Tag Archives: The Ivy Emporium

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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Technicolour Yawns & Big Al’s Comment (Fish and Sh*ts).

Sunday. I thought 4.31 am was a bit unfair this morning after last night’s efforts. Now I’m wondering if it wasn’t revenge for publishing. Mike says I’m terrible about him on the blog and would probably repeat the accusation later in the day if only he could get up. I worked on the mail until 6.00 am then having decided on breakfast today I went through to the kitchen. The fish were first or maybe I should say the tank and the snails were since I could not see the fish anywhere. I was looking through the front of the tank for ages. Then, leaning over the sink to wash my hands I glanced in through the side glass and my little Houdini albino was in sight. It showed him at he far end beyond the food and up close to the glass. Scratching my head ( and getting splinters) I moved back to the front. Not a sign of him. It didn’t make sense that he’s invisibly head on but fully visible sideways on. I moved to the side and again nothing. More scratching, more splinters. I couldn’t ( and still can’t ) work it out. Is he an optical illusion or a magician? I don’t know, but I know he worries me. No wonder I don’t sleep at night.

I took all my meds and then had a cigarette to time the pre-food one. I reasoned that if I had breakfast and lunch I could work the calories off and having fulfilled the diabetic tablet need for the day, I needn’t have any tea. As the cigarette was coming to an end I stuck two doorstep slices in the toaster and made a coffee. I’m having a few problems with the toaster at the moment . There doesn’t seem to be a degree between the pale and interesting and the cremation amen  stages. This morning the toast looked like it lived in a very cold climate with no sunshine.It was quite crispy though so I was happy to slather my butter all over it. No jam today in deference to my attempt at healthy eating which half an inch of butter provided obviously. See, with science what goes around comes around. Last year butter was bad for you but laying one chemical short of plastic on your toast was fine. Today it’s the reverse. One day my hats will be back in fashion if I wait long enough. Half a millenium perhaps?

I put the plate in the sink to wash later and took  my coffee back to the bedroom. Since I know we’ll be going out at some stage this morning I thought I might as well be as up to date as possible. There was a relaxed atmosphere in my room since I could start giving a bit of thought to Christmas and could look for ideas on ebay. I didn’t actually come up with any but accidentally of course I did see lots of things I liked. At about 9.00 am I got dressed so I didn’t inconvenience Mike when he got up. At 9.45 am when he hadn’t I made a coffee and took it through letting him know it was almost 10.00 am.. It took a while but he did eventually make his way to the lounge. He let me know he hadn’t gone to bed until 4.00 am as he’s been catching up on episodes of shows he liked. I felt so guilty about waking him up then- not. I didn’t harass him of course but I’m  sure he got some kind of message when I looked at my watch every 30 seconds or so.

We were out for 11.00 am. First stop was Lidl to see if they had any teeshirts like the ones I bought the day of the blood test. No joy but it was great to get a leaflet with special offers coming up. Mike ran me to Aldi next where I picked up another brochure but we didn’t buy anything in there. As time was getting on we decided to head for lunch. The Ivy is a straight run along the Coast Road but we’d have to detour home for sweets………unless, we nipped into another supermarket in Flint to get some which we did. When we got to The Ivy young Rob was outside burning rubbish so there must have been a new delivery inside. We left him some sweets and went in. Tariq was behind the counter and came round for a hug. The place was very quiet which we decided was probably because there was a football game on the TV until about 2.00 pm. We had plenty of chance to chat, or in his case moan that we’d brought sweets again. He put his phone on to open the internet for Mike to see the reports on the game as it’s his favourite team. I had a wander round looking at the new gift stock they had. Tariq made our coffee and Shella came through to take our order.She’s still not very well. Angie appeared though I’d wondered whether she was in at all. She gave Mike and I a kiss each. I shan’t wash again.  Mike says “What’s new there then?”such charm.

We had lunch which for me was BLT’s today ( I found I’d forgotten my tablets) then Mike ran us home and collected his suitcase. He left on the next stage of his weekend journeys. I came through to the bedroom and just started on the emails again which had piled up since 10.00 am til nearly 3.00 pm. At 6.00 pm I had a short break to have some of the tea I said I wouldn’t need this morning. Since Mike had left me with a full lemon meringue tart I felt obliged to have a large piece of that. Then two hours in front of the TV (more asleep than awake) before coming back through. I’m reasonable up to date though I’ve saved the best till last. I’m going back to those now. I hope you all have a Great New Week.

Monday. 3.19 am and I was ready to get my a**e into gear. Or so I thought. If I’d known what was coming I’d have stayed in bed. Why didn’t you warn me? I paid a visit to the loo and decided it was definitely cool this morning so I detoured via the lounge and turned the thermostat on. Then back to my room to start the mail. It’s started as a crook free day, hallelujah. Just plenty to enjoy , comment on and re-tweet. There are some astounding blogs and amazing people out there. One ape man who shall remain nameless (unless he chooses otherwise) never seems to sleep in his quest to promote books, authors and opinions on both. My friend Sally seems to spend 24/7 in promotion or in entertaining and appears to have more arms than she should in order to accomplish this. Maybe it’s the Spanish air.

I worked till 6.00 am then went on my first major task of the day, feeding the fish. Yet again none were in sight at first but after I’d fed them and gone to see to my meds I glanced back and the Albino was out surveying his territory. I turned back round just so I didn’t miss my mouth with the tablets and drink of milk and then I made a cup of coffee and some toast. The toast I ate in the kitchen watching out for more of the piscine ( not a French swimming pool ) members of the household. I dropped the plate in the sink till later and took my coffee through to the bedroom as my office is known.  I started work again and realised I didn’t feel exactly right. That was my last thought until almost 7.00 am when I woke up in my swivel chair. Luckily the keyboard was retracted or who knows what I might have written to whom. I had to go through to sit in the lounge and despite having just woken I nodded again. It happened on and off until about 9.00 am when I took myself in hand ( in a nice way) and dressed to go to the shop.

Coming back, I put new bread in the kitchen. Notice I didn’t say fresh…there doesn’t seem to have been a delivery yet. I went back to try and catch up on mail but while doing so my head was up and down as I nodded off. At 11.30 I left determined to prepare lunch and ended up having liver and onions with a few micro chips. I followed this up with a small slice of lemon meringue on which I’m about to lay a mountain of blame. I took my tray to the kitchen and washed up. I’d just finished when there was a knock at the door. My heart pounded and my brow sweated as I opened the door. It was the warden from last week who’d kindly come to bring me the details of the lady who might come to clean. I let her in and she had a few minutes with me. I thanked her and saw her out. No need for her to come this Friday now. I immediately emailed Yvonne and asked if she could speak to the lady for me to see if she has vacancies for new clients. At this point I knew something was not right with me. Yvonne got back in touch and said the lady wanted to meet me and Yvonne had arranged for 4.00 pm tomorrow so I’d better make sure I’m back from Chester so I can psych myself up to open the door when I see her coming. We’d just reached that point when I knew I was about to greet my lunch again.

I made it to the bathroom by the skin of my teeth and made technicolour yawn everywhere. Once finished I had to clear that up. I was hot and clammy and came back intending to lie down. Instead I remembered there was a backlog of mail to clear. As I sat down in the chair the urge came again and it was a case of flying to the bathroom, skidding on the floor ( which helped) and ejecting every meal for the last week I think. I really felt rough and again had to go to the lounge to sit in my chair and sleep. When I finally woke up I was able to come through to start work as long as I put my trainers on for a run. As it happened I didn’t need them. I had to miss some of my TV to catch up but it was worth it. When I did go to watch a quiz I slept again and only woke up in time to see my last antique programme.  Once that was done I came back through and tried to concentrate on the pile I’d left undone and the fresh in, 118 in all The post is up to date as near as I can and it’s now 11.30 pm so I’m going to be in bed well before midnight. Tomorrow off to see Yvonne and Reuben. A bad forecast for the morning but they’re talking maybe 15 degrees. Wet ones.

Tuesday. Well it had to happen sooner or later, I didn’t remove myself from bed until 4.33 am, the day’s half over by then, after all we have 24 hour shopping now. I removed my trousers from under the mattress where they’d been pressed and made the bed. A quick nip to the loo, a quick nip to the thermostat and an even quicker nip back as it was quite nippy. Just one attempt at a con today and that’s a message from a bank I don’t bank with feeding me the usual garbage about my account being suspended until new details are received. Well, take my advice, don’t hold your breath waiting for my answer. Though if you want to make my day, ignore my advice.

I didn’t mention it last night but when I turned the fish tank off  ( I told it I had sweaty feet) the albino wasn’t looking too chipper. He seemed to be leaning to one side though I suppose it could just have been a nonchalant pose . I decided to go through at 6.00 am and turn the tank on ( I told it I lied last night, my feet are fine) to see if I had a corpse. I’m happy (?) to report I haven’t. He seems quite well and his usual indifferent self. I’d gone through early so that I had plenty of time to get ready for my bus at 7.45 am. I had my meds, made a coffee, got washed and dressed then settled with my coffee to clear as much mail as possible. I was really doing well too as the time approached. At 7.30 am I left the house having picked up a bag for Yvonne which included a big 17″ x 11″ picture of Reuben I love of him on the phone. I wanted to find a frame for it so they could hang it up at home. I let her know when I was on the bus and asked where we should meet. She replied  “The Costa at the top of town.” I was a little puzzled, “Erm, which is that?” I asked, “I’m not sure what you consider the top of town.” There was no response by the time my journey was over so as they were not at the bus stop I had to make my best  guess. I was walking along when I heard a desperate voice calling “Dad”, I looked round and there she was barreling towards me with the pushchair. Reuben was waving and grinning like mad.

We had a discussion about where to go and settled on a pub chain that does  breakfast. Reuben was determined to hold my hand which made walking a little difficult, I looked and felt like Queasimodo ( sorry, not feeling too sick) as I trailed along the road crutch in my left hand, and Reuben’s hand in the other with the crutch trailing behind. Once in the pub he came out of the pushchair for a hug and then showed me how well he can walk without support. It’s fantastic to watch for the first time. Though had I but known it I could have seen it three days ago on Facebook and heard his Dad squealing like a little girl at the concert of the current boyband. After breakfast during which Reuben redecorated the place even though it wasn’t needed, we went off to find the frame and were lucky straight away. We headed for another shop to find an all in one ski-suit for Reuben. He’s not taking up Winter sports but Yvonne wants him to be warm. We didn’t find that but I did find an all-in-one waterproof that seemed quite padded so I bought that with a couple of other things. Off to the supermarket to get some bread to take home next then off to another clothes shop where we found the lift out of order and we were out of luck. We had a coffee on out travels and hit another couple of shops before it was time for me to say goodbye. This brought howls from Reuben and I’m told they lasted all the way home. Poor Yvonne.

The journey home was uneventful for the most part though I didn’t get the seat I liked until we reached Holywell. When I got off the bus it was just gone 2.00 pm and I dreaded going home. Why? because I’m a coward. At 4.00 pm the lady I hope will be going to clean for me two hours a week is coming to meet me. It feels like I’m going to be interviewed. Until then I need t work on getting the messages down. I was doing quite well with that job until 3.55 pm when I turned my bedroom light off so she couldn’t see the state of the room. I went through to the kitchen to watch out for her and even then wasn’t sure I’d open the door. But I did. I sounded like an idiot with all the stuttering but it was OK because she’s a naturally garrulous lady and I didn’t have to say much. I think I passed muster as she’s starting with an hour on Friday and then will do an hour on Monday. She’s even going to do some i**ning for me at some stage. She’s been relieved of doing my bedroom as I can hardly get in here never mind anyone else. If she sees this room she’ll never come back. Lounge, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and the hall should do for now. She left before 5.00pm so I had the last quarter hour of my antique show while I had a french stick sandwich for tea and some malt bread. Then as good as gold I returned to work until 7.00 pm.

When I turned the TV back on for my next antique show I was surprised to find that one of the experts and his celebrity came to visit the Lourdes of Wales, St. Winefride’s Well which is slightly higher up the hill than me. Between Greenfield and Holywell. As a place of Pilgrimage maybe some of you have even visited and drunk the waters. It was an enjoyable programme and both sides made a profit for Childline which is good. Then it was back here again for the night to play catch up which I’m about to do again with the mail.

Wednesday. 4.28 am this morning and it was helped by the fact that my letter opener (dagger) slipped off the end of my desk to land on the bed. I must have been dreaming about giant spiders as that’s what I thought it was. As it happens I’m just lucky when I counted my toes they were all there. The news operators in the UK have been warning that there will be a plague of giant spiders due to the mild summer and that at this time of year they come indoors looking for nookie with the females who’ve been on their webs. I personally would be happy to shell out a little something if they want to try a hotel. The thing that preys on my mind is that this exercise just results in many more spiders being born and possibly within the confines of my home.

Though the disturbance had left me wide awake earlier on I began to feel I hadn’t had quite enough sleep. You’ll realise my deductive powers are second to none when I explain what fist gave me a clue. I woke up with my head at right angles to my body and I was looking down at my lap. This seemed to be happening about every 30 seconds or so and was a dead giveaway. One time I must have gone a little further forward than is advisable and my head was being supported by a bottle of pop. I came alive to it. There was little I could do as 6.00 am approached but go and feed the fish. Big Al was there to greet me when the light went on and I spoke nicely to him to see what the chances are of re-establishing our relationship on a friendly footing. My guess is that turning round and swimming off to a corner constitutes a no. I took my drugs and decided that breakfast would be a good idea so I wouldn’t need a meal at tea time and was prepared for Games Night. I just had a couple of pieces of toast and thoroughly enjoyed it until I took my two after meal tablets with my coffee. The heat gave me the toothache from hell for a while. Mind you, that’s where all toothaches come from isn’t it.

I took the rest of the coffee back to the bedroom and worked for a while but by 7.00 am I was yawning so much my top lip brushed my eyebrows flat. And that was behind my glasses! I went through to sit in my chair in the lounge. I fell asleep again and didn’t come round until 8.15 am. A bit more work then I got washed and dressed ready to go to Pauline’s for bread. I was there by 9.15 am today and the stock was limited but I was lucky and found some baps to keep me going. I wasn’t long back at home before the postman came and brought my special purchase of the other day, the hush hush one, and another parcel I needed as well. I just carried on working once I’d checked and stored them, I needed the post as low as possible today.

