Monthly Archives: February 2015

R.I.P.Sharkey II & Welcome Stan

Sunday 22nd Feb 2015

Circumstances conspired against me yesterday so that it was 1.30 am before my light went off last night. That meant a slightly later start this morning of 5.02 am. It sounds good but meant just three and a half hours again. Still, I can cope with it. My usual visit to the loo with an indecisive bladder meant not logging on until 5.10 am and I was slightly disappointed when I did with the amount of mail waiting. Can’t you lot write to me after breakfast or something?  There were about four responses to the blog which was nice, and it seemed to have gone down well on the music front. I take this opportunity to remind you that I’m happy to take requests and I’ll try to find something nice.

I went through to the kitchen at 6.30 am to feed my pals and Sharkey II was noticeable by his absence. It wasn’t pleasant to find him floating belly up at the top of the tank well beyond any hope of the kiss of life. He’s my first ever loss other than natural age. I’m absolutely devastated as it’s only been a week and in that time he’s become a firm favourite. A beautiful, sleek graceful fish. I promise I didn’t do it from moustache envy. I note that perhaps the pump isn’t working at full capacity and wonder if it has some bearing on matters even though there is an airstone giving it some stick in there. I shall ask Mike to take a look when I get him up. I cleared him from the tank before he was cannibalised and placed him in a little container. I feel cruel for consigning him to the rubbish.Food went in for the others and they carried on as though nothing had changed. Maybe there will be a memorial service once my back is turned.

After taking my meds I made a coffee which I took back to my desk with me. More mail coming in all the time but by 8.45 am I was starting to keep pace with it. I knew that was going to change later when we went out for lunch. I kept pace until 10.00 am when I went to wake up the rest of the mourning party with a cuppa. I needed his help in seeing to the pump before we decided where to go for lunch and what to do today. He’s not renowned for speed. To be fair when I walked in and told his coffee was there, I added that I was going to say the three little words he’s longed to hear “I need you” typical response though when he said ” I thought at the least the words would have been The Lottery’s  Ours”. He did get up though. He sat for so long looking at his tablet I almost fell asleep before we finally started on the pump. Once it had a good clean it was right as rain again. Then he told me what he’s been looking at the tablet for, it was to confirm Sharkey hadn’t died through my fault. It was because we hadn’t been given a fresh water fish at all, but one that needed brackish water and of course I hadn’t added salt. Also, far from the four inch fih I’d expected this could reach 13″ which was far too much for my tank. That’s a shop I shan’t want to visit again.

When we’d done Mike got washed and dressed and we headed off for lunch. All the way to Rhyl to the Red Cafe where we’d been last week so we could get some sponges for the filter from our usual fish shop, and to see if they had a pictus in. They didn’t. And though there was a beautiful large plec there I didn’t want it. I wanted something that moves a bit. We came away with the sponges, a new air pipe and some food. While we were in Rhyl, for the first time ever there I was accosted in the street for money from a homeless person. Though I did hand over money for a meal I couldn’t help but wonder if she was genuinely homeless and whether the money was going for food in the end.  By the time we got home it was about 3.00 pm. Mike stayed another hour while I tried to keep my eyes open and then said his goodbyes at 4.00 pm. He was my excuse not to work so I dragged myself to the computer and screamed. 212 waiting. I could only work until 6.00 pm before having to make myself a sandwich for tea so I watched a couple of Big Bang Theories and fell asleep. I stayed there until 8.00 pm and with some reluctance came back through to work. I gave it till 10.00 pm then started the blog. Anything else can wait till the morning.

Monday.

Idle Human, bed glued to your back is it? Well maybe it seems like that. I was in bed for just gone 11.00 pm last night and light off at midnight yet it was 6.11 am when I woke. And even when I did, there was a reluctance to get up even though I wouldn’t sleep again. My bladder decided that for me and up I got for a visit to the loo. Only when I came back did I power up the monster where I found only half a dozen messages or so from last night, but a hole horde of them from this morning. I got started. I could only work until 7.00 am before having to go through to the fish. The morning light is a bit better so I could see some activity before the lights went on. Best of all was seeing the ancistrus out of it’s hidey-ole. As I turned the light on, he disappeared back to where he’s dug himself in underneath a shell. I feel a little guilty for having not put an area of sand down for him to dig into but he seems to have done well enough from the gravel. Big Al was unusually out of his corner and performing some beautiful arcs in front of me, little Al was matching him stroke for stroke. Pepper didn’t seem interested. As usual I wished them good morning as the light went on and as usual Morecambe came straight to my voice. Wise followed but at a much slower pace. Even one of the bronze corys came for a look. I stuck two algae tablets to the inside of the tank to disintegrate slowly and hopefully to interest the plecs then gave some of the new food, all in one, to the rest who attacked like they were kept hungry for  week , they love it. For any of you tank enthusiasts out there, keep an eye open for foodstuffs by Fish Science. It’s really good stuff and is the result of someone going it alone after many years developing fish food for one of the top manufacturers.

Seeing the fish happy I got on with taking my meds and making my coffee to bring back. I also put a load of washing in the machine then came back through. I got stuck in. About 8.40 am I went back to the kitchen and put the washing on the drier mode so it would be ready to put on the radiator before lunch time. The first batch of mail kept me going until 10.00 am with the interruptions but I wasn’t worried. I’d no intentions of going out today. After that it was time for some kind of bravery. I refreshed my first mail account and opened the second. Oh my, will I never learn that you people never sleep. As Australia is heading in that direction, The U.S. is waking up and Europe is already on line. The Philippines is a little ahead but online now (when it works) and Thailand is in mid afternoon writing to break new records.Some very good blog posts, some adverts for the release of new books, some personal but very funny mail and even a couple of cons, it all flowed through my hands via my mouse. All of  a sudden it was almost lunchtime. I went to the kitchen and decided I’d better empty the bin since I put something in and it bounced straight back out again. Then the drier stopped so I took everything out, folded it and put it in the airing cupboard for now. I took my pre-food tablet, buttered some bread then loaded the microwave while I had a cigarette. A beef stew with dumplings today. I prepared myself a tray with a light mousse for pudding and added my after food tablets to the corner of the tray. As I ate I watched an episode of Murder she Wrote. Once over I washed the pots and came back through.

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed, but I’m not falling asleep and missing the end of Murder she Wrote as much as I did with my antiques show. I’m not sure what that means yet. What I do know is it was flippin’ hard to keep my eyes open doing my afternoon stint on the mail. I was nodding, my right hand would jerk and the mouse would be off the desk dangling down the side of my chair in my hand while my head was going forward at a rate of knots towards the desk and a very hard ash tray. There must have been some recognition of the incipient danger running through my brain, as my eyes struggled to open and wake me up. Proof that it worked is evident by the 50% less bruising I had than usual. At 2.15 pm I had to admit defeat and got through to the lounge. ( For all you clever clogs sitting there saying I only went in for Father Brown, I didn’t even turn the telly on. Anyway Father Brown is over). I sat in my chair and relaxed I was falling asleep, having a dream and waking up, and repeating the whole thing. I know my wife was with me tough sometimes it was another person too but I can’t remember the context now. By 3.00 pm I’d come back through ready to go into battle again. I don’t know how many I shifted or what time things changed but there it was again, I was woken up by my head flying towards the desk. It was 4.30pm. Not only woken for my  programme but somehow I’d also signed out of my messages I was getting less done that when I go out.

Time to watch my PYMWYMI (Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is for future reference). I managed to stay the course. When the next programme started I went to make myself some tea which I then ate while the questions were being asked. My excuse for not answering- my mouth was full. At 6.00 pm instead of the usual, I watched an old episode of Law and Order ten turned everything off and came back to sign in again. So much mail, I would have questioned whether I’d done anything all day if I couldn’t actually see the time these were received. I just plodded on and on and on until they were done and refreshed. By about 10.45 I was up to date and not stupid enough to refresh again. I took the opportunity to start on the blog instead.

Tonight I’m going to do two records to please the two ladies who asked for them and also to say thanks to them both for taking the time to comment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYFUqxypkbA

Annie Lennox- Why for Elaine Canham an excellent blogger and friend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n3ebuL1cPA

Elvis Presley-In the Ghetto for my friend Lynne who writes as Lasvegaslinny

Tuesday.

So I managed bed just before midnight and still managed a half hour or so read before putting the light out. Lie down, start coughing, sit up, take a drink and repeat. I know why they call it a nagging cough now. I was awake at 3.43 am, probably overflowing from all the little sips of drink. I made my way to the bathroom feeling like a tugboat awash on a sea of lime juice. When I eventually got back I set the computer to warm up and checked my mail. Just half a dozen from last night and 53 from the morning which only averages out at 13 per hour which doesn’t seem bad for a change. I made a start. By 6.00 am I was over the half way mark but I decided to feed the fish so there wouldn’t be a mad rush if I forgot the time later. Cough, cough, cough, so no way I was creeping up on them. I put the kitchen light on and went straight over to do the same with the tank. Morecambe and Wise came straight over, Pepper did a loop de loop close to the front and the two bronze corys played tag. Big Al and Little Al seemed to be enjoying a swim in and out the branches of the bog wood. Even the hoplos seemed to be having a sort of game swimming to the surface and back. The plecs just lay sunning themselves, very inactive. The pretty V shaped tail of the ancistrus was showing as it tried to disappear from sight. Of the synodontis there was no sign. I wasn’t worried though. I places a little flake in for Morecambe and Wise to ignore, stuck one of the new algae tablets to the tank wall an dropped some algae pellets to the floor. Everyone raced for those so I dropped a couple more near the shall and the synodontis came out for an undisturbed nibble.

Leaving the fish happy I came away and dealt with my sprays then got my mug of milk to take my tablet. I added sweeteners to what was left of the milk and made a coffee. Once I’d taken my drink through I was able to wash and dress ready for going out. There was now time for a little more mail before going out at 8.00 am. Instead of me travelling to Chester by my usual bus we had decided to meet along the route at a Supermarket and I  would travel by the bus I always used to take. So, in plenty of time I got my shoes on ( it takes an age), gathered the things I was taking for her ( the gloves we forgot last time), donned my coat and gloves  and got my go-go sticks at the ready. Times beautifully for 8.00 am ( as if I’d say any different) I left the house and started walking to the bus stop.The bus stop was full of yammering kiddies and dammit I was early. Fortunately the school bus wasn’t too long in coming and there were a couple of quiet minutes until mine arrived. As I’d never got off at this particular stop before I’d had to guess how long the journey would be. I said about 45 minutes for me and about 15 for Yvonne. She wasn’t leaving Chester until 8.45 am. I arrived at he bust stop at 8.58 am and proceeded to press 5 sets of crossing requests to get from one side of this convoluted junction to the other, then a breath grabbing few minutes to walk to the front of the store. I arrived and stood catching my breath popping a cough sweet in my mouth to hold the coughs back from Super Nag who can hear a wheeze at 50 paces. I’d just found the energy to turn round when there was a call and she hove into view with the little figurehead at the prow pointing in my direction and laughing manically.

Yvonne and I hugged and I blew Reuben a kiss in case his insanity was catching. We went inside. I suggested a coffee before we started shopping so we went to MaDonald’s. I had a coffee while Yvonne had a soft drink Reuben could share, worryingly it always seems more full after he’s had a drink. Yvonne and Roobs shared a cheeseburger which meant he got the bread and the cheese part and showed disdain for the meat. Yvonne bought me a bacon  (sort of ) bap which I didn’t actually want but hey, who listens to me. I thought I was safe as Roobs doesn’t didn’t seem keen on bacon. Within moments he was pointing at it. I offered a piece of bacon thinking it would head floorwards as in the past and I’d be left alone. No way, all I hear was “More” continuously until the only thing I was left to eat were the tablets I was supposed to have after food rather than instead of it. We He finished breakfast and he went back in his trolley ready to wander round the shop. He’s much safer restrained. I got him some nice jeans and a couple of nice tops and Yvonne picked up a nice shirt. We picked up a few bits and bobs as we went around  and believe me, we really went around. We were very thorough. So much so that when w reached the tills we found we’d been in there for two hours. Yvonne needed to get home for work and I needed to get home to deal with all these people who have nothing better to do with their time than write. We walked together down towards the bus stops. She’d be using the one I got off at this morning while I was staying on the same side of the road as now. I had just one crossing button to press, Yvonne had to deal with 5. My bus arrived just as she got to her bus stop but her bus pulled up directly too. So, we were both able to wave goodbye at the same time.

I was home again at 1.00 pm having needed a wee so badly I’d walked past Pauline’s shop yet again. Once the loo was out of the way and I’d put away my little bit of shopping I cam through to take my punishment for having a life. Cruel and unusual punishment judging by some of your posts. I’d given up the idea of an afternoon nap or an escape for 2.15 pm TV. but I hoped I could manage a 4.00 pm finish to get something to eat before my PYMWYMI. It was hard going, especially staying awake but at 4.05 pm I was down to the last 20 or so. I broke off and made a corned beef hash. As I finished that my programme came on. I put two matchsticks to hold up my eyelids and enjoyed the fight. I stayed there for the quiz but fell asleep before it was quite over, waking up 15 or so minutes later to find the news on. I had the last few minutes of another quiz then came through. Laughingly I left the TV on standby in case I got the chance to watch something later but the god of blogs chained me to my chair and here I remained until I was allowed to go for my tablets at 10.00 pm, and to turn the TV of properly. At 11.00 pm I gave up on post to concentrate on the blog. The rest can wait fopr tomorrow when the backlog problem will be even worse than usual.

Wednesday.

Before I shock you too much, let me explain it was 1.00 am before my light went out last night and gone 2.00 am before I was able to get to sleep. Between discomfort and coughs I’m amazed I got off at all. Now for the shock, it was 6.14 am before I got up. I was horrified, today of all days. It was loo then work in short order. I made the fish wait until 7.30 am before I took a break to see to them. As a treat I got out the bloodworm to give them a treat. It’s in a tray with foil separators like they use for tablets I inserted my thumbnail into a piece of foil intending to peel it back but the contents were still liquid and they just exploded all over me. What little was left went to the fish and I started trying to grab the splashed stuff off my dressing gown to put in. That which had reached the floor I decided the floor could keep. I added algae pellets to make up for the loss.  I really didn’t have time to stand watching them this morning especially now I had to clean the kitchen floor. As soon s I’d dealt with that and no-one could prove a thing, I took my meds and made a coffee.

Back in the bedroom I went about getting ready for the morning and got washed and dressed than at last was able to sit down with some more work. For some reason I didn’t manage much and found I didn’t feel great so returned to the lounge with my coffee. I finished it, ate some malt bread for breakfast and promptly fell asleep. It was still only 8.00 am. It was almost 9.00 am by the time I came too and knew I needed to get a move on. I went to Gmail firsdt to the messages left over from last night as they were personal ones. It took some time but I got those out of the way and deleted the rest. Then I turned to my normal mail box and just started working my way up from the oldest date. It wasn’t even 10.00 am when I heard voice. The door opened and MuJo were there, much earlier than usual. I was very surprised especially as they’d said they were having new tyres put on the car first. That plan had changed for today and they’d come straight to me. I passed them the bags of things I’d picked up for them over the last couple of weeks and went to see to drinks. We sat chatting for a good while.

It was too early for lunch by the time the drinks were gone so I suggested a walk round the shops in Holywell before heading to John’s favourite place, the Chippy. They agreed so off we set. John was able to pick up a Mother’s day card for his mum who’s in her 90’s now and I was able to pick up a couple of things. Having wasted enough time, we went for lunch. I had chips with mince & mushrooms plus mushy peas, MuJo both had fish, chips and peas. After we’d finished we got back in the car and headed for Flint. After we parked up the first stop was Home Bargains where I got a few items and then onto B & M (Bum) Bargains where I got chocolates for the girls in Temptations. That’s where we went next. Ceri wasn’t there but Trudy was and I hadn’t seen her in ages, I also saw Helen and Sian  so managed a few words each. After our refreshments it was gooodbye  girls and back to shopping. Mu managed to get herself a couple of jumpers in the sale so she was delighted. After that, back to the car and home.

3.00 pm back indoors and as John relaxed Muriel went to Pauline’s to get her lottery tickets. They left at 3.50 pm to head back home again.After saying a fond farewell I flew into my room to look at the messages. With what was left from the morning and the new stuff that came in, well lets just  say I need new tissues.  I could only work till 4.30 pm as I didn’t want to be in here working if Lee arrived. I went through and sat in the lounge, coincidentally my PYMWYMI was just starting. Lee arrived at 5.00 pm and we sat talking about his impending fatherhood (April) and whether he needed anything for the baby. His dad arrived at 5.30 pm sans Matthew who apparently had just started work this afternoon/evening. He’s going to miss out on his little treats as I forgot to send them back with Dil later. As soon as the usual quiz was over we set up the table and started playing. Scrabble first, That game was mine. Nomination, despite a promising start I was robbed, my brother has no conscience and isn’t easily taken in by a facade of pure miser either. Then Crazy 8’s the the bloody highwayman struck again without even wearing a mask. Throughout all the games there had been constant jollity and little stories being told. Nothing had been played with any speed. They left at 9.30 pm giving me time to tidy, wash the pots and get my evening meds before burying myself in here. It’s going to be a very long night.

