Tag Archives: Rob

Sunday

Sunday 26.04.2015

I wonder if life is returning a little more towards normality ( the start of my comic routine Ha!) today. I woke up at 5.24 am after turning my light off about 1.00 am, it felt much more right. Naturally my first port of call was the loo but then I was able to come and turn the infernal machine one. This is day one of my holiday from blogging and dealing with post and already I’m desperate to sign on. Be fair, it’s Sunday, whet’re the chances of Mike getting up and catching me? Oh, you think as high as one in a hundred, ha ha ha. At 7.00 am I took my morning meds and made a coffee then came back to work, by 9.15 am I’d more or less caught up so had a play with ebay. That’s always fun and I found an eyeglass repair kit that Muriel’s looking for. As I’m supposed to be on holiday and taking a week away from the computer I went to sit in the lounge to glance through a magazine but I was twitchy within minutes. I thought there’s a chance he might rise about 10.00 am so I risked until then and went back to the lounge to act innocent. I even turned a youngsters film on part way through to pretend I’d been watching from the beginning. A few twitches and snores but no movement. By 11.00 am I thought he might be dead so I turned the TV up a bit so any haunting wouldn’t disturb me. Bang on cue this apparition appeared. There were moans and groans but no chains.Eventually it spoke ” Mornin’ bro” it said in a voice approaching human.

By the time he’s had a second intravenous coffee he was a little more alert and because his team were p;laying this afternoon we thought we’d get out for lunch and back ASAP so he didn’t miss all the match. We left the house at 12.30 pm and went to the Ivy. Angie was the first one to greet us then Rob and a new youngster called Matt. We were sitting at the table when we saw Tariq for the first time and he was flying through doing some work on some frames.Angie did the drinks while we checked the menu. Mike was dithering between two specials as soon as I’d taken my pre foodie we ordered and went out for a cigarette. When we came back in we say Shirley who we haven’t seen for a long time and then even Shella was out and said hello in passing. We caught everyone today. Once lunch was over Mike had a conversation with Rob about fish and tanks while I paid then we left. He remembered I wanted something from town yesterday and went straight up there instead of going home and I wish we’d been out longer. We got home and he allowed me on the computer ( ebay only, yeah like that’s going to happen) while he watched what was left of the match. The news went from bad to worse as I could tell from the volume of his shouts about the ref being blind. His team lost 3-0 at the end, ouch. I sat with him for a while and fell asleep.

A little after 4.00 pm he decided to go home and woke me up to say goodbye and tell me to go back to sleep again. I said my goodbyes and offered my thanks and the moment he was out of the house I was back on the computer. There were little periods of guilt when I went back to my chair and there were moments of intense tiredness when I struggled to keep my eyes open. I was following a couple of things on ebay though so didn’t want to risk it. I won the one I really wanted. I even watched an Indiana Jones movie on TV till 10.00 pm before coming through for the night. I’ve done the blog as a reserve in case I can’t resist putting one out. But I’m going to get an early night anyway .

Monday.

Well here we are on day 2 of the non-computer holiday. A  3.53 am wake up and get up. A slow amble to the loo as being on holiday means I have all the time in the world. Of course that’s not such a great idea if you really need to go as the latter part of the journey really needs speeding up. That means stubbed toes and phone knocked off console table plus assorted debris from all the local takeaways by which I mean menus and not bits of food. I got back to my room eventually and booted up the computer.It was just for the sake of looking at ebay of course. For some reason there was much less post than usual and that was rattled of by 6.15 am so I went to take my meds and make a coffee.I sat in the lounge and enjoyed watching it get lighter and listening to the birds sing. They could do with a little more emphasis on the bass and maybe follow the conductor a little more closely. They are in the Land of Song after all.

By 7.30 am I was getting twitchy so went and got dressed then sat down at the computer again and read some more of a book I’ve been sent. I had to knock off at 9.00 am to go out. I really needed to get my prescription request in if I’m to stand any chance of getting the drugs tomorrow, even then it’s not a sure thing. I saw my young delivery lady in there while I was dropping the scrip off but we only got to say hello. I dawdled on the way back as the sun was out and it was pleasantly warm. When I got back of course I shut myself away in my room with no natural light to see to whatever messages had come in since I finished earlier. It seemed like a chore and not the usual pleasure so once I’d finished I got very daring and made myself a second coffee and did a little more reading. There was a knock at the door which I assumed was the postman but it was the warden come to give me time off for good behaviour. Don’t worry though, I only got 15 minutes. She was dressed for the sun and I hoped her shift would be over before the rain came. As she departed the postman arrived with a medal I’d ordered for John last week. That’ll please him. I’d much rather it was the leather jacket from China that I ordered for his birthday though.

I stopped for lunch at 11.30 am and put the TV on. I was shocked to find there was no Murder She Wrote, ah well there’s always my Bargain Hunt which I haven’t seen for a while. I took my pre-food tablet and made myself busy doing some bread and butter before I put my cottage pie in the microwave. I was a bit early and saw the end of the last programme as well when lunch was ready. I took the pots through and then settled to watch the auction part of the programme but didn’t get too far before Somnos visited. It was getting on for 2.00 pm when I came too again. Instead of going straight back as usual I checked the other channels and stayed another half an hour. When I finally got my act together it took a while to clear the post that had come in and that from the second email address too. I remembered something I was watching on ebay and wasn’t pleased to see it had ended when the warden had come. If I’d been in here I could have had it for £2.50. Still, no-one else bid on it and it’s gone back on so I hope it gets ignored again and I’m more alert next time. It’s very often the luck of the draw.

I stopped work completely at 5.00 pm and wandered back through to the lounge. I put my quiz on but where I’d normally come back at 6.30 pm I indulged myself and stayed away till 9.00 pm after another Indiana Jones film. Mail till 10.30 pm then the blog after which I’m off to bed to read no matter what the backlog is.I wonder if I can avoid going near it in the morning.

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Tuesday.

I was in bed at 11.40 pm last night and stayed away from the backlog as I’d promised. I only read until 12.30 am and then put out my light. I was soon asleep. It may have been a prompt from my bladder or equally some other reason but I was up again at 3.15 am. After a visit to the loo I could have gone back to bed but the chances are I would not have slept. I checked out ebay and also made some changes on Ancestry.com before I could wait no longer and signed into my mail account. The backlog from last night turned out to be no more than a dozen pieces and they were soon dispensed with. Even doing the normal day’s mail I managed to clear it by 6.15 am and went straight to the kitchen to have something to eat. I was tempted by some Rice Crispies  but after taking my tablets with milk I didn’t want to drink even more and I couldn’t trust myself to stay away from jokes about cereal killers. I stuck with my cold toast- boring. By the time it was done I’d taken my tablets and it was 6.30 am, I had it in the lounge and having disposed of my plate turned the TV onto an old episode of Will and Grace before nodding off for almost an hour.

At 7.25 am I made my way back to the bedroom and got dressed. The sun was shining but it was cold with a breeze. Rain would come. I dealt with some more mail then decided to start reading the next section of the book I’ve been sent. It’s marvelous and despite mentioning a gaming world is not in the least boring, what’s more I found myself not questioning it at all despite it currently being beyond our capabilities. At 9.00 pm I got myself ready to go out. Firstly to the Post Office to send off some information to the DWP (Dept. of Works and Pensions) via recorded delivery so they can’t claim not to have received it as they did twice last year. I had a prepaid envelope and was surprised o see they reduced the cost of my recorded delivery by the amount of the prepay. That I thought was good. Then it was a walk down to Pauline’s. I got my new TV magazine and some fresh bread and a day’s worth of cigarettes as they didn’t have enough of my brand in. I did get an extra 10 for Matt on Wednesday evening. There were still no chips in curry sauce so I’ll have to remember of Saturday to go to the frozen foods place.

I came back home and was disappointed to see there was still no package from China. No tracking number for my misdirected parcel either that went back to the Herpes courier yesterday.Let’s see if they can find me this time. The postman didn’t call at all today so I concentrated on getting my mail up to date and then reading until lunch time. I had to time the lunch right today as there was a programme advertised on Carcasonne and region. Giving the history of the castles as they stand and then a fascinating piece about a village that was found which was certainly Cathar and which had been pulled to the ground after all the residents had been removed. Nothing and no-one had lived there since the Cathars which gave great insight into their way of living. There was also a castle built at the start of the Cathar presence in the Languedoc which only lasted until the Cathars were ousted. I know not what happened to the residents in either place but for the Cathars the choice was usually either recant the faith (Christianity) or be burned. Many chose the latter. The Catholics in some cases just burned whole towns without asking who was what so they may well have killed their own and maybe even Jews and Moors since the Cathars were known to deal with them and share information. The Catholic Church even called this a Crusade.

After lunch I had a little snooze as I’m on holiday. It only lasted 45 minutes but was welcome nonetheless. I came back to start doing some searching on ebay for a few different things. Ebay fascinates me. I sent some more money as a donation to the earthquake appeal in Nepal though I usually prefer to do it through paypal it wasn’t an option with this particular group. That unnerves me a bit sometimes but it seemed OK today. Finally I settled down to do a bit of work and answer the posts made today where possible. It may be that I was a little choosy but that’s not to denigrate any of the posts, it’s merely in the spirit of not spending all my time online. At 5.00 pm I felt peckish and went to have a bag of crisps. I settled down with my quiz, then with a little Big Bang until finally I settled on a horror film to watch from 7.00 pm. Yes, you can tell the quality from the time it was shown and to be honest I wouldn’t have classed it in the horror genre either. It was more a warlock coming of age movie. I did manage to glance through a few magazines while it was on. At 9.00 pm I turned off and came through. I even brought my meds with me to take a little later rather than walk back for them.

There as very little in my secondary post address for some reason, everything seems to be going to the primary one and not transferring. That’s OK as it saves me looking at the same ones twice even if I don’t action them more than once. But there are people who only use the second one and they need answers too. I dealt with those then went to the primary site to respond which included a process of changing a password to  access a site but first I had to allow them to create a password and then I could change it. I have no idea why I couldn’t have stuck with my original one. By 10.30 I was up to date and could come straight to the blog. I’m for bed after that. I need my energy tomorrow with a MuJo day then games night. I hope no-one expects any responses tomorrow or I’ll be up all night.

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Wednesday.

Of necessity this is a very short post. I have been very busy all day and evening and it’s left me very little time.

I was in bed for 11.45 pm  last night and the light went off at about 12.30 am. I woke up as 1.56 am then 2.18 am before finally getting up at 3.15 am. Thinking I had all the time in then world I visited the loo then signed on. If I hadn’t been sitting down I would have had too. I even had palpitations. Thanks folks ! I don’t know where all the mail comes from unless I’m getting someone else’s in error as well. It was a serious session that was only halted at 6.00 am for my breakfast and my meds. As usual I went for my cold, buttered, toast. At some stage I’ll have to start eating my way through the gargantuan box of Rice Krispies I bought.

It was 9.25 am when I finished the post and got dressed. I’m glad I did because it was only just gone 10.00 am when MuJo arrived. I passed John the medal he’d asked me to order last week while I busied myself with drinks.We chatted for a while and in all honesty I admit I dragged it out as much as possible so we didn’t go out too early. In the end it was almost 11.30 am when we did. We ended up in Holywell so I knew it would be the chippy today. Mu wanted the Post Office but John insisted on eating first. Just as well I’d delayed things. It was only 11.45 am at that point. We ate and as usual it was a nice though large and not very healthy meal, then we had a look round a couple of shops while Mu did what she needed to do.

We drove to Flint but Muriel said she’d go to Lidl rather than Aldi this week. We’d just left Lidl behind in Holywell!!!! I got chocolates for the girls in Temptations then we went for coffee and in John’s case a very big cake. In his haste to go to the loo he didn’t take much care and spilled both his drink and Muriel’s getting up which of course went all over me as then the floor. My trousers and a shoe were drenched and It looked like I’d wet myself. Incident 1. We left here to take a look at the new £ shop they wanted to see so incident 2 followed soon after when John tugged something off a shelf and brought the whole lot down. All he said was “It’s OK, I’m fine,don’t worry about me” before walking on and leaving Mu and myself to pick up after him. He thinks it’s the job of the staff. Incident 3 almost duplicated Incident 2. Incident 4 was when he picked up some crisps then moments later decided he wanted something different so just dumped the original crisps where he was. I picked them up and put them back where they belonged. He checked to see whether I was wearing a coat that said ‘Staff’ on the back.

When we finally left (Yay) we headed back up to Holywell to Lidl where Mu was able to buy John’s pop and a few other items including another big cake for him, and I mean BIG. Finally we went home. John wanted to see a figurine on ebay and Muriel went out to Pauline’s to buy her lottery tickets. It was 4.40 pm when Dil walked in very early. MuJo left at 4.50 pm and I was able to say a proper Hi to Dil and make him a cuppa. Matt had made a mistake last week over his driving lesson and it was in fact this week so Dil had come early and alone as he hadn’t had to pick Matt up. He said Matt was quite peeved at his mistake. We chatted, we watched the quiz and we played. For once the Yahtzee went to me 4-2 but Chase the Lady went to Dil. Horror of horrors Nomination also went Dil’s way. Fortunately the cribbage came back in my direction so we ended up honours even. I had a text from Lee partway through the evening to say Jen is late but the baby is expected anytime. I just asked for news. I also had a text from Karen telling me to look at a local paper online but giving no clues. neither Dil nor I could find anything. After he’d gone and I’d done the usual tidying and washing of pots I returned to my bedroom and looked again.Eventually I found a nice write up and a photograph of my niece Joanne doing her Hugathon in Llandudno. I did a little post with links to the article.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     At 10.30 pm after doing a little mail I stopped to do the blog. I may do some more mail before bed but midnight is my deadline this week.

Thursday.

As I didn’t stop reading until 1.00 am last night I was pleased that it was 5.52 am before I got up this morning. After a desperate dash to the loo I was able to boot up and log on. If I had palpitations yesterday at he sight of what was in my inbox, today was a full blown heart attack. 187 since last night. Cruel people, very cruel. I worked until 7.00 pm then stopped to take my meds, I couldn’t be bothered with breakfast today. Back to work with a coffee and I carried in until 9.00 am when I decided to get dressed. I wrote out a message for the Pensions Agency to let them know I have a whole 1.2% increase in my private pension. I hope this year they work on it before June or July before deciding they’ve overpaid me and start clawing it back. I decided to go and see my friend in the Post Office to send this new information by recorded delivery as I had the ones I sent yesterday. I took her favourite chocolates with me. Since I was last in the queue we were able to have quite a conversation, mainly based around politics as she’s a local councillor. Between us we put the world to rights. I did learn something there. Young Shawn who was drowned last week had been skinny dipping on the spur of the moment, having drunk alcohol it would have reduced his body temperature. At 2.00 am it’s not warm even though it is Spring. The person with him thought he was messing about when he got into difficulties. From the post Office I made my way to Pauline’s for micro chips. She didn’t have any with the curry sauce on but she did have some packets of the microwaveable sauce there so I got one of those.

Back at home I put the stuff in the freezer and then instead of returning to work I changed the big bed and set the bedding to wash. Then the postman called and brought my brown jacket. That pleased me. I did return to work until lunchtime as I’ll change my bed tomorrow. I had some corned beef and some of the micro chips and covered them in the new sachet of Chinese curry sauce, it was really nice. I’d happily buy that again. Whereas I’d normally have 40 winks after I’d eaten I decided to have a burst at the post again before it got too bad. It had just turned 3.00 pm when I came close to being up to date when someone knocked at the door. It was a huge YAY when I saw it was the driver from Herpes with the missing jacket. It fitted fine and again I was very pleased.I checked my phone which I’d left on charge in the kitchen wondering if there was any news on the birth of my new Great Nephew. Nope, but there was one I’d missed from Mike to say he was on his way. I realised that would be about 5.00 pm arrival and the only way he’s believe I’m not doing emails and/or the blog is if I’m able to spend time sitting with him. I returned to work immediately.

I stopped work and came out of the bedroom at 4.50 pm giving myself a little leeway. I prepared his mug and put the kettle on. It had just boiled and clicked off when he walked in. He found me, a picture of innocence, pouring his coffee out. We were able to sit and natter for a while and then during the quiz I must have zonked. It wasn’t for long but when I came to about 6.30 pm Mike asked me if I wanted something to eat as he was going to the chippy. I did have meals to offer but he wanted some fish. I asked about bread and butter and said I’d do some while he was out and that I’d have a small sausage. (Oi, you at the back, stop sniggering). The moment he left I must have gone straight back to sleep as the next thing I knew was ten minutes later he was waking me up to give me a tray. I felt awful, but I still ate the sausage , chips and curry sauce he’d got me. I did make sure I did the washing up afterwards though. Mike enjoys a comedy called Two Broke Girls which came on at 8.00 pm so I was able to slip away to do some mail while he had his half hour with them. Then I went back through to watch the new Big Bang Theory  followed by a documentary we both fancied about the Illuminati. At 10.00 pm I put another comedy show on for him and slipped away to work. So much comes when my back is turned. It was 11.00 pm before I could start the blog and at that time he thought I’d finished and was in bed. I was tapping very quietly. It’s 11.45 and I soon shall be in bed with my book. The work will have to wait until the morning before he gets up and after I’ve kicked him out to go to his Dad’s.

Friday.

Well, I made bed by midnight, read my book until 1.00 am then settled down. When my internal ( or infernal) alarm went off I was ready to get up. It was 3.03 am so I shot to the loo as quick as a bullet.( Sorry,  I know it wasn’t very punny but it’s all I had). Coming back I booted up the computer and logged into my mail. Not as many as yesterday but still almost 100. Of course in the time it took me to deal with one, two more would come in because there are people who just won’t go to sleep at night mainly in the U.S. or the land of Oz. I’ve heard all this mumbo-jumbo about different time zones but night is night so there. In truth of course I actually found it funny that whatever time I’m on the computer there would be someone I could contact somewhere if I wanted to talk, or could. I worked till 5.30 am. I’d sort of made myself a promise today that I’d look at my WIP, only there hasn’t been any progress in such a long time. I sat in the lounge with it in my hand ( stop it back there, no tittering allowed) and tried to think of what came next. After half an hour I gave up and went through to take my meds including a pre-foodie. I put two slices of bread in the toaster and set to refilling the tablet box. This job always takes a while because I have to refill the tablet drawer from new stocks as I go along. Next Friday I’ll do the same but also make out a prescription request for some more. I do half every two weeks.

Once that job was out of the way I buttered my toast, made a coffee and went to sit in the lounge. I was thinking about the book as I ate. Part of the problem may be the way I was writing this one using real people and their towns/cities as a backdrop and using their skills as an aid to solving problems. In the previous Queen’s Envoy I’d made up the characters and chosen a location to suit me. Of course I know it isn’t the only problem and I know what stopped me writing in the first place so this may be a psychological problem I need to overcome. The other option is that my muse has done a runner and I just have no more stories in me. If anyone knows of an author in North Wales or within reach of North Wales who’d be willing to come kick me up the proverbial or even co-write the book with me I’d be pleased to hear about them.      Alternately if someone just wants to say “Give up you talentless hack”maybe I should just look in that direction.

I decided to put the TV on and watch some American sitcoms starting with Will and Grace, but about 7.50 am I decided to go through and get dressed. At 8.05 am I’d just fastened my shirt when I heard a voice ” Want a cuppa” it said. I went through and it really was him. Not only up but unfortunately awake too. I was shocked. No alarm, no calls, it’s never been known. I sat down next to him for a while to study and see if the real Mike had been abducted by aliens who left a simulacrum in his place. No, it was him alright and the more his bottom spoke the more convinced I was. I’m sure no alien could have recreated that. I disappeared to make my bed. When I came back Mike was also watching US comedies so I stayed in the kitchen to regain my breath and put the washing machine on, then sat with him for an hour. Knowing the Mother’s Mafia would have left Pauline’s by now, I went to get my lottery tickets. (I know none of you will read this for two days but I still hope you had your fingers crossed for my lottery win for tonight.) I’m avoiding looking at the results until the last minute. I’m sure I’ll stay awake all night planning how to spend it.

Mike finally left to go to see his Dad in Manchester. His sister from Canada is over so he’ll see her too and perhaps spend a bit extra time there in her company. As soon as he was out of the door I came back through to work on incoming mail and also checking my ebay account. I spent my holiday watching a house buying programme at 10.00 am for an hour.Then went back and started on Ancestry.com hints.It would be easy to get carried away with all the hints they send but the family tree just gets spread so much thinner and the relationships to me more and more distant that sometimes it isn’t worth carrying on until you forget the next time. At 11.30am I was going to break form lunch but I found some mail I consider important in my other mail address and started doing that. So, it was 12.05 pm before I stopped and made my to the kitchen to take a tablet, stick something in the microwave and go put Bargain Hunt on screen. Both teams made a loss. At 1.00 pm I returned to work on a catch up mission but I knew it was only for an hour as I was departing again at 2.00 pm to see an episode of ‘Who do you think you are’ featuring a UK newsreader called Natasha Kaplinsky. It was a sad story where some of her family escaped to S.Africa as the war began but most of the rest were murdered by the Nazi’s in Belarus. One son, a doctor did get away and fought with the partisans. His son came over from Australia to help his cousin piece together as much of the family history as she could. Very very sad.

Then back to playing catch-up again until 4.10 pm when I went on holiday again for a while. Get out my sunglasses and the lotion please. I was channel hopping to find the funniest things or quizzes, I found both and stayed watching the box until 6.30 pm when I decided to go for a shower. Let’s just say I managed and I’m temporarily clean. I took my dirty clothes through to put them in the washing machine even though I wouldn’t start it tonight. I found I’d forgotten to unload this morning’s lot so did so then and put it to air. I grabbed a bag of crisps and some dark chocolate biscuits and went back to my TV watching. There was a film on I actually found quite good. Mike arrived back about 9.15 pm as I was watching a satire programme we both like so I made him keep schtum till it was over. He was able to talk again when it was over and one of his favourite programmes came on. When he told me all about his day I left him to come through just before 10.00 pm. I managed to clear most of the post before doing the blog. I shall just see if I can clear what’s left before midnight

Saturday.

3.22 am on the last day of my holiday. I had no problem getting up despite having less than 3 hours sleep. No pressure from the bladder means I can take my time this morning though when I get there I know my bladder will take it’s own sweet time anyway and try to fool me with it’s stop-starting so I’m not sure if I’m finished or about to water my feet. My feet were safe. I ambled back to the bedroom and powered up the computer and logged on. My mind is going ten to the dozen trying to decide if today will be the last post on my last blog. I could in fact be playing the Last Post as my last featured piece of music. The problem is, aside from the feeling of deep sadness in my soul, I find I enjoy the blogging and can’t be trusted to keep away from it even when I’m only supposed to be away for a week. I can’t help but answer mail and comment on blogs or twitter when I’m supposed to use the computer for ebay and little else. There should be an AA of some kind. My name is David and I’m an Internet Cheat. I open my email and start work on last night’s stuff which takes until just 4.33 am. A short break to enjoy a cigarette and a drink like post coitus then into today’s mail. That takes until almost 6.30 am when I get dressed while listening out for Mike’s alarm which he tells me he’s reset for 6.30 am now to try and get out of the house by 7.30 am. I’m really grateful that he’s trying to please me and keep me away from shopping crowds but I do wonder what it’s going to be like trying to get him up this first time. Having said that, look how the so-and-so surprised me yesterday. Maybe he’s trying to kill me with kindness. I find I don’t mind.

This was not a successful action. It was an A 3 C2 day. That’s 3 rings of his alarm and 2 calls from me before he shifted himself. At least he was up for 7.00 am and with a couple of sledgehammer hints about me putting my coat on while he was still in his night attire we actually got out of the house at 7.35 am and reached the supermarket at 7.50 am. It’s funny what a few minutes difference getting there early makes. The car park was emptier, no queue for the cash machines, and there was still money in them. On the negative side the staff were still filling shelves and there were no small peeled new potatoes in herb butter for me. We got Ju’s flowers though and wended our way round the shop as usual. Once we’d been through the tills we went to get our cup of coffee and that was very welcome. We decided on no detours this morning but made one anyway to let Mike find a 40th birthday card for his son. We just had to nip into another shop while we were there- Home Bargains. It was a partly successful side trip. We got back aboard his chariot and made our way to Flint. The first stop was -Home Bargains where we actually got what we needed. One more detour through another shop then over the road to Temptations for coffee and Mike’s teasted toecake. The was no Ceri this morning so poor Sian got the teasing instead. Before we left Kyle got  bit too for saying his favourite sweets were Ferraro Rocher. I don’t know how we’ve never been banned.

We left there and Mike asked where we were going, the onus was on me to make the decision as it’s my day. Normally I’d argue the day belongs to both of us and he should go where he likes. Instead I just asked him how he felt about the Tweed Mill  expecting him to say he hates it and lets go to A or B instead. He caught me out by saying “Fine, let’s go there.” To be fair we have made some good purchases there in the past, shoes at a humongous discount or a sports jacket from £290 to £29 plus various gifts for others. There was no intention today other than to look round. The next question was where to eat. Mike said we could go to the Dragon’s Rest and down the expressway so I countered with an alternative of going to the Bells of St Mary’s, going through Prestatyn to St Asaph and then on to the mill. The distances seemed the same so I left the option to Mike. We went to the Bells and had a great carvery. I ate a week’s worth just in case I don’t get the chance to eat next week. Well you never know, I might forget. Afterwards we drove on to the Tweed Mill. The weather is typical Bank Holiday weekend fare, rain interspersed with more rain or possibly sleet. Naturally all the parking spaces nearest the door had gone so it was a bit of a trek but we made it. I’m sure some of you will remember from previous posts that The Tweed Mill is like a clearance village but under one roof and much smaller. Often the heavily discounted stuff is still four times the price of what you’d normally buy elsewhere but you do see things you don’t usually see in local shops. For instance they have a selection of cummerbunds with bowties in harlequin like colours or the old striped boating blazers you’d expect to see in Victorian films where the men wore straw boaters when messing about on the river. Mike loves those blazers and would love one but he can’t quite bring himself to spend that kind of money.

We had a really good look round all the different sections and then ended up at a little coffee bar upstairs.I wasn’t really paying much attention when Mike asked what I wanted so I just answered I’s have the same as him instead of my usual latte. Mike had an Americano so that’s what I got. Small cup, double shot. It was thick enough to chew and strong enough to coat my vocal chords before taking an hour to slide down them and Arnie would have lost out in a strongman competition.talk about strong. We should have gone to the cafe downstairs and had a coffee from the machine. Neither of us actually bought anything on this outing which is unusual but I enjoyed it nonetheless for the change. We went home via Trefnant and then up to Caerwys, along to Holywell and down again to Greenfield and got back about 4.30 pm. Mike made himself a drink while I came through to answer some mail and then let him watch his beloved Manchester United in peace. There wasn’t much peace really as they last again.He came through at 6.30 pm to check out some things on ebay then I went through at 7.00 pm with him to watch some TV. I gave that up at 9.40 pm and came back through. There’s obviously been plenty of mail to go through as well as the blog to do. I started the blog at 11.00 pm and intend to go to bed once I’ve published it

R I P Ben E King died 01.04 2015 aged 76  Another great lost to that party in the stars.

My thanks to you all. Have a wonderful New Week.

 

 

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Famous Five Depart & The Butter Magnet

Sunday 19th April 2015

Lights off before 1.00 am this morning and I think I was quick to sleep. All the more astounding then that when I  woke and saw it was just 2.26 am, I could not get back to sleep despite trying. When I gave up, I got up. With Mike here fast asleep in bed there was no way I could practice for my role in Sound of Music, though I still think I make a terrible Maria. Instead I had to allow that all I could do was creep to the loo and back and log on. I thought that things were going well for me, I had almost finished the rest of last nights and it wasn’t quite 4.30 am. I glanced again and I’d almost finished last night’s but now it was 6.05 am. Wha? I’d completely zonked. Why it hadn’t let me do that at half past two I don’t know. I could have saved myself a stiff neck and a puzzled look.

I had considered not feeding the Famous Five this morning and leaving their light off too but I thought that might make catching them much worse than it could do as we all know how good they are at hiding,especially Harold. So, I went through for the last time and flicked the light switch. Harold was out of sight  just then but Pepper was lurking near the food flap. First in the queue again. I opened the flap and like a miracle Little Al and Bonzo emerged before any food went in. Big Al brought up the rear throwing the odd dirty look my way. The food went in and they started grazing. Harold appeared from nowhere at the back of the tank. I turned away to take a pre food tab. I needed breakfast as I had no idea how long this operation would take today or what time I’d get lunch. I put bread in the toaster, took my other meds and made myself a drink. Then I lit a cigarette and turned back to the tank to tell the guys I was going to miss them. They must be nice for the new owner as he’d look after them and I needed to explain why I was doing this, because I wouldn’t restock the tank for fear of losing more fish which might include some of them, but the tank needed to be brought back to life with some more companions. I think even Big Al looked kindly on me for a mo. I had my breakfast and left them.

I started back where I’d left off and carried on until 9.00 am when I got dressed then at half past I made a coffee and took it through to Mike. I just had to remind him ( with a megaphone) that the new owner would be here at 10.30 am and he got up all on his own. I joined him in the lounge. Last night Mike had helped me put a new keyboard on ( he did the bending for me to the base unit) as my fingernails had removed all the letters again despite the nail varnish I’d painted on. The keyboard that was on was a usb fitting whereas the one we put on was the old type. I started having problems soon after where if my computer went into rest mode I couldn’t wake it and a message appeared on screen to say no info coming through. I had to reboot the whole thing to get it going. I asked Mike to help me get a new keyboard  with a usb fitting today . He said he would. He was dressed before 10.30 am and on time I had a text to say Dai was here, what number was I. Mike went out to get him and his sin who the tank was actually for. Mike emptied the tank of all the wood and the ornaments and we bagged them for Dai and his son to run to the car then Mike caught the fish who weren’t being very helpful and I bagged and tied them. The bags went intoi a large bucket for support and Dai had brought a very large brewers bucket to take some of the original tank water back. That was good. After we’;d filled that we emptied a lot of the tank leaving a safe level ( we hoped) in the bottom of the tank covering the sand and grit. Everything went to the car and all of a sudden they were gone.

I took a little time cleaning the area where the tank had sat then moved some things around in the new found space. Mike’s watch said it had taken us an hour from start to finish. He had a coffee  and at about 12.45 pm we decided to go for lunch. The Ivy wasn’t too crowded so we got to speak to Angie and Rob before Tariq appeared and came for a hug. Even Shella made an effort to come out and see Mike. We passed over the chocolates and ordered our drinks. Sitting down we could see the specials board and both made up our minds quite quickly so that we could order as soon as the drinks came. I took my pre-food and we went out in the sunshine for a cigarette. Almost perfect timing as the meals arrived not long after we’d gone back in. After lunch we got into a conversation with Rob about fish tanks and fish as he had a few of both, but we didn’t stay much after that. A goodbye hug from Tariq and we left. Mike ran me up to Holywell and the local supermarket where I got the last keyboard, expensive but a good make. We went home and attached this one hoping the problems would go away. It seemed to have done at first so Mike felt OK about going home. I waved him off and came through to work. The computer had gone to sleep while I was outside and again I had to reboot to get it going. Still, at least I can see what I’m typing now when it is working.

At 6.00 pm I went through to turn the tank off. Oops, but I stayed there to watch Ice Age 3 , some of it behind closed eyelids. When I went back through at 8.00 pm I had to reboot again but I’ve been here ever since so it hasn’t happened again. At 10.30 I broke off to do the blog and even though I know there’s a lot of mail left it can wait till morning. It’s now 11.49 pm.

Monday.

I just made it to bed before midnight. There was time for a read and the light went out about 12.55 am. I was up again at 2.12 am but didn’t feel ready for work so lay back down and tried again. The second time was a much more acceptable 4.31 am. It was also much more necessary as I think my bladder was close to pressing against every major organ including the brain. Going to the loo brought a big smile to my face. I came back and logged on, which took so,me time while it made up it’s mind if it was going to, but eventually I was able to open my mail. It was just as well I was sitting down or I might have had to. It was 6.49 am before I did the last of Sunday’s messages. No point in starting today’s straight away I thought, as I might as well see to the fish first and maybe have breakfast. I reached the kitchen before I remembered.  I just took my meds, made a coffee and came away.

I got dressed when I came back through in case the postman knocked with a delivery outstanding from the end of last week. Also the warden is due to call. After that I faced the mail and there was a lot to face, it looks like you’re all making up for a lazy week last week. Over 100 emails between midnight and 7.00 am and I’d just got through 60+ from last night alone. I worked until 9.30 am then went to put my washing in the machine. It’s an hour and a half cycle then three hours in the drier. Once I’d loaded up I turned it on and came back. The postman brought a letter but no parcel so I’d have to query that with ebay later. Somehow I was finished at 10.38 and opened my other mail box to find a friend worried because she found her book as a download on a site she doesn’t know. It offers a choice of downloads but each one I tried just took me to a different advert for gambling or coaching you on earning your first million, and you were expected to sign up which I wouldn’t do. I’ve advised her to see if she can find out who the host is and have it taken down. That was from a simple search of her book title. I hope all yours are safe.

At 11.00 am there was a knock at the door. Logic tells me it’s the warden since the postman has already been. I opened the door to be greeted by bright sunshine and the warden in a short sleeved blouse enjoying the warmth. I hadn’t given a thought as to what kind of day it was. I had just been going to start gift wrapping so when she came in it was a welcome escape. We had a little natter about nothing of real interest but she was assured I am OK and in need of nothing. As she started to leave I passed her the usual chocolates as a thank you for her time and patience. Though I haven’t actually needed the wardens, it’s nice to know they’re there and ready to help if the need arises. In other words, probably able to tittle tattle to then doctor if she doesn’t think I’m well or ready to rat on me to Yvonne. After she’d left I only had time to wrap a couple of gifts before lunch time, shame. ( Oh pass a tissue, the sarcasm is dripping from my chin). Lunch was a fairly easy affair of cottage pie while I sat watching Murder She Wrote. Typically the sound of my snoring drowned out the exposure of whodunit. When I came to it was 1.45 pm and I still had to return to the wrapping as I hadn’t been overrun by prezzie fairies as I slept.