At 12.00 pm I made myself pizza and chips but the chips had ‘Chip Shop Curry Sauce’ on them and it’s been ages since I’ve had them. I watched an antiques show and managed to stay awake to the end. But I did pinch half an hour afterwards checking my eyelids from the inside. They seem fine. I worked hard all afternoon until 4.30 pm then knowing Lee could arrive at any time I put it to rest. I did have a couple of questions if he arrived early though regarding my search engines and my linked email accounts. I put on The Antiques Road Trip until someone arrived but saw it to the end at 5.15 pm.  Dil and Matt arrived a little after 5.30 pm and Dil says his back is much better though not right yet.  I made drinks and stocked Matt’s biscuit supply up then got the games table out and the Scrabble. A text from Lee came which said he couldn’t make it this week which I’d guessed by  then. Being self-employed doesn’t mean you can always please yourself. We played two games. I won the first with the ease that comes so naturally to me, cough and then was doing really badly in the second until I got a 7 letter word which gave me the game as well. Two -Nil to me and I was cock of the walk but not stupid enough to crow too loudly about it with it being Two onto One in the kicking stakes. We started Nomination Whist and I started OK-ish but the others were in the same boat. Then all of a sudden I couldn’t get a call at all and I was lagging badly. Matt ended up winning. I just sulked. Dil helped me put hings away then they left at 9.30 pm leaving me to tidy up a bit and wash the pots. I took my tabs and went through to the bedroom.

The mailboxes were full (rats!) which means a long night. Among all the messages was this one from   Mrs.Belinda Azuke Djante.

Hello.

I don't want to be hurt again after the death of my husband. I really need you to help me and my little kids, but i am afraid of betrayals. Please is this medium safe for us? and are you sure i am safe with you? before i can explain more to you. Waiting for your reply soon.

Mrs.Djante.

Doesn’t it sound like we’ve been in close contact before ? It’s ridiculous. No one would forget something like that, what do these people gain by sending letters like this? And the address from which it came, bishal.debbarma@ymail.com  which hardly seems like the address/name of the person  supposedly writing. Any minute now though and I expect to be accused of breach of promise.

I hope you’ve all had a great day.. Tonight I’ll leave you with something from the classics for a change just to show you I have an upmarket side with my chips.

My  nieces Karen and Joanne have just returned from holiday.

Who said I have a big ass?

Who said I have a big ass?

Jo on film

Jo on film

Thursday. OK, I’ll admit it. It was a positively decadent 5.12 am today. I strolled to the loo despite the level of fluid rising behind my eyeballs as my hand flicked the outside light on in error. I had to wait until I reached the bathroom in order to turn the light on there. I came out a very drained but much relieved person. First job was to turn the computer on and go to the bank to find out if the man will laugh at me when I hit the cash machine at the weekend. I don’t want him to grab my card and cut it up in front of my eyes. We’re old friends my card and I. It was OK, my pension was in.

There were no treats for me this morning. Just the rubbish ‘You need to contact the bank Urgently’ and ‘Please don’t ignore this’ cons where I don’t even have accounts. It was straight to spam for those. There were also a lot of posts from friends and fellow bloggers whom I admire greatly. I’d love to mention them all but I’d b up ll night and I’d run out of space. Needless to say you’d know who they are if you saw the tweets and re-tweets I do each day. There isn’t one I wouldn’t recommend from those who blog to help writers of every genre through to those who either blog on Politics in general or the problems in Arabia with specific stories. There was plenty to keep me occupied this morning but I broke off at 6.30 am to feed the fish and to have some breakfast. In the fish tank there seems to be a general truce towards me which is the stance I’m taking rather than accepting they have nothing but disdain for me. Tablets, breakfast and coffee done I cast a sad look back at the tank, tuned the kitchen light off and went back to my bedroom.

I kept working steadily and diminishing the queue bit by bit. At about 10.00 am I thought it time to get washed and dressed and then went to Pauline’s to get my lottery tickets. I’m afraid last night’s was another no no. I can’t understand why they keep ignoring me like this. The postman didn’t call today but when I got home Mike texted to ask if I had visitors today, he meant MuJo. When I replied in the negative he announced he was coming over today. I cheered which must have surprised the neighbours a bit but I carried on working too. More post was coming in all the time as I can see it is now. At 12.00 pm I went through for lunch and got a new text from Mike, “On way, see you about 2.00 pm.” I did myself an easy pizza and micro chips ( yes again) and watched my programme. By the time it was over and I’d washed the pots I found I was tired. I contemplated staying in my chair but I knew I had to get the post even before I could do that. I just reached that stage when the door opened and in walked Mike at 2.15 pm.

Mike ran for the loo while I made his coffee. Then he lit a cigarette with a look of absolute bliss on his face. “Over two hours in the car without a fag” he said. “Why’s that” I asked. “Because Anton told me the car loses £1000 at resale time if it’s a smoker’s car.” I remembered then he’d come in his new car with the red leather seats. We’ll see how long it takes before he breaks the 11th Commandment of Thou shall not smoke in my car. After coffee he asked if there was anything I wanted to do shop wise and I explained what my current quest is. We headed for Flint to see if I’d have any luck. I didn’t but we were able to go for a coffee at Temptations and annoy Ceri and Trudy who were serving this afternoon. Mike and I are different like chalk and cheese, when he says something rude and suggestive to a woman they love it. If I tried it I’d be in a police cell in no seconds flat. I just don’t have it which is why I couldn’t chat a woman up. Yet I have a great sense of humour ( don’t argue, I do!) and I’m reasonably tall…… OK that’s about it but I promise I keep my head down so I don’t scare the horses.

We came home again and I went back to work until 4.30 pm and the antique show was on which we watched together. A little more work until 7.00 pm while Mike was shouting abuse at the laptop and trying to get information on Salvador Dali prints. His sister is going to get him some for his birthday to replace some that were lost some moons ago in an acrimonious split with a partner. I stayed with him until 9.00 pm when as usual it was time to come and make headway before bed. It’s now time to go back to it and see what can be cleared.

Today at the park.

Today at the park.

Friday. OK, here’s the thing. I’m a light sleeper. I know I’m always up early and raring to go ( well that’s what goes on my c.v. anyhow) but if I need to nod off again at some stage I can. It was 3.18 am this morning but when I was flagging a bit about 7.00 am I lay down and tried to relax and found the sty full of pigs grunting and snorting in ‘another place’ wouldn’t let me. And even worse, one (at least) of the pigs could talk, or to be more precise, chunner, and seemed to be grumbling a lot. I tried for a full half hour but it was like working in a sawmill. I gave up and went to talk to the fish. To be fair, after I’d turned on the lights and dropped some food in, Big Al stayed politely to listen to me telling him how we were friends. As I paused for breath he shot off , hit the far side of the tank and started barging his own reflection. Somehow I don’t think he’s too impressed with me. The plecs?  Well I’m now convinced they have no brains. They’re like a herd of cows, placid until it’s either food time or milking time.

After taking my meds,  sprays and having breakfast, I took my coffee back to my room and carried on working. At 8.00 am I was surprised to hear Mike’s alarm going off as we’d made no plans for his day of rest. I wasn’t sure if it was an error so I prepared his mug and as he hadn’t got up,  I left it. After 10 minutes it went off again so obviously not a mistake. I made his coffee and took it through with the usual cheery bellow, Coffee’s up. There was some kind of grunt, grunt, snort code which might have passed for thanks but I’m not holding my breath. Last night we had a disagreement about who was lead singer in a band, Mike was determined it was one person and I was as determined it wasn’t. Eventually I was proved right but I didn’t expect an apology as I remember being told “I don’t do sorry”. I wasn’t mistaken.

Mike got up and went through to the lounge. I did a few more messages before joining him. He checked to see what I wanted to do this morning. All I could think of was a certain Christmas present I wanted to get. “No problem” he said and by 9.00 am he was ushering me to the car and over to Broughton Park. When  we arrived I needed a wee again and left Mike looking around at the items in question. As I came back I was greeted with “Is this what you’re looking for?”, and it was, exactly that. In no time at all he’s solved my problem. We celebrated with a coffee and then went shopping for some food. We followed that up with a look round another shop where I got a couple of small things before we headed home. Mike even took the country route most of the way as he knows I dislike expressways.

Back at home I made Mike a coffee and left him looking at the maintenance manual for the car. He’s found a button and doesn’t know what it’s for. I came to see how bad the message damage was from my absence. It was bad. Before starting I reminded Mike of the impending arrival of my new cleaner and of his need to depart lest he gets underfoot. He phoned a friend and arranged a visit. I started on the backlog and just waved him off when he went. First day and my lady wasn’t on time but I don’t know if she’d timed the walk to here from home or from her previous job. I’m flexible so it’s OK really. When she does arrive we settle on the kitchen and the lounge as jobs for the day. I’m not expecting too much as it’s only an hour and I don’t know what she’ll manage.Having this problem with strangers, I left her to it but did say to let me know if she needed anything and I’d pick it up this weekend. There was nothing on the pad later on. Towards the end of the hour I came back though to pay her and to see what had been done. The work surfaces in the kitchen and some polishing in the lounge it seems but I wondered how much time had been spent on trying to repair the handle that runs across the door of my oven that was broken off on one side where she’d used it to get up from the undersink cupboards. I have no problem with accidents and forgave the damage easily enough. What I’m note sure about is the time wasted.

When she’d gone I obviously had a look at the jobs I would no longer ave to do and found myself washing down one of the kitchen worktops near the toaster of all the accumulated crumbs. I couldn’t understand why a second room had been started when the first wasn’t finished. I ended up mopping the kitchen floor and then hoovering the lounge. On Monday we’re changing from one hour on two days to two hours on one day and barring accidents we’ll be able to see whether we suit each other. I’m going to write today off as a bad experience for us both. Mop bucket put away I returned to work until 4.30 pm when the antique programme started. Mike returned not long afterwards so we enjoyed it together though we both had moments where keeping they eyelids apart was a problem. Following that was more antiques, a quiz, a Big Bang Theory and a hairwash for me then a shower. Mike decided to have a shave then before we saw a sports quiz, Mastermind and then Would I lie to you. Leaving Mike to channel hop then I came away to start catch up operations again and to arrange with Yvonne that we get together on 26th to celebrate Mike’s birthday in case he’s missing either the weekend before or the one after his 65th. I’m having such a laugh that he’s older than me. He’s having such a laugh that he gets his pension on his birthday whereas when I’m 65  just 14 months after him I have to wait an extra 9 months (so far).

Two more pictures from my nieces holiday. Karen prefers to be the other side of the camera.

The Shrinking Girl.

The Shrinking Girl.

Retro Jo

Retro Jo

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enFn8MbVFtk

Check out the animals towards the end.

Saturday. The day I could do without I got a real treat. 5.01 am before I woke and got up.I might not have made it even then had my brain not been receiving messages from my bladder. In fairness I’d read until gone 12.30 am and took a little time to settle down. After the loo I started on my messages to try and clear the box before going out. I’d actually all but done by 6.30 am when I decided it would be a good time to feed the fish. It was nothing short of miraculous that when I lit up the tank, Big Al was there and looking almost friendly. I smiled at him and as I did he turned around and moved away with a trail of something attached to his rear end following him behind. I got the message. I want it clear now that I did not start this war but I have the food to finish it. I took my meds and made myself a drink to take back to my room. 

I was just moving away from the computer having for the moment caught up. It was time to do the bins. I emptied the one in my bedroom and was just passing Mike’s door when his alarm went off.  I paused to make him coffee and take it through. My cheerful greeting didn’t get a favourable response but nothing was thrown at me and the air wasn’t blue so there was hope. I returned to work and had done the food bin and the main rubbish bin and put fresh bags in. I took the bags outside to put in the dustbins and walked both to the kerb. Then I collected all the recycling bags and put them out too. When I came back in there was still no movement from Mike and it was likely his alarm had been turned off a second time. “Don’t forget your coffee bro, it’s going cold.” I called. “Righto, righto, thank you OK, right” he answered, and snuggled in a bit further. I toddled off to wash my hands before going to finish my coffee in the bedroom and just do the last few messages that had arrived. At lest I heard Mike make a move. I knew it was him ‘cos he knocked something over, the oaf. Needless to say it was gone 8.00 am before we left home this morning. Still. by treating all the other traffic as a minor inconvenience we weren’t much later than usual arriving at the Supermarket. I was glad none of the police cars had been able to keep up.

The hole in the wall was showing adverts for a burger chain and when I put in my request I did wonder whether I was playing for a cash jackpot or a steaming burger on a bun. I was lucky, I got the cash option. Inside we headed for the veg aisle ( yes, I do go there) to get some sweet potatoes then off to choose some flowers for Julia. Next were some pens for Angie as her daisy pen has run out now. We moved further into the shop all the while eyes darting round looking for Christmas present ideas. I’m much less spontaneous than I used to be  and seem to need to go out shopping now with specific people in mind. This morning I hadn’t and could settle on nothing. I think maybe I need to make sure the two 65th birthdays are dealt with first. My sister in law is a nightmare to buy for though I have now got the jeggings I know she likes, or will have when I get home. We finally reached the food section or I did as Mike left to nip to the loo. He chose to leave me by the Specials aisle so when he got back there were quite a few boxes of chocolates in the basket and the room for actual food was diminishing fast. To be fair, he did catch me up at the meat section and I had bought some.

After we’d finished and gone through the check out we had a coffee. I decided to have an iced one or what Mike calls my brain freeze. Warm drinks are still causing my exposed nerve a wee problem. I could see Mike watching me very closely waiting for the moment when the headache would begin, it was really difficult to disappoint him and carry on drinking while some sadistic madman drove a spike through my brain. When he finished his coffee it was great to put my drink down and claim to have had enough because the cream was too thick and rich. We drove to Connah’s Quay where we haven’t been for a while so Mike could see if they had any suitable giftwrap and a card for his grandson’s birthday. He managed to get both so happy now we drove to Flint for a coffee at Temptations. Since we had a teasted toecake as well I used that to soak up a lot of my drink so the heat didn’t get to me. At this time I should like to point out that the stories of me being a shopaholic are greatly exaggerated. I have been near two branches of my favourite shop this morning without going in and without displaying any real withdrawal symptoms other than maybe the odd twitch. After teasing Ceri as much as possible we left and picked up some pizzas- no chocolate ice creams, and maybe jut a small BFG from the frozen food shop before heading for home.

