Tag Archives: Coffee

Future photos & Gurgle Jugs

Sunday. It was 5.56 this morning when I started. Since I’m on my own at this time of the day there was no rush. I was likely to be on my own for some time yet. I decided to break off at 7.00 am for meds and coffee and more importantly for the fish. Guilt at completely forgetting them yesterday made me decide to give them a longer run today and anyway, an earlier feed would confuse the little monsters. It was Mike who realised I’d forgotten them yesterday when we got back from Blakemere and he went to make a drink. Of course the sadistic beggar delighted in pointing out my memory is going.

I took my coffee back to my desk and continued answering comments on the blog and commenting on other posts. Despite my chair having supportive arms ( great for when I nod off) I almost fell out of it when Mike walked in at 8.00 am. It was at least another two hours before I expected him. I made him his first coffee then rushed around to get dressed.  I heard him put the kettle on a few minutes later and then go to wash and dress himself. He’s very good since I taught him how to do his own buttons and put a big L and R on his shoes. Shame I didn’t do it on his feet as well though………. By the time he started on his second drink I’d finished the mail and could go through to join him. He’d decided to try the car boot again so I raided Reuben’s piggy bank ( I put it all back honestly Yvonne) for some change and off we went.

It was beautiful going over the mountain into the Wheeler Valley and seeing the sun shining in patches on the opposite side. We drove along to Love Lane in Mold and parked up. The car boot occupies most of the car park there. I found a brand new keyboard as a spare for the next time my nails take the letters and numbers off to make writing messages a guessing game. I paid just £2.00 for it. I’m sure I got something else too but for the life of me I can’t remember what. I was very excited to find a gurgle jug for Mike but we were both disappointed to find it had been repaired and not too well so it wasn’t bought. Still, we did find two great gurgle jugs yesterday……..

Gurgle Jug- Dartmouth Pottery

Gurgle Jug- Dartmouth Pottery

Also by Dartmouth Pottery

Also by Dartmouth Pottery

Dartmouth Pottery made the originals and they make quite a few colours. Other makers including Wade also made them and they make a great collection……………………

When we finished at the car boot we headed for Flint where we bought some chocs before heading in for a coffee at Temptations. Daniel and Trudie were on again and I was able to ask him if I could take a few pictures next time I go in to let you all see where I eat and drink as suggested by one of my friends. We had a nice break and then nipped next door where we found the perfect curtains for Yvonne. Silver, lined and a 90″ drop.

I needed some tins of pineapple so Mike drove me the 200 yards to the shop and reminded me to pick up more chocs. Having got what I needed we had a run down to Gronant along the Coast Road and lunched at The Ivy Emporium. Everyone came out to greet us from the kitchens and Shella offered to do a meal that wasn’t on the menu but which I love. Mike had a lamb shank with dauphinoise potatoes. Just being there is a treat knowing that Tariq, Shella, Angie and Helen will always come to say hello and there are hugs both coming and going. A little later Mike dropped me off and headed for his Dad’s. I headed straight for the mailbox on the computer and worked till about 4.00 pm when suddenly the front door opened.My heart stopped until a pushchair appeared followed by Yvonne and then Ugo. An unexpected treat. Ugo made himself something to eat while Reuben and I inspected his refection in the mirror. Ugo demolished half a pack of chocolate biscuits with his drink while Reuben was not happy at being missed out. He showed his displeasure on my beard, sideburns and moustache . OUCH. Ugo liked his git, Yvonne loved hers and also the curtains so I didn’t have to save them till Tuesday. They left about half five and I returned to mail till 6.00 when I gave up to watch TV for a while.

A text from Mike for info kept me occupied for a while but after that I watched a film until 9.00 pm when it was back to work. Here I am at 11.45 pm caught up and ready for a read. I wish you all goodnight and sweet dreams.

Monday. This is one of the first pieces of mail I opened this morning.  http://youtu.be/x1qQdjPyagU  I’m sorry Andrea, but here is scientific evidence that when you game too much you can no longer tell real life from the game.

