Tag Archives: Antiques Road Trip

A Shattering Experience & The Gas Man Cometh Again

Sunday. Between 6.30 am and 7.30 am I made good headway with my post. I went for breakfast, fed the fish, took my drugs and filled the kettle for Mike as he thinks the coffee from the Tassimo is too strong though I don’t give him the Costa. As I finished in the kitchen and made my own drink there was no sign of movement so I carried on with my post. By 8.30 it was clear but there were a couple of other things I could do until Mike woke. By 9.00 am I’d run out of patience so I went to check he was still breathing and then made his coffee and took it through. I tried a bright and breezy ” Mornin’ Bro. Coffee’s up” then walked back to my room to refresh the post. I was astounded not to have received any grunts but even more astounded to hear him padding through to the lounge moments later. I left the computer and followed him through. Amazing, his eyes were open as he lit his first cigarette from the right end.

Mike drank half his coffee and then visited he loo for the first time.It was almost 10.00 am when he returned to drink the other half. A bit of a delay again then he told me he was just going to have another coffee then he’d get dressed and see what I wanted to do with the rest of the morning. I stifled a laugh. He made a coffee after I’d drawn  a map of how to find the kitchen then we chatted as he drank it. When he decided to go to the loo and then get dressed I nipped through to refresh my mail and catch up again as much as possible. It was possible to catch up all the way. We decided to call in at Abakhan where they have a gift shop as Mike is looking for a broach in the shape of the Welsh Dragon for a friend in the Midlands. Accordingly we left the house knowing how I was going to spend the rest of the morning. It was 11.45 am.

It was a beautiful day and Mike put the top down on the car. The three hairs I have left after losing the internet last week blew in the wind. If my hair hadn’t been cut a few weeks ago I’d have been whipped to death the speed Mike drives. We weren’t lucky with the broach but the gift shop was a pleasant stop.We got back in the car and headed off for lunch. Tariq and Angie were pleased to see us as his day had been a disaster with the lights behind the counter blowing out. He managed to fix them. He’s a real   Jack of all trades. While we were there he showed me a machine he has for cutting out letter to use on signs or maybe teeshirts, and also an A3 printer since I’d expressed interest. We’d had a conversation recently about me doing teeshirt prints recently and ironing them on ad he suggested a press which I’d said was far too expensive. It turns out since I last looked they’re only about £100 now. I used to enjoy doing either humorous of photographic teeshirts. After lunch we said our long goodbyes and I partly lost the usual argument when Tariq said he wanted to treat us to the puddings ( lemon meringue for me, apple pie for Mike).

We drove home where Mike dropped me off then packed his suitcase and left for his fathers.My first stop of course was the computer where I worked on mail until 6.00 pm then I watched part of a film until 7.30 when X-Men 2 came on and I decided to stay and watch. At 10.00 pm when it finished I sprinted through here to work.

Monday. My sleep pattern at the moment wouldn’t be one I’d recommend using to knit a jumper by.Today I didn’t raise my little head ( Oi, watch it you) until 6.55 am and I had to by pass the computer and make straight for the kitchen. I fed the fish before they had time to mount a sulk, took my tabs and put my coffee on while I nipped to the loo. It was ready when I got back, ready but cold. It would be quicker mounting an expedition to look for the Yeti than taking a pee these days. I took the virtual frappe through and turned the computer on. I hadn’t felt like breakfast this morning so I’d saved some time. With no attempts to con me I worked steadily till 9.10 am then rather than refresh I got dressed and walked to Pauline’s for some baps and my cigarettes. It was beautiful out and I managed without a jacket. 

When I came back and refreshed there was enough to keep me going until 11.00 am and then I decided to print off some photographs to put in the three frames I bought on Saturday. Since the printer is now working fine with the right inks in I might as well use it. By the time I’d done that and cut the pictures out to fit the frames it was lunchtime. A beef steak (without peppercorn sauce) with onion gravy, new Jersey potatoes and peas with carrots made a wonderful meal. After washing the pots I indulged in an antiques show before returning to work. A fellow author expressed interest in reading my first book so I sent her the pdf copy with the instruction not to read it out of politeness. I don’t want to go down in her estimation. Actually another author recently contacted me to say she’s enjoying every minute of it but the family did advise me she had sunstroke. I worked until 4.30 pm when I wanted to see another Antiques Road Trip which is really fun. I was enjoying it until about 5.10 when a huge flash of lightning turned the TV off.

As I turned the TV back on there was a huge clap of thunder and down came the rain. And how it came down. It didn’t even pause for breath until 8.30 pm but then it started moving away. At 5.15 pm I watched a quiz, at 6.00 pm I watched a quiz and at 6.30 pm an older repeat of a different Antiques Road Trip. Not that I’m single minded or anything but I do like antiques. As I came through to the bedroom later on I found myself getting quite frustrated at the problems between Chrome and WordPress. Sometimes I can’t get into a wordpress site at all from someone’s post. Sometimes I can get in but it won’t let me comment and when it does, it makes me sign into my own wordpress account first. I keep getting the message ‘data not received’ which I’m sure will be on my headstone to explain why I didn’t get to heaven. I’d tear my hair out if I had any left after last week. Anyway, I managed to keep calm enough to clear my post before starting on the blog.

Many of you may remember mention of my friend Lis and her wonderful daughter Charlie. You may remember recently I told you of Charlie’s friend who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer like Julia. I had hoped there might be some treatment for him but all they could offer was palliative care. Rob passed away on Sunday after getting married to his long time love the day before. my Best Wishes are with her in this most difficult of times. She hasn’t really had time to adjust to the news of the cancer before it’s parted them.

