Not good.

It had to stop.
I’d seen that Weight Watchers had changed the points system and I did wonder at their marketing strategy doing it so close to Christmas, but guess what!? They got it bang on!
This new ‘Clean Eating’ Smart points system is just what I need.

So lets recap….
Jan 2015 saw me needing to lose a stone…
Jan 2016 sees me needing to lose 2 stone…

My first step of 2016 was to use the BIN! I can hear you all gasp…yes I used the bin. These left overs would have ended up in our other bin…me!

I threw away…
1 big box of the worst mince pies I have ever made. To my shame even the dog would not eat them

**I blame my sister for this terrible bout of baking. She made some for the first time and hers were fab…mine were poo, therefore she obviously stole my baking mojo….**
Half an iced Christmas cake. Only Mr G and I would eat it

Leftover sherry trifle Only Mr G and I would eat it

Leftover Black Forest Gateaux. Only Mr G and I would eat it

I put pate, cheeses and a big turkey rogan josh in the Freezer for another time and place where Miss Piggy (Moi!) is not on the guest list.

The top of the kitchen cupboards hosts  unopened boxes of chocolates, biscuits, cakes etc that can be used for desserts for the younger members of the family. I could reason that I’m younger than Mr G…so in my head I’ve put  ‘strictly for the under 30’s’ in gold lettering.

This will mean Mr G can’t have any but he really needs to lose his Christmas pound  gain.

I have a small box with some favourite chocs in, mostly Thorntons (what were remaining! lol) at 3SP each I will be having them rarely…I suppose a bit like how many other people each chocolate….

I need a stepladder to reach the top of the cupboards. If I cheat Mr G has been told to padlock the stepladder away in the garage….extreme measures..but putting two stones back on feels a bit extreme!

The rest of the household has taken up a military strategy to guard and protect their treats from the Munching Pacman Woman (Moi!) I have been warned that the Haribo is booby trapped…eek!

Photos are about to appear sellotaped to fridge, food cupboard, biscuit tin of ‘Big Mrs G’…’Whopping Mrs G’ and even the horrible never made public ‘Beached Whale Mrs G’

Why? Because  beach holidays have been booked for summer , my size 12 tankinis sit mocking me and if I don’t behave myself with food choices I will be back to where I started ~ sat miserable on the edge of the bed  January 2012 on my 50th Birthday weighing in at 14 stone…four years!

I am not going to dwell on the past though. This is a new attempt, a new plan and I have to say it suits me better.

I need to do this, I WANT to do this I WILL do this


By the way…My friends and I who are  back to eating healthily  have noticed that we are nearly all suffering from sugar withdrawal. I have had headache, toothache and an awful bunged up nose. I’ve also been a real moody mardy moo for  a few days. Is sugar such a potent drug? Has sugar been the bad guy all along and fats eaten in moderation not bad for us at all? I’m thinking so now.

Fourteen years ago I gave up smoking after a 20 a day 25 year habit. I did it cold turkey, no patches, no needles , no hypnosis…just a ten year old daughter with big sparkly sad eyes asking ‘Mummy why do you smoke, it upsets me. If you die Mummy what will happen to me? ‘ …. I never smoked another cigarette….IMG_0581
When I was expecting my youngest son 17 years ago I had Gestational Diabetes. I managed it brilliantly. I ate very healthily and my son was born normal weight range and without any health problems.
I have a yearly test for Type II now especially as diabetes is rife through my Dad’s family ( When I was 2 stones lighter my count was better than the  average for the UK.)

So if I can beat these ‘addictions’ for the sake of people I love , why not beat this food addiction for the love of them and, dare I say it…..myself?

So, swords drawn and onwards……

I’ll finish this by just saying thanks to everyone who takes time to read my ramblings on WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and Weightwatchers. You all Rock .
If I help just one person through their day thats  well worth me scribbling!
Tally Ho!


B xxx

  • Pic is of fabby Christmas prezzie mug from my little girly mentioned above ….she’s now 24…eek!