In the end it was getting on for 3.00 pm when I returned to work. It’s possible some of the things I said on seeing my mail boxes, had their roots in Anglo Saxon. There may have been a blue tinge to the air that wasn’t from cigarette smoke though ultimately that’s what I’d blame. It’s like everyone has something to prove today and is in direct competition with all comers. It was hard going. By the time my quiz came round at 5.15 pm I debated whether to carry on working or to take the chance on catching up later. I took the chance. I watched the first quiz then made some tea and watched the end of a second quiz. Instead of  returning to work I gifted myself with an episode of the Big Bang Theory only I nodded off before the end. Sacrilege ! And slept right past the end until  7.35 pm. I knew there would be a price to pay and refreshed the mail. No America, that wasn’t the wind you heard howling past your doors, that was me.I’m sure even Australia would have felt the vibrations of that scream. So, I’ve been trapped in this chair since that time and haven’t yet taken my meds. I made good headway but started this blog at 10.40 pm and it’s just approaching 11.30 pm. I shall have to return to the post for a while afterwards but will be sending out a plea for mercy tomorrow. Don’t make me grovel. I shall be leaving the house at 7.30 am to go see my daughter and grandson. I shall return about 2.00 pm. If you work this hard tomorrow you’ll make it impossible for me to leave the house ever again in case I hit a big backlog. Take a break, relax, sleep or enjoy some sunshine but try not to blog too much please.

I’m not always very keen on cover versions of people’s records but sometimes the versions really do complement and compliment the originals  Few people could equal Paul Young’s version of Wherever I lay my hat which was a Marvin Gaye song. Here is a song by the group Black done by Zucchero. I think it excellent. I hope you agree.

Tuesday.

I swung my legs out of bed at 4.10 am but something didn’t feel right. I’d turned my light out at 12.47 am but didn’t feel I’d slept that long. On went my glasses for a second look at the clock, 1.16 am. Beggar that for a game of soldiers, back went my legs and I slept some more. So much more in fact that I next woke at 6.16 am. I can’t remember the last time I slept this late nor the last time it was so bloody inconvenient to do so. Somnos is sniggering somewhere. I have to be out of the house at 7.30 am, preferably fully dressed and need to clear my backlog from last night and this morning by then. Not a cat in Hells chance. It pained me to do so but I concentrated on dressing first then going through to the kitchen to take my meds and get a drink. It was almost 6.50 am before I returned to my room and turned the computer on. Another quick laugh for the gods as the system wouldn’t boot up, just a message on the screen to say no info coming through. Three times I had to turn off and try again before it deigned to work. I went straight to mail and started work. In no time at all it was 7.25 am and time to get my coat on, making sure I had my bus pass this time and out the door. Then in the door because my cigarettes were lying by the computer. Then out again and up the road. One thing the gods could not control was the bus driver who stopped to pick me up well before the stop.

I scanned my pass, thanked him and took a seat to get my breath back. As soon as I knew I wasn’t about to expire I rested my chin on the arm part of my crutch, closed my eyes and avoided the world for an hour.Yvonne and Reuben weren’t at the bus stop so I lit a cigarette and waited. Moments later they appeared out of the shop behind me where they’d gone to wait for the bus ( no, they couldn’t catch one in there ). The took me back in to see something Yvonne wanted an opinion on for Reuben. I liked it. We came back out and as it was 9.00 am by then we walked over the road to the big clothes store which has a Costa coffee shop inside.I had a latte and a toasted sausage and red onion sandwich which was nice. Once we’d all finished I wanted to buy something for my next great nephew and something for my niece who’s birthday is tomorrow, the same one who will be hugging in Llandudno on Saturday.I picked up something for Reuben, Yvonne and Ugo at the same time. Yvonne says Ugo will be cross as though I care- I won’t be there. It’s her ears will suffer not mine. That took a while and once we’d paid for our purchases we headed for a supermarket to get some shopping. Yvonne wanted a birthday cake for her uncle John who’s birthday is on Friday. I needed bread a swell. Then to a £ shop where I know I spent some money but I’ve no idea what on and a card shop so I could get a card and gift wrap and Yvonne could get a card to send back with me.

Coming out of the card shop Yvonne say my bus approach so we walked a bit quicker and she asked how long we had before he left as she wanted to write the card. He waited for her. She tucked the card in my bag with the birthday cake and other bits of shopping and I boarded the bus. Magic, my seat was vacant.I waved to them both and saw Reuben waving in the vague direction off where I might be but without exactly knowing. At least there weren’t tears today. They left and started walking towards home. A minute later the bus set off and as we turned a corner I got another wave at Yvonne and Roobs, standing at the curb waiting to cross. It was time to shut the world out. When I rested my chin on the crutches I fell asleep. It didn’t help that I woke whenever we stopped and started but the journey was still over a lot sooner than usual. Coming home I was pleased to see a badge I’d,ordered late Sunday night had arrived but disappointed that my parcel from last week is still missing. My next job is to send them a message to ask about proof of postage. I unpacked and put away the shopping and came through. There were 184 messages. I started work.

It was a hard, uphill slog, no hang on, that’s the treadmill. It was a hard job. At 5.00 pm I was distracted when my brother in law, the Jo half of MuJo, skyped me to see if they could come tomorrow. It took 45 mins to ask. I knew it would throw me out tomorrow with having my games but I said OK. since they said the forecast was for a change in the weather on Thursday and it’s nicer to walk round in the sunshine. So, another day with a big backlog. I thought I’d better eat so I walked into the kitchen, fully intending to turn the tank light off. I glanced at the calendar and saw I’ve a diabetic review at 10.40 am. Bollards! I sent a text to Mu to say came a little later or I’ll meet you in town at 11.00 am. While waiting for a response I sat and ate liver and onions ( yes, and bacon too) with mashed potatoes, watching a quiz. When I got up to wash the pots I saw a response though I hadn’t heard a thing. Pardon? They’ve changed it back to Thursday again now so that should be OK.

At 6.30 pm I came back through and had another attempt at whittling things down. I’m in trouble if they ever catch me with this knife. The more I answered , the more came through. I wonder if I unanswer some, others will disappear? I think not. By 9.00 pm there were signs of daylight which were in direct contradiction to the growing dark outside. With the amount of mail I had it was a major surprise not to have any proposals  but there were 4 messages of a type today. All 4 had similar messages in the subject line to draw you in. You have won £250 of Tesco Vouchers or You’re today’s winner. They may even include your email name in that field. But when you open the message it’s blank apart from a link. Be warned this is for a variety of gaming or Bingo sites and any prize which you will only be entered for is reliant on you signing up. Unless you specifically know you’ve entered a certain competition treat these as a virus which will bring in plenty more.

At 10.00 pm I finished early to do the blog as I have no idea how much more mail will arrive. So rather than take chances, I’ll do the blog and when I finish about 11.00 pm I’ll go back and try to clear up what’s left. So, It’s on to the musical interlude. Tonight I’m going to give you the same song twice as a treat ( I hope).

Wednesday.

I stopped work around 11.30 am and for some reason went to Ancestry.com where I dealt with a couple of hints but it didn’t take me anywhere I wanted to be with a particular part of the family. I have two problems, the lack of records of a birth in Ireland, thus the lack of information on parents of that child. The second one is his wife who was born on ‘The Rock’ of Gibraltar ( I think) and was probably an army brat but I can’t access any records on her. I’m stumped. By midnight I’d had enough and gone to bed to read. My light went out about 1.00 am. It was a pretty short sleep whatever it was because I woke at 1.54 am. There seemed to be no reason as the bladder wasn’t pushing but I went anyway before trying again. It worked. I slept until 3.59 am and I knew then it was time to get up. I had to go to the loo again to pee into my little bottle for the diabetic review.Thinking about it later while down on my hands and knees, perhaps I shouldn’t have tried to do it from 6 feet away after all.

I came back and started work. The computer booted up properly this morning so no steam coming out of my ears today. Five minutes later they got a steam clean when I opened an email from Felicia    hey hey.. i kept ur email from google member a while back are you still available? lets meet up 848-two two eight-eight 3 zero 6 text me!          Where are they all finding me? Don’t tell me I have to break off the latest engagement because of another better offer. People will think I’m flighty. I worked through ll last nights remains which took until 6.20 am then decided to go and have breakfast. I can’t get used to this big fish tank shaped hole in my life which is currently filled by a wine rack which in itself is pretty weird since I don’t drink. I got through all the tablet taking etc and had a couple of rounds of toast. I didn’t even wait for it to go cold this morning. Then I went back to work. I remember seeing 7.12 am on the clock then the next thing I knew I was awake and it was 7.55 am. It was so black though, not like being asleep. Nothing I could do but shake my head and work on. By 8.50 I’d cleared quite a bit and stopped to get dressed. I needed Pauline’s for some milk and my TV mag as well as a new cigarette supply. But I had to move fast as I’d need to leave the house at 9.30 am to catch the bus to town. I did Pauline’s with time to spare.

I’m not used to going out and travelling when there ate so many people about so I had to force myself a bit but I made it. I caught the bus and was in town by 9.45 am. I took a couple of minutes to walk round the supermarket that had defeated me last week to see what specials they had and to pick up brochures ready for the next batch tomorrow. I was able to have a cigarette and take a slow walk towards the surgery then though my appointment wasn’t until 10.40 am. I made every effort to bend my body towards the ciggie today so it didn’t look like I was waving my stick at anyone. I popped a cough sweet in my mouth and went to log in. That bloody machine hates me, yet again it said there was a problem with my appointment, please report to reception. That meant either 15 minutes stuttering or, if you;re a genius like wot I am, I stuck my appointment letter over the counter and said I’m here. I was logged in. I was called at 10.30 am so it was good I was there, no change in medication which I know isn’t good. My blood test last week showed I’m still 59 (points not years) and my range is 49 to 59 so I’m still on the top despite my fantastic diet. This Sister S ( sorry, a different one) checked my feet and was even kind enough to trim my toe nails despite the risks to her health. I was just about out of there when I was due in. Time enough for a cigarette as I walked into town to the bus stop.

I was home for 11.15 am so there was chance to do a little more work before lunch. The first one I opened started “My Dear Beloved in Christ” nothing is more likely to turn my stomach than something like this where someone would take for granted her beliefs matter and so I must follow them. Her message was tucked up as a  link and since I didn’t want to open a virus it went straight in the bin. Even if this was a genuine message I’d say a religious opening like that is most inappropriate unless you know the recipient is a Christian. What happens if it’s a Jew, Muslim or even a Buddhist that opens it? A couple more messages brought me close enough to lunch time that I could happily break off and eat. I really fancied my chips in curry sauce but Pauline hadn’t got any in this morning so I settled for a lamb hot pot. I think I’d have settled for anything as long as it involved bread and butter. As usual I watched an episode of Murder She Wrote or truth to tell, that was my intent. I saw the murder, I saw the Indian take the blame and that was it until 1.35 pm. That hour seemed to make me worse rather than better so I went back through to my room before I nodded off again. I really worked hard all afternoon and even stayed awake.I contacted the seller of my last ebay item to let him know it hadn’t arrived and he promised to sort it with the delivery people. He uses a private courier firm. I intended to knock off at 5.00 pm in time for my fellow gamers arriving. I actually finished at 4.55 pm as in I caught up with myself. I had a wander through to get the mugs ready.

I’d just put sugar inn the mugs when I heard an Hello and in walked Dil sans son. It seems Matt had forgotten and had booked himself a driving lesson. We knew Lee wouldn’t be coming because of the impending birth though he still sent me a text. So it was to be just Dil and I. I put the TV on so we could watch the quiz that’s usually on when they arrive only this week he’d see it from the start. He made me laugh that he has problems seeing the questions on my 32″ screen in a small room because he has a 55″ one in his that’s all singing all dancing. Once it was over Dil got then table out and I got the games. We played Yahtzee first and I was lucky if I threw a pair never mind anything else. It was almost a whitewash with Dil winning 5-1. We played Nomination Whist next which has always been my game- until tonight, nuff said. Battered and bruised I opted for Chase the Lady next ( Hearts of a computer) and played with a dead hand. That at least went my way and I had the joy of ‘Lotting’ twice thus dumping 300 points on his score which ended up with me on about 120 to Dil’s 560. I started to feel a bit better, especially when I won two games of Cribbage and then I beat him in the last game of Crazy 8’s as well. I have to say that winning aside I had a fantastic evening. Though we play to win it’s never taken seriously and there’s banter throughout. He’s quite a funny fella my brother and he does make me laugh which is good because I’m probably far too serious most of the time when I’m here alone.

Dil left at 9.35 pm I had he usual tidy up and washed the pots then took my evening meds and came through. Like last night I didn’t want to spend to long on mail and miss the blog so I worked till 10.30 pm, did the blog and am about to return to the post a little after 11.30 pm.

pops and him 5 USE

 

Roobs in Costa

Thursday.

I probably gave up a bit before I should have done last night but I was in bed by 12.05 am. I wanted to read but not for too long so the light went out (years ago) at about 12.45 am. That was it until 4.34 am when I woke ready to go. Naturally I visited Piddletown before booting up and for the second day in succession it came on no problem at all. I hope it’s cured itself of the hiccups it’s been having. Working through last night’s stuff I came across a message like the ones from yesterday but with a notice from TalkTalk to say a virus had been removed. I still can’t get my head round why someone would want to deliberately infect someone’s system. Naturally I didn’t even read it, just binned it. As I started today’s mail one of the first ones was yet another of those with a file attached you have to open to read the message. ‘Hi’ is all you get otherwise. I think my bin must be pretty full by now.

At 6.10 am I went for breakfast and consciously tried not to look at the space in the corner. It was no good, my eyes are drawn to it after so long. Dai, the new owner has actually posted a thank you to Mike and myself on Freecycle and said the fish are doing well. I’m pleased. I put bread in the toaster but what a struggle to get in in. I should have cut the top off it first. Then it was sprays and tabs before going through to the lounge with a cigarette. As soon as I finished smoking I went back to butter the very creased toast and eat it. I have to have a tissue handy as my moustache seems to be a butter magnet. If I try to kiss anyone I just slip off now so the tissue is needed to get rid of the excess. I brought my coffee and the after meal tabs back through to take. I was liking a photograph of my eldest grandson on Facebook and decided to print it off but my fingers were crossed the yellow ink would last out- it did. By 8.50 am I was actually up to date and decided to get dressed if I could first decide what to get dressed in. I settled for  brown slacks ( with a natural shine ) and a brown/white striped shirt. I can wear my brown bomber jacket on top when I go out. I’m looking forward to the arrival of MuJo today as I want to see his face as he opens his birthday gifts. John is like a child, full of excitement and really effusive in his gratitude. It makes all the work worthwhile.

Once I was dressed I sat back at the computer to check the lottery- really, why bother? To see if anything important is coming up on ebay I want to bid on and generally to make sure you sneaky beggars don’t pile up the post unnoticed. I stayed there until 10.30 am  then knowing they’d be there before long I set some drinks out so I didn’t have to faff when they arrived. About ten minutes later they arrived. I pulled the kitchen door too so they wouldn’t see the fish had gone. Once settled I brought the cake Yvonne had bought through for him. His face lit up. Mmmm , cake. Then I brought the basic gifts and let him open them, a badge, some of his favourite sweets and two teeshirts. When I thought he was bored enough I got the main gifts. He opened the walking stick and really liked it. I had to explain how it had arrived broken and I repaired it as no replacement was possible, as neither of them could see the break in the carving he didn’t mind and at least wouldn’t feel guilty if it happened again. Next I gave him a small parcel to open and he found the hand painted Napoleon I’d sent to France for. That was another hit, I was so pleased. Lastly the bigger parcel opened to reveal the tall, antique Nelson toby jug. I’d been so pleased to win that on ebay and was even more so when I saw his face. Finding the right thing for someone for a birthday is important to me. I’m not always this lucky.

By the time I’d got rid of all the scrap paper it was time to go out. We settled on going to The Bells of St Mary’s and the run wasn’t too bad. Windows open because of the heat of the day. Ha, I can never get used to  saying that in April. We were a few minutes early arriving which meant no queues. I paid for the drinks and the carvery tickets and we put the drinks on out table and went to collect the food. Needless to say I had roast beef. John wouldn’t have a pudding as he was the only one wanting a bottomless ice-cream. But he said he’s have a cake when we went for coffee and then some of his birthday cake when we got back. Once we finished there Muriel drove to Flint managing to find every pot hole in the road so my attempts at nodding off weren’t successful. We went to ALDI for some shopping and I managed to get some chocolates for Temptations and a strawberry and rhubarb tart for myself for later. Temptations was next where Muriel got me a latte and I handed over the chocolates and blew Ceri a kiss. It was nice and cool in there but the need for a cigarette sent me out into the sunshine soon enough.

When MuJo joined me outside we took a walk round the usual shops to pick up a few items. Mu bought us an iced lolly each which we ate before leaving. Then back home again, John demolished a big wedge of his cake with his afternoon tablets, he said it was lovely, before they decided it was time to go. If not, I risked John falling asleep on the sofa . Once they’d gone I flew through here to work, it was already 4.05 pm. I worked till almost 5.30 pm then went through to prepare Mike’s mug and to have a piece of my now defrosted strawberry and rhubarb tart. I turned the TV onto a quiz and sat back to wait for Mike who arrived not too much later. We watched the show together, talked for a while then I came back through admonishing him not to let me miss my 8.30 pm Big Bang Theory. He forgot but luckily I didn’t. I stayed in the lounge until 9.30 pm before heading back here for the last time with just a minor detour to the kitchen to take my meds. I was getting fairly close to catching up when I broke off at 10.40 pm to do the blog. An hour and I’m ready to call it a night and maybe leave the rest till tomorrow morning.I ‘ll just see how bad it’s got first.

Serenade on a Bus.

Serenade on a Bus.

The Bus Ride

The Bus Ride

For my friend and author Mary J McCoy-Dressel

Friday.

Well, I might have had a look last night t how bad the mail was after doing the blog but it made no difference. I decided to leave it anyway. So I was in bed by 11.45 pm and only read until 12.15 am. I was tired and sleep came easily but not rest as my brain decided to start showing dream on a loop like my thoughts sometimes go. At 2.04 am I was up again but still tired so I sat with a cigarette in my chair in the lounge. Once the ciggie was done I nestled in and tried for sleep. I was there till an amazing 6.43 am. As far as I know no dreams just a wonderful sleep. Of course by then my bladder was suggesting if could hold yacht races so I paid a visit. There was no point in going to the computer afterwards to read all your work as on Fridays I have to do my weekly drugs and prepare a new prescription request for next week. Taking my morning meds and then replacing everything in the trays for the week takes some time so it was almost 7.30 am before I could grab a coffee and bring it through to my room.

I booted up and signed in. By 8.40 am I’d stopped crying and started work. I’d finished with last night’s work and started on today’s. I paused long enough to get dressed. At 9.00 am I went through to make Mike a coffee which I took through and woke him for long enough to acknowledge the drink was there. I did a couple more messages and then ignored one with a business opportunity ‘Just for me’ that needed an attachment opening for further details. Nope, just not that daft, in the bin it went. It was now 9.15 am and I thought I’d left it long enough for the Mother’s Mafia to have departed Pauline’s. I woke Mike again to tell him I was leaving the house and not to worry if I wasn’t there when he got up. He told me he understood and I left. MuJo had made mention of a murder locally which I hadn’t heard about ( how would I?) so I decided to buy a paper for once. Pauline wasn’t there but her husband Jim did my lottery tickets, sorted some cigarettes for me as well as selling me the paper and some Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles ( bet you can’t just suck them either ). I came home, dropped one of my crutches on the floor saw Mike shoot out of bed, took my coat off and joined him in the lounge. The paper said nothing about a murder at all.

I came through tot he bedroom to run a search as I was puzzled and actually found a piece about a bod being found but there was no mention of a murder. It did say that a second person was taken to hospital to be checked out. Since an ambulance was called at 2.30 am in connection with this I’m guessing it will be drug related. I shall have to keep my ear to the ground for more news. I let Mike know as he was checking the paper to see if I’d missed anything then went back to work. Mike came through at 10.20 am to say goodbye as he was leaving to see his father. From then on I worked and worked a bit more but only until 11.50 am when I stopped for lunch. That was a fine affair with my cottage pie and bread and butter. Naturally while I ate Jessica Fletcher was solving a crime in the background but after I’d washed my fork in the adverts I came back and missed the ending as I slept. I was asleep until 1.15 pm which wasn’t long.It’s surprising how tired I’ve been today given the sleep I had last night. But I shifted my bum back to work before I nodded again.. As always a fair bit had accrued while I was away, when I added it to the outstanding ones from the morning I started looking round for a suitcase to pack. Conscience got the better of me and I started trying to whittle it down instead.

It was a very long afternoon but the promise of quitting about 6.00 pm when Mike returned kept me going. The more the afternoon wore on,   the less well I felt so that when Mike walked in at 5.20 pm I was really glad. Maybe the change of position would improve things. As I joined him in the lounge I noticed my stomach appeared to have grown and was definitely uncomfortable, painful even. I always took precautions so pregnancy shouldn’t be an option. I began feeling sick but was pretty sure  almost 7.00 pm didn’t count as morning sickness. I thought maybe a shower would help but Mike thought I was a bit wobbly and helped me towards the bathroom where I promptly started throwing up.

I suppose that hour was in reality a couple of minutes. When it seemed to have settled I prepared for the shower but this time Mike made me sit on the shower stool while he washed my hair  and then proceeded to wash everything except the family jewels. ( probably because they’re in hock). He helped me into clean tee shirt and lounge pants, Minions this time, and I went back through to the lounge. At some point I fell asleep in my chair waking at what I thought was about 3.00 am but which Mike explained away by saying he wouldn’t be watching Persons of Interest at that time of the morning. Things began to clear a bit and I noticed it was 11.15 pm on my watch so I said I needed to do the blog before bed. “Just the blog” he said. It was only when I got in here and noticed the clock said 10.15 pm that I realised what a lemon I am, unable to tell the time at my age. My watch was in agreement with the clock. There might be time to do a few messages when I finish here. I needed a puff of my inhalor and saw it was on the red line so went to get a new one from the kitchen only to find I don’t have one and can only order it on Monday for Tuesday unless the chemist is in a good mood and lets me have it on Monday. Mike reminded me to take my meds while I was in there which I did before coming through again.

At the request of my friend Suzanne Joshi, something from the late 50’s early 60’s when she had such a great time.

        From 1960

       From 1960

Saturday.

I got to bed at about 11.45 pm last night which as pretty good. I knew I was tired but I couldn’t sleep straight away as I had the sneezes and Mike kept shouting Bless You. The light went off about 12.30 am though I think before that it was a case of the lights are on but no-one’s home. I got up to go for a pee at 6.51 am and can’t understand what’s happening. That’s two days on the trot now where I’ve slept like a normal human being. It’s also the one day I didn’t want to as I have to start getting Mike up at 7.00 am heaven help me. I went through to the kitchen and put the kettle on. While it was boiling I took my meds and prepared to make my own drink. The kettle boiled just as Mike’s alarm went off. Naturally he ignored it but maybe, just maybe it had brought him to the surface enough to make it easy for me. I called “Coo-ee, coffee’s up. Yes, it’s here, finally arrived on a table near you. Can you hear me Mike”? There were enough jungle sounds to make me believe he had. I went back tot he kitchen and set the Tassimo to make my drink. While that was happening I took the waste food bag to the bin and ran both bins down the path to then front. The Minions lounge pants hiding this sylph like figure from the world. The pert bottom and nice pins kept away from a possible legion of female fans. ( If I find out who shouted Dream On then you’re in trouble Michael).

I came in and saw Mike still in his pit so called him ever so gently to remind him his coffee was going cold.( Shift yo ass unless you want iced coffee). The alarm went again. As I took the recycling bags out he was moving. A=2 C=2. I washed my hands, picked up my drink and went to join him. Eventually it was time to get dressed. Mike suggested I put my dressing gown in the wash which meant I had to find the new one I bought a few weeks ago. By the time I’d done that some sneaky article was already dressed and came to my room to ask why he was still waiting. Some deep breathing exercises stopped me from hitting him, well that and the fact he moved out of reach. I dressed quickly and we left.It was 7.55 am. At the supermarket Mike got a trolley while I got some cash from the machine then off we set. I was lucky enough to find a coat for Reuben in the sale and a really nice tee shirt. While we were going round I also got some newborn nappies for my soon to be great nephew. Eventually we worked our was round to getting some food too so I’m OK for next week and 30 cans of Pepsi Max because they were a real bargain, only about £1 more than 16 can’s in 8 packs. We went through the tills and stopped for a coffee. I nipped to get my cigs and made the woman on the till’s day when I noticed a change of hairstyle. Mike said I probably stunned her.

We left there with the intent of going straight to Flint but ended up with a detour to another Surpermarket to try and get some Ferrero Rocher at a bargain price. That special was over but I did get other sweets. We headed for Flint. When we arrived and parked up I wanted to go to my favourite shop first then have a coffee, a bit of a foot stamping tantrum and a quivering bottom lip got me my own way. Mind you, I was told I’d have to have an early night and miss telly for that. I got what I needed, looked in another shop for something but didn’t find it and then agreed a coffee would be nice. I put in our order than moved away so Mike could trade insults with Ceri and then get a welcome home kiss. I think I saw his tongue in her mouth checking she didn’t have appendicitis as well. We left and had a look round the new £ shop which opened this morning. Mean beggar wouldn’t let the lady give me a balloon. I found I didn’t have my food tablets with me so we had to go home to collect them. Didn’t stay long enough to unpack the car. As soon as I had the tablets we headed for lunch. Unusually we headed for the Bells today for a proper Sunday dinner and yes, we did know it’s only Saturday. It was lovely but very filling.

We needed to be home as Yvonne had said they may visit this afternoon to return my laminator and pick up some gifts for tomorrow. Something My sister in law and brother in law have bought for Reuben and also my birthday present for niece Jo as well as Jo’s and Karen’s Easter eggs as they’ll see them tomorrow and I won’t. We got home and unpacked the car. Almost before we’d had chance to put anything away Yvonne sent a text asking if we could meet them in Temptations at about 2.30 pm. It was 2.00 pm then. We flew round the kitchen putting food away and I packed Reuben’s coat etc and some new books in a bag, grabbed the gifts and set off again. Just as we arrived there another text from Yvonne, delayed because of Reuben’s need for the loo. We went inside and ordered and just waited. Two visits in one day but not two sets of chocolates for the girls I’m afraid. We were forgiven. Yvonne arrived and hugs all round then a few minutes later Ugo and Reuben joined us. I was hugged and kissed again. I passed Reuben one of his books to read while we sorted a drink (and cake) for Ugo and a drink for Reuben. Yvonne didn’t want one at that point. She was pleased with the bag of goodies I think. Eventually we had to go our separate ways as they were expecting guests tonight.Hugs all round and Mike and I came home.

Back at home it was about 4.00 pm and Mike let me come on the computer to answer certain emails with a promise I wouldn’t stay too long. I knocked off at 6.00 pm and stayed there to make something to eat and watch a bit of TV including a film which finished 11.00 am. Quite bloodthirsty too about a young Columbian girl who loses her parents to the mob and becomes an assassin to avenge them. Not my usual cup of tea, though anything longer than about 15 minutes fits into that category, but not the worst film I’ve ever seen.So I had to come through to do the blog hen with the promise that’s all I’ll do. The way I feel at the moment that promise will be easy to keep.

I hope you’ll all forgive me but next week I think I shan’t be around to deal with messages, retweets  or any queries. I’m also not sure about a Blog next week either as I may be on holiday or something. I hope to see you all soon.

How to look suspicious. Lesson 1

How to look suspicious Lesson 1

Solving the mysteries of life.

Solving the mysteries of life.

 

 

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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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The Strangest Thing & Laurel Arrives

Sunday 1st March 2013. Dydd Dewi Sant.

The strangest thing. I was shocked to hear Mike turn his TV off early last night and when I nipped to the loo at 11.30 pm he was already asleep. Oddly enough though, that’s not the strangest thing. I got to bed last night at a not unreasonable time for a Saturday. I even managed a read. I woke up this morning at 6.16 am BUT, I wasn’t in bed when I woke. I was sitting in my chair at the computer. I had my dressing gown on and my cigarettes from beside the bed were in the pocket. I obviously already got up once but I have no idea of the time and I don’t remember doing it. Time to cue music from the twilight zone. One thing I was sure of, I must have been there a while as I had a right pain in the neck, other than the one in the next bedroom- to name no names. Naturally panic set in as to how much mail there was so my first job was to sign in and go on the attack. It wasn’t quite as bad as feared but probably better than I deserved. My mood lightened a lot as I read some of the comments on the blog and I was delighted to find my music choices had been a hit this week. Much more mention than usual and one request this week too.

At 8.00 am I took a break. My back was aching, my neck was aching and no doubt the fish were aching to be fed. This new formula I’m using is a big hit and the minute they see it sinking they zoom in on it. I’ve seen January sales more controlled than breakfast time. I swear if this lot knew how to use brollies they be using them to shove the others out of the way. The minute it’s all gone though, normal service is resumed. Gently swimming around the tank trying to pretend no-one else exists and trying to avoid bumping in to them. Big Al, Little Al and Pepper have retired to their corner, the plecs are hanging off the bog wood again and Stan is trying to keep out of the light under the pipework of the air curtain. I went over to take my meds and once I’d finished make a coffee. Before leaving the kitchen I set the kettle to boil in case Mike got up since he’d slept for almost nine hours at that point. I carried on with the post. About 9.30 am I stopped long enough to get washed and dressed and thought Mike must have had a rough night to be still asleep at that time.

I opened my second email account and started dealing with that which kept me well occupied. Mike had had a little coughing fit so I thought it might be because he was waking up. How he hadn’t done so with my coughing I don’t know. Finally at 10.20 am I made a coffee and took it through. He had to be roused twice to be told it was there but at 10.20 am his mouth must be like a cactus field. I left him to it and just went through to join him when I heard his go to the lounge at 10.30 am. A little concerned I asked how his night had been. “Fine ” he answered “I feel quite bright this morning.” ( I didn’t ask him how many 2’s are in 10 however). Eleven hours asleep, it’s not natural. He did say he’s had a disturbing dream though. I went through to his bedroom with the fly spray to see if the tsetse fly would react to it. It’s the only possible reason I can imagine someone sleeping so long. I couldn’t find any. He asked what I was doing when I just checked his hair when I went back through. “Oh just giving you a pat on the head” I told him “I’m delighted you’ve woken in a good mood.” ( In fact I’m delighted you’ve woken at all).  He broached the subject of what we’d do this morning and I was tempted to say “What morning?” but stuck with “No plans Michael.” He said he needed some ink for his printer and I suggested a few places we could go for that. As it happened I could do with one colour myself.

It was midday before we left the house to go for lunch or in his case Breakfast and we settled on The Bells so we could go into Prestatyn afterwards. I had a very nice roast beef dinner and piled on the leeks for St David’s Day. I think Mike had pork, gammon and beef ( and he asked for a sausage). It was very nice but a little noisy today. Once we’d eaten we stepped outside in the pouring rain and tried to reach the car without drowning. Mike pointed out it was -5 centigrade outside, it has been a sunny -2 centigrade when we went in. He drove us to Tesco in Prestatyn when he made me feel guilty that his ink was £5.00 a pack dearer than if we’d gone in the other direction towards Flint. I did get mine though it was £2.01 more than Flint but I didn’t want an I told you so. Almost as bad was reminding him we were due a free coffee in M & S which we went for today and he didn’t enjoy it whereas if we’d gone to Flint there’s Temptations. Oops.It was an uh oh moment in the car when he said we’d not had a very successful expedition today. We came home.

It was 3.15 pm when we got home and by 3.30 pm I was waving Mike off at the door . That left me free to start work. I didn’t count numbers, just started from the bottom and worked my way up. At 5.30 pm I stopped to have some tea ( only so I could take my tablets you understand, not ‘cos I’m a pig) and I stayed there until 8.00 pm after getting caught up in a BBC series The Indian Doctor. I think this must be a second series as I didn’t recognise the episode or some of the characters. I even got the idea they were playing some of it or laughs today. So, at 8.00 pm I returned here again and stayed. By 10.30 pm I’d made real headway even after refreshing twice so that at 10.55 om I was able to stop and deal with the blog. I was half tempted to put my National Anthem on the blog in honour of the day but instead I’m going to put on two records tonight. The first one is in honour of my sweet friend Suzanne who writes as   http://apuginthekitchen.com/ but beware she has food showing on her blog without warning to those on diets.

Alphaville- Forever Young.

The second is one I was reminded of today that brought back great memories.

Chairmen of the Board- Give me Just a Little More Time.

Monday.

I was in bed a little after midnight and read till 1.00 pm. I was thinking of cuffing myself to the bedframe to prevent any more unexplained departures from my bed but I realised in time just what remarks would follow if anyone thought I had handcuffs handy. And that’s only remarks from Mike, heaven alone knows what you lot would come up with. As it happens it wasn’t needed since I was up at 3.22 am anyway. It was a bit nippy on my trip to the loo that I diverted to put the heating up a bit. I didn’t want icicles. I started on the post which after the first half a dozen proved to be fairly easy going. Everything was going swimmingly when I stopped at 7.00 am to feed the fish. The majority of them showed their lack of manners with all their barging yet I thought how polite, Stan is holding back a bit. That was with the special mix I’d put in. But as a treat I opened some daphnia and dropped it in. Stan didn’t hold back any more and was in the middle of the mix like grease off a shovel. ( The money on that charm school was wasted, sob). Happy they were all getting a fair share and that violence hadn’t erupted I left them to it. As I turned away I noticed even one of the very shy synodontis was out there chomping.

