Tag Archives: Little Al

A Bony Fido Human & The Siren Sounds

Sunday April 5th 2015 Easter Sunday.

This morning’s time is so close to yesterday’s I can ‘t help wonder whether there is significance to them. They are 7 minutes apart and it could easily have taken me that much longer to get to sleep.The one thing I do note is that it’s less than an hour and a half since I turned my light out ergo Naff all sleep again. I know some people would suggest I just stayed in bed. But, I had woken before that time as I had yesterday, and had stayed in bed at that point, still tired. When I woke up his time, I was wide awake and wouldn’t have got back to sleep staying in bed. There’s nothing to say I won’t have to indulge myself in 50 winks later though. That’s allowing for inflation and a cost of living rise.

Obviously there is a benefit to being up and about so early, apart from messing with Big Al’s mind by making him think it’s daylight of course. That benefit is that I can attack my post early. I did that this morning and was surprised to see only one message left from last night, amazing, and even more amazing was that I’d deal with that and those of today ( so far) by 5.14 am. I needed a drink so I went in to turn the kitchen light on ( Sorry Al) and open a new 2 litre bottle of my Pepsi Max. Rather than take it through with me, I decided to fill some 500 ml and 600 ml bottles I had ready to go in the recycling bag. I filled three and my shaky hands took care of another couple of hundred ml down the sink.The smaller bottles are much easier to manage at the computer or in bed at night. There was enough left in the big bottle for a small drink before the bottle goes in the bag.I turned the light off and made it another very short day for Big Al. More confusing than ever for him I decided while I was in this direction I might as well feed them. On went the light again and this time the tank light was added.Harold and Pepper approached and as the food was added they sped up. Big Al had disappeared.naturally and I reckon he was sulking in a very Queen Victoria “We are not amused” kind of way.I wasn’t worried about the other two, they’d smell the food.

Having dealt with the Divas I concentrated on taking my meds. I’d used my sprays and put the first batch of tablets in my mouth. I took a drink of milk to help get rid of them and then part way, for some reason, the thought had occurred to me that the milk was off. If Mike was here he’d tell you how much entertainment he gets from watching me try to swallow tablets. I have to get my frame of mind just right, take a few tentative goes at it then throwing my head back, swallow. Now I was in a quandry. I could bob my head back and forth but dare I swallow anyway since if the milk is off they’ll be straight back out anyway.And, if the milk is OK and I keep doing this, the tablets will dissolve in my mouth and I’m likely to pebbledash the wall again in an effort to get rid. Oh Dammit! In the end I had to force myself to swallow and the milk was fine but my nerves were shredded.I think Big Al sniggered. With all the dignity I could muster I made a coffee and departed the kitchen.

By the time 9.00 am rolled round I was up to date and having a whale of a time ordering birthday presents from ebay. I probably spent a lot longer there than I should but I was having a whale of a time. When  came out the mail was back up again.  You lot are really sly waiting till my back is turned to start writing. I only worked till 11.40 am then went through to check on what I was having for lunch and make a start on it. My intention was to return to work straight afterwards, honestly it was. I had brisket which was supposed to be in a bourbon BBQ sauce but since the sauce was in a separate sachet I did without, much preferring to have onion gravy. I had boiled baby potatoes in herbs and some petit pois.The gravy brought it all together nicely for me. I bought another one of these joints for John ,so he can have the extra sachet of BBQ sauce. Five minutes into my lunch the programme that was on ended. That didn’t bother me too much as I’d be going back to work soon. Then a film came on. Patch Adams which stared Robin Williams and was based on a true story. Sorry folks, I did my washing up in the commercial break and decided to ignore you all and keep watching. I have seen it before many moons ago and can’t help wondering if the hospital ‘Gesundheit’ still survives and is doing well. It was getting on for 2.30 pm before I actually returned to work. Typically it seems a lot of you have ignored both the Christian ethos of not working on the 7th day and the rest ignore the fact it’s a holiday. Whatd’ye mean so am I, did I claim Sainthood? Anyway it’s supposed to be do as I say not as I do. Not that it’s ever worked before. I mean how could it, I had a wife and daughter which means I was beaten from the off.

There was a lot of post but at least the spammers seem to have taken the hint about Easter. Everything was clear cut and generated by a ‘bony fido’ human being. Most was a pleasure to read if not comment on. Chris, the story reading ape even brought a smile to my face with a real groaner of a joke, but at least he admitted it. I worked through the afternoon until 6.00 pm when it seemed a good idea to stop for tea and my second batch of food related tablets. A nice salted beef sandwich with a bag of crisps and a yoghurt was nice. Two of my dark chocolate ginger biscuits was nicer still. I stayed to watch a couple of old episodes of The Big Bang Theory before coming back to see how I was doing on ebay. Not a successful day today having lost 3 items. All of them by not very much but I stuck to my upper limits today so the bank manager didn’t get annoyed. Actually it was because while the objects were nice and would have been good gifts they just weren’t that nice. There are other things that would mean more to me or to put it another way which I think will mean more to the recipient.

I kept pretty much up to date until 10.30 pm and only had a break to take my meds. Then I started the blog post hoping if it took less than an hour I could go back to the mail. It’s actually taken an hour and I’ve decided to leave the mail till the morning now.

Zoobaby 1

I think it's a pangolin or a banjo or guitar ???

I think it’s a pangolin or a banjo or guitar ???

Monday.

Well, that was a failure of sorts. I put my light out at 1.00 am as usual but despite lack of sleep I couldn’t drop off. I ended up going through to the lounge where I found a Queen Concert on TV. I turned off after about half an hour or so and nodded off in my chair. I didn’t wake until 4.57 am so every chance of three hours sleep. I didn’t bother with the kitchen when I first woke, I headed for a Loo Bloo view and then went and logged on the computer. I wanted to be as clear as possible this morning before they come to take me out. There was still a fair bit of last night’s to do so obviously that was my first target. I don’t know how but I managed to clear the last of those at 6.50 am so before starting again, I went to feed the fish. It was actually Pepper in sight when I first turned the light on but it wasn’t long before Little Al made an appearance. I put some food in and rewarded by a visit from Harold up and about early for a change. Little Bonzo zoomed in next on case none was left for him. Time had to be spent looking for Big Al. When I found where he was hiding I greeted him to show I’d seen him. He looked round with displeasure and moved away. I can see if the fish ever get religion it depends whether Big Al becomes High Priest or not as to whether I’m termed the devil.

I stayed in the kitchen for some breakfast this morning. Heavily buttered cold toast. It always reminds m of being on holiday in an hotel. When I finally returned to work I set too on today’s mail. At about 9.40 am I got a message to say they’d left so at 10.00 am I stopped work ready for the arrival. It seems the holiday traffic wasn’t playing ball with me, it was approaching 10.30 am when they arrived. I went out when they arrived and got into the newly warmed and vacated front seat ( passenger side for the sake of the nervous amongst you) and said my hellos. Reuben was effusive with his hiya bobs which is what his gruff, growly Pops sounds like. We set off. It took a little over half an hour to get there and there was a little excitement as none of us had been before and in fact I’d only told them about it a week or so ago. Greenacres, a petting zoo on 60 acres of farmland with a few fairground rides is what we expected.We couldn’t complain about the £7 for adults £6 for children (free if under 2 ) as we didn’t know what it entailed.We started up the path and toour left was a little pond with one solitary duck. Reuben threw a tantrum when we’d looked as he didn’t want to depart but we had no idea what was in store so in the end Ugo carried him as we talked to him suggesting we went to see the piggies. Before we reached the piggies however there was a cafe. Since the morning was cook due to both fog and mist we had a drink to warm us. Then it was into battle.

There were donkey rides which Reuben enjoyed and some Peacocks and peahens close by. But as we moved a little deeper wonders appeared ( sorry donkeys, I think you’re wonderful too) Skunks to stroke, snakes to touch, pigs to feed and if times right, baby lambs to feed by bottle. There were fantastic owls brought out to meet you, alpacas, capybaras, rabbits, guinea pigs, degus and their big bro’s the chinchilla.  shire horses, shetland ponies and so much more. At about 1.00 pm we decided on lunch. I wasn’t expecting too much but  to be honest I found it disappointing, very basic something and chips and I swear I could have redone my shoe with the burger and sold the bun as swimming floats. Why do people always do the bun dry? and I may be no salad lover but a bit of tomato and greenery would make a big difference. We could feed it to the giant rabbits for a start. Still, it was there, it was warm, we were peckish. Yet again I forgot my tablets so I’d need teas when I was home later. After the meal we headed for the junior fairground, the fog and mist had gone and the sun was glorious. Reuben had a great time on a ride called the caterpillar then we saw a road train coming i and Yvonne took him for a tour on that. He really enjoyed it. A roped off section that looked like an old Western Town held a model of a horse(?) and a very laid back rabbit that looked big enough to have played Harvey in the James Stewart film but more importantly there was face painting. Reuben reappeared as one of the Super Hero Ninja Turtles and looked very pleased with himself. There was still more to see like Rheas and water fowl and wallabies but Roobs was showing signs of being tired. There was one more thingbefore we left though, Ugo wanted to take him on the tractor ride as I’d bought him a tractor in the gift shop. I’m not sure who enjoyed it most but lots of photographs came back from Ugo. It was a good length ride too and just £1.00.

Roobs watched the SHNTurtles dvd in the car driving back to my place and it kept him quiet. When they dropped me off it was about 4.00 pm. Shoes and coat off, slippers on and tissues in my pocket just in case. Damn, tissues back out of my pocket and get a refill pack too. Lots and lots of messages. It took me till 8.00 pm to clear the first batch-less 30 minutes for a sandwich. I had to stop the second batch at 10.30 pm so I could write this and now I’m going back to it again. It’s been a Grand Day.

Reuben's First Donkey Ride.

Reuben’s First Donkey Ride.

No way was he putting down the tractor I’d bought him. Ugo walked beside him to make sure he didn’t fall off.

Pops is Capricorn so he gets to feed the goat.

Pops is Capricorn so he gets to feed the goat.

Excitement on the caterpillar

Excitement on the caterpillar

Tuesday.

The fresh air must have tired me yesterday, I had my light off by 12.30 am and don’t think I had any problem dropping off. I slept through until 4.24 am and didn’t feel bad at all. Since I wanted to put out an interview on the blog this morning, the time was pretty good too. Most of the UK and Europe would wake up to it and most of the US would see it when they woke on the right date, rather than when they went to bed on the date before. So, I paid my visit to the loo, came back and signed in. First things first, the release. That done I was able to get to my mail. I was really pleased to find there were only 6 messages I’d missed from last night. Those were cleared in double quick time and I was able to move onto today’s mail. There was a fair bit of it but not enough to worry me and by 6.45 am I was up to date though I hadn’t refreshed. It was time to Face the Fish which sounds like it should be a game show and often feels like it is only I never win any of the prizes on offer.

I turned the kitchen light on and a white flash told me one of the Al’s was near the front. I went over and turned on the tank light. Oddly enough it was Big Al at the front and as I lowered my head to the level if the tank, he turned round to face me. “Uh oh” I thought. but if it was possible those gimlet eyes of  his seemed to widen and he looked like a sad little puppy. For a moment I actually thought he was looking at me with affection but I woke up before the dream finished disastrously. But, there he was still looking at me. I always talk nicely to the fish which is why I can’t understand the animosity. After all, I haven’t dropped many things on his head, and that wouldn’t have happened had he been less of a nosy tyke. But no animosity this morning. Is this the start of the big thaw or will I be thawwy later. I opened the flap to drop some food in and like magic the others appeared. Whoever decided that fish have a 3 second memory forgot to tell the fish. Little Al made it first, closely followed by Pepper with Bonzo trailing behind. I was about to ask them where Harold was when blow me, he actually appeared  at a very regal speed, almost as though he’s stopping to wave at his public which in this tank would be the multitude of snails. With all five together and the food in I was able to leave them to enjoy breakfast in peace.

I slipped two pieces of bread in the toaster and turned it on before doing anything else. I wanted it to be nicely cold. Then I took my pre-food tablet, my sprays and followed up with the morning tablets in 3 lots before using what was left of the milk for my coffee. I lit a cigarette and wandered through to the lounge to flick through my TV mag in case anything of interest stuck out. All I could see was an Antique Detectives at 6.30 pm which I might try. My cigarette finished I went back through and buttered my cold toast, and ate it. I took my after food tabs with my coffee and retreated to the bedroom again to work. The interview was getting great responses which was good so I was able to respond to a few of those as well as try to keep up with the incoming mail which seemed to be flowing fiercely this morning.                                              As the schools are off I don’t have to worry about the Mother’s Mafia in Pauline’s so at 8.30 am I got dressed and went out. I needed some bread and some more micro chips but was disappointed to find she had none in curry sauce still. I also got my next TV mag and some cigarettes to keep me going now till Thursday with luck. Then I was home again by 9.00 am. I hadn’t long restarted work when a knock at the door left a stain on my chair. I just was not expecting it. There was Darren my postman with three packages for me. One was the leather jacket I won last week which I had to try on straight away to get over any disappointment early. It fitted . YAY! Another was a gift for John’s birthday later this month which I hope he’s going to like. The third isn’t important but I’m pleased to have got it nonetheless.

As the morning wore on to about 11.00 am I had a text from Charlie to see if she could drop in before returning back to South Wales. I didn’t hesitate Both she and her mother Lis are great friends, beautiful women and beautiful people too.  I had another text a little later to say she was in town picking up some shopping, could she get me anything. Normally I’d say no, but I wanted some specific cigarettes for Matt I hadn’t been able to get at Pauline’s. I don’t like asking non-smokers to buy ciggies but I caved in and when she came ten minutes later she’d managed to get them. I almost fainted when I found out the price though. I think I shrieked and Charlie’s head whipped round “What’s that”?  “Sorry it was my foot on the wooden floor” I replied hoping she wouldn’t notice I was standing on the mat. Tomorrow night I’ll be standing on the Matt ! Charlie stayed for an hour or so nattering and she told me how much she liked the gift for her 40th. Not for the whole hour obviously but I let her carry on for about 55 minutes. When she left and gave me a huge hug I knew I didn’t see enough of her.

It was time for lunch and I couldn’t be bothered with anything that took time so I bunged a box in the microwave. Once I’d eaten I needed to return to work. It was just as well I did as it was catch up time again. I don’t know what was wrong though because I wasn’t able to. At 6.00 pm when I needed a break I was still struggling. I’m afraid I was away till 7.30 pm so I’ve only myself to blame for a difficult evening. The phone has been driving me to distraction today too, and my mobile. They’re always unknown callers and some leave voice mails which I’ve learned not to open as it’s always for Improperly sold insurance, free boilers or something like that.

Getting on for 10.30 I started this blog with a big decision that when I finished I’d go to bed early. It didn’t take as long as expected , only 11.10 pm so I shall have to carry on a bit longer or suffer a guilty conscience.

Wednesday.

I called a halt at 11.55 pm last night and was in bed reading by midnight. I only made i until 12.45 am before he book had to go down and light went out though. It must have been a bit of a restless night though as I was up again for a while at 2.10 am. It wasn’t bad enough to abandon bed for my chair and I did get back to sleep again. It was 4.29 am when the internal alarm woke me with indications that if I didn’t get a move on I’d be swimming my way out of bed. I turned the computer on as I passed by so it was ready for sign in as I got back. The post was quite heavy but hardly a problem as I’m in all day, except for my games night tonight which I’m looking forward to.

One of the posts I saw was from my great friend AC Flory, or Meeks who has a warning for a new scam which I admit looks quite real at first glance. It may be you’ll want to go and take a look at this.  https://acflory.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/phishing-scam-apple-itunes/                                                                                                                                           Not much later was a message from Createspace that they had held money from Amazon as my bank details aren’t correct. I went into Createspace not using the link but couldn’t find an outstanding amount bar money for the current month where the figures don’t tally. I also checked my bank details though this seemed silly as I get payments from Amazon anyway. I’m still trying to work out if this one is a scam or not though I don’t think so. I’m still not chancing their links though. I worked till 7.00 am and then went to feed the fish. I turned the tank light on and today it was Pepper and Little Al to have the starring role as they chased each other round in circles. I wasn’t sure whether they were enjoying themselves or doing it for my benefit. Either way it was entertaining. I dropped some food in and the roundabout gradually slowed down. Not quickly enough to stop Bonzo nipping in for the first course though. Those two started grazing and slowly Big Al made his way over. I caught a movement on my left and was surprised to see the fifth member of thegang drift over from that direction. Most strange, out of bed and out and about at this time. Before anyone tried an ‘Oliver’ and started calling for more I left them to it.

I decided on breakfast again today in case I didn’t get chance this evening. I took my pre-foodie and stuck some bread in the toaster. After taking my sprays, the milk came out to fill my mug which I then used to take my tablets, saving enough for my coffee of course. I went and had a cigarette to pass the waiting time and once finished , buttered and ate my now cold toast. Two more tabs and finished. I washed the pots and returned to my room.Since it was almost 8.00 am I got dressed before returning to the computer, after all I didn’t want to off end any of my female friends with my state of undress. I even combed my hair, then made an effort and combed a second one too. The post was incoming all  morning and kept me going slow and steady. I stopped at 11.30 am to prepare lunch then watched an episode of Murder She Wrote while I ate. I found I really wanted to close my eyes for a while afterwards but was scared of letting a backlog build up. I washed the pots and returned to my room. I must have done no more than half a dozen messages before I found myself nodding off over a hot keyboard. There didn’t seem to be an option so at 1.30 pm I let myself sleep. At 2.15 pm I was back in the game. I’m not sure which game, and it was possibly not the one everyone else was playing but I was there. By 5.00 pm I hadn’t hard from Lee so it seemed likely he was coming. I knocked off and made myself a drink. As I was doing it Lee arrived. We only had a few minutes to chat and say this is possibly his last forseeable games night as Jen could have the baby at any time now. I gave him the Easter eggs he hadn’t been here to take last week. At 5.12 pm Dil and Matt arrived. I sorted drinks while Matt found and opened the super slim cigarettes he’d asked me about and Charlie had got for me on Tuesday.

Once the usual TV quiz show was over we got to it. Lee wanted to be back home early understandably so we elected to go for Yahtzee first. It went ( along with a lot of shouting and cursing) First game to Matt, Second to Lee, Third to Me.Fourth to Dil then Lee left to go home. We finished off with one more game to Matt and one to Dil which left them as honours even and me languishing behind.  Matt asked to play the updated Balderdash next because it breaks down into categories and he likes some of them.The board is about 48 squares and can take some time to play. I fairly romped up the board to the halfway point leaving Matt on the first board and Dil on about the sixteenth. A few more goes and Matt had doubled to square 2, Dil as about 36 and I was on 47. And that’s where I stayed. I could not convince either of them with a lie and either they chose the correct answer on my go or on Dil’s go, no-one got it right giving him 4 points. When he won I was still there waiting. I felt I’d been savaged by a big dog. As time a now galloped on Dil suggested a few hands of Crazy 8’s. I should have known this wasn’t my lucky night. We only managed 3 hands and Matt was already past the 300 mark. I was on about 120 and Dil moaning because his score was 25 but would only have been 24 if he hadn’t taken pity on his son and played a 3 instead of a 2 on him. One very pleased person and one quite dejected one left for home leaving this defeated one to tidy up and wash the pots.

I went back through to my room and suffered a very sharp intake of breath when I saw the mail. I dared only work on it till 10.30 pm before doing this post but I still have a fair way to go. Some may have to be left for the morning but it’s a MuJo day tomorrow so I can’t leave too much for myself then either. Something has to go, either my work life or my social life.

Thursday.

For all my moaning, in a sudden burst of activity last night I managed to make a huge dent in the post before knocking off at 12.15 am. I still had time for a read too so I can’t even sound too deprived this morning. Damn ! There goes the sympathy vote. I was up and on my way to widdletown at  3.38 am. A whole four minutes passed  before I was able to return and power up the computer. The mail didn’t look to bad at all though I knew it would obviously build up more as I worked. Last night’s stuff was finished by 5.35 though so I was quite pleased. I carried on working until 6.00 am when I decided that I’d have breakfast today so might as well feed the Famous Five while I was there. The occasional early morning wake up call doesn’t hurt and keep them on their toes flippers. On my way to the kitchen I had a bet with myself about who’d have the starring role at the front of the tank today. The only one I could rule out was Harold so I had a 25% chance of getting it right. I settled on Little Al. It’s as well I didn’t bet serious money as I was wrong and would have had to welch on the bet anyway. It was Pepper. By the time I’d finished putting the food in, talking to Pepper, being distracted by the birdsong outside, they’d all appeared, even Harold. There was a bit of tapping impatiently on the glass as if to say, “OK, that’ll do, Close that hatch and go away, let us eat in peace.” I went away and took my morning meds and had some breakfast, a very small packet of cornflakes and a round of toast. If I forget my tablets at lunchtime at least I can take them at teatime and know I’ve had both lots. I put a load of washing in the machine, made myself a coffee and came back to my room.

