Monday, 19 December 2011

Merry Christmas. I Love You

I loved your comments on my last post so this is my Christmas card to my friends, each one of you. All those groan worthy jokes you get in crackers, keep them coming they make me laugh when I want to cry.
Someone banged on our back door this morning - it was our neighbour from the barn conversion. He had 4 days growth of beard, his hair was uncombed and his eyes sunk into his head.
'Did you realise,' he said, 'that the car alarm on your white car has been going off for the last THREE days.'
Well no, honestly I didn't! Had to get someone in to fix it quick! Bernard, I found this on You tube it made me laugh. Anyway to all of you. Have a special Peaceful Christmas. Lots of love from your friend Molly xxx

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Coming Soon

Today was cold. The windscreen of my car was frozen solid with ice and it was a bit 'mind as you go' on the cobbled yard outside the back door. But the winter sunshine was so nice and there was a light dusting of snow on the top of Middletown Hill so hence my header ..... I am feeling so much brighter than I did yesterday and loving those vibes you sent over. And the realisation that the day after the day after tomorrow will be the shortest day on our little part of the planet. Just think, slowly but surely, bit by bit, the days will start to lengthen again and then the spring and all the bulbs and the seed sowing. I've noticed some green daffodil shoots poking through already. Time soon to start preparing the soil in the poly tunnels for next year's crops.

The seasons have been a bit mixed up this year.

Still got a rose in the front garden, battling the elements

And a basket of pansies holding out.

And a Christmas poinsettia brightening up the window sill

My friend Becky was asking , 'What's a cracker?' 'Is it something you eat?' I never realised how hard it is to describe something to someone who's never seen one if you know what I mean. It's a bit like ....... A Christmas Cracker is a cardboard tube covered in brightly coloured foil. Inside the tube is a paper hat a small plastic (or more expensive) dinky little present and a motto written on a small piece of paper. There is also also a  thin strip of cardboard from one end of the cracker which makes a cracking sort of noise when both ends of the cracker are pulled. The person who has the biggest end wins the present.

 (Grubby fingernails not mine)

And the motto says
Q. What do you get if you cross a stereo with a refrigerator?
A. Cool music.

Well Becks - you did ask.
Happy Christmas xx

Friday, 16 December 2011

Now and Then

The past few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster which  has hit me for six. A routine check up for my  O/H down at the Docs six  weeks ago turned out to be the not too brilliant news all of us get now and then. He's been for a couple of stays in hospital and yesterday had an all day appointment in Day Surgery.  A nurse led us into a side waiting room down the corridor. It was different than the normal  stark rows of seats. There were about a dozen or so comfortable arm chairs around the room  and little circular polished wooden tables in a sort of semi circle. A Christmas tree with ribbons and baubles  lit the one corner and a wide screen television hung on the opposite wall. A nurse in a light green uniform brought a constant supply of tea and biscuits. It's a strange feeling but there's a sort of camaraderie between the folks sitting together - an unspoken knowingness that brought us all together, almost like a family. There is a local charity in Shrewsbury which raises money for places like these. I don't know how you feel but in the past  I've tended to be a bit sceptical about whether money given for charity always reaches the destination for which it was intended. Not any more .... and I am eternally grateful to the folks who've donated.  I sat with hubs until lunch time. Shrewsbury Hospital has a large bustling restaurant where the food is quite decent so I nipped out for a while to get some lunch. Tinned Christmas music muted through the load speakers and  turkey with all the trimmings (plus a free cracker) was on the menu. The restaurant was pretty full but I found an unoccupied table in the corner. I sat down with my feast and Christmas cracker in front of me. I couldn't help think about one of  Tom's blogs of how one Christmas he had a meal with H.I. in a top hotel. He mentioned how this man was sitting alone at a table with his solitary feast, when he took his cracker in both hands, pulled and put the paper hat on. The thought made me laugh, how daft was that on a day like this. No I couldn't pull a cracker with myself ... no way, no way. The day passed and I took my cracker home and stuck it on the window next to a vase of holly. The funny thing is, it lifts my spirits every time I look at it. O/H? He's in safe hands and doing OK and we're giving it our best shot.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Simple Truth

My blogging friend Becky over at has put my life right now in a nutshell with the lovely poem she's just posted ..........

