Monday, February 24, 2020


The great cover up!
Hello Everyone from Birdwell Painters and Decorators,

Yes, the long awaited re-decoration of the living room is upon us. Even I braved the steps, paintbrush in hand, and together with David got stuck in. It will probably take us a few days to finish it, especially as we haven't yet bought the gloss paint for the cupboards etc, so watch out for pics of the finished thing. We settled on Misty White for the walls, with a very plush, navy blue with gold glints wallpaper for each side of what would have been the fireplace. David did all the scraping off of loose plaster and filling in job, while I sandpapered the paintwork and washed it all down - team work. I might even splash out and buy new curtains.

It has to get bad before it gets better
To be honest, the whole day was quite therapeutic, and I'm looking forward to another such, tomorrow.

As to what else I was occupied with last week, well - I set about writing a short story, which I have finished, and am rather pleased with. I also picked up a copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone from Aldi £3.49 and am about half way through it. (And yes, I am enjoying it even though the print is a little small for my eyesight).

Actually, I've really overspent this week, what with wallpaper, paint, a new paint roller, etc not to mention a replenishment of my favourite night cream from Boots at £15 (on offer), and not forgetting my Harry Potter book. It looks like we may be on half-rations next week, still, that might be good for us.

Friday was a little breezy, but since when did the weather put us off our Friday date - Shed Night! 

Storm Dennis has certainly caused a lot of flooding, but we just got the wind -  nothing new there. I hope that you have been able to keep dry and have not suffered too much from the storms.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I uploaded a poem to BBC Sheffield, but don't seem to have had it accepted. I'm going to try again tomorrow. I've hit one of those, I don't really care who likes and who doesn't like what I write, because I'm quite happy just writing and painting, and humming to myself as I go about each day happily getting through life best I can, times. When I see all the stress, all the misery, all the unnecessary trials and tribulations of the world, I feel so lucky.

I did hear it was the Rhubarb Festival week last week, but even being so close the the Rhubarb capital of Britain, Wakefield, I was quite unaffected by any celebrations that may have been going on. 

It's Pancake Day tomorrow, that means it's Ash Wednesday, Petticoat Thursday and Kissing Friday - at least where I was brought up. And that can only mean that Lent is almost upon us. What shall I abstain from this year? I'll let you know my plan, next week.

Until next week then, have a stress free week if you can, eat lots of pancakes and enjoy the feast before the fast.

Bye for now,
Love and hugs,
Jane x

P.S.  David has come down with a terrible, snotty cold but he's soldiering on, Bless! Hope he doesn't give me it! And hope he leaves a bit of kitchen roll for the cook.

Monday, February 17, 2020


Hi there,

Here it is, as promised, me unplugged! With thanks to Paul Athorne for trusting me with his monologue, T.C.B. "I know, sad." But if nothing else I am proud of myself for memorising all those words. Whatever next!

Now you know why I said in my last blog, 'see you the other side of... insanity!'

On the bright side, the evening was a huge success, organised as usual by Jeff Platts and the WSO (We Shall Overcome) organisation. The event was split into two halves with a beer break in the middle.

The 1st Half

Jethro Platts
Gladys Wainwright
Jo Waller
Simon Ibbitson
Kev Austin
Tedge & Beth

The 2nd Half

Lee Pollard
Diane Cleaver
Jo Brooke
Jane Sharp (Writer Paul Athorne)
Andrew Bart Hawkins
Jane Sharp
Billy Bywater

All the above came with words worth listening to, the programme was varied, ranging from light verse to some serious thought provoking stuff, and it was a privilege to be part of the event. Roll on the next one.

I'll be back next week with a round up of news in the hood. Till then, take care, keep warm and keep safe.

Love and Hugs,
Jane x

P.S. I'm reading Harry Potter this month, what about you? If you are looking for a bit of escapism you could always try Higgs Bottom (available on Amazon) click here


Hello lovely readers,

I hope you all had a very HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! David and I celebrated with a glass of cider in the shed, followed by curried vegetables and rice - a Valentine Special!

