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British Element Trieste Force 1945 - 1954
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Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Good morning all – Now that April is with us it seems to be a good time to commence a fresh chapter in this saga, so welcome to Chapter 14. The sharper sighted of you may also notice that this session is written at a slightly earlier time than usual! It all seemed to be a good idea 15 minutes ago, as I have been awake since 3am. and showing no signs of going back to sleep. Never mind press on.

What with one thing and another I have not kept up to date with the Message Board items this week, so the first thing that I saw when I signed in this morning was the sad news of Terry Crimps death. I don’t think I have had any direct contact with Terry myself, but I would like to send my condolences to his wife, Irene, in her sad loss
What is there to report on the past week at the old homestead here. Well, we seemed to have had a rather good week all told. The weather has been generally kind to us apart from the last two days, and we have also managed to accomplish quite a bit in our own sweet way. We now have a rather smart, new ‘personal access door’ to the garage thanks to Sylvia’s cousin who has just retired from his builder’s business. The down side, of course, is it shows up the rest of the poor old garage. Never mind, we cannot win them all. Sylvia has taken full advantage of the good weather and the greenhouse if full of pots and boxes of green shoots, her six (or is it her seven) bags of potatoes are well on their way, she has brought home three rather healthy looking tomato plants to encourage her seeds to get a move on, broad beans are just about ready to plant out in the garden plot, onion sets are in and spring is here with summer not too far behind (I hope!).

My contribution to all this has been rather minimal. Charging the lawn mower battery on demand and one or two other suchlike back-room operations. I have struggled over three days to re-set my all singing, all dancing, radio controlled clock to accept the fact of the clocks going forward. It is controlled from one of the radio time control stations in Germany and the booklet is printed in minute type, and faint in the bargain. I am afraid my eye-sight now cannot cope with that sort of thing, especially as my fingers are not as flexible as they used to be. It takes me so long to decipher the next move in the operation that the clock action returns to a stand-by mode and I must start all over again. Yes, I know – pathetic! Still, I think I have cracked it now, and can relax until it is time to persuade the thing to accept the fact it must go back an hour.

I was thinking about this weekly dispatch the other day and suddenly remembered that it all started some time ago when the subject arose on this message board as to who could go on the longest with the most boring output. I was going to search back in the archives to check but have not got around to doing so yet – but I seems to remember Larry was one of the originators of the idea, and maybe Harry was another. A rather sobering thought in one way!!!!
My mug of tea is growing cold and it is time to wind down and face another Sunday morning routine. The weather hasn’t made its mind up yet as to what it is going to do, but if it agrees with the forecast we had yesterday it should be a fine, sunny walk to and from chapel. Have a good week, and do take care.

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Good morning all - And once again it is a “good morning” indeed. The sun is shining brightly out there, and there is no wind to talk of – long may it last. Well, until we get back from chapel anyway.

In fact, the weather all week has been a big improvement, and life is much more cheerful for it. Sylvia is back out in the garden chasing the cats off her onions, beetroot, planters and all the other bits of the garden they seem to delight in using as their personal toilets. She has tried all sorts of ways to discourage them, garden canes, thorny cuttings from the gooseberry bushes but all to no avail. The gardener’s life is a hard one around here! The latest operation is to make good the damage in the top lawn made by the badger digging big holes in it.

The schools broke up on Friday for a fortnight, so the avenue is very quiet now it is left to us residents, although the through traffic is still quite heavy at times; at least the roads are more or less free for us to park our cars and the plumbers, electricians or whoever is calling to park their transport outside the houses they are working at. Having said that, Sylvia and I miss the ‘students’ passing to and fro’ like a tide of young things! The seagulls follow them like they do with shoals of fish gleaning quite a good haul of tasty scraps dropped on the way.

The town itself is showing signs of the start of the ‘summer holiday season’, the usual small fair-ground has turned up down towards the beach and will, no doubt, be doing good business for the next couple of weeks before they move on to somewhere else. It won’t be long before we will be able to see the ‘walkers’ up on the hillside making their way along the Offa’s Dyke trail. We can see them from our garden as little colourful specs up on slopes, some are even cycling along it these days.

