My Birthday Wishes

So many wonderful and thoughtful Birthday wishes this weekend. We had a real blizzard with high winds and snow. It put a damper on my birthday celebrations, no cake, no candles. Susannah and Grace were planning to visit and bring a cake. Alas it was not to be, nevertheless, I was visited by neighbours, we share coffee with a wee drop of Baileys added. All in all it was a quiet day watching soccer and thankful we did not lose power. But despite the weather I had a wonderful day reading the many many birthday wishes on FB. So lovely so kind and so many beautiful words sent my way, I was sometimes reduced to tears. Wishes came from Australia, New Zealand, England, Ireland, United States and Canada. Too many to count, at least one hundred or more. I decide to write this blog as a sincere thank you to those kind people who remembered me on 15th January 2022, my 83th birthday. You made my day very special, you made me proud to have so many great friends. Thank you and God Bless you.

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Weekend Funnies

1. She was in the bathroom, putting on her makeup under the watchful eyes of her young granddaughter, as she’d done many times before. After she applied her lipstick and started to leave, the little one said, “But Gramma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!” I’ll probably never put lipstick on again without thinking about kissing the toilet paper good-bye.

2. My young grandson called the other day to wish me happy birthday. He asked me how old I was, and I told him, 80. My grandson was quiet for a moment, and then he asked, “Did you start at 1?”

3. After putting her grandchildren to bed, a grandmother changed into old slacks and a droopy blouse and proceeded to wash her hair. As she heard the children getting more and more rambunctious, her patience grew thin. Finally, she threw a towel around her head and stormed into their room, putting them back to bed with stern warnings. As she left the room, she heard the three-year-old say with a trembling voice, “Who was THAT?”

4. A grandmother was telling her little granddaughter what her own childhood was like. “We used to skate outside on a pond. I had a swing made from a tire; it hung from a tree in our front yard. We rode our pony. We picked wild raspberries in the woods.” The little girl was wide-eyed, taking this all in. At last she said, “I sure wish I’d gotten to know you sooner!”

5. My grandson was visiting one day when he asked, “Grandma, do you know how you and God are alike?” I mentally polished my halo and I said, “No, how are we alike?” “You’re both real old,” he replied.

6. A little girl was diligently pounding away on her grandfather’s word processor. She told him she was writing a story. “What’s it about?” he asked. “I don’t know,” she replied. “I can’t read.”

7. I didn’t know if my granddaughter had learned her colors yet, so I decided to test her. I would point out something and ask what color it was. She would tell me, and she was always correct. It was fun for me, so I continued. At last, she headed for the door, saying, “Grandma, I think you should try figuring out some of this stuff for yourself!”

8. When my grandson Billy and I entered our vacation cabin, we kept the lights off until we were inside to keep from attracting pesky insects. Still, a few fireflies followed us in. Noticing them before I did, Billy whispered, “It’s no use, Grandpa. Now the mosquitoes are coming after us with flashlights.”

9. When my grandson asked me how old I was, I teasingly replied, “I’m not sure.” “Look in your underwear, Grandpa,” he advised. “Mine says I’m 4 to 6.”

10.. A second grader came home from school and said to her grandmother, “Grandma, guess what? We learned how to make babies today.” The grandmother, more than a little surprised, tried to keep her cool. “That’s interesting.” she said, warily. “How do you make babies?” “It’s easy,” replied the girl. “You just change ‘y’ to ‘i’ and add ‘es’.”

11. “Give me a sentence about a public servant,” instructed the teacher during a lesson. One small boy wrote: “The fireman came down the ladder pregnant.” The teacher took the lad aside to correct him. “Don’t you know what pregnant means?” she asked. “Sure,” said the young boy confidently. ‘It means carrying a child.”

12. A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren to their home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a dalmatian dog.

The children started discussing the dog’s duties. “They use him to keep crowds back,” offered one child. “No,” said another, “he’s just for good luck.” A third child brought the argument to a close. “They use the dogs,” she said firmly, “to find the fire hydrants.”

