A Guest Post by S.R. Mallery

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

No more from me. Take it away Sarah.

Flash Fiction & The Joy of Counting Words

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TALES_final_large

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

Here’s what they are saying about it:

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

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

––Lasher Lane, Deadlight

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

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

Here are my inspirational books:

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

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

2) The Pocket Muse series, by Monica Woods:

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

My Information:

Website/Blog: www.srmallery.com

Twitter: @SarahMallery1

Facebook:

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

Goodreads:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday

Sunday 22nd March 2015

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

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

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

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

Someone pinched my pedals

Someone pinched my pedals

This is more my mode of transport Mum.

This is more my mode of transport Mum.

Monday.

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

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

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

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

A toll? I'm not paying a toll.

A toll? I’m not paying a toll.

Is choo Lookin' at me?

Is choo Lookin’ at me?

Tuesday.

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

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

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

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

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

The Winnah!!

The Winnah!!

The lap of honour.

The lap of honour.

Wednesday.

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

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

small gods clock

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

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

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

I’m in a mellow mood again tonight.

Thursday.

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

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

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

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

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

Friday.

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

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

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

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

Saturday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David 28.03 2015

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Mother for a Day & The Death Count Rises.

Sunday March 15th 2015

I was given a treat today ( Mother’s Day?). It was 5.02 am before I got up so a possible four hours sleep. I was ungratefully grateful though as I felt I could have been given more since Mike will get his lie in and I can work undisturbed a bit later when he’s on his way home.  Still we must accept what we’re given I suppose. Heck, that sounds churlish now. I got on with answering mail until 7.00 am when I needed to feed the fish. I made the mistake of putting a suggestion box nearby recently and someone suggested moving the tank to my bedroom so I don’t have to come out to feed them. I’d have let that go if another whose finwriting I don’t recognise hadn’t suggested removing my bed since I don’t make proper use of it anyway. It seems I could manage to get the tank and my chair from the lounge in here. I removed the suggestion box. Now I’ve given it a little thought though…………..

There seemed to be one solitary bronze cory swimming about when I turned the tank light on and yet it was daylight outside. I think I could get quite peeved at them having a lie-in after the trouble I’ve had from Big Al in the past if I’ve been a couple of minutes late. I suppose they could just have been playing hide and seek though as they started appearing as I opened the serving hatch. I dropped some food in and left them to it., my painkillers were waiting with my other meds. I took everything and made a coffee to take back with me. It wasn’t too long before I found I was up to date. I took my mug through to the kitchen for washing later and settled myself in my chair to relax. I think I was hoping to relax into Zzzz’s but I taped my chin up first so there were no more bear growls to disturb Sleeping Beauty. As it happened, Sleeping Beauty nearly gave me a heart attack when he walked in at 8.35 am and he hadn’t even wet the bed. I couldn’t get over it. I never see him at that time on a Sunday even when I’m trying to get him up to go to a car boot sale. On very shaky legs, I got up and made him a coffee.

We nattered for a while and then I put Frazier on TV. We weren’t due to be out at lunch until 12.15 pm so there was plenty of time. At half past ten I asked if Mike would fancy a detour on the way and he said “Fine, where to”? I just needed a couple of things from a shop.We left at about 10.45 am and were in Prestatyn by about 11.15 am. It didn’t take too long to pick up a few little things for Reuben as I was taking gifts for my nieces as well as Yvonne and Ugo. By the time we came out we needed to head straight off. We knew the best route to take to avoid some road works and though slightly longer we weren’t far out on our arrival time. We did have to tour the carpark twice though before settling on parking in the road. As we got out of the car and collected our baggage we could see Karen at the door of the pub holding Reuben who pointed excitedly when he saw me and croaked “Pops”. As we crossed the road he recognised Mike and gave a cheer, Mike dropped his hat on Reuben’s head which pleased him no end. I got a kiss and we went in. Glad to be rid of them I handed the gifts out and Yvonne passed Reuben one of his books which he started to read. Not for long though as there was too much activity around him. My great nephew Taylor was there as well apparently nursing a hangover of some proportions. I started to feel, like the honorary Mother of the Day with so many families celebrating Mothers Day today.

We were seated in the dining room and attentive staff came round to take our orders. I was just going to have the main so had to suffer watching everyone eat before me. It was worth waiting for though. For anyone in the Old Colwyn area of North Wales- The Plough is great..As we were getting through the main, Taylor couldn’t eat any more and was a bit green about the gills so I gained some potatoes and some roast beef.. Not being as piggy as some of my relatives I didn’t have a pudding despite being told Chocolate Fudge Cake was on the menu for my benefit.After we’d finished we moved to another area to sit and chat for an age. Eventually it was time for goodbyes though. We waved everyone off and then set off ourselves. I felt sorry for Mike, in a few hours he’d have to come back in this direction to collect his daughter and grandchildren and taken them down to the Midlands.First though he was going to watch his beloved Manchester United play while I tried to get on with some work. He almost woke me a couple of times when they scored. He left just before 6.00 am and I went through to get some tea and watch an hour’s TV, It turned into two hours and it was 8.00 pm before I got back in here. I haven’t been able to move since. It’s now 11.30 pm and there’s still a way to go. MuJo are coming through tomorrow so I daren’t leave too much.

Monday.

I can’t really say the day started well as at 4.04 am the day hadn’t really started at all. Three hours or less sleep is going to be difficult today without the opportunity of a power nap. I got up and went to the loo then came back and replaced the bulb in my overhead light that decided to blow the minute I tried to turn it on. The computer was turned on and I logged into the first of my mail boxes. By 6.00 am the remainder of last night’s post was done and I was ready to start today’s. I did a quick run through to see what could be deleted as that always made it look so much less. The con-men mut have just returned from their late Winter breaks as I had 3 messages purporting to be from banks warning me of problems on accounts I don’t have, that were going to be suspended unless I provided full details of how to clear my non-existent accounts of all funds to the rip-off merchants. There was also one from the Tax Office regarding my tax refund that required full details of my bank account for payment to be forwarded. I must say, I’m crossing my fingers big time for a tax rebate this year ( and soon) but don’t intend to do it this way. I think I’ll be happy just to bank a cheque. I’m more in favour of putting money into my account than giving some thieving toerag the opportunity to take it out.

I broke off from the mail at 6.30 am as I needed a break after a particularly long message. Feeding the fish seemed to fit the bill. I’m sure Friday 13th has been told that it needs a break from routine and has decided to move itself to a Monday – THIS Monday- for a change. I turned the main kitchen light on then moved over and turned on the light to the tank. Instead of a hive of activity I got nothing. I started scanning the tank inch by inch until suddenly I saw some movement. It was one of my synodontis doing the dance of death in the air bubbles at the top of the tank. I checked to make sure it was dead and not just trying the backstroke before removing it. Big Al came out and moved to a corner. Little Al came out and moved to a different corner. One of the hoplos eventually came out and settled in the front corner and proceeded to lie there looking dead. I was starting to make myself bald at this point when I saw the two bronze corys move across my vision. A dart of orangey red told me Morecambe was still with me even if he didn’t want to put in an appearance at my voice, maybe the pitch was too high with panic. Moments later Morecambe headbutted Wise into the open. I could see one of the plecs attached to the pump box but to be honest I wasn’t too worried about the plecs as they’re virtually indestructible. I waited and waited. Pepper appeared. I lifted the lid again to check but the second synodontis, the second hoplo and the ancistrus are at best, all in hiding. The only new things in the tank have been the pictus which may have been ill, the plants which should have been OK and a barrel Mike brought which was scalded before being allowed in. The barrel only went in on Saturday though. What is going on?

I took my meds and made a drink to bring through. Concentrating on the mail had been hard as I couldn’t get the fish out of my mind. It has at least helped me make a decision that I won’t be getting another tank. Anyone considering putting 10c in my paypal account ( so that’s none of you then) can reconsider now. I just tried to distract myself via work. Unsure of what time MuJo would arrive I got dressed at 9.00 am and then took a walk to the chemist to deliver my new prescription request. I was back for 9.20 am in time to have a word with my friend Darren the postman. He had nothing important for me today. I told him not to start planning on donning his shorts anytime soon with the forecast being for Siberian frosts this week. Blimey it’s bad enough with the rain. I came back in and started having a quick tidy round. It was about 10.20 am when they arrived and I’d spent the intervening time looking at the fish tank. There was some good news in that the second hoplo appeared. I made drinks and we gassed about our respective week last week, and future plans. Eventually I asked John to come take a look at some of the leather jacket’s I’d saved on ebay, most of which I’d lost with not seeing him last week and I got a better idea of what style he wanted and also a better idea of the size. It’s more than I was led to believe last week. They told me they’d finally got the four poster bed they wanted last week and today we were going to look at some material to frame it. A nice brocade I hope so it’s in keeping.

We went to lunch. It was The Bells of St Mary’s today. We were lucky to arrive at 11.55 am before it got too crowded so were able to order our drinks (lime and lemonade for me) and then get in the very short queue for our meals. Naturally I had the roast beef, a Yorkshire pud, whole onions in onion gravy, cabbage, carrots, roast and mashed pots. Somehow John managed to find room for chips on his as well. It was a lovely meal. It was well gone 1.00 p.m when we left and headed towards home and a place called Abakhan which sells a variety of materials, craft stuffs etc,, etc. We were there a long time and though they both found materials they liked it was a case of the other didn’t. After my next birthday we left to pop in at another place that gave me feelings of deja vu.  I knew we were going to Flint for a coffee at Temptations so I suggested we called into a shop that sells curtains and see if there were any they both liked that were already made up that might do the job. We arrived and I sent them for coffee while I picked up some chocolates for the girls. I joined them in there and handed over a tin of Vinnie’s biskwits I’d found and gave Ceri the chocolates for the staff. After there we took a walk over to the shop with the curtains and lo and behold they found some they liked. They needed three pairs and that’s just what there were left. The whole lot came to less than a third of the price of having some made. We had chance to look round a couple more shops as well but there is definitely something wrong, I spent nothing. Flint will go bankrupt.

We headed for home where they had time for another drink before having to start their journey home. It was almost 4.30 pm so I was expecting to go straight to watch my TV programme. Shock, Horror, it had not only changed time to 5.15 pm it had also changed channels. I had half an hour on the computer, made a sandwich for tea and then settled down with the remote. I watched that till 6.00 pm and then gave myself a treat with a half hour quiz afterwards. Then I could hide no longer. I washed the pots , took a look at the fish and found poor Morecambe in a terrible mess. He’s lost most of his wonderful colour and doesn’t seem able to fight the current. I doubt he’ll survive the night. This is a bummer. John had wondered earlier if the water was over oxygenated so I’ll have to look that up. Maybe the flow of water is just too strong for them too. Some fish like a fast flow, some don’t. I came back to work very sad.And here I’ve been ever since despite wanting to get an early night- correction- being ordered to get an early night.

Ooh Look, Toys

Ooh Look, Toys

I'll direct the choir.

I’ll direct the choir.

Tuesday.

T’was 4.50 am this morning and at least the time was creeping in the right direction compared to yesterday, but still shy of 4 hours. I’m pretty sure thinking back that I woke up flailing this morning. It’s possible I was mid dream which would mean something disturbed me. Of course it could have been the dream itself. I told Mike the other day I’d had a strange dream of a pure white kitten playing around my feet, perhaps the little beggar sank it’s claws in.                                                                                 I paid a visit to ‘Tinkle Valley’ and then turned the computer on. There was a large backlog to think about. I got stuck in and started making inroads into the waiting mail. I broke off at 7.00 am to go feed my fish. I wish I hadn’t. The tank looked like a ghost town. The only fish in sight, one of the hoplos, was lying in the front corner looking distinctly dead. I tapped on the glass to no effect and I sat on my haunches and stared for ages looking for the movement of a gill or anything. That in itself was a huge mistake as I couldn’t get up from that position and cramp started to set in. I had to drop my knees to the ground, grab hold of a work surface and pull myself up on one leg with the other following. I got the net out and went to pull the hoplo from it’s resting place. As soon as the net touched it , it shot out across the tank. I was relieved it was OK. Within 2 minutes Big Al appeared from wherever he’d been hiding. I just don’t understand the behaviour of the fish recently. There were always fish evident and in play from the moment I went in there before. Now I drop some food in and there’s no reaction. Oh , wait, the two little bronze corys have come for a nibble but Big Al just sits there brooding. The hoplo was back in it’s corner. Of Morecambe there was no sign nor of Wise.

There was no point me staying there all day so I carried on and took my meds then made a coffee to take back with me. Yvonne already knew I wasn’t going to meet her in Chester today as she knows I’m not well at the moment. She also knows I need to get back to being up to date with my post and a trip out wouldn’t help that. I have my Wednesday play night which will upset the applecart again. Even though I’ve no intention of leaving the house today I got dressed. Just as well I wasn’t going out as there was no co-ordination of colours. I worked solidly all morning until 11.30 am. I was making great progress but I’d have to think about lunch and I’d found a logical point to stop. Lunch was ready for midday, it was only a cottage pie but I sat down to enjoy it, watching Murder She Wrote. Afterwards I washed up and went back through. Concentrating was a real problem and the yawns were coming thick and fast. I rolled my chair away from the computer before I insulted someone with a gibberish letter ( Anyone any idea where Gibber is?) and I was gone. When I woke up at 3.12 pm the Zzzz’s were still bouncing from the walls. My neck ached. I went through to sit in my chair in the lounge and wallop, I was gone again. It was 4.55 pm before I woke. No point at all in going back to work as my programme is on  soon so I made myself a syrup sponge pudding with custard for tea, OK, OK I admit, 2 sponges then.

After PYMWYMI I watched most of a quiz. I say most of because I dropped off just before the end and woke up at the end of the next one. My befuddled brain couldn’t understand why the quizmaster had changed halfway through. I came back here in dread, and rightly so. Much of my good work from this morning undone. Nothing for it but to start again and persevere as long as possible. At 11.00 pm I had no choice but to start the blog.

