Monthly Archives: December 2013

Christmas Week.

Sunday. I’m an early riser but even I like a little lay in on a Sunday when there seems no need to rush. For all the humorists in Valhalla or on Mount Olympus, I don’t consider 4.07am to be much of a lie in. But I dragged myself out of bed nonetheless  knowing if I got a head start on my emails I could be finished in time to make Mike a coffee when he gets up about 8.00 am, I heard him turn the TV off ready for sleep just gone 11.00 pm last night so he should be rested. I was right that I finished by 8.00 am and went through to feed the fish and take my tabs. Lifting those to my mouth is my daily exercise now. I made myself a coffee and went to sit in the lounge. It still seemed quite dark but I didn’t turn the light on as it enables me to people watch. Ha, like there’s anyone out there this morning on a rainy Sunday.                                                    I finished a ciggie, took a sip of coffee and lay back for a couple of minutes with my eyes shut. They must have been glued because the next thing I know is it’s 9.30 am. Still no sign of Mike so I have a quick tidy up as my nephew, his wife and my great-niece are coming after lunch. At ten to ten I make a coffee and take it through to Mike telling him it’s almost ten. A grunt, a groan and a hand reaches out for the mug, I move it just out of reach and depart.”Ugh, wassup” reaches my ears. Back through to my kennel to get dressed and sit down with more mail.I come fully awake when my one-liner friend sends her batch of messages, if I’m not on form she’ll pounce and tear me to pieces with her wit. A friend who’s computer has been down returns and I’m glad to see her. Lots of adverts for things that can still be delivered for Christmas if only I order them before midnight. Showing great restraint I almost didn’t.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I’m just finishing when I hear the patter of tiny feet, no it’s not mice, it’s Captain Caveman finally surfaced from his pit. I head back to the lounge. Mike’s just telling me he worries about me being alone and lonely when he’s gone. I ask him if we can get married as there’s a competition to win a prize for your husband worth £650. That stopped the conversation dead. Then there’s a knock at the door, a shout of hello and in trooped my nephew ( David the Decorator) followed by his wife holding a rather green looking girl at arms length. It appears my great-niece was car sick in a projectile way.  One team directed to the bathroom to clean her up a bit and David grabbed a bucket to clean his car and the car seat. He says he’s not been round as he’s been embarrassed about the hiccup with the phone line and internet. I told him it gave me a great blogging piece and not to worry. I bear no grudge since it was quite funny. It seems they were on their way to Chester to see Santa and decided to bring the presents on their way when this accident happened. They decide to take her home to change her clothes and perhaps go to  nearer Santa for her. Such a shame. As it’s now 11.45 or so, it’s time to think about lunch so we get our shoes and jackets on and head for the car. “Where are we going?” I ask. “Get out of my head you” was the answer, and “you decide.” Since it’s usually my decision I forced the issue and we went to the Bells of St Mary at Gronant. I love a carvery. I chose the roast beef ( how unusual) and loaded up with had a few potatoes with loads of carrots and peas. It was really nice. On the way back Mike dropped me off and for a change he even slowed the car down before heading off to his Dad’s. I’ve spent the rest of the day alternating between mail and Christmas films on TV along with a few episodes of Dinnerladies starring ( and written by) Victoria Wood. Great stuff. Now it’s time for one chapter and some missing sleep.

Monday. It was another early rise this morning but you can tell Christmas is approaching because the emails are slowing down a lot. Plenty of people still blogging though so I was occupied until 8.00 am when I went to see to the fish. I took my time getting dressed as my nephew and his wife won’t call early. Midway through the morning I went to see if the corner shop had any barm cakes but I’m still out of luck. They’ve only got bread fingers and they’re just not as nice. While out I decided not to cook today and bought a ham salad bap for lunch. It was very tasty, even with the greenery and without salt. I was tempted to add coleslaw to it but when I opened the fridge everything just spilled onto the floor. I say everything but this damn fridge only just holds the butter and the milk. Add anything else and it starts to scream.          I settled sown with another version of The Christmas Carol and was starting to nod when the front door opened and a Hello was followed by two drowned rats entering.The weather has been pretty bad this afternoon with rain and high winds but being inside left me unaffected. I was really lucky that Lee and Jen stayed with me for a couple of hours and even had a game of Scrabble. After Jen managed to get her Q on a triple word score the game became quite close but having thee benefit of being the scorer I clung to victory. After they left I settled with my emails and stayed in my room until 11.00pm when the front door opened again and Mike arrived, also drenched. It was time for a break anyway so I made us both a coffee while he told me all about the happenings since we last saw each other a day an a half ago. Half past midnight and I turned in to a promise from Mike that he’d be up early for the shopping tomorrow ( strictly speaking it’s today now).

Tuesday. Christmas Eve. Lawks a mussy, I slept until 6.39 this morning. That’s a lie in and a half. There were only 64 messages which I rattled off in no time, at least 6 were cons about problems of some sort or another about bank accounts I don’t actually have. One of them even purported to be from the people I do bank with. My number 1 rule is ‘If it doesn’t bear my actual name it doesn’t get opened’. I was just making myself a coffee at 8.00am when I heard Mike’s alarm go off. He must have been serious about getting up early ( by his standards) after all. Unfortunately I’d washed, dressed, had a game of snooker, and made a second coffee before he came out of his bedroom. I made his drink and went back to check if there was more mail.There was, finally my Ancestry account is sorted and I can work again.                                   Mike got ready and we left. On the way I sent Lis a text to see if she was home so we could drop off the presents for Christmas and for the birthday she’s enjoyed yesterday.I had emailed her with greetings but no response so she must have been busy. There was no response to the text either so when we finished shopping I texted her beautiful daughter Charlie.Mike and I went to Kassidy’s for a cuppa and a bacon butty while we waited. No point in going home too soon just to come out again.       Charlie answered her Ma might not have her mobile handy as she was in the kitchen prepping for tomorrow. Charlie herself will come see me after Christmas. We just reached the car when Lis responded that she was in and putting the kettle on so we headed in her direction. It was really wet out this morning and driving along the car kept getting deluged by the car in from going through all the puddles instead of avoiding them. Steam was coming from Mike’s ears and for a moment I thought he was going to overtake and slam the anchors on. No doubt he’d have very politely told the other driver something about road courtesy. Luckily they turned ff and we did the rest of the journey without further mishap. We had a lovely hour or so with Lis before coming home with the shopping. At home I managed to confirm that I’m as thick as painted. Why buy things to have a little buffet on Friday today. There’s not an iota of room in he fridge for trifle, gateaux, Quiche, pies, sausages, sausage rolls or scotch eggs. I daren’t turn the heating up no matter how cold it gets now.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 We started watching Frank Capra’s A Beautiful Life. It wouldn’t be Christmas without that yet one channel is showing cowboy films rather than anything seasonal. My friend Jonathan, a really nice young man I used to work with called to exchange gifts. He’s always a welcome visitor but I haven’t seen him since the funeral. We had a good natter before it was time for him to continue in his Father Christmas delivery role. I made a meal which we ate on our knees watching the goggle box. Later on I had a shower ( yes, I know, two in the same month, shocking) before we settled to watch the film Paul. I managed to get Mike to go to bed so he’s ready for Santa’s visit and the joy of Christmas morning. I decided to do this blog and finish my mail before reading a chapter and sleep.

Wednesday. Christmas Day. I was up early enough this morning to clear what little emails there were. It gave me chance to see to the fish ( an extra sprinkle for Christmas) and sit with a coffee in the lounge to start opening presents. I’d open one and prepare a text to send in daylight and for those I have no mobile number for I could dash back to my room and send an email. I felt very adult and organised. I’d just about finished when Mike got up and came looking for his coffee. It must have been his inner child ( he’s never grown up) and the excitement because he made it under his own steam by 8.30 and yes, I’m talking a.m. here folks.                                        We exchanged gifts and I started unwrapping one when he snatched it out of my hand and told me that one plus two others were to be opened tomorrow but wouldn’t say why, despite me pointing out it’s an odd thing to give a Christmas gift, wrapped in Christmas paper that can’t actually be opened at Christmas. Some of you may remember the saying I claimed as a favourite. All the World’s Queer save Thee and Me, and even Thee’s a Little Queer. Well, he’s the Thee it’s talking about. I was however allowed to open two. One from Rose Mike’s lady friend, part of which was a very unusual memo pad and the other was from himself and was a really nice cardigan. I was tempted to rip half of his sack of gifts back and declare a postal strike but to be honest it was his turn with the coffee. He seemed delighted with his gifts though one was not in 100% condition but he says a bit of superglue will fix it. For lunch I did Mike roast lamb and myself beef.I preheated the oven for the roast potatoes which came in their own tray and were  covered on goose fat. They went on gas mark 7 and were in for an hour and a half in total as they didn’t seem to brown at first. Yet the couple of parboiled sweet potato roasties seemed ok. I also did sweet potato mash and this should interest one of my friends, cauliflower and broccoli too.      Everything was fine except the roast potatoes which were raw. Perhaps I should have started a week ago.                                                                                                                          After lunch we settle to cabbage out and watch films. It was nice not having to disappear to the computer for a while. Teatime came and we had a cold collation but halfway through Mike jumped up and left. He returned after a while claiming stomach ache as though I’d tried to poison him at lunch time. At my suggestion he went to lie down and I threw the rest of the evidence away. He did get up and join me again but was still not up to par.About 10.00pm I told him to go watch the film in bed and I came through to deal with mail. Not a single con-man working today it seems. It’s now half eleven and time I said goodnight. I want to read a little more to get closer to my new Pratchett.

Thursday. Boxing Day. After mail this morning I made myself a cuppa, took my drugs (No Seumas, matron wasn’t here) did my drug tray for the week and decided to let Mike have a lie in. As it was already 8.25 I decided 5 minuted would be enough so I made him a drink and hoped the smell would wake him. It didn’t, so af half past I called gently, ” Fire, Fire, get out while you can”, that shifted him, he turned over. A reminder every 30 seconds not to forget his coffee ( well he was oblivious as to the gap) finally roused him and he coughed his way to the lounge. In order to save my delicate ears I beat a hasty retreat to my bedroom to dress. Earlier this year I bought a suit at a bargain price so today I donned a new shirt, good waistcoat and the suit.The not so subtle hints made Mike get ready and he went and brought the car to the door to load up.Until the boot was full I didn’t realise how much we had. He’s such a shopaholic. Of course since Yvonne had asked me to pick up some cream we head to call in at the big Supermarket sale on the way. I was able to get some real bargains ready in reserve as gifts. We reached Yvonne’s and unloaded the car. Having her cream meant it took ages. Inside the house we saw she was very busy making the buffet so Mike and I had a coffee and played with Reuben who though very tired seemed happy enough. My nieces arrived and in the process of hugs and kisses I somehow lost control of Reuben and he ended up in Karen’s arms. I always said she was devious. The buffet went really well though she’d made enough to feed an army ( or Mike). Then it was into present swapping. I was spoiled again by everyone and they all seemed happy with the gifts I got them. I had a lovely jumper from Ugo’s mother which I must write and thank her for.                                                                                                                    We took turns at entertaining Reuben and when it wasn’t my go I nodded off. Some terrible people with no consciences took pictures of me. How cruel. Latea afternoon and Mike and I prepared to depart and so did my nieces. As I slipped my suit jacket on I found I’d got a security tag under the collar. I’m amazed I didn’t set any alarms off this morning as the supermarket was where the damned suit came from. I no longer have the receipt of course so I’ll have to take it in to get the tag removed and they’ll have to believe I didn’t pinch it. Tonight we had tea followed by a long relax with a Percy Jackson film.Pure escapism. Then back to you and your messages I’ve missed during the day. Just 91 today. I’ll be in bed for midnight……just.

Friday. Before anyone gets the idea I’m always the instigator of shopping let me tell you that Mike decided to go shopping this morning for a pair of slippers. He’s been coming here for years barefoot but suddenly he needs slippers. It’s not like I keep broken glass on the floor all the time. Since Mike and his bed have this almost unbreakable attraction for each other, it was almost 10.00 am before we got out and since my brother and nephew are due early afternoon I say we’d better get a trot on. He decided that locally will do today and go further tomorrow if we have no luck. Anyway we try two shops in Flint with no joy and decide to have a coffee. After the first sip my phone rings. It’s Dil and Mike has nipped to the loo so can’t answer. Now it’s the battle of the texts. “Where am I” Dil asks. “Flint” I say, “where are you?”  “Outside your house” he replies, “had to come early to leave early.” “Home in about 15 mins” I tell him, ” No rush, I have Matt for company” is his last thrust. With impeccable timing Mike returns from the loo and chatting up Ceri. I finish my latte and tell him I’m popping next door then we need to get home but he can finish his coffee in peace. At the next door shop my luck is in, they have slippers and just one pair in the right size ( unless he wants Gorilla feet). Bearing the prize I return to the car to meet Mike and we come home. As we arrive Dil and Matthew get out of their car and come in with us. We get out coats off and Dil explains why his time is limited, because he’s babysitting his grandson later, my little brother is a granddad !! I get the table out we  use for gaming and start setting up when Dil asks when the drought is going to end. All the subtlety of a brick duck. I make drinks like a good little Jeeves. That done I take my place for the first Scrabble. My mind is hazy and I can’t remember if I won the first or the second game. If Mike reads this he’ll tell me I won neither. We had two games of Balderdash and I think two people cheated to win, neither of them was me. We had one game of crazy 8’s and the God’s were continuing to laugh up their sleeves. Even my young nephew who has only played the last couple of weeks showed me his heels. All I can say is there had better be some VERY large Lottery wins in my future or the blood sacrifices end start! Dil and Matt had to leave so Mike and I cleared up and made a light meal which we enjoyed whilst chatting about random thoughts. (For Yvonne……. we polished off a big BFG afterwards. For my Aussie food conscience……no we didn’t). Before I knew it the time was almost 11.00 pm and typically I had loads of emails before getting to my book.

