Sunday 14th Feb. Valentines Day.
My love gave me a red red rose. Actually she didn’t, but what she did give me was better- a lie in. I was still awake at 2.00 pm and made a mid-kip visit for a wee, but I didn’t get up until 6.38 am. A truly wonderful 4 hours+. I knew the post would be in so rather than face that first I went to take my meds and bring a coffee back. I needed it when I found 124 pieces of post and no matter how hard I tried I struggled to stay below 100. Every time I hit somewhere in the 90’s up it would jump again. I didn’t realise most of the World wanted to write to me.
I kept going and going and was even glad when I heard Mike get up as it meant I could do a coffee for him. That was about 10.30 am and any progress came to a halt. We sat together in the lounge and once he was compost mental we talked about what to do today. I reminded him we had semi made plans but he could choose whether we still did them and if so, which way we would. So, it was either to be shop, eat and hair or eat, shop and hair. We left the house about 11.30 am and he decided we’d shop first. All I wanted was a special offer from LIDL of a microwave boeuf bourgignon which we searched for only to be told it had been withdrawn and shipped back because of a problem with the manufacturing process. And, in another shop some individual mini cereals. It’s not worth me buying the Kellog’s varieties as I only eat 2 of the 8 in there. So, I buy some Cornflakes some Rice Krispies and a couple of Shreddies. Then we went for lunch and decided on The Bells of St Mary’s expecting everywhere else to be crowded for St. Valentine’s Day. The Bells is big enough to accommodate a lot of people. It was surprisingly empty. Mike was very disappointed with his meat again and said we’ve been spoiled by The CookHouse. He’s probably right.
Then we came home, and once I’d made him a coffee he planted a chair in the middle of the kitchen floor and made me sit. While he was doing my hair I kept trying to nod off. I’d jerk awake and he’s think he’d caught me with the clippers. Eventually I was done and went outside to shake the cape in case the birds wanted a years worth of nest material. Joey probably won’t recognise me and I’m sure Amelie won’t. I fell asleep in my chair and when I woke Mike had fallen asleep in his. When he awoke it was getting on for 5.45 pm and it was time he left. He set off back to Manchester where he’s staying this week. I came back inside and threw myself into the work I hadn’t touched since 10.30 am No prizes for guessing there was lots of it. I was determined only to work until 7.00 pm so I could see Beowulf this week but I’d come back in after that. What a liar, I watched Beowulf then turned over for a programme about Midwives in the 50’s ( no I’m not pregnant) that Mike recommended. I promise though I did come back through at 9.00 pm after I’d said goodnight to Joey and taken my meds. Catching up has been fun but I made it and I should even be in bed by 11.30 pm with luck.
Monday 15th Feb.
I managed the 11.30 pm bed and managed an hour of reading.I don’t even recall a major problem getting to sleep or any middle of the night trips to the loo. What I do remember is waking up this morning and feeling rested again. It was 5.08 am. That’s two nights now and I wonder if I’m on a run of extended sleeps or if Somnos and his ilk are just leading up to something again. I made my loo visit and came back to log on the computer. I worked for an hour then decided to go for my meds and a coffee. Stupid timing really as the new batch of messages arrived while I was away. I returned to a full sack from the virtual Post Office. I had to work until 8.45 am then get dressed, put my shoes on and walk up to the chemist’s with a new prescription request and to buy both melanin dressings and some micropore tape neither of which they had in the right sizes. They’ll have them in for next time I need them though so for now I took different sizes in both. On my way home I called into Pauline’s where a suicidal chips in curry sauce jumped into my bag. No one has so far commented on the great hair attack and shave.
Back home again I hoovered the lounge and changed Joey’s water, seed and millet. I think I should have done those in a different order. Duh! Back to work until 10.00 am when Homes Under the Hammer was on. Well, you have to keep promises made to a budgie don’t you. After an hour it was straight back to work. I was just clearing the last about 12.05 pm when Bev came. We went through to the lounge where she said hello to Joey who kept schtum. She doesn’t believe he can talk I’m sure. Bev on the other hand can so we chatted about this and that ( but never the other) until she had to go at 12.30 pm. As soon as the door was closed I took my pre-foodies, did some b & b and put my chips with curry sauce in the micro. Enjoyed every mouthful. I had the last quarter hour of Bargain Hunt then returned to the salt mines instead of having a kip.
