Arseinthis descends & Open Rebellion.

Sunday 27th Dec.

I know I said I’m feeling somewhat better. I improve daily and return to normal. I just don’t need to rush to normal as quickly as I seem to be getting there. Are you listening Somnos? Over the Christmas period going to bed late isn’t strange, so turning my light out at 1.00 am last night after the first two chapters of my last Terry Pratchett book is normal. There was no real need though to be up and about at 3.12 am. The same messages would have waited until a bit later, until a fair bit later in fact. No-one can be surprised should I have a snooze later.

As it was, I took the opportunity to deal with my post which included kind comments on the last blog posted just last night. So hard to  believe this new blog will cover the period of a New Year. As I wasn’t having breakfast today there was no rush on taking my tablets so I hung on until I found it was almost 8.15 am. I took  everything I needed to and then carried a coffee back to my desk. As soon as the mail was clear I joined Joey in the lounge. Mike got up about 9.50 am and I made him coffee then sat aghast as he fell asleep in the chair and ignored it. How can anyone spend ten hours in bed and be tired?To be fair he wasn’t well and couldn’t bring his breathing under control. I remember being told about breathing into a bag helping   so I stuck him in a back bin bad and kept breathing till the air had gone. Didn’t seem to help so that’s one old wive’s tale to ignore in future.

There was no urgency to go out for dinner today so I made something at home and tried to get him that way. At least while he ate the lamb and sweet potato mash I managed to eat the rest of the Titterton’s Pork Pies before he announced he was peckish again. We even had a pudding of syrup  sponge and custard  just to be on the safe side. We both relaxed after lunch until Mike announced it was time he was on his way. I know he had to see his Dad before travelling back down to Rugby and home. He brought the car to the front of the hose and I helped him load up. I knew he had a bag of washing ( which I would have done had he been staying longer) so I added a bag of mine since his machine would be on anyway. That means I just have to hoover tomorrow.

I found myself watching an unusual film called Beautiful Creatures which I quite enjoyed. The ending was left open enough for a sequel I think. I’d love to see it as I like a happy ending and it showed promise. After it was over at 9.00 pm I closed Joey in , turned everything off, took my meds and came through to work. There was quite a bit of mail to cope with but I’m under no pressure.

Monday 28th Dec.

I  read until 1.00 am last night then lights out. When I woke I lay there on my back for a minute before getting up. It wasn’t that I couldn’t move, rather that I was waiting for the right moment. It appeared the right moment was 2.22 am. I laughed, ha ha at the whimsy of the gods as they must laugh at my naivety and oft times stupidity. This felt a little spiteful and way outside the capabilities of my usual crew. Given that it’s been a while since I saw them even though I have felt their capriciousness a few times, I wondered if they’d been able to learn these new skills. No, this definitely had another’s touch. Should a fresh name be added to my Pantechnicon of the gods?

Without a doubt. Arseinthis seems to have stepped aboard the bus and is looking for new worshipers to give the adoration she craves. So far that adoration seems to consist of a sewer rat that got in the way of her mental thrust and a very small budgie. As yet she’s barely 6″ tall and is hoping to catch some of the weaker minds to help her grow in stature. Small but perfectly formed as they say. Perfect if you’re an opera star I think, as that seems to have been her model. Not just any opera star though. Swathed as she is in a bedsheet with one shoulder showing, and with a bosom you could rest your teacup on. Her vanity shows through as she asks, ” Does my bum look big in this?” Immense might be a better word though already lacking sleep I hesitated to use it.

By 5.30 am I’d had enough of hearing how Arseinthis deserved to be adored and thought she was doing such a great line in self-adoration that she wouldn’t miss me. I escaped to my chair in the lounge and promptly fell asleep until 7..45 am.  It was wonderful. I went through and took my meds and had a small breakfast before bringing a coffee back to my now unoccupied room.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I worked until I was clear about 9.15 am then got dressed and went to Pauline’s for bread. It was strange to see the road so quiet and though there was one person chatting in the shop, I didn’t meet another soul outside. I bought some crisps, bread and my cigarettes to keep me going a couple of days. I know things will be back to normal tomorrow but I won’t be taking my bus to Chester as Yvonne will be in hospital why they check her and the baby out to make sure they don’t need to operate again. She actually has her fingers crossed as it will mean 3 days complete peace and quiet in hospital. I’m hoping it will be a natural birth this time.

I returned to work until 11.00 am then went to keep Joey company and turn the TV on. We (I) watched the absolutely terrible UK version of buying lockers which haven’t been paid for. At 12.30 am when Bargain Hunt came on I had lunch. Back to normal meals Yay. After lunch I came back through here just to keep up. There was a constant stream of post from across the world. One thing that affected me deeply was the outpouring of love for my friend the beautiful Jo Robinson who lost her husband suddenly on boxing day. She’s been supportive of so many other people it’s nice the support is going in her direction now.At 4.30 pm I went back through to the lounge  until bedtime. I watched the first part of The Hobbit which though good, didn’t grip me in the way the LOTR films did. But it was the same with the books too. It was a pleasant few hours though. I was ready to turn off at 9.00 pm as usual when Joey decided to come out, hedge hop my forehead and go land on the mirror to argue with himself. I had to wait for him to go in so I could lock up, turn off and go through. That was about 9.15 pm.

Since then I’ve dealt with my post and coped with arguments with my daughter about my birthday. I want to slip a £10 max budget on a gift and limit it to a shirt. She has other ideas. I don’t want a fuss or I’m going to start believing the hype that I’m getting old. I still have an 18 years old’s brain and damn him he says he wants it back.

Cat allergy.

Cat allergy.

A life on the open road

A life on the open road

Kept to the straight and narrow.

Taken in hand by a Beautiful Woman.

Tuesday 29th Dec.