I’d started to take my meds when I decided to have breakfast this morning. I added a pre-food tab to the mix. When I put the coffee machine on I got a red light. Thinking it meant a cleaning was needed I started the process, or I tried. It wouldn’t go. In frustration I removed the cleaning disk and cleaned the water tank out and replaced it. I turned it off ready to pack it away. Somehow, my hand caught the switch and turned it on again, now the red was in a smaller area than before. The handbook said it indicated the water tank was empty. I filled it again and everything was ready to go again. I was very puzzled but the distraction had been long enough for my tablet to do whatever it’s supposed to so I had some cereal. Once I’d eaten I took the post-food tabs ,washed up and brought my coffee through. I’d spent so long fish watching, coffee machine cleaning and filling my face it was now after 8.00 am. I carried on with the mail and once the main one was empty, started on the second account. It had gone 10.30 am and I wasn’t sure whether to refresh the mail or not. For some reason I was reminded that last Friday the warden had asked how many fish were in the tank. A quick calculation and I’d said 14. I suddenly remembered this morning I hadn’t taken into account Morecambe and Wise. I went through and did a quick check. There were 16. I created a list on the computer of each type and their names and posted a little photograph next to each of them so they could be identified.  I have 1 Ancestrus plec, 2 Albino Cory (Big Al & Little Al), 2 Bronze Cory, 2 Hoplosternum, I Pepper Cory (Pepper),                1  Pimelodus Pictus (Stan), 3 Plecostomus, 2 Siamese Fighters (Morecambe & Wise), 2 Synodontis. Maybe room for one or two more yet.

It rapidly became lunchtime. I was heading to the kitchen when the idiot window cleaner arrived and slammed the small window which made me jump and set the alarm off so I thought the burglars were back. I changed my trousers and went to get lunch. It was beef stew with a dumpling today. I saw Murder she Wrote and managed to stay awake the whole time, then I washed the pot and returned to work. There were a couple of times falling asleep was a serious option but I didn’t want a neck like yesterday and I did want to be free for 4.30 pm. I managed it but I’d been so slow and deliberate ( no incomprehensible messages to Australia) that my mailbag was still bulging a little when I quit. I saw my Antiques show in full, I saw my quiz in part. I know we’d reached the last round but then I zonked and didn’t come round again until,40 minutes later. I came back through.

It’s been a constant slog since then. As I answer mail, fresh mail arrives so the numbers aren’t going down. But tonight I started the blog early so I wasn’t rushed and that will give me chance to return for one last burst before falling into bed. My day out tomorrow and I need to be fresh to fight for my bacon sandwich.                            I hope your week is going well so far

Tuesday.

It was a 3.47 am start today and I got up with a degree of reluctance. I studied for it at Night School and was awarded it today. It was Ffflipping Ffffreezing out there and all the hairs on my toes had gone brittle and snapped off as I put my slippers on. Cold is the new depilation it seems. I walked towards the loo but veered off at the last minute to close the small window in the lounge which was sending enough of a breeze towards my legs it made the lounge pants blow up like a fat suit. I’m guessing it’s Mike just said they always look like that. I returned to the loo and had fun with the intermittent flow again. Then I returned to the bedroom and wrapped myself in my thick dressing gown, sat in my chair and logged on. There was quite a bit of mail but that was OK, I wasn’t going anywhere.

At 6.00 am I went through to feed the fish, they were lucky I wasn’t chipping them out this morning. Again this new food had them all in a frenzy, it was hard getting the right tail to go with the right body they moved so fast. For Stan’s sake I added the last of the sachet of daphnia from yesterday and he’s proved he can move when he wants some. Yet again the braver of the two synodontis came out to eat though the move didn’t last for long. He soon went back into his shell. I don’t see the ancistrus eat but I see the occasional waggle of a tail from underneath the other shell. Stan finished chasing food and retired to his corner and a bit of shade from the lights. Seeing they were all happy I could turn away and deal with my meds the make myself a coffee to go back to work with. I sent Yvonne a text to let her know I wouldn’t be over as I  didn’t want to expose my chest to the cold. By 9.00 am I was almost there but I was feeling tired and my eye were starting to go. I went through and turned TV on and tried to nod in my chair. I managed some but I was back into it by 10.00 am.

Since I haven’t done much today and I’m not feeling great at the moment I’m going to skip most of the day until 4.45 pm when Ugo came round with Reuben. I met them at the door and as Reuben saw me he grinned and said Pops is a voice that sounds like a lions roar trying to do Don Corleone. It’s a real growl. I took him into the lounge and removed his coat. Big mistake, without the weight of sleeves those arms were everywhere. He had remotes galore and TV was going on and off  as were candles, record players and anything else remotely electrical. Boxes were upended of coins, coasters became stones to be skimmed across the floor. Ugo went out for something to eat as it was always our Tuesday treat, and left me in charge. . I distracted Reuben by taking him to the fish tank.There seemed to be only Wise in evidence and either the rest were hiding or Wise had eaten them all..

Ugo returned with food and tried to feed Roobs with fish and chips. I was persuaded to part with some of my sausage (Indian giver) but it was refused, I couldn’t even have it back because it had gone on the plate with the fish. Roobs was more interested in play than in eating and there had to be a couple of stern looks when things were thrown about. That didn’t work, it just brought on the siren and the waterworks, especially after he threw something like a coaster and I relieved him of his favourite remote. It didn’t go down well. I did Ugo some pudding which I think  Reuben helped with a little but he was asking me for chocolate so I had to give him a couple of Cadbury’s fingers. Sorry Matt, they were from your stash.. Soon enough it was time for them to go. I gave Reuben the giraffe I’d got for him and it seemed to be a popular choice. I went to the door with them and all seemed OK’ish until Ugo told Roobs to say goodbye to pops. then his heart broke. So did mine. I came back in and watched  TV quiz before coming through. I soon started to feel unwell and had to gallop to the loo to throw up. As this may be the start of ‘There may be trouble ahead’ I’m closing now and will write again tomorrow if I feel up to it.

Wednesday.

I actually managed to get to bed at 11.30 pm last night though I did read until 12.45 am. I got up at 1.35 am when I thought a trip to the loo was in order but bed still sort of beckoned. I had a cigarette and a small drink and climbed back into bed where I stayed until 5.51 am. I thought that was pretty good. Of course I paid for it when I opened my emails and had to start by working on all the ones I’d missed last night. It was obvious they’d made a point of not missing me. There wee a few Goodnight tweets I had no choice but to answer Good Morning too just in case they thought I was just getting to bed.

At least I felt better this morning apart from the cough which is still annoying me. I’m using the couch medicine which helps a bit but which leaves me drowsy. Not as drowsy as when I was taking it by the tablespoon rather than the teaspoon. Still,I should be OK since as far as I know I’m not pregnant ( except for the odd pause) and certainly not breast feeding since I can’t find a willing woman. At 7.00 am I broke away from messages to feed the fish. It was quite light outside but I still needed the kitchen light and the tank light. There wasn’t a deal of movement except from the bronzes. Big Al, Little Al and Pepper were in the front left corner and Stan was in what would be the top right corner if it hadn’t been occupied by the internal filter. Everything else was keeping a low profile. When Iopened the food hatch they all seemed to go on high alert. Like sniffer dogs with  noses in the air, waiting for the command. Putting some ofthe pellets in was enough to starta race for the spot which Pepper won so he was able to catch them floating down. The plecs moved in, M & W were there as were the hoplos. The usual ones were missing, Ancistrus, synodontis and Stan. I put some of the scientific food and Stan moved himself to grab some. The Synodontis stuck their heads out far enough to grab some and retreat again. No sign of ancistrus and his waggling tail yet though. Satisfied they’d ll get something I moved away.

I had my sprays then took a food tablet before having all the others.Time for a cigarette. I did a couple of quick jobs while smoking so that as soon as the cigarette was finished I was able to put two crumpets in the toaster.When they were ready I set my coffee machine to produce a masterpiece then added butter and strawberry ham to the crumpets and ate them. It was nearing 8.00 am when I finished and I could see youngsters pass by on their way to school. I really didn’t envy them as it was freezing. No rain and the sun was shining but it was a vicious cold. I took my drink through to the bedroom then got dressed and carried on with the mail  By 9.20 am I’d done the one mail box but I decided to pay a visit to Pauline’s to get some shopping and also to collect £10 from the Thunderball on Saturday. Coming back, I wrote a couple of letters, tried to activate my Ancestry.co.uk with the code given for Ancestry.com and when I couldn’t, fired off my second email to them in a week. This has happened every year for the last 3 years. My account with UK ends in March but every Christmas I’m bought a new subscription by a friend in the U.S Obviously he buys it from Ancestry,com while I use .co.uk. But it’s the same firm so why is it so difficult to tack the new subscription on to the end of my old one? For the last few years someone has eventually figured a way and done it for me. This year I’m told to activate the .com and then say I want to use UK in one of the boxes. I’ve done this but all that’s happened is I now have an active account from last December going on with no family trees while I have a recently ended .co.uk account not going anywhere with all my family trees on it.

I had a skype request for contact from someone in Akron Ohio, who is only 29 but single, honest and ‘really’ interested in ‘connecting’ with me. I noticed a few other request from young women who want contact who are prepared to be a nit naughty. See me run ! I can’t remember what to do with an old woman never mind a young one. Lunch time arrived and I had a shepherd’s pie with some bread and butter. I watched another Murder She Wrote but I confess my eyes kept going to the window as I was expecting a book delivery today. At 1.00 pm I returned to my computer and laid into the messages. I know I was tired and was fighting not to fall asleep at the desk. It didn’t work. I woke to a knock at the door but I didn’t realise that’s what it was until I came round properly. It must have been a deeper sleep than I thought. Expecting the book I opened the door to find my friend from the chemists there, it was a surprise as the young lady had delivered my drugs yesterday. I thanked him and closed the door. When I checked it was antibiotics. I knew who’d arranged that little miracle then and sent an email thanking her straight away. I did ask how she managed it without me having gone to the surgery though. The only answer I got was “It’s the way I roll.”I guess she spoke to the nurse who runs the chest clinic there because the only problem s these are the first stage, the weakest antibiotics that usually do nothing for me and I end up having to have three courses each progressively stronger or, as has happened before, getting admitted to hospital. Pneumonia does leave the chest weaker. Anyway I took one there and then.

I worked through to 4.25 pm and couldn’t quite finish but I thought I’s done OK. I went through to the kitchen and got some cake for my tea and then sat and watched PYMWYMI and the beginning of Pointless. Lee sent a text to say he couldn’t make it but Dil and Matt turned up at 5.30 pm. They were watching Pointless as I went to make their drinks. Once the TV went off the games commenced. We started with Yahtzee and needless to say it was more slaughter than game. Matt won 4 of the 6 rounds and Dil won 2. I just couldn’t get a look in. Next up was Nomination at which I’m quite skilled, or so I thought. I started very badly but the vicious taunts made me spur myself into making a comeback and taking the lead only to lose it again in the last 3 hands and see the game go to Dil. We wee going for cards again but Matt fancied Balderdash. I’m sure he hoped I’d get the modern one out but quick as a flash I grabbed the original. Right, this had to be it, I’m a freakin’ genius at lying. If you havben’t seen he game, you only need to get 18 spaces to win. Matt was on 2 , Dil was on 4 and I was on 12 withing the space of a few minutes. But it doesn’t take much…… Dil asked a question, I chose Matt’s answer and he chose min so we both moved on a space, Dil moved on 4 spaces because no-one chose the right answer. It happened twice more on his go and he also scored by guessing right on our goes. Matt was on about 8 when Dill and I were on 15. I moved to 17 by getting one right. Last question, Matt chooses my answer and I choose his again. That means I move the one point I need but Dil moved 4 because the right one wasn’t chosen. A draw, a travesty. They were able to leave sniggring. I think I’ll hold back on cigarettes and biscuits next week until I see how nice Matt is . One snigger and I won’t get them out.

They left and I had a quick tidy and washed the pots. There was a text to say MuJo are coming tomorrow so the backlog will be bad again. Perhaps I’d better not go to bed tonight at all. It’s already well gone midnight and I know I’m not up to date yet.

Thursday.

As expected it was a late one. I was actually glad to climb into bed and read for a while. Without the distraction of my book I find my brain continues to work on computer related things and I might just get back out and start again. Anyhoo, I slept and it was 5.02 am when I got up. I swung my legs out of bed and put my slippers on, added my dressing gown and hobbled to the loo. Mainly because the slippers were on the wrong feet, not that there’s an option as they’re the only feet I have. I found myself discombobulated. I returned from the loo, sat at my desk and corrected my mistake. I set the computer to warm up and wrapped a scarf round the monitor. As soon as the glow appeared I logged into my email and set to work. Some of the work was automatic and I found my brain wandering but don’t worry, I keep it on a short leash. It puzzles me that I’ve had a spate of young ladies wanting to connect on Skype many of them messaging me with the request and offering far more details that would be expected from just a connection. I always wonder where they find my name and what they expect. I shook myself to get my concentration back while I dealt with the latest fraud from Burkino Faso. I think I’ve dealt with most of the population of that place now.

At 7.00 am I had a break while I went through to wish the fish good morning and offer them breakfast. Big Al and Pepper came gliding towards me with Little Al in tow very much reminding me of the bridal couple and a page boy. The hoplos just seemed to be enjoying the morning swimming up to the surface and down and I was puzzled for a moment when I thought I saw another hoplo until I realised one of the synodontis was being brave again though it didn’t last for long as it made a bolt for home as soon as one of the tiny bronze corys approached. The bronzes are just oblivious to everything. I couldn’t see the other synodontis except perhaps a whisker quivering under the bridge. There was no sign of the ancestrus whose tail is usually all I see. I could see the three plecs and they seemed fine leaning against the bog wood. Morecambe and Wise were swimming near the filter at the top of the tank but I knew they were just waiting, Stan was in his favourite corner away from the glare of the lights and didn’t he look glorious with the moustache rippling in the water. Reminiscent of the old TV show Whiplash, he seems to have perfect control of it. I opened the hatch and the tension rose palpably though they all pretended nonchalance . I dropped food in and there was just a blur of motion in front of me. Within seconds it had settled to munching and I went to get a block of bloodworm from the freezer for dessert.

As the fish were settled I concentrated on myself and saw to my meds before making a coffee to take back with me. I sorted my clothes for the day, got washed and dressed and was ready for anything…mainly a sit down with my coffee. I worked until about 9.30 am and then knowing it was unlikely MuJo would be there at that time I went out to Pauline’s for cigarettes and my lottery. I came back wondering if the postman would be here today with my book. I did a little more work and then unexpectedly MuJo arrived at 10.15 am and I had to finish so I could see to drinks, or as it turned out drink since Muriel didn’t want one. She passed me a bag with a shirt they’d bought me which was really nice and they wouldn’t accept they shouldn’t have done. We sat and chatted until 11.15 am and then expecting a discussion on where we’d eat I was surprised to find they’d made the decision already. We headed off out of Holywell to a place called the Dragon’s Rest between Caerwys and Lloc just off the expressway. Muriel ordered lunch after telling John to make sure I didn’t move and try to pay the bill. We sat and waited for drinks when the waitress came to tell them lamb was off the menu. John changed to beef with me and Muriel ended up with soup. The drinks came, John and I took our tablets then the meal arrived. John and I were both disappointed to find the meat seemed to be of the boil in the bag variety. Thin slices that were quite chewy. I think we were sorry we hadn’t had the soup. John had an ice cream, Mu had a thick milkshake while I went out for a cigarette.

We next drove back to Lloc and turned towards Trelawnyd where we went to Jackson’s the Garden and Gift Centre.  We had a nice wander looking at some beautiful gifts and some nice ladieswear they’d added before I took them to the new cafe and treated us all to coffee. I got John some fruit cake and Mu some egg custard which looked good. I swear she put at least 6 sugars in her coffee. I can’t understand why she’s not the size of a house . Eventually it was time to return home, so back to Lloc, along to Holywell and down. It was about 3.00 pm then and Mike had sent a message earlier to say he was on the way with an ‘Ollie’…..I think not. I judged it to be a 4.15 arrival. They left at just gone 4.00 pm and Mike did arrive almost on time, passing me a box as he came in. I took the lid off, removed some newspaper and there he/she was. Much paler than Stan and a little smaller. Definitely not an Ollie to my mind so I’ve decided on Laurel which I can cut to Laurie if needs be. I put the open bag inside the lip of the tank for the first 20 mins adjustment then went to watch PYMWYMI with Mike.At the 20 minute mark we added some tank water to the bag and left it for the next bit. As one programme ended and the next was due I went and released Laurel into the tank. WHOOSH, he was away. I don’t know whether it was fear, excitement or curiosity that caused it but he was everywhere. Even the livelier fish looked a bit bug-eyed with surprise. For a moment he came over and settled with Stan which was a good sign but then off again.

I made Mike and I something to eat, or more accurately, I made myself something and directed him towards the food and let him make his own. To prevent an argument I placed the money for Laurel and for the book I was buying off him, on his suitcase, and said nothing. After tea I fell asleep in my chair and when I woke up it was 7.35 pm and Mike was asleep. I crept away to do a little work. When I went back through he was just waking. We watched DIY SOS until 9.00 pm then I couldn’t avoid work any longer and came back through to stay. We’re back at midnight and yes, I still haven’t finished. I need to decide whether to do a little more after the blog or to leave it till the morning. Tonight’s music is by special request of Mike who asked me to put this on. Requests Welcome.

Friday.

3.12 am today.The memory foam cushion on the chair hasn’t had time to resume it’ s shape from the last visit yet. I remember getting out of bed and nipping to the loo. I don’t remember opening the computer and signing in though. There was lots of stuff from yesterday to work through and t was 5.35 am before I managed to clear the last of it. There wasn’t long to start on today’s mail before it was time to depart for the kitchen. I took my antibiotic so it didn’t get forgotten but left the other meds until I’d seen t the fish. Stan and Laurel must have bickered because they’re in opposing corners of the tank. That alone can’t have made Big Al, Little Al and Pepper happy as Laurel has adopted their corner. Those three are swimming round together with Big Al looking like he really has the hump.  I’m hiding round the end of the tank till he’s passed. Morecambe and Wise are watching me with grins on their faces, I don’t want to know their thoughts. Everyone else is making a great point of minding their own business.  In fact, if they could whistle innocently, they would. I opened the slot and fed them some FishScience and then half a sachet of Daphnia. That brought Stan out of his corner for breakfast but maybe Laurel is on a diet. While they were all cramming food in heir faces I left them to it.

I quickly took my meds and prepared my mug for a coffee as my next job is usually a longish one, filling my drug trays again. I got the drawer from the front room and brought it through then changed any empty boxes for the full ones I’d ordered on Monday. Then I started filling the trays. I knew I needn’t order any drugs this week so didn’t need the prescription request handy. I’ve got it down to a fine art now ordering a month’s worth half one week and half 2 weeks later. Once I’d done and taken the drawer back I got rid of all the strips I’d emptied and also pit the empty boxes in for recycling. Hallelujah, it was time for coffee at last. Almost 7.00 am. I made the drink, noticing I’d need to refill the pods soon, and took it back through to my bedroom. It’s been cough, cough, cough all morning, I’m surprised I haven’t woken Mike up (not). I need lubrication and the cough medicine ran out last night so I hope the coffee will do. I worked on until 8.30 am. Mike had said last night that 8.30 – 8.45 am would be fine as he wasn’t in a rush. A polite way of saying “Don’t disturb me at 8.oo am” He made me laugh by adding I could wake him between those times if he didn’t get up under his own steam. So, it was 8.40 am when I woke him and fair play he got up then without any alarms or second calls. Trouble was it took him til 9.50 am to go out. I was just nodding in my chair in the lounge when he came to say goodbye.

I was forced back to work by my conscience cracking the whip. I’d just got into a nice rhythm when some post came through the front door and there was a knock. It was Darren with a parcel. When I got back in the house with everything I found the second book on catfish had arrived and also the leather jacket. To be honest the jacket was even nicer than it looked on screen though it looked dark enough to be black indoors. I tried it on over my dressing gown and it seemed to fit well but tomorrow I’ll try it with a shirt and cardigan. John asked me yesterday to try and find him a brown jacket too but so far no luck. Which just reminded me that I was supposed to check on some I was looking at around 6.30 pm and 8.30 pm. I missed them both, some friends you are letting them slip past me like that. I worked till 11.30 am then stopped for lunch. I’d just finished th main bit about 12.15 pm when I saw the warden and knew she was heading here. I opened the front door for her then excused myself to wash my hands. She was sitting talking to me and telling me that changes are underfoot again. She job shares a week with someone and they alternate, Mon, Tues, Wed one week and Thurs, Fri the next. Her bosses in their wisdom have decided to end that arrangement. They’re going to have to work static days every week and are being allocated new areas of their own. When they’re off on holiday they will not be covered and residents won’t get a visit. They can however be covered for sickness. There will be a new person allocated to this area who doesn’t work Thurs, Fridays which means I either do without a visit or have to change the day she can come. I think I’ll choose to do without so I don’t have to learn to talk to someone new.

Once she’d gone I turned to the TV for a while before going back to work. When I did go it had mounted up again. I was suddenly very tired. Then I was suddenly very awake as my cigarette burnt my fingers. I threw it in the air, then as I realised what had happened tried to catch it again and get it into the ash tray before it ended up behind the computer somewhere. I’m glad to say I succeeded at the coat of very little skin. From thereon in I concentrated on the mail and didn’t smoke unless I was fully compost mental. I was up to date at 4.20 pm and felt I deserved a skive so went through ready for my programme at 4.30 pm. I was really enjoying it and watched all the purchases then watched them make the private sales but by the tine the auction arrived I’d gone. I stayed gone right through most of the next 45 minutes too and woke only in the dying minutes  of a quiz. I realised Mike wasn’t home yet so I wouldn’t be taunted. As 6.00 pm arrived I went to take a pre-food tablet and have a little chat to the fish before I turned their light out. Mike arrived back at 6.10 pm and said he was surprised I wasn’t asleep. “As if !” I said, and as he asked how the antique show had ended I cut him off by saying I needed to eat and did he want something. “I’ll have the same as you” he said “what are you having?”    “I’m having a syrup sponge with custard” I told him.  “In that case can I have a sandwich” he asked, which he followed up with sponge and custard anyway.

As usual I stayed the Friday night course, quiz, shower and hair wash, quizzes and then as a treat Big Bang Theory. Ten minutes before the end there were adverts one of which was for a pizza . Jokingly I said to Mike “Just ring for a takeaway pizza will you”. He laughed and said he’d been thinking the self same thing but was I serious. That became an I am if you are scenario until he got out a brochure that was in one of the papers and rang. Big Bang finished and I came through to start work. Twenty minutes later a flippin’ huge pizza arrived EACH!!! I started to eat mine while I was working so my abject apologies if anyone got a message with grease stains. As it happened both of us had eyes bigger than our belly and only managed half, so  guess what’s for lunch tomorrow. Old sarky chops was celebrating my entry into the 21st Century as I admitted this is the first time I’ve ever ordered a takeaway pizza. So, he’s doing a catch up run of all the episodes of ‘100’ he’s missed and I’m wondering If I’ll ever get him up in the morning. I’m just working away at the mail now the blog is done again.

Saturday.

Not quite as late as I’d feared last night as I was done by 12.30 am, of course I still needed a read to redirect my brain. I got up at 3.32 am and after my visit to the loo started by checking the lottery, someone in Portugal won the £72 million so that’s my hopes of a private jet dashed for a while again. It was while I was concentrating on my post afterwards I heard a strange noise like the clink of crockery. My clock said 4.00 am . Surely burglars didn’t visit at this time and in this weather? It blowing a gale out there and I know my wheelie bin took a trip during the night. I took a walk through the house and saw the kitchen light was on. There was Mike looking for a soft drink. Having his eyes open might have helped in the search. He has no idea of the time but was being annoyed by a tickle in the throat. I promise it wasn’t my hands around his neck.

At 6.00 am I saw to the fish and then to my meds, including the antibiotic I seem to have missed twice yesterday. I took a drink back to my room and carried on. By 6.50 am I was actually up to date and retraced my steps to the kitchen to prepare Mike’s mug and put the kettle on. As his alarm went off for the first time I let him know his coffee was there. He ignored us both. I dealt with the recycling waste and then once I’d washed my hands reminded Mike not to forget his coffee. He said he wouldn’t. Five minutes later his second alarm went which he also ignored. Once I was sure he wasn’t moving I went back through and asked if he’d forgotten his coffee to which he replied he had. I suggested he sit up instead of snuggling down again and he said that was a good idea as he proceeded to snuggle down again. I left it to 7.30 pm and tried again as I hadn’t heard a third alarm and guessed he’d been aware enough to turn it off. He’s guaranteed just a 2 shout on Alarms now but is so far at 4 Calls, something of a new record. The last shout did the trick though as he swung his legs out of bed like there was a fire, perhaps because I mentioned there might be whereas what I’d really said very quietly was ” Someone needs to light a FIRE under you.” He was galvanised into action. Straight into the lounge to light a cigarette. It would be a while before the next movements after the brain had caught up with the body and unfortunately the brain was still in his bedroom. I just caught up on a few more messages then went to sit with him in the lounge. The eyes were beginning to focus. Eventually he went to get dressed and amazingly we left the house at 8.05 am.

When we drew into the Supermarket I went straight to the cash machine while Mike went to get a trolley. As he approached me I heard a groan. I knew it wasn’t is corns so I could only assume he’d seen the SALE sign that had caught my eyes when we arrived. He can’t moan as I told him there might be coats and lo and behold there were. But, just one he liked and that had enough pockets. It wasn’t actually his size but I told him to try and it fitted and was comfortable. I found two tops for Reuben so we were both happy. Inside the store we got some carnations for Ju then concentrated on the shopping. It didn’t take a great deal of time but I was parched when we’d finished so we had a coffee. On the way home we stopped at Pets at Home to see if they sold the fish food that’s proving such a hit. They don’t but they had 4 very young rats in that were so pretty just like my Bernie and they didn’t run and hide as we stood by the cage talking to them. HE wouldn’t let me get them so I sulked all the way to Flint. Once we were there and parked up we headed for ‘Homies’ as Mike wanted another couple of over the door towel rails and we both needed more cough medicine. We had a wander into Jolley’s to price up new fish tanks the price of about £450 for a 4 foot one nearly made my eardrums explode. There were no exceptional fish in so we walked over to Temptations and took the girls ( and Kyle ) their chocolates. We had a coffee and naturally Mike had his teasted toecake. It was fairly busy so not much teasing of Ceri today.

Time was getting on and we decided to go for lunch. It was probably about 1.00 pm when we arrived at The Ivy which was also fairly busy though our seats were free today. Tariq leaned over the counter for a hug. Angie came for a kiss and even young Rob came up and hugged me today. If only I could get out into the wide world and get people hugging. We managed a couple of short natters with Tariq  before and after our lunches and then it was time to leave. We were home for 3.00 pm. We unpacked and put away the shopping then I came in here and started work. I left Mike with football but at some stage he came through to speak to me and he caught me having just nodded off. I was suddenly attentive again. There was a wonderful surprise when my friend Sally had featured me and my second book on her blog I was quite blown away by some of the comments. I’d just reached about 2.00 pm mail by 6.30 pm, when it was time to go through and give Mike some company. I stayed in there until 9.00 pm when it was time to attack again. Even now at this stage there’s still a long way to go so some will have to wait until tomorrow.

parciau 10 USE

parciau 14 use

I hope you all have a wonderful New Week. 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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Well Balanced Man & Method Acting Class

Sunday 15th.Feb 2015

My hopes for the future were raised again this morning when I got up at 5.28 am. I turned my bedroom light on and hopped down the passage way with gay abandon being very careful not to fall over or knock anything over that might disturb Mike. Ha, did I happen to have the odd atom bomb handy? No. It was a relief ( don’t excuse pun) to go to the loo at a reasonable time and I was very grateful ( just in case Somnos can read). I came back to my room and turned the computer on. The lottery and thunderball results were disappointing which shows yet again  that Brother Jake only responds to wishes if there’s something in it for him. I  shall be (not) working another week then and most definitely not living in the style to which I wish to become accustomed. What’s wrong with wanting my manor house with enough rooms to accommodate all the guests I’d invite? And of course I’ll need a wine cellar (hopefully with a secret passage to the stables), and stables so the secret passage can come out again. Naturally I’m going to need a room big enough for my 12 foot fish tank. Yes, OK it’s just a minor technicality that I don’t have a 12 foot fish tank yet but I can move at speed when I need to.

The mail on the other hand was not too bad at all. I worked through till 7.00 am and had cleared half by then. The fish were having a ball when I got through there. I don’t mean with gowns and evening suits, it was just fun. Heading towards each other and veering off at the last minute, swimming in  and out of the branches of the bog wood, I was beginning to wonder if they were celebrating the extra hour  lie-in. I refused to feel guilty as I don’t wake them when I get up, and the 6.00 am regime wasn’t exactly my fault when I was on the antibiotics. For all the gaiety in the tank, Big Al looked as morose as ever, head buried in his usual corner. I’m  wondering now if it’s less to do with me than with the attention he gets from Pepper. Maybe she’s rushing things or has re-organised his house so he can’t find anything including a smile. I watched them all for a few minutes and kept trying to imagine my pictus in there. In the end I had to drag myself away.

I took my sprays and all the meds then made myself a cuppa to take back with me. As I was passing his door I heard Mike start to cough but it wasn’t enough to wake him. He said last night that he’ll go home early today as he’s feeling bad and I don’t blame him. I don’t know what time though. I carried on and got back into the mail. At 9.45 am I was up to date ( if I didn’t refresh) and wondered if Mike would be up soon. I had a quick play on Ancestry.com trying to trace some medals but it looks like they’ve only got the Royal Navy ones on so far. Most of my family have been RAF except during WWI of course. It was OK as I followed a few hints through to their conclusions anyway. At 10.15 am Mike started coughing again and this time sat up. When I went through he was coherent which I took to be a good sign so I went to make him a drink. By the time I got back he was down again but the smell of the coffee must have got to him and he came through to the lounge by 10.30 am. He said there was no point in going back too early now as he felt much better. The cough  says otherwise. Anyway,he asked me what I wanted to do today, all I could think of was some fish food. He decided that we’d go to the two shops we like that sell fish both in completely opposite directions as a round trip. I knocked that on the head.

It was gone midday when we actually got out and after a short discussion starting “Which way am I going?”we headed towards Rhyl waving at The Ivy and The Bells as we went past. When we arrived in Rhyl I said I’d prefer to eat first so we parked up on a side street and walked to a place we’d been to recently known as The Red Caff because of it’s decor. It’s very basic tranny caff meals (Transport Cafes) and I ended up with cottage pie, chips and peas. Walking back to the car afterwards I asked Mike if he fancied going into another fish shop he’s not been in before that years ago I wasn’t keen on. It must be ten years since I was in there last and bought a book that it might have changed. It had. We had a good wander round and were both taken with various fish. Suddenly he called me and said “Look”. The sign on the tank said pictus but the owner who was working nearby said the last one was sold yesterday. We carried on looking and there really were some nice fish. The other shop might have a pictus or it might not so should it be a bird in the hand. I settled for a fish in each hand like a well balanced man . No will power at all. I got a fantastic shark catfish  (not like Sharkey who wasn’t a catfish at all) and an ancistrus plec. They both look much nicer in real life than on the pictures.

Shark Catfish (columbian)

Shark Catfish (columbian)

Ancistrus plec

Ancistrus plec

I did remember to get the fishfood to so I didn’t feel guilty. We didn’t have far to go back to the car and start heading for home. When we got back I opened the bags and part sunk them into the tank for 20 minutes so the temperature would gradually come up and they’d acclimatise. Mike gathered his suitcase and we said our goodbyes. He headed off and I put some tank water in each of the bags so they’d adjust to that too. After 20 minutes I came to let them out. They were both off like rockets. The new Sharkey ( I know, not too original is it) seemed quite happy swimming around and wasn’t affected by my voice nearby. The ancistrus was gone. Wherever he’s hiding it’s good, I just can’t see him. Hopefully when I release some bloodworm or perhaps daphnia into the water tomorrow he might emerge to eat. Time to llet them get on with it and to get back to work. It was 4.00 pm which means over 6. hours accumulation of messages. I worked till 5.30 pm then went for a sandwic to take tablets with but I was only away half an hour. I worked from 6.00 to 9.30 pm then gave myself another half hours break watching an episode of Gavin and Stacey. Promptly at 10.00 pm I was back into battle. I was doing well but of course more mail was coming in all the time. At 11.00 pm I broke off to record today’s events and then at 11.45 pm otherwise known as now, decided to go back to it for a while.  Night all.

Monday.

I must still be either in favour or forgotten altogether. It was a 4.36 am start so I had approximately 3 hours unbroken sleep. I don’t remember any dreams sent to disturb me either. When I got up I was able to turn lights on and set my computer to power up while I took the widdle walk. Vastly relieved ( sorry)I came back and had a look at the post. ow, just three carried over from last night after all the extra work , but the morning’s post, oh dear, anyone would think half the world was up while I sleep my life away. Four flippin’ thirty and over a hundred posts already. It’s just not on. I have a sense of humour but someone is stretching it to the limit here.Most especially when one of the first messages I open tells me to ‘click here’ to start claiming my instant lottery win on the African Lottery. I thought the African lottery was based on who ate and who didn’t. Sorry, that was in bad taste.

