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Thursday May 29th



8.30 a.m. I have walked through Poulson Park, and on through Golden meadow, the old mill and back home. The early morning commuter steam train pulled into Castletown station on time at 8.05. I had to do battle with the Canadian geese on the bank of the Silverburn on my way in to Poulson Park as Barbara had not fed them on time. The fog has now lifted and the sun is shining. The smell of the hawthorn as you walk through the old mill makes it seem like the Almighty has opened up his own perfumery here.


I have not yet had breakfast and I am thinking of heading out to the flying club where I will be able to enjoy a full hearty breakfast, well hidden away from all the health policemen. Fear not on my behalf, the health policemen do not read this blog. They are far too busy at this time of day checking on butchers just in case they have sneaked in any black puddings or dripping under the cover of darkness. Don’t get me wrong, I am very fond of vegetables, however, as well as, rather than instead of.


My dad used to sell vegetables from the back of an old Ford Thames van back in the early 60’s. Every Friday evening with Ned Quayle at the wheel, dad riding shot gun, and me and younger brother Kevin in the back, we would set off for Ballasalla. Kevin and I had the job of weighing all the veg out on a pair of old fashioned weighing scales. We only had two weights from what I can remember so, customers could only buy either one pound, 5 pound or 6 pound of vegetables. We did keep a few large stones we had taken from the beach so a stone of spuds literally was a stone of spuds. Not that anyone one was being fiddled as the stone was probably heavier than 14 pounds. Anyway no-one complained, and at the end of the round, the lucky customer got the stone in their bag as well.


I have always had a strange relationship with vegetables. I remember travelling back to Castletown from Peel on the bus once. There were only two busses a day then and still is as far as I know. Anyway there I was on the bus along with my guide dog Escort, a golden Retriever and until two ladies got on at St. Johns, myself and Escort were the only two riding the bus. I don’t know why the two ladies decided to sit directly in front of me when they had a whole bus to choose from, but that is where they sat, and they plonked their bag of vegetables on the floor under their seat. The next thing I knew was, Escort my guide dog was nudging my leg, and as I put my hand down to stroke his head, he placed an onion in my hand. I was not sure what to do about the onion. I knew it had come from the ladies bag, however, I figured they probably would not want an onion that had been in Escort’s mouth, and so I put the onion in my pocket and hoped they had not noticed. A couple of minute’s later, Escorts head came up again only this time with a spud in his mouth. I took the spud from him and placed it with the onion in my pocket which was now full. Another onion, followed by a carrot, and then more spuds. By the time we reached Ballasalla I had enough vegetables to start my own round up. When we reached Castletown unfortunately for me the two ladies were still on the bus. I can’t be sure whether they had noticed how light their veg bag had become or not. I decided to say nothing as handing back onions and spuds with dog teeth marks in them, didn’t really seem like a good idea, and they may well have found the rest of the veg on the seat behind them. If any of those ladies recall this incident and are reading this blog, I apologize to you now some 20 years on.


Some time later when we moved to Ramsey I used to go out for Barbara and do the shopping with Escort. I thought for a long time that he was amazing how he always stopped right outside the fruit and veg shop. He would stop there every day, and sometimes it was a little difficult to move him on. Then, I discovered that he was not actually finding the fruit and veg shop for me at all. Each day he would pull up outside the shop and pee all over the flowers and veg that hung outside the shop. It was no more than a doggy peeing place.


Well that just about concludes my contribution for today folks. So, until tomorrow people, sametime and place, this is Tom Glassey with News at 9ish, on the banks of the Silverburn River.


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