Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Genuine E-Mail from HR dept in Swansea Uni. (honest)

Dear Colleagues

As from Sunday 1st October the Employment Equality Age Regulations came into force.

The Age Regulations which aim to protect all groups of ages will not only affect employment issues such as retirement ages, pensions and recruitment practices but also the way that we interact with our colleagues in the workplace environment. Under the new regulations the following examples could be perceived to be humiliating for the employee involved and potentially amount to harassment.

A colleague in the office turns 50 and, despite knowing that she is sensitive about this, the employee's colleagues buy and send a card with a joke stereotyping 50 year olds.
Commonly making jokes at the expense of the youngest member of the team. He is constantly told that he is "wet behind the ears".
Teasing or jokes about the age of those with whom an individual associates can also be an example of potential harassment.
An employee has a father working in the same workplace. People often tell jokes about "old fogies" and tease the employee about teaching "old dogs new tricks".
Constant reference to an individual that they are "over the hill".

If you have any queries regarding the new legislation please contact myself or Bethan Lewis, Equal Opportunities Officer, or one of the Personnel Officers. A briefing session is being planned with the Staff Development Unit for the autumn.

A full copy of the University's Age policy can be found at http://www.swan.ac.uk/media/Media,6611,en.pdf .

David Williams

Director of Human Resources

Monday, October 30, 2006

Women: Know your limits

A public information film:-

Women: Know your limits

Sunday, October 29, 2006


I tried translating the lyrics of Na pomoc into English, and failed. However, some of the translatons were too funny to forget:-


At an beach had prišla so that že leading instant Twig me had obstala of how statue Saj tukaj chasm sem umbilical , a menu nič does not bo ušlo Sem large , adust , this my Mach had telo. Does work in me lure vendar chasm does does not sand I want to them my ustnice , and ji does not worthy Dragnet then genialno , yes we do telo does chill Odpravi does v vodo in že question vsi refrain (2x)

At an voice of the sem zakričala reši reši me Sem mahala z rokami , hallo utapljam does Ko končno me Zagreb zdaj had fairly my Poor bray sploh does not ve , what čaka ga nocoj In latter day utaplja že kar impenitence does deklet ABOUT punce my of priceless value , burro enkrat gre at an led Recognises ste vse saj vendar reševalec this Ujel does had v past le myself v thinker zdaj has a Twitch jo through watery in translated hers utrip Heart močno unassembled čaka merely my dotik Naenkrat me of attack in pripne Polish we vroč ABOUT true-love reševalec res you thanks for wet a little Refrain (3x) At an voice of the had zakričala reši reši me Had mahala z rokami , hallo utapljam does Ko končno me Zagreb zdaj had fairly my Poor bray sploh does not ve , what čaka ga nocoj

Upon trumpery there is prišla without delay yet uppermost wink Trace we there is obstala than statue Coal-fish thereat it's me uppermost , me scratch thingummy bo ušlo There and everywhere vastly , tanned , this moje macho there is trunk. Yourself work plus we invitatory , yet yours truly yourself thingummy I am permitting Želi yourself moje lip , however ji thingummy permissively Thereupon then brilliant adj , yes indeed trunk yourself refrigeration Dispatcher yourself overboard plus yet I am hearing young and old

To plažo them prišla takoj že prvi hip Opazila me them , command kakor kip Saj toucan jaz sem glavni , meniscus nič ne or else ušlo Sem velik , patch , this my waves them telo. Se labour in me vabi , vendetta jaz se ne pustim Želi si my by word of mouth , and ji ne dovolim Thereupon bye genialno da telo se ohladi Dismissal wage se v vodo in že slišimo vsi

Within plažo them prišla takoj that prvi hip Opazila me them , purvey kakor kip Saj tukaj jaz hitherward glavni meni nič no bo ušlo Hitherward very zagorel , what my macho them telo. To whelk in me vabi vendar jaz to no wilderness Želi si my ustnice , plus her no allows Potem pa genialno da telo to ohladi Dispatch to within tank in that slišimo vsi

gotta be Slovenian, with a naff translation..

worst lyrics? worst song ? worst video ever?

came across this, the other day, and it's truly awful...

Skuter - Na pomoc

the lyrics are :-

they may be slovakian, in which case the title means "Help!", I think

Digibumbumbam digidigidigibam

Na plažo je prišla takoj že prvi hip
Opazila me je , obstala kakor kip
Saj tukaj jaz sem glavni, meni nič ne bo ušlo
Sem velik, zagorel, to moje macho je telo.

