Monthly Archives: March 2014

Bellows & Call of the Wild

Sunday. I’d been working from 5.10 am his morning and was just starting to think I might manage another 40 winks when Mike’s alarm clock went off. 7.30 am ON A SUNDAY!!!!! I shot through to the kitchen  and fed the fish, put the kettle on though I couldn’t hear any movement took my tabs and started making my own coffee. I was just starting t think the alarm had been an error when death walking arrived at the kitchen door and walked past me to drop his dirty mug in the sink. Since there wasn’t even a grunt and my mouth was still open in shock, I thought sleepwalking was a possibility. But,  as he walked past me on the return journey to the lounge he snorted and carried on through to his chair. I heard his lighter click and that first big intake of cigarette smoke soon followed by the hacking cough of a dedicated smoker. I took his coffee and put it on the little table between our chairs. ” Thanks Bro, I’m half awake now” he said. I had a couple more messages to finish from this set so I told him I’d be back in a few minutes.

Returning from the bedroom with the rest of my drink I asked Mike if he was intent on killing me since he’d nearly given me a heart attack. He cackled and told me “Probably” before saying he’d got up early to surprise me and see if there was anything I wanted to do. We still hadn’t managed t get a poker or brush for Tariq yesterday so I suggested the big car boot in Chester. Just at that moment the weather reminded us why that might not be a good idea. It came down by the bucketful. “Perhaps not then” I said.  A short discussion of anything indoors led nowhere until I remembered an Antique shop close to Wrexham at Gwersyllt called Acorn Antiques. You gotta love that name ( Victoria Wood sketch was in Acorn Antiques every week some years ago). It was agreed we’d try there and would leave about 9.15 to be there for 10.00 am opening.

We had to go past the place where we’ve carbooted twice recently and the pitch was empty which shows our choice of not going to a car boot sale was wise. We arrived at Acorn at 9.55 am and enjoyed a cigarette before going in. The place seemed huge and was a rabbit warren of dealer stalls. The owner spoke to us and when he realised we were first timers there, offered to instruct the cafe staff to give us a free drink when we were ready. That was a really nice gesture.We found a poker which was part of a set which was quite expensive and we already had some of the items from out expedition yesterday. But I managed to buy a small set of bellows and Mike found another gurgle jug so he was pleased. We left there after a coffee about 11.30 am and set off back to go to lunch. The gannet wasn’t too worried as he’d had another teasted toecake ( for which he hadn’t been charged) to hold him, but I was getting peckish. When we reached Holywell we decided to go straight to the Ivy and give Tariq the gifts and chose to go a way we hadn’t tried before. A few country lanes zig-zagging everywhere and we eventually hit the coast road at Ffynongroew which was not where Mike had hoped. Still it was fairly close.

The Ivy didn’t seem too busy and our table was free. The lovely Angie told us Tariq had just popped home but she came for a hug and a kiss quickly followed bu ‘our’ Helen. Mike laid out the fire dogs in the hearth and laid the long shovel and pincers across them. He then stood the companion set up and attached the brush, poker etc on the other side of the hearth. We’d just sat down when Tariq came bounding in to shake our hands. Believe me whatever I say about Tariq will never give you a true picture of his energy, his smile and the great friendliness he exudes. Angie brought our drinks over and we ordered lunch. More peple came in and we saw Shella flash past behind my back but a quick hello was all we could manage. Lunch came and was great. Mike and I went outside for a cigarette and Tariq showed us round the annexe which has a stage and which will soon be used for functions. Maybe small birthday parties as he doesn’t want to get a liquor license. Time to go back in and pay which means the usual arguments. I can’t get Angie to take payment as she doesn’t want to upset the boss and you almost have to fight him to take it. It was hugs all round before we left again with them asking if we’d be in next week. For once I had to say I don’t know.This is already starting to be a bad week for me . Helen already knew why and said she understood so I had nothing to explain. This is why I value the friendship received in my regular watering holes.

Mike dropped me at home and then toddled off on the next part of his journey. I started work straight away and was disappointed to find 102 messages in my box. I was at it until almost 5.00 pm when I broke for tea. I hung around to watch a film called Rio I think, a cartoon based on a blue macaw. I really didn’t enjoy it very much. Still, it was better than work just then. When it finished at 88.00 pm I had no excuse and had to come back through. Another 86 and so I’ve been here ever since. It’s now 11.20 pm and it’s time for a read.

Monday. 12 months ago today Ju was transferred from hospital to the hospice. She’d been in the hospital just 2 days and already they were having problems keeping pace with the need for morphine. The hospice was a nice place and she’d already had a respite period there so everyone knew her.  We were settled in a different room than before, without the view of the horses she loved so much but the angle of her bed would prevent her seeing that anyway. Ugo, Yvonne , myself and my nieces Karen and Jo moved from the hospital 24 hour guard with Ju to a 24 hour guard here. Some had to go to work but came back when they could.                                                                    Today will be a post that you’ll appreciate as it’s very short. Got up, worked, saw to fish, took meds, brought coffee back to desk and worked some more. I couldn’t even be bothered to get dressed as I’d no intention of going out, nor of having anyone in. Worked throughout the morning, had lunch and gave up for a few hours till 4.00 pm. At 6.00 pm I gave up again until 8.00 pm then came through to have a last blast at emails. I’m having a lot of problems with pop-up adverts and with mail returned undeliverable. I’m wondering if it’s time to close down altogether as the machine never seems to be protected for very long before some other beggar tries to infect it again. It gets quite frustrating and i’s not like I’m actually serving a purpose these days. I’ll have to give it some thought.

Tuesday. Another pleasingly short post for you. As yesterday I got up, worked, saw to fish etc, etc, etc. The mail kept me going most of the morning. Every time I thought I’d done, a little more would arrive. I knocked off at 11.00 am anyway. I sat around in my dressing gown until it was time to think of lunch and the settled on easy beans on toast. After washing up I saw there was a film on about 1.00 pm so I went back to the computer until then. I was hoping short bursts would mean no great big postbag before the end of the day. One of the gods on Mount  Olympus was chuckling already.                                                                                                                                                  At about 5 .00 pm I went back again and was delighted to find just 38 messages which I cleared in time for 6.00 pm when Yvonne and Reuben walked in dodging the rain. They’d left Ugo picking up my chips and his kebab.Hugs all round then I went to prepare for drinks when Ugo got here which was about ten seconds after I’d put sugar in his cup. I carried on and made his drink after a quick hug. I buttere bread as Ugo took his kebab through and added it to my plate of chips with a sausage which had sneaked onto the plate. Reuben was throwing me lots of smiles which I’m sure were meant to tell me what would happen to my chips the minute he could walk. I has a couple of chip butties and knew I’d had enough. I washed the plate and my butter coated hands and then took Reuben from Yvonne to sit with me. Smiles and giggles galore were my treat.

They had to leave just before 8.00 pm to get Reuben home to bed. It appeared he wasn’t very happy about leaving me and according to Yvonne was looking for me over her shoulder all the way to the car, and howling ten to the dozen. I wish I’d bothered to get dressed so I could have carried him to the car as usual. I’m not quite thinking straight. I headed straight for the bedroom and ran down the last pieces of post and commented on a few blogs. Nothing too arduous. Then I remembered Yvonne had said the new series of The Mentalist was on tonight so I shot through to watch it. I’d missed the first ten minutes but enjoyed the rest and I can always repeat it at the weekend if needs be. As soon s it was over I took my night tabs ( well remembered for a change) and came through to hear the Greek god chuckling away at my 83 messages. I’ve done half and come to write the post before continuing or I might put the post off till tomorrow ( it almost is tomorrow) and maybe forget things. So, I’m off to finish the mail off now and wish you all a Happy Good Night.

Wednesday. I’d fully expected today to follow the same line as the last two days but it wasn’t to be. For a start I didn’t manage to get up until 6.15 am. There was a lot of post so I hadn’t finished before going through at 8.00 am to see to the fish and enjoy my regular breakfast of meds and coffee. I came back to my desk to finish off but found myself wandering off to get washed and dressed first. The remaining messages took me up until just gone 10.00 am and a refresh brought me up enough to take me through till 11.00 am. I was getting towards the end when I came across a message from Care2 one of the cause and petition sites I use. It had an article about a Danish Zoo that came to my attention in February when it killed a healthy giraffe and then dismembered it in front of the public to feed to the other animals. I was truly angry over this because other zoos had offered to take the giraffe. Now they have killed 4 healthy lions including 2 cubs. Lions are a threatened species in the wild and yet we can afford to kill them in zoos. I had to blog about it. As it was a mid-week blog which I rarely do I expected a small reaction.

At 12.00 pm I stopped for lunch. Braised steak and mashed potato with petit pois. By the time I’d finished eating and washed the pots I felt tired and sat in the lounge away from the temptation of the computer and had a nap. It was 2.30 pm before I woke up. I went through to check the computer and Wallop, there was a flood of post. Many surprisingly were to do with this morning’s post. There were ‘Likes’ and comments galore. At the bottom of my post I have a flag counter that shows me the visitors from each country, but only once I think, not repeats of the same person. It’s been going wild and shows 350+ visitors from the US alone over the last month or so. At 4.30 I left just a couple and went back through to watch TV before my visitors come, and to have a little tea. Just before 6.00 pm I saw them walk past the window and I hopped to the kitchen to make drinks.

I heard Matt shout first as he came through the front door rapidly followed by his Dad who also called out. I answered both and brought drinks through as they answered the last couple of questions on a quiz show. First off as usual was the scrabble which went quite well for me and I won the first game. On the second game the tables were turned when Dil got a 7 letter word (Defrags ) which also got him the 50 point bonus for using all his letters. Thereafter Matt and I were playing catch-up and Matt more successfully than me. Needless to say I lost that game. Next up according to ritual was Nomination Whist. Matt and I started off well and Dil was dragging his feet. By the halfway point Matt had quite a lead over both of us and Dil was still well behind me. The gloves came off, I was trying to make Matt lose his call and he, innocent faced as he is had been doing it for ages and I’d only just caught on. By the time the game was over he’d already written THRASHED across the bottom and was thirty points ahead of me.

Time was getting on and it was easier to play Crazy 8’s than try for cribbage . It started off OK with me going out the first round but neither of the other two amassing many points. The insults started flying thick and fast as we each dropped 7’s on each other ( automatic 2 card pick up) Jack’s ( next player misses a go) and worse still, saving their 2’s and 3’s for the end ( accumulative pick up cards) so that Matt laid down a 3, Dil laid a 2 and shouted last card, I had a couple of 2’s and a 3 so thought I was safe and laid a 2 down, Matt laid another three on top and I expected Dil to scowl and pick up 10 cards, but no, Dil had a three which he laid down as his last card and I collected 13 cards which with those in my hand added up to 79 points. Matt’s score was about 7 making his score 12 and Dil had just the 12 he’s scored in the first round. After the next hand my score was 132 and Matt was almost wetting himself laughing so much. Even my most malignant stare/scowl didn’t make him bat an eyelid. I lost that game and Matt had won his second. It was time for them to go and I asked Dil what the chances were of dropping Matt at the bus stop. He didn’t. I tidied up, checked if Matt had left me any biscuits ( a couple only) and came through. There were 102 messages. By the time I picked myself up off the floor there were 112. It seemed the animal post was still attracting much attention. Good , it shows people are very caring. It took me until 12.40 am to finish those before I could write this post. So now as it’s well gone 1.00 am on Thursday I’m off to bed.

Thursday.   Another late start this morning. I got up at 5.30 am and jumped straight into the post after my visit to the loo. These days my bladder holds enough to water a lawn and seems to take as long to do as well. The annoying bits are the stops and starts like someone’s playing with the taps. The mail was still quite high so the blog on the animals has proved more popular than that on my life. I always thought people had good taste if you let them. One nice thing is that I’m not getting as much of the nuisance post as usual except for the constant reminders that I should sign into my bank account for various bits of info needed. I’m not sure whether the con-men are thick or whether they think I am, in that I wouldn’t know which banks I have an account with. They do make an effort to be very convincing though.                           I went out to see to the fish at 7.30 am as I know it takes a half hour to do my meds on a Thursday and I didn’t want them staring at me while I worked, wondering why it was day for me and not for them.

I took my coffee back to continue with the messages until about 9.30 am when I got dressed and finally left the house for the first time since Sunday. I needed my lottery tickets again as somehow those fools at the Lottery HQ seem to have mislaid my numbers .  Once back I ate the kitkat that had somehow fallen into my pocket and continued with my mail. I was reading someone’s blog which contained the following link. It was not what I was expecting but was  a real treat to watch.  http://www.wimp.com/bigsecret/  I forwarded it on to mt daughter thinking both she and Ugo would like it and would find it a bit inspiring. OK, OK, I confess, I guessed it would make her cry too, well, It almost had me so why not. What did catch me though was her response which I’m going to share only because it’s an example of how other people see us .  “You ARE that father!!!! Do you think I forget you buying little old dears a dessert? Paying forward a coffee for people who can’t afford their own? Starting a ‘hugging’ movement?  The world is a better place because ur in it daddy.” xxx So beware people, kids are like elephants, they never forget.

I have some music to dedicate as usual .

http://youtu.be/KOEZMjuoIEY   Muse- Feeling Good      To Yvonne, Karen and Jo. Stop worrying about me.

http://youtu.be/Viqr6KHwJjc  Fleetwood Mac- Albatross To Margaret Lynette Sharp. margaretlynettesharp.wordpress.com The best Bird theme I could find.

http://youtu.be/xEkIou3WFnM James Taylor- You Got a Friend. To  Renata Barcelos  renatafbarcelos.wordpress.com

http://youtu.be/KEXQkrllGbA  Bill Withers- Lean on Me  To Teagan Geneviene   teagansbooks.wordpress.com

http://youtu.be/7rkgm1yGgbM  The Moody Blues- Nights in White Satin. To All my Friends because I love this record.

After a lunch of two ham baps I had a snooze in my chair. I turned the TV on for company but it wasn’t very convincing since it neither hugged nor cuddled. The sleep didn’t last long but I couldn’t bear to return to work yet. This has been a 7 day a week job for a long time and even if I take a day out it waits for my return. I needed a little time for my own thoughts that have been overwhelming me all week. I waited until 5.00 pm before giving in. I’m sure that I’m taking a break at 10.00 pm to watch the new Person of Interest and may turn off the computer early. I’ll just wait until Gerry Rafferty finishes singing Baker Street then I’m off….Right, I’m off.