It was 7.10 am before I looked up from the screen again.( Not just from that one email) and decided it was time to feed the fish.All seemed quiet in the tank as I turned the kitchen light on and then it picked up it’s pace a bit when the tank light went on. I could see all my pals in there but still haven’t found where the ancistrus is hiding. I suppose I was pre-warned about this when I saw how much trouble it was to find him yesterday. I didn’t bother with flake today, I put in some of the small algae pellets then opened a sachet of the daphnia I bought yesterday. For a minute I thought I’d made a mistake as they were all going for a nibble except Sharkey, then maybe he tasted something in the water and he was down there hoovering it up with the best of them. I felt like doing the dum dum, dum, dum theme from Jaws but he’s far to pretty to be a predator like that. After watching for a few minutes I got my drugs to take and then made a drink which I took back with me. I’d emptied a carton of milk and took the plastic bottle top the recycling bag. Have I mentioned how heartbroken I am? Saturday mornings all the rubbish goes out for collection. My goodhearted neighbour Bert always brings the bins back for me and deposits them on my step, the recycling bags he rolls up and places behind the bin.Except this week there were only two bags, tins and plastic, my big blue bag for paper and card ( I bought this one) was missing. I have one of the council’s own blue plastic bags but ou can’t hang those out of the way as I could. Who would deprive a man of his bag this way????

Back to work.I carried on until 9.00 am then got dressed and at 9.30 am went off to the chemist with my repeat prescription request. Coming out of there I accidentally turned right and ended up in the sandwich shop. I couldn’t NOT get something so bought a sausage bap for my breakfast. I took it home and after taking pre-food tablet enjoyed it.Then it was the turn of the two torpedo sized post-food tablets. Of course that meant I couldn’t have lunch at midday and nearly removed my excuse to watch my antique programme. Luckily I needed a break at 12.15 pm coincidentally. I returned to work at 1.00 pm and kept my nose to the grindstone until 2.15 pm when I was due another skive and at 3.00 pm came back. I wanted one last big effort before going to watch my 4.30 pm programme but I was starting to feel tired and to glaze over and forget what I was actually doing. By the time 4.15 pm came round I was down to about 30 messages and wasn’t keeping pace with the incoming so I powered down and went through to the lounge early. I put the last few minutes of a house search on and wallop. I woke up during the quiz show that followed my Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. I was really piggin’ annoyed at myself. I stayed in the lounge till 6.30 pm and then came through to give it another try. It went a bit better this time and at least I was sure what I was writing to people but catching up still seemed an impossibility. I managed to get one account almost clear only for the other one to fill up to 42. I knew I needed to get down as low as possible before I go and see Yvonne tomorrow as I’ll come back to a backlog, I didn’t want to make it worse.

What a difference a year makes.

What a difference a year makes.

I’ve been trying to analyse why this weekend has resulted in a new rush of followers for my Buthidars Blog, some for this blog and also some new twitter followers. I’m certainly not complaining as new followers tend to make me think I’m doing something right ( for a change). But when you know what ‘right’ is maybe you can duplicate it.

Anyhoo, it looks like I’ll have to let a few pieces of mail carry over till the morning as there are too many for tonight. At least the blog is done. For Valentine’s day I indulged myself with the choice of record because I felt it was full of romance and feelings.( There might be snow on the chimney but there’s still a fire in the hearth). Tonight I’m giving you the other classic from the only musical I liked and by the same artist who did Saturday’s P.J.Proby I hope you enjoy.

Tuesday.

3.42 am today. It doesn’t sound so bad if you say it fast but it’s still a goodly chunk off three hours. Never mind, I can sleep on the bus. Lights on, warm computer up while I visit with ‘Niagara Falls intermittently’ and then back to check my bank then the mail. One of the gods was smiling down on me and it’s fairly certain it wasn’t Somnos et al, the mail looked manageable. During the first five minutes I’d had four messages about problems with bank accounts that didn’t exist so it was safe to assume that the conmen have returned from their private island Christmas breaks and want to start saving for their Summer breaks. I’ve either read or been told recently that the spelling mistakes I so often mention are deliberate. It’s to take out the educated people who might realise these are cons and leave the rest as targets for theft and fraud.

I stopped work at 6.00 am in order to see to the fish. I wanted to have as much leeway with time for getting dressed etc as possible. I went through to the kitchen and turned the main light on. I’m usually glancing in the direction of the tank to see if I can see any sudden guilty changes in activity. I didn’t, so I move over and turned the tank light on. Ancistrus wasn’t quite quick enough, I saw his tail disappear behind one of the shells.At the same time, I saw a little head with a fantastico moustache  sticking out of the same shell, it was one of the synodontis. As if by magic, as it withdrew it’s head, the head of the other one started to appear from the other shell at my end of the tank. Morecambe and Wise came over to wish me good morning and the two bronze corys bobbed up and down the tank in front of me. Big Al, Pepper and Little Al moved into position under the feeding hatch and hoped no-one noticed. The plecs stayed as still as usual and tried to blend into the background. At the end of the day they’re armoured and no-one is going to bother them much. That left the beautiful SharkeyII who swam gracefully up and down from floor to surface trying to feel out and avoid obstacles with his magnificent moustache. Rather than attack anything in his was as did Sharkey I, this one changes direction. If I do decide to have a second tank inside the lounge, he’s one that will grace it alongside a pictus. It’s not so much colour I’m interested in as I am the sleek form of the catfish family. How Oscar would have delighted in the fact that I always said I’d never have a cat again……

Coming out of my cogitations I turned and took my sprays then poured myself some milk to take my tablets. I lit a cigarette as I put my mug in the Tassimo to make my drink. I must have been daydreaming a while as I noticed it had gone 6.30 am already. Time to get dressed. I decided to wear one of my very expensive shirts from Saturday. It seemed to fit nicely which was a blessing. I still had time to do a couple more pieces of mail before putting on my shoes so I went for personal ones as there was no urgency on notifications. At 7.10 am I had to start getting my shoes on but not before I’d used the other end of my shoe horn to scratch my back bringing a purr to my lips. I gathered up a bag of things I had for Ugo, got my coat on, put new ends on my crutches and left. I hadn’t reached the bus stop when the bus drew up beside me to let me get on.It was a great relief as the hill is quite awkward.I thanked the driver and went to my regular seat as the first person on the bus. Thereafter I kept my eyes closed most of the way. I can tell where I am from the corners the bus takes and was able to take little naps as well.

For some reason the bus made good time despite roadworks and we drew in a little early. Yvonne was running a little late so I walked towards where she’d come from to meet her. Still a little distance away she spotted me and I could hear her ask Roobs where pops was. Within moments he’d spotted me and his arm came up to point a his mouth broke into a big grin. I checked my fly was closed. Hugs and kisses all round I suggested walking round a different shop, on I rarely see before going for coffee. Despite not buying anything it was enjoyable and interesting. On coming out we headed for our favourite clothes shop and it’s coffee bar. I had a nice latte and a cumberland sausage toastie with red onion, Yvonne and Reuben had toast and jam with their drinks. Poor Yvonne had to share her tea with Reuben even though e had tea in his beaker. I was able to get Yvonne some nice gloves in the main shop and a sort of fleece for Muriel.

From there we went to Tesco food shopping. I got some tulips for Julia as I wasn’t happy with her vase this week and somehow I ended up with a lemon meringue tart, though I did manage to get Ugo some chocolate biscuits and when Yvonne got milk and stuff for pancakes I was able to pay for it without WWIII breaking out. Time wasn’t doing to well this morning but we had chance to go to the £ shop to get a tin foil holder and cutter like mine for Yvonne and then go to have a look at books for Reuben in another shop. It was time to think about going. Instead of walking all the way to the bus station as usual I decided to try and wait where I’d got off the bus earlier. That meant I didn’t have to trail Yvonne behind me. She did a quick sort of the bags and then all of  sudden my bus was there.Reuben had fallen asleep in the bookshop but he chose the moment of my goodbye to wake up again. The siren started, he was not a happy chappie. As I got on I waved and Yvonne started walking towards home advertising an air raid attack. Poor girl.

Someone (not disabled) had sat in my seat so I had to occupy a double seat on the other side. I closed my eyes straight away. The journey went smoothly and after an hour I was home. My first job, once my coat was off, was Ju’s vase. With the addition of the tulips it looked so much better. More as it should have on Valentine’s day really. Then checking the other bags I found Yvonne’s gloves which I’ll have to take next time. I left the lemon meringue defrosting and came through to work. It was 1.15 pm, but that didn’t stop me taking a Father Brown break at 2.15 pm. And when I came back to work afterwards I worked on with the intention of seeing my PYMWYMI today. I came through a few minutes early and made something to eat. As soon as it was over I washed up and sat to watch a quiz. I saw the introduction of the teams and that seems to be it. I must have gone hard because I didn’t even wake up in the quiz. When I opened my eyes I realised the news was on and looking at my watch I’d been gone an hour. Time to get back to work. Progress was steady tonight and mails wasn’t coming in faster than I could deal with it. I was nibbling into the back log all the time. By 10.00 pm when I went to tke my tablets I felt brave enough to refresh. Uh Oh, Error, that meant the chase was on again a bit. By 11.00 pm there wasn’t too much left. perhaps 30, so I was able to break off to do this post. Time to try again.

R.I.P Lesley Gore  Died aged 68 on 16th February 2015. Taken by Cancer.

Wednesday.

My best sleep for a while kept me in bed until 5.28 am today. Before going out of the bedroom I switched the computer on so that it would be ready for when I returned from the loo. I logged into my mail and knew I’d got some work ahead of me this morning. I only worked until 6.15 am as I decided to have breakfast today just to make sure I didn’t need a meal before my fellow card sharps arrived tonight. So I went through to the kitchen and turned both lights on, the room and the tank. I got quite carried away just watching the fish enjoying themselves and almost forgo to feed them. Big Al left Pepper’s side and came to the front of the tank to glare at me. I got the message.I opened the trap and dropped in some specially balanced food I’d picked up at the weekend then opened a sachet of daphnia as a bonus. They must have been ravenous the way they went at it. As soon as it looked like everyone was getting a share I moved away. I took a pre-food tablet first then lit up a cigarette as a time guide. My sprays came next and then a mug of milk to take the tablets with, making sure I saved enough to use for my coffee. As soon as the ciggie was finished I put two slices of bread in the toaster and put the coffee on. As that was ready the toaster clicked and sent two perfectly browned pieces of toast into my waiting hand. Oh Sugar! That was hot. I ate the toast and took the two post-food torpedoes with my coffee. Back to work.

I wasn’t really keeping an eye on the time but when I noticed it was 9.15 am I stopped work and got dressed. I was pretty sure there’d be enough time to get to Pauline’s and back before the postman was due. I moved at my top speed and got everything I wanted then headed back. My timing couldn’t have been better, he was just heading for me. The book I was expecting was there which was great so he put everything in my shopping bag and wished me goodbye. I let myself in, put the shopping away then sat looking at the book for ages. Luckily it was mainly pictures. Fish of every shape and size with information on how large they grow, what size tank is needed , whether they can go in a community tank, everything I need ton know in short. I’m sure Mike and I will have a lot of fun with this.

I’d wasted so much time reading that it had just flown by. I stopped at 11.45 to make my lunch and didn’t think I’d made much of a dent in the work but at least I was on the right day. After a lunch of lamb hock and mashed potatoes with veg and after the end of another Murder She Wrote exercise I came back through intending to get my head down. By 2.00 pm I was amazed to see real daylight, I was well on the way to catching up. I stood up when I heard a knock on the door and didn’t mind opening up as I knew it was likely to be the chemist delivery. It was, so I swapped my meds for a box of chocolate I’d put handy. As I took them through to the kitchen I decided to watch Father Brown. Not exactly my best idea. I missed the end and zonked out again, not waking until 4.00 pm, a full hour after I should have been back at work. I could only manage another half hour’s work now until Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is, came on. Yes, I know I could have given it up but I thought I could still manage. The computer just laughed at me and went on a go slow. In that half an hour 37 messages came in, eleven went out.

I watched my programme then put the stuff in the mugs ready for their arrival. By the time I was done I saw them approach. They watched the usual quiz while I did the drinks and then we watched together. Once it was over the games came out. It was a scrabble day  in fact it was MY scrabble day I’d have done a little celebration jig had there been floor space and if they hadn’t both threatened me. I was a lot more subdued in Nomination, even leaving the room when I needed to snigger. Yes, that was my game too. Chase the Lady was a different kettle of fish and Dil wiped the floor with me again, I’m sure it’s meant to be my game. Lastly Crazy 8’s, I’m sure they both decided to gang up on me and make sure I couldn’t win. There were pick up’s galore waiting for me as we played and the honours fell to Matthew, His victory dance must have been done out of my sight in case his biscuit and ciggie supply get cut off. They left at 9.30 pm and after tidying up and washing the pots I took my meds and came through.

I saw in my gmail account 117 messages in so for a change I’ve decided to do he blog first and than attack  the mail. It’s 10.53 now so I guess it’s going to be a late night.

Thursday.

I got the feeling someone was definitely sulking this morning, other than me that is. It was a 3.27 am awakening and just unnecessary. That equates to about 2 hours and I was tempted to fight it. Trouble was, I was wide awake,not just zombiefied.(There may be no such word but I think it fits so there it is). There wasn’t even any urgency for the loo so I had opportunity to turn on the computer and sign in. The mail from yesterday was bad since I made myself give up at midnight last night in order to relax with a read. If I’d have carried on, I could have met myself getting up. I worked until 7.10 am then took a break to do the fish , with a side trip to the loo on the way compliments of a 1.5 litre bottle of limas y limones exprimidos otherwise known as squeezed lemons and limes. The fish were in meeting mode today. As I turned the light on I saw Pepper, followed by Little Al and the bronze corys followed by the hoplos all come out off Big Al’s corner. Morecambe and Wise were at the side of the tank nearest me, Sharkey II was roving all over the tank and of the ancistrus there was just a splash of tail from beneath the shell. The Plecs remained wherever they were in camouflage mode. I did wonder if I’d missed the wedding party and some guests had been excluded. Just in case, I provided the wedding feast with some bloodworm as a treat. Sharkey II didn’t seem all that interested in food but it was like watching the Mongol hordes overrun Asia with the rest.

I peeled myself away to take my morning meds and to make my coffee which I brought back to my room. Time for a stage 2 assault on the mail. It was all done by 9.15 am so I got washed and dressed and went to Pauline’s for my lottery tickets. Coming  back I met Darren again and he had a small catalogue for me. I must admit I was hoping for something else today which had piqued my curiosity. Some small sheets of impregnated gum?That you put in your mouth to dissolve to give a nicotine rush so you don’t need a cigarette. I remember buying something minty a few years ago which were quite pleasant but which seem to have gone off the market since. Perhaps they’ll arrive tomorrow. I went into the house and sat down ready to pick up the new mail. There was enough to keep me going but I also opened my second account and pulled the new mail from there. It generally takes longer to do because it’s more personal. One I wasn’t happy to see was a message that my son (in law) lost his grandmother this week. I know it will be hard on him and he’s working so hard at the moment and is away so often that it will be very hard to take time to mourn properly or to celebrate her life.

I ceased work very pleased with progress at 11.40 am and wandered through to the kitchen. I took my pre-food tablet, buttered some bread  and then put the food in the microwave. While it was doing I put the TV on and watches Judge Judy savage someone new and then have her usual “You’re not as clever as me” rant. The woman should cite herself for contempt of court. Fortunately it was coming to an end and as I went to get my lunch it changed from her to The American Miss Marple, Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote. I had an hour in her company before returning to work. Things were steady and I wasn’t under any pressure that made me think I’d miss my antiques programme. If Mike was coming though, he’d miss it because I hadn’t received a text to say he was on his way as usual. I ploughed through as much work as I could which included rubbish like having been awarded so many free spins on slot machines, so much free at bingo sites and prizes I’d won if only I’d complete the claim form to include my telephone number. By the time 4.30 pm was approaching I was tired and glad to get away. I checked on my phone which was on charge in the kitchen and saw Mike had sent a text about two minutes after I’d left the phone there at 3.00 pm. I reckoned he’d be here about 5.15 pm. I watched my programme and thought there was no pint in returning to my room only to have Mike walk in moments later. I might as well stay by the kettle. I filled kit and put it on and got his mug ready. It was actually nearer half past when he arrived. I made the drink and sat to talk and see how he is.

Mike had apparently stayed in bed until Wednesday after getting home then gone to help his son decorate. I wasn’t convinced that would have done his chest a lot of good but I shall credit him with enough sense to know when enough is enough. Anton wouldn’t let him do it if he didn’t think he was up to it. We watched a couple of quizzes together, an episode of MASH and an old Top of The Pops from 1980. At 8.00 pm I had to excuse myself though and come through. I called Mike through to look at some fish tanks very quickly as he’s interested in a new one too. That lasted almost an hour as we flicked from one to another deciding which were too far away to be considered. After he’d gone I found my mail was well above the 150 mark again. As I was working on them I found 2 people I tweet for multiple times a day who don’t reciprocate or visit the blog and decided it was a good idea to start my unfriending campaign. Maybe that will slow things down a bit. At 10.00 pm I broke off to take my evening/nighttime meds and to remind Mike to take his, then back to work again. At 11.00 am I gave up and came to do the blog as it obviously takes longer. I may or may not get back to deal with a few more.

Unforced kiss for Pops

Unforced kiss for Pops

The comforting hand

The comforting hand

Friday.

We moved in a more positive way this morning. About 6.30 am was my goal, 04.27 am was the compromise which naturally I had no say in. I paid my  visit to the loo, performed the stop start, have I finished yet? dance and returned to power up the computer. There was quite a bit of mail but I thought it manageable. I worked to my hopeful getting up time and went through to see to the fish. Once I turned their light on there seemed to be an air of excitement, I’m convinced they know food follows light. There was even some jockeying for position. Some of the smaller ones settled beneath the hatch starting with the bronze corys, the hoplis and even Morecambe and Wise barged in though they get flake, Then along came Big Al and Pepper who settled big bottoms slowly on to of other fish until they were slowly squeezed out at the sides. Little Al was cheeky enough to try the same trick between Big Al and Pepper with some surprising success. I dropped some pellets in and then a sachet of the daphnia so that a feeding frenzy moved them into every man for himself mode. It’s funny to watch them go from order to disorder in zero seconds flat.

After watching them for a few moments longer and gauging whether there was enough for those who hadn’t put in an appearance, I moved away and started to take my meds. I didn’t make a drink straight away as it’s the day for refilling all the drug trays. I got on with that, bringing down all the new drugs to complete the drawer and then filling the trays from there. Then I was able to make a drink and take it through. It was already 7.30 am so I knew I didn’t have long before having to rouse Mike. At  few minutes to 8. 00 am I put coffee in Mike’s mug and put the kettle on. As soon as it was ready I took it through letting him know it was there. First words generated a grunt, the second a reminder that he’d told me last night he wasn’t under pressure today. I just reminded him I’d specifically asked it it was to be a normal time day to which he’d said yes. I left the room, and went back to mine to finish my own drink. At 8.30 am I wandered past taking my mug to the kitchen and for the heck of it shouted that the coffee was going cold. There was movement, about what it took to turn his head away. I decided to wait in the lounge for him to get up, that was a big mistake. I nodded off in my chair and he didn’t wander through until 9.30 am.

I don’t know why I did it but I turned the TV onto an American comedy. Instead of rushing round like a mad thing trying to be out an hour late at 10.00 am Mike sat and watched it with me. At 10.00 am when the episode was over I said I was going to get dressed. Mike said he was thinking that too. I left the room and he still stayed a while longer before finally moving it. I went through in my dressed state and turned off in case he wanted to finish the current episode. The work couldn’t be avoided any longer.Finally at just gone 10.30 am he came through to say goodbye.

The time seemed to fly by after that. I was watching two books on ebay for Mike due to finish at midday I didn’t want to move from the screen to make lunch. At the last seconds I put a bid in £4 greater thank the current price by someone had left a larger bid on. They say thing happen for a reason so I did a search for the same books and found a wonderful set of 4 or £30. He already has the first one but if he sells that to me for £10  he’d not only have the two books he wanted but also an edition which is full of thousands of photographs from 5 volumes all for the princely sum of £20. And it’s a buy now item so no bidding. I was thinking of sending him a text when there was a knock at the door and one of my two lovely wardens was there. She came in for a chat but mainly to see I was OK. When she left I made my lunch. Unashamedly bacon sandwiches. After lunch it was work again but I was no longer doing well as I had been earlier. Time for head down. Well, I tried but just couldn’t concentrate properly. At 2.15 pm I gave it up as a bad job and went through for Father Brown.Not far into it I couldn’t take it in so stood to go and get a drink. Down I went in darkness for probably no more than a minute or so, how I didn’t hit the TV I don’t know but I seemed to fold rather than go flat. Maybe I have a dainty side. I got back on my chair and relaxed into a series of Zzz’s until about 3.15 pm.

I managed to work a bit until 4.30 pm, Mike texted to say he was on his way back and so I went to see the last day of the antiques show. At least I was in the right place for making Mike a drink when he came in. Poor soul had to make his own because I was engrossed in a quiz by then. I had put the stuff in his mug and boiled the kettle though. At 6.30 pm I went to get my hair washed and then take a shower, I wanted to be out by 7.00 pm.Mike looked at the books I’d mentioned and decided to buy them there and then, then he was also showing me a 4′ bow fronted fish tank he’d found and might bid for. We watched a couple of shoes and then at 8.30 pm I left him to his own devices and came back through. I’ve tried to do some more messages but I’m not getting far. So, I’ve decided to concentrate on the blog post and then see if I can just pull the important pieces of post and for once disregard the rest. Sorry.

Saturday.

Well, I got my early night. I felt so bad my light was off at 12.10 am. I’m not sure how long it took me to get to sleep but I woke at 1.18 am. A few expletives later I managed to fall asleep again but only until 2.52 am at which time I knew that was it. I turned my light on and powered up the computer as I went past on my way to the loo. I’d finished and was on my way back out when I almost found enough to go again in my pyjamas. Some prannock called out in the loudest of voices “Who’s that”. I was tempted to say it was a burglar but thought I might get lumped with a bedside lamp before he woke up. Instead I answered “It’s only me” which seemed to satisfy him. My chest had made the voice so husky I don’t know whether he recognised it or whether the answer itself was enough to settle him. In which case I’m in trouble if we ever have any intelligent burglars.

Back in the bedroom I found over 100 message already so more than enough to keep me going, but at least there were no distractions. I finished the first batch at 6.30 am and didn’t want to refresh or sign into my other account until I’d got a drink of lime juice from the kitchen. That of course involved waking the fish so I turned the tank light on. I think they’ve all been taking lessons at a method acting school since they all seemed to shake and wake as though startled into movement, and yet it wasn’t fully dark at that time. From sluggish to manic in seconds they still seemed to be prearranged moves until they finally settled under the hatch in a ‘We know what’s coming, get a bl**dy move on’ kind of attitude. Feeling the whole thing was a little contrived ( not that I’m paranoid or anything) I shovelled in some flakes and some of the normal algae pellets and left them to it. I just hoped the little monsters would leave enough for the shy ones in their midst.

I took my sprays then put some milk in my mug and started on my tablets. I didn’t feel like a coffee but found I did very much feel like I needed a sit down. I moved to the lounge for what I expected to be a few minutes but Oops ZZZZzzzzzzzz. While asleep I heard Mike’s alarm go off twice but just thought he’s come through and wake me.( What a stupid thought that was). I woke at 7.55 am , screamed and put the kettle on to make his coffee which I took through. An hour late and he was still reluctant to get up but when I said it was 8.00 am he did so without a second call ( 2 Alarms, 1 Call…wow). I made my coffee and said I’d go and get dressed. He complained I’d disturbed him at 3.00 am  and was lucky I didn’t tell him to mop the floor from where he’d shouted. I was really quiet and he hears me, yet if I’m noisy when it’s time to getup- Nada. We finally left the house just before 9.00 am  and despite a hair raising drive ( not that you could have told with my haircut) we did arrive safely. Mike went on a long trek looking for a trolley he didn’t have to pay for while I went to the cash machine, the very annoying cash machine that never has any £10 notes when I go, to get money for the shopping.

Inside the store it was a left turn as I didn’t need potatoes today, nor flowers for my wife. Mike says he checked the flowers in the vase and they look fine. We went up and down a few aisles to see if we could find some recycling bags as I miss the blue one for paper that wasn’t returned last week. It had handles so it could be hung out of the way whereas the blue plastic ones issued can’t. Couldn’t find any at all. We went up towards the gents clothing when Mike suddenly felt the urgent need to answer a call of nature.That means I either find a corner to hide in or I keep moving so no-one talks to me. I chose the latter and was halfway through the shopping by the time he got back. Fear lends speed especially when you have wheels you can lean on. We finished the shopping, went through the tills and headed for a coffee. This week we were lucky and got one. When we came out and had a cigarette while packing the car Mike asked what we were doing next, having already lost an hour of the morning I suggested straight to Flint to see Ceri and the girls rather than go looking at fish as we’d thought the night before. He agreed and off we went. Despite the fact he think he’s driving a De-Lorean we still got there after we’d set off. We went round a couple of shops then settled in what was a very busy Temptations. We hardly got a chance to talk to Ceri let alone tease her. A couple more shops still looking for this elusive car coat Mike wants and we headed for home.

Normally we’d have gone straight for lunch but, as Mike won’t let me forget, I forgot my tablets. Moan, Moan, Whinge, it’s worse than being married. We unpacked and put away the shopping then head off for the Ivy. Tariq greeted us as soon as we walked in the door almost, uga all round. Our seats were free so coats down, then Angie walked past and I gave her the chocolates and received a nice kiss while Mike was shouting “Get a room” in the background. He’d need a room for what he has in mind. Rob came through and called hello and asked how we were, I think he’s used to us now and less fearful. Tariq came to ask if we wanted the usual drinks and went off to make them while we wrestled with the menu. Mike settled on something too hot with rice which he regretted until he could add sour cream to it, I had sliced gammon with two eggs and chips. People coming and going nodded hello or goodbye as they’re a friendly bunch and Tariq came over to talk a couple of times. Shella came over to say hello too. I think we were only missing Shirley to complete the set. We left there about 2.15 pm and headed for home again after deciding anything we wanted to do we could do tomorrow.

Wen we got in Mike started looking for fishtanks for himself on ebay and I came through to work. I did as much as possible up to 5.30 pm then Mike wanted some company ( and competition ) for a quiz. I stayed there until 9.00 pm at which time it seemed OK to leave him on his own. As usual the mail was enough to cause a sharp intake of breath but I made up my mind I could only do what I could do and the the blog must take precedence. Any time left after that I can go back to the blog again. I did wonder if I could post the blog in the early hours of the morning when SOMEONE is asleep since he keeps coming in to see if I’ve written anything inflammatory about him. I usually spell that word T.R.U.E but hey, different strokes.

Have a Great Week everyone.

 

 

 

 

 

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The 59 Minute Sleepathon & Sunglasses in Winter?

Sunday 31st January 2015

I was shocked this morning to be allowed a 5.19 am wake up.It had been a late one last night so this was the perfect opportunity to punish me…. if punishment were needed that is. On the other hand, maybe the small gods party on a Saturday night and have a lie-in too. I turned my light on, booted up the computer and went to the loo. I was ready to go when I got back and signed in. There was more mail than I expected at that point and less comments on the blog than I’d hoped but it is a very in between time in much of the world.

At 6.00 am I strolled through to the  kitchen for a chat with the fish. I almost said with my pals but it seems I can only rely on Morecambe and Wise in that direction. As I put the tank light on the two of them came to greet me thoughh being the cynic I am, I’m convinced cupboard love has a lot to do with it. I’d hoped for more from Pepper but maybe it’s early days yet or perhaps Big Al has managed to poison him against me. Big Al himself came out of his corner and hung around the opening waiting for breakfast, I mentally hit myself for thinking it would be a good time to give them a day without food.I opened the flap and dropped the flake in first to try and keep Morecambe and Wise off the bottom, then I added the granules for the rest. Morecambe and Wise were straight down. Everyone rushed in to feed except one of the plecs who was more interested in cleaning windows and the two synodontis who don’t seem to like coming out when there’s a lot of activity. Happy that everyone would get a share I left the fish and went to take my meds after which I made myself a drink to take through. There was no pint in preparing a mug for Mike yet as it’s Sunday. Ha ha.like you’d expect him to be up yet.

Id finished my coffee a while ago and had started on a tin on Vimto when 8.20 am came round and my first relief. I was up to date on this site even with a refresh but hadn’t opened the second one yet. Before I did so, I needed to stretch my legs a bit and also to apply cream to my sore ankle and leg where the skin is still peeling. I use diprobase which is good at moisturising but takes forever to rub in. I did that first then went to wash my hands in the bathroom. Deciding the splashing might just wake Mike I went to the kitchen sink instead. After the hands were done I noticed the synodontis had come out to eat. I needed to check there was enough food left for them to find in case I needed to give more. They were snuffling round the bottom of the tank where the others had been but I saw them both find something. Good, I was sure if I’d raised the flap again the others would have been there like a flash. I must have spent longer watching them than I thought as I notice my watch showed 9.25 am.  I went through and got dressed.

At 9.55 am I put the kettle on and started making Mike’s mug ready. As soon as the kettle boiled I made a drink and took it through. Before I could call Mike a weary hand raised from the bed and waved at me. I waved back with my free hand and put the coffee down. I guessed it was safe too speak to him so just let him know what time it was and left. Knowing more mail must have accumulated now I returned to my bedroom and started work. I even opened the second mail account and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. The sound of Mike reaching the lounge reached me. As soon as I’d caught up again I joined him. He asked what I wanted to do today saying it was my treat. I said all I could think of was a trip to the Tweed Mill which we hadn’t been to in a while. Straight away I could tell he wasn’t too keen on the idea because he kept suggesting alternatives interspersed with the word FISH. I’d actually seen somewhere online that looked good for fish earlier on but it’s not open on a Snday so we sort of agreed that maybe we could try there next Saturday after shopping. It was back to deciding what to do today. I suggested we go to Tariq’s for brunch and decide from there.

As it was past 11.00 am when we left the house it was getting nearer the time for lunch.  When we arrived I spotted Tariq working on his computer though a window so I tapped on the glass and hurried to the door.By the time we got in he was already waiting to greet us with hugs and ask how we were.Two or three hugs down the line he was convinced we’re well and we moved into the room properly just as Angie came down to see to some customers so we were greeted all over again. Our table was free so we set our coats down and I moved over to put the chocolates we’d brought onto the counter. Angie and Rob came to behind the counter and Angie made our drinks. As we were making them what looked like a coach load appeared so I quickly wrote our food order on Angie’s pad so we wouldn’t have to wait too long and came back to the table to take a tablet. Then it was time for a cigarette. Mike and I stepped outside the back door where there are ash trays on the tables. We were just finishing off when Rob came to the door to let us know lunch was on the table. Mike had one for the roast beef option while I’d decided on a breakfast but with the addition on a small bucket of chips in place of those awful potato things often served with breakfasts now.

We both enjoyed eating and felt full. The question came back to what to do today. Mike was magnanimous in saying as we were going to look at fish on Saturday, he’d take me to the Tweed Mill today.  The Tweedie is situated just outside St Asaph, Wales’s smallest City. It’s like a small Outlet Village under one roof. It’s one place that I’ve seen Clogau Gold watches before now. We said goodbye to everyone and set off. Typically when we got there the Clogau gold cabinet held lots of jewellery but no watches he could compare his with. Mind you, the price of the other stuff indicated what a bargain he’d enjoyed. Bearing in mind that going there was my idea and Mike hadn’t been keen you wouldn’t have believed it to see him in action. There was a sale on and he picked up a new suit, new shoes and a tie. If anyone can remember us trailing around 12 months ago looking for some shoes in red after he’d only been able to get them in blue, well today I found him the red and he didn’t hesitate. The suit was fantastic and a real bargain. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tempted, but I really don’t need one. I did however find a fleece for Muriel which I hope she’s going to like. We went upstairs to the small cafe so I could get a drink to take my next antibiotic. For once I’d had the foresight to bring it out. I had the strangest tasting strawberry milkshake ever while Mike had hi coffee and a slice of egg custard. When we went downstairs Mike found a set of steps he wanted to use in his shower- Don’t Ask. Once he’d paid for those we left. I was nodding off in the car all the way home.

Mike decided to leave virtually straight away after we got back even though I was now awake again. So, once I’d waved him off, I nipped to the loo then started work. It was 4.05 pm. I was still working non-stop at 6.00 pm when I decided to take a break for some tea. I put the TV on and got caught up in a romcom. I noticed a film Hellboy II was going to follow it and decided to rebel and watch it. I didn’t get back to work until 9.00 pm. Because of that I wasn’t up to date until gone 11.00 pm and started this blog late. Ah well, no major plans tomorrow or at all this week.

Monday.

Late to bed last night but I still only read until 1.00 am. I tried snuggling down in bed then . First right side, then left side and finally my back. Nothing was working. I got hot and had to stick my leg out of bed. I saw 1.30 am come and go but finally dropped off. I was awake and ready to get up, did get up in fact at 2.29 am. I feel cheated. I was tired yesterday and should have found sleep no problem at all last night. I need to have another look at the terms of my contract. I could look on the Glass half full’ side and say at least I got to my messages earlier but heck, there were hardly any there since it wasn’t that long ago I came off the computer to go to bed. I despatched them fairly quickly and at 4.50 am went to the lounge to see if I could get some quality time in my chair. For some reason it just didn’t happen. I had that annoying tickly you get inside your leg that feels like something very furry is running up and down your veins. It wouldn’t let me drop off.It was like having someone with a feather duster in there. At just before 6.00 am I gave up and went through to the kitchen.

