Welcome to an Interview with (the wonderful) Olga Nunez Miret

Welcome to an Interview with : Olga Nunez Miret

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Author of. I Love Your Cupcakes

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A brief synopsis.

Dulce, Adelfa and Storm, the protagonists of I Love Your Cupcakes are business partners, friends and share some “interesting” family connections. All the men Dulce meets only ever talk about her cakes and she’s tired of it. Her friend Adelfa, although she’s a Chemistry Professor, can’t manage to find the recipe for the perfect relationship. And Storm, the third of the partners of their bakery/coffee shop/bookshop/art gallery and ex-fire station, is an artist who is not a master in the art of love. How could they imagine that at the studio of the contest “Do You Have What it Takes to Be the Next Baking Star?” they’d find sexual harassment, cheats, fights and also love?

With dogs, fire trucks, London double-decker buses, school buses, artists, chemists, engineers, architects, intrigue, scandals, bigamy, and lots and lots of desserts… I Love Your Cupcakes is a romantic comedy with a sweet heart. You will find baddies, crooks, goodies, odd balls and flawed but endearing characters. More than anything I can promise you good humor, friendship, smiles, sense of community, heart and plenty of cakes. Try it! I’m sure you won’t be able to stop once you give it a bite!

 Let’s surprise the readers by telling them about you. You are trained amongst other things as a forensic psychiatrist. What did that job entail?

I was working in a small NHS (public sector) hospital, a low-secure unit. (A low secure unit had a fence around it, a locked door and some security measures inside but at least ours wasn’t very high tech and nothing compared to a prison. High Secure hospitals, on the other hand are stricter with their security measures than some of the prisons I’ve visited. And yes, so far they’ve allowed me to leave again.) We looked after patients suffering from mental illnesses (mostly psychosis) who had a history of committing crimes (and were supposed to potentially pose a risk to the general public) or although with no criminal history, they were found to be too risky for standard mental health services. We had to assess patients in other units, in prisons, had to liaise with probation services and provided advice with regards to managing patients with violent or other risky behaviours. We had to provide diagnosis, medication, and also other therapies (we had psychologists and occupational therapists working there). In most cases as our patients’ mental state improved the level of risk they supposed for others would also be minimised. By the way, I must clarify that most people suffering from mental illnesses do not suppose a risk to others, and indeed many people who are not ill are much more dangerous.

 

Would you like to share your other Academic Qualifications?

I can never get enough of books, David! Apart from Medicine and Psychiatry, I decided to study American Literature and have a BA and PhD in American Literature. And more recently I completed a Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice. I’m not planning on studying any major careers any time soon, but…you never know!

What made you decide to write this book?

Due to family illness and other circumstances life had been quite stressful and I fancied writing something that would make me (and hopefully the readers too) smile. I had become fascinated by some of the TV baking and cookery programmes (things like ‘Cupcake Wars’, ‘Ace of Cakes’ or the ‘The Big British Bake Off’) and had the kernel of an idea for a book. Then I kept thinking about it, asked people, started collecting cupcake images in Pinterest…and decided to see what came out of it. It was fun!
I’d also just come out from publishing a couple of psychological thrillers and felt my writing brain needed a break. Something sweet for a change, rather than bitter.

Have you written it in both Spanish and English?

Yes. I’ve left the same title in Spanish although with the subtitle ‘Me encantan tus cupcakes’. I’ve always (so far) published my books in English and Spanish.

How do you find writing in English and then translating from the English idiom into Spanish? Does it in fact translate?

Not always that well. When you play with words, sometimes the expressions won’t work in another language. Some situations might involve more rewriting than straight translating and that’s one of the reasons why I prefer to do my own translations myself. As I’m living most of the time in the UK I’m more up-to-date with everyday expressions and references in English although thankfully social networking and media facilitates matters and I’m trying to catch up.

One of the advantages I find is that although I will have corrected and edited the English version before I translate it to Spanish, as I spend a fair amount of time reading and going through the original, I always find typos and mistakes I didn’t spot the first time around. And sometimes new things will occur to me, or a better way of saying something, and I’ll take the chance to make changes as I go along.

I started translating other authors’ books a few months back and it is fascinating although challenging in its own right. You’re never done learning!

Where did you find the characters?

I always thought there would be two main characters and at first I thought about mother and daughter, as I wanted a team to take part in a TV cookery game show, but decided on two friends. Then I thought about a man too to even things up and came up with an interesting connection between him and the girls. I posted in my blog asking for ideas for names of characters and teams, and that worked out quite well. Some of the other characters seemed to grow out of the story.

Is your personality a character in the book? If so, which one?

I know the received knowledge is that there’s always a bit of us in all of our characters. If anything I’d quite like to be like Adelfa, as she’s very witty and determined. And she can come up with some great retorts! But in contrast to what happens with some of my other books, where there are characters quite difficult to like, I’m quite fond of all of them…apart from one. And I’m saying no more.

This book is a major change of genre for you. Will there be more like this?

I wrote a romantic novel called ‘Click Me Happy!’ that has three endings (an unhappy, a neutral and a happy one) last year that was my first attempt at a romance (apart from some short stories) and people seemed to enjoy it and it was fun to write. I had a very good time with ‘I Love Your Cupcakes’ and I’ve left the ending (yes, I’m not saying any more here either) fairly open to more books, but haven’t decided. I’d love to meet the characters again and see what they do, but it depends on what the readers think.

Are you writing at the moment? If so, can you share anything yet?

I’ve been working on a Young Adult/New Adult trilogy for a while now. I wrote the first book in the series ‘Angelic Business’ called ‘Pink Matters’ a while back but then I decided to publish some of the other books I had written before instead. And then I decided it would be better to finish writing the first series and then I plan to publish the books pretty quickly one after the other, as I know people get impatient with series (and knowing me I’d be likely to start writing something else in the middle). At the moment I’ve written he first two books and I’ve joined NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and I’m planning on trying to write the draft of the third novel in November and then…correct, revise, translate…).

I have done a post about it in my blog recently where I also share the link to the draft of the first novel that I’ve published in Wattpad (and I will delete before the publication of the definitive version).

Here is the link to that post:

http://olganm.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/angelic-business-wip-nanowrimo-and-angels/

Share with the readers one little known fact about yourself.

I did a course in parachuting and I’ve jumped out of a parachute (static line, but not on a tandem, by myself) a couple of times. I didn’t find it scary and would have liked to do it more often, but it was quite far away from where I lived and the UK weather wasn’t very helpful either. Jumping was quite exciting but what I really liked was the sensation of floating down and being high up…Very peaceful…

Are you traditionally published or an Indie author?

Indie. I’d love to have somebody do the things I’m not good at for me, but like in many other things in life, everything comes at a price. Life is too short and having a choice (within your means) is good.

Who were your favourite Authors as you were growing up?

I’ve adored books from a very young age, and I wanted to read things even before I knew how to. The written word has always fascinated me. I loved fairy tales as a child (I still do. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is still one of my favourites. Jean Cocteau’s film version is a masterpiece). I did like Enid Blyton (the Adventures series more than the others) and Louise May Alcott’s Little Women (I wanted to be Jo) and An Old Fashioned Girl. I also loved Prince Valiant, although I’m not usually a bit reader of comics but that’s a true classic.

There’s a job going as World Dictator, will you apply, why?

No. Although like most people, at times I want to go and tell a few of the people in government (all governments it seems) what they’re doing wrong, dictatorships don’t appeal to me. I don’t have the required moustache and don’t like cigars either. Also, most of them tend to end up quite badly for the dictator (although yes, the one we had in Spain died of old age). On the other hand having my own island and being the queen of my own kingdom…                                                                                                                                                                                     Consider me your first subject Your Majesty.


Please share your other books with us.

My first book is a family saga with Magic Realism touches: The Man Who Never Was. It has a very ugly man at the centre of the story and an extraordinary family. Fun and quirky.

I published a YA novella called Twin Evils? about a pair of twins who don’t get on very well, tragedy strikes and there’s a touch of the paranormal. Some readers have suggested they’d like a sequel, but I haven’t decided on it.

Click Me Happy! the romance I mentioned above, where a librarian gets dragged into the world of social networking, meets a guy (a writer, no less David!) who seems to be fantastic, and the readers can decide if things end up happy ever after, or not quite.

Escaping Psychiatry is a collection of three novellas that all have as main character a psychiatrist and writer, Mary, who has to help in a number of cases and she learns a fair bit about herself and others in the process. Although the stories are fairly different, some more noir than others, all would fit into the category of psychological thrillers.

Family. Lust and Cameras another psychological thriller about obsessions, voyeurism and bizarre family relationships. This one is a novella.

Do you have a website to share?

I keep my website up-to-date (as much as I remember) with links to books, news, posts, and ways to contact me.

http://www.OlgaNM.com

Here is my blog where I share news about my writing, things in general, and on Fridays I regularly feature guest writers and new books. I’m always happy to have new guests, so writers, let me know!

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

Any Link to the Book (s)?

I Love Your Cupcakes

In Amazon:

http://bit.ly/Z4QU8l

In Kobo:

http://bit.ly/ZizAho

In Nook:

http://bit.ly/1rBZZ2I

In Apple:

http://bit.ly/ZkTgRE

I’m hoping it will be available in paper (through Create Space) very soon too, but I always post updates and new links in my blog, where there is also more information about my other books.

This is my Amazon page:

http://amzn.to/XLnZTo

And I’m in Goodreads and…well, most places (Twitter, Facebook)

Please feel free to share an excerpt.

I thought I’d share the moment that gave me inspiration for the title (I’ve shared a couple of chapters in my blog if you fancy, but not this one…)

Dulce and her friend Adelfa are taking part in a TV baking game show and there are some technical problems with the lights. Everybody goes for breakfast but Dulce fancies a bit of time by herself and stays at the studio getting things ready. Here is the excerpt:

She was interrupted in her train of thought by a man who dropped something next to her. She jumped at the sudden bang.

Sorry. I didn’t mean to make so much noise. My brother Lance always says I would make a terrible spy or detective. I always announce my presence loudly.”

It’s OK. Are you Rock? We were told you’d be bringing some lights.”

Yes. I’m Rock. And you’re Dulce. I saw you on the TV yesterday. Your friend and you seem to have the most amazing shop. An old fire-station! Fabulous! I wouldn’t mind visiting!”

Any time. Do you work here full time?”

He shook his head in denial.

Not really. My brother is also a producer. At the moment he’s producing children’s programs. I’m sure he’d be fantastic producing this one. He’s great in live situations. He has a very quick mind. On the other hand I…”

What’s the problem?”

Well, I’ve tried many things but nothing seems to jell. You know there are people who aren’t good at anything?” Dulce had to nod. She was one of them. Other than baking… “Well, with me it’s the other way round. I seem to be able to do many things to a certain standard. I can carve wood, I can do a bit of plumbing, I’m not bad with engines, I’ve tried my hand at electrics, I can draw and design a little bit…When my brother came to work here they always needed people to help with this handyman and maintenance kind of jobs, and he thought of me straight away. My brother”

Lance…” Dulce offered. She quite liked this guy. It reminded her of herself. He wasn’t red-haired though, brown/hazelnut color hair, strong shoulders, narrow hips, wide brow, straight nose, tiny dimple on his chin and gray/brown eyes. Nice looking but not one of those guys everybody would envy a girl for.

Yes, Lance, tells me I’m like a butterfly. Going from flower to flower and never settling anywhere. I don’t seem to have a special skill or talent. I can do quite a few things reasonably, but I’m not a genius at any of them. I’ve had some ideas for businesses but I don’t feel very confident and Sophie…”

Sophie?”

Sophie, my girlfriend, thinks it’s a bad idea. She’d like me to get onto the corporate ladder, go climbing places and get to the top. I don’t think it’s me, and I very much expect that one of these days she’ll give me an ultimatum.” He seemed wistful for a while and then looked at her intently: “I love your eyes” he declared, out of the blue.

Dulce was used to men telling her “I love”… “your cakes” or “your cupcakes, or even like Harry, “your name”. But this was new. She didn’t know what to say.

I thought they looked good on the TV yesterday but they didn’t show any close-ups and couldn’t see them well. The cameras seemed quite distracted by…the two women in the funny outfits?”

The ‘Let Them Eat Cupcakes’ Team?”

Yes, and the two blonde girls.”

How peculiar! He only seemed to remember her name and not that of any of the other contestants.

I really love your eyes.” He repeated.

Now she had to reply something. And of course, she said:

You must say that to all the women you meet.”

No. Only to those who have nice eyes. And you smell great too. Like…cinnamon and chocolate and coconut.”

It must be the baking.” No, definitely Dulce wasn’t made for flirting. She’d have to try and remember some movie or novel to sound convincing when talking to Harry. Left to her own devices he’d smell a rat.

Rock opened his mouth to reply but just then:

Rock! Leave the conversation for later! We need to get the cooking going! Did you bring the lights?” Dannie asked from the door.

Sure! I’ll get on with it. Nice meeting you, Dulce! I’m sure we’ll see each other again!”

Maybe, but he had a girlfriend, and Dulce had plenty of other things to think about at that particular moment.

Thanks so much David for this opportunity to visit your blog that I love so much and I hope your readers will not get indigestion! And I look forward to seeing you back there with new books soon!

It’s been wonderful having you Olga. I’m sorry I didn’t offer you tea but I don’t get to sit with a pretty lady very often and I wasn’t wasting a moment. My bad. You’ve been fantastic with your answers about the book.. I assume my cheque is in the post? Xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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Darts Practice & Half and Half Insanity.

Sunday.

I managed a 4.56 am today which means I slept almost 4 hours. Wow, aren’t you all jealous? ( Sorry, just stopped to wipe the sarcasm off my chin ). Usually I’m quite happy with that and I was at first, but the longer I was up the tireder (more tired ) I got.  After the usual trip to the loo I got to work on the emails. When you first look it seems to be OK but after an hour they don’t seem to be any less and if you press the refresh button OMG I swear you get more than the load you just did. It’s self-perpetuating. I’m sure Confucius must have pronounced on it at some stage, Email have veritable life of their own, If you not watch, they breed behind scenes.  I’m sure General Sun Tzu would have also had wise words about defence from such an onslought. Me, I’m such a pacifist I treat them all as worthy of reading, even when they’re from every fraud around the globe with emphasis on Nigeria. Hmm, I wonder whether my psychic predicted that.

At 7.00 am, just to save me hitting my chin on the desk I went through to the kitchen. Big Al was swimming and didn’t stop even when the light went on, or when I stuck my ugly mug up against the glass to scare him. The biggest plec who I shall now call Big Tony ( no reason) must have thought I looked like algae as he plonked himself on the piece of glass my nose was touching. I got so cross-eyed trying to look at him I almost fell over. Big Al just carried on swimming like I wasn’t there. I fed them just to get Tony off my nose. After taking my meds I prepared Mike’s mug for later (Much later ) and made my own coffee to take through. Drinking it at my desk revived me enough to carry on. There were some nice comments to last night’s blog and I thank you all very much for that. To be honest I’ve been feeling that the humour has dropped off a lot lately though Yvonne assures me her daddy is as funny as always. I have been thinking of giving it up and concentrating on tweeting for authors and doing the odd interview ( yes I know, all my interviews are odd).

At 9.30 am just before I nodded off over the keyboard I took my mug through to wash. At this point I decided to have a wash to freshen myself up a bit but I wasn’t concerned about getting dressed. I took Mike a drink in at 9.50 am and warned him it was almost 10.00 am, which makes me a liar he says. I repeated myself about 3 times so he had to grunt three times in response. I was hopeful that was enough to wake him as his night had been a reasonable length even though he’d not been well before he went to sleep. I think he was overtired. When I went to the loo during the night I could see him through his open bedroom door and he was snoring for Britain. My repetitions must have had an effect as he came into the lounge within about 5 minutes. It was another half hour before he could speak but at least he was up. He asked how I was getting on trying to buy this special gift for Yvonne and when he heard I was having no success offered to take us into Flint to look in a Catalogue Returns Shop. So, at 11.15 am we were both dressing as rapidly as possible ( underpants can look good on your head when you have my style) ready to go out. I was in my posh frock today, Sunday best.

We had no luck in that shop either though I found a great sports jacket in Mike’s size and he really liked it. We both chipped in for it and I got him a snazzy pair of trousers to keep here as he sometimes forgets to bring something nice to wear if we go out. We took the opportunity ( naturally) to go round another shop while we were there and picked up some chocs for Angie and Rob. I’d already put a tub in the car for everyone. At 12.20 pm we started our journey to The Ivy. Tariq was dressed much better today but looked really harrassed. It was Angie who took the drinks order and Rob who brought them over. I’m determined to get him to hug as a greeting. Tariq said hello and brought a piece of wood to show Mike as a suggestion as to what his frames should be made from. Very nice, Mike agreed. It will be ordered. Mike ordered a cauliflower cheese dish with bacon and I had a breakfast brunch today. We took our time and I was glad to see the place fill up quite nicely. It’s great to see the repeat custom. Next Sunday is the day we take Mike there for a birthday lunch ( what a change) so there will be 5 adults, Mike and Reuben there.

Mike wasn’t in a rush today as he saw his father on Friday. When we got back from lunch we just spent a companionable period in the lounge. Mainly Mike accompanied his snores and I accompanied mine. We must have slept for an hour and when I woke at 4.00 pm Mike was surfacing too. I had a hard time coming round. Mike said it was time for him to go while there was still some light. I waved him off at the door and turned round to see how bad the mail was. Needless to say I haven’t been through to see any TV at all this evening. It’s now 11.35 pm and there is still mail in my boxes. I’ll give it a few more minutes then call it a night.

Unaided

Unaided

Happy Rubes 1

 

 

Monday.

I rose and shone at 3.51 am. Actually the only thing that shone was my torch as I used it to scan the floor for obstacles designed to trip me or stub my toe. You may well mock me but such things exist and are placed there during the night by some unknown organisation who’ve never forgiven us for leaving shoes out to be repaired at night. I blame Hans Christian Anderson myself. I turned the computer on and set about dealing with the mail. Apart from two banks who would like me to update my information there were also two sales on that wouldn’t let me look at their stuff until 7.00 am, maybe they should stop sending out their emails until that time then. The rest of the mail was my normal, sensible, work ready for commenting on and tweeting.

By 5.30 pm I noticed I was going blind. Then I realised I was yawning so widely my lips were covering my eyes. I was tired but it wasn’t worth going back to bed and then having to get up again for the fish. I decided to hang on until about 6.30 am an do everything at once. That’s a plan.  I struggled on and at the appointed time went through to the kitchen narrowly being missed by a charity clothing bag which came sailing though the letterbox. I put food in for the fish but there was no sign of Big Al this morning. I didn’t think I had time for hide and seek. Then on automatic pilot I took my drugs, for some reason including my diabetic one which meant I had to wait 15 minutes and put some toast on. As the toast was doing I made a coffee ready to take the after food tabs, it was ready as the toast was. I had strawberry jam on the toast then washed the plate and took the two tablets with my coffee.. By now of course the yawning has stopped and I don’t feel like going back to bed. Back into dealing with the post.

It was 8.45 am before Pauline came this morning. I wasn’t feeling too good at all so after she told me she needed to leave early and go to a doctor’s appointment, I explained I wasn’t well and just asked her to give a general tidy where it was needed. I knew last week she’d mentioned cleaning the kitchen windowsill which was good. I lay down on the bed and to show I was serious turned off the overhead light. The pain gripped. Spray, it went, leaving a headache as always. I started to nod when a cupboard door slammed and I came awake. There were more noises, probably worse because I felt delicate like a big hangover leaves you. I started to nod again and heard my voice called. Pauline was letting me know she was going now. I got up and paid her, closed the door after her and took my mug through to the kitchen to wash it. I did the windowsill while I was there.

Back to the computer to catch up on post and also to check ebay to see if I’m having any luck. That would be a NO then so I decided to pay for a few things in my trolley and make the Christmas list smaller still. I really couldn’t be bothered getting dressed today so I soldiered on till lunchtime then went through to make something. It was after I’d finished and dealt with the washing up that sleep came. Just when they were about to take their purchases to the auction in my antiques show. I slept for an hour and a half and when I saw it was 2.30 pm I jumped up like a scalded cat and roped to the bedroom ( part ran-part loped) and got my tissues ready for when I saw the in boxes. Two packets I used. My next victim interviewee had written with his answers and had also included the entrance exam  for getting into Cambridge in the form of some questions for me since I stupidly bravely agreed to an interview too. I’ve done so many there’s nothing new to say except a change in clothes size from too many bad meals. It took forever to complete the questions and prepare my page for the morning before I was able to tackle the backlog. I broke off at 4.30 to 6.00 pm for a break then right back into it. I need to stay on top of it tonight and get some sleep as it’s flu jab day tomorrow and I might even try a little bit of shopping.

listen with mother 8 USE

Happy Rubes 8

And finally, this song is for Reuben. I really dislike it but it suits him to the ground.

Tuesday.

I crawled out of my pit this morning at 4.17 am. I should laugh now as I know that Christoph Fischer beat me by almost an hour and had to take his dogs for a walk. The fish may have me under the thumb but at least I don’t have to do that for them. I felt like death warmed up but I couldn’t go back to bed as it’s the darts match this morning when we find out which arm is being given he flu this year. I have two questions for you all.

1. Do all writers get up at insane times?

2. Why does he flu jab always feel like you’ve been kicked by a shire horse? I don’t even know which flu we’re fighting this year. Oi, you at the back, there was no need of that remark about it being swine flu so why do I need a jab?

My first job after getting rid of Lake Tanganyika was to publish the interview I did of Christoph. I always try and put them out on Tuesdays so they’re up for a few days. I had another go at correcting the font size which for some reason gets converted to ‘Granny needs a magnifying glass’  in some places by WordPress. When I do the interview it’s all the same size and same font and I cut and paste it over so it should remain the same. Nope, every time I change it, it changes back. My only problem with WordPress is they don’t allow you access to font sizes, at least not on the free blogs. People were obviously about in other countries as the comments started coming in quite soon, There have been quite a lot of likes from new (to me) bloggers all day.

At 6.30 am I went through to the kitchen. No sign of movement as I put the light on. I wonder if I’ve finally broken the will of Big Al . He stayed in his corner brooding as I fed them. Mind you there’s so much weed these days, finding him is getting harder and him finding the food is like a metal detectorist finding a horde of  Saxon treasure. It’s been done, but not often. Backing away to ensure my safety I headed for my morning drugs and sprays. I stood on my left leg to take them and held the right leg up. That’s where all the weight seems to be now so I’ll let some gather in the left leg for a while. Also, if Big Al is looking he may think it’s a Kung Fu move called ‘The Stork’ and get worried. Because I felt I was fading fast I thought the condemned man should have one last meal so I put some toast on and had jam with it again. I took my coffee through and continued with my post. Nothing stupid so far.

I stopped work at 8.30 am and got dressed. It’s been a foul night for wind no, gales, I’m not having rude jokes here. The rain has been coming down too. At 9.00 am I left to catch the bus. My appointment is for 9.57 am, how specific is that ! I expected a bus at 9.15 am but one drew up as I arrived which was going the right way so I took that. I was in town for jut after 9.10 am and in the surgery for 9.20 am. It wasn’t nice enough to wander round the shops first so I thought it better to be dry. I logged myself in through the date of birth screen and took a seat. I’d only just got comfy when I was called. I had to look at the sheet to make sue it wasn’t someone else with my name (The very idea) but it was me. I was assaulted, done and dusted before 9.25 am. The sister told me to sit out front for 5-10 minutes for what sounded like in case I was needed. I gave them two minutes and left. I don’t trust the surgery not to have booked me in with a doctor.

I lit up a cigarette just outside the surgery gates an wandered back towards town where I visited one of the Lidl supermarkets and bought a few bits and bobs for MuJo, especially her marzipan chocolate she likes so much. As I came out there was a bus waiting at the bus station ( a grand name for two islands in the street). I caught that and was home before my appointment was actually due. I visited Pauline’s for bread and cigarettes before going in. I knew the post would have accumulated while I was out but thought I’d catch up easily. Before I could start there was a knock and my postie delivered a parcel which tuned out to be part of Muriel’s Christmas present. I think there will be deliveries every day this week now.

I started work and struggled on until 11.30 am when I decided on pizza for lunch. After doing what I needed to, I settled down with my programme but was asleep by 12.30 pm and it was almost 2.00 pm before my eyes opened again. That was it, sheer panic now. I flew to the bedroom, opened the mil boxes and felt even worse. I had to struggle on even though my eyes kept closing and my chin hitting my chest. I couldn’t catch up. I think it’s all your fault Christoph. At 4.30 pm I had to close it down again and go through as Ugo and Reuben could be here any minute. If I don’t go to Chester on a Tuesday morning, they come here at night. It was raining and I saw Ugo come into sight, carrying the open pushchair in one hand and a wriggling son in the other. I headed for the door but they beat me. Ugo put Reuben down and I held my arms open, Reuben came to me. I carried him through to the lounge an started doing our usual which is pointing out all the photographs and saying who they are, and showing himself in the mirror and saying where’s Reuben?