Saturday. I rose at 5.10 am and woke about twenty past.The night seemed to have been very short but as Mike would have reminded me had I dared get him up, “It still is bloody night you wazzock”.  There were 13 emails that had come in before midnight which shows I had been so desperate to finish last night I hadn’t refreshed. There were 61 since midnight. Does no-one out there sleep? The next time someone writes a book about zombies they can say what they do when they’re not chasing normal people- they’re sending messages to me. I’d just stood up after finishing the last one at 7.00 am ( no, I didn’t refresh again) when I heard Mike’s alarm go off. Very strange at this time. I saw to the fish and made myself a cuppa since I knew the alarm wouldn’t have moved him yet. Five more minutes and it repeated. A curse, a groan and a grumble followed and Mike lumbered out in their wake. No slippers on despite our success yesterday. Not having a death wish I decided it wasn’t an appropriate time to ask about them. Instead I woke him up in the armchair and passed him a coffee.Getting washed and dressed seemed appropriate so I headed in that direction. As y screen came to life I quickly refreshed and found just 14 more messages which I thought would take no time. In fact 10 could be deleted. 1 answered quickly and three needed a more detailed response. I nipped through to see what stage Mike was at and woke him up in the chair again and  pointed to his coffee.  For the next few minutes he drank as I was back in my bedroom hopping up and down on one leg trying to get dressed and answer messages at the same time. I was hitting the keys so hard they were probably reading braille at the other end but I made it. Coats on and rubbish bins out we left to go shopping. Amazingly we were there by 8.10 am and Mike grabbed a trolley while I begged at the cash machines. Inside my first port of call was the veg for some sweet potatoes. Mike’s first port of call was the loo so thrusting the trolley at me he ran. I started walking slowly on. It was disappointing to see that the sports jackets I’d seen the other day with elbow patches and reduced to a mere £20 had all gone. That will teach me to strike while the iron’s hot. Reuben was well served though with some new outfits. Mike caught me up and teasing him I said ” I’m not saying you’re short but I just got you some new outfits with Tazz on.” Not in the least fazed he said  “I told you to stick to animal from now on”.                                                                      I hadn’t prepared a shopping list and we seemed to move round quite quickly this morning. So much so that we were out before 9.20 am. We headed off for a coffee with one slight detour to a Lidl to check their specials. I managed to get Reuben a lamp to fascinate him. We had our coffee and banter in the usual place and I picked up a few spare gifts for birthdays etc before heading for home. Mike nipped out to post a letter for me that I’ve forgotten twice recently while I unpacked the bags. I was bringing the rubbish bags bag as they hadn’t been collected when I saw the postman had been. It was just a card to say he had a letter that requires a signature but as I wasn’t in he’s take it back. I can either go collect it on Monday or have it redelivered on Tuesday. I plumped for the latter before thinking how long I have to sit here wondering what the hack it can be. We had lunch then Mike left to meet an old ”friend’ and said he’d be back tomorrow. I flitted with my time between messages and the  TV until late afternoon when I got a message asking if I was open for a visit. It was Charlie, daughter of my friend Lis. They both arrived about 6.00pm and Charlie had made me a batch of shortbread fingers. I do like shortbread. We had a nice visit ( well I did) with coffee and good natter. I was disappointed when they left but knew they were going to a party at Charlie’s brothers. They were even good enough to take some snack food I’d bought for a buffet yesterday that never got touched.                                                    I started watching one of the Bourne films before coming through to start my mail and the blog ready to annoy you all around midnight. Nowhere near done in time.

Jumperoo.

Jumperoo.

Stocking 2 - use

Christmas Day. 18 weeks old.

Christmas Day. 18 weeks old.

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Sweet Sharing Wordsmith Award.

I’ve opened many Christmas presents today. I’m constantly surprised by the trouble people go to in order to find the things most likely to please, the amount of thought that goes into Christmas.

One thing I didn’t expect much of was e-post, but there again I’ve been surprised by the people who’ve taken the time to send best wishes and kind thoughts. The gift that really knocked me off my feet today was an award. Like most awards, it not looked for and it’s unexpected. It’s also one filled with kindness in that the lovely young lady who nominated me has not known me very long ( not as long as most of you reprobates who know me too well which is why I’m accepting it before you tell tales).  

vintage-pen-image    

  of the http://sweetsharing.wordpress.com/ site made the nomination. Since there don’t appear to be any set rules for this kind award I’m just going to thank her very much and tell you she has a wonderful blog site with very eclectic content from the important to the humorous.. I hope you’ll find the time to visit. I’m sure she’ll be with us for a long time to come.

A Happy Christmas and a Fantastic New Year to everyone.

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My Account is Suspended in a Bank I Don’t Have?

Sunday. 4.18 am of the clock and all is NOT well. Grumpy,Tired and Awake  were always the worst combination of the seven dwarves. It’s the perfect opportunity to do some wrapping but thankfully I realise the noise will wake Mike. And believe me, I can curse loudly. So, I’ll answer messages from you lot instead and if I see one smug grin because you’ve finished your wrapping, I won’t be responsible for what happens ( Though technically I will be I suppose). Surprisingly for this hour of the morning I have messages from Santander telling me to pay something off my credit card, Lloyd’s Bank want me to do the same and Barclay’s lets me know there is a problem on my account so it’s suspended until the problem is sorted. It amazes me there’s anyone working at this hour except my antipodean friends and idiots like me. Fortunately I’m not so tired as to be insensible to the fact that I don’t have accounts with any of these banks. It really does worry me though as to how many of their customers think these spam messages are real and hand over the details needed to defraud them.                                                                                                                                                                                                        At 6.45 the yawns are coming thick and fast. I’m up to date with comments on the blog and there are no more messages for now. I  decide to try for another hour on the bed. Someone took me very literally and I awoke with a start at 7.45. Strange as I don’t remember taking a start to bed with me..boom boom. I do the usual wash and dress, feed the fish, take my sprays and tabs and finally make myself a coffee. There’s probably enough time to answer a few more messages before Mike gets up and maybe he’ll fancy a car boot sale. As it happens I could have written War and Peace before he got up at 9.30am. There’s no chance of a car boot sale at this time so we might as well stay in. Michael suggests we’ve time to wrap one more bag of presents each so quick thinking, light on my feet I remind him he needs a few special Christmas cards to take back with him. “No problem” says he, “I think we’ve time to wrap first and then go out or at worst I can buy the cards at home.” Panic !! “Oh no Mike, you’ve already had a card from Rose and one from your son so it would be nice to be ready with yours when you get back”. He gave that a little thought until half an hour later he thought I might be right. I made him a second coffee for that.                                                                                                                                                                                        By 11. am we were on our way to a little shopping precinct that has an excellent card shop but also has a large Supermarket with a cafe for lunch. Mike chose his cards and I told him what all the big words like ‘The’ and ‘And’ said and he headed for the till. I carried on looking round until he was ready. e headed for the Supermarket and decided from the menu what we fancied. As it happens we both chose to have roast beef dinners with a nice mince-pie to follow. Mike told me dinner was his treat today and would brook no argument. Not understanding what a stream has to do with anything I didn’t argue too much. We sat down with a drink and our allotted number and I took my ‘before’ tablet. We waited and then waited some more. I could see other later numbers being served and could feel the hair growing up my nostrils. Eventually it arrived and looked very nice. The meal was eaten in silence. I don’t know whether Mike was as disappointed as I was but I’m guessing so. I couldn’t say anything for fear of appearing ungrateful but it as a disaster on a plate. Too dry stuffing, roasts that weren’t really, what looked and tasted like boil in a bag meat, some individual portions f peas and carrots and some boiled potatoes. The boiled potatoes were the saving grace, they had texture and they were hot, the only things that were other than the plate itself. On the other hand, the mince-pie was excellent.                                                                                                                                                                                                                           I decided to have a walk round the shop while Mike nipped to the loo ( I remember a song from childhood with a line like ‘Skipped to the loo my Darling’ and now understand what it meant). I wanted to see if the CD by my friends Richard and Adam was in. For some reason the sale sign on a group of electric bulbs caught my eye though I have no idea why since I could supply have the UK from my stocks.  Moving on I found some perfect stocking fillers for someone and loaded up. On to the right aisle and I find that the Number 5 CD has sold out and prepare to go. Mike arrived saying he’d been looking for me and where the heck had I been? Glossing over that I said I was disappointed about the CD and he took great pleasure in pointing out a little pile that had been placed nearby. ” I told you it would make you go blind” he told me grinning from ear to ear.

Advert.. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00F4M8PME/ref=s9_simh_gw_p15_d0_i1?pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=1RWKRMPB4DPMQJG7VXP6&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=455344027&pf_rd_i=468294  Listen out for Oh Holy Night. They really are fantastic singers.

After paying we headed for home where Mike watched the end of some programme or other on TV. Next thing I know he’s shaking me to tell me it’s time for him to go. I waved him off and came back to deal with messages before going to have some tea and settle with a film on the goggle box. Ridiculous as it sounds I spent the rest of the evening feeling really lonely and sad. Just before midnight I checked Ebay and found I’d lost an electric violin for my beloved son-in-law which didn’t help. I settled for a short read and then slept.

Monday. OK, who is it that hates me? 4.05 and I’m back with the dwarves again. I wish Snow White kept better control of them. Still, it gave me chance to do another blog on a wonderful award I received and then notify my nominees. Before it was time to see to the fish I had plenty of chance to deal with my mail too. Fresh coffee by my side I start to do some more gift wrapping before my daughter arrives tomorrow with an offer to help………..wrap hers. Naturally that’s the one I get out of the way. Back on the mail again I find a great post about pop stars of the 80’s and pictures as they are now. Frankly some are glamorous but fighting the years and others are totally unrecognisable  as the stars they once were. Naturally this gives me the opportunity to put you-tube up with some tracks, Talk Talk, Simple Minds, Tears for Fears etc.  Suddenly I have the feeling of eyes following me round the room which isn’t difficult because pictures of Ju are on every wall. I’m feeling really sad, really low. That brings on the urge to play something different. Lets start with the Wonderful Josef Locke and Jerusalem-The Holy City, oh you’re not THAT old, OK, we’ll move it up a notch. The Manhattans with Kiss and say Goodbye? How about. Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli with Time to Say Goodbye. Are you starting to see where this is going now? R.E.M, Everybody Hurts  http://youtu.be/5rOiW_xY-kc    .I put on Freddie Mercury’s last ( and my favourite) song  These are the Days of Our Lives and the tears are streaming down my face.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDUmT3wm-0A&feature=share&list=FLykLqhnwlNz3Qz3GX3qyuXw&index=4  Please don’t let the postman knock. From there it’s a downhill spiral that even my sixties tracks can’t undo. The rest of Monday is hereby censored by Order of the Sanity Police.

Tuesday. I’d gone to bed late last night but today had a better start with a 6.00 am rising. There was a manageable amount of mail first thing ( 59) and I was grateful I didn’t have a drink to choke on when one I opened offered the most Amazing Sex . The bloody message alone nearly brought on an Angina attack ever mind the sex which I’m sure would have killed me. I haven’t got the foggiest idea what I wrote to anyone after that so if you got an odd message or comment you now know why. After I got washed and dressed, saw to the fish, took tabs and made a coffee these images were still running through my head. I needed a cold shower but hate walking around in wet clothes, though it’s possible the water would have turned to steam anyway. Why in the heck am I getting messages like his? There is only one way to clear my head and that’s music. Back to you-tube, a duo I think were very underestimated were The Marbles  http://youtu.be/ghHRknAUB0g  but this track is so funny as there’s hardly any pretence about the miming and yet the song and the voices are fantastic. Next up is Marmalade, ( no Seumas, it’s not breakfast time, put that knife down please, Matron’s on her way) http://youtu.be/vnbY089cQlw  Don’t you just love the accent of the presenter?  No show would be complete without my Mamas and Papas with California Dreamin’  http://youtu.be/N-aK6JnyFmk   . I’m sorry for all you visitors who are too young to know these tracks ( most of you) but it should at least be an education for you as to what your parents ( OK, Grandparents) used to listen to. Now back to my mail for a while and then get ready for Yvonne coming with little chubby cheeks………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… They arrived at about 10.45 by which time amazingly I was up to date. We didn’t need to go out until about midday so there was plenty of time to watch Reuben’s face break into a grin as I made him into an aeroplane and flew him overhead or let him stare at the big canvas of his mum and day who h has no problem recognising. I let Yvonne look over the folder of sketches and poems I’d done for her as a child.  It was funny watching the recognition appear on her face and then change to a look of panic as she said ” Please tell me I didn’t understand some of these when we read them.” I eventually assured her she didn’t.

images

Dominic Dragon was at a loss, not sure if it could be,

that as the result of a one night stand, and a pint of blood or three.

