Monthly Archives: March 2015

Rogues Gallery

My very good friend ( and brilliant author by the way) A.C.Flory mentioned in a comment on my last blog that she’d like a reminder of who’s who in the fishy world now they all have names. I’m sure some of you may remember the originals but here’s a run down of the Famous Five, survivors of their very own Armageddon.

Bronze Cory 'Bonzo'

Bronze Cory ‘Bonzo’

Don’t worry that he looks a little startled, he’s camera shy Unhappy that he was caught scouring for food. Bonzo a bronze corydorus (cory)

'Pepper' a member of the Pepper Catfish family companion of Big Al

‘Pepper’ a member of the Pepper Catfish family companion of Big Al

Pepper is a very even tempered fish and quite fond of his/her grub. Also a cory.

'Big Al' in the process of a 'Dirty look' Little Al is smaller and paler

‘Big Al’ in the process of a ‘Dirty look’ Little Al is smaller and paler

Hard to tell but Big Al is the same size as Pepper about 2″ long. Little Al is just over 1″ so far. Big Al is a little more orange than in the picture but it’s about right for Little Al’s colour. Albino corys.

'Harold' the Hoplosternum ( Hoplo)

‘Harold’ the Hoplosternum ( Hoplo)

Considering the number of times recently Harold has tried to give me a heart attack by completely disappearing when I’m searching the tank for him and then re-appearing as though nothing is amiss, should probably be renamed Harry Houdini of the fish world.

All of the above are a species of catfish and you’ll notice from their quaint little moustaches that they’re all from the cory family. Very hardy little beggars to have survived the Great Plague (Thankfully). I hope you enjoyed re-acquainting yourselves with them.

Hugs

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A Guest Post by S.R. Mallery

I’m treading new ground today and asking a friend to stand in for me and write a guest post. Sarah Mallery is a successful novelist who has other strings to her bow I’m sure she’d like to share, including the advent of a new book.

No more from me. Take it away Sarah.

Flash Fiction & The Joy of Counting Words

After I had written my short story collection, Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads, I happened on an article for writers that mentioned how by writing flash fiction, it is easier to get your work into a magazine. Longer stories take up more space and create more competition, they claimed. Space equals money. And competition. Now, what is this kind of fiction? I wondered. Well, according to Wikipedia, this is the definition:

Flash fiction is a style of fictional literature or fiction of extreme brevity.[1] There is no widely accepted definition of the length of the category. Some self-described markets for flash fiction impose caps as low as three hundred words, while others consider stories as long as a thousand words to be flash fiction.”

I decided to give it a try. Actually, it was much like when I first learned to quilt and knew I was never going to tackle a full quilt right off the bat. I would sew pillow top after pillow top late into the night, sitting on the couch while the rest of my family were well off into Dreamland. So, when I first tried my hand at this thing called ‘Flash Fiction,’ I enjoyed the same kind of creative brevity, but what I couldn’t foresee was how addicting it would be for me! I found myself using all kinds of writer’s prompts to get ideas, once again percolating and composing during the wee hours while my family slept. (Some things never change).

I found several books to be amazingly inspirational for me—(SEE BELOW). They were chock full of quotes, author’s bios, little suggestions, and most importantly for me, being the visual gal that I am, lots of photographs. Soon, little sticky notes were being placed onto many of the pages as my mind exploded with new possibilities.

For example, one of my stories in Tales To Count On, “Traffic Jam,” was based on a long-shot photograph of just that; another one about PTSD fallout was based on a little suggestion to ‘try writing sentences with each opening word in alphabetical order’. From that I began a flash piece with the B word: “Bottoms up!” Eddie chuckled, watching Susan, the girl of his dreams, go skinny-dipping in the glassy night lake…” I took it from there.

Lo and behold, when I sent out my first flash fiction story, “Good Advice,” to a small literary magazine, I was flabbergasted to receive an acceptance within a little over a week. Wow, I thought, maybe there is something to this idea of how writing small can reap large rewards in the magazine world.

As I kept writing and sending out, writing and sending out, I did get some rejections, of course, but I managed to get eight of them published in 2008. Oh, maybe not to the likes of The New Yorker, but it was enough – I was encouraged.

Recently, I decided to put some of my flash fiction into a new collection, but unlike my Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads, which had the connection of sewing or crafting, just how could I link these very eclectic stories? Then it hit me. Since the ‘word count’ is so important for writers, why not link them that way? Each story title would have the word count under it and it would go by ascending order of numbers. And…and… I could include a few of my stories that were lengthier, as long as I put the word count under their titles! Eureka!

Thus, the connecting thread of Tales to Count On was born: http://amzn.to/1x8QqyD

TALES_final_large

Synopsis: Curl up and enter the eclectic world of S. R. Mallery, where sad meets bizarre and deception meets humor; where history meets revenge and magic meets gothic. Whether it’s 500 words or 5,000, these TALES TO COUNT ON, which include a battered women’s shelter, childhood memories, Venetian love, magic photographs, PTSD fallout, sisters’ tricks, WWII spies, the French Revolution, evil vaudevillians, and celebrity woes, will remind you that in the end, nothing is ever what it seems.

Here’s what they are saying about it:

Brilliant… I stand in awe of S.R. Mallery’s ability to cobble something riveting out of so few words. I can’t recommend this book enough!” ––Dianne Harman, The Coyote Series, The Cedar Bay Cozy Murder Mystery Series

“S. R. Mallery takes you on a truly unique, visual journey through time and place, with her imaginative tales and unusual endings, stirring up the reader’s curiosity and compassion.”

––Lasher Lane, Deadlight

Poetic, startling, S. R. Mallery’s TALES TO COUNT ON will stun you into silence by the outcome of these inventive stories and their elegant endings with a twist.”

––D.K. Cassidy, Spilt Milk, Curious Reality

Here are my inspirational books:

1) The Writer’s Block, by Jason Rekulak :

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=The+Writer%27s+Block+Jason+Rekulak

2) The Pocket Muse series, by Monica Woods:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Ideas+and+Inspiration+Monica+Woods&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3AIdeas+and+Inspiration+Monica+Woods

My Information:

Website/Blog: www.srmallery.com

Twitter: @SarahMallery1

Facebook:

http://facebook.com/pages/SR-Mallery-Sarah-Mallery/356495387768574

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7067421.S_R_Mallery

Pinterest: (I have some good history boards that are getting a lot of attention—history, vintage clothing, older films)

http://www.pinterest.com/sarahmallery1/

My Author’s Page on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/S.-R.-Mallery/e/B00CIUW3W8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Thanks Sarah. It’s been a delight to have you here.

For anyone who’d like to see it, here’s the link to an interview I did with Sarah a while ago now, which includes her picture.

https://barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com/2013/10/01/welcome-to-an-interview-with-s-r-mallery/

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Sunday

Sunday 22nd March 2015

it was another late night being a Saturday and it was a 1.00 am turn off the light but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t long in sleeping which in this house, for me anyway, is not the same as sleeping long. Having said that, I must be back in as the Golden Boy of the small gods promotion society as I was left until 4.39 am this morning. Three and a half hours continuous unbroken sleep. I dread to think what the cost will be. The gods are in the habit of selling you a favour and allowing you to have it, before you were even aware you wanted it. It does kind of put things in their favour when it comes time to collect. I got up, paid my visit to the loo, padding along the passageway to avoid waking Mike. Coming back I powered up the computer and signed in. First job, check the lottery and thunderball. Second job, dry my eyes. Then on with the post, and what a lot there was. I worked till 7.00 am without seeming to see the numbers go down at all.

Big Al came to greet me this morning and unless I’m mistaken it was in a friendly way rather than the usual “Where’s my food fool”? attitude. I’m so pleased to see him and the rest of the Famous Five that I shower them with some of the top food and put an algae tablet in. Whistling a little of The Gang’s All Here, I turn and take my meds then make a coffee to take back with me. All of a sudden I start making good progress. At 9.30 am I’m within 3 or 4 of being up to date when I hear a sound.I had to stop and listen as I’ve heard a similar sound before but it’s so very rare. Mike appears at my door Gasp! Cheeky burger was creeping to see if I was awake. I apologised for not moving when I first heard him but I was really trying to finish. He told me to carry on so I did and a few minutes later joined him in the kitchen where he still hadn’t made himself a drink. I put the kettle on. He was engrossed in something in the fish tank from hell. Some part of a plant had come loose and he’d found another corpse, I just glanced at where he pointed and asked whether something else was a rock. It wasn’t. He dipped the net and brought out two corpses. Unrecognisable for the beautiful fish they once were. I was in the meantime counting wildly trying to come up with my five survivors and hoping these two were he last. The Famous Five were all accounted for.

Because of problems with the car Mike hadn’t been able to do a run to his Dad’s on Friday.I knew he wanted t go this afternoon so when he asked what our plans were for this morning I suggested we went to the Bells but for breakfast instead of lunch. We’ve always said we’ll try it. We didn’t rush too much and got there about 11.00 am. The sign says it’s an eat all you want breakfast and I’m astounded when I see that nothing is restricted. You can help yourself to bacon ( fools), sausages, eggs, fried bread, hash browns, plum tomatoes and beans, even chips, and then you can have as much toast as you want. It was £3.99 and I think between the two of us we must have bankrupted them. I was waiting for them to pay us to leave.When we left there about 12.30 pm we headed towards home but had a little detour to the gift shop at Abakhan. I thought we were going to have a drink there but Mike said “Let’s have one at home” which was two minutes away. I stepped out into the beautiful sunshine and felt ill, no it wasn’t my breakfast coming back to haunt me, I had to slow up a minute until Mike turned round and came back asking what was wrong. “Nothing, just fancied a cigarette” I said. He put on that very whiney voice and repeated it with such sarcasm.He put a hand in my coat pocket and passed me my spray as the pain really hit. There was a bench close by. And all the time this mocking voice is bouncing round my ears “What’s wrong? Nothing. Liar, I can always tell, it’s your chest again”  I offer “If you know so bloody much why’re you asking?” We have a cigarette and then go to the car.

At home, I sit in the chair and the need to sleep hits. Mike has a coffee and when I come round he’s ready to go. I won’t see him for a month now so no more bullying or nagging for a while. Scratch that, I meant from him, I’m not for one minute suggesting Yvonne won’t. I walk slowly out to the car with him to collect my blue badge ( disabled parking scheme) and wave him off. Back inside again I have no choice but to start on the emails. Whoa, far too many.I had nearly 4 hours of that because at 6.55 pm I intend to take a break and watch Lara Croft. I’m afraid if I work straight through I’ll have another angina attack .I stayed awake and even enjoyed the film but at 9.00 pm I came through to face the music.92 more emails in three hours. I worked until 11.00 pm then started this blog and I’ll decide afterwards if I carry on or go to bed.

Someone pinched my pedals

Someone pinched my pedals

This is more my mode of transport Mum.

This is more my mode of transport Mum.

Monday.

I don’t know whether to scream “Disaster” or offer thanks. I’d turned my light off at 1.00 am and was fairly quickly off to sleep I think. When I woke again I felt refreshed and swung my legs out of bed. I’d seen the glow of the clock but paid no attention, now I did.  It was 2.20 am. I paid a visit to the loo which only served to wake me more and came back to power up and log on. I knew if I did become tired again I could go back to bed for a while as 80 minutes sleep is pushing it even for me. But when I logged in and saw how much work was left from my backlog of yesterday with more having come in during the morning I thought maybe as I was going out again today, it would be good to get rid of the backlog completely. So that’s what I did. I was finished not long after 6.00 am and up to date, giving me the chance to put on a guest blog by my old friend Sarah Mallery which wasn’t due until tomorrow. I hoped she’d be pleased when she saw it up. At 7.00 am I went through to the kitchen and turned the tank light on. I was chuffed to see the Famous Five come and greet me. Yes OK, I know it could be construed that they were waiting for the food they knew was coming, but I’m sticking with my own line of thought here.

I left my friends ( yes, I have got some) chomping on their little food granules and turned to take my meds. There are some quite big snails on the glass of the tank. I know it means good water. I haven’t seen my assassin snails in an age so I’d better get some more of those. Tablets done I made a coffee and wandered back to the bedroom. Not too much come through while I was out of the room so easily dealt with. I opened the second email address and sorted that one too. It reminded me that I’d ordered some Tudor roses for MuJo to stick on the four poster and I hoped they’d maybe turn up today. I know they were posted on Friday but probably second class. The slow pace of the morning so far was nice. I was able to take my time getting dressed which meant I could colour co-ordinate though even now I can hear my Julia’s voice saying ” Not orange and blue together darling, you look like a bruised tangerine,” OK maybe that’s not quite what she’d say but you get the gist. She was a very gentle person who enjoyed ribbing me but who never tried to hurt, at least never after the great ‘No yellow shirts with your complexion even if they are your favourites’ debacle.

The postman came early and I was pleased to see the Tudor roses delivered. Less pleased to see them described as Yorkshire Roses merely because they were uncoloured, I almost got a red pen out. I guess the War of the Roses isn’t over yet. It’s strange to think that we carry on this joke between Lancashire and Yorkshire because of cricket these days. I actually like Yorkshire very much though I still maintain these are Tudor roses. Anyway they arrived. I ordered 4 for Mujo and a further 4 for me though I haven’t the foggiest idea why now. I couldn’t do my washing this morning as I’ve no idea what time they’ll turn up and what time they’ll want to go out.                                          As it happened they arrived at 10.20 am at which point I was still up to date with my mail. I saw to the drinks and then passed John the packets with the Tudor roses and the gargoyles. He was over the moon with them and knew just where on the bedposts they were going. We chatted for a while and batted about different places we might like to go but it was the chippie that won out. We went and had a pleasant meal there, followed by a ride over to Flint and to Aldi so Muriel could do some shopping. That suited me down to the ground as I wasn’t too happy with Julia’s flowers and needed some more. I got three more bunches including some daffodils. Hopefully as they open the vase will look stunning and full of colour for her.

From Aldi Muriel drove to Asda and then on to Temptations where we had a nice drink and I got to hold Ceri’s hand for a minute.( Sorry Mike, you should have been here).Coming out of there we had a look round a few shops ans MuJo were able to find another pair of curtains they needed. A successful day. We drove back to my place where I sorted John with a drink while Muriel went to Pauline’s for their lottery tickets. At about 4.15 pm they left to go home and after giving them a wave I came in to start work, or such was the intent. I certainly did some work but I have no idea how much before I was suddenly no longer here. That may have been at about 5.00 pm and the next thing I knew I was waking up in my office chair, in front of my monitor at 7.10 pm. A real break only I couldn’t get myself together enough to work out what I’d been doing or what I was supposed to do next. It took a few minutes. A real day off. I carried on as best I could from that point until it became time to stop and do the blog. And here we are again.

A toll? I'm not paying a toll.

A toll? I’m not paying a toll.

Is choo Lookin' at me?

Is choo Lookin’ at me?

Tuesday.

At last I’m back in favour. Should anyone ask I’ve been plugging Somnos daily and twice on Sundays. I turned my light off at 1.00 am and didn’t wake until 4.49 am which was wunnerful. Early enough to work before I go out but late enough for me to feel I’ve had a good sleep. Talking of work, there wasn’t as much as I feared from last night  and not too much early morning stuff to scare me, and believe me, I scare easy. Naturally my day couldn’t start without the waterfall effect and today I was able to make as much noise as I wanted with Mike not being here. That’s always assuming he’d hear me anyway. When I came back through I powered up and signed in. With a smile on my face I started.

The smile wavered a bit when I came to an email about a firm wanting to place a large order for my product and the money was on hand to pay for it. I had to sit and puzzle out what my product might be. I can only think it’s words so I sent them a link to an online dictionary. Not that I needed their money anyway since an attractive ( I’m guessing) young Nigerian lady has offered me 40% of her late father’s fortune (worth squillions) if I can only help her get it from under the nose on her Aunt who wants to force her to marry and give up her rights. However if I (Prince Charming and NO arguments) can arrange with the holding bank to transfer it…..well who knows. Wedding bells maybe as she knows my character is good (fool). After that, everything else seemed flat even with the jokes sent to entertain me. Still, I persevered until 6.00 am when I decided the fish were deserving of my company. Big Al and Pepper cam up to be fed when I turned the tank light on. The little bronze cory wasn’t too far behind. Little Al was poking about at the back and didn’t seem interested at first and the hoplo I couldn’t see. Not as worrying as it would have been a few days ago. Fair play, he did stop playing silly beggars before I left and he came looking for grub.

I left the fish and turned to taking my drugs and sprays before making myself a coffee. After putting the drink on my desk I concentrated on getting ready to go out so I’d have no last minute rushes though the words rush and David aren’t a natural marriage like Mike and sleep are.Once I’d pondered what to wear and actually got dressed I returned to work and made short shrift of what was outstanding. By 7.20 am my mail boxes were clear. I even managed a cheeky look at ebay before having to go out at 7.30 am. I reached the bus stop well ahead of the bus so had to walk the whole distance for a change. I did manage to get my breath back before the bus arrived and as I was the only passenger settled in my favourite seat. After a few minutes we set off and when we stopped in town I closed my eyes so I didn’t encourage chatter from anyone getting on. It was a pretty good journey and we arrived in Chester at 8.40 am. It was pretty cold and damp. I saw Yvonne waving to me in the distance and walked towards her, hiding behind a pillar as she got close. Reuben hadn’t spotted me so when I jumped out and said “Boo”he was giggling like mad. Our cafe wouldn’t open for 15 minutes so we walked round a shop that was open and picked up a couple of books for Reuben. Then it was time for coffee, and in my case a sausage and red onion toastie that Yvonne decided I wanted. It was very nice. After that we went and found some outfits for Reuben, sunglasses for Ugo and Yvonne and left.

We wandered round a few more shops during the course of the morning.I’d told Yvonne I needed to leave early today so I didn’t get into the same backlog situation I encountered over the weekend and yesterday. Anything more than a couple of hours out of the house is horrific. Eventually time to go was upon us. They walked me to my bus stop and waited with me until it arrived. I wasn’t first in the queue and my seat wasn’t available but I found a double nearby. As the bus left I waved to Reuben who was looking in the wrong direction smiling at a stranger. The journey was tolerable though I had to keep my eyes closed when someone sat beside me. Back at home I emailed Yvonne to thank her for the morning an passed her the details of some appointments I needed, hopefully two close together on the same day. She emailed me back with the dates and times and she’s actually managed to get what I want. There were 192 messages with more coming all the time so I made a start. By 3.00 pm the computer fan was whining so I took a break and had lunch while watching an episode of Escape to the Country. After lunch I washed up and returned to work again. If only the hourly rate was better I could be quite content.

By 5.00 pm I was feeling decidedly sleepy so went to sit in the lounge with the TV on. It worked like a charm, I fell asleep until 6.10 pm. I turned the tank light off, wished the fish goodnight and came back to work. No breaks since then. Each time I think I’m making great progress somebody writes to me. Still, I stopped at 10.30 pm to do the blog and I’m unsure if I’ll go back to it as I’m at home tomorrow daytime and may catch up then. Of course it’s games night at the other end but I’ll save the moaning about that till it happens.

