R.I.P.Sharkey II & Welcome Stan

Sunday 22nd Feb 2015

Circumstances conspired against me yesterday so that it was 1.30 am before my light went off last night. That meant a slightly later start this morning of 5.02 am. It sounds good but meant just three and a half hours again. Still, I can cope with it. My usual visit to the loo with an indecisive bladder meant not logging on until 5.10 am and I was slightly disappointed when I did with the amount of mail waiting. Can’t you lot write to me after breakfast or something?  There were about four responses to the blog which was nice, and it seemed to have gone down well on the music front. I take this opportunity to remind you that I’m happy to take requests and I’ll try to find something nice.

I went through to the kitchen at 6.30 am to feed my pals and Sharkey II was noticeable by his absence. It wasn’t pleasant to find him floating belly up at the top of the tank well beyond any hope of the kiss of life. He’s my first ever loss other than natural age. I’m absolutely devastated as it’s only been a week and in that time he’s become a firm favourite. A beautiful, sleek graceful fish. I promise I didn’t do it from moustache envy. I note that perhaps the pump isn’t working at full capacity and wonder if it has some bearing on matters even though there is an airstone giving it some stick in there. I shall ask Mike to take a look when I get him up. I cleared him from the tank before he was cannibalised and placed him in a little container. I feel cruel for consigning him to the rubbish.Food went in for the others and they carried on as though nothing had changed. Maybe there will be a memorial service once my back is turned.

After taking my meds I made a coffee which I took back to my desk with me. More mail coming in all the time but by 8.45 am I was starting to keep pace with it. I knew that was going to change later when we went out for lunch. I kept pace until 10.00 am when I went to wake up the rest of the mourning party with a cuppa. I needed his help in seeing to the pump before we decided where to go for lunch and what to do today. He’s not renowned for speed. To be fair when I walked in and told his coffee was there, I added that I was going to say the three little words he’s longed to hear “I need you” typical response though when he said ” I thought at the least the words would have been The Lottery’s  Ours”. He did get up though. He sat for so long looking at his tablet I almost fell asleep before we finally started on the pump. Once it had a good clean it was right as rain again. Then he told me what he’s been looking at the tablet for, it was to confirm Sharkey hadn’t died through my fault. It was because we hadn’t been given a fresh water fish at all, but one that needed brackish water and of course I hadn’t added salt. Also, far from the four inch fih I’d expected this could reach 13″ which was far too much for my tank. That’s a shop I shan’t want to visit again.

When we’d done Mike got washed and dressed and we headed off for lunch. All the way to Rhyl to the Red Cafe where we’d been last week so we could get some sponges for the filter from our usual fish shop, and to see if they had a pictus in. They didn’t. And though there was a beautiful large plec there I didn’t want it. I wanted something that moves a bit. We came away with the sponges, a new air pipe and some food. While we were in Rhyl, for the first time ever there I was accosted in the street for money from a homeless person. Though I did hand over money for a meal I couldn’t help but wonder if she was genuinely homeless and whether the money was going for food in the end.  By the time we got home it was about 3.00 pm. Mike stayed another hour while I tried to keep my eyes open and then said his goodbyes at 4.00 pm. He was my excuse not to work so I dragged myself to the computer and screamed. 212 waiting. I could only work until 6.00 pm before having to make myself a sandwich for tea so I watched a couple of Big Bang Theories and fell asleep. I stayed there until 8.00 pm and with some reluctance came back through to work. I gave it till 10.00 pm then started the blog. Anything else can wait till the morning.

Monday.

Idle Human, bed glued to your back is it? Well maybe it seems like that. I was in bed for just gone 11.00 pm last night and light off at midnight yet it was 6.11 am when I woke. And even when I did, there was a reluctance to get up even though I wouldn’t sleep again. My bladder decided that for me and up I got for a visit to the loo. Only when I came back did I power up the monster where I found only half a dozen messages or so from last night, but a hole horde of them from this morning. I got started. I could only work until 7.00 am before having to go through to the fish. The morning light is a bit better so I could see some activity before the lights went on. Best of all was seeing the ancistrus out of it’s hidey-ole. As I turned the light on, he disappeared back to where he’s dug himself in underneath a shell. I feel a little guilty for having not put an area of sand down for him to dig into but he seems to have done well enough from the gravel. Big Al was unusually out of his corner and performing some beautiful arcs in front of me, little Al was matching him stroke for stroke. Pepper didn’t seem interested. As usual I wished them good morning as the light went on and as usual Morecambe came straight to my voice. Wise followed but at a much slower pace. Even one of the bronze corys came for a look. I stuck two algae tablets to the inside of the tank to disintegrate slowly and hopefully to interest the plecs then gave some of the new food, all in one, to the rest who attacked like they were kept hungry for  week , they love it. For any of you tank enthusiasts out there, keep an eye open for foodstuffs by Fish Science. It’s really good stuff and is the result of someone going it alone after many years developing fish food for one of the top manufacturers.

Seeing the fish happy I got on with taking my meds and making my coffee to bring back. I also put a load of washing in the machine then came back through. I got stuck in. About 8.40 am I went back to the kitchen and put the washing on the drier mode so it would be ready to put on the radiator before lunch time. The first batch of mail kept me going until 10.00 am with the interruptions but I wasn’t worried. I’d no intentions of going out today. After that it was time for some kind of bravery. I refreshed my first mail account and opened the second. Oh my, will I never learn that you people never sleep. As Australia is heading in that direction, The U.S. is waking up and Europe is already on line. The Philippines is a little ahead but online now (when it works) and Thailand is in mid afternoon writing to break new records.Some very good blog posts, some adverts for the release of new books, some personal but very funny mail and even a couple of cons, it all flowed through my hands via my mouse. All of  a sudden it was almost lunchtime. I went to the kitchen and decided I’d better empty the bin since I put something in and it bounced straight back out again. Then the drier stopped so I took everything out, folded it and put it in the airing cupboard for now. I took my pre-food tablet, buttered some bread then loaded the microwave while I had a cigarette. A beef stew with dumplings today. I prepared myself a tray with a light mousse for pudding and added my after food tablets to the corner of the tray. As I ate I watched an episode of Murder she Wrote. Once over I washed the pots and came back through.

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed, but I’m not falling asleep and missing the end of Murder she Wrote as much as I did with my antiques show. I’m not sure what that means yet. What I do know is it was flippin’ hard to keep my eyes open doing my afternoon stint on the mail. I was nodding, my right hand would jerk and the mouse would be off the desk dangling down the side of my chair in my hand while my head was going forward at a rate of knots towards the desk and a very hard ash tray. There must have been some recognition of the incipient danger running through my brain, as my eyes struggled to open and wake me up. Proof that it worked is evident by the 50% less bruising I had than usual. At 2.15 pm I had to admit defeat and got through to the lounge. ( For all you clever clogs sitting there saying I only went in for Father Brown, I didn’t even turn the telly on. Anyway Father Brown is over). I sat in my chair and relaxed I was falling asleep, having a dream and waking up, and repeating the whole thing. I know my wife was with me tough sometimes it was another person too but I can’t remember the context now. By 3.00 pm I’d come back through ready to go into battle again. I don’t know how many I shifted or what time things changed but there it was again, I was woken up by my head flying towards the desk. It was 4.30pm. Not only woken for my  programme but somehow I’d also signed out of my messages I was getting less done that when I go out.

Time to watch my PYMWYMI (Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is for future reference). I managed to stay the course. When the next programme started I went to make myself some tea which I then ate while the questions were being asked. My excuse for not answering- my mouth was full. At 6.00 pm instead of the usual, I watched an old episode of Law and Order ten turned everything off and came back to sign in again. So much mail, I would have questioned whether I’d done anything all day if I couldn’t actually see the time these were received. I just plodded on and on and on until they were done and refreshed. By about 10.45 I was up to date and not stupid enough to refresh again. I took the opportunity to start on the blog instead.

Tonight I’m going to do two records to please the two ladies who asked for them and also to say thanks to them both for taking the time to comment.

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

Annie Lennox- Why for Elaine Canham an excellent blogger and friend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n3ebuL1cPA

Elvis Presley-In the Ghetto for my friend Lynne who writes as Lasvegaslinny

Tuesday.

So I managed bed just before midnight and still managed a half hour or so read before putting the light out. Lie down, start coughing, sit up, take a drink and repeat. I know why they call it a nagging cough now. I was awake at 3.43 am, probably overflowing from all the little sips of drink. I made my way to the bathroom feeling like a tugboat awash on a sea of lime juice. When I eventually got back I set the computer to warm up and checked my mail. Just half a dozen from last night and 53 from the morning which only averages out at 13 per hour which doesn’t seem bad for a change. I made a start. By 6.00 am I was over the half way mark but I decided to feed the fish so there wouldn’t be a mad rush if I forgot the time later. Cough, cough, cough, so no way I was creeping up on them. I put the kitchen light on and went straight over to do the same with the tank. Morecambe and Wise came straight over, Pepper did a loop de loop close to the front and the two bronze corys played tag. Big Al and Little Al seemed to be enjoying a swim in and out the branches of the bog wood. Even the hoplos seemed to be having a sort of game swimming to the surface and back. The plecs just lay sunning themselves, very inactive. The pretty V shaped tail of the ancistrus was showing as it tried to disappear from sight. Of the synodontis there was no sign. I wasn’t worried though. I places a little flake in for Morecambe and Wise to ignore, stuck one of the new algae tablets to the tank wall an dropped some algae pellets to the floor. Everyone raced for those so I dropped a couple more near the shall and the synodontis came out for an undisturbed nibble.

Leaving the fish happy I came away and dealt with my sprays then got my mug of milk to take my tablet. I added sweeteners to what was left of the milk and made a coffee. Once I’d taken my drink through I was able to wash and dress ready for going out. There was now time for a little more mail before going out at 8.00 am. Instead of me travelling to Chester by my usual bus we had decided to meet along the route at a Supermarket and I  would travel by the bus I always used to take. So, in plenty of time I got my shoes on ( it takes an age), gathered the things I was taking for her ( the gloves we forgot last time), donned my coat and gloves  and got my go-go sticks at the ready. Times beautifully for 8.00 am ( as if I’d say any different) I left the house and started walking to the bus stop.The bus stop was full of yammering kiddies and dammit I was early. Fortunately the school bus wasn’t too long in coming and there were a couple of quiet minutes until mine arrived. As I’d never got off at this particular stop before I’d had to guess how long the journey would be. I said about 45 minutes for me and about 15 for Yvonne. She wasn’t leaving Chester until 8.45 am. I arrived at he bust stop at 8.58 am and proceeded to press 5 sets of crossing requests to get from one side of this convoluted junction to the other, then a breath grabbing few minutes to walk to the front of the store. I arrived and stood catching my breath popping a cough sweet in my mouth to hold the coughs back from Super Nag who can hear a wheeze at 50 paces. I’d just found the energy to turn round when there was a call and she hove into view with the little figurehead at the prow pointing in my direction and laughing manically.

Yvonne and I hugged and I blew Reuben a kiss in case his insanity was catching. We went inside. I suggested a coffee before we started shopping so we went to MaDonald’s. I had a coffee while Yvonne had a soft drink Reuben could share, worryingly it always seems more full after he’s had a drink. Yvonne and Roobs shared a cheeseburger which meant he got the bread and the cheese part and showed disdain for the meat. Yvonne bought me a bacon  (sort of ) bap which I didn’t actually want but hey, who listens to me. I thought I was safe as Roobs doesn’t didn’t seem keen on bacon. Within moments he was pointing at it. I offered a piece of bacon thinking it would head floorwards as in the past and I’d be left alone. No way, all I hear was “More” continuously until the only thing I was left to eat were the tablets I was supposed to have after food rather than instead of it. We He finished breakfast and he went back in his trolley ready to wander round the shop. He’s much safer restrained. I got him some nice jeans and a couple of nice tops and Yvonne picked up a nice shirt. We picked up a few bits and bobs as we went around  and believe me, we really went around. We were very thorough. So much so that when w reached the tills we found we’d been in there for two hours. Yvonne needed to get home for work and I needed to get home to deal with all these people who have nothing better to do with their time than write. We walked together down towards the bus stops. She’d be using the one I got off at this morning while I was staying on the same side of the road as now. I had just one crossing button to press, Yvonne had to deal with 5. My bus arrived just as she got to her bus stop but her bus pulled up directly too. So, we were both able to wave goodbye at the same time.

I was home again at 1.00 pm having needed a wee so badly I’d walked past Pauline’s shop yet again. Once the loo was out of the way and I’d put away my little bit of shopping I cam through to take my punishment for having a life. Cruel and unusual punishment judging by some of your posts. I’d given up the idea of an afternoon nap or an escape for 2.15 pm TV. but I hoped I could manage a 4.00 pm finish to get something to eat before my PYMWYMI. It was hard going, especially staying awake but at 4.05 pm I was down to the last 20 or so. I broke off and made a corned beef hash. As I finished that my programme came on. I put two matchsticks to hold up my eyelids and enjoyed the fight. I stayed there for the quiz but fell asleep before it was quite over, waking up 15 or so minutes later to find the news on. I had the last few minutes of another quiz then came through. Laughingly I left the TV on standby in case I got the chance to watch something later but the god of blogs chained me to my chair and here I remained until I was allowed to go for my tablets at 10.00 pm, and to turn the TV of properly. At 11.00 pm I gave up on post to concentrate on the blog. The rest can wait fopr tomorrow when the backlog problem will be even worse than usual.

Wednesday.

Before I shock you too much, let me explain it was 1.00 am before my light went out last night and gone 2.00 am before I was able to get to sleep. Between discomfort and coughs I’m amazed I got off at all. Now for the shock, it was 6.14 am before I got up. I was horrified, today of all days. It was loo then work in short order. I made the fish wait until 7.30 am before I took a break to see to them. As a treat I got out the bloodworm to give them a treat. It’s in a tray with foil separators like they use for tablets I inserted my thumbnail into a piece of foil intending to peel it back but the contents were still liquid and they just exploded all over me. What little was left went to the fish and I started trying to grab the splashed stuff off my dressing gown to put in. That which had reached the floor I decided the floor could keep. I added algae pellets to make up for the loss.  I really didn’t have time to stand watching them this morning especially now I had to clean the kitchen floor. As soon s I’d dealt with that and no-one could prove a thing, I took my meds and made a coffee.

Back in the bedroom I went about getting ready for the morning and got washed and dressed than at last was able to sit down with some more work. For some reason I didn’t manage much and found I didn’t feel great so returned to the lounge with my coffee. I finished it, ate some malt bread for breakfast and promptly fell asleep. It was still only 8.00 am. It was almost 9.00 am by the time I came too and knew I needed to get a move on. I went to Gmail firsdt to the messages left over from last night as they were personal ones. It took some time but I got those out of the way and deleted the rest. Then I turned to my normal mail box and just started working my way up from the oldest date. It wasn’t even 10.00 am when I heard voice. The door opened and MuJo were there, much earlier than usual. I was very surprised especially as they’d said they were having new tyres put on the car first. That plan had changed for today and they’d come straight to me. I passed them the bags of things I’d picked up for them over the last couple of weeks and went to see to drinks. We sat chatting for a good while.

It was too early for lunch by the time the drinks were gone so I suggested a walk round the shops in Holywell before heading to John’s favourite place, the Chippy. They agreed so off we set. John was able to pick up a Mother’s day card for his mum who’s in her 90’s now and I was able to pick up a couple of things. Having wasted enough time, we went for lunch. I had chips with mince & mushrooms plus mushy peas, MuJo both had fish, chips and peas. After we’d finished we got back in the car and headed for Flint. After we parked up the first stop was Home Bargains where I got a few items and then onto B & M (Bum) Bargains where I got chocolates for the girls in Temptations. That’s where we went next. Ceri wasn’t there but Trudy was and I hadn’t seen her in ages, I also saw Helen and Sian  so managed a few words each. After our refreshments it was gooodbye  girls and back to shopping. Mu managed to get herself a couple of jumpers in the sale so she was delighted. After that, back to the car and home.

3.00 pm back indoors and as John relaxed Muriel went to Pauline’s to get her lottery tickets. They left at 3.50 pm to head back home again.After saying a fond farewell I flew into my room to look at the messages. With what was left from the morning and the new stuff that came in, well lets just  say I need new tissues.  I could only work till 4.30 pm as I didn’t want to be in here working if Lee arrived. I went through and sat in the lounge, coincidentally my PYMWYMI was just starting. Lee arrived at 5.00 pm and we sat talking about his impending fatherhood (April) and whether he needed anything for the baby. His dad arrived at 5.30 pm sans Matthew who apparently had just started work this afternoon/evening. He’s going to miss out on his little treats as I forgot to send them back with Dil later. As soon as the usual quiz was over we set up the table and started playing. Scrabble first, That game was mine. Nomination, despite a promising start I was robbed, my brother has no conscience and isn’t easily taken in by a facade of pure miser either. Then Crazy 8’s the the bloody highwayman struck again without even wearing a mask. Throughout all the games there had been constant jollity and little stories being told. Nothing had been played with any speed. They left at 9.30 pm giving me time to tidy, wash the pots and get my evening meds before burying myself in here. It’s going to be a very long night.

There it is Pops

There it is Pops

I'm so excited Pops

I’m so excited Pops

Thursday.

As predicted it was a long night. It was almost 2.00 am before my light went out but at least sleep came easily. I woke at 4.07 am but my kind body informed me I wasn’t ready to get up and my bladder wasn’t pushing enough to make me. I went back to sleep again. At 6.33 am I woke again and this time was the real thing. This time my bladder gave a little twinge just to let me know that my legs were on the wrong side of the covers and they should be walking by now. I walked. I came back relieved in a few minutes and powered up the computer. Amazingly, I thought I could cope today. I could only work for about half an hour before the cries of the fish could be heard. “Feed us” they said. I turned the kitchen light on then the tank immediately after. No point in keeping them waiting. I opened the flap and sprinkled some pellets in which they went for straight away. Then I gave them half a sachet of daphnia and I was left wondering when I’d bought the piranhas . I had every intention of taking some pictures of the fish today but I’ve not managed a good shot at all because of the reflected light. For now I’m just going to entertain you with a couple of blasts from the past…..

The Infamous Oscar

The Infamous Oscar

Beautiful Bernie

Beautiful Bernie

After I fed the beasties I took my meds and made a coffee to bring back.  At about 9.00 am I got washed and dressed though I hadn’t any intention of going out today. I do have something niggling at the back of my mind but can’t put my finger on it. I stayed in my seat all morning keeping pace with the mail coming in and once I was up to date in my main account I opened the secondary one and started there. I cleared all the duplicate emails until I came to the personal ones which don’t appear in my main account. I dealt with those, hopefully spreading a few laughs as I went. Finally, as I cleared the last one it was 11.50 am and time to think about lunch. I busied myself with some bread and butter then put a cottage pie in the microwave, turned the TV on ready for Bargain Hunt then as the pie was ready, settled down to watch.

As it came to an end I was allowing myself to settle down n the chair. The Zzzz’s were just starting to appear when my phone went. It took me a few moments to understand the source of the sound but when I did I found a message from Mike. He’s on his way and he told me all about the special friend he’s bringing with him for me. I’m very excited. Roll on 3.30 pm. In the meantime it’s just 1.00 pm and time to get back to work. Back at my desk I find no-one has been going mad for a change and the post is quite reasonable. I think I’ll be able to manage. I worked until 3.10 pm then left to put the kettle on, I knew Mike would need a coffee when he got here and I’ve no doubt the guest he’s bringing will need to relax. Mike walked in at 3.20 pm so I assume he’d used the convertible jet facility and landed at a local airfield. He handed me a bag which I took into the kitchen and gingerly opened. Inside was a polystyrene box which had been well taped so I had to use scissors on it. When I opened it there was a clear plastic bag filled with water and the most gorgeous pictus of about 3″. A huge whiplash moustache on it’s face swung about as he tried to turn circle in the bag. I started to undo it. After a lot of effort the bag was open. I tried to get rid of all the blue air I’d caused trying to undo the bag and rolling the neck down I said hello to Stan as I lowered the bag into the tank for the first acclimatisation session of 20 mins. I went through to the lounge and paid Mike, this is the nicest visitor he’s ever brought.

At the end of the twenty minutes I went through and added some water to the bag so Stan became used to that too. He’d need another twenty minutes now and then he’d be in the tank. When the time was up Mike was sitting closer to the kitchen than me so I asked him to see to the release. He did so gladly for me and called out that Stan was doing the full tour of the tank. I was glad.I hope he liked it enough to stay. Personally I think Mike will fall a little in love this weekend and want one of his own when he gets home. He got Stan from his own fish man at home when he went in to see about a new and bigger tank. It looks like he might have a 5 foot one before long. I’ve had to do some considering and decided I probably can’t get away with any more than a 3 foot tank in the space available in the lounge.That’s still enough for me to have some of the type of fish I love so much. Maybe I’ll just transfer most of my usual fish into a new tank and close the kitchen tank down.

I made some tea and we watched a bit of TV before I excused myself for a while. I wanted to see a programme at 8.oo pm so I needed to clear some work first. When I went back through it was for a DIY SOS to help a family with disabled 3 year olds living in a property too small for them. There was an 8 year old boy too.Dad was forced to work away from home to earn enough to keep them all and mum, a midwife, was devoting herself to the boys. The older brother was a little gem. The team did a 9 day job on the house and changed it beyond all recognition with the help of local tradesmen and friends. The response was phenomenal and it goes without saying there were tears at the end, even some from the family. It’s heartwarming to know people can still respond to things like this without putting themselves first.                                                               After that, I came back through to work. suggestions from a 24 year old woman ( ?) living in Paris but from Togo suggesting I might be a suitable partner and a good father for our children scared the life out of me but entertained Mike no end. A second and third missive to say she appreciated my honesty about my age and having a daughter older than her didn’t faze her in the least and cracked Mike up. I nearly cracked him myself. While I had him here I showed him a tank I’d found locally with it’s own stand that looked well cared for, was a very good price and just the right size, it had him running round with a tape measure in his hand deciding where we’d make space and even starting to move things. I suggested it might be  little premature. He left to watch TV and I got on with my mail.

By 11.00 pm I had it down to a manageable level and turned to doing this blog. Maybe tonight will mean an earlier finish.

Friday.

Not quite as early as hoped but I was still in bed by 12.15 am. I read until 1.00 am and then settled down to dream. I think it was about weddings in which I wasn’t a willing participant but everyone else seemed to think it was OK. I wasn’t able to talk for some reason, perhaps fear of the club being held by a rather ‘statuesque’ lady who also carried two crying infants. I was up at 3.23 am and to be honest I think I was quite relieved. Actually that came next. Once I’d been to the loo I powered up the computer and started on the mail. I worked till 6.00 am then went to feed the fish. Stan seems to be another one for hanging around in corners. In his case it may have something to do with the light  which is quite bright. I need to but some sand or gravel and put some plants in. I know pictus like to hide in caves where they can, so I’ll see if the tank can be rearranged to accommodate one. Of course if I get a new tank I can make sure that’s the first thing in there. I dropped some algae pellets in and a little flake and everyone moved except Stan. I added some daphnia and Stan came alive zooming along practically hoovering it up. I wonder what he’ll be like with bloodworm tomorrow.

Next job was to take my meds and I used the opportunity to fill my diabetic pill box for when I go out. I used the last on Wednesday with MuJo. Once I’d taken everything I prepared my mug for a drink then fetched my meds drawer through so I could fill my weekly meds boxes.Once done, I put the drawer away, wrote out a prescription request for next week to restock then made my coffee. It was then 7.00 pm as it’s quite a lengthy job, especially if you’re still concentrating on fish at the same time. I worked for an hour then went to do Mike’s coffee and give him a shout. He’s not put his alarm on today. It always used to be, Up at 8 (Thanks Cat Stevens), out at 9 and arrive at his Dad’s about 10. Now it starts call at 8 and hope for the best. I know I roused him a bit because he acknowledged the coffee. At quarter past I went through and noisily added a radiator rack to the radiator under the window. That also woke him and I got a “Wha?” After that I left him and at 8.40 am he came out more or less under his own power. At 9.20 am I got dressed and went to Pauline’s leaving Mike sitting there in his pyjama bottoms. Twenty minutes later when I returned he was still there. He started a conversation about immigration which lasted until almost 10.00 pm when he finally went to get ready and I went back to work. At about 10.15 am he came through to say goodbye and left to start his journey. It would be at least 11.15 am before he got there in time to have a coffee before going out for lunch.

I carried on working until 11.30 am at which time I went through to start making Mike’s bed. I was perhaps half way through when the doorbell knocked. It was the warden who hearing my breathing thought I was on the point of a coronary. Once I’d sat down a few minutes I was OK though I’d hoped she might have started the mouth to mouth by then. We chatted about the week and s usual the conversation got round to the fish. She wondered why I didn’t have the tank in the lounge. I had to explain there had been a tank in the lounge in the past. one of seven in the house and that this one was where it always had been and was the last of them. I’d left it there just expecting the tank to die off. I told her about the latest addition and she asked if I’d mind her taking a look. I didn’t mind at all if she didn’t mind scaling the ironing pile. She thought Stan was beautiful and Pepper very pretty but the Siamese were the only ones she recognised as her fish had been the tetra’s, mollys and the guppys  that most tanks have. When she left I finished making the bed complete with hospital corners on the sheet and then almost collapsed into it.

Time for lunch. It was 12.15 pm so I put Bargain Hunt on and slammed something in the micro. It was only when I’d finished I couldn’t remember if I’d taken a tablet first. Oops! I did take the after ones just in case.At 1.00 pm I returned to work and started trying to work my way through both mail addresses. I wasn’t doing very well as my eyelids weren’t co-operating at all. I found myself falling forwards for the forehead tattoo quite a bit. In the end at some stage it just happened. I woke up at 4.15 pm with neck ache. I wandered through to the lounge ready for PYMWYMI and wondered what time Mike would be home. My programme was good but I let myself down quite badly by not seeing the very end, nor the start of the next programme. When I opened my eyes a little voice said “Hello”, so at least my last question had been answered. We watched the quiz and then I made something to eat while we watched two more. I even remembered my tablets.  At 7.00 pm I went for a shower which I hoped would wake me a bit. I did feel a bit better afterwards as I went back in to sit with Mike. We saw a sports quiz  then Mastermind where Mike had to keep checking to see if I’d nodded off again  and it was a close run thing. Than I had a Big Bang Theory. I’d probably run out of excuses not to work by this point and came on through. I think it must be this bronchitis getting to me as it’s not as though I burn the candle at both ends is it.

It was fun trying to catch up and I really was making progress but at 11.00 pm I had to stop to give me time with the blog and I don’t think I’ll go back to it later as tomorrow is shopping day. I don’t think I shall be buying a new tank this weekend after all though, as Mike has fitted an air curtain to the existing tank and decided I need a stronger pump.I concur. A new tank can wait.

Saturday.

I managed bed at 12.05 am last night ( this morning?) so I had chance of a read before sleep. I did have a wee problem settling down before sleep as I couldn’t get comfortable, but eventually it came. I got up at 4.29 am so didn’t feel too hard done by. About three and a half hours on top of the skiving I did yesterday. I nipped to the loo before signing on in case it was a stop-start morning but the flow was uninterrupted. I hoped the same could be said of the mail. Well, in fact it could. I worked on the last of yesterday’s stuff and started today’s before knocking off at 6.00 am to see to the fish. First I gave them a frozen block of bloodworm from the freezer which Stan loved a he barged his way through the rest f the fish lining up for breakfast. Then I sprinkled in some of the new formula which sent them all into a bit of a tizzy. It was fun watching the tail of one fish swiping the face of another in it’s eagerness to feed, I couldn’t help but wonder if the slapped one got it’s own back later. At some points it looks like there’s a James Herbert creation of a massive fish with lots of tails waving. Time to concentrate on me….. I took a food tab and then the rest of my meds followed by the usual timing cigarette. Then I ate a bowl of cereal, unusual for me but at least I won’t have to worry about eating tonight.

I took my coffee back to the bedroom and did a little more mail before getting dressed. Amazingly I remembered to top up my phone. It was 6.55 am when I looked at my watch, time to get the kettle on. At 7.00 am I took Mike’s coffee through and non too gently “Yoo Hoo’ed” him awake. I left him to fall asleep again as usual but moments after leaving the room the first alarm went off. I didn’t go back and ten minutes later the second alarm went. I thought I’d leave it till the third one this morning and call him again but lo and behold the sneaky burger slithered his was through to the lounge after that second alarm. Mind you, I went through to tell him he’s upset my guess today and he was asleep in the chair until I spoke. Today I have to give him credit for 1 Call and 2 Alarms. Minutes later the third alarm went off anyway as ‘someone’ had forgotten to turn it off. The chair was his home until the last possible  minute and he was dressed and ready to leave at 7.55 am. I was surprised but pleased since I’d had my shoes and coat on for at least half an hour by then. We set off and were at the Supermarket by 8.15 am. I managed to it the jackpot at that hole in the wall machine so I knew I’d eat again this week.

Once inside the store we found my Pepsi Max on a special in the litre bottles and bought two. I wandered over to get some potatoes and then we went to get some flowers for Ju. It took 3 bunches to make me happy this morning though of course I had to defer to my Florist Friend who would actually arrange them. We had a good wander round the store before heading for the part that actually feeds us. First some micro meals, sausages, roast beed slices and yoghurts. Then cakes, bread, puddings before picking up some tinned veg and milk. Then there are sweets ( not for us), pop and biscuits. Anything else I want I try to buy from Pauline to keep my local shop going. After going through the checkout and trying to slow my heart down after thinking I’d bought shares in the firm we moved on to the cafe. Shopping is very dry work. An Americano each and of course save the little plastic stickers from the mugs for a free one. We went round to get our cigarettes and I had a look ( as always ) at the photographic section to see if there are any fantastic bargains on frames. There were though I also bought a calendar as Mike said he wanted one for his Dad with enough room to write on. I don’t think he’s too keen on it though as he becomes fixated on specifics like shape rather than function. Still, no-one is forced to use it.

From the supermarket we traveled a short distance to Pets at Home to check out their pumps and I ended up buying one at £30 because it seemed powerful enough for the job.I also bought three plants to try and give Stan some shade. Just as well I’m not buying a tank soon. On to Flint to find some drawer knobs for Yvonne as the shop that sells them has run out in her area. Which really means, Yah Boo Sucks Yvonne, maybe you’ll let me get them next time we see them instead of delaying. Shock Horror, my branch had also run out but I asked a member of staff who knew that some had come in on a palette and he was willing to get me some.I was very grateful. I bought a couple of other things from the same shop and then it was time for a coffee. At Temptations Ceri was in with Kyle and young Charlotte was manning the card counter. Mike looked happy to get a little bit of banter in today. We had a look round a couple more shops for calendars in  case there were any square ones but the only ones we saw had been reduced to £5 and were not really suitable fare for an 80 odd year old ( or his Dad).

Back in the car and head off for lunch. Though where was optional the car automatically brought us to The Ivy. The usual suspects were all there and it was nice to get a kiss from Angie when we went in. She asked if we wanted out usual drinks and set about making them. We saw Tariq briefly as he dropped a cartoon on the table as he flew by. It made me laugh. There had been a menu change so Mike was able to order a lamb shank for his lunch while I chose some pork and leek sausages, mash and garden peas. Once the order was in were went outside for a smoke. Despite the sunshine it’s still cold outside and Mike was right to put his coat on. When we went back in, we didn’t have long to wait for food. I called Rob over as we ate and asked a few questions about his fish tanks since he’ll be responsible for looking after the Ivy’s fish population if Tariq decides to go ahead and start a small pet area. He upset Mike by telling him about a beautiful 5′ tank for sale in  the area very cheaply. Mind you, if it had come to my house it wouldn’t have left again. Are you sure you lot don’t want to send me 10c each to paypal? We eventually said out goodbyes and Mike ran us home. It was earlier than usual so when we’d unpacked and put away and Mike had fitted the new pump which created an air curtain along the back of the tank, I was able to attack my post sooner than usual. I was rather pleased with myself that I was up to date by 5.30 pm. I joined Mike in the lounge. He was playing on his tablet so I watched an old film The Scarlet and the Black. It left me with a lot of moral questions at the end. Worse still, the next programme was also a film which hit me badly with a story of the Warsaw Ghetto. It caught me so strongly in places I was forced to turn over for The 39 Steps, a big but very enjoyable twist on the original. At 9.00 pm I came back through.

It took me a while to reach the stage of being up to date again but at least it was early enough to allow me to do the blog post while still on Saturday.

I wish you all a fantastic week ahead.

 

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Well Balanced Man & Method Acting Class

Sunday 15th.Feb 2015

My hopes for the future were raised again this morning when I got up at 5.28 am. I turned my bedroom light on and hopped down the passage way with gay abandon being very careful not to fall over or knock anything over that might disturb Mike. Ha, did I happen to have the odd atom bomb handy? No. It was a relief ( don’t excuse pun) to go to the loo at a reasonable time and I was very grateful ( just in case Somnos can read). I came back to my room and turned the computer on. The lottery and thunderball results were disappointing which shows yet again  that Brother Jake only responds to wishes if there’s something in it for him. I  shall be (not) working another week then and most definitely not living in the style to which I wish to become accustomed. What’s wrong with wanting my manor house with enough rooms to accommodate all the guests I’d invite? And of course I’ll need a wine cellar (hopefully with a secret passage to the stables), and stables so the secret passage can come out again. Naturally I’m going to need a room big enough for my 12 foot fish tank. Yes, OK it’s just a minor technicality that I don’t have a 12 foot fish tank yet but I can move at speed when I need to.

The mail on the other hand was not too bad at all. I worked through till 7.00 am and had cleared half by then. The fish were having a ball when I got through there. I don’t mean with gowns and evening suits, it was just fun. Heading towards each other and veering off at the last minute, swimming in  and out of the branches of the bog wood, I was beginning to wonder if they were celebrating the extra hour  lie-in. I refused to feel guilty as I don’t wake them when I get up, and the 6.00 am regime wasn’t exactly my fault when I was on the antibiotics. For all the gaiety in the tank, Big Al looked as morose as ever, head buried in his usual corner. I’m  wondering now if it’s less to do with me than with the attention he gets from Pepper. Maybe she’s rushing things or has re-organised his house so he can’t find anything including a smile. I watched them all for a few minutes and kept trying to imagine my pictus in there. In the end I had to drag myself away.

I took my sprays and all the meds then made myself a cuppa to take back with me. As I was passing his door I heard Mike start to cough but it wasn’t enough to wake him. He said last night that he’ll go home early today as he’s feeling bad and I don’t blame him. I don’t know what time though. I carried on and got back into the mail. At 9.45 am I was up to date ( if I didn’t refresh) and wondered if Mike would be up soon. I had a quick play on Ancestry.com trying to trace some medals but it looks like they’ve only got the Royal Navy ones on so far. Most of my family have been RAF except during WWI of course. It was OK as I followed a few hints through to their conclusions anyway. At 10.15 am Mike started coughing again and this time sat up. When I went through he was coherent which I took to be a good sign so I went to make him a drink. By the time I got back he was down again but the smell of the coffee must have got to him and he came through to the lounge by 10.30 am. He said there was no point in going back too early now as he felt much better. The cough  says otherwise. Anyway,he asked me what I wanted to do today, all I could think of was some fish food. He decided that we’d go to the two shops we like that sell fish both in completely opposite directions as a round trip. I knocked that on the head.