Tuesday. I shall cease complaining about my change of routine. I shall cease being smug about getting a lie in. It was 4.05 am this morning and I wasn’t ready. The winning lottery numbers for tonight’s draw were just about to appear and some joker decides I should be awake. I’d cleared the first batch by 6.00 am and the second batch by 6.30 am so the fish got lucky again. I  had some breakfast preparatory to going out, made myself a coffee and came back to get washed and dressed. There was even time to refresh the mail again and do a few more before 7.20 an when I needed to prepare. I’d checked the local weather forecasts for the day for both my postcode and for Yvonne’s. I was due to have rain about noon and Chester about 2.00 pm. Right, in case we’re still outside I’m wearing my long country ‘duster’ coat. I slung the haversack over my shoulders that contained the photographs I’d framed, carried the bag with Reuben’s new clothes in my right hand, put my gloves on, grabbed my crutches and locked the door.I unlocked it, went out and locked it again. My timing was perfect as the bus reached the stop just before I did.

My usual nod to the driver I went to the seat at the front. I leaned my sticks down and brought the bag of my back. Smash, the triple picture frame I’d done for Yvonne came free of the bag somehow leaving behind the bubble wrap and smashed on the floor of the bus. I put the bag with the other pictures on the seat. screamed ‘Why Me’ at the sky ( or the roof of the bus) and bent down to clean up. A lovely lady came out of her seat to help and using the back of the frame collected all the glass. The driver got out of his seat and instead of the anger I expected asked If I’d like the glass in the bin by the bus stop. I was very touched. He came back and handed me the frame. The very kind passenger asked if I’d like a carrier bag but without the weight of the glass I knew it would be safe back in my bag again. I managed to thank her and sat down. I found I was quite tired and was thinking of nodding off but the fates hadn’t finished with me yet. The bus pulled in at Holywell and I could hear raised voices. A young child got on the bus and was followed by a woman pulling a young boy, probably about 6 or 7 years old. He was in full tantrum mode and was screaming he wanted his crisps. His mother told the driver she’d just had to chase him round the square as he’d run off and she wasn’t too pleased. He sat in a small seat enear the front screaming, kicking the seat and banging on the window. She sat behind me and occasionally told him to stop.

Take my word for it, Flint is a long way away when you have that racket though it’s only about 6 miles taking the bus route. They got off in Flint. I was pleased. Passing by me the mother said “Kids eh?”. As the bus started again I closed my eyes and was gently nodding when I felt some pressure on my foot. Nothing terrible but enough to bring me round. The driver had stopped and a young woman with a twin buggy had got on and parked the buggy on my foot. I moved myself until nothing was jutting out ( Oi, keep it clean back there) and closed my eyes again. The rest of the journey was OK. When we drew into Chester the sun was shining so I opened my coat, held the haversack and Reuben’s bag in my hand and walked to Costa to meet them. Yvonne had my coffee and some fresh toast waiting on the table for me. I got a smile from Reuben but not for long as he was demolishing his own toast. When we’d finished Yvonne cleaned him up and I was able to have him on my knee. He showed his versatility by doing part of the Feet of Flames routine in my groin. We headed up to the market to find something for Yvonne ad to see if there was a shop selling frames. No joy. We went to the precinct where I’d bought the original. A very helpful young man told me they no longer sold them but he had some similar in the stockroom. It was a problem as he was on his own in the shop. If I could give him 15 mins he’d go down when his assistant arrived. We went for another coffee. After half an hour we headed back and true to his word the young man brought me 3 styles, one was very similar to the original but there was one I liked better. I bought it and only now do I feel guilty at not buying more after he’d got them. I could have always found a use.

We went to get some shoes for poor Yvonne as her current ones were pinching then it was time to change a smelly nappy ( No, not mine) and while there we found some nice outfits for Reuben at Buy One, Get One Half Price so I got him two and so did Yvonne. Then lunch was upon us. I had sausage, chips and beans while Yvonne starved as sh had soup at home for the diet. About 12.45 pm we finished and I was so hot in the sunshine that it looked like a tap dripping from my head. I was so uncomfortable I decided to leave early and go home. They walked me to the bus stop and I did my journey in reverse.

Back home I piled into the waiting messages and worked till 4.30 when the Antiques Road Trip came on.More work then a quiz, then a quiz then more work until 8.00 pm when Endeavour was on which is the young version of Morse. That brings us to 10.00 pm when I came through to start again until I knock off. It’s 11.45 pm now so when I finish this I’ve just time to do one last email check.

Wednesday. I woke, swung my legs out of bed and looked at the clock. 3.55 am. It was a matter of a microsecond of thought and my legs were swung back. I gripped my pillow tight and said “Not a cat in hell’s chance.” I managed to doze off again and the next  thing I knew it was 6.04 am, much better. Computer on, a trip to the loo and then work till 7.00 am. I had 32 left to do but they could wait till the fish were happy and I’d had some breakfast. When I got back there with my coffee I found an email from Amazon advising me they had some books I may like on Prime. Two of the first three books on the list were A Presence in Russell County by S.J. Sprague and  The Mulberry by yes, you’ve guessed it, S.J.Sprague. I was delighted to see these books being advertised as the author is a good friend and having read the first book I know how well she writes. What surprised me was why Amazon bothered advertising them to me since it was from Amazon I got them and it was on Amazon I left my review. Still, I hope they advertise far and wide for all of us and create sales.

