Tag Archives: Christmas

Tears on my Pillow


Last night I was tired and prepared to sleep as long as sleep held me though in reality I knew I wouldn’t want to sleep beyond 4.00 am. So when I woke and got out of bed 3.59 am was flashing on my clock as it was on the kitchen clock when I got in there. I think there’s making a point and then there’s making a point. It hadn’t been the best sleep in the wold but I was satisfied and here was plenty of time to work which is what I did as soon as breakfast and the meds were done and I had coffee in hand raring to go.               I carried on until 8.35  am when I decided to get dressed but not until Joey’s yelling reminded me that he hadn’t got fresh seed and water and nor was his cage door open.       Darren the postman delivered two parcels this morning and then another one he found in his van ten minutes later. More Christmas prezzies dealt with but I mustn’t get complacent as there’s along way to go.                                                                                             I made lunch at 12.00 noon as the nurse hadn’t been in the morning. It was 12.15 am and I was halfway through eating it when she arrived. Bummer. We got sorted and she was really happy with progress. We’re going to carry on with daily changes. After she left I finished the meal off and took my tablets, watched the end of Bargain Hunt, washed up and then checked my eyelids were still working. I slept till 2.15 pm then came to catch up until 4.40 pm I stayed away until 9.00 pm then came for the last catch up of the day till 11.45 pm.


I read until almost 12.30 a last night.  One last nip to the loo and as I came back I kicked the box adjoining the cables to laptop from electric charge. It was full on my big toe on the left foot which as you know looks like a war zone. I flopped down on the bed and buried my face in the pillow I’m not sure whether they were tears of pain or frustration that were drawn for a minute. Once the throbbing stopped I fell asleep. I woke at a much kinder 4.15 am than usual. Somnos is giving me a period of grace it seems but the time is still not good enough to say ‘don’t hurry’.                                                                                  After my meds and my breakfast I worked with my coffee until 7.31 am when there was a slight lull in proceedings. It felt cheeky given how late I’d woken but I still went through to my chair in the lounge. I recycled 40 Z’s but it only took me to 7.50 a.m. I decided I might as well do something useful and sorted my Christmas cards ready to write. About an hour later I returned to work proper. The postie brought me just one parcel today. Tomorrow will be good as I’m expecting some for Mike as well I think. I waited for the nurse but it looked as though they were going to be late again. Maybe I’d have chance to eat my dinner but no, a ring of the bell and two arrived. One I’ve seen before and she’s nice but the other one was quite vicious. Guess which one was doing my feet. A constant sound of sharp intakes of breath and feet jerked followed by an apology followed by repeat above. Some skin may well have been ready to come off but it wasn’t being asked  politely it was being ripped off. The number of times I said ouch she must have thought it a foreign language for carry on I’m enjoying this. I was not.She decided to dress the legs in just loose stockinette for some reason which left my toes open.                  They left at 12.14 pm just as Bargain Hunt started and I had to rush and make my lunch before they got too far. I had a message to say ‘Thank You’ from a friend whose blog often provided me with my hilarity for the day. He’s a funny man and certainly has no need to thank me. https://youvebeenhooked.wordpress.com/. I worked till 3.00 pm then had a little skive till 3.45 pm then at 4.0 pm I gave up work till 9.00 pm and came back and paid the price. At the end of the night a read until 12.30 am. Sleep came easily.

elf on a shelf


I think Dawn was 3.43 am this morning but I was still tired and sent her home. No way I was getting back to sleep now. Had my meds, ate some of my breakfast and brought my one-a-day coffee back to work. At 8.15 am I knocked off for a bit, hoping for 40 winks in my chair I managed about 20 before the first of a constant stream were at the door. The gas man wanted to read the meter, poor souls had no idea where it was when I invited him in. He was very good and cleared a space for himself and his mirror on a stick. Bert from next door came as did the postman and then a parcel delivery (for Mike) all leading up to the nurse who appeared at 11.30 am. Unlike yesterday this one actually dressed my legs fully and not just with stockinette. I can see just how much they’v improved and the feet are pretty dry now but even with the ‘Peelers’there are still a lot of growths of skin to clear.                                                                                                                                                      After I’d had my lunch and Bargain Hung had finished I undertook a survey of my inner eyelids that took just over an hour to satisfy me they worked. It was time to play catch up with the work. Another parcel delivered (proof there’s no rest for the wicked I suppose) and at 4.25 pm when Dil arrived I was up to date. He’s really learned how to cheat well. I couldn’t best him at the Yahtzee and it ended up a draw 6 games each. I beat him at Nomination Whist but he bested me at Cribbage so he headed home with honours even again. It happens too often, I piled back into work mode which kept me until 20 minutes past midnight before I was able to get a short read ready for sleep.


Despite reading till 1.00 am an waking at 3.08 am I think I had a touch of genius last night.


If he likes that and it raises his profile I could be free at last and ready to get my own good night’s sleep.                                                                                                                                 Well he should have had the idea by now, with luck I should get an answer by tomorrow. Once I’d dealt with my drugs and breakfast, I took my fresh coffee through to the bedroom to start. Among other things was a reminder from Yvonne that she and Amelie will be coming this morning. If we skip through all the mail and getting dressed we can get to the bit where they arrived. It was about 10.20 am and no matter how many times Yvonne said “Give pops a kiss” I was ignored by a little girl who’s grin just got wider and who kissed or hugged her Mum instead.                                                                                          The nurse arrived so I must still be on a daily call, liked what she saw, answered Yvonne’s queries, dressed both legs (properly) but only applied the iodine to one and left. Yvonne went out just before noon to get me some lunch. Amelie cried but I’m not sure whether she missed her Mum or her chocolate biscuits. Yvonne came back and Amelie was asking for ‘just one more’ of her mum’s lebkuchen biscuits. Her eyes lit up when I offered her a chocolate mousse, It was gone, demolished. I closed my ears in case I heard those fateful words. I finished my lunch and they left to go home. Apart from Joey the place was quiet.                                                                                                                                      I nodded off but was woken by my cleaner arriving. It reminded me to do a bit of work. I worked until 4.30 pm when I gave up until 9.00 pm. Time to catch up. 11.35 pm off to bed to read.

seesaw squeals


I tuned my light off at midnight and threw myself around a couple of times to find the best position for comfort. I was soon away in the land of Nod. It was 3.35 am before I woke which was great. I went through to the kitchen, took my meds then started filling the trays for the next week. I had pills rolling everywhere as my hands shook and I dropped them, the job seemed to take forever. That done (finally) I had some Weetabix for breakfast (one job even I couldn’t mess up)(OMG if you could only see my two fingered typing this morning, the spelling is atrocious ). I took the last two diabetic tablets and went to make my coffee……or so I hoped. It was a red light job meaning twenty minutes spent on cleaning the machine with a descaling tablet. Only it wouldn’t start. AAaaaargghh, I ended up turning it off then on again only to find it wasn’t requesting a clean now so I re-inserted my coffee pod and started again. I was half an hour sitting at my desk before I realised I hadn’t even drunk it. Duh!                                  The Nurse visited at 11.30 am today. I was just in the process of stripping my leg (tastefully of course) when the front door went. It was the chemist with a new course of treatment. I have to slap it on, cover my leg with clingfilm, bake for half an hour then remove the clingfilm and throw it away. No-one has yet told me what I’m to do with the legs. I carried on back to the nurse who knew nada. She dressed both legs but without the iodine today as she said it’s all dry, Perhaps on Monday I won’t need dressings and can even fit a shoe on again.                                                                                                                Mike arrived early afternoon sarcasm dripping from his chin, no change there then except I had to get him a tissue. I tried to keep abreast of the work during the afternoon until I quit at my usual 4.30 pm. We had a good evening which included a hair wash and a flannel bath for the rest of me at the sink. Even the mirror blushed.


I was up at 1.28 am after hearing a noise. After stumbling about for a few minutes trying to decide which towel to wear for secrecy I found my way back to bed where I decided I needed more sleep. I got some until 3.20 am when I was less confused. I did a walk round to gather paper for the recycling then had my normal meds. I got the diabetic meds together  with some milk and had my breakfast. I made a coffee and brought it back here to work at 3.55 am. At 6.00 am I made Mike’s coffee but thought I’d gone deaf until I realised the beggar hadn’t set his alarm. That meant it was my job. We had a good morning’s shopping when we went out at 7.00 am but I’m still no nearer getting more Christmas prezzies. The weather was so foul today with rain throughout the night then snow about 5.30 am followed by rain all day, so we decided to come home after lunch. There was a message to go to the hospital at 2.00 pm tomorrow, so much for a free weekend. I caught up on my mail during the afternoon and my sleep during the evening. no wonder he’s complaining about my company. Restart work at 9.00 pm to 11.30 pm.

wrapped up warm


Light out at midnight. Not a very long read but enough.I was drained from the pain in my right foot. I’m sure I got up once in the night and maybe had a conversation with a female. I definitely got up at 3.41 am and somebody had moved some of the rooms about. Then no they hadn’t, I was just confused. I put the light on in Mike’s room to see if anyone was there and there was, but luckily for me he didn’t wake. I went to the kitchen for my meds and some breakfast but found I had put the toast on first so had to hurry with my meds. Then my toast came out like French toast, with just one side browned and I had to work out which way to put them back in to brown the other side. A freakin’ disaster of a morning. Things can only get better………..                                                                 I caught up with my mail and remembered to drink my coffee. I did a couple of searches and I also had a rummage in Ebay for my still difficult Christmas prezzies. At 10.00 am I put the kettle on in the hopes Mike would soon be up. He made it by twenty past which wasn’t too bad. We couldn’t think of anything specific we wanted to do in the morning so we left at 11.30 am for Prestatyn and lunch. The beef was to die for. We came straight back to Holywell afterwards rather than go round shops in Prestatyn, it meant we could better gauge the time before leaving for the hospital. I managed to get a toy for my last great nephew, if only his Mum and Dad were as easy to buy for. We were at the hospital just before 2.00 pm and I didn’t have long to wait. I’m wondering if this is the last time I’ll have my legs dressed with the new treatment starting this week. We came home and watched a Christmas film that had us both throwing sarcastic remarks out. Mike left at 5.00 pm to go home while I spent time catching up on my mail.

May you all have the nicest of weeks in the change from November to December. Give smiles where you can and hugs where you will. Share a thought for all those people in refugee camps throughout the world and if you have a little cash to spare…….. there are also many people in prison in countries with few human rights, people who want to see some form of democratic change and a lot of journalists. Places like Saudi Arabia and Turkey which has undergone a radical change under Erdogan. Possibly the kind of changes the U.S. may follow as journalists are ridiculed.                                                            Look after yourselves.                                                                                                                             Huge Hugs


Filed under Humour, Uncategorized

Voice from My Boots & Welcome to Rapid Wrap.

Sunday 6th Dec.
I managed to finish last night, get to bed for a read and have my light out for 1.00 am. I was tired. This morning I was up at 4.03 am and yes it was another day where I had to repeat the system restore. I wish there was a way to stop it happening, it just wasted so much time. I went to my gmail and was surprised to find so much new mail so early but of course the blog had gone out so there were comments to read.Wonderful, thank you.  I worked till 5.45 am then went to the kitchen for breakfast and meds. I was going to add tap dancing lessons but kept falling in the sink. When I returned with my coffee all was wonderful, I looked and there were just four pieces of new mail. I started doing one of them. As I finished and clicked delete all hell broke loose. The three grew to 52, 71, 87, 97, 104 then I stopped breathing, decided I was really tired and fazed out for ten minutes.

When I came back it wasn’t a dream. They were there. Drat. I had to make a start. By 8.30 am I was flagging badly and at 8.40 am knew I either lay down or fell down. I chose the former and was out like a light. I heard a sound and woke. My clock said 9.20 am and I realised Mike was up. How or why I don’t know but my fingers were crossed it didn’t involve washing sheets. I didn’t go straight through as masochistic as I am I wanted to see where I stood now. Look at it this way I should get a lot taller. Mike came through to say he’d seen me sleeping ( and heard me snoring but that’s just hearsay) and was going to leave me. I wondered why he’d had to practice the drums that woke me then. I dried my tears and went back in with him in case he couldn’t find the kitchen to make his own drink.                                                                                                        I let Joey out of his cage and saw to fresh seed and water then Mike and I just sat and talked about what I wanted from life. He ruled out a set of traffic lights in the hallway. There were some problems deciding who wanted to do what today. He knew if we stayed in I’d be on the computer so that was a no-no but he wasn’t prepared to come up with suggestions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             I reminded him that he wanted to get some Maple Syrup for his son ( a reasonable exchange I suppose)( Sorry Anton, you know I love you really) but we both knew there was a problem finding it last time so I suggested we start at Tesco’s ( because it’s very close) and he said “Great, let’s go to the one at Broughton Park.”                                            By the time we’d got dressed and I’d laughed my socks off at Mike trying to get into the jeans we’d bought yesterday, a size bigger that he’s worn for 12 months., it was getting towards 11.30 am. We set off and were in Broughton around midday.

When we’d (well him really as I don’t drive remember) parked up at Broughton we went into Tesco’s and did manage to find some Maple Syrup. I picked up a couple of other things from the food aisles but nothing important. We took a look upstairs at the sale goods in the men’s section but nothing stood out. Finally at getting on towards 1.00 pm we left ( sorry, we PAID and left, I don’t want a knock on the door from the police) and walked over towards the restaurants. Mr difficult as usual didn’t make it easy and most of them were closed before he’d decided where he wanted to eat. In the end the choice came down to one that we found really was closed, a pizza place or Frankie and Benny’s. The latter was the one we chose.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Being seated wasn’t a problem and neither was ordering drinks. When the drinks arrived we were ready to order and it was at that point they chose to warn us the wait was 15 to 20 minutes. I needed to know for my tablet so I ordered and said I’d wait ten minuted and then take the pre-foodie. It turned out the wait was 35 minutes and I’d already had my tabs 25 minutes before the food came. I took the blame as they’d been looking for my gammon steak. Mike thought they’d been looking for the pig. Mike got another coffee.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The meal was nice. Freshly cooked and warm and quite tasty but with a bill at the end of coppers short of £40 I didn’t see a meal that was worth that. My full Sunday roast in Prestatyn is only a little over £20 for the two of us including drinks and cheaper than that at less than £20 at the Bells of St.Mary’s.  Still, we were out somewhere different and afterwards seeing some different shops.

It was 3.40 pm before we left for home and the rollocking we knew we’d get from Joey for leaving him alone for so long, and in the dark. Oh sorry, did I say we’d get? Only someone didn’t put himself in the line of fire for that and instead grabbed his bags ready to drive home. I left the lounge light on for Joey and did speak to him a little but departed for the disaster zone as soon as possible. I could hear Joey through the door…… 6 inches of solid oak with a vacuum seal. I worked from 4.15 pm to 6.00 pm then went to have some tea and a serious talk with Joey. Sit down before I tell you……..I had an apple. I rewatched Bruce Almighty because I like Morgan Freeman then at 8.00 pm came back through. I had to keep going until  the backlog was all gone. 9.46 pm. Then I started the blog a little early and voila, it’s 10.55 pm and I can clear whatever else has come in and get an early nigh ready to be MuJo’d tomorrow.

Mischief planning

Mischief planning

Monday 7th Dec.

The day started with a disaster of the ‘I’m pulling my hair out’ proportions. I got up at 3.37 am and after my visit to the Pee Palazzo I came back to power up and log in.         ( Sounds like something a superhero says.)  I got the usual ‘not responsing’ message do you want to ‘wait or kill’ I had a pretty good idea of my preference at that point. I did a system restore as I’ve had to all this week but it didn’t work. Knowing it had worked up to midnight yesterday I tried another restore using that as the time but no joy at all. I tried waiting, that didn’t work, I tried killing and it wasn’ t interested. I don’t know how many times I tried. At 5.15 am I went through to the kitchen and took my meds and had breakfast. For a certain Aussie who isn’t keen on my diet, I had a banana. How’s that for progress. I brought a coffee back with me to keep trying.

It was just before 8.05 am I checked back to when the problem first started and found it was after a Microsoft update on 3rd Dec. In desperation I did a system restore back to 2nd Dec and tried that. It worked. I started rethreading my hair. My fingers are crossed it will work tomorrow morning now. I only had until 9.00 am to scratch the surface of the mail as I needed to go to the chemist with a repeat prescription request and the Post Office with a card for Germany. When I got back I had to sooth the ruffled feathers of a budgie who sought release and didn’t have it. I let him free, spoke to him a bit and came back to work. The Postman came at 10.00 am with the remote plugs I’d ordered . Then I had to text Bev to let her know I wouldn’t be in if she called. She replied to say she’d just called and it was OK. I hadn’t heard her at the door and was in the kitchen doing Ju’s flowers we’d forgotten yesterday. I apologised.                                                                                                                                                                                                    I hadn’t finished the flowers when MuJo arrived so they had to hang on a few minutes for drinks. We chatted as I worked. As usual  being Brits it was about the weather but flippin ‘eck, there’s been something to talk about recently. I finished up and saw to drinks and passed Mu a couple of little gifts I’d picked up.