The Winnah!!

The Winnah!!

The lap of honour.

The lap of honour.

Wednesday.

Well, I had an early night last night. In bed for 11.30 pm with a quick “Damn the rest of the mail until the morning.” I read until 12.30 am then turned my light off and settled down. I think Porcinus must have come to make sure I went to sleep because of the pervading smell of damp pig and I seemed to be counting pigs leaping a small gate as I drifted off. I woke at 3.24 am and felt ready to go into battle again. Not until I’d been to the loo of course. I turned my light on so I had no stubbed toes and I didn’t knock anything off/over on my travels. When I got back to my room I powered up the desk top and signed in. By 6.00 am I’d dealt with all last night’s late post including two very strange messages. One which stated VIRUS DETECTED AND ERASED which when opened had a weird message about how business was at this end and how they looked forward to doing business. The second had a subject of ‘ See what Morrison’s ( a Supermarket chain) have for you, which when opened was blank. I was expected to open an attachment which I refused to do since the sender was a private address. Maybe they thought people would be too tired at night to question their veracity and would open them regardless though it’s more likely to be that it’s a reasonable time of day wherever the senders are from.

Before starting the today’s batch it was time to turn on the tank light in the kitchen and check the Famous Five haven’t become the Fractious Four. I was OK since all of them were obviously at table waiting for their first-and only course. Whatever they were dreaming of they got just multicoloured granules.Though since it’s supposed to be composed of everything they need, it may be exactly what they dreamt of. Of course I got a dirty look from Big Al who obviously didn’t approve of the service in this particular restaurant. I have the feeling that his brush with death is now forgotten and the new mellow Big Al has been replaced by his original irascible self. I may be wrong and my fingers are crossed that I am since I thought the two of us were getting on so well. I turned away to take my meds, made a cup of coffee and returned to start on Wednesday’s mail. That took me till 7.45 am ( without refreshing) when I returned to the kitchen to put the washing machine on.

small gods clock

I came back to get dressed ready to make a trip to Pauline’s about 9.30 am for some bread. I made a start on today’s mail until just before 9.30 am then put my shoes on, grabbed my bag and my sticks and took a slow walk. I got my TV mag., my fresh bread, a small micro meal and some cigarettes being very disappointed when my brand wasn’t in and when the ten packet I buy for Matt was only a small size. I came home, unpacked the shopping, set the washing machine to dry the clothes and then came back to work. By some miracle I was up to date by 11.00 am and decided I had time for a nap before lunch. I managed about half an hour or so then decided to prepare my lunch which today was a lamb hock with some colcannon potatoes. I was half watching a programme about fake goods that come into the country and the vast amount the crooks earn from it. I’ve obviously been in the wrong job. Bargain Hunt came on while I was eating so I stayed till the end. After I’d washed the pots I fully intended to go straight back to work but I found myself mysteriously gravitating towards my chair for the other half hour of my power nap. My calculations were a little off as I had three quarters of an hour instead.

I was on my way back to work when my phone went and it was my pal Lis texting to see  if she could call in. Since it’s always a pleasure to entertain a pretty lady I jumped at the chance though it didn’t give me very long on the computer before she arrived. I made her a coffee, passed along her invitation to Reuben’s dedication and we chatted about her daughter-my friend Charlie’s- attempt to buy a house down in South Wales. Things seem to be going well. Lis has a lovely family and sees her grandchildren most days so there are always tales top swap. When she left to go and collect the eldest from school I came back to work. I had until 5.00 pm to try and make an impression on the mail and it was tough going but I didn’t leave too many. I had a yoghurt for my tea and then prepared the mugs which was just as well as at 5.20 pm I saw Dil and Matt walk past the window. I started making drinks. Lee was a no show tonight. After the usual quiz show Dil got the games table out and we started playing Yahtzee. It wasn’t Matt’s night as Dil won 3 of the 6 and I won the others. No clear winner there then. Not that I do usually stand a chance at that so tonight was an improvement. Instead of going onto cards next Matt suggested Balderdash. I was grateful Dil brought the original game to the table. I had a great start but a lousy finish as Matt romped home past me. In the second game I also had a great start but went downhill when Dil pipped me at the post. How on earth did my little brother and my nephew become such accomplished liars, and better at it than me?We still had a little time left so the cards came out for chase the lady. In the first hand Matt had the Queen of Spades in his hand and dumped it on me. I had it in my hand every deal after that but only managed to abandon it once. Three hands in and Dil hadn’t got a point against him. I felt obliged to remark on it and he suggested I was doing so to forge an alliance against him. So paranoid. Still, they do say just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean it isn’t true. We managed to catch him for a few points but we got the worst of it and Dil won. So for me a disastrous night. My heart is still breaking, or it would be if I had one.

They left about 9.30 pm as usual and I tidied up and washed the pots before coming through. A lot of post to catch up on again. This could be a late night. It’s now almost 11.30 pm so we’ll see how it goes from here.

I’m in a mellow mood again tonight.

Thursday.

It was a late one last night thanks to the backlog but I did clear much of it before admitting defeat. It just meant that having a read took me a bit beyond my usual 1.00 am mark. It was OK though as Somnos took pity on me, not too much in case I got used to it, but he did leave me here until 4.01 am this morning. At that time I felt a kick on my bladder like that from a sheep or goat perhaps which said “You need to go NOW.” It was fooling me though since the expected waterfall was a trickle. I came back quite disappointed and powered up the computer. When 6.45 am arrived I’d finished the last of the evenings mail and had already started today’s making quite a dent in it. It seemed a good time to go feed the Famous Five. Big and Little Al, Pepper and Bonzo the bronze cory came to eat straight away, very excited at the prospect of food. I couldn’t see Harold the Hoplo anywhere though and I was trying to rack my brain as to whether I’d seen him yesterday. I had to come through to check the blog to find out. Thinking he’d just not rolled out of bed yet I decided to take my meds.

As soon as the tablets were taken I went to make a coffee but the damn machine decided it needed cleaning the moment I’d broken open the pod. According to the book it takes about 20 mins to do the cycle. Let me say here and now that it can’t tell the time. I was still there 35 mins later waiting for the end. I put the kettle on and made myself n instant coffee. In the meantime, I kept going to the tank to check on Harold. Carefully scanning the tank my heart sank. I could see another body wedged behind the bubble curtain. I got the net out and used it to push he airtube until the body was free to float up. Naturally it was in a bad way and very nibbled so I’d no idea what it was but it could only be Harold surely. I was beginning to think my friend Laurie was right about there being a serial killer in the tank. I didn’t want to wait for ‘last man standing’ to see who it was. Anyhoo, I managed to catch the remains in my net and a couple of the ‘attack of the killer snails’ too, that’s only with reference to their size. I confess I was really sad as I deposited the remains in a plastic bag which I then put in the bin. I turned round and said good morning to Harold who’d just come out to eat. Wha????? Realisation kicked in that the remains must be from one of the recent deaths that hadn’t been seen before now. I was and am so grateful.

By now the coffee machine had finished it’s cycle so I flushed it out four times as they suggest, took the cleaning disc out and refilled the tank. I may have another coffee later and use up the pod I pierced. Greatly relieved I took what was left of my coffee and headed for my room. I stopped on the way for the magic waterfall. The mail had grown a bit while I’d been out of the room because you people are just addicted to writing aren’t you. Anything just to get the written word down in front of you so I can hear all about your new books. There should be an AAA for you all to attend, Addicted Authors Anonymous. I restarted work and carried on until 9.30 am when I went to the Post Office to send off a card and to Pauline’s for my proper ciggies, the lottery and a special birthday card for next week. On my return I started work again. I must have been daydreaming too as I caught myself wondering about Mike. I’d forgotten to ask him what time he’s flying today so he could have been on his way at that point. Poor Canada won’t know what’s hit it. I wonder if his long suffering sister and his brother in law have any problems getting him up when he’s on holiday. Mention of a casino might get him moving though. By 10.30 am I was tired. I was up to date but even so I knew a trip to the lounge to spread some Z’s about was a mistake. I slept till about 11.30 am then decided to prepare my lunch after waiting 15 minutes for the foodie-tablet to work. I was sitting down t eat just after Judge Judy finished her last case and was ready for Jessica Fletcher to solve a murder case from her sick bed. That kept me going until 1.00 pm. I washed the pots and went through.

It was at this point it occurred to me that I’d been missing for two and a half hours. I found out how bad a mistake when I booted up again. Still, I didn’t need to move again until about 5.00 pm. I only just made it. The afternoon held many entertainments for me on peoples blogs and there were quite a few new books to tweet too. But at 5.00 pm I made myself some tea and then entertained myself some more with a couple of quiz shows. I didn’t want to be away from the computer screen for too long this time as I had plans to depart again at 8.00 pm. Firstly it’s the reburial of King Richard 111 or Richard of York or Richard Crookback. He who was found buried underneath a car park in 2014 having fallen in battle in 1509 against Henry Tudor. Shakespeare vilified Richard and ensured the stories of him having murdered his two nephews in the Tower of London. However, tests on the bones have shown that Richard was not in fact a hunchback and it seems some papers have been uncovered which show he was well liked in Yorkshire and perhaps not the monster he was portrayed. Of course Shakespeare writing in the Tudor years could hardly picture Richard a Saint.                           Then it’s a new episode of the Big Bang Theory (YAY), followed by an episode of another U.S. comedy I enjoy. I’d be due to return here smiling after that lot.                            I only saw the first half of the programme on the reburial which was a shame but it was quite touching bringing  together descendants of the Yorkist line to share the ceremony. I’m sure the monks who took him and buried him did what they could but now he’s within the confines of a Cathedral in a tomb where he can be recognised as a Monarch of England.

The Big Bang Theory just gets better and better. The writers are hot, hot, hot and the stars of the show are unbeatable. The funny thing is (for those of you who don’t know) is that Sheldon’s girlfriend Amy who plays a scientist in the show is a real life scientist and probably has no problems at all with some of the scientific terms Sheldon and Leonard’s actors have had to learn sometimes. The new show I’m sort of hooked on is called something like Precinct 99 and is a very funny show, again carried so well by some of the actors. To my mind far better comedies than some I see come out of the States and much better than most things we produce these days. At 9.30 pm I took my evening meds and came back through. A fair bit more mail to wade through but I don’t think it’s all bad. I broke off at 10.30 pm to do this and it’s mow 11.40 pm so I think I’ll go straight to bed.

Friday.

Woo Hoo. Somnos must have appreciated my efforts this week. I got to bed early last night by refusing to go back and answer more mail after doing the blog. I was in bed by 11.45 pm and my light was off at 12.30 am. I didn’t get up this morning until 5.01 am, a whole hour more than yesterday plus at least half an hour at the beginning. That’s over 4 hours and my best for a while. I thought the only drawback would be the amount of mail carried over undone from last night and the delayed start this morning. But no, there were no more brought forward than usual and even the morning post to that point didn’t look heavy. I only worked until 6.05 am before going to the kitchen and turning the tank light on.Today the Fantastic Four came up to eat without the fifth member but after yesterday I wasn’t falling for it.If he preferred to eat alone so be it. I dropped a few granules in for them all. The rules say no more than they can eat in a couple of minutes. It’s like watching hoovers at work as this lot get to grips with it. They were so intent upon eating that Big Al even forgot to snarl at me.

I left them to concentrate on taking my meds, which I did leaving the container empty. ( We won’t go into the tablets in Tuesday night’s box OK- I binned them). Once I’d done I went to get my meds drawer and did a complete refill of the container for another week. That doesn’t include he foodie tabs which are taken twice a day with meals so not a set time like the others.Those I keep to one side in the hope I remember to take some out if I’m eating somewhere. Of course that won’t be happening for three weeks now while Mike is in Canada. When I’d finished it was approaching 7.30 am so I made my coffee. I had another glance in the tank and saw Harold looking for his breakfast so I dropped a few more granules in and hope he finds them. As in life, some fish seem a little thicker than others. I took my coffee back to my room an started work again. I got dressed at some break in the work but had no intention of going out this morning. My warden came to visit on her last day and we sat down for a chat. I have felt fairly relaxed with her. She was telling me it’s her grandson’s 4th birthday today and lst week they had a little party at a petting zoo. I remember when I went to a petting zoo and the women slapped my face.(I didn’t honestly). After she’d gone I went back and did another half hour of work until midday and then went to the kitchen to do lunch. Steak in ale gravy with mashed potatoes today.

After Murder She Wrote I returned to work but by 2.05 pm was up to date again and retired to my chair in the lounge to have a power nap. Unfortunately I was caught up in Judge Rinder, the UK equivalent of Judge Judy and sleep stayed away. Yet again I had to return to work at 3.00 pm. There was a sound at the door and I saw a post van departing so I checked the outside cupboards. Nothing. I found two pieces of junk mail in the letter box though and yet the postman had come this morning. I can’ believe they sent a van out especially to deliver two pieces of unwanted junk. Yet again I managed to get up to date and this time I was yawning so returned to the lounge at 4.15 pm. Big Mistake. There was an antique programme on TV followed by a quiz I enjoy. I couldn’t quite drop off. A few minor flutters of the eyelids like butterflies in a breeze but the beggers wouldn’t stay shut. Giving up my other quiz at 6.00 pm I came back through to my room. I DON’T UNDERSTAND, Have you all taken a writing sabbatical? Where are the sacks full of mail I usually get. Is nobody writing to me anymore or has wordpress devised some devilish scheme to drop it all on me at once? Whatever it is, understand this. Me scared, me no like. It only took me till 6.50 pm and I was up to date again. I decided to desert you all and go back to the TV till about 9.00 pm. I laughed ha ha in the face of danger. Here’s hoping I shan’t be laughing on the other side of my face later. I actually ended up watching one of those feel good factor comedy films that I didn’t expect to enjoy- but did..

I took my meds and retired to my room. I didn’t feel up to having a shower so went straight back to work. I was gobsmacked.Normally two hours away from the screen has me in panic mode at a minimum of 30 messages an hour. Two hours tonight and not even 30 waiting. I read a terrible report about the British economy. Not a great surprise as I’ve said for years we’re bankrupt monetarily as well as morally. It seems there will be a new raft of stealth taxes and not so stealthy ones all hitting Middle England. It wouldn’t do to inconvenience millionaires or big tax dodging corporations. I understood a few years ago that if one major coffee house had paid taxes in the UK on money earned here, there would have been more than the amount the Government are trying to screw out of the disabled benefits programme now. There was also a nice request to connect on LinkedIn as well as some cheery posts from my friends. By 10.20 pm I found myself in the enviable position of being up to date again. After doing a quick, slow waltz round the room I decided to start the blog. I could just feel an early night coming on. 11.15 pm with luck. I need all my strength for tomorrow  since I learned the elemental known as Yvonne has taken the day off to take me shopping…despite protestations.  Early in the week she said Ugo and Reuben would take me but I knew I could get out of that. Now I’ve no chance. I have to hope she’ll accept I only want to go local as I don’t need much and speed is good.She can do her own shopping at the supermarket she likes on the way home. Maybe poor Ugo will be able to sit in the coffee shop while she does. At least the Force will be with him and not me. I love my daughter more than my life but like all women she scares me half to death, especially when she can see my shopping list. Chocolate, chocolate, beans, chocolate.

Saturday.

I didn’t quite manage my 11.15 pm as hoped but I was there by 11.30 pm which was something to cheer about. My light was out by 12.30 am after a read. There were a couple of false starts during the night notably at 1.25 am ( No Way) and at 3.05 am but I still felt there was more to come and managed to stay until 4.38 am finally. I was really pleased. I got up, made Niagara fall ( in a drought) and them came back to power up and sign in. Yesterday’s surprise is there today when I noted how few ( 18) messages had come from yesterday and again surprisingly only 42 emails from today. Having said that, I hadn’t yet refreshed from 4.42 am when I signed in.But at least by 7.00 am I was clear and able to go see to the fish. Big Al and Pepper had a race to see who could reach the front first this morning when I turned the light s on. They swam in place with their tales going like the clappers trying to stay positioned underneath the trapdoor while the current tried to push them away. I talked to them as I started to pour some food into my hand but Big Al’s look said “Just get on with it. Less chat , more action.” As I started to put the food in Little Al came over with Bonzo not far behind. Yet again Harold was conspicuous by his absence but after the last few days I’ve decided not to worry when I can’t see him. Chances are he’s still in bed and if not, there isn’t much I can do about it.

I left them to their feasting and went to take my meds.As I picked up the first spray I heard my phone beep in the lounge. It really annoys me. It was on charge all Thursday night and I didn’t use it yesterday and yet it still runs out of charge. Now I don’t know if it will be sufficiently charged when I go out.. Back to the meds, I finished and made myself a coffee using the remains of the milk in  my mug as usual. I took the food waste bag out to it’s little bin and placed both bins at the end of my pathway. I brought the other recycling bags out but had to tuck them at the side of the house because there’s a vicious wind out this morning. Before starting back to work I washed and dressed in case I lose track of time. They’re supposed to be here about 9.30 am but I know of old Ugo works on African time on his days off. As long as he’s up and at football by the afternoon he’s fine. Actually not quite true as he looks after Reuben while Yvonne works so he has to be up, but he generally doesn’t have to move much. Anyway, I started back to work.

It was about 8.00 am as I was sitting here minding my own beeswax that I heard a clunking sound followed by a slithering sound. It was a fair bet that no giant pythons had escaped so I went to the front window to have a look. Disaster ! My large bin had been toppled on it’s side as had the food bin. Not a major problem as the contents were in bags but the slithering was my waste paper bag which was happily spinning around in the wind depositing it’s contents everywhere. Naturally sod’s law says this week there are many small pieces of paper ( answers from Balderdash) all over the place. I started collecting them again. It didn’t take long before I was out of puff and feeling the strain from kneeling/bending. Then good old Bert from next door came out and started helping. We picked up plastic bottles too that had escaped from their bag. Between the two of us we soon had everything back in place. I had to move the bins back down the path hopefully away from the worst of the wind and I had to stand the dustbin on top of the recycling bags. Bert has apparently left his closer to is house than usual too. The big question is will thy be collected with not being in  their usual place? Will the collection team realise why the bags are not actually out if the wind has dropped by then? At which point they could turn all ‘Jobsworth’ on us. “Oh no, it’s more than my jobs worth to come down your path to collect rubbish.” Maybe I’d be back before that happened but at that point I got a message from Yvonne to say I was not shopping locally, I was going to the big supermarket with them. This could be a battle of wills worth seeing.

