My very good friend ( and brilliant author by the way) A.C.Flory mentioned in a comment on my last blog that she’d like a reminder of who’s who in the fishy world now they all have names. I’m sure some of you may remember the originals but here’s a run down of the Famous Five, survivors of their very own Armageddon.
Bronze Cory ‘Bonzo’
Don’t worry that he looks a little startled, he’s camera shy Unhappy that he was caught scouring for food. Bonzo a bronze corydorus (cory)
‘Pepper’ a member of the Pepper Catfish family companion of Big Al
Pepper is a very even tempered fish and quite fond of his/her grub. Also a cory.
‘Big Al’ in the process of a ‘Dirty look’ Little Al is smaller and paler
Hard to tell but Big Al is the same size as Pepper about 2″ long. Little Al is just over 1″ so far. Big Al is a little more orange than in the picture but it’s about right for Little Al’s colour. Albino corys.
‘Harold’ the Hoplosternum ( Hoplo)
Considering the number of times recently Harold has tried to give me a heart attack by completely disappearing when I’m searching the tank for him and then re-appearing as though nothing is amiss, should probably be renamed Harry Houdini of the fish world.
All of the above are a species of catfish and you’ll notice from their quaint little moustaches that they’re all from the cory family. Very hardy little beggars to have survived the Great Plague (Thankfully). I hope you enjoyed re-acquainting yourselves with them.
it was another late night being a Saturday and it was a 1.00 am turn off the light but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t long in sleeping which in this house, for me anyway, is not the same as sleeping long. Having said that, I must be back in as the Golden Boy of the small gods promotion society as I was left until 4.39 am this morning. Three and a half hours continuous unbroken sleep. I dread to think what the cost will be. The gods are in the habit of selling you a favour and allowing you to have it, before you were even aware you wanted it. It does kind of put things in their favour when it comes time to collect. I got up, paid my visit to the loo, padding along the passageway to avoid waking Mike. Coming back I powered up the computer and signed in. First job, check the lottery and thunderball. Second job, dry my eyes. Then on with the post, and what a lot there was. I worked till 7.00 am without seeming to see the numbers go down at all.
Big Al came to greet me this morning and unless I’m mistaken it was in a friendly way rather than the usual “Where’s my food fool”? attitude. I’m so pleased to see him and the rest of the Famous Five that I shower them with some of the top food and put an algae tablet in. Whistling a little of The Gang’s All Here, I turn and take my meds then make a coffee to take back with me. All of a sudden I start making good progress. At 9.30 am I’m within 3 or 4 of being up to date when I hear a sound.I had to stop and listen as I’ve heard a similar sound before but it’s so very rare. Mike appears at my door Gasp! Cheeky burger was creeping to see if I was awake. I apologised for not moving when I first heard him but I was really trying to finish. He told me to carry on so I did and a few minutes later joined him in the kitchen where he still hadn’t made himself a drink. I put the kettle on. He was engrossed in something in the fish tank from hell. Some part of a plant had come loose and he’d found another corpse, I just glanced at where he pointed and asked whether something else was a rock. It wasn’t. He dipped the net and brought out two corpses. Unrecognisable for the beautiful fish they once were. I was in the meantime counting wildly trying to come up with my five survivors and hoping these two were he last. The Famous Five were all accounted for.
Because of problems with the car Mike hadn’t been able to do a run to his Dad’s on Friday.I knew he wanted t go this afternoon so when he asked what our plans were for this morning I suggested we went to the Bells but for breakfast instead of lunch. We’ve always said we’ll try it. We didn’t rush too much and got there about 11.00 am. The sign says it’s an eat all you want breakfast and I’m astounded when I see that nothing is restricted. You can help yourself to bacon ( fools), sausages, eggs, fried bread, hash browns, plum tomatoes and beans, even chips, and then you can have as much toast as you want. It was £3.99 and I think between the two of us we must have bankrupted them. I was waiting for them to pay us to leave.When we left there about 12.30 pm we headed towards home but had a little detour to the gift shop at Abakhan. I thought we were going to have a drink there but Mike said “Let’s have one at home” which was two minutes away. I stepped out into the beautiful sunshine and felt ill, no it wasn’t my breakfast coming back to haunt me, I had to slow up a minute until Mike turned round and came back asking what was wrong. “Nothing, just fancied a cigarette” I said. He put on that very whiney voice and repeated it with such sarcasm.He put a hand in my coat pocket and passed me my spray as the pain really hit. There was a bench close by. And all the time this mocking voice is bouncing round my ears “What’s wrong? Nothing. Liar, I can always tell, it’s your chest again” I offer “If you know so bloody much why’re you asking?” We have a cigarette and then go to the car.