On another note, for all you historical buffs, a new piece of work by one of our more classical composers came to light that was videoed at the time and was lost. I think the scene may be a Viennese Concert room but perhaps may be better identified by the costume.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT3SBzmDxGk

So my day started well though there was a goodly chunk of mail. In no rush I took it easy, breaking off at 8.00 am for the fish, mu uppers and a cuppa. I came back and carried on going until I finished just before 9.30. I got ready and took a walk to the chemist to drop off a prescription and then called in at Pauline’s for some baps. The bread kind that is. One of my friends suggested  that I should mention that in the UK baps is also a euphamism for boobs, knockers, boobies and buzooms. I assure you Pauline stocks none of these items. See Lottie, not a single snigger from the audience but I might now get a visit from the respectability police. Coming home again I found the postman had been. It’s a new one these days and I can’t make head nor tail of his times. Anyway, he delivered the missing credit card holder that stops cards being copied as it’s metal. He also, much to my delight, delivered a letter from my cousin in California. I haven’t heard from her for a couple of years though Christmas cards always come. I know when we retire things often get forgotten but I’m so pleased to hear from her. I dashed off an answer and then walked back up to the Post Office to send it par avion. Things were so much easier when she worked and had a computer. Her son lives on the East Coast and I haven’t seen him since he was about 10 years old, he’s 47 this year !!

I worked till lunchtime at twelve then made something to eat and sat down to watch a bit of TV. All mindnumbing stuff usually at this time of the day. After I’d eaten I washed the pots and sat down again with my eyes closed for a minute. What a long minute that was. It was gone 3.00 pm before I got back to work and the post box was full again. That took until 5.45 to clear but it was worth the effort. I made some tea which translates as I had a sandwich ( a bap) and opened a tin of fruit. Washed up again and watched Law and Order. I stayed with TV until 9.00 pm before coming back through to see who was still expecting me to work at this time of night. More of you than I thought it seems. Time to go get some beauty sleep ( I heard that remark about there not being THAT much time). Yvonne and Reuben are coming tomorrow as I have blood tests , no not Reuben biting me again. Proper blood tests so I may meet them in town and go from there. Maybe we have time for a small shop before coming home as Lis is visiting then……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Susperbaby 5 USE.

parky 2 USE

Two generations

Two generations

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Wednesday. I didn’t get up till 6.00 am but who cares, there’s no one to tell tales on me here. I worked for two hours and then went through the daily routine. The fish were happy to be back at normal time. How the heck are they going to cope with the clocks going forward and them losing an hour. I took my coffee back and finished the first round of mail. Next on the list was getting dressed. I put a waistcoat on as it looked a bit nippy out there this morning. About half past nine my phone burped and Yvonne said she was on the bus. Allowing for traffic,  a little rain, the driver’s ciggie break and an outbreak of dandruff in Kowloon I arranged to meet her in Holywell at 10.45 am. Two hours before the bloodtests but time enough for coffee and a spot of lunch.  I reached Holywell with a following wind at 10.15 am and decided to look round a shop. It was as well I came out early as I saw Yvonne’s bus pull in at 10.30 am. I’d forgotten my phone and might have missed her.

Reuben was awake and I got one smile before he started to look at me with some suspicion. I’m obviously not his Dad who he adores, at least we know he’s not colour blind. I took a walk round another shop while Yvonne visited the bank. He please must have fallen on deaf ears because they joined me a minute later. The total faff surrounding a name change at a bank is amazing. You now need to make an appointment to do it even when the staff are free. She’ll have to do that at her home branch now. We spotted my favourite word ‘SALE’ on the window of a clothes shop and Ihad to turn a deaf ear to her moans at me in order to get Reuben a couple of things. Then we headed for lunch. Kassidy’s was fairly quiet so we found a nice table and got Reuben out of his pushchair and onto my knee where he promptly grabbed two handfuls of my facial hair and pulled. Yvonne ordered a strawberry tea with a baked potato and tuna. I had a pot of tea and a b***n sandwich. Reuben has some milk, blown back out with a raspberry and some dinner which went the same way. I just had to tell people they were natural flecks of colour in my jacket.

The women all thought Reuben was a Cutie and Chris came out of the kitchen to coo a little. Meanwhile he has such a death grip on my moustache I had to offer a corner of my bread to occupy his hands. Just as well he didn’t realise the bread was sans content. As we finished there and Reuben was once again in his trolley, poor Yvonne had to move furniture around to clean up the floor.Reuben had made a bit of a mess too. We left and went to get him some more baby food before heading back up town. It was still just mid-day so we had a wander round Lidl. It must have taken longer than we thought as I had to leave them at the till and fly to get to the hospital. I made it. I didn’t have long to wait before it was over again for a couple of months. I must be nearly empty now though. I came out of the hospital slowly looking about for a missing daughter and grandson. I was halfway back to town before I met them. Yvonne had missed the hospital ( just one road away). How anyone can lose a building that big I don’t know.

