Archive for January, 2016

The Wrens.

January 16, 2016

The Wrens.

I joined The Wrens in 1957. This wasn’t all that easy for a working class girl in those days, although this was more an attitude of mind than The Navy itself. The Navy never made me feel working class. Although I did have a vaguely upper class accent, learned during my three years in a very nice children’s home, and not quite forgotten. But once in, my accent rapidly improved again. After all, most of them were genuinely upper class. You live it, you speak it.

But the glory was that I was accepted as an Air Mechanic. The powers that were at Queen Anne’s Mansions at the time, tried to talk me into being a cook or a steward. Well, I hadn’t passed my Scholarship, nor had anything else to recommend me, so I suppose this wasn’t surprising. But I knew what I wanted to be. And I did pass whatever odd intelligence test they set me. I have never really understood Intelligence Tests because they all seem like basic common sense to me, but perhaps that is the trick.

I still remember the hope and desperation, and finally the letter of acceptance. My family weren’t wild about the idea, less than, in fact. An Air Mechanic? What latest insanity is this? So I went on my way without much of a blessing. “Do feel free to come home if you get pregnant” was the parting shot. Pregnant? I didn’t even know how in those days. No one had ever told me. However, I did somehow manage to avoid that. Mainly due to The Chief Wren who definitely knew what that was all about. And no one was impregnating her girls unless over her dead body. She frequently patrolled the main deck at night to see what we were up to. And she knew every hiding place.

But I learned how to mend aeroplanes. Actually it was mostly servicing and changing parts, but that isn’t rocket science either. Although it carries great responsibly. People could die if you don’t pay attention.
But I did have the advantage of being a bit little, all the easier to get into small places. Aircraft designers have obviously never had to work on one. Aeroplanes would be so much bigger if they had.

But oh, what fun it was. This was entirely me, standing on a mainplane with a fuel nozzle in my hand, pumping fuel into a Jet that was soon to take off and leave the earth. Only being a pilot could have been better. But that wasn’t allowed in those days.

I think it might have been something to do with my Italian Grandmother. The Italians are always the best mechanics, and it was everything I ever wanted. The only thing I ever truly wanted to be.

I have done a lot of things since then in the process of earning money. Most of them pretty awful. But I learned that I could do anything in June 1957.

Wren Mitchell. 115051

Just nothing about nothing much.

January 8, 2016

Okay. Tis time I put my mind to this. Let us see if I can come up with something based on nothing at all.

I bought a cheap Rabbit today. Dead, of course, but it did come with it’s head, so that will help in the taste stakes. Brains and stuff that we really don’t want to talk about.

I would have preferred a wild one that had been shot after some great gambolling and breeding, but no one who does this actually wants to part with them. They stick them in the freezer, and that’s the end of that. Even my middle son pretends that he hasn’t got one, even for me, his best loved Mother. I should never have told him that wild rabbit is best. I should have told him I would take it off his hands to ease his conscience for killing one of God’s creatures for eating his lettuces. I mean, really, we’ve all got to eat.

Once, when I was driving them all home from Boarding School, we came across an injured Rabbit, just lying in the road. This upset me enormously. I don’t like to see anything in pain. So I got them to get out of the car to finish it off. What followed was horrendous. I shut my eyes in the end because it was too awful. None of them were very good at quickly despatching a half dead Rabbit. But I won’t go into detail. It wasn’t their fault that I had failed to teach them how.

Suffice to say that I skinned it and gutted it when we got home. And then cooked it.

This was not at all funny. If you have never gutted a Rabbit then you couldn’t even begin to understand.

Sadly, the dead Rabbit that I bought today never had a gamble in the wild and that’s a bit sad.

Noel 2015.

January 6, 2016

After some deliberation I have decided to postpone Christmas Day to Boxing Day. The day on which Stephen got stoned, which he frequently did, in my experience. Although he is dead now, due to getting stoned once too often. May his very unsaintly soul rest in pieces.

However, I digress. The reason for the postponement is because my friend David is coming to dinner on Boxing Day. Not St. David, as some might suppose. Just David, although my David is never just “just”. He is much too amusing for just that.

As it happens, this will be the first time in twenty odd years that I will cook Christmas Dinner for anyone, although I always cook far beyond what I need. And then have to eat it for days after. Or the dog gets it. Which ever dog happens to be in residence at the time. No dog of mine has ever lived for twenty years. One of them once made it to seventeen, which I promise you was a miracle. Another Afghan amongst the several of those. Not to forget Hamlet or Romulus. They both lived longer than might have been expected.

So as you can imagine, I am really looking forward to this. I am going the whole hog. Not actually a Hog. My oven isn’t big enough. But all the other absolutely ordinary stuff, including Chestnuts which I collected and bottled myself. And Bloody Mary’s. Let’s hope I don’t drink too many of those in wild anticipation before the actual event.

I have made a Christmas Cake which isn’t the whole shilling because I cut a corner by melting the butter and sugar instead of beating it, because my hands aren’t all that good anymore. Arthritis brought on by too much pruning of the bloody Wisterias, coupled by carpal tunnel from same. But it tastes alright, probably due the half a bottle of Brandy that got poured all over it. So it might be a bit more like Christmas Pudding. But that’s okay. It can double up.
And Yes, I did drink the other half.

Anyhow, the fire is laid in my big open fireplace, mainly from the prunings from my Bay Tree and the Camillia, more carpal tunnel, but it’s all good burning wood. Nothing much gets wasted around here.
I do so wish all of my three followers a Very Happy Christmas. Your support is appreciated. And there wouldn’t be much point in Blogging to no one. Although I would probably do it anyway.

Charlotte, the demented Pug, says Happy New Year. She knows that something is going on because she has had a lot of bowls to lick lately. She liked the Christmas Cake one the best. The Brandy, I expect. Almost certainly not good for her, but even she is living longer than I expected. Pug Dementia is always more distressing for the owner than for the dog. So here’s to next Christmas for her.. She isn’t at all what I expected when I rescued her, but she is a brave little soul.

Sorry. I forgot about this Blog in the excitement of it all, but it is much more about The Winter Solstice for me. The days of long ago yore when survival was all. I can actually relate to that.
But it has tipped over now and the evenings are getting lighter. En Y Var for Spring.