The overhead light was bright enough to let me see movement within the tank and I could tell I had them excited. Since there are bound to be some females in there somewhere ( Morecambe and Wise are) I can honestly claim that even in my 60’s I can still excite the women. It’s pretty bloody amazing really as I never excited them before. Reminds me of the joke about the man with the mangled hand asking his doctor if he’s ever play the piano and the doctor saying “Yes”. The man answers “Great, I could never play it before.” I have always been a pretty shy individual and was never good with clever chat up lines. I guess I just feared rejection. It’s a miracle I ever managed to get married. Talking of which, on Facebook a friend was talking about her need to start getting her act together more or less. I asked if while she was doing it for herself, she could see if she had a spare wife in her handbag. This morning she sent a message saying she’d be my wife. Funny, I never thought her eyesight that bad before. I’m assuming she was being humorous since she never struck me as desperate.                                                                                                 Anyway, back to the fish. Morecambe came up towards the glass knowing I was there as soon as I said “Good morning guys.” I turned the tank light on and saw them all fighting for position. Sharkey barging everyone out of the way indiscriminately with the exception of Big Al and Pepper who are so big he bounces off them. Even the synodontis came out or a look round when everything settled down. There was an air of anticipation and for a moment as I opened the flap everyone paused. Then it was broken as the hoplos both swam to the top and down again. I stopped the torture and fed them. Movement from the crowd had the synodontis running for cover again. Big Al and Little Al were acting like dung beetles shoving their prize in front of them which can’t have been easy given how rough the bottom of the tank is. Maybe they were giving little blows instead and pushing the pellets along that way. As usual the plecs just lay on top of theirs till everyone else lost interest.

I left them to it and took my tablets etc and made a coffee. Instead of going back to the bedroom I returned to my chair and drank the coffee there. Then shuffling my bum along the seat,I lay back and closed my eyes. It worked. I was out like a light until 7.10 am. Not as long as I’d hoped but better than nothing. Anyway I felt energised and returned to work. By 8.30 am I was up to date again and so got dressed ready to go to the chemist’s with my repeat prescription request. I waited until 9.15 am  to walk up the road so I wasn’t weaving between the Mother’s Mafia congregating on the pavement outside Pauline’s. I was in and out of the chemist’s in no time but after staring in the window of another shop found a truly miraculous Sausage Bap in a Bag in my hand, pleading to be taken home by me for protection. When I got home something within me made me take a pre-food tablet. Maybe I was considering toast? As we were indoors again I took my coat off, and fearing the bap might be too warm, removed it from it’s bag. I placed it on a plate close by in case it needed to talk. My attention wandered a little and when I turned back I noticed the bap had gone. Miraculous. Also miraculous and worthy of a pilgrimage was the brown stain that appeared round my mouth about the same time. Of the bap whom I called breakfast there was never again any sign.

The influx of mail had increased during the morning so it was taking longer to catch up now. I worked till midday but not feeling like my lunch yet for some reason, I just went through to watch Bargain Hunt….including the auction. After that I carried on working until 2.00 pm when I went to have my lunch and watch Father Brown. That was the pattern for the afternoon. Work followed by a break so after Father Brown I worked until 4.30 pm and the Antiques Road Trip. But on this occasion I decided to stay until after the two quizzes I sometimes watch and return to work at 6.30 pm. The only interaction with anyone today has been two emails exchanged with Yvonne who has gone away for a few days with Ugo and Reuben. They’ve gone to mid-Wales and I hope they have a glorious time.

Happy Reuben

Happy Reuben

And you know what they say, While the cat’s away, the mouse can lock all his doors and keep the world out. At 6.30 pm I restarted work which had obviously piled up. I intended for that to be it for the night but by 8.55 pm I was getting pretty straight. It was too early to do the blog and far too early for sleep as any mail would just add to the morning’s misery. I remembered Mike had said his favourite serial is on at 9.00 pm so maybe I’d have a look at that. I turned on and sw it was in two parts which kind of put me off but then a warning came up about bad language and violence from the off. Bad language in these delicate ears, I think not. Instead I put D.I.Y SOS on and what a sad story. A builder takes off with the money without doing the job. Leaves father and two sons living in terrible conditions for 2 years, damp spores causing asthma, walls crumbling, no kitchen etc, etc, etc. The team and more importantly the local community were amazing , as was the house by the time they’d finished. The father burst into tears just as someone poked me in the eyes .

I returned yet again to work and for the last time tonight. I managed to get up to date for 11.00pm and was able to take a little more time with this so the L and K stayed where they should this week.

Tuesday.

I turned my light out a bit earlier than usual last night but sleep wasn’t easy to come by. There just didn’t seem to be a comfortable position to be had. My squirming, adjusting and readjusting must have worn me out so much that eventually I fell asleep exhausted. Let’s just say it was after 1.00 am. But I woke up this morning full of energy. OK maybe I couldn’t have lit up the room, but maybe a small torch. It was 3.57 am. I was raring to go, so I did, straight to the loo. Once the stop- start, will I- won’t I, have I or Haven’t I session was over, I checked my feet were dry and came to start on the post. I booted up the computer, looked at all the things they thought newsworthy and got stuck in. It had obviously been a night where everyone had something to say as the post was overflowing but the way I felt, nothing could stop me. Well, nothing except maybe Madame Galafray who told me ( free of charge) that I should take things slower today and stop my Bull in a China Shop ways. OK, I can do that. I should also beware the ‘Friend’ who doesn’t have my best interests at heart. That’s a fairly blanket statement and there were no clues like it’s female, 5′ 8″ an speaks with a Devonian accent. Nothing, nada so be warned, you’re all suspect today.  Tell me, what have I done to deserve this and why are you trying to stab me in the back. Et tu Brute. I’m thinking of sending out a questionnaire to see if I can get you to reveal yourself. On the other hand I could just stop reading this garbage I suppose.

At 6.00 am I stopped what I was doing and went through to the kitchen. Both lights on it was wonderful. All of the fish were in a writhing group under the hatch waiting to be fed. Who said they have no memory. I put enough food in to separate them into individual seekers and even found one of the synodontis out trying to get something, though he kept darting back into his cave if anyone got too close. I got one of the larger tablets and dropped it in as near to the shell as I could manage. Within seconds Pepper was there eating along with one of the bronze corys. The synodontis came out and managed to attach itself to the surface of the tablet though there was no sign of the second one. Perhaps this one hadn’t been out previously and the other one was indoor having breakfast now. Big Al was playing blow football with  one of the smaller pellets and Morecambe and Wise were darting in to help themselves despite having the flake.They were really entertaining this morning. I must have been watching them for a good ten minutes. Eventually I had to drag myself away to take my meds. Once that was done I made my drink and brought it through.

It took me until 8.00 am to catch up on my main address then I slipped into ebay to see how things were, I’m looking at some bamboo walking sticks from the Meiji period ( 1868-1912) that are beautifully carved. I’m guessing they’ll quickly go out of my price range on the day but at the moment the prices are OK. Then I opened my second email address and cleared that before getting dressed at 9.00 am. I’m expecting delivery of a book for Mike today on Welsh money that was legal for a very short time in the 60’s. It was beautiful, and Mike has a few examples of it. I have but one in not very good condition and can’t find anymore except at massive prices on ebay at the moment. The book arrived at 10.05 am and I immediately went to ebay to leave feedback. Before going back to work proper I skived again by doing a search for catfish for sale in the UK. Firstly I came across a site showing pictures of the various catfish types which was fascinating and upsetting when I saw people holding some out of the water after having been caught. They’re massive and the worry is they’re about to be cooked and eaten. Then I came across sites for sellers via the internet only which means you don’t see the actual fish until it arrives by courier, which is also expensive. Finally I found a site where you can visit the showrooms as well and by coincidence it isn’t too far from Mike so I sent him the link. Maybe he’ll find something spectacular for his tank. Then I did go back to work as there is a constant flow of emails today from mes amis, or to put it another way, YOU.

At lunchtime I had as ‘bing’ meal which was one I won’t be repeating. Sorry Lidl, at least you got the mash and onion gravy OK. I watched Jessica Fletcher solve a crime when immobilised by a plaster cast on her leg and wonder why they need the police when she’s in town. She proved doctors are a murderous lot so guess where I’ll be avoiding even more from now on. At 1.00 pm I returned to my desk. I fully intended to work till just 2.15 pm and take another break. I wasn’t far off catching up when I did so. I worked again from 3.00 to 4.30 pm and was just getting up to go for my antiques programme (I thought) when I was actually woken up lying across the keyboard typing ‘B’s, by a knock at the door. It was my young lady from the chemist with my lastest fixes. I signed for them and carried on through to the lounge. My programme was just about to start. I wonder I’f I’d stayed asleep if I’d have dreamed the programme content too. Her visit was very opportune though SPOOKY. I watched the whole programme until 5.15 pm fully intending to return to work. Next thing I know it’s 5.35 pm and I’m in the middle of a quiz. I took  my pre-food tab and made myself a sandwich which I took through with me and with loads of apologies I restarted work. There was plenty of it too. But, however much there was it would be made to wait even more when we reached 7.00 pm and my second Antiques Road Trip of the day was on. I’m spoilt. I came back in here at 8.00 pm to stay.

One of the first messages I opened when I (eventually) came back was from Yvonne with some pictures of Reuben. She likes the place they’re at in mid-Wales but poor Roobs is not too well again. So, I’ve now decided that maybe it’s not me he’s allergic too, but Tuesdays. Maybe I should see them on a different day in future. I confessed in my reply that I’ve been miserable today and feeling quite lonely, yes, I know the girl from the chemist called but “Hello David” doesn’t count. Anyway. it seems he hasn’t been smiling for the camera today so I’m putting it down to him missing his Pops. Whad’ye mean you’re putting it down to something else, that’s not nice, behave!

Obstacle course

Obstacle course

When he said swap seats I thought I was going to drive.

When he said swap seats I thought I was going to drive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mummy, my Dummy tastes funny sometimes

Mummy, my Dummy tastes funny sometimes

 

I can't get the motor started !

I can’t get the motor started !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed the intermission.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     At 10.00 pm I took my meds including the last antibiotic of the day. As I came back through turning all the lights off  I realised what a lazy day it’s been for me. Nothing more strenuous than answering emails and the like. By 10.30 pm I was actually clear enough to start on the blog post without interruption. Unless something terrible happens and there’s a need for my particular brand of stupidity I should be in bed by 11.30 pm and perhaps have my light off by 12.30 am. Let’s test the generosity of the gods and see how well I do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVfUeKL1G6o

Night all. xx

Wednesday.

And the answer is, not generous at all. 2.21 am today, and they couldn’t even wait an extra minute to bring a smile to my face. What’s more, I didn’t even need the loo  so could start the computer up straight away. All the ingredients necessary for a good start to the day were missing. I was not a Happy Bunny, a very unhappy Messenger of the gods. Yes I know, it’s publicist to the small gods strictly, but that lacks a certain ring. I hope by now that message is penetrating the mist surrounding Olympus. Heads need to roll and one of them better not be mine.

There was plenty of post to keep me going but somewhere about 4.00 am something was nagging in the back of my mind. Probably something I’d read but that had no connection at that moment. The song Desiderata from the early 70′ started going round in my head so much that I had to play it. Listening to the words after all this time made me realise it says certain things that are important to me. I had to do a post on the Buthidars so that those not around in the 70’s saw the importance of some of the words and heard the song too if they wanted. By 5.00 am I’d done that and also caught up on my mail for both addresses. I retired to the lounge. I was fully expecting to nod off but it wasn’t coming so I ended up watching an old film about Florence Nightingale. When the film ended at 6.00 am I was still wide awake and wondering why. I went to feed the fish before taking my meds. The fish seemed a bit frisky this morning like it was Spring and they were taking advantage of it. They were play chasing each other. The exceptions to that were Sharkey who chased for real to get them off his patch ( the whole tank in his eyes), Big Al who as no sens of fun and was studying something in a corner and the two synodontis who were either hiding or having a lie-in. Naturally enough, the moment I opened the hatch all movement stopped for a moment like musical statues, they came to life as the pellets hit them.

I took my meds then added the pre-food one after deciding to have breakfast today.After a timing cigarette I had a small packet of cereal from one of the multipacks and a slice of toast. I took a coffee back to my room. The mail had built up since I’d been away so I started clearing it again. By 8.30 am I was clear again and thought I’d get dressed then perhaps relax away from the screen for a while. I sat in the lounge again and thought some more about moving the existing tank through or perhaps buying a second one. Thinking about the fish sent me to sleep for almost an hour. It might have been a bit longer if the postman hadn’t delivered something. The sound of the letterbox had me on my feet ‘toot sweet’ since my body reacted before my brain did. I collected the mail and saw that someone needed a form completing and sending out so I did that straight away. Having been so quick to do it didn’t make me any quicker to deal with posting it an it’s still on the coffee table now. I have to go out in the morning so I’ll post it then.

The rest of the morning passed by with me dealing with little jobs in the house and coming back to keep on top of the mail. At lunchtime I took a break for a cottage pie and an episode of Murder She Wrote. Once that was over I came through intending to break off at 2.15 pm for Father Brown. I don’t know exactly what happened but the mirror image of L,K,J,H,M.N.B on my forehead seems to tell a tale. Now I had even more catching up to do. By 4.30 pm when I went to watch my Antiques Road Trip I was down to just 10 emails outstanding ( plus a refresh). I stayed where I was when that was over and just prepared the mugs for Dil and Matt. The traffic wasn’t too bad tonight and they were there by 5.30 pm. I made drinks and we settled to see the rest of the quiz that was on. At 6.00 pm Dil got the table out and the things we needed to play. He chose Yahtzee as the first game. It was all nip and tuck between us with struggles and successes but at least this time we ended up with  games apiece. Matt still wanted to do Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide an over all winner. Dil and I were happy to settle on a draw. Then the cards came out and though I’d drawn up the sheet for Nomination, I suggested we perhaps try Chase the Lady again as Matt seemed to enjoy it last time. Not so tonight as I won both the games we played.

They left after the last game and I tidied up and washed the pots before coming through. It was almost 10.00 pm and the count was 153 messages. There’s no way I’ll get through them all tonight barring a miracle. I broke off at 11.00 pm to do the blog post before I forget everything. One of the first mesages I opened had a note on from my provider to say a virus had been removed. When I opened it I couldn’t believe the cheek. Someone claiming to be from the UN wanted me to complete a form in order to claim money because I’ve been the victim of a spam con on the net. It seems the UN are compensating people-  Yeah, Right ! In the bin it went. I can’t see the UN having an office in Benin to deal with anything, let alone this. It’s now 11.50 pm and I want to get to bed by 12.30 am so I’ll try and clear a couple more messages first.

walktime 2

playtime 12 use

Thursday.

Dream on ! It was past 1.00 am before I hit my bed and I still hadn’t dented the post as I wanted. On the other hand, I still managed a little read and when I did put the light off I slept. In fact I slept until 6.00 am so maybe the complaints department are paying attention after all. I still had to get my little a**e into gear though to get my antibiotic. ( Yes, it’s still pert after all these years, though the rest of me’s gone to pot).  I delayed the tablet a few more minutes when I reached the kitchen as I watched the fish. My turning the tank light on didn’t faze them one bit and they still had their morning play. Big Al made his way carefully round the edges of the tank in case playtime was catching and all the others were infectious. Pepper too was on the edges but seemed to be looking for a place to join in. The bronze corys seemed to be playing a game within a game of their own, just bouncing about without any method to their madness. Of the two synodontis there was no sign as usual. Talk about highly strung, they must have piano wire for nerves. And the good old plecs just never notice what goes on around them, totally oblivious to it all.  Food takes the place of play though, and opening the flap was an indication that teacher was in the playground and it was time to line up.Playtime turned into a free for all once the food was dropped in.

Time for my fun to end, I closed the flap and left them to it. My tablets were waiting. I took them all and carried my fresh coffee back to the bedroom then nipped to the loo to make space for it. I turned the computer on and made my way to the lottery results. Damn ! Then a quick check of the bank and yes, my pension credit was in. Good, I’ll be eating this week. Then to the mail. Such joy to be faced with two further attempts at a con first thing in the morning, one I even had to translate from French first to read about the business proposition they had for me. The other one was another that had carried a virus until my virus checker caught it. Such evil little turds out there who not only want to rip you off, they want to infect you too. The rest of the post kept me going until 8.30 am and when I refreshed until 9.15 am. Then I opened the second address and dealt with those until 10.10 am. I was keeping an eye on the time today as I had to leave the house at 11.00 am to catch the 11.15 am bus to town where I had a retinopathy appointment at midday. This would prove a real test of my nerves as there would be lots of people about on the bus and in town as it’s market day. Maybe when I wore my dark glasses coming back they’d think I’m blind and leave me alone. In the meantime, I went back to keeping on top of the mail when I heard the postman. I went out to collect the post and as I stood there was a knock on the door. Thinking it was the postman I opened the door. Immediately my heart sank. Standing there was the very beautiful lady from the J.W’s along with another lady in a wheelchair. She always reminds me who she is like I’m an idiot ( who said Hear Hear then?) and asks me how I’ve been before offering me some copies of the Watchtower. I stutter for what seems 20 minutes or so that I’m OK, but which probably takes no more than a minute.She can see that I’m no doing so well and says goodbye. She knows I don’t share her beliefs but never gives up on me.I wish she would.

I only worked up until 10.45 then I’d no chance of missing my bus. I put some desert boots on for the sake of comfort and made sure everything I needed was in my coat pockets.Dead on 11.00 am I left the house and slogged my way up to the bus stop. I’m pretty safe whichever one I catch for such a short distance, they all go via town. The bust stop had a few people waiting so I stood outside in the chill air. When the bus arrived I got on last and was lucky enough to have one of the disabled seats vacant. It didn’t take long to reach town. I walked to the hospital the way I usually go which doesn’t usually have many people about and arrived there just after 11.30 am. I could see the retinopathy trailer in the grounds and being so early decided to go into the hospital and see how the tea bar looked- answer, uncrowded. I ordered a cup of tea and sat looking out of the window at the trailer to see if there was much movement. There were people about but I couldn’t tell if they were from there. At 11.45 I returned my cup and walked out of the hospital and down to the trailer. Around the far side where the main door was, was stuck a note to say the clinic was being held in the hospital today. Leaving a little blue air around me I turned and made my way up the car park back to whence I’d just come. I found the waiting area and sat. There were only 3 people there before me. It turned out two of them weren’t there for that clinic so I didn’t have long to wait.

I went in, read the charts as requested, had the atropine drops applied, went blind, and waited back in the waiting area for the pics. They weren’t long in being done and I was free, so donning my dark glasses I left. I walked back into town taking the flatter route this time and avoiding getting killed by the traffic made my way over to the bus stop. The sun is actually shining today but I still think the dark glassed drew a few funny looks. The bus was crowded and stressful as I had to walk past everyone to take a seat near the back. I hated it. The journey was mercifully short though. When I got off I headed to post a letter then paid a visit to Pauline’s. She looked at me, but to her credit never said a word. She got my lottery tickets, thanked me and said goodbye. I made it back home safely and eventually remembered to change glasses when I realised the day just wasn’t that dull. I took my pre-food tablet and waited counting the seconds until I could have lunch. Chips and curry sauce today. Mmm, then a chocolate pud to follow.

Being so late I couldn’t take time off for Father Brown so I went straight to work. At 2.00 pm I had a text from Mike to say he was on his way. I reckoned he’d be here at 4.30 pm. He was, just as I was going to watch the Antiques Road Trip so his timing was good. I still had plenty of work but I’d go back to it after the programme. I made Mike’s drink and we enjoyed watching the dealers together. At 5.15 pm I came back through until 6.00 pm when Eggheads started. I was nearly up to date. Mike was fast asleep in his chair but I woke him so he wouldn’t miss it.At 6.30 pm I made us something to eat then decided to stay until 9.00 pm, at whch point I flew back to my room to work. I was doing well and even remembered to take my 10.00 pm tablets. But seeing Mike reminded me of a site I’d seen showing varieties of catfish and plecs and I told him to come and look for a couple of minutes. That stretched into at least half an hour as we ooh’d and aah’d at the types we’d like in our tanks. Finally I got back to work and reached a point where I was clear if I didn’t refresh at 11.10 pm. I answered an email from Yvonne about Reuben who is not well again. A high temperature and now he’s come out in a huge rash. Poor little soldier, he’s forever in the wars. After that I was able to start the blog and it’s just the Witching hour now so if you hear any howls, ignore them, it’s just me.

Friday.

I got to bed at 12.30 am and then read for an hour. Obviously it’s my own fault if Somnos or Porcinus had seen a chance to kick some ass-mine. But Woo-Hoo it was 6.03 am before I woke up and swung myself out of bed. I felt like my birthday was still going on. Obviously that feeling was never going to last but hey, you take what you can get. I bolted fro the loo before my bladder gave up it’s grip on the tidal wave waiting to breach the sea wall. I was relieved when I made it ( and yes, pun intended). I actually had my last antibiotic on my desk as I’d kept the box there yesterday so I didn’t forget the doses. I think something could be said about stable doors and horses at this point but I won’t if you don’t. I took the tablet and wandered into the kitchen, turning on the main light and also the tank light. I knew everyone was waiting with an air of anticipation because they were all on the bottom with their tails quivering. I thought it was just food until suddenly Big Al and Pepper flashed in front of my face from one end of the tank to another. It was a race, and Pepper won by a head.Big Al turned with a swish of the tail and showed no dejection but you could see some of the tails ceased to quiver and slumped. I’m not sure if the race was the result of a take-over bid by Pepper but he swam over and placed himself under the flap.There were a few waggles of the tail and I knew what he wanted but I just couldn’t do it to Big Al despite the little disagreements we’ve had. Eventually Pepper moved away. As Big Al started to swim from the far end to this end I waited until he passed beneath the flap and put the food in. He swam on as if nothing had happened but what a change in the others, droopy fins and tails came up and those that had been erect in pride went down. I think I just saved the day for Big Al.

All of this messing had cost me time when I should have been working but I couldn’t go yet. First I had to take all my meds then I had to refill the meds drawer and from there, refill my pill dispenser. Then I was able to make my coffee and go. It was almost 7.10 am. I managed to get some work done and then at 8.00 am Mikes first Alarm went off. I headed for the kitchen, boiled the kettle and made a drink. I took it through and gave Mike his first Call. I was hopeful that it was going to be a one A , one C day and even said so as I spoke to him. I did get a “Yeah” but it was unconvincing. At 8.10 am the second Alarm went off and was subsequently silenced, I had to give him a few minutes in case he was coming round but I heard nothing. At 8.17 am I went to the door and Called that his coffee was going cold. He’d already turned over in my direction at the alarm and now raised his head in acknowledgment. I returned to work once more and moments later heard him pad through to the lounge to commence his early day coughing and spluttering.Fortunately he goes elsewhere for his early day motions. I finished the message I was on and joined him in the lounge.”A two A , two C day” I told him and just got a nod in return.

By 8.20 am he was fit and dressed and ready to go to his dad’s. I wished him a safe journey and came back to work in earnest. I was at it continuously until 11.40 am when I stopped because the Warden would probably be due and as soon as she’d gone I wanted my lunch. I was just finishing my last message to a friend when I heard the door, not difficult as it’s directly opposite my room. It was the Warden. She stayed ten or fifteen minutes as she asked how I was doing this week, asked if there was anything she could do for me ( I behaved), we talked about the fish, her living alone, babysitting and my leg. The company was nice. For some reason I felt/feel lonely today, incredibly sad and not a little self-pitying. After she left I but some bacon under the grill and bunged some micro chips in the ‘Bing’ machine. While they were doing I buttered some bread and got a yoghurt out. I enjoyed a nice little feast in front of Bargain Hunt. After I’d washed up I returned to work. At 2.15 pm I ducked out for Father Brown then came back again until 4.15 pm when I thought I was up to date. I was going to leave the room when Yvonne sent an email with pictures of Reuben which to me looked like the start of measles. It’s going to be spotty muldoon season one way or another. I hope she gets to see someone for a diagnosis . She did and was told it’s just a viral infection ( again) but his temperature has started to come down now so perhaps he’ll be happier.

Under the weather.

Under the weather.

I’d just got to the TV when Mike walked in. He generally lets me know when he’s on his way but I think he was trying to catch me entertaining. Ha, fat chance. We watched the Road Trip and a quiz together then because I said I needed a trim he told me to get my ar*e into gear and into a chair in the middle of the kitchen floor. I did as he asked but with heart in mouth. I may have dropped one or two totally unintentional insults on him and the grin on his face said Payback Time. I did check he had the right number cutting blade before I’d let him turn it on. He started, quite a lot of brown with some white hair started landing on the cape and sliding to the floor as my shaking knees wouldn’t let it rest. Then he started on my sideburns and beard and the snow on the floor grew and grew. He changed blades to the lowest and took even more off my beard and straightened up the nape of my neck and edges of my ears? All of a sudden the trimmer went down and I felt him tug my moustache. I thought it was about to be trimmed, but no, he started curling the length  of it until I looked like Salvador Dali ( his favourite artist). I wasn’t too keen on that so he tried another shape which though better was still not exactly me. He applied some hair wax to just one side and stuck it out at an angle, the other side just curled up to it’s original shape which I could cope with.

Before I had a shower Mike gave me a shave as my hands were shaking enough to cut my throat though he said he’d prefer that but only if he could do it. That went quickly and well. He washed my hair and then I had a shower. All night I’ve been sneezing because of bits of hair about and I swear I’ve swallowed a ton, correction, tried to swallow a ton but it won’t go down,it just irritates my throat. After the shower Mike made himself a sandwich while I saw to a Christmas pud and custard between us. We watched some more TV including a programme from the 1960’s with folk singers, Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul and  Mary amongst others. About 8.30 pm I nodded off during Who Do You Think You Are and was out for 15 mins. As I came to and had my snoring insulted I got up and left him snore free and came through here. There had been a lot of activity between 4.30 pm and 9.00 pm unfortunately so I just did the best I could until 11.00 pm when I needed to start the blog. It’s now 12.15 am and as there’s shopping in the morning the rest of the mail will have to wait until tomorrow.

Saturday.

It seems the generosity of the last couple of days….wasn’t. Brother Jake tells me Somnos has been away to a big meeting of the little gods and left is brothers in charge. Seems they were having a bit of a party and forgot. This morning made up for it. After not getting to bed until 12.30 am and having a read, Somnos obviously thought getting me up at 2.52 am was a good idea. What the idea was I don’t know since he hasn’t deigned to show himself yet.                                                       By the time I’d hopped to the loo and come back is was gone 3.00 am before I powered up the computer and faced the mail. There was quite a lot of it but I was almost clear by 6.00 am when I went through to the kitchen. I was halfway there when I realised that without the antibiotics I could revert back to my old time of 7.00 am. “Ah well, too late now” I thought as I arrived at the kitchen. I put the main light on and then the tank light.

Sharkey was playing ‘tag’ with a couple of the plecs though I don’t think he treated it as a game. I still get the impression of cows being herded with the plecs but they are lovely looking characters. My hoplos were performing nicely up and down, up and down and of course Morecambe and Wise broke off what they were doing to come see me. Pepper and Big Al were resting in a corner and Little Al was in attendance dancing with the bronze corys. The minute I opened the flap it became the centre of everyone’s attention. Food went it and it turned into the Klondike Gold Rush in there.                                                                                                                                              I had my meds and returned to my room until I heard Mike’s first Alarm go off at 7.00 am. I went back to the kitchen and made a coffee which I took through with a Call of “Come in number 9, your time is up” Don’t ask why as I don’t know. I came away.  tried a bit more mail until I heard the second Alarm at which time I prepared myself with a sigh to go pour cold water down his ear. Someone warned him as I heard him doing his soft shoe shuffle through to the lounge. I have to admit I was very impressed a 2 A  – 1 C day. Despite that we still didn’t get to leave the house until 8.00 am. Next week I’m starting at 6.30 am.

It was cold this morning and showing minus 2 when we got in the car but there was no frost like we’d had yesterday. Because of this he drove like a maniac to make up time. If he passed a slow car you saw him lean over and snarl out of the window, it fair put the wind up the men in the police car I tell you. When we reached the store I headed for the cash machines but there were so many people around I had to put my mask away with BANKER across the forehead and use my card instead. Mike got a trolley and off we went. Mike said we didn’t need flowers this week so it was potatoes first then a special offer kitchen cleaner, not to be eaten together.We worked our way round the sale section and bought NOTHING and the household section the same, until we finally came back to food. I thought I’d put some in the basket this week for a change. We were fairly quick through the checkout and headed for a coffee. We were both dry this morning. I picked up cigarette supplies then visited the photographic print shop where I found some fantastic frames. We loaded up the car and set off for the new fish shop.

Talk about a difficult place to find, and we were using a sat-nag. We did eventually find it and the inside really contradicted the rather scruffy outside. Clean, roomy and bright with the tanks of fish all set out logically in types. There were also snakes, lizards and horribubble spiders there as well as all the equipment for taking care of everything. A new tank from there would cost me £440 so that won’t be anytime soon then and unfortunately there were none of the fish I wanted. I did buy a piece of bogwood though and the owner explained that if I gave him a list of what I wanted he’d try to get them for me. I need to do a bit more homework on which catfish will be 6″ maximum. He did have a beauty there which I knew would outgrow my tank easily by reaching probably 2 feet. He’d never turn round in the current tank at that size. We took our leave and headed for Flint. We haven’t been for two weeks so they haven’t had their chocolates in Temptations. When we arrived we found out Ceri was off skiving somewhere again so we’ll have to wait another week for banter.

From Temptations we had a look at the local pet shop fish tanks which were very poor from our point of view. We went round another couple of shops  then  with the time approaching 1.00 pm we set off for The Ivy and our lunch. We were shocked when we got there and saw how many cars were in the car park. Mike said (with heavy sarcasm) how disappointed he’d be if they’d given our table away. They had! But as luck would have it, the adjoining one was free. We dropped our coats and Tariq came over and said to follow him. Puzzled, we did and he showed us his new set up for printing on the premises. You can now have a picture taken in his photographic studio and within a short while have it on a mug, tee shirt, apron , mousemat etc. He’s a real entrepreneur. Angie and Rob said hello as we went back through and sorted our drinks. As another crowd came in we had to rush our order a bit. No problem for me, double bacon sandwiches and a small portion of chips. Mike had a roast gammon dinner. We enjoyed it and spoke to everyone in passing as they were so busy. Eventually it was time to go. Hugs from Tariq but I missed out with Angie this week. It was gone 3.00 pm when we got in and half past by the time the shopping was away. I flew into my room after making Mike a coffee knowing he usually lets me get away with it until about 6.00 pm.He wanted to watch 2 episodes of a serial he watches which he was putting on at 4.00 pm and they were an hour each so I knew I was safe.

I worked the skin off my finger bones and usually had to wait till it grew back before I could carry on. There was just so much mail I had to type with the bones clicking together like knitting needles. I should have had a scarf ready by now. By 6.00 pm I had about 20 left on one account and about half that on he other. It had to wait. Mike put a Big Bang Theory on neither of us had seen before (How??) then afterwards I mentioned I’d heard Endeavour was due on so he checked and I’d missed it on 22nd Jan, he called it up On Demand. It was an enthralling episode which lasted 90 minutes and I was devastated when it ended on a cliffhanger as it hasn’t been on since that date and isn’t due on this week. I’ll be annoyed if I miss it. So at 8.30 pm I was allowed to escape again after I’d bribed him with some chocolate. Up to 103 and 41 again. I had to stop work at 11.00 pm to see to the blog but will inevitably have to go back in a few minutes.

I wish you all a Wonderful New Week.

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Birthday Sunday & The Horrible People Play

Sunday 18th Jan 2015

4.11 am today and though it’s my birthday I woke to no fanfare. I don’t understand it. Perhaps next year. Mind you, it would have been fun to see whether Mike could sleep through it. I popped to the loo and as soon as I got back turned the computer on. Let’s see how well the blog did last night. I was really happy to see there weren’t too many emails so that I spend another day hunched over the machine. I worked till 6.00 am then went to take the first antibiotic of the day. Because I had to turn the kitchen light on it seemed reasonable to do the fish as well. They knew I was there after all. I tuned on the tank light. My expectations of finding Big Al with a Happy Birthday banner were dashed when I saw him take one look at me and hide under the bridge.”Well, thanks for nothing” I said.my voice quickly attracting Morecambe and Wise to the top of the tank to listen to me. Down below it was business as usual as Little Al and Sharkey jostled for the best position under the feeding flap.

I put some flake in for Morecambe and Wise then dropped some pellets on the heads of the eager beavers below. The two new synodontis swam over to scour the bottom for food and the mid sized plec did the same. It was quite funny seeing them snuffling along the bottom searching between the gravel for food.  Big Al obviously wasn’t coming out while I was there this morning which must mean I’m in trouble again as I’ll never believe he’s shy.

I closed the food flap and turned to take my tablet. It wasn’t worth my taking the time to disturb myself after so I took all my usual meds too then made a coffee to take back. As I passed through the lounge I almost dropped the drink when something seemed to loom before me. OMG, it was the balloon from Temptations yesterday just moving in the breeze created by my movement. I would remember to come back later and put my cards up. By 7.20 am I had cleared the decks even having gone in to facebook and answered a couple of messages.I went through to the kitchen to leave my cup in the sink then sat in my chair in the lounge watching it start to get lighter. At some stage I nodded off until 8.35 am I returned to the bedroom and started work again. It was nice there seemed to be no pressure and a few comments were starting to come through about the blog and a few birthday wishes. Then my mobile started too with well wishers from withing the family. Yes you cheeky beggars, there still are some.

