Tag Archives: ancistrus

Mother for a Day & The Death Count Rises.

Sunday March 15th 2015

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

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

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

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

Monday.

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

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

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

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

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

Ooh Look, Toys

Ooh Look, Toys

I'll direct the choir.

I’ll direct the choir.

Tuesday.

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

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

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

I think they're all quackers Mummy.

I think they’re all quackers Mummy.

Is this how you walk like a duck?

Is this how you walk like a duck?

Especially for my friend Suzanne Joshi.

Wednesday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wake up and smell the flowers.

Wake up and smell the flowers.

Where have all the Flowers gone?

Where have all the Flowers gone?

Thursday.

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

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

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

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

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

Do I get a ride now?

Do I get a ride now?

And this is how a duck sits Mr Squiggle.

And this is how a duck sits Mr Squiggle.

Friday.

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

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

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

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

Saturday.

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

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

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

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

Bring on the Feast

I’m liking the Feast

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

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

This one’s for you Ju.     

I wish you all a Wonderful Week filled with Hugs.

 

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R.I.P.Sharkey II & Welcome Stan

Sunday 22nd Feb 2015

Circumstances conspired against me yesterday so that it was 1.30 am before my light went off last night. That meant a slightly later start this morning of 5.02 am. It sounds good but meant just three and a half hours again. Still, I can cope with it. My usual visit to the loo with an indecisive bladder meant not logging on until 5.10 am and I was slightly disappointed when I did with the amount of mail waiting. Can’t you lot write to me after breakfast or something?  There were about four responses to the blog which was nice, and it seemed to have gone down well on the music front. I take this opportunity to remind you that I’m happy to take requests and I’ll try to find something nice.

I went through to the kitchen at 6.30 am to feed my pals and Sharkey II was noticeable by his absence. It wasn’t pleasant to find him floating belly up at the top of the tank well beyond any hope of the kiss of life. He’s my first ever loss other than natural age. I’m absolutely devastated as it’s only been a week and in that time he’s become a firm favourite. A beautiful, sleek graceful fish. I promise I didn’t do it from moustache envy. I note that perhaps the pump isn’t working at full capacity and wonder if it has some bearing on matters even though there is an airstone giving it some stick in there. I shall ask Mike to take a look when I get him up. I cleared him from the tank before he was cannibalised and placed him in a little container. I feel cruel for consigning him to the rubbish.Food went in for the others and they carried on as though nothing had changed. Maybe there will be a memorial service once my back is turned.

After taking my meds I made a coffee which I took back to my desk with me. More mail coming in all the time but by 8.45 am I was starting to keep pace with it. I knew that was going to change later when we went out for lunch. I kept pace until 10.00 am when I went to wake up the rest of the mourning party with a cuppa. I needed his help in seeing to the pump before we decided where to go for lunch and what to do today. He’s not renowned for speed. To be fair when I walked in and told his coffee was there, I added that I was going to say the three little words he’s longed to hear “I need you” typical response though when he said ” I thought at the least the words would have been The Lottery’s  Ours”. He did get up though. He sat for so long looking at his tablet I almost fell asleep before we finally started on the pump. Once it had a good clean it was right as rain again. Then he told me what he’s been looking at the tablet for, it was to confirm Sharkey hadn’t died through my fault. It was because we hadn’t been given a fresh water fish at all, but one that needed brackish water and of course I hadn’t added salt. Also, far from the four inch fih I’d expected this could reach 13″ which was far too much for my tank. That’s a shop I shan’t want to visit again.

When we’d done Mike got washed and dressed and we headed off for lunch. All the way to Rhyl to the Red Cafe where we’d been last week so we could get some sponges for the filter from our usual fish shop, and to see if they had a pictus in. They didn’t. And though there was a beautiful large plec there I didn’t want it. I wanted something that moves a bit. We came away with the sponges, a new air pipe and some food. While we were in Rhyl, for the first time ever there I was accosted in the street for money from a homeless person. Though I did hand over money for a meal I couldn’t help but wonder if she was genuinely homeless and whether the money was going for food in the end.  By the time we got home it was about 3.00 pm. Mike stayed another hour while I tried to keep my eyes open and then said his goodbyes at 4.00 pm. He was my excuse not to work so I dragged myself to the computer and screamed. 212 waiting. I could only work until 6.00 pm before having to make myself a sandwich for tea so I watched a couple of Big Bang Theories and fell asleep. I stayed there until 8.00 pm and with some reluctance came back through to work. I gave it till 10.00 pm then started the blog. Anything else can wait till the morning.