Friday. A 5.00 am start and so many emails I think the delivery man must have a hernia today. In all fairness a fair few of them were from after 10.00 pm last night. I suppose it serves me right for going part-time like I did. By 7.00 am I wasn’t making a deal of headway so the fish got an early treat as I went to make myself a coffee. I may have been distracted as from the taste of it I’ve doubled up on sweeteners. I returned to work and was dusting my hands of at 10.10 am. I got washed and dressed because I’ve no idea what time Mike is arriving and I daren’t look as though I’ve just got up when he arrives or I’ll never hear the end of it.

I had a break from the computer for a while and pottered around aimlessly until lunch time. After lunch it was straight back to work. I wanted to check the date of my insurance and request duplicate paperwork. I’ve requested it twice this week and had two different answers to the date and no response at all to my request for new documentation. Today was the third attempt so I’m hoping it’s lucky. For some reason it occurred to me that I’ve never told Lulu that Ju died. Since I want any royalties from her book ( Hello, my name is Cancer ) to go to charity I thought I’d better let them know today. But how? I had to email them in the end for instructions. Both of these jobs took a while and when I refreshed the mail there were a few there again. It was about 2.30 that I had a text from Mike with his usual ‘On Way’. I had time to finish the mail and watch a bit of TV before he arrived at 6.00pm complaining about the traffic and the bad weather. I hadn’t realised the weather was bad and had just relied on the forecast which had earlier in the week predicted a nice weekend.

I made drinks and we watched an antiques programme until it was time for me to take a shower. I made an effort to shift my behind because there was a second programme and I wanted to be back in time for the auction section when we see whether the experts make a profit or loss. They start the week with £200 and any profit over that over the week goes to charity. Then came a fascinating programme on Wales which changes a lot of perceptions about our history. It started with showing a burial from 30,000 years ago, the oldest human burial in Western Europe which had wonderful grave goods showing human life was considered to have a value. It showed proof of trade 8000 years ago with exquisite trade goods, and showed a wonderful 8 mtr high enclosure into which 8 millenium domes would have fitted, which was used for celebrations. We saw the oldest copper mines in the world and the tools that had been used which were of bronze.  Th invasion of the Romans about 40 AD I think, showed the various tribes fighting to keep the legions at bay and the King of the Ordovices ( Caradoc) being taken to Rome in chains where his speech was recorded and earned him his freedom. Of course the Romans wiped out the society of Britain and as the Romans accepted Christianity they forced that on the natives before leaving between 300-400 AD. As more invasions of England followed by the Anglo Saxons the old gods returned except to Wales where Christianity remained.  Saint Illtid created a form of educating church where supposedly St David and St Patrick were taught and they went on to create more teaching churches with other early saints which kept Ireland, Scotland and Brittany Christian and all speaking a form of Welsh.

At 10.00 pm it was time to come through to catch up on the evening’s missives and to bore you with this post. Now I’m done and going to bed for a read. I hope to find a new book tomorrow as I’m not enjoying the current one at all.

Saturday. 4.55 am today and such a pleasant surprise to open my mail and find just 52 messages. I was able to take my time and even refresh once without stress. I was finished just before 7.00 am and went to see to the fish and take my meds. I found that somehow, despite following my usual routine yesterday I’d forgotten my morning meds, yet I know I’d taken the sprays I have to take. Maybe I was just so anxious to get to coffee that I skipped a beat and yet I always put milk enough in my cup to take the tabs and still leave enough for coffee. Puzzling!! At 7.00 am Mike’s alarm went off and I prepared his cup for when he got up, then I almost fell over backwards when he walked in. I know there would have been a malicious smirk on his face if he’s been awake enough but as it was he just dumped his bottom in a chair, leaned forward and went to sleep again. I took his drink through and put it on the table next to him then left it to the smell to bring him round. I’d cleared the kitchen food waste and the recycling outside ready for the bin-men when a little voice said “I’s awake now”.

We left at about 7.45 am and decided to call in to the local supermarket for some of my favourite baps and some coffee pods before going off to do the shopping proper. We weren’t much behind time when we got to the main supermarket I like and within ten minutes had selected some new flowers for Ju and found a female member of staff making some whopping reductions to some children’s clothing. Don’t they say something about not looking blind gift horses in the donkey’s mouth, or something. I got 5 outfits for Reuben  even though one of them is a duplicate of one he has. It’s a Taz one and a favourite, and as I bought the matching hat last week I thought it worth duplicating for when one’s in the wash. Doing the shopping didn’t take long today so we had time for a coffee before w left to search out a suitcase for Mike.

When we reached Flint there were four shops that kept suitcases but needless to say we couldn’t find the exact one the fussy beggar wanted. We stopped for coffee where Mike had his usual insult session with Ceri and the air dripped innuendo. Daniel checked the blog on his phone when I mentioned Temptations was in last week and liked the photographs I’d used. After coffee as Mike and I left, I found a mug with Daniel’s singing brothers on which I bought for my niece. ( Don’t read that bit please Karen). We headed for the frozen food centre to get some pizzas and microchips and somehow about 20 lollies ended up in my basket. Fresh orange juice ice lollies, all we need now is some sunshine. We came out and there it was, sunshine galore. We headed home to unpack.

I did some work when we got back and Mike had a look at some things on Ebay. He reminded me of the time and that I was due to eat. I hadn’t thought about it and wasn’t too bothered but that didn’t sit well with him as he decided on The Ivy. There were no complaints from me as I got my jacket on again. Mike even suggested as the sun was shining I wore my sunglasses.  Good idea as I get headaches in the sunshine. We had a wonderful lunch, wonderful for m because they made what I wanted even though it wasn’t on the menu. It’s not too strong to say I love going there and I love my friends there. Tariq, Shella ( who wasn’t there today) Angie ( my sophisticated lady) Helen ( my fabulous crazy cat lady) and Dot who I only met today but who I know has helped make my meals but is very shy about coming out. The minute we arrived there Tariq came out to shake our hands, the minute we left he was there with hugs, of which I got two today and for which I was grateful. Talking to Helen I was almost in tears today as she’s knows the strain of this weekend.

We headed off to Rhyl to try for suitcases there but as we left sans suitcase decided to go home the pretty route. Part way Mike suggested a trip to Jackson’s which is a nursery I’ve mentioned before. Our ghast was flabbered when we got there at 4.30 pm and found the cafe closed. Aargh. Time for a quick look round and then homeward bound again. It was 5.15 pm when we got in and I came straight through to work in the hope of getting to the lounge by 6.00 pm. There were huge sniggers when someone checked and found there were 62 messages. Well, I finished them in record time and refreshed ( idiot) to pull up another 42. With fortitude ( fiftytude if you allow for inflation) I pressed on and was done by 6.20 pm. I was puzzled though as I’d been making some comments in red on some of my mail and thought it looked a very subdued orange today. I wasn’t keen and wondered what the hell was wrong with my computer now. For some strange reason I even checked my printer wasn’t turned on???? Not able to solve the problem I left the computer and turned off the bedroom light and headed for the lounge. Heck, I hope it wasn’t going to rain but it was awfully dark. Finally I proved what Mike has always maintained. The light’s on but no-one’s home. I was still wearing the sunglasses. Someone thought it hilarious.

I watched TV with Mike and we demolished a BFG between us, no not a giant, a black forest gateau ( diabetic approved of course). Much later on we even found room for egg custards. I just ate to keep him company of course. About 10.00 pm hee was complaining of a headache and feeling a bit cold. Since I’m far too mean to turn the heat on I sent him to bed and repaired back to the bedroom for the last shot at the mail and the blog. Here it is. I hope you all have a fantastic week………………………Hugs…..

All Smiles

All Smiles

 

My boss and his boss

My boss and his boss

 

 

At the park

At the park

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Animal Outcry.

As most of you know I rarely do mid-week posts unless something comes along that has me boiling. Well something has, and I am !

In February, Copenhagen Zoo caused an international outcry when they killed a healthy young giraffe called Marius. Citing the fact that it couldn’t go to another zoo because of inbreeding the staff then dissected Marius in front of a crowd and fed him to the lions. I don’t know whether there’s a perverted sense of justice about this but this week they killed 4 healthy lions. Two adults and their cubs.

With Marius I know that there were offers from other zoos to take him and surely they must have been aware of the gene pool so Marius would not have been a problem. In my eyes though Marius was a prime candidate for a return to the wild if the zoo were worried about interbreeding problems. The argument over the lions is different. The two older lions were put down because of what they call a generational shift ( meaning a new lion was now in charge?) and the two cubs put down because they were too young to fend for themselves.

Groups including the British-based Captive Animals Protection Society, Denmark’s own Organisation Against the Suffering of Animals, and Animal Rights Sweden all came out against Marius’ death this year. I don’t see that these groups would be so active if there weren’t a problem with the management with animals in zoos. In fact they must be extraordinarily busy since my reading tells me that European zoos alone kill 5000 healthy animals a year. And European zoos are meant to be the best at looking after their animals.

We take these animals from the wild, rear them, breed them and then kill them when it suits us. Its wrong!! I can see the argument for zoos as educational for children though I don’t care for them as a source of entertainment. None of these animals has the space of the wild nor the environment. Since there are many educational films now on every aspect of animals living in the wild, maybe it’s time zoos were closed down when their animals pass on naturally. I’d rather that than the slaughter of healthy animals.

People who agree that this killing is wrong can sign an appeal to Copenhagen Zoo to stop this killing. There are at the time of writing almost 40,000 signatures to present to them. Please let your name be one of them.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/684/789/994/tell-copenhagen-zoo-to-stop-killing-healthy-animals/?z00m=20915833

I also read an appeal today to Richard Branson. He is fully committed to the conservation of animals and has supported an end to the capture of whales and dolphins for aquaria. The problem is that the Virgin Company sell trips to SeaWorld where captive orcas entertain people daily. Most live until their twenties in captivity and yet in the wild a female can live into it’s eighties.  I’m going to borrow two other facts from the Care2 petition site as well.

  • Only 6 cents in every $100 of SeaWorld’s annual revenue goes towards conservation.
  • An orca at SeaWorld would have to swim around the main pool 1,400 times to match the distance travelled daily in the wild.

I find this kind of treatment sickening where animals are penned in spaces far too small for them. If you’d like to ask Sir Richard to stop doing trips to SeaWorld here’s the link to that petition.      http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/729/677/443/

There’s a petition to try and save the endangered water vole in the UK. I’m borrowing his information from the Care2 site

Have you ever seen a water vole paddling along our waterways? If so, you’re one of the lucky ones. Water voles are the UK’s fastest-declining wild mammal population and sightings of them are increasingly rare. If things continue this way, we’ll soon lose these captivating animals forever.

The good news is we can do something to save them.

The problem is simple: Water voles are losing their homes. The soft-soil banks where they build their burrows are eroding, leaving water voles with no safe place to shelter their young and hide from predators. As a result, they are quickly dying out.

Together, we can stop this from happening. With your help, we can recreate water voles’ lost habitats, converting eroded banks into lush areas of vegetation where they can safely feed and rear their young. Our initial efforts have already shown signs of success, but the process is taxing and we need as much public support as possible to expand.

And we must act quickly – the water voles don’t have much time.

The Water Vole.

The Water Vole.

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As a final note, for my U.S. and Canadian friends. There are a lot of petitions on this site to try and save wolves which are yet again being hunted in some parts to extinction. Please remember, we took the wolves land not the other way round. They need to be protected to live in the wild and I’d ask if your State is one of those which is violating their protection and making wolf hunting legal, please find and sign the appropriate petition to let the State Legislature know that you don’t agree with their policy. If on the other hand you do agree with their policy then remember, yo’re the one who has to explain to your children why not only did you allow the species they’ll never see get wiped out but you actively helped.

Animals need our protection because in most cases they have no natural protection against the most lethal species on the planet- US.

 

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Future photos & Gurgle Jugs

Sunday. It was 5.56 this morning when I started. Since I’m on my own at this time of the day there was no rush. I was likely to be on my own for some time yet. I decided to break off at 7.00 am for meds and coffee and more importantly for the fish. Guilt at completely forgetting them yesterday made me decide to give them a longer run today and anyway, an earlier feed would confuse the little monsters. It was Mike who realised I’d forgotten them yesterday when we got back from Blakemere and he went to make a drink. Of course the sadistic beggar delighted in pointing out my memory is going.

I took my coffee back to my desk and continued answering comments on the blog and commenting on other posts. Despite my chair having supportive arms ( great for when I nod off) I almost fell out of it when Mike walked in at 8.00 am. It was at least another two hours before I expected him. I made him his first coffee then rushed around to get dressed.  I heard him put the kettle on a few minutes later and then go to wash and dress himself. He’s very good since I taught him how to do his own buttons and put a big L and R on his shoes. Shame I didn’t do it on his feet as well though………. By the time he started on his second drink I’d finished the mail and could go through to join him. He’d decided to try the car boot again so I raided Reuben’s piggy bank ( I put it all back honestly Yvonne) for some change and off we went.

It was beautiful going over the mountain into the Wheeler Valley and seeing the sun shining in patches on the opposite side. We drove along to Love Lane in Mold and parked up. The car boot occupies most of the car park there. I found a brand new keyboard as a spare for the next time my nails take the letters and numbers off to make writing messages a guessing game. I paid just £2.00 for it. I’m sure I got something else too but for the life of me I can’t remember what. I was very excited to find a gurgle jug for Mike but we were both disappointed to find it had been repaired and not too well so it wasn’t bought. Still, we did find two great gurgle jugs yesterday……..

Gurgle Jug- Dartmouth Pottery

Gurgle Jug- Dartmouth Pottery

Also by Dartmouth Pottery

Also by Dartmouth Pottery

Dartmouth Pottery made the originals and they make quite a few colours. Other makers including Wade also made them and they make a great collection……………………

When we finished at the car boot we headed for Flint where we bought some chocs before heading in for a coffee at Temptations. Daniel and Trudie were on again and I was able to ask him if I could take a few pictures next time I go in to let you all see where I eat and drink as suggested by one of my friends. We had a nice break and then nipped next door where we found the perfect curtains for Yvonne. Silver, lined and a 90″ drop.