By 2.00 pm I needed to shut my eyes. Rather than tattoo my forehead with the reverse keyboard I chose to go to my chair in the lounge. I zonked ! What’s more I stayed zonked until 4.15 pm. I’m never usually asleep that long on just a power nap. I was confused about the time (and didn’t have the sense to look at my wrist) because I turned the TV on and was confronted with a programme that’s usually on another channel over an hour and a half later.Eventually I came round and found it was earlier than I thought and I hadn’t missed my Road Trip which had changed channels with the one I could see. There was no point in going back to work so I worked my way through my usual programmes until 8.00 pm when I turned off ( the TV) and came through. There were loads of messages including one that tells me one of my brothers in law is in hospital and not expected to survive. He’ll soon be with his parents and his sister, my wife, lucky man. I’m sorry for him but have had little to do with him as he was very insular and had been unwell a long time. I finished my last message at 10.20 pm ( though odd ones keep popping up) and started on the blog.
A treat for Shirley fans the world over……
Tuesday 16th Feb.
I was in bed by 11.45 pm and read until almost 1.00 am. It did take a short while to get to sleep because my legs were hot and I had to find cool places for them outside the covers. I know I was dreaming before I got up. It felt like I was awake thinking about it more than dreaming but since it was more like an early Peter Sellers film with Wilfred Hyde White, I doubt it. But suddenly I was awake and not dreaming which was a shame really as the story wasn’t over. It proved to be 3.27 am. Sleep wasn’t about to come back so I got up and signed into the computer and checked my bank account. Yep, my Disability Living Allowance had gone in so I can see things are running smoothly again now. Next was my gmail account, I might as well occupy my time properly. That took me to 5.20 am to clear which gave me time before breakfast to change Mike’s bed. By 5.40 am the bedding was in the washing machine and I’d taken my meds, made myself a coffee and returned to the
bedroom Office. I hadn’t felt like breakfast but that was OK as I could have lunch and tea instead. If I behaved at lunchtime maybe I could have fruit at teatime? At 6.10 a I went to check the washing machine and it showed cycle finished. I turned it off and opened the door then started folding. I’d done the duvet cover and put it on the airer when the pillowcases came out and I realised they were still quite damp. I’d completely forgotten the drying cycle. Luckily the airing rack is right next to the radiator which was on. I just carried on and hoped they’d dry there instead of putting them back in for 3 hours.
I returned to the mail and found I’d gone from 14 to 97. Get on with it David and stop skiving. I thought I might need a sleep but no helpful yawns gave me the excuse I needed. I carried on. I finished t 9.23 am and immediately got up in case I noticed any more come through. I went to open Joey’s cage in case he wanted freedom and decided to stay there with him. For anyone who’s wondering why I wasn’t in Chester today, Yvonne had the health visitor going so couldn’t come out to play. It would take me a while to walk to where she lives….and then back again. Instead I’ve been wearing a pair of shorts so my legs feel a bit cooler and my legs itch less. When Homes Under the Hammer came on I was ready and waiting then missed 15 minutes when I nodded off. Joey woke me though. At 11.00 am I came back through to work and found lots more photographs from Davida Bailey aka my daughter. I saved them to sort through later. I dealt with the mail and at 11.40 am went to the kitchen to start taking my pre-foodie tablets. By midday I was sitting down with a beef stew and dumplings followed by a strawberry yoghurt. I also watched Bargain Hunt and stayed awake.
