British Element Trieste Force 1945 - 1954
Our editorial policy is based on the ideas of free speech and respect for others.
Good morning all - And once again we have a rather nice start to the day, and the week and the month too! It can’t all be bad! Here it is, just gone 8 am. and the sun is shining away, the sky is blue with a fair amount of white clouds and the breeze is a moderate one from the West at around 15 mph. With any luck, we should now be seeing the start of some summer weather even though Wimbledon starts on Monday.
My appointment with our surgery Occupational Therapist went well (I think), and she has now put my name down for two ‘courses’ which will be starting up soon. One is for those that suffer from back pains and the other is for Balancing & Strengthening and is aimed at those who have a bit of a problem with dizzy spells. Perhaps not quite what I had in mind, but we shall have to wait and see. They seem to give all these courses rather misleading names on the brochures, no doubt once you arrive you will find they have a more down to earth name! I did turn down the chance of joining a third group – a walking group with ‘leaders’. I had visions of tottering around the local lanes in a large group and stopping every now and then when the Leader blew a whistle and pointed out some item of ‘interest’!
Now, back to the real world. The change in the general weather conditions over the last few weeks seems to have helped the poor old plants decide that it is time they were putting on growth and producing what they were planted for! The runner beans are still a bit behind the times, but seem to be making an effort to catch up. Sylvia has been doing her bit by lecturing the bees, that have been having a grand time amongst the lavender plants and such like, and telling them to get around into the vegetable plots and see to them. She has also spent quite a lot of time picking the various soft fruits – gooseberries, which are doing well this year; currants (black and red), and Tayberries. The freezer will keep us going for a good while.
The tomatoes in the greenhouse are ripening nicely, the cucumbers are in full production too, and the potatoe bags are still keeping us supplied for our Sunday lunches. The apple tree has quite a good crop of apples, but it is going to be some time before they are ready to pick. We were a bit concerned about the apple tree as we had it drastically cut back last year and thought we may have to wait until next year to see any apples. So, you see, life up here is going on in its usual exciting manner!
And now it is time to close down here and get ready for chapel, and make sure all is in order for lunch. Have a good week, and don’t get too excited whilst watching Wimbledon.
Good morning all - Here we go once again, and it is a glorious day out there this morning. It seems that the summer has not forgotten us after all. The temperature out in the garden is 23c, and just a gentle stirring of the leaves to give an indication of a breeze. Lovely!
Of course, everything has a snag in it somewhere – one of the first things Sylvia said when she woke up was “if it is going to be like this all day we shall have to do something about watering the vegetables, and I think I will mow the lawns this afternoon”. Never mind, she also picked enough runner beans yesterday evening to serve them up with the chicken at lunchtime to-day, alongside the potatoes she picked at the same time as the beans.
I suppose that those are the highlights of the week really as things have been very quiet indeed on the domestic front and, to quote young ‘Albert’ “…and nobody drownded and nothing to laugh at at all”. Morbid little lad that he was, but you can’t help agreeing with him. He did manage to liven things up a bit when he poked his stick with the horses head handle down poor old Wallace’s ear.
Sorry folks, but I must away now as I have a few loose ends to sort out before getting ready for chapel; really, they are things I should have done yesterday evening and never got around to – I watched a couple of episodes of ‘New Tricks’ instead! We have reached the last of the series now and find the last few episodes are rather poor. There has been so many changes in the cast that it seems to be a different programme altogether.
Whatever, enjoy the summer sunshine while it is with us.
I did not think you had lions in north wales. Albert met is just end but I think he would have given the lion lnigestion ❕🚴🏿 🏊🏾♀️🐅yes I know it is a tiger.We wait with anticipation every Sunday for you report. Kind regards Roland.
You've lost me there, Dave and Roland. Who is this fellow Albert and where does the lion or tiger come into it Roland? I know I'm iggerant when it comes to stories and stuff like that but I never had the beauty(?) of going to school other than elementary which I finished in July 1939. H E L P!