13. A 6-year-old was asked where his grandma lived. “Oh,” he said, “she lives at the airport, and when we want her, we just go get her. Then, when we’re done having her visit, we take her back to the airport.”

14. Grandpa is the smartest man on earth! He teaches me good things, but I don’t get to see him enough to get as smart as him!

15. My Grandparents are funny. When they bend over, you hear gas leaks, and they blame their dog.

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Silence is NOT golden!

I sent out the below blog on 10th January 2022, it was copied to the Premier, Peter Bevan Baker, Lynne Lund and the Mayor of Summerside. Guess what? not a single response from anyone. That makes me think I have struck a nerve, The very least I could have expected was someone offering an excuse. Creating many jobs for Summerside or some other such BS. But nothing would indicate they really do have something to hide and the quieter they are the better. After all, if they say nothing the public will once again forget. It’s just so offensive to see a collection of local politicians in a photo op holding shovels, picks etc. Tools they have absolutely no intention of using. I note Ernie Hudson is in the photo, that’s the last time anyone has seen him since 2021????? 

The One Dollar Deal

Posted on January 10, 2022 by irishroverpei

We are now well into 2022 and still no one seems to see anything wrong with the Tim Banks deal! When after sitting on this property for more than a decade he suddenly sells it to the Province for one dollar???? The Minister of Health (hasn’t been seen recently) was crowing over this wonderful purchase. He claims he intends building the all-new Medical Home at a cost of $25 million on this site. However, that can only happen after the old building is torn down. The school is full of asbestos and will cost 2.5 million to demolish. After the Health Ministers announcement, Banks declared, he is going to build a large apartment complex with some affordable units on the cleared land? A couple of important question to be asked, why didn’t Banks demolish the building himself? He could surely have built more than one apartment complex with the extra acreage. Why could the Province not have found a suitable property elsewhere in Summerside at a lower cost than 2.5 million? Was it perhaps the cost of the demolition and asbestos removal that motivated Banks to sell for one dollar to the Province?  Was it the fact the Summerside council were involved in this deal by agreeing to add an access road to these proposed new apartments. A lot of unanswered questions, but no elected official seems prepared to ask them. Why is this allowed to happening, if I can see this purchase as questionable why can’t our MLAs. Finally, I would like to mention a little about this new buzz word β€œaffordable Units” no one seem sure what is considered affordable. If fact Tim Banks has recently run into an issue with the Charlottetown City Council over this.  Apparently, his take on affordable units defers from that of the Charlottetown City council. This has either put a stop to or delayed the plans to build at the rear of Polyclinic site.  Something is really beginning to smell bad in Summerside. As a concerned citizen and tax payer I feel obliged to question these recent purchases.God Bless and keep readingAuthor of LILY & ME , and THE ROYAL NAVY & ME
Visit blog and website http://www.irishroversbooks.com

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The Belfast Blitz

I should explain the lack of city air raid shelters and defense was not due a lack of preparation. It was because when the war began Belfast was beyond the range of Germany bombers

Tuesday, April 15, 1941, was Easter.  People were enjoying a day off work. The holiday began with beautiful sunshine and unusually warm temperatures for that time of year.  Some people left the city on day trips to the country. Those unable to afford a trip, sat outside their front doors, enjoying the sunshine or watching men go by on their way to an afternoon football match at Windsor Park. The roads and streets had been cleared of the damage caused the previous week, and trams and buses were once again running on time.  For the citizens of Belfast, life had returned to normal.  Or so they thought.

 That afternoon it’s unlikely anyone noticed the lone German reconnaissance plane flying high overhead, a harbinger of things to come in the relaxed city below enjoying the holiday.  Just hours away in occupied Europe, the winds of war were turning in our direction as more than two hundred planes prepared for takeoff on runways in France and the lowlands of Holland. Pilots anxiously awaited the signal to go, their target that fateful night, Belfast.