At 9.30 am I went out to Pauline’s for some milk, cigarettes and my TV Magazine for next week. It’s hot enough for a tee shirt today again.The rain seems to have disappeared. I hope it stays that way over the weekend. I half expected the milk to turn to yoghurt on the way home but we made it. I had a spoon in my pocket just in case. On returning home, I worked till just before 11.00 am and found myself free. I did a quick check on Ebay then went through to the lounge where the sun had me nodding off in my chair. It was 12.15 pm when I woke up to see to lunch. After the strain of opening and closing the microwave door I needed another nap after lunch and didn’t get back to the mail until 1.30 pm. It had mounted up but I was on top form and got myself up to date. I was back and forth all afternoon keeping an eye as I wanted to be free to catch the next episode of my Antiques Road Trip. I made it no problems and without even taking another nap in the chair.  It was 5.15 pm and the quiz I often watch was about to start when I saw a familiar figure pass the window, my nephew Lee back from his travels in the Orient and ready to join his father and brother gaming when they arrive. I greeted him and poured a drink of water when he told me that Dil and Matt were also here but outside on the phone. Matt walked in moments later and I made him a coffee. I was shocked t see him there so early as he an his dad usually arrive about 5.45 pm. Then Dil came in , he’d finished work early to see the doctor as he’s got gout- (Dil, not the doctor). Poor soul I felt for him. It’s very painful .

Drinks done, TV off and the table out we went into battle.The first scrabble was a tight game despite me getting a 7 letter word as my first go in turn, but which scored me a piddling 77 points. End result a draw between Dil and myself. In the second Dil fared better and won outright. When it came to the Nomination Whist I was unstoppable and romped home to victory. After this Lee had to take his leave which was a shame but I remembered to give him his birthday card and present for tomorrow.  Dil dealt for Crazy 8’s which proved to be a disaster for me and left Matt with a big grin across his face as they got up to leave. After waving them goodbye and wishing the wounded warrior well I tidied up as usual, washed the pots and came through to get on with however many messages I had. It’s a lot. I’m stroking the chin of midnight before I’m able to get on with the blog and the chance of a decent read is a diminishing possibility.

Thursday. I managed a read until about 1.00 am but still found myself up at 5.31 am. I wasn’t feeling right but couldn’t put my finger on it, though I’m not sure if that’s legal anymore anyway. It’s been years since I’ve seen it never mind put my finger on it. Ridiculous as the time was, it did mean that I had the mail under control by 7.00 am when it was time to go visit with the fish and get my breakfast.  I  sauntered knowing how well I was doing but was halfway through breakfast when I suddenly started retching. It was all I could do to hop to the bathroom and kneel head bent over the loo feeling very sorry for myself. The feeling eventually subsided and I returned to the kitchen, made a coffee and started back in on the mail. I had a headache and realised I’d quite forgotten my meds last night but didn’t know if that had any bearing on how I felt then.

As I brought the lavel way down I decided to nip to Ebay to see if I could get any inspiration for a gift. The first thing that greeted me was a message that I should change my password since their system had been hacked though they were quite sure nothing had been compromised. This is a tedious job owing to a mistake I made years ago when registering, I didn’t use my own email address. Eventually I was able to do it and started my search. The gift is for a good friend who doesn’t  live in the UK so either I have to buy a present from his home country and have it delivered direct or I have to be careful of weight if buying here because of postal costs. But, while I was there I found two teeshirts which I think would be perfect for Mike and his wonderful sense of humour.

From Ebay

From Ebay

 

From Ebay.

From Ebay.

They really appealed to me. Whether he’ll agree with me remains to be seen as he will assure me the second one is right in the first line. I got dressed about 9.15 am ready to go and get my lottery tickets. No win last night so if I want a holiday this year it’ll mean a long swim. It was a mechanics dream outside pouring Datsun cogs as it was so I had to wear a coat. Hood up I looked like a demented friar taking long hops with the crutches to get there and back quickly. I was just approaching home when I saw a car pulling away but I didn’t recognise it and wasn’t expecting anyone. I went inside to see if any note had been left but while I was checking the floor someone knocked on the door. The small man standing there wished me good morning and said he had an appointment to read the meter. “I have no appointments” I responded. He explained he’d been asked to come but that he had tried to ring first. I didn’t think that constituted an appointment and wasn’t too chuffed anyway as it’s Yvonne that’s supposed to get the call so she can contact me and prepare me. He was getting wet so I let him in. Before he could read the meter I had to clear a path to it which is what I was supposed to avoid having to do in a hurry, hence the reason for the advance notice. He told me they must be considering putting a smart meter in which left me confused because surely that was the decision that had been made by the last man to come? He got his reading and left as I collapsed on the bed with my nitrolingual spray. Ouch ouch ouch. On came the fresh headache that always arrives after using the nitro but luckily I was able to fall asleep.

I woke about 10.30 am and slowly got up to see how the mail was doing. There were three messages returning mail to me as undeliverable which was quite amazing since I hadn’t sent any of them in the first place, didn’t recognise the messages and didn’t know the addressees. I think they were spam but how they’d come from my machine I don’t know as I’m supposed to be protected….’Something for the Weekend Sir?’. I finished quite quickly and retired to the lounge where I started watching a programme where thieves are caught red-handed. I realised just how evil some people are when they’d rather steal someone else’s goods than work for their own. One couple had their safe stolen which held photographs and momentos of their daughter who’d died very young and were irreplaceable.  A couple of nasty gunmen trying to rob a jewellers got a surprise when the owner and his wife managed to trap them in the shop until the police arrived. The idiots made things worse for themselves by unlocking the inner door of the shop , going out and before they could open the outer door the inner one closed thus keeping them secure in like an airlock. If theft is a job these days these two deserved the sack. They won’t be working again for 12 and 10 years respectively.

