Well, That Went Down A Bomb

 Yesterday afternoon there was a widely  reported incident at a Douglas primary school.  Children and staff were evacuated and the area was cordoned off by the police for several hours. 

Later that evening it was confirmed that there had been a bomb threat made to the school which inevitably turned out to be a hoax.

This morning it was revealed that the call had been made by a 12 year old boy.

Social media is now full of comments about the whys and wherefores, with one side condemning the boy's actions and calling for strong punishment whilst others argue that it was just youthful high spirits.

I imagine that the incident was possibly frightening and stressful for the children and adults involved at the time so it is difficult to say which side of the argument is right or wtong.

Still, it was a very stupid thing to do.  I hope he learns something from it.


Just before I awoke this morning I had been dreaming that I was walking along the street in a strange town belting out Tom Jones'  1960s hit "Delilah" which was playing through my earphones, much to the astonishment of passers by.  For some strange reason, a Sikh gentleman in a turban was cycling past also singing Delilah,  but in a Brummie accent.

Now I can't seem to get that song out of my head.  I don't even like it so have no idea where that came from!

It's All Chinese To Me

 At least it was yesterday on my laptop.  When I switched on to catch up on email messages etc I noticed that some of the taskbar icons were displaying Chinese characters.  When I opened a new tab on Internet Explorer, a Chinese Home Page opened up.

I was unable to view any videos from the BBC and ITV web pages as I was told the programmes were not available in my location.  A few other glitches on Blogger and other applications made me frustrated so I switched off and left everything.

At around 3 a.m. I suddenly remembered that last week Manx Telecom posted on social media that they were changing the WiFi system in our area on Tuesday night and that we would need to reboot our routers on Wednesday, which I had forgotten to do. I got up and fumbled around in the dark to switch it off.  I switched it back on again before breakfast this morning and it seems that I am no longer in China.

Good news!

Christmas Shopping

That's what I did today. Nothing like getting prepared well in advance.

As today is supposed to be our last sunny one for a while we took the bus into Douglas. I quite enjoy the ride... 50 minutes tootling along the coast road  with no driving or parking hassles.

Fortified by a strong coffee and a chocolate shortcake I managed a two hour amble around the shops to choose gifts for my niece's two children.  I also bought myself a walking pole and a lightweight rain jacket that will pack into my bumbag. 

P was quite horrified at the amount of money I was spending willy-nilly so  when I suggested stopping somewhere for  a sandwich for lunch he quickly proclaimed himself tired of shopping and we had to hurry off to catch the next bus that was due to leave in five minutes. 

We had a little excitement on the way home. As the bus was negotiating the main road out at the edge of town, two police vans passed us at great speed, lights flashing and sirens wailing.  A little further on we saw the police officers dealing with what appeared to be a domestic incident,   with one officer assisting a young woman who was clearly in distress and a young man being restrained up against the wall.  The bus passed by too fast for us to gawk in any detail.

It made me realise how thankful I am to only have a Grumpy Old Man to deal with and not a violent one.


Well, That Was A Long One

A friend invited me to join her for a walk this morning.  It may be a bit hilly, she said, but it is all on tarmac so no steep, muddy paths to negotiate.

The route was a circular one, climbing up above the village of Laxey and around the top of the "bowl" that encircles the valley.  Great views but boy was that hard work for me puffing up and down all those steep bits.

A little over two hours walking, but the reward was a very pleasant lunch in the Laxey Glen Cafe at the end.

Stop Me From Buying More

Now that I have our new home in my sights I am keen to find some suitable items to furnish it.

Last week we bought this coffee table in the little second hand emporium around the corner ...

On our way to buy the newspaper this morning P said he wanted to take a look in the window to see what was new. I saw a rather lovely carved oak chest and a bookcase and suggested that they would go well in the new house. P just rolled his eyes and pointed out that we were not yet even close to exchanging contracts so there would be no point in buying anything yet.

I pouted and sulked and trotted off in a huff.

Why show me pretty things and then say I can't have them!

Just Strolling

Monday here was a bit of a washout. It rained all day and felt quite cool.