Monday.

Idle Human, bed glued to your back is it? Well maybe it seems like that. I was in bed for just gone 11.00 pm last night and light off at midnight yet it was 6.11 am when I woke. And even when I did, there was a reluctance to get up even though I wouldn’t sleep again. My bladder decided that for me and up I got for a visit to the loo. Only when I came back did I power up the monster where I found only half a dozen messages or so from last night, but a hole horde of them from this morning. I got started. I could only work until 7.00 am before having to go through to the fish. The morning light is a bit better so I could see some activity before the lights went on. Best of all was seeing the ancistrus out of it’s hidey-ole. As I turned the light on, he disappeared back to where he’s dug himself in underneath a shell. I feel a little guilty for having not put an area of sand down for him to dig into but he seems to have done well enough from the gravel. Big Al was unusually out of his corner and performing some beautiful arcs in front of me, little Al was matching him stroke for stroke. Pepper didn’t seem interested. As usual I wished them good morning as the light went on and as usual Morecambe came straight to my voice. Wise followed but at a much slower pace. Even one of the bronze corys came for a look. I stuck two algae tablets to the inside of the tank to disintegrate slowly and hopefully to interest the plecs then gave some of the new food, all in one, to the rest who attacked like they were kept hungry for  week , they love it. For any of you tank enthusiasts out there, keep an eye open for foodstuffs by Fish Science. It’s really good stuff and is the result of someone going it alone after many years developing fish food for one of the top manufacturers.

Seeing the fish happy I got on with taking my meds and making my coffee to bring back. I also put a load of washing in the machine then came back through. I got stuck in. About 8.40 am I went back to the kitchen and put the washing on the drier mode so it would be ready to put on the radiator before lunch time. The first batch of mail kept me going until 10.00 am with the interruptions but I wasn’t worried. I’d no intentions of going out today. After that it was time for some kind of bravery. I refreshed my first mail account and opened the second. Oh my, will I never learn that you people never sleep. As Australia is heading in that direction, The U.S. is waking up and Europe is already on line. The Philippines is a little ahead but online now (when it works) and Thailand is in mid afternoon writing to break new records.Some very good blog posts, some adverts for the release of new books, some personal but very funny mail and even a couple of cons, it all flowed through my hands via my mouse. All of  a sudden it was almost lunchtime. I went to the kitchen and decided I’d better empty the bin since I put something in and it bounced straight back out again. Then the drier stopped so I took everything out, folded it and put it in the airing cupboard for now. I took my pre-food tablet, buttered some bread then loaded the microwave while I had a cigarette. A beef stew with dumplings today. I prepared myself a tray with a light mousse for pudding and added my after food tablets to the corner of the tray. As I ate I watched an episode of Murder she Wrote. Once over I washed the pots and came back through.

I don’t know whether you’ve noticed, but I’m not falling asleep and missing the end of Murder she Wrote as much as I did with my antiques show. I’m not sure what that means yet. What I do know is it was flippin’ hard to keep my eyes open doing my afternoon stint on the mail. I was nodding, my right hand would jerk and the mouse would be off the desk dangling down the side of my chair in my hand while my head was going forward at a rate of knots towards the desk and a very hard ash tray. There must have been some recognition of the incipient danger running through my brain, as my eyes struggled to open and wake me up. Proof that it worked is evident by the 50% less bruising I had than usual. At 2.15 pm I had to admit defeat and got through to the lounge. ( For all you clever clogs sitting there saying I only went in for Father Brown, I didn’t even turn the telly on. Anyway Father Brown is over). I sat in my chair and relaxed I was falling asleep, having a dream and waking up, and repeating the whole thing. I know my wife was with me tough sometimes it was another person too but I can’t remember the context now. By 3.00 pm I’d come back through ready to go into battle again. I don’t know how many I shifted or what time things changed but there it was again, I was woken up by my head flying towards the desk. It was 4.30pm. Not only woken for my  programme but somehow I’d also signed out of my messages I was getting less done that when I go out.

