75 facts About meee

Now who would be conceivably interested in this post I have NO idea 😀 Lol? But not to worry here’s a selection of err ‘interesting’ facts about me, an idea inspired by a tall ‘youthful brunette’ (with a sense of humour) from North America? That narrows 😀 the choice down a little!

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Saturday Dog minding!

Discussing our Brexit farce both upsets and depresses me, I will vote this Thursday however I’ll leave the ‘why  I must’ discussion for another day, so replacing my planned political posting I have a happy ‘doggy’ tale instead!

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Saturday the 18th May 2019 had been pencilled into my diary for quite some time, err perhaps I should be more honest and admit my mother INSTRUCTED me before Christmas I WAS to be helping her dog mind this last weekend, no arguments no discussions no excuses, a friend of hers had to attend an important family function, and mum agreed to look after their 7 month old Border collie all day Saturday through to Sunday morning because mum is a nice helpful person like that 😀 .

We as a family have owned black and white Border collies ever since I can remember, I’ve even shared their photos somewhere on this WordPress HOWEVER both mum and I had absentmindedly forgotten how much hard work looking after a puppy actually is. In fact mum phoned me this evening to say she was exhausted, also a little annoyed because a piece of paper sitting on the telephone table had been shredded, along with an email address she hasn’t a copy of!

Border collies are wonderful dogs, extremely intelligent, quick learners with a heightened sense of play, they’ll chase and retrieve a ball all day long, adore working to command with the only downside they demand a great deal of attention and mental stimulation, and if an owner hasn’t the time also patience to train and exercise collies, they can often become destructive with behavioural problems…………. they’re fun, lovely natured working animals, with energy to burn and most definitely not lap dogs.

The offshoot is our borrowed collie hardly paused to take breath ALL day, she shredded nearly every toy, dug a few plants up in the garden, did her best to try and entice my mother’s collie into playing games of ‘chase me’ around the living room carpet, and by Saturday evening and several outdoor walks (mum counted she walked 15,000 steps) all four of us were exhausted.

Yes I’d forgotten how demanding a breed they are, and even contemplated once or twice buying a puppy, that was never going to happen but our borrowed collie was a timely reminder these are working dogs, and if you want a collie pet then you must have the time to exercise and train. Watching them round up stock animals, agility and walking to command in the show ring is all good fun and very seductive, but they’re hard work and remember sleeping is for wimps! Lol 😀 .

Having said all that I wouldn’t own another breed, we all have our favourites and a Border collie is mine.

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My mum, me behind the Smart phone camera, and our borrowed 7 month border collie for the day, Holly’s out of the frame and we’re sat in a local Pub garden. The landlady even brought a bowl of water over!
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‘Dog tired after today’s fun and games, and now it’s time for a little ‘nap’ on the sofa’.

A. Shepherdson 2019

Could have. Should have. Would have.

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One of the saddest true stories I could share with this WordPress involves a girl, a 17 year old girl I used to attend secondary school with many years ago, her name is Karen (for this post) and NO this isn’t one of my tales of an adult nature.

Karen was rather short with wide hips though not overweight, and far from being a plain girl she was attractive and unremarkable and I don’t mean that in a nasty way, 95% of the population are unremarkable and average looking, I am you are, what I’m trying to say is if life had turned out differently, Karen with her blondish hair may well have worked in a Bank like her mother, married say an electrician, their destiny to birth two children own a dog and live happily ever after on some middle England housing estate.

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Crafting – A response post

Go-cart
Wouldn’t you agree ‘imagination’ is the mother of all inventions? Me aged @10yrs beside a go-cart I’d constructed from old pieces of wood, stolen buggy (stroller) wheels and my parents old kitchen lino floor for a roof! I’d even painted it racing blue and added a bike wing mirror.

Oh and the hair is but a distant memory (sigh) 😀 , back in the 1970s I was always making things from old scraps of wood so was I taught to be creative or inherited the skills through my genes?…………… Happy days! 😀 And back in the days of my youth pram wheels were childhood currency, if you had them some kid would always buy or exchange for a swap……….. I’m wondering :/ do children play like this in 2018 or am I looking at my past through rose coloured spectacles?

Anyways chatting about ‘meee’ isn’t necessarily the point to this post.