I needed some tins of pineapple so Mike drove me the 200 yards to the shop and reminded me to pick up more chocs. Having got what I needed we had a run down to Gronant along the Coast Road and lunched at The Ivy Emporium. Everyone came out to greet us from the kitchens and Shella offered to do a meal that wasn’t on the menu but which I love. Mike had a lamb shank with dauphinoise potatoes. Just being there is a treat knowing that Tariq, Shella, Angie and Helen will always come to say hello and there are hugs both coming and going. A little later Mike dropped me off and headed for his Dad’s. I headed straight for the mailbox on the computer and worked till about 4.00 pm when suddenly the front door opened.My heart stopped until a pushchair appeared followed by Yvonne and then Ugo. An unexpected treat. Ugo made himself something to eat while Reuben and I inspected his refection in the mirror. Ugo demolished half a pack of chocolate biscuits with his drink while Reuben was not happy at being missed out. He showed his displeasure on my beard, sideburns and moustache . OUCH. Ugo liked his git, Yvonne loved hers and also the curtains so I didn’t have to save them till Tuesday. They left about half five and I returned to mail till 6.00 when I gave up to watch TV for a while.

A text from Mike for info kept me occupied for a while but after that I watched a film until 9.00 pm when it was back to work. Here I am at 11.45 pm caught up and ready for a read. I wish you all goodnight and sweet dreams.

Monday. This is one of the first pieces of mail I opened this morning.  http://youtu.be/x1qQdjPyagU  I’m sorry Andrea, but here is scientific evidence that when you game too much you can no longer tell real life from the game.

On another note, for all you historical buffs, a new piece of work by one of our more classical composers came to light that was videoed at the time and was lost. I think the scene may be a Viennese Concert room but perhaps may be better identified by the costume.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT3SBzmDxGk

So my day started well though there was a goodly chunk of mail. In no rush I took it easy, breaking off at 8.00 am for the fish, mu uppers and a cuppa. I came back and carried on going until I finished just before 9.30. I got ready and took a walk to the chemist to drop off a prescription and then called in at Pauline’s for some baps. The bread kind that is. One of my friends suggested  that I should mention that in the UK baps is also a euphamism for boobs, knockers, boobies and buzooms. I assure you Pauline stocks none of these items. See Lottie, not a single snigger from the audience but I might now get a visit from the respectability police. Coming home again I found the postman had been. It’s a new one these days and I can’t make head nor tail of his times. Anyway, he delivered the missing credit card holder that stops cards being copied as it’s metal. He also, much to my delight, delivered a letter from my cousin in California. I haven’t heard from her for a couple of years though Christmas cards always come. I know when we retire things often get forgotten but I’m so pleased to hear from her. I dashed off an answer and then walked back up to the Post Office to send it par avion. Things were so much easier when she worked and had a computer. Her son lives on the East Coast and I haven’t seen him since he was about 10 years old, he’s 47 this year !!

I worked till lunchtime at twelve then made something to eat and sat down to watch a bit of TV. All mindnumbing stuff usually at this time of the day. After I’d eaten I washed the pots and sat down again with my eyes closed for a minute. What a long minute that was. It was gone 3.00 pm before I got back to work and the post box was full again. That took until 5.45 to clear but it was worth the effort. I made some tea which translates as I had a sandwich ( a bap) and opened a tin of fruit. Washed up again and watched Law and Order. I stayed with TV until 9.00 pm before coming back through to see who was still expecting me to work at this time of night. More of you than I thought it seems. Time to go get some beauty sleep ( I heard that remark about there not being THAT much time). Yvonne and Reuben are coming tomorrow as I have blood tests , no not Reuben biting me again. Proper blood tests so I may meet them in town and go from there. Maybe we have time for a small shop before coming home as Lis is visiting then……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Susperbaby 5 USE.

parky 2 USE

Two generations

Two generations

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Wednesday. I didn’t get up till 6.00 am but who cares, there’s no one to tell tales on me here. I worked for two hours and then went through the daily routine. The fish were happy to be back at normal time. How the heck are they going to cope with the clocks going forward and them losing an hour. I took my coffee back and finished the first round of mail. Next on the list was getting dressed. I put a waistcoat on as it looked a bit nippy out there this morning. About half past nine my phone burped and Yvonne said she was on the bus. Allowing for traffic,  a little rain, the driver’s ciggie break and an outbreak of dandruff in Kowloon I arranged to meet her in Holywell at 10.45 am. Two hours before the bloodtests but time enough for coffee and a spot of lunch.  I reached Holywell with a following wind at 10.15 am and decided to look round a shop. It was as well I came out early as I saw Yvonne’s bus pull in at 10.30 am. I’d forgotten my phone and might have missed her.

Reuben was awake and I got one smile before he started to look at me with some suspicion. I’m obviously not his Dad who he adores, at least we know he’s not colour blind. I took a walk round another shop while Yvonne visited the bank. He please must have fallen on deaf ears because they joined me a minute later. The total faff surrounding a name change at a bank is amazing. You now need to make an appointment to do it even when the staff are free. She’ll have to do that at her home branch now. We spotted my favourite word ‘SALE’ on the window of a clothes shop and Ihad to turn a deaf ear to her moans at me in order to get Reuben a couple of things. Then we headed for lunch. Kassidy’s was fairly quiet so we found a nice table and got Reuben out of his pushchair and onto my knee where he promptly grabbed two handfuls of my facial hair and pulled. Yvonne ordered a strawberry tea with a baked potato and tuna. I had a pot of tea and a b***n sandwich. Reuben has some milk, blown back out with a raspberry and some dinner which went the same way. I just had to tell people they were natural flecks of colour in my jacket.

The women all thought Reuben was a Cutie and Chris came out of the kitchen to coo a little. Meanwhile he has such a death grip on my moustache I had to offer a corner of my bread to occupy his hands. Just as well he didn’t realise the bread was sans content. As we finished there and Reuben was once again in his trolley, poor Yvonne had to move furniture around to clean up the floor.Reuben had made a bit of a mess too. We left and went to get him some more baby food before heading back up town. It was still just mid-day so we had a wander round Lidl. It must have taken longer than we thought as I had to leave them at the till and fly to get to the hospital. I made it. I didn’t have long to wait before it was over again for a couple of months. I must be nearly empty now though. I came out of the hospital slowly looking about for a missing daughter and grandson. I was halfway back to town before I met them. Yvonne had missed the hospital ( just one road away). How anyone can lose a building that big I don’t know.

We got home safely and my phone had a message to say Lis wasn’t well and wasn’t able to come out. That meant I could be bullied by Reuben without a break now. He did eventually nod off, no doubt knackered from beating me up. As Yvonne held him on her lap I nipped outside for a ciggie and then did some messages so tonight’s batch wasn’t too bad. My prescription drugs were delivered and I took Reuben when the phone rang and it was the Gas Company to sort out my problems. Yvonne got all my queries answered and someone is coming out in April to assess moving the meter. Also, towards the end of April they’ll assess my payments again an d issue a refund for the credit’s on my accounts. Just as well since they’ve changed the direct debit for gas up by £20 a month despite owing me and not the other way round.

It was 7.00pm before Ugo arrived tonight since the traffic was bad an then the local chippie was closed and he had to go back into town. I was about to start on Rueben’s arm when he turned up. I couldn’t finish it all but Ugo had no problem with his plus his chocolate puddings. Reuben used great big Doe eyes but couldn’t get a taste. It was 7.45 pm before they left and baby was tired. Still he was as good as gold when I put him in his car seat. I hugged them all and they’d gone. I came back in and tried to make it look like a herd of buffalo hadn’t just passed through then straight in here to start work. I’m up to date for now but think I’ll call it a night. It’s a Night ! Off to read a book.

Wednesday. It was a late start this morning as I lay in bed until almost 7.30 am. I was awake but not motivated at all. When I finally moved, I had time to turn the computer on, nip to the loo and then do about four messages before going to feed the fish. I took my coffee back to the computer and resisted the urge to go back to bed. Just before 9.30 I got washed and dressed to go out for some baps, ciggies and a kitkat that miraculously appeared in my hand at the till. I did manage to get as far as home before eating it. I worked on until the first batch of post was cleared at about 10.15 am then decided to go through to the lounge. Unusually I made a second coffee and sat down to watch a film about George Washington and the Continental Army that was about to start.  I was no more than a couple of minutes into it when glancing out of the window I saw my nephew David approaching and he was carrying a box.

Intrigued I went and opened the front door for him. I was greeted with his usual smile and he placed the box in my arms telling me it was something he’d picked up free of charge ( I never believe him) at the weekend. As we went through to the lounge and he headed off to make himself a cuppa I found the box was full of discs from the front of various Family Tree and Genealogy magazines. There look to be some excellent records there which may help in my quest to get past some stumbling blocks. I’m really very grateful. Though he wouldn’t accept anything for them, there was a small job on the computer I was at least able to help him with. He’s not been lucky enough to develop the kind of interest as I have and therefore has no idea what to do sitting in front of the screen. A shame really as he has the time to become really good. He wouldn’t stay for lunch but left to go and do some shopping before going home.

I had lunch and then spent the early part of the afternoon thinking of my nieces Karen and Jo. They’re in my mind quite often and I’m just looking forward to seeing them in early April. It’s just hit me what an odd month that will be. Mike away, my nephew Lee away, I think Yvonne and Ugo are away for a week of it and then Ugo’s mother will be staying with them over Easter. My world will be quite empty except when the card sharps visit on a Wednesday.Talking of which, that’s today. I did some catch-up work between about 3.00- 5.30 pm then went to put a quiz on the box while I awaited my visitors.  Dil and Matt turned up at about 5.45 pm and watched the end of the quiz while I made drinks. As it finished I erected the card table and set out the Scrabble. We’d just managed two words each when Lee turned up so we abandoned the game and started again with all four of us. Lee was telling us about going to Japan with his lovely wife in April for a month. Then the subject turned to the problems in The Ukraine and also the missing airliner. Concentration was not on the game for a change. I can remember that I lost and Dil won. Out came the cards for Nomination Whist, I lost again. This is becoming habit forming now. Dil suggested as there were four of us that perhaps we play partners at cribbage. I had Lee as my partner and he’s not played before. I found it hard to try and explain the basics .The game was progressing well and it had been Matt’s deal so his was the box. ( For non-players, the box is a second hand the dealer gets). When we’d played the lay-down part and it came to counting points in the hand Matt ‘accidentaly’ mixed his hand and his box together so Dil ( his partner) helped sort out what he’s played and passed the two hands back to him. His hand had some thing like 6 points, but when he turned the box over it was a 24 pointer with two eights, a seven and a six with a seven as the turn-up card. He admitted he’s not sure if he separated the two hands correctly but it would have been criminal not to have the box with the cards it now had. The cheating didn’t save them as Lee and I won ( Come on, I was doing the scoring). They left at just gone 9.30 pm.

I came through once I’d tidied up and stored what few biscuits Matt had left me. ( One I think). I’ve caught up with the mail again and managed this post for 11.30 pm so I have time for a short read now. Before I go though, it interests me to ask how many of you still play games at home either with your children or just as adults. With the advent of the computer I’m sure lots of people game, but alone these days or in RPG’s on the net and I just wonder if the social aspect is being lost with all the laughs that can be had. Night all.

……………….1004520_709315322452748_1750083583_nWhat’s the blank to make a 7 letter word. Picture credit the Scrabble Site …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Thursday. Sleep at about 1.00 am and up again at 3.10 am so I went to see if I could nod off on my chair in the lounge. Fat Chance ! I’m not especially nosy but every movement outside caught my attention. One elderly male neighbour turned his light on and walked stark naked into his lounge. Hell, I wish he’d used an iron. Lucky for me the light was soon turned off again but I’d already put dark glasses on so I could see nothing more. It wasn’t too long before some dozy beggar woke the birds and their morning chorus started.  I gave up trying to sleep and came through to the computer. I never open the curtains there as the screen faces the window and it makes it extremely hard to see. At least there are no distractions.

I saw to the fish at 8.00 am and spent half an hour sorting my drugs for the week before making myself a coffee and taking it back through to continue with my mail.  The latest annoyance are messages that look genuine until opened which then say my payment owed of $212.50 ( or similar ) is ready to be paid if I just click the link. Since I know no-one owes me anything it’s a pain not being able to just delete them. The wind started howling outside in a repeat of yesterday’s gales but today the rain came too. I’m not going to complain as the Spring flowers need a drink and we’ve had a reasonable run of dry and sunny weather. It does sound awful out there though. By 9.30 am I’d finished and got myself ready to go out. Unfortunately I need my lottery tickets and some biscuits. At Pauline’s shop I met Darren the postman who said he had a parcel for me. Amazing since the item was only ordered yesterday. I texted my nephew David to let him know and had a response later to say I’d have a visit tomorrow.

More mail and blog comments when I got back and the parcel was delivered. I put it to one side for David to open in the morning. Lunchtime came and I fed my face on a lamb shank. Thanks Asda, it was very tasty. As soon as I’d washed up I turned on an old film and promptly nodded off. I didn’t wake till 3.00 pm. On checking the computer I found a message from Yvonne to thank me for a parcel she’d received along with a message from me. It was full of bags of apple crisps apparently. I confess here and now that if Yvonne hadn’t told me about the message in the parcel I might have denied it was me. I’ve only got a vague recollection of doing it a couple of weeks or so ago. I worked until 5.30 pm then went for tea before Law and Order started. I watched TV until 8.00 pm and then came back through to find 82 pieces of mail waiting. I also wanted to order something from Amazon.com for delivery in the U.S.- it wouldn’t let me so I went to my account with Amazon.co.uk. It let me get through the order process then refused to send the good abroad even though .com import via the same firm. Aarrrgghh. In the end I went to  http://www.englishteastore.com/ where if you live in the U.S. you can get a great selection of British food…….including my Border Dark Chocolate Gingers. It’s probably not the only place but they’ve been excellent with their service so far. Anyway, someone is due to get a nice birthday gift soon. Mail done, blog done, it’s time for a short read I think.

Friday. It was 3.55 today and even though I was reluctant, I knew I wouldn’t nod off again just yet. It was worth starting on the post to give myself  a little leeway later. I worked up to 6.15 which brought me up to date with the 82 waiting in my box so I took a chance and lay on top of the bed. It seemed to take a while but I did manage and stayed there until 7.20 am. I’d had a treat so I gave the fish one and fed them early today. There were only 30 new messages when I got back so I was able to get washed and dressed before 9.30 as I’d no idea what time David would call for his parcel. As it happened I worked on and off between mail and family tree until almost 11.30 am when I decided to go through to the lounge  I’d just stood up from my desk when there was a knock at the door and David came in. He was going to Broughton Park near Chester to a shop he’s heard about and asked if I’d like the ride out. Me- Shops, what do you think? I was in the car before he was. It turned out the shop is my favourite shop there, it’s called Home Sense and has really nice and unusual gifts, furnishings etc. It’s partnered with TKMAXX.

