Sunday. This morning Mike decided to look at my DVD player as I’d tried to watch something during the week and though I could hear it fine hadn’t been able o see the comedian prowling the stage. He applied his technical know how and came up with his diagnosis. “It’s buggered” he said. “Can I get a second opinion?” I asked. ” Yes” he answered, ” it’s still buggered.” It seems one of the tower units had become overheated at some point and blown a part. I couldn’t deny it as the scorch marks he showed me were a bit of a clue. Into the bin went the three units of the tower and leaving a mess on the floor and the TV stand out we headed off to get a new DVD player. I was hoping for a multi region player since a dear friend has recently reminded me of a TV series of the eighties, Dinosaurs by Jim Henson. The only copies I’ve been able to find anywhere are region 1 and I live in region 2. In the end there was nothing in the local shops to indicate region so I bought one I liked the look of and took a chance. Or at least I started to when my card was declined and I had to use cash. We went for a coffee, except that Rose had her usual tea, While Mike went to
terrorise talk to the female staff Rose offered to come up at Christmas and cook a dinner on Christmas day for the three of us. The gesture was wonderful but I tried to decline saying I didn’t want either of them to come up. Not because I’m ungrateful but because I’d rather Mike stayed close to his grandchildren so he could give their gifts on the day and then he and Rose could have the rest of the day together in peace. The dirty laughs ended and Mike came back to the table. His son has other plans Christmas day with the grandchildren and he doesn’t want me to be alone at Christmas. ” I’m coming” he told me. It looks like I don’t have a say in it. “And anyway” he said, “Yvonne said she’d like me to come up for Boxing day and she doesn’t want you to be alone.” The fog lifts and I begin to understand. What a conniving pair. We lunched at The Blosssoms on a beautiful lamb roast dinner before going back and Mike set up the new DVD player. He asked for a disk to test it and we sat engrossed in Peter Kaye until finally reminded him it was time to leave to visit his Dad. We put everything back in place and they left. I removed Peter Kaye and spent a couple of hours on mail before watching a little TV. The embarrassment of having my card declined in the shop rankled with me so I came through to check the bank. As I thought ,no problem. I was really cross now and found myself picking up the phone ( which I haven’t done for over 10 years now) and dialling the number of the bank. I managed to stutter my way through the problem and the young lady amazingly had the patience to try and understand me. Trouble was, it was a fraud issue and she had to transfer me, to India of all places. I like Indians and have no prejudices against them but I do have a problem understanding their accent as they must have a problem understanding a Welshman who stutters his way through a sentence for half an hour. Anyway it turns out Google had wanted to verify my account and had made a 32p payment into it as Paypal do when you start. So now my card is suspended if someone pays INTO my account. Aaargh, it’s not long since they promised not to do this to me again. The card was de-suspended. They have me coming and going since last time it was because I bought something from a U.S. site without being over there. I swear it was fully an hour before my heart stopped hammering.
Monday. I had a lovely visit this morning from someone I used to work with years ago. It was especially nice because I only saw him maybe once or twice a week depending whether I was doing work in an outer office advising the public on Benefits. He told me the whole office used to look forward to my visits but I suspect it was because I used to take biscuits. We had a nice couple of hours before he left taking a signed copy of Oscar’s book with him and saving me the postage by taking his Christmas card too. Apart from wonderful Lis and my young friend Jonathan, no-one from the offices I used to work in has kept in touch. Doesn’t say much for my popularity does it. Still, I was always an anti-social git. Another treat today, the postman brought me a letter about my £10 Christmas bonus from the Government. It will be paid in by tomorrow. For the last three years it’s not been paid and though they admit it should have been, no-one has been able to explain why it hasn’t. I’m not too worried as the Government have been generous in other ways even though I don’t agree with the newest policies for dealing with the disabled and sick. I spent much of the day doing emails , eating or watching TV.
Tuesday. I’m afraid Yvonne, Reuben and I are together again. Despite me having finished my Christmas shopping I’m still going home with 5 bags. Yvonne is bragging that she’s bought nothing as though I’m the only one who ever shops. Anyway, it’s her fault as she leads me astray and takes me to them. One store that gave me a major surprise is H & M a shop I wouldn’t normally go into. I was really please with some of the prices I found there and managed to get Reuben a great pair of trousers that came complete with braces. I had wanted a special gift for two friends who run Kassidy’s but who don’t celebrate Christmas. In The Gift Company I came across a picnic basket with a cooler section and it came complete with a flask too. Perfect for when they take their dogs out ( I hope). They have beautiful Highland Westies…………………
I don’t want you to get the idea I’m out of control here, but I also managed to find some great stocking fillers, hence all the bags. But it’s still all Yvonne’s fault if I can only afford dry bread for Christmas dinner and must starve in the new year. Now she has told me I mustn’t shop again before Christmas, there’s apparently so much stuff we struggle to open the door. I’ve told her ten million times not to exaggerate.