Time to watch my PYMWYMI (Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is for future reference). I managed to stay the course. When the next programme started I went to make myself some tea which I then ate while the questions were being asked. My excuse for not answering- my mouth was full. At 6.00 pm instead of the usual, I watched an old episode of Law and Order ten turned everything off and came back to sign in again. So much mail, I would have questioned whether I’d done anything all day if I couldn’t actually see the time these were received. I just plodded on and on and on until they were done and refreshed. By about 10.45 I was up to date and not stupid enough to refresh again. I took the opportunity to start on the blog instead.

Tonight I’m going to do two records to please the two ladies who asked for them and also to say thanks to them both for taking the time to comment.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYFUqxypkbA

Annie Lennox- Why for Elaine Canham an excellent blogger and friend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_n3ebuL1cPA

Elvis Presley-In the Ghetto for my friend Lynne who writes as Lasvegaslinny

Tuesday.

So I managed bed just before midnight and still managed a half hour or so read before putting the light out. Lie down, start coughing, sit up, take a drink and repeat. I know why they call it a nagging cough now. I was awake at 3.43 am, probably overflowing from all the little sips of drink. I made my way to the bathroom feeling like a tugboat awash on a sea of lime juice. When I eventually got back I set the computer to warm up and checked my mail. Just half a dozen from last night and 53 from the morning which only averages out at 13 per hour which doesn’t seem bad for a change. I made a start. By 6.00 am I was over the half way mark but I decided to feed the fish so there wouldn’t be a mad rush if I forgot the time later. Cough, cough, cough, so no way I was creeping up on them. I put the kitchen light on and went straight over to do the same with the tank. Morecambe and Wise came straight over, Pepper did a loop de loop close to the front and the two bronze corys played tag. Big Al and Little Al seemed to be enjoying a swim in and out the branches of the bog wood. Even the hoplos seemed to be having a sort of game swimming to the surface and back. The plecs just lay sunning themselves, very inactive. The pretty V shaped tail of the ancistrus was showing as it tried to disappear from sight. Of the synodontis there was no sign. I wasn’t worried though. I places a little flake in for Morecambe and Wise to ignore, stuck one of the new algae tablets to the tank wall an dropped some algae pellets to the floor. Everyone raced for those so I dropped a couple more near the shall and the synodontis came out for an undisturbed nibble.

Leaving the fish happy I came away and dealt with my sprays then got my mug of milk to take my tablet. I added sweeteners to what was left of the milk and made a coffee. Once I’d taken my drink through I was able to wash and dress ready for going out. There was now time for a little more mail before going out at 8.00 am. Instead of me travelling to Chester by my usual bus we had decided to meet along the route at a Supermarket and I  would travel by the bus I always used to take. So, in plenty of time I got my shoes on ( it takes an age), gathered the things I was taking for her ( the gloves we forgot last time), donned my coat and gloves  and got my go-go sticks at the ready. Times beautifully for 8.00 am ( as if I’d say any different) I left the house and started walking to the bus stop.The bus stop was full of yammering kiddies and dammit I was early. Fortunately the school bus wasn’t too long in coming and there were a couple of quiet minutes until mine arrived. As I’d never got off at this particular stop before I’d had to guess how long the journey would be. I said about 45 minutes for me and about 15 for Yvonne. She wasn’t leaving Chester until 8.45 am. I arrived at he bust stop at 8.58 am and proceeded to press 5 sets of crossing requests to get from one side of this convoluted junction to the other, then a breath grabbing few minutes to walk to the front of the store. I arrived and stood catching my breath popping a cough sweet in my mouth to hold the coughs back from Super Nag who can hear a wheeze at 50 paces. I’d just found the energy to turn round when there was a call and she hove into view with the little figurehead at the prow pointing in my direction and laughing manically.

Yvonne and I hugged and I blew Reuben a kiss in case his insanity was catching. We went inside. I suggested a coffee before we started shopping so we went to MaDonald’s. I had a coffee while Yvonne had a soft drink Reuben could share, worryingly it always seems more full after he’s had a drink. Yvonne and Roobs shared a cheeseburger which meant he got the bread and the cheese part and showed disdain for the meat. Yvonne bought me a bacon  (sort of ) bap which I didn’t actually want but hey, who listens to me. I thought I was safe as Roobs doesn’t didn’t seem keen on bacon. Within moments he was pointing at it. I offered a piece of bacon thinking it would head floorwards as in the past and I’d be left alone. No way, all I hear was “More” continuously until the only thing I was left to eat were the tablets I was supposed to have after food rather than instead of it. We He finished breakfast and he went back in his trolley ready to wander round the shop. He’s much safer restrained. I got him some nice jeans and a couple of nice tops and Yvonne picked up a nice shirt. We picked up a few bits and bobs as we went around  and believe me, we really went around. We were very thorough. So much so that when w reached the tills we found we’d been in there for two hours. Yvonne needed to get home for work and I needed to get home to deal with all these people who have nothing better to do with their time than write. We walked together down towards the bus stops. She’d be using the one I got off at this morning while I was staying on the same side of the road as now. I had just one crossing button to press, Yvonne had to deal with 5. My bus arrived just as she got to her bus stop but her bus pulled up directly too. So, we were both able to wave goodbye at the same time.

