The Great Potato Escape & The Cleaner Starts….and Finishes?

Sunday 27th Sept 2015.

My light was off at 12.30 am and I was ready to sleep. It was a pain to be up again at 1.04 am though after a trip to the loo I went straight back to sleep until 4.06 am.Then it was definitely time to get up to start dealing with mail. I paid another visit to the loo first then powered up and signed in. It only took until 5.30 am to clear the talktalk mail and then till 6.15 am to clear the gmail box.Next I spent a little time answering comments on the blog before disappearing for my meds at 6.55 am. Meds all done I brought my coffee back and did some more emails then checked on ebay and put a bid in on a black homburg dating from about 1910. About 9.00 am I went to open Joey’s cage and got the cold shoulder even though I sat chatting to him. Scratching his itches seemed more important and I suppose I can sympathise with that. I went back through at 9.30 am to check comments on the blog and heard Mike get up at 9.45 am- Unaided ! He’s currently taking tablets designed to curb the urge to smoke. You take them for a month . For the first couple of weeks you take them and smoke normally, then the dosage changes. Today he seems to be smoking much less than usual and certainly much less than me where we would normally keep pace with each other. Maybe I should ask for some.( Don’t even think it). We talked for a while then he went to do the vase for Ju’s flowers and I started to give Joey more millet and another seed bell. Then I had to sweep the floor around the cage.

At 10.30 I was back on the computer and keeping an eye on the hat I was bidding on. At ten seconds before the end I increased my bid and was winning but at 5 seconds someone gazumped me by £1. I was as sick as a parrot even though I do it myself. The hat was just my size. To make me feel better Mike got dressed. ( believe me it’s always better to see him dressed) and we went to lunch. For some reason we decided to try Misty Waters and we haven’t been here since Ju died I don’t think. They always seemed to have spectacularly great meals or as bad as they come. I’m pretty sure ownership might have changed and there’s a new chef. The meal was great. I had roast beef and Mike had half a lamb. The quantities were good too, the only trouble was the potatoes seemed to have knife resistant skin. One of my roasties shot of the plate when I tried to cut it. It bounced off my lap and onto the floor. It almost happened again with my small boiled one. Mike thought it hilarious and knew he was safe because he’s slathered his meal with mint sauce which I  despise with a passion.He suggested mine were the leaders of the escape committee.  After the meal we started towards home but broke the journey to go to a supermarket. It didn’t take long to see we wanted nothing so we came home. Mike shot off to see his Dad and I came in to speak to Joey and to catch up on mail yet again.

At 5.00 pm I broke off to have some tea. Some rhubarb crumble I must have accidentally forgotten to send back with Michael. It would never last till I see him on Thursday evening. I had it with custard and not to rub salt in the wound but it was fantastic. After washing the evidence I sat with a film on, nattering to Joey every time he came out to do a circuit of the room. That meant I talked most of the way through my own film. It was quite funny as he stayed in his cage during the adverts. At 9.30 pm I abandoned another film starring Adam Sandler whom I never really seem to have got on with. If Mike had been here it would have stayed on for sure as Jennifer Aniston was in it with him. At least it gave me chance to come and clear more mail and respond to comments on the blog…. one of which by my lovely friend Teagan sent me hotfoot to her blog where she’d made the most kind comments about me, and others had joined in. I’m still glowing now. I would have been going to her blog anyway for my weekly helping of her serial which keeps me on the edge of my seat. Once the mail was clear I made sure to close down ebay for the night to avoid further distraction, more late nights and a further emptying of the bank account. That done I was able to start the blog safe in the knowledge I’d be in bed before midnight.

Monday 28th.

If you heard a strangled scream about 12.38 am BST this morning I apologise. It was me waking up about five minutes after I’d gone to sleep and finding out I needed the loo. And yes, I did go before I turned the light off. I was much happier second time round at 2.47 am as I knew I’d be able to see the green cheese that’s the moon a lot closer and the partial eclipse. Hmmm, it didn’t look very green to me but it did look awfully close and the effect of the partial eclipse was wonderful. Very ethereal, it was worth standing out in the cold in my dressing gown for. Yes, the old jokes are the best….this morning I opened the door in my dressing gown. Why have you got a door in your dressing gown? I’d been to the loo when I got up and come back to log on and start my mail before venturing out. I made a belated wish when I came back in since I forgot when I saw it all. Back inside the house I carried on with my post and with the comments on my blog.People are far kinder than I have any right to expect. My music choices seem to be hitting the spot for some of you. I just hope the memories they bring are all positive.

At 5.50 am I went through to the kitchen for my meds. I had breakfast so I took my pre-foodie, stuck bread in the toaster, had my meds and then a cigarette as a timer so the toast would be cold, then slathered in butter I had it. Wonderful. About 6.15 am I came back to check on further messages, cleared them and headed straight to ebay to see what I’ve got coming up today. A hat, not sure, a broach, don’t really need it now, a pair of trousers, Oh yes, I need those and an antique Victorian embroidered smoking hat, no question I need this. There’s also a bulk buy of watches would be great for Temptations if I can get them reasonably enough. Fingers crossed. Just as well my private pension kicked in today. Approaching 7.00 am I opened Joey’s cage door so he could fly free whenever he was happy with the light. I thought about putting the washing on then put it off as MuJo are coming today and I hate going out while the drier is still going. Instead I turned the TV on and sat down in the lounge with ‘3rd Rock from the Sun’. At 8.15 am I went to get dressed so that I could take my prescription request to the chemist at 9.00 am.

When I went out some kind person has kindly let their dog foul the tunnel connecting the bungalows to the main road. It was either like an Army assault course trying to avoid the pieces scattered about or like Rudolf Nureyev doing a series of spins across the stage on one toe. I made it and wondered whether to take the long way round on the way back. I knew I’d have to sweep the tunnel anyway. After I’d dropped the prescription request off I did come back the same way and after doing my pasodoble I got my brush out and swept the mess into the garden verge. My postie gave me a surprise by coming early this morning. Another sign-for package and I wasn’t sure what it was going to be as I’d forgotten a piece of jewellery I’d won at the end of last week. I checked it out and came to do feedback. It’s possible I may have spent a minute or two more on there. I needed to go to the kitchen to wash my breakfast post and prepare drinks for MuJo. I’d no sooner got in there than I saw them passing the window. Just 10.30 am a bit earlier than usual. Since I haven’t seen them for three weeks we had plenty to chat about though and Joey entertained them with an aerial display.

