Tag Archives: Tea

Bring on the Strait Jacket.

I think my body and brain are officially at war. There’s a part of me ( the brain ) that thinks I should still be sixteen scratch that, twenty ( I don’t want to return to being sweet 16 and never been kissed) and the senile part of my brain (all) refuses to accept the realities of life despite all the signposts life puts in the way. For  instance, I see a pretty girl walk by, I turn to wolf whistle my appreciation and I fall over after having twisted my neck out of alignment and having tripped over my crutches. The only way I can catch a woman these days is if she’s behind me and I walk backwards. It helps if she’s myopic too in case anyone is listening to my prayers. I doubt that very much though since I can hear a dirty laugh in the background whenever I check my lottery. To be fair I’ve always said that I won’t forget my friends if I win. All of you would get a postcard from my cruise ship.

Anyway, as usual the senility is kicking in and I digress. I wanted to speak tonight ( this morning for all you pedants out there) about the need for people my age to be watched 24/7 by our children while they still stand the chance of an inheritance. I decided to come to an agreement with my brain. I’d let it go it’s own way in certain things as long as it left me some common sense and dignity at the end of each week. I don’t think it’s holding up it’s end of the deal. The family always knew my father in law to be a gadget man. Whatever the latest thing on the market was, he had to have it ( or as my daughter used to put it….But I neeeeed it ). It’s just occurred to me how much I’ve stepped into his role.

When I’m taken out (allowed out it should be) anywhere, one of the things I enjoy most is to stop for a latte. Yes, when I’m outside I do realise it’s just a glorified milky coffee, but I like it. What if I could have this at home I thought. Enter my old friend ebay and my deadly enemy the credit card. ( It’s not my fault, my daughter should hold it !). “Why get a machine that just does latte?” my enfeebled brain asked ” when you can supply drinks of all varieties for your visitors.” This made perfect sense and of course as a gentleman I should offer my guests the best I can.  That terrible little temptress ebay gave me some ideas and I liked the look of the Tassimo machine model T40 which has a drink for every occasion (OK pedants, you’re starting to annoy me now, NO there is no communion wine button). Nearly every occasion. I could see that the usual price is round the £100.00 mark but as an embittered veteran of the ‘War of the Last Ten Seconds’ I knew I’d not be paying anything like that for it. First decision new or used? Definitely new I think. I set to work saving the best in my ‘Watch list’. Two days later I’d already lost two thanks to the tactics of some even more embittered veterans but I hadn’t given up hope.

Day three brought success, probably because no-one else was stupid enough to be on at 3.am. But, I paid £41.00 for it and £10.00 postage. Almost 50% of the list price. I was noticeably pleased with myself. I hadn’t noticed that I’d left details of the address my last purchase ( a gift) was to go to on paypal and as the expected arrival date came and went with no delivery I was gloomy. Still, I managed to get it back from it’s destination and corrected paypal for the future. So it’s here, I can’t wait ! Of course I hadn’t given any thought to the pods at this point so today it was time for the weekly shop.



The New Toy.





In a large Supermarket ( I’ll name them in exchange for sponsorship) I bought some different coffee pods and some chocolate pods. I couldn’t find any tea but there’s always ebay. Back home again I didn’t want to go through the routine of filling the new machine four times in order to let the water run through the system before being able to make a drink. That can be a pleasure for tomorrow and I’ll be able to enjoy the trial run myself before hosting open house to supply drinks to the neighbourhood. There’s time enough to do a search. YES, ebay has tea bags and they’re only £2.95, but hang on, there’s £1.99 p & p which makes them dearer than the shops, ah, but not if I buy three packs as they only charge for one postage. Brilliant that’ss just short of £11.00 for three packs making them cheaper than the shops. Click, ordered and paid.








The problem is that now the last remaining working synapses of my brain are kicking in. The tea I ordered has 8 pods in. With it’s own postage it works out I’m going to be paying 50p for a cup of tea using my own electricity, water, milk and sugar?? It’s only around £1.00 for 80 teabags to put in a teapot. Some of the coffees have 16 pods and the chocolate 8 and they’re around £4.00 a pack. I only know coffee drinkers and they only have Americanos except me. What am I doing? In exasperation I tell my enfeebled brain that it’s never having this kind of freedom again. I hear a dirty snigger and am sent to the pantry where I discover the Senseo system with it’s coffee bags and a little coffee maker for ground coffee. Duh!! Betrayed by my own body.