David was after some items from the sale displays and went straight to the appropriate shelves. I paused a little and enjoyed some of the wonderful Japanese style furniture and some of their ceramics. I was just catching up to David when I saw some tea bags with green tea, pomegranate and cranberry that I thought Yvonne might enjoy. Then a cute little table caught my eye with a glass top under which sits an ornate clock so there’s no chance of not knowing what time it is if you’re having a cuppa. Lastly I saw a sale if the craft section and found a sweet little motto and surrounding leaves that go on a wall I thought  might look quite sweet in the hallway. I’ll have to ask Mike what he thinks as his hands are steadier than mine. Having finished in there we nipped next door to have a coffee and sandwich as my lunchtime meds were late.  David ran me home again then headed off to collect some thing to go on his next Charity Car Boot Stall. I’m always happy to donate stuff to that as he does it for the hospice Ju was in at the end. I think he’s brave considering the last traces of his own cancer haven’t been eradicated yet.

I worked all afternoon on the mail and was glad to see a couple of KDP Royalty payments for last month. I stopped at 5.00pm to make a sandwich and watch a quiz. I wasn’t sure what time Mike would arrive as he’d gone to his Dad’s today to sort some problems for him.  He still wasn’t here at 7.00pm so I didn’t get a decent hairwash this week but I can do so tomorrow. The man has nails and uses them. I get my hair washed and my head scratched at the same time. I really miss being able to do that. It’s one of those odd things that brings on an angina attack, like raising my arms above my head sometimes does. It’s as well I don’t have to cheer Wales beating England at rugby these days or I’d be in trouble. He eventually arrived at 8.30 halfway through Agents of Shield which he likes so we had to start it again at 9.00 pm so he could see it all. I decided to head through here then as he complained he hadn’t had much of my company. No Comment. I finished the mail which was a measly 29 this time, had chance to do my blog and am now going to read a little more about King Alfred and the Danes. See you all tomorrow.

Saturday.I’ve already been threatened with exposure in the comments so I’ll confess my guilt up front and admit I didn’t get up this morning until Mike’s alarm went off and woke me at 7.00 am. I have no idea what happened but as I went to the loo a voice chirped out a good morning to me as I passed his bedroom. I was frankly amazed he was awake and thought he must realize I’d only just got up. A few minutes later as I was preparing drinks Mike came to the kitchen. He said something along the lines of  “Aren’t you surprised I’ve come through for my drink?” My less than charitable response was ” I’m surprised yo’re not  waiting for the second alarm before moving at all.” I expected a sharp retort as usual but was rewarded with ” Huh, starting on me when I’ve  just got up.” I should have bitten my tongue off at that point but no, I had to open my mouth, “No, I’m starting on you when I’ve just go up.” That was it. The realisation of what I’d said registered and I knew I’ll not live this down easily and won’t be able to tease him about not getting up in future. It strikes me now that I’m sure he drugged me last night.

We left at about 7.45 am and my computer wasn’t turned on. All I could think about was unanswered messages and how many more there’s be when I got home. We arrived at the store just before 8.00 am and I’ve never seen anyone look so smug. Nothing at all I could say. We shopped, we had coffee ( mine was iced) and we left. First stop on the way back was Flint and we picked up a couple of things I needed from Home Bargains, a brilliant shop, then headed for another coffee at Temptations. No Ceri today as somehow she’s managed to get another weekend off to avoid us. Anyway, as per a suggestion here are some shots of Temptations for you.

Temptations

Temptations 

Daniel at work

Daniel at work

Great Staff

Great Staff

Temptations to resist

Temptations to resist

I sort of promised I wouldn’t call Mike a pig in this post so let me just say The Gannet has a teasted toecake as well as both his and my biscuits with his drink. He did allow me to have real sugar with my drink bless him.  There was a good conversation going on about learning to drive and before I could stop him Mike took his revenge early and related a story about some unforgiving hedges upcountry that a certain nameless person became acquainted with. When we left Flint it had just begun to rain so we drove home to unpack the shopping. That didn’t take too long as I can’t afford food these days with all the clothes I bought recently. So, I left Mike showing his feminine side sorting out Ju’s flowers and putting them in a vase. He let me escape to the computer to check how bad the mail was. I was very relieved to find it less than 100 and made a start. I’s almost done at 12.30 pm when Mike came to see what we were doing about lunch. I knew Tariq had made him a brilliant and kind offer to help make a lid for his fishtank that he could use a new lighting system on. I also knew he’d bought and brought with him  a piano hinge to fit on the lid so The Ivy Emporium seemed the best place ( as well as being a great choice anyway). As soon as I finished the mail we headed off. Just as well as I was starving and needed my lunchtime tablets. The traffic was atrocious as the coast road seems to have work parties digging up or laying down every hundred metres. We eventually arrived and found a table. Angie came over to say hello and Mike went in search of Tariq who as usual was working on one of his projects. I followed to say hello to Tariq and to ask Mike what he wanted me to order. “Jerked pork” came the response and I promise I bit my tongue.

As I got back to the table the lovely Helen came for a welcome hug . As she headed back to the kitchen I took the chocolate I’d brought with me to the counter just as Tariq came to take my order and sort the drinks. I have to say I haven’t had the great pleasure of meeting many people like Tariq and he did bring a lump somewhere when he made a comment later about moving from the friends stage to family which is actually a fairly good way of describing my feelings- and I’m supposed to be the wordsmith in this family. Lunch came and was dutifully eaten, though Mike said he was surprised I could finish considering I had two lunches……completely untrue.

Ivy Empori

Ivy Empori

Ivy 2

Tariq the barista

Tariq the barista

Where the puds are.

Where the puds are.

After leaving we had a change and headed for Prestatyn where we scoured the charity shops and an antique shop looking for a set of fire digs and some fire irons. We were only partly successful. On the way home Mike stopped off at a small antique place you may remember from a couple of weeks ago and managed to find a small set of fire irons. Not what we wanted exactly, but they’ll do for now. We arrived home safely and Mike went off to watch the football results on TV so I was able to gt on with some work. By the time I’d finished the results were in and Mike wasn’t looking too happy. It’s not that his team had lost, they hadn’t, but that the competition in the league had won so convincingly they were ahead of his team. He improved a bit when his lot won 2-0 a little later after a late kick off. I went through to watch a little TV with him and then had a shower after he’d been kind enough to was my hair again. A bit more TV and some supper brought us to 10.00 pm when I’ d no choice but to come finish the mail off. That done I could start on the weekly epistle which I’m happy to say is now done. I wish you all a fantastic weekend, or what’s left of it and a brilliant new week, hopefully full of Hugs.

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Hamunex and Zorba the Greek’s Dance.

Sunday. My usual Sunday morning treat is reading the responses to last night’s blog and thanking you for commenting. It’s a Sunday and it’s sacrosanct. I was therefore paralysed with shock this morning when Mike’s alarm went off at 7.00 am on a SUNDAY !!!!!  The feeling did return to my limbs and the blood start flowing round my brains again when there had been no movement for a quarter hour other than to switch it off. For a few moments I thought he’d taken himself and the impetuous offer of a car boot seriously. My laughter rang from a rafter (  just practising the poetry there and it seems I need to ).  I followed my usual timetable and chatted to the fish for a few moments, sharing with them the reason for the hilarity. I took my coffee through to carry on with the mail and saw no reason to wash and dress just yet. I’d settled down into a nice little rhythm when I heard the unbelievable sound of movement and it wasn’t even half past nine. I checked, and yes, his bed was definitely empty, I didn’t hear crying so a) he hadn’t fallen out of bed or b) he didn’t know the time. I heard the loo flush so I ran ( OK, my estimation of a run) to the kitchen and put the kettle on. Mike would say it didn’t suit me so I put it sown again and plugged it in. He was in his chair when I brought his coffee through and I stayed there for a few minutes. As there were no insults forthcoming I knew he wasn’t truly awake so I went back to clear my screen and get dressed.

As his human side emerged, and to be fair it does have a long way to come, the insults started about the volume of my snoring last night.According to Mike, it’s only the fact his bed is wider than the doorway that stops it being pulled out as I draw in breath. He didn’t complain about anything I’d said in the blog so I assumed he saw only the glowing compliments I usually put. Maybe that’s why he told me he was only up so early for my benefit. I confess I did choke slightly on the use of the word early but as his slitted eyes were glaring at me with a definite red tinge I hid it behind a hand and innocently asked what he meant. “Why, the car boot I promised if you want” he told me. I told him how kind a thought it was and I’d love to go to a car boot ( to help them clear the pitch after the cars had gone) and by 10.00 am we were on our way.

To be fair to Mike there were still  two cars there when we arrived so we had a liesurely stroll round them. I picked up a little stand that displays the suit in play at cards for Whist and Bridge. That should help on a Wednesday night. I saw a rocking hose activity centre on one car site and decided to think about it. Big mistake, By the time I’d decided to get it , it was no longer there.I forebore from mentioning the benefits of getting to a car boot sale early using the more common definition of that word. Anyway, from there we decided to hear home via Flint so Mike could exchange a non-working remote control for a TV he bought a couple of weeks ago. That was done quite quickly so we decided to have a coffee. Today it was Trudie and Sian behind the counter and Mike was having a great time laughing and joking with them both. Time was getting on so we decided to go straight to lunch. We’re a mile down the road and still arguing about where to go until we’d passed the entrance to the Blossoms. Mike put the hood down on the car so we could enjoy the unusual spring sunshine and with chattering teeth I reminded him I’d no sweets to take to the Ivy but as he staccatoed back, it was OK as I’d taken a tin yesterday.

The Ivy car park was full. As we’d drawn up a young couple had just been going in. By the time we’d parked and walked to the door they were just coming out again saying there wasn’t an empty table. We thanked them but went in anyway. I nipped to the loo and as I came out again Mike was just settling down in our usual seats and the couple that had been there were just leaving. I suppose he smiled at them which is enough to scare anyone off. Tariq came to say hello before bustling off to serve someone. Helen came flying out to say hello and give a hug and Angie waved saying she’d be there in a minute. She came to take our order and as my gums were still thawing out I asked for cfffee and what sounded like Hamunex but she knew what I wanted anyway, she also knew what Mike wanted anyway but luckily for her she has a husband. Mike had a Salmon Burger I think and now I could feel my teeth again my order would have been translated as ham and eggs  ( with thick cut chips and peas). We allowed a couple of brave cyclists to share our table and Mike chatted about their ride today. They’d come quite a way but they said it was worth it for the hot chocolate. Our lunches came and the lady cyclist accepted a chunky chip from me. The meal was as nice as it had been yesterday and the Ivy was doing a roaring trade. I was glad, except it meant we had little chance to chat to Tariq. We did see Shella and manage a few words though which was great. I really must try and see if I can get some of our favourite pork pies for her.

Mike dropped me at home and went off to his Dad’s. I ploughed straight into work until about 4.30 when I found my eyelids needed some study from the inside. I turned on the TV for the Tomorrow People and away I went. There was  afilm due to start when I woke up so I turned over. It didn’t last long. Not my kind of film at all so I turned to repeats of Big Bang Theory and saw one I must have missed. At 8.00 pm I turned off and came to attack the mail. I finished that just before 11.00 pm in time to do this and have a little read. Just had a text to say Mike home safely and will be up late on Friday.

Monday. I got up at 3.00 am but after a cigarette didn’t feel like work so just lay in bed. I was tempted again at 5.00 am but after hitting myself a few times went back to bed and even nodded off. It was just gone 7.00 am before I decided I was awake enough. The fish got fed early just to confuse them and I had my meds and made a coffee to bring back to my room. It was almost half seven before I turned the monitor on today.  There was a heavy mail bag but just as it has been recently there were a lot more comments on the two posts I’d been notified of. I should be jealous at the number of comments they got but one was a serious issue that deserved comments and the other was a momentous birthday in a woman’s life and many people wanted to reassure her life wasn’t over. So, completely unstressed I took my time and didn’t even get dressed until 10.30 am. After all, no plans to open the door today. Knock, Knock, “Who’s there?” It was just the postman with a small packet to be signed for. Just as well I had got dressed after all or the whole village would know what a devil-may-care life I lead.

I lunched on a lamb shank with colcannon potatoes. Afterwards I felt bloated as in reality it’s only my fingers getting any exercise today and even they look fat now. I did have a diet strawberry yoghurt afterwards though. Most of the afternoon I spent washing down my waste bin and brushing dust under the carpets. I almost set the washing machine going but managed to restrain myself until there’s a full load. I haven’t totally surrendered to domesticity yet. I watched a bit of TV and even managed 40 winks despite the late morning. My head is not sitting straight at the moment and I can’t settle to anything. There was an hour back with mail again before Law and Order came on and then another show that just didn’t penetrate my eyeballs before I came and started on mail again. A few blog posts to read an comment on, a few I could think of nothing to say so just ‘liked’ them. A message from Lis to say Charlie’s friend has been told the pancreatic cancer is inoperable and it will be chemo and palliative care only. I hope he didn’t go to see the oncologist alone. That must be the worst information in the world to hear. I can’t tell you how sorry I feel for him , his family and his friends right now.

I’ve finished the mail early and don’t feel like refreshing any more tonight so after I sign off here I’m going to do some reading if I can. Tomorrow I have to try and go to Chester to see Yvonne and Reuben so I’ll need to be on the ball. I think I’ll lay off the chips too after having them twice this weekend. Maybe they’ll have a couple of scallops instead ( thin slices of par-boiled potato deep fried in batter). I must remember to pick up some baps as well, remind me while I’m out will you.  Hugs.

Tuesday. A 4.10 am start on my mail this morning ensured I was bright eyed and bushy tailed at 7.00 when I was able to get dressed after getting momentarily up to date. I had seen to the fish, taken tabs, filled my outside container and made myself a coffee well before it was time to go out. I dressed in ( upper layers only you nosy beggars) black and white checked shirt, silver trousers, a blue grey cardie ( mistake) and a black & white dogtooth jacket. As the sun was shining I felt good as I stepped out at 8.00 am to go to the bus stop. I’d steeled myself to  take the 8.10 bus despite the number of schoolchildren at the stop. I wanted a slightly longer time with Yvonne and Reuben. I took the single disabled seat ( no the seat wasn’t disabled, it was for disabled people), shut my eyes and had an undisturbed journey. They were waiting at the bus stop  as I arrived. Reuben was asleep and he stayed that way during our coffee stop when I had two rounds of toast with strawberry jam. I had no conscience about not saving him any.