We left the house at 11.30 am and I hadn’t seen Val by then. I hoped she wouldn’t think anything was wrong. Up in town John visited his charity shops then we went to the Bells (not the Bells of St Mary’s) for lunch. I had some braised steal with boiled potatoes and they both had a roast pork dinner. After lunch we went to the new Homies shop in Holywell and it was great, bigger even than my favourite shop in Flint. Then a card shop and back to the car to head for Flint.First Mu wanted ALDI which was fine and we picked up what she needed before heading for Temptations. I’d bought the girl’s chocolates in Holywell so we could go straight into Temptations and order. Sian served me and then a few minutes later I saw Ceri and got a wave. There were a couple more shops to visit before we headed off again. Back in the direction of Holywell again so Muriel could visit LIDL for flowers and loo rolls. My loo rolls were sold out so she couldn’t get those. We went home where I made John a cup of tea to take his next tablets with. They left around 5.00 pm. I went to talk to Joey and got a rollocking again.

I had some tea then did some work until it was time for one of my auctions at 7.37 pm. I won that one. Being up to date I went to sit in the lounge and watch a comedy with Joey performing his acrobatics again. I remained there until 9.30 pm when I was due to check another lot but I decided against bidding as the price had gone up so much. I have a few tomorrow with luck so I was able to start the blog at almost 10.00 pm and with luck will get another early night.

ice cream 2

ice cream 3

Tuesday 29th.

Light off around 12.15 am and I was ready to sleep. I got up at 3.24 am and knew I’d been dreaming about having an argument with somebody.Since I can’t remember who it was in order to avoid it I’ve decided to go into isolation and avoid everyone today. I shall therefore be locking myself in the loo from about 7.00 am so I can’t start with Joey. Today’s blog may therefore be even more boring than usual if that’s possible. My first job of the morning after he initial visit to the loo was to check the bank. After I was satisfied an expected receipt was there I was able to start on the mail boxes. Both done and dusted by 5.00 am. That meant I was able to put the washing on as I’m not visiting Chester today, I have a cold I don’t want to pass on. I was also able to start some cleaning. Joey feigned sleep so he didn’t have to help but he always thinks he does his share by making the mess in the first place. I keep telling him not to spit but he gets seed husks everywhere.

I did my cleaning, I did my washing ( the machine got stuck on the drying cycle, the stuff was almost rigid when I realised). There was nothing interesting in the post and I fell asleep during Homes Under the Hammer which was the only interesting thing on the telly this morning. I was so confused when I woke up I  took my pre-foodie and ended up making my lunch half an hour early. I fell asleep before Bargain Hunt even started.                                                                                                                                                        After lunch I came through to attack all the work I’d missed by skiving off in dreamland and had a fair bit of catching up to do. A knock at the door surprised me but it was my friend from the chemist with my prescription a day earlier than expected again. Much better than the often three days late. I had to keep hitting myself over the head with a stick so I didn’t fall asleep again as I have an important bid on during my Antiques Road Trip tonight.                                                                                                                                  I took a break to watch Homes in the Country at 3.00 pm but was conscious of my bids all the time. At 4.35 pm I sat by the computer watching the countdown and with my 10 second strategy. I lost what I wanted because the same sneaky burger as before sneaked in. However 20 minutes later I won the next one by adopting his strategy over mine. The one after that I lost because I was involved in answering an email and only turned over just as the item was won. Still, along with one I won yesterday, this will mean I have enough of a decent present for the person intended.

After the stress of losing I returned to the lounge for the last of the Road Trip and then for my two quizzes. Joey was in full chatter mode to his small mirror in the cage and I’m sure he wasn’t answering questions with me. As I turned the volume up to hear it, he turned his volume up too.                                                                                                           From 6.30 pm to 7.55 pm I concentrated on my mail to keep myself clear but at 8.00 pm I watched a DIY SOS followed by a search for the bones of Alfred the Great, King of Wessex and founder of modern day England. It seems that Henry VIII’s dissolution of the Monasteries did much in helping to lose the bones of King Alfred and his family when Hyde Abbey was destroyed. I can’t help but wonder sometimes what would have happened had William not invaded and the country had been left with Anglo Saxon rulers. Finally I turned the TV off and said my goodnight to Joey before coming through to try and convince you my life is interesting, and again clear my mail.

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El toreador.

El Toreador fights the bull with his bare hands..

Wednesday 30th

I had an early night and it was great. I didn’t feel like reading and had to put my book down and turn the light off before midnight. I was probably asleep within a minute. It was an absolute pain to wake up at 12.10 am.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      However much I felt refreshed I needed more sleep so I went to my chair in the lounge and soon nodded off there. I woke at a much more reasonable 3.41 am. OK, I’m talking reasonable by my standards not yours. It didn’t take me long to clear the post from my talktalk mailbox but I was distracted by a search I wanted to do on ebay before I even started on my gmail stuff so it was almost 5.30 am before I was clear there too.                                                                                                                                                                   I applied cream to my legs to stop the itching ( I hoped) and went to take my meds and have some breakfast. I was unsure until the last minute what to have and ended up eating my toast hot for a change.

Breakfast over and excess butter removed from moustache I returned to work. A few more messages had come in while I was away so I worked to clear those. I confess that I was glad some did not need replies because I know I was distracted.                                                                                                                                                                                                   I’m having visitors next week. I’m both scared and excited to be meeting someone I’ve never met before even though we’ve known each other online for a while. I haven’t had visitors for many a year and to be honest I’m trying hard to think of ways to make them feel welcome and anticipate anything they might need even down to dishes for the dogs. As you can imagine, that’s going to please Joey no end as he’ll have to be cage bound a couple of days.                                                                                                                  Since I don’t cook here except in the microwave or via the grill, main meals will have to be eaten out but I want to make sure I can offer breakfast at least. So, I’m all the time trying to think of things for my shopping list for Saturday.