I turned my light out at 12.30 am to get to sleep sooner. It didn’t work too well as for some reason I was tossing and turning. Eventually I was away so I’m not sure I gained any sleep time. I woke at 2.17 am to a screeching in my head “But they must believe”. I saw the one with the super bosom for her tea, and tray for those behind which I hadn’t noticed somehow yesterday. She was about 4″ tall giving me hope that the sewer rat had reached the end of it’s short life or the budgie had found a more suitable recipient of it’s belief. A short time with Somnos could do that. Whatever the reason Arseinthis sounded desperate. I have to hope that there are no weak minds about. I’m so glad Mike has gone home since he’s susceptible to the siren song of a woman. Their chances with me are strictly limited since I can barely( pun intended) remember what a woman looks like. So yet again I’ve been woken for nothing.

One night last week before Christmas arrived I was just nodding off when a woman came up behind me and encircled me in her arms. The soft feeling I had in my back was enough to startle me awake. The whole thing lasted about 20 seconds which might be a record for me. Getting back to sleep proved difficult. Getting back to sleep this morning was proving just as difficult. I turned to my mail and dealt with that but it was soon done so there I was at 3.45 am with nothing to do. I got back into bed and started to read hoping that would help me drop off. All it got me was a few chapters further on in my book.                                                                                                                                      By 5.30 am I realised I’d no idea at all what I’d just read and it would be tonight’s reading again. The thing is I know what day it is. Yes it’s Tuesday but it’s also the day everyone is back in work. Under normal circumstances that would hold no fear for me but today it does.

I got out of bed and went through to the kitchen to take my meds and to have breakfast. The last few days have been no fun with the meds as I’ve wanted to vomit every time I’ve taken a drink to swallow them. I think my head is fixated on a what if scenario if the milk was off. Anyway today I decided to take the meds using Pepsi max as I usually do with my pre-foodies. Ugh, that was awful. Pepsi Max doesn’t mask the taste of tablets that start to dissolve ………… milk does.                                                                        I had two small rounds of toast that had gone cold and made a coffee to take the two after food tablets. My coffee I took back to the bedroom and has just finished the four pieces of mail in my inbox when the daily deluge started. It didn’t worry me at all today as I had time on my side.                                                                                                                         I couldn’t remember whether the DWP (Dept. Works and Pensions) started their phones from 8.00 am or 8.30 am. Normally it wouldn’t bother me as Yvonne makes and takes my calls for me but today she’s in hospital being monitored….or she was at the time. They’ve since sent her home saying they’ll start on 31st but today the head isn’t engaged. So,it falls on me to make my own phone call scary as it is. I chose to try at 8.15 am and after the usual push button 1 a few times got through to a human being. The call centre is in Scotland and I got through to a very patient person. A call that might normally take 5 minutes took 20 minutes of stuttering that annoyed  even me. The young man on the other end didn’t try to finish my sentences, allowed me plenty of time to answer his questions and was generally very helpful. I explained (again) that I NEVER answer the phone so he’d have to leave a message if he wanted something. I came off the phone a nervous wreck and totally drained but I’d claimed my state pension to start next month (January)

I returned to work for another hour or so and then at 10.35 am got dressed and went to Pauline’s to collect a free lottery ticket, my new TV magazine and a meal which for a change was steak cottage pie with mini roast spuds and veg. Pauline said it was proving popular. When I ate at noon I could see why. It did make a difference to the usual microwave dinners you get. Even Joey thought so, or at least that’s what I imagine he was saying when he sat on top of the cage bobbing up and down and squawking. Either that or he was testing the springs in his legs for a high jump and was egging himself on.

After lunch I caught up on the mail that had come in before returning to the lounge and my chair. The intention was to do an internal examination of my eyelids but despite having the TV on it seemed one of the small gods was hovering nearby, It may have been Somnos or one of his brothers or perhaps Arseinthis still smarting about some of my earlier thoughts and seeking sweet revenge. Never let it be said that the gods are benevolent, they’re as vengeful as can be. I opened my eyes and sat up attempting to take an interest in the goggle-box but it couldn’t grip me. It’s lucky I think Joey’s brain is small enough to be missed as nothing stopped him providing the entertainment I needed. At 5.00 pm I had a light tea which was good considering the amount I’ve put away over the holiday period. I watched my quiz, some film or other then turned over to watch the last hour of Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather during which he appeared in the final scenes.                                                                                                                                                    At 9.00 pm I turned off, locked Joey away and went to take my meds. That done I turned the lights out and came through for a last go at the mail and to do the blog.

I can't find my legs. Anyone seen em?

I can’t find my legs. Anyone seen em?

Portrait of innocence.

Portrait of innocence.

Wednesday 30th Dec.

My light went out about midnight, remarkably after the antics recently of Somnos I slept until 5.17 am. I don’t know whether I dreamed the rumour that (My) Brother Jake has fixed Somnos up with Arseinthis to try and increase the stature of both. Though I’m nor sure Arseinthis could manage a change in stature without falling over. I’m not sure if goddesses get bra fittings but I’m sure hers will contain at least 3 x’s and I’m sure I’m talking kegs here. Anyway the sleep having been enjoyed it was time to get up. A visit to the Palace of Piddle first then through to  the kitchen to take my meds and have breakfast. Breakfast being a necessity today as it’s games night and no time for tea. I had a message from my friend Charlie last night that she’s made me a cake and Lis, her Mum, will be playing messenger with it today. She herself will be over to see me during the first week in January. Apparently it’s a walnut and banana cake so anyone of you who want a slice and a cuppa feel free to pop in.

