Me. Wha! Where the hell am I?
Swineherd. Er, I’m not quite sure but we call it home my child.
Me. My child? You’re one of those godlings aren’t you. Couldn’t you do better than swineherd? Which one are you then?
Swineherd. I’m Porcinus and I don’t just have pigs, they gave me goats too. A little respect please.
Me. Hm, let’s see. It’s 5.01 am on a Sunday morning. I’m standing here in my dressing gown with a frost underfoot which is slowly spreading up my legs and you’re talking RESPECT. Why am I here and where’s that comedian Somnos?
Swineherd. I brought you here because I knew you’d want to thank us in person for the lie-in we allowed you today. Please don’t pet the pigs by the way, there was an unfortunate incident last week with a hand.
Me. Wha! Why didn’t you say that at the beginning? I repeat, why am I here and where’s Somnos?
Swineherd. Well. They seemed to be relaxing you and I didn’t want to make you nervous. As to why you’re here, isn’t the fact you’ve been blessed by my presence enough?
Me. Listen sunbeam. In about three inches that frost will hit a point where I’ll start getting very defensive. Kicking your butt down this mountain might just warm me up a bit.
Swineherd. Well, no need to get uppity. Listen, you’re pretty good with the advertising, product recognition and putting a positive spin on things we thought you might like the job as our publicist. Carries a certain kudos, Publicist to the Gods don’t you think?
I woke up at that point feeling a decided chill in my nether regions and shivering. It was 5.01 am. Despite the frost there was still some fluid in circulation and I needed to get rid of it. Somehow I found myself already in my dressing gown so I just slipped on my slippers and made a dash for the bathroom. When I’d chiseled the icicles off and sighed with relief I came back to turn the computer on and deal with the mail. I have to say that things seemed to be working at a reasonable speed this morning but the fan sounds very loud. I hope that’s not on it’s way out.
There was a fair bit of post including some real cons today. In some cases they’re getting very clever and looking much slicker. Almost believable. You know something smells wrong but can’t tell what at first glance. It comes down to minute scrutiny to find spelling mistakes that shouldn’t be there to show you the problem. I’m not even sure it isn’t the gods trying to get information to copy me on twitter. Certainly the one that appeared to be from paypal was interested in twitter and facebook accounts and asked for passwords. Yes, like I’m going to allow Somnos to call an 8 foot Amazon ‘Butch’ in my name. I’ve become quite fond of my kneecaps over the years.
At 7.00 am I stopped for long enough to feed the fish, mission accomplished without incident., take my morning meds and make myself a coffee. I carried on. I was quite shocked when Mike’s alarm went off at 8.00 am but not in the least shocked he turned it off straight away and carried on sleeping. I hope he remembers to reset the alarm when he gets home r the grandchildren are going to find themselves late to school on Monday. At 9.10 am I’d got up to date on both accounts and went through to the lounge to find Mike appearing as well. He did stop long enough to pick me up. I hadn’t broken anything so was able to make his coffee.He was not on top form this morning,coughing and short of breath ( not as short as I wanted to make him though). I asked why he either didn’t go back to bed or went home and went to bed. He said he’s rather stay on and
annoy me, help me out.
We were due to meet up with the girls and with Ugo, Yvonne and Reuben at 12.30 pm to meet Jo’s boyfriend- another Mike but I don’t know if that’s a bad omen. There was time first to nip to Prestatyn and then Rhyl. We got dressed and set off. Naturally we waved at The Ivy as we went past and were soon in Prestatyn where we had a coffee while waiting for the shop we wanted to open at 10.30 am. As soon as it did we grabbed 4 boxes of Whitaker’s strawberry creams in dark chocolate. These are for Christmas but might last me till Friday with luck. Then on to Rhyl. I’d had an online offer for a Fisher-Price toy I wanted for Reuben and wanted to see if the shop had it. They didn’t, but I did find what I thought was a good alternative and we both had a good look round.We soon found it was time to leave.
The drive from Rhyl to St Asaph and the Plough is only about 20 minutes unless of course you’re a jet pilot. It doesn’t seem to have sunk in with Mike that he isn’t so all the laws of time. space and gravity pull over to the side of the road and let him pass. When we arrived we still had time for a cigarette before going in and still managed to be ten minutes early. Yvonne called us. She, Ugo and Reuben had arrived a few minutes before hand and found our table. We were able to get hello hugs from everyone. Reuben was in a god mood judging by the smile. The others arrived and introductions were made and we all sat down. Reuben then decided he was no longer happy. Jo and I went to the bar for drinks. The waitress took the order and said she’d deliver them so I took Reuben for a walk. Mike 1 and Jo followed to have a cigarette and I had one as I walked Reuben round the building, He stood on the windowsill to wave at his Ma, Pa and Auntie Karen inside before we resumed our walk. It was still cool out so we were glad to get back inside to the warm. I abandoned my grandson in favour of a menu and a few minutes later the waitress came to take our order. I have vests longer than her dress and I knew Mike 1 was wondering if he could have melons as a starter.( No, was the answer to that). I took my pre-lunch tablet.