How an increase in his girth appears, so he asks the witches coven,

It means that he now is a she and has a bun in the oven.

Just a brief ‘interlewd’ for entertainment purposes. At twelve we head out for the bus and I drop a prescription into the chemists for repeat. They’re very good and do it all for me. The bus driver isn’t the most cheerful chap I’ve seen as he neither lowers the electric step to get the pram aboard or help with it so I try and grab the front and lift it up to the step. Because I can’t use one crutch to do this Yvonne is trying to use one hand to stop me toppling over. Complete slapstick. We manage the trip to town and draw up by the bus stop. I stand to put my sticks on and almost fall as the bus jerks forward a couple of feet, Yvonne grabs me ans as I steady lets go. The bus jerks forward a couple more feet and there I go again. I just right myself when it goes for the third and last time. Someone is crossing the road ahead of him and he’s creeping up instead of waiting. The door opens and I make for it when the driver gets up and leans out shouting ” Take your time won’t you, It’s not like I have a timetable to keep to.” I hang back a mo ostensibly to give him time to move out of the way but really in case she throws something heavy.                                                                                                      We manage to get down to Kassidy’s for lunch where I have liver and onions with mash. I’m told the iron is good for me when I’m pregnant which I certainly look. Yvonne says if the iron is good for me why don’t I use it on my shirt. I’m not sure children should be allowed to be disrespectful of their elders. Lunch done we go to the doctors to have my BP checked. It’s normal !! 140 over 80 YAY. It’s all this sensible eating. We go to celebrate by looking for two things, a prawn ring and some vol au vent cases for Yvonne’s Boxing Day Buffet. We manage to fill two large carrier bags at Lidl but don’t blame me, it’s her bad influence. Since we didn’t find vol au vent cases we move on to Tesco’s.Another very large carrier bag full which isn’t my fault either, I mean can you see me looking for butternut squashes? I don’t even know what they are. Reuben is on the point of waking up and the weight of the bags on the pram handles has them almost level with the floor. One wrong move and he’ll be catapulted out. We head for home. With my freezer temporarily full of food I leave Yvonne and Reuben in the lounge for 40 mins while I clear a little mail. Nothing exciting. At 5.pm I go through and take Reuben to bounce on my knee. I swear it would be less painful to use a sledgehammer. We play until Ugo arrives from work and he’s brought some tea. In my case that means sausage and chips. I can’t be rude and not eat it so I force myself sad that my sensible eating rule only lasted a few hours. They head off to bath my little champion and it’s back to mil until 900 pm when the latest The Mentalist is on.Damn, I had the wrong Red John. But Patrick kills the right one in the end….doesn’t he? Mail catch up  again until it’s time to go for a read. Night y’all.

Wednesday. Early start at 4.21 which for some reason I thought said 7.21 and got up happily. ( Twit. Note to self, get new glasses). By 6.00 am I was bale to start wrapping a few more gifts , my obvious enthusiasm showing through as I managed to tape everything to everything else ad had to separate them with the scissors. Then I lost the gift tags  which after a good ten minutes search I found partly attached to one of the gifts and partly to the sleeve of my cardigan- but on my rear side ( If you lot think I’m going to feed your crude humour by saying backside, think again ). By 8.00 am I was bored and glad of the chance to go and turn the fish TANK on and take my tabs. After that I came back through with a coffee to get dressed.                                                                                                                                                                                                                         A little later I took a walk to the Chemist/Post Office ( You can tell it’s a village can’t you ) and took a card and some sweets for them. Then a card for the paper shop and a chance to buy fresh bread and ciggies. I was very disappointed to see they had none of my fresh barm cakes in so I ended up with rolls. I came home and tidied up before MuJo visit and get their drinks ready. They turned up a little later than usual at  just gone 11.00 and after drinks and  half hour natter we headed for lunch. Despite me having chips last night I was made to martyr myself by having them again. As a few of my favourites were not on the menu today I was also forced into eating sausage again too. We were served by a youngster I haven’t seen before who needed  little training as the meals came without mushy peas and bread and butter ( criminal offences both) and didn’t offer the pensioner discount. I’m sure he’ll learn. Muriel go the bill and wouldn’t hand it over. She says she’s very tired today after a busy weekend so forgoes and expeditions and heads for home. After another half hour in which she answered the door to a parcel delivery and then found herself wrapping the parcel, they left. I’m sure it was nothing to do with the size of the box she had to wrap really. I brought my mail up to date and decided to go through to watch the afternoon feelgood Christmas film. Fortunately for me I saw more Zzzzz’s than film as the little I saw was suffering from a sugar overdose.                                                                 I had my tea which after the chips at lunchtime was of necessity small but did manage the four dark chocolate finger biscuits afterwards. I got out two mugs and  a glass ready for the Wednesday ‘playschool’ just as Dil and Matthew arrived. One tea, one coffee made and we settled to a game of scrabble. Half way through Lee arrived and I got his glass of water. It’s a shame that his arrival didn’t distract anyone enough to let me amend the scores a bit.Anyway, Dil won as I has to subtract ten points from my score for the Q I picked up towards the end after they’d made sure there were no ‘U’s in the open. We started again with Lee taking part and this time I held my own. ( What have I told you lot at the back about making up your own jokes- stop it). A quick break while I brewed up  again and out came the cards. There was no pretence on Matthew’s side this week but Lee said he remembered playing as a kid ( he’s only 30) and might need some reminders. Not so, he’s just as bad as the rest of us and won the game. We did start playing another one but it was getting late and it had to be brought to a halt. ( Typical, just ‘cos I was winning). As they refused to come and play next Wednesday for some reason, Dil suggested they come on the Friday afternoon and make a real go of it so if no mail gets answered that day you know why in advance.  We exchanged gifts for under the tree, hugged and said goodbye. Time for a quick catch up and then a read in bed till half past midnight.

Thursday. 6.01 am this morning, and I double checked the clock first. Eased gently into the day with not too much post (39) only one of which wanted a partnership in exchange for half a 26 million dollar bank account left behind when the owner died tragically without family. I decided against it as what’s half to me? I mean, it wouldn’t even keep me in aftershave would it. Just before 8.00 am I told the picture of Ju with Bernie on her shoulder that I was off to feed the fish, take my meds and as usual on  a Thursday sort my meds out for the week. That took quite a while and it was 9.00 am before I was back ready to get dressed. It was time to go out to post a letter and get my lottery tickets. It seems I was just minutes behind a lady who won £20,000 on the lottery raffle last night. I imagine she’s going to have a great Christmas this year. Good for her !                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I’ve dealt with the queries from the bank about Ju’s death, now I have queries to make about transferring a gift from Ancestry.com to Ancestry.co.uk of another year long membership. It’s a wonderful, unexpected present I just received notification of . Lunchtime looms and so I take my pre-lunch tab, set the microwave to go and sit down with the end of another Murder She Wrote. Sometimes I wonder how Jessica Fletcher has any friends, half get murdered and the other half she denounces as the murderers. As the micro bings that episode comes to an end and there’s just time to prepare my tray before another one starts. I haven’t seen this one before and sit eating my lunch to her finding that an accident wasn’t and that the killer is someone we don’t expect. But as it’s in Cabot Cove she knows them all. Actually on this one I know it was murder but it should have been more obvious as the motor cyclist ran into a cable and to my mind he’d have been jerked off his bike and found in the road rather than down a small ravine with his bike. People always say I have a detective mind, or is it defective I can’t remember?                                                                                            After lunch I come through to keep abreast of the mail. There are loads of messages telling me I can still order things with delivery guaranteed for Christmas but I’m smug in the knowledge that apart from food on Saturday and fresh bread on Tuesday I’ve finished shopping. Yeah, you never thought you’d see me write that did you. But remember the sales start on Boxing Day so maybe I’ll start shopping for next year then. Maybe I can hide new purchases in my now almost empty  loft and find them again in a few years time. I’ve finished the mail and stand up, stretch and head towards the afternoon film when there’s a knock at the door. I know who it is and I’m prepared with a box of chocolates for the nice lady who delivers my medicines. With thanks and wishes of a Happy Christmas on both sides I close the door and go through to turn the TV on. I know what’s going to happen straight away and withing a few minutes it does, Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. I’m away in my own little world until almost 5.00 pm when I’m automatically going to wake for The Mentalist. I make some tea and sit down to watch it but find I’ve seen it recently so I put a quiz on instead. I have the U.S. version of Law and Order before heading off to see to mail and starting the day’s blog. I’m expecting Mike to text to say he’s on his way, but not holding my breath as I’m still waiting for the one that says he got back safely on Sunday. At 10.00 pm I go through to see the latest Person of Interest which is a great little story this week about a Cuban taxi driver wanting to bring his family to the U.S. but getting involved with the Mafiya from one of the Eastern European Countries. Time for one last blast at mail, one last update and now for a read. I’m struggling with this book and may not finish it before Christmas when it gets abandoned in favour of the new Terry Pratchett.

Friday. 4.43 am and I’m awake. If I catch which one of you is at the back sniggering there’s a shoe- no, a boot- coming in that direction. I’ve been having the strangest dream. A small group of friends ( of whom I’m one) is on an adventure when it seems we’re betrayed and I get arrested. I remember being offered a drink and being aware there may be drugs in it. A woman, part of the group arrives and has smuggled drink in to wash out the drugs and to keep  me hydrated, only I know how/where she smuggled the drink and I’m delighted to say that all of a sudden it wasn’t me who was arrested anymore and had to drink it. That was one lucky Get out of Jail Free card I drew. For some strange reason it made me think of the great bravery of women now I’m awake. Edith Cavell comes to mind.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edith_Cavell  http://listverse.com/2013/09/05/10-women-spies-who-brought-down-the-third-reich/                                              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violette_Szabo                     It never pays to underestimate a woman as I’ve found to my cost many a time. Yvonne has taken over from Julia in getting me to say something, making me think it’s my own idea until later I realise it’s probably the exact opposite of what I wanted to say. Anyway, I’ve managed to  get the mail up to date including a message that saddened me no end from a fellow blogger whose daughter is missing in France. It would be wonderful to think maybe they could be reunited for Christmas.                                                I’ve taken a walk to the Post Office this morning to send a letter to my cousin in California. We’ve had an exchange of Christmas cards for a few years with letters always promised. She moved a few years ago and I’ve worried about her ever since as there’s never any proper news forthcoming. It could just be that she thinks I’m a nosy beggar of course. A card from her arrived in the post addressed to myself and Ju so I thought it was a good opportunity to catch her up from here. I also went out to the paper shop for milk and fully had the intention to but a ham salad bap for lunch ( honest I did). Coming out of the paper shop with the milk and I headed home totally oblivious to the mission I’d gone on so I had to force myself to eat a cottage pie. This was much nicer than the last. Michael sent his usual ‘On way’ message  and arrived to terrorise me in the early afternoon. I made the mistake of not hiding the TV remote which means I’ll be stuck with his choice of programmes till he goes home again.  After I’d  made drinks we nattered a bit before I nodded off. I’m not sure he noticed as he was still talking when I woke up.                                                                                                  I made a meal about 6.00pm and when he’d begged enough even shared it. I got to see my Law and Order that way. And he washed my hair again. When he goes to Canada for a month next Easter I’ll have to go along just to keep my hair clean. At 10.00 pm I called it a night and came through to plough my way through 76 messages and posts while Michael went to bed to watch TV. It’s just gone off so maybe he won’t be so hard to wake in the morning for shopping. I’m going to need help from the God of shoppers this week as I’ve heard of people fighting over fruit and veg during the last few days. I hereby promise I won’t be caught fighting over the sprouts.