At home, I sit in the chair and the need to sleep hits. Mike has a coffee and when I come round he’s ready to go. I won’t see him for a month now so no more bullying or nagging for a while. Scratch that, I meant from him, I’m not for one minute suggesting Yvonne won’t. I walk slowly out to the car with him to collect my blue badge ( disabled parking scheme) and wave him off. Back inside again I have no choice but to start on the emails. Whoa, far too many.I had nearly 4 hours of that because at 6.55 pm I intend to take a break and watch Lara Croft. I’m afraid if I work straight through I’ll have another angina attack .I stayed awake and even enjoyed the film but at 9.00 pm I came through to face the music.92 more emails in three hours. I worked until 11.00 pm then started this blog and I’ll decide afterwards if I carry on or go to bed.
Someone pinched my pedals
This is more my mode of transport Mum.
I don’t know whether to scream “Disaster” or offer thanks. I’d turned my light off at 1.00 am and was fairly quickly off to sleep I think. When I woke again I felt refreshed and swung my legs out of bed. I’d seen the glow of the clock but paid no attention, now I did. It was 2.20 am. I paid a visit to the loo which only served to wake me more and came back to power up and log on. I knew if I did become tired again I could go back to bed for a while as 80 minutes sleep is pushing it even for me. But when I logged in and saw how much work was left from my backlog of yesterday with more having come in during the morning I thought maybe as I was going out again today, it would be good to get rid of the backlog completely. So that’s what I did. I was finished not long after 6.00 am and up to date, giving me the chance to put on a guest blog by my old friend Sarah Mallery which wasn’t due until tomorrow. I hoped she’d be pleased when she saw it up. At 7.00 am I went through to the kitchen and turned the tank light on. I was chuffed to see the Famous Five come and greet me. Yes OK, I know it could be construed that they were waiting for the food they knew was coming, but I’m sticking with my own line of thought here.
I left my friends ( yes, I have got some) chomping on their little food granules and turned to take my meds. There are some quite big snails on the glass of the tank. I know it means good water. I haven’t seen my assassin snails in an age so I’d better get some more of those. Tablets done I made a coffee and wandered back to the bedroom. Not too much come through while I was out of the room so easily dealt with. I opened the second email address and sorted that one too. It reminded me that I’d ordered some Tudor roses for MuJo to stick on the four poster and I hoped they’d maybe turn up today. I know they were posted on Friday but probably second class. The slow pace of the morning so far was nice. I was able to take my time getting dressed which meant I could colour co-ordinate though even now I can hear my Julia’s voice saying ” Not orange and blue together darling, you look like a bruised tangerine,” OK maybe that’s not quite what she’d say but you get the gist. She was a very gentle person who enjoyed ribbing me but who never tried to hurt, at least never after the great ‘No yellow shirts with your complexion even if they are your favourites’ debacle.
The postman came early and I was pleased to see the Tudor roses delivered. Less pleased to see them described as Yorkshire Roses merely because they were uncoloured, I almost got a red pen out. I guess the War of the Roses isn’t over yet. It’s strange to think that we carry on this joke between Lancashire and Yorkshire because of cricket these days. I actually like Yorkshire very much though I still maintain these are Tudor roses. Anyway they arrived. I ordered 4 for Mujo and a further 4 for me though I haven’t the foggiest idea why now. I couldn’t do my washing this morning as I’ve no idea what time they’ll turn up and what time they’ll want to go out. As it happened they arrived at 10.20 am at which point I was still up to date with my mail. I saw to the drinks and then passed John the packets with the Tudor roses and the gargoyles. He was over the moon with them and knew just where on the bedposts they were going. We chatted for a while and batted about different places we might like to go but it was the chippie that won out. We went and had a pleasant meal there, followed by a ride over to Flint and to Aldi so Muriel could do some shopping. That suited me down to the ground as I wasn’t too happy with Julia’s flowers and needed some more. I got three more bunches including some daffodils. Hopefully as they open the vase will look stunning and full of colour for her.
From Aldi Muriel drove to Asda and then on to Temptations where we had a nice drink and I got to hold Ceri’s hand for a minute.( Sorry Mike, you should have been here).Coming out of there we had a look round a few shops ans MuJo were able to find another pair of curtains they needed. A successful day. We drove back to my place where I sorted John with a drink while Muriel went to Pauline’s for their lottery tickets. At about 4.15 pm they left to go home and after giving them a wave I came in to start work, or such was the intent. I certainly did some work but I have no idea how much before I was suddenly no longer here. That may have been at about 5.00 pm and the next thing I knew I was waking up in my office chair, in front of my monitor at 7.10 pm. A real break only I couldn’t get myself together enough to work out what I’d been doing or what I was supposed to do next. It took a few minutes. A real day off. I carried on as best I could from that point until it became time to stop and do the blog. And here we are again.
