Middle Finger Extension & Shirley’s Drunk!

Sunday 21st Dec 2014.

I was allowed to return to some kind of normality this morning with a 5.04 start. I think even the gods know when we mortals hold the upper hand. Push me too far and I’ll forget about them and they’ll ‘fizzle’ out of existence. Existence is about all they have at the moment since I certainly don’t worship the little perishers. If they want the next step I suggest they concentrate on my lottery numbers.

There was a fair bit of post this morning. I was in a good mood, but not good enough to open ‘Sexy Tina has tweeted you with a link’. I doubt my blood pressure could take it and my arteries would burst under the strain. Skirting round that one I carried on with the rest and worked until 7.00 am.  I walked through to the kitchen and flicking the light on the tank invited Big Al to do his worst. Perhaps remembering that they hadn’t been fed yesterday prompted a little discretion and they all just carried on as though they’d heard nothing. I opened the flap and fed them. As I closed the flap and started to turn away Big Al came up to the glass at the front and looked at me. The thing is, I couldn’t translate the look and I’m sure puzzlement must have run across my face. That was enough, he turned tail in glee and swam away. He knows which one of us is boss and it isn’t me.

I took my morning meds and made a coffee to take back through with me. Once there it was time to get washed and dressed and carry on with the mail until it’s time to wake Mike up. That’s what I did. About 8.50 am I was up to date and ready to make his coffee. I took it through dead on 9.00 am and called him “Time to rise and shine.” Very slowly a hand appeared from below the covers with middle finger extended. Well, at least I had his attention. “Coffee’s here,” I said. From my bedroom I was listening for movement but by about ten past I’d heard nothing and went back through. “Coffee’s going cold Mike.” I told him and he sat upright and said “Oh heck did I fall asleep, fall asleep, asleep again did I”? That was enough, and a couple of minutes later he was on the move. Since I was up top date again I joined him in the lounge. I didn’t bother telling him how heartbroken ( cough) I was about the finger as I’d just have got another one. While he drank his coffee I went and started bringing through the gifts we were taking through to MuJo this morning. ( or this afternoon if he didn’t get a move on). By the time he’d finished doing what he needed to do it was 10.00 am but we were actually going out the door.

It wasn’t too bad a run and took just about an hour to Cerrigydrudion and Ty Nant.We smoked our first cigarette in the new car on the way, every window open and freezing to death but it was worth it. MuJo had said they couldn’t meet us for lunch as their eldest daughter was coming up. We planned to stop for lunch on our way back. We had a coffee and mince pie with MuJo while Mike admired their 15 foot Christmas tree and the decorations. I placed their sacks by the tree ready for Christmas morning, and put Yvonne’s bag for them with it. Mike had also bought them some chocolates which joined the pile. By 12.30 we had to leave as Mike still had deliveries to do today before he went home.We wished MuJo goodbye and set off back stopping in Denbigh on the way back at a Morrison’s to try and get individual cereals ( the branch is too small) and Mike suggested lunch there. Normally it’s a good , filling meal. Today it was a disaster. We ordered lamb shanks with mash and peas as the alternative seemed to be turkey dinners.We got drinks and I took my pre-food tablet. It was then someone on the next table had a roast beef dinner delivered and there had been nothing to indicate this was an option. (Grrr) then after half an hour ours still hadn’t come so Mike went up to ask about it. Just being dished up he was told. It was hot at least from the microwave but the meat seemed very chewy and a bit dry like it had been done twice. The potatoes were pure stodge and Mike said he could still taste the powder in his. The peas were great though. I hope that’s not my only Christmas dinner this week.

We gladly got out of there and headed for home where Mike helped me wrap the Christmas presents for Ugo and Yvonne. That’s it now apart from two I have to wrap for Mike and no way was I asking for his help there. The car was loaded up with gifts for Yvonne’s family from MuJo which Mike was going to deliver on his way home for me so they had them for Christmas day. They’re not part of the boxing day opening. I waved goodbye to him a little after 4.00 pm. Then I almost scorched the carpet getting to my bedroom to see how bad the post was. 281 on the main mail service and that was to 2.57 pm. I daren’t refresh. The trouble was by about 6.00 pm my eyes were shutting and I had to go sit in the lounge and sleep for half an hour or so. 6.30 pm and it was back into battle though it seemed never ending by 11.05 I’d caught up. On the second service there were only 38 that weren’t duplicates so that wasn’t too bad. Now I’m cream-crackered and ready for bed and any new messages can wait for the morning.

Monday.

Despite it being a 1.00 am bed last night it was a much more expected time of rising this morning at 4.12 am. Perhaps I’m to be left alone now while the gods move on to pastures new. I did pinch myself to make sure I was awake in my own reality first. That’s a bruise owed to them now. There not having been a great deal of time before retiring and rising again I was able to take a more leisurely stroll to the loo this morning. I was really glad  not to be outside as the wind was really whistling through the grille above my front door and as it suddenly blew hard it cracked like the sound of a sheet being folded and flicked to remove creases. I’m pretty sure there was rain as well. It was grim but I was toastie inside. Time to look at the mail.

Having done so much last night the mail wasn’t too bad at all. And this early stretch had no stupid spam messages either for a change. There were some that required proper responses though and they took me some time so it was approaching 6.45 am when I was up to date. It was time to face the fish. Here was I expecting a big showdown and at first I got nothing. They just carried on like I wasn’t there until I put some food in the flap. Then there was a feeding frenzy and they were barging each other to get at the food.Even Morecambe and Wise who have no competition for the flake at the top of the tank were embroiled in the writhing mass at the bottom of the tank. It was as though they were desperate for food though that wasn’t the case. It took me a minute to realise Big Al was not part of the action and was lying on the bottom at the far side watching the goings on. It looked from his slight movements as though he disapproved and was tut-tutting. He swam forward in a very deliberate manner and found a pellet that had drifted further than the rest and started eating. I could see there were no problems for me today so shut the flap and turned to get my meds.