At 9.00 am I went to Pauline’s to get some cigs (even though it’s Stoptober tomorrow) some curry & chips and my TV mag. Guess what, a black forest gateau jumped from the freezer into my bag.I had to buy a loaf just to insulate me from the chill. It’s started defrosting now so I suppose I’ll have to eat it. Pauline also remembered that I’d never managed to find another cleaner ( is my reputation that bad?) and she kindly gave me the name and number of a friend who cleans. I’ll have to ask someone to get in touch with her for me.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Naturally when I got back Joey gave me a telling off for going out.  I wonder if they make a harness for a budgie so I can take him with me? If I get a cleaner it’ll be nice that he gives someone else a rollocking for using the hoover. I came through to keep pace with my mail and had a lovely message from my lovely author friend Paula Acton who’s birthday it is.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    At 10.00 am I went to see the Homes Under the Hammer and made a real effort to stay awake this time. I succeeded- just! There was a 2 bedroom house for sale with a guide price of £10-15,000 which went for £25,750. It was tremendous. Nothing too major to be done. They spent about £8000 doing it up and got a valuation at the end of £60,000. That’s almost £30,000 profit (less fees) for a short period of work and the satisfaction of seeing a property look so nice. Renting it out would give an excellent yield too, much better than money deposited with a bank. There are still bargains to be had at house auctions.

At 11.00 I came back to do the mail and at 11.50 am I went off to do my lunch. I was dickering between something a little different that involved lamb and colcannon mash or chips with curry sauce. Then I remembered that the chippy should be open for lunch and decided to go there instead. I got two small sausages, chips, mushy peas and curry sauce. I may not want to eat again this week. In the end I lost the battle with myself and there I was in the queue at the chippie. To be fair it was very nice but the chips were pale enough for me to think they needed emergency treatment. It was just as well most were hidden under the curry sauce. I’m assuming Joey doesn’t care for curry either as it didn’t entice him over. After lunch I came to my room to work . I stayed until 4.15 pm then went to prepare a mug for Dil. I glanced out of the kitchen window and saw someone walking away from the door area. I hadn’t heard a knock or the bell. I went outside to look and a young lady, about to get into a car came back towards me and introduced herself as Kelly, the girl Pauline had told me about. I brought her inside to talk and Dil arrived which made it easier for me to speak. Anyway, she starts tomorrow for two hours. Wonderful.

Dil and I watched the Antiques Road Trip and our usual quiz before the weapons of war came out. Yahtzee first and I won 4-2 so we had to play again where I lost 4-2 so it was honours even. It had taken quite a while so we only had time for the Trivial Pursuit after that. I’m pleased to say I won that even if I fluked the answer to the last question. Dil left to go home for his tea with a call he’d see me on Sunday as they’re coming to the meal on Sunday with the girls. There will be ten or so of us this time as well as Reuben and Nathan. After tidying up and washing the pots I came through and was able to start the blog at 10.30 pm so not too bad tonight.

Thursday October 1st.

After ignoring any further emails that had come in I was in bed for 11.30 pm last night. After a read I turned the light off at 12.23 am and didn’t struggle too long before I was asleep………….until 1.27 am that is. I knew I wanted more sleep but it didn’t seem possible in bed so at 1.38 am I decamped to the lounge and nodded off in my chair. Joey didn’t seem to mind the company. I slept until 3.01 am which was the point when I was awake in the way that says “That’s your lot pal.”                                                                  I paid a visit to  the Wee Room on my way past and then got to my bedroom to power up and log on. What a strange morning. I tried to log onto talktalk mail and was told I didn’t have the right to access this. I tried for gmail instead and was timed out.I tried for the bank and got in, my pension credit was there but still not the money they owe me. I’m sure they just hate parting with it. Yvonne phoned them for me later on.                                                                                                                                                                                             I signed out of there and tried my Barsetshire Diaries site and was also blocked, so I tried ebay- no problems there. I started all over again. Talktalk-fine,  gmail – fine, Barsetshire – fine.  Great,I started on my mail.

At 6.00 am I called a halt and went to have some breakfast and take my morning meds. Following that I had a quick clean round and boxed some of the millions of ornaments before Kelly gets here to clean. I don’t want her to start off thinking I’m a slob. By 7.30 I was back at work but not for long as I was temporarily clear. I got dressed and went through to Joey to open the cage. Kelly is an animal lover luckily for him, and doesn’t mind him being out. She told me yesterday that she has so many pets, people think she’s an animal shelter and dump more animals on her all the time. She has dogs, cats and ferrets all in double figures. Those aren’t pets, it’s a menagerie.  I took a walk to Pauline’s to do the lottery and she reminded me that there are big changes due at the end of next week. I forgot to ask her how much more it would cost. They’re adding more numbers t the lottery which to my mind makes it harder to win but they’re increasing the prizes on some of the lower wins. They already seem as rare as hen’s teeth. I have a ticket she can scan that tells the machine my numbers and to produce a ticket for Wednesday and Saturday. She won’t be able to use that next week but I must ask her if it can be used after that or perhaps I can get a new one.

At home again I had a quick glance at Frasier which I think Joey must have put on. The phone went and I listened to the message left which was to say that on her first day Kelly had to go to the vets and wouldn’t be here until this afternoon. Obviously I couldn’t reply but it doesn’t matter anyway as I’m here. As long as I can get to the TV at 4.30 pm. And talking of the TV, I watched Homes Under the Hammer again this morning. I’m fascinated by the changes some people wrought on the places they bought. I think I’d quite happily have most of them to renovate a property for me.                                                                                                                                                                                                        After that I came through to catch up on my mail and leave feedback on a small delivery from my postman. But at 11.50 am everything stops while I get my lunch. I didn’t go to the chippy today but I did have chips with curry sauce from the freezer. I do have some normal meals like cottage pie in the fridge but I just have the taste for that today. I’m so easy to please.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        O.M.G. Something utterly strange and unusual happened, I fell asleep after my Bargain Hunt.!! I was unconscious until 2.10 pm and even then I had to try really hard to pull myself together. The sun was shining down through the front window tanning one half of my face a crispy bacon brown (Mmmm bacon). I struggled to my feet while Joey laughed and made my way to the bedroom (mine, not HIS) to check on my emails. One of them asked if I was OK as she was missing my comments on her blog. It made me think, there are a few I haven’t seen anything from just recently, some of my favourite people. I went through to wordpress to check I was still due to receive instant notification, and I am which worried me even more. I changed the rate from instant to daily to see if it makes a difference. I seem to remember someone once saying that wordpress cap the amount of blogs you can follow but I didn’t expect that to mean it would stop sending notifications to me of ones I follow regularly. No wonder I’m getting through my post so much quicker.

