I Have Never Forgotten The NOT YETs


When I was a young child I asked my parents on numerous occasions, “can I have…this or that or the other…?” Most children do. There were times the answer was yes and other times the answer was no, and other times the answer was NOT YET. I learnt that there were three possible outcomes to a request, and so, I started to ask for clarification…”is it a yes, a no, or a not yet?” We all used to ask my parents to have another baby. We all decided we wanted a younger brother. Mum and Dad confirmed it was a no, they said seven was enough!

window cleanerMum and Dad did an amazing job at providing for seven children, all with their own wish-list. Dad was working as a window-cleaner, and once my youngest sister had started school, Mum went back to work as a nurse. I don’t remember being bored. There was always something going on in our house.

My parents had to be thrifty and took advantage of any activities that were free. There were many occasions when we were outside as a family playing together, and often meeting up with other families. We might go to the park and play sports, or go on the local “trim-trail”. We often went to the beach. We toured the local countryside on many bike-rides. Mum prepared many pic-nics and used to take us to areas where we could run around or climb trees, while she studied for her Masters Degree in Education.

On rainy days we might be tasked with dressing up and acting out a play. Or we would do a huge jigsaw together as a family, or play board games like “Generosity”, the winner of which was the person who gave away all of his belongings first. This essentially was the reverse of Monopoly (only my sisters and I would play it like Monopoly).

There were many other things we enjoyed together as a family and I feel extremely privileged to have all those wonderful memories – it does not matter how much money is in my purse – I know I have a wealth that sadly, money cannot buy, and many people would truly long for.

swimmingMum and Dad may have struggled at times to make ends meet but they provided plenty of things for us. We had a never ending supply of books that Dad picked up in charity shops. Mum saved some coupons from cereal boxes and three dolls appeared for me and my two younger sisters which we were thrilled by. We all had swimming lessons and all ended up swimming competitively and winning races for our county club. We all had bikes – they were all second-hand and then hand-me-down from the oldest of my siblings to the youngest, but Dad did a great job of maintaining them. What more could we possibly need?

Some of us has special interests. One of my oldest sisters had tap dancing lessons. Another of my older sisters had tennis lessons. Another had an interest in photography and Dad bought her a camera. My brother and one of my younger sisters loves art, so Dad bought art materials for them. I loved music so he bought me a radio and paid for me to have singing lessons. Milly hardly ever asked for anything. She has always been the gentle and generous one, entirely unselfish. But there was one thing, she really liked the idea of joining the gym, so Dad paid for her membership and took her along with him. Dad loved her company.

So although sometimes we thought about what we didn’t have and our friends did, like Barbie dolls and a Saga#54 and all sorts of other toys and games we were envious of…I can see my parents provided abundantly in every way for us, but especially the most important ways – they gave us their time. Richly!

Amongst the things I asked for:

  • a computer (we had to wait until I had left high school until we had a family computer)
  • my own desk (oh…there is a terrible traumatic tale of what happened with the desk that I must share with you)
  • trampoline lessons (the answer was only I gave up swimming lessons, they could not afford both)

But there is one thing I asked for very early on in life and I reckon a lot of you will have done the same! Boy oh boy oh boy – did I want a horse! It was hard not to with the television series “Black Beauty” instilling a love of horses at a very young age. Doesn’t it make you feel free? – the thought of galloping like that across fields!

I remember having a conversation with my parents about it.

Mum was asking me to think about everything a horse needs. She said you need to have a field for a horse and a stable. She explained that we would need to buy food for the horse and for other things like vet’s bills. She said if I wanted to be able to ride a horse, it would mean buying expensive equipment like a saddle and other livery.

My little face must have revealed the scale of my disappointment on the realization that it was completely beyond the means of my parents for me to ever even look forward to having a horse.

Dad was cut to the core! His words to console me was that every father would love for his little girl to have a horse. He asked me if we should trade in the rest of my six siblings so that they could buy a horse? I probably pondered about whether that was a possibility until I saw Dadda laughing.

I asked my parents, “so it is a definite no?” Mum and Dad smiled and said that they would rather it was a NOT YET. It is still at the very top of my dream list. The list of NOT YETs that I have never forgotten.



All Aboard For The Travelling Tea Party

Attention all travel bloggers!!!

Please make your way over to the tea-party arranged by super-blogger The Little Mermaid and introduce yourself and your blog to everyone dropping by at the November Tea-Party!


If you are not a travel blogger….fear not, everyone is welcome. Head over to the November Tea-Party and say hello and provide a link so other bloggers can take a peek at your work. The more the merrier! This month’s theme is:


That means we are expecting lots of holiday spam!!!