There it is Pops

There it is Pops

I'm so excited Pops

I’m so excited Pops

Thursday.

As predicted it was a long night. It was almost 2.00 am before my light went out but at least sleep came easily. I woke at 4.07 am but my kind body informed me I wasn’t ready to get up and my bladder wasn’t pushing enough to make me. I went back to sleep again. At 6.33 am I woke again and this time was the real thing. This time my bladder gave a little twinge just to let me know that my legs were on the wrong side of the covers and they should be walking by now. I walked. I came back relieved in a few minutes and powered up the computer. Amazingly, I thought I could cope today. I could only work for about half an hour before the cries of the fish could be heard. “Feed us” they said. I turned the kitchen light on then the tank immediately after. No point in keeping them waiting. I opened the flap and sprinkled some pellets in which they went for straight away. Then I gave them half a sachet of daphnia and I was left wondering when I’d bought the piranhas . I had every intention of taking some pictures of the fish today but I’ve not managed a good shot at all because of the reflected light. For now I’m just going to entertain you with a couple of blasts from the past…..

The Infamous Oscar

The Infamous Oscar

Beautiful Bernie

Beautiful Bernie

After I fed the beasties I took my meds and made a coffee to bring back.  At about 9.00 am I got washed and dressed though I hadn’t any intention of going out today. I do have something niggling at the back of my mind but can’t put my finger on it. I stayed in my seat all morning keeping pace with the mail coming in and once I was up to date in my main account I opened the secondary one and started there. I cleared all the duplicate emails until I came to the personal ones which don’t appear in my main account. I dealt with those, hopefully spreading a few laughs as I went. Finally, as I cleared the last one it was 11.50 am and time to think about lunch. I busied myself with some bread and butter then put a cottage pie in the microwave, turned the TV on ready for Bargain Hunt then as the pie was ready, settled down to watch.

As it came to an end I was allowing myself to settle down n the chair. The Zzzz’s were just starting to appear when my phone went. It took me a few moments to understand the source of the sound but when I did I found a message from Mike. He’s on his way and he told me all about the special friend he’s bringing with him for me. I’m very excited. Roll on 3.30 pm. In the meantime it’s just 1.00 pm and time to get back to work. Back at my desk I find no-one has been going mad for a change and the post is quite reasonable. I think I’ll be able to manage. I worked until 3.10 pm then left to put the kettle on, I knew Mike would need a coffee when he got here and I’ve no doubt the guest he’s bringing will need to relax. Mike walked in at 3.20 pm so I assume he’d used the convertible jet facility and landed at a local airfield. He handed me a bag which I took into the kitchen and gingerly opened. Inside was a polystyrene box which had been well taped so I had to use scissors on it. When I opened it there was a clear plastic bag filled with water and the most gorgeous pictus of about 3″. A huge whiplash moustache on it’s face swung about as he tried to turn circle in the bag. I started to undo it. After a lot of effort the bag was open. I tried to get rid of all the blue air I’d caused trying to undo the bag and rolling the neck down I said hello to Stan as I lowered the bag into the tank for the first acclimatisation session of 20 mins. I went through to the lounge and paid Mike, this is the nicest visitor he’s ever brought.

At the end of the twenty minutes I went through and added some water to the bag so Stan became used to that too. He’d need another twenty minutes now and then he’d be in the tank. When the time was up Mike was sitting closer to the kitchen than me so I asked him to see to the release. He did so gladly for me and called out that Stan was doing the full tour of the tank. I was glad.I hope he liked it enough to stay. Personally I think Mike will fall a little in love this weekend and want one of his own when he gets home. He got Stan from his own fish man at home when he went in to see about a new and bigger tank. It looks like he might have a 5 foot one before long. I’ve had to do some considering and decided I probably can’t get away with any more than a 3 foot tank in the space available in the lounge.That’s still enough for me to have some of the type of fish I love so much. Maybe I’ll just transfer most of my usual fish into a new tank and close the kitchen tank down.

I made some tea and we watched a bit of TV before I excused myself for a while. I wanted to see a programme at 8.oo pm so I needed to clear some work first. When I went back through it was for a DIY SOS to help a family with disabled 3 year olds living in a property too small for them. There was an 8 year old boy too.Dad was forced to work away from home to earn enough to keep them all and mum, a midwife, was devoting herself to the boys. The older brother was a little gem. The team did a 9 day job on the house and changed it beyond all recognition with the help of local tradesmen and friends. The response was phenomenal and it goes without saying there were tears at the end, even some from the family. It’s heartwarming to know people can still respond to things like this without putting themselves first.                                                               After that, I came back through to work. suggestions from a 24 year old woman ( ?) living in Paris but from Togo suggesting I might be a suitable partner and a good father for our children scared the life out of me but entertained Mike no end. A second and third missive to say she appreciated my honesty about my age and having a daughter older than her didn’t faze her in the least and cracked Mike up. I nearly cracked him myself. While I had him here I showed him a tank I’d found locally with it’s own stand that looked well cared for, was a very good price and just the right size, it had him running round with a tape measure in his hand deciding where we’d make space and even starting to move things. I suggested it might be  little premature. He left to watch TV and I got on with my mail.

By 11.00 pm I had it down to a manageable level and turned to doing this blog. Maybe tonight will mean an earlier finish.

Friday.

Not quite as early as hoped but I was still in bed by 12.15 am. I read until 1.00 am and then settled down to dream. I think it was about weddings in which I wasn’t a willing participant but everyone else seemed to think it was OK. I wasn’t able to talk for some reason, perhaps fear of the club being held by a rather ‘statuesque’ lady who also carried two crying infants. I was up at 3.23 am and to be honest I think I was quite relieved. Actually that came next. Once I’d been to the loo I powered up the computer and started on the mail. I worked till 6.00 am then went to feed the fish. Stan seems to be another one for hanging around in corners. In his case it may have something to do with the light  which is quite bright. I need to but some sand or gravel and put some plants in. I know pictus like to hide in caves where they can, so I’ll see if the tank can be rearranged to accommodate one. Of course if I get a new tank I can make sure that’s the first thing in there. I dropped some algae pellets in and a little flake and everyone moved except Stan. I added some daphnia and Stan came alive zooming along practically hoovering it up. I wonder what he’ll be like with bloodworm tomorrow.

Next job was to take my meds and I used the opportunity to fill my diabetic pill box for when I go out. I used the last on Wednesday with MuJo. Once I’d taken everything I prepared my mug for a drink then fetched my meds drawer through so I could fill my weekly meds boxes.Once done, I put the drawer away, wrote out a prescription request for next week to restock then made my coffee. It was then 7.00 pm as it’s quite a lengthy job, especially if you’re still concentrating on fish at the same time. I worked for an hour then went to do Mike’s coffee and give him a shout. He’s not put his alarm on today. It always used to be, Up at 8 (Thanks Cat Stevens), out at 9 and arrive at his Dad’s about 10. Now it starts call at 8 and hope for the best. I know I roused him a bit because he acknowledged the coffee. At quarter past I went through and noisily added a radiator rack to the radiator under the window. That also woke him and I got a “Wha?” After that I left him and at 8.40 am he came out more or less under his own power. At 9.20 am I got dressed and went to Pauline’s leaving Mike sitting there in his pyjama bottoms. Twenty minutes later when I returned he was still there. He started a conversation about immigration which lasted until almost 10.00 pm when he finally went to get ready and I went back to work. At about 10.15 am he came through to say goodbye and left to start his journey. It would be at least 11.15 am before he got there in time to have a coffee before going out for lunch.

I carried on working until 11.30 am at which time I went through to start making Mike’s bed. I was perhaps half way through when the doorbell knocked. It was the warden who hearing my breathing thought I was on the point of a coronary. Once I’d sat down a few minutes I was OK though I’d hoped she might have started the mouth to mouth by then. We chatted about the week and s usual the conversation got round to the fish. She wondered why I didn’t have the tank in the lounge. I had to explain there had been a tank in the lounge in the past. one of seven in the house and that this one was where it always had been and was the last of them. I’d left it there just expecting the tank to die off. I told her about the latest addition and she asked if I’d mind her taking a look. I didn’t mind at all if she didn’t mind scaling the ironing pile. She thought Stan was beautiful and Pepper very pretty but the Siamese were the only ones she recognised as her fish had been the tetra’s, mollys and the guppys  that most tanks have. When she left I finished making the bed complete with hospital corners on the sheet and then almost collapsed into it.

Time for lunch. It was 12.15 pm so I put Bargain Hunt on and slammed something in the micro. It was only when I’d finished I couldn’t remember if I’d taken a tablet first. Oops! I did take the after ones just in case.At 1.00 pm I returned to work and started trying to work my way through both mail addresses. I wasn’t doing very well as my eyelids weren’t co-operating at all. I found myself falling forwards for the forehead tattoo quite a bit. In the end at some stage it just happened. I woke up at 4.15 pm with neck ache. I wandered through to the lounge ready for PYMWYMI and wondered what time Mike would be home. My programme was good but I let myself down quite badly by not seeing the very end, nor the start of the next programme. When I opened my eyes a little voice said “Hello”, so at least my last question had been answered. We watched the quiz and then I made something to eat while we watched two more. I even remembered my tablets.  At 7.00 pm I went for a shower which I hoped would wake me a bit. I did feel a bit better afterwards as I went back in to sit with Mike. We saw a sports quiz  then Mastermind where Mike had to keep checking to see if I’d nodded off again  and it was a close run thing. Than I had a Big Bang Theory. I’d probably run out of excuses not to work by this point and came on through. I think it must be this bronchitis getting to me as it’s not as though I burn the candle at both ends is it.

It was fun trying to catch up and I really was making progress but at 11.00 pm I had to stop to give me time with the blog and I don’t think I’ll go back to it later as tomorrow is shopping day. I don’t think I shall be buying a new tank this weekend after all though, as Mike has fitted an air curtain to the existing tank and decided I need a stronger pump.I concur. A new tank can wait.

Saturday.

I managed bed at 12.05 am last night ( this morning?) so I had chance of a read before sleep. I did have a wee problem settling down before sleep as I couldn’t get comfortable, but eventually it came. I got up at 4.29 am so didn’t feel too hard done by. About three and a half hours on top of the skiving I did yesterday. I nipped to the loo before signing on in case it was a stop-start morning but the flow was uninterrupted. I hoped the same could be said of the mail. Well, in fact it could. I worked on the last of yesterday’s stuff and started today’s before knocking off at 6.00 am to see to the fish. First I gave them a frozen block of bloodworm from the freezer which Stan loved a he barged his way through the rest f the fish lining up for breakfast. Then I sprinkled in some of the new formula which sent them all into a bit of a tizzy. It was fun watching the tail of one fish swiping the face of another in it’s eagerness to feed, I couldn’t help but wonder if the slapped one got it’s own back later. At some points it looks like there’s a James Herbert creation of a massive fish with lots of tails waving. Time to concentrate on me….. I took a food tab and then the rest of my meds followed by the usual timing cigarette. Then I ate a bowl of cereal, unusual for me but at least I won’t have to worry about eating tonight.

I took my coffee back to the bedroom and did a little more mail before getting dressed. Amazingly I remembered to top up my phone. It was 6.55 am when I looked at my watch, time to get the kettle on. At 7.00 am I took Mike’s coffee through and non too gently “Yoo Hoo’ed” him awake. I left him to fall asleep again as usual but moments after leaving the room the first alarm went off. I didn’t go back and ten minutes later the second alarm went. I thought I’d leave it till the third one this morning and call him again but lo and behold the sneaky burger slithered his was through to the lounge after that second alarm. Mind you, I went through to tell him he’s upset my guess today and he was asleep in the chair until I spoke. Today I have to give him credit for 1 Call and 2 Alarms. Minutes later the third alarm went off anyway as ‘someone’ had forgotten to turn it off. The chair was his home until the last possible  minute and he was dressed and ready to leave at 7.55 am. I was surprised but pleased since I’d had my shoes and coat on for at least half an hour by then. We set off and were at the Supermarket by 8.15 am. I managed to it the jackpot at that hole in the wall machine so I knew I’d eat again this week.

Once inside the store we found my Pepsi Max on a special in the litre bottles and bought two. I wandered over to get some potatoes and then we went to get some flowers for Ju. It took 3 bunches to make me happy this morning though of course I had to defer to my Florist Friend who would actually arrange them. We had a good wander round the store before heading for the part that actually feeds us. First some micro meals, sausages, roast beed slices and yoghurts. Then cakes, bread, puddings before picking up some tinned veg and milk. Then there are sweets ( not for us), pop and biscuits. Anything else I want I try to buy from Pauline to keep my local shop going. After going through the checkout and trying to slow my heart down after thinking I’d bought shares in the firm we moved on to the cafe. Shopping is very dry work. An Americano each and of course save the little plastic stickers from the mugs for a free one. We went round to get our cigarettes and I had a look ( as always ) at the photographic section to see if there are any fantastic bargains on frames. There were though I also bought a calendar as Mike said he wanted one for his Dad with enough room to write on. I don’t think he’s too keen on it though as he becomes fixated on specifics like shape rather than function. Still, no-one is forced to use it.

From the supermarket we traveled a short distance to Pets at Home to check out their pumps and I ended up buying one at £30 because it seemed powerful enough for the job.I also bought three plants to try and give Stan some shade. Just as well I’m not buying a tank soon. On to Flint to find some drawer knobs for Yvonne as the shop that sells them has run out in her area. Which really means, Yah Boo Sucks Yvonne, maybe you’ll let me get them next time we see them instead of delaying. Shock Horror, my branch had also run out but I asked a member of staff who knew that some had come in on a palette and he was willing to get me some.I was very grateful. I bought a couple of other things from the same shop and then it was time for a coffee. At Temptations Ceri was in with Kyle and young Charlotte was manning the card counter. Mike looked happy to get a little bit of banter in today. We had a look round a couple more shops for calendars in  case there were any square ones but the only ones we saw had been reduced to £5 and were not really suitable fare for an 80 odd year old ( or his Dad).

Back in the car and head off for lunch. Though where was optional the car automatically brought us to The Ivy. The usual suspects were all there and it was nice to get a kiss from Angie when we went in. She asked if we wanted out usual drinks and set about making them. We saw Tariq briefly as he dropped a cartoon on the table as he flew by. It made me laugh. There had been a menu change so Mike was able to order a lamb shank for his lunch while I chose some pork and leek sausages, mash and garden peas. Once the order was in were went outside for a smoke. Despite the sunshine it’s still cold outside and Mike was right to put his coat on. When we went back in, we didn’t have long to wait for food. I called Rob over as we ate and asked a few questions about his fish tanks since he’ll be responsible for looking after the Ivy’s fish population if Tariq decides to go ahead and start a small pet area. He upset Mike by telling him about a beautiful 5′ tank for sale in  the area very cheaply. Mind you, if it had come to my house it wouldn’t have left again. Are you sure you lot don’t want to send me 10c each to paypal? We eventually said out goodbyes and Mike ran us home. It was earlier than usual so when we’d unpacked and put away and Mike had fitted the new pump which created an air curtain along the back of the tank, I was able to attack my post sooner than usual. I was rather pleased with myself that I was up to date by 5.30 pm. I joined Mike in the lounge. He was playing on his tablet so I watched an old film The Scarlet and the Black. It left me with a lot of moral questions at the end. Worse still, the next programme was also a film which hit me badly with a story of the Warsaw Ghetto. It caught me so strongly in places I was forced to turn over for The 39 Steps, a big but very enjoyable twist on the original. At 9.00 pm I came back through.

It took me a while to reach the stage of being up to date again but at least it was early enough to allow me to do the blog post while still on Saturday.

I wish you all a fantastic week ahead.

 

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Well Balanced Man & Method Acting Class

Sunday 15th.Feb 2015

My hopes for the future were raised again this morning when I got up at 5.28 am. I turned my bedroom light on and hopped down the passage way with gay abandon being very careful not to fall over or knock anything over that might disturb Mike. Ha, did I happen to have the odd atom bomb handy? No. It was a relief ( don’t excuse pun) to go to the loo at a reasonable time and I was very grateful ( just in case Somnos can read). I came back to my room and turned the computer on. The lottery and thunderball results were disappointing which shows yet again  that Brother Jake only responds to wishes if there’s something in it for him. I  shall be (not) working another week then and most definitely not living in the style to which I wish to become accustomed. What’s wrong with wanting my manor house with enough rooms to accommodate all the guests I’d invite? And of course I’ll need a wine cellar (hopefully with a secret passage to the stables), and stables so the secret passage can come out again. Naturally I’m going to need a room big enough for my 12 foot fish tank. Yes, OK it’s just a minor technicality that I don’t have a 12 foot fish tank yet but I can move at speed when I need to.

The mail on the other hand was not too bad at all. I worked through till 7.00 am and had cleared half by then. The fish were having a ball when I got through there. I don’t mean with gowns and evening suits, it was just fun. Heading towards each other and veering off at the last minute, swimming in  and out of the branches of the bog wood, I was beginning to wonder if they were celebrating the extra hour  lie-in. I refused to feel guilty as I don’t wake them when I get up, and the 6.00 am regime wasn’t exactly my fault when I was on the antibiotics. For all the gaiety in the tank, Big Al looked as morose as ever, head buried in his usual corner. I’m  wondering now if it’s less to do with me than with the attention he gets from Pepper. Maybe she’s rushing things or has re-organised his house so he can’t find anything including a smile. I watched them all for a few minutes and kept trying to imagine my pictus in there. In the end I had to drag myself away.

