Tag Archives: Carvery

The Kitten Vanishes and Subliminal Messages.

Sunday 11th Jan 2015

I ended the week with a 4.08 am day. Despite getting to bed not long after midnight and despite being tired I couldn’t sleep and had to read. The light went off at 1.00 am I’m pretty sure Mike’s didn’t however as it was still on when I got up. The new day started quite oddly from my point of view because when I logged on the in- boxes weren’t as full as usual. That’s not a complaint by the way. In fact both were empty by 5.45 am. I went to the loo and on the way back decided to apply some of the Deep Freeze pain relieving gel I bought for the ankle . It was in the lounge so I sat on the couch, applied some to my hand and started rubbing it in. For a moment it stung then the menthol kicked in and it burned like heck. Fair play it was a coldish red hot burn . I’m so glad I’d pulled my pyjama leg up and not the pyjama trousers down as anyone passing the window at that point would have had a shock ( contrary to the rumours spread by you know who). I practically danced the flame(nco), knocking my leg in the process at the instant agony of pain relief. But I dared not try and wash it off in case it was like the experience I have previously recounted about my introduction to Fiery Jack. I went and sat in my chair till the tears dried. There appeared to be none left on the inside of my eyelids when I checked at 6.55 am. The stinging had died to a dull throb.

I went through to the kitchen and turned the lights on, including the fish tank. Little Al was near the front and as I was putting food in I started talking and telling him I was perhaps going to find some new friends for him today. He darted off, stopped by Big Al, had a conflab and moments later Big Al was there head cocked as though listening to every word. I’d stopped speaking by then though. “Not to worry old son” I told him, ” we know you’re the senior crew member and all newcomers must report to you.” That actually seemed to satisfy him and he started grazing. I wonder if he’s been earwigging when I’ve spoken to Mike about new fish, maybe that’s what’s been worrying him. Poor lamb. Well, he’s in for a shock if I get my way because the fish I hope to get will dwarf him and I shall be sure to bribe them to my side of the field quite early on. If anyone is going to rule that tank it will be ME!  With my best imitation of the evil scientist’s laugh I turned away and started to take my meds. As I wasn’t sure what time we’d eat today I thought I’d better have breakfast too so I made some toast with the crusty bread from yesterday.

Once finished I took my post-food tablets and carried my coffee through to my bedroom. More of the expected post had started coming through now so I guessed the delay was due to a leaf on the line somewhere. I got stuck in. It carried me through until just after 9.00 am so I started messing about on ebay which I don’t seem to get to as often as I used to. Just after 9.30 am I paid another visit to the loo and almost passed out on the bathroom floor when I heard the pat pat of size 6 feet heading for the lounge. It couldn’t be……but it was. I went to make him a drink and sat with him for a while. The weather wasn’t nice but it hadn’t snowed and the gale seemed to have dropped so we confirmed the trip to Blakemere to look for fish was still on. By the time we’d washed and dressed and Mike had forced a shoe on my foot it was 10.45 am before we could leave. We still managed to get there by 11.25 am though. First stop the very posh and very pleasant tea rooms from last time. Once we were refreshed it was a trip round the courtyard to a little curio/antique shop and then ( via the loo again) to a larger antique shop on site. After a really good mooch and as it was now 1.00 pm we went to the restaurant for lunch which today was a carvery. I had two good slabs of roast beef and then some potatoes and LOADS of veg Andrea.I realised I’d forgotten my 11.00 am antibiotic and had to readjust the rest of the day’s times and wait until an hour after eating.

Following lunch we went into a shop that imports freetrade items, where Mike bought himself a nice dragon on a tree. We left there intending to go and look at the fish but Mike said he’d just pop into the third ( and last) antique shop while I had a cigarette. I could see him through the window as I smoked and he hadn’t got more than a few feet into the shop. He’d said he didn’t want anything today so I nipped in behind him and said I’d go to the fish place and he could catch me up there. Well, I looked, looked again and looked some more and couldn’t find what I wanted which included Mike for his opinion. I’d been there 45 mins when I could see they didn’t have breed I wanted or the size I wanted. I came out and walked back up the hill. Mike still hadn’t finished buying nothing but it was going to take 3 bags to carry it.Then the card machine was out of order so it was as well I had some cash with me. We got in the car and set off to find a restaurant we thought was also a book shop fairly close by so I could take my tablet. The book shop had gone 9 months ago but the restaurant was very nice. We had a coffee and headed for home.

We got back at 4.30 pm and I had to come straight in and start work. Mike called me at 6.00 pm for half an hour then I returned to it. It was gone 10.00 pm before I finished most of them ( without refreshing) but I owed him some company. Before I joined him I heard a kitten and it sounded as though it was outside. I went to the front door and tried the usual here puss, puss.puss to no avail. I held my breath to listen and immediately the kitten shut up. Feeling a right fool I shut the door quietly and hoped Mike hadn’t heard me.  We watched something that left me very confused about who was related to whom and how before I came back through. It’s now 12.20 pm and I’m going to find tonight’s song then go to bed. I shall finish any outstanding post later on . It will be another odd day as I’m being MuJo’d which is strange on a Monday.

Monday.

4.13 am this morning and I woke to the sound of a wind howling past the house. I crept through to the lounge to see if any snow had fallen overnight and saw my palm tree using it’s fingers to touch it’ s toes. Occasional lashings of rain against the window sent me scuttling for the loo then back to my room where the direction of the wind kept the rain away from the window and outside could be forgotten as I immersed myself in work. I had a break at 6.00 pm long enough to take the antibiotic, then I carried on until 6.48 when both  mailboxes appeared to be  empty. I took a walk through to the kitchen to feed my pals ( and Big Al). The two small corys were out and about flashing here and there. When the food went in there was a melee as everyone tried to catch a bit as it descended. One of the corys even sent Sharkey scuttling away when they both went for the same piece. Sharkey then took it out on everyone else as he tried to find a new piece. Big Al found his and wasn’t budging. He seems to have adjusted to ruling the roost again today.

I left the fish to it and started to take my meds. About the halfway point I considered breakfast but decided against it as I can have tea tonight after MuJo have departed. I continued with the meds then as usual made a coffee. Instead of bringing it back through I sat in my chair in the lounge to drink it and listen to the storm outside. At about 7.30 am it sounded as though it was abating a little. I washed my mug and returned to work. There was a message from a good friend in the US who has (again) bought me a year with Ancestry for my Christmas/Birthday, He sent me the code given by Ancestry.com and I sent a message to Ancestry.co.uk to ask them to transfer the credit to my account. It’s happened e last couple of years and it’s a problem, though last year someone dealt with it easily in the end. I hope they left notes. By 8.15 am both boxes were empty again and I had a little play on  Ancestry.co.uk before putting the kettle on at 8.55 am. As soon as it boiled I took a coffee through to Mike and woke him up. By the time I reached my bedroom again he was asleep again. I got washed and dressed then reminded him the drink was getting cold. This time we made some progress. He slung himself out of bed and shuffled through to the lounge. I’m fairly sure he wasn’t too pleased to have been reminded but I couldn’t risk Muriel arriving while Mike was in his usual state of undress.

I sat next to Mike talking but gradually moved further down the chair so my foot would reach the table and shut my eyes. Mike went off to get washed and dressed so he could make a move towards his father’s. He left the house at bout 10.10 am which was quite good, and I returned to work. Again I caught up though it took a bit longer now more of you were awake and writing. MuJo arrived at 11.00 am an I made drinks as we shared details of our respective Christmases. When it came to a decision about where to eat today I refused to get involved and left to find some shoes to wear. I was very careful putting them on so it didn’t cost me another shoehorn. We ended up going to the Bells of St Mary’s for a carvery ( sound familiar?) where I had some delicious beef, Muriel had Pork and John had beef, pork and gammon ham. I had cabbage by the ton, peas and carrots as well as both mashed and roasted potatoes and a Yorkshire pudding ( sadly missing from yesterday’s meal). It was really nice which is good as that’s where I’m being taken for my birthday and If I managed to screen dump enough of the code, my free meal too.

After the meal there was a discussion about where next. Flint won out because of Temptations and also the need, which I denied, to get me a birthday present I liked. First we went to ALDI which Muriel hasn’t visited before in Flint. I was able to get some chocolates from there instead of my usual shop. I was glad we hadn’t parked far away as it was all wind and rain again when we came out . We needed to turn right out of the entrance and a lorry kindly stopped and waved us on only to be held up behind a car going at 2mph at best. Muriel was jittery as she hadn’t got it in gear and we had to pull over hazard lights going until we were sure there was nothing wrong with the car and also to let all the vehicles we’d delayed get a good distance away. Within moments we were back on our way and parked up by Temptations. It was quite busy and as Muriel ordered the drinks I was able to pass the chocs to Ceri and just about say hello. From there we had a look at a couple of shops with John behind me asking if I liked things, usually expensive. I managed to find a reasonable looking jumper at half price in the sale and said how much I liked it. He stopped nagging me and went with Muriel to the counter to get it and some batteries for a set of electronic remote control candles Mike has bought me that he doesn’t know about yet. I had to struggle to stop Mujo taking them off me to buy.

When we went home they stayed long enough for another drink then started their journey home. I decided to delay starting work long enough to watch The Antiques Road Trip on TV but as soon as it was over I came through. I’d hardly made a dent at 6.00 pm when I had to break off for some tea and to take some painkillers. It was 8.00 pm before I felt able to take another break and watch some Big Bang Theory. When the two episodes were over I took my last antibiotic and my evening tablets and returned to the ‘Office’. At 10.45 pm I was clear and able to do the blog though I’ll have to go back for one last check before bed. I need some sleep tonight . Fingers crossed the evil forecast for tomorrow doesn’t kick in until I’ve returned from my blood test.

Tuesday.

There were a couple of minor hiccups in the night but I still managed to hang on until 4.45 am. I think I have it figured out now, Somnos thinks the earlier I get up the more time for my devotions towards him. Of course it’s not likely he’ll have come into direct competition with technology before and doesn’t know I’d sooner take that than prayer. I also figured out that Porcinus must have borrowed the goats in the hopes that my affiliation with Capricorn would sway me. He obviously never figured out that at this age who wants to be reminded. I swung one leg out of bed, the other one was so heavy it fell out on its own. Telling myself I could make it, I headed for the loo and the will I, won’t I stop start of the day. After that it was straight to the computer ( sorry Somnos and thanks for helping me get here early). The mail was much as expected, it was there. I started work.

I had to go through to take an antibiotic at 6.00 am so decided I might as well do everything while I was there. Fish first as always, I put the tank light on and had an immediate audience. I had the feeling it might not necessarily have been my audience but it didn’t look like Big Al was on the lecture circuit. It’s possible I suppose that I interrupted their morning prayers but if that’s the case then today was the day of miracles when they got manna from heaven. Of course I’d feel bloody silly if they worshiped another god and I’d just confirmed his existence for them. Anyway they weren’t very devout as they were soon chasing the food and the gathering broke up. I wondered who their High Priest is as there would have to be one who claimed to be the voice of god. I turned away and took a pre-food tablet. I spend far too much time with the fish. I’m beginning to worry I might adopt the supposed 6 second memory. I spend far too much time with the fish. I had my sprays and took the morning meds before lighting a cigarette to time the start of breakfast. As soon as I was near the end I put some bread in the toaster and made a coffee.

