Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Remember GKC is For Life - Not Just for Christmas

GKC is on the Tree by G. Hurley

At last! At last! Oh felicity.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Nativity.

Oh happiness and peace profound
When family are gathered 'round.

The Christ-child born, the greatest day.
Our festivities are under-way.

Our joy is complete when we see
GKC on our Christmas tree.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Richard Vivian Huzzey RIP

It was a sad occasion Monday (16th Sept) as the Huzzey side of the family gathered in Cardiff to say a farewell to my uncle Richard. I was going to just pop a few notes on facebook but it was when sending messages to an American* cousin, who takes a great interest in family events, that I realised it would be a good idea to write a little more, if only for the American side of the family.

It was a lovely late Summer's morning, lots of sunshine but a chill in the air. We arrived early as we'd followed my mum and dad up from Roath and left early just in case of school traffic. Lots of family and friends gathered and it was especially heart-warming to see members of the Cardiff Mini Club there, of which my uncle had been a founding member. The chapel was fit to burst and some folks stood at the back. Seeing Richard's boys - Lewis and Luke - as pall-bearers was heart-rending. What an awful thing... to carry your dad's coffin. God bless them, I don't know how on earth they coped.

The singing of the hymn (Love Divine) was amazing - the Welsh fittingly fulfilling one of our stereotypes. It was like standing in the middle of a group of male voice choirs. The booming words echoed in the chapel.

After the service, many of us stopped to chat outside and then friends and family moved to the Manor Parc Country Hotel. It was a wonderful opportunity to chat with people we hadn't seen for so long. It reminded me that the last time I saw and chatted to uncle Rich was my nan's (his mum's) funeral, and as usual he had had a smile on his face. He'd gone through a lot of problems with his health but you could always rely on Uncle Rich to crack a joke and have a laugh, nothing seemed to get him down.

A funeral is always going to be a sad occasion, and so it was on Monday, but I like to think once the tears have been dabbed away, it's a time for remembering and reminiscing. Having kept in touch with Lewis online for sometime, I was able to have a good chat with him about his recent trip to see Manchester United, and laugh with him about his dad being a keen Chelsea fan.

Then there's the people you bump into, like Alison, the daughter of my (Great) Uncle Herb and (Great) Auntie Deed. It was fantastic to chat to her about her mum and dad. When I stayed up my Nan and Da's in Pentwyn I used to pop over to Herb and Deeds' house. I spent many happy times over there with their budgie, who Alison told me Uncle Herb taught to swear! Perhaps I was too innocent, but I didn't remember that detail. What a lovely lady to chat to, just like her parents were lovely to spend time with all those years ago.

In their little corner of Pentwyn my Nan and Da lived across the road from Auntie Deed and Uncle Herb who lived a couple of doors down from Uncle Rich and Auntie Jackie. So staying up my Nan's meant visiting all three! Alison said that when they were young children her and Richard used to play together and as little more than toddlers Richard had asked to marry her! It's funny the things that stick in our memories isn't it?

Speaking to mum afterwards and reading what others had to say it seemed that everyone 'enjoyed' the funeral. I now that seems a weird thing to say, but I'm sure all of us would want the same when we go - to have our family and friends remember us fondly and gather to celebrate, just as the Irish do, to remember a life, to remember the good times.

I'm sure there's bits I've missed out, but I hope this will give my cousins and other relatives in America a little taste of the funeral of their relative, Richard Vivian Huzzey

*or strictly speaking a Texan as my best-man insists they should never have joined the Union! He is bonkers, but he could be right I suppose.

And as I mentioned on facebook - it was Paul Dingle's idea that I should take some sarnies home in his words "I am, and I only live 'round the corner." Just in case anyone thought I was like Albert Steptoe! :)

Friday, 7 June 2013

7th June: RIP Private Daniel 'Roddy' Hurley

Today is the anniversary of the death of my Uncle Roddy - Private Daniel R Hurley, who passed away on the 7th of June, 1944.

We know he made it it to the Battle of Merville Battery which took out German coastal guns to protect the D-Day landings. What we do not know - as yet - is if he died there, the day after the battle perhaps of his wounds cared for by the German doctor who stayed behind to care for the British soldiers (Paras).

Or perhaps he died the day after the battle at an engagement with a German 'Ostruppen' unit. These were soldiers from Turkmenistan in the USSR who volunteered to fight for the Germans.

Hopefully one day we'll know exactly where and how he died...

Please say a prayer for the repose of his soul.

