A Burst Of Winter Sun

I have been feeling a little bored, stuck indoors for a week, but this morning has been such a gloriously sunny one  with that watery but bright blue quality to the sky that I couldn't resist a brief walk around the garden.

The thermometer showed 7C but it felt colder than that. 

A little fresh air has certainly perked me up.

Nassau, Isle of Man

Culture Vannin posted a short article earlier about a couple of the unusual place names to be found here and I thought some of you may be interested to read it. Here it is...

Why is there a 'Nassau' and an 'Antigua Cottage’ in Bride?  (NB:  Bride is a village in the north of the island)

It goes back to Captain John Monier, who had great success captaining boats in the 19th century such as the brig Philanderer and the brig Cronkbane (so named for the home of his wife's family, the Joughin family of that farm).* 

After his travels around the world, he returned to Bride, naming places including Nassau and Antigua Cottage to fix his memories around him.

Captain John Monier died 156 years (and two days) ago, on 22 January, 1866, outliving his son, Captain Thomas Monier, who had started out in his father's line of work, but died at the age of only 23 when coming back home on board the boat, the Henry Curwen.

But, while we're at it, 'Monier' used to be a common Manx name, particularly around Bride and Andreas. The name came from 'MacEmere', and had an emphasis on the second syllable.

The name disappeared in the Isle of Man in the mid-19th Century, but it was still (and perhaps is still) to be found around Illinois in the USA, where some of the Manx families emigrated.

... So now you know what to say the next time you hear someone asking about the unusual place names down North!

* We have not investigated the nature of Monier's trading around the Caribbean at this time, but since his working life overlaps with slavery around the British Caribbean (abolished only in 1840), it would be an important question for anyone interested in taking the research further. 


Yesterday afternoon I opened the front door to call P in for a cup of tea.  On the porch doorstep was a large, white paper carrier bag.  Inside was this....

A Get Well Soon gift from the Sunday Walkers;  they had arranged a personal delivery from the local chocolate shop.  Such a lovely group of ladies.

They came up to Ramsey for their walk this morning and called in afterwards for coffee and cake. 

It was good to have a relaxed chat and catch up.  I am impatient now to get out and about again.

Dirty Girl?

I have not had a shower or bath since Monday.

Sounds disgusting to some people I know.

I have been warned not to let my dressing get wet and that, if I take a shower,  I should try to stick my leg out of the cubicle .  That won't work as we don't have a cubicle but an overhead rain shower wet room type of arrangement so it would be pretty difficult to avoid getting my leg wet.

However,  you may be relieved (or not) to learn that I am still able to keep myself clean using the old fashioned methods from my childhood.  Perching on the edge of the bath with a washcloth and soap for an all over scrub and leaning over the large sink in the utility room with a plastic measuring jug and shampoo to wash my hair.

Brings back all those shivering cold 1960s bathtime memories.  At least nowadays I can have the heating on. 

All Done

For anyone not interested in other people's medical "stuff", you can look away now.

I had my second op on Monday afternoon.  They were running late so I didn't get into theatre until 5 pm.  

I had erroneously thought that the wide margin excision was going to be on the surface around the edge of the original melanoma site but the surgeon explained that he needed to cut away tissue beneath it, in case any abnormal cells had infiltrated to a deeper level.  At least no skin graft would be required. 

This time around I found the procedure a little more uncomfortable.  There was much zapping and sizzling with the cauterization tool and firm pressing down with thick swabs so I presume there was some blood letting going on.  I could feel the none too gentle tugging  of the surface skin being yanked closed and stitched and then there was a blast from a spray can before the dressing and bandage was applied.

The tissue removed is being sent to the lab in Liverpool for testing.  The surgeon is confident it will be clear.  If they do find anything though  I don't think I want to have any more surgery.  As it is supposedly a non aggressive form of melanoma I may just take my chances and carry on.

I have been in quite a bit more pain this time around but that's probably because it was a little more invasive.  