My mother is a perfectionist she can turn her hand to almost anything, as a small child I remember her sitting at the dining room table, cutting out material for dresses, shortening curtains by sewing machine and taking the hem up on my Jeans because she could never buy…………….. LOL long story!!! Most evenings leading up to Christmas she’d be baking mince pies, cooking a fruit cake, icing when cool with brilliant white sugar solution then leaving on the dining room bureau to dry. My mother used to make everything and anything before arthritis took hold of her hands (they’re not so bad which is a blessing but sewing is a hobby of the past), and only just recently she helped me assemble a bathroom cabinet holding it up while I drilled screwed and attached to the wall……….. yep a lovely family anecdote to put down in writing.

Ah where was I? Oh yes crafting a response post to a lady blogger I follow, about the age of nine and for some unknown long forgotten reason I had to make from scratch a small ‘sitting stool’ from oddments of timber. You know the scenario, this crafting project was a task to be completed earning me a badge from my Cub Scout leader, successful and mum would later sew onto my arm. The point to my tale is I guess mum could have left me to my own devices, and yes I could would have presented a half decent chair to my Cub Scout leader, earned the badge because well I was good with my hands and now I’m a time served engineer by trade.

Anyways rather than leaving me to work on my own, mum helped with the measuring cutting drilling screwing together before trusting me with a tin of brilliant white gloss paint!…………… And measuring each small piece of timber is the key to my tale, the dimensions had to be marked with a pencil then cut to a line, left to myself I’d have used rule of thumb and yes as I remember the ‘sitting stool’ EXACTLY resembled the picture on the plans……… even if I say it myself the stool looked pretty darn spectacular with its shiny paint drying under bright sunlight.

As an aside after the presentation ceremony, unbelievably one rather catty bitchy mouthed mother had the nerve to criticise mum saying,

“I don’t agree with parents doing the children’s work for them!” (Mum let it pass!)

Ffs I physically made it! Mum just instructed me how to use tools properly and to this day I still live and work by the mantra measure twice and cut once, and yes still to this day there are occasions when in a rush to get tasks done the initial first measurement turns out to be wrong…………. don’t you think that bitchy mother was out of order? I guess some parents compete against other parents through their offspring and it gets outer hand, anyways very childish behaviour but there you.

So what’s the point to my tale? We all have childhood memories experiences which only when many years later as adults ourselves do we realise shaped our lives, to this day I can close my eyes and picture us two knelt on the concrete front drive with tools and oddments of wood scattered around about us, I guess some would use the word bonding though I’m not so sure? To me our labours were more an exercise in how things should be done correctly, and yes on reflection the anecdote is a happy childhood memory which perhaps I’ll appreciate even more in years to come……… sadly.

I’m employed as an engineer so perhaps her early construction lessons rubbed off?

The amusing part to this tale is knowing my mother as a person I’d guess she was herself competed against other parents, however note she was very careful NOT to make the ‘sitting stool’ for me (btw I’ve asked mum and she cannot remember what happened to it), yes a competitive parent but cheating to win an award wasn’t and isn’t her style!

So my message to the blogger I’m responding to, don’t worry about the mess, the child is crafting and baking but life skills are being learnt, I’d guess treasured memories are being locked away for future reference and at least the child isn’t staring at a screen zombie like watching TV.

A. Shepherdson 2018

Caring for parents blog #3 (A response)

A response blog 16/09/2018 13:20

A lady called Lesley, and I doubt she’ll mind me saying she’s also a blogging Grandmother, replied to Caring for Parents #2, in fact she’s replied to several of my posts. Well short and sweet for now, because I’d like to respond to her comment a little later, I’m going to share with you her thoughts as to said post by repeating her reply below, (come on keep up 😀 ) and if you’ve gleaned anything from my blog you’ll know I LOVE thought provoking comment.

Btw my mother’s on holiday and I’ve moved home to look after my father who has memory problems.

So I’m wondering was my Blog #2 clumsily written, who I am, ageist or a combination of all three? Yes to all three and perhaps a little offensive as well however they’re my thoughts transferred to print at the time, so I’ll quote someone I work with by saying,

“No worries all’s good good”.

My mother gleefully phoned this Sunday morning to check up on how things are going and she’s having a wonderful time dancing and sightseeing with her friends, great and btw the weather’s turned overcast. As to the point behind this post series they’re little more than experiences of caring for my father over 4 days, I’ve provoked one very interesting response so I’m very happy and certainly not seeking approval……………. you get the idea.

