Monday, 30 January 2017

Gone With The Wind





MY LATEST BOOK
NO WORRIES MATE!!!
IS AVAILABLE FROM HERE


Here is a passage from the book. I hope you like it:

GONE WITH THE WIND

It was a lovely summer’s afternoon that Sunday when we sat as a family and enjoyed a sumptuous Sunday lunch. We had roast beef as well as fried chicken which had been marinated in all sorts of flavorsome spices and herbs; accompanied by an assortment of vegetables including of course the dreaded Brussels sprouts.

I have never understood why God created this particular vegetable; but create it He did. No doubts He has His reasons and one day we’ll discover how beneficial it is for us and how silly and uneducated we have been to dislike it so. However, for now at least, most people I know don’t seem to like it.

I don’t count myself amongst them, of course. I’m neutral in this respect. I would eat Brussels sprouts if offered to me but I would not go out of my way to ask for them in a gourmet restaurant.

But that Sunday, Brussels sprouts were on the menu. I believe they were mixed with walnut pieces and fried onions, if memory serves me right.

We have had Auntie Gertrude from Australia staying with us for a few days so we also invited Father Frederic to Sunday lunch. The two had never met each other so we sat them next to each other around the large dinner table.

It was a lovely meal with pleasant conversation on no particular subject and all subjects that came to mind.

After lunch, we all moved to the living room to enjoy a nice cup of coffee and continue our discussion.

Father Frederic sat on the sofa leaving a little room for someone else to sit beside him and a few minutes later, as well all made ourselves comfortable, Auntie Gertrude came in and sat beside the priest.

Sadly, and embarrassingly for her, as she lowered herself in the well upholstered settee she accidentally broke wind with a thunderous loud noise.

I should mention at this stage that Father Frederic is somewhat hard of hearing; and he therefore did not notice nor pay attention to what had just happened.

I immediately tried to cover Auntie’s embarrassment by asking him loudly some Ecumenical question that came to mind.

As I leaned towards him speaking a little louder than usual I noticed his face going a little pale as the tell-tale strong smell reached my olfactory senses.

He looked at me accusingly as Auntie got out of the room saying “By dingo cobber! I forgot the biscuits in the kitchen … they're special I brought from Adelaide ... I’ll go and get them!”

As she got out of the room, followed by the rest of the family, she added somewhat undiplomatically "they are not as bland as those English biscuits!"

I was left alone with the kind old heavenly priest and the smell from hell.

Suddenly, the Ecumenical question became totally irrelevant as my mind went blank and my hurt pride and wounded honor urged me to shout at the top of my voice “It was not me!!! It was her!!! She did it and went out leaving me sharing her stench.”

But being the stupid gentleman which I am, I said nothing. I kept quiet and protected a lady’s pride and honor by my silence.

“Would you like a biscuit?” I asked Father picking up the large serving dish which was there all the time.

“That’s a lovely piano …” replied Father Frederic getting up from his seat and moving towards the open window. “Our church organ needs mending … it doesn’t pump so much wind in the pipes as it used to.”

Somehow, the uneasy conversation which followed and the fresh air from the open window, diluted the heavy atmosphere in the room as eventually the rest of the family rejoined us accompanied by an innocent looking Auntie Gertrude.

Since that day, Father Frederic keeps his distance from me whenever we meet.

Get a copy of the book "NO WORRIES MATE !!!" 
featuring Aunt Gertrude 
from HERE

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Meanwhile here in the hood ...

Quite a few things have been happening in our area lately which are worth recording for posteriority ...

On Tuesday a woman was rushed into hospital with two burnt ears. Apparently she answered the phone whilst ironing. The doctors asked her how she burnt her other ear. She replied: "It happened when I phoned for an ambulance!"


A man was found asleep in a stationary stationery van. Police say he was on a late delivery and fell asleep because he was on a staple diet of manila ice cream.

