Tag Archives: Tariq

Itty Bitty Spider & Somnambulism.

Sunday 16th August.

A late night deserves a late morning and that’s what I got today. It was 5.04 am before I opened my eyes. I swung my legs out of bed to head to the bathroom forgetting just how bad they are and almost fell over. Though I can stand on the right one, the left had decided it was on strike for better conditions. I managed to lollop my way down the passage to the bathroom, wincing all the way. On the plus side, it’s not itching. Coming back I turned the computer on and opened my first mail box.
I caught up ( temporarily) with that one at 9.08 am and went to open the second one.Today just had to be the day that TalkTalk had implemented changes to ‘improve’ their service to me. A new mail service totally with a pretty new display that so far does absolutely nothing. I tell a lie, it displays the messages piecemeal instead of in a continuous list, it takes an age to delete anything and an age to change pages. I gave up trying at 9.30 am and went to make a coffee for Mike. I was determined he was getting up before lunchtime. It took a while but eventually he trotted through to the lounge.

We left the house at 11.00 am and headed for The Tweed Mill to see if they’d had further deliveries of these fantastic Brakeburn shoes which are the most comfortable for me to wear. It’s like wearing nothing at all except your feet don’t get dirty or wet. Mike bought a pair two years ago when I did and has never regretted it. I was out of luck in my size but we did get to have a nice coffee ( actually I slurped a milk shake) before having a good look round. Then we decided to stay for lunch there and go on elsewhere afterwards. We both had a Sunday roast. The quantity was pretty generous I thought. Before we left I bought two pairs of Brakeburns for Yvonne thinking they might be comfortable for her during the pregnancy. That done, we headed for Butterflies at Kinmel Bay. Not for the cafe but for the fish place so Mike could get some special food ( for the fish) and some sponges for his air pumps. When Ju was alive we used to buy a lot of fish from there. Friendly knowledgeable staff and a great choice. She’d be very disappointed to see it now. So many tanks closed down. Still, they stock the food Mike wanted so it was worth the visit. Next stop Prestatyn which was on the way home. I needed some cotton balls from the £ shop to apply the calamine lotion. We found out last night that tissues aren’t very good. I spent £13 in there and I haven’t got the foggiest idea on what. Time to get home after that and we made it for 4.00 pm.

Mike went to work on Ju’s flowers so I made him a coffee then came through to make a start on the mail. At 4.30 pm I had to stop to say goodbye to Mike as he was heading home again though he says he’ll be back on Tuesday. I’d just had a message on skype that MuJo are visiting that day too since I’m not seeing Yvonne then. My day with her this week is Monday again. That’s good as I’ll be able to take the shoes through for her. Once Mike had gone I sat in front of the box for an hour skiving and eating some BFG. Then I came through and worked until 8.00 pm when I had an hour of MASH before calling it a night and apologising to Joey for the lack of company today. I’m pretty sure he misses us when we go out. I managed to get up to date on the mail and get the blog done before the witching hour so there’ll be time for a short read before sleep.

Monday 17th.

There was an early wake-up at 2.05 am but I declined that invitation and after a painful trip to the loo I managed to get back to sleep. At 4.24 am when I woke again, getting up seemed a much more reasonable proposition. I didn’t need the loo that time so only had to hop over to the computer and fire up. I was done with the first battle by 6.00 am and opened my other mail box to work. Miraculously it did work this morning and by 6.30 am I was clear there too. Maybe only temporarily but it gave me the opportunity to grab my sticks and go through to take the morning meds. I was going to get those out of the way then get dressed ready to visit Yvonne. It was only then I remembered I couldn’t see her today. They’ve both taken two weeks off to be with Reuben and have planned outings every day. It’s Reuben’s birthday on Friday but I won’t see him until Sunday when we have a little party for him. Lucky for me his main present, the rocking donkey, is already at their house. So, once I’d had the meds I made a coffee to bring back to my room.As I went to the sink to wash my spoon I found a tarantula waiting for me. It’s legs were stretched to either side of the sink. I had to find a container big enough to catch it in and a pack horse strong enough to carry it to the front door while I released it. I looked on the net to see what it was and was surprised to see it called House Spider. In all my years I’ve never seen one like that in my house and I wonder if they meant as big as one? For the first time ever, no more mail came while I was out of the room. If only every day was so kind. I shall still have to get dressed later to take my prescription request to the chemist.

I took my coffee back to the lounge and sat with Joey while I enjoyed it. After a while and it was bright enough I opened the cage door. Joey came out and circled the room a couple of times. His flight dipped as he passed me almost as if he was going to land but then common sense got the better of him and he headed for his mirror and the first of many self arguments of the day. I even managed to nod off a bit while he was chunnering. At 9.00 am I hobbled my way to the chemist and dropped my prescription off then came home and started work again. While there I checked ebay again and found a ‘Second Chance ‘offer. For those of you who haven’t had one, that’s where the winner of an item hasn’t paid and the vendor offers it to the second best bidder at the price they offered. I was amazed since I’d missed the winning bid by a country mile and I doubted my bid even reached the gold value. I accepted like a shot. Later in the morning, after watching Homes Under the Hammer I’d just restarted work when the new doorbell rang. It was the warden. She came in to chat and to wish Joey a good morning. She was pleased to see him come out of the cage even though he ignored her.At 11.30 she took her chocolates and left. I thought about preparing for lunch but received a text on my mobile which was charging up in the kitchen. It was Lis to see if I was in. As soon as I verified it she texted she’d be here soon. And just about midday, in she came.

It was lovely to see her again and it must have been quite a while as she knew nothing about Joey. We spent some time catching up until she left about 1.00 pm and I was able to make my lunch. Steak in Ale with mashed potatoes. Not bad at all really. Since I’d missed Bargain Hunt I didn’t watch TV. I just listened to Joey giving me a bollocking for something he imagined I’d done. Then I returned to work for a while, knocking off at 4.00 pm because I’m idle. Dammit, I fell asleep again in the sun coming through my window. I missed the programme I wanted to see and woke only during the first of the quizzes, Pointless, yeh that’s just how I felt. When the quizzes ended at 7.00 pm I came back through to catch up and then I went onto ebay to see how things were in my watchlist. There are still a couple of tempting items though I’ve held back from bidding so as not to encourage anyone else at this point. Nearer the time we’ll see how I feel. Of course there are things I look at on there that I don’t buy too, which perhaps seems like a waste of time but I get good ideas for future presents like that. Since I got my first Christmas catalogue last week Christmas must be on it’s way.

At 8.00 pm I broke off to watch a history programme that fascinated me about the prospect of King Arthur having really existed. It seems we know more about the period when he was supposed to be about than we ever did and that the Kings or Warlords did have huge fortifications ( they’re OK as long as you use the cream) and did trade abroad for things like wine and oil so will have traded in much more than that. I suspect they may have been quite sophisticated people rather than the savages they were once depicted after the Romans left. Of course I had to come back when it was over so Joey could get some sleep. I caught up on emails again then started on the blog. I’ll be in bed reading well before midnight.

On the Gruffalo Trail

On the Gruffalo Trail

Gruffalo found.

Gruffalo found.

Tuesday 18th.

There was a very unwelcome period at 1.28 am where I had to go to the loo. As I swung my left leg to the ground the pain became intense. It was like granules running down the inside of my leg and gathering at the ankle. So difficult to walk yet when I did , it soon settled to a throb. I wonder if I have gout in that leg rather than the cellulitis of the other? The swelling and condition of the skin are so alike though. I came back and couldn’t sleep so I had a cigarette and told myself I was not getting up yet. I did fall asleep again and didn’t wake until 5.26 am. That was a treat, over 4 and a half hours sleep. I got up and hobbled to the bathroom again. Coming back I turned the computer on and signed into  gmail. I started work. There are still nice comments on the weekend blog which is great. At 6.00 am I broke off to have some breakfast and to take the morning meds. It wasn’t too bright at that time so no response when I wished Joey good morning. He stayed huddled on his perch. While in the kitchen I put some washing in on a fast wash cycle. By the time I’d had a cigarette and then eaten my toast the wash cycle was over and I set it to dry as I took my coffee through to my room to start work again. By 8.00 am both gmail and my talktalk mailboxes were empty. I went back through to let Joey out and to clean his cage.

Absolutely typical Joey decided not to come out just then but sat there playing with his bells ( I’m not even going to imagine what some of you make of that). No enticement would get him out. It took ages before I could move him and that was just by getting too close to the cage. Still, I was able to give him some more millet which he loves. After Joey I went back to the drier and put the clothes on the airer. Time to go and get dressed. It took forever as I couldn’t get my socks on and then pulling my jeans on was no fun either and they weren’t even the skinny ones. I was ready and able for MuJo when they arrived about 10.45 am I made drinks or rather poured them as they don’t have the hot drinks. We chatted for a while and then left about 11.15 am. Mu wanted the Post Office in town so John and I amused ourselves in a charity shop. When Mu joined us we had a quick look in another one then went for lunch. After we’d been served I managed to grab the bill before Mu so no fighting today.

We drove to Flint where Mu shopped at ALDI then went to park up outside Temptations while e went to get chocolates for the girls. That done we went for a drink. I saw Ceri and told her how much we missed her on Saturday mornings. A couple more shops afterwards and I got a text from Mike to say he was on his way. That was 2.45 pm.  Not long after we headed home where I found I’d missed my drug mule. Muriel was going for her lottery tickets and said she’d go  into the chemist’s for me. When she came back I checked the items and the spray I’d asked for an extra one of had been missed out entirely. My current one ran out yesterday and I was quite cross. The surgery make too  many mistakes like that. Mike arrived at that point. We had a chat for a while then MuJo left. Mike ran me round to the chemist to request the spray again but I’ll have to wait until Thursday now. When we got in I left Mike with the quiz and came through to start catching up. I had to take a break at 7.00 pm and give Mike some company so I made tea as well and we ate watching the box. At 9.00 pm I came back through and buckled down. At 11.00 pm Mike gave up and came through to plaster my legs with calamine lotion. Here’s hoping for an itch free night.

Voyage of Discovery

Voyage of Discovery

Meeting the Little People

Meeting the Little People

Wednesday 19th.

Allow me a little Woo-Hoo here please. I’m wondering if I’ve entered a new phase sleeping pattern. Today is my fourth post 5 am start recently. It was 5.28 am today, that’s about four and a half hours again. I haven’t slept so much in ages….OK, discounting the afternoon naps that is. When I woke this morning I reached out for my glasses as usual. They weren’t there. My fingers scrabbling around like an agitated spider told me that. I was gently checking the floor with my toes so there was no chance I’d stand on them. I held my bedside lamp over the side of the bed to see if they’d slipped down between the bed and the chest the lamp occupies. I cast my hands over all my quilt cover to see if I’d taken them off there during the night. Still nothing. All I could think of was that I’d been to my desk, to the bathroom or the lounge during the night and taken them off there. Nothing for it but to go take a look. I leaned forward and placed my hand on the back of my office chair….and there they were. Perilously poised to drop at any time.How or why I came to rest them there is anyone’s guess as I know they went on the bedside chest as usual when I gave up reading at 1.00 am this morning. The older I get the stranger life becomes.

Glasses firmly on my nose I headed for the loo. It wasn’t a comfortable walk this morning. Having relieved myself of a river I returned to my room and turned on the computer. Naturally I went straight to gmail as the talktalk issues are still not resolved. I’ve never known an ‘improvement’ cause me so many problems. At just gone 6.00 am I broke off and went through to take my drugs. I decided on breakfast so took a pre-foodie tablet and put two slices of bread in the toaster. I took all my other drugs then lit a cigarette and sat in the lounge for a while. Joey was asleep on his swing just waiting for it to get brighter so his day would begin. Cigarette finished I went through and buttered my toast. While I was eating it I washed the grill pan to get rid of the traces of last night’s bacon sandwiches. All done I came back through and picked up where I’d left off.

