The Unkind Heart & Africa Goes.

Sunday. I know I turned my light out last night a little after 12.15 am. I could hear the film Mike was watching until I drifted away. I woke up again at what I think was 3.00 am but The Sleepless One who Shall Not Be Named swears it was 3.15 am. What’s a quarter of an hour between friends. When I went to the loo not long after I swear someone was asleep though he swears not. I started on the mail and by 5.45 I was almost there and decided I could probably go back to bed for a while. I did nod off and enjoyed a few hours sleep only to find when I got up it was all of 6.21 am  and to add insult to injury that 30 minutes or so had collected me another 42 pieces of post. Still, it’s a Sunday, I have all the time in the world, why worry. I saw to the fish at 7.00 am, took my meds and made myself a coffee. I carried on working , commenting, liking, thanking, in my own little world when all of a sudden an apparition appeared at my door. No, not the ghost of Oscar but Himself. The man who can’t get out of bed without three calls from the alarm clock, a shout from me, a coffee and a bolt of lightning from Zeus himself. It’s 8.21 in the a.m. and he’s trying to give me a heart attack. you can tell he knows what he’s doing to me because this breathless wheeze escapes his mouth that makes him sound like Muttley.

I’m in such shock I let him make his own coffee. I’m thinking of having another mouthwash, purely for medicinal purposes you understand. He chooses that moment to dash off to the bathroom so I just carry on working. The forecast for today is quite good and Mike suggests a car boot. I like the idea but suggest not going to the big one as the ground will be sodden underfoot after yesterdays downpour. Instead there’s a smaller one fairly local which is on hardstanding so he agrees to that.We get out about 9.15 am and arrive about 9.40 am. There aren’t as many stalls as I’d hoped and the best bargains might have gone but there’s plenty left. We hit one stall and buy some books, 4 each from a young lady who said she didn’t think she was going to sell any of her books today. Mike said she just hadn’t had discerning readers up till that point as he chose 4 Stephen Donaldson’s, I chose 4 Terry Brooks. I picked up the obligatory picture frame as nowhere would be the same these days if I didn’t buy a frame. I think I’ve more frames than wall now. A couple more books and then something like a doorbell that plays a wicked tune and says Beware at the end because it reminds us of the Addams Family. Finally a computer/office chair which is leather and looks unused. We were done and decided we needed a coffee.

We headed for Flint and stopped at my favourite shop for chocolates on the way. Then a few minutes in a shop with SALE written across the windows of course. Finally we got to Temptations for a drink. He was very disappointed that Ceri wasn’t there to argue with. We enjoyed the drink anyway as it was awfully warm outside and with the chair in the boot we couldn’t have the roof down. So, we took the goodies home swapped chairs. unpacked the rest of the stuff locked up again and took the old chair to the skips. Once disposed of we headed off to the Ivy for lunch and to see if Tariq and the family had managed to get their holiday after all. Mike’s earlier attempt to kill me finally caught up with me in the car. They had managed to get away and we were both pleased. Despite the weather it was busy there and poor Angie was suffering, rushed off her feet and very warm. She refused all offers of help from us though. At least she had help in the kitchen. We got our drinks and lunch followed not long after. As usual we enjoyed it very much. Because things were so busy we decided not to hang around so expecting to get away without any argy bargy I went to pay. I hadn’t reckoned on Angie who was adamant I should pay the bill and nothing more who hadn’t reckoned on me who said I always leave a tip to show my appreciation and Suck It ! I won I’m glad to say. If they weren’t worthy of a tip I’d be a lot meaner.

We went home and Mike loaded the car with his suitcase in preparation for the next stage of his journey, to make his Dad suffer like he does me. He tried to persuade me to go to bed but it was a case of Talk to the Hand. I knew there would be a lot of mail. I waved him off and came back where I bumped into a neighbour and then came in and started work. 173 (Thanks a lot peeps) which kept me going until 5.45 pm when I needed a break. I took a tablet and had a piece of toast then turned on a film I’m sure they said was by Quentin Tarantino. A young orphan living in a Paris railway station winding the clocks unknown to anyone else. I’m afraid I was done by 6.45 and gave up. Back into battle. At 8.00 pm I went through to take my tabs and found I’d left the fish tank light on. They were out and didn’t seem to mind me seeing them. I turned it off with abject apologies and came through again for the night. I’ve kept apace with the messages so far but have broken off for this so I don’t knmnow how things are now. I’ll go and have one last effort.

We interrupt this broadcast with a Newsflash. Due to the pleading of the Lord Daud fan club, yes both of them The Snail and East Of Malaga I now have to shock some of you who have a delicate spirit. They require proof that I have indeed purchased and genuinely worn my Mr Men lounge pants. I am going to spare you as much as I can but it was necessary to take a selfie of just one leg. Look away now Ethel.

Stand near the fridge so you don't overheat (laughing).

Stand near the fridge so you don’t overheat (laughing).

Monday. It was 5.12 am today. I consider it a lie-in and a treat.I know I’d been dreaming and as I went through to go to the loo I leaned in to the big bedroom to say something to Ju. It was deflating to see the bed empty and for a second or two I didn’t understand. I suppose it’s just as well Mike wasn’t there or I may have woken him burbling some nonsense or other. Going back to the bedroom and the new computer chair that also catches me out because I go to lean on the arm as I’m used to doing and it’s about 6 inches lower.I fall over. There was such a lot of mail today that when I went through at 7.00 am to see to the fish I had barely dented them. I went through the usual routine and took my coffee back to the bedroom. ( actually now I’m out of bed I should call it the office and make it sound grand).