They arrived at 9.40 am, just as I’d normally have finished shopping and as I approached the car I could hear the throaty croak of Pops, Pops as Reuben saw me. Poor soul thought he was getting out to be with me but instead I got in the car. “Right , where are we going?” was Ugo’s question. “Asda” said Yvonne brooking no refusals. We set off and soon arrived there, the car park was very busy but Yvonne knew enough to say “We’ll be OK.” I headed for the cash machine while Reuben followed on riding his bug bike ( or Bugger as he calls it) and with his Ma and Pa. Yvonne got a big trolley we could share. I was dubious but went along with it. On the way to the flowers we passed a stand with items reduced in the latest dale and looked at a new ironing board Yvonne needs. It was good but not quite big enough. She turned it down on the grounds they wouldn’t get it in the car anyway. I chose some flowers and Yvonne got two bunches of daffs for herself, or for Monday, I’m not sure. Monday is the two year anniversary of Ju leaving us. We had a wander with Reuben hot on my heels, literally. He was trying to make me dance by running at my toes. I hat to threaten him with my fist while telling him to get off my toes which had him in fits of laughter and trying again. Suddenly I cam across another ironing board. A Minky and very wide just as she wanted and reduced by half. Room in the car or not she decided we couldn’t afford not to. I gave her some money to pass o Ugo to buy it now and try and get it in the car before we had to go. He was away a long time. As he came back I was half expecting to hear I’d be walking. It was close. Yvonne and I wold both have to sit in the back while the ironing board occupied the place of honour next to the driver.

We carried on shopping. I was piling my stuff in the front of the basket and Yvonne the back. Only problem was the back part is very small so there was a lot of overspill. Eventually we’d done and headed for the tills. Then the goods had to be placed on the conveyor Yvonne’s first and mine second. I gave Ugo some bags and proceeded to set my bags out along the bottom of the trolley ready to put goods in. Ugo packed his stuff and paid and I waited my turn. As soon as the youngster on the till started sending stuff through Ugo decided to help me pack and pulled my bags out of the trolley.I find it easy to fill 3 bags and spread the weight than to fill one bag at a time so I had to get them back again. I really appreciated his help as he put things in the bags in the trolley for me. We didn’t have time to go to Flint for a coffee as Ugo was due at football this afternoon. We had a drink in MacDonalds where Mike and I usually go instead. Once done we headed for the car. Ugo insisted on packing the boot while Yvonne and I squeezed ourselves into the back seat one either side of Reuben. My accompaniment all the way home was a DVD of Thomas the Tank Engine. Until now I never knew Thomas was naughty. When we got back Yvonne helped me take the bags in so she could finally see the gift Tariq had given me on my birthday, the picture of Roobs and me. They had to go. I looked at my watch and it was 1.00 pm. I’m no idea it had got so late.

Once I’d unpacked and put the shopping away I took my pre-food ( I wrote pre-foot there but honestly it wasn’t while I still had hooves) tablet and buttered some bread. Corned beef hash was speaking to me. I think it was something along the lines of “Eat me or I’m out of date and food for worms.” But I can’t be sure. Finally I was able to come back to work and my worst fears were confirmed. Everyone was working weekends and more specifically, while I was out of the house. I’m very fortunate that now I was back things seem to have eased off. I was also lucky that I didn’t have any fakers, conmen or nut-jobs to delay me. The worst part was developing a rhythm and then realising I was starting to nod off.  The bathroom and a good splash of water in the face beckoned. By the time 5.30 arrived I felt OK about breaking off for a while. I went through to the lounge thinking I’d have a little tea soon and found next to my chair , the two post food tabs I should have taken at lunchtime. I put them on the arm of the chair so I wouldn’t miss them a second time. I’m (almost) ashamed to admit I settled for two doughnuts for my tea as I watched a celebrity edition of Pointless. At least I watched until an attack of the noddies took over and I didn’t wake until 7.20 pm. I came back to my room. It seemed a good time to try and have a shower before working so I prepared all my clothes and putting my dressing gown on took the clothes to the washer ready for Monday, put some clean lounge pants ( the ones with the Red Dragon of Wales) on a hook in the bathroom and turned the shower on to reach the correct temperature.  I put the emergency alarm round my neck then pulled it off again and put it on the windowsill in case it blew the system.  Then I had my shower. To an outsider looking in it would have seemed strange to see a body with it’s bum uppermost as I had to fold in order to wash my hair. That out of the way I was upright again for the rest of the ritual cleansing . Getting out of the shower I had to assume the position again to dry my hair so I might have looked very short under that towel. I came up puffing like old bellows and dried the rest of me. That takes a while given my girth. Too bad Mike hasn’t been around today with remarks about booking coach trips to go round me. I’ve missed going for my meal at the Ivy too.

Once dry I re-started work and by 10.00 pm was really doing quite well. Keeping pace as I was I broke off at 10.45 pm to see to the blog. I could take my time I hoped. So I did. My friend Suzanne Joshi  https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/ made a request for tonight. That I choose my favourite Welsh song to put on for you all.

    This is my National Anthem and still raises hairs on my neck.

I wish you all a week full of wonder and Hugs.

David 28.03 2015

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Mother for a Day & The Death Count Rises.

Sunday March 15th 2015

I was given a treat today ( Mother’s Day?). It was 5.02 am before I got up so a possible four hours sleep. I was ungratefully grateful though as I felt I could have been given more since Mike will get his lie in and I can work undisturbed a bit later when he’s on his way home.  Still we must accept what we’re given I suppose. Heck, that sounds churlish now. I got on with answering mail until 7.00 am when I needed to feed the fish. I made the mistake of putting a suggestion box nearby recently and someone suggested moving the tank to my bedroom so I don’t have to come out to feed them. I’d have let that go if another whose finwriting I don’t recognise hadn’t suggested removing my bed since I don’t make proper use of it anyway. It seems I could manage to get the tank and my chair from the lounge in here. I removed the suggestion box. Now I’ve given it a little thought though…………..

There seemed to be one solitary bronze cory swimming about when I turned the tank light on and yet it was daylight outside. I think I could get quite peeved at them having a lie-in after the trouble I’ve had from Big Al in the past if I’ve been a couple of minutes late. I suppose they could just have been playing hide and seek though as they started appearing as I opened the serving hatch. I dropped some food in and left them to it., my painkillers were waiting with my other meds. I took everything and made a coffee to take back with me. It wasn’t too long before I found I was up to date. I took my mug through to the kitchen for washing later and settled myself in my chair to relax. I think I was hoping to relax into Zzzz’s but I taped my chin up first so there were no more bear growls to disturb Sleeping Beauty. As it happened, Sleeping Beauty nearly gave me a heart attack when he walked in at 8.35 am and he hadn’t even wet the bed. I couldn’t get over it. I never see him at that time on a Sunday even when I’m trying to get him up to go to a car boot sale. On very shaky legs, I got up and made him a coffee.

We nattered for a while and then I put Frazier on TV. We weren’t due to be out at lunch until 12.15 pm so there was plenty of time. At half past ten I asked if Mike would fancy a detour on the way and he said “Fine, where to”? I just needed a couple of things from a shop.We left at about 10.45 am and were in Prestatyn by about 11.15 am. It didn’t take too long to pick up a few little things for Reuben as I was taking gifts for my nieces as well as Yvonne and Ugo. By the time we came out we needed to head straight off. We knew the best route to take to avoid some road works and though slightly longer we weren’t far out on our arrival time. We did have to tour the carpark twice though before settling on parking in the road. As we got out of the car and collected our baggage we could see Karen at the door of the pub holding Reuben who pointed excitedly when he saw me and croaked “Pops”. As we crossed the road he recognised Mike and gave a cheer, Mike dropped his hat on Reuben’s head which pleased him no end. I got a kiss and we went in. Glad to be rid of them I handed the gifts out and Yvonne passed Reuben one of his books which he started to read. Not for long though as there was too much activity around him. My great nephew Taylor was there as well apparently nursing a hangover of some proportions. I started to feel, like the honorary Mother of the Day with so many families celebrating Mothers Day today.

We were seated in the dining room and attentive staff came round to take our orders. I was just going to have the main so had to suffer watching everyone eat before me. It was worth waiting for though. For anyone in the Old Colwyn area of North Wales- The Plough is great..As we were getting through the main, Taylor couldn’t eat any more and was a bit green about the gills so I gained some potatoes and some roast beef.. Not being as piggy as some of my relatives I didn’t have a pudding despite being told Chocolate Fudge Cake was on the menu for my benefit.After we’d finished we moved to another area to sit and chat for an age. Eventually it was time for goodbyes though. We waved everyone off and then set off ourselves. I felt sorry for Mike, in a few hours he’d have to come back in this direction to collect his daughter and grandchildren and taken them down to the Midlands.First though he was going to watch his beloved Manchester United play while I tried to get on with some work. He almost woke me a couple of times when they scored. He left just before 6.00 am and I went through to get some tea and watch an hour’s TV, It turned into two hours and it was 8.00 pm before I got back in here. I haven’t been able to move since. It’s now 11.30 pm and there’s still a way to go. MuJo are coming through tomorrow so I daren’t leave too much.

Monday.

I can’t really say the day started well as at 4.04 am the day hadn’t really started at all. Three hours or less sleep is going to be difficult today without the opportunity of a power nap. I got up and went to the loo then came back and replaced the bulb in my overhead light that decided to blow the minute I tried to turn it on. The computer was turned on and I logged into the first of my mail boxes. By 6.00 am the remainder of last night’s post was done and I was ready to start today’s. I did a quick run through to see what could be deleted as that always made it look so much less. The con-men mut have just returned from their late Winter breaks as I had 3 messages purporting to be from banks warning me of problems on accounts I don’t have, that were going to be suspended unless I provided full details of how to clear my non-existent accounts of all funds to the rip-off merchants. There was also one from the Tax Office regarding my tax refund that required full details of my bank account for payment to be forwarded. I must say, I’m crossing my fingers big time for a tax rebate this year ( and soon) but don’t intend to do it this way. I think I’ll be happy just to bank a cheque. I’m more in favour of putting money into my account than giving some thieving toerag the opportunity to take it out.

I broke off from the mail at 6.30 am as I needed a break after a particularly long message. Feeding the fish seemed to fit the bill. I’m sure Friday 13th has been told that it needs a break from routine and has decided to move itself to a Monday – THIS Monday- for a change. I turned the main kitchen light on then moved over and turned on the light to the tank. Instead of a hive of activity I got nothing. I started scanning the tank inch by inch until suddenly I saw some movement. It was one of my synodontis doing the dance of death in the air bubbles at the top of the tank. I checked to make sure it was dead and not just trying the backstroke before removing it. Big Al came out and moved to a corner. Little Al came out and moved to a different corner. One of the hoplos eventually came out and settled in the front corner and proceeded to lie there looking dead. I was starting to make myself bald at this point when I saw the two bronze corys move across my vision. A dart of orangey red told me Morecambe was still with me even if he didn’t want to put in an appearance at my voice, maybe the pitch was too high with panic. Moments later Morecambe headbutted Wise into the open. I could see one of the plecs attached to the pump box but to be honest I wasn’t too worried about the plecs as they’re virtually indestructible. I waited and waited. Pepper appeared. I lifted the lid again to check but the second synodontis, the second hoplo and the ancistrus are at best, all in hiding. The only new things in the tank have been the pictus which may have been ill, the plants which should have been OK and a barrel Mike brought which was scalded before being allowed in. The barrel only went in on Saturday though. What is going on?

I took my meds and made a drink to bring through. Concentrating on the mail had been hard as I couldn’t get the fish out of my mind. It has at least helped me make a decision that I won’t be getting another tank. Anyone considering putting 10c in my paypal account ( so that’s none of you then) can reconsider now. I just tried to distract myself via work. Unsure of what time MuJo would arrive I got dressed at 9.00 am and then took a walk to the chemist to deliver my new prescription request. I was back for 9.20 am in time to have a word with my friend Darren the postman. He had nothing important for me today. I told him not to start planning on donning his shorts anytime soon with the forecast being for Siberian frosts this week. Blimey it’s bad enough with the rain. I came back in and started having a quick tidy round. It was about 10.20 am when they arrived and I’d spent the intervening time looking at the fish tank. There was some good news in that the second hoplo appeared. I made drinks and we gassed about our respective week last week, and future plans. Eventually I asked John to come take a look at some of the leather jacket’s I’d saved on ebay, most of which I’d lost with not seeing him last week and I got a better idea of what style he wanted and also a better idea of the size. It’s more than I was led to believe last week. They told me they’d finally got the four poster bed they wanted last week and today we were going to look at some material to frame it. A nice brocade I hope so it’s in keeping.

We went to lunch. It was The Bells of St Mary’s today. We were lucky to arrive at 11.55 am before it got too crowded so were able to order our drinks (lime and lemonade for me) and then get in the very short queue for our meals. Naturally I had the roast beef, a Yorkshire pud, whole onions in onion gravy, cabbage, carrots, roast and mashed pots. Somehow John managed to find room for chips on his as well. It was a lovely meal. It was well gone 1.00 p.m when we left and headed towards home and a place called Abakhan which sells a variety of materials, craft stuffs etc,, etc. We were there a long time and though they both found materials they liked it was a case of the other didn’t. After my next birthday we left to pop in at another place that gave me feelings of deja vu.  I knew we were going to Flint for a coffee at Temptations so I suggested we called into a shop that sells curtains and see if there were any they both liked that were already made up that might do the job. We arrived and I sent them for coffee while I picked up some chocolates for the girls. I joined them in there and handed over a tin of Vinnie’s biskwits I’d found and gave Ceri the chocolates for the staff. After there we took a walk over to the shop with the curtains and lo and behold they found some they liked. They needed three pairs and that’s just what there were left. The whole lot came to less than a third of the price of having some made. We had chance to look round a couple more shops as well but there is definitely something wrong, I spent nothing. Flint will go bankrupt.

We headed for home where they had time for another drink before having to start their journey home. It was almost 4.30 pm so I was expecting to go straight to watch my TV programme. Shock, Horror, it had not only changed time to 5.15 pm it had also changed channels. I had half an hour on the computer, made a sandwich for tea and then settled down with the remote. I watched that till 6.00 pm and then gave myself a treat with a half hour quiz afterwards. Then I could hide no longer. I washed the pots , took a look at the fish and found poor Morecambe in a terrible mess. He’s lost most of his wonderful colour and doesn’t seem able to fight the current. I doubt he’ll survive the night. This is a bummer. John had wondered earlier if the water was over oxygenated so I’ll have to look that up. Maybe the flow of water is just too strong for them too. Some fish like a fast flow, some don’t. I came back to work very sad.And here I’ve been ever since despite wanting to get an early night- correction- being ordered to get an early night.

Ooh Look, Toys

Ooh Look, Toys

I'll direct the choir.

I’ll direct the choir.

Tuesday.

T’was 4.50 am this morning and at least the time was creeping in the right direction compared to yesterday, but still shy of 4 hours. I’m pretty sure thinking back that I woke up flailing this morning. It’s possible I was mid dream which would mean something disturbed me. Of course it could have been the dream itself. I told Mike the other day I’d had a strange dream of a pure white kitten playing around my feet, perhaps the little beggar sank it’s claws in.                                                                                 I paid a visit to ‘Tinkle Valley’ and then turned the computer on. There was a large backlog to think about. I got stuck in and started making inroads into the waiting mail. I broke off at 7.00 am to go feed my fish. I wish I hadn’t. The tank looked like a ghost town. The only fish in sight, one of the hoplos, was lying in the front corner looking distinctly dead. I tapped on the glass to no effect and I sat on my haunches and stared for ages looking for the movement of a gill or anything. That in itself was a huge mistake as I couldn’t get up from that position and cramp started to set in. I had to drop my knees to the ground, grab hold of a work surface and pull myself up on one leg with the other following. I got the net out and went to pull the hoplo from it’s resting place. As soon as the net touched it , it shot out across the tank. I was relieved it was OK. Within 2 minutes Big Al appeared from wherever he’d been hiding. I just don’t understand the behaviour of the fish recently. There were always fish evident and in play from the moment I went in there before. Now I drop some food in and there’s no reaction. Oh , wait, the two little bronze corys have come for a nibble but Big Al just sits there brooding. The hoplo was back in it’s corner. Of Morecambe there was no sign nor of Wise.

There was no point me staying there all day so I carried on and took my meds then made a coffee to take back with me. Yvonne already knew I wasn’t going to meet her in Chester today as she knows I’m not well at the moment. She also knows I need to get back to being up to date with my post and a trip out wouldn’t help that. I have my Wednesday play night which will upset the applecart again. Even though I’ve no intention of leaving the house today I got dressed. Just as well I wasn’t going out as there was no co-ordination of colours. I worked solidly all morning until 11.30 am. I was making great progress but I’d have to think about lunch and I’d found a logical point to stop. Lunch was ready for midday, it was only a cottage pie but I sat down to enjoy it, watching Murder She Wrote. Afterwards I washed up and went back through. Concentrating was a real problem and the yawns were coming thick and fast. I rolled my chair away from the computer before I insulted someone with a gibberish letter ( Anyone any idea where Gibber is?) and I was gone. When I woke up at 3.12 pm the Zzzz’s were still bouncing from the walls. My neck ached. I went through to sit in my chair in the lounge and wallop, I was gone again. It was 4.55 pm before I woke. No point at all in going back to work as my programme is on  soon so I made myself a syrup sponge pudding with custard for tea, OK, OK I admit, 2 sponges then.

After PYMWYMI I watched most of a quiz. I say most of because I dropped off just before the end and woke up at the end of the next one. My befuddled brain couldn’t understand why the quizmaster had changed halfway through. I came back here in dread, and rightly so. Much of my good work from this morning undone. Nothing for it but to start again and persevere as long as possible. At 11.00 pm I had no choice but to start the blog.

I think they're all quackers Mummy.

I think they’re all quackers Mummy.

Is this how you walk like a duck?

Is this how you walk like a duck?

Especially for my friend Suzanne Joshi.

Wednesday.

Well, I certainly wasn’t expecting a 3.43 am day as it’s only six days since the last. Come on Somnos, you’re getting repetitive now. I thought we were heading in the right direction. I suppose this is as a result of your celebrations of St Patrick’s day yesterday? Just coming home and thought you’d wake everyone up as you go to bed, well ha ha, so funny-not. Maybe I’m supposed to promote the small gods for their sense of humour?

I went to the loo to see if relieving my bladder would improve my mood but it was a lost cause this morning,. When I came back and logged on one of the messages was from a blog I follow all the time by Melanie Marttila. I found she’d included a talk which included a tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett by Neil Gaiman a truly fantatic author in his own right who collaborated on Good Omens with Terry Pratchett and was the first of his books I read.  http://melaniemarttila.ca/2015/03/17/tipsday-writerly-goodness-found-on-the-interwebz-march-8-14-2015/  well worth a listen and Mel’s posts are always excellent. The chat lasted about half an hour but was well worth it to me. He explained how that book had been written ( or co-written) and actually read a piece from it. I was reminded just how good the humour was when he described that two people had once gone spooning by the river and on one memorable occasion even forked. It was a touch of genius.