I took my coffee back to my room and saw the small box on one side that is one of Mike’s gifts. Now he’s out of the way and not due back until possibly late Thursday I could wrap it and take it through to the lounge where the other gifts are. I also needed to stop avoiding wrapping the very big box that contains his dragon lamp. I decided I might as well do everything at once. Obviously for the box I needed to use a roll of paper since the individual sheets wouldn’t do. That means unrolling and cutting to size in an approximation of a straight line. I managed it without wrapping myself or covering myself in sellotape. I also wrapped a gift for one of my nieces by marriage and then realised that I wouldn’t be able to deliver hers or my brother in laws before Christmas. I hate that but the sleigh is out of commission at the moment. The rest of the gifts I took through to the lounge ready for Christmas day and boxing day.

That messing around had passed a fair bit of time. I’d win no prizes for speed, tidyness or even legible handwriting these days.I went back to refresh my screen and catch up on the emails again. I need to keep on top of them all day today.I took a few minutes to get washed and dressed even though there was no chance of the cleaner turning up now. Since no-one has phoned to say she’s been taken ill I can only imagine I’ve been abandoned now. I’ll have to start looking again in the new year. Once I was dressed though I decided to take some little gifts round to my neighbours. Some of them seemed to be out while others seemed anxious to chat. It isn’t that I don’t care, but I was freezing and the wind was quite bitter. I needed to get back home and get warm. Once back inside I carried on with the mail and before 11.00 am I was clear. I went to the lounge and turned the Christmas lights on and watched a film. To be more accurate I watched some of a film as I nodded off for half an hour and then had to go and start lunch. The film came to an end at 12.50 pm so I washed the pots and went back to work.

Things weren’t too bad by any means and there were still no spam messages, instead as I opened an email to see someone’s post I found myself mentioned and she had gifted me a new award. My friends are just so kind to me. I kept going steadily until 4.30 pm then went back to the lounge. None of my usual programmes were on TV but I found something to tide me over in the right spirit ie. Not a war film or a Cowboy. For tea I had some more rhubarb tart that Mike had forgotten while he was here ( so sorry bro’) and which because of that I obviously didn’t enjoy at all, cough. I decided to stay there until 8.00 pm and just catch up when I came through. When I finally made it back after studying my eyelids from the inside again until 8.45 pm there was a bit to catch up on. But, that seemed to be pretty much done by 11.00 pm. Anything else can wait till tomorrow.

Tuesday.

Sure enough, the anything else that can wait for tomorrow was waiting this morning when I got up. It proves there’s no such thing as an early night, just a lengthened next day. I got up at 5.08 this morning and as soon as I saw the emails waiting, I wished I’d just stayed in bed. It’s not that I’ve got any objection to work you understand, it’s just that if the guy on the late shift last night had done his job, my morning might be starting a bit better. I did have two ‘Your Natwest statement is ready’ which I could delete out of hand since I don’t have an account with them. Minutes later I also had a ‘Your Co-operative Bank statement is ready for viewing’ which went the same way for the same reason. Bear in mind that the odds are there ,spammers will strike lucky sometimes and get your bank right. If the message does not use your name then it’s fraudulent. If you have any doubts, then go into your bank account via your own links  and view any messages they have sent. Likelihood, they won’t have sent any. Bear in mind, Do not go into your account via any links in the email.

I had not caught up but seemed to come across a natural break when I could see four messages that could be deleted straight away. That was at 6.40 am. I decided to see to the fish and sort breakfast out early. As I turned the light on in the tank I could see all was not well. Everyone was congregating in one corner. Either Big Al had called a Union meeting again or they were at a carol concert. I noticed though that the air pump was pumping water into thin air as the water level had dropped without me realising how bad it was. I had to get the fish bucket and mix some ‘Water Safe’ with some fresh, slightly warm water, and top it up a bit. Once the flow of water was circulating into the tank from the pump the fish came over to play. A I opened the flap to feed them another snail came flying off the flap and caught the edge of my mouth, ugh, if my mouth had been open at that moment I could have been French. I moved away and went to get my meds.

I started with a pre-food tablet then moved onto my sprays then finally my main tablets. I got the five smaller ones in my mouth and took a drink of milk but couldn’t get the thought of the snail out of my head.  My throat constricted and I went into a gag reflex. The damned tablets were dissolving before I could force myself to swallow. I had to go through it again twice as I took the two large tablets. My throat was not co-operating. Eventually I was done. I lit a cigarette which is always the perfect timer for when to have food. As it came to an end I put two slices of bread in the toaster and put my cup in the machine and pressed for my drink. The toast and my coffee were ready together. After applying lashings of butter I ate my breakfast and took the two after food torpedoes with some coffee.