I was just slogging away at the posts trying to get the levels down when I heard the wash cycle end. As I finished the message I was one I had chance to nip though and set the drier going. That would be ready for folding about 10.00 pm. About 8.45 am I took a walk to Pauline’s in my dark brown jeans with my new leather jacket that was such a bargain on ebay. I haven’t really worn a bomber jacket before. I quite liked it. After getting my new lottery tickets and having found some micro chips with curry sauce I came back home. I sent Mujo a text to remind them to bring leather food for my hat which will go well with the jacket once it’s been fed, I just hope it’s more polite than Big Al. At 10.00 am I was standing by the drier as it finished so I took things out, folder them and hung them over a set of bars attached to the radiator so they could air properly. I managed another half hour’s work before MuJo arrived. It was like a Summer’s day outside, sunny and quite warm so I did cold drinks and we sat down to chat for a while. At about 11.15 am we left to go to town so Muriel cold go to the Post Office before lunch and John could take another watch to have the battery changed. I put  note on the front door for deliveries to go to Bert’s.I was expecting one of John’s birthday gifts to be delivered today.

In town we were lucky with a parking space and took a slow walk to the Post Office and the shops. John wanted the charity shops while Mu conducted her business so I lit a cigarette and walked with him. When we all congregated together again we walked down the market with John’s watch. It was a waste of energy as the stall wasn’t there this week, so we just went to lunch. Whether it was the heat or not, I wasn’t able to finish my lunch. Neither was John but you could tell he wasn’t very well. The likely culprit was angina and as we stepped outside afterwards so it proved to be. He refused to let it stop us carrying on though, so piling in the car with the windows open, we headed for Flint. Muriel needed Aldi so I took the opportunity to pick up some chocolates for the girls in Temptations. John stayed in the car. When we left there we went straight to Temptations for a drink. Ceri was busy so I missed my chance of a hug today. I confused matters by having a cold drink for a change but John confused matters back by having a coffee.  It was cooler in there but I was glad I’d left my jacket in the car. When we finished, we took a slow walk round the usual shops so John could get some cough sweets ( and me) and a few other little odds and sods.I did actually only spend in the one shop, my favourite Homies (Home Bargains) while John bought some bedding from his favourite shop. We ate an iced lolly then got back in the car and came home.

At home John had a drink and took some of his tablets. It was just gone 4.00 pm. They didn’t stay much longer before setting off on the journey home. When I’d waved them off I came back into the bedroom and checked my messages. I almost fainted. Luckily there was a knock at the door (so I can’t say saved by the bell) and Bert was there with two parcels. I was only expecting one so was surprised. I opened the one I wasn’t expecting first and found two gifts I’d had made for my nieces respective birthdays. I didn’t know they’d been despatched. When I opened the other, I was really upset to see it was broken. Not beyond repair but I don’t really want to do that. I got in touch with the seller and he said he’s send me a label for return but didn’t tell me if there was another one in stock to send me. Or, he offered a partial refund which I assume means I keep the item and do the repairs. I’ve emailed back again to see whether he does have another one in before making the decision. Then I got stuck into my messages. I was tired and probably a bit cranky too after being up since 3.30 am   with no catnap but was trying to stay awake. I also wanted to see my Big Bang Theory at 8.30 pm. I stayed here over a smoking hot keyboard until that time, sat in from the of the TV and nodded off. I was lucky only to miss about 5   minutes but the context was gone so I’ll have to look for a repeat. I had a sandwich and came back through. It’s now 11.50 pm and I need to clear a few more messages before bed o excuse me please.

Friday.

When I woke this morning I saw angels dancing on the head of a pin.  I  would have had some sympathy If I hadn’t needed to go so much and been forced to jump the queue. Heck , if they’d got to the loo before me I could have had an accident. It was 4.06 am and there was no doubt at all why I’d woken at that time today. My bladder spake. and it was brooking no argument. Nor was it waiting in turn behind a queue of desperate angels. At least I apologised when I came out, the waves off relief emanating from me.  At that point I was suddenly feeling goodwill to all. There was a song running round my head from 1970, ‘Good Morning Freedom’ by Blue Mink, but I stopped at that point as I wasn’t packing my bags and going away. Still, I could go with, ‘It’s a better day, It’s a better day, It’s a better day , hey, hey’ and I dare say the fish felt a bit better knowing that too. By the time I reached the part about ‘A bee bom bom  baba bababom’ I was really quite happy and ready to take on anything so I returned to my room and logged on.

I tried to keep the sobbing to a minimum when I saw how much mail was left from last night as well as this morning’s offerings. It was difficult but I managed to choke most of them. I made a start. By 6.15 am  I’d got a fair way down the list but needed to break off to feed the fish and to see to my drugs. Though the kitchen was fairly light I still needed to turn the tank on and when I did so found Harold waiting for me. I wonder if they’ve decided to take it in turns. I chatted to him as I tipped his food in and suddenly both the Al’s arrived from opposite directions and took up positions like bodyguards, bodyguards who ate mind  you. Pepper and Bonzo weren’t far behind as neither was prepared to take a chance on missing a meal. With five faces down to the floor and tails in the air I left them to it. I had my sprays then took my Friday dtugs leaving the container empty, well, apart from those I’d forgotten to take again last night. I got my drug drawer from the lounge and started to refill the boxes for the next week. Once that was done the drawer went away and I was able to make a drink. I went back through.

Accidentally I refreshed the mail box and brought on a new pile of mail and the tears appropriate to them. Drying my eyes I forged ahead. At 9.00 am I checked with ebay and found my trader had come back with a response. He’s kindly offered to send a Hermes label and suggested the parcel is taken to a local drop off point. Once he receives confirmation, he’ll send out a new stick. It sounds good except I’ve no idea whether there is a Hermes drop off point locally and if so where it is. I’d also have problems carrying such a big parcel when I’m using my sticks. Therefore I’ve suggested I accept the partial refund and attempt the repairs myself. I  can use the refund to get another extra little gift for John. Again I’ll await a response. Actually, there are some Toby Jugs on ebay I’m looking at for today that would be ideal if they don’t go for too much. By 10.15 am I was up to date on the first email address though I’d been careful not to refresh again yet. I opened the second one. I was amazed to find when I got rid of duplicates I was left with three to do which were out of the way fairly quickly. I went through to the lounge for a break and within minutes was asleep. It only lasted until 11.25 am when I was awoken by a hammering on the door. My postie was delivering another parcel, I think he must have seen me asleep in my chair. There was no point in going back through  to the computer now as lunchtime was so close.

After a lunchtime session of Jessica Fletcher I realised I had to face the music and went back to rouse my computer from it’s rest. As soon as I opened I knew it had been revenged upon me. There was a message to say a very arbitrary sum had been refunded but in fairness I still had the stick to repair, but I’d forgotten about te Toby Jugs and missed them completely and they’d gone for virtually nothing. I did have another idea which when I checked was still viable so I bought that. Being anxious to see whether the stick would mend and not be too bed I went to find my superglue.  With a little effort it seems to have worked without showing too badly but I did have to unstick my thumb and a finger later. Back to work with my tips unglued but still solid I find it puts great pressure on the keys. Maybe I should do them all. I emailed my niece with some news then concentrated on work until 5.00 pm when I knocked off for tea. It might sound like a long tea but I’m a slow eater and stayed knocked off until 6.30 pm when a Big Bang Theory that just happened to be on was over. When I finally returned to work it didn’t take long to catch up. I refreshed the screens and was astounded to find I was able to keep pace, in fact I even took a few minutes to take my rubbish to the bins tonight instead of the morning in case I get a lie in.  Ha Ha.

I managed to keep fairly up to date during the evening and stopped to do the blog just after 10.30 pm. It’s now 11.40 pm and I’m knocking off till the morning. Hopefully I won’t be out as long tomorrow so the backlog may be manageable.

Here’s a real blast from the past from 1964 for all you oldies.

Saturday.

Whilst accepting that I was tired and turned my light out at 12.30 am  last night. I still feel it’s a little mean to have me up again at 2.13 am. Even worse, my stick is feeling very put out at the thought of no action ( I feel I should point out at this juncture, we are talking walking stick here. Anyone with alternate thoughts , go write your own book) not a burglar in sight.The damned thing starts twitching in my hand whenever I head in the direction of the lounge, and the loo is in that direction though my bladder wasn’t screaming this morning. I did pay a visit just to be on the safe side. I also took some delight in confusing the fish by turning on the kitchen light long enough to fill two small, empty Pepsi bottles from a big one. I think they were just beginning to stir when the light went out again.

I started on my mail and judging by the amount I’d guess you lot don’r get out much. Whatever happened to Friday night at the pictures, with a fish supper on the way home? It took until almost 5.15 am before I cleared the remainder of last night’s then I started straight in on today’s.  Of course some of you try to confuse me by living in outlandish places where it’s still Friday when I’m, on a Saturday so my mail say’s I’m still working on Friday’s stuff even though my ISP says it was received on a Saturday. New rules peeps, no writing after 6.00 pm from now on please. For Australians, please label all your work as the day before you actually post it if it’s done after midday then hopefully it looks like it’s getting to me on the day I actually think it is. All clear now? Good. At 6.30 am I broke off to go and feed the monsters and while I was there I included myself in that, only not fish food. Bonzo was all alone at the front of the tank but Pepper came over the moment the food flap was lifted. I shovelled food in then waited to see who’d appear next. It was Little Al. I saw Big Al move at the back of the tank and start to feed on bits that were drifting over on the current (no jokes about raisin my hopes of seeing him in a good mood please). All of a sudden Harold appeared but I was surprised as he came from above, from behind the water pump and not from his barrel as I expected.  I wonder if that’s why I’ve missed seeing him a few times recently.He’s getting as good at hiding as my budgie Josephus II (Joey)  used to and he was a bloody champion.

I left them to it and went to place some bread in the toaster, take my pre-food tablet and have my sprays. I got some milk out to take the other tablets saving some of the milk for my coffee. Time for a cigarette so I sat in the lounge for a few minutes and drooled over a picture of Katharine Hepburn in  my TV mag. She was in a film this afternoon. Cigarette duly smoked I went into the kitchen again and buttered the now cold toast. I did enjoy it. I took the two after food tabs, made myself a coffee and returned to work.As it was now almost 7.30 am I got dressed first as I didn’t want to get carried away and be rushing at the last minute. When I finally did sit down again and bring my screen to life I was greeted with a worrying message.

Hi David Prosser,I have just had flashes about you.Follow this link and and pull 3 tarot cards. If what I have “seen” is confirmed, I can tell you that I have some startling revelations to make to you.Have no fear, I do it completely free and you will understand very quicklywhy here.

Your contact information are not been communicated to the announcers.Best Wishes Shopping is recorded at the Informatic and Freedom National Commission under the number of 1821998.To unsubscribe, click on this link
If this message disturb you, declare it as undesirable

It’s so worrying I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to get a reputation as a flasher, I mean what would the neighbours think? Much as I hate to do so with anything that’s to do with shopping, I declared it undesirable. At least it’s not the usual fare from the usual fortune teller. I was delighted to hear she does it for free though since only ladies of ill repute charge don’t they. I stopped work at just gone 9.00 am as I had no idea what time Ugo would arrive. I put all the bins out for collection. My bags and my shopping list were ready, all I needed to do was slip my coat on. I saw the car arrive at 9.30 am and heard a little honk on the horn. I was out within a minute or so. Since I know he hates shopping I offered to stay local but he wouldn’t hear of it. Reuben was in the back in his seat watching a Thomas the Tank Engine DVD but I did get a big grin and he held my finger for an age when I put my arm  back between the seats to squeeze his knee. About 20 minutes later we drew up outside a big Morrison’s supermarket I haven’t been to in ages. I had my first crisis when there was no money in the cash machine. Fancy not saving me some. I grabbed a trolley and went back to the car where Ugo had just got Reuben out. He plonked him in the trolley and our expedition started.

My next crisis was to find that I no longer knew where anything was. All the shelves had changed due to a clothes section being added. It was like shopping by good luck alone as I couldn’t follow my list. Still I did manage to get everything I wanted, plus a big yellow truck for Reuben. Trouble was he didn’t seem to understand that I needed to pay for it so after Ugo gave it to him we had to ask for it back. The siren started. I think it was a major disaster as the siren kept going and going while we were in the queue. I made sure when it was my turn that the truck went through first so Ugo could return it. We went for a drink and in Ugo’s case an afternoon tea with giant scone and cream. He took the truck out of it’s box and handed it to Reuben who then played with the box for a few minutes leaving me with the truck at the till.  When w were sat at the table Reuben started playing with the truck on the floor. He was so engrossed I managed a bacon bap with no help. Once we’d finished, I went to buy my cigarettes and asked about some ultra slim ones- not More. They came up with some where I couldn’t believe they had 20 in the packet and they were only the ordinary length. They were £9.20, just 20p less than the super length More brand. Matt will have to go back to his normal style 10 a week I think. Sorry Matt. We went outside where I had a cigarette while Ugo loaded  Reuben and the shopping into the car then set off home. I asked if he’s stop off on the way at a cash machine since I’d had to use my card in the store. He agreed and we stopped at a cash machine in Flint which still had some in.

At home is was getting on for 12.30 pm and Ugo helped me unload, waited for me to supply the siren with some chocolate lollies then departed with a hug to collect Yvonne from work. I waved them off then started unpacking the bags and putting the food away. First job when that was done was to arrange Ju’s flowers in a vase. I think I made a reasonable job of it, be fair, Ju didn’t complain.

IMG_0060

Once that was done I made myself some lunch, had the tablets and came back through to work. I was determined to take a break at 2.15 pm to watch the Katie Hepburn film so didn’t need any encouragement to work. Lucky for me that though there was a  lot of post in the 4 hours I was out, none of it was problematical. I actually zipped through a fair bit of it before it was time to go. I had to keep slapping myself around the face to make sure I stayed awake but the bruises are so worth it. It’s just as well Ju had a crush on Tom Selleck  and Sam Elliott so she was very forgiving when my tongue used to hang out if the fantastic Ms Hepburn came on screen. Anyone else and the tongue might have ended up a lot shorter. Once it was over I told myself that 40 winks wasn’t a good idea but promised myself I’d see what could be done later. I just didn’t say how much later to avoid disappointments.

Like a certain brand of batteries I just kept going and going.  The yawns were nearly wide enough to take the keyboard but I remembered I’d already eaten.  At 6.00 pm I stretched my legs by going to turn of the light in the tank and say goodnight to the fish. There were some chocolate jaffa cake rolls near the microwave so I ate two in case they melted. Microwave = heat, see how logical I can be even when I’m tired. Then it was back to work again. As usual I knocked off at 10.30 to see to the blog and  iot’s 11.40 pm now. I think I’ll have to just pop back and try to finish a few more before calling it a night. Which it is, a night I mean. So I couldn’t call it much else.

I wish you all a Great New Week full of joy and Hugs.

 

 

 

 

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The Houdini Files & Tempted in Temptations.

Sunday 29th March 2015.

There were a few wake-ups last night but I wasn’t ready. Finally it was 5.08 when I got up so I’d had the benefit of four hours sleep.  I wonder if Somnos is on holiday again or i this really is a show of his generosity. After my trip to the loo I came back and prepared to work. In a later message this morning a friend mentioned Mailnos, god of emails and suggested I entreat him to lighten my load of conmail. I’ve been bragging recently that it’s slackened off somewhat and others must be getting it. Waiting for me this morning was a treat.

From The Desk of the Information Officer,
Compensation Payment Department,
United Nations Headquarters.
New York, USA.

Dear Beneficiary,
                                     NOTICE OF YOUR PAYMENT

I write to notify you of the payment of your compensation fund to this office as 
one those that has been Scammed through African countries mainly from Nigeria. 
You only have to re-verify your data such as your full name, your address, your 
phone number and your occupation so it can be used to authenticate you as the 
legal owner of this fund. Immediately this is done successfully, you will be 
given every details of your compensation fund and the amount accrue to you.

However, you are to contact the Supervising Agent in charge of this payment; his 
name is Mr. Smith Brad. He has been given the full mandate to get your fund paid 
to you, so kindly send the required information through his email address at ( 
smith_brad2@aol.com ) for immediate processing of your compensation sum.

Your immediate response to this email will be fully appreciated.

Yours Faithfully,
For: UNITED NATIONS

Mrs. Joyce Savage

It's strange that I'm supposed to have reported this crime and yet they don't know my name. I gave it a great deal of attention on it's way to the bin. I worked through till 7.00 am before going through to see to the fish. As it was yesterday and the day before I received instant attention from four of the five and I'll leave you to guess which on couldn't be bothered making an appearance. After not having seen him at all yesterday it was more worrying today but two tings became plain. The little so and so is a magician. A very careful study of the tank provided no proof of either a corpse nor a live fish and yet when we did the tank I had all the hiding places turned towards me so I could see at a glance if they were occupied.. I'm thinking of changing his name from Harold Hoplo to Harry Houdini if he ever shows up again.

I left them eating and went to take my morning meds. It was a little like trying to swallow a mouthful of sawdust each time I thought about him. When I’d finished I made myself a coffee and just sat in the lounge to drink it. Eventually I decided to go back to work and took my mug through to the kitchen. Mr Houdini was out looking for breakfast. I hoped he really was magic because the others had done a pretty good clean up job. There was a fair bit of mail as is usual on a Sunday so I just took them in my stride, dealing with them slowly in their turn. The morning passed quite quickly until I realised it was time to think of lunch. I took my pre-foodie, turned the TV to an Al Pacino film I thought sounded interesting about the American War of independence and put my meal in the micro.There was a choice between braised beef or a new one Ham hock in parsley sauce with mash. It sounded OK. The first problem when I got it out of the packet was in much smaller writing it said cheesy mash (abomination). Oh well, no doubt the parsley sauce would mask it. I can’t remember struggling so much with a meal in a long time. Not pleasant eating at all though the veg an the parsley sauce were OK. I struggled and won.

When the film started there were some very good names there and quite a few British actors I knew. Before long I had to turn it off. If you’re going to have an Irish accent, why not have it delivered by an Irishman. There are plenty of great Irish actors around, Liam Neeson, Gabriele Byrne. The only acting I saw was from Lady Olivier or Dame Joan Plowright as she is in her own right. Uppercrust British, she can do the job blindfolded. The film was a torment. On top of that lunch it was nauseating. I came back to work. The afternoon was just a steady progression from one post to the next between the two addresses, nothing strenuous, nothing odd and nothing else remotely crooked. At 6.00 pm I broke off to have some tea and noticed a film at 9.00 pm that looked appealing. It’s rare for me to spend time with a full film, indeed it’s rare to be able to prise me away from the computer for that long but I’ve booked myself a seat mail permitting. So straight after tea back I came, and on I went.I knocked off again at 8.55 pm and took my seat in the auditorium ready for the curtains to open. I’m not going to show my age by mentioning an organ that came up from the depths and played us in.

The film was called Hansel and Gretel. OK, I wasn’t expecting a fairy story at this time of night but it sort of started off like that with the kids being abandoned in the forest. I’m no prude but I was jarred a bit at the ‘F’ word as it seemed inappropriate given the times and the costumes. Having said that, I wonder if this is the steampunk. I hear about after seeing the weaponry. There was no holding back on the violence or the gore though one scene brightened when a woman walked into a pool naked as a jay bird, naturally I didn’t look. Well. not after the first couple of times anyway. In the end maybe I should have shown a bit more patience as I turned off at 10.00 pm. It just didn’t grip me, hold my interest, make me smile or laugh.Frankly I was bored. It gave me chance to come and catch up further on my mail.

Tomorrow is an anniversary for me and I may need to take the day off. There’s no point really in my telling you this a week late but if anyone was affected and found me rude, perhaps you’ll understand now.

Monday.

In memory of my beautiful wife who left this life 2 years ago today I decided to take a day off. I did still want to leave you with some music though. So……..

Tuesday.

I got to bed by 11.15 pm last night.I’d done nothing but was exhausted anyway. So, I read until 12.10 am and at the end of a chapter turned the light out. I should really have been reading a ‘Hornblower’  book as the storm was raging and a gale was blowing outside. I’m not sure how long it took me to get to sleep but when I awoke ‘hours’ later it was 12.50 am. No way did I intend to get up but my bladder said I should so I nipped to the loo and back and tried again. Still nothing doing so I sat on the edge of the bed enjoying a cigarette and rubbing cream into my ankle to try and make it feel less like rhino skin. Once again I tried but still no joy.  Eventually at 2.00 am I put my dressing gown on and went to sit in my chair in the lounge. I didn’t turn the light on as there’s a street lamp not too far from the window that just allows enough diffused light in to make things out without seeing them clearly. Not enough to disturb me should I nod off. And in Ju’s company nod off I did. It must have been for about ten minutes until the click of the timer turned a lamp on to discourage burglars. I tried again and managed to fall asleep once more. At some point I woke up and went back to bed where I found myself when I awoke for the last time at 5.28 am. The rain was still coming down and the wind still howling.

There was a small temptation to stay where I was and enjoy another day of freedom but I persuaded myself not to be lazy and got up to turn the computer on. While it powered up I went to the tinkle factory. I won’t be winning awards anytime soon unless it’s for the person who takes the longest. By the time I got back they’d just announced Windows 23. I signed in and started on the mail. I was doing really well with it before I came across a friend’s latest post where it seems some parts of her beliefs were very relevant to my Buthidars site. I started pinching bits to share in a new post. There seemed to be plenty of things to comment on today as well. at 7.15 am knowing I was late I went through to the kitchen. The morning was so grim and dull I had to turn the main light on as well as the tank lights. At the first sign of movement Big Al was there casting dirty looks in my direction. I know he disapproved of my tardiness and I’m sure he may have been a Victorian schoolmaster in a previous life and still wishes he had a cane. Anyhoo, Pepper came up to join him in the queue for food and was gently barging him in what seemed like play. As I opened he feeding flap I saw Bonzo arrive, little Al heading my direction and Harold was speeding in from the other side. As he came, a complete stem of weed floated up from where he’d just been and joined 2 others at the top of the tank. At least I now know  who’s responsible for all the uprooting I’m seeing. I’m going to get a wet and cold arm replacing the plants for him to do it again. I fed them, listened to the faint cheers (sarcastic and derisory) and left to take my meds.