I worked until 6.30 am and then deciding I needed a coffee I headed for the kitchen. As I turned the tank light on, a light wasn’t needed for the room itself, I found myself staring at virtually nothing. Just the one hoplo in the same place as yesterday unmoving, but I’m not falling for that a second time. I spent an age scouring the tank’s hiding places for other signs of life and/or corpses. regrettably I did find a corpse half wedged under the bridge, it was so badly chewed I couldn’t tell if it was my second beautiful synodontis or maybe the ancistrus. At the end of my session, all I could say with any confidence is I still have 2 hoplos ( though one keeps playing dead ), 2 bronze corys (one is behaving weirdly) I’ve seen Pepper, Big Al and Little Al and the plecs. Whatever it is has gone through here like the plague.I really hope I’ve seen the last casualty now. It’s almost half my fish gone and unfortunately all the most visible,beautifully pattered ones. I took my meds,checked myself for buboes (See, I wasn’t playing with myself) and made a coffee to bring through. It was 7.15 am so I must have been with the tank a while talking to them and trying to find out who was still there.

I got dressed then started work again until 9.15 am. Cue music- 8 beats on the kettle drum to start then a rising strain of violins coming to a point where a bassoon farts in your ear and a piccolo picks up a rhythmic jig. I went out sans coat into the sunshine and found I wasn’t cold. Did the music herald the coming of Spring which officially starts on Friday, no, I’d left the ‘Music to Write By’ soundtrack from Steve Richer playing. All the way to Pauline’s I was talking to myself.”How’d you expect to write by music like that? You’d stand in the middle of the room conducting a phantom orchestra, no write.” I was nervous for some reason. I know I’d made a quick visit to the chemist on Monday slipping in and out so to speak but this was the first time out of the house since then, and I’d have to talk to someone. Even worse, behind me in the queue at the counter was a really nice lad, young Liam who used to work in the chemist and he spoke to me. It was all I could do to stutter a reply. I’m becoming reclusive again which means you lot will have to put up with my company. I went home and put the shopping away, coming back to the computer as soon as I’d done. By 10.30 am I was up to date and just keeping pace with anything that came in. At 11.30 am I stopped and gave thought to lunch instead.

As usual I ate my lunch while I was glued to the TV. A really unusual disaster though after the programme was over. I didn’t get up and return to work. I know you’ll all be shocked to hear that I fell asleep until 2.50 pm. I shook my not inconsiderable tail feathers and got back to work then though. I’d not long sat down when there was a knock at the door. Lucky for me my guess was right this time, and the chemist delivery man was there. I exchanged my drugs for a box of chocolates which for anyone new reading this is not a euphemism for a large sum of money.I concentrated hard on catching up on the post I’d missed again and establishing a routine of refreshing every time I caught up so I could keep pace. By 4.30 pm I was in a good position. Trouble is I knew I’d have to leave at 5.00 pm to get some tea before my visitors get here and by the time my evening was over I’d be back to a backlog of 5 hours. I didn’t hold out much hope that Brother Jake would heed my plea that you all sprained your wrists today. I was just reaching the point of refreshing when Lee arrived so I had to leave the work and see to a drink for him even though it’s only Adam’s Ale. We sat and chatted about the bump and how long they have. Probably about 3 weeks and things are still going well for a home birth. It was about 5.20 pm when Matt came in and again they were early. Talking to Lee I hadn’t been facing the window and Lee hadn’t warned me as he didn’t want to interrupt. I set too making drinks while they caught up. I remember Dil telling Lee not to hold Jen’s hand at the birth unless he wants his hand crushing.

After the gossip had been disseminated Dil got the games stuff out. We set up for Yahtzee but I don’t think anyone was really concentrating tonight. There was chit chat all the time and the games took forever. At the end I think Lee had won 3 of the 6 making him the overall winner but I didn’t have one to fit him. He had to leave us as it was 8.30 pm and he’d gone through my biscuits with Matt, and I wouldn’t get more out. “Good riddance” we shouted. Knowing we wouldn’t have time for a full Nomination the rest of us settle on Chase the Lady for the last hour. I had two problems and they both sat opposite me. My nephew is sneaky and likes to try to ‘lot’, my brother is just vindictive, sly and basically just a good player. Matt made an attempt and got them all bar one card which Dil dropped on me. I had 10 points, Matt 140. Matt and I did something similar to Dil where Matt dropped points on me which stopped Dil in his tracks. After a hard fought battle I won the game. It was almost 9.30 pm and time for them to go. Dil said to Matt on the way out ” And next week we don’t let him won.”

I washed the pots and tidied round then checked the fish tank to see if there was any movement. Noting at all. It’s like running a tank just so I can see the bubbles. I came through and started work again. There were over 70 messages in the time I’d been away. It could be a late night but I stopped work at 10.45 pm to start the blog so at least this is done.

Wake up and smell the flowers.

Wake up and smell the flowers.

Where have all the Flowers gone?

Where have all the Flowers gone?

Thursday.

So, it was almost 12.30 am before I got to bed last night but I’d worked my way through the worst of the backlog. I was good and stuck to just half an hour of reading before I turned the light out. I’m not sure how long it took to get to sleep but I don’t think it was long.I got up again at 3.47 am and after bundling up in my dressing gown and turning the light on, I wandered to the loo to deal with Niagara Fails. I came back and powered up the computer and opened the mail. Even with what was left of last night’s it didn’t look too bad. I was done before 6.00 am though I created a further problem by refreshing and getting everything you workaholics had done between 3.55 am and 6.00 pm. Take a break why don’t you ! But, a doddle, I cleared that up by 6.50 am . I sat in my office chair and stretched luxuriously before heading for the kitchen. Oh dear, the only sign of life as I put the food in was from Little Al though I did eventually spot Pepper cleverly camouflaged against the bog wood. I stood there talking to any available ears for a while but to no avail. I need to conflab with Mike and see what direction we take. Personally I’m tempted to take either the pump or the bubble bar offline for a while.

I took a foodie tab then followed with the rest of my meds leaving enough milk in my mug for coffee. After a cigarette for timing I put some bread in the grill. As soon as it was ready I set the Tassimo going for my drink and buttered the hot toast. I enjoyed it and took my two after food tabs with the now ready coffee. I took the coffee back to work. I did the few pieces of post that were waiting then signed into my gmail account and started again. When I’d finished around 9.00 am there was time to relax and read a book I’d downloaded from a close friend a couple of weeks ago. It the next part of a fantastic sci-fi book set in the not too distant future. I kept reading and reading, gripped by the storyline  but I had to limit myself if I knew other work was coming in. Reluctantly I put it away. One more session should hopefully see the end of this part and with luck she’ll have written and rewritten the last part. If I keep smiling nicely maybe she’ll send it to me.

I went back to work in an attempt to keep up today as I have no idea when and if Mike is coming. He may have finished with his grandchildren after dropping them at school or it may be he has to pick them up and feed them too as he did last week. It’s no problem to me of course other than not knowing.  There was plenty of work to keep me going until lunchtime break at 11.30 am which rapidly became 11.45 am when I found an interesting post to read. I took a pre foodie tab, made myself some bread and butter then stuck a cottage pie in the micro. While it was doing I turned on TV and saw the last of Judge Judy screaming like a banshee at a defendant at the same time as calling him sir. I find her to be a disgrace to the judges bench but addictive viewing sometimes. As my cottage pie was ready so was I, for Murder She Wrote. It was surprising to see just how old an episode it was. There was quite a youngish version of the lugubrious one from Law and Order (Jerry Orbach), Bradford Dilman, Ernest Borgnine, Levarr Burton without his eye visor and even TV’s Batman Adam West as the murder victim.. Prompt at 1.00 pm  when the murder was solved and I was still awake I washed up and went back to my room. I worked as much as I could until about 2.30 am I started nodding at the desk. I repaired to my living room armchair and slept until 3.15 pm. That left me feeling fit enough to carry on ( Oh how I wish I could ). I carried on until 5.10 pm when I went to watch PYMWYMI.

I was ten minutes from the end of my programme when I got a text from Mike to say he wouldn’t be coming today. His care is still in a garage where it was supposed to be having the seals done to stop leakage from the roof onto one of the front seats depending on which way you turn. He’s had the car 5 months and when he first contacted the garage they agreed it was still under warranty. Today he had a phone call saying the job would be £900, how would he like to pay. Quite quickly he told them he wouldn’t be paying, it’s under warranty, to which they replied “It isn’t.” So it was under warranty on Tuesday but not today. One of the mechanics Mike saw admitted the leak is a fault known to Citroen as well so you’d think the company would be happy to pay for repairs to a known fault on an expensive car. They had allowed Mike to borrow a courtesy car while his was in the shop but are now asking for it to be returned tomorrow and for him either to pay for his repairs or remove his car. I hate businesses like this with no customer services and who are unhelpful in the extreme. The car is not suitable for purpose if you can’t avoid getting wet when out in the rain. On the other hand, Mike’s clogau gold watch broke last week an stopped going.He’s had countless emails from the company to see what he wants to do. He especially liked the watch he had which is now out of stock so they’ve sent a much more expensive watch to him and said he’s welcome to exchange it if he wants should the others ever come back in. They offered a full refund including all postage costs but I think this new watch will please him. They even arranged 24 hour delivery. THAT’S good customer relations.

The back and forth of texts took a long time so after he’d said he’d come tomorrow if he gets any satisfaction from them, I came through to work. Obviously the emails had built up again I just hammered away at them until it was skive time again. No way was I missing my Big Bang. One nice email I had was fromma young friend who told me her Mum’s car is named Sheldon after the Big Bang Theory, oh, she also told me I’m fantastic which was nice to hear without someone tacking ‘For your age’ on the end. Big Bang Theory was brilliant as usual though I did struggle to stay awake. It’s been a long day. I watched another comedy straight afterwards which I also find funny but at 9.30 pm I thought I’d better come back and knuckle down. I worked on emails till 10.30 pm then said enough is enough. Luckily none of you heard me so I was able to come over and start the blog. First day of Spring tomorrow YAY. I hope the sun knows, and all the plants. I think the eclipse is tomorrow too.

Do I get a ride now?

Do I get a ride now?

And this is how a duck sits Mr Squiggle.

And this is how a duck sits Mr Squiggle.

Friday.

The phrase that sprang to mind this morning was Football is a Game of Two Halves.  As I woke up there was a smell of old sheep and the sense of a laugh in the air. I’d gone to bed early last night and had turned my light off at 11.45 pm. When I woke, it was 1.34 am. Even for Somnos and his family that’ quite a sharp reminder of who’s boss. Not even 2 hours. I was sure we were only playing the first half. I’d be tired enough for my chair if not my bed soon enough….wouldn’t I? I’m pretty sure they’re using the carrot and the stick approach with me now only they’ve shortened it to CICK for some reason. Certainly I’d felt the stick part of  CICK at less than 2 hours sleep, so surely there was a carrot in there somewhere. I didn’t need a trip to the waterfall having been there so recently so I just signed straight into my mail. Mmmm, there was a fair bit from last night but hey, I’m here early enough to cope. I saw 5.00 am come and go then suddenly I was coming round from a sea of nothingness with a very sore neck. It was 6.55 am. Somnos had relented and shown me the carrot. Why couldn’t he have relented when I was in comfort somewhere I didn’t know. I was so lucky that what was on screen was read only and not something I could carry on typing and sending out.

I went through to the kitchen. As I turned on the light there was movement in the tank so I rushed to the tank and put the lights on there. Oh joy, one of the hoplos was swimming across the tank as they used to and both Big Al and Little Al came forward for feeding. I was overjoyed. It was then I notives a rather badly decomposed corpse which had appeared from who knows where so I opened the lid. Looking down I saw two more corpses that had appeared. All three appeared to be larger fish and on one I could see the markings of a hoplo, that left the ancistrus and the second synodontis. There may will be three more yet of Morecambe and Wise and one bronze cory. A quick check this morning shows my survivors (fingers crossed) to be Big Al, Little Al, Pepper, one hoplo and one bronze cory. I’m happy to see them moving about normally.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I fed them and went to take my morning tablets the last in the tray and then get the drug drawer out to make up the next week’s supply. By the time I’d done that and made a coffee it was almost time to be waking Mike had he been here. I felt like shouting into the empty room anyway. I don’t know what I’m going to do during the three weeks he’s away in Canada. Maybe I’ll lose the ability to shout, tell lies about the time or about his coffee going cold. For safety’s sake I may have to carry on as though he’s still here of course his score will go up heavily. A=0  C=20 for instance. No alarms, 20 calls. Instead I bypassed his room and carried on to mine to restart work.

At 9.00 am I got washed and dressed and took a walk to Pauline’s for some milk and my lottery. My coordination went to pot as I must have been walking in one direction but looking in another. I almost went down. A poor little taxi  driver here to take Joe to see his wife opened the car door in panic but I recovered myself well and tried to make it look like it was done on purpose. Doesn’t everyone do the Twist when they’re out? Back indoors and the postman came and delivered some Gothic gargoyle midge fragnets which I hope John will like to stick to the posts on his new bed. B the time 11.30 am arrived I was glad of the break and went through to turn TV on in advance of Murder She Wrote. I prepared a quick lunch by doing some bread and butter and putting chips with curry sauce in the microwave. I was done in time for the programme. It was about 10 minutes into the plot when there was a knock at my door. Hellfire, it’s Friday.It was my warden who’d come round to check I was OK but stayed for almost half an hour chatting in general . I may have missed most of it but it was still worth turning on the rest of the show. It was a big mistake however as I lost the last five minutes when I started checking my eyelids from the inside. That check took just over an hour and I didn’t emerge until 2.05 pm. Look at that, up more than 12 hours already though I don’t claim to have been awake that length of time. I got a text from Mike saying he’d be on his way in half an hour so I can see I’ll have a story ahead of me.

I returned to work and was approaching the half past four mark when Mike arrived. Naturally I finished the email I was doing and then went to make him a drink and find out any more in the saga of the car. He’s brought is original car home with him and given them until next week on Wednesday to let him know which path they intend to take.Full repair of the fault at no charge or a court case. He’s quite determined on this and I’m glad since they might not like losing money like this but the problem is theirs based on the now admission that he has been covered by a 12 month warranty, or rather the car has, he’d be lucky to get three. We sat and watched our antique show and then I made something to eat while we quizzed until 7.00 pm. Then it was shower time and I was heartbroken that I had to wash my own hair while he indulged in phone calls. Bloody priorities eh? We quizzed and then quizzed once more before – just a minute, I know someone will say I nodded off for half the last quiz so I’ll admit it now– I decided that I’d better get back to work. There was plenty of mail waiting and plenty more coming in so apart from a break to take my tablets my bum was in my seat. I stopped work on the mail at 11.00 pm to be able to do te blog and I have an idea that by the time I finish this I shall be saying “Blow it, the rest can wait for the morning.”

Saturday.

It was a bust night but I forced myself to stop and go to bed at 12.45 am. I allowed myself just a quarter hour of reading. Despite that and the lack of sleep from yesterday (aw come on, I wasn’t that bad) it was still only 2.46 am today. Still, there’s no point in complaining since certain small gods have selective hearing. Anyway I knew there was a lot of work from yesterday I hadn’t managed to do and believe it or not I also had a special blogpost I wanted to do. Yes, two extra posts in one week, I know, I’m spoiling you aren’t I. ( Quiet at the back! ).It was a very tight squeeze but I managed to do it all before 6.30 am when I went to feed the fish before waking Mike . Now it’s today’s work I have a backlog problem with. HELP!!! The five remaining fish seem to be OK and I’m so relieved about it. I was afraid to think of adding more again. Not that I can afford to add the ones I had before. I took my meds and set the kettle going ready for Mike’s coffee. I prepared the mug for him. Perfectly times the kettle boiled just in time for 7.00 am and Mike’s Alarm could be heard beeping away., not for long though as he was quick to turn it off and roll over. The coffee was carried through and placed on the bedside table accompanied by my Calls of “Coffee’s up bro, and when you’re up you can tell me all about the mucky dream you had that caused you to have such a dirty laugh in your sleep this morning.” The more I spoke, the better my chances of waking him, I hoped, I was rewarded with a series of ,little  grunts that meant nothing.

Once I’d run out of daft ideas I went to take the food waste bin outside and the recycling bags. Much to my amazement ( and disappointment) when I came back in, Mike was up. A grand total of 1 A and 1 C today. Almost unheard of. By the time drinks had been drunk, loos visited and clothes donned we only just made leaving the house by 8.00 am with two minutes to spare. On the journey Mike showed how much he appreciated me getting him up in the morning by having a rock station on the radio playing the most disjointed cacophony of sound possible, in truth even he said he liked it through gritted teeth. I was glad to arrive at the store…until I saw the cash machines were all out of order. It was trying to upset my routine. Mike grinned. We did the shopping fairly quickly and went for a coffee, one of which was free today. From there we rolled on to Flint where we hit Home Bargains and then next door to Jolley’s to see about the price of a water testing kit fr the fishtank. My knees buckled when we saw it as almost £28.00. Luckily the manager said he’d test the water for us before we bought the kit to see if there were problems that had caused the fish to die. That was nice of him. At his moment Mike was caught short and we needed to fly for Temptations. Ceri and Helen were on, and we managed a few pleasant words at least until Mike spoke and lowered the tone completely. He and Cyril another regular were also having a bit of a joke with Ceri. Once he’d eaten his teasted toecake  I asked if we could go home while I checked to see how a leather jacket for John was doing. I’d only need be there a couple of minutes.

The jacket was getting too expensive so we ended up unpacking the bags, taking a sample of fishtank water in an old urine sample bottle I hope I hadn’t used (joke) which Mike made me put in my jacket before we set off for lunch. The Ivy was busy and our seats had gone so we had to use the reserves again. Disgusting. There’s a great big chimney in the way so Mike can’t lech over Angie all the time. Ha, perhaps that’s why she”s given our table away. I took the chocolates to the counter and she said she’d bring the drinks over which i  fact Rob did in the end. Have I mentioned how much I like seeing him now he’s relaxed and accepted the hug situation like everyone else. Not that anyone ever gets forced to hug you understand.Once I’d taken my pre foodie I went and ordered which was a special lamb burger for Mike and a gammon steak for me. Tariq came out and managed a quick hug but he was busy working. He just wouldn’t ignore us. We had the meal, said our goodbyes, funny how many people you get used to seeing regularly, and shot off to Prestatyn for some special batteries for Mike and a pair of stepladders also for Mike, either were a fair swap but the ladders were more useful. Then we had to backtrack to Flint at one point taking to the hills to avoid an accident on the main road that two Police cars were blocking the road for. In Flint w took the water to be tested. Every test came up negative which in some ways was a great relief as it means it isn’t my fault. It has to be the second Pictus Laurel who came in with something. Mke and I went halves on a testing kit, it would have been churlish not to after the manager had gone to so much trouble.