A toll? I’m not paying a toll.
Is choo Lookin’ at me?
At last I’m back in favour. Should anyone ask I’ve been plugging Somnos daily and twice on Sundays. I turned my light off at 1.00 am and didn’t wake until 4.49 am which was wunnerful. Early enough to work before I go out but late enough for me to feel I’ve had a good sleep. Talking of work, there wasn’t as much as I feared from last night and not too much early morning stuff to scare me, and believe me, I scare easy. Naturally my day couldn’t start without the waterfall effect and today I was able to make as much noise as I wanted with Mike not being here. That’s always assuming he’d hear me anyway. When I came back through I powered up and signed in. With a smile on my face I started.
The smile wavered a bit when I came to an email about a firm wanting to place a large order for my product and the money was on hand to pay for it. I had to sit and puzzle out what my product might be. I can only think it’s words so I sent them a link to an online dictionary. Not that I needed their money anyway since an attractive ( I’m guessing) young Nigerian lady has offered me 40% of her late father’s fortune (worth squillions) if I can only help her get it from under the nose on her Aunt who wants to force her to marry and give up her rights. However if I (Prince Charming and NO arguments) can arrange with the holding bank to transfer it…..well who knows. Wedding bells maybe as she knows my character is good (fool). After that, everything else seemed flat even with the jokes sent to entertain me. Still, I persevered until 6.00 am when I decided the fish were deserving of my company. Big Al and Pepper cam up to be fed when I turned the tank light on. The little bronze cory wasn’t too far behind. Little Al was poking about at the back and didn’t seem interested at first and the hoplo I couldn’t see. Not as worrying as it would have been a few days ago. Fair play, he did stop playing silly beggars before I left and he came looking for grub.
I left the fish and turned to taking my drugs and sprays before making myself a coffee. After putting the drink on my desk I concentrated on getting ready to go out so I’d have no last minute rushes though the words rush and David aren’t a natural marriage like Mike and sleep are.Once I’d pondered what to wear and actually got dressed I returned to work and made short shrift of what was outstanding. By 7.20 am my mail boxes were clear. I even managed a cheeky look at ebay before having to go out at 7.30 am. I reached the bus stop well ahead of the bus so had to walk the whole distance for a change. I did manage to get my breath back before the bus arrived and as I was the only passenger settled in my favourite seat. After a few minutes we set off and when we stopped in town I closed my eyes so I didn’t encourage chatter from anyone getting on. It was a pretty good journey and we arrived in Chester at 8.40 am. It was pretty cold and damp. I saw Yvonne waving to me in the distance and walked towards her, hiding behind a pillar as she got close. Reuben hadn’t spotted me so when I jumped out and said “Boo”he was giggling like mad. Our cafe wouldn’t open for 15 minutes so we walked round a shop that was open and picked up a couple of books for Reuben. Then it was time for coffee, and in my case a sausage and red onion toastie that Yvonne decided I wanted. It was very nice. After that we went and found some outfits for Reuben, sunglasses for Ugo and Yvonne and left.
We wandered round a few more shops during the course of the morning.I’d told Yvonne I needed to leave early today so I didn’t get into the same backlog situation I encountered over the weekend and yesterday. Anything more than a couple of hours out of the house is horrific. Eventually time to go was upon us. They walked me to my bus stop and waited with me until it arrived. I wasn’t first in the queue and my seat wasn’t available but I found a double nearby. As the bus left I waved to Reuben who was looking in the wrong direction smiling at a stranger. The journey was tolerable though I had to keep my eyes closed when someone sat beside me. Back at home I emailed Yvonne to thank her for the morning an passed her the details of some appointments I needed, hopefully two close together on the same day. She emailed me back with the dates and times and she’s actually managed to get what I want. There were 192 messages with more coming all the time so I made a start. By 3.00 pm the computer fan was whining so I took a break and had lunch while watching an episode of Escape to the Country. After lunch I washed up and returned to work again. If only the hourly rate was better I could be quite content.
By 5.00 pm I was feeling decidedly sleepy so went to sit in the lounge with the TV on. It worked like a charm, I fell asleep until 6.10 pm. I turned the tank light off, wished the fish goodnight and came back to work. No breaks since then. Each time I think I’m making great progress somebody writes to me. Still, I stopped at 10.30 pm to do the blog and I’m unsure if I’ll go back to it as I’m at home tomorrow daytime and may catch up then. Of course it’s games night at the other end but I’ll save the moaning about that till it happens.
The lap of honour.