Se trudi in me vabi, vendar jaz se ne pustim
Želi si moje ustnice, a ji ne dovolim
Potem pa genialno, da telo se ohladi
Odpravi se v vodo in že slišimo vsi

Refren: (2x)
Na glas sem zakričala reši, reši me
Sem mahala z rokami, hej utapljam se
Ko končno me zagrabi, zdaj je čisto moj
Ubogi revež sploh ne ve, kaj čaka ga nocoj

In drugi dan utaplja že kar nekaj se deklet
O punce moje drage, osel enkrat gre na led
Prepozne ste vse, saj vendar reševalec ta
Ujel se je v past, le mene v mislih zdaj ima

Potegnem jo iz vode in preverim njen utrip
Srce močno razbija, čaka samo moj dotik
Naenkrat me napade in pripne poljub mi vroč
O dragi reševalec res ti hvala za pomoč

Refren (3x)

Na glas je zakričala reši, reši me
Je mahala z rokami, hej utapljam se
Ko končno me zagrabi, zdaj je čisto moj
Ubogi revež sploh ne ve, kaj čaka ga nocoj.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Skuter - Na pomoc


51°35'5.99"N 4° 1'0.80"W

51°35'5.99"N 4° 1'0.80"W

You have been sent a Google Earth Placemark(tm).

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Monday, October 23, 2006

No speekee the eeengleesh....

It's not very often that I pick up the South Wales Evening Post, mostly as it is not known for it's journalistic accuracy or, indeed, any kind of accuracy when reporting on events local to our home town.

But, for a news-story that was obviously interesting enough for me to buy the rag a week or so ago, pick it up I did. (The news-story has long since been forgotten by the way.) I was, though, intrigued to read about a young man, currently in police custody, and who was unable to communicate in any coherent form. He seemed to speak a language that the local constabulary had singularly failed to identify, even after getting in several translators who spoke various dialects of arabic/north african languages. They had no idea as to his identity, nationality or how he came to be living rough in Ammanford (of all places)!

He was being held at Her Majesty's Pleasure because the poor bloke had been arrested for breaking and entering - he'd twice broken into the same house to shower and cook a meal, unfortunately terrifying the 65 year-old tenant in the bargain, consequently landed himself in a police cell, and appeared thoroughly bemused by the whole carry-on. But, because he was unable to be identified, and the magistrates were unable to make themselves understood, a prosecution couldn't be brought.

Today, I happen to have bought my 2nd copy of the SWEP in about as many years again distracted by a vaguely interesting headline and in a bizarre piece of synchronicity, one of the main stories inside was about our unidentified immigrant.

He has been identified as Hassan Ibrahimi and is from one of the many Berber tribes who occupy the slopes of the Atlas Mountain region of North Africa. Unfortunately, we cannot yet find out what on earth he was doing in Ammanford, or how he got there, as his case is now sub judice. The news story came to the attention of a translator, who on reading the original news-story, and who could just happen to speak a few dialects of Berber, offered his services and it appeared was successfully able to communicate with him.

There are a mind-boggling number of classifications and subclassifications of the Berber languages - thanks to Wiki for enlightening me on this subject. It goes someway to explaining why it was so difficult to find someone who could understand the bloke!

More about our friend Hassan can be found here. I shall be following his case with interest though.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

5th Battalion The Welch Regiment.

Thanks to The Excellent "Welsh Born Icon" (or welch?) Nick's post about the history of "the Ups", my interest was piqued in the mass enlisting for WWII. I wonder what I would have done...

from Wiki :-

The 53rd Division was a territorial army formation at the beginning of World War II. It was part of the landing force at Normandy on June 25, 1944, where it was under XII Corps and took part in the heavy fighting in the Bocage. It played a critical part in the Battle of Falaise. It was one of the British divisions that took part in the Battle of the Bulge. It was later sent North to take part in Operation Veritable. It stayed in Western Europe until the end of the war. It was disbanded to reform the 2nd Infantry Division in Germany in early 1947.

I'm not sure whether they joined the 5th Battalion, Welsh Regiment or the 5th Battalion, Welch Regiment,but the whole brigade seems to have been involved in some pretty gruelling battles. I wonder how many came home.

this looks like a subject for research, and a trip to the cenotaph on Swansea seafront.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Old rugby players never fade away.................