This entry was posted on January 6, 2016. 2 Comments

PINCH PUNCH!…..*Fa la la la laaaaaaa*

December 1st! Well that year has flown. Doesn’t seem two minutes since I was doing the post Summer Holiday washing….
I love the 1st of December at our house. The kids open the first windows on their Advent Calendars. We make a point of buying the cheap tacky ones with garish photos and odd shaped chocolates (some of them you NEVER get to identify the shapes…)because when I was a child opening the window was what it was all about. I could buy or make them all a posh felt one with pockets and fill it full of mini chocolates but my lot wouldn’t think it was as much fun.20151201_104128
When I was a kid, along with my younger brother & sister we had one big Advent Calendar each year that had fabulous sparkly Christmas scenes under the windows. No chocolate! We loved opening it. The windows revealed  glittery, snowy  pictures of traditional Christmas stuff like robins, puddings, toy soldiers, gingerbread men…Christmas trees, holly , mistletoe. We took turns to open the windows. How many primary school age kids back then went to school with glitter stuck to their fingers! Makes me laugh these days with the chocolate ones because EVERYONE knows someone who’s little Angel(s)hid under the table and opened all the windows and scoffed the chocs...sometimes not their own calendar!!

Also today we allow Mr G to start ‘Fa, la, la, la , laaa-ing…’ He is strictly not allowed to do this until December because by the time we get to Christmas day he has done it so much we want to stuff and roast him and not the turkey….
Much to our resident Teens dismay…the Christmas CD’s come out of the Cupboard….
In the car this morning we played CD no 1. Our 12 year old Daughter sat pouting through most of them…but we did get a smile and a sway on the seat when Jonah Lewie came on. The two older lads sat plugged into their iPhones to escape. Only my little Fredster joined in with me on the sing-along (not so little now at almost 10). I have to admit being very amused at his song…’Last Christmas I gave you my heart but the very next day you sold it on ebay…’

This morning though I do feel a tinge of sadness. For the first time in 28 years I do not have children in my house who believe in Santa presents. Freddie has finally caught on about who does what , where and when….
WE are  still a house that BELIEVES in the magic of Santa Claus though. The Christmas spirit here is strong. We mash all the aspects of this time of year together being a largely agnostic family. We sing Carols along with silly songs, we love the story of the Nativity. We like the Holly and Ivy decorations and Mistletoe traditions rooted in Pagan celebration
Gift giving has its origins from Roman times…and giving gifts on Christmas Day itself in the Western World only started in the 19th Century. Most people gave gifts on New Years Day before then. It’s interesting that our eldest daughters partner has told us this is still mainly the tradition in Greece and was so when he was a child.
Then there’s good old Santa himself. Think whatever you like of him and his origins….JUST BELIEVE!!

Christmas Cards. I absolutely love them. My house would not feel at all Christmassy without them.
I know lots give to charity in lieu of them…but I give to charity, buy charity cards and still send them AND I actually put stamps on most of them and post them too, imagine that!

Soon we will be going for the tree. We have one of each here, one real – one artificial….but they are always traditionally decorated with a mish mash of old and new things. I shuddered last year when a Mum at the Primary Christmas concert said she throws all her children’s school Christmas crafts in the bin ‘because they are tacky and don’t go with my theme’
Like a lot of mums I have ‘smelly , cheesy’ playdough ornaments that are ‘X’ years old…along with pictures, home made globes and sewn mats etc…. oh , and a paper mache Santa that looks more like an old lady complete with zimmer frame than Santa  with a toy sack…etc, etc ,  don’t you?

So there you are folks…its DECEMBER…

B xxxxx


After you’ve read this remember I’m just an average British woman in her early 50’s…a Mum, a partner, a daughter, a sister, a friend.
Over the past few years, well for certain since those planes flew into the Twin Towers, like everyone else, I’ve lived with the threat of terrorism on my doorstep.
I do remember the IRA threat from when I was a youngster but I think being so young I never felt that my family or me were ever directly in danger. I remember the bus bomb on the M62 and I remember the bomb in the shopping centre in Manchester. So from that I can surmise I have always known of terrorist threats to the UK.
I was born and raised (except for two years in Wiltshire) in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire. My Home town has had very bad press over the past ten years or so. The whole country knows about Shannon Mathews going missing and the awful fact her Mum had hidden her. The whole WORLD knows that there is a connection to the London Bombers and all too recently Britain’s youngest suicide bomber had been groomed and lured away by Isis  from  his family in Dewsbury.
I’ve said in the past that the Community Leaders in Dewsbury can preach until the cows come home about community cohesion and that there are /were good relations between all faiths and ethnic groups, but by large it is total bollocks if I’m honest. They only see the families who WILL join in such attempts at being friendly…..
There have been areas in Dewsbury that even in my early 20’s I would not go to. The same can be said for Muslim people. I can assure you there are places in Dewsbury then and now Muslims would not go for fear of attack, verbally or physically.
As a Mum I’ve seen and heard things said or done to my older two children, now in their twenties, that have seemed extreme and racist from both sides of the coin. I’ve tried to give my kids good values and a broad spectrum of understanding other cultures and religions. I think I have done ok  as all three of them have friends from all religions, nationalities and gender.
I moved away from Yorkshire over eight years ago. The area I lived in was increasingly becoming alien to me. Yes if I’m honest many houses were now being taken by Muslim families but I can say that the area was also becoming run down with many more disadvantaged and generally ‘scruffy’ families from all walks of life moving in too. You can judge me all you like for this observation but it’s a true one and I make no excuses for wanting a better environment to live in and better schooling for my youngest child who was then eight years old. Yes I’m sad to say that even the village school was by then ‘going down the rattle’ despite some excellent teachers…. A real shame as my two older children had had a vastly different experience there and loved it.

