Monthly Archives: June 2013

Bring on the Strait Jacket.

I think my body and brain are officially at war. There’s a part of me ( the brain ) that thinks I should still be sixteen scratch that, twenty ( I don’t want to return to being sweet 16 and never been kissed) and the senile part of my brain (all) refuses to accept the realities of life despite all the signposts life puts in the way. For  instance, I see a pretty girl walk by, I turn to wolf whistle my appreciation and I fall over after having twisted my neck out of alignment and having tripped over my crutches. The only way I can catch a woman these days is if she’s behind me and I walk backwards. It helps if she’s myopic too in case anyone is listening to my prayers. I doubt that very much though since I can hear a dirty laugh in the background whenever I check my lottery. To be fair I’ve always said that I won’t forget my friends if I win. All of you would get a postcard from my cruise ship.

Anyway, as usual the senility is kicking in and I digress. I wanted to speak tonight ( this morning for all you pedants out there) about the need for people my age to be watched 24/7 by our children while they still stand the chance of an inheritance. I decided to come to an agreement with my brain. I’d let it go it’s own way in certain things as long as it left me some common sense and dignity at the end of each week. I don’t think it’s holding up it’s end of the deal. The family always knew my father in law to be a gadget man. Whatever the latest thing on the market was, he had to have it ( or as my daughter used to put it….But I neeeeed it ). It’s just occurred to me how much I’ve stepped into his role.

When I’m taken out (allowed out it should be) anywhere, one of the things I enjoy most is to stop for a latte. Yes, when I’m outside I do realise it’s just a glorified milky coffee, but I like it. What if I could have this at home I thought. Enter my old friend ebay and my deadly enemy the credit card. ( It’s not my fault, my daughter should hold it !). “Why get a machine that just does latte?” my enfeebled brain asked ” when you can supply drinks of all varieties for your visitors.” This made perfect sense and of course as a gentleman I should offer my guests the best I can.  That terrible little temptress ebay gave me some ideas and I liked the look of the Tassimo machine model T40 which has a drink for every occasion (OK pedants, you’re starting to annoy me now, NO there is no communion wine button). Nearly every occasion. I could see that the usual price is round the £100.00 mark but as an embittered veteran of the ‘War of the Last Ten Seconds’ I knew I’d not be paying anything like that for it. First decision new or used? Definitely new I think. I set to work saving the best in my ‘Watch list’. Two days later I’d already lost two thanks to the tactics of some even more embittered veterans but I hadn’t given up hope.

Day three brought success, probably because no-one else was stupid enough to be on at 3.am. But, I paid £41.00 for it and £10.00 postage. Almost 50% of the list price. I was noticeably pleased with myself. I hadn’t noticed that I’d left details of the address my last purchase ( a gift) was to go to on paypal and as the expected arrival date came and went with no delivery I was gloomy. Still, I managed to get it back from it’s destination and corrected paypal for the future. So it’s here, I can’t wait ! Of course I hadn’t given any thought to the pods at this point so today it was time for the weekly shop.

mEoHx1p0Encxq3sS2aye6Vw

 

The New Toy.

 

 

 

 

In a large Supermarket ( I’ll name them in exchange for sponsorship) I bought some different coffee pods and some chocolate pods. I couldn’t find any tea but there’s always ebay. Back home again I didn’t want to go through the routine of filling the new machine four times in order to let the water run through the system before being able to make a drink. That can be a pleasure for tomorrow and I’ll be able to enjoy the trial run myself before hosting open house to supply drinks to the neighbourhood. There’s time enough to do a search. YES, ebay has tea bags and they’re only £2.95, but hang on, there’s £1.99 p & p which makes them dearer than the shops, ah, but not if I buy three packs as they only charge for one postage. Brilliant that’ss just short of £11.00 for three packs making them cheaper than the shops. Click, ordered and paid.

mS94pmoVfAIMhMF1jwHK3Xw

 

 

 

 

 

 

The problem is that now the last remaining working synapses of my brain are kicking in. The tea I ordered has 8 pods in. With it’s own postage it works out I’m going to be paying 50p for a cup of tea using my own electricity, water, milk and sugar?? It’s only around £1.00 for 80 teabags to put in a teapot. Some of the coffees have 16 pods and the chocolate 8 and they’re around £4.00 a pack. I only know coffee drinkers and they only have Americanos except me. What am I doing? In exasperation I tell my enfeebled brain that it’s never having this kind of freedom again. I hear a dirty snigger and am sent to the pantry where I discover the Senseo system with it’s coffee bags and a little coffee maker for ground coffee. Duh!! Betrayed by my own body.