Lesley’s enlightening reply, I hope I’m this active also positive when I retire……. oh and with a fulfilling ‘adventurous’ sex life!!

Old people’s homes????? Really??? That is agism, my friend!

I live in a 55 and older condo community and I am NOT old!!! BTW, Those communities are so much more economical than keeping up a giant sized home when the kids have flown the coop and the hubby has passed on. No, I am not in my 70’s like your mom, but even if I were, I still wouldn’t consider myself old. I can tell you that the people I know who are in their late 60’s and early to mid 70’s are living vital, full, exciting lives. Heck, all the rock icons are aging and they aren’t over the hill yet.Just watch Mick Jagger in concert!

I’m retired from teaching and each day when I get up, I have my morning cup of coffee,go onto my laptop or iPad Pro, and check my FB page, my twitter account, my blog, my emails, and jot down ideas for the a new chapter in my novel. Then, I usually write an assessment on one of my social media sites of what our ridiculous excuse for a President has done to destroy democracy and move on from there. Sometimes, I write in my blog, while still lingering over my coffee, and other times I get back to work on my novel and plug forward to finish another couple chapters.
But, I NEVER watch game shows. I hate them. I may watch CNN, MSNBC or something relevant to see what is happening in the world so I know what is going on before I venture out on my errands. But no silly shows. I do confess I have a weakness for Judge Judy and so I record her and watch when I have a chance.

I am very, very sorry your father is having memory problems. That could happen to any one of us, and he is fortunate to have your Mom and you to help him through it. I don’t envy either of you as that can’t be easy. But that doesn’t mean your parents are old. In fact, people in their 70’s are relatively young. My older brother is 72 and he is still very cool. And my younger sister just retired this year and now we get to see each other much more often. We Iive in different cities but speak daily and talk about our Tai chi classes, download new books to read each month and we drive and meet for lunch to discuss them in a book club we belong to.

But seriously? To reduce the interests of middle aged people to Brain numbing fodder???? I don’t think so!!! Notice I said middle aged not old… or elderly. I told my children I can not be referred to as old until I hit my 70’s but I have decided recently that I am raising that age to 80. Today people over 50 are more computer savvy and more vital than ever.

I am involved with political groups and get together online and in person to change the political climate happening in America. I teach poetry in my grand children’s classrooms. I write lessons for the school board and I am in my 60’s. My profile picture on this site was taken about a couple years ago on my laptop so it is pretty current and I don’t think I look or act like an elderly person. (Well, maybe when I have the flu.) What I am trying to say is…. I call myself a “Junior” Senior. I am still vital, important, and able to contribute to society in a positive way and can still change the world. And so can your mom. Do not underestimate women of a certain age.

I am paraphrasing, but Gloria Steinem said something to the effect that “Men become more conservative as they age and women become more adventurous, open minded, and rebellious. Some day the world will be run a bunch of gray haired ladies!”
So my friend, NEVER refer to senior communities as old folks. We love, we laugh, we drink, we dance and we have sex. YES! We still raise hell.

The Peace, Love, and rock and roll generation will never grow old!

Thank you Lesley 🙂 .

A. Shepherdson 2018

Caring for elderly parents

This post is what it is, me sharing thoughts with MY WordPress, and I will try my best (as always) to keep these shared thoughts 🙂 positive light and interesting…………. call this one a little more serious than usual. (Any comments would be most welcome).
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Followers who’ve read my family tales of which I know there are several, may have noticed I’ve never written a single word of my father, I don’t wish to start now except to say ours was a strained relationship (my fault?), dad is/was a good man honest hard working kind and generous but looking back on my childhood and years after I feel he let me down. If my mother read this post she’d be very upset but that’s the way I feel, just remember little more went wrong apart from we didn’t get along…….. and as children often do, admitting we’re perhaps more alike one parent than we care to admit…………… or wish to be true can be hard!

But if there’s any blame to be thrown around then please aim toward me.

Not to long ago I wrote a very honest post titled ‘I only have one real regret in my life’, please read if only to perhaps dwell for a second on loved ones in your own life. Remember I’m a good man who made a mistake after I unconsciously absentmindedly carelessly and knowingly forgot to visit my grandfather in his care home, the reason is little more than apathy and thoughtlessness, well I’m determined it’ll never happen again to someone I love.