I took my sprays and all the meds then made myself a cuppa to take back with me. As I was passing his door I heard Mike start to cough but it wasn’t enough to wake him. He said last night that he’ll go home early today as he’s feeling bad and I don’t blame him. I don’t know what time though. I carried on and got back into the mail. At 9.45 am I was up to date ( if I didn’t refresh) and wondered if Mike would be up soon. I had a quick play on Ancestry.com trying to trace some medals but it looks like they’ve only got the Royal Navy ones on so far. Most of my family have been RAF except during WWI of course. It was OK as I followed a few hints through to their conclusions anyway. At 10.15 am Mike started coughing again and this time sat up. When I went through he was coherent which I took to be a good sign so I went to make him a drink. By the time I got back he was down again but the smell of the coffee must have got to him and he came through to the lounge by 10.30 am. He said there was no point in going back too early now as he felt much better. The cough  says otherwise. Anyway,he asked me what I wanted to do today, all I could think of was some fish food. He decided that we’d go to the two shops we like that sell fish both in completely opposite directions as a round trip. I knocked that on the head.

It was gone midday when we actually got out and after a short discussion starting “Which way am I going?”we headed towards Rhyl waving at The Ivy and The Bells as we went past. When we arrived in Rhyl I said I’d prefer to eat first so we parked up on a side street and walked to a place we’d been to recently known as The Red Caff because of it’s decor. It’s very basic tranny caff meals (Transport Cafes) and I ended up with cottage pie, chips and peas. Walking back to the car afterwards I asked Mike if he fancied going into another fish shop he’s not been in before that years ago I wasn’t keen on. It must be ten years since I was in there last and bought a book that it might have changed. It had. We had a good wander round and were both taken with various fish. Suddenly he called me and said “Look”. The sign on the tank said pictus but the owner who was working nearby said the last one was sold yesterday. We carried on looking and there really were some nice fish. The other shop might have a pictus or it might not so should it be a bird in the hand. I settled for a fish in each hand like a well balanced man . No will power at all. I got a fantastic shark catfish  (not like Sharkey who wasn’t a catfish at all) and an ancistrus plec. They both look much nicer in real life than on the pictures.

Shark Catfish (columbian)

Shark Catfish (columbian)

Ancistrus plec

Ancistrus plec

I did remember to get the fishfood to so I didn’t feel guilty. We didn’t have far to go back to the car and start heading for home. When we got back I opened the bags and part sunk them into the tank for 20 minutes so the temperature would gradually come up and they’d acclimatise. Mike gathered his suitcase and we said our goodbyes. He headed off and I put some tank water in each of the bags so they’d adjust to that too. After 20 minutes I came to let them out. They were both off like rockets. The new Sharkey ( I know, not too original is it) seemed quite happy swimming around and wasn’t affected by my voice nearby. The ancistrus was gone. Wherever he’s hiding it’s good, I just can’t see him. Hopefully when I release some bloodworm or perhaps daphnia into the water tomorrow he might emerge to eat. Time to llet them get on with it and to get back to work. It was 4.00 pm which means over 6. hours accumulation of messages. I worked till 5.30 pm then went for a sandwic to take tablets with but I was only away half an hour. I worked from 6.00 to 9.30 pm then gave myself another half hours break watching an episode of Gavin and Stacey. Promptly at 10.00 pm I was back into battle. I was doing well but of course more mail was coming in all the time. At 11.00 pm I broke off to record today’s events and then at 11.45 pm otherwise known as now, decided to go back to it for a while.  Night all.

Monday.

I must still be either in favour or forgotten altogether. It was a 4.36 am start so I had approximately 3 hours unbroken sleep. I don’t remember any dreams sent to disturb me either. When I got up I was able to turn lights on and set my computer to power up while I took the widdle walk. Vastly relieved ( sorry)I came back and had a look at the post. ow, just three carried over from last night after all the extra work , but the morning’s post, oh dear, anyone would think half the world was up while I sleep my life away. Four flippin’ thirty and over a hundred posts already. It’s just not on. I have a sense of humour but someone is stretching it to the limit here.Most especially when one of the first messages I open tells me to ‘click here’ to start claiming my instant lottery win on the African Lottery. I thought the African lottery was based on who ate and who didn’t. Sorry, that was in bad taste.

It was 7.10 am before I looked up from the screen again.( Not just from that one email) and decided it was time to feed the fish.All seemed quiet in the tank as I turned the kitchen light on and then it picked up it’s pace a bit when the tank light went on. I could see all my pals in there but still haven’t found where the ancistrus is hiding. I suppose I was pre-warned about this when I saw how much trouble it was to find him yesterday. I didn’t bother with flake today, I put in some of the small algae pellets then opened a sachet of the daphnia I bought yesterday. For a minute I thought I’d made a mistake as they were all going for a nibble except Sharkey, then maybe he tasted something in the water and he was down there hoovering it up with the best of them. I felt like doing the dum dum, dum, dum theme from Jaws but he’s far to pretty to be a predator like that. After watching for a few minutes I got my drugs to take and then made a drink which I took back with me. I’d emptied a carton of milk and took the plastic bottle top the recycling bag. Have I mentioned how heartbroken I am? Saturday mornings all the rubbish goes out for collection. My goodhearted neighbour Bert always brings the bins back for me and deposits them on my step, the recycling bags he rolls up and places behind the bin.Except this week there were only two bags, tins and plastic, my big blue bag for paper and card ( I bought this one) was missing. I have one of the council’s own blue plastic bags but ou can’t hang those out of the way as I could. Who would deprive a man of his bag this way????

Back to work.I carried on until 9.00 am then got dressed and at 9.30 am went off to the chemist with my repeat prescription request. Coming out of there I accidentally turned right and ended up in the sandwich shop. I couldn’t NOT get something so bought a sausage bap for my breakfast. I took it home and after taking pre-food tablet enjoyed it.Then it was the turn of the two torpedo sized post-food tablets. Of course that meant I couldn’t have lunch at midday and nearly removed my excuse to watch my antique programme. Luckily I needed a break at 12.15 pm coincidentally. I returned to work at 1.00 pm and kept my nose to the grindstone until 2.15 pm when I was due another skive and at 3.00 pm came back. I wanted one last big effort before going to watch my 4.30 pm programme but I was starting to feel tired and to glaze over and forget what I was actually doing. By the time 4.15 pm came round I was down to about 30 messages and wasn’t keeping pace with the incoming so I powered down and went through to the lounge early. I put the last few minutes of a house search on and wallop. I woke up during the quiz show that followed my Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. I was really piggin’ annoyed at myself. I stayed in the lounge till 6.30 pm and then came through to give it another try. It went a bit better this time and at least I was sure what I was writing to people but catching up still seemed an impossibility. I managed to get one account almost clear only for the other one to fill up to 42. I knew I needed to get down as low as possible before I go and see Yvonne tomorrow as I’ll come back to a backlog, I didn’t want to make it worse.

What a difference a year makes.

What a difference a year makes.

I’ve been trying to analyse why this weekend has resulted in a new rush of followers for my Buthidars Blog, some for this blog and also some new twitter followers. I’m certainly not complaining as new followers tend to make me think I’m doing something right ( for a change). But when you know what ‘right’ is maybe you can duplicate it.

Anyhoo, it looks like I’ll have to let a few pieces of mail carry over till the morning as there are too many for tonight. At least the blog is done. For Valentine’s day I indulged myself with the choice of record because I felt it was full of romance and feelings.( There might be snow on the chimney but there’s still a fire in the hearth). Tonight I’m giving you the other classic from the only musical I liked and by the same artist who did Saturday’s P.J.Proby I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday.

3.42 am today. It doesn’t sound so bad if you say it fast but it’s still a goodly chunk off three hours. Never mind, I can sleep on the bus. Lights on, warm computer up while I visit with ‘Niagara Falls intermittently’ and then back to check my bank then the mail. One of the gods was smiling down on me and it’s fairly certain it wasn’t Somnos et al, the mail looked manageable. During the first five minutes I’d had four messages about problems with bank accounts that didn’t exist so it was safe to assume that the conmen have returned from their private island Christmas breaks and want to start saving for their Summer breaks. I’ve either read or been told recently that the spelling mistakes I so often mention are deliberate. It’s to take out the educated people who might realise these are cons and leave the rest as targets for theft and fraud.

I stopped work at 6.00 am in order to see to the fish. I wanted to have as much leeway with time for getting dressed etc as possible. I went through to the kitchen and turned the main light on. I’m usually glancing in the direction of the tank to see if I can see any sudden guilty changes in activity. I didn’t, so I move over and turned the tank light on. Ancistrus wasn’t quite quick enough, I saw his tail disappear behind one of the shells.At the same time, I saw a little head with a fantastico moustache  sticking out of the same shell, it was one of the synodontis. As if by magic, as it withdrew it’s head, the head of the other one started to appear from the other shell at my end of the tank. Morecambe and Wise came over to wish me good morning and the two bronze corys bobbed up and down the tank in front of me. Big Al, Pepper and Little Al moved into position under the feeding hatch and hoped no-one noticed. The plecs stayed as still as usual and tried to blend into the background. At the end of the day they’re armoured and no-one is going to bother them much. That left the beautiful SharkeyII who swam gracefully up and down from floor to surface trying to feel out and avoid obstacles with his magnificent moustache. Rather than attack anything in his was as did Sharkey I, this one changes direction. If I do decide to have a second tank inside the lounge, he’s one that will grace it alongside a pictus. It’s not so much colour I’m interested in as I am the sleek form of the catfish family. How Oscar would have delighted in the fact that I always said I’d never have a cat again……

Coming out of my cogitations I turned and took my sprays then poured myself some milk to take my tablets. I lit a cigarette as I put my mug in the Tassimo to make my drink. I must have been daydreaming a while as I noticed it had gone 6.30 am already. Time to get dressed. I decided to wear one of my very expensive shirts from Saturday. It seemed to fit nicely which was a blessing. I still had time to do a couple more pieces of mail before putting on my shoes so I went for personal ones as there was no urgency on notifications. At 7.10 am I had to start getting my shoes on but not before I’d used the other end of my shoe horn to scratch my back bringing a purr to my lips. I gathered up a bag of things I had for Ugo, got my coat on, put new ends on my crutches and left. I hadn’t reached the bus stop when the bus drew up beside me to let me get on.It was a great relief as the hill is quite awkward.I thanked the driver and went to my regular seat as the first person on the bus. Thereafter I kept my eyes closed most of the way. I can tell where I am from the corners the bus takes and was able to take little naps as well.

For some reason the bus made good time despite roadworks and we drew in a little early. Yvonne was running a little late so I walked towards where she’d come from to meet her. Still a little distance away she spotted me and I could hear her ask Roobs where pops was. Within moments he’d spotted me and his arm came up to point a his mouth broke into a big grin. I checked my fly was closed. Hugs and kisses all round I suggested walking round a different shop, on I rarely see before going for coffee. Despite not buying anything it was enjoyable and interesting. On coming out we headed for our favourite clothes shop and it’s coffee bar. I had a nice latte and a cumberland sausage toastie with red onion, Yvonne and Reuben had toast and jam with their drinks. Poor Yvonne had to share her tea with Reuben even though e had tea in his beaker. I was able to get Yvonne some nice gloves in the main shop and a sort of fleece for Muriel.

From there we went to Tesco food shopping. I got some tulips for Julia as I wasn’t happy with her vase this week and somehow I ended up with a lemon meringue tart, though I did manage to get Ugo some chocolate biscuits and when Yvonne got milk and stuff for pancakes I was able to pay for it without WWIII breaking out. Time wasn’t doing to well this morning but we had chance to go to the £ shop to get a tin foil holder and cutter like mine for Yvonne and then go to have a look at books for Reuben in another shop. It was time to think about going. Instead of walking all the way to the bus station as usual I decided to try and wait where I’d got off the bus earlier. That meant I didn’t have to trail Yvonne behind me. She did a quick sort of the bags and then all of  sudden my bus was there.Reuben had fallen asleep in the bookshop but he chose the moment of my goodbye to wake up again. The siren started, he was not a happy chappie. As I got on I waved and Yvonne started walking towards home advertising an air raid attack. Poor girl.

Someone (not disabled) had sat in my seat so I had to occupy a double seat on the other side. I closed my eyes straight away. The journey went smoothly and after an hour I was home. My first job, once my coat was off, was Ju’s vase. With the addition of the tulips it looked so much better. More as it should have on Valentine’s day really. Then checking the other bags I found Yvonne’s gloves which I’ll have to take next time. I left the lemon meringue defrosting and came through to work. It was 1.15 pm, but that didn’t stop me taking a Father Brown break at 2.15 pm. And when I came back to work afterwards I worked on with the intention of seeing my PYMWYMI today. I came through a few minutes early and made something to eat. As soon as it was over I washed up and sat to watch a quiz. I saw the introduction of the teams and that seems to be it. I must have gone hard because I didn’t even wake up in the quiz. When I opened my eyes I realised the news was on and looking at my watch I’d been gone an hour. Time to get back to work. Progress was steady tonight and mails wasn’t coming in faster than I could deal with it. I was nibbling into the back log all the time. By 10.00 pm when I went to tke my tablets I felt brave enough to refresh. Uh Oh, Error, that meant the chase was on again a bit. By 11.00 pm there wasn’t too much left. perhaps 30, so I was able to break off to do this post. Time to try again.

R.I.P Lesley Gore  Died aged 68 on 16th February 2015. Taken by Cancer.

Wednesday.

My best sleep for a while kept me in bed until 5.28 am today. Before going out of the bedroom I switched the computer on so that it would be ready for when I returned from the loo. I logged into my mail and knew I’d got some work ahead of me this morning. I only worked until 6.15 am as I decided to have breakfast today just to make sure I didn’t need a meal before my fellow card sharps arrived tonight. So I went through to the kitchen and turned both lights on, the room and the tank. I got quite carried away just watching the fish enjoying themselves and almost forgo to feed them. Big Al left Pepper’s side and came to the front of the tank to glare at me. I got the message.I opened the trap and dropped in some specially balanced food I’d picked up at the weekend then opened a sachet of daphnia as a bonus. They must have been ravenous the way they went at it. As soon as it looked like everyone was getting a share I moved away. I took a pre-food tablet first then lit up a cigarette as a time guide. My sprays came next and then a mug of milk to take the tablets with, making sure I saved enough to use for my coffee. As soon as the ciggie was finished I put two slices of bread in the toaster and put the coffee on. As that was ready the toaster clicked and sent two perfectly browned pieces of toast into my waiting hand. Oh Sugar! That was hot. I ate the toast and took the two post-food torpedoes with my coffee. Back to work.

I wasn’t really keeping an eye on the time but when I noticed it was 9.15 am I stopped work and got dressed. I was pretty sure there’d be enough time to get to Pauline’s and back before the postman was due. I moved at my top speed and got everything I wanted then headed back. My timing couldn’t have been better, he was just heading for me. The book I was expecting was there which was great so he put everything in my shopping bag and wished me goodbye. I let myself in, put the shopping away then sat looking at the book for ages. Luckily it was mainly pictures. Fish of every shape and size with information on how large they grow, what size tank is needed , whether they can go in a community tank, everything I need ton know in short. I’m sure Mike and I will have a lot of fun with this.

I’d wasted so much time reading that it had just flown by. I stopped at 11.45 to make my lunch and didn’t think I’d made much of a dent in the work but at least I was on the right day. After a lunch of lamb hock and mashed potatoes with veg and after the end of another Murder She Wrote exercise I came back through intending to get my head down. By 2.00 pm I was amazed to see real daylight, I was well on the way to catching up. I stood up when I heard a knock on the door and didn’t mind opening up as I knew it was likely to be the chemist delivery. It was, so I swapped my meds for a box of chocolate I’d put handy. As I took them through to the kitchen I decided to watch Father Brown. Not exactly my best idea. I missed the end and zonked out again, not waking until 4.00 pm, a full hour after I should have been back at work. I could only manage another half hour’s work now until Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, came on. Yes, I know I could have given it up but I thought I could still manage. The computer just laughed at me and went on a go slow. In that half an hour 37 messages came in, eleven went out.

I watched my programme then put the stuff in the mugs ready for their arrival. By the time I was done I saw them approach. They watched the usual quiz while I did the drinks and then we watched together. Once it was over the games came out. It was a scrabble day  in fact it was MY scrabble day I’d have done a little celebration jig had there been floor space and if they hadn’t both threatened me. I was a lot more subdued in Nomination, even leaving the room when I needed to snigger. Yes, that was my game too. Chase the Lady was a different kettle of fish and Dil wiped the floor with me again, I’m sure it’s meant to be my game. Lastly Crazy 8’s, I’m sure they both decided to gang up on me and make sure I couldn’t win. There were pick up’s galore waiting for me as we played and the honours fell to Matthew, His victory dance must have been done out of my sight in case his biscuit and ciggie supply get cut off. They left at 9.30 pm and after tidying up and washing the pots I took my meds and came through.