At 9.00 am I made a coffee and woke Mike up. After about 15 minutes I went back to tell him not to let the coffee grow cold and he agreed he wouldn’t. I let him know I was going out to the shops, strained to get my shoes on then took a slow walk to Pauline’s for milk and bread as well as my TV magazine. It took me a little while but when I got back at 9.30 am guess where he was. Mind you, e must have heard me because within minutes he was up and in the lounge. I know this is my fault but I went to keep him company and turned he TV to Frasier. Mike didn’t make a move towards dressing. At 10.00 am I turned to Homes Under the Hammer expecting him to dress and go to his dads. Nope, he sat and watched that too. So, it was 11.00 am before he got dressed and fifteen minutes later before he left. It’ll be lunchtime before he gets to his Dad’s. I hoped he’d remember to eat as I couldn’t cook for him tonight with Dil here. As soon as he’d gone I returned to work .  I worked until midday then went to make lunch. I was in the mood for quick and easy today so had a curry and chips with bread and butter. Mmmmm. Both teams on Bargain Hunt went home with a profit, one of them getting a profit on all three items and one team making over £200 on just one item. I tell you this so you know I didn’t fall asleep. I know, you’re amazed aren’t you. I returned to work until 4.00 pm and then gave up for the day. Dil arrived at 4.30 pm and had a machine and tubes attached to him . I was quite worried until I remembered he was due to have a day where his BP was taken at intervals through the day. It’s been tremendously high for a few years, often over 200/120 and they needed to check to see if he has white coat syndrome where it rises when he has to attend the surgery.

Mike sent a text to say he was on his way at about 4.40 pm but he didn’t actually make it until almost 6.30 pm. The traffic and the weather were both bad. Dil seemed happy to give up the game of Yahtzee we were playing when Mike arrived as he said it was just a trial run anyway. Since he was losing 5-o at that point I didn’t blame him. The three of us started a new game which ended up with me winning 3, Dil winning 2 and Mike just 1. Next we got the Trivial Pursuit out and after a long game Dil had to leave. We declared him the winner as he had one more slice of pie than we did. He left happy. Mike filled me in with all his news of the day, he’d achieved quite a bit. I had to come through and start the big catch up then. It took me quite a while to get going but at 10.50 pm I was able to start the blog. I’m aiming to be in bed before midnight.

Musical Interlude

Musical Interlude

A wringing of hands for Little Boy Lost

A wringing of hands for Little Boy Lost

Thursday 20th.

I read till 12.30 am last night and then went through to the loo. I noticed Mike was still gaming so I went into his room. We chatted for a while about various things, not least of which was where to go today since he’s still looking for the ring, London Blue Topaz and nothing less will do. I suggested Chester, he suggested Llandudno. When I finally went back to bed I was awake again so decided to have a cigarette and another chapter of my book. I read three chapters and finished it. I got up at 5.12 am today and after visiting Piddle City I logged onto the computer. I attacked the mail and it attacked me back. At 6.00 am I went to the kitchen for my meds and stayed to have breakfast. Joey was awake and it wasn’t too dark so I opened his cage in case he wanted to come join me for breakfast. He didn’t, playing havoc with his bells was much more fun. I ate alone. When my mouth wasn’t full I spoke to him but apart from occasionally cocking his head to one side he paid me no attention. I came back to work. It kept me occupied and out of trouble for a while .  At 9.00 am I stopped and made Mike a drink which I took through to him and tried to wake him up. He wants to go to Chester this morning so I thought an early start would be good. It was nearly 9.30 am before he made the move to the lounge. Joey and I were watching Frasier.

So much for an early start. I dressed at 10.00 am but my subtlety didn’t work. It was actually gone 11.30 am before we even left the house. It was gone midday before we parked in Chester but at least because I have the disability card we were able to park on the main street. We headed for British Home Stores for lunch and were surprised to see a notice on the counter saying they’d changed suppliers and were very limited with stocks. Strange, you’d think a new supplier would keep them stocked up. Our choices were very limited and had to have sausage, bacon and chips to which they added an egg because they’d run out of peas and beans. Still, we were able to have our tablets. Then we started the round of all the jewellers I could think of. He came across plenty of women’s rings with the right stone but no men’s. His heart is set on London Blue Topaz but they haven’t really done many with that stone since the Victorian days. Once his ODC kicks in there’s no swerving his mind away from it.This could take years. We had a drink in a Costa before coming home but didn’t leave until almost 4.00 pm and arrive home until 4.20 pm. I’d hoped to get some work in before my evening viewing. I had to watch the antique programme then come through for the first of the quizzes. Then back again for the next two quizzes, an episode of MASH and one of Campion. Finally I was able to come through to stay at 9.00 pm while Mike watch Who Do You Think You Are on Actress Jane Seymour. I  nipped back to take my tabs but otherwise was very good at focusing on my mail. At 10.40 I was able to start on the blog so will be in bed before the Witching Hour tonight.

Friday 21st.

My light went out at about 1.00 am this morning having read three chapters of my new book. Sleep came fairly easily once I found a comfortable position but I was still up at 2.30 am for the loo. I couldn’t settle again so I had a cigarette on the side of the bed and tried again. I didn’t wake until 6.18 am. An amazing lie-in. Of course it’s the one day of the week I could have done without. I got up, paid a visit to the loo and then went immediately to the kitchen to take my meds and then to start filling the boxes with the drugs for the next week. That kept me going until 7.00 am. I replaced the drug drawer, said good morning to Joey then made my coffee to take back to my room. After powering up ( the computer not me) I signed into gmail. Wow, just 8 pieces of post awaited me. I hadn’t even finished congratulating myself before it suddenly shot up to 22. That kept me on the go until almost 8.30 am. When I tried to sign into talktalk I got a message that it was down for planned maintenance.  I got dressed and decided I’d try to get Mike up a bit earlier today in the hopes I’d get him to leave for his dad’s on time today. I took his coffee through and asked him to do me a favour and listen for my delivery man while I went to Pauline’s. On my return at 9.45 am he was up and in the lounge. He was asleep in the chair, but he was up. I checked my mail and found the delivery will be between 2.30 – 3.30 pm and will be brought by Alan.

Mike was dressed by 10.0 pm but was about to settle down with Homes Under the Hammer until I mentioned he needed to go. He left at 10.15 am after making sure he said goodbye to Joey or risk a bollocking. I watched the rest of the programme until 11.00 am then came back through to catch up again before lunch. T 11.50 am I went through to do lunch. It’s stupid but I’d chosen the time so I could take my pre-foodie tablet then make lunch in time for my antiques programme. On the walk between my room and the kitchen I forgot the tablet altogether and lunch was about ready to plate up before I remembered. I took it and carried on. I enjoyed my bangers and sweet potato mash and took my plate through and came back in time for the auction. I could feel my eyes going before we reached that point and didn’t see a thing. I woke at 1.30 pm and went to do the pots. Next was back through here to catch up again. At 4.00 pm I attempted to enter the TalkTalk email system still without luck. I kept getting the same message after signing in, that it couldn’t access the email server. I finally went through the help desk and followed the questions there but all I got was wait 15 mins and try again as the problem is solved. Let me tell you TalkTalk that the problem isn’t solved, and that having a phone help system in place isn’t good for some people, especially if that phone call goes out of the country and subjects us to accents we can’t understand. That statement is not racist. An email system would help for problems as at least I could access you via another server. At 4.30 pm I gave up trying and went through to watch my antique programme. Once finished I came back to see how many emails had landed. I was able to catch up on gmail but TalkTalk was still not live. I didn’t mind missing one quiz but I was back in the lounge at 6.00 pm for the next two. At 6.45 Mike sent a text to sat he was on his way back. That’s good as it meant I could go to my room until he returned and then give him some company when he’s back. The plan worked great.

At 7.40 pm I went back to the lounge and then to put the kettle on. Mike walked in about 7.45 pm so a coffee was quickly done and we watched the last of Question of Sport together. Glancing at the TV mag I found I’d missed the last twp Persons of Interest last night so Mike put the last one on for us. Once we’d seen that come to an unsatisfactory ending we watched an episode of Ripper Street until 10.00 pm when I felt able to desert him and come to work. Not too much post so I was able to start the blog at 10.35 pm and I’m almost done at 11.20 pm. Just add the song and I can go to bed ready for shopping tomorrow. I may have to race round the supermarket on an electric chair again but no way I’m letting Mike fiddle with the electrics as he threatens. Before Mike went to bed he came through and slathered my legs in calamine lotion. Maybe if it stops the itching it will mean he doesn’t have to rap my knuckles with a pen if I scratch. On the other hand, maybe he just enjoys it.

Saturday 22nd.

When I finished reading last night at 1.00 am I went through to the loo and since I could see Mike was still gaming I called in on him to see why he wasn’t asleep.He said his tablets hadn’t kicked in yet. Here’s to be hoped it wasn’t to long after that his tablets did. He was at least not gaming and was sleeping when I got up this morning at 3.43 am. I came back from the loo and signed into gmail and started work. Along with the normal mail there were a few causes today. One calling for the resignation of Iain Duncan Smith from his position in charge of the DWP after they admitted that the cases they identified as people benefiting from the benefit sanctions were ‘illustrative only’ or in other words a total fabrication. Since deaths have occurred fro people who have been sanctioned it’s surely time for a rethink and to look at real life cases of what the sanctions do. There was also an appeal to the Prime Minister to accept more genuine refugees into the country. So many are leaving war torn places like Libya and Eritrea, many losing their lives on the way that they deserve safe havens to be found by the countries of Europe. OK, off the soapbox now. It was 5.25 when I was caught up with mail and able to go take my morning drugs.

I was settled back at my computer at 5.40 am when I heard a scuttling sound. I went to check and Mike had gone to the bathroom. I said, ” A miracle, hardly seems worth going back to bed after this does it?” There was no response as he was asleep. He went back to bed. The moment 6.30 am arrived I stuck a coffee under his nose before his alarm had chance to ring. That was 1 C . Moments later the fist alarm came into play but was soon turned off. 1 A . There was no movement. After ten minutes the second aslarm went and it beat me so I didn’t call Mike. This time he moved to the lounge. 1 C & 2 A morning. But when I went through to the lounge, there he was asleep in his chair, until I scratched his head anyway. I’m not sure if that should count as another call, and when I returned from trying my new shoes on he was again asleep until I spoke to him. If I count that it could be a 3 C & 2 A day.

Mike got dressed and we were out of the house before 7.30 am and on our way to ASDA. I didn’t want much and we fairl whizzed round but it was still 9.30 am before we were out. We bumped into John and Vivienne who were kind enough to take me to a concert last year at Llangollen’s Eistedfodd. We got in the car and drove to Flint where I picked a few things up from one shop  even though we visited a few. We had a drink at Temptations and in Mike’s case he had a teasted toecake. Time was getting on a bit  when we came out and we decided to head home but bumped into our friend Tariq and chatted to him for a while. His news wasn’t good but there was nothing we could do to help but offer a shoulder. Since we’d be missing our Sunday roast tomorrow courtesy of Reuben’s party we decided to have a carvery at the Bells. It was pleasant enough but by the end we’d both decided to concentrate on the Cookhouse in Prestatyn in future. We came home and unpacked the shopping. With heads hung low in shame we accepted the telling off from Joey for leaving him in the cage this morning even though it was done only to make sure he’d be OK when we got back and doors may be left open. I came through to catch up on mail and left Mike with his football. Once the game was over and I was caught up I joined him and we both ended up asleep. It must have been for a good hour as I woke up part way into the celebrity edition of a quiz and Mike woke up not long after. Once that was done I came back here to assess the damage and do what I could. I rejoined Mike at 7.00 pm for a couple of programmes and retired here at 9.00 pm for the big push. Mike was watching Rebus at that point, a gritty detective series where you need a phrase book for the Scottish accents. I did so well I was able to have another half hour through there before doing the blog. I’ll be abed before the witching hour.

Have a Great New Week filled with Huge Hugs .

 

 

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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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Give My Liver to the Haruspex & Who’s Stealing the Car?

Sunday 12th April.