I did my bit for humanity and had a flu jab at the end of October. For the past ten days, I've had flu-like symptoms, been feverish, having blinding headaches and have been a right misery to live with. And they say Man flu is bad. Yes please - I'd love a cup of tea.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

For Molly

Victoria over at The Pink Bicycle recently posted a blog about my namesake 'Molly' and I said that we had a sweetshop in Welshpool named in her honour and that I would post a picture - so sweet Molly - here it is - especially for you.

It's not that often that you see the old fashioned sweet shops now - the ones with the rows and rows of those oblong screw top jars of sweets. You pick which ones you want and they get weighed out on a mini scales and then scooped into little white paper bags. You could say - almost pre Woollie's Pick and Mix. Do you remember them?  Childhood memories of the  fifities, sweets were still rationed and there used to be this little shop on the corner. You had to take your coupons in to exchange with your pennies. What a thrill and a treat just to go in. There were all these jars of toffees and liquorice, humbugs and boiled fruit sweets, sherbet in bags which you slurped  through a liquorice pipe and gob stoppers which made your cheek bulge. They changed colour as they gradually disappeared. And Love Hearts - little pepperminty things with all those corny little messages on them. You could spend forever choosing what you'd like.

Perhaps things are going full circle.

We went to 'Coed y' today as well. It's a sell everything store just on the outskirts of the town. To get to the bottom half of the store and the garden centre you have to take the road  over  the little bridge with black metal railings. I stopped for a while and leaned my elbows over on the top rail to just look at the stream beneath.

I thought it was just the copper of the beech leaves floating on down, but then as I looked closer - people had been throwing coins - lots and lots of them. Make a wish - we don't change much do we!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Broken Wings

It seems we weren't the only ones down at the Doc's this morning. The car park was pretty near full and the surgery likewise. When we came out we noticed him hobbling a bit painfully between the cars. He certainly didn't look under fed. The pheasant shooting season is practically here. Don't get me wrong I'm not vegetarian and like eating roast pheasant as much as anybody. It's just that I hate them being maimed to die a slow agonising death.

'Ow ....ouch...'
I don't know how his wing got broken - perhaps he was hit by a vehicle - perhaps a stray bullet ricocheted and caught his wing? At least you could say he was in the right place. He looked tame and folks coming and going didn't seem to bother him too much. Not many of us could eat our pet so hopefully he'll be able to live the rest of his life in relative safety. He was beautiful and I sort of hoped he didn't end up on someone's dinner table. I'm willing him to survive. I looked up and the nurse and receptionist were watching me watching him through the window. Perhaps they were thinking the same thing that I was.

Friday, 11 November 2011

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day

Today I stood silently. I wore my poppy in the rain. I remembered all that you gave.

You gave your all. And I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Fairy Rings

Cro over at  recently posted a brilliant post on Autumn's Bounty. It poured down during the night here too. The sun was out in force again this morning. Doesn't everything look fresh and clean after the rain and a warmth even in November that  makes you feel good just to be here. Part of our land consists of an old mill pool, quite near to the house. It's only a small area and at one time fed the larger (now been filled in) pool further down which at one time ran the old corn mill. It's not actually a pool any longer and has also been filled in long since.

These suddenly appeared under the willow tree over night in an almost perfect fairy ring.

I know practically nothing about wild mushrooms and had a look on Google to try to identify them.
As far as I can see they're Ink Caps - pretty to look at but definitely NOT for eating.

Can anybody out there tell me what they are and am I right?

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The War Years

A chance meeting on a mundane trip  into Welshpool a couple of weeks ago and I met  93 year old Ethel. Through their teens and during the war years she was my late mother's best friend.  She said that she had some photos and would I like them. Would I?  You bet I would. A few days later I phoned her and she invited me round to her little bungalow.  What an amazing beautiful lady, I could have spent hours talking to her.  While my mother married and stayed at home looking after me and my sister,  Ethel joined the ATS  Auxiliary Territorial Services - a country girl, who'd never ventured further than the nearest town in her life she suddenly found herself being transported all over the world and doing all kinds of work,  more than she could ever dream of.  She told me about a poignant  moment of how she was working in a canteen in Belgium when her brother who'd also signed up, unexpectedly turned up in the same canteen. You can imagine what that brief reunion in those times must have been like for them.  Ethel showed me her little box of photos and I asked if I could take a digital snap of one of her in her ATS uniform.

