Give My Liver to the Haruspex & Who’s Stealing the Car?

Sunday 12th April.

I’m not sure what time I woke but I was conscious of being awake and not moving. Eventually I couldn’t stand it any longer and I looked at the clock as I swung my legs out of bed. 4.38 am, not too bad at all. It was cold and I could hear the wind whistling outside, Roger Whittaker it was not. Totally tuneless but powerful enough to be giving my hefty wheelie bin a bad time of it. I wondered how many streets away it would be later on.

I paid my visit to the kingdom of Loo and came back to log onto the computer. Not too many left from last night, about twenty I think, but quite a few new ones. Not too many for the blog though so far.That didn’t worry me too much as I knew you’d all need sleep after slaving over a hot keyboard just to keep me going. No attempts to have me pull tarot cards  from a virtual deck or have me extract my liver so it could be read by the nearest Haruspex. Maybe not too many Etruscans read my blog.                       At 6.30 am I took a walk to the kitchen, it still seemed dark this morning.I turned the tank light on and was greeted by….no-one. Maybe the weather was affecting them. I opened the flap and sprinkled a little food in and Bonzo was there before any had sunk to the bottom. Positive the others hadn’t organised a new escape committee I scoured the tank looking for them. I eventually found all but Harold and if he’d squeezed himself behind the pump again I’d never see him from this angle. It waas easier to let them come and feed in their own time so I left them to it.

I got myself some milk and headed for my meds only to find I’d forgotten last night’s again. That’s three times this week. I shall have to set an alarm to go off. I took the morning stuff but didn’t bother with breakfast today knowing I could have tea.I was later to wish I had. I returned to my bedroom with a coffee and set to work on the mail. At the same time I was following a bid on ebay an while there found two of my books advertised for sale as new. Fame at last I thought. I’d considered being a slob today and not getting dressed but it’s not a state of mind I needed so I sent an email to Yvonne to see if they fancied lunch out somewhere.The eventual answer was yes but they wouldn’t be with me until about 2.00 pm. That’s why I regretted not having breakfast earlier. Anyhoo, I went and had a shower and got dressed so I’d be ready (4 hours early) for when they came. I also needed to dig out my laminator for Yvonne who’s blown hers up.

I continued working until about 1.45 pm when I heard my phone  let me know I had a text. I expected Yvonne to say they were at the top of the hill which is usually when  start to get my coat on. I got my coat on and then looked only to find she was telling me they’d only just set off. My stomach thought my throat had been cut at that point. I sat back down to work a little more but kept my eye on the time   and allowed half an hour. At 2.15 pm I was raring to go. The text warning went again while I was in the kitchen and then the phone started ringing. I’d left my phone on charge in here. I came back through. Text 1 said they were at the top of the hill. Then the phone had rung and it was Yvonne but I thought she was just making sure I was warned. I thought it quicker to wait outside. I waited, then I waited some more and some more. Finally I heard a clunking sound approach and they came into view. As they got close Ugo said they needed to pull up at the front and effect some repairs as part of his bumper had dropped and was obstructing a tyre. He asked for a tool. I went back inside to check and passed it to him via Yvonne. It was then I found another text to say they’d broken down at the top of the hill. Oops, I hadn’t taken my phone out.He managed to do the job and we set off. I’d brought chocolates as Yvonne had said the Ivy. It was approaching 3.00 pm before we got there and they closed at 4.00 pm.It was fantastic to see Tariq again and I got a huge hug as soon as he saw me. I also had one from Angie. She started making my drink and I sorted what everyone wanted and told her. They’d obviously been quite busy despite the weather or perhaps because of the weather, and both my usual seats were taken. That will have to change when Mike gets back. Lunch came and we ate and enjoyed except Reuben who for some reason was in siren mode again until he got a whiff of my bacon. I think he didn’t like being restricted to a high chair instead of having the freedom to roam at will. It was almost like old times as Tariq and I argued about the bill at the end and had to compromise very much in my favour though I didn’t want to. It was better than having the free meal he was trying for. One final hug and we left. It was 4.15 pm. I’m surprised he hadn’t thrown us out.

They dropped me at my home and left to travel on to Chester on the wrong side of the border. Once my coat and shoes were off I got straight down to work. Suffice it to say I had some catching up to do. I took a break at 8.00 pm for some tea and my second set of diabetic tablets and had a half hour of some rom-com on TV starring J-Lo. At 10.30 pm I remembered to take my evening meds and came back to start the blog. I won’t be going back to emails afterwards. Early morning out for bloods and a chest clinic tomorrow. I do hope the rain has stopped by then.

I’ve played this one before but it’s so worth a second play, not least because of the weather here.

Monday.

I turned my light out at 12.50 am at an appropriate place in my book. I settled down but for the life of me the only way I could have dropped off was by rolling too near the side of the bed. Sleep would not come and the bloody leg was itching so it became even more bloody. At 1.45 am I gave up and went through to my chair in the lounge. I had a cigarette and watched some of the local wildlife, though perhaps I shouldn’t call people that, going home from a party. I nodded off at last. It was 4.38 am when I woke again and since it was too early to tease the fish I went straight to my bedroom and turned the darned machine on.  Actually, you couldn’t see where the darn had been done, it was good work. I signed in and started on the rest of last night’s messages. That took me until 6.35 am so I broke off and headed towards the kitchen. I know this next piece should be entitled ‘Confessions of a Pet Lover’ but I didn’t even  look for them this morning. It was light on, food out, food in and close. For all I know the Famous Five could have been the Previous Posse. Heartless I am.

I put some bread in the toaster and flipped the switch. I took all the meds I needed to, ate my heavilly buttered cold toast, took more meds and made a coffee to take back with me. It was 7.00 am. Since I intended to be out of the house by 8.00 am and I was determined to do it alone, I got dressed. A little more work, shoes on , jacket on and I left. I was at the bus stop in time and even had two minutes breathing space not that I was doing much actual breathing with a hoard of Genghis Khan’s finest waiting for the school bus. My bus pulled up behind. It was obvious the driver was a fan of the Boomtown Rats  judging by his face and I barely had time to reach a seat before he was pulling away. Had I fallen I think I’d have needed help to extract my stick from where I’d have put it. Anyway, we reached town without an accident and the time was just 8.20 am. Since the first appointment wasn’t until 9.00 am, I had time to walk round the supermarket. Only when I got there I couldn’t so I stood and read the specials board outside and promised myself maybe some other  day. I walked to the hospital and was there for 8.35 am but it didn’t do much good, it was still almost 9.00 am before I was called. Lying beggar caught me with “It’ll just be a little scratch” again.

From there I walked over to my surgery. It was a very slow walk as I tried to smoke a cigarette as I walked. Every time I raised my arm to get the cigarette to my mouth up came the crutch and it must have looked like I was a crazy guy making threatening gestures. I put it out and went in. The box on the wall wasn’t being very good and wouldn’t let me complete my info. It said there may be a problem with the appointment and to go to reception. I joined the queue. Someone else went to the machine and I watched as it worked perfectly so I left  the queue and tried again. Doh! It still said the same thing and now the queue was longer. Mind you, when I got to the front it was piling up behind me as I tried to stutter out what I wanted. I’d have been better with sign language. We got there in the end and I went to sit down. Wow, all those sick people. Eventually I was called. Sister S is gorgeous, not just in figure but in personality too and as I know her reasonable well the stutter was on minimum power.  We did the usual BP and it was fine, oxygen levels in blood fine, breathing tests, WHAT!! I couldn’t even get to point 2 on the scale which was what she expected from someone my age and dashing good looks, health. She went over the charts with me but I just suggested it was maybe because I still have phlegm from the last bout of bronchitis (ongoing). She’s organised a chest x-ray for tomorrow.

In an attempt at distraction I asked about my leg and whether the swelling might be retained fluid. She agreed it was but wasn’t too chuffed about the state of the skin round my ankle and the ongoing heat.She wants me to see a doctor. “OK” I agreed “maybe next week when I come for the diabetic clinic?”  The smile said it all, “No, now”. She disappeared for a few  minutes so I got my cardigan and coat back on ready. If I waited the doctor would see me as soon as she was free. I took a seat outside her room away from the crowd. It was about 15 minutes before I was called and it turned out to be my own doctor who for some reason looked about as pleased as Sister S once she saw the leg. To be honest she didn’t even  have to say ” And you wanted to wait another week with THIS”, before I cringed. I came away with a pack of antibiotics and a pack of steroids to hold as an emergency for my chest and a pack of Super dooper strong antibiotics for my leg plus a cream plus a steroid ointment described as potent that I must use twice a day but for no longer than a week. I reckon after that my leg must get incredibly hairy or something. I must have said Thank you about twenty times as I backed out of the room with my balls intact.

I walked to the bus stop and saw a dinky little bus with Greenfield on the side. I asked if he allowed the use of passes and he did. He asked where I wanted and I said the shops and was told he stopped by them. Great., He didn’t say it went all round the houses first dropping off people who live on top of the surrounding hills and the bottom of the deepest valleys. Eventually we reached the shops by home. I was grateful they were still open. I took my prescription request to the chemist and handed over the sheaf of new prescriptions from this morning. I waited. The Post Mistress ( I still laugh at that) waved to me and mouthed she hoped I was OK. I waved back. My stuff came except the new cream which they said would be tonight or tomorrow. It didn’t come tonight. When I got home it was almost lunchtime.That meant another 4 hour backlog but it would have to wait until after lunch and another episode of Murder She Wrote.

I returned to my machine at 1.00 pm and sat crying, working without a break until 6.00 pm. I made a sandwich and watched a quiz on TV before going back. I took the steroid ointment with me as I reckon the two 7 o’clocks are the ideal time to use it. I started chipping away at the work again. At 7.00 pm I broke off to apply the ointment. It was miraculous, within moments the itching seemed to have stopped. Either that or I just couldn’t feel it between the stinging on this stuff on all the patches of broken skin. The air around me turned a definite shade of blue. Eventually it eased enough for me to stop skipping on the spot and I restarted work until 9.30 pm. I saw the last half of a very emotional DIY SOS then took my evening tablets and came back. At 10.30 I wasn’t too far from being caught up but I still broke off to do the blog. I may go back to the post later.

Reuben leads Pops to Sunday lunch.

Reuben leads Pops to Sunday lunch.

I think Reuben is reluctant to let the chocolates in my other hand out of his sight. Made using the crutches very difficult.

I was told today I don’t play enough Dusty.So, here’s another gem from her. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday.

Another bad night. Light off by 1.00 am and tried to settle down. Unfortunately the effects of the ointment had worn off and the pain, the incessant itching and the twitching began. There was nowhere to put the leg that seemed comfortable, it generated heat both inside and outside the quilt. I gave up at 1.45 am, lit a cigarette and went through to the lounge. It didn’t seem much better but with my foot on the ground there was some improvement so that eventually I fell asleep. I woke at 6.20 am back in bed where I’d gone when I woke at 3.12 am with a great need to lie on my side and take the pressure off. It was so close to fish time that I just turned the computer on and walked to the kitchen. Bonzo, Pepper and Little Al were all in a corner looking like it was a meeting of the Red Fin Gang. I could see Big Al hanging back and keeping a weather eye on the food hatch. Just then Harold swam into view, The Gang’s all Here, Yay. I fed them and watched as their attention was suddenly focused food wise. I left them to it.

I decided against breakfast this morning. I didn’t want the x-ray to pick up a stray corner of undigested toast and wonder what it was. That made taking the meds a lot easier so I concentrated on that then took a coffee back to my room. First job was to check the bank to see if any money has gone in. I’m interested as I had a notice of a pending payment from Amazon. Not much but still nice to know people are looking at my books or in this case probably just the one, The Queen’s Envoy which I featured not too long ago. It wasn’t in yet so I was able to go straight to my emails. Amazing, only 4 left from last night. Such a pit that of the 4 one was to tell me my tax information wasn’t up to date, please use this link to update it, yeah right! And another was from someone making a fortune from working from the internet and was now ready to help me do the same. Very noble of them but I declined nonetheless. The other two were dispatched very quickly and I was able to start today’s work.                                                      At 8.00 am I stopped and got dressed and went out to catch the 8.45 am bus to town. No kids at the bus stop was great but though I was there first, four women and two men joined the queue and all just walked on the bus before me when it appeared. I could have sworn I’d left the cloak of invisibility at home today. However, my seat was free so no having to climb a step to find one. We were in town by 8.50 am and  a walk meant I was back at the hospital by 9.05 am. I handed my form in to the x-ray reception not really wanting to interrupt the conversation the two staff behind the desk were having. I was told to take a seat, I did. It must have been 15 minutes later when one of the two came round and told me to come through. it turned out she was the radiologist. Before I even go to the room she stopped me, thrust a garment at me and suggested I undress my top half and put this backless thing on. I did so but as I went through I had to ask her to remove my chain because my hands shake too much. She did so. The x-ray was taken and checked. It was OK and the results would be sent to the doctor in 5 days. I could walk it over the road in 5 minutes but hey………

Before getting dressed again I asked for some help to get my chain back on. The radiologist couldn’t do it and the receptionist with her talons couldn’t manage it either. They supplied an envelope for the chain and I took it away and got dressed again. I haven’t taken the chain off in about 5 years and felt naked without it but it did set me off thinking about Ju who bought it for me. There’s a little Welsh dragon on the chain made from Clogau gold which is the Welsh gold the Royal Wedding rings are always made out of. I was out of there by 9.35 am and on my way back to the bus stop. For some reason I avoided going into the Supermarket again and luckily there was a bus in. After a walk from the bus stop I was home again for 10.00 am. Everything had gone right and I was able to restart work on the emails including those sent while I was out. Between then and lunch time I did quite a few responses excluding  another one from the phony tax service asking me to update my details and a very disappointing one from Ghana where a young 32(?) lady had befriended me on Google + and seems to think we should spend our lives together and I should start by sending money to invest in property for our future- as she’s a very poor girl. Oops, quick block as spam and taken off Google +. I’m not vain enough to think a young girl could fall for my charms, or for that matter an old girl- I don’t have any charms, but is there anything wrong with friendship pure and simple? Must everything be about money? She’s not really looking for a husband, she wants a sugar daddy. My missing cream from yesterday was delivered just before lunch by my friend who seemed happy with the chocolates I had ready to say thanks.

I enjoyed my lunch today and was ready for it. I didn’t manage to enjoy all of   Murder She Wrote or the next programme which I woke up halfway through. I wonder if I was bitten by a Tsetse  fly again. I’m sure they were  swarming round the hospital. I managed to stay awake while I worked afterwards so no damage to my desk from my forehead. There was almost damage to the screen though when yet another con letter arrived from Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Office to remind me they still need my updated information. I only wish the real  tax office were this prompt. I’m hoping to hear before mid June this year that I’ve got a tax rebate again. I knocked off at 4.30 pm to watch an antique sow as I’m having withdrawal symptoms. I didn’t return for 2 hours  having found a quiz to watch a well as a Big Bang Theory.  OK so maybe I lied, 2 and a half ours when I saw there was an antique related investigation programme on. It was during that I got emotional after events sent someone investigating a medal for bravery awarded by a Trades Union run Newspaper in the 20’s to the area where my father was born in the Rhymney Valley.They paid  a visit to a coal mine or  ‘pit’ where the act of bravery took place and which may have been where my grandfather worked and then had a Welsh choir singing Myfanwy. It was worth getting shouted at by you for taking too long.

I finally came back to work and started the big catch up again. At least there was noting terrible to deal with unless you count my having to hang my head low after reading an excellent post by Roughseasinthemed on https://cloudsmovingin.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/sexism-tips-feminism/ that proves I’m basically sexist having retained some of the things I was taught as a child, opening doors for ladies, calling ladies, ladies and addressing any woman by the epithet ‘Baby’ though I dispute the use of that one really. It is funny though that what was acceptable years ago by women no longer is. I’m happy to have worked for some women bosses but like the men, not all of them. I’m happy to see a woman doing the same job as me receive the same pay and have the same prospects for advancement. Heck, I’ll accept women can be the better man. One thing that might have some bile thrown at me though is maternity leave. We all want our children to be cared for at home after birth, but 26 weeks on full pay can put an awful strain on an employer if he/she has to hire someone to fill that place, or a major strain on other employees if he/she doesn’t.  I personally would prefer to see the woman leave work and open a position up for someone unemployed. And I know that’s not always a financial possibility but maybe having a baby could be delayed until it’s less of a financial strain. I know women who’ve returned to work only to use most of their wages on child care places.I don’t believe it’s the same as being at home and interacting with your child. My daughter knows this is not aimed at her as I have always believed this  and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.                                        I was a bit late remembering the antibiotic (2 hours) an I missed the 11.00 am one. I did however remember to use the ointment on my leg and follow it up 10 mins later with some of the cream.

By 10.00 pm the backlog was caught up and I was just doing post as it came in. It was fairly easy then to stop the mail at 10.30 pm to concentrate on writing the blog. I may not need to go back to the mail afterwards but can just leave it till the morning and hope I don’t regret it. It’s 11.35 pm so I wish you goodnight.

Give us a twirl.

Give us a twirl.

New Superhero Pigeon Boy !!

New Superhero Pigeon Boy !!

 Please avoid this if you’re very sensetive or don’t have a box of tissues handy. This includes Aberfan.

Short and not upsetting version 

Wednesday.

Light out last night at 12.30 am and  no itching or twitching leg. No, not an amputation, the leg is still here but this steroid ointment in combination with the cream seems to be doing a great job. I’m impressed. Perhaps I’m underestimating the effect of these antibiotics too, I don’t know. Anyhoo, it was 3.36 am when I got up so not too bad. My bladder was holding a conversation I didn’t want to hear which went along the lines of,” I need to go”, “I know I’m walking there now”, “Don’t walk, RUN”. When I came   back I booted up the PC and got ready to go. A quick and very disappointing look at the Euro lottery told me I was out of luck again. A look at  ebay told me I had nothing up today and finally I could avoid it no longer, my mail. Ah, not as bad as I feared, not as good as I wanted. I finished last night’s remnants by 5.15 am and started today’s stuff until 6.00 am when it was fish time. They were all present and correct when I turner their light on and Bonzo was obviously hungry the way he was hovering ready for hoovering under the hatch. When I dropped some food in his little tail almost whipped him to death. Everyone else moved in very cautiously. I laughed and left them to it, no trouble from Big Al today, magic.

I slipped some bread in the toaster and took a pre- food tablet. Sprays next then the rest of my meds leaving enough milk in the mug for my coffee.A quick cigarette to help time the gap between tablet and food and I was away.As soon as I’d eaten I took the post-food tablets with my coffee and returned to my room with the rest. I worked till 9.30 am when it was time to visit Pauline to restock my cigs, bread, TV mag and today I treated myself to a large Calippo (kind of an ice lolly in a tube that you eat by squeezing the bottom end so the top comes up) I couldn’t wait to get home to eat it but she insisted I paid first. It was fairly nice out this morning. Not a lot of sunshine but certainly not cool. When I got home I put my shopping away and opened the lolly. It was delish, so welcome from this feeling of constant dryness. Then I could no longer avoid the work and started again. Quite a lot more had come in. Fortunately not all of it was bad news. I’m afraid I had to  break my engagement to the  Ghanaian woman despite our great affection for each other, but she wasted no time in asking me to invest in property for our future together in Ghana. But, swings and roundabouts, I may have had a better offer.

Hello
I am happy to see you on line my name is Rita ,i am a single honest woman , i need a good honest man to spend rest of my life with, if you are interested this is my email address, (
ritapaull@yahoo.com   ), i will send you some of my photo when you reply,am not here for game either to waste any time my dream this year is to settle down with my soul mate that is why i send you this mail to found a honest man to start a good life together, mind you age, color,distance,religion is not barrier to relationship what most important is love that we will build together /////     ritapaull@yahoo.com
thanks and God blesss us
Ms Rita

It remains to be seen where I shall be moving to this time. I spent some time daydreaming about that but realised I haven’t responded to her before some other lucky man does, and find out where she is. Still, I can hear wedding bells in my future, or are those alarm bells? At 11.30 am I broke off to do my lunch, or at least to get things ready and to take my pre-food tablet. I sat own to eat at the start of Jessica Fletcher’s latest ( well, 20 years old at least) adventure. I didn’t reach the end. I took my tray through at one of the ad breaks, sat down and was gone, just like that. I didn’t wake up until almost 2.00 pm. I washed the pots and came back through again. The post was mounting higher by the minute. I got a grip on myself to stop me running out the door and started. It was very slow going even though I worked right up till 5.00  pm. I knew in advance Lee wouldn’t be joining us but I needed to get the TV on for the quiz and get the cups ready.

Dil and Matt arrived around 5.10 pm and I was prepared. I’d started making the drinks before they set foot over the threshold and we sat down together to see who could answer most questions, though using the word see and Dil in the same sentence is a bit inaccurate.A 32″ TV about 8 feet away and he can’t read the questions. At least if gives Matt and I the advantage. I keep wondering how he sees to drive here. Once the quiz was over I turned the TV off and Dil st the table up and brought out the Yahtzee and the cards. I’d like to skim over the Yahtzee, but when you do some smart Alec always asks so suffice it to say Dil won. I’m sure he cheats but I can’t work out how yet. When I do, I’ll copy him. After that we went back to cards as we always used to and I  drew up for Nomination Whist. For the 1o-1 section I was untouchable, a golden boy hardly missing a trick. My score was around the hundred mark. For the 1-10 section I won less as they concentrated on trying to force me into tricks I didn’t want. It was a skin of the teeth job but I hung on to my lead. As there as still a bit of time left we played Chase the Lady with all the venom of which we are able, except me of course who just played my own game. It didn’t work, I still got caught and ended up in the middle score wise while Matt won and poor Dil lost. Matt’s venom is considerable for a young man.