Once breakfast was over I nipped a card round to Bert next door who is 70 today. He doesn’t look or act that age. He’d be out of the house to pick up his morning paper at 7.00 am. One of the best neighbours it’s possible to have, Bert collects my bins and recycling bags after collection on a Saturday and makes sure they’re safe on my porch. I started to work on my mail which this morning was way over the 100 mark with more coming in all the time. At 7.15 am I pause because the sky has just descended with a clatter outside my front door. When I checked it was the bloody wind throwing my big wheelie bin and little food waste bin around like toys. I had to fix the lid of the food waste bin. As I was finishing Bert appeared with his paper and thanked me for the card. I told him to drop in for a cuppa and some cake this morning.

In the end I didn’t see Bert because his family picked him up but Lis came with the cake. I think she remembered I’m not a fan of cake as she suggested I give it to visitors. She left about 11.30 am after a coffee as she was going out for a birthday lunch with her daughter in law. I did myself some micro chips which I had with cold meat left from Christmas. I didn’t tell Joey I had chicken on my plate. We watched a double show of Bargain Hunt together then I left to return here to work. More emails to go at. At 2.00 pm I’m intending to watch a film with Nicholas Cage who I don’t rate at all, but some of the films he’s in are good. National Treasure today.                                                                  When we reached 2.00 pm I got a text from Mike to say he was on his way. That meant about a 4.30 pm arrival. I started watching the film and at 3.30 pm Dil arrived unexpectedly. I made him a cup of tea and we chatted about Christmas as we watched the film, Dil having said to leave it on as he enjoys that type of film. It finished about 4.00 pm but we left it as the film Monsters inc was due on which would bide out time till Mike arrived.

Dil heard the door about 4.30 pm so I went and put the kettle on. Someone walked in wearing Mike’s face but carrying fruit so I knew it wasn’t him. These aliens are devilish clever. Anyway, we needed the third player now so the TV went off and out came the Yahtzee.The first 6 games I was swindled and bamboozled as the pair of them got Yahtzee after Yahtzee with no effort and I just played wallflower round the edges. I think Mike won 4-2 over Dil and I just got nowhere. The second set of 6 started badly I recall but then I felt the tingle in my throwing arm. Once we realised it wasn’t a stroke I threw and actually got a Yahtzee. Huh, I made it look so easy as to be criminal. I won three games but only drew the match.

Out came the 20th year Anniversary edition of Trivia. Surely I could show my mastery here. But no, as the game came to an end, despite me having answered lots of questions, some of them even correctly, Dil had 5 pieces of pie, Mike had 4 pieces and I was drowning in the shallow end with just 3. Like I said, swindled and bamboozled. Dil went home at 9.30 pm and I sat with Mike to watch 2 episodes of Would I lie to You. Believe me, they would. After that I was able to come through to do the blog and answer my outstanding mail which was at 79 at that pint. I will be in  bed for midnight though.

Thursday 31st Dec.

OK, this morning I was in open rebellion, I just wasn’t sure who against. I got to bed around 12.15 am. I started to read but was visited by Mike who wanted to show me something(s) on his tablet. It turned out to be shoes, wingtip, co-respondent, two tone call them what you will. He finally left me about 1.00 am which left me smoking a cigarette and half way through a chapter. I read on. The book went down and light went off at 1.15 am.                                                                                                                                              I was sitting on the edge of the bed wondering why I was awake at 2.44 am. When trying to go back to sleep didn’t work I fired up my poorly sick computer and visited the bank to check my money had gone in (it had) and then to gmail to see what was waiting for me.

At 4.12 am I was still wide awake but currently finished. I decided to sit in my chair in the lounge and see if I could nod off there. Maybe Joey could keep at bay whoever it was who delighted in keeping me awake. I did manage it and didn’t wake until 6.25 am when I just went straight through to the kitchen for my meds and a coffee. I didn’t linga longa for breakfast as I knew there would be plenty of mail to have a go at. I wasn’t wrong and just ploughed straight in. I had no idea what time Mike would get up or when we would go out so I needed as little work as possible waiting for me when I came home. Plus, Yvonne was going in hospital this morning  and I didn’t know how long everything would take,

Mike’s alarm went off at 7.30 am which was a big surprise. It only took going off three times to get him up too. But first I took him a drink through and made sure I woke him as well.  We left the house before 8.30 am with the intention of going to Chester and I hadn’t at that time made much of a dent in the mail. Part way into the journey I suggested we detour slightly and go to Broughton Park . If we couldn’t get what Mike needed there we could just pick up where we left off. There’s a shoe shop Mike is quite dismissive of but I persuaded him to look anyway . Lo and behold he was lucky and for a lot less than we’d looked elsewhere. He wanted trainers to start a weight loss programme next week. Personally I think his heart will explode and that’s the only way he’ll get rid but watch this space as I may be forced to eat my words. While we were out we visited a farm shop cafe for a sausage sandwich breakfast. Very nice it was too.                                                                                                                                                                              We had a really good look around Broughton Park and I bought a few gifts. Then we move on again heading for Chester but this time detoured to have lunch at a big Supermarket. The fates intervened.

We’d just started lunch when my phone went…..I missed it. It was Yvonne so Mike rang on his phone. Long story short as most of you will know is that my new granddaughter was born at 12.20 pm after Yvonne had a section. Amelie Rose was 9lb 3oz. It was just before 2.00 pm so we said we’d be over to the hospital in a flash. I was able to buy a beautiful bouquet, some chocolates (though I’m sure wine would have been more welcome) and some cards. We wrote the cards in the car with the rain bouncing off the roof again. We were at the hospital by 2.30 pm and went to the ward where eventually we were told Yvonne hadn’t been brought up yet, just sit over there till she’s here. We did and it was 5.00 pm before she was brought up looking tired and in pain. The baby was beautiful, well, ugly in the way most new babies are ugly but beautiful nonetheless.

A beauty all of her own.

A beauty all of her own.

It was 8.00 pm before we got home and brought some light to my budgies life. I started work for a while, Mike watched TV. Eventually I took a break and had a sandwich but when a film came on Mike wanted to see I left him to it and returned to work for the rest of the night. It’s been non-stop. Late in the day now but close enough for me to wish all of you a Happy New Year. I hope it’s to be a fantastic year for you all.

