Tag Archives: Greyhound Park Chester

Scrooge is alive and Well & Dongle Dismay

Sunday 6th March

I was in bed at 12.17 am last night and my light out for about 12.45 am due to being tired. I hate being deprived of my power naps and sulk so much you could rest a cuppa on my bottom lip. Wake up time was 4.36 am but I didn’t feel begrudging. Maybe I’ll get double the power naps today. After the inevitable skip to the loo (my darling) I started work on the mail. At 5.15 am I broke off to take meds and make a coffee to bring back then returned in the hope of clearing all before 6.10 am. I finished my last post at 6.08 am. Of course my break was only for two minutes before it all had to start again. I just carried on and was clear at 8.55 am for a while. I’d just stood up to go to the lounge and see Joey when I heard Mike’s alarm go off. I was shocked. Joey got his cage door open but I had to go and put the kettle on.

I took a drink through just as the second alarm sounded. A few burbling sounds greeted me and I knew he wouldn’t be up in a hurry. It was 9.30 am with the last bit of his alarm ringing in his ears. By that time I’d almost snuggled down in my chair and nodded off but he wasn’t having that. I left him in the lounge with his coffee while I went for a shave and to get dressed. We were out of the house a little after 10.30 am and on our way to the Greyhound Retail Park in Chester. We had a good look round the shops for a console table or something similar to hold the heads he bought yesterday but nothing seemed to please him. We both ended up buying another head each, me a very slim Buddha’s head and Mike a skull with inscriptions all over it. Gruesome but intriguing.                                                                                                                                                                        Dinner looked like it would be a problem as Prestatyn is in the opposite direction to where we were. I din’t want a pizza place again and wasn’t keen on going to Frankie  and Benny’s. I suppose we could have gone a short distance into the city for a pub meal but we settled on a cafe inside ASDA. Mike was really taken with the coffee.

Afterwards I suggested a look round one more shop for ideas if nothing else. It was remarkable, all the time wasted earlier and I take him there. He picked up a box of three children’s wall cubes down from £15 to £5 and decided they’d be perfect ( Scrooge). A head on each. From now on I’m going to plan the route and then cross off everything except the last. We came home again and I leaned against the front door (the inside or I’d have fallen over) and refused to let him go until he’d done the flowers. I stuck around till they were done then threw him out. He was intending to listen to his team play as he drove home. I was able to start work. It was 4.00 pm.

I worked until 6.00 pm then went and made some tea. I remained with Joey through Beowulf and then The Midwife but gave up at 9.00 pm and came to start again. That took me until just gone 10.30 pm when I was able to at least start the blog. It should be an early night hallelujah.

It wasn't me!

It wasn’t me!

Monday 7th March.

My early night was so much wishful thinking thanks to a late flurry of mail, but I suppose 11.55 pm counts. It was just gone midnight before I slid between the sheets and I use that word advisedly since I’d just slathered my legs in gunk. I enjoyed a read despite thinking I’d be too tired for that and the light went out at 12.48 am. Even then it was a while before I could sleep as I had to find cold spots for my legs to help stop the itching. I woke this morning at 4.53 am.                                                                                                A quick hop, step and jump to the loo and then to the kitchen to take my meds. I didn’t bother with breakfast as I wanted a run at my mail first. I brought a coffee back and signed in. There was more mail than I expected with friends still commenting on Saturday night’s blog post.  I got stuck in but couldn’t clear them all before the new day’s mail burst into being.

At 7.30 pm Joey was tweeting again without even using a computer. The mornings are much lighter for him now. I opened the cage and returned to work. At 8.45 am I went to start the washing machine, something I should have remembered to do when I first went to the kitchen. When I came back I worked until 9.20 am to finally get up to date. Time to go to Pauline’s. There was quite a queue in the shop but I wasn’t in a rush. When I got to the counter I expected conversation about the weather but it was actually about chips with curry sauce.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The tumble drier went on when I returned as the wash cycle had finished. I did that then went to Mike’s room and put the box with the computer on the bed and carefully unpacked it. There was a little table there which I set up close to the plug. Lee said I should check it before he comes to be sure I have no problems with the seller. I didn’t have time to do it just then as the warden-Bev- arrived earlier than usual. She stayed for a good half an hour chatting before going off to meet a social worker.

Joey came out and landed on the mirror (as always) and started tap-tapping his beak against the beak of the impertinent bird the other side of the glass. I took the opportunity to bring his cage down to floor level so I could remove the base totally and take it through to the kitchen for cleaning. Before that I had cleaned all the detritus off the objects under the place he often sits in the cage. With the base replaced and fresh sand paper added I put the cage back and went to pick up a fruit and honey seed stick for him as I’d run out of seed bells. He didn’t even seem too bothered as I replaced the cage right under where he was sitting. At 11.00 am I went through to set up the computer to test it. An older desk top base and a slightly newer monitor but the necessary cables were there so despite problems I managed to put it together. The most awkward problem I could see if that there were just two USB slots. With the mouse and keyboard in place I’ll have problems. The printer should be OK I hope as I don’t think that’s USB but my webcam will be and so will my speakers I think. Now I think about it, I don’t recall a place for my headphones either. Still, these are minor crises that can be overcome. Since there isn’t a slot to read memory cards I’ll need a USB for a card reader too. Ebay here I come.

At 12.15 pm, assured that everything was working OK  I broke off to watch Bargain Hunt. Before it started I grabbed my pre-food tablets. As the start of the show isn’t (to me) as important as the finish I was able to put my meal in the microwave and empty the drier, putting everything on the airer. I dashed through once the microwave binged me and got my meal to eat in front of the TV. I didn’t miss any of the auction nor one team making £135 profit on one item. An antiques show and the best profit is on an item made from  resin!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     At 1.00 pm  I turned the TV off much to Joey’s disgust and came through here adding to his disgust and his squawking displeasure. There was plenty to do which also included a visit to Ebay as I’d promised myself. I was spoiled for choice.                                                                                                                                                                                                           At 3.00 pm I started playing yo-yo by going back to the TV for  A Place in the Country  until 3.45 pm then back here until my regular departure at 4.30 pm. The cycle then proceeded as usual, Flog It, Cold Case and Without a Trace until 7.00 pm and then new to this channel for me Stargate. The only problem has been that I saw the start of Without a Trace then nodded off until halfway through Stargate. Two programmes where I couldn’t follow the storyline.

At 9.00 pm I reminded Joey it was bedtime and like a good lad he went into his cage. I wandered through to the kitchen and took my meds with my eyes roaming everywhere for something to chomp on. I wasn’t hungry, just a greedy pig. In the end I had nothing as my willpower shone through. Lights out I came through to work knowing there would be a good bit to catch up on. Who cares, sleep is overrated anyway.

Not sure if this is the chef or Pandit Nehru.

That crockledile is ready for those fingers. Any mo’ now.

Note I wore a more conservative yellow for St. David's Day.

Note, I wore a more conservative yellow for St. David’s Day.

  Sorry,it’s the best version I can find.

Tuesday 8th March.

Bed was around 11.30 pm and of course I had to read for a while. Two chapters of this one took me more or less to 12.25 am and lights out. I didn’t have much wriggling last night as I’d read with my whole body out of the covers and my legs were col. Some nights it’s just too nippy to do that. I was up at 3.09 am this morning so had time to clear a few items of mail before having to leave for Chester. I had my fingers crossed for a nice day as most of yesterday had been. Bright but with a crispness in the air. I’m fed up of the damp now.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Once the triple jump to the Kingdom of Karsie was done I came back and logged on. There was plenty of mail and I had a good start with it. I did break off at 4.00 am though to go and get my meds and have breakfast. Indecisive as ever I couldn’t settle on either cereal or toast so my wonderful diabetic intuition told me Both. The cereal was Rice Krispies ( come on Kellog’s, I’m doing product adverts for you here). Things were going well Having had a spoonful of cereal I went for the toast next bu dropped it from a height. Somebody’s law (Murphy’s?) dictated where it had to land and moments later it looked like I had facial boils, including my glasses. Oliver Cromwell and his ‘ Paint me, boils and all’ would have been proud. I looked like a plague victim and so did the surrounding work surface. Fortunately for me I didn’t have to have reconstructive surgery (though many say I should) nor even go round with a sterile needle.

It was about 4.45 am when I returned to the computer which I thought should have come awake a lot quicker given that it had slept longer than me. I continued with the mail and was clear at 5.35 am though stragglers kept coming in. I opened up Ebay and started looking for coz presents ( here’s a present coz I love you). Sometimes it’s nice instead of an egg at Easter. Hm, sometimes it’s nice as well as an egg at Easter.I had a message from Lee who said he was surprised I could only find 2 USB ports on the new computer since it’s standard to have more. Knowing I’d ordered the hub with 4 on I didn’t worry too much but something made me go and take another look. First off, there are two USB ports on the front of the base which is magic for putting my card reader on, but on the back I found 4 more (I think) apart from the two I’m using. How the heck did I miss 6 ports like that? Tomorrow night it should all be up and running and I don’t mind admitting I’m nervous. I almost tried to persuade Lee to put Windows 7 on the existing computer and I’d carry on with it for now, perhaps update the memory and the HDD at a later date. What surprises me is how blase he is about the change. He reckons 10 minutes to download the files I want to the slave HDD and then just attaching that to the new one and uploading them. It will take a while but doesn’t need my attention. The thing I want most at the moment is my SKYPE back.

At 7.20 am I got my coat on and made ready to leave. I opened Joey’s cage so he had freedom while I was out, closed the lounge door and left. I’d put on a sports jacket because it looked quite nice but of course it started raining half way up the hill. I tried to speed up, I may be shrink proof but I’m not sure about the clothes. Two other buses stopped to see if I wanted to get on but I waited for mine who was almost back to the old time of 7.45 am. The journey was OK except I had to keep trying to do a Whoopi Goldberg and get the traffic lights to change. There were delays with roadworks. Somehow we were only about 3 minutes later than usual. I thanked the driver and got off. They were waiting for me in the bus shelter as it was raining in Chester too.                                                                                                                                                                                       There was a big grin off Reuben and a lovely hug from Yvonne. Amelie snored gently in her pram. We headed for an old shop in new premises to get out of the rain. It was very nice, a lot more stock and very roomy. Once we’d had a good look round and Reuben had a new toy we left to go for coffee. He really showed his displeasure when we bypassed a toy shop he wanted to go in even though Yvonne said we could go there after a drink. Heavens, Reuben can throw a better tantrum than me when he doesn’t get his own way. Take me out of a shop when I’m looking and watch me perform.

We had our coffee and I had hold of Amelie who’d woken up. She wanted her breakfast too. When it came to feeding time Roobs was watching something on Yvonne’s phone and she was obviously otherwise engaged, I said I’d take a walk. Now you have to be fair here. I found some nice bedding in the sale but didn’t buy it. However, I walked round the gents section and came out with a shirt and 3 jumpers for less than 20 quid. It’s not my fault, If Amelie didn’t want feeding and if Yvonne didn’t give in to her, I wouldn’t have been alone and seen this stuff. Yvonne looked very surprised when I returned with my bag and said t was time to go. I didn’t admonish her as I’m a very generous chap.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      We moved on to the shop Reuben had wanted before and I found a book there for emergencies. He got another toy. Again we moved on, this time to the Grosvenor Precinct which is the main shopping centre on Chester. I managed to get something nice for Amelie and some lovely long gloves Yvonne liked as well as a watch for Ugo. Then it was time to go for my bus. I was on time and had a decent journey home. I called into Pauline’s and for some reason bought 3 scratch cards. When I got home and had a tongue lashing from you know who, I took my pre-foodies and set a chips and curry sauce on. It’s a new make and the timings are very different. It has more chips and more sauce and the latter has a very fruity genuine curry taste though still very mild. I enjoyed it. Once lunch was over I couldn’t go to sleep so came through to see what the damage was.