I saw in my gmail account 117 messages in so for a change I’ve decided to do he blog first and than attack  the mail. It’s 10.53 now so I guess it’s going to be a late night.

Thursday.

I got the feeling someone was definitely sulking this morning, other than me that is. It was a 3.27 am awakening and just unnecessary. That equates to about 2 hours and I was tempted to fight it. Trouble was, I was wide awake,not just zombiefied.(There may be no such word but I think it fits so there it is). There wasn’t even any urgency for the loo so I had opportunity to turn on the computer and sign in. The mail from yesterday was bad since I made myself give up at midnight last night in order to relax with a read. If I’d have carried on, I could have met myself getting up. I worked until 7.10 am then took a break to do the fish , with a side trip to the loo on the way compliments of a 1.5 litre bottle of limas y limones exprimidos otherwise known as squeezed lemons and limes. The fish were in meeting mode today. As I turned the light on I saw Pepper, followed by Little Al and the bronze corys followed by the hoplos all come out off Big Al’s corner. Morecambe and Wise were at the side of the tank nearest me, Sharkey II was roving all over the tank and of the ancistrus there was just a splash of tail from beneath the shell. The Plecs remained wherever they were in camouflage mode. I did wonder if I’d missed the wedding party and some guests had been excluded. Just in case, I provided the wedding feast with some bloodworm as a treat. Sharkey II didn’t seem all that interested in food but it was like watching the Mongol hordes overrun Asia with the rest.

I peeled myself away to take my morning meds and to make my coffee which I brought back to my room. Time for a stage 2 assault on the mail. It was all done by 9.15 am so I got washed and dressed and went to Pauline’s for my lottery tickets. Coming  back I met Darren again and he had a small catalogue for me. I must admit I was hoping for something else today which had piqued my curiosity. Some small sheets of impregnated gum?That you put in your mouth to dissolve to give a nicotine rush so you don’t need a cigarette. I remember buying something minty a few years ago which were quite pleasant but which seem to have gone off the market since. Perhaps they’ll arrive tomorrow. I went into the house and sat down ready to pick up the new mail. There was enough to keep me going but I also opened my second account and pulled the new mail from there. It generally takes longer to do because it’s more personal. One I wasn’t happy to see was a message that my son (in law) lost his grandmother this week. I know it will be hard on him and he’s working so hard at the moment and is away so often that it will be very hard to take time to mourn properly or to celebrate her life.

I ceased work very pleased with progress at 11.40 am and wandered through to the kitchen. I took my pre-food tablet, buttered some bread  and then put the food in the microwave. While it was doing I put the TV on and watches Judge Judy savage someone new and then have her usual “You’re not as clever as me” rant. The woman should cite herself for contempt of court. Fortunately it was coming to an end and as I went to get my lunch it changed from her to The American Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote. I had an hour in her company before returning to work. Things were steady and I wasn’t under any pressure that made me think I’d miss my antiques programme. If Mike was coming though, he’d miss it because I hadn’t received a text to say he was on his way as usual. I ploughed through as much work as I could which included rubbish like having been awarded so many free spins on slot machines, so much free at bingo sites and prizes I’d won if only I’d complete the claim form to include my telephone number. By the time 4.30 pm was approaching I was tired and glad to get away. I checked on my phone which was on charge in the kitchen and saw Mike had sent a text about two minutes after I’d left the phone there at 3.00 pm. I reckoned he’d be here about 5.15 pm. I watched my programme and thought there was no pint in returning to my room only to have Mike walk in moments later. I might as well stay by the kettle. I filled kit and put it on and got his mug ready. It was actually nearer half past when he arrived. I made the drink and sat to talk and see how he is.

Mike had apparently stayed in bed until Wednesday after getting home then gone to help his son decorate. I wasn’t convinced that would have done his chest a lot of good but I shall credit him with enough sense to know when enough is enough. Anton wouldn’t let him do it if he didn’t think he was up to it. We watched a couple of quizzes together, an episode of MASH and an old Top of The Pops from 1980. At 8.00 pm I had to excuse myself though and come through. I called Mike through to look at some fish tanks very quickly as he’s interested in a new one too. That lasted almost an hour as we flicked from one to another deciding which were too far away to be considered. After he’d gone I found my mail was well above the 150 mark again. As I was working on them I found 2 people I tweet for multiple times a day who don’t reciprocate or visit the blog and decided it was a good idea to start my unfriending campaign. Maybe that will slow things down a bit. At 10.00 pm I broke off to take my evening/nighttime meds and to remind Mike to take his, then back to work again. At 11.00 am I gave up and came to do the blog as it obviously takes longer. I may or may not get back to deal with a few more.

Unforced kiss for Pops

Unforced kiss for Pops

The comforting hand

The comforting hand

Friday.

We moved in a more positive way this morning. About 6.30 am was my goal, 04.27 am was the compromise which naturally I had no say in. I paid my  visit to the loo, performed the stop start, have I finished yet? dance and returned to power up the computer. There was quite a bit of mail but I thought it manageable. I worked to my hopeful getting up time and went through to see to the fish. Once I turned their light on there seemed to be an air of excitement, I’m convinced they know food follows light. There was even some jockeying for position. Some of the smaller ones settled beneath the hatch starting with the bronze corys, the hoplis and even Morecambe and Wise barged in though they get flake, Then along came Big Al and Pepper who settled big bottoms slowly on to of other fish until they were slowly squeezed out at the sides. Little Al was cheeky enough to try the same trick between Big Al and Pepper with some surprising success. I dropped some pellets in and then a sachet of the daphnia so that a feeding frenzy moved them into every man for himself mode. It’s funny to watch them go from order to disorder in zero seconds flat.

After watching them for a few moments longer and gauging whether there was enough for those who hadn’t put in an appearance, I moved away and started to take my meds. I didn’t make a drink straight away as it’s the day for refilling all the drug trays. I got on with that, bringing down all the new drugs to complete the drawer and then filling the trays from there. Then I was able to make a drink and take it through. It was already 7.30 am so I knew I didn’t have long before having to rouse Mike. At  few minutes to 8. 00 am I put coffee in Mike’s mug and put the kettle on. As soon as it was ready I took it through letting him know it was there. First words generated a grunt, the second a reminder that he’d told me last night he wasn’t under pressure today. I just reminded him I’d specifically asked it it was to be a normal time day to which he’d said yes. I left the room, and went back to mine to finish my own drink. At 8.30 am I wandered past taking my mug to the kitchen and for the heck of it shouted that the coffee was going cold. There was movement, about what it took to turn his head away. I decided to wait in the lounge for him to get up, that was a big mistake. I nodded off in my chair and he didn’t wander through until 9.30 am.

I don’t know why I did it but I turned the TV onto an American comedy. Instead of rushing round like a mad thing trying to be out an hour late at 10.00 am Mike sat and watched it with me. At 10.00 am when the episode was over I said I was going to get dressed. Mike said he was thinking that too. I left the room and he still stayed a while longer before finally moving it. I went through in my dressed state and turned off in case he wanted to finish the current episode. The work couldn’t be avoided any longer.Finally at just gone 10.30 am he came through to say goodbye.

The time seemed to fly by after that. I was watching two books on ebay for Mike due to finish at midday I didn’t want to move from the screen to make lunch. At the last seconds I put a bid in £4 greater thank the current price by someone had left a larger bid on. They say thing happen for a reason so I did a search for the same books and found a wonderful set of 4 or £30. He already has the first one but if he sells that to me for £10  he’d not only have the two books he wanted but also an edition which is full of thousands of photographs from 5 volumes all for the princely sum of £20. And it’s a buy now item so no bidding. I was thinking of sending him a text when there was a knock at the door and one of my two lovely wardens was there. She came in for a chat but mainly to see I was OK. When she left I made my lunch. Unashamedly bacon sandwiches. After lunch it was work again but I was no longer doing well as I had been earlier. Time for head down. Well, I tried but just couldn’t concentrate properly. At 2.15 pm I gave it up as a bad job and went through for Father Brown.Not far into it I couldn’t take it in so stood to go and get a drink. Down I went in darkness for probably no more than a minute or so, how I didn’t hit the TV I don’t know but I seemed to fold rather than go flat. Maybe I have a dainty side. I got back on my chair and relaxed into a series of Zzz’s until about 3.15 pm.

I managed to work a bit until 4.30 pm, Mike texted to say he was on his way back and so I went to see the last day of the antiques show. At least I was in the right place for making Mike a drink when he came in. Poor soul had to make his own because I was engrossed in a quiz by then. I had put the stuff in his mug and boiled the kettle though. At 6.30 pm I went to get my hair washed and then take a shower, I wanted to be out by 7.00 pm.Mike looked at the books I’d mentioned and decided to buy them there and then, then he was also showing me a 4′ bow fronted fish tank he’d found and might bid for. We watched a couple of shoes and then at 8.30 pm I left him to his own devices and came back through. I’ve tried to do some more messages but I’m not getting far. So, I’ve decided to concentrate on the blog post and then see if I can just pull the important pieces of post and for once disregard the rest. Sorry.

Saturday.

Well, I got my early night. I felt so bad my light was off at 12.10 am. I’m not sure how long it took me to get to sleep but I woke at 1.18 am. A few expletives later I managed to fall asleep again but only until 2.52 am at which time I knew that was it. I turned my light on and powered up the computer as I went past on my way to the loo. I’d finished and was on my way back out when I almost found enough to go again in my pyjamas. Some prannock called out in the loudest of voices “Who’s that”. I was tempted to say it was a burglar but thought I might get lumped with a bedside lamp before he woke up. Instead I answered “It’s only me” which seemed to satisfy him. My chest had made the voice so husky I don’t know whether he recognised it or whether the answer itself was enough to settle him. In which case I’m in trouble if we ever have any intelligent burglars.

Back in the bedroom I found over 100 message already so more than enough to keep me going, but at least there were no distractions. I finished the first batch at 6.30 am and didn’t want to refresh or sign into my other account until I’d got a drink of lime juice from the kitchen. That of course involved waking the fish so I turned the tank light on. I think they’ve all been taking lessons at a method acting school since they all seemed to shake and wake as though startled into movement, and yet it wasn’t fully dark at that time. From sluggish to manic in seconds they still seemed to be prearranged moves until they finally settled under the hatch in a ‘We know what’s coming, get a bl**dy move on’ kind of attitude. Feeling the whole thing was a little contrived ( not that I’m paranoid or anything) I shovelled in some flakes and some of the normal algae pellets and left them to it. I just hoped the little monsters would leave enough for the shy ones in their midst.

I took my sprays then put some milk in my mug and started on my tablets. I didn’t feel like a coffee but found I did very much feel like I needed a sit down. I moved to the lounge for what I expected to be a few minutes but Oops ZZZZzzzzzzzz. While asleep I heard Mike’s alarm go off twice but just thought he’s come through and wake me.( What a stupid thought that was). I woke at 7.55 am , screamed and put the kettle on to make his coffee which I took through. An hour late and he was still reluctant to get up but when I said it was 8.00 am he did so without a second call ( 2 Alarms, 1 Call…wow). I made my coffee and said I’d go and get dressed. He complained I’d disturbed him at 3.00 am  and was lucky I didn’t tell him to mop the floor from where he’d shouted. I was really quiet and he hears me, yet if I’m noisy when it’s time to getup- Nada. We finally left the house just before 9.00 am  and despite a hair raising drive ( not that you could have told with my haircut) we did arrive safely. Mike went on a long trek looking for a trolley he didn’t have to pay for while I went to the cash machine, the very annoying cash machine that never has any £10 notes when I go, to get money for the shopping.

Inside the store it was a left turn as I didn’t need potatoes today, nor flowers for my wife. Mike says he checked the flowers in the vase and they look fine. We went up and down a few aisles to see if we could find some recycling bags as I miss the blue one for paper that wasn’t returned last week. It had handles so it could be hung out of the way whereas the blue plastic ones issued can’t. Couldn’t find any at all. We went up towards the gents clothing when Mike suddenly felt the urgent need to answer a call of nature.That means I either find a corner to hide in or I keep moving so no-one talks to me. I chose the latter and was halfway through the shopping by the time he got back. Fear lends speed especially when you have wheels you can lean on. We finished the shopping, went through the tills and headed for a coffee. This week we were lucky and got one. When we came out and had a cigarette while packing the car Mike asked what we were doing next, having already lost an hour of the morning I suggested straight to Flint to see Ceri and the girls rather than go looking at fish as we’d thought the night before. He agreed and off we went. Despite the fact he think he’s driving a De-Lorean we still got there after we’d set off. We went round a couple of shops then settled in what was a very busy Temptations. We hardly got a chance to talk to Ceri let alone tease her. A couple more shops still looking for this elusive car coat Mike wants and we headed for home.

Normally we’d have gone straight for lunch but, as Mike won’t let me forget, I forgot my tablets. Moan, Moan, Whinge, it’s worse than being married. We unpacked and put away the shopping then head off for the Ivy. Tariq greeted us as soon as we walked in the door almost, uga all round. Our seats were free so coats down, then Angie walked past and I gave her the chocolates and received a nice kiss while Mike was shouting “Get a room” in the background. He’d need a room for what he has in mind. Rob came through and called hello and asked how we were, I think he’s used to us now and less fearful. Tariq came to ask if we wanted the usual drinks and went off to make them while we wrestled with the menu. Mike settled on something too hot with rice which he regretted until he could add sour cream to it, I had sliced gammon with two eggs and chips. People coming and going nodded hello or goodbye as they’re a friendly bunch and Tariq came over to talk a couple of times. Shella came over to say hello too. I think we were only missing Shirley to complete the set. We left there about 2.15 pm and headed for home again after deciding anything we wanted to do we could do tomorrow.

Wen we got in Mike started looking for fishtanks for himself on ebay and I came through to work. I did as much as possible up to 5.30 pm then Mike wanted some company ( and competition ) for a quiz. I stayed there until 9.00 pm at which time it seemed OK to leave him on his own. As usual the mail was enough to cause a sharp intake of breath but I made up my mind I could only do what I could do and the the blog must take precedence. Any time left after that I can go back to the blog again. I did wonder if I could post the blog in the early hours of the morning when SOMEONE is asleep since he keeps coming in to see if I’ve written anything inflammatory about him. I usually spell that word T.R.U.E but hey, different strokes.

Have a Great Week everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Cold Descends & Missing Shreddies

Sunday 8th Feb 2015

A new regime is in place- mine! Though I woke up a little earlier this morning I didn’t actually get up until 5.44 am. (No you cheeky beggar, I’m not revolting), I’m in revolt. I want more leisure time, more time to sleep or more specifically, more time asleep. I mean, fair play it’s a Sunday. There’s just a chance Mike might sleep in past 8.00 am. ( yes OK, I’ll be serious a minute, once I stop laughing). I did things in an orderly fashion first thing. Computer on, trip to loo and then back to sign in. Since I don’t have to take the antibiotics now even the fish can have a lie in until natural daylight starts. I got a good hour in on emails and didn’t even dent them. So many new people coming through and liking the blog which is really nice.

At 7.00 am I took a break and went through to the kitchen. I turned both lights on and stood watching the fish play, argue, fight and just chit chat. They’re a funny bunch and quite entertaining.Yesterday I’d put the piece of bog wood in a bucket to soak, this morning I turned it over to catch the pieces that had dried out again. Once the monsters had been fed I took my meds then made my usual coffee to take back. I got dressed then had another session with the mail until I heard Mike get up OF HIS OWN ACCORD at 9.45 am. I went to make him a coffee and make fun of him. I had to come back to finish one message I’d been part way through then I joined him in the lounge. He asked what I fancied doing today and I told him I needed to get a headset for the computer as the last one gave up the ghost but other than that it didn’t matter. That was fine it seems, but the fact he was out of bed didn’t mean there was a chance of any real movement yet. We got to the stage of him making a second coffee so I said I’d come back to work ( I’d only reached 5.30 am at that point) until he was ready. That was 11.45 am so it was coat on and off we went.

Still unsure where to go, we headed for Prestatyn first and had a look round a few shops including the £ shop where I actually found what I wanted along with a great box to hold tinfoil with a cutter on the side that won’t tear. We had another quick look round in case we saw a car coat for Mike but no joy. As it was getting on for 1.00 pm at this stage we decided to eat. Neither of us fancied the pub in Prestatyn and little else seemed open so we decided to visit the Bells of St. Mary’s, it’s been a while since we’ve been there. I know the place is quite close to The Ivy which I love but I admit it was my decision so I could have a roast dinner with a Yorkshire Pudding and my choice of veg and potatoes. It was really enjoyable. By then it was nearly 2.00 pm so instead of looking for fish we decided to com home and put the bog wood in the tank so the fish would have a whole new playground.One thing that was decided , Sharkey would be going on his holidays. He’s a beautiful looking fish and the raspberry tips are a great colour but he’s too aggressive for me and the rest of my fish are community. Mike had agreed to take him since he already has a couple of silver sharks. So, once the bog wood was in place and we’d both watched the fish investigate, Mike upturned the bridge where Sharkey was hiding and we bagged him up for the journey. I carried him out to the car while Mike carried his suitcases ( Mike’s not Sharkey’s). We hugged goodbye and they set off. I started sneezing like mad outside it was cold and I was full of cold. Ugh.