At 11.30 am we went out and headed for town. Mu wanted the main Post Office and John the charity shops before we all went for lunch. After we’d eaten Mu bought something in Iceland and we dropped it off to go in my freezer as we were heading for Flint. They’re getting some of their Christmas meat early to be sure it doesn’t disappear. Then we headed for a Supermarket in Flint where I bought chocs for Temptations and then we went to Tempies itself. John had an orange juice and a cake to save for later. I ordered Mu a chocolate Indulgence that had whipped cream and marshmallows toppling from a great height, she also had a cake today. I got my latte. Afterwards we did a few shops then came home.

They left for home about 4.00 pm so I was able to get to work. I did as much as I could before 6.00 pm then had my Eggheads. I came back to work at 6.30 pm until 8.00 pm then skived for two hours. The first hour was a programme on the Cathars in whom I’m very interested. The second was a DIY SOS where I even had to pass Joey a tissue. Then night night Joey as I came back through to do the blog. I still haven’t managed to do half the mail. I’m taking Yvonne’s birthday prezzies tomorrow so it’ll be no better then.

I’m going to show a photograph now but it’s for the attention of my friend Merril so please no-one else look at it as it’s a secret.

The Afro days.

The Afro days.

OK, now it’s the photo for you lot.

A mighty roar.

A mighty roar.

Tuesday 8th Dec.

Yesterday had a disastrous start while today’s was just strange. I woke at 2.55 am sitting in my office chair with the computer already on just waiting for me to sign in. It wasn’t as though I’d sat down on my way back from a loo trip either since I found that was the first thing I needed. The second thing I needed was a brass band. I wanted to celebrate actually getting on the web today. My fix of yesterday had worked. I’m for hire Microsoft .                                                                                                                                               By 4.42 I was clear and hopefully could keep on top of anything coming in except the 6.10 am deluge. I had to be out of the house by 7.30 am to catch my bus.I went through and took my meds and had some breakfast, cornflakes today.                                                                                                                                                                                                               When I came back from breakfast I got dressed. I’m getting quite grown up now remembering which sock goes on which foot without help.  Damn, I got it wrong.

I worked until 7.10 m which was as late as I dared before getting my shoes and coat on. Then grabbing my crutches and the two big bags for Yvonne I made my way slowly to the bus stop. It was just as well I’d left when I did as I was getting towards the bus stop when the bus went past. Not so far that it would miss me and leave without me. What was a surprise was that it didn’t stop to let me on. As I got there the reason became apparent, Howard wasn’t driving. I asked if he was on holiday again only to be told he left the company last week to start with a different company who don’t have buses on my route.                                                                                                                                                     For most of the journey I nodded so it was over quite quickly. I walked towards where my deadly duo would normally appear until they came into sight. My poor baby was walking so badly after her fall I really don’t know why she came out.  I hugged her and wished her a Happy Birthday (Penblwydd Hapus). I gave Roobs a kiss on his forehead as that’s what he offered and he’s too low to bend further. I was taken aback with the clarity of his speech and sentence structure, ” Hello Pops, are you alright?” Yvonne asked what I wanted to do first and I just said LOO to which she  replied “And me” so we went into the Nero coffee house near to where we were.                                        Over coffee Yvonne opened her prezzies and was thrilled. We had the usual argy-bargy about money inside her card but I put on my best “Do as you’re told, I’m your Daddy” voice from my boots and for once I think it worked. She loved her watch. Mike had got her a great knitting kit and she really chuckled at it.

We went from there to our usual shop where I couldn’t stop my hand grabbing a jacket in the sales and rushing off with it. No good, they made me come back and pay for it. Yvonne picked up a couple of things for the baby  having roped Reuben to the pushchair and then we moved on. The next shop had toys. Roobs had a new one, a wolf,from before they met me but of course he wanted every other toy in this place and was willing to leave the previously chosen toy behind. I dis a Cassandra and predicted tears before bedtime but in fact only had to wait about two minutes. The not so convincing tears along with the I wants came along and were largely ignored. The screams that followed weren’t. Luckily I’d brought him chocolate this morning. Pops learns.                                                                                                                                                                                             We moved to another shop where the protests weren’t as bad and then finally thinking Yvonne had suffered enough we went to a Supermarket where we could have coffee and where I could buy Yvonne a birthday cake. Stupidly we let Reuben off the leash and he delighted in going too far pushing his poor Mum to her limits. Not coming when called and knowingly going out of sight. You can really see why it’s called the Terrible Twos.                                                                                                                                                                 It was time for my bus so we ambled off to the stop where I didn’t have long to  wait. I was allowed to kiss Reuben but only on the forehead again though I did get a little wave too. After huge hugs from Yvonne I told her to head home and got on my bus. I nodded most of the way back again and when we arrived I stopped at Pauline’s.

Once at home I put stuff in the freezer then went through to let Joey out and see to my lunch. As I was so worried about my mail I made a chips and curry sauce and chatted to Joey as I ate. Once I’d washed up I went through to my bedroom and opened the mail. OUCH. I started work. That was about 1.30 pm. I stopped at 2.15 pm to see a series I’m watching (hah) then slept through about half of it. I never found out who dunnit. Back to work until 5.45 pm I managed to clear a lot but nowhere near enough. I started watching the last few minutes of my quiz but Joey wanted one on one time. We talked. I explained about work and managed to negotiate some TV time too.                 Back to work  at 6.30 pm to 8.00  pm and I managed to get the mail right down at that point. At 9.15 am when I came back through the mail didn’t seem so scary and I managed to clear it before starting on the blog. It could be my lucky night.

12 months ago. The BEST Father Christmas.

12 months ago. The BEST Father Christmas.

In memory of John Lennon who died 35 years ago today. This is one dream we shared and I still hope for.

Wednesday 9th Dec.

I want to find a time loop and go back to start this day again. If anyone has a Delorean they don’t want……….                                                                                                                                 I woke at 5.40 am sitting in my chair in the lounge. I had my dressing gown on and I’d put my cigarettes and lighter in the pocket but strangely enough, not my inhalor. I could say I was confused for a minute but it would only partly be true as I’m still confused now. I have no recollection of getting up and no knowledge of a reason why. To be honest I don’t even remember any trips to the loo after my light went off at 1.00 am.

So late it made sense as I was already in the right direction to go and take my meds and have some breakfast. For some reason I settled on my cold toast again  which I couldn’t finish today so a round and a half of bread doesn’t seem too bad does it?                                                                                                                                                                                           When I’d finished I went straight to my room and powered up the computer and signed in. It was gone 6.10 am so I expected problems but not what I got. Yet again trying to get onto the net brought up the message that it was unavailable would I like to kill or wait. I tried a wait. I tried a kill. In the end I had X out of it. I tried again a couple of times but nothing had changed. I rebooted and it was still stubbornly keeping me out. In the end I had to resort to system restore and I had to try that twice. It worked very slowly but when it came back up and I signed in, everything was hunky dory. It was 7.40 am at this point and since I was bald from the last time it happened I started depilating my legs instead …ladies you have my sympathy. As that celebrated poet said ‘ It’s The Pain Wot Keeps me Sane’ (David ap Rosser 2015).

The post level was alarmingly high but since there was no handy bridge to jump off I just ploughed into it. I ploughed up until 12.45 pm. That was when I reached the point where all mail had been seen to. I was aware that I created a problem for myself after answering someone posting of a poem with one of my own that I wrote there and then. Stupidly I posted it to my Buthidar’s blog as I thought it relevant to a few other posts I’d seen. This meant of course that people would read it and create more mail. Could I possibly be any more stupid? Probably, but let’s not go there eh. During the morning I received my 5th Christmas card and when I took a short break with Joey, I actually started my wrapping ( alone since none of you volunteered). There was also a knock at the doorbell and Rosetta the Postmistress had kindly brought me some mince pies and other cake she’d made. Aren’t people capable of such kindness.

I had a lamb hock and some boiled potatoes for lunch with mixed veg. It was nice and Joey was glad of the company. It only lasted about half an hour though before I was back here working. I promised him I’d return at 2.15 pm which promise I kept.I stayed there listening to him for just about the time it took (coincidentally) to watch The Dr Blake Mysteries, an excellent Australian series. After that I apologised and returned to work at 3.10 pm. I could only work until 4.15 pm as I wanted to prepare something before Dil arrived. As the time came I got my ladders out and put up a wire with a light bulb holder on it. It has an expanding grip on it for things like headboards. There’s a small vent in the ceiling which I attached it to then added a bulb. Down below at the plug end I inserted one of my remote plugs and then added the light plug to it. On test with the remote it worked fine.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 I was finished in time. I saw Dil  approach a few minutes later and waited until I heard the front door open. As soon as it was, I clicked the remote from inside the lounge and turned the light on in the hall so he could see coming through. He grinned as he entered and said I’d been having fun with my remote again. Then I was able to say I’d bought him a prezzie and give him the set I’d got him with twin remotes so he can leave them in two separate rooms if he wants. It will be a boon for his back. He knows his wife has got him a sound bar for Christmas and says he’ll have to move the TV etc then so that’s a perfect opportunity to fit the plugs.                                                                               I made him his cuppa rosie lea (tea) and we settled to the last of Flog It and then watched our quiz. The moment that was over battle commenced.                                                      The first game of Yahtzee I lost 4-2  and the more we played the saltier my  language got, especially when issuing threats. The second game went better and it  was 2-2 at which point I said “Well, I need to win the next two now for honours even”. He smirked. But with the help of some very kind dice giving me some lovely Yahtzees the smirk was wiped from his  face. That game, 4-2 to me so 6 all at the end. Couldn’t be better ( except 7-5 to me).                                                                                                                                          Out came the Trivial Pursuit Centenary Edition. It was a real chase today. I can claim I filled my dish first with the segments I needed but I struggled to reach the middle. We were doing a lot of laughing as whoever compiled the questions seemed to have a fixation on surveys and mainly done in 1997. It got to a point we didn’t even name the year. Anyway, time getting on and Dil reached the middle and got his question right so he came out ahead this week. I must memorise the answers for next week.

After Dil had left by the light of the new lamp of course I tidied up, washed the pots, took my meds and then locked Joey in as I wished him goodnight. I came through to deal with outstanding mail (67) and the blog. I should be in bed for midnight. I wonder if I should strap myself in tonight. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could learn to sleep wrap my gifts.

Live Long and Prosper Mr Spock.

Live Long and Prosper Mr Spock.

Thursday 10th Dec

I was in bed for midnight and only read for half an hour before turning off the light. I decided against tying myself down in case the need for the loo was urgent. There was no early call for the loo but there was an early call. There I was at 1.53 am wide awake and working. By 3.03am I’d finished the outstanding mail in my box and was back to wrapping presents.Since I made the space to do it on my bed I was able to stop and answer any mail that came in.                                                                                                                         About 5.45 am I stopped to take my meds, have breakfast and make a cup of coffee. The horror when I found just one saccharine in the box, I might have to have real sugar (Yay). But no, I found another box of the damn things lifesavers. I came back with my coffee at 6.15 am and it didn’t look like the bomb had dropped at first, just 14 waiting. But after I’d done that first one the post box filled right up. 107 now, 111 next until it rose to 118 with me working as they came.                                                                         I’d made a real dent by the time 9.00 am arrived but I needed to go out to Pauline’s to renew my lottery tickets and get some shopping . When I got back I released Joey from captivity then carried on working. I couldn’t even have my Homes Under the Hammer today and I don’t think Joey is impressed.

Around 11.00 am I found a half of an hour to spend with Joey, cleaning the cage, getting fresh millet, food and water in. He obliged me by coming out so I could get on with it. I had another half hour at work then went to the chippie to get lunch. I could sit with it on my knee and have Bargain Hunt. I couldn’t finish the meal, if that was a small chips I dread to think what the normal or large portions are like. I washed the pots and settled for the auction. Big Mistake ! I was gone from about 12.50 pm to almost 2.00 pm.  I returned to work dreading what I’d see but there were only 43 in the box. Time to start work and solve a murder on the side, oh wait a minute, that was Dr Lucien Blake not me. I must have veered off course to watch it.  I finish the last email for now and decide to take a break, It was almost 4.30 pm so I felt no guilt. I started with Flog It, Joey likes the music, then came the two quizzes the second of which I dropped off in but just for about ten minutes. Joey went quiet.                                                               6.30 pm saw me back in my room on catch up, I was only destined to be there till 8.00 pm though as Thursday is new Big Bang night which was to be followed by The Last Kingdom at 9.00 pm which in turn was to be followed by a very fast sprint to my room for the blog and any remaining mail. No more wrapping tonight.

Mike walked in at about 9.15 am and I missed part of my programme answering “Who’s that and what did he do” questions about it. I gave him a coffee and tried ignoring both him  and the bird. As it ended I went to the kitchen and took my evening meds intending to go back to work. Mike had other ideas as he’d brought along another set of light for me to put in the hall. This time to be attached to the skirting boards and look like landing lights. Luckily they didn’t take too long to set up and should surprise Dil when he arrives next week. So much for my hard work the other day. Anyone in the market for a second hand lamp socket with a clamp for a bedhead? Only one previous owner.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 For some reason when I reached my room I started on the mail first so I persevered and cleared it by 11.20  pm. I’m writing quickly so I can get to bed by midnight.

Friday 11th Dec.

In bed midnight, light off 1.00 am. I woke at 5.15 am in exactly the same place I went to bed. What’s going on? There seems to be no consistency to this plot to send me ga-ga. Or perhaps it’s because Mike was here last night and they wanted no witness to their plans. Not that even the god’s could have woken him up given how many problems I have. Anyway, I went straight through to take my meds and then do the tablet trays for another week. Once that was done I took a pre-foodie, smoked a cigarette to help with timing and then had some cereal for breakfast. Yes, they still shake, rattle and roll snap, crackle and pop as they used too. Things took a turn for the worse when it came to doing coffee. I pierced the top of the pod before it was in exactly the right place. When the water came it was leaking everywhere and discharging coffee ground too. I had to move the machine while still going and mop up with copious amounts of kitchen roll. There was about an inch of coffee left in my mug and I’d have been chewing it. I returned to ‘The Office’ with a Pepsi Max, always my drink of the day.

I almost died of shock when Mike came through at 9.10 am. I finished a couple of messages and joined him in the lounge. Just after half past ( when I turned TV on ) I was asleep.It was only Mike going out at 10.00 am that woke me. Even though I knew I had a shed load of mail I watched Homes Under the Hammer with Joey then I turned off to come back to work. It was about 11.40 am , just before I broke for lunch, when I got a text from my friend Lis asking if I was in as she’d like to drop off my card and prezzie. I sent back “I’m in” and panicked. That usually means I have about 20 minutes before she arrives and though I have all the gifts for the family they’re not wrapped. Wouldn’t you know it, the gifts for Lis and her daughter Charlie are the worst to wrap since they have to go in a gift basket. Out came the baskets, the shredded paper, the polythene, ribbon and cards. Then I had to collect the mini wines and chocs from the kitchen and their main gifts which were in a bag in the big bedroom. I hate wrapping and I’ve never worked so hard at it in my life. I’f finished at midday and breather a sigh of relief.

By 12.30 pm I was a tad worried but also starving so I made my lunch knowing I could stop if she arrived. I finished and ate my lunch, still no Lis. At 1.00 pm I was very worried so sent a text with visions of some ambulance driver reading it. Lis apologised and said both my texts had just arrived and she was on her way home with frozen food. We’ve rebooked for Monday.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I came back to work and tried to hit it hard but when I stopped at 2.15 pm there were 61 still in the list. I was away till 3.10 pm and it had gone to 81. But, my fingers flew over the keyboard and by 5.30 pm I was done. Time to join Joey for some of my quiz and wait to see what time Mike is arriving back tonight.                                                                At 6.00 pm I returned to my room to take on the mail again, I win battles but never wars.  I stayed there until 6.55 pm then returned to watch Antiques Road Trip. I’d just got into the lounge when my phone went, I got a text “On way bro”. I knew to have the kettle on about 8.00 pm. He got in about 8.10 pm and watched the rest of Mastermind with me then washed my hair as I took a shower. Said he felt guilty about a minor angina attack last night after putting my arms over my head to remove the clamped light socket. It’s not as though it was his fault as I chose to do it.

Anyhoo, after my shower I made us both a bit of supper for while we watched ‘Have I Got News For You’ . I hung around to watch the end of a programme on boy bands as it promised the 4 Tops ( I missed them) and the Temptations as well as groups like E17 and Take That. It was quite good. I couldn’t avoid coming through any longer though so I locked Joey in and wished him goodnight. Not too much mail was waiting for a change and it wasn’t long before I could start the blog.I’m looking at an 11.30 pm tonight so I’m rested for the great battle I face in the morning. Getting Mike out of his bed. Volunteers wanted. (Especially if they can wrap prezzies).