I worked from 1.30 pm  to 5.00 pm before having a break. I hadn’t caught up. I had my programmes from 5.00 pm until 9.00 pm before coming back to have another go. More had come through since the world never sleeps. It kept me going until 10.40 pm until I was clear and able to start the blog. It’s a midnight finish.

At Betws y Coed

At Betws y Coed

Also at Betws y Coed

Also at Betws y Coed

Wednesday 9th March

I made it to bed at 11.50 pm  and read until about 12.30 am when I put my light out. Falling asleep wasn’t a problem, staying asleep was though. I’d fall asleep for to or three minutes and was then awake again. That must have happened 5 times. Eventually I fell asleep and stayed that way until 4.18 am when I woke properly and ready to face the new day. Well almost. First the Piddle Palace and then the kitchen where I took my meds including my pre-foodies and then had breakfast, a toasted bap today with strawberry jam. I came back to start work coffee in hand. I worked until about 5.00 am when Microsoft informed me it was closing down for updates. I told it to postpone for 4 hours and threw myself into the mail. After about 20 minutes it suddenly closed down. I hate that happening. Luckily when it came back it brought the appropriate pages where I’d been back up again.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I started again and finished at 6.05 am. I sat in my chair head back, relaxing. Not enough to nod off though. Eventually the new lot came. 14 at first and I thought all would be OK. I’d only done 2 when it jumped to 33, to 64 and thence to 97. I just kept going and had to fight the urge to nod off, especially as I relaxed and burned my hand on a cigarette I was holding in the other hand. 9.42 am showed on the clock before I finally finished. Joey was delighted.

I did watch HUtH with Joey but as he yattered all the way through it I’m beginning to think he doesn’t care about the programme, just about me being in there suffering earache. Some gratitude that is. At 11.00 am I returned to work and wondered why I hadn’t heard from Jade who assured me last week that it would be Wednesday this week. Mind you, she did say that the week before as well. At 11.45 am I was clear again and went for lunch. I took my pre-foodies then went to the chippie. I’d just got back when Jade sent me a text to say either 3.00 pm today or 2.00 pm tomorrow, she’d let me know within the hour. By 3.30 pm it was pretty clear to an intellect as sharp as mine that she wasn’t coming today. A fair chance she wasn’t letting me know either. Fine, next week I’ll work on ESP alone maybe.                                                                                     I kept the mail down as much as possible all afternoon and only stopped at 4.00 pm when I wanted to be handy if Dil came. He turned up at 4.30 pm so I made him a cup of tea and we chatted. At 5.15 pm we watched out quiz but Lee turned up at 5.25 pm. He and I deserted to look at the computer. I thought all was going to go well now and that Lee would show me how to get the files I wanted onto the slave drive and then I could bring the new one through and transfer the files. I think there must be a new small god I haven’t met yet. My computer wasn’t recognising the slave drive. Lee spent as long as he could trying to find out why not and see whether the problem lay with the computer or the drive. Typically it’s the computer. Quite a major glitch if something has crawled into the woodwork on the back of something else.                                                  He decided the way forward was to put the files I want onto discs and so he showed me drag and drop. That seemed to work. I did one disc and thought I’d try the transfer when it finished. He looked at my skype problem and said just download it as new on the new computer as it’s a bad problem on the current one preventing it. By 6.30 pm he had to go, understandably as he’s been at work all day.

I left all computer related stuff and rejoined Dil for our games. Is there by any chance a small god of the dice too? In the first Yahtzee run I lost 4-2. Not too bothered I started the second run hopeful and won the first two lines, then we had our first ever draw and he won 2 lines. I was determined the last one would be mine. I can still hear the mocking laughter. A disaster. And so, out came the Trivial Pursuit. I was able to answer questions no problem as long as I wasn’t on the square that won me a coloured piece of pie. Dil just romped away. He had 5 pieces in before I got my third. I almost grovelled at his feet when it was time to go and he said “We’ll have to call this a draw” or this would have been the worst day in a long time. Once he’d gone I had a very quick tidy up then washed the pots. I came through and got the disc which I took through to the new computer. I managed to open it no problem but couldn’t find a way of downloading the files. It was quite hard in Mike’s room as I have no computer table in there. OK, forget the files, let’s see if we can solve the Skype problem. I opened the Google Chrome button but it said there was no internet. WHAT !!? I came back here and sure enough the internet is live. On the new one it said no internet detected, none available to connect to. I haven’t an ethernet cable and if I had it’s too far to the box. I think I need to call a professional in to sort it and pay through the nose. Sobbing and chewing a cushion to drown the noise I gave up and came back through to see to the mail. It took until 11.08 pm to clear the last of that and start the blog. Midnight is going to be touch and go.

Scared at the cinema but Roobs is OK.

Scared at the cinema but Roobs is OK.

Looking out for l'il sister.

Looking out for l’il sister.

Thursday 10th March.

Well, midnight came and went and I got to bed at 12.28 am. I read until 1.15 am or until my eyes were ready to close so I didn’t even finish the chapter.  It was another of those nights where I slept for a couple of minutes then woke again as though I’d heard something, I hadn’t.  I woke at 2.28 am as though it was time to get up but I fought back. Eventually I slept again as I knew I would. I woke at 5.12 am and it was getting up time and not in  the delicious sense that means you have a partner still. I did the triple jump to Pee Hall and came back to log on. I was part way through a response to a message when without warning, Grrrr, Microsoft decided to provide some updates. My computer closed down and not a thing I could do about it. That really annoys me. Sometimes I get warning and can postpone things but not today.                                            I headed for the kitchen and took all my meds then made a coffee to bring back. When I got here the screen was waiting for me to log back in. It was 6.15 am and going back to the net I found I’d lost all the response I’d made to the message I’d been reading and had to start again. Worse still of course was that my mailbox was filling with the daily deluge.

At 9.15 am it was time for Pauline’s for my bread and lottery tickets. I walked back with Margaret, one of my neighbours, and we nattered all the way back.I have no idea  what we spoke about so it may have been talking for talking’s sake. So much for my inner calm this morning. At home I managed a few more messages before deserting and going to watch HUtH on TV. The postman brought my USB hub during the programme. I won’t tell you what Joey did on one of his bombing missions. Suffice it to say I hope it’s lucky and that his pocket money will be stopped to pay the cleaning bill. At 11.00 am I returned to work and stayed until 11.57 am when the box was finally cleared. Now time for lunch. I peeled the sweet potato, put the sausages under the grill and when they were due to be turned put the sweet potatoes in the microwave for 7 minutes. I’d just finished plating up when I found myself glancing at my pre-foodies which I’d forgotten to take. No way was I waiting for 15 minutes so I settled on 15 seconds today. I enjoyed my meal and at least remembered to take the two after meal tablets.

At 2.30 pm I received a text saying Jade had been asked to cover for sickness and would be here on Saturday instead. I explained I’m not in on a Saturday but I’d see her next week. She promised Wednesday 100%. I told her I’m keeping the text handy. I spent the next hour online trying to find out which end of the feather duster I hold, it only took so long as I found a few novel ways and enjoyed them. I plugged the end of the hoover wire into the wall but no noise issued forth nor did it pick up anything from my carpet even though I tested it with a plate of biscuit crumbs. I started to put it away and found a little switch on the wall which I clicked. No, still no noise but the music from the radio was nice. I had to take a brush to the crumbs in the end but even though it was specified as a crumb brush it took forever. I need help or at the very least written survival for a single man instructions.

Crumb brush and tray

Crumb brush and tray, late Victorian Art Nouveau.

I alternated the afternoon between bouts of working while sobbing uncontrollably at the unfairness of it all and joining Joey for a bit of leisurely TV watching.I the end when I’d vented my frustration on all you in the unreal world, I stayed with TV starting at 5.00 pm with my Cold Case. It was good but I can’t say the same for Without a Trace as I only saw the first ten minutes and fell asleep. The last five minutes at the end made no sense as I made tea in the kitchen instead. Mike had sent a text at 5.00 pm to say he was on his way so I expected him about 7.30 pm. I was watching Star Gate when he sent another text at 7.30 pm to see if I wanted anything from the chippy. My hand acted independently from my brain and sent ‘No thanks’.  He arrived at 7.50 pm and I had to sit here watching him fill his face. It almost made me miss the beginning of Sanctuary. At 9.00 pm I said I was coming through and I waited for him to complain, he must have known I’d stick my arm down his throat as he didn’t say a word.

He went to bed about 10.45 pm and I nipped through to tell him about the scratch cards (which I see I forgot to mention to you). Each card had 4 lines on. On the first card I had one line winning £2 on the second card I had a line of £1, another of £1 one of £2 and the last was again £1. On the third card I won nothing. Can you imagine it, taking my money under false pretences like that. Mike pointed out I’d won £7 for a £3 outlay as though that made a difference, and where was his share. At that point I remembered the bread baking in the oven and had to run. I was done with mail at 10.57 pm and able to start the blog. I’ve assured my fingers of a rest at midnight.

Time for sleepy byes.

Time for sleepy byes.

The gardener to be....

The gardener to be….

Divine.

Friday 11th March.

Midnight it was. I crawled into bed and read for slightly more than an hour then lights off and settle down. I must have slept fairly quickly which was good.  I woke up at 2.18 am. I knew there was more sleep to come but first I needed to scratch the skin off my leg then apply some cream  which stung. Not exactly the way the treatment plan was supposed to go but it works for me. I had a cigarette, hobbled to the loo and back then settled down again at 2.30 am and tried to ignore the itching. When I woke properly this morning at 4.43 am I saw that I’d better put a dressing on my leg. I found some steroid cream to hold the dressing on while I taped it , crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. It was itching again before 5.00 pm as I walked towards the kitchen but with a display of will power I ignored it…..for a minute.

I took my drugs, then being Friday I needed to replenish the drug tray. I got my drawer from the lounge and started to stock up, marking the repeat prescription with things I needed again next week. It’s ready to go to the chemist on Monday. Once done, I set the Tassimo to make my coffee, returned the drugs drawer to it’s home, disposed of all the empty packaging and was back just as my coffee was ready. I came back to the bedroom and signed on. It only took until 6.07 am to clear the existing mail. Time for a breather. A short breather by necessity as within minutes the box was filling up again.                                                                                                                                              By 9.20 am I was free to go see to Joey. He’d been very quiet so far which was strange. No admonishment for leaving him locked up in daylight. He was still subdued as I opened his door and as I sat in my chair talking to him, and before you say it,Yes, he could get a word in edgewise. All I could wonder is whether it was the sound of a drill from next door upsetting him, but it wasn’t loud. I put Frasier on the TV. At about 9.40 am Mike emerged from his pit and went straight to the kitchen to make a drink. Up at that time with no alarm, I wondered if it was the end times. You know, the Mayan calendar not having made an allowance for leap years all those centuries ago.