The minute I put him down the mayhem started. While Ugo and I were catching up, Reuben was systematically emptying my table top and trying to make phone calls on the TV remote which just meant turning the TV off or changing channels. He seemed to have an awful lot of hands for one little boy. When Ugo went off to get tea a few minutes later it was just Reuben and I left. I remembered a joke handbell I’d used for Ju when she was ill so I took him through to get it. Great , he was like Quasimodo on speed except I don’t think Quasimodo tried to swallow his bells. By the time Ugo came back I had a real ringing in my ears. Ugo had bought me some chips with curry sauce which I really enjoyed and Reuben got a very small fish and chips which Ugo fed him. All was going well until Ugo removed a pen from Reuben’s hand- very gently. The tantrum that followed had to be seen to be believed. Screams, going rigid, not breathing and going ed in the face, and that was just Ugo. Reuben was much worse with tears like someone had just murdered his pet dog.You just have to remain calm during this rather than react so I think I fell asleep again.

They left about 6.15 pm to get Reuben home for bath and bed. I had the last quarter hour of Eggheads before coming back through to the bedroom where I’ve been ever since. Help I’m being held prisoner. I broke off the post to do the blog while my eyes are still open- just. I’ll go back for a last few minutes then I must get some sleep so I’m on form for games night tomorrow, The enemy are winning too many.

Superboy remembers he's not wearing his costume.

Superboy remembers he’s not wearing his costume.

Wednesday.

Well, you can take your pick about this morning. I got up at 1.45 am convinced it was 7.45 am. I went back to bed sharpish. I got up at 2.17 am and though I could see the time my bladder couldn’t and thought it was later. I went, then I went back to bed. I got up for the third time at 5.14 am an knew that was my lot. Mind you I was glad it had allowed me to stay there so late this time. Not immediately needing the loo I turned the computer on instead. What a lot of mail. The interview yesterday has proved very popular an I’m being notified that lots of people have re-tweeted it. Not only does he draw the crowds he adds to my workload too.

I didn’t go through to the kitchen until 7.00 am today. I turned the main light on which must have told Big Al I was there then I turned the lamp on in the tank and highlighted him in the open. I saw him do an Elvis sneer at which point a bubble escaped which was probably a swear word or maybe a threat, before he turned and swam off to his corner and his cronies or his minions whatever they are. Reeling ( not Scottish reeling as that involves dance) from the insult I turned and went to take my tablets and then put some toast under the gorilla. Ach, worst ever. In an attempt to be more health conscious ( stop giggling uncontrollably at the back Ms.Flory) I bought some Warburton’s half and half bread. I’m quite sure there are people among us who like eating brown bread, no doubt with treatment they can be cured, But surely there can’t be many who like half and half which I had real trouble swallowing. It took more chewing than toffee and was determined to resist any attempt to swallow. I must have looked like a cow chewing cud. Eventually I did the only thing I could. Had the other half of the first slice reluctantly and emptied the whole second slice into the food waste bin. Just to be clear here, I like Warburton’s WHITE bread and their other products, all I can say is, no wonder they reduced the price on this.

I took my coffee back through to the bedroom and carried on working. No rush to get dressed as I’m not going anywhere. I’ll wait for a natural break. Ha, what natural break? The post kept coming in. It was 10.40 am when I heard the postman. I didn’t have time to open the door before he’d deposited my mail so I just bent down and picked it up while shouting thank you. I just got upright when a small parcel came through so down I went again,And up, and another parcel. And down, retrieve and up. And down, retrieve and up. I felt like one of those ostriches you set to sticking it’s beak in a glass of wine that goes up and down like it’s drinking. My postie could have just knocked and given me the lot in one fell swoop. Perhaps that wouldn’t have been fun, at least for him. As I took them through to be opened and the package labelled with the name I thought it an ideal time to get dressed.

At 11.30 am it was time to think about preparing luncheon. Braised steak and baby potatoes today. Rather than take a chance on wasting anything important I decided just not to bother with veg. As usual I enjoyed it while watching my antique programme. After finishing I waited for a lull in proceedings to go wash my plate etc. I came back for the other half and found myself contentedly nodding. I let it happen even though I’d miss the auction. I was out a good hour. It would have been longer if someone hadn’t let out a massive snort somewhere and woken me up. I went back to work.  By 4.30 pm I’d made a dent in the work but I’d had enough, by which I mean the second antiques show is on. I watched that then prepared the mugs for Dil and Matt’s arrival which wasn’t long in coming. No Lee tonight so I had to ask Matt if he could help me get rid of a virus that’s appeared on the computer and keeps taking over my search engine. I still can’t figure out why some pariah would want to create something to cause others so many problems. Deprived, childhood, orphaned young, the excuses are endless yet others coped without the nastiness of creating viruses.

Matt couldn’t sort the problem but found some instructions that suggested how. We left it at that and went to set up the games table.We started with the Yahtzee. I don’t know why I bothered I might as well not have been there. The two of them were throwing Yahtzees with gay abandon while I struggled to even get my bonus. Needless to say out of the six games I won precisely nil. I think the overall honours went to Matt with 4 wins out of the 6. Nomination whist didn’t start too well either with me trailing badly in third place while those two got their shouts. I took a swig of my traditional lemonade and was revitalised. For sponsorship I’ll even name the brand and smack my lips a few times. I started my comeback and by the last third of the game I was in control, though not by much. The lead was alternating back and forth between Dil and I but the last four hands saw him off and I sailed to a comfortable victory.

Time was getting on now and we only had time for a short game of Crazy 8’s. Believe me it was going to be a short game the way Dil played.I just piled on the points till I reached the 301 required to knock me out. Dil was barely in double figures. OK, so it’s honours even tonight. Dil helped put away the stuff and Matt helped me sort the throw from the settee out as it was more on the floor than the settee somehow. They left and I washed the pots and removed the debris from Matt’s snacking. Time to get to work again. It’s taken me from 9.30 until gone midnight to get to a nearly clear box.

Thursday.

a 4.21 am start this morning. I think I’m going to be glad of the early start as a text from MuJo say there’s a visit today. That’ll be good, but it will put me behind again if I can’t work between about 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. And if Mike decides to come tonight I’m in real trouble, I might as well forget sleep. Anyhoo, on with the show. I was delighted that there weren’t many messages overnight though to be fair from when I stopped to when I started, there wasn’t much night anyway. There was enough to keep me going until 6.30 am when I decided it was a good time ( if there is such a thing) to feed Big Al and his cohorts. There was no movement as the main light went on and less than no movement ( that’s movement in reverse) when I put the tank light on. I could see a little gimlet eye watching me from a corner of the tank. If he was a painting, he’d have eyes that followed you round a room only in his case I think they’d follow you from room to room except perhaps the loo as he’s just not that kind of  fish.

I wasn’t brave enough to face any toast using the half and half today so after my tablets were out of the way I just made my coffee and took it through. I remembered I hadn’t put any music on last night’s blog and somehow ended up with a musical feast. Rod Stewart was the horse’s doofer and the Bee Gee’s the main course ( Sir Geoffrey saved the world , Massive Chew Sets, World and Words then for dessert Deacon Blue, Prefab Sprout and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I was thinking of some Japan but you know how Oriental meals leave you wanting more.

At 9.00 am I decided to get dressed so I don’t scare anyone if I go to the bins. I was ready for the arrival at any time then. I carried on working and keeping pace with the mail in the meantime. They arrived at 10.15 am, just after I’d had a message from Mike about coming down today. He tells me he may be here for a week while his grandchildren are on half term. He’ll arrive this afternoon. I made or rather saw to cold drinks for MuJo as it’s not as cold today and they say it’s warm out. We chatted about our prospective week and I handed them the chocolate I picked up from Lidl on Tuesday. I also picked up a heat pack at the same time for Muriel’s shoulder which she was pleased about. John had brought two watches down to have batteries put in at the market so we headed in that direction at 11.15 am. Bl**dy typical, the watch man wasn’t there today. Of all the weeks to choose. John said he’d leave the watches with me but he hasn’t done so. We went to their favourite haunt for lunch even though my Kassidy’ is so close and John’s chippie is just a few steps away. I’m afraid I don’t find this place very friendly at all. It lacks atmosphere.

After lunch we had a walk up the High Street while Mu went to the Post Office and John could visit the charity shops. Mu also picked up some local potatoes from the greengrocer before we headed back to the car. Off to Flint next where they had a disagreement about Mu’s driving. John is ultra critical sometimes and is the real back seat driver in the front. Sometimes Mu gets a bit annoyed about it. I just stood around like a lemon while they argued. We went off to my favourite shops so I could get chocolates for the girls in Temptations and I was also able to pick up a toy for my Great Grand Nephew who I’ll see before Christmas. It’s funny to think he’s only a tad older than Reuben but is a generation further down the line. I’d hate to try and work out the relationship between the two of them. I’m also starting to look out for stocking present s from now on  and I think I’ve only two main presents left to get. I ordered Yvonne’s birthday present for December yesterday. We piled the stuff in the car and went for a drink at Temptations. Ceri was there but I didn’t really get a chance to talk. They liked the choice of chocolates today though. I bought some 65th birthday cards ready for Mike and Muriel while I was there.

Back home again afterwards I did some ice cream for MuJo and Mike arrived. They chatted and I took the chance to change into my jeans. Have I mentioned before I was in my 30’s before I wore jeans? Julia virtually had to hide all my trousers until in desperation I put a pair on. I now like to wear them round the house and even go out in them sometimes, slim fit of course. MuJo left at 4.30 pm and I watched my antiques show with Mike then he let me disappear from 5.15 pm to 6.00 pm to start the work. At 6.00 I watched Eggheads with him then he told me the new Big Bang Theory started tonight . I worked hard from 6.30 pm to 8.00 pm then went back through. We had some mince pies and custard while we watched what turned out to be a repeat before the new one started at 8.30 pm so I had to stay of course. The new episode was a corker, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on my face that show, but the minute it finished I raced through to start again and haven’t been allowed to move off my seat since then. Hopefully I’ll just make bed at midnight. Mike turned his TV off at 11.00 tonight, colour me shocked.

Friday.

4.37 am. The automatic burglar deterrent light came on in the lounge which wasn’t where I expected to find myself. If I’d needed to go to the loo and taken the usual direction I could have found myself standing in a puddle in the airing cupboard from there. As it was I needed to go now, and luckily I was awake. After washing my hands I went to the bedroom I should have come from and turned the computer on. It must have been the start of National Crazies Day as I had two polite but urgent letters both purporting to be from the same bank, from two different people who were both the manager offering to split the multi millions of two other different people both of whom suffered fatal accidents with no will and no relatives. Life’s a bitch ain’t it. I had one message to say I’d been sent a photograph again, and we all know what that means for me, temporary blindness and night sweats. One further bank told me they need my details updating or they won’t be able to clear my direct debits this month- TOUGH. At least I was starting the day with a smile.

There were a lot of messages again this morning so I settled down for the long haul. At 6.30 am though I broke off because I needed to do my weeks drugs  once I’d done the usual tour of duty. So, I turned on the kitchen light and almost died with panic. I could see Big Al’s tail sticking out of the filter . I could almost have won the 100 meter dash getting over to the tank if it hadn’t been for the kitchen only being about 3 meters long, but I was fast, mainly because I tripped and went down like I was poleaxed. I clawed my way upright and started cleaning things off the top of the tank to open the lid. It was then I noticed something white lying at the bottom of the tank gawping up at me as though I were insane. A closer look revealed a leaf sticking out from the filter. I removed it as casually as I could imagining Big Al watching me call a crash team for a leaf or trying to give it the kiss of life. I retreated to my side of the room to take my morning meds and then spend time filling the pots up for the week before taking my coffee back to my room.

At 8.00 am Mike’s alarm went off and woke me up leaning over the keyboard. I was very surprised he had his alarm on at all when he doesn’t need too. He’s supposed to relax here except on a Saturday when I bully him . I was doing OK with the mail by then so I took time out to prepare his mug and boil the kettle before coming back and getting rid of a little more. Imagine my surprise when at 8.20 am I heard him get up and go through to the lounge. I headed in that direction and made the drink. ” Good morning” I said “why have you set your alarm when you didn’t need too”? “Because I wanted to,” was the response which didn’t seem to bode well for the day, till we all wake up with the grumps as a friend of mine used to say till her husband left home.

There were only half a dozen or so emails left to do so I went back to those and gave Mike chance to drink his coffee in peace. I wasn’t long but he was much happier when I went back through. He asked what I’d like to do with the day and I said there was nothing really but if we were out I’d like to call in one of the shops in town for some Holywell Christmas cards and maybe some tea pods for the Tassimo. It was good because that meant he could relax a bit and be under no pressure. Of course at that point I couldn’t forsee the future. After a while I went back through to refresh the mail and check to see if more needed doing. There were some but I also looked at some things on ebay I was bidding for. Most ended at 8.00 pm tonight. While I was on Mike came through and we started looking at watches which is his main focus in collecting part from his dragons. He saw a couple he liked the look of and wanted to bid on so he went through to the lounge to load the laptop. This machine is so old it needs a man turning a crankshaft to get it going. It can be very frustrating with it’s speed. It obviously was very frustrating as there were curses coming from the lounge and they had legs enough to walk to my room still loud. Eventually things quietened so I knew he must have the bids on. Having finished the mail I got dressed.

Mike got dressed too and called me through to show me the suit he’d brought for Sunday’s celebrations. I’ll make the effort and put a suit on as well now. At about 11.00 am we headed for town and the tea pods where I also bought some pickled beetroot. Then it was to the other shop and with Mike’s help the Holywell  cards were found, then he found some more cards he knew I’d need and the bill was going up and up. I crossed my fingers I had enough to pay, I did. Having filled up from the cash machine which kindly didn’t laugh in my face we paid one further visit to the Lidl to pickup some batteries I’d seen on a special offer the other day. Then it was time to head for lunch. A major shock when we got there to find Angie in on her day off. Shella was in the kitchen and Tariq was doing odd jobs about the place. He did come over for a hug though and to tell Mike he’d have to choose a different wood for his frames. The nice thing about the Ivy is that service isn’t slow but it’s still easy to spend an age there. We had s to pick up sticks a bit smartish when we realised it wasn’t far off the time when the first of Mike’ watches were coming up.

We made it in time but the poor old laptop came in for some verbal abuse again for not allowing him to bid quickly enough. He lost the auction by £1. The good news is though he won one later for a very low price but he can’t decide now if he likes the colour. I worked the afternoon away with just a break for my antique show  until finally I was up to date and could get my hair washed, have a shower and spend some time in Mike’s company. At 9.00 pm I came through to work . Usually I’m alone but Mike’s just been through to check out my bags of last years Christmas gifts ( I’ve got plenty of socks everyone) to compress things a bit. I have to go now and actually do a bit more work now he’s gone.

Saturday.

Today it was 3.12 am and I’m not sure it’s even worth going to bed anymore. I managed to do really well with last nights messages so that as 6.00 am approached I felt safe in going through to the lounge.  The ‘office’ chair can become quite uncomfortable after a prolonged sitting  and I needed something softer, my chair in the lounge can provide that with a special gel pressure cushion issued when Ju was ill. We did arrange to return it but they never came so it sits under me waiting for them now. I reached a point of being tired and shut my eyes just for a few minutes, about 75 of them in all. When I woke I realised Mike’s alarm hadn’t disturbed me so it was likely he hadn’t set it. He was still snoring merrily so was obviously in deep sleep, I thought “Beggar it” and left him. Normally I’d have gone through to feed Big Al and his mob and taken my tablets but I fixated on something outside the window and just drifted away with the fairies. Completely oblivious to anything outside my focus . The next thing I knew was Mike coming through and asking why I hadn’t woken him. It was 8.00 am. I just said I din’t have a sledgehammer handy and went through to make him a coffee, take my meds ( completely forget the fish ) and dash off to get dressed so I could take the rubbish out. Mike moved at the speed of light himself and was ready and raring to go by 8.30 am so in fact getting up an hour later had only delayed departure by half an hour?

The weather threatened rain but was reasonable during the journey and we reached the supermarket in good time. As it happened I wanted less than usual too so by rights we should have gained time on that leg of the journey. Leaving there after a coffee we headed towards Flint but detoured to visit a shop I like to see the Christmas decorations and the gifts. It wasn’t as good as usual which is probably down to the Halloween decorations taking up shelf space. Next stop Ceri and Temptations for a laugh, which it was as usual. But the time is disappearing down a black hole. It’s already 12.00 pm before we’ve been round any shops and that’s with me deciding not to shop for frozen food today. By the time we’d had our coffee it was already 1.30 pm. Now lets get it right, an hour late getting up, but only half an hour late leaving now equals almost 2 hours adrift somewhere. By the time we reached the Ivy without a detour home to unpack it was nearly 2 a flipping clock ! Luckily we could both see what we wanted for lunch and ordered straight away. Tariq came for his hug and disappeared on some odd job or other. Angie made the drinks which Rob delivered to the table for us. We nipped out for a cigarette and as we came back in the meal was arriving. It was fairly quiet at that time and Shella came out from the kitchen to say hello and then to joke with Angie which kept us entertained.

We had to leave fairly quickly after lunch as Mike had an auction on ebay just after 3.00 pm. It was either that or the fact I hadn’t paid the bill. We just had time to put the shopping away and open a couple of parcels I found before Mike parked himself in front of the laptop for his usual cursing session and I parked myself in front of the computer for my usual screaming session. What !!! Over 200 flippin’ emails since this morning, it’s rickydoodlearse. I hammered away at them but found two problems quite early on. My hammer was quite blunt and I had to keep shaking myself awake before I tattooed my forehead with the outline of my ash tray. When Mike called me through at 6.00 pm I hadn’t made much of an impression except as a comedian maybe. At 6.45 pm I came back to it and perhaps managed to get rid of twice as many as had been delivered since I left. A losing battle. Still I worked on until 8.30 pm and felt I was beginning to see daylight ( figuratively speaking only since it was quite dark ), I allowed myself a break to see Would I lie to You? which ended at 9.15 pm. I came back through then for the final surge. The mail just refuses to stop, it’s worse than the Pony Express.

Independence

Independence

independance day 3 USE

 

 

 

This music is requested by Mike.

 

I wish you all a Great New Week.

 

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Welcome to an Interview with author Christoph Fischer

Welcome to an Interview with Christoph Fischer
Christoph Fischer
 
Author of.  Conditions
Conditions
 
A brief synopsis.

Two estranged brothers are confronted with each other when their mother dies. One is bitter about his place in the family, the other has mental health issues. The book follows the group of people attending the funeral and covers the days leading up to and the weeks following the funeral itself . 
What made you decide to write this book?
 
I know a lot of people who struggle with mental health issues, whether it is  themself or because of one their friends or their family. I’m amazed at how wonderful and natural some people are with it and how uncomfortable and unkind others are. I always wanted to write about that to raise awareness and make people challenge themselves. I think we all (me very much included) have a lot to learn about full integration and tolerance. 
 
Where did you find these characters?
 
Through real life. They all are blends of a large variety of sources: People I knew a long time ago, the person talking on their phone in the queue in front of me or a snippet from an overheard conversation without context- they all give me an idea. Then the story takes over and the characters change and develop and take on their own life.
 
Do you write purely from imagination or do everyday scenes influence you?
Very much both.  Some of the storylines are based on real events, but they are also what I made of those events in my head. I find it quite boring to simply re-tell something that has already happened because it imposes a rigid structure and takes away the fun and ‘creative freedom’. In the writing process, the plot usually forces changes and new angles and by the time a book is published little is left of the original idea.
Share with the readers one little known fact about yourself.
Between the ages of 9 and 19 I performed a lot of amateur theatre, mainly fairy tales and small sketches. My first role was that of a wild boar and all I did was stand inside a papier mache replica of said boar and run across the stage. Later on I got to show my face and speak but somehow Steven Spielberg has not taken notice.
I love the theatre  and should go more often.
( So far, I haven’t found you the least Boar-ing ) (Sorry).
 
Your name suggests a German Origin. How long have you lived in the UK and what made you choose to live here? Style of house?
I came to the UK by a string of coincidences really. I participated in a student exchange programme in 1993 which resulted in me living with a Welsh partner and having a nice job in London. I had big ambitions for further travels and a career in films but subsequent job, house and partner changes brought me to the lovely rural cottage in Wiltshire where I currently live with another Welshman, instead of a harbour-view penthouse in Sydney or Vancouver (which is what I had originally aimed for). I’m very happy with the way it all played out, though.
Are you traditionally published or an Indie author? What influenced that choice?
I went Indie because it seemed easier than spending months writing humble begging letters to get someone to read my work or to speak to someone who knows an agent or publisher.
A few years ago I went to a self-publishing seminar in London (held by Hay House Publishing) and decided to try ‘working for myself’ rather than for someone else. I’ve learned since that traditional publishers don’t offer as much as they used to; in fact, the entire industry is going through some vast dynamic changes and it seems safer to keep control and rights to myself. I’m pleased with the results I’ve achieved going it alone and see no immediate need to go traditional.
If you could have one wish, what would it be?
To find a cure for …..
Your book goes to No 1 and fans ask for a sequel. Is there one?
There already is a plan for a sequel to Conditions. Not all of the side characters in the book are given as much attention as I would have liked to and I have some great ideas where to take them next.
Some parts of the story couldn’t come to a lasting conclusion within the space of the two weeks that my novel covers. That would have been unrealistic and not the kind of book I’d like to write.
Tell us about the type of books you read. Do you enjoy humour ?
I know a lot of other indie authors and read a lot of their work. I love humour, particularly that of Aaron David, Ian Hutson and Andrew Peters. I love a good drama, tear jerkers, historical novels and foreign literature but I read a bit of everything.
What’s the strangest joke you’ve played on anyone?
I’m a poor practical joker and by no means have a poker face, so I’m scratching the bottom of the barrell here:
2010, Waitrose Abergavenny. My mother-in-law spent all morning nagging away at my partner for not wearing a mac – as she felt was decent and called for on such a drizzly day. Between arriving at her home and taking her to the coffee shop in the supermarket she must have mentioned it ten times, to the point that nobody was talking to each other anymore. Trying to break the ice I took a gamble and involved one of the waiters in a practical joke. When he came to pick up some empty cups he took a step back and said with a disapproving headshake to my partner: “Aren’t you cold? You should be wearing a body warmer or a mac on a day like this.”
You probably had to be there to appreciate the moment but even my mother-in-law laughed and we spent the rest of the day in peace and harmony.
Is there some significance to the flag you’re holding? It reminds me of an old Greek flag.
That’s interesting. What I’m holding is the current Finnish flag. I started using that picture when I began my current work in progress,”In Search of a Revolution”, which is a historical novel set in Finland 1918 – 1950. I also chose the picture because of my dog Molly. The photo was actually taken at a Eurovision Party where I supported the Finnish entry.
Do you have a website to share? 
 
Any Link to the Book?
 
Previous Books & links
 

The Luck of the Weissensteiners (Three Nations Trilogy Book 1)

In the sleepy town of Bratislava in 1933 a romantic girl falls for a bookseller from Berlin. Greta Weissensteiner, daughter of a Jewish weaver, slowly settles in with the Winkelmeier clan just as the developments in Germany start to make waves in Europe and re-draws the visible and invisible borders. The political climate in the multifaceted cultural jigsaw puzzle of disintegrating Czechoslovakia becomes more complex and affects relations between the couple and the families. The story follows them through the war with its predictable and also its unexpected turns and events and the equally hard times after.
But this is no ordinary romance; in fact it is not a romance at all, but a powerful, often sad, Holocaust story. What makes The Luck of the Weissensteiners so extraordinary is the chance to consider the many different people who were never in concentration camps, never in the military, yet who nonetheless had their own indelible Holocaust experiences. This is a wide-ranging, historically accurate exploration of the connections between social location, personal integrity and, as the title says, luck.

On Amazon:  http://smarturl.it/Weissensteiners

 

On Goodreads: http://bit.ly/12Rnup8

On Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1bua395

Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/OtmyZh4Dmc/?autoplay=1

B&N  http://ow.ly/Btvas

 

Sebastian (Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)

Sebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love.
Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna and the timed of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.
Fischer convincingly describes life in Vienna during the war, how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the Monarchy, the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.
As in the first part of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, Nationality and borders. The step back in time made from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of the sequential order. This helps to see one not as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the momentary reality as it must have felt for the people at the time.

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TNTSeb

 

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pthHZ

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pthNy

Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/95jvSpHf5a/

B&N http://ow.ly/Btvbw

 

The Black Eagle Inn (Three Nations Trilogy Book 3)

The Black Eagle Inn is an old established Restaurant and Farm business in the sleepy Bavarian countryside outside of Heimkirchen.  Childless Anna Hinterberger has fought hard to make it her own and keep it running through WWII. Religion and rivalry divide her family as one of her nephews, Markus has got her heart and another nephew, Lukas got her ear. Her husband Herbert is still missing and for the wider family life in post-war Germany also has some unexpected challenges in store.

Once again Fischer tells a family saga with war in the far background and weaves the political and religious into the personal. Being the third in the Three Nations Trilogy this book offers another perspective on war, its impact on people and the themes of nations and identity.

