Tuesday 19 March 2013

A day in The Tin Bath.....

"OMG she doesn't have a proper bathroom if she has to use a tin bath!" I hear you saying.   Actually The Tin Bath is the what the Railway Touring Company called the train which was steam hauled from Manchester on Sunday.

Here's one of the steam engines that pulled the train.

 and the other one

 The red line on the map below shows The Tin Bath Route.

Along with our friends we boarded the First Class Carriage of the train at 10.30 am for the 10.45 departure from Victoria Station, Manchester, the train had started it's journey in Preston.    

Leaving Victoria Station behind we travelled through various districts of Manchester into Yorkshire, enjoying tea/coffee and Danish Pastries during the journey to our stop in Sheffield, where we had an hour to grab a drink in a local pub before rejoining the train.

The next leg of the journey would last five and a half hours, travelling through Barnsley, Penistone, Huddersfield, Burnley, Blackburn, Bolton and  back to Manchester Victoria.   We enjoyed a couple of glasses of wine (beer for the boys), which we had taken on the train and the train stewards served up a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with jam and cream, and tea and coffee during the second part of the journey whilst we enjoyed the scenery.

Arriving back in Manchester we left the train and called in a city centre pub for a drink before going to Red Hot World Buffet, an all you can eat place that caters for every taste imaginable - sushi, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, USA, Japanese,  Thai, Mongolian, English and more desserts than you can imagine!  We were invited to the opening of the Manchester branch last year, by friends whose son designs the restaurant chain, and we received a passport entitling us to a 20% discount on our total bill as many times as we like until the year 2022, so it was a great opportunity to use it.

After gorging ourselves we went for a little walk around to work off the food and called in a pub where they were celebrating St. Patrick's Day.  We stayed long enough to have a couple of drinks then phoned for a taxi to take us home as we were really tired.    It had been a very long but enjoyable day and we are hoping to take a trip with the Railway Touring Company in January/February on the Settle to Carlisle line.

I won't be around next week as MWM and I are off too the Isle of Wight on Monday until Friday.  Of course I will be taking photos and will tell you all about it when I get back.

Wednesday 13 March 2013

17 months on......

You may remember I lost my beloved Dad in October 2011, and how we couldn't have a funeral because he had left his body to Manchester University's Anatomy Department for medical research, see here.

Yesterday MWM, myself, my youngest brother and my youngest son attended a Service of Thanksgiving at the University for those who had donated their body for Medical and Scientific Teaching and Research in the previous year.  The service was attended by The Lord Leiutenant of Greater Manchester, The Lord Mayor of Manchester, local councillors, staff and students of the university and many relatives and friends of the donors.

We each received an Order of Service the preface read:

Each year, approximately 850 students commence studies in Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Speech and Language Therapy, Audiology, Optometry, Anatomical Sciences or Biomedical Sciences at The University of Manchester.

An important component of their training involves the study of human anatomy.

Each year, a large number of generous and public-spirited individuals donate their bodies to The University so that it can continue to provide high quality teaching of human anatomy to its students.

This Service of Thanksgiving is dedicated to all those who donated their bodies during the past year and who have thus contributed, even after death, to the benefit of future generations.

The names of those whom we commemorate are recorded at the end of this order of service. 

The service included addresses by multidenominational faiths and University teaching staff,  readings by students, hymns and prayers for the departed, the students and for us all.  Halfway through the service,whilst the New Manchester Voices were singing an anthem, eight students lit four candles each, one in memory of each donor. There were 32 names recorded, my Dad included.

It could be another 1 - 2 years before my Dad's remains will be released for committal to a local undertaker.  The University will pay for the cremation and we will be able to attend the service and claim his ashes.

I am so proud my Dad is still contributing to the future, and that he inspired myself and MWM to do the same, we have both donated our bodies to the University when our time comes.

Thursday 7 March 2013

I know it may seem an odd thing to say......

but my friend Bernadette's funeral was lovely!

This was Bernadette when she was approx 19/20 years old.  I didn't know her then but she was always an attractive woman, even in these latter years when ravaged by illness.  She was 75 in January, just gone.

Being an Irish Catholic, and of the old school, her family arranged for Bernadette to spend the night before her funeral in her own home.  Bernadette was taken to church by a horse-drawn carriage, which is something she had expressed a wish to have for her funeral.   The photograph below is the actual carriage as it arrived to convey Bernadette to the church for the Requiem Mass,

followed by three limosines.  The floral tributes from family and friends were magnificent.    The service at the church was followed by a commital for cremation at the local crematorium, then a buffet at a local restaurant for family and friends to celebrate her life.  Her family gave her a wonderful send-off, I know that Bernadette would have been watching and enjoying going out in style and to top it all the weather was absolutely beautiful for her last trip.

God bless you Bernadette, you will never be forgotten.

Sunday 3 March 2013


In my last post I told you how I had just discovered a Christmas gift from my lovely neighbour and friend, Bernadette.    She telephoned me last Saturday to ask if I could pop over (her house is right opposite mine) for a few minutes, which I did, only to find her half in and half out of bed and unable to get herself into bed properly because of her health issues.    I helped her back into bed and made sure she had everything she needed and showed her my newly manicured nails, thanking her once again for the gift voucher.

The following day we went out and didn't get back until 7 ish,  We had only been home about an hour when Bernadette's daughter called to tell us her Mum had been taken into hospital, as she really wasn't very well, and asked if we would take care of her house (close the blinds at night and open them in the morning) whilst she was in hospital.   Imagine our shock the following morning when I found a note pushed through our letterbox saying Bernadette had passed away in the early hours.

Bernadette was a very strong woman who had been living on borrowed time for the last five years.  In fact 5 years ago, after a three week stay in hospital, she was sent home and given two weeks to live, that will give you some indication of just how strong she was.

Tuesday will find us paying our last respects to Bernadette at her funeral,

We will miss you Bernadette. RIP. xxxx