9.45 am and I heard Mike heading towards the loo. I left my post and went to make him a drink. I knew he wouldn’t go back to bed again. His drink was ready on the table when he came through. I stood and chatted to him as I opened and read my cards eliciting the odd grunt. I sat down and chatted as he had his drink. I suggested we could go into Prestatyn and get the free drinks owed us by Marks and Spencer’s after his disastrous dinner before Christmas. Trouble was neither of us made a move to get dressed until 11.00 am by which time it was too late to do anything except go for lunch. We both went to dress and oddly enough ended up in exactly the same trousers. No, not the same pair you ninny, we each owned a pair. At 11.30 we headed off and arrived at the Bells at 11.50 am. The girls were there before us, waiting in the car park and waving as we pulled in. We went inside.

Karen went to the bar to order soft drinks and I gave Mike my voucher for a free birthday meal. He  wouldn’t let me pay for the other meals so he did that on his card. Karen had found a table so I went to sit down and Jo brought our drinks over.I passed a gift each over as they placed gifts for me on the table. There was a lovely Uncle card and I was given some sheepskin slippers, a beautiful maroon/white shirt and a maroon jumper.They were really nice. I gave my thanks before we got down to the serious business of food. At that moment there was no-one in the queue so the four of us wandered over     ( at a run) and created a queue of our own. I chose beef as my meat and was kindly given an extra piece because it was my birthday. I went on to help myself to all the veg and two kinds of potatoes. When the girls got back to the table I saw the chef must have thought we were all having a birthday. Karen and Jo had 3 Yorkshire puddings each and Jo had even more slices of meat than me..There’s no way I’ll ever get to look like her so I needn’t build my hopes up.

I remembered to take my foodie tabs both before and after the meal.Today I even had a pudding which Jo kindly paid for. I tell you I was thoroughly spoiled. We sat chatting for a while then I left to have a cigarette outside. Mike joined me. When we came back Jo went as Karen wouldn’t be on her own. At 1.30 pm we were ready to leave. The girls were ready to go to Rhyl to a shop they wanted while Mike and I were also going to Rhyl in search of fish. In the shop we like here was a fantastic catfish about 6″ long but much as I loved it, I didn’t want one fish on it’s own. I settled for two hoplo catfish which are only about 2″ long but they’ll grow.

hoplo

Finally we headed for home and put the bag on the edge of the tank to acclimatise it. Then I could go to work. The screams might have been silent but they were there as I opened the mail box to way over 200 messages with more arriving all the time.After 20 minutes I added some of the tank water to the bag with the fish so they’d get used to that. Morecambe was swimming around the bag being very nosy about he new neighbours. Back to work. I was not making any headway. I went into facebook and answered two messages, but also found literally hundreds of birthday greetings that I’d never get through. I resolved to put a notice up tomorrow to thank everyone.The last 20 minutes had already passed before I remembered to go and release the new fish who may be called Abbot and Costello. I haven’t quite decided.I had two short breaks to give Mike a bit of company during the evening, one was to make our tea. Other than that I’ve sat here despairing of ever catching up. But, just minutes before midnight I did, so this has been a late night. Now 12.50 am and my reading time has evaporated. It’s been a lovely day though.

Monday.

Here we are again. Have I slept? It’s a 4.49 am start and I know I’m awake but feel I shouldn’t be. That’s how the day started today. I got out of bed, donned my dressing gown and walked to the loo almost normally, though that’s not saying much in my case. After asking my bladder to pee or get off the pot, why bring me this far if you’re not sure you want to go or not? I came back and switched on the computer. Though I logged into my mail I actually visited Facebook first. There were even more birthday wishes than yesterday and two more messages. I was forced to write a general, cover-all thank you to everyone or I’d have been doing individual replies for hours. I answered the two messages then logged out and came back to my emails. Amazingly there were only 5 from last night and the rest were as fresh as a daisy. No frauds, fakers or conmen today, just pure blogs almost. There were a couple of very easy to deal with adverts. (straight to the bin ). I started on liking, commenting and/or re-tweeting  some of the wonderful posts you’d all made though I can’t understand why you’re all up at that time. If it’s dark here you should all be in bed there, wherever your particular there is. It’s those bolshie Aussies that upset the applecart determined to have their day in direct contrast to us.

At 6.10 am I remembered my 6.00 am tablet and went to take it. After taking it I looked in the tank even though the light was off. I could see one of my new hoplo catfish swimming about but the other one was obviously dead and looked partly chewed. I quickly turned the light on. Yes, definitely dead,not moving at all. I was wondering whether to grab the net and remove the corpse before Mike woke when the little beggar moved. He must like playing statues and won that game hands fins down. The position he’d been lying in was awkward and I think a darker patch to his head misled me about his general condition. I’m so glad. I don’t generally lose my new fish like that. I looked around to see how the others were doing and was momentarily distracted by the attention Morecambe and Wise paid me when I realised I hadn’t seen Big Al. Everyone else was accounted for even the brilliantly disguised plecs, but of Big Al, no sign. I got down on my knees so my head was level with the bottom of the tank. He wasn’t under the bridge nor in the amphora, he wasn’t in the shipwreck but I was fast becoming a nervous wreck. He is getting on in fishy terms poor chap but even a corpse he should be too big too miss. I stood with great difficulty and for some reason looked around the kitchen like he was waiting to jump out and say BOO to me. As I looked back at the tank in despair, there he was, as smug as always and laying at the front of the tank watching me. At first I was flooded with relief ( I must be a masochist) then I became cross that he’d done it which was followed rapidly by How did he do it? The only answer I can come up with is that Somnos took him for a chat and sent him back which if true, bodes ill for me.

I took all my other morning meds and made a coffee to take back to the bedroom with me. Last night Mike had said he could have a lie in today. His Dad has an appointment at 1.00 pm so he doesn’t need to be there until 11.00 am. I pointed out to be there at 11.00 am he’d need to leave here by no later than 10.00 am. To do that he’d need to be up drinking his coffee at 9.00 am. Reluctantly he agreed. I gave him 10 extra minutes and took the coffee through at 9.10 am. I spoke, he answered then went back to sleep. At 9.20 am I reminded him the drink was there, he responded then went back to sleep. At 9.35 am the postman came and just putting a few letters through was able to wake Mike again. It was still almost 9.45 am before he managed to come through to the lounge though. Chances of leaving at 10.00- laughable, of reaching his dad by 11.00 am, impossible. Maybe next week I’ll start at 8.00 am.

With some effort Mike left the house at 10.20 am . I left at the same time to head to the chemist and to Pauline’s. For some reason I decided not to bother cooking today so while I was close by I visited the sandwich shop. I ordered a ham and onion  bap for my lunch and some awful dread power came over me as I ordered a bacon bap which I decided to call breakfast. Just to make it worse I bought an egg custard too. After Pauline’s I went straight back home and chewing my bacon bap I started work again. This welcome break from routine meant my normal lunchtime was blown out of the water but it didn’t stop me from breaking at midday to watch Bargain Hunt. It did mean I had no pots to wash up afterwards though. YAY. I worked from 1.00 -2.15 pm then watched Father Brown which I think has become more habit than pleasure now. It does mean I get a regular break from the screen of course which everyone tells me is good. I fully intended to really put my back into it between 2.15 -4.30 but I’d only just sat down when there was a knock at the door. I wasn’t expecting anyone so I rather gingerly opened the door.  Naturally I opened it wider when I saw an attractive young lady on the step though her suitcase was a worry since I’m not a B &B. She opened her mouth to speak and I was almost blown away by the smell of booze that hit me, apologies if someone is now manufacturing sweets with an obnoxious smell. Then she spoke and the last of my illusions broke.” Buy some freakin’ soap for charity” was an approximation  of what she asked and /or demanded, I wasn’t sure. I moved my hand to the sign on the door I was standing next to that said basically ‘No hawkers. It’s an offense to try and sell in this area, so bugger off and don’t come back’ though not verbatim. She hoisted her case up to rest on one arm and opened it. It was full of a household brand name toilet soap, bath scrubs and other things. “Well?” she said “itzforcharitee.” I tapped the sign and looked at it but it had no effect. I think I heard “deaf git.” I replied as much as possible without stuttering “No thank you, you have to ask the prison warders if we can buy things, that’s why you’re not allowed to sell here.” I thought that might be polite enough and started to close the door . “Flip you too grandpa ” I heard, or words to that effect. I note she didn’t bother with the other bungalows though.

Please note, a bar of soap can cost 30p but can be sold to you for £3.00 on the doorstep like this. If you or someone you care about doesn’t have one, ask the Neighbourhood Watch for a sticker that says you don’t accept door to door sales and that it’s an offence to try. Please leave. If you return you can be arrested. You can point it out to callers. Have an internal door chain fitted and if you’re at all suspicious call the police as they’re always happy to hear about bogus callers. Anyone claiming to be selling for a charity if genuine will be wearing a badge around their neck with name , who they’re selling for and a phone number to check. If you can write the details down when you phone it helps should you need to consult the police.

So, at 4.30 I stopped to watch Antique Road Trip. No women this week but one was the auctioneer most people I know can’t abide.Currently on TV in the US advising a group of Women on antiques. Don’t listen to him ladies. I realised last week that women in this programme have an advantage, one smile at the dealer when they ask for a bargain price and it’s theirs. A man asks with a smile and there’s not a lot off. After that I fell asleep in my chair and didn’t wake up until 6.00 pm when Eggheads came on. I watched that and then returned to work. Someone must be in a good mood because when I refreshed my screen there wasn’t too much there.  I was able to clear most of it by 8.00 pm and take another break. Very unusual for me. At 9.00 pm it was time to bite the bullet though. I came back and refreshed and it’s taken until 10.55 pm to catch up again. I’ve been able to do the blog and I’ll still get to bed before midnight.

In honour of Martin Luther King’s birthday, a song about him.

keeping warm 3 use

keeping warm 4 use

Tuesday.

I got a 5.18 am today. Wonderful, about 4 hours uninterrupted, dreamless sleep with no horrible little messages running in the background telling me what ice cream to buy in the interval. So why was I so sluggish getting up? I nipped to the loo delighted to be able to put my weight properly on my foot. If Mike was here no doubt he’d tell you what a weight it is and to pity the poor ankle now.                                                                                                                                                                                                     As I came back, I signed in to check the  number of emails overnight. Not too bad, only about 50. I’d only dealt with about ten of them when it was time for my 6.00 am tablet. I went to the kitchen and had it with a drink of Pepsi then turned to the fish. Turning the light on I found  real hive of activity. Everyone was moving around as though excited. I hoped it was at my arrival or at least my arrival bearing food. I placed flake in for Morecambe and Wise and was really surprised to see my new hoplos coming to the surface. Most of my cats are bottom feeders and dwellers. I dropped some pellets in and a free for all began below with barging to push others out of the way of available food. Big Al who was acting like a normal fish this morning and not my trainer, stood his ground. Sharkey, the worst of the bargers made no progress on Big Al at all.

Once they’d been fed, I turned to my normal meds, thinking it a waste of time to come out twice. Once I’d dealt with that I made a drink to take through. Just before I restarted work I tried ebay to check and see if I could find Welsh money there as there’s talk that we’re going to have our own legal tender notes soon. I think it was 1971 we last started with Welsh notes before the Bang of England closed it down. They were beautiful notes. For a while afterwards the notes went on sale as a novelty. I wish I’d bought tons as they’re rare and expensive now. The other thing I was looking at and wan’t really aware of it at the time was fish tanks.  I was in ebay a little later in the day and found I’d saved quite a few to look at. I thought I was happy enough with the one in the kitchen but it looks like I might be considering the lounge as home for one. If I do that it will mean buying some new fish and probably larger ones. Mike thinks I want an Oscar.

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Try imagining this chap ( or chapess) as being about 8-12 inches long and pure muscle. Capable of drawing blood if it gets your finger in it’s mouth if it doesn’t like you. On the other hand, if it likes you, it can be most loving like Olive my last one who bust her way out of the tank, taking the lid right off, just to join me in bed one night.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The thing is, to the best of my knowledge, I don’t want another Oscar and didn’t think I wanted a new tank either. But if I do, it will be some large catfish.

I started work again and concentrated on catching up to take any pressure off later. By 9.00am I was in the position of being able to get dressed. Mike had told me last night that he’s going to be at his Dad’s 29th-31st supervising the laying of a floor so there’s no more tripping over carpets. I turned to the computer to send Yvonne a message about taking me shopping that weekend and I found the computer was back on ebay looking at a tank a man can scuba dive in. I don’t know who’s doing it but seriously they need to take a look at the size of my room. A six foot would be the maximum I could take……..If I wanted one that is.                                            I worked through till lunch time playing catch up and then going to my Ancestry to see the hints. At 11.45 am I was glad to move away from the machine for a while.

Lunch was a bing cottage pie which I ate while watching my usual show. Even my pudding came in a plastic tub so the end of the meal saw me washing a side plate, a fork and a spoon. Hard labour indeed. No matter my feelings about the Father Brown series I was determined to skive persevere and so went back to work knowing it was just for an hour and a quarter. There was enough to keep me going and a tad more so something to come back to. I didn’t enjoy it very much again and will now have to consider that I’m never going to so maybe I’d better stop watching them. When it finished t 3.00 pm I was almost glad to return to work but maybe that was just the thought that it was only for an hour and a half. The computer was starting to whinge and whine at overuse when I got the chance at 4.30 pm to let it cool down for a while. I settled in front of the TV with a packet of Quavers and waited for the Antique Road Trip to start. A knock at the door got me out of my seat but it was my chemist lady with my drug run so I didn’t miss much.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Both the competitors bought  few reasonable pieces tonight. I was cross that one stood in the shop and engaged the owner in conversation about the age of some chairs, saying how new they were then taking one outside whispered about how old he knew they really were because of horsehair stuffing etc. To me that’s deceitful. For the second day on the trot he won and I was so disappointed. The auctioneer was very good tonight and cajoled good prices from the audience.

After Road Trip I watched Pointless then as I was about to watch Eggheads had the sudden urge to watch Big Bang Theory and turned over to an episode I must have missed. That kept me occupied until 6.30 pm but then I’d run out of excuses and had to come back through. There was a message from Yvonne saying the doctor is sending a new prescription to the chemist for antibiotics tomorrow but I don’t know which one yet. I hope she stays with this current batch which have done a good job on reducing both the swelling and the pain. I spent the evening working on mail more or less taking my time and resting long enough ( I hoped ) so that the fan didn’t start sounding asthmatic again. At 10.30 pm though I was able to start the blog as the mail boxes were empty at that point. I should be able to manage a good read before sleep tonight. I wanted to work on tomorrow’s emails as well so games night wouldn’t leave such a backlog but the computer wouldn’t let me.

Wednesday.

I got to bed early and I got my good read. I even got to turn my light out before 1.00 am, I was nice and relaxed. What I wasn’t expecting was to be awake at 3.17 am and getting up for work.Well, officially it was getting up to pee first and work second but you know what I mean. In some instances I was answering emails just after they’d been written. I was late evening in America and early afternoon in Australia. Just one message from my self appointed astrologer but as usual heavy denominations must cross her palm to be divulged. If anyone has any free predictions out there I’d be happy to hear from them.                                                                          I worked till just gone 6.00 am then went to take the morning antibiotic. As soon as the kitchen light went on I could see the activity in the tank. My newbies were doing a lot of moving around and the others must think they’re missing something and joined in. I swallowed the tablet with some difficulty and turned to put the tank light on.  There was a slight pause in the proceedings and then the dance went on as before. I put some flake in and then some pellets, everyone headed for the bottom including Morecambe and Wise who should have been gobbling the flake. A quick headcount showed just two bodies missing, one of the new synodontis and the large plec. Eventually I saw the small synodontis under the bridge no doubt biding his time, the king of camouflage I found draped over the top of the sunken ship as though he’d been carved there.

I took the rest of the meds and made a coffee to take back with me but decided to drink it in the lounge. I saw the time at 6.45 am then saw nothing else till 7.55 am.  I think I was drugged h’occifer. I got dressed and started back to work.  At 9.30 am I made a visit to Pauline’s for bread and a couple of other things, when I got back there was a message on my phone to call the surgery. I let Yvonne know but I’d forgotten it was Wednesday and she’d be at work at that time. Anyway she phoned in her break and let me know I needn’t panic. It was just a call about my prescription for more antibiotics going down to the chemist. Exactly the same information as she’d got from them yesterday. The woman was really snotty when Yvonne told them she knew. As though it was her fault.                                                                                      I broke off at 11.00 am to have a rest and to be ready for lunchtime. For some strange reason I started to watch Judge Judy. The woman fascinated me. She’s like an obnoxious doberman, forever barking and ready to bite. I was glad when I had to leave to make lunch which I ate watching Murder she Wrote. I returned to work at 1.00 pm and had to work hard to catch up again before sneaking off for 2.15 pm to 3.00 pm for another Father Brown. After that it was work again though the world had been quite generous in my time of and the work was easily managed. At 4.30 am I broke off ready for my Antique Road Trip and for my influx of visitors.  Five minutes into the programme the door opened and Lee appeared and handed me a belated birthday card. I got him his usual drink of water and then caught up on all his news as I’ve not seen him since just before Christmas.

He’s preparing a room at home for the baby. I remembered to give him a little picture frame I’d bought for a baby scan. I’m thrilled for him as he’ll be a great dad. It was about 5.25 pm when the door went again and Dil and Matt came in also carrying belated cards for me. Really nice brother and uncle cards. I’ve taken the others down and my balloon has been removed from the room. I made drinks while they chatted and answered question on the quiz that was on. As soon as it finished Dil erected the table and we got the new game out I’d got at Christmas which Lee hasn’t seen, Cards Against Humanity, a party game for horrible people. Lee laughs easily and has a very infectious laugh. There was a lot of laughter during the game, some shocks too. We played twice. I won the first one and Dil the second. Then it was nomination whist where my evil side came out a bit. I wasn’t just concentrating on my call as usual, I was concentrating on making sure others didn’t get theirs. It was a runaway success for me though I’m not sure how safe it will be to eat or drink anything in the house from now on after the threats that were made. Lee made his exit then which was just as well as I was running out of biscuits. Dil dealt a hand of crazy 8’s for us. It started well when I won the first hand but once Dil pointed out my zero score things went rapidly downhill. Fortunately I managed to get Matt to catch for a few big pick ups so he lost the game before they caught me too badly. Dil won so maybe he’ll undo the curse he put on me. I wish he’d stop doing that as it’s a beggar to get the cockerel’s blood off the floor.

After they’d gone I had a tidy up then made myself a sandwich so I could take my second set of foodie pills today. I also took my usual evening meds and my 10.00 pm antibiotic. I came through ere and found a lot of mail. I worked till 11.00 pm on it but then had to start the blog I’m looking at a 12.15 am finish tonight and I’ll finish the rest of the mail tomorrow.

I’m guilty of making assumptions. For years I thought this was a black singer. Seeing him tonight, the voice just doesn’t fit. Still good though.

Thursday.

On the slope down to sleep last night I remember saying ” None of your silly 3.17’s and 3.23’s this morning please” and I’m still not sure if I was talking to my subconscious or to Somnos.  In any event, whichever one it was has obliged me. However. let me just state categorically, they have a warped sense of humour. It was a 3.24 am day. What a lie-in that was. There was no time to be bitter though as there was a loo to be visited , a bank to be checked and mail to be answered. Oh Joy! Having visited the loo and found the traffic lights without the amber so I kept going from stop to start to stop to start to stop, I came back and powered up the computer. First job as very Thursday, to make sure my money has reached the bank. Everything was OK and I logged out of there and into my main mail box. There were quite a few emails but nothing I couldn’t handle. A quick glance told me I wasn’t going to be ripped off by anyone, made rich by anyone or being told which lottery numbers to play in a fortnight if I pay someone now more than I’ll win then. It was mainly straight post on people’s blogs and they were fine.

I’d caught up on the first batch by 4.50 am so had a few minutes on ebay looking for a cross of St Lazarus, mine was half-inched during the burglary. I can find Templar crosses aplenty in red but nothing in green. The computer started to wheeze again and as I’m bound to be responsible for it’s asthmatic ways I decided to give it a rest. Going through to the kitchen I put the main light on and took my antibiotic even though it was almost an hour early. The light had my piscine pals in a tizzy.Was it daylight or not? I thought, why not, and turned the tank light on. I swear some of them did a waggle dance. Morecambe and Wise both rushed to the corner next to me ass I started to wish them all good morning. Morecambe always seems very please to hear my voice.I must be like the Beach Boys and give off Good Vibrations. My two beautiful new catfish were running up and down the tank which is still strange to see as the others stick to the bottom of the tank. The two little synodontis came out of their shell (literally) to see if breakfast was served, Sharkey was prowling the food service area and both Big Al and Little Al seemed to be waiting for the starter to fire his gun. The plecs were just the plecs,  uninvolved with anything unless it suited them. I open the food flap and dropped in some flake and some pellets. They acted like magnets, pulling in everyone to seek their little portion of food. Just like humans there was no co-operation and no sharing. First come first served. The plecs are clever. they just lie on top of what they find till everyone else goes away.

I couldn’t help but smile as I turned away to take the rest of my morning stash and then make myself a coffee to take back. First I needed to replenish the stand for my pods. I was really lucky with that as the stands you buy specifically for the pods are quite expensive but someone had bought me a revolving spice rack and not being fond of spicy foods I’d utilized it for the pods. It holds four different types ( 1 tea & 3 coffee) and happily takes 12 in each row if needed. I’m quite pleased with the result.

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I took my coffee back to the bedroom and started work again. That lasted until almost 7.00 am. Since I didn’t fancy another ebay session or any time on the family tree  I thought it was a good time to sit in the lounge and try for 40 winks. In order to aid the dropping off process I turned the TV onto a channel that caries US comedy shows like King of New York and Frazier. Big mistake, I started watching and couldn’t get off. At 8.30 am I went back through to get dressed. I spent n hour catching p with the latest batch then went to Paulines to get new lottery tickets and a packet of bacon. Mike may come today and he might be peckish. I was back inside by 10.00 am and in the short time I’d been out there were 3 messages on the phone. What usually happens is, if like yesterday the call is important I text Yvonne and get her to ring for me. Today two calls were from PPI firms and one was about new central heating boilers through a Government scheme. All the most irritating, annoying calls it’s possible to get as these are pre-recorded calls and for all I know on a continuous loop somewhere as rarely a day goes past without one. It’s as though they don’t think we’re capable of getting in touch just as easily after the first annoying call. I have a new boiler but it doesn’t stop the calls coming through. It’ s harassment.

Lunchtime was noon so I knocked off at 11.45 am to allow cooking times and pill taking time. While waiting I watched Judge Judy for a couple of minutes. I’m sure she’s been in for a charm bypass. If it demoralises you so much that you have to scream like  a harpy at the fools who appear before you I’d say you’ve been in the job too long. The ‘Bing’ came in time for me to watch Murder She Wrote again and blow me down I fell asleep before the end. To be fair I wasn’t out for long so at 1.15 pm I started back towards the bedroom. A knock on the door pulled me up and I did consider not answering in case it was a stranger, but it was my friend from the chemist with the new prescription of antibiotics. I had her wait a moment while I got a box of sweets in tanks and then continued to the computer where I worked til 2.15 pm. The formula was the same today, some Father Brown, work from 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm then a gap for The Antique Road Trip. At just before 4.00 pm I had a message from Mike to say he was on his way. After the Road Trip I nipped back in to do a little work so it would be easier to sit with Mike when he arrived . He got there just about when I’d expected at 5.55 pm by which time I’d gone back through to put the kettle on. I poured his drink and we sat down with Eggheads. As that was over I turned to a Big Bang Theory which as it happened Mike hadn’t seen before. That was a bonus.

Tonight there was a new episode of Big Bang Theory on at 8.30 pm and then a new programme that looked funny at 9.00 pm. In order to watch those, I had to leave Mike to is own devices at 7.00 pm. I thought it was worth trying as I could always do the blog later and leave any overflow of mail until tomorrow. I enjoyed the change and didn’t even rush through in a panic once the programme was over. I’ve been taking my time with this but I’m going to have a quick peep at the mail anyway before bed.

Friday.

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The above appeal was brought to you on behalf of David whose sense of humour is rapidly diminishing. 3.22 am is still not funny Somnos ! I’m spreading the word, what more d’you want? It’s not even two and a half hours sleep at a time. And yes, I could turn my light out and go to sleep earlier and what do you do? You adjust the clock and get me up earlier. I swear blind you’ve got me up ten minutes before I’ve even got to bed before now. Having said all that, I’d no idea what kind of work load was waiting for me this morning and being Friday it’s drug top-up day. So maybe this once you did me a favour by accident. No,  you didn’t. The mail when I got to it after the loo trip in the dark so as not to disturb Mike, was quite manageable. I’d rattled the first load off by 4.30 am. I thought about trying to get back to sleep but I was fully charged now. I had a small catalogue nearby that had come in the post recently which wasn’t opened so I had a quick flick through that. It wasn’t near enough to Christmas to warrant starting my shopping yet ( only about 50 weeks to go) so it was only a cursory glance. At 5.00 am I decided to give the fish a treat and go and have a chat.

I turned the kitchen light on and even then sensed a lot of movement so went straight to the tank.  It was like the Butterfly Ball. Even in the semi dark everyone seemed to be wearing their finery and such grace I saw. There seemed to be waltzes, pavanes and partnered cotillions and movement which seemed to be free of structure yet worked beautifully except maybe or Big Al who seemed to have two left fins. Astounded, I switched the tank light on. Oh why didn’t you stop me? The movement continued but now there was no beauty in it, just a series of random swims which bore no relationship to anyone else’s.They remained pretty in my eyes but all co-ordination and co-operation was gone. I wished “Good Morning ” to them all but neither Morecambe nor Wise came to listen to me. I sat on my haunches to tell them all how beautiful they were (even Big Al and Little Al, albinos both) but seemingly could not attract their attention. I’m guessing I was a party pooper and paying for it with another trip to Coventry.

I was on my haunches still and found I couldn’t stand and also here was pain in my heel in that position. Even getting a grip on the work surface didn’t help. I daren’t call Mike in the ‘middle of the bloody night’ to use his term so I had no choice but to drop to the floor. Ouch, turn over onto my stomach and get to my knees and thence to my feet that way. I felt a right lemon I tell you. There may have been sniggers from the tank but I didn’t hear them. Once on my feet I dropped food in for them and watched them scrabble for it. The two nearly cream flashes that are the Al”s, the cream and raspberry of Sharkey, the almost dark brown camouflage of the plecs, the leopard markings of the new corys and the beaautiful almost dalmation markings on an almost see through background of the hoplos and of course the  beautiful red and blue of the two Siamese fighters was quite a sight as they all chased the food but I wished I hadn’t turned the light on at all so early.

I was feeling quite dejected at my stupidity as I turned away from the tank and poured myself a drink of milk to take my meds with. Despite it being only 5.30 am and me being a creature of some habit I didn’t care and took everything I was supposed to including the new antibiotics. Before making myself a drink I got my meds drawer out and started refilling the pillbox. I had to refill the drawer too with some of the new drugs delivered on Tuesday. It took me a half hour to finish that then I put the drawer back and made my drink. Time to go back to work. By 8.15 am I was in the clear again, or I was if I didn’t refresh. I decided on a break and went to the lounge where I turned TV on for company. It was Frazier time. I must admit to quite liking that show. As it came to an end just before 9.00 am I put the kettle on and prepared Mike’s mug. At the same time I girded my loins for what could be a long job. Surprisingly it wasn’t. I took the drink though and loudly told him it was coffee time which got a grunt. I then told him it was on the bedside table which forced another grunt, hopefully opening his eyes. Then I left him to it and went to work. It was approaching the ten minute mark when his clock would normally repeat that I readied myself to go through. Instead, I heard movement, and moments later I heard him go in the lounge. I finished the last of the mail I was doing and joined him.

What a stupid mistake to make. I try to get Mike up at 9.00 am to leave at 10.00 am to arrive at his Dad’s about 11.00 am. In the lounge I put the TV on to cover the lack of conversation until he’s awake. But he became interested in it instead and stayed in his pyjamas until it was over at 10.00 am. Now I feel guilty he had such a late start. When he left the house I went out at the same time to post some letters and then to pick up 2 pints of milk and some bread from Pauline’s. I’d forgotten to take my bag out with me and had to buy a carrier bag. Still, it’s a donation to charity. I put the shopping away when I got home then started a catch up session until lunch time. All the time I was making lunch I was waiting for a knock on the door until I remembered the warden had told me she wouldn’t be coming today. Great, I had my lunch watching Jessica Fletcher show she was brighter than any Police Detective, with my shoes and socks off, toes wiggling with glee.

At 1.00 pm I returned to work and tried hard to concentrate on the job in hand. Trouble was I kept zoning out. As I came back I’d no idea whether I’d done anything to what was on screen  or not. I didn’t have time to mess about and have a sleep as I wanted to break at 2.15 pm anyway. I did stop work at that time and thought maybe I should use the time to sleep but no matter how I tried I couldn’t. At 3.00 pm it was back to work an I encountered the same problem as before, I was not getting enough done. At 4.30 pm I contemplated staying where I was but realistically that ridiculous thought stayed with me for about ten seconds. I wasn’t going to miss my Antique Road Trip for anything. But, when that finished at 5.15 pm and Mike still wasn’t back, I went back to the computer for an hour. I saw the end of a quiz show when I came back through then turned off the TV at 6.30 pm and went for a shower. Before I got in the shower I made sure the front door was locked. I hadn’t heard from Mike and if he set off it would take him an hour. If he got back before then well, he has his own key or access to the emergency one outside. As it happened when I got out of the shower he still wasn’t back. I unlocked the door on the way back to my bedroom to brush my hair. The next thing I know is what looks like Quasimodo is having a go at my front door lock. I opened the door to find Mike hunched over at the lock trying to find the hole for his key. I asked him  why he didn’t just try the handle as the door was open. He looked sheepish which was an improvement on the Quasimodo impression.

At 7.00 pm I watched a different Road Trip which unfortunately still had the same ‘character’ in. Unfortunately and astoundingly he won again too. Both Mike and I were hungry so I made bacon sandwiches for a late tea. After washing up, I watched Mastermind while Mike disappeared to his bedroom to watch his beloved Man United playing a match. When I came through to my bedroom at 8.30 pm he was able to move back into the lounge so he could make out the players on the big TV. I’ve been here ever since as Sod’s law says the post will start to pour in  the minute I’m occupied elsewhere. That’s why Saturday’s are always bad.

Saturday.

I turned off my light at about 12.45 am  but despite being tired my brain was on overtime (unpaid) rates and wouldn’t let me sleep. 1.25 am was the last time I remember seeing so I assume I fell asleep soon after that. Somnos must have been feeling particularly beneficent  as I was allowed to stay in bed until 3.31 am this morning. I know what you’re going to say, just wasting my life lazing it away like this but be fair, my current employer (slave owner) doesn’t seem to be paying much of a salary for work done. My oh my. you are pernickity today, I admit that maybe I’ve been a little lax on the promotion of Somnos et al but I haven’t had much to work with except veiled threats and not so veiled threats so far. Not a single lottery win. OK, OK, no need to be so anally retentive, Yes, there was £25 but that’s hardly life changing. Anyway, who’s side are you on?

I paid my visit to the loo being sure to creep past Mike’s room . On my way out I heard him speak and moved closer to his door in case he was awake. I bumped into the large glass candle stand MuJo got me for Christmas which made a heck of a clatter. Not a peep from him. So much for being ready for more burglars. It did remind me to try putting the light on in future though. I came back and signed in to the computer and then my main mail box. One tiny mistype and they pounced asking for mobile number and address of any other mailbox in case I ever forgot my password. Like I need flooding with more adverts from new directions. I was in and found not too many messages, especially from last night as I’d worked until midnight almost. I have a friend and fabulous author on a research ( oh yeah!) holiday in the Hawaiian Islands at the moment who wrote an interesting post I enjoyed ( http://theobsidianmirror.net/). I spent some time reading and commenting on that before carrying on with the normal mail. I was done by 5.50 am and didn’t think the fish would mind an early start.

I turned on just the kitchen light so I could enjoy their movements before turning the tank light on. If I do  get another tank, I’m transferring all my friends to the lounge as they’re quite fascinating and relaxing.  Maybe I won’t need the TV at all then except when Mike needs football of course. Once the tank was lit up I saw they were all preparing themselves for food. Strictly speaking, today is diet day but I couldn’t do it to them. What was nice once the food was in was seeing the two newest corys , sorry synodontis , ( see Sunday 4th for picture ) come out to play. They really are stunning. Of course the new hoplo catfish are stunning too. I’m looking forward to the day they are bigger and can be named and recognised by their individual markings. They probably are distinctive at the moment but they refuse to pose side by side till I check. Sometimes I think maybe I’m seeing the same one time after time and the other one has escaped.

I took the antibiotic and all the other drugs then made myself a coffee. Once I’d taken it through I got dressed ready for taking the rubbish out. It wasn’t raining but I could see it was cold outside so I put on a thick jumper. Once the stuff was gathered together I took it to the end of the path an came back in shivering. It was 6.50 am so I went to prepare Mike’s mug and couldn’t help wonder what kind of a morning it would be with him. It turned out to be a 3A 2C day.

1A, His first alarm which rang for quite a while ignored before he finally turned it off.                                                                                                                                                                 1C  The first call from me. “Coffee’s up bro, don’t let it go cold.”  Got something like an “OK righto.”                                                                                                                                       2A  The second alarm goes off . A single curse followed by turning it off.                                                                                                                                                                                           2C  The second call from me. “Don’t forget your coffee, its going cold.”  Not sure what this elicited but there was a blue cloud above the bed.                                                 3A  The third alarm goes off. Definitely not a happy bunny now , says something about ‘Luck’ and sits up to get his coffee. He takes it through to the lounge  to look daggers at me ( or throw them, not sure which) but being sensible I’m still in my room working on mail. I did go through and in passing scratched the top of his head. This at least served to stop him growling. We chatted for a few minutes until his answers were more than one word long then I left him to it while I went to get a pair of shoes on. I was wearing grey slacks today so it was black shoes. I managed to get my right one on without too much of an effort today. Magic ! I heard Mike make a move for the bathroom and then his bedroom so I knew he was getting dressed. We left the house at 7.50 am.

