Monday, 31 January 2022


Our lovely daughter-in-law Yuko asked us if we would like her to draw a portrait of Tilly and of course we said yes please we would like that very much. Yuko is drawing on her iPad these days and hoped she could draw Tilly's cuteness. She certainly managed that and emailed the portrait to us in PDF form.  I had been using my printer to print out a few photos of Tilly to put inside my dog journal so I needed to replace my printer inks and while I was out  buying new ink cartridges I also bought an A4 size black frame. So now Yuko's lovely portrait of Tilly is proudly displayed on our living room wall for us to enjoy every day.

Yuko is a talented artist and illustrator and before she moved to the UK to live with our son her new husband she had an exhibition of her work in the Shinoe Museum of Art in her home town in Japan. I still have the catalogue of her work from the exhibition in 2013.

and a little about her here

I have a nice story to tell about Yuko's commission to work with Border Biscuits  on their new website and promotional material.  

Yuko discovered their strawberry and cream shortbread on a visit to England and would eat it almost every day and when she returned to Japan our son would send some to her in his parcels. She wrote about them on her blog and did an illustration.  Her blog post caught the eye of Border Biscuits who contacted her and invited her to Scotland to take a look at the factory that make the biscuits and meet the people who make them. If that wasn't magical enough after a while a big box full of delicious biscuits arrived at her home in Japan. Yuko made the visit to their Lanark premises and her story featured in several Scottish newspapers and she even did a radio interview.


Article from the Scottish Sun, they called her Yoko but she didn't mind that.

Border Biscuits was founded in 1984 and, from a tiny factory and four employees, they're now found in just about every UK supermarket chain and claim that 100 million Border biscuits are crunched, munched and savoured every year all over the planet!

Border Biscuits are most famous for their dark chocolate ginger biscuits and I own up to usually having some in my kitchen cupboard.

Sunday, 23 January 2022

About family

I haven't been walking Tilly for the last ten days or so following her operation so I've been doing some family history research instead. 

I'm not intending renewing my annual subscription to the ancestry site in March as I've done as much as I want to on my own family tree and it can be an expensive and time consuming pastime. I was also disappointed when the 1921 census was released earlier this month and is not available within any subscription or free to view online. Anyway last week I turned my attention back to my husband's family. I was wanting to discover why and when they went to live in the West Midlands and then returned to live in this area of Wales. 

My husband's maternal grandparents were born in Wrexham and that side of his family has been incredibly difficult to research as it is full of the most common of Welsh surnames. Having sent for a couple of certificates it appears that my husband's grandfather lived or spent most of his time with his widowed grandmother and not his parents who lived in the same road. In 1911 and still with his grandmother he was working as a bottler in a wine store. When he married in 1920 and again on the 1921 census he had the same occupation and I was pleased to discover the name of his employer but not home addresses which aren't included on the census forms.

I found an article and photo online and this is where hubby's grandfather would have most probably still been working in 1933. In the foreground is a lorry belonging to the wine merchants in Wrexham. George and Alfred Brown were two bothers who had businesses in Cheshire, Shropshire and North Wales including Wrexham and Llandudno. When Alfred Brown died aged 91 in 1939 they had been trading for 70 years.  I have asked permission from the Wrexham history site to post this photo here on my blog.


Husband's grandparents had four children together, three including my husband's mother were born in Wales and the youngest being born in 1936 in the West Midlands. We have no idea when exactly the family returned to this area of Wales but we do know that husband's grandfather returned to work in the pub and brewery trade.

My husband's mother had met  a soldier and married in Birmingham when she was just seventeen years old and in 1939 living with her in-laws. We do know for certain that husband's older brothers were born in Birmingham although my husband was born in Wales. Most probably the family moved here to be near husband's grandparents.

There seems to be a similar story in my family. Both sets of my grandparents and their families were in Lancashire in 1939 apart from my mother's brother who was in a home for the blind in north Wales. So it seems that following the death of my maternal grandfather in late 1939 most of the family came to live in Wales apart from my parents but I know exactly when we came to live here. My blind uncle later married and went to live in Leeds.