Mike 2 was at the furthest end of the table away from me. I don’t know if that was on purpose so the patriarch couldn’t ask questions or not. He did seem a pleasant enough lad. I call him lad yet he has been married before and has 4 daughters ( poor man). I imagine they’re all quite young but it’s none of my beeswax. My niece Jo can make her own decisions and I trust her judgement-ish. I had an extra hug from Karen ( my Carrie-Ann) when I passed her some Marylin Monroe Mugs with chocolate and mallows I’d found. I gave Jo some boxes of chocolate popcorn and chocolate mallows also with Marilyn’s picture on the box. I gave Yvonne a box of chocolates and then she pointed out to all and sundry my lack of sense for doing so as in the same bag I’d passed some slimming patches. I suppose it might seem a little incongruous. When lunch was over we chatted for an age before deciding to ask for the bill. I tried to get my hands on it but Jo had already paid for herself, Karen and Mike 2. I asked for what was left and Yvonne and Mike were thrusting money at me straight away. I was thwarted.
The car park was full of goodbyes. I had a kiss and hug from Reuben but as soon as Yvonne said “Wave bye-bye to Pops”he burst into tears and I had to go back towards him. I told Mike it had been nice to meet him and he said “Stop playing silly buggers and get in the car.” We drove home. Mike left pretty soon after we’d got back and as usual I started work straight away. It was a couple of hours down the line I had a text from Mike. I thought he was home but it seems he’d had a slight lapse of memory at the garage and thought it was his old car. He’d put petrol in a diesel engine. Not only would it cost him £300 to sort but he had to wait for the privilege. I really felt for him, not well and that happening. Ouch.
Me. What again? I thought we cleared up your little invitation yesterday. Nice goats by the way, lost any hands with them lately?
Porcinus. As a Capricorn I thought the goats were a nice touch for you. No, no hands missing though they are a bit partial to….clothing. Oops, I did try to warn you.
Me. Isn’t there some kind of insurance in place for here. Just what do you want anyway?
Porcinus. Now now, it’s only a little hole and look how contentedly he’s chewing. Actually the reason I asked you here is because I can’t seem to get hold of Somnos and wondered if you’d seen him.
Me. Look pal, it’s 5.24 am and pretty nippy, especially with a hole in my lounge pants. Isn’t it possible to ask these stupid questions at a more reasonable hour? Anyway, I thought that you and Somnos might be one and the same.
Porcinus. It’s a more reasonable hour than the one you complained about yesterday. And no, we’re not the same. I suppose you could say he’s my brother.
Me. Oh, he ain’t heavy then? A reasonable hour is one in which I choose to visit you.
Porcinus. He ain’t heavy? What kind of language is that for a writer ? As to your latter point, you wouldn’t choose to would you?
Me. No, but that’s beside the point. At least I’d be choosing not to visit you at a reasonable hour. But, to get back to your point, I haven’t seen and nor do I wish to see your brother. He’s probably sleeping it off with Dionysus somewhere or gambling away some more of my sleep with another one of you gods. Now if you don’t mind, I was in the middle of a rather interesting dream involving a feather boa and a very naughty lady ( I hope ), perhaps you could return me to it.
I woke up at 5.24 am with the vague recollection of a goat, and why was I playing with a piece of string in my hands? It was like my birthday waking up this late but somehow I still felt cheated like I’d missed out on something important. Damn, I found a tear in the leg of my pants. I need to get these toenails cut again when I can find some industrial shears. Message to self… Turn the heating up, these mornings are getting colder.
After a visit to the loo I turned the computer on all fingers crossed and waited to see how things would be this morning. As regards the mail, things seemed not too bad. Regarding the computer itself, things started well but the fan was still noisy and as the day progressed things got a little slower. But first thing, all was hunky dory. The mail contained a spate of make a fortune working from home adverts which were annoying because you couldn’t see what they were until they were opened but at least they weren’t damaging. The nasty b*stards must have been out again last night though as Windows Defender had picked up two messages it had to remove a virus from. At least I didn’t need to open those at all. I was able to work my way through the rest without too many problems. As usual I stopped at 7.00 am to feed the fish. As I turned the light on all activity seemed to cease for the moment. It struck me as humorous wondering what went through the minds of these characters when the light suddenly appears followed by something gigantic ( only in their eyes before anyone suggests a diet) with a deep voice who issues food from the skies. The inactivity was only momentary though as they quickly resumed their tasks of seeking out escape tunnels or whatever they do. Naturally Big Al was the director of all this activity turning slowly at the centre of the tank while Little Al seemed to scurry backwards and forwards issuing royal commands.At least I was saved his attentions apart from a surreptitious glance he didn’t think I’d noticed. I placed the food in and walked away quite sure he’d issue rations when needed.