Larry. You will find more about our Albert and his trip to Blackpool Zoo on the record by Stanly holloway. I cast my line into the water to catch more members to join in and only get one reply. If members subscribing where food I would be going to bed hungry to night.Have very good day every one that casts their eyes upon this posting.🐅🐎
Good morning all – Not that there is anything particularly ‘good’ about the one outside the window here! I can’t see the hillside because it is lost in thick mist, everything outside seems to be dripping water, and the sky is the same colour as the mist on the mountain. So much for the rich tapestry of the British climate.
My apologies to you Larry. I had no intention of puzzling you with the reference to ‘Albert’ in last weeks posting. As Roland mentions, Albert was one of the heroes of Stanley Holloway’s monologues. Albert, his father and his mother appears in quite a few of them. Albert was swallowed by a lion in the Blackpool (I think) zoo – which rather upset his mother as she reckoned she had much better things to do than bring up children to feed the lions at the zoo. His father was a more philosophical sort, and was quite interested in what the Prudential Insurance would be paying out! I first met Albert when I was a rather young lad and my father brought home a book called “ALBERT, ‘AROLD AND OTHERS” he had come across while he was in Brussels during the war. I have it in my book-case to this day. I used to be able to spout chunks of it off by heart at one time, but somehow, I couldn’t quite convince various teachers in school that they were just as much English literature as other poets like Shakespeare, Byron, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats and so on.
Now what of the week. The changeable weather is still foxing some of the plants in the garden and also in the greenhouse here, and I can’t say that I blame them as I am feeling the same way myself. But despite such setbacks the cucumbers are delivering short stubby fruits full of flavour for our salads, the tomatoes are now ripening fairly well too. The chili and the sweet peppers are still hesitant about making their minds up about ripening just yet, fortunately the soft fruit berries are in full production and Sylvia is picking them nearly every day, and as a bonus there appears to be a blackberry clump has got mixed up with the Tayberries. We shall be OK for fruit crumbles etc well into the winter now.
Goodness me! The time is clocking on here this morning and I have a bit to do before I can make myself presentable for chapel. Have a nice week all, and take care.
We had "The Lion and Albert" - as well as "The Return of Albert" - on Decca (?) records with a red centres. They were monologues spoken by Stanley Holloway - strange - I think of him as a typical cockney who wanted to be got to the church on time, but he managed the Lancashire accent well. There was also "Runcorn Ferry", again about the Ramsbothams who "would rather be drownded than done" and who tried to wade across the Mersey because the ferryman wanted "per tuppence per person per trip".
Like many things encountered in childhood, they all stick in the mind. I wish things stuck as easily now.
How good to hear Albert stories. As some of BETFOR youngsters we have a copy on CD and from Spotify after buying the book for our daughter in about 1985 when she was just 5. Husband and daughter were word perfect and still recite chunks to each other! You can find the exact text on the internet under Albert comes back as well. It brought a smile to our faces to read last week.
Always enjoy my Sunday morning update from Dave. Son in law n Italy would love to be as successful with the garden as Dave and Sylvia but at present dining on courgette, cucumber, melon and the start of tomatoes. Not a soft fruit in sight although their address is colle delle more (BlackBerry hill)!
Good morning all – The morning start here is a little uncertain weatherwise. The forecast seems to be promising us WNW to NW winds blowing at 8 to 17 mph, the weather being mainly cloudy with sunny spells, and the max temp. 17c. These last couple of weeks the weather has been very much like the old Woolworths sweet counter with their ‘pick and mix’ selection, except that whatever you thought you had ‘picked’ it was not always what came out of the bag! But then, as I have said before, it was the British weather that made the British Empire what it used to be.
The highlight of this last week was, I suppose, Wednesday when we received a deluge for a few hours that took me back to the monsoon season in the Far East. We have lived here in Prestatyn for 60+ years and I don’t remember such rain. The roadside gulleys were running deep, and the water was running past our front gate like a river. The children were just coming out of the High School and were jumping up and down in ankle deep streams. You couldn’t see all that well as the windows looked as if the local Fire Brigade were washing them with their power hoses. It was quite a relief to find, when it has eased a little, that the only ‘damage’ we had was a little water had leaked into the garage. Sylvia and I between us lifted the freezers in there up onto six-inch blocks just to be on the safe side, and mopped the water up with old blankets and newspapers. I am afraid, though, that we may have to do something more permanent in the way of weather proofing the garage once I can find out where the water was getting in.