Back inside again with a tissue stuffed up my nose I was shocked to see it was almost 4.00 pm so I thought I’d better assault the mail box again and clear what I could. Another 113 had been added to one and 54 to the other. I did two hours solid then went through to make some tea and turn the tank light off. I watched for a minute enjoying their new adventure playground. After some trifle I carried on till 8.00 pm then went and watched a couple of old Gavin and Stacey’s. At 9.20 pm I called it a night and came for my last go on here.I started making real inroads in it and by 11.00 pm didn’t have too much left. I’ll finish the blog and go back to it for a while to lessen the load for tomorrow. I have jobs to do in the morning.

Monday.

I got to bed at 12.30 am. Still sneezing I hunkered down and turned the light off. The day started again at 3.36 am. This was just a skirmish I lost, not the whole war. I skipped the light fandango, turned cartwheels across the floor ( Thanks Procul Harum) until my bladder would take no more. After an urgent visit to the loo I signed into my emails and got started. It really wasn’t looking too bad on the first account and by 6.30 am I was clear though I hadn’t refreshed. I decided to see to the fish before opening the second account. As the kitchen light went on I could see activity, Pepper seemed to be having fun passing under the bridges formed by the new bog wood, and two of the plecs were attached to it.  I put the tank light on to see them better and noticed almost every fish was doing something that involved the wood except the synodontis who are still the shy boys of the tank. Yesterday Mike stood by the tank hoping to see them but every time one ventured forth his attention was elsewhere, by the time he looked back the fish had gone in again. He did get a wonderful view of their moustaches though, twitching inside the entrance to their shell like whips.

Big Al came over to take a look at me and turned away with his usual disdain. Little Al followed on behind but just seemed to glance at me in puzzlement as though asking what he was supposed to do. I fed them all and turned away to take my meds. I had some breakfast then I took a drink back to my desk and found while I was having fishy fun, the emails had piled up again. I got dressed before dealing with any in case I offended anyone now they were awake. Then I started again. By the time I’d dealt with those and more the second account had packed them into the gunnels too and it was 10.30 am. I finally cleared at 11.40 am and decided to break for lunch. Braised beef, colcanon  mash and some mixed veg, It was very tasty and I enjoyed a Murder She Wrote while I ate.

It was back to work at 1.00 pm but before I started I did a little research on which of the catfish and plecs I like will stay at a maximum of 4 – 6 inches which is all this tank can take. I’ve got it down to a zebra plec which will probably take a mortgage, a pimelodus pictus ( my current No 1), Albino plec,striped clown plec or striped bulldog plec or maybe a medusa plec. Now it would depend on availability and price. I’ve been reading a fair bit about crowd funding recently and decided if I asked everyone in the world to contribute just 1p each to my paypal account I can afford a new tank and perhaps my own house to put it in, oh and enough to bury myself if Big Al gets his own way. Any spare rooms and you’d all be welcome to stay , but not all at the same time please unless I get elastic walls or a very broad mind.       So, back to work. I managed to stay on top of everything during the afternoon and there was little left when I called a halt at 4.30 pm. I only stayed away till 6.00 pm but as I took my tea plate back into the kitchen I found I couldn’t get any hot water. I noticed it was decidedly chilly in the kitchen too so checked the radiator, it was ice cold. I turned the thermostat up but nothing happened. I knew Yvonne was on her way to Birmingham and wouldn’t be able to do anything until she got there. However at 7.30 pm she sent a text to say she’s been in touch with the emergency team and they’d send a plumber out. Good as I was beginning to sound like a demented typewriter in the bedroom.

Pimelodus Pictus catfish grows to about 4.3" 10.5cm Magnificent whiskers

Pimelodus Pictus catfish grows to about 4.3″ 10.5cm Magnificent whiskers

At 8.30 pm a knock on the door revealed a man with a great big bag of tools. I’d already said what message the machine was displaying so I thought this was bad news. But, he was out in less than 5 minutes. He’d fiddled underneath and it sounded like he’d turned a tap on. He had, and topped up the boiler. Mike bled a radiator yesterday and it seems you have to replace the water used to displace the air. Never heard anything like it. They say nature abhors a vacuum so you’d think the boiler would pull in any water it needs from the feeds. Anyway. I was back up and running and able to wash my pots from teatime. I didn’t see any point in going back through to watch TV so just stayed working. I paused early tonight at about 10.30 pm to get the blog done. I’m hoping for an early night with going out in the morning.

Tuesday.

Last night I got to bed about 11.45 pm and didn’t read for too long, preferring instead to let the warmth help me drift off to sleep. That probably happened not long after 12.30 am. Before I drifted I said a prayer to Porcinus to intercede with his brother not to let me sleep in and miss my bus. I’m guessing Porcinus did the job because Somnos made sure I wouldn’t miss the 7.45 bus by getting me up at 4.22 am. He’s all heart. In a way tough he did do me a favour ( don’t tell him that) by ensuring I had time to clear both my mail accounts before I left.

When I first got up the house was warm so the tinkling in the bathroom wasn’t the sound of icicles falling from my nose. I came back to the bedroom and started up the computer and loaded up one of my mail addresses. There was a fair bit but be fair, it wasn’t like I was short of time. I worked until 6.00 am then went to feed the fish. They actually seem happier now the ice on the tank has defrosted and they can move again. They were in fine form this morning and I actually saw the synodontis out and about. I wonder if that has anything to do with the removal of Sharkey to pastures new. I’d like to think so. There was a real scramble when I put the food in but it all seemed to be in good humour.

After feeding the fish I went to take my meds. I decided against breakfast as Yvonne will have toast or something with a coffee while we’re out and insist I do the same. I just made myself a coffee and took it through with me. I got dressed and I knew it was really cold as soon as the dressing gown came off. I was able to hang it on a nipple. Today was going to be a tee-shirt, shirt, waistcoat, jacket and overcoat day. I might not be able to move but I’d be warm. I was a vision in brown, easily hidden on an Autumn day. Today I’d just look smart. I carried on drinking and working until 7.20 am then made sure everything I needed was in my coat pockets and the bags I was taking for Yvonne were handy near the door. At 7.30 am I set out. The bags were heavy and it was a struggle. I had to keep pausing for a rest but the bus driver saw me on my way and stopped the bus for me to get on. I was really grateful. I did my usual trick of closing my eyes for most of the journey so no-one was tempted to speak. I may have even nodded off a couple of times between stops. It was quite a delayed journey courtesy of two or three sets of roadworks on the way. But when I got there, Yvonne was waiting with Reuben I’d forgotten about the vicious crop my hairstylist had given me at the weekend and didn’t expect Reuben to recognise me beardless. Yvonne walked right past me instead and Reuben was pointing at me and grinning. In recognition I hope and not at the Dali-esque moustache.

We had enough time to take a walk round the £shop before the cafe inside the clothing store opened. I got myself an elbow support bandage. and no Mike, it’s not for the reasons you keep suggesting. It’s too much tennis to blame. We actually picked up a few things from there before moving on, including batteries for the tablet type thing I’d bought Reuben. We went and settled in the cafe.She won the first skirmish of who pays and ordered me a coffee and a sausage with red onion toastie while she and Roobs had jam on toast. I’d taken the first mouthful before remembering my tablet, Oops. Once we’d done we walked round to find Reuben some pyjamas and for his dad a shirt and a cardigan to make up for the fact I’d still not found a blue waistcoat to go with his suit. I won the second skirmish. From there we went to another shop so I could show Yvonne the Jane Asher container I bought for putting tin foil in and for cutting it. No good for her as there isn’t one for the longer rolls on tinfoil but she did think it a good idea. We bought a few items there and round 3 was mine too.

The morning was getting on a bit so I suggested another drink so we’d have opportunity to sort the bags in case I had to depart quickly for the bus. We headed for the market where she’d be able to get some wool she wanted too. After the drink and when the bags were sorted 1 for me 4 for her, we took Reuben to the pet shop to see the birds. A couple of really pretty female budgies in having a good old sing song.Then it was time for me to depart for the bus and Yvonne to get home so Reuben could have a sleep as she got ready for work. The bus was slow going back too. When I got off I thought I’d go to Pauline’s for some stuff but I decided I needed a wee more and had to go straight past the shop, open my front door, abandon bag and crutches in a hurry ….and run. I made it. I worked from 1.15 to 2.15 pm, then ignoring the hundreds of messages, watched Father Brown.

At 3.00 pm I went back to work in earnest and was making some progress. At 4.15 pm though I decided I needed food so I made some beans on toast which I ate while The Antiques Trip was on. After washing up I came back through, ignoring the usual quiz. By 7.00 pm I was making real headway and had refreshed once already. I took another break until 8.00 pm  then closed the lounge down to concentrate fully on work. I was clear by 11.15 pm and able to start the blog. At this rate I may get another early night.

Wednesday.

The world and I renewed our acquaintance at 3.20 am. Though happy to have survived another night I can’t honestly say I was too chuffed about the time. I’d happily have waited a wee while longer until the world was better dressed in her finery, and you could actually see it. The fact that it was early did not negate my wish to use the loo so slippers and dressing gown on, off I went. I don’t know what it is with me and lights unless it’s the fear of disturbing someone by turning them on. Who, since there’s only me hear? Anyway, perhaps I hadn’t quite adjusted my eyes and my balance was a bit off. I crashed into the stick stand and made an almighty clatter, designed to wake the neighbourhood. My shushing of the sticks seems a little pointless now. Then turning the  corner I veered to the left a bit and walloped my knee on the radiator. Before I had time to curse I had to make a right hand turn but I was a tad too early and hit the corner with my right knee and also managed to knock over a vase of flowers. Just as well they’re artificial or a flood would have ensued. Before I entered the loo I switched the hall light on which of course I should have done at the other end.

On returning to the bedroom with two sore knees I turned that light on then nipped back to turn the hall light off. I signed on to the computer. 127 emails waiting. Two of them  were cons which quickly got consigned to the bin. Anything that purports to come from a bank where I don’t have an account automatically goes that way. The obvious adverts from  card companies followed them. One message was from a shop I sometimes visit to let me know they had a freezer in if I was still interested. The message started, “Dear Dave”. Who the heck is Dave? I’m happy for people to call me by my first name but it seems to take our relationship to a level that doesn’t exist to call me that. Frankly I hate being called Dave, my name is David though a few people still call me other things, not all complimentary. I could understand it if I ever signed myself thus but I don’t so that message too went into the bin. I got down to 104 messages that way and started on those. One of the nice jobs I get during the day is promoting other authors by retweeting their books, today was nice for me as two friends Jane Dougherty and Ali Isaac were publishing their joint venture. Love stories based on the myths of Ireland called Gra mo chroi.

cover

Don’t forget to look for it.

At 6.10 am it was time to feed the fish. I turned both the main light and the tank light on and stood for a minute watching them. Th two lager plecs were adorning the branches of the bog wood while the smallest with its bat’s wing sleeves glided around chasing anything it bumped into. It never seems to bother him that most of the fish are bigger than him. Big Al stayed in his corner at first. Morecambe and Wise visited me at the front of the tank.The two bronze corys just darted about aimlessly, the synodontis kept coming out and going back in at the first sign of any movement around them. The two hoplos kept swimming up and down and Little Al hovered near the food slot. I opened the flap and the movement made Big All stir. He ran to the top of the tank and I started crying. Hang on, no I didn’t, it’s only on one side of my face. The little  beggar spat at me. Down he swam back to his corner. I dabbed my eye and fed them hoping secretly that they’d eat everything before Big Al stirred again. I can’t believe a fish spat at me. What have I ever done wrong? Answers on a postcard please. I took my meds, made a drink and returned to my room in disgust.

I thought I’d dealt with all the dross in my in box but I’d missed this one probably because it’s new to me and banks aren’t the first thing I associate Tesco with. This is another one of those that I find very disturbing because of it’s seeming authenticity. If you know anyone who banks with Tesco please warn them not to open this if it arrives.

Dear Account Holder,
Your TESCO Savings Account was accessed on a blacklisted IP address North London,
but for security reasons the requested transaction was refused.
You are required to update and confirm your TESCO Savings account details with us
as you will not be able to have access to your accounts until this has been done.
CLICK HERE TO PROCEED
Once you’ve completed this you’ll be able to manage your money whenever you want,
giving you more control of your finances.
Thank you for helping us serve you better,
TESCO BANK
Copyright © 2015 Tesco Personal Finance plc

I decided to carry on until  my email accounts were empty before going out. So when I threw my hands in the air and cheered at 9.10 am you’d guess I was pleased. I got washed and dressed and about 9.30 am went out to Pauline’s to pick up a few things. I resisted the temptation to buy a chocolate gateau as I know there are still chocolate puddings in the fridge. Wen I got back I put the shopping away and then returned to my desk to see what else had arrived. There was enough to keep me going until 10.45 am and then I called a break and sat in the lounge. I lay back in my chair with my eyes closed and totally relaxed. I have no idea if I actually went to sleep, it didn’t seem so at the time. It was 11.50 am  before I decide I needed to start my lunch, liver and onions with mash today, and a piece of bread and butter for the left over gravy. I ate it during Murder She Wrote as Jessica Fletcher solved her latest case in a college. Once it was over I returned to work. There was quite a lot again and I knew I’d struggle a bit so I decided not to bother with Father Brown today, but to plod on. At 4.15 pm I realised I’d need a sandwich for tea with Dil and Matt coming so ignoring what was left I went to feed the face. Antique Road Trip came on purely by coincidence (cough) while I was there so I stayed and watched it. at 5.15 pm it wasn’t worth going back so I started watching the quiz Pointless with one eye, while they other tried to watch for my visitors arriving.

I just caught a glimpse of them and I’m sure it’s because I was by now cross-eyed. I’m also sure they’ve taken to creeping past on hands and knees to surprise me. I ran into the kitchen and started making drinks as they came in the front door shouting ‘Hi’. I told them I’d had a message from Lee a few minutes before saying he couldn’t make it again, but hopefully next week. I passed the drinks through as they watched to the end of the quiz when I turned the TV off and we got the table and the games out. We were starting with Yahtzee again this week. I was the over all winner, taking three of the 6 games. It was amazing,,I even got 2 Yahtzees in the one game tonight for 100 point bonus. We moved on to Nomination Whist next where despite a good start at a game I excel in, I hadn’t even reached 3 figures when we’d finished. I was in last place, Dil first . The last game was Chase The Lady and what a start I had. no points in the first hand then just 5 in the second.I thought playing as I was I’d be unassailable. I hadn’t counted on being in the room with two vindictive people. The Queen of Spades was dropped on me so often after those hands I thought we should be engaged. Needless to say my score started to soar past theirs and I was first to the post, Dil second, Matt the Winner by ten points over Dil.

Once they’d gone I tidied up, washed the pots and went looking for the mirror I must have broken today my luck is so bad. I took my meds said goodnight to the fish and came back through to the bedroom. I eventually gave up sulking and got on with the mail of which there was almost 200 again. I worked on it until 11.00 pm without making much of a dent . Once I finish the blog I’ll go back to it for a while. I have a headache and would enjoy a sleep.

Adoration

Adoration

Trying to copy Pops's cross look.

Trying to copy Pops’s cross look.

Thursday.

It was 4.30 am today so that’s just about three and a half hours. My campaign for a sleep extension seems to have fallen on deaf ears. I got up. I put on the bedroom light in order to avoid stubbed toes, put on my dressing gown and slippers and strolled to the loo. No urgency since I haven’t been to sleep long enough to actually put m bladder to any difficult time trials. I came back and put the computer on and started work. I almost missed a notice about Windows updates and had it close down on me but I caught it in time.I gave myself four hours and judging by the mail I needed it. At 6.00 am I took a break to see to the fish, I think they got so used to the time why change it again? Both light went on and I saw there was a deal of activity. Lots of play round the new log, in and out of the various tunnels it made and fun round he branches. Certain fish didn’t join in the fun of course but I wasn’t sorry about that and was keeping a weather eye on him as I opened the flap. In went the food and down went the flap again. I spoke to them all for a minute and was visited by Morecambe of course, Wise was too busy eating. One of the syodontis came out as I’d dropped a few pellets near his hidey-hole. Of the other one there was no sign, Mike said on Sunday that it’s take to hiding in the pipe of the old water filter pump.

I let the fish get on with it and turned round to take my tablets. I thought breakfast was in order today so took my pre-food first. After taking the normal tabs and sprays I had a cigarette to give the pre-food one time to do whatever it does before sticking two slices of thick bread inn the toaster.When the toast was gone, I made myself a coffee and took the two after food tablets before heading back to my bedroom to carry on working. At 8.30 am I let Windows do it’s update. I didn’t lift my head again until 9.35 am when the postman came. There was nothing of any real interest but I was glad to move my legs. Unfortunately, I had to move them back again, there was still work to  be done. It was 10.20 when I was finally as clear as I could be. Things were taking a while to load so I signed out of my main email address for a few moments then went to sign back in as that usually solves the problem. This time it wouldn’t let me sign in. There was a message about the wrong URL for this platform or something.  I no longer have any hair left to pull out. In the end I had to use the restore facility back to prior to the current Windows download. This time it worked. I worked on the new mail until I was clear again and knocked off at 11.20 am. Too early for lunch but lovely for a sit in the lounge and a stare out of the windows. Ha, you thought I was going to say I nodded off, well na na, na na na. I lunched at midday on chips with curry sauce, my once a week treat at the moment. A this is my second tablet meal of the day I can have what I want at tea time.