I took what remained of my drink back to my room and carried on working.It was 10.00 am before I saw daylight and another twenty minutes saw me virtually up to date. Going through to the lounge after I’d dropped my dirty mug off in the kitchen I sat in my chair and within moments my eyes were shut tight. Zzzzzzzzz. It was 11.10 am before I came to and none of the expected guilt was there. I turned the TV on to some innocuous Christmas film until it was time for lunch. Yet again it was pre-food tablet followed by smoking a timer then making lunch which was a bing meal, beef stew with dumplings. I washed up and at 1.00 pm nipped out to Pauline’s to deliver a card and to pick up cigarettes for myself and for Matt who would be here this evening. I returned home and went straight back to work and was up to date by 2.05 pm. My pop supplies having run out in the bedroom I went through to the kitchen and had a drink. I turned TV on again and came across the British version of Judge Judy. The judge was an odious little man who spread sarcasm with a broad knife. Trouble was it was fascinating. For some reason I glanced out of the window at 2.30 pm and saw Dil and Matt approaching. I thought I’d been to sleep and missed the afternoon but no, Dil had closed the firm at lunchtime and sent the staff home till January. He’d picked Matt up and come straight here for an early games night. While I made drinks Dil got caught up in the judge too and said it was terrible, but you had to see it out. TV stayed on until it finished at 2.00 pm.

We started with a game of Yahtzee which is six hands. I won just one. Things went rapidly downhill from there. Nomination- Dil won. Chase the Lady, Dil won. Cribbage, I won, YAY. Then Matt offered to teach me Poker (Texas hold ’em?). We all started off with plenty of money but all I could do was watch my ile dwindle and Dil’s get bigger until I was skint. We finished up with cribbage which I also managed to win after an early struggle. That brought us up to 9.20 pm and home time for the boys. We all wished each other a Happy Christmas and they left. I tidied up and went through to start work. I had to stop doing mail at 11.00 pm to deal with the blog so it looks like tomorrow’s mail is going to be bad. Oops.

R.I.P Joe Cocker.

Wednesday- Christmas Eve.

4.18 am Today. That’s a little over 3 hours again. I suspect Somnos has settled into a pattern now and may have give up the idea of me being Publicity Agent for the gods….though not for long probably. I don’t think gods are used to arguments and expect to get their own way. As any man with a sister is likely to tell you, it doesn’t work like that. We practice war from a very young age, especially if the sister is older. Maybe I didn’t win too often but I always fought a good fight. Getting up at that time didn’t seem too bad , as always it gave me chance to attack the mail which I did as soon as I came back from bladder duty. I’m in agony this morning though it actually started last night. Perhaps a reaction to losing at cards? It’s my right ankle. It’s swollen, red, the skin is very tight and the pain is continuous. It’s just below the pointy bit that sticks out on the outside of the foot that’s most tender. Very difficult to walk and I’m using my crutches indoors. It can’t be broken or a certain person in Australia has threatened not to forgive me and may not speak to me again. I think it’s gout, and before anyone asks, No, I haven’t been overindulging in port and stilton.

At 6.30 am I broke away from work to surprise the fish. That proved to be a flop as they obviously heard the crutches and the cursing as I walked to the kitchen that they were all lined up at the front of the tank like an audience. I dare say some of them enjoyed the spectacle of me walking like that but I noticed that Big Al wasn’t in the line up. Maybe he actually cared. I opened the food flap and found out how far that care went, Big Al had swum to the top which was very unusual. With just one flip of his tail he started downwards again, but that flip sent a spurt of water right into my glasses so I couldn’t see. I get the idea how the snails have been coming out like torpedoes now. I stood on my dignity, dropped some food in. lowered the flap and hopped away dejected.

I cleaned or rather wiped clean my glasses before taking my meds in case I took the wrong ones and sent myself loopy( who was that called ‘Short Journey then’?). I had a miniature packet of cornflakes and took my cuppa to start work again. It was heavy going still but by 9.15 am I was clear of the worst of it and able to get washed and dressed. At 10.15 am Yvonne sent me a text saying they were dropping in on someone and would come to me straight afterwards. She’d text again when they were leaving. I took the opportunity to refresh the screen, perform a silent scream and start reading again. The next text came at 10.40 am to say they were on their way. Since I hate shopping late and fear crowds I feared the worst. I managed to clear the work by 11.00 am, grabbed my coat, put my shoes on ( gently) grabbed some bags and went outside to wait. As I reached the end of the path they arrived. As we got to the first Supermarket we drew into a disabled bay. The car park was quite full but the shop wasn’t too bad at all. I got part of what I wanted but not all. Yvonne got most of what she wanted too and Reuben kept us entertained on the walk round with his antics. We headed off to the second Supermarket where again I got most of what I wanted but not all. I had to settle for what I could get. At the till a fight ensued between this woman and her aged father when he offered to pay for her shopping. The battle was short and sharp but I  he won.

Ugo had spent almost the entire time we were out on the phone to gas companies and debt collection agencies over a bill his mother had had, and paid. After 9 phone calls covering a lot of different people and companies he won the refund due and an apology. It was the first chance of a proper conversation with him and as usual it involved food. He said he’d take me anywhere to eat but after all the hassle and completely forgetting my frozen food, we settled on going to MuJo’s favourite Chippy. It was great as I was starving. Reuben just wanted a drink so his sausage and some fish from his dad just ended up decorating the floor. They always bring wet wipes so they can clean up after him. We went home and Yvonne helped me get my stuff inside. Ugo stayed in the car with Reuben as he was ready for a kip……Reuben was, not Ugo. I said my goodbyes and they left. I unpacked the shopping and put it away and then ploughed into my work as it was 2.30 pm. I got about half done when I realised how tired I was. Giving myself a break I parked myself in from of the TV with the original Scrooge. I couldn’t nod. This film just draws me in every time.

It was about 4.00 pm when there was a knock on the door. Scrooge was still on but I answered it anyway. It was Jonathan who you may remember from last year is a young man I used to work with. ( If not, why not, don’t you read the blog?). It may only be once a year but it’s ever a delight to see him. He told me he’s finished with college now and earned a First which is really no surprise. I remember him starting work at 18  and for some reason thought him about 25 now so it was a real shock to find out he’s now 32. Anyone about that age who’s after a non drinker, non smoker but who is the nicest of people, apply here. Not a bad bone in his body. He stayed until 8.00 pm at which time I had to rush back in here. Ouch, the mailbox was bowing under the weight. I haven’t left here since except to take meds at 10.00 pm. At this rate I’ll be up to chat with Santa while he has his mince pie………… if he’s coming of course.