On the other hand, the garden itself really enjoyed their bath, the runner beans perked up and so did the rhubarb, and all the outdoor plants looked .really refreshed. Unfortunately, the strong winds and further rain later in the week knocked a lot of the larger flowers and shrubs about quite badly – can’t have it all ways I suppose. On the bright side, we have some fresh picked runner beans to go with our Sunday lunch to-day, plus some fresh picked potatoes from Sylvia’s grow bags. They must be coming to an end now as they have been producing their crop for some weeks now,
I was quite surprised during the week to see how much reaction there was to my mention last week to ‘Albert’ and his adventures, and I thank you all for your feed back! Normally when you mention Albert, and Wallace and company, you get strange looks from one and all. At one time, I could quote screeds of their adventures, and knew Battle of Hastings off by heart.
Funnily enough, I never came across any school exams that set questions on that area of the literary scene. Which reminds me that when I was in the RAF we were forced to attend ‘education classes’ in one particular camp for no other reason that no-one knew what we were supposed to be doing as a Mobile Signals Unit, and I found Albert & Co. were good for a little light humour – mind you, the Education Officer, young WRAF pilot Officer, got somewhat confused as to how ‘educational’ Albert was, but played the game and put up with us as long as we kept it quiet. She no doubt went far in her service! She would definitely have put her red crayon through that last sentence as being far too long and confused!
Never mind, I have no time to go back over it and re-writing it. Anyway, I find it is better to keep to a steady flow without too much stress on the ‘rules of the road’. And, more to the point, I am running out of time here and should be on my way to get ready for chapel, and making sure I have got my section of the lunchtime arrangements in hand.
Have a good week, take care.
Hi Dave -Paua and Ronald. How nice to get back home and be able to read all my favourite postings. I was, unfortunately, rather out of sorts this last week having suffered a heart attack on Sunday 16. 4 days in rianimation suite, 4 days in recuperation suite in Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport. They let me out this afternoon and here I am catching up on e-mails. Just have to take things bit more easily for a couple of months. Hope I can still make it to Italy in September for the 70th celebrations. Flights and hotels all booked an paid for so fingers crossed.
Good morning all - How time marches on, and here we are at the start of a fresh week. I hope it isn’t going to as ‘fresh’ as some of the ones we have had recently. It doesn’t look a bad start now out there, but the forecast this morning seemed to be a bit evasive on that point.
This has been a busy week in the household we were taken out for lunch on Tuesday when my cousin and his wife called to pick us up and we went off to our favourite watering hole the ‘Cherry Pie’ in Nannerch. Our table was booked for 1200 hours and we sat there admiring the scenery, eating our lunch and gossiping. We left at just after 3pm and arrived home just before 4pm. This was followed on Friday by a family get to-gether in Rhyl for lunch. That is really living it up for us two old stick-in-the muds, but we did enjoy it!
I am pleased to say that the garden seems to have settled down again and looking quite well, despite the havoc caused by the strong winds and heavy rain we have experienced. The runner beans have suddenly discovered what it is that runner beans are supposed to be doing, and we have picked quite a few now. I was beginning to worry that we were not going to have much from them at all. They are on the menu for lunch to-day – lovely! I even turned to and picked the ones at the top of the wig-wam as Sylvia can’t reach that far.
Welcome back to the ‘free world’ Larry. Sorry to hear you have been incarcerated in the NHS dry -dock – and congratulations on making it back to the free world again.
Well, there we are folks, I am running a bit late this morning and have a couple of e-mails that I must answer before I can get around to changing for chapel. It is our minister’s final appearance in the pulpit as he is moving on at the end of this quarter, so I must look my best!
Have a good week all.
Good morning all - One of those half and half sort of mornings here, it could turn out to be anything at all before noon. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it remains dry at least until we get back home from chapel. The weather forecasts seem to be very hit or miss for this locality at the moment, we seem to be living in a weather world all of our own.