My mum’s going dancing with her friends in Eastbourne sooon, she’s 70+ and yes goes out dancing once a week with her girlfriends…………. fabulous what a lady 🙂 .

Well I knew for a fact she’d been enquiring Social Services with a view to finding dad respite care (extreme forgetfulness, we fear he didn’t keep his mind alive and active in retirement), I wasn’t annoyed when I found out because that is mum all over, rather than offload problems onto family members she gets stuck in trying to solve a problem herself. She contacted Social Services unaware to me, was prepared to pay and hadn’t told the family. However no luck, healthcare is stretched to breaking point around here and well cutting a short story even shorter, unknown to me she’d been unsuccessful and cancelled her dancing holiday without telling anyone.

I’m not angry only disappointed, there’s been no grumbling no complaining from me, she told her friends she wasn’t going yet she needs the care break.

At the weekend we had a chat over Sunday lunch (my weekly treat), the whole family is aware my father is unable to look after himself SO the upshot to my tale is, I’m taking time off from work and moving back home for four days to look after him on my own. I’m not going to be chief carer under duress mind, there’s neither reluctance annoyance or intransigence, he’s my father he needs caring for okay yes we’ve never been close but there you no one’s to blame, that’s life!

As for my mother on WP, I’ve only ever written with affection fondness (and watchful)because I love her, without becoming sentimental and weepy mum has been my only real true friend as mothers always are, she’s completely selfless caring loving and remembering back to my youth I now see mum pushed me in the right direction and gifted my sibling and I the tools to go out and make something of our lives.

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Photos taken before the factory closed down and yes those are cemetery headstones, btw I looked out the window one summer, jig boring, and there stood this nude model and a photographer! That cemetery is one of the little known wildlife habit jewels in #. (I’m pleased I didn’t witness it being bulldozed because I would have cried)

And here’s a thought, back in the 80s while a ‘fifth former’ at school a teacher handed out application forms on behalf of a local engineering Company, for apprenticeships in trades such as toolmakers pattern-makers mill-rights electricians foundry-men, well I took a form, read it and decided I didn’t want to be an engineer? Goodness knows why but apathy’s me all over, not grasping this was a life changing opportunity, not forgetting I hadn’t a frigging idea as to what I was going to do after leaving school!! Well I showed my father, said I didn’t wish to apply, he didn’t seem to mind either way so I hid the form in a bedroom chest of draws.

End to the matter so I thought.

Next thing I know, the form is laying open on the dining room table and my mum ‘encourages’ me to fill it out with her help, then I guess buys the stamp and posts it……… I didn’t apply under duress, no I hadn’t been intelligent to realise the possibilities an apprenticeship could bring, hiding the application was simple apathy.

(Incidentally the 2/7 cardinal vice I’m afflicted by, the 1/7 being lust…….. jeeze the tales I could tell!! I mean the ones I haven’t already!)

I digress.

Well to cut a long story short the engineering company contacted me for an interview, I sat a rigorous skills examination and ultimately became 1 of 5 successful boys selected from 160 to be apprenticed for in the trade of ‘one of above’……….. yes at first apathy and thoughtlessness (hmm interesting :/ ) but then I got my sh#t together and earned deserved the position.

And I’ll be forever grateful W. # and Co. Ltd. gave me that chance, I’ve never lost sight 155 boys were unsuccessful and perhaps………. no such is life. But just know I wasn’t the reluctant (trade), those four years training were the most enjoyable happiest days of my life, I was paid a modest wage met fantastic lads and taught a trade by 3 very wise knowing skilled trainers who weren’t adverse to giving justified also unjustified discipline. One trainer’s conduct verging on bullying (he did) but there you are, we now live in a mollycoddled society where everyone feels entitled to God knows how many Rights, and if they feel in the slightest bit underappreciated or hard done by the Firm/Company is in Court and they want compensation………….. my take is sh#t happens, life can be unfair, suck it up, learn and move on!

I’m digressing now into a rant.

