Monday, 31 December 2007

Bitter Sweet Symphony Part 1

Further to my Christmas message I am going to do a New Year review. It's that time of year after all. The title comes from a track by a pop group called the Verve. A nice bunch of lads from the North of England, I believe.
Lets get "bitter" over with first. In February my mother's cousin died in Morecambe, or to be pedantic, a hospice in Lancaster. You all know about my mother's death earlier this month. 2007 will not go down as a good year in the family annals. I lost two of my closest relatives.
And then the sweet. My sweet, Hester, to be precise. We are both gobsmacked by the whole thing. I told you before we have been acquainted with each other for over twenty years. It is only since September that we have got into an intense relationship. Maybe making up for lost time, or just realising we want to go for it because we both feel it is right.
Hence the bittersweet in the title. One door closes and another opens. Maybe that is the way love works. I don't know.

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Marteen's Christmas Message

Who needs to be regal to pontificate on things? Our dear queen encapsulates her year in her speech, but despite my respect for her, I have to say, she is not the only one who can do this. I am fortunate to be able to speak openly and on a regular basis with this blog. It is a liberty I would fight to protect. There are many who would like to subjugate and suppress the likes of me, but they won't.
There is much wrong with the world. Wars are never far away. There always seems to be one going on somewhere. I hope Deacon Barry and others are wrong, and Iran is not the next target of American imperialism, but I will not die of surprise if this turns out to be the case. We may be behind our "American cousins" in some respects, but when it comes to barging your way about the world and forcefully telling people to live their lives the way we do, they have a lot of catching up to do compared to the Brits, but they are trying their hardest.
It's virtually impossible for me to do a post without mentioning the McCanns. This is not the time to reiterate some of the things I have said. I hope there is a happy ending to this story. It is difficult to hang on to the fact that this is real people's lives. It so smacks of "show time". I would love to think that Madeleine McCann is still alive, but I fear the poor wee mite is long gone. Possibly by accident, but still gone.
My own life has had it's twists and turns in the last year. My mum had two spells in hospital, which was challenging. Not least because it is a nightmare trying to park in the grounds of Edinburgh's premier hospital. A rant for another day.
You may think it bad of me to say so, but I am glad it is all over. The mother I once knew was long gone. We used to go on holiday together, collaborate on crosswords (she was always much better than me) and share things despite we were very different in character. Latterly she had no quality of life, which depressed me, and she was in a lot of pain. At a time of year when people celebrate life this is probably not what you want to hear, so I will give it a miss now.
All the best to you and yours. I wish everybody, especially those who have the good taste to read this blog, a very merry Xmas. Make what you will of it. Stuff your faces with excess food, but don't do a guilt trip afterwards.
For me, I am going to write to people. People I care about. And tell them I do. It makes me feel good that I will have done so. It is so important to me. Enjoy.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Doin' My Best

Donate Here Flyer
Not sure about this cut and paste thing but it seems to have worked. Check out the link above. I have come across these ladies before and I admire their work. I do my own bit for charity although that consists only of giving money to various causes. I have actively helped charities, but not for some time. I feel a bit guilty rereading this because part of my initiative lately is to get back to doing the things I did before the problems with my legs started, and in this respect I haven't. Will have to give that one serious thought.
Instead of buying flowers for my mothers funeral I asked people to give a donation to the National Osteoporosis Society. Although pneumonia was her primary cause of death, severe osteoporosis was noted on the certificate. It doesn't kill by itself. It's the complications it brings that do the deed.
So, the next time you are feeling charitable have a think about these two causes. If you give a donation to either or both causes or give to another charity I hope you will feel the better for it. We have so much in the Western world and we don't appreciate it. Look kindly on those who are less fortunate. It could just as easily have been you.

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Brum, Brum

You can take this title two ways. Such is my wit. Due to restrictions being recently lifted I can now report that my beloved Hester lives in the Birmingham area. She still has an important person to tell about "us", which I hope she does soon, but we crossed a major family "hurdle" at the weekend, for which I am happy for her.
I don't call her beloved for nothing. She means so much to me.

I am currently listening to my CD called "No Angel" by Dildo. She has a lovely voice, even if her name is a bit strange. Am I missing something here?

The other meaning of the title refers to motor racing. Hester and I are both Formula 1 fans. We both love the racing although there are other reasons. Fit young men in their Nomex overalls provide an attraction to both of us.

Talking of fit young men, I have just had one visit my door. He was trying to sell me Virgin Media. Sounds great but I have been down that road before. I wanted to do Virgin Broadband earlier in the year. Tried to sign up but they wanted the first payment by Credit Card, which I don't have. So I thought, I'll get one from good old Virgin. They refused me for some reason. I guess my reputation goes before me! So I am with BT instead. Ho Hum.