A tornado hit our part of town on Wednesday causing £2 worth of damage when a potted plant fell from a window sill three floors up and narrowly missing a man's mother-in-law by inches. Undeterred, he threw down another pot from his window; but the insurance company has turned down his claim for the broken pot because it was not an accident.
After a freezing spell on Thursday night the Park Rangers found a short bank manager wearing a kilt suffering from frostbite underneath a tree in our local park. Apparently he had frozen assets.
At the cemetery at the edge of town, a group of undertakers were seen carrying a coffin and going round and round in circles all over the cemetery. It seems they had lost the plot.

On Friday evening aliens from outer space visited our neighbourhood and turned a man into fish sticks.

His family are totally distraught and unsure whether to freeze him or fry him and have him for supper. They reported the matter to the police who told them that grilling is a healthier option than frying.
It's amazing how much money is wasted in pointless research these days. Our City University has carried out extensive research and discovered that four out of ten children are conceived in IKEA beds. Which is surprising considering those shops are usually well-lit.
Also, at the local University a professor has announced that dinosaurs were wiped out by a giant asteroid hitting the earth because they all stood in the same place.

In the neighbouring village a cement mixer collided with a prison van. The police are looking for some hardened criminals.

Our Local Authorities have announced new plans to shorten the unemployment line. They've asked people to stand closer together.
After 3 millimetres of snow melted away on the local golf course a large hole six inches deep suddenly appeared on the green by the club house. The Golf Committee are looking into it.

A dog has escaped from the local Dog Rescue Centre and bit a tax inspector who was checking the accounts of the charity at the time. After treatment at the hospital, including tetanus and other injections, the dog was allowed to go back home.

An 80 years old farmer recently married a young bride of 25. After only six months of marriage he divorced her because he couldn't keep his hands off her. He has now fired his hands and bought himself a combine harvester instead.
On a personal note, I visited a town not so far away this week; so strictly speaking it is not here in the hood. Anyway, whilst in this town I needed to visit the public toilet. It was so dirty whilst I stood there that I did not want to touch anything. When I finished I decided to flush the toilet with my foot. I stood on one leg and with my foot I managed to hit the handle that flushes the toilet. Unfortunately, I lost my balance and fell with my head ending inside the toilet bowl as it flushed. I was covered with eau de toilette!
Our neighbour who lives just down the road went to France on holiday and came back with his head all bandaged up. Apparently he is so tall that in Paris he hit his head against a "MIND YOUR HEAD" notice. He was asked at the hospital whether he did not see the notice. He said he saw it but he could not read French!

Finally, we have been advised to look out for an Internet thief who steals the end of sentences. The man is described as tall, bald and with a very big ...

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Stupid Street Names

I hate it when Local Authorities name streets the most stupid of names you can't remember; or name a whole area with the same theme. Let me explain. There's an area in our town where all the streets are named after birds - Robin Road, Eagle Street, Pigeon Crescent, Dove Street etc ... fairly easy to remember, I think.

There is also another area where all the streets are named after trees, for some reason or other.

Anyway, I was out there the other day walking the dog when I met an old friend. We stopped and chatted for a while. Suddenly he grasped his chest and fell to the ground. I quickly phoned for an ambulance on my cell-phone.

The operator asked me: "Where are you?"

I replied: "Laburnum Avenue."

She said: "Can you spell it so I can enter it on my computer?"

How could I spell laburnum? I don't carry a dictionary in my pocket. And there was nowhere a street sign I could read it from. I repeated again and again "Laburnum Avenue ... Lab ur num ... I think ... Laburnum ..." but this did not help.

In desperation, I grabbed my friend by his jacket, dragged him all the way down the street, he was heavy I tell you, and phoned again the woman and said: "I am in Oak Street. O-A-K ... Oak Street."

The man died by the time the ambulance arrived.

Now the Authorities want to know whether he died in Laburnum Avenue or Oak Street.

I told them he died on the sidewalk. But this is not good enough apparently.

