Posted on August 22, 2011 in Oddities, The Home Front by Jay23 Comments »


OK, ladies and gentlemen – looking at this Macro Monday shot the answer seems so obvious to me. Let’s see how many of you think so!

Of course, I’ve seen this object in its entirety, and I know exactly what it is.

Now, to be fair, I’m not sure they even make them anymore, which is part of the attraction for me because I do love old glassware – especially jugs.  I have a little collection of old pressed glass, my favourite being that which has had several names over the years according to who the pattern was sold to; Krys-Tol and Davidson are two names that I know, coming from the US and the UK respectively.

This is not a jug, but it may possibly be Chippendale pattern Davidson glass.  Certainly it has the clarity and the weight and the general feel … but though I do love glass, I’m not an expert.

So, what I do know is that it’s old, and it’s been around the block a bit. It’s a tad beaten up, though without any large chips or cracks (or I wouldn’t have bought it).  It’s old-fashioned, it’s functional, and it’s possible that they’re not well-known outside of America, the UK, New Zealand, and possibly Australia.  However, those of you who live in other countries can take an educated guess – it’ll be fun!

As usual, answers in the comments please, and I’ll be back tomorrow evening (UK time) to post the answer here (at the bottom of this post, not in the comments) in the form of a picture link.



Hooray! It was an easier one! Still not quite the 50-60% success rate that I like to aim for, but I was so pleased to see that so many of you guessed this one!  Here’s the answer.

First with the correct answer was Dona from La Terazza, which is currently my favourite Italian language blog. Brava, Dona – hai vinto! Non c’è un premio, però ecco un link al tuo sito! And for those of you who don’t speak Italian, ‘Well done, Dona, you win! There isn’t a prize, but here’s a link to your site!’

The other ‘winners’ are: Sistertex, Taffy’s Mum, Patty, Carol, Ron, Victoria, Baino, Shooting Parrots, Leeta, Lisa’s Chaos, Greyhounds CAN Sit, and Meleah. Well done the lot of you!

I hope you’ll all be back next week to have another go. Maybe it’ll be a little bit harder but not too difficult for you, and I’ll get my 50-60%. Thanks for playing!


Posted on August 19, 2011 in Life, the Universe and Everything, Oddities by Jay13 Comments »

Good grief.

I mean, well, really!  You’d think that if they knew a chap was dangerous, they wouldn’t employ him to clean the ladies’ toilets.  And inconvenience?  They’re calling death an ‘inconvenience‘ now?

Where are the ‘woolly hat’ PC brigade when you really need them?

Oh, I get it.  It’s PC to call the deranged psycho ‘Ladies’ Toilet’ serial killer a ‘Gentleman’!



I think – I really think – that for ABC Wednesday today I will post about one of our most endangered things: England.

It may have escaped the attention of many of my compatriots, but the England we all knew so well and loved so dearly is disappearing.  In fact, England officially no longer actually exists, according to our government.  And that, dear readers, is a situation which has come about without enlightenment or referendum.  It has been done by stealth – legislated away without our consent.  And that is inexcusable.  And see what has happened?  We are beginning to see the flag of England used more and more in some strange and eccentric places.  It used to be the Union Jack (the flag of Great Britain) which was seen most often, now it is the flag of St George.

So today I’m going to  eulogise a little bit about what we do have left of dear old Blighty.

What makes us uniquely English?  Well, it’s hard to say, so I’ve extracted a few examples from my files, to elucidate for you what speaks of England to me.

The first thing, of course, is the ‘Post Office red’ pillar box – and seen together with it in this photo – the telephone box.

The public library is another example of Englishness – the idea was started here way back in 1425 when the first one was opened at the Guildhall, in London.  Isn’t that an eye-opener?  Wow.

Then we have the typically English church and churchyard. Every village had one, at one time.  They were everywhere!  You could navigate your way around the English countryside by the church steeples.

Yes, there is something a little exceptional about that steeple – it has an embonpoint, does it not?   The church has long been a focus of society and local community in England but now even that is being eroded.

This next one is a fun picture –

It was taken during the very English Mid-Lent Fair in Stamford, Lincolnshire – itself a typically English mediaeval town.  Upon egress from this passageway, you might find yourself climbing up onto a fairground ride in error because the whole street is filled with stalls and booths and rides.  When they ban this one on grounds of religious exclusivity, it really will be the end of an era.

