Thursday, 15 August 2013

Thursday Thirteen

1)   As you may have gathered from my silence there have been large sections of the last ten days spent unwell.  I shall take your sympathy for granted so please don’t bother to mention it in the comments – I just end up embarrassed!  But I apologise to anyone who is awaiting an e-mail from me.

2)   Those hours not spent in bed have been spent searching for a missing Ivy.   

She packed her bags and went on holiday on Saturday 3 August but didn’t leave a forwarding address.  Since then she has been seen in my cousin Edith’s garden a mile away, paying a visit to her cats; she has made her film debut, starring on CCTV in a friendly man’s garden; her doppelganger has been caught by a local resident and released when identified by us as not being Ivy; she has been sunbathing on various sheds and garages; she has achieved local fame as the ‘kitten that is missing’; she has had 750 leaflets about her posted through letterboxes; and her ‘Wanted’ Poster is up in all the local veterinary surgeries.

3)   A survey by insurance firm Esure has shown that on average we tend to mislay nine items a week and waste 15 minutes a day searching for them.  So it’s not just me then!  But mislatying Ivy has cost us a heck of a lot more than 15 minutes this week!!

4)   At this moment I am in the delightful state of not owing anyone a postcard (though some of mine are in the post).  

5)   By contrast, I owe a load of e-mails and my in-box looks like this…

6)   The Post Office has just issued some rather nice car stamps.

 And a miniature sheet to go with them.

7)   It is now 34 hours since I have had any sleep.  I am exhausted but cannot sleep.  It’s not a nice feeling.

8)   Steven Gerrard’s Testimonial match was held at Anfield (proceeds to charity) and after Partner-who-loves-tea and I queued for his tickets, Son-who-watches-films went to it.


 (I won’t need to explain to any librarian readers but 398.2 is the Dewey Decimal Classification for Fairies or, to be more precise, 398.21 is “Tales and lore of paranatural beings of human and semihuman form.”)

10) I have just bought the Shire booklet of Post Offices.  (If you don’t know the Shire series of booklets I can thoroughly recommend them).  

 One of the photos in it is of Shipton-under-Wychwood post office around the 1890s.  

Standing in the doorway of this post office / haberdashers / grocers shop
are relatives of mine.  On the right it looks like Grandma Coombes (my Great Great Grandmother).  On the left is Harold Dee my grandfather’s first cousin and manager of the shop.  But the one in the middle could be either his sister or his wife.  His sister, Ellen Dee (known as Nell) was my grandmother’s godmother and she managed the shop with him until he married his shop assistant, Marjery Coombes, at which stage she took over from Aunt Nell.

11) The Police have informed Noddy next door that if he kills any more birds in his garden he will be arrested.  Now that they have checked the law properly they have told him that he cannot do so without a licence from the local authority and to get that he will have to prove they are a health hazard.  So no more killing them for fun.

12) Research suggests that it may be possible to forecast a person’s lifetime by assessing the amount their skin ages.

13) Partner-who-loves-tea and I recently revisited Wavertree – a part of Liverpool we knew well as young people. One of its attractions is the “Smallest House in England”, seen here in 1905.

"The Smallest House in England" stood at 95 High Street , Wavertree , Liverpool . Whether or not it actually was the smallest house in England is open to conjecture but it was only 6 feet wide and 14 feet from front to back and it's alleged that one couple raised 8 children in it .

The last known resident was Richard Greaves , known as " Red Dick ". He was the leader of the Wavertree Silver Band and was so robust that he had to climb the stairs sideways !

The house was incorporated into The Cock And Bottle pub in 1952 . With typical Liverpool humour the chap across the road came out of the pub and seeing me taking a photo he signalled for me to stop, got out his comb, combed his hair and then signalled for me to carry on.  

Much to the disgust of many local residents the old facade has recently been removed and a proper doorway constructed on the opposite side of the frontage with a staircase behind . Even the original numbering has changed and it's become no. 93 instead of 95 High Street !

For more examples of Thursday Thirteens please visit the link page.


  1. Brilliant post, John! It's morning, drinking my tea at work, reading your blog... Poor Ms. Ivy :( I'm so sad...

  2. The smallest house is a gem.

    I hope Ivy is now back safe and sound.

  3. What a lot of interesting facts you've gathered. Once again, just the sort of post I enjoy at the end of a long day.

    1. Thank you, Pondside. From someone whose posts are so enjoyable and so popular, that is quite a compliment.

  4. Oh dear, I do hope Ivy will return from her 'holiday' soon - such a worry (although one would not trade their company for that loss of anxiety, I suspect).

  5. So much to do and so much to take. More than a plateful to digest. The good thing is that there are many local happenings here that others miss in their own locality. Keep at it John! And thanks for sharing!


  6. It's a terrible shame Ivy has gone missing, John. I hope she soon gets tired of catting around and is compelled to return home. I love those car stamps. Does the XKE ensure speedy mail delivery? :) I enjoyed seeing the smallest house in town and learning the history lesson that went with it. Have a good Thursday, John!

  7. I'm looking forward to us doing some Liverpool exploring in a couple of weeks.

    1. At this rate we'll be doing some Pensby and Heswall exploring as well if Miss Ivy isn't back by then!!

  8. How exciting to see relatives in a book of old photos. Did you already know the photo, I wonder? If not, even more of a thrill!
    The stamps are lovely. I have to go to the post office now and so I will take the chance of buying some. Coincidentally I just posted about Rolls royces today, among other things.

    1. No, Jenny, I hadn't seen that photo before and had always assumed the name above the shop (if there were one) would be Dee. It looks like it was actually owned by Grandma Coombes and Harold Dee only managed it.

