British Element Trieste Force 1945 - 1954
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Good Morning All – I trust that you all had an enjoyable Christmas, and that this year of 2017 treats you kindly. My apologies for missing the last two Sunday’s postings – blame it on the hustle and bustle of the Festive Season.
We enjoyed a quiet Christmas weekend here despite having Richard home with us from the Saturday until the Tuesday and he kept us fully occupied for that period! When he went off back to his own place on Tuesday it was amazing how quiet everywhere seemed to be. Apart from Richard we had a few callers who popped in to share a cup of tea/coffee and to spread the gossip.
Not being people who insist on celebrating New Year arrival in the middle of the night Sylvia and I were both in bed by 10pm, we did see a few of the fireworks through the blinds but they stopped by 12.30. Then for lunch we were entertaining one of my cousins who has moved into a house over the mountain from here in rather an isolated area. We haven’t seen her since my brothers funeral last August so there was rather a lot to catch up on.
It was just my bad luck that my back decided it was going to take time off and I spent a fortnight hobbling around the house when I wasn’t trying to get up out of my chair. Fortunately, most of our visitors know us well enough to take it in their stride and to hang on if the door wasn’t answered at the first ring!
I decided this morning that it was high time I got my act together and posted this before another week-end was upon us, it also seemed to be a good time to start on Chapter 13. I did think of calling it Chapter 12A, but then thought I might just as well take the risk of calling it Chapter 13!
So, there we are – all up to date and I now have a clear, (well fairly clear), conscience once again. Now it is “Roll on the Summer”.
Dave, have you tried those "Heat Pads" for your back? I use them all the time and they do have a calming effect on the aches and pains in my back. Are you by any chance taking Simvastatin tabs? I have recently seen an article in the Daily Mail which says that these tablets are a big cause of pain in the nether regions. I take them and put the blame for my back pain squarely on them.
Good morning Larry - I have tried heat pads and sprays without much success, will have a look into simvastatin link though - thanks for info. I hope all is well for you!
Good morning all - Well my thermometer in here tells me that the temperature out there in the garden is 9c, and a quick look out of the window tells me that it is dull and damp out there as well. A little thought on the matter tells me it is another dull, semi-drear winters day here in Prestatyn. Never mind it could be worse I suppose.
It hasn’t been a bad week really, at least my back has decided to behave itself, more or less, and things generally have gone to plan. I am still struggling to get somewhere with the changes to the Neighbourhood Watch system. I think I am making progress but am still waiting for the paperwork that proves it! Fingers crossed, with any luck it should be sorted out this week. On the positive side, I am receiving alerts from one half of the system.
In the better spells of weather Sylvia is busy out there in the garden conducting an endless campaign against weeds etc. and other rubbish that seems to arrive from goodness knows where. Our garden waste wheelie bin, appropriately coloured green, is full within a couple of days of being emptied by the council. On the positive side is the rather nice show of daffodils in pots, a set of three potted Christmas Roses and a selection of other small bedding plants that she has got out there. In fact, there is a positive feeling among the local bird population and the plant life that Spring cannot be too far away. We have a couple of pairs of blackbirds out there looking very dapper indeed, and very busy doing whatever it is that they do at this time of the year. We also see the odd flight of geese making their way to where ever they go for a change of scenery, some even take time to give us a honk or two as they pass overhead; it makes a change from seagulls!
It is a ‘big parade’ at chapel to-day – it is our Covenant Service, so an extra spit-and-polish is required on the shoes and a nice smart tie to set the upper levels to match.
Have a nice week all, and look out when crossing the roads in the foggy mornings.
Good Morning All - I have just had a quick look at last week’s opening remarks and find that they apply to this week – dull, damp, cold and dark – ugh! Never mind Spring is only just around the corner???
