Mar 27th

The Threepenny Bit Pound.

By Bill W

A new pound coin will be in circulation tomorrow.

It looks like the old Threepenny Bit, perhaps a bit posher looking, which makes me that all the buying power of a pound is nowadays, could we buy the equivalent of todays pound years ago with threepence.

I was standing in a bus stop a few weeks ago next to another young boy with lots of wrinkles, when I spotted a pound coin on the floor. I asked him if he had dropped it, he told me that he hadn't, and even if it had been his, he wouldn't risk doing his back in by bending down for it............I told him that I'd risk it, and picked it up. 

What are your thoughts on the new you have one yet?


Mar 27th

Promises, promises.

By Maureen J

When you make a commitment, you build hope. When you keep that commitment you build trust.

The truth of that was brought home when yet another weekend passed without my neighbours honouring their promise to repair the fence between our properties, despite my offering to pay half. It blew down in the gales of a few weeks ago.

I suppose because they are out at work all day they do not mind a glaring gap, but as I'm trying to sell my property I can't afford such an ugly blot on my landscape, so I'll need to call my handyman; it's too heavy a prospect even for my enthusiastic DIY skills and equipment. 

Mar 19th

The Mower


I am posting this poem by Philip Larkin as a reminder to be careful when cutting the grass.

It was written after Philip Larkin actually killed a hedgehog when mowing his lawn.



The Mower

Related Poem Content Details

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found   
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,   
Killed. It had been in the long grass.
I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.   
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world   
Unmendably. Burial was no help:
Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence   
Is always the same; we should be careful
Of each other, we should be kind   
While there is still time.
Mar 16th

The Bear And The Thorn

By Sandy H

Once upon a time in a forest not far away,  there lived a very fuzzy bear.

Now Bears usually go lumbering through the forest on all four legs,

but this bear always seemed to be limping.

As if there was something wrong with his front paw.

Other animals would question why he walked with a limp?

and the bear would reply, " I dont limp"

or, depending on how he felt at that moment,

 I dont know why I limp?

Sometimes the bear could sense pain deep down inside his paw

and he would hold it up and look at it. But he saw nothing unusual.

It looked just like his other paws, with scarecely any signs of scars or cuts or problems that would cause him to limp.

Now this Bear also had problems getting along with the other Bears in the forest.

He didn't want to tumble and play with the others, and didn't understand why any bear would want to tumble with another Bear.

He didn't enjoy getting honey out of the trees

Often the bear felt a deep sadness within him, but he wasn't quite sure why?

He seemed unable to feel the feelings that other bears told him they had

or to enjoy life as other bears seemed to.

One day as he was walking down a path with nowhere in particular to go

The bear came upon a little cub who had fallen into a clump of prickly bushes and now had a huge and sharp thorn lodged in it's paw.

The little cub was wimpering and crying because he was very afraid and did not seem to know what to do to get rid of its pain.

Gently the bear held the little cub and pulled the thorn out of his paw.

The cub whimpered and cried for some time after the thorn was removed.

The bear watched and comforted the cub as the bleeding stopped and the wound began to heal.


All at once as the bear looked down at the young cub, from deep within him in the hidden corners of his memory a picture from the past began to appear.

A picture from a time when he too had fallen into a prickly bush and lodged a huge thorn deep within the pad of his right front paw.

The memory became clearer as he realized that when he was younger he didn't

know how to get anyone to help him.

So gradually the skin on his paw grew around the thorn, covering up the thorn and also covering up the knowledge that it was even there.

But the sharpe object lay deep within his paw, surrounded by infection that spread throughout his whole body, leaving only numbness instead of feelings of being a bear.

As he found this memory, the bear understood what he had to do.

He soon helped the little cub and its Mother and then set off to find other bears in the forest and ask for their help in removing the thorn.

Before long he managed to find a bear with much experience in thorn removal.

"This is going to hurt some" said the wise bear.

It has been buried for so long that as we bring it up, you may wonder if you shouldn't leave it in place so you won't have the sharp pain now!....