What do you think?

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

The Belief in Disbelief


This discussion is likely to become somewhat tortuous. But please hang in there. Try to follow my argument and, if you disagree, please write in and put me right.

We are at this point in time Christians. By whatever means or way we came to this point, be it cradle Christians, born and raised this way, or by conversion to Christianity, or whatever other route we took in life to get to where we are now; we are essentially Christians.

By this we mean basically that we believe in God. We believe that Jesus is His only Son, born of a virgin as a human here on earth, albeit He is/was God, He died for us, raised from the dead and went up to Heaven. And when there He sent us His Holy Spirit. These are the very basics of our beliefs.

Now some of us take these beliefs, put them at the back of our mind, and get on with our busy lives. Getting to work, raising a family, looking after our financial affairs, making sure we have enough savings for when we're ill or for old age, taking the trash out every day ... that sort of thing. Life takes over and, although we believe, we still have to be realistic and get on with life.

Some of us, however, take our beliefs even more to heart. They are central to our lives, central to everything we do, they form and guide our every actions in life, to the point of our very existence; breathing even. Our beliefs are ourselves. We are our beliefs. We do not spend time fretting and worrying about the minutiae of life. God exists, He will take care of us, and of our needs.

Such a path of total unwavering beliefs, admirable and laudable though it is, is full of dangers and pitfalls in itself. Our total 100% reliance on our beliefs can in itself, at some point, lead one at times to question those very beliefs which have for so long shaped and formed our lives, our very existence, what we are now and what we have become.

We ask ourselves, is this all real? What led me to the point that I believe what I believe? What evidence is there for it? What proof? I believe through blind Faith; but what if it's all a fallacy, a myth, a man-made story and set of rules just to keep society in check. Our basic beliefs, the existence of an almighty god, having a son of virgin birth, his death, resurrection and the sending of his spirit are in themselves unbelievable.

That point of questioning to the point of doubts of our very beliefs, unbelievable as it seems, does occur to many of those who have followed a hitherto path of unwavering belief.

How is this so?

The devil, who does exist, make no mistake about that, takes our very unwavering belief as an opportunity to cast doubt and confusion in our mind. For he it is who, unaware by us, sheds the odd flash of questioning and uncertainty in our minds. It is he who aims to lead us astray from our beliefs and faith. After all, what is the point of him tempting those who don't believe? They are already in his camp. It's the others, those who believe, that he wants to recruit.

Usually, those who do not believe in God don't have any doubts about their beliefs. Have you noticed how un-believers are always certain of their position? They believe they know for sure that God does not exist and are eager to prove it to you.

I often wonder about all the Saints we are told and have read about. Were they all 100% totally dedicated to their beliefs and faith and were they all totally unwavering throughout their lives?

The answer is no. Most of them, if not all, had their moments of doubts, their moments of confusion and temptations. But they kept trying, through prayers, dedication, and perhaps outright stubbornness, they kept going on in their beliefs despite all the difficulties these gave rise too. No doubt, they were sinners too. Like you and me. But they kept on trying.

Despite their failings, their short-comings, and their weaknesses - Saints are sinners who kept on trying.

Hopefully ... like you and me.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Song saves 20 babies

BACKGROUND - Father Francis Maple is a Franciscan monk who celebrated his 50th Anniversary as a priest in 2013.

Some years ago Father Francis recorded a Pro-Life song entitled A Cry from the Heart and was released originally on casette tapes (later on CDs). He says on the tape cover "I would like to dedicate this song to any young girl or woman who may listen to it and decide not to have an abortion. Life is God's gift."

Thankfully, the song has saved many babies from abortion. Their pregnant mothers heard the song and decided not to go ahead with abortion.

Years later Father Francis met a young boy who told him that his mother heard the song when pregnant and decided not to have an abortion. The boy said he owed his life to the priest. Father Francis has received over 20 other similar testaments of babies being saved.

