Where am I? Who am I? What am I?

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This is not really my main blog – in fact it’s not really a proper blog at all. It was an experiment that never got very far.  If you really want to know about me you need to visit –


I look forward to seeing you there.




More Gold Letter Boxes

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Having painted letter boxes gold to mark all our 29 Gold Medal Olympians this year, Royal Mail has announced another initiative.


A lot of people have been asking if Royal Mail will be producing Gold Medal Stamps and painting pillar boxes gold to celebrate our Paralympians, when the London 2012 Paralympics Games start on the 29th of August.
In a first for the Paralympic Games, all Paralympian GB Gold Medallists will be honoured by Royal Mail with a post box painted gold in their home town.

Royal Mail will also feature every Paralympics GB Gold Medal winner in the London 2012 Para-lympic Games, to be included in a set of stamps available after the Games.

A Digression

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I am on holiday and haven’t seen many of the postcards I have received at home lately. So here is as digression from showing my received postcards –


Great Britain is now immersed in preparations for the games, and Royal Mail is not an exception! They’ve come up with a couple of interesting initiatives to honour Great Britain’s gold medalists.

To begin with, for each gold medal earned by Team GB, they plan to paint one of their famous red post boxes… gold! That’s right – for the first time ever, their iconic post boxes will be dressed in a different color. And the mailboxes will be picked according to the home town of the winners, so if you’re cheering for your town’s local athlete, keep an eye on your post box!

My Tricycle


 My parents home for almost all their married life was a privately-rented ‘superior’ (so they were advertised in the late 1930s) terraced house in Broad Green, a suburb of Liverpool. It was the third house down from a bend in the road on which stood a wooden telegraph pole. The other direction, along the straight, was known as ‘down the road’ despite it being the direction in which the numbers went upwards. About seven houses down the road there was a yellowish concrete lamp post near the kerb. The telegraph pole and the lamp post formed the limits of my world for a number of years.

(‘My’ lamp post and telegraph pole can be seen in the distance between the larger ones in the foreground. By the time I took this photo – in the 1960s – the lamp post had been moved up towards the corner a bit and replaced by a newer model – perhaps the original one was suffering from what occurred below!)

Every mother in the road was concerned about the dreaded ‘Hunter’s vans’ – vehicles from the local meat processing factory, Hunter’s Handy Hams, which used the road as rat-run and whose speed was considered excessive bearing in mind the narrowness of the road and the number of children playing football in it. As soon as a car or van was seen the first adult to spot it would shout ‘Car’ or ‘Van’ and children were excpected to dive for the pavement at all speed. But for me, a pre-school youngster, there was no ball play in the road. I was permanantly confined to the pavement between the telegraph pole and the lamp post. Trespassing off the kerb, for whatever reason and however little, was punishable by a few days indoors.

Fortunately my principal playthings were Dinky cars and, from 1953, Matchbox cars or my beloved tricycle, neither of which required me to go off the pavement. I would pedal up and down my alloted space for hours on end, content with my own company and my own thoughts, whatever they might have been.

My brother, GB, being five and a third years older than me (and the four months mattered at that age) had long since started school. Either by some inner clock or by a warning from Mum as to the time I always cycled down to the lamp post to meet him as he came up the road from school. I say always because in one’s memory the sun shone every day and it was warm; warm enough to be outdoors all the time.

I am extremely short-sighted and have been all my life but when I was small no one realised it. Regular eye-sight and other health checks now undertaken in all schools were a thing of the future in those days though Council schools did suffer the attentions of Nitty Norah – the nurse who checked all the pupils for head lice. Certainly pre-school medicals of any sort were non-existent. As result I was about eight before anyone appreciated I needed glasses. It is therefore unsurprising that in my pre-school days I managed to ride my tricycle at full tilt into the lamp post on at least one occasion. I don’t remember the pain involved but I can vividly recall the shock of suddenly coming to a body-jolting halt. Perhaps this metaphorical hitting the brick wall is my first real memory. I’m tempted to think that both appropriate and a pre-cursor of things to come.

My Early Life

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 My early life is a jumble; a tumble with a cloudy mixture of glimpses that seem unconnected by any sense of continuity. Yet I can often roughly date them by other events that were going on at the time – the death of a relative, what GB (my elder brother by 5 years) was up to, when I started school and even major events in the world. I have divided those early days into a variety of headings from ‘My Tricycle’ to ‘Radio Programmes’. Hopefully some of them will be of general interest as well as being absolutely fascinating to my family!

A Note about This Blog

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 If I ever write my autobiography (God Forbid, cry a lot of people) these notes will form the basis of it. More realistically. They may give a flavour of who I am and who I once was. Total honesty is not becoming to one who is not only hoping to keep his marriage together and his children happy but also is unfair on others of his generation. I have therefore excluded certain things but I have endeavoured to tell the truth as I see it.  As Carole King sang so beautifully –

 My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue,
An everlasting vision of the everchanging view,
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold,
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold.

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hues.
An ever lasting vision of the ever changing views.
A wondrous world of magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see impossible to hold.

Once amid the soft silver sadness in the sky
There came a man of fortune, a drifter passing by.
He wore a torn and tattered cloth around his leathered hide
And a coat of many colors, yellow green on either side.

He moved with some uncertainty as if he didn’t know
Just what he was there for or where he ought to go.
Once he reached for something golden hanging from a tree
And his hand came down empty.

Soon within my tapestry, along the rutted road,
He sat down on a river rock and turned into a toad.
It seems as if he’d fallen into someone’s wicked spell
And I wept to see him suffer though I did not know him well.

As I watched in sorrow there suddenly appeared
A figure grey and ghostly beneath a flowing beard.
In times of deepest darkness I’ve seen him dressed in black;
Now my tapestry’s unraveling he’s come to take me back,
He’s come to take me back