After lunch I had allowed my eyes to close a little while I inspected my eyelids from inside. It took some time so it was 1.45 pm before I was back on the job again.  (Mail not theft I mean). I was up and down all afternoon trying to keep up so I have my Thursday evening free for Big Bang Theory and the last two episodes of Person of Interest. This blog was written between 8.30- 10.00 pm and then finished after 11.55 pm. I hope you appreciate the dedication.

Tastes better than food Ma.

Tastes better than food Ma.

Yes, you're right, I'm a scamp.

Yes, you’re right, I’m a scamp.

 

Friday. I was sort of ready to get up this morning. In fact I think my legs were on their way out of bed without the rest of me when I woke up. It was 5.31 am and my bladder said the timing was right. I’d had so many ice lollies yesterday it was coming out in icicles this morning and the outside temperature wasn’t helping as it seems Winter might be on the doorstep again, and the path, the garden and the road. It’s persisting down with rain too. A gloomy start to the day. I put the computer on and commenced work. One thing stood out as blindingly obvious today, the computer is behaving as normal, no Chrome v WordPress problems ( fingers crossed knock on wood). Every message seemed sensible bar one. A few days ago I tweeted a blog I’d read which I found funny. Someone retweeted it but kept my name there for some reason. A third person picked it up and must assume I’m the author and is taking swipes at me in his tweets.  Since the original blog wasn’t rude and my tweet of it wasn’t rude I don’t appreciate someone else’s rudeness. I was forced to tweet and tell him so and ask him to save his rude remarks for something I write that he hates. He came back later with an innocent ‘Who me?’ I’m just a commentator on politics blah blah screenwriter. Grrrrr.

At 7.00 am I went through to see to the fish and one of the ‘so called’ assassins was out. If he’s eaten anything it’s probably his partner and that’s why he’s been in hiding, digesting him. I just couldn’t be bothered with breakfast so after taking my meds and then doing a  new batch for the week I made a coffee and took it through with me.  I was delighted to read that a friend of mine who works all day every day on manuscripts for other people is actually going to take a three day weekend. It led me to thinking what a shame it is that I can’t meet some of the wonderful people I’ve met through the blog. Especially the ones in warmer climes today by coincidence of course. I think it must be a National holiday in Nigeria and Burkino Faso since none of them have written to me and maybe a power surge has shorted out a few crystal balls as well since none of the ‘seers’ has written to me in a while.

By 9.30 am I’d finished and rather than refresh and have to find a tissue for my eyes I got dressed, said a prayer to the patron saint of trench foot and went out. It had stopped raining ! I delivered my repeat prescription to the chemist and though I didn’t need anything decided to cross the road to the One Stop ( opposite Pauline’s) and just see what they’ve got in the six months since I was there last. I don’t know who’s stupid idea this was but I came out with a bag full and two rolls of kitchen paper towel under my arm. It’s just adding insult to injury that in Wales we have to pay for the carrier bags. I’m afraid there was nothing diabetic friendly in the bag either unless you count Maltesers. I struggled home. The minute I set foot on my step the rain came down again. Thank you St, Fungus.

Once in I unpacked then returned to the mail for a while, Toffee Crisp in hand. By 10.45 am I’d finished and decided to watch  a bit of TV coming up to lunch. People buying houses at auction and doing them up seemed favorite but after a short time my eyelids had other ideas and shut me down. I was awake for lunchtime and went through to see what was left. I’d got a minced beef hotpot. Wonderful….until I turned it over and found it wasn’t microwave suitable. Oops, I’d already taken my pre-lunch tablet and quickly had to make some cheese and coleslaw baps.I had a healthy yoghurt  to follow then a not so healthy 4 dark chocolate fingers. I’ve not heard anything from Mike to say whether he’s coming and I know the car is going in for repair today so I decide to keep attacking the mail as much as possible just in case. I have breaks for my antique programmes and for one of my quizzes but I’m pretty much on top now. I must have nodded a few minutes because on the second antiques programme they’re just heading for the auction where they sell everything then all of a sudden they’re taking food out of an oven. Oh wait, that’s somebody else completely with the food.

I was just on my way through to see how the mail was doing when I got a text message. I was excited for a moment until I saw it was my phone supplier reminding me to top up. I sat down at the computer and the phone beeped again. YAY, Mike’s on his way. It’s 7.55 pm so I have to give him 3 hours with the weather. So, I finish the mail and take a shower. I’ll go through to the TV and pretend I have company though I’ll keep popping through in the adverts.

It’s almost time for his arrival so I’m finishing this quickly so we have chance to speak. Though maybe this week I’ll have chance to speak to a human being instead of the TV and poor Mike can turn his hearing aid off an nod occasionally. Sometimes he nods and says Ah, or Yes, hoping they’re in the right place but I don’t really care.

This one’s for Mike.      

Saturday.  The was a noise last night as the door opened, something flew in, used the loo flushed and left again. I was left starting at a light on in the empty bathroom and a closed front door. Was it some random drunk from the local pub who couldn’t wait until he got home………. I put the kettle on just in case. Moments later the door opened again and in breezed a very relieved Mike who’s been at the end of his tether when he drew up and couldn’t wait to get has case from the boot ( trunk for my trans-Atlantic buddies). He threw his case on the bed and came to refill on coffee.It was my job to listen to his week because whenever he asks me how my week’s been I just tell him to read the blog! Every visitor counts. Which momentarily reminds me to mention my absolute surprise that people are still joining the blog. I had two new followers today alone. Welcome Newbies, you’ll soon learn the error of your ways. If I hadn’t been able to blackmail my regulars you’d be on your own here.