And that reminds me, it is time I went off and got myself spruced up and ready for chapel. It will be a nice stroll this morning by the looks of the weather outside. Have a good week all!

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Good morning all - A Blessed and Happy Easter to you all. The weather here is letting us down a bit as it is cold and wet again. Where oh where is the summer? Probably waiting to see how Brexit is going to work out, like the rest of us.

Not a lot to report on the week’s activities, the time seems to have gone by quickly despite that. The garden has been getting as much attention as the weather allows, and the local County Council and Town Council elections are hotting up, which fill in a lot of time with one thing and another.

No, I am not putting up for a post, I have long passed that sort of thing; but delivering leaflets and other such menial tasks keep me out in the ‘fresh air’ and gives the old legs a stretch! Roll on 4th May, and a quieter time to do other things.

It looks as if it is going to be a wet, and cold, stroll down to chapel this morning, hard to remember that a fortnight ago I was strolling down in the warm sunshine and not wearing an overcoat! Those sort of days will come before too long I am sure, well I think that I am sure! Whatever, I hope you have a good week.

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Good morning all – Another half and half Sunday morning here. We have a little sunshine out there at the moment, but the sky looks as if it could cloud over any minute and we will get some rain. It also has a chilly touch by the looks of it.

Had a bit of a shock this morning when I summoned up the BETFOR site and got some odd results, including one that seemed to say that the site had been cancelled since (?) April 2017. I resorted to good old Google Search and eventually arrived here. I am not very sure if I will get back again using the same link – which I have saved on my Firefox browser, but I haven’t got much time to play around this morning.

The week has been a rather successful one generally one way or another. Between us Sylvia and I got rid of a pile of election leaflets in a blitz over Monday and Tuesday; I had a couple of busy deliveries of Neighbourhood Watch information leaflets, plus a few to my on-line ‘clients’; a blood test that went off well on Wednesday; and then on Friday afternoon I was off to the audiology department of the local hospital and had my new hearing aids checked and a few alterations to the setting made. I cannot complain about the NHS treatment up there!

On the social side, we had a visitor drop in on Monday morning, and on Wednesday afternoon an old friend from our old chapel called for a couple of hours’ chat, and to catch up with our local news. Needless to say, a good time was had by all over cups of tea or coffee.

In the finer and warmer spells, I was even tempted out into the garden to give a hand to my hardworking wife! Nothing too energetic of course. But I did pump up the two tyres on the wheelbarrow, re-seeded the bald patches where the badger had been playing havoc digging holes, and one or two more similar tasks. Well, I did say they weren’t too energetic!

Time to move along now, a few odds and ends to catch up on before getting ready for chapel. Don’t forget to get your woollies out again, and aired ready for the cold weather that is about to swoop down upon us from the frozen north. Why they can’t keep it up there I do not know. Have a nice week all!

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Good morning all – A very blustery morning here, we were woken up about 5 am when the wind started blowing our blinds about, and making quite a noise. One of the troubles about being ‘fresh air freaks’! We have these vertical blinds, I believe they are known as Roman blinds as opposed to the horizontal version, or Venetian blinds. Doesn’t make a good start to a Sunday, I think Sylvia and I are in for a windy walk to chapel this morning.

It has been a very quiet week; the only thing of note was Wednesday when we were picked up by my cousin and his wife and went off to the “Cherry Pie” for lunch. The weather was grand, and the half hour drive out to Nannerch village and our lunch was a real pleasure. The country side is getting to that stage when Spring is showing its full glory, and promising us that the Summer is not all that far away now! We still have to get through the local town and council elections on the 4th May, and then there is the Teresa May’s surprise, surprise election in June.