We got home safely and my phone had a message to say Lis wasn’t well and wasn’t able to come out. That meant I could be bullied by Reuben without a break now. He did eventually nod off, no doubt knackered from beating me up. As Yvonne held him on her lap I nipped outside for a ciggie and then did some messages so tonight’s batch wasn’t too bad. My prescription drugs were delivered and I took Reuben when the phone rang and it was the Gas Company to sort out my problems. Yvonne got all my queries answered and someone is coming out in April to assess moving the meter. Also, towards the end of April they’ll assess my payments again an d issue a refund for the credit’s on my accounts. Just as well since they’ve changed the direct debit for gas up by £20 a month despite owing me and not the other way round.

It was 7.00pm before Ugo arrived tonight since the traffic was bad an then the local chippie was closed and he had to go back into town. I was about to start on Rueben’s arm when he turned up. I couldn’t finish it all but Ugo had no problem with his plus his chocolate puddings. Reuben used great big Doe eyes but couldn’t get a taste. It was 7.45 pm before they left and baby was tired. Still he was as good as gold when I put him in his car seat. I hugged them all and they’d gone. I came back in and tried to make it look like a herd of buffalo hadn’t just passed through then straight in here to start work. I’m up to date for now but think I’ll call it a night. It’s a Night ! Off to read a book.

Wednesday. It was a late start this morning as I lay in bed until almost 7.30 am. I was awake but not motivated at all. When I finally moved, I had time to turn the computer on, nip to the loo and then do about four messages before going to feed the fish. I took my coffee back to the computer and resisted the urge to go back to bed. Just before 9.30 I got washed and dressed to go out for some baps, ciggies and a kitkat that miraculously appeared in my hand at the till. I did manage to get as far as home before eating it. I worked on until the first batch of post was cleared at about 10.15 am then decided to go through to the lounge. Unusually I made a second coffee and sat down to watch a film about George Washington and the Continental Army that was about to start.  I was no more than a couple of minutes into it when glancing out of the window I saw my nephew David approaching and he was carrying a box.

Intrigued I went and opened the front door for him. I was greeted with his usual smile and he placed the box in my arms telling me it was something he’d picked up free of charge ( I never believe him) at the weekend. As we went through to the lounge and he headed off to make himself a cuppa I found the box was full of discs from the front of various Family Tree and Genealogy magazines. There look to be some excellent records there which may help in my quest to get past some stumbling blocks. I’m really very grateful. Though he wouldn’t accept anything for them, there was a small job on the computer I was at least able to help him with. He’s not been lucky enough to develop the kind of interest as I have and therefore has no idea what to do sitting in front of the screen. A shame really as he has the time to become really good. He wouldn’t stay for lunch but left to go and do some shopping before going home.

I had lunch and then spent the early part of the afternoon thinking of my nieces Karen and Jo. They’re in my mind quite often and I’m just looking forward to seeing them in early April. It’s just hit me what an odd month that will be. Mike away, my nephew Lee away, I think Yvonne and Ugo are away for a week of it and then Ugo’s mother will be staying with them over Easter. My world will be quite empty except when the card sharps visit on a Wednesday.Talking of which, that’s today. I did some catch-up work between about 3.00- 5.30 pm then went to put a quiz on the box while I awaited my visitors.  Dil and Matt turned up at about 5.45 pm and watched the end of the quiz while I made drinks. As it finished I erected the card table and set out the Scrabble. We’d just managed two words each when Lee turned up so we abandoned the game and started again with all four of us. Lee was telling us about going to Japan with his lovely wife in April for a month. Then the subject turned to the problems in The Ukraine and also the missing airliner. Concentration was not on the game for a change. I can remember that I lost and Dil won. Out came the cards for Nomination Whist, I lost again. This is becoming habit forming now. Dil suggested as there were four of us that perhaps we play partners at cribbage. I had Lee as my partner and he’s not played before. I found it hard to try and explain the basics .The game was progressing well and it had been Matt’s deal so his was the box. ( For non-players, the box is a second hand the dealer gets). When we’d played the lay-down part and it came to counting points in the hand Matt ‘accidentaly’ mixed his hand and his box together so Dil ( his partner) helped sort out what he’s played and passed the two hands back to him. His hand had some thing like 6 points, but when he turned the box over it was a 24 pointer with two eights, a seven and a six with a seven as the turn-up card. He admitted he’s not sure if he separated the two hands correctly but it would have been criminal not to have the box with the cards it now had. The cheating didn’t save them as Lee and I won ( Come on, I was doing the scoring). They left at just gone 9.30 pm.

I came through once I’d tidied up and stored what few biscuits Matt had left me. ( One I think). I’ve caught up with the mail again and managed this post for 11.30 pm so I have time for a short read now. Before I go though, it interests me to ask how many of you still play games at home either with your children or just as adults. With the advent of the computer I’m sure lots of people game, but alone these days or in RPG’s on the net and I just wonder if the social aspect is being lost with all the laughs that can be had. Night all.