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/pAX3y

On Goodreads: http://ow.ly/pAX8G

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TBEI


Trailer: http://studio.stupeflix.com/v/mB2JZUuBaI/

Time To Let Go:

Time to Let Go is a contemporary family drama set in Britain.
Following a traumatic incident at work Stewardess Hanna Korhonen decides to take time off work and leaves her home in London to spend quality time with her elderly parents in rural England. There she finds that neither can she run away from her problems, nor does her family provide the easy getaway place that she has hoped for. Her mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and, while being confronted with the consequences of her issues at work, she and her entire family are forced to reassess their lives.
The book takes a close look at family dynamics and at human nature in a time of a crisis. Their challenges, individual and shared, take the Korhonens on a journey of self-discovery and redemption.

On Facebook: http://ow.ly/BtKtQ

On Goodreads:  http://ow.ly/BtKs7

On Amazon: http://smarturl.it/TTLG

 
Please feel free to share an excerpt.

Martha was petit and fragile looking with bleach blonde hair, very light skin and lots of freckles. She seemed lost in her overly large black dress.  When she saw it was a stranger answering the door she trembled, mumbling a barely audible greeting. Charles quickly stuck his head out of the kitchen and shouted:

“Martha, this is my friend Simon.”

She looked puzzled.

“Remember, I said there’d be someone from Torquay. The orchid guy?”

She nodded slightly, hesitantly stepped into the hallway and looked searchingly around.

“Talk to each other while I’m making dinner,” Charles ordered them. “I’ll be out soon. Go, sit in the living room!”

Martha shrugged and gave a little grin, then stood there waiting for Simon to do something.

“You have been here before, haven’t you?” he asked surprised at her lack of initiative.

“Yes, of course,” she said, continuing to stand until he started to walk. Only then did she move towards the living room, following his lead. She sat down on the sofa, put her handbag on the floor and folded her hands over her knees. She remained that way, without saying a further word, her gaze averted towards the floor. Simon sat down on the other sofa and tried to think of the right thing to say, but was stumped. Although she was as shy as Charles had predicted, there was something quite forceful underneath that exterior that didn’t sit comfortable with him. An unspoken pressure surrounded that woman and tensed up the atmosphere. She, too, had very attractive features, he thought. A hint of Meg Ryan maybe, if only her face was more relaxed.

“Can I get you a drink?” he eventually asked, grateful that something had finally sprung to mind.

“No thank you,” she said, her voice cracking halfway through the first syllable. He noticed that her eyes were melancholic and seemed to be continually searching for something. She smiled and shrugged as if to apologise for it. Only then did Simon remember being told about her drinking problem and felt the sting of embarrassment. To add to his discomfort Martha now seemed to have lost some of her initial shyness and looked expectantly at him. The mounting pressure began to feel very uncomfortable.

He remembered her story vaguely from one of Charles’s long monologues. Martha and Charles had met in hospital after his accident at the estate while she was being treated for nasty bruises and fractures – souvenirs from a recent fight with her latest abusive husband. The memory made him even more self-conscious as to what to speak to her about.

“How was the journey?” Simon had finally thought to ask.

“Alright,” she said, repeating her grin and shrug routine.

“Are you still living in…” Simon paused, realising that he couldn’t remember the name of the town.

“I’m still in the same place that I lived in with my ex-husband Clive,” she said eagerly. She had moved to the front of the seat and was leaning towards him. “It has to be sold to complete the divorce settlement and the sale is taking its time,” she added.

“Sorry to hear that,” he said, surprised by her sudden change of attitude.

“Like our marriage, the sale has turned into a tedious and painful affair,” she said, giggling slightly.

“I see,” Simon said, feeling embarrassed by the sudden intimacy. “I hadn’t meant to ask that, of course.”

“I don’t mind talking about it,” she said. “I’m in AA and there we share everything. Clive and I worked at the same firm and nothing about the split has ever been secret. Everyone knows my story and in parts I find that quite liberating. Charles probably mentioned the saga to you. At least he probably told you why I don’t drink,” she added.

Simon was stunned into silence by her forwardness.

“You don’t have to get embarrassed,” she assured him.

“I am embarrassed,” he said, to which she just shrugged her shoulders.

 

Well, I’m parched. I’m sure it’s time you put the kettle on and a dark chocolate ginger or two wouldn’t come amiss. That’s why I’m interviewing you in you’re own home or I’d have to share mine.
Can I interest you in a bara brith or a welsh cake?
 
Erm.  Os gwelwch yn dda.
Thanks Chistoph, you’ve been very patient, very forthcoming and almost hospitable.You will have the dark chocolate gingers in for next time won’t you.
My very best wishes with this and with all your books.
My apologies to everyone for the changes in font size . I don’t have the facility to choose/change font sizes within WordPress so I cut and past from elsewhere in a better size. WordPress makes the changes back at random intervals and nothing I do changes them back to the original size.

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Reuben goes Walkabout & The Consiglieri and I.

Sunday.

I went to bed at about 1.00 am last night and though I’m sure I didn’t sleep well all the time and was quite restless, I was still rather surprised to wake up in my chair this morning in the lounge. Not having my glow in the dark, light the room up clock I had to turn the light on to find out the time. 5.20 am. It’s OK, I’m not on holiday, it was just a Sunday treat. Though I was near the kitchen and the fish I decided to leave them and my coffee till later and just concentrate on messages for now. There was no rush as Mike wouldn’t have set his alarm. Ha, if it went off on a Sunday he’d probably blame me and crown me with it. Er, just forget I mentioned that please in case he gets bright ideas.

There was as usual a fair bit of post, but as I was in no rush I took my time and wrote slowly for anyone who read slowly. I broke off at 7.00 am to feed the fish and found Big Al’s behind banner is getting longer. I think when it gets to a certain length he’ll use it to do like sky writing to me. ‘Fair Play for Corys’ or something. I’ll leave the something to your imaginations which judging by your blogs lack all sorts of boundaries. I gave as near as I could get to a look of contempt which probably meant a sickly grin and turned away. I saw to my meds and made a coffee to take back with me, painkillers at the ready. A few of the messages were responses to last night’s blog. Thank you to everyone who commented, your cheques would have been in the post but I sealed the envelopes before I remembered. Double up next month? I remind everyone that if there’s any music you want to see in the blog just let me know. ( Don’t seal your envelope before including the cheque ). It’s actually funny when someone tells me they remember so and so coming out and I realise it was in the 60’s and I thought they are about 30 years old.

There were no stupid messages today for a change. Perhaps the crooks are on strike for shorter hours. I was down to my last dozen or so messages at about 9.15 am when I heard Mike get up. I did first go to check it wasn’t late burglars, but no , amazingly it was him. The sarcasm was dripping ever so slightly from my chin when I said “I didn’t expect to see you up at this time.”  I got a different response to the one expected “Yes, I’m not usually up before half past eight am I”?  Had I been drinking coffee at that point I’d have choked. (Sorry no, I’d left it in my bedroom). “Half past ten you mean though it’s currently only half past nine.” He looked a little befuddled and I almost felt guilty about the sarcasm. Almost but not quite. I made a coffee and then left him while I came to finish the mail. Before I’d done he’s come too and realising what I’d said had come through and clipped me round the ear. Talking about something on screen I’d made a comment about not wanting to look the fool. “Better steer clear of mirrors then” he told me. I’m not the only one who uses a tissue to wipe my lips, where sarcasm is concerned he needs a bib.

Time moved on and he stayed to look at a couple of things on screen with me. That’s how I get so far behind. He suggested we go to the old Sunday Market ground to see what’s going on there as we see a few cars there when we pass by on a Sunday morning. We both got ready and left about 11.15 am intending to carry straight on to lunch afterwards. As we pulled into the car park of the market we could see it was in a bad way but there seemed to be a couple of stalls at least. It was once a vibrant market with a variety of stalls including a very large clothing section from a major clothing store . As we got closer it was obvious the first couple of stalls we’d seen were of the car boot variety with mainly second hand books. Oddly enough there was a fast food stall doing a good trade and a meat trader selling joints, chops etc. We moved round the back and found a stall doing composite/concrete figures for the garden which were quite good, a pet food stall and a cheap tools stall. Then an Everything £1 stall, one selling a small quantity of cushions and pillows, a stall with a few nice figures but many more awful ones and then a great big and very good plant/fruit/veg stall. I wasn’t tempted. We’d spent some time walking round so it was now 11.45 am and time to head for lunch. I’d remembered to put chocolates in the car. When we arrived there it looked fairly quiet. Tariq was serving someone at the counter so we waited until he was free before saying hello. He came for the hugs so didn’t disappoint though young Rob who came through a few minutes later still needs training up . We knew Angie was off today as it had been her Silver Wedding Anniversary yesterday and there had been some celebration. That was also apparent by the absence of Shella at that point so she wasn’t doing the cooking.

Tariq made the drinks for us then left to go to the kitchen. Rob stayed out making drinks for new customers. He’s a pleasant enough lad to talk to but seems to lack a little confidence unless it’s just Mike being overpowering as it’s not possible I could be. Tariq came and took the orders and I settled on BLT’s for a change you understand. A double round with a small bucket of chips to share with my bro. After we’d eaten we relaxed with our drinks ( non-alcoholic since neither of us drink and Tariq doesn’t sell booze). Tariq came over when he could but it became busy so I paid and we put our coats on to go. We both waved at the counter as we left and we were halfway down the front of the building when with a rush of footsteps Tariq appeared for a goodbye hug. I’m changing the world for the better one person at a time. Mike dropped me off at home, picked up his suitcase and left. I went straight into catch-up mode and kept going until 5.30 pm when it was time for a sandwich and a break. I watched a reasonable film until 7.00 pm then came back through. I’ve been here ever since and it’s now 11.00 pm.

On the slide

On the slide

Yay, More Daddy, More

Yay, More Daddy, More

 

Monday. 

4.41 am this morning. It feels quite crisp out there but I’m putting it away in case it snaps off. I turned the light on in the bathroom so I could check the angle of the dangle was correct before releasing fuel. Of course when I turned the light off as I came out again my eyes took a moment to adjust to the dark and I stubbed my left foot little toe on the leg of the console table in the hall. It was no fun trying to hop and curse all the way to my bedroom to turn the light on. To be honest my biggest fear was that I might have disturbed the broadband router which likes to go down if you just look at it sideways. I signed into the computer and all was well. Feeling very sorry for myself and my poor tootsie, I logged into my emails and started work.

Last night a dear friend and great writer from the U.S. called SJ.Sprague ( http://goo.gl/DoJf9H ) told me of a friend in trouble. It seems a public water main in the street had burst and not only flooded her back yard but also put 5 ft of water in her basement which ruined the heating system completely.

The job won’t be cheap and as she helps run a pet rescue centre it’s going to be very difficult for her to bear. What made the story more ludicrous for me is that the Water Department say they can’t be sued (Why not?), the City say they are exempt from being sued (How?) and her own insurance company won’t pay because the water constitutes a Flood and not an accidental release of water???? As the American’s say “What a crock” and rightly so. I’d suggest that unless they have something written into the policy that denies liability for this kind of damage specifically then they have a liability. And for people/organisations to have an exemption from being sued is patently ridiculous as that gives them cart blanche to always cut corners, use inferior materials  and build shoddily knowing they can’t be touched. Who’s going to stand for that?

The last thing that made me grit my teeth a bit was the press. Two newspapers had given this some coverage, but the local paper refused to. Why? Are they afraid of upsetting City Hall or something. One of the stories is here  and there has been a GoFundme account set up if anyone can offer a little help. If that happens to be you and there’s a spare £ or $ this month, please go to   I know many are feeling the pinch these days but with Winter almost upon us no-one wants to be without heat. (Blogged on Monday 13 th October 2014)

At 7.00 am I went through to the kitchen. It was getting lighter but I still needed the light on. When I approached the tank to feed the fish I could see Big Al in the front corner and not moving at all. I was fully ready to accept I’ve lost him until I saw a twitch.There was no sign of the plecs until I noticed that Al was actually lying on top of one of them. I’m now very worried. Is this a case of bullying, a case of lousy eyesight or has something untoward been going on so that I may find myself with a whole new species swimming round the tank at some stage? A colec maybe? I took my morning drugs and made a coffee to bring back to work.I worked steadily as I felt under no pressure but at 8.00 am got dressed as I didn’t want to be thought as inviting a woman into the house while I wasn’t dressed decently. See, I managed to avoid all jokes about opening the door in my dressing gown this time. My cleaner was due at 8.30 but she was 10 minutes late, I’m sure she’ll adjust to find the right walking time soon. Using the Stutter and Nod method of communication I managed to convey that the large bedroom, the hall and the bathroom would be the targets today.It was a bit of a surprise to find the lounge being hoovered but as long as the other jobs were done. I went out to deliver my prescription request while she was here which was good and I did manage to get a fair amount of work done. I filled the mop bucket so the bathroom floor could be done as I know it’s heavy having to lift it out of the sink in the kitchen. She left ten minutes late which was good and the work all seemed to have been done though there were things left on Mike’s bed that had come off the floor that maybe I should send up to the loft now. I didn’t feel up to it today though.

The postman came and brought screen protectors for my tablet and also a copper magnetic bracelet  for Muriel’s birthday. That brought me up to date ( until I selfishly won a waistcoat tonight). I worked until 11.40 am and then went to prepare some lunch. Braised steak with herby baby potatoes today which I ate watching my Antiques programme No 1. After I’d washed up I sat with a drink for a few mins and nodded off for 30 of them. Back into battle then for the afternoon finally cooling the keyboard at 4.15 pm so I could go for Antiques programme No 2 followed by No 3, Eggheads, Big Bang Theory and finally No 4. I have to confess that it was a real fight to stay awake the whole time. At 8.00 pm it was time to come back through and hit the accumulation of the last nearly four hours skive. Amazingly I’ve done very well and it’s only 10.30 pm with not much post waiting (for now). I may have an early  night before my outing tomorrow.

Tuesday.

Being a long time favourite of the small gods ( I sometimes get invited to staff parties, don’t go if Belch and Fart are there at the same time) I got two chances at a good morning today. The first was at 2.17 am when I decided one of them was playing a joke on me so I had a cigarette and went back to sleep. The second was at a more reasonable 4.12 am though I still think Impractical Joker needs a humour transplant. After ridding myself of a small lake it was time to start on the emails so I was clear for going out. I see one or two that start We’ve noticed an error on your account with………bank which only makes me think that the small gods have progressed to the digital age now. At 6.00 am I went to feed the fish and found Big Al almost in the same place he was yesterday though not quite in the same position since the plec is no longer underneath him. He turned almost 45 degrees when I placed food in the tank and offered me a lazy eye, he looked up but decided I wasn’t worth looking down. When I said “Love you little fishy” he got a startled look and darted behind some weed. By the time I’d taken my meds and made a coffee it was fay approaching 6.30 am so I got washed and dressed ready for the off.

By 7.15 am my email box was empty, apart from not having been refreshed since I got up, but having cleared 70+ emails was pretty good I thought. At 7.30am I made my way over to the bus stop and the bus wasn’t far behind me. The journey was a reasonable one without incident and despite some heavy traffic on the last stage we still drew into my bus stop at 8.45 am. No sign of Yvonne and Reuben so I lit a cigarette and stood out of the way to wait. I almost wet myself when she appeared from behind me having been into a shop already. Since it was a branch of Boots the Chemist I looked after baby and sent her back in to get me some tablets for my toothache.  Reuben was full of smiles for me and was very talkative. Shame it didn’t make any sense or it might have been an enlightening conversation. I asked him to say Mummy which he did but he wasn’t having anything to do with saying Pops.

When Yvonne came out we crossed the road to our first shop where we intended to have a coffee but also to get Yvonne a pair of boots for Christmas. I needed a couple of small items too. We had drinks with toast and jam and Yvonne fed Reuben some Weetabix too. We got what was needed there and headed off to our next shop which was for me to get some bread, after which, despite it being a bit cool we took Reuben to the playground for a go on the swings and the slide. At first I stood outside and had a smoke but was soon co-opted into being a swing pusher. He’s a fearless little beggar. We called into a new shop and picked up a few items including a shoe horn/ backscratcher for me where the hand was almost human sized. We saw a few things in different shops Yvonne liked but I was offered a flat NO whenever I suggested she pick one up as a treat. We decided to go for a drink to sort the bags out but our usual place was packed. Instead we found a Cafe Nero with some outside seating and settled there. While Yvonne went in Reuben sat on my knee but the moment she was out of sight he was down on the ground. Everything had to be investigated and questioned with an Uh? He was walking aroung so well I had to keep an eye in case he disappeared. When we stopped for the toast earlier he’d attached himself to an elderly lady who was returning to Canada today. He grabbed he hand and walked her round the cafe. I could see he was quite content to go with her. One minute of not watching carefully and we’d have been getting postcards with pictures of Mounties till he was 18. One other surprise while sitting there was someone appearing in my peripheral vision and asking how I was. I turned with dread but found myself looking at an old friend from work. One of only two who’d visited me during my illness. I was even able to talk to her though a little haltingly. After she’d gone I felt really happy that someone had remembered me with some affection and stopped.

Once we finished at the cafe they walked me to the bus station. I needed the loo but we noticed the bust had arrived. I thought I’d take a chance so leaving my bags with them I darted off. As I reached the loo a voice said “Let me get the door” and it swung open for me. I turned to say thanks and there was my bus driver so I knew I was OK. No tears today, I felt quite grown up. Reuben was waving to me continually as I got on the bus and sat down. The journey wasn’t bad again and I got home a little after 2.00 pm. Straight into battle as I found over 180 messages. At 4.30 pm I went to watch my programme but fell asleep before the end and missed the next one too. Time for some tea so I had some soup with some bread and butter. No extra programmes tonight so at 6.30 pm I came back through and have tried to whittle the post down as much as possible. I’ve had a text from MuJo saying they’ll be coming tomorrow if that’s OK so I said “Great”.( I added a thought to myself that it would be great if I ever got the post finished).

Easy peasy this walking lark.

Easy peasy this walking lark.

Are your nostrils clean Pops?

Are your nostrils clean Pops?

Elton John's glasses.

Elton John’s glasses.

Wednesday.

This was a 3.55 am day. By the time the post was finished and I’d had a short read in bed it was 1.00 am.When I got up this morning the mail was horrendous and I knew I’d be chasing my tail all day. I started work as soon as the bladder was registering empty again. Tough there was only one stupid mail from yet another ‘bank’ telling me my non-existent account was in trouble there was plenty to occupy my time. My son in law has a friend who is an employment expert and who has created a statement intended to guide people towards employment. It was sent to me in the hopes I had contacts to publish such a piece. I had to read it of course which took me ages. I know of no-one who could actually publish it except for interested news publications but I have no contacts there. I suggested press releases or if he’s permit, perhaps I could blog the message in the hopes it would help someone suffering unemployment within the ranks of my followers and who would perhaps re-blog it letting it spread to help as many as possible. I’m waiting to hear back from them.

I fed Big Al and his compadres  at 7.00 am. No reaction from any of them. I wonder if Al is not well, I’m not prepared to believe he’s suddenly ‘Chilled’ and become relaxed towards me. I continued with my usual routine, meds  and coffee. Since I couldn’t face breakfast I took my drink straight back to my room. I continued working until 8.00 am then decided I’d better get washed and dressed ready for the visitors. Though I was hard at it again by 9.00 am, I seemed to have made little headway. At 10.10 am the postman called and I was in the process of reading the garbage he’d brought when the door opened and MuJo  arrived. Work had to cease. I made drinks and we sat talking about how things had been since we last saw each other. They were both delighted with their gifts, John a case for his ASUS  tablet and Muriel a herb cutter and chopping board.

I showed John a couple of watches on ebay as they were looking for two for their grandsons. Unfortunately there was only one of the specific one they wanted. At 11.30 am we left to go for lunch at their now favourite cafe in town, The Bells. I settled on a roast beef dinner and to be fair it wasn’t bad at all today. Maybe I need to revise my opinion a bit of that place. After lunch we left and went for a short walk up the High Street so John could visit his beloved charity shops. Much to Mu’s chagrin he actually found and bought a plate he liked. We got back in the car and headed for Flint.

I persuaded them to shop first and coffee second so that I could buy some chocolates to take in for the girls. It was quite a successful shop as I was able to pick up a cardigan and a jumper to go with the jeggings I’d bought for Mu’s birthday. Coffee next and since MuJo insisted on paying today since I’d got lunch, I didn’t get to talk to the girls other than a quick Hello, how are you? when I passed the chocs over. When we’d finished there we got in the car to come home. Mu dashed off to pick up a lottery ticket while John and I came inside. I found a not to say there’s been a delivery and it had been left in the cupboard. I wasn’t expecting anything today and it turned out to be for Mike anyway so I’ve left it on his bed. Mujo left at about 4.30 pm so I quickly got changed into something more casual and readied myself for the next influx of visitors, the cardsharps. Lee and Matt were a bit later than usual appearing at 5.45 pm. I made drinks and then set up the card table and tonight’s games. I’d just sat down when Dil told me he’s seen Lee approaching past the window. I got another drink, and we settled to play Yahtzee first. We had six games of which I won two, Dil two and the others one each. It had taken quite a while because of the nattering while we played so that when it came to Nomination Whist we started quite late. I don’t know how I managed to win that as I had a really bad start, not winning any of my calls, but I did win and bad sports that they are all I got was yah, boo, sucks from the others. I suppose the fact that I was crowing may have had a little to do with that though.

Everyone left at 9.30 pm and I spent some time tidying up and getting pots washed. Since I’d only eaten once today and therefore only taken one set of tabs I made myself some sandwiches for supper and caught up. Once that was cleared and I’d had my night meds it was time to face the music again. I checked ebay first and found I’d missed a couple of things I’d forgotten about. Then on to the post. I had to pick myself up from the floor. Over 200 sitting in my inbox. I had to stop working on them at midnight in order to see to this post so tomorrow will be no fun.

Thursday.

A late night last night so it was a 5.33 am start today. I was still working on yesterday’s post first thing but once I reached the end at about 6.15 am I went through to the kitchen before starting on today’s. I switched on the light and glanced over at the tank. Big Al was in his corner. I put the tank light on expecting  some movement but there was nothing. Even when I opened the slot and put food in he didn’t move. I’m more convinced than ever that his time is coming to an end. The plecs seem totally unconcerned and like placid cattle just eat their way through any algae on the glass. They’re real grazers and nothing seems to flummox them. I’ll keep an eye on Big Al but there’s nothing I can do for te malady of old age.

Once I’d taken my meds and made a coffee I went back to my bedroom to start work again. I’m getting a lot of messages from the postmaster saying a message couldn’t be delivered, messages that I’ve never sent to people I’ve never heard of. My nephew says it may be an attempt to get me to open one of these posts to let a spammer in so I’m making sure I just delete them as I find them. There were two messages from Building Societies to inform me of problems on accounts I still don’t have and a message from someone who suggests I look and see just what they know is coming my way. I wonder whether they saw what was coming their way as I didn’t even open it. The rest of the mail was the usual joy to deal with, just plenty of it. At 9.30 am I got washed and dressed and walked round to Pauline’s for my lottery tickets, a magazine and some bread. I also picked up enough cigarettes to last me until shopping on Saturday. On my way back I bumped into the postman coming out of Bert’s. “You could have been a minute sooner and saved my ink ” he told me, turning round again and picking up a package he’d just left there for me. I thanked him and came indoors to find another smaller letter box sized packet on the floor. Woo Hoo, the shopping has started in earnest now. Some more tomorrow I hope.

I re-started work and stayed with it until lunchtime when I made myself some sweet potato mash to have alongside a lamb shank with peas and carrots. As usual I put the TV on and watched while I ate. After I’d washed up I sat don to complete the programme  and didn’t quite make it. I slept from just before 1.00 pm an 1.45 pm then woke up with no idea where I was. Back in the bedroom I refreshed the post and played catch up until the boxes were empty at 4.15 pm. With a sigh of relief I went and made myself some tea and sat down to wait for my antiques show No 2. I stayed in the lounge until 6.30 pm before coming back through to look at a message on my phone. “On way” it said. I allowed 3 hours for the journey and piled into the new post.

Mike appeared at 9.00 pm which means he used the new route his son showed him or he drove at 100 mph all the way and can expect a ticket next week. I stopped what I was doing and went to make a coffee for him. He turned the TV on to a programme  about ow the West was really won with all the hardships on the wagon trains. the sod houses, the slaughter of 31 million buffalo and the short time span of the actual cowboy era. Like the Native Americans I couldn’t believe the numbers of buffalo that were killed. I’m not even sure of that vast number because I heard them say the herds were estimated at approx 60 million but at the end there were about 1000 left. All because of a need for leather. Tragic.

At 10.00 pm I cam back through and left him to his programmes  so I could catch up and do the blog before bedtime. It’s hard going.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH8j6mqnrso

Friday.