Weather apart it has been a successful week all round, I think we have won more than we have lost. I seem to have settled my main problem with the Neighbourhood Watch set up and have now made contact with the Neighbourhood Alert section. My next problem is going to be sorting out my delivery system as the organisation is set up to service a fully e-mail group. Here only about a quarter of the members are on the internet and I have been transposing the Alerts into printed copy and delivering then by hand. That means I cannot show any photographs and the many ‘please find attached details of this or that information, my set up here is not particularly sophisticated, a bit like me no doubt. I have even repaired Sylvia’s airing rack (but how long it will last is another matter), but it did earn me a few bonus points!
The garden is still battling on out there, the pots of daffodils and the Christmas Roses are still blooming and cheering up that patch. Indoors Sylvia has been busy making chicken soup out of the remains of last Sunday’s chicken and freezing some for later consumption, she has also made a few pots of marmalade, good old fashioned dark stuff with large pieces of peel in it made from Seville oranges. Can’t get it like that in the shops these days.
Our Covenant Service went off very well last Sunday, quite a good congregation bearing in mind the weather and the age of our members. The service was taken by our own minister and he made a good job of it too. The only snag was that we had a lot of standing up and sitting down to do, and my back was muttering to itself some quite un-chapel like observations, I really don’t know where it picks them up! I don’t think anybody heard it though.
I suppose it is time I went a laid out my Sunday best suit etc. and got myself together. It will be a cap, gloves and scarf morning again. Never mind, there are no signs of snow or ice about locally (yet). Have a nice week, and watch how you go!
Good morning all – Just had a quick look at the thermometer out in the garden and it shows 2c, as slight improvement perhaps, but still rather cold for my liking! Otherwise the weather seems to be set for another cold and fairly bright day, so we cannot really grumble.
Well I don’t know about you good people out there, but here in the happy homestead things have been trundling along quite nicely. I had a couple of evening meetings that went off without too much aggro, and we had a visit from our sister-in-law from Abergele on Friday to catch up on the post-holiday gossip. The Christmas/New Year celebrations seem to be quite a long way back now, time is a funny old thing at times when you think about it.
My problems with the Neighbourhood Watch system up here seem to be sorted out now, although I still must get my own lot streamlined a little, if that is possible. Sylvia is making up for her lack of gardening time by upping her knitting production! I hope that friends and relatives keep up with her by producing sufficient infants to wear the bonnets, jackets and suchlike that are piling up here!
I am getting a little frustrated with not being able to read the papers and magazines with the use of a magnifying glass, and have got an appointment at the opticians’ tomorrow afternoon to assess the situation. Talking about reading, Sylvia brought me a novel from the library (large print edition!) she thought might interest me called “A Dead Man in Trieste”. It was set in the period just before the first World War and had a rather involved plot with the various sections of the multi-national activists of that era. It wasn’t a serious book, but it did remind me of some of the activities that were going on in the 1950’s.
Well time to get along now and prepare for chapel. Have a good week all, and take care.
Good morning all – The thermometer tells me it is just over 1c out in the garden, and I am quite happy to believe it and have no intention of going out there to make sure! Looks as if it is going to be one of those dry, bright and chilly days again.
Sorry I missed out on last Sunday’s edition, but you know how it goes at times, things just catch up upon you unawares, a weak excuse but the best I can come up with at the moment. The last fortnight has been a busy little spell, but I have made progress as I have been for a long-needed eye test and have prescription for new reading glasses and normal wear. The reading glasses I collected on Thursday and I have not yet got used to them as I usually have bi-focal reading glasses but due to the deterioration in my sight I opted for fixed focus lenses. The other pair will arrive this week all being well.
Then I was up at the audiology unit in the local hospital for a check on my hearing aids. I discovered that they are now working a new system where you just ‘walk in’ to the clinic and wait your turn for attention. Seems to work fairly well in one way, but they only give a quick inspection of the hearing aids and make sure that they are working but, if like me, you need the aids to be re-tuned you have to return another day when you will get the full works.