I managed to find myself a light grey cardie is the sales so I don’t wear this blue/grey one again. Also in the sales I managed to get Yvonne a dressing table mirror that opens to reveal a jewellery cabinet, a cap and a onesie for Reuben and a nice shirt for Ugo. I also got Ugo a block of chocolate as he hasn’t given that up for lent this year for a change. We stopped on the way home for another coffee as I get very dry these days. Yvonne took the chance to nip to the loo again as she seems to be waterlogged these days. Reuben just tried to pinch her herbal tea so that she ended up feeding it to him from  a teaspoon. He certainly seemed to enjoy it. Back at their house Yvonne made me a baked potato for lunch with baked beans while she ate some rabbit food as per her diet sheet. We watched a film in the afternoon as we waited for Ugo to get home from work. Concentration was difficult as Reuben was doing the dance from Zorba the Greek in my lap. I may sing soprano before long.

When Ugo did arrive home we readied ourselves for leaving and our Tuesday night treat of dinner together. Yvonne had to carry her own diet meal as per weightwatchers. Ugo stopped off to allow me to buy some baps then drew in outside the chip shop to get our meal. I was just having chips. I was enjoying them with a couple of my baps and Yvonne started feeding Reuben a little of my malt bread. He took to it like a duck to water. Next week I start hiding it. They left at about 8.00 pm so I came straight through to clear the 130 ( plus 20 on refresh) that had accumulated while I was out. I finished 10 minutes ago and now at 11.45 pm I’ve just about done with this post and want my bed.

Wednesday. A 5.00 am start with a 6.30 am finish when I sent myself back to bed today. I didn’t surface again until dead on 8.00 am and I’m sure that was only because the fish were sending mental messages out about me shifting my arse. I shifted it and gave them some light and food. As soon as I’d taken my meds it was back into battle with a coffee in my hand, or to be more accurate in my mug which was in my hand. I find it leaks otherwise. There was nothing stressful in the post, no marriage proposals, unfortunately no offers of rampant sex with a goddess who’d devote herself to me no strings attached. I was glad of that as I hate being a puppet. There was one message from Burkina Faso telling me about the money I was due, one message from the tax man(or woman) saying I’d overpaid last year and they’d like to put the refund in my bank account -yeah right. There was one message from London that said I’d been given a lucky number in February and would I like to ring and check what the prize is @ £1.63 per minute with a minimum ten minute call (in the tiniest writing possible) and one last interesting message to ask if I’d like to invest in a short film for which I’d receive various treats according to the size of my donation, I think the last of which was a ticket for the premiere at about £25,000.00. That one was genuine but a little outside my income. This latter type of message for funding of things is becoming more prevalent these days.

I was kept busy and entertained all morning by some great posts on some of the blogs I follow but on a few blogs I checked I found that poetry has changed beyond all recognition since I was at school. They don’t have to rhyme anymore and there are haikus that I have a problem understanding. At lunchtime I broke off for some braised beef and was very good in doing without a pudding afterwards. I sort of drifted into a film during lunch so I stayed and saw it out before going back to my desk. I wanted to be sure I was out by 3.15 pm to watch something. I was and I did, even managing to stay awake for it all until it finished just before 5.00 pm. I quickly had a tin of pineapple chunks and then dashed to do a few more messages before the clan arrived. Another message from Lee that he couldn’t make it.

Somehow I was up to date for 5.45 and was able to get back to the lounge before the door went. I was in the kitchen making drinks before they reached the lounge but not before we’d done our Walton family imitations as they walked up the hall. Hello, hello, hello, hello. I thought there was an echo. As always we huddled down behind the card table ready to slaughter each other at Scrabble and the games start in earnest ( That’s a smaller village just behind Greenfield). Despite the obvious cheating of Dil looking at Matt’s letters the minute he was otherwise occupied, and helping Matt in order to block me, I drew first blood. It looked like it would be my game next too but somehow Dil pulled ahead with a 7 letter word which he swore were the droppings of a water buffalo used for fuel in a tiny mountainous region of Kenya. Somehow the scrabble dictionary had gone missing and this strange word with 3 Z’s couldn’t be challenged. It’s not that I don’t trust my brother but he does bear watching on occasion.

Next was Nomination whist and I was able to bring out the little toy I’d bought on Sunday to show what suit we were having as trumps each hand. It proved quite useful. Matt asked if he could do the scoring in case he ever joined MI5 as a code breaker. I didn’t mind as I saw he scored Dil 10 points even if he got a call worth more. There was a slightly blue tinge to the air when Dil found out and I don’t think it was from Matt’s cigarette smoke. The insults flew so thick and fast that they were gaining air miles and there was much laughter which stopped the minute Dil won by a large margin. Personally I think Matt just scored him 10 every game so he didn’t end up walking home. Our last game was Crazy 8’s which started great. My score was pathetically low and Dil was breaking records in the other direction. Again the laughter started and I was enjoying very much Dil’s score being over 200 after just three hands, almost as much as I enjoyed Matt’s score at 50 something and me down on 33. It came to what would be the last hand and Dil played a three, I played a three and Matt played a 2 . Dil played another 3 calling last card, I played a 2, Matt played another 3 and I thought Dil was sure to pick up the 16 cards accumulated but no, the evil beggar had another 2 in his hand which he laid down to go out. There was cackling galore as I was forced to pick up 18 cards and count the points to go on my score. Matt finished on 50+, Dil on 217 and I shot straight up to 202. Matt was the winner. I went and sulked in the bedroom leaving them to tidy up the mugs, cards and the table. They left smirking and saying they’d see me next week. I think I’m moving before then.

That was at 9.45 and it’s now 12.15am. I’m as up to date as I can be for tonight so I’ll have half an hour with my book before sleep. G’night all.

Thursday.I worked hard this morning to get as much post as possible cleared for 8.00 am so I could spend time doing my drugs for the week but only after the fish had been fed of course. By 8.30 am I was back at my desk with a coffee smiling at the sunshine even though I was now in a darkened room. A few more messages and I decided to get washed and dressed. Today I was coming out of seclusion……….admittedly only as far as the corner shop to stock up on baps, cigarettes and renew my lottery tickets that had proved a big let down ( again ) on last night’s draw. Someone has to win it and I see no reason that someone shouldn’t be me. As their pithy little slogan says. ‘You’ve got to be in it, to win it.’

By 9.15 the messages were down enough to take a walk. The parents on school runs should have vacated the shop now and left something for me. They had. I got the last packet of baps and the last 100 cigarettes ( of my brand ), my TV mag, the lottery and I thought I’d chance 3 scratch cards that Ju used to like.I headed back home. I’d just unpacked and put the stuff away when the postman came. He was delivering a card case in aluminium designed to stop people scanning credit cards as they walk past. Unfortunately he was supposed to be delivering two so I had to get on to the ebay seller who promises to send out the other one first class post. The scratch cards gave me £3 which is what I’d paid so nothing lost nothing gained. I’m not sure if hat was a message from Ju to lay off. On my way home I’d seen some lovely little jonquils coming up so here’s a spring picture for you……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

spring has sprung 2

Jonquils ( I think) or maybe just mini-daffs.

Jonquils ( I think) or maybe just mini-daffs.

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

By 10.30 I’d finished the mail and gone to sit in the lounge. I’d just nodded off in the sunlight coming through the window when there was a knock at the door. There was a Council Van parked close by doing some replanting and for some reason I thought it might be them. I opened the front door and went into shock. I must have looked like a goldfish as I was backing away my mouth opening and closing as one of the two people there introduced himself as from the Jehovah’s Witnesses. There was a time many moons ago I may have invited them indoors for a debate and maybe a glass of water. I managed not to hide but took rather a long time stuttering out my inability to talk to strangers ( and there was I talking to strangers) as I slowly closed the door in their faces. He did apologise and say he understood.  Now awake I went and sat on m bed for a while to calm down. It may be a while before I open the door again. Eventually I went back to work which kept me going until lunchtime.

Lunch was two ham baps which I ate in front of the TV half watching some old film or other which always seem to be on around that time. I nodded off again and must have had at least an hour as it was a totally different programme when I woke up. I though I was having problems with the plot. I was very lazy the whole afternoon and only returned to work at 4.00 pm so that I’d be free at 6.00 pm for Law and Order. I wasn’t, and only caught the last half so I watched an episode of NCIS as well. Back in here at 8.00 pm I’ve watched and listened to a bit of music on Youtube caught up on mail and managed the blog post. Youtube has gone down so maybe I’ll find a dedication song tomorrow. For now it’s a case of wishing you all a very good night.

Friday. Hurray  Youtube is back on. So, before I forget here are my dedications this week.

http://youtu.be/WANNqr-vcx0    White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane to Meeks at  http://acflory.wordpress.com/ for the little change in luck this week. Always Hugs.

http://youtu.be/wJVpihgwE18   We gotta Get out of this place by The Animals to Sherie Sprague  at http://sjsprague.weebly.com/ In case she ever considers the move.

http://youtu.be/4bniEbKXt6M  Born to be wild by Steppenwolf  to my friend Laurie at http://laurie27wsmith.wordpress.com/ A little reminder of the biking past.

And two for Mike  ‘cos I like his stories   http://youtu.be/ulvauWJxaV4 Love Wars by Womack and Womack ( Classic) and http://youtu.be/PJDrLVAjgd8 which is Love Ressurection by Alison moyet. I understand the resurrection isn’t a problem though bro????

It was an early start this morning but quite easy as nothing difficult in the mail. Not a single proposal of any kind, marriage, larceny or even a sexual advance in my direction. Has the world suddenly recovered it’s eyesight? I saw to the fish a little earlier than usual just to confuse them a bit. It’s an odd life when a tank of fish find you predictable. I was washed and dressed for 9.00 am but I’ve no idea why as I’d no plans to go anywhere. I stayed on the computer as I was having a good run on the family tree. Sometimes things just fall into place but I’m not sure Father in Law to Great Grand Aunt is anything to be getting too excited about.

At 10.00 am there was a knock on the door and I went towards it expecting the postman with my missing card-case. Yesterday’s experience pulled me up short of opening the door so I called out “Who is it please?” and then couldn’t help but chuckle about a joke I heard many years ago where the next line was “It’s the gasman I’ve come to read your meter.” That wouldn’t be too funny after my recent hiccups with British Gas . As it happened I received a response.” It’s the warden David, checking to see if you completed your form.” That would be an Oops really as I stuck it in my waste paper recycling. Luckily I hadn’t shredded it. I opened the door and it was a warden I knew and managed to stammer that I hadn’t done it yet. “That’s OK” she told me, “I’ll collect it next week.” Smiling and nodding agreement I closed the door. First stop the waste paper bag. I found it and it wasn’t too creased. It’s now completed and on my table ready for pick up.

I had a tin of pea and ham soup for lunch as I wanted to save the last two baps for the gannet when he arrives and didn’t want to go to the shop. I’m not saying what I had for pudding since I’ve found out I can hear ( some) Australians shout from here when they don’t approve. A subtle hint though, they were round, quite dark and very crunchy. Mike arrived mid-afternoon as I was watching a movie that I think was the one Noah watched on his cruise. It was called Went the Day Well and was from a Graham Greene story where a village in England was taken over by the Germans prior to an invasion. It was OK but I was glad when it was over so Mike stopped asking questions about what was happening and making me miss same.

At teatime I fed him cheese and branston baps with tinned peaches to follow. I had the peaches too ( not the same ones obviously or there would have been a fight) and followed up with, erm well , something, and so did Mike. What a hog. Having said that though he did do the washing up afterwards which was great and I only had to direct him to the kitchen once too. We were due a quiz at 6.00 pm so I had half an hour on the computer. Mike made me a coffee ( yes, he remembered the way) and put it on the lounge table for me. I managed to finish the mail and get through in time for the quiz and a still hot drink. At 7.00pm my kind generous bro washed my hair for me before I showered. I went back to the lounge for another quiz which was sports and even got some right . Mike asked where his bro was and what I’d done with him. As a rule I’m good at quizzes unless they ask a sports question or a car related one. We had the next episode of Jonathon Creek which was passable but when they said the series is on DVD at the end I said no thanks and came through. Mike went off to watch TV from bed in his room. I’m up to date on mail and now with the blog too. Still time for a read so that’s my next plan. Hope you’re all going to have a nice Weekend which starts tonight.

Saturday. Before you ask it was 4.50 am today. I ploughed into the mailbox straight away and kept getting annoyed with Microsoft Security Essentials telling me of a threat that needed cleaning and hen when I removed it, saying I had to restart. It’s a pain constantly signing in. After the third time it became annoying so the last re-start order is still sitting there untouched. The first batch of post finished just after 6.30 am so I went to the kitchen and took my tabs, put stuff in Mike’s mug, made myself a coffee and went to sit with the family tree for a while. The most observant of you might have noticed an accidental break in routine at this point.

Mike’s alarm went off at 7.00 am so I made him a coffee and took it through, called him and went back to work. About 15 minuted later there was a shout of “Good Morning.” Amazingly he was awake and drinking. I carried on working until I heard him dash to the loo. I checked his mug and he’d finished the drink so I made another one for him. I passed the loo as I took the coffee through to his bedroom. I could hear some atrocious noises but alas I’ve heard him try to sing before. I went and got dressed then carried on working again. It was just before 7.45 when I heard a shout from the lounge. I must have missed hearing Mike move around. He asked how long he had to wait before I was ready. I put my shoes and jacket on and went through. Cheeky beggar didn’t have his coat on and hadn’t finished his drink. I had him out and about right away.

Despite a cocky remark about being at the store by 8.00 am, we weren’t. Though I will say it wasn’t far off. We picked the potatoes first and then started on our usual route. Passing the ladies clothing section we saw Sale rails and heavens, it was gents stuff. I will admit a couple of shirts fell into the trolley but so did a pair of trousers that were miraculously Mike’s size everything at £3 each. We headed towards the gent’s department for a quick peep and there was sale stuff there too. A jacket I’d previously liked from £40 down to £20 which when Mike asked was now at £10. It accidentally fell in my trolley too. Eventually I had to put food in so we headed off there and passed a shelf with reduced bedding. I got a great fitted sheet for a ridiculous sum and an even cheaper book on Welsh names. I live in hope…………………….. .As we left there after a drink Mike headed for the expressway home and I didn’t understand when he swung off on the Chester road. He bypassed Chester and drove through Cheshire to Blakemere village. Regular readers may recall a visit I made there last year. As a confirmed shopaholic this is a perfect place for me.  http://www.blakemerevillage.com/   it’s well worth a look or a visit if you’re in the area. We had lunch there and didn’t leave until  4.00 pm.