So children, I implore you to take a firm hand on the reins when your parents reach my age or there’ll be nothing left. And when you start approaching 40 ( I’m not saying from which direction) start training your own children up and hand over your credit card just in case. If you don’t, well that pantry is going to be damned difficult to empty when I’m gone. Still, I’ll be gone so why should I worry. Where’s ebay, I just heard about a great toasted sandwich maker……….


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Strange days come, Strange days go.

It’s been a funny old day. Things started OK at the usual time. I got up about 5.00am and turned on the computer while I nipped to the loo. ( No, I didn’t take it with me).

Coming back through to the bedroom after venting Niagara, I started on my messages. There were 71 since just gone midnight. If I ever catch that little epostal God on his own………  Anyway, quite a few turned out to be duplicates from Gather. I usually answer the first one I come to and delete the others. I confess to not knowing whether that’s protocol or not. Maybe I’m meant to answer them in every group that posts them but that seems highly redundant. The others I ignore are those that get me steamed as it’s too early in the day to throw things at walls. If I disturbed Lady J’s beauty sleep she’d throw me at the odd wall.

About 6.30 I grab a sachet of cat food ( I get peckish about then) and take it through to the kitchen where he currently sleeps, stopping only on the way to offer milk drop to the rats and a yoghurt drop to the degu ( she’s much more up-market). Kettle filled and on ready to clean Oscar’s dishes it’s time to take a handful of cornflakes through to give then girls their first nibble of the day, just to save my fingers being their first meal later. Things are still going to plan at this point, so I wash Oscar’s dishes, empty the new sachet into one side and water to the other. Then I remember he need some olive oil for his coat. It already been pointed out to me that smearing him in it isn’t going to wwin mr prizes from Oscar, Lady J or Oscar’s Amazonian Transylvanian vet. Therefore I take a capsule of the damn stuff and pierce it with a knife tip. These are not soft gelatine capsules though, they’re armoured and have little warning notices sticking up from the surfaces saying Verbotten. Mmm, I don’t remember olive oil being this red before.

I slammed down the offending dishes and applied a plaster (bandaid) which immediately floated off as I belatedly washed my hands. “Oh Dearie me” said I, and promptly remembered that the rubbish collection day has changed to a Saturday. I apply a new plaster (bandaid) and take the bins, one refuse and one kitchen waste, plus one bag of newspapers, one of glass, one of plastic bottles and the tin can one outside ready for the men. Hands wash, plaster floats off, another oops and one more fresh plaster. Now it’s time for medications. What joy, two sprays, one anti biotic, 6 steroids and 8 other tablets and a partridge in a bloody pear tree. Then on with the kettle again because it’s my turn. One more tablet for 20 minutes before a meal so I pour out my coffee and check the time. Nearly 8.00am so I’ll risk an early death and get Julia up.She’s not a morning person these days so I pretend it is the right time and ask if she’s coming to get the girls out to play. I get a big smile and a nod and I’m safe. I put her a cup of tea out ready and nip back to the kitchen to put the toaster on.

Ah, a nice cup of coffee, a piece of cool toast and two final tablets as pudding.(Oh joy). Through to the lounge to sit beside my beloved . I swear there were two pieces of toast on the plate when I came in , oh and what’s that? Well, that is Amy foraging in my pocket for a packet of tissues. What a clean rat you say. Well actually these are for her doily making lessons while her sister Penny has run off with the other half of my toast. Not to be thought greedy I’m sure Amy will get a share when Penny’s finished licking the butter off it. They’re having half an hours fun and frollicks on the couch. I demolish what’s left of my toast and feeling a little guilty give the other two who are still in their cage a chocolate drop each. Julia in the meantime takes Saffy the degu out and places her inside a large plastic ball to roll around the floor hitting as many ankles as she can. And believe me she can. If she wasn’t such a sweetie we’d be a degu free zone by now. There’s no malice in her at all. She doesn’t bite and loves human interaction- hence the ankles I suppose. Penny is by now nudging me and being the subtle little thing she is, I bring my coffee cup over, ilt it slightly so she can drag at the lip and spill it on me before daintily dipping her hands in and bringing them to her mouth.