1.00 am turn off the light for sleep. 3.07 am turn on the light as awake again. I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve been dreaming that I’m awake or not but for once I remember some of it. I was driving in New Jersey or maybe it was Noo Joizy  I’m not sure. I was a little surprised to be driving anywhere since I can’t drive and have no license. Anyhoo, a car as long as my street pulled out from a side road and hit my rear end, or more specifically that of the car. It was a very minor bump and only damaged a tail light as I found when I pulled in and stopped. The other vehicle was so long it took half an hour to come to a stop, pulled up behind me. Out of the front stepped a man who made Godzilla look small and I swear the ground vibrated as he walked over to me. He had a very pronounced forehead that spoke of living in caves and a very long jaw. I don’t know what I was expecting as I rolled my window down but it certainly wasn’t ” I say, we appear to have done your vehicle a little damage. My Consiglieri  and I are most distressed and wanted to ascertain if you yourself are unhurt.” I assured him I was fine and he asked at that point iof it was possible the damage could be dealt with by cash rather than through our respective Insurance companies. Since I was fairly sure I had no insurance I said that would be fine at which point he took out a wad of cash thick enough to choke a horse and handed me £25,000. ( Hey, don’t blame me, I didn’t write the script so don’t expect it to make sense. He execute a perfect half bow then turned and left. Reaching his car, he walked for half an hour until he reached the rear passenger side window and leaned in and spoke for a moment.  Then walking round to the driver’s side of the car he opened the door and pulled out the driver and shot him twice. He climbed into the car and drove away leaving the driver on the sidewalk.( I was born for jargon like this). I dashed over to see if there was anything I could do but I could tell he was fading fast. I leaned in when I heard him try to speak. “Sorry about your car,” he said “you can get a good deal at Angelo’s on the next block, tell him Mario sent you” then he died. I woke up at that point and don’t know if the car ever got fixed.

My day didn’t start improving at that point either because when I logged into my mailbox I had an ‘Oops’ message to say unfortunately due to a problem it wasn’t available, try again later. I’m not sure an ‘Oops’ message is quite appropriate for such a life and death event or non-event. As it happens, for once I was grateful for the fact that my main email account and my gmail account are linked so that gmail picks up most, though not all (?) of my mail. I just don’t like working from within the gmail account unless I have to. I don’t find it user friendly. Anyway, that’s where I headed at 3.30 am. I was aghast to find well over 100 at that time of the morning. I think even the kangaroos are sending messages now. One I had no hesitation in getting rid of was one I mentioned a few days ago.

The next three weeks will change your life. Come find out why. Fri, 17 Oct 2014 03:40:57
Tara Medium to you –      It was instantly recognisable this time from the heading. It seems Tara medium can’t accept the Tar’ra from me. I worked on until 6.30 am then went to see to the fish. Big Al was swimming about when caught in the glare of the light but he still tried to go back to his corner and look pathetic. Fool me once, you got me, Fool me twice and you should take me out and shoot me. ( or something like that). I put some food in, snorted with derision  and turned away to take my meds while smirking that I’d won this encounter.
After taking my meds I needed to fill up the pots for the next week . That was where I encountered a problem because all my drugs weren’t here. I noticed one called pregabalin hadn’t come with my drug order yesterday and was actually marked on the bag as short. I had no choice but to do what I could until I could get the missing ones. Of course at 7.30 am the chemist isn’t open. Now we have a double edged sword because I’m anxious about the missing drug, and the missing drug is one that treats anxiety. Do I  a) Just tear half my hair out until they arrive or b) Suddenly remember I’ve had this morning’s and I’m fine?
I made my coffee and took it through to the bedroom. I know Mike won’t be up yet and expect even though he’s going to his father’s his morning, it won’t be before 9.00 am. I could carry on working. When I didn’t hear his alarm at 9.00 am I made him a drink and took it through. Remarkably though I couldn’t understand a single grunt this morning he did actually get up a couple of minutes later. When I went through to the lounge he told me he’d leave about 10.00 am as he wasn’t due until about 11.00 am. I swear it’s about 80 miles away.A it happened he was still here gassing at 10.30 am after the postman had been and didn’t leave for another 10 minutes. He’s not very good at timekeeping at all. That bodes ill for tomorrow when I try to get him up at 7.00 am. ( stop laughing at the back, he’s almost officially ancient now being 65 in just a couple of weeks, poor old man).
After Mike had gone I caught up on the post again and then did a blog for an award I’d been given. I’ll have to stop sending out all these cheques. Then, as it was approaching lunch time I made myself some braised beef and chips with onion gravy to have with the first antique show of the day. I amazed myself by staying awake for it mainly because the warden called and It would have been rude to sleep in front of her. I did fall asleep straight afterwards for half an hour or so.  As I’d been away from the computer for 2 hours now I went back to refresh the mail. Some evil people had actually written to me again and I had to start work. First job was to update my Christmas spreadsheet. I have a record of last years gifts in red, now I remove them and put new ones on in blue when I buy a new gift. I can be sure I haven’t duplicated a gift that way and can keep a copy of the old list if I want. OCD or what?
At 4.30 pm I went through for my second antiques show and was on the next one when Mike returned. It was natter time so we knew how each other’s day had gone then we watched Eggheads in peace. As soon as that was over it was hairwash and shower time and for me a little bit of work and checking ebay until 7.30 pm. Another check on ebay at 7.50 pm showed a little good luck with a Christmas gift and some bad luck with a gift I wanted for my daughter. Ah well, each day is a new day to try. Another shot stint of TV for Would I Lie To You, then back here for the night to cover the mail and the blog. 11.30 pm and I’m giving up in a minute.
Saturday.
Despite trying to give up a bit early last night it didn’t work as I’d hoped so it was gone the witching hour before I got into bed. At least I hadn’t turned into a pumpkin or something. At 1.00 am I turned my light off and was serenaded into sleep by whatever Mike was watching on his TV. At least it wasn’t a comedy show with him laughing out loud. There were no midnight excursions to the loo so I slept like a baby ( OK, a very snoring baby ) until 5.04 am. As soon as the lake was drained I opened the mail and made a start. I could see from the amount that someone ( a lot of someones )had been very busy and were determined to make me work for my pay. Well listen up you jokers, I’m calling the union in cos’ I don’t get paid so now I have to work hard for my no pay. Does no-one take holidays any more? Actually at least things were going smoothly and I reached 6.30 am without any effort. Time to start the day proper.
I went through to the kitchen and flicked the light switch. That just hurt my finger so I turned it on properly. There was that blur of white again. I stepped sprightly over to the tank ( Yes, I can say sprightly if I want, there were no witnesses ). Instead of fleeing to his corner, Big Al had come from the corner to the centre of the tank to look the opposition over. It’s possible he found me wanting but I tried to put on a brave face as I placed food in the tank until with a bob of the head he turned and swam away. That round to me I think peeps. I was so distracted in celebration I found myself almost taking Saturday night’s dose of meds instead of the morning one. I caught myself in time or I could have been zombie -like all day. ( Who asked how you’d know the difference, kindly leave the blog).
I put stuff in Mike’s cup ready for his alarm going off then turned on the kettle ( It hadn’t done anything to me but I was feeling aggressive). I made my own coffee and took it through to my room. Leaving it there, I emptied my bin and placed a fresh bag in it then went round emptying the ash trays into the bag I’d taken out . I emptied the main bin and the food waste bin , added my rubbish and took the lot out to the outside bins which then got taken up the path. I was in my lounge pants with the big Red Dragon running down the leg to frighten off any burglars. When I came in I washed my hands then made Mike’s coffee and took it through to his room. It was just 7.00 am. I made sure he grunted enough for me to know he understood the coffee was there before I went off and collected the three recycling bags ( no glass today) for taking out. At last it was time for my coffee.
At 7.15 am I called Mike to say his drink was getting cold and then started to get dressed. When I was adorned in all my glory ( new waistcoat) I gave him another shout then returned to my post knowing if he didn’t get up now I’d just leave him till he did come round on his own. It was just about 7.30 am when I heard him go through to the lounge. I finished the few post I had left then went through to let him know no-one had won the £130m lottery last night so it rolls over again till Tuesday when I explained I’d booked it. It will be a strain, but I can probably cope if I penny pinch.
We left the house at 8.03 am and I didn’t mention it once. I looked at my watch pointedly half a dozen times, but I didn’t mention it. When we reached the supermarket it wasn’t too bad, the car park was still quite quiet. We chose Julia’s flowers then fairly whizzed round the food aisles and went for a drink. I didn’t have a brain freezer this week. That done we headed off to Flint to pick up a few items from my list that are better value there. Halfway though the first shop Mike felt the need to empty his bladder and shot over to the loo in Temptations. I finished that shop, walked slowly round another then texted Mike to see where he was. I should have known really. He was still in Temptations as Ceri was on duty but he’d got the coffee’s and the teasted toecakes in. I went to join him, only to find I hadn’t put my tablets in this coat so I’d end up having to have tea this evening. He didn’t tease Ceri as much as usual until she came out to see his new car and was much taken with it. I left them chatting and went to get the frozen food. Mike joined me and carried he bag back to the car. We drove home.
No postman today for a change. I pot the shopping away, including the frozen food that some fox had dumped on me. Then I was going to start on the mail again but Mike joined me in an internet search on ebay and elsewhere which lasted well over an hour and I got no work done. At 1.00 pm we headed off for lunch. Tariq has been very busy putting new fencing up round the children’s play area and he met us outside when we arrived. Hugs first, chat second. We headed in to see Angie and Rob and to take the chocolates in. It was nice to be greeted with an Angie kiss. She made our drinks while we made choices from the menu. It was a nice meal but by the time we’d chatted to everyone there and then Mike had spoken to Tariq about some picture frames time was really getting on. It was almost 3.30 pm before we got home again. I was having kittens as I headed straight for the computer and Mike for his TV sports. There were over 200 messages and no matter how many times I opened and closed my eyes they remained there. I worked solidly until 6.00 pm then joined Mike for half an hour. Back to the computer for half an hour so I could check an ebay bid as well…no joy. With Mike till 7.45 pm then another bit of work and an ebay bid…….no joy. This is not like me. I decided to watch two items for tomorrow and just plough into the work. I had a ten minute break to eat two doughnuts for my tea then back to it. I finally finished at 10.30 pm but of course I didn’t refresh the mail then. I made a start on the blog and now I’m sure I’ll have it out on time I’m going back to the mail for a while and will finish this a little later.
Hugs to all. Have a Great Weekend followed by a Fantastic week.

 

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Blog Award

These days I’m more reluctant to accept blog awards because of the amount of time they can tie up. I’m truly grateful for the nominations and love the friends who have made the gesture.

However, today I was nominated for an award with a difference, there are no rules attached. I’m therefore doubly grateful to my wonderful friend and a great writer Jane Dougherty of   http://janedougherty.wordpress.com   who as nominated me for the ‘One Lovely Blog  Award’ and I’m happy to follow her lead in how to deal with it.

one-lovely-blog-award

About myself. I’m not currently writing any books and spend most of my time on the internet answering mail, tweeting other authors books and/or commenting on their blogs and preparing my own once weekly blog.  There are times when circumstances warrant it that I will do more than one blog a week but I have to think it’s either important enough or funny enough not to bore anyone ( Here’s the exception that proves the rule ).

Bloggers or Blogs I think deserve the same award.

  Jo Robinson  africolonialstories.wordpress.com

@  Alisa Abraham   

            Olga N Munez    OlgaNM.com

  Gilda Evans  gildaevans.com

  Teagan Geneviene   teagansbooks.wordpress.com   No-one should miss the 3 Ingredients serial.

    Kim Gosselin   http://kimgosselinblog.com/  Finding beauty in a world of pain.

    Sally Cronin   smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com

  Belinda Witzenhausen   belindawitzenhausen.com

@A.C.Flory  A.C.Flory   acflory.wordpress.com

@CandyKorman  Candy Korman  www.candysmonsters.com/

@CFFbooks     Christoph Fischer  christophfischerbooks.com

There are lots of blogs I recognise as brilliant out there like Seumas Gallacher and Chris, The Story Reading Ape, Carol E Wyer at Facing 50 with humour, K.D.Keenan at Obsidianmirrorblog and Christy Birmingham at Poetic Parfait, and hundreds more but they’ll understand that I can’t include everybody. All my friends deserve a pat on the back so let it be implied if your name isn’t here, and please, if your name has appeared, don’t take it that you have to accept the award if you have an award free blog. It’s just my recognition of the entertainment or education you provide me.

Hugs to the World

David  17.10.2014

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EBOLA Information.

ATCAWhy’s EBOLA So Serious?

The 2014 Ebola outbreak is “Unquestionably the most severe acute public health emergency in modern times… a crisis for international peace and security… I have never seen a health event threaten the very survival of societies and governments… I have never seen an infectious disease contribute so strongly to potential state failure… when a deadly and dreaded virus hits the destitute and spirals out of control, the whole world is put at risk… the world is ill-prepared to respond to any severe, sustained and threatening public health emergency…” states Dr Margaret Chan, director general, World Health Organisation (WHO) based in Geneva, Switzerland.  Dr Chan dealt with the 2009 avian flu pandemic and the SARS outbreaks of 2002-3.

Ebola’s Spread

ebola

 

AIDS-LIKE

 

The deadly spread of Ebola in West Africa is something unseen since the outbreak of AIDS, according to Thomas Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  “I would say that in the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS,” he told a top-level Ebola forum in Washington, DC.  The United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has called for a “20-fold” increase in resources to battle the epidemic.  “This is a global health emergency we haven’t seen for years. Possibly it could get to the scale of the AIDS epidemic. The impact it could have could be absolutely huge… if we are going to make our country safe we need to make sure the virus is contained. It is a global phenomenon…” according to Jeremy Hunt, UK Health Secretary.

 

MOST EXTREME

 

Ebola is one of the most deadly viruses known in the world today. It is extremely infectious and can kill up to 70% of those who contract it and as many as 10,000 new cases per week could be reported by early December, according to WHO. There are five strains of the virus with the Zaire strain being the most deadly.  Despite Ebola’s 40-year history, 2014’s outbreak is more extreme than all previous incidents put together.  More than 4,000 people have died from a total of 8,900+ worldwide cases.  This is the largest Ebola epidemic ever.  Since 1976, there have been just over 20 known Ebola outbreaks, each confined to isolated parts of Africa. This one has spread to more than 50 distinct areas in six different countries, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention — and has now claimed its first life in the US.  WHO declared a public health emergency in August, five months after the first international movement of Ebola.  The US Centre for Communicable Diseases has said that the number of people infected by Ebola could reach 1.4 million by January if the outbreak is not contained.

 

EXTRA PRECAUTIONS

 

When researchers handle Ebola in the laboratory, they adopt the precautions of space walkers. At the Centre for Applied Microbiology Research at Porton Down near Salisbury, United Kingdom, there are just four scientists with official clearance to deal with the Ebola virus, and they work in pairs, like astronauts.  The virus causes horrendous damage, as it attacks the internal organs, resulting in extensive bleeding, vomiting, and diarrhoea. It is not, however, particularly infectious, and can only be caught by close contact with infected body fluids.

 

NO TREATMENT OR CURE

 

There is no vaccine against Ebola and while a new drug called ZMapp appears to have helped save the lives of two American missionary treated with it, data is still sketchy and primarily based on animal models.  Despite the world’s experience of Ebola, there is not yet a proven treatment or cure.  This is partly because institutions designed to promote health innovation, trade, and investment tend to be private and therefore not focused on the diseases of the poor in Africa.  Because of Ebola’s previous containment, few citizens in West Africa have recognised it, and with families typically caring for sick relatives at home, they are often contracting the disease themselves.

 

SYMPTOMS

 

Early symptoms are non-specific and include sudden onset of fever, muscle aches, headaches, and sore throat. These symptoms appear 2 to 21 days after being infected with the virus and can be easily confused with the early stages of other illnesses such as malaria, meningitis, and bubonic plague. Some patients develop rashes, hiccups, reddened eyes, serious chest pain, shortness of breath and difficulty swallowing. As the patient gets more ill, he or she develops severe vomiting, diarrhoea, kidney and liver problems, and serious internal and external bleeding. These last (and most serious) symptoms cause a deadly syndrome called viral hemorrhagic fever. Ebola is one of several viruses that can cause viral hemorrhagic fever and it wreaks havoc on many organ systems in the human body.

 

GLOBAL SCREENING

 

In America every high risk passenger arriving at five airports including JFK in New York from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea has their temperature checked and asked if they are unwell.  Exit screening is already in place in West Africa, but the World Health Organisation does not advise on entry screening in other countries.  The UK Government has decided to do screening at Heathrow from today and Gatwick and Eurostar terminals later this week.

 

SLOW RESPONSE

 

Sierra Leone’s president has criticised the global community’s slow response to Ebola.  President Ernest Bai Koroma told the heads of the UN, International Monetary Fund and World Bank that the global reaction “has been slower than the rhythm of transmission of the disease.”  There are already more than 350 US troops on the ground in West Africa. That number is set to grow exponentially in the coming weeks as the military races to expand Liberia’s infrastructure so it can battle Ebola.  Britain is sending 750 military personnel, a medical ship and three helicopters to Sierra Leone to help fight the spread of Ebola.

 

[STOPS]

What are your thoughts, observations and views?  We are keen to listen and to learn.

 

Best wishes

DK MATAI
DK Matai

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Help Needed.

Another clear morning with no-one trying to take my money.

Last night a dear friend and great writer from the U.S. called SJ.Sprague ( http://goo.gl/DoJf9H ) told me of a friend in trouble. It seems a public water main in the street had burst and not only flooded her back yard but also put 5 ft of water in her basement which ruined the heating system completely.

The job won’t be cheap and as she helps run a pet rescue centre it’s going to be very difficult for her to bear. What made the story more ludicrous for me is that the Water Department say they can’t be sued (Why not?), the City say they are exempt from being sued (How?) and her own insurance company won’t pay because the water constitutes a Flood and not an accidental release of water???? As the American’s say “What a crock” and rightly so. I’d suggest that unless they have something written into the policy that denies liability for this kind of damage specifically then they have a liability. And for people/organisations to have an exemption from being sued is patently ridiculous as that gives them cart blanche to always cut corners, use inferior materials  and build shoddily knowing they can’t be touched. Who’s going to stand for that?

The last thing that made me grit my teeth a bit was the press. Two newspapers had given this some coverage, but the local paper refused to. Why? Are they afraid of upsetting City Hall or something. One of the stories is here  and there has been a Fundme account set up if anyone can offer a little help. I that happens to be you and there’s a spare £ or $ this month, please go to   I know many are feeling the pinch these days but with Winter almost upon us no-one wants to be without heat.

Thanks to everyone.

Hugs.

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Technicolour Yawns & Big Al’s Comment (Fish and Sh*ts).

Sunday. I thought 4.31 am was a bit unfair this morning after last night’s efforts. Now I’m wondering if it wasn’t revenge for publishing. Mike says I’m terrible about him on the blog and would probably repeat the accusation later in the day if only he could get up. I worked on the mail until 6.00 am then having decided on breakfast today I went through to the kitchen. The fish were first or maybe I should say the tank and the snails were since I could not see the fish anywhere. I was looking through the front of the tank for ages. Then, leaning over the sink to wash my hands I glanced in through the side glass and my little Houdini albino was in sight. It showed him at he far end beyond the food and up close to the glass. Scratching my head ( and getting splinters) I moved back to the front. Not a sign of him. It didn’t make sense that he’s invisibly head on but fully visible sideways on. I moved to the side and again nothing. More scratching, more splinters. I couldn’t ( and still can’t ) work it out. Is he an optical illusion or a magician? I don’t know, but I know he worries me. No wonder I don’t sleep at night.

I took all my meds and then had a cigarette to time the pre-food one. I reasoned that if I had breakfast and lunch I could work the calories off and having fulfilled the diabetic tablet need for the day, I needn’t have any tea. As the cigarette was coming to an end I stuck two doorstep slices in the toaster and made a coffee. I’m having a few problems with the toaster at the moment . There doesn’t seem to be a degree between the pale and interesting and the cremation amen  stages. This morning the toast looked like it lived in a very cold climate with no sunshine.It was quite crispy though so I was happy to slather my butter all over it. No jam today in deference to my attempt at healthy eating which half an inch of butter provided obviously. See, with science what goes around comes around. Last year butter was bad for you but laying one chemical short of plastic on your toast was fine. Today it’s the reverse. One day my hats will be back in fashion if I wait long enough. Half a millenium perhaps?

I put the plate in the sink to wash later and took  my coffee back to the bedroom. Since I know we’ll be going out at some stage this morning I thought I might as well be as up to date as possible. There was a relaxed atmosphere in my room since I could start giving a bit of thought to Christmas and could look for ideas on ebay. I didn’t actually come up with any but accidentally of course I did see lots of things I liked. At about 9.00 am I got dressed so I didn’t inconvenience Mike when he got up. At 9.45 am when he hadn’t I made a coffee and took it through letting him know it was almost 10.00 am.. It took a while but he did eventually make his way to the lounge. He let me know he hadn’t gone to bed until 4.00 am as he’s been catching up on episodes of shows he liked. I felt so guilty about waking him up then- not. I didn’t harass him of course but I’m  sure he got some kind of message when I looked at my watch every 30 seconds or so.

We were out for 11.00 am. First stop was Lidl to see if they had any teeshirts like the ones I bought the day of the blood test. No joy but it was great to get a leaflet with special offers coming up. Mike ran me to Aldi next where I picked up another brochure but we didn’t buy anything in there. As time was getting on we decided to head for lunch. The Ivy is a straight run along the Coast Road but we’d have to detour home for sweets………unless, we nipped into another supermarket in Flint to get some which we did. When we got to The Ivy young Rob was outside burning rubbish so there must have been a new delivery inside. We left him some sweets and went in. Tariq was behind the counter and came round for a hug. The place was very quiet which we decided was probably because there was a football game on the TV until about 2.00 pm. We had plenty of chance to chat, or in his case moan that we’d brought sweets again. He put his phone on to open the internet for Mike to see the reports on the game as it’s his favourite team. I had a wander round looking at the new gift stock they had. Tariq made our coffee and Shella came through to take our order.She’s still not very well. Angie appeared though I’d wondered whether she was in at all. She gave Mike and I a kiss each. I shan’t wash again.  Mike says “What’s new there then?”such charm.

We had lunch which for me was BLT’s today ( I found I’d forgotten my tablets) then Mike ran us home and collected his suitcase. He left on the next stage of his weekend journeys. I came through to the bedroom and just started on the emails again which had piled up since 10.00 am til nearly 3.00 pm. At 6.00 pm I had a short break to have some of the tea I said I wouldn’t need this morning. Since Mike had left me with a full lemon meringue tart I felt obliged to have a large piece of that. Then two hours in front of the TV (more asleep than awake) before coming back through. I’m reasonable up to date though I’ve saved the best till last. I’m going back to those now. I hope you all have a Great New Week.

Monday. 3.19 am and I was ready to get my a**e into gear. Or so I thought. If I’d known what was coming I’d have stayed in bed. Why didn’t you warn me? I paid a visit to the loo and decided it was definitely cool this morning so I detoured via the lounge and turned the thermostat on. Then back to my room to start the mail. It’s started as a crook free day, hallelujah. Just plenty to enjoy , comment on and re-tweet. There are some astounding blogs and amazing people out there. One ape man who shall remain nameless (unless he chooses otherwise) never seems to sleep in his quest to promote books, authors and opinions on both. My friend Sally seems to spend 24/7 in promotion or in entertaining and appears to have more arms than she should in order to accomplish this. Maybe it’s the Spanish air.

I worked till 6.00 am then went on my first major task of the day, feeding the fish. Yet again none were in sight at first but after I’d fed them and gone to see to my meds I glanced back and the Albino was out surveying his territory. I turned back round just so I didn’t miss my mouth with the tablets and drink of milk and then I made a cup of coffee and some toast. The toast I ate in the kitchen watching out for more of the piscine ( not a French swimming pool ) members of the household. I dropped the plate in the sink till later and took my coffee through to the bedroom as my office is known.  I started work again and realised I didn’t feel exactly right. That was my last thought until almost 7.00 am when I woke up in my swivel chair. Luckily the keyboard was retracted or who knows what I might have written to whom. I had to go through to sit in the lounge and despite having just woken I nodded again. It happened on and off until about 9.00 am when I took myself in hand ( in a nice way) and dressed to go to the shop.

Coming back, I put new bread in the kitchen. Notice I didn’t say fresh…there doesn’t seem to have been a delivery yet. I went back to try and catch up on mail but while doing so my head was up and down as I nodded off. At 11.30 I left determined to prepare lunch and ended up having liver and onions with a few micro chips. I followed this up with a small slice of lemon meringue on which I’m about to lay a mountain of blame. I took my tray to the kitchen and washed up. I’d just finished when there was a knock at the door. My heart pounded and my brow sweated as I opened the door. It was the warden from last week who’d kindly come to bring me the details of the lady who might come to clean. I let her in and she had a few minutes with me. I thanked her and saw her out. No need for her to come this Friday now. I immediately emailed Yvonne and asked if she could speak to the lady for me to see if she has vacancies for new clients. At this point I knew something was not right with me. Yvonne got back in touch and said the lady wanted to meet me and Yvonne had arranged for 4.00 pm tomorrow so I’d better make sure I’m back from Chester so I can psych myself up to open the door when I see her coming. We’d just reached that point when I knew I was about to greet my lunch again.

I made it to the bathroom by the skin of my teeth and made technicolour yawn everywhere. Once finished I had to clear that up. I was hot and clammy and came back intending to lie down. Instead I remembered there was a backlog of mail to clear. As I sat down in the chair the urge came again and it was a case of flying to the bathroom, skidding on the floor ( which helped) and ejecting every meal for the last week I think. I really felt rough and again had to go to the lounge to sit in my chair and sleep. When I finally woke up I was able to come through to start work as long as I put my trainers on for a run. As it happened I didn’t need them. I had to miss some of my TV to catch up but it was worth it. When I did go to watch a quiz I slept again and only woke up in time to see my last antique programme.  Once that was done I came back through and tried to concentrate on the pile I’d left undone and the fresh in, 118 in all The post is up to date as near as I can and it’s now 11.30 pm so I’m going to be in bed well before midnight. Tomorrow off to see Yvonne and Reuben. A bad forecast for the morning but they’re talking maybe 15 degrees. Wet ones.

