Minutes to midnight and I open the lounge curtains in readiness for the anticipated fireworks. I look to the west where the lights of the villages,snuggling on Cannock Chase, twinkle in the distance. To the North the steep hill falls away into town and on the far side of the valley lies Newhall, sadly not Wythenshawe, Manchester.  To the south the road continues climbing and curves away towards the now dark, deserted common. Atop the hill looking eastward 2 telephone towers stand sentinal above what was once the municipal tip. They stand beside the Ski Slope, which is now at the centre of the National Forest. I pour myself a large tot of whisky, noone is here to supervise the size of the bevvy! On television, Jools Holland counts down to the birth of a new year, the church bells peal out their welcome and the sky is ablaze with coloured fire. I think of Alex, my youngest grandchild – in eight short days he has been born and celebrated his first christmas and New Year. 18 days later he undergoes serious heart surgery at St James Hospital, Leeds. Thanks to the expertise and dedication of those Doctors and Nurses he is soon off the ventilator and back home in Jorvik. I have a cold.



My Monday trips to the brewery capital of England continue, with breakfast at the Café B. Most of the sales are over and as usual I seem to miss all these ‘bargains. Snow 6” deep is forecast we get short of 2”!  Manchester United continues to lead the Premiership.

Alex is well enough to visit – He does not like his proscribed medicine – He enjoys his super extra milk food!


On my blogs I meet some new interesting people – msn insists on calling them “Friends” which I admit is better than “buddies” but still falls short of a real definition. They are companions on my internet journey of discovery. United beat Liverpool 1 – 0. ! Alex and his parents move into new apartment in Jorvik. My eldest son, short of cash, rings to tell me I am to be a granddad for the sixth time – am I a Father or Money tree?


Mondays, and continue visit to Café B for breakfast. The weather is warming so pay visit to a local garden centre – buy stone, plant pots and plants, and slug pellets! Had to get new prescription from opticians. I have this large blob affecting the sight in my right eye – like seeing a large fly in my peripheral vision. Bloody annoying! Popped over to Ashby del a Zouch for a pie and pint with power station work colleague. Rang China to speak with English student.

United 5 points ahead of Chelsea with 3 games to play…….!


United eliminated from Champions league.

Completed paperwork for application for old age pension. This is one birthday, one landmark in ageing that I am not looking forward to!  Hospital appointment regarding eye defect, had to travel on public transport. This surprised me as a “friend” whom I had driven on several 100 mile round journeys to Northfield,with no thought of reward, did not even offer to take me 10 miles. Some friend.  I have Macular degeneration. Of all my senses I think eyesight is the most precious. Do I keep them closed longer, read less, who knows?

Manchester United win the Premiership for the 9th time out of the last 15 years ! CHAMPIONS.


Well the Footsie reaches an all time high so I sell my ‘save as you earn shares’ at a 100% profit. The new car I was thinking about will soon be a reality. Holiday in edinbugh arranged – Nic, Marie and Alex will see the new babe! It rains and rains and rains ! Weekend in Jorvik cancelled – west Yorkshire flooded!!


My bank has been swallowed up by a larger rival so am being deluged with new accounts, plastic cards and all the rest of the paraphinalia necessary to the modern banking system. Large tracts of Gloucestershire are under flood water, being nearer London the press coverage, like the rain, is saturated. Sheffield’s fate is unknown, for many weeks! Took a friend out for a meal  which we both enjoyed. The slug population are enjoying the wet tropical conditions – run out of salt!


Two weeks until I hit the dreaded 65, decide to have a tea party and invite my Granddaughter. Seems my dread of reaching this milestone was a kind of premonition of pending doom! Civil war breaks out among my children, the wicked witch stirs her evil brew. Cancel holiday in Edinburgh. Have tea party,attended by next door neighbour with daughters and older neighbours with daughter from Newcastle and her friend. Visited Jorvik where I spent a pleasant 4 days.


The fencing all weatherproofed and the changes to the garden completed. Had lunch in garden – summer begins? Watched England beat Israel in 2008 European Cup qualifier. Since when has that country been in Europe? Major computer problems and unable to participate in blogland. Cooking is becoming a bore ! Now borrowing books from library on a regular basis – this free  local authority service should be used otherwise we may lose a valuable civic service. Made some plum brandy!


Had a pie and pint with friend then coffee at home where she showed me her holiday snaps. Swimming with dolphins in Mexico! One half of the infamous political double act has gone, Blair resigns and Gordon Brown takes over. Do the establishment like him? Everything that could go wrong is going wrong, is this coincidence? The boss at cafe B leaves and my Monday visits reduce – surprising how one person can create a pleasurable ambience. Went to surgery for flu jab Saturday – aching joints all Sunday. Tasted Plum Brandy – Yuk!