I’m not sure what time I woke but I was conscious of being awake and not moving. Eventually I couldn’t stand it any longer and I looked at the clock as I swung my legs out of bed. 4.38 am, not too bad at all. It was cold and I could hear the wind whistling outside, Roger Whittaker it was not. Totally tuneless but powerful enough to be giving my hefty wheelie bin a bad time of it. I wondered how many streets away it would be later on.

I paid my visit to the kingdom of Loo and came back to log onto the computer. Not too many left from last night, about twenty I think, but quite a few new ones. Not too many for the blog though so far.That didn’t worry me too much as I knew you’d all need sleep after slaving over a hot keyboard just to keep me going. No attempts to have me pull tarot cards  from a virtual deck or have me extract my liver so it could be read by the nearest Haruspex. Maybe not too many Etruscans read my blog.                       At 6.30 am I took a walk to the kitchen, it still seemed dark this morning.I turned the tank light on and was greeted by….no-one. Maybe the weather was affecting them. I opened the flap and sprinkled a little food in and Bonzo was there before any had sunk to the bottom. Positive the others hadn’t organised a new escape committee I scoured the tank looking for them. I eventually found all but Harold and if he’d squeezed himself behind the pump again I’d never see him from this angle. It waas easier to let them come and feed in their own time so I left them to it.

I got myself some milk and headed for my meds only to find I’d forgotten last night’s again. That’s three times this week. I shall have to set an alarm to go off. I took the morning stuff but didn’t bother with breakfast today knowing I could have tea.I was later to wish I had. I returned to my bedroom with a coffee and set to work on the mail. At the same time I was following a bid on ebay an while there found two of my books advertised for sale as new. Fame at last I thought. I’d considered being a slob today and not getting dressed but it’s not a state of mind I needed so I sent an email to Yvonne to see if they fancied lunch out somewhere.The eventual answer was yes but they wouldn’t be with me until about 2.00 pm. That’s why I regretted not having breakfast earlier. Anyhoo, I went and had a shower and got dressed so I’d be ready (4 hours early) for when they came. I also needed to dig out my laminator for Yvonne who’s blown hers up.

I continued working until about 1.45 pm when I heard my phone  let me know I had a text. I expected Yvonne to say they were at the top of the hill which is usually when  start to get my coat on. I got my coat on and then looked only to find she was telling me they’d only just set off. My stomach thought my throat had been cut at that point. I sat back down to work a little more but kept my eye on the time   and allowed half an hour. At 2.15 pm I was raring to go. The text warning went again while I was in the kitchen and then the phone started ringing. I’d left my phone on charge in here. I came back through. Text 1 said they were at the top of the hill. Then the phone had rung and it was Yvonne but I thought she was just making sure I was warned. I thought it quicker to wait outside. I waited, then I waited some more and some more. Finally I heard a clunking sound approach and they came into view. As they got close Ugo said they needed to pull up at the front and effect some repairs as part of his bumper had dropped and was obstructing a tyre. He asked for a tool. I went back inside to check and passed it to him via Yvonne. It was then I found another text to say they’d broken down at the top of the hill. Oops, I hadn’t taken my phone out.He managed to do the job and we set off. I’d brought chocolates as Yvonne had said the Ivy. It was approaching 3.00 pm before we got there and they closed at 4.00 pm.It was fantastic to see Tariq again and I got a huge hug as soon as he saw me. I also had one from Angie. She started making my drink and I sorted what everyone wanted and told her. They’d obviously been quite busy despite the weather or perhaps because of the weather, and both my usual seats were taken. That will have to change when Mike gets back. Lunch came and we ate and enjoyed except Reuben who for some reason was in siren mode again until he got a whiff of my bacon. I think he didn’t like being restricted to a high chair instead of having the freedom to roam at will. It was almost like old times as Tariq and I argued about the bill at the end and had to compromise very much in my favour though I didn’t want to. It was better than having the free meal he was trying for. One final hug and we left. It was 4.15 pm. I’m surprised he hadn’t thrown us out.

They dropped me at my home and left to travel on to Chester on the wrong side of the border. Once my coat and shoes were off I got straight down to work. Suffice it to say I had some catching up to do. I took a break at 8.00 pm for some tea and my second set of diabetic tablets and had a half hour of some rom-com on TV starring J-Lo. At 10.30 pm I remembered to take my evening meds and came back to start the blog. I won’t be going back to emails afterwards. Early morning out for bloods and a chest clinic tomorrow. I do hope the rain has stopped by then.

I’ve played this one before but it’s so worth a second play, not least because of the weather here.

Monday.

I turned my light out at 12.50 am at an appropriate place in my book. I settled down but for the life of me the only way I could have dropped off was by rolling too near the side of the bed. Sleep would not come and the bloody leg was itching so it became even more bloody. At 1.45 am I gave up and went through to my chair in the lounge. I had a cigarette and watched some of the local wildlife, though perhaps I shouldn’t call people that, going home from a party. I nodded off at last. It was 4.38 am when I woke again and since it was too early to tease the fish I went straight to my bedroom and turned the darned machine on.  Actually, you couldn’t see where the darn had been done, it was good work. I signed in and started on the rest of last night’s messages. That took me until 6.35 am so I broke off and headed towards the kitchen. I know this next piece should be entitled ‘Confessions of a Pet Lover’ but I didn’t even  look for them this morning. It was light on, food out, food in and close. For all I know the Famous Five could have been the Previous Posse. Heartless I am.

I put some bread in the toaster and flipped the switch. I took all the meds I needed to, ate my heavilly buttered cold toast, took more meds and made a coffee to take back with me. It was 7.00 am. Since I intended to be out of the house by 8.00 am and I was determined to do it alone, I got dressed. A little more work, shoes on , jacket on and I left. I was at the bus stop in time and even had two minutes breathing space not that I was doing much actual breathing with a hoard of Genghis Khan’s finest waiting for the school bus. My bus pulled up behind. It was obvious the driver was a fan of the Boomtown Rats  judging by his face and I barely had time to reach a seat before he was pulling away. Had I fallen I think I’d have needed help to extract my stick from where I’d have put it. Anyway, we reached town without an accident and the time was just 8.20 am. Since the first appointment wasn’t until 9.00 am, I had time to walk round the supermarket. Only when I got there I couldn’t so I stood and read the specials board outside and promised myself maybe some other  day. I walked to the hospital and was there for 8.35 am but it didn’t do much good, it was still almost 9.00 am before I was called. Lying beggar caught me with “It’ll just be a little scratch” again.

From there I walked over to my surgery. It was a very slow walk as I tried to smoke a cigarette as I walked. Every time I raised my arm to get the cigarette to my mouth up came the crutch and it must have looked like I was a crazy guy making threatening gestures. I put it out and went in. The box on the wall wasn’t being very good and wouldn’t let me complete my info. It said there may be a problem with the appointment and to go to reception. I joined the queue. Someone else went to the machine and I watched as it worked perfectly so I left  the queue and tried again. Doh! It still said the same thing and now the queue was longer. Mind you, when I got to the front it was piling up behind me as I tried to stutter out what I wanted. I’d have been better with sign language. We got there in the end and I went to sit down. Wow, all those sick people. Eventually I was called. Sister S is gorgeous, not just in figure but in personality too and as I know her reasonable well the stutter was on minimum power.  We did the usual BP and it was fine, oxygen levels in blood fine, breathing tests, WHAT!! I couldn’t even get to point 2 on the scale which was what she expected from someone my age and dashing good looks, health. She went over the charts with me but I just suggested it was maybe because I still have phlegm from the last bout of bronchitis (ongoing). She’s organised a chest x-ray for tomorrow.

In an attempt at distraction I asked about my leg and whether the swelling might be retained fluid. She agreed it was but wasn’t too chuffed about the state of the skin round my ankle and the ongoing heat.She wants me to see a doctor. “OK” I agreed “maybe next week when I come for the diabetic clinic?”  The smile said it all, “No, now”. She disappeared for a few  minutes so I got my cardigan and coat back on ready. If I waited the doctor would see me as soon as she was free. I took a seat outside her room away from the crowd. It was about 15 minutes before I was called and it turned out to be my own doctor who for some reason looked about as pleased as Sister S once she saw the leg. To be honest she didn’t even  have to say ” And you wanted to wait another week with THIS”, before I cringed. I came away with a pack of antibiotics and a pack of steroids to hold as an emergency for my chest and a pack of Super dooper strong antibiotics for my leg plus a cream plus a steroid ointment described as potent that I must use twice a day but for no longer than a week. I reckon after that my leg must get incredibly hairy or something. I must have said Thank you about twenty times as I backed out of the room with my balls intact.

I walked to the bus stop and saw a dinky little bus with Greenfield on the side. I asked if he allowed the use of passes and he did. He asked where I wanted and I said the shops and was told he stopped by them. Great., He didn’t say it went all round the houses first dropping off people who live on top of the surrounding hills and the bottom of the deepest valleys. Eventually we reached the shops by home. I was grateful they were still open. I took my prescription request to the chemist and handed over the sheaf of new prescriptions from this morning. I waited. The Post Mistress ( I still laugh at that) waved to me and mouthed she hoped I was OK. I waved back. My stuff came except the new cream which they said would be tonight or tomorrow. It didn’t come tonight. When I got home it was almost lunchtime.That meant another 4 hour backlog but it would have to wait until after lunch and another episode of Murder She Wrote.

I returned to my machine at 1.00 pm and sat crying, working without a break until 6.00 pm. I made a sandwich and watched a quiz on TV before going back. I took the steroid ointment with me as I reckon the two 7 o’clocks are the ideal time to use it. I started chipping away at the work again. At 7.00 pm I broke off to apply the ointment. It was miraculous, within moments the itching seemed to have stopped. Either that or I just couldn’t feel it between the stinging on this stuff on all the patches of broken skin. The air around me turned a definite shade of blue. Eventually it eased enough for me to stop skipping on the spot and I restarted work until 9.30 pm. I saw the last half of a very emotional DIY SOS then took my evening tablets and came back. At 10.30 I wasn’t too far from being caught up but I still broke off to do the blog. I may go back to the post later.

Reuben leads Pops to Sunday lunch.

Reuben leads Pops to Sunday lunch.

I think Reuben is reluctant to let the chocolates in my other hand out of his sight. Made using the crutches very difficult.

I was told today I don’t play enough Dusty.So, here’s another gem from her. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday.

Another bad night. Light off by 1.00 am and tried to settle down. Unfortunately the effects of the ointment had worn off and the pain, the incessant itching and the twitching began. There was nowhere to put the leg that seemed comfortable, it generated heat both inside and outside the quilt. I gave up at 1.45 am, lit a cigarette and went through to the lounge. It didn’t seem much better but with my foot on the ground there was some improvement so that eventually I fell asleep. I woke at 6.20 am back in bed where I’d gone when I woke at 3.12 am with a great need to lie on my side and take the pressure off. It was so close to fish time that I just turned the computer on and walked to the kitchen. Bonzo, Pepper and Little Al were all in a corner looking like it was a meeting of the Red Fin Gang. I could see Big Al hanging back and keeping a weather eye on the food hatch. Just then Harold swam into view, The Gang’s all Here, Yay. I fed them and watched as their attention was suddenly focused food wise. I left them to it.

