Wednesday, 22 November 2017


With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I'd pay tribute to an old friend long since gone now.
Boris was a pure delight.
A Norfolk Bronze turkey stag of some age and standing Boris was the king of the Ukrainian Village . He and his sister Grace were gifts from a grateful patient of mine and were hand delivered to the cottage as babies by the patient's daughter.
I knew nothing about turkeys then and I had to learn quicksticks as turkey poults are notoriously delicate creatures who can die easily of disease and the cold.
As Boris grew, he became as tame as a canary and would follow me around in his usual slow shuffle amble. He would spend long periods of time standing by the gate watching cars and people going by and would gobble merrily at anyone who took his fancy. 
Strangely the only person who didn't take his fancy was The Prof and the two shared a rather sharp hate/hate relationship where Prof and Turkey would take potshots at each other when backs were turned.
In the new year I may think of getting another turkey stag. 
They make clean, loyal and rather delightful pets.
And rather good dinners too
( I didn't eat him)

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Mr Gay

I've had to chase up quite a few things with the kitchen fitters today ( apologies for the yawn)
One email from a manager called Gail, amused me amid the phonecalls, internet exchanges, complaints and answerphone messages
"Good Morning Mr Gay.
Hope you are well. I have tried to call this morning as it has been passed across that you have tried to contact us. I have left a voicemail asking if you could call back, in the voicemail I have mentioned that the installations team haven't been able to answer due to a meeting, apologies this is not correct......"
I answered
Dear Gail,
 My name is GRAY and not GAY
But strange as it maybe I am actually gay so no harm done.
I will contact you after discussion with the new fitter regarding the cost of his works....."


The ever chirpy kitchen fitters brought with them an even chirpier electrician at the crack of dawn this morning so after I'd made them all coffee and shared out a packet of chocolate fingers, it was time to leave them to it.

I am going to walk around and drink coffee, Im going to Browse the bookshop, art gallery and give the kitchen shop a good once over!
What are you all doing today?

Monday, 20 November 2017

The Walking Dead episode 5

Rick and Daryl fighting! Doesn't feel good!

Has Gabriel been bit?

And what's with the helicopter ?

And I've just washed the dinner dishes in the bath! 


The kitchen fitters are a cheerful duo.
After ripping out the old units they presented me with eight washing powder balls, two dog toys, various bits of cutlery and a mummified scotch egg! All items which had rolled away from daylight view!
" You'd be surprised what we find hidden away inside old kitchens " Shawn, the lead fitter told me
 "bottles of booze are the most common " 
Roll on Friday! 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Jobs Done

Islwyn ( pronouncing Trelawnyd) for a previous post

There was a small line of cars filling the lane as the Ikea lorry unloaded my kitchen.
I popped from one to another apologising for the wait, and everyone was good natured as they generally are on a weekend.
One chap who lives directly across the valley whistled through his teeth
"Dew......that was a big fire you had the other night" he said" I thought the entire village was alight!" 
I replied that I hadn't had a bonfire and enquired what night he had seen the blaze.
" bonfire night" the chap explained
One of the nights we were in New York.
I walked on the field to investigate and surprise surprise my bonfire that I had been building for a year now had vanished. The old sofa, four old hen houses, trees, garden waste and an arm chair had disappeared  Only a big black ring in the ground remained.
Village Elder Islwyn had been at work
Now every village needs an Islwyn.
He is someone that sees a job that needs doing and who does it, bugger red tape or procrastination.
After the recent storms, many of the churchyard trees were damaged or were felled and although the responsibility for the upkeep of the plot is the job of the community council, Islwyn and his brother cleared the trees themselves, sawed them into manageable chunks and added them to my bonfire before incinerating them on November the fifth!
Job done.
I saw Islwyn's brother tidying up the new graveyard last night. It was almost dark and I joked with him just how impressive the bonfire was to the residents across the valley who thought Trelawnyd was burning .
I also noted how neat the graveyard looked even in the murk of dusk.
" we wanted it tidy" he explained " we bury our mother next week"           

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Kitchen Porn

Ikea sent the kitchen on time and in 1000 boxes.
The cottage is crammed nose to nipple with flatbacks
We went out to Liverpool in order to get away from the clutter.
Walking into John Lewis' Kitchen Department, was like tiptoeing into a piece of heaven for me, and I walked round running my fingers over gleaming measuring jugs, shiny pans and oh-be-still-my-beating-heart a garlic press in the shape of a lobster to die for! 
My new kitchen reality is palpable!
The Prof bought me a new rolling pin just to get me to shut the fuck up ( he guessed quite rightly that it will match the new counter tops) 

