Thursday, 29 November 2007
Saturday, 24 November 2007
Thursday, 22 November 2007
Friday, 16 November 2007
Thursday, 15 November 2007
Christmas is coming!
Christmas is coming
And the geese are getting fat
Please put a penny in the old man's hat
If you can't spare a penny, a ha'penny will do
If you don't have a ha'penny, well God bless you!
I'm sure you all remember that little rhyme, but as Jackie just said Christmas is coming!
As usual it will be here sooner than you think and so will be another New Year.
So you'd better be sure to be good and send in your form and fee for the next April's Cuckooite Reunion 2008 before it's too late!
After it looks like it's going to be one celebration you will not want to miss out on.
Please see the earlier postings and the e-mail's that Tommy sent you for all the
Cuckooite Reunion 2008 mailing details and January's deadline.
If you can spare the 15 quid fee it will definitely be well worth it.
If you can't, ..well God bless you all anyway.
Wednesday, 14 November 2007
I moved to the Cuckoo Estate in 1989, shortly after arriving in the UK from Holland. I was looking for a house somewhere in between Heathrow and Hammersmith and Hanwell seemed the obvious choice. I first set my eye on a house in Kennedy Road but when the survey showed bad signs of subsidance I decided to continue looking and found my current house in Stephenson Road, which I loved at first sight. It has been modified quite a lot from the original layout. From what I understand, these houses had 3 bedrooms upstairs and the bathroom downstairs. Like many others, this one has been converted to 2 bedrooms with an upstairs bathroom. The downstairs area has been made open plan and an extension built at the back which serves as utility room and a small porch at the front. The privet hedge at the front had been removed before I purchased and replaced with a brick wall, the shared pathway divided into two. I have since planted privet in between those paths to bring back some of the original "feel".I moved in on the Friday preceeding May bank holiday and was greeted by my new next door neighbours; Ethel in no 43 offered to make me a cup of tea as I had lost my kettle and Bet in no 47 who turned into a great friend and confidant. Because my house is mid-terrace and the previous owners were good friends with Bet, an access gate had been created in between the two properties. This turned out to be a great asset for me as, through the first few years that followed me moving in, I landscaped the garden and the idea of having to move all that soil, rubble, compost etc through the house would not have appealed to me. It also meant that we had many evening chats through the open gate at the back whilst hanging our washing etc. Bet had many cats and a dog and we sort of "shared" them as I am an animal lover but had no time to keep any of my own. She also had a big family and Sunday afternoons were great fun when they all came over for lunch and a play in the garden. I must also mention Dave & Anna in no 41; Dave used to sell crisps from his van and Anna smoked like a chimney. They have since moved to Norfolk. Eileen in no 35 and Jean & Len in no 23 are still living here and are good friends.I worked at Heathrow and as the evenings were getting longer I used to rush home to spend time in my garden. I didn't have a car so the journey was tiresome walking down to Hanwell Bus Station (now closed), then bus out towards Hayes and then another bus across to Heathrow. Saturdays I would go to West Ealing for my weekly shop, again by bus. On Sundays I would walk through "the field" as we called it in those days, to get to the Community Centre where the Garden Shop was open for 2 hours and we could purchase cheap fertilisers and other garden stuff and have a chat with other local gardeners. Walking through the "field" in those days was a calming experience as it was all wild and not many people about. I also did some voluntary work in the garden shop, but things were slow, the society decided to close down and so did the shop. I tried the one at Greenford but it was just not the same as I didn't know anyone.I eventually left my work at Heathrow and moved on to work in Hertfordshire, got myself a little car and life changed somewhat. I was now able to get around easier and do my weekly shop in Sainsbury's and make trips to the garden centre every weekend. I spent every spare moment in my garden, got a shed and a greenhouse and learnt lots as I went along. In spite of growing up on a farm in Sweden I didn't really have a clue about gardening but thanks to Gardeners World on TV every Friday with good old Geoff Hamilton and my gardening magazines, I soon picked up on what to do and when to do it and I think most of my neighbours labelled me a bit mad as I used to be out there in all weathers, especially since my greenhouse got lights installed.Life changed again as I started working in the City, in the financial world, as an IT professional. I was on call 24/7 and although I kept the garden going (an earned lots more money) I had less time to spend in it actually relaxing and the travelling into town by public transport and abroad for business too meant I had much less time to spend in the local area. It was literally a matter of just sleeping at home, if lucky, and then being away for the rest of the day. This lasted for a few years before I got fed up with the "rat race" and started looking for something closer to home. I found a job as an IT technician in Uxbridge.The first few weeks were fantastic as