A copy of the tape came into my posession some time ago and it was in poor quality. Someone helped me to restore it and put it on You Tube. I've put other Father Francis Maple songs on You Tube - with his permission of course. Check them out HERE.

Father Francis has sung in public over the years (and still does) in malls, shopping centres and at his own concerts and has raised over £1m for charity. He has also written several books (sermons, cooking recipes, jokes), and has contributed (and still does) to many newspaper columns and Catholic newspapers and magazines. He spends a lot of time travelling throughout the UK leading Missions in various Catholic churches.

I hope you enjoy this video recording of "A Cry from the Heart" and that the song continues to save many babies from abortion. Hopefully readers here will like the song and write about it.

Mommy keep me safe, mommy keep me warm

Handle me with care, mommy help me to form.

I am ten weeks old, and I know the time will come
when you will give birth to me.

The gift you gave to me are a pair of bright blue eyes
So some day I will see you smile and love me.

I’ve already got my arms and a little podgy nose,
And at the end of my feet I’ve got five little toes.

I look forward to my life, ice cream and slimy snails,
teddy bears and little fairy tales.

Going for walks in the park
Running home before it’s dark.
And being tucked into bed with a kiss.

Where are we going today?
Am I in a boat or bus?

Why are we lying down?
Being drawn on four wheels?

And we go through the door
and there’s people dressed in green.
Everything seems so strange and so clean.

Mommy if they hurt you just let out a scream
and I know someone will come to help you and me.

Mommy what’s going on I am starting to cry
Come quickly they are forcing me to die.

They are killing me mommy, they are pulling me apart
My arms and my legs and now they’re at my heart.

And I won’t see the sky, or the grass or the trees.
and I won’t see the moon, or feel the breeze.

I love you mommy dear, you know I really do
But I only wish you could have loved me too!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

The Inner Views of ...

VICTOR S E MOUBARAK

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Praying

 
Father Ignatius sat in the empty church right up front by Our Lady’s statue. He watched for a while the votive candles burning at her feet and then started his Rosary.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, these words came whirling fast into his head, totally uncontrollable and spontaneous, yet as clear as if they were spoken to him there and then.

“How shall I pray, Lord?” said the words in Father Ignatius’ head.

“Shall I beg over and over again for You to hear me? Is that what You want of me?

“Shall I plead for ever like the widow to the judge until she was heard?

“How do You want me to see You? As an over-powerful ruler demanding His own way?

“How do You want me to love You? As one loves a monster, with immense fear lest I arouse your anger and wrath?

“Shall I fear You for ever and cower at the thought of your fury?”

Father Ignatius stopped praying and made the sign of the Cross. He took a deep breath … and yet the words continued in his mind … somehow gentler now … somehow softer …

“Love me as a child … with no fear and no dread.

“Trust me as a child trusts his parents when they give him food and drink.

“A child never questions whether the food is good to eat … he takes it in trust and asks for more.

“He never doubts when led by his parents … he follows eagerly holding hands along the way.

“Love me as a child … and I’ll treat you with love and compassion.

“Ask me as a child … and I’ll give you what’s good for you in good time.

“Trust me as a child … and I’ll show you the way …

“No matter how difficult your journey ahead, I’ll always be there … guiding you into eternity … with Me.”

The words suddenly stopped as quickly as they’d started. Yet their message remained with the priest for a long time.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Welcome to hell



Monday, 9 January 2017

Murder by TV

What a waste of time. I have just wasted a whole hour of my life watching a Murder Mystery program on TV and at the end I am none the wiser.

I want to protest to someone but the chances are that if I write a stiff letter, (on cardboard), to the TV company, the producer, the main actors, or even the writer; none will take me seriously.

Instead, I am writing to you for some sympathy, at least.

No sooner the program started that a man was found murdered in suspicious circumstances. Has there ever been a murder in not suspicious circumstances? I ask myself.

The victim was shot in the chest and buried in the back garden of the local vicarage.