We came home. It was just 4.00 pm. Nine hours since I’d last touched an email. Aaaaarrggh. There were hundreds. I’ll be here till Christmas. I worked until 6.00 pm then went and did some tea. Allowing myself no more than half an hour I came back through to find whatever I’d done had been replaced while I was away. I’d have to forego TV tonight in order to try and get this pile down. I stopped at 11.00 pm to see to the bog. Now 12.05 pm and I’m going back to it.

Bring on the Feast

I’m liking the Feast

Are you sure saying "What a lot of balls is OK Mummy"?

Are you sure saying “What a lot of balls is OK Mummy”?

This one’s for you Ju.     

I wish you all a Wonderful Week filled with Hugs.

 

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Walking On Sunshine Blog Party

Hugh Roberts from  Hugh’s Views and News is hosting a blog hop party.It’s wonderful to be able to invite you all to enjoy the promised sunshine now that Spring has arrived. I was invited to join Sally G Cronin of https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/ but was also given the opportunity to invite my own Special Guest.

Allow me to introduce you to the beautiful Olga Nunez Miret of https://olganm.wordpress.com/ Olga is not just a very talented psychiatrist but is also a hugely talented author and an altogether wonderful person.

Allow me to introduce you to some of Olga’s books.

escaping-psychiatry1

I lovve your cupcakes

twin-evils

family, lust and cameras

the-man-who-never-was-

In introducing this amazing woman who publishes in Spanish as well as English and who translates for others Spanish-English and English-Spanish, I’m trying to spread the love of the writing community. Some authors give so much of their time to help others and to promote others that a little recognition doesn’t come amiss. Believe me when I say both of these wonderful writers fit that category and it would be a delight if you’d check out their blogs and follow them.Though he isn’t a guest on my blog I would also like to mention Chris Graham at http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/ who devotes his time to the promotion of authors and all things writing related. Thanks a Million Chris.

lets-party1

Like everything, this blog hop has a few Rules/Guidelines.

Guidelines

  1. Choose a fellow blogger who you think spreads blog love.
  2. Write a short post about them.
  3. Entitle your post Walking On Sunshine Blog Hop Party (so others can find your post).
  4. Create a pingback to this post, so that the link appears in the comments section, so that other participants can read your post.
  5. If you are not sure how to create a pingback, then copy and paste the link to your post in the comments section below (so that other participants can read your post)

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The Queen’s Envoy

It occurs to me that on occasion I’m supposed to market my books and worse still promote myself. So, I shall make myself a Field Marshall which is about as promoted as I can get. That only leaves me to market the book.

Probably most people would market their first book, the one that started the whole series. I want to have a word about the second book in the series which in an effort to confuse is actually a prequel. It tells the story of the newly titled Lord David before he settled at home to become the unsung hero he actually is playing his part in village life.

In the early days of the Title , David also inherited a job.It didn’t matter that he was already employed as this new job had cachet and also came with an unread “You WILL do this”. And he would. The job was to follow in his cousin’s footsteps as an unlisted, unofficial envoy for HMG (Her Majesty’s Government). It was a great honour of course, especially knowing if you were killed on the job no-one knew you or acknowledged you.

David undergoes a series of tasks for HMG in which he’s seriously out of his depth.He’s also confronted with women, something that’s been a bit of a mystery to him for most of his life. To be honest they scare him, to be more honest his wife Lady J scares him more and if she thinks there’s been any impropriety……………..

Meet Prunella who’s designs on David may not be entirely honorable.

cover

Is it possible that the British stiff upper lip may not be enough to see David through on his missions. Will he in fact survive the visits home? There were some very nice reviews for this book for which I’m extremely grateful plus the usual very bad review which shows you can’t please all of the people all of the time. Check them out for yourself.

Ella Dee had this to say and I never even paid her.

“Had William Shakespeare been alive today and read The Queen’s Envoy, he surely would have written these words about Lord David Prosser… “Be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them”… but as he’s not, it falls to me to do so. Lord David doesn’t fail in any of his missions, including the mission to engage and entertain readers. ”

http://goo.gl/jdqBUR  UK.

http://goo.gl/SrprI3    U.S.

@davidmfprosser

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Laurel Goes, Stan Follows

Sunday 08 Mar 2015

It was 4.13 am today and one of the few times I think I could have got back into bed and slept again. Trouble was, I had no idea how much work had carried over from last night and how much had come in this morning. I knew Mike wanted to go out today and didn’t know how much of the day I’d lose. So, I forced myself out, made the loo trek and came back to turn on. All of a sudden I didn’t regret my decision. Lt night I’d brought the antibiotics into my bedroom so I could remember to take them out with me. It also meant I could take the 6.00 am one without having to break off from work. However when 7.00 an came round I had to break off to feed the fish. Stan seemed a bit agitated when the light went on but I do know many of the cats don’t like too much light. I put it down to that at first. As I put food in I was checking them as they came darting in. I knew the chances of seeing the synodontis were slim and the ancistrus practically nil, but the rest are usually there on a  food run. One face that was missing was Laurel. Looking down the side window I could see her occupying the place Big Al would normally be had she not evicted him. Something didn’t look right but I couldn’t tell until she moved. Her gill was going rapidly as though gasping for air and she seemed to be swimming more on her side than anything. I don’t have an isolation tank where I can monitor her unfortunately and I know it shouldn’t be an air issue as none of the others are suffering and both the air pump and the air curtain are working well. AS you can imagine I wasn’t a happy camper.

I promised myself I’d keep an eye on the situation but ask Mike’s opinion later. I took my meds and made a drink to bring back through. At 8.00 am I was almost up to date and went to sit in the lounge with my eyes closed. They stayed closed until 08.50 am when conscience got the better of me. I emptied the kitchen bin and added the waste bin from my bedroom to it. None of the noise disturbed Mike at all. ( note to self, Must try harder). Then I returned to work and refreshing the page. Ouch !! At 9.55 am I heard the patter of tiny feet. I’d prepared his mug so let him carry on and make himself a drink while I tried to finish. He crept along the hall and then expressed shock when I waved at him as he thought I was sleeping on the job. As if! (Shhhh). A few minutes later I joined him in thee lounge and explained about Laurel. He took a look and agreed with me she wasn’t well. Both of us were reluctant to take action and he told me about a miraculous recovery for one of his fish which gave me some hope. We decided to make no decision until we came home again. By the time he’d drunk his coffee, looked up something online and ODC’d it to death, got dressed and discussed where we were going it was almost 11.30 am. I made it worse as part way to the car I remembered I needed tablets in my pocket and had to go back. Eventually we were on our way to Rhyl.

We had lunch in the Red Cafe again, what Mike calls cheap and cheerful. I was going to have cottage pie again but Mike decided on an all day breakfast and when I saw there was fried bread, a subject that had come up on our journey, I changed my mind. One sausage, 2 bacon, 1 egg, 1 black pudding, mushrooms, 2 fried bread and some beans.  Mike had 2 sausage, 2 bacon, 1 egg, 1 black pudding, mushrooms and 1 of those terrible potato creations you usually get with McD’s. From there we took a trip to our favourite fish shop to see if they had some of the Fish Science granules for Mike ( well, for his fish really). They had everyone but the one he wanted and all in a small tub. I mentioned a fish shop out of town that Ju and I used to visit when we went to Butterfly’s. I’ve only been in that direction once since she died. The plant and fish part has changed tremendously. We had a look at all the tanks and at all the fish before finding the food he wanted plus some he didn’t know he wanted till he saw it. I’m with him on that because I didn’t think I needed any either until my eyes lit on it. Coming out I remembered my antibiotic and luckily Mike had some drink in the car I’d bought for an emergency. We came home. It was almost four o’clock so Mike set off almost straight after a coffee on his journey home. I on the other hand started on my long journey into work. 6 hours away from the screen can create a lot of work and boy had it taken advantage of that.

I worked till 7.00 pm then took a short break for tea and an episode of MASH, then back to it. Mike let me know he’d got home safely and has promised to go to the doctor’s before coming up this week. He goes to Canada in 3 weeks and doesn’t want to take his chest with him. A suitcase maybe…..   It’s been hard going tonight for some reason but I’m still ploughing on. Still, a break to start the new blog has been nice.

Smiley 1

smiley 2

This is especially for Teagan

Monday.

3.59 am today. Somnos could not afford to give me even an extra minute it seems. As someone kindly pointed out yesterday, it seems that the balance is uneven. The less time I get to sleep, the more Mike gets. It’s like Somnos has decreed that there will be 14 hours of sleep allowed in this house, I get 3 and Mike gets 11. I’m going to try an official complaint in case it’s  just Porcinus or Brother Jake being a bit lax. I paid my morning visit to trickle alley then came back and logged onto the computer. I was almost bowled over by the amount of mail left from last night, I needed to get into gear. Having remembered to bring my antibiotics through I didn’t have to stop work at 6.00 am to get one. At 7.00 am though, I had to break off to see to the fish. I was dejected to see Stan now occupying the corner adopted  by Laurel and that he didn’t venture forth for food when I dropped some of the new stuff in, which included some tablets under the Fish Science banner specifically designed as a whole food for bottom feeders. Everyone else went mental when the granules were sprinkled and I was trying to spot where they were all coming from. I had a word or two with Morecambe but could fins no sign of Wise.I did however spot one of the synodontis working upside down on one of the bog wood branches. It took a while of watching to decide whether he was ill or just enjoying his feast. The jury is still out on that one. I have to wonder if there might be a problem with my water.

I took my morning meds then went back to work with a coffee. By 9.15 am I was pretty clear and able to spend a little time on Ancestry.com then at 9.45 am Darren my postie arrived and brought the recycling bags I’d ordered. I now have a blue recycling bag with handles for paper again.I’m sure the spares for plastic and glass will come in again at some stage. I put some washing on which included my bedding from yesterday. I’d made the change before Sleeping Beauty got up and though it was only a single bed I wish I’d waited for some help. I carried on working and it was getting on towards lunchtime when Mike started texting me. He’d driven a long way to make arrangements for is car roof to be sealed as he finds the bucket used for baling out gets in his way. They can’t fit him in and give him a courtesy car until next Tuesday. I got my lunch and returned to work straight afterwards. New texts from Mike to say he’s arranged for a new 5 foot fish tank now to replace his 3 foot in a part-exchange. The Green God raised his ugly mug and I sent him an email of a 8 foot tank I’d found om ebay. I was tempted to say I’d ordered that I was so jealous. Just imagine the new fish he can buy for this one now, and big ones at that. We saw a beautiful synodontis yesterday that made him draw in his breath sharply, and he does like Stan. Actually now I think about it, shopping with him for fish might be as much fun as shopping for myself and much cheaper.

I don’t know what was wrong this afternoon. I alternated between nodding off  and working without ever moving from my chair. There may well be senseless messages floating round the Netiverse as we speak. I hope not though and I think my nod offs were lapses of seconds only. At 4.25 pm I gave up and headed for the TV and my antiques. I managed to see most of it including the vital last few minutes of the competition but it’s more than a little possible that I did eyelid inspection for some part of the events. I made myself a sandwich and had a mousse when the quiz started then sat and watched the rest before washing up. After the next short quiz ( about 30 seconds) I zonked and where I should have returned to work at 6.30 pm found myself waking up at 7.25 pm with just the light from the TV. Naturally I panicked then and came back through. I knew things were bad when I saw my gmail had well over 100 messages waiting, I dreaded seeing the main account. I had to steel myself and look though, as they had to be done. It would have been kinder to poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick. Not having a sharp stick to hand I just had to start work and hope for the best.

I feel as though I’ve been at it for days though in fact it’s only 11.15 pm. I have some more to do before bed but mayhap I’ll have some time in the morning before going out. I’m going to see Yvonne and Reuben though I felt very popular today when MuJo texted to see if I was free tomorrow. I don’t know if they’re free again this week.

You're funny Mummy

You’re funny Mummy

park 4

Tuesday.

Getting up at 3.20 am was almost a pleasure this morning. I’d woken at 1.57 am and thought that was it, but couldn’t force myself out of bed. I’d tried to go back to sleep and obviously succeeded. I just hadn’t wanted to find out it was 2.05 am. Thanks Somnos ! For some reason my bladder was talking to me and it seemed to be saying “Move it” so I did. I wonder if I’m sleep drinking as I didn’t seem to drink more than usual last night. Once the sigh of relief reached my mouth I came back and powered up the computer. OMG ! There are enough emails from last night to sink a battleship.Maybe leaving mail till morning is not a great idea. It took me until 6.03 am to finish just last night’s stuff.

I went through to see to the fish. It was still dark so hall light on, lounge light on, kitchen light on all before tank light on. It was like Blackpool Illuminations. At fist I couldn’t see Stan and my heart sank but I did spot him a bit further away from his corner than usual. I couldn’t tell if he was struggling or not but I didn’t see him come for any food again as I dropped it in. I even opened the whole lid so I could try and drop some daphnia in the water near him. Unfortunately the flow moved it away again before it had chance to sink. I tried one of the new tablets I got for bottom feeders on Sunday. It’s worrying. Also worrying is having Morecambe come to greet me as usual but being unable to find any trace of Wise. We’ll be doing a clean this weekend so I may find how many problems I have then. On the plus side, one of the two synodontis is getting very brave at coming out of it’s shell hidey hole to eat. It’s so pretty with it’s beautiful striped tail even if it looks a bit like a hoplo at the front end. I think I saw the second one too pretending to be an upside down catfish on the bogwood, it may have been the ancistrus though as I couldn’t see the whole body. Big Al is still in thrall to Pepper and Little Al is a playmate for the bronze corys. The plecs are fine, the hoplos are fine which is why I don’t understand the spate of deaths in the tank.

I moved away and took my sprays then got a drink of milk to take the tablets. Enough milk so that there was enough left to make a coffee, which I did and brought it back with me. I got dressed straight away so there wouldn’t be a last minute rush and knowing what coat I’d be wearing tried to make sure I had everything I needed in it. Then I returned to work and was up to date for 7.15 am. No way I was refreshing at that time so I just gathered my bag for Yvonne and made sure it was handy by the front door. Coat on, bedroom light off, crutches on, bag in hand I left and locked the door at 7.30 am. I may have been a couple of minutes earlier than usual as the bus did not pick me up on the way to the stop so I had the weight of Yvonne’s bag the whole way ( Thanks a lot daughter). When I got to the bus stop and was trying to get my breath back I found I’d forgotten my bus pass. There was no way I’d have time to go back and get it and I didn’t want to catch the next bus in an hour. I’d just have to put up with paying the fare. The bus arrived. I asked for a return and he told me how much, I thought he’s misheard me. But no, when I checked it was right. How incredibly cheap the fare into England was. I know if it was the train I’d still be trying to get my breath back. I haven’t figured out yet if it’s a Welsh company looking after it’s own or an English company desperate to get us over there. I still don’t think they’ve repealed the law that says if a Welshman is found within the bounds of Chester at dusk any English bowman may shoot him so I can make my own guess about who’s company it is. lol.

Yvonne and I were meeting somewhere different today, a shopping area just outside the City and known as the Greyhound Park. I remembered to get off the bus early or I’d have had a long walk back. I waited around a shop called Dunelm until I saw Yvonne approach. I knew the moment Reuben had seen me as the hoarse ‘Pops’ was shouted and he was pointing gleefully like a demented conductor. It was just a couple of minutes until the shop opened so I made sure my bag went round the handle of Reuben’s pushchair and we got our greetings out of the way before the serious business of shopping got underway. Inside, the first thing we did was look round all the towels to see if the had dark green flannels for Mike.Typically they had every dark colour imaginable except green. That out of the way we went up in the lift to the cafe and got some breakfast and a drink.Yvonne is a big bully and wouldn’t let me pay again. I had a pot of tea for a change and it was nice then I turned my back to Reuben and ate a bacon bap, turning back in his direction and smiling once I finished it. He was having something with fruit in it toasted which reminded us of bara brith. I don’t know if he knew what I’d done but he kicked my knee. I jumped in surprise which was a reaction he loved so he did it again, and again, and again. Yvonne was saying “Poor Pops, give him a love better and say sorry”. Reuben just kicked again and cackled. Yes, I’m sure he knew what I’d done.

After the drinks we wandered round the rest of the store. Some beautiful and some tempting things but when we left all I’d spend was 50p on two items. I had to take some stick off Yvonne for that and my reputation suffered. We headed off for another shop but didn’t stay long as we’d said we could come back to it id we had time. I was surprised to see it’s closing it’s doors on 15 th as it’s a major store. Yvonne had wanted the craft store so that’s where we went next and she showed me how to shop. The master is supplanted by the pupil. There was a Mothercare next door with a great offer on a car seat for Roobs but ‘Madam’ wouldn’t let me buy it because she wouldn’t be able to carry it home- remember this.We hit another major store next just to look at gifts really and I decided I’d better take a later bus than intended. Yvonne told me that even as I said it a sweat broke out on my forehead at the thought of the mail piling up. It was alright for her, she was on a day off. Having bought nothing there we went back to the one we’d looked in so we could use the loos and have a drink in the cafe upstairs. This time I settled for a glass of iced lemonade which both Reuben and I enjoyed. I was very quick to answer the demand of “More” as my kneecap was quite close. Eventually it was time to go and catch my bus so they walked me back to my stop, presumably to make sure I left the Country. I was humiliated that the only spending I’d done had been the solitary 50p and tried to hide such a small bag from prying eyes. When my bus came I clambered aboard and with a last wave set off home.

When I got in it didn’t take me long to unpack so I was quickly able to start work.  I did a few messages then sent Yvonne a text to say I was home safely again and thanks for a nice outing. She said she’s only just got back in as they’d gone back and bought the car seat that if you remember she couldn’t get home. She’d got it home. I really did work hard and by 4.00 pm felt I could leave the rest till later so I went and started making a meal to eat while my antiques show was on. I really enjoyed it, braised steak, colcannon potatoes and veg. I enjoyed the programme too and stayed awake till the very end. Once it was over I washed up and sat down to watch the quiz . I didn’t get to see much before sleep took over. I was away with the fairies from about 5.30 pm until 6.25 pm.  I wasn’t interested in the news and came back through again. Obviously things had grown a bit from where I left them.  I just kept plugging away at it until 10.30pm when I broke off to do the blog. I’ve decided that midnight is my cut off point no matter what tonight so I needed the blog out of the way first. It’s 11.20 pm now and as soon as the pictures and music are on I’m back to the mail again.

Not sure who's going to draw first.

Not sure who’s going to draw first.

Ride my see saw.

Ride my see saw.

Wednesday.

Well I didn’t quite manage the midnight cut-off last night but at least my fairy godmother  didn’t make me lose a shoe, or even a glass slipper, on the way. No knocks at the door today then. I’m not quite sure what happened in bed either ( get your head out of the gutter you) since I read till 1.00 am then slept right through till 5.48 am without interruption. Maybe Somnos cut me a bit of slack last night or chances are he was off somewhere and left his brothers in charge again. It’s obvious Brother Jake had something to occupy his time because he certainly wasn’t listening when I asked for the Euro lottery last night. I paid my usual visit to the loo then came back and logged on. At 6.00 am I took my antibiotic, it’s the last day today, and carried on my last nights mail before starting today’s at just 6.20 am. I think I’m making good progress.

