Perhaps I had ambitions to be an MP - or an undertaker!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


The principal objection to old age is that there’s no future in it. (Anon)


One of my American cousins regularly sends me interesting e-mails which often feature quite extraordinary pictures. His latest included those amazing 1911 photos of Niagara Falls completely frozen over. Thanks, Walter.


I've been noting a number of anniversaries lately - 55 years since we got married, 66 years since I left school, and on Monday first it will be exactly 60 years since I was demobbed from the RAF. Unbelievable!

And I can't let this subject pass without announcing that EIGHTY PLUS is 1 year old today!!!


This is an unusual painting. I like the title - it’s called “An Omnibus Ride to Piccadilly Circus, Mr Gladstone travelling with Ordinary Passengers”. The artist is Alfred Morgan (1862-1904)


ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SIX YEARS ago today there occurred what many believe was the worst accident ever on the River Clyde.

The launching of a ship in Glasgow was always a great event attracting many sight-seers, and this occasion was no exception. Some of the tradesmen of Stephen’s shipyard were still working on the packet streamer Daphne when the launch was taking place, and others had come on board just to experience the thrill of it.

Going down the launching pad, the ship seemed to keel over, and on striking the water capsized and sank immediately. The death toll was 124 men and boys, and some families lost both father and son.

Among those drowned was a relative of ours, John Murrie. He was in his mid-twenties and on the 9th June the previous year he had married into our Graham family when he took as his wife Isabella Graham (1852-1936).

Although the subsequent enquiry failed to find any criminal negligence, recommendations were made which led to important safety regulations in shipbuilding.


A haiku -

in Grandpa's garden
held together by creepers
an old wooden hut


Before the Second World War there was a well-known pub in Springburn, Glasgow which had small room beneath the stairs reserved for older clients. I was pleased to come across those few verses recently. I think it's likely that there's a tune to them -

Doon in the wee room underneath the stair
Everybody's happy and everybody's there,
We're a' makin' merry, each in his chair,
Doon in the wee room underneath the stair

When you're tired and weary and you're feeling blue,
Don't give way tae sorrow, we'll tell you what to do,
Just tak' a trip tae Springburn and find the Quin's Bar there,
And go doon tae the wee room underneath the stair

The king went oot a-hunting, his fortune for tae seek,
He missed his train at Partick and went missing for a week,
But after days of searching, of sorrow and despair
They found him in the wee room underneath the stair

When I'm auld and feeble and my bones are gettin' set,
Ah'll no get cross and grumpy like other people get,
Ah'm savin' up ma bawbees tae buy a hurly chair
Tae tak' me tae the wee room underneath the stair


This next clip is a bit of fun from the ballet “La Fille mal gardee” by Ferdinand Herold. Here William Tuckett suitably attired does a clog dance. Great!


A reminder - My Quiet Corner blog is updated every Friday.


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