At 1.00 pm I returned to my desk and risked one eye on seeing how much mail there was. There was! But, I wasn’t going to let it stop me today. I worked until 2.15 pm then suffered three quarters of an hour of Father Brown, what a missed opportunity for sleep that was. At 2.30 pm I’d had a text off Mike to say he was on his way which brightened my day a bit. Promptly at 3.00 pm I returned to work and by dint of hard labour I was within a hair’s breadth of being up to date when 4.30 pm came and my Road Trip programme. I was expecting Mike around 5.00 pm and nipped through to put the kettle on a couple of minutes beforehand. I know I saw the start of the auction but I’m not convinced I saw the end of it at 5.15 pm. When I next came too it was almost 6.00 pm and Mike was sitting next to me saying “Hello Noddy.” He nipped through and boiled the kettle again to do his drink which he’d done without for fear of waking me. I went and made him some syrup sponges with custard in thanks, I may just have had a chocolate one with chocolate custard. We watched a quiz then what amounted to three antique shows until 8.00 pm when I had to depart before the pressure of knowing I had emails blew my ears off. I worked until 10.00 pm when Mike came through to remind me about my tablets then worked again until 10.30 pm when I broke off to do the blog. Since it’s well gone 11.00 pm now I’m going back to it for a while to soften the blow for the morning.

street 1

street 4

Friday.

Despite a light off time of 1.00 am last night it was still a 4.02 am start today. I’m writing a letter of resignation the minute I get a chance, I don”t think I like this job anymore. As usual it was a case of priorities, a tinkle time trip for which I turned the light on in my bedroom rather than the halllway so it didn’t disturb Mike and then back to power up the computer. There were absolutely tons of mail from last night still to do which I still hadn’t caught up on at 6.00 am when I went to feed the fish.. I found them all milling about this morning in some complicated folk dance pattern of interweaving that almost made me cross eyed, but the minute the flap opened there was an air of anticipation that hit you like a brick wall. As I slipped the food in it quickly became every man fish for himself itself. I took all my morning meds then filled up the boxes with another week’s supply and prepared a prescription request for those that needed replacing as I do every two weeks for half of it. A usual that took me quite a time and it was almost 7.00 am before I was able to take a coffee back to my room.

As soon as I’ completed all last night’s outstanding mail I went straight on to today’s and worked up till 8.00 am when I returned to the kitchen to make a drink for Mike. I work to the formula wake him at 8, get him out by 9, hopefully to arrive at his Dad’s by 10.00 am. I woke him at 8.00 am with a drink and he shouted something unintelligible at me. He got up at 8.25 am. He was full of head cold so at 9.15 am decided he wasn’t going out at all then changed his mind five minutes later when he phoned is Dad. He left at 9.35 am and I have no idea what time he arrived there. I’d dressed at 9.00 am and gone to Pauline’s at 9.15 am so arrived back to a hive of activity as he got ready to go. I returned to work at 9.30 am and worked hard through the morning to get clear which I did at 11.35 am.  I went through to the lounge and relaxed a few minutes with the TV. At 12.10 pm there was a knock on the door which I recognised as one of the wardens who’d come for a chat. As I let her in she immediately asked If I were low today as I seemed flat. No-one ever seems to say that about my stomach. We chatted for a while and then she left at 12.45 at which time I started peeling and chopping a sweet potato. As I put that in the microwave to cook I out some sausages under the grill. Pretty soon I was tucking into bangers and mash. At 1.20 pm it was back to work for a while because at 2.15 I was breaking for Father Brown.

I fully intended returning to work at 3.00 pm when Father Brown was over but I’d dropped off before the end (bliss) and slept on until 3.20 pm. I flew back down the hall and started again. I fully intended to stop at 4.30 pm for the Road Trip but at 4.30 pm Mike sent a text to say he was on the way and I noticed that my inbox was showing 97 outstanding on my second account and I still hadn’t finished the first. Antiques went by the wayside. I expected Mike to arrive about 6.00 pm so went through a few minuted early to put the kettle on. While I was there I thought I’d get a few things together from the laundry. The towels for the bathroom, a pair of lounge pants for after my bath, a clean tee-shirt , a pair of shreddies and a pair of socks. I dropped the towels off on my way to the bedroom where I put the clean clothing on my bed then I was distracted hearing the kettle click off. I waited in the lounge watching Eggheads and Mike eventually turned up at 6.20 pm as there had been a nasty accident on the motorway. He poured his coffee and sat with me. As Eggheads ended I said I was going for a shower thinking I could do my own hair this week since so much of it’s gone missing but he insisted he’d still do it.

It took him about 30 seconds to do and then he breather near me and it was dry. I took my shower. My balance wasn’t up to much so Mike got me to sit afterwards and dried my hair even more but with a towel this time. I went through to the bedroom and sorted a shirt for tomorrow and then went to move the shreddies and socks to the back of my chair. Socks yes, shreddies no. I went back to the kitchen to make sure I’d actually picked them up and then seeing I had, I followed my route to the bathroom where I made sure I hadn’t left them with the towels then on to the bedroom, checking the floor in case I’d dropped them.Nothing.I did the journey in reverse, still nothing. Mike asked what was going on and when I explained he offered to help.He went to all the places I hadn’t been and then a tour of those I had. I dreaded him finding them as I didn’t want to see him walking towards me with a big grin and a pair of my jockey shorts round his ears. I was OK as he didn’t find them but I was flummoxed and it was annoying. I got another pair out.

We watched some TV together and had some tea, then at 8.45 pm I came back through to work. I was horrified at the amount waiting and wondered if I’d get to bed at all tonight. I apologise here and now most sincerely. I took a step I’ve never taken before. I started deleting anything that wasn’t addressed directly to me. Anything that was a general message that included me. I kept likes, follows, re-tweets , specific tweet messages and of course all personal messages and ploughed into dealing with them. It was 11.10 pm when I finished and I haven’t dared refresh since then. I wanted to get straight on with the blog. Mike stuck his head in to say goodnight and what’s the first thing he saw? The missing shreddies which I’d apparently put on my radiator and had walked past them so many times. He went off to bed smug.

Saturday.

I’m trying to decide whether to save myself some time by either not going to bed at all or not bother undressing so I can swing an extra few minutes in there. I got to bed a little after midnight and as usual tried to unwind with my book. I turned the light out about 1.00 pm as usual and as the book wasn’t 50 Shades of Smut there wasn’t anything to excite me and stop me sleeping. I know I woke up at 1.53 am but I was in that muggy state where I knew an inch further down the bed in the warm I’d be asleep again. I wriggled down. Next thing I know I’m wide awake and it’s 2.43 am and even digging my way in at the bottom of my bed wasn’t getting me back to sleep. I didn’t even need the loo so could log back on to the computer before it had even cooled down. The mail from last night was horrific especially when added to the mail since midnight but at least I had the advantage of time.

I don’t like the idea of only doing things for people who do them for me but I may have to take the advice I’ve been given and start unfollowing some blogs to reduce my workload and the first to go would be those who don’t re-tweet for me, like, comment or anything if I’ve been doing it for them. I’m told it’s the normal way to go. I don’t want to have to work the way I did yesterday which isn’t fair but staying in all day every day is the only way to cope otherwise. That might appeal to me but I’d never be allowed to get away with it by my keepers. Talking of whom, The Mike keeper was coughing all night so this cold really has a grip on him. Yesterday he refused to let me pick anything up for him, but I’m determined to do so today. I’d actually finished and was up to date before 6.00 pm so spent a little time drooling on ebay. There are some Welsh money Notes for sale and they seem to be as rare as hens teeth.

welsh money

 

I’m bidding on a couple but not with any great expectation of getting them. I’d dearly love to though. I found them beautiful.

I was just going to pay a visit at 6.00 pm when I heard Mike cough and st up with an “Oh Damn” as a sign of exasperation. I stood at his door for a minute while he had a drink and asked whether he was snuggling back down or if he wanted a coffee.I got my answer as I saw his head disappear. I continued on my journey to the loo and then onward to the fish. I turned on the kitchen light and then brought the day to the tank as well. Pepper was sidling up to Big Al as though they knew it was Valentines day, I wouldn’t have been in the least bit surprised to see a bouquet of weed ( no love, not THAT kind of weed) and a few choice bits of algae passing between them. The rest of the crew seemed to be having a party and I suppose that I , the main caterer, was late. I fed them and just watched their antics for a while. After a bit I left them to it but at least it had put a smile on my face. I poured myself some milk, took my meds and made a coffee to take back with me. Not too much had happened since I’d been away so everything was shipshape by 6.50 am. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to do about Mike. Leave him there until he got up of his own accord, but then I remembered Anton would need him on Tuesday. Or, wake him as usual with a coffee but give him the opportunity to stay in and keep warm. I opted for the latter.So, after I heard his alarm go off and be ignored at 7.00 am I made a coffee and took it through. I called him to let him know it was there and on the bedside stand. It was a three grunt day. I left and made myself another drink. I almost spilled the lot and had to call out a team to shock my heart when I saw Mike walk into the lounge. Saturday and just a one Alarm one Call day, who’s going to believe that? Even I don’t and I was there. This vision of unloveliness passed me his dirty mug from last night then went to sit down with  his drink, his first cigarette of the day and a hacking cough.

We were out of the house by about 7.50 am and on our way to Asda. When we arrived Mike howled at the price of diesel as it had gone up since yesterday and yesterday he’d put off filling up. We entered the store and Mike went to choose the flowers for Ju today while I went to pick up potatoes. Then as we moved on I came across a sigh advertising the last reductions in the sale on clothing and found four shirts and a pair of chino’s at £1 each. I couldn’t believe it and nor could the little old lady I snatched them off. Before you say anything , it wasn’t my fault she ended up on the floor, that was the dirty floor. Anyway they’d never have fitted her. We carried on and did the shopping trying to fit it into any little space in the trolley I’d left. Well, you have to get your priorities right don’t you, £1 each eh.We tried to go for a coffee when we’d finished but for the second time recently MacDonald’s had no hot drinks available. Their machines were offline or something. Instead we headed straight for Flint and Temptations. A drink and a teasted toecake was the order of the day when we got there and Kyle was happy to oblige. We passed the usual chocolates over and sat down. Ceri was upstairs making sandwiches so there was no real banter this morning  We did manage to see her for a minute before we left and I was delighted to get a kiss.

We hiked round a few shops for different things an we were looking for a bin for Mike’s dad but couldn’t find one. About 11.30 I could see Mike was itching to go, this cold is really getting to him. We went straight of to have lunch though I did offer to feed him at home if he wanted to wrap up on the settee. Maybe that’s why we ended up at the Ivy. Our usual seats were taken as were our back ups. Fortunately our back up, back ups were OK as they were the last special ones near the fire. We grabbed them. It wasn’t too crowded in there but as we got our drinks and ordered lunch some more decided they’d finished leaving just us and our usual table left. We could glare at then all we wanted as the chimney breast was between us. As we were half way through our meal they got up and left but it didn’t seem worth moving then. There ha been a kiss from Angie when we went in and handed over the chocs, then hugs from Tariq though he didn’t have long at that time. When he came to us later I told him he’d have to do without us soon as Mike is disappearing to Canada for 3 weeks again. Good old Tariq said he’d either find a way to get me there to eat or he’d visit me in the evening. I reminded him he”s got a life and a family. Shella came to talk to us and brought us a chocolate heart each. That was sweet.

After we’d left it was straight home and put the shopping away. Then Mike came through with me to look at the fish I’d found I wanted him to look at. Showed him the one I want and showed him the select few he can choose one from. I think he likes a zebra plec or a pyjama catfish best.Once he’d gone through to have a sleep about 3.00 pm, I was able to tackle the mail.As expected with 8 hours away there was a lot. I dealt with the more personal ones first then the rest. I could only work until 5.30 pm as it’s only fair to give Mike some company in the evening but fair play, he didn’t complain when I came back through at 8.30 pm. As usual I’ve been here ever since. I stopped work on the mail at 10.45 pm to give me chance to do the blog post and now I’m going back for a while. I shall be in bed by the witching hour.

I’m not very fond of musicals though some songs do make the grade and stay with you. One of those whose music I like is West Side Story. In honour of St.Valentine’s day tonight’s song, so romantic, is sung by a great and vastly underated singer whom I once had the pleasure of seeing live. P.J.Proby

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The 59 Minute Sleepathon & Sunglasses in Winter?

Sunday 31st January 2015

I was shocked this morning to be allowed a 5.19 am wake up.It had been a late one last night so this was the perfect opportunity to punish me…. if punishment were needed that is. On the other hand, maybe the small gods party on a Saturday night and have a lie-in too. I turned my light on, booted up the computer and went to the loo. I was ready to go when I got back and signed in. There was more mail than I expected at that point and less comments on the blog than I’d hoped but it is a very in between time in much of the world.

At 6.00 am I strolled through to the  kitchen for a chat with the fish. I almost said with my pals but it seems I can only rely on Morecambe and Wise in that direction. As I put the tank light on the two of them came to greet me thoughh being the cynic I am, I’m convinced cupboard love has a lot to do with it. I’d hoped for more from Pepper but maybe it’s early days yet or perhaps Big Al has managed to poison him against me. Big Al himself came out of his corner and hung around the opening waiting for breakfast, I mentally hit myself for thinking it would be a good time to give them a day without food.I opened the flap and dropped the flake in first to try and keep Morecambe and Wise off the bottom, then I added the granules for the rest. Morecambe and Wise were straight down. Everyone rushed in to feed except one of the plecs who was more interested in cleaning windows and the two synodontis who don’t seem to like coming out when there’s a lot of activity. Happy that everyone would get a share I left the fish and went to take my meds after which I made myself a drink to take through. There was no pint in preparing a mug for Mike yet as it’s Sunday. Ha ha.like you’d expect him to be up yet.

Id finished my coffee a while ago and had started on a tin on Vimto when 8.20 am came round and my first relief. I was up to date on this site even with a refresh but hadn’t opened the second one yet. Before I did so, I needed to stretch my legs a bit and also to apply cream to my sore ankle and leg where the skin is still peeling. I use diprobase which is good at moisturising but takes forever to rub in. I did that first then went to wash my hands in the bathroom. Deciding the splashing might just wake Mike I went to the kitchen sink instead. After the hands were done I noticed the synodontis had come out to eat. I needed to check there was enough food left for them to find in case I needed to give more. They were snuffling round the bottom of the tank where the others had been but I saw them both find something. Good, I was sure if I’d raised the flap again the others would have been there like a flash. I must have spent longer watching them than I thought as I notice my watch showed 9.25 am.  I went through and got dressed.

At 9.55 am I put the kettle on and started making Mike’s mug ready. As soon as the kettle boiled I made a drink and took it through. Before I could call Mike a weary hand raised from the bed and waved at me. I waved back with my free hand and put the coffee down. I guessed it was safe too speak to him so just let him know what time it was and left. Knowing more mail must have accumulated now I returned to my bedroom and started work. I even opened the second mail account and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The sound of Mike reaching the lounge reached me. As soon as I’d caught up again I joined him. He asked what I wanted to do today saying it was my treat. I said all I could think of was a trip to the Tweed Mill which we hadn’t been to in a while. Straight away I could tell he wasn’t too keen on the idea because he kept suggesting alternatives interspersed with the word FISH. I’d actually seen somewhere online that looked good for fish earlier on but it’s not open on a Snday so we sort of agreed that maybe we could try there next Saturday after shopping. It was back to deciding what to do today. I suggested we go to Tariq’s for brunch and decide from there.

As it was past 11.00 am when we left the house it was getting nearer the time for lunch.  When we arrived I spotted Tariq working on his computer though a window so I tapped on the glass and hurried to the door.By the time we got in he was already waiting to greet us with hugs and ask how we were.Two or three hugs down the line he was convinced we’re well and we moved into the room properly just as Angie came down to see to some customers so we were greeted all over again. Our table was free so we set our coats down and I moved over to put the chocolates we’d brought onto the counter. Angie and Rob came to behind the counter and Angie made our drinks. As we were making them what looked like a coach load appeared so I quickly wrote our food order on Angie’s pad so we wouldn’t have to wait too long and came back to the table to take a tablet. Then it was time for a cigarette. Mike and I stepped outside the back door where there are ash trays on the tables. We were just finishing off when Rob came to the door to let us know lunch was on the table. Mike had one for the roast beef option while I’d decided on a breakfast but with the addition on a small bucket of chips in place of those awful potato things often served with breakfasts now.