Going back to the racing, Lewis Hamilton has been in the news today for losing his licence for speeding. Nearly 200k on a French road. He drives at almost twice that speed on Grand Prix tracks! He probably thought he was going slowly when French plod pulled him over!

Monday, 17 December 2007


I love the above pic, and my mum would have done too. She was a great animal lover and left a bequest to the World Wide Fund for Nature in her will. I have always had a soft spot for equines and zebras are closely related. Its quite a cute image as well. I don't usually go for cute but affection is something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Affection for those like my late mother, and her cousin who passed away earlier this year, and my affection for Hester who has rapidly become a big part of my life. If I hadn't "come out" a few months ago the relationship we have would never have happened. I have always seen myself as an honest person but now I am finally being honest with myself about who I really am. I can accept now that I have "a foot in both camps". So, if George Clooney turned up at my door tomorrow I would be severely tempted. But don't tell Hester that!
Sed lady has got me into this txting thing. Like my speling wasnt bad enuf! Aparently al the kids r doing it these days. Its fun and very infectshus. Nxt thing u no she wil b byin a hoodie and a skatebored! (My spelling checker has just gone into meltdown!)
Done emotional, tick. Done mildly amusing, tick. All that's left is to have a go at the McCanns! What Marteen post would be complete without it. Did I mention that I believe every word everybody involved with this affair says? So little Maddy is going to be home for Christmas now. That's great. I hear Santa and the Tooth Fairy will be attending the lunch. Hope I get an invitation. Want to take along my favourite unicorn for her to ride. Told you I love horses. And I can do surreal too, but not as well as them!

Saturday, 8 December 2007


Been pigging out on nostalgia recently for reasons that will soon become obvious. I have now done just over 100 posts since I started, and I've been rereading some of them. Although I set out simply to have a platform from which to rant, having been denied that by the Radio Times letter page for years, I have covered a lot more ground than that. If I was ever fortunate enough to be nominated for an award it would be difficult to categorise this blog.
There is the ranting of course. The "McCann Circus" must have been in town even before I started this blog. It has provided the inspiration for many posts and I would certainly give them a mention in an acceptance speech. But other stories have provided the stimulus for a rant as well.
I try to do my best with humour. I guess some of it will work for some people and some will work for others. Hopefully I have entertained everyone to some extent, at some point.
And I have shared my life with you. The highs and lows. A fellow blogger once commented that I write from the heart, and she is right. I might (well actually I do) embroider things for comedic effect but if I tell you I am crying, and I'm not far off it now, then I am really crying. When I talk about Hester I hope I convey the joy I feel at meeting up with her after so many years. Circumstances were different when we first new each other but things have changed now. Although we live many miles apart we are closer than ever.
As well as passing my centenary of posts I am coming up to another milestone. Next Thursday this blog will be exactly 6 months old. Another cause for celebration. Unfortunately it will be completely overshadowed by another event. It is the day of my mothers funeral.
I am not going to write a big long eulogy. I am simply reporting the fact. She suffered a lot latterly and it means that I will have to balance my relief that her suffering is over with the fact that she is gone forever.
I hope you can now understand my mood. Until Thursday it will be mainly nostalgic but I think it will change after that.
I am glad I have finally got this post written. It has been the hardest one to compose, but this is such a significant time for me that I really wanted to share it with you, warts and all. I should be doing stuff in preparation for Hester's arrival but this felt like the right moment to write it all down.
Thank you

Sunday, 2 December 2007

He Done It

Someone said to me recently, "what have the McCanns ever done for us", to which I replied, apart from the roads, sanitation, public order, fresh water and clean streets they have given us 213 days of sheer entertainment ( watch "Life of Brian" if you don't get that one.)

And now, enter the ring, Robert Murat. It seems this case has been plagued by witnesses who have been afflicted by varying degrees of amnesia, and who pop up out of the woodwork at intervals to recount their stories. I have been suffering from the same problem until recently but can now acquaint you with a few facts.

This Murat man is a serial villain. I first encountered him in Sarejevo in 1914 (I was quite young at the time). As Archduke Franz Ferdinand's procession passed me I clearly saw Mr Murat fire a gun an instant before the Austro-Hungarian dropped down dead.

My next encounter with him was in 1963. I saw him shoot a gun and run off, whilst my "creme de la creme" and I were doing a guided tour of a book depository in Dallas.

My last experience of Robert Murat was ten years ago. I was driving through a Paris underpass when I saw him cause a black Mercedes to have a very serious accident. Although I chased the little white car he was driving he gave me the slip.

What are Portuguese plod waiting for? Get this man banged up. I hear from my sources he is now plotting to assassinate George Bush.

On second thoughts. Maybe we shouldn't rush into this!