I went to take my meds and realised I’d forgotten to take last night’s. Because I’m anal about the box at least looking as though I’d had them, they got tipped into the bin as usual. I don’t have to show how forgetful I am now. I took this morning’s batch and then took a pre foodie, had a cigarette and made myself some toast. It was only because I’d succumbed to temptation and had a couple of chocolates while I was working. I took my coffee back to the
bedroom office and started again. Before I knew it time had flown and I almost had a heart attack as Pauline came in at 8.40 am. I asked her how she was and then let her get on with it. The mail was going down well and all banging and clattering had ceased when I suddenly came over peculiar ( I’ve warned you Mike, don’t test me). The pain hit and I had to lie down. That must have been around half nine and the next thing I knew it was 10.25 am and Pauline was just packing up to go. I got up and went through to pay her. No matter how I try I can’t make that sentence sound any better. I returned to work.
11.45 am and both mail boxes were empty though I hadn’t refreshed them for a while. I went through to prepare lunch. As usual I enjoyed Bargain Hunt while I ate. Perhaps because of the enforced nap earlier I stayed awake right to the end. Glancing through the TV magazine I’d found a programme that looked interesting a little later in the afternoon and a fascinating one on the Hittites this evening. I determined I would watch them. Work was planned around those two programmes even if it meant missing some of the usual ones. In the end I was lucky and I didn’t have to miss too much. At 9.00 pm after the one on the Hittites I came through and started work again and found not too much waiting which pleased me and left me a little more relaxed than usual. I’ve been able to do the blog and will still get an early night.
Judging by the 3.13 am start this morning it’s possible I may have upset someone. It’s a shame too as I was at the point in a dream where I was about to fill out my list for Santa.
It wouldn’t have been a complicated list. Perhaps a dozen ‘dinky’ Titterton’s pork pies, 10 medium and maybe a family one or perhaps 2. It’s also possible there might have been mention of a BFG and maybe even a lemon meringue just in case Mike is here , he’s got a very sweet tooth. I’d have made a point of telling Santa I’ve tried to be very good this year and any hiccup are generally animal instigated though maybe I shouldn’t mention that because of his reindeer. I’ve tried to be nice to all Nigerian widows and orphans as well as polite to various bankers based in Nigeria, Burkino Faso and any place else. I’ve also tried hard to be patient with all the women with big, erm, assets who want to marry me or just teach me things and very patient with the various astrologers et al who want me to buy the knowledge of my future, I think being broke is the main thing in my future if I do. All in all I think I’ve been quite good. Of course in my dream I would have made the request and sent it off up the chimney to Santa. The min problem with reality is I have central heating in real life and no chimney so send it up.
There was quite a bit of mail when I signed in. It’s like everyone thought, “I know, I’ll do my Christmas list for Santa and then write a letter or post a blog while I’m here.” Not that they weren’t welcome nor interesting. They were, but it’s still a shock sometimes to see them all come at once. Still, thanks to being up so early it’s not like I was short of time. By 6.30 am I was feeling tired but I couldn’t go to sleep again without seeing to the fish so I decided to do them early. I went through to the kitchen and broke the pitch black by turning the overhead light on before turning the light on in the tank. I don’t know if the overhead light had set them off but I was mesmerised at the complicated water ballet being executed before me, and by executed I mean like the electric chair, as Morecambe and Wise were turning circles as though chasing each others magnificent tails while Big Al an Little Al we involved in a race doing full lengths of the tank, hitting their noses on the glass and racing back. Sharkey was nipping in and out of the amphora looking as though he’d lost something. In the midst of all this frenetic activity the plecs were just lying on the bottom without a care in the world. It was as though I’d fed them something a little controversial but I hadn’t fed them at all yet. I did so and things seemed to quiet down a bit. I turned away to take my morning meds and decided I was peckish so took a ‘foodie’ waited the 15 minutes ( with a cigarette) and had a small bowl of Shreddies.
I’d automatically made myself a coffee so no point in going to nod off in my chair and anyway, watching the fish had woken me up again. I went back to work. It must have been well after 9.00 am when I started to nod off over the keyboard when there was a knock on the door. I was expecting 2 deliveries today so I’d psyched myself up to answer the door. Not a delivery, instead there as a little old lady standing there who said “Do you want to buy any potatoes, various size bags”? I stuttered a “No thank you” and came in. No sooner had I sat down than another knock on the door. I could see the bright orange top that led me to think it was the postman so I answered. This time a tall young man with an orange jumper stood there. “Want to buy some potatoes”? he asked. I wasn’t sure if my first answer hadn’t been convincing enough but I repeated it with thanks. Yet again I went to sit down at the computer when I heard a fumbling at the door. There was the same orange. I wanted to open the door and say go away but I’m glad I couldn’t as it was the postman with delivery number 1.