I didn’t get up until 6.30 am today but that’s OK. I went to the kitchen without turning the computer on and had a round of toast and made my coffee. I took all my tabs and sprays to waste time while I waited for Mike’s 7.00 am alarm. No joy. I went and turned the computer on and did a few messages. I had to decide whether to let the idle beggar poor tired fella sleep or grab a bucket of water. Any decision was futile as his alarm went off slightly before lunch at 7.30 am. I made a coffee and took it through.The alarm was off and the snoring was on. I was greeted by grunts when I told him in a voice loud enough to wake the dead his coffee was there. Then I returned to my emails. At 7.45 am the alarm went off again and it penetrated enough to get him up, well that and the fact I moved it out of reach. He took his drink through to the lounge and I followed him through. “Did my alarm go off at 7 am?” he asked. “No” I answered. “That explains it then.” he said but didn’t tell me what it explained. We had the usual loo visit just before which he thrust his mug at me for a refill. Would we get out before evening?

We eventually arrived at the supermarket when we’d usually be leaving. We managed to get round in quite good time and he wouldn’t let me have a coffee because I’d missed one thing from my list. He told me I could have a coffee in Flint and get my missing item there. We got to Flint and found my missing Loo Bloo then went to Temptations for a coffee. As usual I stood at the counter and chatted to Ceri as she made the order and Mike walked right past for the loo.I swear he’s like a dog marking his territory. As he came out I transferred the drinks to our table and ordered a teasted toecake for him before he started getting into his usual flirtatious conversation with Ceri himself. She was on her own this morning and quite busy. She also told us Daniel leaves at the end of next week which will be a loss . He’s also good fun on a Saturday morning and takes the teasing quite well.

We left and instead of going home headed for the Tweed Mill to see if we could find the broach Mike is looking for as  a gift. As I was afraid they didn’t have one but at least I got a cup of tea somewhere different. I suggested Afon Wen, the antiques centre which is where I got them previously. They did have one but it was a bit ‘spensive’ so it stayed in the cabinet. I’ve now suggested Ebay. We decided to go for lunch and set off across country to The Ivy where we found Angie very busy. The place was crowded. It was a while before Tariq appeared. He was serving and helping with the cooking but still had time for hugs. before going back to the kitchen. Shella was out doing a buffet so it was all hands to the pumps. When she returned he was able to come out a little more and chat though the crowds increased. After lunch I saw he was talking to a couple at the counter so I was able to go up behind them and just lay the money on the counter. By the time I’d got my coat on he was by my side arguing, as he was while I walked towards he door, opened it and got outside. Mike thought it was hilarious. We’ve never had anyone less anxious to take money from me before. At this rate he’ll be paying me to eat there.

Time to head home and unpack the shopping. That done I was desperate to get on to do my messages and Mike was going to deal with a phone his son, my nephew Anton had sent me. An HTC Wildfire, they’re trying to bring me out of the dark ages. There was moaning, groaning and cursing galore as he tried to set it up. He shouted to me, he visited me and interrupted me and then went back to cursing again.After continuous fiddling it was up and running by 10.30 pm. I’d done my mail, made our pre-tea pudding, watched a couple of programmes on TV, washed pots, watched TV, made tea, washed pots again, made more coffee all through the blue air of his swearing in the lounge session. Tomorrow my training starts in earnest ( if anyone knows where Earnest is please let me know) as I learn to allocate ring tones to specific people. Wish the world luck. After Mike found the episode of the Tomorrow People we missed earlier we watched that and I finally came through. I’m doing the blog before assaulting myself with the message catch-up again. Wishing you all a Fantastic Week.

 

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Father & Son

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Pink Whales and Nightingales

Sunday. My night was very short but the darkness certainly wasn’t. When I first grudgingly got up it was pitch black but once I remembered to turn the computer screen on things improved no end. I sorted the mail and answered the comments on the blog before heading off at 8.am for my coffee. As I came back through I decided to get dressed in case Mike got up soon. I know he’d actually turned the TV off early last night and I could see him seemingly fast asleep when I nipped to the loo before midnight. It seemed a good idea to perhaps ‘tweak’ a few of Yvonne’s poems and print them out to see how they looked so I made a start but was ready to see to Mike’s coffee when he wrote. The trouble I had….last week I’d replaced an ink and something had gone CLUNK I couldn’t see what it was but the printer still worked though with a terrible background noise. Today I had to change another ink after the first printing. It took ages to get the new ink in, and then even longer to shut the lid. As I printed the second poem off something seemed not right at all, there were two pink whales instead of bluey-black and on the third I had a pink dragon though I could get away with that as it was female. By number four I’d lost the last three hairs on my head and had a pink black widow spider. I didn’t print more, just designed and saved them. Next week I’ll have to test Ju’s old printer which hasn’t been touched in a couple of years. Throughout all this Mike hadn’t moved a muscle except the one that he uses to snore which was in overdrive. At 10.10 am I took a coffee through and got a grunt. I became engrossed in some more mail and at 10.50  still just am, he finally appeared looking like death’s ugly brother. It took some doing to motivate him to be ready to go out at mid-day.                                                                                                                     We decided to head back to the cafe from last week, The Ivy Emporium because the reception had been so nice. Things hadn’t changed. The owner is an exceptionally nice man and I can say the same about his wife, (not that she’s a nice man you fool, just that she’s nice), I managed to have a good natter about Titterton’s pork pies and about Heaton Chapel where we’d both lived. Also today there was a waitress and didn’t Mike’s eyes light up when he saw her. What did mine do you ask, never you mind. When I went to pay at the end of the meal she complimented me on my beard, Mike corrected her and said it was a food retainer. Things went from bad to worse at that point with the jokes ( mainly at my expense of course) and we left there laughing. As she’s a budding writer I left my email address in case she needs any help.               Mike dropped me off at home as usual and left to visit his father and this week his sister who’s birthday it was yesterday. We joke about how much older than me she is. You would only find the rest of my day boring, I know I did. Mail and TV in the main and all I remember is a Sherlock Holmes. Now time for a bit of book.

