Droning On

Well, yes, that probably describes me again.    

However, the ladies from the IOM Family History Society asked if they could bring along a colleague with his drone to take overhead shots of the memorial garden as their hand drawn plans were a little out of scale and possibly missing a few entries. They thought that the footage from the drone recording would be very useful.  Of course we said yes.

They arrived today at lunchtime and kindly brought some warm sunshine along with them to help with the filming.

P loved the opportunity to chat with them - he is very gregarious, unlike me.

They were quite impressed with the work P has done since we moved in, cleaning and tidying it all up so that the headstones can now be read.  When we moved in, some of them were covered in a decade or so of fallen leaves, mud and green slime, caused by our neighbour's enormous conifer tree that has now, thankfully, been felled.

They seemed quite pleased with the footage they had recorded and I am hoping that they may share it with us. It would be interesting to see it from a different angle.

Hats Off

Since my last post, only a couple of days ago, the windowsill seedlings have shot up. Their plastic hats have now been removed and they get turned around each day to stop them leaning over towards the light.

Not that there has been much sunlight the last two days.  Yesterday morning was particularly wet with a persistent heavy shower up until mid afternoon.  Unfortunately I had to walk into town and back for a hairdresser appointment (P had driven into Peel so I couldn't cadge a lift).  I was soaked through by the time I got home. My raincoat was hung up in the boiler room to drip dry, along with my gloves  boots and bag.

Today is damp and mizzly with more heavy rain due later. 

Good for the garden, as my father in law would have said.

Feeling Seedy

I have been inspired by other bloggers to get started on my Grow Your Own projects.

Just a humble beginning but here on my kitchen windowsill I have two pots of parsley seedlings growing taller now  (one flat leaf, one curly) wearing plastic bag hats, plus two pots of courgette seeds  in plastic bottle greenhouses.  Only one of the courgette seeds is starting to show a tiny bit of green but I am hoping the rest come to life soon.

Last year's basil is there too, spindly now but still hanging on.

The south facing windowsill seems to suit germination. It may get quite overcrowded soon.


We have recently booked a short break during May; a week exploring the town of Bordeaux and its environs.

However, the news coverage over the past week has been less than encouraging with some disturbing scenes like this in several French towns and cities ...

We decided to cancel our trip as it does not bode well for an enjoyable holiday.

I checked online for a suitable alternative and P managed to ring the airline and successfully change our booking.  Same week, different location.

I wonder if France's tourist industry is suffering any noticeable losses as a result of the protests?

Is It Really Here?

Today (Tuesday) it seems that Spring really has arrived.

I had to collect my prescription from the GP surgery which is a 40 minute walk across town.   P offered to drop me off as he had to drive in that direction to get new windscreen wiper blades fitted but, as it was a gloriously sunny, mild day I elected to walk.

There was only a light breeze and it felt so good to walk alongside the shore, looking over towards the Cumbria hills and breathing in that fresh sea air.

Walking through the park, I was able to admire the extensive display of spring flowers, all now out in force, and listen to the clamour of the small birds singing away all around me.

I collected my prescription and walked back down "Heart Attack Hill" into town to drop it off at the pharmacy.  It would be around 20 minutes before it was ready to collect so I wandered around the supermarket, buying a few bargains for the freezer.

Back home again after my hour and a half's gentle exercise, P was ready with the coffee and a chocolate biscuit for me.  He had been busy working in the garden, which is really coming back to life now.

It certainly feels like Spring is here, despite the forecast for more heavy rain on the way.

Unfortunately for a couple of families there has been a cliff landslip in the coastal village of Laxey.  Two houses on the clifftop have had to be evacuated and the services disconnected as it is deemed to be too hazardous to continue occupation there.  I can't imagine how those residents are feeling right now.

A Good Weekend

We were invited to a birthday celebration last night at our friends' home near Peel.
As I cannot see very well to drive in the dark, and P wanted to be able to enjoy some of the birthday fizz and wine, our friends offered the use of their guest bedroom so that we could stay over.

There were ten of us there altogether and we enjoyed a great meal with our good friends.  Unfortunately we no longer see them all as frequently as we did before we moved up here. so the opportunity for last night's get together was very much appreciated.

We slept really well in the guest room and shared a very pleasant breakfast with them this morning. As a bonus,  I was able to join the girls for their regular Sunday morning walk.  An hour and a half around the quiet lanes then coffee and a slice of carrot and banana cake in the local café. 