Breakfast was welcome this morning for some reason, perhaps because I was going out in the cold later. After I’d had the two post-food tabs I wen back to work. I got washed and dressed before doing anything else so the only things I had to worry about later were my shoes and coat. By 7.30 am I was doing so well I could deal with mail as it came in. That makes a big difference when you panic at the slightest backlog. At 8.20 I put my shoe on without breaking a new shoe horn. I’m sure the right shoe went on easier than it has been doing. Good , that should mean I don’t have to keep co-ordinating my clothes to my shoes soon. I got my coat on and left. Outside there was six inches of…….. nothing. Not only had it not snowed but it wasn’t even raining. I struggled to the bus stop next to my neighbour who was going into town. The bus came quite quickly and I was in town by 8.45 am. The hospital isn’t too far away but not an easy task on crutches so it took me until 9.00 am to get there. I collapsed onto a seat and waited for twenty minutes past, then twenty five past and then it was my turn. I ignored the ‘ just a little prick’ jibe and left with the tape pulling at the hairs on my arm. After spending fifteen minutes getting back to town there was a while before my bus so I nipped into Lidl where I found a steam spray for dealing with getting the creases out of clothes hanging up, for Mike. Then I caught the bus home and stopped off at Pauline’s for some cigarettes and my TV mag. She only had one packet left so I may have to go there tomorrow.

At home a message from Yvonne that she’s left the doctor a message re my foot being about the same as last week. Oddly enough I’m sure after this morning it’s gone down slightly. The doctor will either send a new prescription down to the chemist or will ring her back. It wasn’t too long before I found there had been a phone call. The doctor was amazed there hadn’t been a bigger change and is changing the prescription to something stronger. She wanted to be sure my leg hasn’t increased in size. So, I’ll have to try the chemist tomorrow and see what’s been sent as this batch of antibiotics runs out then. I started work again. Quite a few had come in  while I’d been out. I forgot my 11.00 am antibiotic and had to take it nearer noon so lunch had to be delayed until 1.00 pm. I spent the hour trying to read a book I’ve been sent, but there were constant interruptions with mail. Then I put the first of 2 loads of washing in.

After lunch I worked until 2.15 pm then went to watch Father Brown. I even managed to stay awake then. A text message off MuJo about snow at their place getting deep and stopping them going to a funeral. I looked out of the window but here it was just rain. More work until 4.30 pm when The Antique Road Trip came on. I must have missed the last few minutes and woken up towards the end of the next programme. I folded all the washing into the I*oning basket, turned the tank light off and came back through. I fully intended to get clear and leave the room to watch a bit of TV but life doesn’t work like that. The mail has kept me going as I haven’t allowed it to mount up. At 9.00 pm I got changed to be comfortable and noticed my foot does look a bit less swollen and it’s certainly less painful but my leg still looks like it belongs on a piano so no change there then.

parklife 4 USE

Concentration or a bit of cheek?

Concentration or a bit of cheek?

Wednesday.

Whether it’s Somnos himself in charge of the clock or whether he’s farmed that  duty out to one of his ‘brothers’, someone is very on the ball. It’s was 4.45 again this morning. The only difference is that it took me longer to get to sleep last night so I’ve perhaps had 3 hours. Still, I don’t suppose it will make me any crankier than usual. I made a mad limp for the loo as it was really cold but when I looked out of the window still no snow. I returned to my bedroom. switched on the computer and started work. It’s started again. Two messages to tell me my non-existent bank accounts have been frozen pending information, one message from Mystic Mog  who wants to tell me what the next two weeks holds in store for me. I reckon If I can just hang on for 14 days I’ll know too. There was also one that I didn’t know whether to laugh   about or be cross about…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Hello,
Am Barr.Samuel Tamara a personal Atoney to your brother  whom deposited  some money in the bank
Here in Togo.i want you to come and stand as his nes of kins to claim the money.                                                                                                                                                                             I’m not quite sure what a nes of kins is but I’m quite sure my brother doesn’t need me for the job. I don’t think even the most gullible will be throwing their money at this one.

At 6.00 am I went through to take an antibiotic then decided to sit in the lounge for a while and listen to the rain. Sometimes it can be very soothing and it fact it soothed me to sleep and I didn’t wake up until 6.50 am. No point in going back to work yet so I decided to see to the fish and have some breakfast.  The fish were easy today, once I’d turned the lights on they all crowded round the front of the glass waiting to be fed. I fed them, they set about eating. It occurred to me that they might have been there for another prayer meeting and I wondered whether my new friend Porcinus had anything to do with this sudden sea change in attitudes. maybe Brother Jake has been instrumental in setting it up. I might not be the god they see above them with the food. It would explain why Porcinus has grown a little bigger. I did al I needed to with meds and had some cereal and a round of toast. ( Why a round since bread is oblong?).

I got dressed and spent some more time on the mail. I think I lost track a couple of times when my eyes glazed over and I was stuck in la-la land unable to concentrate.By 9.50 am I’d pretty much caught up though. I managed to get my shoes on and went out to the chemist to see if the new antibiotics were in from the doctor.The sun was shining, it was beautiful but freezing. Hailstones on the ground from during the night unable to defrost The chemists generally go to the surgery in an afternoon to collect prescriptions and she ( The Doctor) was writing it out yesterday. It wasn’t there. I said I’d hold on till this afternoon and call then to see if it had turned up. Then I paid Pauline a visit for some fresh bread and some micro chips  before coming home. Obviously more mail had arrived. At 11.00 am I took the last antibiotic then worked on until midday and lunchtime. I watched all the lunchtime antique show and then came back once again.

At 2.15 am I went to watch Father Brown. I missed the last bit as I nodded off again but as I came back through at 3.00 pm I found a note through the door to say the chemist had called. I never heard a thing. At least I knew they had the prescription now. I was happier as I returned to work . At 4.30 pm O went through for the Antique Road Trip and as I did so, saw the chemist’s van arrive. My friend from there brought the new tablets to the door and I said thank you with a packet of sweets. The show was good. It ended at 5.15 pm and there was no point in going back to work as Dil would be here soon. The quiz show Pointless was on which they generally watch the end of with me. I saw them approach just after 5.30 pm and went through to do drinks which once done I took through and joined them trying to answer obscure questions. As soon as it was over I turned off and Dil  got the table out ready to start. First was Yahtzee- don’t ask. Second was Nomination Whist- don’t ask even more, third and last was Crazy 8’s where unfortunately I was forced to be cruel in order to survive. On this one you can ask- I won.

They left at 9.30 pm to make the journey home. I tidied up and washed the pots before going through to see how bad things were. 142 bad was the answer. Ouch. It took a long time to make any headway and in the end I decided to start the blog rather than finish the mail so I can get to bed.

Another recommendation from my nephew.

Thursday.

I turned my light out after just a chapter last night and was probably asleep by 12.45 am. The early part of my sleep cycle was accompanied by some music. At first I ignored it and it was just in the background but soon it began to intrude as lines of a song penetrated. “Have you thought about changing your ways, you don’t have to know-ow about the world”. Of course, more subliminal messages no doubt courtesy of Somnos. This was by Free singing My Brother Jake. I wondered how many other tortured souls were listening to this right now. It was probably the fact that I liked Free and could fight this  that I started to sing along ( in my sleep) and my voice which is somewhere between a wolf howl and a chicken being strangled brought the session to an end, at least for me. I woke up to the words ” Some are a tough nut to crack.” It was 2.56 am.

I visited the loo, the shock of the bright light waking me even further, before returning to my room and giving life to the computer. I started working on last night’s emails which I hadn’t got too before going to bed. There were quite a few but they posed no particular problem. I noticed though that the first letter of each one was in bold type and in order they read SOMNOS AND THE YOUNG GODS . It was a pleasure to put those behind me. At 6.00 am I went through to the kitchen as quietly as possible an got one of the new tablets I start today.Co-amoxiclav 500/125 mg. I took it back to my bedroom with the leaflet. I know about amoxycillin but read what the leaflet had to say about it but there was for some reason no mention of the clavulanic acid it’s combined with so I had to rely on the net. Apparently it’s like an antibiotic but it hits the things that reject penicillin type antibiotics to make them more effective. Good, my piano leg should start showing signs of returning to normal soon. I put the leaflet down after starting to read some of the possible side effects and saw one that said sleeplessness. How is that possible in my case? I returned to work.

At 7.00 am I went through t the kitchen to take my normal daily meds and to feed the fish. There they were , all hovering around the hatch waiting for food trying to look as though they weren’t. This morning I put the flake in for Morecambe and Wise chatting to them all the while, then adding the pellets for the rest of them while telling them what a nice day it is and what a fine bunch they are. I realise I could probably have been speaking Yiddish to them but oped the tones and inflections in my speech would show Big Al we weren’t at war. From the glances I was getting I’m not sure he was convinced. I turned away and started taking my morning sprays then got a mug of milk for my tablets ( for me to take them that is). Having done that I made myself a drink which I brought back. There was a reply to a message I sent to Ancestry.com which showed they’d totally misunderstood my request to transfer the new year’s subscription to Amazon.com to Amazon.co.uk which I use. All the lady told me was that I could access the Ancestry files from any country. I knew that but I don’t want my subscription on .co.uk to run out and have to start signing in at .com instead. It’s been a problem for each of the last 3 years but in the end I get someone to understand and make the transfer.Looks like it’s going to be a hard time this year.

When I returned to my work I found a new email from the spammer conmen and this one is very professional and will catch people in  the UK out.                                      DEAR HMRC HOLDERS,

In accordance with Financial Services Authority (FSA) regulations, HM Revenue & Customs is adding an
additional layer of security to better protect the privacy of your tax refund account.

You must update your information now before you can proceed.

Update Now

This will only take a few moments.

Yours Sincerely,
Security Advisor.
HM Revenue & Customs

The ways to tell this is a con  . Firstly the address  fdrasdeagr@cox.net is not a valid address for a Government Dept.  Secondly, They have not used your name or your National Insurance Number. Please don’t fall for it.

By 9.15 am I’d cleared the first batch of mail though I hadn’t the courage at that point to refresh. I felt tired which before any of you shout “What, again??”  I’ll try pointing out it’s listed as a side effect of these new tabs (phew). I sat in my chair in the lounge and allowed myself to nod. Not too deeply as I didn’t want to miss anyone as I had the chemist yesterday. Anyway, I was afraid of more Somnos adverts if I slept properly and I might just be persuaded to do something I’d regret. By 10.25 am I was on my feet again telling myself a quick hoover wouldn’t hurt. After reminding myself not to be on my foot too long I had an excuse to delay it so just topped up Ju’s vase and watered a couple of plants instead. Unable to avoid it anymore I returned to work. It hadn’t taken things long to mount up. I opened my second email address to see ow bad things were  and nearly had to call for oxygen.Having said that, I was able to get rid of a fair few duplicates from that address and what was left didn’t seem too bad.

The work kept me going until a natural break at 11.45 am. I took the chance to go for lunch. These new super tablets are just 3 times a day so they don’t interfere with meal times. I’m taking them at 6.00 am, 2.00 pm and 10.00 pm. Perfect 8 hour intervals every time. I made myself some micro chips, coned beef and pickled beetroot for lunch. I think I may need more pickled beetroot this weekend as Mike likes it and won’t be chuffed to find most of it gone. Hopefully I’ll remember to put it on my list. Instead of the usual antique show I put an old Murder she Wrote on to watch during lunch then instead of returning to work straight away at 1.00 pm when it finished, I turned over and had 15 minutes of snooker. I didn’t overdo it as I was determined to watch Father Brown at 2.15 pm. I made it with moments to spare. When that was over at 3.00 pm I went back and attacked the new post with vigour I was worried about The Antiques Road Trip at 4.30 pm to 5.15 pm. Not a problem, I also made that though it was a skin of the teeth job. Next I had to make sure I’d be free for the new Big Bang Theory at 8.00 pm which will just be on a Thursday unless I’m watching the repeat because I missed the first one.