Monday. It didn’t take me long to realise I was still tired this morning. Once the mail was up to date at 7.am I saw to fish and tabs and sat with a coffee in the lounge but keeping the light off. No sooner had I finished the drink than the soft sawing sound of my Zzz’s were drifting though the room. I was away. It was light when I woke at 8.30 so I made another coffee, a bit stronger this time and went back to the computer. Once up to date again I got dressed though I’d no intention of going out today. The wind and rain were awful. I played yo-yo all morning between my chair and nodding off, and my computer to keep abreast of the mail. I had one late morning that told me we used to communicate but she’d had to change her profile, if I would like I could see the latest ‘dirty’ pictures of  her on the new profile. Why she thought I’d be interested in looking at pictures of an unwashed woman I don’t know.                                                                                                                                                                                                            For lunch I had a shepherd’s pie, I hope he never finds out who pinched it. Almost immediately afterwards I was asleep again. That didn’t last too long as the cigarette I was smoking burned my finger and dropped to the floor. Even so, I bet it was just ten minutes before I was away again. I didn’t see a complete TV program all day. At a few minutes to 8.0pm I came through to catch up on mail and hopefully grab an early night. No matter the sleep I had today I’m still yawning. Unfortunately there’s been a lot of mail and most of it very interesting so I’m just past 11.0 pm now. I’m determined to have a short read then try for sleep. I need better weather tomorrow in order to meet Yvonne.

Tuesday. After getting up early and seeing off the mail which included two notices about unexpected use on the Barclaycard  I don’t have, I got dressed and sat nervously deciding about going to see Yvonne and Reuben. Do I go now and force myself out the door or sit and think about it a bit longer.  It’s not raining so I decide to strike while the iron’s hot, or more accurately before I turn chicken, cluck, cluck. Texted her to say meet me at ten or would you prefer I came straight to the house. She answered ten was fine and told me where the new Costa Coffee House is. Within ten minutes I cursed my memory when I found the kids were back at school and the bus stop was jammed with them. Before I was able to turn round and go back their bus arrived and I was surrounded by about six million excited, chattering pushing and shoving monsters little darlings. My own bus drew up and I all but collapsed on the step but I saw the driver lower it for me to make it easier. I swiped my card and occupied the disabled seat ( seat for the disabled, there’s nothing wrong with the seat itself). I got out my MP3 player to avoid conversation and relaxed with my eyes shut. I got through two songs and the battery ran out so I covered where the red light would be and sat swaying like Stevie Wonder so no-one would know. A very tense hour and a quarter later we arrived and no-one had tried to speak to me. With my sense of rhythm they perhaps thought I was having a fit so stayed well clear. The young lady on the seat behind me did help me get my haversack back on though.                                                                                                                                                                                                     We went to the Costa and I gave Yvonne the new outfit I’d bought for Reuben and the flower stickers I’d bought to go on the hallway wall ( only if she wanted). Lastly I brought out some of the poems I’ve been doing for Reuben’s book after deciding some of the ones I did for Yvonne may not be suitable. I was OK she loved them. She started a diet today to get rid of the residual baby fat so there were no cakes with coffee today. We enjoyed a wander and a further drink before lunchtime though this time she had water with slices of lemon. I gave Reuben some of his milk. As we walked on afterwards to get some bread to take home we picked up a few bits here and there. After getting the bread and emptying the baby food section and fruit section we stopped for lunch……well I stopped for lunch. Yvonne asked for a pot of tea for me and a bacon roll( a good swap some my say) but was told I could have a cup or a mug and there was no bacon left. I settled for a mug and had a pastie. A few minutes before we got up to leave the waitress brought sausage and bacon sandwiches to the table next to us.Guess where I won’t be going again. One more shop on the way home and I found a great pair of shoes in the sale for Ugo. It’s a shame I see so little of him.                                                                                                                                                                             I watched the monster while Yvonne made me a cuppa at home. We’d been 6 hours shopping, she’s a terrible girl leading me astray like this. Ugo arrived home about 5.30 and by 6.00 was ready to run me home stopping on the way for chips which just he and I enjoyed much to Reuben’s dismay.I was able to give them some gifts I’d picked up on Saturday but couldn’t carry this morning. The usual moans ensued…………yada, yada, yada.                                                                                                                               After they left it was straight to the computer to find 149 messages waiting. A big ouch. It was getting on for midnight before I was able to stop.

