House Moving of Old!!!

shankill roadHaving just completed what is surely my absolute last house move, it got me to thinking about my first move. That is to say, the first one I actually remember. It took place in Belfast in late 1944, I was five years old. My father was moving from Northumberland Street where I had been born to a larger house on Eastland Street. In those days we didn’t call a local moving company, didn’t hire a van or truck, those were expenses way beyond our means. In fact they were beyond the means of most working class in the City. The big difference was the amount of items to move, today we have so much and mostly so unnecessary clutter to move (speaking from recent experience here). Back in those days we just had the bare essentials. I recall my brother-in-law Cookie borrowed a small horse and cart to move the larger items, beds,chairs and kitchen table. Even with the cart it took several trips. Everything else we carried or loaded in the baby pram. The prams were large in those days and everyone seemed to have one, so its possible we borrowed one or two more. It took several trips to complete the move, fortunately Eastland St was only a few streets over so walking back and fro was possible but also very tiring. Once in the new house we had no unpacking to do, no garbage to throw out, just a quick sweep through the kitchen and we were landed.The coal from under the stairs came with us too, but I can’t remember how it was carried, maybe in the dustbin?? I was quite excited by my new surrounding because we had an air raid shelter right outside our front door. Life was much more simple in those far off days, but I suspect moving house, while it sounds easy, was just as stressful as it is today.

God Bless and keep reading



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All is right With The World

my new chairGood Morning folksnewtv well here I’m  sitting in my new leather reclining chair, Angel at my side. My 42 inch television is installed on the wall and is in just the right place. Upstairs, we have a very comfortable new mattress and last night I slept like a baby. Got up this morning ready to face the world again. The dogs are settled into there new home and the cat is getting there slowly. We have done the lion share of unpacking and found most of the essentials of every day living. Life is good, the sun is out and Arsenal are still holding fourth place in the Premiership league after Everton lost yesterday to Crystal Place. Shortly Linda and I are off to town, have to pick up my new glasses and need to clean the house in Millvale before Mark and Caroline arrive later today for the long Easter weekend. Then its home to relax in my new comfort zone and watch the Doc Martin series. Life is good!!!!

God Bless and keep reading.



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D Day Moving!!!

new house 3I don’t suppose the living room will look like this after we unload!!!. Yesterday was successful, got the Mini tire fixed, drove to Abram Village and assembled the bed frame upstairs ready for the new mattress which arrives tomorrow. Assembled the coat/shoe rack at the back door, the instructions were probably written by a rocket scientist, but we got there in the end. By 7pm we were on our way home for a well deserved pizza and a glass of wine. Opened the front door at 8pm only to find we had no power——Again!!! The Hunter River power station was down, Egads!!!! we understood no power during the last few storms but yesterday was clear,warm and sunny. We were tired and hungry with an uncooked pizza, what to do??? cook it on the BBQ of course. We ate and drank our wine and were in bed by 9pm. This morning news announced the price of gas has risen to $1.40 per litre. Great news as we await the arrival of our gas guzzling moving truck to get here!!!!! Oh well, onwards and upwards. Next blog will come from the new house in Abram Village, if all goes as planned???

God Bless and keep reading

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Chaotic 24 Hours

new house 4Its early Monday morning, its raining and we have a busy day ahead as we prepare to move house once again. So many loose ends to tie up and things to do. We have to dash into town this morning for a few items, out of milk for a start, and a rear tire on the Mini has a slow leak. Need to take care of that before I drive West with a load of clothes aboard. Phone calls to make, mail to pick up, house cleaning and the list g0es on and on and on. Don’t expect any illuminating blog posts for a few days in this state of chaos, but have faith I will eventually get back to normal, whatever normal is??? I should have stayed in the Navy!!! might have been at sea while Linda handled the move. Wishful thinking Eh!!! Oh well, onward and upward, I’ll be back sooner than you might think.

God Bless and keep reading.