As the day wears on the computer gets slower and slower to load. Writing comments or messages and the words appear ages after I’ve actually typed them so I have to wait for it to catch up before I can see errors. I’m forced to sign out of my emails altogether and then sign back in to speed up a little more for a while. I can hear the fan struggling and almost crying out for help. I have a defrag / disc clean up run every day though so don’t know what more I can do. When 8.00 pm came I hadn’t quite caught up but left anyway. It turned out  the first episode was an old one and the 8.30 pm one was new so I had to stay and watch it didn’t I? It was excellent of course. At 9.00 pm when I returned to my room you lot had been having a ball in my absence so I had a fair bit to catch up on but I wasn’t worried now. I stopped at 10.30 to do the blog and will go back to mail as soon as I’ve done here. As long as I’m up sometime tomorrow to get my lottery from Pauline’s.

Friday.

I thought my birthday had come early today. 4.59 am on the clock which changed to 5.00 am as I sat on the edge of the bed looking for my slippers. I grabbed my dressing gown and started to put it on as I made my way to the loo. Hands washed afterwards I came back and turned the computer on. First thing I followed up on the story of a lunatic who charged into a local supermarket on Wednesday carrying a machete and a hammer and shouting about white power. He then attacked a young dentist causing major injuries. He’s been arrested and charged with racially motivated attempted murder. I understand the injuries to the dentist who I assume is not white are not life threatening but they’re being called life changing which I imagine they are. Wales has a good record as far as prejudice goes having taken Paul Robeson to our hearts and more lately having thrown the KKK out on it’s heels. This incident has caused a fair amount of shock. I wish the young dentist a full and speedy recovery and hope he stays. I wish the young thug, well, you don’t want to know that.

I only worked until 6.00 am as I needed to take the new antibiotic, and as Friday is pill day I thought I might as well do everything else too. Antibiotic first then over to the fish tank which when the lights were on showed Big Al towards the front. I thought I’d have a chat with him before dropping food in. I put my head level with his and spoke. Immediately he turned round and presented his tail. Hmm, I stood and he turned back to the front. I tried speaking again and again he just turned round on me. I had no idea they had maps and knew about Coventry. As soon as I ceased speaking he turned back and waited for food. I gave up and fed them. At least Morecambe and Wise still respond to a few words. I took my meds and then had a pre-foodie before bringing my meds drawer through. I filled the now empty trays and prepared my prescription request for those items I’d finished. As soon as I’d finished I put some bread in the toaster, some cereal in a bowl and prepared to make my coffee. As my breakfast was finished I put the crockery in the washing up bowl, made the coffee, took the two post-foodies and returned to word.

One of the first spams of the day was, once opened, another con. The usual I’m a bank manager, please pretend to be someone who’d dead and we’ll share the money. The difference here was the man claimed to be European and working for one of the big Chinese Banks in Hong King. The letter was beautifully written with none of the usual spelling mistakes.  Some nice jargon too. However, even if I hadn’t known it as a scam, the same two things would have given it away. 1. They didn’t use my name and 2. The address this message came from was not Hong Kong .Try and bear these two points in mind when you get anything suspicious. The work kept me going until 9.00 am when I slowly got dressed and went to Pauline’s for the lottery tickets. I think I’ll win tonight if nobody minds. I had a text from my niece about Sunday to see if it’s still on even though one section of the tribe won’t be there. We’ve decided it will be, so I’ll have to check Mike is here first.

At 11.00 am there was a knock on the door and I opened it to find a wet warden. It was coming down quite hard. I let her in and she led the way to the lounge. The subject came round to fish and she mentioned a large Garden Centre she used to go too that had a large section for fish. I said I’d google it. After she’d gone, I did just that. The place is still there but there’s no mention of fish these days.I googled other fish shops in North Wales and got two good ones that might be worth thinking about sometime. It won’t be this Saturday though as Mike has an assignation with a pretty lady. I’m hoping he’ll be back before breakfast Sunday ready and raring to go. At 12.00 am I had lunch which was a ready meal of braised steak with mashed potatoes and carrots. It wasn’t too bed. Today I watched my antiques show while I ate then came back though when it ended. I was tired and must have nodded off in my seat for a few minutes as I’d a sore neck when I woke.

At 2.15 I excused myself to watch Father Brown. I’m still not sure why. Mark Williams plays the part well as does Sorcha Cusack his housekeeper but the end result never seems to have been worked out by a set of good clues like a Christie book would . I find them a bit hit and miss in parts. Still, it’s a 45 minute break from one screen to another. Then it was back to work again. So much post coming through today. I told myself I’m knocking off at 4.30 pm for the Antiques Road Trip whatever happens.  What actually happened was I got stuck in the middle of an email and didn’t get away until 4.45 pm but no matter, I was able to glean what, if not how, had been bought at the auction stage of the programme. Much as I like Charlie Ross, this week he was beaten by road trip newbie young Natasha from Glaagow and I was pleased. She was a breath of fresh air. Her arms were like the blades of a windmill ever circling but she was so nice, so eccentric, who cared. Towards the end of the programme I had a text from Mike to say he was half way to me and had stopped for food ( probably thinks I’ll poison him ). It wasn’t worth returning to work as he was probably half an hour away. He arrived about 6.15 pm and watched the end of a quiz with me. I made a coffee for him then went to get changed for my shower. As usual Mike was fantastic and did my hair to save me risking an angina attack. After the shower I made myself a sandwich then we watched a bit of snooker, a sports quiz and Mastermind. I hadn’t got the excuse to stay away any longer and had to return to work.

To be honest, you must have all been having your tea or washing the pots as for once the mail wasn’t as bad as I feared. I was able to take my time with it and comment a little more often. More importantly I was able to make sure I tweeted as much as possible for everyone. At 10.0 pm I took my last of the new tablets for today. I asked Mike what he thought about the leg and he agreed it had gone down slightly in some places but he couldn’t understand ( nor can I ) what all the skin peeling is about. At 10.30 pm I stopped work on the messages long enough to spend some time on the blog which takes longer to do than you’d think. I can return to messages later and break off when I need to.

Saturday.

It’s hard to believe a Saturday could start like this. 3.57 am I wake up, I get up, I pee for Britain in the Stop-Start Olympics, then I turn on the computer. There are just 37 messages in my inbox and 9 of those are from last night that I didn’t get to. I’d finished just after 5.00 am and was wondering what the heck to do next. Should I be creepy and listen in to all Mike’s sleep-conversations from beside the bedroom door. Maybe I can find out who it is he keeps giving a bollocking to. But maybe that’s not such a good idea in case it’s me . What if he woke up and saw me there, he might just think it’s the burglar again.He might find it hard to explain to the police how I sprouted 6″ of steel from my chest. Maybe I could freak the fish out by going to talk to them for a while. In the end I settled for playing on my Ancestry.co.uk and following some of he hints they have given me. It didn’t prove to be very helpful.

At 6.00 am  went to get my antibiotic bomb and like yesterday decided to do everything at once. If I saw to the fish and took my other meds I’d be able to have the rubbish taken out before I had to concentrate on getting Mike up. Accordingly I witched the light on in the tank. Big Al was in my face. Behind him was Little Al with the two new cory’s swimming rings round his tail as though they wanted him to play. Had I not been watching he probably would have done so. Showing my mean side I leaned down a little closer and said quite loudly “BOO!” I regretted it straight away but too late, Little Al went spinning away in confusion and the two youngsters thinking games had started followed him. Morecambe and Wise were swimming at the top of the tank waiting for food even though breakfast didn’t officially start for an hour. Sharkey and the plecs were otherwise occupied so it left just Big Al and I eyeball to eyeball. It became a staring competition though I must admit he was far better at it than I. It occurred to me that maybe he wa asleep and I’d never know since they don’t close their eyes as far as I know. I’ve never seen him blink anyway. I’d no idea what I could possibly have done wrong and thought the whole thing was stupid. I stood up. I swear I heard the sound of applause and Big Al with a smug grin like he’d proved something yet again. “Yeah well I’m bigger than you” was the only pathetic retort I could come back with.

Shoulders slumped I went to take my meds then I emptied the rubbish and food waste bins and took them outside to the appropriate bins which I wheeled and caried down the path. Coming back inside I gathered the recycling bags and took those out as well. Coming in again I put fresh bin bags in all the containers, washed my hands and made myself a coffee. By now I’d noted that it was 6.80 am so before returning to my room I put the kettle on for Mike. At 7.00 am his alarm went off. Moving as quickly as I could I made a coffee and took it through making sure he heard my voice telling him it was there, and purposely saying he could tell me who he’d been arguing with at 4.00 am when I’d heard him shouting. I’d hoped that was enough. At 7.10 am, the second alarm went off. The moment it ceased I made sure my voice even more loudly told him not to forget his coffee, it was going cold. There was acknowledgement so I was hopeful. I returned to work. At 7.20 am his alarm went for the third time. “Mike” I shouted several decibels higher, “your coffee’s cold.” There was fresh acknowledgement which might have contained an epithet or two so I was sure I was on a winner. I, was, he moved and by 7.30 am had made his way to the lounge and lit his first cigarette. The coughing woke me.

We left the house after 8.00 am,a tad later than usual and in his usual fashion, despite the black ice, tried to bring into play whatever coil it is that you use to get to the future. I think we were at ASDA for 8.00 am (ish). Mike got the trolley, I got my cash, and we headed in. I wasn’t altogether pleased with the choice of flowers for Ju but at least she has a colourful display today. I worked my way round to the gent’s clothing while Mike nipped to the loo. My timing was exceptional as they were putting final clearance prices out like Jeans from £16 to £2. I placed a few items in the trolley and rushed a bit so Mike couldn’t spoil my fun. That might have been a mistake. I was looking at reduction in the houseware aisle when Mike returned. He said nothing. We carried on and actually found space in the trolley for some food, though not much, before going for a coffee. I sent a text to my niece to confirm arrangements for tomorrow then we got in the car to drive to Flint. The sun was really shining this morning but where there was shade the frost and ice remained. There was no heat out at all. It seemed to get up to 2 degrees and stick there.

In Flint we parked up and walked (limped since as we say here I almost went arse over tit on the ice with 2 crutches and two legs all heading for the four points of the compass) We went round a couple of shops to pick up some chocolates for the girls in Temptations and for The Ivy later. Then we went for a coffee. I said to Mike it’s the last coffee I’d have there while still 63, he said it’s the last day I could do a Beatles number( when I’m 64). We joked with Ceri and the staff as usual an then Mike sat with his teacake and we had our drinks. Before I finished Ceri went past collecting cups and saucers and went to the far end of the shop.Minutes later she came back with a gift bag and a birthday balloon and gave me a big kiss. After I’d thanked everyone Mike even made me carry it out myself and took his time storing it in the car. We still had a little time before lunch so walked to another shop  to look at jackets and other sale items but there was nothing he liked. We headed for the Ivy.