At 10.00 am HUtH came on but Joey still kept quiet. Mike didn’t though, he chose that time to go into a very detailed explanation of something and I almost missed a property in Tonypandy. Joey came out and sat on the mirror and did a headbanging spectacular with his oppo in the mirror. Ah, maybe it’s concussion keeping him quiet. After the programme I returned to work and Mike went to get dressed and go off to Manchester and his father. Margaret who I’d talked with yesterday called round with details of one of the computer repair shops in he area. I’d meantime found another one much closer but my emails were being bounced back. Maybe I’ll have to deal with the one in town. I worked until 11.50 am then went to start seeing to lunch. I actually remembered to take my tablets 15 minutes before I’d eat today. I ate very quickly so none of you would see what I was eating (again) then sat watching Bargain Hunt. Joey never made a peep. I fell asleep in my chair ( the next one who says ‘How unusual’ in a voice dripping with sarcasm is in trouble) until 2.03 pm when yet again I returned to work.

Messages consumed me until 4.30 pm when I knocked off till late evening. A few minutes of Flog it before my Cold Case came on. Mike sent a text about 7.00 pm to say he was on his way.I saw my Without a Trace peacefully and also Star Gate. I was watching the semi final of Mastermind when he arrived.  He sat and watched with me as he likes quizzes as much as I do. At 8.30 pm I went to get a shower. Instead of having a coffee Mike was there to wash my hair to try and prevent more angina attacks this week. After that, I watched half an hour of football with him then disappeared to work. The mail was clear before 10.30 pm and I was able to start the blog. Woo Hoo, it’s an early night for me.

Erm' has someone forgotten my seat belt?

Erm’ has someone forgotten my seat belt?

Mummy said I could slip into something comfortable. I did, their bed!

Mummy said I could slip into something comfortable. I did, their bed!

Saturday 12th March.

Bed at 11.45 pm, read till 12.50 am light off. Sleep. Wake at 2.12 am. I decided just to class this as a trial run for the real thing so after a visit to the loo and a ciggie I got back into bed. I next woke at 4.41 am and this was the real thing. Bright eyes and bushy tailed are just two of the things that didn’t apply to me this morning. I got stuck into the mail until 5.30 am when I went and had some toast and my meds. I took a coffee back with me to carry on knocking the post out of the court but I knew I’d be defeated soon. At 6.10 am the mailbox was filling up nicely and at 6.15 am Mike’s alarm went off. I went to do his coffee and take it through to him. The usual grunt in reply and after 5 alarms he got up at 6.50 am. I’d done a bit more mail by then.

While he was perched in his chair with matchsticks holding his eyes pen I did the bins, household and food and took them outside. Once that was done I just had to wait for Mike. He came to move me along at 7.00 am. On our way out I met my other next door neighbour Dorothy who complained that despite living next door she never saw me. Mike suggested she count herself lucky. Dorothy could chat for Britain and rarely pauses for breath but he’s a delight and I didn’t want to be rude. Bert came along and gave me the excuse I needed. Mike complained that despite being dressed and ready early, we were actually still only getting out at our usual time.                                                    At the supermarket not long after I got the cash while he got the trolley then we went to select Ju’s flowers. We ended up with two nice though small bunches. Further into the store Mike went to find some deodorant to take to Canada ( don’t they sell it there?) While I went to  find some dressings and some micropore tape. Next is round the corner and a few degrees due West to the kiddies clothes. Amelie was lucky today. We edged towards the gents clothing as Mike still needs some things to take away.

Once Mike is sorted we move towards the object of this exercise-Food. But first we pass the toys and I find something fun for Reuben that makes up for not getting any clothes. I know which he’d prefer anyway. As we pass more shelves with food, the trolley starts getting less and less room. In goes the bread, the cakes, the sweets, the pop, the coffee pods, the milk, micromeals, roast beef slices, sausages and we mustn’t forget biscuits and yoghurts. I paid up and we went for coffee.                                                            When we’d finished we headed for Flint and undertook a minor detour to ALDI so I could look at Easter eggs. I decided they were unusual enough that I got four from there and Mike added a bunch of daffodils to my basket for Ju’s vase to add a little colour at the front. We headed off again and parked up by Temptations. Making sure I had a bag in my pocket we walked over to Homies enjoying a cigarette. There I got the last of the Easter eggs I needed. They made me pay for them before I could leave the shop though. I must get bigger pockets.

We walked over for our coffee and Mike’s breakfast. Ceri was on with a young lad we hadn’t seen before. It turned out he’s Sian’s son. We were gobsmacked to say the least as Sian never seems to be over about 25 and this lad was not in nappies.( at least as far as we could tell). We said hello to quite a few of the regulars and enjoyed some banter with Ceri that can’t be repeated but which was funny. When we left we had a look in a large catalogue returns shop at computers and TV’s for no real reason then got in the car and had the usual ‘where to now’ conversation we have every week. We settled on going to Holywell where I think Mike hoped to persuade me to visit one of the computer service shops but which I was in no mood to do. He took the opportunity to visit his building society and then we walked down the street. There in the window of a charity shop was the perfect console table and instead of it’s usual £100+ price, it was £25. The only problem was it wouldn’t fit into Mike’s car unless it could be disassembled. He went in to ask about it. A few minutes later he was out again. He’d paid, and they’d agreed to take it apart while we had lunch. We ate in the top Bells.

Coming out Mike walked up to where we’d left the car and drove round to the other end of town so he could access the main street which is one way when it isn’t fully pedestrianised. He parked in front of the shop. There was a youngster of about ten helping , ready to open the door for me. First Mike and I took all the shopping out of the boot and put it on the pavement then he set the roof to lower into the boot space. The youngster was fascinated. I told him Mike was preparing for space mode. We brought the table out and packed it behind the front seats. It was a tight fit. Then out came the roof again and back into the boot went the shopping. I gave the youngster £1 for his help. I know he’d have done it for nothing if he could have retracted that roof just once. We came home and emptied the boot.

I put the shopping away and made my excuses to come away and start work. I made Mike a coffee while he tried to move the table to the boot though I warned him it wouldn’t go, he swore it would. I was disappointed that my card reader still hasn’t arrived though it was due Thursday. Anyway, I started work. There were over 100 messages and they kept me pinned to my chair from 1.45 pm to 5.55 pm when I needed a break.Mike had been in a couple of times to see if I was awake and whether I was coming through. I stayed watching the box with him until 9.00 pm and then had to come and start again. I won’t have this problem for the next month. I’m trying to keep pace with the mail as I do the blog tonight so there’s nothing there when I’m ready to turn in.

Wishing you all a Great New Week and the opportunity to spread a few more hugs around.

What shall we talk about next?

What shall we talk about next?

Share my food. What choo talkin' 'bout?

Share my food. What choo talkin’ ’bout?

A bonus track by the same beautiful lady, taken from us far too soon.

 

 

 

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When the Postman knocks twice….

Sunday 21 st June.

Another night sleeping in my chair in the lounge ensured I got some sleep and kept breathing.It was a long night though and I didn’t want to turn the TV on even quietly in case it disturbed Mike. As it happens, he tells me he had a poor night listening out to make sure I was still breathing.  I got up at 6.00 am and started taking meds and making myself some toast to take the steroids with. I didn’t know they needed feeding first.

I was in my bedroom on the computer when Mike stuck his head in about 9.30 am. He’s getting very good at getting himself up. He’ll be getting himself dressed soon as well. We had plenty of time this morning as we weren’t meeting anyone for lunch until 12.30 pm so needn’t think of leaving before 11.30 am. By the time we’d faffed about shaving and getting dressed it was 11.45 am. We took a slow drive down the coast road to Prestatyn and parked up in the car park of the new place. It looked much nicer than it had when it was the worst pub in the town. A new extension made all the difference. Mike and I were a bit worried that no-one was inside when we got there, especially Karen and Jo who’d made the booking. I was beginning to think I’d directed Mike to the wrong place. Then Lee , Jen and the new baby arrived so I thought we were OK. The booking was for 12.30 pm and at 12.40 pm we’re on the steps being told there’s no booking and heck No Karen and Jo, no Yvonne, Ugo and Reuben either.

Karen and Jo were last to arrive. I expect it of Yvonne/Ugo but not usually them. Anyway, the booking was sorted. The Manageress had taken it and not written it down. The staff couldn’t argue with her. They found us two tables to push together, Reuben was brought paper and crayons and things were looking up. We still had the argument about who’s paying to go through and someone rugby tackled my legs when I tried to do a runner. Of the 8 adults 7 chose a carvery and Ugo chose a lamb burger meal. The fathers amongst us were given vouchers for a free drink ( but only alcoholic?) so I passed my voucher to Ugo and had a lime and lemonade. He was having a pint of beer anyway but could maybe take a bottle home. He ended up with two of those.

The carvery was fantastic and I was worried when the manageress came round to help me fill my plate because of the crutches. When that’s happened in the past  the ‘helpful’ ones have restricted my intake. She was amazing offering more and more which had I accepted would have looked like The Great Pyramid of Giza and she’d have broken a wrist carrying it. I tell you this so you can see how restrained I am. I take a lot of strength from being with my family like that, they’re special people but before too long I’d had enough. I asked for another lime and lemonade then we all went our merry way. At home Mike was going to watch the grand prix but my eyes were tired and heavy and I fell into a deep sleep that lasted over two hours he told me. At least I woke up in time for him to go this time. After waving him off about 6.30 pm I sat back in front of the TV  and coughed, coughed and coughed some more till it was bedtime.

Warpaint on.

Warpaint on.

Ready for wandering

Ready for wandering

Monday.

On this Date, at this Place, at this Time, nothing extraordinary happened. I should have a plaque put above my front door. I had managed to get some sleep in the chair but was still up and about before 5.00 am.  I had a pre-foodie to have breakfast to take the steroids and then took all my other meds. I took a coffee to the bedroom and had a half hour on the computer before getting dressed. At 8.50 am I started walking towards the Chemist/Post Office. I needed to hand in my request for repeat prescriptions and then also to post a parcel. I hope early next week a friend may get a nice surprise and have a giggle. On the way back I called in at Pauline’s to buy a few things. After I’d paid for them I handed over my lottery ticket from Saturday to collect £25 I’d won. Nice to leave the shop with a profit.

Back at home I was knackered. I sat in my chair to watch a programme on buying houses at auctions. I fell asleep. A good thing maybe as sleep is the great cure-all, but I didn’t hear the warden at the door and so missed her visit. Yvonne texted me to say she’d had a message on her phone from the DWP ( Dept of Works and Pensions) which must mean they have more questions. But, they hadn’t phoned my house phone and left a message, and nor told Yvonne anything on the phone. Annoyingly when she tried to phone back during a work break she just got a recorded message to say if they required anything else they’d phone again. That leads me to think they’ll actually waste more time now and write to me.  I’ve nothing left to give them, they already have all the proof I had to give them. I just want to hear they’ve sorted the mess that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

After lunch I managed a read , a sleep and a bit of TV. Then I had the worst coughing fit yet which completely blacked me out, but I don’t know how long for. Probably a matter of seconds I suppose. For my tea I took my Oz Doc’s advice and indulged in a little BFG. I’d forgotten how good it tasted. Later in the evening ,well after my quizzes and a really upsetting Who Do You Think You Are with Stephen Fry I came back to the computer for what should have been a half hour but which turned out to be an hour and a half. At least I managed to get some work done and my conscience pricks less.