They left just after 9.30 pm laughing at the fact I had to tidy up. Well at least I didn’t have to drive with Mr Magoo. Once that was done and the pots had been washed I took  my tabs and came through. It has been four and a half hours so I shouldn’t be surprised to find over 100 more emails waiting. I hadn’t managed half before I had to break off at 10.30 pm to do the blog. I may get another 15 mind or so at the end before bed. But MuJo are due tomorrow so I’ll never catch up.

Posing.

Posing.

Smelling more of the park

Smelling more of the park

Percy Sledge R.I.P died 14.04.2015 aged 73.  Another legend lost.

Thursday.

I did n’t read for long so the light went off at  12.30 am and I went off soon after. I woke at 1.55 am quite sure that getting up wasn’t on the cards  but unable to find a reason for having woken. My bladder was content and it wasn’t because I’d wet the bed. A quick smoke and a sort drink and I went back to bed and buried myself. Time to get up was 3.36 am by which time my bladder was grumbling, I moved just to prevent it reaching scream mode again. Coming  back I booted up and logged on. There was a heck of a lot from last night but for some reason I wasn’t too worried. I managed a few before coming across one I flt needed a better comment than usual. After a little thought about my wording I’d started and was now almost at the end of what I wanted to say. Suddenly my screen started to shut down. Why, what had I done. Aaargghh. It reached the stage where it told me this was a Microsoft update but I’d not been warned or anything. I was peeved. Eventually it  brought me back to my sign in and once in it took me automatically to where I had been. Phew, it had saved the work. I quickly finished and saved it before something else happened.

I worked until 6.00 am and walked through to get breakfast. The tank light went on and a usual I could see 4 of them but I hoped No 5 would be within earshot when I told them they were going on holiday. Forever. I hate to admit it but I could do with the space and not have to clamber about to clean the tank, change filters etc. I know the tank could be moved but after having lost so many special fish recently I know I can’t go through building up again and perhaps losing more. The UK has a service called Freecycle which I’m sure other countries may have where people can advertise for things they need or get rid of things they have no longer needed. I saw an advert for someone who wanted a 40 gallon tank with as many extras as possible. I told him about the Famous Five’s Worldwide renown and said he cold have my tank if he took the fish. He was over the moon and is coming for it on Sunday morning. On the next blogpost you’ll know how that went and how I really feel about it. Anyway, back to today. When I got back from breakfast with my coffee I  restarted work and at 8.52 am I caught up. The timing was perfect as I was able to dress and go out to the Chemist and to Pauline’s. At the Chemist I was asking about my repeat prescription that I’d asked for on Monday. The girl looked puzzled and said it should have been delivered yesterday. After a good look round they found it, waiting for a missing item due today. I’ve asked them not to do that, but to send me what they have and follow on with anything that’s missing. It prevents problems like this where I have to walk to the shop. They don’t listen sometimes. From there I went to Pauline’s and got my lottery tickets before heading home again. I took my gloves off and heard a clunk but didn’t associate it with anything and saw nothing. It was only later I found I was missing a ring. I could not find it.

I worked until 10.30 am and then packed up before MuJo arrived which they did not long after. The day was so nice I knew it would be cold drinks so I had them ready on the table as they walked in and I was actually having a cigarette in the kitchen with the extractor fan on since neither of them smoke. After hellos we sat gassing about who’d seen or heard what this week , a competition I was bound to lose as I don’t watch the news these days nor read a newspaper. The fish don’t feed me titbits of gossip anymore either. John wanted to have a battery put in another watch and perhaps ind a leather strap so it was town again today.We left about 11.15 pm so I could pop into the bank, Muriel into the Post Office and John into his beloved charity shops. He bought a display plate today though I didn’t see it. In the chippy, as that was part of his cunning plan, I had a mince and mushrooms deal with peas and chips which I wasn’t quite able to finish. (Who was that asked if I was ill? How rude.)(and before anyone asks, YES , I remembered my tablets this week thank you). After lunch we drove to Flint and the Aldi supermarket for Muriel where I managed to pick p a couple of things including chocolates for Temptations if we go there ha,ha,ha. Guess where we went next. It was quite busy and I got little chance to speak to the girls though I did manage to say hello to Ceri and answer her question about when Mike was back. She thinks his time away has passed quickly. Said probably not for me though.

I had a cigarette outside while MuJo finished their drinks then we headed for Homies where I got a plug-in air freshener. Then down to a shop called Peacocks so Mu could have a look at some clothes and I got a big angina attack. Lucky for me all it did was slow me up a lot and they didn’t notice. One last shop very slowly then we headed back to the car picking up ice lollies to eat on the way. Though it was a bit breezy ( sorry, it’s the mushy peas) it was still warm in the sun. We had the lollies in the car  before coming home. John and I went indoors while Muriel went for her lottery tickets. While John had another drink of pop I had another quick scour of the floor in my bedroom and in the hall  for the missing ring. No dice. Mu came back and I gave her some chocolates and a frozen strawberry and rhubarb tart I’d bought. John decided to have a slice of tart there and then to take with his afternoon tablets. It wasn’t even defrosted. It didn’t flippin’ stop him though. They left a few minutes before five and I flew to the bedroom to start work again. There was tons of it but things seemed to be going OK if a little slow when I was hit by waves of tiredness. They were humongous and I’n sure at one point a couple of surfboards clipped my ear. I had to go through to the lounge. I fell asleep in my chair until 6.06  pm. ( I didn’t use the bed as there were things on it and it would have taken time to move them). I came back and started again, there were bigger tons now.

Disaster struck. I think this was a steel clad HMS Disaster surging up though those waves from earlier. I was dazed, or to be more accurate I was unconscious until just gone 7.00 pm. When I woke, came to there was a lot less in my main mailbox than there had been, including some I’d answered but saved for future reference. I’d say roughly 95%  less working on the premise I had about 100 before the ship hit me and about 5 now. I daren’t look in my sent box. Before this cataclysmic event I know I’d had four things open. My 2 mail addresses, my Barsetshire Diaries site (this blog)  and ebay. There was a huge sigh of relief when I found this sit hadn’t had anything added. Another sigh when I saw I hadn’t bought (and paid) for anything on ebay. With trepidation I opened my other mailbox and………………………………… DAMN they were all still there. So, I’ve spent the evening trying to clear the mail by legitimate methods, if anyone like my Darling Friend in Australia finds a rather odd message from me, please be understanding and don’t com back with WHA??????? in the subject box. I stopped just after 10.30 pm so I could do the blog but I must go back to do a tidy up of any strays before heading to my pit.

I got one foot bigger than the other

I got one foot bigger than the other

Marathon Man.

Marathon Man.

Friday.

It was a 1.00 am lights out and a 1.56 am lights on. I’m all set to blame a wonky bladder for that one as I managed to go back to sleep after a loo visit and a cigarette.        3.41 am saw me up and about without the need to visit the loo straight away  so I was able to log on and assess the damage. So far no complaints so I felt brave enough to       a) Visit my sent list to check and see what I’d done. And                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             b) Visit my trash to see if I’d disposed of anything important. In both cases the answer was looking pretty positive so I started on the rest of last night stuff. That kept me going till just before 5.00 am when I decided the time was close enough for me to take my antibiotic. That done I had to pay a visit to the loo because the sips I’d taken constituted a drink to my bladder’s mind. I came back and started today’s mail a little later than expected. I’d forgotten it was Friday so there was a huge pause at 6.00 am as I went through to then kitchen. As I turned the tank light on, those new bosom buddies Pepper and Bonzo  came over together to be fed. That means Pepper has in turn been very matey with Big Al, Little Al and now Bonzo who are all the same species if not all the same size. I’m beginning to wonder if there isn’t a lot of bonking going on and I’m not sure which one is the bonkee. Big Al and Little Al drifted over as the food went in and good old Harold waited to make a big entrance all on his own. Harold is really good natured but every time I see him and his funny moustache I’m reminded of  the villain in a silent movie who always rolls the ‘tash’ while giving an evil chuckle. There’s no doubt I am going to miss them.

After feeding the gang I thought feeding me was a good idea so I took my pre-food tablet and put some bread in the toaster. I had the sprays and the rest of my meds next before putting my mug in the machine ready to make a drink. The toast popped up and was left to cool. I lit a cigarette and started refilling my tablet tray for the next week.In some instances I had to get a new stock for the drawer from the prescription I picked up yesterday. The cigarette was done before I’d finished and my stomach was starting to growl from the effect of the pre-foodie I think. I picked up my pace a bit which wasn’t a good idea as I kept dropping tablets in the wrong compartments. I slowed down again and eventually finished. I returned the drawer, threw the empty packs away (except the recyclable cardboard of course) grabbed the butter from the fridge made sure I covered my hands with it as I usually manage, just to save time and started buttering my toast. I set the  machine going on my coffee at the same time just to show I can multi -task. I finished the toast, took my after food tabs and washed the pots. The coffee came back with me to my bedroom.

I started work again and just kept going till I finished at 9.08 am, refreshed and worked on until 9.38 am . Then as brave as I am , I dithered about opening my second mail box before doing so and starting again there. That was enough to keep me going until 10.47 am. Time for a little play on ebay then.That was a disappointing session with no inspiration at all. The postman called and I was really disappointed not to get a knock and be handed a parcel I was expecting today. The chemist called with the missing drug and I was a little cross because there was an ample supply in the bag, it was just enough tablets to complete the order I was missing. They could have been here on Wednesday.Still, not the fault of the person who delivered so I was gracious to a fault, and didn’t mention it. It was 11.20 am before I remembered my antibiotic which means I couldn’t eat until 12.20 then so I worked until 11.50 am then went through to butter some bread. I’d settled on a lamb hotpot today which I actually sat down with at 12.15 pm so I could see the start of bargain hunt.

After I’d washed the pot ( 1 bread plate, 1 butter knife and 1 spoon)   I decided I  needed an hour in my chair before going back into battle. Not too bad a guess but it was  minutes over the hour before I returned to work. The first damn thing I went for sent my computer into panic mode with a phishing alert asking me if I wanted to return to safety. I ask you, who is going to say “No Thanks” and carry on. Of course I want to return to safety you idiot, get me back there NOW!! I worked the rest of the afternoon without a break but at 5.00 pm it was down pens whether finished or not. I’d promised myself a break then an another at 8.30 pm for the Big Bang Theory if I could remember tonight. I had a text off Mike to let me know he’s back and had just walked into his flat. If he can be in Manchester for is father before midday tomorrow he may come here tomorrow night, if he can’t make his Dad’s, it may be next weekend before I see him. I don’t want to tell him I was hoping he’d be here on Sunday morning to be me. I might have to be myself after all. At 5.00 pm I downed tools and went through ready to enjoy the quiz. I’m afraid I stayed there until 7.00 pm as there was an investigative programme about a ring from the execution of Charles I. To be fair I did work hard when I got back i n case you said I couldn’t skive off again at 8.30 pm. As it happens I actually caught up on one address at 7.20 pm and thought it a good time to break off and have a sandwich. I turned TV on in readiness and was devastated to see the end of a Big Bang episode I  haven’t seen before. I’ll have to watch out for it now. I was in time to sit down to watch the new one though which had the usual moments of high comedy but also moments of real pathos. I was genuinely touched when Mrs Walowitz died. Even though I’ve never seen the actress who plays her appear on screen in the part, the character, or rather her voice, has been an integral part of the show. My shoulders were slumped as I returned to work for the final time.

I took my evening meds at 9.30 am so there’s just the antibiotic to go at 11.00 pm. I’ve managed to remember everything today. Not necessarily dead on time but not too bad. I stopped work at 10.30 pm tom do the blog and things seemed to be going great until I found a point at which the caps lock had come on one letter too late so the first letter was lower case and the rest of the paragraph in upper case. I invented some new swear words. I remembered to take that last capsule at 11.00 pm o now I just need to apply some cream to my leg as I go to bed. I may have just 15 minutes on either mail or maybe even ebay when I finish here. I t should be about 11.35 pm tonight.

Swinging with glee.

Swinging with glee.

Spring  Sunshine

Spring Sunshine

Saturday.

I’m sure by now most of you could write the next bit on your own. Shall we go for bare bone? Light off ,slept, woke,wee’d,  smoked, slept again, woke at 3.52 am and wee’d yet again. There, that feels better doesn’t it ? So much more succinct. Sometimes it would be good if the whole day went like that.How much less boring if I wrote……….. Woke, ate, nodded off , woke, ate, slept. And you have my whole day done and dusted, ready to move on to, your next blog to read something interesting, social obligations fulfilled. Maybe in view of my unending  burbling some of you actually read the blog like that. Good for you, life is too short to have me waste it for you.

I returned from the loo visitation to boot up and log on. Last night’s message from Yvonne telling me Ugo and the little man would be here to take me shopping after they’d dropped her at work said that there was no argument.on the subject. I would remember to get dressed. Ugo may remember the trauma of having to take me shopping for years, it can’t be easy for him. I wonder if he plots his revenge as he walks round. At 5.00 am I took my first antibiotic of the day then as usual I worked till around 6.00 am having decided to have breakfast but the first stop was the fish tank. Pepper was waiting for me as I turned the light on. He must like being first at the breakfast table. Harold made his way over, his shyness seemingly at an end these days while the other three were having a little union meeting in a corner. The shop steward called a break to that the minute the food went in. They rushed over to make sure it was fair shares for all. Their behaviour can really make me smile.

I placed some bread in the toaster and took my pre-food tab before getting milk out to swallow the rest. I had a wander round the lounge to make sure I had everything I needed for the paper recycling then I took the waste food bag out and all then recycling bags too. I was wearing lounge pants covered in Animal from the Muppets, not really much chance of me ‘pulling a bird’ dressed like that.( Or any other way really, maybe I should have kept up the engagement this week?). Mind you, what chance was there at 6.30 am anyway? Disconsolate and blue I went back inside and ate my way into a further two inches on my waist, washed up, grabbed a drink and went back to work. I knew I had until about 9.30 am before Ugo arrived but I needed to get dressed so I set myself an 8.30 deadline. I creamed my leg ( I know I should rephrase that ) so that it would have soaked in before my clothes hit it and sat with my right lounge pant leg rolled up like a Mason ( assuming Masons wear lounge pants). I was actually making better progress than I’d hoped so the 8.30 am stop didn’t leave me panicking. I washed and dressed, got my shoes on and bags at the ready before picking up where I left off. At 9.20 am he caught me unawares with two honks on the car horn and I had to dash a bit.

I said good morning to them both but Reuben was enthralled with The Gruffalo on dvd, I don’t know why I don’t sit in the back and watch with him. I told Ugo I’d be happy just to go local and save him time but he wouldn’t hear of it and drove out to the supermarket he’d taken me to last week. I think it’s the thought of having afternoon tea for his breakfast makes him feel like a rebel. Yet again no money in the cash machine but I could cope. The shopping itself didn’t take too long as I didn’t want much but this week I bought two plants as well as some flowers for Ju. While Ugo had his afternoon tea someone slipped me a toasted bacon sandwich which I was enjoying until Reuben saw it. He tried pushing me off my chair first thinking I’f leave it behind but no way was that going to work. In the end he applied the extended bottom lip with a touch of quiver. I was aghast, using my own speciality against me . Under the gaze of all the blue rinsed grannies I didn’t dare refuse. I tore off a few little bits and swear I saw him smirk. When we left, I went to get a couple of plant pots from a nearby shop. I came back and started to get into the car much to the dismay of the woman about to drive it away. Ugo had moved his car closer tom where I was but hadn’t warned me he would. I had to apologise profusely (I’m not sure she believed me) and walk back the way I’d just come. We had another stop on the way at a cash machine for me.

Back at home Ugo was in a rush and dropped my bags inside the door for me.I said my goodbye’s but had to compete with the dvd again though I did get a little wave. I spent some time unpacking and storing everything before returning to my room. First job was to take the antibiotic I was due at 11.00 am, it was now 12.50 pm. Couldn’t be helped. At 2.00 pm I stopped for some lunch but things were going quite well and I was still calm. I had my lunch, a quick steak slice, and then after washing the plate decided to have a little nap. I hadn’t got as far as the first wink of 40 when Mike walked in. I wasn’t expecting him so early. Once I’d seen identification and was sure it was him, the urine sample wasn’t clear, we sat and talked about his holiday. He said he’d come early this afternoon 3.00 pm in case I needed any shopping. At first I refused but eventually after he’d asked a few times I agree I could use a couple of things I hadn’t been able to get this morning. Namely biscuits for Matt , tea pods for my machine and some ice lollies for me. It was just like old times again. We didn’t stay out too long though as Mike’s team were playing today and he wanted to see the match.

At home he settled in front of his tablet and I settled in front of the computer. It was almost time for the next antibiotic. I worked until 8.00 pm when I decided to go for a shower and the next treatment of my leg. The football being over my personal hairwasher came and helped. I went back through to the lounge afterwards to make something to eat but also to watch the episode of Big Bang theory that I realised I hadn’t seen before when I caught the end last night. It was absolutely hilarious, real laugh making. There was no avoiding coming back after that so I took my tablets and came through. It was only then I remembered to do my leg.  I saw to that ,then allowed myself until 10.30 pm to do the mail before coming on to do the blog. I want to get it out around midnight and don’t want to be late to bed if I can help it. The man is coming to collect the tank and the Famous Five tomorrow and I have to get back into the habit of getting Mike up.

 

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New and Improved! Jane Dougherty’s The Green Woman Trilogy Released as a Single Volume with Stunning New Cover.

davidprosser:

How to improve on perfection for readers……put all 3 volumes in one edition.

Originally posted on aliisaacstoryteller:

TGW_9 cover art


My lovely author and blogger friend, Jane Dougherty, has just released her Green Woman Trilogy as a single volume at the amazing price of just $3.99. I’m loving the vibrant new cover! Here she is to tell you more…


jane bio picThank you, Ali, for letting me borrow your blog today for a bit of blatant self-publicity.

It seemed like a good idea at the time. It ended up being a mammoth operation, but it’s done, finally, the three books of The Green Woman series are available in a single volume. It’s on pre-order at the moment. Release day is Saturday April 18th.

And here’s the new blurb.

She is the light in the darkness, the fiery beacon, but the world’s fate seems such a little thing when the light in her heart is dead.

Among the ashes of the world, a lone city cowers in fear and ignorance. A light breaks…

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Pride and Putting it Out There.

I just paid a very rare visit to facebook and saw this.

Please share: My sister is going to be in Llandudno 25th April giving out free hugs… WAT!!! I hear you say?? or is that just what I said when I heard her say it… but when she explained her reasons for doing such a thing I understood… this isn’t for any charity, or craze or a publicity promotion it is just one person willing to put her self out there to see if she can make a difference to at least one person and like she says if all you do is come and point and laugh… then at least she made you laugh. I for one am very proud of her,xxx

 
A user's photo.
The reason I’m sharing this with you is my pride in my  niece who is doing this. Everyone will know how I feel about my various nephews and nieces, I’m proud of them all for different reasons but this is such a selfless act I’m especially proud today.
It may be that she stands open to ridicule and she’s prepared for that but if just one person stops and gives a hug and then  shares one with somebody else, it will have affected two people and could spread like a pebble being thrown into a pond. The ripples could go on and on. I hope they will.
Well done Joanne and you Karen for supporting her. I hope to see you on the day……….

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The setting and keeping of boundaries

A question for all ages. A future at stake?

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A Bony Fido Human & The Siren Sounds

Sunday April 5th 2015 Easter Sunday.

This morning’s time is so close to yesterday’s I can ‘t help wonder whether there is significance to them. They are 7 minutes apart and it could easily have taken me that much longer to get to sleep.The one thing I do note is that it’s less than an hour and a half since I turned my light out ergo Naff all sleep again. I know some people would suggest I just stayed in bed. But, I had woken before that time as I had yesterday, and had stayed in bed at that point, still tired. When I woke up his time, I was wide awake and wouldn’t have got back to sleep staying in bed. There’s nothing to say I won’t have to indulge myself in 50 winks later though. That’s allowing for inflation and a cost of living rise.

Obviously there is a benefit to being up and about so early, apart from messing with Big Al’s mind by making him think it’s daylight of course. That benefit is that I can attack my post early. I did that this morning and was surprised to see only one message left from last night, amazing, and even more amazing was that I’d deal with that and those of today ( so far) by 5.14 am. I needed a drink so I went in to turn the kitchen light on ( Sorry Al) and open a new 2 litre bottle of my Pepsi Max. Rather than take it through with me, I decided to fill some 500 ml and 600 ml bottles I had ready to go in the recycling bag. I filled three and my shaky hands took care of another couple of hundred ml down the sink.The smaller bottles are much easier to manage at the computer or in bed at night. There was enough left in the big bottle for a small drink before the bottle goes in the bag.I turned the light off and made it another very short day for Big Al. More confusing than ever for him I decided while I was in this direction I might as well feed them. On went the light again and this time the tank light was added.Harold and Pepper approached and as the food was added they sped up. Big Al had disappeared.naturally and I reckon he was sulking in a very Queen Victoria “We are not amused” kind of way.I wasn’t worried about the other two, they’d smell the food.

Having dealt with the Divas I concentrated on taking my meds. I’d used my sprays and put the first batch of tablets in my mouth. I took a drink of milk to help get rid of them and then part way, for some reason, the thought had occurred to me that the milk was off. If Mike was here he’d tell you how much entertainment he gets from watching me try to swallow tablets. I have to get my frame of mind just right, take a few tentative goes at it then throwing my head back, swallow. Now I was in a quandry. I could bob my head back and forth but dare I swallow anyway since if the milk is off they’ll be straight back out anyway.And, if the milk is OK and I keep doing this, the tablets will dissolve in my mouth and I’m likely to pebbledash the wall again in an effort to get rid. Oh Dammit! In the end I had to force myself to swallow and the milk was fine but my nerves were shredded.I think Big Al sniggered. With all the dignity I could muster I made a coffee and departed the kitchen.