Saturday 12th Dec

It turned out to be midnight before I made bed after a visit from Mike about a phone call from his sister in  Canada. After a read it was 1.00  am before the light went out. I dawned again at 4.14 am. I hit the loo (much nicer than missing) then came back fingers crossed to log on. Everything went smoothly. There was quite a bit of mail which I dealt with what I hope was nicely until I came to a post about politics. I generally try to avoid controversy but this morning I couldn’t keep my fingers still, they have a big mouth.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                At 5.30 am I went to take my meds and have breakfast to hold me while out. Shreddies today. Very nice as I haven’t had them in ages. I did the bins and took the bags outside  then came back and collected my coffee. I had half an hour before the commencement of battle.

At 6.30 am I didn’t hear Mike’s alarm but went to make his coffee thinking he’d perhaps forgotten to set it. (See how generous I am with the benefit of the doubt). I woke him when I took the coffee through and had half a conversation to wake him up. He had to use real words and not just grunts. I returned to my room. I heard him swear as the alarm went off at 6.40 am, sigh at 6.50 am and give an annoyed grunt at 7.00 am. It was only then he moved which wasn’t bad I suppose as I’d only called him  the once as I was preoccupied.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Somehow, and don’t ask how, we were still out of the house by 7.30 am and on our way to the supermarket. Mike had a text from his sister in Canada and I suggested he speak to her on the phone while sitting in McDonald’s. While he did  that I went round the store getting what I needed. I’m not sure how the trolley got quite so loaded but when I reached the tills Mike was there and was joking about how much it would cost. He was wrong, it was more and he was even more pleased. If he had his way the moths in my wallet would be getting pneumonia about now.

We moved on from there and Mike pointed out a new shop on the estate where we go to Pets At Home sometimes. We’d gone past by then but he turned round and went back. I spent very little but I did get Joey some stuff from PAH. We headed back towards Flint and stopped at ALDI so I could buy John from MuJo some cherries in Kirsch for his Christmas stocking. Once that was done it was off to park by Temptations. Whilst he nipped in to use the loo I went over to my Homies store and got a couple of things. When we met up a few minutes later it was to get the chocolates from the boot of his car for the girls then go in to order our drinks and crumpets for him today. I had a strange mince pie which had a topping like a Bakewell tart ( and I don’t mean the streetwalker here folks).                                                                                                                           Using all my devious superior charm I managed to get Mike to agree to help me with some wrapping so as soon as we left Temptations we picked up some more paper and some nice labels, got in the car and headed for Holywell for lunch. We went to the Bell’s Cafe (not the Bells of St Mary’s) and had a small roast dinner before going home and unpacking the shopping.

Once everything was away Mike called a break so I came and worked on the mail. I was actually making headway when he came through to start. I got roped in too as he said he was to help not take over. Bloody Barrack room lawyers. We made a start  and did a few , especially the ones that would need to go first. Then when Mike started to wrap a few of his own ( cheek, on my time too) I slipped away to work again. By 5.15 pm I was practically there and was able to join Mike in the lounge. I watched Celebrity Mastermind while he followed his football team on his tablet.  From the occasional loud swear word I could tell how the game was going without taking my eyes of the TV. We had the news, our regular quiz then I fell asleep.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     I came too i time for Detective Murdoch and the rounded the night out with Murder in Paradise (which is excellent) before running back here to start work again. I’ did mail till 10.45 pm then started on this blog post. If there’s time later I’ll try and get through some more.

E.T. comes home again.From mother to son after 20+years.

E.T. comes home again.From mother to son after 20+years.

I'm a poor little lamb who has lost his way, baa, baa, baa.

I’m a poor little lamb who has lost his way, baa, baa, baa.

Have a Good Week everyone. Much joy, Huge Hugs and peace in the World find us all.




Filed under Uncategorized

Surreal Sunday & Thoughtful Thursday.

Sunday 14 th December 2014.

My plans to have the gods annihilate themselves in a series of plots against one another have been temporarily shelved. I got to bed so late, so tired and still unfinished ( my work, not me personally) left me dreading a wake up call before the first bird of the day has even farted, but I found myself lying in until 5.57 am. Practically unheard of.It’s possible that maybe I underestimated Somnos’  aptitude for kindness. I was able to unburden the bladder which was in crisis after the much appreciated rest and then come back to my room and turn the computer on. There were a lot of messages on there but I felt more inclined and better able to face them rested as I was. I know I dealt with the fist two but suddenly I was coming round and it was 7.00 am. Just two messages done in an hour and I slept again? I just don’t remember nodding off or being tired.

It was time to feed the fish, or rather not feed the fish but turn their light on. Today I decided was their day of abstention. Obviously I wasn’t going to eat in front of them either so I was going to be abstemious too. I switched on the light and found myself face to face with Big Al.Then the oddest thing happened, he smiled at me and swam away. Puzzled and not a little suspicious I turned for my meds and made a coffee. Back at my desk a few minutes later I started in on the mail again. I know I managed quite a few and actually cleared the rest of last night’s. So, it was time to do battle with today’s. It was gone 7.30 am and there were a few messages on there but only up to 6.05 when I’d logged on. Against all Odds (Thanks Phil Collins) I cleared them by 9.00 am. I was pretty sure I was safe for a while yet as I could hear Mike snoring in his room. I refreshed.Oh Hell, why did I do that? I got that far ,then nothing.

I came to at 9.35 am and Mike was still in bed, still snoring and the mail was still in my box bar one which I must have opened as I fell asleep.

I am Mr Tom Crist the Calgary Max Lotto Winner of 40 Million

You have been selected to recieve the sum of $ 1 Mill^ion as I have decided to give all of my winnings to charity in honor of my late wife Jan who died of cancer  ,see link for more information http://www.today.com/news/canadian-lottery-winner-donates-40-million-jackpot-charity-2D11777987 kindly Forward Name, Age, Telephone Number, for more info
The same message as last week except for the wording. I’m really angry at these people building up the hopes of others and also for not caring who they write to, as in people like me who lost a wife to cancer. Very cruel. I wished I hadn’t opened that but deleted it straight away. I managed to force myself to do a few more included in which were one to tell me my phone bill hadn’t been paid because they had a problem with my bank, and one which informed me my agreement with Paypal was coming to an end and my bank details needed updating in order to extend it. I hope no-one a little less cynical than me gets these this weekend.

I had to break off just before 10.00 am to wake Mike with a drink. No, not by spilling it on him. He went through to the lounge and I joined him but only after checking to see how much mail was left Just 37. He was cracking the whip this morning so after he’d been to the loo and then finished his coffee we started wrapping presents. We did it until midday then we realised  with the gifts we bought yesterday there just weren’t enough bags. Time to get dressed and then hotfoot it over to Prestatyn. If I go to that shop any more they’ll be charging me ground rent. We got what we needed and also called into Tesco’s or Joe Cohen’s as we call it. I needed some tins and boxes of sweets to go with the presents for The Ivy and Temptations, one for here too. Then it was time to eat. Mike point blank refused to go into M&S after last week’s disaster and he didn’t want Tesco’s because they serve Costa coffee. We took a walk up the High Street. The two places we knew were both closed for some reason so we ended up in a chain Pub for a meal. It was very welcome as the day was bitter and Mike even enjoyed the coffee. There was another reason he didn’t want to look further, SKY TV were showing a match between Man.Utd and Liverpool.

I almost choked when United first scored and Mike cheered. Luckily so did most of the pub as I wouldn’t want to explain his response to a group of Liverpool supporters and I couldn’t run that fast. Once my meal was finished I went out for a walk while Mike watched till half time. I was a way up the road looking at shop windows when Mike’s roar told me United had scored again. At half time he came out and we headed home. We got back at 3.00 pm and I was itching to start my work. I’d hardly been able to keep my eyes open in the car but I felt fine now. Mike set us back on wrapping and putting things in the bags I’d just bought. We did a few and I called a halt with just 5 to go. They nay be the worst but I have a week now ( to find another sucker). I said I’d start work and Mike said he’d do the flowers and then head home. Walking round holding the bunch of flowers must have been just the right amount of subtlety for him. I looked at the inbox and wept LOUDLY another 218 added since 10.00 am. That kept me going until 9.00 pm then I refreshed another 59 which wasn’t too bad. Once this is finished I shall go back and see if I can finish all today’s and give myself a better start in the morning. I think I need to thank Somnos for all the extra sleep for I’m sure it’s he doing it. Am I a cynic in thinking there must be a reason?

I was tempted to go for Tears of a Clown or Tracks of my Tears but I think this one deserved an outing. Smokey rules!


It was a 3.34 am morning following another 1.00 am night. It’s OK though, I’ll probably nap later I thought. So, I got out of bed and went to the loo. On my eventual return I kickstarted the computer or should that be started it with a kick in the hopes it might fix the fan? The messages weren’t at all bad and I knew I could take them steady. However there is one I’d like to share since I’m  being honoured.

Attention Dear.

I Hon ambassador Raymond Johnson, The chief Security officer, Interpol law
enforcement Agency.  I here by passing this information to you that
The Member of Parliament is looking for God fearing person who can be
The Ambassador to the African refugee. The meeting was held yesterday
in the united nation head office in New York. I can stand by it. So
that you can be the
Ambassador to African Refugee.

I want you to forward all your details to me so that united nation Can
put your name in the registration Book, Many  Beneficiary are very
Much interested in this position.

I wait to Hear from you.

Hon. Ambassador Raymond Johnson
the Chief Security Officer.
Interpol law enforcement Agency
New York Office

Unaccustomed as I am, and I never expected this. just let me read from my prepared speech…….       Pray tell me just what these idiots gain by sending out this drivel. I have a few awards from over the years of which I’m quite proud but I don’t think this one will be added to the pile. I worked my way through everything else, did a refresh, opened my second box and by 6.40 am was up to date. I went through to the kitchen. I missed the main light and went straight to the tank and using my hand felt for the switch. Whoosh, the lights were on. Moecambe and Wise came rushing to the front and hearing my dulcet tones hovered around where I was. I could see to plecs but no-one else. Then I opened the hatch. Morecambe and Wise changed position and stationed themselves under it at the top of the tank  while Sharkey did the same at the bottom of the tank. He was quickly joined by Little Al who came flying out of the shipwreck. I glanced through the side of the tank for a better view and could see Big Al poised to leap from the inside of the amphora.I dropped in food for all and closed the lid. As I moved away I saw Big Al dart over and barge Sharkey out of the way to nibble on a pellet.

I went to take my meds. and make myself a cup of coffee. As I wasn’t intending to go out today I didn’t bother having breakfast, I could have (high)tea instead. When I went back to my room I decided to get dressed though to give Pauline the impression that I do sometimes and don’r spend all day in a dressing gown. Then I settled back down to work for a short while but was finished by 8.00 am. I’d tried very hard to take my time to avoid anything else but I couldn’t put it off longer. I had to go wrapping again. First off I did my ex-brother in laws Christmas gift then went to find appropriate paper to wrap his Birthday gift for Boxing Day. Ju and I always felt sorry that as a child he very often got one gift to cover both days from lots of people. Next I chose a difficult one and started wrapping Reuben’s. This was where I made my big decision that next year everyone gets vouchers or at the very least I’m only buying things in easy to wrap boxes. It’s awful when my hands shake and I tear giftwrap just as I’m about to finish. I noticed it was 8.45 am as I was working and Pauline was late. As a matter of fact she still is since she didn’t arrive at all.

Once I’d finished Reuben’s one great big parcel as I got so fed up I had backache and decided to return to my desk. It was 9.30 am and no doubt there would be more post now. There was, and quite a bit. Like yesterday I was doing one message and then the next thing I knew it was 10.15 am and I was awake. It’s like narcolepsy. I so wanted to say catalepsy since anything with cats must be worse right. There’s no awareness of nodding and of tiredness, you’re just gone. I carried on with the mail. This is the next one to greet me and I had it three times today.

Dear Account Holder:

 Your NatWest Account security validation has expired, this maybe as a result of wrong or incomplete data

entered during the last update.

It’s strongly required that you should validate your Account Ownership Security on the link below.                                                                                                                                       If I was elderly or didn’t have my faculties I’m sure this would panic me. In fact it still might if I wasn’t aware I don’t have an account with them. If you get mails like this and send them to the bank’s spamming site they can trace them and shut them down. I know they’ll open up again but they have to create new email addresses for that and eventually they’ll be caught.

At 11.30 I stopped ready to do my lunch. To relax I turned TV on to  a Christmas film and sat down. I was gone again, no warning. It was only for just over half an hour and I was fully awake though a little confused. I made my lunch and had just finished when I had a text to ask if I was in. It was my friend Lis so of course I was in. She was there in about 5 minutes as she’d been heading back from Flint in my direction so had I been out she could have continued home. I was so glad we’d done the wrapping yesterday and bought some bags. Her gifts, Charlie’s gifts and one for Lis’s son Huw were all ready.I had a lovely kiss and a huge hug when she came in. It quite made my day. I made her coffee and we sat and chatted for an hour or so before she was due to a carol concert with her grandson. Another hug and kiss on departure and I was even ready to return to work. I had limited time, It was 1.20 pm and I wanted to watch a programme at 2.15 pm. I refreshed the screen, did one message and zonked for the third time and only came round at 2.20 pm. At this rate I should finish the post by next week. At 3.15 pm I returned determined to make a breakthrough.

By 5.15 I was getting up to date and went for some tea which just for Mike’s sake I’ll admit was the rest of the rhubarb pie with some custard. It would only have gone off otherwise. I saw there was an early film that sounded quite good at 6.50 pm so once I’d eaten I didn’t wait to watch my quiz shows. I managed to get to see the film which starred Channing Tatum who for some reason I thought was a woman. It was quite good. When it ended at 9.00 pm I took my meds and turned everything off at that end and cam back through. So far I’ve managed to stay unzonked. The mail has built up a lot so I’ve done some and then taken a break to do this and will then return to the mail. I’m hoping not to leave much of today’s for the morning as I’m going out to see Yvonne and there will be mounds when I get back.


I was allowed a 3.42 am day. I’m choosing to believe that it wasn’t to ensure just over 2 hours sleep last night but that it’s Somnos’s way of mollifying me by making sure I had adequate time to deal with messages before I went out. Being of a more logical frame of mind I thought it might be better to allow me to lie-in until say 6.00 am after having had a wee word in the ear of the god of the WWW to ensure that no message that doesn’t need an answer, all cons, all adverts and any horoscope vendors take a long walk off a short pier. Still. we have to make the best of what we can get. So, I made the best by going to make liquid offering to the gods. Once back the computer went on straight away. It was certainly not as bad as I feared, less than 100 all told and I could see straight away two were to tell me another non-existent account has been suspended pending me losing all my marbles and confirming all my details for them. I’m fairly sure that the speed with which I disposed of those two makes me the fastest draw around.

At 6.15 am I ‘d cleared them all though I hadn’t refreshed the box. I thought I’d get the kitchen out of the way and then get dressed and see how much time I had left. Looking at the tank with the kitchen light on all looked completely normal. I turned on the tank light and opened the hatch. As I did , something sailed past me. Thinking it might be one of the fish I scrabbled about on the floor until I howled in pain after kneeling on a small hard snail. I don’t understand it. Was the snail going up the glass at a rate of knots and didn’t meet a barrier or has Big Al got the others producing ballista now? I’d crushed the snail so in the bin it went. I limped to the tank to feed them and caught sight of Big Al with his back to me going into the amphora and I’m sure he was laughing. Morecambe and Wise played innocent and came to be fed while Sharkey hovered  a short way away, his raspberry tinge making him look embarrassed. Of little Al there was no sign and the plecs are just inscrutable  ( I do have an ointment for them though).

I took my meds ( don’t worry missus, I’m calm again now) and decided since I didn’t know what would happen today, I’d have breakfast before going out. I had the pre-food tab, lit a cigarette and sat in the lounge for a few minutes out of the way of any more missiles. Time up, I had some cereal and a slice of toast. I had the two after food tablets , washed the pots and went back to my room with a coffee. Before settling again I got washed and dressed. There was three quarters of an hour before I needed to go for the bus so there was time to drink my coffee and see to a few more messages. I refreshed. A mere 29, brilliant. I’d done those, washed my mug and got my coat on in nice time. I collected the bag I was taking with me of Christmas bedding I’d bought Yvonne for a laugh and her birthday present from MuJo plus some books I’d got for Reuben. It wasn’t raining too badly as I locked up and set off so that was a good sign. It was a few minutes before the bus was due so I had to walk all the way to the bus stop this time. I was gasping by the time I got there.It doesn’t look like much of a hill but it’s quite deceiving.

I’d just about made it when the bus arrived and I climbed aboard before the rain came down in earnest ( a town a few miles away). I had an hour now to compose myself and catch a few Zzz’s if possible. I didn’t see most of the journey today as I had my eyes shut and I was glad of it since the bus got very crowded and someone was sitting toe to toe with  me. When I felt her move There was a terrible waft that overcame her perfume and I deduced a bad stomach ( Alimentary my Dear Holmes) I opened my eyes and we were in Chester. I just had to strap the crutches on , ignore the people scrunching up their faces as they went past me, pick up my bag and leave. I was in a particular hurry as I was still holding my breath. Yvonne and Reuben were waiting. His pushchair was surrounded by pigeons and he was feeding them something. As soon as he saw me he dropped whatever it was and pointed. I hoped he wasn’t pointing at the foul air that still hung round me.