Friday 1st  Jan.

Well, here we are on New Year’s Day and we’ve survived another year. I didn’t stay up last night to usher in the New Year but I got to bed just before the midnight moment. Mike stood outside and watched the fireworks for a few minutes then came in and wished me a Happy New Year. After he’d gone I resumed my reading till 1.00 am. Lights off I found sleep. Wakefulness found me at 2.10 am. I went through to the loo and found that Mike was still awake and playing on his tablet. His meds weren’t helping him find sleep , mainly because he had forgotten to take them I found. I went back to bed and read a little more until about 2.45 am I tried again for sleep. My wish was granted and I slept until 4.04 am. I checked on Mike and found him well away and using his buzz saw.

I worked on mail until 5.00 am then it being Friday I went through to take my meds and to prepare my drug trays for the next week. When I came back it was with coffee in hand. It was only 5.45 am so I had 25 minutes before the onslought. Because I’d caught up with last night’s mail I was able to mess about on ebay looking for the shoes Mike wants. On the subject of last night’s mail, I don’t think another post has had the response of last night’s announcement. Even when Ju passed I don’t remember such an outpouring of kindness. It was like the switchboard lighting up in a very large hotel there were so many comments. Thank you everyone.                                                                  The influx at 6.10 am brought 117 messages to deal with. That was OK. I was in and had the time. At 8.40 am when I’d caught up I took a walk out to get new lottery tickets only to find Pauline’s wasn’t open. I knew I’d have to ask Mike a favour and see if he’d pick them up for me or perhaps nip me somewhere before he had to leave to see his Dad. I came back to carry on working for a while.


#CHAMPIONSAWARDS    When I returned to the mail  I was surprised and delighted to find I’d been given a new award and had been sponsored by the founder Seumas Gallacher.. I haven’t been accepting awards for some time but accepting this gives me the ideal opportunity to pointedly recognise some deserving people. This is part of thr reason for the award’s creation……………. there are already gazillions of splendid Awards, recognising the goodness of so many of our fellow scribblers and readers… supporters all in their own way, worthy of a thousand special ‘thank you’ nods… the intent of these CHAMPIONS AWARDS is to differentiate those fine people who go that extra special mile for others… my fervent hope is that this will circulate and ‘viralise’ (new WURD, Mabel, settle down) and trigger your own CHAMPIONS AWARDS for those you know deserve it :                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The rules are simple.

Recipients, if you choose to accept and wish to propagate the CHAMPIONS AWARDS, please do the following:

  1. Post this Award Sticker on your blog, with the hashtag #CHAMPIONSAWARDS
  2. Acknowledge the sponsor of your Awards.
  3. Choose at least five of your own nominees and advise them accordingly, attaching these 5 guidelines.
  4. Keep it simple… no need for explanations for the Awards… we know how great these folks are.
  5. You are free to give out these Awards as frequently as you wish.

My Nominees are. Paula Acton of   Fiza Pathan of    Rob Goldstein of    Laine Anne Jensen  of  and Melanie Marttila of Writerly Goodness at  The list is not an indication that these are the only worthies as those are too numerous to list now but each of my friends above occupies a little niche that helps others. There may be more to follow.

At about 9.15 am I was straight again and went to sit in the lounge. It must have been just minutes before I was asleep. At some point Mike was there. I got an hello in before I was off again. I was expecting him to be off to his Dad’s today as usual but through the fog I heard he’d changed his mind and would go on Sunday instead. When I asked about lunch he said that’s why he was waking me up so I climbed my way back to consciousness. We settled on lunch in Prestatyn at the CookHouse then on to look at the sale at the Tweed Mill in St.Asaph.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Outside the CookHouse we saw a sign that said O.A.P.s got a reduced carvery Mon to Fri. We joked and said we wondered if today counted as it’s a Bank Holiday and also whether reduced meant the price or the quantity.  It turned out we got the reduced price today so Mike treated us to lunch , it also turned out the quantity was less (the meat) too but not enough to matter.

We had a ride to the Tweed Mill where Mike got a nice fleece for after the gym, I think he wants to look sporty. We had a good look round and stopped for a coffee in the tower coffeehouse but as time was getting on we decided to come home to Joey. We were back about 4.30 pm and obviously I had to come to work straight away having wasted the morning. I still managed to get some TV in during the evening, watching Judge John Deed with Mike. Then it was back here again with plenty to do.

grandbaby 8

grandbaby 10

Saturday 2nd Jan.

It was almost 12.45 am when I finished my Pratchett book. As always I was sorry I had, though this time I think there was some story missing compared to the usual Discworld books. Lights off ready to sleep. I was up for the loo as early as 2.20 am but managed to settle down again afterwards. Then it was 4.38 am and up. Not an unreasonable time compared to recent nights. Mike thinks that 7.00 am is still the middle of the night so perhaps I should complain more. He still doesn’t believe there are two seven o’clocks in the same day.Then he surprises me. His alarm went off at 6.15 am. I waited until it went off the second time before taking a coffee through thinking the second one may wake him a bit. It was the fifth one that finally forced him out of bed to fall asleep in his chair in the lounge.  I just turned the overhead light on and left him. He’s be ready when he was ready. Blow me, by 7.25 am we were on our way.

I bought flowers first in the supermarket, then bedding in the form of sheet and pillowcases then a beautiful little pink frilly dress with matching knickers and with pink roses sewn on all round. My bill was rising even before I got near the food. At the till eventually Mike’s grin got bigger as the bill did. We went for coffee. I bought a couple of cube photo frames on our way out into yet another day of rain.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We headed for Flint and had a look round a couple of shops for some particular style of joggers Mike wanted but the legs were all far too long for him. We headed for Temptations and our friends where we got New Year hugs and kisses and thanks for the watches I got as Christmas gifts this year. They were liked. When it was time to go we headed off towards home then Mike detoured ti have lunch in Holywell. We settled on the Chippie so he could have fish. I settled on sausage and chips with…you guessed it….curry sauce. Very nice too.

