A Celtic Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
may the wind be always at your back,
may the sun shine warm upon your face,
may the rains fall soft upon your fields.
Until we meet again,
may God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Saturday, 23 February 2008


"There are no brave men and cowardly men in the world. There are only brave men. To be born, to live, to die - that takes courage enough in itself, and more than enough. We are all brave men, and we are all afraid, and what the world calls a brave man, he, too, is brave and afraid like the rest of us. Only he is brave for five minutes longer." Alistair MacLean

Friday, 22 February 2008

Friday at last

Well the week is over. What a week it was - 5 days of boredom mixed in with mayhem and lunacy (so what changes?)

The big news was the lack of news. I finally had my hospital appointment. The upshot was that there was no news. The doctor did not know what was causing the weakness in my left side. He was not even aware of the cyst, and he is also of the opinion that it is of no importance. So I still don't know what it is, only what it isn't.

And then we had a lot of fun today. A corporate order came in on Thursday, and so we were all ready for it. However they did not turn up until today. Due to confusion, we ended up with the original order being all confused, and there ended up with 5 of us desperately trying to complete the order. What is frustrating is that I had a word with the manager to say that these orders were going to tie us up, only to be told it was all in hand. Maybe now he will think again.

Thank goodness for the weekend (well Saturday anyway, as I am working Sunday). This evening was good - I had dinner with the vicar of Marown parish - a lovely man.

By the way - the translation? It is the Lord's Prayer in Manx.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Can you translate this?

Padjyr y Chairn
Ayr ain t'ayns niau:
Casherick dy row dt'ennym.
Dy jig dty reeriaght.
Dty aigney dy row jeant er y thalloo myr te ayns niau.
Cur dooin nyn arran jiu as gagh laa.
As leih dooin nyn loghtyn,
Myr ta shinyn leih dauesyn ta jannoo loghtyn nyn 'oi.
As ny leeid shin ayns miolagh,
Agh livrey shin veih olk
Son lhiats y reeriaght, as y phooar as y ghloyr.
So dy bragh as dy bragh.
Myr shen dy row eh.

The first person to translate this will win a free trip down six flights of stairs.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Can I sit down now?

Someone in head office has decided that all staff should have the chance to get an extra discount, and also that their friends and family should have a chance to save some money as well. However, I did not notice those head office staff on the tills when we were being run off our feet.

We had a quiet start to the day. Then from 10:30 until 5:30 it was non-stop. When I finally got my afternoon break, my knees had almost set so they would not bend so I could sit down. I don't know how much money we took, but it must be a fair amount. I know we sold a few packs of socks which I need for my 'challenge'.

Did I tell you about my challenge? I am ambivalent as to whether I want to succeed or fail. The object is to increase sales of a certain range of socks by 50%. If I succeed, I will get a bottle of something (and I can choose so it will be really expensive!). However, if I succeed, everyone else will be given a plan to increase their sales too. The general feeling is that it is not our business to create sales plans - that is what managers are for. We feel that too much is being passed down to us - we get the responsibility without the rewards - can you see the mismatch?

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

It might be true!

This item was heard on the radio this week.

It concerns a couple who were rushed to A&E (ER to the American audience).
He had his penis hanging by a thread and she had a burn on the top of her head and bruises on the back of her head. Apparently he was cooking pancakes and she was performing 'an act of gratification' on him. She distracted him when he tossed the pancake and it landed on her head. She clenched her teeth and nearly bit his penis off, and he had to beat her about the back of the head to make her let go

Good news or bad news?

Well the results are in, and the verdict has been passed.

Yes, the hospital have been in touch. The scan came back negative, apart from a small cyst in the ventricles on the left side. The opinion is that the cyst is a chance find, and unconnected to whatever happened back in December.

Sooooooooo - the good news is that I have not had a stroke. That is a great weight off my mind. However, the bad news is that I still do not know what is causing my symptoms. I will see the neurologist on the 21st and maybe then I will know something more.

