British Element Trieste Force 1945 - 1954
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Good morning and welcome to Chapter 16 of this endless saga. The morning is not too bad here at the moment. The temperature out in the garden is 15c and it seems to be a drizzly sort of start. Never mind, it will be Christmas very soon according to a lot of the adverts in the various newspapers. I felt quite perky and satisfied with life until I switched on Harry’s latest Welcome photograph of some strange being doing back flips, or some such acrobatic manoeuvre – I never was too enthralled with that sort of stuff, even in my long-gone youth.
We have had two exciting happenings here this week – there was our flu’ jabs on Monday, and on the Thursday we went to a McMillan coffee morning just down the road where we bought some raffle tickets, drank some coffee and chatted as one does at these happenings. At 7pm. came a knock on the door and I was presented with a bottle of Johnny Walker Whiskey and a pack of Christmas cards, which I was informed were my winnings in the raffles! Very nice, though I don’t drink whiskey, but the Christmas cards will be handy very soon. If the Johnny Walker doesn’t find a good home soon it will probably end up in Sylvia’s chutney – waste not, want not! It should be carved over the mantle in the lounge.
With the constantly changing weather patterns life in the garden has been erratic, though Sylvia is out there most days clearing up all the redundant flower growth, and generally tidying up the plantation. The chappy who comes in to deal with the heavy stuff did his ‘thing’ a couple of weeks ago so the boundary hedges look very presentable. The main problem is getting rid of the waste stuff that we are digging up. The council collect our garden waste via a ‘green’ wheelie bin every other week, but as soon as the bin has been emptied my good lady has filled it up again. I have tried to persuade her we could do with another green bin, but to no avail! A touchy breed these gardeners.
I am still trotting out twice a week to my ‘occupational therapy’ groups. The one covering the management of back (and other) pains is an evening event, and is mainly a round table discussion do. I find them very interesting and generally light hearted with a group of about ten people who all get on well. Nothing very strenuous takes place, which is just as well as we meet in the local library. The other group is to help those of us who suffer from loss of balance, and is far more serious and consists of an hour of various exercises in a large hall in the sports centre. Please refer to my thoughts on such things in the opening paragraph!
Well, there you have it folks and it is now time I got on with the Sunday routine of getting myself turned into a respectable member of the local Methodist Chapel. We are having a double ended service this morning with Harvest Festival and Holy Communion, and our new Minister is taking it. She is finding it difficult to settle down at the moment as the arrangements for the new Manse seem to be running very slowly and she has been moved around from one place to another until the manse is ready. She seems to be a cheerful person, and is putting up with all the messing about.
Take care if the weather is bad down your way – it looks as if most of the country is going to have their share of the gales and rainstorms that are on their way. Cheerio.
Good morning all - I have a strong feeling that I am not yet fully awake this morning despite having woken up at around the 4am mark. Never mind it will all work itself out by bedtime no doubt! The actual morning itself seems to be quite a reasonable one, not one of your nice summer morns of course, but for an early October one we cannot complain. A quick check on the BBC weather chart shows we are due for rain by mid-day or just after, by which time we should be on our way home from chapel and Sunday lunch not far away.
There is not a lot to report on for the week. Last Sunday’s Harvest Festival went off rather well with our new Minister in charge – the church was very nicely decorated with a mixture of flowers and vegetable, plus the odd tinned goods etc. Personally, I was disappointed with the choice of hymns, they were all from the ‘modern’ hymn book and more suited to a children’s service with arm waving etc! Yes, I know, I am a fuddy duddy in that respect but as we had four or five children in the congregation they were only 2 or 3 years old and were running free doing their own ‘thing’ which did not include hymn singing – though they had discovered a couple of recorders in the ‘Sunday School Box’ and were quite happy to play at trains!