It was gone midday when we actually got out and after a short discussion starting “Which way am I going?”we headed towards Rhyl waving at The Ivy and The Bells as we went past. When we arrived in Rhyl I said I’d prefer to eat first so we parked up on a side street and walked to a place we’d been to recently known as The Red Caff because of it’s decor. It’s very basic tranny caff meals (Transport Cafes) and I ended up with cottage pie, chips and peas. Walking back to the car afterwards I asked Mike if he fancied going into another fish shop he’s not been in before that years ago I wasn’t keen on. It must be ten years since I was in there last and bought a book that it might have changed. It had. We had a good wander round and were both taken with various fish. Suddenly he called me and said “Look”. The sign on the tank said pictus but the owner who was working nearby said the last one was sold yesterday. We carried on looking and there really were some nice fish. The other shop might have a pictus or it might not so should it be a bird in the hand. I settled for a fish in each hand like a well balanced man . No will power at all. I got a fantastic shark catfish  (not like Sharkey who wasn’t a catfish at all) and an ancistrus plec. They both look much nicer in real life than on the pictures.

Shark Catfish (columbian)

Shark Catfish (columbian)

Ancistrus plec

Ancistrus plec

I did remember to get the fishfood to so I didn’t feel guilty. We didn’t have far to go back to the car and start heading for home. When we got back I opened the bags and part sunk them into the tank for 20 minutes so the temperature would gradually come up and they’d acclimatise. Mike gathered his suitcase and we said our goodbyes. He headed off and I put some tank water in each of the bags so they’d adjust to that too. After 20 minutes I came to let them out. They were both off like rockets. The new Sharkey ( I know, not too original is it) seemed quite happy swimming around and wasn’t affected by my voice nearby. The ancistrus was gone. Wherever he’s hiding it’s good, I just can’t see him. Hopefully when I release some bloodworm or perhaps daphnia into the water tomorrow he might emerge to eat. Time to llet them get on with it and to get back to work. It was 4.00 pm which means over 6. hours accumulation of messages. I worked till 5.30 pm then went for a sandwic to take tablets with but I was only away half an hour. I worked from 6.00 to 9.30 pm then gave myself another half hours break watching an episode of Gavin and Stacey. Promptly at 10.00 pm I was back into battle. I was doing well but of course more mail was coming in all the time. At 11.00 pm I broke off to record today’s events and then at 11.45 pm otherwise known as now, decided to go back to it for a while.  Night all.

Monday.

I must still be either in favour or forgotten altogether. It was a 4.36 am start so I had approximately 3 hours unbroken sleep. I don’t remember any dreams sent to disturb me either. When I got up I was able to turn lights on and set my computer to power up while I took the widdle walk. Vastly relieved ( sorry)I came back and had a look at the post. ow, just three carried over from last night after all the extra work , but the morning’s post, oh dear, anyone would think half the world was up while I sleep my life away. Four flippin’ thirty and over a hundred posts already. It’s just not on. I have a sense of humour but someone is stretching it to the limit here.Most especially when one of the first messages I open tells me to ‘click here’ to start claiming my instant lottery win on the African Lottery. I thought the African lottery was based on who ate and who didn’t. Sorry, that was in bad taste.

It was 7.10 am before I looked up from the screen again.( Not just from that one email) and decided it was time to feed the fish.All seemed quiet in the tank as I turned the kitchen light on and then it picked up it’s pace a bit when the tank light went on. I could see all my pals in there but still haven’t found where the ancistrus is hiding. I suppose I was pre-warned about this when I saw how much trouble it was to find him yesterday. I didn’t bother with flake today, I put in some of the small algae pellets then opened a sachet of the daphnia I bought yesterday. For a minute I thought I’d made a mistake as they were all going for a nibble except Sharkey, then maybe he tasted something in the water and he was down there hoovering it up with the best of them. I felt like doing the dum dum, dum, dum theme from Jaws but he’s far to pretty to be a predator like that. After watching for a few minutes I got my drugs to take and then made a drink which I took back with me. I’d emptied a carton of milk and took the plastic bottle top the recycling bag. Have I mentioned how heartbroken I am? Saturday mornings all the rubbish goes out for collection. My goodhearted neighbour Bert always brings the bins back for me and deposits them on my step, the recycling bags he rolls up and places behind the bin.Except this week there were only two bags, tins and plastic, my big blue bag for paper and card ( I bought this one) was missing. I have one of the council’s own blue plastic bags but ou can’t hang those out of the way as I could. Who would deprive a man of his bag this way????

Back to work.I carried on until 9.00 am then got dressed and at 9.30 am went off to the chemist with my repeat prescription request. Coming out of there I accidentally turned right and ended up in the sandwich shop. I couldn’t NOT get something so bought a sausage bap for my breakfast. I took it home and after taking pre-food tablet enjoyed it.Then it was the turn of the two torpedo sized post-food tablets. Of course that meant I couldn’t have lunch at midday and nearly removed my excuse to watch my antique programme. Luckily I needed a break at 12.15 pm coincidentally. I returned to work at 1.00 pm and kept my nose to the grindstone until 2.15 pm when I was due another skive and at 3.00 pm came back. I wanted one last big effort before going to watch my 4.30 pm programme but I was starting to feel tired and to glaze over and forget what I was actually doing. By the time 4.15 pm came round I was down to about 30 messages and wasn’t keeping pace with the incoming so I powered down and went through to the lounge early. I put the last few minutes of a house search on and wallop. I woke up during the quiz show that followed my Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. I was really piggin’ annoyed at myself. I stayed in the lounge till 6.30 pm and then came through to give it another try. It went a bit better this time and at least I was sure what I was writing to people but catching up still seemed an impossibility. I managed to get one account almost clear only for the other one to fill up to 42. I knew I needed to get down as low as possible before I go and see Yvonne tomorrow as I’ll come back to a backlog, I didn’t want to make it worse.

What a difference a year makes.

What a difference a year makes.

I’ve been trying to analyse why this weekend has resulted in a new rush of followers for my Buthidars Blog, some for this blog and also some new twitter followers. I’m certainly not complaining as new followers tend to make me think I’m doing something right ( for a change). But when you know what ‘right’ is maybe you can duplicate it.

Anyhoo, it looks like I’ll have to let a few pieces of mail carry over till the morning as there are too many for tonight. At least the blog is done. For Valentine’s day I indulged myself with the choice of record because I felt it was full of romance and feelings.( There might be snow on the chimney but there’s still a fire in the hearth). Tonight I’m giving you the other classic from the only musical I liked and by the same artist who did Saturday’s P.J.Proby I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday.

3.42 am today. It doesn’t sound so bad if you say it fast but it’s still a goodly chunk off three hours. Never mind, I can sleep on the bus. Lights on, warm computer up while I visit with ‘Niagara Falls intermittently’ and then back to check my bank then the mail. One of the gods was smiling down on me and it’s fairly certain it wasn’t Somnos et al, the mail looked manageable. During the first five minutes I’d had four messages about problems with bank accounts that didn’t exist so it was safe to assume that the conmen have returned from their private island Christmas breaks and want to start saving for their Summer breaks. I’ve either read or been told recently that the spelling mistakes I so often mention are deliberate. It’s to take out the educated people who might realise these are cons and leave the rest as targets for theft and fraud.

I stopped work at 6.00 am in order to see to the fish. I wanted to have as much leeway with time for getting dressed etc as possible. I went through to the kitchen and turned the main light on. I’m usually glancing in the direction of the tank to see if I can see any sudden guilty changes in activity. I didn’t, so I move over and turned the tank light on. Ancistrus wasn’t quite quick enough, I saw his tail disappear behind one of the shells.At the same time, I saw a little head with a fantastico moustache  sticking out of the same shell, it was one of the synodontis. As if by magic, as it withdrew it’s head, the head of the other one started to appear from the other shell at my end of the tank. Morecambe and Wise came over to wish me good morning and the two bronze corys bobbed up and down the tank in front of me. Big Al, Pepper and Little Al moved into position under the feeding hatch and hoped no-one noticed. The plecs stayed as still as usual and tried to blend into the background. At the end of the day they’re armoured and no-one is going to bother them much. That left the beautiful SharkeyII who swam gracefully up and down from floor to surface trying to feel out and avoid obstacles with his magnificent moustache. Rather than attack anything in his was as did Sharkey I, this one changes direction. If I do decide to have a second tank inside the lounge, he’s one that will grace it alongside a pictus. It’s not so much colour I’m interested in as I am the sleek form of the catfish family. How Oscar would have delighted in the fact that I always said I’d never have a cat again……

Coming out of my cogitations I turned and took my sprays then poured myself some milk to take my tablets. I lit a cigarette as I put my mug in the Tassimo to make my drink. I must have been daydreaming a while as I noticed it had gone 6.30 am already. Time to get dressed. I decided to wear one of my very expensive shirts from Saturday. It seemed to fit nicely which was a blessing. I still had time to do a couple more pieces of mail before putting on my shoes so I went for personal ones as there was no urgency on notifications. At 7.10 am I had to start getting my shoes on but not before I’d used the other end of my shoe horn to scratch my back bringing a purr to my lips. I gathered up a bag of things I had for Ugo, got my coat on, put new ends on my crutches and left. I hadn’t reached the bus stop when the bus drew up beside me to let me get on.It was a great relief as the hill is quite awkward.I thanked the driver and went to my regular seat as the first person on the bus. Thereafter I kept my eyes closed most of the way. I can tell where I am from the corners the bus takes and was able to take little naps as well.

For some reason the bus made good time despite roadworks and we drew in a little early. Yvonne was running a little late so I walked towards where she’d come from to meet her. Still a little distance away she spotted me and I could hear her ask Roobs where pops was. Within moments he’d spotted me and his arm came up to point a his mouth broke into a big grin. I checked my fly was closed. Hugs and kisses all round I suggested walking round a different shop, on I rarely see before going for coffee. Despite not buying anything it was enjoyable and interesting. On coming out we headed for our favourite clothes shop and it’s coffee bar. I had a nice latte and a cumberland sausage toastie with red onion, Yvonne and Reuben had toast and jam with their drinks. Poor Yvonne had to share her tea with Reuben even though e had tea in his beaker. I was able to get Yvonne some nice gloves in the main shop and a sort of fleece for Muriel.

From there we went to Tesco food shopping. I got some tulips for Julia as I wasn’t happy with her vase this week and somehow I ended up with a lemon meringue tart, though I did manage to get Ugo some chocolate biscuits and when Yvonne got milk and stuff for pancakes I was able to pay for it without WWIII breaking out. Time wasn’t doing to well this morning but we had chance to go to the £ shop to get a tin foil holder and cutter like mine for Yvonne and then go to have a look at books for Reuben in another shop. It was time to think about going. Instead of walking all the way to the bus station as usual I decided to try and wait where I’d got off the bus earlier. That meant I didn’t have to trail Yvonne behind me. She did a quick sort of the bags and then all of  sudden my bus was there.Reuben had fallen asleep in the bookshop but he chose the moment of my goodbye to wake up again. The siren started, he was not a happy chappie. As I got on I waved and Yvonne started walking towards home advertising an air raid attack. Poor girl.

Someone (not disabled) had sat in my seat so I had to occupy a double seat on the other side. I closed my eyes straight away. The journey went smoothly and after an hour I was home. My first job, once my coat was off, was Ju’s vase. With the addition of the tulips it looked so much better. More as it should have on Valentine’s day really. Then checking the other bags I found Yvonne’s gloves which I’ll have to take next time. I left the lemon meringue defrosting and came through to work. It was 1.15 pm, but that didn’t stop me taking a Father Brown break at 2.15 pm. And when I came back to work afterwards I worked on with the intention of seeing my PYMWYMI today. I came through a few minutes early and made something to eat. As soon as it was over I washed up and sat to watch a quiz. I saw the introduction of the teams and that seems to be it. I must have gone hard because I didn’t even wake up in the quiz. When I opened my eyes I realised the news was on and looking at my watch I’d been gone an hour. Time to get back to work. Progress was steady tonight and mails wasn’t coming in faster than I could deal with it. I was nibbling into the back log all the time. By 10.00 pm when I went to tke my tablets I felt brave enough to refresh. Uh Oh, Error, that meant the chase was on again a bit. By 11.00 pm there wasn’t too much left. perhaps 30, so I was able to break off to do this post. Time to try again.

R.I.P Lesley Gore  Died aged 68 on 16th February 2015. Taken by Cancer.

Wednesday.

My best sleep for a while kept me in bed until 5.28 am today. Before going out of the bedroom I switched the computer on so that it would be ready for when I returned from the loo. I logged into my mail and knew I’d got some work ahead of me this morning. I only worked until 6.15 am as I decided to have breakfast today just to make sure I didn’t need a meal before my fellow card sharps arrived tonight. So I went through to the kitchen and turned both lights on, the room and the tank. I got quite carried away just watching the fish enjoying themselves and almost forgo to feed them. Big Al left Pepper’s side and came to the front of the tank to glare at me. I got the message.I opened the trap and dropped in some specially balanced food I’d picked up at the weekend then opened a sachet of daphnia as a bonus. They must have been ravenous the way they went at it. As soon as it looked like everyone was getting a share I moved away. I took a pre-food tablet first then lit up a cigarette as a time guide. My sprays came next and then a mug of milk to take the tablets with, making sure I saved enough to use for my coffee. As soon as the ciggie was finished I put two slices of bread in the toaster and put the coffee on. As that was ready the toaster clicked and sent two perfectly browned pieces of toast into my waiting hand. Oh Sugar! That was hot. I ate the toast and took the two post-food torpedoes with my coffee. Back to work.

I wasn’t really keeping an eye on the time but when I noticed it was 9.15 am I stopped work and got dressed. I was pretty sure there’d be enough time to get to Pauline’s and back before the postman was due. I moved at my top speed and got everything I wanted then headed back. My timing couldn’t have been better, he was just heading for me. The book I was expecting was there which was great so he put everything in my shopping bag and wished me goodbye. I let myself in, put the shopping away then sat looking at the book for ages. Luckily it was mainly pictures. Fish of every shape and size with information on how large they grow, what size tank is needed , whether they can go in a community tank, everything I need ton know in short. I’m sure Mike and I will have a lot of fun with this.

I’d wasted so much time reading that it had just flown by. I stopped at 11.45 to make my lunch and didn’t think I’d made much of a dent in the work but at least I was on the right day. After a lunch of lamb hock and mashed potatoes with veg and after the end of another Murder She Wrote exercise I came back through intending to get my head down. By 2.00 pm I was amazed to see real daylight, I was well on the way to catching up. I stood up when I heard a knock on the door and didn’t mind opening up as I knew it was likely to be the chemist delivery. It was, so I swapped my meds for a box of chocolate I’d put handy. As I took them through to the kitchen I decided to watch Father Brown. Not exactly my best idea. I missed the end and zonked out again, not waking until 4.00 pm, a full hour after I should have been back at work. I could only manage another half hour’s work now until Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, came on. Yes, I know I could have given it up but I thought I could still manage. The computer just laughed at me and went on a go slow. In that half an hour 37 messages came in, eleven went out.

I watched my programme then put the stuff in the mugs ready for their arrival. By the time I was done I saw them approach. They watched the usual quiz while I did the drinks and then we watched together. Once it was over the games came out. It was a scrabble day  in fact it was MY scrabble day I’d have done a little celebration jig had there been floor space and if they hadn’t both threatened me. I was a lot more subdued in Nomination, even leaving the room when I needed to snigger. Yes, that was my game too. Chase the Lady was a different kettle of fish and Dil wiped the floor with me again, I’m sure it’s meant to be my game. Lastly Crazy 8’s, I’m sure they both decided to gang up on me and make sure I couldn’t win. There were pick up’s galore waiting for me as we played and the honours fell to Matthew, His victory dance must have been done out of my sight in case his biscuit and ciggie supply get cut off. They left at 9.30 pm and after tidying up and washing the pots I took my meds and came through.

I saw in my gmail account 117 messages in so for a change I’ve decided to do he blog first and than attack  the mail. It’s 10.53 now so I guess it’s going to be a late night.

Thursday.

I got the feeling someone was definitely sulking this morning, other than me that is. It was a 3.27 am awakening and just unnecessary. That equates to about 2 hours and I was tempted to fight it. Trouble was, I was wide awake,not just zombiefied.(There may be no such word but I think it fits so there it is). There wasn’t even any urgency for the loo so I had opportunity to turn on the computer and sign in. The mail from yesterday was bad since I made myself give up at midnight last night in order to relax with a read. If I’d have carried on, I could have met myself getting up. I worked until 7.10 am then took a break to do the fish , with a side trip to the loo on the way compliments of a 1.5 litre bottle of limas y limones exprimidos otherwise known as squeezed lemons and limes. The fish were in meeting mode today. As I turned the light on I saw Pepper, followed by Little Al and the bronze corys followed by the hoplos all come out off Big Al’s corner. Morecambe and Wise were at the side of the tank nearest me, Sharkey II was roving all over the tank and of the ancistrus there was just a splash of tail from beneath the shell. The Plecs remained wherever they were in camouflage mode. I did wonder if I’d missed the wedding party and some guests had been excluded. Just in case, I provided the wedding feast with some bloodworm as a treat. Sharkey II didn’t seem all that interested in food but it was like watching the Mongol hordes overrun Asia with the rest.

I peeled myself away to take my morning meds and to make my coffee which I brought back to my room. Time for a stage 2 assault on the mail. It was all done by 9.15 am so I got washed and dressed and went to Pauline’s for my lottery tickets. Coming  back I met Darren again and he had a small catalogue for me. I must admit I was hoping for something else today which had piqued my curiosity. Some small sheets of impregnated gum?That you put in your mouth to dissolve to give a nicotine rush so you don’t need a cigarette. I remember buying something minty a few years ago which were quite pleasant but which seem to have gone off the market since. Perhaps they’ll arrive tomorrow. I went into the house and sat down ready to pick up the new mail. There was enough to keep me going but I also opened my second account and pulled the new mail from there. It generally takes longer to do because it’s more personal. One I wasn’t happy to see was a message that my son (in law) lost his grandmother this week. I know it will be hard on him and he’s working so hard at the moment and is away so often that it will be very hard to take time to mourn properly or to celebrate her life.

I ceased work very pleased with progress at 11.40 am and wandered through to the kitchen. I took my pre-food tablet, buttered some bread  and then put the food in the microwave. While it was doing I put the TV on and watches Judge Judy savage someone new and then have her usual “You’re not as clever as me” rant. The woman should cite herself for contempt of court. Fortunately it was coming to an end and as I went to get my lunch it changed from her to The American Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote. I had an hour in her company before returning to work. Things were steady and I wasn’t under any pressure that made me think I’d miss my antiques programme. If Mike was coming though, he’d miss it because I hadn’t received a text to say he was on his way as usual. I ploughed through as much work as I could which included rubbish like having been awarded so many free spins on slot machines, so much free at bingo sites and prizes I’d won if only I’d complete the claim form to include my telephone number. By the time 4.30 pm was approaching I was tired and glad to get away. I checked on my phone which was on charge in the kitchen and saw Mike had sent a text about two minutes after I’d left the phone there at 3.00 pm. I reckoned he’d be here about 5.15 pm. I watched my programme and thought there was no pint in returning to my room only to have Mike walk in moments later. I might as well stay by the kettle. I filled kit and put it on and got his mug ready. It was actually nearer half past when he arrived. I made the drink and sat to talk and see how he is.

Mike had apparently stayed in bed until Wednesday after getting home then gone to help his son decorate. I wasn’t convinced that would have done his chest a lot of good but I shall credit him with enough sense to know when enough is enough. Anton wouldn’t let him do it if he didn’t think he was up to it. We watched a couple of quizzes together, an episode of MASH and an old Top of The Pops from 1980. At 8.00 pm I had to excuse myself though and come through. I called Mike through to look at some fish tanks very quickly as he’s interested in a new one too. That lasted almost an hour as we flicked from one to another deciding which were too far away to be considered. After he’d gone I found my mail was well above the 150 mark again. As I was working on them I found 2 people I tweet for multiple times a day who don’t reciprocate or visit the blog and decided it was a good idea to start my unfriending campaign. Maybe that will slow things down a bit. At 10.00 pm I broke off to take my evening/nighttime meds and to remind Mike to take his, then back to work again. At 11.00 am I gave up and came to do the blog as it obviously takes longer. I may or may not get back to deal with a few more.

Unforced kiss for Pops

Unforced kiss for Pops

The comforting hand

The comforting hand

Friday.

We moved in a more positive way this morning. About 6.30 am was my goal, 04.27 am was the compromise which naturally I had no say in. I paid my  visit to the loo, performed the stop start, have I finished yet? dance and returned to power up the computer. There was quite a bit of mail but I thought it manageable. I worked to my hopeful getting up time and went through to see to the fish. Once I turned their light on there seemed to be an air of excitement, I’m convinced they know food follows light. There was even some jockeying for position. Some of the smaller ones settled beneath the hatch starting with the bronze corys, the hoplis and even Morecambe and Wise barged in though they get flake, Then along came Big Al and Pepper who settled big bottoms slowly on to of other fish until they were slowly squeezed out at the sides. Little Al was cheeky enough to try the same trick between Big Al and Pepper with some surprising success. I dropped some pellets in and then a sachet of the daphnia so that a feeding frenzy moved them into every man for himself mode. It’s funny to watch them go from order to disorder in zero seconds flat.

After watching them for a few moments longer and gauging whether there was enough for those who hadn’t put in an appearance, I moved away and started to take my meds. I didn’t make a drink straight away as it’s the day for refilling all the drug trays. I got on with that, bringing down all the new drugs to complete the drawer and then filling the trays from there. Then I was able to make a drink and take it through. It was already 7.30 am so I knew I didn’t have long before having to rouse Mike. At  few minutes to 8. 00 am I put coffee in Mike’s mug and put the kettle on. As soon as it was ready I took it through letting him know it was there. First words generated a grunt, the second a reminder that he’d told me last night he wasn’t under pressure today. I just reminded him I’d specifically asked it it was to be a normal time day to which he’d said yes. I left the room, and went back to mine to finish my own drink. At 8.30 am I wandered past taking my mug to the kitchen and for the heck of it shouted that the coffee was going cold. There was movement, about what it took to turn his head away. I decided to wait in the lounge for him to get up, that was a big mistake. I nodded off in my chair and he didn’t wander through until 9.30 am.

I don’t know why I did it but I turned the TV onto an American comedy. Instead of rushing round like a mad thing trying to be out an hour late at 10.00 am Mike sat and watched it with me. At 10.00 am when the episode was over I said I was going to get dressed. Mike said he was thinking that too. I left the room and he still stayed a while longer before finally moving it. I went through in my dressed state and turned off in case he wanted to finish the current episode. The work couldn’t be avoided any longer.Finally at just gone 10.30 am he came through to say goodbye.

The time seemed to fly by after that. I was watching two books on ebay for Mike due to finish at midday I didn’t want to move from the screen to make lunch. At the last seconds I put a bid in £4 greater thank the current price by someone had left a larger bid on. They say thing happen for a reason so I did a search for the same books and found a wonderful set of 4 or £30. He already has the first one but if he sells that to me for £10  he’d not only have the two books he wanted but also an edition which is full of thousands of photographs from 5 volumes all for the princely sum of £20. And it’s a buy now item so no bidding. I was thinking of sending him a text when there was a knock at the door and one of my two lovely wardens was there. She came in for a chat but mainly to see I was OK. When she left I made my lunch. Unashamedly bacon sandwiches. After lunch it was work again but I was no longer doing well as I had been earlier. Time for head down. Well, I tried but just couldn’t concentrate properly. At 2.15 pm I gave it up as a bad job and went through for Father Brown.Not far into it I couldn’t take it in so stood to go and get a drink. Down I went in darkness for probably no more than a minute or so, how I didn’t hit the TV I don’t know but I seemed to fold rather than go flat. Maybe I have a dainty side. I got back on my chair and relaxed into a series of Zzz’s until about 3.15 pm.

I managed to work a bit until 4.30 pm, Mike texted to say he was on his way back and so I went to see the last day of the antiques show. At least I was in the right place for making Mike a drink when he came in. Poor soul had to make his own because I was engrossed in a quiz by then. I had put the stuff in his mug and boiled the kettle though. At 6.30 pm I went to get my hair washed and then take a shower, I wanted to be out by 7.00 pm.Mike looked at the books I’d mentioned and decided to buy them there and then, then he was also showing me a 4′ bow fronted fish tank he’d found and might bid for. We watched a couple of shoes and then at 8.30 pm I left him to his own devices and came back through. I’ve tried to do some more messages but I’m not getting far. So, I’ve decided to concentrate on the blog post and then see if I can just pull the important pieces of post and for once disregard the rest. Sorry.

Saturday.

Well, I got my early night. I felt so bad my light was off at 12.10 am. I’m not sure how long it took me to get to sleep but I woke at 1.18 am. A few expletives later I managed to fall asleep again but only until 2.52 am at which time I knew that was it. I turned my light on and powered up the computer as I went past on my way to the loo. I’d finished and was on my way back out when I almost found enough to go again in my pyjamas. Some prannock called out in the loudest of voices “Who’s that”. I was tempted to say it was a burglar but thought I might get lumped with a bedside lamp before he woke up. Instead I answered “It’s only me” which seemed to satisfy him. My chest had made the voice so husky I don’t know whether he recognised it or whether the answer itself was enough to settle him. In which case I’m in trouble if we ever have any intelligent burglars.

Back in the bedroom I found over 100 message already so more than enough to keep me going, but at least there were no distractions. I finished the first batch at 6.30 am and didn’t want to refresh or sign into my other account until I’d got a drink of lime juice from the kitchen. That of course involved waking the fish so I turned the tank light on. I think they’ve all been taking lessons at a method acting school since they all seemed to shake and wake as though startled into movement, and yet it wasn’t fully dark at that time. From sluggish to manic in seconds they still seemed to be prearranged moves until they finally settled under the hatch in a ‘We know what’s coming, get a bl**dy move on’ kind of attitude. Feeling the whole thing was a little contrived ( not that I’m paranoid or anything) I shovelled in some flakes and some of the normal algae pellets and left them to it. I just hoped the little monsters would leave enough for the shy ones in their midst.

I took my sprays then put some milk in my mug and started on my tablets. I didn’t feel like a coffee but found I did very much feel like I needed a sit down. I moved to the lounge for what I expected to be a few minutes but Oops ZZZZzzzzzzzz. While asleep I heard Mike’s alarm go off twice but just thought he’s come through and wake me.( What a stupid thought that was). I woke at 7.55 am , screamed and put the kettle on to make his coffee which I took through. An hour late and he was still reluctant to get up but when I said it was 8.00 am he did so without a second call ( 2 Alarms, 1 Call…wow). I made my coffee and said I’d go and get dressed. He complained I’d disturbed him at 3.00 am  and was lucky I didn’t tell him to mop the floor from where he’d shouted. I was really quiet and he hears me, yet if I’m noisy when it’s time to getup- Nada. We finally left the house just before 9.00 am  and despite a hair raising drive ( not that you could have told with my haircut) we did arrive safely. Mike went on a long trek looking for a trolley he didn’t have to pay for while I went to the cash machine, the very annoying cash machine that never has any £10 notes when I go, to get money for the shopping.

Inside the store it was a left turn as I didn’t need potatoes today, nor flowers for my wife. Mike says he checked the flowers in the vase and they look fine. We went up and down a few aisles to see if we could find some recycling bags as I miss the blue one for paper that wasn’t returned last week. It had handles so it could be hung out of the way whereas the blue plastic ones issued can’t. Couldn’t find any at all. We went up towards the gents clothing when Mike suddenly felt the urgent need to answer a call of nature.That means I either find a corner to hide in or I keep moving so no-one talks to me. I chose the latter and was halfway through the shopping by the time he got back. Fear lends speed especially when you have wheels you can lean on. We finished the shopping, went through the tills and headed for a coffee. This week we were lucky and got one. When we came out and had a cigarette while packing the car Mike asked what we were doing next, having already lost an hour of the morning I suggested straight to Flint to see Ceri and the girls rather than go looking at fish as we’d thought the night before. He agreed and off we went. Despite the fact he think he’s driving a De-Lorean we still got there after we’d set off. We went round a couple of shops then settled in what was a very busy Temptations. We hardly got a chance to talk to Ceri let alone tease her. A couple more shops still looking for this elusive car coat Mike wants and we headed for home.

Normally we’d have gone straight for lunch but, as Mike won’t let me forget, I forgot my tablets. Moan, Moan, Whinge, it’s worse than being married. We unpacked and put away the shopping then head off for the Ivy. Tariq greeted us as soon as we walked in the door almost, uga all round. Our seats were free so coats down, then Angie walked past and I gave her the chocolates and received a nice kiss while Mike was shouting “Get a room” in the background. He’d need a room for what he has in mind. Rob came through and called hello and asked how we were, I think he’s used to us now and less fearful. Tariq came to ask if we wanted the usual drinks and went off to make them while we wrestled with the menu. Mike settled on something too hot with rice which he regretted until he could add sour cream to it, I had sliced gammon with two eggs and chips. People coming and going nodded hello or goodbye as they’re a friendly bunch and Tariq came over to talk a couple of times. Shella came over to say hello too. I think we were only missing Shirley to complete the set. We left there about 2.15 pm and headed for home again after deciding anything we wanted to do we could do tomorrow.

Wen we got in Mike started looking for fishtanks for himself on ebay and I came through to work. I did as much as possible up to 5.30 pm then Mike wanted some company ( and competition ) for a quiz. I stayed there until 9.00 pm at which time it seemed OK to leave him on his own. As usual the mail was enough to cause a sharp intake of breath but I made up my mind I could only do what I could do and the the blog must take precedence. Any time left after that I can go back to the blog again. I did wonder if I could post the blog in the early hours of the morning when SOMEONE is asleep since he keeps coming in to see if I’ve written anything inflammatory about him. I usually spell that word T.R.U.E but hey, different strokes.

Have a Great Week everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Cold Descends & Missing Shreddies

Sunday 8th Feb 2015

A new regime is in place- mine! Though I woke up a little earlier this morning I didn’t actually get up until 5.44 am. (No you cheeky beggar, I’m not revolting), I’m in revolt. I want more leisure time, more time to sleep or more specifically, more time asleep. I mean, fair play it’s a Sunday. There’s just a chance Mike might sleep in past 8.00 am. ( yes OK, I’ll be serious a minute, once I stop laughing). I did things in an orderly fashion first thing. Computer on, trip to loo and then back to sign in. Since I don’t have to take the antibiotics now even the fish can have a lie in until natural daylight starts. I got a good hour in on emails and didn’t even dent them. So many new people coming through and liking the blog which is really nice.

At 7.00 am I took a break and went through to the kitchen. I turned both lights on and stood watching the fish play, argue, fight and just chit chat. They’re a funny bunch and quite entertaining.Yesterday I’d put the piece of bog wood in a bucket to soak, this morning I turned it over to catch the pieces that had dried out again. Once the monsters had been fed I took my meds then made my usual coffee to take back. I got dressed then had another session with the mail until I heard Mike get up OF HIS OWN ACCORD at 9.45 am. I went to make him a coffee and make fun of him. I had to come back to finish one message I’d been part way through then I joined him in the lounge. He asked what I fancied doing today and I told him I needed to get a headset for the computer as the last one gave up the ghost but other than that it didn’t matter. That was fine it seems, but the fact he was out of bed didn’t mean there was a chance of any real movement yet. We got to the stage of him making a second coffee so I said I’d come back to work ( I’d only reached 5.30 am at that point) until he was ready. That was 11.45 am so it was coat on and off we went.

Still unsure where to go, we headed for Prestatyn first and had a look round a few shops including the £ shop where I actually found what I wanted along with a great box to hold tinfoil with a cutter on the side that won’t tear. We had another quick look round in case we saw a car coat for Mike but no joy. As it was getting on for 1.00 pm at this stage we decided to eat. Neither of us fancied the pub in Prestatyn and little else seemed open so we decided to visit the Bells of St. Mary’s, it’s been a while since we’ve been there. I know the place is quite close to The Ivy which I love but I admit it was my decision so I could have a roast dinner with a Yorkshire Pudding and my choice of veg and potatoes. It was really enjoyable. By then it was nearly 2.00 pm so instead of looking for fish we decided to com home and put the bog wood in the tank so the fish would have a whole new playground.One thing that was decided , Sharkey would be going on his holidays. He’s a beautiful looking fish and the raspberry tips are a great colour but he’s too aggressive for me and the rest of my fish are community. Mike had agreed to take him since he already has a couple of silver sharks. So, once the bog wood was in place and we’d both watched the fish investigate, Mike upturned the bridge where Sharkey was hiding and we bagged him up for the journey. I carried him out to the car while Mike carried his suitcases ( Mike’s not Sharkey’s). We hugged goodbye and they set off. I started sneezing like mad outside it was cold and I was full of cold. Ugh.

Back inside again with a tissue stuffed up my nose I was shocked to see it was almost 4.00 pm so I thought I’d better assault the mail box again and clear what I could. Another 113 had been added to one and 54 to the other. I did two hours solid then went through to make some tea and turn the tank light off. I watched for a minute enjoying their new adventure playground. After some trifle I carried on till 8.00 pm then went and watched a couple of old Gavin and Stacey’s. At 9.20 pm I called it a night and came for my last go on here.I started making real inroads in it and by 11.00 pm didn’t have too much left. I’ll finish the blog and go back to it for a while to lessen the load for tomorrow. I have jobs to do in the morning.

Monday.

I got to bed at 12.30 am. Still sneezing I hunkered down and turned the light off. The day started again at 3.36 am. This was just a skirmish I lost, not the whole war. I skipped the light fandango, turned cartwheels across the floor ( Thanks Procul Harum) until my bladder would take no more. After an urgent visit to the loo I signed into my emails and got started. It really wasn’t looking too bad on the first account and by 6.30 am I was clear though I hadn’t refreshed. I decided to see to the fish before opening the second account. As the kitchen light went on I could see activity, Pepper seemed to be having fun passing under the bridges formed by the new bog wood, and two of the plecs were attached to it.  I put the tank light on to see them better and noticed almost every fish was doing something that involved the wood except the synodontis who are still the shy boys of the tank. Yesterday Mike stood by the tank hoping to see them but every time one ventured forth his attention was elsewhere, by the time he looked back the fish had gone in again. He did get a wonderful view of their moustaches though, twitching inside the entrance to their shell like whips.

Big Al came over to take a look at me and turned away with his usual disdain. Little Al followed on behind but just seemed to glance at me in puzzlement as though asking what he was supposed to do. I fed them all and turned away to take my meds. I had some breakfast then I took a drink back to my desk and found while I was having fishy fun, the emails had piled up again. I got dressed before dealing with any in case I offended anyone now they were awake. Then I started again. By the time I’d dealt with those and more the second account had packed them into the gunnels too and it was 10.30 am. I finally cleared at 11.40 am and decided to break for lunch. Braised beef, colcanon  mash and some mixed veg, It was very tasty and I enjoyed a Murder She Wrote while I ate.

It was back to work at 1.00 pm but before I started I did a little research on which of the catfish and plecs I like will stay at a maximum of 4 – 6 inches which is all this tank can take. I’ve got it down to a zebra plec which will probably take a mortgage, a pimelodus pictus ( my current No 1), Albino plec,striped clown plec or striped bulldog plec or maybe a medusa plec. Now it would depend on availability and price. I’ve been reading a fair bit about crowd funding recently and decided if I asked everyone in the world to contribute just 1p each to my paypal account I can afford a new tank and perhaps my own house to put it in, oh and enough to bury myself if Big Al gets his own way. Any spare rooms and you’d all be welcome to stay , but not all at the same time please unless I get elastic walls or a very broad mind.       So, back to work. I managed to stay on top of everything during the afternoon and there was little left when I called a halt at 4.30 pm. I only stayed away till 6.00 pm but as I took my tea plate back into the kitchen I found I couldn’t get any hot water. I noticed it was decidedly chilly in the kitchen too so checked the radiator, it was ice cold. I turned the thermostat up but nothing happened. I knew Yvonne was on her way to Birmingham and wouldn’t be able to do anything until she got there. However at 7.30 pm she sent a text to say she’s been in touch with the emergency team and they’d send a plumber out. Good as I was beginning to sound like a demented typewriter in the bedroom.