Once we got there Mike opened the front door and we found a package on the floor. As I swept in after him with my share of the shopping bags I found a note from the postie to say two more parcels were at my neighbour Bert’s. I stuck the note on one side and forgot kit as we unpacked the bags and put things away. We’d just finished that and Mike had nipped to the bathroom ( a bladder the size of a gnat) when I remembered the note and taking a box of chocolates as thanks went to collect the parcels from Bert who is the most helpful man. To be honest I could guess what was in the one already in the house but had no idea what was in these two. I couldn’t remember what I’d ordered recently ( yes, I know I should read the blog) and even if I did, nothing was due before Wednesday next week. Anyway, back indoors Mike came and sat on my bed and opened two of the parcels while I opened the other. As expected the one through the door was (at last) the correct case for the tablet with a hole for the camera in the right place. The other two turned out to be the jeggings (previously mentioned) and a new key safe which Mike had said he’s put up for me if I got it. At that point I needed to do a little ( a lot) of catching up but it wasn’t meant to be. We started looking at something on ebay and time ran away with us. Mike disappeared for a few minutes and I left feedback for the items received. There was a call a few moments later and I followed the sound to find Mike had worked out the code to open the old key safe on the wall outside and I hadn’t needed to buy a new one at all. It was through gritted teeth I asked why he hadn’t decided to do this last week before I had bought the new one- AND left feedback.

It was time to head for lunch. Chocolates and pens in hand we left. Traffic only brought on a few minor swearwords of frustration from Mike and his frustration a few minor swear words of exasperation from me. The car park seemed very busy when we got there. It would have been good for custom if they’d gone inside. Our seats were still vacant which was great though if they hadn’t been there would have been cause for complaint since we supplied our own Reserved sign. It was Tariq on the counter at that moment and we got a smile and a wave. The place is going rapidly downhill when he can’t abandon his other customers to hug me though. Soon enough we saw Angie who made our drinks and took the food order while Tariq was running around serving. The Rob appeared and he was serving too. It was getting to be more staff than customers. I knew things were seriously wrong when I’d ordered a baked potato with beans accompanied by two (holding up 4 fingers) pieces of bacon, and it only came out with two. Mike thought it hilarious. It was just as well as I was quite full afterwards. Mike disappeared with Tariq afterwards to talk picture frames for his art posters. I sat there fighting off sleep. When they returned it was time to go and the day got brighter as Tariq came to give me a hug and Angie came to give me a kiss.

At home again it was straight into battle and there were over 160 messages since 6.45 am this morning. It was now 2.30 pm. I had to work until 5.50 pm to get clear before I could join Mike. I know I made us some tea and I know I remember a couple of quiz shows but it seems Somnos caught both of us as some point. When I came round for the umpteenth time and realised it was 8.45 pm I literally flew from the room to start again. It’s taken an age to catch up. I hope you’ve all had a Wonderful week and are heading for a Great week full of peace, love and most of all Hugs.( Yes, including you men. Brave it out, it won’t hurt).

The Turtle Hat. Both father and son want it, who will win?

The Turtle Hat. Both father and son want it, who will win?

 

 


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Piratical Birthdays , Duvet really cost that much? & The Robbery

Sunday.  5.08 am today.These lie-ins are becoming a bit of a habit again. There’s no mad rush this morning so I should easily have had time to bring the emails up to date. I was a good half way done when I went through to see to the fish who were in quite docile mood . I was suspicious but nothing I could see gave me cause for concern. I turned to my tablets and a drink just putting the makings in Mike’s mug as I knew there was no chance of a Christmas miracle in August.

I went back through and continues with my messages making sure I was very careful what I opened after nearly going blind the other day.Yvonne blushed when she read that account, Mike of course laughed and said even at my advanced age I should recall what one looks like and what part goes where when the occasion arises….. to coin a phrase. I was within two or three messages of finishing when Mike’s alarm went off at 9.00 am so I made him a coffee and took it through. I was devastated when my ‘Coffee’s Up Bro’ received a “Fine, thanks very much” instead of the usual startled -deer in the headlights- response..I went and finished the last few messages and got myself dressed then sat with Mike in the lounge.

At 9.45 am Mike was dressed too and ready to go out. He’d promised to take me to pick up some choc ices and maybe have a coffee. I’d just put my coat on when he decided I needed a shave and I had to take the top half off again. Because my hands were shaking he took delight in doing the shave and making not too veiled threats with the razor.It didn’t take too long and we were on our way again. He even let me get dressed again first. Getting the shopping took no time at all but it was a big disappointment to find Temptations wasn’t open until 10.30 am . As we had to get ready for the party we didn’t have time to wait. So, back home again and I made Mike a drink while I checked my messages and cleared as many as possible. At 10.45 am we were on our way.

In Chester we drove down to the quayside of the River Dee but there was no parking free so we had to drive up the hill again and I took him to a little out of the way parking place that only charges £4 per day. Then of course we had to walk down the hill again to go to a cafe for something to east so I could get my tablets out of the way.It was pleasant enough. That done  I took him through the lower reaches of the park until we found the party in full swing at the top.There were a lot of people there but Yvonne saw me and put me a chair out of the way by my nieces. It was nice to see so much of my family there, and Reuben was in full form with beaming smiles as people called for his attention. He did have some time for his Pops though and didn’t even assault me once.

The Mystery Welshman Presents.....

The Mystery Welshman Presents…..

birthday partybirthday cake

reuben and mummy

 

 

Pirate King

Pirate King

Left to right... Stacey (Danny's partner) Danny ,eldest grandson Reuben, Me, Ugo Karen, Mike , Jo Yvonne, Jen & Lee

Left to right…
Stacey (Danny’s partner)                                          Danny ,eldest grandson
Reuben, Me, Ugo
Karen, Mike , Jo
Yvonne, Jen & Lee

The weather stayed fair for part of the afternoon but at 3.00 pm you could see the rain was due. Most people decided it was time to leave  and started to pack up. One or two hadn’t made it at all and missed seeing the children rush off with their little goodie bags and blow up swords. The cakes were packed and I moved the chairs under the canvas out of the rain then Mike and I said our goodbyes and left for home. We had a quick stop on the way to buy a blow up bed.                                  Once indoors I made a drink and left Mike playing with something, (I’ve warned him he’ll go blind) on his phone while I attacked the emails again. I stayed there till 6.00 pm then went and joined Mike in the lounge. I managed to force a bit of BFG down for my tea but poor old Mike wasn’t sure his stomach would take it (I hope mine isn’t like that at HIS AGE). At 9.00 pm a car programme came on which bores me to tears so I was able to escape for another try. I’m doing well.

Monday. 5.01 am And all’s well. I saw the emails and nearly went back to bed. I would have done too if I hadn’t realised the mail would still be there but a darn sight bigger when I got up a second time. I bet Gypsy Rose bloody Greta or whatever her name currently is couldn’t forsee that. By 7.00 am I was barely halfway  but the fish were rehearsing The Indian Love Call from Rose Marie, I cold hear the delicate strains of When I’m Calling You  drifting out each time a bubble broke on the surface of the water. When I’m called, I go. It didn’t take me long to feed the smug little beggars and I thought while I’m feeding them, I might as well feed myself- just not to fish food thanks. I took all I needed to take and smoked the timing cigarette ( I suppose it would be easier to get a kitchen timer just not as much fun). At the right moment I put the toast in and brewed my coffee. Just for a Bank Holiday Monday treat I had jam on my toast today. I really know how to live. After I’d taken the two after meal tabs I carried the coffee through to the bedroom to carry on working.

I was coming towards an end about 8.30 am and I heard Mike groan so I thought he was awake. I went and made him a coffee and took it to him. He was fast asleep again. I did wake him but not for any sadistic purposes ( for a change) but because he was going to his Dad’s today to do some shopping. He did get up and soon enough he was on his way. I decided to finish the mail before doing anything else. Ha, finish the mail, not a cat in hell’s chance. I took my place before the monitor again and ploughed in. I broke off to rest my shoulders and watched an episode of Big Bang Theory then got stuck in again until 11.45 am when I broke off to see to my lunch. I took an hour’s break and watched my antiques programme then headed back to my room again. It was a real stop-start time nodding off and forgetting where I was so I gave in and went through to the lounge for a nod off. No sooner had my eyes closed than the phone started.  I went and unplugged it and fell asleep in glorious silence. I enjoyed a really nice hour or so before waking and deciding to enjoy an iced lolly while I worked. An iced lolly when I’m freezing? I wasn’t expecting to put the heating on yet.

About 5.00pm I’d had enough. There weren’t too many left but I needed a break. I found the last part of the film Zulu Dawn on and was able to see the Zulu nation showing guns don’t always make you a winner.Then at 6.00 pm  there were 2 short quizzes on which I enjoyed. Halfway through I went to get something from the bedroom and found a message from Mike, “On way”. As succinct as usual. At 7.00 pm I started to clear some more accumulated mail  and at 7.15 pm in he walked so I had to stop and make coffee and hear his news….only after I was told what a lazy beggar I am for not getting dressed all day. He’s had a successful expedition anyway and found all the things his Dad needed. We chatted until University Challenge came on and followed that up with a programme on Scotland’s Independence with a debate between Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland and Alistair Darling the ex Labour Chancellor and a Scotsman to boot, and after watching most of it I wish someone would. I really dislike those debates where one person decides that attacking the person is a good policy. My opinion, if the people of Scotland want independence, let them have it. They want to continue using the same currency which is fine despite what petty David Cameron says, and they’ll be better of than they will be if Labour get back in here next year and run the country into the ground again or under the Tories who want to take benefits off everybody and buy shares in the privatised health industry. I had to leave at 9.30 pm as I was getting cross and also because I needed to get to work.

Here are two pictures I was asked to provide by Roughseasinthemed of the new curtains and my bookshelves.

New Curtains

New Curtains

 

 

New Shelves

New Shelves

Here’s the obligatory picture of my grandson playing in part of my birthday present to him…The Ball Pit.

ball pit boy

 

Tuesday. Back to 4.34 am today but hey, Mike was saying we’d go out today since he’s going to be returning home to get the car M.O.T.d, this gives me plenty of time to catch up before we go out. I wasn’t sure what time he’d set his alarm for ( hopefully before noon. lol) but I went through to the kitchen at 6.30 am to make some toast, after the fish had been fed of course. I’m not stupid enough to put them in second place. After dealing with all the usual jobs I went back to carry on and became quite distracted by some of the mail. Kindness can catch me unawares sometimes. Before I knew it I heard the alarm go off, it was 8.30 am. That doesn’t mean he paid any heed to it of course other than rolling over and sleeping on his other side, but at least it gave me time to make his coffee. I took it through with a cheery “Morning Bro” then headed back to my desk knowing that was only the first of multiple calls. I only had a couple of messages to do so finished those before going back to ty again. The beggar was up and drinking his coffee already. I wonder if this is operant conditioning at work.

There was a brief discussion along the lines of “Where do you fancy going”?- “No, where do you fancy”? Repeat chorus a few times before we decided on the coastal town of Rhyl because Mike decided I might be able to start my Christmas shopping and find some of the more unusual items there. We left about 9.30 am and had quite an easy run without too much traffic on the roads. When we arrived in Rhyl we parked on top of a store in a car park that had an overhead covering of netting to discourage the seagulls which can make rather a mess of a clean car. We entered the precinct itself by way of a lift (elevator) and started looking round one of the larger shops. There were plenty of nice-but ordinary gifts around and nothing appealed.We left there and went to the covered market for a cuppa and a look round. Some dragons but nothing Mike liked enough to buy. The same problem in the next shop and the one after that was closed anyway. Mike needed the loo so I showed him the way. When he came out I was grumbling about a public loo that you have to pay to use. I don’t like that idea at all and was grumbling all the way to the next shop I showed him.

This time there was a dragon that interested him and I was able to get him a belt and a dragon buckle too. We did a couple more shops and still I was not inspired to buy anything except chocolates so we headed back to the car and left Rhyl behind us as we headed to The Ivy for a late lunch. It was very quiet in there when we arrived and we were able to talk to Tariq quite a lot. He made our drinks and tried to animate me with a double shot then took the order through to Shella who was cooking. No sooner had he done that than more people came in. Once they were sorted we carried on chatting until the meal came when he left us to eat in peace. As we finished Shella came through and she and Tariq stood and chatted with us for ages. It was as well the other guests were drinks only and not food. Eventually the time came to go and we headed home though we stopped outside Pauline’s first while I got milk and bread. Once home I made Mike a coffee and left him playing games on his phone while I came to do the mail which took until almost 5.00 pm. As I went through to the lounge there was a decidedly sarcastic cheer. He told me he’s here till the weekend as the car is booked in on Monday now.

It seemed to be quizzes, quizzes and more quizzes followed by 2 episodes of M.A.S.H. then a murder mystery starring Diana Rigg as the Investigator set in the 11920’s I think. At 9.00 pm there were moans as I deserted him to come back through here to deal with the accumulated mail and the blog. I hope to be in bed by midnight.

Wednesday. I think it was about 12.30 am when I turned my light off last night. I don’t suppose it was too long before I got to sleep having felt tired all day. I’m not sure how tired I was but I didn’t open my eyes this morning until..WAIT FOR IT…07.55 am. I knew I was in trouble and grabbing my dressing gown, just flew out of the bedroom. My bladder was reminding me how close I came to wetting the bed. As I reached the kitchen I saw the top of the tank begin to wobble and I could see all the snails formed into a pyramid with the sharp end at the bottom. the upper end was preparing to move the lid. Directing operations was the albino cory. I fumbled with the lid of the fish flakes and threw a couple of flakes in for the fantail and threw some plec food in for the rest. The pyramid slowly collapse without it’s grip upon the lid and the cory swam about trying to look innocent. It didn’t work. I knew who my nemesis was now.

Mike’s alarm went off a few minutes later and though I boiled a kettle up I didn’t prepare a drink. Instead I quickly rammed a pre-food pill down my throat and took the rest of my meds to keep me from being paranoid about the fish.I quickly ate some toast  and just as I finished, in walked Mike and handed me his dirty mug from the bedroom then headed for his chair. I went back to making his coffee and placed in in front of him where he could grope for it with his eyes closed and then went back to my bedroom via the loo. For the first time in living memory it was past 8.00 am and my computer wasn’t on. This could spell disaster for Western Civilisation (I use the word loosely ) this sudden breakdown in communication. Mind you it keep doctors in work as I’m liable to have a massive heart attack when I see how many there are. In actual fact there were only 68 at that point. I started to work while Mike gained consciousness and we got to debating the day’s itinerary. By 9.00 am the conversation had reached the same standard as yesterday’s. MIKE. ” Where do you want to go?”  ME “No, where do you want to go it’s your holiday?” When it comes down to it we spend so long arguing we never have time to go anywhere. In the end after remembering he promised we could go for a roast beef dinner today and me reminding him that Wednesday is games night we had to settle on just going in to Flint. Mike was looking for a mandolin but not of the musical variety unless there are some very adept chefs out there. I wanted a fold up chair I could use on games night when there are four of us playing. I at least was lucky though Mike did find some mandolins on ebay at my suggestion. We had a coffee at Temptations which was nice then came home to let me work for a while before lunch. He’s lucky to have got me out of the house really.