Once the meal was finished we came home to unpack the bags and let Joey out. I was a wee bit annoyed that the recycling hadn’t been collected as I didn’t want to bring the bags which were now soaked through back into the house. We put the shopping away and tried to encourage Joey to say hello but his back was turned to us for hours. Mike settled with his tablet to watch his team play while I came to work and tried to made a dent in the 65 I’d left behind this morning plus what had come in between times. I did pretty well and was through with Mike by about 5.00 pm. When I say with him, I mean more in body than in spirit since I put a film on TV for us and promptly fell asleep. At least I was awake for the end and to turn over for the Iron Man 3 movie which I slept through as well. He didn’t complain too much as it seems I’m far noisier with the coughing when I’m awake.

At 9.00 pm I came back through away from the temptation to sleep and started work instead. I hope by the time I get through in here I’ll be tempted to sleep again, just in the right place next time.

The Wee One

The Wee One

Beautiful Grandbaby

Beautiful Grandbaby




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86 responses to “Arseinthis descends & Open Rebellion.

  1. Che meraviglia, tanti auguri, un 2016 stupendo per voi tutti, 🙂

  2. Love the dancing bear 🙂
    Um, you sound a bit fed up?

  3. Absolutely beautiful Grandaughter.

  4. Hi David. First and most of all, I’m glad you are continuing to feel better. Progress is progress even if not as much as you’d like. Hang in there my friend.
    Amelie Rose is such a lovely name. Congratulations again Granddaddy.
    I always enjoy it when you give us some tales of the gods. 😀
    I’ve always loved the San Francisco song and you found a marvelous video of it. Thank you! Have a wonder-filled healthy happy New Year. Mega hugs!

    • Darling Teagan, I’m hanging in there honestly.
      Thanks so much, it is a beautiful name and she’s a delightful little scrap.I’m so glad you enjoy the Pantechnicon of the small gods, they give me a laugh sometimes too.
      That’s the only song I know by Scott McKenzie, but it had a huge influence on me when it came out. I was full of the hopes of that generation at 16 and I’m so glad I still carry those same hopes now.
      My Year is always filled with wonder that so many friends come back time after time and offer me so much.
      Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
      xxx Ginormous Hugs xxx

      • Hold-on-hold-on… Did I miss your birthday (comments are making me wonder)? I know “I’m sa dad-blamed tar’d I feel ‘bout like a mashed bug” (Sorry– it seems I’m still doing “southernisms”) but I’m not finding it when I look again. If I missed your *day* I’m very sorry and send you wishes for many happy returns.
        Wishing you success of every kind — happy New Year hugs!

      • No Teagan you haven’t missed it. I’ve a couple of weeks to go yet but thank you anyway especially for the quick education in Southernisms.
        xxx Mammoth Hugs xxx

  5. My eighteen year old took her body back a while ago – but I’m on the look out for a new one! 🙂 The baby is just gorgeous – don’t you love the scent of a new baby – they are just a little bit of heaven I always think! Remember age is just a number and you’re only as old as you feel – Have fun and enjoy yourself – the alternative to growing older isn’t much to look forward to either 🙂 xoxo

    • Thanks so much Pauline. I’ve never actually noticed a new baby smell until the advent of that first nappy full. They’re still a special bit of heaven nonetheless.
      I confess, I’ve never quite adjusted so my brain and my age match, I can’t come to terms with being this age as I still have all the hopes and dreams I used to carry. You’re right, the alternative to growing older doesn’t have much appeal either.
      xxx Sending Gigantic Hugs xxx

  6. It all seems to be looking up my friend, you are feeling well, have a beautiful little grand daughter and you have a lovely award, oh and we also now have a whole new year with new beginnings. You are not old so don’t go there, I think you have a wonderful life, you are talented, handsome, have a loving family. All is good!! Until next time, have a fantastic week and many hugs from your Brooklyn friend.

    • Ah Dear Suzanne, I do have a beautiful little granddaughter to cherish, a lovely but very unexpected award to enjoy and a New Year full of Hope ahead of me.
      I would never wish poor sight on anyone but I have to say I bless yours if it can see talent and a handsome person. I think distance is lending something to you since I see things quite differently. One thing I am definitely blessed with is beautiful friends I wish were much closer.
      xxx Unlimited Hugs from Wales to Brooklyn xxx.

    • Well said, Suzanne! Group hug!!! 😀

  7. The wee one is beautiful. I’m not surprised that this New Year’s baby brought you a ton of comments and messages. Congratulations on her again and on your award, as well. Hope you have a wonderful week! Hugs!

  8. There’s nothing like the promise of new life in a family. Am sure you all will have a lovely year ahead. Big hugs all around. xxx

    • This New Year promises so much Ardys. A new life so that I must reaffirm my promise to try and make the world a nicer and safer place for her. I’m so thankful for my friend’s support.
      xxx Massive Hugs to you xxx

  9. Great post, David. So fun to see more pictures of the little princess, and Reuben’s smiles, as always. Congratulations on the award and have a wonderful new year with your growing family. Gigantic hugs to you. 😀

    • As always, thank you for your kindness. The little Princes made her debut just right didn’t she.My year has started so well.and has as always been filled with friendship.
      The award was a huge surprise and kindly done. I shall enjoy my own offering of the same.
      xxx Sending you Ginormous Hugs and hopes of a Great New Year. xxx

  10. Oh, the agonies of waking too soon, David. As long as you’re going to be up anyway, you should get a puppy. Take it from us, at least you’ll be getting your exercise when you can’t sleep. And tell Reuben it’s better than cat allergies.
    Congratulations! You are a Champion for sure. Your life is filled with precious little blessings, friends and family who love and appreciate you, and a wonderful new year ahead. Many hugs to you, David.

