Me Grandfather’s Clock.


My Grandfather was a stereotypical northern English man to the core, and the kindest, sweetest person that I ever had the privilege to know. For those that are familiar with the comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, my grandfather was very similar to Eric Morecambe – he had a silly sense of fun and an eclectic sense of humour, and some of my happiest memories are of him proclaiming that the sponge pudding and custard would put the ‘skin on yer back like velvet.’ He loved music and liked to make up silly lyrics, and even though he passed away in 1997 I still remember every word to his version of ‘My Grandfather’s Clock,’ written in 1876 by Henry Clay Work. I’ve written it in the way that I remember him singing it to my sisters and I – he had a broad northern accent – so would say words like ‘me’ instead of ‘my’… While I am not expecting others to understand or even enjoy, this means a lot to me.

So, for a bit of a laugh, find the song on YouTube and I challenge you to follow the lyrics within the song!

Me Grandfather’s Clock – Alfred Elliott

Now me Grandfather’s clock,

Was a Waterbury watch,

It could live forty days without food.

With a small ‘at on its head,

And me father’s mackintosh,

It was dressed up like a Piccadilly dude.

Though it stood in the ‘all,

‘Cos the cupboard was so small,

And we ‘ad no place the food for to store.

So the butter and the eggs

And the little mutton legs,

We out them in me Grandfather’s clock


Now me Grandfather’s clock

Was me mother’s primulator,

And through the park in it we used to ride.

There was me and Polly Perkins, Liza Jane and Treacle Tommy,

Screaming Jimmy and the twins all stuck inside.

Now me Granddad, who was dead,

Changed his mind, got up instead,

And the sight that met his eyes gave him a shock.

For the man with the coal,

Couldn’t get it down the ‘ole,

So we put it in me Grandfather’s clock.


What about you guys? Are there any songs that mean a lot to you from your childhood?

One Hundred Miles: Collecting Detail

Picture courtesy of Lovinchelle

I moved to Birmingham in 2001, just under one hundred miles away from where I grew up in Bolton, My mother still lives there and every few months I will travel ‘Oop North’ to visit her. As I don’t drive (long story, but perhaps best saved for another time) I get the train. The average journey lasts about two hours and I often amuse myself by writing about the details in my surroundings – fellow passengers, the scenery, interesting events – the passing of time seems to fly by and before I know it I’m at my destination. Here are some of my recent observations – I apologise if you may have read some of this before.

Sometimes, the journey is entertaining even before it begins.

I’m not a morning person. In an ideal world, the very early hours of the morning are when I would be at my most productive, but I’m resigned to the fact that any sort of focus at work would be impossible if I don’t have a minimum of eight hours sleep every night.


However, the journey to the station proved to be quite an interesting one. Even at 6am there were still lots of people walking around in their clubbing outfits from the night before and some had obviously started to feel the effects of consuming their entire bodyweight in alcohol. One particular girl was stumbling around outside the station in a dress that was so short it barely covered her bottom. She had taken her enormously high shoes off and had made the intelligent decision not to bring a coat on one of the coldest nights of the year so she was shivering violently. She was alone and looked miserable, so I asked her if she was ok and was she able to get home. She looked at me with a death stare and replied:

“Yeah. F*ck off and mind your own business.”

Nice. As I started to walk away a car pulled up and I heard the girl yelling, “Where the f*ck have you been? I’m freezing my f*cking t*ts off here!”

Classy bird.

Waiting on the platform can be miserable.


Bolton train station on a cold Sunday morning

Small train stations are miserable places in the UK, particularly when the weather is cold and windy. The platform is quiet and the air is punctuated by the sound of a screaming child and the occasional announcement over the tannoy system by a woman who clearly lost her passion for her job years ago. There’s a man that has been hovering near me for the last ten minutes. I know what’s coming next: he’s going to sit next to me, ask me what my name is, where I am going and them ask me if I smoke and can he have a cigarette. I don’t mind talking to people – I’ve had lots of different conversations during train journeys and I always find them really interesting, but I always attract the cigarette hunters, despite the fact that I don’t smoke that often and rarely have them on me…

Nope, I was wrong. He wanted 20 pence. I’m not quite sure why he wanted such a small amount, but gave it him anyway.

The passengers can be very interesting, or not.

It’s currently 7.00am and I am on the train up to Manchester to go and visit my mum. It’s still dark outside, there’s a heavy mist in the air and there are just three of us in this particular carriage. The other two are having a deep and meaningful discussion about life and keep quoting motivational phrases at each other. Normally, I like these sorts of thoughts and must have thousands of inspirational messages saved onto my computer, but at this time in a morning I would rather they shut up, or at least conduct their discussion at a normal volume – Brian Blessed would be proud of their current efforts.