My walking pole has come in handy to help me wobble around the house but I haven't been able to get up and down the stairs.  I actually quite like sleeping on the sofa beneath the big stained glass window.  The moonlight shining through it is quite magical and, as it faces east,  the rising sun also catches the colours in the glass.

P has been very good  fetching and carrying for me.  He stocked up on convenient ready-meals  from the supermarket for our supper these past two evenings but I think I am ready to try to prepare some "real" food now!  

Once I have the stitches removed and the 4 to 6 week recovery period is over I shall look forward to getting out and about again.  It will be spring by then.   Lovely.

Not Such A Good Idea?

When we moved into our new home I was pleased to see there is a quite a large storage cupboard downstairs, fitted out with lots of shelves, hooks and a hanging rail.  Ideal for a shoe and coat "room".

Our winter coats and shoes are now stored here, ready to just pop on before we go outside without taking up space in the entrance hall or having to go upstairs for them.

P stores all his running and fell shoes on the shelves, which is ideal for him as he can choose which ones to wear and put them on just before he leaves the house.  One downside to this I noticed today.   After some particularly wet and mucky runs, the inner soles of his fell shoes get wet and become extremely smelly.  I noticed this odiferous quality as soon as I opened the door just now.  

Like his father before him, P has a very poor sense of smell and just doesn't notice it at all but it nearly blew my head off when I opened the door.

I liberally applied half a bottle of Febreze spray, squirting it into the inside of every shoe.  Hopefully that should sort out the problem, at least for now.

Must put more Febreze on my shopping list.

A Laxey Loop

Today (Thursday) was one of those beautifully crisp, dry and sunny winter days with hardly a breath of wind.  My walking partner suggested we take advantage of the weather and have a good morning's walk and lunch out before my enforced period of rest starts next Monday.

I drove us to Laxey, a few miles south down the coast, and we parked at Ham and Egg Terrace, opposite the tram station.  The terrace was given that nickname back when the residents of the terrace of little cottages used to sell food and beverages from their front rooms.

We walked uphill, past the Great Laxey Wheel and the salmon farm to the tiny village of Agneash.  We could see across the valley to the Snaefell Mountain Railway track  leading up to the mountain road and on up the Peak at Snaefell.

We nimbly hopped over a stile and continued up over a couple of fields,   very boggy after the wet winter we have had so far. 

At the top we paused by the disused mine building to catch our breath and take in the view.

As we descended back towards Laxey we stopped to visit the Megalithic tomb known as King Orry's Grave. However, as the tomb predates the arrival of the Vikings by a century or two, it is  unlikely to be his bones resting there.

Lunch was a very tasty fish chowder at the Ballacregga Corn Mill cafe.  A very pleasant interlude with a very pleasant companion.

Now back home for a hot shower and a cup of tea.

Whilst I was out walking, P met a friend for a run over the fells.  He said it was freezing up there so we had been lucky with our walk lower down.  He took this photo from the top....brrr...

The Memorial Garden

Tucked away in the western corner of our grounds lies the Chapel memorial garden.

When the chapel was converted into a private dwelling the gravestones were lifted, keeping the original graves in place, and many of them were moved to this space to create the memorial garden.

There is a covenant on the property giving public right of access to the memorial garden on Sundays between 10-2, although as it was originally a "Strangers' Graveyard", for visitors who succumbed to illness whilst here or shipwreck  victims washed up on our shores   most descendants of those interred here would be off-island.

There is  a fascinating little book called Story From Stone;   written by two local ladies it recounts little stories with an accompanying history about 40 of these graves.

I shall probably post more about this later but here are some photos  taken on this rather dull afternoon so please excuse the poor quality. 


I have just had a call from the skin cancer specialist nurse at the hospital.

My biopsy results show I have,  or rather had, something called a lentigo maligna which I understand is a slow growing, generally non invasive, early stage melanoma. 

Although they are confident that it was all removed during my recent procedure I have to go back on Monday to have a wider margin of skin removed as a precautionary measure.  This time I may need a skin graft.

Just when everything was getting back to normal and I was enjoying regular walks again.