I was home again at 1.00 pm having needed a wee so badly I’d walked past Pauline’s shop yet again. Once the loo was out of the way and I’d put away my little bit of shopping I cam through to take my punishment for having a life. Cruel and unusual punishment judging by some of your posts. I’d given up the idea of an afternoon nap or an escape for 2.15 pm TV. but I hoped I could manage a 4.00 pm finish to get something to eat before my PYMWYMI. It was hard going, especially staying awake but at 4.05 pm I was down to the last 20 or so. I broke off and made a corned beef hash. As I finished that my programme came on. I put two matchsticks to hold up my eyelids and enjoyed the fight. I stayed there for the quiz but fell asleep before it was quite over, waking up 15 or so minutes later to find the news on. I had the last few minutes of another quiz then came through. Laughingly I left the TV on standby in case I got the chance to watch something later but the god of blogs chained me to my chair and here I remained until I was allowed to go for my tablets at 10.00 pm, and to turn the TV of properly. At 11.00 pm I gave up on post to concentrate on the blog. The rest can wait fopr tomorrow when the backlog problem will be even worse than usual.

Wednesday.

Before I shock you too much, let me explain it was 1.00 am before my light went out last night and gone 2.00 am before I was able to get to sleep. Between discomfort and coughs I’m amazed I got off at all. Now for the shock, it was 6.14 am before I got up. I was horrified, today of all days. It was loo then work in short order. I made the fish wait until 7.30 am before I took a break to see to them. As a treat I got out the bloodworm to give them a treat. It’s in a tray with foil separators like they use for tablets I inserted my thumbnail into a piece of foil intending to peel it back but the contents were still liquid and they just exploded all over me. What little was left went to the fish and I started trying to grab the splashed stuff off my dressing gown to put in. That which had reached the floor I decided the floor could keep. I added algae pellets to make up for the loss.  I really didn’t have time to stand watching them this morning especially now I had to clean the kitchen floor. As soon s I’d dealt with that and no-one could prove a thing, I took my meds and made a coffee.

Back in the bedroom I went about getting ready for the morning and got washed and dressed than at last was able to sit down with some more work. For some reason I didn’t manage much and found I didn’t feel great so returned to the lounge with my coffee. I finished it, ate some malt bread for breakfast and promptly fell asleep. It was still only 8.00 am. It was almost 9.00 am by the time I came too and knew I needed to get a move on. I went to Gmail firsdt to the messages left over from last night as they were personal ones. It took some time but I got those out of the way and deleted the rest. Then I turned to my normal mail box and just started working my way up from the oldest date. It wasn’t even 10.00 am when I heard voice. The door opened and MuJo were there, much earlier than usual. I was very surprised especially as they’d said they were having new tyres put on the car first. That plan had changed for today and they’d come straight to me. I passed them the bags of things I’d picked up for them over the last couple of weeks and went to see to drinks. We sat chatting for a good while.

It was too early for lunch by the time the drinks were gone so I suggested a walk round the shops in Holywell before heading to John’s favourite place, the Chippy. They agreed so off we set. John was able to pick up a Mother’s day card for his mum who’s in her 90’s now and I was able to pick up a couple of things. Having wasted enough time, we went for lunch. I had chips with mince & mushrooms plus mushy peas, MuJo both had fish, chips and peas. After we’d finished we got back in the car and headed for Flint. After we parked up the first stop was Home Bargains where I got a few items and then onto B & M (Bum) Bargains where I got chocolates for the girls in Temptations. That’s where we went next. Ceri wasn’t there but Trudy was and I hadn’t seen her in ages, I also saw Helen and Sian  so managed a few words each. After our refreshments it was gooodbye  girls and back to shopping. Mu managed to get herself a couple of jumpers in the sale so she was delighted. After that, back to the car and home.