The advancing bombers were made up of Heinkel 111s, Junkers 88s and Dorniers.  The Junkers alone could carry in excess of a 3,000-pound bomb load. City sirens began wailing shortly after ten thirty that evening.  Having experienced the danger of bombing a week earlier, people now took the sirens seriously and scrambled to find shelter.  The bombers approached the city from the north, sweeping in low between the Divis and Black Mountains.  The first wave dropped flares across the city, lighting up the intended targets.  They were relentlessly followed by wave after wave of bombers. The air was suddenly filled with incendiaries, high explosives and mines.  The shipyards put up a huge smokescreen, attempting to disguise their location. A Royal Naval cruiser, repairing in the yard, joined the defence of the city, her guns blazing into the night.  All night and into the early dawn the bombs rained down. The Germans methodically razed factories, mills, and homes.  Telephone communications were knocked out and gas supplies were cut off as fires erupted.  Leaking gas mains sent towering flames shooting high into the sky. The local fire brigades were soon overwhelmed, with water pressure too weak to stem the blazing inferno. Desperate calls for help went out across the Province. 

Thirteen brigades from Dublin, Dun Laoghaire, Dundalk and Drogeda raced north to answer the call.  The brave men from the south were unprepared for the destruction confronting them.  They worked tirelessly and with grim determination, but lacking the necessary wartime equipment, they were finally withdrawn. There was also the risk of a fatality, which could cause serious difficulties for the neutral Government of Eire.

This night of bombing wasn’t restricted solely to Belfast.  The towns of Londonderry, Newtownards and Bangor were also hit, but none as badly as Belfast.

Northumberland Street was just one of many without air raid shelters. People had to find their own means of protection.   Pop and my two brothers sheltered under our heavy wooden kitchen table. Following civil defence instruction pamphlets, they hung blankets around the table to protect against flying glass and debris.  My three sisters and I huddled in the cramped coalhole under the stairs.

During a lull, Pop muttered something about Percy Street having a shelter, and why didn’t we have one.  That dreadful night seemed to be unending, explosion after explosion crashing around us, sometimes far away, sometimes right outside our door.  Each explosion was followed by a tremendous shock wave blasting heat and debris in its path.  We heard breaking glass, and the rumble of walls collapsing while houses trembled and shook.  The air was choked with smoke and dust from fires roaring everywhere. The night was filled with a thousand noises we couldn’t identify, buildings slowly caving in, bricks and beams tumbling into the streets.

My terrified sisters were sure we would not survive the night.  I suffered the least. I was afraid of course, but too young to really understand the danger. Bombs fell on the hapless city all night long. When the last bomber disappeared and the all clear sounded, it was after 5 am. The city had been under attack for more than six hours. Very good description, you really feel it happening.

As the first grey streaks of dawn broke over the city, people began crawling from shelters and homes to a scene of devastation.  Some families, anxiously struggling but unable to open warped doors, climbed through broken windows to reached the street. Everyone was caked in filth, dust and debris, some wearing pyjamas or nightshirts, blankets draped over their shoulders. They stood exhausted and trembling, children crying at their sides.

Bewildered, they gazed in disbelief at the sight confronting them. Whole areas where once had stood familiar houses and buildings were now gone.  All that remained were piles of smoking wreckage. Everywhere buildings blazed, a pall of smoke hung over the city blackening out the sky. It was difficult to breathe the smoke and dust-laden air.  People tied cloths or rags over their noses in an attempt to avoid the smoke.  The streets were littered with bricks, bits of concrete, and shards of glass and wood splinters. We took stock of our house, or what was left of it.  The front door still opened and closed, but no windows had survived.  Remnants of torn curtains fluttered in the breeze; dishes, picture frames and ornaments lay smashed on the floor.

Incredibly, our clock, which had been on the mantelpiece, still kept time, ticking in a pile of rubble. Ceiling’s plaster had fallen in on the kitchen, coating everything in a film of white powdery dust.  In the bedrooms, daylight flooded through the rafters where few slates remained. We were unable to brew a pot of tea; there was neither gas nor water.  As people assessed their damage, news began to filter through from other parts of the city. A passing air raid warden told of a direct hit on the Percy Street shelter, where some 60 souls had died instantly. Pop, concerned about Aunt Cassie and family, decided to go check on them. My eldest brother Tommy volunteered to go with him. 