But... she went on

This thorn has hurt you far more than you now understand.

It must come out so that the infection that it caused in your body can be healed.

Then using pressure and persuasion. the wise bear eased the sharp thorn nearer and nearer to the surface of the lonely bear's paw until at last it was visible and could be removed.

All the other bears helped too, and before long every bit of the thorn was out.


Getting all of the pieces of the thorn out after such a long time was painful.

But the bear understood that in order for his pain to be completely gone 

Every bit of the long embedded thorn had to be released from his paw.

As he began to heal his paw sometimes hurt, but he noticed that each day

he felt better and better

It was amazing, he was experiencing feelings in a new way and seeing the world through the eyes of a bear who at last, loved being a bear.

He told other bears how powerful a mind can be to hide the pain of a thorn buried deep within a paw.

For he understood the lesson of the thorn that pain not remembered can be the most destructive pain of all.


Mar 16th


By Steve S

A brief bit about me. I took voluntary redundancy from a company I worked for last year (2016) with the view to phasing in early retirement. Things at the moment are going to plan. Retiring from the workplace can be a shock to the system if you haven't had total freedom before. Luckily I've taken to it like the proverbial duck out of water.

I have lots of interests, some of which are; online chess, reading, motorcycling. The reason I joined this site is to have more people to chat to who are of a similar age and maybe swop ideas on life in general.
Have a nice day.



Mar 4th

Slug control to save hedgehogs



DangerMany people will have read in the news recently that we are likely to have an invasion of slugs this summer. Hopefully this is an exaggeration because the last thing we want is for gardeners to resort to slug pellets as a way of pest control. Many slug pellets contain metaldehyde, a lethal poison, which will kill a hedgehog if it eats a slug that has been poisoned by a slug pellet. Even so called organic slug pellets can be lethal for hedgehogs. Please please consider using alternative methods of slug control

There are a few good websites with helpful suggestions or

Copper tape around plant pots works really well and there are many other animal friendly alternative that could save the life of our precious wildlife including birds and hedgehogs..

Slug Pellets Kill Hedgehogs

Take part in the snuffles Keep Hedgehogs Safe challenge by using chemical free slug management methods. Let us know how you get on via the contact us page of the website.

“There is nothing we can do for hedgehogs that have been poisoned other than give pain relief as they always die”

Snuffles Top 10 Tips for Effective Slug Management

1. Collect the slugs in the evening
One method of doing this is to create a slug friendly area by planting lettuce and cabbage just for the slugs. When they gather for their night time feast you can go around your garden and gather them up or leave them in this area. There are several ways of disposing of them including putting them in a bucket of salty water. This seems a rather cruel way of killing them off but please choose the least painful method.
2. Encourage predators
Birds, frogs and toads all like to snack on slugs. Ducks and some hens also enjoy snacking on them too. Hedgehogs eat slugs but too many can lead to lung worm.
3. Beer traps and sprays
Bury shallow plastic containers around your garden (take away containers are the ideal size) put beer in each one. Alternatively pour some beer into a spray bottle and spray all the weeds. As the slugs like the beer so much the idea is that they’ll eat the weeds, leaving other things alone.
4. Egg shells
Collect and wash egg shells then heat in the oven to harden them. Put the egg shells in a food processor and blitz until small, then place a protective ring around seedlings or anything you want to protect from slugs.
5. Copper Tape
Place a thick band of copper tape around areas that you want protecting or around plant pots. This is a great slug deterrent.
6. Bran
Place a circle of bran around each plant ensuring it doesn’t touch the stems. As slugs are almost entirely made up of water, the bran has a desiccating effect which kills them.
7. Planting flowers and herbs
Some plants are known to repel slugs so placing plants such as Astrantia, Lady’s Mantle, Dianthus, Foxglove, Geranium, Peony, Lavender, Phlox, Alyssum and Lobelia, African violet, Strawberry Begonia and Gloxinia may help.
8. Avoid watering your garden in the evening
Slugs are most active at night and thrive in moist conditions. Water the garden in the morning so the surface soil will be dry by the evening. This can reduce slug damage considerably
9. Orange and Grapefruit Skins
If you place halves of squeezed oranges or grapefruits the slugs will be attracted to the shells and makes it easier to gather up the slugs and then dispose of them afterwards
10. Garlic spray
This is a well used deterrent. Make a spray by boiling 2 bulbs of garlic crushed in 2 pints of water for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture and add more water to make up to 2 pints. Let the mixture cool before use. Use a spray bottle and spray the area you want the slugs to avoid