By the time 9.00 am rolled round I was up to date and having a whale of a time ordering birthday presents from ebay. I probably spent a lot longer there than I should but I was having a whale of a time. When  came out the mail was back up again.  You lot are really sly waiting till my back is turned to start writing. I only worked till 11.40 am then went through to check on what I was having for lunch and make a start on it. My intention was to return to work straight afterwards, honestly it was. I had brisket which was supposed to be in a bourbon BBQ sauce but since the sauce was in a separate sachet I did without, much preferring to have onion gravy. I had boiled baby potatoes in herbs and some petit pois.The gravy brought it all together nicely for me. I bought another one of these joints for John ,so he can have the extra sachet of BBQ sauce. Five minutes into my lunch the programme that was on ended. That didn’t bother me too much as I’d be going back to work soon. Then a film came on. Patch Adams which stared Robin Williams and was based on a true story. Sorry folks, I did my washing up in the commercial break and decided to ignore you all and keep watching. I have seen it before many moons ago and can’t help wondering if the hospital ‘Gesundheit’ still survives and is doing well. It was getting on for 2.30 pm before I actually returned to work. Typically it seems a lot of you have ignored both the Christian ethos of not working on the 7th day and the rest ignore the fact it’s a holiday. Whatd’ye mean so am I, did I claim Sainthood? Anyway it’s supposed to be do as I say not as I do. Not that it’s ever worked before. I mean how could it, I had a wife and daughter which means I was beaten from the off.

There was a lot of post but at least the spammers seem to have taken the hint about Easter. Everything was clear cut and generated by a ‘bony fido’ human being. Most was a pleasure to read if not comment on. Chris, the story reading ape even brought a smile to my face with a real groaner of a joke, but at least he admitted it. I worked through the afternoon until 6.00 pm when it seemed a good idea to stop for tea and my second batch of food related tablets. A nice salted beef sandwich with a bag of crisps and a yoghurt was nice. Two of my dark chocolate ginger biscuits was nicer still. I stayed to watch a couple of old episodes of The Big Bang Theory before coming back to see how I was doing on ebay. Not a successful day today having lost 3 items. All of them by not very much but I stuck to my upper limits today so the bank manager didn’t get annoyed. Actually it was because while the objects were nice and would have been good gifts they just weren’t that nice. There are other things that would mean more to me or to put it another way which I think will mean more to the recipient.

I kept pretty much up to date until 10.30 pm and only had a break to take my meds. Then I started the blog post hoping if it took less than an hour I could go back to the mail. It’s actually taken an hour and I’ve decided to leave the mail till the morning now.

Zoobaby 1

I think it's a pangolin or a banjo or guitar ???

I think it’s a pangolin or a banjo or guitar ???

Monday.

Well, that was a failure of sorts. I put my light out at 1.00 am as usual but despite lack of sleep I couldn’t drop off. I ended up going through to the lounge where I found a Queen Concert on TV. I turned off after about half an hour or so and nodded off in my chair. I didn’t wake until 4.57 am so every chance of three hours sleep. I didn’t bother with the kitchen when I first woke, I headed for a Loo Bloo view and then went and logged on the computer. I wanted to be as clear as possible this morning before they come to take me out. There was still a fair bit of last night’s to do so obviously that was my first target. I don’t know how but I managed to clear the last of those at 6.50 am so before starting again, I went to feed the fish. It was actually Pepper in sight when I first turned the light on but it wasn’t long before Little Al made an appearance. I put some food in and rewarded by a visit from Harold up and about early for a change. Little Bonzo zoomed in next on case none was left for him. Time had to be spent looking for Big Al. When I found where he was hiding I greeted him to show I’d seen him. He looked round with displeasure and moved away. I can see if the fish ever get religion it depends whether Big Al becomes High Priest or not as to whether I’m termed the devil.

I stayed in the kitchen for some breakfast this morning. Heavily buttered cold toast. It always reminds m of being on holiday in an hotel. When I finally returned to work I set too on today’s mail. At about 9.40 am I got a message to say they’d left so at 10.00 am I stopped work ready for the arrival. It seems the holiday traffic wasn’t playing ball with me, it was approaching 10.30 am when they arrived. I went out when they arrived and got into the newly warmed and vacated front seat ( passenger side for the sake of the nervous amongst you) and said my hellos. Reuben was effusive with his hiya bobs which is what his gruff, growly Pops sounds like. We set off. It took a little over half an hour to get there and there was a little excitement as none of us had been before and in fact I’d only told them about it a week or so ago. Greenacres, a petting zoo on 60 acres of farmland with a few fairground rides is what we expected.We couldn’t complain about the £7 for adults £6 for children (free if under 2 ) as we didn’t know what it entailed.We started up the path and toour left was a little pond with one solitary duck. Reuben threw a tantrum when we’d looked as he didn’t want to depart but we had no idea what was in store so in the end Ugo carried him as we talked to him suggesting we went to see the piggies. Before we reached the piggies however there was a cafe. Since the morning was cook due to both fog and mist we had a drink to warm us. Then it was into battle.

There were donkey rides which Reuben enjoyed and some Peacocks and peahens close by. But as we moved a little deeper wonders appeared ( sorry donkeys, I think you’re wonderful too) Skunks to stroke, snakes to touch, pigs to feed and if times right, baby lambs to feed by bottle. There were fantastic owls brought out to meet you, alpacas, capybaras, rabbits, guinea pigs, degus and their big bro’s the chinchilla.  shire horses, shetland ponies and so much more. At about 1.00 pm we decided on lunch. I wasn’t expecting too much but  to be honest I found it disappointing, very basic something and chips and I swear I could have redone my shoe with the burger and sold the bun as swimming floats. Why do people always do the bun dry? and I may be no salad lover but a bit of tomato and greenery would make a big difference. We could feed it to the giant rabbits for a start. Still, it was there, it was warm, we were peckish. Yet again I forgot my tablets so I’d need teas when I was home later. After the meal we headed for the junior fairground, the fog and mist had gone and the sun was glorious. Reuben had a great time on a ride called the caterpillar then we saw a road train coming i and Yvonne took him for a tour on that. He really enjoyed it. A roped off section that looked like an old Western Town held a model of a horse(?) and a very laid back rabbit that looked big enough to have played Harvey in the James Stewart film but more importantly there was face painting. Reuben reappeared as one of the Super Hero Ninja Turtles and looked very pleased with himself. There was still more to see like Rheas and water fowl and wallabies but Roobs was showing signs of being tired. There was one more thingbefore we left though, Ugo wanted to take him on the tractor ride as I’d bought him a tractor in the gift shop. I’m not sure who enjoyed it most but lots of photographs came back from Ugo. It was a good length ride too and just £1.00.

Roobs watched the SHNTurtles dvd in the car driving back to my place and it kept him quiet. When they dropped me off it was about 4.00 pm. Shoes and coat off, slippers on and tissues in my pocket just in case. Damn, tissues back out of my pocket and get a refill pack too. Lots and lots of messages. It took me till 8.00 pm to clear the first batch-less 30 minutes for a sandwich. I had to stop the second batch at 10.30 pm so I could write this and now I’m going back to it again. It’s been a Grand Day.

Reuben's First Donkey Ride.

Reuben’s First Donkey Ride.

No way was he putting down the tractor I’d bought him. Ugo walked beside him to make sure he didn’t fall off.

Pops is Capricorn so he gets to feed the goat.

Pops is Capricorn so he gets to feed the goat.

Excitement on the caterpillar

Excitement on the caterpillar

Tuesday.

The fresh air must have tired me yesterday, I had my light off by 12.30 am and don’t think I had any problem dropping off. I slept through until 4.24 am and didn’t feel bad at all. Since I wanted to put out an interview on the blog this morning, the time was pretty good too. Most of the UK and Europe would wake up to it and most of the US would see it when they woke on the right date, rather than when they went to bed on the date before. So, I paid my visit to the loo, came back and signed in. First things first, the release. That done I was able to get to my mail. I was really pleased to find there were only 6 messages I’d missed from last night. Those were cleared in double quick time and I was able to move onto today’s mail. There was a fair bit of it but not enough to worry me and by 6.45 am I was up to date though I hadn’t refreshed. It was time to Face the Fish which sounds like it should be a game show and often feels like it is only I never win any of the prizes on offer.

I turned the kitchen light on and a white flash told me one of the Al’s was near the front. I went over and turned on the tank light. Oddly enough it was Big Al at the front and as I lowered my head to the level if the tank, he turned round to face me. “Uh oh” I thought. but if it was possible those gimlet eyes of  his seemed to widen and he looked like a sad little puppy. For a moment I actually thought he was looking at me with affection but I woke up before the dream finished disastrously. But, there he was still looking at me. I always talk nicely to the fish which is why I can’t understand the animosity. After all, I haven’t dropped many things on his head, and that wouldn’t have happened had he been less of a nosy tyke. But no animosity this morning. Is this the start of the big thaw or will I be thawwy later. I opened the flap to drop some food in and like magic the others appeared. Whoever decided that fish have a 3 second memory forgot to tell the fish. Little Al made it first, closely followed by Pepper with Bonzo trailing behind. I was about to ask them where Harold was when blow me, he actually appeared  at a very regal speed, almost as though he’s stopping to wave at his public which in this tank would be the multitude of snails. With all five together and the food in I was able to leave them to enjoy breakfast in peace.

I slipped two pieces of bread in the toaster and turned it on before doing anything else. I wanted it to be nicely cold. Then I took my pre-food tablet, my sprays and followed up with the morning tablets in 3 lots before using what was left of the milk for my coffee. I lit a cigarette and wandered through to the lounge to flick through my TV mag in case anything of interest stuck out. All I could see was an Antique Detectives at 6.30 pm which I might try. My cigarette finished I went back through and buttered my cold toast, and ate it. I took my after food tabs with my coffee and retreated to the bedroom again to work. The interview was getting great responses which was good so I was able to respond to a few of those as well as try to keep up with the incoming mail which seemed to be flowing fiercely this morning.                                              As the schools are off I don’t have to worry about the Mother’s Mafia in Pauline’s so at 8.30 am I got dressed and went out. I needed some bread and some more micro chips but was disappointed to find she had none in curry sauce still. I also got my next TV mag and some cigarettes to keep me going now till Thursday with luck. Then I was home again by 9.00 am. I hadn’t long restarted work when a knock at the door left a stain on my chair. I just was not expecting it. There was Darren my postman with three packages for me. One was the leather jacket I won last week which I had to try on straight away to get over any disappointment early. It fitted . YAY! Another was a gift for John’s birthday later this month which I hope he’s going to like. The third isn’t important but I’m pleased to have got it nonetheless.

As the morning wore on to about 11.00 am I had a text from Charlie to see if she could drop in before returning back to South Wales. I didn’t hesitate Both she and her mother Lis are great friends, beautiful women and beautiful people too.  I had another text a little later to say she was in town picking up some shopping, could she get me anything. Normally I’d say no, but I wanted some specific cigarettes for Matt I hadn’t been able to get at Pauline’s. I don’t like asking non-smokers to buy ciggies but I caved in and when she came ten minutes later she’d managed to get them. I almost fainted when I found out the price though. I think I shrieked and Charlie’s head whipped round “What’s that”?  “Sorry it was my foot on the wooden floor” I replied hoping she wouldn’t notice I was standing on the mat. Tomorrow night I’ll be standing on the Matt ! Charlie stayed for an hour or so nattering and she told me how much she liked the gift for her 40th. Not for the whole hour obviously but I let her carry on for about 55 minutes. When she left and gave me a huge hug I knew I didn’t see enough of her.

It was time for lunch and I couldn’t be bothered with anything that took time so I bunged a box in the microwave. Once I’d eaten I needed to return to work. It was just as well I did as it was catch up time again. I don’t know what was wrong though because I wasn’t able to. At 6.00 pm when I needed a break I was still struggling. I’m afraid I was away till 7.30 pm so I’ve only myself to blame for a difficult evening. The phone has been driving me to distraction today too, and my mobile. They’re always unknown callers and some leave voice mails which I’ve learned not to open as it’s always for Improperly sold insurance, free boilers or something like that.

Getting on for 10.30 I started this blog with a big decision that when I finished I’d go to bed early. It didn’t take as long as expected , only 11.10 pm so I shall have to carry on a bit longer or suffer a guilty conscience.

Wednesday.

I called a halt at 11.55 pm last night and was in bed reading by midnight. I only made i until 12.45 am before he book had to go down and light went out though. It must have been a bit of a restless night though as I was up again for a while at 2.10 am. It wasn’t bad enough to abandon bed for my chair and I did get back to sleep again. It was 4.29 am when the internal alarm woke me with indications that if I didn’t get a move on I’d be swimming my way out of bed. I turned the computer on as I passed by so it was ready for sign in as I got back. The post was quite heavy but hardly a problem as I’m in all day, except for my games night tonight which I’m looking forward to.

One of the posts I saw was from my great friend AC Flory, or Meeks who has a warning for a new scam which I admit looks quite real at first glance. It may be you’ll want to go and take a look at this.  https://acflory.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/phishing-scam-apple-itunes/                                                                                                                                           Not much later was a message from Createspace that they had held money from Amazon as my bank details aren’t correct. I went into Createspace not using the link but couldn’t find an outstanding amount bar money for the current month where the figures don’t tally. I also checked my bank details though this seemed silly as I get payments from Amazon anyway. I’m still trying to work out if this one is a scam or not though I don’t think so. I’m still not chancing their links though. I worked till 7.00 am and then went to feed the fish. I turned the tank light on and today it was Pepper and Little Al to have the starring role as they chased each other round in circles. I wasn’t sure whether they were enjoying themselves or doing it for my benefit. Either way it was entertaining. I dropped some food in and the roundabout gradually slowed down. Not quickly enough to stop Bonzo nipping in for the first course though. Those two started grazing and slowly Big Al made his way over. I caught a movement on my left and was surprised to see the fifth member of thegang drift over from that direction. Most strange, out of bed and out and about at this time. Before anyone tried an ‘Oliver’ and started calling for more I left them to it.

I decided on breakfast again today in case I didn’t get chance this evening. I took my pre-foodie and stuck some bread in the toaster. After taking my sprays, the milk came out to fill my mug which I then used to take my tablets, saving enough for my coffee of course. I went and had a cigarette to pass the waiting time and once finished , buttered and ate my now cold toast. Two more tabs and finished. I washed the pots and returned to my room.Since it was almost 8.00 am I got dressed before returning to the computer, after all I didn’t want to off end any of my female friends with my state of undress. I even combed my hair, then made an effort and combed a second one too. The post was incoming all  morning and kept me going slow and steady. I stopped at 11.30 am to prepare lunch then watched an episode of Murder She Wrote while I ate. I found I really wanted to close my eyes for a while afterwards but was scared of letting a backlog build up. I washed the pots and returned to my room. I must have done no more than half a dozen messages before I found myself nodding off over a hot keyboard. There didn’t seem to be an option so at 1.30 pm I let myself sleep. At 2.15 pm I was back in the game. I’m not sure which game, and it was possibly not the one everyone else was playing but I was there. By 5.00 pm I hadn’t hard from Lee so it seemed likely he was coming. I knocked off and made myself a drink. As I was doing it Lee arrived. We only had a few minutes to chat and say this is possibly his last forseeable games night as Jen could have the baby at any time now. I gave him the Easter eggs he hadn’t been here to take last week. At 5.12 pm Dil and Matt arrived. I sorted drinks while Matt found and opened the super slim cigarettes he’d asked me about and Charlie had got for me on Tuesday.

Once the usual TV quiz show was over we got to it. Lee wanted to be back home early understandably so we elected to go for Yahtzee first. It went ( along with a lot of shouting and cursing) First game to Matt, Second to Lee, Third to Me.Fourth to Dil then Lee left to go home. We finished off with one more game to Matt and one to Dil which left them as honours even and me languishing behind.  Matt asked to play the updated Balderdash next because it breaks down into categories and he likes some of them.The board is about 48 squares and can take some time to play. I fairly romped up the board to the halfway point leaving Matt on the first board and Dil on about the sixteenth. A few more goes and Matt had doubled to square 2, Dil as about 36 and I was on 47. And that’s where I stayed. I could not convince either of them with a lie and either they chose the correct answer on my go or on Dil’s go, no-one got it right giving him 4 points. When he won I was still there waiting. I felt I’d been savaged by a big dog. As time a now galloped on Dil suggested a few hands of Crazy 8’s. I should have known this wasn’t my lucky night. We only managed 3 hands and Matt was already past the 300 mark. I was on about 120 and Dil moaning because his score was 25 but would only have been 24 if he hadn’t taken pity on his son and played a 3 instead of a 2 on him. One very pleased person and one quite dejected one left for home leaving this defeated one to tidy up and wash the pots.

I went back through to my room and suffered a very sharp intake of breath when I saw the mail. I dared only work on it till 10.30 pm before doing this post but I still have a fair way to go. Some may have to be left for the morning but it’s a MuJo day tomorrow so I can’t leave too much for myself then either. Something has to go, either my work life or my social life.

Thursday.

For all my moaning, in a sudden burst of activity last night I managed to make a huge dent in the post before knocking off at 12.15 am. I still had time for a read too so I can’t even sound too deprived this morning. Damn ! There goes the sympathy vote. I was up and on my way to widdletown at  3.38 am. A whole four minutes passed  before I was able to return and power up the computer. The mail didn’t look to bad at all though I knew it would obviously build up more as I worked. Last night’s stuff was finished by 5.35 though so I was quite pleased. I carried on working until 6.00 am when I decided that I’d have breakfast today so might as well feed the Famous Five while I was there. The occasional early morning wake up call doesn’t hurt and keep them on their toes flippers. On my way to the kitchen I had a bet with myself about who’d have the starring role at the front of the tank today. The only one I could rule out was Harold so I had a 25% chance of getting it right. I settled on Little Al. It’s as well I didn’t bet serious money as I was wrong and would have had to welch on the bet anyway. It was Pepper. By the time I’d finished putting the food in, talking to Pepper, being distracted by the birdsong outside, they’d all appeared, even Harold. There was a bit of tapping impatiently on the glass as if to say, “OK, that’ll do, Close that hatch and go away, let us eat in peace.” I went away and took my morning meds and had some breakfast, a very small packet of cornflakes and a round of toast. If I forget my tablets at lunchtime at least I can take them at teatime and know I’ve had both lots. I put a load of washing in the machine, made myself a coffee and came back to my room.

I was just slogging away at the posts trying to get the levels down when I heard the wash cycle end. As I finished the message I was one I had chance to nip though and set the drier going. That would be ready for folding about 10.00 pm. About 8.45 am I took a walk to Pauline’s in my dark brown jeans with my new leather jacket that was such a bargain on ebay. I haven’t really worn a bomber jacket before. I quite liked it. After getting my new lottery tickets and having found some micro chips with curry sauce I came back home. I sent Mujo a text to remind them to bring leather food for my hat which will go well with the jacket once it’s been fed, I just hope it’s more polite than Big Al. At 10.00 am I was standing by the drier as it finished so I took things out, folder them and hung them over a set of bars attached to the radiator so they could air properly. I managed another half hour’s work before MuJo arrived. It was like a Summer’s day outside, sunny and quite warm so I did cold drinks and we sat down to chat for a while. At about 11.15 am we left to go to town so Muriel cold go to the Post Office before lunch and John could take another watch to have the battery changed. I put  note on the front door for deliveries to go to Bert’s.I was expecting one of John’s birthday gifts to be delivered today.

In town we were lucky with a parking space and took a slow walk to the Post Office and the shops. John wanted the charity shops while Mu conducted her business so I lit a cigarette and walked with him. When we all congregated together again we walked down the market with John’s watch. It was a waste of energy as the stall wasn’t there this week, so we just went to lunch. Whether it was the heat or not, I wasn’t able to finish my lunch. Neither was John but you could tell he wasn’t very well. The likely culprit was angina and as we stepped outside afterwards so it proved to be. He refused to let it stop us carrying on though, so piling in the car with the windows open, we headed for Flint. Muriel needed Aldi so I took the opportunity to pick up some chocolates for the girls in Temptations. John stayed in the car. When we left there we went straight to Temptations for a drink. Ceri was busy so I missed my chance of a hug today. I confused matters by having a cold drink for a change but John confused matters back by having a coffee.  It was cooler in there but I was glad I’d left my jacket in the car. When we finished, we took a slow walk round the usual shops so John could get some cough sweets ( and me) and a few other little odds and sods.I did actually only spend in the one shop, my favourite Homies (Home Bargains) while John bought some bedding from his favourite shop. We ate an iced lolly then got back in the car and came home.

At home John had a drink and took some of his tablets. It was just gone 4.00 pm. They didn’t stay much longer before setting off on the journey home. When I’d waved them off I came back into the bedroom and checked my messages. I almost fainted. Luckily there was a knock at the door (so I can’t say saved by the bell) and Bert was there with two parcels. I was only expecting one so was surprised. I opened the one I wasn’t expecting first and found two gifts I’d had made for my nieces respective birthdays. I didn’t know they’d been despatched. When I opened the other, I was really upset to see it was broken. Not beyond repair but I don’t really want to do that. I got in touch with the seller and he said he’s send me a label for return but didn’t tell me if there was another one in stock to send me. Or, he offered a partial refund which I assume means I keep the item and do the repairs. I’ve emailed back again to see whether he does have another one in before making the decision. Then I got stuck into my messages. I was tired and probably a bit cranky too after being up since 3.30 am   with no catnap but was trying to stay awake. I also wanted to see my Big Bang Theory at 8.30 pm. I stayed here over a smoking hot keyboard until that time, sat in from the of the TV and nodded off. I was lucky only to miss about 5   minutes but the context was gone so I’ll have to look for a repeat. I had a sandwich and came back through. It’s now 11.50 pm and I need to clear a few more messages before bed o excuse me please.

Friday.