Bartholemew.bernie the bat

Wednesday. A terrible night last night, I couldn’t get to sleep as I was constantly getting cramp in my feet and had to keep walking around. I felt like Marley’s ghost. It must have been at least two before I was able to try again and succeed. So I lay my head down and at a quarter to five my bladder decided it was time for another walk. That woke me up. So I had 39 messages brought over from last night, I’m so glad I didn’t refresh then plus 78 of this mornings. I’d almost finished when I left to do my morning ritual at 8.00am. I followed up by getting ready to go out to the chemist and to pick up some fresh baps from Pauline’s. The bread I’d got yesterday was awful. While out I decided not to cook a meal but to get a ham salad bap for lunch and a pastie or sausage roll for my tea. That actually worked out well for me today and I think I might add the ingredients to my shopping list and do that as much as possible next week. The salad will be good for me and OMG I feel faint, what’s wrong with my brain? I’ve actually spent most of the day on the computer apart from lunchtime after which I managed an hours sleep but as usual at 5.00 I came through for The Mentalist. I’d seen it before so turned over for the Great Antiques Road Trip. I couldn’t help laughing at the experts who bought goods to take to auction which they promptly made a loss on, all except the last item, a picture frame the expert had paid £100 for. It looked like it may go for £50 when there was a sudden surge in bidding and it went for £300. He ended the day with a profit. Another antique program Flog It followed that and I watched as I ate my pastie and some pineapple pieces. It was just after that Dil and Matt appeared like two drowned rats. The weather has been awful all afternoon again. I’m glad they live atop a hill too. We had two games of Scrabble as usual but I could only cheat my way to a win in one. Then it was time to bring out the Newmarket Board we’d recently made,  raid Reuben’s copper jar and teach Matt how to play. I swear he must have been a professional gambler in a previous life. It took a while before I started showing a profit. Next week I’m hoping for Nomination Whist but Matt wants to teach me poker. After they left about 9.30 and yes it was still raining I came back to see to messages. Barclay’s are obviously worried about the activity on my Barclaycard but I’m not worried as I haven’t opened an account since this morning. However, I am frankly getting worried about two other things. 1) One woman is getting very blatant in wanting to know if I want some ‘FUN’ with her but she didn’t leave an address, and 2) Some poor soul in Africa has lost her husband and is now dying herself. before she goes she wishes to entrust to me the £2,000,000 her husband left as she knows I’ll be sure to pass it on to deserving churches for her. I’m worried the amounts are getting so much smaller these days, is it really going to be worth my while, and why should she think I would pass it on to churches when I’m the most irreverent person you can imagine. Right, two mins to midnight, I’m going to have a quick read.

Driver 69

Driver 69

Just chatting to Pops.

If the cap fits.......

If the cap fits…….

Thursday. Though I did rise early I felt I wasn’t quite ready today so about 6.30 when the mail was done I leaned over slightly and was back on the bed. Next thing I knew it was 7.40 and the fish were sending mental messages not to forget them. To save myself being confronted by a very large unhappy fish one day I didn’t. I’m kind to spiders too just in case I ever meet the eight foot queen who knows how her subjects have fared. In this life it doesn’t pay to take chances. Good advice for my Aussie friends there. After ensuring my good karma for the rest of the day I took my meds, arranged the meds for the rest of the week and then made myself a Columbian Coffee I haven’t yet tired of my toy and the varieties I can buy though many of the tastes are indistinguishable to me unless it’s a crema and I can look forward to a silly moustache. I don’t know why as I already own one of those. That meant I didn’t get back to my mail until about 8.30 by which time some poor postman with too many in his sack had dumped another 87 in my box and I’m sure they weren’t all mine. Regardless of that I worked my way through them even dumping the ones with titles like ‘Hey baby, we could have a real good time’ as Balderdash just isn’t as much fun with 2 players. It was gone ten o’clock when I checked the lottery and had my hopes dashed, there are two rich people with £54,000,000 each in France and Spain now. I wonder if they can read begging letters in English? I decided I’d better get ready to go out and buy the Eurolottery ticket for Friday despite the prize being just a measly £12,000,000. I suppose it would do if I’m careful.  I bought three scratchcard as well and won £2 so I’m not sure if that’s a sign my lucky streak is starting or a sign I’ll end up bankrupt.                                                                                                                                      At home again I did a couple more poems with appropriate clip-art for Reuben but I can’t print them out until I get off my backside and check out this other printer. That’s a good job for the weekend if Mike comes. For lunch I had two baps with corned beef, tomato and coleslaw the effect of which I suppose was a little spoiled when I had a Kitkat for pudding. I turned TV on but couldn’t concentrate so I decided to examine my eyelids from the inside for a while. An hour later I slunk ashamed back to the computer for the next round of punishment. By 4.30 I was starting to nod over the keyboard so left the last couple and retired to the lounge. I was in time to see my antique experts repeat last night’s errors of judgement and make stupendous losses again. The evening flowed past in a jumble as I missed about twenty minutes of Law and Order Zzzzing then turned to Murder She Wrote which was plain boring. At 8.00 I gave up and came back through, changing into my dressing gown and have sat here since then with messages and post comments. Time for one more poem then a bit of Sir Terry Pratchett before trying to sleep.