Te carpark was full which was good news for the business but bad news for us since Tariq doesn’t get as much chance to chat when things are ,like that. Still. Angie offered a greeting kiss ( I haven’t been this lucky in years) and our table was free. We said hi to young Rob then as Angie brought the drinks we ordered lunch. I was able to take my pre-foodie. Shirley came in and though she obviously wasn’t her usual self ( who would be, especially as I think the funeral was this week) you could see she was trying. She and her daughter sat with Mike and I and had a coffee while she also sorted out when she’d be returning to work. She”s been missed. She starts again next  Thursday. Tariq came out with our lunch and apologised for not having been able to come out to see us. We understood. Once he’d gone Angie said something about my birthday and another woman by the counter said it’s her daughter’s birthday tomorrow too. I intended to go over and say Happy Birthday but by the time I’d finished eating they’d gone. Shirley and her daughter left. We finished eating and I got up to pay. Angie gave me another kiss -wow. I paid the bill and said goodbye and Tariq came flying out distraught that he’d only just found out about the birthday and he’d done nothing about it. I got a great hug which made a fantastic gift an wanted nothing more but he wanted me in tomorrow. I said I can’t make it so he’s determined to do something for next week. I hope he gets busy enough to make him forget. I was sorry we hadn’t seen Shella today. We left and headed for home.

Once home we unpacked the bags.Te food went away and I came through to unpack the clothes. A cardigan for Bert who always brings my bins and bags in and a often takes in parcels for me. Jeans for Mike- right size- Tee shirt for Mike- right size. Jeans for me- on the wrong hanger and would only fit a midget. Tee shirt for me-OK, shirt for me- wrong hanger will fit an ogre. I knew I shouldn’t rely on the hanger but should always check the label. B*gger. I started work and even though this morning had been gentle, the rest of the time had made up for it. To make matters worse I was tired and wanted to nod off. I soldiered on until Lis appeared with a gift and my usual hugs n’ kisses. I made drinks and we chatted about how her daughter Charlie is ( beautiful girl) and what we’d been up to this week. When it was time to say goodbye I left Mike with his beloved Man.Utd and started work again. I didn’t seem to be making much progress until I’d gone through and made tea and watched TV with Mike for half an hour. After that I put my back into it , started using three fingers for typing and actually managed to get almost up to date for 8.00 pm when I joined Mike for an hour or so again so he didn’t shout at me. At 9.15 I started again and managed to get up to date for 10.30 pm. YAY !!

Slightly more highbrow tonight. This is a fantastic piece.

Have a Great  Week Everyone.

 

 

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The Bells, The Bells. & I Wuff You.

Sunday 16th Nov 2014

I was pretty tired last night and couldn’t read for long. I think my light was out before 1.00 pm.  I slept until 4.24 am and was up with the larks, or rather I was up before them to make their breakfast. At least there was chance to make a start on the mail, and what a bunch there was. Last night’s blog seemed to have a very good response. Of course I had to get a tissue out and dab my eyes as so many thought it funny I’d almost choked to death  but we live in an odd world. Not one iota of sympathy that my tablets were wasted, that my wall was a mess or that my toes almost pointed up.

It was getting towards 7.00 am when I realised I was tired. It was the bruised forehead that gave me my first clue. Anyone watching would have thought I was trying to do a karate trick of breaking my desk in half. I just hope there were no garbage emails as well. I haven’t heard of any to date. I went through to the kitchen and played sneaky by turning the tank on first to see what I could catch them doing. Thinking about that statement now, it sound like I’m a voyeur but I’m not. Everyone was swimming about slowly with the exception of the Royal Bodyguards the dumb plecs, and his Majesty Big Al who upon seeing me swam lazily towards me, casually flicked his tail in disgust and swam slowly away again in an ‘I’m nor scared of you’ pose. I have the feeling I’m in the fishy equivalent of the dog house again.

Shoulders slumped I turned away and put the main light on and took my meds. Fresh ones, not those from the wall. I made a coffee and took it through to the lounge. It didn’t take long o drink and so I close my eyes for a minute that became an hour. It was almost 8.30 am before I went back to the bedroom to work. There was a lot of concentration going on so any early noise didn’t penetrate but finally I realised Mike was up. It was only 9.20 am, it was Sunday. I went through to make him a drink and he told me I’d been snoring away quite happily at 3.15 am when he’d been woken by a bang and padded round the house looking for the source. Unusually I’d heard nothing. He hadn’t even gone to bed until 2.00 am which made the puzzle of him getting up even bigger. I came back to finish the message I’d been working on when I’d heard him and then joined him.

We nattered aimlessly for a while…a long while since we didn’t get dressed until about 10.30 am. Then at 11.00 am we were on our way out and heading for Prestatyn. Once we reached there I suggested going to the Tesco Supermarket to look for something and while there Mike bought me tea and coffee pods for my machine and also bought sweets for The Ivy. We went to the shop I wanted to pick up some hessian Christmas sacks, some gift bags and a couple of small stocking presents for Reuben. I couldn’t understand why Mike was piling the bags on his arm until we were at the till and he tried to pay for them. There was battle royal as no way was I letting him pay for my shopping especially when it involved gifts for others.”Right” he said, “I’m paying for lunch then”. And he did even though I tried to. The Ivy was very quiet when we went in and Tariq was talking to us about doing Sunday lunches in the future though Shella isn’t keen and prefers to do different meals for those who don’t want the traditional. I can understand both camps as can Mike. We both like the traditional meal but there are plenty of places serving that. We probably won’t move no matter what they serve though a lot of the specials don’t appeal to me. I did drop plenty of hints that the Hotpot from last week was a welcome addition. By the time we left the place had started filling up quite nicely so maybe Tariq will have a rethink.

We left and came home so Mike could start his journey back to the Midlands. Ah, I’ve just figured out why he isn’t very tall, surely the Midlands is when the Baggins’s live in Tolkien’s book? Just a sec, I need to start running about now. He was calling it at World of Pets on his way to see if they had any female fighters like mine since they’re so colourful. That left me on my tod to try and catch up. A monstrous job given how long it had been since I touched it. 152 were waiting. I started at 3.00 pm and finished at 5.58 pm. At that point I needed a break badly and went through to watch some TV. I ended up with a Sherlock Holmes film starring Rupert Everett. I watched it while demolishing a piece of strawberry and rhubarb tart that Mike had had less than half of yesterday. There’s enough for my tea tomorrow too.

At 8.00 pm I turned off, went through to take my tabs and found the fish light still on. I waited till Big Al turned his back before turning it off then I legged it to my room. Someone had been very busy again so there was another pile waiting but as most were very complimentary I was in a forgiving mood. I finished those at 11.00 pm to start the blog and have no idea how many are waiting now. I may just have an early night as I’m being MuJo’d tomorrow.

Two very clever pictures doctored by Yvonne using an app on her phone called Cut Me In. Brilliant.

The trip to Paris Ju and I never got.

The trip to Paris Ju and I never got.

A change of venue,

A change of venue,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday.

I didn’t get my early night after all but Somnos must have known he was risking his kneecaps to mess with me so I didn’t wake until 5.27 am today. Naturally today being the day of the visit I might have forgiven him for waking me a bit earlier. As usual I made the trek to the loo then came back and started on the mail. I needed to clear as much as possible. At 7.00 am I went to feed the fish. All of them moved to the back of the tank except Big Al who was joined by Little Al presumably for lessons in intimidation. It was the wrong morning to try glaring at me. “Boo” I said and watched Little Al skitter to join the others who seemed frozen in the water, little fins going ten to the dozen just to stay in place. Big Al had not moved of course when I’d spoken the first time. “Well, do you want feeding or not” I asked in  very uppity voice. The others seemed to take heart from this and started to swim about normally. With a last glance Big Al turned as slowly as possible and swam over to Little Al as if to say “That’s how to do it.” I placed some food in the slot and resigned myself to warfare again. No more walking in and asking how my little fishes are. I couldn’t decide whether to turn quickly or to go slowly as had Big Al. I was resigned to doing it with dignity whatever. I didn’t quite full that off though as my feet turned one way and my body the other so even with my feet now pointing away, my body was still facing the fish. I almost had to unscrew myself from the floor to re-adjust my spinal column.

I took my sprays, had a pre-food tab, took my normal meds, smoked a timing cigarette and put the toaster on. As the toast was doing I prepared a coffee. The toast was nice with lashings of butter I could have floated a yacht in. It took two kitchen rolls just to clean my moustache and fingers. If I’f had anyone to kiss I’d have slid off them. I took the two post-food tabs with my coffee and went back to work. I couldn’t work for long though as I needed to be dressed before Pauline ( the cleaner not the shop) got here. I’d just made it before the front door opened meaning I needed a change of clothes already. I asked for some help to change Mike’s bed but as I couldn’t find nails we settled on just the bedding. That went quite well. Then I asked if we could do the lounge with visitors due this morning. I returned to work to try and catch up. Next thing I know is the sound of breaking glass. I have a tall stand in the hallway that takes tealights. About a dozen of them. Some in clear glass and some few in red glass. Pauline had run the hoover into the base of the stand and one of the red glasses was broken. I have two spare clear glass ones but no red ones. I don’t use real tealights there as it’s directly beneath the smoke detector so I shall have to check and see if the battery driven ones are intact before Christmas as they serve as my hall decorations. I have one group of lights intended to go round the lounge window for festive cheer.

Pauline left at 10.10 am and I came away (screaming) from the computer so I was ready for MuJo as they arrived. I went through to the lounge but decided against smoking in there so wandered into the kitchen and turned the fan on. It was about 10.45 am when they arrived. I saw to drinks and then listened to the story about why they were visiting today which is very unusual for them. They have a very full week ahead of them and they didn’t want to miss another week which is nice. The suggestion was we went to the Bells( of St Mary’s) for lunch for a change and then into Prestatyn if that was OK. I didn’t want to tell them I’d been there with Mike yesterday but I didn’t mind another visit anyway. Then John asked when was the last time I’d been there and I had to confess which started another round of ‘where shall we go then’ talks. In the end I managed o convince them the original plan was fine and we set off about 11.20 am.

It wasn’t too crowded when we got there which was nice and we had a choice of seats. It was my turn to pay and no-one argued this time for a change. We ordered 3 carvery meals and each had a coffee or a soft drink and the bill was still less than £20.00. You’d expect to have a poor meal for that money but not so. I do like the Bells, they might not allow me half a cow on my plate but they’re not mean with it, but everything else is help yourself which is great since I’m partial to my potatoes. And before anyone (anywhere) says anything, I had leeks and carrots too ( No way was I having sprouts or cauliflower cheese-ugh). Muriel had Turkey and John had Gammon with Turkey. There is also a half chicken option and even a fish and chips. Mike and I have said for a long time we’re going to go there for breakfast since that’s another help yourself meal and If I’m lucky they might do fried bread. The meal was very nice but we all left their full and headed down the road to Prestatyn. First stop the pound shop where I did buy a couple more sacks and a few other things. We then went for a coffee before John went to guard the car and Mu and I had a wander round M & S. Before heading home we had a trip to ALDI where you’ll be surprised to know I bought nothing.