3.00 pm back indoors and as John relaxed Muriel went to Pauline’s to get her lottery tickets. They left at 3.50 pm to head back home again.After saying a fond farewell I flew into my room to look at the messages. With what was left from the morning and the new stuff that came in, well lets just  say I need new tissues.  I could only work till 4.30 pm as I didn’t want to be in here working if Lee arrived. I went through and sat in the lounge, coincidentally my PYMWYMI was just starting. Lee arrived at 5.00 pm and we sat talking about his impending fatherhood (April) and whether he needed anything for the baby. His dad arrived at 5.30 pm sans Matthew who apparently had just started work this afternoon/evening. He’s going to miss out on his little treats as I forgot to send them back with Dil later. As soon as the usual quiz was over we set up the table and started playing. Scrabble first, That game was mine. Nomination, despite a promising start I was robbed, my brother has no conscience and isn’t easily taken in by a facade of pure miser either. Then Crazy 8’s the the bloody highwayman struck again without even wearing a mask. Throughout all the games there had been constant jollity and little stories being told. Nothing had been played with any speed. They left at 9.30 pm giving me time to tidy, wash the pots and get my evening meds before burying myself in here. It’s going to be a very long night.

There it is Pops

There it is Pops

I'm so excited Pops

I’m so excited Pops

Thursday.

As predicted it was a long night. It was almost 2.00 am before my light went out but at least sleep came easily. I woke at 4.07 am but my kind body informed me I wasn’t ready to get up and my bladder wasn’t pushing enough to make me. I went back to sleep again. At 6.33 am I woke again and this time was the real thing. This time my bladder gave a little twinge just to let me know that my legs were on the wrong side of the covers and they should be walking by now. I walked. I came back relieved in a few minutes and powered up the computer. Amazingly, I thought I could cope today. I could only work for about half an hour before the cries of the fish could be heard. “Feed us” they said. I turned the kitchen light on then the tank immediately after. No point in keeping them waiting. I opened the flap and sprinkled some pellets in which they went for straight away. Then I gave them half a sachet of daphnia and I was left wondering when I’d bought the piranhas . I had every intention of taking some pictures of the fish today but I’ve not managed a good shot at all because of the reflected light. For now I’m just going to entertain you with a couple of blasts from the past…..

The Infamous Oscar

The Infamous Oscar

Beautiful Bernie

Beautiful Bernie

After I fed the beasties I took my meds and made a coffee to bring back.  At about 9.00 am I got washed and dressed though I hadn’t any intention of going out today. I do have something niggling at the back of my mind but can’t put my finger on it. I stayed in my seat all morning keeping pace with the mail coming in and once I was up to date in my main account I opened the secondary one and started there. I cleared all the duplicate emails until I came to the personal ones which don’t appear in my main account. I dealt with those, hopefully spreading a few laughs as I went. Finally, as I cleared the last one it was 11.50 am and time to think about lunch. I busied myself with some bread and butter then put a cottage pie in the microwave, turned the TV on ready for Bargain Hunt then as the pie was ready, settled down to watch.

As it came to an end I was allowing myself to settle down n the chair. The Zzzz’s were just starting to appear when my phone went. It took me a few moments to understand the source of the sound but when I did I found a message from Mike. He’s on his way and he told me all about the special friend he’s bringing with him for me. I’m very excited. Roll on 3.30 pm. In the meantime it’s just 1.00 pm and time to get back to work. Back at my desk I find no-one has been going mad for a change and the post is quite reasonable. I think I’ll be able to manage. I worked until 3.10 pm then left to put the kettle on, I knew Mike would need a coffee when he got here and I’ve no doubt the guest he’s bringing will need to relax. Mike walked in at 3.20 pm so I assume he’d used the convertible jet facility and landed at a local airfield. He handed me a bag which I took into the kitchen and gingerly opened. Inside was a polystyrene box which had been well taped so I had to use scissors on it. When I opened it there was a clear plastic bag filled with water and the most gorgeous pictus of about 3″. A huge whiplash moustache on it’s face swung about as he tried to turn circle in the bag. I started to undo it. After a lot of effort the bag was open. I tried to get rid of all the blue air I’d caused trying to undo the bag and rolling the neck down I said hello to Stan as I lowered the bag into the tank for the first acclimatisation session of 20 mins. I went through to the lounge and paid Mike, this is the nicest visitor he’s ever brought.