So children, I implore you to take a firm hand on the reins when your parents reach my age or there’ll be nothing left. And when you start approaching 40 ( I’m not saying from which direction) start training your own children up and hand over your credit card just in case. If you don’t, well that pantry is going to be damned difficult to empty when I’m gone. Still, I’ll be gone so why should I worry. Where’s ebay, I just heard about a great toasted sandwich maker……….

64 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

……..And They Sneak in Behind You….

No sooner had I finished yesterday’s blog about an award than beggar me, I turned my back and it happened again.  Barbara is a poet(ess) from My Un-Puzzled Heart

http://barbmca.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/shaun-from-httpprayingforoneday-wordpress-com-offered-me-this-award/comment-page-1/#comment-634

nominated me for yet another award. I’m proud, pleased, honoured that people like my little mental gambols enough to go to this trouble. I’m also frustrated enough to wonder if my ‘Brother of Another Mother’ Michael aka Baron Fraenkel is laughing his socks off having paid someone to draw facts about me out into the open like a dentist draws teeth. Here is the wonderful award………..

image12

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here with many sighs of frustration I obey the rules to the best of my ability. Firstly and most sincerely I thank Barbara for her kindness, especially as she’s a newbie to my blog……though actually that may have been the reason I got away with this since she doesn’t know me well yet. Secondly I supply you with 7 facts about myself.

1. I’m a Capricorn. Born in the depths of midwinter I’m a miserable git who avoids the sun, oh no, that’s cos’ I’m a vampire isn’t it?

2. Last night I threw a tantrum and ate 2 pork pies because my brother beat me 3 – 0 at Scrabble. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

3. I grew up playing card games and boxed games.( caves were boring with no TV invented then). My favourite game is Balderdash.

4. I prefer savoury to sweet though I’ll cave in for wimberry pie ( http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071129150134AAsjEss ) or rhubarb crumble.

5. In between meals I love cheddars, quavers and ( Sponsorships accepted) Borders Dark Chocolate covered Gingers or Cadbury’s Dark chocolate Fingers.

6. As a Type II diabetic I never eat things that are bad for me. (Except maybe the odd-3 box of- Del Monte Pineapple ice lollies….Mmmmmm)

7. I believe in eating my Three a Day of fruit ( see above) and vegetables ( three peas or three carrots) no hardship. I can’t understand why some find it hard unless of course they’ve been faced with that ‘ABOMINATION’ Sprouts ! Yes, you know who I’m talking about you little horrors masquerading as mini cabbages and tasting like a disease on a plate. Even a good gravy can’t mask the taste.

It appears I don’t have to answer questions for this award but I do have to nominate 15 more worthy bloggers. So here goes.

1. http://theothersideofugly.com/2013/06/27/once-upon-a-time/

2. http://propelsteps.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/powerful-quote-6-fool/

3.http://francineinretirement.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/tagged-z-for-zebra/

4. Writing in The Water.  http://mapelba.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/wheres-my-cancer-patient-action-figure/

5. Alex Laybourne http://alexlaybourne.com/2013/06/24/interview-with-horrors-hottest-talent-me/

6. Madison Woods  http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/rss-reader-vs-email-vs-actual-surfing-for-keeping-up-with-blogs/

7. Catherine Johnson  http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/learning-to-paint/

8. Jorge Oyola Seeking One Small Miracle  http://jorgeoyola716.wordpress.com/  (A real cry for help.)

9. Karen S Elliott. The Word Shark  http://karenselliott.wordpress.com/

10. Valerie Davies. http://valeriedavies.com/2013/06/26/serendipity-and-the-private-life-of-rabbits/

11. MKG-Memories http://babyjill7.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/you-can-always-ask-grandma/

12. Sherry Gorman The Write MD.  http://thewritemd.net/2013/06/26/roxyred/

13. http://foodstoriesblog.com/

14. Patinspire  http://patinspire.org/2013/06/26/acknowledging-and-appreciating-time/

15. The Wonderful Niamh Clune of PlumTree Books  http://ontheplumtree.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/the-wednesday-poetry-corner-featuring-alan-patrick-traynor/