Tuesday.

At 2.00 am I gave up trying to sleep in the bedroom. I kept sliding down the bed and trying to roll onto my right side which is how I sleep usually. Pure Bert next door must be fed up of the constant coughing now, and mine’s no better. I went through to the lounge and slept there till 5.00 am. I had an early breakfast with my steroids and left the rest till later. I’m still not up to spending all my time on the computer keeping up with emails so am still limiting my time. But, from 5.30 am to 7.00 am didn’t seem to bad. Then I took the rest of the meds and nodded off in the chair for another hour. I’ve no intention of leaving the house today so got dressed leaving my socks off, I’m such a Bohemian. I saw one of my neighbours going out and a few minutes later saw the warden going to his door. I opened the front door to apologise for missing her yesterday while I slept. She came in today and we had a good old chinwag which also involved her persuading me to wear my alarm pendant while I’m still below par. Any repeat hiccups like yesterday and I may need help. Once she’d gone the postie came and he brought the leather jacket I’d ordered just yesterday morning. Talk about speed. Now I must try and see Karen and Jo before they go away next week.

I had corned beef hash at lunch time and watched my Bargain Hunt then back on the computer for a while but at 2.30 am I’d had enough and went through to the lounge. My timing was actually perfect. The phone rang and when it stopped I checked and it was the DWP (pensions) who next rang Yvonne and told her yes, there had been an error and they hadn’t allowed for my tax, hence a large deduction and an overpayment. It seems the fault was actually mine though for having provided them with too much information. i.e. I told them the percentage increase and I told them the gross amount. At that point I had already given them the nett amount showing my new rate but the gross figure just threw them. I shouldn’t supply that next year. I can just imagine myself doing that and being accused of not providing enough information. Still, hopefully that’s one problem that might have gone away by Thursday, before the non-existent debt recovery starts. I hoped my drugs might have arrived today but for some reason not. I shall have to walk to the chemist tomorrow to make sure they haven’t been held because they’re waiting for one item again. I am in need of one item. It looks as though we may ( ha, why do I say we when I mean Yvonne) have to phone for more anti-biotics and possibly steroids again in the morning as the chest is still not right though my breathing is much improved.

Wednesday.

I read quite late last night, took off the alarm pendant and tried to sleep. It was impossible to get into a position where I didn’t cough so it was back to my chair again. That worked out quite well as I slept until almost 6.00 am. The sun was up and it looked glorious outside. I took my meds and made a coffee to bring with me into the gloom of my bedroom where the curtains never get opened. I hate the glare of sunlight on my screen. The post wasn’t too bad especially when done in bite size chunks and by 8.00 am I’d actually completed on of the mailboxes. I celebrated with some smothered toast for breakfast.

At 9.00 m I took a slow walk to Pauline’s for some bread and my TV mag. I went in just a tee shirt ( yes, I was wearing jeans too) and there seemed to be some warmth from the sun. It was really pleasant. Aldo pleasant was the ability to breathe again. Though the walk left me breathless, it wasn’t the same as the oppressiveness of the bronchitis. The cough and it’s content are still there though so Yvonne had spoken to the surgery and asked for another home visit to see if more steroids & antibiotics are needed. We’ll have to see who I get this time.

The postman came when I got back but still nothing from the DWP who have supposedly put a letter in the post for me. A text from Dil putting tonight off was disappointing but then he rescheduled for tomorrow and that was great. I watched TV during the morning and occasionally nodded off. During Bargain Hunt the doctor chose to appear so I missed the auctions at the end, Bummer. She was nicer today and almost pleasant after the lecture about you know what. Anyway, she left me a prescription for more steroids on a declining dose after 5 days and some more antibiotics. I also have to give a sputum sample but it didn’t occur to me to ask what she wanted me to do with it after I’d given it. Anyway, once she’d gone I got my shoes on and trudged up as far as the chemist then stood gasping for breath while he filled the prescription. At the same time, my drugs from the Monday morning request had been dealt with and I was able to bring those home too. I had some beef stew and dumplings for lunch which was quite pleasant then even though I wanted a nap I decided to come through and heck the post so I can get back to normal, if you can use that word and me in the same sentence.

I stayed answering mail for almost 2 hours and it left me weary. ( my excuse and I’m sticking to it). Back to my chair in the lounge and I flaked out for over an hour and missed the start of my quiz. After Quizzes 1 & 2 I moved on to a show called Wheeler Dealers for half an hour and then came back for another attempt at the mail. By 8.00 pm I’d succeeded in clearing one account out but didn’t have time for the other just then. I needed a cold drink and the chance to watch some more TV , in particular at 9.00 pm is the show Auction Hunters I mentioned last week. It’s excellent. And it was, excellent I mean, lots of enthusiasm from the two buyers but lots of humour too. And no nastiness towards the others trying to buy the ‘rooms’ which many of the other shows seem to feature. I have a particular dislike for Lori and Brandon off a different show and I’m ashamed to be British when I see the competitors on the UK version. Nasty, Nasty, Brashty. At 10.00 pm I came back through to check my mail boxes and unbelievably they were clear so I took the opportunity to get an early reading night.

sliding 1

sliding 3

Thursday.

I did a fair bit of reading in bed last night. It was getting on for 3.00 am when I turned the light off and since I seemed to be well propped decided to sleep where I was. It was lovely to wake this morning to quite bright sunshine, even if I was seeing it at a slightly odd angle- sideways on and through a ferocious coughing fit. Obviously the two were related since I’d toppled over at a right angle and my lungs weren’t able to get any air. I struggled upright and swung my legs out of bed. The coughing subsided on the way to the loo which was just as well as I wasn’t wearing the alarm pendant. I came back and cleared my office chair to let me sit down and log on. It was then I noticed it was only 5.20 am. I felt cheated. Anyway, at least there was chance to sign into my bank and see what’s happened with my pension payments following the DWP conversation with Yvonne a couple of days ago. Firstly let me clear up that my maths wasn’t very accurate. They’ve been taking £25 pw from me not £30 pw. And they’ve done it for 4 weeks so far so they should owe me £100 plus this week’s money at the rate before their mistake. But,though they have in fact paid me arrears, it’s very confusing because the figures make no sense. I shall have to try and decipher the letter when it comes.

At 6.00 am I went through and started lobbing pills down my throat in order to have breakfast. I couldn’t be sure of eating at the other end of the day with Dil coming for games night so breakfast and lunch seem the most appropriate meals today. Coming back after my Cornflakes I started an assault on the mail. Things were going so well I was able to get dressed at 8.30 am ( in actual fact I did have the ability to get dressed before this but chose not too) and at 9.00 am I was ready to brave the Mother’s Mafia to get my lottery tickets. It was really odd that as I approached the road I needed to cross a large estate car turned partly out of the traffic coming down the hill as though to turn into my road but then started trying to u-turn back into the flow it had just left. Then the brakes went on where she was, across the junction. When I came out of Pauline’s minutes later ( I got to the front of the queue) the car was now on my side of the road, facing the traffic going downhill but backing into a position on the other side of the road as though trying to park up. She then shot forward and edged into the downhill flow where she’d started from and all without a single signal.

The postie came not long after I arrived home and yes, it was a big brown envelope. Here I was hoping for an explanation of what’s happened with the pension and all I got was a letter regarding the start of recovery on the £142.00 I don’t owe them. The letter says they’ll start next week but hopefully by then the whole thing will have been ironed out. Still no sign of the letter supposedly sent to me on Monday. I had a little time back with my mail and then retired to the lounge for a look at a property programme and one re-uniting missing family members both were followed by my Bargain Hunt. The property one I really enjoy and slept through most of it. The family one I was awake for but missed chunks while I did my lunch of sausage, boiled new potatoes and beans and then I was able to watch Bargain Hunt in full- Yes, you heard me, even to the auction phase though I don’t remember the results so my attention may have been elsewhere. I turned off after that and came back through to see how much damage the morning had wrought on my post. Answer, A lot. I could only allow an hour as I’d promised myself Who Do You Think You Are with the great Annie Lennox as the subject. Fascinating.

I had a text about 2.30 pm to say Mike was on his way so hopefully he’ll be here by 5.30 pm. I also had a text from Dil to see if other visitors were here today. He’s now coming about 4.30 pm which is brilliant. My brother is one of the nicest people I know.Very laid back and even tempered which is not to say he can’t get angry when the occasion warrants it. We have been apart for many years living in different places. Never kept in touch except for the odd Christmas card but I’ve never disliked my brother or not been glad to see him. Our closeness over the last four years or so since they moved back into the area has been great, especially with the institution of this games evening after Ju died that he seems to enjoy as much as I do. Anyhoo, Dil and Matt arrived about 4.20 am, I’d forgotten he was off this week. Mike strolled in at just gone 5.00 pm so I got his drink and we all sat to watch the quiz. At 6.00 pm when the quiz was over off went the TV and out came the table. I can tell you we played Yahtzee, Chase the Lady and Crazy 8’s. I can tell you also that if I have to mention the scores I may well have to jump off a high bridge. Even my constant coughing didn’t distract them, merciless as they are. Are you beginning to get the gist of this conversation and an idea about the type of people I play games with?

At 9.30 pm Dil and Matt left a lot smugger than they arrived. I tidied up quickly and then made Mike something to eat though actually I just told him how much time to put on the microwave. I had a sandwich and then we settled to watch Person of Interest. It’s a shame I’ve missed so many of them and can’t follow the story anymore. At 11.00 pm I said goodnight and came through to have a last go at the mail. It’s 3 mins to midnight now and I’m heading off for a read.

Friday.

A slightly surreal start to the day.I went through to the lounge and my chair when I finished reading at 1.00 am. I slept until 3.40 am then came through to the bedroom. Immediately there was a coughing fit which was followed by a huge sneeze and my glasses shot off my nose. I have shocking eyesight without the glasses and having a rough idea of direction I got down on my knees to search. I was praying for no accidents as my spares are a dark lens and inside the house not ideal. Even sunny days look grim. The area to search wasn’t very big since it’s a small room and I sit in the middle of it, but, no sign of the glasses. I moved a pair of shoes to see if they’d gone behind but instead found they’d landed, properly folded ( and intact) inside the left shoe. I turned the computer on and headed for the bank. No more from the DWP but at least my normal pension has gone in and I can eat again. Once I’d done that I signed into the first of my mail boxes and started clearing what I could.

At 6.10 am I went through to the kitchen. Had my normal sprays and my usual tablets then added the antibiotic to the mix. I took a pre-foodie,put two pieces of bread in the toaster and put the steroids and post foodies to one side. Being Friday it’s renewal day for my drug container. Yesterday when pushing an antibiotic out of the foil I’d split a nail well below the part where skin joins nail and had to apply a plaster immediately. This morning I found I couldn’t use my right thumb for the job without bending the nail in a way I really didn’t want. I had to resort to useless left hand and the job ended up taking until 6.55 am,way outside the 15 mins between pre-foodie and eating. I think I inhaled the toast it was gone so quickly. I made my coffee to take the other tablets with and left the kitchen.

