Shackleton's blog

Polly and Dolly

A middle-class lady bought two female parrots, Polly and Dolly, but was shocked to discover that they kept shouting out rude and inappropriate remarks. She sought advice from her parish priest about curing them of this embarrassing situation. The priest was mortified at the things the parrots were shouting. Polly squawked provocatively, “Do you fancy some hanky-panky?” Dolly screeched rudely, “Would you risk it for a biscuit?” The priest then...

Raglan Castle

Raglan castle in Monmouthshire, south-east Wales, was one of the last medieval castles to be built in the British Isles. Construction first began about the middle of the 15th century and was commissioned by one William Thomas, who was described as the ‘lesser son of a minor family’. He was, however, active in local politics and very attentive to the noble young ladies of the day, eventually marrying two wealthy heiresses in quick succession,...

Ellie

Ellie came calling. She’s 9 years old (going on 25) and is the middle child of our eldest daughter, Karen. Bright and chatty, she’s just recently began to take pride in her personal appearance after being very much a tomboy since babyhood. She alarmed me slightly when she suddenly announced that there was a hot boy she really fancies. Fortunately, it’s a teenage boy she sees on Youtube who plays some of the latest pop music. Her favourite song...

Jack and James

The photo was taken at 6.30am on New Year’s Day. James (almost 2 years) and Jack (5 years) are having a sleepover and had taken over our bed… they wake up early regardless of whatever day of the year it is. We have a spare room which we’ve set up for grandkids, but they all invade our bedroom early mornings during sleepovers. They are the children of our youngest daughter, Claire. Their dad, Mark, is in hospital for a couple of days having some...

Reaside Walking

I was feeling rather stodgy after Christmas excess and Mrs. Treaclechops had a mild dose of winter blues, so we decided to have a stroll along the river Rea in south Birmingham. It was a mild 10℃, with a sky of intermittent light cloud and bright sunshine. The start of our walk was a 15-minute drive away and we planned for a half hour wander… one hour in total for the excursion. As ever, I took my camera, but with the bleak winter landscape...