After the meds were taken I had a cigarette to time things and then had some breakfast. A little grapefruit and some cold toast slathered in butter. I washed the pots, made a coffee and took it back to my room. Something started buzzing in the back of my mind to do with grapefruit. I carried on working in the hopes it would come to me naturally. It did. Something to do with my drugs. I had to check and found two of my tabs have grapefruit as contra-indications, stay away from grapefruit as one put it. Just an Oops warning I think, I wasn’t about to explode and neither were my bowels which was something that worried me. I was safe. I had no need to go out today and indeed the new warden may call, so I was able to carry on working most of the morning. I knocked off at about 11.00 am and returned to my chair in the lounge. The gale outside was playing games with a wheelie bin so the constant banging of the lid on the base made sure I couldn’t sleep but at least I lay here relaxed until 11.45 am when I went through to see about lunch. pre-foodie tab, butter some bread, work hard at perforating the plastic lid then bung my masterpiece in the micro to cook. Cottage pie today. I ate my meal while watching Bargain Hunt today and then washed up for the second time today.

Back to work and a bit of catch up to be done since I’d been away two hours.  There’s nothing specific I think on TV today so I can stay where I am until this pressure sore bursts out. Sometime I’ll have to find a suitable song for tonight. Maybe I’ll have youtube on while I’m working soon and look or inspiration.  I was concentrating on a comment someone had made on my blog this afternoon when I could hear this faint sound in the background. Musical but in a bing-bong kind of way I looked up and saw a message on screen saying my Brother in Law (half of Mujo) was ringing me on Skype. Neither of us have been able to get the other for a long time but this morning I’d had an incoming call from someone I didn’t know and while I was in blocking it I’d done a search and found John was on 3 times. I got rid of the one I had and chose the last one. That seems to have done the trick. Yesterday I’d had a text letting me know they were both ill, and to hear him cough there was no doubting it. They hope to be well enough to be through on Thursday but if not then next week. Usually I’m invisible on Skype and John is the only person I’ve spoken to on it in years. Well, about 3 years anyway. I least I don’t stutter talking to him. We were chatting about antiques but I couldn’t say much as his birthday is approaching and he almost is one. Once the call was over I reinstated my cloak of invisibility and worked on until 5.15 pm when I went to have a look at Pointless and what should have been two episodes of Big Bang Theory but was only one and a bit Zzzzzzz. I came back through after the music at the end credits woke me up and started again. I have something finishing on bay at 11.36 pm so I thought I might as well be here till then and lessen the load for the morning. I won the ebay lot so time was getting on by the time I paid for it. Bed at midnight.

Wednesday.

Moan, moan, groan. What a night again. To bed at midnight. Light off at 12.45 am(ish) an up again at 1.50 am.A trip to the loo in case my bladder’s squawking woke me but no, it hadn’t. A cigarette to relax and back into bed. Sleep comes eventually but awake again at 3.20 am. I went to sit in my chair in the lounge to see if I’d be more comfortable and woke at 4.51 am. It was time to get up as there was no more sleep in me. I wandered back through to the  bedroom and fired up the computer.                          No big win on the Eurolottery despite convincing myself that it was my turn this week. I blame the small gods and their sense of direction for this since it was someone in the UK who won £53m  Good luck to them.

I turned to my emails. Not too many left from last night but they took a little time to deal with . I was on today’s messages a little after 6.00 am and working my way through them steadily. There were three people who liked my last blog who I don’t know so I had to check their blogs and posts out. I felt really sorry for one person who is a committed Christian and gay since his Church have tried to exclude him and his family, the ones you rely on for love and support have also excluded him. How he kept his faith I’ll never know. From my own point of view, Why he kept his faith I’ll never know since it seems that acceptance of his sexual orientation or preferences is much more likely to happen in the world of those who don’t believe in god but do believe in the tolerance of others. There was also an email from the amazing Chris, The Story Reading Ape with a series of Did You Know facts that was really entertaining. I have to say that some of my friends, colleagues, acquaintances and Who did you say? Are some of the most amazing, selfless people in the world. Chris, Sally,Olga,Kim, Jo,Ailsa, Colleen,Viv, Suzanne, Rosie and many others, spend so much time supporting authors in one way or another with interview, guest posts or just cover reveals as well as dealing with their own books , blogs and promotions. Thank you kind people on behalf of us all. If there’s anyone whose name I didn’t include, it isn’t because I don’t love you or haven’t noticed what you do, it’s just that I could fill a blog with thanks if I didn’t draw the line at some point.

At 7.00 am I went through to the kitchen and turned on the tank light. I saw Harold before he had chance to disappear so was happy about that. On April 1st you don’t want to be fooled again.I fed them some of their older treats this morning but Big Al turned his back and went off to a corner. Pepper had a good chomp before he went too. Little Al and his midget pal Bonzo carried on grazing. Those two also seem to react a bit to my voice, coming closer when I speak but maybe I speak about the wrong things as they soon beggar off again. I took a pre -foodie tab and put some bread in the toaster which I could allow to go cold. Then I took my sprays and the rest of the morning meds before smoking a ‘Timer’ ( a cigarette is about the right length of time to wait between pre-foodie tab and actually eating, not that I need an excuse to smoke). Slathering butter on my toast and eating it was wonderful. I like my slightly salted butter too which gives it all more flavour.                                                                                                 The wind/gale seems to have dropped this morning and it looks dry outside so I dressed just before 9.00 am and took a birthday card to be posted before calling in at Pauline’s for my TV magazine and some fresh bread plus a birthday card for one coming up this month. Back at home I unpacked then started back on the mail. It kept me going through the morning until 11.30 am when I broke off ready to get lunch.

I ate while watching Murder She Wrote. Screaming “Look out behind you” with a mouthful of corned beef hash is not a great idea. Anyway she never listens. I really wanted to nod off afterwards but didn’t as I needed to be as clear as possible before games night. I came back to my room and caught up with my main address ( without refreshing) then signed into my gmail address to find 163. Ouch. I was answering some mail from a friend who gave me a probably well deserved telling off after a remark about the play being improved if I walked off the stage. I did say it was just my opinion but she sent a virtual Australian clout in my direction. I’m chastened. It stung.I read a post that took me in about fox cubs being trained as guide dogs and fell for it hook line and sinker. I only hoped as it was after noon, the ‘Fool’ bit wouldn’t count though I did feel a right prat. I’d have felt the left one too if it had been there. Thanks Sally, I owe you !!!! I just took it easy all afternoon until 5.00 pm when I knocked off to answer the door to the chemist’s delivery man. His timing was perfect as I’d just noticed one of my sprays in the red zone. I really felt sorry for him too as he’d been caught in yet another very heavy shower. As he left there was a text from Lee to say he couldn’t make it tonight which was a real shame. I’d just sat down in the lounge after answering and I saw Dil and Matt coming along the path. It was just 5.10 pm , they’re getting earlier every week trying to catch me kipping so they can complain I’m not in the kitchen doing their drinks. They were actually able to see the quiz they like all the way through.

At 6.00 pm as the TV went off  Dil unfolded the games table and I brought over some games. We ended up playing Yahtzee first. I think least said, soonest mended as far as that goes. I was humiliated enough then without repeating it now. Then we had two games of Balderdash. My skills were to the fore in the first game and I romped home. In the second game I started well and had a decent lead so I was lulled into a false sense of security. All of a sudden Dil was past me and home. He couldn’t get one wrong. I think even Matt ended up ahead of me. Finally we had time for a game of Crazy 8’s, I don’t know why I bothered. They were on form and had me for a 14 card pick-up twice. In the last hand alone I was caught with 140 points which took me way over. It’ll b days before I can hold my head up and that’s when I’ve forgotten I lost and start thinking I had a good night. After they left at 9.30pm in the pouring rain, and I locked the front door, I tidied up and washed the pots then took my meds before coming through. It was almost 10.00 pm and you’d all been far too busy. I’m sure you increase pace when you know I’m out of the way. Anyway there’s a lot so I’ve started the blog at 10.30 pm and it’s almost 11.30 pm now so I can probably manage another half hour with the mail.

     Classic Motown from 1971.

Thursday.

Things went to pot last night but I’m sort of glad. I did my usual of recent times and worked till just midnight to allow myself time for a read. Lights off at 1.00 pm or Matron comes round and tells me off ( I wish). Sleep didn’t come easy because my damned ankle was itching like mad so I had to get up and apply some cream. Eventually it cooled enough for me to nod off but I woke again just after 2.00 am then again at almost 3.30 am. I almost gave up but being perverse I decided to try in the front room. For a change I thought I’d try the chair I normally sit in to play cards which is Mike’s chair when he’s here.( No Mike. I’m not paying rent since when you’re here I don’t touch it). This clever move on my part ( pre-planned of course) must have bamboozled the small gods- especially Porcinus bless him, it doesn’t take much- since I woke up in place at 7.34 am. That’s almost like a normal night’s sleep for most people. I can’t remember such a late start. Unfortunately Big Al can and he was most definitely dischuffed with me this morning. The evil eye was in play and followed me round the room even when I didn’t move. I was so nervous I just dropped half a tub of food in and ran. Then I came back to take the lid off in case he cursed me. Once I’d counted my fingers I wished them all good morning and left to take my meds.

After the meds I made a coffee to take back with me and sat making a start on last night’s emails of which there were still a few. When I next looked at the clock it was 9.25 am and since I had no idea what time MuJo were arriving I stopped work to get washed and dressed. I even slapped a bit of water on my bonce to see if I could get rid of bedhead where one side lies down and the other sticks up. Once done I returned to work and started on today’s mail. I was able to work until 10.45 am when MuJo arrived. I sorted drinks and we sat and chatted a while, well Mu and I chatted while John coughed. Nope, no gold watches. For once the day was pretty much decided. They wanted the chippy in town and a couple of shops John likes. I also reminded him it was Market Day and he could have batteries put in the two watches he’s had in the car since before Christmas. When we arrived in town that was the first thing we did followed by lunch where I found I’d come out without any tabs. Never mind, I said I’d have some at tea time about 6.00 pm. After lunch we visited John’s shops without buying anything this visit then we had a ride to Flint. Muriel wanted Aldi so I used the opportunity to get some flowers for Ju and some chocolates for Temptations. Mu got what she needed and the next stop was Temptations which was good since I think I swallowed the contents of the budgie’s cage and I don’t even have a budgie. Mu and John both wanted a cold drink from the cool shelves and what a nice surprise when I got there than to find Ceri on her knees. ( Behave now!) I gave in to the temptation to give her a sws (kiss) on her forehead and help her up.

Wiping the drool from my chin and remembering I’m nearly twice her age I went to order my coffee and hand over the chocolates. I think coffee was an error considering I was thirsty but in the next shop I was able to get a small bottle of Pepsi Max to keep in my pocket. MuJo were searching for something special in material to run down behind and above he four poster. Unsuccessful we did one more shop together to try but without any luck. John went to sit on the car while Mu and I looked in one more place where I thought I’d found the ideal thing but Mu’s eyes just told me I have no taste. We drove back to my place and arrived there just after 4.30 pm. John needed a drink and Mu went out for lottery tickets. It was just before 5.00 pm when I waved them off. As I got in the house I was opening my mail page as I was trying to get my shoes off with the other hand. Six and a quarter hours without a computer, OMG How much mail can com through in that time? Aaaarrrggghhhh, I just found out. I need two computers so I can answer double the mails in the same time. They won’t make sense but really, this is me so who’ll notice? They will think I’m asleep again. I could only work until 6.15 pm before going to take a pre- foodie and get something to eat. Pork pie, bread and butter and a slice of strawberry and rhubarb tart that must have jumped into my basket at Aldi. Unfortunately the Big Bang Theory was on while I ate and it would have been rude not to stay to the end so I didn’t resume work until 7.00 pm. Then I remembered it’s Thursday and the new episode is on at 8.30 pm followed by a new episode of a police comedy I like. I just had to…….

At half past eight I slunk guiltily out of my room and went to the lounge, sank into my chair and turned TV back on. Both episodes were fantastic and I was glad I hadn’t missed them. At half past nine I slunk even more guiltily back into my room an tried to resume work a though I’d never been away. My computer wasn’t having any of that and automatically refreshed with a snigger. By the time I came round again…….                                                                                                                                                                                           ! “Come on, you can do this” I tried telling myself, and I tried, but between distractions like thinking spiders were crawling up my leg and countless typos I was just getting further behind. At 10.30 pm I excused myself and started on this blog as any excess mail could wait until tomorrow morning but I need to try and get out tomorrow for a while and then Saturday is like today-BAD. So it’s 11.25 pm now and maybe I’d better try for a little bit longer.                                                                                                                               Tonight a real blast from the past, hope you know it.

or

Friday.

I only survived until 12.15 am before I had to go to bed. Naturally I had to read for a while to refocus the grasshoprer brain but I shut the book and turned the light off at 1.00 am. The brain started up straight away, and no matter how much I thought about something the brain insisted on returning to it. Even now I’m not sure if my subconscious was giving me the chance to correct an error or whether I was just stuck on repeat like the old record players used to do. I remember driving my parents crazy by lifting the arm so ‘I got you babe’ by Sonny and Cher would repeat. At some stage I dropped of only to wake up or be woken up at 2.10 am. After a cigarette I was able to relax back into sleep again until 2.52 am. I refused to give in and achieved sleep again without having to first get out of bed. When I next woke at 3.47 am I knew it was time to get up. I couldn’t really object as I’d been given a treat yesterday morning. The small gods must get their way sometimes. Well most all the time actually.

I paid a visit to the country of the Loo Bloo Waterfall then came back and signed on. I was rather horrified when I saw how many emails I’d left from yesterday. Still, I had no choice but to start working to clear them though there was a temptation to ring in sick. I worked until I’d finished yesterday’s which was almost 6.15 am then decided it was a natural break to go feed the fish. I put the kitchen light on and then the tank light. Only Little Al was there ready for breakfast.I was a little earlier than usual. But something was wrong with the tank and I couldn’t figure out what. I combined trying to find the others with trying to see what was jarring me. I was halfway along the tank when my heart sunk, an angel fish dead behind the bubble wall, no it looked like 2. Just a bloody minute, I don’t have any angel fish I don’t like the nasty little beggars. I worked it out at last. The Loki half of MuJo had been at the tank while I was out of the room yesterday. He’d added to the tank three plastic fish from his old bubble tube. He must have delighted in the fact I hadn’t seen them yesterday.

bubble tube

 

Once I’d recovered, I left Big Al, Little Al and Pepper enjoying breakfast and went to take my meds. I thought I’d have breakfast this morning so once I’d taken a pre-foodie  I put two slices of bread in the toaster and took my other tabs. Then being Friday and the day I need to do my meds for the week again so I went through to the lounge for my meds drawer. Once done I took the now cold toast from the toaster , cut it and buttered it. As I stood eating, the machine was making me a latte. Once I’d finished I took my post-foodie tablets and made my way my room.  A few days ago I’d had a google+ message that someone had followed me. Let’s call her Marie (cos’ that’s her name). As I always do I went through to see if it was a fellow author, though obviously I’m slightly more flexible than only to join up with you reprobates. There was nothing to indicate what she did or any posts but there was a picture of a woman in be with an oxygen mask on. My immediate thought was that she may be lonely (and desperate) if she was long term ill so I followed her back. Today there was a message from google + that she had started a conversation with me, would I like to see. ( Obviously) so I took a look. What appeared was one of those rambling letters from a woman in Africa (where else) whose husband had died 2 years ago in a helicopter crash in France ( link supplied). Never had children, she’s dying from cancer, £6m+ in a bank which I can have 40% of if I make sure the other 60% is used for charitable purposes as they want. I wold normally laugh this off as I tell you what an obvious con it is but this time I thought how nasty these people are, using the picture of an obviously ill woman, and giving a link to an obvious tragedy which then impinges on someone’s grief. These individuals are not funny at all to do this.

I carried on working all morning with just a break to get washed and dressed and pay a visit to Pauline’s to renew my lottery tickets. I wasn’t out for long and was soon back behind my desk working. Towards the end of the session before I broke off for lunch I received another email, this time one of my old favourites. Notice the similarity in helicopter crashes?

Dear Sir/ Madam

My name is Mr. Phalli Sang Sotoku a Business Manager with Mega International commercial bank here in Asia. As the accounts officer to late Mr. Lam Kok who died in a helicopter crash in France while inspecting one of the new acquisition.

You can follow the link to know more about our deceased customer: www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-25476662

In accordance with the es-cheat laws as a kingdom nation, the Board of Directors of the bank met forth night ago and resolved to turn the estate of the deceased over to Government pause having waited for too long without the deceased relatives/next of kin surfacing property and if this is done, invariably, the funds will end up to become Government property.

I have the opportunity of making you the beneficiary to the deposited funds with our bank, i have all the details and required information to make you the beneficiary to the funds, get back to me with your intent consideration to handle this project on my behalf

Looking forward to hear from you. You can also feel free to reach me on my private mail box[PhallaSS@outlook.com].

Yours Sincerely

Mr. Phalli Sang Sotoku

I’m hoping that no-one sees either of today’s cons and thinks there’s anything in it for them. I made myself a shepherd’s pie for lunch, had a piece of suicidal strawberry and rhubarb tart and made my way back to work. I was running approximately 4 hours behind all the time and couldn’t seem to catch up. Oh how I cursed you all so if you wake up with furry feet tomorrow you know whose fault it is and maybe you won’t spend tomorrow writing while I’m out, thus saving me a headache when I get back Despite the backlog I had to stop at 5.00 pm for a break or I may just have nodded off. The TV schedule has changed a lot for the holiday weekend so I found a quiz to watch while I sat with another piece of my pie. Once I’d washed up I didn’t fancy much of what was on and didn’t want to start a film so I watched a couple of Big Bang Theory repeats so I returned to work smiling.

It took a while before I thought I was gaining on the backlog but bit by bit I clawed my way up the ladder. When I got there I knew it would be “Look at me Ma, I’m on top of the World Ma.” At least until some sneaky beggar writes another post. Bu at least I was feeling  a little more confident about tomorrow now, and with luck I won’t be out too long. As they can’t take me next week maybe I should buy extra tomorrow so I don’t have to leave the house except to get milk and bread at Pauline’s. I want to be one of those hermits where they drop food off outside my cave though I would pay for it. But, if I wasn’t going out, I couldn’t get cash so everything would have to be paid by cheque. Oh well, I could always claim I’d been asked for an autograph. By 11.00 pm I was up to date woo hoo, and rather than tempt myself later I closed the email down to concentrate on this. It’s now 12.02 pm and I’m off to bed.

Most countries will have had a version of this song but I’m going for the home version rather than the International one. I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday.

Well , I was in bed ‘toot sweet’ last night whn I closed the computer and ready for a couple of chapters of my book. I think once I finish this I may re-read all my early Pratchett’s again. My light went off just before 1.00 am and since I’d paid a visit before climbing into bed there should be no excuse to wake for that. Despite that I still woke at 1.40 pm and struggled to get off again. When I woke the next time I felt I’d had a good sleep and was ready to start work so I was more than a little surprised to find it was 2.22 am. Oh well, I thought, there’s plenty of time to go back to bed if I get tired and virtually all I have to do is fall off my chair. Had any of you been listening closely though I may have been heard muttering about the legitimacy of a certain 3 brothers. If one of the small gods decides to furnish me with copies of birth certificates next visit I could have some apologising to do. I’ve said it before that getting up this early can be a pain but can also be a great help on a Saturday in making sure I’m more or less up to date before going out. Today I logged in and found an early start maybe wasn’t too bad, not that I’ll ever repeat that to Somnos of course.

It took me until 6.00 am to clear up till 4.30 am’s post and then I could see a few deletions were coming my way so I took it as a natural break. I’m not sure why I chose to go at that moment as I wasn’t due to be screaming down Mike’s  ear that his coffee was ready. Since he’s still in Canada I’d need lungs like Dolly Parton’s. As I turned the tank light on in he kitchen Little Al was circling in place below the hatch like he’d not been fed this week. Fortunately my memory is better than his. I was in the process of sprinkling some food in when Bonzo and Pepper swam in. Almost a minute later Big Al appeared, taking his time and looking quite cross at me as though I ”d disturbed his sleep. Considering it’ s the same place Pepper came from I’m wondering what I had disturbed. Since they’re both Corys it wouldn’t surprise me but my friend Andrea (sigh) wondered what the combination might be as in Ligers/Tigons so my choices are either Pepals or Alpeps. No sign of Harold but he’s probably having a lie-in again. Leaving the fish I went to take my tabs. This week they changed the size of one from miniscule to horse tablet size so I’ve no idea whether it can go down with the bulk as usual or whether it’s another I need to take solo. As it happened it went down in bulk still so I have only two solo’s to take. I did that then made a coffee to bring back. I left kt on the desk while I concentrated on getting dressed.