At home again and Ugo arrived so we were all able ( except Reuben who was most put out) to share a chip meal, sausage for me, fish for Yvonne and I daren’t tell you what Ugo had even if the was enough room on the page. After they left I spent two hours on emails and then went through to watch Patrick Jane catch Red John. He knows about the three dots tattooed on his shoulder. Imagine my surprise when he had all 5 suspects gather together in one place and.. I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it but Purleeze anyone who’s seen episode 7 already let me know what happens. After that it was time to finish my mail and have a read of my Pratchett before sleep.
Wednesday. I woke early this morning , as usual it was pitch black. Stupidly I decided not to turn on my lamp but to rely on the light from my clock which was smirking at me, and I stubbed my toe on the chair on my way to the light switch. The rest of the short journey was accomplished by hopping. The pain subsided rapidly as I checked my Euro lottery ticket and found I’d won a whole $2.60, just about enough to buy a postcard of where I’d like to holiday if I can’t afford the holiday itself. I’m currently saving all the lottery wins ,probably to buy another one if they put them up again. Anyhoo, I dashed off to the corner shop to cash it ( I did get dressed first honestly, just leaving out the boring bit). Coming home I remembered Yvonne had asked me about some poems I used to write as she was young. They would accompany a little sketch and used to entertain her when small. She’d seen them somewhere recently and hoped I’d let her keep them for Reuben. I was fairly sure they’d gone back in the loft with the few items in boxes I’d decided to keep when having the big clear out. The only way to find out was to check the loft so out came the ladders. Climbing the ladders was no problem but I had to use them as a sort of springboard to get me far enough to lean over and reach what I wanted. That was a bit of a mistake as I soon found out. The ladders were on a laminated wood surface, as I heaved myself up they decided to depart the are I was in. I could just about touch them with the tips of my toes but of course with my upper body in the loft I couldn’t see them. It took ten minutes of trying to hook my toes onto something so I could pull them back again. Ten minutes in which I was gasping for breath as though I’d undertaken heavy exercise. If I’d been on the phone at that time there would have been screams for the police, not to help me but to report a heavy breather. I gave up on reaching the box and came down. On my way to the kitchen I noticed a box behind the lounge door in which I thought I’d recently stored some photographs. Opening it up, the first thing I came across was the folder of poems. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Opinions Welcome.
In honour of Reuben for my Beloved Daughter..
The fish smiled a great smile of joy
as he swam in the sea of delight,
for the sun was glistening off his scales
which he knew was a beautiful sight.
The fishing nets had long drawn in,
and the boats being full didn’t linger.
he knew he was safe for another day,
and wouldn’t end up fish finger.
The dragon sits on towers high, his quest is never done.
Watching all the girls and boys while they play and have fun.
He says “Don’t talk to strangers, or take lifts in a car.
Stay where friends can see you and never wander far.”
And when your day is over, the dragon can be fed,
on happiness, for knowing you’re safely tucked in bed.
After tea Dilwyn and Matthew came for games night. We started with Scrabble as always and I came first, but I’m not saying from which end. I didn’t get a look in. Just as well when I asked Matt what he wanted next, he suggested Crazy 8′s like last week as he’s getting the hang of it. He’s not quite mastered the insult side yet but after seeing him lay ‘nasty’ cards down, there’s no doubting he’s his father’s son. Playing in a game like this with Dil is brilliant as he has a highly infectious- if Muttley like-laugh. I ended up with stomach ache which was more than made up for by the scalps under my belt as we stopped playing. One thing that always pleases me is that Matt seems to enjoy coming along for a game despite the age differences between him and us two old fogies.
Thursday. A singularly unpleasant day today. The wind is at gale force and throwing ‘wheelie bins’ about like they are weightless. There is the threat that snow is due and maybe in quantity so I hope no-one is writing off a White Christmas yet. Somehow I managed to check the lottery on line and then throw the ticket away. When I went to buy the new tickets I was told the numbers from last night weren’t up yet and the ones I’d used must have been last Saturday’s. I virtually skipped home thinking maybe I’d won the jackpot and thrown the winning ticket out. I’d forgotten somehow that I’m not in a Disney movie. Back in the bin it went. Lunchtime I had sausage, microchips and baked beans. Excellent until about 2 pm when I was back dashing to the loo. I’m having a break now for The Mentalist and then will return until 10 pm when I’m off to see Person of Interest which somehow I seem to have forgotten these last two weeks. It was great. I now have time for a couple of chapters before sleep.
Friday. I’d been up since 5.20 this morning but as there was to be no MuJo visiting and nothing to rush for I didn’t get dressed immediately. How typical that there should be a knock on the door at 7.40 while I’m still in my dressing gown. Instead of hiding and pretending to be out, which would be daft when the light is on, I glanced through the window and saw a flash of orange, the postman! Fantastic, I’d ordered a hand blender ( wake up at the back. it’s not for blending hands) and want it in time for her birthday on Sunday. Before anyone accuses me of meanness I must point out this is a gift but not her birthday gift. I don’t give kitchen utensils as gifts for birthdays ( or Christmas smart alec). How frustrated was I to see it was broken. I immediately got on to the firm on ebay to report it and to ask what I should do. The conversation went something like this…….