I decided against breakfast this morning. I didn’t want the x-ray to pick up a stray corner of undigested toast and wonder what it was. That made taking the meds a lot easier so I concentrated on that then took a coffee back to my room. First job was to check the bank to see if any money has gone in. I’m interested as I had a notice of a pending payment from Amazon. Not much but still nice to know people are looking at my books or in this case probably just the one, The Queen’s Envoy which I featured not too long ago. It wasn’t in yet so I was able to go straight to my emails. Amazing, only 4 left from last night. Such a pit that of the 4 one was to tell me my tax information wasn’t up to date, please use this link to update it, yeah right! And another was from someone making a fortune from working from the internet and was now ready to help me do the same. Very noble of them but I declined nonetheless. The other two were dispatched very quickly and I was able to start today’s work.                                                      At 8.00 am I stopped and got dressed and went out to catch the 8.45 am bus to town. No kids at the bus stop was great but though I was there first, four women and two men joined the queue and all just walked on the bus before me when it appeared. I could have sworn I’d left the cloak of invisibility at home today. However, my seat was free so no having to climb a step to find one. We were in town by 8.50 am and  a walk meant I was back at the hospital by 9.05 am. I handed my form in to the x-ray reception not really wanting to interrupt the conversation the two staff behind the desk were having. I was told to take a seat, I did. It must have been 15 minutes later when one of the two came round and told me to come through. it turned out she was the radiologist. Before I even go to the room she stopped me, thrust a garment at me and suggested I undress my top half and put this backless thing on. I did so but as I went through I had to ask her to remove my chain because my hands shake too much. She did so. The x-ray was taken and checked. It was OK and the results would be sent to the doctor in 5 days. I could walk it over the road in 5 minutes but hey………

Before getting dressed again I asked for some help to get my chain back on. The radiologist couldn’t do it and the receptionist with her talons couldn’t manage it either. They supplied an envelope for the chain and I took it away and got dressed again. I haven’t taken the chain off in about 5 years and felt naked without it but it did set me off thinking about Ju who bought it for me. There’s a little Welsh dragon on the chain made from Clogau gold which is the Welsh gold the Royal Wedding rings are always made out of. I was out of there by 9.35 am and on my way back to the bus stop. For some reason I avoided going into the Supermarket again and luckily there was a bus in. After a walk from the bus stop I was home again for 10.00 am. Everything had gone right and I was able to restart work on the emails including those sent while I was out. Between then and lunch time I did quite a few responses excluding  another one from the phony tax service asking me to update my details and a very disappointing one from Ghana where a young 32(?) lady had befriended me on Google + and seems to think we should spend our lives together and I should start by sending money to invest in property for our future- as she’s a very poor girl. Oops, quick block as spam and taken off Google +. I’m not vain enough to think a young girl could fall for my charms, or for that matter an old girl- I don’t have any charms, but is there anything wrong with friendship pure and simple? Must everything be about money? She’s not really looking for a husband, she wants a sugar daddy. My missing cream from yesterday was delivered just before lunch by my friend who seemed happy with the chocolates I had ready to say thanks.

I enjoyed my lunch today and was ready for it. I didn’t manage to enjoy all of   Murder She Wrote or the next programme which I woke up halfway through. I wonder if I was bitten by a Tsetse  fly again. I’m sure they were  swarming round the hospital. I managed to stay awake while I worked afterwards so no damage to my desk from my forehead. There was almost damage to the screen though when yet another con letter arrived from Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise Office to remind me they still need my updated information. I only wish the real  tax office were this prompt. I’m hoping to hear before mid June this year that I’ve got a tax rebate again. I knocked off at 4.30 pm to watch an antique sow as I’m having withdrawal symptoms. I didn’t return for 2 hours  having found a quiz to watch a well as a Big Bang Theory.  OK so maybe I lied, 2 and a half ours when I saw there was an antique related investigation programme on. It was during that I got emotional after events sent someone investigating a medal for bravery awarded by a Trades Union run Newspaper in the 20’s to the area where my father was born in the Rhymney Valley.They paid  a visit to a coal mine or  ‘pit’ where the act of bravery took place and which may have been where my grandfather worked and then had a Welsh choir singing Myfanwy. It was worth getting shouted at by you for taking too long.

I finally came back to work and started the big catch up again. At least there was noting terrible to deal with unless you count my having to hang my head low after reading an excellent post by Roughseasinthemed on https://cloudsmovingin.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/sexism-tips-feminism/ that proves I’m basically sexist having retained some of the things I was taught as a child, opening doors for ladies, calling ladies, ladies and addressing any woman by the epithet ‘Baby’ though I dispute the use of that one really. It is funny though that what was acceptable years ago by women no longer is. I’m happy to have worked for some women bosses but like the men, not all of them. I’m happy to see a woman doing the same job as me receive the same pay and have the same prospects for advancement. Heck, I’ll accept women can be the better man. One thing that might have some bile thrown at me though is maternity leave. We all want our children to be cared for at home after birth, but 26 weeks on full pay can put an awful strain on an employer if he/she has to hire someone to fill that place, or a major strain on other employees if he/she doesn’t.  I personally would prefer to see the woman leave work and open a position up for someone unemployed. And I know that’s not always a financial possibility but maybe having a baby could be delayed until it’s less of a financial strain. I know women who’ve returned to work only to use most of their wages on child care places.I don’t believe it’s the same as being at home and interacting with your child. My daughter knows this is not aimed at her as I have always believed this  and I don’t expect everyone to agree with me.                                        I was a bit late remembering the antibiotic (2 hours) an I missed the 11.00 am one. I did however remember to use the ointment on my leg and follow it up 10 mins later with some of the cream.

By 10.00 pm the backlog was caught up and I was just doing post as it came in. It was fairly easy then to stop the mail at 10.30 pm to concentrate on writing the blog. I may not need to go back to the mail afterwards but can just leave it till the morning and hope I don’t regret it. It’s 11.35 pm so I wish you goodnight.

Give us a twirl.

Give us a twirl.

New Superhero Pigeon Boy !!

New Superhero Pigeon Boy !!

 Please avoid this if you’re very sensetive or don’t have a box of tissues handy. This includes Aberfan.

Short and not upsetting version 

Wednesday.

Light out last night at 12.30 am and  no itching or twitching leg. No, not an amputation, the leg is still here but this steroid ointment in combination with the cream seems to be doing a great job. I’m impressed. Perhaps I’m underestimating the effect of these antibiotics too, I don’t know. Anyhoo, it was 3.36 am when I got up so not too bad. My bladder was holding a conversation I didn’t want to hear which went along the lines of,” I need to go”, “I know I’m walking there now”, “Don’t walk, RUN”. When I came   back I booted up the PC and got ready to go. A quick and very disappointing look at the Euro lottery told me I was out of luck again. A look at  ebay told me I had nothing up today and finally I could avoid it no longer, my mail. Ah, not as bad as I feared, not as good as I wanted. I finished last night’s remnants by 5.15 am and started today’s stuff until 6.00 am when it was fish time. They were all present and correct when I turner their light on and Bonzo was obviously hungry the way he was hovering ready for hoovering under the hatch. When I dropped some food in his little tail almost whipped him to death. Everyone else moved in very cautiously. I laughed and left them to it, no trouble from Big Al today, magic.

I slipped some bread in the toaster and took a pre- food tablet. Sprays next then the rest of my meds leaving enough milk in the mug for my coffee.A quick cigarette to help time the gap between tablet and food and I was away.As soon as I’d eaten I took the post-food tablets with my coffee and returned to my room with the rest. I worked till 9.30 am when it was time to visit Pauline to restock my cigs, bread, TV mag and today I treated myself to a large Calippo (kind of an ice lolly in a tube that you eat by squeezing the bottom end so the top comes up) I couldn’t wait to get home to eat it but she insisted I paid first. It was fairly nice out this morning. Not a lot of sunshine but certainly not cool. When I got home I put my shopping away and opened the lolly. It was delish, so welcome from this feeling of constant dryness. Then I could no longer avoid the work and started again. Quite a lot more had come in. Fortunately not all of it was bad news. I’m afraid I had to  break my engagement to the  Ghanaian woman despite our great affection for each other, but she wasted no time in asking me to invest in property for our future together in Ghana. But, swings and roundabouts, I may have had a better offer.

Hello
I am happy to see you on line my name is Rita ,i am a single honest woman , i need a good honest man to spend rest of my life with, if you are interested this is my email address, (
ritapaull@yahoo.com   ), i will send you some of my photo when you reply,am not here for game either to waste any time my dream this year is to settle down with my soul mate that is why i send you this mail to found a honest man to start a good life together, mind you age, color,distance,religion is not barrier to relationship what most important is love that we will build together /////     ritapaull@yahoo.com
thanks and God blesss us
Ms Rita

It remains to be seen where I shall be moving to this time. I spent some time daydreaming about that but realised I haven’t responded to her before some other lucky man does, and find out where she is. Still, I can hear wedding bells in my future, or are those alarm bells? At 11.30 am I broke off to do my lunch, or at least to get things ready and to take my pre-food tablet. I sat own to eat at the start of Jessica Fletcher’s latest ( well, 20 years old at least) adventure. I didn’t reach the end. I took my tray through at one of the ad breaks, sat down and was gone, just like that. I didn’t wake up until almost 2.00 pm. I washed the pots and came back through again. The post was mounting higher by the minute. I got a grip on myself to stop me running out the door and started. It was very slow going even though I worked right up till 5.00  pm. I knew in advance Lee wouldn’t be joining us but I needed to get the TV on for the quiz and get the cups ready.

Dil and Matt arrived around 5.10 pm and I was prepared. I’d started making the drinks before they set foot over the threshold and we sat down together to see who could answer most questions, though using the word see and Dil in the same sentence is a bit inaccurate.A 32″ TV about 8 feet away and he can’t read the questions. At least if gives Matt and I the advantage. I keep wondering how he sees to drive here. Once the quiz was over I turned the TV off and Dil st the table up and brought out the Yahtzee and the cards. I’d like to skim over the Yahtzee, but when you do some smart Alec always asks so suffice it to say Dil won. I’m sure he cheats but I can’t work out how yet. When I do, I’ll copy him. After that we went back to cards as we always used to and I  drew up for Nomination Whist. For the 1o-1 section I was untouchable, a golden boy hardly missing a trick. My score was around the hundred mark. For the 1-10 section I won less as they concentrated on trying to force me into tricks I didn’t want. It was a skin of the teeth job but I hung on to my lead. As there as still a bit of time left we played Chase the Lady with all the venom of which we are able, except me of course who just played my own game. It didn’t work, I still got caught and ended up in the middle score wise while Matt won and poor Dil lost. Matt’s venom is considerable for a young man.

They left just after 9.30 pm laughing at the fact I had to tidy up. Well at least I didn’t have to drive with Mr Magoo. Once that was done and the pots had been washed I took  my tabs and came through. It has been four and a half hours so I shouldn’t be surprised to find over 100 more emails waiting. I hadn’t managed half before I had to break off at 10.30 pm to do the blog. I may get another 15 mind or so at the end before bed. But MuJo are due tomorrow so I’ll never catch up.

Posing.

Posing.

Smelling more of the park

Smelling more of the park

Percy Sledge R.I.P died 14.04.2015 aged 73.  Another legend lost.

Thursday.

I did n’t read for long so the light went off at  12.30 am and I went off soon after. I woke at 1.55 am quite sure that getting up wasn’t on the cards  but unable to find a reason for having woken. My bladder was content and it wasn’t because I’d wet the bed. A quick smoke and a sort drink and I went back to bed and buried myself. Time to get up was 3.36 am by which time my bladder was grumbling, I moved just to prevent it reaching scream mode again. Coming  back I booted up and logged on. There was a heck of a lot from last night but for some reason I wasn’t too worried. I managed a few before coming across one I flt needed a better comment than usual. After a little thought about my wording I’d started and was now almost at the end of what I wanted to say. Suddenly my screen started to shut down. Why, what had I done. Aaargghh. It reached the stage where it told me this was a Microsoft update but I’d not been warned or anything. I was peeved. Eventually it  brought me back to my sign in and once in it took me automatically to where I had been. Phew, it had saved the work. I quickly finished and saved it before something else happened.