……………….1004520_709315322452748_1750083583_nWhat’s the blank to make a 7 letter word. Picture credit the Scrabble Site …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Thursday. Sleep at about 1.00 am and up again at 3.10 am so I went to see if I could nod off on my chair in the lounge. Fat Chance ! I’m not especially nosy but every movement outside caught my attention. One elderly male neighbour turned his light on and walked stark naked into his lounge. Hell, I wish he’d used an iron. Lucky for me the light was soon turned off again but I’d already put dark glasses on so I could see nothing more. It wasn’t too long before some dozy beggar woke the birds and their morning chorus started.  I gave up trying to sleep and came through to the computer. I never open the curtains there as the screen faces the window and it makes it extremely hard to see. At least there are no distractions.

I saw to the fish at 8.00 am and spent half an hour sorting my drugs for the week before making myself a coffee and taking it back through to continue with my mail.  The latest annoyance are messages that look genuine until opened which then say my payment owed of $212.50 ( or similar ) is ready to be paid if I just click the link. Since I know no-one owes me anything it’s a pain not being able to just delete them. The wind started howling outside in a repeat of yesterday’s gales but today the rain came too. I’m not going to complain as the Spring flowers need a drink and we’ve had a reasonable run of dry and sunny weather. It does sound awful out there though. By 9.30 am I’d finished and got myself ready to go out. Unfortunately I need my lottery tickets and some biscuits. At Pauline’s shop I met Darren the postman who said he had a parcel for me. Amazing since the item was only ordered yesterday. I texted my nephew David to let him know and had a response later to say I’d have a visit tomorrow.

More mail and blog comments when I got back and the parcel was delivered. I put it to one side for David to open in the morning. Lunchtime came and I fed my face on a lamb shank. Thanks Asda, it was very tasty. As soon as I’d washed up I turned on an old film and promptly nodded off. I didn’t wake till 3.00 pm. On checking the computer I found a message from Yvonne to thank me for a parcel she’d received along with a message from me. It was full of bags of apple crisps apparently. I confess here and now that if Yvonne hadn’t told me about the message in the parcel I might have denied it was me. I’ve only got a vague recollection of doing it a couple of weeks or so ago. I worked until 5.30 pm then went for tea before Law and Order started. I watched TV until 8.00 pm and then came back through to find 82 pieces of mail waiting. I also wanted to order something from Amazon.com for delivery in the U.S.- it wouldn’t let me so I went to my account with Amazon.co.uk. It let me get through the order process then refused to send the good abroad even though .com import via the same firm. Aarrrgghh. In the end I went to  http://www.englishteastore.com/ where if you live in the U.S. you can get a great selection of British food…….including my Border Dark Chocolate Gingers. It’s probably not the only place but they’ve been excellent with their service so far. Anyway, someone is due to get a nice birthday gift soon. Mail done, blog done, it’s time for a short read I think.

Friday. It was 3.55 today and even though I was reluctant, I knew I wouldn’t nod off again just yet. It was worth starting on the post to give myself  a little leeway later. I worked up to 6.15 which brought me up to date with the 82 waiting in my box so I took a chance and lay on top of the bed. It seemed to take a while but I did manage and stayed there until 7.20 am. I’d had a treat so I gave the fish one and fed them early today. There were only 30 new messages when I got back so I was able to get washed and dressed before 9.30 as I’d no idea what time David would call for his parcel. As it happened I worked on and off between mail and family tree until almost 11.30 am when I decided to go through to the lounge  I’d just stood up from my desk when there was a knock at the door and David came in. He was going to Broughton Park near Chester to a shop he’s heard about and asked if I’d like the ride out. Me- Shops, what do you think? I was in the car before he was. It turned out the shop is my favourite shop there, it’s called Home Sense and has really nice and unusual gifts, furnishings etc. It’s partnered with TKMAXX.

David was after some items from the sale displays and went straight to the appropriate shelves. I paused a little and enjoyed some of the wonderful Japanese style furniture and some of their ceramics. I was just catching up to David when I saw some tea bags with green tea, pomegranate and cranberry that I thought Yvonne might enjoy. Then a cute little table caught my eye with a glass top under which sits an ornate clock so there’s no chance of not knowing what time it is if you’re having a cuppa. Lastly I saw a sale if the craft section and found a sweet little motto and surrounding leaves that go on a wall I thought  might look quite sweet in the hallway. I’ll have to ask Mike what he thinks as his hands are steadier than mine. Having finished in there we nipped next door to have a coffee and sandwich as my lunchtime meds were late.  David ran me home again then headed off to collect some thing to go on his next Charity Car Boot Stall. I’m always happy to donate stuff to that as he does it for the hospice Ju was in at the end. I think he’s brave considering the last traces of his own cancer haven’t been eradicated yet.