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Arsenal Squeak Through

arsenal pennentWell Arsenal have made it through to the FA Cup Final, they won yesterday defeating Wigan on penalty shots. The win was less than convincing , the Gunners struggled against a Championship side that almost toppled them in the second half on a penalty goal. Arsenal fought back hitting the woodwork a couple of times before finally scrambling a goal into the Wigan net from a corner kick. Arsenal never looked confident or sure of themselves through the full 90 minutes that ended in a 1-1 tie. They were little better in the extra 30 minutes which still remained deadlocked at 1-1. The game came down to penalty shots and Arsenal were assertive in scoring four straight goals that sent them into the final in May. Today Hull City play Shefield United in the other semi final game, the winner will play Arsenal in the Cup Final next month. I sincerely hope that in the meantime the Gunners find their form or we will face another year without winning a trophy, if that happens we will probably see the departure the manager Arsene Wenger. Its been to say the least, a seesaw ride for Arsenal fans this year.  Lets hope in May we have the FA Cup in the trophy case and can look forward to a better season next year. Go Gunners Go!!!!!

God Bless and keep reading

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Six Million Dollar Man or Bionic Budge????

-Sixmilliondollar1In the years before Budge started school she became extremely fascinated by the TV show “The Six Million Dollar Man”. This was back in the days when we had at most, two TV channels. I suppose to be fair the Bionic Man wasn’t really a bad show and I often watched it with Budge. Now, as this show happened before some of my younger readers were born, they might have difficulty understand and visualizing . If I remember correctly it began circa 1973 and was televised in black and white. Nevertheless, I will do my best to describe it as it occurred for those of you who did not have the opportunity to see it.  Steven Austin was a USAF Major badly injured in a plane crash. He was rebuilt using bionic technology of the times. he was better than new, stronger and faster. Like I said, Budge was fascinated with Steve and it wasn’t long before she took on his persona. In the show when Steve zoomed across the screen it was sometimes slowed down to slow motion with a strange musical sound added for effect. Budge, who by this time had also become bionic, and only answered to the name Steve,  or if that failed we could address her as Major always remembering to salute. She perfected Steve running at high speed, but in slow motion of course . Susannah would race across the living room in slow motion using the same music as on TV or at least her version of the same music. It is really impossible to convey her image in a blog, if you are familiar with the show you will probably know what I’m talking about. However, those of you too young to have seen it, I’m sure Budge can still be talked into doing a demo of her slow motion run with accompanying musical effects if you ask nicely, remember to address her as Major. That’s it for today folks but stay tuned for more exciting adventures in the Life of Budge as she starts school and becomes Davey Crocket!!!!

God Bless and keep reading


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A Day in the Life of Budge

budge 001I realize many of you think I’m merely teasing or perhaps attempting to embarrass my young daughter via my blog. However,you would be wrong, I enjoy retelling stories of both of my beautiful young daughters and their misadventures/adventures while growing up. My two girls were the light of my life and still are today, their childhood memories are forever my wondrous and priceless gift. Budge was born in Sudbury and as a baby she was a terrible sleeper, she cried a lot. Linda mentioned this to the doctor and he said she is probably hungry. He went on to explain that young baby’s can become spinal cords when hungry, their brain switches of and they just cry. His suggestion! stick her in a closet with a banana. We went through a lot of bananas after that but of course the doctor was joking about the closet. Caroline was big into Barbie doll’s in those days and I believe that led my sister to buy Susannah a Barbie doll house for Christmas. Budge was soon to show us her interest in outer space when she turned the Barbie house into a Space Station, maybe it was Moon Base Alpha??? Can’t remember for sure because we regularly travelled into deep space after that with a variety of astronauts such as Capt Kirk, Luke Skywalker, the Borg etc etc. Later she promoted herself to the rank of Major and became Bionic but that will be a story for another day. In the meantime we still keep a supply of bananas on hand in case Budge comes to visit. Ruth take note, make sure you have bananas in the house.

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Last Day of School

1central queens3centralqueens.JPG_MEDIUM_SIZEYesterday the 9th April 2014 was my last day at school. I have been a LOVE (let older volunteers educate) volunteer at CQES for more than 15 years. Linda and I move to our new home next Tuesday, which is located just too far from the school to continue. I had to make the decision to say farewell to all my friends of many years. It was a very emotional morning and I fear I teared up more than once amid many hugs and well wishes. My grade one class all wrote cards to give to me during our last reading sessions. They were full of statements saying they would miss me and loved having me help them learn to read. In the teachers lounge it didn’t get any easier, all the teachers gathered to wish me well. Tara the Principle made a short speech thanking me and presented me with a lovely clock.  It has been a wonderful journey working with the sweetest little ones any one could ever wish to know. I confess each new school year I fell in love all over again with with my new grade one little people. Watching them grow through the year and gradually master the art of reading was the inspiration that caused me to return year after year. I will miss this part of my life probably more than I realize, but who knows what awaits over the horizon? Linda graduated from Central Queens HS back in 1967 and I often looked at the 1967 class photo hanging in the hallway. Sometime in the Seventies the school was changed to an elementary school and a new block was added to include a gym and extra class rooms. Today Central Queens Elementary School is the heart beat of Hunter River.