I’d wrapped most of it up by 9.15 am and went to get washed and dressed so I could take my prescription to the chemist’s. It was really warm out and I was sorry not to have changed to sunglasses. The poor girl I saw in the shop was really warm. Taking a slow walk back was pleasant despite knowing more mail would be waiting. It was. Not a major problem though as today’s pace was going to be slow. At 11.00 am I knocked off for a break and went to see what was on the goggle-box. Sometimes there are interesting programmes on like Who Do You Think You Are. I’m not sure I got as far as turning it on before I nodded off. It was only for 35 minutes but was very welcome. I took my pre-lunch tablet and put some new potatoes on to boil. Cold meat, coleslaw, tomato and wonderful new potatoes. I even managed to stay awake for my antiques prog.

After that it was time to hit the mail again until 2.00 pm when I received a text from Yvonne to say my niece, Mike’s daughter was on her way. She’s over from Poland on a short visit and seeing everyone she can. I have a rough idea how long it takes for a car to get here from Chester so I went outside to meet the car when it was due. Lisa and her son Alex got out and I was amazed how much he’s grown since I last saw him. A quick hug and back inside for drinks and in Alex’s case, liquorice allsorts, chocolate biscuits and an ice lolly. Lisa and I had a good catch up on the rest of her family, especially her mother, and also on her pregnancy since she’s been for a scan. I now know the sex of the baby and can tease Mike since he doesn’t want to know. They stayed with me until almost 5.00 pm then headed off on their next visit. It was lovely to see them.

Next it was back to the dread machine again for an hour. I wanted a break for tea and a little TV so knocked off from 6.00 to 8.00 pm. Unusually for me I watched the news about what’s happening with the plane crash in the Ukraine. I’m devastated for the families of all those killed. I hope they release the bodies soon and treat them with some dignity. I also watched another Antiques Road Trip with two good participants so it was good. Finally at 8.00 pm I turned the box off, took my tablets and came through. I’ve been battling to get straight ever since. Time to have a last go at it before getting some sleep as I’m due out tomorrow to see Yvonne and Reuben.

Tuesday. A 3.50 am day. My pattern seems to have gone to heck just lately but at the end of the day I get up when I get up and that’s that. One day I’m going to surprise Mike and stay in bed longer than him. I started work on the mail and kept an eye on the clock, though I wish I’d taken it with me when I’d gone to the loo. One eye doesn’t improve your aim. At 6.00 am I went through (early) to see to the fish and one of the plecs was dashing about like a mad thing as though he had ants in his pants. At least he settled down to eating when I put the algae wafer in. The plecs are usually very laid back.My favourite fish of all,time (  sorry Olive) was Zippy who I had in a 6 foot tank. He was a rescue pangasius and grew to over 18 inches while I had him. He had to be rehomed with someone with a bigger tank still. He was a catfish and as you can tell from his name was rarely still. But he loved the timbre of my voice ( mahogany in case you want to know) and would come to the edge of the tank for me. So beautiful

Pangasius shark

Pangasius shark

Olive on the other hand was an oscar I had in a tank in my bedroom. She had a face only  a mother ( or me) could love with a big bottom lip like she was sulking.Very, very powerful musculature. She was about 8 inches long when one night I woke to a crash and she’d jumped, thrown the double lid off the tank and landed on the bed with me. She was actually bleeding from contact with the lid but she survived. If I was working and ignoring her she pick gravel from the bottom of the tank in her mouth and spit it at the glass until I paid attention. A few words, a stroke and she was fine again for a while. On the other hand Ju had Ollie, Olive’s nemesis in a tank in her room. They were hell if kept together. And he’d wait for Ju to put her hand in to clean the tank and he’d go for her. More than once he drew blood the little so and so, but Ju adored him.

Olive. Ollie was darker with black streaks.

Olive. Ollie was darker with black streaks.

Ju had 7 tanks in total with all sizes of fish from a 20 inch catfish to a half inch neon. Eventually her arthritis + caused so much trouble she couldn’t manage anymore and we rehomed the fish and the tanks bar the small 32 x 12 x 18 tank I have now with the last 5 fish.

Anyhoo, I fed the monsters, had a piece of toast, took my meds and brought a coffee through. It was now about 6.30 am so I washed and dressed. I shot through the rest of the post as quickly as possible so when 7.25 came I was almost there. I put ‘puter into a deep sleep, got my backpack on , grabbed the bag of things I couldn’t get in the backpack and headed off for the bus stop.  I was there in plenty of time as the bus was late. The usual driver wasn’t there but hearing someone chatting to this driver I found out he’s on a fortnights holiday in Sunny Scotland. The journey wasn’t bad in that we made up the lost time but that meant a very jerky Brands Hatch journey. Then when we reached Chester the man turned left instead of right and lost me completely. Eventually I got off in the main street by M & S and had to rush to meet Yvonne. At least she’d gone to the cafe when I said I was late and wasn’t waiting at the bus terminal. I was glad of my latte when I got there. Reuben was smiles all round at fist but a little tetchy later and it looks like apart from having been poorly his mouth is under assault from new teeth again. At least he was fine for me while Yvonne looked at all the new stuff I’d bought him. There were the usual moans to ignore of course.

We left there and went looking round H & M where for once I didn’t find anything for him. I didn’t in NEXT either though I did manage to get Ugo something, and stroppy madam bought herself something. We shopped for food, had a nice drink sitting outside a cafe, I had a milk shake. Eventually I did find something for Reuben and for Yvonne too and two more things for Ugo. Nothing for me today though. After the last shop I decided to go home while Yvonne went and got ready for work. She was swapping the care of Reuben with Ugo at the door of her work and Ugo was coming with him to me. When they arrived Ugo brought me the jacket that Yvonne had scored over me with. A match for last weeks waistcoat. Wonderful, but now I have to start plotting again. Ugo bought a chippie tea, I had sausage with mine, also gravy and mushy peas. I was very careful with the eating as it now looks as though I’ll have a mouth ulcer next. I think I’m run down even though I haven’t stood in front of Mike.