Our usual cafe wasn’t open yet so as usual we paid a visit to the £1 shop to pickup wet wipes and things of that ilk before going for a drink. The cafe is inside a clothing store so we went up in the lift where we let Reuben out of his trolley and he and I walked had in hand to a table while Yvonne went up and ordered. They were having breakfast of toast and jam and since I refused she got me a latte in the super giant economy size which meant by the end I needed the loo and was pushing little old ladies out of the way with my crutches. While they finished up at the table I had a wander down to the gents section and found a dressing gown for Ugo in a Star Wars theme. I picked up something I knew Yvonne wanted to get and made her write me an IOU before letting her have it. We left there and made our way to a different £1 shop that had some decorations she wanted and which also sells my favourite (of the moment) sweets, we seemed to have armfuls of stuff and I found it quite difficult to barge her out of the way at the counter so I could pay. The usual moans, I’ll never understand that girl.

Next on the list was a bit of a walk away and was the new B&M store, usually known as bum bargains near the market. We had a fine time in there but she wouldn’t let me pay. I did buy her a dressing gown too though. It took us a long time going round that particular shop as it’s quite large so kit was approaching lunch time. I gave her the option of going home now and I’d catch my bus or of going for a drink and some lunch and I’d catch the next one. She chose the latter so I suggested the cafe within the market. Roobs didn’t seem keen on this choice and set his siren going, even when I put him standing on my knees. I know he wanted the freedom to run around but the place was crowded so we entertained each other with mouth noises. I had bacon, chips and beans and Yvonne chose something between them which he just wasn’t interested in. To be fair , he wasn’t interested in mine either though my tablets appealed to him. I was mean and refused him. He even threw chocolate on the floor which caused Yvonne to faint- nearly anyway. In there Yvonne sorted the bags into mine and hers. It was laughable. I had two small ones, and one of those she’d brought with her for me. She had the rest. They were on the arm of the pushchair which when she let go to put her hat on, tipped up in the air. That entertained Reuben but she couldn’t do it all the way home. I made her depart and go home rather than wait with me because she had so much stuff. She turned it into an argument about coming to see me on Christmas day and I said no, I’d see her boxing day. “I’m waiting with you now then” she said. “No”, “Yes” it went. In the end I said I had to go to the loo anyway so she might as well go.

I caught my bus and was at home not long after 2.00 pm. I let her know I was back safely and she opened hostilities via text now. “Yes”, “No” I think I’ll go out somewhere that day.They’re off to Birmingham to see Ugo’s Ma and family and I’m in totally the wrong direction. I’ll see them all the following day. And if you’re reading this, That’s That !! Finito.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            There was no chance I could see my afternoon play so I just ploughed into the work. Almost 200 emails in my queue. Thanks for that. It took me till 5.30 pm tp make real headway and then I had a break for tea until 6.30 pm and back at it with the new ones that had arrived. That saw me through until 9.00 pm and I took a break till 10.15 pm when I came to do this post. Now it’s back to the mail again and hopes of a pre-midnight bedtime.

Nature Trail

Nature Trail


More Nature trail

More Nature trail


I dreamed last night. Its not often that happens. I knew it must be a dream because I was walking through the grass in bare feet and they weren’t getting wet from the dew. As I suspected there was Porcinus sitting on a low wall whistling. I walked over and stopped in front of him. “Well Porky, who are you running messages for today? Let me guess, it’s still that little  beggar Somnos.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “You know full well my name is Porcinus David, and as a god I don’t run messages for anyone. But, I am here on behalf of my brother , yes. he wonders, we wonder if you’ve given thought to our proposition. There are thousand of people ready to jump at the opportunity if you don’t.”                                                                                           “I want to ask you a question and would appreciate an honest answer. How many people turned you down before you came to me?”                                                                    “Erm, I’m not sure of the exact numbers, but a few.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     “Doesn’t that give you the impression that maybe people don’t want to be the advertising executive of the gods because they don’t want gods?”                                            “Oh I’m sure that couldn’t possibly be true. I think they were all just very busy at the time whereas we know you’re not busy these days.”                                                        “Ouch, that one hurt. Thousands of years you’ve been here and can you name one good thing you’ve done? As far as I can see the gods squabble a lot and in the old days your followers made war on someone else’s followers causing mayhem.”                                                                                                                                                                                  “Oh no, our followers have never fought anyone else’s. We’re quite new and still small which is why we need the publicity. Followers make us grow. At the moment I only have two, an old swineherd in Mongolia and a young girl who daydreams a lot.”                                                                                                                                                                     ” Well,  nice talking to you Porky, I don’t think you need get much bigger and have to create priests and temples. I’ll be heading back to bed now, say Hi to Somnos for me.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                “So I can tell him you’re still thinking about it then? Can you still hear me David, goodnight?

I woke up not long after that. It was 4.41 am Fair play, I had to give the little man credit for trying but he’s on a hiding to nothing if he thinks I’ll help introduce new gods to the world. We seem to have enough problems between the followers of the ones we’ve got already, even though some say it’s the same chap with different names. I started on my mail and worked till 6.45 am then went and saw to the fish. Now their god is the most reasonable of men, definitely not a god of war though sometimes a god of defence when Big Al is in a mood. He was in a mood this morning. I don’t know what had upset him but he was at the far end of the tank looking in the reflective glass and chunnering to himself. As far as is possible with a fish he even seemed to have his shoulders hunched. At least it wasn’t me this time.

After feeding the fish I took my meds, had some breakfast and made my coffee. I took it back through and got dressed. As soon as the first lot of messages were done at 9.30 am I went to Pauline’s. When I got back there were a couple of parcels I needed to wrap for Yvonne. A bloody cone shape she gave me to wrap, how clever is she getting out of that one. Once I’d bagged those I needed to do a couple more for my own benefit and then came back to work. I regretted refreshing the screen straight away but there was nothing for it, the work had to be done. It took me until 11.50 am to clear than last batch and suddenly it was lunchtime. I treated myself to some bacon sandwiches and watched Bargain Hunt. I found I wanted to fall asleep before the auction but I persevered as I wanted to catch the new Australian show at 2.15 am. I think I was on the point of nodding off when someone posted something through the letterbox. A card from a neighbour I’ve never met. It woke me enough to start work and I kept going until it was time to break again. At 3.15 am I was back but knew it was only until 5.00 pm as I haven’t had a message to say Lee isn’t coming. At least I managed to clear the backlog by then.

I was sitting in the lounge when I saw what I thought was a very fat fly crawling on the radiator, then fall down behind it. I was surprised to still see flies at this time of year. Lee arrive and brought a gift for under my tree. We chatted about his work, his wife (my Jen) and the family when suddenly he saw near him the same creature I’d seen only it was a very fat wasp. I’m even more surprised now. He caught it in a cup and set it down in the garden. Like me he doesn’t care to kill things. Not long after that Dil and Matt arrived so it was time to set up the table. They dealt with their hello’s and news while I made drinks then for a change I got the Scrabble out.Two games we had, in my case two unmitigated disasters I struggled even to come last in one. This is not how things are meant to be. We were about to start on Nomination when for some reason I thought of Chase the Lady ( Hearts on a computer). We had two games of that too. Considering Dil and I are past masters at this we were thrashed in the first game and I only came third, I think Matt won but the second game I won. Hallelujah, the night was not a total washout.

They left at 9.30 pm and I tidied up and washed the pots as usual before coming through. It took me till 11.00 pm to finish the first batch of mail then I refreshed and let out a girlie scream when I saw the numbers. I carried on for half an hour then broke off to do the blog. It’s now 12.20 am and as soon as I’m done here I’ll go back to the mail to leave a clear run for the morning.

Exhausted- all shopped out.

Exhausted- all shopped out.


It’s possible that maybe I was a little hard on Porcinus in yesterday’s dream. If so, it appeared I was to pay for it now. I’d turned my light off a 1.15 am thi morning and there I was waking up with a desperate need to pass water ( no, not the stream over the road) at 2.30 am. Even I thought it was a bit much. Returning from the loo I’d declined to sign on the computer but slipped back into a still warm bed and managed to fall back into sleep. Maybe Porcinus had a few regrets too since I slept until 5.56 am.I haven’t slept like that in ages. Since I didn’t need the loo just yet, the computer didn’t have to wait. Joy of joys, there weren’t even too many messages. I worked till 7.00 am and took a break.

I turned the kitchen light on first before approaching the tank to give them chance to adjust to my being there. On went the tank light and all of the fish moved to congregate round Big Al who was at the front of the tank. He seemed to be directing thinks with his gills. It took me a moment to realise what the cheeky beggar was doing, he was usurping my authority, claiming to be me, the Bringer of Light and Food. Under the thumb I might be but no way was I having that. While he was still in  full flow I turned the light back out. For the next 15 minutes taking my meds and getting some breakfast occupied my attention. As soon as that was done I started brewing my coffee and stepped back over to the tank. Big Al had moved away to his favourite corner but the rest were still fairly close to the front. I brought my face down level with the front so I could be clearly see then turned the light back on. While they were still giving me a little attention I opened the hatch and dropped food in. Let’s see him  equal that one. I took my coffee back to my room. I remembered to check last night’s lottery. Nada. Then it was time to get dressed. I’d no intention of setting foot outdoors until I go for new lottery tickets tomorrow morning, but if anyone called I didn’t  want them to think me completely idle. By 10.00 am the mail was cleared. I felt like nodding off but that would be too easy. The postman knocked and brought a parcel which comprised a gift for under the tree from a friend in South Wales. It reminded me of those that still needed to be wrapped so I tied heading in the opposite direction. It didn’t work so I buckled down and wrapped the gifts for my nieces Karen and Jo. That leaves just two to go now so maybe if the mail is as good tomorrow……….

At 11.00 am I came back through and refreshed the screen. Still only 35. I knocked those out by 11.50 am and decided to have lunch. By the time everything was ready it was time for Bargain Hunt so I settled down to watch. Amazingly I was still awake at the end. I went back to work. I wanted to be free by 2.15 pm so I rushed through the new batch of mail and made it easily. I’ve never had a day like this. I watched my programme in comfort and never worried once about a backlog. When I returned to the screen things were much the same. Post had come in but nothing excessive . Maybe the Christmas spirit is keeping people away from the computer, ah, but what happens when they sober up? The work was done again and there was time to watch some of my quizzes so I went through at 5.30 pm. I don’t want to be too greedy as the new Big Bang episode is on at 8.30 pm I thought.Just at that point Mike sent me a text to say he was on his way. I shall have to make sure I work a tad harder to make sure I’m free for about 8.00 pm to prepare his mug for when he walks in so we can both see it. He walked in at 7.30 pm.  I swear he’s trying to catch me smuggle a woman out. Heck, most of them run out screaming.

I did his coffee and we sat chatting about his week, then horror of horrors I found there was no Big Bang Theory it having been taken off in favour of a Transformers Movie. Sacre Bleu! If I were King this would be grounds for a charge of Treason. Instead we watched a make-over programme called DIY S.O.S. which is always well done and in a good cause. This time it was in Wales and closer to my heart. I must get the fires checked for fumes tomorrow as towards the end both Mike and I found our eyes leaking. I decided to take some more time and we watched a programme on Richard II, the most vicious of the Plantagenet Kings. He  was probably a pussy cat next to me though. At 10.00 pm I had to call a halt to all the jollity and stop skiving. Back through here and nose to the grindstone because 3 hours post had built up. By 11.00 pm I’d not quite done half so decided to break off to start the blog and bring the music choice of the day to you before Friday gets here.


I turned my light off at 12.45 am last night an settled down. I don’t think it took long to go to sleep but when I did I’m sure it was deep. When I woke I wasn’t sure I felt ready to get up and one glance at the clock soon gave birth to the reason for that , it was 1.28 am. There was the hint of a snigger in the air. I sat on the edge of the bed and smoked a cigarette hoping somebody other than me would choke before I tried going back to bed. The minor victory of seeing me discomfited must have been enough for when I tried again I was allowed an extra 3 hours until 4.28 am. It was so much easier to get up the second time. There was the usual trip to the loo when I thought I was losing so much fluid I was in danger of dehydrating, and of turning to dust like Dorian Gray. I could feel the ridges forming on my face until I remembered that was age. Back in my room I gave the wondrous power of electricity to my computer and it came to  life like one of Frankenstein’s experiments. Withing the first ten messages there were two telling me of disruptions to talktalk and warning me it had caused problems with my personal information which needed checking. Naturally they supplied a link. In the next ten I had notice that a bank account was suspended because my info had been corrupted. One more a little further was from paypal to say I’d received a payment. If I didn’t claim it now it would be returned. I had a real warm glow knowing I was responsible for keeping so many people in employment.

I worked until 6.30 am a it’s the day for doing my weekly drugs. First job, the fish.When I turned the light on they were in a frenzy. They were zipping every which way with the exception of my big plec which was just working it’s way up the front glass cleaning as it went. Whatever appeared to have affected the others it clearly hadn’t touched him at all. That he didn’t have a calming effect, especially on the other two plecs led me to think this was some ploy of Big Al’s though I had no idea what he’d gain from it unless he thought I would panic. I have learned from my grandson though the beneficial effects of bribery and opened the hatch to drop food in. As the first pieces dropped the motion seemed to waver then slow. By the time the rest was in there was only Big Al still moving. Other than jaws that is.

I moved over to take my tablets and sprays and prepared my cup for coffee. Now the tablet container was empty and ready to receive I went to get my meds drawer from one of the units in the lounge. As I was filling the container I was marking a repeat prescription of the drugs I needed next week. I usually have a new batch every other week for a month at a time half the drugs one request and half the drugs the other. I’d hate to  strain the delivery man. As soon as I’d done that I made a drink and went to get dressed.At 8.50 am I went back through to prepare Mike’s mug and once the kettle had boiled I made him a coffee and took it through. It took two calls to get through to him but when I heard him say “You’re good to me you are” I actually thought he was awake and left him. It was time to get my shoes and coat on and go for my lottery plus I needed fresh bread and some milk. As I moved towards the front door I could see he hadn’t moved so I called again to remind him the drink was there and I wouldn’t be out long. I left. By the time I had what I needed and returned Mike was up and in the lounge. I’d wanted him up so he’d be on the way to his Dad’s early since he’d mentioned a few problems this week.

Mike left at 10.00 am and I went back to work. Things were quite steady up till almost midday when I stopped for lunch. The fact that it was Friday had escaped me and it was lucky I’d finished eating when one of the wardens arrived. I asked if there was any chance of getting out early for good behaviour but she didn’t seem very sympathetic to my cause. We sat and wagged our chins a bit then I gave her a box of chocolates as she left. Maybe she’d put in a good work for me with the parole board. I had the last few minutes of Bargain Hunt then returned to work. I wanted to be free by 2.15 pm and  I was, with fifteen minutes to spare. I think that was the last episode of the Australian serial I’ve been watching. Once I’d gone back to keep up with the mail I found it easy going and when I got a surprise text from Mike at 3.30 pm to say he was setting off I knew I’d be free for him coming in. I stopped at 5.15 pm and went to put the kettle on. I had a quick bowl of cereal then turned TV on for my quiz. Mike came in at just after 5.30 pm and sat telling me about his day before we watched Eggheads together. Then it was Big Bang Theory albeit an old one. At 7.00 pm Mike washed my hair and I took a shower. After an episode of Mastermind I came back through knowing the last 3 hours wouldn’t have been as kind as earlier in the day. I regret to say I was right . But with so much headway throughout the day I wasn’t worried. Early night tonight, early shopping in the morning.


I’m in a cleft stick today. I want to complain bitterly that I was left in bed so late this morning with so much mail coming through, but, one sly smirk and a look of innocence followed by a treacle voice saying “But I wanted to treat you to a lie-in David, You work such long hours.” would have me blowing my top and probably spending the next 50 years with my eyelids stitched open. Mmm, 50 more years, would it be worth it?

6.16 am when I  woke up and swung my legs out of bed. I was not a happy bunny. By the time I’d been for a morning pee I had time to do only 3 pieces of post before it was time to dress, go through to the kitchen, completely forget the fish, put the kettle on to make Mike a drink, have my morning meds and make myself a drink. By the time my coffee was ready the kettle had boiled and I took a drink through to Mike to coincide with his alarm going off. I made sure that I got his attention by repeating myself with just a small gap between then went back to the kitchen. Moments later the shuffle of feet told me that I was either suffering a zombie invasion or Mike was up. As I hadn’t unlocked the front door, Mike seemed the most likely though I wasn’t sure how I’d tell. If I went back through to work, Mike would sit here forever. If I stayed sitting here too long I’d get into a bigger panic about the work. I did the only thing I could, get sarcastic. Nothing wakes him quicker. He nipped to the loo, came back and finished his drink on the run and then went to get dressed. I gathered the recycling bags ready to take them out. We’d emptied the main bin and the food waste last night in readiness.