Right, apart from notifications I’ve fulfilled my duty for the morning. Time for a coffee I think. Today is my MuJo visit and I have a little surprise for them which I need to hide before they arrive. That should be simple since it’s only 12 feet long. I nearly herniated myself yesterday when the delivery man propped it up by the door and disappeared into the sunset when I’d signed for it. ( B*stard). I have a hallway that turns at right angles to the door, so hefting the giant rug onto my shoulder ( and leaning heavily onto the wall to keep me upright) I forged ahead only to come a cropper at the first hurdle, the wall ahead that faced me. I angled right, having to move away from my support to do so, and twisting the rug to the left moved more slowly ahead. I was making good progress until I reached the front door. Since the rug no occupie the whole space with the angle it was at there was no space for me to enter. Who’s idea was it to stick inflexible cardboard tubes down the middle of things to keep them rigid when you need them to be floppy? Persistence paid off in the end. I rammed the rug through so that I was carried in it’s wake having swept the telephone off the console table . I made a mad dash ( actually I was falling but it doesn’t sound as good) to catch the hands from falling too which was perhaps not my brightest idea since they were falling on my right which was the shoulder bearing the rug. I ended up on my back in the ( then) uncartpeted hall with the hands safe in my hands and a roll of carpet on top of me.

Just to finish my daily whinge, some of you kind people asked to see the carpet I bought at the door. I know you only want proof really that I actually do part with money sometimes so here it is. As an added bonus I’m including a shot of my stick stand and collection. For the ‘technically’ minded amongst you, mu front door is just to the right of the black cabinet you can see in the first picture.

DSCF3196

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DSCF3197

31 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

You Just Turn Your Back for A Moment

You just turn your back for a moment, take your eye off the ball and it happens again. There I was minding my own business when someone sneaked another award in. This time it’s a liebster but at least I was given the option of colour just to define my masculinity though that may be in question again when I answer one of the accompanying questions.

Firstly The Award itself..

20130619-125031

Then The Presenter.  The generous Vikki Thompson of The View Outside   http://the-view-outside.com/2013/06/26/an-avalanche-of-awards/   Thanks so much Vikki.   As with all things in life there are certain rules to be followed so I’ll start with the obvious first one and say Thanks Vikki for thinking of me for this award when there are so many fantastic bloggers out there.

Second, I’m to post 11 random facts about myself and to be honest I’m not sure there are that many left after having done so many with other awards so forgive me if I get a little creative here. I’ll let you sort fact from fiction.

1. I once played Longinus in a BBC Radio Manchester play. I had to give him a broad Welsh accent.

2. When I’m feeling lazy I have Titterton’s Pies fed intravenously.

3. My Pet Rats were all named after the females in The Big Bang Theory. Penny, Amy, Priya and Bernie ( my favourite- Rat that is)

4. Most of my socks have the Welsh Dragon on them. (Y Ddraig Goch)

5. Other than the writing and editing of my books I’ve never read them. ( I know most of you can say the same too).

6. I won Buckingham Palace off Prince Charles in a game of Backgammon.

7. I own One Square Foot of Land in a Scottish Forest.

8. My daughter is a changeling and the real one is off with the fairies somewhere.

9. I have a great Walking Stick collection despite only using crutches.

10. I have known my best friend for nigh on 40 years and he still says he wouldn’t trust me with his sister.

11. I have been conned by more sob stories than most people have hot dinners.

Next. Answer 11 Questions.

1. What’s your most embarrassing moment? Standing next to my sister when she asked for ‘Some of those Durex batteries’ in a large Boot’s store quite loudly.
2. When’s the last time you sent or received flowers?
I received flowers for fathers day. I buy fresh flowers each week for my wife.
3. Have you ever sought revenge?
Of course.
4. What’s your greatest personal strength?
Generosity of spirit ( cos’ I’m mean with my money)
5. What’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done (has to be different from number 1 lol)?
Bought a new fridge when the old one was only turned off at the safety switch and not broken.( I didn’t know it had one)
6. Who’s the most famous person you’ve met?
Prince Charles ( He’s very nice by the way).
8. What do you collect?
Walking sticks and waistcoats ( vests for our American friends).
9. Favourite all time song?
Very hard, this morning it’s Kiss and say Goodbye by the Manhattans.
10. Favourite ice cream flavour?
Don’t faint but I don’t actually care for ice cream much. A few years ago Mars did a special dark chocolate Choc Ice called ( I think) Dark and Golden. It was wonderful.

11. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? No question, Titterton’s Pies.

Lastly. Award the Liebster to 11 Bloggers ( or less) I find deserving and pass the questions on to them, and notify them. I think at this time in the morning I’d struggle to come up with 11 off hand so I’ll just go with what I’ve got.
1. The Wonderful ACFlory at Meeka’s Mind  http://acflory.wordpress.com/

2. http://morguemouse.wordpress.com/

3. Michael Beyer at http://catchafallingstarbook.wordpress.com/

4. A fantastic travelogue  http://eastofmalaga.net/

5. Billy Ray Chitwood  http://thefinalcurtain1.wordpress.com/

6.Caroline and Tina http://areadersreviewblog.com/

7. Jacqueline King   http://taoofscrumble.wordpress.com/  ex of Wightrabbit.

8.Jason K Lewis  http://jasonklewiswriter.wordpress.com/

That will have to do for now folks or my ironing won’t get done…

Late additions while the Iron heats up.

