Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas in Birdwell 2015


Christmas 2015 is over, and we are hurtling towards the start of 2016. David and I are still eating up leftovers from Christmas Day and Boxing day. Today, would you believe, for lunch we had left over Christmas pudding, warmed up, soaked in brandy and topped with ice-cream. Well, yes, it was delicious. And for tea we have a choice of turkey or pork, again.

It has been a meat fest week, so, full of protein, booze and biscuits (chocolate ones) we are... you guessed it... looking forward to New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day. More buns and more bubbly! And this time, it's roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, followed by left over mince pies I suppose.

Well, isn't that what Christmas is all about. Filling the larder, stacking the fridge with 'just in case' food, and binging like you've never eaten for weeks. That and feeding as many faces as bounce over your threshold. It's been a very HAPPY CHRISTMAS. We have sung carols, praised the Lord, prayed for unfortunate souls, and fattened ourselves up till our jeans won't fasten, bra straps are on the very last hook and eye, and jowls are beyond lift and firm cream.

So, my first New Year's resolution is to enjoy every last bite of Christmas cake, get to the bottom of the Celebrity choc box, make sure there isn't a drop of Bailey's left in the bottle, and settle down to an afternoon sleep. And after that...

NO MORE CAKES, SWEETS OR BISCUITS! At least until the next celebration, which hopefully isn't until Valentine's Day.

I'd freeze it but the freezer is full.

Anyway, the lethargy has meant that I have been able to put my mind to my writing. Today, David and I are preparing my booklet, A Poet in Glenridding, to publish to Kindle. Following on it's heals will be A Poet in Crete, and then I will get to work on A Poet in Barnsley. In between all that there is my novel to get right.

And when I'm not doing all of the above, I will be learning my lines for the Take Two Drama Group's next production - Up The Resistance. To be performed in April.

PLUS - I do believe there are words to write for the Christine and Jane double act, Spring do.

Lord! The energy I'm using up, I may need all that cake after all.

I am truly sorry for all the people who have been flooded out over Christmas. What a mess! Yorkshire, Lancashire. If you are one of those people, my heart goes out to you. So many lovely homes have been affected. David and I have such a lot to be grateful for.

I wish everybody all the best for 2016
Love and hugs,
Jane x

The Barnsley Metropolitan Boundary Walk - 72 miles


If you think I've been quiet for a few weeks, you may be right. But I haven't been idle. David and I have embarked on the task of walking the boundary of Barnsley. So far we have had several delightful days out in the countryside, walking about 6/7 miles each day. Apart from the first walk, which we did from our door in Birdwell, a walk which took us through Tankersley and up to Warncliff Woods, we have reached our start point by using the local bus services.

Here are a few photos of some of the brilliant countryside around Barnsley.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

My New Instrument - a Sgra-Snyan from Tibet

It has seen better days, but I'm happy to give it a new home.

Taken from the internet.
Commonly known as a Horse Head lute, it comes from Nepal or Tibet. It is a Sgra-Snyan or Dranyen, and was introduced into Tibet during the Tang Dynasty, circa 700. I think its lovely.
It's a Sgra-Snyan 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015



A meeting is to be held in the FIRST FLOOR LOUNGE, on TUESDAY, 15 September, at 11 a.m. to discuss the revival of Westmeads Choir.

If you are interested in joining, please come and meet Matthew and Jane, to talk about a new programme of music, for the winter season.

As well as weekly rehearsals for the Choir, it is intended to hold a weekly, informal sing-along. Even if you think you can’t sing, this will be an entertaining hour of fun.


Jane would also like to meet anyone interested in forming a poetry, readers and writers group. Please come to the same meeting.

The above poster has gone up in the reception area of Westmeads Day Centre, Royston, Nr Barnsley. My new voluntary job starts next Tuesday, I'm really looking forward to getting this project off the ground.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Travellers is Open - Hooray!

Sunday day out at the Heritage Centre, Elsecar, where a special Seaside event was taking place. 
Not quite the beach

Lots of fun for children though

Donkey rides for all
A variation on the carousel
and a chance to hook a duck
 And after working up a thirst... we headed for a pint. Spoiled for choice we ended up back in Birdwell, where we now have a pub at each end of our road, the Cock, down by the motorway, or the newly opened Travellers Inn, on Sheffield road. So we opted for one drink in each.

We have watched the work going on at the Travellers Inn since we arrived in Birdwell in February. Delighted to see it opened this weekend we first popped in for a pint on Friday, early doors. Out with the traditional pub look, and in with the new, spacious, wooden floor, dare I say it, a little more up market establishment. We can't wait to try out the food, which is to be served as from Wednesday. Maybe next weekend we'll treat ourselves to a pub lunch.

Topping off a perfect day, the family came a visiting. My how grown up are our two lovely granddaughters. They didn't stop long, but it was great to see them.

I'm waiting to hear when to start my new little voluntary job at Royston. More about that when it happens.

We bought some daffodil, snowdrop and crocus bulbs in Barnsley, yesterday, so I feel a bit of gardening coming on tomorrow.

I'm all set for a creative week ahead. But now it's bedtime. Night night, sleep tight!

Love Jane x

Monday, August 31, 2015

Ups and Downs!

Beautiful days are filled with laughter, this one ended in sadness.

Say it with roses! A gift from my lovely sister. There was laughter in Monk Bretton, where we tripped off to on the off chance of finding lost relatives, Roystons or Clarkes - no luck! (Probably lucky for them). We ate lots, walked a little, consumed a fair amount of alcohol, and just as we were going through the box of old photographs, we got the news that our cousin (well, half or second, and I'm never sure which it is) had sadly passed away. Paul Midgley, the first son of my cousin Lynn, also no longer with us. He was only 50 years old, and diagnosed with lung cancer a few weeks ago. The cancer also caused a tumour on his brain, and just after midnight on Saturday, he died.