Once I’d got my coat on I went back towards the kitchen to collect the shopping bags and the gifts we were taking out with us. Mike just stood there and asked ” Not bothering with the fish today then?” My stomach sank, I was 40 minutes late. I walked in backwards, felt for the switch to the tank, pressed it and walked out again.  “You rank coward, aren’t you feeding them?” he asked. “No” I replied, “this is their fast day.” As we left we dragged all the refuse to the end of the path and carried on to the car. It was really bitterly cold this morning. We managed the trip in time to get to the supermarket for 8.00 am. I got money from the machine while Mike got a trolley and then poor soul had a coughing fit. Once he’d recovered we headed inside where it was warmer even in the freezer aisles. The trolley seemed to get more filled than usual despite there being no clothes or gifts in it this time and Mike held me up when the woman announced it came to over £10 this week. Wen she said how much more my knees didn’t want to work. Luckily after we’d bought cigarettes, Mike let me sit down with a coffee. An iced one.

From there we took our usual route to Flint and got a couple of things from Home Bargains before making our way to Temptations. My they were busy this morning. There was a long queue which I joined while Mike nipped to the loo. Kyle and one of the new young ladies were on the counter but Ceri came downstairs from the sandwich making part before I reached the front. As she filled the order I passed the bag with staff gifts over and their chocolates. Mike and I sat down with a drink and waited for the teasted toecakes.  As the queue disappeared there was a lot of joking going on (what’s new) which obviously surrounded Christmas. Ceri made a remark about wondering what Santa would bring her this year and I suggested she look in the bag. She asked if it was OK to open it and when we said it was up to her, she did. There was a squeal of delight at the bracelet we’d got her. Great, I was so glad she liked it. We left there knowing Ceri would give out the other gifts and headed for one more shop where Mike found himself a very swish jacket. There was one I liked too which claimed to be a 46 that wouldn’t go anywhere near me.        ( One more comment like that and I’m coming for you) Mike made some remark about me being bigger than I’ll admit and for a minute the air turned blue. I suggested he try it and he’s a 42″ chest. He couldn’t get it on either and had to eat some words. Obviously some things are European marked sizes.

The time was getting on as I left there and we decided to carry straight on for lunch before going home so set sail for the Ivy. The car park  was quite full and when we got in both our usual seats were occupied. Horror. We went to the counter to complain and Angie leaned over to give us a kiss each then young Rob passed behind us and kindly squeezed my shoulder.Mike passed the bag of gifts over and the sweets. Angie set Rob to making the drinks while Mike and I found a new seat. I had to badger him to decide what he wanted to eat and while he was faffing both Shella and Tariq passed behind us and said hello. Tariq stopping for his usual hug of course. Once I had Mike’s order I went and made the request so I could take my pre-food tab and then go for a cigarette. Mike joined me. When we’d gone back in and settled, lunch came and I asked Tariq if he’d play Santa with the gifts so that everyone had the chance to decide whether they wanted to open them today or at Christmas. He did that and all voted to take it home for under their tree. When lunch was over I paid and got hugs and kisses from all as did Mike before Tariq showed us his new computer and printer set-up for doing prints, T-shirts and photographs etc. Very impressive. He said if I ever want to come and sit there all day I’m welcome. We came home.

From about 2.30 pm to 5.30 pm when Mike called me I was solidly trying to hack away at the accrued post of the day, over 200. I made some headway but couldn’t quite finish. I could only stay with him until 8.00 pm before my nerve broke and I had to come back through. By 9.45 pm I was almost there then I made the mistake of refreshing. Oh well. only myself to blame. I had a break at 11.00 pm to do the blog and if there are lots of errors it’s because I’m typing with my fingers crossed that everyone stops posting tonight. Tomorrow we venture into MuJo territory to deliver gifts.

Have a Great New Week.


Filed under Uncategorized

Darts Practice & Half and Half Insanity.


I managed a 4.56 am today which means I slept almost 4 hours. Wow, aren’t you all jealous? ( Sorry, just stopped to wipe the sarcasm off my chin ). Usually I’m quite happy with that and I was at first, but the longer I was up the tireder (more tired ) I got.  After the usual trip to the loo I got to work on the emails. When you first look it seems to be OK but after an hour they don’t seem to be any less and if you press the refresh button OMG I swear you get more than the load you just did. It’s self-perpetuating. I’m sure Confucius must have pronounced on it at some stage, Email have veritable life of their own, If you not watch, they breed behind scenes.  I’m sure General Sun Tzu would have also had wise words about defence from such an onslought. Me, I’m such a pacifist I treat them all as worthy of reading, even when they’re from every fraud around the globe with emphasis on Nigeria. Hmm, I wonder whether my psychic predicted that.

At 7.00 am, just to save me hitting my chin on the desk I went through to the kitchen. Big Al was swimming and didn’t stop even when the light went on, or when I stuck my ugly mug up against the glass to scare him. The biggest plec who I shall now call Big Tony ( no reason) must have thought I looked like algae as he plonked himself on the piece of glass my nose was touching. I got so cross-eyed trying to look at him I almost fell over. Big Al just carried on swimming like I wasn’t there. I fed them just to get Tony off my nose. After taking my meds I prepared Mike’s mug for later (Much later ) and made my own coffee to take through. Drinking it at my desk revived me enough to carry on. There were some nice comments to last night’s blog and I thank you all very much for that. To be honest I’ve been feeling that the humour has dropped off a lot lately though Yvonne assures me her daddy is as funny as always. I have been thinking of giving it up and concentrating on tweeting for authors and doing the odd interview ( yes I know, all my interviews are odd).

At 9.30 am just before I nodded off over the keyboard I took my mug through to wash. At this point I decided to have a wash to freshen myself up a bit but I wasn’t concerned about getting dressed. I took Mike a drink in at 9.50 am and warned him it was almost 10.00 am, which makes me a liar he says. I repeated myself about 3 times so he had to grunt three times in response. I was hopeful that was enough to wake him as his night had been a reasonable length even though he’d not been well before he went to sleep. I think he was overtired. When I went to the loo during the night I could see him through his open bedroom door and he was snoring for Britain. My repetitions must have had an effect as he came into the lounge within about 5 minutes. It was another half hour before he could speak but at least he was up. He asked how I was getting on trying to buy this special gift for Yvonne and when he heard I was having no success offered to take us into Flint to look in a Catalogue Returns Shop. So, at 11.15 am we were both dressing as rapidly as possible ( underpants can look good on your head when you have my style) ready to go out. I was in my posh frock today, Sunday best.

We had no luck in that shop either though I found a great sports jacket in Mike’s size and he really liked it. We both chipped in for it and I got him a snazzy pair of trousers to keep here as he sometimes forgets to bring something nice to wear if we go out. We took the opportunity ( naturally) to go round another shop while we were there and picked up some chocs for Angie and Rob. I’d already put a tub in the car for everyone. At 12.20 pm we started our journey to The Ivy. Tariq was dressed much better today but looked really harrassed. It was Angie who took the drinks order and Rob who brought them over. I’m determined to get him to hug as a greeting. Tariq said hello and brought a piece of wood to show Mike as a suggestion as to what his frames should be made from. Very nice, Mike agreed. It will be ordered. Mike ordered a cauliflower cheese dish with bacon and I had a breakfast brunch today. We took our time and I was glad to see the place fill up quite nicely. It’s great to see the repeat custom. Next Sunday is the day we take Mike there for a birthday lunch ( what a change) so there will be 5 adults, Mike and Reuben there.

Mike wasn’t in a rush today as he saw his father on Friday. When we got back from lunch we just spent a companionable period in the lounge. Mainly Mike accompanied his snores and I accompanied mine. We must have slept for an hour and when I woke at 4.00 pm Mike was surfacing too. I had a hard time coming round. Mike said it was time for him to go while there was still some light. I waved him off at the door and turned round to see how bad the mail was. Needless to say I haven’t been through to see any TV at all this evening. It’s now 11.35 pm and there is still mail in my boxes. I’ll give it a few more minutes then call it a night.



Happy Rubes 1




I rose and shone at 3.51 am. Actually the only thing that shone was my torch as I used it to scan the floor for obstacles designed to trip me or stub my toe. You may well mock me but such things exist and are placed there during the night by some unknown organisation who’ve never forgiven us for leaving shoes out to be repaired at night. I blame Hans Christian Anderson myself. I turned the computer on and set about dealing with the mail. Apart from two banks who would like me to update my information there were also two sales on that wouldn’t let me look at their stuff until 7.00 am, maybe they should stop sending out their emails until that time then. The rest of the mail was my normal, sensible, work ready for commenting on and tweeting.

By 5.30 pm I noticed I was going blind. Then I realised I was yawning so widely my lips were covering my eyes. I was tired but it wasn’t worth going back to bed and then having to get up again for the fish. I decided to hang on until about 6.30 am an do everything at once. That’s a plan.  I struggled on and at the appointed time went through to the kitchen narrowly being missed by a charity clothing bag which came sailing though the letterbox. I put food in for the fish but there was no sign of Big Al this morning. I didn’t think I had time for hide and seek. Then on automatic pilot I took my drugs, for some reason including my diabetic one which meant I had to wait 15 minutes and put some toast on. As the toast was doing I made a coffee ready to take the after food tabs, it was ready as the toast was. I had strawberry jam on the toast then washed the plate and took the two tablets with my coffee.. By now of course the yawning has stopped and I don’t feel like going back to bed. Back into dealing with the post.

It was 8.45 am before Pauline came this morning. I wasn’t feeling too good at all so after she told me she needed to leave early and go to a doctor’s appointment, I explained I wasn’t well and just asked her to give a general tidy where it was needed. I knew last week she’d mentioned cleaning the kitchen windowsill which was good. I lay down on the bed and to show I was serious turned off the overhead light. The pain gripped. Spray, it went, leaving a headache as always. I started to nod when a cupboard door slammed and I came awake. There were more noises, probably worse because I felt delicate like a big hangover leaves you. I started to nod again and heard my voice called. Pauline was letting me know she was going now. I got up and paid her, closed the door after her and took my mug through to the kitchen to wash it. I did the windowsill while I was there.

Back to the computer to catch up on post and also to check ebay to see if I’m having any luck. That would be a NO then so I decided to pay for a few things in my trolley and make the Christmas list smaller still. I really couldn’t be bothered getting dressed today so I soldiered on till lunchtime then went through to make something. It was after I’d finished and dealt with the washing up that sleep came. Just when they were about to take their purchases to the auction in my antiques show. I slept for an hour and a half and when I saw it was 2.30 pm I jumped up like a scalded cat and roped to the bedroom ( part ran-part loped) and got my tissues ready for when I saw the in boxes. Two packets I used. My next victim interviewee had written with his answers and had also included the entrance exam  for getting into Cambridge in the form of some questions for me since I stupidly bravely agreed to an interview too. I’ve done so many there’s nothing new to say except a change in clothes size from too many bad meals. It took forever to complete the questions and prepare my page for the morning before I was able to tackle the backlog. I broke off at 4.30 to 6.00 pm for a break then right back into it. I need to stay on top of it tonight and get some sleep as it’s flu jab day tomorrow and I might even try a little bit of shopping.

listen with mother 8 USE

Happy Rubes 8

And finally, this song is for Reuben. I really dislike it but it suits him to the ground.


I crawled out of my pit this morning at 4.17 am. I should laugh now as I know that Christoph Fischer beat me by almost an hour and had to take his dogs for a walk. The fish may have me under the thumb but at least I don’t have to do that for them. I felt like death warmed up but I couldn’t go back to bed as it’s the darts match this morning when we find out which arm is being given he flu this year. I have two questions for you all.

1. Do all writers get up at insane times?

2. Why does he flu jab always feel like you’ve been kicked by a shire horse? I don’t even know which flu we’re fighting this year. Oi, you at the back, there was no need of that remark about it being swine flu so why do I need a jab?

My first job after getting rid of Lake Tanganyika was to publish the interview I did of Christoph. I always try and put them out on Tuesdays so they’re up for a few days. I had another go at correcting the font size which for some reason gets converted to ‘Granny needs a magnifying glass’  in some places by WordPress. When I do the interview it’s all the same size and same font and I cut and paste it over so it should remain the same. Nope, every time I change it, it changes back. My only problem with WordPress is they don’t allow you access to font sizes, at least not on the free blogs. People were obviously about in other countries as the comments started coming in quite soon, There have been quite a lot of likes from new (to me) bloggers all day.

At 6.30 am I went through to the kitchen. No sign of movement as I put the light on. I wonder if I’ve finally broken the will of Big Al . He stayed in his corner brooding as I fed them. Mind you there’s so much weed these days, finding him is getting harder and him finding the food is like a metal detectorist finding a horde of  Saxon treasure. It’s been done, but not often. Backing away to ensure my safety I headed for my morning drugs and sprays. I stood on my left leg to take them and held the right leg up. That’s where all the weight seems to be now so I’ll let some gather in the left leg for a while. Also, if Big Al is looking he may think it’s a Kung Fu move called ‘The Stork’ and get worried. Because I felt I was fading fast I thought the condemned man should have one last meal so I put some toast on and had jam with it again. I took my coffee through and continued with my post. Nothing stupid so far.

I stopped work at 8.30 am and got dressed. It’s been a foul night for wind no, gales, I’m not having rude jokes here. The rain has been coming down too. At 9.00 am I left to catch the bus. My appointment is for 9.57 am, how specific is that ! I expected a bus at 9.15 am but one drew up as I arrived which was going the right way so I took that. I was in town for jut after 9.10 am and in the surgery for 9.20 am. It wasn’t nice enough to wander round the shops first so I thought it better to be dry. I logged myself in through the date of birth screen and took a seat. I’d only just got comfy when I was called. I had to look at the sheet to make sue it wasn’t someone else with my name (The very idea) but it was me. I was assaulted, done and dusted before 9.25 am. The sister told me to sit out front for 5-10 minutes for what sounded like in case I was needed. I gave them two minutes and left. I don’t trust the surgery not to have booked me in with a doctor.

I lit up a cigarette just outside the surgery gates an wandered back towards town where I visited one of the Lidl supermarkets and bought a few bits and bobs for MuJo, especially her marzipan chocolate she likes so much. As I came out there was a bus waiting at the bus station ( a grand name for two islands in the street). I caught that and was home before my appointment was actually due. I visited Pauline’s for bread and cigarettes before going in. I knew the post would have accumulated while I was out but thought I’d catch up easily. Before I could start there was a knock and my postie delivered a parcel which tuned out to be part of Muriel’s Christmas present. I think there will be deliveries every day this week now.

I started work and struggled on until 11.30 am when I decided on pizza for lunch. After doing what I needed to, I settled down with my programme but was asleep by 12.30 pm and it was almost 2.00 pm before my eyes opened again. That was it, sheer panic now. I flew to the bedroom, opened the mil boxes and felt even worse. I had to struggle on even though my eyes kept closing and my chin hitting my chest. I couldn’t catch up. I think it’s all your fault Christoph. At 4.30 pm I had to close it down again and go through as Ugo and Reuben could be here any minute. If I don’t go to Chester on a Tuesday morning, they come here at night. It was raining and I saw Ugo come into sight, carrying the open pushchair in one hand and a wriggling son in the other. I headed for the door but they beat me. Ugo put Reuben down and I held my arms open, Reuben came to me. I carried him through to the lounge an started doing our usual which is pointing out all the photographs and saying who they are, and showing himself in the mirror and saying where’s Reuben?

The minute I put him down the mayhem started. While Ugo and I were catching up, Reuben was systematically emptying my table top and trying to make phone calls on the TV remote which just meant turning the TV off or changing channels. He seemed to have an awful lot of hands for one little boy. When Ugo went off to get tea a few minutes later it was just Reuben and I left. I remembered a joke handbell I’d used for Ju when she was ill so I took him through to get it. Great , he was like Quasimodo on speed except I don’t think Quasimodo tried to swallow his bells. By the time Ugo came back I had a real ringing in my ears. Ugo had bought me some chips with curry sauce which I really enjoyed and Reuben got a very small fish and chips which Ugo fed him. All was going well until Ugo removed a pen from Reuben’s hand- very gently. The tantrum that followed had to be seen to be believed. Screams, going rigid, not breathing and going ed in the face, and that was just Ugo. Reuben was much worse with tears like someone had just murdered his pet dog.You just have to remain calm during this rather than react so I think I fell asleep again.

They left about 6.15 pm to get Reuben home for bath and bed. I had the last quarter hour of Eggheads before coming back through to the bedroom where I’ve been ever since. Help I’m being held prisoner. I broke off the post to do the blog while my eyes are still open- just. I’ll go back for a last few minutes then I must get some sleep so I’m on form for games night tomorrow, The enemy are winning too many.

Superboy remembers he's not wearing his costume.

Superboy remembers he’s not wearing his costume.