Monday our evening meeting in the town library on Back Pain etc was cancelled at the last minute, a pity as I do enjoy that group as I have said before. Still it is back on again this coming Monday, and in the morning the Balance group at the sports centre on the promenade is on again too. So that’s Monday booked up just about.
Sylvia is still digging and delving out in the garden any time the weather is reasonable, and she is certainly clearing the place nicely. She came across some old photographs of the garden when it was nearly all just lawns, and one rather small vegetable bed – that goes back to the ‘good old days’ when we first moved into the bungalow and I was still at sea and had not dug the lawns up for vegetable growing!
The sun has just risen enough to let it peer over the hillside at the bottom of the garden so it should clear off the remains of the mist that has been hanging about, and perhaps brighten up the day for us. The temperature out there is 13c which isn’t too bad I suppose.
It also reminds me that I had better get my skates on and get cracking preparing myself for chapel. Have a good week and keep warm! Cheerio.
PS: My luckjy day as I have hasd no arguments with the built in spell checker, it is the US version for some reason which I don't understand!
Good morning all – And my apologies for the two missing postings for the 15th and 22nd. They were due to my computer suffering a severe attack of indigestion after one of Windows’ more turgid updates I believe. Whatever it was meant that the machine was out of action and in the hands of the ‘technicians’ in town. All appears to be well now, and I had the machine back home again, last Thursday I think it was. So, let us press on.
Firstly, a thank you to Roland for his phone call the other day to see why I had missed two episodes. It was a pleasure to speak to you Roland, and to put a voice to all the entries under your name on the message board! Sylvia and I appreciated the thought.
Now what has happened over the last couple of weeks. Well looking back over the diary entries for the two weeks the honest answer would appear to be ‘not a lot’. On Monday the 9th I signed off from the ‘Balance’ group in the morning, but carried on with the Pain Management lectures in the afternoon as they only had a couple more sessions left to go. I shall miss that group as it was both an interesting and convivial meeting. Not very often you come across that these days! And coming more up to date of course there was the loss of my PC for what seemed to be a very long spell!
Last night, of course, was ‘Putting the clocks back time’. Putting them forward never seems to be the chore it is when it is ‘going back time’ and I am always glad that most of our timepieces these days are of the ‘radio controlled’ variety and look after themselves. Probably the most troublesome one is my elderly Seiko watch, which I bought in Rhyl 40+ years ago. The instruction booklet is in very small print and is hard to read without using a magnifying glass. Whatever, on getting up this morning a quick inspection showed all was well on the timekeeping front. The other clock which I frequently forgot about, was the one in the car but having no car these days it no longer bothers me!
The rest of the time was taken up in various meetings here and there in the locality, and the usual Sunday break and chapel. And that reminds me, time seems to have rushed by this morning and I had better close down here and get myself brushed up and polished for chapel. All the best for the week! Our weather here this morning looks quite promising – a bit cold and windy, but the sun is shining and the ‘pundits’ are telling us we shall have sunshine all (well, very nearly all) day! What more could we ask for?
Good morning all - That old saying ‘The best laid plans of mice and men etc.’ is certainly right! This morning I made a point of getting out of bed and getting my breakfast to give me a little extra time in hand to do to-day’s posting here. When I came to switch the computer on I found that there was Neighbourhood Watch alert waiting for attention. So here I am, starting this rather later than usual. It wouldn’t really matter in the usual run of events, but we have two guests for lunch after chapel and there are a few extra tasks to be completed before we go off this morning.
Well our main news of the week is, probably, that we were invited to as birthday party on the Friday with kick-off being 7.30pm for 8pm. That is rather a late night ‘do’ as far as we are concerned these days. Anyway, off we went dressed up for the occasion. Fair play – we enjoyed ourselves in good company, and dining out on Indian cooking. Well, it was being held in an Indian diner after all. We both arrived back home about 10.30pm ready for bed!