I worked till 12.30 pm then we set off for The Bells of St Mary which is a carvery I’ve mentioned before, usually before the Ivy opened though as we’ve not been there since then with the exception of my birthday when I had no say in the matter. We had a really nice dinner in there and came out full. Straight back home so I could carry on working at catch up, though I stood no chance. I worked from about 2.00 pm to almost 5.00 pm then went to watch TV with Mike till Dil and Matt arrived just before 6.00 pm. When they came I made drinks,  put the table up and brought out Balderdash as the first game. Some people’s ability to lie under pressure is immense which is why I lost by one point to  my own brother who deceived me. Next I brought out the Yahtzee  and that was an unmitigated disaster as Mike managed to get three in one game alone somehow giving him a score of 500+. There was no way I could compete with that and I think the Devil must have bought the souls of Dil and Matt too since I lost that too. Finally I got the cards out and set up for nomination which I actually won. YAY.

Dil and Matt left a little later than usual at almost 9.45 pm so Mike and I tidied up and I washed the post. I grabbed some biscuits and left Mike to make his own supper while I came and attacked the post. 131 pieces. Ouch. It took absolutely ages so I’m late doing this now. One piece was a real treat which I will share with you. It came top me under the heading ‘I will never let you down. you need help’ which was enough to ensure I opened it.

Dear David,I have sent you 5 or 6 mails proposing that you accept my totally free help without any commitment, but I have still not received your request and I will not deny that I am really beginning to worry.I feel that you will deprive yourself of my help when you really need it.  You are aware of the fact that I have enough experience to tell you that in life there are ups but there are mostly downs.  I myself have gone through tough times and I can quite understand why you are hesitating about accepting outside help to improve your life!However; you must understand that when a real opportunity to improve your life comes your way, you should not ignore it.   I am here to help you David, and to offer to you what no one else has ever been able to offer you: FAST, PRACTICAL AND EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS!I wish I could prove to you that all my years of experience are able to make all the difference and to help you effectively in all the areas of your choice (LOVE, HEALTH, MONEY, LUCK, SUCCESS, HAPPINESS… etc. .) but for that you must agree to my request free help by READING HERE!I am counting on you to ask for my FREE HELP WITH NO OBLIGATION before I can no longer accept any new requests for help (do not forget that I am working with a very limited number of people so that I can focus totally on the quality of my services!)READ HERE TO RECEIVE MY FREE HELP, TO BENEFIT FROM MY ADVICE AND MY EXPERIENCE, TO IMPROVE YOUR LIFE!

Sending you a big hug,

 

Annie
Your dear and loving Granny Annie

Why aren’t you all in bed?

Thursday. I’m really without any explanation of what’s happening at the moment. Today I woke at 7.04 am and cold panic got a grip on my heart, at least I think it was cold panic and not a bucket of water from the fish. Conscience got the better of me and I wandered through to feed them leaving scorch marks on the carpet.  I was sure they’d forgive me five minutes. As I turned the light on two of the heavy mob were attached to the glass no doubt watching me woith their beady eyes before reporting back to their boss’The Albino’. I wasted no time in feeding them. Backing away rapidly I took my tab and made myself a coffee. I didn’t feel like hanging around to make breakfast today somehow.

I went to work on the computer till 8.00 am coming across an even worse letter than yesterday…..

Hi dear,
It is my pleasure meeting you,
I am Ann Ben, I am a United State Army officer, from united state of America, am supportive and caring, looking forward to get a nice friend, I read your profile here in and pick interest on you,
Here is my email address I will introduce myself better and send you my picture as soon as i receive your mail
Ann

This leaves me very worried about the standard of Officer in the United States Army from the United States of America since English ( even the American way) doesn’t seem to be her first language. Is this bulwark against the rising threats against the World’s safety really in the hands of this woman. Personally I have an idea that a shock might be in store for me if I answered this and my poor shattered mind couldn’t cope with more explicit photographs. The real, thing maybe, but photographs NO. It probably took me a long time to do few messages because of laughing at this poor attempt to ensnare me. I wonder what would happen if I tried to say I was gay, would she/he pretend to be a man or be a man maybe? Maybe I should try asexual.

It was just gone 8.00 am and I heard Mike padding about. When I checked he’d gone to the loo so I went and put the kettle on. As soon as It boiled I nipped to his room to ask if he wanted it in the lounge or the bedroom ( his coffee I mean) and the beggar had gone back to sleep.Shrugging I went back to work and by 8.45 am I was actually up to date ( as long as I didn’t refresh). As I went to take my cup to the kitchen for washing Mike got up so I finished the coffee off and put it on his table in the lounge and came through to get myself ready for the day. Once I’d dried my eyes from checking the lottery I put my new jeans on and put fresh tears in my eyes as I leaned over with my new belt buckle on. ( Not the one I bought Mike on Tuesday). Back in the lounge we discussed where to go and settled on The Tweed Mill. Partly because it’s within the area so I won’t be too late and partly because Mike bought shoes on his last visit there and wanted to see if they still had them in red. Also, I wanted some new duvets and Mike suggested they’d be better sewn in squares so that the filling doesn’t disappear from the ends and The Tweed Mill sells bedding.

We were on our way about 9.45 am and arrived just after 10.00 am. We had a lovely surprise to see we’d chosen sale time to get there and a bit of a shock to find the red shoes were there but not in the sale. We had a general look round the gents section as the choice of clothes though expensive is great. Real Huntin’, Shootin’, Fishin’ stuff. I took a look at the bedding and found a nice quilt set for Yvonne, I’m fairly sure she’ll like it but the jury is still out on Ugo. Mike and I had a look at the duvets and many of them appeared to be channel sewn except for those at the £100 mark which were either duck or goose feather. I prefer something anti-allergenic. Finally we explained to the lady what I wanted and said I needed a double and a single. She came up with a single which was in two pieces for Summer or Winter weight and had the squares. It was £60 but in the sale TODAY, and the LAST ONE was £35.00. I don’t know what came over me but I agreed. The double which would be feather was £110. HOW MUCH???? I managed to refuse that on the grounds of it being feather so my bank manager might still talk to me rather than shout. We went for a coffee and a bacon sandwich to calm down. Then, because the building has changed a lot since our last visit decided to go upstairs ( The Ladies Dept) to see what they’re doing with all that space. Answer, they need more space because women always have more choice ! Though having said that there were some men,s jackets up there which Mike took a fancy too and chose one. Then I happened to see some shoes down from £60 to £10.99 that I quite liked ( didn’t need but quite liked) and some green shoes that Mike might like ( he did) so I bought my shoes and Mike left with shoes and jacket. I don’t know if he’ll ever forgive me and I think I now have more pairs than my niece Karen who has the reputation of being a shoe-aholic- she even had to have a cupboard specially built.

We left there and drove to The Ivy for lunch. Tariq had given Shella the day off and was doing the cooking and Angie was serving. It was quiet enough when we got there to be able to talk with him but as usual more people followed us in and he was banished to the kitchen. Mike was able to tease Angie as usual which made his day. When we’d eaten I left the money on the counter and we departed for home. Mike went on his laptop for something and I came to deal with mail. Curiosity made me look at ebay and I typed in the name and make of duvet that I’d bought and started running down the list of doubles. Mike came running when he heard the scream. Anything from £18.00 to £30.00 for the same thing in anti-allergenic 10.5 tog to 13.5 tog. If I’d had any tears left from the morning I’d have cried. I started work and stayed there until 6.00 pm when I went through to watch a quiz with Mike.He’d been on the phone with his daughter and then with his son so had missed the Antique show Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is. Lucky for me he knows how to work my catch-up box and we were able to go back and watch it. Not quite as good as a time machine, but close. I stayed until my usual 9.00 pm with him then came through to work on my messages.One from my friend Laurie showed what a genius he is behind a camera and also in charge ofa bucket at a sapphire mine where he did very well. It’s another late night so we’ll see how I get on at getting up tomorrow. Night all.

Addendum. Well, shock , horror. It’s now 2.35 am and I haven’t been to sleep yet and the paramedic has only just left. Not for me though but for Mike. We wuz robbed. It happened about 12.15 am when I had gone to bed to read and Mike was watching the TV in his bedroom. I heard a lot of shouting and swearing. Mike was obviously angry and upset. He was shouting “Get out” and “What d’you think you’re doing you b***ard.” I thought he was having a nightmare but then there was a lot of crashing about. Maybe he’s seen a mouse I thought, knowing he’s fixated on rodents. From Mike’s point of view, he’d just been watching Brother Cadfael when a hooded monk walks into the room. At first he thought it was a ghost and then decided it was me winding him up. It took moments for him to realise it was a very cheeky burglar and for the burglar to realise he’d walked into a hornet’s nest.As Mike started to get out of bed the man ran knocking over a few things and grabbing a couple of jewellery boxes, one of which he dropped. I flew in to make sure Mike was OK as the runt disappeared through the window in the lounge.

Mike had to call the police who sent someone round including a dog handler and a helicopter overhead. I checked the losses. For sure he’d stolen the silver piggy bank I deposit my loose silver in for Reuben but luckily there’s probably about £20 in it.He stole my watch box with five watches and a couple of medals but to be honest that was the most upsetting loss as it contained my favorite watch, a Fossil which Ju bought me in America, irreplaceable. He may have taken a few Crowns too but it looks like he missed Reuben’s coin collection. I can’t look until SOCO have been tomorrow. So, back to Mike, as I said he was obviously upset and his breathing was ragged and rapid which isn’t good. The Police took the details and sent for the paramedic. As it took nearly two hours before they arrived and the police had to go away to a disturbance elsewhere, we managed to get the breathing under control, and Mike fairly calm. They were thorough in checking him and said he was OK at home with me. Of course they couldn’t see me since I can’t talk to strangers. I seem to be beyond sleep at the moment and have been to trim my moustache twice. I have to try and tell Yvonne without upsetting or worrying her and she’s not the only one who I don’r want to tell either. I’ll fill you in on further developments tomorrow.

Friday. Well, I managed to sleep from 4.00 am to 6.00 am this morning. It took a long time for the tension to die down and poor Mike was reacting to every sound. He only slept from 5.00 am to 9.00 am though that may be partly my fault. When I got up I fed the fish early so they’d be in my debt and then made myself some toast after taking my meds. Since it was the day to fill my medicines up for the week it as almost 7.00 pm before I got back to start on the mail. Luckily it wasn’t too bad a I’d had a go at it at 2.00 am as part of my anti-sleep campaign which was quite a success. I was roughly up to date by 8.30 am so I got washed and dressed. As soon as 9.00 am arrived I went out to post the last post card to a friend and visit Pauline in the corner shop. I was surprised she hadn’t hear anything so I said nothing. Last night we were told SOCO or CSI as they’re now known don’t start work until 9.00 am so I was sure I’d be OK out at this time. However when I got back there was a man dusting the front window already. It seems he’d arrived early and had managed to waken Mike with a knock (on the door) and when I went in  Mike was with two police persons being interviewed again.Personally I think they suspect him and if it comes to that so do I. After all, I never saw the burglar. The male left to speak to my neighbours leaving the female Inspector behind. of course Mike was in his element now and no-one noticed me in my bedroom working.

Someone or other was there most of the morning so it was late before we were able to get out. I needed milk which I’d forgotten at Pauline’s and also a claim form for the insurance. They had no forms in the office in Holywell so they were going to arrange for one to come to me direct. I got some money from the bank (the legal way) and we went for lunch in town. I shan’t want to repeat the experience in that place and will go to Kassidy’s in future. When we headed for home I forgot the milk and had to call in at Pauline’s for it anyway. She still mentioned nothing and I was amazed. As we parked up two of my neighbours came up to chat then once in the hose two more visited in turn. One is going away and wanted to give me a kiss and a hug, the other, Bert, came to talk to us about the visit the police had made to him. Neither Mike nor I was too clear if he’d seen someone hanging around. ,Mike and I are sure now that there must have been two of them for the goods to have gone missing as the one he chased didn’t have time to stop and pick anything up. I wonder to if it wan’t a spur of the moment crime as it was so early but Mike thinks the police disagree and that someone has scouted the place and seen the lounge in darkness early because I am usually on the computer by 9.00 pm.

Visitors gone I left Mike in the lounge where I hope’s he’d sleep while I went to work for a while. Someone was coming at 4.15 pm to fit window alarms. On Monday they’re fitting window locks so they can be safely opened so far. I went through to the lounge about 3.00 pm and Mike was awake but after about ten minutes I wasn’t. I did revive for the visit to fit the alarms though.Mike and I had an antiques show and then some quizzes before I wen to get a shower at 7.00 pm. Mike had one after me and it was back to the quizzes again and a programme about a brewery. As usual at 9.00 pm I deserted him and came through to work. It’s been hard going today and I’ve an idea I might sleep tonight at the expense of the fish and my usual early start for shopping.  See you tomorrow.

Saturday. Isn’t it ridiculous. The times I’ve slept in this week and now I need it after Thursday night’s debacle I wake at 3.15 am. Still, as we’re shopping this morning maybe it’s as well to get my mail down to the minimum. During this batch I had a man who knows more about my life, especially my future, than I do and wants me to ask him for help. If he knows something really important why not tell me when he wrote? He could have saved a lot of faffing about. After much deliberation lasting oh, all of half a second, I won’t be writing to him. To be honest, and you may not believe me here,, but I wont be writing to ‘My’ Granny Annie either, since I’m well into my 60’s she’d have to be one of the undead to be my granny.

I’d actually finished (without refreshing) by 6.45 am and went through to the kitchen. I put the light on in the tank and even though it’s Saturday threw an algae wafer in for them. I took my meds, made myself a coffee and put some water in the kettle ready for Mike’s alarm. Second thoughts made me turn the kettle on and as I hadn’t heard the alarm when it boiled I took a drink through to him. I’d asked last night if he’s prefer to lie-in but he’d said no so I made sure he heard me announce the coffee was there. I received a very small groan. I’d gone back to working when I heard the alarm go off at 7.20 am and it rang and rang before being finally turned off. There was still no movement though so at half past I called out that the coffee was getting cold. The reaction was better but it was still a couple of minutes before I heard him go to the lounge. I finished up where I was and joined him or what there was of him because at that point he was definitely not all there. We were out of the house at 8.00 am after I’m made sure his eyes were actually open.

