Daily Archives: February 28, 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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