They left about 6.30 pm and I attacked the 184 messages and am still working on them without even a quiz tonight. Do I hear an Awww?

Wednesday. It was an amazing 6.05 am today, nearly 6 full hours with no middle of the night visits. It didn’t help clear the mail though. At 7.00 am I went through to th kitchen having barely made a dent in it. The cory and two of the plecs were waiting so I didn’t keep them waiting long.  I had some toast and my tabs then as usual took my coffee back to the bedroom. The coffee seemed to have the opposite effect to it’s reputation,  I was continually leaning forward and nodding off over the keyboard. It was so bad at 8.00 am I even went back to bed and did fall asleep. I was back up at 8.35 am though. Thst little boost didn’t do the job and I was still nodding so decided it was time for some fressh air and went to Pauline’s for my TV mag.  I did feel better when I came back but I was back dozing at the desk before 10.00 am. If a man falls asleep at his desk and there’s no-one around to hear him, does he really snore? Of course not.

The mail was roughly up to date by 10.55 am so I went and sat in my chair in the lounge. Big mistake, its hot today and the sun is streaming in. Within minutes I’m asleep again, When I finally come to it’s lunchtime and I turn on the TV for the antiques show while I eat. I wash the pots and sit down again.  There’s a very strange feeling in my chest like something about to happen but I’m not sure what. The pain isn’t like my angina and the tightness isn’t there. A quirt of my nitro doesn’t do much except give me a headache but by then I’m asleep yet again. It was gone 2.00 pm before I went back to the computer and Oh No, the inbox is full again. I had to stay there until 5.15pm before I got up to date. A few minutes after I’d finished Lee arrived.He’ working from home at the moment and really under pressure. Dil and Matt turned up about 5.30 pm so the crowd all here. I wait until the quiz on TV finished before I bring the card table out and crikey, that hurts. I can’t let Dil do it ass he’s hurt his back and he’d have to move if I got one of the boys to do it.

I decided we’re playing Yahtzee first and that turns out to be a big mistake as my brother who whinged about losing last week gets 3 yahtzees in the first game. While I score less than 200 points having lost my bonus up top, his score is over 600. We play four rounds of this with each of us starting in turn. I did manage one Yahtzee in total but no-one can catch Dil up. The game took quite a while and as we finished Dil suggested Cribbage in pairs. We managed 3 games with Dil and Matt taking 2 to Lee’s and my 1. So perhaps not my best night at games but at least there was some laughter when Lee obviously making allowances for the rate of inflation starts counting Sixteen for one, sixteen for two……. because he’s a novice at crib there was some hilarity when we came out with One for his knob and two for his ball and bat. From now on I think we’ll stick to plain counting. They all left at 9.30 pm and I tidied up and washed pots before coming through to do battle. It’s been hell. The pain is still there, the pain of losing never goes away and now I think I’ve got RSS in my wrists from typing. I hope you all had a nice Wednesday.

I don’t seem to be able to paste a video for you tonight, Sorry.


Thursday. I repeated the 6.05 am again this morning. This time there seemed to be less effort staying awake doing the mail even though there was another boring message from Burkina Faso  about my millions and a clever one purporting to be from MBNA on behalf of Virgin credit cards. It might have fooled me if I’d had an account with them. The fish seemed quite happy to see me at 7.00 am which is worrying, I know where I am when they’re angry with me- usually a long distance away. I had the usual toast and my tablets then took the coffee back to work. At some point I got dressed and went for fresh baps. Oh my, it’s like being in the middle of the Nevada Desert with the sun beating down unmercifully on my head and me crying out for a cooling drink, but the pubs aren’t open yet so I go home instead.

I wasn’t sure if someone from the chemist might call this morning so I didn’t hesitate much to open the front  door part way. It was a mistake. There were two people, an elderly gentleman and a very pretty lady who did the talking. She’s been before so bear this in mind. As always the conversation started pleasantly, as always I retreat into an utter wreck, shaking and stuttering for Britain. That I’m in difficulties and distress must be obvious. Trouble is I’m not impolite so even if I could have said “Get lost” I wouldn’t. I’m sure there Jehovah’s Witnesses are lovely people out of uniform but it seems once they don the jackboots everyone is fair game. At some stage I was asked some innocuous question to which I was able to answer “But I don’t believe in God” though you’ll have to add a lot more random D’s and B”s to that sentence to get the gist of how it sounded. She asked whether I was perhaps an evolutionist then to which I was able to nod though at this point I was more inclined to go for the Glasgow Kiss in which I’m sure Seumas can educate you. The , “We’ll go in a minute and let you get on” was followed by reading some passages from the bible which were meant to show God was responsible for building my bungalow and for the landscaping. After leaving me some booklets to look at they finally left and my doorstep was clear. I bet if someone was coming from the chemist they took one look, laughed and ran off. I’ve  known them for over 5 years and would have been able to talk yet these people tried to make me talk despite the obvious difficulties. I told you to bear in mind the woman had been here before. I managed to tell her last time how difficult it is for me to face new people, to talk to them. I hardly ever open the door to them s I’m beggared if that fella from Burkina Faso ever hand delivers my cash. Yet because this woman , this church, feels the need to invade people’s space they’ll come again and again. Little wonder that people can be rude to them. I swear I’m going to reopen the Buthidar church and go into competition with them. A ‘One Size Fits All’ anti-religion where tolerance, respect, equality, love and above all Hugs is the order of the day.