Tuesday. Well it had to happen sooner or later, I didn’t remove myself from bed until 4.33 am, the day’s half over by then, after all we have 24 hour shopping now. I removed my trousers from under the mattress where they’d been pressed and made the bed. A quick nip to the loo, a quick nip to the thermostat and an even quicker nip back as it was quite nippy. Just one attempt at a con today and that’s a message from a bank I don’t bank with feeding me the usual garbage about my account being suspended until new details are received. Well, take my advice, don’t hold your breath waiting for my answer. Though if you want to make my day, ignore my advice.

I didn’t mention it last night but when I turned the fish tank off  ( I told it I had sweaty feet) the albino wasn’t looking too chipper. He seemed to be leaning to one side though I suppose it could just have been a nonchalant pose . I decided to go through at 6.00 am and turn the tank on ( I told it I lied last night, my feet are fine) to see if I had a corpse. I’m happy (?) to report I haven’t. He seems quite well and his usual indifferent self. I’d gone through early so that I had plenty of time to get ready for my bus at 7.45 am. I had my meds, made a coffee, got washed and dressed then settled with my coffee to clear as much mail as possible. I was really doing well too as the time approached. At 7.30 am I left the house having picked up a bag for Yvonne which included a big 17″ x 11″ picture of Reuben I love of him on the phone. I wanted to find a frame for it so they could hang it up at home. I let her know when I was on the bus and asked where we should meet. She replied  “The Costa at the top of town.” I was a little puzzled, “Erm, which is that?” I asked, “I’m not sure what you consider the top of town.” There was no response by the time my journey was over so as they were not at the bus stop I had to make my best  guess. I was walking along when I heard a desperate voice calling “Dad”, I looked round and there she was barreling towards me with the pushchair. Reuben was waving and grinning like mad.

We had a discussion about where to go and settled on a pub chain that does  breakfast. Reuben was determined to hold my hand which made walking a little difficult, I looked and felt like Queasimodo ( sorry, not feeling too sick) as I trailed along the road crutch in my left hand, and Reuben’s hand in the other with the crutch trailing behind. Once in the pub he came out of the pushchair for a hug and then showed me how well he can walk without support. It’s fantastic to watch for the first time. Though had I but known it I could have seen it three days ago on Facebook and heard his Dad squealing like a little girl at the concert of the current boyband. After breakfast during which Reuben redecorated the place even though it wasn’t needed, we went off to find the frame and were lucky straight away. We headed for another shop to find an all in one ski-suit for Reuben. He’s not taking up Winter sports but Yvonne wants him to be warm. We didn’t find that but I did find an all-in-one waterproof that seemed quite padded so I bought that with a couple of other things. Off to the supermarket to get some bread to take home next then off to another clothes shop where we found the lift out of order and we were out of luck. We had a coffee on out travels and hit another couple of shops before it was time for me to say goodbye. This brought howls from Reuben and I’m told they lasted all the way home. Poor Yvonne.

The journey home was uneventful for the most part though I didn’t get the seat I liked until we reached Holywell. When I got off the bus it was just gone 2.00 pm and I dreaded going home. Why? because I’m a coward. At 4.00 pm the lady I hope will be going to clean for me two hours a week is coming to meet me. It feels like I’m going to be interviewed. Until then I need t work on getting the messages down. I was doing quite well with that job until 3.55 pm when I turned my bedroom light off so she couldn’t see the state of the room. I went through to the kitchen to watch out for her and even then wasn’t sure I’d open the door. But I did. I sounded like an idiot with all the stuttering but it was OK because she’s a naturally garrulous lady and I didn’t have to say much. I think I passed muster as she’s starting with an hour on Friday and then will do an hour on Monday. She’s even going to do some i**ning for me at some stage. She’s been relieved of doing my bedroom as I can hardly get in here never mind anyone else. If she sees this room she’ll never come back. Lounge, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and the hall should do for now. She left before 5.00pm so I had the last quarter hour of my antique show while I had a french stick sandwich for tea and some malt bread. Then as good as gold I returned to work until 7.00 pm.

When I turned the TV back on for my next antique show I was surprised to find that one of the experts and his celebrity came to visit the Lourdes of Wales, St. Winefride’s Well which is slightly higher up the hill than me. Between Greenfield and Holywell. As a place of Pilgrimage maybe some of you have even visited and drunk the waters. It was an enjoyable programme and both sides made a profit for Childline which is good. Then it was back here again for the night to play catch up which I’m about to do again with the mail.

Wednesday. 4.28 am this morning and it was helped by the fact that my letter opener (dagger) slipped off the end of my desk to land on the bed. I must have been dreaming about giant spiders as that’s what I thought it was. As it happens I’m just lucky when I counted my toes they were all there. The news operators in the UK have been warning that there will be a plague of giant spiders due to the mild summer and that at this time of year they come indoors looking for nookie with the females who’ve been on their webs. I personally would be happy to shell out a little something if they want to try a hotel. The thing that preys on my mind is that this exercise just results in many more spiders being born and possibly within the confines of my home.

Though the disturbance had left me wide awake earlier on I began to feel I hadn’t had quite enough sleep. You’ll realise my deductive powers are second to none when I explain what fist gave me a clue. I woke up with my head at right angles to my body and I was looking down at my lap. This seemed to be happening about every 30 seconds or so and was a dead giveaway. One time I must have gone a little further forward than is advisable and my head was being supported by a bottle of pop. I came alive to it. There was little I could do as 6.00 am approached but go and feed the fish. Big Al was there to greet me when the light went on and I spoke nicely to him to see what the chances are of re-establishing our relationship on a friendly footing. My guess is that turning round and swimming off to a corner constitutes a no. I took my drugs and decided that breakfast would be a good idea so I wouldn’t need a meal at tea time and was prepared for Games Night. I just had a couple of pieces of toast and thoroughly enjoyed it until I took my two after meal tablets with my coffee. The heat gave me the toothache from hell for a while. Mind you, that’s where all toothaches come from isn’t it.

I took the rest of the coffee back to the bedroom and worked for a while but by 7.00 am I was yawning so much my top lip brushed my eyebrows flat. And that was behind my glasses! I went through to sit in my chair in the lounge. I fell asleep again and didn’t come round until 8.15 am. A bit more work then I got washed and dressed ready to go to Pauline’s for bread. I was there by 9.15 am today and the stock was limited but I was lucky and found some baps to keep me going. I wasn’t long back at home before the postman came and brought my special purchase of the other day, the hush hush one, and another parcel I needed as well. I just carried on working once I’d checked and stored them, I needed the post as low as possible today.

At 12.00 pm I made myself pizza and chips but the chips had ‘Chip Shop Curry Sauce’ on them and it’s been ages since I’ve had them. I watched an antiques show and managed to stay awake to the end. But I did pinch half an hour afterwards checking my eyelids from the inside. They seem fine. I worked hard all afternoon until 4.30 pm then knowing Lee could arrive at any time I put it to rest. I did have a couple of questions if he arrived early though regarding my search engines and my linked email accounts. I put on The Antiques Road Trip until someone arrived but saw it to the end at 5.15 pm.  Dil and Matt arrived a little after 5.30 pm and Dil says his back is much better though not right yet.  I made drinks and stocked Matt’s biscuit supply up then got the games table out and the Scrabble. A text from Lee came which said he couldn’t make it this week which I’d guessed by  then. Being self-employed doesn’t mean you can always please yourself. We played two games. I won the first with the ease that comes so naturally to me, cough and then was doing really badly in the second until I got a 7 letter word which gave me the game as well. Two -Nil to me and I was cock of the walk but not stupid enough to crow too loudly about it with it being Two onto One in the kicking stakes. We started Nomination Whist and I started OK-ish but the others were in the same boat. Then all of a sudden I couldn’t get a call at all and I was lagging badly. Matt ended up winning. I just sulked. Dil helped me put hings away then they left at 9.30 pm leaving me to tidy up a bit and wash the pots. I took my tabs and went through to the bedroom.

The mailboxes were full (rats!) which means a long night. Among all the messages was this one from   Mrs.Belinda Azuke Djante.

Hello.

I don't want to be hurt again after the death of my husband. I really need you to help me and my little kids, but i am afraid of betrayals. Please is this medium safe for us? and are you sure i am safe with you? before i can explain more to you. Waiting for your reply soon.

Mrs.Djante.

Doesn’t it sound like we’ve been in close contact before ? It’s ridiculous. No one would forget something like that, what do these people gain by sending letters like this? And the address from which it came, bishal.debbarma@ymail.com  which hardly seems like the address/name of the person  supposedly writing. Any minute now though and I expect to be accused of breach of promise.

I hope you’ve all had a great day.. Tonight I’ll leave you with something from the classics for a change just to show you I have an upmarket side with my chips.

My  nieces Karen and Joanne have just returned from holiday.

Who said I have a big ass?

Who said I have a big ass?

Jo on film

Jo on film

Thursday. OK, I’ll admit it. It was a positively decadent 5.12 am today. I strolled to the loo despite the level of fluid rising behind my eyeballs as my hand flicked the outside light on in error. I had to wait until I reached the bathroom in order to turn the light on there. I came out a very drained but much relieved person. First job was to turn the computer on and go to the bank to find out if the man will laugh at me when I hit the cash machine at the weekend. I don’t want him to grab my card and cut it up in front of my eyes. We’re old friends my card and I. It was OK, my pension was in.

There were no treats for me this morning. Just the rubbish ‘You need to contact the bank Urgently’ and ‘Please don’t ignore this’ cons where I don’t even have accounts. It was straight to spam for those. There were also a lot of posts from friends and fellow bloggers whom I admire greatly. I’d love to mention them all but I’d b up ll night and I’d run out of space. Needless to say you’d know who they are if you saw the tweets and re-tweets I do each day. There isn’t one I wouldn’t recommend from those who blog to help writers of every genre through to those who either blog on Politics in general or the problems in Arabia with specific stories. There was plenty to keep me occupied this morning but I broke off at 6.30 am to feed the fish and to have some breakfast. In the fish tank there seems to be a general truce towards me which is the stance I’m taking rather than accepting they have nothing but disdain for me. Tablets, breakfast and coffee done I cast a sad look back at the tank, tuned the kitchen light off and went back to my bedroom.

I kept working steadily and diminishing the queue bit by bit. At about 10.00 am I thought it time to get washed and dressed and then went to Pauline’s to get my lottery tickets. I’m afraid last night’s was another no no. I can’t understand why they keep ignoring me like this. The postman didn’t call today but when I got home Mike texted to ask if I had visitors today, he meant MuJo. When I replied in the negative he announced he was coming over today. I cheered which must have surprised the neighbours a bit but I carried on working too. More post was coming in all the time as I can see it is now. At 12.00 pm I went through for lunch and got a new text from Mike, “On way, see you about 2.00 pm.” I did myself an easy pizza and micro chips ( yes again) and watched my programme. By the time it was over and I’d washed the pots I found I was tired. I contemplated staying in my chair but I knew I had to get the post even before I could do that. I just reached that stage when the door opened and in walked Mike at 2.15 pm.

Mike ran for the loo while I made his coffee. Then he lit a cigarette with a look of absolute bliss on his face. “Over two hours in the car without a fag” he said. “Why’s that” I asked. “Because Anton told me the car loses £1000 at resale time if it’s a smoker’s car.” I remembered then he’d come in his new car with the red leather seats. We’ll see how long it takes before he breaks the 11th Commandment of Thou shall not smoke in my car. After coffee he asked if there was anything I wanted to do shop wise and I explained what my current quest is. We headed for Flint to see if I’d have any luck. I didn’t but we were able to go for a coffee at Temptations and annoy Ceri and Trudy who were serving this afternoon. Mike and I are different like chalk and cheese, when he says something rude and suggestive to a woman they love it. If I tried it I’d be in a police cell in no seconds flat. I just don’t have it which is why I couldn’t chat a woman up. Yet I have a great sense of humour ( don’t argue, I do!) and I’m reasonably tall…… OK that’s about it but I promise I keep my head down so I don’t scare the horses.

We came home again and I went back to work until 4.30 pm and the antique show was on which we watched together. A little more work until 7.00 pm while Mike was shouting abuse at the laptop and trying to get information on Salvador Dali prints. His sister is going to get him some for his birthday to replace some that were lost some moons ago in an acrimonious split with a partner. I stayed with him until 9.00 pm when as usual it was time to come and make headway before bed. It’s now time to go back to it and see what can be cleared.

Today at the park.

Today at the park.

Friday. OK, here’s the thing. I’m a light sleeper. I know I’m always up early and raring to go ( well that’s what goes on my c.v. anyhow) but if I need to nod off again at some stage I can. It was 3.18 am this morning but when I was flagging a bit about 7.00 am I lay down and tried to relax and found the sty full of pigs grunting and snorting in ‘another place’ wouldn’t let me. And even worse, one (at least) of the pigs could talk, or to be more precise, chunner, and seemed to be grumbling a lot. I tried for a full half hour but it was like working in a sawmill. I gave up and went to talk to the fish. To be fair, after I’d turned on the lights and dropped some food in, Big Al stayed politely to listen to me telling him how we were friends. As I paused for breath he shot off , hit the far side of the tank and started barging his own reflection. Somehow I don’t think he’s too impressed with me. The plecs?  Well I’m now convinced they have no brains. They’re like a herd of cows, placid until it’s either food time or milking time.

After taking my meds,  sprays and having breakfast, I took my coffee back to my room and carried on working. At 8.00 am I was surprised to hear Mike’s alarm going off as we’d made no plans for his day of rest. I wasn’t sure if it was an error so I prepared his mug and as he hadn’t got up,  I left it. After 10 minutes it went off again so obviously not a mistake. I made his coffee and took it through with the usual cheery bellow, Coffee’s up. There was some kind of grunt, grunt, snort code which might have passed for thanks but I’m not holding my breath. Last night we had a disagreement about who was lead singer in a band, Mike was determined it was one person and I was as determined it wasn’t. Eventually I was proved right but I didn’t expect an apology as I remember being told “I don’t do sorry”. I wasn’t mistaken.

Mike got up and went through to the lounge. I did a few more messages before joining him. He checked to see what I wanted to do this morning. All I could think of was a certain Christmas present I wanted to get. “No problem” he said and by 9.00 am he was ushering me to the car and over to Broughton Park. When  we arrived I needed a wee again and left Mike looking around at the items in question. As I came back I was greeted with “Is this what you’re looking for?”, and it was, exactly that. In no time at all he’s solved my problem. We celebrated with a coffee and then went shopping for some food. We followed that up with a look round another shop where I got a couple of small things before we headed home. Mike even took the country route most of the way as he knows I dislike expressways.

Back at home I made Mike a coffee and left him looking at the maintenance manual for the car. He’s found a button and doesn’t know what it’s for. I came to see how bad the message damage was from my absence. It was bad. Before starting I reminded Mike of the impending arrival of my new cleaner and of his need to depart lest he gets underfoot. He phoned a friend and arranged a visit. I started on the backlog and just waved him off when he went. First day and my lady wasn’t on time but I don’t know if she’d timed the walk to here from home or from her previous job. I’m flexible so it’s OK really. When she does arrive we settle on the kitchen and the lounge as jobs for the day. I’m not expecting too much as it’s only an hour and I don’t know what she’ll manage.Having this problem with strangers, I left her to it but did say to let me know if she needed anything and I’d pick it up this weekend. There was nothing on the pad later on. Towards the end of the hour I came back though to pay her and to see what had been done. The work surfaces in the kitchen and some polishing in the lounge it seems but I wondered how much time had been spent on trying to repair the handle that runs across the door of my oven that was broken off on one side where she’d used it to get up from the undersink cupboards. I have no problem with accidents and forgave the damage easily enough. What I’m note sure about is the time wasted.

When she’d gone I obviously had a look at the jobs I would no longer ave to do and found myself washing down one of the kitchen worktops near the toaster of all the accumulated crumbs. I couldn’t understand why a second room had been started when the first wasn’t finished. I ended up mopping the kitchen floor and then hoovering the lounge. On Monday we’re changing from one hour on two days to two hours on one day and barring accidents we’ll be able to see whether we suit each other. I’m going to write today off as a bad experience for us both. Mop bucket put away I returned to work until 4.30 pm when the antique programme started. Mike returned not long afterwards so we enjoyed it together though we both had moments where keeping they eyelids apart was a problem. Following that was more antiques, a quiz, a Big Bang Theory and a hairwash for me then a shower. Mike decided to have a shave then before we saw a sports quiz, Mastermind and then Would I lie to you. Leaving Mike to channel hop then I came away to start catch up operations again and to arrange with Yvonne that we get together on 26th to celebrate Mike’s birthday in case he’s missing either the weekend before or the one after his 65th. I’m having such a laugh that he’s older than me. He’s having such a laugh that he gets his pension on his birthday whereas when I’m 65  just 14 months after him I have to wait an extra 9 months (so far).

Two more pictures from my nieces holiday. Karen prefers to be the other side of the camera.

The Shrinking Girl.

The Shrinking Girl.

Retro Jo

Retro Jo

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enFn8MbVFtk

Check out the animals towards the end.

Saturday. The day I could do without I got a real treat. 5.01 am before I woke and got up.I might not have made it even then had my brain not been receiving messages from my bladder. In fairness I’d read until gone 12.30 am and took a little time to settle down. After the loo I started on my messages to try and clear the box before going out. I’d actually all but done by 6.30 am when I decided it would be a good time to feed the fish. It was nothing short of miraculous that when I lit up the tank, Big Al was there and looking almost friendly. I smiled at him and as I did he turned around and moved away with a trail of something attached to his rear end following him behind. I got the message. I want it clear now that I did not start this war but I have the food to finish it. I took my meds and made myself a drink to take back to my room. 

I was just moving away from the computer having for the moment caught up. It was time to do the bins. I emptied the one in my bedroom and was just passing Mike’s door when his alarm went off.  I paused to make him coffee and take it through. My cheerful greeting didn’t get a favourable response but nothing was thrown at me and the air wasn’t blue so there was hope. I returned to work and had done the food bin and the main rubbish bin and put fresh bags in. I took the bags outside to put in the dustbins and walked both to the kerb. Then I collected all the recycling bags and put them out too. When I came back in there was still no movement from Mike and it was likely his alarm had been turned off a second time. “Don’t forget your coffee bro, it’s going cold.” I called. “Righto, righto, thank you OK, right” he answered, and snuggled in a bit further. I toddled off to wash my hands before going to finish my coffee in the bedroom and just do the last few messages that had arrived. At lest I heard Mike make a move. I knew it was him ‘cos he knocked something over, the oaf. Needless to say it was gone 8.00 am before we left home this morning. Still. by treating all the other traffic as a minor inconvenience we weren’t much later than usual arriving at the Supermarket. I was glad none of the police cars had been able to keep up.

The hole in the wall was showing adverts for a burger chain and when I put in my request I did wonder whether I was playing for a cash jackpot or a steaming burger on a bun. I was lucky, I got the cash option. Inside we headed for the veg aisle ( yes, I do go there) to get some sweet potatoes then off to choose some flowers for Julia. Next were some pens for Angie as her daisy pen has run out now. We moved further into the shop all the while eyes darting round looking for Christmas present ideas. I’m much less spontaneous than I used to be  and seem to need to go out shopping now with specific people in mind. This morning I hadn’t and could settle on nothing. I think maybe I need to make sure the two 65th birthdays are dealt with first. My sister in law is a nightmare to buy for though I have now got the jeggings I know she likes, or will have when I get home. We finally reached the food section or I did as Mike left to nip to the loo. He chose to leave me by the Specials aisle so when he got back there were quite a few boxes of chocolates in the basket and the room for actual food was diminishing fast. To be fair, he did catch me up at the meat section and I had bought some.

After we’d finished and gone through the check out we had a coffee. I decided to have an iced one or what Mike calls my brain freeze. Warm drinks are still causing my exposed nerve a wee problem. I could see Mike watching me very closely waiting for the moment when the headache would begin, it was really difficult to disappoint him and carry on drinking while some sadistic madman drove a spike through my brain. When he finished his coffee it was great to put my drink down and claim to have had enough because the cream was too thick and rich. We drove to Connah’s Quay where we haven’t been for a while so Mike could see if they had any suitable giftwrap and a card for his grandson’s birthday. He managed to get both so happy now we drove to Flint for a coffee at Temptations. Since we had a teasted toecake as well I used that to soak up a lot of my drink so the heat didn’t get to me. At this time I should like to point out that the stories of me being a shopaholic are greatly exaggerated. I have been near two branches of my favourite shop this morning without going in and without displaying any real withdrawal symptoms other than maybe the odd twitch. After teasing Ceri as much as possible we left and picked up some pizzas- no chocolate ice creams, and maybe jut a small BFG from the frozen food shop before heading for home.

Once we got there Mike opened the front door and we found a package on the floor. As I swept in after him with my share of the shopping bags I found a note from the postie to say two more parcels were at my neighbour Bert’s. I stuck the note on one side and forgot kit as we unpacked the bags and put things away. We’d just finished that and Mike had nipped to the bathroom ( a bladder the size of a gnat) when I remembered the note and taking a box of chocolates as thanks went to collect the parcels from Bert who is the most helpful man. To be honest I could guess what was in the one already in the house but had no idea what was in these two. I couldn’t remember what I’d ordered recently ( yes, I know I should read the blog) and even if I did, nothing was due before Wednesday next week. Anyway, back indoors Mike came and sat on my bed and opened two of the parcels while I opened the other. As expected the one through the door was (at last) the correct case for the tablet with a hole for the camera in the right place. The other two turned out to be the jeggings (previously mentioned) and a new key safe which Mike had said he’s put up for me if I got it. At that point I needed to do a little ( a lot) of catching up but it wasn’t meant to be. We started looking at something on ebay and time ran away with us. Mike disappeared for a few minutes and I left feedback for the items received. There was a call a few moments later and I followed the sound to find Mike had worked out the code to open the old key safe on the wall outside and I hadn’t needed to buy a new one at all. It was through gritted teeth I asked why he hadn’t decided to do this last week before I had bought the new one- AND left feedback.

It was time to head for lunch. Chocolates and pens in hand we left. Traffic only brought on a few minor swearwords of frustration from Mike and his frustration a few minor swear words of exasperation from me. The car park seemed very busy when we got there. It would have been good for custom if they’d gone inside. Our seats were still vacant which was great though if they hadn’t been there would have been cause for complaint since we supplied our own Reserved sign. It was Tariq on the counter at that moment and we got a smile and a wave. The place is going rapidly downhill when he can’t abandon his other customers to hug me though. Soon enough we saw Angie who made our drinks and took the food order while Tariq was running around serving. The Rob appeared and he was serving too. It was getting to be more staff than customers. I knew things were seriously wrong when I’d ordered a baked potato with beans accompanied by two (holding up 4 fingers) pieces of bacon, and it only came out with two. Mike thought it hilarious. It was just as well as I was quite full afterwards. Mike disappeared with Tariq afterwards to talk picture frames for his art posters. I sat there fighting off sleep. When they returned it was time to go and the day got brighter as Tariq came to give me a hug and Angie came to give me a kiss.

At home again it was straight into battle and there were over 160 messages since 6.45 am this morning. It was now 2.30 pm. I had to work until 5.50 pm to get clear before I could join Mike. I know I made us some tea and I know I remember a couple of quiz shows but it seems Somnos caught both of us as some point. When I came round for the umpteenth time and realised it was 8.45 pm I literally flew from the room to start again. It’s taken an age to catch up. I hope you’ve all had a Wonderful week and are heading for a Great week full of peace, love and most of all Hugs.( Yes, including you men. Brave it out, it won’t hurt).

The Turtle Hat. Both father and son want it, who will win?

The Turtle Hat. Both father and son want it, who will win?

 

 


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I Believe in Bacon & Dancing the Fandango.

Sunday. I managed to wake this morning at 5.02 am but wasn’t convinced the sleep was over. It wasn’t too surprising as reading last night had gone on a lot longer than expected. So, sitting on the edge of the bed bathed in the alien blue glow of my clock I smoked a cigarette while I decided. Nope, I needed a bit more so I finished the  cigarette and lay down again. The next time I woke, it was 7.07 am and like the water carrier at the well was anxious to dispose of the fluid. Mike’s alarm hadn’t gone off so there was no chance he’d need the loo but I dashed anyway. I came out of there where a huge grin of relief plastered on my face, anyone seeing me would have thought rictus. No bro that’s not the one who played Snape in Harry Potter, that’s Rickman, and very good he was too.

I turned the computer on and settled down to see if last night’s blog had been OK with my adoring public or whether the email pile was full of boos and hisses. No bro, not booze and kisses, I leave that kind of thing to you. What, you can’t read my scribble? Then put your hearing aids in properly then and listen.