At 2.55 am Kelly arrived preceded by a knock on the door. I’d have to be a corpse to not notice what a pretty girl she is. It was during a brief conversation about my photo wall that it came out her husband died 4 years ago and that they would have been celebrating 15 years together this year. I thought she was about 18 and I think I have to start revising my guesses. Is this like the statement that policemen seem to get younger every year, I can’t guess a woman’s age at all now? We decided that she’d start to work on the kitchen and work her way round to the lounge and from there it depended upon how much time she had left. What she doesn’t do this week she can start on next week. She does know that she can’t polish on the TV table at 4.30 pm when the Antiques Road Trip is on. After being introduced to my hoover Kelly asked if it was OK just to do an hour today and to complete the stint tomorrow when she’s bring her own industrial hoover along. I didn’t realise mine was so poor. I agreed of course as it meant I’d be OK to watch my Antiques Road Trip on both days. She left at 4.00 pm and at half past I stopped work and went to the lounge. I stayed until 6.30 pm before coming back to work.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

My phone was on charge in the kitchen so I kept an ear and an eye open for it. Mike texted at 7.20 pm to say he was on his way.  I stopped work and went through to prepare his mug at 9.00 pm and watched a Law and Order episode while waiting. Mike arrived at 9.40 pm and nearly turned my shoes brown when I went to check the front door and as I opened the lounge door he was there. I made his drink but he had to carry it as my nerves were shot. I was filled in on the information regarding his father and it seems the hospital are OK with him going to the new flat so he must be doing well. Maybe a couple of weeks respite before he moves in but it turns out the home is right next to the flat anyway so he can chart progress on the removals.                                                                                                                                                                                            Mike seems less stressed and happier at the news. I’m glad. I’ve told him about an invitation to Dil’s anniversary meal in November but I’m not sure whether he’ll be with me that weekend as his birthday is on the Friday and he may prefer to have the weekend with his son and grandchildren. We have the family meal on Sunday this week to enjoy as well which will be nice.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I watched another episode of Law and Order with him before coming through at 11.00 pm to do the blog. The mail may have to wait till the morning.

Friday 2nd.

OK. It was a late finish last night. Bed about 12.30 am and light off about 1.15 am but at least I was able to stay in bed this time and I didn’t have to get up in the night wither. I got up at 5.11 am and felt rested. I had to pay my visit to the loo now and leaving it longer wasn’t an option. I came back and brought the computer to life then started on the emails. I had to draw a halt to it as it’s Friday and my drugs for the week need doing so at 6.00 am I went through to the kitchen and took my morning meds and a pre-foodie. I put two slices of bread in the toaster then grabbed my drug drawer from the lounge and started filling the compartments in my drug tray. That took me about twenty minutes and then I was able to have my toast and make a coffee to take back to work with me.

I heard Mike’s alarm go off at 7.30 am so I went through to the kitchen to make him a coffee. He acknowledged the drink when I took it through but didn’t move. Nor did he move for the next alarm or the next or even my call that his coffee was cold that accompanied it. Finally at the fourth alarm I heard him go through. I finished the message I was dealing with and followed Mike. By now there was plenty of light so I wished Joey good morning and opened the cage. He preferred to stay behind his mirror and pretend I couldn’t see him, at least f0r a while. As Mike had a meeting at 10.30 am I’m glad he left about 9.00 am. You’d have expected me to return to work straight away but no, I found myself watching Frasier again.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      The postman surprised me by coming early this morning and banging on the door but the parcel I had to sign for was one I’d been expecting. It completed a section of presents I wanted out of the way. For all my failures on ebay recently ( including this morning dammit) I’ve had some good successes. There are still more parcels to be delivered in dribs and drabs from them, probably Mon, Tues, Wed of next week according to their guesses and then the following week as well. Real progress which I’m pleased about as Mike announced it’s 12 weeks today to Christmas Day. Not long at all. I will be ready.

At 10.00 am I had Homes Under the Hammer for an hour. Well for 50 mins really as Joey had a right ‘paddy’ for the first ten minutes. I’ve no idea who he was telling off or why but he was ferocious and his little head was bobbing up and down with emphasis. It’s just as well the show does a recap of the properties and their problems as they show you the changes made or I’d have missed the first one completely.                                                                                                                                                                                                          It’s just as well we don’t all wake up in that mood or get angry all the time. I forgot to mention last night that Yvonne did phone he DWP about my money. Whoever she spoke to admitted the debt showed on screen but said no-one had requested payment in the office. This is now 8 weeks down the line from their admission. So he did it for me and told Yvonne it would take 4 weeks. She was seething, especially when he came back and asked for all my bank details to make payment. As Mike commented last night, why didn’t they just reverse the payment to where they took the money from? The DWP hold my bank details as that’s how they pay me. But it’s not worth getting in a tizz about. I am owed it, I will get it now. You do have to wonder at their efficiency though. What would have happened to some other poor soul who just accepted the debt and not queried it? How much interest have I lost on the money owed and what bargains might I have found on ebay with it?

I returned to work for an hour after my programme then broke at midday for lunch. I had a corned beef hash and I have to admit I don’t like the ones from Morrison’s now. Whether it was the herbs they seem to have added or perhaps that was a coat of mould I missed, it just didn’t sit well with me. I thought I might just shut my eyes for forty winks to sleep it off but though I tried hard it was no go.Disappointed I came back to work.                                                                                                                                                         There was plenty to go at too, and quite a few sales in shops I use. I was happy to note I beat most of the sale prices on ebay. One firm had the nerve to offer me a jumper at£14.99 instead of £19.99 yet last week I bought the same one from their ebay store at £7.99. I think it’s fun shopping for the best deals. Swings and roundabouts though as last week I paid £9.99 for a Goodsouls jumper I could have had for £4.99 today. I worked till 3.00 pm then took a break for Escape to the Country knowing Kelly was due back at about 3.30 pm after she finished her main job for the day. I was hoping her industrial hoover wouldn’t just suck my carpets up.Thank heavens for laminate.                Kelly didn’t come. No phone call with a reason, nothing. I’m beginning to think it must be me though I didn’t say enough to be offensive and I’m very easy going about how the cleaner would work. Neither exacting or demanding. But perhaps there’s something else that no-one will tell me about? I mopped the kitchen floor.