At the end of the twenty minutes I went through and added some water to the bag so Stan became used to that too. He’d need another twenty minutes now and then he’d be in the tank. When the time was up Mike was sitting closer to the kitchen than me so I asked him to see to the release. He did so gladly for me and called out that Stan was doing the full tour of the tank. I was glad.I hope he liked it enough to stay. Personally I think Mike will fall a little in love this weekend and want one of his own when he gets home. He got Stan from his own fish man at home when he went in to see about a new and bigger tank. It looks like he might have a 5 foot one before long. I’ve had to do some considering and decided I probably can’t get away with any more than a 3 foot tank in the space available in the lounge.That’s still enough for me to have some of the type of fish I love so much. Maybe I’ll just transfer most of my usual fish into a new tank and close the kitchen tank down.

I made some tea and we watched a bit of TV before I excused myself for a while. I wanted to see a programme at 8.oo pm so I needed to clear some work first. When I went back through it was for a DIY SOS to help a family with disabled 3 year olds living in a property too small for them. There was an 8 year old boy too.Dad was forced to work away from home to earn enough to keep them all and mum, a midwife, was devoting herself to the boys. The older brother was a little gem. The team did a 9 day job on the house and changed it beyond all recognition with the help of local tradesmen and friends. The response was phenomenal and it goes without saying there were tears at the end, even some from the family. It’s heartwarming to know people can still respond to things like this without putting themselves first.                                                               After that, I came back through to work. suggestions from a 24 year old woman ( ?) living in Paris but from Togo suggesting I might be a suitable partner and a good father for our children scared the life out of me but entertained Mike no end. A second and third missive to say she appreciated my honesty about my age and having a daughter older than her didn’t faze her in the least and cracked Mike up. I nearly cracked him myself. While I had him here I showed him a tank I’d found locally with it’s own stand that looked well cared for, was a very good price and just the right size, it had him running round with a tape measure in his hand deciding where we’d make space and even starting to move things. I suggested it might be  little premature. He left to watch TV and I got on with my mail.

By 11.00 pm I had it down to a manageable level and turned to doing this blog. Maybe tonight will mean an earlier finish.

Friday.

Not quite as early as hoped but I was still in bed by 12.15 am. I read until 1.00 am and then settled down to dream. I think it was about weddings in which I wasn’t a willing participant but everyone else seemed to think it was OK. I wasn’t able to talk for some reason, perhaps fear of the club being held by a rather ‘statuesque’ lady who also carried two crying infants. I was up at 3.23 am and to be honest I think I was quite relieved. Actually that came next. Once I’d been to the loo I powered up the computer and started on the mail. I worked till 6.00 am then went to feed the fish. Stan seems to be another one for hanging around in corners. In his case it may have something to do with the light  which is quite bright. I need to but some sand or gravel and put some plants in. I know pictus like to hide in caves where they can, so I’ll see if the tank can be rearranged to accommodate one. Of course if I get a new tank I can make sure that’s the first thing in there. I dropped some algae pellets in and a little flake and everyone moved except Stan. I added some daphnia and Stan came alive zooming along practically hoovering it up. I wonder what he’ll be like with bloodworm tomorrow.

Next job was to take my meds and I used the opportunity to fill my diabetic pill box for when I go out. I used the last on Wednesday with MuJo. Once I’d taken everything I prepared my mug for a drink then fetched my meds drawer through so I could fill my weekly meds boxes.Once done, I put the drawer away, wrote out a prescription request for next week to restock then made my coffee. It was then 7.00 pm as it’s quite a lengthy job, especially if you’re still concentrating on fish at the same time. I worked for an hour then went to do Mike’s coffee and give him a shout. He’s not put his alarm on today. It always used to be, Up at 8 (Thanks Cat Stevens), out at 9 and arrive at his Dad’s about 10. Now it starts call at 8 and hope for the best. I know I roused him a bit because he acknowledged the coffee. At quarter past I went through and noisily added a radiator rack to the radiator under the window. That also woke him and I got a “Wha?” After that I left him and at 8.40 am he came out more or less under his own power. At 9.20 am I got dressed and went to Pauline’s leaving Mike sitting there in his pyjama bottoms. Twenty minutes later when I returned he was still there. He started a conversation about immigration which lasted until almost 10.00 pm when he finally went to get ready and I went back to work. At about 10.15 am he came through to say goodbye and left to start his journey. It would be at least 11.15 am before he got there in time to have a coffee before going out for lunch.