I think they're all quackers Mummy.

I think they’re all quackers Mummy.

Is this how you walk like a duck?

Is this how you walk like a duck?

Especially for my friend Suzanne Joshi.

Wednesday.

Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting a 3.43 am day as it’s only six days since the last. Come on Somnos, you’re getting repetitive now. I thought we were heading in the right direction. I suppose this is as a result of your celebrations of St Patrick’s day yesterday? Just coming home and thought you’d wake everyone up as you go to bed, well ha ha, so funny-not. Maybe I’m supposed to promote the small gods for their sense of humour?

I went to the loo to see if relieving my bladder would improve my mood but it was a lost cause this morning,. When I came back and logged on one of the messages was from a blog I follow all the time by Melanie Marttila. I found she’d included a talk which included a tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett by Neil Gaiman a truly fantatic author in his own right who collaborated on Good Omens with Terry Pratchett and was the first of his books I read.  http://melaniemarttila.ca/2015/03/17/tipsday-writerly-goodness-found-on-the-interwebz-march-8-14-2015/  well worth a listen and Mel’s posts are always excellent. The chat lasted about half an hour but was well worth it to me. He explained how that book had been written ( or co-written) and actually read a piece from it. I was reminded just how good the humour was when he described that two people had once gone spooning by the river and on one memorable occasion even forked. It was a touch of genius.

I worked until 6.30 am and then deciding I needed a coffee I headed for the kitchen. As I turned the tank light on, a light wasn’t needed for the room itself, I found myself staring at virtually nothing. Just the one hoplo in the same place as yesterday unmoving, but I’m not falling for that a second time. I spent an age scouring the tank’s hiding places for other signs of life and/or corpses. regrettably I did find a corpse half wedged under the bridge, it was so badly chewed I couldn’t tell if it was my second beautiful synodontis or maybe the ancistrus. At the end of my session, all I could say with any confidence is I still have 2 hoplos ( though one keeps playing dead ), 2 bronze corys (one is behaving weirdly) I’ve seen Pepper, Big Al and Little Al and the plecs. Whatever it is has gone through here like the plague.I really hope I’ve seen the last casualty now. It’s almost half my fish gone and unfortunately all the most visible,beautifully pattered ones. I took my meds,checked myself for buboes (See, I wasn’t playing with myself) and made a coffee to bring through. It was 7.15 am so I must have been with the tank a while talking to them and trying to find out who was still there.

I got dressed then started work again until 9.15 am. Cue music- 8 beats on the kettle drum to start then a rising strain of violins coming to a point where a bassoon farts in your ear and a piccolo picks up a rhythmic jig. I went out sans coat into the sunshine and found I wasn’t cold. Did the music herald the coming of Spring which officially starts on Friday, no, I’d left the ‘Music to Write By’ soundtrack from Steve Richer playing. All the way to Pauline’s I was talking to myself.”How’d you expect to write by music like that? You’d stand in the middle of the room conducting a phantom orchestra, no write.” I was nervous for some reason. I know I’d made a quick visit to the chemist on Monday slipping in and out so to speak but this was the first time out of the house since then, and I’d have to talk to someone. Even worse, behind me in the queue at the counter was a really nice lad, young Liam who used to work in the chemist and he spoke to me. It was all I could do to stutter a reply. I’m becoming reclusive again which means you lot will have to put up with my company. I went home and put the shopping away, coming back to the computer as soon as I’d done. By 10.30 am I was up to date and just keeping pace with anything that came in. At 11.30 am I stopped and gave thought to lunch instead.

As usual I ate my lunch while I was glued to the TV. A really unusual disaster though after the programme was over. I didn’t get up and return to work. I know you’ll all be shocked to hear that I fell asleep until 2.50 pm. I shook my not inconsiderable tail feathers and got back to work then though. I’d not long sat down when there was a knock at the door. Lucky for me my guess was right this time, and the chemist delivery man was there. I exchanged my drugs for a box of chocolates which for anyone new reading this is not a euphemism for a large sum of money.I concentrated hard on catching up on the post I’d missed again and establishing a routine of refreshing every time I caught up so I could keep pace. By 4.30 pm I was in a good position. Trouble is I knew I’d have to leave at 5.00 pm to get some tea before my visitors get here and by the time my evening was over I’d be back to a backlog of 5 hours. I didn’t hold out much hope that Brother Jake would heed my plea that you all sprained your wrists today. I was just reaching the point of refreshing when Lee arrived so I had to leave the work and see to a drink for him even though it’s only Adam’s Ale. We sat and chatted about the bump and how long they have. Probably about 3 weeks and things are still going well for a home birth. It was about 5.20 pm when Matt came in and again they were early. Talking to Lee I hadn’t been facing the window and Lee hadn’t warned me as he didn’t want to interrupt. I set too making drinks while they caught up. I remember Dil telling Lee not to hold Jen’s hand at the birth unless he wants his hand crushing.

After the gossip had been disseminated Dil got the games stuff out. We set up for Yahtzee but I don’t think anyone was really concentrating tonight. There was chit chat all the time and the games took forever. At the end I think Lee had won 3 of the 6 making him the overall winner but I didn’t have one to fit him. He had to leave us as it was 8.30 pm and he’d gone through my biscuits with Matt, and I wouldn’t get more out. “Good riddance” we shouted. Knowing we wouldn’t have time for a full Nomination the rest of us settle on Chase the Lady for the last hour. I had two problems and they both sat opposite me. My nephew is sneaky and likes to try to ‘lot’, my brother is just vindictive, sly and basically just a good player. Matt made an attempt and got them all bar one card which Dil dropped on me. I had 10 points, Matt 140. Matt and I did something similar to Dil where Matt dropped points on me which stopped Dil in his tracks. After a hard fought battle I won the game. It was almost 9.30 pm and time for them to go. Dil said to Matt on the way out ” And next week we don’t let him won.”

I washed the pots and tidied round then checked the fish tank to see if there was any movement. Noting at all. It’s like running a tank just so I can see the bubbles. I came through and started work again. There were over 70 messages in the time I’d been away. It could be a late night but I stopped work at 10.45 pm to start the blog so at least this is done.

Wake up and smell the flowers.

Wake up and smell the flowers.

Where have all the Flowers gone?

Where have all the Flowers gone?

Thursday.

So, it was almost 12.30 am before I got to bed last night but I’d worked my way through the worst of the backlog. I was good and stuck to just half an hour of reading before I turned the light out. I’m not sure how long it took to get to sleep but I don’t think it was long.I got up again at 3.47 am and after bundling up in my dressing gown and turning the light on, I wandered to the loo to deal with Niagara Fails. I came back and powered up the computer and opened the mail. Even with what was left of last night’s it didn’t look too bad. I was done before 6.00 am though I created a further problem by refreshing and getting everything you workaholics had done between 3.55 am and 6.00 pm. Take a break why don’t you ! But, a doddle, I cleared that up by 6.50 am . I sat in my office chair and stretched luxuriously before heading for the kitchen. Oh dear, the only sign of life as I put the food in was from Little Al though I did eventually spot Pepper cleverly camouflaged against the bog wood. I stood there talking to any available ears for a while but to no avail. I need to conflab with Mike and see what direction we take. Personally I’m tempted to take either the pump or the bubble bar offline for a while.

I took a foodie tab then followed with the rest of my meds leaving enough milk in my mug for coffee. After a cigarette for timing I put some bread in the grill. As soon as it was ready I set the Tassimo going for my drink and buttered the hot toast. I enjoyed it and took my two after food tabs with the now ready coffee. I took the coffee back to work. I did the few pieces of post that were waiting then signed into my gmail account and started again. When I’d finished around 9.00 am there was time to relax and read a book I’d downloaded from a close friend a couple of weeks ago. It the next part of a fantastic sci-fi book set in the not too distant future. I kept reading and reading, gripped by the storyline  but I had to limit myself if I knew other work was coming in. Reluctantly I put it away. One more session should hopefully see the end of this part and with luck she’ll have written and rewritten the last part. If I keep smiling nicely maybe she’ll send it to me.

I went back to work in an attempt to keep up today as I have no idea when and if Mike is coming. He may have finished with his grandchildren after dropping them at school or it may be he has to pick them up and feed them too as he did last week. It’s no problem to me of course other than not knowing.  There was plenty of work to keep me going until lunchtime break at 11.30 am which rapidly became 11.45 am when I found an interesting post to read. I took a pre foodie tab, made myself some bread and butter then stuck a cottage pie in the micro. While it was doing I turned on TV and saw the last of Judge Judy screaming like a banshee at a defendant at the same time as calling him sir. I find her to be a disgrace to the judges bench but addictive viewing sometimes. As my cottage pie was ready so was I, for Murder She Wrote. It was surprising to see just how old an episode it was. There was quite a youngish version of the lugubrious one from Law and Order (Jerry Orbach), Bradford Dilman, Ernest Borgnine, Levarr Burton without his eye visor and even TV’s Batman Adam West as the murder victim.. Prompt at 1.00 pm  when the murder was solved and I was still awake I washed up and went back to my room. I worked as much as I could until about 2.30 am I started nodding at the desk. I repaired to my living room armchair and slept until 3.15 pm. That left me feeling fit enough to carry on ( Oh how I wish I could ). I carried on until 5.10 pm when I went to watch PYMWYMI.

I was ten minutes from the end of my programme when I got a text from Mike to say he wouldn’t be coming today. His care is still in a garage where it was supposed to be having the seals done to stop leakage from the roof onto one of the front seats depending on which way you turn. He’s had the car 5 months and when he first contacted the garage they agreed it was still under warranty. Today he had a phone call saying the job would be £900, how would he like to pay. Quite quickly he told them he wouldn’t be paying, it’s under warranty, to which they replied “It isn’t.” So it was under warranty on Tuesday but not today. One of the mechanics Mike saw admitted the leak is a fault known to Citroen as well so you’d think the company would be happy to pay for repairs to a known fault on an expensive car. They had allowed Mike to borrow a courtesy car while his was in the shop but are now asking for it to be returned tomorrow and for him either to pay for his repairs or remove his car. I hate businesses like this with no customer services and who are unhelpful in the extreme. The car is not suitable for purpose if you can’t avoid getting wet when out in the rain. On the other hand, Mike’s clogau gold watch broke last week an stopped going.He’s had countless emails from the company to see what he wants to do. He especially liked the watch he had which is now out of stock so they’ve sent a much more expensive watch to him and said he’s welcome to exchange it if he wants should the others ever come back in. They offered a full refund including all postage costs but I think this new watch will please him. They even arranged 24 hour delivery. THAT’S good customer relations.

The back and forth of texts took a long time so after he’d said he’d come tomorrow if he gets any satisfaction from them, I came through to work. Obviously the emails had built up again I just hammered away at them until it was skive time again. No way was I missing my Big Bang. One nice email I had was fromma young friend who told me her Mum’s car is named Sheldon after the Big Bang Theory, oh, she also told me I’m fantastic which was nice to hear without someone tacking ‘For your age’ on the end. Big Bang Theory was brilliant as usual though I did struggle to stay awake. It’s been a long day. I watched another comedy straight afterwards which I also find funny but at 9.30 pm I thought I’d better come back and knuckle down. I worked on emails till 10.30 pm then said enough is enough. Luckily none of you heard me so I was able to come over and start the blog. First day of Spring tomorrow YAY. I hope the sun knows, and all the plants. I think the eclipse is tomorrow too.

Do I get a ride now?

Do I get a ride now?

And this is how a duck sits Mr Squiggle.

And this is how a duck sits Mr Squiggle.

Friday.

The phrase that sprang to mind this morning was Football is a Game of Two Halves.  As I woke up there was a smell of old sheep and the sense of a laugh in the air. I’d gone to bed early last night and had turned my light off at 11.45 pm. When I woke, it was 1.34 am. Even for Somnos and his family that’ quite a sharp reminder of who’s boss. Not even 2 hours. I was sure we were only playing the first half. I’d be tired enough for my chair if not my bed soon enough….wouldn’t I? I’m pretty sure they’re using the carrot and the stick approach with me now only they’ve shortened it to CICK for some reason. Certainly I’d felt the stick part of  CICK at less than 2 hours sleep, so surely there was a carrot in there somewhere. I didn’t need a trip to the waterfall having been there so recently so I just signed straight into my mail. Mmmm, there was a fair bit from last night but hey, I’m here early enough to cope. I saw 5.00 am come and go then suddenly I was coming round from a sea of nothingness with a very sore neck. It was 6.55 am. Somnos had relented and shown me the carrot. Why couldn’t he have relented when I was in comfort somewhere I didn’t know. I was so lucky that what was on screen was read only and not something I could carry on typing and sending out.

I went through to the kitchen. As I turned on the light there was movement in the tank so I rushed to the tank and put the lights on there. Oh joy, one of the hoplos was swimming across the tank as they used to and both Big Al and Little Al came forward for feeding. I was overjoyed. It was then I notives a rather badly decomposed corpse which had appeared from who knows where so I opened the lid. Looking down I saw two more corpses that had appeared. All three appeared to be larger fish and on one I could see the markings of a hoplo, that left the ancistrus and the second synodontis. There may will be three more yet of Morecambe and Wise and one bronze cory. A quick check this morning shows my survivors (fingers crossed) to be Big Al, Little Al, Pepper, one hoplo and one bronze cory. I’m happy to see them moving about normally.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I fed them and went to take my morning tablets the last in the tray and then get the drug drawer out to make up the next week’s supply. By the time I’d done that and made a coffee it was almost time to be waking Mike had he been here. I felt like shouting into the empty room anyway. I don’t know what I’m going to do during the three weeks he’s away in Canada. Maybe I’ll lose the ability to shout, tell lies about the time or about his coffee going cold. For safety’s sake I may have to carry on as though he’s still here of course his score will go up heavily. A=0  C=20 for instance. No alarms, 20 calls. Instead I bypassed his room and carried on to mine to restart work.