When I woke this morning I saw angels dancing on the head of a pin.  I  would have had some sympathy If I hadn’t needed to go so much and been forced to jump the queue. Heck , if they’d got to the loo before me I could have had an accident. It was 4.06 am and there was no doubt at all why I’d woken at that time today. My bladder spake. and it was brooking no argument. Nor was it waiting in turn behind a queue of desperate angels. At least I apologised when I came out, the waves off relief emanating from me.  At that point I was suddenly feeling goodwill to all. There was a song running round my head from 1970, ‘Good Morning Freedom’ by Blue Mink, but I stopped at that point as I wasn’t packing my bags and going away. Still, I could go with, ‘It’s a better day, It’s a better day, It’s a better day , hey, hey’ and I dare say the fish felt a bit better knowing that too. By the time I reached the part about ‘A bee bom bom  baba bababom’ I was really quite happy and ready to take on anything so I returned to my room and logged on.

I tried to keep the sobbing to a minimum when I saw how much mail was left from last night as well as this morning’s offerings. It was difficult but I managed to choke most of them. I made a start. By 6.15 am  I’d got a fair way down the list but needed to break off to feed the fish and to see to my drugs. Though the kitchen was fairly light I still needed to turn the tank on and when I did so found Harold waiting for me. I wonder if they’ve decided to take it in turns. I chatted to him as I tipped his food in and suddenly both the Al’s arrived from opposite directions and took up positions like bodyguards, bodyguards who ate mind  you. Pepper and Bonzo weren’t far behind as neither was prepared to take a chance on missing a meal. With five faces down to the floor and tails in the air I left them to it. I had my sprays then took my Friday dtugs leaving the container empty, well, apart from those I’d forgotten to take again last night. I got my drug drawer from the lounge and started to refill the boxes for the next week. Once that was done the drawer went away and I was able to make a drink. I went back through.

Accidentally I refreshed the mail box and brought on a new pile of mail and the tears appropriate to them. Drying my eyes I forged ahead. At 9.00 am I checked with ebay and found my trader had come back with a response. He’s kindly offered to send a Hermes label and suggested the parcel is taken to a local drop off point. Once he receives confirmation, he’ll send out a new stick. It sounds good except I’ve no idea whether there is a Hermes drop off point locally and if so where it is. I’d also have problems carrying such a big parcel when I’m using my sticks. Therefore I’ve suggested I accept the partial refund and attempt the repairs myself. I  can use the refund to get another extra little gift for John. Again I’ll await a response. Actually, there are some Toby Jugs on ebay I’m looking at for today that would be ideal if they don’t go for too much. By 10.15 am I was up to date on the first email address though I’d been careful not to refresh again yet. I opened the second one. I was amazed to find when I got rid of duplicates I was left with three to do which were out of the way fairly quickly. I went through to the lounge for a break and within minutes was asleep. It only lasted until 11.25 am when I was awoken by a hammering on the door. My postie was delivering another parcel, I think he must have seen me asleep in my chair. There was no point in going back through  to the computer now as lunchtime was so close.

After a lunchtime session of Jessica Fletcher I realised I had to face the music and went back to rouse my computer from it’s rest. As soon as I opened I knew it had been revenged upon me. There was a message to say a very arbitrary sum had been refunded but in fairness I still had the stick to repair, but I’d forgotten about te Toby Jugs and missed them completely and they’d gone for virtually nothing. I did have another idea which when I checked was still viable so I bought that. Being anxious to see whether the stick would mend and not be too bed I went to find my superglue.  With a little effort it seems to have worked without showing too badly but I did have to unstick my thumb and a finger later. Back to work with my tips unglued but still solid I find it puts great pressure on the keys. Maybe I should do them all. I emailed my niece with some news then concentrated on work until 5.00 pm when I knocked off for tea. It might sound like a long tea but I’m a slow eater and stayed knocked off until 6.30 pm when a Big Bang Theory that just happened to be on was over. When I finally returned to work it didn’t take long to catch up. I refreshed the screens and was astounded to find I was able to keep pace, in fact I even took a few minutes to take my rubbish to the bins tonight instead of the morning in case I get a lie in.  Ha Ha.

I managed to keep fairly up to date during the evening and stopped to do the blog just after 10.30 pm. It’s now 11.40 pm and I’m knocking off till the morning. Hopefully I won’t be out as long tomorrow so the backlog may be manageable.

Here’s a real blast from the past from 1964 for all you oldies.

Saturday.

Whilst accepting that I was tired and turned my light out at 12.30 am  last night. I still feel it’s a little mean to have me up again at 2.13 am. Even worse, my stick is feeling very put out at the thought of no action ( I feel I should point out at this juncture, we are talking walking stick here. Anyone with alternate thoughts , go write your own book) not a burglar in sight.The damned thing starts twitching in my hand whenever I head in the direction of the lounge, and the loo is in that direction though my bladder wasn’t screaming this morning. I did pay a visit just to be on the safe side. I also took some delight in confusing the fish by turning on the kitchen light long enough to fill two small, empty Pepsi bottles from a big one. I think they were just beginning to stir when the light went out again.

I started on my mail and judging by the amount I’d guess you lot don’r get out much. Whatever happened to Friday night at the pictures, with a fish supper on the way home? It took until almost 5.15 am before I cleared the remainder of last night’s then I started straight in on today’s.  Of course some of you try to confuse me by living in outlandish places where it’s still Friday when I’m, on a Saturday so my mail say’s I’m still working on Friday’s stuff even though my ISP says it was received on a Saturday. New rules peeps, no writing after 6.00 pm from now on please. For Australians, please label all your work as the day before you actually post it if it’s done after midday then hopefully it looks like it’s getting to me on the day I actually think it is. All clear now? Good. At 6.30 am I broke off to go and feed the monsters and while I was there I included myself in that, only not fish food. Bonzo was all alone at the front of the tank but Pepper came over the moment the food flap was lifted. I shovelled food in then waited to see who’d appear next. It was Little Al. I saw Big Al move at the back of the tank and start to feed on bits that were drifting over on the current (no jokes about raisin my hopes of seeing him in a good mood please). All of a sudden Harold appeared but I was surprised as he came from above, from behind the water pump and not from his barrel as I expected.  I wonder if that’s why I’ve missed seeing him a few times recently.He’s getting as good at hiding as my budgie Josephus II (Joey)  used to and he was a bloody champion.

I left them to it and went to place some bread in the toaster, take my pre-food tablet and have my sprays. I got some milk out to take the other tablets saving some of the milk for my coffee. Time for a cigarette so I sat in the lounge for a few minutes and drooled over a picture of Katharine Hepburn in  my TV mag. She was in a film this afternoon. Cigarette duly smoked I went into the kitchen again and buttered the now cold toast. I did enjoy it. I took the two after food tabs, made myself a coffee and returned to work.As it was now almost 7.30 am I got dressed first as I didn’t want to get carried away and be rushing at the last minute. When I finally did sit down again and bring my screen to life I was greeted with a worrying message.

Hi David Prosser,I have just had flashes about you.Follow this link and and pull 3 tarot cards. If what I have “seen” is confirmed, I can tell you that I have some startling revelations to make to you.Have no fear, I do it completely free and you will understand very quicklywhy here.

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It’s so worrying I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to get a reputation as a flasher, I mean what would the neighbours think? Much as I hate to do so with anything that’s to do with shopping, I declared it undesirable. At least it’s not the usual fare from the usual fortune teller. I was delighted to hear she does it for free though since only ladies of ill repute charge don’t they. I stopped work at just gone 9.00 am as I had no idea what time Ugo would arrive. I put all the bins out for collection. My bags and my shopping list were ready, all I needed to do was slip my coat on. I saw the car arrive at 9.30 am and heard a little honk on the horn. I was out within a minute or so. Since I know he hates shopping I offered to stay local but he wouldn’t hear of it. Reuben was in the back in his seat watching a Thomas the Tank Engine DVD but I did get a big grin and he held my finger for an age when I put my arm  back between the seats to squeeze his knee. About 20 minutes later we drew up outside a big Morrison’s supermarket I haven’t been to in ages. I had my first crisis when there was no money in the cash machine. Fancy not saving me some. I grabbed a trolley and went back to the car where Ugo had just got Reuben out. He plonked him in the trolley and our expedition started.

My next crisis was to find that I no longer knew where anything was. All the shelves had changed due to a clothes section being added. It was like shopping by good luck alone as I couldn’t follow my list. Still I did manage to get everything I wanted, plus a big yellow truck for Reuben. Trouble was he didn’t seem to understand that I needed to pay for it so after Ugo gave it to him we had to ask for it back. The siren started. I think it was a major disaster as the siren kept going and going while we were in the queue. I made sure when it was my turn that the truck went through first so Ugo could return it. We went for a drink and in Ugo’s case an afternoon tea with giant scone and cream. He took the truck out of it’s box and handed it to Reuben who then played with the box for a few minutes leaving me with the truck at the till.  When w were sat at the table Reuben started playing with the truck on the floor. He was so engrossed I managed a bacon bap with no help. Once we’d finished, I went to buy my cigarettes and asked about some ultra slim ones- not More. They came up with some where I couldn’t believe they had 20 in the packet and they were only the ordinary length. They were £9.20, just 20p less than the super length More brand. Matt will have to go back to his normal style 10 a week I think. Sorry Matt. We went outside where I had a cigarette while Ugo loaded  Reuben and the shopping into the car then set off home. I asked if he’s stop off on the way at a cash machine since I’d had to use my card in the store. He agreed and we stopped at a cash machine in Flint which still had some in.

At home is was getting on for 12.30 pm and Ugo helped me unload, waited for me to supply the siren with some chocolate lollies then departed with a hug to collect Yvonne from work. I waved them off then started unpacking the bags and putting the food away. First job when that was done was to arrange Ju’s flowers in a vase. I think I made a reasonable job of it, be fair, Ju didn’t complain.

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Once that was done I made myself some lunch, had the tablets and came back through to work. I was determined to take a break at 2.15 pm to watch the Katie Hepburn film so didn’t need any encouragement to work. Lucky for me that though there was a  lot of post in the 4 hours I was out, none of it was problematical. I actually zipped through a fair bit of it before it was time to go. I had to keep slapping myself around the face to make sure I stayed awake but the bruises are so worth it. It’s just as well Ju had a crush on Tom Selleck  and Sam Elliott so she was very forgiving when my tongue used to hang out if the fantastic Ms Hepburn came on screen. Anyone else and the tongue might have ended up a lot shorter. Once it was over I told myself that 40 winks wasn’t a good idea but promised myself I’d see what could be done later. I just didn’t say how much later to avoid disappointments.

Like a certain brand of batteries I just kept going and going.  The yawns were nearly wide enough to take the keyboard but I remembered I’d already eaten.  At 6.00 pm I stretched my legs by going to turn of the light in the tank and say goodnight to the fish. There were some chocolate jaffa cake rolls near the microwave so I ate two in case they melted. Microwave = heat, see how logical I can be even when I’m tired. Then it was back to work again. As usual I knocked off at 10.30 to see to the blog and  iot’s 11.40 pm now. I think I’ll have to just pop back and try to finish a few more before calling it a night. Which it is, a night I mean. So I couldn’t call it much else.

I wish you all a Great New Week full of joy and Hugs.

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to an Interview with Author Eric J Gates

Welcome to an Interview with  Eric J Gates
Eric Gates
 
Author of Outsourced
Outsourced
 

Bio

Eric J. Gates has had a curious life filled with the stuff of thriller novels. Writing Operating Systems for Supercomputers, cracking cryptographic codes under extreme pressure using only paper and pen and teaching cyber warfare to spies are just a few of the moments he’s willing to recall. He is an ex-International Consultant who has travelled extensively worldwide, speaks several languages, and has had articles and papers published in technical magazines in six different countries, as well as radio and TV spots. His specialty, Information Technology Security, has brought him into contact with the Military and Intelligence communities on numerous occasions.

He is also an expert martial artist, holding 14 black belt degrees in distinct disciplines. He has taught his skills to Police and Military personnel, as well as to the public.

He now writes thriller novels, drawing on his experiences with the confidential and secret worlds that surround us.

A brief synopsis.

Outsourced’ features a New York-based writer of thriller novels who receives a mysterious package from a fan. That fan turns out to be a professional killer. That’s just the start of the writer’s problems; problems that escalate way beyond anything he could have imagined on the pages of his novels, as death and destruction follow rapidly.
 
Just when matter cannot get any worse for the novelist, he learns a high-tech Intelligence agency has been tasked with obtaining the contents of the package too, and they will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. They have their own global agenda. The agent assigned to the task is out of her depth working on US soil and her methods are unsuited to a civilian environment. As pressure mounts for her to achieve results, she becomes more and more radical in her approach. 
 
And, if that’s not enough… the sender wants it back, and his methods are even more direct and violent! He believes the contents of the package were used to try to kill him and his aim is to recover them and exact his revenge on the writer.
 
What made you decide to write this book?

This has been a ‘backburner’ project for over three years. I have a curious mind and I have been fascinated by Quantum Mechanics ever since I stumbled across this branch of Physics way back as a teenager. I’ve also always had the goal of becoming a writer, particularly of thrillers, and add to that I love a challenge, the idea of incorporating Quantum Theory in some way into a non Sci-fi suspense thriller has been bouncing around in my mind for some time. It’s was a daunting prospect; combining the ‘dry’ theoretical physics with a fast-paced action storyline is a little like mixing oil and water.
 
How many other books have you published to date?
 
‘Outsourced’ is my eighth book, seven thrillers and a non-fiction book aimed at new writers called ‘How NOT to be an ASPIRING Writer’. There are so many How-To books out there, I decided to be different and do the opposite. Although it’s written with humour, British humour at that, it is packed with hundreds of practical tips and tricks to help aspirers realise their dream of writing a book and getting it published.
 
Are your other books all in the same genre?
 
Of the novels, three form a series (book four is imminent) and the others are standalone tales. All follow a style, described by a reader as ‘suspense thrillers with a touch of strange’, a description I couldn’t better, so I’ve now made it mine. In the books I draw heavily on my own experiences in the confidential and secret world we inhabit. I worked for many years as an Information Technology security consultant and this allowed me to come into contact with both the military and intelligence communities on numerous occasions, and provide much grist for the thriller-novel mill.
 
Where did you find the characters?
 
Inevitably, many are based upon real people I’ve met over the years, although suitably disguised. I might add that a few are people who I have clashed with for one reason or another, and this brings to mind a quote from one of the protagonists of ‘Outsourced’: “never piss off a writer! They’ll get their revenge in their next novel!” So true, so true!
 
Is your personality a character in the book? If so, which one?
 
I think that most writers cannot help some of their personal traits appearing through their characters’ words and actions in their novels, even if this is a subconscious process, and I’m no exception. I did not base either of the two writer protagonists specifically on myself, although I do poke fun at some of my foibles in such a way that only those who know me closely will recognise. But that’s half the fun, right? And it’s cheaper than a psychiatrist!
 
This is quite an unusual plot. What gave you the idea?
 
I was still searching for a way to use Quantum Mechanics in a thriller, when I came across an article about Nicholas Roerich. He was a curious character; an archaeologist, painter, ballet costume designer and a host of other unlikely roles during a lifetime when he was even nominated for a Nobel Prize. He was a kind of crazy Leonardo Da Vinci in many ways, a Renaissance figure born out of time. Exploring this personage a little more, everything clicked into place. A further ingredient to the mix was an ancient Tibetan myth and certain matters that derived from this (no spoilers here, folks). I reached out for help and found it in the bountiful support of one of the Dalai Lama’s collaborators, Dr. Chok Tenzin Monlam Peltsok, Head of the Research and Translation Department of the Library of Tibetan Works & Archives in Dharamsala, India. Then came the hard bit. Now all I had to do was write the novel.
 
Are you writing at the moment? If so, can you share anything yet?
 
I’m always writing, even in my sleep, so it seems. I am in the final throes of the fourth book in my ‘the CULL’ series. For those unfamiliar with the novels, they take the myth about vampires and drop it firmly into the twenty-first century. I have taken the essence of those fantastic tales that predate Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, and the visual impact of one of the scariest films (that’s movies to any reader from across the Pond) I have ever watched, the 1922 black and white ‘Nosferatu’, and attempted to recreate their sense of menace in the series. It’s vampires, yes, but not like you have ever seen them before! No fangs or morphing into bats here! Just a fast-paced, complex, globe-trotting tale involving genetic mutation, ancient Irish myth, Vatican conspiracies, serial killers, covert Intelligence units, and artificial intelligence surveillance systems, liberally peppered with dark humour and laden with moral ambiguity throughout. I’ve decided the series will end with book five, so in this one (book 4 ‘the CULL – Blood Demon’ – out soon) I have created several ‘I didn’t see THAT coming’ moments for the readers and set up a finale which will be jaw-dropping. That’s not to say each of the books must be read in order, which is obviously the recommended way to go, as each contains a complete tale a reader can follow without the need of pages of exposition of the ‘Previously in…’ variety.  
 
Share with the readers one little known fact about yourself.
 
Once upon a time… this has to be a fairy tale because of the very real nature of the incident… I was charged with validating an encryption algorithm, developed over three years, at great cost (millions) to my client, by a third party, and officially signing-off on it for a particular country’s authorities. There was a lot at stake here, the nature of which I cannot go into, but after being threatened, having microphones installed in the rooms where I worked, and a colleague’s papers stolen, I decided an Agatha Christie moment was called for! I had all parties, the client, the algorithm’s developers, etc, meet me in a room with a paragraph of text already encrypted. They picked a random chunk from a, to me, unknown source, ran it through their software and printed out the result. I took a high-tech approach to solving this: a notepad and a pencil! Resisting the temptation to talk endlessly about stimulating ‘ze little grey cells’ I worked on the code for ten minutes and cracked it – it was a paragraph from ‘Alice in Wonderland’.  It was also an object lesson in how to tee-off a roomful of people in a very short time. No, I’m not Stephen Hawkin; I just recognised a basic flaw in what they had done that made the whole exercise useless. My colleagues and I made a strategic withdrawal before the fireworks started.
 
Have  you been  traditionally published or only an Indie author? Are you Indie by choice?
 
When I finished ‘2012’ back in 2006, after three years of researching and innumerable drafts, I sent it out to literary agents and publishers both in the UK and the States. I have a small stack of rejection slips as a result. In most cases they didn’t even bother to read it; I was a new author and that was all they needed to know – they preferred to stick to their cash cows and do little to discover new writers. Those that did invest some effort, farmed out the reading to first-year ‘Lit’ students in Universities, trying to make a buck by ‘evaluating’ as many manuscripts as they could while studying. The deck was stacked and this was a time before self-publishing existed. At that point I was working on a second thriller, ‘Full Disclosure’, as I licked my wounds. Then Big A came out with a self-publishing platform. I decided to give it a try and the rest is history.

Who were your favourite Authors as you were growing up?
 
I used to read a lot of science fiction and thrillers back then, about a week after the dinosaurs died out. My literary heroes were authors such as Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Ian Fleming, and John Gardner. The latter was particularly important to me. After having spotted a technical mistake in one of his novels, and having had the temerity to write to him about it, we corresponded for a while and finally met at a book signing. During this time I had the good fortune to receive writing advice from this master of the British thriller, sadly no longer with us. Writing has always been in my blood (not another reference to the vampire novels) and he gave me considerable encouragement to do something about that. Life intervened of course, and it’s only now I’m ‘livin’ the dream!’

There’s a vacancy as President of the U.S. will you apply, why?
 
That’s got to be one of the most frustrating jobs on the planet, worse than trying to get Traditional Publishing to take note, so I guess I’ll have to say no. If things were different though, I’d push for raising educational standards wherever I could as I’m a firm believer that lack of knowledge is one of the greatest underlying threats in the modern world, one which is ceaselessly exploited for selfish ends by many with their own agendas.

Will this book be part of a series or will your next book be another stand alone?
 
Now a strange thing is happening with ‘Outsourced’. Like ‘the CULL’, the original title for my standalone vampire book, which came about more as a jokey suggestion to my cousin than a real project in its inception then grew into a series, I have been inundated by emails from readers asking for more of the trio of protagonists (yes I am including that nasty female Intelligence Agent). The interplay between these characters was the real backbone of the tale and it made them real and entertaining in the reader’s minds. Now I can’t promise this will end in another five-book series, but Nic Styles, Phil Beasley and Bridget Mason will return in an as-yet untitled sequel. I won’t let the cat out of the box (a reference that will produce a chuckle from anyone who’s read ‘Outsourced’) by telling you the storyline I’ve come up with, but Quantum Mechanics won’t be a part of it. I’ve found something even weirder!
 
Please share your other books with us. 
 
Okay, here goes:
 
the CULL series starts with a disgraced ex-FBI backroom geek being partnered with an ex-NSA superspy and tasked to hunt down a serial killer. They quickly discover they are unwittingly part of conspiracy that stretches back centuries and soon, the hunters become the hunted! Think Dan Brown meets Bram Stoker at Tom Clancy’s house, with Patterson serving the drinks. Oh, and don’t read it with the light out! Or if you’ve got something important to do, like pick up the kids from school. My novels are very fast-paced and addictive reading.
 
The standalones:
2012 – a drunk, suicidal ex-Special Forces operator with nothing to lose teams up with the daughter of an MIT robotics professor to combat a group of individuals who are trying to bring about the End of the World. Guess when it’s set?
 
Full Disclosure– a small, dying, southern Texas town is isolated from the rest of the World; the US President makes a startling announcement revealing a secret held for over sixty years. The novel questions whether the Public should be told everything. If it ever happens, I’ll be hailed as a genius; if it doesn’t, it’s just a great fast-paced thriller! History will decide!!!
 
Leaving Shadows – the head of British Intelligence is taken and his colleagues discover plans are already in place for a seedy kidnap and recover agency to intervene. But nothing is as it seems as deadly forces race to control the most insidious weapon of mass destruction ever invented.
3_covers_image_small
 
the_CULL_-_Blood_Box_cover
2012
How_not_to_be_COVER
Leaving_Shadows
Full_Disclosure
Do you have a website to share? 
 