Well, you can take your pick about this morning. I got up at 1.45 am convinced it was 7.45 am. I went back to bed sharpish. I got up at 2.17 am and though I could see the time my bladder couldn’t and thought it was later. I went, then I went back to bed. I got up for the third time at 5.14 am an knew that was my lot. Mind you I was glad it had allowed me to stay there so late this time. Not immediately needing the loo I turned the computer on instead. What a lot of mail. The interview yesterday has proved very popular an I’m being notified that lots of people have re-tweeted it. Not only does he draw the crowds he adds to my workload too.

I didn’t go through to the kitchen until 7.00 am today. I turned the main light on which must have told Big Al I was there then I turned the lamp on in the tank and highlighted him in the open. I saw him do an Elvis sneer at which point a bubble escaped which was probably a swear word or maybe a threat, before he turned and swam off to his corner and his cronies or his minions whatever they are. Reeling ( not Scottish reeling as that involves dance) from the insult I turned and went to take my tablets and then put some toast under the gorilla. Ach, worst ever. In an attempt to be more health conscious ( stop giggling uncontrollably at the back Ms.Flory) I bought some Warburton’s half and half bread. I’m quite sure there are people among us who like eating brown bread, no doubt with treatment they can be cured, But surely there can’t be many who like half and half which I had real trouble swallowing. It took more chewing than toffee and was determined to resist any attempt to swallow. I must have looked like a cow chewing cud. Eventually I did the only thing I could. Had the other half of the first slice reluctantly and emptied the whole second slice into the food waste bin. Just to be clear here, I like Warburton’s WHITE bread and their other products, all I can say is, no wonder they reduced the price on this.

I took my coffee back through to the bedroom and carried on working. No rush to get dressed as I’m not going anywhere. I’ll wait for a natural break. Ha, what natural break? The post kept coming in. It was 10.40 am when I heard the postman. I didn’t have time to open the door before he’d deposited my mail so I just bent down and picked it up while shouting thank you. I just got upright when a small parcel came through so down I went again,And up, and another parcel. And down, retrieve and up. And down, retrieve and up. I felt like one of those ostriches you set to sticking it’s beak in a glass of wine that goes up and down like it’s drinking. My postie could have just knocked and given me the lot in one fell swoop. Perhaps that wouldn’t have been fun, at least for him. As I took them through to be opened and the package labelled with the name I thought it an ideal time to get dressed.

At 11.30 am it was time to think about preparing luncheon. Braised steak and baby potatoes today. Rather than take a chance on wasting anything important I decided just not to bother with veg. As usual I enjoyed it while watching my antique programme. After finishing I waited for a lull in proceedings to go wash my plate etc. I came back for the other half and found myself contentedly nodding. I let it happen even though I’d miss the auction. I was out a good hour. It would have been longer if someone hadn’t let out a massive snort somewhere and woken me up. I went back to work.  By 4.30 pm I’d made a dent in the work but I’d had enough, by which I mean the second antiques show is on. I watched that then prepared the mugs for Dil and Matt’s arrival which wasn’t long in coming. No Lee tonight so I had to ask Matt if he could help me get rid of a virus that’s appeared on the computer and keeps taking over my search engine. I still can’t figure out why some pariah would want to create something to cause others so many problems. Deprived, childhood, orphaned young, the excuses are endless yet others coped without the nastiness of creating viruses.

Matt couldn’t sort the problem but found some instructions that suggested how. We left it at that and went to set up the games table.We started with the Yahtzee. I don’t know why I bothered I might as well not have been there. The two of them were throwing Yahtzees with gay abandon while I struggled to even get my bonus. Needless to say out of the six games I won precisely nil. I think the overall honours went to Matt with 4 wins out of the 6. Nomination whist didn’t start too well either with me trailing badly in third place while those two got their shouts. I took a swig of my traditional lemonade and was revitalised. For sponsorship I’ll even name the brand and smack my lips a few times. I started my comeback and by the last third of the game I was in control, though not by much. The lead was alternating back and forth between Dil and I but the last four hands saw him off and I sailed to a comfortable victory.

Time was getting on now and we only had time for a short game of Crazy 8’s. Believe me it was going to be a short game the way Dil played.I just piled on the points till I reached the 301 required to knock me out. Dil was barely in double figures. OK, so it’s honours even tonight. Dil helped put away the stuff and Matt helped me sort the throw from the settee out as it was more on the floor than the settee somehow. They left and I washed the pots and removed the debris from Matt’s snacking. Time to get to work again. It’s taken me from 9.30 until gone midnight to get to a nearly clear box.


a 4.21 am start this morning. I think I’m going to be glad of the early start as a text from MuJo say there’s a visit today. That’ll be good, but it will put me behind again if I can’t work between about 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. And if Mike decides to come tonight I’m in real trouble, I might as well forget sleep. Anyhoo, on with the show. I was delighted that there weren’t many messages overnight though to be fair from when I stopped to when I started, there wasn’t much night anyway. There was enough to keep me going until 6.30 am when I decided it was a good time ( if there is such a thing) to feed Big Al and his cohorts. There was no movement as the main light went on and less than no movement ( that’s movement in reverse) when I put the tank light on. I could see a little gimlet eye watching me from a corner of the tank. If he was a painting, he’d have eyes that followed you round a room only in his case I think they’d follow you from room to room except perhaps the loo as he’s just not that kind of  fish.

I wasn’t brave enough to face any toast using the half and half today so after my tablets were out of the way I just made my coffee and took it through. I remembered I hadn’t put any music on last night’s blog and somehow ended up with a musical feast. Rod Stewart was the horse’s doofer and the Bee Gee’s the main course ( Sir Geoffrey saved the world , Massive Chew Sets, World and Words then for dessert Deacon Blue, Prefab Sprout and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. I was thinking of some Japan but you know how Oriental meals leave you wanting more.

At 9.00 am I decided to get dressed so I don’t scare anyone if I go to the bins. I was ready for the arrival at any time then. I carried on working and keeping pace with the mail in the meantime. They arrived at 10.15 am, just after I’d had a message from Mike about coming down today. He tells me he may be here for a week while his grandchildren are on half term. He’ll arrive this afternoon. I made or rather saw to cold drinks for MuJo as it’s not as cold today and they say it’s warm out. We chatted about our prospective week and I handed them the chocolate I picked up from Lidl on Tuesday. I also picked up a heat pack at the same time for Muriel’s shoulder which she was pleased about. John had brought two watches down to have batteries put in at the market so we headed in that direction at 11.15 am. Bl**dy typical, the watch man wasn’t there today. Of all the weeks to choose. John said he’d leave the watches with me but he hasn’t done so. We went to their favourite haunt for lunch even though my Kassidy’ is so close and John’s chippie is just a few steps away. I’m afraid I don’t find this place very friendly at all. It lacks atmosphere.

After lunch we had a walk up the High Street while Mu went to the Post Office and John could visit the charity shops. Mu also picked up some local potatoes from the greengrocer before we headed back to the car. Off to Flint next where they had a disagreement about Mu’s driving. John is ultra critical sometimes and is the real back seat driver in the front. Sometimes Mu gets a bit annoyed about it. I just stood around like a lemon while they argued. We went off to my favourite shops so I could get chocolates for the girls in Temptations and I was also able to pick up a toy for my Great Grand Nephew who I’ll see before Christmas. It’s funny to think he’s only a tad older than Reuben but is a generation further down the line. I’d hate to try and work out the relationship between the two of them. I’m also starting to look out for stocking present s from now on  and I think I’ve only two main presents left to get. I ordered Yvonne’s birthday present for December yesterday. We piled the stuff in the car and went for a drink at Temptations. Ceri was there but I didn’t really get a chance to talk. They liked the choice of chocolates today though. I bought some 65th birthday cards ready for Mike and Muriel while I was there.

Back home again afterwards I did some ice cream for MuJo and Mike arrived. They chatted and I took the chance to change into my jeans. Have I mentioned before I was in my 30’s before I wore jeans? Julia virtually had to hide all my trousers until in desperation I put a pair on. I now like to wear them round the house and even go out in them sometimes, slim fit of course. MuJo left at 4.30 pm and I watched my antiques show with Mike then he let me disappear from 5.15 pm to 6.00 pm to start the work. At 6.00 I watched Eggheads with him then he told me the new Big Bang Theory started tonight . I worked hard from 6.30 pm to 8.00 pm then went back through. We had some mince pies and custard while we watched what turned out to be a repeat before the new one started at 8.30 pm so I had to stay of course. The new episode was a corker, it’s guaranteed to put a smile on my face that show, but the minute it finished I raced through to start again and haven’t been allowed to move off my seat since then. Hopefully I’ll just make bed at midnight. Mike turned his TV off at 11.00 tonight, colour me shocked.


4.37 am. The automatic burglar deterrent light came on in the lounge which wasn’t where I expected to find myself. If I’d needed to go to the loo and taken the usual direction I could have found myself standing in a puddle in the airing cupboard from there. As it was I needed to go now, and luckily I was awake. After washing my hands I went to the bedroom I should have come from and turned the computer on. It must have been the start of National Crazies Day as I had two polite but urgent letters both purporting to be from the same bank, from two different people who were both the manager offering to split the multi millions of two other different people both of whom suffered fatal accidents with no will and no relatives. Life’s a bitch ain’t it. I had one message to say I’d been sent a photograph again, and we all know what that means for me, temporary blindness and night sweats. One further bank told me they need my details updating or they won’t be able to clear my direct debits this month- TOUGH. At least I was starting the day with a smile.

There were a lot of messages again this morning so I settled down for the long haul. At 6.30 am though I broke off because I needed to do my weeks drugs  once I’d done the usual tour of duty. So, I turned on the kitchen light and almost died with panic. I could see Big Al’s tail sticking out of the filter . I could almost have won the 100 meter dash getting over to the tank if it hadn’t been for the kitchen only being about 3 meters long, but I was fast, mainly because I tripped and went down like I was poleaxed. I clawed my way upright and started cleaning things off the top of the tank to open the lid. It was then I noticed something white lying at the bottom of the tank gawping up at me as though I were insane. A closer look revealed a leaf sticking out from the filter. I removed it as casually as I could imagining Big Al watching me call a crash team for a leaf or trying to give it the kiss of life. I retreated to my side of the room to take my morning meds and then spend time filling the pots up for the week before taking my coffee back to my room.

At 8.00 am Mike’s alarm went off and woke me up leaning over the keyboard. I was very surprised he had his alarm on at all when he doesn’t need too. He’s supposed to relax here except on a Saturday when I bully him . I was doing OK with the mail by then so I took time out to prepare his mug and boil the kettle before coming back and getting rid of a little more. Imagine my surprise when at 8.20 am I heard him get up and go through to the lounge. I headed in that direction and made the drink. ” Good morning” I said “why have you set your alarm when you didn’t need too”? “Because I wanted to,” was the response which didn’t seem to bode well for the day, till we all wake up with the grumps as a friend of mine used to say till her husband left home.

There were only half a dozen or so emails left to do so I went back to those and gave Mike chance to drink his coffee in peace. I wasn’t long but he was much happier when I went back through. He asked what I’d like to do with the day and I said there was nothing really but if we were out I’d like to call in one of the shops in town for some Holywell Christmas cards and maybe some tea pods for the Tassimo. It was good because that meant he could relax a bit and be under no pressure. Of course at that point I couldn’t forsee the future. After a while I went back through to refresh the mail and check to see if more needed doing. There were some but I also looked at some things on ebay I was bidding for. Most ended at 8.00 pm tonight. While I was on Mike came through and we started looking at watches which is his main focus in collecting part from his dragons. He saw a couple he liked the look of and wanted to bid on so he went through to the lounge to load the laptop. This machine is so old it needs a man turning a crankshaft to get it going. It can be very frustrating with it’s speed. It obviously was very frustrating as there were curses coming from the lounge and they had legs enough to walk to my room still loud. Eventually things quietened so I knew he must have the bids on. Having finished the mail I got dressed.

Mike got dressed too and called me through to show me the suit he’d brought for Sunday’s celebrations. I’ll make the effort and put a suit on as well now. At about 11.00 am we headed for town and the tea pods where I also bought some pickled beetroot. Then it was to the other shop and with Mike’s help the Holywell  cards were found, then he found some more cards he knew I’d need and the bill was going up and up. I crossed my fingers I had enough to pay, I did. Having filled up from the cash machine which kindly didn’t laugh in my face we paid one further visit to the Lidl to pickup some batteries I’d seen on a special offer the other day. Then it was time to head for lunch. A major shock when we got there to find Angie in on her day off. Shella was in the kitchen and Tariq was doing odd jobs about the place. He did come over for a hug though and to tell Mike he’d have to choose a different wood for his frames. The nice thing about the Ivy is that service isn’t slow but it’s still easy to spend an age there. We had s to pick up sticks a bit smartish when we realised it wasn’t far off the time when the first of Mike’ watches were coming up.

We made it in time but the poor old laptop came in for some verbal abuse again for not allowing him to bid quickly enough. He lost the auction by £1. The good news is though he won one later for a very low price but he can’t decide now if he likes the colour. I worked the afternoon away with just a break for my antique show  until finally I was up to date and could get my hair washed, have a shower and spend some time in Mike’s company. At 9.00 pm I came through to work . Usually I’m alone but Mike’s just been through to check out my bags of last years Christmas gifts ( I’ve got plenty of socks everyone) to compress things a bit. I have to go now and actually do a bit more work now he’s gone.


Today it was 3.12 am and I’m not sure it’s even worth going to bed anymore. I managed to do really well with last nights messages so that as 6.00 am approached I felt safe in going through to the lounge.  The ‘office’ chair can become quite uncomfortable after a prolonged sitting  and I needed something softer, my chair in the lounge can provide that with a special gel pressure cushion issued when Ju was ill. We did arrange to return it but they never came so it sits under me waiting for them now. I reached a point of being tired and shut my eyes just for a few minutes, about 75 of them in all. When I woke I realised Mike’s alarm hadn’t disturbed me so it was likely he hadn’t set it. He was still snoring merrily so was obviously in deep sleep, I thought “Beggar it” and left him. Normally I’d have gone through to feed Big Al and his mob and taken my tablets but I fixated on something outside the window and just drifted away with the fairies. Completely oblivious to anything outside my focus . The next thing I knew was Mike coming through and asking why I hadn’t woken him. It was 8.00 am. I just said I din’t have a sledgehammer handy and went through to make him a coffee, take my meds ( completely forget the fish ) and dash off to get dressed so I could take the rubbish out. Mike moved at the speed of light himself and was ready and raring to go by 8.30 am so in fact getting up an hour later had only delayed departure by half an hour?

The weather threatened rain but was reasonable during the journey and we reached the supermarket in good time. As it happened I wanted less than usual too so by rights we should have gained time on that leg of the journey. Leaving there after a coffee we headed towards Flint but detoured to visit a shop I like to see the Christmas decorations and the gifts. It wasn’t as good as usual which is probably down to the Halloween decorations taking up shelf space. Next stop Ceri and Temptations for a laugh, which it was as usual. But the time is disappearing down a black hole. It’s already 12.00 pm before we’ve been round any shops and that’s with me deciding not to shop for frozen food today. By the time we’d had our coffee it was already 1.30 pm. Now lets get it right, an hour late getting up, but only half an hour late leaving now equals almost 2 hours adrift somewhere. By the time we reached the Ivy without a detour home to unpack it was nearly 2 a flipping clock ! Luckily we could both see what we wanted for lunch and ordered straight away. Tariq came for his hug and disappeared on some odd job or other. Angie made the drinks which Rob delivered to the table for us. We nipped out for a cigarette and as we came back in the meal was arriving. It was fairly quiet at that time and Shella came out from the kitchen to say hello and then to joke with Angie which kept us entertained.

We had to leave fairly quickly after lunch as Mike had an auction on ebay just after 3.00 pm. It was either that or the fact I hadn’t paid the bill. We just had time to put the shopping away and open a couple of parcels I found before Mike parked himself in front of the laptop for his usual cursing session and I parked myself in front of the computer for my usual screaming session. What !!! Over 200 flippin’ emails since this morning, it’s rickydoodlearse. I hammered away at them but found two problems quite early on. My hammer was quite blunt and I had to keep shaking myself awake before I tattooed my forehead with the outline of my ash tray. When Mike called me through at 6.00 pm I hadn’t made much of an impression except as a comedian maybe. At 6.45 pm I came back to it and perhaps managed to get rid of twice as many as had been delivered since I left. A losing battle. Still I worked on until 8.30 pm and felt I was beginning to see daylight ( figuratively speaking only since it was quite dark ), I allowed myself a break to see Would I lie to You? which ended at 9.15 pm. I came back through then for the final surge. The mail just refuses to stop, it’s worse than the Pony Express.



independance day 3 USE




This music is requested by Mike.


I wish you all a Great New Week.



Filed under Uncategorized

The Birthday Girl and the Milky Rice Kid.