The comments seemed to be kind though the quantity of mail certainly wasn’t. At least, apart from one, they seemed to be normal today. The exception was from my dear friend the seer who despite promising she wouldn’t write again if I didn’t respond, had decided to offer me a final, final chance. I really don’t have a lot of faith in her powers at this point I worked until 8.00 am then went to see to the fish, yes an hour late. Let’s say I was giving them a Sunday morning lie-in, which roughly translates as I forgot. The pleks were all on the back glass this morning and had even been joined by the killer snails. I swear there’s a Union convener in there and I swear I know who it is. The albino was in a corner facing away from me like he was treating me with contempt so I thought he’d treat me better if I left him without food but fed him anyway. Well, with the psychic predicting a bad outcome for me, why take chances. I took my morning meds then went to get washed and dressed before making my coffee and taking it back to my room. I was getting up to date when I realised it was almost 10.00 am and I didn’t see why Mike should sleep while I was awake so I put the kettle on and took a drink through to him with a bright and breezy “Mornin’ Bro, coffee’s up it’s 10.00 am.” and turned to leave……. “Oh heck” said a voice “I’d better get up or he’ll lecture me.” I swung round and asked him to repeat it and at that point he woke up. Yeah, right.

He brought his drink through to the lounge and we sat chatting until about 10.45 am when I told him I’d go and do a few more emails since he wasn’t dressed or finished his second coffee yet. After a couple of minutes catching up I heard him go through to get ready and then I heard hi phone go off and one side of a conversation. Boy was he in trouble. Mike’s Dad had rung and said he was reminding Mike of something happening today. Mike had replied that he wasn’t being reminded as he’d never been told previously. This news was coming at him fresh. After being told not to go if he didn’t want to do it ( but not meaning it was optional) Mike responded that he wasn’t refusing, but that as it was the first he’d heard about it, he wasn’t there because he could’t arrive by osmosis. It was decided he’d have to be there by 1.30 pm which means Mike had to leave me by no later than 12.30 pm. Sometimes the elderly can guilt trip you into anything and we know cos’ we do it. Anyway, we left for lunch at 11.20 am making sure we had a gift with us for Tariq’s birthday which we only knew about recently, and of course some chocolates for them all.

We arrived at the Ivy by 11.35 am and had already decided in advance what we’d have for the sake of speed. We saw Angie and had a laugh with her then asked for our drinks and ordered lunch at the same time. Shella came through to have a giggle too but she took the food order back with her. Tariq was missing on one of his building or crafting sessions again. Soon enough e bounced in and gave us great big hugs each. I passed him the card and gift explaining that we didn’t know the exact date so we’d chosen to use today. He said thank you, looked at the gift and smiled before starting to argue about getting it at which point Mike obliged me by gagging him while I went on to explain I know we don’t HAVE to buy something but that we CHOOSE too, end of argument. Mike removed his hand. Incidentally the gift we’d chosen was a silver comb on a chain as Tariq is completely shaven headed.

Lunch came quite quickly and after we’d eaten there was no time to say goodbye to everyone or do prolonged goodbyes so at least Shella didn’t have to come looking for Tariq this week. We drove home and Mike dropped me off at the kerb and shot away. Needless to say I was coming back to a very quiet house and only stopped long enough to remove my coat and shoes before starting on emails. Working hard on them I was up to date by 5.00 pm and decided to call a halt. I wanted to go on ebay and was looking at Alberts. I was also looking at Alberts converted into bracelets and a couple of ID bracelets.Since the insurance have paid out, and since the original Albert was a gift I decided I should replace it. Mike had agreed that a bracelet would be a good idea as it wouldn’t be in a drawer to be stolen as the chain was. There was an ID bracelet coming up at about 7.30 pm and it was a decent 17g  and gold is £26.47 a gram at the moment. So I went through to the lounge and watched a little Despicble Me then made myself a bit of tea. A few more messages till 7.00 pm then I wanted to watch a film. (What a mistake that was!!!!!!). At 7.20 pm I sat by the computer watching the countdown and trying to gauge where the price would go. I didn’t want to pay anywhere near £400 for it and settled on a maximum of £300. It was sitting at £220. What would someone else do? I put my bid of 300 in but didn’t press it until the last 10 seconds of the auction. I was guessing that someone might do £230 and someone £240 or even £250, they did and it hit £250.00 but mine jumped it to £260 without warning in the last seconds and it was mine. Mine I tell you, Mine ( sorry, just let me take my medicine). The only thing left to replace now are a few duplicate crowns, and a memory card.

I went back to suffer the last of the film and then called it quits for the night. It’s been a much more relaxed time than usual catching up tonight.

Monday. A 4.07 am start today and I got up (at first) feeling like I”d had a good night. I was full of energy which I took care of by raising a smile, a frown, smile, frown and with one last supreme effort a final smile. I was raring to go which I put into practice straight away unless I went somewhere I shouldn’t, and I only just made it having spent so long on the exercises. Summoning up  my will power I bent over and turned on the computer. I was leaning on my chair to enable me to get back up but getting up at 4.00 am doesn’t mean you make the wisest of decisions which I understood when the chair started rolling away from me. Lucky for me it’s a small room so the chair soon reached the bed and settled there and I gradually brought my feet closer to it in an effort to stop my middle parts just sinking to the floor. Eventually I made it and sat down for a rest. The computer was waiting for my sign-in and I was now not close enough to reach. I tried walking the chair towards the computer without removing my bum from the seat. A slow process but I made it and completed the sign-in.I was on and the chair and occupant finally where they should be.

As always I go straight to  my post and a quick glance through shows me I have two I don’t know. One will be a con as it’s from the NatWest but I have a look anyway. This time it’s a British name supposedly the manager of an English branch of the bank based in London. He has the account of a man who shares my surname which has oodles of cash in it. The poor man worked abroad but still in Europe until he was killed in a car crash which also wiped out all the family. As he was ardently against the Governments monetary policy he wouldn’t want his money to go to them which it will in two weeks unless a family member comes forward to claim it. If I , with the same surname, would claim it we could share 50/50, all documentation to back up my claim would be provided. Far too slick.

The second one which didn’t have an address I recognised tried a different tack……..                                                                                                                                                                                  I am Honore Nathaniel Goodridge Esq., a consultant attorney,I work and live in Lome togo. I would like to inform you that I have some Libyans who need project plan for investment.
You can confirm on this websitehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22745618.
Their investment capacity is over USD $10,000,000.00. Please contact me through this emailhonore.nathaniel@accountant.com for more details.
Best Regards. Honore Nathaniel Goodridge                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I wonder how many of these they send out a day between them, why they bother with addresses they’ve tried before, and how many people actually respond. The latter one makes less sense to me than the first.

I worked through until 7.00 am then went through to feed the fish. My nemesis was perched underneath the feeding hole and as a treat I thought I’d give them one of the wafers which seems to break up more easily. I dropped one in and wouldn’t you know it. the water swirled it out of position until it landed on his head startling him. He shot away to his corner to the echo of my apologies. There’s no way he’s going to believe it was an accident. This could cost me dearly. I took my morning meds, made myself a coffee and left the kitchen turning the light off behind me. Suddenly I was feeling very tired and decided to stay in my chair in the lounge for a while and watch the sky lighten. One moment it was dark grey, the next moment it was quite light and I had a cold coffee. It was 8.15 am and the youngsters were starting to walk past on their way to school. I went to get washed and dressed before putting the cold coffee in the microwave and heating it up. I intended to drink it this time. Back on the computer I started doing my emails.

The smile I’d had on my face before had gone. When I’d woken up in the chair I couldn’t understand why I was alone, I didn’t like it. The emails and links to friends blogs was slowly cheering me up though. At 9.15 am I took my prescription request to the chemist’s nodding to the young assistant who took it off me before I turned and left. I wondered if the postman would be coming this morning with the watch I won last week but on screen it did say Tuesday or Wednesday. It says Tuesday for the gold bracelet I won yesterday for some reason so I’ve decided not to go to Chester to see Yvonne and Reuben. Back at home I email Yvonne and let her know. She normally says she hates that happening as she loves shopping with me. She says the same again in a message she soon sends back. Ugo is working away tomorrow so he can’t come to see me after work as he sometimes does when I haven’t been through. Yvonne says Ugo is desperate to see me when he hasn’t for a couple of weeks. A strange lad, she says he enjoys my company which I do find strange because our belief systems are so different. For a start he doesn’t like bacon or sausages!!!!!! I believe in bacon.

I’d got up to date with messages by 10.50 am unusually and decided to take a real break so I went to turn the TV on and watch a programme about how best to keep burglars out. It showed one couple who’ve been burgled twice and understandable the wife is feeling insecure. They did some good things like fitted automatic lights to come one randomly throughout the house if they go out. Fitted a motion detector light outside the house that triggers the inside lights. Strengthened the doors so they can’t be kicked in easily and put on window locks. Then they fitted a fake CCTV camera box outside the house. After showing burglars who the people were they advertise it’s a fake CCTV? Isn’t that an open invitation to the thieves again? Soon it was time to think about preparing lunch. I did braised steak with chips, and bread and butter to soak up the gravy which will taste of vinegar from the chips. Bliss. I ate it watching my first antique show of the day. After I’d washed up I went back to work again.

At about 2.45 pm I found myself nodding over the keyboard. That’s often the point where my brain relaxes but my fingers don’t follow suit and I end up sending gibberish to Australia. Since I get a message back saying WHAT?????? and I have to explain myself I circumvented the problem by heading back to my chair for a kip. It happened again. When I woke up I came round slowly wondering why I was on my own in the house. Where was my Mum? I didn’t feel like a youngster, just as though  I should be with her at the age I am. It’s usually Julia whose absence I can’t explain, but not today. As the realisation dawned on  me that I do live alone I felt inexplicably sad. I had to immerse myself in work to forget it.

Like a yo-yo I went back through just after 4.30 pm for the next antique show, then the next, then a quiz. The second quiz wasn’t on today so I watched an old Big Bang Theory instead. Then it was time for the fourth antique show and the best. The one I’d been waiting for, Celebrity Antique Road Trip. It was great fun but both teams made a loss tonight. At 8.00 pm I came back through to the bedroom and have been fighting to catch up again after my little escape. I’ve not finished yet but my friends are doing a good job of restoring the smile.

Playboy

Playboy

Time to soak Mummy.

Time to soak Mummy.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NrLkTZrPZA4

Tuesday. It’s been a funny old day. I woke at 4.05 am and took my bladder for a walk. I couldn’t find the string to turn the light on and not wanting to pull the alarm cord in error I walked forward and cracked my left shin against the pan. I could have turned round and put the light on in the passage way but blow it, I was there now. As it was dark I decided to be careful and take a seat. How is it possible to just turn around and miss the damn thing. I wonder how Mike copes ‘cos he doesn’t even have his eyes open he tells me. Eventually I did manage to position myself properly and only my dignity was bruised.                                                                                                                                            I went back to the bedroom and turned the computer on ready to attack the mail but first I did a trace on the bracelet to see where it was. Bloody typical Post Office, they say they have it but it’s working it’s way through the system. It’s due to be delivered today so they better pull their fingers out. I’ve had quite a few of the con job emails recently but here’s the latest with yet another new twist on the story.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Hello Dear From Miss Fatima Coulibaly,
 
It is with profound respect and humble submission, I beg to state the following few lines for your kind consideration. I hope you will spare some of your valuable minutes to read the following appeal with sympathetic mind. I must confess that it is with great hope, joy and enthusiasm to write you this mail and I believe by the faith that it must surely find you in good condition of health.
 
I am Miss Fatima Salamu Coulibaly age 19 years old female from Ivory Coast in West Africa, the Daughter of Late Chief Sergeant, Warlord Ibrahim Coulibaly. My late father was an Ivory Coast’s best-known military leaders, and also in real estate business. He died on the Thursday 28 April 2011 following a fight with the FRCI,” Republican Forces of Ivory Coast.
 
You can read more about my father in the link below to know that I am genuine and truthful but need someone to be trusted like you
 
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/28/ivory-coast-renegade-warlord-ibrahim-coulibaly.
 
I lost my mother long time ago when I was just 6yrs old, and since then my father took me so special. Before the death of my father, he told me that he made a fixed deposit of the sum of Six Million, five Hundred thousand US Dollars. ($6,500.000.00) in the Bank with my name as his next of kin.
 
I am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment which I am receiving from my step mother. She planned to take away all my late father’s treasury and properties from me since the unexpected death of my beloved Father; luckily she did not discover where I kept my father’s File which contained this deposit.
 
Please I will be glad if you can help me invest my inheritance money in a profitable business in your country, if you agree, we shall both share the total annual profit. I am thinking of investing into any of these areas like (REAL ESTATE, 5STAR HOTELS, TRANSPORTATION, COMMUNICATION and AGRICULTURE OR TEXTILE)
 
Please your suggestion and idea will be fine for me. I demand you treat this very confidential. I will give you full details of the funds concerning the transfer as soon as I receive your response. I will send you my photo in my next mail.
Waiting for your soonest respond.
 
God bless you.
 
Miss Fatima S Coulibaly.

Her ‘Father’ must not have had much time being a warlord judging by the number of female children he has all sending out the same letter with different first names like Edith and calling themselves Edith Warlord Ibrahim Coulibaly. He has a whole tribe of mini me’s. At least this time they got the facts right, he’s dead. It’s unfair though top deprive the world of panto of so many wicked stepmothers as this lot do.

At 7.00 am I went through to the kitchen to feed the fish .  The albino was in his corner but this time facing inwards so he could look at me.Obviously he was scared of me dropping food rocks on his head again.  Oddly, when I pl;aced the food pellets through the slot he didn’t turn his attention towards them but advanced from his corner towards me. Only about an inch but it was full of threat. He moved another inch forward and I found myself taking a step backwards. A slight pause and yet another inch followed by a larger step from me. Another inch and I stepped right back against the counter-top and squealed like a stuck pig. It was difficult to retain my dignity after that so I pretended I’d just hurt my heel and turned round so my back was towards the tank. After all, there was a layer of glass between us, h couldn’t have got me if he’d tried but he has the psychological advantage over me an idiot. I rammed all my meds down at speed and left without making a coffee. I did slink back there for a drink 5 minutes later trying to look as nonchalant as possible.

I wasn’t sure what time or even if the bracelet would be delivered so I decided to go to Pauline’s for my TV mag and fresh bread at 9.00 am. I handed over £3.50 and got £3.00 back for a win on the Thunderball. I promise not to let it change me. I wasn’t out very long at all and was back mid -checking what the position was with the bracelet, when there was a knock at the door. I could see from the orange colour through the glass that it was my postman. As I opened the door he passed my letters and got me to sign for a parcel. I took nothing for granted as I still have a watch outstanding. I thanked him and came back in. I finished my check first and the bracelet was still going through the system at the branch it was posted at. Damn! I opened the parcel fully expecting to find the watch and naturally there was the bracelet. I guess the watch will arrive tomorrow. I don’t see the point of having the numbers to trace an item if they don’t update the information.

At 11.30 am I had a break while I peeled a sweet potato and prepared my sausages for grilling. I took my tablet and set to work cooking everything. I’d peeled under the baleful eye of the cory and now I grilled under the same baleful eye. I’m sure if he could have held a wax doll he would have done. It’s not fair, I’ve always been nice to him.  When the potato was done I started mashing it and put some veg in the microwave. As soon as I’d put the mash on my plate the micro pinged. I put my sausages out and then added the veg. Very quickly I did some instant gravy and voila I was ready for my antiques programme. I was probably about a third of the way through my lunch and loving the sweet potato mash when I- Look away if you have a week disposition- started heaving, and heaving, and heaving. I might have eaten a third of my meal but two thirds came back. I swear it was the albino’s doing. I missed a large part of my programme today with clearing that up and then attacking the floor where my stomach had been a little forceful. I was feeling rather sorry for myself but I did catch the auction at the end. I went to wash my fevered brow and headed back to work.

I hadn’t been working an hour when my phone told me I had a message. I opened it and found two. One from Lis asking if I was in to which I answered I am to which she responded, On my way. The other was from MuJo top see if I’d be free tomorrow which of course I am.Since I have no cards tomorrow night it will be nice to have a break from the house for a while. Lis arrived withing minutes and I had a hug and a kiss in the hall. Believe me, if you haven’t been kissed in the hall you haven’t been kissed anywhere. I made her a drink and we caught up on each others news. She knew about the burglary of course but  we  haven’t seen each other since it happened. I was quite surprised, but warmed even more towards her if possible when she just said “Bastards.” I knew exactly where she was coming from as she was broken into three times within ten days in her old house which was quite isolated. After a while she had to leave to look after her grandchildren and I headed back to work. I found myself feeling tired so I worked up till 4.30 pm and relaxed in front of the TV a while.I saw most of my show but must have nodded off because I woke t 6.30 pm as something to do with Strictly Come Dancing was starting. I turned off and ran. It was only when I started back here that I remembered my third and favourite show starts at 7.00 pm so I had the excuse to stop for another break.

The antique dealer I don’t have much time for was on. He actually broke something in a shop and wasn’t going to admit it to the owner. I find him to be a fool even though he apparently advises a group of women on antiques on American TV. Anyway, he didn’t win tonight which was a relief as his opponent is a really pleasant man. He told my ‘friend’ that a cabinet he’d bought would fetch £80 on a good day but it reached £200 I was glad to see. I turned off for a second time and came through. There’s been plenty of mail to catch up on before getting round to the blog but I’ll still beat the midnight deadline for bed.

SANDY5 useparky1

 

Wednesday. If it gets any earlier I’ll be up before I’ve gone to bed. 3.41 am today and I may not have been ready to dance the fandango (  dance from Iberia, usually in triple metre which I believe is 9′ 9″ or thereabouts), but nor was I inclined to go back to bed as I am right now. I went to the loo, checked no-one was lurking in one of the other rooms and came back to check something I’m watching on ebay.  Before starting work I indulged myself with a little play on ebay and actually found a cover for the tablet that not only folds to allow it to stand but also has cut outs for the main switches and for the camera. At £2.99 with free p & p I thought it would be negligent of me to refuse. Since my brother in law has the same wee beast I ordered him one too. Now I had no excuse to linger longer and signed into my mail account. There were only 67 since I went to bed and pshaw I can handle that one hand tied behind my back. As it happens I didn’t need to, as both my arms were in play.

I was actually done by 5.55 am and couldn’t decide what to do. Maybe nodding off in my chair seemed favourite  so I gave it a go. Morpheus seemed all in favour of helping and I managed to drop of. I heard Hypnos yelling something about “No, it was my turn , you had the last one, ” and I was awake again. It wasn’t even 6.15 am. I decided to feed the fish and indulge in some breakfast. Accordingly, I turned the kitchen light on, did the dance in three metres, threw some food in before anyone could react and danced away smartish. It’s fair to say I was out of puff and decided if I was going to dance in future it would be in two metres where there was less chance of banging my knees. I took a pre-food tablet then followed up with my sprays and the rest of the meds that take an age to swallow. I smoked a cigarette purely to help me gauge the correct time needed before putting my toast under then made a coffee. It didn’t take long before the toast was ready and eaten and I only needed a short one meter glide to the sink. I did only leave the plate there rather than washing it up but that was on the grounds that I’d need to do my mug after too.

I returned to work to deal with the 30+ that had come in while I was filling my face. Once done it seemed a good time to get washed and dressed. Country tweeds today since I’d be going out to lunch. First things first though I took a walk to Pauline’s about 8.45 am to pick up some cigarettes and a couple of scratch cards. They were the last two on the roll and the first one just bombed out but on the last one I won twice. £2 doubled and £1. That’s a £3 profit after deducting he initial outlay, which covers the cost of the new tablet case. Tidy as my Southid friends say. At home I was dealing with the messages as they came in but in the light of day they were gaining ground on me. It seems they breed in the light. That’s how science works folks from observation like that. I expected MuJo around 11.00 am so I’d probably be OK. The post was delivered, no watch but he did deliver the new 32gb micro card for the tablet. I’d just finished leaving feedback when there was a prolonged tapping at the door which proved to be MuJo at 10.15 am. I saw to drinks, handed over some chocolate I’d bought for them last weekend and we talked about what’s gone on in the two weeks since we saw each other. In my case not a lot. John has an infection from an ulcer under his tooth which has now been removed but the infection hasn’t gone. I was surprised they haven’t given him anti-biotics.

At 11.15 am we left to go to town. Muriel wanted the Post Office before lunch and John a charity shop. Since he acts like the Queen and doesn’t carry money it was onlya moment or three before he was out asking me for change before Muriel caught him. She was only a few seconds late and he refused to say what was in the large carrier bag he held. He put it in the car as we went to lunch. He’s quite the reformed character too since we bypassed the chippie and went to the place that’s they’re new favourite . I’m not a big fan but hey, food is food.Muriel had some pork loin while John and I had braised beef, peas and mashed potato. Once done, we took to the car again and headed for Flint through cone city as the expressway( Ha, joke) has become. On arrival, after we’d parked of course, we did Home Bargains so I could buy chocolates for Temptations, then B & M so MuJo could buy the entire stock of Whittaker’s coffee creams in case they run out plus a couple of boxes of mint creams as well then over to The Outlet which is an ex-catalogue shop before finally arriving at Temptations. The girls were raising their eyes behind the counter as Muriel and I argued about who was paying. Since she paid for lunch It’s my turn for coffee but today she wanted to change the rules. I do have two distinct advantages, height so I could get my money to the girls before she could and chocolates which means my friends will always listen to me first. I won and ordered the coffee’s and John’s cream scone.

We hit another shop before leaving Flint. As you may have noticed there’s a distinct dearth of bags in my direction. If I don’t start shopping soon the whole town may go bankrupt. At home, I got rid of my crutches, jacket and gloves and halved a small tub of ice cream for them. I disappeared to check on ebay again quickly but John followed me in and I ended up looking at watches for their grandsons for Christmas. I do have to start making some decisions about Christmas but first of course are both Muriel’s and Mike’s 65th birthdays and Yvonne’s birthday before Christmas. They left about 4.30 pm and I had to give up my first two antique programmes of the evening and my two quizzes. I worked solidly until 7.00 pm when I decided I wanted a break and I wasn’t going to miss the most important of the antique shows. I hadn’t caught up but a concerted effort afterwards and I was sure I could. I returned at 8.00 pm and carried on working to clear existing and incoming messages. I knocked off at about 10.30 in order to get on with this post but I need to go back a while before I can call it a night.

Thursday. When I first woke I thought it was 8.22 am and was pleased at the lie-in especially knowing I hadn’t had time for my little nap yesterday.  I limped to the loo after knocking my walking stick over in the dark and limped back to turn my bedroom light and the computer on. The fact that it was dark in the house didn’t really register. While the computer did what it does I just happened to glance at the clock. The big bright luminous clock that faces the bed. The time was 3.28 am. My chin hit my knees, or it would have done had my stomach not got in the way. I sat down and signed in. This is the first time I’ve been grateful for my gmail account and the fact it duplicates many of my main account emails. When I signed into talktalk there was nothing doing. All I got was the message My Mailbox was not accessible at the moment , Please log out and sign in again. After the hundredth attempt I was getting the message. What was most annoying was the lack of help. On some attempts to reach help I got a doesn’t exist notice, sometimes I reached a contact us point but there were no members available to help online chat ( well OK, it was early) and I obviously couldn’t phone as even an Indian help desk wouldn’t understand me and if the conversation turned technical I wouldn’t understand them. I did a google search to see if any problems with talktalk were reported.

I must have been a full hour trying different things including rebooting and turning my router off for a time. Eventually I signed into my gmail and found much of what I’d have on talktalk was there and I was able to make a start. I’m sure many people love gmail but it’s still very confusing to me. I did manage to get a lot done though. A couple of times I broke off to check ebay but I wasn’t having any luck with my bids today. I needed to really concentrate and be ready to pounce as the bidding ends.                            I had an unusual advert from Amazon. They often recommend things I might like but today’s started to suggest as I liked Humour and Satire, I might enjoy some of the following. What came next were 5 books they were showing as Kindle and three of the books were mine.  I imagine I should be very pleased. It depends how many people they recommend them to. I carried on working and was done by 6.00 am.  I thought about having a break in my chair in the lounge, who knows I might have fallen asleep. Instead I decided to feed the fish and have an early breakfast.

I flicked the light switch in the kitchen and by the time it had flickered into life I was already at the tank. I could only see my ghostly friend the albino and for once I think I caught him unawares. I put the light on in the tank and sort of watched him realise I was actually there watching him. He was near the bridge and had his back to me but he slowly turned and looked up. It wasn’t a staring competition like before but a kind of studied appraisal to see if I, this great and powerful demi-god was actually worth anything. I opened the hatch and dropped in some food. At that point the heavenly music started (bloody MP3 player in my pocket) and I fully expected him to swim towards the glass to commune with me. Nope, he slowly turned back and with an insolent flick of the tail glided away to his corner. I wasn’t worth bothering with. What a huge blow to my self confidence. I slunk away and took my meds then as I made a coffee I put some bread in the toaster and got the comfort jam out of the fridge. I flicked a stray tear from my eye to the sound of Mantovani’s violins.