Pimelodus Pictus catfish grows to about 4.3" 10.5cm Magnificent whiskers

Pimelodus Pictus catfish grows to about 4.3″ 10.5cm Magnificent whiskers

At 8.30 pm a knock on the door revealed a man with a great big bag of tools. I’d already said what message the machine was displaying so I thought this was bad news. But, he was out in less than 5 minutes. He’d fiddled underneath and it sounded like he’d turned a tap on. He had, and topped up the boiler. Mike bled a radiator yesterday and it seems you have to replace the water used to displace the air. Never heard anything like it. They say nature abhors a vacuum so you’d think the boiler would pull in any water it needs from the feeds. Anyway. I was back up and running and able to wash my pots from teatime. I didn’t see any point in going back through to watch TV so just stayed working. I paused early tonight at about 10.30 pm to get the blog done. I’m hoping for an early night with going out in the morning.

Tuesday.

Last night I got to bed about 11.45 pm and didn’t read for too long, preferring instead to let the warmth help me drift off to sleep. That probably happened not long after 12.30 am. Before I drifted I said a prayer to Porcinus to intercede with his brother not to let me sleep in and miss my bus. I’m guessing Porcinus did the job because Somnos made sure I wouldn’t miss the 7.45 bus by getting me up at 4.22 am. He’s all heart. In a way tough he did do me a favour ( don’t tell him that) by ensuring I had time to clear both my mail accounts before I left.

When I first got up the house was warm so the tinkling in the bathroom wasn’t the sound of icicles falling from my nose. I came back to the bedroom and started up the computer and loaded up one of my mail addresses. There was a fair bit but be fair, it wasn’t like I was short of time. I worked until 6.00 am then went to feed the fish. They actually seem happier now the ice on the tank has defrosted and they can move again. They were in fine form this morning and I actually saw the synodontis out and about. I wonder if that has anything to do with the removal of Sharkey to pastures new. I’d like to think so. There was a real scramble when I put the food in but it all seemed to be in good humour.

After feeding the fish I went to take my meds. I decided against breakfast as Yvonne will have toast or something with a coffee while we’re out and insist I do the same. I just made myself a coffee and took it through with me. I got dressed and I knew it was really cold as soon as the dressing gown came off. I was able to hang it on a nipple. Today was going to be a tee-shirt, shirt, waistcoat, jacket and overcoat day. I might not be able to move but I’d be warm. I was a vision in brown, easily hidden on an Autumn day. Today I’d just look smart. I carried on drinking and working until 7.20 am then made sure everything I needed was in my coat pockets and the bags I was taking for Yvonne were handy near the door. At 7.30 am I set out. The bags were heavy and it was a struggle. I had to keep pausing for a rest but the bus driver saw me on my way and stopped the bus for me to get on. I was really grateful. I did my usual trick of closing my eyes for most of the journey so no-one was tempted to speak. I may have even nodded off a couple of times between stops. It was quite a delayed journey courtesy of two or three sets of roadworks on the way. But when I got there, Yvonne was waiting with Reuben I’d forgotten about the vicious crop my hairstylist had given me at the weekend and didn’t expect Reuben to recognise me beardless. Yvonne walked right past me instead and Reuben was pointing at me and grinning. In recognition I hope and not at the Dali-esque moustache.

We had enough time to take a walk round the £shop before the cafe inside the clothing store opened. I got myself an elbow support bandage. and no Mike, it’s not for the reasons you keep suggesting. It’s too much tennis to blame. We actually picked up a few things from there before moving on, including batteries for the tablet type thing I’d bought Reuben. We went and settled in the cafe.She won the first skirmish of who pays and ordered me a coffee and a sausage with red onion toastie while she and Roobs had jam on toast. I’d taken the first mouthful before remembering my tablet, Oops. Once we’d done we walked round to find Reuben some pyjamas and for his dad a shirt and a cardigan to make up for the fact I’d still not found a blue waistcoat to go with his suit. I won the second skirmish. From there we went to another shop so I could show Yvonne the Jane Asher container I bought for putting tin foil in and for cutting it. No good for her as there isn’t one for the longer rolls on tinfoil but she did think it a good idea. We bought a few items there and round 3 was mine too.

The morning was getting on a bit so I suggested another drink so we’d have opportunity to sort the bags in case I had to depart quickly for the bus. We headed for the market where she’d be able to get some wool she wanted too. After the drink and when the bags were sorted 1 for me 4 for her, we took Reuben to the pet shop to see the birds. A couple of really pretty female budgies in having a good old sing song.Then it was time for me to depart for the bus and Yvonne to get home so Reuben could have a sleep as she got ready for work. The bus was slow going back too. When I got off I thought I’d go to Pauline’s for some stuff but I decided I needed a wee more and had to go straight past the shop, open my front door, abandon bag and crutches in a hurry ….and run. I made it. I worked from 1.15 to 2.15 pm, then ignoring the hundreds of messages, watched Father Brown.

At 3.00 pm I went back to work in earnest and was making some progress. At 4.15 pm though I decided I needed food so I made some beans on toast which I ate while The Antiques Trip was on. After washing up I came back through, ignoring the usual quiz. By 7.00 pm I was making real headway and had refreshed once already. I took another break until 8.00 pm  then closed the lounge down to concentrate fully on work. I was clear by 11.15 pm and able to start the blog. At this rate I may get another early night.

Wednesday.

The world and I renewed our acquaintance at 3.20 am. Though happy to have survived another night I can’t honestly say I was too chuffed about the time. I’d happily have waited a wee while longer until the world was better dressed in her finery, and you could actually see it. The fact that it was early did not negate my wish to use the loo so slippers and dressing gown on, off I went. I don’t know what it is with me and lights unless it’s the fear of disturbing someone by turning them on. Who, since there’s only me hear? Anyway, perhaps I hadn’t quite adjusted my eyes and my balance was a bit off. I crashed into the stick stand and made an almighty clatter, designed to wake the neighbourhood. My shushing of the sticks seems a little pointless now. Then turning the  corner I veered to the left a bit and walloped my knee on the radiator. Before I had time to curse I had to make a right hand turn but I was a tad too early and hit the corner with my right knee and also managed to knock over a vase of flowers. Just as well they’re artificial or a flood would have ensued. Before I entered the loo I switched the hall light on which of course I should have done at the other end.

On returning to the bedroom with two sore knees I turned that light on then nipped back to turn the hall light off. I signed on to the computer. 127 emails waiting. Two of them  were cons which quickly got consigned to the bin. Anything that purports to come from a bank where I don’t have an account automatically goes that way. The obvious adverts from  card companies followed them. One message was from a shop I sometimes visit to let me know they had a freezer in if I was still interested. The message started, “Dear Dave”. Who the heck is Dave? I’m happy for people to call me by my first name but it seems to take our relationship to a level that doesn’t exist to call me that. Frankly I hate being called Dave, my name is David though a few people still call me other things, not all complimentary. I could understand it if I ever signed myself thus but I don’t so that message too went into the bin. I got down to 104 messages that way and started on those. One of the nice jobs I get during the day is promoting other authors by retweeting their books, today was nice for me as two friends Jane Dougherty and Ali Isaac were publishing their joint venture. Love stories based on the myths of Ireland called Gra mo chroi.

cover

Don’t forget to look for it.

At 6.10 am it was time to feed the fish. I turned both the main light and the tank light on and stood for a minute watching them. Th two lager plecs were adorning the branches of the bog wood while the smallest with its bat’s wing sleeves glided around chasing anything it bumped into. It never seems to bother him that most of the fish are bigger than him. Big Al stayed in his corner at first. Morecambe and Wise visited me at the front of the tank.The two bronze corys just darted about aimlessly, the synodontis kept coming out and going back in at the first sign of any movement around them. The two hoplos kept swimming up and down and Little Al hovered near the food slot. I opened the flap and the movement made Big All stir. He ran to the top of the tank and I started crying. Hang on, no I didn’t, it’s only on one side of my face. The little  beggar spat at me. Down he swam back to his corner. I dabbed my eye and fed them hoping secretly that they’d eat everything before Big Al stirred again. I can’t believe a fish spat at me. What have I ever done wrong? Answers on a postcard please. I took my meds, made a drink and returned to my room in disgust.

I thought I’d dealt with all the dross in my in box but I’d missed this one probably because it’s new to me and banks aren’t the first thing I associate Tesco with. This is another one of those that I find very disturbing because of it’s seeming authenticity. If you know anyone who banks with Tesco please warn them not to open this if it arrives.

Dear Account Holder,
Your TESCO Savings Account was accessed on a blacklisted IP address North London,
but for security reasons the requested transaction was refused.
You are required to update and confirm your TESCO Savings account details with us
as you will not be able to have access to your accounts until this has been done.
CLICK HERE TO PROCEED
Once you’ve completed this you’ll be able to manage your money whenever you want,
giving you more control of your finances.
Thank you for helping us serve you better,
TESCO BANK
Copyright © 2015 Tesco Personal Finance plc

I decided to carry on until  my email accounts were empty before going out. So when I threw my hands in the air and cheered at 9.10 am you’d guess I was pleased. I got washed and dressed and about 9.30 am went out to Pauline’s to pick up a few things. I resisted the temptation to buy a chocolate gateau as I know there are still chocolate puddings in the fridge. Wen I got back I put the shopping away and then returned to my desk to see what else had arrived. There was enough to keep me going until 10.45 am and then I called a break and sat in the lounge. I lay back in my chair with my eyes closed and totally relaxed. I have no idea if I actually went to sleep, it didn’t seem so at the time. It was 11.50 am  before I decide I needed to start my lunch, liver and onions with mash today, and a piece of bread and butter for the left over gravy. I ate it during Murder She Wrote as Jessica Fletcher solved her latest case in a college. Once it was over I returned to work. There was quite a lot again and I knew I’d struggle a bit so I decided not to bother with Father Brown today, but to plod on. At 4.15 pm I realised I’d need a sandwich for tea with Dil and Matt coming so ignoring what was left I went to feed the face. Antique Road Trip came on purely by coincidence (cough) while I was there so I stayed and watched it. at 5.15 pm it wasn’t worth going back so I started watching the quiz Pointless with one eye, while they other tried to watch for my visitors arriving.

I just caught a glimpse of them and I’m sure it’s because I was by now cross-eyed. I’m also sure they’ve taken to creeping past on hands and knees to surprise me. I ran into the kitchen and started making drinks as they came in the front door shouting ‘Hi’. I told them I’d had a message from Lee a few minutes before saying he couldn’t make it again, but hopefully next week. I passed the drinks through as they watched to the end of the quiz when I turned the TV off and we got the table and the games out. We were starting with Yahtzee again this week. I was the over all winner, taking three of the 6 games. It was amazing,,I even got 2 Yahtzees in the one game tonight for 100 point bonus. We moved on to Nomination Whist next where despite a good start at a game I excel in, I hadn’t even reached 3 figures when we’d finished. I was in last place, Dil first . The last game was Chase The Lady and what a start I had. no points in the first hand then just 5 in the second.I thought playing as I was I’d be unassailable. I hadn’t counted on being in the room with two vindictive people. The Queen of Spades was dropped on me so often after those hands I thought we should be engaged. Needless to say my score started to soar past theirs and I was first to the post, Dil second, Matt the Winner by ten points over Dil.

Once they’d gone I tidied up, washed the pots and went looking for the mirror I must have broken today my luck is so bad. I took my meds said goodnight to the fish and came back through to the bedroom. I eventually gave up sulking and got on with the mail of which there was almost 200 again. I worked on it until 11.00 pm without making much of a dent . Once I finish the blog I’ll go back to it for a while. I have a headache and would enjoy a sleep.

Adoration

Adoration

Trying to copy Pops's cross look.

Trying to copy Pops’s cross look.

Thursday.

It was 4.30 am today so that’s just about three and a half hours. My campaign for a sleep extension seems to have fallen on deaf ears. I got up. I put on the bedroom light in order to avoid stubbed toes, put on my dressing gown and slippers and strolled to the loo. No urgency since I haven’t been to sleep long enough to actually put m bladder to any difficult time trials. I came back and put the computer on and started work. I almost missed a notice about Windows updates and had it close down on me but I caught it in time.I gave myself four hours and judging by the mail I needed it. At 6.00 am I took a break to see to the fish, I think they got so used to the time why change it again? Both light went on and I saw there was a deal of activity. Lots of play round the new log, in and out of the various tunnels it made and fun round he branches. Certain fish didn’t join in the fun of course but I wasn’t sorry about that and was keeping a weather eye on him as I opened the flap. In went the food and down went the flap again. I spoke to them all for a minute and was visited by Morecambe of course, Wise was too busy eating. One of the syodontis came out as I’d dropped a few pellets near his hidey-hole. Of the other one there was no sign, Mike said on Sunday that it’s take to hiding in the pipe of the old water filter pump.

I let the fish get on with it and turned round to take my tablets. I thought breakfast was in order today so took my pre-food first. After taking the normal tabs and sprays I had a cigarette to give the pre-food one time to do whatever it does before sticking two slices of thick bread inn the toaster.When the toast was gone, I made myself a coffee and took the two after food tablets before heading back to my bedroom to carry on working. At 8.30 am I let Windows do it’s update. I didn’t lift my head again until 9.35 am when the postman came. There was nothing of any real interest but I was glad to move my legs. Unfortunately, I had to move them back again, there was still work to  be done. It was 10.20 when I was finally as clear as I could be. Things were taking a while to load so I signed out of my main email address for a few moments then went to sign back in as that usually solves the problem. This time it wouldn’t let me sign in. There was a message about the wrong URL for this platform or something.  I no longer have any hair left to pull out. In the end I had to use the restore facility back to prior to the current Windows download. This time it worked. I worked on the new mail until I was clear again and knocked off at 11.20 am. Too early for lunch but lovely for a sit in the lounge and a stare out of the windows. Ha, you thought I was going to say I nodded off, well na na, na na na. I lunched at midday on chips with curry sauce, my once a week treat at the moment. A this is my second tablet meal of the day I can have what I want at tea time.

At 1.00 pm I returned to my desk and risked one eye on seeing how much mail there was. There was! But, I wasn’t going to let it stop me today. I worked until 2.15 pm then suffered three quarters of an hour of Father Brown, what a missed opportunity for sleep that was. At 2.30 pm I’d had a text off Mike to say he was on his way which brightened my day a bit. Promptly at 3.00 pm I returned to work and by dint of hard labour I was within a hair’s breadth of being up to date when 4.30 pm came and my Road Trip programme. I was expecting Mike around 5.00 pm and nipped through to put the kettle on a couple of minutes beforehand. I know I saw the start of the auction but I’m not convinced I saw the end of it at 5.15 pm. When I next came too it was almost 6.00 pm and Mike was sitting next to me saying “Hello Noddy.” He nipped through and boiled the kettle again to do his drink which he’d done without for fear of waking me. I went and made him some syrup sponges with custard in thanks, I may just have had a chocolate one with chocolate custard. We watched a quiz then what amounted to three antique shows until 8.00 pm when I had to depart before the pressure of knowing I had emails blew my ears off. I worked until 10.00 pm when Mike came through to remind me about my tablets then worked again until 10.30 pm when I broke off to do the blog. Since it’s well gone 11.00 pm now I’m going back to it for a while to soften the blow for the morning.

street 1

street 4

Friday.

Despite a light off time of 1.00 am last night it was still a 4.02 am start today. I’m writing a letter of resignation the minute I get a chance, I don”t think I like this job anymore. As usual it was a case of priorities, a tinkle time trip for which I turned the light on in my bedroom rather than the halllway so it didn’t disturb Mike and then back to power up the computer. There were absolutely tons of mail from last night still to do which I still hadn’t caught up on at 6.00 am when I went to feed the fish.. I found them all milling about this morning in some complicated folk dance pattern of interweaving that almost made me cross eyed, but the minute the flap opened there was an air of anticipation that hit you like a brick wall. As I slipped the food in it quickly became every man fish for himself itself. I took all my morning meds then filled up the boxes with another week’s supply and prepared a prescription request for those that needed replacing as I do every two weeks for half of it. A usual that took me quite a time and it was almost 7.00 am before I was able to take a coffee back to my room.

As soon as I’ completed all last night’s outstanding mail I went straight on to today’s and worked up till 8.00 am when I returned to the kitchen to make a drink for Mike. I work to the formula wake him at 8, get him out by 9, hopefully to arrive at his Dad’s by 10.00 am. I woke him at 8.00 am with a drink and he shouted something unintelligible at me. He got up at 8.25 am. He was full of head cold so at 9.15 am decided he wasn’t going out at all then changed his mind five minutes later when he phoned is Dad. He left at 9.35 am and I have no idea what time he arrived there. I’d dressed at 9.00 am and gone to Pauline’s at 9.15 am so arrived back to a hive of activity as he got ready to go. I returned to work at 9.30 am and worked hard through the morning to get clear which I did at 11.35 am.  I went through to the lounge and relaxed a few minutes with the TV. At 12.10 pm there was a knock on the door which I recognised as one of the wardens who’d come for a chat. As I let her in she immediately asked If I were low today as I seemed flat. No-one ever seems to say that about my stomach. We chatted for a while and then she left at 12.45 at which time I started peeling and chopping a sweet potato. As I put that in the microwave to cook I out some sausages under the grill. Pretty soon I was tucking into bangers and mash. At 1.20 pm it was back to work for a while because at 2.15 I was breaking for Father Brown.

I fully intended returning to work at 3.00 pm when Father Brown was over but I’d dropped off before the end (bliss) and slept on until 3.20 pm. I flew back down the hall and started again. I fully intended to stop at 4.30 pm for the Road Trip but at 4.30 pm Mike sent a text to say he was on the way and I noticed that my inbox was showing 97 outstanding on my second account and I still hadn’t finished the first. Antiques went by the wayside. I expected Mike to arrive about 6.00 pm so went through a few minuted early to put the kettle on. While I was there I thought I’d get a few things together from the laundry. The towels for the bathroom, a pair of lounge pants for after my bath, a clean tee-shirt , a pair of shreddies and a pair of socks. I dropped the towels off on my way to the bedroom where I put the clean clothing on my bed then I was distracted hearing the kettle click off. I waited in the lounge watching Eggheads and Mike eventually turned up at 6.20 pm as there had been a nasty accident on the motorway. He poured his coffee and sat with me. As Eggheads ended I said I was going for a shower thinking I could do my own hair this week since so much of it’s gone missing but he insisted he’d still do it.

It took him about 30 seconds to do and then he breather near me and it was dry. I took my shower. My balance wasn’t up to much so Mike got me to sit afterwards and dried my hair even more but with a towel this time. I went through to the bedroom and sorted a shirt for tomorrow and then went to move the shreddies and socks to the back of my chair. Socks yes, shreddies no. I went back to the kitchen to make sure I’d actually picked them up and then seeing I had, I followed my route to the bathroom where I made sure I hadn’t left them with the towels then on to the bedroom, checking the floor in case I’d dropped them.Nothing.I did the journey in reverse, still nothing. Mike asked what was going on and when I explained he offered to help.He went to all the places I hadn’t been and then a tour of those I had. I dreaded him finding them as I didn’t want to see him walking towards me with a big grin and a pair of my jockey shorts round his ears. I was OK as he didn’t find them but I was flummoxed and it was annoying. I got another pair out.

We watched some TV together and had some tea, then at 8.45 pm I came back through to work. I was horrified at the amount waiting and wondered if I’d get to bed at all tonight. I apologise here and now most sincerely. I took a step I’ve never taken before. I started deleting anything that wasn’t addressed directly to me. Anything that was a general message that included me. I kept likes, follows, re-tweets , specific tweet messages and of course all personal messages and ploughed into dealing with them. It was 11.10 pm when I finished and I haven’t dared refresh since then. I wanted to get straight on with the blog. Mike stuck his head in to say goodnight and what’s the first thing he saw? The missing shreddies which I’d apparently put on my radiator and had walked past them so many times. He went off to bed smug.

Saturday.

I’m trying to decide whether to save myself some time by either not going to bed at all or not bother undressing so I can swing an extra few minutes in there. I got to bed a little after midnight and as usual tried to unwind with my book. I turned the light out about 1.00 pm as usual and as the book wasn’t 50 Shades of Smut there wasn’t anything to excite me and stop me sleeping. I know I woke up at 1.53 am but I was in that muggy state where I knew an inch further down the bed in the warm I’d be asleep again. I wriggled down. Next thing I know I’m wide awake and it’s 2.43 am and even digging my way in at the bottom of my bed wasn’t getting me back to sleep. I didn’t even need the loo so could log back on to the computer before it had even cooled down. The mail from last night was horrific especially when added to the mail since midnight but at least I had the advantage of time.

I don’t like the idea of only doing things for people who do them for me but I may have to take the advice I’ve been given and start unfollowing some blogs to reduce my workload and the first to go would be those who don’t re-tweet for me, like, comment or anything if I’ve been doing it for them. I’m told it’s the normal way to go. I don’t want to have to work the way I did yesterday which isn’t fair but staying in all day every day is the only way to cope otherwise. That might appeal to me but I’d never be allowed to get away with it by my keepers. Talking of whom, The Mike keeper was coughing all night so this cold really has a grip on him. Yesterday he refused to let me pick anything up for him, but I’m determined to do so today. I’d actually finished and was up to date before 6.00 pm so spent a little time drooling on ebay. There are some Welsh money Notes for sale and they seem to be as rare as hens teeth.

welsh money

 

I’m bidding on a couple but not with any great expectation of getting them. I’d dearly love to though. I found them beautiful.

I was just going to pay a visit at 6.00 pm when I heard Mike cough and st up with an “Oh Damn” as a sign of exasperation. I stood at his door for a minute while he had a drink and asked whether he was snuggling back down or if he wanted a coffee.I got my answer as I saw his head disappear. I continued on my journey to the loo and then onward to the fish. I turned on the kitchen light and then brought the day to the tank as well. Pepper was sidling up to Big Al as though they knew it was Valentines day, I wouldn’t have been in the least bit surprised to see a bouquet of weed ( no love, not THAT kind of weed) and a few choice bits of algae passing between them. The rest of the crew seemed to be having a party and I suppose that I , the main caterer, was late. I fed them and just watched their antics for a while. After a bit I left them to it but at least it had put a smile on my face. I poured myself some milk, took my meds and made a coffee to take back with me. Not too much had happened since I’d been away so everything was shipshape by 6.50 am. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to do about Mike. Leave him there until he got up of his own accord, but then I remembered Anton would need him on Tuesday. Or, wake him as usual with a coffee but give him the opportunity to stay in and keep warm. I opted for the latter.So, after I heard his alarm go off and be ignored at 7.00 am I made a coffee and took it through. I called him to let him know it was there and on the bedside stand. It was a three grunt day. I left and made myself another drink. I almost spilled the lot and had to call out a team to shock my heart when I saw Mike walk into the lounge. Saturday and just a one Alarm one Call day, who’s going to believe that? Even I don’t and I was there. This vision of unloveliness passed me his dirty mug from last night then went to sit down with  his drink, his first cigarette of the day and a hacking cough.

We were out of the house by about 7.50 am and on our way to Asda. When we arrived Mike howled at the price of diesel as it had gone up since yesterday and yesterday he’d put off filling up. We entered the store and Mike went to choose the flowers for Ju today while I went to pick up potatoes. Then as we moved on I came across a sigh advertising the last reductions in the sale on clothing and found four shirts and a pair of chino’s at £1 each. I couldn’t believe it and nor could the little old lady I snatched them off. Before you say anything , it wasn’t my fault she ended up on the floor, that was the dirty floor. Anyway they’d never have fitted her. We carried on and did the shopping trying to fit it into any little space in the trolley I’d left. Well, you have to get your priorities right don’t you, £1 each eh.We tried to go for a coffee when we’d finished but for the second time recently MacDonald’s had no hot drinks available. Their machines were offline or something. Instead we headed straight for Flint and Temptations. A drink and a teasted toecake was the order of the day when we got there and Kyle was happy to oblige. We passed the usual chocolates over and sat down. Ceri was upstairs making sandwiches so there was no real banter this morning  We did manage to see her for a minute before we left and I was delighted to get a kiss.

We hiked round a few shops for different things an we were looking for a bin for Mike’s dad but couldn’t find one. About 11.30 I could see Mike was itching to go, this cold is really getting to him. We went straight of to have lunch though I did offer to feed him at home if he wanted to wrap up on the settee. Maybe that’s why we ended up at the Ivy. Our usual seats were taken as were our back ups. Fortunately our back up, back ups were OK as they were the last special ones near the fire. We grabbed them. It wasn’t too crowded in there but as we got our drinks and ordered lunch some more decided they’d finished leaving just us and our usual table left. We could glare at then all we wanted as the chimney breast was between us. As we were half way through our meal they got up and left but it didn’t seem worth moving then. There ha been a kiss from Angie when we went in and handed over the chocs, then hugs from Tariq though he didn’t have long at that time. When he came to us later I told him he’d have to do without us soon as Mike is disappearing to Canada for 3 weeks again. Good old Tariq said he’d either find a way to get me there to eat or he’d visit me in the evening. I reminded him he”s got a life and a family. Shella came to talk to us and brought us a chocolate heart each. That was sweet.

After we’d left it was straight home and put the shopping away. Then Mike came through with me to look at the fish I’d found I wanted him to look at. Showed him the one I want and showed him the select few he can choose one from. I think he likes a zebra plec or a pyjama catfish best.Once he’d gone through to have a sleep about 3.00 pm, I was able to tackle the mail.As expected with 8 hours away there was a lot. I dealt with the more personal ones first then the rest. I could only work until 5.30 pm as it’s only fair to give Mike some company in the evening but fair play, he didn’t complain when I came back through at 8.30 pm. As usual I’ve been here ever since. I stopped work on the mail at 10.45 pm to give me chance to do the blog post and now I’m going back for a while. I shall be in bed by the witching hour.

I’m not very fond of musicals though some songs do make the grade and stay with you. One of those whose music I like is West Side Story. In honour of St.Valentine’s day tonight’s song, so romantic, is sung by a great and vastly underated singer whom I once had the pleasure of seeing live. P.J.Proby

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The 59 Minute Sleepathon & Sunglasses in Winter?

Sunday 31st January 2015

I was shocked this morning to be allowed a 5.19 am wake up.It had been a late one last night so this was the perfect opportunity to punish me…. if punishment were needed that is. On the other hand, maybe the small gods party on a Saturday night and have a lie-in too. I turned my light on, booted up the computer and went to the loo. I was ready to go when I got back and signed in. There was more mail than I expected at that point and less comments on the blog than I’d hoped but it is a very in between time in much of the world.

At 6.00 am I strolled through to the  kitchen for a chat with the fish. I almost said with my pals but it seems I can only rely on Morecambe and Wise in that direction. As I put the tank light on the two of them came to greet me thoughh being the cynic I am, I’m convinced cupboard love has a lot to do with it. I’d hoped for more from Pepper but maybe it’s early days yet or perhaps Big Al has managed to poison him against me. Big Al himself came out of his corner and hung around the opening waiting for breakfast, I mentally hit myself for thinking it would be a good time to give them a day without food.I opened the flap and dropped the flake in first to try and keep Morecambe and Wise off the bottom, then I added the granules for the rest. Morecambe and Wise were straight down. Everyone rushed in to feed except one of the plecs who was more interested in cleaning windows and the two synodontis who don’t seem to like coming out when there’s a lot of activity. Happy that everyone would get a share I left the fish and went to take my meds after which I made myself a drink to take through. There was no pint in preparing a mug for Mike yet as it’s Sunday. Ha ha.like you’d expect him to be up yet.

Id finished my coffee a while ago and had started on a tin on Vimto when 8.20 am came round and my first relief. I was up to date on this site even with a refresh but hadn’t opened the second one yet. Before I did so, I needed to stretch my legs a bit and also to apply cream to my sore ankle and leg where the skin is still peeling. I use diprobase which is good at moisturising but takes forever to rub in. I did that first then went to wash my hands in the bathroom. Deciding the splashing might just wake Mike I went to the kitchen sink instead. After the hands were done I noticed the synodontis had come out to eat. I needed to check there was enough food left for them to find in case I needed to give more. They were snuffling round the bottom of the tank where the others had been but I saw them both find something. Good, I was sure if I’d raised the flap again the others would have been there like a flash. I must have spent longer watching them than I thought as I notice my watch showed 9.25 am.  I went through and got dressed.

At 9.55 am I put the kettle on and started making Mike’s mug ready. As soon as the kettle boiled I made a drink and took it through. Before I could call Mike a weary hand raised from the bed and waved at me. I waved back with my free hand and put the coffee down. I guessed it was safe too speak to him so just let him know what time it was and left. Knowing more mail must have accumulated now I returned to my bedroom and started work. I even opened the second mail account and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The sound of Mike reaching the lounge reached me. As soon as I’d caught up again I joined him. He asked what I wanted to do today saying it was my treat. I said all I could think of was a trip to the Tweed Mill which we hadn’t been to in a while. Straight away I could tell he wasn’t too keen on the idea because he kept suggesting alternatives interspersed with the word FISH. I’d actually seen somewhere online that looked good for fish earlier on but it’s not open on a Snday so we sort of agreed that maybe we could try there next Saturday after shopping. It was back to deciding what to do today. I suggested we go to Tariq’s for brunch and decide from there.

As it was past 11.00 am when we left the house it was getting nearer the time for lunch.  When we arrived I spotted Tariq working on his computer though a window so I tapped on the glass and hurried to the door.By the time we got in he was already waiting to greet us with hugs and ask how we were.Two or three hugs down the line he was convinced we’re well and we moved into the room properly just as Angie came down to see to some customers so we were greeted all over again. Our table was free so we set our coats down and I moved over to put the chocolates we’d brought onto the counter. Angie and Rob came to behind the counter and Angie made our drinks. As we were making them what looked like a coach load appeared so I quickly wrote our food order on Angie’s pad so we wouldn’t have to wait too long and came back to the table to take a tablet. Then it was time for a cigarette. Mike and I stepped outside the back door where there are ash trays on the tables. We were just finishing off when Rob came to the door to let us know lunch was on the table. Mike had one for the roast beef option while I’d decided on a breakfast but with the addition on a small bucket of chips in place of those awful potato things often served with breakfasts now.

We both enjoyed eating and felt full. The question came back to what to do today. Mike was magnanimous in saying as we were going to look at fish on Saturday, he’d take me to the Tweed Mill today.  The Tweedie is situated just outside St Asaph, Wales’s smallest City. It’s like a small Outlet Village under one roof. It’s one place that I’ve seen Clogau Gold watches before now. We said goodbye to everyone and set off. Typically when we got there the Clogau gold cabinet held lots of jewellery but no watches he could compare his with. Mind you, the price of the other stuff indicated what a bargain he’d enjoyed. Bearing in mind that going there was my idea and Mike hadn’t been keen you wouldn’t have believed it to see him in action. There was a sale on and he picked up a new suit, new shoes and a tie. If anyone can remember us trailing around 12 months ago looking for some shoes in red after he’d only been able to get them in blue, well today I found him the red and he didn’t hesitate. The suit was fantastic and a real bargain. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted, but I really don’t need one. I did however find a fleece for Muriel which I hope she’s going to like. We went upstairs to the small cafe so I could get a drink to take my next antibiotic. For once I’d had the foresight to bring it out. I had the strangest tasting strawberry milkshake ever while Mike had hi coffee and a slice of egg custard. When we went downstairs Mike found a set of steps he wanted to use in his shower- Don’t Ask. Once he’d paid for those we left. I was nodding off in the car all the way home.

Mike decided to leave virtually straight away after we got back even though I was now awake again. So, once I’d waved him off, I nipped to the loo then started work. It was 4.05 pm. I was still working non-stop at 6.00 pm when I decided to take a break for some tea. I put the TV on and got caught up in a romcom. I noticed a film Hellboy II was going to follow it and decided to rebel and watch it. I didn’t get back to work until 9.00 pm. Because of that I wasn’t up to date until gone 11.00 pm and started this blog late. Ah well, no major plans tomorrow or at all this week.

Monday.

Late to bed last night but I still only read until 1.00 am. I tried snuggling down in bed then . First right side, then left side and finally my back. Nothing was working. I got hot and had to stick my leg out of bed. I saw 1.30 am come and go but finally dropped off. I was awake and ready to get up, did get up in fact at 2.29 am. I feel cheated. I was tired yesterday and should have found sleep no problem at all last night. I need to have another look at the terms of my contract. I could look on the Glass half full’ side and say at least I got to my messages earlier but heck, there were hardly any there since it wasn’t that long ago I came off the computer to go to bed. I despatched them fairly quickly and at 4.50 am went to the lounge to see if I could get some quality time in my chair. For some reason it just didn’t happen. I had that annoying tickly you get inside your leg that feels like something very furry is running up and down your veins. It wouldn’t let me drop off.It was like having someone with a feather duster in there. At just before 6.00 am I gave up and went through to the kitchen.

The overhead light was bright enough to let me see movement within the tank and I could tell I had them excited. Since there are bound to be some females in there somewhere ( Morecambe and Wise are) I can honestly claim that even in my 60’s I can still excite the women. It’s pretty bloody amazing really as I never excited them before. Reminds me of the joke about the man with the mangled hand asking his doctor if he’s ever play the piano and the doctor saying “Yes”. The man answers “Great, I could never play it before.” I have always been a pretty shy individual and was never good with clever chat up lines. I guess I just feared rejection. It’s a miracle I ever managed to get married. Talking of which, on Facebook a friend was talking about her need to start getting her act together more or less. I asked if while she was doing it for herself, she could see if she had a spare wife in her handbag. This morning she sent a message saying she’d be my wife. Funny, I never thought her eyesight that bad before. I’m assuming she was being humorous since she never struck me as desperate.                                                                                                 Anyway, back to the fish. Morecambe came up towards the glass knowing I was there as soon as I said “Good morning guys.” I turned the tank light on and saw them all fighting for position. Sharkey barging everyone out of the way indiscriminately with the exception of Big Al and Pepper who are so big he bounces off them. Even the synodontis came out or a look round when everything settled down. There was an air of anticipation and for a moment as I opened the flap everyone paused. Then it was broken as the hoplos both swam to the top and down again. I stopped the torture and fed them. Movement from the crowd had the synodontis running for cover again. Big Al and Little Al were acting like dung beetles shoving their prize in front of them which can’t have been easy given how rough the bottom of the tank is. Maybe they were giving little blows instead and pushing the pellets along that way. As usual the plecs just lay on top of theirs till everyone else lost interest.

I left them to it and took my tablets etc and made a coffee. Instead of going back to the bedroom I returned to my chair and drank the coffee there. Then shuffling my bum along the seat,I lay back and closed my eyes. It worked. I was out like a light until 7.10 am. Not as long as I’d hoped but better than nothing. Anyway I felt energised and returned to work. By 8.30 am I was up to date again and so got dressed ready to go to the chemist’s with my repeat prescription request. I waited until 9.15 am  to walk up the road so I wasn’t weaving between the Mother’s Mafia congregating on the pavement outside Pauline’s. I was in and out of the chemist’s in no time but after staring in the window of another shop found a truly miraculous Sausage Bap in a Bag in my hand, pleading to be taken home by me for protection. When I got home something within me made me take a pre-food tablet. Maybe I was considering toast? As we were indoors again I took my coat off, and fearing the bap might be too warm, removed it from it’s bag. I placed it on a plate close by in case it needed to talk. My attention wandered a little and when I turned back I noticed the bap had gone. Miraculous. Also miraculous and worthy of a pilgrimage was the brown stain that appeared round my mouth about the same time. Of the bap whom I called breakfast there was never again any sign.