In the vein of Nick's fine post re: his dad & Old St Illtyds RFC, here's a photo a mate presented to my dad recently, showing him digging the foundations of Swansea Uplands RFC at, or about the same time. He, too was club captain around then, and I can feel a trip up to SURFC to conduct some research, of course, coming on. (Elvis Quiffs must have been de rigeur)

I can remember some of the faces, about ten years older in my mind, (when I was 5/6/7 ish)

from the back left:-
Brian Heap (now of Bury-St-Edmonds, and recently widowed), unkown boy, Norman Gooding (Dec. - of Norm's Bumblings, Isles of Scilly) Freddy Bourne (Dec - resident of upper killay, head(+only) groundsman) 1 unknown, TW Thomas

Front row: -
DTH, Small boy(david Heap?) Jerry Bryant (dec - chancer) & David Thomas (TW's Son).

you can read about SURFC's history here

Wot I done toda bi n.molesworth form 9s


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fatboy Slim - Weapon of Choice

I've discovered how to blog a video from You Tube!

My Dad's a Famous Photographer

I had a phonecall in work today, from my Dad, who enquired "Have you submitted a photo to the BBC website?"

Yes, I had, and yes he was the Bill Lewis mentioned........

Photo of Mumbles Head

It's photo No. 10 in the list.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Minamata disease

Thanks to wiki for informing me about Minamata disease via their "did you know" section: -

.......that the photograph Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath of a severely deformed, naked child was deliberately posed with the agreement of her mother to illustrate the terrible effects of Minamata disease, a form of mercury poisoning?

Minamata disease ( Minamata-byō?) is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. Symptoms include ataxia, numbness in the hands and feet, general muscle weakness, narrowing of the field of vision and damage to hearing and speech. In extreme cases, insanity, paralysis, coma and death follow within weeks of the onset of symptoms. Minamata disease was first discovered in Minamata city in Kumamoto prefecture, Japan in 1956. It was caused by the release of methyl mercury in the industrial wastewater from the Chisso Corporation's chemical factory, which continued from 1932 to 1968. This highly toxic chemical bioaccumulated in shellfish and fish in Minamata Bay and the Shiranui Sea, which when eaten by the local populace resulted in mercury poisoning. As of March 2006, 2,955 victims have been officially recognised (2,009 of which have died) and over 10,000 have received financial compensation from Chisso.[1] Lawsuits and claims for compensation continue to this day. It is speculated that over 2 million people may have eaten fish contaminated with mercury from the Chisso factory.
In Japan, it is sometimes referred to as Chisso-Minamata Disease. It is one of the
Four Big Pollution Diseases of Japan.

the photo is stunning. I find it hard to add anything.

Tomoko Uemura in Her Bath

Saturday, October 07, 2006

mad donna?





louis' #1 fan

(who really believes he can sing)

I'm just amazed at how people can't really hear themselves.

this is actually quite sad

you've seen the bad & the ugly, now the good

Kimmy & Chrissy's tip for the top


Friday, October 06, 2006

Charles Martell, saviour of western civilisation?

from the wiki of Charles Martel :-

(I couldn't wait until 10th of Oct )