We are being treated to air displays by the local starling population at the moment. They come sweeping by overhead, perform a few jinks and turns then all take off again to their next display area. The group is getting bigger each time they pass by. If they are all looking for a place to spend the winter where the weather is better than we have here at the moment I don’t blame them.
Out in the garden things are getting a little quieter. Sylvia has cleared nearly all the old growth away and disposed of it via the council’s recycling collections, and she is even taking it easy unless the weather is really nice outside! Her main thing now is the large amount of leaves that blow into the garden, especially from a couple of local sycamore trees which seem to like piling up on the lawn!
It is the ‘Official Bonfire Night’ to-day. Never really knew that there was an ‘Official Night’. We have had a few evenings when fire-works have been let off round and about, but it has been rather quiet for the last few years, I think the youngsters are probably all more ‘into’ Halloween.
Well that is it for this edition I am afraid, I must get myself ready for chapel, and also do my share of the setting up for lunch. Have a good week, and keep yourselves warm!
Good morning all - And what a nasty, rough morning it is too. We have northerly winds up around 40mph mixed up with rain blowing all ways from the looks of it. To cap it all we are running an hour behind our usual schedule here. As the Wise Ones are always saying – it never rains but it pours. Never mind, as the more down to earth of us say – Press on regardless!
What with one thing and another the week seems to have whizzed by leaving nothing much in the way of ‘news’ to pass on. The national press seems to be bogged down in seamy stories from ‘High Society’, with their reporters enjoying a feeding frenzy lifestyle digging away for ‘dirt’ to clog up the airwaves and newsprint.
Here at home we are pressing on and looking forward to a quiet Christmas. Our dinner party last Sunday went well, as it always does. It didn’t break up until getting on for 5pm – always a good sign! On Friday 3rd we went off to the Panashee restaurant to a friend’s birthday ‘bash’, as these events seem to be called. We had an excellent meal (curry of course) and enjoyed ourselves (with no washing up to be done afterwards!).
The garden has been looking after itself lately, Sylvia has cleared most of the unwanted growth and disposed of it via the council’s waste re-cycling service. I would hate to have to carry all that lot down to Rhyl in a wheel-barrow! We are still getting fresh spinach, but the plants are getting a little battered now, but the leaves are still fresh enough to enjoy. It will be time to have a chat about what we want to plant for this coming year any time now. Something pleasant to look forward to!
This coming Tuesday we are off for lunch with my cousin and his wife. They come down and pick us up and we go to the ‘Cherry Pie’ restaurant in the little village of Nannerch. We decided to get what could be our last visit there of the year before either the bad weather or other such things put paid to our gallivanting.
Time to be getting on with turning myself into a respectable chapel-goer. We have decided (I think) to walk down there and not to bother with a taxi! Look after yourselves, and take it easy on the Christmas sales!
Good morning all - Winter is here again by the looks of it. We had a few rain showers which have been mixed with small hail stones. Ugh! Never mind, Christmas cannot be far behind.
Sorry there was no posting last Sunday, but it was “one of those days” once again. To put the top hat on it all, my eyes were playing up again and, in the words of the old song, “my eyes are dim I cannot see”, Which nicely brings me into my first observation of the morning.
Harry, in answer to your request on here to let you know what we think of new layout of this part of the website, and the colours. I was caught out this morning when I switched on I found my way on here, I had a horrible thought that my PC was on its way out. I couldn’t make out what I was trying to navigate through, and had trouble reading any text in what seemed to be a mixture of pale blue watery text on pale blue washed out background. It also took me some time to navigate my way around the lay-out page lay-out. It is not a very ‘friendly’ combination for those of us with dubious eye-sight! Personally, I had no trouble with the old set-up.