I have an author website at http://www.ericjgates.com where extracts from all my books can be read, purchase links can be found, and where I reveal the Inside Secrets of my novels. And there’s an easy competition where any reader could become a character in a future novel (over a dozen people already have). If you are also a writer, there’s a section dedicated to writing tips and tricks too.
 
I also have a blog where I host interesting fellow writers of all genres and their guest posts:http://my-thrillers.blogspot.com and I’m on Twitter too at http://twitter.com/eThrillerWriter
 
Any Link to the Book (s)
 
These are direct global links to Amazon’s pages for each of my books. They will take you to the correct Amazon site’s book page for wherever you live:
 
‘the CULL’ series:
 
the CULL book 1 – Bloodline   http://authl.it/B00AGZ27FA?d  (currently on offer at 99 cents/pence)
the CULL book 2 – Bloodstone  http://authl.it/B00HDGEHVC?d
the CULL book 3 – Blood Feud  http://authl.it/B00K5VD85S?d
the CULL book 4 – Blood Demon  check my website soon
the CULL books 1-3 Blood Box  http://authl.it/B00KFN3HK2?d
 
 
Non-fiction:
How NOT to be an ASPIRING Writer http://authl.it/B00HUYT7IK?d
 
Please feel free to share an excerpt.
 
Summer is on the way; the cold weather has been left behind; it’s a good moment to be generous, right? These are the opening chapters from ‘Outsourced’:
1.
The gavel impacted with imperative finality. The buzz in the courtroom continued; only those in the seating closest to the judge heeding her warning. Two more detonations of wood against wood followed in quick succession. This time a reluctant silence enveloped the room.
“I know this has been a tiring trial; it’s been a long trial for all of us.” She paused, glancing at the defence counsel to her right, then at the jury on the opposite side of the room. “I WILL have order in my court. Leave your outbursts, comments and protestations for the appropriate channels.”
Now she was looking squarely at the Prosecutor’s table. Its occupants stared back defiantly. Neither was happy at the verdict; both, however, realized the fault was their own. The case, at best, had been circumstantial, but, they were talking premeditated mass murder here. The man and woman looked at each other; they felt cheated.
The judge banged her gavel once more, unnecessarily, in the quiet that saturated the stuffy air in the packed room.
She twisted in her chair, facing the accused again.
“As I was saying…” another furtive peek at the District Attorney’s people, “Robert Polanski, you have been acquitted of multiple charges of murder by a jury of your peers and I hereby instruct…”
 
*   *   *   *   *
 
Polanski walked alongside his legal representative, his head on a swivel. They had exited the courthouse by the rear doors, hoping to avoid the expectant questions of the media. Polanski had been through two trials in the last few months; the legal one, fought in the halls of the large building behind them and bound by laws and procedures, and the popular one, disputed in the Press, on TV and on the Internet where no such constraints applied. Legally he had been found not guilty; in the Public Eye, he was a guilty as Hell! And he was; in the dark corners of his mind he was well aware of how he had escaped from what should have been a stay on Death Row prior to a well-deserved execution as retribution for the acts he had committed.
He turned to the chubby figure at his side.
“Did you bring that package I had delivered to you last week?” His tone was neutral; there was nothing between the lawyer and his defendant other than a strictly professional relationship upheld by force of cash.
The lawyer nodded, then raised a large, floral handkerchief to mop his brow.
“Let’s grab a coffee and…”
“No. We are going back to my office. You have some papers to sign and I’ll give you the package there. After that, I don’t want to see or hear from you ever again. Am I clear on that, Polanski?”
The shorter man looked over at the speaker. It was more than evident curtailing their connection as quickly as possible was uppermost in the lawyer’s mind.
“If you hate me so much, why didn’t you recuse yourself?”
“You know damned well why. But I’ve done my job now and don’t have to spend another day in your company.”
“Three million dollars doesn’t buy much loyalty these days, eh?”
“You’re free, although you shouldn’t be, as we both know, so it bought you that.”
The lawyer paused.
“I know I’m going to regret this, but, just how did you kill all those people?”
“Still Client-Attorney privilege?”
“One of the most abused concepts in American law, but yes; nothing you tell me goes any further.”
“I just manipulated their futures. It was all about the planning…”
“You manipulated the futures of 217 people?”
“Yes; over the last twenty-three years.” Polanski halted his steps, turning to face the lawyer. “And just remember, I got away with that, so don’t get any ideas about talking out of turn.”
“I have no wish to become your victim number 218…”
“Oh, the real number’s a little higher. Those were just the cases the DA thought they could prove. The total’s nearer to four hundred.”
The lawyer elected not to answer, glancing at his wristwatch and mentally counting the minutes he still needed to share with this client.
 
 
2.
 
The man with the deep sunburnt face in the third row of seats stood and ambled out of the courtroom along with the rest of the packed crowd. As he crossed the vast steel and glass atrium, he scanned ahead and spotted the huge knot of TV and Press people expectantly watching the main doors, undoubtedly seeking a juicy comment or two from Polanski or his lawyer.
He made a rapid decision and turned toward one of the armed security guards near the x-ray machine on his right. Held low so as not to be seen by unwanted eyes, he flashed his badge and spoke quietly. The man nodded and pointed to a doorway behind him, nestling under a red-lettered ‘Authorized Personnel Only’ sign. The agent thanked the security guard and stepped past, pushing open the heavy steel door. Ahead, an empty, cool passageway stretched toward the back of the building. His footfalls echoed off the hardwood floor as his brisk steps carried him by several darkened office spaces and finally to another heavy metal door adorned with a panic-bar. He assumed the exit was alarmed and looked up to see the camera’s eye tracking his progress. He raised his ID badge again, holding it for an instant so the watchers could clearly see its authority, then he put his weight against the bar and pushed.
Glaring daylight assaulted his eyes as he stepped through. Squinting, he scanned the area, gaining his bearings, as he waited for the return spring to close the door at his back. To his right was the court employee parking area, with a section reserved for the ‘school’ bus, except here it was a slightly more modern affair; more a Greyhound long-distance coach than the typical salvaged children carrier now fitted with less child-friendly armour. Just below the tinted windows that ran its length the words ‘Arizona Department of Corrections’ was stencilled in white against a blue background. To their left was a solid outline of the state, also in white, sited just behind where the driver would sit. Currently that seat was empty. Nearby he spotted a couple of uniformed DOC officials, cowering from the midday heat in the deep shadow afforded by a short cement overhang above another door. Both were smoking and looking nervously at their watches. He knew Polanski would not be using that transport again, not after the verdict he had just heard.
He looked over to his right, toward the front corner of the building, pondering what Polanski would do when he departed the courthouse. The agent had little time to come to a decision as the door behind him opened; his person of interest, and his mouthpiece, exited quickly. They had been talking, but both rapidly silenced their words on seeing him standing there in the bright sunlight. As they walked quickly past, the agent reached into his jacket and withdrew a pair of shades, his eyes gratefully acknowledging their protection as he walked toward his hire car.
He squirmed on the burning faux-leather seat as he fired up the engine and flipped the air-conditioning into overdrive. All the time his eyes never left the two men boarding the lawyer’s luxury sedan some fifty feet away. He reached into his inside pocket, extracting his cellphone. It took a few seconds to boot up, time spent watching as the lawyer cracked the window of his vehicle to let out some of the heat trapped within. They were too far away for him to hear but he assumed the attorney’s first actions had mirrored his own. Polanski just sat in the front passenger seat, waiting, smiling.
The call was answered on the first ring.
“Verdict as expected. They’ve left the courthouse together in the lawyer’s car. Any change in orders?”
He listened to the brief reply then rung off without speaking again.
The high-gloss, black hood of the luxury sedan nosed by his car as it sped toward the exit.
‘Who the hell chooses a black paint job in this heat?’ he thought as he selected drive and followed.
 
 
3.
 
Polanski pulled out the chair and flopped into its hard contours. At least it was cool in the coffee shop; the air con was winning the battle against the relentless rays. He had ordered as he entered; a double slice of apple pie with all the trimmings and a large black coffee, Tanzanian Peaberry, the most expensive on the menu. On his first day of freedom after two years, those simple pleasures were all he needed.
While he waited for his food to arrive, Polanski extracted from his jacket pockets the items he had brought from his lawyer’s office. He placed the padded envelope to one side, glancing at the address handwritten in thick, black ink. A thought crept into his mind and he flipped the envelope to ensure no return address sticker had been added. Good; when sent, this would be a one-way trip for the contents.
Next, a single sheet of white paper taken from the feed drawer of his lawyer’s inkjet printer. This he had carefully folded into quarters and run his fingernail along the creases to further define the shape. Then he extracted a single sheet of three-ply toilet paper, also purloined from his lawyer’s office. He glanced up, seeing the waitress approaching with his coffee and pie. He slipped the paper-pulp sheet under the envelope; it was an odd object to be seen on a cafeteria table, so it would be remembered. Attention to detail had been his watchword during his professional life, and now, on the verge of a long and tranquil retirement, was not the time to get sloppy.
He waited until his hot apple pie, topped with vanilla ice cream and a shading of powdered cinnamon, was placed before him. He smiled at the waitress, then leaned forward to inhale deeply, savouring the smell of the thick slice and the equally enticing aroma of the fresh brew in the large mug nearby. He watched, mesmerised, taking sensuous pleasure as the ice cream turned to rivulets and dripped down to the dish to pool in inviting chaos.
Food first, then business, he thought.
As the pie portion steadily diminished, his thoughts went to the two documents he had to write. The first was easy; he had drafted the text mentally hundreds of times since he had made his decision three weeks ago. It was essential to strike the right balance; to appeal to the recipient’s curiosity as a means to overcome initial rejection. Then the decision would be out of his hands and back where it truly belonged. He smiled at this thought, pleased with its deeper meanings.
The second document was another matter. He had much experience in writing similar missives, yet he felt this needed to be given special consideration; it was, after all, to be his last. He mused on the mechanics as he sipped the remaining dark liquid in his mug.
The waitress approached, enquiring if he wanted more coffee or anything else. He requested another mug of the blend, then, just as the waitress turned to take his empty pie dish and cup back to the kitchen…
“Do you have a pen I could borrow for a minute?”
“This do?” The waitress proffered a ubiquitous blue-ink disposable.
“That would be perfect.” He took the pen, smiled again, and turned his attention to the folded sheet of white paper.
 
 
4.
 
The agent used the top of the passenger seat to steady the Helios monocular. He was using it on the maximum setting of twenty-five power magnification and even the slightest tremor made the image wobble. He was only half a block from the cafeteria with a clear view of Polanski seated inside, yet the potent zoom offered by the black, rubberized cylinder was necessary to observe the details.
“He’s just ordered another coffee.”
He spoke for the benefit of the people listening on the speaker at the other end of the phone call.
“Just sitting there?” The voice carried agitation, impatience, fear; all mixed into a flat echo by the cellphone’s speaker.
“He’s slightly turned away, both hands on the table…”
“Can you see the device? Is he using it? Describe it!”
“I can’t tell from here.” The agent paused, taking his eye from the single lens and scanning the street. “I could try to get closer but there’s not much cover. It’s so hot, the street is practically empty and I’m sure to be spotted.”
“No, no, we can’t risk that. Stay where you are. Try to see if he’s using it.”
He chose not to reply; monitoring the use of the device was, after all, one of the prime objectives of Phase Two of the mission. Phase One’s goal had been identifying it and they had failed miserably at that. Polanski’s detention, for the two years the trial had taken, had not helped. The guy was smart; he’d not been caught in over twenty years. As soon as he suspected they were going to move in, he had hidden the device, left it with someone, whatever. Covert searches of his hotel suite, his lawyer’s office and any of the other twenty or thirty places he had frequented in the days leading to the arrest had turned up nothing. Did he have it again? Had the attorney collected it for him? They should have executed another search there a couple of days ago as he had suggested.
Polanski looked toward the street.
The agent placed his eye against the monocular again.
It was almost as though his target was staring directly at him.
Polanski raised his right hand; he held something, used it to salute his observer across the intervening distance. The agent twisted the zoom ring on the scope, but it was already wound up to the max. The man held a disposable pen. He had been writing something. He knew the agent was watching; not really a surprise, more something to be expected given the situation. Still, he’d been made. He called it in, not anticipating any change in his orders. Stay put. Watch. Observe. Call if you see the device. SWAT was staged two blocks over; ETA sixty seconds if needed.
The agent saw Polanski’s hand drop back down to the table, watched as his body turned a little more to adopt a more comfortable posture as he continued his writing.
He was completely unaware the circumstances had just changed drastically.
 

Intrigued? So you should be! This novel will change the way you look at everything!

 
Many thanks for spending some time with us Eric, it’s been a pleasure to learn about the new book.
Eric J. Gates
author of
Suspense Thrillers with a touch of Strange
Latest: Outsourced
What’s the deadliest gift a fan could send to a
novelist? And if that fan was a professional assassin?
the CULL- Bloodline, the CULL – Bloodstone, the CULL – Blood Feud (the CULL series books 1-3)FULL DISCLOSURE, Leaving Shadows and 2012,and the non-fiction
How NOT to be an ASPIRING Writeravailable AMAZON (paper & e-book) and bookstores worldwide.check out  www.ericjgates.com to read extracts and discover the inside secrets

follow me on Twitter: @eThrillerWriter  and on my Blog http://my-thrillers.blogspot.com/

 

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The Houdini Files & Tempted in Temptations.

Sunday 29th March 2015.

There were a few wake-ups last night but I wasn’t ready. Finally it was 5.08 when I got up so I’d had the benefit of four hours sleep.  I wonder if Somnos is on holiday again or i this really is a show of his generosity. After my trip to the loo I came back and prepared to work. In a later message this morning a friend mentioned Mailnos, god of emails and suggested I entreat him to lighten my load of conmail. I’ve been bragging recently that it’s slackened off somewhat and others must be getting it. Waiting for me this morning was a treat.

From The Desk of the Information Officer,
Compensation Payment Department,
United Nations Headquarters.
New York, USA.

Dear Beneficiary,
                                     NOTICE OF YOUR PAYMENT

I write to notify you of the payment of your compensation fund to this office as 
one those that has been Scammed through African countries mainly from Nigeria. 
You only have to re-verify your data such as your full name, your address, your 
phone number and your occupation so it can be used to authenticate you as the 
legal owner of this fund. Immediately this is done successfully, you will be 
given every details of your compensation fund and the amount accrue to you.

However, you are to contact the Supervising Agent in charge of this payment; his 
name is Mr. Smith Brad. He has been given the full mandate to get your fund paid 
to you, so kindly send the required information through his email address at ( 
smith_brad2@aol.com ) for immediate processing of your compensation sum.

Your immediate response to this email will be fully appreciated.

Yours Faithfully,
For: UNITED NATIONS

Mrs. Joyce Savage

It's strange that I'm supposed to have reported this crime and yet they don't know my name. I gave it a great deal of attention on it's way to the bin. I worked through till 7.00 am before going through to see to the fish. As it was yesterday and the day before I received instant attention from four of the five and I'll leave you to guess which on couldn't be bothered making an appearance. After not having seen him at all yesterday it was more worrying today but two tings became plain. The little so and so is a magician. A very careful study of the tank provided no proof of either a corpse nor a live fish and yet when we did the tank I had all the hiding places turned towards me so I could see at a glance if they were occupied.. I'm thinking of changing his name from Harold Hoplo to Harry Houdini if he ever shows up again.

I left them eating and went to take my morning meds. It was a little like trying to swallow a mouthful of sawdust each time I thought about him. When I’d finished I made myself a coffee and just sat in the lounge to drink it. Eventually I decided to go back to work and took my mug through to the kitchen. Mr Houdini was out looking for breakfast. I hoped he really was magic because the others had done a pretty good clean up job. There was a fair bit of mail as is usual on a Sunday so I just took them in my stride, dealing with them slowly in their turn. The morning passed quite quickly until I realised it was time to think of lunch. I took my pre-foodie, turned the TV to an Al Pacino film I thought sounded interesting about the American War of independence and put my meal in the micro.There was a choice between braised beef or a new one Ham hock in parsley sauce with mash. It sounded OK. The first problem when I got it out of the packet was in much smaller writing it said cheesy mash (abomination). Oh well, no doubt the parsley sauce would mask it. I can’t remember struggling so much with a meal in a long time. Not pleasant eating at all though the veg an the parsley sauce were OK. I struggled and won.

When the film started there were some very good names there and quite a few British actors I knew. Before long I had to turn it off. If you’re going to have an Irish accent, why not have it delivered by an Irishman. There are plenty of great Irish actors around, Liam Neeson, Gabriele Byrne. The only acting I saw was from Lady Olivier or Dame Joan Plowright as she is in her own right. Uppercrust British, she can do the job blindfolded. The film was a torment. On top of that lunch it was nauseating. I came back to work. The afternoon was just a steady progression from one post to the next between the two addresses, nothing strenuous, nothing odd and nothing else remotely crooked. At 6.00 pm I broke off to have some tea and noticed a film at 9.00 pm that looked appealing. It’s rare for me to spend time with a full film, indeed it’s rare to be able to prise me away from the computer for that long but I’ve booked myself a seat mail permitting. So straight after tea back I came, and on I went.I knocked off again at 8.55 pm and took my seat in the auditorium ready for the curtains to open. I’m not going to show my age by mentioning an organ that came up from the depths and played us in.

The film was called Hansel and Gretel. OK, I wasn’t expecting a fairy story at this time of night but it sort of started off like that with the kids being abandoned in the forest. I’m no prude but I was jarred a bit at the ‘F’ word as it seemed inappropriate given the times and the costumes. Having said that, I wonder if this is the steampunk. I hear about after seeing the weaponry. There was no holding back on the violence or the gore though one scene brightened when a woman walked into a pool naked as a jay bird, naturally I didn’t look. Well. not after the first couple of times anyway. In the end maybe I should have shown a bit more patience as I turned off at 10.00 pm. It just didn’t grip me, hold my interest, make me smile or laugh.Frankly I was bored. It gave me chance to come and catch up further on my mail.

Tomorrow is an anniversary for me and I may need to take the day off. There’s no point really in my telling you this a week late but if anyone was affected and found me rude, perhaps you’ll understand now.

Monday.

In memory of my beautiful wife who left this life 2 years ago today I decided to take a day off. I did still want to leave you with some music though. So……..

Tuesday.

I got to bed by 11.15 pm last night.I’d done nothing but was exhausted anyway. So, I read until 12.10 am and at the end of a chapter turned the light out. I should really have been reading a ‘Hornblower’  book as the storm was raging and a gale was blowing outside. I’m not sure how long it took me to get to sleep but when I awoke ‘hours’ later it was 12.50 am. No way did I intend to get up but my bladder said I should so I nipped to the loo and back and tried again. Still nothing doing so I sat on the edge of the bed enjoying a cigarette and rubbing cream into my ankle to try and make it feel less like rhino skin. Once again I tried but still no joy.  Eventually at 2.00 am I put my dressing gown on and went to sit in my chair in the lounge. I didn’t turn the light on as there’s a street lamp not too far from the window that just allows enough diffused light in to make things out without seeing them clearly. Not enough to disturb me should I nod off. And in Ju’s company nod off I did. It must have been for about ten minutes until the click of the timer turned a lamp on to discourage burglars. I tried again and managed to fall asleep once more. At some point I woke up and went back to bed where I found myself when I awoke for the last time at 5.28 am. The rain was still coming down and the wind still howling.

There was a small temptation to stay where I was and enjoy another day of freedom but I persuaded myself not to be lazy and got up to turn the computer on. While it powered up I went to the tinkle factory. I won’t be winning awards anytime soon unless it’s for the person who takes the longest. By the time I got back they’d just announced Windows 23. I signed in and started on the mail. I was doing really well with it before I came across a friend’s latest post where it seems some parts of her beliefs were very relevant to my Buthidars site. I started pinching bits to share in a new post. There seemed to be plenty of things to comment on today as well. at 7.15 am knowing I was late I went through to the kitchen. The morning was so grim and dull I had to turn the main light on as well as the tank lights. At the first sign of movement Big Al was there casting dirty looks in my direction. I know he disapproved of my tardiness and I’m sure he may have been a Victorian schoolmaster in a previous life and still wishes he had a cane. Anyhoo, Pepper came up to join him in the queue for food and was gently barging him in what seemed like play. As I opened he feeding flap I saw Bonzo arrive, little Al heading my direction and Harold was speeding in from the other side. As he came, a complete stem of weed floated up from where he’d just been and joined 2 others at the top of the tank. At least I now know  who’s responsible for all the uprooting I’m seeing. I’m going to get a wet and cold arm replacing the plants for him to do it again. I fed them, listened to the faint cheers (sarcastic and derisory) and left to take my meds.

After the meds were taken I had a cigarette to time things and then had some breakfast. A little grapefruit and some cold toast slathered in butter. I washed the pots, made a coffee and took it back to my room. Something started buzzing in the back of my mind to do with grapefruit. I carried on working in the hopes it would come to me naturally. It did. Something to do with my drugs. I had to check and found two of my tabs have grapefruit as contra-indications, stay away from grapefruit as one put it. Just an Oops warning I think, I wasn’t about to explode and neither were my bowels which was something that worried me. I was safe. I had no need to go out today and indeed the new warden may call, so I was able to carry on working most of the morning. I knocked off at about 11.00 am and returned to my chair in the lounge. The gale outside was playing games with a wheelie bin so the constant banging of the lid on the base made sure I couldn’t sleep but at least I lay here relaxed until 11.45 am when I went through to see about lunch. pre-foodie tab, butter some bread, work hard at perforating the plastic lid then bung my masterpiece in the micro to cook. Cottage pie today. I ate my meal while watching Bargain Hunt today and then washed up for the second time today.