When I was ready, I had my coffee, checked my ebay and then sis a little more work. At about 8.00 am I had a text from Yvonne to say they hoped to be leaving in about 15 minutes to pick me up but to remember traffic problems with road repairs. At 8.15 am another text to say ‘Left on time, Yay.” Knowing I had until about 9.00 pm I got the rubbish ready to put out and did so. Now I was free to work again. I was really doing quite well but time was getting on, a third text to tell me they were at the top of the hill came as a surprise. I left everything and got my coat on with bags at the ready. A few minutes later at 8.55 am they arrived. I was outside waiting. Firstly I had to listen to Reuben say ham and cheese….about 200 times before he said Hi Pops. Yvonne and Ugo ignored me as usual. They took me to Asda to do the bulk of my shopping. For the second week running I forgot my disabled parking card but Ugo managed to park quite close by so not too bad. I got my cash from the machine wile Yvonne grabbed a trolley and we went in. Ugo was going to follow behind us with Reuben. Potatoes first today and then because I bought flowers with MuJo on Thursday I didn’t need more today. It was straight on with the shopping. We were sharing the trolley again so I was trying to keep my stuff together out of their way. Every once in a while she would put something in her half and I’d decide I’d treat them to it and sneak it over. My daughter is a very argumentative person I find. We heard the sound of a siren, Oops, No. That was Reuben not wanting to let go of a toy.Yvonne decided he should have it for Easter instead of yet more chocolate and he was quiet again.That may need to be nipped in the bud though before he becomes a master manipulator. I don’t want the competition.

We finally finished going round and went for a coffee in MaDonald’s where Ugo demolished a couple of burgers and fries and even Reuben had a bit.When we’d done there they took me to Lidl to see if there was a special still available which was on just Yesterday and today. I was lucky , there were some left. Yvonne did  her main shop there and I managed to get them a few more treats.  I was thinking of putting them kin her trolley when we reached the till for a joke but I know she’d never let me pay for them so I didn’t. The moaning wasn’t any less but at least it was fait accompli. All done they ran me home and I made sure she had a tassimo cleaning tablet and their Easter eggs before they left. She left me loads of sweets for Easter from them all. Once they’d gone I started unpacking. The air was blue. My fridge is so small as to be fairly useless and I was using a show horn to lever things in. Finally it was done. Now it was lunch time and I had to see that through before anything else. It was nearly 2.00 pm before I was finally able to come through to work. By which time I was almost too scared to bother. With very good reason too. But, I girded my lions ( I used brasso and their manes came up a lovely colour) and put my grind to the nose stone and soon enough I could see results. One thing I noticed early on. While you lot were staying in and writing instead of enjoying the sunshine, all the women who propose to me have gone on holiday. Either that or it’s time for a bath. That in itself presents a problem as I only have a shower here though I could have a strip wash in the sink if Mike hadn’t told me I’d fall out. He said I should never have taken up tap dancing. Boom Boom.

Time just passed in a flash so I got dressed again and at 6.00 pm went through to turn the tank light off and to have some tea. I confess I couldn’t be bothered making anything so I had two doughnuts , it tasted like diabetic jam so I didn’t feel too bad.I watched TV for half n hour but had to stop because my eyes were getting ready to close. I don’t mind them doing that but I’d rather it was after I catch up. By 8.15 pm I had caught up and was so relieved. I could keep pace with things as they came in now, and then a little later could concentrate on the blog so it was ready for midnight. And that’s what I did.And now I’m off to bed. I have a treat for you all on Tuesday.

By special request of Suzanne Joshi another Cole Porter song but this time by a much more recognisable name.

The Easter Bunny?

The Easter Bunny?

Music Maestro

Music Maestro

 

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Rogues Gallery

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'

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’ 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

‘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)

‘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.

Hugs

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Sunday

Sunday 22nd March 2015

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

Someone pinched my pedals

This is more my mode of transport Mum.

This is more my mode of transport Mum.

Monday.

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.

A toll? I’m not paying a toll.

Is choo Lookin' at me?

Is choo Lookin’ at me?

Tuesday.

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 Winnah!!

The Winnah!!

The lap of honour.

The lap of honour.

Wednesday.

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.

small gods clock

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.

Thursday.

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.

Friday.

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.

Saturday.

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.

I wish you all a week full of wonder and Hugs.

David 28.03 2015

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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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The Swineherd & The Christmas List

Sunday 30.11.2014

Me. Wha! Where the hell am I?

Swineherd. Er, I’m not quite sure but we call it home my child.

Me. My child? You’re one of those godlings aren’t you. Couldn’t you do better than swineherd? Which one are you then?

Swineherd. I’m Porcinus and I don’t just have pigs, they gave me goats too. A little respect please.

MeHm, let’s see. It’s 5.01 am on a Sunday morning. I’m standing here in my dressing gown with a frost underfoot which is slowly spreading up my legs and you’re talking RESPECT. Why am I here and where’s that comedian Somnos?

Swineherd. I brought you here because I knew you’d want to thank us in person for the lie-in we allowed you today. Please don’t pet the pigs by the way, there was an unfortunate incident last week with a hand.

Me. Wha! Why didn’t you say that at the beginning?  I repeat, why am I here and where’s Somnos?

Swineherd. Well. They seemed to be relaxing you and I didn’t want to make you nervous. As to why you’re here, isn’t the fact you’ve been blessed by my presence enough?

MeListen sunbeam. In about three inches that frost will hit a point where I’ll start getting very defensive. Kicking your butt down this mountain might just warm me up a bit.

Swineherd. Well, no need to get uppity. Listen, you’re pretty good with the advertising, product recognition and putting a positive spin on things we thought you might like the job as our publicist. Carries a certain kudos, Publicist to the Gods don’t you think?

I woke up at that point feeling a decided chill in my nether regions and shivering. It was 5.01 am. Despite the frost there was still some fluid in circulation and I needed to get rid of it. Somehow I found myself already in my dressing gown so I just slipped on my slippers and made a dash for the bathroom. When I’d chiseled the icicles off and sighed with relief I came back to turn the computer on and deal with the mail. I have to say that things seemed to be working at a reasonable speed this morning but the fan sounds very loud. I hope that’s not on it’s way out.

There was a fair bit of post including some real cons today. In some cases they’re getting very clever and looking much slicker. Almost believable. You know something smells wrong but can’t tell what at first glance. It comes down to minute scrutiny to find spelling mistakes that shouldn’t be there to show you the problem. I’m not even sure it isn’t the gods trying to get information to copy me on twitter. Certainly the one that appeared to be from paypal was interested in twitter  and facebook accounts and asked for passwords. Yes, like I’m going to allow Somnos to call an 8 foot Amazon ‘Butch’ in my name. I’ve become quite fond of my kneecaps over the years.

At 7.00 am I stopped for long enough to feed the fish, mission accomplished without incident., take my morning meds and make myself a coffee. I carried on. I was quite shocked when Mike’s alarm went off at 8.00 am but not in the least shocked he turned it off straight away and carried on sleeping. I hope he remembers to reset the alarm when he gets home r the grandchildren are going to find themselves late to school on Monday. At 9.10 am I’d got up to date on both accounts and went through to the lounge to find Mike appearing as well. He did stop long enough to pick me up. I hadn’t broken anything so was able to make his coffee.He was not on top form this morning,coughing and short of breath ( not as short as I wanted to make him though). I asked why he either didn’t go back to bed or went home and went to bed. He said he’s rather stay on and annoy me, help me out.

We were due to meet up with the girls and with Ugo, Yvonne and Reuben at 12.30 pm to meet Jo’s boyfriend- another Mike but I don’t know if that’s a bad omen. There was time first to nip to Prestatyn and then Rhyl. We got dressed and set off. Naturally we waved at The Ivy as we went past and were soon in Prestatyn where we had a coffee while waiting for the shop we wanted to open at 10.30 am. As soon as it did we grabbed 4 boxes of Whitaker’s strawberry creams in dark chocolate. These are for Christmas but might last me till Friday with luck. Then on to Rhyl. I’d had an online offer for a Fisher-Price toy I wanted for Reuben and wanted to see if the shop had it. They didn’t, but I did find what I thought was a good alternative and we both had a good look round.We soon found it was time to leave.

The drive from Rhyl to St Asaph and the Plough is only about 20 minutes unless of course you’re a jet pilot. It doesn’t seem to have sunk in with Mike that he isn’t so all the laws of time. space and gravity pull over to the side of the road and let him pass. When we arrived we still had time for a cigarette before going in and still managed to be ten minutes early. Yvonne called us. She, Ugo and Reuben had arrived a few minutes before hand and found our table. We were able to get hello hugs from everyone. Reuben was in a god mood judging by the smile. The others arrived and introductions were made and we all sat down. Reuben then decided he was no longer happy. Jo and I went to the bar for drinks. The waitress took the order and said she’d deliver them so I took Reuben for a walk. Mike 1 and Jo followed to have a cigarette and I had one as I walked Reuben round the building, He stood on the windowsill to wave at his Ma, Pa and Auntie Karen inside before we resumed our walk. It was still cool out so we were glad to get back inside to the warm. I abandoned my grandson in favour of a menu and a few minutes later the waitress came to take our order. I have vests longer than her dress and I knew Mike 1 was wondering if he could have melons as a starter.( No, was the answer to that). I took my pre-lunch tablet.

Mike 2 was at the furthest end of the table away from me. I don’t know if that was on purpose so the patriarch couldn’t ask questions or not. He did seem a pleasant enough lad. I call him lad yet he has been married before and has 4 daughters ( poor man). I imagine they’re all quite young but it’s none of my beeswax. My niece Jo can make her own decisions and I trust her judgement-ish. I had an extra hug from Karen ( my Carrie-Ann) when I passed her some Marylin Monroe Mugs with chocolate and mallows I’d found. I gave Jo some boxes of chocolate popcorn and chocolate mallows also with Marilyn’s picture on the box. I gave Yvonne a box of chocolates and then she pointed out to all and sundry my lack of sense for doing so as in the same bag I’d passed some slimming patches. I suppose it might seem a little incongruous. When lunch was over we chatted for an age before deciding to ask for the bill. I tried to get my hands on it but Jo had already paid for herself, Karen and Mike 2. I asked for what was left and Yvonne and Mike were thrusting money at me straight away. I was thwarted.

The car park was full of goodbyes. I had a kiss and hug from Reuben but as soon as Yvonne said “Wave bye-bye to Pops”he burst into tears and I had to go back towards him. I told Mike it had been nice to meet him and he said “Stop playing silly buggers and get in the car.” We drove home. Mike left pretty soon after we’d got back and as usual I started work straight away. It was a couple of hours down the line I had a text from Mike. I thought he was home but it seems he’d had a slight lapse of memory at the garage and thought it was his old car. He’d put petrol in a diesel engine. Not only would it cost him £300 to sort but he had to wait for the privilege. I really felt for him, not well and that happening. Ouch.

Group shot.

Group shot.

Stolen  Hat

Stolen Hat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday.

Me. What again? I thought we cleared up your little invitation yesterday. Nice goats by the way, lost any hands with them lately?

Porcinus. As a Capricorn I thought the goats were a nice touch for you. No, no hands missing though they are a bit partial to….clothing. Oops, I did try to warn you.

Me. Isn’t there some kind of insurance in place for here. Just what do you want anyway?

Porcinus. Now now, it’s only a little hole and look how contentedly he’s chewing. Actually the reason I asked you here is because I can’t seem to get hold of Somnos and wondered if you’d seen him.

Me. Look pal, it’s 5.24 am and pretty nippy, especially with a hole in my lounge pants. Isn’t it possible to ask these stupid questions at a more reasonable hour? Anyway, I thought that you and Somnos might be one and the same.

Porcinus. It’s a more reasonable hour than the one you complained about  yesterday. And no, we’re not the same. I suppose you could say he’s my brother.

Me. Oh, he ain’t heavy then? A reasonable hour is one in which I choose to visit you.

Porcinus. He ain’t heavy? What kind of language is that for a writer ? As to your latter point, you wouldn’t choose to would you?

Me. No, but that’s beside the point. At least I’d be choosing not to visit you at a reasonable hour. But, to get back to your point, I haven’t seen and nor do I wish to see your brother. He’s probably sleeping it off with Dionysus somewhere or gambling away some more of my sleep with another one of you gods. Now if you don’t mind, I was in the middle of a rather interesting dream involving a feather boa and a very naughty lady ( I hope ), perhaps you could return me to it.

I woke up at 5.24 am with the vague recollection of a goat, and why was I playing with a piece of string in my hands? It was like my birthday waking up this late but somehow I still felt cheated like I’d missed out on something important. Damn, I found a tear in the leg of my pants. I need to get these toenails cut again when I can find some industrial shears. Message to self… Turn the heating up, these mornings are getting colder.

After a visit to the loo I turned the computer on all fingers crossed and waited to see how things would be this morning. As regards the mail, things seemed not too bad. Regarding the computer itself, things started well but the fan was still noisy and as the day progressed things got a little slower. But first thing, all was hunky dory. The mail contained a spate of make a fortune working from home adverts which were annoying because you couldn’t see what they were until they were opened but at least they weren’t damaging. The nasty b*stards must have been out again last night though as Windows Defender had picked up two messages it had to remove a virus from. At least I didn’t need to open those at all. I was able to work my way through the rest without too many problems. As usual I stopped at 7.00 am to feed the fish. As I turned the light on all activity seemed to cease for the moment. It struck me as humorous wondering what went through the minds of these characters when the light suddenly appears followed by something gigantic ( only in their eyes before anyone suggests a diet) with a deep voice who issues food from the skies. The inactivity was only momentary though as they quickly resumed their tasks of seeking out escape tunnels or whatever they do. Naturally Big Al was the director of all this activity turning slowly at the centre of the tank while Little Al seemed to scurry backwards and forwards issuing royal commands.At least I was saved his attentions apart from a surreptitious glance he didn’t think I’d noticed. I placed the food in and walked away quite sure he’d issue rations when needed.

I went to take my meds and realised I’d forgotten to take last night’s. Because I’m anal about the box at least looking as though I’d had them, they got tipped into the bin as usual. I don’t have to show how forgetful I am now. I took this morning’s batch and then took a pre foodie, had a cigarette and made myself some toast. It was only because I’d succumbed to temptation and had a couple of chocolates while I was working. I took my coffee back to the bedroom office and started again. Before I knew it time had flown and I almost had a heart attack as Pauline came in at 8.40 am. I asked her how she was and then let her get on with it. The mail was going down well and all banging and clattering had ceased when I suddenly came over peculiar ( I’ve warned you Mike, don’t test me). The pain hit and I had to lie down. That must have been around half nine and the next thing I knew it was 10.25 am and Pauline was just packing up to go. I got up and went through to pay her. No matter how I try I can’t make that sentence sound any better. I returned to work.

11.45 am and both mail boxes were empty though I hadn’t refreshed them for a while. I went through to prepare lunch. As usual I enjoyed Bargain Hunt while I ate. Perhaps because of the enforced nap earlier I stayed awake right to the end. Glancing through the TV magazine I’d found a programme that looked interesting a little later in the afternoon and a fascinating one on the Hittites this evening. I determined I would watch them.  Work was planned around those two programmes even if it meant missing some of the usual ones. In the end I was lucky and I didn’t have to miss too much. At 9.00 pm after the one on the Hittites I came through and started work again and found not too much waiting which pleased me and left me a little more relaxed than usual. I’ve been able to do the blog and will still get an early night.

My Special Girls Yvonne, Karen & Jo

My Special Girls
Yvonne, Karen & Jo

Tuesday.

Judging by the 3.13 am start this morning it’s possible I may have upset someone. It’s a shame too as I was at the point in a dream where I was about to fill out my list for Santa.

Dear-Santa-424x600

It wouldn’t have been a complicated list. Perhaps a dozen ‘dinky’ Titterton’s pork pies, 10 medium and maybe a family one or perhaps 2. It’s also possible there might have been mention of a BFG and maybe even a lemon meringue just in case Mike is here , he’s got a very sweet tooth. I’d have made a point of telling Santa I’ve tried to be very good this year and any hiccup are generally animal instigated though maybe I shouldn’t mention  that because of his reindeer. I’ve tried to be nice to all Nigerian widows and orphans as well as polite to various bankers based in Nigeria, Burkino Faso and any place else. I’ve also tried hard to be patient with all the women with big, erm, assets who want to marry me or just teach me things and very patient with the various astrologers et al who want me to buy the knowledge of my future, I think being broke is the main  thing in my future if I do. All in all I think I’ve been quite good.  Of course in my dream I would have made the request and sent it off up the chimney to Santa. The min problem with reality is I have central heating in real life and no chimney so send it up.

There was quite a bit of mail when I signed in. It’s like everyone thought, “I know, I’ll do my Christmas list for Santa and then write a letter or post a blog while I’m here.” Not that they weren’t welcome nor interesting. They were, but it’s still a shock sometimes to see them all come at once. Still, thanks to being up so early it’s not like I was short of time. By 6.30 am I was feeling tired but I couldn’t go to sleep again without seeing to the fish so I decided to do them early. I went through to the kitchen and broke the pitch black by turning the overhead light on before turning the light on in the tank. I don’t know if the overhead light had set them off but I was mesmerised at the complicated water ballet being executed before me, and by executed I mean like the electric chair, as Morecambe and Wise were turning circles as though chasing each others magnificent tails while Big Al an Little Al we involved in a race doing full lengths of the tank, hitting their noses on the glass and racing back. Sharkey was nipping in and out of the amphora looking as though he’d lost something. In the midst of all this frenetic activity the plecs were just lying on the bottom without a care in the world. It was as though I’d fed them something a little controversial but I hadn’t fed them at all yet. I did so and things seemed to quiet down a bit. I turned away to take my morning meds and decided I was peckish so took a ‘foodie’ waited the 15 minutes ( with a cigarette) and had a small bowl of Shreddies.

I’d automatically made myself a coffee so no point in going to nod off in my chair and anyway, watching the fish had woken me up again. I went back to work. It must have been well after 9.00 am when I started to nod off over the keyboard when there was a knock on the door. I was expecting 2 deliveries today so I’d psyched myself up to answer the door. Not a delivery, instead there as a little old lady standing there who said “Do you want to buy any potatoes, various size bags”? I stuttered a “No thank you” and came in. No sooner had I sat down than another knock on the door. I could see the bright orange top that led me to think it was the postman so I answered. This time a tall young man with an orange jumper stood there. “Want to buy some potatoes”? he asked. I wasn’t sure if my first answer hadn’t been convincing enough but I repeated it with thanks.  Yet again I went to sit down at the computer when I heard a fumbling at the door. There was the same orange. I wanted to open the door and say go away but I’m glad I couldn’t as it was the postman with delivery number 1.

As this delivery was a gift I’d bought I decided to have a break from work and start organising myself. I got out the sacks I’d bought with Mike a couple of weeks ago and put names on them then placed them on Mike’s bed. I started going through my bags, boxes and parcels and placing things in the appropriate sacks so that when I’m ready I can just grab a sack and start wrapping. I’m not sure Mike is going to be too thrilled when he comes this weekend and can’t find his bed. I must put in some effort as my great niece, her boyfriend and my great grand nephew are coming up this weekend and I have something for them to take back for under their tree. That’s if they have a tree as currently they’re in a hotel after their house was flooded. I know she’s finding it a strain having to control her son when he wants to play which she wouldn’t have to do at home. All this work took me up to almost midday so I stopped for lunch and Bargain Hunt.Remarkably I stayed awake again and then couldn’t afford a nap as the next episode of the programme I’d watched yesterday was on at 2.15 pm and I wanted to see it. That left me just over an hour to make some headway with the post. I actually did quite well.

I quite enjoyed the programme but it’s obvious I’ve missed quite a lot by not seeing earlier episodes even though each one is a story in itself. If it comes around again I’ll make more of an effort. I started working again and at 4.10 pm as I was just nipping to the loo I saw a van draw up and someone coming down the path. I opened the door ready and it was my second delivery which is actually something Ugo wanted me to get.He’ll be pleased it’s here. I had to sign for it and how I hate those awful machines you have to write on with a plastic pen. My signature is indecipherable to me when I’ve use one. I thanked the driver, closed the door and continued on my now urgent journey. By 5.00 pm I was up to date. As I went through to watch a quiz I noticed a box of Christmas cards I’d left out ready to do the neighbours so I rattled a few off as I watched. Then I cut out some pictures to use in Christmas decorations with the lights I bought. A really industrious day. By 7.00 pm I’d seen all I wanted to see on the box so I had a couple of mince pies and came back to work. I’ve been answering mail and commenting on blogs ever since. I really feel like I’ve achieved something today and at last I’m reasonably happy with what I’ve bought.

redboy 6redboy 1

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwuHtbcvTh8

Wednesday.

Lat night went so well that I was able to go to bed, have a read and still turn my light off at 11.45 pm.  This morning was not the best start possible though. I woke and got up at 3.36 am  and for some reason wandered through to the kitchen after visiting the bathroom and turned the light on. I went straight to the tank and lit it up while wondering if they’d like some Christmas lights. All of them seemed a little stunned and after a short visit to the front of the tank to make sure it was really me, carried on swimming normally. I turned round to take my tablets, putting milk in my mug to do so, then for some strange reason took a pre- foodie tablet first. I realised straight away what I’d done but had no choice but to eat. It was then I checked my watch for the 15 minute delay and found it was just 2.50 am. Stunned but well able to hear the mocking laughter from the top of Mount Olympus, Valhalla or even the roof I lit a cigarette and sat in the darkened lounge to smoke it. When the timing was finished I returned to the kitchen and with a show of manly strength ripped open a small box of Rice Krispies and spent the next 5 minutes collecting as many as possible off the floor before eating some more carefully opened Rice Krispies from my supplies. I made a coffee and took it through to the office.