At least the garden has decided it is summer after all and the runner beans, rhubarb and so on are now doing their best to catch up on the delays in production. The potted chilli plant is showing off with a crop of bright red little chilli plus green ones waiting their chance to turn colour. They are only about an inch long, but plump with it, and look as if they are quite a hot variety – I shall have to put a notice on them saying “Beware”! The cucumbers seem to have run out of steam in the greenhouse, but there are signs that they are considering starting up again. The apple tree is doing well and carries a goodly crop of fruit. What windfalls there are have been gathered up as they fall and turned into the winters puddings. Actually some of them are just about ready for eating, and have the flavour of the real apples not like the fruits that are sold in the shops (even if some of them are labelled as UK grown).
Indoors we continue to plod on our merry way and to-day is our wedding anniversary, it seems to come around every year somehow! We celebrated the event last Friday evening with a curry dinner at the local Rozzi’s Tandoori House – and very nice it was too, especially as there was no washing up to be done afterwards. It also has the advantage of being just a short walk from home. This coming week-end daughter and granddaughter are coming down from Birmingham on the Saturday and staying overnight, they couldn’t make it this last week-end. Tongues will be wagging non-stop! I usually manage to fall asleep in my chair, not that that stops the flow of gossip!
Not a lot to report really so I had better get on with the Sunday morning routine. Have a nice week, and look after yourselves.
Dave and your good lady. On behalf of the BETFOR Association l would like to say have a very good day.Regards Roland
D'you know Dave, it really is strange how anniversaries seem to come round regularly every 365 days or so, so let me add my congratulations to those below. May you have many more. (As a matter of fact, you never said how many this was -- no need to be shy).
Best wishes old son. Cheers, Larry
Thank you for your good wishes Roland and Larry - and just to keep you happy Larry it was our 57th.
Good morning all - Bit of a dull old start here to-day, and not too warm either. The temperature out in the garden is 12c and a light cloud overcast. The forecast seems to be ‘reasonable’, but not exactly what we expect for the middle of the summer; it is more like an autumn one really. Heigh-ho, never mind and press on.
My apologies for no lofty thoughts from up here last Sunday, but we had daughter and granddaughter down for Saturday and they were going back home on the morning train on Sunday so things were running to a rather tight schedule as you can imagine. Still we are always glad to see them as you can imagine. We even gave up our chapel visit.
To-day is not much better as we are entertaining a couple of old friends from chapel for lunch, and I am making an early start on the ‘posting’ as I have half promised to carve the two chickens before going to chapel so it will give Sylvia a head start to get the rest of the cooking done when we get back. She will have all the veg ready prepared to pop onto, or into, the oven as soon as we get back; it is a well-practiced routine really.
Last Monday I attended my first session of the occupational therapy Balance group. I discovered I was the only new-comer and the group had been running for some weeks – bad as getting mixed up with a drill squad and trying to keep up with the rest of them without showing oneself up! At least the leader doesn’t shout as much as those on the ‘square’ did! We shall have to see what tomorrow’s session will bring! Fortunately, the rest of the week was much quieter, with the garden keeping us busy either tidying up after wind and rain damage or picking the runner beans and collecting up the wind-fall apples, both of which are doing rather well this year.
I think I have just seen Sylvia passing with the breakfast so it looks like a good time to bring this to a close. Have a good week all – and do have a riotous August break!
Good morning all – As far as the weather in concerned, we have a mediocre start to the day up here. Light grey cloud cover which is forecast to be with us all day, no threats of rain though so I suppose we cannot complain – well not too much anyway!
We have had quite a busy week up here, Sylvia and I, and I am glad to be able to report our luncheon ‘party’ last Sunday went off very well. Our garden produce didn’t let us down, and the four of us had most enjoyable four hours of relaxed socialising (or gossiping for those who are interested in such things).