We had spent Sunday night at a friend's house. They had invited a group of us for supper and offered us the use of their spare room for the night so that we wouldn't have the 45 minute drive home after a glass or two of wine (not that we would drink and drive anyway of course).   P was having some particularly violent dreams so I ended up sleeping on the floor.   After a very pleasant breakfast (croissants, homemade rhubarb and ginger jam and good strong coffee) we drove home through the rain. The rest of the day was spent reading on the sofa.

This morning was dull but dry so I walked up to the Cottage Hospital to collect some hearing aid batteries as I have almost run out of them.  I decided to return the long way as I didn't get much exercise yesterday. Behind the hospital is a path which leads down to the park so I took that route, stopping briefly to watch a small group of very mature enthusiasts having a gentle game of bowls. The bowling green's grass must have still been quite wet as they had to keep stopping to wipe their balls.... or is it bowls?

Now the sun is out at last. Time for a cup of tea and a hobnob.

Little Owl

We met this wee fella yesterday at the Farmers' Market.  Two of the wardens from the Wildlife Park brought this Little Owl and a Spectacled Owl along for a day out and they were attracting quite a crowd. 

This one is only the size of a large blackbird and was very still and quiet. His colleague  being much larger and rowdier had a bigger crowd around him so I wasn't able to get any photos.

Beautiful creatures.

Wednesday Wander

Today was overcast and breezy but still very warm,  well 22C feels warm to us anyway.

P was meeting a friend for a long run over the fells so I went out for a wander around town.  I enjoy being so close to the beach and being able to walk along the Prom looking out to sea.

This morning I walked along to the harbour, over the bridge then along the riverside to the park.  The coffee shop had only just opened and I was their first customer of the day so was served very promptly.  

I had a flat white with a couple of almond biscotti for dunking before a crowd of yummy mummies arrived with their very excited pre school offspring. Time for me to beat a hasty retreat before my hearing aids exploded.

Continuing my walk around the lake it was apparent that most of the summer flowers were well and truly finished. Just a couple hanging on still ...

I am sure northsider Dave can tell me what these are.

On the way back I saw this beauty parked in the square. It was attracting a lot of attention from a couple of gents but I managed to grab a shot without them in it...

There is rain forecast for this evening and a few more wet days to come so I may be stuck inside for a while.  I have plenty of library books to keep me quiet.

Blogger Playing Up? EDIT

I noticed today that my Blogger profile picture has suddenly disappeared and I am now an anonymous blue and white silhouette. 

After an hour of trying to re-upload the original in various sizes and formats, clearing the browser cache and using different browsers I have given up in despair.

If anyone has any helpful advice  please pass it on!

EDITED: the photo function has magically resolved itself today. What larks!


This morning (Wednesday) started off dull, grey and cool but we decided to take a little bus trip out to the village of Laxey,  halfway along the east coast road towards Douglas. 

We swiped our wrinklies bus passes as we climbed aboard and were lucky to bag the front seats on the top deck. Great views as the bus swayed along, hugging the coast around all the bends.

Laxey derives its name from the old Norse word Laxa (Laksa) meaning salmon,  for the salmon river. The village sits in a steep, wooded valley that runs down to the sea  - a good workout walking down from the main road to the beach  then back up again.

The first thing we did after getting off the bus was to pop into the Laxey Kitchen, a tiny little cafe on the main road that serves very good coffee and amazing cakes. We shared a pastel de nata .. too many calories in a whole one.

Before walking down to the bay we crossed the road to wander through Laxey Glen, the first time we had visited it in our thirty years here on the island.  It was very peaceful and we saw some impressive fungi growing alongside the  trees.

Walking down to the sea, I noticed a  few interesting sights that caught my attention...

Laxey is famous for the Lady Isabella  higher up the valley. The largest working waterwheel in the world.  

It also has the smaller Snaefell Wheel which is in the Laxey Glen Gardens washing floors.

After a two hour stroll, we walked back up the steep road from the beach to catch the bus from the tram station.

It was the same bus and driver that had taken us there earlier and we had the same top deck seats on the way back...

Now that we are back home the sun has come out.

That bell tower in the trees is attached to the house we are buying. Excited? Moi??