P had taken the opportunity to visit a friend who lives nearby, and who kindly gave him some plants for the garden.

The sun  had come out for our drive back home so after a quick lunch and a shower, we have planted out the new arrivals and are now relaxing with the newspaper crossword and a cup of tea.

Our weekend staycation was just like being on a 5 star DBB holiday.

No Joke

 I received an email this morning from my uncle who lives in Australia.  He forwarded this message, sent to him by my sister last night...

A bit of bad news, not been feeling my best over the last few days I just wanted to let you know that I have been admitted into hospital and they are keeping me in. I have only gone and bloody poisoned myself. What I thought was an onion for my salad turned out to be a daffodil bulb. They said I should be out early spring.

Me being me, I didn't read down to the last line and so stupidly thought that she really was in hospital with a bad bout of poisoning.

After I had messaged my niece and found out my mistake I was very relieved but annoyed with myself for falling for the joke.

Stupid me!

How The Island Was Created

 With thanks to Culture Vannin for this....

The story of how the Isle of Man was created by a meeting of St. Patrick & the devil...
"Long ago the Devil discovered a district in Ireland so much to his liking in every way that he resolved to appropriate it. He dug it up with his claws, and was flying over the sea with it when he met St. Patrick.

The Saint hove some holy water at the Old Boy and the latter in his alarm dropped his burden into the sea, where it became the Isle of Man, and if you measure Lough Neagh and look at its general shape you will see that the lough now stands where the Isle of Man once was.

One good result of the fright that Old Nick got is that he never could be induced to learn Manks!"

['The Legendary Origin of the Isle of Man' by Cyril I. Paton in the Journal of the Manx Museum, Dec 1941]

As Laa'l Pherick (St Patrick's Day) approaches, it's probably good to remind ourselves of the Isle of Man's unique links to St Patrick, like this lovely folktale.

Full information about this tale (which dates back about 140 years in the Isle of Man, but perhaps reaching back as far as the Norse Eddas in some form or other), as well as much else about St Patrick, is available on our page dedicated to Laa'l Pherick:

Who Ate All The Flowers?

Last autumn I planted 40 crocus bulbs in the bare patch of earth at the bottom of the drive; a mixture of purple and yellow ones.

All the purple ones had come up and were in flower until this weekend when I noticed that every single bloom had disappeared overnight. 

There were no petals strewn around to indicate wind or storm damage, just bare stalks.

I am very disappointed that the yellow ones are still asleep underground and very upset that something seems to have eaten the rest.

I shall have to plant something else down there. Something pretty but less tasty.

What Would You Do?

Somebody mentioned to me recently that they had bought lottery tickets as they were hoping to get lucky and win a large enough prize to buy a house.

I have never participated in a lottery;  I just think the odds are way too low for me to spend my money like that.

Out of interest, I looked up the Euromillions Lottery and see that the jackpot could be up to as much as £250 million.

That got me thinking about what I would spend all that money on if I did ever enter and win the top prize.

Obviously, handing over a large amount of that to my sister would be top of the list, then sharing out the rest to wherever it is most needed.  We won't have enough years left to spend that much money by ourselves, even if I did buy good champagne to drink every evening.

I would love to know what you would do with £250million.

Sitting On The Fence

 We have a pair of wood pigeons that seem to have decided that our garden is now their sole territory.  The smaller birds no longer get a look in when it comes to use of the bathing facilities.  At least they are too fat to get on the peanut feeder or the half coconut feeder.

They tend to take it in turns to sit either on the fence beside the feeders or actually in the bird bath so that nothing else can get a drink.

Here they are in a romantic mood this afternoon...

P says that they sit on the roof above our bedroom skylights, loudly cooing to each other at the crack of dawn.

I am in two minds whether or not they are a nuisance.

You could say that I am on the fence.

Bombs And Snow

The eagerly awaited snow has been slow in arriving over here but it seems it has now started to build up a little over the higher ground

Schools  and the high level roads were closed this morning ahead of the weather front arriving.

Local keyboard warriors have been making fun of the forecasters and authorities all day. I think they were quite disappointed that they couldn't get out on their sledges.

Meanwhile, we had the excitement of a visit from the Bomb Disposal Squad on the beach. The loud thump woke P at 7:30.  