Back to work and a bit of catch up to be done since I’d been away two hours.  There’s nothing specific I think on TV today so I can stay where I am until this pressure sore bursts out. Sometime I’ll have to find a suitable song for tonight. Maybe I’ll have youtube on while I’m working soon and look or inspiration.  I was concentrating on a comment someone had made on my blog this afternoon when I could hear this faint sound in the background. Musical but in a bing-bong kind of way I looked up and saw a message on screen saying my Brother in Law (half of Mujo) was ringing me on Skype. Neither of us have been able to get the other for a long time but this morning I’d had an incoming call from someone I didn’t know and while I was in blocking it I’d done a search and found John was on 3 times. I got rid of the one I had and chose the last one. That seems to have done the trick. Yesterday I’d had a text letting me know they were both ill, and to hear him cough there was no doubting it. They hope to be well enough to be through on Thursday but if not then next week. Usually I’m invisible on Skype and John is the only person I’ve spoken to on it in years. Well, about 3 years anyway. I least I don’t stutter talking to him. We were chatting about antiques but I couldn’t say much as his birthday is approaching and he almost is one. Once the call was over I reinstated my cloak of invisibility and worked on until 5.15 pm when I went to have a look at Pointless and what should have been two episodes of Big Bang Theory but was only one and a bit Zzzzzzz. I came back through after the music at the end credits woke me up and started again. I have something finishing on bay at 11.36 pm so I thought I might as well be here till then and lessen the load for the morning. I won the ebay lot so time was getting on by the time I paid for it. Bed at midnight.

Wednesday.

Moan, moan, groan. What a night again. To bed at midnight. Light off at 12.45 am(ish) an up again at 1.50 am.A trip to the loo in case my bladder’s squawking woke me but no, it hadn’t. A cigarette to relax and back into bed. Sleep comes eventually but awake again at 3.20 am. I went to sit in my chair in the lounge to see if I’d be more comfortable and woke at 4.51 am. It was time to get up as there was no more sleep in me. I wandered back through to the  bedroom and fired up the computer.                          No big win on the Eurolottery despite convincing myself that it was my turn this week. I blame the small gods and their sense of direction for this since it was someone in the UK who won £53m  Good luck to them.

I turned to my emails. Not too many left from last night but they took a little time to deal with . I was on today’s messages a little after 6.00 am and working my way through them steadily. There were three people who liked my last blog who I don’t know so I had to check their blogs and posts out. I felt really sorry for one person who is a committed Christian and gay since his Church have tried to exclude him and his family, the ones you rely on for love and support have also excluded him. How he kept his faith I’ll never know. From my own point of view, Why he kept his faith I’ll never know since it seems that acceptance of his sexual orientation or preferences is much more likely to happen in the world of those who don’t believe in god but do believe in the tolerance of others. There was also an email from the amazing Chris, The Story Reading Ape with a series of Did You Know facts that was really entertaining. I have to say that some of my friends, colleagues, acquaintances and Who did you say? Are some of the most amazing, selfless people in the world. Chris, Sally,Olga,Kim, Jo,Ailsa, Colleen,Viv, Suzanne, Rosie and many others, spend so much time supporting authors in one way or another with interview, guest posts or just cover reveals as well as dealing with their own books , blogs and promotions. Thank you kind people on behalf of us all. If there’s anyone whose name I didn’t include, it isn’t because I don’t love you or haven’t noticed what you do, it’s just that I could fill a blog with thanks if I didn’t draw the line at some point.

At 7.00 am I went through to the kitchen and turned on the tank light. I saw Harold before he had chance to disappear so was happy about that. On April 1st you don’t want to be fooled again.I fed them some of their older treats this morning but Big Al turned his back and went off to a corner. Pepper had a good chomp before he went too. Little Al and his midget pal Bonzo carried on grazing. Those two also seem to react a bit to my voice, coming closer when I speak but maybe I speak about the wrong things as they soon beggar off again. I took a pre -foodie tab and put some bread in the toaster which I could allow to go cold. Then I took my sprays and the rest of the morning meds before smoking a ‘Timer’ ( a cigarette is about the right length of time to wait between pre-foodie tab and actually eating, not that I need an excuse to smoke). Slathering butter on my toast and eating it was wonderful. I like my slightly salted butter too which gives it all more flavour.                                                                                                 The wind/gale seems to have dropped this morning and it looks dry outside so I dressed just before 9.00 am and took a birthday card to be posted before calling in at Pauline’s for my TV magazine and some fresh bread plus a birthday card for one coming up this month. Back at home I unpacked then started back on the mail. It kept me going through the morning until 11.30 am when I broke off ready to get lunch.

I ate while watching Murder She Wrote. Screaming “Look out behind you” with a mouthful of corned beef hash is not a great idea. Anyway she never listens. I really wanted to nod off afterwards but didn’t as I needed to be as clear as possible before games night. I came back to my room and caught up with my main address ( without refreshing) then signed into my gmail address to find 163. Ouch. I was answering some mail from a friend who gave me a probably well deserved telling off after a remark about the play being improved if I walked off the stage. I did say it was just my opinion but she sent a virtual Australian clout in my direction. I’m chastened. It stung.I read a post that took me in about fox cubs being trained as guide dogs and fell for it hook line and sinker. I only hoped as it was after noon, the ‘Fool’ bit wouldn’t count though I did feel a right prat. I’d have felt the left one too if it had been there. Thanks Sally, I owe you !!!! I just took it easy all afternoon until 5.00 pm when I knocked off to answer the door to the chemist’s delivery man. His timing was perfect as I’d just noticed one of my sprays in the red zone. I really felt sorry for him too as he’d been caught in yet another very heavy shower. As he left there was a text from Lee to say he couldn’t make it tonight which was a real shame. I’d just sat down in the lounge after answering and I saw Dil and Matt coming along the path. It was just 5.10 pm , they’re getting earlier every week trying to catch me kipping so they can complain I’m not in the kitchen doing their drinks. They were actually able to see the quiz they like all the way through.

At 6.00 pm as the TV went off  Dil unfolded the games table and I brought over some games. We ended up playing Yahtzee first. I think least said, soonest mended as far as that goes. I was humiliated enough then without repeating it now. Then we had two games of Balderdash. My skills were to the fore in the first game and I romped home. In the second game I started well and had a decent lead so I was lulled into a false sense of security. All of a sudden Dil was past me and home. He couldn’t get one wrong. I think even Matt ended up ahead of me. Finally we had time for a game of Crazy 8’s, I don’t know why I bothered. They were on form and had me for a 14 card pick-up twice. In the last hand alone I was caught with 140 points which took me way over. It’ll b days before I can hold my head up and that’s when I’ve forgotten I lost and start thinking I had a good night. After they left at 9.30pm in the pouring rain, and I locked the front door, I tidied up and washed the pots then took my meds before coming through. It was almost 10.00 pm and you’d all been far too busy. I’m sure you increase pace when you know I’m out of the way. Anyway there’s a lot so I’ve started the blog at 10.30 pm and it’s almost 11.30 pm now so I can probably manage another half hour with the mail.

     Classic Motown from 1971.

Thursday.

Things went to pot last night but I’m sort of glad. I did my usual of recent times and worked till just midnight to allow myself time for a read. Lights off at 1.00 pm or Matron comes round and tells me off ( I wish). Sleep didn’t come easy because my damned ankle was itching like mad so I had to get up and apply some cream. Eventually it cooled enough for me to nod off but I woke again just after 2.00 am then again at almost 3.30 am. I almost gave up but being perverse I decided to try in the front room. For a change I thought I’d try the chair I normally sit in to play cards which is Mike’s chair when he’s here.( No Mike. I’m not paying rent since when you’re here I don’t touch it). This clever move on my part ( pre-planned of course) must have bamboozled the small gods- especially Porcinus bless him, it doesn’t take much- since I woke up in place at 7.34 am. That’s almost like a normal night’s sleep for most people. I can’t remember such a late start. Unfortunately Big Al can and he was most definitely dischuffed with me this morning. The evil eye was in play and followed me round the room even when I didn’t move. I was so nervous I just dropped half a tub of food in and ran. Then I came back to take the lid off in case he cursed me. Once I’d counted my fingers I wished them all good morning and left to take my meds.

After the meds I made a coffee to take back with me and sat making a start on last night’s emails of which there were still a few. When I next looked at the clock it was 9.25 am and since I had no idea what time MuJo were arriving I stopped work to get washed and dressed. I even slapped a bit of water on my bonce to see if I could get rid of bedhead where one side lies down and the other sticks up. Once done I returned to work and started on today’s mail. I was able to work until 10.45 am when MuJo arrived. I sorted drinks and we sat and chatted a while, well Mu and I chatted while John coughed. Nope, no gold watches. For once the day was pretty much decided. They wanted the chippy in town and a couple of shops John likes. I also reminded him it was Market Day and he could have batteries put in the two watches he’s had in the car since before Christmas. When we arrived in town that was the first thing we did followed by lunch where I found I’d come out without any tabs. Never mind, I said I’d have some at tea time about 6.00 pm. After lunch we visited John’s shops without buying anything this visit then we had a ride to Flint. Muriel wanted Aldi so I used the opportunity to get some flowers for Ju and some chocolates for Temptations. Mu got what she needed and the next stop was Temptations which was good since I think I swallowed the contents of the budgie’s cage and I don’t even have a budgie. Mu and John both wanted a cold drink from the cool shelves and what a nice surprise when I got there than to find Ceri on her knees. ( Behave now!) I gave in to the temptation to give her a sws (kiss) on her forehead and help her up.

Wiping the drool from my chin and remembering I’m nearly twice her age I went to order my coffee and hand over the chocolates. I think coffee was an error considering I was thirsty but in the next shop I was able to get a small bottle of Pepsi Max to keep in my pocket. MuJo were searching for something special in material to run down behind and above he four poster. Unsuccessful we did one more shop together to try but without any luck. John went to sit on the car while Mu and I looked in one more place where I thought I’d found the ideal thing but Mu’s eyes just told me I have no taste. We drove back to my place and arrived there just after 4.30 pm. John needed a drink and Mu went out for lottery tickets. It was just before 5.00 pm when I waved them off. As I got in the house I was opening my mail page as I was trying to get my shoes off with the other hand. Six and a quarter hours without a computer, OMG How much mail can com through in that time? Aaaarrrggghhhh, I just found out. I need two computers so I can answer double the mails in the same time. They won’t make sense but really, this is me so who’ll notice? They will think I’m asleep again. I could only work until 6.15 pm before going to take a pre- foodie and get something to eat. Pork pie, bread and butter and a slice of strawberry and rhubarb tart that must have jumped into my basket at Aldi. Unfortunately the Big Bang Theory was on while I ate and it would have been rude not to stay to the end so I didn’t resume work until 7.00 pm. Then I remembered it’s Thursday and the new episode is on at 8.30 pm followed by a new episode of a police comedy I like. I just had to…….

At half past eight I slunk guiltily out of my room and went to the lounge, sank into my chair and turned TV back on. Both episodes were fantastic and I was glad I hadn’t missed them. At half past nine I slunk even more guiltily back into my room an tried to resume work a though I’d never been away. My computer wasn’t having any of that and automatically refreshed with a snigger. By the time I came round again…….                                                                                                                                                                                           ! “Come on, you can do this” I tried telling myself, and I tried, but between distractions like thinking spiders were crawling up my leg and countless typos I was just getting further behind. At 10.30 pm I excused myself and started on this blog as any excess mail could wait until tomorrow morning but I need to try and get out tomorrow for a while and then Saturday is like today-BAD. So it’s 11.25 pm now and maybe I’d better try for a little bit longer.                                                                                                                               Tonight a real blast from the past, hope you know it.

or

Friday.

I only survived until 12.15 am before I had to go to bed. Naturally I had to read for a while to refocus the grasshoprer brain but I shut the book and turned the light off at 1.00 am. The brain started up straight away, and no matter how much I thought about something the brain insisted on returning to it. Even now I’m not sure if my subconscious was giving me the chance to correct an error or whether I was just stuck on repeat like the old record players used to do. I remember driving my parents crazy by lifting the arm so ‘I got you babe’ by Sonny and Cher would repeat. At some stage I dropped of only to wake up or be woken up at 2.10 am. After a cigarette I was able to relax back into sleep again until 2.52 am. I refused to give in and achieved sleep again without having to first get out of bed. When I next woke at 3.47 am I knew it was time to get up. I couldn’t really object as I’d been given a treat yesterday morning. The small gods must get their way sometimes. Well most all the time actually.

I paid a visit to the country of the Loo Bloo Waterfall then came back and signed on. I was rather horrified when I saw how many emails I’d left from yesterday. Still, I had no choice but to start working to clear them though there was a temptation to ring in sick. I worked until I’d finished yesterday’s which was almost 6.15 am then decided it was a natural break to go feed the fish. I put the kitchen light on and then the tank light. Only Little Al was there ready for breakfast.I was a little earlier than usual. But something was wrong with the tank and I couldn’t figure out what. I combined trying to find the others with trying to see what was jarring me. I was halfway along the tank when my heart sunk, an angel fish dead behind the bubble wall, no it looked like 2. Just a bloody minute, I don’t have any angel fish I don’t like the nasty little beggars. I worked it out at last. The Loki half of MuJo had been at the tank while I was out of the room yesterday. He’d added to the tank three plastic fish from his old bubble tube. He must have delighted in the fact I hadn’t seen them yesterday.

bubble tube

 

Once I’d recovered, I left Big Al, Little Al and Pepper enjoying breakfast and went to take my meds. I thought I’d have breakfast this morning so once I’d taken a pre-foodie  I put two slices of bread in the toaster and took my other tabs. Then being Friday and the day I need to do my meds for the week again so I went through to the lounge for my meds drawer. Once done I took the now cold toast from the toaster , cut it and buttered it. As I stood eating, the machine was making me a latte. Once I’d finished I took my post-foodie tablets and made my way my room.  A few days ago I’d had a google+ message that someone had followed me. Let’s call her Marie (cos’ that’s her name). As I always do I went through to see if it was a fellow author, though obviously I’m slightly more flexible than only to join up with you reprobates. There was nothing to indicate what she did or any posts but there was a picture of a woman in be with an oxygen mask on. My immediate thought was that she may be lonely (and desperate) if she was long term ill so I followed her back. Today there was a message from google + that she had started a conversation with me, would I like to see. ( Obviously) so I took a look. What appeared was one of those rambling letters from a woman in Africa (where else) whose husband had died 2 years ago in a helicopter crash in France ( link supplied). Never had children, she’s dying from cancer, £6m+ in a bank which I can have 40% of if I make sure the other 60% is used for charitable purposes as they want. I wold normally laugh this off as I tell you what an obvious con it is but this time I thought how nasty these people are, using the picture of an obviously ill woman, and giving a link to an obvious tragedy which then impinges on someone’s grief. These individuals are not funny at all to do this.

I carried on working all morning with just a break to get washed and dressed and pay a visit to Pauline’s to renew my lottery tickets. I wasn’t out for long and was soon back behind my desk working. Towards the end of the session before I broke off for lunch I received another email, this time one of my old favourites. Notice the similarity in helicopter crashes?

Dear Sir/ Madam

My name is Mr. Phalli Sang Sotoku a Business Manager with Mega International commercial bank here in Asia. As the accounts officer to late Mr. Lam Kok who died in a helicopter crash in France while inspecting one of the new acquisition.

You can follow the link to know more about our deceased customer: www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-25476662

In accordance with the es-cheat laws as a kingdom nation, the Board of Directors of the bank met forth night ago and resolved to turn the estate of the deceased over to Government pause having waited for too long without the deceased relatives/next of kin surfacing property and if this is done, invariably, the funds will end up to become Government property.

I have the opportunity of making you the beneficiary to the deposited funds with our bank, i have all the details and required information to make you the beneficiary to the funds, get back to me with your intent consideration to handle this project on my behalf

Looking forward to hear from you. You can also feel free to reach me on my private mail box[PhallaSS@outlook.com].

Yours Sincerely

Mr. Phalli Sang Sotoku

I’m hoping that no-one sees either of today’s cons and thinks there’s anything in it for them. I made myself a shepherd’s pie for lunch, had a piece of suicidal strawberry and rhubarb tart and made my way back to work. I was running approximately 4 hours behind all the time and couldn’t seem to catch up. Oh how I cursed you all so if you wake up with furry feet tomorrow you know whose fault it is and maybe you won’t spend tomorrow writing while I’m out, thus saving me a headache when I get back Despite the backlog I had to stop at 5.00 pm for a break or I may just have nodded off. The TV schedule has changed a lot for the holiday weekend so I found a quiz to watch while I sat with another piece of my pie. Once I’d washed up I didn’t fancy much of what was on and didn’t want to start a film so I watched a couple of Big Bang Theory repeats so I returned to work smiling.

It took a while before I thought I was gaining on the backlog but bit by bit I clawed my way up the ladder. When I got there I knew it would be “Look at me Ma, I’m on top of the World Ma.” At least until some sneaky beggar writes another post. Bu at least I was feeling  a little more confident about tomorrow now, and with luck I won’t be out too long. As they can’t take me next week maybe I should buy extra tomorrow so I don’t have to leave the house except to get milk and bread at Pauline’s. I want to be one of those hermits where they drop food off outside my cave though I would pay for it. But, if I wasn’t going out, I couldn’t get cash so everything would have to be paid by cheque. Oh well, I could always claim I’d been asked for an autograph. By 11.00 pm I was up to date woo hoo, and rather than tempt myself later I closed the email down to concentrate on this. It’s now 12.02 pm and I’m off to bed.

Most countries will have had a version of this song but I’m going for the home version rather than the International one. I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday.

Well , I was in bed ‘toot sweet’ last night whn I closed the computer and ready for a couple of chapters of my book. I think once I finish this I may re-read all my early Pratchett’s again. My light went off just before 1.00 am and since I’d paid a visit before climbing into bed there should be no excuse to wake for that. Despite that I still woke at 1.40 pm and struggled to get off again. When I woke the next time I felt I’d had a good sleep and was ready to start work so I was more than a little surprised to find it was 2.22 am. Oh well, I thought, there’s plenty of time to go back to bed if I get tired and virtually all I have to do is fall off my chair. Had any of you been listening closely though I may have been heard muttering about the legitimacy of a certain 3 brothers. If one of the small gods decides to furnish me with copies of birth certificates next visit I could have some apologising to do. I’ve said it before that getting up this early can be a pain but can also be a great help on a Saturday in making sure I’m more or less up to date before going out. Today I logged in and found an early start maybe wasn’t too bad, not that I’ll ever repeat that to Somnos of course.

It took me until 6.00 am to clear up till 4.30 am’s post and then I could see a few deletions were coming my way so I took it as a natural break. I’m not sure why I chose to go at that moment as I wasn’t due to be screaming down Mike’s  ear that his coffee was ready. Since he’s still in Canada I’d need lungs like Dolly Parton’s. As I turned the tank light on in he kitchen Little Al was circling in place below the hatch like he’d not been fed this week. Fortunately my memory is better than his. I was in the process of sprinkling some food in when Bonzo and Pepper swam in. Almost a minute later Big Al appeared, taking his time and looking quite cross at me as though I ”d disturbed his sleep. Considering it’ s the same place Pepper came from I’m wondering what I had disturbed. Since they’re both Corys it wouldn’t surprise me but my friend Andrea (sigh) wondered what the combination might be as in Ligers/Tigons so my choices are either Pepals or Alpeps. No sign of Harold but he’s probably having a lie-in again. Leaving the fish I went to take my tabs. This week they changed the size of one from miniscule to horse tablet size so I’ve no idea whether it can go down with the bulk as usual or whether it’s another I need to take solo. As it happened it went down in bulk still so I have only two solo’s to take. I did that then made a coffee to bring back. I left kt on the desk while I concentrated on getting dressed.

When I was ready, I had my coffee, checked my ebay and then sis a little more work. At about 8.00 am I had a text from Yvonne to say they hoped to be leaving in about 15 minutes to pick me up but to remember traffic problems with road repairs. At 8.15 am another text to say ‘Left on time, Yay.” Knowing I had until about 9.00 pm I got the rubbish ready to put out and did so. Now I was free to work again. I was really doing quite well but time was getting on, a third text to tell me they were at the top of the hill came as a surprise. I left everything and got my coat on with bags at the ready. A few minutes later at 8.55 am they arrived. I was outside waiting. Firstly I had to listen to Reuben say ham and cheese….about 200 times before he said Hi Pops. Yvonne and Ugo ignored me as usual. They took me to Asda to do the bulk of my shopping. For the second week running I forgot my disabled parking card but Ugo managed to park quite close by so not too bad. I got my cash from the machine wile Yvonne grabbed a trolley and we went in. Ugo was going to follow behind us with Reuben. Potatoes first today and then because I bought flowers with MuJo on Thursday I didn’t need more today. It was straight on with the shopping. We were sharing the trolley again so I was trying to keep my stuff together out of their way. Every once in a while she would put something in her half and I’d decide I’d treat them to it and sneak it over. My daughter is a very argumentative person I find. We heard the sound of a siren, Oops, No. That was Reuben not wanting to let go of a toy.Yvonne decided he should have it for Easter instead of yet more chocolate and he was quiet again.That may need to be nipped in the bud though before he becomes a master manipulator. I don’t want the competition.