Our own garden is settling down nicely with all the hard work Sylvia is putting into it. The only disappointment is the early rhubarb which is barely making the grade, thin spindly stuff again this year, and we have decided this morning that it will have to be dug up and new crowns planted later on. The later cropping planted, which we inherited many years ago from my brother-in-law, who had dug them up from his own garden and dumped them on his compost heap where they took root and multiplied as it were, are still producing delicious stalks. Contrary plants I guess!

The potato ‘bags’ are looking well set now and will, perhaps, be producing some edible size ‘fruit’ by June. Now that is something to look forward to! The broad beans are out in the garden now, the runner beans are going to be joining them shortly.

And now it is time I moved myself and got ready for chapel. I think I shall need my heavy boots and two pockets full of heavy change if I am not to be blown away with this wind! Have a nice week.

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Good morning all - A lovely start to the day here this morning. Sun shining, sky (mostly) blue, and the temperature out in the garden is around 16c. Long may it last, well until mid-day anyway!

Apart from the council elections it has been a quiet week in the happy homestead here. Us two happy campers did our duty and delivered our allocation of ‘come out and vote on Thursday’ envelopes and could then retire on our laurels and get on with more domestic chores, and as we both have had postal votes for some years now we were not obliged to turn out to attend at the polling station. We are still waiting to find out what the final results were in both our county and town council polling. No doubt the Daily Post will have most of them on Monday, and the Rhyl Journal, presumably, will be giving them all on Wednesday. But the ‘real’ election in June seems to have taken over from the toy-town local stuff, and the media of all shades is trying to convince us all that their reporters and other pundits can tell us what will happen in June, and what effect it will have on Brexit etc. We shall have to wait and see who will be having egg dripping downs their faces and front pages then.

All continues to go well in the garden here, the plants in the green house are coming along and, apart from constant visits from the local cats all is set fair. I have received instruction that the hosepipe water system will be required this week to keep up with the watering of the garden etc. after this rather long spell without real April showers! Now where, oh where were the sprinkler heads put away last year???

So, there we are, I shall have to proceed down the bus now and get myself prepared for whatever the morning is going to spring upon us next. I had to get up around 4am to stretch my legs etc. and when I switched on the bathroom light the bulb blew, fortunately the neighbours exterior lights were on so I didn’t have to change the bulb there and then, but it was the first job on the list before cleaning my teeth this morning. I may have mentioned before what an exciting life we really live here!!

Have a nice week-end and a good week ahead.

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Good morning all - Well, it looks as if it may be a fairly fine day after all here, and the early forecast seems to be giving us some sunny spells for the main part of the day. At the moment we are enjoying sunshine, light clouds and a light breeze. Here’s hoping it is going to stay that way until we return from chapel.

It has been a quiet week here, I think the highlight has to be a visit to the GP’s surgery for an appointment with the Practice Nurse on Thursday morning. I phoned them at 0830 to make an appointment with the Nurse expecting to have to wait a couple of days as it wasn’t of dire importance, but was very pleased to be told by the receptionist that a cancellation had just been phoned in and she could fit me in at 10am that day! Such offers one cannot refuse – well, this one can’t anyway. To cut a rather long story short, we had a ‘full and meaningful’ session and I got a few things sorted out AND another appointment for this Wednesday at mid-day! Who said the NHS is defunct, and doesn’t bother with the elderly old dears, I feel much better already!

The garden looks quite well too with all the work Sylvia is putting in over the fine weather spells. The lawns are now looking as if they belong in a garden, and the bald patches are nearly grown over. The potato bags are looking very promising going by the top-hamper showing (yes, I do know that you can’t eat the leaves and the potatoes are actually under the soil!). The runner beans have been planted outside now too, I always feel that is an excellent sign! If the signs of tiny setting apples are anything to go by we should be picking quite a few of those too in due course. We had some spinach from the garden for dinner the other day and it tasted first class. Things are just as promising in the greenhouse, the various pots with cucumber, courgettes etc. are all showing off their plants, the tomatoes are looking strong and fit and starting to ‘set’, even a trial sowing of Basil is showing signs of promise – the Coriander isn’t though, which is a pity really as we use rather a lot of it in the kitchen one way or another.