As this delivery was a gift I’d bought I decided to have a break from work and start organising myself. I got out the sacks I’d bought with Mike a couple of weeks ago and put names on them then placed them on Mike’s bed. I started going through my bags, boxes and parcels and placing things in the appropriate sacks so that when I’m ready I can just grab a sack and start wrapping. I’m not sure Mike is going to be too thrilled when he comes this weekend and can’t find his bed. I must put in some effort as my great niece, her boyfriend and my great grand nephew are coming up this weekend and I have something for them to take back for under their tree. That’s if they have a tree as currently they’re in a hotel after their house was flooded. I know she’s finding it a strain having to control her son when he wants to play which she wouldn’t have to do at home. All this work took me up to almost midday so I stopped for lunch and Bargain Hunt.Remarkably I stayed awake again and then couldn’t afford a nap as the next episode of the programme I’d watched yesterday was on at 2.15 pm and I wanted to see it. That left me just over an hour to make some headway with the post. I actually did quite well.
I quite enjoyed the programme but it’s obvious I’ve missed quite a lot by not seeing earlier episodes even though each one is a story in itself. If it comes around again I’ll make more of an effort. I started working again and at 4.10 pm as I was just nipping to the loo I saw a van draw up and someone coming down the path. I opened the door ready and it was my second delivery which is actually something Ugo wanted me to get.He’ll be pleased it’s here. I had to sign for it and how I hate those awful machines you have to write on with a plastic pen. My signature is indecipherable to me when I’ve use one. I thanked the driver, closed the door and continued on my now urgent journey. By 5.00 pm I was up to date. As I went through to watch a quiz I noticed a box of Christmas cards I’d left out ready to do the neighbours so I rattled a few off as I watched. Then I cut out some pictures to use in Christmas decorations with the lights I bought. A really industrious day. By 7.00 pm I’d seen all I wanted to see on the box so I had a couple of mince pies and came back to work. I’ve been answering mail and commenting on blogs ever since. I really feel like I’ve achieved something today and at last I’m reasonably happy with what I’ve bought.
Lat night went so well that I was able to go to bed, have a read and still turn my light off at 11.45 pm. This morning was not the best start possible though. I woke and got up at 3.36 am and for some reason wandered through to the kitchen after visiting the bathroom and turned the light on. I went straight to the tank and lit it up while wondering if they’d like some Christmas lights. All of them seemed a little stunned and after a short visit to the front of the tank to make sure it was really me, carried on swimming normally. I turned round to take my tablets, putting milk in my mug to do so, then for some strange reason took a pre- foodie tablet first. I realised straight away what I’d done but had no choice but to eat. It was then I checked my watch for the 15 minute delay and found it was just 2.50 am. Stunned but well able to hear the mocking laughter from the top of Mount Olympus, Valhalla or even the roof I lit a cigarette and sat in the darkened lounge to smoke it. When the timing was finished I returned to the kitchen and with a show of manly strength ripped open a small box of Rice Krispies and spent the next 5 minutes collecting as many as possible off the floor before eating some more carefully opened Rice Krispies from my supplies. I made a coffee and took it through to the office.
I turned the computer on and sent birthday greetings to my great-niece Marissa via Facebook, a place I rarely visit these days. While there I accepted two friend requests and answered a message. Before starting on the post I needed to visit the loo again. It was now 3.45 am and obviously still very dark so I turned the bathroom light on. You’ll have to take my word for it that I’m not vain but as you go in the bathroom there is a large mirror on the left. I just happened to glance into it and there I saw Oliver Cromwell. I had a huge wart on my chin.It was only on closer examination I found it was a rogue Rice Krispie poking through my beard. I think the mocking laughter would have been much harder if I’d gone to Pauline’s like that. I ate it, did what I needed to do and returned to work.
I worked through until 8.00 am then got dressed ready to confront the day with what I hoped would be dignity. Taking my empty cup through to the kitchen I was ready to return to work for a while but decided to wrap my daughter’s birthday present and also place the calendars I’d had made into envelopes. once addressed I placed them in the bag with the gift ready for Ugo to deliver when he goes to see his Mum and his brother and sisters. That job had taken me beyond 9.00 am so it was opportunity to go to Pauline’s for some extra milk and my TV mag. Obviously the milk goes faster when I’m having cereal for breakfast. I picked up cigarettes for tomorrow while I was there so I needn’t go out again until Friday when I do the lottery. It seemed quite sunny out so I’d gone in just my cardigan ( you know what I mean so stop laughing, no coat). Whatever lies the sunshine told it was white on the ground and I was freezing outside. I was glad to get back.