As they passed through Dover Street, they came upon Bob Adair’s house. It was wide open, and apparently deserted. Bob was a friend of the family, so they ventured inside looking for some sign of life.  On the kitchen table stood a wire container with six eggs. It seemed careless to have left them there they were so scarce.  Finding no one home, they continued on to Cassie’s house where they learned that everyone had survived the night okay.

On their return journey about 20 minutes later, they passed where Bob Adair’s house should have been. There was nothing left but a pile of rubble. Strangely, in the middle of the wreckage stood the kitchen table, the six eggs still in their container. Pop later learned that a delayed fuse bomb had lodged in the chimney.  Air raid wardens had hastily evacuated the house, but neglected to post a warning sign.  We have no idea how long after Pop and Tommy left the house the detonation occurred; however, it was surely a very close thing.  Stories such as this, all similar, all telling the same fateful tales, continued to pour in.

*****

Belfast was given little time to recover as more nightly raids continued through the month of April and into the first days of May.

Over 900 people were killed, thousands more injured. The city was a catastrophe; it would take weeks and months to reach a semblance of order. Streets and roads were blocked, businesses closed, and services almost non-existent.  No trams were running, water and gas supplies were cut off.  The few shops that survived attempted to serve a starving population. Hospitals still able to function worked with wonderful efficiency, treating thousands of injuries under the most trying conditions. Mortuaries overflowed with the dead.  Corpses were stacked in the Falls Road public baths and at St George’s Market, near Cromac Square.  Public funerals had to be held, burying up to 150 bodies at a time. The supply of coffins quickly ran out.

Never Again.Β  God Bless and keep reading.

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The Belfast Blitz

With the second year of war the blitz intensified.  London was suffering the heaviest and most frequent raids.  Many other major cities were being hit hard too, and millions of people found themselves homeless.  Hundreds of children were orphaned, thousands more evacuated to the country or overseas.  We didn’t know it then, but our turn was coming. The failure to sufficiently protect the city was about to be realised.  Belfast still lacked sufficient anti-aircraft defence, fighter cover, searchlights or shelters.  When the sirens first sounded on the night of April 7, 1941, people tended to ignore the danger.  Some actually climbed the surrounding hills to watch the display.  The first bombs began falling on Belfast just after midnight. The raid consisted of six Heinkel 111 bombers, each carrying a payload of over one thousand kilos.  They dropped waves of incendiaries, high explosives, and parachute bombs.  Major fires were started in residential areas of East Belfast. Factories and businesses around the city suffered moderate damage. The shipyards were hit hardest, causing severe damage. 

When the all clear sounded at approximately 3:30 am, 13 people were dead, 23 were seriously injured, and many others suffered a variety of minor injuries.  

Belfast had been lucky, getting off lightly on that first night of bombing. But from this first raid it seems certain the German pilots reported how vulnerable the city was, and no one imagined what lay in store just one week later. Read the continuing story of the Belfast Blitz in tomorrow’s blog

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Belfast – The Movie!