I am cooking haggis for supper tonight.  

I know it is a little too early for Burns night but I am assured that this was a freshly caught haggis which had been running free on the wild hills of the Highlands only a few days ago.

Now, just need to bash some neeps.

Getting There Slowly

It's been three weeks since my last conf..... post, and it has been quite an eventful time.

Once the house purchase completion was finalised we told our landlord that we would be moving out. As expected, he was not best pleased that we were leaving with five months left to run on our rental contract.  He is exercising his right to hold us to the full term so we shall not be receiving any refund of the advanced rental payments up until May, plus we still have to pay for the utilities up until then when our lease expires.  He does not wish to re-let the property until then so we shall just have to write off that expense.  We knew that would probably be the case so are not unduly surprised, just a little disappointed.

Moving was frustrating for me as I was still fairly immobile then so could not physically get involved. P did most of it himself and my walking partner volunteered to help out one day with her husband, which was a godsend.  P arranged a local Man With A Van to move the big items of furniture. I would not use them again though .  Bodgett and Leggett they should be called.

As the boxes of "stuff" had been dumped wherever there happened to be space, rather than placed in each designated room as I would have done if supervising it myself,  it took me twice as long to sort it all out once we moved in.  Just can't get good staff these days!!

A couple of days later I had to go to Douglas for my booster shot.  I was still limping around at that time so we drove there rather than take the bus and walk to the hub.

Two days later it was time to go to the hospital to have the stitches removed.  Although very squeamish, I did watch as I was keen to see how it was healing.  The nurse said that it looked very healthy and, apart from some bruising, it did look neat and clean.  The lower level of stitches were dissolvable so they must have already done their job.  It was good to be able to walk about without risk of stretching the skin and bursting the stitches.

Then it was Christmas Day.  We had invited my walking partner and her husband to have Christmas dinner with us as we would all otherwise have been "home alone" on the day.  They provided the turkey which they had already ordered a few weeks previously but I provided the rest and cooked the meal.  We had a great time; so much better than spending the day by ourselves.

In between Christmas and New Year it was my 65th birthday.  I organised a Champagne buffet lunch here and invited 10 of our friends to celebrate both my big day and our new home.  As usual, I overestimated the amount of food that would be consumed so we feasted on leftovers for several days afterwards.

By New Year's Eve we were both shattered so we skipped the usual festivities and went to bed at 9 pm.  However, the next day P did the New Year's Day fell race, running up hills and through freezing cold, muddy rivers.  I stayed at home in the warm drinking hot chocolate and sorting through some more boxes.

It is very strange but, now that all the boxes have been unpacked and most of the stuff put away somewhere, there still seem to be a few odd bits and pieces that have disappeared into thin air  -  a nearly new dustpan and brush,  a full tin of (expensive) furniture wax, my baby monitor (used to alert me to the doorbell ringing).  We have hunted everywhere but just cannot find them.  Perhaps they have run off with the missing sock from the washing machine?

I have tried to take photos but the weather has been quite dismal and dark so here are just a couple.

Moving day...


Entrance hall with my prize picture! ...

My home office, complete with stained glass window ...

Sitting room (aka altar room) ...

Sunrise this morning...

Well Connected

It seems more like like three months rather than the three weeks that we have been without our Internet connection at the new house.  Good old Manx Telecom.  They used to be a well respected company, known for their efficiency and innovation, however, after being bought and sold between various private equity companies a few times, standards appear to have dropped.  I am told that the broadband/ internet division has now been outsourced to a third party, hence, when we requested the transfer of our service to the new address the landline was done on the day of the move but we have had to wait three weeks for our Internet connection.  

My mobile 'phone is a basic pay-as-you-go with very limited data allowance, which I was carefully saving for important emails and messages only, so casual browsing has been foresworn.

Mind you, we have been so busy with the house move that there was little time left over for the luxury of online chats and suchlike.  

I have missed Blogland and am now trying to catch up with some of your blogs.  I may take some photos soon and share them on here. You have been warned!