Daniel Roderick Hurley, RIP.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Private DR Hurley Jumped from Dakota Alongside Glen the Para Dog

An Update from Steve Smith whose grandfather fought with my uncle, Daniel "Roddy" Hurley, in 9 Para A Company at D-Day:

I just wanted you to know that Daniel Hurley jumped with Emile Corteil, Glen (para dog) and James Baty.  Emile and Glen were due to jump first but due to the dog being scared James stayed and helped Emile retrieve Glen from under a seat.  Emile jumped after Glen then James was the last to jump from the plane.

Daniel made it to the RV on the drop zone and was collected with a number of others by Brigadier Hill.  The rest I am sure you know.

I also found a letter in the National Archives from a Private Franklin detailing how my grandfather, jumping number 8 from a different Dakota, had jumped after him.  They both met up at the rendezvous on the drop zone but the battalion had already moved off the drop zone.  They made haste and managed to catch up to the battalion before it reached the battery.  Both were present for the assault but sadly that was the last time he was seen by Franklin. 

How fabulous to know that Uncle Roddy jumped with the famous Glen the Para Dog - seen in many wartime pictures - was at the the Battle for Merville Battery (as we long suspected, knowing that he died the day after, 7/6/44).

A big thanks to Steve for all his work and for sharing this!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Cardiff Promoted on Pope's Birthday

I have already proved, beyond reasonable doubt that Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI is Welsh: see post here.

Now it's settled for good after Cardiff City held back winning promotion to the Premier League until Pope Benedict's birthday, the 16th of April.

Rumours that Cardiff will change their shirt colours next year to those of the Swiss Guard have been, er, scotched by Cardiff manager a Mr Malky McMalkyson and Pope Francis whose sole response was: "Blooooooooooobirds."

Right: Cardiff City's new away strip for 2013-14 Season?

An Ode to Auntie Mary (nee Loughlin) - A Late Happy Birthday.

Although your birthday's been and gone
I knew I couldn't wait so long
As another 12 months until next year
To raise a glass and raise a cheer.

So via this ode may I just say
To the best Aunt, Happy birthday.
So there we go: better late then never.
(P.S. We all hope you live forever).

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Edward Hurley - Uncle Eddie - RIP

Three years ago today my Uncle Eddie passed away.

He was a "typical Hurley man" and that's the finest thing I can say, the greatest epithet that any of us could hope for.

I was greatly upset at the time, because I had been rushed into hospital and so was unable to get to his funeral and pay my respects to him.

I suppose my main memories of Uncle Eddie were at my Nanna Hurley's house in Fairwater on Boxing Day. Every year the Hurleys would all gather there to continue our Christmas celebrations, and exchange presents between the extended family. We'd all be there crammed into my nan's little house.

Many years I'd come away loaded down with gifts, both ridiculous and coveted. I recall a Jaws gift set in which the socks fitted me like stockings. Another was a gift set of soaps (red, yellow and blue) in the shape of speed boats - and they smelt "lush." I kept them for many years, always smelling them, never daring to use them for fear they'd wear away. It was years before I even dared to take them out of the packaging!

When we were up our nan's all the Hurley cousins would be there of course, and like any children at Christmas we would tear around the house (inside and out) and I'm sure we all drove our parents crazy being all hyped up on the excitement of Christmas. Many's the time a parent would hiss those words that all parents have hissed to their children down the ages at clan gatherings: "behave!" -- as they try not to be overheard, yet at the same time load the words with enough of a threat to stop their child running about like a mini tornado.

And many's the time Uncle Eddie would overhear and say "leave him alone - he's only having fun." He always seemed to have a twinkle in his eye that told you he was still a kid at heart. Perhaps because he never had children of his own he enjoyed the chaos and the company of all of us who brought our manic ways to Nanna Hurley's.

I recall him being generous too, pressing a secret fiver into a hand when mum and dad weren't looking, which could be secreted away in a pocket. You'd tell mum and dad later when they couldn't say "give it back" as in those days it was a small fortune (still is to me - just in case my children are looking in).

My dad often told us of the time Uncle Eddie went out to work. As the first of the Hurley boys to get a job (Uncle Roddy must have been older, but died in WW2) one of the things he bought was lemonade. As he drunk it, he would mark the bottle and warn his siblings not to touch it (you can imagine, can't you?). Anyway, my dad would laugh as he told us they'd swig at his bottle and then top it up with water.

Just a little while ago we had our wedding video converted over to DVD. It brought the memories flooding back. When asked if anyone wanted to say any other words by the MC only one person from all those tables of guests stood up - and it was Uncle Eddie. In his thick Cardiff accent (which you don't notice growing up as we all had them), he thanked us for a great occasion and then announced that he was too "het up" to say much more. He was clearly quite emotional.

