It Makes Dying Look Good.

Good day,

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This morning we all awoke to pale blue skies and anaemic sunshine….and the news that it has been snowing in Scotland already….now there’s cheerful then!

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Actually I am feeling quite grumpy this morning because I have been somewhat unwell twice over the last two days.

I mean, nothing terminal, just unpleasant.

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My family has a history of migraines, given that my father was a martyr to then, having many episodes each week.

His younger brother was also unlucky enough to have to go to bed in the dark and suffer until an attack was all over, sometimes for days I was told.

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On Wednesday evening I suddenly felt wrong and began to get jagged lightening across my vision.

As usual I took some Co-Codamol and waited it out.

Unfortunately it did not work very well and I ended up with the right side of my face being incredibly painful, as well as an aching forehead and a scalp too painful to touch.

In the end I took my misery off to bed rather than make Big H have to watch it.

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Yesterday at about three pm, it all began again, so I took some tablets and hoped it would stop.

Unfortunately it was even worse, as well as feeling totally nauseous with it.

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Finally, at four, it was necessary to creep off to bed, freezing cold and shivering, and put the electric blanket on.

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I went to the bathroom eventually, feeling dreadfully ill, and thinking that much violent vomiting was imminent.

I waited there, shivering, with my teeth chattering, for ages.

Nothing happened.

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Of course, immediately after staggering back to bed, it happened.

I leaped up in panic, grabbed the fancy brass coal scuttle on the fireplace…..and….

Oh Dear!

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Poor Big H came in to see if the patient was still alive and was promptly presented with an unenviable task.

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It seemed that the scuttle had also had some fire lighters, matches, two twenty pence pieces, a pen and some scrunched paper in it before my most recent addition was added to it.

Oh dear….the things we do for love!

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This debacle was swiftly followed by being  sick three more times, but not in the coal scuttle of course, out of consideration to poor Big H.

Then there is nothing you can do except lie there feeling wretched, with a terrible pain in your nose, around your eye socket and a crashing headache.

I had probably got rid of the tablets, but you cannot take lots of them, so no sense in taking even more.

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Today, however, I feel much better but just a bit ‘spaced-out’.

And am truly grateful for it.

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Now I shall stop being naughty.

No more odd cups of coffee and no more sneaky cheese.

I have not had any red wine or chocolate, but shall definitely keep away from those too.

There is no excuse for me ‘cos I already know better from past experiences.

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It is amazing what a few days of feeling sick as a parrot does to keep you on the straight and narrow.

Luckily, buying leopardskin boots does not give you migraine….thank goodness!

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Have a headache-free one yourself, and have cup of coffee for me!

J,x.

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Wanton Destruction Finally Takes Place.

Hey,

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This post is to let you know that the jobsworths have prevailed once again against the protests of just about everyone else.

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You remember the protest in Ireton, Scarborough.

The villagers in Ireton have been protesting for years about the decision by North Yorkshire County Council to cut down their beautiful 100 year old Beech tree.

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Although they put up a tremendous and passionate fight, and although the tree was under a preservation order, and although the Parish Council were also against the felling of the tree, and although hundreds of thousands of pounds has been spent to try and prevent the threatened destruction….nothing has helped.

Eventually on October 1st, a Highways official was jeered as he stood in front of the iconic tree and confirmed that the Beech would be cut down in spite of the long protest.

Link to report on this from the Yorkshire Post.

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On October 4th 2011, at 10.30 in the morning the contractors arrived to carry  out the final coup de gras.

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Villagers stood and cried as they watched.

Read a report in the Yorkshire Post.

North Yorkshire County Council have Prevailed….and shame on them!!

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Ugghhhh Boots.

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Hi,

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Once again we have reports of terrible cruelty to animals which is apparently going on in China.

It seems that many items of apparel which are marked as faux fur are actually produced using the fur of Raccoon Dogs.

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It is also reported that many pairs of copy Ugg Boots are not made with actual sheepskin, they are made with the dog fur.

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There is film of the dogs being skinned whilst alive and then thrown in piles to die in agony.

They are also beaten and stamped upon to keep them still as they are skinned.

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This is the link to a comprehensive report in the Daily Mail…..be warned that it is distressing in the extreme.
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Not that we in the UK can take the moral high ground however, not according to these videos of our own animal experimentation on monkeys and other animals, and the cruelty we extend to these helpless creatures

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Sometimes they are eventually helped, experimental animals such as the chimpanzees who saw the sky and smelled fresh air after 30 years of existing in lab cages.