I got there in less than an hour with my little car and got home on time in the evenings. The truth is, I didn't quite know what to do with myself! Then I started getting involved in large European wide projects, and suddenly work took over, once again. I started travelling, got a mobile phone and got promoted. The piece and quiet was over and I was yet again available for conferences and such like at evening time. It was hard to concentrate on anything in the home or the surrounding area.The promotions continued, as did the out-of-hours work until suddenly, the company started having difficulties and I was offered redundancy. I accepted and about the same time had my pregnancy confirmed. It was an emotional time. I went to the Caribbean to relax for a bit, spending some of my redundancy money and I had a great time. Upon my return, I decided to start looking for work but held out little hope as my bump would soon start showing, and what employer in their right mind would offer a job to a pregnant woman?To make a long story short, I did not find another job but decided to adopt a puppy instead. Our lovely Leo is a Golden Retriever, now six and a half, and he really got me out and about in the local area. We went to the park at least twice every day when he was young, even after I gave birth to my son Richard. I must be one of the few mothers who, three days after having a C-section, was walking a big dog in the park with my baby in a sling. I remember it well, my feet were still swollen after the pregnancy and I could not wear any shoes. Only the very old pair of size 40 Swedish clogs that I found in the shed fitted me!Since getting Leo, I have walked most of the estate, not just the park. We have done miles with the buggy and when Richard started to walk on his own, many many miles in the park as it was softer to fall on grass than on the tarmac. We were involved in starting the "Friends of Cuckoo Park" association 2 years ago. The first meeting was held at the Hanwell Community Centre, but as we had such a small number of members to start off with, it was agreed we would hold bi-monthly meetings at our house. We achieved quite a lot; new bins, promoting wildlife and plants, repairs/replacement of equipment in the playground, clamping down on dog fouling, removal of fly tips and litter etc - all with the help of our local Rangers, Neighbourhood Police, councilors and anti-social behaviour representatives from Ealing Council.Richard is now 6 and since the age of 3 he has attended Hobbayne Primary School. Last year I got a job at the school and poor Leo's life changed somewhat. Instead of going to the park twice a day, I walked him round Stephenson Road, Little John Road, Homefarm Road, Westcott Crescent and Browning Avenue in the mornings. In the afternoons, as I was at first part time, I would come home and take him to the park.However, now that I have a "full-time" (read: school time) job and Richard plays football at Brentside on Saturdays, we only go to the park on Sunday mornings when Richard does Stagecoach at Hobbayne for an hour and a half. Leo still gets his two walks a day of course, but mainly on the streets and as a newly appointed "Streetwatcher", that allows me to keep an eye on "my" roads = Stephenson, Little John, Homefarm and Framfield. On Mondays, Richard does tap dancing at North Hanwell Baptist Church in Cuckoo Avenue so we both go there to pick him up. On Thursday it is ballet time at St Mary's Church Hall in Greenford Avenue and the same applies there. We do get about quite a bit and I have made many, many friends on the estate since I got Leo and, needless to say, since becoming a very lucky mum to my gorgeous son Richard.
Tuesday, 13 November 2007
Hi to you all from Eastbourne. Lovely in the day just started to be frosty at night. Christmas soon to be here!! Where has the year gone? Since our return to the UK our feet have never touched the ground. WHAT do you do in retirement they say!!!!! 9 grandchildren have taken over our lives seems more to do as they get older than when they are babies. At least when small all activities in the home now it's into the car and dash from one field to another cheering on a rugby, football, netball,( Do you remember Effo our netball team was unbeatable we smashed all the other schools.)open evenings, prizegiving, school shows, all mine believe they have the star part when standing at the back with a spear, flag, flower, umbrella. Wonderful and all so innocent. Millie the youngest of the team delighted to be the one carrying the bread to the alter at harvest. Magic moments the reason we are back here!!!! Wanted to let you know can you please be sure to change my e-mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org ( well thats if you have not already?) Having a tidy up on the laptop and this is the main address now. We are into small groups for Christmas Day then the whole team and more for Boxing Day at middle daughters. She lives in Kingston Surrey so those from North and South can meet in the middle, plus she can with a squeeze garden tables, borrowed knives and forks, extra chairs get us all in one room!!!!!!!! Good fun I enjoy the cold turkey as much has hot and easier. Have a great time yourselves. Tommy thanks for the phone number, will give it just before they leave which I think is mid December. Jackie thank you for all you are doing, hope the numbers are coming along. Hugs and bubbles Jackie ( Lovell )
Prime Minister John Howard - Australia
Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.