Anyway, I digress…
So, since I moved here the Isis threat has evolved.
I’ve watched, worried and despaired along with the rest of the world as one terror attack after another has happened. Still I’ve kept a check on myself inside and reasoned that I need not worry too much and that Justice and the great good of ordinary people will overcome all of this.
Then we had the attack on the beach in Tunisia and with the utmost respect for the families affected if you don’t mind I won’t go into all the details, I’ll just stick to how it affected me and mine. . I don’t think it spoiled my holiday in Spain, but it certainly made me more aware of people around me. Today I can’t believe how blasé I was about the whole thing…
I remember Facebook posts over the summer about bombs on planes, about Airport security (many about Sharm el-Sheikh…) and most of us pooo ~poooed them. How wrong we were.

Then Paris.


Friday the thirteenth in Paris has finally, I really mean FINALLY got the message across to me.

Ive been to Paris….

Paris is like London, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds…..York…
…and the message is that this extreme group has to be destroyed…obliterated from the face of the earth. No ‘live and let live’ on this one….they have to go.

In York at the weekend as I stood in the busy shopping centre, everyone buzzing around me on their way to enjoy shopping or culture I realised what an absolute TERROR it would be to have someone just open fire and start shooting. In the Jorvik centre I felt the same. I tried not to let it spoil my day, but I felt chilled to the bone and it wasn’t all due to the foul wet weather.
I thought of the gigs my older two kids have been to. Mainly young people enjoying rock music, attention totally on the performing band and the music, as it should be. I felt sick with grief for those families.

At breakfast the next morning Paris was being discussed and one of the other B &B guests, a lovely older lady said ‘You probably have more chance of winning the lottery than getting shot really’
I did not tell her that ‘winning the lottery’ wasn’t a good example to use for my family seeing as my sister & hubby did just that, so it’s not an impossible feat in my eyes…

Now we are told that the UK has had recent terror threats that have been thwarted.
We are also told that the refugees fleeing this heinous group and its evil regime are themselves harbouring would be suicide bombers with false documents. Those poor poor people have been through enough without this!
Of course this brings out all the ‘I told you so’ know it alls that want to lay blame at the door of every ethnic group that’s not white and British…….but it’s not as simple as all that! The refugees are NOT to blame. The Muslim Communities are NOT to blame either….so this blog is not inviting response from any of that type….

I end this bog entry by telling you that yesterday was another big eye opener for me…

I’d been fine since returning home on Sunday. The news headlines are still full of the Paris atrocities, but being home Ive felt more grounded. I’m sure you all know what I mean.
Last night I went to a College open evening with my two sons and their Dad. There was a moment when we came out of one building across from another and lots of alarms were going off. I had a momentary shudder and ice cold feeling, but it went soon enough when everyone was behaving normally. Probably a naughty student having a crafty fag in a cloakroom….

Then the biggie when we got home….


‘Yes love?’

‘Theres a gig on in Manchester in a couple of weeks…can I go?’

‘Can’t see why not love…’

*Is screaming inside …no …no…no…..please don’t….*


Needless to say I will be in Manchester the whole time sat feeling sick and twiddling my thumbs….along with all the other parents no doubt

‘till next Time

B xxx

Bottoms up!

Amazing isn’t it how one photograph can set memories like sky rocket fireworks exploding in your mind, one burst of thought leading into another in amazing techni-colour sparkles of happiness.