I worked until 6.00 am and walked through to get breakfast. The tank light went on and a usual I could see 4 of them but I hoped No 5 would be within earshot when I told them they were going on holiday. Forever. I hate to admit it but I could do with the space and not have to clamber about to clean the tank, change filters etc. I know the tank could be moved but after having lost so many special fish recently I know I can’t go through building up again and perhaps losing more. The UK has a service called Freecycle which I’m sure other countries may have where people can advertise for things they need or get rid of things they have no longer needed. I saw an advert for someone who wanted a 40 gallon tank with as many extras as possible. I told him about the Famous Five’s Worldwide renown and said he cold have my tank if he took the fish. He was over the moon and is coming for it on Sunday morning. On the next blogpost you’ll know how that went and how I really feel about it. Anyway, back to today. When I got back from breakfast with my coffee I  restarted work and at 8.52 am I caught up. The timing was perfect as I was able to dress and go out to the Chemist and to Pauline’s. At the Chemist I was asking about my repeat prescription that I’d asked for on Monday. The girl looked puzzled and said it should have been delivered yesterday. After a good look round they found it, waiting for a missing item due today. I’ve asked them not to do that, but to send me what they have and follow on with anything that’s missing. It prevents problems like this where I have to walk to the shop. They don’t listen sometimes. From there I went to Pauline’s and got my lottery tickets before heading home again. I took my gloves off and heard a clunk but didn’t associate it with anything and saw nothing. It was only later I found I was missing a ring. I could not find it.

I worked until 10.30 am and then packed up before MuJo arrived which they did not long after. The day was so nice I knew it would be cold drinks so I had them ready on the table as they walked in and I was actually having a cigarette in the kitchen with the extractor fan on since neither of them smoke. After hellos we sat gassing about who’d seen or heard what this week , a competition I was bound to lose as I don’t watch the news these days nor read a newspaper. The fish don’t feed me titbits of gossip anymore either. John wanted to have a battery put in another watch and perhaps ind a leather strap so it was town again today.We left about 11.15 pm so I could pop into the bank, Muriel into the Post Office and John into his beloved charity shops. He bought a display plate today though I didn’t see it. In the chippy, as that was part of his cunning plan, I had a mince and mushrooms deal with peas and chips which I wasn’t quite able to finish. (Who was that asked if I was ill? How rude.)(and before anyone asks, YES , I remembered my tablets this week thank you). After lunch we drove to Flint and the Aldi supermarket for Muriel where I managed to pick p a couple of things including chocolates for Temptations if we go there ha,ha,ha. Guess where we went next. It was quite busy and I got little chance to speak to the girls though I did manage to say hello to Ceri and answer her question about when Mike was back. She thinks his time away has passed quickly. Said probably not for me though.

I had a cigarette outside while MuJo finished their drinks then we headed for Homies where I got a plug-in air freshener. Then down to a shop called Peacocks so Mu could have a look at some clothes and I got a big angina attack. Lucky for me all it did was slow me up a lot and they didn’t notice. One last shop very slowly then we headed back to the car picking up ice lollies to eat on the way. Though it was a bit breezy ( sorry, it’s the mushy peas) it was still warm in the sun. We had the lollies in the car  before coming home. John and I went indoors while Muriel went for her lottery tickets. While John had another drink of pop I had another quick scour of the floor in my bedroom and in the hall  for the missing ring. No dice. Mu came back and I gave her some chocolates and a frozen strawberry and rhubarb tart I’d bought. John decided to have a slice of tart there and then to take with his afternoon tablets. It wasn’t even defrosted. It didn’t flippin’ stop him though. They left a few minutes before five and I flew to the bedroom to start work again. There was tons of it but things seemed to be going OK if a little slow when I was hit by waves of tiredness. They were humongous and I’n sure at one point a couple of surfboards clipped my ear. I had to go through to the lounge. I fell asleep in my chair until 6.06  pm. ( I didn’t use the bed as there were things on it and it would have taken time to move them). I came back and started again, there were bigger tons now.

Disaster struck. I think this was a steel clad HMS Disaster surging up though those waves from earlier. I was dazed, or to be more accurate I was unconscious until just gone 7.00 pm. When I woke, came to there was a lot less in my main mailbox than there had been, including some I’d answered but saved for future reference. I’d say roughly 95%  less working on the premise I had about 100 before the ship hit me and about 5 now. I daren’t look in my sent box. Before this cataclysmic event I know I’d had four things open. My 2 mail addresses, my Barsetshire Diaries site (this blog)  and ebay. There was a huge sigh of relief when I found this sit hadn’t had anything added. Another sigh when I saw I hadn’t bought (and paid) for anything on ebay. With trepidation I opened my other mailbox and………………………………… DAMN they were all still there. So, I’ve spent the evening trying to clear the mail by legitimate methods, if anyone like my Darling Friend in Australia finds a rather odd message from me, please be understanding and don’t com back with WHA??????? in the subject box. I stopped just after 10.30 pm so I could do the blog but I must go back to do a tidy up of any strays before heading to my pit.

I got one foot bigger than the other

I got one foot bigger than the other

Marathon Man.

Marathon Man.

Friday.

It was a 1.00 am lights out and a 1.56 am lights on. I’m all set to blame a wonky bladder for that one as I managed to go back to sleep after a loo visit and a cigarette.        3.41 am saw me up and about without the need to visit the loo straight away  so I was able to log on and assess the damage. So far no complaints so I felt brave enough to       a) Visit my sent list to check and see what I’d done. And                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             b) Visit my trash to see if I’d disposed of anything important. In both cases the answer was looking pretty positive so I started on the rest of last night stuff. That kept me going till just before 5.00 am when I decided the time was close enough for me to take my antibiotic. That done I had to pay a visit to the loo because the sips I’d taken constituted a drink to my bladder’s mind. I came back and started today’s mail a little later than expected. I’d forgotten it was Friday so there was a huge pause at 6.00 am as I went through to then kitchen. As I turned the tank light on, those new bosom buddies Pepper and Bonzo  came over together to be fed. That means Pepper has in turn been very matey with Big Al, Little Al and now Bonzo who are all the same species if not all the same size. I’m beginning to wonder if there isn’t a lot of bonking going on and I’m not sure which one is the bonkee. Big Al and Little Al drifted over as the food went in and good old Harold waited to make a big entrance all on his own. Harold is really good natured but every time I see him and his funny moustache I’m reminded of  the villain in a silent movie who always rolls the ‘tash’ while giving an evil chuckle. There’s no doubt I am going to miss them.

After feeding the gang I thought feeding me was a good idea so I took my pre-food tablet and put some bread in the toaster. I had the sprays and the rest of my meds next before putting my mug in the machine ready to make a drink. The toast popped up and was left to cool. I lit a cigarette and started refilling my tablet tray for the next week.In some instances I had to get a new stock for the drawer from the prescription I picked up yesterday. The cigarette was done before I’d finished and my stomach was starting to growl from the effect of the pre-foodie I think. I picked up my pace a bit which wasn’t a good idea as I kept dropping tablets in the wrong compartments. I slowed down again and eventually finished. I returned the drawer, threw the empty packs away (except the recyclable cardboard of course) grabbed the butter from the fridge made sure I covered my hands with it as I usually manage, just to save time and started buttering my toast. I set the  machine going on my coffee at the same time just to show I can multi -task. I finished the toast, took my after food tabs and washed the pots. The coffee came back with me to my bedroom.

I started work again and just kept going till I finished at 9.08 am, refreshed and worked on until 9.38 am . Then as brave as I am , I dithered about opening my second mail box before doing so and starting again there. That was enough to keep me going until 10.47 am. Time for a little play on ebay then.That was a disappointing session with no inspiration at all. The postman called and I was really disappointed not to get a knock and be handed a parcel I was expecting today. The chemist called with the missing drug and I was a little cross because there was an ample supply in the bag, it was just enough tablets to complete the order I was missing. They could have been here on Wednesday.Still, not the fault of the person who delivered so I was gracious to a fault, and didn’t mention it. It was 11.20 am before I remembered my antibiotic which means I couldn’t eat until 12.20 then so I worked until 11.50 am then went through to butter some bread. I’d settled on a lamb hotpot today which I actually sat down with at 12.15 pm so I could see the start of bargain hunt.

After I’d washed the pot ( 1 bread plate, 1 butter knife and 1 spoon)   I decided I  needed an hour in my chair before going back into battle. Not too bad a guess but it was  minutes over the hour before I returned to work. The first damn thing I went for sent my computer into panic mode with a phishing alert asking me if I wanted to return to safety. I ask you, who is going to say “No Thanks” and carry on. Of course I want to return to safety you idiot, get me back there NOW!! I worked the rest of the afternoon without a break but at 5.00 pm it was down pens whether finished or not. I’d promised myself a break then an another at 8.30 pm for the Big Bang Theory if I could remember tonight. I had a text off Mike to let me know he’s back and had just walked into his flat. If he can be in Manchester for is father before midday tomorrow he may come here tomorrow night, if he can’t make his Dad’s, it may be next weekend before I see him. I don’t want to tell him I was hoping he’d be here on Sunday morning to be me. I might have to be myself after all. At 5.00 pm I downed tools and went through ready to enjoy the quiz. I’m afraid I stayed there until 7.00 pm as there was an investigative programme about a ring from the execution of Charles I. To be fair I did work hard when I got back i n case you said I couldn’t skive off again at 8.30 pm. As it happens I actually caught up on one address at 7.20 pm and thought it a good time to break off and have a sandwich. I turned TV on in readiness and was devastated to see the end of a Big Bang episode I  haven’t seen before. I’ll have to watch out for it now. I was in time to sit down to watch the new one though which had the usual moments of high comedy but also moments of real pathos. I was genuinely touched when Mrs Walowitz died. Even though I’ve never seen the actress who plays her appear on screen in the part, the character, or rather her voice, has been an integral part of the show. My shoulders were slumped as I returned to work for the final time.

I took my evening meds at 9.30 am so there’s just the antibiotic to go at 11.00 pm. I’ve managed to remember everything today. Not necessarily dead on time but not too bad. I stopped work at 10.30 pm tom do the blog and things seemed to be going great until I found a point at which the caps lock had come on one letter too late so the first letter was lower case and the rest of the paragraph in upper case. I invented some new swear words. I remembered to take that last capsule at 11.00 pm o now I just need to apply some cream to my leg as I go to bed. I may have just 15 minutes on either mail or maybe even ebay when I finish here. I t should be about 11.35 pm tonight.

Swinging with glee.

Swinging with glee.

Spring  Sunshine

Spring Sunshine

Saturday.

I’m sure by now most of you could write the next bit on your own. Shall we go for bare bone? Light off ,slept, woke,wee’d,  smoked, slept again, woke at 3.52 am and wee’d yet again. There, that feels better doesn’t it ? So much more succinct. Sometimes it would be good if the whole day went like that.How much less boring if I wrote……….. Woke, ate, nodded off , woke, ate, slept. And you have my whole day done and dusted, ready to move on to, your next blog to read something interesting, social obligations fulfilled. Maybe in view of my unending  burbling some of you actually read the blog like that. Good for you, life is too short to have me waste it for you.

I returned from the loo visitation to boot up and log on. Last night’s message from Yvonne telling me Ugo and the little man would be here to take me shopping after they’d dropped her at work said that there was no argument.on the subject. I would remember to get dressed. Ugo may remember the trauma of having to take me shopping for years, it can’t be easy for him. I wonder if he plots his revenge as he walks round. At 5.00 am I took my first antibiotic of the day then as usual I worked till around 6.00 am having decided to have breakfast but the first stop was the fish tank. Pepper was waiting for me as I turned the light on. He must like being first at the breakfast table. Harold made his way over, his shyness seemingly at an end these days while the other three were having a little union meeting in a corner. The shop steward called a break to that the minute the food went in. They rushed over to make sure it was fair shares for all. Their behaviour can really make me smile.

I placed some bread in the toaster and took my pre-food tab before getting milk out to swallow the rest. I had a wander round the lounge to make sure I had everything I needed for the paper recycling then I took the waste food bag out and all then recycling bags too. I was wearing lounge pants covered in Animal from the Muppets, not really much chance of me ‘pulling a bird’ dressed like that.( Or any other way really, maybe I should have kept up the engagement this week?). Mind you, what chance was there at 6.30 am anyway? Disconsolate and blue I went back inside and ate my way into a further two inches on my waist, washed up, grabbed a drink and went back to work. I knew I had until about 9.30 am before Ugo arrived but I needed to get dressed so I set myself an 8.30 deadline. I creamed my leg ( I know I should rephrase that ) so that it would have soaked in before my clothes hit it and sat with my right lounge pant leg rolled up like a Mason ( assuming Masons wear lounge pants). I was actually making better progress than I’d hoped so the 8.30 am stop didn’t leave me panicking. I washed and dressed, got my shoes on and bags at the ready before picking up where I left off. At 9.20 am he caught me unawares with two honks on the car horn and I had to dash a bit.