People often say we don't appreciate what we have until it's gone and I think that is true. Some of our extended families we don't see now from year to year, especially as more move away, have families etc. Perhaps now it's just the occasional wedding, Christening etc.

The South Wales Echo
I just wish I could have seen my Uncle Eddie one last time, even if it were not to speak to as such, but to say goodbye at his funeral. Maybe one day, God willing, I'll see him again and he'll clip me round the ear and say "gercha" whilst pulling a mean face like he did when we were kids.

I know Auntie Evelyn was distraught to lose Eddie as he took care of everything. I can't imagine what she went through, but I do know that all of us miss Uncle Eddie for his wicked sense of humour, his generosity and for being a "typical Hurley man."

Rest in Peace Uncle Eddie. We all miss you.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Pope Francis is Welsh. The Proof is Here.

In the Vatican they ask all Welshmen to raise a hand.
And so we have a new Pope: Pope Francis from Argentina.

Now we all (should) know a region of Argentina, in the south, is called Patagonia. And we all (should) know that many of the people there speak Welsh.

I have previously proved, beyond reasonable doubt m'lud, that Pope Benedict was Welsh (see here). Now we know, very early on in his pontificate (trans: PontyFicate) that Pope Francis is Welsh.

I often wondered why Argentinian flags, shirts etc. were/are popular amongst Welsh fans whenever England make it to the World Cup: I think we now know the answer to that.

So well done Pope Francis. We all know (or should) that Welsh comes from the Germanic for 'foreignor' and was used for many peoples at the edge of the Roman Empire (the Welsh, the Walloons, the Wallachians etc.) so here's to our Welsh Pope!

It all bodes well for Saturday doesn't it?

Oh, and his first public Mass is to be on St Joseph's Day as a special nod to my dad who I can reveal is indeed Welsh.

I rest my case. I think that's all the proof we need. All I'm saying is don't be shocked if Pope Francis is hoping the Bluebirds go up this year.

Now we need a special edition Francis pint from Brains Beers and a Pieus Pie from Clarks Pies. They can send me free samples to get this blog's official thumbs-up.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Cardiff City & Mother's Day

The poem I sent to my mum for Mother's Day, 2013:

Roses are Red
Cardiff are too,
You're the best mum
(They used to be blue)

Now that is love!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Shaking the Tins for SPUC with a Flat Top!

I came across this little gem the other week when clearing out some old keepsake boxes in the loft. Dated 1988 it comes from the SPUC's famous White Rose flag day when they collect at churches and the like to raise funds.

Well in 1988 a few of us thought we'd shake the SPUC tins outside Woolworths in Roath, Cardiff and make it a bit more "public." It must have been a sight to behold because a few people came running over to accuse us of raising funds for this, that and the other. Either that or they were so used to the usual 'student-rent-a-cause' crowd bothering the shoppers so didn't know what to make of us.

One chap who waved on jovially was my Italian barber who had just given me my first ever "flat top" haircut (hey, it was the 80s) and was thrilled to see me wearing it in public. After so many years of crew cuts and shorter, it was quite an audacious move to go for the flat top. I think the barber was secretly thrilled to be doing something more worthy of his skills.

As a youngster (I would have been 17) my friends and I used to have have such fun promoting the Pro-Life cause in Cardiff. Once a few of us went to a SPUC meeting in St Patrick's in Grangetown only to sit directly behind a mum of a friend (she and my mum were good friends) and her chums who were pleased to see us there.

On another occasion we went fly-posting with SPUC posters supporting the (parliamentary) Alton Bill around Cardiff. I think it was the first ever time SPUC posters appeared in the city, and on popping them on the metal boxes near the lights at the big junction between Albany Road and Newport Road, by Summers Funeral Home, I turned around to see a police car queueing at the lights. I gave the WPC a cheeky wink and a smile and pottered on to join my chums. She either agreed with the message or wasn't too concerned as we carried on our merry way, unmolested by the long arm of the law.

On another occasion me and my friend Paul went to the LIFE headquarters, which was then in one of the many arcades in Cardiff town centre. We wanted to give them a donation and pick up any leaflets or similar they might have. On seeing two young men with short hair etc. they were all flustered. It seems they thought we were the aggrieved boyfriends of pregnant young ladies out to give them some stick. We all had a good chuckle once they realised we were there to show support.

Perhaps best of all was when we organised a noisy counter-demo to a pro-death march led by Ann Clwyd MP... That was a noisy and fun event!