After the programme I washed my pots and returned to work. Not too many to do but they still took me until 2.05 pm.. Knowing Father Brown was on at 2.15 pm and that I wasn’t far off a power nap I went through to my chair. I didn’t manage to kip during Father Brown nor doze through Homes in the Country so work beckoned me again at 3.45 pm. The minute I sat at the desk I wanted to snore. I refused to give in and held off until 4.30 pm when I went for my evening’s viewing and my tea. I couldn’t believe it, I managed right through till 8.00 pm without a power nap. Maybe it’s a good sign for tonight. I shut Joey away and wished him goodnight then went for my last catch up session.The mail was out of the way before 10.00 pm and it looks like the blog will be done in time for me to have am 11.00 pm bed. I could be asleep for the witching hour.
Wednesday 17th Feb.
It was more like 11.15 pm and then I read until midnight and actually finished the book. It’s made me want to get the other 8 in the series now. It took a little time to settle but not too long so we can safely say I was asleep by 12.30 am . It’s pretty remarkable that my waking up time today was a very healthy 4.52 am. That’s 3 days on the trot now and I’m starting to get very suspicious. Either my body has undergone a change and I now need more sleep or someone is toying with me. The cycle of events was normal, the loo followed by the kitchen to take my meds and have some breakfast which today was a slice of toast. Then after making a coffee it was back to work. First check the Eurolottery numbers for last night. Right, it seems the round the world tip is still on hold. Then the mail. Plenty left from last night’s skiving then the new lot piling on as we pass the 6.10 am mark.
I broke away from the mail at 8.45 am to get dressed and let Joey have his freedom. It’s such a dim and dismal day he didn’t move. I went to Pauline’s for some bread and the new TV mag and she passed me a mobile telephone number of someone wanting to start up in home care. Great. Back at home I sent a text and said,”Sorry, I’m not able to speak on the telephone.” Half an hour later the response…… four telephone calls, none of which got answered of course. Then a text message asking me to ring when free ??? I had to answer and reiterate my inability to give voice. OK, we got it! She said she’d be round about 10.30 am. That gave me chance to finish the mail and go sit with Joey for a while. Unfortunately I left my phone on charge in the bedroom and there was a delay before her next message asking where I am. Fair enough, I didn’t realise she’s from Holywell, not Greenfield. I texted her the where and we got a new when which was 11.00 am. And there she was. Self described as Able to talk for Britain (not wrong there) and chock full of stories. Seems a pleasant enough young lady and quite efficient at getting vital info. She’s going to start tomorrow for two hours at £25 and we’ll see how we go from here.
By the time she left it was getting on towards lunchtime so I went to get a minced beef hotpot from the fridge. With a couple of baps and a yoghurt (afterwards, not with it) it made a nice meal. After Bargain Hunt was over I returned to work and cleared it to zero again. That was at 2.15 pm so I watched Father Brown followed by a Homes in The Country which was fairly local to me for a change. Made me quite jealous. I came back here at 3.45 pm to make sure nothing was hanging about when Dil came. It was 4.30 pm when he arrived but I’d seen him and was ready with a cuppa. I put the TV on and then remembered the BBC have messed me about. There’s a new series of Flog It on BBC1 which is antiques, but
my our Road Trip has been moved to BBC2 at 5.15 pm which is the time we watch our quiz. Trust them to change the schedules around on me. So,we half watched Flog It as we chatted and then fully watched the quiz before turning TV off and getting down to bizniss. Out came the Yahtzee and we both adopted and tested out our various moans and insults. Of the first sheet of 6 games I won the first 3 and Dil the second. Not too much to moan about you’d think but Dil had only 2 yahtzees to my 3 and that was reason enough. Of the second sheet I won the first, Dil won 3, I won one and needed the last but lost it. ( Those miserable dice would be on the fire now if I had one). So Dil won 7-5 overall.