Them…Can you supply photographs of the item please.
Me. Certainly, here are 3. Is it possible to get a replacement here by tomorrow and I’ll gladly pay any extra postage.
Them. Hmm, that looks broken. Would you like a refund or a replacement.?
Me. A replacement please but I need it by tomorrow. I’ll pay any extra postage.
Them. I’ll have one sent out, can you inform us when it arrives please?
I felt as though I’d been totally ignored at this point. Tomorrow will tell.
I had the usual lengthy message from Michael. “On way”is all the little chatterbox said. I texted back to ask if he’d be here by lunchtime and I could hang on without eating till about 1 pm if he could make it. He told me he’d be here. Lo and behold, he is. We went to lunch at Kassidy’s and by good fortune it was a roast beef dinner day. As we walked in Sheryl let out a large groan and said “I see you brought trouble again” to me, at which Mike replied, “Yes, I couldn’t let him walk.” Cheek! I was also able to take up the gift for the owners Si and Chris, the hamper for when they go away with the dog. Not knowing when I’ll get there again I took Sheryl’s Christmas gift to put under her tree. We came home and Mike brought his suitcase in to unpack. We spent an hour on the fishtank with a water change and clearance of the weed plus the removal of a huge colony of snails threatening to take over. The rest of the day was divided between chatting to Mike, catching up with emails and making coffee’s. TV could have been better but my programmes were cancelled for a special on Nelson Mandela. His passing is a loss to the World, a light has gone out that lit a path to peace.
Saturday. 4.55am Start on emails. Quite a few his morning but the loonies are on holiday ( Yes, except for Seumas Gallagher and that Matron of his). I’d just finished the second batch at 6.55 and decided to take my morning meds when Mike’s alarm went off. No need to hurry as he’ll ignore it anyway. True to form he turned over and slept on. I made coffee and took it through to him, managing to drag him to the right degree of consciousness where he might eventually get up. He got up. I’m not going to claim he woke up at that point as my bright and breezy greeting was met with a few neanderthal grunts until he could see the bottom of his coffee cup. We were at the supermarket for 8.am and today I managed to spend just a moderate amount and we left there at 9.15 heading for Flint and the next coffee. We hit a couple of shops first since he thinks I’ll sulk if I leave any open shop un-entered. No doubt he’ll tell Yvonne he was coerced when we see her tomorrow. Ceri was on duty at Temptations and as she served us Mike described in full details an object he’d seen which he said was a foot long and thick, just right for her needs. Just as she started to laugh he told her it was a chocolate bar. Talking of Temptations, it’s time to stop for a word from our Sponsors. Cue the advert…….. Looking for the perfect gift for Christmas or maybe the perfect music to treat yourself to? Check out the new CD by Richard and Adam, a sensational duo with wonderful operatic voices as they go to town on your favourite Christmas carols. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Album-Richard-Adam/dp/B00F4M8PME/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1386428570&sr=1-2&keywords=richard+and+adam Following coffee we took the shopping home to unpack then traded insults till lunchtime. I really don’t know what came over me but I suggested we go to Abakhan as Mike hasn’t seen the changes there yet. This time I’m trying the food. We passed through the gift shop which was funny as he paled at the prices. Then to the cafe where given the (few) options I settled on the roast of the day. It’s December so no surprise it was turkey.Mike had some quiche. Lets leave it that we were both bitterly disappointed. One highlight though was that in the old gift shop we managed to find a small goldfish bowl that he wanted to put some lights in. Maybe one day the tight beggar will pay his electric bill. It was dearer than most places but to save us looking further we bought it. Home again and no sign of the hand blender. I shall have to buy one on my way out tomorrow and then decide what to do with the other one when/if it turns up. Some of my afternoon was spent on emails and some looking round Ebay as I’m looking for stocking presents. At this rate it might just be stockings though I can’t see Mike in suspenders- only because he won’t let me in case I laugh. We turned the TV on and watched something bland for a while until it was time for tea and an episode of the Mentalist which Mike kept saying “I’ll bet this happens next” so that I thought he’d developed psychic powers, before finally admitting he’d seen it before. For a change we had a couple of hands of cards. Naturally I won and Mike sulked When he left for the loo I replaced the cards I’d removed earlier and sat trying not to gloat till he finally hit me. We’ve just finished an episode of Foyle’s War and gone our separate ways to rest. Poor Mike has been having a series of painful headaches and one happened a while ago. This one coincided with his beloved Manchester United losing I think. We can’t say if the pain stays in one place as it does have plenty of room to move around. I do feel sorry for him though as he does for me tonight after a little chest problem.
I wish you all a Happy week free of problems and full of happiness……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..