At 4.30 pm it was the last day of my Antiques Road Trip. I stayed awake, it was very good. I remained in the lounge until 6.40 pm. They said Eggheads was on but when I turned over it was Strictly Come Dancing. Not for me thanks. I noticed an old episode of A Fine Romance with Judy Dench and her husband the late Michael Williams. It was excellent. As soon as it was over I had to ram 40 minutes work into 20 minutes so I could go for my shower at 7.00 pm. No word at that time about Mike coming back so I locked the front door, grabbed my change of clothes and went to the bathroom. When I came out clean and dressed to relax I went straight into the lounge  and was just in time to hear my phone tinkle. Mike said he was on his way back, that meant with luck I could expect him around 8.30 pm. It was 8.20 pm as he was in time for the last bit of Mastermind. I found out his Dad is now in the home by the new flat but there is a question mark as to whether he’ll ever come out to try the flat. I suppose the biggest part of the decision making will be whether his Dad says he doesn’t like where he is at the end of the three week respite period or not. If he seems happy to stay where he is everyone will be happy.

We watched a programme on Patagonia of particular interest to me because of the Welsh families that moved there and still maintained the Welsh language and traditions. But they have some strange and amazing animals there too and some weather patterns that are quite unbelievable.After that I took my night time meds, locked Joey in his cage with a goodnight and headed back to work. Mike wasn’t too far behind and he seemed tired. As I was working I couldn’t hear the TV in his room so maybe he’s settled to an early night. I got my mail up to date by 11.00 pm and then started on the blog which I’m hopeful will still get me to bed early. I’m tired too.

Saturday 3rd.

I did manage to beat the midnight deadline last night and kept my relaxation reading down to the minimum so that my light went out at 12.20 am. I wriggled for a short while to find a comfortable spot then I was gone.  I woke and got up at 3.11 am. There was no urgency for the loo but habit took me there first before coming back and powering up and signing on.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Before starting my emails I went to my WordPress reader and changed all my favourites back from daily to Instant to see if it makes a difference. I apologise to all my regular friends who haven’t been getting likes and comments, Sally, Olga, Jane, Mary J and Sue, all of you, I’m not ignoring you but I’m not being notified of any of your posts. If any of you have any idea how I can deal with this I’d be happy to hear from you.                                                                                                                                                                 After making the changes I waited to see if it made any difference to emails coming in. In the meantime, On with the Show, I opened my talktalk mail and my gmail account. The first was dealt with by 4.10 am and the latter by 5.55 am. I went through to the kitchen to take my meds and have some breakfast. I prepared Mike’s mug at the same time ready for his alarm going off at 6.30 am. I took my own coffee through to make sure I was still up to date with mail and to get dressed. As his alarm went off I was there with his coffee.I didn’t expect more than the neanderthal grunt I got and returned to my own drink pronto ! By 6.45 am I was up to date and I was dressed.

At the second ring of his alarm Mike sighed and got up. I heard him pad through to the lounge. I left him to it and had a search on ebay. I wasn’t in the mood for pushing him and decided he’d be ready when he was ready. He obviously wasn’t ready at 7.00 am. I should have been doing the bins but no, I wasn’t in the mood for that either. Somehow we were out of the house even earlier than usual at 7.20 am we were parked up in the Supermarket before 7.45 am. We’d actually finished the shopping by 8.45 am. One of these days I must remember to add food to my list. We were able to head for our coffee quite quickly.                                                                                                                     From there we headed straight for Flint and did a few shops before going to Temptations for our morning treat. This morning we had the pleasure of Ceri, Trudy and Sian, and those three had the pleasure of a bigger box of chocolates than usual. Mike had his usual breakfast. Trudy did our drinks which we enjoyed.                                                        Once finished Mike’s big question was what to do with ourselves for the rest of the day. He suggested my mood needed brightening (much like the weather as there’s a thick fog out) only he wasn’t anywhere near so polite.

I had no suggestions to make though wouldn’t have objected to the Tweed Mill. Mike would sooner extract his teeth via the door handle. As we left Temptations he turned towards Queensferry and then pointed out he’d taken the wrong direction for Broughton Park. I directed him another way. The place has changed enormously with the addition of 5 restaurants and a cinema complex, soon there will be three good shops to replace one that has closed.We parked by one of my favourite shops, Home Sense where I could get an idea about Christmas stocking gifts. We had a wander there, then in the ASDA home shop and finally Tesco where I picked up some more tins of sweets. That’s my postie and Temptations covered now. We went for lunch at a chain pub on the site but the service was atrocious today. The wrong things being brought though the orders had been quite clear. It’s never been this bad before.                                                                                                                                                                                                             We started what I thought was our journey home when Mike asked what there was between where we were at that moment and home. I casually said Buckley just as we passed the exit and I ended up having to direct Mike yet another way. We had a good wander there and I was able to get some nice clothes for Roobs and Nathan for when I see them tomorrow. We finally left and got home.

I was saddened to find a letter addressed to Ju on the mat as well as a card to say there was a parcel left next door. Thanks Darren. We put the shopping away then Mike went to retrieve the parcel from Dorothy and I took something to my room. I found a parcel on the mat behind the door curtain. That’s one more item I’ve been waiting for and the parcel Mike brought was Reuben’s Christmas books. Going to my room to work I was surprised to find as I left feedback that I’d been offered a second chance on a ring I missed. I missed it by quite a bit but am offered it at my offer. A five colour gold ring. It will serve as an extra gift sometime. I worked until Mike called me to join him for a quiz at 5.30 pm and stayed there until 9.00 pm when I came back to catch up on mail. At 10.35 pm I was able to start the blog. Five minutes after I publish I hope to be in bed.

I wish you all a Wonderful Week full of dreams come true and Hugs Galore.


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77 responses to “The Great Potato Escape & The Cleaner Starts….and Finishes?