At home again we unpacked and put away the shopping from this morning and I dashed off to see how many messages I’d missed. At 86 it wasn’t as bad as I ‘d feared. At 6.00 pm I left it as Mike called me to watch Field of Dreams with him.I made some tea to eat while we watched it and an essential component was the egg custards. It’s a fantastic film and I find it catches me in the throat a few times. I must interject here for the sake of a friend to say that though HALF A TIN of sweets was consumed during the watching of this film but not a one passed my lips. Once the film was over there was something else for an hour then an episode of Endevour which I had to leave at 10.00 pm in order to come to do the blog and anymore outstanding mail. Mike went to bed to watch the rest of it then catch up with Match of the Day. My post is just up to date and I managed to get this post finished with the obligatory pictures. Without further ado, here they are………………………………………………………………….

 

Messy eater !

Messy eater !

 

Hoodie in good humour..

Hoodie in good humour..

 

Park life.

Park life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have a Great Sunday and a beautiful week to come.

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Car Boot- Forget it & Reubenesque clothes.

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Sunday. I worked hard at answering mail this morning since Mike had mentioned maybe going to a car boot if we were up early enough. I wasn’t sure which Country they held them in an afternoon but I held out high hopes. I held them out so long my arms were very tired. When I went through at 8.00 am I put the makings of one of the new barista style coffees in his cup and boiled a kettle ready.( Sorry Kenco, no free adverts, but maybe some more of your wonderful Millicano? Damn). I went back and got washed and dressed to save clashes in the bathroom and settled down to answer a few more messages and comments on last night’s blog . I kept refreshing and answering, refreshing and answering until finally he surfaced at 10.50 am. The first thing he said ” How could you let me sleep so long it’s nearly lunchtime?” Erm, actually I’d noticed.

Mike told me I’d been snoring away last night when he was reading the blog. Now we’ve mastered words I must teach him to follow sentences as he’d been reading it before I went to bed and I had almost an hour’s read once I got there. I know my blogs are long but………..  Anyway, lunch time soon came around and before we left the house at about 12.45 pm Mike gave me the choice of where to go. I didn’t want a beef dinner, who was that just fainted with shock, come on girl, on your feet again. I’d had the Sunday dinner yesterday so I elected to go to the Ivy Emporium again since last visit was just coffee. He didn’t demur so I stuck chocolates in my pocket and off we went. It was quite busy traffic today and I think the caravanners are coming down at the weekends now. The Ivy was fairly busy too which was nice but our usual table was empty and Tariq made a point of coming to say hello. We settled in our seats and Helen ( Mad Cat Lady) detoured by our table to say hi too.

Tariq came to take our order. I chose ( look away now all you who are on diets or get jealous easily) lambs liver in a thick onion gravy with a baked potato and minted mushy peas. Mike chose pork and leek sausages, mustard mash and peas. We both had coffee, his Americano, mine latte. I even remembered to bring my tablets out and to take them. The meals were delicious, Mike practically wiped the pattern from the plate. When Tariq came to ask if we’d enjoyed the meal Mike said ” Terrible food. just awful, I only ate it as a courtesy.” Tariq burst into his usual laughter. I had the usual row at the counter about paying, then OK a discount then, followed by , well at least have the coffees. I settled for paying the whole bill and for yesterday’s drinks. I don’t want to be responsible for them going kaput and disappearing from our lives. We had a chat with Tariq, Shella and Helen before leaving and Mike told Shella how she needed to improve her cooking, he did have a huge grin on his face though.

We headed home where Mike dropped me off and continued his journey over to his Dad’s. He reminded me about the optician on Friday and said he’s be here to take me and might even come on Thursday night. I waved him off and came straight in to work on my emails. At 5.30 I knocked off for tea which was ( to my shame) half a rhubarb pie with some evaporated milk. I watched a halfway decent film, a true story, afterwards and retired to my room just after 8.00pm where I’ve now caught up with mail and done today’s blog piece. I hope you’ve all had a great weekend.

Monday. No-one around this morning so I paced myself with mail despite there being 104, I knew I had time. No cons today and no offers of marriage either, I’m refusing to call those a con as it would deflate my fragile ego. Someone already suggested Reuben was handsome so he couldn’t have got it from me, oh yes, that was me wasn’t it. I had my usual break around 8.00 am to see to the fish and partake of my drugs which stop me being anxious but lets face it, you lot scare me to death anyway. At 9.30 am I washed, dressed and headed out to the chemist with a repeat prescription request. On Wednesday there’ll be a knock on the door and everything will be delivered. I also picked up a get well card this morning and then came home to write it. I wrote to Sheryl how all my wonderful friends around the world had offered prayers or best wishes for her recovery.

I caught up with my emails about 11.15 am and decided to take the card to Sheryl’s mum who is a close neighbour. She’s a lovely lady. I was prepared to lie about the reason for leaving a card with her in case the family hadn’t told her the news but as I asked if I could leave it she said “Oh, you’ve heard” and invited me in. We were talking together and she started to tell me the story of how the growth had been discovered. Then she went on to tell me that she lost her eldest son to cancer some years ago, then her youngest son to cancer three years later then four years ago her middle son was also diagnosed with it. He lives in Germany and has had a treatment I’ve never heard of but which sounds really radical and has left him with a tube under his arm to help him breathe? Anyway it sounds like he’s been told he can wait a year before attending again so maybe he’s in remission. I can’t wait for the same news about Sheryl. She was delighted when I said I’d blogged about her daughter, at least after I explained what a blog was.

At about 12.30 pm I had lunch. A beef steak with onion gravy, colcannon and garden peas. It was delicious and I must thank Asda for the pre-packaged steak and the already prepared colcannon. I did open my own tin of peas. I’d stuck the TV on and got hooked on a film despite having seen it before. It was quite a while before I got back to the computer but lo and behold another 86 messages. I worked valiantly until 4.40 pm to finish, even missing the first ten minutes of my antiques programme. I had tea but refuse to say what, except maybe there’s no rhubarb pie anymore. Sorry Mike. But after that ended, I stayed by the TV until 8.00 pm when my conscience got the better of me again. I have to do as much as possible today as I’m probably out tomorrow. It’s the big day where I get to give Reuben his book, or for safety’s sake his mother. I wish you all Bon Nuit…..Hugs

Tuesday. I was up at two for a wee and once I’d had a ciggie knew I could manage some more sleep. That lasted till 4.00 am when more sleep was off the menu. I got up. There were 122 messages waiting for me and I wasn’t very happy. I started. By 7.30 am they were almost done but knowing if I had the courage to take the bus I needed to be dressed I began the rituals early. The fish didn’t complain. When I was prepared I finished off the rest of the mail and logged out. At 8.00 am I left for the bus.

The bus stop was filled with kids going to school but I hung on knowing they wouldn’t be taking my bus. At the appointed time the school bus drew up short of the stop and I was trampled by the herd of wildebeest trying to board. My bus arrived and drew up behind the school bus so I extricated myself and got on. I was carrying a bag and the driver didn’t lower the bus so getting on was a slight struggle but once there I found the single seat for disabled was unoccupied and I was sure I wouldn’t be disturbed there. At the next stop a man got on and looking at me said  “Hey man how are you?” My mouth was opening and closing like a goldfish and my heart was pumping but an answer came from just behind me and I realised he had an unfortunate squint.

I texted Yvonne to say I was aboard and expected to be there at 9.30 am ‘ish’ an she said she’d meet the bus. When I arrived in Chester we went for a coffee. Reuben was asleep and stayed that way while I showed his mum the rug, wooden board games, her bedding and most importantly Reuben’s book. She almost squealed, but from pleasure. She liked it. First hurdle over. We went to a shop to look at baby clothes and I got a few nice things for Reuben. I also needed to check on a watch winder for Mike at a jewellers. As time was moving on a bit we decided to have a slightly early lunch and headed for Spud U Like where we both had baked potatoes and beans. I say both when I should say all because wide awake Reuben decided he wanted some and set his verbal siren going until Yvonne obliged him. It turns out he likes potatoes and beans. From there we went to get some food from Tesco for Yvonne’s Slimming World diet which she started this weekend. It’s mainly vegetables and fruit it seems with a few ‘sins’allowed.

We left through the back door of Tesco after I’d found some more Reubenesque clothes. I did pay honestly. Yvonne wanted to show me another way to their home. What a pretty but pretty convoluted path. I’m normally a -show me once and I’ll find my way again- type of guy but not this time.From now on I’ll leave the short cut to her and take the long cut when I’m alone. I played with Reuben while Yvonne made a bottle but as she fed him she put Philadelphia on for me. It’s a long time since I’ve seen it. I must have seen every other two minutes of the plot though as I kept nodding off upright and then waking up as I snored. Yvonne was highly amused. Luckily I was asleep again before I had chance to be embarrassed. When my antique road trip came on I fought really hard but I don’t think I succeeded.

Ugo came home as my programme ended and it was time to get ready to be taken home. I realised we were going home while it was still light at 5.30 pm whereas last time it seemed to be pitch black. As we got to the village Ugo nipped to the chippy for himself and me. Yvonne had a salad with her. At home I buttered a couple of baps but the bread was crumbling everywhere. I made a right mess but salvaged enough to enjoy chip butties. Ugo had his kebab and chips, Yvonne her salad and Reuben just refused to eat his tea at first until he’s had a yoghurt then he was no problem. Ugo had a leftover Christmas pudding and I had a wagonwheel which I had to share with Reuben. He had no problems with that. They left around 8.00 pm and I got my exercise carrying baby(elephant) to the car, then I came and logged on again to find 169 waiting. So, I’ve been hard at it since then and have broken off to do the blog before going back to make a determined effort. Night all.

Wednesday. Getting up at four wasn’t much of a problem today as I’d hardly been in bed anyway. I had a case of King Edward’s Revenge in that I must have eaten a bad chip last night. The loo seat didn’t have time to get cold. Every time I lay down I needed to get up again so I decided I might as well stay up and work. Probably just as well I did. You know when you comment on a blog you can tick to say ‘let me know if there are further comments on this blog’? Well right now I wish I could take those ticks back as I’m being swamped. I can’t refresh my mailbox and get less than 100.

At 7.30 am I texted MuJo and asked if we could postpone the day as I’m shattered. I’d just gone through to the kitchen to start the routine when I got an answer saying it was fine and they hoped to see me soon. I put my phone on charge as I was there. At about 9.30 am I was feeling confident that there wouldn’t be another dash so I dressed quickly and went to the chemist for something for my tummy and the drugs they’d tried to deliver yesterday when I was out. I made it back to the house safely. There was a text from Yvonne to say the Gas Board have agreed to move my meter to a better position to be read and they’re doing it tomorrow afternoon. Now I have joy and trepidation in equal measure. Joy they’re coming, trepidation there’s only me here. Can I open the door to them or not?

I worked up to lunchtime then had a bite to eat while I watched TV. There wasn’t much on so I went straight back through. I’d been out an hour and there were 87 which shows I was lying about what happens when I refresh. I worked most of the afternoon but went through at 4.00 pm ready for my Antiques Road Trip at 4.30 pm. I immediately fell asleep and only woke for the last quarter hour. Beggar that I thought and had a quiz too. Just before 6.00 pm I glanced out of the window and saw Dil and Matt approach so I went to make drinks. No sign of Lee. They we’re both on form as we played scrabble with Dil doubting all Matt’s words ( in jest) and Matt having to bring them up on his ipad and have someone say them out loud. She must be a very tiny lady in there. The insults were flying so thick and fast it was like a snowstorm or maybe that was just my dandruff from laughing. Matt won.

Before we started the next game I nipped to check my phone and found I’d missed a message from Lee to say he couldn’t make it this week. I think I’d guessed. Second game was Nomination whist which started off OK with Dill a little ahead and me scoring as usual. Matt asked for some paper to record the order the suits are played in so quick as a flash I handed over the score pad and suggested he could follow them on there……..of course he’d have to score though. He accepted which cheered Dil as he said at least I couldn’t cheat now. True enough, but with Matt’s help I still went on to win. Thanks Matt, I’ll pay you next week. Before we started again I made fresh drinks and let them decide on the next game. By the time I came back in the cribbage board was out and Dil was dealing. I noticed a definite pattern, On Dil’s deal he got a great hand and box, on mine I got an anagram of carp and Matt’s wasn’t much better. Dil gets a twelve point hand and an eight point box, I get two, Matt get’s six. My deal, I get a four point hand and a nil box, on Matt’s deal an eight point hand and a two point box. The next round Dil is round the corner on his second street while I’m not halfway up the first. Next week I’m checking his sleeves. At 9.30 it’s time for them to leave. Honours even tonight, we all said Thanks and see you next week. My Wednesday evenings are a real highlight despite all the insults.

Wash the pots, take tabs, straighten settee and straight through to start work on the 139 waiting this time round. One very upsetting one from my friend Lis, her daughter ( beloved Charlie) has a friend diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and he’s in a lot of pain. Lis is asking for the name of the surgeon who did Ju’s splanchnicectomy. What a hideous disease cancer is, especially this one. How indiscriminate it is as to who and where it strikes. It’s almost 12 months since my precious Ju sied from this. My books don’t sell enough to make a difference, but if I ever win the lottery……………………..12.23am and they’re all done. Hallelujah. Just the blog now and I can go to bed. Good morning everybody. Hugs .

Thursday. Today will be short to prevent you suffering the boredom I suffered. Needless to say I worked all morning apart from a quarter hour venture to the post office and the corner shop. I lunched on 2 ham baps with branston pickle. The Gas Board were due between 1.00 pm and 4.00 pm but did not turn up. Yvonne rang  and whoever she spoke to today wouldn’t give any info because of the Data Protection Act, despite having an email from me asking them to deal with her. She asked quite reasonably why in that case did a member of staff break the DPA yesterday in speaking to her. They backed down a bit hen admitted no appointment had been made yesterday for this afternoon. I sense the fumes coming off her now. It seems in my state of health and age I should not be reading the meter, it’s the job of the meter readers. That’s fine but goes straight back to my argument that when they see where it is and how difficult it is to get at, they’re quite happy for me to lie on the floor , bent round a corner trying to read it. Anyway, they only read it twice a year and estimate twice. If I disagree with the estimates I have to read it to give the correct figures. So, they don’t move the meters now because it’s awkward, I just have to give up reading them………except, if the gas tap is down by the meter they can move it then so it’s not hard for me to turn it of in an emergency. Guess where the gas tap is ! They’d have found that out if they’d come and inspected today, but only if someone had bothered to really make an appointment. AAAAaaarrgh… I have emailed a complaint.