I worked all afternoon on the mail and was glad to see a couple of KDP Royalty payments for last month. I stopped at 5.00pm to make a sandwich and watch a quiz. I wasn’t sure what time Mike would arrive as he’d gone to his Dad’s today to sort some problems for him.  He still wasn’t here at 7.00pm so I didn’t get a decent hairwash this week but I can do so tomorrow. The man has nails and uses them. I get my hair washed and my head scratched at the same time. I really miss being able to do that. It’s one of those odd things that brings on an angina attack, like raising my arms above my head sometimes does. It’s as well I don’t have to cheer Wales beating England at rugby these days or I’d be in trouble. He eventually arrived at 8.30 halfway through Agents of Shield which he likes so we had to start it again at 9.00 pm so he could see it all. I decided to head through here then as he complained he hadn’t had much of my company. No Comment. I finished the mail which was a measly 29 this time, had chance to do my blog and am now going to read a little more about King Alfred and the Danes. See you all tomorrow.

Saturday.I’ve already been threatened with exposure in the comments so I’ll confess my guilt up front and admit I didn’t get up this morning until Mike’s alarm went off and woke me at 7.00 am. I have no idea what happened but as I went to the loo a voice chirped out a good morning to me as I passed his bedroom. I was frankly amazed he was awake and thought he must realize I’d only just got up. A few minutes later as I was preparing drinks Mike came to the kitchen. He said something along the lines of  “Aren’t you surprised I’ve come through for my drink?” My less than charitable response was ” I’m surprised yo’re not  waiting for the second alarm before moving at all.” I expected a sharp retort as usual but was rewarded with ” Huh, starting on me when I’ve  just got up.” I should have bitten my tongue off at that point but no, I had to open my mouth, “No, I’m starting on you when I’ve just go up.” That was it. The realisation of what I’d said registered and I knew I’ll not live this down easily and won’t be able to tease him about not getting up in future. It strikes me now that I’m sure he drugged me last night.

We left at about 7.45 am and my computer wasn’t turned on. All I could think about was unanswered messages and how many more there’s be when I got home. We arrived at the store just before 8.00 am and I’ve never seen anyone look so smug. Nothing at all I could say. We shopped, we had coffee ( mine was iced) and we left. First stop on the way back was Flint and we picked up a couple of things I needed from Home Bargains, a brilliant shop, then headed for another coffee at Temptations. No Ceri today as somehow she’s managed to get another weekend off to avoid us. Anyway, as per a suggestion here are some shots of Temptations for you.

Temptations

Temptations 

Daniel at work

Daniel at work

Great Staff

Great Staff

Temptations to resist

Temptations to resist

I sort of promised I wouldn’t call Mike a pig in this post so let me just say The Gannet has a teasted toecake as well as both his and my biscuits with his drink. He did allow me to have real sugar with my drink bless him.  There was a good conversation going on about learning to drive and before I could stop him Mike took his revenge early and related a story about some unforgiving hedges upcountry that a certain nameless person became acquainted with. When we left Flint it had just begun to rain so we drove home to unpack the shopping. That didn’t take too long as I can’t afford food these days with all the clothes I bought recently. So, I left Mike showing his feminine side sorting out Ju’s flowers and putting them in a vase. He let me escape to the computer to check how bad the mail was. I was very relieved to find it less than 100 and made a start. I’s almost done at 12.30 pm when Mike came to see what we were doing about lunch. I knew Tariq had made him a brilliant and kind offer to help make a lid for his fishtank that he could use a new lighting system on. I also knew he’d bought and brought with him  a piano hinge to fit on the lid so The Ivy Emporium seemed the best place ( as well as being a great choice anyway). As soon as I finished the mail we headed off. Just as well as I was starving and needed my lunchtime tablets. The traffic was atrocious as the coast road seems to have work parties digging up or laying down every hundred metres. We eventually arrived and found a table. Angie came over to say hello and Mike went in search of Tariq who as usual was working on one of his projects. I followed to say hello to Tariq and to ask Mike what he wanted me to order. “Jerked pork” came the response and I promise I bit my tongue.