At first the police suspected suicide. Then they looked into the hole where the man was found and decided someone had put him there.

Who was it? Who tried to bury the victim and did such a bad job of it?

Was it the local vicar who has a penchant for licorice sweets?

The church housekeeper who keeps a hamster in her bedroom?

The local spinster librarian, (you always need a spinster in a murder mystery), who always looks from behind the curtains as to who is going where and with whom and at what time. 

Or was it the pub landlord who often waters down his beer to make it go further and thus cheat his customers who have no other place to go for a drink because it is the only pub for a million miles around; unless that is they prefer coffee and English tea with scones and cream and strawberry jam, in which case they would go to the Ye Merry Garden Tea Emporium run by Matilda Rowbottom and her lodger/boyfriend/lover/lothario/seducer/Romeo/Casanova/Don Juan waiter and chef named Ivor Risotto who hails from Scandinavia yet is from Welsh descent?

The police have so many potential suspects that they do not know where to start. They start making enquiries and questioning all and sundry when, (surprise), the vicar is found dead in an industrial washing machine and is thus eliminated from their enquiries; which is a pity since he was the main suspect. At least it was a clean death at 40 degree washing temperature and a spin dry cycle of 800 revolutions per minute.

So the police turn their attention to the church housekeeper whose job includes cleaning the church vestments. But this proves to be a wild goose chase because the lady in question was at the library at the time borrowing a book entitled "How to murder people using a hamster as bait."

By the time the police go to the library to confirm the housekeeper's alibi they found the librarian dead in the Zoology Section half-eaten by a crocodile which escaped, or was released, from the local zoo.

In any case, the church housekeeper is herself found dead in a barn full of hamsters pretending to be Guinea pigs.

The pub landlord is killed when a barrel of beer fell on his toe resulting in him bleeding to death.

Matilda Rowbottom sells the Ye Meery Garden Tea Emporium to a French woman called Madame Leggert.

And Ivor Risotto falls in love with Madame Leggert's daughter only to discover that she wants to live in Spain instead.

There is no one else to suspect for this series of murders or mysterious deaths except the many cockroaches who inhabit the Tea Emporium. But unfortunately, they all provide alibis for each other thus causing total confusion to the police and all TV viewers who have wasted their time watching the show.

If you have a better explanation as to what just happened in this last hour, please let me know in the comments box below.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Granite Heart



GRANITE HEART



What’s our heart made of?



Tender flesh soft and gentle,

Feels the pain that’s all around,

Cries at hurts, wrongs and injustice,

Bleeds with every tortured soul.



Or slowly hardened by life’s cruelty,

Fatigued by constant repeated ills,

To the point it beats no longer

And turns to granite cold and still.

 Copyright © 2009 Victor S E Moubarak

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Floating memories in my mind

Every so often in life we all find ourselves sitting back and remembering times gone by and perhaps weighing up past events against what is likely to happen in the future.

Certain occasions seem to trigger such reveries from the many dark corners of our minds. It could be at the time around the New Year when we look back wistfully at the year just ended and wonder what the next twelve months will bring. Or it could be at the time of one's birthday, or other anniversary like a wedding anniversary, or 25 or so years in marriage, that these memories come floating by to the front of  your head and keeps you pondering.

Sometimes it is a piece of music that triggers such old memories, or a smell of perfume or something, or visiting a place. Anything and anytime can wake up the spirit of times gone by. Without warning or prior notice.

Imagine for instance you're lying there in your bath, relaxing amongst the soap bubbles and warm water, perhaps reading one of my books, when suddenly a thought strikes you from nowhere ...

Which is in fact precisely what happened to me the other day ... ... ...
There I was, enjoying a warm bath and a good read, when somehow my thoughts turned to death. I don't know why such thoughts crossed my mind but I wondered what happens after death.

I know what we are taught about eternal life and the here-after; but somehow I wondered what if there actually was re-incarnation? Can you imagine? Returning back as a tin of evaporated milk?