At 7.00 am it was time for the fish. It’s so light in the mornings now that I could walk through the house without lights but when I reached the kitchen I turned them on to see what I was doing properly. When I turned the tank light on I was half pleased to see that  Stan has moved back to his original corner. He still doesn’t appear on top form though and I can’t seem to tempt him to eat. Of course he may prefer to do that in private.I put some food in and got them moving as I wanted to count the fish as I saw them. There’s never a problem with the plecs, they’re all but indestructable . Little Al and his bronze friends seem to be in good form and were darting about but Big Al, well I think I caught Pepper in the act of making whoopee with Al and they didn’t mind the audience. I won’t know for sure until I see some eggs and I’ll have to study up on those. There’s no sign of the Ancistrus but that means nothing still as hey’re known for burrowing themselves in. I have to look for some tail waving tht tells me it’s been out to eat. I could see both hoplos though I feared one was dead as it was lying in a corner near Stan and being very still I was almost on the point of putting the net in for him whn Big Al barged him which made him move quite quickly out of the way. Very sensible too as you wouldn’t want to be barged twice by Big Al. That left the synodontis and Morecambe and Wise. I only expected to be lucky enough to see one synodontis but they were both out together this morning eating from underneath the bogwood. I only saw Morecambe today again and I’m afraid this weekend’s tank clean is going to leave me with the remnants of Wise somewhere. I know that sometimes I’m going to lose fish to age and maybe disease but it certainly isn’t easy.

With the fish fed, I could now take my meds. Since Dil and Matt are due tonight around teatime, I thought I’d replace that meal with breakfast, so had the pre-food one before taking all the others.Then naturally I had a cigarette for perfect timing and had a small bowl of cereal. I feel no guilt that I used real sugar on it. Once I’d eaten that I used the extra milk in the bowl to take the two post food tablets. That done I was free to wash up, make my coffee and go back to work. I stayed with it until 9.20 am then dressed and paid a visit to Pauline’s for some staples, the food ones not the metal ones. Coming back I saw Gwynneth at her door offering a cup of tea to the gardener. We chatted for a minute about the cold morning and how Spring will be very welcome. I came home unpacked and set to work yet again. I just kept going at it steadily all morning, never rushing but trying hard to keep up to date which meant frequent refreshing. At 11.40 am I decided to give it a rest and concentrate on my lunch. Despite having meat in the fridge I wanted something easy and light so relied on one of my earlier purchases from Pauline’s, the chips in curry sauce. I went through to take my foodie tablet and while I was waiting until it was time to cook, did myself some bread and butter. When I actually put the microwave on I stood watching the fish.Pepper was swimming around with a smirk and amazingly I could see both hoplos and both synodontis at the same time. What I couldn’t see at first was Stan. When I saw him I was really upset. He was swimming to the surface as though to get air just like Laurel had and he didn’t seem too able to remain near the surface. I hadn’t seen him because he was behind a plant. As he sank again the flow of water ffrom the pump pushed him back towards his old corner where he carried on trying but from a position when he was upright. He’s not at all well.

I had my lunch with the TV on but couldn’t tell you what I was watching, or not watching as the case may be. As far as you can adore a fish, I adore Stan, he reminds me of happier times. Well, he reminds me of the first Stan Ju and I had anyway. Which is not to say I don’t care for this Stan in his own right. Mike is due to be bringing a replacement for Laurel tomorrow and I don’t know whether to stop him or just hope I’ve been unlucky. When I looked in on him after lunch he was still breathing and based on a real wish that he’ll recover I don’t want to remove him from the tank and put him to sleep in the freezer. I returned to work. During the nearly and hour and a half away the mail had managed to build up again. Before I started though, I wanted to run some Yahtzee score cards off ready for tonight. With a bit of vavavoom I managed to get 4 stuck to an A4 sheet and print some off. Then thanks to the remnants of Ju’s crafting stuff I was able to guillotine  and trim them. I retained the sheet for the future. Then to work. I know I made a start and thought I was doing well but suddenly at some point I was doing nothing, except maybe snore. It was 4.40 pm before I woke and judging by the mail I’d been gone since at least 3.00 pm. There was nothing I could do, my programme was on and the boys will be here before long.

My programme ended at 5.15 pm and I went through to the kitchen to get a drink. I was just going to look in the tank when I heard an Hellooo, they’d arrived early. I turned the tank light off early and made drinks for Dil and Matt. The sound on my phone meant Lee wasn’t coming. I took the drinks through and they were absorbed in the quiz Pointless so as usual we sat and watched till it was over. As soon as TV was turned off Dil got the table out and I gathered the Yahtzee and the cards. Matt was on his usual form at Yahtzee winning 3 of the 6 hands. Amazingly I won 2 and Dil who actually managed to get 3 Yahtzees in one game, won just the one. In the Nomination Whist I was the runaway winner almost reaching the 200 points and in Chase the Lady, I showed them a clean pair of heels thanks to landing them both with 150 points early on. Thinking I was on a winning streak we started with Crazy 8’s but Dil was in no mood to take prisoners and was the clear winner. We’d timed it well and  just reached a good point for them to leave. I waved them off and noted how cold it was outside. By the time I’d tidied up and washed the pots it was almost time for the last antibiotic. I took that and my evening meds as well then started work. My afternoon sleep had created a huge backlog which my playing time hadn’t helped. At 10.45 pm I started to do the blog so that was out of the way and as soon as I finish (11.35 pm) I’m back to the mail.

Thursday.

After quite a late night, or is that early morning?  I’d hoped for a lie -in today. I can hear the laughter now, echoing round my bedroom as I got up. I’d had my favour yesterday and wasn’t due two in a row. It was 3.43 am and though I was my usual bright eyes and bushy tailed self  I knew I’d suffer later. As us my wont, or rather need, I turned on the bedroom light and made my way to the loo and attempted to keep the noise down by not hitting the water in the bowl. I’m not sure why since I was the only one I could possible wake up and I was supposedly already there. I returned to my room and logged on to my email. Not as many as I expected left from last night but plenty from this morning when ‘The Colonies’ were awake.

Some of the pieces of post took some time to read. That’s not a complaint, indeed they were very interesting and in one case very humorous, but it did slow the work up somewhat. When I checked round the 6.00 am mark I was barely halfway through. I decided to leave the fish and my meds till 7.00 am when I’d feel I was making real progress and wouldn’t mind returning to it afterwards. Actually I think I was looking for reasons not to go near the tank for fear of what I’d find. But at 7.05 am I took the bull by the horns and went. I turned the kitchen light on but left the tank light off while I raided the lid to scan he surface in case Stan was floating there. He wasn’t so I turned the tank light on to the delight of the bronze corys and Little Al. Everyone else behaved with a little decorum as befits the loss of a tankmate. Loss really was the operative word too as I can’t find Stan anywhere. Granted I haven’t searched the plants but the tank is due to be cleaned on Saturday and I don’t want to disturb them twice. Another thing that puzzles me is for days I’ve been saying I can’t find Wise. Morecambe being red and Wise blue. I swear whenever I’ve seen  a Thai fighter it’s been red for about a week. This morning I saw a blue fighter so is it Morecambe I lost, have I been hallucinating over the colour I’ve seen or have I got the wrong names attached to the wrong colour. Hopefully Mike’ memory will be a bit better than mine when he comes. I fed the fish, watched them all fly in to get some, then left them to it.

I took a foodie tablet first this morning so I could have breakfast. Then it was the turn of my sprays and my other tablets. Once I’d smoked a cigarette for timing I put bread in the toaster and made myself a coffee, or rather the machine did it for me. I had my toast and didn’t enjoy a mouthful then took my two after meal torpedoes with my coffee and wandered through to the bedroom to work. There were a few more emails to ass for the nearly an hour I’d been out, I must have spent longer with the fish than I thought. By 9.45 am I’d caught up and turned to my second account which fortunately had only a dozen I needed to see to. The postman came and amongst the junk was a letter from a specialist hospital service saying they wanted to let a specialist screening practitioner take a look at my bowel. Well, I think that’s very sweet but I hardly know them. I know it’a about 2 years ago they found blood from there, as I was the one with the dubious pleasure of sending them samples of something you’d normally be arrested for sending someone. They don’t take no for an answer these people.

Late morning and my eyes were beginning to droop a bit but I persevered until 11.40 m when I stopped for lunch.It was very enjoyable as was the episode of Murder She Wrote that I watched. Surprisingly enough, I was still awake at the end. I washed the pots and came through again. I saw Mike on Skype and told him not to bother bringing a fish as I’m sure Laurel’s death was not related to the shop she came from, I suspect it’s the hardness of my water or something and don’t want to be responsible for another death. I shall be content with what I have. Mike told me he’d be late coming tonight as he’s picking the grandkids up from school and staying with them till their Dad gets home. Unusual as he usually finished after the morning school run. He told me he’s got his new 5 foot tank (I hate him) but isn’t swapping the fish over until next week. By 2.30 pm I was fairly up to date again and went to the lounge intending to allow myself 40 winks. That lasted until I sat down and there was a knock on the door. As cagily as ever I opened it and found my warden there with another one whose face I recognised from the dim and distant. I ushered them inside with a “Quick, the creditors might be around”, and say them in the lounge. My usual warden explained that this was the lady who’d be taking over her patch in April but would no longer be able to call on a Friday and it would have to be the first half of the week. I just asked the original if I’d be able to win all the money back she’s taken from me to catch their reaction and they both laughed. Not a chance seemed to be the answer. The newbie asked if I’d been out at all today, ‘Hello, I’m still in pyjamas and dressing gown’ I just said “No”. So. I’ll be seeing the new one at the beginning of April.

When they left it didn’t seem worthwhile trying to get a kip as I’d be finishing at 4.30 pm for my programme anyway, so I just carried on working and refreshed the mailboxes.  Just before I knocked off for entertainment I had a text from MuJo. I was fully expecting them to see if I am free tomorrow but unfortunately it was to ask if I knew Terry Pratchett had died.  I didn’t and it came as a major shock. I know he had alzheimers but he was only 3 years older than me, still a relatively young man. He was a huge talent and I’m sure was responsible for getting many people reading again. Children to follow the fun and adults to catch the many sharp comments in there. I loved his books and am only missing about 3 that have been borrowed at one time or another.

Terry Pratchett

R.I.P Sir Terry Pratchett 1948-2015

I watched my antiques programme- and stayed awake

I watched the quiz Pointless – and nodded off halfway through until about 6.10 pm. I watched the latter half of another quiz and came back through. I haven’t heard any more from Mike about his ETA  but maybe he’s staying down there for a meal,which makes sense as he’s probably cooking it. There was a fair bit of work to be done so I buckled down to it. Lots to be read of course. Mike strolled in just before 9.00 pm so I broke off from work to make him a coffee and have a little chat about his week. Soon enough I left him to the TV and a serial he’s following and came back through. I managed to get up to date temporarily with the mail and got straight on with the blog so I’m not under pressure after 11.00 pm. I can go back and finish at my leisure then.

Out for a walk

Out for a walk

Stopping to smell the flowers

Stopping to smell the flowers

Friday.

Well, I managed an early night last night in as much as I turned my light off at 12.30 am instead of 1.00 am. I was tired. I’m starting to get the idea that the small gods have started a Ministry of Sleep somewhere and staffed it with insomniacs who are jealous of the sleeping classes and are trying to Nationalise Sleep as either an industry or a leisure activity. On one side you mustn’t take too much sleep as you need to show solidarity with your brothers in the Ministry and on the other side too much leisure makes you weak so Up the Proletariat ! In the meantime I was up at 4.06 am which means a maximum of three and a half hours and probably a smiley face on my records in the Ministry. It’s my guess that all the small gods will try to modernise by creating their own little Ministries which will each have a Mandarin overseeing them.( They heard of Whitehall Mandarins and thought they’d get the real thing).  They obviously won’t go as far as elections as you don’t want to be too modern too soon do you? But I can see a Ministry of time spent in the loo on the horizon and definitely a Ministry of  fruit/sweet games for phones and tablets as I’m pretty sure they invest heavily in gaming technology.

Anyhoo, risking the wrath of the other Ministry I paid a visit to the loo. How hard it’s going to be to explain that at my age it’s a stop-start process where you may still be having a whiz ten minutes after you thought you’d finished and zipped yourself back in. It’s a game of patience in a morning. Completely sure I was safe I came back and signed on. I got started on mail from last night that took me until 5.50 am . I’d completely forgotten it was a Friday ( let alone Friday 13th) when I decided to carry on and work until 7.00 am. When the time rolled round it was down mouse and off to feed the fish. I couldn’t do a head count as half weren’t showing themselves so I just dropped some food in and hoped for the best. Then I saw a flash of orange and looked round, I’m sure it was Morecambe and yet I’ll swear that recently I’ve seen the blue of Wise just not both at the same time. I wonder if one is now playing both parts to save me yet more heartache. Orange going, blue coming. I moved over to take my meds. That’s when I realised it’s Friday and I was about to take my last dose. The boxes need filling again and a new prescription request need taking in on Monday. It took forever as usual and I didn’t get to make my coffee until 7.45 am.

I started back to work by refreshing my mail box, always one of those actions you know you shouldn’t have taken the moment you take it. I thought as Mike is picking my niece up at the airport tonight he’ll be at his Dad’s longer so I’d let him sleep until 9.00 am. I almost had a heart attack and proved the Ministry of Whiz wrong when the cave man came into my room at 8.40 am under his own steam and without alarms. I went back through to make him a coffee. At 10.00 am I started putting my shoes on to go to Pauline’s and Mike gathered together his  ‘at and coat to head off. We parted ways at the front door. At Pauline’s I bought some micro chips and a box of the chips with curry sauce I enjoy. I bought some sweets and my lottery ticket which if any small gods are listening I have high hopes for for tonight!!!!!!!!  When I cam back of course all was quiet again. I unpacked and started work again. At 11.50 am I stopped intending to have lunch but remembered that the warden would be here today. Should I move the sign that says I’m out? No, I suppose not, she’s a pleasant lady and only has 2 weeks to go now on this round. It was almost speak of the Devil as there was a knock at the door and there she was. The warden I mean, not the Devil. She came in and we had a chat for half an hour which was nice then she left to go elsewhere. I was able to take my foodie tab and get some lunch.  There was a parade in Londinium where Prince Charles was taking the salute with his sons. I watched that for a while until a shortened version of Bargain Hunt came on. I watched than, washed the pots and went back to work at 1.00 pm.By 2.30 pm my eyelids were drooping and I gave in. I fell asleep in my chair in the lounge until 15.55 pm. Kicking myself on the rump proved quite hard but I managed it. There was just time for a half hours work before giving up to watch PYMWYMI final day of the week.

I caught my programme, and the next. Instead of turning over for a quiz I turned for Big Bang Theory and started having a laugh. I’m not sure how long I laughed for but I’m flippin’ sure I didn’t see above half of the thing before being attacked by a  flight of low flying Zzzzzz’s. I reckon I was battling them for an hour before coming out of the haze in the middle of an episode of the soap Hollyoaks. I rapidly turned off before anyone heard the theme tune . It was time to take a shower, yes, the month was up. As soon as I’d finished that and recovered I thought I’d better make up for the extra time I’d pinched by putting a bit of work in. I came through and for the sake of decency put some clothes on and refreshed my post boxes. Ouch!! Still, no use complaining. I just plodded on. There were some very interesting pieces to read though, not least from my friend Kate in Gibraltar who told of a near miss by a British sub and a Spanish boat inside Gibraltar territorial waters. The Spanish Navy wouldn’t have been so quick to try and create an incident if one of their boats ended up on the sea bed. She also had a saucy story to tell about a local and some viagra.  https://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/

The artist.

The artist.

The work of art

The work of art

About 9.30 pm I nipped to the kitchen to make sure there was water in the kettle for Mike’s drink when he gets in. I think Lisa’s plane is due in about 7.30 pm and they expect to be half an hour or so deplaning. The airport is perhaps an hour or so away from where she’s going which is in turn about half an our away from here, so given his driving he should have been here quarter of an hour ago. Of course he might not be using the DeLaurean today in which case I’ll see him when I see him..        He arrived back at 9.45 pm so I broke off from everything again to make a drink and then to sit and listen to his day as he asked about mine. It was about 10.30 pm when I remembered I still hadn’t finished and came back to get rid of some more though at 11.00 pm I had to stop that too in order to do the blog. It’s nigh on midnight now and I think the rest of the post will have to wait till morning.

Saturday.

I had major problems getting to sleep last night. I’d turned the light out at 1.00 pm but I couldn’t find a comfortable position nor a really cool spot for my foot at the edge of the bed. Evan hanging the leg out didn’t work. At some point I did nod off only to wake up at 1.55 am.  In despair I went to my chair in the lounge and tried. From what I heard this morning, Mike got up at 2.15 am after dreaming about a bear roaring and then actually waking up after realising he really had heard a bear roar. In an act of bravery and to save my life ( he tells me) he ventured through to the lounge and found I was the source of the growling. Lying in my chair , mouth wide open, scaring the sheep home. Relieved , he went back to bed and to sleep. I woke up at 2.37 am and that was it. As a certain character at Warner Bros. would say, “That’s all Folks.”

I came back through to the bedroom bypassing the toilet as my bladder hadn’t had chance to get the urge yet. I logged onto the computer and checked my lottery tickets from lat night, 2 winners gasp, £2.30 and £5. The private jet would likely be waiting another week then. I carried on to my mailbox managing to avoid the impulse to commit suppuku. There was plenty there to keep me going. By 6.30 am I was in the clear and yawning went through to the kitchen to see to the fish. I’m not sure I can be civil about them any more what with the sexual antics of Big Al and Pepper working their way through the Karma Sutra and Little Al seems to be eyeing up the bronze corys. I’m getting flashed of red or flashes of blue leaving me wondering if my eyes are playing tricks and unsure whether Morecambe and Wise or Morecambe or Wise survive. I’m seeing the synodontis out in the open behaving like upside down catfish chomping on the algae on the bog wood but at least I don’t have to worry about the hoplos or any of the plecs. The ancistrus is a real mystery since I’m never sure whether it’s alive or dead and buried since burying itself is what it does best which to be fair saves on funeral expenses. Sometimes though there’s a flash of tail which might just be a synodontis or is it……….?

Once they were happy I moved away and took my meds followed by making myself a coffee. There was no time to bring it back to the bedroom as it was almost time for Mike’s alarm. That’s all I needed. I put the kettle on. His Alarm went off at 7.00 am and the kettle boiled moments later so I took a coffee through and Called him gently by yelling his COFFEE WAS THERE, ON THE SIDE, JUST HERE BRO, DON’T LET IT GET COLD. I got the usual Neanderthal acknowledgements. I then took my coffee through and started to get dressed. At quarter past the Alarm went off a second time and was turned off a second time. Allowing a couple more minutes I went to the bedroom door and Called again, “DON’T FORGET YOUR COFFEE, IT’S GOING COLD”. I finished putting my shoes on and drinking my coffee and as I was about to go through I heard Mike make his way to the lounge. It was a miraculous 2 A, 2 C day. He even had the brass neck to suggest I’d have something to report to you tonight now as though it was something he’s won an award for.