At 9.00 am I got washed and dressed and took a walk to Pauline’s for some milk and my lottery. My coordination went to pot as I must have been walking in one direction but looking in another. I almost went down. A poor little taxi  driver here to take Joe to see his wife opened the car door in panic but I recovered myself well and tried to make it look like it was done on purpose. Doesn’t everyone do the Twist when they’re out? Back indoors and the postman came and delivered some Gothic gargoyle midge fragnets which I hope John will like to stick to the posts on his new bed. B the time 11.30 am arrived I was glad of the break and went through to turn TV on in advance of Murder She Wrote. I prepared a quick lunch by doing some bread and butter and putting chips with curry sauce in the microwave. I was done in time for the programme. It was about 10 minutes into the plot when there was a knock at my door. Hellfire, it’s Friday.It was my warden who’d come round to check I was OK but stayed for almost half an hour chatting in general . I may have missed most of it but it was still worth turning on the rest of the show. It was a big mistake however as I lost the last five minutes when I started checking my eyelids from the inside. That check took just over an hour and I didn’t emerge until 2.05 pm. Look at that, up more than 12 hours already though I don’t claim to have been awake that length of time. I got a text from Mike saying he’d be on his way in half an hour so I can see I’ll have a story ahead of me.

I returned to work and was approaching the half past four mark when Mike arrived. Naturally I finished the email I was doing and then went to make him a drink and find out any more in the saga of the car. He’s brought is original car home with him and given them until next week on Wednesday to let him know which path they intend to take.Full repair of the fault at no charge or a court case. He’s quite determined on this and I’m glad since they might not like losing money like this but the problem is theirs based on the now admission that he has been covered by a 12 month warranty, or rather the car has, he’d be lucky to get three. We sat and watched our antique show and then I made something to eat while we quizzed until 7.00 pm. Then it was shower time and I was heartbroken that I had to wash my own hair while he indulged in phone calls. Bloody priorities eh? We quizzed and then quizzed once more before - just a minute, I know someone will say I nodded off for half the last quiz so I’ll admit it now- I decided that I’d better get back to work. There was plenty of mail waiting and plenty more coming in so apart from a break to take my tablets my bum was in my seat. I stopped work on the mail at 11.00 pm to be able to do te blog and I have an idea that by the time I finish this I shall be saying “Blow it, the rest can wait for the morning.”

Saturday.

It was a bust night but I forced myself to stop and go to bed at 12.45 am. I allowed myself just a quarter hour of reading. Despite that and the lack of sleep from yesterday (aw come on, I wasn’t that bad) it was still only 2.46 am today. Still, there’s no point in complaining since certain small gods have selective hearing. Anyway I knew there was a lot of work from yesterday I hadn’t managed to do and believe it or not I also had a special blogpost I wanted to do. Yes, two extra posts in one week, I know, I’m spoiling you aren’t I. ( Quiet at the back! ).It was a very tight squeeze but I managed to do it all before 6.30 am when I went to feed the fish before waking Mike . Now it’s today’s work I have a backlog problem with. HELP!!! The five remaining fish seem to be OK and I’m so relieved about it. I was afraid to think of adding more again. Not that I can afford to add the ones I had before. I took my meds and set the kettle going ready for Mike’s coffee. I prepared the mug for him. Perfectly times the kettle boiled just in time for 7.00 am and Mike’s Alarm could be heard beeping away., not for long though as he was quick to turn it off and roll over. The coffee was carried through and placed on the bedside table accompanied by my Calls of “Coffee’s up bro, and when you’re up you can tell me all about the mucky dream you had that caused you to have such a dirty laugh in your sleep this morning.” The more I spoke, the better my chances of waking him, I hoped, I was rewarded with a series of ,little  grunts that meant nothing.

Once I’d run out of daft ideas I went to take the food waste bin outside and the recycling bags. Much to my amazement ( and disappointment) when I came back in, Mike was up. A grand total of 1 A and 1 C today. Almost unheard of. By the time drinks had been drunk, loos visited and clothes donned we only just made leaving the house by 8.00 am with two minutes to spare. On the journey Mike showed how much he appreciated me getting him up in the morning by having a rock station on the radio playing the most disjointed cacophony of sound possible, in truth even he said he liked it through gritted teeth. I was glad to arrive at the store…until I saw the cash machines were all out of order. It was trying to upset my routine. Mike grinned. We did the shopping fairly quickly and went for a coffee, one of which was free today. From there we rolled on to Flint where we hit Home Bargains and then next door to Jolley’s to see about the price of a water testing kit fr the fishtank. My knees buckled when we saw it as almost £28.00. Luckily the manager said he’d test the water for us before we bought the kit to see if there were problems that had caused the fish to die. That was nice of him. At his moment Mike was caught short and we needed to fly for Temptations. Ceri and Helen were on, and we managed a few pleasant words at least until Mike spoke and lowered the tone completely. He and Cyril another regular were also having a bit of a joke with Ceri. Once he’d eaten his teasted toecake  I asked if we could go home while I checked to see how a leather jacket for John was doing. I’d only need be there a couple of minutes.

The jacket was getting too expensive so we ended up unpacking the bags, taking a sample of fishtank water in an old urine sample bottle I hope I hadn’t used (joke) which Mike made me put in my jacket before we set off for lunch. The Ivy was busy and our seats had gone so we had to use the reserves again. Disgusting. There’s a great big chimney in the way so Mike can’t lech over Angie all the time. Ha, perhaps that’s why she”s given our table away. I took the chocolates to the counter and she said she’d bring the drinks over which i  fact Rob did in the end. Have I mentioned how much I like seeing him now he’s relaxed and accepted the hug situation like everyone else. Not that anyone ever gets forced to hug you understand.Once I’d taken my pre foodie I went and ordered which was a special lamb burger for Mike and a gammon steak for me. Tariq came out and managed a quick hug but he was busy working. He just wouldn’t ignore us. We had the meal, said our goodbyes, funny how many people you get used to seeing regularly, and shot off to Prestatyn for some special batteries for Mike and a pair of stepladders also for Mike, either were a fair swap but the ladders were more useful. Then we had to backtrack to Flint at one point taking to the hills to avoid an accident on the main road that two Police cars were blocking the road for. In Flint w took the water to be tested. Every test came up negative which in some ways was a great relief as it means it isn’t my fault. It has to be the second Pictus Laurel who came in with something. Mke and I went halves on a testing kit, it would have been churlish not to after the manager had gone to so much trouble.

We came home. It was just 4.00 pm. Nine hours since I’d last touched an email. Aaaaarrggh. There were hundreds. I’ll be here till Christmas. I worked until 6.00 pm then went and did some tea. Allowing myself no more than half an hour I came back through to find whatever I’d done had been replaced while I was away. I’d have to forego TV tonight in order to try and get this pile down. I stopped at 11.00 pm to see to the bog. Now 12.05 pm and I’m going back to it.

Bring on the Feast

I’m liking the Feast

Are you sure saying "What a lot of balls is OK Mummy"?

Are you sure saying “What a lot of balls is OK Mummy”?

This one’s for you Ju.     

I wish you all a Wonderful Week filled with Hugs.

 

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Walking On Sunshine Blog Party

Hugh Roberts from  Hugh’s Views and News is hosting a blog hop party.It’s wonderful to be able to invite you all to enjoy the promised sunshine now that Spring has arrived. I was invited to join Sally G Cronin of https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/ but was also given the opportunity to invite my own Special Guest.

Allow me to introduce you to the beautiful Olga Nunez Miret of https://olganm.wordpress.com/ Olga is not just a very talented psychiatrist but is also a hugely talented author and an altogether wonderful person.

Allow me to introduce you to some of Olga’s books.

escaping-psychiatry1

I lovve your cupcakes

twin-evils

family, lust and cameras

the-man-who-never-was-

In introducing this amazing woman who publishes in Spanish as well as English and who translates for others Spanish-English and English-Spanish, I’m trying to spread the love of the writing community. Some authors give so much of their time to help others and to promote others that a little recognition doesn’t come amiss. Believe me when I say both of these wonderful writers fit that category and it would be a delight if you’d check out their blogs and follow them.Though he isn’t a guest on my blog I would also like to mention Chris Graham at http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/ who devotes his time to the promotion of authors and all things writing related. Thanks a Million Chris.

lets-party1

Like everything, this blog hop has a few Rules/Guidelines.

Guidelines

  1. Choose a fellow blogger who you think spreads blog love.
  2. Write a short post about them.
  3. Entitle your post Walking On Sunshine Blog Hop Party (so others can find your post).
  4. Create a pingback to this post, so that the link appears in the comments section, so that other participants can read your post.
  5. If you are not sure how to create a pingback, then copy and paste the link to your post in the comments section below (so that other participants can read your post)

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The Queen’s Envoy

It occurs to me that on occasion I’m supposed to market my books and worse still promote myself. So, I shall make myself a Field Marshall which is about as promoted as I can get. That only leaves me to market the book.

Probably most people would market their first book, the one that started the whole series. I want to have a word about the second book in the series which in an effort to confuse is actually a prequel. It tells the story of the newly titled Lord David before he settled at home to become the unsung hero he actually is playing his part in village life.

In the early days of the Title , David also inherited a job.It didn’t matter that he was already employed as this new job had cachet and also came with an unread “You WILL do this”. And he would. The job was to follow in his cousin’s footsteps as an unlisted, unofficial envoy for HMG (Her Majesty’s Government). It was a great honour of course, especially knowing if you were killed on the job no-one knew you or acknowledged you.

David undergoes a series of tasks for HMG in which he’s seriously out of his depth.He’s also confronted with women, something that’s been a bit of a mystery to him for most of his life. To be honest they scare him, to be more honest his wife Lady J scares him more and if she thinks there’s been any impropriety……………..

Meet Prunella who’s designs on David may not be entirely honorable.

cover

Is it possible that the British stiff upper lip may not be enough to see David through on his missions. Will he in fact survive the visits home? There were some very nice reviews for this book for which I’m extremely grateful plus the usual very bad review which shows you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Check them out for yourself.

Ella Dee had this to say and I never even paid her.

“Had William Shakespeare been alive today and read The Queen’s Envoy, he surely would have written these words about Lord David Prosser… “Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them”… but as he’s not, it falls to me to do so. Lord David doesn’t fail in any of his missions, including the mission to engage and entertain readers. ”

http://goo.gl/jdqBUR  UK.

http://goo.gl/SrprI3    U.S.

@davidmfprosser

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Laurel Goes, Stan Follows

Sunday 08 Mar 2015

It was 4.13 am today and one of the few times I think I could have got back into bed and slept again. Trouble was, I had no idea how much work had carried over from last night and how much had come in this morning. I knew Mike wanted to go out today and didn’t know how much of the day I’d lose. So, I forced myself out, made the loo trek and came back to turn on. All of a sudden I didn’t regret my decision. Lt night I’d brought the antibiotics into my bedroom so I could remember to take them out with me. It also meant I could take the 6.00 am one without having to break off from work. However when 7.00 an came round I had to break off to feed the fish. Stan seemed a bit agitated when the light went on but I do know many of the cats don’t like too much light. I put it down to that at first. As I put food in I was checking them as they came darting in. I knew the chances of seeing the synodontis were slim and the ancistrus practically nil, but the rest are usually there on a  food run. One face that was missing was Laurel. Looking down the side window I could see her occupying the place Big Al would normally be had she not evicted him. Something didn’t look right but I couldn’t tell until she moved. Her gill was going rapidly as though gasping for air and she seemed to be swimming more on her side than anything. I don’t have an isolation tank where I can monitor her unfortunately and I know it shouldn’t be an air issue as none of the others are suffering and both the air pump and the air curtain are working well. AS you can imagine I wasn’t a happy camper.

I promised myself I’d keep an eye on the situation but ask Mike’s opinion later. I took my meds and made a drink to bring back through. At 8.00 am I was almost up to date and went to sit in the lounge with my eyes closed. They stayed closed until 08.50 am when conscience got the better of me. I emptied the kitchen bin and added the waste bin from my bedroom to it. None of the noise disturbed Mike at all. ( note to self, Must try harder). Then I returned to work and refreshing the page. Ouch !! At 9.55 am I heard the patter of tiny feet. I’d prepared his mug so let him carry on and make himself a drink while I tried to finish. He crept along the hall and then expressed shock when I waved at him as he thought I was sleeping on the job. As if! (Shhhh). A few minutes later I joined him in thee lounge and explained about Laurel. He took a look and agreed with me she wasn’t well. Both of us were reluctant to take action and he told me about a miraculous recovery for one of his fish which gave me some hope. We decided to make no decision until we came home again. By the time he’d drunk his coffee, looked up something online and ODC’d it to death, got dressed and discussed where we were going it was almost 11.30 am. I made it worse as part way to the car I remembered I needed tablets in my pocket and had to go back. Eventually we were on our way to Rhyl.

We had lunch in the Red Cafe again, what Mike calls cheap and cheerful. I was going to have cottage pie again but Mike decided on an all day breakfast and when I saw there was fried bread, a subject that had come up on our journey, I changed my mind. One sausage, 2 bacon, 1 egg, 1 black pudding, mushrooms, 2 fried bread and some beans.  Mike had 2 sausage, 2 bacon, 1 egg, 1 black pudding, mushrooms and 1 of those terrible potato creations you usually get with McD’s. From there we took a trip to our favourite fish shop to see if they had some of the Fish Science granules for Mike ( well, for his fish really). They had everyone but the one he wanted and all in a small tub. I mentioned a fish shop out of town that Ju and I used to visit when we went to Butterfly’s. I’ve only been in that direction once since she died. The plant and fish part has changed tremendously. We had a look at all the tanks and at all the fish before finding the food he wanted plus some he didn’t know he wanted till he saw it. I’m with him on that because I didn’t think I needed any either until my eyes lit on it. Coming out I remembered my antibiotic and luckily Mike had some drink in the car I’d bought for an emergency. We came home. It was almost four o’clock so Mike set off almost straight after a coffee on his journey home. I on the other hand started on my long journey into work. 6 hours away from the screen can create a lot of work and boy had it taken advantage of that.