Well, I had an early night last night. In bed for 11.30 pm with a quick “Damn the rest of the mail until the morning.” I read until 12.30 am then turned my light off and settled down. I think Porcinus must have come to make sure I went to sleep because of the pervading smell of damp pig and I seemed to be counting pigs leaping a small gate as I drifted off. I woke at 3.24 am and felt ready to go into battle again. Not until I’d been to the loo of course. I turned my light on so I had no stubbed toes and I didn’t knock anything off/over on my travels. When I got back to my room I powered up the desk top and signed in. By 6.00 am I’d dealt with all last night’s late post including two very strange messages. One which stated VIRUS DETECTED AND ERASED which when opened had a weird message about how business was at this end and how they looked forward to doing business. The second had a subject of ‘ See what Morrison’s ( a Supermarket chain) have for you, which when opened was blank. I was expected to open an attachment which I refused to do since the sender was a private address. Maybe they thought people would be too tired at night to question their veracity and would open them regardless though it’s more likely to be that it’s a reasonable time of day wherever the senders are from.
Before starting the today’s batch it was time to turn on the tank light in the kitchen and check the Famous Five haven’t become the Fractious Four. I was OK since all of them were obviously at table waiting for their first-and only course. Whatever they were dreaming of they got just multicoloured granules.Though since it’s supposed to be composed of everything they need, it may be exactly what they dreamt of. Of course I got a dirty look from Big Al who obviously didn’t approve of the service in this particular restaurant. I have the feeling that his brush with death is now forgotten and the new mellow Big Al has been replaced by his original irascible self. I may be wrong and my fingers are crossed that I am since I thought the two of us were getting on so well. I turned away to take my meds, made a cup of coffee and returned to start on Wednesday’s mail. That took me till 7.45 am ( without refreshing) when I returned to the kitchen to put the washing machine on.
I came back to get dressed ready to make a trip to Pauline’s about 9.30 am for some bread. I made a start on today’s mail until just before 9.30 am then put my shoes on, grabbed my bag and my sticks and took a slow walk. I got my TV mag., my fresh bread, a small micro meal and some cigarettes being very disappointed when my brand wasn’t in and when the ten packet I buy for Matt was only a small size. I came home, unpacked the shopping, set the washing machine to dry the clothes and then came back to work. By some miracle I was up to date by 11.00 am and decided I had time for a nap before lunch. I managed about half an hour or so then decided to prepare my lunch which today was a lamb hock with some colcannon potatoes. I was half watching a programme about fake goods that come into the country and the vast amount the crooks earn from it. I’ve obviously been in the wrong job. Bargain Hunt came on while I was eating so I stayed till the end. After I’d washed the pots I fully intended to go straight back to work but I found myself mysteriously gravitating towards my chair for the other half hour of my power nap. My calculations were a little off as I had three quarters of an hour instead.
I was on my way back to work when my phone went and it was my pal Lis texting to see if she could call in. Since it’s always a pleasure to entertain a pretty lady I jumped at the chance though it didn’t give me very long on the computer before she arrived. I made her a coffee, passed along her invitation to Reuben’s dedication and we chatted about her daughter-my friend Charlie’s- attempt to buy a house down in South Wales. Things seem to be going well. Lis has a lovely family and sees her grandchildren most days so there are always tales top swap. When she left to go and collect the eldest from school I came back to work. I had until 5.00 pm to try and make an impression on the mail and it was tough going but I didn’t leave too many. I had a yoghurt for my tea and then prepared the mugs which was just as well as at 5.20 pm I saw Dil and Matt walk past the window. I started making drinks. Lee was a no show tonight. After the usual quiz show Dil got the games table out and we started playing Yahtzee. It wasn’t Matt’s night as Dil won 3 of the 6 and I won the others. No clear winner there then. Not that I do usually stand a chance at that so tonight was an improvement. Instead of going onto cards next Matt suggested Balderdash. I was grateful Dil brought the original game to the table. I had a great start but a lousy finish as Matt romped home past me. In the second game I also had a great start but went downhill when Dil pipped me at the post. How on earth did my little brother and my nephew become such accomplished liars, and better at it than me?We still had a little time left so the cards came out for chase the lady. In the first hand Matt had the Queen of Spades in his hand and dumped it on me. I had it in my hand every deal after that but only managed to abandon it once. Three hands in and Dil hadn’t got a point against him. I felt obliged to remark on it and he suggested I was doing so to forge an alliance against him. So paranoid. Still, they do say just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean it isn’t true. We managed to catch him for a few points but we got the worst of it and Dil won. So for me a disastrous night. My heart is still breaking, or it would be if I had one.
They left about 9.30 pm as usual and I tidied up and washed the pots before coming through. A lot of post to catch up on again. This could be a late night. It’s now almost 11.30 pm so we’ll see how it goes from here.
I’m in a mellow mood again tonight.