I carried on working until 11.30 am at which time I went through to start making Mike’s bed. I was perhaps half way through when the doorbell knocked. It was the warden who hearing my breathing thought I was on the point of a coronary. Once I’d sat down a few minutes I was OK though I’d hoped she might have started the mouth to mouth by then. We chatted about the week and s usual the conversation got round to the fish. She wondered why I didn’t have the tank in the lounge. I had to explain there had been a tank in the lounge in the past. one of seven in the house and that this one was where it always had been and was the last of them. I’d left it there just expecting the tank to die off. I told her about the latest addition and she asked if I’d mind her taking a look. I didn’t mind at all if she didn’t mind scaling the ironing pile. She thought Stan was beautiful and Pepper very pretty but the Siamese were the only ones she recognised as her fish had been the tetra’s, mollys and the guppys  that most tanks have. When she left I finished making the bed complete with hospital corners on the sheet and then almost collapsed into it.

Time for lunch. It was 12.15 pm so I put Bargain Hunt on and slammed something in the micro. It was only when I’d finished I couldn’t remember if I’d taken a tablet first. Oops! I did take the after ones just in case.At 1.00 pm I returned to work and started trying to work my way through both mail addresses. I wasn’t doing very well as my eyelids weren’t co-operating at all. I found myself falling forwards for the forehead tattoo quite a bit. In the end at some stage it just happened. I woke up at 4.15 pm with neck ache. I wandered through to the lounge ready for PYMWYMI and wondered what time Mike would be home. My programme was good but I let myself down quite badly by not seeing the very end, nor the start of the next programme. When I opened my eyes a little voice said “Hello”, so at least my last question had been answered. We watched the quiz and then I made something to eat while we watched two more. I even remembered my tablets.  At 7.00 pm I went for a shower which I hoped would wake me a bit. I did feel a bit better afterwards as I went back in to sit with Mike. We saw a sports quiz  then Mastermind where Mike had to keep checking to see if I’d nodded off again  and it was a close run thing. Than I had a Big Bang Theory. I’d probably run out of excuses not to work by this point and came on through. I think it must be this bronchitis getting to me as it’s not as though I burn the candle at both ends is it.

It was fun trying to catch up and I really was making progress but at 11.00 pm I had to stop to give me time with the blog and I don’t think I’ll go back to it later as tomorrow is shopping day. I don’t think I shall be buying a new tank this weekend after all though, as Mike has fitted an air curtain to the existing tank and decided I need a stronger pump.I concur. A new tank can wait.

Saturday.

I managed bed at 12.05 am last night ( this morning?) so I had chance of a read before sleep. I did have a wee problem settling down before sleep as I couldn’t get comfortable, but eventually it came. I got up at 4.29 am so didn’t feel too hard done by. About three and a half hours on top of the skiving I did yesterday. I nipped to the loo before signing on in case it was a stop-start morning but the flow was uninterrupted. I hoped the same could be said of the mail. Well, in fact it could. I worked on the last of yesterday’s stuff and started today’s before knocking off at 6.00 am to see to the fish. First I gave them a frozen block of bloodworm from the freezer which Stan loved a he barged his way through the rest f the fish lining up for breakfast. Then I sprinkled in some of the new formula which sent them all into a bit of a tizzy. It was fun watching the tail of one fish swiping the face of another in it’s eagerness to feed, I couldn’t help but wonder if the slapped one got it’s own back later. At some points it looks like there’s a James Herbert creation of a massive fish with lots of tails waving. Time to concentrate on me….. I took a food tab and then the rest of my meds followed by the usual timing cigarette. Then I ate a bowl of cereal, unusual for me but at least I won’t have to worry about eating tonight.