I said good morning to them both but Reuben was enthralled with The Gruffalo on dvd, I don’t know why I don’t sit in the back and watch with him. I told Ugo I’d be happy just to go local and save him time but he wouldn’t hear of it and drove out to the supermarket he’d taken me to last week. I think it’s the thought of having afternoon tea for his breakfast makes him feel like a rebel. Yet again no money in the cash machine but I could cope. The shopping itself didn’t take too long as I didn’t want much but this week I bought two plants as well as some flowers for Ju. While Ugo had his afternoon tea someone slipped me a toasted bacon sandwich which I was enjoying until Reuben saw it. He tried pushing me off my chair first thinking I’f leave it behind but no way was that going to work. In the end he applied the extended bottom lip with a touch of quiver. I was aghast, using my own speciality against me . Under the gaze of all the blue rinsed grannies I didn’t dare refuse. I tore off a few little bits and swear I saw him smirk. When we left, I went to get a couple of plant pots from a nearby shop. I came back and started to get into the car much to the dismay of the woman about to drive it away. Ugo had moved his car closer tom where I was but hadn’t warned me he would. I had to apologise profusely (I’m not sure she believed me) and walk back the way I’d just come. We had another stop on the way at a cash machine for me.

Back at home Ugo was in a rush and dropped my bags inside the door for me.I said my goodbye’s but had to compete with the dvd again though I did get a little wave. I spent some time unpacking and storing everything before returning to my room. First job was to take the antibiotic I was due at 11.00 am, it was now 12.50 pm. Couldn’t be helped. At 2.00 pm I stopped for some lunch but things were going quite well and I was still calm. I had my lunch, a quick steak slice, and then after washing the plate decided to have a little nap. I hadn’t got as far as the first wink of 40 when Mike walked in. I wasn’t expecting him so early. Once I’d seen identification and was sure it was him, the urine sample wasn’t clear, we sat and talked about his holiday. He said he’d come early this afternoon 3.00 pm in case I needed any shopping. At first I refused but eventually after he’d asked a few times I agree I could use a couple of things I hadn’t been able to get this morning. Namely biscuits for Matt , tea pods for my machine and some ice lollies for me. It was just like old times again. We didn’t stay out too long though as Mike’s team were playing today and he wanted to see the match.

At home he settled in front of his tablet and I settled in front of the computer. It was almost time for the next antibiotic. I worked until 8.00 pm when I decided to go for a shower and the next treatment of my leg. The football being over my personal hairwasher came and helped. I went back through to the lounge afterwards to make something to eat but also to watch the episode of Big Bang theory that I realised I hadn’t seen before when I caught the end last night. It was absolutely hilarious, real laugh making. There was no avoiding coming back after that so I took my tablets and came through. It was only then I remembered to do my leg.  I saw to that ,then allowed myself until 10.30 pm to do the mail before coming on to do the blog. I want to get it out around midnight and don’t want to be late to bed if I can help it. The man is coming to collect the tank and the Famous Five tomorrow and I have to get back into the habit of getting Mike up.

 

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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 Cold Descends & Missing Shreddies

Sunday 8th Feb 2015

A new regime is in place- mine! Though I woke up a little earlier this morning I didn’t actually get up until 5.44 am. (No you cheeky beggar, I’m not revolting), I’m in revolt. I want more leisure time, more time to sleep or more specifically, more time asleep. I mean, fair play it’s a Sunday. There’s just a chance Mike might sleep in past 8.00 am. ( yes OK, I’ll be serious a minute, once I stop laughing). I did things in an orderly fashion first thing. Computer on, trip to loo and then back to sign in. Since I don’t have to take the antibiotics now even the fish can have a lie in until natural daylight starts. I got a good hour in on emails and didn’t even dent them. So many new people coming through and liking the blog which is really nice.

At 7.00 am I took a break and went through to the kitchen. I turned both lights on and stood watching the fish play, argue, fight and just chit chat. They’re a funny bunch and quite entertaining.Yesterday I’d put the piece of bog wood in a bucket to soak, this morning I turned it over to catch the pieces that had dried out again. Once the monsters had been fed I took my meds then made my usual coffee to take back. I got dressed then had another session with the mail until I heard Mike get up OF HIS OWN ACCORD at 9.45 am. I went to make him a coffee and make fun of him. I had to come back to finish one message I’d been part way through then I joined him in the lounge. He asked what I fancied doing today and I told him I needed to get a headset for the computer as the last one gave up the ghost but other than that it didn’t matter. That was fine it seems, but the fact he was out of bed didn’t mean there was a chance of any real movement yet. We got to the stage of him making a second coffee so I said I’d come back to work ( I’d only reached 5.30 am at that point) until he was ready. That was 11.45 am so it was coat on and off we went.

Still unsure where to go, we headed for Prestatyn first and had a look round a few shops including the £ shop where I actually found what I wanted along with a great box to hold tinfoil with a cutter on the side that won’t tear. We had another quick look round in case we saw a car coat for Mike but no joy. As it was getting on for 1.00 pm at this stage we decided to eat. Neither of us fancied the pub in Prestatyn and little else seemed open so we decided to visit the Bells of St. Mary’s, it’s been a while since we’ve been there. I know the place is quite close to The Ivy which I love but I admit it was my decision so I could have a roast dinner with a Yorkshire Pudding and my choice of veg and potatoes. It was really enjoyable. By then it was nearly 2.00 pm so instead of looking for fish we decided to com home and put the bog wood in the tank so the fish would have a whole new playground.One thing that was decided , Sharkey would be going on his holidays. He’s a beautiful looking fish and the raspberry tips are a great colour but he’s too aggressive for me and the rest of my fish are community. Mike had agreed to take him since he already has a couple of silver sharks. So, once the bog wood was in place and we’d both watched the fish investigate, Mike upturned the bridge where Sharkey was hiding and we bagged him up for the journey. I carried him out to the car while Mike carried his suitcases ( Mike’s not Sharkey’s). We hugged goodbye and they set off. I started sneezing like mad outside it was cold and I was full of cold. Ugh.

Back inside again with a tissue stuffed up my nose I was shocked to see it was almost 4.00 pm so I thought I’d better assault the mail box again and clear what I could. Another 113 had been added to one and 54 to the other. I did two hours solid then went through to make some tea and turn the tank light off. I watched for a minute enjoying their new adventure playground. After some trifle I carried on till 8.00 pm then went and watched a couple of old Gavin and Stacey’s. At 9.20 pm I called it a night and came for my last go on here.I started making real inroads in it and by 11.00 pm didn’t have too much left. I’ll finish the blog and go back to it for a while to lessen the load for tomorrow. I have jobs to do in the morning.

Monday.

I got to bed at 12.30 am. Still sneezing I hunkered down and turned the light off. The day started again at 3.36 am. This was just a skirmish I lost, not the whole war. I skipped the light fandango, turned cartwheels across the floor ( Thanks Procul Harum) until my bladder would take no more. After an urgent visit to the loo I signed into my emails and got started. It really wasn’t looking too bad on the first account and by 6.30 am I was clear though I hadn’t refreshed. I decided to see to the fish before opening the second account. As the kitchen light went on I could see activity, Pepper seemed to be having fun passing under the bridges formed by the new bog wood, and two of the plecs were attached to it.  I put the tank light on to see them better and noticed almost every fish was doing something that involved the wood except the synodontis who are still the shy boys of the tank. Yesterday Mike stood by the tank hoping to see them but every time one ventured forth his attention was elsewhere, by the time he looked back the fish had gone in again. He did get a wonderful view of their moustaches though, twitching inside the entrance to their shell like whips.

Big Al came over to take a look at me and turned away with his usual disdain. Little Al followed on behind but just seemed to glance at me in puzzlement as though asking what he was supposed to do. I fed them all and turned away to take my meds. I had some breakfast then I took a drink back to my desk and found while I was having fishy fun, the emails had piled up again. I got dressed before dealing with any in case I offended anyone now they were awake. Then I started again. By the time I’d dealt with those and more the second account had packed them into the gunnels too and it was 10.30 am. I finally cleared at 11.40 am and decided to break for lunch. Braised beef, colcanon  mash and some mixed veg, It was very tasty and I enjoyed a Murder She Wrote while I ate.

It was back to work at 1.00 pm but before I started I did a little research on which of the catfish and plecs I like will stay at a maximum of 4 – 6 inches which is all this tank can take. I’ve got it down to a zebra plec which will probably take a mortgage, a pimelodus pictus ( my current No 1), Albino plec,striped clown plec or striped bulldog plec or maybe a medusa plec. Now it would depend on availability and price. I’ve been reading a fair bit about crowd funding recently and decided if I asked everyone in the world to contribute just 1p each to my paypal account I can afford a new tank and perhaps my own house to put it in, oh and enough to bury myself if Big Al gets his own way. Any spare rooms and you’d all be welcome to stay , but not all at the same time please unless I get elastic walls or a very broad mind.       So, back to work. I managed to stay on top of everything during the afternoon and there was little left when I called a halt at 4.30 pm. I only stayed away till 6.00 pm but as I took my tea plate back into the kitchen I found I couldn’t get any hot water. I noticed it was decidedly chilly in the kitchen too so checked the radiator, it was ice cold. I turned the thermostat up but nothing happened. I knew Yvonne was on her way to Birmingham and wouldn’t be able to do anything until she got there. However at 7.30 pm she sent a text to say she’s been in touch with the emergency team and they’d send a plumber out. Good as I was beginning to sound like a demented typewriter in the bedroom.

Pimelodus Pictus catfish grows to about 4.3" 10.5cm Magnificent whiskers

Pimelodus Pictus catfish grows to about 4.3″ 10.5cm Magnificent whiskers

At 8.30 pm a knock on the door revealed a man with a great big bag of tools. I’d already said what message the machine was displaying so I thought this was bad news. But, he was out in less than 5 minutes. He’d fiddled underneath and it sounded like he’d turned a tap on. He had, and topped up the boiler. Mike bled a radiator yesterday and it seems you have to replace the water used to displace the air. Never heard anything like it. They say nature abhors a vacuum so you’d think the boiler would pull in any water it needs from the feeds. Anyway. I was back up and running and able to wash my pots from teatime. I didn’t see any point in going back through to watch TV so just stayed working. I paused early tonight at about 10.30 pm to get the blog done. I’m hoping for an early night with going out in the morning.

Tuesday.

Last night I got to bed about 11.45 pm and didn’t read for too long, preferring instead to let the warmth help me drift off to sleep. That probably happened not long after 12.30 am. Before I drifted I said a prayer to Porcinus to intercede with his brother not to let me sleep in and miss my bus. I’m guessing Porcinus did the job because Somnos made sure I wouldn’t miss the 7.45 bus by getting me up at 4.22 am. He’s all heart. In a way tough he did do me a favour ( don’t tell him that) by ensuring I had time to clear both my mail accounts before I left.

When I first got up the house was warm so the tinkling in the bathroom wasn’t the sound of icicles falling from my nose. I came back to the bedroom and started up the computer and loaded up one of my mail addresses. There was a fair bit but be fair, it wasn’t like I was short of time. I worked until 6.00 am then went to feed the fish. They actually seem happier now the ice on the tank has defrosted and they can move again. They were in fine form this morning and I actually saw the synodontis out and about. I wonder if that has anything to do with the removal of Sharkey to pastures new. I’d like to think so. There was a real scramble when I put the food in but it all seemed to be in good humour.