The Motivational Speakers and I have been joined by a young Asian woman, who has promptly fallen asleep in the chair opposite mine. Her expression is hilarious – her head is almost on the arm of the seat and her mouth is wide open. She isn’t dribbling yet, but it’s only a matter of time…

The views can be somewhat surprising.

Up until five minutes ago I was happily immersed in the WordPress world, completely oblivious to my surroundings. The carriage on the train is fairly empty and most passengers are asleep, so I’ve had a lovely journey. Suddenly, someone said,

“Wow! Look at that!”

I glanced out of the window and saw this:


A beautiful sunset

How stunning. I almost missed it!

And the eternal mystery… Mr Sushi!

I was quietly minding my own business, attempting to take photographs of the scenery outside. In the seats opposite were a young male and female and judging by their conversation they had only just met. He was slightly older than her and a little rough around the edges, while she was quite well spoken and demure. As the journey continued it became evident that there was a mutual attraction – he joked and teased her about the car that she drove, she giggled at his silly jokes and in between a few awkward silences they both tried to ask each other questions about each others lives without appearing too desperate. He said he was 24, she claimed that she was 20 (although she looked a little younger), she explained where she had been the night before, he appeared interested and listened intently… It was very sweet.


Houses near Stockport

About an hour into the journey the man pulled out the biggest box of sushi I’ve ever seen, proclaiming that he ate large amounts of it. I was a little confused by this – his efforts to impress may have been thwarted by the smell that permeated from it, but the girl seemed unfazed and the light flirting continued. Mr Sushi was obviously beginning to gain in confidence – he made a few derogatory comments about himself, thus giving her the opportunity to compliment him and then made a statement about ‘not being able to chat up a girl properly.’ Her response was, again, to giggle.

As nosey as I may sound, their conversation kept me entertained all the way to Birmingham New Street Station. Just as the train arrived and I got up to leave, I heard Mr Sushi ask for her phone number. Unfortunately, there was a huge queue of people behind me that forced me to walk off the train, and I didn’t get to hear her answer.


Thus is the eternal mystery that I will never know the answer to. Did Mr Sushi get the girl’s phone number????

In my little world, I hope he did. Despite the sushi.

Written in response to the Weekly Writing Challenge.

My Tree Looks Drunk

ImageToday I have worked really hard. Mondays are usually spent catching up with the blog and reading posts that I may have missed (I don’t work on a Monday and affectionately refer to this day as my ‘day of bliss’), but today I decided to take the opportunity to organise the house now the kitchen has been finished. After seven hours of moving and unpacking boxes I’ve found that I can actually move around the living room without having to resort to movements that would make a professional contortionist proud. I was in ‘the zone’ – the shelves were filled, the empty boxes were thrown away at breakneck speed and in my infinitely ridiculous wisdom I also decided that it would also be a good idea to put the Christmas tree up.

I have an artificial tree that The Bloke and I bought several years ago. I’d love a real one, but with three house cats it’s a pointless concept – they attack any plants in the house and I don’t want to spend any more money on vets bills. I usually adore the process of setting out the decorations and I have been known to spend several hours making it look as beautiful as possible while singing along to cheesy Christmas songs.

While I normally hate maths in any form, I have the perfect equation that may be useful for anyone in a similar situation.

Christmas Tree + Three Cats + Lights + Baubles = STUPID IDEA.

I am an idiot.

After standing on each cat several times, shutting them out and watching them open the door by themselves, blocking the door and listening to them cry loudly, wrestling the lights out of the jaws of one cat and yelling at another to stop knocking the baubles off I managed to throw the tree together in a record time – I was so stressed out that I wanted to finish it as soon as possible. There were no Christmas songs and no Christmas spirit, just an overwhelming urge to give up and go for lunch at the pub.

It reminded me of the ever fabulous ‘Simon’s Cat’ and the wonderful Christmas episode ‘Santa Claws.’

ImageUnfortunately, the tree now looks like it has been drinking heavily for the last eleven months. In fact, it looks positively sozzled. I’m sure that somewhere in the loft of the old house there are several empty bottles of gin that the tree and decorations have been indulging in since we put them away last year. I’m too embarrassed to put up a full picture, so instead I’ve just included a bauble.

Incidentally, now I’ve finished, the cats are now sound asleep – after a day of excitement, they’ve managed to tire themselves out. Unfortunately, they’ve tired me out too. It’s a good job they’re cute.

Hope your Monday has been less stressful! You can also find me on Twitter @Suzie81blog

In response to the Weekly Writing Challenge.

Image credit:
Simons Cat courtesy of Simon Tofield