Friday, 17 November 2017

Things Lost

I noted a photo of the Prof and I the other day.
It was taken perhaps a decade ago in Central Park in the snow and we had on winter hats
I tell you this because I miss that hat ! ( mine not the Prof's)
I lost it on the plane home I think

Im always losing, breaking  and  mislaying things
I'm terrible for it
There are so many well loved things I have let go over the years! And it bugs me
This evening , on the last dog walk I've thought about them

For example,
My signed  autograph photo  of Olivia deHavilland
A watercolour of a smiling tiger ( the first piece of art I ever bought)
A Charlotte Rhead vase! -Worth a small fortune,
My reply letters from the entire cast of Tenko ( I wrote to each one of the actresses in 1980 as I was such a fan)
A framed victorian photograph of a courtng couple from my grandmother's old house.
A multicoloured hand knitted jumper, ;a gift from my-mother) from 1978....I looked like a male prostitute in it( accorrding to my father!)
A scarf worm by my first male chrush ( A pupil from Ruthin School!)
A hand crafted crucifix made by a psychiatric patient of mine in York
An all encompassing wicker chair bought from an art shop in York
A photo of my sister Janet with her horse's foal Kelly from the 1970s
My first dog -Finlay's collar
A "book"I wrote when I was 18...a review on disaster movies
All of the cards my grandparents sent to me
Maureen mcgovern's " best of her hits " Album"
And finally a Christmas Card from the relative of a patient that died on my ward on spinal injuries!
It said " you made me laugh, when I thought I never would again  "
That moved me more than any of the others

A Thing Of The Past

I can't remember when I last received a real letter.
Hand written or typed, inside a stamped envelope and posted through the letter box to be snatched by William who adores baiting the postman.
Yesterday I received a short letter of thanks from The Trelawnyd School's " Eco Committee" for the Flower Show donation to their garden project area.
It rather amused me as it is clear that the Eco Committee consists of a group of small children.
Did we have " committees" in primary school?........shit it was fingers on lips and drink your milk at Penmorfa Primary!

Twenty minutes ago another thank you letter arrived! This time from the Village Friendship Group

Thursday, 16 November 2017


Twelve years is too long not to have seen old friends, and this afternoon it was lovely to catch up with two of the best.

It's all a bit shaky as we were balancing on the back of Dale's wheelchair/bike

Moving On

NMC Online Link

"Dear Mr John Gray
Your registration expires on 30/11/2017
We recently emailed you to advise you that your annual registration fee is due. According to our records you have not yet paid this fee. It is essential that you pay this fee now so that your registration can be updated on time. If you have not paid the fee before your registration expiry date, your registration will lapse."

Nurses have to pay £120 a year in order to work in clinical practice and regular as clockwork from 1986 I have begrudgingly paid my dues on time.
This time, and after much thought, I am going to let my registration lapse.
It is not a decision I have made lightly, as nursing has been an integral part of my identity since I was twenty years old, but now I am ready to let go of my last tie to a vocation that has served me well for so many years.

Ironically  an old nursing pal of mine contacted me out of the blue recently and this afternoon I am meeting up with her and her husband in Chester for lunch. Her husband was an old patient of mine from my Spinal Injury days so the meeting ( our first since I left Sheffield) will be timely and oh so nostalgic.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Posh Porn

The plumber returned to tinker away with all of the radiators this morning and Winnie, with her serious face on, shadowed his every move, her nose inches from his tinkering!
When he came downstairs he mentioned that he saw one of our original bits of art propped up in the Prof's office
" I like your bit of posh porn!" He quipped
I was  embarrassed and just smiled weakly

Man The Pumps!

Sandra, the village Hall's caretaker spied me down Byron Street and hurried over with her elderly Pug.
As my dogs surrounded him for multiple botty sniffs she gave me one of those I'm glad to have bumped into you moments and asked if I would help her with her Christmas Fair which is booked on the 2nd of December .
Could I Marshall the troops and man the kitchen?
Of course I said I could, Sandra is such a sweetheart

Ps Nice to see the Aussie's jumping on the ever growing bandwagon