The influx of mail had increased during the morning so it was taking longer to catch up now. I worked till midday but not feeling like my lunch yet for some reason, I just went through to watch Bargain Hunt….including the auction. After that I carried on working until 2.00 pm when I went to have my lunch and watch Father Brown. That was the pattern for the afternoon. Work followed by a break so after Father Brown I worked until 4.30 pm and the Antiques Road Trip. But on this occasion I decided to stay until after the two quizzes I sometimes watch and return to work at 6.30 pm. The only interaction with anyone today has been two emails exchanged with Yvonne who has gone away for a few days with Ugo and Reuben. They’ve gone to mid-Wales and I hope they have a glorious time.

Happy Reuben

Happy Reuben

And you know what they say, While the cat’s away, the mouse can lock all his doors and keep the world out. At 6.30 pm I restarted work which had obviously piled up. I intended for that to be it for the night but by 8.55 pm I was getting pretty straight. It was too early to do the blog and far too early for sleep as any mail would just add to the morning’s misery. I remembered Mike had said his favourite serial is on at 9.00 pm so maybe I’d have a look at that. I turned on and sw it was in two parts which kind of put me off but then a warning came up about bad language and violence from the off. Bad language in these delicate ears, I think not. Instead I put D.I.Y SOS on and what a sad story. A builder takes off with the money without doing the job. Leaves father and two sons living in terrible conditions for 2 years, damp spores causing asthma, walls crumbling, no kitchen etc, etc, etc. The team and more importantly the local community were amazing , as was the house by the time they’d finished. The father burst into tears just as someone poked me in the eyes .

I returned yet again to work and for the last time tonight. I managed to get up to date for 11.00pm and was able to take a little more time with this so the L and K stayed where they should this week.

Tuesday.

I turned my light out a bit earlier than usual last night but sleep wasn’t easy to come by. There just didn’t seem to be a comfortable position to be had. My squirming, adjusting and readjusting must have worn me out so much that eventually I fell asleep exhausted. Let’s just say it was after 1.00 am. But I woke up this morning full of energy. OK maybe I couldn’t have lit up the room, but maybe a small torch. It was 3.57 am. I was raring to go, so I did, straight to the loo. Once the stop- start, will I- won’t I, have I or Haven’t I session was over, I checked my feet were dry and came to start on the post. I booted up the computer, looked at all the things they thought newsworthy and got stuck in. It had obviously been a night where everyone had something to say as the post was overflowing but the way I felt, nothing could stop me. Well, nothing except maybe Madame Galafray who told me ( free of charge) that I should take things slower today and stop my Bull in a China Shop ways. OK, I can do that. I should also beware the ‘Friend’ who doesn’t have my best interests at heart. That’s a fairly blanket statement and there were no clues like it’s female, 5′ 8″ an speaks with a Devonian accent. Nothing, nada so be warned, you’re all suspect today.  Tell me, what have I done to deserve this and why are you trying to stab me in the back. Et tu Brute. I’m thinking of sending out a questionnaire to see if I can get you to reveal yourself. On the other hand I could just stop reading this garbage I suppose.

At 6.00 am I stopped what I was doing and went through to the kitchen. Both lights on it was wonderful. All of the fish were in a writhing group under the hatch waiting to be fed. Who said they have no memory. I put enough food in to separate them into individual seekers and even found one of the synodontis out trying to get something, though he kept darting back into his cave if anyone got too close. I got one of the larger tablets and dropped it in as near to the shell as I could manage. Within seconds Pepper was there eating along with one of the bronze corys. The synodontis came out and managed to attach itself to the surface of the tablet though there was no sign of the second one. Perhaps this one hadn’t been out previously and the other one was indoor having breakfast now. Big Al was playing blow football with  one of the smaller pellets and Morecambe and Wise were darting in to help themselves despite having the flake.They were really entertaining this morning. I must have been watching them for a good ten minutes. Eventually I had to drag myself away to take my meds. Once that was done I made my drink and brought it through.

It took me until 8.00 am to catch up on my main address then I slipped into ebay to see how things were, I’m looking at some bamboo walking sticks from the Meiji period ( 1868-1912) that are beautifully carved. I’m guessing they’ll quickly go out of my price range on the day but at the moment the prices are OK. Then I opened my second email address and cleared that before getting dressed at 9.00 am. I’m expecting delivery of a book for Mike today on Welsh money that was legal for a very short time in the 60’s. It was beautiful, and Mike has a few examples of it. I have but one in not very good condition and can’t find anymore except at massive prices on ebay at the moment. The book arrived at 10.05 am and I immediately went to ebay to leave feedback. Before going back to work proper I skived again by doing a search for catfish for sale in the UK. Firstly I came across a site showing pictures of the various catfish types which was fascinating and upsetting when I saw people holding some out of the water after having been caught. They’re massive and the worry is they’re about to be cooked and eaten. Then I came across sites for sellers via the internet only which means you don’t see the actual fish until it arrives by courier, which is also expensive. Finally I found a site where you can visit the showrooms as well and by coincidence it isn’t too far from Mike so I sent him the link. Maybe he’ll find something spectacular for his tank. Then I did go back to work as there is a constant flow of emails today from mes amis, or to put it another way, YOU.

At lunchtime I had as ‘bing’ meal which was one I won’t be repeating. Sorry Lidl, at least you got the mash and onion gravy OK. I watched Jessica Fletcher solve a crime when immobilised by a plaster cast on her leg and wonder why they need the police when she’s in town. She proved doctors are a murderous lot so guess where I’ll be avoiding even more from now on. At 1.00 pm I returned to my desk. I fully intended to work till just 2.15 pm and take another break. I wasn’t far off catching up when I did so. I worked again from 3.00 to 4.30 pm and was just getting up to go for my antiques programme (I thought) when I was actually woken up lying across the keyboard typing ‘B’s, by a knock at the door. It was my young lady from the chemist with my lastest fixes. I signed for them and carried on through to the lounge. My programme was just about to start. I wonder I’f I’d stayed asleep if I’d have dreamed the programme content too. Her visit was very opportune though SPOOKY. I watched the whole programme until 5.15 pm fully intending to return to work. Next thing I know it’s 5.35 pm and I’m in the middle of a quiz. I took  my pre-food tab and made myself a sandwich which I took through with me and with loads of apologies I restarted work. There was plenty of it too. But, however much there was it would be made to wait even more when we reached 7.00 pm and my second Antiques Road Trip of the day was on. I’m spoilt. I came back in here at 8.00 pm to stay.

One of the first messages I opened when I (eventually) came back was from Yvonne with some pictures of Reuben. She likes the place they’re at in mid-Wales but poor Roobs is not too well again. So, I’ve now decided that maybe it’s not me he’s allergic too, but Tuesdays. Maybe I should see them on a different day in future. I confessed in my reply that I’ve been miserable today and feeling quite lonely, yes, I know the girl from the chemist called but “Hello David” doesn’t count. Anyway. it seems he hasn’t been smiling for the camera today so I’m putting it down to him missing his Pops. Whad’ye mean you’re putting it down to something else, that’s not nice, behave!

Obstacle course

Obstacle course

When he said swap seats I thought I was going to drive.

When he said swap seats I thought I was going to drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mummy, my Dummy tastes funny sometimes

Mummy, my Dummy tastes funny sometimes

 

I can't get the motor started !

I can’t get the motor started !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed the intermission.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     At 10.00 pm I took my meds including the last antibiotic of the day. As I came back through turning all the lights off  I realised what a lazy day it’s been for me. Nothing more strenuous than answering emails and the like. By 10.30 pm I was actually clear enough to start on the blog post without interruption. Unless something terrible happens and there’s a need for my particular brand of stupidity I should be in bed by 11.30 pm and perhaps have my light off by 12.30 am. Let’s test the generosity of the gods and see how well I do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVfUeKL1G6o

Night all. xx

Wednesday.

And the answer is, not generous at all. 2.21 am today, and they couldn’t even wait an extra minute to bring a smile to my face. What’s more, I didn’t even need the loo  so could start the computer up straight away. All the ingredients necessary for a good start to the day were missing. I was not a Happy Bunny, a very unhappy Messenger of the gods. Yes I know, it’s publicist to the small gods strictly, but that lacks a certain ring. I hope by now that message is penetrating the mist surrounding Olympus. Heads need to roll and one of them better not be mine.

There was plenty of post to keep me going but somewhere about 4.00 am something was nagging in the back of my mind. Probably something I’d read but that had no connection at that moment. The song Desiderata from the early 70′ started going round in my head so much that I had to play it. Listening to the words after all this time made me realise it says certain things that are important to me. I had to do a post on the Buthidars so that those not around in the 70’s saw the importance of some of the words and heard the song too if they wanted. By 5.00 am I’d done that and also caught up on my mail for both addresses. I retired to the lounge. I was fully expecting to nod off but it wasn’t coming so I ended up watching an old film about Florence Nightingale. When the film ended at 6.00 am I was still wide awake and wondering why. I went to feed the fish before taking my meds. The fish seemed a bit frisky this morning like it was Spring and they were taking advantage of it. They were play chasing each other. The exceptions to that were Sharkey who chased for real to get them off his patch ( the whole tank in his eyes), Big Al who as no sens of fun and was studying something in a corner and the two synodontis who were either hiding or having a lie-in. Naturally enough, the moment I opened the hatch all movement stopped for a moment like musical statues, they came to life as the pellets hit them.

I took my meds then added the pre-food one after deciding to have breakfast today.After a timing cigarette I had a small packet of cereal from one of the multipacks and a slice of toast. I took a coffee back to my room. The mail had built up since I’d been away so I started clearing it again. By 8.30 am I was clear again and thought I’d get dressed then perhaps relax away from the screen for a while. I sat in the lounge again and thought some more about moving the existing tank through or perhaps buying a second one. Thinking about the fish sent me to sleep for almost an hour. It might have been a bit longer if the postman hadn’t delivered something. The sound of the letterbox had me on my feet ‘toot sweet’ since my body reacted before my brain did. I collected the mail and saw that someone needed a form completing and sending out so I did that straight away. Having been so quick to do it didn’t make me any quicker to deal with posting it an it’s still on the coffee table now. I have to go out in the morning so I’ll post it then.

The rest of the morning passed by with me dealing with little jobs in the house and coming back to keep on top of the mail. At lunchtime I took a break for a cottage pie and an episode of Murder She Wrote. Once that was over I came through intending to break off at 2.15 pm for Father Brown. I don’t know exactly what happened but the mirror image of L,K,J,H,M.N.B on my forehead seems to tell a tale. Now I had even more catching up to do. By 4.30 pm when I went to watch my Antiques Road Trip I was down to just 10 emails outstanding ( plus a refresh). I stayed where I was when that was over and just prepared the mugs for Dil and Matt. The traffic wasn’t too bad tonight and they were there by 5.30 pm. I made drinks and we settled to see the rest of the quiz that was on. At 6.00 pm Dil got the table out and the things we needed to play. He chose Yahtzee as the first game. It was all nip and tuck between us with struggles and successes but at least this time we ended up with  games apiece. Matt still wanted to do Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide an over all winner. Dil and I were happy to settle on a draw. Then the cards came out and though I’d drawn up the sheet for Nomination, I suggested we perhaps try Chase the Lady again as Matt seemed to enjoy it last time. Not so tonight as I won both the games we played.

They left after the last game and I tidied up and washed the pots before coming through. It was almost 10.00 pm and the count was 153 messages. There’s no way I’ll get through them all tonight barring a miracle. I broke off at 11.00 pm to do the blog post before I forget everything. One of the first mesages I opened had a note on from my provider to say a virus had been removed. When I opened it I couldn’t believe the cheek. Someone claiming to be from the UN wanted me to complete a form in order to claim money because I’ve been the victim of a spam con on the net. It seems the UN are compensating people-  Yeah, Right ! In the bin it went. I can’t see the UN having an office in Benin to deal with anything, let alone this. It’s now 11.50 pm and I want to get to bed by 12.30 am so I’ll try and clear a couple more messages first.

walktime 2

playtime 12 use

Thursday.

Dream on ! It was past 1.00 am before I hit my bed and I still hadn’t dented the post as I wanted. On the other hand, I still managed a little read and when I did put the light off I slept. In fact I slept until 6.00 am so maybe the complaints department are paying attention after all. I still had to get my little a**e into gear though to get my antibiotic. ( Yes, it’s still pert after all these years, though the rest of me’s gone to pot).  I delayed the tablet a few more minutes when I reached the kitchen as I watched the fish. My turning the tank light on didn’t faze them one bit and they still had their morning play. Big Al made his way carefully round the edges of the tank in case playtime was catching and all the others were infectious. Pepper too was on the edges but seemed to be looking for a place to join in. The bronze corys seemed to be playing a game within a game of their own, just bouncing about without any method to their madness. Of the two synodontis there was no sign as usual. Talk about highly strung, they must have piano wire for nerves. And the good old plecs just never notice what goes on around them, totally oblivious to it all.  Food takes the place of play though, and opening the flap was an indication that teacher was in the playground and it was time to line up.Playtime turned into a free for all once the food was dropped in.

Time for my fun to end, I closed the flap and left them to it. My tablets were waiting. I took them all and carried my fresh coffee back to the bedroom then nipped to the loo to make space for it. I turned the computer on and made my way to the lottery results. Damn ! Then a quick check of the bank and yes, my pension credit was in. Good, I’ll be eating this week. Then to the mail. Such joy to be faced with two further attempts at a con first thing in the morning, one I even had to translate from French first to read about the business proposition they had for me. The other one was another that had carried a virus until my virus checker caught it. Such evil little turds out there who not only want to rip you off, they want to infect you too. The rest of the post kept me going until 8.30 am and when I refreshed until 9.15 am. Then I opened the second address and dealt with those until 10.10 am. I was keeping an eye on the time today as I had to leave the house at 11.00 am to catch the 11.15 am bus to town where I had a retinopathy appointment at midday. This would prove a real test of my nerves as there would be lots of people about on the bus and in town as it’s market day. Maybe when I wore my dark glasses coming back they’d think I’m blind and leave me alone. In the meantime, I went back to keeping on top of the mail when I heard the postman. I went out to collect the post and as I stood there was a knock on the door. Thinking it was the postman I opened the door. Immediately my heart sank. Standing there was the very beautiful lady from the J.W’s along with another lady in a wheelchair. She always reminds me who she is like I’m an idiot ( who said Hear Hear then?) and asks me how I’ve been before offering me some copies of the Watchtower. I stutter for what seems 20 minutes or so that I’m OK, but which probably takes no more than a minute.She can see that I’m no doing so well and says goodbye. She knows I don’t share her beliefs but never gives up on me.I wish she would.

I only worked up until 10.45 then I’d no chance of missing my bus. I put some desert boots on for the sake of comfort and made sure everything I needed was in my coat pockets.Dead on 11.00 am I left the house and slogged my way up to the bus stop. I’m pretty safe whichever one I catch for such a short distance, they all go via town. The bust stop had a few people waiting so I stood outside in the chill air. When the bus arrived I got on last and was lucky enough to have one of the disabled seats vacant. It didn’t take long to reach town. I walked to the hospital the way I usually go which doesn’t usually have many people about and arrived there just after 11.30 am. I could see the retinopathy trailer in the grounds and being so early decided to go into the hospital and see how the tea bar looked- answer, uncrowded. I ordered a cup of tea and sat looking out of the window at the trailer to see if there was much movement. There were people about but I couldn’t tell if they were from there. At 11.45 I returned my cup and walked out of the hospital and down to the trailer. Around the far side where the main door was, was stuck a note to say the clinic was being held in the hospital today. Leaving a little blue air around me I turned and made my way up the car park back to whence I’d just come. I found the waiting area and sat. There were only 3 people there before me. It turned out two of them weren’t there for that clinic so I didn’t have long to wait.

I went in, read the charts as requested, had the atropine drops applied, went blind, and waited back in the waiting area for the pics. They weren’t long in being done and I was free, so donning my dark glasses I left. I walked back into town taking the flatter route this time and avoiding getting killed by the traffic made my way over to the bus stop. The sun is actually shining today but I still think the dark glassed drew a few funny looks. The bus was crowded and stressful as I had to walk past everyone to take a seat near the back. I hated it. The journey was mercifully short though. When I got off I headed to post a letter then paid a visit to Pauline’s. She looked at me, but to her credit never said a word. She got my lottery tickets, thanked me and said goodbye. I made it back home safely and eventually remembered to change glasses when I realised the day just wasn’t that dull. I took my pre-food tablet and waited counting the seconds until I could have lunch. Chips and curry sauce today. Mmm, then a chocolate pud to follow.

Being so late I couldn’t take time off for Father Brown so I went straight to work. At 2.00 pm I had a text from Mike to say he was on his way. I reckoned he’d be here at 4.30 pm. He was, just as I was going to watch the Antiques Road Trip so his timing was good. I still had plenty of work but I’d go back to it after the programme. I made Mike’s drink and we enjoyed watching the dealers together. At 5.15 pm I came back through until 6.00 pm when Eggheads started. I was nearly up to date. Mike was fast asleep in his chair but I woke him so he wouldn’t miss it.At 6.30 pm I made us something to eat then decided to stay until 9.00 pm, at whch point I flew back to my room to work. I was doing well and even remembered to take my 10.00 pm tablets. But seeing Mike reminded me of a site I’d seen showing varieties of catfish and plecs and I told him to come and look for a couple of minutes. That stretched into at least half an hour as we ooh’d and aah’d at the types we’d like in our tanks. Finally I got back to work and reached a point where I was clear if I didn’t refresh at 11.10 pm. I answered an email from Yvonne about Reuben who is not well again. A high temperature and now he’s come out in a huge rash. Poor little soldier, he’s forever in the wars. After that I was able to start the blog and it’s just the Witching hour now so if you hear any howls, ignore them, it’s just me.

Friday.

I got to bed at 12.30 am and then read for an hour. Obviously it’s my own fault if Somnos or Porcinus had seen a chance to kick some ass-mine. But Woo-Hoo it was 6.03 am before I woke up and swung myself out of bed. I felt like my birthday was still going on. Obviously that feeling was never going to last but hey, you take what you can get. I bolted fro the loo before my bladder gave up it’s grip on the tidal wave waiting to breach the sea wall. I was relieved when I made it ( and yes, pun intended). I actually had my last antibiotic on my desk as I’d kept the box there yesterday so I didn’t forget the doses. I think something could be said about stable doors and horses at this point but I won’t if you don’t. I took the tablet and wandered into the kitchen, turning on the main light and also the tank light. I knew everyone was waiting with an air of anticipation because they were all on the bottom with their tails quivering. I thought it was just food until suddenly Big Al and Pepper flashed in front of my face from one end of the tank to another. It was a race, and Pepper won by a head.Big Al turned with a swish of the tail and showed no dejection but you could see some of the tails ceased to quiver and slumped. I’m not sure if the race was the result of a take-over bid by Pepper but he swam over and placed himself under the flap.There were a few waggles of the tail and I knew what he wanted but I just couldn’t do it to Big Al despite the little disagreements we’ve had. Eventually Pepper moved away. As Big Al started to swim from the far end to this end I waited until he passed beneath the flap and put the food in. He swam on as if nothing had happened but what a change in the others, droopy fins and tails came up and those that had been erect in pride went down. I think I just saved the day for Big Al.

All of this messing had cost me time when I should have been working but I couldn’t go yet. First I had to take all my meds then I had to refill the meds drawer and from there, refill my pill dispenser. Then I was able to make my coffee and go. It was almost 7.10 am. I managed to get some work done and then at 8.00 am Mikes first Alarm went off. I headed for the kitchen, boiled the kettle and made a drink. I took it through and gave Mike his first Call. I was hopeful that it was going to be a one A , one C day and even said so as I spoke to him. I did get a “Yeah” but it was unconvincing. At 8.10 am the second Alarm went off and was subsequently silenced, I had to give him a few minutes in case he was coming round but I heard nothing. At 8.17 am I went to the door and Called that his coffee was going cold. He’d already turned over in my direction at the alarm and now raised his head in acknowledgment. I returned to work once more and moments later heard him pad through to the lounge to commence his early day coughing and spluttering.Fortunately he goes elsewhere for his early day motions. I finished the message I was on and joined him in the lounge.”A two A , two C day” I told him and just got a nod in return.

By 8.20 am he was fit and dressed and ready to go to his dad’s. I wished him a safe journey and came back to work in earnest. I was at it continuously until 11.40 am when I stopped because the Warden would probably be due and as soon as she’d gone I wanted my lunch. I was just finishing my last message to a friend when I heard the door, not difficult as it’s directly opposite my room. It was the Warden. She stayed ten or fifteen minutes as she asked how I was doing this week, asked if there was anything she could do for me ( I behaved), we talked about the fish, her living alone, babysitting and my leg. The company was nice. For some reason I felt/feel lonely today, incredibly sad and not a little self-pitying. After she left I but some bacon under the grill and bunged some micro chips in the ‘Bing’ machine. While they were doing I buttered some bread and got a yoghurt out. I enjoyed a nice little feast in front of Bargain Hunt. After I’d washed up I returned to work. At 2.15 pm I ducked out for Father Brown then came back again until 4.15 pm when I thought I was up to date. I was going to leave the room when Yvonne sent an email with pictures of Reuben which to me looked like the start of measles. It’s going to be spotty muldoon season one way or another. I hope she gets to see someone for a diagnosis . She did and was told it’s just a viral infection ( again) but his temperature has started to come down now so perhaps he’ll be happier.

Under the weather.

Under the weather.

I’d just got to the TV when Mike walked in. He generally lets me know when he’s on his way but I think he was trying to catch me entertaining. Ha, fat chance. We watched the Road Trip and a quiz together then because I said I needed a trim he told me to get my ar*e into gear and into a chair in the middle of the kitchen floor. I did as he asked but with heart in mouth. I may have dropped one or two totally unintentional insults on him and the grin on his face said Payback Time. I did check he had the right number cutting blade before I’d let him turn it on. He started, quite a lot of brown with some white hair started landing on the cape and sliding to the floor as my shaking knees wouldn’t let it rest. Then he started on my sideburns and beard and the snow on the floor grew and grew. He changed blades to the lowest and took even more off my beard and straightened up the nape of my neck and edges of my ears? All of a sudden the trimmer went down and I felt him tug my moustache. I thought it was about to be trimmed, but no, he started curling the length  of it until I looked like Salvador Dali ( his favourite artist). I wasn’t too keen on that so he tried another shape which though better was still not exactly me. He applied some hair wax to just one side and stuck it out at an angle, the other side just curled up to it’s original shape which I could cope with.

Before I had a shower Mike gave me a shave as my hands were shaking enough to cut my throat though he said he’d prefer that but only if he could do it. That went quickly and well. He washed my hair and then I had a shower. All night I’ve been sneezing because of bits of hair about and I swear I’ve swallowed a ton, correction, tried to swallow a ton but it won’t go down,it just irritates my throat. After the shower Mike made himself a sandwich while I saw to a Christmas pud and custard between us. We watched some more TV including a programme from the 1960’s with folk singers, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul and  Mary amongst others. About 8.30 pm I nodded off during Who Do You Think You Are and was out for 15 mins. As I came to and had my snoring insulted I got up and left him snore free and came through here. There had been a lot of activity between 4.30 pm and 9.00 pm unfortunately so I just did the best I could until 11.00 pm when I needed to start the blog. It’s now 12.15 am and as there’s shopping in the morning the rest of the mail will have to wait until tomorrow.

Saturday.

It seems the generosity of the last couple of days….wasn’t. Brother Jake tells me Somnos has been away to a big meeting of the little gods and left is brothers in charge. Seems they were having a bit of a party and forgot. This morning made up for it. After not getting to bed until 12.30 am and having a read, Somnos obviously thought getting me up at 2.52 am was a good idea. What the idea was I don’t know since he hasn’t deigned to show himself yet.                                                       By the time I’d hopped to the loo and come back is was gone 3.00 am before I powered up the computer and faced the mail. There was quite a lot of it but I was almost clear by 6.00 am when I went through to the kitchen. I was halfway there when I realised that without the antibiotics I could revert back to my old time of 7.00 am. “Ah well, too late now” I thought as I arrived at the kitchen. I put the main light on and then the tank light.

Sharkey was playing ‘tag’ with a couple of the plecs though I don’t think he treated it as a game. I still get the impression of cows being herded with the plecs but they are lovely looking characters. My hoplos were performing nicely up and down, up and down and of course Morecambe and Wise broke off what they were doing to come see me. Pepper and Big Al were resting in a corner and Little Al was in attendance dancing with the bronze corys. The minute I opened the flap it became the centre of everyone’s attention. Food went it and it turned into the Klondike Gold Rush in there.                                                                                                                                              I had my meds and returned to my room until I heard Mike’s first Alarm go off at 7.00 am. I went back to the kitchen and made a coffee which I took through with a Call of “Come in number 9, your time is up” Don’t ask why as I don’t know. I came away.  tried a bit more mail until I heard the second Alarm at which time I prepared myself with a sigh to go pour cold water down his ear. Someone warned him as I heard him doing his soft shoe shuffle through to the lounge. I have to admit I was very impressed a 2 A  - 1 C day. Despite that we still didn’t get to leave the house until 8.00 am. Next week I’m starting at 6.30 am.

It was cold this morning and showing minus 2 when we got in the car but there was no frost like we’d had yesterday. Because of this he drove like a maniac to make up time. If he passed a slow car you saw him lean over and snarl out of the window, it fair put the wind up the men in the police car I tell you. When we reached the store I headed for the cash machines but there were so many people around I had to put my mask away with BANKER across the forehead and use my card instead. Mike got a trolley and off we went. Mike said we didn’t need flowers this week so it was potatoes first then a special offer kitchen cleaner, not to be eaten together.We worked our way round the sale section and bought NOTHING and the household section the same, until we finally came back to food. I thought I’d put some in the basket this week for a change. We were fairly quick through the checkout and headed for a coffee. We were both dry this morning. I picked up cigarette supplies then visited the photographic print shop where I found some fantastic frames. We loaded up the car and set off for the new fish shop.

Talk about a difficult place to find, and we were using a sat-nag. We did eventually find it and the inside really contradicted the rather scruffy outside. Clean, roomy and bright with the tanks of fish all set out logically in types. There were also snakes, lizards and horribubble spiders there as well as all the equipment for taking care of everything. A new tank from there would cost me £440 so that won’t be anytime soon then and unfortunately there were none of the fish I wanted. I did buy a piece of bogwood though and the owner explained that if I gave him a list of what I wanted he’d try to get them for me. I need to do a bit more homework on which catfish will be 6″ maximum. He did have a beauty there which I knew would outgrow my tank easily by reaching probably 2 feet. He’d never turn round in the current tank at that size. We took our leave and headed for Flint. We haven’t been for two weeks so they haven’t had their chocolates in Temptations. When we arrived we found out Ceri was off skiving somewhere again so we’ll have to wait another week for banter.

From Temptations we had a look at the local pet shop fish tanks which were very poor from our point of view. We went round another couple of shops  then  with the time approaching 1.00 pm we set off for The Ivy and our lunch. We were shocked when we got there and saw how many cars were in the car park. Mike said (with heavy sarcasm) how disappointed he’d be if they’d given our table away. They had! But as luck would have it, the adjoining one was free. We dropped our coats and Tariq came over and said to follow him. Puzzled, we did and he showed us his new set up for printing on the premises. You can now have a picture taken in his photographic studio and within a short while have it on a mug, tee shirt, apron , mousemat etc. He’s a real entrepreneur. Angie and Rob said hello as we went back through and sorted our drinks. As another crowd came in we had to rush our order a bit. No problem for me, double bacon sandwiches and a small portion of chips. Mike had a roast gammon dinner. We enjoyed it and spoke to everyone in passing as they were so busy. Eventually it was time to go. Hugs from Tariq but I missed out with Angie this week. It was gone 3.00 pm when we got in and half past by the time the shopping was away. I flew into my room after making Mike a coffee knowing he usually lets me get away with it until about 6.00 pm.He wanted to watch 2 episodes of a serial he watches which he was putting on at 4.00 pm and they were an hour each so I knew I was safe.

I worked the skin off my finger bones and usually had to wait till it grew back before I could carry on. There was just so much mail I had to type with the bones clicking together like knitting needles. I should have had a scarf ready by now. By 6.00 pm I had about 20 left on one account and about half that on he other. It had to wait. Mike put a Big Bang Theory on neither of us had seen before (How??) then afterwards I mentioned I’d heard Endeavour was due on so he checked and I’d missed it on 22nd Jan, he called it up On Demand. It was an enthralling episode which lasted 90 minutes and I was devastated when it ended on a cliffhanger as it hasn’t been on since that date and isn’t due on this week. I’ll be annoyed if I miss it. So at 8.30 pm I was allowed to escape again after I’d bribed him with some chocolate. Up to 103 and 41 again. I had to stop work at 11.00 pm to see to the blog but will inevitably have to go back in a few minutes.

I wish you all a Wonderful New Week.

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Feet of Flame & Get Thee Behind Me

Sunday 25th January 2015.

Stop whatever you’re doing right now ( unless it’s reading my blog of course) and give thanks for the munificence, the magnanimity of the lesser god Somnos and his brothers (that I know about ) Porcinus and (My) Brother Jake. Last night it was gone midnight when I posted my blog and I still had some messages to answer. When I finally got to bed it was gone 12.30 am so that it was 1.20 am before my light went out. Sleep did not come easily due to ‘tickle leg syndrome’ which is a name I  just invented for a very annoying condition. But, did the great Somnos get me up at my usual time? NO, in his kindness he allowed me to sleep until 5.24 am, may blessings rain about him. I actually felt as though I’d slept.

By the time I’d done my skip to the loo routine and returned to the bedroom the computer was ready to go. There was a lot of mail ( Yay, for Sunday mornings) but I only had time to respond to two messages before it was antibiotic time. I went through to the kitchen and turned the overhead light on. Such excitement in the tank. I had to watch for a minute before turning on the tank light. The fish had been more or less in the corners but having ‘seen the light’ they flew to the centre of the tank, sat on their tails and waited for the great hatch in the sky to be opened and provide bounty. All except for Big Al who stayed in his corner quietly contemplating whatever fish contemplate. I opened the hatch and to their great joy fed them. It was fun watching them push little pellets about with their noses like footballers dribbling but not much fun if every player has their own ball. I closed the hatch and started to turn away. Big Al turned his head slightly and gave me what seemed a sorrowful look and with a slight shrug he turned back. I could hear the implied sigh even if I couldn’t see a cause. I’m not much of a fish psychologist am I?

I had my sprays then poured some milk and took my antibiotic followed by the morning meds. Adding two sweeteners to the remainder of the milk I used the Tassimo to make a coffee. I think when the latest batch of pods are used up I might revert back to the old style of making hot drinks as I only have the one a day at home. It doesn’t seem worth   occupying the space with a machine now for that. I took my drink back to the bedroom and started work. It’s always a delight on a Sunday morning to look at the comments on the blog. You can’t jut write it an say that’s that. It’s important to know if people enjoy it, if they enjoy the music videos or if they think it’s just inane chatter and I should be doing something better with my time. The odd thing is, I AM doing something better with my time but it’s nowhere near as popular. (Yet)  https://lorddavidprosser1.wordpress.com/

By 9.00 am my eyes were going and I was about to dent my forehead on the edge of my desk. I went to get washed and dressed hoping that would wake me up. It didn’t so I had top admit defeat and sit in the lounge. Wham! I was gone and didn’t resurface until 9.35 am . I returned to work. Perhaps I wasn’t quite as with it as usual but I soon regretted the placement of the K & L on my keyboard. I referred to a fried Jane as Kane and hoped someone had a wonderfuk week which though I’m sure they might have appreciated it, I caught in time. Dammitall, If I can’t, why should they? I just kept ploughing on but by 10.15 am I was still only around the 6 am mark. I heard sounds from Mike’s room and broke off to prepare a coffee.  He strolled into the lounge at 10.30 am and I only had to pour it and carry it through. I used the term stroll but it was more of  disgruntled shuffle really, I swear he begrudged getting up, but he didn’t hold me directly responsible so that was good. Not that it would have helped him, my hands were shaking so much, one wrong word would have earned him a coffee shampoo and this week his son Anton got the clippers so there’s not much hair left to cushion the head.

I stayed with him a few minutes deciding what we were doing today to see if he remembered fish. He did. But there was obviously no rush at all. By the time he’d finished his drink, washed and dressed we weren’t leaving the house until 11.50 am. We decided to lunch in Prestatyn where we’d been before Christmas and earned a 20% off voucher, that way I could look for some greetings cards I needed. All we had to so was keep an eye on the time as the fish shop in Rhyl close at 4.00 pm.

I ound what I needed for now an after going in a couple of other shops looking for car coats for Mike we set off for Rhyl. There was a shop we needed there too to get a container for some plants for Mike. We were successful but now it was nearing 3.00 pm. We burnt rubber, so I got him to take the handbrake off and we left. It was a little more difficult to find the shop from this new direction but we made it. We both trawled the tanks ( fish- trawled- geddit) until aftera while Mike decided on two hoplo catfish like he got me last week. I settled on a 6″ synodontis that looked like a hoplo but which I had to reject when I found out it ate small fish. Instead I found a nice 2″ pepper catfish and a couple of bronze corys. (Like Little Al but lovely colours.)

Pepper Catfish

Pepper Catfish

Bronze Cory

Bronze Cory

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We came home and Mike dropped me off so I could get the fish in while he drove home to get his fish in his tank as soon as possible. I came through to work for 20 minutes while the bag with the fish in adjusted it’s temperature to that of the tank. The amount of work gave me heart failure, my main address had 249 messages waiting. There were 48 on the other after I got rid of duplicates. I managed to do three in 20 minutes then went through and added water from the tank to the bag. Another five or six messages in the next twenty minutes then I went through and released them. They seemed to be fine. Not sure I was though. It was 11.07 when I got to a stage where I was clear (before refreshing) and able to start the blog. It’s been a funny old day again.

PARTY ANIMAL 3 USE

 

 

PARTY ANIMAL 2 USE

Monday.

Early morning note. I think this is WAR. I finished the blog at 12.10 am , did just two emails of a personal nature and went to bed at 12.25 am. In an effort to confuse the issue I slept in Mike’s bed since he’s not here and most definitely has no trouble with Somnos. It’s dark in there and has no light from a clock as does my room, so when I turned the light off at 1.00 am after a short read, I expected to go to sleep right away. I took a short while to get comfortable  but I don’t think it was too long. When I woke up I felt OK  I came through here via the loo and turned on the computer before noticing the clock. 2.41 am. It’s WAR. But first. I’m going to do a few emails, leave the computer on and try and sneak an extra sleep in my chair in the lounge. I hope to report my success tonight.

I have to report IT WORKED. The computer being on must have fooled him. I did my last email at 4.10 am then casually sneaked away. I slept in my chair until 7.28 am. That’s about a 5 hour night. The only problem with this of course is that I was late for my 6.00 am antibiotic and I was late for the fish. I moved with as much speed as I could muster. Te kitchen light gave cause for a celebration of the dawn and the tank light for enhanced celebration of the new day. The fish were squiggling everywhere with two notable exceptions. The young synodontis had not emerged from their hideaway and Big Al was in a corner with the new Pepper catfish face to face. I don’t know whether they were having a friendly chat or whether there is a regime change on the way. Pepper has the edge on size. I opened the hatch and stuck in some food. Things changed immediately. Morecambe and Wise darted to break some of their flake off rapidly followed by Sharkey who nibbled a good chunk before taking it downstairs to eat. Meanwhile, the only activity downstairs was finding a pellet and keeping it. That meant a few bumped noses, but no fights. I closed the lid and left them to it, just catching the emergence of the synodontis for their share as I turned. As usual my next job was my meds and a coffee to take through.