At home they didn’t stay long as it was starting to get dark. It was about 4.00 pm. After I’d waved them off I scorched the path in my speed to get in and start work again. I’d been away 6 hours and who knows what I could expect. Well I got 183 and knew I couldn’t stop work until they’d gone as there would be another batch waiting from 4.00 pm onwards. No break for TV programmes until I finished at 6.55 pm. I went through to get some strawberry and rhubarb tart and watched a couple of episodes of MASH. At 8.00 pm I came back in and had 102 from that 4 hour stretch. I finished those at 10.15 pm and decided to do this early  because I may decide to leave the post early tonight and try for sleep if I start yawning.

Talk to the hand pussycat

Talk to the hand pussycat

Tuesday.

It was 5.08 am this morning when I swung my legs out of bed and groped for my slippers with my feet. Years ago if Yvonne had been around she’s have gone “Yuk, tarantula toes” before I got my slippers on. It’s been so long since I saw my feet they might even have a comb-over by now. Anyway, I didn’t have he light on yet so I wouldn’t have sen them even if I could. I have a light cord over my bed but I never use it in case I tug the emergency cord by mistake. It’s a pain having to explain to the control what a divvy you are  and believe me I speak from experience. I did a sharp left by my chair and turned the light on as I left the room to head for the loo and my rendition of  Ol’ Man River complete with sound effects.

When I eventually got back I slipped my dressing gown on as there was a little bite in the air and then sat down and got ready for battle. The machine didn’t take too long to warm up and I was soon in the thick of it. I didn’t dare open the photograph one loopy woman had sent me as it would have meant putting teatowels over all the pictures in my room, especially the one with the teddy bear. My wife was no prude but I’m not sure she’d appreciate me getting both barrels at this time of the day, and as for my parents and grandparents, well…. nuff said?  I did also have a new psychic who is quite sure I won’t bother to answer this first message. Well she got that right  so why didn’t she wait until she was sure I would answer? If she’s thinking of wearing me down with messages she doesn’t know how many times I applied the Chinese Water Torture to myself in case anyone ever wanted me as a spy. I never broke down as I have infinite patience right up to the point when I haven’t.

Most of my mail was of the normal variety. I won’t say boring as it certainly entertains me. The trouble is there’s just so much of it. I took my normal 7.00 am break in order to make myself suffer feeding the fish. We seem to have undergone a sea change today though as Big Al is following Little Al around like a lost lamb unless of course Little Al is having exams and Big Al is following him round to score him. I’ll have to wait and see if Little Al tries to stare me down. Morecambe and Wise were floating about aimlessly looking pretty and Sharkey was having fun nudging a couple of the plecs though he gets no joy from the bigger one, all he’s likely to get there is a broken nose. There was no rush on for me today as I’ve asked Yvonne if she minds me skipping my Chester trip this week. I’ll miss her of course but at least I’m guaranteed an argument free day. I’m so under the thumb. For anyone who doubts this, please read the 100% factual My Barsetshire Diary.

After feeding time for the fish it was feeding time for me. I wasn’t having breakfast, just my usual array of meds. Pills and potions galore, you don’t need a meal. I made myself a coffee and there seemed less sediment coming in the water today, mayhap they’ve sorted the problem. I took the drink  back to my room but before I restarted work I got dressed. About 10.00 am I was starting to flag. I could tell that as I’d leaned so far forward I could see under my seat. Trouble was the computer wasn’t down there. It wasn’t easy getting back up again either and I contemplated shouting the postman for help when I heard him deliver . I played that scenario out in my head first and realised the front door was still locked. If he wasn’t to break it down he’d need to come in through the lounge window. That was possible of course using he handle of his bag to pull the catch but then he’d set off all the window alarms and the police would come. They might anyway since my neighbours were bound to report a burglar. By the time they got here I’d probably have straightened up and then be charged with wasting police time.

The postie had brought me a book I’d ordered though it was a lot smaller than expected. Women tell me they have a lot of that in their lives. There were no measurements given on ebay though, but it’s still a nice book. I have one (somewhere) already which is a lot bigger ( women say they hear that a lot too) full of family history though it does need updating. Talking of books, my next email was from one of those companies that offers cashback on all purchases made through them. I signed up a long time ago but I’ve never done anything with them, I don’t know why. I also had an email from The Works who were offering free postage on a £10.00 spend and many of the prices were excellent like 5 books for £10.00 when they were £3.99 individually. When buying through this firm I was offered 21% cashback so it seemed to good a chance to miss. I still needed some stocking gifts and this was a great chance to lessen the list.

At 11.45 I ceased work and went to see about lunch. Braised beef steaks, baby boiled potatoes in herb butter and some mixed veg. It was ready in time for me to  watch my lunchtime antique programme. Halfway through I dropped my tray off in the kitchen ready to be washed and came back to watch the rest. I saw some but somehow I managed to miss the end. Instead of going through at 1.00 pm I didn’t wake until half past. I washed the pots, put the washing machine on then realised I hadn’t changed my bed and added the bedding to the current load. I’ll have to do it in the morning. The work had mounted up again and it kept me going until 4.30 pm when it was almost time for Ugo and Reuben to come. An email from Yvonne tells me she told Reuben he was seeing me tonight and he went to the door to try and get out to come then. They both missed their morning mooch around the shops this morning.

Ugo arrived and couldn’t get in as I hadn’t unlocked the door all day. Wen I opened it Ugo was on the low steps folding the trolley and Reuben was on the top step with his hand out waiting for me to old it and bring him in. That must be the last time he allowed me to old his hand. Once I got him in the lounge and removed his coat, nay, even before I’d removed his coat there were ten pairs of hands picking things up.  Ugo asked if I could cope and he’d go to pick up a meal. “Sure” I said. What an idiot. How long since I had a child this size around me. He ran me ragged until finally I picked him up and showed him the fish. I knew he wouldn’t be worried by anything Big Al could do. When Ugo got back we’d gravitated to the mirror so I could ask who was there. I put Reuben down and we moved to plate the meals up. Ugo was seeing to the sausage and chips he’d got Reuben and giving him pieces. Reuben was going from the kitchen to the lounge, depositing the food on the rug and returning for more. Ugo went through with his meal and sat with Reuben on his lap trying to feed both of them. Reuben didn’t like that and threw a paddy. As he was put down he swept everything off the table with his multitude of hands and somehow turned the TV channel over. Being told he was a naughty boy didn’t seem to have much effect. I had my sausage and chips once enough time had elapsed from taking my pre-food tablet. Reuben was still none too happy but brightened up when Ugo brought down a little toy dog that said “I wuff you, woof, woof” when pressed. A wonderful gift from delightful young author Patricia Carrigan whom I adore like a granddaughter. A little light came on where the heart would be which matched the light in Reuben’s eyes when he saw it.

They weren’t there too long after that as Reuben needed his bath before bed. No way was he going to give up the dog so I suggested he take it with him and I hope Ugo had a quiet journey . I had a quick tidy up and then came through. Except for taking my tablets I’ve been here ever since stuffing coffee creams down my face and working.It’s now 11.00 pm and time to have one last go at the mail so I can have a little read tonight.

Wednesday.

You’ll be pleased to hear today’s epistle will be short. Last night I turned the light off at one and fell asleep. I was up again at 1.35 am. Nothing could get me back to sleep there so I thought I’d try my chair in the lounge. I don’t know how long it took but I did nod off there. When I woke it was 4.51 am and it took my ages to see that because a) my neck was at a 90 degree angle, and b) the only light was from a lamp outside and I had to look at my watch as I hadn’t brought my clock through.  Guiding myself down the passage towards my bedroom with my neck at that angle wasn’t easy and I kept hitting it on doorframes etc. I rubbed it with Fiery Jack ointment to ease it and then nipped to the loo. For anyone who’s never encountered Fiery Jack before, let me tell you something I should have remembered of old. Wash your hands FIRST even though you’ll be washing them straight afterwards as usual. Also, carry tissues as the tears will be streaming down your face. Washing only makes it worse. I once had a bad back and after easing my back decided to relax in a hot bath. That’s what I should have remembered today to.

When the pain subsided a bit I was able to gingerly go back to start work. All I can say is there was plenty of it and kit kept me going until lunchtime. I had to stand up and move about a bit for comfort and for the postman’s visit where he brought some jewellery I’ve been waiting for.  After lunch I knew I was tired and allowed myself an hour though I didn’t sleep the whole time as the chemist brought round the missing bit of last week’s prescription. Very shortly after that someone came to read the meters. They’re supposed to make an appointment so Yvonne can arrange for someone to be here and the man told me he’d got data that said two appointments have been made, one today, one tomorrow. How stupid to send someone out to read the two meters on two different days. I let him in to do the gas meter on the understanding he moved any obstructions himself which was agreed by British Gas. He was happy to do so and put it back too. I had to get ladders for him to read the electric meter which is in a high cupboard outside. He was soon gone but I am cross that they didn’t make an appointment to do it. I went back to work after that until 4.30 pm and only gave up then in case Lee came early.

Dil and Matt arrived at 5.30 pm and I’d just made drinks when there was a text from Lee to say he couldn’t make it. It seems the traffic was very bad which is no surprise as it was rush hour. I enjoyed having the boys round and there was plenty of laughter, especially when Matt tapped the table for luck and a chunk fell off underneath. In Yahtzee Matt won three games, Dil two and I had just one. My bottom lip came out but no-one cared. In Nomination which most of you know is MY game, I was last. The scores weren’t a million miles apart but I lost. The bottom lip quivered, but no-one cared. In Crazy 8’s I wiped the floor with the opposition, winning comfortably. The bottom lip retracted to be replaced by the smuggest of smug grins, everyone cared and hit me. They left at 9.30 pm so I locked the door in case anyone had left a coat behind or their keys and started on the tidying up, the washing of the pots and the taking of the meds. It was about 9.45 pm when I came through and started work on the accumulated mail which I managed to finish for 12.10 am  The blog is shorter than usual so I can go to bed before I’m due to get up again.    P.S. I leaned down a moment ago and snapped the microphone off my headset so I’ll have to buy a new one this weekend.

Thursday.

I woke at 5.21 am which was quite good after last night’s late night.I was convinced I wanted to go back to sleep but it just wasn’t happening so I had to apply some of *Granny Weatherwax’s ‘Headology’ to convince myself to move. First and foremost was the promise of some breakfast a little later. I swung out of bed with such momentum I almost overbalanced. I was of course reluctant to admit that knowing some smartar*e will say how they knew I was an unbalanced individual. However I shall trust my judgement and suggest I don’t follow people capable of such slanders.

* Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are part of Terry Pratchett’s Witches trilogy. Fantastic reading.

After logging on this morning I found myself logging off again compliments of a Windows update. Those thing can be a menace if you don’t notice the warning bar at the bottom and it closes down on you mid-sentence. This morning all was well since I noticed in time. It just delayed me. Still, I used the time to change my bed. Once back in again I started on the mail. I’m convinced I must be getting someone else’s as well by mistake. When I come across one by that devilish Sally Cronin talking about Chocolate muffins, I almost wish I was. On a ‘be nice to everyone’ day too. I swear that woman has a food fixation aimed at seeing me drown in my own saliva. You can’t tell her off though as she’s too nice.