Next came the Trivial Pursuits. I got to start, threw a 6 and landed on Pink (entertainment) which I got right. I threw a 5 which gave me a free throw and got a 2 which put me on another colour, Brown I think which I also got right. Next I threw a 2 which also got me a freebie followed by a 5 which put me on Orange, the hated sports category, I got it right again. I now had 3 pieces of pie and Dil hasn’t even had a throw. I got one wrong and Dil managed to get to a colour and answer correctly for his first piece. I had 5 pieces to his 3, then 4. Then I got my last piece and moved round the board to reach the centre. I got the question right and for once he didn’t ask me sport because he said I’d know it ( I did). I felt a little better now and hid my knuckledusters under a cushion. Because we seemed to get round quickly we had time for two games of cribbage. I won both. I was quite cock a hoop but for some reason Dil thought I might be overdoing the celebrations dancing on the table and didn’t believe I was just trying to avoid a spider I’d seen run across the floor. He accused me of oneupmanship, me !! Loser, Loser. He left at 9.30 pm and I went through the usual routine, check the silverware, tidy up, wash up, put Joey to bed and take my meds. I came through to start the mail and the blog. It’s going to be midnight tonight.
Thursday 18th Feb.
I scraped by with midnight last night. In bed I started a new (to me) James Patterson book and read a few chapters. They’re quite short chapters so it’s much easier to find a point to finish, mine came at about 12.45 am then the light went out and I settled down. My waking time was 4.38 am this morning and though I’d have liked longer I knew it wasn’t coming just yet. I attended parade at the Piddle Palace then came back and signed in. I checked my bank to see my pension had gone in and all was well there. It’s the 18th so it’s the day I start a new month in my accounts book. I readied the pages before doing anything else. Next I signed into gmail and started work on the post until 5.30 am when I broke off to get some breakfast and take my morning meds . Cornflakes this morning for a change, and I allowed myself real sugar on the top. I really know how to live. Back to the post and I was working away without looking at the time. Suddenly my mail box is full again. The deluge has hit. I could only work until 8.45 am before getting dressed then I needed to go to Pauline’s for bread and my lottery tickets. I wonder if that box of sweets I sent to Lotto HQ has filtered down to the number pickers yet? Maybe I should have bought a bigger box? Tomorrow night will tell when they choose (or not) my numbers. When I came back from Pauline’s I had a quick tidy round before the cleaner came. Ridiculous isn’t it that we worry what someone else thinks of us.
I waited an worked and worked and waited. A text to say she couldn’t make it at 10.00 am arrived as she was running late, but would be there before 11.00 am. T’was not to be. Joey and I occupied ourselves with Homes Under the Hammer while we waited but at 11.00 am I came back to work. I should really have been peeling sweet potatoes. At 11.15 am she arrived. I had to show her where things were in the kitchen so while there I settled to my peeling and she settled to dusting and polishing in the lounge. Through the doorway I could see a little hive of activity as things were brought off windowsills and off tabletops to be cleaned and replaced. She preferred a drink of pop to a hot drink so I left her with a bottle and retreated to my bedroom for a while in case I was dusted or polished. There was work to do. At 12.30 pm I was going through to see what progress was being made as I’d heard the hoover going and no squawks from Joey. We met at the lounge door where she was coming to see if I wanted her to make a start on the hallway. Magic, that meant I could go and see the rest of Bargain Hunt. By 1.00 pm I could see the hallway was looking better and she’d performed a minor miracle on the console table making it so much tidier. Ready for my lunch I was happy to let her go with a promise I’d see her next Wednesday where she could do other rooms. I paid her, thanked her and let her go.
The Flash would have been proud of my speed getting some lunch ready. My stomach already thought my throat had been cut. Sausage, Sweet potato mash, carrots and peas with gravy. Believe me I enjoyed every mouthful and you wouldn’t have believed there was a pattern on the plate when I started. As there was nothing on the TV to distract me I went to work again once I’d washed the pots. I came back through at 2.50 pm when my mailbox was clear and enjoyed a little power nap. It lasted for 20 minutes . I waited with Joey until 4.00 pm then had one last small go at the mail before returning to watch Flog It and then my Road Trip. That took me perfectly up to the time for Missing Without Trace and Bones. At 8..00 pm I played yo-yo again and did the mail that had come through while I was away, bar one which would take me a while. I had Murder in Paradise where I knew who had done the killing-and how-before they did. I’m not claiming it as a result of getting my Sherlock Holmes badge in the scouts unfortunately but only that I’ve seen the same tired storyline on other TV shows like Columbo and Murder She Wrote. It’s still an entertaining show though. At 10.00 pm I took my meds, turned everything off, wished Joey a goodnight and came through to work. Not much mail to deal with so I was on the blog by 10.30 pm. I’ll be having another 11.30 pm bed tonight.