From 4.30 to 8.00 I sat in front of the box having an angina attack after having moved everything back into the room where the meter is. That includes one very heavy table. Then I decided to come back through and face you all again. Let your posts and your mail lift me like written Red Bull. Thank you. Nite Nite all.

Friday. Early start, as usual plenty of mail. I just kept chugging away until a quarter to eight when I’d finished round one and could go see to the fish. Once I’d tapped enough snails off the side of the tank to see the fish I could see they were enjoying breakfast so I made my coffee, took my tabs etc and wandered back to the bedroom. In my absence which was less than half an hour another 39 messages had appeared.I was under no pressure so I took my time and only wavered when the postie delivered a letter addressed to Ju and myself. That caught me a little unawares. She’s obviously on my mind a lot at the moment as it will be a year at the end of the month. I’m sure it will be worse for Yvonne as the anniversary is Mother’s Day in the UK.

Are you ready for this?………I got washed and dressed about 11.00 am, how decadent it that. I’d not long since had a message from Mike to say he was on his way and I was afraid if there were no traffic police about he’d use his boosters to reach warp speed and be here before he’d left there. It’s going to happen one day. As it happened he was quite good and arrived about 12.45 pm which was almost, barely, legal (ish). I was up to date with the mail and just relaxing in the lounge. Not for long though. I made his coffee and we chatted about blood tests for cholesterol he must have since his doctor has decided his heart is OK but accepts there are other problems. The day he was supposed to go he ‘forgot’ and had two coffee’s though the blood test is a fasting one. I’m just waiting for the next time he has the nerve to have a go at me.

We went to Kassidy’s for lunch so I could take tabs and eat. Timing was perfect as it was roast beef today. We saw Chris cooking and waved to her but she was really busy. From there we headed to Flint ready for my optician’s appointment at 3.10 pm. There was time to take a slow walk around town and look in a few shops before making our way to the appointment. Mike did all my talking for me and I swear they either think I’m dumb or that he’s my keeper. He’s happy to offer either or both explanations but during they eye test I had no choice but to stutter an occasional answer. Mainly I tried to get away with just using fingers which became a slight problem when indicating two. In the end I didn’t require a change of prescription though at some stage I may have some new frames put round my existing lenses. Looking at a copy of the prescription at the end though I was quite surprised at the difference between my eyes. It’s so distinct that I think I’m wearing one of someone else’s. We walked back to where we’d parked and drove down to Temptations for a coffee. Some nameless person on my table had a toffee and apple loaf and bear in mind I dislike cooked apples. Ceri wasn’t in so the boss Daniel served us. Nice chap with a great singing voice like his brothers.

Home again Mike sat in front of the box while I caught up on mail again until 4.30 when it was the last of my week’s Antique Road Trips. No sooner had it started than Mike was asleep in the chair. He woke up again in time for a quiz or two and then at 7.00 pm he washed my hair and I took a shower. We saw the next episode of the new Jonathan Creek and though a little better than last week ( for me) I wouldn’t go out of my way for it as I did when buying videos of the original series. Once over I’m back in here finishing my mail and getting to the blog. Early shopping tomorrow and you never know, Mr. Reluctant may actually get up without his alarm clock and my prompting. Ha Ha Ha, I usually wait until I’m asleep to have unrealistic dreams.  See you tomorrow folks.

Saturday. My favorite day of the week started at 5.25 today. Not too bad compared to some days and certainly early enough to allow me to clear my postbox in time for 7.00 am. The post seems to be settling down a bit again so it wasn’t a whimper of despair issuing forth from my room it was more a slight hiccup of delight. I was in the kitchen and had dealt with the light in the tank and had taken my tabs when Mike’s alarm went off. It seemed to go on a little longer than usual but that’s possibly because it seemed to have moved just beyond his grasp. But, it did stop so I thought maybe he was up. Colour me stupid. I carried his coffee through and he’d rolled over and covered his head with the covers. I caught his attention with the megaphone announcing coffee but he still fought an actual move. I went to get my coffee.

At 7.40 am I’d caught up again and had read a few interesting posts. I went to check on Mike and though he was still lying down he was actually awake and drinking his drink. “Drink your drink” I told him, hoping he’d get a move on. Colour me hysterical now laughing at my own joke. We did actually get out of the house at 8.10 am by which time I’d sorted all the rubbish for the bin men and smoked enough cigarettes to add to it. As we were travelling Mike told me that his lovely daughter Lisa and grandson Alex may be visiting us this afternoon but just a flying visit as she returns to Poland tomorrow. Great, I haven’t seen them in ages.

The shopping didn’t take too long but by the time we finished I was wearing three sets of earmuffs to try and deafen myself to his voice. ” Why do we need so many biscuits” he asked. ” Because we’re having visitors and I wan’t a variety” I answered without sinking an axe in his skull. “You know you can’t have them” said he, “Shut tha’ gob” I thought, “Yes Michael” I said. We headed for Flint and while Mike headed for Temptations in the car to canoodle with Ceri, I walked over from Homies where I met someone I knew. Unfortunately he didn’t know about Ju and asked after her health. Oops, I couldn’t say “It’s not too good” and had to say I’d lost her. The tears in the eyes were mirrored. Eventually Mike came looking for me. The canoodling wasn’t over but he wanted his coffee and I was holding matters up. I excused myself and we headed back over. I got my hug from Ceri and how nice it was.

Leaving there Mike used his phone in the car to ring Lisa and suggest as she was short on time, instead of visiting us, how about we met her for a drink in Colwyn Bay after they’d visited with her mother. That was agreed as a good idea. So, we unpacked the shopping at home and at just gone 12.00 pm gathered some sweets and headed for lunch at the Ivy. There was nothing on the specials board that appealed today so we were going to settle for a breakfast. On the off chance I asked Tariq when they’d next be having the wonderful ham I’d had a couple of weeks ago. As luck would have it some had been prepared for tomorrow and he offered to do ham, egg, chips and peas which we both agreed to straight away. It was even better than last time. We didn’t get as much chance to chat with Tariq and the girls as usual so we left while they fought over who got what out of the sweets. Somehow I doubt Tariq won.

We arrived in Colwyn Bay and met up in Costa. Mike cried and wanted to go to the cafe next door ( where they don’t burn the coffee he says) but I put my foot down with a firm hand and gave him money to go to the counter. I was watching to make sure I got my change as he tried to steal a penny from me this morning. The depths to which some people will sink. An amazing coincidence is that when we arrived Lisa was talking to a friend of hers.This young lady is just moving to Yvonne’s previous address in Chester. Anyway we had a good hour and a half with them, poor Alex must have been bored with adult chatter and he ended up playing games on a phone though I did take one of Reuben’s books for Lisa to read with him. Just before we left the precinct I bought sandwiches for tea to save me messing about when I got in.

We went our separate ways and Mike drove us home again all the time wondering why he din’t catch up to Lisa on the expressway. He suggested she must be driving like a bat out of hell. I wonder where she got that from then. At home we settled to me on the computer for an hour and Mike playing computer games. When I’d done I went through and plated up our tea, got cakes out that I’d bought this morning and carefully hid the biscuits so he forgot about them. We watched a film with Zac Efron which was really quite good and then started on Endeavor which is the Series about Morse as a young policeman. Excellent series. Time to catch up on the last of the mail and to say hello to you with the blog.

Growing Up !

Growing Up !

The Puzzle Boy

The Puzzle Boy

I hope you all have a Great New Week and I send Hugs Unlimited.

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Forgotten Fishes and A Scrabble Win

Sunday. It was almost 6.00 am before I got up this morning. No conscience though as it was 2.oo am before I got to bed. Mike will say he was up till that time too but he was snoring away when I went to the loo at about 1.00 am and turned his TV off just as Lena Lovich came on. Just as well or she might have woken him up again. In that short space of time I’d got over 120 pieces of mail so my heart did sink a bit but on the other hand what chances of Mike getting up early and wanting my company anyway, so I ploughed on. At 8.00 am I got up to take my tabs, do the fish etc or so I thought. I know I definitely came back to the bedroom with a coffee. I was through them by 9.25 am and as there was no sound I refreshed the screen. Another 28, Hmmm. no problem. Ten minutes later Grumpy got up, leaving the other 6 dwarves behind. I nipped through and put the kettle on to make a coffee. Leaving everything in his cup I headed back to my room shouting through the bathroom door to let him know he just needed to add the water.

I returned to the mail and there were just 12 outstanding. One quite a long letter from a friend whom I enjoy writing to and one, the exciting one, to tell me the book had been put on Lulu. I was really excited and had been waiting to hear this since last night. It might be the reason for a slight distraction, what some may call a lousy excuse, I offered to Mike as he came through to ask why the fish were beating on the glass of their tank in the dark. How the hell I’d forgotten about then I don’t know. Anyway, he said he’d see to it for me and I said I’d be in soon. I couldn’t wait to get onto Lulu and complete the book. Sending it to Global advertising, ordering my proof copy and setting the price,which was quite a job in itself. It’s all done.

This book is dedicated to my grandson Reuben D.C. Eboh who will be a reader I hope.

I owe Huge Thanks to the following friends for helping me reach this stage.
Ilil Arbel without whose technical wizardry I’d be lost.
Sherie Sprague for editing out all my errors and making my English look better.
http://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com for helping with the title, though I got the final tweak.
Huge Hugs to you all and to those
who encouraged me to do this!

As I went through to the lounge about 11.00 am still in my dressing gown ( Shock, Horror) Mike was watching the bobsleighs in the Winter Olympics. I was in time to see the UK set a fantastic time and get to third place in the medals, and also in time to see Latvia and Russia do even better and push the UK to 5th. I was proud of them anyway. Mike then cheered on the Canadians at Ice Hockey unto about 12.15 when it was time to get dressed. We went out just before 1.00 and because it was local went to the Royal Oak for Sunday dinner. Uncomfortably crowded for me but a tasty meal. We went back home and almost as though we hadn’t gone out Mike was able to catch the rest of the Hockey with Canada winning 3 to Nil over Sweden. A shame as Sweden deserved to score too. It was a good game if you like violent mayhem.               Mike was not going to his Dad’s today so he was able to stay longer. We watched a file together ‘The Boy’ and then nodded off during other programmes until about 6.00 pm when we had a light tea,  one bulb each. At 7.30 he left for home and I flew to the bedroom to do what my hands had itched to do for hours, get back to my mail. Amazingly just 84 so I’ve had an easy time so far.

Monday. An early start this morning and the news that the book is on Lulu. I had to go in and set the price, choose the Global distribution package and order my proof copy. In a way it’s quite exciting as I’ve ventured far outside my comfort zone with this, I’ve also made the classic mistake of listening to friends and family about how good it is rather than some unconnected beta reader. That’s because of course it was only intended for my grandson originally. Now of course, since being persuaded to open it for general sale I can donate the royalties to the Pancreatic Cancer Fund for Ju’s memory. I was still hopping about when 8.00 am came and I had to feed the fish and follow my normal routine. The snail colony in the tank is almost blocking the light now, I think it’s wet arm time this weekend.

I did a couple of tweets during the morning and there seemed to be a lot of blog posts to comment on so that I was at the computer most of the morning on and off. I put a load of washing in as there was no-one here to tell me about separating the colours. At lunchtime I emptied the machine after having the drier on for 3 hours, flapped them to remove as many creases as possible and folded them into the linen basket. Now I have to train my eyes to avert themselves if they stray in that direction again. For lunch I had beef casserole with mashed potatoes and peas and then granted myself a couple of hours break which was spent nodding off in my chair. Late afternoon and I returned to battle bringing myself up to date and responding to wonderful comments on my post.

After tea I settled to watch some Big Bang Theory and an episode of CSI NY before coming through about 8.00 pm to carry on with mail and the nights blog post. Plenty to keep me going till late but I still managed a read.

Tuesday. Up at 6.00 am and in no rush this morning as Chester is visiting me this afternoon so I can take my time. In amongst all the mail there’s this little gem. I accept that English is not everyone’s first language but I’d expect someone in such an important business to have a smattering of education. Since those fools at the lottery missed my numbers again at the weekend I decided to pass the opportunity on to those of you who are investors. Go on, you know you want to.

Dear
with all du respect i’m mr Ibrahim i lead a group of suppliers
in gold dust and bars from west africa.
we are looking for  partners or buyers in europe , asia ,
america for the quantity of gold of 22 carat and 95% of purity origin
from guinea conakry we currently have.
we are abble to bring the said gold anywhere the buyer want us too
after discussing about the proccess and sign sale and purchase agreement.
waitting for your urgent reply to send you some certificat of the gold we
have now.
i’m presently  with that said gold at morocco in transit .
Thank you
best regar

I’m not quite sure what a best regar is but if any of you have one, keep it to yourselves please. A couple more tweets this morning and lots of comments to make on other people’s blogs. There’s a lot going on out there. At some stage I knew I’ d have to get dressed, the picture of the writer cigarette in hand, still in dressing gown and open bottle of ———– ( insert your own poison) to hand died out in the thirties, or at least in my thirties. We’re all bright as a button, laptop toting semi-professionals on the run these days. So, I got dressed before lunchtime and then made myself lunch just to prove it.

Afterwards I’d returned to the mail when I received a text from my wonderful friend Lis just checking if I was still alive and checking if I was at home or in Chester. When I said “At home” she told me she was on her way. She arrived about half an hour later and settled with a coffee and chocolate biscuit ( see, I do share) as we chatted about everything happening since we last saw each other. When it came time for her to go it was just time for Yvonne and Reuben to arrive. She was able to spend enough time to coo over Reuben as I picked him out of his pram and was rewarded with a big smile.

Reuben in my armchair

Reuben in my armchair

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

Yvonne was thrilled with the cow rocker I bought at the weekend and Reuben seemed to approve too. He also seemed to enjoy me pretending to drop him and there were whoops of laughter in the lounge as we played. At about 6.00 pm Ugo arrived with ta which for him was his only meal today but not for Yvonne and myself who still managed to pack away some chips. I had two buttered baps and Yvonne showed restraint with one. Reuben showed even mor restraint by helping Yvonne eat hers. I had a rhubarb crumble and custard afterwards though I haven’t the foggiest idea where I put it. Ugo (oink oink) had 2 chocolate puddings with custard.!!!!! OK, they were very small but that doesn’t sound half as good. At 7.00 pm it was time for them to go and I carried Reuben out to the car. You could hear my joints scream. He’s really heavy. The rocking cow is for one year olds but he’s tall enough to more than reach the floor on it. After waving them off I spent an hour catching up again and then treated myself to a film. A lighthearted comedy with poor old Heath Ledger kept me smiling until 10.00 pm when it was time to turn off and concentrate on leaving myself a clean slate. Mujo tomorrow and card night too.