If only we could go back in time and ask the questions we should have asked but never did. There's very few people to ask now so we can only rely on the censuses to give us the backstories.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022


Tilly had her operation yesterday. She was only at the vets for three and a half hours and I was so relieved when they phoned to say she was fine and I could go and collect her, I suppose I am just an anxious Mum. They provided her with  a cone but asked if I wanted a medical pet shirt but the cost would be extra so I said I would have that and I'm glad I did as it is ideal for her to sleep in. She slept soundly in her bed downstairs for the rest of the day and I carried her upstairs and she slept  in her crate all night. She did wake us up at four thirty this morning with her whimpering and I got up to give her some pain relief and have stayed up all day with her but today she prefers to snuggle up on the sofa. I have to email a photo of her wound to the vet on Friday and take her to have her stitches removed on Friday of next week.


She really does not like this cone and I can't say I blame her. She probably won't be too keen on going to visit the vet again either.

Tuesday, 4 January 2022

Back to normal

Saturday being New Year's Day felt more like a Sunday to us. We had a nice roast beef dinner and cracked open another bottle of prosecco, pulled a couple of the remaining Christmas crackers and still we had no room for the Christmas pudding we couldn't manage to eat at Christmas.  Sunday didn't feel like a Sunday either and our day started with the bad news of someone's passing which made us feel very sad for our family members. We'd already decided to take down and pack away the few Christmas decorations and get back to normal and not wait until twelfth night. The weather wasn't good and we would have preferred to go out and blow away the cobwebs but went ahead and packed away those decorations. Monday was another Bank Holiday and we just had a lazy day at home, the housework could wait.

Tilly had an appointment at the grooming parlour today and I was a little anxious about it but this new place are very caring and when I asked is she had been good they said she is very fidgety and it takes two to groom her but she's been okay. I'm happy now that this can be her regular grooming place and she only needs to return in eight weeks time. I've put her jumper on her as the weather has turned extremely cold  and unfortunately you can't tell from the photo that she's been groomed but she has and Tilly is now flat out on the sofa cuddled up next to hubby.

I must tell you this. What a performance we had when we returned home. Hubby couldn't get out of his coat as the zip had jammed about a quarter of the way down and I had to literally cut him out of it.  We'd bought the coat online a couple of years ago and he only started wearing it this year. Firstly he realised the hood wouldn't fasten as the velcro had two smooth sides and then he found what looked like a knife cut in the back of the coat. It was from a reputable high street store so we can only assume it was a second and I can't remember how much I paid for it. It's now in the bin. We'd already decided we needed to buy him a new winter coat and one that he can try on and examine in store but we're waiting for the children to go back to school so that the shops will be quieter.  You couldn't make it up and there never seems to be a dull moment in this house :)

Saturday, 1 January 2022

A New Year

Yesterday was a nice, warm day and we met Eunice at the harbour before she returned home from her two night camping trip here on the north Wales coast. We enjoyed deluxe hot chocolate, that's hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows and bacon rolls sat on the benches outside the cafe and we had a few laughs as well. Just before she left for home she wanted to give me something she had found and I certainly would never have expected what she gave me. I'm not going to say but it's such a random find you'll have to wait until she reveals all on her blog. For now you can see the review of her old year here. Following her visit to see us October I went purposely to photograph the holiday cottage that bears the same name as her blog.

Last night I almost made it to see in the New Year, I went to bed about 11.40 p,m. and listened to some music but woke again at ten minutes past midnight and I hadn't even heard the fireworks. Oh well, never mind :)

I wasn't going to write a review of the old year but I have to say the highlight for me was collecting an eight week old Tilly at the end of February and today I can reveal it's her birthday, yes she was born on New Year's Day 2021 and of course she will have cake. Happy Birthday Tilly!

and this was her on the first of the many walks she has to look forward to

So what else was a highlight of the old year.  Being told by my oncologist that I wouldn't need anymore appointments with her but she'll be there for me if I need her. So it wasn't a bad year after all.

I wish all who read my blog a very happy and healthy 2022 and hope for a return to normality in these uncertain times. It's been a crazy couple of years made so much better for me having such lovely supportive friends.

Sunday's viewings

Just a  couple of photos from yesterday's walk at the harbour, it was a bright day despite all those clouds. I stood and watched the lif...