Well, there we are, and now it’s time for me to get a move on and start getting ready for chapel before we get any more telephone calls, already been interrupted once since starting this epistle.

Have a good week, and don’t be taken in by too many glowing promises being made by politicians!

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Dave,If I may encroach on your always interesting and amusing postings (you must, however, be more circumspecting in what you write. Someone from the Health and Safety might come along and take you to court over the way you are enforcing(?) your wife to slave in the garden! And believe me, stranger things have happened in the name of Health and Safety!) And the fact that she seems to be working on a 'zero-hours' contract. No what I wanted to start talking about was what you wrote about eht NHS.
I suffer from COPD and have some inahlers. One is a Handihaler and uses Spiriva capsules. Then I have the usual Ventolin(blue) inhaler, plus a Sirdupla sameterol fluticasone inhaler. This weekend I received a letter from my surgery telling me they have been reviewing the records of patients who are prescribed Spiriva tiotropium capsules with the Handihaler device. It has been recommended that the Surgery now prescribes for me the Braitus 10 microgram capsules for inhalation with the Zonda inhaler instead. Same dosage as with the Spiriva capsule once daily. Please make an appointment with the practice nurse for your annual review and bring this letter with you. Kind of an 'et tu Braitus' letter, and don't forget the Zonda (wasn't that some film once?) creature as well.
So, yes, I endorse your kind remarks regarding eht NHS. And that mistake shows what happens when one starts typing fast.

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Good morning all - Goodness me, what happened to last week’s episode? I am sure that I must have had a good excuse for the omission, but be blowed if I can remember what it is now. It was probably ‘one of those days’ as I played truant from chapel too!

It looks as if it may well be another of ‘those days’ too as here it is 6 am on a wet, dull and drear morning and I am sitting here wondering what has happened to the summer we were enjoying a couple of days ago! Yesterday I was out delivering my Neighbourhood Watch latest alerts in only a ‘Tee’ shirt and sun glasses. Relax Larry & Co. - that was just the upper works as it were, I did remember tod on my trousers, shoes and socks before you all leap to your key-boards.

And now to more serious affairs. The garden has really taken off now with flowers blooming everywhere; tall ones, small ones and in-between ones of all colours and both the lawns have recovered from the winter’s attacks by the foxes or badgers, or what-ever it was that had been boring holes all over them. Even more importantly, the edibles are also showing up well. The runner beans are busily winding their way up the canes of their wig-wam and showing red blossom, and even have a few immature, tiny beans. The broad beans have also got a good show of blossom and the early signs of bean pods. Beetroot plants are looking good too, now the cats seem to be leaving them alone, and the same goes for the onions, spinach and courgettes. The indoor and outdoor tomato plants are looking healthy, as are the potato bags and the cucumbers. Life cannot be all that bad despite what the papers keep on reporting!

On a more personal level it hasn’t been all grumbles either. My appointment with our Practice Nurse went off very well indeed, and so did the one on the following week. I now have had a few tests, and appointments are being made for further appointments with other sections of the medical fraternity to try and get things sorted out. It isn’t all plain sailing, but at least (hopefully) I will end up a with a better idea of what is what, and what can or cannot be done about it! I have already had a change of tablets, or rather moved up to a stronger version of one lot, had a series of blood tests, an ECG – life has been quite exciting in its own little way! And with my PC having just had a disc replacement with a larger capacity that is performing much better too. NB: Wonder if I can arrange a similar thing for my personal memory!!

Sounds of action coming from the galley now, so hopefully breakfast is the next item on the agenda! I had better close down and get ready to put in an appearance! Have a good week – and be careful of sun-stroke if the summer is really here!