Wednesday. T’was a funny old start to the day as I felt full of beans ( which I’m not for a change) despite it being only 3.10 am. I’m not even sure it was worth going to bed earlier on. Anyway, I started on my mail, an opened can of Pepsi beside me ( just in case any Pepsi exec is reading this, I prefer Pepsi Max). By 6.15 am I’d started to flag and the yawns were getting bigger and bigger so that I was actually in danger of swallowing myself. I lay down on the bed and zonked until 7.50.am. One minute there, the next minute gone. The rest did me a power of good and my eyes were almost fully open when I bopped one of the plecs on the head with a food tablet. I’ve never seen it move so fast, mind you they’re so good at camouflage I’ve never seen it move period.

Tabs done and  coffee in hand I returned to the bedroom and worked till 9.00 am then decided I’d better get dressed in case my visitors came early. They did, but not until 10.30 am by which time I’d almost got up to date. There was a knock, the door opened and I heard a call of “It’s only us”. I made drinks or rather I poured drinks as Muriel likes her J2O and John wanted a cold drink so I did him a lime and lemonade. One day I must remember to put water in the ice trays and stick them in the freezer. We had a bit of a natter before Mu announced she’d like to go to Jackson’s Nursery after lunch. Fine by me, but then followed a discussion about where lunch should be. I’m afraid I ruled out his chippie because I’d had chips last night. He ruled out my choices as not liking them and we settled on The Bells ( of St.Mary) which is a carvery. I have no complaints about the meal except it was too big but that didn’t stop me eating it since I was the one who piled stuff on but I did end up feeling bloated. One good thing, and Mike would be proud of me, I remembered my tablets and took them in the right order. It was also handy as I’d downloaded a £3 voucher for The Bells yesterday.

Lunch over we set off for Jackson’s and found it very changed inside, that is except for the prices which only bankers can afford. We couldn’t even get a cuppa because it’s half term and the cafe was full. After a good look round at some of the fantastic stuff they have we left to head for home. On the way we had to detour which brought us close to The Dragon’s Rest where we decided to have a drink. I had a chocolate milkshake which was glorious.

We reached home and found we were all three tired. John went to sleep, Is struggled and Muriel tried to occupy herself. At 3.30 pm she announced they needed to leave and woke John. They set off, and avoiding falling asleep I came back to the computer. I finished at about 5.05 pm so scuttled through to see the last ten minutes of my antiques show. From then on I kept a weather eye on the window. A text from Lee said he couldn’t make it today. A shame, but at 5.50 pm I saw Dil and Matt approach so I went to make drinks. Dil has his tea and Matt has pot luck of the coffees. Play started and I actually won a game of scrabble, then Dil won a game and also won nomination whist which Matt says he always does. The usual insults flew across the newly covered card table, if Dil gets any more sarcastic I’m passing him a tissue to stop it dripping from his chin. Then we decide ( sorry, Dil decided. It’s not my fault Matt) to teach Matt how to play Cribbage. I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to teach anyone how to play crib but you can see their eyes glaze over or start to look fearful when you start, Fifteen Two, Fifteen Four, two goes six and six is a dozen. Or playing the hands, Eight, fifteen for two, twenty one ( Crib made easy), Twenty eight ( three to the gate) Twenty Nine ( Two to the line) Thirty one for two. By this time Matt was grabbing his coat and heading for the door screaming something about speaking English. Dil almost tripped over his box of sarcasm tissues trying to bring him back. Yes, I lost that game too.

Wednesdays are always a fantastic evening for me. I get the feeling of closeness within the family though I wish it was closer still since there are some people I see far too little of. Matt is a bright young man whose company I enjoy but I’m sure for him the Wednesday trip might be more a duty than a pleasure. We never get the chance of a real conversation like  remember having with Karen at his age. Mind you, what would he have to say to a boring old fart anyway.

Today is the day I’ve decided to add music to this weeks blog and again I’m dedicating it to my friends. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Olga at   olganm.wordpress.com   http://youtu.be/HiB7Be0wNsg   Barcelona by Freddie Mercury and Montserrsat Caballe in honour of her beautiful home.

And one for Reuben. Brian and Michael had a big hit with their record about L.S.Lowry but the ‘B’ side was my  favorite  http://youtu.be/sg9Rra9mdTg . I hope he’ll remember the Nanna he never got to meet.

One for all my friends  http://youtu.be/Bx9qUR9P2ZQ  A Good Heart by Feargal Sharkey. I’ve found so many good hearts through the blog. Than you all.

Marylin Warner       warnerwriting.wordpress.com    http://youtu.be/uGDA0Hecw1k    who reminds us to tell our family the important things while we can. Mike and the Mechanics with The Living Years.

Thursday. I had a struggle this morning. I did get up but it was a fight as I saw no reason to get up. I attacked the mail but saw no urgency in it. I was lethargic. Not so lethargic that I forgot the fish of course, I don’t want to face THAT look again. I also managed to see to my meds for the week. Mr.Predictable, that’s me. At about half nine I got washed and dressed before heading out to buy some cigs, bread and the all important Lottery tickets. The fresh air made all the difference. I came back feeling much more alive and decided to try and download Adobe Air to my computer to open a programme I’d been sent called Booksoftware and it’s for designing covers. Up to now I’ve had no joy with Adobe Air and it took three or four goes before I got it this morning. Then I tried to open the Booksoftware file and  it’s that has caused my final defeat. Nothing I can do makes it open, I’ve even tried deleting it and downloading again. Aaaarghhh, frustration.

There was a knock at the door and it was a delivery man from Lulu with the proof copies of Reuben’s book. It’s thin but looks very good. I’m really pleased with the end result. I let Yvonne know straight away and she’s making sure I remember to write in it for Reuben. I tried to break it to her gently that he can’t read yet. I must find the funds to order some more. I had an email from Ugo with some points on our ongoing theological discussions. We’re both a little inflexible in our viewpoint but he’s such a star it easy not to offend and even have a laugh sometimes. I liked the way he called his faith a big hope as that’s what I consider my faith to be too though more grounded in people. What I like is that he listens politely and doesn’t preach or try to punish me with threats of hell but does what I expect everyone to do, accept that we can still live together with different viewpoints.

I dodged lunch in favour of ham baps and allowed myself some dark chocolate fingers afterwards. Most of the afternoon I was dozing for which I paid a price when I came back through here at 8.00 pm and found my message box jammed to overflowing again. I’ve been at it for two and a half hours so far, taken  a break for the blog an must now return. It’s just as well Mike’s not here or he’d make me refresh. There’s been no change in sales of the new book but i’ d like to thank the UK buyer and the U.S. buyer very much. Pancreatic Cancer Research will be grateful. Night all.

Friday. 7.30 am today before I opened my eyes. I couldn’t believe the clock and thought for a minute I hadn’t notice it stopped last night. I nipped out to turn the fish light on and then went for a wee. Getting back to the bedroom it was a bit nippy so I put my dressing gown on and kickstarted the computer. Naturally the rules say if I’m late the postbox has to be full. At 98 it wasn’t joking.  I worked to 8.30 am and went for tabs and my coffee then ploughed in again until 10.00 am when I nipped out for some milk. Even with a refresh I was up to date buy 11.15 am but definitely in need of a break. There’s a channel that shows old films so I sat watching Moonraker with George Baker and wishing myself a Cavalier. Those Roundheads had no sense of fun.

I had a small break for lunch which was pizza and micro chips so not too unhealthy and as the pizza had pineapple I had at least one of my 5 a day. Once the film was over I came back to keep the messages down and returned to watch another. As that ended it was back to work long enough to empty the box before going to watch the final day of my antiques programme. I had a text from Mike to say he was on his way from Manchester and he’d be there by 6.00pm. He was, with moments to spare so I made his coffee while he settled to watch a quiz. We chatted so I knew how his week had been and he’s told me that next Wednesday he’s to go for a heart monitor test. A bit worrying. I made him some tea and had a small sandwich followed by a healthy yoghurt. At 7.00 pm I disappeared for a shower then came back to the lounge to keep Mike company.

After a couple of quite interesting things on the box we watched Jonathan Creek which was to my mind poor by comparison to the old series. Then tit was time for Mike to go out for ciggies. He came back in complaining of the cold. I said at least it wasn’t snowing and cheekily brushing his hand through my thatch he said “Unless he did that” meaning dandruff. Cheeky sod. The boy is so sharp he’ll cut himself one day. There was a bit more banter before I was able to throw him out and concentrate on mail again. Just 68 this time and I’d polished those off by 11.00 pm. Then I made another attempt to change the background on my Twitter to include the new book. Twenty minutes later and I was no nearer. I can change it to a normal theme but I can’t get it to accept a picture of my books like I had before. I’ve no idea what i’m doing wrong. Anyway I’ve broken off to write this and keep you up to date with my ineptitude. One more try then I’m off. See you tomorrow.

Saturday. I didn’t start answering mail this morning until almost 6.30 am. I was up at 3.00 am for a nip to the loo and a ciggie but wasn’t in the least interested in staying up and managed to get back to sleep fairly easily.The next think I know is it’s past 6.00am, that’s three days recently with around 5 hours of sleep.I don’t understand it but I’m not complaining. When I did finally rouse myself I ploughed into it fully expecting Mike to be up at 7.00 am raring to go, sorry, it’s a bit early in the day for a joke like that. If he got up at that time he’d waste half an hour trying to bring me round. As it happens his alarm didn’t go off when expected but I took a coffee through at 7.00 anyway after following the usual routine in the kitchen. I managed to get through some more mail before his alarm finally went off about quarter past when I nipped to the bathroom before he needed it. As I got dressed afterwards I actually hear him rouse himself and attack the now iced coffee.

I did finish the first batch on my computer before going out and we actually made the shops for 8.15 am, Yes, on the same day !! I wouldn’t say Mike’s fond of his bed but he does have a mattress stapled to his back. I keep asking what he’s got stapled to his front that causes the shirt buttons to strain but he says he’s no idea what I’m talking about. cough cough. Shopping didn’t take long today as he refused to let me near the sweet counter or the biscuit aisle. For ‘my own good’ of course. It’s a hard life. Later we shot off to Flint for a couple of items where I managed to smuggle some Wagonwheels ( chocolate mallow biscuits) into the basket. We went for a coffee where one of us had two roundss of toast and I promise I have no crumbs on me except those spluttered when I muttered “piggy” under my breath. We went home then and after a couple of hundred yards he even let me get into the car instead of running alongside screaming that my jacket was caught in the door. Bless those Nuns who started waving to him and pointing.

We had time to unpack and I checked my mail. Three letters and all trying to sell me insurance. Mike suggests maybe they know something I don’t. I’d just caught up with my mail again when our friend arrived to take us to lunch to say thanks for help with his moving. Mike and I decided to suggest somewhere which would cost very little and still have a good meal so I ended up in The Bells again. This time my beef was on, and it was gorgeous with onion gravy. We chatted a while then decided to go out for a cigarette. My face lit up when I saw a familiar face emerge. Cheryl from Kassidy’s was there and neither Mike nor I have seen her in ages. There were huge hugs and she sat down beside me. I was asking about her health as she had a bad chest last time I saw her, I also asked if she was still working. Her face crumpled and she told me she was out for a treat with her daughter and granddaughter because she’s been quite ill. She has cancer and needs chemotherapy to reduce a large mass before they can do a mastectomy. Mike and I are devastated for her and the family. She’s a wonderful  person and one of the few I’m comfortable talking to. Plus she was really nice with Ju when she and I used to eat in Kassidy’s. Life is very cruel and quite unfair. Mike teased Cheryl as he always has and brought a smile to her face, but you could see how closely he felt the memories of his own close dealings with cancer through his beautiful daughter in law Kirsty as well as my Julia.

When Cheryl and her family had left we sat and chatted with Brian a little longer and then went our separate ways which was easy as we’d come in separate cars. The Ivy was on our way home and Mike agreed it would be nice to go for a coffee and to say hello. Tariq was there and came to shake hands, his wife Shella was there with her parents and also her very pretty daughter. Helen and Angie were both on too. Tariq grabbed the Ferrero Rocher before the girls got a look in but they both came over to say hello and thanks anyway. Helen had time for a laugh as always, she’s a delight. It may be Cheryl’s news had hit a little hard and I wasn’t talking much ( so what’s new there before Mike says anything) but Tariq squatted down beside our seats for a real chat and paid us the great compliment of calling us friends despite the short time we’ve known him. He also took us to see the progress he’s made on the photographic studio and where the cake business will be based. Mike says I’m banned. Shella and her daughter left, Helen left too but not without coming over to hug us. Tariq had to leave to cook since Helen had gone, with so many cats and other pets she probably needs an early finish to have them all fed before midnight.

Mike and I got our coats on to leave and Tariq came out, He lied said there was no change in the till and he couldn’t manage the £20 note I offered payment with. I had nothing smaller but if he thinks I’ll forget………. He also came from behind the counter to hug us both which brought a lump to my already lumpy throat. The journey continued and as we were getting towards home Mike reminded me of the antique shop we’d tried to visit that was closed recently and drew in beside it. We’d just gone inside and there was another familiar face not seen for an age. That of Si(mon) owner and chef at Kassidy’s and also Cheryl’s boss. As it’s been a while since we were there I obviously asked what news there is and all I was told was that he’d closed early as there was no-one in town. I was really surprised he didn’t mention Cheryl as I know him to be a caring man. We didn’t but anything so headed home.

There’s a gannet in my home. I don’t want to name names but lat me say he’s not called David. The gannet ate chocolates just before  tea. Had tea,plus malt loaf and egg custards. Then there was more chocolate. It wasn’t long before David heard the pitiful words “Ooer, I shouldn’t have had that last chocolate ( or six). Unfortunately David has run out of sympathy today and sniggered.  Love and Hugs to you all and wished for a great week. Share a hug with someone xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Youngest swinger in town.

Youngest swinger in town.

Crawl attempt

Crawl attempt

 

Crawl attempt 2

Crawl attempt 2

 

At the Park

At the Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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