After feeding the fish I went to take my meds. I decided against breakfast as Yvonne will have toast or something with a coffee while we’re out and insist I do the same. I just made myself a coffee and took it through with me. I got dressed and I knew it was really cold as soon as the dressing gown came off. I was able to hang it on a nipple. Today was going to be a tee-shirt, shirt, waistcoat, jacket and overcoat day. I might not be able to move but I’d be warm. I was a vision in brown, easily hidden on an Autumn day. Today I’d just look smart. I carried on drinking and working until 7.20 am then made sure everything I needed was in my coat pockets and the bags I was taking for Yvonne were handy near the door. At 7.30 am I set out. The bags were heavy and it was a struggle. I had to keep pausing for a rest but the bus driver saw me on my way and stopped the bus for me to get on. I was really grateful. I did my usual trick of closing my eyes for most of the journey so no-one was tempted to speak. I may have even nodded off a couple of times between stops. It was quite a delayed journey courtesy of two or three sets of roadworks on the way. But when I got there, Yvonne was waiting with Reuben I’d forgotten about the vicious crop my hairstylist had given me at the weekend and didn’t expect Reuben to recognise me beardless. Yvonne walked right past me instead and Reuben was pointing at me and grinning. In recognition I hope and not at the Dali-esque moustache.

We had enough time to take a walk round the £shop before the cafe inside the clothing store opened. I got myself an elbow support bandage. and no Mike, it’s not for the reasons you keep suggesting. It’s too much tennis to blame. We actually picked up a few things from there before moving on, including batteries for the tablet type thing I’d bought Reuben. We went and settled in the cafe.She won the first skirmish of who pays and ordered me a coffee and a sausage with red onion toastie while she and Roobs had jam on toast. I’d taken the first mouthful before remembering my tablet, Oops. Once we’d done we walked round to find Reuben some pyjamas and for his dad a shirt and a cardigan to make up for the fact I’d still not found a blue waistcoat to go with his suit. I won the second skirmish. From there we went to another shop so I could show Yvonne the Jane Asher container I bought for putting tin foil in and for cutting it. No good for her as there isn’t one for the longer rolls on tinfoil but she did think it a good idea. We bought a few items there and round 3 was mine too.

The morning was getting on a bit so I suggested another drink so we’d have opportunity to sort the bags in case I had to depart quickly for the bus. We headed for the market where she’d be able to get some wool she wanted too. After the drink and when the bags were sorted 1 for me 4 for her, we took Reuben to the pet shop to see the birds. A couple of really pretty female budgies in having a good old sing song.Then it was time for me to depart for the bus and Yvonne to get home so Reuben could have a sleep as she got ready for work. The bus was slow going back too. When I got off I thought I’d go to Pauline’s for some stuff but I decided I needed a wee more and had to go straight past the shop, open my front door, abandon bag and crutches in a hurry ….and run. I made it. I worked from 1.15 to 2.15 pm, then ignoring the hundreds of messages, watched Father Brown.

At 3.00 pm I went back to work in earnest and was making some progress. At 4.15 pm though I decided I needed food so I made some beans on toast which I ate while The Antiques Trip was on. After washing up I came back through, ignoring the usual quiz. By 7.00 pm I was making real headway and had refreshed once already. I took another break until 8.00 pm  then closed the lounge down to concentrate fully on work. I was clear by 11.15 pm and able to start the blog. At this rate I may get another early night.

Wednesday.

The world and I renewed our acquaintance at 3.20 am. Though happy to have survived another night I can’t honestly say I was too chuffed about the time. I’d happily have waited a wee while longer until the world was better dressed in her finery, and you could actually see it. The fact that it was early did not negate my wish to use the loo so slippers and dressing gown on, off I went. I don’t know what it is with me and lights unless it’s the fear of disturbing someone by turning them on. Who, since there’s only me hear? Anyway, perhaps I hadn’t quite adjusted my eyes and my balance was a bit off. I crashed into the stick stand and made an almighty clatter, designed to wake the neighbourhood. My shushing of the sticks seems a little pointless now. Then turning the  corner I veered to the left a bit and walloped my knee on the radiator. Before I had time to curse I had to make a right hand turn but I was a tad too early and hit the corner with my right knee and also managed to knock over a vase of flowers. Just as well they’re artificial or a flood would have ensued. Before I entered the loo I switched the hall light on which of course I should have done at the other end.

On returning to the bedroom with two sore knees I turned that light on then nipped back to turn the hall light off. I signed on to the computer. 127 emails waiting. Two of them  were cons which quickly got consigned to the bin. Anything that purports to come from a bank where I don’t have an account automatically goes that way. The obvious adverts from  card companies followed them. One message was from a shop I sometimes visit to let me know they had a freezer in if I was still interested. The message started, “Dear Dave”. Who the heck is Dave? I’m happy for people to call me by my first name but it seems to take our relationship to a level that doesn’t exist to call me that. Frankly I hate being called Dave, my name is David though a few people still call me other things, not all complimentary. I could understand it if I ever signed myself thus but I don’t so that message too went into the bin. I got down to 104 messages that way and started on those. One of the nice jobs I get during the day is promoting other authors by retweeting their books, today was nice for me as two friends Jane Dougherty and Ali Isaac were publishing their joint venture. Love stories based on the myths of Ireland called Gra mo chroi.

cover

Don’t forget to look for it.

At 6.10 am it was time to feed the fish. I turned both the main light and the tank light on and stood for a minute watching them. Th two lager plecs were adorning the branches of the bog wood while the smallest with its bat’s wing sleeves glided around chasing anything it bumped into. It never seems to bother him that most of the fish are bigger than him. Big Al stayed in his corner at first. Morecambe and Wise visited me at the front of the tank.The two bronze corys just darted about aimlessly, the synodontis kept coming out and going back in at the first sign of any movement around them. The two hoplos kept swimming up and down and Little Al hovered near the food slot. I opened the flap and the movement made Big All stir. He ran to the top of the tank and I started crying. Hang on, no I didn’t, it’s only on one side of my face. The little  beggar spat at me. Down he swam back to his corner. I dabbed my eye and fed them hoping secretly that they’d eat everything before Big Al stirred again. I can’t believe a fish spat at me. What have I ever done wrong? Answers on a postcard please. I took my meds, made a drink and returned to my room in disgust.

I thought I’d dealt with all the dross in my in box but I’d missed this one probably because it’s new to me and banks aren’t the first thing I associate Tesco with. This is another one of those that I find very disturbing because of it’s seeming authenticity. If you know anyone who banks with Tesco please warn them not to open this if it arrives.

Dear Account Holder,
Your TESCO Savings Account was accessed on a blacklisted IP address North London,
but for security reasons the requested transaction was refused.
You are required to update and confirm your TESCO Savings account details with us
as you will not be able to have access to your accounts until this has been done.
CLICK HERE TO PROCEED
Once you’ve completed this you’ll be able to manage your money whenever you want,
giving you more control of your finances.
Thank you for helping us serve you better,
TESCO BANK
Copyright © 2015 Tesco Personal Finance plc

I decided to carry on until  my email accounts were empty before going out. So when I threw my hands in the air and cheered at 9.10 am you’d guess I was pleased. I got washed and dressed and about 9.30 am went out to Pauline’s to pick up a few things. I resisted the temptation to buy a chocolate gateau as I know there are still chocolate puddings in the fridge. Wen I got back I put the shopping away and then returned to my desk to see what else had arrived. There was enough to keep me going until 10.45 am and then I called a break and sat in the lounge. I lay back in my chair with my eyes closed and totally relaxed. I have no idea if I actually went to sleep, it didn’t seem so at the time. It was 11.50 am  before I decide I needed to start my lunch, liver and onions with mash today, and a piece of bread and butter for the left over gravy. I ate it during Murder She Wrote as Jessica Fletcher solved her latest case in a college. Once it was over I returned to work. There was quite a lot again and I knew I’d struggle a bit so I decided not to bother with Father Brown today, but to plod on. At 4.15 pm I realised I’d need a sandwich for tea with Dil and Matt coming so ignoring what was left I went to feed the face. Antique Road Trip came on purely by coincidence (cough) while I was there so I stayed and watched it. at 5.15 pm it wasn’t worth going back so I started watching the quiz Pointless with one eye, while they other tried to watch for my visitors arriving.

I just caught a glimpse of them and I’m sure it’s because I was by now cross-eyed. I’m also sure they’ve taken to creeping past on hands and knees to surprise me. I ran into the kitchen and started making drinks as they came in the front door shouting ‘Hi’. I told them I’d had a message from Lee a few minutes before saying he couldn’t make it again, but hopefully next week. I passed the drinks through as they watched to the end of the quiz when I turned the TV off and we got the table and the games out. We were starting with Yahtzee again this week. I was the over all winner, taking three of the 6 games. It was amazing,,I even got 2 Yahtzees in the one game tonight for 100 point bonus. We moved on to Nomination Whist next where despite a good start at a game I excel in, I hadn’t even reached 3 figures when we’d finished. I was in last place, Dil first . The last game was Chase The Lady and what a start I had. no points in the first hand then just 5 in the second.I thought playing as I was I’d be unassailable. I hadn’t counted on being in the room with two vindictive people. The Queen of Spades was dropped on me so often after those hands I thought we should be engaged. Needless to say my score started to soar past theirs and I was first to the post, Dil second, Matt the Winner by ten points over Dil.

Once they’d gone I tidied up, washed the pots and went looking for the mirror I must have broken today my luck is so bad. I took my meds said goodnight to the fish and came back through to the bedroom. I eventually gave up sulking and got on with the mail of which there was almost 200 again. I worked on it until 11.00 pm without making much of a dent . Once I finish the blog I’ll go back to it for a while. I have a headache and would enjoy a sleep.

Adoration

Adoration

Trying to copy Pops's cross look.

Trying to copy Pops’s cross look.

Thursday.

It was 4.30 am today so that’s just about three and a half hours. My campaign for a sleep extension seems to have fallen on deaf ears. I got up. I put on the bedroom light in order to avoid stubbed toes, put on my dressing gown and slippers and strolled to the loo. No urgency since I haven’t been to sleep long enough to actually put m bladder to any difficult time trials. I came back and put the computer on and started work. I almost missed a notice about Windows updates and had it close down on me but I caught it in time.I gave myself four hours and judging by the mail I needed it. At 6.00 am I took a break to see to the fish, I think they got so used to the time why change it again? Both light went on and I saw there was a deal of activity. Lots of play round the new log, in and out of the various tunnels it made and fun round he branches. Certain fish didn’t join in the fun of course but I wasn’t sorry about that and was keeping a weather eye on him as I opened the flap. In went the food and down went the flap again. I spoke to them all for a minute and was visited by Morecambe of course, Wise was too busy eating. One of the syodontis came out as I’d dropped a few pellets near his hidey-hole. Of the other one there was no sign, Mike said on Sunday that it’s take to hiding in the pipe of the old water filter pump.

I let the fish get on with it and turned round to take my tablets. I thought breakfast was in order today so took my pre-food first. After taking the normal tabs and sprays I had a cigarette to give the pre-food one time to do whatever it does before sticking two slices of thick bread inn the toaster.When the toast was gone, I made myself a coffee and took the two after food tablets before heading back to my bedroom to carry on working. At 8.30 am I let Windows do it’s update. I didn’t lift my head again until 9.35 am when the postman came. There was nothing of any real interest but I was glad to move my legs. Unfortunately, I had to move them back again, there was still work to  be done. It was 10.20 when I was finally as clear as I could be. Things were taking a while to load so I signed out of my main email address for a few moments then went to sign back in as that usually solves the problem. This time it wouldn’t let me sign in. There was a message about the wrong URL for this platform or something.  I no longer have any hair left to pull out. In the end I had to use the restore facility back to prior to the current Windows download. This time it worked. I worked on the new mail until I was clear again and knocked off at 11.20 am. Too early for lunch but lovely for a sit in the lounge and a stare out of the windows. Ha, you thought I was going to say I nodded off, well na na, na na na. I lunched at midday on chips with curry sauce, my once a week treat at the moment. A this is my second tablet meal of the day I can have what I want at tea time.