After breakfast I got washed and dressed before returning to the mail. It was relaxed enough that I could keep going to ebay and could keep trying talktalk mail but obviously my demi-god powers don’t run in that direction. I didn’t want to go out too soon this morning as my drugs were due to be delivered and also I had high hopes today for the watch. It was about 9.30 am the chemist came with the drugs and explained there were a few short which would be brought when the delivery arrived. That was OK by me. Just after 10.00 am the letterbox rattled but there was no knock. Disappointed I went to look and there was a package that hadn’t needed a signature. It was the watch and very nice too, and what’s more it didn’t need a battery. I was able to go to ebay and leave feedback before putting on my shoes and going to Pauline’s for some cigarettes. I’d just reached there when a voice called my name causing me to trip over the step. It was the chemist with the rest of my drugs. He’d just been going to get into his car to deliver them. I got my lottery and ciggies from Pauline and headed home.

I was washing my breakfast dishes in the kitchen when I saw one of the wardens go past. I thought she was going to see Joe nearby but there came a knock on the door. Since she’d probably seen me I had no choice but to answer. She’d come to talk to me about some distraction burglaries taking place in the area recently and wanted to be sure I had everything I needed. Also to do an annual report on my needs. It’s been decided as I don’t check the alarm system because it’s like speaking on a phone that they’ll call and do it when needed but No, let’s call once a week to make sure you’re OK and need nothing. I agreed because she offered to deal with any phone calls I needed doing or anything like that when she came. That was nice. She also thinks she might know a cleaner and she’s going to drop the name and address off tomorrow. Yay, maybe the ironing will get done. As soon as she’d gone I opened my meds and found attached to the front of the prescription, a big yellow post-it. That sneaky doctor had said I needed to book an appointment with the surgery chest clinic for review. Damn! I emailed Yvonne and asked her to arrange it for me and to see if I could have a flu jab the same day so I don’t need a reminder for that. She was back on quite quickly with an appointment three weeks away late afternoon for one and early the next day for the other. I’ve been caught though I suppose I can cancel the flu jab before then. There’s always a queue of willing applicants.

While I was waiting to do lunch I texted Mike to ask if he was coming tonight or Friday this week. He surprised me by saying he’d be here late afternoon today and has to go to his father’s tomorrow for a meeting with carers. I thought it was good because he enjoys his games and cards as much as I do and of course this week tonight is games night….Or so I thought. No sooner had I told him, Dil sent me a text saying he couldn’t make it as his back has gone again. I was really sorry, he suffers with it quite a lot. I’d miss the games too of course but there’s always next week if he’s recovered. I had a couple of sandwiches and a small pudding then back to work. Talktalk was now up and running again. A mystery as to what the problem was. I just kept going until almost 3.00 am when the front door opened and there stood Mike. Well before he was expected which either means he was well on the way before telling me or he’s been barely legal in the car again and I daren’t ask which. I made him a coffee and when he was settled I disappeared long enough to finish the emails in my box. I decided to stay with him now through to 8.00 am , he appreciated that except for the part where he says I rattled the rafters for half an hour. We bantered and enjoyed the usual programmes until it was time for me to leave and start work. Apart from ten minutes where I went to see a little of Billy Connolly in Who do you think you are? It’s now 11.35 am and I need to go back to the mail for a while.

Friday. I read till just gone 12.30 am last night and it all caught up with me this morning as I didn’t get up until 5.17 am . I’ve become sybaritic overnight. I pressed the switch to turn the computer on as I went past to visit the loo. I’ve decided if I start getting any more emails than at present I’ll have to start taking the tablet in with me when I go. The only entertainment today was a notification of a tax rebate.                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Dear Taxpayer,

*Refund Amount : GBP 351.51

>> Your *Refund Reference Number is: Ref/12213/2013 <<

NOTE: If you’ve received an Income Tax ‘repayment’ it will either be following a claim you’ve made or becouse HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has received new information about your taxable income or entitlement to allowances. The refund may come through your tax code or as a payment and could relate to the current tax year or earlier years.

An Income Tax repayments is a refund of tax that you’ve overpaid.So, if you’ve paid too much tax for example through your job or pension this year or in previous years HMRC will send you a repayment.

 Click Here To access the form for your tax refund,
Sincerely,
HMRC Tax Credit Office                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Maybe I’ve just become more jaded with these recently but I find they’re becoming less believable. I will credit them with one thing though, if you click on the HMRC link after the Sincerely, it does take you to the real site so many people may fall for it. I can only offer the same advice as usual. If the tax office were writing to you they’d know who to address and what your National Insurance Number is. If those aren’t present it’s a con.

Having got up so late, 7.00 am and feeding time at the zoo came round a lot quicker. I didn’t mind as I was almost up to date and under no pressure. Nothing living was in sight in the tank except the snails, instead of worrying I quietly created a paean to the god of fish tanks , dropped in some food and turned away, promptly knocking over an empty bottle which clanged as it hit the washing machine door. Bombadier Billy Wells couldn’t have done a better job, but Mike didn’t wake up. I took the bottle out to the recycling. Breakfast wasn’t on my menu this morning  but I really wanted a cup of coffee. After taking all my meds I made a coffee and went to collect my medicine drawer so the weeks supply could be put out in it’s cases. I was able to drink my coffee as I worked.

I went back to my room at about 7.45 am to keep going with the messages. It was a bit of a surprise to hear Mike’s alarm going off at 8.00 am but absolutely no surprise to hear nothing after the alarm was turned off. I decided if it went off again after the quarter of an hour I’d make a drink and take it through as he must want to get up if he’s let it ring again. Imagine my shock when I heard the pad, pad of his feet going through to the lounge before it rang. I just made it to the lounge in time to relieve him of last night’s dirty mug before he tried finding the kitchen sink with his eyes shut. He moves about by braille when he first gets up. His drink wasn’t long in coming and by the time he’d drunk halfway down it ( about one mouthful) he was more awake and aware of where he was. It’s like ‘If it’s Friday it must be Holywell’. We had a natter about what we were going to do this morning and did precisely nothing because I wanted to wait for the postman. He came, or more to the point didn’t come but was in the vicinity before 10.00 am and we still did nothing. Eventually we came to the decision it was too late to do anything. Mike needed to leave by 1.00 am to get to his Dad’s place for a meeting and knowing we won’t be able to get to The Ivy tomorrow I suggested going there for brunch.

We arrived about 11.30 am and settled to chat with Tariq while he made our drinks and then once they arrived we could order food. I had gammon with a baked potato and an egg while Mike had some kind of jumbo hot dog. Time just seemed to slip through our fingers and it was soon time to leave so Mike could drop me off. Tomorrow when we’d normally be there to chat to Angie we’re meeting a friend for lunch in Rhyl. So, he dropped me off and left as I wandered back inside and immediately set to work on the emails. I knew I wanted to nod off but I restrained myself. A knock at the door proved to be a courier with the  parcel I’d ordered from Vistaprint, that brought me back to life a little. I was done with the mailbox in both hosts before 4.30 pm and was able to see my antique show. As I wanted to watch the one at 7.00 pm I scuttled back to work on some photographs as soon as the first one was over, but by 6.00 pm I needed to go to the lounge for 40 winks. I didn’t make it though as Mike walked in the door as I was preparing to leave my room. We went to watch the quiz Eggheads and then he told me all about the meeting with the carers and managed to solve the problems everyone had. Hopefully next week will be fine.

We watched the last episode of the Antiques Road Trip and had a good laugh with the experts before watching Mastermind followed by Would I Lie To You at which point I was able to wrest myself away. I went towards the kitchen to take my tablets and Mike stopped me from falling. In the kitchen I found the drier had stopped so started to fold the contents when I came over all of a doo-da again and had to leave the room. I eventually came back and finished the job, took my tabs and came through to start work. It’s been a slog tonight to try and catch up. Everytime I think I’m winning, someone else writes something. I think you’re trying to use up the world’s supply of words  overnight. Time for me to call it a day I think, early shopping tomorrow (I hope).

Saturday. 12.00 am bed, 1.00 am light off and 3.11 am up for a wee. I decided not to stay up at that point but snuggled back down under the covers and nodded off again. 4.04 am p and awake. Why? The great god T’internet is asking for bigger and bigger sacrifices. It may be human beans next! Though I only know the half-baked variety in the main. I’d been working and listening to the constant grumbles coming from Mike’s room. He even does it when he’s asleep. Stay there, don’t move, stand still, I couldn’t see it, groan. I should record it all and self publish as a mystery novel with sound effects. At 4.55 am the wind came.  It really howled. Little could be heard above it for a few minutes but then it died down leaving just the sound of rain behind it.

The quantity of mail wasn’t too bad but in fairness I don’t think I’d left it long enough to accumulate too much. One message I missed last night that awaited me this morning was supposedly from twitter but comes from support at twitir.com was titled Sexy Molly Tweeted You. The message was short and sweet..                                               Molly sent you a direct picture!
=> CLICK HERE TO SEE IT NOW          The trouble is there certainly is a Sexy Molly on twitter but she’s definitely not the one to have sent the message. In order to prevent my eyeballs being seared again I decided not to look. I seem to recall something about a difference between the male and female physique but at my age do I need to be reminded? Answers on a postcard please. Though I don’t suppose wishful thinking is going to help much at this point.

At 5.55am  (yep, OCD) I decided to see to the fish, take my meds and have my coffee early. Maybe I wasn’t quick enough between turning on the kitchen light and reaching the tank but when I got there all I could see was one plec. I carefully scanned every corner and the bridges but saw nothing else. They’re either holding a private meeting somewhere or they’ve finally escaped. Very gingerly I stepped back but no sign of them taking the Great Trek across the Kitchen Floor as may be written about in the fishy bible in years to come. I took my meds and then vacated the kitchen with my coffee, heading back for the computer. I found a few messages waiting to be dealt with which brought me very nicely to Mike’s alarm at 7.00 am. I didn’t rush just took my time finishing the last message before going to put the kettle on. Relief, the albino was back in sight. I brewed a coffee and took it through making sure I gave Mike a verbal nudge that sounded like war had broken out. I asked him to try and remember any dreams he’s been having during the night too.

Surprisingly Mike got up without waiting for the second warning but fell asleep leaning forward in his chair. In between seeing to the bins I was tapping him on the shoulders saying “Don’t fall asleep smoking” to which he replied “It’s OK it’s out”. “It wasn’t when you fell asleep” I pointed out. Eventually the bins and bags were done and Mike was awake. The day could progress. It didn’t progress quite fast enough. While I was doing all he bins and the bags and bin for the recycling Mike was trying to recall his dreams and he told me the only one he remembered was where he rescued me from spiders. With one breath he tries to make himself a hero and the same breath tells me he’s trying to creep me out. He succeeded. We didn’t leave the house until almost 8.00 am and that was due to my  insistence we got dressed rather than upset the neighbours and because it was raining.It was actually due to the sense of urgency disappearing down some Lewis Carroll rabbit hole.

We did eventually reach the supermarket and the first port of call was he cash machine. Mike collected a trolley and as he came back called out “Get the jackpot did you?” I stuffed the notes quickly into my pocket and followed him into the store. Judging by my list food seems to have become a poor second this week. First off was Ju’s flowers. Some carnations just to fill any gaps from flowers dying. Then a walk round to look at toilet rolls, gents clothes ( yes, another pair of chinos). bedding, clocks, candles and finally food. It’s ham, sausages, tinned peas and carrots, yogurts, bread, sweets, pop, milk and biscuits. Once through the checkout where I asked if I’d get change from £10.00 this week, we went for a coffee. Mike phoned Brian to make arrangements for a time to meet and found he wasn’t well after an angina attack and was heading back to bed. Now at a bit of a loss we had to rearrange the day.

Instead of going homeward we decided to go to Broughton Park to get ideas for Christmas and to get something for Mike’s grandson’s birthday. Mike phoned his son Anton for ideas since Josh hasn’t been too helpful with hints and a football kit was chosen. I reminded Mike that Sports Direct was fairly close and we went to look. They had the perfect set but not in the size we needed. Mike asked the assistant to see if another branch in Chester had it which he did, and the answer was yes. We headed back to the car and decided to stop for lunch before going on there. I ordered bangers , mash and peas in a giant Yorkshire pudding but what came back was bangers , mash and peas accompanied by two small Yorkshire puddings. I felt cheated. Mike seemed happy enough with his meal though. After lunch we drove into Chester and out again to the branch on another retail park called The Greyhound. We went upstairs and the staff pulled out what they’d saved. Mike’s ears grew red and steam started pouring from them. I expected HELL to ensue. They had the shirt as one item, the shorts as another and the socks as a third rather than the complete klit as in the other shop. This was though the shirt itself was dearer than the whole kit where we’d been. Mike pointed out we could have done it this way in the previous place and not driven all this way to be told they didn’t have what we wanted. In the end he paid more than double what he’s been led to believe. I was astounded he took it so philosoffic, fillosoph, on the chin.

Finally we started in the direction of home but as I needed some frozen food we called into Flint for a coffee and banter session at Temptations. That’s always enough to make you grin. After getting the lollies and the lemon meringue frozen food we went home. We unpacked and somehow I ended up on freezer duty again even though I’d made sure he carried that bag. Then I had to face the emails I’d missed all day, and needed to check on my bidding for something I wanted. My neighbour called round with parcels and I had my new watch displ;ay case and a cover for my tablet.  I did amazingly well with the mail and at 5.20 pm I won one of the items I’d been bidding for. That came as a great relief. It’s one less distraction. At 5.35 pm I took a break and went to join Mike where I stayed until 9.00 pm at hi insistence, he tied my shoelaces together to stop me from moving. When I’d taken my night drugs I came through and started again on the messages. I finished the last batch at 11.20 pm and came to start the blog. No photographs today sorry but a nice song to make up for it.

 

 

 

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Dracula’s Day & Payout Puzzle.

Sunday.  After a read it was fairly late before I got to sleep last night despite the lack of sleep on Friday. This time there was no problem though and I’d gone through and turned Mike’s TV off at 11.30 pm so I knew he was well away. So my light went off at about 12.45 pm  and I suspect it wasn’t long before the gentle sounds trickles from my lips. I woke at 5.54 am feeling much more refreshed than the day before. After nipping to the loo I turned the computer on to see the damage. There was quite a lot and quite a few comments on last night’s blogpost. I’m amazed at people’s generosity and kindness towards my posts since I realise they take some time to get through.

One of my emails was   ‘Molly sent you a direct picture!’=> CLICK HERE TO SEE IT NOW   gueswhere I didn’t click. It went straight to my trash so there were no repeats of last time even if it wasn’t the same woman. I could neither stand the embarrassment nor the possible excitement and I didn’t want a heart attack with Mike sleeping in the other room, he’d never hear me. At least I didn’t have to contend with the usual scams this morning. Maybe they were taking a Sunday off though who the heck would ever believe an email from the Tax Office on a Sunday anyway. At 7.00 am I went through to the kitchen to see to the fish. One of the plecs was on the front glass when I turned the light on but I saw the cory disappear into a strand of weed to hide away. I don’t know why he bothered as it was almost directly under the feeding hatch and he nearly got a headache when I dropped the tablet through. I wasn’t up for breakfast again, I find myself back where I used to be of not wanting to eat this early in the day even though the doctor recommended it. It was easier just to take my meds and make myself a coffee. Before taking it back to my room I prepared Mike’s cup as I had no idea what time he’d get up after being asleep from at least 11.30 pm. I wanted to be ready. After all, he might have set his alarm for some reason.

I went back and continued working. Saturday is when a lot of other people post too so there’s always plenty of commenting to do. If possible I like to re-tweet for as many authors as I can to increase their audience. Many of them have now become firm friends. It was getting on for 9.00 am when I was reaching an end of what was showing and I decided to get dressed before doing anything else. Recently I was asked to read and review a book for someone and I wanted an uninterrupted go at it from where I’d left off yesterday. I was doing really well and was just a few chapters from the end when I heard Mike stir. It was 10.00 am so I allowed to computer to sleep and went to make his coffee. I sat with him but in a sort of companionable silence as it takes a while for him to wake up properly. I know when he has done as the insults and quick retorts start flying. Today it was about 10.30 am.

We decided to take a quick run to Flint to look for something in one of the shops, what’s more we found it. We left home about 11.15 am and were done by 12.00 pm. I staggered and almost fell over when I asked Mike if he wanted a coffee and he refused never even checking to see if his insult friend Ceri was working. Instead he suggested going straight for lunch. Since everything I’d just bought was sweets I agreed. The traffic was a bit annoying again. Plenty of cars were out and about as people enjoyed the sunshine and warmth of the day, but the road works hadn’t progressed much. We reached The Ivy about 12.30 pm and parked up. Mike was none too happy when he had to move the car because another car came in and parked next to us but at a massive angle instead of being straight. He was worried they’d hit his car if they tried to reverse out. Chances are they would too. It was a stupid and thoughtless move. We saw Tariq by the side door and he called us over to look at the bars he was making to put up. We can’t figure out if it’s to keep the staff in or the customers out. After a chat he let us go in that way cutting off a big corner of the building we’d have to walk round otherwise. Today I’d brought individual sweets for all in the shape of Terry’s Chocolate Oranges. Some with exploding candy in and some with toffee which I hadn’t seen before. I passed Angie hers and Tariq’s and told her to pick the one she wanted. When Rob came out to deliver some meals I gave him one each for Shella and himself and Mike told him to make sure he got first choice. He got to laugh at my hair today though Angie said she liked it.

Angie brought the drinks over and we made our lunch selections then went out for a cigarette. The place was filling up and there were some pretty ladies sending Mike’s temperature up, he was beginning to pant. We’d just finished the smoke when Rob came out to tell us the meal was on the table but he didn’t know who was having what. He’d got them right though. They were as always very enjoyable. Between mouthfuls Mike flirted with anything that had a pulse while I just ate being out of practice with anything like that, by about 50 years I think. ( Mike says longer, a lot longer). After we’d eaten we took our time with the coffees and just enjoyed being there. When we were done I started to get my gloves on and picked up my crutches from the floor where I tuck them. I started to head for the counter to pay and say goodbye when Mike hustled me out saying he”d already paid. He wouldn’t brook any argument today either. I did the only think I could and thanked him. We took a route over the hills coming back to avoid the traffic lights and got home much quicker. Mike listened to a little of the Manchester Utd. match before putting his bags in the car and heading off. I think he was pleased they were winning 2 – 1 quite early on. I came back in to work on the 178 emails that had accumulated since the morning. But first I wanted to finish the book.

Once I’d done the review I posted it on Goodreads and the Amazon sites and also sent it to the reviewer who’d asked me to do it as it was dark humour and a genre she didn’t know. Then it was the messages. I really worked hard until finally at 6.00 pm I was almost done. I needed a break though and some tea. I took the easy route and finished off the BFG. I had TV on and was watching a cartoon film about meatballs from the sky when I must have nodded off. It was 8.00 pm and quite dark when I woke up. The film was over and the light was still on the fish tank. I shut everything down and returned to work to the new batch awaiting me.It was 11.15 pm before I finished that and started this. Time for a little read and sleep before tomorrow’s blood tests.

Who yoo lookin' at?

Who yoo lookin’ at?

Monday. Getting up at 5.05 am felt much more normal today. I’d slept for about four and a half hours and don’t remember any loo visits during the night. My bladder was certainly suggesting I go now though. Brimful of relief I came back to my room and turned the computer on ( it’s remarkable what some sexy French words will do).                There was a slightly different,  but just as con-worthy, an email from Nigeria as usual. The widow has been left 8 million dollars by her diseased sorry, deceased husband and she needs advice on how to get it out of Nigeria. It led me to thinking ( a pastime I partake of occasionally) that Nigeria must be the wealthiest country in the world and also have the biggest concentration of filthy rich widow and orphans who can’t spend a penny of their own money. I reckon the world supply of wicked uncles live there too. I could be wrong though, it could be Burkino Faso depending on how many haven’t written to me yet. My middle finger which serves as my ‘delete’ finger on the computer is now being paid overtime rates.

The albino was looking up at me from next to a clump of weed this morning when the lights went on. He looked almost friendly and didn’t swim off when I spoke to him. Maybe he felt safe flanked as he was by two of the plecs. I dropped some algae pellets in as close to him as I could to show we were friends before going off to take my meds. That done I made myself a coffee, filled my eating out pill box and went back to my room carrying my coffee and a plastic milk bottle for the recycling bag. Naturally the bag was shut when I needed it and it didn’t occur to me to put the bottle down and open it, I just kept trying to do the job one handed without spilling my coffee. In the end I managed it and only had to pick the lid up from where it had rolled away. Before I put my hand on the floor I was careful to scan it for any of the giant spiders we’re told will invade our houses now they’re looking for a mate. That must mean the females they’re seeking are already indoors. Not a nice thought.

I got washed and dressed. I chose a shirt from halfway down the i***ing basket as I worked out the weight of the stuff above will have pressed it for me. I’m not daft see, it’s all scientific research on behalf of single men everywhere. At 8.00 am I left the house to catch the bus. There was the population of all the senior schools in the area concentrated at the bus stop but I’m thankful I didn’t have too long to wait for their bus to appear. Mine wasn’t far behind either. I was in town for 8.25 am and at the hospital for 8.35 am. The nurse called the three people who were in there by name as she called them through. I just got the daft question ” Are you here for blood tests?” Checking her list and asking my name would have answered that. Perhaps she was having a bad morning already but as she approached me in the chair I heard her say “Just a little prick” which was either very personal or extremely rude. I pretended not to hear. I don’t argue with women who carry weapons . She took an extra vial this morning so the diet must be over. As I left I had to pass in front of my surgery and I never noticed the big sign that said Call in to book your Flu Jab. or obviously I would have done and made the overdue appointment with my doctor as well. Maybe the opticians should be on my list.

I was due to walk into town itself and go to the jewelers to get some batteries put in the Fossil watches but I couldn’t face the thought of being in that claustrophobic place with a door that locks behind you. Instead I found myself in the Lidl supermarket looking at pizzas. The ones I wanted weren’t in but MuJo’s favourite chocolate was so that’s what I bought along with 2 tee-shirts until it was time to go for the bus. I wasn’t waiting long for the bus and of course the journey going downhill took no time at all. I called into Pauline’s for some bacon and to cash my winning lottery ticket (£5). I always feel obliged to buy something when I take money out. I went home and got rid of the little cotton wool ball from the cleft of my arm and got to work on emails.  I knocked of at 11.45 am to go and make some lunch and decided on some beef sandwiches with coleslaw. It was only when I was eating them that I remembered I’d bought an onion this week and nothing says I Love You to roast beef like raw onion ( and some salt). I’m out with Yvonne tomorrow so I’ll try and bear the onion in mind for Wednesday. I missed the auction part of my antique programme again thanks to those damned annoying Zzz’sss that seemed to be flying around. I think there’s a plague recently. When I did wake up it was back to work.

Late afternoon before I knocked off for a break I received an email from Karl, the loss adjuster who sent his report which appeared to be a series of empty boxes.The important bit said that he’s recommending a payout less than I claimed, which I’d expected because they don’t pay on stolen cash, less the figure which I’m expected to stand myself but without telling me what that was. He’ll be in touch again on 6th October.  Again, he didn’t say why he’d be in touch because I thought his part was done now the insurance company have his report. I haven’t heard from them yet. It’s a relief though as I’ve spent a bit to replace some of the things . At teatime I put the washing machine on that I’d forgotten this morning then I treated myself to baked beans on toast which I’d been talking to Mike about on Sunday. I just had a fancy for them. Then the order of the day was Antiques, Antiques (different), Quiz, Quiz, Antiques, before coming back in here for a catch up again. At 9.00 pm I went to empty the machine and fold the contents. I had real problems untangling myself from my duvet cover when I was trying to retrieve a sock that got stuck inside in the furthest corner from me. It was only after I’d done it I found the duvet cover was inside out so I could just have righted it and the sock would have fallen out. I’m waiting for the day when Mike tells me there are as many shirts in the i***ing basket as there are in the wardrobe ( in his fevered imagination of course).

I broke off at 10.20 pm to write this post as I don’t want to be doing it too late. I’m prepared to stop doing mail if it approached midnight tonight.

Happy as Larry on my Skuttlebut

Happy as Larry on my Skuttlebug

Tuesday.It dawned on me that the day hadn’t bothered to dawn at all when I got up this morning.Too mean to turn the lights on I tried to navigate past the office chair and the obstacles on my floor by the light of the clock which kept telling me it was 4.18 pm. I must remember to adjust it, unless of course I’ve slept more than I thought. Reaching the loo I decided to risk a light in case my aim was off, it’s either that or follow Mike’s trick of sitting down. One of these night I’m going to put the top lid down too so I can see what happens. That should confuse him. Going back to my room I turned the light on so I could find the on switch for the computer and find all the goodies I’ve been sent. Though repeats two more banks I don’t have an account with, want to suspend said accounts to give me chance to update some of my info. Yeah, hope on ! The tax people have increased the figure for my rebate to £501.36 when it was only £497.56 the other day. Perhaps it’s the interest I get from not claiming. My next real rebate if there is one will be April 2015 and if they come out with a similar figure I won’t be disappointed.

Of course there has to be someone who knows the ins and outs of my life well enough to be able to predict when my lucky times are due. I’d be a fool to miss out on this FREE offer and a bigger fool If I don’t listen to when the worst time for me to invest my money is. Personally I think the worst time to invest my money is when a fake fortune teller sends me a message. The luckiest times are when I keep my money firmly in my wallet. One firm wants me to invest in a Canadian or Australian lottery. I wonder why when we have a lottery here and also the big European one. I’d need a lottery jackpot to afford the tickets for these mad schemes. Finally there’s a lady on Facebook who thinks she and I should be compatible for togetherness. Given that I had to translate the message and given that she appears to be 40 years younger than me and as supple as a circus performer, I don’t think my heart could take it. I suppose I could go with a smile on my face though. I concentrated on the rest of the mail and getting it down to manageable proportions before I go out.