A day after a group of mainstream Muslim leaders pledged loyalty to Australia and her Queen at a special meeting with Prime Minister John Howard, he and his Ministers made it clear that extremists would face a crackdown. Treasurer Peter Costello, seen as heir apparent to Howard, hinted that some radical clerics could be asked to leave the country if they did not accept that Australia was a secular state, and its laws were made by parliament. "If those are not your values, if you want a country which has Sharia law or a theocratic state, then Australia is not for you", he said on National Television
"I'd be saying to clerics who are teaching that there are two laws governing people in Australia : one the Australian law and another Islamic law that is false. If you can't agree with parliamentary law, independent courts, democracy, and would prefer Sharia law and have the opportunity to go to another country, which practices it, perhaps, then, that's a better option", Costello said.
Asked whether he meant radical clerics would be forced to leave, he said those with dual citizenship could possibly be asked to move to the other country. Education Minister Brendan Nelson later told reporters that Muslims who did not want to accept local values should "clear off. Basically people who don't want to be Australians, and who don't want, to live by Australian values and understand them, well then, they can basically clear off", he said.
Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: "IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians."
"However, the dust from the attacks had barely settled when the 'politically correct' crowd began complaining about the possibility that our patriotism was offending others. I am not against immigration, nor do I hold a grudge against anyone who is seeking a better life by coming to Australia " "However, there are a few things that those who have recently come to our country, and apparently some born here, need to understand." "This idea of Australia being a multi-cultural community has served only to dilute our sovereignty and our national identity. And as Australians, we have our own culture, our own society, our own language and our own life style."
"This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom"
"We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society. Learn the language!"
"Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture."
"We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us."
"If the Southern Cross offends you, or you don't like "A Fair Go", then you should seriously consider a move to another part of this planet. We are happy with our culture and have no desire to change, and we really don't care how you did things where you came from. By all means, keep your culture, but do not force it on others.
"This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'."
"If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted."
Wednesday, 7 November 2007
Something jogged my memory a few days ago and it made me smile. My mum used to say some silly things, such as when I was being told off and I smiled she often said " You will be laughing on the other side of your face in a minute" Err, what did she mean by that.? And "I did not come down on the up train you know" And "I might be cabbage looking but I am not Green" They were silly old sayings from another era that have long died out. Is there any more your folks used to say to you?
Monday, 5 November 2007
This book is a great read,once I started reading it I could not put it
down.Anyone who lived on the estate can relate to this story in one way or
another.Well done Jim I applaud you.
Holmes, Skirth, Tye, who subdued upstarts with a large gym slipper, Taffy
Evans, and Mrs. Nicholson. The daily issue of milk came in churns and I was
the milk monitor. That entailed helping the milk lady to set out fifty
beakers and then fill them with a gill of milk. Then I'd hare off to the
first class and announce that they could go to the hall for their ration,
then rush back to help rinse out the beakers and refill them for the next
class. By the time every class had attended the morning was almost over, so
I didn't have too many lessons. The air- raid shelters were on the far side
of the playground in a field which eventually became a prefab site. They
were like a rabbit warren and had duckboards as there was always water down there.
hour, I would be given a cake tin full of the sweets and hand one out to
each boy, If they had been allowed to dip their hands into the tin it would
have been empty by the time I'd gone a few yards, so I'd ask each kid which
colour they wanted and sort that out. Grubby fingers weren't an item. On
some occasions we'd be down there for two hours and so a second sweet was
issued. I remember once when the all clear sounded with only a few minutes
to go before I did a second round, John Hancock, who lived in Upfied, gave
me thumping in the playground as though it was my fault that he'd been
deprived of whatever colour he preferred. He led a band of school ruffians
known as the Muller Gang which terrified the rest of us. I ran into him in
the 50s and he seemed almost human and was in the Merchant Navy. I notice
from one of the sites pictures of the school that the motto has been
changed. It used to be "Service, Not Self." Taffy Evans was the music
teacher and had been invalided out of the RAF. Every so often, in the
middle of a lesson, he would collapse in a shivering heap and then rush out
of the room. Mr. Skirth taught woodwork and had been recalled from
retirement..We were expected to supply the wood from any houses that had
been blitzed during the night. He was very short tempered and threw a chisel
at one of the lads which stuck in the door about a foot above his head. Mrs.
Nicholson taught hard sums and was the wife of an archaeologist. If she
mentioned algebra, someone would always ask what it meant and she would
launch into recounts of her travels in the desert and that would be the end
of the lesson. Happy days. Del.