For lunch I had bangers, new potatoes and peas. I watched the first medal in the Commonwealth Games fall to a Brit (OK, she was English but there were no Welsh contestants). It was for the triathlon and she was magnificent. Then it was back to work to make up for my unscheduled stop. I did have an hours sleep to try and help me recover from the discomfort I’m in and perhaps it worked a bit. I worked again except for a gap to have some tea and a break from 5.15 pm to 7.20 pm but no, I wasn’t eating all that time. I came back through to try and keep abreast of the mail ( Oh, I shouldn’t use that word in my state of health- to keep up with the mail is better). I needed to make sure I could  get the post done before having a read. I also want to see if I can understand why youtube is not posting to here anymore.

Innocence -USE

Thinking hard


Still having problems with youtube videos I’m afraid.

Friday. It was a 5.54 am day so the times are still hovering around the 6.00 am mark. Perhaps whoever does the book-keeping for the Gods realises they’ve been making an error for a long time and are trying to make it up to me before I go up and complain. As it happens this favour has put the pressure on a bit with mail but we’ll bypass that. The pain in my chest has receded even more it seems. There isn’t much tightness there either now. I still don’t feel like going out and the urge to dress is missing. I worked until 7.30 am before going through to feed the fish, I tell myself it isn’t because I got carried away and forgot but that they’ve had a couple of late nights since I got carried away and forgot.

Being Friday it was also time to do the weekly tablets ( yes, I’d forgotten that too) so I decided to save time by not having breakfast. I’ll just have to remember to eat tea. That took me until 8.30 am when I was able to go back to work with my coffee. I suddenly remembered that my nephew is coming this morning to collect my African art so I break off to go and take it off the shelves and replace it with all the board games that have taken up station next to the cupboard recently. I leave everything laid out neatly on the settee for him as I don’t know how he’ll want to pack it. I decide maybe I’d better get dressed after all but it can wait till I have my breath back so I sit at the computer with the mail for a few minutes that become half an hour. In fact I’ve not long been dressed before he arrives bringing his wife and little girl with him. I haven’t seen them in a while. Of course I’d covered up most of the available seating so we had to find bags to pack everything into. I offered drinks and they got to looking at the now famous photo wall. The photos made us touch on a couple of sore subjects which aren’t easily solved. I was also reminded that next Saturday I’m invited to a party to meet the Great Niece I didn’t know existed until recently.

They left before lunchtime and I had a further go at the mail before breaking off to make something to eat. A small beef joint and some new potatoes today but I couldn’t finish it all. I watched a little of the Commonwealth Games and then my antiques show before deciding to have a snooze. Oddly no text from Mike yet.That came at 1.30 pm and woke me up I’m glad to say. He’s on his way so I’d better make sure the mail is well under control before he gets there so I don’t have to love him and leave him. Given the usual 3 hours I expect him about 4.30 pm. After that time I start to panic but I don’t want to text and disturb his driving. I was in and out of the pit working a lot while waiting. In the end he arrived after 6.00 pm because of traffic problems. We gassed, put the world to rights and watched TV. Then it was time for the ritual hairwash and my shower. The pain was a little more prominent so Mike helped me dry off, at least he said that’s what he was doing when he kept flicking the towel at me. The worst of it was I’d had to sit down on the karsie by then ( lid down people).

I made us a sandwich which we followed up with dark choc ices and we carried on blethering until 9.00 pm when it was my cue to depart. I’ve made a good hole in the mail and managed to do the blog and it’s not yet midnight. Yay, I’m off for a read. Night all.

Saturday. Things must be getting back to normal since it was a 4.59 am day despite having read till well gone midnight last night. Mike was up even later than me watching something on TV . I didn’t even have any wanderings in the middle of the night so was more than ready to get out of bed when I woke. Because I’d finished a little early last night there was an accumulation of mail from yesterday to finish before I got to today’s.  Not that I was too worried as I felt OK at that stage. At about 6.45 am I went through to the kitchen to shine a light on my fishy friends and to take my tablets. I was on my way out to check I had enough tabs to take out in my little pillbox when Mike’s alarm went off. I turned on my heel and went back to make a drink for him.  Once done I followed the well trodden path of taking it through and a little louder than necessary, announcing it’s arrival.I checked the pillbox and went back to the kitchen to get my own drink and to empty the bins. Yeah, I nearly emptied the damned things all over the floor when I saw this apparition sitting in Mike’s chair, holding Mike’s coffee and having the cheek to light one of his cigarettes. Not even a second alarm. The little beggar even had the impudence to smirk at me. I almost changed my mind and emptied the rubbish over him except I didn’t fancy the job of cleaning up afterwards. Instead I asked him to put new bags in the bins while I took the full ones out. Then I put the recycling bags out , washed my hands and nipped back to my room to check the mail. Just 6 so I rattled them off and took my drink through to the lounge to keep Mike company ( If it was really him).

With a little gentle cajoling and some outright sarcasm I got him to get ready to go out and we beat our previous best by a few minutes arriving at the Supermarket by 8.05 am. After getting the jackpot on the ATM again we started shopping. There wasn’t a great deal to do but there was a lot of ground to cover so it took a while. We had a coffee afterwards and mine was one of those cold frappe ones with loads of ice so he sat watching me like a hawk hoping I’d get brain freeze. From there we headed to Flint as I’d heard one of our shops has a special on furniture at the moment and I was hoping to get a big brother for the micro bookshelves I bought recently. No joy I’m afraid but we both came out with some unnecessary clothing that was too good a bargain to miss. Then it was time to witness the sexual innuendo and affectionate banter between Mike and our Ceri in Temptations. I swear there are customers on a Saturday morning who just go in to listen to those two charge their horses at each other in joust. It’s almost like peeping through the nets at something naughty happening on the lawn only to find the nets are too thick so you end up having to imagine it. She’s an absolute dream though and so funny.