At the Supermarket Mike went for a trolley as I raided the cash point.then we met for a cigarette before going inside. The first point of call was the flowers.Most of last week’s had survived quite well so I chose a small bunch of carnations to replace and  dead flowers and add some nice colour to the vase. Mike’s the one who usually arranges Ju’s flowers and he didn’t disagree with my choice. There seems to be less choice than usual and prices are certainly high at the moment which I can understand in Winter. We moved round to the sale aisle where I bought Reuben some Fireman Sam cutlery but nothing else caught my eye today. We moed round to the gent clothes and I saw some jeans being reduced. When I stopped to look the member of staff told me they were for next weeks sale, not today- DAMN! But when Mike asked, the sale starts Thursday so maybe I stand a chance yet. We did eventually hit the food section where I bought some basic ready meals and some sliced beef, yoghurts, cakes and lime and lemon drinks. Then came the staples like bread, milk and some chocolates for our friends as well as a birthday cake  (Y ddraig goch ) to take to the Ivy. We went through the till and while I went for cigarettes, Mike went to order the coffees. I decided to have an iced one today so Mike was looking forward to me getting brain freeze.

There were no detours today so we went straight to Flint. I was hoping to buy a box of birthday cards so I went round Home Bargains, no joy. In B & M Bargains I had no luck either. Mike’s ghast was flabbered when I bought nothing in either place. We lit cigarettes and walked in the direction of Temptations. Before we went in I took a chance on one last shop and actually found their very last box. Not the best cards in the World but great to have in an emergency. We went into Temptations with a box of chocolates for them. I ordered the drinks and a teasted toecake for Mike even though we were just an hour away from lunch. It was quite busy but Mike did manage a session of double entendres with Ceri nonetheless. After his teacake he ate two of the little biscotti we get with the drinks and then four of the coffee biscuits you sometimes get that he had stored in his coat. We threw kisses over the heads of the queue at the counter to wishthem goodbye once we’d done.

We reached the Ivy around 12.30 pm and had a cigarette as we wandered round to the side door to take them by surprise. We would have done had there been anyone there on the counted but it was we who were surprised . Rob appeared carrying plates from the front of the cafe then Angie and Shirley appeared from the direction of the loos thus proving that women always go in twos. Tariq just appeared. I handed  over the chocolates and the cake to him saying we wanted the staff to have cake with us. Mike pointed out to me the woman who was there last week whose mother told us she shared my birthday ( mine because I’m the oldest by far). Rob did the drinks and brought them over. Tariq followed him and brought me a card, a saucy mug and a fantastic framed picture of Reuben and I together done more like a painting, from all the staff. I was quite choked and for once Mike didn’t have his hands round my throat.  We ordered lunch and I took my tablet then went out for a smoke. I was eating healthily today, a baked potato with beans, coleslaw and side salad. Mike had a roast pork dinner. Once we’d finished, Tariq brought the cake to me to cut despite my shaking hands, I cut it into 8 pieces. I asked Mike to take one to my birthday twin, he and I had one each and the other five went to the staff. Fair play, it was quite nice cake. Shella came out to thank me, Tariq came out wiping his mouth. My birthday twin came over to say she’d enjoyed it.

I paid the bill and we started to leave. Somehow the subject between Mike and I got back to fish when I laughed and said I knew he’d want two of the hoplo catfish once he’d seen them. Tariq who’d walked us to the door chimed in to say that he was thinking of having a tank there and maybe Rob ( who apparently knows about fish) might breed and sell them in which case he’d need more than just one tank. He was prepared for that but at the moment nothing was definite. We hugged goodbye again and I think Mike may want to visit the fish shop tomorrow. We drove home and as it was 2.30 pm by now I took my next antibiotic. After putting the shopping away I set to work. It was very difficult as I was fighting to stay awake after eating. I didn’t get as much done as I thought. Mike came through about 4.00 pm freshly shaved as he was going off to meet a lady friend in Llandudno for the evening. I told him he must be in bed by midnight……………. or come home.

At 5.20 pm I went through to watch the programme Mike and I usually watch but suddenly my eyelids were in the way. They stayed there until 7.35 pm. I quickly had some toast to get the second food tablets out of the way then came back to work. I’ve been here ever since trying to catch up on the day’s work. Mike came home at 11.00 pm and told me all about his evening. He talked about next weekend when he’ll be needed at his Dad’s 9.30 am Friday and at 8.30 am Saturday though he intends to stay here. Then he hit me about the head for laughing at him being up in time to travel an hour to get there knowing how I struggle to get him out of his pit already. He reminded me he’s in Poland for a week next month and Canada for 3 weeks the end of March. I shall be deserted like a golf widow and left to my own devices again. That means I can get into as much trouble as I like.

Well, it’s now gone midnight and I need to go back to my mail to finish as much as I can. Thanks for being with me. Have a Wonderful New Week.  Huge Hugs

 

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The 1st Day of Christmas & Cleavage Tea Rest.

Sunday. 

On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me, a foolproof way to bump off a god and not get caught. Convince another god that the first god is trying to inhume him and let him do the job for you. At least that’s how my thoughts ran at 4.49 am this morning when I woke. I’d no intention of getting up at that time but of course all they had to do was prompt my bladder and the choice was out of my hands. There was a muted muttering under the breath on the return trip as Mike was still sleeping of course. When I reached my room I turned on the computer and checked the lottery before I tried to concentrate on the mail. You’d think Somnos, Porcinus or one of their ilk or even the older gods might feel I was owed a debt but no, a resounding NO, not even a number. The mail started out no better for me. There were comments on last night’s blog which were kind but nothing that suggested it was as funny or funnier than usual and I’d built up such hopes. As with many writers I lack some confidence so to write something that actually pleased me was rare but now it seemed my deflation was due.

I was getting towards time to leave the room when my first message came through that the blog had left a friend laughing. Brilliant, but hang on, this is a friend now so are they saying it to make you feel better? And so the over thinking goes. I left the room and went straight to the kitchen where the star of his own show was waiting for me. I was almost expecting to be sacked as his manager but I remembered I’m the hand that feeds him too and you don’t cut off that hand. Actually he was lying atop the amphora and it seemed, giving forth. A soliloquy from Shakespeare maybe, I wasn’t sure if the plecs were enthralled, asleep or dead until I opened the hatch and put food in. Big Al turned and gave me a dirty-red eyed-look. As he turned back to show he was ignoring me both he and I noticed his audience had taken the opportunity to creep away. I’m guessing I’ll get the blame for that too.

Once I’d taken my meds and made a coffee I went back to my room.I did a few more messages then got washed and dressed. More emails were coming in so I concentrated on clearing as many as I could before it was time to wake Mike. I had no idea how many David would be bringing this morning and I didn’t want them confronted by Mike half dressed and not fully awake. They’d think I had a pet neanderthal. 9.00 am was as late as I dared leave it so at five minutes to I went and turned the kettle on. It took 3 calls before I could get him to acknowledge his coffee was there but eventually I succeeded and felt it safe to return to work. At some point I heard Mike get up and go to the lounge then leave the lounge and get dressed before returning there to finish or refresh his drink. I’d just gone through to say good morning when I heard him say they’re here. In order of arrival for the man who hates crowds came My nephew’s wife and my youngest great niece, David himself, his mother in law, my eldest great niece, her partner and my great grand nephew a little older than Reuben.There was a knock at the door which surprised me and I called “Come in” then remembered I might need to unlock the door first. I was so glad of my ‘wall of shame’ which some people stood to admire as it meant we could sit in shifts, exchanging places at the wall. Thanks heavens not everyone wanted hot drinks. Someone vacated a seat when David started pointing out who was who on the wall and I jumped at the opportunity to sit for a minute. There was no chance to hold a proper conversation but it sounds like David’s throat is OK for now and he’s started a new job albeit temporary.

When they left I had chance to hug Marissa and pass over some gifts to go under her Christmas tree. She does seem to have a nice little family group. Mike started to do Ju’s flowers so I retreated to my pit again and brought myself up to date. I’d remembered one more gift I needed to get so as soon as we’d both finished we got in the car and headed for Prestatyn. I bought a few decorative things for my tree then since Mike wouldn’t accompany me to a Costa I suggested we had a coffee in Marks and Spencers. It was about 1.00 pm now. When we found the cafe Mike saw they did meals and had quite a fancy for a curried dish they had on the menu. About the only thing on the menu for me was a baked potato with goulash mushrooms. We paid and took our drinks to a table. My fist mistake was in no asking for a single shot latte, this was very strong. My second mistake was in not asking how long the meal would be ( and I don’t mean about 8″ the same as the plate). I took my pre-food tablet expecting the meal would be no more than 15 minutes. It was 20 minutes before someone came to the table to say they’d run out of the curry would he accept something else? I’d have been ready to go at this point and head for a nice cafe in town but he did make another suggestion- also run out. He made a third suggestion and you could tell his patience was at an end. After nearly 40 minutes the meals arrived. I started mine and was pretty sure it had never been to Hungary but it was edible. Mike started his, first bite from the centre of his pie and it was cold. The manageress offered us 2 free coffees, an alternative meal for Mike after checking it was cold, it was, he refused, and a refund of his proportion of the bill. I felt guilty for carrying on eating but he waited. He brought back the refund but I made him keep it and buy something to eat elsewhere…he chose the motorway on the way home.

We headed for home where he loaded up the car and after a coffee left to start the long journey. I started work. It’s odd when he goes and there’s no-one to banter with. At 5.30 pm I had a half hour break for a  sandwich and some rhubarb pie. Then back to work until 8.30 pm when I had a TV break which also lasted half an hour. Since then I’ve been here battling constantly to get up to date. Off out tomorrow for Yvonne’s birthday.

My tree at the front window.

My tree at the front window.

Monday.

4.23 am this morning seemed to arrive a lot quicker than it was supposed to. It wasn’t very welcome though I should point out it hasn’t actually done anything to me, but I’m not best pleased with Kronos who may well be working hand in glove with Somnos whose parentage I still don’t know. Since I have to be out of the house at 7.30 am I daren’t ignore them and stay in bed seeking more sleep, that would just ensure I missed my bus.  I took a stroll to the loo and then powered up the computer when I returned. There was plenty of mail to go at but not enough to cause any worries, barring any sudden surges I’d be up to date when I left. At 6.00 am I got washed and dressed so there were no last minute panics if I forgot the time, I thought breakfast would be a good idea today too since I didn’t know when we’d stop to eat. After seeing to the fish ( I must have caught them half asleep this morning as none of them bothered with me at all) I took my meds and put some sliced rolls in the toaster.Once I’d eaten those I made sure I had foodie tabs to take out with me and returned to work.

7.30 am arrived soon enough and I was out the door, bags in hand, struggling to get to the bus stop in the intermittent hail and rain storms. Typically today it was a dead heat at the bus stop between the bus and myself. Once settled in my seat I closed my eyes to cut out the other passengers  and nodded off leaning on my crutches. I was rudely awoken a few times when the driver pulled up a little sharply, when one of our roads produced a pot hole we couldn’t miss and when my grip relaxed leaving my chin to come down on the armpiece of the crutch a little hard. I received a message from Yvonne telling me not to bring bags as she’d pick them up later when they dropped me off. DUH ! She also said they’d pick me up in town if I went to Cafe Nero. So, as the bus drew in at Chester the hail started and I was hammered all the way to the cafe. Once inside I could see it stopped.. I sat with a latte for a while and then deciding to have a cigarette I went outside to wait. Down came the hail again. I also got a text to sat they were on the way which I could barely read because of the hail melting on my right hand. I crossed the road to the bay where they would pull in, and they did.

We were at Blakemere Village at 9.45 am and went for coffee until the shops opened. Ugo must have ordered raisin teasted toecakes because the waitress came to the table to announce they only had a different one which he accepted for everyone bar me who had already had breakfast. While waiting, I gave Yvonne her birthday gifts, a tablet and a tablet case. She was thrilled. Mike had sent a silver chain with her birthstone on and she loved it immediately. There were a few smaller gifts for all of them which weren’t really Birthday related. The teacakes arrived and were eaten though I don’t think anyone was too impressed. By the time we’d done and Reuben was back in his pushchair the shops were well open. We walked round all of the Indonesian  wood craft shops and admired everything. Yvonne even made a small purchase. We went round the courtyard shops where Ugo bought a handcrafted birthday card for a friend and I got Reuben a T.Rex cuddly toy at which time the siren started. Nothing seemed to have set it off, and nothing would console him so we missed the next couple of shops and I mentioned the magic word- chocolate. A teddy bear consoled him after he’d bitten it’s head off and we were able to continue on the journey.

Somewhere between finishing the chocolate teddy bear and the next two shops Reuben fell asleep- he is his grandad’s grandson- so we stopped for a tea at a beautiful little teashop. From there we went to a toyshop and Reuben woke up. As he was in the pushchair and there were toys around he wanted OUT, and the siren started it’s distress signal until he was. Ugo held his hand while Reuben guided him round pointing at everything in wonder. The place was closing down so Yvonne was able to get some things with a 20% discount. Then we went to the pet and aquarium shop where both Reuben and I were thrilled to listen to the birds chattering away. He wanted out of the pushchair again so Ugo carried him for a while. By the time we caught the rabbits and guinea pigs Reuben was walking and following me round the fish section. I drooled at some of the fish and it was decided that my birthday present would be a couple of catfish. They had some stunning ones and also had a huge gibbiceps which was like an armoured tank. Snakes and lizards next which were very pretty but as we moved to the spider section I felt my toes curl up.

We left there and decided to return to the same cafe for lunch.  I read to Reuben as we waited for lunch to arrive and he made the appropriate growling noise as the monsters appeared.I had pie of the day with chips and mushy peas, Reuben had pizza, Yvonne had BLT’s with some of Reuben’s chips and I’ve no idea what Ugo had. It is safe to say now it’s not a meal I’d want to repeat. I think I’d prefer the other cafe that used to be on site but which is now a craft centre to throw pots and dip candles. After lunch as it seemed to early to go home Ugo drove us to the Wirral about half an hour away to a large wholesalers Yvonne likes for gifts. It was mainly given over to Christmas trees and decorations today. It was quite impressive. We still bought noting though Yvonne was very impressed by a 7 foot artificial tree.

They drove me home and the motion sent Reuben to sleep. They wouldn’t come in and risk waking him up so I just went inside to turn my Christmas lights on to show I was making an effort. I waved them off and then came inside to start work. It was 4.30 pm and quite dark so I left the lights on. Almost 200 emails since morning so I tried to make some headway. One of the best cons I’ve seen today though not one I believed. A charitable foundation in Canada set up by the $40m winner of a lottery. Wants me to have $1m to distribute to charities in my area in honour of his wife who died from cancer. The page was well set out and very professional for a change. The losing a wife from cancer hit home badly so they’d either struck lucky or had done their homework.

It took me until 11.45 am to get up to date with just a break for a piece (the last) of the rhubarb pie. I’d refreshed the screen about 10.30 am so I’d done quite a lot. That just left time for this before I was able to go to bed for a short read.

Breakfast with Pops 1Breakfast with Pops

Tuesday.

I woke at 3.17 am and all I had running round my head was ‘Publicist to the Gods’ as though there had been subliminal messaging running through my head as I slept. It was like the cinemas that used to turn the heat up and then stick secret messages behind the films telling you ice cream would be a good idea just before the interval. It looks like Somnos has gone for the subtle approach after the frontal assault didn’t work. After such a short sleep I doubt this approach will work either. A more direct approach in person is likely to result in a bloody nose and a whimpering god. Still when I started the mail I was cheered by ‘Sexy Sadie ‘has sent you a video. After the last one of these I didn’t need or want to click on it since, how shall I put it ahem, the more voluptuous woman is not my ideal. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, I mean, I’ve got friends whose cleavage I could rest my mug of tea on and I love them but not in that way if you get my drift. It was sent quickly to the sin bin. Now if Katie Hepburn is out there somewhere and her guide dog doesn’t need a muzzle, I’m waiting.

I carried on with the mail, happily deleting blatant adverts until 6.30 am then went through to the kitchen. Two of the plecs were on the air pump which vibrates so I was wondering whether this was a medicinal thing with them or pleasurable. If the latter I hope Big Al gets a turn as his face wasn’t going to break into a grin anytime soon. Even little Al seemed to be quite cheery so maybe he’d already had a go. I had a look round the tank to be sure these weren’t distracting tactics while they dug the escape tunnel. I wonder if I could explain the concept of Christmas to Big Al? I fed them, took my meds and brought my coffee back to my desk.Before starting work again getting dressed seemed the best option to keep me warm since I can feel a draught this morning. I need to find the source soon.

By 9.30 am I was almost up to date  and decided to go out to the shops. First stop the chemist with a repeat prescription request and a box of Ferrero Rocher for the staff, then the Post Office, situated at the far end of the same shop where I needed to post a parcel off and hand over a box of chocolates for them. I get brilliant service and great help from both places and I appreciate it. Then to Pauline’s where I picked up my TV mag and also the 2 week Christmas issue which made me realise how close it is. A packet of bacon accidentally fell into my hand as did a Twix and 5 packs of cigarettes. OK, they weren’t accidental. I came home and put everything away then went back to work. By 11.00 am I was up to date again and so started wrapping a couple of presents. It made me realise just how much I hate this job. Buying them- no problem, wrapping them-Ugh. My hands shake so I’m more likely to sellotape me than the parcel.

That job took me up to lunchtime and my noon viewing. I had a shepherd’s pie and enjoyed Bargain Hunt, even the auction stages. I had to return to work at that point as I saw there was something I wanted to watch at 2.15 pm and if I’d fallen asleep at 1.00 pm I wouldn’t have dared skive off.  Busty Bertha had joined Sexy Sadie in the ‘Look at my Boobies’ stakes but I still wasn’t inclined to look. I remember taking a quick peek (accidentally, my finger slipped ) some years ago at one of these in my naivety and saw a woman with more muscles than Arnie in his body building heyday. Her neck was bigger than my thigh and her boobs had what looked like varicose veins. T’was not a pretty sight or site. Today it would have been a real Nightmare before Christmas. I carried on working, responding to mail, retweeting blogs and commenting on blogs as well as reading some of the adverts for Woucher etc. I thanked all those wonderful people who had retweeted for me and commented on my blog. What a patient bunch you are. At 2.15 pm I went to watch my programme. I stayed awake the whole hour and surprised myself. I knew my next break would be at 5.00 pm hen I had some tea.

The work wasn’t too arduous this afternoon, it was just constant. Keeping pace wasn’t a problem but I was secretly asking Kronos in my head what the chances were of me getting ahead of myself by answering the stuff that hadn’t reached me yet. That would mean I could take the time off at 5.00 pm and not come back to a new pile. I might even manage 40 or so winks. He wasn’t interested so I laboured on. At 4.50 pm I reached a balance again so went through to take a pre food tablet and make myself a sandwich- beef and beetroot, with a bag of quavers for my tea. I didn’t eat them until the 15 minutes was up but then followed them with my after food tabs and  small chocolate marshmallows. The first quiz was good and quite entertaining as the contestant ended up playing for £50,000 against an expert and only lost by one second. The expert ended looking harassed. Eggheads was also good but the contestants there fared no better at least for the first 15 minutes, after that my eyelids closed and the last 15 minutes I spent examining them from the inside. I woke up to find Come Dancing on but it had only been on moments and no-one knew so I was OK.

I came back through and the work had piled up in my absence but that was OK as I was here for the rest of the night now. Tomorrow no doubt you’ll hear my screams as MuJo are coming to take me out in the morning and then Dil will be round for games in the evening. If I’m very lucky I’ll get an hour between departure and arrival to clear some. Well, back to work now to see what else has arrived.

The Sanity Clause and his little helper.

The Sanity Clause and his little helper.

Wednesday.

Sing Hallelujah, this has been such a long day and so much post waiting for me at the end of it that you are to be offered a shortened post.

I was up at 4.27 am and after enjoying  the relief of Mafeking I started in on the emails with the intention of at least being up to  date before I went out. Between then and 10.10 am I managed to deal with the fish, take meds, have my coffee, get washed and dressed and yes, get up to date too. I even managed to wrap to small gifts before MuJo arrived at 10.30 am. I saw to drinks for them , gasped at the size of one of the Christmas packages they brought in ( a giant loo brush capable of coping with all the bends down as far as the sewer I’m told) and then sat chatting for 45 minutes.

We took a ride into town so John could look at the Charity shops and I was able to use the opportunity to nip to the jewellers. The job I needed was done for me withing a minute and at no charge which was a great display of Christmas spirit. We looked at a couple of shops that do decorations as John is very much a Christmas person. Then we went for lunch at the Bells in Holywell which they’re very fond of.  After lunch we went to Flint where we had a good trot round the shops before going to get a drink at Temptations. I made sure I picked up some chocolates  before we went in. A couple more shops after coffee and then we drove home. I felt awful that I hadn’t wrapped their gifts yet though I have got them in Christmas sacks ready. I id manage to give them a gift I’d picked up while we were out.  They left about 4.15 pm and I literally flew in here to start work.

182 messages waiting and an hour before Dil is due.!! I did work hard but was still well over the 100 mark when it was time for me to stop. Dil and Matt arrived at 5.30 pm. I made drinks, we watched the end of a TV quiz and then got the games table out. I’ve no choice but to admit the night was a total disaster.  In Yahtzee I won one leg out of six played. Dil three, Matt two. I Nomination Whist I might as well not have played at all as they both romped ahead of me with Matt finally beating Dil by 10 points. There was a lot of smirking going on in which I was not partaking. At last it was Crazy 8’s which is usually my game, but not tonight. Though I got Matt’s score up to being MUCH worse than mine, every time I tried to catch Dil it rebounded on me and they both laid pick up cards on me meaning Matt didn’t lose by much. Oh quelle horreur.  They left at 9.30 pm as usual and after the usual tidy up and washing of pots I retired to my room for the night. Mail now up to 188. At 11.30 pm I stopped to do the blog with about 40 to go and I hope to finish those before bed. Wish me luck.

Thursday.

I don’t know if I was hyped up, spaced out or just too stressed by the amount I’d got behind yesterday, but I do know that after turning my light out last night about 1.00 am I was back up and (sort of) raring to go at 2.28 am. Not what you’d call a great night’s sleep. Somehow though I’d cleared up the remnants of yesterday (by not liking/tweeting those people who never visit my blog and return the compliment) by 4.30 am. I suddenly realised it was quite cool and perhaps a wee kip was in order so I sidled sideways back into bed and woke again at 7.15 am. You might think that this could send me spiraling into guilt and fresh panic due to Big Al but last night at about 8.30 pm Matt had gone to the kitchen for a drink and found I’d forgotten to turn their light off. So, swings and roundabouts eh? Mind you, last night he’s almost put their lights out completely as I asked him if he’d do the honours to save me moving and he turned it off at the wall. That meant off went the filters and airpump too. It was only when I heard, well nothing, that I twigged and got it turned back on. So really Big Al should be treating me as a saviour today.

Oddly enough that didn’t seem to be Big Al’s take on the minor delay  when I got to the kitchen unless of course he was a bit peeved about last night. As I moved from the near end of the tank towards the middle to feed them all, Big Al moved with me. Never once breaking eye contact it was like a rabbit in the headlights and I could see the car hurtling towards me. If glaring was an art form he’d be Modigliani. I was going to say Rembrandt but I can’t spell it. He lived near a lot of water too. I dropped the food in the slot by feel alone and was so fortunate at that moment to stub my toe on the cupboard that I could escape before the Jag mk 1V hit me ( oh come on, I’m not being hit by anything less). I took my meds on the run using my coffee so all that was heard down the hallway was my gasp as I tried to swallow the hot drink. Opening and closing my mouth in an attempt to cool it I must have resembles one of Big Al’s tribe.

Back at my desk I checked my bank to make sure I wasn’t in penury, had a quick look at ebay to make sure I wasn’t missing anything exciting and then started work again. There was early mail from Australia on one site that gave me great pleasure to answer since the banter is always good and a letter from a friend in Germany. I was on automatic pilot for a while as I sat thinking about how lucky I am in my friends. Some would say I have acquaintances since I haven’t met these internet friends, or virtual friends but I know differently. Yes, there are many who are just part of the social scene of being an author, reader, blogger but there are some who you know would be there through thick and thin. To be fair, most of them think in my case it’s thick. I worked until 8.30 am and though I had no intention of going out today, I got dressed. By 10.00 am I was up to date again and by prodding myself from behind with a penknife forced myself to take the path into Mike’s room and the wrapping of gifts. Next year I’m only buying things that come giftwrapped. This is a job I really don’t enjoy. Even square shaped things manage to tear the corners of the paper and trying to disentangle myself from the sellotape is worthy of the Keystone Cops.

It was wonderful when lunchtime approached and I was able to break away, not that many people agree lunchtime is 10.15 am. I just happen to be very slow at making it. In truth it was just past midday when I stopped and I was ready to eat. It was a corned beef hash today followed by a BFG mousse. Not bad, but I’ll save the second one for Mike. Bargain Hunt was quite eventful when one team went home with more than £200 which is an event as rare as hen’s teeth. I returned to my desk after lunch so that I would be free for 2.15 pm and the mystery series I’ve been enjoying. Today was no exception though it’s a bit annoying not having clues you can follow yourself to reach a who dun it conclusion. Yet again I returned to the desk after that to keep the mail down as much as possible in case Mike arrived. I was thrilled to receive an e card from my friend in Spain which goes well with the advent calendar I’m enjoying daily from Australia.

I took breaks from 5.30 pm to 6.30 pm and then worked hard so I’d be free for the new Big Bang Theory at 8.00 pm. Mike arrived at 8.45 pm and had a coffee thrust in his direction while I watched the newest episode but we managed to chunner a bit during one we’d seen before. He told me he’s coming on Boxing Day to stay for a week or so till the kids go back to school. That’s a shame, he’ll miss hanging up his stocking on Christmas eve now. I hope he’ll be here in time for the gathering of the clans on boxing day or I might have to eat all the trifle myself. At 9.30 pm I went to clear the wrapping materials off his bed before coming back for a final assault on tonight’s work.

Friday.

Do you ever get the feeling something’s brewing? No missus, I didn’t mean the tea. Something dark and dastardly that stinks faintly of unwashed hooves maybe.

I got to bed last night in time to have a short read. I’m at a vital part now and wanted to carry on to see if the escaped Templars now in Scotland, managed to buy ships from Genoa to make another journey. It was very cold last night and so I turned the light off about 1.00 am and snuggled down. I don’t know how long it took me to drift off but I know I was tired. I distinctly remember starting the 12 days of Christmas in my head at some stage. I got as far as 2 Turtle Doves before I woke up and heard a snigger. It was 3.09 am. Obviously I had to get up. put my dressing gown on and grab a thick stick to check the house with. Nothing in the lounge, the kitchen or the bathroom. Michael was lucky I remembered he was here or he might have woken to find himself dead and me throwing bedding into the washing machine. I found nothing. I went back to my room and was sure I saw something fade away from my office chair as I turned the light on. It occurred to  me that wearing my glasses might have helped and that possibly, just possibly I could have walked past a burglar and not seen him. I put my glasses on. I was wide awake but knew something was odd, oh yes, I hadn’t been to the loo yet. Odder still, I wasn’t ready to go.

There was a whiff of damp goat or something as I sat in my chair and turned on the machine. As it was loading an advert flashed across the screen, PUBLICISTS WANTED. APPLY NOW. I carried on and signed into my mail. The first message appeared to be my daily horoscope which was odd as I’m not signed up to one. Interesting to see what they say though. Capricorn. You may feel out of your comfort zone this week by the offer of a new job. If you have social skills ( and what Capricorn doesn’t) and an ability with social media, you should give it your full consideration. The rewards could be great. Refusal could be costly.

Smiling at the generality of these things I clicked to bin it.  it disappeared into the ether I was repaid by 25 more messages popping into my mail box without even refreshing it. I knew there must be a system error as every other one was a horoscope with some words emphasised… Refusal could be costly.  I deleted them and carried on with the rest of the mail. It must have been around 5.30 am when I caught up and since it was far too early for the fish I decided to go and sit in the lounge by the radiator. It didn’t take me long to nod off. It was a restless sleep in the chair and the whispering on  the edge of my consciousness kept bringing me back to the surface while I was hearing “No, no, let him sleep, it’s easier for him to think it’s his idea this way.”  I think  someone underestimated me and forgot just how lightly I always sleep. Things began to make much more sense and that feeling must have seeped through to my brain because I heard  “DRAT” and suddenly my head was clear. “Those conniving, illegitimate………” I thought, and woke up. It was 6.30 am, a good enough time to face the fish and to do my Friday drugs.

By 7.30 am I was back in my room with a coffee making inroads into the next batch of mail. Things went quite steadily but the computer was under union orders to go slow. As I clicked on a message to upload I was able to get dressed and dance a quick paso doble before it appeared. I managed about a dozen before 9.00 am but luckily there weren’t too many left. I made Mike a drink and called him twice to let him know it was on the bedside table. Then it was time to go to Pauline’s for some Milk and my new lottery tickets When I got back there had been no movement so I called loud enough for the street to hear that he mustn’t let it gi cold. He sat up startled, moved those little legs and went to the lounge. I joined him a few moments later. At 10.00 am he suggested he should get moving. DUH, that’s why I wake him, and by 10.15 am he was on his way to Manchester. I returned to my room and signed out of mail then signed back in to see if things had improved. They had except there was more mail again now. The real postman brought me some cards including a lovely one from friends in the Lone Star State. I grabbed a few minutes to put them up.

I worked until 11.00 am intending to do a little more wrapping but didn’t make it. Instead I nodded off in my chair again……peacefully this time. It wasn’t for long as my stomach suggested I fed it so I took my pre-food tab at 11.15 am and prepared to indulge in cottage pie. It was too early for Bargain Hunt so I started watching a Christmas film to pass the time and stayed with it until it finished at 1.15 pm. Since the new serial I’ve been enjoying is on at 2.15 pm it was a rush to do some work in order to justify another skive this afternoon. Whether or not it was justified I skived again until 3.15 pm but made up for it afterwards by not going to watch my usual programmes until 6.00 pm when eggheads came on. I made myself some beans on toast to enjoy while I watched it. Pushing my luck a little further I also watched an old Big Bang Theory before going for a shower. I’d expected Mike back before then but hoped he’d remember his keys if he came while I was in the shower as these days that door is locked. I can’t get used to the idea that a burglary could make me change so much. I only locked the front door if I was going out all day before. I never bothered for a trip to the shops.

After the shower I had a quick push at the mail until 8.00 pm whn Mastermind was on. Mike finally arrived home just before half past with a Chinese meal as he hadn’t eaten all day. He’d texted to see if I wanted anything but actually what I didn’t want was an increase in my waist size again. I’ll be in clown trousers soon. I stayed with Mike as there was a programme on about Queen at 9.00 pm. It hurt me but I had to disappear and come to work at 10.00 pm despite the second programme on Queen starting then. Naturally a lot of mail had accrued during my skives so it took me a long time to catch up and then get to the blog. Another bad day tomorrow when I go shopping. I wonder if I can employ some boy scouts or better yet girl guides to do my wrapping.

Saturday.

Before I’d gone to sleep last night Mike came through to ask whether I was OK. He was puzzled that I hadn’t spoken a few minutes before when I’d gone through to the lounge, stared at the TV then left. Perhaps he thought I was cross at the volume. The only problem with that scenario was that I hadn’t moved from my room and in fact had been wearing my headphones so hadn’t heard the TV. I had to get up and check the windows with him and just confirm the front door was locked. It won’t be the first time something odd has happened here. Many times I’m sure I’ve glanced things from the corner of my eye. Usually that beggar pinching one of my chocolates though he denies it.

I’m not quite sure exactly what time I woke up this morning but I did lie there for a couple of minutes. I slung my legs unwillingly into the frosty air at 4.35 am and I’m sure there was something small perched on top of my computer watching me. When I turned my head fully in that direction there was absolutely nothing there. I moved to turn the computer on before going to the loo.  As i got back and turned the main light on there was a piece of parchment lying on my desk with the word Contra written on it. I just couldn’t figure out what it could mean other than the Latin for ‘against’. In the bin it went and on I started with the mail.  There was quite a bit but it wasn’t unmanageable so that by 6.30 am I was up to date bar the last few minutes. I went through and gave the fish the pleasure of my company a little early. I can’t understand why Big Al never seems to appreciate it, I am the most obedient of servants. I fed them and left him glaring at the space I had last occupied as I moved towards taking my meds and some breakfast. The breakfast though would be a reward so first I went round and emptied the bin and brought them through to add to the main rubbish bin in the kitchen. I took all the household rubbish and the food waste to the appropriate bins and manoeuvred  them onto the path then added the recycling bags from inside. Anyone walking past would have had a fine sight of me in my red/black striped bathrobe, if their eyes could have penetrated the gloom that is.

Back inside I made my coffee and ate some cereal. I also put the kettle on to boil as it was coming up to time for Mike to rise. I took his coffee through just as his alarm went off for the first time so I actually caught him sitting up to turn the alarm off. His grunt of acknowledgement made me think maybe my timing had been perfect. Wrong ! He’d gone straight back to sleep.  Waiting a few extra minutes in case of delayed reaction I hovered round the lounge door. Nothing happened so I jut yelled “Don’t forget your coffee”. That got a reaction and within seconds Mike was sitting in the lounge. I however had gone to get dressed. When I had my thickest cardie on I went to join him and he started to tell me about his strange dreams. “Someone was trying to take blood without my permission and I ripped the canneloni out” he said “look, I’ve even damaged the back of my hand for real.” And he had. “Are you sure you don’t mean Canaletto?” I asked.