Saturday, 3 November 2007
Friday, 2 November 2007
stress that builds during the day. I have found that this really works!!
* 1 Grapefruit
* 1 slice whole-wheat toast
* 1 cup skim milk
* 1 small portion lean, steamed chicken with a cup of spinach * 1 cup
* 1 Penguin Biscuit
* The rest of the Penguins from the packet
* 1 tub of Gino Ginelli ice cream with chocolate topping
* 4 bottles of wine (red or white)
* 2 loaves garlic bread
* 1 family size Supreme pizza
* 3 snickers bars
LATE NIGHT SNACK
* 1 whole cheesecake (eaten directly from the freezer)
"Stressed" spelled backwards is desserts"
Send this to four women and you will lose two kilograms
Send this to all the women you know (or ever knew) and you
will lose 10kgs
IF you delete this message you will gain 10 kgs
Here's some advice for you:
Dr. Neil proclaimed the way to achieve inner peace is to
finish all the things you have started. So I looked around
my house to see things I started and hadn't finished; and,
before leaving the house this morning,I finished off a
of Pinot, a bottle of Chardonnay , a botle of Baileys, a
Butle of Kehuha, a pockage of Pinqeuns, tha 'mainder of botl
Prozic and Valum prscriptins, the res of the Chesescke, an a
bax a cholates.
Yu haf no idr who gud I fel.
Thursday, 1 November 2007
Guy Fawkes Day
Remember, remember the 5th of November.
That's the day Guy Fawkes unsuccessfully plotted and tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament with a bomb and gunpowder, his penalty for this must have been that he was to be burned at the stake or some other gruesome demise. So since then, every year, the ritual of burning his effigy is celebrated.
To us as kids on the Cuckoo Estate it was a big and exciting day to look forward to.
We would get ready by making a "Guy" out of old clothes and stuff it with rags, horse chestnut leaves and old newspaper, usually we'd give him a painted mask of some sort, and often this was made from paper machete and a hat. We would find an old wheelbarrow, pushchair or pram and wheel our Guy around the streets or park it up the shops on
Before the big night we would build a "Bonfire", there was almost one in every back garden and at least one giant one up the Old Cuckoo Schools, which was piled high with any old junk furniture and rubbish that people needed to get rid of. The ones in our back gardens were somewhat smaller but still pretty big. On top of the bonfires we would burn our effigy of Guy Fawkes. I'm not sure if all that smoke was healthy, couple with the chimney smoke it only made the foggy
This event must all sound pretty pagan to the uninitiated and in some ways I guess it was.
Remember this event was not only on the Cuckoo Estate but celbrated all over
But the really exciting stuff took place in our own back gardens, my family lived next door to the Fields family and I remember the fun we all had.
Leading up to that day of course we'd light Jumping Jacks and scare some one walking by or let Cherry Bombs of under dustbin lids which made a loud bang and sent the old metal lid up in the air. I shudder to think how unsafe it all was, especially the Roman Candles that sometimes we handheld and fired across fences into your neighbour's garden in some kind of mock warfare game.
Today of course things are much more organized and responsible, with huge public displays of fantastic fireworks along the Thames and other places, nowadays I think it's really more like an American 4th of July (Independence (from us Brits) Day) event.
Does anyone else remember their Guy Fawkes Day from when they were little, or can you remember more names of fireworks?
Or would you like to share any special memories you may have of those good old days we enjoyed so much. Now the purchase of fireworks is illegal in many
know my son lectures about computers at University. He contacted me
about 3 months ago because of the teaching web site lynda.com He said
he was so impressed he signed up for it himself. Go and have a look
at the site it costs nothing to look. Almost all of the thing they
teach, you will be able to go into and have a look and indeed
practice what they are teaching. I went to the site and after only a
short while I decided to sign up for it also. Jimmy my son signed up
for the top package $400 for the year and I told him I would do the
same. But his advice was the package he took was largely to do with a
lot of new programs. Which he was sure none of us would have. So go
and have a look as much as you want it costs nothing. But of course
you will be restricted how far into these lessons you can go unless
you sign up, then you have unrestricted access to every thing. In
every tuition video you are looking at the tutors computer screen as
if you are looking at your own. You are actually watching him move
the curser around and clicking on things. So if any of you take a
look and decide to sign up don't go for the top one. You can sign up
for $25 per month with no minimum term, so you can cancel after only
one month if you like. Or $250 for the year saving $50 (that is the
one I took). Go and have a look and keep going back to it as often as
you like, and you will soon get the hang of it. And most importantly
let us all know what you think of it. Jim Davis