From there we went home to unpack. I was hoping to see to the mail before we went out again but somehow we ended up on Facebook trying to befriend Ceri and finding she doesn’t have a friend request box anywhere and believe me we looked. I’ll have to wait till we see her and ask her to befriend me instead. By the time we’d both given up in disgust it was time to go for lunch and we were looking forward to finding out if Tariq managed to get the family passports sorted in time to go on holiday. He appeared delighted to see us when we walked in and came round the counter to give us hugs. I still don’t know many men who aren’t afraid to do that. After that Shella came out and passed me a bag which contained some sticks of rock they’d brought back after I’d joked with Tariq about it. I didn’t expect they’d be able to get rock abroad and so was only teasing him. We all burst out laughing but I managed to get a hug and kiss from Shella. I put the chocolates on the counter for Angie, she’s done a great job while they were away. Tariq made our drinks and took the food order while Mike and I went outside into the beautiful sunshine for a cigarette. Lunch didn’t take very long when we were inside. Afetr we’d finished we had a long chat with Tariq and then Shella came to talk to us too. It’s like going to a friends house for lunch. Fortunately as it came time to leave I was able to give the money to Shella who doesn’t argue with me even though she passed it to Tariq I was OK as he was busy with someone else.

As we left I was expecting to head home to do my mail but Mike expressed a wish to go to Llandudno to see our friend. I could hardly refuse so Mike phoned him and turned left out of the gate. The journey was a little short of an hour and we got there to listen to the story of the woman upstairs who’s harassing him for having a dog when she has a cat.I used the term woman instead of lady as I’ve heard some of the language she uses which puts me to shame. We decided to go out for a drink instead of sitting inside in all the heat. That’s probably the last time today I’ll rub it in about our weather . We got to a parking space and walked round to a cafe where I ordered a milkshake it being to warm for coffee…I thought. The sun was shining down but this Queen of Resorts is famous for being a windy city and it’s reputation was well deserved today. The wind was colder than the milkshake, I held the cup to keep warm. When we finished and defrosted, moving back into the sunlit streets without wind it was glorious again. We dropped Brian off at home again and started our own journey so we arrived back at about 6.00 pm. I’ve been in here ever since apart from a ten minute break to wash some pots and to put Ju’s new flowers into vases for her. It’s now getting late.

At the Zoo

At the Zoo

At the Zoo 2

At the Zoo 2


Banana Boat Song Anyone?

Banana Boat Song Anyone?













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77 responses to “The Unkind Heart & Africa Goes.

  1. You’re in fine form again David. Once when (that religious group you mentioned) showed up on my doorstep i made up the story that i was an Odinist just to watch their faces as they spent 5 minutes figuring it out.
    Yes, bring back the Buthidars! Nothing else has helped my thing at work, so i’m thinking of going to the EEO on basis of religion… Maybe you can make some official looking certificates of membership. Can i be a high priestess? But wait… something is coming over me again… a voice… Your voice…”Listen to my voice and keep watching this shiny coin..It is Saturday tomorrow…” Darn. You hypnotized me at my own blog…! Now i always think the next day is Saturday…
    Mega-hugs my friend. 🙂

    • Since I decided Pope was a bit much and have now settled on Grand Master, perhaps I could make you Grand Mistress? LOL.I’m sorry the situation at work hasn’t improved, maybe I should cast a pagan curse on your immediate superiors to grow something unsightly so they’ll be too embarrassed to show up for work.
      Sorry about the hypnosis, it looks like I’ve created a situation where every day is Friday so you never actually get to Saturday which is Groundhog Day Hell.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  2. I’ve stopped worrying about sleeping. If I can, fine, if not, I’ll survive. It’s 1:18 am now and I’m wide awake. Even when I do fall asleep I keep waking up every hour or so. It hasn’t killed me, so I suppose it’s okay 🙂

    • I agree with you entirely. The body must know when it needs sleep and will grant it. Some of us do need less than others perhaps because we expend less energy during the day in which case I’m probably in negative equity by now. Maybe you’re a very light sleeper which is why your est is not without it’ breaks. I know it doesn’t take much to disturb me.
      Thanks for the honesty of your blog, very enjoyable.

  3. Those Mr Men lounge pants are very fetching. 🙂 Just to put them on, would be worth the price for the laugh it gave me! The Jehovah’s witnesses used to come and see me regularly until one time when they were there and I was in a rush and said I hadn’t time to talk, she responded ‘Okay, I’ll come back another time’, to which I replied ‘please don’t’. Thankfully, I never saw them again. I really object to the injection of their beliefs into my life, as if I have none of my own that are valid. When I occasionally get the Mormon boys at my door, I immediately wax lyrical about my own bliss and spiritual happiness in such a way they beat a hasty retreat! It’s not really an act, for I am very happy in my own belief, which is private. But I confess I do put on a bit of an OTT act so they will leave without my having to be rude, which I am perfectly capable of being, but prefer not to be! Have a great week, David. xx

    • I hate to admit this Ardys, but I’m currently wearing Animal from the Muppet Show ones but I’m not going to frighten anyone with a photograph this time.
      Maybe waxing lyrical about my own beliefs is the way forward since trying to be polite through negativity towards their beliefs obviously doesn’t work. I should not allow it to reach the stage where they want to ask questions and debate the answers, not that they get many answers from me. Perhaps I’ll replace the ‘Beware, Rats About ‘ sticker on my door with ‘Beware , Pagan/ Witch lives here’ to put them off.
      Thanks Sweetie, I hope you have a Wonderful Week too.
      xxx Humongous Hugs xxx

  4. I’ve been away for a while, but I’m always reading your posts, David, and keeping up with how absurdly gorgeous Reuben is!

