"Bora da, rwyn gobethio bod mae
I gyd mewn iechyd da"

Saturday, October 21, 2006

First farm

In 1955, when Margaret and I were married, there was a lot of family friction in our farm house between my father and my mother. So after we married, Margaret and I decided to move to Saighton.

I worked as a head tractor driver at Saighton Lane farm. Margaret worked part-time at Bruera egg packing station.

My weekly wage for up to 72 hours a week, and after deductions for rent, milk, eggs, tax and insurance, was just £10. Margaret's wage was £5 per week. So our combined wages came to an astronomical £15 a week!

Nevertheless, in less than two years, we managed to furnish our house with just the essential bits of furniture and saved up £120.

With an Aunt of Margaret's standing as guarantor for £500 we started a farm of our own.

Ours was a Flintshire county council 11-acre farm. We started out with just two Guernsey cows!

Then through our very hard work we progressed through a series of larger county council farms until we ended up in a 120-acre county council farm, milking 72 Guernsey cows plus their followers!

Our determination to have our own farm really stemmed from my loving pro-Welsh, anti-English father. His last words to me were 'Go and marry this English girl then! You are just an ordinary farm worker always will be!'.

Margaret and I were both determined to show him different, and we did!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Home by train

A few years ago whilst I was up in an MS respite home in York I noticed a sign on the wall that said 'We will transport patients to and from York train station'.

So I asked the receptionist to find out how much it would cost for a single fare to Flint station.

She told me £18. I thought that was considerably cheaper and more convenient than for my wife to come on a 180-mile round trip to pick me up. So I didn't hesitate in booking it. I was told I would have to change at Manchester Station. No problem.

My wife Margaret asked our daughter Gill "What do you think, Gill? Your Dad is coming home by train from York". Gill replied, "That's OK, Dad knows what he's doing".

So the day arrived for me to return. The respite home arranged to take me and my equipment (a briefcase, a suitcase, two wheelchairs (one portable, and one electric on which I was sitting), a battery charger, and a radio/cassette player) to the station. We waited a few minutes for the train.

When it arrived I drove my wheelchair onto it whilst they loaded my bits and pieces into the carriage.

As we arrived at Manchester station, two ladies sitting opposite me informed me that there were two stations at Manchester. I asked them would they ask a porter to check which station I needed to get the train to Flint and not the station where the train went to Penrith.The porter returned and informed me to stay on the train and it would take me direct to Flint station.Which it did!!

All's well that ends well!!

With all the many criticisms about our railways, the service I received that day was excellent!

They do say "let the train take the strain" and in my case it certainly did.

Sunday, May 7, 2006


It is very seldom that I see my family doctor as he cannot cure my MS nor halt my ageing process!

But I decided to pay him a visit after I discovered a small lump near my left eye. The lump didn't hurt at all, but it did affect my vision.

I told my doctor this, and added that I suspected it was a problem with my tear duct. However, after looking at the lump my doctor told me that it was in fact a cyst that should be removed.

As I was wondering which hospital he would send me to, I noticed he already had a tray in his hand on which there were some frightening instruments such as scalpels and swabs! Before I knew what was happening he took a scalpel in his hand and cut out the cyst!

Then, with a sadistic gleam in his eyes(?!), he said he would have to cauterise the wound. My thoughts turned to a scene from a film where the character, whom after having his hand chopped off, plunged his wrist into a fire to cauterise it! But the doctor just put some cream on it. This stung for a millisecond, then all was OK.

I was glad to have the cyst diagnosed and treated all in one visit.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Songs of Praise

A few years ago I had a phonecall from a BBC researcher for Cliff Mitchelmore's 'Songs of Praise' programme (some of you older members will remember him).

We made an appointment to meet each other and a few days later she (a very pleasent and lovely young lady) came to our farm to meet me. She asked me all sorts of questions.

I asked her why the BBC had chosen me to appear on their TV programme. The researcher told me that she had spoken to local radio broadcaster John Shone for the names of local people involved in local issues. And as I was at that time the unopposed District and Community Councillor, as well as chariman of the local branch of the National Farmers' Union, and president of the local branch of the Young Farmers Club my name was put forward.

I still have a video of that programme with Cliff and myself on my wheelchair going around our farm. Cliff (a very friendly bloke) asked me which hymn I would like to be played on the programme. I asked for "Count your Blessings".

The congregation sang with gusto. Cliff asked me why had I had chosen that hymn in particular, especially in view of the fact that in addition to having MS I also had prostate cancer and diabetes. I told him that I had a wife and five disgustingly healthly children. The law of averages would say that one of us would fall ill, and whilst I was certainly no martyr, I thank God it was me who became ill and no-one else in our family.

A few weeks later, as I was constantly getting bladder infections, my family doctor made arrangements for me to meet a urologist. The urologist was a lady who is well travelled both in the UK and Africa and is a person whom one would be very foolish to cross. She read the notes my GP had written about my problem and said, "Glyn, I want you to come into hospital. We have to find out as to what is causing you to have so many infections, but unfortunately there is a three month waiting list". "But wait a minute, didn't I see you on 'Songs of Praise' a couple of weeks ago?". I meekly admitted that she did. Then she said, "Although I am agnostic, the singing was truly lovely. Can you come into the hospital next week?"

I went into the hospital where they ascertained that the infections were caused by my bladder not emptying properly. It was then that I started on ordinary catheters, and later onto my present sub-pubic catheters, which are excellent.
"Nos da rwyn gobeithio bod newch
chi gyd gall nosweth difyr"