Am I A Grumpy Old Woman...answers on a postcard

What a wonderfully eccentric and colourful weekend it was in Ely. I know it s an old cliché, but can you just imagine a being from another planet landing in Ely on Saturday and trying to ascertain the level of intelligent life on earth. Men standing in fi

What a wonderfully eccentric and colourful weekend it was in Ely. I know it's an old cliché, but can you just imagine a being from another planet landing in Ely on Saturday and trying to ascertain the level of intelligent life on earth. Men standing in fields shooting peas, men and women with black and white faces with bells attached to their clothing dancing in the street, hundreds of people dressed in brightly coloured clothing playing strange instruments in another field just outside Ely and then there's me in back garden talking to my courgette plants. To those of us who live here, it's a pretty typical weekend in East Cambs, but to outsiders, I guess it would all have seemed a bit strange.

I have spent quite a lot of time in the last few days trying to decide whether I have officially earned the title of a 'grumpy old woman'. Please do not feel you have to write or email and offer an opinion as I am quite happy in my blissful ignorance.

I watched Grumpy Old Women for the first time the other night and as I sat there laughing out loud at the television it dawned on me that the reason I found the comments so funny was because I could see and hear myself.

I'm not totally convinced though, I like to think that I have a certain quirkiness that comes with middle age rather than it being grumpy. Anyway, there's nothing wrong, surely, with getting upset or irritated about things that clearly matter a great deal. Maybe it is the extent to which I now get irritated about minor annoyances that defines grumpiness and places me firmly in the GOW camp.

I can't help getting really upset by people who do not say 'thank you' when you hold open a door for them. A few years ago, I would have just 'tut tutted' at their rudeness, but I have to admit to harbouring some very dark thoughts occasionally. Just a tiny flicker of something in my head that says 'what would happen if I let go of the door just as they get half way through'.

Every so often I come to work and some disgusting individual has dropped a take-away carton on the street outside the office or in the alleyway at the entrance of to the Ely Standard. Now, there was a time, not so long along ago, when a little rant as I picked up the litter and put it in the bin would have been enough for me, but if I'm honest I actually think the culprits should be force-fed their polystyrene containers - with lashings of tomato sauce, of course.

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And just don't get me started on newsreaders who, despite an expensive education and a very good English degree, don't seem to know the difference between the words 'bought' and 'brought'.

I realise I sound like a total misery, but that's the way it is. I can't help it. It's just my age.

My youngest brother Nick and his fiancée Amanda came over from Ireland for a visit last week and they loved Ely. They live in Donegal on the north west coast of Ireland and it is an absolutely beautiful and unspoilt area of the country and I love visiting them. So, I was delighted to show them around Ely. I took them to the cathedral and Oliver Cromwell's House and then we walked down by the river. On Thursday afternoon, when we had a few hours of summer, we walked along the river and sat outside The Cutter eating the most delicious home-made fish and chips watching the world go by. Just before they left for Stansted Airport, I asked them what they liked about Ely and they thought hard before saying, "the cathedral, the river...and Thing Me Bobs". For those unacquainted with Ely, Thing-Me-Bobs is one of those shops that sells absolutely everything and it's very cheap and everyone in the office loves shopping there. So there you have it. Thing-me-Bobs is right up there with thousands of years of history and East Anglia's beautiful waterways.

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