After storing the milk in the fridge ( probably warmer than outside) I returned to work and concentrated on it for the rest of the morning until 11.45 am when I went to make lunch. I reminded myself to take a pre-food tablet when I reached the kitchen but must have been distracted. I’d put the sausages under the grill and had part cooked them before I started the mashed potatoes and once those were done, the beans. It was only as things were almost ready I remembered the tablet and was able to curse myself for such stupidity. There was no help for it though things were almost done. I added butter to the potatoes, creamed them and added them to my plate. I turned the grill off and added 6 (small) sausages to my plate then retrieved the beans from the microwave and added those over the top of my potatoes like the lava coming from Mt. Vesuvius. I really enjoyed my dinner and made doubly sure to take the after food tablets when finished. After washing up I sat back in the chair to enjoy the auction part of Bargain Hunt and fell asleep. It didn’t last long but I thought it had, Looking at my watch told me it was 2.10 pm and I thought my new programme was on in 5 minutes and I’d done no work. Common sense kicked in when I realised it was still the news on TV so I rechecked my watch. It was 1.10 pm so I had plenty of time to work.
I started catching up again but found myself drifting off, drifting, drifted. This time it was 3.00 before I opened my eyes. I knew that because my head was bent at such an angle it was looking at my watch on my arm, in my lap.That meant I’d all but missed the programme and also that a load more mail had accrued. I refreshed the screen and almost fainted when I saw the new totals. Opening a new tin of Pepsi Max I hoped the caffeine would help keep me awake while I worked. It did, but it made me fidgety and my hands were jerking so that I was deleting mail before I’d done it and had to keep going to find it. At 4.30 pm I decided I needed a break before my
opponents visitors arrive. I’d just managed to eat a cold sausage sandwich with some leftovers from lunchtime when Lee arrived. He’s fine and looking good too. What a great father he’s going to make. I asked if Jen is showing yet and his answer is “Not much”. Maybe she isn’t at that sensitive stage yet where her S.O.H takes a holiday if her size is mentioned in the wrong way ( in any way). I suggest he keeps some running shoes handy as he may be taking the dog out a lot. He was good enough to listen to my woes about the computer and agreed I’d done all I could but he did have a look at the blasted search engine that comes up every day unwanted. I did say I’ve checked all the registries. He wasn’t able to fin it’s hiding place either but it’d not damaging anything now and I just delete it. I got him a glass of water and we sat chatting waiting for the others to arrive.
They caught me unawares at 5.30 pm and I had to nip to the kitchen to make drinks. Coffee for Matt and Tea for Dil. Drinks given I set up the table and pulled out the Balderdash. I didn’t get a look in during the first game and realised what accomplished liars we breed in this family. Hung by our own petards. I think Matt won the first one but in the second one my super powers of straight face, honest eyes came into play and I won easily. Oh, and naturally I was doing the scoring too which helps.I nipped into the kitchen to smoke a cigarette where the extractor fan is since neither Lee nor Dil smoke though Dil used to so he understands the need. While I did so, Matt drew up the chart for nomination whist and Dil dealt. It distresses me to say I wasn’t doing the scoring this time and so I lost. It was nip and tuck between Dil and myself most of the way with us changing position between first and second and leading by about half a dozen points. The last game he made sure I won one trick more than I wanted while he got his call and he beat me. At that point Lee had to leave us as he hadn’t seen Jen since breakfast Since she works outside the home and has a fair way to travel it can be a long day.
Once Lee had gone Dil suggested reminding Matt how to play Chase the Lady ( what some of you will know as Hearts on your computers). It’s been months since we first showed him and it’s not an easy game to teach. He picked it up quite well but still hasn’t quite got the hang of it. We decided to play it through as though a real game and point out errors on the way. He didn’t seem to be making that many until someone started dumping the Queen of Spades on him at every opportunity after theb two of them stopped me lotting. That turned out to be Dil’s game as well. So, just one very small victory for me tonight, I’m devastated. As it was past 9.30 am it was time for them to depart. I tidied up, washed the pots and wished the fish goodnight. I’d just turned the mail back on when I remembered I needed to go back through and take my meds. There was mail going back to 3.30 pm when I must have last refreshed so I wasn’t best pleased. In order to go to bed by midnight, and I am tired tonight, I have had to leave a big chunk undone until the morning. It’s 11.50 pm now so I should just about make it.
Here is a picture of Mike’s new grandson Jacob Ryan born around 3.00 am this morning. Isn’t he bright eyed. Congratulation Lisa and Tony and the new grandad.
I made it to bed by midnight last night. After a read I settled down at about 1.00 am. After the last couple of days I was delighted when I opened my eyes and found the time was 4.53 am. I think some beings may have decided they’ve gone a bit too far this week. Things were OK as I laid into the mail on my talktalk account which is actually aol. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but it’s odd that there’s no facility for actually blocking an address you don’t want mail from but which keeps bombarding you. I could really have done with it this morning. So many adverts for winning laser eye treatment etc. Nothing interesting like winning your own weight in gold for instance.