9. Patricia Carrigan AKA Spidey   http://patriciacarrigan.com/

10. Shawn Bird   http://shawnbird.com/

11. Judith Baxter  http://growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com/

28 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Homecomings, Happenings and Caught Out.

Last Sunday ( Father’s Day) my nieces arrived bearing gifts and cards. More importantly they also brought Ju home. I’d left her ashes with the undertaker until a time I could cope ( and until I’d paid for the funeral which now requires a second and third mortgage). Karen passed me a carrier bag which was surprisingly heavy. When I opened it I had a surprise and not a pleasant one. How can I describe it best…….well, you know Heinz beans now do one called the fridge pack which is a green plastic square bottle? Think of this as the giant economy model. An ugly green bottle with nothing attractive about it. “It comes with  the carrier bag” Karen told me, probably in an attempt to cheer me since she knows that I try to fill all my bags when shopping and a new one added an extra bit of fun to the game. I placed my love amongst the flowers that surround her picture but though massive, it was almost lost in the greenery.

Yvonne and Ugo came to visit and were about as impressed as I was and had been my ‘brother of another mother’ Mike who was here when the girls came. Mourners 5, Green Tub 0 so far. I left them all chatting and disappeared to my computer to look for a suitable casket. Oddly enough on ebay I found a supplier to the funeral trade. I found a casket I liked and was happy that for a few shillings more they would supply a plaque complete with my own words. I paid less than £40 for it and that included postage.

$(KGrHqJ,!igE4uwy)I9oBOM8zpDRug~~_12

This is a picture of the one I chose. Looking at the same one in an undertakers catalogue I find they charge £80.00 for the same one. No wonder funerals are such costly  affairs. Anyhoo, I ordered it on Monday and it arrived on Thursday. Fortunately this was the day Yvonne and Ugo were visiting again and I was able to ask Yvonne if she’d like to help Ma slip into something a bit prettier. She jumped at the chance. We did the job in the kitchen and as I poured a little dust was raised. ” Your Mum won’t be happy about that ” I quipped, “it’s the longest she spent in the kitchen in years.” It broke the tension nicely and until that moment I hadn’t realised we both had tears in our eyes. If the dust got stuck in those we’d be in trouble. After finishing and attaching the plaque which just said “Julia, 15.07.1956 to 30.03.2013” she was placed on the table with the flowers I refresh every week,

 

 

DSCF3195

Here is Ju in her new home.

Time to backtrack a bit now. I apologise to those who suffer travel sickness but we’re going back to Tuesday. Regular readers will know that I never answer the telephone and rarely answer the door. The main exception to answering the door is my postman. He’s one of those very nice, very cheery people it’s a pleasure to  speak to and I can do it virtually without stuttering. Just recently he’s had to come quite often with goodies ordered from ebay. On Tuesday morning I saw him go past the lounge window and moments later there was a knock on the door. I answered only to be confronted by a little chap with rugs upon his arm. “Wanna buy a rug Guv’ner” he said, though actually he didn’t sound Cockney at all in truth, it just looked better on the page. Having expected the postman I was quite distracted but managed to decline his offer. Somehow he was standing inside my hallway and I was looking over his shoulder for my post as he suggested I might prefer some bedding maybe ? Again I declined and told him rather distractedly that I’d only have been interested in a runner.

The Postie arrived and he handed over the parcels of the day. I thanked him and passed him some sweets for his family. The little man meantime had taken his rugs and gone….or so I thought. As my Postie turned to go. back the man came this time carrying two runners. He waxed lyrical about the quality, how the wool went all the way through and how good  length they were. In truth they were quite nice and I decided to have one. “The price?” I asked. “Well, they’re worth £240″ he said ” but I won’t ask for that. I’m asking for £120 because I know money is in short supply.” I’m surprised he knows my income so well. ” You’ll have to do a bit better ” I told him and we eventually agreed on £80.00 It’s 5 yards long and a tad longer than my hallway so I asked my brother Dilwyn if he could fit it for me since it would need trimming into an alcove.” Sure” he answered, “I’ll take a look tomorrow evening”.