Ah they were innocent and fun times. Paul died a few years later in a tragic accident, just before I left Cardiff - for good it would transpire - so when I came across this little piece of paper (signed by the inspirational Paul Botto, who still organises SPUC in Cardiff) it brought all the memories flooding back.

Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Pope is Welsh: The Evidence is Irrefutable

Our Welsh Shepherd (wearing an old Cardiff City scarf).
Many people call the Pope "our German Shepherd," but I have unearthed a conspiracy that would make Dan Brown's hair turn (albino?) white!

As Cardiff City fans have long known, the Pope is a Cardiff fan (they have long sung a song about Swansea fans going to the Vatican and being told, in no uncertain terms by His Holiness, that "Cardiff we'll support you evermore"), of course the Pope says "we" as he speaks for all the Popes on such vital matters of Faith and Morals.

But -- and hold on to your hat/Biretta here -- there is now ample proof that, as many have suspected, the Pope is in fact Welsh.

I will skip the obvious evidence, such as Welsh and Latin being the languages of heaven, and get down to the nitty gritty (as St Thomas Aquinas was wont to do).

A hobbit-like friend and fellow Cardiff City fan who shall remain nameless (let's just say he's the sort of best man who'd forget a ring), has pointed out that the Pope's Twitter id is @Pontifex. Of course Welsh is well known for its mutations, and to Latinise a Welsh word results in this kind of thing, but the evidence is clear.

The Pope is Pontyfex just as Pontypridd is the place where Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (I won't insult your intelligence by telling you that's the Welsh national anthem) was penned.

Furthermore Pontypridd sprung up around a bridge (the "Ponty" in question) built specifically to take pilgrims to the great pilgrimage site of Penrhys where today pilgrims still gather at the statue of Our Lady of Penrhys. So without the Catholic monks present there, and the place of pilgrimage, the bridge at Pontypridd would not have been built, the town of Pontypridd would not exist, and the Welsh national anthem may well not exist in its current form.

The Pope (Pontyfex) knows this and has chosen his Twitter name to reflect the importance of Catholicism to Welsh history, as well as to give a nod to his own Welsh heritage; also to acknowledge that the Papacy is the bridge which leads the Church militant to the promised land (a bit like Jacob's Ladder).

If you are still in doubt watch this week's Weatherman Walking (still on BBC iplayer) to see him visit two sites - the first, the well known Holywell in north east Wales, a place of Catholic pilgrimage for well over 1000 years. The second was the scant remains of a Chapel dedicated to St Michael the Archangel atop Holy Mountain in South East Wales. The guide (accompanying the 'weatherman' Derek) said this Chapel was in use throughout Medieval times and even after Catholicism was outlawed (by the English) it was still frequented by brave recusant souls.

So the Pope is Welsh, a Cardiff City fan and our country is, in every part, scattered with Holy places just as it was Catholic when the English were still living in Germany and its environs.

Case closed. Do you think Tom Hanks will want to make a film about it?

Monday, 21 January 2013

BBC & British Media Ignore French Rally

An estimated 1.2 million French (some say 1 million, others over 1.3) marched in Paris to say an emphatic "no" to changing marriage in French law.

That's 1 in 52 Frenchmen marching to defend the family and the sanctity of marriage.

The BBC all but ignored this huge event.

Today in America circa 750,000 people have gathered to witness the inauguration of the pro-abortionist Obama.

That's 1 in 410 Americans gathering to watch a blowhard deliver empty words and clich├ęs about equality, feminism, "gay" rights and so on.

The BBC is covering this non-event in-depth, live on TV and radio, and to be repeated on each and every news bulletin.

Are 750,000 (1 in 410) Americans more newsworthy than 1.2 million (1 in 52) Frenchmen?

Or is this because the BBC loves the message of Obama (pro-homosexual, pro-abortion, anti-family) as opposed to those of the massed ranks of the French (pro-marriage, pro-life and pro-family)?

Yet again, the BBC shows its true colours.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Are Homos Outsiders in the Acting World? Really???

I feel like a moan. So here goes.

Listening to Radio 5 as I worked this afternoon there was an interview with Rupert Everett concerning his play about Oscar Wilde. Asked if he thought of himself as an "outsider" Everett said that as a "gay" man in acting he was indeed an outsider.

Pardon me?

If there is one profession choc full of homosexuals (other than parliament and rent boys) it is surely the acting profession, wherein to promote homosexuality is not only the dysfunctional de rigeur norm, but is almost a legal requirement! Does Everett really think that being against homosexuality would win you any plaudits or roles in his monde? Get a grip! Another pretentious old queen with a persecution complex.

There. I feel better now! Time for a cuppa in my Cardiff City mug. Top of the league!