It was a late one last night thanks to the backlog but I did clear much of it before admitting defeat. It just meant that having a read took me a bit beyond my usual 1.00 am mark. It was OK though as Somnos took pity on me, not too much in case I got used to it, but he did leave me here until 4.01 am this morning. At that time I felt a kick on my bladder like that from a sheep or goat perhaps which said “You need to go NOW.” It was fooling me though since the expected waterfall was a trickle. I came back quite disappointed and powered up the computer. When 6.45 am arrived I’d finished the last of the evenings mail and had already started today’s making quite a dent in it. It seemed a good time to go feed the Famous Five. Big and Little Al, Pepper and Bonzo the bronze cory came to eat straight away, very excited at the prospect of food. I couldn’t see Harold the Hoplo anywhere though and I was trying to rack my brain as to whether I’d seen him yesterday. I had to come through to check the blog to find out. Thinking he’d just not rolled out of bed yet I decided to take my meds.
As soon as the tablets were taken I went to make a coffee but the damn machine decided it needed cleaning the moment I’d broken open the pod. According to the book it takes about 20 mins to do the cycle. Let me say here and now that it can’t tell the time. I was still there 35 mins later waiting for the end. I put the kettle on and made myself n instant coffee. In the meantime, I kept going to the tank to check on Harold. Carefully scanning the tank my heart sank. I could see another body wedged behind the bubble curtain. I got the net out and used it to push he airtube until the body was free to float up. Naturally it was in a bad way and very nibbled so I’d no idea what it was but it could only be Harold surely. I was beginning to think my friend Laurie was right about there being a serial killer in the tank. I didn’t want to wait for ‘last man standing’ to see who it was. Anyhoo, I managed to catch the remains in my net and a couple of the ‘attack of the killer snails’ too, that’s only with reference to their size. I confess I was really sad as I deposited the remains in a plastic bag which I then put in the bin. I turned round and said good morning to Harold who’d just come out to eat. Wha????? Realisation kicked in that the remains must be from one of the recent deaths that hadn’t been seen before now. I was and am so grateful.
By now the coffee machine had finished it’s cycle so I flushed it out four times as they suggest, took the cleaning disc out and refilled the tank. I may have another coffee later and use up the pod I pierced. Greatly relieved I took what was left of my coffee and headed for my room. I stopped on the way for the magic waterfall. The mail had grown a bit while I’d been out of the room because you people are just addicted to writing aren’t you. Anything just to get the written word down in front of you so I can hear all about your new books. There should be an AAA for you all to attend, Addicted Authors Anonymous. I restarted work and carried on until 9.30 am when I went to the Post Office to send off a card and to Pauline’s for my proper ciggies, the lottery and a special birthday card for next week. On my return I started work again. I must have been daydreaming too as I caught myself wondering about Mike. I’d forgotten to ask him what time he’s flying today so he could have been on his way at that point. Poor Canada won’t know what’s hit it. I wonder if his long suffering sister and his brother in law have any problems getting him up when he’s on holiday. Mention of a casino might get him moving though. By 10.30 am I was tired. I was up to date but even so I knew a trip to the lounge to spread some Z’s about was a mistake. I slept till about 11.30 am then decided to prepare my lunch after waiting 15 minutes for the foodie-tablet to work. I was sitting down t eat just after Judge Judy finished her last case and was ready for Jessica Fletcher to solve a murder case from her sick bed. That kept me going until 1.00 pm. I washed the pots and went through.
It was at this point it occurred to me that I’d been missing for two and a half hours. I found out how bad a mistake when I booted up again. Still, I didn’t need to move again until about 5.00 pm. I only just made it. The afternoon held many entertainments for me on peoples blogs and there were quite a few new books to tweet too. But at 5.00 pm I made myself some tea and then entertained myself some more with a couple of quiz shows. I didn’t want to be away from the computer screen for too long this time as I had plans to depart again at 8.00 pm. Firstly it’s the reburial of King Richard 111 or Richard of York or Richard Crookback. He who was found buried underneath a car park in 2014 having fallen in battle in 1509 against Henry Tudor. Shakespeare vilified Richard and ensured the stories of him having murdered his two nephews in the Tower of London. However, tests on the bones have shown that Richard was not in fact a hunchback and it seems some papers have been uncovered which show he was well liked in Yorkshire and perhaps not the monster he was portrayed. Of course Shakespeare writing in the Tudor years could hardly picture Richard a Saint. Then it’s a new episode of the Big Bang Theory (YAY), followed by an episode of another U.S. comedy I enjoy. I’d be due to return here smiling after that lot. I only saw the first half of the programme on the reburial which was a shame but it was quite touching bringing together descendants of the Yorkist line to share the ceremony. I’m sure the monks who took him and buried him did what they could but now he’s within the confines of a Cathedral in a tomb where he can be recognised as a Monarch of England.