We both enjoyed eating and felt full. The question came back to what to do today. Mike was magnanimous in saying as we were going to look at fish on Saturday, he’d take me to the Tweed Mill today.  The Tweedie is situated just outside St Asaph, Wales’s smallest City. It’s like a small Outlet Village under one roof. It’s one place that I’ve seen Clogau Gold watches before now. We said goodbye to everyone and set off. Typically when we got there the Clogau gold cabinet held lots of jewellery but no watches he could compare his with. Mind you, the price of the other stuff indicated what a bargain he’d enjoyed. Bearing in mind that going there was my idea and Mike hadn’t been keen you wouldn’t have believed it to see him in action. There was a sale on and he picked up a new suit, new shoes and a tie. If anyone can remember us trailing around 12 months ago looking for some shoes in red after he’d only been able to get them in blue, well today I found him the red and he didn’t hesitate. The suit was fantastic and a real bargain. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted, but I really don’t need one. I did however find a fleece for Muriel which I hope she’s going to like. We went upstairs to the small cafe so I could get a drink to take my next antibiotic. For once I’d had the foresight to bring it out. I had the strangest tasting strawberry milkshake ever while Mike had hi coffee and a slice of egg custard. When we went downstairs Mike found a set of steps he wanted to use in his shower- Don’t Ask. Once he’d paid for those we left. I was nodding off in the car all the way home.

Mike decided to leave virtually straight away after we got back even though I was now awake again. So, once I’d waved him off, I nipped to the loo then started work. It was 4.05 pm. I was still working non-stop at 6.00 pm when I decided to take a break for some tea. I put the TV on and got caught up in a romcom. I noticed a film Hellboy II was going to follow it and decided to rebel and watch it. I didn’t get back to work until 9.00 pm. Because of that I wasn’t up to date until gone 11.00 pm and started this blog late. Ah well, no major plans tomorrow or at all this week.

Monday.

Late to bed last night but I still only read until 1.00 am. I tried snuggling down in bed then . First right side, then left side and finally my back. Nothing was working. I got hot and had to stick my leg out of bed. I saw 1.30 am come and go but finally dropped off. I was awake and ready to get up, did get up in fact at 2.29 am. I feel cheated. I was tired yesterday and should have found sleep no problem at all last night. I need to have another look at the terms of my contract. I could look on the Glass half full’ side and say at least I got to my messages earlier but heck, there were hardly any there since it wasn’t that long ago I came off the computer to go to bed. I despatched them fairly quickly and at 4.50 am went to the lounge to see if I could get some quality time in my chair. For some reason it just didn’t happen. I had that annoying tickly you get inside your leg that feels like something very furry is running up and down your veins. It wouldn’t let me drop off.It was like having someone with a feather duster in there. At just before 6.00 am I gave up and went through to the kitchen.

The overhead light was bright enough to let me see movement within the tank and I could tell I had them excited. Since there are bound to be some females in there somewhere ( Morecambe and Wise are) I can honestly claim that even in my 60’s I can still excite the women. It’s pretty bloody amazing really as I never excited them before. Reminds me of the joke about the man with the mangled hand asking his doctor if he’s ever play the piano and the doctor saying “Yes”. The man answers “Great, I could never play it before.” I have always been a pretty shy individual and was never good with clever chat up lines. I guess I just feared rejection. It’s a miracle I ever managed to get married. Talking of which, on Facebook a friend was talking about her need to start getting her act together more or less. I asked if while she was doing it for herself, she could see if she had a spare wife in her handbag. This morning she sent a message saying she’d be my wife. Funny, I never thought her eyesight that bad before. I’m assuming she was being humorous since she never struck me as desperate.                                                                                                 Anyway, back to the fish. Morecambe came up towards the glass knowing I was there as soon as I said “Good morning guys.” I turned the tank light on and saw them all fighting for position. Sharkey barging everyone out of the way indiscriminately with the exception of Big Al and Pepper who are so big he bounces off them. Even the synodontis came out or a look round when everything settled down. There was an air of anticipation and for a moment as I opened the flap everyone paused. Then it was broken as the hoplos both swam to the top and down again. I stopped the torture and fed them. Movement from the crowd had the synodontis running for cover again. Big Al and Little Al were acting like dung beetles shoving their prize in front of them which can’t have been easy given how rough the bottom of the tank is. Maybe they were giving little blows instead and pushing the pellets along that way. As usual the plecs just lay on top of theirs till everyone else lost interest.

I left them to it and took my tablets etc and made a coffee. Instead of going back to the bedroom I returned to my chair and drank the coffee there. Then shuffling my bum along the seat,I lay back and closed my eyes. It worked. I was out like a light until 7.10 am. Not as long as I’d hoped but better than nothing. Anyway I felt energised and returned to work. By 8.30 am I was up to date again and so got dressed ready to go to the chemist’s with my repeat prescription request. I waited until 9.15 am  to walk up the road so I wasn’t weaving between the Mother’s Mafia congregating on the pavement outside Pauline’s. I was in and out of the chemist’s in no time but after staring in the window of another shop found a truly miraculous Sausage Bap in a Bag in my hand, pleading to be taken home by me for protection. When I got home something within me made me take a pre-food tablet. Maybe I was considering toast? As we were indoors again I took my coat off, and fearing the bap might be too warm, removed it from it’s bag. I placed it on a plate close by in case it needed to talk. My attention wandered a little and when I turned back I noticed the bap had gone. Miraculous. Also miraculous and worthy of a pilgrimage was the brown stain that appeared round my mouth about the same time. Of the bap whom I called breakfast there was never again any sign.

The influx of mail had increased during the morning so it was taking longer to catch up now. I worked till midday but not feeling like my lunch yet for some reason, I just went through to watch Bargain Hunt….including the auction. After that I carried on working until 2.00 pm when I went to have my lunch and watch Father Brown. That was the pattern for the afternoon. Work followed by a break so after Father Brown I worked until 4.30 pm and the Antiques Road Trip. But on this occasion I decided to stay until after the two quizzes I sometimes watch and return to work at 6.30 pm. The only interaction with anyone today has been two emails exchanged with Yvonne who has gone away for a few days with Ugo and Reuben. They’ve gone to mid-Wales and I hope they have a glorious time.

Happy Reuben

Happy Reuben

And you know what they say, While the cat’s away, the mouse can lock all his doors and keep the world out. At 6.30 pm I restarted work which had obviously piled up. I intended for that to be it for the night but by 8.55 pm I was getting pretty straight. It was too early to do the blog and far too early for sleep as any mail would just add to the morning’s misery. I remembered Mike had said his favourite serial is on at 9.00 pm so maybe I’d have a look at that. I turned on and sw it was in two parts which kind of put me off but then a warning came up about bad language and violence from the off. Bad language in these delicate ears, I think not. Instead I put D.I.Y SOS on and what a sad story. A builder takes off with the money without doing the job. Leaves father and two sons living in terrible conditions for 2 years, damp spores causing asthma, walls crumbling, no kitchen etc, etc, etc. The team and more importantly the local community were amazing , as was the house by the time they’d finished. The father burst into tears just as someone poked me in the eyes .

I returned yet again to work and for the last time tonight. I managed to get up to date for 11.00pm and was able to take a little more time with this so the L and K stayed where they should this week.

Tuesday.

I turned my light out a bit earlier than usual last night but sleep wasn’t easy to come by. There just didn’t seem to be a comfortable position to be had. My squirming, adjusting and readjusting must have worn me out so much that eventually I fell asleep exhausted. Let’s just say it was after 1.00 am. But I woke up this morning full of energy. OK maybe I couldn’t have lit up the room, but maybe a small torch. It was 3.57 am. I was raring to go, so I did, straight to the loo. Once the stop- start, will I- won’t I, have I or Haven’t I session was over, I checked my feet were dry and came to start on the post. I booted up the computer, looked at all the things they thought newsworthy and got stuck in. It had obviously been a night where everyone had something to say as the post was overflowing but the way I felt, nothing could stop me. Well, nothing except maybe Madame Galafray who told me ( free of charge) that I should take things slower today and stop my Bull in a China Shop ways. OK, I can do that. I should also beware the ‘Friend’ who doesn’t have my best interests at heart. That’s a fairly blanket statement and there were no clues like it’s female, 5′ 8″ an speaks with a Devonian accent. Nothing, nada so be warned, you’re all suspect today.  Tell me, what have I done to deserve this and why are you trying to stab me in the back. Et tu Brute. I’m thinking of sending out a questionnaire to see if I can get you to reveal yourself. On the other hand I could just stop reading this garbage I suppose.

At 6.00 am I stopped what I was doing and went through to the kitchen. Both lights on it was wonderful. All of the fish were in a writhing group under the hatch waiting to be fed. Who said they have no memory. I put enough food in to separate them into individual seekers and even found one of the synodontis out trying to get something, though he kept darting back into his cave if anyone got too close. I got one of the larger tablets and dropped it in as near to the shell as I could manage. Within seconds Pepper was there eating along with one of the bronze corys. The synodontis came out and managed to attach itself to the surface of the tablet though there was no sign of the second one. Perhaps this one hadn’t been out previously and the other one was indoor having breakfast now. Big Al was playing blow football with  one of the smaller pellets and Morecambe and Wise were darting in to help themselves despite having the flake.They were really entertaining this morning. I must have been watching them for a good ten minutes. Eventually I had to drag myself away to take my meds. Once that was done I made my drink and brought it through.

It took me until 8.00 am to catch up on my main address then I slipped into ebay to see how things were, I’m looking at some bamboo walking sticks from the Meiji period ( 1868-1912) that are beautifully carved. I’m guessing they’ll quickly go out of my price range on the day but at the moment the prices are OK. Then I opened my second email address and cleared that before getting dressed at 9.00 am. I’m expecting delivery of a book for Mike today on Welsh money that was legal for a very short time in the 60’s. It was beautiful, and Mike has a few examples of it. I have but one in not very good condition and can’t find anymore except at massive prices on ebay at the moment. The book arrived at 10.05 am and I immediately went to ebay to leave feedback. Before going back to work proper I skived again by doing a search for catfish for sale in the UK. Firstly I came across a site showing pictures of the various catfish types which was fascinating and upsetting when I saw people holding some out of the water after having been caught. They’re massive and the worry is they’re about to be cooked and eaten. Then I came across sites for sellers via the internet only which means you don’t see the actual fish until it arrives by courier, which is also expensive. Finally I found a site where you can visit the showrooms as well and by coincidence it isn’t too far from Mike so I sent him the link. Maybe he’ll find something spectacular for his tank. Then I did go back to work as there is a constant flow of emails today from mes amis, or to put it another way, YOU.

At lunchtime I had as ‘bing’ meal which was one I won’t be repeating. Sorry Lidl, at least you got the mash and onion gravy OK. I watched Jessica Fletcher solve a crime when immobilised by a plaster cast on her leg and wonder why they need the police when she’s in town. She proved doctors are a murderous lot so guess where I’ll be avoiding even more from now on. At 1.00 pm I returned to my desk. I fully intended to work till just 2.15 pm and take another break. I wasn’t far off catching up when I did so. I worked again from 3.00 to 4.30 pm and was just getting up to go for my antiques programme (I thought) when I was actually woken up lying across the keyboard typing ‘B’s, by a knock at the door. It was my young lady from the chemist with my lastest fixes. I signed for them and carried on through to the lounge. My programme was just about to start. I wonder I’f I’d stayed asleep if I’d have dreamed the programme content too. Her visit was very opportune though SPOOKY. I watched the whole programme until 5.15 pm fully intending to return to work. Next thing I know it’s 5.35 pm and I’m in the middle of a quiz. I took  my pre-food tab and made myself a sandwich which I took through with me and with loads of apologies I restarted work. There was plenty of it too. But, however much there was it would be made to wait even more when we reached 7.00 pm and my second Antiques Road Trip of the day was on. I’m spoilt. I came back in here at 8.00 pm to stay.

One of the first messages I opened when I (eventually) came back was from Yvonne with some pictures of Reuben. She likes the place they’re at in mid-Wales but poor Roobs is not too well again. So, I’ve now decided that maybe it’s not me he’s allergic too, but Tuesdays. Maybe I should see them on a different day in future. I confessed in my reply that I’ve been miserable today and feeling quite lonely, yes, I know the girl from the chemist called but “Hello David” doesn’t count. Anyway. it seems he hasn’t been smiling for the camera today so I’m putting it down to him missing his Pops. Whad’ye mean you’re putting it down to something else, that’s not nice, behave!

Obstacle course

Obstacle course

When he said swap seats I thought I was going to drive.

When he said swap seats I thought I was going to drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mummy, my Dummy tastes funny sometimes

Mummy, my Dummy tastes funny sometimes

 

I can't get the motor started !

I can’t get the motor started !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed the intermission.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     At 10.00 pm I took my meds including the last antibiotic of the day. As I came back through turning all the lights off  I realised what a lazy day it’s been for me. Nothing more strenuous than answering emails and the like. By 10.30 pm I was actually clear enough to start on the blog post without interruption. Unless something terrible happens and there’s a need for my particular brand of stupidity I should be in bed by 11.30 pm and perhaps have my light off by 12.30 am. Let’s test the generosity of the gods and see how well I do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVfUeKL1G6o

Night all. xx

Wednesday.

And the answer is, not generous at all. 2.21 am today, and they couldn’t even wait an extra minute to bring a smile to my face. What’s more, I didn’t even need the loo  so could start the computer up straight away. All the ingredients necessary for a good start to the day were missing. I was not a Happy Bunny, a very unhappy Messenger of the gods. Yes I know, it’s publicist to the small gods strictly, but that lacks a certain ring. I hope by now that message is penetrating the mist surrounding Olympus. Heads need to roll and one of them better not be mine.

There was plenty of post to keep me going but somewhere about 4.00 am something was nagging in the back of my mind. Probably something I’d read but that had no connection at that moment. The song Desiderata from the early 70′ started going round in my head so much that I had to play it. Listening to the words after all this time made me realise it says certain things that are important to me. I had to do a post on the Buthidars so that those not around in the 70’s saw the importance of some of the words and heard the song too if they wanted. By 5.00 am I’d done that and also caught up on my mail for both addresses. I retired to the lounge. I was fully expecting to nod off but it wasn’t coming so I ended up watching an old film about Florence Nightingale. When the film ended at 6.00 am I was still wide awake and wondering why. I went to feed the fish before taking my meds. The fish seemed a bit frisky this morning like it was Spring and they were taking advantage of it. They were play chasing each other. The exceptions to that were Sharkey who chased for real to get them off his patch ( the whole tank in his eyes), Big Al who as no sens of fun and was studying something in a corner and the two synodontis who were either hiding or having a lie-in. Naturally enough, the moment I opened the hatch all movement stopped for a moment like musical statues, they came to life as the pellets hit them.

I took my meds then added the pre-food one after deciding to have breakfast today.After a timing cigarette I had a small packet of cereal from one of the multipacks and a slice of toast. I took a coffee back to my room. The mail had built up since I’d been away so I started clearing it again. By 8.30 am I was clear again and thought I’d get dressed then perhaps relax away from the screen for a while. I sat in the lounge again and thought some more about moving the existing tank through or perhaps buying a second one. Thinking about the fish sent me to sleep for almost an hour. It might have been a bit longer if the postman hadn’t delivered something. The sound of the letterbox had me on my feet ‘toot sweet’ since my body reacted before my brain did. I collected the mail and saw that someone needed a form completing and sending out so I did that straight away. Having been so quick to do it didn’t make me any quicker to deal with posting it an it’s still on the coffee table now. I have to go out in the morning so I’ll post it then.

The rest of the morning passed by with me dealing with little jobs in the house and coming back to keep on top of the mail. At lunchtime I took a break for a cottage pie and an episode of Murder She Wrote. Once that was over I came through intending to break off at 2.15 pm for Father Brown. I don’t know exactly what happened but the mirror image of L,K,J,H,M.N.B on my forehead seems to tell a tale. Now I had even more catching up to do. By 4.30 pm when I went to watch my Antiques Road Trip I was down to just 10 emails outstanding ( plus a refresh). I stayed where I was when that was over and just prepared the mugs for Dil and Matt. The traffic wasn’t too bad tonight and they were there by 5.30 pm. I made drinks and we settled to see the rest of the quiz that was on. At 6.00 pm Dil got the table out and the things we needed to play. He chose Yahtzee as the first game. It was all nip and tuck between us with struggles and successes but at least this time we ended up with  games apiece. Matt still wanted to do Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide an over all winner. Dil and I were happy to settle on a draw. Then the cards came out and though I’d drawn up the sheet for Nomination, I suggested we perhaps try Chase the Lady again as Matt seemed to enjoy it last time. Not so tonight as I won both the games we played.

They left after the last game and I tidied up and washed the pots before coming through. It was almost 10.00 pm and the count was 153 messages. There’s no way I’ll get through them all tonight barring a miracle. I broke off at 11.00 pm to do the blog post before I forget everything. One of the first mesages I opened had a note on from my provider to say a virus had been removed. When I opened it I couldn’t believe the cheek. Someone claiming to be from the UN wanted me to complete a form in order to claim money because I’ve been the victim of a spam con on the net. It seems the UN are compensating people-  Yeah, Right ! In the bin it went. I can’t see the UN having an office in Benin to deal with anything, let alone this. It’s now 11.50 pm and I want to get to bed by 12.30 am so I’ll try and clear a couple more messages first.

walktime 2

playtime 12 use

Thursday.