    • Alas I can’t have a dog where I am and the budgie might eat one. Joey is very possessive. I know Yvonne would love a dog but neither of them want to leave it alone so much of the day when they’re at work. Lucky for me, when I can’t sleep (3.30 am today) I always have the computer ans my mail to keep me going.
      I’m always grateful for the kindness of so many friends too, you make life worth carrying on.
      I wish you a Wonderful New Year and send xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  11. Amélie (Poulain) was the most charming character in search for romance since Pepé Le Pew – they say – but YOUR Amelie, David, will have romance and love come to her – she’s a magnet 🙂 Beautiful and I trust Reuben sees that and is willing to share the limelight 😀 CONGRATULATIONS! To be born on St Sylvester’s Day is also a good omen in case one needs to slay dragons in life :))))) Happy New Year to all in your circle of love

    • I hope Amelie will have romance come to her, she has love flowing even now.I hope Reuben is happy is share some limelight with her but I’m sure she’ll be careful not to detract from him as shell have her own little circle. I don’t want her to slay Dragons though as it’s the National Emblem of my Country and I’m proud to be Welsh.while she is to be brought up on the wrong side of the border.
      xxx Happy New Year Ina and xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  12. Woke to sun on snow-capped peaks and your always entertaining recap – feels like an auspicious start to a new year. More great pics of la petite Amelie, clearly she is on her way to stardom! Biggest bises xo

    • Is sun on snow capped peaks a recognised medical condition now Mel? I hope you soon recover.Thank you for your always entertaining visit, the door is always on the latch and the kettle on if you’re passing.
      I shall groom Amelie to be granddad’s best friend and protector. It’ll be nice to have a woman on my side for a change.
      xxx Sending Mammoth Hugs xxx

  13. It’s the worst time of the year for feeling low, David. Just hang on in there for another two weeks and by then Amelie Rose will be bouncing about and chirruping with the birds 🙂

  14. Thank you so much for the pics of Amelie Rose. They’re lovely. A big New Year’s hug to Yvonne. Tell her to rest as long as she can. You too, if at all possible. 🙂

  15. Love your granddaughter and you look great with her in your arms. I hope this year the gods of sleep start behaving better, your health is good and you carry on being a champion!!

    • Thanks so much Olga. It seems strange to be holding such a tiny baby again. I’ll have to see if bribery works with Porcinus and Somnos to get some sleep. I’m sure I’ll have a good year and I truly hope yours is going to be fantastic.
      xxx Ginormous Hugs xxx ❤

  16. Oh David! how exciting! a new baby. Wow-ee, I bet you are all thrilled to bits. Poor Yvonne, I hope she’s feeling less sore now. I Love ‘All around my hat’ – it’s guaranteed to get me jigging around the kitchen. I’m a huge fan of Maddy Prior too, I love her Christmas songs. Here’s wishing you a stupendously good 2016. May it be filled with good health, love and all good things. Huge hugs as always. Lottie xxxxxxxxxxxxx

    • Hi Dear Lottie, yes we’re all thrilled again especially as it’s a little girl to complete the family they wanted. Amelie Rose will have a big brother to look after her.
      I’m a big fan of Maddy Prior too, I almost added Gaudete to the Christmas.
      I wish you the Happiest and most successful New Year you can imagine.
      xxx Much Love and Huge Hugs as always xxx

  17. Congratulations on your beautiful new grand daughter David. She has a gorgeous name too. I am sorry you are still not feeling 100% and hope that you will be back to full strength soon! So you are now an OAP? You don’t look 65 and certainly don’t sound it! Keep that 18 year old’s brain, he won’t need it!
    Congratulations on your Champions award too. It is extremely well-deserved. You always go that extra mile to leave lovely comments, not to mention hugs as well, plus you are always sharing others’ posts. Huge hugs xxxxx

    • Thanks so much Judy.She’s a pretty little thing and the name is pretty as you say. I’m sure I’ll be back at full annoying strength soon, I’ll try to issue public health warnings.
      I’ve got 2 weeks before my birthday to grow into my age or to buy some Grecian 2000 to try and look younger. Trouble is it doesn’t work on beards and it’s that where the help is needed. A lovely compliment anyeay thank you.
      Yet another thank you due. The Champions award is lovely. It gives a littl boost. I try to be nice and if I can’t I don’t bother, because people tend to be nice in return and it’s lovely. People make it easy for me with their kindness.
      xxx Ginormous Hugs xxx ❤

      • Aren’t grey hair (and beards) supposed to be ‘distinguished looking?’ You are not officially old yet either! 🙂

      • I think it’s more extinguished than distinguished in my case Judy. No,I have two weeks before it’s official unless they’ve moved the ‘Officially Old’ goalposts again. I shall live like a 60’s rebel for the next two weeks then. Pipe and slippers after that.
        xxx Hugs Galore xxx

      • Ha HA! You carry on being a rebel David. Hugs xxx

  18. Were you reading “The Shepherd’s Crown”? Agreed–not Sir Terry’s best, but an amazing achievement when you consider he was dying of Alzheimer’s at the time he wrote it.

    • I was indeed reading that and I do recognise the achievement. Just at points I seem to feel another hand at work and yet that’s missing at the point Sir Terry would have normally given the story a little more padding. I know he wouldn’t have had chance to go back to it but I’m not sure he’d have gone ahead and published just then given a choice.Still, I’d rather have it than not.and I raise my hat to him for the years of pleasure he’s given me.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  19. Was sorry to hear you were ill around the holidays, but at least you were better in time to bring in the New Year. I love seeing more photos of the beautiful Amelie Rose. I’m sorry your Yvonne wasn’t able to have a natural birth. Surgeries are always such a challenge to heal from, especially when you have little ones to take care of!