Reuben settling down for Santa

Reuben settling down for Santa

Santa's gift for Reuben.

Santa’s gift for Reuben.

 

Thursday. Christmas Day.

I went to bed at 12.15 am and managed to read until 1.00 am. Matthew Shardlake, Lawyer is hot on the heels of a religious killer during the time of Henry VIII who has just proposed to Catherine Parr. Maybe the story was on my mind and I didn’t want to be the next target of this killer or maybe I was just excited about Christmas but the wake up today was at 2.34 am. The mince pie had gone from the plate but I’m sure I remember having it for supper.

For once the mail was laughable and I actually ended up hobbling down the passageway and looking for something on TV at 3.45 am. I even stayed there until 5.00 am then went to see if there was more mail. There was but it looks like most people are enjoying the break and the incoming is sporadic. At 6.00 am I went to give the fish an early morning wake-up and catch them unawares. I put two of the larger tablets in so there would be plenty for all, as well as a little flake for Morecambe and Wise who despite appearances are only supposed to eat that. Nobody bothered me and I was able to get on with my meds and making a coffee without problems. I manoeuvred  my crutches using an elbow on one to carry my coffee through to the lounge. I wasn’t going to try and reach the bedroom with it. The foot has swollen more and even my slipper feels tight now. I nodded off in my chair until 8.40 am, dropped my cup in the washing bowl then headed back to work. There was still very little to do. Since I’d be on my own I saw no point in getting dressed. It would be very uncomfortable.

At 9.30 am I’d been patient long enough and went through to open my Christmas presents. All kinds of beautiful things. A book from a friend in Germany, a mind puzzle from ‘young’ Jonathan, scarf and my special biscuits from my friend Lis, a card shuffler and some special chocolate from Dil and family, some really special and unusual chocolate from Lee and Jen. My nephew David and family sent hair products and a photograph of their daughter. MuJo sent a book on collectible watches, a beautiful candle stand and a dragon wine bottle rest. I’ve been thoroughly spoiled and have to go through it again tomorrow with Yvonne and my nieces. I spent the morning between the bedroom and the lounge trying to work and trying to rest. Relief was hard to find. I had a ‘bing’ roast beef dinner at lunchtime which wasn’t too bad. Early in the afternoon Mike sent me a text to say he was going to Manchester to take his Dad for an x-ray because he’s hurt his wrist in a fall. It could be very late tonight before he’s here. That’s OK but a shame about his Christmas dinner.

At about 4.00 pm I had another text to say he’s on his way here. It took him just an hour from Manchester. The wrist was bruised but not broken and his Dad was OK. We sat and exchanged gifts, I received some wonderful old money in notes which were wonderful. I also got some cigarettes which will prove very useful, a fantastic cardigan and a silver broach with the Welsh Dragon on it. Mike seemed equally happy with his stocking giifts and his dragon lamp as well as his Welsh Gold ring of the Prince of Wales feathers. He lived so long in Wales, he talks of it as home and is an honorary Welshman. I felt very guilty that I couldn’t make his dinner but I did have all the makings and stood in thee kitchen with him while he made it. I had a couple of very small pork pies for my tea at the same time. Afterwards Mike did the washing up and let me catch up on emails before joining him again in the lounge. Getting between the two rooms is hell and I stumbled against the alarm, the sound catching Mike unawares. He helped me up  and Mike had to explain what had happened when they answered it.

Once I’d caught up again which took half an hour we sat and watched TV together. He set a stool and cushion for me to place my leg on and to be honest it did help….. at least until I moved. At 10.00 pm I left him watching an old b & w movie, The Lady Vanishes ,as I came and caught up again and also did the blog. Let’s see what tomorrow brings with the foot and whether or not I can get it into a shoe.

I’m not a religious person but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a good song. After all, they say the Devil writes the best tunes. Anyway this seems to fit the bill for being appropriate for the day and also to allow the golden tonsils of Harry Belafonte to let rip.

Friday. Boxing Day.

It’s a 4.34 am day which I didn’t think was too bad despite having not turned my light off until 1.00 am. When I swung myself out of bed the pain in my ankle wasn’t as bad and testing my foot gingerly on the floor it seemed I might be able to put a bit of weight on it. I shuffled to the loo and shuffled back again. It hurt but it could be done. Once back the computer went on and I dealt with my emails.2 cons this morning both claiming to be from my phone/isp provider and both saying they’d had a problem with my payment his months. Even though I knew that couldn’t be true as I pay by direct debit, the fact I wasn’t named would have been warning enough.

By 6.10 am I was up to date and I went through to feed the fish. Today it was Big Al waiting at the drop off point. Because it was the small pellets he didn’t seem to know what to grab first. Both Morecambe and Wise came to the bottom again and it was odd to see Wise swimming about with a pellet stuck in her mouth while Big Al was still scrabbling to find the now settled pieces. I left him to it and went to take my meds. Sprays first and then the morning tablets. Next I took a pre-food tablet and went through to get my meds draw to renew the week’s supply in the case. Once I’d done that I was able to have some breakfast- cereal today- and take the post-food tablets. I went back to work for a while.