Bought new monitor, however the printer and scanner will not operate. I am realising that as I get older my views are becoming more entrenched yet appear to be in unison with more people than I expected. Could be I am not as prepared as some to dumb down for the sake of political correctness. Drove over to Nottingham for an away day!  Made my Christmas puddings – threw away the cherry brandy!



Slight change of plan for christmas I am going up to Jorvik to spend the holiday with Nic, Marie and Alex. Reduce my carbon footprint by not going into Burton – too crowded with early festive shoppers. Friend joins me for ‘candlelit supper.’ Decide not to blog about christmas or the hippocrites who will be ‘celebrating’ the festival.

I enjoyed Alex’s first Christmas. Walking around the streets of York seeing the student carol singers and musicians, the roasting chestnuts on a brazier, an amble through the Shambles. I cooked the dinner and Santa remembered where I was!  Now almost a week has passed and later tonight I will tune my TV into Jools Holland show, open the curtains to watch the expected firework display and toast you all with a large glass of special malt. Happy 2008 dear bloggers – whereever you are. 





10 thoughts on “THAT WAS THE YEAR THAT WAS

  1. Fascinating journal Laird,
    Amazing you remember that much detail and can put it in writing where it all flows so well,
    I think I would surely get bogged down if I tried it, and end up with a jumble.
    Each year is a mixed bag of events and people\’s comings and goings it seems,
    while some things change others stay the same.
    Maybe this year you will perfect the brandy…
    Happy 2008, I think it will be an interesting one!

  2. REally like this format–very interesting way to glean the top stories……perhaps I will give it a run.  SO know what you mean about being a grandparent or……a moneytree……………well, at least they are all good kids, conscientious and caring………….I guess there will come a day when they are going to get theirs–with all the kids, heh heh!

  3. New Year started in Seattle with a computer glitch that delayed the fireworks on the Space Needle!  Hmm, not a good ad for Microsoft I am thinking.  Still with front row seats from my snug apartment I didn\’t mind the delay, at least the show went on.  Today is one to relax before working two jobs tomorrow.  What am I thinking?  It\’s nearly time to retire, and I must store up a few nuts if I wish to travel is what.  Hopefully I will visit London in 2009 as I now have a time share there.  Couldn\’t have come at a better time. 
    Blessed be,

  4. A very Happy New Year to you dear friend – we have travelled through yet another year in our world of blogs.  Your year too has not been uneventful!  I,  like you,  wish that 2008 will be more peaceful, more fun, more love in your life and the warmth of friends and family ever surround you.   Not much to ask for but it would be nice to see those wishes fulfilled.  Hope you will be joining the \’travelling brigade\’ – I think it would suit you down to the ground!  <hugs> xx

  5. My dear "blog" friend,I remember alot of this, I remember Alex\’s birth and many of the ordeals you have been through this past year (the computer hassles, I had plenty of those too!).  But I also remember the fun and the hornest nest\’s  you  so endearingly stirred up! I consider myself blessed to have been with you this past year and I so look forward to another year (the ordeals as well as the fortunes!) sharing through this "port hole I peek through now and then".  So here\’s to you, dear Laird, wishing you all of the best life has to offer!hugs hugs,Sheila

  6. Thankyou for your new year wishes to me. I hope 2008 will be a good year for you, as eventful as you want it, but less stressful.

  7. Good Evening mi Laird,
    I love this blog… and I think maybe you just inspired me to keep a daily journal of my own, yet again!…lol… have always thought I would do it, but never did, too much happens sometimes in my days and I could end up writing reams…maybe thats why I haven\’t done it before. I love your photos too, especially the old ones, they leave me wondering about the people in them and how life was then. I have a photo of my grandad and his dog when he ran a farm at Bradfield and the stories my mom used to tell I could have listened to all day.
    Anyway, I hope the traffic jam didn\’t spoil your Yorkshire Christmas too much and hope you\’ve had a lovely start to the New Year..
    love n hugs
    Eth 🙂 xxx

    Hi  Laird,
    This is a nice panorama of your life.  I hope the new year brings you good health and happiness.  Likewise for your nice big family.  Now who are the hypocrites and politically correct people on Spaces that you mention?  Your Space is fun to visit and so informative.  I am wondering if one of the castles in the photo album is yours.  Is it?  Please be careful making those potent beverages to drink – only healthful drinks I hope.
    Peace in the New Year,

Comments are closed.