This site is English – get used to it…

My birthday blog – I wish…


Yes, it’s my birthday and so a special birthday blog today. Today’s photograph was taken in Moorcroft wood. That might look like a lake, but it’s a hole in the ground left by open cast mining that filled with water. It was the coal that was mined here that fuelled the steam engines of the Industrial Revolution.

This is where I grew up and I’m still here. I sleep in the bedroom that I was born in. I go out now walking around Moorcroft Wood and the canals and take photos. When I was much younger, I rode my bike around there and explored. I’m still exploring, but finding more interesting places.

When I was a kid, we didn’t have a telephone and we made our own entertainment playing cards or listening to the ‘wireless’. I remember radio programmes like Dan Dare, The Goons and Listen with Mother… Socks usually had holes in them and they were darned. Fish and chips were fried in lard and were delicious. We wore pumps and girls did PT in their knickers. Ice cream was sold in thick slabs between two wafers. Teddy Grays sold the best sweets in England (and still do). There was pick and mix in Woolworths. You could smell the beer when you walked past a pub. The Boy’s brigade would march in the band on a Sunday morning. You could toast bread on an open coal fire. You could buy fresh tripe and chitterlings. People wore wellies, raincoats and trench coats. You could go shopping in the Army and Navy stores. All the stuff in the shops and on the markets was mostly produced in Britain. We had three proper cinemas and that was a good night out. There was 240 pennies in a pound. We used cotton hankies (no tissues). Buses had conductors on them to take your fare. Half a crown was a lot of money. The library was ‘posh’ and full of books. We would sing carols at Christmas to make a few bob…

Do I have regrets in life?

I wish could have had a better education…

It wasn’t too bad, I help university students with their studies now. I am glad they don’t study maths or physics though. I didn’t do too badly. My English is quite good. I can work out many mathematical problems in my head. I know some physics, enough to understand the difference between nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. I know global warming is a big problem. I know quite a lot about psychology and can use it in everyday life.

I wish I could play the piano…

I haven’t had very good health; in fact it’s been crap. I’ve had lots of auto- immune problems. I am still here though and still able to make a cup of tea and cook my own meals. I am still writing and taking photos, it could be worse.

I wish I had better health…

I have enough money for most things. It’s not really about having enough money to buy what you need though. I want enough money so I never need worry about it again. I want more financial security. I want enough money so I can help other people when they need help without worrying about it. I know a few people who need help and money would make things better. If I win the jackpot on the  lottery, I will help them. I’ll also do some things to make the community better. The hospital needs a few thousands to set up a hospital radio station, that would be a good thing to do. People in hospital need more visitors too, visitors who will know to use the gel and wash their hands rather, than spread infections. I’ll have a better camera if I win the lottery too.

I wish I could win the lottery…

Humour is important to me, but I do have to be in the mood to write comedy. You also need to be inspired. I would like a weekly column in a newspaper, a magazine or even on a very popular website. I could make sarcastic and facetious comment on the week’s news. I could ramble on about the government plans for a high speed rail line. It is a bloody daft idea. Aren’t they a bit old to be building a bloody train set?  This is what we get putting public school boys in charge of the country. One of my friends had a train set. He had a shelf put all around his bedroom and a Hornby train ran around his room, backwards and forwards. It was  a shame he couldn’t have a bridge across the doorway…

I wish I had a train set in my garden…

This blog  post will go on my WordPress blog and on a zillion ideas. It’s just over a year now since I started It’s not going great, but at least I picked a good name for it. If I win the lottery, I’ll get some PHP whizz to make it a better site and speed it up. I could publicise it better too… I need guest writers for that website. 

I wish I had more guest writers…

I’ve become interested in art and now take photos and try to do something artistic with them. I even visit art galleries and went to Walsall art gallery not long ago. I would like to have some of my pictures printed and framed. One was printed and framed and now hangs in the Manor Hospital at Walsall.

I wish I could get my own art exhibition…

I started building a portfolio on the stock market a few years ago. My first investment was because I thought a company was about to get a takeover bid. I was right, but the takeover fell apart and the company has been doing really badly since. I’m losing 98% on that investment. The shares I’ve bought since have done quite well. Overall now, I have a return of 23% but I have taken  a hammering this week! My return on one investment was 200% at the beginning of the week and that has dropped to 140%. That is still very good and I’m sure it will recover, but still one hell of a drop. That is what happens though, the traders aka speculators, panic at the slightest bit of adverse news.

I wish I had more money to invest…

I’m slower than I used to be. I have aches and pains and I forget things. I worry too much. I get tired doing ordinary stuff. I need my eyes testing.  I get bored a lot. I need more stimulation and inspiration. I’ve made a lot of mistakes and so I’ve learned a lot. You learn a lot by making mistakes, that is an advantage of being older…

I wish I was young again… 

Smile with tongue out

5 responses

  1. Happy Birthday, Mike, and best wishes for many more to come. Don’t give up writing! How about an online exhibition? You could have a grand opening and invite people, you could have some cards made using your pictures – you could sell those.

    I agree about the HS2 rail link, sadly, though, it was a decision made by the Labour government, it’s just not going away as a result.

    You are only as old as you feel. Don’t forget – I’m 175 according to my grandson – but I only feel……

    (Oh, and you forgot about the disposable nappies, they weren’t around either…. hee hee, we both have similar memories although I haven’t heard of Teddy Grays)

    Have a great day. Don’t forget to blow out the candles………..

    1, February 2013 at 8:57 am

    • Hi Myfanwy,

      Teddy Grays is a Victorian sweet shop. You might come across their seaside rock sometimes. I think they only have a few shops in the Black Country selling an amazing assortment of sweets and ice cream. People move away from here and come back just to go to Teddy Grays shop!

      Disposable nappies, yes. I forgot disposable razors too and shaving foam! Televisions don’t warm up now they boot up their computers!

      I would like to see them develop a super fast telecommunications system rather than a new train set. I think politicians know nothing about science, technology or anything practical.

      Thanks for popping in. I might celebrate later with a quarter of fruit sherbets! 🙂

      1, February 2013 at 11:21 am

  2. Yeah, Happy Birthday Mike, I enjoyed all those wonderful rapid images you conjured up in this post

    2, February 2013 at 3:27 am

    • Hi Mark,

      Thanks, I was trying to do something different. I was thinking about my childhood. You know the way children talk fast and try to pack as much into what they say as they can! I tried to do one paragraph like that. I think it worked!

      Thanks for visiting. I hope you’ll pop in again. Now I’ve approved one comment, your future comments are approved too!

      2, February 2013 at 8:28 am

  3. Pingback: From psychology to nostalgia « Mike10613's Blog

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