Now that’s interesting .I’ve been listening on the car – radio to a piece about cockroaches.Apparently they are a somewhat smelly little creature, possibly the most primitive insect on earth, originating in tropical or sub -tropical climes and have found our centrally -heated modern homes the perfect environment to colonise and propagate their insect race. Some are more interesting than others of course .There is one species which delights in burrowing into the ground and building a cosy nest by pulling leaves behind it down into its damp tunnel. This particular female roach doesn’t lay neat little insect eggs as you might expect. Instead they have nymphs fully-formed …or little cockroach cubs, if you like. These stay with their mother for about six months before heading out into the world of woe. They sound like creepy little fellows alright.
Cockroaches wouldn’t have had much of a warm welcome in my home over this past week or two.I arrived back from my latest adventure to discover the house as cold as a sepulchre. Pot plants, more used to a constancy of warmth were visibly beginning to wilt, their leaves drooping in despondency in the chill.I had no sooner unloaded the cases from the boot of the car and flipped the switches to fire up the kettle when all the power in the house crashed off.Sure, I had lights shining from the ceiling but but something else was tripping out the wall sockets. it was looking dangerously like there ‘d be no Punjana tea brewed anytime soon.It wasn’t long before the culprit was finally discovered .The oil boiler had leaked into the burner while we’d been away and played merry havoc with the electrics therein.The prognosis was bad .I had figured that I might have to bleed the thing , as a worst case homecoming scenario, but the thought of replacing it had not entered my mind. I’d kept my fingers crossed all the way home .Dammit!! Who needs this kind of hassle at this time of the year when the days have truncated to a few wee hours of daylight and the winter’s cold is stealing in?….not I!!
Isn’t it always like that when you go away for a few days? Next up the internet was dead and I had to spend an hour or so of fruitless waffle over a crackling phone line. They were supposed to sort that racket out too but that was only ten months ago or so and there is the vague possibility that something might yet be done.. One person, possibly in far -away India , telling me there was something wrong with my home – equipment and another telling me the fault was maybe at the Exchange.I switched to my mobile phone midst a storm of buzzing Hendrix -feedback and distortion and it too crashed dead during the conversation, completely out of credit. These people really know how to syphon money out of your pocket. It was back to the mad buzzing land-line for further aural assault before I convinced the operator to ring me on my depleted mobile…..
Well I finally got my internet back, buzzing land-line no better and we settled down to the trauma of funding the installation of a new boiler. The plumber said the current one was ancient history anyway.I know….I should have put it out of its misery long ago but you hang on …don’t you? Anyway, hopefully we’ll be able to get a new one sourced and sorted before we all freeze to death. It couldn’t have happened last month when the weather was a little more clement.All and all this will be a month to remember alright .Daughter Number One and her partner have just wed and we’ve also discovered that the Golden Grand-daughter has moved on at age two from “the Teletubbies ” and “In the Night Garden” to the entire Walt Disney catalogue. The past ten days have been spent immersed in “the Jungle Book” , “Cinderella”, “Pinocchio” and the rest of the animated colourful gang ……she knows every song , as do I , now, once again and “I really want to be a man…man cub” like Louis Prima ,alright .The wedding ceremony was simple and beautiful.
I had planned to read either Edward Lear’s “The Owl and The Pussy Cat” or Van Morrison’s “The Way Young Lovers Do” from the Astral Weeks album to get the ceremonies rolling . I finally plunked for Van’s song as the more romantic choice but only after the registrar had cast her critical eye over my pages just before the happy couple made their entrance. “We have to make sure, by law, there is no reference to god or religion, as this is a civil ceremony”, she mused with some seriousness and a critical lift of one brow. I had been forewarned to expect this. My response still tripped unheeded from my lips as I stifled a chuckle…”Oh…god …no!” was all I was able to murmur. Van didn’t let me down on this occasion. It was all …”strolled through fields all wet with rain and back along the lane again….daring the sun….”. Beth read a Welsh sonnet especially composed under her “secret” nom de plume . Paul Juju sang and played Bob Dylan’s “She Belongs To Me” on guitar, as the happy couple signed their love and civic commitment. Unfortunately Neal’s little electronic organ refused to fire up and add that piping trill to the bard’s great song, but no matter , groom , bride and two- year old Golden Grandchild waltzed down the aisle to much joy and merriment and applause. I did finally include that lost “Owl And The Pussycat” as part of my speech at dinner, many glasses later and it seemed to hit the spot. The Welsh , English and Irish tribes united .
You’d imagine Norneverland didn’t even exist when you are away from it for a few days. No one in the UK gives it any thought at all. Television seems to be becoming a thing of the past too. The discerning Apple Mac is king .When I re-surfaced back home at a more stable keypad with my tumbling thoughts once again settling in some kind of order as opposed to the distracted , jagged, fragmented and splintered offerings back in toddlerland, the DUP were still blocking the idea that gay men and women could ever be married anytime soon in this mad land of twisting morality. There they still were, with their fingers stuck in the dyke of public opinion…stuck in their ears to the public outcry for fairness across the genders….stuck up their noses as if to suppress the stink of another of their petty bigotries. As British as ….whatever!?
A cold house for gays or anyone else in God-riven Norneverland ….not unlike the cold those cockroaches might find should they chance into my home at this particular moment in time.News is that the heating boiler might be replaced before the weekend .The wife is already buying hot -water bottles.


  1. fiosrach November 4, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    Harry, your boiler must be at least 40 years old. Quit crying.

    • paddykool November 4, 2015 at 5:52 pm #

      Hardly forty years fiosrach unless it has time-travelled ….the house is only thirty years old!

  2. Sarah November 6, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    The way young lovers do was a great selection for the ceremony Harry. One of my favorites too! It sounds like a lovely celebration
    So was it your pot plants suffering or your run of the mill potted plants? I’m assuming the latter but here in the US of A talking about droopy pot plants could elicit a knock on the door in most states

    I won’t say a word

    • paddykool November 6, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

      Many thanks, Sarah. Yes it was a lovely ceremony and as many attending were of the rocknroll musical persuasion in Liverpool’s music scene, we were all on that same page. As for the drooping plants …yes there was time long ago when I left my late father in charge of plant-watering duties , to return from an Italian holiday to find said herbal refugees heading ceilingwards. His comment …”they’re lovely , but they’re getting a bit too big!”….innocent times indeed…and what a great Winter of Content followed their eventual demise …Bob Marley, Burning Spear and Toots and the Maytals on the hi-fi and that strange smelling turf on the fire….. Alas that was many years ago when these old lungs were up to it. These days , said indoor flora are of the more common-garden variety without any of the medicinal qualities….!!.