Wednesday evening arrived ( sorry about the jump ahead travellers) and with two wins to one under his belt at Scrabble and a look of satisfaction on his face, my ‘Bro’ took a look. I confess to standing with fingers crossed in case he said it wasn’t wool or that I’d been ripped off. Maybe even told off for not asking him to get me one which he could have done much cheaper. Nothing. He just said he’ll bring his tools along next Wednesday and something to stop the runner sliding when anyone steps on it. I must remember to get him to do it before we play next week in case the score goes in my favour again.

OK. Ready yourselves……we now skip ahead to Thursday. This is the day of the MuJo visit. Muriel likes to look at properties for sale so I always buy the local rag ready for her visit. I managed to walk as far as the corner shop to get a paper and to throw my money at the government in the form of lottery tickets. I specifically asked Pauline to sell me the winning ticket this time but after checking on Friday and last night  I know she hadn’t. So anyway, MuJo arrive. As always she grabs the paper to read as I sort out drinks. I’m just taking John’s coffee through when Muriel says ” Oh be careful, there’s a warning here about a man going door to door selling carpets in this area, and he’s ripping the elderly off.” The elderly? That must rule me out then, I must  have had a different man.

On Friday Mike arrived again. We had a good natter after I fed him and I worked on emails till late.

Saturday. Mike took me shopping and then we went to ‘Let me Tempt You’ ( in the books) which is Temptation for coffee. We took the usual box of chocolates for the staff. A bit like coals to Newcastle I think sometimes as they sell individual chocolates there. We then dashed home as a cousin had promised a visit and had hinted that he was going to Stockport first. In my excited little mind this means only one thing TITTERTON’S PIES. The best pork pies in the world. Lo and behold he arrived with his partner and another of my cousins complete with a bag of 6 pies. Now where can I hide them? Too late, Mike got them and placed them in the fridge. It was a short but great visit with them all and I got some excellent family tree information I needed. In the afternoon Mike and I went to a place called the Tweed Mill for lunch and to give me a pleasure outing which really just means shopping. It was fun.

pies6

Titterton’s Pork Pies. The best Pork Butchers in the world in my opinion and unbeatable pies. Ahem, (I think this amount should just about do the job for this week Gentlemen). Not that I am looking for sponsorship of course.

 

 

 

Sunday- today.Emails kept me going from 5.am to 9.am then after giving Mike a coffee it was back to the computer to bring you up to date with my life. Mike has to go soon to travel to Manchester to see his father and I must get dressed because today I’m lunching with two ladies……….

38 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Special Awards

Sometimes when doing awards you’re limited as to the number who can receive them. Because I have already made an unlucky thirteen suffer today and reached a limit, I thought I’d give a different award t someone else who deserves one whom I missed earlier.

Ella Dee at elladee_words  http://elladeewords.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/and-the-sun-still-rises/#comment-2188   writes beautifully about where she lives, her hopes and dreams and that of her partner- known as the G.O. She waxes lyrical sometimes and has a wonderfully vivid descriptive way. I honour her for listening to the Dalai Lama, I honour her because she likes The Queen, I honour her for liking comedy (though her efforts aren’t as good as a Capricorn’s).

blog-award1

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d like to nominate her for The Blogger Award. And just so she doesn’t get off too easily she’ll have to do the following.

1. Thank the person who nominated her and add a link back to the blog.

2 Answer these 5 easy questions

a) Romance or Humour in books?

b) Favourite meal

c Monarchy or Republic for the rest of Europe?

d) Following Ancestry or looking to the future only?

e) Favourite music?

Ella, you can change the questions for your own nominations. Please choose 6 Blogs you think deserve an award and make them pay.

Hugs Galore xxxxxxxx

 

12 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Super Sweet Blogging Award

I’ve got out of the habit of blogging mid-week these days. I’m only doing so because I had a huge and very pleasant shock today when I was nominated for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. I’m hoping it’s for my nice nature rather than my sickly smile after over indulging in sweet stuffs. I was nominated by the lovely Mary J Dressel  of              http://mjdresselbooks.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/super-sweet-blogger-thats-right/

In accordance with all the usual rules ..

1. I must thank the person who nominated me.  Thanks so much Mary J. You made my day.

2.I must answer 5 Super Sweet questions.

3.I must include the Super Sweet Blogger Award in my blog post.

4. Nominate a baker’s dozen of deserving bloggers.

5.Notify my nominees on their blogs.

So, Number 1 is dealt with. Lets try the questions

1. Cookies or Cake? If cookies are biscuits then I’ll take dark chocolate covered ginger biscuits. If it has to be cake then maybe double chocolate fudge cake.