Moan over! On the happier side, I already had an appointment booked with my purveyor of glasses for last Monday afternoon. I had a quick eye test and was given another double appointment for Tuesday afternoon for a full overhaul to check up on the state of my cataracts and the progress of the macular degeneration. I now have an application in to the Eye Clinic for an examination to see whether they will do the cataracts operation, and for a full update on the other job. Mind you, I believe there is a 14 week wait for appointments in that department. On a more positive side, I was placed on the ‘Low Vision Service Wales’ books. They boast that “if you have impaired vision we can help you make the most of your sight”. And, the optician sorted out a selection of specialist visual aids, magnifiers, lamps and advice, free of charge to those who struggle to see clearly when using prescribed glasses. I am looking forward to them appearing in my Christmas Stocking!! But am hoping the Stocking arrives here sometime this week so that I can get on with life!
And that is what I shall have to do now and get the week’s Neighbourhood Watch alerts out to my ‘clients’! So take care, and keep warm.
Dave. I missed your post last week. On the subject of the web site think positive and it will work out for you this statement does not come with a guarantee but it works for me.Have a good day Roland🚣🏼☃️🌫💨🌊❄️🌨🌧
Good morning to you Roland, and thanks for your message! But I fear that white text on a pale blue background means it is virtually impossible for me to see (well, at the moment anyway). But we press on as they say; whether we press on the right keys or buttons I do not know! It does help though, if I blow up the stuff on the screen by Ctrl+. From the view through my 'office' window this morning it seems winter is either upon us, or not very far away - ugh! Always remember the old adage - Winter combs on!
Dave, I've made the blue more intense to make the letters stand out more.
You are s Gent Harry! Thanks for fixing that snag!!
Good morning all - If you have noticed the time that this posting was entered on here you have probably guessed that we are not off to chapel this morning. You would be quite right too, as we have our daughter and granddaughter down for a short week-end visit to exchange Christmas parcels. They are anxious to get back to their home near Birmingham by early afternoon, as they both have a lot to do before their working week starts on Monday.
It has been a fairly busy week at home with things popping up here, there, and everywhere. On Tuesday morning Sylvia discovered that there was a leak in the gas boiler, and water was running onto the floor. It couldn’t have been running for more than half an hour. It was coming from the cold-water feed line for the washing machine, but whether it was on the gas board’s side of the set-up or the washing machine I couldn’t quite see. To keep on the safe side I phoned the gas board and they promised a fitter would be down with us in about 45 minutes. He actually arrived within half an hour, and got things under control but said we would need a new feed hose for the washing machine which was not covered on our service contract. He suggested we tried B&Q stores for the spare part. Sylvia got the bus down to Rhyl and took the old hose with her. She was lucky to find one of the store’s helpful assistants who took over her search and produced a suitable hose in short time, even went to the bother of opening the packet it was in to measure it against her sample. Once home I fitted it with no trouble, gave the washer a short wash cycle to check there were no snags.
Wednesday night I went to the chapel’s Church Council Meeting in a purely spectator capacity as I am not a member of the Council, but they do like members of the congregation to attend, if they are interested. By the looks of it, not many are. I was glad to discover they end the meetings in good time! This one started at 1900 and was closed at 2030 hrs.
Saturday Janet and Bethany arrived just after mid-day and there was one long pow-wow until turning in time as we all had a lot to catch up on, and this morning there has been a constant to-ing and fro-ing, the final bits of handing over the various bags and parcels containing the Christmas presents, and mum trying to find enough room in her boot to take their share of the ‘loot’ away.
The phone has just rung again, obviously I am not going to enjoy the quiet Sunday morning by the fire that I was hoping for, so I will wish you all a good week ahead despite the ‘weather folk’ and their gloomy prediction of ‘winter is here’, snow on high ground, etc. Cheerio!
Good morning all - Brrrrr!!!! I think the winter has arrived here well and truly this morning. We have had two days warning it was due but to wake up this morning and see snow covering the road and pavement in the avenue certainly drives it home.