I needed a day or two to take in the motion picture about my home town. I understand many movies have featured cities around the world, but Belfast has never been one of them. I remember many years ago going to see β€œOdd Man Out” starring James Mason. He portrayed a IRA convict just released from prison. The movie appeared to take place in Belfast but was actually filmed in Dublin. Belfast the movie was indeed filmed in my home town. It brought back memories both good and bad. I left the city in 1967 when the troubles were brewing with Bernadette Devlin and Ian Paisley. I remember the hard men about the town telling people β€œyou are either with us or you are against us. It was frightening and dangerous and impossible to pretend. Like the little girl said in the film, you can tell what they are by their names. She was absolutely correct, no Protestant would ever call a son Joseph and alternatively no Catholic would call a son William. Growing up, I live on Ewarts Row, a mixed street, but we had little or no contact with our Catholic neighbours. We move to Thames Street, another mixed Street. However, we were now in the minority, our street was located on the strongly Catholic Falls road.
Always we had to be careful what we wore, colours were important, red white and blue or green white and gold. Lapel pins too, the football team pin you supported or a cross. Protestant girls never wore a crucifix Catholic girls mostly did. This was a purposeful way to identify the girls, for a protestant boy to chat up a Catholic girl was not going to result in a date. I dated one or two RC girls but we were asking for trouble if the girls father found out. It was impossible to walk your girl home, I would be in a Catholic area and if spotted probably be in for a beating. There were many good things about Belfast. The corner chippy, Fish and chips were the very best. The busy Saturday night pubs, where Salvation Army lady’s would rattle their collect cans until customers drop a coin in, just to get rid of them. The wonderful old picture houses with their colourful lights under the canopies. Seven pence in the pit, one shilling back stalls and one and six in the balcony. In the film the grandfather tell the boy to alter how he writes the numbers in his exam, make them difficult to read, then the teacher might give you the benefit of the doubt. My own uncle once told my cousin who had the bottom mark on his exam paper, turn it upside down son and you will be top. I believe that most people in Belfast, indeed in Ulster can live in harmony with one another. Its the fanatically elements that cause the sectarian troubles, the ones who lack knowledge of our Irish history. These people call themselves British, deny their actual heritage. I have always considered myself Irish and proud of the privilege of my birthright. I did enjoy this motion picture but must confess I felt a great sadness and suffered a bout of home sickness. I truth the dirty old town as it was affectionately known, brought tears to my eyes.
God Bless and may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead

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The One Dollar Deal

We are now well into 2022 and still no one seems to see anything wrong with the Tim Banks deal! When after sitting on this property for more than a decade he suddenly sells it to the Province for one dollar???? The Minister of Health (hasn’t been seen recently) was crowing over this wonderful purchase. He claims he intends building the all-new Medical Home at a cost of $25 million on this site. However, that can only happen after the old building is torn down. The school is full of asbestos and will cost 2.5 million to demolish. After the Health Ministers announcement, Banks declared, he is going to build a large apartment complex with some affordable units on the cleared land? A couple of important question to be asked, why didn’t Banks demolish the building himself?Β He could surely have built more than one apartment complex with the extra acreage. Why could the Province not have found a suitable property elsewhere in Summerside at a lower cost than 2.5 million? Was it perhaps the cost of the demolition and asbestos removal that motivated Banks to sell for one dollar to the Province?Β  Was it the fact the Summerside council were involved in this deal by agreeing to add an access road to these proposed new apartments. A lot of unanswered questions, but no elected official seems prepared to ask them. Why is this allowed to happening, if I can see this purchase as questionable why can’t our MLAs. Finally, I would like to mention a little about this new buzz word “affordable Units” no one seem sure what is considered affordable. If fact Tim Banks has recently run into an issue with the Charlottetown City Council over this.Β  Apparently, his take on affordable units defers from that of the Charlottetown City council. This has either put a stop to or delayed the plans to build at the rear of Polyclinic site.Β  Something is really beginning to smell bad in Summerside. As a concerned citizen and tax payer I feel obliged to question these recent purchases.God Bless and keep readingAuthor of LILY & ME , and THE ROYAL NAVY & ME
Visit blog and website http://www.irishroversbooks.com

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Weekend Funnies

No Ears Baby

Little Johnny’s neighbour had a baby. Unfortunately, the baby was born without ears. When mother and new baby came home from the hospital, Johnny’s family was invited over to see the baby.

Before they left their house, Little Johnny’s dad had a talk with him and explained that the baby had no ears. His dad also told him that if he so much mentioned anything about the baby’s missing ears or even said the word ears, he would get the smacking of his life when they came back home.

Little Johnny told his dad he understood completely.

When Johnny looked in the crib he said, “What a beautiful baby.”