I took my coffee back to the bedroom and did a little more mail before getting dressed. Amazingly I remembered to top up my phone. It was 6.55 am when I looked at my watch, time to get the kettle on. At 7.00 am I took Mike’s coffee through and non too gently “Yoo Hoo’ed” him awake. I left him to fall asleep again as usual but moments after leaving the room the first alarm went off. I didn’t go back and ten minutes later the second alarm went. I thought I’d leave it till the third one this morning and call him again but lo and behold the sneaky burger slithered his was through to the lounge after that second alarm. Mind you, I went through to tell him he’s upset my guess today and he was asleep in the chair until I spoke. Today I have to give him credit for 1 Call and 2 Alarms. Minutes later the third alarm went off anyway as ‘someone’ had forgotten to turn it off. The chair was his home until the last possible  minute and he was dressed and ready to leave at 7.55 am. I was surprised but pleased since I’d had my shoes and coat on for at least half an hour by then. We set off and were at the Supermarket by 8.15 am. I managed to it the jackpot at that hole in the wall machine so I knew I’d eat again this week.

Once inside the store we found my Pepsi Max on a special in the litre bottles and bought two. I wandered over to get some potatoes and then we went to get some flowers for Ju. It took 3 bunches to make me happy this morning though of course I had to defer to my Florist Friend who would actually arrange them. We had a good wander round the store before heading for the part that actually feeds us. First some micro meals, sausages, roast beed slices and yoghurts. Then cakes, bread, puddings before picking up some tinned veg and milk. Then there are sweets ( not for us), pop and biscuits. Anything else I want I try to buy from Pauline to keep my local shop going. After going through the checkout and trying to slow my heart down after thinking I’d bought shares in the firm we moved on to the cafe. Shopping is very dry work. An Americano each and of course save the little plastic stickers from the mugs for a free one. We went round to get our cigarettes and I had a look ( as always ) at the photographic section to see if there are any fantastic bargains on frames. There were though I also bought a calendar as Mike said he wanted one for his Dad with enough room to write on. I don’t think he’s too keen on it though as he becomes fixated on specifics like shape rather than function. Still, no-one is forced to use it.

From the supermarket we traveled a short distance to Pets at Home to check out their pumps and I ended up buying one at £30 because it seemed powerful enough for the job.I also bought three plants to try and give Stan some shade. Just as well I’m not buying a tank soon. On to Flint to find some drawer knobs for Yvonne as the shop that sells them has run out in her area. Which really means, Yah Boo Sucks Yvonne, maybe you’ll let me get them next time we see them instead of delaying. Shock Horror, my branch had also run out but I asked a member of staff who knew that some had come in on a palette and he was willing to get me some.I was very grateful. I bought a couple of other things from the same shop and then it was time for a coffee. At Temptations Ceri was in with Kyle and young Charlotte was manning the card counter. Mike looked happy to get a little bit of banter in today. We had a look round a couple more shops for calendars in  case there were any square ones but the only ones we saw had been reduced to £5 and were not really suitable fare for an 80 odd year old ( or his Dad).

Back in the car and head off for lunch. Though where was optional the car automatically brought us to The Ivy. The usual suspects were all there and it was nice to get a kiss from Angie when we went in. She asked if we wanted out usual drinks and set about making them. We saw Tariq briefly as he dropped a cartoon on the table as he flew by. It made me laugh. There had been a menu change so Mike was able to order a lamb shank for his lunch while I chose some pork and leek sausages, mash and garden peas. Once the order was in were went outside for a smoke. Despite the sunshine it’s still cold outside and Mike was right to put his coat on. When we went back in, we didn’t have long to wait for food. I called Rob over as we ate and asked a few questions about his fish tanks since he’ll be responsible for looking after the Ivy’s fish population if Tariq decides to go ahead and start a small pet area. He upset Mike by telling him about a beautiful 5′ tank for sale in  the area very cheaply. Mind you, if it had come to my house it wouldn’t have left again. Are you sure you lot don’t want to send me 10c each to paypal? We eventually said out goodbyes and Mike ran us home. It was earlier than usual so when we’d unpacked and put away and Mike had fitted the new pump which created an air curtain along the back of the tank, I was able to attack my post sooner than usual. I was rather pleased with myself that I was up to date by 5.30 pm. I joined Mike in the lounge. He was playing on his tablet so I watched an old film The Scarlet and the Black. It left me with a lot of moral questions at the end. Worse still, the next programme was also a film which hit me badly with a story of the Warsaw Ghetto. It caught me so strongly in places I was forced to turn over for The 39 Steps, a big but very enjoyable twist on the original. At 9.00 pm I came back through.

It took me a while to reach the stage of being up to date again but at least it was early enough to allow me to do the blog post while still on Saturday.

I wish you all a fantastic week ahead.

 

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