2. Chocolate or Vanilla? There is only chocolate isn’t there?

3. Favourite Sweet Treat?  Erm, have I mentioned dark chocolate covered ginger biscuits.

4. When Do You Crave Sweet Things The Most? Usually when I’m awake..

5. Sweet Nick Name? I don’t know any sweets called ‘Old Fart’.

super-sweet

 

 

 

 

 

My Unfortunate 13 Nominees who are all excellent bloggers in their fields, and some in their houses too.

Misc Maggie at  http://somethingfathappened.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/brother-john-2/

Loose the Hounds  http://www.courtneyfarrell.com/2013/06/20/no-gentleman-is-he-by-carley-bauer-and-lynette-willows/

Writerly Goodness  http://melaniemarttila.ca/2013/06/20/canwrite-2013-day-2-agents-panel/

Fine Whine   http://dittymac.blogspot.co.uk/

The Forgotten Wife   http://theforgottenwife.com/2013/06/20/just-a-thought/

QueenLorene ( Lori Pinkley)  http://repressedexpressions.wordpress.com/

Jolyse Barnett   http://jolysebarnett.com/

spb44   http://greatbigjar.wordpress.com/

Carole Wyer    http://facing50withhumour.com/

Ella Dee   http://elladeewords.wordpress.com/

Patricia   http://patinspire.org/

Catherine   http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com/

Candy Korman   http://candysmonsters.com/

I have notified them of their Nominations. Best wishes to them all and thanks again to Mary J, my mum and dad, Oscar the cat, the budgie, my agent and anyone else who was there that day.

 

40 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

In and Out of Fashion.

I like to be smart. Julia used to laugh at me because I was in my 30’s before I wore jeans. Though once in them I actually found I quite liked them , of course it was then a battle to get me to go out in them. That battle won, and people having stopped pointing open mouthed at seeing me, it was time to come to terms with trying to accomplish smart/casual.

I always had a couple of waistcoats since suits were generally 3 piece when I was younger and I found I was quite comfortable wearing a waistcoat with my jeans. Of course during the sixties my rebellion was to wear shirts with side buttoning mandarin collar and rather brighter coloured trousers than normal and during the seventies the experimentation was rather more with my hair having got an afro from a friendly hairdresser ( though I insisted it was done in her back room and not in the main salon). I confess here and now only if you promise never to mention it again that I did have at least one pair of shoes with a three or four inch sole and a pair of flared trousers that would have hosted a boy scout jamboree.

94

( Now you’ve seen this picture erase it from your minds and newer speak of it again).

The eighties were more staid though a few curls may have remained until I got married ( after which I was lucky to hold onto my hair). I became more adventurous with my waistcoats until I found they were going walkabout. Julia started slipping them on, I suppose in those days it was a compliment to my slim figure that they fitted her               ( more or less). They were multi-hued and of a variety of materials able to be worn with just about anything casual. I seem to remember that quite a few people were wearing similar relaxed styles but still within the bounds of taste.

The nineties saw me looking harder at the style of clothes I wore and maybe I tones down slightly on the colours, certainly for work and since the waistcoats seemed to be shrinking in the damp British climate I had to buy one or two more. My older ones, and some of the newer ones still seemed to disappear though I was not so aware of Julia wearing them now. That mystery was solved when I found Yvonne replacing one in my wardrobe and choosing another to go out in- after all, one can’t be seen in the same thing too often. It occurred to me in those days that had her friends seen me in one she’d worn previously, would they think me a strange old man borrowing my daughters clothes?

By the 2ooo’s fashions had changed so much on the streets and I despaired of ever seeing anything smart again. We were seeing the advent of the jeans that hung down by the knees, underpants that had to be shown, harem trousers and I had taken to sending tear stained letters to designers to ask when the wheel was due to turn Edwardian again and who was the brave one to brink frock coats back. I wore and still wear a frock coat. My waistcoat collection is probably approaching the forty mark and includes most colours, some great patterns and some wonderful fabrics. One of my favourites is a brocade one. It was about this time that I also added a couple of top hats to the mix since they’re always handy for the more formal occasions I have to attend and started a collection of walking sticks. Now there was a time I used walking sticks rather than crutches, but that was because I used to be able to run faster in those days and she didn’t catch me as often. I don’t have as many as I’d like ( who does) but over the last few weeks it’s necessitated me looking for a hall stand.