It was still too early to wake Mike no matter how much the temptation rattled round my cruel head, and I didn’t want to start watching TV so it was back to work. At least no-one can moan when I’m alone. By 8.30 am I’d actually got more or less up to date and I knew my life was returning to normal as within a very short space of time I was notified of a $25.5 m payment due to me, told I’d need to clarify certain information with The Bank of Ireland  despite not dealing with them and also reminded that I didn’t have long left to pick up my £25 voucher from a clothing store even though I could patently see they hadn’t sent it. I think the silly season is starting again. I got dressed. There had been rain outside ( huh, how unusual- sarcasm) but it was still warm enough for a tee-shirt. At 8.45 am I put the kettle on and made Mike a coffee which I took through. He doesn’t use an alarm on a Friday so I knew he’d not catch me being early unless he got up immediately. Ha, I should stop this, I don’t specialise in fairy stories. I woke him , told him the drink was there then left him for a few minutes. At 9.00 am I called to him that his drink was going cold and that I was going to Pauline’s for milk.

No mother’s mafia today but there were a couple of customers in. Pauline greeted me and served me with milk, a small bottle of pop and two ice lollies since I was so thirsty and warm. Mike was up and in the lounge when I got back. Judging by his state of dress he was warm too. I remember he told me his lady friends said he has the body of a god. I can see that for myself now, it’s Buddah. Not that I’m any better, just longer so the fat is a little better stretched. I’m the Michelin man with a few extra spare tyres. I sat down with him for a while but this morning he got himself ready to go early as he was dropping a sputum sample off at the surgery for me. I suppose I should put it in a jar? He left at 9.45 am and I’m afraid I turned the TV on to watch a property auction programme and promptly fell asleep. I woke for the last 15 minutes then nodded straight off again missing all the next programme and woke up just at the start of the reuniting family programme. I managed most of that before dropping off yet again and missing most of the antiques show. When I finally woke there seemed no reason to watch the end of it so I turned off and went to make lunch which today just happened to be cottage pie.

After lunch I went back to the computer for a while but I was still tired and now had indigestion which stayed with me the rest of the day. I had my lollies to try and ease the situation but no joy and a drink of pop just made me hiccup and burp. At 3.30 pm I gave up and went back to my chair and the sleep it seemed I needed. Any Zzzz’s floating round must have been mistaken for the insect population so there were no complaints from outside. At 5.00 pm I readied myself for the quiz and got a message from Mike that he was on his way back. Should be here about 6.30 pm then. Idle beggar took an extra ten minutes. I did his coffee and when my episode of Big Bang Theory was over went to get a shower. Mike did my hair for me to save me stretching and then bollocked me for flooding the bathroom floor- don’t ask ! We watched some TV together until 10.00 pm when I decided to come through and attack the mail again for the last time.  I wanted my bed but the mail kept me till 11.00 pm. The bully said I could have an extra half hour for this and left. Just as well he can’t hear me from his room but I’m tapping very lightly just in case.

Statue of ballerina

Statue of ballerina

 

Statue. Your Country Needs You !

Statue. Your Country Needs You !

Saturday.

Again I read till one. I turned the light out but couldn’t get to sleep. About 2.00 am I went through to the lounge and about 2.30 I heard Mike go to the loo. After that I nodded off until 3.40 am when I though I might just give bed one more try. I propped myself up and zonked. The next thing I know is Mike’s alarm is going off. He’s ignoring it two rooms away and it’s waking me up here. I must have stung someone nice as a wasp in my previous life is all I can say. I galloped to the kitchen and put the kettle on and the stuff in his cup. Then I started taking my tabs. I had a pre-foodie so I could take my prednisilone afterwards. The kettle boiled and I took his drink through more or less as his alarm went off the second time.Back to the kitchen where I finished taking sprays and had a round of toast to take the last of my tablets with. I made myself a cup of coffee and went through to give Mike his second call for me and remind him the coffee was going cold. I got a perfectly viable answer from him which let me think job done but no, his bloody alarm went for the third time and he still went back to sleep. I was trying to get my rubbish bags together and the recycling stuff. I dropped it at the end of the path and when I came back in his fourth alarm coincided with me asking if he was going for a new record this week. He moved, it was 7.00 pm. Mike 4 A 3 C  a new low I think.

By the time we were both dressed and ready to go it was 7.40 am but we were there by just past 8.00 am thanks to Mike having permission to travel at the speed of light and the luck to get there in one piece. I got money from the machine and we started.  Typically my shopping list was still sitting on the table at home, but I had last weeks I could play around with. I got every single item on there spot on.Mainly because the only foodstuff was milk, but hey you can’t have everything. Mike had needed some slacks as he’d forgotten to pack a spare pair and he was lucky to find some. We needed some nice chocolates for Ceri’s 40th tomorrow and we found those too. We’d have to leave them for her today as she’s on a weekend off and I don’t usually get there on a Sunday anyway. I should tell you also I got a round of applause on the bread aisle for not being in a wheelchair this week. I didn’t tell them it was because I don’t trust someone’s driving. Keep backing up and locking the wheels etc. Or ditching me mid -aisle while he runs to the loo. I’m not naming names though. After the checkout it was time for a drink and I had a nice- but very thick- chocolate milkshake while Mike had his usual coffee.

Off to Flint next where we parked up and walked over to Homies for a card and gift bag. Mike sat on a bench and wrote them out before we went to Temptations for our usual. I say our usual but I don’t usually have a piece of lemon meringue but I did today. We went to the frozen food shop where I stocked up on ice lollies because of the fantastic temperatures they’ve promised sometime during next week. Most of which will probably be gone this afternoon during the moderate heat of today. When we’d unpaacked at home I opened my mail. The promised brown envelope. Would you believe the letter says my money has been adjusted from 23 May but will go down again on 03.Jul to start recovering the non-existent debt until October. I didn’t know whether to laugh hysterically or weep with frustration. How can they balls up something so simple a second time?

Mike wanted a specific thingamabob to fix his whajacallit so we decided to head towards the Greyhound Park in Chester and we were wondering where to eat today. Passing through Flint we spotted a little cafe and tried there. Not too bad. We carried on to Chester  and I showed him one shop to price them up. Then we could go to another hop to price theirs and pick the best. It was the second shop for him and while there I bought a fan as he complains he gets too warm to sleep at night. Funny. I always thought it was too warm to wake he got. We went into a large  new shop there where I also found a pedestal fan at a good price which I picked up so I have a reserve should I need one. We sat in the car with an ice cream and then headed home.  I needed to get a look at my mail if nothing else. He allowed me from 4.00 pm to 6.00 pm on the computer which seemed a real treat until I tried sitting down for that long to do  it. I managed to do it. We watched Avatar which he hadn’t seen before then a topical subject programme/quiz. Eventually I managed to sneak away again to look at the mail and to do the blog. I think he must have fallen asleep again.

Struttin' his stuff.

Struttin’ his stuff.

And modelling this season's latest...

And modelling this season’s latest…

Have a wonderful new week full of Hugs.

 

 

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Laurel Goes, Stan Follows

Sunday 08 Mar 2015

It was 4.13 am today and one of the few times I think I could have got back into bed and slept again. Trouble was, I had no idea how much work had carried over from last night and how much had come in this morning. I knew Mike wanted to go out today and didn’t know how much of the day I’d lose. So, I forced myself out, made the loo trek and came back to turn on. All of a sudden I didn’t regret my decision. Lt night I’d brought the antibiotics into my bedroom so I could remember to take them out with me. It also meant I could take the 6.00 am one without having to break off from work. However when 7.00 an came round I had to break off to feed the fish. Stan seemed a bit agitated when the light went on but I do know many of the cats don’t like too much light. I put it down to that at first. As I put food in I was checking them as they came darting in. I knew the chances of seeing the synodontis were slim and the ancistrus practically nil, but the rest are usually there on a  food run. One face that was missing was Laurel. Looking down the side window I could see her occupying the place Big Al would normally be had she not evicted him. Something didn’t look right but I couldn’t tell until she moved. Her gill was going rapidly as though gasping for air and she seemed to be swimming more on her side than anything. I don’t have an isolation tank where I can monitor her unfortunately and I know it shouldn’t be an air issue as none of the others are suffering and both the air pump and the air curtain are working well. AS you can imagine I wasn’t a happy camper.

I promised myself I’d keep an eye on the situation but ask Mike’s opinion later. I took my meds and made a drink to bring back through. At 8.00 am I was almost up to date and went to sit in the lounge with my eyes closed. They stayed closed until 08.50 am when conscience got the better of me. I emptied the kitchen bin and added the waste bin from my bedroom to it. None of the noise disturbed Mike at all. ( note to self, Must try harder). Then I returned to work and refreshing the page. Ouch !! At 9.55 am I heard the patter of tiny feet. I’d prepared his mug so let him carry on and make himself a drink while I tried to finish. He crept along the hall and then expressed shock when I waved at him as he thought I was sleeping on the job. As if! (Shhhh). A few minutes later I joined him in thee lounge and explained about Laurel. He took a look and agreed with me she wasn’t well. Both of us were reluctant to take action and he told me about a miraculous recovery for one of his fish which gave me some hope. We decided to make no decision until we came home again. By the time he’d drunk his coffee, looked up something online and ODC’d it to death, got dressed and discussed where we were going it was almost 11.30 am. I made it worse as part way to the car I remembered I needed tablets in my pocket and had to go back. Eventually we were on our way to Rhyl.

We had lunch in the Red Cafe again, what Mike calls cheap and cheerful. I was going to have cottage pie again but Mike decided on an all day breakfast and when I saw there was fried bread, a subject that had come up on our journey, I changed my mind. One sausage, 2 bacon, 1 egg, 1 black pudding, mushrooms, 2 fried bread and some beans.  Mike had 2 sausage, 2 bacon, 1 egg, 1 black pudding, mushrooms and 1 of those terrible potato creations you usually get with McD’s. From there we took a trip to our favourite fish shop to see if they had some of the Fish Science granules for Mike ( well, for his fish really). They had everyone but the one he wanted and all in a small tub. I mentioned a fish shop out of town that Ju and I used to visit when we went to Butterfly’s. I’ve only been in that direction once since she died. The plant and fish part has changed tremendously. We had a look at all the tanks and at all the fish before finding the food he wanted plus some he didn’t know he wanted till he saw it. I’m with him on that because I didn’t think I needed any either until my eyes lit on it. Coming out I remembered my antibiotic and luckily Mike had some drink in the car I’d bought for an emergency. We came home. It was almost four o’clock so Mike set off almost straight after a coffee on his journey home. I on the other hand started on my long journey into work. 6 hours away from the screen can create a lot of work and boy had it taken advantage of that.

I worked till 7.00 pm then took a short break for tea and an episode of MASH, then back to it. Mike let me know he’d got home safely and has promised to go to the doctor’s before coming up this week. He goes to Canada in 3 weeks and doesn’t want to take his chest with him. A suitcase maybe…..   It’s been hard going tonight for some reason but I’m still ploughing on. Still, a break to start the new blog has been nice.

Smiley 1

smiley 2

This is especially for Teagan

Monday.

