Monday, 30 May 2005


Whilst listening to Radio Cambridgeshire this  morning, I heard a term I hadn't heard in a while - OAP - in reference to consessions.  Imagine still being called an Old Age Pensioner!  I thought that was dropped years ago in favour of Senior Citizen - which I thought was a good idea until I became one lol!

After thinking it over for a while, I decided to email the programme and suggest that the Presenter ask listeners for better alternatives, and they joined in with gusto. There were some really funny ones, here are some of them:

STOP - Silver Top Older Person ( not me - not whilst there are blonding kits around lol!)

'Worldly' or 'Worldly Wise'

'Recycled Teenager' - my favourite

'Member of the Upper Age Bracket'

'Graduate from the University of Life'

'Goldfish' - as in 'memory of' - that's me - the old memory has temporarily  dried up.

But would be interesting to hear what you would like to be called when you become a part of this illustrious group lol!


Sunday, 15 May 2005

Yay - I'm a Star! lol

I was interviewed on Radio Cambridgeshire on Friday.

They had been asking if any of the listeners had ever had a 'gruesome' job, this followed on from a report that someone had been hired (probably by a deodorant Company) to sniff armpits lol!  Well I thought my job in the Pregnancy Diagnostic Centre injecting large slimy toads, ranked as pretty gruesome, so I sent the Presenter an email outlining the basics of the job.  I got a response asking me for more details, so I sent off the complete journal entry that I wrote on here.  Back came another email from the producer of the show saying they were fascinated and wanted to interview me live on air!   

So on Friday morning I had my ten minutes of 'fame' lol! I know it was 40 odd years ago, that this was the way of testing for pregnancy, and I don't know exactly when  it ceased, but I didn't realise that there were people who had never heard of this method and consequently, found it so hard to believe!  Anyway, after a ten minute question and answer session, it was decided to give me the 'award' (purely verbal) for having had the most gruesome job they had ever heard of!

There are other jobs I did in my young life that are now obsolete and I can tell you - it really makes me feel OLD lol!!!!

Sunday, 8 May 2005

As its VE Day - a reminder of The Way We Were

World War II

It's the 1940's; the blackout, the bombs, the barrage balloons, the sirens. The midnight race down the garden to the Anderson Shelter .... Sheffield took a hell of a beating during the war.

We live in City Road in Sheffield, a tall Victorian terrace house, the once white stone now black, with the years of smoke from the steel mills. The front garden is steep, and many steps lead up to the front door, (however did Mum get the pram up and down all those steps?) but we always use the long, narrow, echoing passage that leads to a small yard and the back door. To the right of the yard is our lavvy; it has a large wooden seat - big enough to accommodate two small bottoms in an emergency! A long chain hangs down from a tank of water, and I have to climb up onto the seat to reach it, when I pull it I have to jump down quick and get out of the way, other wise the water that flushes the toilet splashes over the top of the tank and showers me with cold water! Its walls are whitewashed on the inside, and neat squares of newspaper hang from a string. (Toilet rolls? What are toilet rolls??) Our big tin bath hangs from a large nail just outside the back door.  Mum usually sits me on the wooden draining board, my feet dangling in the big white sink, and washes me all over with a big rough flannel - I hate it when she shoves a corner of it into my ears, it tickles horribly!  She rubs me dry with a coarse towel, the kitchen has a cold stone flagged flloor and I'm glad to be able to huddle by the kitchen grate, there's an oven to one side of the fire where mum makes lovely hot scones.  We have jam on them sometimes - but I don't know anything about butter!

We have a small plot leading off from the yard towards a high wall, well, it's high to me, anyway. I've often skinned my knees in an attempt to climb high enough to look over into the brickyard, and the hills beyond. Dad has dug over a small patch in the hope of growing a few vegetables, there's a black smouldering mound where all the rubbish is burned, I found a pair of shoes that had belonged to one of my sisters, on the mound, waiting to be incinerated, but I saved them! I love shoes I do - none get past me! Our house has a large kitchen, there's a big wooden table in the middle, which we hide under when the bombs are dropping and we haven't had time to get to the Anderson Shelter. Mum is very careful about keeping the blackout curtains in place, not a chink of light must show through to give away our position to the enemy! There's a big balloon over our house - it almost touches the chimney, it reminds me of an elephant without any legs and it frightens me so much I try not to look up at it, but I know it's there - and I wish it would go away! I cling fearfully to my Mum when I hear the awful wail of the sirens (I can hear them still), and wait... there always seems to be a long, long silence - just before the bombs drop...

There is devastation everywhere, but somehow we get used to it, I'm too young to understand the significance of it. "Mrs. so and so's got hit last night..." friends, neighbours - some homeless, some lost forever. I can't remember when the sirens finally stopped, when the 'balloon' went away - I cannot even remember the war ending.  The rationing seemed to go on forever.........