So this afternoon I went and did some gentle work in the garden. I am still converting it from a wilderness of mud and weeds into soil and plants. I dug a couple of square yards on either side of the end of the patio, so that when I get something to put in them, the soil will have some roughage and nutrients dug into it. I have a lot more to do, but I am working my way across the garden. The rest is what I call a 'disposable garden', in that I just put in annuals and let them get on with themselves.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Rallying round

For those of you who don't know, I have been involved in the local rally scene almost since I moved to the island. I marshalled my first rally (up at the Q, as I found out it is called) in May 1990, and have been doing it ever since.

When I turned 40, I found myself running up and down a road. I said to myself "You are getting too old for this, and for standing out in the rain", so I transferred to become a radio operator. The main advantages of this is that it is done in the car (mostly), in the dry and sitting down. Mind you, my friend Dot puts me to shame. She is a pensioner, and still marshalls - not just the rallies but the bikes at the TT and the Southern 100, not to mention Jurby (oh did I mention it? I said not to mention it!)

Anyway, to cut a long story short (too late!), I joined the Manx Motorsport Marshalls Association (MMSMA, pronouced 'maz-ma'), and Saturday was their training day. Neither Dot nor I knew what to expect, but it turned out to be a really interesting day. One of the most interesting sessions was by someoene I didn't think much of before Saturday. Finding out exactly the powers and liabilities of a marshall (and I am still a marshall, even when I am sitting in my radio car!) was really illuminating - such as finding out what information was needed to get a summons and what we could doa s reasonable force.

In the afternoon, marshalls and radio operators had seperate sessions. While the marshalls were being shown a variety of equipment used by recovery and medical crews (including blades to cut crash-helmets off), the radio operators were learning about the new system. Sitting in the classroom? Hardly! BP said "I need 10 cars - put the radios in and of you go to drive the stages and check the coverage at all the likely radio points". It turns out that the new system is so much better than the old. On the old system, you would struggle to hear what was happening more than 10 miles away - you might hear control but you were unlikely to hear the other end. This resulted in a lot of 'walk over' because noone could here. Now you can be in Port Erin and ehar operators in Ramsey and Andreas at the other end of the island!

In the evening was the Marshalls' Supper. And it was good. Not only a good dinner, but I came away with meals for 2 at the Cherry Orchard and a case of beer from the raffle!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

A very mixed day

Today was a real day of contrasts. As far as work goes, it was very slow, with only a few customers until afternoon. Then the rain started, and people came flooding in. Isn't it strange? You would have thought the bad weather would have kept them at home but no - they want to brave the rain and wind to come out and shop! Not the sort of behaviour I understand for sure!

There was the lady who slipped in the store. I am glad I have learnt to be 'quietly bossy', as today it paid dividends for her. When I got there, she was sitting on the floor holding her wrist, because as she fell, she had put her hand out to break her fall. I examined her arm, and decided to bandage it to immobilize it. The lady was saying she didn't want any fuss, but I was trying to persuade her to go up to the hospital to get it checked out. Eventually, I offered to call a taxi for her, and she agreed. I rang her later as I had said I would, only to be told that she had been told that her wrist was fractured. It seems that my bandaging had helped ensure that the wrist was not too displaced and was easier to reset. So I did something right!

Then I got home to find a letter from the hospital. I have an appointment with a neurologist on the 21st (nothing like an urgent appointment!) The delay suggests that there is something wrong, but it is not urgent. If the scan was clear, then surely they would have said that it was clear in the letter? And if it was life-threatening, they would have had me in yesterday. So it suggests that there is something they can do nothing about. So another 3 weeks of waiting...

And then the best part of the day. I met my daughter, and we had a great Chinese meal together. We were talking in a whole new way - so i hope this is the start of soemthing better. We are hoping to go out for a drink now and then now - a new form of relationship. That made everything in the day seem unimportant - my daughter is what matters!