    I saw Beautiful Creatures, as well, recently and enjoyed it. I believe it’s based on a series of books and like yourself, I’m hoping for a sequel or two.

    It appears you’re having a birthday soon? If I’ve seen that right, I hope you’ll have a fabulous time. I’m a January birthday, too. For me birthdays are always an introspective period rather than party time, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fabulous, yes?

    The holidays always go so quickly. I can’t believe as I write this comment we’re already three days into 2016. Lovely to catch up with you as always, David. xxxx Hugs Galore xxxx

    • Thanks very much, I’ve grown to expect illness around this time of year so it’s no surprise. I’m much improved but I didn’t bring in the New Year, I’m not a lover of ‘occasions’ so read a book.
      Yes a birthday in 2 weeks but I don’t care for parties. As it’s my 65th I expect there’ll be meal out with family but that’s about it. Happy Birthday to you whenever it is, private introspection doesn’t mean you haven’t celebrated the milestone of another year passed.
      Yes, the holidays do pass quickly but in reality they’re only a week long or would be f they weren’t dragged out to November by those who think we should all be festive.Buying the gifts is as festive as I get.
      May this be a Fantastic Year for you.
      xxx Huge Hugs xxx

      • I suppose it’s all the build-up to the holidays. And you’re right, it is only a week, but all those preparations and the trepidation (and the hype!) before hand. I don’t fall for any of the commercialization anymore and find that I enjoy it all far more. We should all be festive or not in our own way.

        Happy Upcoming Birthday to you, David. xxx Hugs Galore xxx

      • The Hype and the commercialisation really spoil it except maybe Father Christmas for the kiddies but even they must start to wonder how many there are.l When I was a child he didn’t appear in the stores until the week before Christmas. But as you say we should all enjoy it in our own way and I get my pleasure buying gifts (anytime) but not the ones you see advertised, just ones personal to the receiver.Once those are given I’m not a big fan of Christmas itself and being part of a crowd. I’m pretty Bah Humbug.
        Happy New Year
        Hugs Galore xxx
        ps. Thanks for the Birthday wishes. I’ll save them for two weeks

  20. First thank you for the award I will confess when I first saw the title in my email subject box I feared that one of those women had hacked your account and it was going to be a dodgy link but was totally thrilled to discover it was only my low caffeine levels that disorientated me. I saw the new year in laying in bed watching wrestling and cursing the fireworks which seemed to last for at least an hour, you would have thought that it was the one time of year people would get the time right!

    Wonderful news on the new arrival and twice as much cuteness for us to look forward to in your blogs.

    Huge hugs xxxxx

    • How on earth can anyone still awake have low caffeine levels? It’s no good,you need a Tassimo and a mini fridge in the bedroom. I’m glad you saw the award and didn’t just wipe the email thinking you were about to be hacked.
      The fireworks did go on for a while but much less than an hour here for a change.They don’t really bother me though as I’m usually in bed reading by then as I was this year. See, if I’d known what you were up to I could have had a coffee for you, and raised the cup in your honour of course.
      Thanks Sweetie, the arrival was perfectly timed and is as cute as a button.
      Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  21. Ali Isaac

    Aw congratulations on your beautiful baby granddaughter! She is gorgeous! What does Reuben think of his new baby sister?

    And congrats on your award, too, very well deserved.

    I have to say, I was a bit worried about you in the first part of the post… what meds were you on? You were quite away with the fairies, lol! I guess I can think of worse company to keep… like Arseinthis, for one! Hehe! Although lack of sleep can make one quite delirious, I believe. Are you better now? I hope so. Lovely pics of you and the baby, btw. Have a great week, and the best of Happy New Years to you!

    • Hi Ali, Amelie Rose bought her big brother a present when she was born so he has reason to look on her favourably and not be jealous. Clever girl that !
      Thank you, unexpected and undeserved but I’ll take it.
      I’m sorry you were worried, I thought my ravings were like that all the time. You don’t want to keep company with Arseinthis though as she’s very vain and there’s a big temptation after the first half dozen times to tell the truth about how her bum looks in what she’s wearing.(Like an eclipse heading for the sun). Still, I must be better now as even I can understand what I’ve written.
      The baby is a sweetie, my friend to be.
      Have a Wonderful New Year
      xxx Gigantic Hugs xxx

  22. Oh, David, there is so much to comment on this post. I will stick to the highlight of my reading. Congratulations, seeing your newest little on brought tears to my eyes.I expect more children’s books to come? 🙂

    Thank you for the award nomination. I don’t usually accept awards but I like the idea of passing encouragement on to those who provide a ‘niche’ that helps others. In that light I accept with honor. I’m not on Twitter. Shall I still publish the hashtag?

    • Hello Laine, you’ve actually caught me just at the point where I’m wondering if Amelie should have her own book and if so, what should it be. I get the feeling this might occupy my mind a lot for a while..