At 8.00 am Mike’s alarm went off so I knew he wanted to go out. I shuffled to the kitchen and made a drink which I took through to him. I told him it was there and he acknowledged me in his own way.”Uh, yes, OK”. As expected I was there again at 8.15 am. A little louder I told him not to forget his coffee. “YessorryOK, I’m having trouble with Shirley being drunk” he told me. “Wuh” I replied, “which Shirley?” “You know” he said pausing, “that one.” None the wiser I packed in asking. At 8.30 am I was just about to go through and say Shirley was waiting with a coffee when I heard him get up. Fair play he made up for the reluctance to leave his bed by really getting a move on and we ended up being ready to leave at 9.00 am. He brought the car up towards the door and we loaded in all the sacks of gifts. We were at the ASDA sale by 9.30 am. It would be fair to say that  compared to the web site I was very disappointed. There were Christmas jumpers and cardies for men at good prices but very few shirts and not one pair of jeans or chinos. I managed to get a bargain with some bedding but that was it. The only other thing I bought were some gift boxes which are always useful. Mike had a look to see if he could find a clothes steamer but had no luck. We went to a self service pay point and coughed up for the goods then went towards the cafe. The queue there was longer than at the sales so we had to bypass it and head for the car.

It was raining outside and Mike made some comment about snow being due soon. I said yes, they’d predicted it for today but they’ve been wrong every other time. We got in the car and Mike decided to break the no smoking rule this time. As he headed out of the car park I sent Yvonne a text saying we’d be there in half an hour and to get the kettle on. She texted back she would. When we finally got there, Ugo and Reuben were just arriving home from the shops and my two nieces were parking up. We had so much stuff we parked on the pavement to unload then Mike went to find a parking space. Jo put the bags for her boyfriend Mike, who wasn’t joining us, and my brother in law whose gifts she was delivering on the way home straight into her car. Reuben was in his Dad’s arms smiling and pointing at me, or laughing at me, I’m not sure yet. We went inside and found Yvonne hard at work in the kitchen. Jo made Mike and I a cup of coffee. The lounge seemed the best place to sit so we all congregated in there as soon as Yvonne put the bread in the oven. Since it was still so early we decided to open gifts. As I’d got there I’d given Reuben a little barrel in which was a toy.  It turned out to be a Dragon in 3 pieces which brought it up to a nice size. When it came to opening prezzies we decided to start with him. He tugged at the paper on the first couple and then plonked his botton down in the chair Karen and Jo had bought him and played with the dragon. No sign of interest in anything else.

Everyone else took their turns more or less and we were all thrilled with our gifts. I got some blue desert boots, a Welsh Dragon onesie a lovely jumper and so much more. There was so much stuff Mike had to go and load the bags back into the car to give us room. When he came back we all went through to eat. Loading up at the buffet and then to out assigned places in the dining room. Reuben had gone ( been taken) upstairs for a nap. The food was lovely and very plentiful but I paced myself to make sure I’d have room at the end. Some silly things happened before that point like Jo asked if she could have some beetroot jelly followed by Mike asking her if he could have it after her. Ridiculous, like I’m ever going to share it and if I did, like Jo would have any left. They were so sulky I actually left a spot at the bottom of the bowl and got a fresh one. I had trifle to follow.

Afterwards I stepped out for a cigarette before going to have a game Yvonne had bought me which she said she’d heard good things about. The gift tag to me had read for nasty people to play so I was able to make her feel guilty. Well, the room got very warm. One person ‘A Tsar’ asks a question and everyone else put’s in a car from a selection they draw which gives a funny response to the question. Some of the answers were downright dirty, not just near the knuckle but actually perched on it. Everyone else took pleasure in saying “You never bought THIS game for your Dad”? She carried a permanent blush and kept trying to stutter an excuse about not knowing. Eventually we had to declare Karen the runaway winner. It was time to pack up and take our leave. I had work to do and I wanted a shower Reuben was back downstairs by this time and was falling all over my bad foot. I sounded like a timber wolf howling. He was as good as gold at waving goodbye tonight.

We hadn’t got very far into the journey when the rain changed to snow. Great big flakes that were sticking. The speed of all the traffic went right down and Mike’s BP went right up. We got home safely eventually but it was getting thicker. We were glad to get all the stuff indoors again. I worked from a while then had a shower about 6.00 pm. watched TV with Mike till 7.00 pm then came back to work. There wasn’t much chance of catching up but I needed to do the best I could. I needed another break about 10.00 pm so went back through till 11.00 pm then came to do the blog before going back for a last go at the mail.

Present Opening

Present Opening

On Train.

 

 

Saturday.

After finishing the blog last night I headed back through to talktalk to have another go at emails only to find the site down for updates. Because of that I let out a silent cheer and went to gmail where I deleted most things to deal with wen talktalk is back, and concentrated on the items which come through to gmail alone. I was finished there by 11.30 pm and settled on an early night. First I had to find my bed under the layer of bags containing presents from the last two days. That was no fun, storage being at a premium unless I start filling the loft again. I got to bed at 11.45 pm and read until 12.15 am. Out went my light. Out went I as soon as I found a comfortable spot for my foot.Heaven forfend I find my night disturbed, yet t’was so. I don’t know how far into sleep I was before I was made to travel. I found myself in a field of green with stone walls criss-crossing it. Perched on one wall was a large almost man-sized figure with what appeared to be an adult look. It took me a moment or two to recognise Somnos. He greeted me with a nod. “Well met” he said.                                                                                                                                                            “Hello Somnos” said I, always ready with the witty retort, ” where’s your compadre Porcinus?” I asked.                                                                                                                             “Alas he is diminished at the moment” he answered, “but belief in me grows and I age and grow accordingly, I suppose I have you to thank for that.”  Not wishing to accept I’d played a part in his creation or growth I changed the subject. “What brings you here now, or perhaps I should ask what brings me here now since it seems I’m the one to travel?” I asked.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ” I really must have an answer to my question about you becoming my our publicist. I acknowledge you’ve made a fine start with me but I require that someone promote belief in my brother Porcinus and in my other brother Jake.I require their assistance.”                                                                                                                                                                                               ” Wow , what a pantheon ” I said. “Somnos, Porcinus and Jake. OK ” said I growing weary, “I accept, but you must leave me to do it in my own way and my own time.” At that point I felt the flight of my return to bed and the reality of snow outside my door. I slept. I woke, it was 4.18 am Hours later writing this blog I am forced to say there are three gods by name of Somnos, Porcinus ( of the pigs and goats) and My Brother Jake of who knows what. I have fulfilled my part of the bargain and hope to be left alone now.