The mother said, “Why, thank you, Johnny.”

Johnny said, “He has beautiful little feet and beautiful little hands, a cute little nose and really beautiful eyes. Can he see alright?”

“Yes,” the mother replied, “We are so thankful; the doctor said he will have perfect vision.”

“That’s great,” said Little Johnny, “Coz he’d be in trouble if he needed glasses.”

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What’s in a Name?

One caller to our answering service gave me his name, number and message and then said, “You know my name. What’s yours?”

“We’re not allowed to give our names,” I replied, “but my operator number is 4136”

Sounding disappointed, he said, “May I call you by your first digit, or would that be too personal?”

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Bar Visit

Delta and Omicron walked into a Bar. The barman asked if they wanted a Corona?

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Farmer

A man is driving down a country road, when he spots a farmer standing in the middle of a huge field of wheat.

He pulls the car over to the side of the road and notices that the farmer is just standing there, doing nothing, looking at nothing.

The man gets out of the car, walks all the way out to the farmer and asks him, “Ah excuse me mister, but what are you doing?

“The farmer replies, “I’m trying to win a Nobel Prize.

“How?” asks the man, puzzled.

“Well, I heard they give the Nobel Prize . . . to people who are out standing in their field.”

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The Confessional 

A drunk staggers into a Catholic Church, enters a confessional booth, sits down, but says nothing.

The Priest coughs a few times to get his attention but the drunk continues to sit there.

Finally, the Priest pounds three times on the wall.

The drunk mumbles, “ain’t no use knockin, there’s no paper on this side either!”

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Employment (

β€œI work with animals” the guy says to his date.

β€œThat’s so sweet” she replies. β€œI love a man who cares about animals. Where do you work?”

β€œI’m a butcher” he says.

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The Best Guide

A local hunting guide got himself into a big problem. His party became hopelessly lost in the mountains and they blamed him for leading them astray.

“You told us you were the best guide in New South Wales!” they asserted.

“I am!,” he said, “but I think we’re in Victoria now.”

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They Don’t Understand Me …

Honestly some folk will take offence at anything.

I met a bloke with no legs this morning while at the bus stop and all I asked was “How are you getting on?”

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MLA Pay Increase

The question of an MLA pay raise in the midst of this pandemic seems so wrong. The reason given, our MLAs are the lowest paid in the Country. I doubt we will get an argument over that, however, lowest paid also applies to just about every working islander. We also have many working part time or not employed at all. If we put this in perspective our MLAs have the smallest (approx 5000)constituent base. Hence they have the lowest working areas compared for example, to Ontario. Where the MLA equivalent might have base of approx 150.000 constituents. I have little interest in the argument, if we don’t pay a good salary we don’t get good people. From where I sit I can only see government corruption and greed. Irving running the land as he sees fit and no politician has the guts to stop him. So until we get dedicated politicians who actually work for the voters, I say no to the increase in their salaries.
God Bless and keep reading.

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2$ Bus Fare?

On my FB page yesterday I asked if the $2 bus fares was working and are buses running between Souris and Charlottetown? Alas I did not receive any responses , so I’m writing this in the dark so to speak! However, I do have questions regarding this one price bus fare. I would think if a forty passenger bus left Souris full, it could hardly be enough money to pay the driver? A maximum of $80, can’t possibly pay the driver the fuel and operating costs. My next question, if I board the bus at St Peter’s Bay, or MorelΒ  why should I pay the same as those who boarded in Souris? Somehow, I don’t think this system has been carefully thought out. It appears more a political way to get some exciting media coverage. Now with the silence surrounding this service one has to wonder what is really going on.Β  I think a more equitable system would be available bus passes. Senior rates could be available along with regular pricing for other passengers. I seriously doubt a $2 fare will or can last very long, what is needed is a solid bus service at a reasonable cost. One not run by a β€œfor profit” company, but rather a provincial or county operation. If anyone using this service can enlighten me, it would be most appreciated.
God Bless and keep reading.

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