'Course you can, but you don't want a photo of me.' 

She chuckled at the thought

She was like that.

On the other side of the family - Curley was my hubs uncle. Until the last couple of years of his life, he lived and worked on the family farm he was born on and only ever moved out of the village on the rare day trip. The farthest he ever travelled was to the Motor Show in London but that's a story for another day. The outset of World War II must have radically changed so many people's lives and yet the farming community in a way lived life in almost oblivion - no television, no mobile phones - no phones even. News came by British Pathe screened at the cinema, radio bulletins or word of mouth. Just an ordinary day in Curley's life .......

Curley driving his Fordson Major EN27
It could be an absolute pig to start on a cold morning especially if you hadn't remembered to turn the central tap over to TVO, (Tractor Vaporising Oil) something Curley forgot to do with alarming regularity.  If you look on the photo above you might notice two fuel caps side by side on the tractor bonnet. In the pic Curley is driving a Fordson Major EN27, though the story unfolding is about an earlier model  he owned in 1944. Tractors were a much prized commodity during the war years. He lease-loaned a green Standard Fordson. Part of the engine contained two fuel tanks - a smaller petrol tank and a somewhat larger TVO tank. A  dual fuel manifold intake pipe sat between the two. The tap being strategically placed at the end of the fuel pipe. You had to begin by turning the tap one way to access the petrol in the smaller tank. Petrol has a higher octane and is more explosive than TVO thus quickly warming the engine. After a few minutes once the tractor engine had warmed up,  the tap had to be turned the other way to switch to the lower octane much cheaper TVO. What a palarver!  Curley, as I previously mentioned often forgot to turn the tap over to TVO or sometimes didn't turn it far enough and the pint or so of petrol in the small tank would soon all be used up. As soon as this happened the TVO would back feed into the petrol tank. This  worked fine while the engine was still warm. Unfortunately  the next time he came to use his tractor, especially on a cold morning - not a cat's chance in Hell! Another endearing feature of the Standard Fordson was the amount of play in the steering wheel. At 6 or 7 mph you had to anticipate a left hand or right hand manoeuvre some 4 or 5 minutes before it actually took place, winding the steering wheel  around at great speed in the desired direction. I suppose you could compare it to driving a steam engine. Same sort of thing.
On this particular cold joyless morning Curley's SF would not even grunt. An American lorry pulled up by the roadside gate. As it happened,  the GI's were passing through towards Welshpool from their base camp at Queenshead, West Felton - a small village just outside Oswestry some 10 or so miles north of the farm. They'd called in for a few barn eggs and a cut or two from the side of bacon on the metal hook in the scullery. This being a popular custom of the time. Seeing Curley's predicament, they immediately offered to tow his tractor behind their vehicle to Reginald Tildsley's Garage six miles down the road on the outskirts of Welshpool. All roped up and away, the American Servicemen were not renowned for hanging about. Batting along, oblivious of  the tractor in tow and several bendy stretches in the road  - Curley had no way of attracting their attention  and had to hang on for grim death. He reached Reginald Tildsley's ashen and in dire need of a clean pair of corduroys.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Old Parr

It's strange how one blog can suddenly ignite another. Delores over at has recently posted a blog on 'Scary' -' the first person to live to 150 has already been born'  ............. and he lived within walking distance from where we live. His name was Thomas Parr. He was born in 1483 and died in 1635
Katherine Milton was 18 and to do penance, Thomas Parr had to stand naked, covered in a white sheet  for one day in Wollaston Church

The cottage in which he spent almost all his life is owned and been restored by our neighbour friend Jennie.
I'll take you for a walk from our house up to it.