The Big Bang Theory just gets better and better. The writers are hot, hot, hot and the stars of the show are unbeatable. The funny thing is (for those of you who don’t know) is that Sheldon’s girlfriend Amy who plays a scientist in the show is a real life scientist and probably has no problems at all with some of the scientific terms Sheldon and Leonard’s actors have had to learn sometimes. The new show I’m sort of hooked on is called something like Precinct 99 and is a very funny show, again carried so well by some of the actors. To my mind far better comedies than some I see come out of the States and much better than most things we produce these days. At 9.30 pm I took my evening meds and came back through. A fair bit more mail to wade through but I don’t think it’s all bad. I broke off at 10.30 pm to do this and it’s mow 11.40 pm so I think I’ll go straight to bed.
Woo Hoo. Somnos must have appreciated my efforts this week. I got to bed early last night by refusing to go back and answer more mail after doing the blog. I was in bed by 11.45 pm and my light was off at 12.30 am. I didn’t get up this morning until 5.01 am, a whole hour more than yesterday plus at least half an hour at the beginning. That’s over 4 hours and my best for a while. I thought the only drawback would be the amount of mail carried over undone from last night and the delayed start this morning. But no, there were no more brought forward than usual and even the morning post to that point didn’t look heavy. I only worked until 6.05 am before going to the kitchen and turning the tank light on.Today the Fantastic Four came up to eat without the fifth member but after yesterday I wasn’t falling for it.If he preferred to eat alone so be it. I dropped a few granules in for them all. The rules say no more than they can eat in a couple of minutes. It’s like watching hoovers at work as this lot get to grips with it. They were so intent upon eating that Big Al even forgot to snarl at me.
I left them to concentrate on taking my meds, which I did leaving the container empty. ( We won’t go into the tablets in Tuesday night’s box OK- I binned them). Once I’d done I went to get my meds drawer and did a complete refill of the container for another week. That doesn’t include he foodie tabs which are taken twice a day with meals so not a set time like the others.Those I keep to one side in the hope I remember to take some out if I’m eating somewhere. Of course that won’t be happening for three weeks now while Mike is in Canada. When I’d finished it was approaching 7.30 am so I made my coffee. I had another glance in the tank and saw Harold looking for his breakfast so I dropped a few more granules in and hope he finds them. As in life, some fish seem a little thicker than others. I took my coffee back to my room an started work again. I got dressed at some break in the work but had no intention of going out this morning. My warden came to visit on her last day and we sat down for a chat. I have felt fairly relaxed with her. She was telling me it’s her grandson’s 4th birthday today and lst week they had a little party at a petting zoo. I remember when I went to a petting zoo and the women slapped my face.(I didn’t honestly). After she’d gone I went back and did another half hour of work until midday and then went to the kitchen to do lunch. Steak in ale gravy with mashed potatoes today.
After Murder She Wrote I returned to work but by 2.05 pm was up to date again and retired to my chair in the lounge to have a power nap. Unfortunately I was caught up in Judge Rinder, the UK equivalent of Judge Judy and sleep stayed away. Yet again I had to return to work at 3.00 pm. There was a sound at the door and I saw a post van departing so I checked the outside cupboards. Nothing. I found two pieces of junk mail in the letter box though and yet the postman had come this morning. I can’ believe they sent a van out especially to deliver two pieces of unwanted junk. Yet again I managed to get up to date and this time I was yawning so returned to the lounge at 4.15 pm. Big Mistake. There was an antique programme on TV followed by a quiz I enjoy. I couldn’t quite drop off. A few minor flutters of the eyelids like butterflies in a breeze but the beggers wouldn’t stay shut. Giving up my other quiz at 6.00 pm I came back through to my room. I DON’T UNDERSTAND, Have you all taken a writing sabbatical? Where are the sacks full of mail I usually get. Is nobody writing to me anymore or has wordpress devised some devilish scheme to drop it all on me at once? Whatever it is, understand this. Me scared, me no like. It only took me till 6.50 pm and I was up to date again. I decided to desert you all and go back to the TV till about 9.00 pm. I laughed ha ha in the face of danger. Here’s hoping I shan’t be laughing on the other side of my face later. I actually ended up watching one of those feel good factor comedy films that I didn’t expect to enjoy- but did..