The shopping wasn’t too bad as I didn’t spend any time on children’s clothes this time, though I did check out the duvets. All of them seemed to be the channel sewn ones and Mike is adamant that it would be better to have the square sewn which keep the filling in place much better. Shopping done we were heading out of the store when Mike, who had just bought me a phrenology bust, also tried to pay for my cigarettes which resulted in a tussle at the till to the amusement of the staff. I won in case you’re wondering. We headed for Flint where I checked out some more bedding shops and also got some chocolates before we went for a coffee. We knew Ceri was still off so Trudy and Sian got our attention today. We had teasted toecakes so I could take the food tabs I should have taken if I’d eaten breakfast. Very nice they were. From there I picked up some ice-creams from the freezer shop and a couple of BFG’s one of which I thought we’d have eaten tonight but didn’t so I’ll ask Mike to take it home tomorrow. Just don’t tell him OK? At home we unpacked and Mike defrosted the freezer (with an axe) and put the stuff away which had conveniently landed by his foot. Then he did Julia’s flowers for me while I came back to the computer.

At about 1.00 pm there were just a few messages left when Mike stuck his head in to see about lunch. I came away, picked up some chocolates and we left for The Ivy. Tariq was actually in the carpark when we arrived putting new posts up so we had a chat before going in to see everyone. Angie made us drinks and introduced us to a young man who is working as a waiter. We ordered lunch had a great conversation with Angie as  we ate then Shella came out to see us. She handed me a piece of paper and I thought she was politely asking us to leave ( Mike’s fault of course) but instead it was an invitation to a party and their home address. The conversation got round to the burglary and we had to recount the comedy for them all. To be honest it’s not easy applying humour to the situation as Mike is quite badly shaken and I’m not as confident as I seem.

We were home about 3.45 pm  and it was back on the computer for me trying hard to catch up before 6.00 pm so I could sit with Mike for a few hours. I made it with ten minutes to spare. It was during our viewing that the adverts came on and I saw someone using a tablet. I immediately wondered how much charge was on mine and went to pick it up. Of course that’s another item he waltzed off with on Thursday night the little toerag.I’d not long had it and fitted a memory card to it too. I’m steaming about this. At 9.15 pm I came through for the last assault on the mail and to clear the blog. I hope you’ve all had a good week with a better one to come. Hugs all round.

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Confronted by a Ghost & 4 Wheel Drive

Sunday. I’d like to say Sunday dawned bright and early as usual. I’d like to but I can’t. It was 5.43 am when I opened my eyes this morning.I grant you last night had been fairly late but even so……… Anyway, there wasn’t much danger of me having company at that time so after my visit to the loo I attacked the emails with gusto It was lovely to see so many nice comments on last night’s blog but it’s ridiculous how many people visit to drool over pictures of Reuben rather than gasp at my literary genius. I broke off at 7.00 am to see to the fish who were behaving perfectly normal ( for fish) today as though they’re perfectly normal fish.I had my meds, avoided breakfast and took a drink back to my room to carry on working.

I was almost nicely up to date by 9.00 m when I heard a few sounds that made me think Mike might be surfacing. I was on my way to stick the kettle on ( it didn’t suit me) when I heard a thud, ” Oaf” I called out. He agreed. I put the water on to boil and by the time he came through a coffee was ready. Id been a little worried yesterday when Mike complained of a pain running down his arm. Naturally he’s too stubborn to do anything about it and since he said he felt fine this morning, we’d be putting some stuff in the loft. I’m quite happy to wait but he’d brook no argument. So after his coffee we both headed off to get dressed then I joined him in his room to remove Ju’s craft drawers so we’d be able to move a chest of drawers to create a bigger gap for a bigger bookshelf than the midget I bought recently. This time I’ve gone for a 6 foot one.

I got the ladders out and with a toss of his double-headed coin Mike decided he was going up in the loft. I could do the passing. That’s the way it worked and everything was soon away. Then it came to opening the flatpack shelves. What I expected to be fairly easy was anything but and because of the size. we were working in a cramped space in the hallway. This is probably the only time you’ll here me say I had difficulty having a screw and Casanova, well even he didn’t find it easy.One very uncomfortable feeling of numbness down my right arm and one wonderful angina attack later we were done and the new shelves were in place.Back up went the Pratchetts and soon my books from the second loft can come down to join them. My Grishams, my Harlan Cobens and other treats I hope are there.

By now we’d reached lunchtime and grabbed a box of chocolates to take before we shot out of the door. Half way to the car I remembered I’d no cigarettes and Mike went back to get me some. He was still at the car before me. We had a nice run to the Ivy which wasn’t too busy. No fighting for our seats anyway. Angie seemed pleased to see us and started making our drinks straight away. There was no sign of Tariq who was in the kitchen again but we’s noticed on the way in that there were new post holes for fencing the entrance on the opposite side to yesterday. When he eventually came through to deliver a meal he called “Hi guys” then proceeded to tease Mike asking if he’s brought the broken bit of his bookcase to be done. He knew Mike couldn’t have been home yet. Everytime he passed, he asked.

These are the bookshelves which gave Mike the idea for his. They're massive.

These are the bookshelves which gave Mike the idea for his. They’re massive.

Mike is looking forward to getting his considerable dragon collection on display soon. My shelves are far more prosaic as befits an adult……….. No doubt I’ll pay for that.

After a relaxed lunch much of which I had a headache during we headed home again.Mike knew I was itching to get to work. I would just leave him relaxing till I’d done. This week he’s staying tonight and going to his Dad’s tomorrow. At about 5.30 pm I went through and made some tea followed by BFG, no wonder he wanted to stay over. Then I stayed and kept him company through a couple of programmes. We were watching an old episode of MASH when his phone went off. It was his sister saying his Dad is ill and she was calling an ambulance. Mike had to go. I just asked him to take care and not race there. I came through to start work again and I’m hoping for a text with news soon. Hugs to you all.

Monday. I didn’t sleep well last night waiting for a text from Mike about his Dad. He’s told me he didn’t want to disturb me in case I was asleep. It seems it was 1.30 am before Mike’s Dad was admitted to a ward and so about 2.00 am before Mike got to his Dad’s to go to sleep, but couldn’t. So he sits there awake and I sit here awake and we can’t text to each other. I’d been laying on the bed and had dozed a bit but at 3.57 am I was awake and ready to go. I just started on the messages with a glance to check I hadn’t missed a text once in a while. By 7.00 am I was doing quite well, winning I thought, and was able to excuse myself from the computer ( yes, I always tell my wife where I’m going and the computer too, I don’t want GCHQ to miss anything). The fish were first and after I’d dropped food in I noticed the albino corydorus wasn’t making any movement at all, I always watch for the rise and fall of the gills and watch the mouth for movement. This tight-lipped little beggar was giving nothing away, he’s finally died on me. At least I knew he’d had a good life and died of old age. I was really sad and not wanting the others to nibble on him I went to get a net to remove the corpse. When I got back, no corpse. I was freaked until I saw him in a different corner acting completely normally. He’d just been having a breath holding competition with the plecs. Annoying little so and so.

I had toast this morning after my meds and then took a coffee back as usual. Knowing Mike would have had a late night ( and he never has an early morning) I still didn’t want to text so I worked until 9.00 am, got washed and dressed and took my prescription request to the chemist. I was lucky that my outing (which included Pauline’s for baps) missed two of the biggest showers . I was practically dry when I got back in. I would have been fully dry had I not stopped when Gwyneth wanted to talk about the weather. Back in the house I risked a text and eventually got the response that Dad was still in for observations and that Mike might be back here after visiting this evening. I’m not so sure that’s a good idea as it’s quite a journey again for him. About 11.00 am I was fully up to date with mail and decided to sit in the lounge ( Yes, OK, I wanted a kip) but decided that the time was right to go in the second loft and pull out the books. I gave myself quite a start when I went up and shone the torch around and found Julia’s ghost staring back at me. It took me moments to realise it was the large oil painting I’d had done of her. She wasn’t keen on it. Firstly let me say it was from China and therefore not overly expensive, and also let me say that the artist really made the face instantly recognisable. It was very well done. BUT, I’d asked for the picture to be done in a certain style (which it was) and the artist had decided to paint Ju’s face onto an existing canvas and though I didn’t notice at first had left part of the hair of the face underneath coming out from beneath Ju’s own, and they’re different colours. I know a competent artist could do a repair job easily as there’s very little where it’s wrong but once you’ve seen it your eyes are drawn to it.

Anyway, I got all the books down along with a large clock still in it’s box that I must have bought at some time. I closed the loft and put away the ladders. I was out of breath. My phone rang. It was Mike and knowing it wasn’t a stranger and might have been important I answered. The first thing I got was a bollocking because I was out of breath and another one when it didn’t immediately return to normal. My story of being on the loo and rushing to him didn’t hold water. He told me what’s happening with Dad and how he’s feeling. Lucky for me I did more listening than talking. When he’d finished I went and made lunch (Yes, I remembered my tablet first) one of the dreaded microwave cottage pies. It was OK and I had it watching Bargain Hunt. The minute that was over I washed my fork and went to start putting the books on the shelves. Much better now and the lighter choice of colour makes the room look bigger. As if he didn’t already have the biggest room.

I did some more emails to keep on top of it and went through for forty winks. Mike texted me to let me know they’re sending Dad home but he has to stay and speak to a care team anyway. He may be back late tonight after he’s settled his Dad as there isn’t a spare bedroom and he hates the couch. At 5.30 pm I went for some trifle and sat with a couple of quizzes.At 7..00 pm I turned off and came through to make a real effort with the post. I’m off to see my grandson tomorrow. The post has been steady and has kept me going all evening so I’m writing this a little early o it’s on.

Tuesday. 4.02 am saw me starting on the post so I’d be finished in time to leave for the bus. At 6.00 am I broke off long enough to feed the wee fishes (there are times I wish I had a cat), take  my meds and have a toasted bap. Making sure the fish were all present and correct this morning so I could keep my heart rate down, I was able to take my drink through to the bedroom. The next message I opened started “Dearest One, I have tracked you down through my online contacts. I live in the beautiful Island of Indonesia and wish to seek closeness between us” I didn’t need to read anymore as my heart rate was already rising. The last one of these I had was more graphic than the most explicit novel. In the sin bin it went and I carried on. By 7.20 am I was clear and able to get my coat and backpack on ready to go. I was carrying some gifts for Reuben’s birthday in the backpack but had a carrier full of treats for Yvonne as well.

The weather wasn’t very good this morning. It had been raining but mercifully that had eased but it was quite cool. I was glad I’d chosen a leather jacket. The bus arrived shortly after I did so the wait was nothing and we set off pretty much straight away too. I hardly noticed the journey as I kept my eyes close for much of it but any  thoughts of nodding off were soon thrown out the window as it wasn’t the smoothest of journeys. These buses are rejects from an Irish company before coming here. Anyway I arrived safely and walked to a shop to find a thick black marker pen Yvonne had asked for. Looking round I also found a wooden penny whistle in the shape of a caterpillar that Reuben can annoy everyone with when he learns to blow. In the meantime he can play with a little wooden helicopter. I walked to their house where I found Yvonne has shingles and won’t be in work. Reuben saw me come in and his little face broke out in a smile. “He does love his Pops” said Yvonne while Reuben and I knew he really just saw his victim returning.

Sitting in the lounge with my cuppa Yvonne told him to walk to me. Holding her hand for support he started in my direction then taking my hand, finished the journey. A knock on the knee with the toy he was carrying set the tone of the day. I lifted him up on my lap and my glasses almost went. In has case the hand is almost quicker than the eye. Later on at lunch we had bangers and mash. He was fine with the sausages but no sooner had the mash gone in than it was out again. I think he was starting to get tired, I know I was. About 2.30 pm I said it was time I left to catch my bus and Yvonne said she’d walk part way with me for the fresh air. The minute we were out of the door he was asleep.I missed my 3.00 pm quick bus and decided to catch the slower one at 3.30 pm only for some reason it didn’t arrive until almost 3.50 pm. We were part of the way home and the quick bus from 4.00 pm passed us. I didn’t get in till 5.00 pm and had to go straight into messages (173) to get the numbers down. I was there till 8.30 pm without a break. I did get a text from Mike to say he was on his way back from his dad’s. He arrived at 9.30 pm and brought me up to date on dad’s health and what shopping he’d done with him and for him. At 10.30 pm I excused myself to come and see to the blog and any new messages in my mailbox. It’s nice to have Mike back but I could do with some normality now.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVweiOfGJ5A

Wednesday. 4.04 am . An extra two minutes is what I get despite being half an hour later to bed, or to sleep at least. Still at least it meant I could be finished or close to by the time Mike gets up. By all the heavens, it looks like Burkino Faso is awake this morning, or at least all the bank managers with millions of deceased customers money are. Three separate messages, three different names ( who all call me Dear) want to make me rich again. I’ve decided the odds are still better with the lottery and didn’t reply. Judging by he number of messages I’ve had over the last six months alone I reckon every other building in Nigeria and in Burkino Faso must be a bank and they all have some very careless clients who die intestate.

6.45 am seemed an appropriate place to take a break and feed the fish. I’d just answered a long personal email and could see the next few were all going to be immediate deletions.  I turned the tank light on and my fantailed guppy swam straight to the front with it’s ‘Feed Me’ expression. I couldn’t see the others so they were either in conference or were hiding and the guppy was the distraction. I put a little food in and backed away. No way was I going to turn round and just walk away that close to the tank. I may be a coward but at least I’m a live one. I took my pre-food tablet  and then the rest of my morning meds, smoked a cigarette to gauge the time before putting my toast under and made myself a coffee. It was too early to worry about Mike yet. Toast eaten, I took my apres-food tabs with my coffee and then took the drink through to restart the mail. At just gone 8.00 am I heard Mike’s alarm go off and then the patter of tiny feet.I broke off from what I was doing o make his first coffee and then came back to finish the last few before going to sit with him.

I’ve no idea what we talked about except that it made the time go quickly and before I knew it, it was nine o’clock gone. I excused myself and went to get dressed. A couple of minutes later Mike headed in the direction of his room to do the same. We started the day by taking down my winter weight curtains from the lounge ( yes, I know it’s a bit late to be thinking of it) and putting up a new pair I’d bought some months ago when I’d been visiting Yvonne. When I say some months, it could have been as far back as last January knowing me. They’re a nice plum coloured silk with a 90″ drop.