I worked till 7.00 pm then took a short break for tea and an episode of MASH, then back to it. Mike let me know he’d got home safely and has promised to go to the doctor’s before coming up this week. He goes to Canada in 3 weeks and doesn’t want to take his chest with him. A suitcase maybe…..   It’s been hard going tonight for some reason but I’m still ploughing on. Still, a break to start the new blog has been nice.

Smiley 1

smiley 2

This is especially for Teagan

Monday.

3.59 am today. Somnos could not afford to give me even an extra minute it seems. As someone kindly pointed out yesterday, it seems that the balance is uneven. The less time I get to sleep, the more Mike gets. It’s like Somnos has decreed that there will be 14 hours of sleep allowed in this house, I get 3 and Mike gets 11. I’m going to try an official complaint in case it’s  just Porcinus or Brother Jake being a bit lax. I paid my morning visit to trickle alley then came back and logged onto the computer. I was almost bowled over by the amount of mail left from last night, I needed to get into gear. Having remembered to bring my antibiotics through I didn’t have to stop work at 6.00 am to get one. At 7.00 am though, I had to break off to see to the fish. I was dejected to see Stan now occupying the corner adopted  by Laurel and that he didn’t venture forth for food when I dropped some of the new stuff in, which included some tablets under the Fish Science banner specifically designed as a whole food for bottom feeders. Everyone else went mental when the granules were sprinkled and I was trying to spot where they were all coming from. I had a word or two with Morecambe but could fins no sign of Wise.I did however spot one of the synodontis working upside down on one of the bog wood branches. It took a while of watching to decide whether he was ill or just enjoying his feast. The jury is still out on that one. I have to wonder if there might be a problem with my water.

I took my morning meds then went back to work with a coffee. By 9.15 am I was pretty clear and able to spend a little time on Ancestry.com then at 9.45 am Darren my postie arrived and brought the recycling bags I’d ordered. I now have a blue recycling bag with handles for paper again.I’m sure the spares for plastic and glass will come in again at some stage. I put some washing on which included my bedding from yesterday. I’d made the change before Sleeping Beauty got up and though it was only a single bed I wish I’d waited for some help. I carried on working and it was getting on towards lunchtime when Mike started texting me. He’d driven a long way to make arrangements for is car roof to be sealed as he finds the bucket used for baling out gets in his way. They can’t fit him in and give him a courtesy car until next Tuesday. I got my lunch and returned to work straight afterwards. New texts from Mike to say he’s arranged for a new 5 foot fish tank now to replace his 3 foot in a part-exchange. The Green God raised his ugly mug and I sent him an email of a 8 foot tank I’d found om ebay. I was tempted to say I’d ordered that I was so jealous. Just imagine the new fish he can buy for this one now, and big ones at that. We saw a beautiful synodontis yesterday that made him draw in his breath sharply, and he does like Stan. Actually now I think about it, shopping with him for fish might be as much fun as shopping for myself and much cheaper.

I don’t know what was wrong this afternoon. I alternated between nodding off  and working without ever moving from my chair. There may well be senseless messages floating round the Netiverse as we speak. I hope not though and I think my nod offs were lapses of seconds only. At 4.25 pm I gave up and headed for the TV and my antiques. I managed to see most of it including the vital last few minutes of the competition but it’s more than a little possible that I did eyelid inspection for some part of the events. I made myself a sandwich and had a mousse when the quiz started then sat and watched the rest before washing up. After the next short quiz ( about 30 seconds) I zonked and where I should have returned to work at 6.30 pm found myself waking up at 7.25 pm with just the light from the TV. Naturally I panicked then and came back through. I knew things were bad when I saw my gmail had well over 100 messages waiting, I dreaded seeing the main account. I had to steel myself and look though, as they had to be done. It would have been kinder to poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick. Not having a sharp stick to hand I just had to start work and hope for the best.

I feel as though I’ve been at it for days though in fact it’s only 11.15 pm. I have some more to do before bed but mayhap I’ll have some time in the morning before going out. I’m going to see Yvonne and Reuben though I felt very popular today when MuJo texted to see if I was free tomorrow. I don’t know if they’re free again this week.

You're funny Mummy

You’re funny Mummy

park 4

Tuesday.

Getting up at 3.20 am was almost a pleasure this morning. I’d woken at 1.57 am and thought that was it, but couldn’t force myself out of bed. I’d tried to go back to sleep and obviously succeeded. I just hadn’t wanted to find out it was 2.05 am. Thanks Somnos ! For some reason my bladder was talking to me and it seemed to be saying “Move it” so I did. I wonder if I’m sleep drinking as I didn’t seem to drink more than usual last night. Once the sigh of relief reached my mouth I came back and powered up the computer. OMG ! There are enough emails from last night to sink a battleship.Maybe leaving mail till morning is not a great idea. It took me until 6.03 am to finish just last night’s stuff.

I went through to see to the fish. It was still dark so hall light on, lounge light on, kitchen light on all before tank light on. It was like Blackpool Illuminations. At fist I couldn’t see Stan and my heart sank but I did spot him a bit further away from his corner than usual. I couldn’t tell if he was struggling or not but I didn’t see him come for any food again as I dropped it in. I even opened the whole lid so I could try and drop some daphnia in the water near him. Unfortunately the flow moved it away again before it had chance to sink. I tried one of the new tablets I got for bottom feeders on Sunday. It’s worrying. Also worrying is having Morecambe come to greet me as usual but being unable to find any trace of Wise. We’ll be doing a clean this weekend so I may find how many problems I have then. On the plus side, one of the two synodontis is getting very brave at coming out of it’s shell hidey hole to eat. It’s so pretty with it’s beautiful striped tail even if it looks a bit like a hoplo at the front end. I think I saw the second one too pretending to be an upside down catfish on the bogwood, it may have been the ancistrus though as I couldn’t see the whole body. Big Al is still in thrall to Pepper and Little Al is a playmate for the bronze corys. The plecs are fine, the hoplos are fine which is why I don’t understand the spate of deaths in the tank.

I moved away and took my sprays then got a drink of milk to take the tablets. Enough milk so that there was enough left to make a coffee, which I did and brought it back with me. I got dressed straight away so there wouldn’t be a last minute rush and knowing what coat I’d be wearing tried to make sure I had everything I needed in it. Then I returned to work and was up to date for 7.15 am. No way I was refreshing at that time so I just gathered my bag for Yvonne and made sure it was handy by the front door. Coat on, bedroom light off, crutches on, bag in hand I left and locked the door at 7.30 am. I may have been a couple of minutes earlier than usual as the bus did not pick me up on the way to the stop so I had the weight of Yvonne’s bag the whole way ( Thanks a lot daughter). When I got to the bus stop and was trying to get my breath back I found I’d forgotten my bus pass. There was no way I’d have time to go back and get it and I didn’t want to catch the next bus in an hour. I’d just have to put up with paying the fare. The bus arrived. I asked for a return and he told me how much, I thought he’s misheard me. But no, when I checked it was right. How incredibly cheap the fare into England was. I know if it was the train I’d still be trying to get my breath back. I haven’t figured out yet if it’s a Welsh company looking after it’s own or an English company desperate to get us over there. I still don’t think they’ve repealed the law that says if a Welshman is found within the bounds of Chester at dusk any English bowman may shoot him so I can make my own guess about who’s company it is. lol.

Yvonne and I were meeting somewhere different today, a shopping area just outside the City and known as the Greyhound Park. I remembered to get off the bus early or I’d have had a long walk back. I waited around a shop called Dunelm until I saw Yvonne approach. I knew the moment Reuben had seen me as the hoarse ‘Pops’ was shouted and he was pointing gleefully like a demented conductor. It was just a couple of minutes until the shop opened so I made sure my bag went round the handle of Reuben’s pushchair and we got our greetings out of the way before the serious business of shopping got underway. Inside, the first thing we did was look round all the towels to see if the had dark green flannels for Mike.Typically they had every dark colour imaginable except green. That out of the way we went up in the lift to the cafe and got some breakfast and a drink.Yvonne is a big bully and wouldn’t let me pay again. I had a pot of tea for a change and it was nice then I turned my back to Reuben and ate a bacon bap, turning back in his direction and smiling once I finished it. He was having something with fruit in it toasted which reminded us of bara brith. I don’t know if he knew what I’d done but he kicked my knee. I jumped in surprise which was a reaction he loved so he did it again, and again, and again. Yvonne was saying “Poor Pops, give him a love better and say sorry”. Reuben just kicked again and cackled. Yes, I’m sure he knew what I’d done.

After the drinks we wandered round the rest of the store. Some beautiful and some tempting things but when we left all I’d spend was 50p on two items. I had to take some stick off Yvonne for that and my reputation suffered. We headed off for another shop but didn’t stay long as we’d said we could come back to it id we had time. I was surprised to see it’s closing it’s doors on 15 th as it’s a major store. Yvonne had wanted the craft store so that’s where we went next and she showed me how to shop. The master is supplanted by the pupil. There was a Mothercare next door with a great offer on a car seat for Roobs but ‘Madam’ wouldn’t let me buy it because she wouldn’t be able to carry it home- remember this.We hit another major store next just to look at gifts really and I decided I’d better take a later bus than intended. Yvonne told me that even as I said it a sweat broke out on my forehead at the thought of the mail piling up. It was alright for her, she was on a day off. Having bought nothing there we went back to the one we’d looked in so we could use the loos and have a drink in the cafe upstairs. This time I settled for a glass of iced lemonade which both Reuben and I enjoyed. I was very quick to answer the demand of “More” as my kneecap was quite close. Eventually it was time to go and catch my bus so they walked me back to my stop, presumably to make sure I left the Country. I was humiliated that the only spending I’d done had been the solitary 50p and tried to hide such a small bag from prying eyes. When my bus came I clambered aboard and with a last wave set off home.

When I got in it didn’t take me long to unpack so I was quickly able to start work.  I did a few messages then sent Yvonne a text to say I was home safely again and thanks for a nice outing. She said she’s only just got back in as they’d gone back and bought the car seat that if you remember she couldn’t get home. She’d got it home. I really did work hard and by 4.00 pm felt I could leave the rest till later so I went and started making a meal to eat while my antiques show was on. I really enjoyed it, braised steak, colcannon potatoes and veg. I enjoyed the programme too and stayed awake till the very end. Once it was over I washed up and sat down to watch the quiz . I didn’t get to see much before sleep took over. I was away with the fairies from about 5.30 pm until 6.25 pm.  I wasn’t interested in the news and came back through again. Obviously things had grown a bit from where I left them.  I just kept plugging away at it until 10.30pm when I broke off to do the blog. I’ve decided that midnight is my cut off point no matter what tonight so I needed the blog out of the way first. It’s 11.20 pm now and as soon as the pictures and music are on I’m back to the mail again.

Not sure who's going to draw first.

Not sure who’s going to draw first.

Ride my see saw.

Ride my see saw.

Wednesday.

Well I didn’t quite manage the midnight cut-off last night but at least my fairy godmother  didn’t make me lose a shoe, or even a glass slipper, on the way. No knocks at the door today then. I’m not quite sure what happened in bed either ( get your head out of the gutter you) since I read till 1.00 am then slept right through till 5.48 am without interruption. Maybe Somnos cut me a bit of slack last night or chances are he was off somewhere and left his brothers in charge again. It’s obvious Brother Jake had something to occupy his time because he certainly wasn’t listening when I asked for the Euro lottery last night. I paid my usual visit to the loo then came back and logged on. At 6.00 am I took my antibiotic, it’s the last day today, and carried on my last nights mail before starting today’s at just 6.20 am. I think I’m making good progress.

At 7.00 am it was time for the fish. It’s so light in the mornings now that I could walk through the house without lights but when I reached the kitchen I turned them on to see what I was doing properly. When I turned the tank light on I was half pleased to see that  Stan has moved back to his original corner. He still doesn’t appear on top form though and I can’t seem to tempt him to eat. Of course he may prefer to do that in private.I put some food in and got them moving as I wanted to count the fish as I saw them. There’s never a problem with the plecs, they’re all but indestructable . Little Al and his bronze friends seem to be in good form and were darting about but Big Al, well I think I caught Pepper in the act of making whoopee with Al and they didn’t mind the audience. I won’t know for sure until I see some eggs and I’ll have to study up on those. There’s no sign of the Ancistrus but that means nothing still as hey’re known for burrowing themselves in. I have to look for some tail waving tht tells me it’s been out to eat. I could see both hoplos though I feared one was dead as it was lying in a corner near Stan and being very still I was almost on the point of putting the net in for him whn Big Al barged him which made him move quite quickly out of the way. Very sensible too as you wouldn’t want to be barged twice by Big Al. That left the synodontis and Morecambe and Wise. I only expected to be lucky enough to see one synodontis but they were both out together this morning eating from underneath the bogwood. I only saw Morecambe today again and I’m afraid this weekend’s tank clean is going to leave me with the remnants of Wise somewhere. I know that sometimes I’m going to lose fish to age and maybe disease but it certainly isn’t easy.