And now, here’s a choice for you. I go for No 1
Friday 19th Feb
I didn’t make my 11.30 pm deadline, but not because I was still working on he mail or this blog. It was because I had fixed in my mind the need to blog on the Buthidars. Sometimes an accumulation of things are suddenly crowding your brain and like dogs, have to be let out. Last night it was while listening to a song after finding one to place on the blog that tipped the scales for me. I’d read a fantastic blog with the most sickening pictures its possible to see on Wednesday and it had affected me greatly and made me remember the generation I came from who had all the hopes of creating a new world. Well people power did effect some changes for the better but we either didn’t go far enough or terrible things like Institutional Racism survived the purge. As it seems did our propensity for sending youngsters off to wars we have no right being involved in. I made bed at midnight and turned my light out at 1.00 am. My mind kept working though and I woke at 4.24 am this morning still thinking about some of the pictures that I’d seen and the words to Eve of Destruction rattling around the cavernous space in my head.
I had a wee then came back to log onto the computer. I decided I’d work for an hour on mail then go for breakfast. So at 5.30 am I wandered through to the kitchen and took my meds.That reminded me it was Friday and that I had to fill my container with the next week’s worth of drugs. I did that before taking two pre-foodie tablets then going to sit in the dark with a ciggie. Joey didn’t seem to mind. Once the cigarette was out I put two mini slices of bread in the toaster and brought out the butter. For a change I had them warm then made a coffee to take back with me. I swallowed two of my after food tablets and started to work again. I had the chance to do about three pieces of post before the new morning’s mail descended on me. I was up to 84 and fighting hard to bring it down before more came in. By 9.00 am I’d not made much headway but I stopped to get dressed and go to the Post Office with a card for Germany and then to Pauline’s. She was on the phone so her husband Jim served me. When I got back I put the bread away and reminded Joey I’d be with him soon for HUtH. I started work again but had just half an hour before joining Joey.
At 10.00 am when I joined Joey I was down to about 45 messages still to do. But when the programme was over it was 56. However I switched to my Flash identity and got a move on so there was steam rising from my keyboard. At 12.10 I was able to go through and start my lunch which today was corned beef, micro chips and baked beans. Easy and soon done so I could watch the important bits of Bargain Hunt. I did that then washed the pots and instead of having the kip I now wanted I returned yet again to work. Little had come in while I ate so by 2.15 pm I was free to do as I wished. What I wished was to fall asleep watching Father Brown but it wasn’t to be. I decided to change my bed. I stripped it and dropped the old stuff in the washing machine but as I leaned over to pick up the bedding I d bought recently which was in the airing cupboard, my back went. Ooh agony. I sort of heard it Pop. I had no choice but to work through the pain to make the bed again but at the earliest moment I sat in my office chair and wondered how I’d ever get out again. Mind you I knew damn well that come Hell or high water I’d be in the lounge by 4.30 am for my antiques.
I was in the lounge at 4.30 pm. I had my usual programmes until 7.o0 pm then had a quick half hour on the computer with my mail before going back for Question of Sport. At 7.30 Mike sent a text to say he was on his way. I watched my Question of Sport and Mastermind and thought Mike would be annoyed to have missed them. At 8.30 pm I went, very gingerly, for a shower. I’d just got out and was drying myself when Mike arrived hopping fromf oot to foot to get to the loo after his journey. I was gracious and let him squeeze past. I dressed and left to make him a coffee. Luckily he didn’t notice the Quasimodo impression. Strange he didn’t hear me say “It’s the bells Esmerelda ” though. By the time the coffee was done we were just minutes away from the next episode of Shetland we’ve been following. He filled me in on the week’s news very quickly and then the programme was excellent. Once over at 10.00 pm I came through with every intention to complete the mail and the blog then lie down flat. Mike decided he had more news to impart and followed me through for a quarter of an hour. I shall still be in bed for midnight.