I think it was on Monday I’d found a photograph of my aunt as a Rose Queen that I’d been looking for. It was in one of the drawers of the coffee table. This was the first of three pictures I wanted up on the wall that I had a gap for. I wanted two horizontal ones  of which her picture was one, and one portrait one. I asked Mike to help me look through some discs to find two other suitable pictures. He sat on my bed while we went through two discs of my family ones and it was funny to keep constantly hearing “Who’s that” in  my ear even though he knew many of the people.It took some time but in the end we chose for some reason a picture of my father standing with a friend (I have no idea who) and a picture of my paternal grandparents which we cropped from a picture showing three couples together. I confess I’d probably have cropped even further if Mike had let me since I liked my grandfather but couldn’t stand my paternal grandmother whom I’d nicknamed Crowbait quite early on and it was a name that stuck with most of my generation and those that came after. I’ve never met such a material person in my life before or since though some have come close but I’m not related to those. Knowing how shaky my hands are Mike took over the trimming and placed all the pictures in the frames.

It was lunchtime. We put aside the work and took a drive down to The Ivy to convince Tariq he’d lost a few days and today was Saturday.There were only a couple of customers in so our seats were free. We even got to say “Hi “to Tariq before the floodgates opened and half the population of the local holiday camp walked in. The awful weather must have brought them in. The rest of the seats filled up quickly. As soon as he’s made and delivered our drinks we gave Tariq the order. From that point on his feet never touched the ground. Mike and I carried dirty dishes from tables through to the kitchen as Tariq didn’t have chance and the only other person in was Shella who was doing the cooking. Mike was even helping to deliver the food she cooked until ours arrived. When we finished eating we carried our dishes through to the kitchen and cleaned the table for whoever came after us. Things seemed to be easing a bit but Mike still carried on tidying up. Eventually we were able to say our goodbyes and come home.

I had to hit the computer straight away of course but Mike put up the three pictures we’d done and very kindly he didn’t fall off the ladder. Mind you, at one point I almost pushed him off the ladder. I received an email saying Julia Bonner has retweeted a tweet of yours. I felt the colour drain from my face as Bonner was Julia’s maiden name. Do you get the feeling she’s haunting me at the moment? I staggered through to the lounge and gripped the ladders which were on a laminate surface so it moved across the floor with Mike aboard.When he’d finished cursing me, the poor lad had to comfort me. Soon enough I was able to go back and open the message which showed a very pleasant looking lady who definitely wasn’t my wife.

Lee couldn’t come again today but Dil and Matt arrived around 5.30 pm and after I’d made drinks we set up to play. Yahtzee came first and I started to think I had the equivalent of Yahtzee B.O. since everyone had one ( or in Dil’s case two) except me. By the time we finished 6 games I’d had one Yahtzee and everyone else at least four. Dil was triumphant. Then I’d set up for Nomination and what a struggle that was. Matt started so well with each of his first 7 calls scoring. It became a race between Matt and I and then trailing behind, between Dil and Mike. At the end of the game Matt was one point ahead of me and way behind us, Mike was one point ahead of Dil.  I was devastated not to have won a game and slammed the front door behind them as they left and to think I’d even bought new biscuits for Matt and this is the thanks I get.

I’d warned Mike that once the game was over he wouldn’t see me for dust as I came through to do the blog and to catch up on mail so I left him quite happily catching up on episodes of The 100 he’d missed.

Thursday. You’re not going to believe this but it was 6.43 today. When I realised, I was almost at panic stations. I didn’t dare waste time turning the computer on so I went to the loo and then straight to the kitchen. The fish got their food flung at then and I swear they could have been sharks ion there and I wouldn’t have noticed. No time for breakfast today, I rammed my meds down, snatched my coffee off the machine and legged it back to my room. Before I dared look at emails I did my banking , making sure I could eat for another week without gnawing on the carpet and checked when my next pension is due. Convinced I can survive another week I finally opened both my email boxes. Ouch, one hundred and flipping thirty seven times. I started in on it. Mike said we’re going out this morning but I imagine I’ll have time to do a bit before he gets up.

I’m not sure what time Mike’s alarm went off but I knew he’d ignore it and I wasn’t going to wake him with a coffee ( not today anyway). Some time later I heard him padding about and he appeared in my doorway saying he thought I was asleep as he couldn’t hear anything, as though you can hear a genius at work, cheek! I went and made his coffee anyway and then came and got dressed. The numbers had gone right down when Mike was ready to go out so I was able to close down and get my coat on. The day was dismal again but not as bad as it has been. We had a 45 minute journey to Wrexham the birthplace of Eliyhu Yale who founded Yale University in the U.S.  It’s years since either of us has been shopping there and we felt like a change. I was able to tell Mike that when I’d last been there MuJo had shown Ju and I where to park, beside a central bus station. He knew the place and we pulled into a parking spot.It was then we saw a sign saying the places were reserved for users of Wrexham Shopmobility. I thought we’d get away with it as long as my blue badge was displayed but as we got out of the car a voice called “Are you coming here?” Looking round there was a woman standing in the doorway of shopmobility. Caught! I did the only thing I could and answered “Yes.” As I’m not a member I had to sign up (free) but also spend 20 minutes on induction. Then I didn’t have the necessary two proofs of I/D with me and had to promise to bring the second one on my next visit ( in another two years or so). Then I was given a four wheel motorised monster to take me round the shops. How embarrassing.. It did however have quite a turn of speed when turned up so I could get away from Mike if he threatened me. I had to keep alternating between hare and tortoise as people just walk in front of you and like any vehicle, it’s always the drivers fault.

We had a look round a few shops and made a few purchases. It was great that there was a large bag attached to the back as well as a basket at the front. It was hard to remember to take the contents of the bag into consideration when backing up. In one shop there was the beeping sound of reverse followed by the CRUMP of me hitting a pile of cardboard boxes filled with stock to refill the shelves. Some dented loorolls now. We went into Wrexham’s oldest pub for lunch and I had to park up outside, all the time worried it wouldn’t be there when I came out…but it was. We enjoyed a passable lunch and then started on some more shops as part of this expedition. After a while we stopped for a cuppa and the sun started to come out. We took a leisurely walk ( and roll) back to return the scooter and set off home. It was 3.30 pm before we got back. I made Mike a coffee and promised I’d join him for quiz time at 6.00 pm. Then I came through to assess the damage. At least it hadn’t reached 200 but another half hour and it would have done I’m sure. By the time 6.00 pm came round I was down to perhaps a dozen plus some that contained photographs of Reuben’s birthday with his Mum and Dad ( I’ll see him Sunday).

We watched 2 quizzes , 2 episodes of M.A.S.H. then turned TV off and had a game until what was supposed to be 9.00 pm but was actually quarter past when I came back through for the regular nightly session. I’ve abandoned the mail now for the night so that I could get this done. We’re doing the shopping tomorrow as Mike is going home until Sunday.

Happy 1st Birthday Reuben

Happy 1st Birthday Reuben

All Aboard the Birthday Special..

All Aboard the Birthday Special..

 

 

 

Friday. Still OK today at 4.55 am. I went to the loo and there was so much groaning from Mike’s bedroom I thought he was having one of them ‘organism’ thingies I’ve heard about, either that or a cheese nightmare. I could tell he wasn’t ill so I kindly let him sleep on while I went into battle. ‘I can see the things coming in your future’ said the email from Gypsy Rose hands in my pocket. Well, I bet she can’t forsee the mousetrap I put at the bottom. It’s not that I don’t actually believe in the power to see the future, after all, plenty of people have made predictions that came true from premonitions they had. It’s just that most of them don’t write to random people to try and sell the information. It was just before 6.00 am  when Mike suddenly shouted me. It sounded bad so I almost ran there. Not a flicker, still sleeping and obviously dreaming, meanwhile my heart was going like the clappers. I almost woke him out of spite but I was still enjoying the peace and quiet too much.

At 6.45 am I went through to the kitchen to feed the tribe and to take my meds. I didn’t have time to do the tablets for the week just then but knew I could do them after shopping if needs be. This morning’s batch were in there anyway.I decided against breakfast and just made my drink and boiled the kettle ready for Mike’s. Odd though, at 7.00 am his alarm didn’t go off. I bet he’d forgotten about the shopping so I made a coffee and took it through. I got him to acknowledge the coffee was there and then left to collect my drink to take to the bedroom to carry on working. I knew he’d fall asleep straight away, so instead of leaving him for 10-15 minutes and reminding him, as I passed his door I leaned in and shouted “Mike, don’t forget your coffee, it’s going cold.” Strictly true, but unlikely to have cooled much in the 30 seconds since I placed it there. This second call ( more of a revenge screech really) actually moved him because a minute or two later I heard him moving about. Heck, 7.15 am and he’s up !!!! I was quickly finished with the emails apart from 3 that required longer answers so I got washed and dressed and was able to join him in the lounge.

We were actually leaving the house before 7.45 am and it was still 2 minutes before 8.00 am as we drew into the Supermarket. or the car park anyway. My gast was flabbered. We were able to take a reasonably slow walk round without any crowds though I didn’t have a great deal on my list with Mike going home today. I did stock up on my pop and bought a pair of jeans I didn’t really need as well as a treat for Reuben’s birthday party on Sunday. Some micro meals, bread, milk and some yoghurts. I can’t remember much else. We were out of there just after 9.00 am and heading for Flint. Mike needed a bank to get some change ready for the car boot he’s doing tomorrow with my nephew Anton. I’m actually smirking at this moment as I just had a text from him to say it’s a 4.30 am start and I’m trying to imagine Anton getting him moving at that time. Not that I don’t pity Anton you understand. Anyway, we reached Flint a few minutes before the banks were open but Mike got out of the car in the rain to try and then came back cursing that they don’t open at 9.00 am. He says he’s never known a time they don’t open at 9.00 am while I’m struggling to ever remember a time they did. Building Societies where he has his account are different.

He got the change he needed and we drove round towards Temptations, first going to Homies to get some chocolates to take in. We knew Ceri wouldn’t be in as she told us last Saturday she was finishing yesterday for 10 days holiday. Mike’s not yet over the thought of her doing some of the activities she mentioned she’s expected to do like tramampolining….. Sian was on the counter when we went in so he had someone else to occupy his thoughts while I ordered the drinks and handed over the chocolates and the money. Then it was my turn to nip to the loo while Mike drooled over Sian and carried the drinks to the table. It was as well I hadn’t bothered with breakfast as we decided to have teasted toecakes with our drinks. It was a nice interlude.

We drove home and unpacked the shopping. I made Mike a coffee while I sorted the tablet container for the next week and then went on the computer. I was fairly certain Mike would be leaving soon. Instead time just carried on until about midday he came through to see what I wanted to do. He said he needn’t leave until after lunch so we got our coats on and headed off to see Tariq since we wouldn’t see him all weekend. It was nice and we were able to tease and insult Tariq today without the recent crowds. Mike decided to have the foot long hot dog and I went for some bacon sandwiches and a bucket of chips ( big mistake). It seems Mike had eaten two custard doughnuts while having his coffee at home, and I’d eaten a jam one while doing my tablets. We both struggled to finish lunch. I had hardly any of the chips and Mike had none though he’ll probably say that’s because he received death threats should he dare touch them. Mike flirted with Gail ( Shella’s lovely Mum) then we said goodbye to them all and drove home feeling bloated. Mike left not long after that .

I came through to work about 2.00pm and stayed until 4.00 pm when there was a quiz I wanted to see. Back in at 5.00 pm and then back to see two more at 6.00 pm. I only saw the first and then zonked for an hour. At 7.30 pm I had a shower and then apart from going to take my night tabs have been here ever since. It’s time now to have one last check on the mail before bed.

The Alien.

The Alien.

Saturday.I made a 5.08 am entrance on the World today.It could have been earlier as I’d been up at both 1.30 am and 3.10 am but managed to persuade myself to go back. Especially as I’m not shopping this morning.  Shame really as I’d like some more dark choc ices now I haven’t got any. I think I’m a bit depressed too at not being able to plot evil ways to force Mike out of bed. I started on the mail and one of the first was a direct tweet to me.”I’ve sent you a photo ” it said. I didn’t know the person and don’t normally open things like that but maybe I needed a jolt. I certainly got it! The woman must be very poor as she couldn’t afford clothes. I feel for her, which is perhaps not what I’d be doing if she were here. Heavens I could have saved myself the price of two new pillows this week if I’d known she was around. Still, as Mike would remind me, I mustn’t touch what I can’t afford. I hit delete!

I took a break at 7.00 pm to feed the circling sharks, to take my meds and to have breakfast.I put two pieces of crusty bread in the toaster then took all the rubbish bins and bags out. Came back, washed my hands, lit a cigarette and when I was halfway through I pressed the toaster to start. At the same time I set the machine to give me a cup of Columbian coffee. Once the toast was gone and I’d taken my after food meds, I took my coffee back to the bedroom to battle on. It’s always a pleasure reading through some of my favorite blogs at the weekend and today was no exception. I’d read through bout a dozen when there was another tweet message which I realised was from the same person again. You’ll have to take my word for it that I deleted it without looking in case I went blind. No, I didn’t even risk one eye. I’m not sure how many pairs of lips I should be introduced too on such short acquaintance.

I worked steadily all morning without a break, except for where I nodded off over the keyboard. If I go out later, people will wonder why I have FV,TGB,YHN,UJM IK pressed backwards into my forehead. Perhaps they’ll think it’s Cyrillic and my name. For lunch I had a lamb hot pot. They claimed on the box it feeds one. I can’t actually argue the point as they weren’t species specific, but at least we can rule out human. I followed it up with a piece of lemon meringue pie. That proved a disappointment too. The box was over 2″ deep giving the impression of a deep pie but believe me when I say more than half the box was fresh air. I will admit there was nothing wrong with the taste though. Bottom lip protruding I washed the pots and then went back to bring my mail up to date. About 3.00 pm I got a text from Mike, his usual ‘On Way’. I just answered ‘See you about 6″ and carried on working. It was a bit of a shock therefore when the door opened and in he walked at 4.00 pm. He was already well on his way when he texted me. If only I’d locked the door I could have made him sit in the car for 2 hours.