I stopped work when I noticed it was 7.15 am. The fish would be waiting. Going through to the kitchen as fast as my legs would take me I saw the congregation massing round the front window. With spoken apologies ( in case they like the timbre of my voice) I opened the lid and put some flake in. Morecambe and Wise dashed to the surface to start eating. I put some little pellets in for everyone else and watched both Sharkey and Little Al dash for the nearest ones. I knew the grazers, the plecs would get to them eventually. Big Al just stayed where he was. I felt sorry for him in a way since he looked like the preacher where everyone had left during the service, or the General whose men have gone over to the enemy. I’d no sooner gathered those thoughts and was asking him how he was than he turned slowly , faced me and spoke. Since I don’t speak fish I have no idea what he said but I’m sure the bubbles came out blue. I told him it wasn’t my fault but he didn’t seem inclined to listen for as soon as I spoke he turned again and with a waft of his tail was gone. He didn’t go to eat but to sulk in his corner. I’ve no doubt he’ll eat when I’ve gone. You really don’t expect such language from a fish, I’m shocked.I suppose he could be talking about the deserters rather than me though?

I had my sprays and assorted tablets, made my coffee- forgetting my promise of breakfast, and returned to the desk. It doesn’t take long for the mail to accrue but in all honesty it wasn’t too bad. By 9.00 am I’d decided to take a break and venture to my chair in the lounge. I’d just got comfortable and was ready to drop off when there was a knock at the door. I came round unsure of quite where I was and also wondering why Ju wasn’t answering the door. She was very much on my mind after reading a very gentle piece by my friend Kim Gosselin about holding her mother’s hand as she passed away. Hmm, I think I have a leak, it’s raining on my face. I think the postman must have thought so too when I opened the door. “Caught you mid-wash did I?”he asked. There were two parcels, a small one for Mike and a larger one for me, that seems very fair. As I was closing the door I noticed some mail on the floor and found another smaller parcel for me too. Mine were yet another watch ordered for Christmas and two books for the same reason. Mike’s well that’s a MYOB until he opens it and shares.

Since I was awake again I went back to work and stayed there till lunchtime. I was a bit surprised at no answer from Mike after texting him about his parcel but no doubt he’s busy today. I enjoyed my lunch and after I’d washed the pots attempted to watch the rest of my programme on TV. I think someone drugged my Pepsi. It was 1.25 pm before I woke and came through and even then I think I was on auto pilot. I seemed to start a message from someone, nod off and come awake quickly to continue. Lucky it wasn’t emails or I may have written something odd. One young lady displayed a poem which she wrote as part of a threesome ( her description) and I could have had a lot of fun with that. I was tempted to ask where she kept her pen at the time but luckily a snooze took over and I was better behaved when I came to. Not that I’m into threesomes, it even used to embarrass me when the cat was watching. If staring was an Olympic sport he was a Gold Medalist.

By 4.00 pm I was clear again and went to watch a bit of the afternoon film. For a change, even though it’s Christmas it wasn’t a war film a cowboy or  a Cecil B de Mille biblical epic. Just a gentle enjoyable comedy. When it finished at 5.00 pm I had something to eat to have the second set of diabetic tabs. It was getting on for 6.00 pm when I finally had a message from Mike in response to mine of this morning. He’s looking forward to seeing his parcel when he gets here. Watch this space. Doh!! I wandered through to the bedroom and have been steadily keeping pace with incoming mail as much as possible. I fully intended to be through watching my Big Bang Theory at 8.00 pm as I didn’t want to miss another episode like I did last week. I doubted I’d stay in there after that unless there was something exceptional on though as Mike isn’t due until about midnight. I did watch my Big Bang and as usual it made me smile as I made my way back to work.  At 9.00 pm there was another text from Mike saying he was half way to me but the fog was bad so stopping for a wee and a coffee  and he’d be here about 10.30 pm. I just let him know I’d have the kettle on.

It was just coming up to 10.00 pm when I had a heart attack as Mike walked through the door. He was sniggering as he explained that as he approached Chester the fog disappeared and he made good time after that. A rough translation of that is I went somewhat faster than the law suggests. I hadn’t put the kettle on so I rushed and did it then and made him a coffee. His life hasn’t gone smoothly this week and again he has to fly over to see his Dad tomorrow and sort out the care package. It seems the carers are not doing what they’ve been contracted for. It’s not an easy thing to deal with from a distance. He invited me to go over to Manchester for lunch with the family on Sunday and his sisters are going to throw him another little party to remind him how old he is. At almost 11.00 pm I left him and came through to see to the blog and finish as much mail as I could. I must go out tomorrow for lottery tickets and cigarettes so not too late in bed I hope. A midnight deadline.

Friday.

4.51 am didn’t seem like an unusual time to get up and so I swung my legs out, donned my dressing gown and made my way to the loo turning on the computer as I passed by. By the time I cam back it seemed like having to get up at that time was a cruel and unusual punishment only I wasn’t sure what it was that I’d done wrong.  I’m no terrorist despite the fact I might put the fear of cat into the fish sometimes and I’m no thief despite the fact I might join the queue for more hugs despite having been hugged before. That’s only like trying to diddle the tax man though, a national pastime. Talking of hugs, one of my friends this week said that hugs of the virtual variety are definitely on the increase on the web thanks to my efforts. I’m thrilled at that and just think what an epitaph that could be.’He Hugged The World and The World Hugged Back.’ Who could ask for more. I know a lot of authors, bloggers and reviewers meet up so maybe the Hug aren’t always virtual. Anyhoo, I opened my mail box and was surprised Mike didn’t hear the strangled cry There were loads.

Only one stood out for me today that had been sent by a friend to inform me that Prince Ludwig von Pommern has titles for sale in Pomerania and Livonia . He sent me this as it was an area covered by us once or twice before on a website we had for frauds. There no longer exists a Pomerania nor a Livonia and nor is there a Prince Ludwig. The area was once part of Prussia but after Wilhelm II abdication became part of the Free State of Prussia until 1945 when it was gobbled up to be part of Germany and Poland. Please, find below a link to a Special and Limited Edition of 12 new Noble Titles with Ranks of Count, Marquis and Baron, featuring some of the most ancient geographical locations of Pomerania, Livonia and East Prussia.
This is a limited edition, and NO OTHER TITLES OF THIS KIND WILL BE OFFERED TILL THE END OF 2015. Just as well really as he usually has a Count of, a Marquis of, a Baron of the same place meaning the area is flooded with nobles. That doesn’t happen in real life as the titles would vary according to the size of the place and a Baron might hold a small place in the large lands of a Count to try and simplify matters. So Christmas is coming and the fakers need some pocket money again. The Prince in question is the husband of an American business woman whose previous husband also sold titles for another area though these days claim to award them to deserving people.

Other than that the post was fairly normal, just plentiful. At 7.00 pm I went through to feed the fish and found Big Al in his corner with his back to me and Little Al hovering round his tail like a supplicant. Morecambe and Wise wasted no time in finding their food and Sharkey attacked his unopposed. No words from me would make Big Al turn round let alone go for his breakfast. I gave up asking and went to take my meds. This was the last set in the box so I knew the box needed filling up before the evening. I didn’t feel like doing it just then so made my drink and took it through to the desk. It was to early to consider making one for Mike. The work seemed to be going down slowly but I still hadn’t complete up to 5.00 pm and didn’t dare refresh yet. By 8.00 am I was at that point where I did it. That was a mistake. I had to plough into it again in order to clear it. At 8.30 am Mike’s alarm went off unexpectedly. I thought he was setting it for 9.00 am. He didn’t move however so neither did I. When it went off again after 10 minutes I went and made a coffee thinking he must be ready to move but he was still in bed when I went through. Telling him there was a coffee there I returned to my emails. Another ten minutes went by before the alarm went off again and this time he got up.It was now ten to nine.

I finished the message I was writing and went through to see him. He thinks I’m pale ( but not interesting) at the moment and probably unwell. He’s offered to go to Pauline’s for me before he heads off to Manchester.That means I can be a slob and not get dressed again today. He was on his way to Manchester by 9.45 am. I’d asked him why he didn’t stay there the weekend and spend time with his sister over from Canada and he thought I was trying to get rid of him. It seems he still loves coming up here to relax and have fun at the weekend so he should be back sometime this evening. It’s a long way to go just to avoid doing my hair.

The Postman brought just one measly letter this morning which wasn’t worth getting out of my seat for. I was on my way back when there was  knock and a courier driver stood here with a package which could only be books. Great, that completes the gifts for MuJo. Having bought a replacement dressing gown last week I’m now informed the one they rescheduled for January will now be mid-December. They never responded to my request to cancel and choose an alternative which is why I bought one. So, I ( will) now have a spare. At lunch time I decided I’d better do my drugs and was halfway in when there was a knock at the door again-it’s like Picadilly Circus here today. This time it was one of  the wardens who came in and sat down. I excused myself for a minute to carry on with the tabs in my hand before I forgot where I was when maybe my state of undress startled her and she said she wouldn’t interrupt me if I was in the middle of a job. As long as things were OK she was happy. I never got chance to sit down with her and tell her how black my life is and how unhappy I am. That would have had her leaving faster than she did.Perhaps she thought the dressing gown was for her benefit rather than as a statement of ‘I really can’t be bothered’.

Having now wasted the quarter hour needed for my pre-food tab I decided to just have soup today though with some bread and butter. Mushroom soup as my choice today because looking at the pantry that was the ONLY choice. I ate as I watched Bargain Hunt and despaired of their choices and then watched them pick up profits on two of them. My defence is even the auctioneer had given them low valuations so he was surprised too. After that I washed the post, STAYED AWAKE and came back here. I struggled to stay awake and answer emails or make comments but I made it until 4.30 pm when I decided on a short break. I turned the TV on and fell asleep. It lasted just over an hour and I woke up wondering where all the antiques were. I watched the latter half of the quiz that was on and then started on Eggheads and had some tea at the same time.  The programme was just finishing as Mike came in. I put the kettle on for him then went to have a shower but Mike came through and did my hair first for me. That meant no hands over head and I was fine. After the shower w had an hour of old MASH episodes. I’d just got to my room to check on ebay when Mike shouted Mastermind was on. No way was I missing that so went back through.

At 8.30 pm I had to start work or I’d be up all night. I was really feeling rough. Sure I was going to be sick and none too sure about the other end either. I couldn’t give in to it however because there were 87 emails to deal with. They really kept me going. Once done I started on the blog before the messages had chance to pile up again. I needed an early night but wasn’t going to get my wish. In the end I had to admit defeat an packed in for bed at 11.05 pm.

Saturday.

I don’t know whether I was pricked by conscience (Mike would be quick to say Impossible) or whether there was some revenge because I jumped ship early last night but this morning it was 3.09 am. I was quite prepared to call the gods a name but realised they don’t have parents in the traditional sense anyway so it might not be an insult. I paid a quick slow visit to the loo, it’s all stops and starts these days, then came back , tried to make myself comfortable in the chair and turned the computer on. All the creases weren’t out of my bottom from last night so I tried stuffing a cushion underneath only to find my knees wouldn’t fit under the desk. I knew at that pointy I was just expected to suffer but I didn’t say anything about in silence.

Naturally most of N.America had been asked to write to me while I was asleep so my inbox was groaning at the seams. Untypically there was only one message I could see that could be tossed to the winds. A bank informing me that with regret they’ve had to suspend my account. I wouldn’t trust a bank that doesn’t know who it’s customers are so out it went. By the time 5.30 am came around I was flagging badly and needed a break. I went through to the lounge and promptly nodded off in my chair. It was almost 6.30 am before I came to. As I was closest to the kitchen at that point I fed the fish. All seemed well since the only ones I could see were Morecambe and Wise which probably meany Big Al had arranged a Union Meeting for bottom feeders. I privately cheered that I didn’t need to face him this morning and went about my business. That meant taking my morning meds and making my coffee. It was a quiet time to arrange to move things from one coat to another since it’s looking a bit grey out and I was intending to wear my duster coat if that was the case.