I turned the computer on and sent birthday greetings to my great-niece Marissa via Facebook, a place I rarely visit these days. While there I accepted two friend requests and answered a message. Before starting on the post I needed to visit the loo again. It was now 3.45 am and obviously still very dark so I turned the bathroom light on. You’ll have to take my word for it that I’m not vain but as you go in the bathroom there is a large mirror on the left. I just happened to glance into it and there I saw Oliver Cromwell. I had a huge wart on my chin.It was only on closer examination I found it was a rogue Rice Krispie poking through my beard. I think the mocking laughter would have been much harder if I’d gone to Pauline’s like that. I ate it, did what I needed to do and returned to work.

I worked through until 8.00 am then got dressed ready to confront the day with what I hoped would be dignity. Taking my empty cup through to the kitchen I was ready to return to work for a while but decided to wrap my daughter’s birthday present and also place the calendars I’d had made into envelopes. once addressed I placed them  in the bag with the gift ready for Ugo to deliver when he goes to see his Mum and his brother and sisters. That job had taken me beyond 9.00 am so it was opportunity to go to Pauline’s for some extra milk and my TV mag. Obviously the milk goes faster when I’m having cereal for breakfast. I picked up cigarettes for tomorrow while I was there so I needn’t go out again until Friday when I do the lottery. It seemed quite sunny out so I’d gone in just my cardigan ( you know what I mean so stop laughing, no coat). Whatever lies the sunshine told it was white on the ground and I was freezing outside. I was glad to get back.

After storing the milk in the fridge ( probably warmer than outside) I returned to work and concentrated on it for the rest of the morning until 11.45 am when I went to make lunch. I reminded myself to take a pre-food tablet when I reached the kitchen but must have been distracted. I’d put the sausages under the grill and had part cooked them before I started the mashed potatoes and once those were done, the beans. It was only as things were almost ready I remembered the tablet and was able to curse myself for such stupidity. There was no help for it though things were almost done. I added butter to the potatoes, creamed them and added them to my plate. I turned the grill off and added 6 (small) sausages to my plate then retrieved the beans from the microwave and added those over the top of my potatoes like the lava coming from Mt. Vesuvius. I really enjoyed my dinner and made doubly sure to take the after food tablets when finished. After washing up I sat back in the chair to enjoy the auction part of Bargain Hunt and fell asleep. It didn’t last long but I thought it had, Looking at my watch told me it was 2.10 pm and I thought my new programme was on in 5 minutes and I’d done no work.  Common sense kicked in when I realised it was still the news on TV so I rechecked my watch. It was 1.10 pm so I had plenty of time to work.

I started catching up again but found myself drifting off, drifting, drifted. This time it was 3.00 before I opened my eyes. I knew that because my head was bent at such an angle it was looking at my watch on my arm, in my lap.That meant I’d all but missed the programme and also that a load more mail had accrued.  I refreshed the screen  and almost fainted when I saw the new totals. Opening a new tin of Pepsi Max I hoped the caffeine would help keep me awake while I worked. It did, but it made me fidgety and my hands were jerking so that I was deleting mail before I’d done it and had to keep going to find it. At 4.30 pm I decided I needed a break before my opponents visitors arrive. I’d just managed to eat a cold sausage sandwich with some leftovers from lunchtime when Lee arrived. He’s fine and looking good too. What a great father he’s going to make. I asked if Jen is showing yet and his answer is “Not much”. Maybe she isn’t at that sensitive stage yet where her S.O.H takes a holiday if her size is mentioned in the wrong way ( in any way). I suggest he keeps some running shoes handy as he may be taking the dog out a lot. He was good enough to listen to my woes about the computer  and agreed I’d done all I could but he did have a look at the blasted search engine that comes up every day unwanted. I did say I’ve checked all the registries. He wasn’t able to fin it’s hiding place either but it’d not damaging anything now and I just delete it. I got him a glass of water and we sat chatting waiting for the others to arrive.

They caught me unawares at 5.30 pm and I had to nip to the kitchen to make drinks. Coffee for Matt and Tea for Dil. Drinks given I set up the table and pulled out the Balderdash. I didn’t get a look in during the first game and realised what accomplished liars we breed in this family. Hung by our own petards. I think Matt won the first one but in the second one my super powers of straight face, honest eyes came into play and I won easily. Oh, and naturally I was doing the scoring too which helps.I nipped into the kitchen to smoke a cigarette where the extractor fan is since neither Lee nor Dil smoke though Dil used to so he understands the need. While I did so, Matt drew up the chart for nomination whist and Dil dealt. It distresses me to say I wasn’t doing the scoring this time and so I lost. It was nip and tuck between Dil and myself most of the way with us changing position between first and second and leading by about half a dozen points. The last game he made sure I won one trick more than I wanted while he got his call and he beat me. At that point Lee had to leave us as he hadn’t seen Jen since breakfast  Since she works outside the home and has a fair way to travel it can be a long day.

Once Lee had gone Dil suggested reminding Matt how to play Chase the Lady ( what some of you will know as Hearts on your computers). It’s been months since we first showed him and it’s not an easy game to teach. He picked it up quite well but still hasn’t quite got the hang of it. We decided to play it through as though a real game and point out errors on the way. He didn’t seem to be making that many until someone started dumping the Queen of Spades on him at every opportunity after theb two of them stopped me lotting. That turned out to be Dil’s game as well. So, just one very small victory for me tonight, I’m devastated. As it was past 9.30 am it was time for them to depart. I tidied up, washed the pots and wished the fish goodnight. I’d just turned the mail back on when I remembered I needed to go back through and take my meds. There was mail going back to 3.30 pm when I must have last refreshed so I wasn’t best pleased. In order to go to bed by midnight, and I am tired tonight, I have had to leave a big chunk undone until the morning. It’s 11.50 pm now so I should just about make it.

Here is a picture of Mike’s new grandson Jacob Ryan born around 3.00 am this morning. Isn’t he bright eyed. Congratulation Lisa and Tony and the new grandad.

Jacob Ryan.

Thursday.

I made it to bed by midnight last night. After a read I settled down at about 1.00 am. After the last couple of days I was delighted when I opened my eyes and found the time was 4.53 am. I think some beings may have decided they’ve gone a bit too far this week. Things were OK as I laid into the mail on my talktalk account which is actually aol. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but it’s odd that there’s no facility for actually blocking an address you don’t want mail from but which keeps bombarding you. I could really have done with it this morning. So many adverts for winning laser eye treatment etc. Nothing interesting like winning your own weight in gold for instance.

7.00 am brought it’s usual torments when I went to feed the fish. I bent down to wish Good Morning to Morecambe  and Wise as they’re the ones usually at the upper level and hang around either because of my dulcet tones or because they want to be fed.  Instead I ended up in a staring contest with two red eyes which had they been able to speak would probably have had a very gruff Yorkshire accent and be calling me ‘lad’ as they gave me a bollocking. The pity of it is I have no idea what I’m supposed to have done wrong unless it’s because their light was turned off 5 minutes early last night. I also had the urge to laugh as Little Al swam into the picture and stayed behind the tail of Big Al and the tail seemed to be slapping his face. Laughing might not have been the best idea so I just said “Sorry” and moved away to take my meds. I needed breakfast this morning so I also took one of my pre-food tabs then lit a cigarette for timing and walked away to make myself useful. First a trip to my bedroom to find my Christmas gift wrap, then to Mike’s bedroom to create a space on top of the bed by taking a sack through ready for wrapping later.

The cigarette came to an end so a couple of pieces of bread went into the toaster and I started to make my coffee. As the toast came out it got lashings of butter and I was licking my lips for ages afterwards. I took my coffee back through with me and got myself washed and dressed before settling down to work again. As soon as 9.30 am came round I prepared to go to Pauline’s, the school rush would be over by then and I wouldn’t be trampled by a herd of wild mummies freed for the day. It was dry this morning with even a hint of sun but again there was no warmth coming through. I was prepared this time though and was so muffled in my coat I could hardly move and the cardie underneath made it look like I’d gained ten stone since the weekend, which in fairness to Whitaker’s dark chocolate mints and strawberry creams I might have. I picked up a small loaf and took it to the counter just as the last customer was leaving. I handed Pauline the list of lottery tickets and requested a winner. She promised to see what she could do. I also bought enough cigarettes to keep me going until Saturday (I hope).

Back at home it took me half an hour to unravel myself from all the extra clothing. It was like unwrapping a mummy from the sixth dynasty, I think that was the last series. I’m not sure what husband Joan Collins was on then. It was back to work after that and my oh my hadn’t it mounted up again. Yet again over the last two days there have been little groups of people following the blog so I’m constantly having to check out new blogs to see if I should be following back. I never quite see the logic of being followed by a travel company or a school supply business. Those are not groups most people would follow. At 12.00 pm I felt really tired and was going to lie down but remembered I needed to eat something so had a beef sandwich and a strawberry fool. I watched most of the antique programme and even saw the auction at the end. I came back through to work as I wanted to see something at 2.15 pm. I was keeping an eye on the clock (( very uncomfortable as it kept rolling off) and remember seeing 2.05 pm and thinking I needed to wind up. That was the last thing I remembered until I woke up at 2.55 pm when it was almost over. I was determined not to miss the Big Bang Theory at 8.00 pm.

About 4.30 ish I got up to date on emails and decided on a break. I cut myself some malt loaf and watched a quiz on TV until 6.00 pm when I decided it would pay me to keep the mail down ready for my next departure. Things went well and at 7.45 pm I was up to date on both accounts . I went through and found I’d forgotten the fish so without turning on the kitchen light crept quietly up to the tank and switched if off shouting “Time for bed guys, goodnight.” I even had time to wrap a couple of Christmas gifts for my great niece, her partner and my great grand nephew. I’d just put the sellotape away when Big Bang started.I settled in my chair, not that this episode was too important as it was a repeat of last weeks before the new one. I got about half way through and fell asleep again. It was almost 9.30 pm before I woke up. I’m beginning to think Somnos and Porcinus might have a new playmate who enjoys messing with my schedule. Let’s call him Digitus just so I know who I’m thumping when we meet.

Wearing my melancholy face and the quivering bottom lip that so upsets my beautiful daughter, I wandered back through to work.  Drying my eyes so the screen wouldn’t blur I set to work on the new messages which were coming in thick and fast, worse than a snow storm in Maine ( as described to me by that excellent writer S.J.Sprague). I was so involved in what I was doing I almost missed Mike coming through the door at 10.40 pm. Obviously like a little child he demanded my attention and if no coffee was forthcoming ( or even fifthcoming) he’d spit his dummy out. The coffee was forthcoming and we sat together talking about our week. Mine didn’t take long, stayed in all week except for the corner shop visits. His of course was much more interesting, in the hatched column his beautiful new grandson Jacob, in the dispatched column 6 of his fish which he was definitely most dischuffed about. His water ( sorry, the tank’s water) has been tested and found to be perfect so it seems likely either he’s bought some diseased fish or introduced something toxic to the tank and he swore he hasn’t sung to them so it must be an airline he put in last week.

We talked until quite late and I’ve now had to give up the idea of doing more emails until tomorrow since it’s well past the witching hour. I therefore wish you all goodnight. Bon nuit, nos da.

Disgruntled

GruntledDisgruntled                                                                                                                                                       Gruntled?

Serene in the face of danger

Serene in the face of danger

Friday.

I read until 1.00 am or maybe a little after. As I turned the light off and settled down I sent out a few warnings mentally about the price of sleep disturbances. I was afraid of being woken at some ridiculous hour with a request to vote for one of my new acquaintances as God of the Week or something equally as urgent. As it was, I had a nuisance free night and was able to lie in until 5.29 am. There was a desperate need for the loo when I swung my legs out so I made a quick dash trying to get my dressing gown on at the same time. That flailing of arms and flapping of material was not what was wanted at that time of day though. Either my are, sleeve or belt must have caught two empty pepsi tins on the edge of my desk waiting to go into the recycling bag. Down they came with a double clang worse than the chime of a grandfather clock in the dead of night. I expected light to go on around me, well everywhere except Mike’s room at least. For sure it made me wake up as I stood there shushing the cans like they could hear me and bounce quietly. I carried on to the loo and then picked them up on my way back. Without any thought I dropped them into the recycling bag only for them to clang again on the cans already in there.

I started in on the mail and my fears that there would be plenty of mail left from last night was proven right. Still, worrying about it wouldn’t help so I just panicked instead. It was, OMG, OMG, OMG what can I do? But I wasn’t sure what could be done except work or sit there and delete them all claiming some kind of divine retribution because I wouldn’t speak to Somnos. I knew that was unlikely to work so I bit the bullet ( don’t do that if you have fillings folks) and got on with it. I could only work until 6.30 am on this first batch as I had my drugs to see to this morning so at the appointed hour I went to the kitchen ready to look my nemesis in the face. It wasn’t to be as he was holding one of his Union meeting again where the tail flicked in my direction sometimes as if in indication. I can’t understand why we can’t get on. I opened the flap and dropped food in. Before I turned away I noticed Sharkey as well as Morecambe and Wise backing away from Big Al while pretending to listen. The food and I were winning hearts and stomachs. I left and went to take my morning meds.

Once the meds were taken and the pots empty I went to get the drawer where I keep my ‘stash’ and filled them all up again. It does take quite a while. Before doing it I”d taken a pre-food tablet knowing I’d be ready for breakfast once the meds were done. As soon as the drawer was back in place I put some bread in the toaster and made my drink. I enjoyed the toast, and after taking my post meal tabs I took the drink back and started on the mail which hadn’t disappeared while I was away. It’s funny sometimes to see just how many people are still working after you’ve gone to bed and seeing them say goodnight at various time zones on twitter. I wasn’t many short of completion of last night work when it was time to leave again. I’d no idea whether Mike has set an alarm last night an I knew he’d had a late night but he had to travel to his father’s this morning and I was determined to give him a head start. So, at 9.00 am I took him a coffee through, went to the lounge, put Frasier on and settled to wait. I woke up again around 9.30 am and Mike was in his chair enjoying the programme. At least I didn’t have to shout him again. Trouble is I expected him to get up and get ready and be out of the house by 10.00 am. No chance, he watched Frasier till 10.00 am and then got ready and left.

I carried on working all morning until there was a knock at the door about 11.45 am. It had slipped my mind about the warden coming and yet again I wasn’t dressed. She must wonder if I ever get dressed. ” You DO go out don’t you”? was one of her questions. It was during this visit I learned I am exactly one day older than she is. While she no doubt sat there thinking she wasn’t as wrecked as the man in front of her, I was thinking, What a difference a day makes. She’s quite a pleasant lady to speak to. After she’d gone I made myself pizza and chips for the sake of speed and watched Bargain Hunt. Yep, all the way to the end again. Then it was time to concentrate , preferably with my eyes open. I rapidly finished off last night stuff and started on this morning’s. by 5.00 I was more or less up to date and took a break. Time for a quiz then I planned to take a shower about 6.30 am and wondered if Mike would be back by then. I watched the quiz until 6.00 pm and then the start of the next one before falling asleep until 6.45 pm. Mike wasn’t back. I dashed ( ha, me dash !) to have a shower so I wouldn’t miss too much of Mastermind, and managed to get back only ten minutes into the programme.

At 7.30 pm there was football on TV so I decided to go and complete a little more work. I wouldn’t have been able to had Mike been here. He arrived back at 8.50 pm so it was time to stop work again and go see how his day had been and to spend some time with him. I stayed until 10.00 pm  having enjoyed Have I Got News For You and it’s lampooning of our lying politicians. Now it was time to be serious again amongst the conmen of a different continent. I was determined to clear as many messages as possible today with going out so early in the morning. I’ll never know why I chose a Saturday as the day I post the blog as it’s always the most stressful day of the week, losing so much time from the computer due to shopping. It’s playing catch up from the moment we get in.

Food Fun 1 -Empty

Food Fun 1 -Empty

Food Fun 2

Food Fun 2

 

Saturday.

Last night I made it to bed before midnight but as usual there was an overriding need to relax with a read. Having stopped writing seems to have increased my appetite for reading rather than dampening it. After quite a few late night this week and just a couple of late mornings I was hoping that maybe I’d get to lie abed until about 5.00 am again. Yes I know, the eternal optimist. It was 3.38 am but on the plus side there were no visits to Mt Olympus/ Snowdon/St Helens or somewhere to contend with first. I got out of bed a bit gingerly as it felt cool. I do keep the heating on and mentioned to Mike that it just never seemed to reach my room. There were a few non swear words in his explanation which seemed to be “Stop putting stuff in front of the radiator then you prannock.” Since he wasn’t up (ha ha ha) I didn’t have to hear that this morning. A quick run to the bathroom, a minute with the ice-axe and then back to start work. Quite a bit to do before 7.00 am but I’m confident it can be done.

I started by deleting everything I could see I didn’t need to work on or answer, just so the list looked smaller. Next it was dealing with the tweets and retweets which made the list smaller still. All that pratting about brought the end of the list much closer for me but gave me so much less time to concentrate on the things that mattered. I panicked. My hands started to shake which was quite good as it almost counteracted the usual shake so I didn’t light the tip of my nose when I had a cigarette. I’mm not sure the medical profession are ready to accept this as a breakthrough but I felt I’d made progress and my nose wasn’t as warm as usual. I actually managed to get up to date, including a refresh, by 6.45 am and went straight through to the kitchen in an unusually good mood. I put the tank light on and it was like a miracle. The food slot became the centre of all attention. Morecambe and Wise at the top of the tank, Sharkey was hovering around low middle and the rest on the gravel more or less in a circle surrounding Big Al so either he was leading the morning prayers or I’d just saved him from a mob. I dropped the flake in for M & W followed by a tablet of algae for the others. M & W ignored the flake and followed the algae tab to the bottom an started kissing it. Since it had dropped fairly close to Big Al, I wouldn’t give twopence for their chances if he saw them. Luckily Little Al was running around like he was demented and was occupying his attention momentarily. That also suited me, so whistling Que sere sera, I backed away to take my meds. I decided to have breakfast today so once the meds were taken I had a timer cigarette before putting some bread in to toast.

I’d just finished breakfast and made a drink when Mike’s alarm went off so I put the kettle on for him and while it was boiling started readying my bins. When I took the drink through I could tell it was going to be hard work. I had to call twice just to get a grunt in return. I took the bins and the bags out and when I’d finished came back in to find no movement even though it was possible the alarm had sounded and been ignored again. I called out “Don’t let your coffee get warm Michael” and went back to work by refreshing the screen.The words must have penetrated because I heard him move through to the lounge which didn’t necessarily mean he was awake.On a Pinterest board I saw a picture of some fish s I went to check if he was awake and asked him to look them up, it was written as batta fish, bata fish and also beta fish and they looked great. Mike came through to say they were just Siamese fighting fish but he had to agree these were spectacular. It turned out they had an odd name like semi circular or something and the tails were brilliant but it said they’re expensive. We’ll have to keep an eye open. OK, so I had him awake now but he was so hooked on the subject that I couldn’t get him to go get dressed.

Eventually we were on our way out but didn’t arrive at the store until 8.15 am.I thought we were able to make up some time as my list wasn’t too big but we had coffee at the normal time. From there we went to Flint and our usual shops for a few items and then our usual coffee and teasted toecakes with Ceri. There didn’t seem to be much banter today but that may be because it was quite crowded. Also I wasn’t on top form at all and wasn’t perhaps paying as much attention as usual. We went home and put the shopping away. Time was getting on and about 1.00 pm we went for lunch. We were disgusted when we ot there to see they’d allowed someone to sit at our table even though the place wan’t full. That will mean a written complaint to the management. Talking of whom, he was in the kitchen cooking today as Shella is off with the flu. Angie and Rob were front and centre today so Rob saw to the drinks and Angie took our food order for Tariq to cook. I decided to give him the letter of complaint after we’ve eaten. By the time we were due to leave we were the only customers left so Tariq and Shirley were able to come through from the kitchen. We had a few laughs as a group then received hugs including from Rob today.

At home I wanted to start work but Mike wasn’t happy with the way I looked. He told me to put a bag over my head to improve things. Swine ! We put some Chistmas lights up at the window and brought my permanent tree of LCD lights out to stand in front of the window. Once I’d hung a few ornaments on it everything felt quite Christmassy. I couldn’t go to Colwyn Bay to take gift to my great niece so I sent a text to David -my nephew-her father. They’ll come through in the morning which is nice. After that, I was able to come through and relax ( away from THE VOICE ” Stop doing that. put your arms down, take your spray) and do some work until 5.30 pm when he called me through to watch TV with him and relax properly. I stayed until 8.00 pm which being blog night is as late as I dared. I’m going to be on time with the blog but I’m not sure where I’ll be with the mails as I think it’s time to hit the sack as soon as I press publish.

cutie 3cat 2

Blowing kisses to Pops

Blowing kisses to Pops

And finally.

Just Kidding

Just Kidding

Have a wonderful week everyone.

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Big Al F-f-forgets Himself & Stamped On.

Sunday 23rd of November.