I finished the message I was doing and went through to make him a coffee.While he drank he told me how nice the weather had been this morning and how well he and Anton had done at the car boot. They took a lot less home than they started with. Also, Anton had showed him a different route to get here which he thinks will shave a bit off his time. We watched a bit of TV till 6.00 pm when I excused myself to come here to try and keep the post to a minimum. As soon as 7.00 pm arrived I dropped everything and went through to watch Lewis with him. We snacked on some malt bread as he didn’t feel like a meal. Once 9.00 pm arrived and the programme was over it was time to say goodnight and leg it in here to catch up. I’ve a few messages still to go but for once I should manage an early night.

photo 1 (2)photo 2 (2)

 

Sorry but I couldn’t resist putting this one on….have patience. By the way, Wales is NOT in England.

Hugs to you all.

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Smugness Defeated & The Toastie Tenors.

Sunday, I was sure it wasn’t an auspicious start to the day when I didn’t rise until 5.30 am. Sundays I never mind the early start because of the blog comments that give me pleasure (usually). This morning was no exception but there weren’t too many though they gathered pace as the day went on. At 7.00 am I went to feed the fish but like most Sundays I was being ignored because of their privations the day before. I always wonder if they hold meetings when the light goes off on a Saturday night to see how they’ll react in the morning or whether they all independently come to the same reaction towards me. Maybe they all get high on air and have Sunday hangovers? I took my coffee back to the bedroom bypassing Mike’s room where he was busy with a jackhammer I think. No way I was going to get any response that I could write about on a family blog so I didn’t even try. The sun might be shining but there’s been no mention of a car boot sale. I carried on working steadily keeping apace with new messages until about 9.00 am when I decided to get washed and dressed. I slammed the loo seat a few times for effect but all that got me was a leak and a headache. I decided to have another go at my new app. I need to get the pictures I change on the computer to transfer to my desktop as a jpeg file. Personally I think the fish own this app and have sorted it to thwart me at every turn. I will not be beaten!  Eventually I was beaten. Time to make Mike a coffee and see if I can get him to move. I took it through and put it on the bedside cabinet and said “Coffee’s up bro, it’s cowboy time”. *                                                                                                                                      * For those who don’t know, Cowboy time is Ten to Ten. Just listen to the William Tell Overture or The Lone Ranger theme and you’ll see why. Ten to ten to ten to ten, etc. There was no immediate movement but I’d lit the blue touch paper so it was time to retire. It must have sunk in because he joined me in the lounge about five minutes later. I returned to my pit to do some printing to fill three frames I bought yesterday. Then as I took them through I assessed him to see whether he was awake or not before asking a favour. I needed more ink and more photo paper. He said OK though it didn’t change his speed one iota and it was 11.00 am before we got out. We ended up going to the Argos in Flint where the inks were at least £1 cheaper each and the paper was a bogof offer. Magic. We had a look in a Supermarket just to check prices and I found a sale on nice gifts for Yvonne. On the way in I jokingly told Mike I was having trouble with the forecasted rain ( sarcasm dripping from my chin) since it was so hot. He made a cutting my throat gesture to say don’t wish it on us. When we came out the seats were wet and he looked daggers- nay , full bladed broadswords at me. We headed off for lunch. There were a few cars parked at the Ivy but not so many people inside. Things did improve despite our presence though. Tariq came for his usual hugs, at least I convinced someone how important they are. He made our drinks while we checked the menu so that we were ready to order as the drinks arrived. Angie waved hello from behind the counter and thanked us for the chocolates and Shella passed by waving as she did so which was quite remarkable carrying two bowls of soup. There was a woman at the next table bewailing the portents to her partner, ” I feel doom approaching. The gathering storm is bringing strife…”                                                      “Oh you were expecting my brother then” I said earning myself two glares, one from her and one from the person kicking my shins. The meal arrived and it was lovely.   He can’t have had more chips than me as I suspected because we finished at the same time and then went out for a cigarette. When we came back in there was a piece of lemon meringue pie in my spot. Mike had ordered it before we left knowing that if he wasn’t having a pudding I wouldn’t bother. I didn’t really want it but it would have been so rude of me to refuse at that stage wouldn’t it. As we were about to leave I went to pay and was prepared for the usual argy bargy with Tariq but another customer chose that moment to pay so I was able to leave the money on the counter and make my escape. Mike drove me home and then left on the next stage of his homeward journey and I settled at the computer to catch up on 5 hours worth of messages. I broke off at 6.00 pm to have some toast to take my next tablets with and watched part of a film. An advert came on to remind me to watch The Nation’s Favourite Motown Song at 9.00 pm. As a big lover of my Motown I didn’t want to miss that that I came back through to catch up on mail until then. The answer not unexpectedly was Heard it Through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye but I was disappointed at the choice of presenter of the programme  and that they played so few songs in the hour and a half it was on, less far too many interruptions for adverts. There will never be another phenomenon like Motown I’m sure. And the nicest thing for me was some of the artists saying how much they loved the UK because they were always greeted by crowds who didn’t seem to notice their colour. Did they have one?

'Brother' Mike

‘Brother’ Mike

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday. I’d finished the first batch of mail by 6.10 am and decided to go through to the lounge. The minute I got there I knew I should have stayed where I was and tried to master the complexities of this phone and the app on this phone. Over the weekend we’d worked out that I could send emails to myself of the pictures I changed if I was actually close to the computer at the time. I had the perfect way of finding out. I took a picture of the newly completed photo wall at home and decided to send that to Yvonne who hasn’t seen it. She wouldn’t be able to make out the individual pictures but would have an idea of how it looked. Where in the past I’d have had a tape measure to make sure things were evenly spaced and everything would be about balance, now I’ve thrown off ( well OK , stored tidily in a drawer) the OCD yoke and gone for a completely random structure.

Photo wall

Photo wall

I went through to the bedroom and sent myself the pictures. Whilst I was waiting and as it was now 7.00 am I decided to feed the fish and follow the usual routines. Before leaving the kitchen with my coffee I put a load of washing on, due out at 08.30 am. That done I went to check the emails. Plenty there to answer but nothimng from me to me on either email address. I decided to be patient because I know nothing about replastering walls, and settled to clearing the messages in my box. I’d done just before 8.30 am so I went to turn the drier on so the stuff would be ready for me to fold about midday. Then I got dressed and took my repeat prescription request to the chemist. The post had arrived as I got back, still no final parcel from China, still nothing from the ebay purchase of the dragon clock though that’s no surprise. What I did have was an invitation from British  Telecom to go on fibre optic broadband for a bargain sum for 6 months and then roughly what I pay now. Such a shame I’m tied into a 2 year contract with this supplier. I ran the hoover round and found myself getting less my usual calm self when it was picking up on some surfaces but not others. It made the job so much harder than it needs be. I really must see about getting a Mrs Mop to help me out. After putting the hoover away calling it’ legitimacy into question I went back on the computer. Instead of tackling the mounting mail I started playing around with frames, animal faces and changing pictures into watercolours. I quite liked the effect. There was one  effect for an antique oil painting but I wasn’t too taken with that.
Beloved nephew Christmas Tree

Watercolour Wedding

Watercolour Wedding

pussy mike                                                                                                                     Almost Human.

 

 

I was having a lot of fun and losing track of the time. I admonished myself and started on the mail. There were plenty more comments on this weeks blog which was nice and I hope I repaid some of that kindness by tweeting blogs and books and commenting on blogs too. I worked out that my tweets have the potential to hit 3000 followers, but if just 10 of them tweet and they have an average of 3000 each it goes a long way. I see writers with 20, 000+ followers on Twitter. I’m also a member of a very supportive writers group ASMSG which has the potential to hit over three million followers. That’s possibly a lot of sales even if 1% of 1% buy.  The drier stopped and I went through to take the stuff out and fold it . I had to get a ladder out to get it on the i***ing pile. For lunch I had some nice ham with mashed potatoes and beans. The mouth is still sore but I think it’s burst now and is probably improving. I may have to look for the recommended Smirnoff blue to rinse with though. After washing up I watched the rest of my antiques programme then turned off and went to sleep in my chair. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds since there was a helicopter hovering overhead for a long time. All I can say with any surety is it’s not me they’re looking for. There are only two around, the coastguard which would be wasting it’s time over my place as I’m still above water, and the police one is the other. After eventually dozing off and getting a nice hour I came back to catch up on mail. The photos from the phone still weren’t through. I worked till 5.30 pm them went and had some strawberries for tea and caught my Law and Order and another mystery series until 8.00 pm when I came through. The pictures had finally arrived. I’ve spent some time catching up again and now I’m off to check ebay.

The boys I’m going to see on Saturday at the Eisteddfod in Llangollen.

Tuesday. My night was a bit weird with very real feeling dreams. I’m sure I was very restless but at least it meant I didn’t move until 5.11 am. Less time for me to worry about going out and talking myself out of it. I answered emails until 6.30 am then tried to catch the fish out half an hour early. It was so dull this morning that I couldn’t see clearly and had to put the light on. That was it, they behaved normally now. Recently the sun has been shining well before this but the forecast wasn’t good. I took my tabs and made a coffee.As I was carrying it back through the heaven’s opened and I heard the rain bounce on the roof. An opportunity to cancel? Not a cat in hells chance, ten minutes later it was over and the sun even shone a bit. I got dressed and continued with the mail. By 7.15 I was up to date and I packed my haversack with one of Reuben’s books and sorted a bag of things I’d bought on Sunday for Yvonne. I’d texted her to say I was coming when down came the rain again. Not heavy this time, just a slow drizzle. I should be able to manage in my leather jacket rather than the crop duster. At 7.30 am I girded my loins and left. The journey wasn’t bad and there was no rain as I arrived in Chester. I was able to get money from a cash machine and head for the Costa where we were meeting. I was there first so I ordered a small latte and a cold concoction of green tea, lime and mint. The young lady said she’d bring it over and as my usual seat was occupied                  ( inconsiderate person) I had to find another behind a half wall and I was afraid Yvonne wouldn’t spot me so I stood. When she arrived it was raining again , just as well she had a brolly. I got Reuben out as Yvonne went to order drinks and toast. He was in good form with me, very smiley, but no smiles for Mummy. As usual it seemed he had more hands than Kali, glasses, cigarettes, drink, any thing was a target so he went in a high chair to eat his toast and let us eat ours in relative peace. I may have mentioned before that sometimes my hands are quite shaky. Yvonne seems to treat it as an entertainment laid on for her as my hands jerk across the front of my mouth, missing it but leaving a buttery path, or watching me hold a coffee and try to take a sip with the downward motion as I’m also trying to froth it . We left there and headed for the precinct as I had a little shopping list with me today. I’d passed over the gifts to Yvonne so my backpack was empty now. We headed into a shop that had kids clothes and I had a great time buying stuff. Yvonne thought she could outsmart the old fox and held some things back she said she’d pay for. Nothing would persuade her to give me them. I paid for mine then passed over an extra £20 and asked the young man to pay for the next batch out of that. When Yvonne went up she told me she was feeling quite smug at having beaten me for once. Ta Dah. I take a bow and smugness takes a walk. As we approached the exit to the precinct we could see the rain was bouncing off the pavements really hard. We hit another shop and found another sale. I managed to find some more great things for him. Yvonne gave up in there. As we came out the rain had stopped. Next stop Tesco for some fresh bread and for my antiseptic vodka. By then it was lunchtime so to Pizza Express where Yvonne beat me to the check. It was fast approaching the time where she would have to depart for work and me for home so we did the last two shops in quick order, one to get light bulbs for my room and one to get part  of my son’s birthday present. I just hope Reuben doesn’t spill the beans to him. Outside I convinced Yvonne not to walk me to the bus stop, I’d manage. It was time for hugs and kisses. I turned round to give Reuben a kiss . His pushchair was quite low and in the reclining position so I had top bend quite far to reach his forehead. I just reached the point where my lips connected with his skin and I knew I was in trouble. I couldn’t get back up, and I was trying to fight going further down but it looked like gravity was winning and any second I’d be lying on top of Reuben and the pushchair would probably be on it’s side. I tried a casual scream at Yvonne as I didn’t want to worry her and she ran to grasp the belt on my coat. Or would have done had it been there. She had to drag my coat in one hand and backpack in the other to get me upright. It must have looked like I was being mugged except the mugger was laughing and saying ” Don’t, you’ll make me wet myself.” We parted. I made my way to the bus stop in what was now roaring sunshine and I was melting inside my leather coat held on firmly by my backpack. When the bus came the disabled seats were taken and I struggled to remove the backpack in the confines of a normal seat until I could get the coat off. The journey was short because the heat made me nod off a lot. Back at home there were 122 messages waiting and IO got stuck in, but not before reading a delightful postcard received from fellow blogger Paula Acton from a trip she and her family made to Stratford upon Avon. I’m still surprised someone would bother to include me but I’m truly chuffed and moved by it. At 6.00 pm I had my usual two hours of TV before returning to battle with the technology that saved my life.

Wednesday. From a 3.53 am start I was going great guns with the mail when all of a sudden at almost 6.00 am I found I was tired. Hopping back on the bed wasn’t a difficult decision and I was soon away with the fairies. They kept me entertained until 7.50  am when I realised as I woke how late I was for the fish. I shot through to the kitchen and approached the tank very gingerly. I have no idea why, but I needn’t have worried. I got the normal reaction as though no delay had been noted. Maybe they were enjoying the warmth and light of the sun coming through the window. I’m afraid I feel disgust with myself and broadening girth but I had two jam doughnuts for breakfast as they were handy and easy to eat, I took my tablets and sprays then made myself the usual coffee ( Columbian) and took it back to the bedroom. I dressed quite quickly as I needed to go to Pauline’s. At 9.30 am I went and bought my TV magazine and some cigarettes. The sun was wonderful and for some reason I had this sudden urge to go to Flint for more photo frames.  Back at home I put my stuff away and grabbed a bag to take with me. I opened the door, stepped out, locked it and walked about three steps before deciding perhaps not today and letting myself back in. I attacked the mail again but the thought of getting more frames kept nagging at me. Should I text Lis and see if she’s free to take me? I decided that wouldn’t be fair. Meanwhile the time for the next bus passed and I worked some more on the mail. The postman came and delivered a postcard with a picture of me and Reuben on the front taken just yesterday. Another great app of Yvonne’s. With 15 minutes before the next bus I put my shoes on and made myself open the door again. All the while I’m saying it’s getting late and nearly lunchtime, but I still found myself walking towards the bus stop. I made it though skittish because others were at the stop and when the bus arrived I let them all get on first. One last push and I was aboard with sweat running down my forehead. As we approached Flint I rang the bell to get off one stop before most people and then as the bus pulled away I made my way over the dual carriageway to the shops. The first one was the supermarket where I got the other frames on Sunday and I was lucky they still had some. I chose two black and a white this time. Next I wandered round to my favourite Home Bargains and got some chocolates. I also found two more frames which will prove useful and they were a real bargain. From there I went for coffee at Temptations. They were really busy but I managed to pass chocolates over and the young lady said she’d bring my drink to the table. Major surprise to see me in there alone. I wandered off to the bus stop from there and caught one at 12.15 pm and headed home. I wasn’t hungry when I got off the bus and couldn’t think of cooking so I ordered sandwiches from a local shop which I had after I got home. I was able to eat them at my desk as I worked. In fact there was so much mail I worked all afternoon except for a little break from 3.00 – 4.00 pm when I started watching Zulu for the Welsh singing. I have to say though that the Zulu Impis have a strong vocal rhythm too and I enjoyed listening to them. I knocked off again at 5.15 pm and went to watch the quiz and wait for my gamers. Traffic was bad and they didn’t get here until 6.00 pm. Lee had cried off by text during the afternoon unfortunately. We set up for Yahtzee and I won the first two games and Dil the third. For a change we went to Trivial Pursuit next which lasted the rest of the evening with Matt eventually winning. So this time the honours were pretty even. After they left at 9.30 pm I tidied up, washed the pots, took my tablets and came through to see the damage. 103 but I’ll cope with that. But just in case, I’m doing the blog halfway through.