      I haven’t accepted awards for some time but I felt this one was different and so I’m glad you feel the same and grateful you accept it. It’s a shame you’re not getting the benefits of twitter but yes, please show the hashtag.
      I wish you a Wonderful New Year
      xxx Ginormous Hugs xxx

  23. Pingback: Not A Book Review | Paula Acton

  24. Congratulations on the new granddaughter, David. I’m waiting to see a picture of her in that beautiful dress you bought. I just loved buying pink things when our daughter was born. It’s lovely to have one of each. It seems to be a “girl year” as so many people you read about are having girls. So good to hear your health is improving. Take it easy and get completely well as you’ll have two grandchildren to keep up with now. Huge Hugs. Happy New Year to you and yours. 🙂 — Suzanne

    • Thanks so much Suzanne, I haven’t managed to get over to take the dress yet. I was supposed to go today but found I had retinopathy late this morning and I came out blurry eyed.
      I think there will be a lot of pink bought for the next couple of years which makes a nice change from the often drab colours done for boys.
      I’m still taking it easy and nodding off when I’m not supposed to.. It means I miss the best programmes on TV,.
      Sending you New Year Wishes with Massive Hugs xxx

  25. Amelie Rose is adorable! And that cat allergy looked uncomfortable!

    • Quite right Brenda, she is adorable. Poor Reuben but I think isolating the cats so they can’t lie on the furniture in the main rooms has helped a lot. Yvonne is going to get him allergy tested to see what degree of allergy he has to various things.
      Thanks so much for popping in.
      xxx Massive Hugs xxx

  26. Congrats on the little one, granddad!! Wishing you continued blessings in this New Year, David

    • Thanks so much Sweetie, you’re very kind. I’m caled Pops officially now as I swear it makes me sound younger than Granddad.
      I hope 2016 is a beautiful and special year for you Christy,
      xxx Hugs Galore xxx

  27. A new baby for the New Year is perfect, isn’t it? You must post photographs when you try on the lovely pink dress with the matching frilly knickers: Arseinthis should surely be in attendance. Happy New Year, anyway David. You are a very kind, very generous man – I hope your kindred appreciate you.

    • OK, who told you I tried them on Andrew, who’s been watching me? The pink really didn’t suit me which Is why I’m passing them on.
      The baby is a joy, a really nice start to the New Year.
      Thank you for.the kind words Andrew. The kith and kin are mostly kind to me but bully me when it suits. I’m to have a birthday meal I don’t want just because they want to eat and natter. I’ve demanded I should pay so I shall arrange the menu.It shall be jelly and ice cream.

  28. David, somehow this got thrown into my spam, no idea why, but I’d assumed you’d be busy getting better and being a new Grandpa so I thought you had skipped a week and then I found this and raced over. Once again, congratulations on the new little one!!! 🙂 She’s a beauty! 🙂
    Hope you keep feeling better, dear David and keep enjoying your family and friends! 🙂
    Massive monster wee one hugs, Grandpa! 🙂

    • See, your spam folder knows me better than you do. I confess I’m glad you found it though. Thank you for the congratulations. She is a little gem, so tiny.
      I’m sure I get better by the day, I’d rather my family and friends enjoyed me if possible.
      xxx Gargantuan Hugs Donna xxx

      • My spam folder is rubbish if wonderful people like you go into it, David, I’ll have to check it more diligently so I don’t miss out. 🙂
        Oh bless her little heart, David, she looks like she’s going to bring a lot of joy into this world, already has I’m sure. 🙂
        Get better and enjoy each other. 🙂
        Massive 2016 hugs! 🙂

  29. Congratulations grandpapa!!! Amelie Rose is beautiful although your description “The baby was beautiful, well, ugly in the way most new babies are ugly but beautiful nonetheless” made me chuckle. She is such a sweetie pie.

    I can now relate to your sporadic sleep patterns as I seem to wake up every morning without fail around 3:00 a.m. Thing is I refuse to get up until at least 4:00. At first I thought it was just a fluke but now I’m beginning to think this is my new normal grrrrrr I used to like sleep but… Oh well, I’m gonna have to remember how “an internal examination of my eyelids” so that at the very least I can find a bit of humor in the situation.

    This was such an enjoyable read David!! Happy New Year and congratulations on your award!! ❤

  30. Congratulations on the award and your beautiful little grand daughter, David! Wow! I’m looking forward to you telling us all about your birthday when it happens. Have a wonderful time xxxx

    • Thanks so much Dianne,she’s a little gem.
      I’m hoping to have found a very deep hole to hide in before my birthday so my daughter and the nieces can’t find me.
      xxx Huge Hugs xxx

  31. You are truly a Champion in so many ways. As a blogger, you inspire me in how much you give to others.
    Your new granddaughter’s name is absolutely beautiful-she matches it perfectly.

    • What a truly wonderful thing to say Pamela. I’d never thought of myself as a champion nor inspiring. It’s lovely to hear it from someone though for all the surprise. Thanks so much. I’m honoured that you visit the blog and support it as you do.
      Amelie Rose is growing into the name. She and it are delightful.
      xxx Humongous Hugs xxx

  32. Beautiful photographs of you all, David, sweet little sister and a handsome brother – parents must be delighted.
    Hope you are feeling better, and hope the dreadful rainy weather goes away. Poor Reuben allergic to cats! That’s just crazy, but the allergy might disappear as he grows.
    What a delightful start of the year for your family. Amelie Rose will make you all busy these first months, and the time will go fast for you.
    Many hugs and love! xxx

    • Thank you Inese. Yes,my daughter and her husband are delighted that their little family is now complete.
      I’m doing OK thanks and I join you in wishing the rain would disappear for a while.It was teeming down again Friday and just making the clean-up job harder.
      I think Roobs is showing signs of his father’s allergies but I hope they won’t result in asthma too. I hope he grows out of the cat allergy too. I don’t want 2 cats as well as the bird.
      I don’t want time to go too fast or we’ll be back at Christmas again and a first birthday.
      xxx Sending Much Love and Gigantic Hugs xxx

  33. Glad you are feeling better. 🙂 And congratulations on the new beauty in your life. She’s adorable. I bet she has stolen your heart already. Amelia Rose. Very beautiful. How is Reuben liking being a brother? it sounds like your new year is off to a good start.

    • Hello Maggie, thanks so much. Yes, Amelie has stolen my heart which is good, with her mother it was always my wallet. Reuben seems to have taken to Amelie for now, I just hope no jealousy sneaks in later. If she buys him the odd present it might be OK.
      My New Year couldn’t have had a better start. I hope yours has been as good.
      xxx Sending Massive Hugs xxx

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