We eventually got out of the house for shopping at about 7.55 am and had to take the coast road this morning because parts of the A55 were under repair (what’s new?). At the Supermarket Mike got the trolley while I got some cash, I’m hoping they won’t be able to identify me with the mask on. Me, not them in the mask that is. First we picked up some gifts Mike needed before we started on the shopping.Once we’d picked up the few essentials then Mike had picked me up off the floor at the till we went for a coffee or at least Mike had a coffee and I had a cold drink, cold enough for brain freeze. It’s freezing and wet outside and I’m on cold drinks? Following that we left for Flint along the same route  we’d used earlier though in reverse naturally. No,the car was not going in reverse, the journey was. When we arrived and parked up we picked up a couple more items like some dog treats for Wilson my nephew’s dog. Eventually we went for coffee to see Ceri, Sian and Kyle on the counter in Temptations.Look, if you’re going to make up the story yourself, you don’t need me. They were working behind the counter I meant. Mike played his usual game of catch the double entendre with Ceri. There was no chance of her, or anyone else, missing them since they’re thrown so hard but she just laughs them off and agrees.

When we left there I was shocked to see it was almost midday. Mike suggested bypassing home and going straight for lunch. We needn’t eat straight away but he could pick up the t-shirts Tariq had done for him. Tariq was on the counter when we arrived and shot round to greet us properly. Moments later Angie came through and came for a kiss and a hug, I’mm just not sure how many restaurants this could happen in and I’m sure the natives are getting suspicious. Angie had Rob come and do the drinks for us and unusually Rob was less shy than usual and held a conversation with me. Maybe my bringing him round for a hug last time broke some ice. Tarq had taken the order through to Shella and Shirley so I went outside for a cigarette. Mike joined me. We were just finishing when Tariq stuck his head out to announce the meal was ready. We’d both gone for the roast dinner with honey glazed gammon and it was really nice. I had Mike’s carrots and he too my sprouts. We’d only just started when Shella came out with some stuffing she’d forgotten to put on the plated so we got to say hello.

Everything was great. Tariq came over and brought the t-shirts for Mike to see and we laughed. They were perfect. Then he was daft enough to apologise for having to spend less time talking to us recently. We both understood he was busy- or that Shella thought we led him astray. When we finished we did the ritual goodbyes only Mike was in a side room paying for the t-shirts so I was the one to get the hug and kiss from the two delicious women and not him. You can be sure I rubbed that in. We got home and put the shopping away. I really needed to have a look at the emails but I’d determined earlier I  WE would have to do some wrapping first. Unfortunately we decided to deal with the gifts for The Ivy and for Temptations so it was deciding who had what. how they would be boxed etc and it took forever before we could wrap and label them all. So, it was 4.30 before I could break away and come through. OMG hundreds, but what did I expect. I promised to go through at 6.00 pm and watch our usual quiz with Mike so I’d have to be quick. I stayed till 8.00 pm then came back through but was just overwhelmed. I went back to the lounge at 9.00 pm and declared I was watching a comedy with him. That finished at 11.00 pm. It was time to start the blog or forget it altogether this week. I felt like a truant. Once I finish this I’ll work on mail as long as I can and the rest will have to wait till tomorrow.

Mischief planned.

Mischief planned.

Now you see it, now you don't.

Now you see it, now you don’t.

 

 

Have a Great New week all.

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Reuben goes Walkabout & The Consiglieri and I.

Sunday.

I went to bed at about 1.00 am last night and though I’m sure I didn’t sleep well all the time and was quite restless, I was still rather surprised to wake up in my chair this morning in the lounge. Not having my glow in the dark, light the room up clock I had to turn the light on to find out the time. 5.20 am. It’s OK, I’m not on holiday, it was just a Sunday treat. Though I was near the kitchen and the fish I decided to leave them and my coffee till later and just concentrate on messages for now. There was no rush as Mike wouldn’t have set his alarm. Ha, if it went off on a Sunday he’d probably blame me and crown me with it. Er, just forget I mentioned that please in case he gets bright ideas.

There was as usual a fair bit of post, but as I was in no rush I took my time and wrote slowly for anyone who read slowly. I broke off at 7.00 am to feed the fish and found Big Al’s behind banner is getting longer. I think when it gets to a certain length he’ll use it to do like sky writing to me. ‘Fair Play for Corys’ or something. I’ll leave the something to your imaginations which judging by your blogs lack all sorts of boundaries. I gave as near as I could get to a look of contempt which probably meant a sickly grin and turned away. I saw to my meds and made a coffee to take back with me, painkillers at the ready. A few of the messages were responses to last night’s blog. Thank you to everyone who commented, your cheques would have been in the post but I sealed the envelopes before I remembered. Double up next month? I remind everyone that if there’s any music you want to see in the blog just let me know. ( Don’t seal your envelope before including the cheque ). It’s actually funny when someone tells me they remember so and so coming out and I realise it was in the 60’s and I thought they are about 30 years old.

There were no stupid messages today for a change. Perhaps the crooks are on strike for shorter hours. I was down to my last dozen or so messages at about 9.15 am when I heard Mike get up. I did first go to check it wasn’t late burglars, but no , amazingly it was him. The sarcasm was dripping ever so slightly from my chin when I said “I didn’t expect to see you up at this time.”  I got a different response to the one expected “Yes, I’m not usually up before half past eight am I”?  Had I been drinking coffee at that point I’d have choked. (Sorry no, I’d left it in my bedroom). “Half past ten you mean though it’s currently only half past nine.” He looked a little befuddled and I almost felt guilty about the sarcasm. Almost but not quite. I made a coffee and then left him while I came to finish the mail. Before I’d done he’s come too and realising what I’d said had come through and clipped me round the ear. Talking about something on screen I’d made a comment about not wanting to look the fool. “Better steer clear of mirrors then” he told me. I’m not the only one who uses a tissue to wipe my lips, where sarcasm is concerned he needs a bib.

Time moved on and he stayed to look at a couple of things on screen with me. That’s how I get so far behind. He suggested we go to the old Sunday Market ground to see what’s going on there as we see a few cars there when we pass by on a Sunday morning. We both got ready and left about 11.15 am intending to carry straight on to lunch afterwards. As we pulled into the car park of the market we could see it was in a bad way but there seemed to be a couple of stalls at least. It was once a vibrant market with a variety of stalls including a very large clothing section from a major clothing store . As we got closer it was obvious the first couple of stalls we’d seen were of the car boot variety with mainly second hand books. Oddly enough there was a fast food stall doing a good trade and a meat trader selling joints, chops etc. We moved round the back and found a stall doing composite/concrete figures for the garden which were quite good, a pet food stall and a cheap tools stall. Then an Everything £1 stall, one selling a small quantity of cushions and pillows, a stall with a few nice figures but many more awful ones and then a great big and very good plant/fruit/veg stall. I wasn’t tempted. We’d spent some time walking round so it was now 11.45 am and time to head for lunch. I’d remembered to put chocolates in the car. When we arrived there it looked fairly quiet. Tariq was serving someone at the counter so we waited until he was free before saying hello. He came for the hugs so didn’t disappoint though young Rob who came through a few minutes later still needs training up . We knew Angie was off today as it had been her Silver Wedding Anniversary yesterday and there had been some celebration. That was also apparent by the absence of Shella at that point so she wasn’t doing the cooking.

Tariq made the drinks for us then left to go to the kitchen. Rob stayed out making drinks for new customers. He’s a pleasant enough lad to talk to but seems to lack a little confidence unless it’s just Mike being overpowering as it’s not possible I could be. Tariq came and took the orders and I settled on BLT’s for a change you understand. A double round with a small bucket of chips to share with my bro. After we’d eaten we relaxed with our drinks ( non-alcoholic since neither of us drink and Tariq doesn’t sell booze). Tariq came over when he could but it became busy so I paid and we put our coats on to go. We both waved at the counter as we left and we were halfway down the front of the building when with a rush of footsteps Tariq appeared for a goodbye hug. I’m changing the world for the better one person at a time. Mike dropped me off at home, picked up his suitcase and left. I went straight into catch-up mode and kept going until 5.30 pm when it was time for a sandwich and a break. I watched a reasonable film until 7.00 pm then came back through. I’ve been here ever since and it’s now 11.00 pm.

On the slide

On the slide

Yay, More Daddy, More

Yay, More Daddy, More

 

Monday. 

4.41 am this morning. It feels quite crisp out there but I’m putting it away in case it snaps off. I turned the light on in the bathroom so I could check the angle of the dangle was correct before releasing fuel. Of course when I turned the light off as I came out again my eyes took a moment to adjust to the dark and I stubbed my left foot little toe on the leg of the console table in the hall. It was no fun trying to hop and curse all the way to my bedroom to turn the light on. To be honest my biggest fear was that I might have disturbed the broadband router which likes to go down if you just look at it sideways. I signed into the computer and all was well. Feeling very sorry for myself and my poor tootsie, I logged into my emails and started work.

Last night a dear friend and great writer from the U.S. called SJ.Sprague ( http://goo.gl/DoJf9H ) told me of a friend in trouble. It seems a public water main in the street had burst and not only flooded her back yard but also put 5 ft of water in her basement which ruined the heating system completely.

The job won’t be cheap and as she helps run a pet rescue centre it’s going to be very difficult for her to bear. What made the story more ludicrous for me is that the Water Department say they can’t be sued (Why not?), the City say they are exempt from being sued (How?) and her own insurance company won’t pay because the water constitutes a Flood and not an accidental release of water???? As the American’s say “What a crock” and rightly so. I’d suggest that unless they have something written into the policy that denies liability for this kind of damage specifically then they have a liability. And for people/organisations to have an exemption from being sued is patently ridiculous as that gives them cart blanche to always cut corners, use inferior materials  and build shoddily knowing they can’t be touched. Who’s going to stand for that?

The last thing that made me grit my teeth a bit was the press. Two newspapers had given this some coverage, but the local paper refused to. Why? Are they afraid of upsetting City Hall or something. One of the stories is here  and there has been a GoFundme account set up if anyone can offer a little help. If that happens to be you and there’s a spare £ or $ this month, please go to   I know many are feeling the pinch these days but with Winter almost upon us no-one wants to be without heat. (Blogged on Monday 13 th October 2014)

At 7.00 am I went through to the kitchen. It was getting lighter but I still needed the light on. When I approached the tank to feed the fish I could see Big Al in the front corner and not moving at all. I was fully ready to accept I’ve lost him until I saw a twitch.There was no sign of the plecs until I noticed that Al was actually lying on top of one of them. I’m now very worried. Is this a case of bullying, a case of lousy eyesight or has something untoward been going on so that I may find myself with a whole new species swimming round the tank at some stage? A colec maybe? I took my morning drugs and made a coffee to bring back to work.I worked steadily as I felt under no pressure but at 8.00 am got dressed as I didn’t want to be thought as inviting a woman into the house while I wasn’t dressed decently. See, I managed to avoid all jokes about opening the door in my dressing gown this time. My cleaner was due at 8.30 but she was 10 minutes late, I’m sure she’ll adjust to find the right walking time soon. Using the Stutter and Nod method of communication I managed to convey that the large bedroom, the hall and the bathroom would be the targets today.It was a bit of a surprise to find the lounge being hoovered but as long as the other jobs were done. I went out to deliver my prescription request while she was here which was good and I did manage to get a fair amount of work done. I filled the mop bucket so the bathroom floor could be done as I know it’s heavy having to lift it out of the sink in the kitchen. She left ten minutes late which was good and the work all seemed to have been done though there were things left on Mike’s bed that had come off the floor that maybe I should send up to the loft now. I didn’t feel up to it today though.

The postman came and brought screen protectors for my tablet and also a copper magnetic bracelet  for Muriel’s birthday. That brought me up to date ( until I selfishly won a waistcoat tonight). I worked until 11.40 am and then went to prepare some lunch. Braised steak with herby baby potatoes today which I ate watching my Antiques programme No 1. After I’d washed up I sat with a drink for a few mins and nodded off for 30 of them. Back into battle then for the afternoon finally cooling the keyboard at 4.15 pm so I could go for Antiques programme No 2 followed by No 3, Eggheads, Big Bang Theory and finally No 4. I have to confess that it was a real fight to stay awake the whole time. At 8.00 pm it was time to come back through and hit the accumulation of the last nearly four hours skive. Amazingly I’ve done very well and it’s only 10.30 pm with not much post waiting (for now). I may have an early  night before my outing tomorrow.

Tuesday.

Being a long time favourite of the small gods ( I sometimes get invited to staff parties, don’t go if Belch and Fart are there at the same time) I got two chances at a good morning today. The first was at 2.17 am when I decided one of them was playing a joke on me so I had a cigarette and went back to sleep. The second was at a more reasonable 4.12 am though I still think Impractical Joker needs a humour transplant. After ridding myself of a small lake it was time to start on the emails so I was clear for going out. I see one or two that start We’ve noticed an error on your account with………bank which only makes me think that the small gods have progressed to the digital age now. At 6.00 am I went to feed the fish and found Big Al almost in the same place he was yesterday though not quite in the same position since the plec is no longer underneath him. He turned almost 45 degrees when I placed food in the tank and offered me a lazy eye, he looked up but decided I wasn’t worth looking down. When I said “Love you little fishy” he got a startled look and darted behind some weed. By the time I’d taken my meds and made a coffee it was fay approaching 6.30 am so I got washed and dressed ready for the off.

By 7.15 am my email box was empty, apart from not having been refreshed since I got up, but having cleared 70+ emails was pretty good I thought. At 7.30am I made my way over to the bus stop and the bus wasn’t far behind me. The journey was a reasonable one without incident and despite some heavy traffic on the last stage we still drew into my bus stop at 8.45 am. No sign of Yvonne and Reuben so I lit a cigarette and stood out of the way to wait. I almost wet myself when she appeared from behind me having been into a shop already. Since it was a branch of Boots the Chemist I looked after baby and sent her back in to get me some tablets for my toothache.  Reuben was full of smiles for me and was very talkative. Shame it didn’t make any sense or it might have been an enlightening conversation. I asked him to say Mummy which he did but he wasn’t having anything to do with saying Pops.

When Yvonne came out we crossed the road to our first shop where we intended to have a coffee but also to get Yvonne a pair of boots for Christmas. I needed a couple of small items too. We had drinks with toast and jam and Yvonne fed Reuben some Weetabix too. We got what was needed there and headed off to our next shop which was for me to get some bread, after which, despite it being a bit cool we took Reuben to the playground for a go on the swings and the slide. At first I stood outside and had a smoke but was soon co-opted into being a swing pusher. He’s a fearless little beggar. We called into a new shop and picked up a few items including a shoe horn/ backscratcher for me where the hand was almost human sized. We saw a few things in different shops Yvonne liked but I was offered a flat NO whenever I suggested she pick one up as a treat. We decided to go for a drink to sort the bags out but our usual place was packed. Instead we found a Cafe Nero with some outside seating and settled there. While Yvonne went in Reuben sat on my knee but the moment she was out of sight he was down on the ground. Everything had to be investigated and questioned with an Uh? He was walking aroung so well I had to keep an eye in case he disappeared. When we stopped for the toast earlier he’d attached himself to an elderly lady who was returning to Canada today. He grabbed he hand and walked her round the cafe. I could see he was quite content to go with her. One minute of not watching carefully and we’d have been getting postcards with pictures of Mounties till he was 18. One other surprise while sitting there was someone appearing in my peripheral vision and asking how I was. I turned with dread but found myself looking at an old friend from work. One of only two who’d visited me during my illness. I was even able to talk to her though a little haltingly. After she’d gone I felt really happy that someone had remembered me with some affection and stopped.

Once we finished at the cafe they walked me to the bus station. I needed the loo but we noticed the bust had arrived. I thought I’d take a chance so leaving my bags with them I darted off. As I reached the loo a voice said “Let me get the door” and it swung open for me. I turned to say thanks and there was my bus driver so I knew I was OK. No tears today, I felt quite grown up. Reuben was waving to me continually as I got on the bus and sat down. The journey wasn’t bad again and I got home a little after 2.00 pm. Straight into battle as I found over 180 messages. At 4.30 pm I went to watch my programme but fell asleep before the end and missed the next one too. Time for some tea so I had some soup with some bread and butter. No extra programmes tonight so at 6.30 pm I came back through and have tried to whittle the post down as much as possible. I’ve had a text from MuJo saying they’ll be coming tomorrow if that’s OK so I said “Great”.( I added a thought to myself that it would be great if I ever got the post finished).

Easy peasy this walking lark.

Easy peasy this walking lark.

Are your nostrils clean Pops?

Are your nostrils clean Pops?

Elton John's glasses.

Elton John’s glasses.

Wednesday.

This was a 3.55 am day. By the time the post was finished and I’d had a short read in bed it was 1.00 am.When I got up this morning the mail was horrendous and I knew I’d be chasing my tail all day. I started work as soon as the bladder was registering empty again. Tough there was only one stupid mail from yet another ‘bank’ telling me my non-existent account was in trouble there was plenty to occupy my time. My son in law has a friend who is an employment expert and who has created a statement intended to guide people towards employment. It was sent to me in the hopes I had contacts to publish such a piece. I had to read it of course which took me ages. I know of no-one who could actually publish it except for interested news publications but I have no contacts there. I suggested press releases or if he’s permit, perhaps I could blog the message in the hopes it would help someone suffering unemployment within the ranks of my followers and who would perhaps re-blog it letting it spread to help as many as possible. I’m waiting to hear back from them.

I fed Big Al and his compadres  at 7.00 am. No reaction from any of them. I wonder if Al is not well, I’m not prepared to believe he’s suddenly ‘Chilled’ and become relaxed towards me. I continued with my usual routine, meds  and coffee. Since I couldn’t face breakfast I took my drink straight back to my room. I continued working until 8.00 am then decided I’d better get washed and dressed ready for the visitors. Though I was hard at it again by 9.00 am, I seemed to have made little headway. At 10.10 am the postman called and I was in the process of reading the garbage he’d brought when the door opened and MuJo  arrived. Work had to cease. I made drinks and we sat talking about how things had been since we last saw each other. They were both delighted with their gifts, John a case for his ASUS  tablet and Muriel a herb cutter and chopping board.

I showed John a couple of watches on ebay as they were looking for two for their grandsons. Unfortunately there was only one of the specific one they wanted. At 11.30 am we left to go for lunch at their now favourite cafe in town, The Bells. I settled on a roast beef dinner and to be fair it wasn’t bad at all today. Maybe I need to revise my opinion a bit of that place. After lunch we left and went for a short walk up the High Street so John could visit his beloved charity shops. Much to Mu’s chagrin he actually found and bought a plate he liked. We got back in the car and headed for Flint.

I persuaded them to shop first and coffee second so that I could buy some chocolates to take in for the girls. It was quite a successful shop as I was able to pick up a cardigan and a jumper to go with the jeggings I’d bought for Mu’s birthday. Coffee next and since MuJo insisted on paying today since I’d got lunch, I didn’t get to talk to the girls other than a quick Hello, how are you? when I passed the chocs over. When we’d finished there we got in the car to come home. Mu dashed off to pick up a lottery ticket while John and I came inside. I found a not to say there’s been a delivery and it had been left in the cupboard. I wasn’t expecting anything today and it turned out to be for Mike anyway so I’ve left it on his bed. Mujo left at about 4.30 pm so I quickly got changed into something more casual and readied myself for the next influx of visitors, the cardsharps. Lee and Matt were a bit later than usual appearing at 5.45 pm. I made drinks and then set up the card table and tonight’s games. I’d just sat down when Dil told me he’s seen Lee approaching past the window. I got another drink, and we settled to play Yahtzee first. We had six games of which I won two, Dil two and the others one each. It had taken quite a while because of the nattering while we played so that when it came to Nomination Whist we started quite late. I don’t know how I managed to win that as I had a really bad start, not winning any of my calls, but I did win and bad sports that they are all I got was yah, boo, sucks from the others. I suppose the fact that I was crowing may have had a little to do with that though.

Everyone left at 9.30 pm and I spent some time tidying up and getting pots washed. Since I’d only eaten once today and therefore only taken one set of tabs I made myself some sandwiches for supper and caught up. Once that was cleared and I’d had my night meds it was time to face the music again. I checked ebay first and found I’d missed a couple of things I’d forgotten about. Then on to the post. I had to pick myself up from the floor. Over 200 sitting in my inbox. I had to stop working on them at midnight in order to see to this post so tomorrow will be no fun.

Thursday.

A late night last night so it was a 5.33 am start today. I was still working on yesterday’s post first thing but once I reached the end at about 6.15 am I went through to the kitchen before starting on today’s. I switched on the light and glanced over at the tank. Big Al was in his corner. I put the tank light on expecting  some movement but there was nothing. Even when I opened the slot and put food in he didn’t move. I’m more convinced than ever that his time is coming to an end. The plecs seem totally unconcerned and like placid cattle just eat their way through any algae on the glass. They’re real grazers and nothing seems to flummox them. I’ll keep an eye on Big Al but there’s nothing I can do for te malady of old age.

Once I’d taken my meds and made a coffee I went back to my bedroom to start work again. I’m getting a lot of messages from the postmaster saying a message couldn’t be delivered, messages that I’ve never sent to people I’ve never heard of. My nephew says it may be an attempt to get me to open one of these posts to let a spammer in so I’m making sure I just delete them as I find them. There were two messages from Building Societies to inform me of problems on accounts I still don’t have and a message from someone who suggests I look and see just what they know is coming my way. I wonder whether they saw what was coming their way as I didn’t even open it. The rest of the mail was the usual joy to deal with, just plenty of it. At 9.30 am I got washed and dressed and walked round to Pauline’s for my lottery tickets, a magazine and some bread. I also picked up enough cigarettes to last me until shopping on Saturday. On my way back I bumped into the postman coming out of Bert’s. “You could have been a minute sooner and saved my ink ” he told me, turning round again and picking up a package he’d just left there for me. I thanked him and came indoors to find another smaller letter box sized packet on the floor. Woo Hoo, the shopping has started in earnest now. Some more tomorrow I hope.

I re-started work and stayed with it until lunchtime when I made myself some sweet potato mash to have alongside a lamb shank with peas and carrots. As usual I put the TV on and watched while I ate. After I’d washed up I sat don to complete the programme  and didn’t quite make it. I slept from just before 1.00 pm an 1.45 pm then woke up with no idea where I was. Back in the bedroom I refreshed the post and played catch up until the boxes were empty at 4.15 pm. With a sigh of relief I went and made myself some tea and sat down to wait for my antiques show No 2. I stayed in the lounge until 6.30 pm before coming back through to look at a message on my phone. “On way” it said. I allowed 3 hours for the journey and piled into the new post.

Mike appeared at 9.00 pm which means he used the new route his son showed him or he drove at 100 mph all the way and can expect a ticket next week. I stopped what I was doing and went to make a coffee for him. He turned the TV on to a programme  about ow the West was really won with all the hardships on the wagon trains. the sod houses, the slaughter of 31 million buffalo and the short time span of the actual cowboy era. Like the Native Americans I couldn’t believe the numbers of buffalo that were killed. I’m not even sure of that vast number because I heard them say the herds were estimated at approx 60 million but at the end there were about 1000 left. All because of a need for leather. Tragic.

At 10.00 pm I cam back through and left him to his programmes  so I could catch up and do the blog before bedtime. It’s hard going.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DH8j6mqnrso

Friday.

1.00 am turn off the light for sleep. 3.07 am turn on the light as awake again. I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve been dreaming that I’m awake or not but for once I remember some of it. I was driving in New Jersey or maybe it was Noo Joizy  I’m not sure. I was a little surprised to be driving anywhere since I can’t drive and have no license. Anyhoo, a car as long as my street pulled out from a side road and hit my rear end, or more specifically that of the car. It was a very minor bump and only damaged a tail light as I found when I pulled in and stopped. The other vehicle was so long it took half an hour to come to a stop, pulled up behind me. Out of the front stepped a man who made Godzilla look small and I swear the ground vibrated as he walked over to me. He had a very pronounced forehead that spoke of living in caves and a very long jaw. I don’t know what I was expecting as I rolled my window down but it certainly wasn’t ” I say, we appear to have done your vehicle a little damage. My Consiglieri  and I are most distressed and wanted to ascertain if you yourself are unhurt.” I assured him I was fine and he asked at that point iof it was possible the damage could be dealt with by cash rather than through our respective Insurance companies. Since I was fairly sure I had no insurance I said that would be fine at which point he took out a wad of cash thick enough to choke a horse and handed me £25,000. ( Hey, don’t blame me, I didn’t write the script so don’t expect it to make sense. He execute a perfect half bow then turned and left. Reaching his car, he walked for half an hour until he reached the rear passenger side window and leaned in and spoke for a moment.  Then walking round to the driver’s side of the car he opened the door and pulled out the driver and shot him twice. He climbed into the car and drove away leaving the driver on the sidewalk.( I was born for jargon like this). I dashed over to see if there was anything I could do but I could tell he was fading fast. I leaned in when I heard him try to speak. “Sorry about your car,” he said “you can get a good deal at Angelo’s on the next block, tell him Mario sent you” then he died. I woke up at that point and don’t know if the car ever got fixed.

My day didn’t start improving at that point either because when I logged into my mailbox I had an ‘Oops’ message to say unfortunately due to a problem it wasn’t available, try again later. I’m not sure an ‘Oops’ message is quite appropriate for such a life and death event or non-event. As it happens, for once I was grateful for the fact that my main email account and my gmail account are linked so that gmail picks up most, though not all (?) of my mail. I just don’t like working from within the gmail account unless I have to. I don’t find it user friendly. Anyway, that’s where I headed at 3.30 am. I was aghast to find well over 100 at that time of the morning. I think even the kangaroos are sending messages now. One I had no hesitation in getting rid of was one I mentioned a few days ago.

The next three weeks will change your life. Come find out why. Fri, 17 Oct 2014 03:40:57
Tara Medium to you –      It was instantly recognisable this time from the heading. It seems Tara medium can’t accept the Tar’ra from me. I worked on until 6.30 am then went to see to the fish. Big Al was swimming about when caught in the glare of the light but he still tried to go back to his corner and look pathetic. Fool me once, you got me, Fool me twice and you should take me out and shoot me. ( or something like that). I put some food in, snorted with derision  and turned away to take my meds while smirking that I’d won this encounter.
After taking my meds I needed to fill up the pots for the next week . That was where I encountered a problem because all my drugs weren’t here. I noticed one called pregabalin hadn’t come with my drug order yesterday and was actually marked on the bag as short. I had no choice but to do what I could until I could get the missing ones. Of course at 7.30 am the chemist isn’t open. Now we have a double edged sword because I’m anxious about the missing drug, and the missing drug is one that treats anxiety. Do I  a) Just tear half my hair out until they arrive or b) Suddenly remember I’ve had this morning’s and I’m fine?
I made my coffee and took it through to the bedroom. I know Mike won’t be up yet and expect even though he’s going to his father’s his morning, it won’t be before 9.00 am. I could carry on working. When I didn’t hear his alarm at 9.00 am I made him a drink and took it through. Remarkably though I couldn’t understand a single grunt this morning he did actually get up a couple of minutes later. When I went through to the lounge he told me he’d leave about 10.00 am as he wasn’t due until about 11.00 am. I swear it’s about 80 miles away.A it happened he was still here gassing at 10.30 am after the postman had been and didn’t leave for another 10 minutes. He’s not very good at timekeeping at all. That bodes ill for tomorrow when I try to get him up at 7.00 am. ( stop laughing at the back, he’s almost officially ancient now being 65 in just a couple of weeks, poor old man).
After Mike had gone I caught up on the post again and then did a blog for an award I’d been given. I’ll have to stop sending out all these cheques. Then, as it was approaching lunch time I made myself some braised beef and chips with onion gravy to have with the first antique show of the day. I amazed myself by staying awake for it mainly because the warden called and It would have been rude to sleep in front of her. I did fall asleep straight afterwards for half an hour or so.  As I’d been away from the computer for 2 hours now I went back to refresh the mail. Some evil people had actually written to me again and I had to start work. First job was to update my Christmas spreadsheet. I have a record of last years gifts in red, now I remove them and put new ones on in blue when I buy a new gift. I can be sure I haven’t duplicated a gift that way and can keep a copy of the old list if I want. OCD or what?
At 4.30 pm I went through for my second antiques show and was on the next one when Mike returned. It was natter time so we knew how each other’s day had gone then we watched Eggheads in peace. As soon as that was over it was hairwash and shower time and for me a little bit of work and checking ebay until 7.30 pm. Another check on ebay at 7.50 pm showed a little good luck with a Christmas gift and some bad luck with a gift I wanted for my daughter. Ah well, each day is a new day to try. Another shot stint of TV for Would I Lie To You, then back here for the night to cover the mail and the blog. 11.30 pm and I’m giving up in a minute.
Saturday.
Despite trying to give up a bit early last night it didn’t work as I’d hoped so it was gone the witching hour before I got into bed. At least I hadn’t turned into a pumpkin or something. At 1.00 am I turned my light off and was serenaded into sleep by whatever Mike was watching on his TV. At least it wasn’t a comedy show with him laughing out loud. There were no midnight excursions to the loo so I slept like a baby ( OK, a very snoring baby ) until 5.04 am. As soon as the lake was drained I opened the mail and made a start. I could see from the amount that someone ( a lot of someones )had been very busy and were determined to make me work for my pay. Well listen up you jokers, I’m calling the union in cos’ I don’t get paid so now I have to work hard for my no pay. Does no-one take holidays any more? Actually at least things were going smoothly and I reached 6.30 am without any effort. Time to start the day proper.
I went through to the kitchen and flicked the light switch. That just hurt my finger so I turned it on properly. There was that blur of white again. I stepped sprightly over to the tank ( Yes, I can say sprightly if I want, there were no witnesses ). Instead of fleeing to his corner, Big Al had come from the corner to the centre of the tank to look the opposition over. It’s possible he found me wanting but I tried to put on a brave face as I placed food in the tank until with a bob of the head he turned and swam away. That round to me I think peeps. I was so distracted in celebration I found myself almost taking Saturday night’s dose of meds instead of the morning one. I caught myself in time or I could have been zombie -like all day. ( Who asked how you’d know the difference, kindly leave the blog).
I put stuff in Mike’s cup ready for his alarm going off then turned on the kettle ( It hadn’t done anything to me but I was feeling aggressive). I made my own coffee and took it through to my room. Leaving it there, I emptied my bin and placed a fresh bag in it then went round emptying the ash trays into the bag I’d taken out . I emptied the main bin and the food waste bin , added my rubbish and took the lot out to the outside bins which then got taken up the path. I was in my lounge pants with the big Red Dragon running down the leg to frighten off any burglars. When I came in I washed my hands then made Mike’s coffee and took it through to his room. It was just 7.00 am. I made sure he grunted enough for me to know he understood the coffee was there before I went off and collected the three recycling bags ( no glass today) for taking out. At last it was time for my coffee.
At 7.15 am I called Mike to say his drink was getting cold and then started to get dressed. When I was adorned in all my glory ( new waistcoat) I gave him another shout then returned to my post knowing if he didn’t get up now I’d just leave him till he did come round on his own. It was just about 7.30 am when I heard him go through to the lounge. I finished the few post I had left then went through to let him know no-one had won the £130m lottery last night so it rolls over again till Tuesday when I explained I’d booked it. It will be a strain, but I can probably cope if I penny pinch.
We left the house at 8.03 am and I didn’t mention it once. I looked at my watch pointedly half a dozen times, but I didn’t mention it. When we reached the supermarket it wasn’t too bad, the car park was still quite quiet. We chose Julia’s flowers then fairly whizzed round the food aisles and went for a drink. I didn’t have a brain freezer this week. That done we headed off to Flint to pick up a few items from my list that are better value there. Halfway though the first shop Mike felt the need to empty his bladder and shot over to the loo in Temptations. I finished that shop, walked slowly round another then texted Mike to see where he was. I should have known really. He was still in Temptations as Ceri was on duty but he’d got the coffee’s and the teasted toecakes in. I went to join him, only to find I hadn’t put my tablets in this coat so I’d end up having to have tea this evening. He didn’t tease Ceri as much as usual until she came out to see his new car and was much taken with it. I left them chatting and went to get the frozen food. Mike joined me and carried he bag back to the car. We drove home.
No postman today for a change. I pot the shopping away, including the frozen food that some fox had dumped on me. Then I was going to start on the mail again but Mike joined me in an internet search on ebay and elsewhere which lasted well over an hour and I got no work done. At 1.00 pm we headed off for lunch. Tariq has been very busy putting new fencing up round the children’s play area and he met us outside when we arrived. Hugs first, chat second. We headed in to see Angie and Rob and to take the chocolates in. It was nice to be greeted with an Angie kiss. She made our drinks while we made choices from the menu. It was a nice meal but by the time we’d chatted to everyone there and then Mike had spoken to Tariq about some picture frames time was really getting on. It was almost 3.30 pm before we got home again. I was having kittens as I headed straight for the computer and Mike for his TV sports. There were over 200 messages and no matter how many times I opened and closed my eyes they remained there. I worked solidly until 6.00 pm then joined Mike for half an hour. Back to the computer for half an hour so I could check an ebay bid as well…no joy. With Mike till 7.45 pm then another bit of work and an ebay bid…….no joy. This is not like me. I decided to watch two items for tomorrow and just plough into the work. I had a ten minute break to eat two doughnuts for my tea then back to it. I finally finished at 10.30 pm but of course I didn’t refresh the mail then. I made a start on the blog and now I’m sure I’ll have it out on time I’m going back to the mail for a while and will finish this a little later.
Hugs to all. Have a Great Weekend followed by a Fantastic week.

 

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