As I got back to the table the lovely Helen came for a welcome hug . As she headed back to the kitchen I took the chocolate I’d brought with me to the counter just as Tariq came to take my order and sort the drinks. I have to say I haven’t had the great pleasure of meeting many people like Tariq and he did bring a lump somewhere when he made a comment later about moving from the friends stage to family which is actually a fairly good way of describing my feelings- and I’m supposed to be the wordsmith in this family. Lunch came and was dutifully eaten, though Mike said he was surprised I could finish considering I had two lunches……completely untrue.

Ivy Empori

Ivy Empori

Ivy 2

Tariq the barista

Tariq the barista

Where the puds are.

Where the puds are.

After leaving we had a change and headed for Prestatyn where we scoured the charity shops and an antique shop looking for a set of fire digs and some fire irons. We were only partly successful. On the way home Mike stopped off at a small antique place you may remember from a couple of weeks ago and managed to find a small set of fire irons. Not what we wanted exactly, but they’ll do for now. We arrived home safely and Mike went off to watch the football results on TV so I was able to gt on with some work. By the time I’d finished the results were in and Mike wasn’t looking too happy. It’s not that his team had lost, they hadn’t, but that the competition in the league had won so convincingly they were ahead of his team. He improved a bit when his lot won 2-0 a little later after a late kick off. I went through to watch a little TV with him and then had a shower after he’d been kind enough to was my hair again. A bit more TV and some supper brought us to 10.00 pm when I’ d no choice but to come finish the mail off. That done I could start on the weekly epistle which I’m happy to say is now done. I wish you all a fantastic weekend, or what’s left of it and a brilliant new week, hopefully full of Hugs.

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Happy Birthday.

Well, the big day was yesterday. The 60 something birthday and the day the snow was predicted to arrive. Isn’t that typical, you sit here Christmas day hoping for a blanket of white and it arrives in mid January when you don’t want it.

Ju had tried the sign of the cross to ward off the evil of an early start but as I was expecting a flood of visitors laden down with gifts I wanted to get back from the shopping. The reason for shopping on a Friday, blame Ju since she decided to start horse riding on a Saturday at one stage. OK, I admit that’s changed now but the shopping expedition seems to have stuck.

I woke her at 7 am with a cuppa, a warning that we had half an hour before leaving and that there was a smidgeon of snow on the ground. I backed out of the bedroom to ensure I could see any missiles heading in my direction. My coffee was in the lounge where I’d given all the girls a yoghurt drop as a treat. Ju cowered in her bedroom afraid to venture out in case she had a fit of conscience at not giving the girls their early morning outing on the settee. In fairness, I’ve told her if she wants to do it I’ll get her up at 6.am

I gathered the shopping bags, my list and the all important lottery pouch., brought Ju’s handbag through to the hall and said goodbye to the girls. Off we set. The winds of Siberia were howling around the front door and the smidgeon had become a couple of inches and it was still coming down. After what felt like a three mile trek to the car which is 50 feet away we hauled ourselves in and set a’shivering while waiting for the heater to kick in. The wipers took the worst off the screen and away we went.

Living by the coast has it’s benefits one of which is that snow rarely sticks here. I guess no-one was listening as I shouted a reminder to the gods. The coast road was still fairly clear and it had obviously been salted. We made good time to the supermarket arriving just before they opened at 8.am. The heater hadn’t done a fantastic job as some fool had opened the window to smoke. ahem. moving rapidly on……. I got out and walked stiff-legged to where the shopping trolleys were parked. I put in my £ coin and tried to pull mine away from the rest. After a few minutes trying I went to borrow an ice axe to separate them then shot into the warmth of the store.

Our routine is that Ju goes off to buy the lottery tickets and her paper then while I go round the store to shop, she sits and has a coffee till I’m in the queue at the till when she comes to help me pack.(If she sees me. I have pointed out that she stands a better chance if she actually faces the tills). Three quarters of an hour later I’m done and ready for a coffee and a diet conscious, diabetic, toasted sausage sandwich with brown sauce. Mmmmmm. As I’m sitting there Ju tells me Yvonne has phoned and won’t be able to get through because of the white stuff and her sister has phoned and said the same. Heavens above, what’s the matter with these people. Mu and John only live 40 miles away at the bottom of a valley with about 4 mountains between us. No-one makes an effort anymore. Looking out the window convinces me that maybe the gods are making an effort because the car is fast disappearing.

We’re on our way home when I remember that I promised to visit ‘our’ cafe Let me Tempt You, to take a pair of earring to one of the girls. When I mention it to Ju her lip seems to curl. I think it must be the cold contracting her muscles. We arrive home safely and the snow is sticking . We unpack and I say ” would you like a coffee sweetie”?     “Yes please babe” is the response. “Grab your coat then and let’s take these earrings to K….”. I hear a growl and almost think there’s a dog handy but my beloved knows it’s my birthday and is humouring me. Borrowed tennis racquets on our feet we struggle back to the car. I try breathing on the lock to getthe key in but my nose sticks to the side of the car. Afraid Ju will drive off with me in this position I tug and take the skin off the tip off my nose. Oooh, that stings.