Please help to keep hedgehogs safe by spreading the word about the danger of slug pellets.
Feb 25th

Hands on for Reiki, Anyone? from Julie B

By Mary B

Hands on for Reiki, Anyone?

Everyone wants optimum health and well being these days. Many people turn to alternative medicine and holistic remedies.
One wonderful alternative is Reiki - a kind of hand's on healing method which has been around from the end of the 19th Century.
It was started by Dr Mikao Usui, priest of a small university in Kyoto, Japan, and brought to the west by several Reiki disciples who'd studied under Usui's tuition.
Reiki transfers healing energy to the participant with the use of certain symbols and mantra's and hand positions on or around the body. The word 'Reiki' (pronounced ray-key) means Universal Life Energy and it flows from the highest level to the Chakra's of your body and soul, working from within.
Reiki is:


  • Safe
  • Natural
  • Centering
  • Balancing
  • Harmonising
  • Stress Relieving
  • Heals at all levels.
A person may need several sessions depending on their problem. Most practitioners give their client's an hour for a full Reiki treatment. Sometimes, it is beneficial to only give half an hour and go direct to the problem, or ailment. To relax completely an hour is needed for this 'magic energy' to work, alongside soothing music, and I would use, if possible, a comforting blanket!
Sometimes Reiki will find other problems in the body and the client may feel pain in another part of their being, but that means that the Reiki is working - if not where it's meant to!
I have given healing to bad backs and arms and it has worked - on only one session. But sometimes, as mentioned, it can take longer.
If you love your body and want it to stop hurting Reiki can be the answer; it relieves stress and tension, can treat acute problems as it balances the body and chakra's as a whole thing. It supports personal growth, giving intuition, creativity and focus.
It is effective on animals as well, and can be used on yourself as well as others. It can help build energy and vitality. Reiki works at the causal level and helps 'unblock' any blockages, and it flows through your clothing without any need to undress. The receiver usually feels a deep warmth and relaxation.
I had one man with a very painful shoulder which couldn't be raised. After 20 minutes of reiki, (to which he remarked on the warmth from my hand), I asked him if he could try and raise his arm a little - his arm went straight up to the ceiling!
That is only one example. I used reiki on a pet gerbil of ours and it perked up no end, running around it's cage, free of pain. It did die some months later, as it had a lump in its chest, we discovered later, but I like to think I was instrumental in helping ease it's pain and distress in a peaceful way.
Using a certain symbol distant healing can be sent to someone through time and space - if you have that person's name. Ideally, it is best if they know the time of this healing for they can make themselves comfortable to receive it.
Through the seven chakras of the body Reiki can cover the upper brain, right eye and pineal gland, as well as the lower brain, left eye, nose, spine, ears and pituitary gland, throat, thyroid gland, upper lungs and arms and digestive track, heart, lungs, circulation and thymus gland, stomach, liver, gall bladder, pancreas and solar plexus, reproductive organs, urogenital system, kidneys, gonads and legs, andrenal glands, bladder, genitals and spine. Reiki covers it all!
Each Chakra corresponds to certain hands on therapy when placed lightly on the body. This is not a massage technique, rather a unique energy transference from one trained being to another, and it can be used with other complimentary medicines. There are several hand positions that aid the healing process and each position can take up to ten minutes, which makes Reiki so gentle, refreshing and relaxing!
By Julie B.
Feb 23rd


By Mary B


I remember the cheese of my childhood,
And the bread that we cut with a knife,
When the children helped with the housework,
And the men went to work not the wife.