Sunday. Finally today it’s B day. That is Yvonne’s birthday. Thanks to the blender arriving damaged and the second one not arriving at all, Mike and I must pick one up on the way to her house. I can’t quite come to terms with it in my head ( like a maze for mice) as this is not a birthday prezzie. I just convinced myself it has to be there today. So what am I to do? It’s 8.am and I’ve done my emails, washed, dressed and coffee’d myself with the maximum of clatter and Michael is still lying in bed fast asleep and chunnering. Is this the time for water torture or should I remember it’s a long walk to Yvonne’s. At 8.30 I take a coffee through and let him know it’s there. I get a grunt or three and a thank you. I return to the computer and messages until 9.am and then go back to remind him the coffee is going cold. Ahem, gone cold. He sits up automatically and drinks it without noticing. I remove the cup from his hands, pry an eyelid apart so that he can see it’s daylight.                                                                                       At 9.30 we leave and head to Flint where Michael saw a blender yesterday. The shop opens at 10.am so I buy the blender and we resume our journey. By 10.45 we arrive and ring on the door, knock on the bell to bring Yvonne to the door. She hands Mike two two hour parking passes and as he goes to attach them to the car I go in and sit down. It’s only as he comes back she remembers it’s Sunday and he doesn’t need a permit at all. Yvonne goes upstairs to finish getting ready and Mike and I get her gifts out. Ugo appears and says his hello’s and goodbye’s as he dashes off to church. Yvonne arrives with Reuben and passes him over. He’s in full giggle mode as Mike keeps trying to scare him by saying BOO, strewth, he only has to show me his face to scare me half to death. Yvonne loves all her gifts and as 12.00 approaches we get ready to take her for lunch. We went into Chester proper to a pub chain and the meal was so memorable I can’t remember what I had. I know Yvonne had a bread stick that looked like it wasn’t going to end. Filled with Tuna mayonnaise I think. Nope, I can’t remember what Mike had either but Reuben had the hump because all he got was milk. Ugo joined us for a drink and we took a slow walk back afterwards as Mike was due to leave for a family meal. Ugo, Yvonne and Reuben ran me home and then left so they could get changed for her birthday gift from Ugo which was a meal at her favourite swanky restaurant.

Monday. Typically no blender arrived today proving that the form had taken no notice at all of my request for urgency and offer to pay the difference in postage. Sometimes I wonder just what Customer Service means. I raced through the post this morning dismissing the charms of the females(?) offering themselves to me in way that would interest a contortionist. Most unusually I’m having a visit from Mujo to make up for missing out last week. By the time they arrive at 10.15 I’m ready and set to making drinks. Muriel has her usual J20 and John has a caramel latte macchiato leaving me to indulge in a caffe crema. What a blessing my machine is still. We have the usual wasted twenty minutes deciding where to eat before deciding we’ll leave it to our ability to find a place to park to decide. As we get into town John decides it should be fish and chips and so the far car park is where we want. We sail past the first car park though there is room, only to find there’s no room in car parks 2 or 3. Back we go and get a slot in the first one. This dictates that we now lunch at Kassidy’s.  Yay. John and I enjoy a very nice gammon with pineapple and egg while Mu settles for scrambled egg on a toasted muffin with two rashers of bacon. Naturally at the end there’s the usual argument about whose turn it is to pay. I’m faster.                                                                            Lunch over we head for Flint as Mu remembers she needs something ( I’m betting it involves sweets). When we arrive I argue that I need to visit a certain shop for chocolates to take to the staff in Temptations and lo’and behold Muriel is there buying their stock of coffee creams. We have a bit of a wander before going for coffee which in John’s case involves cake. Ceri is there and on form as usual though her first question is “Are you in on Saturday?” meaning “Are you bringing trouble in with you.” I know she loves the banter with Mike and it’s fun to watch. MuJo manage to find something for John’s 93 year old mother for Christmas. She’s fairly bed bound these days so it’s difficult. It’s 3,30 pm before we get back to my place and they need to depart after a drink. That blows my chances of persuading Mu to start gift wrapping for me. DRAT!

Tuesday. Well here I am.It’s just gone 10.am and I’m back in Flint again to meet Yvonne. She’s coming to me today but wants to take the chance on seeing the shops she doesn’t normally get to see. I’ve got a feeling of deja vu. I suddenly decide there are some things I want before she arrives so take a walk round a large Supermarket and find a few things. At 10.20 she arrives and since Reuben is fast asleep we decide to head for Temptations so his bottle can be heated up. We settle with a drink when his eyes open and from the howl he lets out it’s obvious he want his milk. I take him on my knee while the milk is warmed and he’s all smiles. Yvonne feeds him while I have some of my coffee and then I take him back while she drinks some of hers. I feel the ripple run down my arm as he trumps and try holding my breath as it stinks. Nturally people around are looking at us in disgust and think it was me. When I indicate it was Reuben the looks, if possible, turn even more disgusted at this large person passing the blame onto a tiny mite like that.  He’s in a very good mood and behaves beautifully as he’s bunged back in his pram and we put our coats on. A little motion and he falls asleep again giving us chance to wander round the shops. It’s such a wander that it’s getting on for 1.30pm before we board a bus back to my place, not a good idea not to eat when you’re diabetic. So, as the bus drops us off I nip into a sandwich shop for two large ham salad baps for us . At home I have my ‘before’ tab and then have to wait a few minutes before I eat. In the meantime I entertain Reuben who enjoys talking to his reflection in he mirror and to a large canvas of his mum and dad on the wall. While we eat our food Reuben sits on the settee with the rest of the milk he didn’t finish earlier.                                                                                                                                    After they’d gone to catch a bus for home I settled with my messages and then an episode of the Mentalist though this is a repeat and the BIG ONE is on tonight at 9.00 pm. I have my tea, finish my mail and return to the TV. OMG, Patrick has found Red John and it’s who I thought it was and by heck, isn’ t he nasty. One wrong word by a barman and he’s as dead as a doornail. This man thinks nothing of killing or trying to kill others and ordering others to kill for him too. Fifteen more episodes to go so I’ve no doubt there are more surprises in store but for now Red John is on the run and the CBI have a live witness against him. Sorry I should have called SPOILER ALERT.

Wednesday. There’s no use, I can’t avoid it anymore, I need to start gift wrapping. I hate it! I think the best idea is to get my mail out of the way first and then I can have an unbroken run at it. By 9.00 am I’m done and dressed but first I need to nip to the corner shop. 9.20 am and I’m back. The best thing to do is to get all the presents in sacks so I can wrap the same person’s gifts in the same wrap all at once. It seemed a fantastic idea anyway. By 12.00 pm I’ve just go the last gift in the last bag and can no longer see my bed. My mobile sounds to tell me I’ve a message. Lis asks if I’m in and if a visit would be OK. The sigh of relief could be heard in town. She arrived and we had a good hour catching up. She’s brought me a Christmas present to put under the tree. That could present problems since I gave them all away during the Big Clean. I feel awful as I tell her that I haven’t wrapped hers yet but I have managed to get them in a bag. After Lis leaves I have some lunch and then return to my room to catch up on emails from the morning. Fortunately Such a shame there are so many to keep me occupied all afternoon right up to teatime. I settle on a tin of fruit and have barely finished that and washed up before Dilwyn and Matthew arrive. Oops, no chance of wrapping now. Scrabble 1 I win, Scrabble 2 I don’t win. Time for cards. Dil and I decide to teach Matt how to play Chase the Lady. It’s not an easy game and it entails holding a lot of cards when there are just 3 players. Matt copes quite well and seems to be getting the hang of things when he suddenly dumps the Queen of Spades on me. That’s 50 points I don’t want but realise it can’t have been deliberate until the next hand when all of a sudden I lay a card and become the proud owner of the Queen of Spades again, what the heck is going on? By 9.30 it’s time for them to leave and though the game isn’t over I’m losing. Since we don’t finish I can say losing rather than lost because obviously another hand and I’d have hammered them both. I tidy up and wash the post after they leave and then head for my room for the last onslaught on the mail. At 11.15 I decide to call it a night and have a read, I turn round and see all the bags on my bed. It takes ages to get them off and pile them high in  a corner trying to leave myself a passage to the loo if needed. I read till 12.30 and decided it’s time for sleep.

Thursday. Mornin’ y’all. It’s 4.00 am and my bladder decided it was time to get up. I don’t think my bladder and I should be on speaking terms if it’s going to play jokes like this. Anyhoo, I managed to get my messages done for 7.am and then I needed to go and put out my meds for the week, take this mornings dose and make a coffee. That done I come back into the bedroom and with a look of horror see all the bags awaiting me. Perhaps just a few more emails first….ooh, that was worth it as I’ve been offered the chance to buy some gold from a new trading company in Africa. That’s got to be OK hasn’t it.?? These messages only delay me until 9.00am at which point I get dressed and tell myself to stop prevaricating, ah it’s just as well I’m going deaf. I know I can’t avoid it any longer so I make a start. The bargain pack of gift wrap I bought doesn’t seem such a bargain now I find that it’s 15 sheets at two thirds the size of the ten normal sized sheets I’d usually buy. This is not the kind of start to encourage me. I managed to wrap quite a few as lunch time approached and I wished someone was suggesting a visit but no, just me. I have lunch ( corned beef hash) and come back to finish a few more but I realise there must be messages now and obviously I don’t want to keep my friends waiting. You came through for me and nearly 60 messages kept me occupied most of the afternoon. Of course I’d have made it to tea time if one person hadn’t written to say she’d answer my messages in the morning as she’s tired and off to bed. Talk about inconsiderate, this is an emergency.                                                                                                                                                                                                     I had tea, ( a Christmas pud and custard, just to get in the mood of course )  then settled with the TV for two hours before coming back in here to deal with messages until 10.00pm when A person of Interest comes on. I notice my phone has a message. A change of plan, they’re going to come and deliver the gifts tomorrow afternoon. YIKES, that means I have two sackloads to wrap in the morning and Mike ( Peace be on his name) won’t be here in time for me to trick  erm ask him to help me with it. I don’t even have the excuse of the corner shop this time and couldn’t afford the time to go anyway. Those capricious Gods have caught me a good one this time.

Friday. Yay, it’s Friday. I jumped ( I lie) off my bed and headed for the loo about 6 inches ahead of my bladder. Thank heavens for loose cloths. I was able to stroll back to the bedroom confident of my first win of the day. Computer on, mail up and one of the first ones was a long one to a friend. I don’t ignore those though sometimes I’m tempted to leave them till last and get the numbers down. I’d got over half way when wallop, the computer shut down. My jaw almost unhinged with shock and I rapidly grasped a handful of tissues to stem the tears. All that work lost, woe is me. There are times I really hate Microsoft updates. The day and I are standing even at one all.      As the computer restarted I logged back into messages and started again. This time I was trying to cut corners and speed things up. The full page message became lines with apologies but by 8.am I’d caught up. Wash, dress, fish, tabs, coffee and into the bedroom to start the wrapping. I wrapped like a maniac and even managed to put birthday paper one one that was for Christmas and Christmas paper on the birthday gift. I’m relieved that I’m the only one to know that ( apart from you lot now obviously and I’m counting on a bit of hush from that quarter). By 11.am I’d done the MuJo presents and a smaller group for individuals. Back to the messages so they don’t mount up and stress me and also so that I can look calm when MuJo arrive. Mike sent his usual chatty text “On way!”                                                                                                                                                                                    I had my lunch and afterwards sat looking as collected as possible as they arrived. Drinks were sorted and they passed over a bag of gifts to put under the tree ( what tree?) and I let them know that Yvonne had left presents for them and that mine were ready when it was time for them to leave. We were having a laugh when Mike walked in which was my cue to make drinks again. At 3.30 Muriel suggested to John it was time they left as she needed some shopping on their way home. I brought the bags out of my bedroom, ( These, oh they’ve been wrapped for days now. My attitude said). Mike and I walked out to wave them off and came back in to see they’d forgotten Yvonne’s bag of gifts. There was a Thank You text from Muriel which said they’d see me one day next week and I fell to my knees in hysterics wondering why I’d been made to dash this morning. I did bangers and mash for Mike’s tea and had a sausage sandwich myself before we sat and watched some TV which included the Big Bang Theory episode I’d missed last night. Doing my messages later I decided that maybe the day and I ended even after all.

Saturday. I was late today and didn’t get up till 6.am but I was still a good way down the mail before Mike’s alarm went off. I went towards the kitchen and met this shambling figure doing a Quasimodo impression ( without the lisp) that sort of grunted when I called ” Good Morning.” I prepared his coffee then took my tabs and made myself a drink. Since there was no use in making conversation made up of real words I went back to the bedroom to finish what mail was left and get dressed. Being naturally subtle I threw the shopping bags into the lounge under the pretext of needing to adjust the radiator they obscured. Mike ignored the hint but went to get dressed anyway. As soon as he was done I asked for some help to put the rubbish out for collection. I opened the front door and heard such a heartbreaking sound, a howl of pure agony. ” It’s still the middle of the bloody night” it cried as I blocked his re-entry with my crutches and locked the door. It was light by the time we reached the shop and he’d stopped making the pitiful noises. We actually did quite well and were leaving again by 9.15am. On arrival in Flint we were both parched and decided to go for coffee first. Ceri wasn’t on the counter but no doubt the noise of Mike teasing Helen brought her down from the sandwich making room upstairs. After a number of pointed comments about her behaving herself on the staff night out tonight she disappeared but not before hugging us both and we set off shopping again. We went round a few shops looking for some gift bags  and bought a couple of stocking gifts but couldn’t find a vase that Mike wanted.  As I thought we were heading home he turned the car around and headed for another retail park where we managed to find a vase and were able to have a nice lunch. At this point Mike told me it was time to go home and start wrapping presents in earnest ( I wonder where that is?) He also told me to put my bottom lip away as sulking doesn’t suit me.                                                            At home we unpacked the shopping and I made a drink, unwrapped the books that had arrived and then scratched my head as to the whereabouts of all my recycling bags that seem to have disappeared. It sounds like I’m not the only one either. I know there have been gales today but I can’t believe that none have been found. I did some mail before Mike finally grabbed a bag and said he’d help me wrap. I grabbed it back and said no way was he doing his own and gave him another one. Guilt set in and I did some myself. By teatime we’d done quite well and apart from Mike’s gifts which I’ll do in the week we’re down to two bags which we can share tomorrow.                I made him sit through a film meant to bring on the Christmas feelgood factor and all I got was “Bah Humbug” so we sat and enjoyed an Anthony Hopkins film afterwards. I came through to irritate you all with the blog and now I’d better catch up on  my mail again.

I wish you all a Wonderful Week full of Happiness…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Reuben's first solid food at 16 weeks old

Reuben’s first solid food at 16 weeks old

Bear with me.

Bear with me.

Me and my Pops

Me and my Pops


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Blink and you’ve missed it. Another week gone,

Sunday last week was quiet. Brotherfriend tells me he’s not sleeping well at the moment which roughly translates as ‘ Wake me in the morning and you’re dead meat’ so needless to say I let him lie in. By the time he eventually got up it was almost time for me to go back to bed again but I’m not one to complain- much. We paid a visit to a shop to have a look at some shelving units. I had a unit in mind from a pick-up catalogue company but it turned out the shop we visited had the same one for £10.00 less which was great for my budget as they also had a second set of shelves for £10 where all other boxes were £20.00. That meant I have a nice new stand to hold towels in the bathroom and one for the airing cupboard to take some bedding. Pleased with myself I bought three towel bales in different colours- OK, maybe I did forget to co-ordinate the colours with the bathroom but a fella can’t be expected to think of everything. Anyway I’m blaming Brotherfriend because he chose two of the three- whaddaya mean which two? The worst two of course!  After a coffee so he could spend ten minutes in banter with the staff, and I could spend twenty minutes begging them not to ban me for taking him there, we headed off to lunch. The Blossoms is a pub with a nice little restaurant inside,  separate from the rowdies watching the Grand Prix, oops sorry, that was Brotherfriend Mike. We had a  nice lunch and head home to start erecting shelving which took most of the afternoon before he had to leave and drive 120 miles home. It’s only 60 miles away but he’s a lousy map-reader.

Monday. Yvonne, Ugo and Reuben were coming in the evening so I aired the rooms because of my smoking, Febreezed the place within an inch of it’s life and hoovered.  I’d  set the washing machine going and was just finishing folding  some bedding for the ironing basket when they arrived early at about 4.30 . Naturally it seemed as though I’d not been busy by then so I had to make drinks. They brought me a pizza for my tea which I struggled to finish. I help Reuben and as usual he fell straight to sleep in my arms. NOTE TO SELF– buy some deodorant . We had a discussion about Doctor’s appointments. Yvonne said I should go, I said I wasn’t keen so she rang up and said I was going. It looks like I’m going.

Tuesday. My nephew arrived to re-start the decoration. I removed everything from the bathroom again and took the curtains down to be washed. The state of them convinced me I needed a new pair. While he got on with the easy job of painting the ceiling, I got on with the hard job of finding and ordering a new pair from Ebay and answering my mail. The bathroom ceiling done he painted one wall the same turquoise as the hall and then started to finish painting some of the hallway ceiling and some doors. Late afternoon David left and I ironed the now dry curtains and rehung them. The bathroom is really looking quite nice now. Back in with the new shelving and the towels which are of course for show only. I expect people to shake themselves vigorously to get dry.