Oh yes the apprenticeship. I’m neither artistic or academic but I enjoy making things, well lucky for me five days a week I was paid to…………… and loved it! I was an intelligent 16 year old, I kept my mouth shut used humour to deflect criticism, listened wasn’t cocky or loudmouthed, lol I’m no angel just know I worked hard, learnt the Machiavellian skills of a politician to gain favour and keep out of trouble, I was a clever cookie, and by the end of four years the Company employed me full time in the trade of……..…….. I adored the job.

Well in summing up I don’t need to remind you readers it was mum who searched and discovered that hidden application form, she stood over me and helped me fill it out, she bought the stamp and posted though to be fair it was my skills talent and tenacity that got me chosen from 155 other boys, lol give me credit for that much 😀 .

But now all these years later I’m wondering what would I have made of my life if I’d listened to my father and just thrown that form away? What dead end job could I be in now? So now that I’ve given you an insight into my very own parental dynamics, my father was a good loving caring and kind man, but in many ways I feel he let me down. Am I being unfair? (On dad perhaps probably yes?) The upshot I’ll move back home for four days, cook clean care for dad and I know this won’t be the last time……….. I’m not annoyed or angry no my mindset is a positive ‘let’s see how it goes’, I’ll take my laptop and probably read and walk the dog hmm on reflection I’ll enjoy those.

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Yep looked out one day and there stood a naked woman……….. jeeze I wish I’d had my camera!

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A. Shepherdson 2018

 

Registered car guards, I’m rather taken aback!

Below are photos of my Grandfather’s delivery vans, he owned his own Bakery! I’ll leave you to guess if I’m a Weale’ or a ‘Bateman’ or ‘another’ Lol.

Weale and Bateman1942

1929 Cinderford
My Grandfather, he’s been dead many years but I still think about him everyday of my life! I miss him terribly!

I Follow a lady blogger who writes all the way from deepest darkest Africa, and don’t you think it amazing that you can open your tablet Reader and then be whisked away into the thoughts of bloggers from around the world.

Well paraphrasing a little, this lady pointed out something that I’d never come across before, registered car guards! I guess this service is a sign of modern times, having said that when I daily listen to Jeremy Vine on BBC’s Radio 2 or read when I pickup my daily copy of the Metro free newspaper, I’ll be reminded of the previous days crime stories. AND without coming across as seeming rather smug at her shocking insights, I sometimes wonder if Britain is heading on a similar path?

:/ Time will tell I guess.

Did you know London has a bigger murder rate bigger than in New York USA!! The choice of weapon isn’t guns in our case, it’s knives and I’m not underplaying the fact when I say knife crime in the UK is now out of control since the policy of stop and search was abandoned!

And ‘shock of shocks’, you’ll sense a touch of sarcasm here, now that our Police cannot stop and search young men if they suspect them of carrying a knife, young men now carry knives with them!!! Jeeze I saw this coming (with age comes wisdom) and wouldn’t you know it, the public are now demanding the Police have the power to stop and search people who in their professional opinion could be carrying a knife?

Unbelievable you couldn’t make this shit up and in the meantime innocent law abiding citizens have been knifed to death, it’s so tragic.

Well returning to my African blogger’s post and I’ll quote an extract, ‘they have an abundance of registered car-guards who do an excellent job of protecting our cars from being stolen while we shop and go about our business errands.’ Well I learnt something new today and yes quite shocking BUT how long before we in the UK go into Town to shop visit the Post Office or whatever and pay to have someone watch their car so as it’s not broken into?

Without sounding flippant I guess hers is a service that’s creating employment opportunities, having your car watched does seem a great idea for peace of mind, and it won’t be long until big British cities follow suit. Anyways, then I got to remembering an anecdote my Grandfather would often tell me when I was a child, a true tale from the days of owning vans used in his Bakery business. Grandpa ‘Bob’ would proudly tell me back that when living back in the 1940’s, he’d purchased a new van and it would be delivered with the absence of car door locks!

Yes I know unbelievable incredible isn’t it, and I guess all these years since he last told me this anecdote, the vision of him driving into Town, leaving his delivery van unlocked whilst he delivered bread, is well inconceivable in present day crime ridden England.

So sad!

Dolly and Kitchener
My Great Aunt Alice and her brother ‘Kitch’ delivering eggs to London, back then could you leave a horse and cart unattended safe in the fact ‘it’ wouldn’t get stolen?

A. Shepherdson 2018