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This one is described as undercover film, which was posted on-line by by animal defenders.
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And these Cambridge University animal tests.
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Oregon Labs.
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This is an Associated Press video.
It shows the reason for the re-calling of 143 million tons of beef which was being used for school meals.
The recall was ordered by the US Department of Agriculture.
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My god, when can we all take a step forwards in these matters!

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Have a good day.

Be kind.

J.

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All Roads Lead To Rome.

Hi,

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Oh dear, I am up early again this morning, and it is getting depressingly wintry now.

It is seven am now and it is still darkish, as well as being a bit chilly in the house, as the central heating is not set to switch on until 7.30.

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There are many beautiful things to be found in the winter but I hate the shortening days and then eventually so much darkness that everyone ends up going to work in the dark and returning home in the same way.

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Thank goodness for retirement, and for being able to stay abed, instead of being forced to pull yourself out of your slumbers in what seems to be the middle of the night, before dashing off before the dawn.

It helps to make up for the hairy ears, enlarging nose and the fine set of waxed moustaches that also appear with advanced age, which nicely complement the hairs growing out the nose, the painful bunions and the growing need to wear polyester dresses and big green cardigans….not to mention the growing desire to purchase large size underwear and a Big Slipper!

Or the incontinence pants.

Or the Zimmer frame.

Or the Secret Police.

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Actually, nothing makes up for it at all….it sucks royally!

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There now, all of you poor people who resented having to get up in the dark this morning can now feel grateful not to be in the alternative reality of shakily putting in your false teeth before consuming a bowl of your early morning gruel.

This gruel differing from your mid-day gruel only in that it is consumed at an earlier hour.

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And of course there is the annoyance of arising every morning looking as if you need a good ironing.

No wonder that the young party-on while they can still stand up at the beginning of the night…. if not at the end!

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Now that I have made you feel so much better about the day to day grind, I shall actually have to ‘fess-up and tell you that I have lied….surprise surprise.

It is actually great to be retired….and the Big Slipper that I am going to buy is the racy and extremely stylish leopardskin model!

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Have a really fine one yourself.

LOL,

J,x.

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No seriously, old age is not really that bad….it is worse!!!!!

More Of The Same Old.

Hiya,

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Greetings from the unluckily rain sodden part of the UK.

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I don’t know what it is with our weather up here, but it certainly manages to be sub-standard a lot of the time.

Yesterday it was pouring with rain for most of the day, and this was happening was while the beaches in the South were crammed with people enjoying outrageous temperatures of 90+ along with sizzling sunshine.

We did manage a walk yesterday when the rain seemed to trail off a bit, but we were luckily suspicious enough to take our big golf umbrella, and were able to protect ourselves from the sudden heavy rain that soon began once again.

Basically it was a food, reading, and television type of day.

It was really brought home to us, when a certain person with a wicked sense of humour, sent us a text containing an on-the-spot photograph of the amazing and totally blue skies where they were enjoying some fun time out in the South yesterday.

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Of course we responded with a shot of our own glowering and dark grey skies swollen with water!

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Today it is much the same, so our plan of a re-visit to Alston is obviously not going to be a ‘goer, therefore we shall probably replace Plan A with a less exotic Plan B, which is a trip to B&Q for some boring mens’ bits and then finish the day with a much more interesting trip to the Chinese takeaway for some Singapore Noodles with extra chillies, and then eat it while watching a new 2011 film.

Small, but very real pleasures, especially if it is still raining noisily outside.

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So what is your day like!

Hopefully excellent, but if not you have tomorrow all untouched as yet.

J,x.

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Oh Yes, I did read that because 1,000 frustrated people have signed an on-line e petition to ask for the long promised UK referendum on membership of the EU asap, there is going to be an MP’s discussion about whether that should be allowed.

This is in spite of the fact that it has been promised to us so often, by politicians who just want the votes for something they have no intention of allowing.

It is reported that it will take place before Christmas, and that there are many MP’s in favour, as there is now a definite wave of opposition to the EU generally.

However David Cameron has also been reported as saying that he is not in favour of leaving the EU.

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Apparently, whatever decision the MP’s come to, it does not mean that the Government has to take any notice of it if it does not want to do so.