Wednesday. Another day of painting doors and skirting boards. I even watched him doing it sometimes. It’s tiring work but someone has to do it. At the end of the day he’s done a great job and nearly worked as hard as me. I had to give him a tip so I told him not to back the favourite in the Grand National and gave him a postdated cheque for next century. He’s fairly determined that he wants to do my bedroom next but I loathe to start that as there’s nowhere to put anything while it’s done. Instead I’m putting a lot of thought into the fourth wall of the lounge. I think, maybe,  perhaps, possibly, I DO want to have that wall re-papered.

Thursday. Visitors today and tonight. I need to change the bed but in the end decide to keep it and just apply fresh bedding. The room needs a good hoovering and some stuff moving off the floor. A bit of judicious shuffling enables me to remove a laundry basket and re-position it in the airing cupboard and voila you can now get round the end of the bed. I strip the bed and place the bedding in the washing machine. Heavens, it’s seeing some action. That’s twice now since March. MuJo arrive and after exchanging news we head off for lunch. It’s Holywell market on a Thursday and though not large is nonetheless quite good. After eating we had a look round the stalls and I bought some new bedding and a small runner in blue. After stops for shops and refreshment ( I hadn’t been banned) we went home where Mu helped me put the new bedding on and they left. NOTE TO SELF. Stop forgetting deodorant! It was now 5.00pm and I needed to hoover and lay the new runner. Can anyone please explain to me why I bought a blue runner since the walls are cream, bar the papered one which is gold and coffee brown, the main carpet is brown and the furniture was brown. Do you suddenly become tasteless at age 60+ or have I always been this bad? I had a little tea and settled down with my mail. I had 213 and a very sour expression. My phone beeped and a message told me Brotherfriend Mike and his companion Rose were setting off at 8.00pm intending to arrive at mine about 10.30 pm. What’s the point of rushing when the shops are shut? They arrived at 10.33  having thoughtlessly kept me waiting all that much time longer.

Friday the 13th.  Well it sounds like a horror movie and it almost was. Brotherfriend Mike, Rose and myself went into Chester having arranged to meet Yvonne at about 10.45 am for a drink. We parked by the river since cars with disabled stickers park free . Don’t worry, he won’t run into you as it’s not a physical problem he has but a definite mental one- he keeps associating with me. Unfortunately my rude remarks about him saving fuel by using that dispensed with by the cars he tailgates, meant he’d parked far enough away from the meeting point so he could make me walk. He’s evil. It meant we didn’t arrive till 11.00am and one angina attack later. But still we beat Yvonne who didn’t manage it until 11.20am. We had a nice cuppa while I fed Reuben who promptly fell asleep in my arms. We had a little mooch round the shops before going to lunch. It wasn’t where we intended so Yvonne had to call Ugo who was joining us before he realised we were trying to avoid him. As he arrived I asked what lunch he wanted and he refused my offer saying he’d get it himself after a trip to the loo. He returned from the loo and went to order a meal only to find he’d lost his wallet. Up everyone got to help him look for it without success. If he’d accepted my offer this wouldn’t have happened but I don’t think I can actually claim credit for the mishap. No-one could find it.A real Friday 13th it was proving to be. Mike, Rose and I bade them goodbye and headed off to some more shops. Yvonne , Ugo and Reuben headed for home only to find someone had found and posted his wallet through the front door.

Saturday.  Today just for a change we went shopping. We decided to take Rose for a run in the country and then end up in Rhyl. It’s a bit of a disaster town these days as some of the better stores have upped sticks and gone elsewhere. There were still enough to keep us happy though as we looked at various gift shops and Mike found to fire breathing ( via joss sticks) dragons he’d been looking for, for ages. We looked at and got samples of some wallpaper for the lounge though I’m waiting to see how my other option goes first and I also found a set of bedding. I had bought a set of bedding for Ju not long before she passed away. Yvonne recently asked iif she could have it and I readily agreed except I couldn’t find it anywhere. I’d got in in an ASDA sale and only paid £8.00 for it. The bedding today was a mortgage away from that but almost the same pattern and colour. It’s driving me batty wondering where the original one has got to. What’s funny was that I picked one up today and announced “This is like it” and a cushion promptly jumped off the shelf above. “Perhaps not” said Mike, “Ju doesn’t agree.” I put it back and found this other set instead which I bought since this time the cushions stayed still.

One thing that’s been consistent throughout this week is the shops themselves. I’ve seen Christmas cards , Christmas gifts and even tinned Christmas sweets and biscuits. Do they always start doing this to the shelves in June? What ! It’s September! Who the heck has stolen the intervening months? I swear Christmases are getting closer, it’s only five minutes since the last one. If anyone can account for the whereabouts of the missing months, hey’ll earn my undying gratitude and possibly a reward. OK, forget the reward, I know you’d only be offended if I insisted and I don’t want to offend you.

$T2eC16ZHJGkFFm9)Lmo-BSMg896RCQ~~60_12This is my idea for the lounge wall. I know this is a dining room but just use a bit of imagination please. David, please don’t read this or look at the picture since I don’t want to scare you off.

Have a nice week all. Hugs Galore.


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Christmas Doings.

Christmas Eve dawned early with a six o’clock awakening of my wife. One bleary eye opened when I announced her cup of tea. ” What time is it ?” she asked. “Getting on for eight” I replied fearing the Wrath of Khan before the tea was drunk. Knowing that for some reason she generally sleeps without a watch helps. The reason for my duplicity was twofold. Firstly, I wanted to get to the shops before they became too crowded and secondly, I wanted to go without the girls having been given playtime or we’d be lucky to get out before ten.

Anyway, by 6.30 we’d made real progress in that the tea was drunk and not thrown at me and Ju was looking much more bright eyed than I’d hoped since she’d been in some pain on the Sunday. By 6.45 we were in the car and on our way. The road was quite busy with people rushing to work or rushing home from the party the night before. It was quite foggy and atmospheric with the lights of approaching cars coming towards us. In the supermarket there were quite a few early shoppers but not enough to worry me. Yes, it’s me that has a thing about crowds….more on that later.

I left Ju to pick up some cigarettes for me and go for a coffee while I shopped. Normally I wouldn’t do so alone in case someone spoke to me but today everyone was conscious of their own needs and getting what they needed before someone emptied the shelves. Not wanting much other than fresh bread, milk , ham and some coleslaw I was ready to head for the tills when I spotted some trifles. I bought one then decided to look at the Christmas puddings and fresh cream. By the time I’d got the extra things and gone to the tills it was eight o’clock. Smiling at the cashier to avoid speaking I paid up, packed the shopping and wheeled the trolley to the MacDonalds where Ju was sitting with coffee. As she saw me approach she tipped her hand asking if I wanted one and I nodded. Reaching the table I asked her to order a bacon roll for me too, I passed her some money then dipped into her bag for my ‘before food’ tablet and sat down to take it. “Brown or red sauce ” she called from the counter. “Brown please” I replied wondering why I bothered since it’s so thinly spread it’s questionable whether it’s really there sometimes..

Ju brought me a latte over and a fresh one for herself since I must have been feeling so generous. The bacon roll arrived, was eaten and for dessert I took my two ‘after food’ torpedoes. Ju asked me the time. “It’s almost 8.15 sweetie” I risked with a smile. “Hmm, we’ve made good time this morning then” I heard and wondered which of the Pantheon of Gods I owed that favour to. We were soon on our way again heading for the trading estate which has a handy pet shop where we could get some treats for the girls. One of my favourite shops is there so I was allowed to look round in case anything new and interesting was in. There wasn’t so we hit the coffee bar where the staff treated us to a latte each before we head for home.

At ten o’clock we were home and had the shopping inside. Unfortunately you reach the kitchen of our home through the lounge and as we entered we were greeted by four wide awake and very hopeful faces from one cage and the sound of frantic activity from the other. I knew what was coming so as Ju removed her coat I put the shopping away. She’d no sooner opened the rats cage than Priya ran down her arm and plunged inside the neckline of her cardigan. Bernie wasn’t far behind preferring to sit on her shoulder and nestle into her neck. Penny and Amy climbed inside one of the tubes in the cage and patiently waited to be lifted out.  Ju put two large picture frames against the degu cage to stop the rats climbing up it and upsetting the degus . They’re not enemies but they certainly don’t get on. If Bernie climbs on to their cage to see them in her friendly way they set up an almighty chittering sound. Anyway, Ju played with the girls on the settee for half an hour as usual and then put them back in their cage where they happily settled down to sleep. Removing the picture frames she then got the degus out one by one and put them into balls. First Poppy then Honey with Mummy degu Saffy last to go. With three balls hurtling round the rooms aiming for your ankles it’s easier if you’re not on your feet. I swear if they catch you a Dick Dastardly snicker comes from them. I beat a hasty retreat to catch up on emails I hadn’t finished earlier. The eventual call of “Sweeties” has the balls tolling back to the lounge so they’re given a sweet before going back in their cage.

The rest of the day was a light lunch, television. emails and an assortment of phone calls before Ju went to bed at 6.30. I was luckier than usual and she went to sleey just the right side of midnight so I was able to turn my computer off and rest myself.

Christmas day I was up at 4am. I answered messages and sent messages of greeting out to friends around the world. At 6am I took Ju’s stocking ( a carrier bag really) and placed it one her bed before going to make a drink. Turning the lounge light on I gave all the animals a sweet and went through to the kitchen. While the kettle boiled I turned the tank light on and fed the fish. I took my meds then made the tea and took them through to Ju to gently wake her. Unusually it didn’t take much. She moved over for me to get in and passed my stocking ( a large sack) to me to open. We always do this together and in the past when Yvonne lived at home or stayed with us she joined us in bed to open her stocking too. There are always fantastic treats and always something funny. One year Ju go me some washing up gloves with a fur trim. This year I’d got her a rubber horse head mask and used bags of her favourite sweets to fill it out. It looked like a scene from the Godfather.

Tradition says we would normally go and have breakfast next before being allowed to open main presents but since Ju can’t face breakfast these days it’s just me. Up went the barriers and out came the girls. When they heard me put cereal (Shreddies) in  a bowl they all rushed to my end of the settee to wait. I sit down gingerly to try and avoid sitting on anyone before the fun starts. Four heads in unison try to get to my bowl first and I have to rush to get a shreddie on the spoon before one of them snatches it off. I usually manage a mouthful in between each of their courses which is usually three each though Bernie only eats one and squirrels the others away behind a cushion for later. Priya usually finds them within minutes.

After both sets have played and been returned to their cages it’s our time. We opened our gifts from Santa , or each other if you like. This took quite a while and was accompanied by lots of Oohs and Aahs. After that it’s time to open gifts from friends and family we won’t see on Christmas day.After each one we phoned or texted our delight. Finally finished Ju collects the wrapping to go for recycling while I make another cuppa and it’s time to get dressed. I show Ju a tee-shirt I printed up with a picture of us both on with wording that says Happiness is Love shaped. I have on new warm socks, new underwear, tee-shirt, new black jeans, black cardigan and black winklepicker cowboy boots with a cuban heel. Suddenly I’m as tall as I used to be. Ju spends some time picking through her finery before settling on a nice outfit and we’re ready to go. Yvonne’s first Christmas as a wife and her first cooking Christmas dinner for us all.

We have a great time at their home swapping and opening presents before settling down to dinner.She’s cooked a small beef joint for me and done my favourite onion sauce with it. For Ju she’s cooked a small lamb joint with her favourite mint sauce and for Ugo and herself she’s done  a 3 bird roast. We wouldn’t normally undertake such a large task but she wanted us all to have our favourites. I struggled to eat a small Christmas pudding afterwards.

A nice couple of days started to go downhill then. Ju was very quiet and excused herself to go to the loo. She was there quite a while and when she eventually rejoined us looked very pale. I asked her quietly what was wrong and found she was in great pain and her bowels were not holding again. We had to go home. Sadly we made our goodbyes saying we wanted to give them plenty of time to travel to Ugo’s family in the Midlands. Fortunately they accepted this. We made our way home where Ju took some fast acting morphine and got into bed. It was about 2 pm by then. There were a couple of trips to the loo early on and I couldn’t persuade her to have a cuppa at all. She lay there watching TV and resting while I worked on emails just occasionally sticking my head in. When I did so at 8 pm she was well away. I turned the TV off, and her light, went back to my room and just listened out for her waking.

I woke Ju at 7.am after eleven hours of solid sleep without waking once.She seemed to be a lot better and got up to see to the varmints. By half eight they were done and dusted and Ju said “Come on then. let’s hit the sales.” After checking I wasn’t hallucinating and she wasn’t running a temperature I ran to the car in case she changed her mind. She hates shopping…..I love it. It was well worth her while though since she got some nice outfits.We we’re home by half eleven though and things still seemed OK. The  rest of the day went well. Today it wasn’t such an early start but the girls were still done by 9 am and Ju was taking me to a different sale. We’d done quite well and got some nice clothes each before we stopped for coffee. As she finished I noticed something wrong and knew it was time to go.We made it home and Ju’s stomach betrayed her again. She’s back in bed. She’s very unhappy at what’s happening though I ask her to remember what the alternative is.Tomorrow I’ll get some imodium and see if it can stop the problem for now though as soon as she takes it there is usually a period of painful constipation. Sometimes the morphine helps and sometimes not with the pain. Her biggest worry is letting herself down in public but I try to say it can’t be helped and she can’t isolate herself on the off chance.That’s no life for anyone.



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The Case of the Vanishing Months

I’ve recently become convinced that someone steals hours from the day, days from the week, weeks from the month and months from the year. It must be so since yesterday it was Halloween 2011 and now it’s almost Christmas 2012. But I have a little secret you thieving wretches, you won’t beat me as I shop all year round so my Christmas list is ready. Yes, OK, don’t smirk, I haven’t got the food yet but that’s mainly because I can’t find a crowbar to get into the freezer which seems to have frozen over while I was asleep. Further proof that I’m right about time thieves.

Maybe I have it all wrong though. Maybe it isn’t thieves but a case of time-slip. Is that possible I wonder. That would perhaps fit better with my thoughts that I’m only about 40 really and not the ‘Hrumph’ the 2012 calendar says I must be.

It is actually a funny thing that when we’re younger the anticipation of Christmas makes everything seem a long time.The same goes for Easter, birthdays and special holidays in the caravan where time drags even more. As we get older these things seem to propel themselves into our lives like a manic merry-go-round one after the other till we all say “Hang on, I saw that horse just a moment ago.” Another strange thing is how Christmas has started earlier in the year than it used to. Only this time it’s not related to my increased age, it’s reality. My American friends will have to forgive me for a moment while I reminisce.

When I was a child of perhaps 9 or 10 my friends , OK OK no need to be pedantic, my friend and I used to look forward to November. On the first we would create a figure from old clothes ( or otherwise if no-one was looking) and in the evenings take it out on the streets in an old wheelbarrow or similar contraption. During the day we’d be collecting wood and things to make a bonfire. On 5th November we’d make special efforts with the ‘Guy’ as our figures were known and we’d be calling “Penny for the Guy” as we either rolled it along or settled in a convenient spot. In all honesty the best spots were just outside pubs. The money we collected would be spent on fireworks to be set off when the bonfire was lit, but not before the Guy was added to the top of the bonfire in place of honour. All of us knew Guy was in fact Guy Fawkes who had tried to blow up Parliament. These days of course we’d all be offering him a hand and giving him a medal. As the fire burned we ate potatoes baked at the edge, parkin ( a kind of ginger cake) and treacle toffee.

Once the bonfire was done and sparklers all spent it was time for a break. Nothing happened until at least the 1st of December. Oh do stop niggling me, of course life went on as usual, school, play etc. As the 1st arrived you’d see shops start to dress their windows in Christmas colours- predominantly white. My memory may be faulty here but I seem to recall we had snow on the ground sometimes too and quite often at Christmas. I certainly remember snow deep enough to make getting to school difficult. No,I don’t mean anything over half an inch, I mean at least a foot. The shop window displays grew along with out excitement. And I can’t recall what my parents did but I remember emptying my piggy bank to go out and buy gifts. My mother would take me but in the main would not interfere. To be honest, it was so long ago I only recall one gift I bought. It was a small glass dish with what looked like moss in it from which rose some flowers with glass petals. It was for my Nana whom I loved dearly. She may have hated it instantly but she would never have said so, and years later when I was in the RAF it was still standing on the shelf of a little unit beside her.

I can remember being in hospital when I was about 5 yrs old. It was Christmas time and I’d been in a few weeks. My mother came to collect me to bring me home. I remember I was given a cowboy outfit that year with a rifle. I don’t remember exactly what happened but my sister tried to scare me back into hospital and the rifle  ended up getting broken over her head. I was a big reader because I was often unwell. Sometimes I was rushed out by ambulance, so blue people must have thought I was a Mekon.( Sorry, Dan Dare and the Mekons was on the front of the Eagle comic). Maybe that’s who’s responsible for these damn time slips. Come on now, play fair. Give me my missing time back, I promise not to squander it.


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