With the fish fed, I could now take my meds. Since Dil and Matt are due tonight around teatime, I thought I’d replace that meal with breakfast, so had the pre-food one before taking all the others.Then naturally I had a cigarette for perfect timing and had a small bowl of cereal. I feel no guilt that I used real sugar on it. Once I’d eaten that I used the extra milk in the bowl to take the two post food tablets. That done I was free to wash up, make my coffee and go back to work. I stayed with it until 9.20 am then dressed and paid a visit to Pauline’s for some staples, the food ones not the metal ones. Coming back I saw Gwynneth at her door offering a cup of tea to the gardener. We chatted for a minute about the cold morning and how Spring will be very welcome. I came home unpacked and set to work yet again. I just kept going at it steadily all morning, never rushing but trying hard to keep up to date which meant frequent refreshing. At 11.40 am I decided to give it a rest and concentrate on my lunch. Despite having meat in the fridge I wanted something easy and light so relied on one of my earlier purchases from Pauline’s, the chips in curry sauce. I went through to take my foodie tablet and while I was waiting until it was time to cook, did myself some bread and butter. When I actually put the microwave on I stood watching the fish.Pepper was swimming around with a smirk and amazingly I could see both hoplos and both synodontis at the same time. What I couldn’t see at first was Stan. When I saw him I was really upset. He was swimming to the surface as though to get air just like Laurel had and he didn’t seem too able to remain near the surface. I hadn’t seen him because he was behind a plant. As he sank again the flow of water ffrom the pump pushed him back towards his old corner where he carried on trying but from a position when he was upright. He’s not at all well.

I had my lunch with the TV on but couldn’t tell you what I was watching, or not watching as the case may be. As far as you can adore a fish, I adore Stan, he reminds me of happier times. Well, he reminds me of the first Stan Ju and I had anyway. Which is not to say I don’t care for this Stan in his own right. Mike is due to be bringing a replacement for Laurel tomorrow and I don’t know whether to stop him or just hope I’ve been unlucky. When I looked in on him after lunch he was still breathing and based on a real wish that he’ll recover I don’t want to remove him from the tank and put him to sleep in the freezer. I returned to work. During the nearly and hour and a half away the mail had managed to build up again. Before I started though, I wanted to run some Yahtzee score cards off ready for tonight. With a bit of vavavoom I managed to get 4 stuck to an A4 sheet and print some off. Then thanks to the remnants of Ju’s crafting stuff I was able to guillotine  and trim them. I retained the sheet for the future. Then to work. I know I made a start and thought I was doing well but suddenly at some point I was doing nothing, except maybe snore. It was 4.40 pm before I woke and judging by the mail I’d been gone since at least 3.00 pm. There was nothing I could do, my programme was on and the boys will be here before long.

My programme ended at 5.15 pm and I went through to the kitchen to get a drink. I was just going to look in the tank when I heard an Hellooo, they’d arrived early. I turned the tank light off early and made drinks for Dil and Matt. The sound on my phone meant Lee wasn’t coming. I took the drinks through and they were absorbed in the quiz Pointless so as usual we sat and watched till it was over. As soon as TV was turned off Dil got the table out and I gathered the Yahtzee and the cards. Matt was on his usual form at Yahtzee winning 3 of the 6 hands. Amazingly I won 2 and Dil who actually managed to get 3 Yahtzees in one game, won just the one. In the Nomination Whist I was the runaway winner almost reaching the 200 points and in Chase the Lady, I showed them a clean pair of heels thanks to landing them both with 150 points early on. Thinking I was on a winning streak we started with Crazy 8’s but Dil was in no mood to take prisoners and was the clear winner. We’d timed it well and  just reached a good point for them to leave. I waved them off and noted how cold it was outside. By the time I’d tidied up and washed the pots it was almost time for the last antibiotic. I took that and my evening meds as well then started work. My afternoon sleep had created a huge backlog which my playing time hadn’t helped. At 10.45 pm I started to do the blog so that was out of the way and as soon as I finish (11.35 pm) I’m back to the mail.

Thursday.

After quite a late night, or is that early morning?  I’d hoped for a lie -in today. I can hear the laughter now, echoing round my bedroom as I got up. I’d had my favour yesterday and wasn’t due two in a row. It was 3.43 am and though I was my usual bright eyes and bushy tailed self  I knew I’d suffer later. As us my wont, or rather need, I turned on the bedroom light and made my way to the loo and attempted to keep the noise down by not hitting the water in the bowl. I’m not sure why since I was the only one I could possible wake up and I was supposedly already there. I returned to my room and logged on to my email. Not as many as I expected left from last night but plenty from this morning when ‘The Colonies’ were awake.

Some of the pieces of post took some time to read. That’s not a complaint, indeed they were very interesting and in one case very humorous, but it did slow the work up somewhat. When I checked round the 6.00 am mark I was barely halfway through. I decided to leave the fish and my meds till 7.00 am when I’d feel I was making real progress and wouldn’t mind returning to it afterwards. Actually I think I was looking for reasons not to go near the tank for fear of what I’d find. But at 7.05 am I took the bull by the horns and went. I turned the kitchen light on but left the tank light off while I raided the lid to scan he surface in case Stan was floating there. He wasn’t so I turned the tank light on to the delight of the bronze corys and Little Al. Everyone else behaved with a little decorum as befits the loss of a tankmate. Loss really was the operative word too as I can’t find Stan anywhere. Granted I haven’t searched the plants but the tank is due to be cleaned on Saturday and I don’t want to disturb them twice. Another thing that puzzles me is for days I’ve been saying I can’t find Wise. Morecambe being red and Wise blue. I swear whenever I’ve seen  a Thai fighter it’s been red for about a week. This morning I saw a blue fighter so is it Morecambe I lost, have I been hallucinating over the colour I’ve seen or have I got the wrong names attached to the wrong colour. Hopefully Mike’ memory will be a bit better than mine when he comes. I fed the fish, watched them all fly in to get some, then left them to it.

I took a foodie tablet first this morning so I could have breakfast. Then it was the turn of my sprays and my other tablets. Once I’d smoked a cigarette for timing I put bread in the toaster and made myself a coffee, or rather the machine did it for me. I had my toast and didn’t enjoy a mouthful then took my two after meal torpedoes with my coffee and wandered through to the bedroom to work. There were a few more emails to ass for the nearly an hour I’d been out, I must have spent longer with the fish than I thought. By 9.45 am I’d caught up and turned to my second account which fortunately had only a dozen I needed to see to. The postman came and amongst the junk was a letter from a specialist hospital service saying they wanted to let a specialist screening practitioner take a look at my bowel. Well, I think that’s very sweet but I hardly know them. I know it’a about 2 years ago they found blood from there, as I was the one with the dubious pleasure of sending them samples of something you’d normally be arrested for sending someone. They don’t take no for an answer these people.

Late morning and my eyes were beginning to droop a bit but I persevered until 11.40 m when I stopped for lunch.It was very enjoyable as was the episode of Murder She Wrote that I watched. Surprisingly enough, I was still awake at the end. I washed the pots and came through again. I saw Mike on Skype and told him not to bother bringing a fish as I’m sure Laurel’s death was not related to the shop she came from, I suspect it’s the hardness of my water or something and don’t want to be responsible for another death. I shall be content with what I have. Mike told me he’d be late coming tonight as he’s picking the grandkids up from school and staying with them till their Dad gets home. Unusual as he usually finished after the morning school run. He told me he’s got his new 5 foot tank (I hate him) but isn’t swapping the fish over until next week. By 2.30 pm I was fairly up to date again and went to the lounge intending to allow myself 40 winks. That lasted until I sat down and there was a knock on the door. As cagily as ever I opened it and found my warden there with another one whose face I recognised from the dim and distant. I ushered them inside with a “Quick, the creditors might be around”, and say them in the lounge. My usual warden explained that this was the lady who’d be taking over her patch in April but would no longer be able to call on a Friday and it would have to be the first half of the week. I just asked the original if I’d be able to win all the money back she’s taken from me to catch their reaction and they both laughed. Not a chance seemed to be the answer. The newbie asked if I’d been out at all today, ‘Hello, I’m still in pyjamas and dressing gown’ I just said “No”. So. I’ll be seeing the new one at the beginning of April.

When they left it didn’t seem worthwhile trying to get a kip as I’d be finishing at 4.30 pm for my programme anyway, so I just carried on working and refreshed the mailboxes.  Just before I knocked off for entertainment I had a text from MuJo. I was fully expecting them to see if I am free tomorrow but unfortunately it was to ask if I knew Terry Pratchett had died.  I didn’t and it came as a major shock. I know he had alzheimers but he was only 3 years older than me, still a relatively young man. He was a huge talent and I’m sure was responsible for getting many people reading again. Children to follow the fun and adults to catch the many sharp comments in there. I loved his books and am only missing about 3 that have been borrowed at one time or another.

Terry Pratchett

R.I.P Sir Terry Pratchett 1948-2015

I watched my antiques programme- and stayed awake

I watched the quiz Pointless – and nodded off halfway through until about 6.10 pm. I watched the latter half of another quiz and came back through. I haven’t heard any more from Mike about his ETA  but maybe he’s staying down there for a meal,which makes sense as he’s probably cooking it. There was a fair bit of work to be done so I buckled down to it. Lots to be read of course. Mike strolled in just before 9.00 pm so I broke off from work to make him a coffee and have a little chat about his week. Soon enough I left him to the TV and a serial he’s following and came back through. I managed to get up to date temporarily with the mail and got straight on with the blog so I’m not under pressure after 11.00 pm. I can go back and finish at my leisure then.

Out for a walk

Out for a walk

Stopping to smell the flowers

Stopping to smell the flowers

Friday.

Well, I managed an early night last night in as much as I turned my light off at 12.30 am instead of 1.00 am. I was tired. I’m starting to get the idea that the small gods have started a Ministry of Sleep somewhere and staffed it with insomniacs who are jealous of the sleeping classes and are trying to Nationalise Sleep as either an industry or a leisure activity. On one side you mustn’t take too much sleep as you need to show solidarity with your brothers in the Ministry and on the other side too much leisure makes you weak so Up the Proletariat ! In the meantime I was up at 4.06 am which means a maximum of three and a half hours and probably a smiley face on my records in the Ministry. It’s my guess that all the small gods will try to modernise by creating their own little Ministries which will each have a Mandarin overseeing them.( They heard of Whitehall Mandarins and thought they’d get the real thing).  They obviously won’t go as far as elections as you don’t want to be too modern too soon do you? But I can see a Ministry of time spent in the loo on the horizon and definitely a Ministry of  fruit/sweet games for phones and tablets as I’m pretty sure they invest heavily in gaming technology.

Anyhoo, risking the wrath of the other Ministry I paid a visit to the loo. How hard it’s going to be to explain that at my age it’s a stop-start process where you may still be having a whiz ten minutes after you thought you’d finished and zipped yourself back in. It’s a game of patience in a morning. Completely sure I was safe I came back and signed on. I got started on mail from last night that took me until 5.50 am . I’d completely forgotten it was a Friday ( let alone Friday 13th) when I decided to carry on and work until 7.00 am. When the time rolled round it was down mouse and off to feed the fish. I couldn’t do a head count as half weren’t showing themselves so I just dropped some food in and hoped for the best. Then I saw a flash of orange and looked round, I’m sure it was Morecambe and yet I’ll swear that recently I’ve seen the blue of Wise just not both at the same time. I wonder if one is now playing both parts to save me yet more heartache. Orange going, blue coming. I moved over to take my meds. That’s when I realised it’s Friday and I was about to take my last dose. The boxes need filling again and a new prescription request need taking in on Monday. It took forever as usual and I didn’t get to make my coffee until 7.45 am.

I started back to work by refreshing my mail box, always one of those actions you know you shouldn’t have taken the moment you take it. I thought as Mike is picking my niece up at the airport tonight he’ll be at his Dad’s longer so I’d let him sleep until 9.00 am. I almost had a heart attack and proved the Ministry of Whiz wrong when the cave man came into my room at 8.40 am under his own steam and without alarms. I went back through to make him a coffee. At 10.00 am I started putting my shoes on to go to Pauline’s and Mike gathered together his  ‘at and coat to head off. We parted ways at the front door. At Pauline’s I bought some micro chips and a box of the chips with curry sauce I enjoy. I bought some sweets and my lottery ticket which if any small gods are listening I have high hopes for for tonight!!!!!!!!  When I cam back of course all was quiet again. I unpacked and started work again. At 11.50 am I stopped intending to have lunch but remembered that the warden would be here today. Should I move the sign that says I’m out? No, I suppose not, she’s a pleasant lady and only has 2 weeks to go now on this round. It was almost speak of the Devil as there was a knock at the door and there she was. The warden I mean, not the Devil. She came in and we had a chat for half an hour which was nice then she left to go elsewhere. I was able to take my foodie tab and get some lunch.  There was a parade in Londinium where Prince Charles was taking the salute with his sons. I watched that for a while until a shortened version of Bargain Hunt came on. I watched than, washed the pots and went back to work at 1.00 pm.By 2.30 pm my eyelids were drooping and I gave in. I fell asleep in my chair in the lounge until 15.55 pm. Kicking myself on the rump proved quite hard but I managed it. There was just time for a half hours work before giving up to watch PYMWYMI final day of the week.

I caught my programme, and the next. Instead of turning over for a quiz I turned for Big Bang Theory and started having a laugh. I’m not sure how long I laughed for but I’m flippin’ sure I didn’t see above half of the thing before being attacked by a  flight of low flying Zzzzzz’s. I reckon I was battling them for an hour before coming out of the haze in the middle of an episode of the soap Hollyoaks. I rapidly turned off before anyone heard the theme tune . It was time to take a shower, yes, the month was up. As soon as I’d finished that and recovered I thought I’d better make up for the extra time I’d pinched by putting a bit of work in. I came through and for the sake of decency put some clothes on and refreshed my post boxes. Ouch!! Still, no use complaining. I just plodded on. There were some very interesting pieces to read though, not least from my friend Kate in Gibraltar who told of a near miss by a British sub and a Spanish boat inside Gibraltar territorial waters. The Spanish Navy wouldn’t have been so quick to try and create an incident if one of their boats ended up on the sea bed. She also had a saucy story to tell about a local and some viagra.  https://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/

The artist.