I took my meds and retired to my room. I didn’t feel up to having a shower so went straight back to work. I was gobsmacked.Normally two hours away from the screen has me in panic mode at a minimum of 30 messages an hour. Two hours tonight and not even 30 waiting. I read a terrible report about the British economy. Not a great surprise as I’ve said for years we’re bankrupt monetarily as well as morally. It seems there will be a new raft of stealth taxes and not so stealthy ones all hitting Middle England. It wouldn’t do to inconvenience millionaires or big tax dodging corporations. I understood a few years ago that if one major coffee house had paid taxes in the UK on money earned here, there would have been more than the amount the Government are trying to screw out of the disabled benefits programme now. There was also a nice request to connect on LinkedIn as well as some cheery posts from my friends. By 10.20 pm I found myself in the enviable position of being up to date again. After doing a quick, slow waltz round the room I decided to start the blog. I could just feel an early night coming on. 11.15 pm with luck. I need all my strength for tomorrow since I learned the elemental known as Yvonne has taken the day off to take me shopping…despite protestations. Early in the week she said Ugo and Reuben would take me but I knew I could get out of that. Now I’ve no chance. I have to hope she’ll accept I only want to go local as I don’t need much and speed is good.She can do her own shopping at the supermarket she likes on the way home. Maybe poor Ugo will be able to sit in the coffee shop while she does. At least the Force will be with him and not me. I love my daughter more than my life but like all women she scares me half to death, especially when she can see my shopping list. Chocolate, chocolate, beans, chocolate.
I didn’t quite manage my 11.15 pm as hoped but I was there by 11.30 pm which was something to cheer about. My light was out by 12.30 am after a read. There were a couple of false starts during the night notably at 1.25 am ( No Way) and at 3.05 am but I still felt there was more to come and managed to stay until 4.38 am finally. I was really pleased. I got up, made Niagara fall ( in a drought) and them came back to power up and sign in. Yesterday’s surprise is there today when I noted how few ( 18) messages had come from yesterday and again surprisingly only 42 emails from today. Having said that, I hadn’t yet refreshed from 4.42 am when I signed in.But at least by 7.00 am I was clear and able to go see to the fish. Big Al and Pepper had a race to see who could reach the front first this morning when I turned the light s on. They swam in place with their tales going like the clappers trying to stay positioned underneath the trapdoor while the current tried to push them away. I talked to them as I started to pour some food into my hand but Big Al’s look said “Just get on with it. Less chat , more action.” As I started to put the food in Little Al came over with Bonzo not far behind. Yet again Harold was conspicuous by his absence but after the last few days I’ve decided not to worry when I can’t see him. Chances are he’s still in bed and if not, there isn’t much I can do about it.
I left them to their feasting and went to take my meds.As I picked up the first spray I heard my phone beep in the lounge. It really annoys me. It was on charge all Thursday night and I didn’t use it yesterday and yet it still runs out of charge. Now I don’t know if it will be sufficiently charged when I go out.. Back to the meds, I finished and made myself a coffee using the remains of the milk in my mug as usual. I took the food waste bag out to it’s little bin and placed both bins at the end of my pathway. I brought the other recycling bags out but had to tuck them at the side of the house because there’s a vicious wind out this morning. Before starting back to work I washed and dressed in case I lose track of time. They’re supposed to be here about 9.30 am but I know of old Ugo works on African time on his days off. As long as he’s up and at football by the afternoon he’s fine. Actually not quite true as he looks after Reuben while Yvonne works so he has to be up, but he generally doesn’t have to move much. Anyway, I started back to work.
It was about 8.00 am as I was sitting here minding my own beeswax that I heard a clunking sound followed by a slithering sound. It was a fair bet that no giant pythons had escaped so I went to the front window to have a look. Disaster ! My large bin had been toppled on it’s side as had the food bin. Not a major problem as the contents were in bags but the slithering was my waste paper bag which was happily spinning around in the wind depositing it’s contents everywhere. Naturally sod’s law says this week there are many small pieces of paper ( answers from Balderdash) all over the place. I started collecting them again. It didn’t take long before I was out of puff and feeling the strain from kneeling/bending. Then good old Bert from next door came out and started helping. We picked up plastic bottles too that had escaped from their bag. Between the two of us we soon had everything back in place. I had to move the bins back down the path hopefully away from the worst of the wind and I had to stand the dustbin on top of the recycling bags. Bert has apparently left his closer to is house than usual too. The big question is will thy be collected with not being in their usual place? Will the collection team realise why the bags are not actually out if the wind has dropped by then? At which point they could turn all ‘Jobsworth’ on us. “Oh no, it’s more than my jobs worth to come down your path to collect rubbish.” Maybe I’d be back before that happened but at that point I got a message from Yvonne to say I was not shopping locally, I was going to the big supermarket with them. This could be a battle of wills worth seeing.