There have been three, or was it four, meetings in the last fortnight when I was having trouble both with hearing properly what was going on, and having trouble in reading such things as reports, minutes etc. despite having provided myself with a small magnifying glass! Something is trying to tell me it is high time that I retired gracefully from ‘public life’ perhaps? What will my wife do if I am stuck under her feet all the time!
We have two friends coming for lunch after chapel to-day so I had better get a move on as I have some small parts to play in the preparation. Press On! is the rallying call. Have a good week and keep warm!
Good morning all - My trusty (sometimes) outdoor thermometer tells me that it is 3c outside in the garden and who am I to doubt these little wonders of science. We also have a strong north-easterly wind blowing, and there is no need for Carol Kirkwood to remind us what that means to the actual temperature we really feel. Still, the young gentleman who gave us the early morning forecast did mention something about Spring, just to keep our spirits up I suspect.
We have had a busy little week here one way or another. Nothing exciting, just popping up to the Hearing Aid centre on two days to get my hearing aids ‘serviced’ – they have rewarded my persistence by promising me two new, up-to-date models that should help and I now have an appointment for the 8th March to have them fitted! Unfortunately, my left ear ‘appliance’ split down the ear plug so I have now got two new ear plugs on order. To complicate matters further I got up this morning to discover that my right ear device has developed a horrible ‘whistle’ which up to now I have been unable to cure. I find if I keep it on the second microphone position it is hardly noticeable, but it means I lose out on volume! It looks as if I shall have to pop back to the hospital and get them to have a quick look at that now. I wonder how it will behave in chapel this morning, I don’t find their sound system all that good since they got rid of their ‘loop system’ a couple of years ago, when they went all modern and fitted loose seating instead of their rather nice oak pews, dispensed with their organ and fitted a new modern sound system fed into loudspeakers which do nothing to help people in the same boat as myself. Ad for those of you who may be wondering what do we sing to if the organ has gone – it is a “group” on drums, recorders, a guitar and some sort of piano crossed with a keyboard system all manned by members of the congregation, we are only short of tambourines and a tri-angle or two!
Last week’s saga of the glasses has faded now, and I am slowly getting used to my two new pairs. I find it much easier now to use a magnifying glass to cope with small size print, and I am delighted to be able to read the new books which I have bought (or received as Christmas presents). All four of them have been lying on the bookshelves awaiting attention for some time!
A big thank you to you Harry for the burst of colour and foretaste of Spring at the head of the Web page! It cheered me up no end, and soothed my mornings frustrations somewhat! And probably saved you good people out there from having to plough through a very mournful posting. All say “Thank you Harry for that!”
Time has gone past the deadline, I must now get into top gear and prepare for chapel (unless my hearing aid packs in first).
Cheerio all and have a good week despite the weather forecasts!
Good morning all - It is a dullish but mild start to the day here . I can’t remember what the early morning forecast promised us this morning on the television, there couldn’t have been anything very bad or it would have stuck in my mind!
A rather quiet sort of week just finished, nothing outstanding one way or another. I got an early bus up to the audiology department at the hospital on Monday and was lucky to only have a half hour wait to see a technician who cured the whistle in my right ‘device’ in about ten minutes. I don’t think she was quite sure herself as to what she had done that settled the noise, but I was not particularly bothered over that as long as the repair holds up until the 8th March when I should receive my new aids and have them ‘tuned in’. Once again, I received a glowing report as to what these all new, all dancing gadgets could/would do for my hearing.
It was one of my sisters’ 80th birthday last Friday, and yesterday her family laid on a ‘Big Birthday Bash’ in a Gastro Pub up on the Colwyn Heights, Colwyn Bay for about 20 of the family and friends. Sylvia and I were picked up at 4pm and driven down to the venue by the daughter and the birthday girl (plus the birthday cake which Sylvia had the job of holding onto until we reached the pub). We spent the next four hours there and were transported back home again. A very enjoyable time was had by all as they say. We were both glad to get home and, after a large cup of tea, get to bed!