I watch a lot of antique programmes. One thing you’ll forever hear is ” Oh, brown furniture, nobody likes that anymore, you can’t give it away”. I’m here to tell you that’s not true, BUT, if there’s anyone anxious to give away a brown furniture hall stand, here I am. I’ve been on ebay, and those not at stupid prices are far enough away that I’d require a second mortgage to pay the courier.Towards the middle of the week I actually found one at £10, it was a beautiful one from about 1910 that someone had defaced  paintedt in pop art colours and designs. Whilst I was trying to find a means of transport that didn’t involve me selling the soul of my yet to be born grandson, the owner sold it elsewhere. I was devastated. I’ve had to content myself with a stick stand that someone has lime- oaked within an inch of it’s life. To be fair I quite like it even if it isn’t a hall stand but of course I won’t be eating for 3 months while I pay for it. Does this mean that brown furniture is making a comeback? If that’s the case is there a chance for sticks, waistcoats and my treasured frock coats?

MikeJu

One of my more colourful ones under brown frock coat. Ju was obviously dazzled by it ( and my charm).

57 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Fact, Fiction and Conspiracy Theories.

Most people who read my blog posts know that I like to inject  little humour into people’s lives. Others of course make sure I never get my hands on a hypodeemic nurdle or anything else sharp. Given that the most exercise my brain ever gets is jumping to conclusions I decided today I’d try and stay serious and discuss some of those problems the world seems to face though some of them are things that people imagine and never let the truth stand in the way of a good story. Some of course are ( as far as I know) completely true and very worrying.

Let’s start with an obvious one and mention Roswell , New Mexico where in July 1947 an object crash landed. The Air Force claimed it was an experimental Balloon of some sort while others claimed ( and still claim) it was an extraterrestrial craft with alien lifeforms aboard that were captured and held for examination. I have some problems with this since I feel sure that by now someone would have leaked the truth if aliens really were involved. Also I feel that there’s no reason the U.S. Government need keep the fact that aliens exist a secret since it would be in their interest to have people be vigilant in case an invasion from Mars ever takes place. We need to know how strong they are so we know who’s bootheel will be on our necks in the future, alien ones or Governmental ones.

Less funny was information I gleaned today from the blog of a friend and very nice lady Lori Pinkley ( http://repressedexpressions.wordpress.com  ). Her blog today is about something that happened in the early 1940’s when the U.S Government decided to do some experimentation with plutonium to get ahead in the Arms race. Unlike the Urban Myths that grow around incidents like Roswell I have the horrible feeling that this story is the truth. It seems that as part of the experimentation the Government acquired some land in what it considered a remote area ( displacing two townships and an Indian tribe) in South East Washington, and released plutonium isotopes into the atmosphere. Over a number of years this continued to happen and the radiation was many times that of the Three Mile Island disaster in 1979. There are many instances of cancer, there is ground, air and water contamination. It was 40 years before the confirmation of this was released and came into the public domain yet the Government refused to admit there was any danger and have not compensated the victims of this foul action. I accept that the current incumbents were not the ones who originally created this problem but Government still has a duty to it’s population.

Another friend in Australia lives in a rural community that suffers any number of bush fires. She lives with a sense of pending disaster during the summer months, yet her Local Government refuse to do anything about creating good fire breaks in the area. I don’t understand how people who have a responsibility towards the voters, towards other human beings, can sit on their hands and do nothing while people’s lives and homes are at risk.During one such fire this year the only exit from the area was cut off by fire. Yes, I know my friend could have made toast but she couldn’t even reach the shops for bread.

In the UK my Government is a coalition between the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats. The Conservatives ( Tories) won the vote but not with enough votes to form a Government. In order to place themselves in a position of power for the first time the Lib. Dems agreed to join the Tories but at a price. That price ( amongst other things ) has been to deny the people of the UK a vote on whether to stay in the European Union or not. This was a broken promise I was very unhappy with as I’m definitely a Euro sceptic. Since the coalition was formed things have gone from bad to worse here. The disabled, including those with mental health problems have been told that the Disability Living Allowance they receive is to be stopped. They will all be interviewed and awarded a new ‘personal’ allowance IF they warrant it. People were told not to worry as in some instances it could mean they actually receive more. What wasn’t said was that many would receive nothing. Those with mental health problems who have difficulty with forms are at risk of losing out. The assessments for these new allowances will be done by a private contractor who was previously responsible for assessing DLA claims where most were turned down out of hand in the first instance. Our ‘Conspiracy’ theorist say they have been employed to save the Government money. Again I have no reason to suppose that this is untrue and we have another instance of our masters not taking care of the most vulnerable amongst us. And yet……..they have for years allowed non domestic companies to get away with paying no tax. Companies like Starbucks earn big bucks selling their coffee here but pay no tax. Their contribution alone would be more than enough to offset the money the Government will recoup from DLA savings. There are plenty of other firms who are guilty of hiding profits offshore to avoid tax too. Not illegal but certainly immoral. What reason would the Government have for only now trying to stop this travesty when the public have raised the questions?