Friday. I woke this morning with the distinct impression I’d heard nightingales. The main arguments against this are a) I have no idea how a nightingale sounds  and b) It was a bit off it’s Berkeley Square patch up here. There is no shelter from the flood, no wellingtons small enough for their feet and I doubt you’d get a sou’wester that size either. So why a nightingale you ask, and the only answer I can think of is these poxy dreams are trying to tell me something. I’d take a pad and pen to bed to record the dreams if it wasn’t likely that the writing time would probably coincide with the time I’m supposed to be asleep.                                                                                                                        Once I’d done battle with my messages first thing I followed my usual routine then came back to writing some more of the kids poetry- acceptable versions- I’m doing for Reuben. I have so many questions about publishing a small book of poetry with illustrations in the form of clipart like is the cost of producing books with pictures very expensive for readers to buy? Is it better to do a paperback, a hardback or even a board book? I’m hopeful an old friend of mine will be able to answer my questions from her vast store of knowledge.I’m even a bit confused about the best size since I’ve been doing the work as A4 so far. I wonder if something like this may be more acceptable to a traditional publisher or whether I should just continue with the pattern of self-publishing I’ve done with my other books. Maybe I should just concentrate on one copy for Reuben alone. Anyway, I think I managed 3 more before returning to the messages and catching up. I went to get two pints of milk in case Mike decides to come and ended up buying two bottles of wine. I don’t even drink???  Naturally I clanged all the way home and drew a few looks and knowing nods from the locals. Lunchtime came and I had a small braised steak and mash and settled down with the TV for an hour. I went straight to sleep, did not pass go and did not collect £200. I was woken by a sound from my phone ad saw my eyes had been closed for about twenty minutes. A message from Mike ‘On my Way’. I shot off back to my room again as there’s no way I can deal with messages once he arrives and I don’t want tons for tonight. At 2.05 he arrived, his afterburner was still hot as the three hour journey had taken 2 hours 10 minutes. A clear road was the only explanation my raised eyebrow got. My brother Dil had bought me some top quality ground coffee for Christmas so I took it through to the kitchen, demanded Mike got on his knees to me and make him search the cupboard for my cafetiere. It’s a very small size and has a knitted cardigan just like me. I made him a coffee and parted with a biscotti then went to sit in the lounge with him. I’m pretty sure he finished his coffee before he fell asleep (How rude) which was just before I did likewise. The trick is to wake first and then when he apologises for being so rude you can claim the moral high ground without being caught. A little later I did roast beef, boiled new potatoes in a herb butter and garden peas for tea which we shared though I could only have a small portion having eaten a meal already, then I had a great big barm cake to mop up the gravy. We watched our usual quizzes before I went for a shower and left Mike putting extra holes in my new belt ( bought Tuesday) even though he kept insisting the belt didn’t need more holes but an extension. He’ll pay for that. I stayed up chattng and watching Body of Proof until 10.00 when I had to excuse myself. 101 messages awaited me which I’ve managed to finish. No reading tonight I think, it’s almost time to get up again.

Saturday. I’m pretty sure I managed a full ten minutes sleep before it was time to haul my weary ass out of bed. (I did warn him he was taking up too much room.) I nipped to the loo and could hear Mike driving the sheep home with a vengeance. Still, I’ve no time to do anything about that now, my audience awaits. It was actually a nice manageable amount this morning and I was finished, washed and dressed before 7.00am. I was enjoying a drink when Mike’s alarm went off  It went on a bit longer than usual before I heard it crash to the floor but I was pretty sure he was awake so I made his coffee and took it through. Wrong, he was back to sleep. “Coffee’s up” I told him and left, knowing that his alarm is on a ten minute repeater.At quarter past there was no repeat alarm and no sound of movement so I headed back to his doorway and called in “Don’t let your coffee get cold Bro.” All I got in return was “Leave me alone, alone, alone” like some demented echo but I knew he’d heard me. I saw to the bins and braved the pouring rain to put the recycling sacks out too. At 7.30 I had one last go, “Coffee’s cold now Mike” and then moved away fast before some language tainted me delicate ears. Within minuted though He did join me. I did a last check of my mail and found one from Apple to say someone had just downloaded a game on my account in Taiwan did I need to change my password. I tried but at first it refused to accept my D.O.B so I had to say I’d forgotten my sign in so they’d send an email I could link to. Apple are a pain, they must have been breached because I don’t use the account online. I’m forever getting messages to say I need to change my password which I do but never through the link in the message.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          We did the shopping but after a late start had to play catch up. We managed pretty well and were able to have a drink in Flint complete with sexual banter as usual.  While shopping I’d bought a lot of salad stuff with the intention of having salad baps for my lunches next week. I realise Australia is in shock at the news but wait for this, I also bought myself a Breville Blend Active. I thought it might be nice to make myself some fruit smoothies or milkshakes. Can anyone tell me if chocolate is a fruit or a vegetable please?

Thank you to my fellow blogger from whom I pinched this idea.

Thank you to my fellow blogger from whom I pinched this idea.

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After we unpacked the shopping at home we went for lunch so we could deliver some gifts to friends at Kassidy’s. It was nice to see Chris and be able to say we were sorry about her Dad’s passing. From lunch we wen’t to Colwyn Bay to see our friend who it seems is unwell again and has had a few falls. We had a nice couple of hours with him and went to visit my niece Karen to see her latest decor idea using things from the film The Wizard of Oz. It’s looking very impressive. Leaving her to get ready for work we came home . I plowed into my mail while Mike rang my phone company to see if he could get me a better deal and their TV package.I ended up a couple of pounds better off a month and got the extra. We had tea, watched an odd programme on sounds followed by a remake of The Tomorrow People which I remember from years ago. Mike had to go out to meet an old flame  and I’ve come back through to spend my Saturday night in my usual fashion (You slavedrivers). Before I go, I’d like to leave you with a rare photograph of Nikita Kruschev.

That Kruschev look.

That Kruschev look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One further thing….. The beautiful Virginia Llorca of Fine Whine  http://www.dittymac.blogspot.co.uk/ sent me a picture today which she maintains is me ! I’ll leave it to your good selves to be the judge of her outrageous libel. As If I couldn’t find a rhyme !

Welsh Bard.

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