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, home of the trolls! 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 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 my Grandchildren in Venta Icenorum and Dùn Èideann and of Alex, my youngest grandchild – a year ago he underwent serious heart surgery at St James Hospital, Leeds. Thanks to the expertise and dedication of those Doctors and Nurses he is in Jorvik almost walking! He flies to Malta for his first winter holiday! My new computer is up and running. Vista is odd but I will get used to it .. eventually. I have a cough and 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. It is 50 years since the Munich Air Disaster. Memories flood into my mind of days and people long gone. I should not have watched the tribute programmes, "Totally dejected, morose and unhappy."  £50 bond win, United beating Arsenal 4-0 in Cup and scousers losing 2-1 to Barnsley cheer me up slightly!!



Struggling getting all my data off the old computer – it really was on its last chip!! United continue to win despite Liverpool employing there own referee! Wild winds, cold but very little snow – climate change or what? Paid deposit on annual holiday.



Mondays, visit to Café B for breakfast, not impressed it has lost its ambience. The weather is warming so pay visit to a local garden centre – buy gooseberry bush and replacement of rotting garden fence panel a later trip and I get 4 large containers for 2 each of cherry and peach trees! See if containers help keep the slugs at bay! United struggling to another title win. Petrol now over £6 a gallon. [$ 10].  The strip of land at the front of house is now laid with cotswold stone instead of a bed of next doors dandelions! 



 Utility bills increasing – have to increase all my direct debits! Euro 1.40 to the £1 – got fewer than last year for same amount! 10th and set off on Shearings "Grand Tourer" coach. Another enjoyable holiday in France. Manchester United win the Premiership for the 10th time out of the last 16 years ! Manchester United defeat Chelsea, 6-5 on penalties and win the European Cup. CHAMPIONS.



Monday’s breakfasts in Cafe b stopped. Last june the Footsie reached an all time high, now it is dropping like a stone! All thanks to the home of capitalism. "Burn your credit cards." Saw programme about area of China where inhabitants claim to have "Roman blood!" Interesting subject for novel????? Long weekend in Jorvik – had Father’s Day meal in Churchill Hotel, excellent value. 27th and it is wet and cold. . . 15 C or 59 F. in June? ! ! ! !



Nic and Alex came for a few days. The Pyracantha has a blackbird nesting – eventually 3 fledglings fly off. Not wet as last year – the slug population are freezing this year !! Book a short holiday in Jersey. 



 The wicked witch continues to stir her evil brew. Nic, Marie and Alex visit for my birthday – went to Twycross Zoo. Had evening meal at the "Yard" – think I enjoyed the evening !! The 2008 olympics open in Beijing with a spectacular display which is more than can be said for london’s contribution. 



The fencing all weatherproofed, unfortunately chose a bright almost yellow ‘paint.’ Started the ‘novel’ – well supposedly everyone has at least one in them – don’t they ???  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. 



The first flight I have undertaken goes well although the weather in Jersey was wet and windy. Went to doctor’s surgery for flu and pnuemonia jabs Friday – aching joints all Sunday. Family History research is very slow – 17th/18th century records difficult to come by. Started a project for a friend which is diverted me from the story, this is good – I was getting bogged down – too much research not enough writing!



Two years of boredom end – son of a Kenyan is now President elect of the land of the free!  A long weekend in Jorvik to celebrate Nic’s graduation. Major re appraisal of story format. As a cold snap bites in – I am ill with sore throat and cold. 




Posted Christmas cards to friends in China, South Africa, Western Australia and Nebraska. Msn change blog format – overnight with no warning. Now have no access to world wide bloggers and lose several contacts. Still getting used to the changes. I go 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. Manchester United win ‘World club championships.’ Even more good news is that petrol is down to £4 a gallon – the bad news is that interest rates are now 2%. Christmas and walking around the streets of Jorvik, seeing the student carol singers and musicians; the roasting chestnuts on a brazier; ambling through the Shambles and having a coffee at Starbucks. Had an excellent meal and Santa remembered where I was!  Spent all saturday morning talking to Yan in shanghai – improving her English.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 in a ‘Glencairn whisky glass.’ 


 Happy 2009 dear bloggers – whereever you are. 




  1. Laird,Happy New Year my dear friend. I will definately be thinking of you this week when on my trip to the grocery, I look for my Wenslydale, or double Glochester or Chesire. Wouldn\’t it be something if I found some Cantal! :)Cheers to you, I will raise my glass of sparkling grape cider to you, in about 20 minutes, knowing you sleep soundly in your castle.hugs hugs

  2. A warm hug and a Happy New Year wish for you. May 2009 be as you would want it to be.Kind thoughtsKate.

  3. Its great how you summed up your year in separate months. The New Years rolled in for me with a live music and dancing. Actually all of the past holiday has been full of friends and parties. A real change from my normal very quiet life. So Cheers to you in the New Year. May we see some changes for the positive.Carrie

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