The cheese never needed a fridge,
And the bread was so crusty and hot
The children were seldom unhappy
And the wife was content with her lot.

I remember the milk from the bottle,
With the yummy cream on the top,
Our dinner came hot from the oven,
And not from the fridge; in the shop.
The kids were a lot more contented,
They didn't need money for kicks,
Just a game with their mates in the road,
And sometimes the Saturday flicks.

I remember the shop on the corner,
Where a pen'orth of sweets was sold
Do you think I'm a bit too nostalgic?
Or is it...I'm just getting old?

I remember the 'loo' was the lav
And the bogey man came in the night,
It wasn't the least bit funny
Going "out back" with no light.

The interesting items we perused
From the newspapers cut into squares,
And hung on a peg in the loo,
It took little to keep us amused.

The clothes were boiled in the copper
With plenty of rich foamy suds
But the ironing seemed never ending
As Mum pressed everyone's 'duds'.

I remember the slap on my backside,
And the taste of soap if I swore
Anorexia and diets weren't heard of
And we hadn't much choice what we wore.

Do you think that bruised our ego?
Or our initiative was destroyed?
We ate what was put on the table
And I think life was better enjoyed.


Bet you nodded all the way through
that some can relate to reading this hey ........


ANON - but sent in by Maurice B

Feb 23rd


By Jackie H
An old bearded shepherd, with a crooked staff, walks up to a stone pulpit and says, "And lo it came to pass that the trader by the name of did take unto himself a young wife by the name of Dot. And was a comely woman, broad of shoulder and long of leg. Indeed, she had been called Amazon

And she said unto Abraham, her husband, "Why doth thou travel far, from town to town, with thy goods when thou can trade without ever leaving thy tent?"

And Abraham did look at her as though she were several saddle bags short of a camel load, but simply said, "How, dear Dot?"

And Dot replied, "I will place drums in all the towns and drums in between to send messages saying what you have for sale and they will reply telling you which hath the best price. And the sale can be made on the drums and delivery by Uriah's Pony Stable (UPS)."

Abraham thought long and decided he would let Dot have her way with the drums. And the drums rang out and were an immediate success. Abraham sold all the goods he had, at the top price without ever moving from his tent.

But his success did arouse envy. A man named Maccabia did secret himself inside Abraham's drum and was accused of insider trading. And the young did take to's trading as doth the greedy horsefly to camel dung. They were called Nomadic Ecclesiastical Rich Dominican Siderites, or NERDS for short.

And lo the land was so feverish with joy at the new riches and the deafening sound of drums that no one noticed that the real riches were going to the drum maker, one Brother William of Gates, who bought up every drum company in the land. And indeed did insist on making drums that would only work if you bought Brother Gates' drumsticks.

And Dot did say, "Oh, Abraham, what we have started is being taken over by others."

And as Abraham looked out over the Bay of Ezekiel, or, as it came to be known, eBay, he said, "We need a name of a service that reflects what we are."

And Dot replied, "Young Ambitious Hebrew Owner Operators."

"Whoopee!" said Abraham.

"No, YAHOO!" said


Post reply

Feb 20th

Dad - by Elaine Feinstein

By Mary B




Your old hat hurts me, and those black

fat raisins you liked to press into

my palm from your soft heavy hand:

I see you staggering back up the path

with sacks of potatoes from some local farm,

fresh eggs, flowers. Every day I grieve


for your great heart broken and you gone.

You loved to watch the trees. This year

you did not see their Spring.

The sky was freezing over the fen

as on that somewhere secretly appointed day

you beached: cold, white-faced, shivering.


What happened, old bull, my loyal

hoarse-voiced warrior? The hammer

blow that stopped you in your track

and brought you to a hospital monitor

could not destroy your courage

to the end you were

uncowed and unconcerned with pleasing anyone.


I think of you now as once again safely

at my mother's side, the earth as

chosen as a bed, and feel most sorrow for

all that was gentle in

my childhood buried there

already forfeit, now forever lost.

© DropBy 2010-2016