Transubstantiation

Sir John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, c.1390-1453 (Jay Cool’s 16th Great Grandfather)   Some say she was brave, some a feminist, and others lust after her luscious red locks. Most of us can easily conjure up an image of a breast-plated woman of muscly Neanderthal stature, standing up high on a chariot urging her terrified…

Selfie With George Clarke

  The Cool House at Signal Lane (1975-1985)   I think that Nanna Joan Cool’s most looked-forward-to day was a Sunday, because on Sunday morning, she got up bright and early, spent a long time selecting which hat to wear, and walked down to St Cuthbert’s parish church[1] in Donington to show off her finery….

Beast of a Beating

  Grandad Arnold Cool, 1906 to a very-old age: schooldays in Myddle, Shropshire   Copyright owned by Jay Cool, ‘The old school at Myddle’, now a village hall’   Unbelieveable? I may well have concluded that my Grandad’s tales of his brave schoolboy heroics were the subject of nothing more than an overactive imagination, had…

Conversing with Cows

  Joan Cool nee Tomlin (1906 to 1992), Jay Cool’s Paternal Grandmother – Pendeford Mill, Tettenhall, Near Wolverhampton https://www.flickr.com/photos/scribe/1902475710/ My Nanna hated her christened name, Jennifer, and insisted on being known as Joan. (Little did she know what grief this name change was destined to cause her grand-daughter, Jay Cool – in future Ancestry.com investigations.)…

Curly Toes

1939-1945 – the war years at Single Lane, Cosford, Albrighton The patriotic reader might be forgiven for wondering why my grandparents were happily ensconced at their home Single Lane, Albrighton. What entitled such an insignificant couple to remain in the Shropshire countryside, growing and selling their own produce, during the second world war, during a…

Bone Chin

1946 – Spike Joe Cool (1939 – present), Jay Cool’s father, of Single Lane, Albrighton, Shropshire Foolhardy. Spike, like his predecessor Humphrey Kynaston of Myddle, could only be described as the perfect embodiment of the phrase ‘bull in a China shop’. Spike, just like his mother Joan Cool of Albrighton, was forthright and fearless. And,…

Being Irish

Haggis? Pukka Pie? The connection? chriÜö&§._*stian.ude@wenh??§ÄZb.de   In the world of Jay Cool, all is connected. If like I, Jay Cool, your genetic material was handed down to future generations via a sperm and an egg that got together in a cave in Nescliffe, Myddle, courtesy of your Great-Something-Grandfather, Humphrey Kynaston, you will understand my meaning….

Stone Toes

  Joe Cool (1760-1833), Jay Cool’s Great-Great-Great Grandfather, from  Myddle, Shropshire     I don’t recall having too many conversations with my Grandad, Arnold Cool, as I spent most of my time during family visits to Single Lane, taking a wide berth around his armchair, for fear of my leg being grabbed and my foot…

Dog Dumps & Bog Bullies

Aberdeen, Grampian Region, 1979 A cold-hearted beast of a dog. A mind-numbingly tedious day of imprisonment in a Scottish primary school. A day of fear. My nine-year old self was completely stressed out, having survived that day’s English versus Scottish playground fight with just a few scratches. And I was in desperate need of some respite. I plunged through the door of Number…

Cat Litter

  Aberdeen, Grampian Region, 1978   A terrace of dark, dull and dank grey-granite eyesores. Duthie Terrace. Cold, wet and dreary. Aberdeen. Our new home. “Turn back!” “What?” “Turn back!” screeched my mum. “Turn the car around right now! We’re going right back where we came from!” Amused, I watched as my dad’s face turned from pale…