I boiled a kettle for 7.00 am and when I heard Mike’s alarm go off for the first time I mad his coffee and took it through. He ignored me like he had the clock but I persisted until I at least got a grunt. It was time to put the food rubbish and the recycling stuff out. Dressed in my Welsh flag lounge pants and a teeshirt I ran quickly up the path to place them at the end. I’d have looked like a rabid Nationalist of anyone had come around just then. Still, I might have been cheered for my patriotism. Back inside Mike’s alarm went off a second time. With a very deep sigh I got ready to go and remind him the drink was there. Before I could do so I gasped, he was up and moving around, after a fashion. The sound of shuffling feet and muttering followed him to the lounge. I sat down and tried to clear some more messages. Very soon though I needed to get dressed and then went through to see how Mike was getting on. “OK, OK, King of subtle, I’m going” he said leaving me confused at what he meant though I was glad to see him heading in the direction of his clothes, some of which I was holding in my hands.

While he dressed I attempted three or four new messages but he was ready quite quickly and stood in my doorway singing “Why are we waiting.” Just as well it wasn’t ‘Who ate all the pies’ as I was feeling pretty low about the size of my stomach which in turn was hanging pretty low now.  When I’d gone out with the rubbish it had been damp and dismal so the duster coat and a waxed hat seemed a good idea. With the coat flapping round my ankles I felt the bees’s knees. We were supposed to be going to Rhyl this morning so I was a bit surprised Mike turned the wrong way. He tells me he changed his mind and decided to go after the shopping but I’m pretty sure he just forgot. We didn’t do too badly and were at the supermarket for 8.15 am. As usual I hit the cash machine, these big sledgehammers really work. Mike worked his way through the trollies till he found a freebie. Then we were ready for battle. Inside the doors 8 cans of pop on a special offer, potatoes, flowers for Ju then a wander to look at the sale clothing for youngsters. I did say Mikes’ only 3’6″ didn’t I? Ouch, Ouch, 5’6″ then, we all make mistakes.

The gents section saw some jeans reduced from £15 to £4 for Mike and a cardigan I quite liked at £16 to £8 which a member of staff reduced to £4 as we stood there, no way was I turning that down. Pity it’s not my size really. Then we actually moved along and bought some food. Not much as who can afford food these days, but the bread was cheap so I might have bread sandwiches next week. By the time we’d done it was time for a coffee, the only good thing to come out of MacDonalds for me. Then it was time to head for Flint. A couple of items in Home Bargains (Loo Bloo only purple) then across to see Ceri and the crown with their sweets. Another coffee for me and the usual for Mike with a drink. A swift visit to the frozen food shop for pizzas and it was off home. I was the poor slob who had to put the frozen food away again. I had my final book from the postman waiting which we both glanced at as I was explaining how a good family record book can help with the tree. Then at midday it was time to head off again. I got outside and had to put dark glasses on. Dressed in my duster ( no hat) I looked a right lemon. Dressed for Winter in the middle of Summer

This time he turned in the right direction and we headed off towards Rhyl. There was some discussion about stopping ion the way to eat or perhaps to stop and find somewhere in Rhyl. My common sense version won the day “Stop or die” so for some reason Mike kindly pulled up at the Bells of St Mary’s where I’d been on Monday with MuJo. We both had an excellent roast dinner before carrying on the journey. When we arrived in Rhyl I directed Mike to go round the roundabout, past the end of the High Street and then to take the third road on the left. Turning right meant a soaking as we were on the seafront at the time. He took the third left just as I realise I might possible have miscounted. “Not this third left Mike, the next one” I cried but too late, he took it. Luckily for me it had a right hand turn which took us to the road we wanted which I said I’d known all the time. We managed to find a parking place quite close to the aquarium. I was still wearing the duster and Mike put his jacket on and we walked into a sauna.All the humidity from all the tanks and we were wrapped like mummies. The sweat was dripping off us. Mike was here to find out about some lamps he wanted for his tank at home. Is that what he asked about? No, way, we had to explore the contents of about 100 tanks first fish by fish. All the time boiling away before he finally asked about the lights which they didn’t even stock. I had to be dragged away screaming as I fancied a couple of beautiful synodontis and some more assassin snails.

Synodontis_Eupterus_3

Synodontis catfish

We were finally on our way homes again and I had no fish or snails. All I had was panic at being out so long ( over 8 hours) and not having finished the morning’s post before I left. We got in about 4.30 and after setting up the i*on and i*oning board for Mike I came through to work.216 messages which included the unfinished from this morning, Oh joy. Mike left me to it until after his football  than came to get me at 7.00 pm to watch a programme with him. We like quizzes. I did us something to eat while we watched so he doesn’t report me for neglect.I was allowed back at 8.30 pm but a little later he came through to tell me of a film he’s found to watch. I agreed to join him soon but it was 10.00 pm before I made it. It was a good film and kept me there till 11.15 pm when it ended.  Thereafter it was time to abandon the mail so I could do the blog post. I am after all at your service.

Sorry Mummy, didn't mean to trump!

Sorry Mummy, didn’t mean to trump!

I wish you all a wonderful new week and send you loads of Hugs. xxx

 

 

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Christmas Week.

Sunday. I’m an early riser but even I like a little lay in on a Sunday when there seems no need to rush. For all the humorists in Valhalla or on Mount Olympus, I don’t consider 4.07am to be much of a lie in. But I dragged myself out of bed nonetheless  knowing if I got a head start on my emails I could be finished in time to make Mike a coffee when he gets up about 8.00 am, I heard him turn the TV off ready for sleep just gone 11.00 pm last night so he should be rested. I was right that I finished by 8.00 am and went through to feed the fish and take my tabs. Lifting those to my mouth is my daily exercise now. I made myself a coffee and went to sit in the lounge. It still seemed quite dark but I didn’t turn the light on as it enables me to people watch. Ha, like there’s anyone out there this morning on a rainy Sunday.                                                    I finished a ciggie, took a sip of coffee and lay back for a couple of minutes with my eyes shut. They must have been glued because the next thing I know is it’s 9.30 am. Still no sign of Mike so I have a quick tidy up as my nephew, his wife and my great-niece are coming after lunch. At ten to ten I make a coffee and take it through to Mike telling him it’s almost ten. A grunt, a groan and a hand reaches out for the mug, I move it just out of reach and depart.”Ugh, wassup” reaches my ears. Back through to my kennel to get dressed and sit down with more mail.I come fully awake when my one-liner friend sends her batch of messages, if I’m not on form she’ll pounce and tear me to pieces with her wit. A friend who’s computer has been down returns and I’m glad to see her. Lots of adverts for things that can still be delivered for Christmas if only I order them before midnight. Showing great restraint I almost didn’t.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I’m just finishing when I hear the patter of tiny feet, no it’s not mice, it’s Captain Caveman finally surfaced from his pit. I head back to the lounge. Mike’s just telling me he worries about me being alone and lonely when he’s gone. I ask him if we can get married as there’s a competition to win a prize for your husband worth £650. That stopped the conversation dead. Then there’s a knock at the door, a shout of hello and in trooped my nephew ( David the Decorator) followed by his wife holding a rather green looking girl at arms length. It appears my great-niece was car sick in a projectile way.  One team directed to the bathroom to clean her up a bit and David grabbed a bucket to clean his car and the car seat. He says he’s not been round as he’s been embarrassed about the hiccup with the phone line and internet. I told him it gave me a great blogging piece and not to worry. I bear no grudge since it was quite funny. It seems they were on their way to Chester to see Santa and decided to bring the presents on their way when this accident happened. They decide to take her home to change her clothes and perhaps go to  nearer Santa for her. Such a shame. As it’s now 11.45 or so, it’s time to think about lunch so we get our shoes and jackets on and head for the car. “Where are we going?” I ask. “Get out of my head you” was the answer, and “you decide.” Since it’s usually my decision I forced the issue and we went to the Bells of St Mary at Gronant. I love a carvery. I chose the roast beef ( how unusual) and loaded up with had a few potatoes with loads of carrots and peas. It was really nice. On the way back Mike dropped me off and for a change he even slowed the car down before heading off to his Dad’s. I’ve spent the rest of the day alternating between mail and Christmas films on TV along with a few episodes of Dinnerladies starring ( and written by) Victoria Wood. Great stuff. Now it’s time for one chapter and some missing sleep.

Monday. It was another early rise this morning but you can tell Christmas is approaching because the emails are slowing down a lot. Plenty of people still blogging though so I was occupied until 8.00 am when I went to see to the fish. I took my time getting dressed as my nephew and his wife won’t call early. Midway through the morning I went to see if the corner shop had any barm cakes but I’m still out of luck. They’ve only got bread fingers and they’re just not as nice. While out I decided not to cook today and bought a ham salad bap for lunch. It was very tasty, even with the greenery and without salt. I was tempted to add coleslaw to it but when I opened the fridge everything just spilled onto the floor. I say everything but this damn fridge only just holds the butter and the milk. Add anything else and it starts to scream.          I settled sown with another version of The Christmas Carol and was starting to nod when the front door opened and a Hello was followed by two drowned rats entering.The weather has been pretty bad this afternoon with rain and high winds but being inside left me unaffected. I was really lucky that Lee and Jen stayed with me for a couple of hours and even had a game of Scrabble. After Jen managed to get her Q on a triple word score the game became quite close but having thee benefit of being the scorer I clung to victory. After they left I settled with my emails and stayed in my room until 11.00pm when the front door opened again and Mike arrived, also drenched. It was time for a break anyway so I made us both a coffee while he told me all about the happenings since we last saw each other a day an a half ago. Half past midnight and I turned in to a promise from Mike that he’d be up early for the shopping tomorrow ( strictly speaking it’s today now).

Tuesday. Christmas Eve. Lawks a mussy, I slept until 6.39 this morning. That’s a lie in and a half. There were only 64 messages which I rattled off in no time, at least 6 were cons about problems of some sort or another about bank accounts I don’t actually have. One of them even purported to be from the people I do bank with. My number 1 rule is ‘If it doesn’t bear my actual name it doesn’t get opened’. I was just making myself a coffee at 8.00am when I heard Mike’s alarm go off. He must have been serious about getting up early ( by his standards) after all. Unfortunately I’d washed, dressed, had a game of snooker, and made a second coffee before he came out of his bedroom. I made his drink and went back to check if there was more mail.There was, finally my Ancestry account is sorted and I can work again.                                   Mike got ready and we left. On the way I sent Lis a text to see if she was home so we could drop off the presents for Christmas and for the birthday she’s enjoyed yesterday.I had emailed her with greetings but no response so she must have been busy. There was no response to the text either so when we finished shopping I texted her beautiful daughter Charlie.Mike and I went to Kassidy’s for a cuppa and a bacon butty while we waited. No point in going home too soon just to come out again.       Charlie answered her Ma might not have her mobile handy as she was in the kitchen prepping for tomorrow. Charlie herself will come see me after Christmas. We just reached the car when Lis responded that she was in and putting the kettle on so we headed in her direction. It was really wet out this morning and driving along the car kept getting deluged by the car in from going through all the puddles instead of avoiding them. Steam was coming from Mike’s ears and for a moment I thought he was going to overtake and slam the anchors on. No doubt he’d have very politely told the other driver something about road courtesy. Luckily they turned ff and we did the rest of the journey without further mishap. We had a lovely hour or so with Lis before coming home with the shopping. At home I managed to confirm that I’m as thick as painted. Why buy things to have a little buffet on Friday today. There’s not an iota of room in he fridge for trifle, gateaux, Quiche, pies, sausages, sausage rolls or scotch eggs. I daren’t turn the heating up no matter how cold it gets now.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 We started watching Frank Capra’s A Beautiful Life. It wouldn’t be Christmas without that yet one channel is showing cowboy films rather than anything seasonal. My friend Jonathan, a really nice young man I used to work with called to exchange gifts. He’s always a welcome visitor but I haven’t seen him since the funeral. We had a good natter before it was time for him to continue in his Father Christmas delivery role. I made a meal which we ate on our knees watching the goggle box. Later on I had a shower ( yes, I know, two in the same month, shocking) before we settled to watch the film Paul. I managed to get Mike to go to bed so he’s ready for Santa’s visit and the joy of Christmas morning. I decided to do this blog and finish my mail before reading a chapter and sleep.