It was made from contented cows, you know!
How did the cows know to stop when the tin of milk was full? Did they stop in mid flow, I wondered.

Then, thinking back about death, I asked myself whether cows, and other animals, go to Heaven when they die.

I almost hoped that they don't. Because I do not want to come face-to-face with the Sunday roast telling me off for having eaten it.

Can you imagine meeting that wasp, or yellowjacket, you killed last summer when you're in Heaven? It might well sting you in the backside in revenge; because they don't wear anything under those long robes they give you in Heaven, you know!
I imagined Saint Peter warning me about the yellowjackets and me holding my legs tightly together to protect my manhood.

Somehow, the thought made me smile and then laugh out loud.

What is laughter? I asked myself, but did not reply.

I thought about it for a while. It is a build up of energy that starts somewhere deep within one's diagram, (just above the belly button), and rushes up your asparagus, and comes out as a loud noise out of your mouth.

From anywhere else and you're in trouble! Especially if you have an attack of wind.

Anyway, this train of thoughts somehow took a turning back to death and family members now long gone.

I remembered my dear old dad. He always used to say to me "take every thing with a pinch of salt!" Mind you, he made a terrible cup of tea.

He told me once that when I was born in hospital I was very ugly indeed. Apparently the nurse slapped me on the backside and hit my dad in the mouth.

But as I grew up, like the ugly duckling, I became really good looking. I recall when I worked in London I was stopped in the street by a very beautiful woman who said: "Hello handsome. Can you direct me to the optician please?"

In my revery, sitting there in the bath, I recalled my dear old uncle. He was very well educated and a professor at the local University where he taught graffiti and hooliganism.

He used to tell his students: "Sticks and stones may break my bones. But words will never hurt me!" Then one day a printing press fell on him.

He was quite a character my uncle. Once he put a cake and custard in his wife's nylon tights and then declared: "Never trifle with a woman's affection!" I don't think she had a sense of humour, my aunt!

She was quite a figure to look at and wonder. A real hour-glass figure, she had. She said she had been on a peanut and melon diet. The peanuts did'nt do much good but the melons ...

My other uncle was a glazier. You know, a person whose trade is fitting glass into windows and doors. Once, working at this multi-storey block of offices, he spent all day changing the glass in over 100 windows. Then he realised he had a crack in his spectacles.

By this time the water in the bath was getting a little cold and it was time I got out and practiced my body-building poses infront of the full length mirror. It reminded me of the time when I went to see the doctor. He asked me: "Do you have trouble passing water?"

I replied: "I get a little dizzy when travelling over a bridge!"

He was a great Shakespearean actor, my doctor. Toured the USA and other countries for years. His favourite role was in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Have you seen his Bottom? Or perhaps caught a glimpse of his Malvolio on the Twelfth Night?

Anyway, enough of me and my bathing memories.

At least they are better than those of yet another uncle of mine. His doctor told him to keep away from all dampness because of his rheumatism. So he sat in an empty bath and vacuum cleaned himself!

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Reminiscences of Christmases past

There I was sitting in the back garden the other day watching the sun setting down, when my mind drifted back to my childhood all those years ago, and the many presents I had wished for at Christmas and how I had to make do with their well-meaning substitutes.

I remembered that one year I had my heart set on a train set. You know the one I mean? A beautiful steam locomotive all shining in black, pulling an open container full of coal, and this pulling a carriage with people clearly visible through the windows. The set included a number of rails which when linked together would make a large circle; and you could also buy various accessories like a railway station, ticket office, more rails, carriages and so on.

I'd imagined buying all the additional accessories with my pocket money and building a rail network that would be the envy of any transport system you could think of.

I wrote several letters to Father Christmas explaining precisely which train set I was after and pointing out that I had been a good boy all year round; just in case he didn't know.