So what has changed, we only vote for those in power, who are then expected to carry out the wishes of the people.

Yeah….right!!!!

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I wonder what would happen if, in the next election, everyone got the chance to vote for the UKIP instead of any of the usual suspects who have all got into office after promising the people a referendum….and then reneged on it.

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Hopefully, a poke in the eye for those who ride roughshod over democracy!

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Setting Fires And Stuff.

Hey, Hey,

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And a good morning to yourself.

I hope that your weekend so far has been enjoyable….if not, you still have all of Sunday to go…. so get on with it!

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My own weekend has been fine, but somewhat quiet, after all of that travelling a few days ago, to find bags of non-existent fossils.

Honestly, there was me taking five carrier bags to bring home my haul, and I did not even need to open one of them!

It is a bit like going out on the town all loaded for bear, and not pulling.

Mind you, if I was doing that now all I would pull would be ancient fossils.

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Anyway, yesterday was good.

Big H and I went to the garden because our increasingly weed infested lawn needed a good cutting desperately and all of the bushes needed me to give them a good trimming, especially the scrawling and messy Buddleias.

Having said that though, they looked amazing when they were covered with butterflies this summer, it’s just that they need stern management.

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There was already a big pile of dried-up holly from my last dangerous trimming.

My goodness, those holly trees do put up a scary defence against my attempted interference…but I won even though I had more stabbings than Caesar got!

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We have a dustbin-type burner so I started it off and then threw in lots of holly bits and small sticks to keep it going while I sorted out the cuttings from trees, wild rose and the hawthorn hedge.

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It was so unbelievably hot so close to the fire and after  a few hours of it I had sore smarting eyes, slightly frizzled hair and one bright red arm, due to using a stick to push down the bits in order to keep the blaze going strong.

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However, it all ended with the lawn beautifully trimmed, due to a profusely sweating Big H, and no remaining huge piles of gardening waste all thanks to myself.

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Of course we were both stinking when we got back into the house, but it always feels good when you have made a big difference.

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We rewarded ourselves of course.

I got myself an ice cold Guinness (it is the weekend after all) and Big H was given a pint of cloudy apple juice with a handful of ice cubes dropped into it.

The word. I think was….AAAHHHHHH!

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After dinner it was all speed ahead for X Factor and just vegging out in front of the television.

Aaahhhh!

J,x.

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Josh Krajcik. X Factor USA. A Star Is Born!

Hi,

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I have been watching Simon Cowell’s new ‘X Factor USA’.

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I think that they are going to regret getting rid of Cheryl Cole because she was good, and far more real, than her replacement Nichole Scherzinger.

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Yes, it must have been a bit intimidating for Cheryl, up against the much more experienced and somewhat pushy Paula Abdul, but I think that after a few weeks she would have been spot-on excellent.

Simon Cowell could also have been more helpful, instead of sitting at the end and playing only to Paula while ignoring Cheryl .

He could at least have sat between the two ladies and been a bit helpful, but instead he has now turned his new gamble into the usual anodyne American show, instead of standing by his first, and better, decision.

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Hey, I know that all of this is trash really, but it is one of my strange pleasures….I like to see ordinary people who try to change their lives.

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Anyway, tonight I saw a man called Josh Krajcik come on-stage to give it his best try…. and what a try it was.

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He travelled with his Mom, who drove for many hours to get him there, and who clearly thought that he was world class….and then some.

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He came on-stage dressed in his street clothes and looking somewhat unruly and you could tell that he was not really impressing anyone.

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When he was asked what his choice of song was, it became more interesting….it was ‘At Last’ by the wonderful Etta James.

And so it was….wonderful!

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Josh’s audition.
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Hey, I don’t know about you, but I loved him!…( and his totally supportive Mom)

J.

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This is him on a YouTube clip.
The sound is bad but you can still feel him.
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Not just a restaurant worker I think!
That’s the XFactor USA winner right there!
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On The Tidelines.

Hey folks,

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Strange things have been happening around our coastline, as previously quite rare creatures are being seen more and some of them are ending up beached on our shores.

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Sei Whales are big and even the young ones can be about 3O’+.

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Unfortunately, we have just experienced the autumn Equinox Tides, which are very very high.

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I say unfortunately because this year it beached a Sei Whale and left it stranded upon the banks of the River Humber, when the tide retreated back.

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The whale was found lying in the marshes, almost 1,OOO’ up from what is the normal shoreline of the river.