The Coast Road is still accessible and we make it safely to the cafe. K… looks up in surprise and said she didn’t expect to see us in view of the weather. I just say a promise is a promise. I’m renowned for my wisdom. Ju makes a comment about buying me my birthday drink and she head off to order while K… selects the earrings she wants. Leaving K… smiling happily I go to join Ju who has found us a table…….ha, 40 tables, 3 customers, how hard that must have been, and sit. I am no sooner ready to take my gloves off than the tray arrives with two of the staff who start to serenade me “Penblwydd Hapus i chwi. penblwydd hapus…..Dear David……..” I’m cringing and trying to crawl into my boots as everyone is looking and of course the next four customers in sat just behind me. I’m given a lovely card and a sweet little gift as well as a free coffee. Ah, and Ju must be warming up since the mouth seems to be grinning.

We came home about 11.30 and spent the rest of the day wrapped up warmly indoors. It carried on snowing.

Poor Ju was unwell and had to go to bed about 4.pm but it was not snow or shopping trip related. This morning she seemed a little better and the snow has stopped. They say we’ll have another little flurry than it should clear over the next few days but it’s going to be cold, verrrry cold with icy blasts in the minus. Maybe we can hibernate for a while. Oh, a phone call to say my next birthday is tomorrow when Yvonne and Ugo are going to come then another early next week when Mu and John come. Then the following Sunday when my nieces turn up. I quite like the idea of Official Birthdays and unofficial ones to follow.

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Strange days come, Strange days go.

It’s been a funny old day. Things started OK at the usual time. I got up about 5.00am and turned on the computer while I nipped to the loo. ( No, I didn’t take it with me).

Coming back through to the bedroom after venting Niagara, I started on my messages. There were 71 since just gone midnight. If I ever catch that little epostal God on his own………  Anyway, quite a few turned out to be duplicates from Gather. I usually answer the first one I come to and delete the others. I confess to not knowing whether that’s protocol or not. Maybe I’m meant to answer them in every group that posts them but that seems highly redundant. The others I ignore are those that get me steamed as it’s too early in the day to throw things at walls. If I disturbed Lady J’s beauty sleep she’d throw me at the odd wall.

About 6.30 I grab a sachet of cat food ( I get peckish about then) and take it through to the kitchen where he currently sleeps, stopping only on the way to offer milk drop to the rats and a yoghurt drop to the degu ( she’s much more up-market). Kettle filled and on ready to clean Oscar’s dishes it’s time to take a handful of cornflakes through to give then girls their first nibble of the day, just to save my fingers being their first meal later. Things are still going to plan at this point, so I wash Oscar’s dishes, empty the new sachet into one side and water to the other. Then I remember he need some olive oil for his coat. It already been pointed out to me that smearing him in it isn’t going to wwin mr prizes from Oscar, Lady J or Oscar’s Amazonian Transylvanian vet. Therefore I take a capsule of the damn stuff and pierce it with a knife tip. These are not soft gelatine capsules though, they’re armoured and have little warning notices sticking up from the surfaces saying Verbotten. Mmm, I don’t remember olive oil being this red before.

I slammed down the offending dishes and applied a plaster (bandaid) which immediately floated off as I belatedly washed my hands. “Oh Dearie me” said I, and promptly remembered that the rubbish collection day has changed to a Saturday. I apply a new plaster (bandaid) and take the bins, one refuse and one kitchen waste, plus one bag of newspapers, one of glass, one of plastic bottles and the tin can one outside ready for the men. Hands wash, plaster floats off, another oops and one more fresh plaster. Now it’s time for medications. What joy, two sprays, one anti biotic, 6 steroids and 8 other tablets and a partridge in a bloody pear tree. Then on with the kettle again because it’s my turn. One more tablet for 20 minutes before a meal so I pour out my coffee and check the time. Nearly 8.00am so I’ll risk an early death and get Julia up.She’s not a morning person these days so I pretend it is the right time and ask if she’s coming to get the girls out to play. I get a big smile and a nod and I’m safe. I put her a cup of tea out ready and nip back to the kitchen to put the toaster on.