Saturday. 4.07 am and I even saw the clock face clearly. It took me all my time ( sorry) not to throw a pillow at it. I wonder if a luminous clock isn’t a bad idea and I should wake up and either lie there till it’s light or nod off again if possible. But it’s still 4.0’bloody 7 and I’m still awake so I might as well get up. There was plenty of mail to keep me occupied. One or two posts have been very sad with people obviously having problems either despite or maybe because of the time of the year. I do sympathise honestly. They say that misery loves company but that’s not actually true. Misery doesn’t like the company of misery so I left Mike in bed. He’s not what you’d call a morning person. Even lunch time is a bit touch and go…. His alarm went off at 7.00am but he just turned over. I went through to the kitchen and made a coffee for him. Placing it gently on his bedside table I spoke softly, ” Coffee’s up Bro.” I know the second word he spoke was “OFF”. but I didn’t quite catch the first one. I retreated to the bathroom for a was and then got dressed. As I came out of my room Mike had emerged from his, the usual caveman persona in place, just throwing out the odd grunt. I decided to do the bins. Food waste first I emptied the bin, put a new bag in and took the waste to the bin outside placing it where the dustbin men could get at it but out of the way of the Siberian wind trying to whistle it’s way round my Khyber Pass. Large wheelie waste bin next and that could withstand a bi of a blow so when I brought out the recycling bags I placed them under the bin for safety. I turned to re-enter the house then turned 180 degrees to catch my wheelie bin rolling away. Damn wind, I shouldn’t have had those beans yesterday. Still I digress, I caught the bin and turned it sideways on so the wind couldn’t roll it away. I got fully inside this time and washed my hands. Now approaching 8.00am Mike looked  sounded a little more human and was ready to take me out.                                                                             It was obvious the Supermarket was much more crowded than usual when we got there as we almost had to park on a mini in the car park. But inside there seemed to be plenty of stuff. The stupid thing was the dates. Many of the things on my list were for Christmas day or later yet so many hing had a best by date of 22nd. Still, eventually I got most things and the rest I’ll try for on Tuesday if Mike is here. This year I didn’t have the heart to buy individual gifts for Temptations but Mike and I headed there for a coffee and took a large tin of sweets and a smaller box of Champagne truffles for everyone. Mike traded insults with Ceri as usual and as usual she laughed all the time. She’s a breath of fresh air sometimes. Then home to unpack, if any of you remember the story of my fridge you’ll know how I miss the old one since this one is choc a block full with not an inch of space to spare. Using a shoe horn everything was finally packed away. Time for a quick coffee and a look at my mail before we head off again. There was an early batch of one liner messages from someone to brighten my day. No further response from Ancestry.co.uk so closing down I wash the coffee cups and get my coat on. We lunch at the Dragon’s Rest( no Mother in Law jokes here you notice) and though there was a tempting roast beef dinner on the menu ( the waitress brought a cloth and wiped it off) I settled on bacon, egg, chips……and beans. Mike had a breakfast but kept his eye on his black pudding so I didn’t stand a chance. We drove to Colwyn Bay where he dropped me to meet my ex brother-in-law while he carried on to Rhos on Sea to meet out friend who’d been ill that morning and couldn’t come out. I met John T by the precinct and took him for coffee at Costa where I was able to hand over his Christmas gift and one for his birthday on Boxing Day. I always feel sorry for those who get only one gift if their birthday falls close to Christmas. John was surprised I’d brought him any but Ju loved him very much and I knew she wouldn’t want him forgotten. He asked if I’d like a walk round the hops as though I can’t do without them. Naturally I thought about it for approximately a millisecond and said yes please. At this point I offer a word of advice, take a seat ! Apart from two refill packs of tissues for mike I bought nothing ! Aw come on, I’ll get a signed affidavit if you want. Nothing at all !! After a couple of hours Mike picked me up and we headed back home where I made some tea, watched him steal my mince pies then fill his face will chocolates and look longingly at mine. We watched A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart in the lead and though Alistair Sim is still the best in my opinion it still did raise a lump in my throat. Shh, don’t tell Mike though.                                                                                                                                                                                               I came through to see to the rest of my post. Still some really sad ones,  and then to prepare to make you suffer as usual. Blog Time !

I wish you all a Wonderful Christmas and a Fantastic New Year. Hugs Galore as usual.

lunch time1pumpkin 1

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Our Daughter Jade Mullally Missing: How You Can Help

Our Daughter Jade Mullally Missing: How You Can Help.

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We Interrupt this Programme………

Very rarely is my breath taken away though I know there are many people who deeply regret that. Some have even offered a gag. On Sunday I received an email and notice of a post that did just that. Another award nomination but one I’ve not heard of before and I hope my friend will forgive me for saying so, but from an unexpected quarter. Not that I don’t think she’s extremely generous but because I thought she didn’t believe in these awards as many don’t. First of all, let me say that I believe the awards are a good thing ( though sometimes they can be a nuisance) because they let an author or blogger or reader know that they’re touching someone’s lives and for me that’s what writing is all about.

This award is unusual in more than I haven’t heard of it before. It also doesn’t require that I answer a mess of questions or create more for my nominees. Having said that, I’m a rebel and am going to set one question to each of the nominated people. I’m supposed to find 14 worthy people which should not be hard but I won’t press too hard if each of then bend the rules slightly where numbers are concerned or on question setting if it comes to that. So without further ado, allow me to introduce you to my friend Jan and her very ecologically friendly site ‘The Snail of Happiness‘.  http://thesnailofhappiness.com   …………………………………………………………………………………………..

Wonderful Team Member Reader Award

Wonderful Team Member Reader Award

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

My nominations for this award are as follows……………………………………………………………………………………….

http://mothstoaflame.net/   Assorted misadventures to entertain you.

http://piczload.com/   A remarkable blog of photographs and pictures of such interest and beauty ( plus some I don’t understand at all but art is subjective).

http://dottaraphels.wordpress.com/   Life with all it’s complexities.

http://catherineryanhoward.com/  Help for bloggers and humour too.

http://janewenhamjones.wordpress.com/  Jane Wenham-Jones, Books and writing advice.

http://elainecanham.wordpress.com/  Elaine Canham, personal and professional blog mixture. Lots of humour in there.

http://masnstevy.com/ , Just shy of Pretty but I don’t believe it.

http://guyportman.com/  The ponderings of a writer a( and believe me, we have a few).

http://foodstoriesblog.com/  Shared food stories and recipes to suit every taste.

http://morguemouse.com/  C.J. and Morguie the mouse offer help in bereavement and entertain with their individual life stories.

http://twodifferentgirls.com/  Kitty Lapin Agile. A reader whose blog has great humour and varied subjects.

http://yankeeskeptic.com/  Kitty H writes a great blog on travel and other themes and are never short of a mile.

http://1writeplace.com/  Patti Hall. A blog filled with warmth and her daily journey through tears and laughter.

http://teagansbooks.wordpress.com/ Teagan is a writer, reader, blogger on so many subjects. A true entertainer and nice person.

I could actually go on at this point and probably find another 14  but instead I want to st the question I mentioned earlier. Here goes……                                                                   You’re given One wish with which to aid mankind. What do you ask for?

My thanks again to Jan and to those of my nominees who take up this virtual hug from me.

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The Birthday Girl and the Milky Rice Kid.

Sunday. Finally today it’s B day. That is Yvonne’s birthday. Thanks to the blender arriving damaged and the second one not arriving at all, Mike and I must pick one up on the way to her house. I can’t quite come to terms with it in my head ( like a maze for mice) as this is not a birthday prezzie. I just convinced myself it has to be there today. So what am I to do? It’s 8.am and I’ve done my emails, washed, dressed and coffee’d myself with the maximum of clatter and Michael is still lying in bed fast asleep and chunnering. Is this the time for water torture or should I remember it’s a long walk to Yvonne’s. At 8.30 I take a coffee through and let him know it’s there. I get a grunt or three and a thank you. I return to the computer and messages until 9.am and then go back to remind him the coffee is going cold. Ahem, gone cold. He sits up automatically and drinks it without noticing. I remove the cup from his hands, pry an eyelid apart so that he can see it’s daylight.                                                                                       At 9.30 we leave and head to Flint where Michael saw a blender yesterday. The shop opens at 10.am so I buy the blender and we resume our journey. By 10.45 we arrive and ring on the door, knock on the bell to bring Yvonne to the door. She hands Mike two two hour parking passes and as he goes to attach them to the car I go in and sit down. It’s only as he comes back she remembers it’s Sunday and he doesn’t need a permit at all. Yvonne goes upstairs to finish getting ready and Mike and I get her gifts out. Ugo appears and says his hello’s and goodbye’s as he dashes off to church. Yvonne arrives with Reuben and passes him over. He’s in full giggle mode as Mike keeps trying to scare him by saying BOO, strewth, he only has to show me his face to scare me half to death. Yvonne loves all her gifts and as 12.00 approaches we get ready to take her for lunch. We went into Chester proper to a pub chain and the meal was so memorable I can’t remember what I had. I know Yvonne had a bread stick that looked like it wasn’t going to end. Filled with Tuna mayonnaise I think. Nope, I can’t remember what Mike had either but Reuben had the hump because all he got was milk. Ugo joined us for a drink and we took a slow walk back afterwards as Mike was due to leave for a family meal. Ugo, Yvonne and Reuben ran me home and then left so they could get changed for her birthday gift from Ugo which was a meal at her favourite swanky restaurant.

Monday. Typically no blender arrived today proving that the form had taken no notice at all of my request for urgency and offer to pay the difference in postage. Sometimes I wonder just what Customer Service means. I raced through the post this morning dismissing the charms of the females(?) offering themselves to me in way that would interest a contortionist. Most unusually I’m having a visit from Mujo to make up for missing out last week. By the time they arrive at 10.15 I’m ready and set to making drinks. Muriel has her usual J20 and John has a caramel latte macchiato leaving me to indulge in a caffe crema. What a blessing my machine is still. We have the usual wasted twenty minutes deciding where to eat before deciding we’ll leave it to our ability to find a place to park to decide. As we get into town John decides it should be fish and chips and so the far car park is where we want. We sail past the first car park though there is room, only to find there’s no room in car parks 2 or 3. Back we go and get a slot in the first one. This dictates that we now lunch at Kassidy’s.  Yay. John and I enjoy a very nice gammon with pineapple and egg while Mu settles for scrambled egg on a toasted muffin with two rashers of bacon. Naturally at the end there’s the usual argument about whose turn it is to pay. I’m faster.                                                                            Lunch over we head for Flint as Mu remembers she needs something ( I’m betting it involves sweets). When we arrive I argue that I need to visit a certain shop for chocolates to take to the staff in Temptations and lo’and behold Muriel is there buying their stock of coffee creams. We have a bit of a wander before going for coffee which in John’s case involves cake. Ceri is there and on form as usual though her first question is “Are you in on Saturday?” meaning “Are you bringing trouble in with you.” I know she loves the banter with Mike and it’s fun to watch. MuJo manage to find something for John’s 93 year old mother for Christmas. She’s fairly bed bound these days so it’s difficult. It’s 3,30 pm before we get back to my place and they need to depart after a drink. That blows my chances of persuading Mu to start gift wrapping for me. DRAT!

Tuesday. Well here I am.It’s just gone 10.am and I’m back in Flint again to meet Yvonne. She’s coming to me today but wants to take the chance on seeing the shops she doesn’t normally get to see. I’ve got a feeling of deja vu. I suddenly decide there are some things I want before she arrives so take a walk round a large Supermarket and find a few things. At 10.20 she arrives and since Reuben is fast asleep we decide to head for Temptations so his bottle can be heated up. We settle with a drink when his eyes open and from the howl he lets out it’s obvious he want his milk. I take him on my knee while the milk is warmed and he’s all smiles. Yvonne feeds him while I have some of my coffee and then I take him back while she drinks some of hers. I feel the ripple run down my arm as he trumps and try holding my breath as it stinks. Nturally people around are looking at us in disgust and think it was me. When I indicate it was Reuben the looks, if possible, turn even more disgusted at this large person passing the blame onto a tiny mite like that.  He’s in a very good mood and behaves beautifully as he’s bunged back in his pram and we put our coats on. A little motion and he falls asleep again giving us chance to wander round the shops. It’s such a wander that it’s getting on for 1.30pm before we board a bus back to my place, not a good idea not to eat when you’re diabetic. So, as the bus drops us off I nip into a sandwich shop for two large ham salad baps for us . At home I have my ‘before’ tab and then have to wait a few minutes before I eat. In the meantime I entertain Reuben who enjoys talking to his reflection in he mirror and to a large canvas of his mum and dad on the wall. While we eat our food Reuben sits on the settee with the rest of the milk he didn’t finish earlier.                                                                                                                                    After they’d gone to catch a bus for home I settled with my messages and then an episode of the Mentalist though this is a repeat and the BIG ONE is on tonight at 9.00 pm. I have my tea, finish my mail and return to the TV. OMG, Patrick has found Red John and it’s who I thought it was and by heck, isn’ t he nasty. One wrong word by a barman and he’s as dead as a doornail. This man thinks nothing of killing or trying to kill others and ordering others to kill for him too. Fifteen more episodes to go so I’ve no doubt there are more surprises in store but for now Red John is on the run and the CBI have a live witness against him. Sorry I should have called SPOILER ALERT.

Wednesday. There’s no use, I can’t avoid it anymore, I need to start gift wrapping. I hate it! I think the best idea is to get my mail out of the way first and then I can have an unbroken run at it. By 9.00 am I’m done and dressed but first I need to nip to the corner shop. 9.20 am and I’m back. The best thing to do is to get all the presents in sacks so I can wrap the same person’s gifts in the same wrap all at once. It seemed a fantastic idea anyway. By 12.00 pm I’ve just go the last gift in the last bag and can no longer see my bed. My mobile sounds to tell me I’ve a message. Lis asks if I’m in and if a visit would be OK. The sigh of relief could be heard in town. She arrived and we had a good hour catching up. She’s brought me a Christmas present to put under the tree. That could present problems since I gave them all away during the Big Clean. I feel awful as I tell her that I haven’t wrapped hers yet but I have managed to get them in a bag. After Lis leaves I have some lunch and then return to my room to catch up on emails from the morning. Fortunately Such a shame there are so many to keep me occupied all afternoon right up to teatime. I settle on a tin of fruit and have barely finished that and washed up before Dilwyn and Matthew arrive. Oops, no chance of wrapping now. Scrabble 1 I win, Scrabble 2 I don’t win. Time for cards. Dil and I decide to teach Matt how to play Chase the Lady. It’s not an easy game and it entails holding a lot of cards when there are just 3 players. Matt copes quite well and seems to be getting the hang of things when he suddenly dumps the Queen of Spades on me. That’s 50 points I don’t want but realise it can’t have been deliberate until the next hand when all of a sudden I lay a card and become the proud owner of the Queen of Spades again, what the heck is going on? By 9.30 it’s time for them to leave and though the game isn’t over I’m losing. Since we don’t finish I can say losing rather than lost because obviously another hand and I’d have hammered them both. I tidy up and wash the post after they leave and then head for my room for the last onslaught on the mail. At 11.15 I decide to call it a night and have a read, I turn round and see all the bags on my bed. It takes ages to get them off and pile them high in  a corner trying to leave myself a passage to the loo if needed. I read till 12.30 and decided it’s time for sleep.

