Month: June 2014

Everything Stops for Wimbledon



I enjoy Wimbledon and I am not ashamed to admit it. Whilst I dont always get to watch every game I watch as much as I can. I used to enjoy playing and was in the junior team at school but then ponies took over and took to squash instead. Sadly I don’t play either of these games today but maybe one day. I still have my squash racket which will probably snap from lack of use.

Whilst I shall have to do all my major chores in the morning and after dark I will still be able to knit and do my embroidery whilst watching. And there is always the pause button so I can make tea! and the mute button to shut the commentators up while they make up things to say.

A major sufferer of hay fever it will give my breathing tubes a break from the garden.

I do feel sorry for people who don’t enjoy sport (I am not a football fan) because this time of year the television is swamped with it. But it is a break from all the terrible things that are happening in our world.

So like sport or not enjoy the next few weeks either in the garden or sat in front of the idiot box.


Expressions and Phrases Inherited from Others.

Everyone has family sayings and phrases passed down through the generations. Many are repeated through the years without knowing where they came from. I was reminded of this when walking the dog the other morning, in the road there was a squirrel that had been knocked down by a car, and I recalled a friend who always referred to them as Mickeys and for ever after that is what they had been called.
As a family we have many passed down from ancient relatives one favourite is “I’ll have that little bit Ivy” an elderly aunt would save something on the edge of her plate but her brother would lean across with his fork and steal it. She never learnt or maybe she was amused by it.
When I shared a house some years ago with a friend we had all kinds of silly sayings. The postman was known as the poleeman and the dishwasher as the washdisher. If you were ever finding it difficult with doing something or changed your mind about going anywhere my fathers saying of ” you would come, you said you could do it.” Would bring a laugh. Or for a failure “hey ho skiddly.” And his favourite ” I know you want it but do you need it?”

The father of a lady acquaintance said he would get in the car to go somewhere and state “forward the colour is blue,” nobody in the family knew why it was blue.

Like family stories to make sure sayings are not lost use them often so your family character can continue. There are so many in our family there are too many to mention here, but I would love to hear back from anyone else who finds the family sayings a lot of fun.

Peggy Grayson ‘A Door to All My Rooms’ now on Kindle

Fascinating step back into the past in the Berkshire Countryside.

Storm Grayson

A Door to All My Rooms

by Peggy Grayson

A Door to All My Rooms is an affectionate and nostalgic tour of a much-loved childhood home, rekindling memories of the characters who peopled it, some sad, some very funny.

Invaluable as a piece of social history, this is a fascinating step back into the past, providing an amusing insight into family life in the Berkshire countryside of the 20’s and 30’s.

Accustomed as we are nowadays to the machinery of modern living it seems incredible that people lived civilised lives without telephones, refrigeration, TV or central heating.  How did people fill their time and cope?  Read this and find out.

The author, who has been writing since childhood, is an International Championship Judge of dogs and ponies and contributes a highly popular weekly column to the dog press as well as writing extensively for other journals.

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A Sad Fathers Day for Many

With my father 001


I am always sad when Fathers Day comes around and I am sure I will be the same on Mothering Sunday when mother is no longer here. I, like many daughters were very close to my father and when he left for the other side it was the worst day of my life. Time is a great healer and now 16 years later although sad I remember him fondly.
As I mentioned to my mother only recently I had always known him and had never had a time in my life when he wasn’t there and it will be the same when my mother passes away. I sometimes think parents forget to realise that their children have never had a time when they have not had parents.
Sadly families break down or become separated but everyone has a mother and father. So unfortunately when we have days to honour our parents some of us only have our memories.
It is with a heavy heart that I see Fathers Day advertisement and cards knowing all I can do is visit a grave like so many daughters.
As a very good friend said to me once “nobody can ever take your memories away.”
Where ever you are, whoever you are I wish you a memorable and Happy Fathers Day.

Grannies Little Adventure

2014-06-09 14.07.37

At 94 it is not as easy to do things you did when were 64. So anything you do is an adventure.

When we had a sunny day this week I summoned up my courage to go and sit in the garden, with the help of my trusty Zimmer frame and my daughter I managed to get over the step from the conservatory onto the patio. I have always preferred being outside rather than being stuck inside. But now at my age I spend most of my time confined to the bungalow as I am not able to get about as I did and certainly I am now no longer allowed to go anywhere without somebody with me as I have been known to topple over and everyone is afraid I will do it again – surprisingly I no longer bounce when I hit the deck.

I have always loved my garden and up until a couple of years ago managed to grow my vegetables and keep it reasonably up together. So it makes me very sad that I can no longer do it. A while ago they came and fitted grab handles in the doorway and railings so I can now get down the step and safely onto the lawn, so it takes me a long time just to get outside.