Take the narrow path up along the edge of the dingle past the earthworks of the old mill

Up the single track road towards Winnington

Take the left hand turn down Gypsy Lane

And there's Old Parr's cottage

Jennie welcomes us in for a cup of tea.

Jennie's Rooster - Old Parr

What fantastic things would you do with your life, if you lived until you were150?

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Mist Over Molly

 We've had rain and Moel-y shrouded in mist for most of the day.

Grey swirling water in the brook down at the mill .......... ccccold

Wet leaves and puddles

But doesn't everything look fresher and brighter when it all stops for a while. I love the garden after the rain.

Early closing - it'll be darker still earlier  after Saturday

What's your weather been like today?

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Movers and Shakers

I have a big box of old photos stashed away that never quite got sorted. Do you hoard old photos? The digital camera has saved a planet of trees and space but isn't nearly as interesting as rummaging through all those yellowed old snaps you'd almost forgotten, don't you think?  The above photograph was taken during the mid-eighties of a 4 x 4 demo. The JCB digger is clearing a track up the hill ready for the action. Do you like the shadow of the Man-in-Charge - cool isn't he!
I'm connecting with Shadow Shot Sunday on this one.

There she blows.
Happy SSS

Monday, 17 October 2011

What's in a name

When you start the blogging game the first thing you've got to think about is what do you call yourself? Not many people use their true identity - be who you like, do what you like, you're in cyber land.  In all honesty though, what I write and what interests me is the unvarnished truth and I am who I am. The names have just been changed to protect the guilty. I used to call my blog site Molly Golver until some unmentionables copied chunks of my work and posted them along with some of the comments on their own crumby site. Not amused.
We are surrounded by hills - the one across the valley is called 'Moel y Golfa' (spoken in a broad Mid-Walian accent comes out as 'Molly Golver') and that seemed as good a reason as any.  Oh well, plenty more to choose from as they say so 'Some Other Mountain' will do

Moel y Golfa is actually an extinct volcannic area. It has an altitude of 1324 feet and is the highest of a group of three - Moel y Golfa, Middletown Hill and Breidden Hill. Called 'The Marylins' - I don't know why that is but can't help thinking maybe 'Marylin Monroe' but I could be way off track there. I looked up the words Moel y Golfa. Moel is Welsh for a bare hill and Golfa means a tree or a branch. As you look across from west to east just outside Welshpool on the A458, the summit does appear rocky, but as you look across from our house at the foot of the Long Mountain the tapestry of Autumn in the trees is breathtaking. 

There is a Romany Monument built right at the top of the 'Moel y'. During construction, a lorry was comandeered to hoik the huge stone to the top. Owing to the slippery steepness of the gradient the lorry laboured and got stuck. The problem was overcome by borrowing cutting down two telegraph poles near by and using them for a sledge. There was also a wager in the Breidden Hotel at Middletown as to who could carry the heaviest load of concrete on his shoulders as far as he could up the mountain - probably a hundred weight something. The competition was won by a man called John and he was rewarded with a liquid lunch of all the ale he could sup.
Why did you call your blog site what you did?

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Willow Manor Ball

All this glamour! All these amazing people.
Guess who's just called to take me to the ball.
Oh no it's after 12.
Fairy Godmother don't turn me back into a pumpkin,

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Reflections and Shadows

Low sun and long shadows of the front garden gate.
After doing two hours penance this morning, clearing up more brash at the Mill (safety glasses firmly in place I might add) I spent the afternoon  digging  the front borders and planting bulbs, and primroses and pansies. Not much to show for my efforts but come the Spring ........

A quick trip into Welshpool for a few odds and ends and a time-out walk along the canal. I like my time-outs.

The sky was starting to grey over, but at least it was still dry. Not many folks around this time of the day.
Everywhere looks docile and sleepy.

Including the swans.
A little while back, someone was out walking their dog along the tow path. The dog yapped and yelped like they do sometimes. The male swan attacked it and dragged it into the water and the poor little mite was drowned. Beautiful as they are they can be lethal too.

And the ducks. Most of them were curled up on the embankment. What would these three be saying in duck language d'you think? '.....Cam on, 'urry up, chop chop ....'