We finally finished going round and went for a coffee in MaDonald’s where Ugo demolished a couple of burgers and fries and even Reuben had a bit.When we’d done there they took me to Lidl to see if there was a special still available which was on just Yesterday and today. I was lucky , there were some left. Yvonne did  her main shop there and I managed to get them a few more treats.  I was thinking of putting them kin her trolley when we reached the till for a joke but I know she’d never let me pay for them so I didn’t. The moaning wasn’t any less but at least it was fait accompli. All done they ran me home and I made sure she had a tassimo cleaning tablet and their Easter eggs before they left. She left me loads of sweets for Easter from them all. Once they’d gone I started unpacking. The air was blue. My fridge is so small as to be fairly useless and I was using a show horn to lever things in. Finally it was done. Now it was lunch time and I had to see that through before anything else. It was nearly 2.00 pm before I was finally able to come through to work. By which time I was almost too scared to bother. With very good reason too. But, I girded my lions ( I used brasso and their manes came up a lovely colour) and put my grind to the nose stone and soon enough I could see results. One thing I noticed early on. While you lot were staying in and writing instead of enjoying the sunshine, all the women who propose to me have gone on holiday. Either that or it’s time for a bath. That in itself presents a problem as I only have a shower here though I could have a strip wash in the sink if Mike hadn’t told me I’d fall out. He said I should never have taken up tap dancing. Boom Boom.

Time just passed in a flash so I got dressed again and at 6.00 pm went through to turn the tank light off and to have some tea. I confess I couldn’t be bothered making anything so I had two doughnuts , it tasted like diabetic jam so I didn’t feel too bad.I watched TV for half n hour but had to stop because my eyes were getting ready to close. I don’t mind them doing that but I’d rather it was after I catch up. By 8.15 pm I had caught up and was so relieved. I could keep pace with things as they came in now, and then a little later could concentrate on the blog so it was ready for midnight. And that’s what I did.And now I’m off to bed. I have a treat for you all on Tuesday.

By special request of Suzanne Joshi another Cole Porter song but this time by a much more recognisable name.

The Easter Bunny?

The Easter Bunny?

Music Maestro

Music Maestro

 

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Rogues Gallery

My very good friend ( and brilliant author by the way) A.C.Flory mentioned in a comment on my last blog that she’d like a reminder of who’s who in the fishy world now they all have names. I’m sure some of you may remember the originals but here’s a run down of the Famous Five, survivors of their very own Armageddon.

Bronze Cory 'Bonzo'

Bronze Cory ‘Bonzo’

Don’t worry that he looks a little startled, he’s camera shy Unhappy that he was caught scouring for food. Bonzo a bronze corydorus (cory)

'Pepper' a member of the Pepper Catfish family companion of Big Al

‘Pepper’ a member of the Pepper Catfish family companion of Big Al

Pepper is a very even tempered fish and quite fond of his/her grub. Also a cory.

'Big Al' in the process of a 'Dirty look' Little Al is smaller and paler

‘Big Al’ in the process of a ‘Dirty look’ Little Al is smaller and paler

Hard to tell but Big Al is the same size as Pepper about 2″ long. Little Al is just over 1″ so far. Big Al is a little more orange than in the picture but it’s about right for Little Al’s colour. Albino corys.

'Harold' the Hoplosternum ( Hoplo)

‘Harold’ the Hoplosternum ( Hoplo)

Considering the number of times recently Harold has tried to give me a heart attack by completely disappearing when I’m searching the tank for him and then re-appearing as though nothing is amiss, should probably be renamed Harry Houdini of the fish world.

All of the above are a species of catfish and you’ll notice from their quaint little moustaches that they’re all from the cory family. Very hardy little beggars to have survived the Great Plague (Thankfully). I hope you enjoyed re-acquainting yourselves with them.

Hugs

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A Guest Post by S.R. Mallery

I’m treading new ground today and asking a friend to stand in for me and write a guest post. Sarah Mallery is a successful novelist who has other strings to her bow I’m sure she’d like to share, including the advent of a new book.

No more from me. Take it away Sarah.

Flash Fiction & The Joy of Counting Words

After I had written my short story collection, Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads, I happened on an article for writers that mentioned how by writing flash fiction, it is easier to get your work into a magazine. Longer stories take up more space and create more competition, they claimed. Space equals money. And competition. Now, what is this kind of fiction? I wondered. Well, according to Wikipedia, this is the definition:

Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity.[1] There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.”

I decided to give it a try. Actually, it was much like when I first learned to quilt and knew I was never going to tackle a full quilt right off the bat. I would sew pillow top after pillow top late into the night, sitting on the couch while the rest of my family were well off into Dreamland. So, when I first tried my hand at this thing called ‘Flash Fiction,’ I enjoyed the same kind of creative brevity, but what I couldn’t foresee was how addicting it would be for me! I found myself using all kinds of writer’s prompts to get ideas, once again percolating and composing during the wee hours while my family slept. (Some things never change).

I found several books to be amazingly inspirational for me—(SEE BELOW). They were chock full of quotes, author’s bios, little suggestions, and most importantly for me, being the visual gal that I am, lots of photographs. Soon, little sticky notes were being placed onto many of the pages as my mind exploded with new possibilities.

For example, one of my stories in Tales To Count On, “Traffic Jam,” was based on a long-shot photograph of just that; another one about PTSD fallout was based on a little suggestion to ‘try writing sentences with each opening word in alphabetical order’. From that I began a flash piece with the B word: “Bottoms up!” Eddie chuckled, watching Susan, the girl of his dreams, go skinny-dipping in the glassy night lake…” I took it from there.

Lo and behold, when I sent out my first flash fiction story, “Good Advice,” to a small literary magazine, I was flabbergasted to receive an acceptance within a little over a week. Wow, I thought, maybe there is something to this idea of how writing small can reap large rewards in the magazine world.

As I kept writing and sending out, writing and sending out, I did get some rejections, of course, but I managed to get eight of them published in 2008. Oh, maybe not to the likes of The New Yorker, but it was enough – I was encouraged.

Recently, I decided to put some of my flash fiction into a new collection, but unlike my Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads, which had the connection of sewing or crafting, just how could I link these very eclectic stories? Then it hit me. Since the ‘word count’ is so important for writers, why not link them that way? Each story title would have the word count under it and it would go by ascending order of numbers. And…and… I could include a few of my stories that were lengthier, as long as I put the word count under their titles! Eureka!

Thus, the connecting thread of Tales to Count On was born: http://amzn.to/1x8QqyD

TALES_final_large

Synopsis: Curl up and enter the eclectic world of S. R. Mallery, where sad meets bizarre and deception meets humor; where history meets revenge and magic meets gothic. Whether it’s 500 words or 5,000, these TALES TO COUNT ON, which include a battered women’s shelter, childhood memories, Venetian love, magic photographs, PTSD fallout, sisters’ tricks, WWII spies, the French Revolution, evil vaudevillians, and celebrity woes, will remind you that in the end, nothing is ever what it seems.

Here’s what they are saying about it:

Brilliant… I stand in awe of S.R. Mallery’s ability to cobble something riveting out of so few words. I can’t recommend this book enough!” ––Dianne Harman, The Coyote Series, The Cedar Bay Cozy Murder Mystery Series

“S. R. Mallery takes you on a truly unique, visual journey through time and place, with her imaginative tales and unusual endings, stirring up the reader’s curiosity and compassion.”

––Lasher Lane, Deadlight

Poetic, startling, S. R. Mallery’s TALES TO COUNT ON will stun you into silence by the outcome of these inventive stories and their elegant endings with a twist.”

––D.K. Cassidy, Spilt Milk, Curious Reality

Here are my inspirational books:

1) The Writer’s Block, by Jason Rekulak :

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=The+Writer%27s+Block+Jason+Rekulak

2) The Pocket Muse series, by Monica Woods:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Ideas+and+Inspiration+Monica+Woods&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3AIdeas+and+Inspiration+Monica+Woods

My Information:

Website/Blog: www.srmallery.com

Twitter: @SarahMallery1

Facebook:

http://facebook.com/pages/SR-Mallery-Sarah-Mallery/356495387768574

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7067421.S_R_Mallery

Pinterest: (I have some good history boards that are getting a lot of attention—history, vintage clothing, older films)

http://www.pinterest.com/sarahmallery1/

My Author’s Page on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/S.-R.-Mallery/e/B00CIUW3W8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Thanks Sarah. It’s been a delight to have you here.

For anyone who’d like to see it, here’s the link to an interview I did with Sarah a while ago now, which includes her picture.

https://barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/welcome-to-an-interview-with-s-r-mallery/

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Sunday

Sunday 22nd March 2015

it was another late night being a Saturday and it was a 1.00 am turn off the light but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t long in sleeping which in this house, for me anyway, is not the same as sleeping long. Having said that, I must be back in as the Golden Boy of the small gods promotion society as I was left until 4.39 am this morning. Three and a half hours continuous unbroken sleep. I dread to think what the cost will be. The gods are in the habit of selling you a favour and allowing you to have it, before you were even aware you wanted it. It does kind of put things in their favour when it comes time to collect. I got up, paid my visit to the loo, padding along the passageway to avoid waking Mike. Coming back I powered up the computer and signed in. First job, check the lottery and thunderball. Second job, dry my eyes. Then on with the post, and what a lot there was. I worked till 7.00 am without seeming to see the numbers go down at all.

Big Al came to greet me this morning and unless I’m mistaken it was in a friendly way rather than the usual “Where’s my food fool”? attitude. I’m so pleased to see him and the rest of the Famous Five that I shower them with some of the top food and put an algae tablet in. Whistling a little of The Gang’s All Here, I turn and take my meds then make a coffee to take back with me. All of a sudden I start making good progress. At 9.30 am I’m within 3 or 4 of being up to date when I hear a sound.I had to stop and listen as I’ve heard a similar sound before but it’s so very rare. Mike appears at my door Gasp! Cheeky burger was creeping to see if I was awake. I apologised for not moving when I first heard him but I was really trying to finish. He told me to carry on so I did and a few minutes later joined him in the kitchen where he still hadn’t made himself a drink. I put the kettle on. He was engrossed in something in the fish tank from hell. Some part of a plant had come loose and he’d found another corpse, I just glanced at where he pointed and asked whether something else was a rock. It wasn’t. He dipped the net and brought out two corpses. Unrecognisable for the beautiful fish they once were. I was in the meantime counting wildly trying to come up with my five survivors and hoping these two were he last. The Famous Five were all accounted for.

Because of problems with the car Mike hadn’t been able to do a run to his Dad’s on Friday.I knew he wanted t go this afternoon so when he asked what our plans were for this morning I suggested we went to the Bells but for breakfast instead of lunch. We’ve always said we’ll try it. We didn’t rush too much and got there about 11.00 am. The sign says it’s an eat all you want breakfast and I’m astounded when I see that nothing is restricted. You can help yourself to bacon ( fools), sausages, eggs, fried bread, hash browns, plum tomatoes and beans, even chips, and then you can have as much toast as you want. It was £3.99 and I think between the two of us we must have bankrupted them. I was waiting for them to pay us to leave.When we left there about 12.30 pm we headed towards home but had a little detour to the gift shop at Abakhan. I thought we were going to have a drink there but Mike said “Let’s have one at home” which was two minutes away. I stepped out into the beautiful sunshine and felt ill, no it wasn’t my breakfast coming back to haunt me, I had to slow up a minute until Mike turned round and came back asking what was wrong. “Nothing, just fancied a cigarette” I said. He put on that very whiney voice and repeated it with such sarcasm.He put a hand in my coat pocket and passed me my spray as the pain really hit. There was a bench close by. And all the time this mocking voice is bouncing round my ears “What’s wrong? Nothing. Liar, I can always tell, it’s your chest again”  I offer “If you know so bloody much why’re you asking?” We have a cigarette and then go to the car.

At home, I sit in the chair and the need to sleep hits. Mike has a coffee and when I come round he’s ready to go. I won’t see him for a month now so no more bullying or nagging for a while. Scratch that, I meant from him, I’m not for one minute suggesting Yvonne won’t. I walk slowly out to the car with him to collect my blue badge ( disabled parking scheme) and wave him off. Back inside again I have no choice but to start on the emails. Whoa, far too many.I had nearly 4 hours of that because at 6.55 pm I intend to take a break and watch Lara Croft. I’m afraid if I work straight through I’ll have another angina attack .I stayed awake and even enjoyed the film but at 9.00 pm I came through to face the music.92 more emails in three hours. I worked until 11.00 pm then started this blog and I’ll decide afterwards if I carry on or go to bed.

Someone pinched my pedals

Someone pinched my pedals

This is more my mode of transport Mum.

This is more my mode of transport Mum.

Monday.

I don’t know whether to scream “Disaster” or offer thanks. I’d turned my light off at 1.00 am and was fairly quickly off to sleep I think. When I woke again I felt refreshed and swung my legs out of bed. I’d seen the glow of the clock but paid no attention, now I did.  It was 2.20 am. I paid a visit to the loo which only served to wake me more and came back to power up and log on. I knew if I did become tired again I could go back to bed for a while as 80 minutes sleep is pushing it even for me. But when I logged in and saw how much work was left from my backlog of yesterday with more having come in during the morning I thought maybe as I was going out again today, it would be good to get rid of the backlog completely. So that’s what I did. I was finished not long after 6.00 am and up to date, giving me the chance to put on a guest blog by my old friend Sarah Mallery which wasn’t due until tomorrow. I hoped she’d be pleased when she saw it up. At 7.00 am I went through to the kitchen and turned the tank light on. I was chuffed to see the Famous Five come and greet me. Yes OK, I know it could be construed that they were waiting for the food they knew was coming, but I’m sticking with my own line of thought here.

I left my friends ( yes, I have got some) chomping on their little food granules and turned to take my meds. There are some quite big snails on the glass of the tank. I know it means good water. I haven’t seen my assassin snails in an age so I’d better get some more of those. Tablets done I made a coffee and wandered back to the bedroom. Not too much come through while I was out of the room so easily dealt with. I opened the second email address and sorted that one too. It reminded me that I’d ordered some Tudor roses for MuJo to stick on the four poster and I hoped they’d maybe turn up today. I know they were posted on Friday but probably second class. The slow pace of the morning so far was nice. I was able to take my time getting dressed which meant I could colour co-ordinate though even now I can hear my Julia’s voice saying ” Not orange and blue together darling, you look like a bruised tangerine,” OK maybe that’s not quite what she’d say but you get the gist. She was a very gentle person who enjoyed ribbing me but who never tried to hurt, at least never after the great ‘No yellow shirts with your complexion even if they are your favourites’ debacle.

The postman came early and I was pleased to see the Tudor roses delivered. Less pleased to see them described as Yorkshire Roses merely because they were uncoloured, I almost got a red pen out. I guess the War of the Roses isn’t over yet. It’s strange to think that we carry on this joke between Lancashire and Yorkshire because of cricket these days. I actually like Yorkshire very much though I still maintain these are Tudor roses. Anyway they arrived. I ordered 4 for Mujo and a further 4 for me though I haven’t the foggiest idea why now. I couldn’t do my washing this morning as I’ve no idea what time they’ll turn up and what time they’ll want to go out.                                          As it happened they arrived at 10.20 am at which point I was still up to date with my mail. I saw to the drinks and then passed John the packets with the Tudor roses and the gargoyles. He was over the moon with them and knew just where on the bedposts they were going. We chatted for a while and batted about different places we might like to go but it was the chippie that won out. We went and had a pleasant meal there, followed by a ride over to Flint and to Aldi so Muriel could do some shopping. That suited me down to the ground as I wasn’t too happy with Julia’s flowers and needed some more. I got three more bunches including some daffodils. Hopefully as they open the vase will look stunning and full of colour for her.

From Aldi Muriel drove to Asda and then on to Temptations where we had a nice drink and I got to hold Ceri’s hand for a minute.( Sorry Mike, you should have been here).Coming out of there we had a look round a few shops ans MuJo were able to find another pair of curtains they needed. A successful day. We drove back to my place where I sorted John with a drink while Muriel went to Pauline’s for their lottery tickets. At about 4.15 pm they left to go home and after giving them a wave I came in to start work, or such was the intent. I certainly did some work but I have no idea how much before I was suddenly no longer here. That may have been at about 5.00 pm and the next thing I knew I was waking up in my office chair, in front of my monitor at 7.10 pm. A real break only I couldn’t get myself together enough to work out what I’d been doing or what I was supposed to do next. It took a few minutes. A real day off. I carried on as best I could from that point until it became time to stop and do the blog. And here we are again.

A toll? I'm not paying a toll.

A toll? I’m not paying a toll.

Is choo Lookin' at me?

Is choo Lookin’ at me?

Tuesday.

At last I’m back in favour. Should anyone ask I’ve been plugging Somnos daily and twice on Sundays. I turned my light off at 1.00 am and didn’t wake until 4.49 am which was wunnerful. Early enough to work before I go out but late enough for me to feel I’ve had a good sleep. Talking of work, there wasn’t as much as I feared from last night  and not too much early morning stuff to scare me, and believe me, I scare easy. Naturally my day couldn’t start without the waterfall effect and today I was able to make as much noise as I wanted with Mike not being here. That’s always assuming he’d hear me anyway. When I came back through I powered up and signed in. With a smile on my face I started.

The smile wavered a bit when I came to an email about a firm wanting to place a large order for my product and the money was on hand to pay for it. I had to sit and puzzle out what my product might be. I can only think it’s words so I sent them a link to an online dictionary. Not that I needed their money anyway since an attractive ( I’m guessing) young Nigerian lady has offered me 40% of her late father’s fortune (worth squillions) if I can only help her get it from under the nose on her Aunt who wants to force her to marry and give up her rights. However if I (Prince Charming and NO arguments) can arrange with the holding bank to transfer it…..well who knows. Wedding bells maybe as she knows my character is good (fool). After that, everything else seemed flat even with the jokes sent to entertain me. Still, I persevered until 6.00 am when I decided the fish were deserving of my company. Big Al and Pepper cam up to be fed when I turned the tank light on. The little bronze cory wasn’t too far behind. Little Al was poking about at the back and didn’t seem interested at first and the hoplo I couldn’t see. Not as worrying as it would have been a few days ago. Fair play, he did stop playing silly beggars before I left and he came looking for grub.

I left the fish and turned to taking my drugs and sprays before making myself a coffee. After putting the drink on my desk I concentrated on getting ready to go out so I’d have no last minute rushes though the words rush and David aren’t a natural marriage like Mike and sleep are.Once I’d pondered what to wear and actually got dressed I returned to work and made short shrift of what was outstanding. By 7.20 am my mail boxes were clear. I even managed a cheeky look at ebay before having to go out at 7.30 am. I reached the bus stop well ahead of the bus so had to walk the whole distance for a change. I did manage to get my breath back before the bus arrived and as I was the only passenger settled in my favourite seat. After a few minutes we set off and when we stopped in town I closed my eyes so I didn’t encourage chatter from anyone getting on. It was a pretty good journey and we arrived in Chester at 8.40 am. It was pretty cold and damp. I saw Yvonne waving to me in the distance and walked towards her, hiding behind a pillar as she got close. Reuben hadn’t spotted me so when I jumped out and said “Boo”he was giggling like mad. Our cafe wouldn’t open for 15 minutes so we walked round a shop that was open and picked up a couple of books for Reuben. Then it was time for coffee, and in my case a sausage and red onion toastie that Yvonne decided I wanted. It was very nice. After that we went and found some outfits for Reuben, sunglasses for Ugo and Yvonne and left.

We wandered round a few more shops during the course of the morning.I’d told Yvonne I needed to leave early today so I didn’t get into the same backlog situation I encountered over the weekend and yesterday. Anything more than a couple of hours out of the house is horrific. Eventually time to go was upon us. They walked me to my bus stop and waited with me until it arrived. I wasn’t first in the queue and my seat wasn’t available but I found a double nearby. As the bus left I waved to Reuben who was looking in the wrong direction smiling at a stranger. The journey was tolerable though I had to keep my eyes closed when someone sat beside me. Back at home I emailed Yvonne to thank her for the morning an passed her the details of some appointments I needed, hopefully two close together on the same day. She emailed me back with the dates and times and she’s actually managed to get what I want. There were 192 messages with more coming all the time so I made a start. By 3.00 pm the computer fan was whining so I took a break and had lunch while watching an episode of Escape to the Country. After lunch I washed up and returned to work again. If only the hourly rate was better I could be quite content.

By 5.00 pm I was feeling decidedly sleepy so went to sit in the lounge with the TV on. It worked like a charm, I fell asleep until 6.10 pm. I turned the tank light off, wished the fish goodnight and came back to work. No breaks since then. Each time I think I’m making great progress somebody writes to me. Still, I stopped at 10.30 pm to do the blog and I’m unsure if I’ll go back to it as I’m at home tomorrow daytime and may catch up then. Of course it’s games night at the other end but I’ll save the moaning about that till it happens.

The Winnah!!

The Winnah!!

The lap of honour.

The lap of honour.

Wednesday.

Well, I had an early night last night. In bed for 11.30 pm with a quick “Damn the rest of the mail until the morning.” I read until 12.30 am then turned my light off and settled down. I think Porcinus must have come to make sure I went to sleep because of the pervading smell of damp pig and I seemed to be counting pigs leaping a small gate as I drifted off. I woke at 3.24 am and felt ready to go into battle again. Not until I’d been to the loo of course. I turned my light on so I had no stubbed toes and I didn’t knock anything off/over on my travels. When I got back to my room I powered up the desk top and signed in. By 6.00 am I’d dealt with all last night’s late post including two very strange messages. One which stated VIRUS DETECTED AND ERASED which when opened had a weird message about how business was at this end and how they looked forward to doing business. The second had a subject of ‘ See what Morrison’s ( a Supermarket chain) have for you, which when opened was blank. I was expected to open an attachment which I refused to do since the sender was a private address. Maybe they thought people would be too tired at night to question their veracity and would open them regardless though it’s more likely to be that it’s a reasonable time of day wherever the senders are from.