Presently our house is a muddle with boxes and crates everywhere, I shall be glad when the move is completed and we can once more settle down. Maybe then I can look around for a new project or another exciting journey.

God Bless and keep reading.





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hospital stay2In the posted photo here there are three adoptees. My two grandchildren Melissa and Christopher, and me. Adoption is a common place thing these days if somewhat more difficult in cutting through all the red tape. However the red tape is probably a very necessary part of deciding the future of a child’s life. It wasn’t always so, adoption was often done out of convenience, the Island is indeed a good example. Farm families often adopted boys with the intention of raising them to be farm labourer’s. Of course in the case of Anne of Green Gables it backfired!. Linda’s own father was adopted for this purpose in the 1920′s. But perhaps one of the most unusual adoptions was my own adoption in 1942. On Boxing day 1939 when I was just eleven months old my mother passed away. The Second World War was in full swing and life was already very difficult. Having a baby to care for while my father had to work was a major problem. My eldest sister Lily took care of me for the first year and a half, but in 1942 she married a British sailor and to move to Scotland to be near her husband. This created a real issue for my father, he asked my mothers sisters if they would take me in. No one could they all had large families of their own. Eventually my sister Lily agreed to collect me and take me to Scotland. This seemed the ideal solution and for a while it was. However, in a nation at war things become complicated with ration books etc. Every time Lily applied for clothing stamps and food ration book questions arose over my name being different from her and her husband. You see her married name was Cook and my surname was Rodgers.  In 1943 they arrived at a solution by adopting me in a Dumfermline Sheriff’s court. In March of 1943 I became Frederick Cook. In 1950 I returned home to live with my father and my brothers and sisters in Belfast. I really wanted to change my name back to Rodgers, I hated being call Cookie at school. My sister Anna took me to the Belfast City Hall, dept of births deaths and marriages to change my name. The clerk looked up my records and told me my name had never been changed I was Rodgers. I gave it no more thought, I was just happy to have my name back. However in 2000 I began writing my first book “Lily & Me” and during my research I came across my Dumfermline adoption papers. Apparently in the war years records were not shared between record offices in other cities. I have done nothing about it, seems a bit late to worry now, but I often wonder if the tax collector in Scotland is looking for this mysterious tax evader Frederick Cook????

God Bless and keep reading



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Finally a Spring Day

001002003Yesterday must surely have been the first real day of spring, it was warm and the sun was shining. Linda is packing for our move and yesterday she was in the garage working. I decided it would be wise to move the Mini out of her way! I backed out onto the driveway and realized I couldn’t help myself, I had to keep going. I drove about 5 klms to the community mail box and and then back home again. I would have liked to have gone further but still having problems with my dizziness didn’t want to risk it. However, it is quite amazing what the first warm rays of sunshine can do for a person’s well being. I was feeling so good after my drive in the Mini that I took my dog Angel for a walk. I actually had to undo my jacket, I was so warm, Wow!!!haven’t experienced that feeling for ages. The road was clear just a little water running in places. The snow banks are still huge as you can see from the photos of the Mini in the driveway, but spring has definitely arrived. As I walked with Angel I listened to hundreds of birds calling to one another from the tree tops. Watched them soar across the beautiful clear blue sky, heard the bubbling of the rivers as they carried away the winter snow. It was a day to be thankful and to be alive,  a wonderful renewal of life and nature. It will be a while before we have green grass but at least we are on our way at last. One tends to forget how harsh a winter we just came through on a day like this.

God Bless and keep reading.

PS — I just enlarged the photo of the rear of the Mini!!! Just in case you are thinking that’s Linda’s bare bum in front of the car, its not, she is wearing flesh coloured pants !!!!!!


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