Today my nephew’s partner was saying how their 2 year old daughter has a famous frown and has had this since birth. I laughed because my youngest has the same ‘social’ frown and I knew there was a grainy black & white old school class  group photograph of my Dad aged about 9 or 10  with the same facial expression. Looking amongst my parents old photos for the photo I was amazed at the shots my Mum had taken when we were younger. I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for my Mum and her camera some members of the family wouldn’t have any photos of them when they were younger besides the usual school mug shots. I found the photo and shared it with affection…it’s so lovely to see this new generation growing and thriving. My own children have yet to contribute…I find I’m in no hurry to be a grandma but not as upset about the thought these days. My brother and my sister are fabulous grandparents, loving and supportive just like my own parents are.

Strange coincidence then that the photo setting off the time bomb inside me is one that gives most people a giggle. The shot is taken from inside a garden and it’s of the sticking out bottoms of my Granddad and Nana as they lean on their garden gate…

Looking at that photo I know we wouldn’t be far away….probably raiding the bun tins or using the sweeping brush as a horse… ‘We’ were my younger brother and sister and we lived with our Mum, oh …and our Dad!. Strangely at this point in my life I don’t remember Dad being around an awful lot, but he was in the army so I guess he wasn’t there most days. I think I was around seven or eight when he returned to *civvies* ( I spent a few months back then thinking he had a posh name for our house and expected to have one of those wooden nameplates hung up outside with ‘Civvies’ emblazoned across it a bit like ‘Chequers’ …..).

For whatever reasons and whatever happened, my Mum and I lived with my Granddad and Nana when I was born and I was a toddler….then we lived in army accommodation after my brother was born…then back to Yorkshire when my sister was born and by some fluke or persuasion we ended up living next door to them in the adjoining semi detached council house. You know, this photo could have been taken at any time during around a seven year period….but that is what they looked like…FOR YEARS! 😀 They would spend part of any nice evening leaning on the garden gate chatting with people passing and putting the world to rights.bottoms up

Granddad was a bus driver…back in the day when the bus driver was in a separate cab sealed off from the passengers…Nana was a clippie. As a little ‘un they would take me on the bus if it was the one on the route past our house…I used to go in the bus depot canteen and drink tea from a mug as big as my face!

Nana was my Dads step mum. That led to what was generally a big mixed up family and for a few years I think us kids didn’t really know where everyone fit in it to be honest. Lots of family whispers and ‘shushes’etc like you get. Back then there wasn’t the openness there is today about illegitimate children….divorces and affairs…

Can you imagine that also with my Mum being the middle child of eleven in her family it was a bit busy …all those cousins!! We were never without friends!

But …this photo…the memories that came in on me were about my Granddad and my Nana

I was very very close to them when I was a small child. When they lived next door to us we were all spoiled to bits really. There was always cooking going on in nanas. She always had biscuits (and my little sister famously knew where the stool was to go get in the cupboard and reach them!) She was a very honest forthright no nonsense kind of woman but she loved us kids. Nana always had a ‘dewdrop’ especially in the winter….I would watch with fascination as it sparkled as she breathed….it was fun to watch if it put her cigarette out! Now you see, she wouldn’t mind me saying all this because she was FUN. I can still hear that loud throaty chuckly laugh she had!! it was amazing!

Grandad had bony knees. He was cuddly but he had bony knees. As my Dad aged I saw so much of my granddad’s facial features come out…that little smirk when he found something naughty to teach the grand kids…I bet my brother does it now! He liked us to do as we were told….and we did!

All this from one photo…..

You know as I’ve become an adult I’ve been party to the more ‘grown up’ versions of what went on over the years with this person and that person and I’ve come to the conclusion that no-one is a saint. Families are notorious for back biting and gossiping. Everyone makes mistakes and you can’t go through your life letting other people make up YOUR opinion about others…but you know these two will always have a place in my heart and be cherished ♥ Look at them! They even did leaning on the gate with synchronicity! Love them ….

Those glorious days ended when Granddad and Nana moved into my Great Grandmas house with her  (I think to look after her and be a bit of company) and we had to get used to your ordinary average everyday NEIGHBOURS….oh the shock that we could not play in their garden!! Cheek of it!

That photo took me back to a time when things were slower and more simple….

Thanks for reading

B xxx

This entry was posted on November 12, 2015. 1 Comment