Apart from a couple of evening meetings the only other event of any note was a virus scare on the computer yesterday which held up things rather until it was eventually sorted out. I don’t remember having that sort of trouble with the old typewriters. Most things going wrong then could be fixed with the judicious use of paper-clips, 3-in-1 oil, a soldering iron, old tooth brush and a spot of Brasso. Progress!
Oops, time I was away and getting ready for chapel. How time flies when you are enjoying yourself! Have a good week and enjoy the ‘Dubai type’ warm weather that one of the forecasters promised us was on the way to parts of the UK a couple of days ago. I sincerely hope that does not include the sand and fleas.
Good morning all – Here we are once again, Sunday morning comes around very nearly as quickly as the rest of the days of the week! Funny that really. Anyway, to-day is a rather doubtful one weather-wise, and the forecast on TV this morning didn’t look too cheerful for this part of the UK. The next storm due has been named by the Irish weather people apparently – forget now what it is, but it starts with an E of course.
Despite the ravages of our last Storm, Doris, our garden is bearing up well. The daffodils are all out now and are putting on a very good show in readiness for St. David’s Day, they really bring a breath of Spring into the world. The seeds are dutifully sprouting in the greenhouse along with the various pot plants that in in there seeking a bit of warmth and shelter, and even my aerials have managed to keep their footing – what more can one ask for!
The week generally, apart from the weather, has been a good one, fairly quiet and nothing too drastic going amiss. My new glasses are a big help in reading, but I still am having to use a magnifying glass to read smaller print, which is quite a bind at times. I have ordered a reading light which is supposed to be a great help as it is designed with people like me in mind it seems. Wonder if it is any help in reading the longer words (and in understanding what they mean!!). It is due to arrive a week on Thursday, and on the Wednesday I should get my new hearing aids fitted so by Friday I shall be running on, very nearly, all cylinders!
Time to get along and consult the weather forecast more closely to see what I shall have to dress in to arrive at chapel in a respectable condition. Wouldn’t do to let the side down! Have a nice week, and keep your eyes open for Storm Erin, or whatever they called it.
Good morning all - A new week starting once again, and from the quick look at the weather ahead it isn’t going to be the start of summer. What a pity! Here, locally, we can expect heavy rain in the next hour, already it has started to drizzle. It is 5c outside in the garden (aren’t outdoor thermometers wonderful things, you can tell what the temperature is without having to get cold going outside to see. Science is a wonderful thing.
Before going any further I must say a ‘thank you’ to Harry from Sylvia for the Welcome to Spring photograph that heads the Message pages this morning, it has made her day! Mind you I had to be very careful to hide the bit in his accompanying text that said the last time he showed it some “Dave” had said something about mint sauce!
Not really a lot to say about the week just gone. The weather was rather poor on the whole, but our display of daffodils was a most heartening sight to greet St. David’s Day on Wednesday. Sylvia managed to get outside to do a bit more tidying up on the various beds, and to get into the greenhouse to do whatever she does in there. She reports that all the seedlings are starting to show signs of life, and the other bits and pieces she has in there are surviving the chopping and changing weather conditions.
This week I am looking forward to getting my new hearing aids up and running on Wednesday and on Thursday I should get my new reading lamp delivered. Also, Thursday I have an appointment with the Practice Nurse at our local surgery – I did suggest that I would prefer to see a Nurse who had finished practicing and had become qualified. I am a bit wary of our meeting on Thursday!
All the signs indicate that it will be a wet walk down to chapel this morning, and possibly even wetter on the way back. If nothing else, it will perk the appetite up for lunch! Not that my appetite needs perking up at any time. Have a good week all and look after yourselves.
Good morning all – My apologies for missing ‘parade’ last Sunday morning but time just flew by somehow or another, and, hey-presto it was time to get kitted out for chapel. I am sure that I must have had a good reason for the omission, but by now I just cannot remember what it was! ‘Tempus Wotsit’ as Shakespeare would have put it!