7.00 am brought it’s usual torments when I went to feed the fish. I bent down to wish Good Morning to Morecambe and Wise as they’re the ones usually at the upper level and hang around either because of my dulcet tones or because they want to be fed. Instead I ended up in a staring contest with two red eyes which had they been able to speak would probably have had a very gruff Yorkshire accent and be calling me ‘lad’ as they gave me a bollocking. The pity of it is I have no idea what I’m supposed to have done wrong unless it’s because their light was turned off 5 minutes early last night. I also had the urge to laugh as Little Al swam into the picture and stayed behind the tail of Big Al and the tail seemed to be slapping his face. Laughing might not have been the best idea so I just said “Sorry” and moved away to take my meds. I needed breakfast this morning so I also took one of my pre-food tabs then lit a cigarette for timing and walked away to make myself useful. First a trip to my bedroom to find my Christmas gift wrap, then to Mike’s bedroom to create a space on top of the bed by taking a sack through ready for wrapping later.
The cigarette came to an end so a couple of pieces of bread went into the toaster and I started to make my coffee. As the toast came out it got lashings of butter and I was licking my lips for ages afterwards. I took my coffee back through with me and got myself washed and dressed before settling down to work again. As soon as 9.30 am came round I prepared to go to Pauline’s, the school rush would be over by then and I wouldn’t be trampled by a herd of wild mummies freed for the day. It was dry this morning with even a hint of sun but again there was no warmth coming through. I was prepared this time though and was so muffled in my coat I could hardly move and the cardie underneath made it look like I’d gained ten stone since the weekend, which in fairness to Whitaker’s dark chocolate mints and strawberry creams I might have. I picked up a small loaf and took it to the counter just as the last customer was leaving. I handed Pauline the list of lottery tickets and requested a winner. She promised to see what she could do. I also bought enough cigarettes to keep me going until Saturday (I hope).
Back at home it took me half an hour to unravel myself from all the extra clothing. It was like unwrapping a mummy from the sixth dynasty, I think that was the last series. I’m not sure what husband Joan Collins was on then. It was back to work after that and my oh my hadn’t it mounted up again. Yet again over the last two days there have been little groups of people following the blog so I’m constantly having to check out new blogs to see if I should be following back. I never quite see the logic of being followed by a travel company or a school supply business. Those are not groups most people would follow. At 12.00 pm I felt really tired and was going to lie down but remembered I needed to eat something so had a beef sandwich and a strawberry fool. I watched most of the antique programme and even saw the auction at the end. I came back through to work as I wanted to see something at 2.15 pm. I was keeping an eye on the clock (( very uncomfortable as it kept rolling off) and remember seeing 2.05 pm and thinking I needed to wind up. That was the last thing I remembered until I woke up at 2.55 pm when it was almost over. I was determined not to miss the Big Bang Theory at 8.00 pm.
About 4.30 ish I got up to date on emails and decided on a break. I cut myself some malt loaf and watched a quiz on TV until 6.00 pm when I decided it would pay me to keep the mail down ready for my next departure. Things went well and at 7.45 pm I was up to date on both accounts . I went through and found I’d forgotten the fish so without turning on the kitchen light crept quietly up to the tank and switched if off shouting “Time for bed guys, goodnight.” I even had time to wrap a couple of Christmas gifts for my great niece, her partner and my great grand nephew. I’d just put the sellotape away when Big Bang started.I settled in my chair, not that this episode was too important as it was a repeat of last weeks before the new one. I got about half way through and fell asleep again. It was almost 9.30 pm before I woke up. I’m beginning to think Somnos and Porcinus might have a new playmate who enjoys messing with my schedule. Let’s call him Digitus just so I know who I’m thumping when we meet.
Wearing my melancholy face and the quivering bottom lip that so upsets my beautiful daughter, I wandered back through to work. Drying my eyes so the screen wouldn’t blur I set to work on the new messages which were coming in thick and fast, worse than a snow storm in Maine ( as described to me by that excellent writer S.J.Sprague). I was so involved in what I was doing I almost missed Mike coming through the door at 10.40 pm. Obviously like a little child he demanded my attention and if no coffee was forthcoming ( or even fifthcoming) he’d spit his dummy out. The coffee was forthcoming and we sat together talking about our week. Mine didn’t take long, stayed in all week except for the corner shop visits. His of course was much more interesting, in the hatched column his beautiful new grandson Jacob, in the dispatched column 6 of his fish which he was definitely most dischuffed about. His water ( sorry, the tank’s water) has been tested and found to be perfect so it seems likely either he’s bought some diseased fish or introduced something toxic to the tank and he swore he hasn’t sung to them so it must be an airline he put in last week.
We talked until quite late and I’ve now had to give up the idea of doing more emails until tomorrow since it’s well past the witching hour. I therefore wish you all goodnight. Bon nuit, nos da.