Leadup and importance
The Cordoban emirate had previously invaded Gaul and had been stopped in its northward sweep at the Battle of Toulouse, in 721. The hero of that less celebrated event had been Odo the Great, Duke of Aquitaine, who was not the progenitor of a race of kings and patron of chroniclers. It has previously been explained how Odo defeated the invading Muslims, but when they returned, things were far different. The arrival in the interim of a new emir of Cordoba, Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, who brought with him a huge force of Arabs and Berber horsemen, triggered a far greater invasion. Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi had been at Toulouse, and the Arab Chronicles make clear he had strongly opposed the Emir's decision not to secure outer defenses against a relief force, which allowed Odo and his infantry to attack with impunity before the Islamic cavalry could assemble or mount. Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi had no intention of permitting such a disaster again. This time the Muslim horsemen were ready for battle, and the results were horrific for the Aquintanians. Odo, hero of Toulouse, was badly defeated in the Muslim invasion of 732 at the Battle of the River Garonne—where the western chroniclers state, "God alone knows the number of the slain"— and the city of Bordeaux was sacked and looted. Odo fled to Charles, seeking help. Charles agreed to come to Odo's rescue, provided Odo acknowledged Charles and his house as his Overlords, which Odo did formally at once. Thus, Odo faded into history while Charles marched into it. Charles was pragmatic; his former enemy Odo and his Aquitanian nobles formed the right flank of Charles' forces at Tours.
The Battle of Tours earned Charles the cognomen "Martel", for the merciless way he hammered his enemies. Many historians, including the great military historian Sir Edward Creasy, believe that had he failed at Tours, Islam would probably have overrun Gaul, and perhaps the remainder of western Christian Europe. Gibbon made clear his belief that the Muslims would have conquered from Rome to the Rhine, and even England, with ease, had Martel not prevailed. Creasy said "the great victory won by Charles Martel ... gave a decisive check to the career of Arab conquest in Western Europe, rescued Christendom from Islam, [and] preserved the relics of ancient and the germs of modern civilization." Gibbon's belief that the fate of Christianity hinged on this battle is echoed by other historians including William E. Watson, and was very popular for most of modern historiography. It fell somewhat out of style in the twentieth century, when historians such as Bernard Lewis contended that Arabs had little intention of occupying northern France. More recently, however, many historians have tended once again to view the Battle of Tours as a very significant event in the history of Europe and Christianity.
In the modern era, Matthew Bennett and his co-authors of "Fighting Techniques of the Medieval World", published in 2005, argue that "few battles are remembered 1,000 years after they are fought...but the Battle of Poitiers, (Tours) is an exception...Charles Martel turned back a Muslim raid that had it been allowed to continue, might have conquered Gaul." Michael Grant, author of "History of Rome", grants the Battle of Tours such importance that he lists it in the macrohistorical dates of the Roman era.
Another contemporary historian, William Watson, believes that a failure by Martel at Tours would have been a disaster, destroying what would become western civilization after the Renaissance. Certainly all historians agree that no power would have remained in Europe able to halt Islamic expansion had the Franks failed. While some modern assessments of the battle's impact have backed away from the extreme of Gibbon's position, many modern historians such as William Watson and Antonio Santosuosso generally support the concept of Tours as a macrohistorical event favoring western civilization and Christianity, though Santosuosso believes Martel's victories in the campaigns of 737-737 were considerably more vital. (Watson believes Tours was the decisive historial event) Military writers such as Robert W. Martin, "The Battle of Tours is still felt today," also argue that Tours was such a turning point in favor of western civilization and Christianity that its after-effect remains to this day.