Saturday 20th Feb.
I didn’t quite make my midnight last night but only because I had to go through to Mike’s room and ask him to apply cream to my legs as I found I couldn’t bend to reach then without pain, and couldn’t bend my legs up to my body either. It did him a favour anyway in that it made him remove his rings and he must have felt so much lighter. Mind you, I can’t talk these days since I wear 5. I found it very difficult to get comfortable in my bed and after a read till 1.00 am took forever to get to sleep. I woke at 4.23 am and though it was possible that I could have slept longer today I couldn’t afford to because of shopping. So, I paid a visit to the loo and returned to sign on. The mail has been worse ( and will be at 6.10 am ) but for now I started and intended to work until 5.30 am and then go for some breakfast. As it happened I was finished with the first batch at 5.15 am so went then.
I came back from breakfast with a coffee and worked a while longer . It didn’t seem to be many minutes before I heard Mike’s first alarm go off. I went through and made him a drink and my taking it to him coincided nicely with his second alarm. For one very silly second I thought my voice in conjunction with his alarm had made a difference and he was about to move. He was……he turned over.Three more alarms before 6.55 am and he finally got out of bed. Moments later he was asleep in his chair instead but reviving rapidly. I was dressed by then and at 7.10 am I heard him go to get dressed. I stuck my head in to let him know it was cool out. I went out with the food waste and the plastic and paper recycling bags. When I came back it was to find Mike head first down the loo doing a technicolour yawn. When he finally stopped I sent him back to bed. I didn’t see him again until 9.00 am. I was quite prepared to do without the shopping trip but he insisted he was now well enough. We set off for the Supermarket. I was really lucky in that it wasn’t as busy this morning as I feared at 9.20 am and we were able to get around without me freezing in place because of strangers.Mind you I was freezing in place when I moved just slightly the wrong way as my back was bad.
All the disabled places in McDonald’s were occupied so Mike suggested going straight to Flint and having a coffee at Temptations first. I was all for that. We arrived about 10.00 am and found a parking space then went into Temptations armed with a box of chocolates. Sian was on with Ceri the manageress so we soon had our drinks in front of us along with Mike’s teasted toecake. We were there a while but managed to get out without Mike chatting up a member of staff. We left and went over to Homies where I bought a few things, to Jolley’s for more seed bells for Joey and to B & M (BUM) where we didn’t actually buy a thing. Back out in the pouring rain and over to the car. Mike asked “What next” to which I replied “I’ll leave it up to you.” That brought on a moan but in the end we decided to go for food and as Mike was in the mood for a breakfast we had to think about where we’d enjoyed one most. That’s usually the Bells of St Mary’s but they stop serving at 11.30 am. Instead we settled on the Bells in Holywell where Mike had his breakfast and I had gammon and pineapple. Once we’d eaten it was into the Iceland frozen food shop to see if they did anything like the boeuf bourgingon I missed last weekend and then into the car to come home as I was lucky. We were actually home for 2.00 pm which was a miracle.
Once the shopping was away for which I needed Mike’s help to bend I came away to start work and catch up much earlier than usual. By 6.00 pm I’d done so and was able to go back through to keep Mike company, or I would have done had he been awake. He’s pinching my power naps and I’m missing out badly. The TV was on some atrocious film so I turned over to a different one just starting that Joey and I could watch together. It was sad that Joey is being very vocal and repeating his name for me when I have to be careful not to wake Mike up. His son did that for me by texting to say he was ready to exchange cars. Mike told me he’s up this weekend visiting his sister-in-law and is letting Mike use the bigger car to go back to Manchester tomorrow and collect the last of the things from his fathers flat to transport back home. The keys can finally be turned over then. So Mike went off to do the swap and I was left with Midsomer Murders on TV. I made myself a sandwich and had my cake in between episodes.Mike was back in time for another one to start. I stayed there until 10.00 pm then amid much laughter as I struggled out of my chair, came through to clear the mail and do tonight’s blog before posting. Because of the work I’d been able to do earlier on the mail was cleared by 10.57 pm. I’m having a clear run at the blog now.