On Christmas day I did not get that train set at all. Instead, my auntie had knitted me a pullover and a little train locomotive. I mean ... is she mad or what? A knitted train locomotive? I ask you ... how can you get a train locomotive made of wool and stuffed with pieces of cotton to go round and round? She didn't even knit me a set of rails!

I always wondered about the sanity of that woman. She must have been light-brained and a few tomatoes short of a salad, as they say. She was always knitting something. Tea cosies to keep the teapot warm, hats or bonnets to keep our heads warm, scarves to keep our neck warm, gloves and mittens, socks and booties to keep our hands and feet warm.

On another Christmas she knitted us all pencils and pens pullovers. Let me explain. She knitted long thin tubes the length of a pencil with different color wool. A bit like the sleeve of your jumper or jersey but much smaller. The idea is that you push your pencil or pen through the tubes to keep them warm.

Is she mental or what? Do pencils feel the cold perchance?

And when we did as she suggested, every time we tried to write the pens would slide into the tube as we pressed on the paper.

Eventually the silly woollen sleeves were thrown away in a drawer. Can you suggest another use for woollen tubes six inches long?

Another year I asked my Father for a computer for my Birthday. He gave me a packet of crayons instead. He said he couldn't buy me a computer because it hadn't been invented yet!

To be fair, he was right. Computers hadn't been invented until years later. But a packet of crayons is hardly a substitute is it? He could have bought me a laptop or a tablet!

I asked my Mom for a helmet or hard hat for when I go out on my bicycle. I didn't have a bicycle at the time, but I was always forward thinking ... you know, just in case one day I got a bike. Instead she bought me a set of non-stick frying pans.

When I got married, we decided that we did not want any gifts or presents at all. We wrote in the invitation letters that we'd like everyone to come along and enjoy a nice toast to Love and Happy Life ever after. On the day in question everyone turned up with a toaster as a gift. We had at least 150 of the kitchen appliances.

I suppose the most useful present I was ever given was from my uncle when he gifted me a roll of double-sided sticky tape. I asked him why and he explained I could use the tape to pull back my sticking out ears. I had terrible sticking out ears as a child. I looked like a car with its doors open.

Eventually my parents sold our dog and the lawnmower to pay for my ears to be operated on. I had the operation on one ear. Unfortunately the doctor died shortly afterwards.

So now I have an ear looking normal and the other still sticking out. At the slightest breeze I spin round like a hotel revolving door.

As I was sitting there in the garden reminiscing I suddenly had to get up and go indoors. The wind unexpectedly picked up and I started rotating fast like a spinning top.

Have you ever had a well-meaning gift which did not quite fit with what you had in mind?

MORE REMINISCENCES (MEMORIES) OF MINE HERE

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Och aye the noo. Happy Hogmanay!

I tell you folks, there is no better place to celebrate the New Year than in Scotland - or in Edinburgh to be precise. Actually, the whole of Scotland is just a wonderful country, but I prefer New Year's eve in Edinburgh.

Oh ... the music of the bagpipes and drums, the fireworks in Princes Street and the gardens overlooked by Edinburgh Castle, the many parties, first footing, people dressed in kilts of various colours depending on their clans, and of course whisky ... plenty of whisky, with a bit of haggis if you wish.
  EDINBURGH CASTLE SEEN FROM PRINCES STREET

It's great fun going to parties and singing Auld Lang Syne to the sound of bagpipes and have men and women dancing in their national costumes. I tell you, Edinburgh is the place to be on New Year's eve.

People have often wondered what is worn beneath a kilt, and a true lady would, of course, never ask. Although she might well find out in her own time.

However, two things I can tell you about kilts. It can be quite cold when the wind is blowing in a Southerly direction and, more important, you have to be very careful not to get too close to a very hot range stove in the kitchen when you are at one of those parties. As happened to ... a friend of mine.

I assure you, it can be quite embarrassing in hospital having a couple of nurses putting soothing cream on one's ... his ... derriere.
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