The artist.

The work of art

The work of art

About 9.30 pm I nipped to the kitchen to make sure there was water in the kettle for Mike’s drink when he gets in. I think Lisa’s plane is due in about 7.30 pm and they expect to be half an hour or so deplaning. The airport is perhaps an hour or so away from where she’s going which is in turn about half an our away from here, so given his driving he should have been here quarter of an hour ago. Of course he might not be using the DeLaurean today in which case I’ll see him when I see him..        He arrived back at 9.45 pm so I broke off from everything again to make a drink and then to sit and listen to his day as he asked about mine. It was about 10.30 pm when I remembered I still hadn’t finished and came back to get rid of some more though at 11.00 pm I had to stop that too in order to do the blog. It’s nigh on midnight now and I think the rest of the post will have to wait till morning.

Saturday.

I had major problems getting to sleep last night. I’d turned the light out at 1.00 pm but I couldn’t find a comfortable position nor a really cool spot for my foot at the edge of the bed. Evan hanging the leg out didn’t work. At some point I did nod off only to wake up at 1.55 am.  In despair I went to my chair in the lounge and tried. From what I heard this morning, Mike got up at 2.15 am after dreaming about a bear roaring and then actually waking up after realising he really had heard a bear roar. In an act of bravery and to save my life ( he tells me) he ventured through to the lounge and found I was the source of the growling. Lying in my chair , mouth wide open, scaring the sheep home. Relieved , he went back to bed and to sleep. I woke up at 2.37 am and that was it. As a certain character at Warner Bros. would say, “That’s all Folks.”

I came back through to the bedroom bypassing the toilet as my bladder hadn’t had chance to get the urge yet. I logged onto the computer and checked my lottery tickets from lat night, 2 winners gasp, £2.30 and £5. The private jet would likely be waiting another week then. I carried on to my mailbox managing to avoid the impulse to commit suppuku. There was plenty there to keep me going. By 6.30 am I was in the clear and yawning went through to the kitchen to see to the fish. I’m not sure I can be civil about them any more what with the sexual antics of Big Al and Pepper working their way through the Karma Sutra and Little Al seems to be eyeing up the bronze corys. I’m getting flashed of red or flashes of blue leaving me wondering if my eyes are playing tricks and unsure whether Morecambe and Wise or Morecambe or Wise survive. I’m seeing the synodontis out in the open behaving like upside down catfish chomping on the algae on the bog wood but at least I don’t have to worry about the hoplos or any of the plecs. The ancistrus is a real mystery since I’m never sure whether it’s alive or dead and buried since burying itself is what it does best which to be fair saves on funeral expenses. Sometimes though there’s a flash of tail which might just be a synodontis or is it……….?

Once they were happy I moved away and took my meds followed by making myself a coffee. There was no time to bring it back to the bedroom as it was almost time for Mike’s alarm. That’s all I needed. I put the kettle on. His Alarm went off at 7.00 am and the kettle boiled moments later so I took a coffee through and Called him gently by yelling his COFFEE WAS THERE, ON THE SIDE, JUST HERE BRO, DON’T LET IT GET COLD. I got the usual Neanderthal acknowledgements. I then took my coffee through and started to get dressed. At quarter past the Alarm went off a second time and was turned off a second time. Allowing a couple more minutes I went to the bedroom door and Called again, “DON’T FORGET YOUR COFFEE, IT’S GOING COLD”. I finished putting my shoes on and drinking my coffee and as I was about to go through I heard Mike make his way to the lounge. It was a miraculous 2 A, 2 C day. He even had the brass neck to suggest I’d have something to report to you tonight now as though it was something he’s won an award for.

While Mike drank his coffee I set about emptying bins and taking them outside along with the recycling bags. I wasn’t putting the new paper recycling bag out until I’d bought a thick black marker pen to put my address on or as Mike suggested some stick on numbers. Once done I washed my hands and came to sit down with Mike for a few minutes. I knew if I stared at him long enough he’d go and get dressed. He did.  We must have left at near enough 8.00 am as it was a quarter past when we drew into the supermarket car park. I went to the cash machine and then posted a birthday card before we went in. The first job was to select some flowers for Ju and this week I chose some tulips and some flag Iris. At home the pink carnations recently mentioned to Yvonne by a masseuse in a startling message from Ju were still doing well while all about them died. After that we whizzed round and got the food I needed in record time as we were both very dry. Mike warned the woman on the till to speak quietly to me if the bill was over £20 as I scare easy. She laughed and took great delight in whispering £57 as I staggered and asked if I”d get change from a £10 note. A coffee was next on the bill.

From there we went to Flint to get a few items before heading into Temptations to see Ceri and Kyle. We had the usual. They were really busy this morning so there wasn’t too great a chance to talk and surprisingly the owners Julie and her husband were there. They’d just returned from a month away on tour with the boys Richard and Adam. Having known Adam for a while she was telling me all about the new album they’re doing next year for Mother’s  Day and some new appearances this year including a mini Welsh Tour. They obviously have a great following here. As we left there I suggested w walk to one last shop as for a couple of says I’d had images of Mike getting a particular type of jacket he’s always loved. Oddly enough they didn’t have it but they did have just the jacket he needed to take on holiday with him to Canada which was down from over £100 all the way to £12 today. We shot off then to Holywell to a jeweller’s to get a battery put in his watch which has been stopping all morning, but only when he wears it. That done we went to lunch.

The Ivy was really busy and it was a case of shouting hello to staff as they shot past serving people. We managed to find a seat- not ours and settle down. I took chocolates to the counter and young Rob asked if we wanted the usual. He started making them. I popped to the loo and the drinks were being delivered as I came out. That meant I could take my pre-food tablet and decide what to eat. Mike settled on a fishburger in a bun while I had double bacon sandwiches, in a near aberration I almost ordered an omelette. Having given Angie the order Mike and I stepped out for a cigarette. Back inside we say Tariq and got a swift hug, Shella and got a quick hello and even Shirley who said Hi in passing. There were also other regulars in who nodded or spoke as they went past. Lunch over we didn’t hang about but headed for home.

Once the shopping was unpacked and away I asked Mike to nip to Bert’s for me and collect a parcel the postman had left. When he got back I asked him to open it. He revealed a brown leather jacket in an antiqued style. “That’s nice” he said. I got him to try it on.Sleeves a bit long but turned up they were fine. I think he twigged I’d ordered it for him at that point. It was a lot better than playing about passing a £20 note back and forth between us each saying we didn’t want it. He left it behind last week so I went at it a different way. Coat off, sleeves rolled up we set to cleaning the fish tank. One of the first things to turn up was the body of poor Stan, a bit nibbled round the edges. I was really sad. On a slightly bright side Mike swore he saw both Morecambe and Wise once the plants were disturbed. For the first time he also got to see one of the synodontis. With sponge changes, water changes and cleaning the glass it all took an age. It was 4.00 pm before I was able to come and start the mail. I had 173 in the gmail account but more than that in the normal one though some would be duplicated. I was allowed to work until 6.00 pm then went to sit with Mike. At some stage after tea I fell asleep and it was small periods of wakefulness until 8.30 pm when I came back through.

It’s been a long day and it seems to have been a long evening too. Work, work, work. What a life.

Mother's Day flowers for Ju from Yvonne

Mother’s Day flowers for Ju from Yvonne

Mother's day flowers for Ju from Yvonne

Mother’s day flowers for Ju from Yvonne

The Intelligensia

 

I wish you all a Wonderful New Week. Love n’ Hugs.

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The Strangest Thing & Laurel Arrives

Sunday 1st March 2013. Dydd Dewi Sant.

The strangest thing. I was shocked to hear Mike turn his TV off early last night and when I nipped to the loo at 11.30 pm he was already asleep. Oddly enough though, that’s not the strangest thing. I got to bed last night at a not unreasonable time for a Saturday. I even managed a read. I woke up this morning at 6.16 am BUT, I wasn’t in bed when I woke. I was sitting in my chair at the computer. I had my dressing gown on and my cigarettes from beside the bed were in the pocket. I obviously already got up once but I have no idea of the time and I don’t remember doing it. Time to cue music from the twilight zone. One thing I was sure of, I must have been there a while as I had a right pain in the neck, other than the one in the next bedroom- to name no names. Naturally panic set in as to how much mail there was so my first job was to sign in and go on the attack. It wasn’t quite as bad as feared but probably better than I deserved. My mood lightened a lot as I read some of the comments on the blog and I was delighted to find my music choices had been a hit this week. Much more mention than usual and one request this week too.

At 8.00 am I took a break. My back was aching, my neck was aching and no doubt the fish were aching to be fed. This new formula I’m using is a big hit and the minute they see it sinking they zoom in on it. I’ve seen January sales more controlled than breakfast time. I swear if this lot knew how to use brollies they be using them to shove the others out of the way. The minute it’s all gone though, normal service is resumed. Gently swimming around the tank trying to pretend no-one else exists and trying to avoid bumping in to them. Big Al, Little Al and Pepper have retired to their corner, the plecs are hanging off the bog wood again and Stan is trying to keep out of the light under the pipework of the air curtain. I went over to take my meds and once I’d finished make a coffee. Before leaving the kitchen I set the kettle to boil in case Mike got up since he’d slept for almost nine hours at that point. I carried on with the post. About 9.30 am I stopped long enough to get washed and dressed and thought Mike must have had a rough night to be still asleep at that time.

I opened my second email account and started dealing with that which kept me well occupied. Mike had had a little coughing fit so I thought it might be because he was waking up. How he hadn’t done so with my coughing I don’t know. Finally at 10.20 am I made a coffee and took it through. He had to be roused twice to be told it was there but at 10.20 am his mouth must be like a cactus field. I left him to it and just went through to join him when I heard his go to the lounge at 10.30 am. A little concerned I asked how his night had been. “Fine ” he answered “I feel quite bright this morning.” ( I didn’t ask him how many 2’s are in 10 however). Eleven hours asleep, it’s not natural. He did say he’s had a disturbing dream though. I went through to his bedroom with the fly spray to see if the tsetse fly would react to it. It’s the only possible reason I can imagine someone sleeping so long. I couldn’t find any. He asked what I was doing when I just checked his hair when I went back through. “Oh just giving you a pat on the head” I told him “I’m delighted you’ve woken in a good mood.” ( In fact I’m delighted you’ve woken at all).  He broached the subject of what we’d do this morning and I was tempted to say “What morning?” but stuck with “No plans Michael.” He said he needed some ink for his printer and I suggested a few places we could go for that. As it happened I could do with one colour myself.

It was midday before we left the house to go for lunch or in his case Breakfast and we settled on The Bells so we could go into Prestatyn afterwards. I had a very nice roast beef dinner and piled on the leeks for St David’s Day. I think Mike had pork, gammon and beef ( and he asked for a sausage). It was very nice but a little noisy today. Once we’d eaten we stepped outside in the pouring rain and tried to reach the car without drowning. Mike pointed out it was -5 centigrade outside, it has been a sunny -2 centigrade when we went in. He drove us to Tesco in Prestatyn when he made me feel guilty that his ink was £5.00 a pack dearer than if we’d gone in the other direction towards Flint. I did get mine though it was £2.01 more than Flint but I didn’t want an I told you so. Almost as bad was reminding him we were due a free coffee in M & S which we went for today and he didn’t enjoy it whereas if we’d gone to Flint there’s Temptations. Oops.It was an uh oh moment in the car when he said we’d not had a very successful expedition today. We came home.

It was 3.15 pm when we got home and by 3.30 pm I was waving Mike off at the door . That left me free to start work. I didn’t count numbers, just started from the bottom and worked my way up. At 5.30 pm I stopped to have some tea ( only so I could take my tablets you understand, not ‘cos I’m a pig) and I stayed there until 8.00 pm after getting caught up in a BBC series The Indian Doctor. I think this must be a second series as I didn’t recognise the episode or some of the characters. I even got the idea they were playing some of it or laughs today. So, at 8.00 pm I returned here again and stayed. By 10.30 pm I’d made real headway even after refreshing twice so that at 10.55 om I was able to stop and deal with the blog. I was half tempted to put my National Anthem on the blog in honour of the day but instead I’m going to put on two records tonight. The first one is in honour of my sweet friend Suzanne who writes as   http://apuginthekitchen.com/ but beware she has food showing on her blog without warning to those on diets.

Alphaville- Forever Young.

The second is one I was reminded of today that brought back great memories.

Chairmen of the Board- Give me Just a Little More Time.

Monday.

I was in bed a little after midnight and read till 1.00 pm. I was thinking of cuffing myself to the bedframe to prevent any more unexplained departures from my bed but I realised in time just what remarks would follow if anyone thought I had handcuffs handy. And that’s only remarks from Mike, heaven alone knows what you lot would come up with. As it happens it wasn’t needed since I was up at 3.22 am anyway. It was a bit nippy on my trip to the loo that I diverted to put the heating up a bit. I didn’t want icicles. I started on the post which after the first half a dozen proved to be fairly easy going. Everything was going swimmingly when I stopped at 7.00 am to feed the fish. The majority of them showed their lack of manners with all their barging yet I thought how polite, Stan is holding back a bit. That was with the special mix I’d put in. But as a treat I opened some daphnia and dropped it in. Stan didn’t hold back any more and was in the middle of the mix like grease off a shovel. ( The money on that charm school was wasted, sob). Happy they were all getting a fair share and that violence hadn’t erupted I left them to it. As I turned away I noticed even one of the very shy synodontis was out there chomping.