I did get my two new hearing aids fitted, my new reading lamp also arrived on time and in the afternoon, I was given a clean bill of health after my MOT at the local surgery. The Practice Nurse had to admit she couldn’t find anything to complain about in the blood test results and as a last resort said she would weigh me, but even that kept me off the hook! I still can’t wondering why, if all those results were so wonderful, I still can’t run after, and catch, a bus?? But something seemed to tell me not to push my luck, and to remember I would be back again in six months’ time.
Our weather is still swinging between ‘horrible’ and ‘it looks as if spring is really here’. But there, I have always said that it is the British Weather that made the British Empire what it was. It certainly keeps us on our toes. But, despite the fluctuations in the weather Sylvia is still gamely battling on to get things ready for planting out time. She has started to bag up the potatoes in their grow bags, and reported yesterday that the first leaves had broken the surface in the first bag. Onion sets have been put in (and some dug up again by the local cat population). Her daffodils made a brave show in honour of St. David at the start of the month; I only hope that he appreciated all the work she put in to achieve that! I, as usual, put in my contribution by moral support and the odd piece of advice.
Well, there you are, more or less up to date with life here on the Costa North Wales. Oh! Just one other item for those of you who may think it is only cold and wet up here in the winter. Our local paper, North Wales Daily Post, ran a short story a couple of weeks ago, saying that the railway service between Rhyl and Flint was disrupted for a while because the rails on that section of track had become ‘overheated’ due to the sun! Yes, I too looked at the date just in case it was 1st April and it was a hoax, or one of Donald Trumps ‘fake news reports’. I have lived here for 80+ years and have seen that stretch of line closed for all sorts of different reason, snow, rain, storm damage, flooding, fires on the line, leaves etc – but overheated tracks in the winter????
This seems to be a good note to close on now, it is high time for getting changed into a respectable chapel goer anyway. Have a good week.
Good morning all - It is yet another lovely sunny morning here on the Costa del Prestatyn, I can easily get used to this sort of weather. Sun shining, a generally blue sky, light winds even if it is a south-easterly one.
Another sign of the approaching summer is that Sylvia ordered the mower battery to be charged for Saturday afternoon. She had decided she was going to give the lawns their first cut of the season, and who am I to argue with her about that! The battery was put on charge to make sure it was ready for the fray and now we have two lawns that look quite presentable. Unfortunate the top piece looks a bit rough in a couple of places where the badgers have been rooting around and they will have to be attended to one way or another. With luck, we can smooth the damage out, fill the dips with compost and sow some grass seed.
The rest of the garden looks very presentable, though the daffodils are now getting past their best and need dead-heading every now and then. We cannot complain as they have given us a good show since February, and they excelled themselves for St. David’s Day. All her little plots of bedding plants are showing up well, and the greenhouse plants and seedlings are stirring themselves and showing green bits here and there. The main fly in the ointment, as it were, are the local cats. One ginger one seems to have decided the onion bed is the ideal place to conduct his/her toiletries and other such activities, also it is a good game to pull one or two up while at it. The bags of potatoes are showing signs of life too, and are getting topped up every few days with compost.
It was the bi-annual ‘change the clocks’ night last night of course. Fortunately, most of our clocks are now ‘radio controlled’ and can be left to their own devices, but I had my usual struggle with the micro-wave. I faithfully follow the instructions in the hand-book every time this happens and still have to have three or four goes at getting the change to take. I think that the buttons are a bit on the ‘lazy’ side, but, as usual we got there in the end.
Talking of clocks, it is time I got myself into top-gear and made a start on getting in Sunday morning order ready for chapel. I wonder how many of the congregation have forgotten the clock change, or even remembered the change but turned their clocks back by mistake! Have a good week, and make the most of the fine weather we are having. Take care!