3.59 am today. Somnos could not afford to give me even an extra minute it seems. As someone kindly pointed out yesterday, it seems that the balance is uneven. The less time I get to sleep, the more Mike gets. It’s like Somnos has decreed that there will be 14 hours of sleep allowed in this house, I get 3 and Mike gets 11. I’m going to try an official complaint in case it’s  just Porcinus or Brother Jake being a bit lax. I paid my morning visit to trickle alley then came back and logged onto the computer. I was almost bowled over by the amount of mail left from last night, I needed to get into gear. Having remembered to bring my antibiotics through I didn’t have to stop work at 6.00 am to get one. At 7.00 am though, I had to break off to see to the fish. I was dejected to see Stan now occupying the corner adopted  by Laurel and that he didn’t venture forth for food when I dropped some of the new stuff in, which included some tablets under the Fish Science banner specifically designed as a whole food for bottom feeders. Everyone else went mental when the granules were sprinkled and I was trying to spot where they were all coming from. I had a word or two with Morecambe but could fins no sign of Wise.I did however spot one of the synodontis working upside down on one of the bog wood branches. It took a while of watching to decide whether he was ill or just enjoying his feast. The jury is still out on that one. I have to wonder if there might be a problem with my water.

I took my morning meds then went back to work with a coffee. By 9.15 am I was pretty clear and able to spend a little time on Ancestry.com then at 9.45 am Darren my postie arrived and brought the recycling bags I’d ordered. I now have a blue recycling bag with handles for paper again.I’m sure the spares for plastic and glass will come in again at some stage. I put some washing on which included my bedding from yesterday. I’d made the change before Sleeping Beauty got up and though it was only a single bed I wish I’d waited for some help. I carried on working and it was getting on towards lunchtime when Mike started texting me. He’d driven a long way to make arrangements for is car roof to be sealed as he finds the bucket used for baling out gets in his way. They can’t fit him in and give him a courtesy car until next Tuesday. I got my lunch and returned to work straight afterwards. New texts from Mike to say he’s arranged for a new 5 foot fish tank now to replace his 3 foot in a part-exchange. The Green God raised his ugly mug and I sent him an email of a 8 foot tank I’d found om ebay. I was tempted to say I’d ordered that I was so jealous. Just imagine the new fish he can buy for this one now, and big ones at that. We saw a beautiful synodontis yesterday that made him draw in his breath sharply, and he does like Stan. Actually now I think about it, shopping with him for fish might be as much fun as shopping for myself and much cheaper.

I don’t know what was wrong this afternoon. I alternated between nodding off  and working without ever moving from my chair. There may well be senseless messages floating round the Netiverse as we speak. I hope not though and I think my nod offs were lapses of seconds only. At 4.25 pm I gave up and headed for the TV and my antiques. I managed to see most of it including the vital last few minutes of the competition but it’s more than a little possible that I did eyelid inspection for some part of the events. I made myself a sandwich and had a mousse when the quiz started then sat and watched the rest before washing up. After the next short quiz ( about 30 seconds) I zonked and where I should have returned to work at 6.30 pm found myself waking up at 7.25 pm with just the light from the TV. Naturally I panicked then and came back through. I knew things were bad when I saw my gmail had well over 100 messages waiting, I dreaded seeing the main account. I had to steel myself and look though, as they had to be done. It would have been kinder to poke myself in the eye with a sharp stick. Not having a sharp stick to hand I just had to start work and hope for the best.

I feel as though I’ve been at it for days though in fact it’s only 11.15 pm. I have some more to do before bed but mayhap I’ll have some time in the morning before going out. I’m going to see Yvonne and Reuben though I felt very popular today when MuJo texted to see if I was free tomorrow. I don’t know if they’re free again this week.

You're funny Mummy

You’re funny Mummy

park 4

Tuesday.

Getting up at 3.20 am was almost a pleasure this morning. I’d woken at 1.57 am and thought that was it, but couldn’t force myself out of bed. I’d tried to go back to sleep and obviously succeeded. I just hadn’t wanted to find out it was 2.05 am. Thanks Somnos ! For some reason my bladder was talking to me and it seemed to be saying “Move it” so I did. I wonder if I’m sleep drinking as I didn’t seem to drink more than usual last night. Once the sigh of relief reached my mouth I came back and powered up the computer. OMG ! There are enough emails from last night to sink a battleship.Maybe leaving mail till morning is not a great idea. It took me until 6.03 am to finish just last night’s stuff.

I went through to see to the fish. It was still dark so hall light on, lounge light on, kitchen light on all before tank light on. It was like Blackpool Illuminations. At fist I couldn’t see Stan and my heart sank but I did spot him a bit further away from his corner than usual. I couldn’t tell if he was struggling or not but I didn’t see him come for any food again as I dropped it in. I even opened the whole lid so I could try and drop some daphnia in the water near him. Unfortunately the flow moved it away again before it had chance to sink. I tried one of the new tablets I got for bottom feeders on Sunday. It’s worrying. Also worrying is having Morecambe come to greet me as usual but being unable to find any trace of Wise. We’ll be doing a clean this weekend so I may find how many problems I have then. On the plus side, one of the two synodontis is getting very brave at coming out of it’s shell hidey hole to eat. It’s so pretty with it’s beautiful striped tail even if it looks a bit like a hoplo at the front end. I think I saw the second one too pretending to be an upside down catfish on the bogwood, it may have been the ancistrus though as I couldn’t see the whole body. Big Al is still in thrall to Pepper and Little Al is a playmate for the bronze corys. The plecs are fine, the hoplos are fine which is why I don’t understand the spate of deaths in the tank.

I moved away and took my sprays then got a drink of milk to take the tablets. Enough milk so that there was enough left to make a coffee, which I did and brought it back with me. I got dressed straight away so there wouldn’t be a last minute rush and knowing what coat I’d be wearing tried to make sure I had everything I needed in it. Then I returned to work and was up to date for 7.15 am. No way I was refreshing at that time so I just gathered my bag for Yvonne and made sure it was handy by the front door. Coat on, bedroom light off, crutches on, bag in hand I left and locked the door at 7.30 am. I may have been a couple of minutes earlier than usual as the bus did not pick me up on the way to the stop so I had the weight of Yvonne’s bag the whole way ( Thanks a lot daughter). When I got to the bus stop and was trying to get my breath back I found I’d forgotten my bus pass. There was no way I’d have time to go back and get it and I didn’t want to catch the next bus in an hour. I’d just have to put up with paying the fare. The bus arrived. I asked for a return and he told me how much, I thought he’s misheard me. But no, when I checked it was right. How incredibly cheap the fare into England was. I know if it was the train I’d still be trying to get my breath back. I haven’t figured out yet if it’s a Welsh company looking after it’s own or an English company desperate to get us over there. I still don’t think they’ve repealed the law that says if a Welshman is found within the bounds of Chester at dusk any English bowman may shoot him so I can make my own guess about who’s company it is. lol.

Yvonne and I were meeting somewhere different today, a shopping area just outside the City and known as the Greyhound Park. I remembered to get off the bus early or I’d have had a long walk back. I waited around a shop called Dunelm until I saw Yvonne approach. I knew the moment Reuben had seen me as the hoarse ‘Pops’ was shouted and he was pointing gleefully like a demented conductor. It was just a couple of minutes until the shop opened so I made sure my bag went round the handle of Reuben’s pushchair and we got our greetings out of the way before the serious business of shopping got underway. Inside, the first thing we did was look round all the towels to see if the had dark green flannels for Mike.Typically they had every dark colour imaginable except green. That out of the way we went up in the lift to the cafe and got some breakfast and a drink.Yvonne is a big bully and wouldn’t let me pay again. I had a pot of tea for a change and it was nice then I turned my back to Reuben and ate a bacon bap, turning back in his direction and smiling once I finished it. He was having something with fruit in it toasted which reminded us of bara brith. I don’t know if he knew what I’d done but he kicked my knee. I jumped in surprise which was a reaction he loved so he did it again, and again, and again. Yvonne was saying “Poor Pops, give him a love better and say sorry”. Reuben just kicked again and cackled. Yes, I’m sure he knew what I’d done.

After the drinks we wandered round the rest of the store. Some beautiful and some tempting things but when we left all I’d spend was 50p on two items. I had to take some stick off Yvonne for that and my reputation suffered. We headed off for another shop but didn’t stay long as we’d said we could come back to it id we had time. I was surprised to see it’s closing it’s doors on 15 th as it’s a major store. Yvonne had wanted the craft store so that’s where we went next and she showed me how to shop. The master is supplanted by the pupil. There was a Mothercare next door with a great offer on a car seat for Roobs but ‘Madam’ wouldn’t let me buy it because she wouldn’t be able to carry it home- remember this.We hit another major store next just to look at gifts really and I decided I’d better take a later bus than intended. Yvonne told me that even as I said it a sweat broke out on my forehead at the thought of the mail piling up. It was alright for her, she was on a day off. Having bought nothing there we went back to the one we’d looked in so we could use the loos and have a drink in the cafe upstairs. This time I settled for a glass of iced lemonade which both Reuben and I enjoyed. I was very quick to answer the demand of “More” as my kneecap was quite close. Eventually it was time to go and catch my bus so they walked me back to my stop, presumably to make sure I left the Country. I was humiliated that the only spending I’d done had been the solitary 50p and tried to hide such a small bag from prying eyes. When my bus came I clambered aboard and with a last wave set off home.

When I got in it didn’t take me long to unpack so I was quickly able to start work.  I did a few messages then sent Yvonne a text to say I was home safely again and thanks for a nice outing. She said she’s only just got back in as they’d gone back and bought the car seat that if you remember she couldn’t get home. She’d got it home. I really did work hard and by 4.00 pm felt I could leave the rest till later so I went and started making a meal to eat while my antiques show was on. I really enjoyed it, braised steak, colcannon potatoes and veg. I enjoyed the programme too and stayed awake till the very end. Once it was over I washed up and sat down to watch the quiz . I didn’t get to see much before sleep took over. I was away with the fairies from about 5.30 pm until 6.25 pm.  I wasn’t interested in the news and came back through again. Obviously things had grown a bit from where I left them.  I just kept plugging away at it until 10.30pm when I broke off to do the blog. I’ve decided that midnight is my cut off point no matter what tonight so I needed the blog out of the way first. It’s 11.20 pm now and as soon as the pictures and music are on I’m back to the mail again.

Not sure who's going to draw first.

Not sure who’s going to draw first.

Ride my see saw.

Ride my see saw.

Wednesday.

Well I didn’t quite manage the midnight cut-off last night but at least my fairy godmother  didn’t make me lose a shoe, or even a glass slipper, on the way. No knocks at the door today then. I’m not quite sure what happened in bed either ( get your head out of the gutter you) since I read till 1.00 am then slept right through till 5.48 am without interruption. Maybe Somnos cut me a bit of slack last night or chances are he was off somewhere and left his brothers in charge again. It’s obvious Brother Jake had something to occupy his time because he certainly wasn’t listening when I asked for the Euro lottery last night. I paid my usual visit to the loo then came back and logged on. At 6.00 am I took my antibiotic, it’s the last day today, and carried on my last nights mail before starting today’s at just 6.20 am. I think I’m making good progress.