When I came back through I refreshed my emails and carried on as though there had been no break. Obviously this new batch was quite high but I knew I could whittle it down. I was still whittling at 9.30 am when my phone beeped to say there was a message. It was MuJo about a visit. The snow must have moved from there. I said ” Great, see you later then.” and got half dressed. I left off my shirt/jumper until nearer the time and gave the socks a miss too. I realised I needed to do a batch of washing so put the machine on for an hour and a half cycle. I hope to be able to start the drying before we go out for lunch. Then back to work. There was a message from one of the Freebie sites about some new Gillette razors so I took a chance and entered. I was also offered an Amazon gift card for an amount of £2 and above in exchange for some shopping information. I thought Why Not and started filling in the form. I came to a dead halt when I saw they wanted my phone number and it wasn’t optional. That’s where I stopped and exited from the site. £2 from Amazon isn’t compensation enough for all the annoying phone calls you get when they’ve finished selling your address and phone number on. Mike had charged up and left his smokenosmoke kit for me to try when he left. I sat here taking a few puffs while I went through the rest of the freebies site to see if there was anything else I wanted. It seems a bit strange to be smoking plums.

The washing machine finished before MuJo arrived at 11.10 am so I was able to set it to dry, that’s always pot luck as to which cycle it goes on as I don’t separate the laundry before it goes in. I wonder if Somnos has a brother in charge of washing machine cycles? MuJo arrived and I made drinks then we caught up on what’s been happening in our lives before I made the effort to dress properly. I left the socks and my shoes till last. John suggested the chippie for lunch and neither Muriel nor I objected as it’s been a while so off we went. It was bitter outside with a lazy wind. I was glad I was wearing a thick jumper under my jacket. Even so, I decided it would be a coat day tomorrow. The lunch was very nice but very filling. After we left the cafe to go to a couple of shops I could tell there was a problem. I was on my moped, and I had to keep veering away from people so they didn’t hear anything. Especially the young who already hold enough beliefs about anyone with a grey hair. Yes, I know mine are white but I wasn’t being specific to me. OK? Rather than go inside the shops I stood outside smoking. I’d left my cigarettes and lighter at home but as luck would have it, I was still carrying the cigarillos I’d bought a week ago Saturday, and was carrying a spare lighter.

When we reached the car to head to Flint I was desperately holding myself in check. When we finally arrived I almost stumbled out of the car and was surprised the trapped gas didn’t carry me away. Then the gas became untrapped but MuJo were on the other side of the car by then. I risked a quick trip round Aldi to get some chocolates for my girls at Temptations and things seemed to settle a bit. Muriel got the shopping she needed and we got back in the car and headed for Temptations and our coffee. It was Kyle and Sian on the counter today as Ceri was off. Maybe they’ll save her a chocolate. We enjoyed the drink then went off to get some new swim goggles for Mu as the chlorine in her local pool was bad last week. John an I crossed the square to B & M Bargains ( known as BUM) while Muriel put some stuff in the car. The (actual ) wind was awful, really cold so we were glad to get indoors. Mu joined us and they bought a new single bed quilt while I amazingly bought nothing. We headed for home. John had a drink while Mu went to get their lottery in case the forecasted snow stops them getting out on Wednesday and beyond. The weather is less kind to them in Ty Nant than here on the coast. Because they’d bought frozen food in Flint they were soon on their way home again. As it was 4.15 pm I saw no point i going back to work. I made myself a sandwich for the sake of my tablets then watched the Antiques Road Trip. If I’m to be completely honest here (spoilsports), I watched some of it then woke up at 5.30 pm during the next programme. I came through.

Well, I’ve been here ever since, whittling away again. There were only 163 on one site and about 16 that actually needed answering on the other but it all takes time. I broke off from the mail at 11.05 to do the blog and then if I have chance will go back to the mail until midnight. Anything left can wait for the morning. Let’s go see what today’s music will be.

Tuesday.

I don’t wake up slowly. One moment I’m asleep and the next I’m awake. I think that’s a good thing. I mean it doesn’t make you any brighter as attested to by the number of times I’ve woken and got up half an hour after falling asleep. It can’t actually make you look at a clock. Because I normally sleep either on my back, so sitting up would mean I see the clock or on my right side where a glance gets me the time I’ve figured out that the times I must hiccup must be where my sleeping position changes. As it happens I slept on my left side last night because I’d had a problem getting comfortable, but I did remember to check the clock when I woke. It was 4.40 am. I was awake but it didn’t guarantee my brain was in gear hence the slight confusion at finding I couldn’t get out of bed because there was a wall in my way. Who would have built that overnight and why. A couple of tries was enough to just nudge the gear lever into place and I turned over and got out of bed the proper side. There is one thing to this, at least you can never say I got out of bed the wrong side.

Following my regular trip to the loo I settled down in front of the ‘puter and faced my emails. Time just went nowhere and t seemed moments before I was off to the kitchen for my antibiotic. First off I thought I’d do the fish but before putting their light on I stood watching them for a couple of minutes. There was activity but it wasn’t frenetic, just a very relaxing flow to their movement. The ones I could see most clearly were the two hoplos and Sharkey. I could see Morecambe and Wise but the overhead light didn’t penetrate the tank enough to distinguish which was which. I had to move a bit closer to make out the bronze corys and the two synodontis. The plecs I couldn’t see as their camouflage is too good and they tend to be still. Then I saw Big Al lined up in a corner and right next to him in what seemed perfect companionship was Pepper. I’m beginning to wonder about those two and just hope their parents gave them ‘The Talk’. No wonder I haven’t had any clashes with Big Al for the last couple of days. I was wondering what had been happening to Little Al without his mentor but just then he zipped into view and swam with the bronze corys. Fish obviously hold no prejudices. I flicked the tank light on , there was an air of expectancy so I fed them.

I took my antibiotic and the rest of my meds then made a coffee. I must have been more occupied than I thought as I noticed it was almost 6.30 am. I needed to get dressed. Id solved the problem of indecision by choosing my clothes last night. I’d even got two overcoats out of the wardrobe in case the snow had come early but the ground outside looked fine so I could go in my leather jacket. One washed and dressed I was able to go back to the emails and my coffee.  Twenty past seven came quickly and I hadn’t finished all the mail but it would wait. I got my shoes on, sorted out two bags of gifts I had ready to take, knew I couldn’t manage the third, put my jacket and gloves on, grabbed my crutches and went out the door. I’d made a rod for my own back trying to get uphill to the bus stop laden down with bags. I finally made it, gasping for air as the bus came.Dammit, one minute earlier and he could have picked me up lower down the hill. I settled in my seat and tried to doze to make the journey seem faster.

Getting off the bus one of my crutches slipped and I nearly came a cropper. I composed myself as I stepped down as Yvonne and Reuben were there to greet me. He really seemed excited to see me and he’s really making an effort saying Pops. Yvonne took the bags off me and admonished me for carrying such a weight. It was ten minutes before our cafe opened so we had a wander round one of the shops.I bought some cold pads for my ankle. Then we went for coffee asking Reuben to push the button for the lift which he can’t reach but he pushes at a keyhole and thinks that works. I sat and we put Reuben in a chair next to me while Yvonne went up to order. In the meantime she passed me two bags of birthday gifts to open. The girl who tells me off for carrying weight to her, is giving me as much weight to carry home. There was a cardigan in beautiful browns, some bedding, a box of mint chocolates and an assortment of (big) books. The card from  Reuben carried a picture of him and I on it. We had toast and drinks then Yvonne started going through the bags I’d brought. A duffle coat for Reuben and some chocolate, some beer for Ugo and Irish coffee drink for her with some toiletries, and a jar of good coffee to take on their little holiday next week.

After coffee we had a look round the store we were in. I managed to get about ten items of clothing for Reuben from here and by dint of snatching while she was looking away, a black jumper for Yvonne too. The girl on the till had to tell us to stop squabbling though she meant Yvonne of course. One of the others just said      “You can pay for my shopping if you like.” That spurt of shopping had taken a while so we wandered down the street looking in the odd one until we reached the precinct where I had another coffee before going for the bus. Yvonne had some iced water which I had to keep feeding Reuben sips of.

Pop's boy 2

 

 

 

 

 

Pop's boy 5

They walked me back to the bus stop when Yvonne had a call from the doctor about my leg. There’s a doctor coming out at lunchtime tomorrow. I don’t know why as it’s doing OK. I had to leave them talking as I saw my bus in. A quick kiss each and lots of waves from Reuben and I was aboard preparing to doze again. The journey wasn’t too bad. Wen I got off at this end though I knew I wanted to pee. That blew my plans of getting a nice (healthy) sandwich for my lunch, and also the stop at Pauline’ to pick up a TV magazine and some cigarettes. Instead I was just trying to pick up speed all the way. By the time I reached the front door I was desperate and doing an imitation of Feet of Flame on the doorstep while I got my keys out.  I opened the door threw the shopping bags down , stumbled over them and just made it. I spent a while putting things away and then went to check the emails. It was 1.30 pm.

At 4.30 pm I broke off work at about halfway through to watch Antique Road Trip. I swore I’d stay awake for the auction this time.  I didn’t, and woke up again at 5.30 pm during the next programme. I turned the TV off and returned to work.The break seemed to ave done both me and the computer some good and I flew through the remaining messages. At 7.00 pm I was even brave enough to refresh the screen and to go in and check my second account.Yes, I’m stupid, I admit it. By 8.00 pm I was getting frustrated at the slowness of my screen. Rather than swear at it and have it going off altogether in a sulk, I decided to take another me-time break and watch a little Big Bang Theory. At 9.00 pm the rest seemed to have done the computer some good and it had speeded up for me. Of course more mail had arrived but hey, into every life a little rain a bloody great deluge must fall. I worked till 10.00 pm. took my tablets and worked some more. At 10.50 pm the last message was done ( yes, without refreshing) and I was able to do this blog post.

R.I.P Demis Roussos who died today 27th Jan 2015.

Wednesday.

I got up at 2.38 an and went back to bed at 12.39 am once I’d seen the time properly and let Somnos have his little joke of me having about five minutes worth of sleep. I did manage to drop off again without too much trouble.

Shall we try again. I got up at 3.06 am There seemed to be a bit of a breeze outside and I wondered whether the snow storm might have started. I checked out of the lounge window, not a sign. Still. there’s quite a lot of day to go before I can say the forecasters got it wrong again. To be fair it must be likely now as so many predictions say it’s imminent. After the lounge I went to the bathroom on a bladder call before coming back to boot up.First job was to check my bank and yes my pension was there along with two paltry sums from Amazon for what looks like the sale of a paperback and 3 e-books. I live to eat another day.It’s not exactly going viral is it. lol. I loaded up my mail and checked the lottery while I was waiting. There’s another disappointment. I don’t know who they’re employing but they certainly don’t seem to pull the right numbers out. One out of five numbers they gave me. What good is that?

There was plenty of post this morning so I got my head down and beavered away at it. At 5.55 am there appeared a natural break before a long email so I decided to deal with the kitchen. Big Al and Pepper came across to the front of the tank together. It’s like prisoner and escort. Big Al just doesn’t seem happy but I’m keeping an eye open for any “Help me, I’m being held hostage” messages on the glass. Maybe Pepper really is a lady with a strong personality, ” We’re getting married and that’s that”. Everyone else put in an appearance except the two shy synodontis which are still hiding in their shell and must eat when I’m gone. I fed them and left them all in peace. My tablets were the next job and my sprays, once those were done I could make my drink. I took it through and carried on working until 8.20 am when I was almost up to date. I spent some time getting washed and dressed. To have a break from the screen I sat in the lounge once I was ready. Naturally I fell asleep and only woke at 9.10 am. The wind was howling outside and there seemed to be occasional bursts of hail. I’d better go to Pauline’s while it was still safe. I got what I needed and came home. Back to the computer as more post had come in since I’d been away. That kept me going until midday when I went to take my foodie tablet before lunch. I put an old Jimmy Steward film on the box, Bell, Book and Candle. What an amazing part he played and how well behaved was the heavily manhandled cat Pyewacket. I decided to stay on that channel till it finished and I ate my lunch in front of it.

At 1.00 pm I went back to work for half an hour then came through to wait for the doctor. She arrived at 1.50 pm and after checking the leg decided after another week of these antibiotics I should be OK. I was reminded that should it ever flare up again I must let the surgery know immediately. I asked her if that was likely and was told yes. After she’d gone, put socks and shoes on and walked in the wind up to the chemist’s which in the village is also the Post Office . I handed over the prescription to be dealt with, then to save wasting time, went to take something to the Post Office side . When I’d done there my prescription was ready. Ready to face the wind again I left and came home. I took my right sock off and went back to work straight away, no Father Brown for me today. I worked hard until 4.30 pm and was making great progress but it was time to break off for the Road Trip. That finished at 5.15 pm and it wasn’t worth going  back to work as the guys could be here at any time. I went and prepared their cups after checking there were no texts on my phone cancelling because of a blizzard elsewhere.

It was almost 5.45 pm when Dil and Matt arrived. Not because they’d fought their way through a blizzard but because of road works on the expressway. I made the drinks while they watched the end of Pointless. Out came the table, the Yahtzee, the cards and we were ready to go. There was a text from Lee to say he couldn’t make it and probably not next week either. We started on the Yahtzee. As usual I lost the first game but then a Winter Miracle happened and I won the next four on the trot with multiple Yahtzees. I lost the final game but who cares, I had the overall win- In Yahtzee!! I was so elated we were four hands into Nomination before I realised it and they were four hands where I hadn’t won my call, but both Dil and Matt had. A couple more hands went the same way and it was time to pull up my  socks, or in this case sock. I started a come back until after a hard fought battle I won. Now the knives were out. We started the Crazy 8’s and I was getting, 7’s dropped on me with some regularity, then the accumulative 2’s and 3’s started being dropped on me. From a zero point first hand my score started climbing. Matt was pleased as he was not only chief instigator, he was currently winning.It took all kinds of connivance to get things turned round so that Dil’s score went up tremendously and Matt’s score at least began to approach mine. I couldn’t quite do enough though. We took Dil’s score over the top but Matt and I ended level. He wanted to settle it with Rock, Paper, Scissors but I wouldn’t play unless we added Lizard and Spock like they do on Big Bang Theory.

It was 9.30 pm and the boys had to leave and face the non-blizzard going home. I tidied up, washed the pots and made myself some sandwiches as I’d only eaten once today. Roast beef and raw red onion, wonderful. I ate them while working. I managed to clear the post and do the blog for midnight.

Thursday.

4.46 am today. I was on my left side but my brain accepted I had to turn over and get out of bed that side. That’s over 3 hours of sleep, could it have something to do with sleeping on that side? Trouble is, I could try to go to sleep on that side with no guarantee that I’d still be on that side in the morning. Still it might be worth a try. After a trip to the loo I came back and signed in to find plenty of messages waiting. I started work thinking to myself I never worked this hard when I had a job. But stupidly, I did. At 6.00 am I broke off to see to my antibiotic and the fish. I crept into the kitchen and didn’t turn the overhead light on intending to surprise the fish and see what they were up to or whether they were still in bed. What an idiot. Because it was dark I knocked a bottle over near the tank which then fell on the floor with a clatter and woke the whole street, never mind the fish. When I turned their light on they were flitting back and forth in agitation which is just up the road from Wrexham I think.. Well, most were but not all. I was on the point of covering my eyes with my hand when I realised I have no idea how fish ‘DO IT’ but Pepper was laying on top of Big Al and I think the Big Bang Theory went out the window as the noise hadn’t disturbed them in the least. Am I in at the start of a budding romance or does Big Al just make a suitable pillow?

The other fish calmed down a bit at the sound of my voice and even more at the sound of the hatch. I put food in for them and watched as they all ( correction, nearly all) tried to follow their own bit of food as it floated down through the water. Pepper and Big Al separated ready for breakfast but I couldn’t see my synodontis ( don’t be vulgar madam, it’s a fish). No doubt I’d catch them later.I took my sprays, the antibiotic and my other meds then made a coffee to take back with me. 8.01 am saw me finish the last message on that account and open the second. There were just 5 to deal with on that one after I’d deleted the unimportant and he duplicates. By 8.20 am I was in the lounge watching Frazier. Though not for long If I’m honest as I quickly nodded of to the sound. I slept until 9.07 am theen came through to get dressed before going to Pauline’s for my lottery. I could see there was no snow on the ground though everywhere was wet. When I went out I could see why as there was snow and sleet falling together. No way it was going to stick.

Coming back I was walking into the lazy wind that was pushing the sleet at my face. I was glad to get in again. I checked the forecast on the computer and it says the snow will be falling tonight. Being coastal we may continue to be lucky. I went back to work. Things were steady up till lunch time when I broke off to eat. Then what a shock. The roofs were white and the grassy areas too. It was snowing great big flakes but quite slowly. The paths were quite wet still and nothing was sticking there. While I was making lunch it must have stopped, I didn’t notice. They’re still saying it will be heavy tonight. I enjoyed my lunch of chips in curry sauce, I enjoyed the episode of Murder She Wrote that I saw, I even enjoyed the little Zzzzzzz session I enjoyed straight after the programme albeit for just half an hour.I had three quarters of an hour to work in before Father Brown. I managed that and made good progress because of my guilt. Not that I was guilty enough to work through the programme though. It finished at 3.00 pm and it gave me an hour and a half this time to work before the Antiques Road Trip. I worked so well in this period I was actually up to date five minutes before I needed to be. I had time enough to stroll through nonchalantly.

I enjoyed the programme and managed to stay awake. It finished at 5.15 pm but I got engrossed in the first few minutes of a quiz. My period of absorption was brought to an end when my phone beeped. It was a message from Mike to say he was on his way to me from Manchester. It would take at least an hour so there was chance to get up to date again and be ready to spend some time with him. That’s what I did and at 6.15 pm came through to see to his mug and put the kettle on. I hadn’t eaten my second meal of the day and was eyeing up a chocolate gateau that had followed me home this morning. Little twinges of conscience told me I should wait till Mike arrived and offer him some. Bigger twinges of conscience suggested I offer it all to him. Before I could get consciences foot out of the door and close it, Mike arrived. He as carrying a small parcel. I was making his drink as he brought it through, a meal from the chipshop, and, oh no, extra chips for me. I was sure I was screaming out loud Get thee behind me but in fact it turned out I was buttering bread for a sandwich. My self esteem slumped lower when I had half the gateau anyway. OMG, fat camp next year.

I stayed with Mike a while then came through to catch up before heading back to watch a comedy at 9.00 pm. He was asleep in his chair. I had to wake him as he needs to sleep in bed so I can get him up tomorrow. Come to think of it maybe I should start trying now. At 10.00 pm I came through for the night and suggested Mike went to watch TV in bed. There’s been a series of programmes recently where one story dovetails into the next. I think it’s called Banana and he’s quite interested in it. It’s supposed to offer insight into something he doesn’t understand at all, which is being gay. At least he’s tolerant of an alternative lifestyle and not dismissive. I got to do some more work until 11.00 pm when I stopped to concentrate here.

Friday.

4.45 am today. I was robbed of another minute. That’s still somewhere short of 4 hours again. I’ll either start hallucinating soon or spend an entire day asleep and miss it.  First port of call was the loo to stop my bladder pressing on my heart.. I must learn to drink less in the evenings. Next up was to sign in and see how many messages were waiting.It was less than a hundred and livable with. I made a start. By 6.00 am I had made quite a dent in it and was actually smiling as I went towards the kitchen. I bet that worried the fish. I did the main light first and then the tank light. As I wished them Good Morning Morecambe and Wise both swam to the upper corner nearest me in response to the voice. Sharkey, Big Al, Little Al, the two bronze corys and one of the plecs were swimming in circles directly beneath the food slot. Pepper was in the bottom left corner, back to me as Big Al so often is. Of the other two plecs and my two synodontis there was no sign. I dropped some food in and was going to leave them to it when one plec appeared climbing the glass at the back and the two synodontis both appeared from a direction I hadn’t expected, the large amphora. I was really pleased to see them as I love their markings.

I had  my sprays and took all my meds which emptied my tablet tray so I started to fill it again. I didn’t need the instructions as it’s all second nature now. Once I’d returned my meds drawer I was free to make a coffee. As by now it was approaching 7.00 am there was no point in returning to work yet. I boiled the kettle and made Mike his coffee. He says he wants to be at his father’s at 9.30 am so he can make sure the screed is laid well today.I had to get him up at 7.00 am to accomplish this. I didn’t hear the first alarm though I’m sure it went off ( probably as I boiled the kettle). I however did make sure my voice was loud enough as I called  “Coffee’s up bro. You don’t have time to play with today.” “Why not” he asked. “because you have to get to your Dad’s” I told him. He went back to sleep. The alarm went off twice more and twice more it was turned off. Finally at almost half past I went to remind him his coffee was getting cold. ” I can’t get my legs to work” was the answer. A minute or two later I heard him move to the lounge. Leaving just a few messages in my box I went through to the lounge and joined him. He complained of a terrible night but I’d had no choice about waking him as he wanted to be at his fathers when the workmen came. He drank his coffee, went to get washed and dressed and finally left the house about 8.15 am. I’ve no idea when he’ll be back after the screed has been laid but chances are I’ll have the usual fun getting him up tomorrow to get to his Dad’s for the laying of the flooring.

I came back to work and stayed here on and off all morning. No sign of any snow outside but I still didn’t want to face the day. I tried to clear up a problem getting into Moonpig.com but decided the problem must be at their end. I had an email about an educational tablet for children reduced to £5 but which always went to £10 at the checkout. I sent the company an email and they sent back a code which I was able to use to order one. I’m not expecting Reuben to start spelling yet or do sums, but there’s a song facility which might keep him occupied for a while and might also keep his hands off his mum’s tablet. At 11.35 I broke off ready for lunch. I had sausage with sweet potato mash and onion gravy Mmmm Mmmm.                                                                                                                                                                                                 I watched Jessica Fletcher gt her man or woman in this case and it should have been called Accident She Wrote. Is it too late to ask for my money back under the Trades Description Act? I returned to hard labour straight afterwards and slogged away until 2.15 pm when it was time for Father Brown unfortunately I nodded off in that. I struggled back to work again but did get up to date which was handy as Mike returned from his father’s at 4.15 pm. As he’s going to be away again tomorrow I checked he was taking me shopping this evening. I put shoes and socks on (not necessarily in that order) then watched The Road Trip with Mike.

We were on our way out at 5.20 pm. I didn’t have the courage to shop where we usually go as I knew it would be crowded . Instead we stayed local. I did the bulk of the shopping in Lidl and I must have chosen the right time as it was comparatively empty. The last few items I got from Tesco which again wasn’t too bad but I was very quick. We came straight home, unpacked the shopping, enjoyed another Road Trip then Mastermind. Mike did himself some tea at the start of that. As soon as it was over I went for a shower. Mike did my hair for me as usual then returned to his TV while I, once the shower was over, came back to work. There was just so much of it. The only thought I had to keep me going was that with not shopping tomorrow I shouldn’t get into my usual stress-mess. I stopped doing the post at 11.00 pm or there would have been no time for this post. Anything not done can be dealt with in the morning.

Dead or Alive were a Liverpool group fronted by singer Pete Burns. Here’s how Pete Burns looked after plastic surgery. Think twice folks.

pete burns

Saturday.

4.06 this morning. Since it wasn’t an early night last night ( after I finished reading ) it’s just possible I’ve upset someone. If so, I don’t recall any dreams last night that would give me a hint. On the other hand it could be the weather that’s done it. Last night there was the sound of hail beating on the roof and carpeting the ground outside, and then the sound of furious rain throughout the night that almost had me coming back to the computer to invest in a boat, Noah’s Ark seemed appropriate. I am quite a light sleeper so sometimes these things disturb me though usually it would only be off key things that would make me get up ( not burglars obviously).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I attacked the mail after paying my usual homage to the gods of water. I thought there was quite a bit but suddenly at about 5.30 am I was done. I refreshed and did he few that came and I also opened my second email address and dealt with that. By 6.00 am I was free to go and face the fish. Face them I did. I turned the kitchen light on, then the tank light and moving slowly put my face against the glass. For a moment or two I just watched the activity but Morecambe soon came zooming towards me. I said Good Morning to her and that brought Wise over and they commenced to wag their tails as I spoke to them. Two of the plecs remained on the floor while the largest was stuck to the glass at the side of the tank. Obviously they’re oblivious to my charms. The two bronze corys were flitting about as usual, just looking for food, that’s all my presence meant to them. The hoplos were in a world of their own just going from floor to surface like divers going for air. Of the two synodontis there was no sign just then. Little Al came into sight from under the bridge where perhaps he’d been taking a nap. Big Al was pointedly ignoring me from the corner he had his head stuck into and Pepper was doing the same from the opposing corner so maybe Big Al and Pepper were ignoring each other and not me. I feel sorry for Pepper as she/he is on his/her own species wise and might be quite sociable if with his/her own kind.I’ll look for another. I fed them.

Tearing myself away from the fish I gave my attention to the morning meds, starting with the antibiotic. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned how hard I find it to swallow tablets these days but the antibiotics are like huge torpedoes . Mike howls laughing when he watches me because once the tablet is in my mouth I have to psych myself up to swallow it. That seems to involve moving my head back and forth as I seek the opportune moment. He says it’s like watching one of those birds that sip your drink.

220px-Sipping_Bird

So, it’s good that he was still in his bed because today my throat didn’t want to co-operate. It’s nodding bird first, then a group of 5 tablets/capsule that are much smaller I take as one which is less the nodding bird, then come the two painkillers which means nodding bird, nodding bird. Imagine the fun he’d have had.Even worse if I was having breakfast, the first the pre-food is manageable (just) but the two post food ones are also torpedoes so two more nodding birds. No breakfast today though as I need to start getting the rubbish together and the recycling as it’s bin day.I didn’t relish taking the bags out as it was pouring down. Still, I waited until 7.00 am so I could be noisy.

It was a 2A  4C day. I heard the alarm at 7.00 am just before I took his coffee in. He got his first call as I did that. I tried telling him he’s need to dig the car out but it got no reaction. I went to the kitchen to collect the food recycling and on my way out gave my second call to remind him the coffee was going cold. “OK”, he said. I hoped he wouldn’t notice how close together the calls were. I took the recycling outside and put the bags at the end of the path, it had stopped raining at last. As I came beck in I called for the third time and heard the alarm go off for the second time. Surely that would be enough. I went outside to move the main bin to the end of the path and as I came back in could see Mike sitting up, but leaning to the side resting on his elbow. I thought he was looking at his tablet. After I’d washed my hands I noticed he was still in the same position and went in to pick up his dirty mug from last night, The fresh mug hadn’t been touched. He’d gone to sleep again. My fourth call  to say his coffee was cold worked and he got up and took his coffee to the lounge. It’s hard work ensuring he gets out on time.

As I walked into the lounge I was greeted with Queen singing Liar from his phone. He quoted me every song title with lie and liar in he could think of. I just told him the snow had washed away in the time it took him to get up. I’m not sure I convinced him. In the end I managed to get him out of the house at 8.10 am which is worse than most Saturdays but will still get him there in time. It felt very strange not to be going out too. He said he’d see me about 8.00 pm this evening.                                     I got dressed and returned to the mail. It took some concentration on some and I was so involved with one I shot out of my seat at the noise on the window behind me. It took a moment to realise it was my window cleaners at work. I’ve never seen them on a Saturday before. Not that they look any different today, just that I don’t think they work on a Saturday as a rule. Then it became strange because I’m sure they didn’t do every window and they never came round for payment.

At lunchtime I stopped to try a cottage pie from Lidl. It’s smell didn’t do much for me but when I tasted it, it was fine. I put the TV on afterwards but promptly fell asleep the minute the volume came on. Personally I think I’ve been snatched by aliens and brain altered as I’m sure I used to be able to finish a programme. Now I have problems starting one. I was out for an hour and I know it would have been longer if a double glazing salesman hadn’t chosen that moment to ring. If he could have sensed what I was thinking at that moment he wouldn’t have picked up a phone ever again. I worked through doing bits and bobs, checking facebook ( and finding three messages there ) and checking ebay. It kept me going if not busy. But at 5.00 pm I called a halt when I remembered my 2.00 pm tablet. Oops. I took the tablet and also swallowed a pre-food one. After a cigarette I indulged in two Cadbury’s little chocolate steamed puddings with two little servings of chocolate custard. Now I’m telling you this in confidence of course so I don’t want it spreading round. For clarification I will just add I  loved then.

I’d gone through to do a little more work but found that I was keeping pretty much apace so I wasn’t stressed unlike most Saturdays. At 7.30 pm I went back for a break and put the TV on to one of the NCIS shows but must have nodded off and of course Mike chose that moment to walk back in and ask if that’s that’s how I’d spent my day while he was working.Of course I denied it as I could hardly admit that’s just what I had been up to. It was pretty amazing I’d even bothered to get dressed. He was pleased though that the work was pretty much up to date and I’d give him some company. I stayed there till about 10.00 pm and came out to make sure I was clear for doing the blog later. I was really feeling like a sandwich but thought I could do without. After that it was the only thing I could think about. Mike was watching episodes of 100 that he’s missed or I’d have gone through to try and take my mind of it. In the end I had to admit defeat and make myself a corned beef and beetroot sandwich and eat it in front of Mike probably making him hungry again too. Having eaten a small bread and butter pudding when he came in, he didn’t dare admit to it though. I came back through having washed up and started the blog as it was now gone 11.00 pm.

I wish you all a Wonderful new week and a Fantastic New Month.

 

 

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Birthday Sunday & The Horrible People Play

Sunday 18th Jan 2015

4.11 am today and though it’s my birthday I woke to no fanfare. I don’t understand it. Perhaps next year. Mind you, it would have been fun to see whether Mike could sleep through it. I popped to the loo and as soon as I got back turned the computer on. Let’s see how well the blog did last night. I was really happy to see there weren’t too many emails so that I spend another day hunched over the machine. I worked till 6.00 am then went to take the first antibiotic of the day. Because I had to turn the kitchen light on it seemed reasonable to do the fish as well. They knew I was there after all. I tuned on the tank light. My expectations of finding Big Al with a Happy Birthday banner were dashed when I saw him take one look at me and hide under the bridge.”Well, thanks for nothing” I said.my voice quickly attracting Morecambe and Wise to the top of the tank to listen to me. Down below it was business as usual as Little Al and Sharkey jostled for the best position under the feeding flap.

I put some flake in for Morecambe and Wise then dropped some pellets on the heads of the eager beavers below. The two new synodontis swam over to scour the bottom for food and the mid sized plec did the same. It was quite funny seeing them snuffling along the bottom searching between the gravel for food.  Big Al obviously wasn’t coming out while I was there this morning which must mean I’m in trouble again as I’ll never believe he’s shy.

I closed the food flap and turned to take my tablet. It wasn’t worth my taking the time to disturb myself after so I took all my usual meds too then made a coffee to take back. As I passed through the lounge I almost dropped the drink when something seemed to loom before me. OMG, it was the balloon from Temptations yesterday just moving in the breeze created by my movement. I would remember to come back later and put my cards up. By 7.20 am I had cleared the decks even having gone in to facebook and answered a couple of messages.I went through to the kitchen to leave my cup in the sink then sat in my chair in the lounge watching it start to get lighter. At some stage I nodded off until 8.35 am I returned to the bedroom and started work again. It was nice there seemed to be no pressure and a few comments were starting to come through about the blog and a few birthday wishes. Then my mobile started too with well wishers from withing the family. Yes you cheeky beggars, there still are some.

9.45 am and I heard Mike heading towards the loo. I left my post and went to make him a drink. I knew he wouldn’t go back to bed again. His drink was ready on the table when he came through. I stood and chatted to him as I opened and read my cards eliciting the odd grunt. I sat down and chatted as he had his drink. I suggested we could go into Prestatyn and get the free drinks owed us by Marks and Spencer’s after his disastrous dinner before Christmas. Trouble was neither of us made a move to get dressed until 11.00 am by which time it was too late to do anything except go for lunch. We both went to dress and oddly enough ended up in exactly the same trousers. No, not the same pair you ninny, we each owned a pair. At 11.30 we headed off and arrived at the Bells at 11.50 am. The girls were there before us, waiting in the car park and waving as we pulled in. We went inside.

Karen went to the bar to order soft drinks and I gave Mike my voucher for a free birthday meal. He  wouldn’t let me pay for the other meals so he did that on his card. Karen had found a table so I went to sit down and Jo brought our drinks over.I passed a gift each over as they placed gifts for me on the table. There was a lovely Uncle card and I was given some sheepskin slippers, a beautiful maroon/white shirt and a maroon jumper.They were really nice. I gave my thanks before we got down to the serious business of food. At that moment there was no-one in the queue so the four of us wandered over     ( at a run) and created a queue of our own. I chose beef as my meat and was kindly given an extra piece because it was my birthday. I went on to help myself to all the veg and two kinds of potatoes. When the girls got back to the table I saw the chef must have thought we were all having a birthday. Karen and Jo had 3 Yorkshire puddings each and Jo had even more slices of meat than me..There’s no way I’ll ever get to look like her so I needn’t build my hopes up.

I remembered to take my foodie tabs both before and after the meal.Today I even had a pudding which Jo kindly paid for. I tell you I was thoroughly spoiled. We sat chatting for a while then I left to have a cigarette outside. Mike joined me. When we came back Jo went as Karen wouldn’t be on her own. At 1.30 pm we were ready to leave. The girls were ready to go to Rhyl to a shop they wanted while Mike and I were also going to Rhyl in search of fish. In the shop we like here was a fantastic catfish about 6″ long but much as I loved it, I didn’t want one fish on it’s own. I settled for two hoplo catfish which are only about 2″ long but they’ll grow.

hoplo

Finally we headed for home and put the bag on the edge of the tank to acclimatise it. Then I could go to work. The screams might have been silent but they were there as I opened the mail box to way over 200 messages with more arriving all the time.After 20 minutes I added some of the tank water to the bag with the fish so they’d get used to that. Morecambe was swimming around the bag being very nosy about he new neighbours. Back to work. I was not making any headway. I went into facebook and answered two messages, but also found literally hundreds of birthday greetings that I’d never get through. I resolved to put a notice up tomorrow to thank everyone.The last 20 minutes had already passed before I remembered to go and release the new fish who may be called Abbot and Costello. I haven’t quite decided.I had two short breaks to give Mike a bit of company during the evening, one was to make our tea. Other than that I’ve sat here despairing of ever catching up. But, just minutes before midnight I did, so this has been a late night. Now 12.50 am and my reading time has evaporated. It’s been a lovely day though.

Monday.

Here we are again. Have I slept? It’s a 4.49 am start and I know I’m awake but feel I shouldn’t be. That’s how the day started today. I got out of bed, donned my dressing gown and walked to the loo almost normally, though that’s not saying much in my case. After asking my bladder to pee or get off the pot, why bring me this far if you’re not sure you want to go or not? I came back and switched on the computer. Though I logged into my mail I actually visited Facebook first. There were even more birthday wishes than yesterday and two more messages. I was forced to write a general, cover-all thank you to everyone or I’d have been doing individual replies for hours. I answered the two messages then logged out and came back to my emails. Amazingly there were only 5 from last night and the rest were as fresh as a daisy. No frauds, fakers or conmen today, just pure blogs almost. There were a couple of very easy to deal with adverts. (straight to the bin ). I started on liking, commenting and/or re-tweeting  some of the wonderful posts you’d all made though I can’t understand why you’re all up at that time. If it’s dark here you should all be in bed there, wherever your particular there is. It’s those bolshie Aussies that upset the applecart determined to have their day in direct contrast to us.