Almost 9.00 now so Julia is ready to put the girls back in the cage ready for the second crew, the youngsters. I nip to the kitchen to wash my plate now devoid of toast. Damn, another plaster.

In the UK we have a biscuit called a Wagon Wheel. Not the type of thing to get you very far in the Wild West but a nifty snack here. Having lost my toast I decided ‘Why not’? And took one through to enjoy with whatever coffee I’d been left. Bernie (Bernadette) and Priya are  out now and are having a mad half hour running back and forth. I’m a very generous person and still feeling a little guilty that I hadn’t shared my toast with them ( well not all of them and not willingly anyway) I decided to offer them a nibble on the edge of my Wagon Wheel. Bear in mind that these have a diameter of about 4 inches, have a biscuit base, a layer of marshmallow and jam (jelly U.S.) and are then coated in chocolate, they’re not the lightest biscuit in the world. Both girls step up to the plate and the next thing I see is Bernie, arms open wide gripping the biscuit, back legs pounding away in the opposite direction from my mouth. Believe me, with the speed of light my hand descended from above and relieved her of her load even as she took a flying leap to get behind a cushion with it. You could sense her disappointment. With  firm grip I offered it again and dejected they both had a little nibble and left me to it.

Playtime with the girls can be real fun though having Bernie nip inside your dressing gown and then rappel down the cliffs from shoulder to tummy using your skin and her claws as brakes can be hell on earth. Priya is much quieter and more gentle but is learning rapidly. They were returned to their cage ready to sleep during the day and Saffy was released from the ball and returned to her cage to carry on digging the escape tunnel. My mistake with her de-luxe home was to buy a metal cage with a plastic base. I forget the rodent teeth though I can see for myself the progress she’s making. Ju and I get dressed ready to go out since her brother is coming later and we’re picking him up from the bus station in town.

The pick up accomplished at 12.00 we decided to go for lunch. The special today was roast lamb dinners. Chatting away to the owner the waitress came to see what we wanted. I ordered the drinks than 3 roast dinners. Why? I don’t like lamb much and had been going to order a very healthy, diabetic conscious sausages, bacon, egg, ships and beans along with a reproving look from Julia. Instead I order lamb????? I’m not going to lie. It was well made and the meat was very tender. I grinned and bore it.

A visit to another nearby town for a quick shop and a latte and we were home again. I’d promised to do some photographs for my brother in law so came through to the computer and the next 87 messages while Ju put the kettle on ( didn’t suit her) and placed Saffy in her ball. Eventually 3 days later I was able to join them in the lounge and passed Terry the pictures. I noticed Saffy’s cage still open but no sound of her rolling around looking for ankles to wallop. Before I could ask I caught a glance out of the corner of my eye of this little nonchalant beastie  just strolling across the lounge floor not a care in the world. Somehow she’d managed to bang off, or unscrew ( I know which my money’s on) the end of the ball. Because she’s not intimidated by us at all she doesn’t run away but her little bottle brush tail just disappeared under the settee as Ju got down on the floor rustling a bag of yoghurt drops. “Look what mummy’s got for you” she said. “Prison” thought Saffy and carried on walking. Oscar had been lying on my chair arm up to this point and now took notice, He saw Saffy taking her constitutional and did what all brave pussies do, he went rigid with fear ( ever since Penny ran up his back leg) and shot out of the room. It took quarter of an hour to entice her out from under an armchair mainly because we all thought she was still under the settee.

At 5.00 we took Terry home and let the cast members settle down. When we got back at 6.00, Oscar was asleep on my bed, the furthest point from the lounge. Saffy was just widening the escape shaft in hut 18 and the girls were just starting to rouse themselves. Ju and I sat and watched an hour of Big Bang Theory and relaxed.





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