Before starting the today’s batch it was time to turn on the tank light in the kitchen and check the Famous Five haven’t become the Fractious Four. I was OK since all of them were obviously at table waiting for their first-and only course. Whatever they were dreaming of they got just multicoloured granules.Though since it’s supposed to be composed of everything they need, it may be exactly what they dreamt of. Of course I got a dirty look from Big Al who obviously didn’t approve of the service in this particular restaurant. I have the feeling that his brush with death is now forgotten and the new mellow Big Al has been replaced by his original irascible self. I may be wrong and my fingers are crossed that I am since I thought the two of us were getting on so well. I turned away to take my meds, made a cup of coffee and returned to start on Wednesday’s mail. That took me till 7.45 am ( without refreshing) when I returned to the kitchen to put the washing machine on.

small gods clock

I came back to get dressed ready to make a trip to Pauline’s about 9.30 am for some bread. I made a start on today’s mail until just before 9.30 am then put my shoes on, grabbed my bag and my sticks and took a slow walk. I got my TV mag., my fresh bread, a small micro meal and some cigarettes being very disappointed when my brand wasn’t in and when the ten packet I buy for Matt was only a small size. I came home, unpacked the shopping, set the washing machine to dry the clothes and then came back to work. By some miracle I was up to date by 11.00 am and decided I had time for a nap before lunch. I managed about half an hour or so then decided to prepare my lunch which today was a lamb hock with some colcannon potatoes. I was half watching a programme about fake goods that come into the country and the vast amount the crooks earn from it. I’ve obviously been in the wrong job. Bargain Hunt came on while I was eating so I stayed till the end. After I’d washed the pots I fully intended to go straight back to work but I found myself mysteriously gravitating towards my chair for the other half hour of my power nap. My calculations were a little off as I had three quarters of an hour instead.

I was on my way back to work when my phone went and it was my pal Lis texting to see  if she could call in. Since it’s always a pleasure to entertain a pretty lady I jumped at the chance though it didn’t give me very long on the computer before she arrived. I made her a coffee, passed along her invitation to Reuben’s dedication and we chatted about her daughter-my friend Charlie’s- attempt to buy a house down in South Wales. Things seem to be going well. Lis has a lovely family and sees her grandchildren most days so there are always tales top swap. When she left to go and collect the eldest from school I came back to work. I had until 5.00 pm to try and make an impression on the mail and it was tough going but I didn’t leave too many. I had a yoghurt for my tea and then prepared the mugs which was just as well as at 5.20 pm I saw Dil and Matt walk past the window. I started making drinks. Lee was a no show tonight. After the usual quiz show Dil got the games table out and we started playing Yahtzee. It wasn’t Matt’s night as Dil won 3 of the 6 and I won the others. No clear winner there then. Not that I do usually stand a chance at that so tonight was an improvement. Instead of going onto cards next Matt suggested Balderdash. I was grateful Dil brought the original game to the table. I had a great start but a lousy finish as Matt romped home past me. In the second game I also had a great start but went downhill when Dil pipped me at the post. How on earth did my little brother and my nephew become such accomplished liars, and better at it than me?We still had a little time left so the cards came out for chase the lady. In the first hand Matt had the Queen of Spades in his hand and dumped it on me. I had it in my hand every deal after that but only managed to abandon it once. Three hands in and Dil hadn’t got a point against him. I felt obliged to remark on it and he suggested I was doing so to forge an alliance against him. So paranoid. Still, they do say just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean it isn’t true. We managed to catch him for a few points but we got the worst of it and Dil won. So for me a disastrous night. My heart is still breaking, or it would be if I had one.

They left about 9.30 pm as usual and I tidied up and washed the pots before coming through. A lot of post to catch up on again. This could be a late night. It’s now almost 11.30 pm so we’ll see how it goes from here.

I’m in a mellow mood again tonight.

Thursday.

It was a late one last night thanks to the backlog but I did clear much of it before admitting defeat. It just meant that having a read took me a bit beyond my usual 1.00 am mark. It was OK though as Somnos took pity on me, not too much in case I got used to it, but he did leave me here until 4.01 am this morning. At that time I felt a kick on my bladder like that from a sheep or goat perhaps which said “You need to go NOW.” It was fooling me though since the expected waterfall was a trickle. I came back quite disappointed and powered up the computer. When 6.45 am arrived I’d finished the last of the evenings mail and had already started today’s making quite a dent in it. It seemed a good time to go feed the Famous Five. Big and Little Al, Pepper and Bonzo the bronze cory came to eat straight away, very excited at the prospect of food. I couldn’t see Harold the Hoplo anywhere though and I was trying to rack my brain as to whether I’d seen him yesterday. I had to come through to check the blog to find out. Thinking he’d just not rolled out of bed yet I decided to take my meds.

As soon as the tablets were taken I went to make a coffee but the damn machine decided it needed cleaning the moment I’d broken open the pod. According to the book it takes about 20 mins to do the cycle. Let me say here and now that it can’t tell the time. I was still there 35 mins later waiting for the end. I put the kettle on and made myself n instant coffee. In the meantime, I kept going to the tank to check on Harold. Carefully scanning the tank my heart sank. I could see another body wedged behind the bubble curtain. I got the net out and used it to push he airtube until the body was free to float up. Naturally it was in a bad way and very nibbled so I’d no idea what it was but it could only be Harold surely. I was beginning to think my friend Laurie was right about there being a serial killer in the tank. I didn’t want to wait for ‘last man standing’ to see who it was. Anyhoo, I managed to catch the remains in my net and a couple of the ‘attack of the killer snails’ too, that’s only with reference to their size. I confess I was really sad as I deposited the remains in a plastic bag which I then put in the bin. I turned round and said good morning to Harold who’d just come out to eat. Wha????? Realisation kicked in that the remains must be from one of the recent deaths that hadn’t been seen before now. I was and am so grateful.

By now the coffee machine had finished it’s cycle so I flushed it out four times as they suggest, took the cleaning disc out and refilled the tank. I may have another coffee later and use up the pod I pierced. Greatly relieved I took what was left of my coffee and headed for my room. I stopped on the way for the magic waterfall. The mail had grown a bit while I’d been out of the room because you people are just addicted to writing aren’t you. Anything just to get the written word down in front of you so I can hear all about your new books. There should be an AAA for you all to attend, Addicted Authors Anonymous. I restarted work and carried on until 9.30 am when I went to the Post Office to send off a card and to Pauline’s for my proper ciggies, the lottery and a special birthday card for next week. On my return I started work again. I must have been daydreaming too as I caught myself wondering about Mike. I’d forgotten to ask him what time he’s flying today so he could have been on his way at that point. Poor Canada won’t know what’s hit it. I wonder if his long suffering sister and his brother in law have any problems getting him up when he’s on holiday. Mention of a casino might get him moving though. By 10.30 am I was tired. I was up to date but even so I knew a trip to the lounge to spread some Z’s about was a mistake. I slept till about 11.30 am then decided to prepare my lunch after waiting 15 minutes for the foodie-tablet to work. I was sitting down t eat just after Judge Judy finished her last case and was ready for Jessica Fletcher to solve a murder case from her sick bed. That kept me going until 1.00 pm. I washed the pots and went through.

It was at this point it occurred to me that I’d been missing for two and a half hours. I found out how bad a mistake when I booted up again. Still, I didn’t need to move again until about 5.00 pm. I only just made it. The afternoon held many entertainments for me on peoples blogs and there were quite a few new books to tweet too. But at 5.00 pm I made myself some tea and then entertained myself some more with a couple of quiz shows. I didn’t want to be away from the computer screen for too long this time as I had plans to depart again at 8.00 pm. Firstly it’s the reburial of King Richard 111 or Richard of York or Richard Crookback. He who was found buried underneath a car park in 2014 having fallen in battle in 1509 against Henry Tudor. Shakespeare vilified Richard and ensured the stories of him having murdered his two nephews in the Tower of London. However, tests on the bones have shown that Richard was not in fact a hunchback and it seems some papers have been uncovered which show he was well liked in Yorkshire and perhaps not the monster he was portrayed. Of course Shakespeare writing in the Tudor years could hardly picture Richard a Saint.                           Then it’s a new episode of the Big Bang Theory (YAY), followed by an episode of another U.S. comedy I enjoy. I’d be due to return here smiling after that lot.                            I only saw the first half of the programme on the reburial which was a shame but it was quite touching bringing  together descendants of the Yorkist line to share the ceremony. I’m sure the monks who took him and buried him did what they could but now he’s within the confines of a Cathedral in a tomb where he can be recognised as a Monarch of England.

The Big Bang Theory just gets better and better. The writers are hot, hot, hot and the stars of the show are unbeatable. The funny thing is (for those of you who don’t know) is that Sheldon’s girlfriend Amy who plays a scientist in the show is a real life scientist and probably has no problems at all with some of the scientific terms Sheldon and Leonard’s actors have had to learn sometimes. The new show I’m sort of hooked on is called something like Precinct 99 and is a very funny show, again carried so well by some of the actors. To my mind far better comedies than some I see come out of the States and much better than most things we produce these days. At 9.30 pm I took my evening meds and came back through. A fair bit more mail to wade through but I don’t think it’s all bad. I broke off at 10.30 pm to do this and it’s mow 11.40 pm so I think I’ll go straight to bed.

Friday.

Woo Hoo. Somnos must have appreciated my efforts this week. I got to bed early last night by refusing to go back and answer more mail after doing the blog. I was in bed by 11.45 pm and my light was off at 12.30 am. I didn’t get up this morning until 5.01 am, a whole hour more than yesterday plus at least half an hour at the beginning. That’s over 4 hours and my best for a while. I thought the only drawback would be the amount of mail carried over undone from last night and the delayed start this morning. But no, there were no more brought forward than usual and even the morning post to that point didn’t look heavy. I only worked until 6.05 am before going to the kitchen and turning the tank light on.Today the Fantastic Four came up to eat without the fifth member but after yesterday I wasn’t falling for it.If he preferred to eat alone so be it. I dropped a few granules in for them all. The rules say no more than they can eat in a couple of minutes. It’s like watching hoovers at work as this lot get to grips with it. They were so intent upon eating that Big Al even forgot to snarl at me.

I left them to concentrate on taking my meds, which I did leaving the container empty. ( We won’t go into the tablets in Tuesday night’s box OK- I binned them). Once I’d done I went to get my meds drawer and did a complete refill of the container for another week. That doesn’t include he foodie tabs which are taken twice a day with meals so not a set time like the others.Those I keep to one side in the hope I remember to take some out if I’m eating somewhere. Of course that won’t be happening for three weeks now while Mike is in Canada. When I’d finished it was approaching 7.30 am so I made my coffee. I had another glance in the tank and saw Harold looking for his breakfast so I dropped a few more granules in and hope he finds them. As in life, some fish seem a little thicker than others. I took my coffee back to my room an started work again. I got dressed at some break in the work but had no intention of going out this morning. My warden came to visit on her last day and we sat down for a chat. I have felt fairly relaxed with her. She was telling me it’s her grandson’s 4th birthday today and lst week they had a little party at a petting zoo. I remember when I went to a petting zoo and the women slapped my face.(I didn’t honestly). After she’d gone I went back and did another half hour of work until midday and then went to the kitchen to do lunch. Steak in ale gravy with mashed potatoes today.

After Murder She Wrote I returned to work but by 2.05 pm was up to date again and retired to my chair in the lounge to have a power nap. Unfortunately I was caught up in Judge Rinder, the UK equivalent of Judge Judy and sleep stayed away. Yet again I had to return to work at 3.00 pm. There was a sound at the door and I saw a post van departing so I checked the outside cupboards. Nothing. I found two pieces of junk mail in the letter box though and yet the postman had come this morning. I can’ believe they sent a van out especially to deliver two pieces of unwanted junk. Yet again I managed to get up to date and this time I was yawning so returned to the lounge at 4.15 pm. Big Mistake. There was an antique programme on TV followed by a quiz I enjoy. I couldn’t quite drop off. A few minor flutters of the eyelids like butterflies in a breeze but the beggers wouldn’t stay shut. Giving up my other quiz at 6.00 pm I came back through to my room. I DON’T UNDERSTAND, Have you all taken a writing sabbatical? Where are the sacks full of mail I usually get. Is nobody writing to me anymore or has wordpress devised some devilish scheme to drop it all on me at once? Whatever it is, understand this. Me scared, me no like. It only took me till 6.50 pm and I was up to date again. I decided to desert you all and go back to the TV till about 9.00 pm. I laughed ha ha in the face of danger. Here’s hoping I shan’t be laughing on the other side of my face later. I actually ended up watching one of those feel good factor comedy films that I didn’t expect to enjoy- but did..

I took my meds and retired to my room. I didn’t feel up to having a shower so went straight back to work. I was gobsmacked.Normally two hours away from the screen has me in panic mode at a minimum of 30 messages an hour. Two hours tonight and not even 30 waiting. I read a terrible report about the British economy. Not a great surprise as I’ve said for years we’re bankrupt monetarily as well as morally. It seems there will be a new raft of stealth taxes and not so stealthy ones all hitting Middle England. It wouldn’t do to inconvenience millionaires or big tax dodging corporations. I understood a few years ago that if one major coffee house had paid taxes in the UK on money earned here, there would have been more than the amount the Government are trying to screw out of the disabled benefits programme now. There was also a nice request to connect on LinkedIn as well as some cheery posts from my friends. By 10.20 pm I found myself in the enviable position of being up to date again. After doing a quick, slow waltz round the room I decided to start the blog. I could just feel an early night coming on. 11.15 pm with luck. I need all my strength for tomorrow  since I learned the elemental known as Yvonne has taken the day off to take me shopping…despite protestations.  Early in the week she said Ugo and Reuben would take me but I knew I could get out of that. Now I’ve no chance. I have to hope she’ll accept I only want to go local as I don’t need much and speed is good.She can do her own shopping at the supermarket she likes on the way home. Maybe poor Ugo will be able to sit in the coffee shop while she does. At least the Force will be with him and not me. I love my daughter more than my life but like all women she scares me half to death, especially when she can see my shopping list. Chocolate, chocolate, beans, chocolate.

Saturday.

I didn’t quite manage my 11.15 pm as hoped but I was there by 11.30 pm which was something to cheer about. My light was out by 12.30 am after a read. There were a couple of false starts during the night notably at 1.25 am ( No Way) and at 3.05 am but I still felt there was more to come and managed to stay until 4.38 am finally. I was really pleased. I got up, made Niagara fall ( in a drought) and them came back to power up and sign in. Yesterday’s surprise is there today when I noted how few ( 18) messages had come from yesterday and again surprisingly only 42 emails from today. Having said that, I hadn’t yet refreshed from 4.42 am when I signed in.But at least by 7.00 am I was clear and able to go see to the fish. Big Al and Pepper had a race to see who could reach the front first this morning when I turned the light s on. They swam in place with their tales going like the clappers trying to stay positioned underneath the trapdoor while the current tried to push them away. I talked to them as I started to pour some food into my hand but Big Al’s look said “Just get on with it. Less chat , more action.” As I started to put the food in Little Al came over with Bonzo not far behind. Yet again Harold was conspicuous by his absence but after the last few days I’ve decided not to worry when I can’t see him. Chances are he’s still in bed and if not, there isn’t much I can do about it.

I left them to their feasting and went to take my meds.As I picked up the first spray I heard my phone beep in the lounge. It really annoys me. It was on charge all Thursday night and I didn’t use it yesterday and yet it still runs out of charge. Now I don’t know if it will be sufficiently charged when I go out.. Back to the meds, I finished and made myself a coffee using the remains of the milk in  my mug as usual. I took the food waste bag out to it’s little bin and placed both bins at the end of my pathway. I brought the other recycling bags out but had to tuck them at the side of the house because there’s a vicious wind out this morning. Before starting back to work I washed and dressed in case I lose track of time. They’re supposed to be here about 9.30 am but I know of old Ugo works on African time on his days off. As long as he’s up and at football by the afternoon he’s fine. Actually not quite true as he looks after Reuben while Yvonne works so he has to be up, but he generally doesn’t have to move much. Anyway, I started back to work.

It was about 8.00 am as I was sitting here minding my own beeswax that I heard a clunking sound followed by a slithering sound. It was a fair bet that no giant pythons had escaped so I went to the front window to have a look. Disaster ! My large bin had been toppled on it’s side as had the food bin. Not a major problem as the contents were in bags but the slithering was my waste paper bag which was happily spinning around in the wind depositing it’s contents everywhere. Naturally sod’s law says this week there are many small pieces of paper ( answers from Balderdash) all over the place. I started collecting them again. It didn’t take long before I was out of puff and feeling the strain from kneeling/bending. Then good old Bert from next door came out and started helping. We picked up plastic bottles too that had escaped from their bag. Between the two of us we soon had everything back in place. I had to move the bins back down the path hopefully away from the worst of the wind and I had to stand the dustbin on top of the recycling bags. Bert has apparently left his closer to is house than usual too. The big question is will thy be collected with not being in  their usual place? Will the collection team realise why the bags are not actually out if the wind has dropped by then? At which point they could turn all ‘Jobsworth’ on us. “Oh no, it’s more than my jobs worth to come down your path to collect rubbish.” Maybe I’d be back before that happened but at that point I got a message from Yvonne to say I was not shopping locally, I was going to the big supermarket with them. This could be a battle of wills worth seeing.

They arrived at 9.40 am, just as I’d normally have finished shopping and as I approached the car I could hear the throaty croak of Pops, Pops as Reuben saw me. Poor soul thought he was getting out to be with me but instead I got in the car. “Right , where are we going?” was Ugo’s question. “Asda” said Yvonne brooking no refusals. We set off and soon arrived there, the car park was very busy but Yvonne knew enough to say “We’ll be OK.” I headed for the cash machine while Reuben followed on riding his bug bike ( or Bugger as he calls it) and with his Ma and Pa. Yvonne got a big trolley we could share. I was dubious but went along with it. On the way to the flowers we passed a stand with items reduced in the latest dale and looked at a new ironing board Yvonne needs. It was good but not quite big enough. She turned it down on the grounds they wouldn’t get it in the car anyway. I chose some flowers and Yvonne got two bunches of daffs for herself, or for Monday, I’m not sure. Monday is the two year anniversary of Ju leaving us. We had a wander with Reuben hot on my heels, literally. He was trying to make me dance by running at my toes. I hat to threaten him with my fist while telling him to get off my toes which had him in fits of laughter and trying again. Suddenly I cam across another ironing board. A Minky and very wide just as she wanted and reduced by half. Room in the car or not she decided we couldn’t afford not to. I gave her some money to pass o Ugo to buy it now and try and get it in the car before we had to go. He was away a long time. As he came back I was half expecting to hear I’d be walking. It was close. Yvonne and I wold both have to sit in the back while the ironing board occupied the place of honour next to the driver.

We carried on shopping. I was piling my stuff in the front of the basket and Yvonne the back. Only problem was the back part is very small so there was a lot of overspill. Eventually we’d done and headed for the tills. Then the goods had to be placed on the conveyor Yvonne’s first and mine second. I gave Ugo some bags and proceeded to set my bags out along the bottom of the trolley ready to put goods in. Ugo packed his stuff and paid and I waited my turn. As soon as the youngster on the till started sending stuff through Ugo decided to help me pack and pulled my bags out of the trolley.I find it easy to fill 3 bags and spread the weight than to fill one bag at a time so I had to get them back again. I really appreciated his help as he put things in the bags in the trolley for me. We didn’t have time to go to Flint for a coffee as Ugo was due at football this afternoon. We had a drink in MacDonalds where Mike and I usually go instead. Once done we headed for the car. Ugo insisted on packing the boot while Yvonne and I squeezed ourselves into the back seat one either side of Reuben. My accompaniment all the way home was a DVD of Thomas the Tank Engine. Until now I never knew Thomas was naughty. When we got back Yvonne helped me take the bags in so she could finally see the gift Tariq had given me on my birthday, the picture of Roobs and me. They had to go. I looked at my watch and it was 1.00 pm. I’m no idea it had got so late.

Once I’d unpacked and put the shopping away I took my pre-food ( I wrote pre-foot there but honestly it wasn’t while I still had hooves) tablet and buttered some bread. Corned beef hash was speaking to me. I think it was something along the lines of “Eat me or I’m out of date and food for worms.” But I can’t be sure. Finally I was able to come back to work and my worst fears were confirmed. Everyone was working weekends and more specifically, while I was out of the house. I’m very fortunate that now I was back things seem to have eased off. I was also lucky that I didn’t have any fakers, conmen or nut-jobs to delay me. The worst part was developing a rhythm and then realising I was starting to nod off.  The bathroom and a good splash of water in the face beckoned. By the time 5.30 arrived I felt OK about breaking off for a while. I went through to the lounge thinking I’d have a little tea soon and found next to my chair , the two post food tabs I should have taken at lunchtime. I put them on the arm of the chair so I wouldn’t miss them a second time. I’m (almost) ashamed to admit I settled for two doughnuts for my tea as I watched a celebrity edition of Pointless. At least I watched until an attack of the noddies took over and I didn’t wake until 7.20 pm. I came back to my room. It seemed a good time to try and have a shower before working so I prepared all my clothes and putting my dressing gown on took the clothes to the washer ready for Monday, put some clean lounge pants ( the ones with the Red Dragon of Wales) on a hook in the bathroom and turned the shower on to reach the correct temperature.  I put the emergency alarm round my neck then pulled it off again and put it on the windowsill in case it blew the system.  Then I had my shower. To an outsider looking in it would have seemed strange to see a body with it’s bum uppermost as I had to fold in order to wash my hair. That out of the way I was upright again for the rest of the ritual cleansing . Getting out of the shower I had to assume the position again to dry my hair so I might have looked very short under that towel. I came up puffing like old bellows and dried the rest of me. That takes a while given my girth. Too bad Mike hasn’t been around today with remarks about booking coach trips to go round me. I’ve missed going for my meal at the Ivy too.

Once dry I re-started work and by 10.00 pm was really doing quite well. Keeping pace as I was I broke off at 10.45 pm to see to the blog. I could take my time I hoped. So I did. My friend Suzanne Joshi  https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/ made a request for tonight. That I choose my favourite Welsh song to put on for you all.

    This is my National Anthem and still raises hairs on my neck.

I wish you all a week full of wonder and Hugs.

David 28.03 2015

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