At 6.10 am I remembered my 6.00 am tablet and went to take it. After taking it I looked in the tank even though the light was off. I could see one of my new hoplo catfish swimming about but the other one was obviously dead and looked partly chewed. I quickly turned the light on. Yes, definitely dead,not moving at all. I was wondering whether to grab the net and remove the corpse before Mike woke when the little beggar moved. He must like playing statues and won that game hands fins down. The position he’d been lying in was awkward and I think a darker patch to his head misled me about his general condition. I’m so glad. I don’t generally lose my new fish like that. I looked around to see how the others were doing and was momentarily distracted by the attention Morecambe and Wise paid me when I realised I hadn’t seen Big Al. Everyone else was accounted for even the brilliantly disguised plecs, but of Big Al, no sign. I got down on my knees so my head was level with the bottom of the tank. He wasn’t under the bridge nor in the amphora, he wasn’t in the shipwreck but I was fast becoming a nervous wreck. He is getting on in fishy terms poor chap but even a corpse he should be too big too miss. I stood with great difficulty and for some reason looked around the kitchen like he was waiting to jump out and say BOO to me. As I looked back at the tank in despair, there he was, as smug as always and laying at the front of the tank watching me. At first I was flooded with relief ( I must be a masochist) then I became cross that he’d done it which was followed rapidly by How did he do it? The only answer I can come up with is that Somnos took him for a chat and sent him back which if true, bodes ill for me.

I took all my other morning meds and made a coffee to take back to the bedroom with me. Last night Mike had said he could have a lie in today. His Dad has an appointment at 1.00 pm so he doesn’t need to be there until 11.00 am. I pointed out to be there at 11.00 am he’d need to leave here by no later than 10.00 am. To do that he’d need to be up drinking his coffee at 9.00 am. Reluctantly he agreed. I gave him 10 extra minutes and took the coffee through at 9.10 am. I spoke, he answered then went back to sleep. At 9.20 am I reminded him the drink was there, he responded then went back to sleep. At 9.35 am the postman came and just putting a few letters through was able to wake Mike again. It was still almost 9.45 am before he managed to come through to the lounge though. Chances of leaving at 10.00- laughable, of reaching his dad by 11.00 am, impossible. Maybe next week I’ll start at 8.00 am.

With some effort Mike left the house at 10.20 am . I left at the same time to head to the chemist and to Pauline’s. For some reason I decided not to bother cooking today so while I was close by I visited the sandwich shop. I ordered a ham and onion  bap for my lunch and some awful dread power came over me as I ordered a bacon bap which I decided to call breakfast. Just to make it worse I bought an egg custard too. After Pauline’s I went straight back home and chewing my bacon bap I started work again. This welcome break from routine meant my normal lunchtime was blown out of the water but it didn’t stop me from breaking at midday to watch Bargain Hunt. It did mean I had no pots to wash up afterwards though. YAY. I worked from 1.00 -2.15 pm then watched Father Brown which I think has become more habit than pleasure now. It does mean I get a regular break from the screen of course which everyone tells me is good. I fully intended to really put my back into it between 2.15 -4.30 but I’d only just sat down when there was a knock at the door. I wasn’t expecting anyone so I rather gingerly opened the door.  Naturally I opened it wider when I saw an attractive young lady on the step though her suitcase was a worry since I’m not a B &B. She opened her mouth to speak and I was almost blown away by the smell of booze that hit me, apologies if someone is now manufacturing sweets with an obnoxious smell. Then she spoke and the last of my illusions broke.” Buy some freakin’ soap for charity” was an approximation  of what she asked and /or demanded, I wasn’t sure. I moved my hand to the sign on the door I was standing next to that said basically ‘No hawkers. It’s an offense to try and sell in this area, so bugger off and don’t come back’ though not verbatim. She hoisted her case up to rest on one arm and opened it. It was full of a household brand name toilet soap, bath scrubs and other things. “Well?” she said “itzforcharitee.” I tapped the sign and looked at it but it had no effect. I think I heard “deaf git.” I replied as much as possible without stuttering “No thank you, you have to ask the prison warders if we can buy things, that’s why you’re not allowed to sell here.” I thought that might be polite enough and started to close the door . “Flip you too grandpa ” I heard, or words to that effect. I note she didn’t bother with the other bungalows though.

Please note, a bar of soap can cost 30p but can be sold to you for £3.00 on the doorstep like this. If you or someone you care about doesn’t have one, ask the Neighbourhood Watch for a sticker that says you don’t accept door to door sales and that it’s an offence to try. Please leave. If you return you can be arrested. You can point it out to callers. Have an internal door chain fitted and if you’re at all suspicious call the police as they’re always happy to hear about bogus callers. Anyone claiming to be selling for a charity if genuine will be wearing a badge around their neck with name , who they’re selling for and a phone number to check. If you can write the details down when you phone it helps should you need to consult the police.

So, at 4.30 I stopped to watch Antique Road Trip. No women this week but one was the auctioneer most people I know can’t abide.Currently on TV in the US advising a group of Women on antiques. Don’t listen to him ladies. I realised last week that women in this programme have an advantage, one smile at the dealer when they ask for a bargain price and it’s theirs. A man asks with a smile and there’s not a lot off. After that I fell asleep in my chair and didn’t wake up until 6.00 pm when Eggheads came on. I watched that and then returned to work. Someone must be in a good mood because when I refreshed my screen there wasn’t too much there.  I was able to clear most of it by 8.00 pm and take another break. Very unusual for me. At 9.00 pm it was time to bite the bullet though. I came back and refreshed and it’s taken until 10.55 pm to catch up again. I’ve been able to do the blog and I’ll still get to bed before midnight.

In honour of Martin Luther King’s birthday, a song about him.

keeping warm 3 use

keeping warm 4 use

Tuesday.

I got a 5.18 am today. Wonderful, about 4 hours uninterrupted, dreamless sleep with no horrible little messages running in the background telling me what ice cream to buy in the interval. So why was I so sluggish getting up? I nipped to the loo delighted to be able to put my weight properly on my foot. If Mike was here no doubt he’d tell you what a weight it is and to pity the poor ankle now.                                                                                                                                                                                                     As I came back, I signed in to check the  number of emails overnight. Not too bad, only about 50. I’d only dealt with about ten of them when it was time for my 6.00 am tablet. I went to the kitchen and had it with a drink of Pepsi then turned to the fish. Turning the light on I found  real hive of activity. Everyone was moving around as though excited. I hoped it was at my arrival or at least my arrival bearing food. I placed flake in for Morecambe and Wise and was really surprised to see my new hoplos coming to the surface. Most of my cats are bottom feeders and dwellers. I dropped some pellets in and a free for all began below with barging to push others out of the way of available food. Big Al who was acting like a normal fish this morning and not my trainer, stood his ground. Sharkey, the worst of the bargers made no progress on Big Al at all.

Once they’d been fed, I turned to my normal meds, thinking it a waste of time to come out twice. Once I’d dealt with that I made a drink to take through. Just before I restarted work I tried ebay to check and see if I could find Welsh money there as there’s talk that we’re going to have our own legal tender notes soon. I think it was 1971 we last started with Welsh notes before the Bang of England closed it down. They were beautiful notes. For a while afterwards the notes went on sale as a novelty. I wish I’d bought tons as they’re rare and expensive now. The other thing I was looking at and wan’t really aware of it at the time was fish tanks.  I was in ebay a little later in the day and found I’d saved quite a few to look at. I thought I was happy enough with the one in the kitchen but it looks like I might be considering the lounge as home for one. If I do that it will mean buying some new fish and probably larger ones. Mike thinks I want an Oscar.

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Try imagining this chap ( or chapess) as being about 8-12 inches long and pure muscle. Capable of drawing blood if it gets your finger in it’s mouth if it doesn’t like you. On the other hand, if it likes you, it can be most loving like Olive my last one who bust her way out of the tank, taking the lid right off, just to join me in bed one night.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The thing is, to the best of my knowledge, I don’t want another Oscar and didn’t think I wanted a new tank either. But if I do, it will be some large catfish.

I started work again and concentrated on catching up to take any pressure off later. By 9.00am I was in the position of being able to get dressed. Mike had told me last night that he’s going to be at his Dad’s 29th-31st supervising the laying of a floor so there’s no more tripping over carpets. I turned to the computer to send Yvonne a message about taking me shopping that weekend and I found the computer was back on ebay looking at a tank a man can scuba dive in. I don’t know who’s doing it but seriously they need to take a look at the size of my room. A six foot would be the maximum I could take……..If I wanted one that is.                                            I worked through till lunch time playing catch up and then going to my Ancestry to see the hints. At 11.45 am I was glad to move away from the machine for a while.

Lunch was a bing cottage pie which I ate while watching my usual show. Even my pudding came in a plastic tub so the end of the meal saw me washing a side plate, a fork and a spoon. Hard labour indeed. No matter my feelings about the Father Brown series I was determined to skive persevere and so went back to work knowing it was just for an hour and a quarter. There was enough to keep me going and a tad more so something to come back to. I didn’t enjoy it very much again and will now have to consider that I’m never going to so maybe I’d better stop watching them. When it finished t 3.00 pm I was almost glad to return to work but maybe that was just the thought that it was only for an hour and a half. The computer was starting to whinge and whine at overuse when I got the chance at 4.30 pm to let it cool down for a while. I settled in front of the TV with a packet of Quavers and waited for the Antique Road Trip to start. A knock at the door got me out of my seat but it was my chemist lady with my drug run so I didn’t miss much.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Both the competitors bought  few reasonable pieces tonight. I was cross that one stood in the shop and engaged the owner in conversation about the age of some chairs, saying how new they were then taking one outside whispered about how old he knew they really were because of horsehair stuffing etc. To me that’s deceitful. For the second day on the trot he won and I was so disappointed. The auctioneer was very good tonight and cajoled good prices from the audience.

After Road Trip I watched Pointless then as I was about to watch Eggheads had the sudden urge to watch Big Bang Theory and turned over to an episode I must have missed. That kept me occupied until 6.30 pm but then I’d run out of excuses and had to come back through. There was a message from Yvonne saying the doctor is sending a new prescription to the chemist for antibiotics tomorrow but I don’t know which one yet. I hope she stays with this current batch which have done a good job on reducing both the swelling and the pain. I spent the evening working on mail more or less taking my time and resting long enough ( I hoped ) so that the fan didn’t start sounding asthmatic again. At 10.30 pm though I was able to start the blog as the mail boxes were empty at that point. I should be able to manage a good read before sleep tonight. I wanted to work on tomorrow’s emails as well so games night wouldn’t leave such a backlog but the computer wouldn’t let me.

Wednesday.

I got to bed early and I got my good read. I even got to turn my light out before 1.00 am, I was nice and relaxed. What I wasn’t expecting was to be awake at 3.17 am and getting up for work.Well, officially it was getting up to pee first and work second but you know what I mean. In some instances I was answering emails just after they’d been written. I was late evening in America and early afternoon in Australia. Just one message from my self appointed astrologer but as usual heavy denominations must cross her palm to be divulged. If anyone has any free predictions out there I’d be happy to hear from them.                                                                          I worked till just gone 6.00 am then went to take the morning antibiotic. As soon as the kitchen light went on I could see the activity in the tank. My newbies were doing a lot of moving around and the others must think they’re missing something and joined in. I swallowed the tablet with some difficulty and turned to put the tank light on.  There was a slight pause in the proceedings and then the dance went on as before. I put some flake in and then some pellets, everyone headed for the bottom including Morecambe and Wise who should have been gobbling the flake. A quick headcount showed just two bodies missing, one of the new synodontis and the large plec. Eventually I saw the small synodontis under the bridge no doubt biding his time, the king of camouflage I found draped over the top of the sunken ship as though he’d been carved there.

I took the rest of the meds and made a coffee to take back with me but decided to drink it in the lounge. I saw the time at 6.45 am then saw nothing else till 7.55 am.  I think I was drugged h’occifer. I got dressed and started back to work.  At 9.30 am I made a visit to Pauline’s for bread and a couple of other things, when I got back there was a message on my phone to call the surgery. I let Yvonne know but I’d forgotten it was Wednesday and she’d be at work at that time. Anyway she phoned in her break and let me know I needn’t panic. It was just a call about my prescription for more antibiotics going down to the chemist. Exactly the same information as she’d got from them yesterday. The woman was really snotty when Yvonne told them she knew. As though it was her fault.                                                                                      I broke off at 11.00 am to have a rest and to be ready for lunchtime. For some strange reason I started to watch Judge Judy. The woman fascinated me. She’s like an obnoxious doberman, forever barking and ready to bite. I was glad when I had to leave to make lunch which I ate watching Murder she Wrote. I returned to work at 1.00 pm and had to work hard to catch up again before sneaking off for 2.15 pm to 3.00 pm for another Father Brown. After that it was work again though the world had been quite generous in my time of and the work was easily managed. At 4.30 am I broke off ready for my Antique Road Trip and for my influx of visitors.  Five minutes into the programme the door opened and Lee appeared and handed me a belated birthday card. I got him his usual drink of water and then caught up on all his news as I’ve not seen him since just before Christmas.

He’s preparing a room at home for the baby. I remembered to give him a little picture frame I’d bought for a baby scan. I’m thrilled for him as he’ll be a great dad. It was about 5.25 pm when the door went again and Dil and Matt came in also carrying belated cards for me. Really nice brother and uncle cards. I’ve taken the others down and my balloon has been removed from the room. I made drinks while they chatted and answered question on the quiz that was on. As soon as it finished Dil erected the table and we got the new game out I’d got at Christmas which Lee hasn’t seen, Cards Against Humanity, a party game for horrible people. Lee laughs easily and has a very infectious laugh. There was a lot of laughter during the game, some shocks too. We played twice. I won the first one and Dil the second. Then it was nomination whist where my evil side came out a bit. I wasn’t just concentrating on my call as usual, I was concentrating on making sure others didn’t get theirs. It was a runaway success for me though I’m not sure how safe it will be to eat or drink anything in the house from now on after the threats that were made. Lee made his exit then which was just as well as I was running out of biscuits. Dil dealt a hand of crazy 8’s for us. It started well when I won the first hand but once Dil pointed out my zero score things went rapidly downhill. Fortunately I managed to get Matt to catch for a few big pick ups so he lost the game before they caught me too badly. Dil won so maybe he’ll undo the curse he put on me. I wish he’d stop doing that as it’s a beggar to get the cockerel’s blood off the floor.

After they’d gone I had a tidy up then made myself a sandwich so I could take my second set of foodie pills today. I also took my usual evening meds and my 10.00 pm antibiotic. I came through ere and found a lot of mail. I worked till 11.00 pm on it but then had to start the blog I’m looking at a 12.15 am finish tonight and I’ll finish the rest of the mail tomorrow.

I’m guilty of making assumptions. For years I thought this was a black singer. Seeing him tonight, the voice just doesn’t fit. Still good though.

Thursday.

On the slope down to sleep last night I remember saying ” None of your silly 3.17’s and 3.23’s this morning please” and I’m still not sure if I was talking to my subconscious or to Somnos.  In any event, whichever one it was has obliged me. However. let me just state categorically, they have a warped sense of humour. It was a 3.24 am day. What a lie-in that was. There was no time to be bitter though as there was a loo to be visited , a bank to be checked and mail to be answered. Oh Joy! Having visited the loo and found the traffic lights without the amber so I kept going from stop to start to stop to start to stop, I came back and powered up the computer. First job as very Thursday, to make sure my money has reached the bank. Everything was OK and I logged out of there and into my main mail box. There were quite a few emails but nothing I couldn’t handle. A quick glance told me I wasn’t going to be ripped off by anyone, made rich by anyone or being told which lottery numbers to play in a fortnight if I pay someone now more than I’ll win then. It was mainly straight post on people’s blogs and they were fine.

I’d caught up on the first batch by 4.50 am so had a few minutes on ebay looking for a cross of St Lazarus, mine was half-inched during the burglary. I can find Templar crosses aplenty in red but nothing in green. The computer started to wheeze again and as I’m bound to be responsible for it’s asthmatic ways I decided to give it a rest. Going through to the kitchen I put the main light on and took my antibiotic even though it was almost an hour early. The light had my piscine pals in a tizzy.Was it daylight or not? I thought, why not, and turned the tank light on. I swear some of them did a waggle dance. Morecambe and Wise both rushed to the corner next to me ass I started to wish them all good morning. Morecambe always seems very please to hear my voice.I must be like the Beach Boys and give off Good Vibrations. My two beautiful new catfish were running up and down the tank which is still strange to see as the others stick to the bottom of the tank. The two little synodontis came out of their shell (literally) to see if breakfast was served, Sharkey was prowling the food service area and both Big Al and Little Al seemed to be waiting for the starter to fire his gun. The plecs were just the plecs,  uninvolved with anything unless it suited them. I open the food flap and dropped in some flake and some pellets. They acted like magnets, pulling in everyone to seek their little portion of food. Just like humans there was no co-operation and no sharing. First come first served. The plecs are clever. they just lie on top of what they find till everyone else goes away.

I couldn’t help but smile as I turned away to take the rest of my morning stash and then make myself a coffee to take back. First I needed to replenish the stand for my pods. I was really lucky with that as the stands you buy specifically for the pods are quite expensive but someone had bought me a revolving spice rack and not being fond of spicy foods I’d utilized it for the pods. It holds four different types ( 1 tea & 3 coffee) and happily takes 12 in each row if needed. I’m quite pleased with the result.

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I took my coffee back to the bedroom and started work again. That lasted until almost 7.00 am. Since I didn’t fancy another ebay session or any time on the family tree  I thought it was a good time to sit in the lounge and try for 40 winks. In order to aid the dropping off process I turned the TV onto a channel that caries US comedy shows like King of New York and Frazier. Big mistake, I started watching and couldn’t get off. At 8.30 am I went back through to get dressed. I spent n hour catching p with the latest batch then went to Paulines to get new lottery tickets and a packet of bacon. Mike may come today and he might be peckish. I was back inside by 10.00 am and in the short time I’d been out there were 3 messages on the phone. What usually happens is, if like yesterday the call is important I text Yvonne and get her to ring for me. Today two calls were from PPI firms and one was about new central heating boilers through a Government scheme. All the most irritating, annoying calls it’s possible to get as these are pre-recorded calls and for all I know on a continuous loop somewhere as rarely a day goes past without one. It’s as though they don’t think we’re capable of getting in touch just as easily after the first annoying call. I have a new boiler but it doesn’t stop the calls coming through. It’ s harassment.

Lunchtime was noon so I knocked off at 11.45 am to allow cooking times and pill taking time. While waiting I watched Judge Judy for a couple of minutes. I’m sure she’s been in for a charm bypass. If it demoralises you so much that you have to scream like  a harpy at the fools who appear before you I’d say you’ve been in the job too long. The ‘Bing’ came in time for me to watch Murder She Wrote again and blow me down I fell asleep before the end. To be fair I wasn’t out for long so at 1.15 pm I started back towards the bedroom. A knock on the door pulled me up and I did consider not answering in case it was a stranger, but it was my friend from the chemist with the new prescription of antibiotics. I had her wait a moment while I got a box of sweets in tanks and then continued to the computer where I worked til 2.15 pm. The formula was the same today, some Father Brown, work from 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm then a gap for The Antique Road Trip. At just before 4.00 pm I had a message from Mike to say he was on his way. After the Road Trip I nipped back in to do a little work so it would be easier to sit with Mike when he arrived . He got there just about when I’d expected at 5.55 pm by which time I’d gone back through to put the kettle on. I poured his drink and we sat down with Eggheads. As that was over I turned to a Big Bang Theory which as it happened Mike hadn’t seen before. That was a bonus.

Tonight there was a new episode of Big Bang Theory on at 8.30 pm and then a new programme that looked funny at 9.00 pm. In order to watch those, I had to leave Mike to is own devices at 7.00 pm. I thought it was worth trying as I could always do the blog later and leave any overflow of mail until tomorrow. I enjoyed the change and didn’t even rush through in a panic once the programme was over. I’ve been taking my time with this but I’m going to have a quick peep at the mail anyway before bed.

Friday.

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The above appeal was brought to you on behalf of David whose sense of humour is rapidly diminishing. 3.22 am is still not funny Somnos ! I’m spreading the word, what more d’you want? It’s not even two and a half hours sleep at a time. And yes, I could turn my light out and go to sleep earlier and what do you do? You adjust the clock and get me up earlier. I swear blind you’ve got me up ten minutes before I’ve even got to bed before now. Having said all that, I’d no idea what kind of work load was waiting for me this morning and being Friday it’s drug top-up day. So maybe this once you did me a favour by accident. No,  you didn’t. The mail when I got to it after the loo trip in the dark so as not to disturb Mike, was quite manageable. I’d rattled the first load off by 4.30 am. I thought about trying to get back to sleep but I was fully charged now. I had a small catalogue nearby that had come in the post recently which wasn’t opened so I had a quick flick through that. It wasn’t near enough to Christmas to warrant starting my shopping yet ( only about 50 weeks to go) so it was only a cursory glance. At 5.00 am I decided to give the fish a treat and go and have a chat.

I turned the kitchen light on and even then sensed a lot of movement so went straight to the tank.  It was like the Butterfly Ball. Even in the semi dark everyone seemed to be wearing their finery and such grace I saw. There seemed to be waltzes, pavanes and partnered cotillions and movement which seemed to be free of structure yet worked beautifully except maybe or Big Al who seemed to have two left fins. Astounded, I switched the tank light on. Oh why didn’t you stop me? The movement continued but now there was no beauty in it, just a series of random swims which bore no relationship to anyone else’s.They remained pretty in my eyes but all co-ordination and co-operation was gone. I wished “Good Morning ” to them all but neither Morecambe nor Wise came to listen to me. I sat on my haunches to tell them all how beautiful they were (even Big Al and Little Al, albinos both) but seemingly could not attract their attention. I’m guessing I was a party pooper and paying for it with another trip to Coventry.

I was on my haunches still and found I couldn’t stand and also here was pain in my heel in that position. Even getting a grip on the work surface didn’t help. I daren’t call Mike in the ‘middle of the bloody night’ to use his term so I had no choice but to drop to the floor. Ouch, turn over onto my stomach and get to my knees and thence to my feet that way. I felt a right lemon I tell you. There may have been sniggers from the tank but I didn’t hear them. Once on my feet I dropped food in for them and watched them scrabble for it. The two nearly cream flashes that are the Al”s, the cream and raspberry of Sharkey, the almost dark brown camouflage of the plecs, the leopard markings of the new corys and the beaautiful almost dalmation markings on an almost see through background of the hoplos and of course the  beautiful red and blue of the two Siamese fighters was quite a sight as they all chased the food but I wished I hadn’t turned the light on at all so early.

I was feeling quite dejected at my stupidity as I turned away from the tank and poured myself a drink of milk to take my meds with. Despite it being only 5.30 am and me being a creature of some habit I didn’t care and took everything I was supposed to including the new antibiotics. Before making myself a drink I got my meds drawer out and started refilling the pillbox. I had to refill the drawer too with some of the new drugs delivered on Tuesday. It took me a half hour to finish that then I put the drawer back and made my drink. Time to go back to work. By 8.15 am I was in the clear again, or I was if I didn’t refresh. I decided on a break and went to the lounge where I turned TV on for company. It was Frazier time. I must admit to quite liking that show. As it came to an end just before 9.00 am I put the kettle on and prepared Mike’s mug. At the same time I girded my loins for what could be a long job. Surprisingly it wasn’t. I took the drink though and loudly told him it was coffee time which got a grunt. I then told him it was on the bedside table which forced another grunt, hopefully opening his eyes. Then I left him to it and went to work. It was approaching the ten minute mark when his clock would normally repeat that I readied myself to go through. Instead, I heard movement, and moments later I heard him go in the lounge. I finished the last of the mail I was doing and joined him.

What a stupid mistake to make. I try to get Mike up at 9.00 am to leave at 10.00 am to arrive at his Dad’s about 11.00 am. In the lounge I put the TV on to cover the lack of conversation until he’s awake. But he became interested in it instead and stayed in his pyjamas until it was over at 10.00 am. Now I feel guilty he had such a late start. When he left the house I went out at the same time to post some letters and then to pick up 2 pints of milk and some bread from Pauline’s. I’d forgotten to take my bag out with me and had to buy a carrier bag. Still, it’s a donation to charity. I put the shopping away when I got home then started a catch up session until lunch time. All the time I was making lunch I was waiting for a knock on the door until I remembered the warden had told me she wouldn’t be coming today. Great, I had my lunch watching Jessica Fletcher show she was brighter than any Police Detective, with my shoes and socks off, toes wiggling with glee.

At 1.00 pm I returned to work and tried hard to concentrate on the job in hand. Trouble was I kept zoning out. As I came back I’d no idea whether I’d done anything to what was on screen  or not. I didn’t have time to mess about and have a sleep as I wanted to break at 2.15 pm anyway. I did stop work at that time and thought maybe I should use the time to sleep but no matter how I tried I couldn’t. At 3.00 pm it was back to work an I encountered the same problem as before, I was not getting enough done. At 4.30 pm I contemplated staying where I was but realistically that ridiculous thought stayed with me for about ten seconds. I wasn’t going to miss my Antique Road Trip for anything. But, when that finished at 5.15 pm and Mike still wasn’t back, I went back to the computer for an hour. I saw the end of a quiz show when I came back through then turned off the TV at 6.30 pm and went for a shower. Before I got in the shower I made sure the front door was locked. I hadn’t heard from Mike and if he set off it would take him an hour. If he got back before then well, he has his own key or access to the emergency one outside. As it happened when I got out of the shower he still wasn’t back. I unlocked the door on the way back to my bedroom to brush my hair. The next thing I know is what looks like Quasimodo is having a go at my front door lock. I opened the door to find Mike hunched over at the lock trying to find the hole for his key. I asked him  why he didn’t just try the handle as the door was open. He looked sheepish which was an improvement on the Quasimodo impression.

At 7.00 pm I watched a different Road Trip which unfortunately still had the same ‘character’ in. Unfortunately and astoundingly he won again too. Both Mike and I were hungry so I made bacon sandwiches for a late tea. After washing up, I watched Mastermind while Mike disappeared to his bedroom to watch his beloved Man United playing a match. When I came through to my bedroom at 8.30 pm he was able to move back into the lounge so he could make out the players on the big TV. I’ve been here ever since as Sod’s law says the post will start to pour in  the minute I’m occupied elsewhere. That’s why Saturday’s are always bad.

Saturday.

I turned off my light at about 12.45 am  but despite being tired my brain was on overtime (unpaid) rates and wouldn’t let me sleep. 1.25 am was the last time I remember seeing so I assume I fell asleep soon after that. Somnos must have been feeling particularly beneficent  as I was allowed to stay in bed until 3.31 am this morning. I know what you’re going to say, just wasting my life lazing it away like this but be fair, my current employer (slave owner) doesn’t seem to be paying much of a salary for work done. My oh my. you are pernickity today, I admit that maybe I’ve been a little lax on the promotion of Somnos et al but I haven’t had much to work with except veiled threats and not so veiled threats so far. Not a single lottery win. OK, OK, no need to be so anally retentive, Yes, there was £25 but that’s hardly life changing. Anyway, who’s side are you on?

I paid my visit to the loo being sure to creep past Mike’s room . On my way out I heard him speak and moved closer to his door in case he was awake. I bumped into the large glass candle stand MuJo got me for Christmas which made a heck of a clatter. Not a peep from him. So much for being ready for more burglars. It did remind me to try putting the light on in future though. I came back and signed in to the computer and then my main mail box. One tiny mistype and they pounced asking for mobile number and address of any other mailbox in case I ever forgot my password. Like I need flooding with more adverts from new directions. I was in and found not too many messages, especially from last night as I’d worked until midnight almost. I have a friend and fabulous author on a research ( oh yeah!) holiday in the Hawaiian Islands at the moment who wrote an interesting post I enjoyed ( http://theobsidianmirror.net/). I spent some time reading and commenting on that before carrying on with the normal mail. I was done by 5.50 am and didn’t think the fish would mind an early start.

I turned on just the kitchen light so I could enjoy their movements before turning the tank light on. If I do  get another tank, I’m transferring all my friends to the lounge as they’re quite fascinating and relaxing.  Maybe I won’t need the TV at all then except when Mike needs football of course. Once the tank was lit up I saw they were all preparing themselves for food. Strictly speaking, today is diet day but I couldn’t do it to them. What was nice once the food was in was seeing the two newest corys , sorry synodontis , ( see Sunday 4th for picture ) come out to play. They really are stunning. Of course the new hoplo catfish are stunning too. I’m looking forward to the day they are bigger and can be named and recognised by their individual markings. They probably are distinctive at the moment but they refuse to pose side by side till I check. Sometimes I think maybe I’m seeing the same one time after time and the other one has escaped.

I took the antibiotic and all the other drugs then made myself a coffee. Once I’d taken it through I got dressed ready for taking the rubbish out. It wasn’t raining but I could see it was cold outside so I put on a thick jumper. Once the stuff was gathered together I took it to the end of the path an came back in shivering. It was 6.50 am so I went to prepare Mike’s mug and couldn’t help wonder what kind of a morning it would be with him. It turned out to be a 3A 2C day.

1A, His first alarm which rang for quite a while ignored before he finally turned it off.                                                                                                                                                                 1C  The first call from me. “Coffee’s up bro, don’t let it go cold.”  Got something like an “OK righto.”                                                                                                                                       2A  The second alarm goes off . A single curse followed by turning it off.                                                                                                                                                                                           2C  The second call from me. “Don’t forget your coffee, its going cold.”  Not sure what this elicited but there was a blue cloud above the bed.                                                 3A  The third alarm goes off. Definitely not a happy bunny now , says something about ‘Luck’ and sits up to get his coffee. He takes it through to the lounge  to look daggers at me ( or throw them, not sure which) but being sensible I’m still in my room working on mail. I did go through and in passing scratched the top of his head. This at least served to stop him growling. We chatted for a few minutes until his answers were more than one word long then I left him to it while I went to get a pair of shoes on. I was wearing grey slacks today so it was black shoes. I managed to get my right one on without too much of an effort today. Magic ! I heard Mike make a move for the bathroom and then his bedroom so I knew he was getting dressed. We left the house at 7.50 am.

At the Supermarket Mike went for a trolley as I raided the cash point.then we met for a cigarette before going inside. The first point of call was the flowers.Most of last week’s had survived quite well so I chose a small bunch of carnations to replace and  dead flowers and add some nice colour to the vase. Mike’s the one who usually arranges Ju’s flowers and he didn’t disagree with my choice. There seems to be less choice than usual and prices are certainly high at the moment which I can understand in Winter. We moved round to the sale aisle where I bought Reuben some Fireman Sam cutlery but nothing else caught my eye today. We moed round to the gent clothes and I saw some jeans being reduced. When I stopped to look the member of staff told me they were for next weeks sale, not today- DAMN! But when Mike asked, the sale starts Thursday so maybe I stand a chance yet. We did eventually hit the food section where I bought some basic ready meals and some sliced beef, yoghurts, cakes and lime and lemon drinks. Then came the staples like bread, milk and some chocolates for our friends as well as a birthday cake  (Y ddraig goch ) to take to the Ivy. We went through the till and while I went for cigarettes, Mike went to order the coffees. I decided to have an iced one today so Mike was looking forward to me getting brain freeze.

There were no detours today so we went straight to Flint. I was hoping to buy a box of birthday cards so I went round Home Bargains, no joy. In B & M Bargains I had no luck either. Mike’s ghast was flabbered when I bought nothing in either place. We lit cigarettes and walked in the direction of Temptations. Before we went in I took a chance on one last shop and actually found their very last box. Not the best cards in the World but great to have in an emergency. We went into Temptations with a box of chocolates for them. I ordered the drinks and a teasted toecake for Mike even though we were just an hour away from lunch. It was quite busy but Mike did manage a session of double entendres with Ceri nonetheless. After his teacake he ate two of the little biscotti we get with the drinks and then four of the coffee biscuits you sometimes get that he had stored in his coat. We threw kisses over the heads of the queue at the counter to wishthem goodbye once we’d done.

We reached the Ivy around 12.30 pm and had a cigarette as we wandered round to the side door to take them by surprise. We would have done had there been anyone there on the counted but it was we who were surprised . Rob appeared carrying plates from the front of the cafe then Angie and Shirley appeared from the direction of the loos thus proving that women always go in twos. Tariq just appeared. I handed  over the chocolates and the cake to him saying we wanted the staff to have cake with us. Mike pointed out to me the woman who was there last week whose mother told us she shared my birthday ( mine because I’m the oldest by far). Rob did the drinks and brought them over. Tariq followed him and brought me a card, a saucy mug and a fantastic framed picture of Reuben and I together done more like a painting, from all the staff. I was quite choked and for once Mike didn’t have his hands round my throat.  We ordered lunch and I took my tablet then went out for a smoke. I was eating healthily today, a baked potato with beans, coleslaw and side salad. Mike had a roast pork dinner. Once we’d finished, Tariq brought the cake to me to cut despite my shaking hands, I cut it into 8 pieces. I asked Mike to take one to my birthday twin, he and I had one each and the other five went to the staff. Fair play, it was quite nice cake. Shella came out to thank me, Tariq came out wiping his mouth. My birthday twin came over to say she’d enjoyed it.

I paid the bill and we started to leave. Somehow the subject between Mike and I got back to fish when I laughed and said I knew he’d want two of the hoplo catfish once he’d seen them. Tariq who’d walked us to the door chimed in to say that he was thinking of having a tank there and maybe Rob ( who apparently knows about fish) might breed and sell them in which case he’d need more than just one tank. He was prepared for that but at the moment nothing was definite. We hugged goodbye again and I think Mike may want to visit the fish shop tomorrow. We drove home and as it was 2.30 pm by now I took my next antibiotic. After putting the shopping away I set to work. It was very difficult as I was fighting to stay awake after eating. I didn’t get as much done as I thought. Mike came through about 4.00 pm freshly shaved as he was going off to meet a lady friend in Llandudno for the evening. I told him he must be in bed by midnight……………. or come home.

At 5.20 pm I went through to watch the programme Mike and I usually watch but suddenly my eyelids were in the way. They stayed there until 7.35 pm. I quickly had some toast to get the second food tablets out of the way then came back to work. I’ve been here ever since trying to catch up on the day’s work. Mike came home at 11.00 pm and told me all about his evening. He talked about next weekend when he’ll be needed at his Dad’s 9.30 am Friday and at 8.30 am Saturday though he intends to stay here. Then he hit me about the head for laughing at him being up in time to travel an hour to get there knowing how I struggle to get him out of his pit already. He reminded me he’s in Poland for a week next month and Canada for 3 weeks the end of March. I shall be deserted like a golf widow and left to my own devices again. That means I can get into as much trouble as I like.

Well, it’s now gone midnight and I need to go back to my mail to finish as much as I can. Thanks for being with me. Have a Wonderful New Week.  Huge Hugs

 

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The Kitten Vanishes and Subliminal Messages.

Sunday 11th Jan 2015

I ended the week with a 4.08 am day. Despite getting to bed not long after midnight and despite being tired I couldn’t sleep and had to read. The light went off at 1.00 am I’m pretty sure Mike’s didn’t however as it was still on when I got up. The new day started quite oddly from my point of view because when I logged on the in- boxes weren’t as full as usual. That’s not a complaint by the way. In fact both were empty by 5.45 am. I went to the loo and on the way back decided to apply some of the Deep Freeze pain relieving gel I bought for the ankle . It was in the lounge so I sat on the couch, applied some to my hand and started rubbing it in. For a moment it stung then the menthol kicked in and it burned like heck. Fair play it was a coldish red hot burn . I’m so glad I’d pulled my pyjama leg up and not the pyjama trousers down as anyone passing the window at that point would have had a shock ( contrary to the rumours spread by you know who). I practically danced the flame(nco), knocking my leg in the process at the instant agony of pain relief. But I dared not try and wash it off in case it was like the experience I have previously recounted about my introduction to Fiery Jack. I went and sat in my chair till the tears dried. There appeared to be none left on the inside of my eyelids when I checked at 6.55 am. The stinging had died to a dull throb.