At 7.00 am it was time for the fish. It’s so light in the mornings now that I could walk through the house without lights but when I reached the kitchen I turned them on to see what I was doing properly. When I turned the tank light on I was half pleased to see that  Stan has moved back to his original corner. He still doesn’t appear on top form though and I can’t seem to tempt him to eat. Of course he may prefer to do that in private.I put some food in and got them moving as I wanted to count the fish as I saw them. There’s never a problem with the plecs, they’re all but indestructable . Little Al and his bronze friends seem to be in good form and were darting about but Big Al, well I think I caught Pepper in the act of making whoopee with Al and they didn’t mind the audience. I won’t know for sure until I see some eggs and I’ll have to study up on those. There’s no sign of the Ancistrus but that means nothing still as hey’re known for burrowing themselves in. I have to look for some tail waving tht tells me it’s been out to eat. I could see both hoplos though I feared one was dead as it was lying in a corner near Stan and being very still I was almost on the point of putting the net in for him whn Big Al barged him which made him move quite quickly out of the way. Very sensible too as you wouldn’t want to be barged twice by Big Al. That left the synodontis and Morecambe and Wise. I only expected to be lucky enough to see one synodontis but they were both out together this morning eating from underneath the bogwood. I only saw Morecambe today again and I’m afraid this weekend’s tank clean is going to leave me with the remnants of Wise somewhere. I know that sometimes I’m going to lose fish to age and maybe disease but it certainly isn’t easy.

With the fish fed, I could now take my meds. Since Dil and Matt are due tonight around teatime, I thought I’d replace that meal with breakfast, so had the pre-food one before taking all the others.Then naturally I had a cigarette for perfect timing and had a small bowl of cereal. I feel no guilt that I used real sugar on it. Once I’d eaten that I used the extra milk in the bowl to take the two post food tablets. That done I was free to wash up, make my coffee and go back to work. I stayed with it until 9.20 am then dressed and paid a visit to Pauline’s for some staples, the food ones not the metal ones. Coming back I saw Gwynneth at her door offering a cup of tea to the gardener. We chatted for a minute about the cold morning and how Spring will be very welcome. I came home unpacked and set to work yet again. I just kept going at it steadily all morning, never rushing but trying hard to keep up to date which meant frequent refreshing. At 11.40 am I decided to give it a rest and concentrate on my lunch. Despite having meat in the fridge I wanted something easy and light so relied on one of my earlier purchases from Pauline’s, the chips in curry sauce. I went through to take my foodie tablet and while I was waiting until it was time to cook, did myself some bread and butter. When I actually put the microwave on I stood watching the fish.Pepper was swimming around with a smirk and amazingly I could see both hoplos and both synodontis at the same time. What I couldn’t see at first was Stan. When I saw him I was really upset. He was swimming to the surface as though to get air just like Laurel had and he didn’t seem too able to remain near the surface. I hadn’t seen him because he was behind a plant. As he sank again the flow of water ffrom the pump pushed him back towards his old corner where he carried on trying but from a position when he was upright. He’s not at all well.

I had my lunch with the TV on but couldn’t tell you what I was watching, or not watching as the case may be. As far as you can adore a fish, I adore Stan, he reminds me of happier times. Well, he reminds me of the first Stan Ju and I had anyway. Which is not to say I don’t care for this Stan in his own right. Mike is due to be bringing a replacement for Laurel tomorrow and I don’t know whether to stop him or just hope I’ve been unlucky. When I looked in on him after lunch he was still breathing and based on a real wish that he’ll recover I don’t want to remove him from the tank and put him to sleep in the freezer. I returned to work. During the nearly and hour and a half away the mail had managed to build up again. Before I started though, I wanted to run some Yahtzee score cards off ready for tonight. With a bit of vavavoom I managed to get 4 stuck to an A4 sheet and print some off. Then thanks to the remnants of Ju’s crafting stuff I was able to guillotine  and trim them. I retained the sheet for the future. Then to work. I know I made a start and thought I was doing well but suddenly at some point I was doing nothing, except maybe snore. It was 4.40 pm before I woke and judging by the mail I’d been gone since at least 3.00 pm. There was nothing I could do, my programme was on and the boys will be here before long.

My programme ended at 5.15 pm and I went through to the kitchen to get a drink. I was just going to look in the tank when I heard an Hellooo, they’d arrived early. I turned the tank light off early and made drinks for Dil and Matt. The sound on my phone meant Lee wasn’t coming. I took the drinks through and they were absorbed in the quiz Pointless so as usual we sat and watched till it was over. As soon as TV was turned off Dil got the table out and I gathered the Yahtzee and the cards. Matt was on his usual form at Yahtzee winning 3 of the 6 hands. Amazingly I won 2 and Dil who actually managed to get 3 Yahtzees in one game, won just the one. In the Nomination Whist I was the runaway winner almost reaching the 200 points and in Chase the Lady, I showed them a clean pair of heels thanks to landing them both with 150 points early on. Thinking I was on a winning streak we started with Crazy 8’s but Dil was in no mood to take prisoners and was the clear winner. We’d timed it well and  just reached a good point for them to leave. I waved them off and noted how cold it was outside. By the time I’d tidied up and washed the pots it was almost time for the last antibiotic. I took that and my evening meds as well then started work. My afternoon sleep had created a huge backlog which my playing time hadn’t helped. At 10.45 pm I started to do the blog so that was out of the way and as soon as I finish (11.35 pm) I’m back to the mail.

Thursday.

After quite a late night, or is that early morning?  I’d hoped for a lie -in today. I can hear the laughter now, echoing round my bedroom as I got up. I’d had my favour yesterday and wasn’t due two in a row. It was 3.43 am and though I was my usual bright eyes and bushy tailed self  I knew I’d suffer later. As us my wont, or rather need, I turned on the bedroom light and made my way to the loo and attempted to keep the noise down by not hitting the water in the bowl. I’m not sure why since I was the only one I could possible wake up and I was supposedly already there. I returned to my room and logged on to my email. Not as many as I expected left from last night but plenty from this morning when ‘The Colonies’ were awake.

Some of the pieces of post took some time to read. That’s not a complaint, indeed they were very interesting and in one case very humorous, but it did slow the work up somewhat. When I checked round the 6.00 am mark I was barely halfway through. I decided to leave the fish and my meds till 7.00 am when I’d feel I was making real progress and wouldn’t mind returning to it afterwards. Actually I think I was looking for reasons not to go near the tank for fear of what I’d find. But at 7.05 am I took the bull by the horns and went. I turned the kitchen light on but left the tank light off while I raided the lid to scan he surface in case Stan was floating there. He wasn’t so I turned the tank light on to the delight of the bronze corys and Little Al. Everyone else behaved with a little decorum as befits the loss of a tankmate. Loss really was the operative word too as I can’t find Stan anywhere. Granted I haven’t searched the plants but the tank is due to be cleaned on Saturday and I don’t want to disturb them twice. Another thing that puzzles me is for days I’ve been saying I can’t find Wise. Morecambe being red and Wise blue. I swear whenever I’ve seen  a Thai fighter it’s been red for about a week. This morning I saw a blue fighter so is it Morecambe I lost, have I been hallucinating over the colour I’ve seen or have I got the wrong names attached to the wrong colour. Hopefully Mike’ memory will be a bit better than mine when he comes. I fed the fish, watched them all fly in to get some, then left them to it.

I took a foodie tablet first this morning so I could have breakfast. Then it was the turn of my sprays and my other tablets. Once I’d smoked a cigarette for timing I put bread in the toaster and made myself a coffee, or rather the machine did it for me. I had my toast and didn’t enjoy a mouthful then took my two after meal torpedoes with my coffee and wandered through to the bedroom to work. There were a few more emails to ass for the nearly an hour I’d been out, I must have spent longer with the fish than I thought. By 9.45 am I’d caught up and turned to my second account which fortunately had only a dozen I needed to see to. The postman came and amongst the junk was a letter from a specialist hospital service saying they wanted to let a specialist screening practitioner take a look at my bowel. Well, I think that’s very sweet but I hardly know them. I know it’a about 2 years ago they found blood from there, as I was the one with the dubious pleasure of sending them samples of something you’d normally be arrested for sending someone. They don’t take no for an answer these people.

Late morning and my eyes were beginning to droop a bit but I persevered until 11.40 m when I stopped for lunch.It was very enjoyable as was the episode of Murder She Wrote that I watched. Surprisingly enough, I was still awake at the end. I washed the pots and came through again. I saw Mike on Skype and told him not to bother bringing a fish as I’m sure Laurel’s death was not related to the shop she came from, I suspect it’s the hardness of my water or something and don’t want to be responsible for another death. I shall be content with what I have. Mike told me he’d be late coming tonight as he’s picking the grandkids up from school and staying with them till their Dad gets home. Unusual as he usually finished after the morning school run. He told me he’s got his new 5 foot tank (I hate him) but isn’t swapping the fish over until next week. By 2.30 pm I was fairly up to date again and went to the lounge intending to allow myself 40 winks. That lasted until I sat down and there was a knock on the door. As cagily as ever I opened it and found my warden there with another one whose face I recognised from the dim and distant. I ushered them inside with a “Quick, the creditors might be around”, and say them in the lounge. My usual warden explained that this was the lady who’d be taking over her patch in April but would no longer be able to call on a Friday and it would have to be the first half of the week. I just asked the original if I’d be able to win all the money back she’s taken from me to catch their reaction and they both laughed. Not a chance seemed to be the answer. The newbie asked if I’d been out at all today, ‘Hello, I’m still in pyjamas and dressing gown’ I just said “No”. So. I’ll be seeing the new one at the beginning of April.

When they left it didn’t seem worthwhile trying to get a kip as I’d be finishing at 4.30 pm for my programme anyway, so I just carried on working and refreshed the mailboxes.  Just before I knocked off for entertainment I had a text from MuJo. I was fully expecting them to see if I am free tomorrow but unfortunately it was to ask if I knew Terry Pratchett had died.  I didn’t and it came as a major shock. I know he had alzheimers but he was only 3 years older than me, still a relatively young man. He was a huge talent and I’m sure was responsible for getting many people reading again. Children to follow the fun and adults to catch the many sharp comments in there. I loved his books and am only missing about 3 that have been borrowed at one time or another.

Terry Pratchett

R.I.P Sir Terry Pratchett 1948-2015

I watched my antiques programme- and stayed awake

I watched the quiz Pointless – and nodded off halfway through until about 6.10 pm. I watched the latter half of another quiz and came back through. I haven’t heard any more from Mike about his ETA  but maybe he’s staying down there for a meal,which makes sense as he’s probably cooking it. There was a fair bit of work to be done so I buckled down to it. Lots to be read of course. Mike strolled in just before 9.00 pm so I broke off from work to make him a coffee and have a little chat about his week. Soon enough I left him to the TV and a serial he’s following and came back through. I managed to get up to date temporarily with the mail and got straight on with the blog so I’m not under pressure after 11.00 pm. I can go back and finish at my leisure then.

Out for a walk

Out for a walk

Stopping to smell the flowers

Stopping to smell the flowers

Friday.

Well, I managed an early night last night in as much as I turned my light off at 12.30 am instead of 1.00 am. I was tired. I’m starting to get the idea that the small gods have started a Ministry of Sleep somewhere and staffed it with insomniacs who are jealous of the sleeping classes and are trying to Nationalise Sleep as either an industry or a leisure activity. On one side you mustn’t take too much sleep as you need to show solidarity with your brothers in the Ministry and on the other side too much leisure makes you weak so Up the Proletariat ! In the meantime I was up at 4.06 am which means a maximum of three and a half hours and probably a smiley face on my records in the Ministry. It’s my guess that all the small gods will try to modernise by creating their own little Ministries which will each have a Mandarin overseeing them.( They heard of Whitehall Mandarins and thought they’d get the real thing).  They obviously won’t go as far as elections as you don’t want to be too modern too soon do you? But I can see a Ministry of time spent in the loo on the horizon and definitely a Ministry of  fruit/sweet games for phones and tablets as I’m pretty sure they invest heavily in gaming technology.