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Evening Dave. You mean you were actually up and about and working on your PC at that uearthly hour of 6 a.m.? Makes my blood go cold just thinking of it. I don't go to bed until midnight, am asleep,by 0045/0055 and don't awaken until at least 0700. Then I go downstairs (I live in a double-decker) to make a cup of tea and wait for the newspaper to arrive about 0800. Having by then consumed one mug of black tea with full cream milk and sugar in. Go back upstairs to the throne room where I lecture my subjects about keeping clean and getting washed and dressed before going back downstairs for a leisurely breakfast of Ricicles (are twice as Nicicles) with full cream milk and a couple of spoonfuls of honey on top, whilst switching on the telly to watch Rip-off Britain or something of the same genre whilst trying to read the newspaper at the same time. Now it's 2342 hrs and time I took my pills and wound my weary way to the arms of Morpheus. Nite orl.

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Good morning all – A rather nice morning out there by the looks of it through the window. A mainly blue sky, some white clouds and a cheerful sort of sun. What more can one ask for; rather a pity really, as from the forecast it sounds as if we are not going to keep it for very long!

Yes, Larry – I was at my computer at the stated time last week! I haven’t bribed Harry to alter the stated time just to claim sympathy – and a fat chance I would have for getting sympathy anyway! Actually I am often up and about in the early hours, and if I feel in the mood will switch on my PC and ‘doodle’ for a while before going back to bed. I find it better than just lying in bed and waiting for sleep to catch up with me, and I don’t want to switch the light on to read as it would disturb Sylvia. Another reason why I don’t just lie there ‘thinking’ is that I have some of my more expensive ideas lying awake at nights! When I was at sea, especially in areas like the Indian Ocean in the good weather, I used to get up and go on deck for an hour and just sit there looking up at the enormous vista of stars, and satellites, all shining away to their hearts content – no road lights etc out there to spoil the view!

It was rather a blow to switch the TV on at 6.15 this morning to be presented with the news of the stabbings in the London Bridge area, especially coming so close upon the news of the Manchester attack earlier on. At the moment, of course, no one has any real facts for the media to go on, and they are repeating the same statements over and over.

All is going well here at home. The garden and the greenhouse seem to have got the message that it is summertime at last, and that all the plants are expected to get a move on grow! We have picked a couple of cucumbers from the greenhouse, and what a nice change they make in a salad after many months of TESCO or even the local greengrocers offerings. I am waiting for the courgettes and beetroot to follow suite now. The tomatoes are showing signs of ‘fruiting’ too. As for Sylvia’s potatoes in a bag, we have already tried those a couple of weeks ago, and I am eying the main bags now, but have had strict instructions to leave them alone!. Our resident blackbirds are serenading us from sunrise to sunset at the moment, there seems to be three of them sharing the duty. To me it sounds as if they are doing a round of the area picking up the local bird gossip and then relaying it. At times they appear to be having a conversation, you can hear the different tones and emphasis – sounds like a conversation relayed from the local snug!

There we are then, time to toddle off and get changed into chapel gear once again. It is our own minister this morning taking the Holy Communion service. He is retiring in August and is being replaced by a lady from down Somerset way, I believe. Have a good week, and look after yourselves.

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Good morning all - I am glad to see the back of last week, what with a General Election and the weather. I was looking forward to the end of the politicking and for the weather to remember it is, after all, June and early summer. Looks as if I am going to be disappointed on both counts at the moment. I shall try and keep my fingers crossed on both count!

I am glad to say that life in the garden is rather more promising. Our rhubarb patch has suddenly revived and, at the moment, is showing off strong stalks and rather perky leaves. I think Sylvia has her eye on some for to-day ‘s pudding, nothing like a fresh picked rhubarb crumble. The red currants are turning red, and seems to be a good crop there; the gooseberries have taken a leaf out of the rhubarb’s example and the berries are looking rather promising. The next lot of cucumbers are trying to make their minds up to put on that final spurt, the spinach in the garden is fresh and green, the beetroot are coming along out the too. I am afraid that the runner beans are not doing too well, they don’t like this weather by the looks of them. The broad beans are holding their own, as are the onions now that the cats seem to be leaving that part of the garden alone. Even the lawns are now looking fresh and green, and the damage caused by the winters night time visitors has vanished.