  9. Holy cannoli, there's a lot to this post (and a lot of variety to this post as well), so I'm just going to pick a few items upon which to comment! First, though I won't SAY it, know I'm thinking and feeling it and putting in a good word to the 398.2 Gang for you (specifically the Head Faeries of the Health and Slumber Divisions). And I certainly hope that Ivy deigns to return home soon, she doesn't seem to know a good thing when she sees it!

    I, too, am relieved that I'm not alone in misplacing things (usually my eyeglasses, sometimes my keys) and wasting time looking for them!! I always thought that those two items especially should come with a remote finder, that when activated will make the misplaced item issue a loud beeping sound so you can find it (much like I can do when I can't recall where I last set down my cordless phone handset!)

    Love those car stamps!! And am glad local law enforcement finally dealt with your nitwit psychopath neighbor. Too bad they can't order him to seek psychological counseling!

    The Smallest House in England is really something (the thought of raising 8 kids in that small space - or of raising 8 kids in ANY space, even the Houston Astrodome!) gives me a major attack of claustrophobia! Wonder why someone went to all the trouble to switch out the position of the door and window? Better Feng Shui?? (A red door means "welcome" in Feng Shui, so maybe that IS the reason!)

    Hope you're feeling better and catching some much-needed Zzzzzz's soon!

  10. Scriptor,
    So sorry to learn that Ivy has slipped away from you. What a heartbreak it is when such spots of sunshine disappear from our lives. We are wishing her return for you. We've just had a cat move in with us, and although her stay will be temporary, I shall miss her sorely when she goes - if we manage to keep her till then. And who knew a young cat could find so much to say about getting what she wants? Free spirit that she is, she tries as hard as she can to get outside to the world that calls her, mysterious and wonderful as it is, we realize when we watch her outside, and I feel so mean for my denying her the small pleasures of a cat.
    Your photos, especially of buildings, and often your comments about them, hold such interest for me. I am struck every time with the history of place inseparable from them and the wonder of the place where you live. Looking forward to more! Take care, McGregor

  11. I hope you find your cat and you do indeed have my sympathies. Your TT is very interesting - lots of cool info here. I love the Dewey Decimal entry. Splendid!

  12. How weird is that numbering - or lack of it. I had the numbers in and when I go to re-edit it they are definitely there. I tried taking them out and putting them back in but the first digit still remains missing. Ah well, computers, what more can one say?

    1. I blame whatever weird software you are using for editing the posts. Looking at the generated HTML it is pretty horrible and from some of the things in there I'm going to blame Microsoft!

      The actual problem is that for some reason each paragraph has ended up with a text-indent (that's a CSS property, i.e. a style) of -18.0pt which pulls the text to the left and just out of the column in which the post appears. The result being that the first number (or letter on the lines that don't start with a number) are missing.

      This kind of thing is why I still use the HTML view in the standard Blogger interface to write my posts. I just don't trust fancy editors!

    2. I know I saw the numbers when I read this on my phone earlier. Coming back now to re-read and comment on the laptop, I notice them gone... hm, checking... The numbers still show up in my Feedly both on the phone and on the computer. But not on the blog itself.

    3. So sorry to hear that Ivy is missing. I hope she'll just come wandering back one day soon trying to look innocent.
      I love that small house with the red door! I'll try to remember it for whenever I feel cramped of space...

    4. Mark - all I did was compose it in Word and paste it into the blog! No fancy editors for me.
      The problem with writing the post direct is that my fingers mistype so many words I need the red underlining of Word to correct it all the time.

    5. And there in lies the problem. When you copy and paste from Word it tries to convert the styles you have used to HTML styles, and in this case has messed up spectacularly. If you edit the post in blogger's web interface with Firefox you should get red underlining on mist-spelt words -- it's the only reason there aren't more badly spelt words in my own posts and comments on other peoples!

  13. Ivy Gone Missin'

    Who would have though that a delightful little black cat in England would cause a such sadness in the heart of a New Mexican when she went missing!

  14. I was fascinated by the small house. I have a friend here in VA that lives in a tiny house with her family. She blogs about it and has been on the Anderson Cooper show talking about it. I hope you get some sleep soon!

  15. the cat came back is kind of a promise. hope she heads home soon.

    sleep helps skin no doubt.

    I spend a lot more than 15 minutes a week looking for mislaid. but maybe I make up for those organized people.

  16. Along with CountryDew15, I too hope that you find Ivy soon, and you do indeed have my sympathies. Love the man with the sense of humour who wanted to comb his hair before he got his picture taken. I usually comb mine first, but find it doesn't really help -- ah well, such are the ravages of time!

    Take care and God bless! xoxo Carol

  17. And interesting post. Loved the item about fairies and hope that you find your Ivy soon. My T13

  18. CJ, I'm all shaken up about Ms. Ivy's disappearance. My last comment re: the Cat Cafe, I joked about her leaving home, and now this. I'm so upset. I hope that she will soon return home safely. Poor Jo must be in a mess.

  19. 398.21 - I still do too and always will.

    Love the car stamps. Reminds me to dust off that huge poster I found of old Mercedes Benzes from an antiques market.

    Ivy......! come home already!

  20. If I could, I'd join the Ivy Search & Rescue Squad today!

  21. OH NO! I had not seen this post, and I'm so sorry! IVY COME HOME!!! And John, hope you're feeling better - though I know what would probably help most of all is having her home again. Please keep us posted!


Hello - thanks for dropping by to leave a comment. Your comments are much appreciated even if I don't always reply. They will appear as soon as they have been moderated.

Blog Archive