    He gets cutter every time.

    As for sleeping, I’m just like pinkagendist (above comment): if I sleep, I sleep, if I don’t, I won’t die. I usually sleep 4-5 hours a night and I feel pretty good, so… 🙂

    Huge hugs from here!

    • You certainly don’t seem to do too badly on what many people would consider little sleep Renata. You look well on it too.
      Lovely to have you back here.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  5. A visit from the Jehovah’s witnesses, what a treat!! The Mr Men lounge pants are divine, how can you bear to take them off? very jealous of your chippy tea. Just the very mention of mushy peas had me drooling. It’s funny, there aren’t many things that we miss about not living in the UK (apart from our kids and friends of course) but you’d be surprised how wistful we can get about Fish & Chips and curry. Aside from the windy city episode, I’m really glad you are getting decent weather and that this summer hasn’t turned in to the damp squib that it so often does. Have a great week, David. Massive sun-shiney hugs to you! XXXXXXXXXXXXX

    • Hi Lottie, this is the first year I can recall in a long time with such a long stretch of decent weather when the kids are off school. A damp squib it certainly isn’t.
      It’s funny, I hear from many ex-pats who all tell me of the things they miss the most. I think the chippie tea is very high on the list but I’ve heard of Daddie’s Sauce. fig biscuits (ugh) and even Worcestershire sauce and others I can’t call to mind. There’s a fortune waiting for somebody who can open a little place to fulfill these desires.
      Glad you like the Mr Men pants. I’m on Animal ( from the Muppets) now.
      I hope you have a Wonderful Week. xxx Sending Gigantic Hugs to you xxx

  6. I loved the Adams family the doorbell sounded fun. Have a good week.

  7. Great post David. I agree Mr Men pants look great and I enjoyed hearing more details about the story of the fish (they’ve become like a part of my family). I’m now frying in Barcelona and I must say the heat doesn’t help with the regular sleep either… I wonder what’s up with Mike’s early mornings…Love Teagan’s comment to the Jehova’s Witnesses…

    • Oh Barcelona. All that culture, how lucky you are.You’re right though, heat does seem to upset a sleeping pattern. Maybe that’s what’s done it with Mike as it could never be a conscience,.
      I love Teagan’s comment too.The ability to say ‘Go away’ would be a bonus.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  8. I get so absorbed by your posts, I can’t get on with Sunday until I read the latest instalment. Loved the lounge pants. Maybe you should greet the JWs in them. Trouble is, they’re so thick skinned that they won’t accept politeness, and then you have to be direct, and I don’t like telling strangers where to get off.

    • Poor you Elaine, I can try to make them shorter for you. Perhaps a bit more sense too.You’re just like me with this inbuilt politeness when all you really want to say is ‘Beggar off!’.Maybe I should try a sign reading No Religious Hawkers in place of Beware of the Rats.?
      xxx Enormous Hugs xxxx

  9. The selfie scared me but I loved the Michael Jackson video clip – Earth Song is one of his best. 🙂

  10. Enjoyed your update, David. We live far off the beaten path and have a gate at the front of our 1/4 mile long driveway. Thankfully the evangelists or proselytizers don’t go past it, but leave the leaflets tucked into the chain. However, I should like to have a guest membership card of your church, if I get out to your side of the pond one day and have to deal with JW’s on the prowl.

    • Thanks so much Madison.Glad to here the evangelists don’t make it up the drive though even the constant leaflets can be a bind.Of course you’ll have membership of the Buthidars and we’ll repel boarders together.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  11. Your Mr. Men lounge pants didn’t scare me at all. Thanks for sharing your fish with us, too. I was surprised at the catfish being so large. That was pretty big. Olive looks like she has an attitude. Nice to see your videos and your grandson. Sometimes restarting your browser will get You Tube posting to work again. Sending you off to a great week. Take care and be safe.

  12. My last visit from Jehovah Witnesses was earlier this summer. I was watering the lawn and trees, and the two ladies followed me around, moving the hose and asking about certain plant names. When a car drove up, the older woman said it was her son, thanked me for the plant information and gave me a Watch Tower pamphlet. They waved good-bye from the car windows. Not what I expected.
    I keep playing “If You Leave Me Now” by Chicago–reminds me of a guy in college who did me a big favor by leaving–but I still love the song.
    Have a great week, David.

    • I’ve got two Watch Tower pamphlets in the hall I’m supposed to glance at. I know I don’t want too but I’ll feel guilty if I don’t. They were kept on the doorstep by me or I know they’d be there for ages, so they were asking me all about rats as pets. I think they always start with a charm offensive.
      I don’t blame you for choosing that one to play and I guess we all have an occasion to fit it.
      xxx Have a Wonderful Week Marylin. Massive Hugs xxx

  13. Hi David, first of all I must say how wonderful your Mr Men lounge pants are! Brilliant design and great photo.
    My daughter saw the photo of Olive and is in love. She giggled alot and loved the facial expression. Very funny for a fish! It reminded me of the fish tank my Dad had when we were children. I could sit for hours watching them swim around, found it so relaxing.
    People knocking on my door is one of pet hates. I just find it very annoying as I am always doing something or they catch me just as I am getting home from work and looking and feeling a bit rubbish. The worse part is I hate being rude to people so end up stuttering and coming up with rubbish excuses!
    Hope you taking care of yourself,