While Mike drank his coffee I set about emptying bins and taking them outside along with the recycling bags. I wasn’t putting the new paper recycling bag out until I’d bought a thick black marker pen to put my address on or as Mike suggested some stick on numbers. Once done I washed my hands and came to sit down with Mike for a few minutes. I knew if I stared at him long enough he’d go and get dressed. He did.  We must have left at near enough 8.00 am as it was a quarter past when we drew into the supermarket car park. I went to the cash machine and then posted a birthday card before we went in. The first job was to select some flowers for Ju and this week I chose some tulips and some flag Iris. At home the pink carnations recently mentioned to Yvonne by a masseuse in a startling message from Ju were still doing well while all about them died. After that we whizzed round and got the food I needed in record time as we were both very dry. Mike warned the woman on the till to speak quietly to me if the bill was over £20 as I scare easy. She laughed and took great delight in whispering £57 as I staggered and asked if I”d get change from a £10 note. A coffee was next on the bill.

From there we went to Flint to get a few items before heading into Temptations to see Ceri and Kyle. We had the usual. They were really busy this morning so there wasn’t too great a chance to talk and surprisingly the owners Julie and her husband were there. They’d just returned from a month away on tour with the boys Richard and Adam. Having known Adam for a while she was telling me all about the new album they’re doing next year for Mother’s  Day and some new appearances this year including a mini Welsh Tour. They obviously have a great following here. As we left there I suggested w walk to one last shop as for a couple of says I’d had images of Mike getting a particular type of jacket he’s always loved. Oddly enough they didn’t have it but they did have just the jacket he needed to take on holiday with him to Canada which was down from over £100 all the way to £12 today. We shot off then to Holywell to a jeweller’s to get a battery put in his watch which has been stopping all morning, but only when he wears it. That done we went to lunch.

The Ivy was really busy and it was a case of shouting hello to staff as they shot past serving people. We managed to find a seat- not ours and settle down. I took chocolates to the counter and young Rob asked if we wanted the usual. He started making them. I popped to the loo and the drinks were being delivered as I came out. That meant I could take my pre-food tablet and decide what to eat. Mike settled on a fishburger in a bun while I had double bacon sandwiches, in a near aberration I almost ordered an omelette. Having given Angie the order Mike and I stepped out for a cigarette. Back inside we say Tariq and got a swift hug, Shella and got a quick hello and even Shirley who said Hi in passing. There were also other regulars in who nodded or spoke as they went past. Lunch over we didn’t hang about but headed for home.

Once the shopping was unpacked and away I asked Mike to nip to Bert’s for me and collect a parcel the postman had left. When he got back I asked him to open it. He revealed a brown leather jacket in an antiqued style. “That’s nice” he said. I got him to try it on.Sleeves a bit long but turned up they were fine. I think he twigged I’d ordered it for him at that point. It was a lot better than playing about passing a £20 note back and forth between us each saying we didn’t want it. He left it behind last week so I went at it a different way. Coat off, sleeves rolled up we set to cleaning the fish tank. One of the first things to turn up was the body of poor Stan, a bit nibbled round the edges. I was really sad. On a slightly bright side Mike swore he saw both Morecambe and Wise once the plants were disturbed. For the first time he also got to see one of the synodontis. With sponge changes, water changes and cleaning the glass it all took an age. It was 4.00 pm before I was able to come and start the mail. I had 173 in the gmail account but more than that in the normal one though some would be duplicated. I was allowed to work until 6.00 pm then went to sit with Mike. At some stage after tea I fell asleep and it was small periods of wakefulness until 8.30 pm when I came back through.

It’s been a long day and it seems to have been a long evening too. Work, work, work. What a life.

Mother's Day flowers for Ju from Yvonne

Mother’s Day flowers for Ju from Yvonne

Mother's day flowers for Ju from Yvonne

Mother’s day flowers for Ju from Yvonne

The Intelligensia

 

I wish you all a Wonderful New Week. Love n’ Hugs.

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The Strangest Thing & Laurel Arrives

Sunday 1st March 2013. Dydd Dewi Sant.

The strangest thing. I was shocked to hear Mike turn his TV off early last night and when I nipped to the loo at 11.30 pm he was already asleep. Oddly enough though, that’s not the strangest thing. I got to bed last night at a not unreasonable time for a Saturday. I even managed a read. I woke up this morning at 6.16 am BUT, I wasn’t in bed when I woke. I was sitting in my chair at the computer. I had my dressing gown on and my cigarettes from beside the bed were in the pocket. I obviously already got up once but I have no idea of the time and I don’t remember doing it. Time to cue music from the twilight zone. One thing I was sure of, I must have been there a while as I had a right pain in the neck, other than the one in the next bedroom- to name no names. Naturally panic set in as to how much mail there was so my first job was to sign in and go on the attack. It wasn’t quite as bad as feared but probably better than I deserved. My mood lightened a lot as I read some of the comments on the blog and I was delighted to find my music choices had been a hit this week. Much more mention than usual and one request this week too.

At 8.00 am I took a break. My back was aching, my neck was aching and no doubt the fish were aching to be fed. This new formula I’m using is a big hit and the minute they see it sinking they zoom in on it. I’ve seen January sales more controlled than breakfast time. I swear if this lot knew how to use brollies they be using them to shove the others out of the way. The minute it’s all gone though, normal service is resumed. Gently swimming around the tank trying to pretend no-one else exists and trying to avoid bumping in to them. Big Al, Little Al and Pepper have retired to their corner, the plecs are hanging off the bog wood again and Stan is trying to keep out of the light under the pipework of the air curtain. I went over to take my meds and once I’d finished make a coffee. Before leaving the kitchen I set the kettle to boil in case Mike got up since he’d slept for almost nine hours at that point. I carried on with the post. About 9.30 am I stopped long enough to get washed and dressed and thought Mike must have had a rough night to be still asleep at that time.

I opened my second email account and started dealing with that which kept me well occupied. Mike had had a little coughing fit so I thought it might be because he was waking up. How he hadn’t done so with my coughing I don’t know. Finally at 10.20 am I made a coffee and took it through. He had to be roused twice to be told it was there but at 10.20 am his mouth must be like a cactus field. I left him to it and just went through to join him when I heard his go to the lounge at 10.30 am. A little concerned I asked how his night had been. “Fine ” he answered “I feel quite bright this morning.” ( I didn’t ask him how many 2’s are in 10 however). Eleven hours asleep, it’s not natural. He did say he’s had a disturbing dream though. I went through to his bedroom with the fly spray to see if the tsetse fly would react to it. It’s the only possible reason I can imagine someone sleeping so long. I couldn’t find any. He asked what I was doing when I just checked his hair when I went back through. “Oh just giving you a pat on the head” I told him “I’m delighted you’ve woken in a good mood.” ( In fact I’m delighted you’ve woken at all).  He broached the subject of what we’d do this morning and I was tempted to say “What morning?” but stuck with “No plans Michael.” He said he needed some ink for his printer and I suggested a few places we could go for that. As it happened I could do with one colour myself.

It was midday before we left the house to go for lunch or in his case Breakfast and we settled on The Bells so we could go into Prestatyn afterwards. I had a very nice roast beef dinner and piled on the leeks for St David’s Day. I think Mike had pork, gammon and beef ( and he asked for a sausage). It was very nice but a little noisy today. Once we’d eaten we stepped outside in the pouring rain and tried to reach the car without drowning. Mike pointed out it was -5 centigrade outside, it has been a sunny -2 centigrade when we went in. He drove us to Tesco in Prestatyn when he made me feel guilty that his ink was £5.00 a pack dearer than if we’d gone in the other direction towards Flint. I did get mine though it was £2.01 more than Flint but I didn’t want an I told you so. Almost as bad was reminding him we were due a free coffee in M & S which we went for today and he didn’t enjoy it whereas if we’d gone to Flint there’s Temptations. Oops.It was an uh oh moment in the car when he said we’d not had a very successful expedition today. We came home.

It was 3.15 pm when we got home and by 3.30 pm I was waving Mike off at the door . That left me free to start work. I didn’t count numbers, just started from the bottom and worked my way up. At 5.30 pm I stopped to have some tea ( only so I could take my tablets you understand, not ‘cos I’m a pig) and I stayed there until 8.00 pm after getting caught up in a BBC series The Indian Doctor. I think this must be a second series as I didn’t recognise the episode or some of the characters. I even got the idea they were playing some of it or laughs today. So, at 8.00 pm I returned here again and stayed. By 10.30 pm I’d made real headway even after refreshing twice so that at 10.55 om I was able to stop and deal with the blog. I was half tempted to put my National Anthem on the blog in honour of the day but instead I’m going to put on two records tonight. The first one is in honour of my sweet friend Suzanne who writes as   http://apuginthekitchen.com/ but beware she has food showing on her blog without warning to those on diets.

Alphaville- Forever Young.

The second is one I was reminded of today that brought back great memories.

Chairmen of the Board- Give me Just a Little More Time.

Monday.

I was in bed a little after midnight and read till 1.00 pm. I was thinking of cuffing myself to the bedframe to prevent any more unexplained departures from my bed but I realised in time just what remarks would follow if anyone thought I had handcuffs handy. And that’s only remarks from Mike, heaven alone knows what you lot would come up with. As it happens it wasn’t needed since I was up at 3.22 am anyway. It was a bit nippy on my trip to the loo that I diverted to put the heating up a bit. I didn’t want icicles. I started on the post which after the first half a dozen proved to be fairly easy going. Everything was going swimmingly when I stopped at 7.00 am to feed the fish. The majority of them showed their lack of manners with all their barging yet I thought how polite, Stan is holding back a bit. That was with the special mix I’d put in. But as a treat I opened some daphnia and dropped it in. Stan didn’t hold back any more and was in the middle of the mix like grease off a shovel. ( The money on that charm school was wasted, sob). Happy they were all getting a fair share and that violence hadn’t erupted I left them to it. As I turned away I noticed even one of the very shy synodontis was out there chomping.

I’d started to take my meds when I decided to have breakfast this morning. I added a pre-food tab to the mix. When I put the coffee machine on I got a red light. Thinking it meant a cleaning was needed I started the process, or I tried. It wouldn’t go. In frustration I removed the cleaning disk and cleaned the water tank out and replaced it. I turned it off ready to pack it away. Somehow, my hand caught the switch and turned it on again, now the red was in a smaller area than before. The handbook said it indicated the water tank was empty. I filled it again and everything was ready to go again. I was very puzzled but the distraction had been long enough for my tablet to do whatever it’s supposed to so I had some cereal. Once I’d eaten I took the post-food tabs ,washed up and brought my coffee through. I’d spent so long fish watching, coffee machine cleaning and filling my face it was now after 8.00 am. I carried on with the mail and once the main one was empty, started on the second account. It had gone 10.30 am and I wasn’t sure whether to refresh the mail or not. For some reason I was reminded that last Friday the warden had asked how many fish were in the tank. A quick calculation and I’d said 14. I suddenly remembered this morning I hadn’t taken into account Morecambe and Wise. I went through and did a quick check. There were 16. I created a list on the computer of each type and their names and posted a little photograph next to each of them so they could be identified.  I have 1 Ancestrus plec, 2 Albino Cory (Big Al & Little Al), 2 Bronze Cory, 2 Hoplosternum, I Pepper Cory (Pepper),                1  Pimelodus Pictus (Stan), 3 Plecostomus, 2 Siamese Fighters (Morecambe & Wise), 2 Synodontis. Maybe room for one or two more yet.

It rapidly became lunchtime. I was heading to the kitchen when the idiot window cleaner arrived and slammed the small window which made me jump and set the alarm off so I thought the burglars were back. I changed my trousers and went to get lunch. It was beef stew with a dumpling today. I saw Murder she Wrote and managed to stay awake the whole time, then I washed the pot and returned to work. There were a couple of times falling asleep was a serious option but I didn’t want a neck like yesterday and I did want to be free for 4.30 pm. I managed it but I’d been so slow and deliberate ( no incomprehensible messages to Australia) that my mailbag was still bulging a little when I quit. I saw my Antiques show in full, I saw my quiz in part. I know we’d reached the last round but then I zonked and didn’t come round again until,40 minutes later. I came back through.

It’s been a constant slog since then. As I answer mail, fresh mail arrives so the numbers aren’t going down. But tonight I started the blog early so I wasn’t rushed and that will give me chance to return for one last burst before falling into bed. My day out tomorrow and I need to be fresh to fight for my bacon sandwich.                            I hope your week is going well so far

Tuesday.

It was a 3.47 am start today and I got up with a degree of reluctance. I studied for it at Night School and was awarded it today. It was Ffflipping Ffffreezing out there and all the hairs on my toes had gone brittle and snapped off as I put my slippers on. Cold is the new depilation it seems. I walked towards the loo but veered off at the last minute to close the small window in the lounge which was sending enough of a breeze towards my legs it made the lounge pants blow up like a fat suit. I’m guessing it’s Mike just said they always look like that. I returned to the loo and had fun with the intermittent flow again. Then I returned to the bedroom and wrapped myself in my thick dressing gown, sat in my chair and logged on. There was quite a bit of mail but that was OK, I wasn’t going anywhere.

At 6.00 am I went through to feed the fish, they were lucky I wasn’t chipping them out this morning. Again this new food had them all in a frenzy, it was hard getting the right tail to go with the right body they moved so fast. For Stan’s sake I added the last of the sachet of daphnia from yesterday and he’s proved he can move when he wants some. Yet again the braver of the two synodontis came out to eat though the move didn’t last for long. He soon went back into his shell. I don’t see the ancistrus eat but I see the occasional waggle of a tail from underneath the other shell. Stan finished chasing food and retired to his corner and a bit of shade from the lights. Seeing they were all happy I could turn away and deal with my meds the make myself a coffee to go back to work with. I sent Yvonne a text to let her know I wouldn’t be over as I  didn’t want to expose my chest to the cold. By 9.00 am I was almost there but I was feeling tired and my eye were starting to go. I went through and turned TV on and tried to nod in my chair. I managed some but I was back into it by 10.00 am.

Since I haven’t done much today and I’m not feeling great at the moment I’m going to skip most of the day until 4.45 pm when Ugo came round with Reuben. I met them at the door and as Reuben saw me he grinned and said Pops is a voice that sounds like a lions roar trying to do Don Corleone. It’s a real growl. I took him into the lounge and removed his coat. Big mistake, without the weight of sleeves those arms were everywhere. He had remotes galore and TV was going on and off  as were candles, record players and anything else remotely electrical. Boxes were upended of coins, coasters became stones to be skimmed across the floor. Ugo went out for something to eat as it was always our Tuesday treat, and left me in charge. . I distracted Reuben by taking him to the fish tank.There seemed to be only Wise in evidence and either the rest were hiding or Wise had eaten them all..

Ugo returned with food and tried to feed Roobs with fish and chips. I was persuaded to part with some of my sausage (Indian giver) but it was refused, I couldn’t even have it back because it had gone on the plate with the fish. Roobs was more interested in play than in eating and there had to be a couple of stern looks when things were thrown about. That didn’t work, it just brought on the siren and the waterworks, especially after he threw something like a coaster and I relieved him of his favourite remote. It didn’t go down well. I did Ugo some pudding which I think  Reuben helped with a little but he was asking me for chocolate so I had to give him a couple of Cadbury’s fingers. Sorry Matt, they were from your stash.. Soon enough it was time for them to go. I gave Reuben the giraffe I’d got for him and it seemed to be a popular choice. I went to the door with them and all seemed OK’ish until Ugo told Roobs to say goodbye to pops. then his heart broke. So did mine. I came back in and watched  TV quiz before coming through. I soon started to feel unwell and had to gallop to the loo to throw up. As this may be the start of ‘There may be trouble ahead’ I’m closing now and will write again tomorrow if I feel up to it.

Wednesday.

I actually managed to get to bed at 11.30 pm last night though I did read until 12.45 am. I got up at 1.35 am when I thought a trip to the loo was in order but bed still sort of beckoned. I had a cigarette and a small drink and climbed back into bed where I stayed until 5.51 am. I thought that was pretty good. Of course I paid for it when I opened my emails and had to start by working on all the ones I’d missed last night. It was obvious they’d made a point of not missing me. There wee a few Goodnight tweets I had no choice but to answer Good Morning too just in case they thought I was just getting to bed.

At least I felt better this morning apart from the cough which is still annoying me. I’m using the couch medicine which helps a bit but which leaves me drowsy. Not as drowsy as when I was taking it by the tablespoon rather than the teaspoon. Still,I should be OK since as far as I know I’m not pregnant ( except for the odd pause) and certainly not breast feeding since I can’t find a willing woman. At 7.00 am I broke away from messages to feed the fish. It was quite light outside but I still needed the kitchen light and the tank light. There wasn’t a deal of movement except from the bronzes. Big Al, Little Al and Pepper were in the front left corner and Stan was in what would be the top right corner if it hadn’t been occupied by the internal filter. Everything else was keeping a low profile. When Iopened the food hatch they all seemed to go on high alert. Like sniffer dogs with  noses in the air, waiting for the command. Putting some ofthe pellets in was enough to starta race for the spot which Pepper won so he was able to catch them floating down. The plecs moved in, M & W were there as were the hoplos. The usual ones were missing, Ancistrus, synodontis and Stan. I put some of the scientific food and Stan moved himself to grab some. The Synodontis stuck their heads out far enough to grab some and retreat again. No sign of ancistrus and his waggling tail yet though. Satisfied they’d ll get something I moved away.

I had my sprays then took a food tablet before having all the others.Time for a cigarette. I did a couple of quick jobs while smoking so that as soon as the cigarette was finished I was able to put two crumpets in the toaster.When they were ready I set my coffee machine to produce a masterpiece then added butter and strawberry ham to the crumpets and ate them. It was nearing 8.00 am when I finished and I could see youngsters pass by on their way to school. I really didn’t envy them as it was freezing. No rain and the sun was shining but it was a vicious cold. I took my drink through to the bedroom then got dressed and carried on with the mail  By 9.20 am I’d done the one mail box but I decided to pay a visit to Pauline’s to get some shopping and also to collect £10 from the Thunderball on Saturday. Coming back, I wrote a couple of letters, tried to activate my Ancestry.co.uk with the code given for Ancestry.com and when I couldn’t, fired off my second email to them in a week. This has happened every year for the last 3 years. My account with UK ends in March but every Christmas I’m bought a new subscription by a friend in the U.S Obviously he buys it from Ancestry,com while I use .co.uk. But it’s the same firm so why is it so difficult to tack the new subscription on to the end of my old one? For the last few years someone has eventually figured a way and done it for me. This year I’m told to activate the .com and then say I want to use UK in one of the boxes. I’ve done this but all that’s happened is I now have an active account from last December going on with no family trees while I have a recently ended .co.uk account not going anywhere with all my family trees on it.