In all these cases it seems that the people in power are ready to deny the rights of the population for reasons that are only clear to themselves. Whether it be a Conspiracy Theory, and urban myth or the truth we seem determined to accept that the powers that be are not on our side. Some say big business owns them, some say the illuminati, the new Templars  and even the Masons. But whatever the truth, their every day actions with regards to their responsibilities towards the people feeds the myths. What do you believe of your Governments?

39 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Missing Doughnut and Bye Bye Birdie.

Long, long ago in the Dark Ages three hopeful spirits set out on a Pilgrimage. They were not seeking the elusive Holy Grail, but a much more mundane prize, The Perfect Summer’s Day.

Two adults ( though in on case that’s a matter of opinion) and one child travelled from their lonely village home of Llysfaen ( Cliss fine or if your tongue has straightened out from last time, Thliss fine) (Please send a crossed cheque made payable to me for these lessons I’m providing) to the shores of the great sea that floated in front of the Promenade at Llandudno. The sun beat down mercilessly, or to put it another way, the temperature actually achieved double figures. The child (Yvonne) like all the other children of this magical place grew hungry and thirsty. The adults who protected her ( let us call them David and Julia) saw that there was a place of abundance close by and went hunting.

David returned with a feast which was called Doughnut while Julia returned with drink from the sacred spring of St. Pepsi.  Yvonne started to sate her thirst and lifted the Doughnut to her mouth. At this moment the sky darkened. Time seemed to freeze momentarily and they knew a monster approached.!! Seconds later, even before they had time to hide beneath a bench the monster struck and Yvonne’s hand was empty. The Doughnut was gone !! Yvonne’s face crumpled as had her hand moments before. David ran to the place of hunting and quickly acquired a replacement. He placed it gently in Yvonne’s hand and her face lit up again bringing the sun back out. The hand grew round the Doughnut to encompass it and keep it from sight and tentatively she moved it towards her mouth. Success, she managed a bite. As her smile grew all three heard a beating sound like that of the little drummer boy rat, tat, tatting on his instrument. ( get your minds out of the gutter please).

All at one there appeared at Yvonne’s feet dozens of pigeons. She cooed with pleasure, they cooed back. Before the adults could warn her she started to sprinkle crumbs from the Doughnut in their path. The crumbs disappeared as if by magic, but the pigeons didn’t. They decided her knees would make good perches and moments later the adults had lost sight of their precious daughter as in her place sat a pigeon tree. David, being a wimp, was about to panic when Julia took action. “SHOO” she cried and with a huge whoosh the birds took flight. Yvonne was in some disarray since the pigeons obviously thought her hair was straw ( since they don’t eat gold and have no idea what blonde is). But in her hand she was clutching with determination half the Doughnut. She took a tentative bite when the sky darkened for a second time and down came the monster. This time it didn’t attack but landed close to Yvonne and started to stalk her. All the time it’s beady eye on her hand, all the time her eye on it’s huge maw. It was a test. The adults dare not interfere as these two forces of nature prepared to do battle. All of a sudden, Yvonne brought her hand up to her mouth and took a bite but before the monster could attack she threw the remaining piece down and said ” Awww, poor seagull, here you are.”

They say no kindness goes unpunished but that day the two adults were surprised to see it could happen. Yvonne was safe. She drank her libation from the sacred spring of St. Pepsi, gave a polite burp, and they moved on to other delights. A Punch and Judy show on the pier, a very short and uncomfortable donkey ride and even a bit of shopping though no Kinky Boots were bought. They lunched in another scared Sacred grove which came to be called The Cocoa House where they found fish with delightfully deep fried objects called chips. The adults partook of Sacred drugs called caffeines. And they grew tired.

As the day wore on David noticed Yvonne beginning to flag. ” Let’s go home” he suggested.  They headed towards their chariot which had been parked on the street of shops close to a feeding station. Julia took to the reins. They had noticed some of the seagulls ‘mooching’ about on the pavement near the chariot as people threw crumbs to them. Some landed in the road and as Julia pulled the chariot away from the kerb one of the braver seagulls made a dive for a large crumb. There was a crunch like breaking a stick of seaside rock and the two adults looked at each other and then at Yvonne. David got out to check and sure enough there was one monster less in the skies. Getting back into the chariot he said ” Whew, that’s lucky. the wheels went either side of it and missed.” Yvonne smiled again and said ” I wonder if that’s the one I fed?”

 

28 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized