Nanny and Pops

What a picture of love looks like to a seven year old! Our eldest granddaughter’s portrait of her doting grandparents ๐Ÿ™‚ She says we each have half of the same heart over our heads because we love each other with one love, and the heart in the middle above us has wings because love flies all around us all the time… โค

Photo a Week Challenge: Grandparents

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Back Again!

I’m back again! Thankfully my 83-year-old dad is well on the road to recovery after his most recent stroke.

Well, ‘recovery’ in the sense of beginning to be on the mend again, slowly but surely, still in hospital for the time being but hopefully well enough to go home again in the next week or two. Physically his mobility is even more impaired than before, but he still manages to walk a little bit with a zimmer frame as long as someone is with him. And mentally his vascular dementia has inevitably deteriorated a bit more, but he’s still dad underneath it all and he still holds on tight to the promise of getting home soon…

I’m just so relieved he’s still with us, the first few days after his stroke were worryingly hit and miss but he’s finally finding his way back… love you dad โค

Off the Radar

I’m going to be off the WordPress radar for the next few days at least, and maybe longer… My dad’s had another stroke so is currently in hospital and I’m off up to Scotland tonight on the sleeper train to see both him and my mum. He’s 83 and has had several previous strokes over the past couple of years, and also has vascular dementia so sadly his health has been noticably deteriorating for a while. No idea how long I’ll be away, I’ve only booked my ticket up for now, but will see you all again when I get back, whenever that may be…

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Rhymes with Rosy

I was born along the North East coast of Scotland, in a world where the Doric dialect was spoken. My mum went to a posh school in Aberdeen so always spoke ‘proper’ English, but my dad went to an ordinary secondary school and spoke mainly Doric – in fact, at 83, he still speaks Doric with family and fellow Aberdonians, but has since tempered his everyday accent to be better understood in the Inverness area he has lived in for the last 50 years or so.

Anyway, the point of the little family history lesson is that I mainly associate hearing an abundance of beautifully descriptive Doric with my early childhood memories, and oh, the wonderful words I miss these days! Because as well as the accent affecting how many easily distinguishable English words are spoken, at times Doric seems to have a completely different vocabulary all of its own. For example, I remember very rounded old ladies always wanting to give you a ‘bosie’ – the kind of cuddle that hugs you tight to their bosom (which presumably is where the word originated).

Other great Doric words I remember from childhood include ‘oxters’ for armpits, and all the Doric men I knew would be wearing a ‘sark’ and a ‘semmit’ – a shirt and a vest – and of course their work trousers would all be held up with ‘galluses’ – braces (suspenders). To be ‘drookit’ is to be soaked through and ‘clarty’ is dirty (I was a real tomboy, and if there was water or mud nearby I’d inevitably fall in, so remember hearing those particular words with regularity).

To ‘birl’ (rhymes with girl) is to spin around really fast (usually until you get dizzy) and to ‘dirl’ is to vibrate – like when you get a ‘skelp’ across the ‘lug’ (a smack on the ear) it gives you a ‘right dirl’. Not to be confused with the love-it-or-hate-it ‘skirl’ of the bagpipes though! If you’re ‘scunnered’ you’re fed up, and if you ‘canna thole’ something you can’t tolerate it, and to be ‘fair tricket’ is to be delighted. Hmmm… Probably best to stop there before I get myself into a right ‘bourach’ (or mess!).

So there we are, that was my random, rambling Stream of Consciousness Saturday post brought to you today by ‘bosie’, my slightly off-the-wall word that rhymes beautifully with rosy ๐Ÿ™‚

Share Your World: 29 April 2019

If you could interview anyone from your life, living or dead, who would it be and why?

My paternal great-grandmother, who I never met – she lived in Canada, and died before I was born. In fact, I didn’t even know she WAS my great grandmother until I was grown up – I thought she was actually my great aunt, my grandmother’s older sister, but it turns out she had my grandmother out of wedlock at a young age, and then emigrated to Canada leaving my grandmother to be brought up by her biological grandparents, who never really lived down the shame of it all and treated my grandmother atrociously (as if it was her fault for being born illegitimate). Old sins may have long shadows, but they make for the most intriguing characters… ๐Ÿ™‚

As a child, did you have a nickname? Did you carry that with you throughout life or was it only in childhood that you used it?

My parents decided to call me Ruth as it was a nice short name and no-one would be able to shorten it. So of course I went through childhood being called Ruthie. My father-in-law, mother-in-law and brother-in-law still call me Ruthie, as does my mum and sometimes my husband every now and again, but most people know me as Ruth. Funnily enough some times I get called Ruthie informally at work, and as I answer to it as readily as Ruth, it gets used interchangably, and to be honest I really don’t mind either…

Give us three words that describe you?

Mother, grandmother, introvert. I’ve been a mum since I was 18, a grandmother since I was 38, and an introvert my whole life. Although those three words have popped up first in my head, I can immediately think of a whole lot more I could add to that rather perfunctory description. I suppose I’m an accumulation of lots of descriptive words, not really one thing more than anything else, but am an oddly eclectic mix of everything I’ve ever been and ever will be, a kind of Frankenstein’s monster of hopes and dreams and hurts and healings and mass confusion… I keep thinking it will get easier when I grow up, but here I am at 55, still waiting for clarity…

Sneaking into a second movie at the theatre (if you go to a movie house) – is that wrong or just harmless fun?

When I was a kid, there was one movie screen with a huge red curtain and red velvet seats and fancy gilded decor all around and you paid once for entry and watched whatever series of stuff was on, until you got fed up and left. Now there are many-screened multiplexes showing only one movie on each screen and the cost is so extortionate I never bother to go any more. I’d rather watch stuff on TV in the comfort of my own home…

If you had a time machine, would you go back to the past of forward into the future? Why?

Well, apart from going back in time to interview my long departed great grandmother (see Q1), I firmly believe time travel should remain in the world of fiction. I mean, I remember watching HG Wells ‘The Time Machine’ as a kid (on TV, not at the movies – see Q4) and freaking out at the idea of the Eloi and the Morlocks being all we had to look forward to in the future. OK, so maybe Michael J Fox as Marty McFly had a better time in the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy but still… I learned that messing with the past is still playing with fire. And having read (and thoroughly enjoyed) ‘The Time Traveller’s Wife’ where the poor guy time-hops back and fore with no warning I’m just glad that time for me moves one way only and at one steady pace, thank you very much…

Share Your World

Dottled and Thrawn…

Dottled and Thrawn...

A million loving moments fill my head
Remembering my dad from childhood years,
But facing new realities instead
His failing fragile mind prompts blurring tears.

As vascular dementia takes its toll
Forgetful blank confusion plays cruel tricks,
Bewildered absence taunts his stubborn soul
And thrawn and dottled's not an easy mix!

Each tiny blockage works to undermineย 
The crumbling bedrock of his memory,
His world's diminished, harder to define
Frustrating future beckons senselessly...

And once the day has come when no "Dad"s left
We'll simply go on loving, quite bereft...

PS For the non-Scots speakers of you out there, “Dottled” means in a state of dotage and “Thrawn” means stubborn… ๐Ÿ™‚