What else do I have?  Well, there is this grand and beautiful edifice, which you will find … uh … somewhere in England.  I’m afraid its location has escaped my memory, because we were on our way to an engagement of some kind and it is out of our usual area.  However, what I can tell you is that it is an old coaching house and hotel, probably from the 18th century.

Elegant, isn’t it?  They don’t build ’em like they used to!  Now, everything is ‘utility’ and often, the least expensive option possible.

Oh, here’s another typically English institution – the village Post Office!

The Post Office in smaller communities is often equipped as a general store and newsagent as well as the place to post mail.  In fact, there is a whole range of services available, including banking, foreign currency exchange, holiday insurance, savings, vehicle and fishing licences, and passport application.  And you can buy a bottle of European wine, too, if you like.  In fact, you can buy a little of almost everything .. and guess what?  The village PO, like so much else, is endangered.  We are very fortunate to still have ours.

Let me leave you with another example of an English institution, the Parish Council.

Here is a sign which educates us about what we are enjoined from doing on this English recreation ground footpath.  Part of me loves the eccentric use of capitalisation, which is a hang-over from bygone days when the salient points of a notice would be emphasised in this way.  On the other hand, this doesn’t explain the capitalisation of the word ‘On’, does it?  I suspect that this is plain empty-headedness on the part of a councillor.

I hope you enjoyed this little meander through my thoughts on England.  For more entertaining ABC Wednesday posts, do examine the lists of participating bloggers at Mrs Nesbitt’s place.


Posted on August 16, 2011 in Hounds, Life, the Universe and Everything by Jay14 Comments »

I was talking to the pool guy a few weeks’ back, and he offered me a whole afternoon of his time, which (naturally) I gladly accepted.

Mmm. I’ll just wait a few minutes and let you all digest that one.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? Except that we don’t have a pool – this is England, after all – so we don’t actually have a pool guy, either. Sid does though! Mark Athow is the pool guy at the hydrotherapy place Sid goes to for his muscle-relaxing swims these days. He’s a jolly nice chap, and what he was offering me was, in fact, an afternoon of his time, but as a charity fundraiser.

The pool was built for the use of Newborough Dogs‘ own greyhounds, but hydrotherapy pools and their staff being an expensive commodity, they decided to open it up to the public so it could earn its keep. The monthly charity days help to get people in the door to try the pool out with their dogs at a discount, while raising cash for worthwhile causes. My worthwhile cause was Brambleberry Greyhounds, our nearest retired racing greyhound adoption kennel.

It was a little nerve-wracking organising the event, getting posters printed and distributed and signing people up and all .. but I managed to get a little piece in the evening paper, and the local radio promised to fit in an announcement somewhere and by Sunday our appointment card was full and all I had to do was turn up at the pool to take the money. And photographs, naturally!

So without further ado, here is a selection of the pictures from the day.

First up was Dave, a very sweet Staffordshire. Poor thing had nearly drowned as a puppy and was scared of the water. His owners thought this might be good for him and .. well. Look at that face!

You’ll be happy to know that within minutes, Dave had calmed down and was swimming along nicely! I venture to say he was actually enjoying himself by the end of the session!

Next came a gorgeous greyhound called Marley. He looks just like Sid, but he’s smaller, slender and quite delicate looking.

Marley had never swum before, but you’d never have guessed. He was swimming along calmly like an old hand as soon as his belly hit the water.

Next we have Tizzy, a rescue collie – and one who’d even bounced back to the rescue centre before landing a proper home. Very, very nervous of anything new .. and also of men. But such is Mark’s magic with dogs that within a few seconds of meeting him, Tizzy licked his nose.

And was soon swimming beautifully!

These next two belong to the same family, and had been along to the hydro pool many times before, so they had FUN in that pool! Monty is a little nervous of the water at first

So (after picking up his little friend Jinx) Mark is encouraging him to jump in.

Well done, Monty!

Of course, I can’t end without a picture of the lovely Sid, can I?

He wears the neck support to keep his head above water. Since he’s a tripod, he has a tendency to be ‘front heavy’.

So, there you go. If you want to see the whole series of pictures, you can pop over to Brambleberry Dogs, where I’ve set up a page – we don’t normally have comments on that site, but I’ve allowed them for this post. I imagine some of the owners might like to say something!

And finally, I’d like to thank Newborough Dogs, Mark, and also Sarah who gave up her afternoon to help out with towelling etc on the day. Give them a big hand, folks! We raised £110 for the greyhounds, and it was a lot of fun!