Anyhoo, risking the wrath of the other Ministry I paid a visit to the loo. How hard it’s going to be to explain that at my age it’s a stop-start process where you may still be having a whiz ten minutes after you thought you’d finished and zipped yourself back in. It’s a game of patience in a morning. Completely sure I was safe I came back and signed on. I got started on mail from last night that took me until 5.50 am . I’d completely forgotten it was a Friday ( let alone Friday 13th) when I decided to carry on and work until 7.00 am. When the time rolled round it was down mouse and off to feed the fish. I couldn’t do a head count as half weren’t showing themselves so I just dropped some food in and hoped for the best. Then I saw a flash of orange and looked round, I’m sure it was Morecambe and yet I’ll swear that recently I’ve seen the blue of Wise just not both at the same time. I wonder if one is now playing both parts to save me yet more heartache. Orange going, blue coming. I moved over to take my meds. That’s when I realised it’s Friday and I was about to take my last dose. The boxes need filling again and a new prescription request need taking in on Monday. It took forever as usual and I didn’t get to make my coffee until 7.45 am.

I started back to work by refreshing my mail box, always one of those actions you know you shouldn’t have taken the moment you take it. I thought as Mike is picking my niece up at the airport tonight he’ll be at his Dad’s longer so I’d let him sleep until 9.00 am. I almost had a heart attack and proved the Ministry of Whiz wrong when the cave man came into my room at 8.40 am under his own steam and without alarms. I went back through to make him a coffee. At 10.00 am I started putting my shoes on to go to Pauline’s and Mike gathered together his  ‘at and coat to head off. We parted ways at the front door. At Pauline’s I bought some micro chips and a box of the chips with curry sauce I enjoy. I bought some sweets and my lottery ticket which if any small gods are listening I have high hopes for for tonight!!!!!!!!  When I cam back of course all was quiet again. I unpacked and started work again. At 11.50 am I stopped intending to have lunch but remembered that the warden would be here today. Should I move the sign that says I’m out? No, I suppose not, she’s a pleasant lady and only has 2 weeks to go now on this round. It was almost speak of the Devil as there was a knock at the door and there she was. The warden I mean, not the Devil. She came in and we had a chat for half an hour which was nice then she left to go elsewhere. I was able to take my foodie tab and get some lunch.  There was a parade in Londinium where Prince Charles was taking the salute with his sons. I watched that for a while until a shortened version of Bargain Hunt came on. I watched than, washed the pots and went back to work at 1.00 pm.By 2.30 pm my eyelids were drooping and I gave in. I fell asleep in my chair in the lounge until 15.55 pm. Kicking myself on the rump proved quite hard but I managed it. There was just time for a half hours work before giving up to watch PYMWYMI final day of the week.

I caught my programme, and the next. Instead of turning over for a quiz I turned for Big Bang Theory and started having a laugh. I’m not sure how long I laughed for but I’m flippin’ sure I didn’t see above half of the thing before being attacked by a  flight of low flying Zzzzzz’s. I reckon I was battling them for an hour before coming out of the haze in the middle of an episode of the soap Hollyoaks. I rapidly turned off before anyone heard the theme tune . It was time to take a shower, yes, the month was up. As soon as I’d finished that and recovered I thought I’d better make up for the extra time I’d pinched by putting a bit of work in. I came through and for the sake of decency put some clothes on and refreshed my post boxes. Ouch!! Still, no use complaining. I just plodded on. There were some very interesting pieces to read though, not least from my friend Kate in Gibraltar who told of a near miss by a British sub and a Spanish boat inside Gibraltar territorial waters. The Spanish Navy wouldn’t have been so quick to try and create an incident if one of their boats ended up on the sea bed. She also had a saucy story to tell about a local and some viagra.  https://roughseasinthemed.wordpress.com/

The artist.

The artist.

The work of art

The work of art

About 9.30 pm I nipped to the kitchen to make sure there was water in the kettle for Mike’s drink when he gets in. I think Lisa’s plane is due in about 7.30 pm and they expect to be half an hour or so deplaning. The airport is perhaps an hour or so away from where she’s going which is in turn about half an our away from here, so given his driving he should have been here quarter of an hour ago. Of course he might not be using the DeLaurean today in which case I’ll see him when I see him..        He arrived back at 9.45 pm so I broke off from everything again to make a drink and then to sit and listen to his day as he asked about mine. It was about 10.30 pm when I remembered I still hadn’t finished and came back to get rid of some more though at 11.00 pm I had to stop that too in order to do the blog. It’s nigh on midnight now and I think the rest of the post will have to wait till morning.

Saturday.

I had major problems getting to sleep last night. I’d turned the light out at 1.00 pm but I couldn’t find a comfortable position nor a really cool spot for my foot at the edge of the bed. Evan hanging the leg out didn’t work. At some point I did nod off only to wake up at 1.55 am.  In despair I went to my chair in the lounge and tried. From what I heard this morning, Mike got up at 2.15 am after dreaming about a bear roaring and then actually waking up after realising he really had heard a bear roar. In an act of bravery and to save my life ( he tells me) he ventured through to the lounge and found I was the source of the growling. Lying in my chair , mouth wide open, scaring the sheep home. Relieved , he went back to bed and to sleep. I woke up at 2.37 am and that was it. As a certain character at Warner Bros. would say, “That’s all Folks.”

I came back through to the bedroom bypassing the toilet as my bladder hadn’t had chance to get the urge yet. I logged onto the computer and checked my lottery tickets from lat night, 2 winners gasp, £2.30 and £5. The private jet would likely be waiting another week then. I carried on to my mailbox managing to avoid the impulse to commit suppuku. There was plenty there to keep me going. By 6.30 am I was in the clear and yawning went through to the kitchen to see to the fish. I’m not sure I can be civil about them any more what with the sexual antics of Big Al and Pepper working their way through the Karma Sutra and Little Al seems to be eyeing up the bronze corys. I’m getting flashed of red or flashes of blue leaving me wondering if my eyes are playing tricks and unsure whether Morecambe and Wise or Morecambe or Wise survive. I’m seeing the synodontis out in the open behaving like upside down catfish chomping on the algae on the bog wood but at least I don’t have to worry about the hoplos or any of the plecs. The ancistrus is a real mystery since I’m never sure whether it’s alive or dead and buried since burying itself is what it does best which to be fair saves on funeral expenses. Sometimes though there’s a flash of tail which might just be a synodontis or is it……….?

Once they were happy I moved away and took my meds followed by making myself a coffee. There was no time to bring it back to the bedroom as it was almost time for Mike’s alarm. That’s all I needed. I put the kettle on. His Alarm went off at 7.00 am and the kettle boiled moments later so I took a coffee through and Called him gently by yelling his COFFEE WAS THERE, ON THE SIDE, JUST HERE BRO, DON’T LET IT GET COLD. I got the usual Neanderthal acknowledgements. I then took my coffee through and started to get dressed. At quarter past the Alarm went off a second time and was turned off a second time. Allowing a couple more minutes I went to the bedroom door and Called again, “DON’T FORGET YOUR COFFEE, IT’S GOING COLD”. I finished putting my shoes on and drinking my coffee and as I was about to go through I heard Mike make his way to the lounge. It was a miraculous 2 A, 2 C day. He even had the brass neck to suggest I’d have something to report to you tonight now as though it was something he’s won an award for.

While Mike drank his coffee I set about emptying bins and taking them outside along with the recycling bags. I wasn’t putting the new paper recycling bag out until I’d bought a thick black marker pen to put my address on or as Mike suggested some stick on numbers. Once done I washed my hands and came to sit down with Mike for a few minutes. I knew if I stared at him long enough he’d go and get dressed. He did.  We must have left at near enough 8.00 am as it was a quarter past when we drew into the supermarket car park. I went to the cash machine and then posted a birthday card before we went in. The first job was to select some flowers for Ju and this week I chose some tulips and some flag Iris. At home the pink carnations recently mentioned to Yvonne by a masseuse in a startling message from Ju were still doing well while all about them died. After that we whizzed round and got the food I needed in record time as we were both very dry. Mike warned the woman on the till to speak quietly to me if the bill was over £20 as I scare easy. She laughed and took great delight in whispering £57 as I staggered and asked if I”d get change from a £10 note. A coffee was next on the bill.

From there we went to Flint to get a few items before heading into Temptations to see Ceri and Kyle. We had the usual. They were really busy this morning so there wasn’t too great a chance to talk and surprisingly the owners Julie and her husband were there. They’d just returned from a month away on tour with the boys Richard and Adam. Having known Adam for a while she was telling me all about the new album they’re doing next year for Mother’s  Day and some new appearances this year including a mini Welsh Tour. They obviously have a great following here. As we left there I suggested w walk to one last shop as for a couple of says I’d had images of Mike getting a particular type of jacket he’s always loved. Oddly enough they didn’t have it but they did have just the jacket he needed to take on holiday with him to Canada which was down from over £100 all the way to £12 today. We shot off then to Holywell to a jeweller’s to get a battery put in his watch which has been stopping all morning, but only when he wears it. That done we went to lunch.

The Ivy was really busy and it was a case of shouting hello to staff as they shot past serving people. We managed to find a seat- not ours and settle down. I took chocolates to the counter and young Rob asked if we wanted the usual. He started making them. I popped to the loo and the drinks were being delivered as I came out. That meant I could take my pre-food tablet and decide what to eat. Mike settled on a fishburger in a bun while I had double bacon sandwiches, in a near aberration I almost ordered an omelette. Having given Angie the order Mike and I stepped out for a cigarette. Back inside we say Tariq and got a swift hug, Shella and got a quick hello and even Shirley who said Hi in passing. There were also other regulars in who nodded or spoke as they went past. Lunch over we didn’t hang about but headed for home.

Once the shopping was unpacked and away I asked Mike to nip to Bert’s for me and collect a parcel the postman had left. When he got back I asked him to open it. He revealed a brown leather jacket in an antiqued style. “That’s nice” he said. I got him to try it on.Sleeves a bit long but turned up they were fine. I think he twigged I’d ordered it for him at that point. It was a lot better than playing about passing a £20 note back and forth between us each saying we didn’t want it. He left it behind last week so I went at it a different way. Coat off, sleeves rolled up we set to cleaning the fish tank. One of the first things to turn up was the body of poor Stan, a bit nibbled round the edges. I was really sad. On a slightly bright side Mike swore he saw both Morecambe and Wise once the plants were disturbed. For the first time he also got to see one of the synodontis. With sponge changes, water changes and cleaning the glass it all took an age. It was 4.00 pm before I was able to come and start the mail. I had 173 in the gmail account but more than that in the normal one though some would be duplicated. I was allowed to work until 6.00 pm then went to sit with Mike. At some stage after tea I fell asleep and it was small periods of wakefulness until 8.30 pm when I came back through.

It’s been a long day and it seems to have been a long evening too. Work, work, work. What a life.

Mother's Day flowers for Ju from Yvonne

Mother’s Day flowers for Ju from Yvonne

Mother's day flowers for Ju from Yvonne

Mother’s day flowers for Ju from Yvonne

The Intelligensia

 

I wish you all a Wonderful New Week. Love n’ Hugs.

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