Then on Friday Sylvia and I went down to have lunch with a friend from our old chapel who moved up to the Methodist chapel up at the top of the town here the same time as we did. That was another four-hour session of eating and gossiping, nothing nasty about the gossiping you understand! Then Tuesday afternoon a sister-in-law called in for a coffee and chat (sounds better than gossip!), and yesterday one of my sisters and her daughter called in for the same thing! My head was spinning quite a lot!
The garden is still doing its best to produce ‘goodies’, but most things edible are slowly finishing off. The runner beans are still delivering a few more every few days, as are the tomatoes and spinach. The old apple tree is also dropping a few windfalls with quite a promising crop slowly ripening on the tree. Sylvia is spending a lot of time now cutting back the taller flower beds and generally tidying up the garden and keeping the lawns mowed. Me? Well I act as general dogs body and watering supremo – yes, I know but I do my little best!!
Well, time has come once again to close up this bulletin and get ready to get myself brushed up for chapel. I am hoping we do not get any rain until we get back home for lunch! It is Rhyl’s Air Display this week-end, so we may catch a glimpse of some of the aircraft on their way there and back, if we are lucky. Have an enjoyable August Public Holiday!
Good morning all – Not a very promising start to the day here, dull, overcast and the forecast is promising a wet and windy day and ‘cool’ thrown in for good measure. My apologies for the non-appearance of my contribution to your week-end boredom by the way; I was having a little trouble with my eyes, which made working on the computer a bit of a chore, add in the symptoms of a rotten cold and you can imagine you didn’t miss much.
Despite my cold hanging on in there, it has been a better week up here and I have finally made a start on two occupational therapy groups to see if I can clear up my problem with balance, and another to do the same with the back pains that have been troubling me for some time. And, as part of the package, I have finally had an appointment at the Memory Loss clinic – I really don’t know how I have been functioning for the last few years! Not much really to report on the first two items, but the Memory Loss clinic which I attended last Tuesday (along with Sylvia), was quite interesting. It was an hour and a half session with the doctor – a very friendly lady who, in the course of her questioning me on this, that and the other told me she had heard of the Blue Funnel Line, and that her younger brother had sailed with them for some time in the 1970’s as a deck officer, but I couldn’t recall sailing with him myself.
When the score sheet was totalled she informed me I had done quite well, and had scored 92%. She informed me that it was too early to show any indication of what my problem was, but suggested two options open to me. One was for her to refer me to a psychologist for further checks, or to leave it for 12 months and she would re-call me to her clinic then and see how things were progressing. I opted for the 12-month option, with the understanding that I could always contact her direct if I felt it was necessary.
For some reason, I was rather pleased with my ‘score’ of 92%, but on reflection I am wondering why I still keep forgetting things!! Funny old world really.
Those of you who may have noticed that this posting is at a slightly later time than usual on a Sunday I can confirm that I am officially ‘excused parade duty’ as my cold is still more active than I am, and I don’t want to attend chapel and ruin the sermon by my coughing and spluttering. Nothing serious, but not the sort of thing I like to do!
That’s it then, have a good week all.
Quote: For some reason, I was rather pleased with my ‘score’ of 92%, but on reflection I am wondering why I still keep forgetting things!! Funny old world really. unquote.
I can't seem to recall exactly what I was going to put in my reply to you there, Dave. Must be because I am getting old and a bit forgetful. Actually. tis what is called the onset of - no I won't be that cruel to use those two words - the onset of old age.
I was preparing my lunch - heating up in the oven a dish of (and here I must confess I had forgotten the name of that dish and had to go to the kitchen to check on the discarded cover pack) yes, cottage pie bought from Aldi. No not Shepherds Pie, I hate lamb and mutton. Where was I? Oh yes, preparing my lunch and laying my place on the dining table. Got the salt, knife and fork from the kitchen and said I'll get.............from the sideboard when I go in. Laid the knife, fork and salt but could I remember what else? Ten minutes later - yes - eureka - serviettes! Poured a glass of the red stuff and took the bottle into the kitchen but left the glass of wine on the dining table.
Stop worrying, mate. It comes to all of us. And when you get to my age, you begin to notice it more and more. Wonder if I can remember to click on post at the bottom?
