Day 1: Misery on the M6

It’s time. It’s been a year of a year in Sudbury, Suffolk and something is lacking. It’s time for a pep-me-up, a bit of a filler, a return to centre-court – a top-up! A top-up with a back-up! “Is it our sort of a holiday, Mum? Or, your sort?” “Well, …” “Mum?” “It’s a …”…

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…

Puke Pie Prelude

  Immingham, South Humberside, 1981   Chimneys. Smoke. Fertiliser. Photo by David Wright But the black clouds and vomit-inducing stench were just a prelude. The hallucination that greeted the Cool family, recently departed from Aberdeen, was Killingholme. The village of Killingholme merely represented the pearly gates to its larger-all-embracing neighbour – the after world … Immingham. But the Cool family didn’t…

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…

To Everywhere – Aberdeen, 1978

Aberdeen, Grampian Region, 1978   Cat Litter   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…

Dirty Monkey

  Church Aston, Newport, Shropshire 1970-71     Poo. An unmentionable subject. So unmentionable in fact, that I – Jay Cool – feel compelled to devote an entire blog post to it. The forbidden fruit. What could tempt me more? I could start with a tiny baby’s dribble, a small outflow of Carnation’s evaporated milk…