Thursday. Mornin’ y’all. It’s 4.00 am and my bladder decided it was time to get up. I don’t think my bladder and I should be on speaking terms if it’s going to play jokes like this. Anyhoo, I managed to get my messages done for 7.am and then I needed to go and put out my meds for the week, take this mornings dose and make a coffee. That done I come back into the bedroom and with a look of horror see all the bags awaiting me. Perhaps just a few more emails first….ooh, that was worth it as I’ve been offered the chance to buy some gold from a new trading company in Africa. That’s got to be OK hasn’t it.?? These messages only delay me until 9.00am at which point I get dressed and tell myself to stop prevaricating, ah it’s just as well I’m going deaf. I know I can’t avoid it any longer so I make a start. The bargain pack of gift wrap I bought doesn’t seem such a bargain now I find that it’s 15 sheets at two thirds the size of the ten normal sized sheets I’d usually buy. This is not the kind of start to encourage me. I managed to wrap quite a few as lunch time approached and I wished someone was suggesting a visit but no, just me. I have lunch ( corned beef hash) and come back to finish a few more but I realise there must be messages now and obviously I don’t want to keep my friends waiting. You came through for me and nearly 60 messages kept me occupied most of the afternoon. Of course I’d have made it to tea time if one person hadn’t written to say she’d answer my messages in the morning as she’s tired and off to bed. Talk about inconsiderate, this is an emergency.                                                                                                                                                                                                     I had tea, ( a Christmas pud and custard, just to get in the mood of course )  then settled with the TV for two hours before coming back in here to deal with messages until 10.00pm when A person of Interest comes on. I notice my phone has a message. A change of plan, they’re going to come and deliver the gifts tomorrow afternoon. YIKES, that means I have two sackloads to wrap in the morning and Mike ( Peace be on his name) won’t be here in time for me to trick  erm ask him to help me with it. I don’t even have the excuse of the corner shop this time and couldn’t afford the time to go anyway. Those capricious Gods have caught me a good one this time.

Friday. Yay, it’s Friday. I jumped ( I lie) off my bed and headed for the loo about 6 inches ahead of my bladder. Thank heavens for loose cloths. I was able to stroll back to the bedroom confident of my first win of the day. Computer on, mail up and one of the first ones was a long one to a friend. I don’t ignore those though sometimes I’m tempted to leave them till last and get the numbers down. I’d got over half way when wallop, the computer shut down. My jaw almost unhinged with shock and I rapidly grasped a handful of tissues to stem the tears. All that work lost, woe is me. There are times I really hate Microsoft updates. The day and I are standing even at one all.      As the computer restarted I logged back into messages and started again. This time I was trying to cut corners and speed things up. The full page message became lines with apologies but by 8.am I’d caught up. Wash, dress, fish, tabs, coffee and into the bedroom to start the wrapping. I wrapped like a maniac and even managed to put birthday paper one one that was for Christmas and Christmas paper on the birthday gift. I’m relieved that I’m the only one to know that ( apart from you lot now obviously and I’m counting on a bit of hush from that quarter). By 11.am I’d done the MuJo presents and a smaller group for individuals. Back to the messages so they don’t mount up and stress me and also so that I can look calm when MuJo arrive. Mike sent his usual chatty text “On way!”                                                                                                                                                                                    I had my lunch and afterwards sat looking as collected as possible as they arrived. Drinks were sorted and they passed over a bag of gifts to put under the tree ( what tree?) and I let them know that Yvonne had left presents for them and that mine were ready when it was time for them to leave. We were having a laugh when Mike walked in which was my cue to make drinks again. At 3.30 Muriel suggested to John it was time they left as she needed some shopping on their way home. I brought the bags out of my bedroom, ( These, oh they’ve been wrapped for days now. My attitude said). Mike and I walked out to wave them off and came back in to see they’d forgotten Yvonne’s bag of gifts. There was a Thank You text from Muriel which said they’d see me one day next week and I fell to my knees in hysterics wondering why I’d been made to dash this morning. I did bangers and mash for Mike’s tea and had a sausage sandwich myself before we sat and watched some TV which included the Big Bang Theory episode I’d missed last night. Doing my messages later I decided that maybe the day and I ended even after all.

Saturday. I was late today and didn’t get up till 6.am but I was still a good way down the mail before Mike’s alarm went off. I went towards the kitchen and met this shambling figure doing a Quasimodo impression ( without the lisp) that sort of grunted when I called ” Good Morning.” I prepared his coffee then took my tabs and made myself a drink. Since there was no use in making conversation made up of real words I went back to the bedroom to finish what mail was left and get dressed. Being naturally subtle I threw the shopping bags into the lounge under the pretext of needing to adjust the radiator they obscured. Mike ignored the hint but went to get dressed anyway. As soon as he was done I asked for some help to put the rubbish out for collection. I opened the front door and heard such a heartbreaking sound, a howl of pure agony. ” It’s still the middle of the bloody night” it cried as I blocked his re-entry with my crutches and locked the door. It was light by the time we reached the shop and he’d stopped making the pitiful noises. We actually did quite well and were leaving again by 9.15am. On arrival in Flint we were both parched and decided to go for coffee first. Ceri wasn’t on the counter but no doubt the noise of Mike teasing Helen brought her down from the sandwich making room upstairs. After a number of pointed comments about her behaving herself on the staff night out tonight she disappeared but not before hugging us both and we set off shopping again. We went round a few shops looking for some gift bags  and bought a couple of stocking gifts but couldn’t find a vase that Mike wanted.  As I thought we were heading home he turned the car around and headed for another retail park where we managed to find a vase and were able to have a nice lunch. At this point Mike told me it was time to go home and start wrapping presents in earnest ( I wonder where that is?) He also told me to put my bottom lip away as sulking doesn’t suit me.                                                            At home we unpacked the shopping and I made a drink, unwrapped the books that had arrived and then scratched my head as to the whereabouts of all my recycling bags that seem to have disappeared. It sounds like I’m not the only one either. I know there have been gales today but I can’t believe that none have been found. I did some mail before Mike finally grabbed a bag and said he’d help me wrap. I grabbed it back and said no way was he doing his own and gave him another one. Guilt set in and I did some myself. By teatime we’d done quite well and apart from Mike’s gifts which I’ll do in the week we’re down to two bags which we can share tomorrow.                I made him sit through a film meant to bring on the Christmas feelgood factor and all I got was “Bah Humbug” so we sat and enjoyed an Anthony Hopkins film afterwards. I came through to irritate you all with the blog and now I’d better catch up on  my mail again.

I wish you all a Wonderful Week full of Happiness…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Reuben's first solid food at 16 weeks old

Reuben’s first solid food at 16 weeks old

Bear with me.

Bear with me.

Me and my Pops

Me and my Pops

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Welcome to an Interview with A.H.Richards

Welcome to an Interview with :  A.H.Richards…
 A,H,Richards
………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Author of.    Kronos Duet
Kronos Duet.
 
A brief synopsis.
F
orget the time machine. Forget flesh-and-blood man. Psychic Gareth Pugh and daughter Adrianna leap through time-space through the minds of others; dead others. Gareth’s mission, to reach the beginning of earth time, and confront Earth’s God, if He/She/It exists. He’s just not too good at getting there. Dead people can be unpredictable. Even dangerous.
Adrianna trails him down the ages, desperate to fix their dysfunctional relationship, and cure herself of her deepest fears.
Two hunters for the elitist Foundation are missioned with one thing only,to obliterate proof of time travel, which might just change the world a little. Dr. Buckleigh brutally controls the mission. Utterly perverse Cabot Greenway takes up the hunt, sadistically lustful to completely own every morsel of Adrianna,in a space/time of his choosing.
A conscious jungle plant, a Russian rat, an infamous legend, and Stonehenge backdrop this writhing odyssey that slams into a ghost-ridden end in Toronto, Canada.
 
 
 What made you decide to write this book?
I don’t know that I decided, to be honest. Most of my stories insist on being written, and they pick on me because I leave the channels open between my subconscious and conscious mind. I hope that doesn’t sound pretentious, because it’s true. It’s like catching a cold, but instead of feeling dizzy and scratchy in the throat, I see images that repeat, or feel the presence of a character who demands constant attention. I suppose the decision I make is to commit, or not commit, to a character or idea and put the first sentences and ideas down on paper or on the screen. Once committed, then the work begins, but most of the time I’m not sure where the story will go until I’ve written at least fifty pages of maybe a third or fourth draft.
However, I did decide that I actually enjoyed the company of the two protagonists – Gareth Pugh and his daughter Adrianna – and so stuck with the work of bringing them alive as best as I could. I came to love Adrianna, in a funny sort of way. I think it shows in the novel.
Sometimes I conclude that I’m not particularly engaged with a character, or an idea even if it repeats for a while. Sometimes it just doesn’t catch fire; so it becomes a ‘to-do’ work. I have a dumptruck full of books in that category. I hope I live long enough to get to them all.
 
Have you managed to incorporate people you know as characters?
In Kronos Duet, no. Well, not exactly. There are two cats in the book who I consider characters – Emma and Lucy; and they are actual cats that I owned and loved and who are, sadly, gone to kitty pasture, where the catnip and salmon thrive just for them.
The two antagonists are just too evil to resemble anyone I have ever personally known.
Share with the readers one little known fact about yourself.
I believe, unequivocally, in angels. Yes, I am Welsh, and I am genetically daft, but that is beside the point. Angels, or something very like them (I don’t own an Angel-spotting handbook) have visited me twice, both times benignly.
Are you traditionally published or an Indie author?
I am, both by choice and circumstance, an Indie author. I went the orthodox publishing route for years, and spent far too much time and money researching publishers, writing letters and synopses, and mailing expensive boxes of manuscripts around the continent and to the U.K.  The very process made me want to hurl myself off a cliff every time, so my efforts were sporadic at best. As sporadic as the responses from publishers who always seemed otherwise engaged, sadly drunk, and jaded.
Indie publishing means that I do almost all of the marketing; but that has become the norm for first-time novelists going the traditional route also. You’re lucky if you get three months of attention from an established publisher. However, there are remarkable exceptions of publishers (usually very small houses) who really do commit to their authors for a decent amount of time.
If you could make one change to the world, what would it be?
I’d make the planet an equilateral triangle – just to see what happens.
( Now that would be fun, we’d all be wearing crampons to avoid slipping off )
I know Kronos is Greek for Time. Will time travel ever be possible do you think?
Yes, absolutely. I think, also, that it will happen in a similar fashion to the time-travel in Kronos Duet: That is, via the mind, or some ethereal ‘body.’ There will never be such a thing as a time machine, although it has been a mainstay in SF and fantasy for ages. You can’t push ‘klunky’ through something as subtle as time. I can’t even get a decent bottle of Scotch to materialize on my desk, and Lord knows I’ve tried. I still have to physically go and get it, AND pay for it. Life is just unfair sometimes.
Have you left the possibility of Gareth Pugh and Adrianna returning in future adventures?
I wasn’t planning to initially, but yes. By the time Kronos Duet came to a close, I knew one character was not done. Adrianna returns in the sequel, provisionally titled Kronos Solo. I purposefully left things open for development at the end of Kronos – even though it ends as it should, and is a stand-alone story – because I had fallen in love with Adrianna, and knew she needed to command an entire novel, and do some important things entirely her own way. Who else will reappear, I have only the faintest inklings, and will give nothing away yet.
I understand much of the book is set in North Wales. Home or a place you like maybe?
I love North Wales. I was born in the Rhondda Valley in South Wales and that was my childhood haunt, back and forth from various places in England. I chose North Wales, however, because of its beauty – as much for me as the reader, so I would enjoy describing the land – and, importantly, because of Conwy Castle and Aberconwy in North Wales. Those two locations are significant to the plot.
I took a solo three-month walking trip through North Wales when I turned 21. It was truly enchanting, even with the ubiquitous rain and fog and mist. Magic resides there; truly.
Do you have a website to share? 
I have a blog: lit57.wordpress.com,  where I post ideas, fiction, political rants and some of the most eccentric (or perhaps I should say un-funny) jokes ever given birth. (I often dream jokes and wake up laughing. Few people ever ‘get’ them; they just look at me sadly.)
 
Any Link to the Book?

This link goes directly to Kronos, and allows links to my other books.
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/299606
Please feel free to share an excerpt.

Here’s a scrap, not long enough to bore the pants off you. Fearing that her father has died, Adrianna has phoned her new friend, Cabot, for help. Here, they inspect the body.

Afraid to disturb anything in the room, they hung in the doorway, looking into dusk light. A cot sat against the left wall. The muted light showed Pugh lying out, snug to his head a contraption of leather straps studded here and there with dull metal rivets. His head was shaved, with nicks of dried blood showing, scraped inexpertly down to patchy, stubbled baldness.