I went through to the kitchen and turned the lights on, including the fish tank. Little Al was near the front and as I was putting food in I started talking and telling him I was perhaps going to find some new friends for him today. He darted off, stopped by Big Al, had a conflab and moments later Big Al was there head cocked as though listening to every word. I’d stopped speaking by then though. “Not to worry old son” I told him, ” we know you’re the senior crew member and all newcomers must report to you.” That actually seemed to satisfy him and he started grazing. I wonder if he’s been earwigging when I’ve spoken to Mike about new fish, maybe that’s what’s been worrying him. Poor lamb. Well, he’s in for a shock if I get my way because the fish I hope to get will dwarf him and I shall be sure to bribe them to my side of the field quite early on. If anyone is going to rule that tank it will be ME!  With my best imitation of the evil scientist’s laugh I turned away and started to take my meds. As I wasn’t sure what time we’d eat today I thought I’d better have breakfast too so I made some toast with the crusty bread from yesterday.

Once finished I took my post-food tablets and carried my coffee through to my bedroom. More of the expected post had started coming through now so I guessed the delay was due to a leaf on the line somewhere. I got stuck in. It carried me through until just after 9.00 am so I started messing about on ebay which I don’t seem to get to as often as I used to. Just after 9.30 am I paid another visit to the loo and almost passed out on the bathroom floor when I heard the pat pat of size 6 feet heading for the lounge. It couldn’t be……but it was. I went to make him a drink and sat with him for a while. The weather wasn’t nice but it hadn’t snowed and the gale seemed to have dropped so we confirmed the trip to Blakemere to look for fish was still on. By the time we’d washed and dressed and Mike had forced a shoe on my foot it was 10.45 am before we could leave. We still managed to get there by 11.25 am though. First stop the very posh and very pleasant tea rooms from last time. Once we were refreshed it was a trip round the courtyard to a little curio/antique shop and then ( via the loo again) to a larger antique shop on site. After a really good mooch and as it was now 1.00 pm we went to the restaurant for lunch which today was a carvery. I had two good slabs of roast beef and then some potatoes and LOADS of veg Andrea.I realised I’d forgotten my 11.00 am antibiotic and had to readjust the rest of the day’s times and wait until an hour after eating.

Following lunch we went into a shop that imports freetrade items, where Mike bought himself a nice dragon on a tree. We left there intending to go and look at the fish but Mike said he’d just pop into the third ( and last) antique shop while I had a cigarette. I could see him through the window as I smoked and he hadn’t got more than a few feet into the shop. He’d said he didn’t want anything today so I nipped in behind him and said I’d go to the fish place and he could catch me up there. Well, I looked, looked again and looked some more and couldn’t find what I wanted which included Mike for his opinion. I’d been there 45 mins when I could see they didn’t have breed I wanted or the size I wanted. I came out and walked back up the hill. Mike still hadn’t finished buying nothing but it was going to take 3 bags to carry it.Then the card machine was out of order so it was as well I had some cash with me. We got in the car and set off to find a restaurant we thought was also a book shop fairly close by so I could take my tablet. The book shop had gone 9 months ago but the restaurant was very nice. We had a coffee and headed for home.

We got back at 4.30 pm and I had to come straight in and start work. Mike called me at 6.00 pm for half an hour then I returned to it. It was gone 10.00 pm before I finished most of them ( without refreshing) but I owed him some company. Before I joined him I heard a kitten and it sounded as though it was outside. I went to the front door and tried the usual here puss, puss.puss to no avail. I held my breath to listen and immediately the kitten shut up. Feeling a right fool I shut the door quietly and hoped Mike hadn’t heard me.  We watched something that left me very confused about who was related to whom and how before I came back through. It’s now 12.20 pm and I’m going to find tonight’s song then go to bed. I shall finish any outstanding post later on . It will be another odd day as I’m being MuJo’d which is strange on a Monday.

Monday.

4.13 am this morning and I woke to the sound of a wind howling past the house. I crept through to the lounge to see if any snow had fallen overnight and saw my palm tree using it’s fingers to touch it’ s toes. Occasional lashings of rain against the window sent me scuttling for the loo then back to my room where the direction of the wind kept the rain away from the window and outside could be forgotten as I immersed myself in work. I had a break at 6.00 pm long enough to take the antibiotic, then I carried on until 6.48 when both  mailboxes appeared to be  empty. I took a walk through to the kitchen to feed my pals ( and Big Al). The two small corys were out and about flashing here and there. When the food went in there was a melee as everyone tried to catch a bit as it descended. One of the corys even sent Sharkey scuttling away when they both went for the same piece. Sharkey then took it out on everyone else as he tried to find a new piece. Big Al found his and wasn’t budging. He seems to have adjusted to ruling the roost again today.

I left the fish to it and started to take my meds. About the halfway point I considered breakfast but decided against it as I can have tea tonight after MuJo have departed. I continued with the meds then as usual made a coffee. Instead of bringing it back through I sat in my chair in the lounge to drink it and listen to the storm outside. At about 7.30 am it sounded as though it was abating a little. I washed my mug and returned to work. There was a message from a good friend in the US who has (again) bought me a year with Ancestry for my Christmas/Birthday, He sent me the code given by Ancestry.com and I sent a message to Ancestry.co.uk to ask them to transfer the credit to my account. It’s happened e last couple of years and it’s a problem, though last year someone dealt with it easily in the end. I hope they left notes. By 8.15 am both boxes were empty again and I had a little play on  Ancestry.co.uk before putting the kettle on at 8.55 am. As soon as it boiled I took a coffee through to Mike and woke him up. By the time I reached my bedroom again he was asleep again. I got washed and dressed then reminded him the drink was getting cold. This time we made some progress. He slung himself out of bed and shuffled through to the lounge. I’m fairly sure he wasn’t too pleased to have been reminded but I couldn’t risk Muriel arriving while Mike was in his usual state of undress.

I sat next to Mike talking but gradually moved further down the chair so my foot would reach the table and shut my eyes. Mike went off to get washed and dressed so he could make a move towards his father’s. He left the house at bout 10.10 am which was quite good, and I returned to work. Again I caught up though it took a bit longer now more of you were awake and writing. MuJo arrived at 11.00 am an I made drinks as we shared details of our respective Christmases. When it came to a decision about where to eat today I refused to get involved and left to find some shoes to wear. I was very careful putting them on so it didn’t cost me another shoehorn. We ended up going to the Bells of St Mary’s for a carvery ( sound familiar?) where I had some delicious beef, Muriel had Pork and John had beef, pork and gammon ham. I had cabbage by the ton, peas and carrots as well as both mashed and roasted potatoes and a Yorkshire pudding ( sadly missing from yesterday’s meal). It was really nice which is good as that’s where I’m being taken for my birthday and If I managed to screen dump enough of the code, my free meal too.

After the meal there was a discussion about where next. Flint won out because of Temptations and also the need, which I denied, to get me a birthday present I liked. First we went to ALDI which Muriel hasn’t visited before in Flint. I was able to get some chocolates from there instead of my usual shop. I was glad we hadn’t parked far away as it was all wind and rain again when we came out . We needed to turn right out of the entrance and a lorry kindly stopped and waved us on only to be held up behind a car going at 2mph at best. Muriel was jittery as she hadn’t got it in gear and we had to pull over hazard lights going until we were sure there was nothing wrong with the car and also to let all the vehicles we’d delayed get a good distance away. Within moments we were back on our way and parked up by Temptations. It was quite busy and as Muriel ordered the drinks I was able to pass the chocs to Ceri and just about say hello. From there we had a look at a couple of shops with John behind me asking if I liked things, usually expensive. I managed to find a reasonable looking jumper at half price in the sale and said how much I liked it. He stopped nagging me and went with Muriel to the counter to get it and some batteries for a set of electronic remote control candles Mike has bought me that he doesn’t know about yet. I had to struggle to stop Mujo taking them off me to buy.

When we went home they stayed long enough for another drink then started their journey home. I decided to delay starting work long enough to watch The Antiques Road Trip on TV but as soon as it was over I came through. I’d hardly made a dent at 6.00 pm when I had to break off for some tea and to take some painkillers. It was 8.00 pm before I felt able to take another break and watch some Big Bang Theory. When the two episodes were over I took my last antibiotic and my evening tablets and returned to the ‘Office’. At 10.45 pm I was clear and able to do the blog though I’ll have to go back for one last check before bed. I need some sleep tonight . Fingers crossed the evil forecast for tomorrow doesn’t kick in until I’ve returned from my blood test.

Tuesday.

There were a couple of minor hiccups in the night but I still managed to hang on until 4.45 am. I think I have it figured out now, Somnos thinks the earlier I get up the more time for my devotions towards him. Of course it’s not likely he’ll have come into direct competition with technology before and doesn’t know I’d sooner take that than prayer. I also figured out that Porcinus must have borrowed the goats in the hopes that my affiliation with Capricorn would sway me. He obviously never figured out that at this age who wants to be reminded. I swung one leg out of bed, the other one was so heavy it fell out on its own. Telling myself I could make it, I headed for the loo and the will I, won’t I stop start of the day. After that it was straight to the computer ( sorry Somnos and thanks for helping me get here early). The mail was much as expected, it was there. I started work.

I had to go through to take an antibiotic at 6.00 am so decided I might as well do everything while I was there. Fish first as always, I put the tank light on and had an immediate audience. I had the feeling it might not necessarily have been my audience but it didn’t look like Big Al was on the lecture circuit. It’s possible I suppose that I interrupted their morning prayers but if that’s the case then today was the day of miracles when they got manna from heaven. Of course I’d feel bloody silly if they worshiped another god and I’d just confirmed his existence for them. Anyway they weren’t very devout as they were soon chasing the food and the gathering broke up. I wondered who their High Priest is as there would have to be one who claimed to be the voice of god. I turned away and took a pre-food tablet. I spend far too much time with the fish. I’m beginning to worry I might adopt the supposed 6 second memory. I spend far too much time with the fish. I had my sprays and took the morning meds before lighting a cigarette to time the start of breakfast. As soon as I was near the end I put some bread in the toaster and made a coffee.

Breakfast was welcome this morning for some reason, perhaps because I was going out in the cold later. After I’d had the two post-food tabs I wen back to work. I got washed and dressed before doing anything else so the only things I had to worry about later were my shoes and coat. By 7.30 am I was doing so well I could deal with mail as it came in. That makes a big difference when you panic at the slightest backlog. At 8.20 I put my shoe on without breaking a new shoe horn. I’m sure the right shoe went on easier than it has been doing. Good , that should mean I don’t have to keep co-ordinating my clothes to my shoes soon. I got my coat on and left. Outside there was six inches of…….. nothing. Not only had it not snowed but it wasn’t even raining. I struggled to the bus stop next to my neighbour who was going into town. The bus came quite quickly and I was in town by 8.45 am. The hospital isn’t too far away but not an easy task on crutches so it took me until 9.00 am to get there. I collapsed onto a seat and waited for twenty minutes past, then twenty five past and then it was my turn. I ignored the ‘ just a little prick’ jibe and left with the tape pulling at the hairs on my arm. After spending fifteen minutes getting back to town there was a while before my bus so I nipped into Lidl where I found a steam spray for dealing with getting the creases out of clothes hanging up, for Mike. Then I caught the bus home and stopped off at Pauline’s for some cigarettes and my TV mag. She only had one packet left so I may have to go there tomorrow.

At home a message from Yvonne that she’s left the doctor a message re my foot being about the same as last week. Oddly enough I’m sure after this morning it’s gone down slightly. The doctor will either send a new prescription down to the chemist or will ring her back. It wasn’t too long before I found there had been a phone call. The doctor was amazed there hadn’t been a bigger change and is changing the prescription to something stronger. She wanted to be sure my leg hasn’t increased in size. So, I’ll have to try the chemist tomorrow and see what’s been sent as this batch of antibiotics runs out then. I started work again. Quite a few had come in  while I’d been out. I forgot my 11.00 am antibiotic and had to take it nearer noon so lunch had to be delayed until 1.00 pm. I spent the hour trying to read a book I’ve been sent, but there were constant interruptions with mail. Then I put the first of 2 loads of washing in.

After lunch I worked until 2.15 pm then went to watch Father Brown. I even managed to stay awake then. A text message off MuJo about snow at their place getting deep and stopping them going to a funeral. I looked out of the window but here it was just rain. More work until 4.30 pm when The Antique Road Trip came on. I must have missed the last few minutes and woken up towards the end of the next programme. I folded all the washing into the I*oning basket, turned the tank light off and came back through. I fully intended to get clear and leave the room to watch a bit of TV but life doesn’t work like that. The mail has kept me going as I haven’t allowed it to mount up. At 9.00 pm I got changed to be comfortable and noticed my foot does look a bit less swollen and it’s certainly less painful but my leg still looks like it belongs on a piano so no change there then.

parklife 4 USE

Concentration or a bit of cheek?

Concentration or a bit of cheek?

Wednesday.

Whether it’s Somnos himself in charge of the clock or whether he’s farmed that  duty out to one of his ‘brothers’, someone is very on the ball. It’s was 4.45 again this morning. The only difference is that it took me longer to get to sleep last night so I’ve perhaps had 3 hours. Still, I don’t suppose it will make me any crankier than usual. I made a mad limp for the loo as it was really cold but when I looked out of the window still no snow. I returned to my bedroom. switched on the computer and started work. It’s started again. Two messages to tell me my non-existent bank accounts have been frozen pending information, one message from Mystic Mog  who wants to tell me what the next two weeks holds in store for me. I reckon If I can just hang on for 14 days I’ll know too. There was also one that I didn’t know whether to laugh   about or be cross about…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Hello,
Am Barr.Samuel Tamara a personal Atoney to your brother  whom deposited  some money in the bank
Here in Togo.i want you to come and stand as his nes of kins to claim the money.                                                                                                                                                                             I’m not quite sure what a nes of kins is but I’m quite sure my brother doesn’t need me for the job. I don’t think even the most gullible will be throwing their money at this one.

At 6.00 am I went through to take an antibiotic then decided to sit in the lounge for a while and listen to the rain. Sometimes it can be very soothing and it fact it soothed me to sleep and I didn’t wake up until 6.50 am. No point in going back to work yet so I decided to see to the fish and have some breakfast.  The fish were easy today, once I’d turned the lights on they all crowded round the front of the glass waiting to be fed. I fed them, they set about eating. It occurred to me that they might have been there for another prayer meeting and I wondered whether my new friend Porcinus had anything to do with this sudden sea change in attitudes. maybe Brother Jake has been instrumental in setting it up. I might not be the god they see above them with the food. It would explain why Porcinus has grown a little bigger. I did al I needed to with meds and had some cereal and a round of toast. ( Why a round since bread is oblong?).

I got dressed and spent some more time on the mail. I think I lost track a couple of times when my eyes glazed over and I was stuck in la-la land unable to concentrate.By 9.50 am I’d pretty much caught up though. I managed to get my shoes on and went out to the chemist to see if the new antibiotics were in from the doctor.The sun was shining, it was beautiful but freezing. Hailstones on the ground from during the night unable to defrost The chemists generally go to the surgery in an afternoon to collect prescriptions and she ( The Doctor) was writing it out yesterday. It wasn’t there. I said I’d hold on till this afternoon and call then to see if it had turned up. Then I paid Pauline a visit for some fresh bread and some micro chips  before coming home. Obviously more mail had arrived. At 11.00 am I took the last antibiotic then worked on until midday and lunchtime. I watched all the lunchtime antique show and then came back once again.

At 2.15 am I went to watch Father Brown. I missed the last bit as I nodded off again but as I came back through at 3.00 pm I found a note through the door to say the chemist had called. I never heard a thing. At least I knew they had the prescription now. I was happier as I returned to work . At 4.30 pm O went through for the Antique Road Trip and as I did so, saw the chemist’s van arrive. My friend from there brought the new tablets to the door and I said thank you with a packet of sweets. The show was good. It ended at 5.15 pm and there was no point in going back to work as Dil would be here soon. The quiz show Pointless was on which they generally watch the end of with me. I saw them approach just after 5.30 pm and went through to do drinks which once done I took through and joined them trying to answer obscure questions. As soon as it was over I turned off and Dil  got the table out ready to start. First was Yahtzee- don’t ask. Second was Nomination Whist- don’t ask even more, third and last was Crazy 8’s where unfortunately I was forced to be cruel in order to survive. On this one you can ask- I won.

They left at 9.30 pm to make the journey home. I tidied up and washed the pots before going through to see how bad things were. 142 bad was the answer. Ouch. It took a long time to make any headway and in the end I decided to start the blog rather than finish the mail so I can get to bed.

Another recommendation from my nephew.

Thursday.

I turned my light out after just a chapter last night and was probably asleep by 12.45 am. The early part of my sleep cycle was accompanied by some music. At first I ignored it and it was just in the background but soon it began to intrude as lines of a song penetrated. “Have you thought about changing your ways, you don’t have to know-ow about the world”. Of course, more subliminal messages no doubt courtesy of Somnos. This was by Free singing My Brother Jake. I wondered how many other tortured souls were listening to this right now. It was probably the fact that I liked Free and could fight this  that I started to sing along ( in my sleep) and my voice which is somewhere between a wolf howl and a chicken being strangled brought the session to an end, at least for me. I woke up to the words ” Some are a tough nut to crack.” It was 2.56 am.

I visited the loo, the shock of the bright light waking me even further, before returning to my room and giving life to the computer. I started working on last night’s emails which I hadn’t got too before going to bed. There were quite a few but they posed no particular problem. I noticed though that the first letter of each one was in bold type and in order they read SOMNOS AND THE YOUNG GODS . It was a pleasure to put those behind me. At 6.00 am I went through to the kitchen as quietly as possible an got one of the new tablets I start today.Co-amoxiclav 500/125 mg. I took it back to my bedroom with the leaflet. I know about amoxycillin but read what the leaflet had to say about it but there was for some reason no mention of the clavulanic acid it’s combined with so I had to rely on the net. Apparently it’s like an antibiotic but it hits the things that reject penicillin type antibiotics to make them more effective. Good, my piano leg should start showing signs of returning to normal soon. I put the leaflet down after starting to read some of the possible side effects and saw one that said sleeplessness. How is that possible in my case? I returned to work.

At 7.00 am I went through t the kitchen to take my normal daily meds and to feed the fish. There they were , all hovering around the hatch waiting for food trying to look as though they weren’t. This morning I put the flake in for Morecambe and Wise chatting to them all the while, then adding the pellets for the rest of them while telling them what a nice day it is and what a fine bunch they are. I realise I could probably have been speaking Yiddish to them but oped the tones and inflections in my speech would show Big Al we weren’t at war. From the glances I was getting I’m not sure he was convinced. I turned away and started taking my morning sprays then got a mug of milk for my tablets ( for me to take them that is). Having done that I made myself a drink which I brought back. There was a reply to a message I sent to Ancestry.com which showed they’d totally misunderstood my request to transfer the new year’s subscription to Amazon.com to Amazon.co.uk which I use. All the lady told me was that I could access the Ancestry files from any country. I knew that but I don’t want my subscription on .co.uk to run out and have to start signing in at .com instead. It’s been a problem for each of the last 3 years but in the end I get someone to understand and make the transfer.Looks like it’s going to be a hard time this year.

When I returned to my work I found a new email from the spammer conmen and this one is very professional and will catch people in  the UK out.                                      DEAR HMRC HOLDERS,

In accordance with Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulations, HM Revenue & Customs is adding an
additional layer of security to better protect the privacy of your tax refund account.

You must update your information now before you can proceed.

Update Now

This will only take a few moments.

Yours Sincerely,
Security Advisor.
HM Revenue & Customs

The ways to tell this is a con  . Firstly the address  fdrasdeagr@cox.net is not a valid address for a Government Dept.  Secondly, They have not used your name or your National Insurance Number. Please don’t fall for it.

By 9.15 am I’d cleared the first batch of mail though I hadn’t the courage at that point to refresh. I felt tired which before any of you shout “What, again??”  I’ll try pointing out it’s listed as a side effect of these new tabs (phew). I sat in my chair in the lounge and allowed myself to nod. Not too deeply as I didn’t want to miss anyone as I had the chemist yesterday. Anyway, I was afraid of more Somnos adverts if I slept properly and I might just be persuaded to do something I’d regret. By 10.25 am I was on my feet again telling myself a quick hoover wouldn’t hurt. After reminding myself not to be on my foot too long I had an excuse to delay it so just topped up Ju’s vase and watered a couple of plants instead. Unable to avoid it anymore I returned to work. It hadn’t taken things long to mount up. I opened my second email address to see ow bad things were  and nearly had to call for oxygen.Having said that, I was able to get rid of a fair few duplicates from that address and what was left didn’t seem too bad.

The work kept me going until a natural break at 11.45 am. I took the chance to go for lunch. These new super tablets are just 3 times a day so they don’t interfere with meal times. I’m taking them at 6.00 am, 2.00 pm and 10.00 pm. Perfect 8 hour intervals every time. I made myself some micro chips, coned beef and pickled beetroot for lunch. I think I may need more pickled beetroot this weekend as Mike likes it and won’t be chuffed to find most of it gone. Hopefully I’ll remember to put it on my list. Instead of the usual antique show I put an old Murder she Wrote on to watch during lunch then instead of returning to work straight away at 1.00 pm when it finished, I turned over and had 15 minutes of snooker. I didn’t overdo it as I was determined to watch Father Brown at 2.15 pm. I made it with moments to spare. When that was over at 3.00 pm I went back and attacked the new post with vigour I was worried about The Antiques Road Trip at 4.30 pm to 5.15 pm. Not a problem, I also made that though it was a skin of the teeth job. Next I had to make sure I’d be free for the new Big Bang Theory at 8.00 pm which will just be on a Thursday unless I’m watching the repeat because I missed the first one.

As the day wears on the computer gets slower and slower to load. Writing comments or messages and the words appear ages after I’ve actually typed them so I have to wait for it to catch up before I can see errors. I’m forced to sign out of my emails altogether and then sign back in to speed up a little more for a while. I can hear the fan struggling and almost crying out for help. I have a defrag / disc clean up run every day though so don’t know what more I can do. When 8.00 pm came I hadn’t quite caught up but left anyway. It turned out  the first episode was an old one and the 8.30 pm one was new so I had to stay and watch it didn’t I? It was excellent of course. At 9.00 pm when I returned to my room you lot had been having a ball in my absence so I had a fair bit to catch up on but I wasn’t worried now. I stopped at 10.30 to do the blog and will go back to mail as soon as I’ve done here. As long as I’m up sometime tomorrow to get my lottery from Pauline’s.

Friday.

I thought my birthday had come early today. 4.59 am on the clock which changed to 5.00 am as I sat on the edge of the bed looking for my slippers. I grabbed my dressing gown and started to put it on as I made my way to the loo. Hands washed afterwards I came back and turned the computer on. First thing I followed up on the story of a lunatic who charged into a local supermarket on Wednesday carrying a machete and a hammer and shouting about white power. He then attacked a young dentist causing major injuries. He’s been arrested and charged with racially motivated attempted murder. I understand the injuries to the dentist who I assume is not white are not life threatening but they’re being called life changing which I imagine they are. Wales has a good record as far as prejudice goes having taken Paul Robeson to our hearts and more lately having thrown the KKK out on it’s heels. This incident has caused a fair amount of shock. I wish the young dentist a full and speedy recovery and hope he stays. I wish the young thug, well, you don’t want to know that.

I only worked until 6.00 am as I needed to take the new antibiotic, and as Friday is pill day I thought I might as well do everything else too. Antibiotic first then over to the fish tank which when the lights were on showed Big Al towards the front. I thought I’d have a chat with him before dropping food in. I put my head level with his and spoke. Immediately he turned round and presented his tail. Hmm, I stood and he turned back to the front. I tried speaking again and again he just turned round on me. I had no idea they had maps and knew about Coventry. As soon as I ceased speaking he turned back and waited for food. I gave up and fed them. At least Morecambe and Wise still respond to a few words. I took my meds and then had a pre-foodie before bringing my meds drawer through. I filled the now empty trays and prepared my prescription request for those items I’d finished. As soon as I’d finished I put some bread in the toaster, some cereal in a bowl and prepared to make my coffee. As my breakfast was finished I put the crockery in the washing up bowl, made the coffee, took the two post-foodies and returned to word.

One of the first spams of the day was, once opened, another con. The usual I’m a bank manager, please pretend to be someone who’d dead and we’ll share the money. The difference here was the man claimed to be European and working for one of the big Chinese Banks in Hong King. The letter was beautifully written with none of the usual spelling mistakes.  Some nice jargon too. However, even if I hadn’t known it as a scam, the same two things would have given it away. 1. They didn’t use my name and 2. The address this message came from was not Hong Kong .Try and bear these two points in mind when you get anything suspicious. The work kept me going until 9.00 am when I slowly got dressed and went to Pauline’s for the lottery tickets. I think I’ll win tonight if nobody minds. I had a text from my niece about Sunday to see if it’s still on even though one section of the tribe won’t be there. We’ve decided it will be, so I’ll have to check Mike is here first.

At 11.00 am there was a knock on the door and I opened it to find a wet warden. It was coming down quite hard. I let her in and she led the way to the lounge. The subject came round to fish and she mentioned a large Garden Centre she used to go too that had a large section for fish. I said I’d google it. After she’d gone, I did just that. The place is still there but there’s no mention of fish these days.I googled other fish shops in North Wales and got two good ones that might be worth thinking about sometime. It won’t be this Saturday though as Mike has an assignation with a pretty lady. I’m hoping he’ll be back before breakfast Sunday ready and raring to go. At 12.00 am I had lunch which was a ready meal of braised steak with mashed potatoes and carrots. It wasn’t too bed. Today I watched my antiques show while I ate then came back though when it ended. I was tired and must have nodded off in my seat for a few minutes as I’d a sore neck when I woke.

At 2.15 I excused myself to watch Father Brown. I’m still not sure why. Mark Williams plays the part well as does Sorcha Cusack his housekeeper but the end result never seems to have been worked out by a set of good clues like a Christie book would . I find them a bit hit and miss in parts. Still, it’s a 45 minute break from one screen to another. Then it was back to work again. So much post coming through today. I told myself I’m knocking off at 4.30 pm for the Antiques Road Trip whatever happens.  What actually happened was I got stuck in the middle of an email and didn’t get away until 4.45 pm but no matter, I was able to glean what, if not how, had been bought at the auction stage of the programme. Much as I like Charlie Ross, this week he was beaten by road trip newbie young Natasha from Glaagow and I was pleased. She was a breath of fresh air. Her arms were like the blades of a windmill ever circling but she was so nice, so eccentric, who cared. Towards the end of the programme I had a text from Mike to say he was half way to me and had stopped for food ( probably thinks I’ll poison him ). It wasn’t worth returning to work as he was probably half an hour away. He arrived about 6.15 pm and watched the end of a quiz with me. I made a coffee for him then went to get changed for my shower. As usual Mike was fantastic and did my hair to save me risking an angina attack. After the shower I made myself a sandwich then we watched a bit of snooker, a sports quiz and Mastermind. I hadn’t got the excuse to stay away any longer and had to return to work.

To be honest, you must have all been having your tea or washing the pots as for once the mail wasn’t as bad as I feared. I was able to take my time with it and comment a little more often. More importantly I was able to make sure I tweeted as much as possible for everyone. At 10.0 pm I took my last of the new tablets for today. I asked Mike what he thought about the leg and he agreed it had gone down slightly in some places but he couldn’t understand ( nor can I ) what all the skin peeling is about. At 10.30 pm I stopped work on the messages long enough to spend some time on the blog which takes longer to do than you’d think. I can return to messages later and break off when I need to.

Saturday.

It’s hard to believe a Saturday could start like this. 3.57 am I wake up, I get up, I pee for Britain in the Stop-Start Olympics, then I turn on the computer. There are just 37 messages in my inbox and 9 of those are from last night that I didn’t get to. I’d finished just after 5.00 am and was wondering what the heck to do next. Should I be creepy and listen in to all Mike’s sleep-conversations from beside the bedroom door. Maybe I can find out who it is he keeps giving a bollocking to. But maybe that’s not such a good idea in case it’s me . What if he woke up and saw me there, he might just think it’s the burglar again.He might find it hard to explain to the police how I sprouted 6″ of steel from my chest. Maybe I could freak the fish out by going to talk to them for a while. In the end I settled for playing on my Ancestry.co.uk and following some of he hints they have given me. It didn’t prove to be very helpful.

At 6.00 am  went to get my antibiotic bomb and like yesterday decided to do everything at once. If I saw to the fish and took my other meds I’d be able to have the rubbish taken out before I had to concentrate on getting Mike up. Accordingly I witched the light on in the tank. Big Al was in my face. Behind him was Little Al with the two new cory’s swimming rings round his tail as though they wanted him to play. Had I not been watching he probably would have done so. Showing my mean side I leaned down a little closer and said quite loudly “BOO!” I regretted it straight away but too late, Little Al went spinning away in confusion and the two youngsters thinking games had started followed him. Morecambe and Wise were swimming at the top of the tank waiting for food even though breakfast didn’t officially start for an hour. Sharkey and the plecs were otherwise occupied so it left just Big Al and I eyeball to eyeball. It became a staring competition though I must admit he was far better at it than I. It occurred to me that maybe he wa asleep and I’d never know since they don’t close their eyes as far as I know. I’ve never seen him blink anyway. I’d no idea what I could possibly have done wrong and thought the whole thing was stupid. I stood up. I swear I heard the sound of applause and Big Al with a smug grin like he’d proved something yet again. “Yeah well I’m bigger than you” was the only pathetic retort I could come back with.

Shoulders slumped I went to take my meds then I emptied the rubbish and food waste bins and took them outside to the appropriate bins which I wheeled and caried down the path. Coming back inside I gathered the recycling bags and took those out as well. Coming in again I put fresh bin bags in all the containers, washed my hands and made myself a coffee. By now I’d noted that it was 6.80 am so before returning to my room I put the kettle on for Mike. At 7.00 am his alarm went off. Moving as quickly as I could I made a coffee and took it through making sure he heard my voice telling him it was there, and purposely saying he could tell me who he’d been arguing with at 4.00 am when I’d heard him shouting. I’d hoped that was enough. At 7.10 am, the second alarm went off. The moment it ceased I made sure my voice even more loudly told him not to forget his coffee, it was going cold. There was acknowledgement so I was hopeful. I returned to work. At 7.20 am his alarm went for the third time. “Mike” I shouted several decibels higher, “your coffee’s cold.” There was fresh acknowledgement which might have contained an epithet or two so I was sure I was on a winner. I, was, he moved and by 7.30 am had made his way to the lounge and lit his first cigarette. The coughing woke me.

We left the house after 8.00 am,a tad later than usual and in his usual fashion, despite the black ice, tried to bring into play whatever coil it is that you use to get to the future. I think we were at ASDA for 8.00 am (ish). Mike got the trolley, I got my cash, and we headed in. I wasn’t altogether pleased with the choice of flowers for Ju but at least she has a colourful display today. I worked my way round to the gent’s clothing while Mike nipped to the loo. My timing was exceptional as they were putting final clearance prices out like Jeans from £16 to £2. I placed a few items in the trolley and rushed a bit so Mike couldn’t spoil my fun. That might have been a mistake. I was looking at reduction in the houseware aisle when Mike returned. He said nothing. We carried on and actually found space in the trolley for some food, though not much, before going for a coffee. I sent a text to my niece to confirm arrangements for tomorrow then we got in the car to drive to Flint. The sun was really shining this morning but where there was shade the frost and ice remained. There was no heat out at all. It seemed to get up to 2 degrees and stick there.

In Flint we parked up and walked (limped since as we say here I almost went arse over tit on the ice with 2 crutches and two legs all heading for the four points of the compass) We went round a couple of shops to pick up some chocolates for the girls in Temptations and for The Ivy later. Then we went for a coffee. I said to Mike it’s the last coffee I’d have there while still 63, he said it’s the last day I could do a Beatles number( when I’m 64). We joked with Ceri and the staff as usual an then Mike sat with his teacake and we had our drinks. Before I finished Ceri went past collecting cups and saucers and went to the far end of the shop.Minutes later she came back with a gift bag and a birthday balloon and gave me a big kiss. After I’d thanked everyone Mike even made me carry it out myself and took his time storing it in the car. We still had a little time before lunch so walked to another shop  to look at jackets and other sale items but there was nothing he liked. We headed for the Ivy.

Te carpark was full which was good news for the business but bad news for us since Tariq doesn’t get as much chance to chat when things are ,like that. Still. Angie offered a greeting kiss ( I haven’t been this lucky in years) and our table was free. We said hi to young Rob then as Angie brought the drinks we ordered lunch. I was able to take my pre-foodie. Shirley came in and though she obviously wasn’t her usual self ( who would be, especially as I think the funeral was this week) you could see she was trying. She and her daughter sat with Mike and I and had a coffee while she also sorted out when she’d be returning to work. She”s been missed. She starts again next  Thursday. Tariq came out with our lunch and apologised for not having been able to come out to see us. We understood. Once he’d gone Angie said something about my birthday and another woman by the counter said it’s her daughter’s birthday tomorrow too. I intended to go over and say Happy Birthday but by the time I’d finished eating they’d gone. Shirley and her daughter left. We finished eating and I got up to pay. Angie gave me another kiss -wow. I paid the bill and said goodbye and Tariq came flying out distraught that he’d only just found out about the birthday and he’d done nothing about it. I got a great hug which made a fantastic gift an wanted nothing more but he wanted me in tomorrow. I said I can’t make it so he’s determined to do something for next week. I hope he gets busy enough to make him forget. I was sorry we hadn’t seen Shella today. We left and headed for home.

Once home we unpacked the bags.Te food went away and I came through to unpack the clothes. A cardigan for Bert who always brings my bins and bags in and a often takes in parcels for me. Jeans for Mike- right size- Tee shirt for Mike- right size. Jeans for me- on the wrong hanger and would only fit a midget. Tee shirt for me-OK, shirt for me- wrong hanger will fit an ogre. I knew I shouldn’t rely on the hanger but should always check the label. B*gger. I started work and even though this morning had been gentle, the rest of the time had made up for it. To make matters worse I was tired and wanted to nod off. I soldiered on until Lis appeared with a gift and my usual hugs n’ kisses. I made drinks and we chatted about how her daughter Charlie is ( beautiful girl) and what we’d been up to this week. When it was time to say goodbye I left Mike with his beloved Man.Utd and started work again. I didn’t seem to be making much progress until I’d gone through and made tea and watched TV with Mike for half an hour. After that I put my back into it , started using three fingers for typing and actually managed to get almost up to date for 8.00 pm when I joined Mike for an hour or so again so he didn’t shout at me. At 9.15 I started again and managed to get up to date for 10.30 pm. YAY !!

Slightly more highbrow tonight. This is a fantastic piece.

Have a Great  Week Everyone.

 

 

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THIS IS A VERY SAD DAY FOR BLOGGING

davidprosser:

Censorship should be used very carefully and it should be 100% correct if it means banning someone. From the supportive messages, I’d say the chances of censorship being correct here are about NIL. I hope there is an appeals process where messages of support will be taken into account.

Originally posted on Don Charisma:

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO REBLOG THIS POST TO SHOW YOUR SOLIDARITY FOR A FRIEND AND FELLOW BLOGGER – JASON CUSHMAN.

It’s recently come to my attention then a friend and fellow blogger has been permanently BANNED from WordPress.com.

girl-boy-socialising-pb-516341-DonCharisma.org-1024LEJason Cushman’s blog HarsH ReaLiTy is going to be closed down shortly, which is a very sad end to an era of Jason doing so much for the WordPress community, and bringing NEW and PROGRESSIVE ideas into blogging. He is in blogging terms CHARISMA PERSONIFIED. Jason had this to say :

All blogging advice articles will be removed within 24 hours. The meet and greet threads will be removed by the end of next week. I appreciate everyone that has supported this website. -OM

Jason and I first came into contact when he invited me to join his “Project O”. I was pretty new to blogging at the time, and didn’t…

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RELEASED TODAY: THE HEALER

davidprosser:

Not to Be Missed

Originally posted on writerchristophfischer:

The wait is over. If you pre-ordered the book, it will be on your kindle already. The paperback will be out later today.
http://smarturl.it/thehealerthriller

healer twitterb

Well maybe that’s a very confident statement…
Anyway, here are the reviews so far:

The Healer by Christoph Fischer is a book you must read as soon as it is released. You do not want to run the risk that the buzz about the book will spoil this thriller for you. The book is, of course, well-written. It’s a quick read that you will want to hurtle through in an afternoon, or over a weekend. At its core are interesting, enigmatic characters, and a clever plot. The story is told from the point of view of the main character, Erica Whittaker, who in midlife is diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. It comes as no surprise that she’s desperate. Traditional medicine has nothing more to offer…

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The Doctor. Who? Appears and Hugging Visitation.