  1. Love reading about your daily routines, ramblings, what-have-you, David! xoxo

  2. A bit of action, a bit of “Hey there” from Reuben – such thrills to see development in action. Can see the sadness in finding a letter for Ju – one wonders whether some senders or databases ever get culled or checked in order to do the right thing. Trust you turned that sadness into a smile, David, in memory of Ju. Have a super week filled with cheer and gladness, meny, many hugs.

    • I think it was a major relief and thus drew a smile when I found it was a reminder to have an eye test.I’m not so sure she needs one now.
      Thank you, I’,m sure my week will be great and I hope yours is fantastic Ina
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  3. Oh, now I’m blushing — thank you for the mention, David. You are so kind, a true gentleman (I don’t think they allow gentlemen in DC… not that I can tell). Thanks for all the happy music. So fun to hear Monster Mash, and Wendy was one of my favorite songs growing up. Oh, and that “antique Victorian embroidered smoking hat”… somehow I have to put that into a story! Congrats to Mike on cutting back on smoking. Enjoy your visitors — all will be well. Mega hugs dear friend. ❤ 😀

    • Sometimes it’s nice to hear the songs that bring back memories of a happier time Teagan so I’m glad you enjoyed some. I do have a couple o smoking hats but that one was a gem, the end price showed I wasn’t the only one who thought so. Perhaps Cal Hixon would have worn one with a smoking jacket. I don’t think you needed to smoke.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs and wishes for a great week xxx

  4. So glad to hear you’re doing well, David. Must admit I’d been a bit worried as my blog must be among the ‘missing’. No idea how to remedy that. You certainly don’t need any more email! Have a lovely week and enjoy your comapny! Bises xo

    • I greatly miss the important emails coming through and I’m seriously considering doing a mass unfollow of those I don’t interact with to see if it brings my best back. Missing any comments is not deliberate Mel and I’m glad you understand.
      Thanks so much
      xxx Ginormous Hugs xxx

  5. I’m not sure what WordPress is up to these days but I hardly ever see my favourite bloggers in my Reader any more. Instead, it’s full of people and blogs I honestly can’t remember. Perhaps WP is playing equal opportunity Reader? Notifications via email seem to be a bit hit or miss as well. 😦

  6. Odd isn’t it how messages get eaten and go missing. I suppose that’s why they’re called ‘posts’ since the number of ‘missing in the post’ items I’ve experienced must be up there with WordPress. One question,David. For those of us who’ve moved into your orbit more recently I sometimes struggle with the cast list of characters that transcend your world. It would be good to have a refresher or a who’s who if you had a chance. Just the regulars! Have a good week. Hope the late summer weather stays in Wales too.

    • Hi Geoff. There is a blog cast list in the headers at the top of the page but I shall have to take a look and see if it needs a massive update.
      The weather is really nice at the moment and has been for almost a week. A real Indian Summer feeling. Still need a jacket though.
      Hope you have decent weather and a great week

      • Thanks David, yes splendid week. Today meeting writing friends in Sheffield, lovely group lovely city. But wet though. And sorry I missed the header bar. I will have a look. Should have checked… Mea culpa. PS now England are out I’m officially claiming I’m Welsh as I once holidayed in Tenby…

      • Croeso y Cymru Geoff. If you’re ever in North Wales I’ll put the kettle on.Hugs

  7. Bazz

    Nice to know Mr f is still on the planet,hoping all is well with you two bazz

    • Hi Bazz, all is well with me thanks ( and I hope with you) but Mr F having major problems with his Dad and spending much more time in your direction. I keep telling him to get in touch but I think he’s just flustered. Yours would be a better place for him to prepare the new flat sometimes.
      Like always, I daresay he’ll do things in his own way at his own time. I don’t try pushing.
      Keep well both

  8. laurie27wsmith

    When I came to the part about your roastie escaping off the plate I thought of Tariq. I haven’t seen his name lately. As you know I missed a few weeks a while ago. is he still around? I saw your face at teagan’s blog and commented, you get around old son. Isn’t she a lovely lady though? Door in the dressing gown, priceless. There is nothing worse than standing in dog poop David, especially when it’s fresh. Argh! Love the Monster Mash!! Those desserts that jump into your bag are a real threat to the waistline, be very, very careful. 😉 I see government departments are the same all over the world. They’ll take what you owe immediately but when it comes to getting it back, well… WordPress has a hissy fit every now and then David. I miss out on people’s posts, replies etc. Well, Roobs is growing and looking well and xmas is not too far away. Hopefully all stays well with the world.

    • Laurie and David — you are truly kind and gallant ❤ ❤ 🙂 🙂

    • Tariq is still around but we haven’t been t the restaurant for a couple of months now. We’ve bumped into him outside and still consider him a friend.We needed a change of meals for a while before the bacon claimed me as it’s own.
      You’re quite right, Teagan is adorable Laurie. She’s a dear friend as quite a few have turned out to be. It seems I’m fine on the web. Women only stop talking to me when they’ve met me.
      I’m glad you enjoyed ‘Door in my dressing gown’, there’s something about the old ones.
      Those desserts may be a threat to the waistline but what a friend to low moods.
      That’s exactly the way Government Departments are, I’m glad it’s not just peculiar to the UK..
      I want my WordPress to behave. I hate missing posts and having people think I don’t care.
      Roobs will be ready for Christmas this year, Heaven help us all. I’m almost ready to face it.
      Keep well I look forward to a new blog.

      • laurie27wsmith

        That’s good to hear about Tariq, I thought he may have popped his clogs. She is indeed, a real nice lady. Don’t put yourself down David, you seem to get your fair share of hugs. Some of the old jokes are the best Mate. I must agree on desserts, food is such a comfort. WP may get it’s act together, as long as it’s working well for Xmas. Take care David. Hugs, Laurie.

  9. Reuben is looking bigger and more grown up everyday. I’m happy to hear that things with Mike’s Dad are getting sorted. Don’t worry too much about the blog thing, David. I subscribe to a few via e-mail and those I seem to generally get an e-mail for, but I’m never sure… Thankfully there’s always a friend who reblogs the interesting ones and I try and catch up. I’m still not sure why Goodreads keeps getting disconnected from my e-mail (although I don’t visit very often and when I do it’s normally never good news. Oh well). Do take care and I hope you’re lucky with all your bids this coming week!