Wednesday. Christmas Day. I was up early enough this morning to clear what little emails there were. It gave me chance to see to the fish ( an extra sprinkle for Christmas) and sit with a coffee in the lounge to start opening presents. I’d open one and prepare a text to send in daylight and for those I have no mobile number for I could dash back to my room and send an email. I felt very adult and organised. I’d just about finished when Mike got up and came looking for his coffee. It must have been his inner child ( he’s never grown up) and the excitement because he made it under his own steam by 8.30 and yes, I’m talking a.m. here folks.                                        We exchanged gifts and I started unwrapping one when he snatched it out of my hand and told me that one plus two others were to be opened tomorrow but wouldn’t say why, despite me pointing out it’s an odd thing to give a Christmas gift, wrapped in Christmas paper that can’t actually be opened at Christmas. Some of you may remember the saying I claimed as a favourite. All the World’s Queer save Thee and Me, and even Thee’s a Little Queer. Well, he’s the Thee it’s talking about. I was however allowed to open two. One from Rose Mike’s lady friend, part of which was a very unusual memo pad and the other was from himself and was a really nice cardigan. I was tempted to rip half of his sack of gifts back and declare a postal strike but to be honest it was his turn with the coffee. He seemed delighted with his gifts though one was not in 100% condition but he says a bit of superglue will fix it. For lunch I did Mike roast lamb and myself beef.I preheated the oven for the roast potatoes which came in their own tray and were  covered on goose fat. They went on gas mark 7 and were in for an hour and a half in total as they didn’t seem to brown at first. Yet the couple of parboiled sweet potato roasties seemed ok. I also did sweet potato mash and this should interest one of my friends, cauliflower and broccoli too.      Everything was fine except the roast potatoes which were raw. Perhaps I should have started a week ago.                                                                                                                          After lunch we settle to cabbage out and watch films. It was nice not having to disappear to the computer for a while. Teatime came and we had a cold collation but halfway through Mike jumped up and left. He returned after a while claiming stomach ache as though I’d tried to poison him at lunch time. At my suggestion he went to lie down and I threw the rest of the evidence away. He did get up and join me again but was still not up to par.About 10.00pm I told him to go watch the film in bed and I came through to deal with mail. Not a single con-man working today it seems. It’s now half eleven and time I said goodnight. I want to read a little more to get closer to my new Pratchett.

Thursday. Boxing Day. After mail this morning I made myself a cuppa, took my drugs (No Seumas, matron wasn’t here) did my drug tray for the week and decided to let Mike have a lie in. As it was already 8.25 I decided 5 minuted would be enough so I made him a drink and hoped the smell would wake him. It didn’t, so af half past I called gently, ” Fire, Fire, get out while you can”, that shifted him, he turned over. A reminder every 30 seconds not to forget his coffee ( well he was oblivious as to the gap) finally roused him and he coughed his way to the lounge. In order to save my delicate ears I beat a hasty retreat to my bedroom to dress. Earlier this year I bought a suit at a bargain price so today I donned a new shirt, good waistcoat and the suit.The not so subtle hints made Mike get ready and he went and brought the car to the door to load up.Until the boot was full I didn’t realise how much we had. He’s such a shopaholic. Of course since Yvonne had asked me to pick up some cream we head to call in at the big Supermarket sale on the way. I was able to get some real bargains ready in reserve as gifts. We reached Yvonne’s and unloaded the car. Having her cream meant it took ages. Inside the house we saw she was very busy making the buffet so Mike and I had a coffee and played with Reuben who though very tired seemed happy enough. My nieces arrived and in the process of hugs and kisses I somehow lost control of Reuben and he ended up in Karen’s arms. I always said she was devious. The buffet went really well though she’d made enough to feed an army ( or Mike). Then it was into present swapping. I was spoiled again by everyone and they all seemed happy with the gifts I got them. I had a lovely jumper from Ugo’s mother which I must write and thank her for.                                                                                                                    We took turns at entertaining Reuben and when it wasn’t my go I nodded off. Some terrible people with no consciences took pictures of me. How cruel. Latea afternoon and Mike and I prepared to depart and so did my nieces. As I slipped my suit jacket on I found I’d got a security tag under the collar. I’m amazed I didn’t set any alarms off this morning as the supermarket was where the damned suit came from. I no longer have the receipt of course so I’ll have to take it in to get the tag removed and they’ll have to believe I didn’t pinch it. Tonight we had tea followed by a long relax with a Percy Jackson film.Pure escapism. Then back to you and your messages I’ve missed during the day. Just 91 today. I’ll be in bed for midnight……just.

Friday. Before anyone gets the idea I’m always the instigator of shopping let me tell you that Mike decided to go shopping this morning for a pair of slippers. He’s been coming here for years barefoot but suddenly he needs slippers. It’s not like I keep broken glass on the floor all the time. Since Mike and his bed have this almost unbreakable attraction for each other, it was almost 10.00 am before we got out and since my brother and nephew are due early afternoon I say we’d better get a trot on. He decided that locally will do today and go further tomorrow if we have no luck. Anyway we try two shops in Flint with no joy and decide to have a coffee. After the first sip my phone rings. It’s Dil and Mike has nipped to the loo so can’t answer. Now it’s the battle of the texts. “Where am I” Dil asks. “Flint” I say, “where are you?”  “Outside your house” he replies, “had to come early to leave early.” “Home in about 15 mins” I tell him, ” No rush, I have Matt for company” is his last thrust. With impeccable timing Mike returns from the loo and chatting up Ceri. I finish my latte and tell him I’m popping next door then we need to get home but he can finish his coffee in peace. At the next door shop my luck is in, they have slippers and just one pair in the right size ( unless he wants Gorilla feet). Bearing the prize I return to the car to meet Mike and we come home. As we arrive Dil and Matthew get out of their car and come in with us. We get out coats off and Dil explains why his time is limited, because he’s babysitting his grandson later, my little brother is a granddad !! I get the table out we  use for gaming and start setting up when Dil asks when the drought is going to end. All the subtlety of a brick duck. I make drinks like a good little Jeeves. That done I take my place for the first Scrabble. My mind is hazy and I can’t remember if I won the first or the second game. If Mike reads this he’ll tell me I won neither. We had two games of Balderdash and I think two people cheated to win, neither of them was me. We had one game of crazy 8’s and the God’s were continuing to laugh up their sleeves. Even my young nephew who has only played the last couple of weeks showed me his heels. All I can say is there had better be some VERY large Lottery wins in my future or the blood sacrifices end start! Dil and Matt had to leave so Mike and I cleared up and made a light meal which we enjoyed whilst chatting about random thoughts. (For Yvonne……. we polished off a big BFG afterwards. For my Aussie food conscience……no we didn’t). Before I knew it the time was almost 11.00 pm and typically I had loads of emails before getting to my book.

Saturday. I rose at 5.10 am and woke about twenty past.The night seemed to have been very short but as Mike would have reminded me had I dared get him up, “It still is bloody night you wazzock”.  There were 13 emails that had come in before midnight which shows I had been so desperate to finish last night I hadn’t refreshed. There were 61 since midnight. Does no-one out there sleep? The next time someone writes a book about zombies they can say what they do when they’re not chasing normal people- they’re sending messages to me. I’d just stood up after finishing the last one at 7.00 am ( no, I didn’t refresh again) when I heard Mike’s alarm go off. Very strange at this time. I saw to the fish and made myself a cuppa since I knew the alarm wouldn’t have moved him yet. Five more minutes and it repeated. A curse, a groan and a grumble followed and Mike lumbered out in their wake. No slippers on despite our success yesterday. Not having a death wish I decided it wasn’t an appropriate time to ask about them. Instead I woke him up in the armchair and passed him a coffee.Getting washed and dressed seemed appropriate so I headed in that direction. As y screen came to life I quickly refreshed and found just 14 more messages which I thought would take no time. In fact 10 could be deleted. 1 answered quickly and three needed a more detailed response. I nipped through to see what stage Mike was at and woke him up in the chair again and  pointed to his coffee.  For the next few minutes he drank as I was back in my bedroom hopping up and down on one leg trying to get dressed and answer messages at the same time. I was hitting the keys so hard they were probably reading braille at the other end but I made it. Coats on and rubbish bins out we left to go shopping. Amazingly we were there by 8.10 am and Mike grabbed a trolley while I begged at the cash machines. Inside my first port of call was the veg for some sweet potatoes. Mike’s first port of call was the loo so thrusting the trolley at me he ran. I started walking slowly on. It was disappointing to see that the sports jackets I’d seen the other day with elbow patches and reduced to a mere £20 had all gone. That will teach me to strike while the iron’s hot. Reuben was well served though with some new outfits. Mike caught me up and teasing him I said ” I’m not saying you’re short but I just got you some new outfits with Tazz on.” Not in the least fazed he said  “I told you to stick to animal from now on”.                                                                      I hadn’t prepared a shopping list and we seemed to move round quite quickly this morning. So much so that we were out before 9.20 am. We headed off for a coffee with one slight detour to a Lidl to check their specials. I managed to get Reuben a lamp to fascinate him. We had our coffee and banter in the usual place and I picked up a few spare gifts for birthdays etc before heading for home. Mike nipped out to post a letter for me that I’ve forgotten twice recently while I unpacked the bags. I was bringing the rubbish bags bag as they hadn’t been collected when I saw the postman had been. It was just a card to say he had a letter that requires a signature but as I wasn’t in he’s take it back. I can either go collect it on Monday or have it redelivered on Tuesday. I plumped for the latter before thinking how long I have to sit here wondering what the hack it can be. We had lunch then Mike left to meet an old ”friend’ and said he’d be back tomorrow. I flitted with my time between messages and the  TV until late afternoon when I got a message asking if I was open for a visit. It was Charlie, daughter of my friend Lis. They both arrived about 6.00pm and Charlie had made me a batch of shortbread fingers. I do like shortbread. We had a nice visit ( well I did) with coffee and good natter. I was disappointed when they left but knew they were going to a party at Charlie’s brothers. They were even good enough to take some snack food I’d bought for a buffet yesterday that never got touched.                                                    I started watching one of the Bourne films before coming through to start my mail and the blog ready to annoy you all around midnight. Nowhere near done in time.

Jumperoo.

Jumperoo.

Stocking 2 - use

Christmas Day. 18 weeks old.

Christmas Day. 18 weeks old.

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