Tag Archives: hoplos

Mother for a Day & The Death Count Rises.

Sunday March 15th 2015

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

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

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

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

Monday.

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

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

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

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

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

Ooh Look, Toys

Ooh Look, Toys

I'll direct the choir.

I’ll direct the choir.

Tuesday.

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

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

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

I think they're all quackers Mummy.

I think they’re all quackers Mummy.

Is this how you walk like a duck?

Is this how you walk like a duck?

Especially for my friend Suzanne Joshi.

Wednesday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wake up and smell the flowers.

Wake up and smell the flowers.

Where have all the Flowers gone?

Where have all the Flowers gone?

Thursday.

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

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

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

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

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

Do I get a ride now?

Do I get a ride now?

And this is how a duck sits Mr Squiggle.

And this is how a duck sits Mr Squiggle.

Friday.

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

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

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

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

Saturday.

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

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

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

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

Bring on the Feast

I’m liking the Feast

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

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

This one’s for you Ju.     

I wish you all a Wonderful Week filled with Hugs.

 

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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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R.I.P.Sharkey II & Welcome Stan

Sunday 22nd Feb 2015

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

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

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

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

Monday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday.

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

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

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

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

Wednesday.

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

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

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

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

There it is Pops

There it is Pops

I'm so excited Pops

I’m so excited Pops

Thursday.

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

The Infamous Oscar

The Infamous Oscar

Beautiful Bernie

Beautiful Bernie

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

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

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

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

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

Friday.

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I wish you all a fantastic week ahead.

 

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