A relatively late night followed by a relatively late morning leaves me quite tired today. I’m ready to fall asleep at the drop of a hat. I’m wishing I lived at a milliners in the middle of an earthquake. It was all of 4.40 am this morning when I got up. I could hear the rain outside and feel the general chill, you just knew it was Winter with it’s hand on the helm now. Slippers and dressing gown on, I leaned down to turn the computer on before heading to recreate scenes from Niagara Falls.                      All was ready for me when I got back so it was just a case of signing in when I sat at the desk. Surprisingly there weren’t too many messages waiting this morning so  I was able to take my time and savour them.  Before 7.00 am I’d caught up, refreshed and caught up again. I was feeling quite pleased with myself as I headed to the kitchen to see to the fish.

I switched the tank light on and prepared to feed them. All of them were in sight. Two of the plecs were lying quite still atop a Greek amphora which lay on it’s side the contents dispersed centuries ago. The third plec, the smallest of them was taking his life in his fins by climbing all over Big Al who didn’t move a muscle. Sharkey was making a nuisance of himself by harassing Little Al while Morecambe and Wise hovered near the feeding flap of the lid. Some flake went in and the two fighters chased it round pecking at small bits of it. The pellets were like hail on top of Big Al.but still he didn’t move though it did move the plec off his back. My responsibility was over and I didn’t want to see Big Al teach anyone a lesson, even if that lesson is that really he’s a pussycat. I turned away and took my meds.

My coffee came with me back to work.The pace of work coming in was slightly worse than my ability to deal with it (except by bunging it all in the bin) but it wasn’t so bad at that point that it was running away with me. Of course there were further delays when I had to be treated by a cardiac unit when Mike got up at 9.10 am without using his alarm. I knew it was him though when a gravelly voice uttered the word “Coffee” in such a plaintive way. How could I refuse? I made myself one too and joined him in  the lounge. Lisa, his daughter, my niece was due between 10.00 am and 11.00 am so I was trying hard to encourage him to get dressed. He is not a vision to be faced in a morning as I’m sure any of his ladies will attest to. It was towards the latter end of that time she arrived but luckily he’d clothed himself by then. I haven’t seen Lisa for a while and was surprised at the degree of pregnancy, her stomach almost matched her father’s ( OK, OK and mine). It hits home that she’s less than two weeks to go before the baby is due. I hope they’re not going for a curry today.

Once Lisa had had a cup of tea they left to go and collect Mike’s Dad and head over to wherever they were eating. I didn’t regret turning the invitation down as I’ve been exposed to the heat of all those candles on Mike’s birthday cakes before. I’m not keen on crowded events as you know and with Mike’s candles there, well….        As soon as they left me I flew back to the computer. It had been having fun while I was away and both mailboxes were choc a block I had to start weeding out the garbage to know where I stood. By noon one box was empty and I had 35 in the main one. It was time for lunch. I took my pre-food tablet lit  cigarette and settled until it was time to put the microwave on. I had food by 12.15 pm. As beef dinners go it wasn’t yesterday but it was passable. Rhubarb tart and custard to follow. I intended to do without my usual sleep so came though and managed one or two messages before I nodded off over the keyboard. I don’t appear to have carried on writing.

I was back by 2.00 pm though not fully compost mental so I promised myself a break as soon as I caught up. Somehow I managed that by 4.30 pm and left the room fully intending to nod off in my chair. I turned on the TV and got wrapped up in the film Bagger Vance. About 5.30 pm it finished and I came back in here to see what I’d missed. Far too much, but I had times as Mike and Lisa didn’t arrive back until about 7.15 pm. We sat and chatted for a while before Lisa picked up her own car and left to see her mother. Mike let me come back to work until 9.00 pm when there was a film on I said I’d watch with him. Damn ! Me and my mouth. I still had over 50 messages to go when he called me. The film was Green Hornet and I might have enjoyed it had it not been for the actor playing Green Hornet himself. I know it was billed as a comedy but he didn’t make me laugh. It was more cringe. Anyway, I was glad when 11.20 pm came and I could escape. I decided to do the blog now and leave the accumulate mail for tomorrow. When Mike leaves I’ll be able to scream in secrecy.

Injury 2

 

 

Injury

Reuben’s One Lump or Two injury from walking into a gate.

Monday.

I was treated today to a lie in of epic standards. 5.51 am I rose at and didn’t I feel cocky, though maybe I should rephrase that. With a quick visit to the loo out of the way I was seated at the computer for 6.00 am. That was when I realised there was a heavy price to pay for the extra time in slumber. Ouch. Still. I knew I’d all day to catch up.  My first stint took me to 7.00 am when I headed for the kitchen. Halfway there Mike’s alarm went off. I’d no idea whether it was by accident or design and he hadn’t mentioned having to be in Manchester before the 11.00 am he’s mentioned to me previously. Just in case, I put the kettle on then went straight to deal with the fish. I’m wondering if the tails of Morecambe and Wise are hypnotising Big Al or like a human watching a fish tank, just leaving him very relaxed. He seems very chilled at the moment and hasn’t glared at me for a couple of days now. Sharkey was chasing the smaller plecs and Little Al for getting to near whatever treasure he’s protecting. There’s no point in him going for Big Al or the big plec as he just comes to a dead stop against them and neither flinch. I put food in the tank and went about my business.

The meds were taken care of. The kettle had boiled and any repeat of the alarm quickly been dealt with so I just made my own coffee and went back to work. It was a case of drip, drip, drip like water on a stone, wearing away at the bulk. Luckily I seemed to be more than keeping pace with more incoming mail. I’m touching wood while I mention this but I don’t seem to have any mail from demented naked ladies, no proposals of marriage, no offers to read my future and best of all, no offers of a fortune from Africa. When I reached 8.00 am I was feeling quite hopeful. I reboiled the kettle and made Mike a drink which I took through. I told him in a very loud voice “Coffee up” and when I though I had his attention reminded him that Pauline was due in for 8.30 am and I needed him at least partly clothed above the pyjama trousers. I had no idea whether I got through to him or not but with a departing “Don’t forget the coffee” I left. Fair play by 8.25 am he was out of the bedroom, mainly clothed and had brought his coffee in to here to sit on the bed while I tried to work.

8.30 am  came and went as did 9.00 am.No sign of Pauline. I asked Mike to check the phone which he did but reminded me that I hadn’t left the house yesterday or this morning. There was definitely nothing from Saturday either. I’m left to assume she’s not coming again.  Mike made moves to start his journey at 9.45 am and I left the house at the same time he did to take my prescription request in. It didn’t take very long but while out I accidentally fell into the sandwich shop and found a bacon bap in my hand. Oops. When I got home I took a pre-food tablet and enjoyed myself. Late morning I had a text from Lis to see if I was free. I said of course I was and she came down about 11.00 am as she’d been in town anyway. It’s always a delight to see her and we had a great natter.I passed her a book I’d had waiting for her on recording family history and she seemed pleased. At the end of the week she’s going to see Charley so I asked her to carry my love.She left about midday and I was sorry to see her go but loved the hugs and kiss I got as compensation.  At 12.15 pm I  decided to take my normal break though I didn’t need lunch of course. By normal I do mean I fell asleep in the chair again before the end of the programme and didn’t wake until 1.30 pm. It was back to work then and the price I paid was I couldn’t catch up until almost 4.30 pm. At 4.45 pm I went through and took my next pre-food tablet then sat down with some chip baps and the most minute piece of BFG left by Mike ever. With the use of a good magnifying glass I managed to find it. I stayed until 6.30 pm after Eggheads.

Work has been steady since I came back through. Nothing too tedious but nothing allowing long breaks either. I’m fairly sure I could get an early night ready for my outing tomorrow but I’m not sure I want too much of a build up to add to that which I’ll miss in the morning. I may just pop back there now to see if I can clear a little more.

I'm not doin' tricks till you feed me.

I’m not doin’ tricks till you feed me.

Wanna Play?

Wanna Play?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday.

I’m  wondering if Somnos lost me in a bet to one of the older more sadistic gods or whether his more ‘Impish’ side is showing today. It must have been approaching 1.00 pm by the time I’d finished faffing last night and had the shortest of reads but there we were at 3.11 am and wide awake again. There appeared to be no point in complaining since either the older god had turned his hearing aids off or Somnos had skipped merrily off to his next little venture. Even the bloody sandman hadn’t had time to get round and I was sincerely hoping he didn’t since the eyes were now wide open. There was a good side to all this of course and that was I’d be able to leave the house with very little post undone with any luck. I turned the computer on as I passed on my way to the loo.

When I came back I tried to log in to the bank but even that wouldn’t oblige today and suggested I try later. OK, I signed into my main email account. Hm. only 57, should be able to knock that out of play quite easily. I made a start. No obvious bad ones to get rid of immediately but there were some advertising Black Friday specials that I wasn’t able to stop myself looking at. At that point I’m typing with my fingers crossed that I don’t find one of the Christmas presents I just bought at half price. That would spoil my day completely. I finished the mail in that box and opened the secondary account . There were less in there and by 5.30 am juggling them, I was clear in both. There was no point in seeing to the fish at that time so I decided top get washed and dressed ( based on the predicted weather for today) and have a sit in the lounge. I’d no sooner sat down that that sneaky beggar zonked me again. It was 6.45 am when I next opened my eyes. The sandman had been so maybe he’s brought the unions in against Somnos.

Since I had to have my meds before going out I went through and fed the fish, ignored their antics ( I’m sure Big Al called me a rude name as I turned away) took my meds and made a drink. As usual the drink came with me back to the desk and as I drank it I was able to catch up again. I was very impressed. Whoever the goddess of emails is I owed her one for that. There was just time to take my cup through to soak, get my coat on and get my bag ready to take. I stepped outside the front door and I suppose you could call it fresh. Fresh from the Arctic I think. My fingers stuck to the key as I tried to turn it in the lock but I managed to get away with a few ouches.  I went out through the tunnel to the main road and crossed over. I’d not taken above a dozen steps when the Saint driving the bus pulled up beside me to save me a walk. And it is a walk to the bus stop believe me. I was really grateful. The bus was freezing having just come out of the depot and when we drew up at the stop for someone else to get on, an iceberg must have drawn up close by as it got colder the moment the door was opened. We were three quarters of the way to Chester when we stopped shivering and the heat from the engine penetrated the cold. I chipped the icicles off my nose and prepared to get off.

Yvonne and Reuben arrived a minute or so after me and we took a walk round a nearby shop while we waited for the shop with out cafe to open. When we went back the cafe wasn’t open yet so we had a look round the clothes. Half an hour later the cafe still wasn’t open so we set off elsewhere and ended up in BHS (British Home Stores) where I had a bacon toastie ( under protest) while Yvonne had some breakfast and fed Reuben. Unfortunately as I passed my bag to Yvonne for the gifts that were inside it ( a new dress for her and some mini cereals for Reuben ) he saw some chocolate I’d bought earlier and the recognition was instant. Though breakfast was almost eaten from that point on he wanted no more and pointed at the chocolate. Then the siren started and much as it pains us to give in, we did. All went quiet, such bliss. We packed up and headed off towards some other shops to pass some time until we were due to meet Lisa and her Mum at 11.00 am. At a quarter past we got a message to say they couldn’t make it. In one way I was relieved as I didn’t fancy her having the baby in the middle of Chester in the freezing cold. I’d have been tempted to nip into the vacant place to keep warm.

We headed off towards the market where I’d seen the new shops last time I was here. One of them still wasn’t open despite having looked ready last time and having the windows cleaned. The other shop was massive. Time had passed so quickly it was 12.45 pm before I knew it and had to say goodbye and go for my bus. I waved them off and went outside. The market is close to the bus station and I had time to go to the loo first and then have a ciggie as I walked to my stop. The bus came and was quite crowded so I didn’t get my usual seat. I managed to miss much of the journey by nodding off leaning on my sticks. It must have been a source of amusement to some every time I jerked awake as my grip on them loosened.  I was home and in the house by 2.00 pm . At that point I found a message on the phone from Pauline to say she isn’t well and can she come tomorrow to clean? I guess she’s forgotten I can’t use the phone to answer her and Yvonne is now on her way to work. I’ll have to see if she turns up.

The mail was horrendous when I got back which I’d more or less expected. I decided to work until 5.00 pm then make myself some tea and watch a little TV. I came back through at 6.30 pm and apart from one loo break, one tablet break and the time it took to get changed I’ve been here ever since. It was 11.08 pm when I was finished with mail and I shall have one last check in a few minutes. Tomorrow I shall be in all day but have my games night so I want to make the day as easy as possible.

Late breaking News. They still love me! I had my new fraud email  but I honestly think they’ve forgotten who I am.

Dear Allah Elected One.
I would appreciate your immediate response to this mail because of my condition. My name is Mrs. Maimunna Mohamed from Tunisia I married to one Mr. Mohamed Diallo here in Burkina Faso unfortunately he died after a brief illness that lasted for only five days, I am now looking too weak and fragile to do things myself because I was diagnosed for Breast cancer about 3years ago, I and my late husband were married for eleven good years without a child as death departed us in 2009, After going through some files of my late husband I discovered a Deposit Certificate of $8.2million Eight Million Two hundred Thousand dollars in his account. 

You know how the rest of it goes…….

A study in grumps.

A study in grumps.

 

Back in action                                                                                                                  Back in action.

 

Wednesday.

Pity ( or maybe conscience if gods can have such ) was showered on me this morning and I was allowed to sleep until 4.29 am. Considering it was 1.00 am bed and taking into account yesterday’s mood, I was grateful for the treat. There was more mail than I’d have liked with some twenty of them falling in from before midnight Tuesday. My first job was to check the Euro lottery. There’s still hope for me as it was another rollover to Friday’s draw but my chances remain pretty slim if they keep ignoring every single number I play. If I have 6 they draw 5 and 7, If I have 16 they draw 15. The odds are that sometime I have to choose something that’s there. Like most people I can spread the happiness around if I win but also like most people my first job would be to find a house large enough to accommodate all my online friends…not all at once though.

I’d caught up by 7.00 am and went through to feed the fish feeling very self-satisfied. Morecambe and Wise came straight to the top as the feeding flap was opened. It didn’t take long to start on the flakes as I put them in. I also dropped in some pellets of algae for the catfish which most of the others are varieties of. Sharkey pounced on one immediately as did one of the smaller plecs. Little Al came to investigate but got too close to Sharkey and was chased off. He needs to be a bit bigger before he can shrug it off. Big Al however came past the food to the glass. Thinking there was friendly intent there I placed my finger on the glass.  It was more like fiendly intent for as I lowered my face to talk to him he turned round and swam off. Not in a normal fashion though, it seemed to be like a moped or something similar as the journey seemed to be like someone unable to hold their cheeks tight enough when they walk and there are a series of little put-put sounds. A case of air assisted passage. Yes, I think Big Al farted in my face.

Shocked and amused I had my meds then took my coffee back to work. A fair bit had accumulated in the short time I was out of the room so there was some catching up to do. I emailed Yvonne and asked her to phone Pauline to see whether she’s OK and intending to come back. She’ll be here next Monday. Working my way through the mail I found one further fraud today. One suggested a diplomat has a box full of cash waiting to be delivered to me one I provide him with my full name and my address. The diplomat is not supposed to know the contents of the box, just to deliver it. I think it’s possible that this one is a scam to steal identity since they wouldn’t need bank details if they’re giving cash. But, my psychic is back too, suggesting I need to know what’s coming up in the next 15 days again. She’s very persistent for someone who wasn’t going to bother me again. If it’s really that interesting why not just send a letter saying THIS is going to happen in the next 15 days so I could check it out on a daily basis. Is is just me being logical here or what?

The postman came and delivered the parcel that wasn’t due until January and which I was only notified of on Monday. I now have a duplicate gift but it will probably prove useful. He also delivered one third of a gram of gold which had been taken from a Scottish river. Before I start a new goldrush I should point out you’d have to be there a very long time to pick up anything worthwhile. This is a very small speck but fun to have. Towards lunchtime I managed to catch up with both lots of mail and went through to the lounge and started writing some more Christmas Cards. The ones for abroad need to go next week. Heavens, it’s December in a few days. When I’d had enough of that ( it’s hard to force my hands to be still ) I made lunch and settled on pea & ham soup with bread and butter. I enjoyed that while I watched Bargain Hunt with Ju’s old hairdressing cape around me to catch any spills. The problem with a moustache is that it retains and then dribbles. Once that was over I washed the pots and went back to work. Yes, no sleep, I bet you’re shocked but read on. I was doing OK with the mail I thought until I woke up and an hour had passed and there were about 7 or 8 ‘post to Twitter’s’ on my screen. I must have still been sort of reading the mail and wanting to tweet it. My fingers were crossed I hadn’t answered it. Luckily for me I hadn’t deleted anything and was able to read it again and comment where needed. The thing is, I did want to tweet all those I started.

At 4.30 pm I stopped work.There weren’t many left at that point but I needed to have something to eat in order to take the second lot of diabetic pills. I had a bag of Quavers and three slices of malt bread with butter. That was fine and allowed me plenty of time to wash up. There were no messages from Lee so I assumed he was coming tonight. I hoped so as there’s a little glitch I need him to look at. Poor soul is going to think it’s the only reason I’m happy to see him even though it isn’t. I put the usual quiz on and awaited the arrivals. Dil and Matt arrived about 5.30 pm and we watched the quiz together after I’d seen to drinks for them. As soon as it was over we set up the table and got started with the Yahtzee. Damn I’m having no luck with that. Matt 3, Dil 2, me just 1 game. While we were playing my phone sounded and there was a text from Lee saying he couldn’t make it. Such a shame . We started on Nomination and things just went from bad to worse. I started with the fist two or three hands looking promising and my score was steady but thereafter I couldn’t have won a hand if there was only me playing. I lost and lost badly. There were tears and tantrums before bedtime. Dil was the winner.

With enough time left to play another game we dealt for Crazy 8’s. This one didn’t start well for me having been caught twice for large pick-up’s one of 13 and one of 15 cards. I was going to get another pack of tissues when things changed. Play went my way and I started to get enough pick-up cards in my hand to force the others to suffer. I went on to win hands down putting poor Matt over the 301 score though I still maintain it was his father who made him pick up a lot and not me. I wouldn’t do a thing like that. They left just after 9.30 pm and I had a quick tidy up, though I need to put the throw in the wash as there are ink marks on it, washed the mugs and went through. There were only 78 posts but they took a long time so I broke off at 50 to see to the blog and am going back to them now. It’s already gone midnight so I hope the god are feeling kind tonight.

R.I.P Jimmy Ruffin,

Thursday.

The gods let me go to bed about 12.30 am so I took a little time for a chapter before sleep. It was 4.21 am when the cat landed on my stomach and I sat up in shock, wide awake. Hang on though, I don’t have a cat. He died 2 years ago now, even before Ju, and there’s no chance Mike would be up at that time even if he was here. There was also nothing on the bed Which included the ceiling as I did look up. If this is my new imaginary alarm clock I’m not very keen on it. If this is the gods having a joke, I’m not very keen on them.

Perhaps it was as well I woke as I needed a widdle ( I so love the variety of words for this one simple action) so I switched the computer on as I passed. When I eventually got back I signed in and went straight to mail. There was no problem with the mail itself but it was slow going as I wasn’t concentrating well. I worked up to 7.00 am then went through to the kitchen. Big Al must have been in a bad mood as all the others were keeping well out of his way. He was in the amphora that’s usually Sharkey’s domain and everyone was giving it a wide berth. Luckily the opening faced away from me so I thought I was safe in just putting food in and leaving. The problem is where the amphora is placed is very close to where the pellets drop. Ah well, you only live once (I think). I dropped the flake first for Morecambe and Wise then dropped the pellets of algae for the rest. Sharkey rushed to greet the shower straight past Big Al’s nose. Al turned to follow him and saw me. Or maybe he just heard my indrawn breath and cry of “No Sharkey, No”,  I let the food flap go and the resulting bang woke the plecs up to see what their great food god in the sky was doing( or something like that). It didn’t please Big Al too much either. He moved further round and Little Al came into view as though Big Al had him tucked under a fin. As I moved backwards Big Al advanced until I was with my back against the counter and he had his nose pressed against the glass looking daggers. “Good morning Big Al” I said, “your breakfast is there.” Then I forced myself to turn away from his hypnotic gaze.

I had my meds and made the usual coffee and departed for my room. I really didn’t feel like going out as I have a cold but at 9.00 am I forced myself so I could get some bread and milk from Pauline. Mike may come today and I want to be ready. I also needed my lottery tickets doing ready for my big win tomorrow night. Back at home the postman brought only rubbish for me so that went straight to recycling. By 11.00 am I was up to date and went to the lounge to do some more Christmas cards. I think I’m past the half way mark now but I may need a mortgage ( that’ll please the landlord) to post abroad. Then I did a quick pizza and chips for lunch and watched my antiques show. Going back to work wasn’t hard as I wanted to be free for Mike when he came but by 4.00 pm I was up to date again. back to the TV for a while. I got a text from Mike to say he was on the way so I expect him about 6.30 pm.  From 5.00 pm to 6.00 pm I worked on the mail to make sure there was nothing pressing when he came. I went to turn the light off on the tank, prepare Mike’s mug and boil the kettle.