We also had a midweek trip to Barnsley, Thursday, no market, it was a wee bit quiet but we picked up a few essentials and then had lunch in the Falco Bar, next to the library. That was quiet too, but we had a laugh, especially at the window decoration cum promotion cum I'm not really sure, of a lady about to either dive into the pool (none existent), or else the North Sea, a good two hour's away. Whichever, it put us in a jolly mood with David saying, 'I feel like I'm on holiday.' Maybe that is the reaction the widow dresser had in mind. We ordered three little dishes of tapas and larger to complete the mood:

Frighteningly funny! 

Brilliant little nibbles!
Storm 'Dennis' hit on Saturday/Sunday, but Birdwell is on hilly ground so we were safe from all the flooding. Apparently the river at Darfield came dangerously close to overflowing, but it seems like Wales and York got the worst of it.

After two days of rehearsing for my set at the Barnsley Spoken Word event on Sunday, I was ready for a relaxing evening and a cosy up. You will find the account of how the event panned out in my next blog, but you won't have to wait a week, it will be out as a simultaneous blog, right after this one.

So, if you are ready to see what I got up to yesterday, (Sunday), or if you just want a good laugh, read my next blog post.

See you on the other side of... (sanity)!
Love and Hugs,
Jane x

P.S. Oh, I forgot to mention, I've had another little success, I have had two poems accepted for the Voices of Change anthology, Sheffield, to be launched on 1st May. Yeah!

Monday, February 10, 2020

Unplugged in Doncaster

Hello everybody,

I do hope you have come through the storm without much damage. Ciara blew her way through Birdwell yesterday taking our garden fence with her, but luckily it will soon be repaired. We had a cosy-up day in the house listening to the wind and rain, reading and watching TV, it was the right thing to do, especially as we had been out and about in Doncaster on Saturday. And why were we there? Well, we'd seen on Facebook that there was an Unplugged session at the Brewery and Tap. It's a place we had never been to before, so it was bus pass out, and glad rags on.

We are so pleased that we made the effort. It was jolly, and a great environment with guitar music, song and recitation, and yes, I did join in.  Fun! fun! and that's what everyone needs. Here are a few pics:

We were lucky to get a seat.

Alison was having fun too.

While Ian was busy in the back making sure the brew was perfect.

Add caption

Now that's a barrel!

Behind the scenes at Doncaster Brewery
Thanks, Alison and Ian for a perfect afternoon. We hope to see you again soon.

Today, Monday, has been cold but otherwise not too bad. We tripped off to Morrisons this morning for essentials, and we were back in time for the Daily Politics on BBC2. 

Now it is time to do a bit of washing before thinking about making tea. Oh the joy of housework!

I did manage to read a book last week, The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole. It's claim to fame is that it is the first novel in the genre 'Gothic'. Well, I did enjoy it because of the language - Medieval English - even though the story did have a few quirky moments, but I'm not sure gothic is my sort of stuff. I may be proved wrong. 

So, it's all steam ahead to prepare for the Barnsley Spoken Word Valentine's do at The Old School House, this Sunday at 4.30p.m. The entrance is whatever you can give towards the Barnsley Food Bank - Tins of meat, beans, tomatoes etc or toiletries always wanted. Come along if you can, you will be well entertained.

Ta Ta for now, have a good week and I'll be back soon with an update of my 'exciting' (could do better) life. I'll be glad when the weather improves, my little shed is being neglected.

Lots of love and hugs,
Jane xx

P.S. I have two wonderful reviews on Amazon this week, (thank you dear readers) - you may not think that is going to improve my lot, but it did bring a smile, and that is enough to put me on for the time being. Higgs Bottom you'll be a winner one day. Click to find out more.

Tears From The Sun - The Story