This morning the temperature out in the garden is 17c, but we have strong to gale force southwesterly winds to come, at least it is going to be sunny spells in there somewhere and no threats of heavy rain, we even are promised sunny spells this morning improving to more sunshine this afternoon.

Never mind, it is time I closed down here and got on with the usual Sunday morning chores, including getting ready for chapel and the great outdoors. Despite everything – do have a good week!

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Good morning all - A glorious summer’s day at last! Let us hope that it is just the start of very many more to come. The temperature out in the garden is already 24c, and hardly a breath of a breeze, there will be a few complaints floating around before very long I am sure! But there we are, it is rather nice to have something so pleasant to complain about!

A red-letter day here to-day, Sylvia has just picked enough runner beans to serve up for lunch! They are very slow this year, and I was beginning to worry about them. I don’t think the weather so far has given them much incentive to produce anything, but, hopefully, things should speed up from now on! I see she has also culled enough ‘new’ potatoes from her grow bags to accompany the beans. Life cannot be all that bad, can it! For those of you who like to hear the nitty-gritty details of life in the garden here, we are also having rhubarb crumble, with the rhubarb picked this morning (and the crumble topping freshly made in Sylvia’s Kitchen).

Socially we have enjoyed a quiet week, which made a change from the last two weeks when the world and his mates seemed to want to drop in for a coffee and chat, or a natter on the telephone! We have had a couple of callers around, just enough to keep our hand in.

Time to close here and get along with the day’s routine, and enjoy the weather at the same time! We must make the best of it because you never really know when it is going to change! Have fun whatever you have planned for the week. And welcome home to you Larry, after your efforts to spread the Brexit abroad!

Re: Greetings & More Tales From Wales - Chap. 14

Good morning all - H’m, I see last week I was going on about the lovely weather and here we are to-day with a dull and rather drear start to the day and not a lot of promise of fair weather to come. Looking at the thermometer I see it is 15c out there in the garden and looking at the window I can see it is either drizzling with a hill fog, or just about to start drizzling – never mind, no doubt the long-range forecast on ‘Countryfile’ to-night will woo us with a ‘change for the better’ some days ahead!

What of the week then. No complaints there as things have been going quite well in the garden despite the strong winds and rain playing havoc with the taller flowers out there such as the Foxgloves and beating them down. The rhubarb has sprung into life again, so we are all right for our rhubarb crumbles and other such delicacies, we are now picking cucumbers regularly from the greenhouse, we shared the first tomato to ripen from there yesterday afternoon and there are quite a few just about to colour up properly now. We are also eating beetroot straight from the veg bed, and our Sunday lunch potatoes are coming from Sylvia’s potato grow bags, as did last week’s runner beans; and we may be lucky enough to have a few more of the beans to-day. The spinach is looking good, and will be appearing on the table any day now. We are rather partial to spinach served with a fish dish in this house.

A quick ‘stop press’ item: Sylvia has just popped in to show off a small box of potatoes fresh from the soil, and another box of runner beans and broad beans to go with them! I must confess that I haven’t noticed that the broad beans had produced large enough pods yet! Black mark for that then!

Since my last visit to the surgery a couple of weeks ago I have become involved in a ‘rolling program’ of tests and seem to have earned enough ‘points’ to have a visit from an Occupational Therapist! She (Lucy) called to see me on Friday and spent a couple of hours chatting. I now have another appointment for this Wednesday, but on her home turf at the surgery this time. She is trying to get me interested in five different activities and we shall discuss these further on Wednesday. I will probably end up on one of them then. Watch this space as they say!

Other than that, our life goes on in its own (generally) quiet way – for which we are both very grateful! And that leads me nicely into my closing lines – time to get ready for chapel etc. Have a good week and look after yourselves. Summer is on its way, just got a little diverted somewhere along the road!