Cabot crossed to the body and clasped the slim wrist.

“No heartbeat I can feel.”

Adrianna’s own wristwatch had more of a pulse – or the building itself, reverberating from distant traffic. In the half light a pallid spider crawled tremulously upward on the wall alongside the cot. Adrianna watched Cabot brush it aside, then unbutton her father’s cardigan and put his ear to his chest.

Cabot pinched the cheek and released it, watching for evidence of circulation. There were no signs of rigor; the arm as supple and deadweight as a slumbering baby’s; the skin on his cheek elastic to the fingertips. At the points where the rivets had contacted the skin, minute reddish abrasions, like pox sores, circled the skull.

Adrianna waited. An eternity.

The spider reappeared at Cabot’s left foot. The scene before her pulsed; a television screen tuned to nothing. She waited, chewing her lip. The blood drained from her neck and arms.

She heard his distant voice.

“I think…” he hesitated. “ Don’t get excited, but I think there might be a heartbeat. It’s almost non-existent. But I think he’s still with us.”

“Doctor Buckleigh already told me that.” Adrianna snapped, then pursed her lips, ashamed of her spite.

Cabot took her hand and urged her to his side.

“You want to listen? See if you can hear anything. “

“Oh God no! If it stopped while I was… “Adrianna pulled away.

She knelt beside the cot and picked lumps of wool from her father’s sweater.

“Short of slapping him or dousing him with iced water, I can’t imagine what we could do to bring him out of this.”

Cabot’s words rang dull. Adrianna stared while he lifted one of Gareth’s eyelids, inspected an unresponsive pupil.

She looked at Cabot, her eyes hugely dark.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with him.” She said. “I don’t know enough about this… It seems that he used to do this, years ago, when I lived with my mother. Dr. Buckleigh knows…”

“But we’re going to have to telephone the hospital anyway. You can’t wait days. If he has snuff… if he’s dead you can’t just …”

“No.” Her voice was firm. “Only Doctor Buckleigh. That’s the way it is. And the men here,” her nod indicated the hall, “they’re always monitoring him.”

“They’re thugs, not nurses Adrianna. All this makes no sense. Where’s the heart monitor? The brain scan? I don’t see any. If he’s comatose, he needs hospital care…”

“He’s not in a coma. I know. If he’s not dead outright, then he’s not comatose. Dr. Buckleigh talked to me… I don’t exactly trust the man, but dad has always insisted I follow his counsel.”

She swung away from him, her long hair a curtain closing on her thoughts.

“So what then?” Cabot snapped, pulling her to face him. “We just wait for him to die, or pop up like a Jack in the Box?”

“I suppose so, Cabot. I’m sorry. I just needed you to confirm that he isn’t dead. I needed a second opinion.” She smiled wryly. “Dr. Buckleigh is a bit of a drinker and, well, a little too secretive about my dad …”

Once again, Adrianna closed up as she stepped into the hall. She could feel his eyes on her. Her flesh suddenly seemed too soft, her hair too lush, her jeans too snug. Cabot’s sigh trailed behind them, dissipating into the stairwell in the wake of their footsteps.

And a little bit of action… A medieval miller, prone to violence and bullying, rides angrily away from the woman he had chosen as his next wife, who has refused him. (Time-traveling, Cabot is present, ‘inside’ the mind/spirit of the miller.)

He threw himself onto his tethered pony without a bye-your leave, yanked the reins roughly around and dug his heels into her flanks. A snap of leather, a whining creak from the tether post, and the miller broke free, leaving the post leaning at an angle. ‘Good riddance to the two of them. Blast their stupid lives,’ he cursed to himself. The stupid old wench did not understand what she was giving up in shunning him.

Passing through the forest, the miller worked himself into loud indignation. “Damn her! Damn everything! Damn you bloody trees an’ all!” He gave the hostile eye to a squirrel. His hand gripped his gold neck chain and he pulled it from under his shirt, shook it at some poor sod ahead on the roadside scavenging for firewood. The path had narrowed to the breadth of two men, and the horse’s flank narrowly missed the scavenger’s head as the miller leaned over him, rattling his riches in the decrepit fool’s face.

“That’s riches for ye – that’s power!” he barked. “Ye don’t see the likes of me scraping for firewood.”

He yelled at the branches overhanging. “A man respected by the King ‘imself! And playing second blasted fiddle to a yokel! Damn me, I need a drink!”

Then the horse balked, its reins grasped by a hand on skeletal arm. A rough looking yokel, someone the miller did not recognize, looked at him pleadingly.

“My companion, kind sir, ‘e is that beat from walking a full two days sire, that ‘e seems fair nigh to collapsing o’ hunger and thirst. Will ye have mercy on us sir and carry ‘im on yer mount as far as the next inn?”

The miller urged his mount onward, finding it held fast and still by the scrawny arm.

“Your hand off my reins, villain, or I will break it for ye.”

There came the whistle of a stone in flight, and his head exploded with pain and his eyes saw a cloud of blackness. His body went limp, and followed his skull sideways and down, smacking the ground heavily. Before he could properly clear his mind, they were on him. He could not count them, nor pick out one clearly enough. It took all his concentration to hug a nearby tree and drag himself upright. Then he flailed at them out of the dark cloud that obscured his sight. Blurred men, dancing at the edges of the cloud – and the sound, somewhere, of his horse snorting, its feet stamping in the mud and stones. A club smashed into his shoulder before he could raise his arm to fend it off. Then another hit, sending sharp pain flying from ankle to thigh. He knew he had drawn his knife. He swept the air before and around him, hearing cries that might mean he had struck home. But the cloud would not lift, and there was the smell of blood in his nostrils.

Cabot scented it too, and felt more – he sensed the miller’s diminishing strength, knew that he was not in control. His fate was in the hands of those who beat him, who were sticking him with their knives. He felt the miller sink to his knees from a powerful kick to the stomach, his breath forced out of a slack mouth. Cabot knew he was near death, could feel a kind of resigned, dumb stillness inside the man as the knives dug in and the pain became familiar, then a mere numbness, and the knives kept up their work.

Cabot panicked. To get free, that was all that mattered. But to where? To whom? To escape, must he fly from the miller into someone else? Or become a plant, or a stone?

The stabbing had ended and they kicked the body into a ditch. He could feel the last of the miller’s consciousness ebbing into the close-up funk of rot and mud. He felt the blood pumping from the deep slash in the throat, felt its heat as it soaked down the neck, heard its fountained spume pattering onto the ground. Then he leapt.

Into nothingness. He seemed to be free, which mattered. But he was lost, which mattered more. Dimly, there was the sound of hooves meeting packed mud. And the sound of wind through branches and leaves. And the diminishing cries of the robbers as they vanished down the road.

Cabot realized that he was nothing. He floated, and there was no pain from the murder. A brief memory of the nightmare, but mostly silence. He might as well be a leaf, or a gnat.

“So much for that fat bastard,” he thought, then rejoiced at the knowledge that it was himself, thinking. A pity about the situation though. He had begun to like the miller. Now, he was homeless, and not a little tense, unnerved by his predicament. Was he dying himself? Was that what his weightlessness signified? Had they actually killed him? Had he leapt too late? Or had it been his soul leaving the body?

Thank you, so much, for this interview, David. I’ve enjoyed it immensely. I must get back to reading some more of your lovely tales on your blog. Be well, yourself and family. Happy Christmas, and a wonderful 2014 to you!

A.H.Richards is also author of two other books also available from Smashwords. …………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Myth-Making Miller.Short Stories

 

I’m delighted to have been able to do this interview for a fellow Welshman, especially since my father came from the Rhymney Valley just along from the Rhondda even though North Wales is my home. A.H. is right, this place is full of Magic.

I take this opportunity to wish A.H. and his family, as I do all of you. Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda.

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Go Forth and Shop No More.

Sunday. This morning Mike decided to look at my DVD player as I’d tried to watch something during the week and though I could hear it fine hadn’t been able o see the comedian prowling the stage. He applied his technical know how and came up with his diagnosis. “It’s buggered” he said. “Can I get a second opinion?” I asked. ” Yes” he answered, ” it’s still buggered.” It seems one of the tower units had become overheated at some point and blown a part. I couldn’t deny it as the scorch marks he showed me were a bit of a clue. Into the bin went the three units of the tower and leaving a mess on the floor and the TV stand out we headed off to get a new DVD player. I was hoping for a multi region player since a dear friend has recently reminded me of a TV series of the eighties, Dinosaurs by Jim Henson. The only copies I’ve been able to find anywhere are region 1 and I live in region 2. In the end there was nothing in the local shops to indicate region so I bought one I liked the look of and took a chance. Or at least I started to when my card was declined and I had to use cash. We went for a coffee, except that Rose had her usual tea, While Mike went to terrorise talk to the female staff Rose offered to come up at Christmas and cook a dinner on Christmas day for the three of us. The gesture was wonderful but I tried to decline saying I didn’t want either of them to come up. Not because I’m ungrateful but because I’d rather Mike stayed close to his grandchildren so he could give their gifts on the day and then he and Rose could have the rest of the day together in peace. The dirty laughs ended and Mike came back to the table. His son has other plans Christmas day with the grandchildren and he doesn’t want me to be alone at Christmas. ” I’m coming” he told me. It looks like I don’t have a say in it. “And anyway” he said, “Yvonne said she’d like me to come up for Boxing day and she doesn’t want you to be alone.” The fog lifts and I begin to understand. What a conniving pair.                                                                                                                                                                                                                We lunched at The Blosssoms on a beautiful lamb roast dinner before going back and Mike set up the new DVD player. He asked for a disk to test it and we sat engrossed in Peter Kaye until  finally reminded him it was time to leave to visit his Dad. We put everything back in place and they left. I removed Peter Kaye and spent a couple of hours on mail before watching a little TV. The embarrassment of having my card declined in the shop rankled with me so I came through to check the bank. As I thought ,no problem. I was really cross now and found myself picking up the phone ( which I haven’t done for over 10 years now) and dialling the number of the bank. I managed to stutter my way through the problem and the young lady amazingly had the patience to try and understand me. Trouble was, it was a fraud issue and she had to transfer me, to India of all places. I like Indians and have no prejudices against them but I do have a problem understanding their accent as they must have a problem understanding a Welshman who stutters his way through a sentence for half an hour. Anyway it turns out Google had wanted to verify my account and had made a 32p payment into it as Paypal do when you start. So now my card is suspended if someone pays INTO my account. Aaargh, it’s not long since they promised not to do this to me again. The card was de-suspended. They have me coming and going since last time it was because I bought something from a U.S. site without being over there. I swear it was fully an hour before my heart stopped hammering.

Monday. I had a lovely visit this morning from someone I used to work with years ago. It was especially nice because I only saw him maybe once or twice a week depending whether I was doing work in an outer office advising the public on Benefits. He told me the whole office used to look forward to my visits but I suspect it was because I used to take biscuits. We had a nice couple of hours before he left taking a signed copy of Oscar’s book with him and saving me the postage by taking his Christmas card too. Apart from wonderful Lis and my young friend Jonathan, no-one from the offices I used to work in has kept in touch. Doesn’t say much for my popularity does it. Still, I was always an anti-social git. Another treat today, the postman brought me a letter about my £10 Christmas bonus from the Government. It will be paid in by tomorrow. For the last three years it’s not been paid and though they admit it should have been, no-one has been able to explain why it hasn’t. I’m not too worried as the Government have been generous in other ways even though I don’t agree with the newest policies for dealing with the disabled and sick. I spent much of the day doing emails , eating or watching TV.

Tuesday. I’m afraid Yvonne, Reuben and I are together again. Despite me having finished my Christmas shopping I’m still going home with 5 bags. Yvonne is bragging that she’s bought nothing as though I’m the only one who ever shops. Anyway, it’s her fault as she leads me astray and takes me to them. One store that gave me a major surprise is H & M  a shop I wouldn’t normally go into. I was really please with some of the prices I found there and managed to get Reuben a great pair of trousers that came complete with braces. I had wanted a special gift for two friends who run Kassidy’s but who don’t celebrate Christmas. In The Gift Company I came across a picnic basket with a cooler section and it came complete with a flask too. Perfect for when they take their dogs out ( I hope). They have beautiful Highland Westies…………………

green-chiller-picnic-ffs

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

I don’t want you to get the idea I’m out of control here, but I also managed to find some great stocking fillers, hence all the bags. But it’s still all Yvonne’s fault if I can only afford dry bread for Christmas dinner and must starve in the new year. Now she has told me I mustn’t shop again before Christmas, there’s apparently so much stuff we struggle to open the door. I’ve told her ten million times not to exaggerate.

At home again and Ugo arrived so we were all able ( except Reuben who was most put out) to share a chip meal, sausage for me, fish for Yvonne and I daren’t tell you what Ugo had even if the was enough room on the page.   After they left I spent two hours on emails and then went through to watch Patrick Jane catch Red John. He knows about the three dots tattooed on his shoulder. Imagine my surprise when he had all 5 suspects gather together in one place and..  I won’t spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it but Purleeze anyone who’s seen episode 7 already let me know what happens.  After that it was time to finish my mail and have  a read of my Pratchett before sleep.