6.30 came and with it came a text about the state of the traffic, his bladder and the need for a cigarette. He said he wouldn’t be long but it was about 7.15 pm before he appeared. I settled him with a drink and we exchanged war stories. It seems his new arrangement is to go to his fathers on a Friday from now on and spend longer with him. That’s good and it means on Sunday he’s not under time constraints to get to his Dad’s after lunch before heading home. He can go straight home now. It also means he can buy fish and take them home if he wants to. We watched an unusual programme about two men scouring the US for old junk to sell on. Checking old buildings, farms and barns for anything of value. Then it was time for an hour of Big Bang Theory with a new episode. Pure magic. By far the best comedy on TV and so well acted. At 9.00 pm it was time to come through to work again. Caramba, I have a real problem. Messages about Adobe needing to be updated and Java also, neither of which might be genuine and both of which are bringing adverts galore with them. I can’t access my emails without adverts coming up instead even though I’ve been and taken off an ad programme that had downloaded to my system somehow today. I can’t access the Adobe.com without this bloody thing flashing up on screen about updates and it won’t let me update from the actual .com file. I’m very frustrated. I’ve decided to do the blog a little early and see if I can access the mail on the laptop instead. I hope you’re wishing me luck. I had to run a scan which took until 12.50 am to finish but I wasn’t going to work on the mail tonight. The laptop was next to useless. It’s so old now it just can’t cope and keeps hanging before I can sign into the mail. I just have to hope the scan worked after it remove an adware piece of malware it found.

Friday.

Such joy, a 4.20 am start today after a 1.00 am finish but at least I wasn’t assaulted awake this time. The people who’ve read Oscar’s book Memoirs of a Superior no doubt think I was joking but that cat really was my alarm clock. He couldn’t be set to anything except Oscar time which meant when he was bored or hungry or just vindictive but landing on my stomach was a favourite way of ensuring I woke all at once with no pause to come round gradually. THAT’S IT…..the reason for my early mornings is FEAR and a long memory, after all we had him 18 years.

After a trip to the loo I came back to start work. All the problem of yesterday came back as soon as I turned on the computer. That’s despite the hours I hung around running scans. In the end I just did a system restore this morning and things seemed to be OK.  My post has taken a lot longer to appear but I have eventually been able to see it and deal with it. Anyway, it was almost 5.00 am before I got to start today. I could only work until 7.0 am because it’s Friday which of course is drugs day and I wanted it out of the way before Mike gets up and I know he’s ha ha set his alarm ha ha for 8.00 am. First things first, I fed the fish under the guiding eye  of Big Al but once I closed the lid he just swam lazily away to tell his congregation breakfast was up. I took my meds then brought the drugs drawer through to start doing the refills. I have to be ready to get new boxes from the drugs delivered this week to add to the drawer to take out again to put into the daily boxes. It can be a long drawn out job. I finished and made a coffee just as Mike’s alarm went off. He was getting up early to take me to the jewelers in Holywell but for reasons I can’t mention I’d decided I didn’t need to go today. I decided not to make hid drink but just to leave him after he turned the alarm off. I could wake him at 9.00 am instead. My coffee and I took a walk back to my bedroom.

I fully intended to put in an hour’s hard work before disturbing Mike but I’d just sat down when I heard the patter of his tiny feet going through to the lounge. I went back to the kitchen and made him a drink. He’d started playing a game on his phone and since he seemed happy I went back to work. Eventually he came through and mentioned our trip to town starting at 9.00 am. I explained my change of heart saying I didn’t need to go today but that he could get an early start to his Dad’s.  He was still here playing the same game at 10.10 am. The postman came and delivered a treat for me that I’d bought but all day I’ve been feeling guilty about it and think I’ll pass it on to someone else.  Eventually he left and I went back to work. Unbelievably I was finished by 11.30 am. I got changed into jeans though left the dressing gown on. Oops, the door went and it was one of the wardens come for a Friday chat. How I wished I’d got fully dressed. She chatted for a while and then said her goodbyes. I had my lunch and watched my Bargain Hunt.

At 1.00 pm I went back to work and by 2.30 pm was again up to date. I finished getting dressed and went out to the Post Office with my cards for foreign climes and also picked up 20 second class stamps for my home cards as there’s plenty of time for them. I had to offer to hire myself out as a ‘giggle Oh’ in order to pay for them. It was coppers short of £25.00. I’m sure it would be cheaper to hand deliver myself to Australia and the U.S. Back at home I started bringing myself back up to date when I must have nodded off for a moment or three. It was 4.05 pm and I had to go like the clappers if I wanted to finish by 4.30 pm. Wishful thinking, but I was out for the start of a quiz at 5.00 pm. Mike texted to say he was on his way back at that time so I expected him to be here for Eggheads at 6.00 pm. He wasn’t. Maybe the airport had him circling because the runways were busy. At 6.30 pm when I usually go for a shower I had another text saying he was getting himself something from the chippie, would I like something? My willpower was bad ( as was my memory as I’d had chips at lunchtime) so I asked for just chips. I thought he was round the corner at our chippie and would be minutes. No, he arrived at 7.05 pm because he’d been at the shop in Holywell and parking was awful since it was the turning on of the Christmas lights. Damn, I’d missed Santa and his reindeer. So, I had my chips, washed my plate and decided to go for my shower. Mike finished up and came through to wash my hair for me, I showered and went through to watch Mastermind. I know I saw the end of that which would have been 8.30 pm but that was it until almost 9.00 pm. There was a programme on about tiger cubs in the house which I had about 15 minutes of and then I decided to come and do battle with the post. 122 messages. It’s a late one again despite tomorrow being shopping day. By 11.30 pm I’d given up in disgust as messages wouldn’t load quickly and wouldn’t cancel at all. I’ve done about 3 in an hour. Time to turn off now and have a short read.

Saturday.

I finally figured it out. Somnos is holding one of those competitions like ‘How many peas in the jar’ or ‘Guess the baby’s name’ up there only he’s taking bets on the nearest guess to the time I’ll get up between 3.00 am and 5.00 am. I’m pretty sure he’s cheating though and picking a time between those guessed. It was 4.21 am again this morning. I was a bit tired and niggly because of the computer problems last night, yesterday daytime and the day before. I pai a visit to the loo and then with fingers crossed sat at the computer. I’m here to tell you now that it’s just possible crossed fingers don’t work. Today at least I could work on emails but they took an epoch to load and whenever I deleted one I’d get a message to say a problem had occurred. I therefore spend from 4.30 am to 6.30 am working on just yesterday’s mail. Needless to say I won’t be needing the services of a barber in future because I pulled the hair out by the roots. Despite the frustration I felt and the stress of being behind I still stopped at 6.30 am to get dressed and then go through to see to the fish. I refused to meet any google eyes today as I knew they had a nice surprise compliments of their Uncle Mike a little later and I didn’t want it dragging out of me. I took my meds. put the kettle on for Mike an made myself a coffee in the machine.

I didn’t hear Mike’s alarm go off so I assume it happened while the kettle was boiling and deafening me. I placed his drink on the bedside table and woke him to let him know it was there. Time then to start getting the bin bags together to go out. After I’d emptied my bedroom bin and taken it through to the kitchen to add to the bigger waste bag I took that and the food waste out. When I came back in  Mike hadn’t moved so I called out not to let his coffee go cold. Surprisingly there was an answer and it wasn’t something ending in …off!  He asked if his alarm had gone off. I said I hadn’t heard it but that I assumed so. Before he could come back with a rejoinder to cut me down I just told him the time.”Oh” he said and he moved. By the time I’d taken out the recycling bags he was in the lounge. Guess what, he was gaming again. He even does it with the TV on now, I’m hooking him up to Gamers Anonymous soon. Ten minutes after we should have left he wasn’t even dressed but once I swore to remove his supply of sweets he shifted.

When we reached ASDA I was expecting scenes of carnage rather than the orderly little queue I found there for Black Saturday. They hadn’t even given out all the discount vouchers before they closed the door as no-one was waiting. Meanwhile back at the main door we were going in to be met by trolleys coming out filled with 32″ and 50″ TV’s as well as kiddies toys. After we’d bought Ju’s flowers we strolled in the direction of the discounted stuff and there was a lot left. Obviously good behaviour were the watchwords of the day. I was very restrained much to Mike’s surprise. We did the shopping in quite good time and went for a coffee. From there tit was time to head for Flint. I needed a couple more shops including the pet shop to pick up something to tie in with Uncle Mike’s gift. That done we went for a coffee with Ceri, Kyle and the other Temptations gang. Mike likes his banter. When Ceri mentioned the heat from her drink had made the crumpet in her mouth swell he called out “I bet that’s not the first time you’ve said that” to which she agreed while choking with laughter.

By the time we got home it was 12.45 pm so we decided to dump the shopping until later and head straight off to dinner. It took us a while to travel to The Ivy but we were both pleased we did. Tariq is opening up another room for the various gifts sold there and the rooms were connected by an open fireplace . Very clean lines with an electric fire between them. It was making good progress. We had hugs from Tariq and kisses from Angie. Nods and a greeting from Rob because we haven’t trained him in Hugs yet. Angie made our drinks while we perused the menu. Mike had a beef Masala and I had a breakfast without the horrible potato thingy and no toast but with the addition of some chips so it was now a brunch.

Leaving there left no time to go on elsewhere as the panic had built up nicely now. When we got home I was going to attack the work straight away but Mike needed a hand at the tank first. He’d brought a new exterior pump and some tubing, I had bought  Y junction and he set up a much bigger curtain of air across the interior back wall of the tank. Maybe I should get some coloured lights next? After that I set to. Things had changed from this morning. The cancelled messages stayed dead and the speed of loading was great. One thing I noticed though was that my link to Google translate had disappeared. Strange. I worked from 3.30 pm to 6.00 pm and managed to catch to to 3.30 pm when I started. I had to take a break so joined Mike until 8.30 pm when he moaned at being left alone, but not too much. At 8.30 pm I came back and things were still OK so I had the chance to catch up until it was time to start the blog. Fingers crossed all is now OK.

Have a Great New Week everyone. Hugs to all.

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Pebbledash Sneeze & UnChristmas Coat

Sunday 9th November 2014

I managed to wake at 1.45 am and had a brief but fruitful conversation with young Somnos. My side of the conversation was very succinct and consisted of two words the second of which was OFF! after which I got back into bed. My second encounter with the morning was at 4.03 am and I decided not to to argue that one in case a ridiculous revenge was visited upon me like making me get up after Mike and miss my lunch. Anyway, I knew I’ have enough to keep me occupied until he did get up. I went on a bladder excavation and then started on the mail. I was working very well and the level was going down when I opened one entitled My New Friend. The woman named herself and left me in no doubt as to what she’s do if I would like to respond to her. I’m basically very shy, it threw out of my head the beautiful ( and unfortunately unbelievable ) dream of last night  and left me declaring I would henceforth be halibut, you know, that’s when priests declare they’re giving up sex but it all seems a bit fishy. That message had to go ‘toot sweet’ ( yes Missus, I do know how to spell it really).

Since there was no chance Michael would be up early since he’d been still watching TV during my altercation with Somnos I went through to the kitchen at 7.00 am to take care of things in there. When the kitchen light went on I could see some movement in the tank but wasn’t sure who it was until the tank light was turned on. It was the plecs and they appeared to be playing tag with each other. One would dash up, touch another who would then fly off leaving the first one settled in place. I don’t know whether Big Al had witnessed and been wearied by this but he was in his corner just casting baleful looks in my direction it was as though he was reminding me who’s fault all this was. Not all change is good those piggy eyes said. Little Al was running rings round Sharkey who was out this morning and didn’t seem inclined to hide. Either that ot Little Al was stopping him from doing so. I like to think that maybe he’s realised I’m not a threat. Anyway, he’s no angel ( since they’re much bigger) as I’ve seen him darting in and pushing the plecs off the glass before now. Throughout this the two Siamese fighters just strutted their stuff and looked glamorous, a little like Those Spanish ladies in costume who play the castanets. Flamingoes.

Having decided there was no malice aforethought and it was just some form of playtime I left them to their own devices. Time to make my morning drug deal- I’ll take you as long as you don’t make me throw up, then a coffee which naturally you know I took back to the bedroom. It was almost 8.00 am now and getting much lighter though you wouldn’t be able top tell from my room as the curtains haven’t been opened since the Boer War I don’t think. If I lean to the right from my office chair I can see he light coming through the front door. Time to start shutting it at night maybe? If I lean further to the right I fall out of the chair.                                        There were some nice comments waiting about last night’s blog. Cheques in the post today girls. You might get them for Christmas though I’m not sure which year. I apologise up front that because of my pecuniary position I had to post-date them to 2025. I was doing really well with the post and almost up to date, although I hadn’t refreshed, when Mike appeared at 9.45 am. I made him a drink and came back to finish off quickly and to check a couple of items on ebay. ( Watches, me? Whatever makes you think that?). I let the machine sleep and went through to join Mike  who hadn’t gone to sleep until 3.30 am he told me.

We’d been talking a while when Mike asked if I’d like to take a trip to Rhyl to find something, then call in at a shop in Prestatyn for some sweets I wanted before going for lunch. I jumped at the chance as I wanted the something for Tuesday when I was seeing Yvonne. We both went to get dressed and I was glad I’d decided last night what I would wear today. Mike having much smaller clothes was quicker than me! It was about 11.00 am when we left and about 11.40 am when we arrived in Rhyl. In less than half an hour I’d got what I wanted , paid bail and gone back and paid for the object and we were on our way to Prestatyn.  By 1.00 pm we’d been round the shop there and made sure I’d remembered to pay for the sweets and were off to lunch. Naturally I hadn’t brought sweets out for the Ivy so had bought some in the same shop. It wasn’t far to go and we were there a few minutes later.  Tariq was serving someone so I placed the sweets on the counter and went to our table to get my coat off. As soon as the customer moved away Tariq started on our drinks. Angie said hello as she came through carrying some meals. Tariq brought the drinks and had a hug. Angie asked if we’d decided and I was able to say we had and we were both having the hotpot. I took my pre-meal tablet and waited.

It was only fifteen minutes before two piping hot bowls of hotpot arrived with some pickled beetroots and some pieces of bread. The only thing missing was a beautiful thick suet crust, still that would have been spoiling us, or me anyway since Mike’s never had it. Even the potatoes are done a different way in his part of Manchester. It was wonderful and clung to my ribs. I was almost tempted to ask for a bowl to take home for lunch tomorrow. We left and were home by 2.15 pm when Mike had to set off to his Dad’s. That left me to come through and start work again. I was tired. A combination of being up early and the wonderful lunch so I didn’t get as much work done as I wanted. At 5.30 pm I gave up and went through to the lounge for a while. I had some toast for my tea then allowed my eyes to close. It was 7.50 pm before they opened again. Ready to go into battle I came back through and started. It was really slow so I closed it and re-opened it. Oops, that was a big mistake. Nothing came through. It’s been very frustrating trying to deal with it through my other account again.

At 9.30 pm I almost died. I’d just put my tablets in my mouth when I suddenly wanted to sneeze. On the indrawn breath it drew in some tablets which decided to lodge there. When the sneeze finally came before I choked to death, I pebbledashed the kitchen wall. There was a foul taste from half melted tablets in my mouth and I had to go and start all over again. Since then I’ve been trying to get on top of the mail before the next batch of mail comes through. It’s going to be a late one.

The wonder of Fireworks.

The wonder of Fireworks.

Monday.

I think young Somnos must have been out last night tying fireworks to donkey’s tails with his equally obnoxious pals since I slept until 5.06 am this morning. The need to remove some water from behind the dam before it burst was paramount but it seemed a fair exchange for an unbroken sleep.I started work on the mail. There wasn’t much I’d missed last night but there was plenty from the early hours where my friends in the American Colonies keep such strange hours. King George really needs to speak to the Governors about that, perhaps reduce the amount of candlepower allowed to restrict these emails sent out. I’m sure the dark confuses the pigeons anyway.

At 6.30 am I went through to see to the fish and to have some breakfast. I wanted to allow myself plenty of time to get dressed before Pauline comes otherwise she may think me a rake remaining in my dressing gown at that time of the day. Today it was Sharkey who was being annoying chasing the plecs and Morecambe and Wise away from his imagined feeding grounds. Big Al and Little Al were relaxing quietly in a corner next to one another. I was glad of that, anything to be away from his scrutiny. I dropped some food in and scooted before the feeding frenzy started. First job, take a pre-meal tablet, them sprays followed by the rest of my morning tabs. Then, using a cigarette as a timer wait until it’s time to put the toast in. I call it toast but in reality it’s more like doorsteps today and  I had to force the jaws f the toaster further apart to accommodate it. When it came out beautifully golden brown I slathered it with butter and ate it hot. Then it was time to try and swallow the two torpedoes I take after my meals. I managed it eventually. Mike thinks it’s hilarious how long I have to swill them round in my mouth before I can swallow. He watches both to see if I can create a new record over 18 seconds.

I took the rest of my coffee back to the bedroom and just did a few more messages before I realised it was 8.10 am so I had to fly to get ready. Cricketing slacks and a nice brown shirt Pauline had ironed last week ( to show her the work wasn’t wasted ) then a cardigan. I just fitted a very studious expression before she arrived at 8.30 am. She asked if I’d like her to finish the ironing from last week to which I replied “That would be nice” knowing there was no chance or even less. I think she may have stayed there for an hour or so before I heard her start polishing and then hoovering in the lounge. She left at 10.20 am and I  found four shirts, 3 pairs of pyjama trousers and 2 teeshirts. On a different teeshirt the picture was disintegrating so she gave up, but a fair bit was left on the ironing board. Some of that was transferred to the front of my shirt ,I found. Oh well, nothing broken. I’d stayed in the bedroom while she worked so only saw her as she came and went really. I’m less comfortable with her than I was with my dream woman of Saturday night. I worked until 11.30 am and then went in search of my lunch. It was while I was watching my antiques show that I noticed my repeat prescription request on the table and knew I’d have to go out today after all.

As soon as the show was over and I’d washed the pots I got my shoes and coat on and took a walk to the chemist. There’s a little slot in the counter for requests so I don’t normally have to talk to anyone but today one of the girls called to ask me how I was. I’ve known them so long I don’t usually have a problem but today I was afraid he subject might come up of the note on the bottom of my scrip about making a new appointment for the chest clinic and also one for a review with the doctor. Luckily it didn’t come up and I got away with just a few stutters. Back at home about 1.20 pm I started work again and calmed down. Before I knew it I was waking up with a real neck ache to find it was 3.35 pm and I knew I’d better get a move on. The trouble was, the mail had kept coming while I slept and was now a full sack. A vanncame and delivered a parcel for Mike which must be the watches he’d won that were coming from Mumbai. Well behaved I left it intact on his bed. Back to work I was flying through them till I came across one titled from Mrs Sekina Oka. I suspect the brain should have given it away but the bad neck was blocking signals.