The temperature outside is 1c and the local forecast for Prestatyn area shows snow, or snow showers non-stop until this afternoon, and the temperature is staying around the freezing point. So, after a high-level discussion, Sylvia and I decided it was not going to be worth trying to get to chapel this morning, the roads will be treacherous and not likely to improve. We were expecting two friends for lunch to-morrow, they live in the Abergele area up on the hillside, and goodness knows what the roads out of their little sector will be like by then. So, she is going to give them a ring this afternoon to see if they would like to move the meeting until later in the week, it will save them wondering what to do.
With no ‘church parade’ on the menu for to-day I shall have peace and quiet to sort out this week’s Neighbourhood Watch schedule, and also to get on with a couple of projects that are crying out for attention, I certainly will not be venturing far from the fireside whatever it is I am doing! There is nothing quite so satisfying as looking out of the window at a snow scene! Long gone are the days when I found it ‘fun’ to be out in the snow working! I have just remembered that when I was on my way to Trieste in the back end of 1951 I was put up in the Transit camp at Villach and on the Sunday morning after a heavy fall of snow, we were paraded and marched down to the railway station to dig it out of the snow after a snow plough had been through and very nearly covered the whole she-bang in snow. Just to make life little more interesting the local youngsters where there in full strength and decided it would be great fun to pelt us with snowballs. It ended up with half of the fatigue party were detailed of to return the compliment – a fine had was had by all until the heavy hand or army authority came along and put paid to our fun. Happy days indeed!
Back to the present, we have had a busy week with one thing and another. We had daughter and granddaughter here for a quick visit to exchange Christmas presents. They arrived about mid-day on the Saturday and went back home mid-day on the Sunday. Being heavy laden with gifts going both ways they had come down by car, and wanted to make sure they got home at a reasonable time of the day. They were lucky and got home after a good run back. Sylvia has just been on the phone to them now, and reported that they were both glad it wasn’t this week-end they had picked for their visit!
Apart from entertaining the junior branch of the family at the week-end, we had more than our usual number of people popping in for one reason or another, which always includes tea or coffee and biscuits of course. Well, it is time I got back to the various jobs I have sorted out for attention this morning, otherwise I shall be missing out on my post-lunch snooze. By the way I must tell you that we have both been watching the ever-growing flights of starlings that have been passing over here. The first few were only one or two dozen strong, but now they are well into the large flights.
So, there we are keep warm and out of mischief until Santa has delivered your presents!
Good Morning all – A cold, wet and miserable morning here from what I can see out of the window. Ugh! We are well into the clutches of the Winter by the looks of things. Never mind, there is Christmas just looking at us from around the corner.
No Harry, you are not the only one that is fed up with Microsoft and Windows 10’s apparently endless ‘up-dates’. Everyone of them seem to up-set my gear one way or another, they even seem to set one program against another. For years I have happily used Thunderbird as my e-mail handler, and Firefox as browser, and now they keep being upstaged by the ‘official’ Microsoft versions – which I do NOT like!
This is going to be a short posting to-day, I seem to be running behind time this morning – and no doubt that is due to some sinister Windows 10 undercover ‘up-date’ ! Never mind, on the brighter side there hasn’t been a lot to report on this week. I received my gadgets from the Low Vision group to help me with reading etc. They seem to be quite effective, but as I am still waiting for the matching high-power reading glasses I have not enjoyed the full benefits of the system. It seems the firm producing the glasses have run out of the lenses and are getting more. They did enclose one lense so I can imagine another poor customer somewhere out there with one lense and, like me, wondering if there is another client with just one lense! Must be a story behind it all, surely!
The main happening during the week was the funeral of Sylvia’s cousin Iris. She was buried on Friday with the service held in the little village church up the road. The weather was fairly kind to us – odd bits of sunshine, a bitter wind and showers.
Enough of the complaints and so forth, it is high time I made a move and got myself together and dusted down ready for chapel! A bit early perhaps, but just in case Microsoft gremlins cause more havoc during the week I wish you all a happy Christmas tide, and may the New Year smile upon you and yours kindly.