The New Milk-man Is Raising Suspicions

I am not naturally the suspicious type. I am very trusting (sometimes a bit gullible) and it takes me a long time to give up seeing all the good in someone. But every now and then I cross paths with someone who I think it might be worth avoiding…because their unusual behaviour is starting to become of more and more concern. The new milk-man is starting to freak me out!

Yesterday, I reported to you the mysterious disappearance of our beloved milk-man. Nobody knows what happened to him. Which is mysterious enough. Normally you hear if someone is planning to retire or vamouch on a world cruise. But the old milk-man never said a word about abandoning us. He was just there being the chirpy chappy he was, faithful with his milk-round and one day…gone!

As I mentioned, we only realized something was very wrong when there had been no milk delivered for two weeks and just a collection of empty milk-bottles outside the front door.

Well, after a telephone call to the milk suppliers, we left a cheque out for the new milk-man to collect, and the customer services advisor said they would “have a word” with him asking him to come and collect the cheque and reinstate milk deliveries. He came and took the cheque alright, but left no milk. So a week later we had to call again, and ask again for milk to be delivered. Eventually milk deliveries were resumed. (I help my land-lady with some house-hold tasks and dealing with companies carrying out work or services on her property.)

Oh the ups and downs we have had with the milk deliveries, ever since the spring when the old milk-man suddenly vanished. I mentioned yesterday, my landlady has a milk caddy with a dial so that the milk-man knows how much milk she needs. My landlady went on holiday and left the dial set to zero. Pints of milk appeared all week. Other times she has left the dial set to one and she finds no milk is delivered. Or she is expecting guests, so she sets the dial to two or three pints and only one pint is delivered, or none at all. Time and time again she has called the milk company to ask what is going on. Time and again the milk company have said they would “have a word” with the milkman.

Well….recently we had another issue with payment. On an absence of milk deliveries for a week, we rang the milk suppliers and were told that payment was due again. My landlady left a cheque for the outstanding amount, the cheque was collected and milk deliveries resumed (though still not as per the amount requested). Then we were sent another bill three weeks later saying that we still owed payment for three months of milk deliveries. After another call to the milk company it turned out the cheque had never made it’s way to the relevant department. So the cheque was cancelled and my landlady made the decision she will not leave cheques any longer for the milk-man to collect. So instead payment was made over the phone with a credit card. The milk company received a full account of all the ups and downs she has had with the new milk-man. The customer services advisor said they would “have a word” with the new milk-man.

The following week my landlady asked for one pint (of her usual semi-skimmed milk) and she found six pints of full-fat milk. I overheard her expressions of complete bewilderment on making the discovery early on Monday morning! The milk-man is pushing her over the edge!

Now I have a theory about this milk-man…I believe he has “issues”. It is very clear to me that he is “at war” with my landlady. I reckon he has one of those personalities that cannot take on board any criticism, So when the milk company have been “having a word” with him about all the mistakes he has made with the milk deliveries, he has become annoyed with the customers complaining. I wonder if hearing about a complaint from a customer has made him throw a tantrum? Leaving six pints of whole milk instead of one pint of semi-skimmed! I am concerned our new milk-man is starting to show psychopathic traits!!! Am I wrong?

Now I am not just saying this because the new milk-man nearly ran me over last week when I was on my way down to work. He came zooming around the corner at break-neck speed as I was in the middle of the road. I turned around and glared at him and noticed his unkempt appearance, but he didn’t look apologetic. He was grimacing and had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. So so different from our lovely chirpy chappy, our old milk-man.

Anyways….I have seen him at other times in what I thought were slightly odd situations. I never have time to linger to find out what he is doing, but I have seen him sitting outside of some of the larger houses in this area taking photos on his phone. I have seen him roving around in his milk-float, with that grimace on his face, and that cigarette hanging out of his mouth, and he looks as if he has a sinister air about him. I have seen him having what look like clandestine meetings with a shady looking character, down a cobble stone alley I use as a short-cut on the way to work. Something was being purchased by the looks of things, but it did not look as if the shady looking character was buying milk.

Ay ay ay karumba! All these strange goings-on. Can you see why I am suspicious of him? And of course…the initial perplexing issue – the mystery of the missing milk-man! Could it be that his disappearing into thin air without a merry word or a cheerful wave goodbye to his fond customers could be all down to the new and possibly nefarious milk-man?

I don’t want to let my imagination gallop away without some more substantial evidence. But I am watching. Oh…I am watching the new milk-man with a close-eye!

Too many strange goings-on by far. He is arousing my suspicions with being parked up in his milk-float outside grand houses and taking photos, by his lurking down alleys and participating in non-dairy transactions, by the missing cheques and the strange and sudden vanishing of our former faithful and friendly milk-man.

But most of all, the wally has totally given away his iniquitous ideas by instigating the wrath of the land-lady! Six pints of whole milk instead of one pint of semi-skimmed! There is no doubt about it – he is a confirmed villain!