I’d started to take my meds when I decided to have breakfast this morning. I added a pre-food tab to the mix. When I put the coffee machine on I got a red light. Thinking it meant a cleaning was needed I started the process, or I tried. It wouldn’t go. In frustration I removed the cleaning disk and cleaned the water tank out and replaced it. I turned it off ready to pack it away. Somehow, my hand caught the switch and turned it on again, now the red was in a smaller area than before. The handbook said it indicated the water tank was empty. I filled it again and everything was ready to go again. I was very puzzled but the distraction had been long enough for my tablet to do whatever it’s supposed to so I had some cereal. Once I’d eaten I took the post-food tabs ,washed up and brought my coffee through. I’d spent so long fish watching, coffee machine cleaning and filling my face it was now after 8.00 am. I carried on with the mail and once the main one was empty, started on the second account. It had gone 10.30 am and I wasn’t sure whether to refresh the mail or not. For some reason I was reminded that last Friday the warden had asked how many fish were in the tank. A quick calculation and I’d said 14. I suddenly remembered this morning I hadn’t taken into account Morecambe and Wise. I went through and did a quick check. There were 16. I created a list on the computer of each type and their names and posted a little photograph next to each of them so they could be identified.  I have 1 Ancestrus plec, 2 Albino Cory (Big Al & Little Al), 2 Bronze Cory, 2 Hoplosternum, I Pepper Cory (Pepper),                1  Pimelodus Pictus (Stan), 3 Plecostomus, 2 Siamese Fighters (Morecambe & Wise), 2 Synodontis. Maybe room for one or two more yet.

It rapidly became lunchtime. I was heading to the kitchen when the idiot window cleaner arrived and slammed the small window which made me jump and set the alarm off so I thought the burglars were back. I changed my trousers and went to get lunch. It was beef stew with a dumpling today. I saw Murder she Wrote and managed to stay awake the whole time, then I washed the pot and returned to work. There were a couple of times falling asleep was a serious option but I didn’t want a neck like yesterday and I did want to be free for 4.30 pm. I managed it but I’d been so slow and deliberate ( no incomprehensible messages to Australia) that my mailbag was still bulging a little when I quit. I saw my Antiques show in full, I saw my quiz in part. I know we’d reached the last round but then I zonked and didn’t come round again until,40 minutes later. I came back through.

It’s been a constant slog since then. As I answer mail, fresh mail arrives so the numbers aren’t going down. But tonight I started the blog early so I wasn’t rushed and that will give me chance to return for one last burst before falling into bed. My day out tomorrow and I need to be fresh to fight for my bacon sandwich.                            I hope your week is going well so far

Tuesday.

It was a 3.47 am start today and I got up with a degree of reluctance. I studied for it at Night School and was awarded it today. It was Ffflipping Ffffreezing out there and all the hairs on my toes had gone brittle and snapped off as I put my slippers on. Cold is the new depilation it seems. I walked towards the loo but veered off at the last minute to close the small window in the lounge which was sending enough of a breeze towards my legs it made the lounge pants blow up like a fat suit. I’m guessing it’s Mike just said they always look like that. I returned to the loo and had fun with the intermittent flow again. Then I returned to the bedroom and wrapped myself in my thick dressing gown, sat in my chair and logged on. There was quite a bit of mail but that was OK, I wasn’t going anywhere.

At 6.00 am I went through to feed the fish, they were lucky I wasn’t chipping them out this morning. Again this new food had them all in a frenzy, it was hard getting the right tail to go with the right body they moved so fast. For Stan’s sake I added the last of the sachet of daphnia from yesterday and he’s proved he can move when he wants some. Yet again the braver of the two synodontis came out to eat though the move didn’t last for long. He soon went back into his shell. I don’t see the ancistrus eat but I see the occasional waggle of a tail from underneath the other shell. Stan finished chasing food and retired to his corner and a bit of shade from the lights. Seeing they were all happy I could turn away and deal with my meds the make myself a coffee to go back to work with. I sent Yvonne a text to let her know I wouldn’t be over as I  didn’t want to expose my chest to the cold. By 9.00 am I was almost there but I was feeling tired and my eye were starting to go. I went through and turned TV on and tried to nod in my chair. I managed some but I was back into it by 10.00 am.

Since I haven’t done much today and I’m not feeling great at the moment I’m going to skip most of the day until 4.45 pm when Ugo came round with Reuben. I met them at the door and as Reuben saw me he grinned and said Pops is a voice that sounds like a lions roar trying to do Don Corleone. It’s a real growl. I took him into the lounge and removed his coat. Big mistake, without the weight of sleeves those arms were everywhere. He had remotes galore and TV was going on and off  as were candles, record players and anything else remotely electrical. Boxes were upended of coins, coasters became stones to be skimmed across the floor. Ugo went out for something to eat as it was always our Tuesday treat, and left me in charge. . I distracted Reuben by taking him to the fish tank.There seemed to be only Wise in evidence and either the rest were hiding or Wise had eaten them all..

Ugo returned with food and tried to feed Roobs with fish and chips. I was persuaded to part with some of my sausage (Indian giver) but it was refused, I couldn’t even have it back because it had gone on the plate with the fish. Roobs was more interested in play than in eating and there had to be a couple of stern looks when things were thrown about. That didn’t work, it just brought on the siren and the waterworks, especially after he threw something like a coaster and I relieved him of his favourite remote. It didn’t go down well. I did Ugo some pudding which I think  Reuben helped with a little but he was asking me for chocolate so I had to give him a couple of Cadbury’s fingers. Sorry Matt, they were from your stash.. Soon enough it was time for them to go. I gave Reuben the giraffe I’d got for him and it seemed to be a popular choice. I went to the door with them and all seemed OK’ish until Ugo told Roobs to say goodbye to pops. then his heart broke. So did mine. I came back in and watched  TV quiz before coming through. I soon started to feel unwell and had to gallop to the loo to throw up. As this may be the start of ‘There may be trouble ahead’ I’m closing now and will write again tomorrow if I feel up to it.

Wednesday.

I actually managed to get to bed at 11.30 pm last night though I did read until 12.45 am. I got up at 1.35 am when I thought a trip to the loo was in order but bed still sort of beckoned. I had a cigarette and a small drink and climbed back into bed where I stayed until 5.51 am. I thought that was pretty good. Of course I paid for it when I opened my emails and had to start by working on all the ones I’d missed last night. It was obvious they’d made a point of not missing me. There wee a few Goodnight tweets I had no choice but to answer Good Morning too just in case they thought I was just getting to bed.

At least I felt better this morning apart from the cough which is still annoying me. I’m using the couch medicine which helps a bit but which leaves me drowsy. Not as drowsy as when I was taking it by the tablespoon rather than the teaspoon. Still,I should be OK since as far as I know I’m not pregnant ( except for the odd pause) and certainly not breast feeding since I can’t find a willing woman. At 7.00 am I broke away from messages to feed the fish. It was quite light outside but I still needed the kitchen light and the tank light. There wasn’t a deal of movement except from the bronzes. Big Al, Little Al and Pepper were in the front left corner and Stan was in what would be the top right corner if it hadn’t been occupied by the internal filter. Everything else was keeping a low profile. When Iopened the food hatch they all seemed to go on high alert. Like sniffer dogs with  noses in the air, waiting for the command. Putting some ofthe pellets in was enough to starta race for the spot which Pepper won so he was able to catch them floating down. The plecs moved in, M & W were there as were the hoplos. The usual ones were missing, Ancistrus, synodontis and Stan. I put some of the scientific food and Stan moved himself to grab some. The Synodontis stuck their heads out far enough to grab some and retreat again. No sign of ancistrus and his waggling tail yet though. Satisfied they’d ll get something I moved away.

I had my sprays then took a food tablet before having all the others.Time for a cigarette. I did a couple of quick jobs while smoking so that as soon as the cigarette was finished I was able to put two crumpets in the toaster.When they were ready I set my coffee machine to produce a masterpiece then added butter and strawberry ham to the crumpets and ate them. It was nearing 8.00 am when I finished and I could see youngsters pass by on their way to school. I really didn’t envy them as it was freezing. No rain and the sun was shining but it was a vicious cold. I took my drink through to the bedroom then got dressed and carried on with the mail  By 9.20 am I’d done the one mail box but I decided to pay a visit to Pauline’s to get some shopping and also to collect £10 from the Thunderball on Saturday. Coming back, I wrote a couple of letters, tried to activate my Ancestry.co.uk with the code given for Ancestry.com and when I couldn’t, fired off my second email to them in a week. This has happened every year for the last 3 years. My account with UK ends in March but every Christmas I’m bought a new subscription by a friend in the U.S Obviously he buys it from Ancestry,com while I use .co.uk. But it’s the same firm so why is it so difficult to tack the new subscription on to the end of my old one? For the last few years someone has eventually figured a way and done it for me. This year I’m told to activate the .com and then say I want to use UK in one of the boxes. I’ve done this but all that’s happened is I now have an active account from last December going on with no family trees while I have a recently ended .co.uk account not going anywhere with all my family trees on it.

I had a skype request for contact from someone in Akron Ohio, who is only 29 but single, honest and ‘really’ interested in ‘connecting’ with me. I noticed a few other request from young women who want contact who are prepared to be a nit naughty. See me run ! I can’t remember what to do with an old woman never mind a young one. Lunch time arrived and I had a shepherd’s pie with some bread and butter. I watched another Murder She Wrote but I confess my eyes kept going to the window as I was expecting a book delivery today. At 1.00 pm I returned to my computer and laid into the messages. I know I was tired and was fighting not to fall asleep at the desk. It didn’t work. I woke to a knock at the door but I didn’t realise that’s what it was until I came round properly. It must have been a deeper sleep than I thought. Expecting the book I opened the door to find my friend from the chemists there, it was a surprise as the young lady had delivered my drugs yesterday. I thanked him and closed the door. When I checked it was antibiotics. I knew who’d arranged that little miracle then and sent an email thanking her straight away. I did ask how she managed it without me having gone to the surgery though. The only answer I got was “It’s the way I roll.”I guess she spoke to the nurse who runs the chest clinic there because the only problem s these are the first stage, the weakest antibiotics that usually do nothing for me and I end up having to have three courses each progressively stronger or, as has happened before, getting admitted to hospital. Pneumonia does leave the chest weaker. Anyway I took one there and then.

I worked through to 4.25 pm and couldn’t quite finish but I thought I’s done OK. I went through to the kitchen and got some cake for my tea and then sat and watched PYMWYMI and the beginning of Pointless. Lee sent a text to say he couldn’t make it but Dil and Matt turned up at 5.30 pm. They were watching Pointless as I went to make their drinks. Once the TV went off the games commenced. We started with Yahtzee and needless to say it was more slaughter than game. Matt won 4 of the 6 rounds and Dil won 2. I just couldn’t get a look in. Next up was Nomination at which I’m quite skilled, or so I thought. I started very badly but the vicious taunts made me spur myself into making a comeback and taking the lead only to lose it again in the last 3 hands and see the game go to Dil. We wee going for cards again but Matt fancied Balderdash. I’m sure he hoped I’d get the modern one out but quick as a flash I grabbed the original. Right, this had to be it, I’m a freakin’ genius at lying. If you havben’t seen he game, you only need to get 18 spaces to win. Matt was on 2 , Dil was on 4 and I was on 12 withing the space of a few minutes. But it doesn’t take much…… Dil asked a question, I chose Matt’s answer and he chose min so we both moved on a space, Dil moved on 4 spaces because no-one chose the right answer. It happened twice more on his go and he also scored by guessing right on our goes. Matt was on about 8 when Dill and I were on 15. I moved to 17 by getting one right. Last question, Matt chooses my answer and I choose his again. That means I move the one point I need but Dil moved 4 because the right one wasn’t chosen. A draw, a travesty. They were able to leave sniggring. I think I’ll hold back on cigarettes and biscuits next week until I see how nice Matt is . One snigger and I won’t get them out.

They left and I had a quick tidy and washed the pots. There was a text to say MuJo are coming tomorrow so the backlog will be bad again. Perhaps I’d better not go to bed tonight at all. It’s already well gone midnight and I know I’m not up to date yet.

Thursday.

As expected it was a late one. I was actually glad to climb into bed and read for a while. Without the distraction of my book I find my brain continues to work on computer related things and I might just get back out and start again. Anyhoo, I slept and it was 5.02 am when I got up. I swung my legs out of bed and put my slippers on, added my dressing gown and hobbled to the loo. Mainly because the slippers were on the wrong feet, not that there’s an option as they’re the only feet I have. I found myself discombobulated. I returned from the loo, sat at my desk and corrected my mistake. I set the computer to warm up and wrapped a scarf round the monitor. As soon as the glow appeared I logged into my email and set to work. Some of the work was automatic and I found my brain wandering but don’t worry, I keep it on a short leash. It puzzles me that I’ve had a spate of young ladies wanting to connect on Skype many of them messaging me with the request and offering far more details that would be expected from just a connection. I always wonder where they find my name and what they expect. I shook myself to get my concentration back while I dealt with the latest fraud from Burkino Faso. I think I’ve dealt with most of the population of that place now.

At 7.00 am I had a break while I went through to wish the fish good morning and offer them breakfast. Big Al and Pepper came gliding towards me with Little Al in tow very much reminding me of the bridal couple and a page boy. The hoplos just seemed to be enjoying the morning swimming up to the surface and down and I was puzzled for a moment when I thought I saw another hoplo until I realised one of the synodontis was being brave again though it didn’t last for long as it made a bolt for home as soon as one of the tiny bronze corys approached. The bronzes are just oblivious to everything. I couldn’t see the other synodontis except perhaps a whisker quivering under the bridge. There was no sign of the ancestrus whose tail is usually all I see. I could see the three plecs and they seemed fine leaning against the bog wood. Morecambe and Wise were swimming near the filter at the top of the tank but I knew they were just waiting, Stan was in his favourite corner away from the glare of the lights and didn’t he look glorious with the moustache rippling in the water. Reminiscent of the old TV show Whiplash, he seems to have perfect control of it. I opened the hatch and the tension rose palpably though they all pretended nonchalance . I dropped food in and there was just a blur of motion in front of me. Within seconds it had settled to munching and I went to get a block of bloodworm from the freezer for dessert.