I had a skype request for contact from someone in Akron Ohio, who is only 29 but single, honest and ‘really’ interested in ‘connecting’ with me. I noticed a few other request from young women who want contact who are prepared to be a nit naughty. See me run ! I can’t remember what to do with an old woman never mind a young one. Lunch time arrived and I had a shepherd’s pie with some bread and butter. I watched another Murder She Wrote but I confess my eyes kept going to the window as I was expecting a book delivery today. At 1.00 pm I returned to my computer and laid into the messages. I know I was tired and was fighting not to fall asleep at the desk. It didn’t work. I woke to a knock at the door but I didn’t realise that’s what it was until I came round properly. It must have been a deeper sleep than I thought. Expecting the book I opened the door to find my friend from the chemists there, it was a surprise as the young lady had delivered my drugs yesterday. I thanked him and closed the door. When I checked it was antibiotics. I knew who’d arranged that little miracle then and sent an email thanking her straight away. I did ask how she managed it without me having gone to the surgery though. The only answer I got was “It’s the way I roll.”I guess she spoke to the nurse who runs the chest clinic there because the only problem s these are the first stage, the weakest antibiotics that usually do nothing for me and I end up having to have three courses each progressively stronger or, as has happened before, getting admitted to hospital. Pneumonia does leave the chest weaker. Anyway I took one there and then.

I worked through to 4.25 pm and couldn’t quite finish but I thought I’s done OK. I went through to the kitchen and got some cake for my tea and then sat and watched PYMWYMI and the beginning of Pointless. Lee sent a text to say he couldn’t make it but Dil and Matt turned up at 5.30 pm. They were watching Pointless as I went to make their drinks. Once the TV went off the games commenced. We started with Yahtzee and needless to say it was more slaughter than game. Matt won 4 of the 6 rounds and Dil won 2. I just couldn’t get a look in. Next up was Nomination at which I’m quite skilled, or so I thought. I started very badly but the vicious taunts made me spur myself into making a comeback and taking the lead only to lose it again in the last 3 hands and see the game go to Dil. We wee going for cards again but Matt fancied Balderdash. I’m sure he hoped I’d get the modern one out but quick as a flash I grabbed the original. Right, this had to be it, I’m a freakin’ genius at lying. If you havben’t seen he game, you only need to get 18 spaces to win. Matt was on 2 , Dil was on 4 and I was on 12 withing the space of a few minutes. But it doesn’t take much…… Dil asked a question, I chose Matt’s answer and he chose min so we both moved on a space, Dil moved on 4 spaces because no-one chose the right answer. It happened twice more on his go and he also scored by guessing right on our goes. Matt was on about 8 when Dill and I were on 15. I moved to 17 by getting one right. Last question, Matt chooses my answer and I choose his again. That means I move the one point I need but Dil moved 4 because the right one wasn’t chosen. A draw, a travesty. They were able to leave sniggring. I think I’ll hold back on cigarettes and biscuits next week until I see how nice Matt is . One snigger and I won’t get them out.

They left and I had a quick tidy and washed the pots. There was a text to say MuJo are coming tomorrow so the backlog will be bad again. Perhaps I’d better not go to bed tonight at all. It’s already well gone midnight and I know I’m not up to date yet.

Thursday.

As expected it was a late one. I was actually glad to climb into bed and read for a while. Without the distraction of my book I find my brain continues to work on computer related things and I might just get back out and start again. Anyhoo, I slept and it was 5.02 am when I got up. I swung my legs out of bed and put my slippers on, added my dressing gown and hobbled to the loo. Mainly because the slippers were on the wrong feet, not that there’s an option as they’re the only feet I have. I found myself discombobulated. I returned from the loo, sat at my desk and corrected my mistake. I set the computer to warm up and wrapped a scarf round the monitor. As soon as the glow appeared I logged into my email and set to work. Some of the work was automatic and I found my brain wandering but don’t worry, I keep it on a short leash. It puzzles me that I’ve had a spate of young ladies wanting to connect on Skype many of them messaging me with the request and offering far more details that would be expected from just a connection. I always wonder where they find my name and what they expect. I shook myself to get my concentration back while I dealt with the latest fraud from Burkino Faso. I think I’ve dealt with most of the population of that place now.

At 7.00 am I had a break while I went through to wish the fish good morning and offer them breakfast. Big Al and Pepper came gliding towards me with Little Al in tow very much reminding me of the bridal couple and a page boy. The hoplos just seemed to be enjoying the morning swimming up to the surface and down and I was puzzled for a moment when I thought I saw another hoplo until I realised one of the synodontis was being brave again though it didn’t last for long as it made a bolt for home as soon as one of the tiny bronze corys approached. The bronzes are just oblivious to everything. I couldn’t see the other synodontis except perhaps a whisker quivering under the bridge. There was no sign of the ancestrus whose tail is usually all I see. I could see the three plecs and they seemed fine leaning against the bog wood. Morecambe and Wise were swimming near the filter at the top of the tank but I knew they were just waiting, Stan was in his favourite corner away from the glare of the lights and didn’t he look glorious with the moustache rippling in the water. Reminiscent of the old TV show Whiplash, he seems to have perfect control of it. I opened the hatch and the tension rose palpably though they all pretended nonchalance . I dropped food in and there was just a blur of motion in front of me. Within seconds it had settled to munching and I went to get a block of bloodworm from the freezer for dessert.

As the fish were settled I concentrated on myself and saw to my meds before making a coffee to take back with me. I sorted my clothes for the day, got washed and dressed and was ready for anything…mainly a sit down with my coffee. I worked until about 9.30 am and then knowing it was unlikely MuJo would be there at that time I went out to Pauline’s for cigarettes and my lottery. I came back wondering if the postman would be here today with my book. I did a little more work and then unexpectedly MuJo arrived at 10.15 am and I had to finish so I could see to drinks, or as it turned out drink since Muriel didn’t want one. She passed me a bag with a shirt they’d bought me which was really nice and they wouldn’t accept they shouldn’t have done. We sat and chatted until 11.15 am and then expecting a discussion on where we’d eat I was surprised to find they’d made the decision already. We headed off out of Holywell to a place called the Dragon’s Rest between Caerwys and Lloc just off the expressway. Muriel ordered lunch after telling John to make sure I didn’t move and try to pay the bill. We sat and waited for drinks when the waitress came to tell them lamb was off the menu. John changed to beef with me and Muriel ended up with soup. The drinks came, John and I took our tablets then the meal arrived. John and I were both disappointed to find the meat seemed to be of the boil in the bag variety. Thin slices that were quite chewy. I think we were sorry we hadn’t had the soup. John had an ice cream, Mu had a thick milkshake while I went out for a cigarette.

We next drove back to Lloc and turned towards Trelawnyd where we went to Jackson’s the Garden and Gift Centre.  We had a nice wander looking at some beautiful gifts and some nice ladieswear they’d added before I took them to the new cafe and treated us all to coffee. I got John some fruit cake and Mu some egg custard which looked good. I swear she put at least 6 sugars in her coffee. I can’t understand why she’s not the size of a house . Eventually it was time to return home, so back to Lloc, along to Holywell and down. It was about 3.00 pm then and Mike had sent a message earlier to say he was on the way with an ‘Ollie’…..I think not. I judged it to be a 4.15 arrival. They left at just gone 4.00 pm and Mike did arrive almost on time, passing me a box as he came in. I took the lid off, removed some newspaper and there he/she was. Much paler than Stan and a little smaller. Definitely not an Ollie to my mind so I’ve decided on Laurel which I can cut to Laurie if needs be. I put the open bag inside the lip of the tank for the first 20 mins adjustment then went to watch PYMWYMI with Mike.At the 20 minute mark we added some tank water to the bag and left it for the next bit. As one programme ended and the next was due I went and released Laurel into the tank. WHOOSH, he was away. I don’t know whether it was fear, excitement or curiosity that caused it but he was everywhere. Even the livelier fish looked a bit bug-eyed with surprise. For a moment he came over and settled with Stan which was a good sign but then off again.

I made Mike and I something to eat, or more accurately, I made myself something and directed him towards the food and let him make his own. To prevent an argument I placed the money for Laurel and for the book I was buying off him, on his suitcase, and said nothing. After tea I fell asleep in my chair and when I woke up it was 7.35 pm and Mike was asleep. I crept away to do a little work. When I went back through he was just waking. We watched DIY SOS until 9.00 pm then I couldn’t avoid work any longer and came back through to stay. We’re back at midnight and yes, I still haven’t finished. I need to decide whether to do a little more after the blog or to leave it till the morning. Tonight’s music is by special request of Mike who asked me to put this on. Requests Welcome.

Friday.

3.12 am today.The memory foam cushion on the chair hasn’t had time to resume it’ s shape from the last visit yet. I remember getting out of bed and nipping to the loo. I don’t remember opening the computer and signing in though. There was lots of stuff from yesterday to work through and t was 5.35 am before I managed to clear the last of it. There wasn’t long to start on today’s mail before it was time to depart for the kitchen. I took my antibiotic so it didn’t get forgotten but left the other meds until I’d seen t the fish. Stan and Laurel must have bickered because they’re in opposing corners of the tank. That alone can’t have made Big Al, Little Al and Pepper happy as Laurel has adopted their corner. Those three are swimming round together with Big Al looking like he really has the hump.  I’m hiding round the end of the tank till he’s passed. Morecambe and Wise are watching me with grins on their faces, I don’t want to know their thoughts. Everyone else is making a great point of minding their own business.  In fact, if they could whistle innocently, they would. I opened the slot and fed them some FishScience and then half a sachet of Daphnia. That brought Stan out of his corner for breakfast but maybe Laurel is on a diet. While they were all cramming food in heir faces I left them to it.

I quickly took my meds and prepared my mug for a coffee as my next job is usually a longish one, filling my drug trays again. I got the drawer from the front room and brought it through then changed any empty boxes for the full ones I’d ordered on Monday. Then I started filling the trays. I knew I needn’t order any drugs this week so didn’t need the prescription request handy. I’ve got it down to a fine art now ordering a month’s worth half one week and half 2 weeks later. Once I’d done and taken the drawer back I got rid of all the strips I’d emptied and also pit the empty boxes in for recycling. Hallelujah, it was time for coffee at last. Almost 7.00 am. I made the drink, noticing I’d need to refill the pods soon, and took it back through to my bedroom. It’s been cough, cough, cough all morning, I’m surprised I haven’t woken Mike up (not). I need lubrication and the cough medicine ran out last night so I hope the coffee will do. I worked on until 8.30 am. Mike had said last night that 8.30 – 8.45 am would be fine as he wasn’t in a rush. A polite way of saying “Don’t disturb me at 8.oo am” He made me laugh by adding I could wake him between those times if he didn’t get up under his own steam. So, it was 8.40 am when I woke him and fair play he got up then without any alarms or second calls. Trouble was it took him til 9.50 am to go out. I was just nodding in my chair in the lounge when he came to say goodbye.

I was forced back to work by my conscience cracking the whip. I’d just got into a nice rhythm when some post came through the front door and there was a knock. It was Darren with a parcel. When I got back in the house with everything I found the second book on catfish had arrived and also the leather jacket. To be honest the jacket was even nicer than it looked on screen though it looked dark enough to be black indoors. I tried it on over my dressing gown and it seemed to fit well but tomorrow I’ll try it with a shirt and cardigan. John asked me yesterday to try and find him a brown jacket too but so far no luck. Which just reminded me that I was supposed to check on some I was looking at around 6.30 pm and 8.30 pm. I missed them both, some friends you are letting them slip past me like that. I worked till 11.30 am then stopped for lunch. I’d just finished th main bit about 12.15 pm when I saw the warden and knew she was heading here. I opened the front door for her then excused myself to wash my hands. She was sitting talking to me and telling me that changes are underfoot again. She job shares a week with someone and they alternate, Mon, Tues, Wed one week and Thurs, Fri the next. Her bosses in their wisdom have decided to end that arrangement. They’re going to have to work static days every week and are being allocated new areas of their own. When they’re off on holiday they will not be covered and residents won’t get a visit. They can however be covered for sickness. There will be a new person allocated to this area who doesn’t work Thurs, Fridays which means I either do without a visit or have to change the day she can come. I think I’ll choose to do without so I don’t have to learn to talk to someone new.

Once she’d gone I turned to the TV for a while before going back to work. When I did go it had mounted up again. I was suddenly very tired. Then I was suddenly very awake as my cigarette burnt my fingers. I threw it in the air, then as I realised what had happened tried to catch it again and get it into the ash tray before it ended up behind the computer somewhere. I’m glad to say I succeeded at the coat of very little skin. From thereon in I concentrated on the mail and didn’t smoke unless I was fully compost mental. I was up to date at 4.20 pm and felt I deserved a skive so went through ready for my programme at 4.30 pm. I was really enjoying it and watched all the purchases then watched them make the private sales but by the tine the auction arrived I’d gone. I stayed gone right through most of the next 45 minutes too and woke only in the dying minutes  of a quiz. I realised Mike wasn’t home yet so I wouldn’t be taunted. As 6.00 pm arrived I went to take a pre-food tablet and have a little chat to the fish before I turned their light out. Mike arrived back at 6.10 pm and said he was surprised I wasn’t asleep. “As if !” I said, and as he asked how the antique show had ended I cut him off by saying I needed to eat and did he want something. “I’ll have the same as you” he said “what are you having?”    “I’m having a syrup sponge with custard” I told him.  “In that case can I have a sandwich” he asked, which he followed up with sponge and custard anyway.

As usual I stayed the Friday night course, quiz, shower and hair wash, quizzes and then as a treat Big Bang Theory. Ten minutes before the end there were adverts one of which was for a pizza . Jokingly I said to Mike “Just ring for a takeaway pizza will you”. He laughed and said he’d been thinking the self same thing but was I serious. That became an I am if you are scenario until he got out a brochure that was in one of the papers and rang. Big Bang finished and I came through to start work. Twenty minutes later a flippin’ huge pizza arrived EACH!!! I started to eat mine while I was working so my abject apologies if anyone got a message with grease stains. As it happened both of us had eyes bigger than our belly and only managed half, so  guess what’s for lunch tomorrow. Old sarky chops was celebrating my entry into the 21st Century as I admitted this is the first time I’ve ever ordered a takeaway pizza. So, he’s doing a catch up run of all the episodes of ‘100’ he’s missed and I’m wondering If I’ll ever get him up in the morning. I’m just working away at the mail now the blog is done again.

Saturday.

Not quite as late as I’d feared last night as I was done by 12.30 am, of course I still needed a read to redirect my brain. I got up at 3.32 am and after my visit to the loo started by checking the lottery, someone in Portugal won the £72 million so that’s my hopes of a private jet dashed for a while again. It was while I was concentrating on my post afterwards I heard a strange noise like the clink of crockery. My clock said 4.00 am . Surely burglars didn’t visit at this time and in this weather? It blowing a gale out there and I know my wheelie bin took a trip during the night. I took a walk through the house and saw the kitchen light was on. There was Mike looking for a soft drink. Having his eyes open might have helped in the search. He has no idea of the time but was being annoyed by a tickle in the throat. I promise it wasn’t my hands around his neck.

At 6.00 am I saw to the fish and then to my meds, including the antibiotic I seem to have missed twice yesterday. I took a drink back to my room and carried on. By 6.50 am I was actually up to date and retraced my steps to the kitchen to prepare Mike’s mug and put the kettle on. As his alarm went off for the first time I let him know his coffee was there. He ignored us both. I dealt with the recycling waste and then once I’d washed my hands reminded Mike not to forget his coffee. He said he wouldn’t. Five minutes later his second alarm went which he also ignored. Once I was sure he wasn’t moving I went back through and asked if he’d forgotten his coffee to which he replied he had. I suggested he sit up instead of snuggling down again and he said that was a good idea as he proceeded to snuggle down again. I left it to 7.30 pm and tried again as I hadn’t heard a third alarm and guessed he’d been aware enough to turn it off. He’s guaranteed just a 2 shout on Alarms now but is so far at 4 Calls, something of a new record. The last shout did the trick though as he swung his legs out of bed like there was a fire, perhaps because I mentioned there might be whereas what I’d really said very quietly was ” Someone needs to light a FIRE under you.” He was galvanised into action. Straight into the lounge to light a cigarette. It would be a while before the next movements after the brain had caught up with the body and unfortunately the brain was still in his bedroom. I just caught up on a few more messages then went to sit with him in the lounge. The eyes were beginning to focus. Eventually he went to get dressed and amazingly we left the house at 8.05 am.

When we drew into the Supermarket I went straight to the cash machine while Mike went to get a trolley. As he approached me I heard a groan. I knew it wasn’t is corns so I could only assume he’d seen the SALE sign that had caught my eyes when we arrived. He can’t moan as I told him there might be coats and lo and behold there were. But, just one he liked and that had enough pockets. It wasn’t actually his size but I told him to try and it fitted and was comfortable. I found two tops for Reuben so we were both happy. Inside the store we got some carnations for Ju then concentrated on the shopping. It didn’t take a great deal of time but I was parched when we’d finished so we had a coffee. On the way home we stopped at Pets at Home to see if they sold the fish food that’s proving such a hit. They don’t but they had 4 very young rats in that were so pretty just like my Bernie and they didn’t run and hide as we stood by the cage talking to them. HE wouldn’t let me get them so I sulked all the way to Flint. Once we were there and parked up we headed for ‘Homies’ as Mike wanted another couple of over the door towel rails and we both needed more cough medicine. We had a wander into Jolley’s to price up new fish tanks the price of about £450 for a 4 foot one nearly made my eardrums explode. There were no exceptional fish in so we walked over to Temptations and took the girls ( and Kyle ) their chocolates. We had a coffee and naturally Mike had his teasted toecake. It was fairly busy so not much teasing of Ceri today.

Time was getting on and we decided to go for lunch. It was probably about 1.00 pm when we arrived at The Ivy which was also fairly busy though our seats were free today. Tariq leaned over the counter for a hug. Angie came for a kiss and even young Rob came up and hugged me today. If only I could get out into the wide world and get people hugging. We managed a couple of short natters with Tariq  before and after our lunches and then it was time to leave. We were home for 3.00 pm. We unpacked and put away the shopping then I came in here and started work. I left Mike with football but at some stage he came through to speak to me and he caught me having just nodded off. I was suddenly attentive again. There was a wonderful surprise when my friend Sally had featured me and my second book on her blog I was quite blown away by some of the comments. I’d just reached about 2.00 pm mail by 6.30 pm, when it was time to go through and give Mike some company. I stayed in there until 9.00 pm when it was time to attack again. Even now at this stage there’s still a long way to go so some will have to wait until tomorrow.

parciau 10 USE

parciau 14 use

I hope you all have a wonderful New Week. Hugs.

 

 

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