I woke at 4.18 am and paid my first visit of the day to the loo. Then I logged on to the computer and found that talktalk is still down for maintenance and nothing fresh has been able to hit my gmail account because of this. Even an early start doesn’t help me keep up to date it seems. I spent until about 6.45 am playing on Ancestry.co.uk updating ‘hints’ on some very obscure relatives. I’m sure there was Count Vald the Implier in Transylvania who went round dropping vague hints about people all the time. Strange people. Actually I was getting hints about Ju’s family after heaven knows how many years. I have two separate trees for us and when it sends me a hint it tells me it’s from me but a different me????????? Not that I wouldn’t be different if I could of course. I went through and took my meds and then made myself a coffee.  I also boiled the kettle up in case Mike had decided to put his alarm on with the intent of going out. I turned round to get his mug ready and realised I hadn’t done he light in the tank. I qulickly corrected that mistake with loads of apologies though I didn’t once face the tank while I made them and gave nothing to eat. I picked up Mike’s mug and turned back to the kettle.

Just then the alarm rang which coincided nicely with the kettle boiling. I made a drink and took it through. “Coffee’s here bro” I called, expecting the usual grunt.      “Is the weather fit for going out ?” I heard and looked round to see who’d spoken. I confirmed the snow had been driven back and that though it was in fact wet outside, shopping could still go ahead as planned. I went to start getting dressed, Mike went back to sleep. Ten minutes later the alarm repeated. I can’t repeat what I heard but he got up. Needless to say it was not a usual morning and by the time he’d grunted, farted ( ‘scuse my bum), coughed and drunk his coffee then finally got dressed it was nigh on 8.30 am. As i didn’t want much in the way of food due to the skint diet we weren’t going to our usual supermarket but heading for Broughton Park so we could look for a clothes steamer and a 10″ tablet for him. We made our way there withnthe rain and sleet beating down on us but still made good time as the roads were relatively quiet. We parked outside Tesco’d and went upstairs to look at the gents clothing sale ( one waistcoat in the whole lot and it wouldn’t close round one of my thighs) then went for coffee. You have to start an outing off right don’t you.

We went downstairs and shopped for the little food on my list then as Mike took the bags to the car I had a cigarette outside. Next door is a British Home Stores where I used to be able to use a store card from another shop. After hearing the card backers wouldn’t be running the cards again late last year and I didn’t believe a big group would do without a store card I thought I’d better ask. No problem I was told so I picked a few thing out I wanted including a clothes steamer and took them to the counter. The card was rejected 3 times. So embarrassing. Mike said leave the stuff and come away but I couldn’t do that and paid cash instead. Next move was to take a walk round the complex to the shop whose card it is to ask questions where I find the card has been replaced by a credit card based on the group. Very annoying, but I signed up for it. It was granted straight away by their backers over the phone. Since coming away from their I’ve decided I probably won’t use it and will just pay the little I owe on the existing store card and forget them. We walked a little further and went round another store where we had our next coffee and thn on to a last store where I wasn’t impressed with their sale prices at all. £11 for a box of chocolates that contained 8.

On the way  home we stopped for lunch as it was getting on for 2.00 pm and I was overdue on the tablets. I had quite a nice roast beef dinner while Mike had lamb. On the way out my crutches slid on some of the snow still hanging about and I jarred my groin trying to keep my balance. I must have made an Oops sound because Mike turned round and grasped one of my arms pulling me upright. He was trying to tell me to get my eight on my left leg but was laughing too much. He hoped maybe I could repeat it with him looking this time. Instead I just made my way to the car walking like John Wayne, one strained groin and one ‘gouted’ ankle.       Then to home where we unpacked and while Mike did Ju’s flowers I came to work. There was a lot since I had to do everything I’d missed since last night but at least I was back up again. I worked from 3.00 pm until almost 6.00 pm hen I needed a break and Mike needed annoying company.  We watched the box until 7.00 pm then made some tea. At 7.30 pm I returned to work while Mike kindly washed the pots. By 9.00 pm I was up to date ( without refreshing) and went to watch a bit of The Hunger Games in case I ever have to compete. By 10.30 pm much as I wanted to stay I knew I needed to keep on top of the post and also deal with the blog.

New Driver

New Driver

 

 

Trio of Foodies.

Trio of Foodies.

 

May I take this chance to thank you all for your help in the last year and for all your kindnesses. I hope you all have Fantastic starts to the New Year and only go upwards from there. I consider myself honoured to know you and count many of you as friends.

 

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48 Comments

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48 responses to “Middle Finger Extension & Shirley’s Drunk!

  1. David I am so happy to have met you and wish you a fantastic New Year. I love reading your blog, you welcome all of us into your life and heart, Isn’t Reuben adorable on that little train, love seeing children enjoy the holiday it makes it magic for all. A huge hug and kiss for you!!