Sunday 4th January 2015

It was a 3.28 am start this morning which was just as well since there had been a fair amount of activity by the scribes overnight. I was quite happy plodding along bringing the numbers down until I realised that they were all being replaced at the same rate so I had to up my pace. My Sunday morning body and brain weren’t keen on this idea and made me feel tired. I decided I’d lie down for a while once the fish were seen to at 7.00 am but it seems Somnos had other ideas. I’d been through and faced some kind of lecture from Big Al. The other fish carried on with what they were doing but Al parked himself at the front of the tank and mouthed off at me. It’s his own fault if the food landed on his head when I opened the flap. Oddly enough, just as the food hit, Big All jumped like he’d been shocked and I swear I caught a glimpse of Porcinus rushing off on his tatty cloven little tootsies.

I took my meds ( maybe they’ll clear up the visions) and made myself a coffee which I took through  to the lounge. I often have more luck nodding off there than in bed. I was trying to nod off but every time I shut my eyes the sight of a young child, a baby almost in a formal 3 piece suit appeared behind my eyelids. He was smoking a cigar which you just knew had last been touched by a dusky maiden as she rolled the tobacco on her thigh (sigh) and he was enjoying every draw. I tried to open my eyelids to banish the sight but he just clicked his pudgy little fingers and they stayed shut. I was sort of getting an idea who this was but why should a god of lovers and wishes be dressed like some mafia lawyer, and what could he want with me? The answer was forthcoming as he spoke in a Texas drawl with a baby’s voice. It sounded a bit like an accident with the helium. The party of the first part (Somnos) wanted his contract fulfilled ( I said he looked like a lawyer) and he , an interested party in this contract expected to see it expurgated forthwith or even fifthwith.( Lawyers humour there).  He had some growing to do and was anxious to start. “Oh, and by the way, as  I’m the god of lovers” he said, “make sure you paint my image with lots of pastel colours.” While I was still trying to work that one out, he vanished.

I decided to go back to work for a while and catch up on anything new in . I was obviously delirious. At 9.05 am though a wave of tiredness came over me and I did one last message then lay on the bed and was gone. Next thing I know I hear the loo flush. I came awake with a start and went through to the lounge. Mike was up and drinking a coffee he’d made himself ( and I’m sure I never showed him how). It was 9.30 am. I asked how long he’d been up and he told me since 9.15 am. He’d seen my light on and stuck his head in. According to Mike I was laying on my back, mouth wide open and snoring like mad. I was an idle beggar still being in bed at that time.

We really took our time getting ready and it must have been 11.00 am before we were on our way out. We headed for Prestatyn where I got a plumbing pack with a radiator key in it. Considering I’d gone into the £ shop just for that I came out £9 lighter. From there we headed for Rhyl and after parking up on the street and finding it had gone midday we went for lunch to a place all locals call the Red Caff on account of the internal colour scheme and red plastic seating. It was OK. After that we had a general mooch looking for a case for a 10″ tablet and finding another pack of radiator keys for me. We ha a look round a store looking for a car coat for Mike without success but I fell in love with a jacket down from £75 to £30 in the sale. No I didn’t, I behaved. Last stop of the day was the aquarist shop where Ju and I used to buy a lot of our fish and our tanks. I got my Pangasius called Zippy from there. Today Mike saw a couple of fish he wanted for his tank and I saw some synodontis I couldn’t resist but I only bought two as it’s almost my birthday and I’ve been promised fish then. Anyone who knows fish will have seen a pattern emerging here. I just adore catfish.

Aren't I beautiful.

Aren’t I beautiful.

We shot off home so I could start preparing them for the tank, 20 minute in their bag in the tank water, 20 minutes with some tank water added to the bag and then gently release them. Mike loaded the car, strapped his fish into the front seat and set off for Rugby to do the same with his fishy friends. It was just 3.40 pm so I was set for the first 20 minute stage. I started to work since I’d been away from my screen for almost 7 hours. There was just so much of it. At 4.00 pm I went through and added some tank water to the bag to acclimatise my new pals and then went back to work. I remember seeing 4.15 pm then nothing.  at 5.05 pm I woke up.I knew I’d been to sleep as the imprint of the keyboard was in reverse on the palm of my hand. Fortunately my forehead had been resting on my arm. The screen was just filled with pages of capital G’s.  OMG, the fish! I dashed through and released them. They were fine of course just having had longer to adjust than usual. I returned to my screen and started deleting all the G’s so I could get back to where I’d left off. Thank heavens I hadn’t sent it to someone. I wasn’t sure if the sleep was a present, a punishment or just a reminder from Somnos so to cover myself here is my promotion.

Fed up with your old household gods? Need a new breed for the New Year? Say hello to the bright young things of today who can serve you for tomorrow too. Start saying your prayers to the leader of the new Pantheon, Somnos. Offspring of an older god and who knows what, Somnos is the bright star in the heavens and can turn his hand to anything. A young master of life’s mysteries.  Give it up for his brothers, young Porcinus who is god of household and not so household animals and Brother Jake who though the youngest is still a bit of a bright spark. Apart from being responsible for lovers he is also responsible for wishes.Not worth asking for Lottery Numbers he tells me, the elder gods have that tied up for years.

I had to take a half hour break to get something for tea as I’d only had one set of tablets today but after that it was right back nose to the grindstone ( it’s OK my beak can afford it). I’m making real headway now and hope to be in bed by midnight.

Monday.

Negotiation can obviously be rewarding. I was allowed until 4.47 am this morning. It was a bit of a blow to find no-one had arranged for their to be no post during the extra period so I could wake up relaxed but I suppose it’s my own fault for not getting the i’s dotted and t’s crossed. I’ll know for the future and squeeze harder than a lemon press. Once I’d come back from the loo and switched on I’d been disappointed but what the heck, I had time. I worked till 7.00 am and went through to the kitchen. I had to be quiet, my new catfish are very small and quite shy often hiding away during the daylight hours. I turned the light on and there they were enjoying the extra space in this tank. Where the others came flying over when the food was in they didn’t of course but I’m sure they’ll soon learn. That’s if Sharkey behaves anyway and he certainly wasn’t this morning. He was trying to chase everyone away from the food and even managed to startle Big Al this morning. It couldn’t happen often though as nothing can move the tank that Big Al is. He seemed in better humour today and didn’t even glance in my direction. That could be a bit worrying as though an event is due to happen and he’s distancing himself from it for when he secret police arrive…..and that’s despite the fact he probably orchestrated the whole thing. I may need a word with Porcinus to see if fish come under his purview.

I watched for long enough to see my two synodontis disappear inside an upturned ship and stay there. I decided there and then whatever I have for my birthday will be bigger…too big for holes like that. Maybe too big for Sharkey too. A couple of real battleships. I took my meds to get me down from this high and mad myself  coffee to take back. I couldn’t be bothered getting dressed as I wasn’t going anywhere. By about 9.45 am I was happy with what I’d done and where I was so took a few minutes to head to the lounge and my chair. The first thing I aw was my repeat prescription request from Friday. Damn. I had to get dressed after all. It was such a pain getting a tiny sock on this big fat leg that when I was dressed I slipped a pair of summer deck shoes on. Even that was a small problem but I managed it and getting my jacket and crutches went out, locking the door behind me. I had to manage like Long John Silver, just putting one foot to the floor and swinging along on the crutches. It works well but is tiring.I got there and back without problems. Back inside I slipped off the shoes and put my slippers on and dealt with the actual mail from the postman.

Back to work. Still not too much in but enough to keep me going until lunchtime. I broke off at 11.45 am to start lunch and then found a Time Team to watch while I ate my shepherd’s pie followed by chocolate cake. At 1.00 pm I went back to work until 2.15 pm when the new series of Father Brown started. I have vague recollections of having enjoyed the books as a child and wanted to see what they were like. Not bad really. Then back to face the afternoon rush until 6.00 pm when I had Eggheads.( no, not personally, it’s a programme not a disease). After that I just had to shut my eyes as they were closing anyway and I stayed that way for 35 minutes before coming back through. Since then it’s been a slight struggle to keep up to date because certain personal messages I save till this end of the day to deal with and sometimes they’re long. But, I shall manage an early  night I hope as I want to see my beautiful daughter and my grandson tomorrow. She’s threatening the doctor on Thursday.

Tuesday.

I had a 2.51 am start this morning. That’s approximately two and a quarter hours sleep if I slept the minute I turned the light off. I didn’t. Whatever AC Flory says,I’m not prepared to go down the photograph of a chocolate cake yet. And don’t even suggest prayer, I already feel preyed upon. Maybe I should have had a closer look at the small print in the contract. My leg was painful when I put it down so I hopped to the loo, reminded myself I’d made a mistake buying the Loo purple instead of the Loo Bloo, resolved to correct my error, and hopped back. There was quite a lot of mail to be dealt with and I’m currently open to suggestions as to how to cut it down. At 6.00 am I’d reached the end of the main ones and also of my tether. I felt tired.  I needed something to brighten me but the buses weren’t running yet and my daughter wouldn’t be up. I settled for second best and went through to the kitchen. When the lights went on I was delighted to be able to see the new fish flitting back and forth. They have real speed and really are beautiful with their streamlined moustaches.

Morecambe and Wise came to the top to await their flake and most of the others moved into position ready for the pellets. Sharkey was being very annoying and I had o speak sharply to him but as usual I was ignored. Big Al was a worry though. No insults, no tellings off, no glaring. He sat towards he back of the tank , little gimlet eyes as wide as they’d go and looked shell shocked. I have no idea what- or who- happened to him. I did in fact feel rather sorry for him as I think he’s getting old now and I’m sure the synodontis won’t be interested in his lectures. I get the feeling they’re all rap and hip-hop. After watching the activity for a few minutes I fed them and left them to eat in peace. I did see Big Al move towards the food area before turning away. I took my sprays then put milk in my mug and took the tablets, leaving enough milk for my coffee. I sat and drank that in the lounge and considered shutting my eyes but was afraid of missing the bus.

I washed the  now empty mug, picked up the gifts for Yvonne, Ugo and Reuben, switched the lights off and headed back to my bedroom. I got washed and dressed and started on the lesser messages and notifications until 7020 am when it was time to get my shoes on and prepare to leave. I allowed time in case I had problems finding the right shoes. At the moment I could do with a pair belonging to a clown though I dare say Mike would say I already have. I left the house at 7.30 am and started walking toward the bus stop. It started raining and then the bus went right past me. So that was the way the day was going to be. I reached the bust stop and climbed aboard. The driver, my regular, said “If I’d known it was raining I’d have stopped for you back there.” Luckily I hadn’t quite got my breath back so just said “Thanks.” On the bus Yvonne sent me a text to ask if I was coming and let me know she was waiting for young sleepyhead to wake up. That’s a first. I just sent a text saying I was on the bus.

When I got to Chester I saw Yvonne pushing the trolley out of a shop towards me. The plastic cover was down because of the rain and she was just telling me that Reuben wasn’t very well when he started smiling and pointing at me. I guess I had something stuck in my teeth. The joy didn’t last long and tears accompanied the siren as we walked round the first shop. It improved a bit when he was given a book to read and we headed for the coffee shop in the next place. Yvonne fed Roobs his breakfast which he took well. He did feel a little warm. She passed him the books I’d bought while she checked out the other gifts and loved the cardie and little jacket I’d got him. While we were having coffee she told me that Ugo is having Reuben confirmed in Church soon.  I just nodded as this is their child and my opinions won’t count on this subject. But, I always thought a confirmation followed a Christening/Baptism and was for the subject to agree to follow the life of discipleship? As far as I know he hasn’t been baptised or if he has I wasn’t invited ( probably for good reason) and I’d say since he can’t talk yet, he’s far too young to be making any commitments. As I say , it’s their business, their choice but for me, I’d much rather this kind of malarkey was left until a child is old enough to know what they’re doing and can make an informed choice. Some people seem to need the community of a church but it’s not for everyone. CORRECTION. with apologies, I’m now innformed it’s a dedication and not a confirmation. This just welcomes him into the church and his parents and god parents attend to confirm they’ll teach him about god.Personally I’d rather he was just tauiught about people and how he should treat them. How he should protect the vulnerable regardless of race, colour,culture or creed.Humanity is One  and we need to work together without divisions to learn tolerance. Rant Over.

We left the coffee house and headed for another shop but Reuben was obviously very unhappy. Neither books nor looking at his favourite toys would stop the siren in my ear. I suggested as it was 11.30 am Yvonne should take him home. Se said once we finished this last shop she’d do that and cool him off and let him sleep if he needs it. Lucky for me, this last shop was close to my bus stop and there was a bus due at noon. We said our goodbyes and she apologised. There was no need. I knew she needed to settle Reuben down and be happy that he’s OK. As for me, I get home an hour early and can start work again that much sooner. I’d have been out almost 6 hours by then.

When I got off the bus I dropped into Pauline’s for some supplies and my next TV mag. I found some chips in a mild and fruity curry sauce which I decided to have for lunch. It was lovely.I had bread and butter to make sure I lost none of the sauce. I did half an hour’s work then skipped off to watch an episode of Father Brown again. When that was over I piled into the work like a madman. After a while I must have looked like one too as I kept yawning so my eye were watery, they kept closing in an attempt to grab an after-food sleep and my head looked like either a nodding dog or one of those Ostrich things that used to dip their beaks in your drink. It got to the stage I had no idea what I was doing so I allowed it to happen. When I woke 25 minutes later all I had was a stiff neck. By 7.50 am I’d finally caught up and had an hour with the TV watching a celebrity quiz show for charity. They put up a good show but didn’t win.

9.00 pm meant back in here again and another session of catch up before I was able to start the blog. I will be in bed for midnight.

I keep seeing an advert on TV which has someone driving an elephant like a car. The tune keeps popping into my head so tonight I’m going to play it on here an hope it gets out of my head completely. Sorry about that, I hope no-one catches it.

Wednesday.

I made my midnight bedtime last might- just. I couldn’t cope with reading for very long and so the light was out by a quarter past. Sleep came quickly, and having delighted me with whatever dream left me smiling, it left just as quickly as well, at 2.38 am. You know at the time if you’ll get away with just snuggling back under the covers or whether you’re really awake and ready to create a new formula for world peace. I swear the powers that be keep sending the wrong people to do that job. Anyway, once up I did the Olympic Hop to the loo and the Olympic hop back afterwards. Times almost took a turn for the worse when the first hop was taken on the wrong leg. If anyone asks later whether I heard that strange sound I’ll just say no, what strange sound? I settled in my seat and turned the computer on. Straight away I wished I’d taken the other option which was packing my hankie and running away to parts unknown with no computer access. Actually I suppose I could just go camping up the road and have that happen. Warmer climes appealed but where? It has to be somewhere that isn’t trying to kill me from the moment I arrive via snake, spider or even mosquito. One of the South Sea Islands maybe. While waiting for my  ticket to arrive I might as well do some work.

First job is to check my lottery ticket. I know things are looking grim when I see it’s a further rollover. Grimmer still when I see that damned machine didn’t even give  me one number let alone the Millionaire Maker code. Ah well ( big sigh) maybe the weekend. I worked until 6.00 am and cleared both talktalk and gmail addresses. In celebration I decided to feed the fish a bit early again. I turned the kitchen light on followed by the tank light. Big Al blinked and as I opened the hatch he flew over and stationed himself underneath. No-one was getting food before him today. I dropped in some pellets. He wiggled his moustache, perhaps in thanks and tried to pick up one of the pellets whole. Others came to join him now including Sharkey who was trying to grub for food and chase everyone else off at the same time. The was no sign of my little synodontii though.( my guess for the plural as synodontisses doesn’t quite have the same ring), they were having a lie-in it seemed until suddenly I spotted a head moving about on the underside of the pump. Of course, these are often known as upside down catfish. I replaced the flap and left them to it.

I decided to have breakfast today so the first thing i to take a pre-food tablet then mess around for 15 minutes before eating.  I had my sprays then took half my tablets and lit a cigarette. Then I took the rest of the tablets, took an empty plastic bottle to the recycling bags, took a book to the bookshelves in Mike’s room before returning to the kitchen to put some bread in the toaster, put my cigarette out and made a coffee. I got the butter and a knife out and a plate to hold the toast which soon signified it was ready by shooting a couple of inches in the air. As soon as breakfast was eaten it was time for the post-food tablets and I returned to work. Only about ten piece of post which were soon dealt with so it was time for 40 winks in the lounge with my foot up.I slept for an hour and found I’d been reading at the same time, or at least turning the pages of my book without taking anything in. To be honest, I wasn’t taking in much when I was awake either. This book hasn’t gripped me yet. That could be because there are a couple of books in my pile that I really want to get to grips with one of which is a John Grisham.

I returned to work and found a message telling me a doctor would be coming out today. If it’s my own doctor it will probably be after lunch. That was fine, I sent a message back thanking Yvonne only to get another requesting I let her know everything the doctor says and not just the finer points. She’s most untrusting. I grabbed some carpet fresh for the hall and then hoovered the lounge and lit a febreeze candle to overcome (?) any smoke smells but I should be OK as I’m never in there long enough to smoke much. After my mini work-a-thon the postman arrived bringing with him a request to write to one of the House of Lords about the Dignity in Death bill due later this month. I did that with pleasure. One piece of mail from my Causes group was from  Portugal asking for some computer equipment for a Breast Cancer Support Group. It seemed little enough to ask for so I did a small blogpost on it.I’m hoping as people spread it, maybe it will just hit the right person who can donate the equipment needed. I’m not sure it’s something one individual can do unless they have the money to donate for buying fromnew. But there may be a firm out there who could sponsor such a cause and if so, I’m sure one of my friends will know. Otherwise I may have to see if the request can be given to one of the larger computer manufacturing companies. Any bright ideas would be welcomed.

I worked up until midday but didn’t eat in case the doctor came. I watched my antique show and made every effort to stay awake. Eventually at 1.45 pm I saw my doctor approach. I stayed where I was as she let herself in and came through. Out of manners I raised off my seat but she waved me down. he spent a few seconds playing with my upper leg to see if there was any pain ( no, but there was pleasure) in case there was a blood clot. Instead it appears I have cellulitis which is a deep infection of the soft tissue, usually strep. It started like gout but has stayed hot and swollen for far too long. To cut a long story short, I have to look out for other problems which might result in hospitalisation, but otherwise four to five weeks of antibiotics should do the trick. Next week we have to phone and describe the foot/leg to see if the swelling has gone down. If so, she’ll prescribe the next batch of antibiotics, if not she’ll come out to assess it again. At least my body temp and my blood pressure were good. She left me a prescription when I assure her I had someone to get it then she left. I put socks and shoes on an went out to pick it up. You might know there was none at the chemist but it was due in so they’d deliver it later. I went home again. I reported to the boss and she let me know poor Reuben’s problem on Tuesday was Hand, Foot and Mouth disease which I’ve never heard of before now. Poor little mite has a rash.

Back at work I tried sitting sideways on to the computer and stick my leg up on the bed. That was very uncomfortable so I had to make do with the floor. I worked until 4.30 pm them went to watch the Antiques Road Trip which I missed when they took it off over Christmas. After that I sorted the mugs ready for the appearance of Dil and Matt. I’d just sat down again and lit a cigarette when they walked in so I had to ‘Hop It’ again and make the drinks. As usual we watched the end of a quiz before getting the games table out. Yahtzee first which was a resounding victory for Dil tonight. Matt  and I won just one each of the six games. We were going for Nomination next but delayed it to play the new game I got for Christmas. It seems everyone likes it despite us teasing Yvonne about buying it for her old dad. Matt won that and had a really good laugh at the same time. Then we played the Nomination whist. Things were going really well for me, I was well over 100 when Dil was just under 100 and Matt was struggling in the forties. As things carried on Dil won a few, I lost a few and Matt more or less stayed put. The poor lad could not win a break. It looked like this was going to be my game though even though Dil edged nearer. Then the last hand Matt shouted 4 and got them, Dil shouted 2 and got them and I shouted 3 and got 4. Dil and I were even so I was even deprived of a game in my own house by my guests.

They left at 9.35 pm and after clearing up, washing up and taking the night meds I came through. There were over 120 messages of which I only managed half before giving up to deal with the blog. The rest will have to wait for morning if I want to get to bed tonight.

Thursday.

It’s been a funny old day. I got up at 4.13 pm, almost luxuriously late and after the long haul one legged to the loo I came back prepared to face the hell on the computer. I didn’t, it was way worse than that. There were 87 pieces of yesterdays post to deal with before I got to today’s stuff. Have you people nothing better to do with your time? What made it worse for me was that most of it was interesting so I couldn’t be smug and just delete it. There were no attempts to part me from my money either so I can’t even try and entertain you.

Given the way my days are the best way I’ve been able to break down times to toke these new antibiotics are 6.00 am, 11.00 am, 4.00 pm and 9.00 pm or thereabouts. So 6.00 am saw me creeping into the kitchen so I didn’t disturb the fish (??? lunatic) and then creeping out again capsule in hand to take it from my drink in the bedroom. At 7.00 am I went back to the kitchen turning the lights on at the wall and at the tank too and chatting to the fish as I dropped food in for them. Big Al was boycotting me, Little Al was dithering between that and missing the food. Sharkey was his annoying self. Morecambe and Wise came for a chat as they like the timbre of my voice ( or is it timber as it’s wooden?) The plecs were happy climbing walls as usual but of my two new friends there was just an occasional glimpse as they darted from hiding place to hiding place. By 9.00 am I was up to date with last night’s post but decided to get dressed before doing any more. Needing a break I sat in the lounge for what I thought was a minute but in fact turned out to be 11.40 am. OMG, I’ve been abducted by aliens, but perhaps not as I hadn’t unlocked the front door this morning. I quickly checked my phone in case Lis and Charlie had been in touch about a visit but even though my phone was for once fully charged, there were no messages.

I hadn’t put socks on today but had to quickly slip some soft shoes on and go for bread so I could have lunch. I’d decided upon bacon with chips and bread with butter. That was very enjoyable and was over and done with by 1.00 pm. Time to stop skiving and get some work done. It was almost as bad as at the start of the day and I now have my proof that neither you nor I can find anything better to do. At 3.30 pm Mike sent a text to say he was on the way to me so I expect between 5.30 – 6.00 pm and then Lis sent a text at about 3.45 pm to say they’d be here about 4.30 – 5.00 pm.  I ceased work at 4.30 pm to be ready ( and also to see my antiques show I admit) and they arrived at 4.45 pm. Hugs and kisses all round thoroughly enjoyed by me, so much so I went back for seconds but they beat me off. I got to hear all about Christmas and the New Year and Charlie had made me some dark chocolate gingers. Mmmm. They had to leave at 5.35 pm and not because I couldn’t keep my hands to myself. More hugs and kisses ensued. YAY. I finished watching one quiz and started watching another. Mike arrived about 6.15 pm after some annoying and typically expensive car troubles. We sat and chatted after I’d made a drink then watched an episode of Big Bang.

I made us both some tea an hour after my last antibiotic and then stayed with Mike a while until it was time to come to work. He’s watched an episode of Endeavour, the young Inspector Morse. I’m finally up to date (for now) but will check again once this post is finished. Who knows, I might make it by midnight again.

This song is a recommendation by my nephew Matt. I found myself enjoying it.

Friday.

This morning was a joyous 5.12 am, but only because I threw a real strop at at 2.08 am. Admittedly I enjoyed a cigarette at that time and made sure my rant lasted long enough but I absolutely refused to get up at that time again. I put my foot down with a very firm hand. The deal was off if I was going to be treated in such a cavalier fashion was rapidly followed by begging “Please let me have an extra couple of hours and I’ll mention all three of you tonight”. So, to show that I haven’t broken faith, allow me to reintroduce the Great and Uppity Somnos, his mediocre, but animal, loving ( and smelling)  brother Porcinus and the almost nonentity Brother Jake. Follow them at your peril, admire them if you must but be sure to go through any contracts with a fine tooth comb.

The mail first thing wasn’t too bad after I’d caught up a little more before bedtime last night. It was still 1.00 am before my light went out though. I remembered to break off for my 6.00 am antibiotic. Talking of which. To remind me when to take them i’d written on the box, 6.11.4.9. When Mike came into the kitchen ( don’t be daft.it was never going to happen at that time this morning) last night he asked me why I’d written it and when I explained he said “Don’t you realise, you’ve written my birthday.” I don’t know how I hadn’t seen it. Plus it was confirmation that he admits to being 14 months older than me. I returned to work after the pill and carried on until 7.00 am.

Big Al had the weight of the world on his shoulders this morning. He was mooching round the front of the tank and kept throwing glances at me. I’m not sure If I was supposed to feel sorry for him. I decided to let them have one of the algae tablets this morning so after giving Morecambe and Wise their flake, I broke a tablet up and scattered it. Big Al latched his mouth on to the biggest piece as it hit the bottom leaving everyone else top find their own much smaller pieces. I’m not sure if it’s a perk of size or seniority. I left them gobbling and turned to take my own meds and prepare my drink. Once that was done and my tablets taken it was time for the weekly filling of the boxes and refilling of the drawer from my new drugs stash. That took a good half hour and so it was 7.45  am before I made the drink.Then I decided it might be nice to have some breakfast this morning so took a pre-food tablet, got the after food ones out ready and lit a cigarette. It should have been an extra five minutes but I went ahead anyway. A small pack of Frosties, just right with a piece of toast. Once finished my coffee was cool enough to take the two tablets with. I returned to work again. By 8.45 I’d done and got myself washed and dressed. As 9.00 am arrived I made a coffee and took it through to Mike who sat up and thanked me. I told him I was going to Pauline’s and wouldn’t be long.

At Pauline’s there was quite a queue. When it came to my turn I had quite a few lottery tickets to buy so I let a few people behind me go with just one or two items. When one elderly woman with a newspaper and a pint of milk appeared I told her to go because I needed a few tickets. She lay down the paper and milk and then rummaged in her handbag and preceded to bring out a winning scratchcard for her son who then wanted lottery tickets with the winnings and a winning scratchcard for herself and she also needed lottery tickets. I thought this was just enough cheek and took my turn straight after. She never even said thank you for the courtesy. So, it was 9.20 am  when I got back home. I took my own milk to the kitchen and was surprised not to see Mike in the lounge. He was still in bed asleep. In a tone that implies deep disappointment I woke him to say he’d forgotten his coffee and reminded him what time it was. He shifted himself.

Sitting in the lounge with Mike I started to feel tired so when he went to the loo I just settled back in my chair for a minute.He decided he might as well get ready to go. That woke me of course, not that I’d done more than relax for a minute and I said goodbye noticing that he’d got up later but left on time compared to previously when he’s up on time and I can’t get the beggar out. Anyway, I went to see what messages had come in.  One was an invitation to have a free birthday meal at The Bells of St Mary’s ( with another paying customer) which sounded good but I had the devil’s own job trying to print it out. There was no print option, just one to scan by phone. After a very long time I managed a screen dump of the part of the page showing the code. Then came three or four emails with Yvonne trying to figure out where to eat for my birthday. Despite it being my day, it looks like the options aren’t mine whether we go or not. She”s trying to work her way up to a biggie next year which I’m determined to have at home. I hate it when people are invited to meals like that and feel obligated to buy a gift and have to buy meals on top.

At 11.00 am I took my next antibiotic then carried on with the mail until 12..00 am when it was time for lunch. Another one of the infamous shepherd’s pies. I’d just finished when there was a knock on the door. It was the warden come for her weekly check on me. It was lashing down outside and the wind was picking up. Just as well she was wrapped up. We talked about the forecast of snow for tomorrow and she wasn’t keen on that at all. She gave me company for about 15 minutes then had to go to her next call. I didn’t envy her that rain. Worse still, I didn’t envy her the wind which was picking up in speed. I watched the remainder of the antiques show and shut my eyes for one of those thirty minute minutes. So it was 1.30 pm before I got back to work. That meant working hard in order to see the last episode this week of Father Brown. I was five minutes late. When that finished at 3.00 pm I made Mike’s bed before coming back through. Whatever happened I was determined to be done by 4.30 pm so my bed can wait.

At 4.30 pm I was temporarily up to date and went through to watch the Antique Road Trip’s last episode of the week. It had just started when my phone burped. I expected a message from Mike to say he was on his way back. I was 50% right, it was Mike only he was in a hospital in Manchester with his dad, just where he’d been 2 weeks ago on Christmas day. His wrist is broken after the fall after all. Today he’s having temporary strapping and has to go back Monday afternoon to have the job done properly. Mike needs to stay over Sunday night now. Oh good, an extra day’s B & B from him now. He’ll be back late tonight as he’s having a mel with his sister once he’s fed his dad and seen him off to bed. His carer will be with him for breakfast.( Dad not Mike ). At 6.00 pm I went through and made my bed then went to take a shower. After that I put in a little,work until an episode of Who Do You Think You Are with Gary Lineker. A fascinating programme. I wish we could all get that kind of help with our family trees. Having said that, if you need help try WWW.CT-RESEARCH.COM (lower case) . Connie and Tony are two of the most competent and helpful people I know. They’re good with puzzles and are really friendly.

I took my next antibiotic at 9.00 pm and realised somehow I’d missed the 4.00 pm one. I thought I might as well take my evening ones at the same time. I stayed in the lounge watching a comedy just in case Mike arrived back but at 9.40 pm as there was no  sign I came to make up for all my skiving. I’m sure no-one heard me scream. There were quite a few in both mailboxes and it was difficult to catch up. But, being a veteran of these wars now, I gave it my best attempt. I an knocking off at 11.50 pm and Mike has just returned.

Saturday.

I  went through to make Mike a cup of coffee and get the full saga of his day. And what a day it was too with carers, doctors,  x-rays, bone settings and throughout it all having to deal with his dad whose mood was not the most helpful. The story took a while and I went to bed at 1.00 pm and Mike headed for his bedroom still jumping with adrenalin. I’m not sure when I went to sleep but 2.24 am was today’s prize time for getting up. Granted my bladder wasn’t helping much either. As I went to the loo I noticed Mike was still awake and reading. Once the deluge had finished I went through and we talked for a few minutes until I actually saw him yawn. I left and came through to the computer. At 3.00 am more than a little frustrated I went to get some painkillers and noticed sleep had claimed Mike.

When I got back to the computer I turned off and back on to start afresh. Every time I’d tried to like something so far, or pressed comment I’d been taken to the Blogs I Follow, WordPress page. I’d had to do a search on each blog to enter it and do what I intended. It was just taking an age doing it that way. The reboot worked and I sailed through the remaining posts finishing at 4.45 am. I celebrated with a drink of squash in the kitchen then a prowl through ebay at the catfish available there. I was so surprised to see small pangasius there ( Like my favourite fish ‘Zippy’) since anyone taking those was going to need a massive tank since some can soon grow to a metre. They’re known as shark catfish because of their look but I found zippy to be intelligent and to have a very passive nature.

Beautiful Pangasius. shark catfish.

Beautiful Pangasius. shark catfish.

I think I’m attracted ( in the right way ) to these fish because of their spectacular moustaches. At 6.00 am I went through to take an antibiotic and though I crept very quietly I felt eyes on me the minute I walked into the kitchen. It’s not even as though I turned the light on , my torch stopped me needing to do that………….        I gave in and turned the tank light on. Morecambe and Wise were watching me from the top of the tank, with Big Al, Little Al and one of the plecs watching me from below like the Codfather and a couple of wiseguys. If I’d have seen a violin case at that moment I’d still be running. Though officially it’s non-feeding day I was taking no chances and just tipped a full box through the hatch. Mind you, they’ll have the devil’s own job of getting the lid off. Hah.! I took the antibiotic and went back to my room. Another 30 minutes saw me up to date and I was feeling cocky enough to re-approach the kitchen.  OK, I’d taken my dressing gown off hoping they’d think it was someone else. This time I took my normal morning meds , prepared a cup for my coffee and started to get the rubbish and the recycling waste ready to go out. Trouble was it was persisting down and blowing a gale out there. In the end I took it out and planted the food waste bin on top of the recycling bags to try and hold them down. When I came back in. I was amazed to hear Mike’s alarm go off.  To be honest I fully expected him to turn it straight off but I saw him sit up. I asked “Are you going back to sleep bro, or do you want a drink?”  He told me he’d have a drink so I put the kettle on while I made mine and when it was ready I made one and took it through. He was asleep again. “Coffee’s up” I called not really caring if he stayed asleep. I went outside and added something to the rbbish and when I came back in he was actually up. Honest, really, and he was awake and actually hitting his mouth with the drink.

It was a later start but not by much really as we left the house at 8.10 am. We were at the Supermarket by 8.30 am and in shopping mode. Within the first ten minutes I’d got some potatoes, Ju’s flowers and some clothing from the sale for myself. Well, you can’t NOT get a cardigan and a pair of jeans at £4 a peace can you? Please don’t answer that.  OK, OK, there was a shirt too at just £3 but that’s it honest. After that we honestly put some food in the basket. Mike was doing some shopping for his dad today, washing powder etc so if there wasn’t as much room for food in my trolley ( technically his I suppose as he paid for it)  as usual it’s all his fault. After going through the checkout we went for coffee.

When we’d packed the car and had a cigarette it was decided we’d go to Flint but on the way there was a slight detour via Pets at Home so I could see the pet rats and we could both view the fish. We didn’t buy anything and resumed the journey. Today Mike needed another coffee before anything else so we went in and had a Happy New Year hug from Ceri, had a laugh with Sian and tried not to upset Kyle’s hangover. Mike had his usual teasted toecake then threw the biscuit from his saucer straight into his coffee to soften. Oops, error, it was a change of biscuit this week and was already quite soft. It almost disintegrated in the fumes before it touched liquid. He had to fish it out in bits. He didn’t make the same mistake with my biscuit. I thought we were going to check one shop out for an ice pack when we’d done, but it turned into two, three, four as well as a minor detour inside the pet store to look at, you guessed it, fish. Tonight I’m writing begging letters to the Gettys, The Gugenheins, Bill Gates and Madonna to see if they’d like to buy me a 12 foot tank so I can keep adopt some large homeless catfish.

We realised it was now gone 1.00 pm and I’d forgotten to take my 11.00 am antibiotic and also I needed some food so we headed straight off to the Ivy. Angie gave us a kiss (each) and got me a glass of water so the first problem was solved. We had to share our seats today as interlopers had dug themselves in despite the reserved sign. Angie had got our drinks so we ordered lunch and I was able to take my pre-food tab. Young Rob came over to say hello as he passed by with some food deliveries. It was fairly busy again.  We took the opportunity to nip out for a cigarette and moments later Tariq came flying out to say hello. He knew who it was as soon as he got the food order, double bacon sandwiches with a bucket of chips between us. After we’d gone back in, lunch wasn’t long in arriving and then Shella came out to say Hi too. It’s like coming to eat with family. He’s even given up arguing with me over payment these days.

Lunch over and hugs goodbye out of the way we headed for home. One we’d put the shopping away, I was allowed on the computer, well he is OLDER than me. In what I thought was a gross mistake I found 144 outstanding messages. I was within about 25 of the end when he called me through to watch TV with him. It had taken from 3.15 to 5.25 pm to get this far, and that was more luck than judgement. I stayed until 8.40 pm then he saw me twitching and let me come back. It’s been another long haul but I think I’ll make it before midnight- just.

Another Welsh one tonight.

Have a Wonderful New Week everybody.

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