I remember Paul being born, and together with his younger brother, Richard, they were part of my close family circle. Their mother, Lynn, was like a sister to me, and I alway looked up to her. Lynn, was a working mother, their father, Melvin, was a lecturer at Hull University. Our paths would cross from time to time as they were growing up. But despite the infrequency, I always felt very close, a blood bond. Yet, looking back, we were not that close at all.

Then, as families often do, we became more distant. I went to live in Crete, Lynn died, and the boys had their own families to concentrate on.

A few years ago, Richard and his partner, Linda, came to visit David and I in Crete. We caught up on all the family news. Paul had gone to live in Norwich, he had left his partner, and was bringing up his two boys, Liam and Alex, by himself, and by all accounts making a damn good job of it. We continued to be connected on Face Book, and a year or so ago, he opened a shop selling Vapour Cigarettes, in Norwich.

Sadly, Melvin has lost his son, Richard has lost his only brother, and Liam and Alex their wonderful father. My heart goes out to that immediate family. I ask God to keep Paul safe in his love, and to watch over those closest to him.

Love Jane x

Sunday, August 23, 2015

My Barnsley Bear

Unwanted bear finds new home in Barnsley.

I just can't resist a little Teddy Bear. As David and I were taking a walk down the road to the Edmunds Arms in Worsbrough village, we came across three children selling their old toys, at the bottom of their garden. Very enterprising, we thought, and of course couldn't pass by without buying something from them. I call my new bear, Jumble, as he came from a jumble stall. I could have bought a lovely necklace, or any number of plastic penguins, but the bear, being somewhat strange, was irresistible. He reminds me of a poem I wrote recently: 

(James Kennedy who wrote the original lyrics to Teddy Bears’ Picnic, lived at Staplegrove Elm, Taunton, Somerset, which was at the edge of a wood).

Zombie Teddy Bears’ Picnic

Do not go into the Staplegrove wood,
in the light of day, or the dark of night,
it’s a crazy, Zombie Teddy Bear hood.

Be warned, they picnic on fresh brains and blood,
and once you are hugged, they will hold on tight,
do not go into the Staplegrove wood.

If you reach the edge, think twice, it’s not good
to disturb the bears as they reunite,
it’s a crazy, Zombie Teddy Bear hood.

When Zombie Teddy Bears picnic, they rub
eyeballs in soil, suck tongues, they’re not polite,
do not go into the Staplegrove wood.

If you go down to the Staplegrove wood,
you’ll be in for a big surprise, all right,
it’s a crazy, Zombie Teddy Bear hood.

You’ll never believe your eyes, when the bite
rips into your flesh - there’s no time for flight.
Do not go into the Staplegrove wood,
it’s a crazy, Zombie Teddy Bear hood.

Hope you enjoyed that one. Well, I'll keep a close eye on Jumble, and keep him away from picnics. 

I have also been creative this week, this is my latest painting. 

Yorkshire women having a natter.

And now to do a bit of music practice. Talk again soon.
Love, Jane x

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Locke Park Gala - Barnsley

What a splendid Sunday!  A fine collection of vintage cars.
An A30 - our first car in 1967

We were so pleased that we made the effort to find Locke Park in Barnsley, today.

 And there were lots more beautiful old motors. The event was free. There were live singers in the bandstand, a doggy show, lots of charity stalls, a fair ground with roundabouts, and great burgers for lunch.  

Morris Minor - they don't make engines like this anymore

Morris Minor Countryman

 I'm not sure what these motors are, but they were all very shiny.
3 Wheeler

Lambretta 150 just like David had in 1965

David in his element! Old cars!
 We walked all around the park then caught the bus home. 

Hope your day has been as good as ours. Love Jane x

The only bad comment I have to make is that the toilets in the park were disgustingly dirty.
The Band Stand

Friday, August 7, 2015

Bake OFF!


I did warn you that I'm a terrible cook! Sorry the wee bottle is empty, and I didn't have a 7, ignore the fact that there is a sink hole in the middle and I overdid the time in the oven a bit. But it is creative!

I made a cake just for you,
It's chocolate, and vanilla, with a hint of ginger too.
Never mind the fact that it sank in the middle, bugger!
I filled the hole with love and
and a pound of icing sugar.

Time to whoop it up at the Edmunds Arms, Yeah!
I love birthdays,
Jane x

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bog Snorkelling Poem


My poem has been well received by the people who organise the Bog Snorkelling Championships at Llanwrtyd Wells, and they have informed me that they will put a copy of it in the Neuadd Arms Hotel, which was the birth place of bog snorkelling. 

I will therefore wear the t-shirt with pride, and who knows, one day may even get to an event.

It's a bit cloudy in Birdwell today, just the day for getting creative, more poetry on the way.

Enjoy the video! 
Talk soon,
Jane x

Tuesday, July 14, 2015



The photos are not the best in the world, but there was a lot of laughter-shake going on. It was fun!
We survived the show!

As you can see, low budget props.

Aunt Martha on the bus

The River Song - Music written by my friend Mary Sawyer.

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Christine's Hat poem.

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Joan, singing while I change behind the screen.
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Yet another hat!

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The End! What a birthday that was! It's been quite a week. Now to get back north for a bit of dark satanic, a good pint of Barnsley bitter, and the sanctuary of my back garden.

Tears From The Sun - The Story