They arrived at 9.40 am, just as I’d normally have finished shopping and as I approached the car I could hear the throaty croak of Pops, Pops as Reuben saw me. Poor soul thought he was getting out to be with me but instead I got in the car. “Right , where are we going?” was Ugo’s question. “Asda” said Yvonne brooking no refusals. We set off and soon arrived there, the car park was very busy but Yvonne knew enough to say “We’ll be OK.” I headed for the cash machine while Reuben followed on riding his bug bike ( or Bugger as he calls it) and with his Ma and Pa. Yvonne got a big trolley we could share. I was dubious but went along with it. On the way to the flowers we passed a stand with items reduced in the latest dale and looked at a new ironing board Yvonne needs. It was good but not quite big enough. She turned it down on the grounds they wouldn’t get it in the car anyway. I chose some flowers and Yvonne got two bunches of daffs for herself, or for Monday, I’m not sure. Monday is the two year anniversary of Ju leaving us. We had a wander with Reuben hot on my heels, literally. He was trying to make me dance by running at my toes. I hat to threaten him with my fist while telling him to get off my toes which had him in fits of laughter and trying again. Suddenly I cam across another ironing board. A Minky and very wide just as she wanted and reduced by half. Room in the car or not she decided we couldn’t afford not to. I gave her some money to pass o Ugo to buy it now and try and get it in the car before we had to go. He was away a long time. As he came back I was half expecting to hear I’d be walking. It was close. Yvonne and I wold both have to sit in the back while the ironing board occupied the place of honour next to the driver.
We carried on shopping. I was piling my stuff in the front of the basket and Yvonne the back. Only problem was the back part is very small so there was a lot of overspill. Eventually we’d done and headed for the tills. Then the goods had to be placed on the conveyor Yvonne’s first and mine second. I gave Ugo some bags and proceeded to set my bags out along the bottom of the trolley ready to put goods in. Ugo packed his stuff and paid and I waited my turn. As soon as the youngster on the till started sending stuff through Ugo decided to help me pack and pulled my bags out of the trolley.I find it easy to fill 3 bags and spread the weight than to fill one bag at a time so I had to get them back again. I really appreciated his help as he put things in the bags in the trolley for me. We didn’t have time to go to Flint for a coffee as Ugo was due at football this afternoon. We had a drink in MacDonalds where Mike and I usually go instead. Once done we headed for the car. Ugo insisted on packing the boot while Yvonne and I squeezed ourselves into the back seat one either side of Reuben. My accompaniment all the way home was a DVD of Thomas the Tank Engine. Until now I never knew Thomas was naughty. When we got back Yvonne helped me take the bags in so she could finally see the gift Tariq had given me on my birthday, the picture of Roobs and me. They had to go. I looked at my watch and it was 1.00 pm. I’m no idea it had got so late.
Once I’d unpacked and put the shopping away I took my pre-food ( I wrote pre-foot there but honestly it wasn’t while I still had hooves) tablet and buttered some bread. Corned beef hash was speaking to me. I think it was something along the lines of “Eat me or I’m out of date and food for worms.” But I can’t be sure. Finally I was able to come back to work and my worst fears were confirmed. Everyone was working weekends and more specifically, while I was out of the house. I’m very fortunate that now I was back things seem to have eased off. I was also lucky that I didn’t have any fakers, conmen or nut-jobs to delay me. The worst part was developing a rhythm and then realising I was starting to nod off. The bathroom and a good splash of water in the face beckoned. By the time 5.30 arrived I felt OK about breaking off for a while. I went through to the lounge thinking I’d have a little tea soon and found next to my chair , the two post food tabs I should have taken at lunchtime. I put them on the arm of the chair so I wouldn’t miss them a second time. I’m (almost) ashamed to admit I settled for two doughnuts for my tea as I watched a celebrity edition of Pointless. At least I watched until an attack of the noddies took over and I didn’t wake until 7.20 pm. I came back to my room. It seemed a good time to try and have a shower before working so I prepared all my clothes and putting my dressing gown on took the clothes to the washer ready for Monday, put some clean lounge pants ( the ones with the Red Dragon of Wales) on a hook in the bathroom and turned the shower on to reach the correct temperature. I put the emergency alarm round my neck then pulled it off again and put it on the windowsill in case it blew the system. Then I had my shower. To an outsider looking in it would have seemed strange to see a body with it’s bum uppermost as I had to fold in order to wash my hair. That out of the way I was upright again for the rest of the ritual cleansing . Getting out of the shower I had to assume the position again to dry my hair so I might have looked very short under that towel. I came up puffing like old bellows and dried the rest of me. That takes a while given my girth. Too bad Mike hasn’t been around today with remarks about booking coach trips to go round me. I’ve missed going for my meal at the Ivy too.
Once dry I re-started work and by 10.00 pm was really doing quite well. Keeping pace as I was I broke off at 10.45 pm to see to the blog. I could take my time I hoped. So I did. My friend Suzanne Joshi https://patriciaruthsusan.wordpress.com/ made a request for tonight. That I choose my favourite Welsh song to put on for you all.
This is my National Anthem and still raises hairs on my neck.