    • I agree Olga. I saw him today and he looked very grown up.His cousin is almost 4 and there’s little difference in size now. I also saw my great nephew Nathan and can’t believe Roobs was ever that small.
      I’ll have to hope I catch reblogs too but fingers crossed it’s not by someone else I’m missing.
      I (fingers crossed) think I’m up to date on all bids now having got the last three I wanted this morning. Now it’s just waiting for deliveries from home and abroad.
      Look after yourself sweet Lady.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  10. It’s always fun to read about your week. It must have been sad and unsettling to find the letter for Ju. It seems to be a time for that–mail for or from people who are no longer with us. I recently wrote about a postcard from my dad, and we recently got a check from a legal settlement that was made out to my husband’s deceased father.
    I love the photo of Reuben and his dad.
    Wordpress just seems to do weird things. Earlier in the year, I was missing some email notifications about people’s blogs. I think I had to turn notifications back on or something, even though I had never changed it in the first place.
    Have a great time with your visitors. I’m sure we will hear all about it! 🙂
    Have a great week! Hugs!

    • Thanks so much Merril. It wasn’t nice getting the letter for Ju but I’m not sure if I felt better or worse when it turned out to be so unimportant. Your heart must have jumped at the postcard.
      The pic of Roobs and his Dad was very good.
      I’ve been in and turned notifications off then back on again and changed them from instantly to daily and back again with little result so far.They’re a mysyery.
      Have a wonderful week.
      xxx Massive Hugs as always xxx

  11. I am sorry you did not win the auction for that hat it sounds absolutely smashing and you would be quite handsome in it. Maybe another one will come up for auction, I do hope so. I think those photo’s of Reuben are outstanding, he is such a handsome little boy and I really look forward to photo’s every week. Sounds like Joey is still, well, being Joey it is rather comical. Get some rest and look forward to more of your exploits next week, I look forward every Saturday to your posts, the fun music and photo’s. Have a great week my dear friend. xoxoxo

    • It was such a good hat from a top maker that they’re very rare and when they do come up go for ridiculous money. Sometime, somewhere I’ll get one though and be a dapper chap again.
      I’m hoping for some Reuben pictures from today so keep your eyes open, he’s still a little poser though. Joey still rules the roost. I’d better get used to it.
      I hope I’m still finding music you enjoy Suzanne as well as making you smile sometimes. Thank you for being here.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  12. All I’m going to say – and there’s much that I could! – don’t be influenced by Mike and his pills because I need a fellow traveller in the world of smoke. Take care and have a delightful week with lots of hugs. xx

  13. Hope you have a wonderful week too, David xxx

  14. Oh David, I’m finally here…it feels like slogging through a mudslide (aka my email and life in general), but thank goodness I got here. 🙂
    It sounds like you’ve had a busy week with its ups and downs (sorry about losing the hat, eBay can be frustrating if we don’t win the bid, but triumphant if we do!).
    Reuben apparently is trying to steal the hearts of all, what a cutie pie (must take after his Gramps!). 😉
    Joey seems like he’s ruling the roost…
    WordPress, sigh, what can we say about WordPress, pretty sure their motto is, ‘If it ain’t broke, fix it and make it broke’. I had trouble with notifications, Likes missing, and some folks have had it even worse.
    By reading your week, I think we’re both having a missing those we loved and lost week, David, I’m so sorry…I wonder if it’s the change of season, or thinking of the holidays coming up. Massive mammoth hugs from across The Pond. 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your week with us, I’m sure you’ll look dapper even without the hat, but I know you’ll find just the right one.
    Hope this week treats you kindly, David. 🙂
    Huge hugs, Donna
    P.S. Guess what book is going to be included in my next post? 😉

    • Hi Donna, you really don’t have to slog your way here if you’ve been having a bit of a week yourself. It’s lovely to see you though.
      The hat isn’t too important really I have as few hats but just the one head.
      If Roobs is going to steal hearts it will make him my exact opposite. I can’t even hang on to my cleaners.
      Joey most definitely in charge!!
      I’m so sorry if you’re missing someone you lost Sweetie, maybe you’re right and it’s because Christmas is on it’s way.
      I won’t need to find a hat and I can still scrub up OK and wear a suit if I must.
      I hope this is a super extra special week for you Sweetie.
      xxx Absolutely Gigantic Hugs xxx
      There’s no need to do the book Donna, you must have other subjects waiting and I know how funny your posts are so they must be hugely popular. I won’t mind.

      • I’d slog my way through sleet and storm and dark of night to get to your blog, David. 🙂
        I think my week is going to be quite busy, but fun and here in Canada it’s Thanksgiving next weekend and I have a lot to be thankful for!!!
        As for your book, I don’t actual write just book review posts anymore, I add it in with other stuff, like I did with Teagan’s wonderfilled ‘Atonement, Tennessee’ yesterday, gets more views for the author that way. I really enjoyed your book and I’ve had a half post written that I know it fits perfectly with and I’ll pop it on Goodreads later too. 🙂
        Mega monster mammoth massive hugs, David and hope this week treats you kindly. 🙂

  15. I’ve had those dreams of arguing (and actually fighting) and followed up with your same decision to “go into isolation and avoid everyone” the next day, David, just not in the loo (or bathroom as we call it). 😉 When I go into isolation it means going to the little (and oldest) library in the city and hiding in a reading stall for the day.
    Many of your pictures didn’t come through, but the ones of Reuben were definitely keepers. So adorable.
    Have a lovely, good-dream week!

    • For years now I’ve been laid back enough to be almost horizontal. I see no point in confrontation and look for the humour in a situation first. Obviously there are times it doesn’t work. In my dream this was obviously one of them and I really didn’t like it.
      Before Mike read the blog I told him I’d had a bad night but not how/why. He told me he’d woken up in the night because he’d dreamed we were arguing. Luckily the day passed with no problems.
      I like your idea of isolation Marylin, being with books could be a great comfort. There were only four pictures on the blog and they were all Reuben so perhaps the only things you missed were the pictures accompanying the music. That’s not too bad.
      I hope you have a fantastic week Marylin.
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx.

  16. Congratulations to Mike for trying to quit smoking! I’ve also had problems with WordPress notifications. The only way I know you’ve posted is when I start getting the “comments” in my mailbox. Another adventure-filled, week! Thanks for sharing with us.