    • I’m delighted you chose to join us here. Our little family is the best, you made it better. i’m also glad you enjoy reading the blog. It’s usually fun to write and tries to give a smile.
      Yes, Christmas is for children and it’s magic seeing them enjoy themselves. I could have murdered Reuben though fr trying to ride on my bed foot.
      Massive New Year Hugs for you. I hope all your dreams come true.
      xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  2. Oh David, I’m so sorry about your ankle. Thankfully i haven’t experienced gout, but i had that extra bad sprain this summer when i fell (biggest bruise still not quite healed if you can believe that), and i know that ankle has to be miserable. But you were a trouper and made sure everyone enjoyed both Christmas and the Eve. I hope it is back to normal and pain free by now.
    > The dragon lamp sounds interesting.
    Wishing you a beautiful 2015, brimming over with health, happiness, and hugs! 🙂

    • Thank you Sweet Teagan. I’m shocked your bruise hasn’t gone yet since the fall in Summer. That’s terrible. I only worked at making sure I had a good time, who cares about anyone else? It’s certainly improving but not gone yet. I gather the usual is about a week. With luck it’ll be OK for the New Year.
      I wish you a 2015 full of granted wishes, love and Happiness as well as Humongous Hugs xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      • Oh, it would probably be “gone” if i weren’t so white-as-a-sheet pale. LOL.
        Glad you’re getting better. Hugs! 🙂

      • Ah, if you decided not to long for the desert but came here instead, you wouldn’t look so pale compared to the snow and we’d think you well. Of course that might only be one day a year as it rains the rest of the time…..
        xxx Humongous Hugs xxx

  3. Well, that was a trip and a half, wasn’t it? And I learned a new phrase that I will start using, probably within minutes: “cream crackered”! Love it.

    Happy New Year, David. All the best for your 2015.
    -Robyn

    • Any trip with Mike can turn into a tip and a half Robyn, it depends on his mood. I think I probably pinched Cream Crackered from Cockney rhyming slang, but it sounds good to people who haven’t heard it so good luck with it.
      Have a Wonderful New Year full of wishes fulfilled.
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  4. And a wonderful year to you, David – perhaps even the number of gods will multiply! Hugs XX

  5. It’s an honour to know you, David. All the Best for 2015 and many hugs!

  6. Sorry to hear about your ankle. My Dad has had bouts of gout but usually affect the big toe, that’s the most standard location…Might be worth getting checked…It sounds as if you managed to have a good time and enjoyed your presents. I hope you have more luck with the shopping in future trips. I’ll see if my friend fancies some shopping. So far between the snow and work I haven’t ventured…Take care and show the gods who is in charge. And happy new year!

    • Thanks so much Olga. My brother has it in his big toe too. I must be lucky. It doesn’t get me down though so yes, I’ve had a lovely time and relly enjoyed my presents. See, I was good after all, Santa came.
      If your friend isn’t free for shopping I’ll help. I’m an expert these days.
      The gods know who’s in charge (Big Al).
      A Very Happy New Year to you.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  7. Glad you had a good Christmas, David. We got caught in that snow too on the A14. It was pretty scary, but like you we got home safe. Have a great new year. Looking for ward to your posts! xx

  8. I’m sorry about your poor sore ankle David, but very happy to see that you still managed to have such a wonderful busy week with loads of pressies. Your onesie sounds brilliant – I want one too! And thanks to you David for being a very special part of my daily life these days – a very, very happy new year filled with lots of love and laughter for you. HUGS! XXXX

    • Thanks a lot Jo. It has to be my own fault though since it’s diet related so you needn’t have sympathy.
      I had a wonderful Christmas and far too many prezzies. I might try the onesie on when Mike is here to take pics. He’s gone home today leaving me to explain things if I fall against any alarms now.
      Thank you Jo, I’m delighted to be in your life and to share mine with you. you are a wonderful lady.
      I wish you a New Year with Dreams Come True.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  9. If you weren’t such a slave to Mike and those demanding fish, you’d have rested your foot and been better by now David lol
    But I’m relieved to see you weren’t the victim of opportunistic camera and mobile photophone wielders who would already have posted you and your onesie on Facebook / Twitter et al 😀

  10. HAPPY NEW YEAR, GOOD DAVID! All the best wishes for 2015.

  11. Sorry to hear about the slipping in the snow when on crutches. But the lunch stop sounded lovely up until that point. Hope you have a great New Years!

    • The lunch was great after that point too Kourtney, I just supplied the cabaret. Thanks for popping in, I hope you have a wildly successful 2015 with a new best seller. Don’t forget to remind your publisher, whoever it be, about your pals.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  12. I hope your ankle is feeling better, David. My dad had gout and I know how much pain he was in when it flared up. Wow, Joe Cocker really rocked that song in the video. Impressive, huh? I must say, you’re braver than I am to get out to the stores the day after Christmas, but then being Boxing Day, I guess you must. 😉 Sending you hugs with a big Happy New Year wish. May you continue to rock this blog in 2015!

    • Thanks Mary J. The pain has all but gone now, the swelling however refuses to budge at the moment which makes getting shoes on a bit of a pig. Of course getting to a sale means I’ll go with a slipper on if I have to. For a big sale I’d crawl over glass and hot coals. lol
      The stores on Boxing Day were relatively quiet and to be honest I’m surprised they deprive the staff of the day at home with their families. I wouldn’t have gone had I not been going out anyway and in that direction.
      Thank you for your kind words and good wishes.
      May 2015 be the year of the bestseller for you and for other dreams come true.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  13. It sounds as if you had a wonderful Christmas David. I’m so pleased for you. Has your gout got any better though? That must have really put a damper on things for you.
    I felt for you on the minimal Christmas Eve/Day sleep time. We went to bed by 10pm on Christmas Eve only to be woken by a sick teen about 1am who stayed awake until approximately 4am. We slept then for another hour and half before we had to get up to start our day. I was dead on my feet on Christmas Day and I had a house filled with guests. *sigh*
    Oh well. The Teen got through the day okay and everyone had a good time. I guess you can’t ask for more than that.