    • Hi Kim,
      the Mr Man pants are old hat thi week, it’s all bout Animal from the Muppets now.Much more macho.
      I think she’d have liked Olive who was really a very gentle fish and didn’t sulk as much as it looked on her very unfortunate face. She waas very loving in that she’d come to kiss the glass when I put my lips there ( Ju said she was a hussy) LOL..She adored company whereas Ollie hated it.
      We’re just too polite with people sometimes.. I wish I could think up even the worst excuses to get rid of them but I can’t handle strangers. Ju used to do all my talking for me. I’m better than I was now and can speak to people I know, that’s progress.
      Hope you’re all well
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  14. Beside my front door and hanging on the wall, I’ve got an old raccoon trap nailed to a slab of oak bark, sprung back and ready. In the center, where the trigger is, is a small arrow that says press here. Underneath the trap is a sign that “West Virginia doorbell. Don’t worry, we’ll hear ya.”
    Locals know to knock.
    I don’t get a lot of cold calls anymore. 😛

  15. The Mr Men lounge pants had me giggling, David 🙂

  16. I have visions of you attired in Mr Men or The Muppets greeting callers, I know your would have been soberly dressedin reality but I can dream 🙂
    You seem to have a happy knack of finding good stuff at the car boot sales. When I compare our experiences to yours, I think enviously of all the wonders I’m missing out on by not being in the right place at the right time… which seems to be Wales in Summer… I hear you’re having nice weather 😉

    • I haven’t tried to greet callers ( what callers) in the lounge pants but I might try it in future so I can tell JW’s I’m just off to bed.
      I often am lucky at car boots but it’ probably because I’m prepared to pick up something I didn’t know I wanted till I saw it instead of just going for specific things.But, if you want to try Wales in the Summer I’ll come with you to any car boot you like.
      The weather has been fantastic for over a week now and looks set fair today too. I know it can’t last but am determined to enjoy it while I can.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  17. Indeed, you are the Grand Hugger 🙂
    xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  18. laurie27wsmith

    Love the pants David, thank goodness you didn’t buy any undies off them.
    😉 That’s sad about Ju mate, very sad it would be devastating. A mahogany voice indeed, that’s priceless. Olive is a lovely fish. Spitting gravel at the glass, what a fish. If a man is alone in a forest and a woman isn’t there to hear him make a decision, is he still wrong??? These games nights are taking their toll, at least you didn’t fall asleep and head-butt the cribbage scorer. I can see you on your hands and knees crawling to the pub, tongue out and the English summer sun beaming on your head. 🙂 We don’t have any trouble with the Jehovah’s Witnesses now, I have an electric fence down at the front gate to keep the horses in check. 🙂 Before then every month they’d drive a kilometre up the track to get turned around again at the house. Politely of course, yet still they came. Seeing only 144,000 people (according to them) are going to heaven I don’t know why they recruit. Hugs would be better.Is keeping abreast any better than keeping it up? 😉 Wee Rueben is looking tired there, it’s tough being a kid. Love Copperhead Road David, one of my favourites, it gives me goose bumps. Seeing Mike in the kitchen would be like a scene from the ghost and Mrs Muir. I do hope you get over the chest pains, there’s nowt worse than cranky pains. Take care mate and manly hugs coming your way.

    • Hmmm, undies, do I need any? Thankfully NO.
      To answer your question about the forest, YES, men it seems are always wrong. Best thing to do is let the woman make all decisions or go through life laughing at you….oops, they do that anyway.
      Since I’m the cribbage scorer I’d need a mirror to headbut myself, but please don’t put it past me.
      Yes, given that the 144,000 are from the Church Management so to speak, I’m surprised they get any recruits.It has some of the strangest rules I’ve ever seen.
      Glad you like Copperhead Road, it’s not always easy finding something with that much appeal.One of my faves was Here I go Again by Country Joe and the Fish but what a beggar to find. I almost had to settle for the Twiggy version.
      Seeing Mike in the kitchen certainly made me as white as a ghost so he must have been Mrs Muir.
      Doin’ the best I can as always and hope you”re doing fine too. You’ve had me worried a couple of times.
      Manly Hugs in return matey.

      • laurie27wsmith

        You’re a funny man David and it’s good to see you have a witty answer for everything. I tried to be a wit but I ended up being half of one. 😉 The last few days I’ve been doing pretty good and life seems to have taken an upturn. I had my photo taken today for the local rag, they’re running a story on my upcoming author talk at the library. I spent an hour plucking, shaving and clipping all the hairy bits on my head. Bloody hairs growing everywhere except on top of my head. take care Mate. Manly Hugs, Laurie.

      • I think we’d struggle to make one wit between us sometimes Laurie.I’m glad events (and life) have taken an upturn for you, and now you’ve got local celebrity status.
        Does that mean we book appointments to write to you now and pay for autographs? I don’t envy you having a quick pluck mate but I’m glad you didn’t go the waxing route, I’d have heard the screams from here. Having said that, you could at least apply the wax upside down to your pate and appear to be hirsuit again.
        Take care, don’t let the fans mob you.

      • laurie27wsmith

        We’d make a great team David, The Wits. Look I’ll check my appointment book and see if I can fit you in next month. 😉 There were enough hairs coming out of my ears to cover the bald bits, my little set of hair clippers got a great workout. I’ll be hiring security for my appearance, one can’t get complacent about one’s safety.
        Celebrity Hugs back at ya David.

      • Safety must be paramount Laurie since celebrity kidnapping is on the increase.I don’t know whether your beloved could raise the ransom or would just go on a shopping spree.
        Celebrity Fan Club Hugs.

      • laurie27wsmith

        They’d probably dump me after I’ve spun a few yarns and jokes David. My beloved would move heaven and earth to get me back, no bull. As a celebrity now I don’t know if hugs are the go. JOKING! Big hugs at ya David.

      • Don’t count on it Laurie. You’ll probably be inundated with requests for more. Don’t worry, I was only asking a small ransom, she needn’t bother with heaven and earth.
        Hugs are all the go now but lay off the air kisses will ya !