As the fish were settled I concentrated on myself and saw to my meds before making a coffee to take back with me. I sorted my clothes for the day, got washed and dressed and was ready for anything…mainly a sit down with my coffee. I worked until about 9.30 am and then knowing it was unlikely MuJo would be there at that time I went out to Pauline’s for cigarettes and my lottery. I came back wondering if the postman would be here today with my book. I did a little more work and then unexpectedly MuJo arrived at 10.15 am and I had to finish so I could see to drinks, or as it turned out drink since Muriel didn’t want one. She passed me a bag with a shirt they’d bought me which was really nice and they wouldn’t accept they shouldn’t have done. We sat and chatted until 11.15 am and then expecting a discussion on where we’d eat I was surprised to find they’d made the decision already. We headed off out of Holywell to a place called the Dragon’s Rest between Caerwys and Lloc just off the expressway. Muriel ordered lunch after telling John to make sure I didn’t move and try to pay the bill. We sat and waited for drinks when the waitress came to tell them lamb was off the menu. John changed to beef with me and Muriel ended up with soup. The drinks came, John and I took our tablets then the meal arrived. John and I were both disappointed to find the meat seemed to be of the boil in the bag variety. Thin slices that were quite chewy. I think we were sorry we hadn’t had the soup. John had an ice cream, Mu had a thick milkshake while I went out for a cigarette.

We next drove back to Lloc and turned towards Trelawnyd where we went to Jackson’s the Garden and Gift Centre.  We had a nice wander looking at some beautiful gifts and some nice ladieswear they’d added before I took them to the new cafe and treated us all to coffee. I got John some fruit cake and Mu some egg custard which looked good. I swear she put at least 6 sugars in her coffee. I can’t understand why she’s not the size of a house . Eventually it was time to return home, so back to Lloc, along to Holywell and down. It was about 3.00 pm then and Mike had sent a message earlier to say he was on the way with an ‘Ollie’…..I think not. I judged it to be a 4.15 arrival. They left at just gone 4.00 pm and Mike did arrive almost on time, passing me a box as he came in. I took the lid off, removed some newspaper and there he/she was. Much paler than Stan and a little smaller. Definitely not an Ollie to my mind so I’ve decided on Laurel which I can cut to Laurie if needs be. I put the open bag inside the lip of the tank for the first 20 mins adjustment then went to watch PYMWYMI with Mike.At the 20 minute mark we added some tank water to the bag and left it for the next bit. As one programme ended and the next was due I went and released Laurel into the tank. WHOOSH, he was away. I don’t know whether it was fear, excitement or curiosity that caused it but he was everywhere. Even the livelier fish looked a bit bug-eyed with surprise. For a moment he came over and settled with Stan which was a good sign but then off again.

I made Mike and I something to eat, or more accurately, I made myself something and directed him towards the food and let him make his own. To prevent an argument I placed the money for Laurel and for the book I was buying off him, on his suitcase, and said nothing. After tea I fell asleep in my chair and when I woke up it was 7.35 pm and Mike was asleep. I crept away to do a little work. When I went back through he was just waking. We watched DIY SOS until 9.00 pm then I couldn’t avoid work any longer and came back through to stay. We’re back at midnight and yes, I still haven’t finished. I need to decide whether to do a little more after the blog or to leave it till the morning. Tonight’s music is by special request of Mike who asked me to put this on. Requests Welcome.

Friday.

3.12 am today.The memory foam cushion on the chair hasn’t had time to resume it’ s shape from the last visit yet. I remember getting out of bed and nipping to the loo. I don’t remember opening the computer and signing in though. There was lots of stuff from yesterday to work through and t was 5.35 am before I managed to clear the last of it. There wasn’t long to start on today’s mail before it was time to depart for the kitchen. I took my antibiotic so it didn’t get forgotten but left the other meds until I’d seen t the fish. Stan and Laurel must have bickered because they’re in opposing corners of the tank. That alone can’t have made Big Al, Little Al and Pepper happy as Laurel has adopted their corner. Those three are swimming round together with Big Al looking like he really has the hump.  I’m hiding round the end of the tank till he’s passed. Morecambe and Wise are watching me with grins on their faces, I don’t want to know their thoughts. Everyone else is making a great point of minding their own business.  In fact, if they could whistle innocently, they would. I opened the slot and fed them some FishScience and then half a sachet of Daphnia. That brought Stan out of his corner for breakfast but maybe Laurel is on a diet. While they were all cramming food in heir faces I left them to it.

I quickly took my meds and prepared my mug for a coffee as my next job is usually a longish one, filling my drug trays again. I got the drawer from the front room and brought it through then changed any empty boxes for the full ones I’d ordered on Monday. Then I started filling the trays. I knew I needn’t order any drugs this week so didn’t need the prescription request handy. I’ve got it down to a fine art now ordering a month’s worth half one week and half 2 weeks later. Once I’d done and taken the drawer back I got rid of all the strips I’d emptied and also pit the empty boxes in for recycling. Hallelujah, it was time for coffee at last. Almost 7.00 am. I made the drink, noticing I’d need to refill the pods soon, and took it back through to my bedroom. It’s been cough, cough, cough all morning, I’m surprised I haven’t woken Mike up (not). I need lubrication and the cough medicine ran out last night so I hope the coffee will do. I worked on until 8.30 am. Mike had said last night that 8.30 – 8.45 am would be fine as he wasn’t in a rush. A polite way of saying “Don’t disturb me at 8.oo am” He made me laugh by adding I could wake him between those times if he didn’t get up under his own steam. So, it was 8.40 am when I woke him and fair play he got up then without any alarms or second calls. Trouble was it took him til 9.50 am to go out. I was just nodding in my chair in the lounge when he came to say goodbye.

I was forced back to work by my conscience cracking the whip. I’d just got into a nice rhythm when some post came through the front door and there was a knock. It was Darren with a parcel. When I got back in the house with everything I found the second book on catfish had arrived and also the leather jacket. To be honest the jacket was even nicer than it looked on screen though it looked dark enough to be black indoors. I tried it on over my dressing gown and it seemed to fit well but tomorrow I’ll try it with a shirt and cardigan. John asked me yesterday to try and find him a brown jacket too but so far no luck. Which just reminded me that I was supposed to check on some I was looking at around 6.30 pm and 8.30 pm. I missed them both, some friends you are letting them slip past me like that. I worked till 11.30 am then stopped for lunch. I’d just finished th main bit about 12.15 pm when I saw the warden and knew she was heading here. I opened the front door for her then excused myself to wash my hands. She was sitting talking to me and telling me that changes are underfoot again. She job shares a week with someone and they alternate, Mon, Tues, Wed one week and Thurs, Fri the next. Her bosses in their wisdom have decided to end that arrangement. They’re going to have to work static days every week and are being allocated new areas of their own. When they’re off on holiday they will not be covered and residents won’t get a visit. They can however be covered for sickness. There will be a new person allocated to this area who doesn’t work Thurs, Fridays which means I either do without a visit or have to change the day she can come. I think I’ll choose to do without so I don’t have to learn to talk to someone new.

Once she’d gone I turned to the TV for a while before going back to work. When I did go it had mounted up again. I was suddenly very tired. Then I was suddenly very awake as my cigarette burnt my fingers. I threw it in the air, then as I realised what had happened tried to catch it again and get it into the ash tray before it ended up behind the computer somewhere. I’m glad to say I succeeded at the coat of very little skin. From thereon in I concentrated on the mail and didn’t smoke unless I was fully compost mental. I was up to date at 4.20 pm and felt I deserved a skive so went through ready for my programme at 4.30 pm. I was really enjoying it and watched all the purchases then watched them make the private sales but by the tine the auction arrived I’d gone. I stayed gone right through most of the next 45 minutes too and woke only in the dying minutes  of a quiz. I realised Mike wasn’t home yet so I wouldn’t be taunted. As 6.00 pm arrived I went to take a pre-food tablet and have a little chat to the fish before I turned their light out. Mike arrived back at 6.10 pm and said he was surprised I wasn’t asleep. “As if !” I said, and as he asked how the antique show had ended I cut him off by saying I needed to eat and did he want something. “I’ll have the same as you” he said “what are you having?”    “I’m having a syrup sponge with custard” I told him.  “In that case can I have a sandwich” he asked, which he followed up with sponge and custard anyway.

As usual I stayed the Friday night course, quiz, shower and hair wash, quizzes and then as a treat Big Bang Theory. Ten minutes before the end there were adverts one of which was for a pizza . Jokingly I said to Mike “Just ring for a takeaway pizza will you”. He laughed and said he’d been thinking the self same thing but was I serious. That became an I am if you are scenario until he got out a brochure that was in one of the papers and rang. Big Bang finished and I came through to start work. Twenty minutes later a flippin’ huge pizza arrived EACH!!! I started to eat mine while I was working so my abject apologies if anyone got a message with grease stains. As it happened both of us had eyes bigger than our belly and only managed half, so  guess what’s for lunch tomorrow. Old sarky chops was celebrating my entry into the 21st Century as I admitted this is the first time I’ve ever ordered a takeaway pizza. So, he’s doing a catch up run of all the episodes of ‘100’ he’s missed and I’m wondering If I’ll ever get him up in the morning. I’m just working away at the mail now the blog is done again.

Saturday.

Not quite as late as I’d feared last night as I was done by 12.30 am, of course I still needed a read to redirect my brain. I got up at 3.32 am and after my visit to the loo started by checking the lottery, someone in Portugal won the £72 million so that’s my hopes of a private jet dashed for a while again. It was while I was concentrating on my post afterwards I heard a strange noise like the clink of crockery. My clock said 4.00 am . Surely burglars didn’t visit at this time and in this weather? It blowing a gale out there and I know my wheelie bin took a trip during the night. I took a walk through the house and saw the kitchen light was on. There was Mike looking for a soft drink. Having his eyes open might have helped in the search. He has no idea of the time but was being annoyed by a tickle in the throat. I promise it wasn’t my hands around his neck.

At 6.00 am I saw to the fish and then to my meds, including the antibiotic I seem to have missed twice yesterday. I took a drink back to my room and carried on. By 6.50 am I was actually up to date and retraced my steps to the kitchen to prepare Mike’s mug and put the kettle on. As his alarm went off for the first time I let him know his coffee was there. He ignored us both. I dealt with the recycling waste and then once I’d washed my hands reminded Mike not to forget his coffee. He said he wouldn’t. Five minutes later his second alarm went which he also ignored. Once I was sure he wasn’t moving I went back through and asked if he’d forgotten his coffee to which he replied he had. I suggested he sit up instead of snuggling down again and he said that was a good idea as he proceeded to snuggle down again. I left it to 7.30 pm and tried again as I hadn’t heard a third alarm and guessed he’d been aware enough to turn it off. He’s guaranteed just a 2 shout on Alarms now but is so far at 4 Calls, something of a new record. The last shout did the trick though as he swung his legs out of bed like there was a fire, perhaps because I mentioned there might be whereas what I’d really said very quietly was ” Someone needs to light a FIRE under you.” He was galvanised into action. Straight into the lounge to light a cigarette. It would be a while before the next movements after the brain had caught up with the body and unfortunately the brain was still in his bedroom. I just caught up on a few more messages then went to sit with him in the lounge. The eyes were beginning to focus. Eventually he went to get dressed and amazingly we left the house at 8.05 am.

When we drew into the Supermarket I went straight to the cash machine while Mike went to get a trolley. As he approached me I heard a groan. I knew it wasn’t is corns so I could only assume he’d seen the SALE sign that had caught my eyes when we arrived. He can’t moan as I told him there might be coats and lo and behold there were. But, just one he liked and that had enough pockets. It wasn’t actually his size but I told him to try and it fitted and was comfortable. I found two tops for Reuben so we were both happy. Inside the store we got some carnations for Ju then concentrated on the shopping. It didn’t take a great deal of time but I was parched when we’d finished so we had a coffee. On the way home we stopped at Pets at Home to see if they sold the fish food that’s proving such a hit. They don’t but they had 4 very young rats in that were so pretty just like my Bernie and they didn’t run and hide as we stood by the cage talking to them. HE wouldn’t let me get them so I sulked all the way to Flint. Once we were there and parked up we headed for ‘Homies’ as Mike wanted another couple of over the door towel rails and we both needed more cough medicine. We had a wander into Jolley’s to price up new fish tanks the price of about £450 for a 4 foot one nearly made my eardrums explode. There were no exceptional fish in so we walked over to Temptations and took the girls ( and Kyle ) their chocolates. We had a coffee and naturally Mike had his teasted toecake. It was fairly busy so not much teasing of Ceri today.

Time was getting on and we decided to go for lunch. It was probably about 1.00 pm when we arrived at The Ivy which was also fairly busy though our seats were free today. Tariq leaned over the counter for a hug. Angie came for a kiss and even young Rob came up and hugged me today. If only I could get out into the wide world and get people hugging. We managed a couple of short natters with Tariq  before and after our lunches and then it was time to leave. We were home for 3.00 pm. We unpacked and put away the shopping then I came in here and started work. I left Mike with football but at some stage he came through to speak to me and he caught me having just nodded off. I was suddenly attentive again. There was a wonderful surprise when my friend Sally had featured me and my second book on her blog I was quite blown away by some of the comments. I’d just reached about 2.00 pm mail by 6.30 pm, when it was time to go through and give Mike some company. I stayed in there until 9.00 pm when it was time to attack again. Even now at this stage there’s still a long way to go so some will have to wait until tomorrow.

parciau 10 USE

parciau 14 use

I hope you all have a wonderful New Week. Hugs.

 

 

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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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