Because I know time sometimes runs away with me I brought everything to a halt at 6.00 am, got dressed and went through to the kitchen. Everything looks fine. The albino must have learned his lesson after the staring competition the other day. There he was sitting atop the bridge looking in my direction with that hang-dog look and sad -but still red- eyes. I fed them and backed of and somehow skidded on a patch of water on the floor going down quite heavily on my rump. Just as well I had my wallet in my back pocket, but I do wish I hadn’t got coins in it too. There seemed to be lots of bubbles rising in the fish tank. But surely that’s not possible?……….                                   After taking my meds to restore the semblance of sanity on my face I took my coffee back to the bedroom and picked up where I’d left off with the mail. It was fortunate that there was nothing more to upset me as I was still practising a smile instead of a grimace in th reflection on the screen. I was doing one thing and the reflection was doing the other which was quite disturbing.

At 7.20 am I donned my jacket and gloves to ensure I wasn’t rushing at the last minute and took a chance on one more message. It was one that required a comment and I was going along blithely until I saw the time….7.30 am.  I flew to the door, attached the crutches and started to go out when I remembered I had a bag to take. How sensible of me to have placed it near the door in readiness. How stupid of me to have opened the door and hidden it. I was still in time for the bus. I sent Yvonne a text to let her know the journey had started and then leaned on the arm grip of the crutch with my chin and nodded off. It wasn’t to last long as the bus didn’t take the first corner too smoothly and I was almost deposited on the floor. Then Yvonne texted back to say she was leaving home to meet me. The rest of the journey was uneventful and I arrived safely to be met by Yvonne and by Reuben who was pointing madly and smiling as I got off the bus. I liked Yvonne’s bright idea that we go and have a breakfast and a drink instead of having something heavy later. Reuben had toast and jam, Yvonne had a short french stick with sausage and egg and I had something too with a cup of tea.

From the pub cafe we went to try and find some jumpers for Reuben. They came in such styles as ladies leggings, ladies tops and ladies tights, but nothing remotely little boy jumper style. From there Yvonne wanted to take a dress to be repaired and as we were passing a large jewelers shop, she took my watches in to see how much it would cost to have the batteries replaced. £8.99 each was the quote but if the seals needed doing they’d have to go away. A 2 year guarantee on each. I told her we’d think about it. Yvonne left me to have a cigarette while she took her dress in and I noticed a smaller chain who deal in shoe repairs and key cutting now do watch repairs. When Yvonne returned she took the watches in there. She was in so long I thought my luck was in, but when she came out she carried a list. She quoted £16.95 for each of the large watches and £9.95 for the small one. The large ones could have their battery replaced free of charge at any time after this first charge and the smaller one was covered for just 12 months. Oh, and to replace the scratched glass on one watch would be £29.95. I declined. From there we went round to the Market where there is a nice little jeweler, the same question was asked again, No problem, £3.99 each for the two larger and £3 for the small which included the seals. “Just give me ten minutes” he said.

I nipped to the loo and gave Yvonne some money to buy us drinks in the market cafe. Not fantastic but thirst quenching. Reuben certainly needed it judging by the way he attacked Yvonne’s drink. We took him to the pet shop to see the rabbits and assorted small critters as well as the budgies and parakeets. He was fascinated as was I having a real soft spot for budgies. They didn’t have any rats. On going back for the watches I could see he was struggling a bit with the last one, the biggest in getting the strap back on. Everyone seems to have a problem with it but it’s really quite simple and clever if you just follow the arrows imprinted in the leather strap. Eventually it was done. I’m so pleased. Coming down the exitfrom the market which was filled with shops I was suddenly hit in the face by a beautiful butterfly. As it moved away I pointed it out and Yvonne said “That’s mum” and held her arm out. The butterfly came back and landed on her. I could see her hand shaking as she kept repeating “This is mum, this is mum.” It finally flew off before she could take a photograph on her phone. Still a bit shaken we decided to go for a drink and a cake. We had to go upstairs in the cafe and Reuben decided he’d been quiet too long and set up a screech to pierce eardrums. Only the waitress could make him smile, his mum and I were out of favour for some reason. Yvonne decided on a vanilla slice with a cup of tea, I settled on a milk shake and some potato cakes, Reuben had a teasted toecake but already had a drink in his pram. He settled down. From there they walked me to the bus stop and a horrifyingly crowded bus and waved me off. Reuben didn’t look at all happy. I know how he felt actually as Yvonne is standing up to me too well these days and I hadn’t bought anyone anything all day.

At home it was straight into battle once I’d let her know I was home safely. There was so much mail I didn’t leave my seat until 5.15 om. Mind you, I didn’t return to it until 8.00 pm and here I’ve been ever since with mail and the blog to do. It’s a hard life but someone has to do it.

Happy at Play

Happy at Play

At the Zoo

At the Zoo

 

Wednesday. 3.42 am saw the start of my day though I wasn’t necessarily fully awake. I was being led by my bladder. By the time I’d come back I was wide awake and there was no point in going back to bed. I just turned the computer on and got to work. It seems that Medium Tara (or whatever size she is)  is giving me perhaps the twentieth ‘last chance’ to write and request my lucky numbers or whatever is going to improve my life. One of the greatest improvements would be if she stopped writing to me. Trouble is you don’t know it’s her until you open the post. I’ve tried marking hers as spam in the past. I was actually clear of messages just before 6.00 am and decided as it’s games night and I might not have tea, that I’d have a breakfast today. So, once my very well behaved fish were fed, cough. and I’d taken my meds I slipped some bread in the toaster and waited. And waited. Then I turned the toaster power on and waited again. My coffee was done before the toast so I enjoyed the first sip of the day before the toast popped up. I buttered and applied strawberry jam and enjoyed every mouthful of the two slices.

Back at my desk I caught up on the mil that was still coming through until at 8.30 am I got dressed and at 9.00 am took a walk to Pauline’s for my TV mag. some cigarettes and some baps. Coming home I had the Twix that must have accidentally fallen into my carrier bag and did some more mail, thanking those who regularly re-tweet for me. I also had an offer from Vista Print from whom I’ve not had anything for ages. With Christmas in  mind I actually ordered 6 desk calendars for my son’s mother back in Nigeria (Hmmm) and for his brothers and sisters. All different pictures of Reuben looking bright and happy. So, I’ve officially made a start now. If any of you get adverts from them but haven’t tried them, or see an advert for them, it’s worth a look. Having pictures put on tee-shirts, on shopping bags or even making special cards using your pictures can make great gifts. There are lots of other things of course including your business cards which as an author you should always have since it can carry information on your website or blog to keep people updated. Right, advert over, back to work. I try very hard to re-tweet things for other authors who often need all the help they can get so I spent the rest of the morning on that with one break when I started doing pirouettes round the house much to the surprise of the fish. The postman had just delivered a cheque from the insurance company  and they’re obviously not questioning anything other than the expected, value of the Albert, cash stolen, some prices etc. At 11.30 am though I knocked off to get ready for lunch and for my programme. That would keep me away until 1.00 pm. Or should have done.

I woke up at 2.12 pm in my chair in the lounge. I think someone put something in my lunch. I must thank them.  I’d just got back to the computer when I had a text off Lee to say he was coming tonight. Great, I don’t see enough of him. I ploughed into the mail which had obviously been coming in steadily since I left. Nothing stupid thank heavens. I was still fairly elated at getting a cheque albeit not for very much, but it will allow me to replace things now. I wanted to be as clear as possible for this evening so I worked till 5.00 pm. I’d just gone through to the kitchen to prepare mugs when Lee arrived. Bless him, he’d brought me his spare tablet. Just a 7″ one but with good  specs ( since he is a programmer). I said I’d give it back as soon as I got a new one but he told me to keep it and wouldn’t let me buy it from him. So, it’s one item I don’t have to replace and I’m OK with my watches now since the Fossil ones I bought work fine ( so far). I’m even questioning replacing the Albert as I wear it so rarely I could use the cash elsewhere. He even set it up for me. I do love my nephew very much.

It was almost 6.00 pm before Dil and Matt arrived due to horrific traffic. I sorted their drinks out and gave Matt his biscuit supply. They were open before I could blink. We got the table out and I produced the Balderdash to play and some new sheets to use with it. The first game went so swiftly and modesty prevents me from saying I WON. No-one was near me. The second game started a bit slower for me but again I have to allow my natural modesty to come to the fore, yes I WON AGAIN!!!!! Time to change games so I drew up for Nomination Whist. I think I did the first four or five hands without getting my call and Dil was really flying. Suddenly a burst of wins put me in contention and by the end Dil was down to third place and yes, it was me again. It was impossible to dance round the floor with the furniture in the way so I settled for crowing instead. Quite satisfying. It was time for Lee to go so I gave him my thanks and wished him goodbye ( and better luck next time). Then I dealt a hand of Crazy 8’s as there was still half an hour before Dil and Matt go. Things did not go my way at all and though I didn’t lose he game, I didn’t win either. I’m so unlucky ! As Dil got up to go he told me it would be Thursday night next week as he’s running his wife to the airport on the Wednesday. I said it would be kinder to take her in the car but maybe it’s a fitness thing?

After they left it was the usual tidy up, washing up and taking my tablets before I could come back through. The mail has been horrific which is of course down to you lot keep writing things on blogs etc. Some people have no self control. It’s now 11.45 pm and I still have mail to finish. Night All.

Mummy said it's a rhino sorea**e I think.

Mummy said it’s a rhino sorea**e I think.

 

Zoo baby 5

 

 

Thursday. 3.51 am and for the sake of my tootsies I turned the light on as I stumbled to the loo. I can’t imagine what it would do to the village to be woken by a bloodcurdling scream as I stubbed my toe so I was swearing my slippers for protection. As I stumbled back on the return journey I slipped my dressing gown  on because it was definitely cool. I did my banking first this morning to make sure my pension had gone in. I know it’s selfish but I thought I might eat next week too. That done I turned to my mail only to be assaulted almost as I signed in. A message from the NatWest tells me that because I have not responded to their request for information my fictitious account has now been suspended. It’s the first time I’ve been mad to feel guilty for not doing something I shouldn’t have done anyway.  The conmen are getting more audacious by the minute. There were some interesting messages too like one from a friend which suggested I have 3 angels looking after me. If only I would send the message on to five more people within the hour. Dire consequences befall me should I not pass it on. Not only do I dislike these chain mail threats but I dislike them even more when religion is brought into them. Though she and I can discuss our religious differences we both know we’re at opposite ends of the polar spectrum. Maybe she actually believes the threats in which case I should forgive her.

At 6.00 am I went through to the kitchen. As I turned on the light I saw a flash of white in the tank. I went over slowly and turned the tank light on. My pal the albino cory was lying under the bridge sides heaving from the effort of flight attempting to portray himself as innocent. Believe me it’s quite hard to look innocent when your eyes are that red. I knew he’d come from the direction of the filter but couldn’t see what he’d done or what was different. Seconds later I glimpsed movement from the corner of my eye. One of the smaller plecs  emerging from the mouth of the filter and creeping surreptitiously across the back glass to remain unnoticed. I don’t know if there was a sabotage attempt or a rescue attempt but there was definitely something very ‘fishy‘ about it. I took my meds and made a coffee which I carried back to the computer where I carried on working until 8.00 am when I got dressed. I couldn’t decide whether I was brave enough to take my cheque into town and pay it in. I could look for a tablet case at the same time. The problem is it’s market day and probably very crowded. Ah, but will it be crowded early? I put my shoes on ready to leave at 9.00 am then took them off again. I did a couple more messages then put my shoes back on. As 9.00 am came I made myself go out. A bus came and I was part way on before I realised it’s not my usual one and it’s very crowded. Lucky for me there was one twin seat free but I had to walk past three seats on either side to reach it. Why didn’t I leave my shoes off?

When we arrived in town the bank wasn’t open. I checked and saw it opened it’s doors at 9.30 am. With ten minutes to waste I walked up the high street behind the market and came back down in front of the stalls. There weren’t many stalls and there weren’t too many people. It did look like rain was threatening so maybe that was why. I found 3 picture frames diminishing in size but no tablet cases. That will have to wait until my expedition with Mike. As I got down the street the bank was open and I went in. I was the only customer. While I filled in the paying in book another two customers came in but they were going as I was ready so it really was a quick in and out for me. In 3 working days the cheque  will have cleared. Back up town again to the bus station where I can have a smoke while I’m waiting. Had I not been alone ( and if I’d remembered chocolates) I would have gone to Kassidy’s for a drink. I was home for 9.50 am and the only passenger on the downward journey. As I was coming round I saw my postman Darren who called to say he had a parcel. I told him I’d be home in a minute. I’d got my jacket and shoes off before he arrived and handed me a box and a postcard. The postcard had been posted at the same time as the other one I received over a week ago, the difference, the other one was placed in an envelope. It had a beautiful view of Andalucia and I got straight on to let Lottie know it had finally arrived. The box contained a hat brush I ordered for Mike, or rather for his hats.

I worked until lunchtime which today was a crown of chicken with sweet potato mash and petit pois. I was watching my antiques show while I was eating and thinking how much I’d enjoy doing that. I took my plate through and washed up then settled down to watch the auction. It happened again, I just zonked. I’m sure they have some barely audible commands in the background hypnotising people. I woke at 1.40 pm, turned the TV off and went back to work. I got to about 3.00 pm when my stomach made noises like the plumbing was broken and I had to dash. In fact I had 4 dashes before 5.00 pm and missed some of my second antique programme of the day. I wonder if there’s something subversive about antique shows in general? I had some tea which unfortunately was some more of what I’d had for lunch as there was too much at lunch time. Wait for it……THE PROOF, I started to watch my last antique show at 7.00 pm and had to dash again. By the time I came out I was sore, cherry red and vowing never to watch another antique show (until tomorrow).

At 8.00 pm I came back through to the bedroom with one more detour. Here I have been ever since answering messages of one sort or another. One lovely message told me how much a granddaughter had enjoyed my Tall Tales poems and the lovely grandmother offered to put links for it on her blog. So kind. Though I advocate we should be kinder to each other than we are, people constantly surprise me with just how sweet they are. Certain people show their kindness to me day after day giving me hope for the world. I won another Fossil watch tonight but I really must stop now, I already have more watches than I have arms and more than I have cases to put them in too. I must give some thought to birthdays up and coming and to Christmas. Just 90 days to go folks!

Friday. If I ever find myself stuck in a Groundhog Day of today’s I’m jumping under a bus. I managed a little read after getting to  bed last night and turned my light off about 12.30 am. I got up at 1.54 am. I read again until 2.45 then when the yawning got too bad I tried again but was awake at 3.42 am. Convinced that was it I started looking at some work but by 4.40  am I was writing anything at all and even I couldn’t understand it. I wiped it all and decided to go to my chair in the lounge and try there. Success, I nodded off until 5.45 am. By my reckoning just three and a half hours at best. I’d left the computer on so it took no time to start and get into my emails. There were a lot.Thanks peeps!!

I worked till 7.00 am then took  a stroll to the kitchen knowing I needn’t rush now the fish and I are friends. What fish? Nothing at all in sight when I got there. I couldn’t help but remember the small pool of water on the floor that caused me to slip recently. Have they been digging an escape route to the sink and FREEDOM ? That could be why the  albino has been nice to distract me. Almost automatically my hand went out to put food in and one of the plecs broke cover. The sly dogs  cats , they’re doing this to scare me. Carefully I scoured the tank with my eyes until I’d spotted them all including the albino who was wearing a patch of weed like a cloak of invisibility. I’m glad it’s Saturday tomorrow as I’m going back to missing food on that day and they can hide all they want.

I did the usual, tabs, coffee, computer but left the renewing of tablets for the week until later. As I sat at the computer and took a big drink of my Americano I found I’d forgotten to sugar it. Since the mess I’d make spitting the mouthful out would be mine to clean, I forced myself to swallow. Ugh! I thought about dropping a cube of dark chocolate in but my mind rejected that as it’s not especially sweet. It was either go back to the kitchen and get sugar or persevere. I persevered. I got dressed sometime before 9.00 am and when I thought the schoolground mafia had gone from Pauline’s I took a walk over for some bread and some more dreams via the lottery. I came back and started work again.

At 10.05 am there was a knock on the door. I thought maybe the postman had something for me and opened it straight away. “You shouldn’t do that” said a voice I don’t know as I cringed back at the sight of a stranger. I couldn”t hide at that stage, it wouldn’t work so I let him explain that he was from the team doing fire alarm tests, emergency warden intercom tests and checking the property was secure with alarms in case I got burgled. Presumably he didn’t know he was here precisely because I had been burgled. The area has now been designated as No Cold Callers so I was issued some warning posters for them which he applied to my door, and a personal alarm for me. He was very pleasant but my nerves were shot. When he finally left I had just sat down when the door went again…..what’s the choice, postman or same man forgetting something? The answer is neither so yet again I was confronted by a stranger. I recognised the uniform and managed to let him in without having to stutter too much. He’d come to service the boiler. It was a pain because given some warning I’d have been prepared for him. As it was I had to drag things out of the airing cupboard to give him access. Everyone tells me I shouldn’t do that but so far they haven’t supplied a personal manservant to do it for me.

I carried on working until halfway through the visit an after he’d been in the loft he told me he needed access to the gas meter. You may remember my quest to have that moved because of the position it holds near the floor in the furthest corner of my inaccessible pit. There’s no way I can’t use that room for storage as was intended. The gas people have said they’ll put me on a smart meter so info goes to them straight away. That’s over 12 months ago now and nothing has happened. I asked them to raise it. They said not to do any lifting but to let their meter readers do it. Yeah, the last one wasn’t willing. As it happens neither was the boiler man so I had to do it again. Then back again once he’d finished of course. I’m sure he was a very nice man but he had the most annoying habit of going dum-de-dum all the time. No recognisable tune and no variation either. I was quite pleased when he left and I was able to grab a cigarette before lunch. Roast beef and red onion baps today.

I watched the auction without falling asleep today and then went back to work afterwards. Two or three messages and then an alarm started on the kitchen window and as I leave the room to check there’s some banging on the window of my room. I just about reached the kitchen and saw the window cleaner had been a bit enthusiastic, which made me understand the noise at the back too now, when there was a knock at the door. One of the team looking for payment. Unless it’s gone up he diddled me too but believe me I just wanted to shut the door. I managed to reach my room when some post came through the door,. In an afternoon, here? Not been known before. I bent down to pick it up and yes, there was a knock on the door. It had to be Darren this time. No, it was the fire alarm safety officer back again to see whether he’s asked me about window alarms. Gordon Bennett, it was his lot that supplied them!!!!!!!!!

Finally peace and quiet and the chance to catch up a bit. I worked until 4.30 pm when the last day of my antique show comes to a head. At 7.oo pm I’d hoped to see the finale of another prog but it wasn’t on so I locked the front door and went for a shower. I’d had another key cut for Mike and given it him last week as he couldn’t find his previous one so he’d be able to get in. When I came out of the bathroom I decided to do a bit of a catch up until Mike arrived but at 8.00 pm I went to the kitchen to prepare his mug. There was a plastic bottle I’d forgotten to move to the recycling so I took it then. I was on my way back when I saw Mike about to knock so I opened the door. “Just as well you were there then” he said. “Where’s your key” I asked. “I didn’t see the point in bringing it if you’re in” was the response. It occurred to me that I could be in, but lying there deceased which wouldn’t help him get in if his bloody key is in Rugby.

I made his coffee and we filled each other in on our eventful week then I stayed and kept him company until 10.00 am when cowardice brought me back to the post. It’s horrific and I had to stop at 11.30 pm to give me chance to get to the blog. It’s now half past midnight and any more will have to wait for tomorrow.

Mike's Dragons

Mike’s Dragons

 

Mike's Coffin Shelves

Mike’s Coffin Shelves

Saturday. I managed to get to bed just after 12.30 am this morning and was determined to have a short read so at 1.15 am I made myself put the book down and step away. I doubt I was long getting to sleep. 

I woke at dead on 5.00 am in full panic mode as I’d no idea just how many messages I’d left unanswered last night. I even forced myself to turn the computer on before I hopped cross legged down the passage towards the loo. When I got back we were ready to go…….ish. I’m afraid not all the sandwiches had made it to the picnic as they say. By the way, who is the THEY that keeps saying things like this? Rude remarks about my mental aptitude will earn a swift clip round the ear.

I worked flat out ( No, that doesn’t mean lying down again) until I heard Mike’s alarm go off which was at 6.55 am. With a sigh so deep it was at the bottom of a well I went to the kitchen to start the day proper. As I turned on the kitchen light I glanced at the tank. Two plecs on the glass at the front and the albino sitting atop the bridge in such a fashion that if he’d been any more human he’d be swinging his legs. If I had my way he’s certainly be swinging somehow. As I placed food through the slot is head seemed to follow my every move but he didn’t go anywhere. It’s unnerving I tell you, he’s not natural.

I put the stuff in Mike’s cup and flicked the switch on the kettle. While I waited for it to boil ( I didn’t watch it just in case)I took my drugs and made my own drink. I dropped Mike’s coffee off on his bedside cabinet , gave him a shout and carried on through to my room to see to getting dressed. Mike’s alarm went off for the second time and amazingly he got up under his own steam and went through to the lounge. I wished him Good Morning but got no response so I knew he wasn’t awake yet. But, a couple of minutes later I heard him light a cigarette and I knew we were OK. I only had time for a few more messages as I needed to transfer things from one jacket to another, make sure I restocked my food tablets and get the shopping list I so often leave behind.  I looked round and my jaw dropped, Mike was standing there fully dressed, eyes open and with his coat and hat on, tapping his foot in a ‘Why are we waiting’ kind of way. I got my skates on ( not literally) and made ready to go. We reached the supermarket the earliest we have done in ages.

We went straight for flowers this week as I didn’t need potatoes. Then it was round the children’s clothing sale but Reuben was out of luck unless he changes sex and then to look at the gents clothing before finally heading towards food. Sticking anything easy to do in my basket it was like watching the 1000 m final at the Olympics. We were at the checkout in no time at all. Once through we decided on a coffee which Mike went to get while I sorted out the cigarette supply. We loaded the car, returned the trolley with which I had a fight as it didn’t want to return the £ coin. No way was I returning to the car without it as it was Mikes and he’d think I’d pocketed it. I’d been wondering about a case for the tablet Lee had given me and we decided on a detour to a shop called B & M which naturally we know as BUM Bargains. There had been a case in the Supermarket at £14.99 which Mike decided perhaps I shouldn’t get after he picked me up from the floor. In BUM we found one at £2.99 which was perfect and was a good make which was handy. I bought it.

From there we headed for Flint where we were able to have a coffee and some banter with Ceri in Temptations. I can’t say it often enough what a delightful, bubbly girl (woman) she is. A quick trip to the frozen food shop and then home to unpack. He passed me the bag with the frozen stuff naturally and left me to put it away. Such a cruel man he is.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         When everything was away I started to try and play catch up with the mail but as fast as I did it, more came in. By the time 1.00 pm came and it was time to go out for lunch, I had almost as many as I started with. Still. it didn’t stop me going. It was quite busy when we got there but Angie seemed glad to see us and had a quick word as well as giving us a kiss each for the sweets we’d brought. I’d also picked her up a little reserved table sign because she liked the one we’d brought in as a joke before. Tariq was in the kitchen but came through for a hug when he saw us (CCTV). Mike had brought a little electrical item for him to work on for him so I left them having a word and went for a pre-lunch smoke. I’d already ordered my gammon, baked potato and side salad. We managed a few laughs while we were there  and then finally headed for home again and the thrill of the computer. I set myself a time limit no matter how much work there was as Mike should have some company. Since they let his cell mates go I thought I’d better be there for him. So at 5.30 pm I went through and stayed there until 8.00 pm. Back in here till 9.00 pm then back out to make some supper for us both.  At 9.30 pm I had to come through knowing I wouldn’t be leaving again tonight.

One of the first treats that caught my eye when I came back through was an email from what seemed a reasonable address but with No Subject in the subject line. I should have known better.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hi, I’M Christina M Hammock. I am a UNITED STATE Military / Nasa .From united state of America. Am supportive and caring, looking forward to get a nice friend. I will introduce myself better and send you my picture as soon as i receive your mail. Christina                                                                                                                                                                Can anyone tell me what a United State Military/Nasa is? Can you just imagine the unshaven, overweight, ex-truck driver ( or her husband) sitting there sending out this message all over the world trying to reel someone in to a romance followed by a request for her fare to be paid to this country, Oops had to spend the money as my son is in intensive care after a fight with his transvestite lover who needs help with lawyers fees and I don’t have a dress to wear for the hearing…….. It just occurred to me that maybe I could try this to and at least get the spelling right.

Mike is watching some comedy show on the box and it’s getting late so I’m going for another look at the mail. I wish you all a Wonderful New Week.

Thoughtful Leonardo.

Thoughtful Leonardo.

Playful Picasso

Playful Picasso

 

 

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