Dear Friend,
Greetings to you and your family.
My name is Mrs Sekina Oka, the current Chief Auditor of a formidable bank here in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa. I have a transaction worth of 12.5 Million U.S dollars for transferring into your care for our mutual benefits, so  i need your assistance with 100% cooperation to realise this task. 
Further details about the fund, its source and the administrative procedure to transfer this fund into your receiving bank account shall be made known to you immediately as I have your positive response.
Thanks and Regards,
Mrs Sekina Oka.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The first thing I note is that they’re no longer giving the name of a Bank they work for. Second is that there is no telephone number anymore to ring and confirm the person’s identity. Maybe they finally understand that we’re not likely to be accepting confirmation of ID via a mobile phone. Though maybe they got confussed doing that with the number of identities they have. Either the same idiots are contacting me time after time in the hopes of wearing me down or it’s as I said that everyone there is a crook. The only other alternative is they have banks as every other building, have the most rich accounts in the world which will upset Geneva and they have very bad luck with their customer’s  health.
Amazingly at 4.25 pm I was doing quite well and only left a dozen or so as I went through to watch TV. First of all I just put the washing machine on. I had antiques until 6.00 pm then Eggheads. I put the washing on to dry and then went back to work. As usual I had both accounts open as some people write to me in one account only an in my main account, some messages aren’t shared. So,  I’d be pleased and think I was getting to the end of my main account only to find mail in the secondary and vice versa. I seemed to be almost keeping pace but not quite. At 9.00 pm I went through to empty the drier and to fold the items that were now dry. A bag of quavers called to me with a very sultry voice and my knees just went weak. I had to indulge, and very tasty they were too.
The forecast for tomorrow is awful so I sent Yvonne a text to see what she wanted to do. She said it would be OK if I wanted to give it a miss almost as though she knew that I’m taking a new coat through and the camera which we’ll argue about. I think I just need to wear a good coat but maybe go round to the house rather than meet them for shopping. We’ll see what it’s like in the morning. I think I’ve done as much as I want to for tonight so I’ll just finish here, have one last go at the mail and wish you all Good Night.
Bright eyeson the chair 2
Tuesday.
With approximately 4 hours sleep under my belt, not that I wear one to bed, I jerked awake at 5.03 am today. I was annoyed as I felt there had been a pleasant dream of some sort last night but couldn’t bring anything to mind. I’m sure it was nothing as spectacular as Saturday night’s dream but in 60 plus years I’m sure there hasn’t been one like that before. It occurs to me as I go to relieve myself that I’m not usually aware of dreaming though the experts tell us we all dream. I hear all the talk about REM and though I like Everybody Hurts, I’m not sure why they’re the subject of scientific studies.
As usual I settled down to work on my mail and immediately found that the silly season is open again. One mail from Jacob ‘Jack’ Lew at the U.S. Dept of the Treasury tells me I’ve been awarded $500,000.00 as compensation annually given out to victims of scams. Considering I’m not a U.S. citizen and have never been caught by a scam I think that’s remarkably generous. Of course I have to pay something for a receipt and also have to provide my bank details…………Dream On.     There were 5, yes FIVE, different messages about the benefits of working from home and the vast amounts of money to be made for working approx 3 seconds a day , 2 days a year up to one day a week for ten years and never again. At that time I’d be living on my yacht.                                                                                                                          The day wouldn’t be complete without an auditor in a bank in ‘guess where’ writing to inform me that my name is the same as that of a deceased and family-less customer of the bank who was a prudent soul saving for a rainy day. Well it poured and he drowned. Would I like 40% of £18,000,000.00 for pretending to be him. Actually, I’d like the 60% since I’m the one technically committing fraud. The rest of my post was normal and so pleasant to deal with.
Since I was going out this morning it was easier to go through to the kitchen at 6.00 am . The fish came first naturally and all seemed quiet though Big Al was in the front corner where I was with his face pushed up to the glass like he was listening to me. The least I could do was mutter a few endearments and hope my voice was soothing enough to ensure him of my future service friendship. Today of all days peace should reign. I fed them and turned to take my tabs. I decided to have breakfast this morning to hold me in case we didn’t go for lunch. It was only a slice of toast but since it was about 3″ thick it should hold me. Time then to get dressed. The forecast for here was cloudy all day and for Chester light showers so I could wear my black leather jacket to go out and be smart beneath it. That sorted I returned to the mail.As 7.25 am came round I was only a dozen or so away from completion so didn’t feel too bad about leaving them. Picking up my bag with Yvonne’s gifts I left the house and started walking through the wet, knee high clouds towards the bus stop. Just over half way there the bus pulled up next to me to save me the rest of the walk. I appreciated that.
I did a fair bit of nodding off on the bus and the pot holes made sure I did a fair bit of waking up again too. Eventually though we pulled into Chester at 8.45 am and I could see Yvonne waiting for me. She was trying to direct Reuben’s attention towards me but he didn’t actually notice me until I got quite close. I was chuffed to see a huge smile split his face and his arm came up and pointed. The shop wasn’t open yet where we go for a drink so we took a walk round the new Pound World shop that’s opened. I was amazed recently to find them selling a tablet called Disprin Direct which up until now I’ve only been able to get from a chemist and at a lot more than £1 too. I value them as a top up painkiller but also because they are chewable it’s easy to keep some in a pocket in case of headaches and there being no water available. They actually taste nice as well. By the time I’d got what I wanted ( and Yvonne even more, sorry Ugo ) the shop we wanted was open so we headed there and ordered drinks. I go Reuben out of his pushchair and sat him with me until Yvonne had some jam on toast for him.
Breakfast done and mess cleaned up, I handed Yvonne the bag.”What’s this” she asked.  “You told me I couldn’t buy you a coat for Christmas so this is an unChristmas present. The video camera is your unbirthday present. You now can’t complain I’ve gone against what you said” I replied.  “It looks lovely, but maybe you can give me a coat for Christmas after all then” she tried.  “Wonderful, I’ll look for one as I go downstairs” was my retort. ” I meant this one” she cried. She hasn’t lived long enough to bandy words with me! We did have a look round the store which is quite big but I didn’t get anything there. We did a few more shops each time adding shopping to the handle of the pushchair so if she let go Reuben would be catapulted out. We’d just gone into the supermarket for bread when 11.00 am arrived. The whole shop went into a hush apart from one child who was singing at the top of her voice and Reuben who was chunnering and blowing raspberries for Britain. Makes you wonder where to put your face. Well, Yvonne’s face actually as I beat a hasty retreat and didn’t know them until the silence was over. I do find the memory of all those who gave their lives in order that mine should be so much easier is very emotional. I really don’t understand why mankind as inventive as it is hasn’t found a way to ensure a peace yet. Why are we so good at creating weaponry?
The light showers in Chester seemed to be rather heavy like someone left the tap on. With so much shopping and with getting wet, I suggested Yvonne take Reuben home early so she has plenty of time to prepare for work. We hugged and separated about 12.30 pm and I wound my way towards the bus stop (via the loo). I walked through the market precinct and saw one of my favourite shops had opened there and a very interesting looking one looked set to open anytime. I’ll be heading there next week. From the loo to the bus stop. I had time for a ciggie before it arrived. I was back in Greenfield at 2.00 pm and had just unpacked he bread when Bert knocked with a parcel for me. Something I’ve been looking forward to seeing. Looks pretty good too though I need to get something straightened. For lunch I had some soup with crusty bread and butter before starting work. Oh horror, 181 messages between the two sites. I worked till 4.25 pm then watched my antique show, I must remind myself I’m vintage not antique. Back here at 5.15 pm until 6.00 pm then again at 6.30 pm. That’s my viewing for the day. By 9.45 one batch was clear though more was coming in all the time. I’m going to have to find a way to thin things out a bit. At 10.30 pm I stopped to do this and will resume shortly at 11.15 pm. Wish me luck.
cafe fun 3
cafe fun 5
Playing lip tunes, he’s much better than me.                                                                                   That was fun Pops.
Wednesday.
3.41 am today. I think it’s worth repeating in case you didn’t read it the first time. 3.41 am. I hadn’t got to bed until 3.42 am and yet I felt fresh (ish) and was almost raring to go. To the loo that is, at this rate I’ll be going for a wee before I even feel the urge soon. I slipped my dressing gown on and sat at my desk, turned it on
( with a smile) and waited for the mail to appear. In the minus one minute of sleep I had none of you had stopped writing but at first glance there were no nutters there at least. There was a nice steady flow or more normal than usual mail to keep me going. By 6.00 am I was approaching equilibrium though I hadn’t refreshed the screen and I hadn’t ventured into my second account either. Since the boy are due tonight for games I decided my two meals today would be breakfast and lunch and breakfast had better take place NOW!
I went through to the kitchen and found the light wouldn’t work. I was worried about the tank too as I couldn’t hear the pump. Checking the lounge the light were off there too. It had to be a circuit so I grabbed my stepladders, opened the front door and went out to the electrical cupboard. Then I came back in for a torch and went out again. It didn’t take long to find the culprit that had slipped. I put it on again and went back in. The lights worked again as I proved by having Blackpool Illuminations indoors. More importantly the pump in the tank was now working, not that the fish seemed at all bothered when I turned the tank light on. I did find out that Sharkey, small as he is, is a bully though as I watched him nipping at the tails of anyone who crossed his path. Even Big Al and his enforcers weren’t that bad. I fed them and left them to it after a good telling off for Sharkey of course.
I took  my meds and slipped some crusty bread in the toaster. Despite the toaster spitting it out charred at the edges and rather pale but interesting in the centre it was rather nice. I had to go for a wash then as my moustache was dripping butter. My coffee accompanied me to the desk where I refreshed the screen (ouch) and opened my gmail account. It took me until 9.15 am to get clear after which I got dressed and took a walk to Pauline’s for some bread, a card, a magazine and some white sticks in packets. I came home in time for the postman to drop a letter from Virgin off telling me I’ve earned £30 off my next phone and a catalogue with 80% off the goods.I sat and had a read for half an hour without my eyes ever leaving the front cover. Then I woke up, refreshed the mail and started work again. I was clear enough by 11.45 am to go make a start on lunch. A small beef joint, mashed spud and mixed veg today. As usual I watched my usual lunchtime programme then heard a noise and found the window cleaners were here. Today I waited for someone to knock to collect the money.  I’d just settled down when there was another knock. It was my dealer, he handed the drugs over which I turned an placed on the console table until I’d signed for them. I took the pen and was just starting to remember my name when the drugs took a flying leap off the table and deposited themselves outside the bag all over the hall floor. I signed, thanked him and with a huge sigh turned round to start the clear up.  No packets had opened at least.
Job done I came back to the computer and then thinking about a parcel I knew was coming separately, I thought I’d have a look on screen to see if it had been posted. I was quite cross to see there was a note to say they were waiting for the manufacturer to get new stocks of material in January. Not much good for a Christmas present so I emailed them to see if I can cancel it and choose another one. My second choice does say In Stock, though I’m fairly sure the first choice said that too. No answer so far. I worked until 4.30 pm then went to watch the third day of my  Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is challenge. The experts had to buy from a car boot fair this time. One of the two is generating huge profits which will be going to charity. Once it was over at 5.15 pm there was no point in going back to work as my brother and nephew could arrive at any time.  I left a quiz on so I could hear it if I was in the kitchen. I saw them approach at 5.30 pm so I started making their drinks as they came in and settled to answer a few quiz questions. As soon as the quiz was over we set to putting the table up and getting the Yahtzee out. TV went off to remove the distractions . It was another night of honours even, each winning two games though I suspect Dil might have won overall if we’d accumulated the scores. The ratbag had 3 Yahtzees in one game.
Nomination Whist came next and after the first couple of hands where I didn’t get a look in everything went my way and I finished on 197 whilst the nearest to me wasn’t even on 150. It was no time to get complacent though as we finished on Crazy 8’s and obviously there was some vengeance to be had, and how it was had. On the first hand I finished with just 12 points. On the second hand I was made to pick up 16 cards by these devils incarnate as Dil played his last card. The third hand I was beginning to wonder how many 7’s were in the pack as I constantly seemed to be picking up 2 cards and my final score took me to something like 170. We only got to play the last hand because their play was so vicious as you could tell by the sniggers that yet again at the end my score was in excess of 100 taking me well over the 300 limit. Dil was going home victorious. Dil suggested Matt didn’t complain or he’d be dropped at the bus stop with just half the fare, and it’s a very long walk. It was 9.30 pm and time for them to go. There had as always been a lot of laughter for me during the evening. Once I’d closed the door behind them I tidied up and came through to work on the mail. There was plenty of it. It’s now 11.30 pm and I need to go back to finish a few more.
kiss 2 USEAll smiles 1
Pops gets a kiss.                                                                                                                                          Happy little foodster.
Thursday.
I’m not 100% sure what time I woke up but I do know I lay there trying to get back to sleep for a while. I admitted defeat and swung my legs out of bed at 3.30 am on the dot. The only reason I skipped to the loo was because it was cold so I was glad I’d put my dressing gown on. First job, turn the heating up. I started on my mail and by 6.30 am I’d done everything up to the 3.30 am  mark and by 7.30 am ( sorry fish) had managed up to the 6.30 am mark.At this rate by 8.30 am I’d be in credit and could take the day off. At 7.30 am I did the fish tank and found Big Al’s looks of anger seemed to have turned to looks of pleading and maybe even some acceptance so maybe Little Al has worn him down for me. I’m not sure what to do about Sharkey though except maybe rename him Nipper. Luckily he doesn’t seem to be doing any damage. More bark than bite I hope.
I saw to my meds and decided I didn’t want breakfast. Instead of going back through to my room straight away I sat in the lounge for a while just watching it get lighter. I wanted to get lighter with it but it wasn’t working today. I had the grumps. Eventually I went back through. Before starting the mail again I got dressed partly hoping I’d be warmer and partly because I knew I’d have to go out to the post box at some stage. Once ready I could address the mail again ( not that it needed addressing as it had already arrived). I was puzzled. Yesterday I’d had a new follower and as usual I’d gone to check the followers blog and found it to be far to religious for my tastes. This morning I had some new followers too and I found that two of those were also what I’d call ultra-religious in that it seemed to be the only subject on their blogs. Does someone feel I need saving and has set their watchdogs on me? I wrote to one to apologise for not following back and explaining why, which led to me thinking that maybe if I explain my reasons for not following back in an open message, maybe some people wouldn’t feel the need to follow me. I have had a tendency to follow back those people who follow me with very few exceptions. I don’t care for blogs with excessive bad language, too much religion, sado-masochism. bondage and too much descriptive sex ( the latter makes my knees quiver). We all have our personal choices. I’m no saint by any means but I prefer to let my imagination work for me and with language there’s no need to substitute the beauty of English with the same ‘effin’ words all the time. By the time I’d written the post it was time to go out.
After the post box I called in at Pauline’s for my lottery tickets. I specifically requested she sell me the winner and she agreed. I also bought a large Thornton’s chocolate reindeer and a quickie bing meal for lunchtime. Coming home I found the postman had left me a new gift catalogue but I’m not going to tempt myself by opening it. I set back to work on the mail again. Lots of responses to my new post and I was (am) so grateful that it’s all been supportive of my choice or at least of my right to choose. There were even a couple of ‘likes’ from unlikely quarters. By lunch time I was up to date and managed to skive off for an hour without nodding off. I spent a little time on ebay in the afternoon and promptly nodded off over the keyboard so I had a real pain in the neck when I woke. I worked till 4.30 pm then watched my shows and returned here at 6.30 pm. I made a mental note to watch a programme on the Holy Grail at 8.00 pm if my mailbox allowed. It did, as I managed to catch up just in time. It was a very interesting programme with the consensus of opinion that the most likely candidate was in Seville in Spain. One piece that fascinated me though was about a family that claimed descent in the 19thC from the one who brought a grail of Mary Magdalene over here. It had been used to collect the blood of Jesus on the cross. It seemed with no heirs the last owner had created a book of clues as to it”s whereabouts. It referred to a red castle which existed, a high rock which also existed and upon the rock an arch which also existed. Then you were supposed to get beneath the arch and under it which seemed unlikely. However a way was found and there was a Roman copper mine under the hill with a chamber below the arch. In the chamber , the stone figure of an eagle minus the head. The story goes someone decided to have the statue in their garden and as they tried to winch it the head came off. Inside was a small egg cup looking object. No-one thought anything of it. In the local church endowed by this last guardian were four stained glass windows one of which depicted Mary Magalene and above her head was the picture of an eagle. The man who had followed the clues took the TV presenter ( and us) on his journey and also showed us the ‘egg cup’ which he had from the family of the man who discovered it. It’s green alabaster and has been proved to date from the time of Jesus and is a scent bottle minus it’s lid. Just as a little aside they showed a similar green pot on the table in Da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Incidentally, despite me not being religious, I”m not about to deny the history of the people actually existing. And, knowing how the Jews would have expected Jesus to marry before he was 30 I’ve often wondered how important Mary Magdalene’s role was.   Here endeth the lesson.
Back to work after my interlude and I’m trying to catch up.Mike is due about 11.00 pm….typical, he just arrived, as he’s going to see his Dad tomorrow . He’s got a chest infection and doesn’t want to see the doctor. Mike will have a job on his hands. I must go and see to a drink for him, excuse me.
Friday.
Up at 5.39. Felt low, worked on emails. No rubbish encountered.
Fed fish at 7.00 am, I was not attacked. Did drugs for week then took coffee through and carried on working.
Got Mike up at 9.00 am to get ready to go to father’s. He left at 10.00 am. Postman delivered small package.
Couldn’t be bothered getting dressed so just carried on working until 12.10 pm. Watched antiques show and stayed awake.
Returned to work at 1.00 pm and stayed until 4.00 pm when I went through and fell asleep in my chair. Still managed to see my programmes.
6.30 pm took a shower, fish no longer holding their noses.
Worked until 8.00 pm then watched Mastermind.
Returned to work at 8.30 pm but stopped when Mike returned at 9.30 pm so I could catch up on his news. Poor lad’s had a baddish day so I made him a coffee and we chatted and also found ourselves making some changes to his family tree. No, it’s not his secret children suddenly appearing it’d additions of names to great grandparents. It was 11.00 pm before I got back to work but I did catch up in the end and here we are almost ready for bed. Well I am, he’s back on the watches on Ebay I think.
Saturday.
4.54 am and I woke up stiff ( settle down you lot at the back there) It was because my head was hanging out of bed as though I were waiting to catch raindrops in my mouth, and my mouth was wide enough that I’d have caught a lot. There are times I’m glad I sleep alone as I must have looked a right sight. Righting myself I got up and went to the bathroom. It wasn’t too warm this morning and I shivered. I’ll have to alter the time on the heating again and turn it up to 20 degrees.
I managed to finish so much mail last night there was no pressure this morning which was just as well ‘cos I’m not sure I was fully compost mental. So by the time 6.30 approached I was able to get dressed and then go through to see to the fish. As I turned the light on Big Al came to a position halfway up the tank and just floated in place scowling at me. I promise I’ve done nothing wrong, well, at least not since the last time I’m sure and that was intended to be kind and give him company. All the others got on with doing what they do best, swimming and looking very decorative or cleaning the bottom of the tank of algae for me. I put a little food in and left them to it trying my best to ignore Big Al. I think he’s just a grumpy old man. I put some water in the kettle and in my coffee machine then took my meds. I turned the kettle on and then went round emptying bins ready to take all the bins and bags out for emptying.As I came back to the kitchen the kettle clicked off and I hear Mike’s alarm start to go.
I also heard another sound. At first I thought the air pump in the tank was working overtime and about to fail but then I realised the sound was coming from inside the washing machine. This puzzled me as the machine was off. Anyway, I took Mike’s coffee through as he turned the alarm off (finally). As I told him the drink was there I got a grunt in return so I came away and brought my drink through to the bedroom to do a little more work. First I took the recycling bags to the front path. I had turned round to come back when Bert opened a window to ask if my water was off. It clicked with me that the mystery sound had been the water draining. I made sure Bert had enough for his needs and came back in. As I did so I almost keeled over in shock. A wraith was haunting the lounge, it looked faintly like Mike but come on be serious, it’s only 7.10 am and I haven’t been through to remind him yet. By heavens, IT IS Mike, who’d believe it? What’s more, he got dressed ultra quickly and we were out of the house by 7.30 am. Not for my benefit I hasten to add, but so he was able to use the loo in the Supermarket and have hot water on tap
( or, to hand, whichever makes you groan the most).
When we arrived, Mike lit two cigarettes as he still has the policy of not smoking in the car though he is weakening. He went to get a trolley while I went to the cash machine. As I was drawing the cash Mike was waving a thumbs up gesture from the trolley park. I called “The man from Del Barclay, he say yes” so he’d know we wouldn’t be on tinned beans again. We finished the ciggies and went in at which point Mike departed for the loo and left me to get my potatoes and Ju’s flowers before catching me up on the clothes aisle where there was a sale on. I managed to find a couple of excellent gifts. Finished Christmas shopping? Yes, I know I said I had done but you know how it is, there’s always something else you see. We thought we were whizzing round the store but after the coffee we found ourselves no earlier than usual despite the early start. And, as I was leaving the stoe I saw some great clothes for Reuben so………
We started heading for Flint when we were coming towards an Aldi. Mike asked If I wanted to go in but before I’d properly formed an answer we were past it. He went up a side road and doubled back on himself coming out close by and shot across the road. Would you believe it, a Sale and there I found a couple extra gifts. Oh, you thought I’d finished now for sure. Well, I’m sure I’m close. We went into he retail park and visited our favourite shops then went for a coffee. Ceri had a big smile for us and Kyle just started doing the drinks as usual and asked if we wanted teasted toecakes. Silly question. Mike had a laugh with Ceri until it got too busy then we left for home to unpack the bags.
I spent some time catching up on mail once the shopping was stored. The water was back on but filthy and we’d seen Dwr Cymru (Welsh Water) working on the road as we’d come home so I’m guessing a burst main. I found myself struggling a bit with this batch of mail and the next thing I new it was 1.15 pm and despite the teasted toecake I was hungry. I put a jar of Quality Street in my pocket and we set off for the Ivy. As we pulled into the car park who should pull in behind us but Tariq who’d been home for some tools to stick some new bars up at the window. He assured us it was to keep burglars out and not customers in. We let him get back to work and went in to say hello to everyone. Well, we would have done had anyone been there. Mike did a heavy handed rendition of tubular bells of the little counter bell, designed to have Angie steaming. She came through from the kitchens, saw who it was and tutted as if to say she expected no better.
Angie started making our drinks and asked if we knew what we were eating. By this time we’d both seen the menu, I wasn’t going to have bacon for a change  (Shock, Horror) and the Hotpot from last weekend was no longer on the men so someone had been round with a damp cloth. We both decided on gammon steaks with all the trimmings and believe me when they came they were sublime. Tariq came in and sat with us for a while. He’s not well and it’s quite worrying. A condition he’s had since young that no-one seems able to diagnose or treat. Mike and I both feel sorry for him as he’s just so active and hates sitting still. After a while we left and headed home to give me chance to get on with the messages if I want a break tonight. Mike thinks I’m ill because I turned down the chance to go to more shops in Prestatyn. I”m really glad I did come home though as I started work at about 2.30 pm and there were well over 100 messages in the box. Buggalugs would normally have been calling for me to go through to give him company before 6.00 pm but football was on and I didn’t hear a peep. I caught up and went through just before 7.00 pm when the football was over and they’re about to pontificate about what did and didn’t happen for the next 6 hours and turned over for some entertainment. I stayed there until 9.00 pm and listened to Mike moan “You usually stay until 10.00 pm” ( I don’t ) as I left the room. I started back in on the maim to a barrage of interruptions from Mike who was popping through and speaking to me in a French accent to entertain/annoy me until he finally came through with my nitro spray and made me take a dose for the pain. It didn’t make him go away though. He remained with me for a ehile, sitting on thenedge of my bed until he was sure I was OK and wasn’t going to agree to go to bed.”My public awaits me” I told him. I don’t know the definition of some of the words he used, though he does understand how close I’ve become to some of you.
Eventually he went back to his TV and let me get on so that I could eventually start the blog. Now we’ve got to the point where I can actually wish you all a goodnight and hope that the new week is the best ever for you all.
Nursery tunnel 1
Nursery tunnel 2
Two pictures from nursery this week.
And just to finish the week, a taste of the Dream Team. The Mamas and the Papas with Monday Monday.

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