The Battle of Tours probably took place somewhere between Tours and Poitiers (hence its other name: Battle of Poitiers). The Frankish army, under Charles Martel, consisted mostly of veteran infantry, somewhere between 15,000 and 75,000 men. While Charles had some cavalry, they did not have stirrups, so he had them dismount and reinforce his phalanx. Odo and his Aquitanian nobility were also normally cavalry, but they also dismounted at the Battle's onset, to buttress the phalanx. Responding to the Muslim invasion, the Franks had avoided the old Roman roads, hoping to take the invaders by surprise. Martel believed it was absolutely essential that he not only take the Muslims by surprise, but that he be allowed to select the ground on which the battle would be fought, ideally a high, wooded plain where the Islamic horsemen, already tired from carrying armour, would be further exhausted charging uphill. Further, the woods would aid the Franks in their defensive square by partially impeding the ability of the Muslim horsemen to make a clear charge.
From the Muslim accounts of the battle, they were indeed taken by surprise to find a large force opposing their expected sack of Tours, and they waited for six days, scouting the enemy and summoning all their raiding parties so their full strength was present for the battle. Emir Abdul Rahman was an able general who did not like the unknown at all, and he did not like charging uphill against an unknown number of foes who seemed well-disciplined and well-disposed for battle. But the weather was also a factor. The Germanic Franks, in their wolf and bear pelts, were more used to the cold, better dressed for it, and despite not having tents, which the Muslims did, were prepared to wait as long as needed, the fall only growing colder.
On the seventh day, the Muslim army, mostly Berber and Arab horsemen and led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, attacked. During the battle, the Franks defeated the Islamic army and the emir was killed. While Western accounts are sketchy, Arab accounts are fairly detailed in describing how the Franks formed a large square and fought a brilliant defensive battle. Rahman had doubts before the battle that his men were ready for such a struggle, and should have had them abandon the loot which hindered them, but instead decided to trust his horsemen, who had never failed him. Indeed, it was thought impossible for infantry of that age to withstand armoured cavalry.
Martel managed to inspire his men to stand firm against a force which must have seemed invincible to them, huge mailed horsemen, who, in addition, probably vastly outnumbered the Franks. In one of the rare instances where medieval infantry stood up against cavalry charges, the disciplined Frankish soldiers withstood the assaults even though, according to Arab sources, the Arab cavalry several times broke into the interior of the Frankish square. The scene is described in a translation of an Arab account of the battle from the Medieval Source Book:
"And in the shock of the battle the men of the North seemed like a sea that cannot be moved. Firmly they stood, one close to another, forming as it were a bulwark of ice; and with great blows of their swords they hewed down the Arabs. Drawn up in a band around their chief, the people of the Austrasians carried all before them. Their tireless hands drove their swords down to the breasts of the foe."
Both accounts agree that the Muslims had broken into the square and were trying to kill Martel, whose liege men had surrounded him and would not be broken, when a trick Charles had planned before the battle bore fruit beyond his wildest dreams. Both Western and Muslim accounts of the battle agree that sometime during the height of the fighting, with the battle still in grave doubt, scouts sent by Martel to the Muslim camp began freeing prisoners. Fearing loss of their plunder, a large portion of the Muslim army abandoned the battle and returned to camp to protect their spoils. In attempting to stop what appeared to be a retreat, Abdul Rahman was surrounded and killed by the Franks, and what started as a ruse ended up a real retreat, as the Muslim army fled the field that day. The Franks resumed their phalanx, and rested in place through the night, believing the battle would resume at dawn of the following morning.
The next day, when the Muslims did not renew the battle, the Franks feared an ambush. Charles at first believed the Muslims were attempting to lure him down the hill and into the open, a tactic he would resist at all costs. Only after extensive reconnaissance by Frankish soldiers of the Muslim camp—which by both accounts had been so hastily abandoned that even the tents remained, as the Muslim forces headed back to Iberia with what spoils remained that they could carry—was it discovered that the Muslims had retreated during the night. As the Arab Chronicles would later reveal, the generals from the different parts of the Caliphate, Berbers, Arabs, Persians and many more, had been unable to agree on a leader to take Abd er Rahman's place as Emir, or even to agree on a commander to lead them the following day. Only the Emir, Abd er Rahman, had a Fatwa from the Caliph, and thus absolute authority over the faithful under arms. With his death, and with the varied nationalities and ethnicities present in an army drawn from all over the Caliphate, politics, racial and ethnic bias, and personalities reared their head. The inability of the bickering generals to select anyone to lead resulted in the wholesale withdrawal of an army that might have been able to resume the battle and defeat the Franks.
Martel's ability to have Abd er Rahman killed through a clever ruse he had carefully planned to cause confusion, at the battle's apex, and his years spent rigorously training his men, combined to do what was thought impossible: Martel's Franks, virtually all infantry without armour, withstood both mailed heavy cavalry with 20 foot lances, and bow-wielding light cavalry, without the aid of bows or firearms. [2] This was a feat of war almost unheard of in medieval history, a feat which even the heavily armored Roman legions proved themselves incapable of against the Parthians, [3]and left Martel a unique place in history as the savior of Europe [4] and a brilliant general in an age not known for its generalship.


Notable about these campaigns was Charles' incorporation, for the first time, of heavy cavalry with stirrups to augment his phalanx. His ability to coordinate infantry and cavalry veterans was unequaled in that era and enabled him to face superior numbers of invaders, and to decisively defeat them again and again. Some historians believe the Battle against the main Muslim force at the River Berre, near Narbonne, in particular was as important a victory for Christian Europe as Tours. In Barbarians, Marauders, and Infidels, Antonio Santosuosso, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Western Ontario, and considered an expert historian in the era in dispute, puts forth an interesting modern opinion on Martel, Tours, and the subsequent campaigns against Rahman's son in 736-737. Santosuosso presents a compelling case that these later defeats of invading Muslim armies were at least as important as Tours in their defence of Western Christendom and the preservation of Western monasticism, the monasteries of which were the centers of learning which ultimately led Europe out of her Dark Ages. He also makes a compelling argument, after studying the Arab histories of the period, that these were clearly armies of invasion, sent by the Caliph not just to avenge Tours, but to begin the conquest of Christian Europe and bring it into the Caliphate.
Further, unlike his father at Tours, Rahman's son in 736-737 knew that the Franks were a real power, and that Martel personally was a force to be reckoned with. He had no intention of allowing Martel to catch him unawares and dictate the time and place of battle, as his father had, and concentrated instead on seizing a substantial portion of the coastal plains around Narbonne in 736 and heavily reinforced Arles as he advanced inland. They planned from there to move from city to city, fortifying as they went, and if Martel wished to stop them from making a permanent enclave for expansion of the Caliphate, he would have to come to them, in the open, where, he, unlike his father, would dictate the place of battle. All worked as he had planned, until Martel arrived, albeit more swiftly than the Moors believed he could call up his entire army. Unfortunately for Rahman's son, however, he had overestimated the time it would take Martel to develop heavy cavalry equal to that of the Muslims. The Caliphate believed it would take a generation, but Martel managed it in five short years. Prepared to face the Frankish phalanx, the Muslims were totally unprepared to face a mixed force of heavy cavalry and infantry in a phalanx. Thus, Charles again championed Christianity and halted Muslim expansion into Europe, as the window was closing on Islamic ability to do so. These defeats were the last great attempt at expansion by the Umayyad Caliphate before the destruction of the dynasty at the Battle of the Zab, and the rending of the Caliphate forever, especially the utter destruction of the Muslim army at River Berre near Narbonne in 737.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