Once I had got onto the patio Zimmer trundled along to the steps down to the lawn but once on the lawn Zimmers wheels were reluctant to rotate. But I still managed to make it to the chair and had a lovely time enjoying the garden and the warm sunshine. My daughter does her best to keep the garden in check but its not the same as doing it yourself.

A World Less Familiar in 100 years.

old street


As age creeps up on us things around us change and not always for the better we often feel. When you have lived nearly a century the changes are unfathomable.


A hundred years ago:

From 1911-5, 63% of people died before the age of 60.
Now, only 12% die before the age of 60.

The composition of the workforce has changed.
Now, 1 in 3 are professionals or managers, compared to 1 in 7 in

In 1901 there were 1,093,000 births and 632,000 deaths. By the
year 2021 the number of births and deaths, projected in 1996, is
expected to be 695,000 and 647,000 respectively.

Since 1901, more people have emigrated from the UK than
immigrated. By 1997, a net exodus from the UK of 15,600,000
had occurred.

Between 1900 and 1998 the housing stock of Great Britain has
increased from about 7 million to 22 million permanent

In 1901 the average prison population was 15,900. By 1998 the
figure had increased to 65,300. There were more prisoners in
1998 than in any other year this century.

In 1926 there were 1,715,000 motor vehicles registered and
4,886 road fatalities, giving a ratio of 2.9 fatalities per thousand
vehicles. The Second World War interrupts the general
downward trend of the ratio. Between 1939 and 1944 the
number of motor vehicles registered fell by 49% while the
number of fatalities remained relatively stable, leading to a rise
in the ratio to 4.0 in 1944. By 1997, the number of motor
vehicles registered increased to 26,974,000 but the number of
fatalities fell to 3,599. Thus, the ratio of fatalities per one
thousand motor vehicles fell to 0.1.

In 1935 the
Road Traffic Census Report records a 24-hour count
of traffic at 467 roadside points. The average number of
‘mechanically-propelled’ vehicles to pass any predetermined
point was recorded as 11 per hour. By 1954 the Road Traffic
Census Report records the average number of vehicles to pass
had risen to 159 per hour.

Between 1955 and 1998 total motor
vehicle traffic increased by almost 500% with growth in traffic
since 1988 up by 22%

In 1904 a Royal Commission studied traffic in London. The
speeds of various vehicles were taken. During off-peak periods a
motor driven cab would travel at an average of 12 miles per
hour. In the post-war period traffic speeds were slower. In 1996
the average off-peak vehicle speed was recorded as 10 miles per
The first woman to be elected to the House of Commons was
Countess Constance Markievicz in 1918, although, as a member
of Sinn Fein, she did not take her seat and so is not included as
an MP in this context

Between 1900 and 1999 retail prices have risen by around 66
times at an average annual rate of some 4.3%.

There has beena marked contrast between the two halves of the Century.
Between 1949 and 1999 prices rose some 19 fold at an average
rate of 6.0% compared to a 3½ fold increase between 1900 and
1949 at an average rate of 2.6%.

The purchasing power of a pound fell from £1 in 1900 to the
equivalent of just 1.5 pence in 1999.

Typical prices:
1900 to 1999
Inland letter post 1d (0.4p) 26p
The Times 3d (1.2p) 35p
Pint of beer in a public bar 2d (0.8p) £1.73
Pint of fresh milk (London) 2d (0.8p) 26p
Dozen new laid eggs (London) 1/4½d (6.9p) £1.57

Some really interesting facts, which doesn’t take into account the rise in Information technology, the television and radio growth.

(These statistics came from a Parliamentary White paper 15 years ago so can you imagine the difference now?)

As recently as Forty years ago these were invented, can you believe it?

  • 1972: The first video game console, used primarily for playing video games on a TV, is the Magnavox Odyssey.[164]
  • 1973: The first commercial graphical user interface was introduced in 1973 on the Xerox Alto. The modern GUI was later popularized by theXerox Star and Apple Lisa.
  • 1975: Altair 8800 was the spark that ignited the microcomputer revolution.
  • 1973-75: The Internet protocol suite was developed by Vinton Cerf and Robert E. Kahn for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) ARPANET, creating the basis for the modern Internet.


  • 1982: A CD-ROM (/ˌsˌdˈrɒm/, an acronym of “Compact Disc Read-only memory”) is a pre-pressed compact disc that contains dataaccessible to, but not writable by, a computer for data storage and music playback. The 1985 Yellow Book standard developed by Sonyand Philips adapted the format to hold any form of binary data.[165]
  • 1990:The World Wide Web was first introduced to the public by English engineer and computer scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee..[166] [167]
  • 1993: MOSAIC, the first popular web browser is introduced
  • 1995: DVD is an optical disc storage format, invented and developed by Philips, Sony, Toshiba, and Panasonic in 1995. DVDs offer higher storage capacity than Compact Discs while having the same dimensions.

I thought a blog of information and statistics would make a change from my usual bla bla bla!