Dream on ! It was past 1.00 am before I hit my bed and I still hadn’t dented the post as I wanted. On the other hand, I still managed a little read and when I did put the light off I slept. In fact I slept until 6.00 am so maybe the complaints department are paying attention after all. I still had to get my little a**e into gear though to get my antibiotic. ( Yes, it’s still pert after all these years, though the rest of me’s gone to pot).  I delayed the tablet a few more minutes when I reached the kitchen as I watched the fish. My turning the tank light on didn’t faze them one bit and they still had their morning play. Big Al made his way carefully round the edges of the tank in case playtime was catching and all the others were infectious. Pepper too was on the edges but seemed to be looking for a place to join in. The bronze corys seemed to be playing a game within a game of their own, just bouncing about without any method to their madness. Of the two synodontis there was no sign as usual. Talk about highly strung, they must have piano wire for nerves. And the good old plecs just never notice what goes on around them, totally oblivious to it all.  Food takes the place of play though, and opening the flap was an indication that teacher was in the playground and it was time to line up.Playtime turned into a free for all once the food was dropped in.

Time for my fun to end, I closed the flap and left them to it. My tablets were waiting. I took them all and carried my fresh coffee back to the bedroom then nipped to the loo to make space for it. I turned the computer on and made my way to the lottery results. Damn ! Then a quick check of the bank and yes, my pension credit was in. Good, I’ll be eating this week. Then to the mail. Such joy to be faced with two further attempts at a con first thing in the morning, one I even had to translate from French first to read about the business proposition they had for me. The other one was another that had carried a virus until my virus checker caught it. Such evil little turds out there who not only want to rip you off, they want to infect you too. The rest of the post kept me going until 8.30 am and when I refreshed until 9.15 am. Then I opened the second address and dealt with those until 10.10 am. I was keeping an eye on the time today as I had to leave the house at 11.00 am to catch the 11.15 am bus to town where I had a retinopathy appointment at midday. This would prove a real test of my nerves as there would be lots of people about on the bus and in town as it’s market day. Maybe when I wore my dark glasses coming back they’d think I’m blind and leave me alone. In the meantime, I went back to keeping on top of the mail when I heard the postman. I went out to collect the post and as I stood there was a knock on the door. Thinking it was the postman I opened the door. Immediately my heart sank. Standing there was the very beautiful lady from the J.W’s along with another lady in a wheelchair. She always reminds me who she is like I’m an idiot ( who said Hear Hear then?) and asks me how I’ve been before offering me some copies of the Watchtower. I stutter for what seems 20 minutes or so that I’m OK, but which probably takes no more than a minute.She can see that I’m no doing so well and says goodbye. She knows I don’t share her beliefs but never gives up on me.I wish she would.

I only worked up until 10.45 then I’d no chance of missing my bus. I put some desert boots on for the sake of comfort and made sure everything I needed was in my coat pockets.Dead on 11.00 am I left the house and slogged my way up to the bus stop. I’m pretty safe whichever one I catch for such a short distance, they all go via town. The bust stop had a few people waiting so I stood outside in the chill air. When the bus arrived I got on last and was lucky enough to have one of the disabled seats vacant. It didn’t take long to reach town. I walked to the hospital the way I usually go which doesn’t usually have many people about and arrived there just after 11.30 am. I could see the retinopathy trailer in the grounds and being so early decided to go into the hospital and see how the tea bar looked- answer, uncrowded. I ordered a cup of tea and sat looking out of the window at the trailer to see if there was much movement. There were people about but I couldn’t tell if they were from there. At 11.45 I returned my cup and walked out of the hospital and down to the trailer. Around the far side where the main door was, was stuck a note to say the clinic was being held in the hospital today. Leaving a little blue air around me I turned and made my way up the car park back to whence I’d just come. I found the waiting area and sat. There were only 3 people there before me. It turned out two of them weren’t there for that clinic so I didn’t have long to wait.

I went in, read the charts as requested, had the atropine drops applied, went blind, and waited back in the waiting area for the pics. They weren’t long in being done and I was free, so donning my dark glasses I left. I walked back into town taking the flatter route this time and avoiding getting killed by the traffic made my way over to the bus stop. The sun is actually shining today but I still think the dark glassed drew a few funny looks. The bus was crowded and stressful as I had to walk past everyone to take a seat near the back. I hated it. The journey was mercifully short though. When I got off I headed to post a letter then paid a visit to Pauline’s. She looked at me, but to her credit never said a word. She got my lottery tickets, thanked me and said goodbye. I made it back home safely and eventually remembered to change glasses when I realised the day just wasn’t that dull. I took my pre-food tablet and waited counting the seconds until I could have lunch. Chips and curry sauce today. Mmm, then a chocolate pud to follow.

Being so late I couldn’t take time off for Father Brown so I went straight to work. At 2.00 pm I had a text from Mike to say he was on his way. I reckoned he’d be here at 4.30 pm. He was, just as I was going to watch the Antiques Road Trip so his timing was good. I still had plenty of work but I’d go back to it after the programme. I made Mike’s drink and we enjoyed watching the dealers together. At 5.15 pm I came back through until 6.00 pm when Eggheads started. I was nearly up to date. Mike was fast asleep in his chair but I woke him so he wouldn’t miss it.At 6.30 pm I made us something to eat then decided to stay until 9.00 pm, at whch point I flew back to my room to work. I was doing well and even remembered to take my 10.00 pm tablets. But seeing Mike reminded me of a site I’d seen showing varieties of catfish and plecs and I told him to come and look for a couple of minutes. That stretched into at least half an hour as we ooh’d and aah’d at the types we’d like in our tanks. Finally I got back to work and reached a point where I was clear if I didn’t refresh at 11.10 pm. I answered an email from Yvonne about Reuben who is not well again. A high temperature and now he’s come out in a huge rash. Poor little soldier, he’s forever in the wars. After that I was able to start the blog and it’s just the Witching hour now so if you hear any howls, ignore them, it’s just me.

Friday.

I got to bed at 12.30 am and then read for an hour. Obviously it’s my own fault if Somnos or Porcinus had seen a chance to kick some ass-mine. But Woo-Hoo it was 6.03 am before I woke up and swung myself out of bed. I felt like my birthday was still going on. Obviously that feeling was never going to last but hey, you take what you can get. I bolted fro the loo before my bladder gave up it’s grip on the tidal wave waiting to breach the sea wall. I was relieved when I made it ( and yes, pun intended). I actually had my last antibiotic on my desk as I’d kept the box there yesterday so I didn’t forget the doses. I think something could be said about stable doors and horses at this point but I won’t if you don’t. I took the tablet and wandered into the kitchen, turning on the main light and also the tank light. I knew everyone was waiting with an air of anticipation because they were all on the bottom with their tails quivering. I thought it was just food until suddenly Big Al and Pepper flashed in front of my face from one end of the tank to another. It was a race, and Pepper won by a head.Big Al turned with a swish of the tail and showed no dejection but you could see some of the tails ceased to quiver and slumped. I’m not sure if the race was the result of a take-over bid by Pepper but he swam over and placed himself under the flap.There were a few waggles of the tail and I knew what he wanted but I just couldn’t do it to Big Al despite the little disagreements we’ve had. Eventually Pepper moved away. As Big Al started to swim from the far end to this end I waited until he passed beneath the flap and put the food in. He swam on as if nothing had happened but what a change in the others, droopy fins and tails came up and those that had been erect in pride went down. I think I just saved the day for Big Al.

All of this messing had cost me time when I should have been working but I couldn’t go yet. First I had to take all my meds then I had to refill the meds drawer and from there, refill my pill dispenser. Then I was able to make my coffee and go. It was almost 7.10 am. I managed to get some work done and then at 8.00 am Mikes first Alarm went off. I headed for the kitchen, boiled the kettle and made a drink. I took it through and gave Mike his first Call. I was hopeful that it was going to be a one A , one C day and even said so as I spoke to him. I did get a “Yeah” but it was unconvincing. At 8.10 am the second Alarm went off and was subsequently silenced, I had to give him a few minutes in case he was coming round but I heard nothing. At 8.17 am I went to the door and Called that his coffee was going cold. He’d already turned over in my direction at the alarm and now raised his head in acknowledgment. I returned to work once more and moments later heard him pad through to the lounge to commence his early day coughing and spluttering.Fortunately he goes elsewhere for his early day motions. I finished the message I was on and joined him in the lounge.”A two A , two C day” I told him and just got a nod in return.

By 8.20 am he was fit and dressed and ready to go to his dad’s. I wished him a safe journey and came back to work in earnest. I was at it continuously until 11.40 am when I stopped because the Warden would probably be due and as soon as she’d gone I wanted my lunch. I was just finishing my last message to a friend when I heard the door, not difficult as it’s directly opposite my room. It was the Warden. She stayed ten or fifteen minutes as she asked how I was doing this week, asked if there was anything she could do for me ( I behaved), we talked about the fish, her living alone, babysitting and my leg. The company was nice. For some reason I felt/feel lonely today, incredibly sad and not a little self-pitying. After she left I but some bacon under the grill and bunged some micro chips in the ‘Bing’ machine. While they were doing I buttered some bread and got a yoghurt out. I enjoyed a nice little feast in front of Bargain Hunt. After I’d washed up I returned to work. At 2.15 pm I ducked out for Father Brown then came back again until 4.15 pm when I thought I was up to date. I was going to leave the room when Yvonne sent an email with pictures of Reuben which to me looked like the start of measles. It’s going to be spotty muldoon season one way or another. I hope she gets to see someone for a diagnosis . She did and was told it’s just a viral infection ( again) but his temperature has started to come down now so perhaps he’ll be happier.

Under the weather.

Under the weather.

I’d just got to the TV when Mike walked in. He generally lets me know when he’s on his way but I think he was trying to catch me entertaining. Ha, fat chance. We watched the Road Trip and a quiz together then because I said I needed a trim he told me to get my ar*e into gear and into a chair in the middle of the kitchen floor. I did as he asked but with heart in mouth. I may have dropped one or two totally unintentional insults on him and the grin on his face said Payback Time. I did check he had the right number cutting blade before I’d let him turn it on. He started, quite a lot of brown with some white hair started landing on the cape and sliding to the floor as my shaking knees wouldn’t let it rest. Then he started on my sideburns and beard and the snow on the floor grew and grew. He changed blades to the lowest and took even more off my beard and straightened up the nape of my neck and edges of my ears? All of a sudden the trimmer went down and I felt him tug my moustache. I thought it was about to be trimmed, but no, he started curling the length  of it until I looked like Salvador Dali ( his favourite artist). I wasn’t too keen on that so he tried another shape which though better was still not exactly me. He applied some hair wax to just one side and stuck it out at an angle, the other side just curled up to it’s original shape which I could cope with.

Before I had a shower Mike gave me a shave as my hands were shaking enough to cut my throat though he said he’d prefer that but only if he could do it. That went quickly and well. He washed my hair and then I had a shower. All night I’ve been sneezing because of bits of hair about and I swear I’ve swallowed a ton, correction, tried to swallow a ton but it won’t go down,it just irritates my throat. After the shower Mike made himself a sandwich while I saw to a Christmas pud and custard between us. We watched some more TV including a programme from the 1960’s with folk singers, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul and  Mary amongst others. About 8.30 pm I nodded off during Who Do You Think You Are and was out for 15 mins. As I came to and had my snoring insulted I got up and left him snore free and came through here. There had been a lot of activity between 4.30 pm and 9.00 pm unfortunately so I just did the best I could until 11.00 pm when I needed to start the blog. It’s now 12.15 am and as there’s shopping in the morning the rest of the mail will have to wait until tomorrow.

Saturday.

It seems the generosity of the last couple of days….wasn’t. Brother Jake tells me Somnos has been away to a big meeting of the little gods and left is brothers in charge. Seems they were having a bit of a party and forgot. This morning made up for it. After not getting to bed until 12.30 am and having a read, Somnos obviously thought getting me up at 2.52 am was a good idea. What the idea was I don’t know since he hasn’t deigned to show himself yet.                                                       By the time I’d hopped to the loo and come back is was gone 3.00 am before I powered up the computer and faced the mail. There was quite a lot of it but I was almost clear by 6.00 am when I went through to the kitchen. I was halfway there when I realised that without the antibiotics I could revert back to my old time of 7.00 am. “Ah well, too late now” I thought as I arrived at the kitchen. I put the main light on and then the tank light.

Sharkey was playing ‘tag’ with a couple of the plecs though I don’t think he treated it as a game. I still get the impression of cows being herded with the plecs but they are lovely looking characters. My hoplos were performing nicely up and down, up and down and of course Morecambe and Wise broke off what they were doing to come see me. Pepper and Big Al were resting in a corner and Little Al was in attendance dancing with the bronze corys. The minute I opened the flap it became the centre of everyone’s attention. Food went it and it turned into the Klondike Gold Rush in there.                                                                                                                                              I had my meds and returned to my room until I heard Mike’s first Alarm go off at 7.00 am. I went back to the kitchen and made a coffee which I took through with a Call of “Come in number 9, your time is up” Don’t ask why as I don’t know. I came away.  tried a bit more mail until I heard the second Alarm at which time I prepared myself with a sigh to go pour cold water down his ear. Someone warned him as I heard him doing his soft shoe shuffle through to the lounge. I have to admit I was very impressed a 2 A  – 1 C day. Despite that we still didn’t get to leave the house until 8.00 am. Next week I’m starting at 6.30 am.

It was cold this morning and showing minus 2 when we got in the car but there was no frost like we’d had yesterday. Because of this he drove like a maniac to make up time. If he passed a slow car you saw him lean over and snarl out of the window, it fair put the wind up the men in the police car I tell you. When we reached the store I headed for the cash machines but there were so many people around I had to put my mask away with BANKER across the forehead and use my card instead. Mike got a trolley and off we went. Mike said we didn’t need flowers this week so it was potatoes first then a special offer kitchen cleaner, not to be eaten together.We worked our way round the sale section and bought NOTHING and the household section the same, until we finally came back to food. I thought I’d put some in the basket this week for a change. We were fairly quick through the checkout and headed for a coffee. We were both dry this morning. I picked up cigarette supplies then visited the photographic print shop where I found some fantastic frames. We loaded up the car and set off for the new fish shop.

Talk about a difficult place to find, and we were using a sat-nag. We did eventually find it and the inside really contradicted the rather scruffy outside. Clean, roomy and bright with the tanks of fish all set out logically in types. There were also snakes, lizards and horribubble spiders there as well as all the equipment for taking care of everything. A new tank from there would cost me £440 so that won’t be anytime soon then and unfortunately there were none of the fish I wanted. I did buy a piece of bogwood though and the owner explained that if I gave him a list of what I wanted he’d try to get them for me. I need to do a bit more homework on which catfish will be 6″ maximum. He did have a beauty there which I knew would outgrow my tank easily by reaching probably 2 feet. He’d never turn round in the current tank at that size. We took our leave and headed for Flint. We haven’t been for two weeks so they haven’t had their chocolates in Temptations. When we arrived we found out Ceri was off skiving somewhere again so we’ll have to wait another week for banter.

From Temptations we had a look at the local pet shop fish tanks which were very poor from our point of view. We went round another couple of shops  then  with the time approaching 1.00 pm we set off for The Ivy and our lunch. We were shocked when we got there and saw how many cars were in the car park. Mike said (with heavy sarcasm) how disappointed he’d be if they’d given our table away. They had! But as luck would have it, the adjoining one was free. We dropped our coats and Tariq came over and said to follow him. Puzzled, we did and he showed us his new set up for printing on the premises. You can now have a picture taken in his photographic studio and within a short while have it on a mug, tee shirt, apron , mousemat etc. He’s a real entrepreneur. Angie and Rob said hello as we went back through and sorted our drinks. As another crowd came in we had to rush our order a bit. No problem for me, double bacon sandwiches and a small portion of chips. Mike had a roast gammon dinner. We enjoyed it and spoke to everyone in passing as they were so busy. Eventually it was time to go. Hugs from Tariq but I missed out with Angie this week. It was gone 3.00 pm when we got in and half past by the time the shopping was away. I flew into my room after making Mike a coffee knowing he usually lets me get away with it until about 6.00 pm.He wanted to watch 2 episodes of a serial he watches which he was putting on at 4.00 pm and they were an hour each so I knew I was safe.

I worked the skin off my finger bones and usually had to wait till it grew back before I could carry on. There was just so much mail I had to type with the bones clicking together like knitting needles. I should have had a scarf ready by now. By 6.00 pm I had about 20 left on one account and about half that on he other. It had to wait. Mike put a Big Bang Theory on neither of us had seen before (How??) then afterwards I mentioned I’d heard Endeavour was due on so he checked and I’d missed it on 22nd Jan, he called it up On Demand. It was an enthralling episode which lasted 90 minutes and I was devastated when it ended on a cliffhanger as it hasn’t been on since that date and isn’t due on this week. I’ll be annoyed if I miss it. So at 8.30 pm I was allowed to escape again after I’d bribed him with some chocolate. Up to 103 and 41 again. I had to stop work at 11.00 pm to see to the blog but will inevitably have to go back in a few minutes.

I wish you all a Wonderful New Week.

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