      • laurie27wsmith

        I hope so David, I love the sound of my own voice. 😉 Oh just a few bob then? No air kisses? Man you’re a party pooper. Hugs Laurie.

      • Definitely no air kisses. We don’t mind it from Kylie, she’s just a little girl really, but not from men.You can either do the real thing or not bother.If it’d the Women’s Institute you’re doing I certainly wouldn’t bother.Some of them would eat you alive. LOL

      • laurie27wsmith

        You’re right David one has to watch where he aims those kisses. I tend to get more women in the audiences, I’ll have to stay on stage. 😉

    • Why yes Laurie, the man would still make the wrong decision. (sorry to butt in David but I had to say it). 🙂

  19. Hi David,
    Yes, I am behind in my reading and commenting but sometimes I guess we need to spend time actually living life (or not) away from the computer.
    I’m sorry to hear about your chest pains. I certainly hope that they get better.
    Loved your Mr Men pants. Also love Animal. I think Animal would be my choice if I had to make it.
    Laughed when you were talking about the books you purchased. I off-loaded all my Stephen Donaldson books to my mother the other week for her to sell at markets however I couldn’t bear to part with my Terry Brooks collection. Which books did you buy of his?
    I too loved Copperhead Road (my favourite of the lot).
    Well, take care my friend and rest as much as you need to. Be kind to yourself with your grief. It seems to take forever to learn how to deal with it. I had a bad day last week on the anniversary of my baby brother’s death and this Thursday I have another brother’s anniversary. Kind of sucks. Big hugs to you my friend.

    • I don’t know how you’ve got the nerve to come on my post and start speaking blasphemy Suzanne. Time away from the computer indeed. A life, huh. Bite your tongue girl.
      The chest pains are fine thanks, I just feed them twice a week and they’re as good as gold now.
      Ah, if only I’d seen the animal pants before the Mr Men ones I’d probably just have the one pair now and maybe my body wouldn’t feel so threaten by these lascivious females.( Hey, who shouted “Dream On”, no need for that).
      Witches Brew, The Black Unicorn,Angel Fire East and Running with the Demon are the Terry Brooks books I got. I’ve read a couple but don’t have them on my shelves. In a way it’s a pity they weren’t yours as it would have meant you were close by and I haven’t had the chance to meet up with any authors from round here- if there are any.
      Copperhead Road is a good one, much favoured.
      Thank you, I rest as much as the computer allows me- when it’s in a good mood. I shall be kind to myself, I’m sorry you had such a bad day last week and another ad day due. It more than sucks.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs to carry you through xxx

      • Angel Fire East was one that I really enjoyed. Most of his books are written as trilogies and all tie in with each other. I not long finished his last trilogy “Defenders of Shannara” that tied every book he’s written in together but see by his website he is in the middle of another trilogy. Oy vey, more books to buy!! lol
        I don’t think you would have purchased my books as my mother refuses to ever get on a plane so those books would be sold around the stamping ground of Laurie and myself rather than your area. One day when I travel, I am going to have the time of my life catching up with other bloggers. I shall be sure to include you.
        Thanks for the gigantic hugs. They are heading right back to you. 🙂

      • I love the Shannara books.But I’m pretty sure that it’s too far to travel just for a Sunday morning car boot sale to find any more that your Mum might take along.And if she won’t come over here, well that’s just mean. Doesn’t she have a rowing boat?
        When you get round to travelling I’ll have the kettle on, or will you be expecting something a bit stronger?
        xxx Massive Hugs xxx

      • Ah yes. A rowing boat. That would mean she would have to overcome her fear of sharks and learn to swim. lol

      • A very fearful lady your Mum, how ever do you coax her outside? Tell her not to worry about the swimming, she won’t need that as long as she’s chained to the oars rowing.
        😀 Hugs xxx

      • Ha ha. You’ve made me laugh out loud at this and I had to explain to my Garden Gnome what was so funny. Thanks for the smile David. 😀

      • Always happy to help Suzanne.
        xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  20. Hello David! You crack me up! I’ve never met anyone who can make everyday things so entertaining. I love the pictures including the Mr. Men lounge pants one. Ha,ha! 😀 *Hugs & Kisses*

    • Hello Vashti, you never fail to say something nice. Than you, my head is starting to swell. New lounge pants now are Animal from the Muppets, much more ME they are.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  21. Another eventful week that made me smile. 🙂 You’ll be happy to know I got in 12 scrabble games on the weekend. My sister was here for a visit. It was fun to play it.

    • Thanks Maggie, Well done on getting the games of scrabble in. 12 is quite a lot, I hope you didn’t let us down here. We authors have a reputation to uphold for winning ( or cheating if you can do the scoring).
      I’ll bet your sister enjoyed it as much as you did, apart from the losing of course.If you send me a packet of dark chocolate gingers tonight I won’t tell her you cheated ( whether you did or not, I can be very convincing ).
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  22. Hello, David. Hope you’re having a marvelous day. I love those pants. Of course I couldn’t quite get the full effect with just seeing one leg. 😀 I watched that movie about the orphan clock winder. I liked it okay, but can’t say I’d watch it again. Giant squishy HUGS. Elizabeth.

    • Hi Elizabeth, yes thanks, a great day. Sorry, I just think two legs would be too much. If I can buy shares in a smelling salt mine I may reconsider and even show both legs of the Animal ones. I’ll warn all you ladies in advance though so you can buy the smelling salts from my newly formed company.
      Yes, I thought the film was OK too but don’t think I’d go out of my way to see it again. I was never fond of slapstick and there were real moments of it for me.
      Friday tomorrow and the start of a wonderful weekend for you I hope.
      Take Care.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

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