I read until 1.00 am or maybe a little after. As I turned the light off and settled down I sent out a few warnings mentally about the price of sleep disturbances. I was afraid of being woken at some ridiculous hour with a request to vote for one of my new acquaintances as God of the Week or something equally as urgent. As it was, I had a nuisance free night and was able to lie in until 5.29 am. There was a desperate need for the loo when I swung my legs out so I made a quick dash trying to get my dressing gown on at the same time. That flailing of arms and flapping of material was not what was wanted at that time of day though. Either my are, sleeve or belt must have caught two empty pepsi tins on the edge of my desk waiting to go into the recycling bag. Down they came with a double clang worse than the chime of a grandfather clock in the dead of night. I expected light to go on around me, well everywhere except Mike’s room at least. For sure it made me wake up as I stood there shushing the cans like they could hear me and bounce quietly. I carried on to the loo and then picked them up on my way back. Without any thought I dropped them into the recycling bag only for them to clang again on the cans already in there.
I started in on the mail and my fears that there would be plenty of mail left from last night was proven right. Still, worrying about it wouldn’t help so I just panicked instead. It was, OMG, OMG, OMG what can I do? But I wasn’t sure what could be done except work or sit there and delete them all claiming some kind of divine retribution because I wouldn’t speak to Somnos. I knew that was unlikely to work so I bit the bullet ( don’t do that if you have fillings folks) and got on with it. I could only work until 6.30 am on this first batch as I had my drugs to see to this morning so at the appointed hour I went to the kitchen ready to look my nemesis in the face. It wasn’t to be as he was holding one of his Union meeting again where the tail flicked in my direction sometimes as if in indication. I can’t understand why we can’t get on. I opened the flap and dropped food in. Before I turned away I noticed Sharkey as well as Morecambe and Wise backing away from Big Al while pretending to listen. The food and I were winning hearts and stomachs. I left and went to take my morning meds.
Once the meds were taken and the pots empty I went to get the drawer where I keep my ‘stash’ and filled them all up again. It does take quite a while. Before doing it I”d taken a pre-food tablet knowing I’d be ready for breakfast once the meds were done. As soon as the drawer was back in place I put some bread in the toaster and made my drink. I enjoyed the toast, and after taking my post meal tabs I took the drink back and started on the mail which hadn’t disappeared while I was away. It’s funny sometimes to see just how many people are still working after you’ve gone to bed and seeing them say goodnight at various time zones on twitter. I wasn’t many short of completion of last night work when it was time to leave again. I’d no idea whether Mike has set an alarm last night an I knew he’d had a late night but he had to travel to his father’s this morning and I was determined to give him a head start. So, at 9.00 am I took him a coffee through, went to the lounge, put Frasier on and settled to wait. I woke up again around 9.30 am and Mike was in his chair enjoying the programme. At least I didn’t have to shout him again. Trouble is I expected him to get up and get ready and be out of the house by 10.00 am. No chance, he watched Frasier till 10.00 am and then got ready and left.
I carried on working all morning until there was a knock at the door about 11.45 am. It had slipped my mind about the warden coming and yet again I wasn’t dressed. She must wonder if I ever get dressed. ” You DO go out don’t you”? was one of her questions. It was during this visit I learned I am exactly one day older than she is. While she no doubt sat there thinking she wasn’t as wrecked as the man in front of her, I was thinking, What a difference a day makes. She’s quite a pleasant lady to speak to. After she’d gone I made myself pizza and chips for the sake of speed and watched Bargain Hunt. Yep, all the way to the end again. Then it was time to concentrate , preferably with my eyes open. I rapidly finished off last night stuff and started on this morning’s. by 5.00 I was more or less up to date and took a break. Time for a quiz then I planned to take a shower about 6.30 am and wondered if Mike would be back by then. I watched the quiz until 6.00 pm and then the start of the next one before falling asleep until 6.45 pm. Mike wasn’t back. I dashed ( ha, me dash !) to have a shower so I wouldn’t miss too much of Mastermind, and managed to get back only ten minutes into the programme.
At 7.30 pm there was football on TV so I decided to go and complete a little more work. I wouldn’t have been able to had Mike been here. He arrived back at 8.50 pm so it was time to stop work again and go see how his day had been and to spend some time with him. I stayed until 10.00 pm having enjoyed Have I Got News For You and it’s lampooning of our lying politicians. Now it was time to be serious again amongst the conmen of a different continent. I was determined to clear as many messages as possible today with going out so early in the morning. I’ll never know why I chose a Saturday as the day I post the blog as it’s always the most stressful day of the week, losing so much time from the computer due to shopping. It’s playing catch up from the moment we get in.