'........Ready, Steady ........Goooooooo'
Linking with Tracy over at Hey Harriet
Happy Shadow Shot Sunday

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Empty Benches

I started to draft this one on Friday, ready for Shadow Shot Sunday like I sometimes do. Saturday morning was gorgeous weather wise so up bright and early and helping Other Half clear some brash down at the Mill.  An errant falling branch whipped across my face. A couple of hours later, was in dire agony and a trip to the local A&E. I had apparently scarred my corneal quite badly. No lasting damage though, thank goodness,  but a bit of a sore week ahead she said. Came out of the hospital, went to start the car - not a dickey bird, dead as a dodo again. We waited a couple of hours and then tried the ignition again. Nothing! Rang the  Road Rescue. Sunny weather, busy Saturday - they said they'd be with us in three hours, but in all fairness it was not quite as long as that. Car still wouldn't start. After about an hour of the Man that Can poking about it still wouldn't and didn't start and we were unceremoniously towed home about 7 pm. But in all fairness, I couldn't get over how how kind and helpful the people around us were. If any of you happen to read this, thank you so much for all your kindness.
Happy Shadow Shot Sunday

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Shadow Day Dreamin

I've come to the conclusion that the reason I don't get things done is the fact that I am easily distracted. Are you organised ......I wish Yesterday I was on a bean picking mission down at the Mill. We've actually had runner beans to eat (out of the poly tunnel) since the end of May and then sowed a late row down the Mill about the middle of June. After that much needed shower of rain one night last week, they have come on leaps and bounds. Hence the Friday freezer pick mission. Wasn't it a fantastic day weather wise . Of course, I had to stop in the middle of it like I do and watch in awe, a bumble bee doing his rounds. I don't know why but these fantastic little insects fascinate me. They never stop do they.

Runner beans all picked and a bit of a meander down to edge of the field. Lean on the gate and watch the world stand still. I couldn't help but  think that this is what I want of my life and the best bit of all is now.

A walk back along the edge of the stream then take my haul back home.

'What shall we have for dinner tonight?'
'How about some runner beans for a change.'
'Oh please no!'
Have a good weekend

Monday, 19 September 2011

Treasure Huntin'

Over At Olive's  I've just been reading about a gorgeous vase she found at a church sale for just four dollars. I found a vase I really liked at a village car boot a bit back and I wanted to show Olive the picture of it.

This is a turquoise colour too although the finish is matt rather than glazed.

It has the words 'Harford Made in England' stamped on the base.

 I've looked it up on Google but haven't found out very much about it. So was just wondering if anybody else could give me any information. I think I paid about £3 at the time (last of the big spenders, me)  but it's something I've always liked.
'Whatever floats your boat.' as they say!

Saturday, 17 September 2011


Do you like herbs? I love them. I'd like to say that I've got a dedicated herb garden but not so.  My herb plants are a bit 'please yourself' and grow wherever they have a mind to. The above picture depicts a clump of chive seed heads growing along the outside of the poly tunnel. The sun has been playing a game of hide and seek today. I just managed to capture the brief shadows against the plastic so this is to be my effort for Shadow Shot Sunday. Note to self - must remember to collect the seeds before they fall.

The next one is Borage. I don't know how these arrived in my garden but I suspect they cadged a lift in a packet of 'Cottage Garden Mixture' seeds. This one has made its home in a sandstone trough outside the back door.

There's one growing between the concrete slabs below the trough. Look how it's stretched it's shadow.

Then I've got a clump of parsley growing  amongst the parsnips and marrows in the top tunnel.

And sage at the edge of the path.

There's a little bed of mint just outside the door of the other poly.

And apple mint that's growing anywhere and everywhere.

We have a  gnarled old bay tree in the garden that's stayed put for many a long year.

This is my latest addition - a pot of Basil I bought a few weeks ago for pence from the local supermarket. I potted it up into a bigger pot today. Wonderful for adding to all those tomato recipes. One of these days I WILL have a proper herb garden but in the meantime have a brilliant weekend and a Happy Shadow Shot Sunday xx