At 1.00 pm I returned to my desk and risked one eye on seeing how much mail there was. There was! But, I wasn’t going to let it stop me today. I worked until 2.15 pm then suffered three quarters of an hour of Father Brown, what a missed opportunity for sleep that was. At 2.30 pm I’d had a text off Mike to say he was on his way which brightened my day a bit. Promptly at 3.00 pm I returned to work and by dint of hard labour I was within a hair’s breadth of being up to date when 4.30 pm came and my Road Trip programme. I was expecting Mike around 5.00 pm and nipped through to put the kettle on a couple of minutes beforehand. I know I saw the start of the auction but I’m not convinced I saw the end of it at 5.15 pm. When I next came too it was almost 6.00 pm and Mike was sitting next to me saying “Hello Noddy.” He nipped through and boiled the kettle again to do his drink which he’d done without for fear of waking me. I went and made him some syrup sponges with custard in thanks, I may just have had a chocolate one with chocolate custard. We watched a quiz then what amounted to three antique shows until 8.00 pm when I had to depart before the pressure of knowing I had emails blew my ears off. I worked until 10.00 pm when Mike came through to remind me about my tablets then worked again until 10.30 pm when I broke off to do the blog. Since it’s well gone 11.00 pm now I’m going back to it for a while to soften the blow for the morning.

street 1

street 4

Friday.

Despite a light off time of 1.00 am last night it was still a 4.02 am start today. I’m writing a letter of resignation the minute I get a chance, I don”t think I like this job anymore. As usual it was a case of priorities, a tinkle time trip for which I turned the light on in my bedroom rather than the halllway so it didn’t disturb Mike and then back to power up the computer. There were absolutely tons of mail from last night still to do which I still hadn’t caught up on at 6.00 am when I went to feed the fish.. I found them all milling about this morning in some complicated folk dance pattern of interweaving that almost made me cross eyed, but the minute the flap opened there was an air of anticipation that hit you like a brick wall. As I slipped the food in it quickly became every man fish for himself itself. I took all my morning meds then filled up the boxes with another week’s supply and prepared a prescription request for those that needed replacing as I do every two weeks for half of it. A usual that took me quite a time and it was almost 7.00 am before I was able to take a coffee back to my room.

As soon as I’ completed all last night’s outstanding mail I went straight on to today’s and worked up till 8.00 am when I returned to the kitchen to make a drink for Mike. I work to the formula wake him at 8, get him out by 9, hopefully to arrive at his Dad’s by 10.00 am. I woke him at 8.00 am with a drink and he shouted something unintelligible at me. He got up at 8.25 am. He was full of head cold so at 9.15 am decided he wasn’t going out at all then changed his mind five minutes later when he phoned is Dad. He left at 9.35 am and I have no idea what time he arrived there. I’d dressed at 9.00 am and gone to Pauline’s at 9.15 am so arrived back to a hive of activity as he got ready to go. I returned to work at 9.30 am and worked hard through the morning to get clear which I did at 11.35 am.  I went through to the lounge and relaxed a few minutes with the TV. At 12.10 pm there was a knock on the door which I recognised as one of the wardens who’d come for a chat. As I let her in she immediately asked If I were low today as I seemed flat. No-one ever seems to say that about my stomach. We chatted for a while and then she left at 12.45 at which time I started peeling and chopping a sweet potato. As I put that in the microwave to cook I out some sausages under the grill. Pretty soon I was tucking into bangers and mash. At 1.20 pm it was back to work for a while because at 2.15 I was breaking for Father Brown.

I fully intended returning to work at 3.00 pm when Father Brown was over but I’d dropped off before the end (bliss) and slept on until 3.20 pm. I flew back down the hall and started again. I fully intended to stop at 4.30 pm for the Road Trip but at 4.30 pm Mike sent a text to say he was on the way and I noticed that my inbox was showing 97 outstanding on my second account and I still hadn’t finished the first. Antiques went by the wayside. I expected Mike to arrive about 6.00 pm so went through a few minuted early to put the kettle on. While I was there I thought I’d get a few things together from the laundry. The towels for the bathroom, a pair of lounge pants for after my bath, a clean tee-shirt , a pair of shreddies and a pair of socks. I dropped the towels off on my way to the bedroom where I put the clean clothing on my bed then I was distracted hearing the kettle click off. I waited in the lounge watching Eggheads and Mike eventually turned up at 6.20 pm as there had been a nasty accident on the motorway. He poured his coffee and sat with me. As Eggheads ended I said I was going for a shower thinking I could do my own hair this week since so much of it’s gone missing but he insisted he’d still do it.

It took him about 30 seconds to do and then he breather near me and it was dry. I took my shower. My balance wasn’t up to much so Mike got me to sit afterwards and dried my hair even more but with a towel this time. I went through to the bedroom and sorted a shirt for tomorrow and then went to move the shreddies and socks to the back of my chair. Socks yes, shreddies no. I went back to the kitchen to make sure I’d actually picked them up and then seeing I had, I followed my route to the bathroom where I made sure I hadn’t left them with the towels then on to the bedroom, checking the floor in case I’d dropped them.Nothing.I did the journey in reverse, still nothing. Mike asked what was going on and when I explained he offered to help.He went to all the places I hadn’t been and then a tour of those I had. I dreaded him finding them as I didn’t want to see him walking towards me with a big grin and a pair of my jockey shorts round his ears. I was OK as he didn’t find them but I was flummoxed and it was annoying. I got another pair out.

We watched some TV together and had some tea, then at 8.45 pm I came back through to work. I was horrified at the amount waiting and wondered if I’d get to bed at all tonight. I apologise here and now most sincerely. I took a step I’ve never taken before. I started deleting anything that wasn’t addressed directly to me. Anything that was a general message that included me. I kept likes, follows, re-tweets , specific tweet messages and of course all personal messages and ploughed into dealing with them. It was 11.10 pm when I finished and I haven’t dared refresh since then. I wanted to get straight on with the blog. Mike stuck his head in to say goodnight and what’s the first thing he saw? The missing shreddies which I’d apparently put on my radiator and had walked past them so many times. He went off to bed smug.

Saturday.

I’m trying to decide whether to save myself some time by either not going to bed at all or not bother undressing so I can swing an extra few minutes in there. I got to bed a little after midnight and as usual tried to unwind with my book. I turned the light out about 1.00 pm as usual and as the book wasn’t 50 Shades of Smut there wasn’t anything to excite me and stop me sleeping. I know I woke up at 1.53 am but I was in that muggy state where I knew an inch further down the bed in the warm I’d be asleep again. I wriggled down. Next thing I know I’m wide awake and it’s 2.43 am and even digging my way in at the bottom of my bed wasn’t getting me back to sleep. I didn’t even need the loo so could log back on to the computer before it had even cooled down. The mail from last night was horrific especially when added to the mail since midnight but at least I had the advantage of time.

I don’t like the idea of only doing things for people who do them for me but I may have to take the advice I’ve been given and start unfollowing some blogs to reduce my workload and the first to go would be those who don’t re-tweet for me, like, comment or anything if I’ve been doing it for them. I’m told it’s the normal way to go. I don’t want to have to work the way I did yesterday which isn’t fair but staying in all day every day is the only way to cope otherwise. That might appeal to me but I’d never be allowed to get away with it by my keepers. Talking of whom, The Mike keeper was coughing all night so this cold really has a grip on him. Yesterday he refused to let me pick anything up for him, but I’m determined to do so today. I’d actually finished and was up to date before 6.00 pm so spent a little time drooling on ebay. There are some Welsh money Notes for sale and they seem to be as rare as hens teeth.

welsh money

 

I’m bidding on a couple but not with any great expectation of getting them. I’d dearly love to though. I found them beautiful.

I was just going to pay a visit at 6.00 pm when I heard Mike cough and st up with an “Oh Damn” as a sign of exasperation. I stood at his door for a minute while he had a drink and asked whether he was snuggling back down or if he wanted a coffee.I got my answer as I saw his head disappear. I continued on my journey to the loo and then onward to the fish. I turned on the kitchen light and then brought the day to the tank as well. Pepper was sidling up to Big Al as though they knew it was Valentines day, I wouldn’t have been in the least bit surprised to see a bouquet of weed ( no love, not THAT kind of weed) and a few choice bits of algae passing between them. The rest of the crew seemed to be having a party and I suppose that I , the main caterer, was late. I fed them and just watched their antics for a while. After a bit I left them to it but at least it had put a smile on my face. I poured myself some milk, took my meds and made a coffee to take back with me. Not too much had happened since I’d been away so everything was shipshape by 6.50 am. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to do about Mike. Leave him there until he got up of his own accord, but then I remembered Anton would need him on Tuesday. Or, wake him as usual with a coffee but give him the opportunity to stay in and keep warm. I opted for the latter.So, after I heard his alarm go off and be ignored at 7.00 am I made a coffee and took it through. I called him to let him know it was there and on the bedside stand. It was a three grunt day. I left and made myself another drink. I almost spilled the lot and had to call out a team to shock my heart when I saw Mike walk into the lounge. Saturday and just a one Alarm one Call day, who’s going to believe that? Even I don’t and I was there. This vision of unloveliness passed me his dirty mug from last night then went to sit down with  his drink, his first cigarette of the day and a hacking cough.

We were out of the house by about 7.50 am and on our way to Asda. When we arrived Mike howled at the price of diesel as it had gone up since yesterday and yesterday he’d put off filling up. We entered the store and Mike went to choose the flowers for Ju today while I went to pick up potatoes. Then as we moved on I came across a sigh advertising the last reductions in the sale on clothing and found four shirts and a pair of chino’s at £1 each. I couldn’t believe it and nor could the little old lady I snatched them off. Before you say anything , it wasn’t my fault she ended up on the floor, that was the dirty floor. Anyway they’d never have fitted her. We carried on and did the shopping trying to fit it into any little space in the trolley I’d left. Well, you have to get your priorities right don’t you, £1 each eh.We tried to go for a coffee when we’d finished but for the second time recently MacDonald’s had no hot drinks available. Their machines were offline or something. Instead we headed straight for Flint and Temptations. A drink and a teasted toecake was the order of the day when we got there and Kyle was happy to oblige. We passed the usual chocolates over and sat down. Ceri was upstairs making sandwiches so there was no real banter this morning  We did manage to see her for a minute before we left and I was delighted to get a kiss.

We hiked round a few shops for different things an we were looking for a bin for Mike’s dad but couldn’t find one. About 11.30 I could see Mike was itching to go, this cold is really getting to him. We went straight of to have lunch though I did offer to feed him at home if he wanted to wrap up on the settee. Maybe that’s why we ended up at the Ivy. Our usual seats were taken as were our back ups. Fortunately our back up, back ups were OK as they were the last special ones near the fire. We grabbed them. It wasn’t too crowded in there but as we got our drinks and ordered lunch some more decided they’d finished leaving just us and our usual table left. We could glare at then all we wanted as the chimney breast was between us. As we were half way through our meal they got up and left but it didn’t seem worth moving then. There ha been a kiss from Angie when we went in and handed over the chocs, then hugs from Tariq though he didn’t have long at that time. When he came to us later I told him he’d have to do without us soon as Mike is disappearing to Canada for 3 weeks again. Good old Tariq said he’d either find a way to get me there to eat or he’d visit me in the evening. I reminded him he”s got a life and a family. Shella came to talk to us and brought us a chocolate heart each. That was sweet.

After we’d left it was straight home and put the shopping away. Then Mike came through with me to look at the fish I’d found I wanted him to look at. Showed him the one I want and showed him the select few he can choose one from. I think he likes a zebra plec or a pyjama catfish best.Once he’d gone through to have a sleep about 3.00 pm, I was able to tackle the mail.As expected with 8 hours away there was a lot. I dealt with the more personal ones first then the rest. I could only work until 5.30 pm as it’s only fair to give Mike some company in the evening but fair play, he didn’t complain when I came back through at 8.30 pm. As usual I’ve been here ever since. I stopped work on the mail at 10.45 pm to give me chance to do the blog post and now I’m going back for a while. I shall be in bed by the witching hour.

I’m not very fond of musicals though some songs do make the grade and stay with you. One of those whose music I like is West Side Story. In honour of St.Valentine’s day tonight’s song, so romantic, is sung by a great and vastly underated singer whom I once had the pleasure of seeing live. P.J.Proby

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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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