    • I did have a wonderful Christmas thanks Suzanne.Christmas day was quiet being alone but boxing day was great with the family. If only Reuben hadn’t wanted to sit on my bad foot……. The gout didn’t put a damper on things, it was just there with me but didn’t rule me.
      I’m sorry you had such a bad night with your teen. Interrupted sleep can be awful. You can’t power nap with a houseful of guests.
      No, as long as everyone had a good time, you can’t ask for more.
      I wish you a fantastic New Year.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  14. Happy New Year, David! Keep up the great posts!
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  15. Merry Christmas David and a very Happy New Year, I must apologise for my tardiness in not answering sooner. Best til last I say. First off I went and listened to Harry Belafonte sing Mary’s Boy Child. That took me back through the years then I red a comment which suggested listening to Johnny Mathis sing, Silent Night. Well, the song for some reason makes me tear up and his rendition is divine. Then his, Oh Holy Night is sublime. So thank you. It seems you’ve been in the wars Mate, whether your gout is dietary or not, the pain is still the same. I’m glad to hear that you had a wonderful Christmas, pain, rain and snow permitting. I won’t ask about new year resolutions, I don’t make any. There’s enough stress in living without adding to it. It seems that all is well in your life, other than truculent, spitting fish, torpedoing snails, kinky card games and deplorable lamb shanks. So let’s all wish for a 2015 where mankind can move forward, or at least try to. Hugs all round I say.
    Cheers
    Laurie.

    • Wonderful to have you back Laurie. It was a toss p between Harry Belafonte and Johnny Mathis that day. I won’t play Silent Night unless it’s the Simon and Garfunkel version these days for some reason.
      I’d say you’ve been in the wars much more than me but I’m glad you’re a survivor mate.
      Happy New Year. May 2015 bring you Health, Wealth and Happiness in equal measure.
      All the very Best
      Hugs

      • Yes it’s good to be back David, I’ll be feeling my way for a while. I enjoyed listening to the songs, although they won’t lay from your site because it’s in another part of the world. I just go and find it myself. 🙂 I’m happy being a survivor, although there’s been a few moments. I’ll definitely accept all the good health to come my way. Hugs back at ya David.
        Laurie.

  16. I bet the gods are quaking in their boots at the thought of you not believing in them. Always a witty account of your meanderings in thought word and deed. Happy new year, David. And I hope it continues to be fulfilling

  17. Hi David,
    Well I said I was being good in catching up!
    ‘Sexy Tina’ sounds a bit naughty or could she be an early Christmas pressie! How funny, and you have some of the funniest spam emails ever.
    Hope your gout is better, my dad suffers terrible with it and has to avoid certain foods as they can tigger it for hiim.
    Well it sounds like you had some lovely gifts, will we get to see you in your Welsh onesie?! I like Christmas but find Boxing Day alot more relaxing. My daughter has time to look and play with her gifts and we said in this year rather than running around which was nice for a change.
    I’m glad to see we’re not the only ones on a skint diet, love that phase and will be using it. I am lucky that my husband is a chef so he does make delicious foods out of th random stuff we have in the bottom of our freezer. Roll on pay day!
    Well please make sure you take care especially with your foot,
    All the best,
    Kim

    • Hi Kim, you’ve really been working at this.Sexy Tina sounds as scary as hell to me, I was never that confident with women at the best of times. Yes, some of my spam is funny and some is just too real looking to be funny these days.
      I’m not sure this is gout now as it’s lasted beyond 7 days and the swelling from the foot is working it’ way up my leg. It looks like it belongs to a piano now.
      The dragon onesie is on the latest blog, I hope you haven’t missed it, or Mike’s Pixie feet.
      Christmas day was really quiet this yea which was nice. Being with the family on boxing day was good too though.
      You’ll have to tell your husband to do a new book and call it Skint Diets, I bet it would be a hit. He can check my fridge for new ideas too. I got my money early because of Christmas and it’s just a bigger gap to the after Christmas one.
      Take care, Hugs to you all xxxxx
      David

  18. Me thinks you would be *too much* for Sexy Tina, 😉
    Liked the Bedingfeld video. Never heard that one before. Next, I decided to look up your game “Nomination” and found this: a classic English trick-taking card game which was widely played in the 18th and 19th centuries.
    HUH? Certainly you don’t look old enough to have known anybody old enough to remember this classic game…
    bwahahaha! (OK that was the bad rodent talking…he can be so rude!)
    The little one is growing SOOOOOOO fast. OMG! He’s adorable. Unlike the rodent, at the moment.
    Massive hugs are about all we can agree on, for now XXXxxx CJ and Mousie xxxXXX P.S. Get that ankle fixed up!

    • Ha, methinks ‘Sexy Tina’ would probably kill me off.
      Nomination Whist is quite popular still though sometimes I feel old enough to have been there with the original players. ( I’ll be 64 this weekend).
      I thought Mousie was quite complimentary there so Thanks to him.for that.
      Little ones have a habit of growing the minute your back’s turned and it’s so easy to miss developments. I’m quite sure though Mousie will have stopped growing he’s just as adorable as ever. He can’t be all bad if you can agree on hugs.
      Started the new tablets for the ankle today. I’m sure it’s well on the way now.At least there’s not a lot of pain any more.
      xxx Sending Huge Hugs xxx

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