It happened near the estuary.

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The whale was eventually examined by experts, who finally came to the conclusion that the poor creature was just unlucky, and had got caught up by the incoming high tide while feeding in shallow waters.

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This has been happening more and more lately and could be caused by changes in ocean currents bringing the creatures too close to the shore, as they are not thought to be common visitors.

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Just 6 months ago a Sperm Whale was washed up in Kent at Pegwell Bay.

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This huge Sperm Whale was washed up on Redcar beach in May 2O11.
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How sad this is.
J.
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What A Day That Was.

Hi,

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Greetings to you, from a northern place where an early blue sky and sunshine seems to be disintegrating into a much duller sort of day…but I don’t care, because yesterday was sublime.

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We went off for the day to a place called Howick, which is set on the Northumbrian coast.

The rocks there are shale layers, and contain fossils such as Brachiopods, Trilobites and corals.

There are also the remains of trees and roots which are raised up and seem to be snaking along over the layers  of rock.

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The beach is a very small one and not beautiful in the same way as Bamburgh is, with it’s fabulous sand dunes and breathtaking long beach, but it is wild and lovely in it’s own way on that particular stretch of the coast.

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We eventually climbed up onto some rocks and sat watching the tide enthusiastically come in, while having our packed lunch of ham and tomato sandwiches, with English mustard, accompanied by four hard boiled eggs.

There was also a very welcome flask of green tea with lemon juice added to it.

I did however pack two china mugs for us because I don’t like the taste of tea in the mugs from the top of a flask.

We ate everything but the eggshells!

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It is wonderful to sit in strong sunshine and watch the sea….timeless and satisfying.

I would like to live here in the UK, by the sea, for the rest of my life, something Hadrian‘s men probably did not want to do at all.

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After looking about for fossils for a while, I decided that there was nothing very good and we walked along the clifftops, passing a surprising number of couples and even a mens’ hiking group who were gossipping and laughing, and generally making more noise than a bunch of old ladies having a good old chin-wag.

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Then, regretfully, it was getting late and we had to make the journey back home again, even though the sun was still beaming down obligingly.

What can I say….it was total perfection!

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j,x.

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What A Treasure!

Hey,

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We are now at the midpoint of the week, but I am beginning to think that the promised period of Indian Summer may not be going to happen for us.

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Yesterday was mostly cloudy and not too warm.

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We did manage to have a longish walk but I started out with a coat on, and a cardigan, and did not need to remove them until I had worked up a goodly sweat, because we were trying to keep up a quick pace.

It is wonderful to see Big H being so much more energetic now, and looking so much more normal.

Even the daily medication and the injections have just become one more ritual, in the same way as cleaning teeth or having a shower  is.

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I think that we may go to the seaside today….and look for fossils.

Many years ago I can remember being on a clifftop with Big H and the boys.

I was using my fingers to push at the shale and suddenly pulled out a really big bluey coloured ammonite, very clean and heavy.

At the time I did not know much about fossils, and therefore did not really recognise how unusual that was, although it was a very impressive thing indeed.

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It was a day I particularly remember anyway, because it was at the same time that we were at war with Argentina because Mrs Thatcher, our Prime Minister at that time, was not prepared to have them taking the Falklands from the UK.

The newspaper and television reporting was full of minute by minute updates on the hostilities and everyone felt worried about it, as our soldiers had been sent out there to fight.

Most people had not even known that we had an outpost in such a far-away place, but everyone was feeling quite patriotic about it.

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Anyway, my boys were quite young and interested in soldierly stuff.

Just after I had dug out the ammonite, there was the terrifically loud thudding of wings, and a huge helicopter suddenly appeared over the cliff and felt close enough to touch.

The doors were open and you could see that it was full of men in camouflage uniforms.

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We felt quite threatened by it, the vibrations around us being so incredibly violent.

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The boys thought that it was the Argentinians coming.

I actually needed a moment to get over the shock of their sudden appearance myself!

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As for the huge fossil I found.

It spent the next several years lying on top of the soil in a huge terracotta plantpot that had a Cheese plant in it, such plants being so incredibly popular in those days.

I eventually got sick of dusting the leaves, and stopping the dog from wrecking it, so I gave it to a neighbour….along with the fossil.

I regret that now, and I am hoping that I can now have the fun of finding myself another beauty today.

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Here’s hoping.

J.

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