Last night I made it to bed before midnight but as usual there was an overriding need to relax with a read. Having stopped writing seems to have increased my appetite for reading rather than dampening it. After quite a few late night this week and just a couple of late mornings I was hoping that maybe I’d get to lie abed until about 5.00 am again. Yes I know, the eternal optimist. It was 3.38 am but on the plus side there were no visits to Mt Olympus/ Snowdon/St Helens or somewhere to contend with first. I got out of bed a bit gingerly as it felt cool. I do keep the heating on and mentioned to Mike that it just never seemed to reach my room. There were a few non swear words in his explanation which seemed to be “Stop putting stuff in front of the radiator then you prannock.” Since he wasn’t up (ha ha ha) I didn’t have to hear that this morning. A quick run to the bathroom, a minute with the ice-axe and then back to start work. Quite a bit to do before 7.00 am but I’m confident it can be done.
I started by deleting everything I could see I didn’t need to work on or answer, just so the list looked smaller. Next it was dealing with the tweets and retweets which made the list smaller still. All that pratting about brought the end of the list much closer for me but gave me so much less time to concentrate on the things that mattered. I panicked. My hands started to shake which was quite good as it almost counteracted the usual shake so I didn’t light the tip of my nose when I had a cigarette. I’mm not sure the medical profession are ready to accept this as a breakthrough but I felt I’d made progress and my nose wasn’t as warm as usual. I actually managed to get up to date, including a refresh, by 6.45 am and went straight through to the kitchen in an unusually good mood. I put the tank light on and it was like a miracle. The food slot became the centre of all attention. Morecambe and Wise at the top of the tank, Sharkey was hovering around low middle and the rest on the gravel more or less in a circle surrounding Big Al so either he was leading the morning prayers or I’d just saved him from a mob. I dropped the flake in for M & W followed by a tablet of algae for the others. M & W ignored the flake and followed the algae tab to the bottom an started kissing it. Since it had dropped fairly close to Big Al, I wouldn’t give twopence for their chances if he saw them. Luckily Little Al was running around like he was demented and was occupying his attention momentarily. That also suited me, so whistling Que sere sera, I backed away to take my meds. I decided to have breakfast today so once the meds were taken I had a timer cigarette before putting some bread in to toast.
I’d just finished breakfast and made a drink when Mike’s alarm went off so I put the kettle on for him and while it was boiling started readying my bins. When I took the drink through I could tell it was going to be hard work. I had to call twice just to get a grunt in return. I took the bins and the bags out and when I’d finished came back in to find no movement even though it was possible the alarm had sounded and been ignored again. I called out “Don’t let your coffee get warm Michael” and went back to work by refreshing the screen.The words must have penetrated because I heard him move through to the lounge which didn’t necessarily mean he was awake.On a Pinterest board I saw a picture of some fish s I went to check if he was awake and asked him to look them up, it was written as batta fish, bata fish and also beta fish and they looked great. Mike came through to say they were just Siamese fighting fish but he had to agree these were spectacular. It turned out they had an odd name like semi circular or something and the tails were brilliant but it said they’re expensive. We’ll have to keep an eye open. OK, so I had him awake now but he was so hooked on the subject that I couldn’t get him to go get dressed.
Eventually we were on our way out but didn’t arrive at the store until 8.15 am.I thought we were able to make up some time as my list wasn’t too big but we had coffee at the normal time. From there we went to Flint and our usual shops for a few items and then our usual coffee and teasted toecakes with Ceri. There didn’t seem to be much banter today but that may be because it was quite crowded. Also I wasn’t on top form at all and wasn’t perhaps paying as much attention as usual. We went home and put the shopping away. Time was getting on and about 1.00 pm we went for lunch. We were disgusted when we ot there to see they’d allowed someone to sit at our table even though the place wan’t full. That will mean a written complaint to the management. Talking of whom, he was in the kitchen cooking today as Shella is off with the flu. Angie and Rob were front and centre today so Rob saw to the drinks and Angie took our food order for Tariq to cook. I decided to give him the letter of complaint after we’ve eaten. By the time we were due to leave we were the only customers left so Tariq and Shirley were able to come through from the kitchen. We had a few laughs as a group then received hugs including from Rob today.
At home I wanted to start work but Mike wasn’t happy with the way I looked. He told me to put a bag over my head to improve things. Swine ! We put some Chistmas lights up at the window and brought my permanent tree of LCD lights out to stand in front of the window. Once I’d hung a few ornaments on it everything felt quite Christmassy. I couldn’t go to Colwyn Bay to take gift to my great niece so I sent a text to David -my nephew-her father. They’ll come through in the morning which is nice. After that, I was able to come through and relax ( away from THE VOICE ” Stop doing that. put your arms down, take your spray) and do some work until 5.30 pm when he called me through to watch TV with him and relax properly. I stayed until 8.00 pm which being blog night is as late as I dared. I’m going to be on time with the blog but I’m not sure where I’ll be with the mails as I think it’s time to hit the sack as soon as I press publish.
Have a wonderful week everyone.