ch -ch- chu-chu changes

from a very funny site, which spoof's David Cameron's webcameron site: -

via you tube


Monday, October 02, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me! and Daniel!

Happy birthday, Me!

Happy birthday Dan!

separated by 36 years, and about a mile and a half.

Me born in the old Mount Pleasant Hospital, in Swansea (now a STD clinic), and Dan born in Singleton Hospital, Swansea (not built yet, for me) on this very day.

Ho Ho Ho!

Auntie Mary

more from the pen of Auntie Margaret : -

Auntie Mary was the only one in the family not to be given a trade. Being the youngest she was expected to look after everyone as they aged. She never worked outside the home but did everything for everyone inside. Her passion was cooking and she would take hours beheading and deboning sprats before frying them. She taught me how to make sweets as gifts at Christmastime, things like truffles and marzipan fruits that had to be coloured and put in tiny paper cups. My favourites were hand rolled columns of peppermint fondant.

The last Saturday before Christmas the two of us always went shopping. This enabled me to buy presents for the family saved for from my meagre pocket money. (We spent much time in Woolworth’s – I remember trying to buy a single razor blade when the assistant expected me to buy the packet) She would take the opportunity to treat me to a slap up lunch at the old Mackworth Hotel in High Street. (Probably Mum paid, as I think it was a once a year treat for Auntie Mary too.) We would have the roast of the day and a hot pudding and she would always put a pinch of salt in her cup of coffee “to bring out the flavour.”

I found a lovely photo of her in one of Mum’s albums; it was of when she was a young woman when she had a wasp waist. She was with a girl friend and they were using stepping-stones to cross a stream. I wrote a short story about it. The was also a story about her having many suitors though none were considered good enough for her by her family (I guess Auntie Alice.) There seemed to be no men after that. The First World War would have taken many away. In her later years she had some friends I came to know; there was an Auntie Fanny, from Clydach, a little bird of a woman with white, flyaway hair, and a high pitched, tweety voice, and an Auntie Edie who looked like the rest of the Hopkins’s women, with a fleshy nose and a bust at waist level. They were both users of hairnets and wore brooches when they called every week for tea. Auntie Mary had one afternoon off a week and she went to the cinema, she said, on her own.

Her life was centred on caring for others. First her parents died, then Uncle Dick, then Alice, then Nana. Mary lived on her own for a while, but a pan of fat caught fire in about 1961 and Mum decided she wasn’t fit to live alone anymore and moved her in to “The Croft” to live with them. The house was sold. Dad wasn’t too pleased but Mum had taken action and he had to put up with it. It was like that at home. He got used to it, but every so often I would see a look of irritation passing over his normally placid face. They were, of course, still working in the shop by day. Mary was allocated my bedroom at the back of the house and as I was working in Aberystwyth I slept in Don’s old room when I returned for the weekend. At the beginning Mary used to help Mum prepare meals but she so often dropped things and made a mess that eventually Mum did everything for her. I was given a large mahogany wardrobe and a carpet sweeper when I married, as we had nothing to furnish our flat with. When Auntie Mary developed a leg ulcer and became bedridden she had to be attended by a district nurse, so Mum moved her into the breakfast room. By then she had become confused, calling me Win and Mum Margaret, not sleeping at night and falling out of bed. It must have been very hard for Mum then, but she was determined to do for Auntie Mary what Auntie Mary had done for all the family.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Poop Idol?

Let me get this clear from the start. We DON'T watch X-Factor, or Pop Idol, but these clips are not to be missed:-

Thanks to the brilliant "you tube" for saving them.

Sexy Lady

Malay Micheal Jackson?

and perhaps the funniest of the lot, Ant & Dec send up Simon Cowell

Undercover Ant & Dec