For some reason, I was rather pleased with my ‘score’ of 92%, but on reflection I am wondering why I still keep forgetting things!! Funny old world really.
I can't remember what I was actually going to put after that quote
Many of us who enjoy reading your greetings and news will recognise your unfailing good humour, good sense and general, all-round decency and feel that we recognise also that feeling your describe, of frustration that we keep forgetting things.
One of my difficulties has always been with names. I panic if i know that I'm going to have to introduce someone - or worse, some people - to somebody else; I know I'm going to make a mess of it.- and panic only makes it worse.
The common feeling I get when something passes me by is that I feel silly and try to pretend that I knew all along......There are too many examples to recount but I think I'd be encouraged if I got a score like yours.
Good morning all - A dullish, dreary looking sort of morn it is indeed. Not one of the worst of our Sunday mornings I admit, but the odd ray of sunshine would help the day along a little I think. I checked up on the overnight temperature and found it had dropped to 6c in the garden in the early hours.
My thanks to you Larry and to Harry for your comments in support of my feelings of frustration, and annoyance, at a memory that has decided to play tricks on me! I find that as it is no use trying to pretend that my memory is still the rather useful gadget it once was, the best thing is to make light of it, and also to take full advantage of what I cannot alter! Never mind, press on!
As my troublesome cough has eased considerably over the week (thanks to Sylvia’s constant supply of hot lemon and honey) I am considered fit to attend chapel once again. I got my ‘best shoes’ out yesterday and gave them a good polish-up to celebrate my return to the fold. I was going to sit out in the sun to do it, but discovered the bright light out in the garden was a bit of an illusion as there was a very noticeable nip in the air. Eventually I decided to do it in the kitchen as Sylvia was safely out of the way in Rhyl, but, despite taking every care to keep the polish on the brush and the shoes I managed to get speckles of the stuff on the lino. But I was saved by a quick application of WD-40 to the offending spots and - heigh presto! she didn’t notice anything on her return.
For those of you who may be interested in such things my efforts at the two ‘classes’ occupational therapy I attend on Mondays are apparently proceeding well enough, and if one counts the extra aches and pains I am getting as ‘beneficial’ I am making progress. Me, well I am waiting to be convinced one way or another. I do find the Pain Management Therapy quite interesting as they are all sitting down and discussing as a group the topics on the agenda, and as all of the group seem to have the same twisted views on life as I have, things can get hilarious. Last week we spent a spell discussing out of the ordinary methods of combatting pain when someone suggested WD-40 and got shouted down, so this week I produced copies of an e-mail someone sent me some time ago detailing 40+ things you could do with WD-40. The few copies I made went like hot cakes, even the ladies were anxious to get a copy! The young chap taking the group also cornered a copy I noticed.
I seem to have spent too much time on idle gossip here this morning and it is passed the high time to make a move to get ready for chapel, I shall have to scarper! I suppose I can always excuse myself and claim it is due to my poor memory – every cloud has its silver lining, if you look hard enough!
Do your best to have a good week, and do take care one and all.
Good morning all – Yet another morning with the threat of approaching winter on the air! I am trying to make my mind up whether or not to change into my ‘winter’ suit for chapel. With a bit of luck by the time I have finished this posting I will have made my mind up one way or another!
Somehow the morning seems to have advanced at a rate of knots to-day and I am running late already and I have not done half the things I should have done; I put it down to all these fancy ‘exercises’ I am doing these days. Well, I have to have some sort of an excuse for it!
Sylvia is very busy in the garden these days clearing away all the summer plants that seem to have taken over all the spare spaces this year. Instead of having the usual flower beds we have Cosmos which have reached heights of about five feet, along with self-seeded fennel which looks as if they have done the same. Then there is the sage bush which seemed to be growing bigger before your very eyes! It has been an odd sort of year out there altogether.
I think I had better close down here now and get on with the rest of the morning’s chores before getting away to chapel in which ever suit I finally decide upon! Have a good week, though you won’t have very nice weather to help you. Never mind it looks as if the Christmas shopping scene is just about upon us so we all have that to look forward to!