Wednesday. I woke early this morning , as usual it was pitch black. Stupidly I decided not to turn on my lamp but to rely on the light from my clock which was smirking at me, and I stubbed my toe on the chair on my way to the light switch. The rest of the short journey was accomplished by hopping. The pain subsided rapidly as I checked my Euro lottery ticket and found I’d won a whole $2.60, just about enough to buy a postcard of where I’d like to holiday if I can’t afford the holiday itself. I’m currently saving all the lottery wins ,probably to buy another one if they put them up again. Anyhoo, I dashed off to the corner shop to cash it ( I did get dressed first honestly, just leaving out the boring bit). Coming home I remembered Yvonne had asked me about some poems I used to write as she was young. They would accompany a little sketch and used to entertain her when small. She’d seen them somewhere recently and hoped I’d let her keep them for Reuben. I was fairly sure they’d gone back in the loft with the few items in boxes I’d decided to keep when having the big clear out. The only way to find out was to check the loft so out came the ladders.                                                          Climbing the ladders was no problem but I had to use them as a sort of springboard to get me far enough to lean over and reach what I wanted. That was a bit of a mistake as I soon found out. The ladders were on a laminated wood surface, as I heaved myself up they decided to depart the are I was in. I could just about touch them with the tips of my toes but of course with my upper body in the loft I couldn’t see them. It took ten minutes of trying to hook my toes onto something so I could pull them back again. Ten minutes in which I was gasping for breath as though I’d undertaken heavy exercise. If I’d been on the phone at that time there would have been screams for the police, not to help me but to report a heavy breather. I gave up on reaching the box and came down.                                                                                                                                                  On my way to the kitchen I noticed a box behind the lounge door in which I thought I’d recently stored some photographs. Opening it up, the first thing I came across was the folder of poems. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..Opinions Welcome. 

In honour of Reuben for my Beloved Daughter..

bubbling_cartoon_fish_clip_art_6297

                            The Fish

The fish smiled a great smile of joy

as he swam in the sea of delight,

for the sun was glistening off his scales

which he knew was a beautiful sight.

The fishing nets had long drawn in,

and the boats being full didn’t linger.

he knew he was safe for another day,

and wouldn’t end up  fish finger.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

imagesThe Dragon Quest.

The dragon sits on towers high, his quest is never done.

Watching all the girls and boys while they play and have fun.

He says “Don’t talk to strangers, or take lifts in a car.

Stay where friends can see you and never wander far.”

And when your day is over, the dragon can be fed,

on happiness, for knowing you’re safely tucked in bed.

After tea Dilwyn and Matthew came for games night. We started with Scrabble as always and I came first, but I’m not saying from which end. I didn’t get a look in. Just as well when I asked Matt what he wanted next, he suggested Crazy 8’s like last week as he’s getting the hang of it. He’s not quite mastered the insult side yet  but after seeing him lay ‘nasty’ cards down, there’s no doubting he’s his father’s son. Playing in a game like this with Dil is brilliant as he has a highly infectious- if Muttley like-laugh. I ended up with stomach ache which was more than made up for by the scalps under my belt as we stopped playing. One thing that always pleases me is that Matt seems to enjoy coming along for a game despite the age differences between him and us two old fogies.

Thursday. A singularly unpleasant day today. The wind is at  gale force and throwing ‘wheelie bins’ about like they are weightless. There is the threat that snow is due and maybe in quantity so I hope no-one is writing off a White Christmas yet. Somehow I managed to check the lottery on line and then throw the ticket away. When I went to buy the new tickets I was told the numbers from last night weren’t up yet and the ones I’d used must have been last Saturday’s. I virtually skipped home thinking maybe I’d won the jackpot and thrown the winning ticket out. I’d forgotten somehow that I’m not in a Disney movie. Back in the bin it went.                                                                                Lunchtime I had sausage, microchips and baked beans. Excellent until about 2 pm when I was back dashing to the loo. I’m having a break now for The Mentalist and then will return until 10 pm when I’m off to see Person of Interest which somehow I seem to have forgotten these last two weeks.                                                                                                  It was great. I now have time for a couple of chapters before sleep.

Friday. I’d been up since 5.20 this morning but as there was to be no MuJo visiting and nothing to rush for I didn’t get dressed immediately. How typical that there should be a knock on the door at 7.40 while I’m still in my dressing gown. Instead of hiding and pretending to be out, which would be daft when the light is on, I glanced through the window and saw a flash of orange, the postman!  Fantastic, I’d ordered a hand blender ( wake up at the back. it’s not for blending hands) and want it in time for her birthday on Sunday. Before anyone accuses me of meanness I must point out this is a gift but not her birthday gift. I don’t give kitchen utensils as gifts for birthdays ( or Christmas smart alec). How frustrated was I to see it was broken. I immediately got on to the firm on ebay to report it and to ask what I should do. The conversation went something like this…….

Them…Can you supply photographs of the item please.

Me.  Certainly, here are 3. Is it possible to get a replacement here by tomorrow and I’ll gladly pay any extra postage.

Them. Hmm, that looks broken. Would you like a refund or a replacement.?

Me. A replacement please but I need it by tomorrow. I’ll pay any extra postage.

Them. I’ll have one sent out, can you inform us when it arrives please?

I felt as though I’d been totally ignored at this point. Tomorrow will tell.

I had the usual lengthy message from Michael. “On way”is all the little chatterbox said. I texted back to ask if he’d be here by lunchtime and I could hang on without eating till about 1 pm if he could make it. He told me he’d be here. Lo and behold, he is. We went to lunch at Kassidy’s and by good fortune it was a roast beef dinner day. As we walked in Sheryl let out a large groan and said “I see you brought trouble again” to me, at which Mike replied, “Yes, I couldn’t let him walk.” Cheek!  I was also able to take up the gift for the owners Si and Chris, the hamper for when they go away with the dog. Not knowing when I’ll get there again I took Sheryl’s Christmas gift to put under her tree. We came home and Mike brought his suitcase in to unpack. We spent an hour on the fishtank with a water change and clearance of the weed plus the removal of a huge colony of snails threatening to take over. The rest of the day was divided between chatting to Mike, catching up with emails and making coffee’s. TV could have been better but my programmes were cancelled for a special on Nelson Mandela. His passing is a loss to the World, a light has gone out that lit a path to peace.

Saturday. 4.55am Start on emails. Quite a few his morning but the loonies are on holiday ( Yes, except for Seumas Gallagher and that Matron of his). I’d just finished the second batch at 6.55 and decided to take my morning meds when Mike’s alarm went off. No need to hurry as he’ll ignore it anyway. True to form he turned over and slept on. I made coffee and took it through to him, managing to drag him to the right degree of consciousness where he might eventually get up. He got up. I’m not going to claim he woke up at that point as my bright and breezy greeting was met with a few neanderthal grunts until he could see the bottom of his coffee cup.                                          We were at the supermarket for 8.am and today I managed to spend just a moderate amount and we left there at 9.15 heading for Flint and the next coffee. We hit a couple of shops first since he thinks I’ll sulk if I leave any open shop un-entered. No doubt he’ll tell Yvonne he was coerced when we see her tomorrow.  Ceri was on duty at Temptations and as she served us Mike described in full details an object he’d seen which he said was a foot long and thick, just right for her needs. Just as she started to laugh he told her it was a chocolate bar. Talking of Temptations, it’s time to stop for a word from our Sponsors. Cue the advert…….. Looking for the perfect gift for Christmas or maybe the perfect music to treat yourself to? Check out the new CD by Richard and Adam, a sensational duo with wonderful operatic voices as they go to town on your favourite Christmas carols.                                                                                                                                              http://www.amazon.co.uk/Christmas-Album-Richard-Adam/dp/B00F4M8PME/ref=sr_1_2?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1386428570&sr=1-2&keywords=richard+and+adam                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Following coffee we took the shopping home to unpack then traded insults till lunchtime. I really don’t know what came over me but I suggested we go to Abakhan as Mike hasn’t seen the changes there yet. This time I’m trying the food. We passed through the gift shop which was funny as he paled at the prices. Then to the cafe where given the (few) options I settled on the roast of the day. It’s December so no surprise it was turkey.Mike had some quiche. Lets leave it that we were both bitterly disappointed. One highlight though was that in the old gift shop we managed to find a small goldfish bowl that he wanted to put some lights in. Maybe one day the tight beggar will pay his electric bill.  It was dearer than most places but to save us looking further we bought it. Home again and no sign of the hand blender. I shall have to buy one on my way out tomorrow and then decide what to do with the other one when/if it turns up.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Some of my afternoon was spent on emails and some looking round Ebay as I’m looking for stocking presents. At this rate it might just be stockings though I can’t see Mike in suspenders- only because he won’t let me in case I laugh. We turned the TV on and watched something bland for a while until it was time for tea and an episode of the Mentalist which Mike kept saying “I’ll bet this happens next” so that I thought he’d developed psychic powers, before finally admitting he’d seen it before. For a change we had a couple of hands of cards. Naturally I won and Mike sulked When he left for the loo I replaced the cards I’d removed earlier and sat trying not to gloat till he finally hit me. We’ve just finished an episode of Foyle’s War and gone our separate ways to rest. Poor Mike has been having a series of painful headaches and one happened a while ago. This one coincided with his beloved Manchester United losing I think. We can’t say if the pain stays in one place as it does have plenty of room to move around. I do feel sorry for him though as he does for me tonight after a little chest problem.

I wish you all a Happy week free of problems and full of happiness……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

santa4

Jump2

Bear1

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Honours in Sunshine.

This morning I was greatly touched ( I know many would say I’ve been touched for years) to receive from my wonderful friend Margaret Lynette Sharp, an award called The Sunshine Award. I take great delight in introducing you to her blog wher I’m fortunate that she often features not just birds but also the natural beauty of Australia- or at least her part of it.

Without  further ado, allow me to introduce  http://margaretlynettesharp.wordpress.com/

All awards come with a price and this is no different. I need to display the award itself which I shall now do………………………………………………

sunshine-award

Then I must tell you 10 interesting things about myself which I confess will be a struggle. Lastly I must make my own nominations which will be difficult only because there are so many wonderful blogs out there, and I’m charged with informing them.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. …………………………………     1. Though Welsh, I was actually born in Germany.

2. I love playing board games ( not Monopoly) and cards. At age 6 I was learning how to play Cribbage from watching my parents/grandparents play. It’s good for maths.

3. Michael/Mike whom I refer to as brother has been my best friend for 40 years now.

4. My first name ( and preferred) is David though some family/friends call me Mike to differentiate from my father, imagine the confusion with No.3.

5. I’m an inveterate shopper. I love it. The Postman may hate me though. It’s great seeing someone’s face as you give them a gift.

6. I had a breakdown that left me unable to speak to people face to face but I have no probs annoying them on the net.

7. Typical man I hold my feelings close but when my budgie died and one of the rats very recently ( Bernie) I cried like a baby.

8. I love humour in most forms but never quite ‘get’ some of the cult things like Monty Python. Current favourite, The Big Bang Theory, unbeatable.

9. Some people say I’m an easy touch but it’s better to be conned by a few than let one real one go unnoticed.

10. The Internet has been a blessing. Without it I may never have written, and I’ve forged some great friendships over the world…………………………………….

My Nominations.

1. http://ililarbel.weebly.com/    A very interesting blog for those who enjoy history and by a very skilled writer.

2. http://www.wildozark.com/  Some stunning pictures. Helpful herbs and currently a blog about a trip to Germany.

3. http://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/8197164/  Animal Couriers. Heartfelt stories about re-homing mistreated animals and reuniting animals and owners worldwide.

4. http://greatbigjar.com/  A real delight to read this blog is by a Scottish friend whom I treasure.

5. http://www.sorinsuciu.com/ A delightful blog by a very funny young man ( See The Scriptlings) who also carries great interviews.

6. http://seumasgallacher.com/  The blog of a man at peace with his own insanity. A great humorist.

7. http://maggiethom.wordpress.com/  A great selection of book reviews.

8. http://dieselelectricelephant.wordpress.com/ A great writer and a great reviewer.

9. http://valeriedavies.com/  A wonderful eclectic mix of posts.

10. http://acflory.wordpress.com/ Simply because I love this woman and what she writes. Great books and things that matter on her blog.

Right, I shall notify everyone and hopefully some will take up the challenge themselves. If you haven’t been included in this list it isn’t because I don’t value you or your blog but simply because there are so many I do love that I’d be here all day if I didn’t stop somewhere.

Hugs and Compliments of the Season to you all.