Ah, a nice cup of coffee, a piece of cool toast and two final tablets as pudding.(Oh joy). Through to the lounge to sit beside my beloved . I swear there were two pieces of toast on the plate when I came in , oh and what’s that? Well, that is Amy foraging in my pocket for a packet of tissues. What a clean rat you say. Well actually these are for her doily making lessons while her sister Penny has run off with the other half of my toast. Not to be thought greedy I’m sure Amy will get a share when Penny’s finished licking the butter off it. They’re having half an hours fun and frollicks on the couch. I demolish what’s left of my toast and feeling a little guilty give the other two who are still in their cage a chocolate drop each. Julia in the meantime takes Saffy the degu out and places her inside a large plastic ball to roll around the floor hitting as many ankles as she can. And believe me she can. If she wasn’t such a sweetie we’d be a degu free zone by now. There’s no malice in her at all. She doesn’t bite and loves human interaction- hence the ankles I suppose. Penny is by now nudging me and being the subtle little thing she is, I bring my coffee cup over, ilt it slightly so she can drag at the lip and spill it on me before daintily dipping her hands in and bringing them to her mouth.

Almost 9.00 now so Julia is ready to put the girls back in the cage ready for the second crew, the youngsters. I nip to the kitchen to wash my plate now devoid of toast. Damn, another plaster.

In the UK we have a biscuit called a Wagon Wheel. Not the type of thing to get you very far in the Wild West but a nifty snack here. Having lost my toast I decided ‘Why not’? And took one through to enjoy with whatever coffee I’d been left. Bernie (Bernadette) and Priya are  out now and are having a mad half hour running back and forth. I’m a very generous person and still feeling a little guilty that I hadn’t shared my toast with them ( well not all of them and not willingly anyway) I decided to offer them a nibble on the edge of my Wagon Wheel. Bear in mind that these have a diameter of about 4 inches, have a biscuit base, a layer of marshmallow and jam (jelly U.S.) and are then coated in chocolate, they’re not the lightest biscuit in the world. Both girls step up to the plate and the next thing I see is Bernie, arms open wide gripping the biscuit, back legs pounding away in the opposite direction from my mouth. Believe me, with the speed of light my hand descended from above and relieved her of her load even as she took a flying leap to get behind a cushion with it. You could sense her disappointment. With  firm grip I offered it again and dejected they both had a little nibble and left me to it.

Playtime with the girls can be real fun though having Bernie nip inside your dressing gown and then rappel down the cliffs from shoulder to tummy using your skin and her claws as brakes can be hell on earth. Priya is much quieter and more gentle but is learning rapidly. They were returned to their cage ready to sleep during the day and Saffy was released from the ball and returned to her cage to carry on digging the escape tunnel. My mistake with her de-luxe home was to buy a metal cage with a plastic base. I forget the rodent teeth though I can see for myself the progress she’s making. Ju and I get dressed ready to go out since her brother is coming later and we’re picking him up from the bus station in town.

The pick up accomplished at 12.00 we decided to go for lunch. The special today was roast lamb dinners. Chatting away to the owner the waitress came to see what we wanted. I ordered the drinks than 3 roast dinners. Why? I don’t like lamb much and had been going to order a very healthy, diabetic conscious sausages, bacon, egg, ships and beans along with a reproving look from Julia. Instead I order lamb????? I’m not going to lie. It was well made and the meat was very tender. I grinned and bore it.

A visit to another nearby town for a quick shop and a latte and we were home again. I’d promised to do some photographs for my brother in law so came through to the computer and the next 87 messages while Ju put the kettle on ( didn’t suit her) and placed Saffy in her ball. Eventually 3 days later I was able to join them in the lounge and passed Terry the pictures. I noticed Saffy’s cage still open but no sound of her rolling around looking for ankles to wallop. Before I could ask I caught a glance out of the corner of my eye of this little nonchalant beastie  just strolling across the lounge floor not a care in the world. Somehow she’d managed to bang off, or unscrew ( I know which my money’s on) the end of the ball. Because she’s not intimidated by us at all she doesn’t run away but her little bottle brush tail just disappeared under the settee as Ju got down on the floor rustling a bag of yoghurt drops. “Look what mummy’s got for you” she said. “Prison” thought Saffy and carried on walking. Oscar had been lying on my chair arm up to this point and now took notice, He saw Saffy taking her constitutional and did what all brave pussies do, he went rigid with fear ( ever since Penny ran up his back leg) and shot out of the room. It took quarter of an hour to entice her out from under an armchair mainly because we all thought she was still under the settee.

At 5.00 we took Terry home and let the cast members settle down. When we got back at 6.00, Oscar was asleep on my bed, the furthest point from the lounge. Saffy was just widening the escape shaft in hut 18 and the girls were just starting to rouse themselves. Ju and I sat and watched an hour of Big Bang Theory and relaxed.

 

 

 

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