    • I’m sure he’ll have seen your comment late last night and been grateful.It’s not easy giving up after smoking for so long.
      I don’t seem to get comments in my mailbox either, not even when someone comments on this blog anymore. I get told when someone has liked the blog and come along to see if there are comments.
      Anyone who thinks my weeks are adventure filled must lead an even more quiet life than I do.
      Thanks so much for visiting. It’s nice I haven’t managed to repel everyone…yet.
      xxx Humongous Hugs xxx

  17. A Victorian embroidered smoking hat sounds amazing! Certainly a must-have, I would say.

    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • It went for almost £100 in the end and I’d stopped long before that mark. I had no excuse bidding really as I already have appropriate hats…..maybe I should look for a smoking jacket?
      xxx Huge Hugs Lucy xxx

      • I have such a thing for hats but even for me £100 seems a bit steep. Good to hear you have appropriate hats! I have always fancied a smoking jacket, do you think they do them for ladies?
        xxx Biggest Hugs Ever! xxx

  18. Catherine Johnson

    Lovely to hear all about your days David. Take care x

  19. Hi David!
    I was recently nominated to participate in a three-day quote challenge and wanted to nominate you as well. I always enjoy reading your stories and I would love to see which three quotes you find most meaningful! All the best!

  20. Potatoes from the escape committee…loved that David

  21. David, the El Toreador is beyond handsome. Thanks for sharing your days with us.

    • Thank you so much Damyanti. He is a handsome little rogue.I hope he doesn’t grow up a heatbreaker.
      I”m always grateful that my friends are willing to share their precious time with me reading the blog. It’s lovely to have you.
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  22. Hmm you’re not having too much luck with cleaners are you David? Are you sure you didn’t growl at her lol?

  23. As a mother and grandmother of girls only, I love watching the pictures of Reuben. He is so grown up, soon will be turning from a toddler to a sweet young boy.
    Have a wonderful week, enjoy the weather!

  24. I’m finally catching up… I have to say both bloggers I’ve met in real life have been lovely. I hope Ai get the opportunity to meet more. So I’m sure you have a lovely visit to look forward to next week, as do they. How exciting they get to meet you. Sometimes I wish the rest of the world wasn’t so far away…

    • I had the delight of some years ago meeting a young author and blogger from America. She was an absolute treat and I love her dearly still. It shows my instincts with all my wonderful friends are still OK. I too wish the world wasn’t as big as it is. Alas I didn’t get to meet my friends as one was taken ill and it’s been postponed for a month. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to oblige next time as Yvonne gets ever closer to birth and more uncomfortable all the time.
      They’ve been saved the ordeal by the skin of their teeth.
      xxx Sending Massive Hugs to you xxx

  25. I have the same issues with wordpress. Some posts come through, others I don’t get notifications for. Yours is easy, with posts every Sunday. Have a great week and hope to see you soon 🙂

    • There’s just no way of telling what their rules are either. It’s not easy to discern just whose posts are missing because some don’t post on a regular basis. Others are obvious because they post daily but even then it’s whether there’s time to chase them and do I remember?
      I hope a certain someone is feeling better, give him m best. I’m sorry about the flurry in tweeting your messages today, a case in point.

  26. Hi, David, Remember me? 🙂 I’m so far behind on my blog reading, that it’s hard to catch up. I didn’t know Word Press had a cap on how many blogs you can follow. I switched blog notifications to Weekly so sometimes I have a whole lot of reading. Until the next time, enjoy your weekend. Hugs.

    • Hi Mary J. Of course I remember you, you’ve been with me so long it’s almost family. That’s only what I’ve heard about WordPress and I’ve read nothing about a limit on their bumph. Maybe it’s like Twitter, the followers always have to outstrip those you want to follow which is unfair really as you can never follow all those who follow you that way.
      I switched from Instantly to daily without noticing a change so switched back. I hope that kick starts new messages. I feel redundant.
      Have a Fantastic rest of the week and Weekend. xxx Huge Galore xxx

  27. Hi David. I’ve discovered readers are not receiving notice of my comments and want to post here my response to your last comment. In reference to gentle giant “Lol! I meant as an influential figure. You crack me up 🙂 ”

    I’m sorry this is happening. My hope in creating a private blog was to build a more intimate reading and writing community. WP is working on the problem but it’s been days and they are sending it to their developers for help. Sounds as if it will go on for a while.

    Hugs, Laine 🙂

    • It’s funny how often these ISP’s and web hosts will insist on fixing things that ain’t broke thus creating new problems for everyone. Like you, I don’t receive notice of comments anymore but it’s been going on for months for me already. That one is a pain but I do usually catch the comments when I check the blog. My biggest problem is not receiving notice of blog posts made by my friends on their own blogs for me to comment on.It’s hard because not everyone posts on a regular basis so you don’t realise somethings missing for a while. From what I’m hearing this is a problem that’s affecting quite a few of us.
      Let’s hope the developers manage to get a handle on these problems and are able to put a fix in.
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

      • So far I’m receiving the notices, but those who read my responses on the blog are not. It’s so frustrating. I was hoping to create more intimate community and then this happened. – Still smiling though 🙂

  28. Hi, David. The songs “‘The Monster Mash” and “Blueberry Hill” really brought back memories. The Mashed Potato was really popular back in the day, probably because it was so easy to do. That piece is perfect for October as we celebrate Halloween in the U.S. that month. I wrote a flash fiction about aliens being concerned about finding good food on Earth, and one of the other writers joked they might go to McDonalds. I wrote back that if it was Halloween, no one would notice them. Don’t worry that it was anything you did that caused that cleaner to not return. Some people just can’t be depended on. We usually find that out the hard way. Cute pictures of Reuben. Have a great week. 🙂

    • Hi Suzanne, I really like finding songs that people relate too and have good memories of. We all have Halloween in October and the Monster Mash is perfect for that. We have so many strange costumes on the street these days that they probably wouldn’t be noticed at any time.
      I’m convinced I can’t have done anything to upset the cleaner but you never know what people take out of context. I really do need someone more reliable though.
      Have a wonderful week.
      Hugs Galore.

  29. Reuben is growing up fast! Lovely photos 🙂

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