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Weird spam or Still a Babe Magnet

Sunday. It’s 5 am and I know I slept but it can’t have been for long as I read until 1 am before I turned the light out. I’m not sure if Michael talking in his sleep disturbed me but he has a tendency to ask questions and yet he always denies it. One day I’m going to tape him as proof but as the tape machine is in his bedroom and I’m too lazy to go get it, I just stay where I am and answer him as best I can. I’m actually feeling quite chipper since turning the computer on as there have been quite a few responses to last night’s blog and some of them are even sensible-Well Done you lot. But the real reason for my chipperness are three totally unrelated emails which prove I’m still a hot property. I’ve still got that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’, I’m on fire man!  I mean, just look at the quality of this sample and this is just one of them lusting after me. Huh, I’ve still got it haven’t I? The thing is, I hope it’s not catching whatever it is because I have the idea if I really get down and dirty and respond, I’ll probably find it’s really a 25 st lorry driver with nothing better to do.I think maybe I’ll just forward it on to Michael.                                                                                                                                                                                                               You see, I spotted you online and could not help texting you. I’d like to get closer to you.Have a look at my profile with new crazy vids and let me know how you find me!Drop me a line http://mqatklg.cupidonlinespot.in/?eotfttl                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Speaking of whom, it was 9.45 before he showed any signs of life. Or to rephrase that, he was halfway down the first coffee at 10 am before he started to look human.As usual he denies talking in his sleep and tells me my snoring kept him awake. As if ! He asks what I’d like to do this morning as if there’s much morning left ! I’m a bit off colour and tell him I don’t mind and no decision is made as we go to our respective rooms to get dressed. In the end we drive out to one of those places full of discount shops selling last year’s stock at twice the price you’d pay for anything you wanted this year.It’s been a long time since either of us has been there and boy has it changed. It’s so big now, and building still going on, to have it’s own roads leading off to towns now. There’s a huge Christmas tree that people can go inside to have photographs taken and there are lots of little Christmas shops setup around the edges of the car parks. Being the big spender I am I purchase a book for £1.99 before we go to lunch. Half an hour is spent deciding where until we settle on a Harry Ramsden’s, probably the biggest name in Fish and Chips in the UK. Just about passable today so I think the Christmas crowds are getting to them. After eating we head back to the car and head home where Michael pops his bags in the car and heads off to his father’s and I find myself nodding off over the computer. I spend the rest of the afternoon on emails then go through to watch an episode of Morse followed by one of Lewis. Hard to believe I’m still such a Babe Magnet eh ?

Monday. Apart from the obvious joys of reading my mail ( no naughty ones today), and reading the blogs of my friends ( yes, I mean you) today has been pretty boring. I made one ten minute foray into the cold and damp to get some bread and that’s it. I’ve been able to watch the TV programmes I enjoy and since there’s no-one here to stop me I had a chip buttie at lunchtime, oh what a renegade eh? Bed at 11.30 pm where I managed to finish the Conn Iggulden book my Sister in Law loaned me. I’m lucky that she has a taste for historical novels and a good selection to hand. Light off about 1. am

Tuesday. Light on again about 4.10 am Not that I was happy about it but I was wide awake again. Still, it gave me chance to get up to date with my mail before going out and tweeting an interview I did yesterday. This wasn’t an interview that made me happy as most do since for the first time ever I was interviewing the character from a book and to put it mildly he’s a nasty piece of work. Also, not being a character of mine where I know enough to select questions, this time I had nothing to go on and I didn’t fancy getting on his wrong side. Judging by the lack of comments I think a few of you must have felt the same way.                                                                                                      At 7.50 am I was washed, dressed and had partaken of my first coffee. I nipped for a final wee before going to the bus stop. As I depressed the plunger on the soap dispenser ( all the mod cons here you know) the bloody soap shot out at the speed of light in a straight line and landed on the crotch area of my trousers. I couldn’t walk round with a green blob so it was time to strip off and find another pair to wear. It’s been years since I moved so fast. Probably the last time I ran out of cigarettes and texted Ju to bring me a new packet on her way home from riding. I saw her coming and was at the front door before she was. Anyway, new trousers on I had to dash as the bus was due at ten past the hour. Ploughing my way through the horde of waiting schoolchildren I made it. I had to sit at the back today, leaning slightly forward because of the backpack I was wearing I donned the headphones to my MP3 player and prepared to try and ignore the world. My nutter magnet must have been on and lo and behold on the seat opposite me appeared a young man who sat cross-legged and tried to engage me in conversation. I plead ignorance as I pretended to close my eyes and sway with the music like a demented cobra. It didn’t work as proved by the tap on my knee. I tried to look surprised and removed the headphones only for him to tell me I had egg on my chin. I started to rub until the light bulb finally clicked and I realised two things. 1. I haven’t eaten an egg, and 2 It’s a euphemism for My flies are undone. Not wishing to be seen to be fiddling with that area of my anatomy with someone facing me, I thanked him and proceeded to pull my coat a little lower until there was no audience. I suppose I was safe really in the knowledge that dead birds don’t fall out of the nest but why take chances. Three or four stops later I was able to adjust myself before upsetting the good women of Chester and finding myself in the stocks.                                                                                                                                                                                Yvonne and I had a great day shopping with Reuben. Not that you could see him of course since he was hidden by parcels most of the time. There were many compliments throughout the day about the pram but I wonder if people just thought it was a de-luxe shopping trolley. When we stopped for lunch or coffee and uncovered him, Reuben’s fan club gathered round as usual. We went back to Yvonne’s where Ugo would pick me up after work to run me home. It was quite dark but I still had to make a dash for the car as I’m sure they’ve never repealed the law against Welshmen being in Chester after nightfall. At home I worked from 7.00 pm until 8.55 pm on mail (122) from during the day before watching the exciting new episode ( No 5) of The Mentalist, and then back to it. For some reason Google isn’t opening all my WordPress mail again. Bed around midnight. Judging by my waistline, I just missed the full transformation to pumpkin.

Wednesday. The Emails this morning were in the main predictable. Two different psychics know my future yet it doesn’t appear to be the same one. One of them could help me with the winning lottery numbers which begs the question why doesn’t she use them so she can stop asking people like me for money we haven’t got? I keep offering to pay after the win has been confirmed, or at least send a postcard from some Island paradise. A message that did catch my eye though was from a friend asking whether I’d received a letter from Google about being book partners. Short answer No, and I don’t know what it’s about. Now many of you may be au fait with this but for those that aren’t, you can add your books to a Google database and they will advertise them free of charge Worldwide with links to your site if the books can be bought there. I thought this sounded interesting and went to place my first book on there with it’s picture of the cover. From that point on I began to feel like a five year old just starting school. I’m not thick ( shut up you at the back) but I just could not get my head round things like sharing sections of the book and getting other books on. It just defeated me completely. If you want the dictionary definition of technophobe- it’s ME !                                                                                                                                                                          Just gone 9.00am I went to the Post Office to send my abroad Christmas cards. It might seem early but I son’t trust the Postal Service very much. Anyway, it was meant to be a quick trip in case I was due any mail but once there I found myself the only person in the queue. The Postmistress who is also a local Councillor ( and a good one) has just got back from holiday and naturally I asked how it had gone. She had a fantastic time but told me how desperately poor Cuba and it’s people are. I also got to see pictures of the cars there which are amazing 1950’s models cherished, cleaned and repaired within an inch of their life. I know it wouldn’t do the manufacturers much good but I couldn’t help but think how nice it would be if we held onto and looked after our things as well as they do.                                                                                                                Dilwyn and Matthew came for games night (snigger). We had two games of Scrabble and I won both this week. Then Dil and I taught Matthew how to play a card game we’ve played since Adam was a lad. Most people will know it but perhaps not under the name we use which is Crazy 8’S or Friendly Enemies. Yes, I won that one too so my humiliation of two weeks ago is hereby forgotten ( or else). Maybe next week we’ll teach him Chase The Lady or Deadly Enemies which many of you will know as Hearts on the computer. If so, the insults will fly thick and fast.

Thursday. Post done and a trip to the paper shop for my lottery ticket ( I’m assured it’s the winning one but please carry on buying them to increase my prize. I’ll buy teas all round). At just after ten Mujo arrived and I saw to drinks as we chatted about our week since I last saw them. I learned I have a niece who’s a stalker and follows them round shops tapping them on the shoulder. She tells them she knows just how to make me behave at Christmas. I know too, she just has to tell me and I’m scared enough to do it. Just like Yvonne she has me running scared even though I love them both expensively  dearly. At 11.45 we head out as I have a retinopathy appointment at 12.05. I told them to drop me off and go for lunch but they wouldn’t hear of it. Forty minutes later I’ll bet they regretted that though John did tell me he’d eaten a pasty so he could take his pre- lunch tablets. We went to the Chippie ( my third chip meal of the week so far) where he still ate a full lunch and half Muriel’s chips. Somehow when he gets his Christmas present I have doubts about it fitting now.                                                                                                                                                                                                             After lunch we decided to go to Abakhan, a fabric mill with craft areas which opened a new cafe and gift shop today. They’ d received a 20% off voucher for anything they bought today. When we got there, everything was 20% off anyway. The new gift shop had been opened in the same building as the cafe. The goods were really nice but I was disappointed that it was same stock- different place and the prices were still very high. We bought nothing which for me must be a first. The cafe building is very nice and has some nice seating areas. I have no idea what the food is like but it would be fair to say I hope it better than it was in the old building. MuJo had cold drinks but being thirsty I asked for tea. There were some very tiny pots which Mu said must be small water jugs, but no they were teapots to fill thimbles. We had to look for teabags and then get hot water from a machine. To be absolutely fair, it was the nicest cuppa I’ve had in ages and to top it off a member of staff brought round mince pies to apologise for anyone having had to wait in the queue. Lovely gesture. After tea we had a quick look in the fabric section and the craft section I spent so many hours in with Ju. We headed home where I entered a competition for John on the computer before they went to visit his mother. I’d left myself little notes everywhere today so I remembered to watch my new episode of The Big Bang Theory before coming through to catch up on the last of my messages. Now it’s time for bed and another taste of Pratchett with Snuff. I’m enjoying the re-reads.

Friday. I awoke this morning to lost of post about Black Friday. Far from the disaster it sounds there were actually plenty of interesting and tempting deals. Of course you all know me so you can be sure my wallet didn’t get opened, my card did not get posted anywhere and I sat here perfectly calm, without twitching once, safe in the knowledge I don’t like shopping- as if !! I took a walk to the Post Office to buy my Christmas stamps, yes, I know I should have done it yesterday but I forgot, it’s an age thing. For lunch I had a cottage pie and I’m not sure the cottage had been demolished properly in parts, there’s every chance I was chewing on the chimney at one point I’m really going to have to learn the difference between minutes and seconds on the microwave.                                                                                                                                                          A few more messages dealt with in the afternoon, the women have stopped being coy now and are threatening to visit, I’m having maps mimeographed as soon as possible. I settled in front of the TV for a snooze when Mike and Rose arrived. No chance now, the peace is broken and Mike’s no better. I asked him id he’d driven legally and he replied that any answer might incriminate him .We watched an episode of The Mentalist and relaxed. Teatime came and Rose decided on some rice pudding while Mike and I, diet conscious as ever settle on bacon rolls. Mike washed my hair and I had a shower and changed into my dressing gown. The evening passed in gentle insults until it was suddenly 11.00pm and time for my last assault on any messages. I wished them both good night and came through.                                                                                       I’d not been here but a few minutes when I realised something wasn’t right. I didn’t feel at all well. Mike popped in and suggested I felt cold when I actually felt hot, no, change that to cold. He went back to his TV. Within moments the race was on and I just made it to the loo in time for a technicolour yawn , and, more, and more, and yet more. I was not on top form kneeling down and waiting for the floor to steady. Mike came in behind me and soothed my fevered brow, by which I mean he ran a flannel under the cold tap and slapped it dripping on my neck. Moments later the miracle cure I was back on my feet. Granted it was because I was trying to clout him with the back brush but at least it was from the right angle now. I did feel better and ‘My elder’ packed me off to bed while he cleaned up behind me. Ah, I’m sure few are the people who would do that for me. Thanks Brother of another Mother. Throughout my ordeal Rose had slept oblivious to the battlefield horrors around her.

Saturday. I was up at 5.00am ready to do battle with the remnants of last night’s mail and anything from early this morning. There was apparently no rush as Mike decided to totally ignore his 7.00 am alarm. I would have offered some assistance had Rose not been sleeping peacefully next to him. I didn’t want her to get wet too. By 7.30 they’d both risen and while they had their drinks I put the bins out. By 8.15 Mike and I were on our way. I’d heard one Supermarket was doing selection boxes at BOGTF ( Buy One Get Two Free) and as I needed selection boxes for Christmas, that’s where we headed. I paid for two and left with six which was a great bargain.We finished the Supermarket and I decided against breakfast so we headed for home to collect Rose. Mike wondered if there was anywhere we hadn’t been for a while and I suggested a little place in Cheshire. I know it’s over the border but thought I’d take a chance, maybe the reward posters had gone now. As it happened he’d never heard of it before and Rose hasn’t visited this part of the country previously anyway. It’s really not very far and we were there in less than an hour. The place is called Blakemere for anyone interested ( near Northwich). I don’t suggest my American friends should visit as you’d never make it in a day. It’s like a wonderful little village just where you wouldn’t expect it. Antique shops, various craft shops, a specialist ice cream shop, sweet shop, gift shop, wedding products, housewares and a Falconry Centre too. We had a whale of a time going round the wonderful shops as well as having lunch in one cafe and afternoon tea in another. We came away quite weary and it was getting quite dark. They made me leave even though I hadn’t seem Santa.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  At home there were exactly 100 messages to deal with which I managed in record time. My neighbour brought a parcel he’d taken in for me which are some great slippers I was expecting. We had a light tea and settled to watch Foyle’s War for 2 hours before it was time to come through and start the blog. It’s now five to midnight and I’m ready to call it a day. I can’t as it’s a night really ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..antiques21

SNOOZE-YOU-LOSE

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I wish you all a happy end to Movember and a brilliant start to December. Hugs all round.xxxxxx

canal 3 smileMonkey 5 happy

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