Controlled explosion of device found on northern Isle of Man beach - BBC News

We are having a stay at home day in the warm. A big pot of soup has been simmering on the hob and a mug of hot chocolate has my name on it.

Hope all is well where you are.

Wednesday Ramblings

Still bright and sunny today but very chilly and the wind has started ramping up in advance of tomorrow's forecast snow.

We walked into town this morning to meet friends for coffee in the park café.  Warm and cosy by the window looking out over the lake  we had good coffee and a lively chat which meant that an hour and a half passed really fast.  They had an errand to run and we had a little shopping to do so we each went our separate ways.

We walked back home via the larger supermarket in town and stocked up on some "makings" for different suppers for the rest of the week.  I have become so very bored with our usual meals so at least now we can have something different.  All were yellow-stickered thankfully so it didn't cost too much.

I have left the heating switched on today as it is so cold outside.  

P has gone for a run over the hills.  I hope he doesn't come a cropper on the ice.

I am still waiting for some visitors to our purpose built bird café. 

Making The Most Of It

 ... while it lasts.

Today has been all sunshine, bright blue sky and hardly a breath of wind. Only 2C out there but we wrapped up warm and walked into town to stock up on some fresh food.

This is the view from the front window at the moment

This is what we can expect later this week ...


This morning as I was leisurely finishing off my morning coffee, P came bounding downstairs from his small computer room with the devastating news that his laptop had the blue screen of death.  He hoped that I could somehow wave my magic wand over it and make it better again.  

Well, I tried all the usual steps but it was definitely doing its best Dodo impression.

At the stroke of 9 a.m. he tucked it under his arm and set off for the local computer repair shop in town.  The chap said leave it with him and he would take a look.  An hour later came the news that the ten year old hard drive was kaput and everything was lost but he could install a new one by lunchtime for £120.  Definitely cheaper than buying a new laptop.

All done and ready to collect by 1 p.m.

P left it with me whilst he went for a run so that I could re-install his games and set up all his accounts and passwords etc.

He is now happily ensconced upstairs tapping away on his faster and less clunky laptop.

A happy bunny once more.


I recently came across an article that mentioned a condition called Misophonia.

People with misophonia are affected emotionally by common sounds — usually those made by others, and usually ones that other people don't pay attention to - such as heavy breathing,  chewing, sniffing and throat clearing.  These create a fight-or-flight response that triggers anxiety or anger and a desire to escape.  Although not widely recognised, it is apparently a  real disorder that can compromise a person's mental health.

I have to admit to being amazed to learn that these sounds don't affect everyone as they do me.

Well, now I know that I have a disorder  that has a name and at least I am able to leave my hearing aids switched off most of the time.

No Customers

Last week P decided to make a bird feeding table as we have been amassing a tubful of crumbs, sultanas and seeds over the past months. Scattering these on the ground attracts the unwelcome sort of wildlife.

Using one of the old fence posts,  some scraps of wood and leftover roofing felt from the shed repairs  he came up with this handsome creation,  which stands just a few feet from our front window. 

Although well stocked with tasty morsels it remains forlorn and unvisited, although the fat ball and peanut feeder around the back of the house has plenty of feathered customers.

I was hoping to be able to sit on my recliner armchair, coffee in hand and watch the birds feeding right before my eyes.

Perhaps it is too exposed for them now that the Pittosporum has succumbed to the winter gales and there is less cover from the local buzzard and sparrowhawk. 

I shall remain patient and hopeful for a while longer.

The Dog Ate My Homework

Real Life seems to have reared its (sometimes ugly) head again recently so I have not been playing in Blogland for a little while.

I apologise for not replying to all comments on my last posts, and for not commenting on your blogs recently.   I blame that dog.

Today I had a 40 minute walk across town for a double dentist's appointment (lucky old me);  half an hour with the hygienist for a scale and polish then half an hour with the dentist to replace a broken filling.  Afterwards, as I stood at the reception desk to pay the bill and make my follow up appointment, I started chatting to the smiling and cheerful receptionist.  She was a real tonic and we talked about how much we enjoy living in the town, our seaside walks and the general way of life.  I had already had a very positive experience with the kind and gentle hygienist and similar with the dentist, so came away from a previously dreaded experience with a spring in my step.

I feel good today.