Smiler

Smiler

Face to Face. ( Sorry about being unshaven).

Face to Face. ( Sorry about being unshaven).

Thursday. At least one fish was pleased to see me this morning. The little molly came shooting over as I opened the food flap and stayed close as I spouted endearments at her. I know it’s only the pitch of my voice that attracts her really  but I  get into such trouble with them I’m clutching at straws. I’d made real headway with the post before coming through that I  considered a break but then common sense got a hold so I took my meds,  had some toast and then carried the coffee through. The mouth feels so much better today using this mouthwash but the hangovers are bad. Maybe I should accidentally swallow less of it? I  took things very easily, many of my abroad bloggers might be heading for their beds while many of the European ones might only just be getting up. It felt like a time when I wouldn’t be getting much.  I always had this ridiculous optimism brought about by wearing rose-tinted glasses. But in fairness things weren’t too bad for a few minutes. I checked the lottery and realised it would still be emails rather than personal visits, got washed and dressed and went out to Pauline’s to renew the tickets. I also got some fresh baps for later. When I got back I reverted to house scruffs and mopped the kitchen floor after washing up the breakfast things. That out of the way it was back to the grindstone though passing the front door I found a letter trying to sell me life insurance which I diverted to dump in the recycling.

I worked on until 11.30 am then knocked off to go and prepare lunch. A favourite again today of bangers, mash and beans. I enjoyed it while sitting with Bargain Hunt on the TV. I washed up again then donned my shoes and headed off for the chemist, wondering what had happened to my prescription request from Monday. While I was waiting, Chris from the Post Office told me his wife Rosetta had been too mean to share any sweets from the box I gave her, with him. I’m sure it’s not true but it’s a great opportunity to tease her when I see her next. The young lady from the chemists found my drugs in a box slated for delivery so I was happy to relieve her of them. Back at home it was back to work and it kept me going till 3.00 pm when I decided a snooze was in order. The weather is so nice the heat is sending me to sleep. I slept until 4.50 pm and had to give up the usual quiz in order to catch up again. At 6.00 pm I made a ham bap and watched a couple of older episodes of Big Bang Theory in preparation for 8.00 pm. I then sat through an even older Murder She  Wrote before my final episode of this series of Big Bang Theory came on. What a blow. What the heck am I supposed to do with Thursday nights now?

Back in the pit again I was surprised that 119 emails had accrued again and I made myself sit down and concentrate. That lasted about 5 minutes when I suddenly decided to have a shave????? and followed that up with eating an ice lolly. Lacking further excuses I set to work. I was fairly zipping through them when I decided I’d better do this before it gets too late and I get carried away with the music. So, that’s my day and here comes my music.

The start of the protest era. A time I really thought the world stood a chance because people cared enough to change things.

Friday. It was 4.50 am before I surfaced this morning but being the daredevil I am I just said”Pffttt” and ignored the urge to panic. I am master of my own life  and author of my own density, yes, I’m as thick as two short planks as shown by my idiocy in following another 6 blogs this morning and leaving myself open to even more mail. By 7.00 am I was only halfway through the morning post but had to break away to feed the fish. The albino catfish sat by the glass watching me while I did the food and it fair freaked me out those beady red eyes on me. I tried talking nicely to it but that didn’t shift it so I threw the tub in and backed off. I took my meds and as that emptied the container had to make them up again for the week. I just said “Right, there’s one in that hole and two in that and this one id full of hashish, you can’t get much more made up than that.” It does actually take a while to do. I have to carry a drawer through, make sure I refill the empty boxes from the new stock I collected yesterday and then fill the containers from what I have. It’s  usually 1 before breakfast then two after, 8 tabs and two sprays. One before lunch and two after then two main tabs, two again at about teatime them 9 in the evening with a spray. There are also two sprays for use during the day as needed. I really do shake, rattle and roll.

I couldn’t be bothered with breakfast this morning so once my tabs were sorted I took my coffee through to continue work. No rush to get dressed as I’m not going out early. I had the pleasure of as post by my friend Elaine who cracks great Friday jokes, a post from the delightful Olga who always introduces somebody new to interview, great book blogs by Maggie, fun reminders from Teagan and so many more pleasurable pieces including inane messages between myself and a great friend in Australia. My day is a delight of variety but it does come at a price- time! Re-tweeting and commenting eats into the day. Towards lunchtime I heard from my cack-handed daughter that she’d broken her iphone again. twice in as many weeks. I’m going to see if they make them in rubber. I transferred some money to her account as a treat and spent what seemed like the next three days arguing about it. She threatens a tennis match of it going back and forth between our accounts, I being the bullied elderly gentleman just threaten to kneecap her. She says they’re coming over to see us tomorrow and I expect arguments about who pays for lunch. No matter how much I try, I can’t force her to do it. LOL. Truth be told she’ll want to pay and so will I, and I know I can afford it better than she/they can having a baby to feed. Especially when that baby is my grandson.

I didn’t have lunch at home as Mike was/is due about 2.00 pm. He was just about on time. Like me he hadn’t eaten so I put a shirt on over my  t-shirt and off we went. Of course when we arrived I’d completely forgotten chocolates and my tablets. Neither thing put me off my meal though. Tariq was a little more subdued than usual as the passport office has had the family passports for 7 weeks and has no idea where they are or what stage they’re at and the family are due to fly on holiday on Wednesday. It’s a sickener to think that a bureaucracy like that can cost someone a holiday, refuse compensation and an apology. Mike and I have got our fingers crossed that they’ll arrive by Monday at the latest.  We left there without a fight as Tariq was chatting to some more customers. Although he excused himself to show us to the door…and note the word to in there please, he couldn’t fight as I’d left the money on the counter. The sun was glorious so Mike ran us to Flint where I picked up yet more frames for my rogues gallery, some tablets for the washing machine ( it gets headaches) some chocolates to take tomorrow and then we came home. Mike set about adjusting the inner to accommodate a large picture in a frame then promptly broke the glass on the next one. I concentrated on bringing the mail up to date so I could join him in the lounge. I managed it in time for the last half of a quiz. I made a sandwich so I could finally take the diabetic tablets forgotten all day then at 9.00 pm abandoned the lounge to deal with this blog post and the rest of the mail. The mail may beat me as it’s almost midnight now.

Saturday. It’s been a long day. It started at 4.50 am and it’s now 11.55 pm and I’ve not touched the emails all evening. I was doing well this morning as I was up to date and gloating well before 7.00 am, so much so that I went through to see to the fish tank light and decided to feed them even though it’s Saturday. They saw straight through me and wouldn’t hover while I bragged about how clever I was. I put the makings in Mike’s mug ( the china one, not his face) and boiled the kettle up while I saw to my meds and making my own coffee. The second his alarm started to ring I poured it out and appeared in his bedroom before he’s had chance to turn it off. “Morning Bro, coffee’s up” sez I , “Grunt” sez he. “It’s on the side here, don’t let it go cold” I tried, hoping my voice had penetrated his unconsciousness , “grunt” sez he. It was OK though, I have patience. I took my own drink through to my bedroom and hit the emails again. For a change they didn’t hit back and were manageable.

Within a few minuted Mike’s alarm started it’s second call. I know he spoke to it but it certainly wasn’t to say “Yes, I’m moving” and it’s call seemed to be cut short. I called out for him  not to forget his drink again and I got a response. I didn’t know you could flip the bird at someone in our sleep till now. My mail was up to date so I decided to choose some photographs for printing later. There were four frames I wanted to fill. His alarm went off for the third time and as there was no movement I knew I’d lost. I might as well print the pictures ready.I don’t know what happened but next minute he appeared at my door washed, dressed, coat on and bags in hand ready to go. Naturally I was the one not ready now. I put my shoes on while the last two pictures printed and tried my best to look subdued.  As the pictures rolled off the production line I turned the printer off and we left.

We didn’t spend long in the Supermarket as I still had most of last weeks food left. Dry as I was when we finished he wouldn’t let me have a coffee. I should have known I’d pay for being smug this morning. We went to Flint where I was able to pick a few things up for Yvonne and Ugo then we had a coffee at Temptations. Appropriate today as I’m off to see Richard and Adam tonight whom I’d named the Toastie Tenors when I wrote about them in my first book.They came third in last year’s Britain’s got talent. Ju would have loved to have seen that as she was a big fan. We came home and after unpacking had a message from Yvonne ton say they were running a bit late. So, Mike and I hung the new pictures. I think the photo wall ( Rogue’s gallery) is looking pretty good. Since time was cracking on I suggested they meat us at The Ivy, as the time was getting on she agreed so Mike and I set off from here at 11.40 am. We were actually there within a few minutes of each other so I was able to order drinks and meals fairly quickly. Reuben was having a chocolate milkshake which oddly enough he didn’t take too, and  a cheesy pasta dish which he loved. When we’d done I tried getting Angie to calculate the bill but she said Tariq would do it and brought him in from the kitchen. There ensued the usual battle of wills which I won in the end. We all left and went to my house to drop the cars off and we walked from home to the Heritage Park which is very close. We took Reuben round to see the animals, mainly young chicks ( which thought made Mike drool till I said the birds were of he feathered variety). Reuben had a go on a small tractor and onthe park swings before we went to the park cafe for a cuppa. He was as good as gold despite being tired.

We finally parted company at about 4.30 pm and I laid into the accumulated emails. I was being picked up at 5.45 pm to go to the Eisteddfod to see the boys and also listen to some choirs and see some dancers before the competition for the best of the week was announced. My friend John and his wife Vivienne collected me on time and we were there for 6.45. Time for a cuppa before the show started at 7.30 pm. Richard and Adan sang three songs at the start of the evening before two dance teams were introduced one after the other. An Irish traditional dance troupe and a Scottish one. At the end of the night the Irish one won the trophy. Then came five choirs of singers each singing 5 songs.  I really enjoyed the Welsh mixed sex choir best of all but a choir from Argentina was adjudged the winner. Richard and Adam came on to do three more songs one of which I recommend they never do again which was Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers. It wasn’t suited to their style of singing at all in my opinion. It wasn’t meant to be too operatic, though they did well in the close harmony. My favourite was Somewhere from West Side Story though P.J.Proby remains my all time favorite.

It was 11.30 pm before John dropped me off. I’d enjoyed his ( their) company and enjoyed the outing but my nerves were on edge a lot. I didn’t have a cigarette for 6 hours and I hadn’t had a wee either because I couldn’t wander in the crowds alone. I had a quick sarnie, took my tabs and traded a few insults with my bro before coming through here. The emails will have to wait until morning now as it’s 12.45 and I want my bed.

I hope you’re all having a Great Weekend. ……Hugs

fam out 5fam out 4

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A Shattering Experience & The Gas Man Cometh Again

Sunday. Between 6.30 am and 7.30 am I made good headway with my post. I went for breakfast, fed the fish, took my drugs and filled the kettle for Mike as he thinks the coffee from the Tassimo is too strong though I don’t give him the Costa. As I finished in the kitchen and made my own drink there was no sign of movement so I carried on with my post. By 8.30 it was clear but there were a couple of other things I could do until Mike woke. By 9.00 am I’d run out of patience so I went to check he was still breathing and then made his coffee and took it through. I tried a bright and breezy ” Mornin’ Bro. Coffee’s up” then walked back to my room to refresh the post. I was astounded not to have received any grunts but even more astounded to hear him padding through to the lounge moments later. I left the computer and followed him through. Amazing, his eyes were open as he lit his first cigarette from the right end.

Mike drank half his coffee and then visited he loo for the first time.It was almost 10.00 am when he returned to drink the other half. A bit of a delay again then he told me he was just going to have another coffee then he’d get dressed and see what I wanted to do with the rest of the morning. I stifled a laugh. He made a coffee after I’d drawn  a map of how to find the kitchen then we chatted as he drank it. When he decided to go to the loo and then get dressed I nipped through to refresh my mail and catch up again as much as possible. It was possible to catch up all the way. We decided to call in at Abakhan where they have a gift shop as Mike is looking for a broach in the shape of the Welsh Dragon for a friend in the Midlands. Accordingly we left the house knowing how I was going to spend the rest of the morning. It was 11.45 am.

It was a beautiful day and Mike put the top down on the car. The three hairs I have left after losing the internet last week blew in the wind. If my hair hadn’t been cut a few weeks ago I’d have been whipped to death the speed Mike drives. We weren’t lucky with the broach but the gift shop was a pleasant stop.We got back in the car and headed off for lunch. Tariq and Angie were pleased to see us as his day had been a disaster with the lights behind the counter blowing out. He managed to fix them. He’s a real   Jack of all trades. While we were there he showed me a machine he has for cutting out letter to use on signs or maybe teeshirts, and also an A3 printer since I’d expressed interest. We’d had a conversation recently about me doing teeshirt prints recently and ironing them on ad he suggested a press which I’d said was far too expensive. It turns out since I last looked they’re only about £100 now. I used to enjoy doing either humorous of photographic teeshirts. After lunch we said our long goodbyes and I partly lost the usual argument when Tariq said he wanted to treat us to the puddings ( lemon meringue for me, apple pie for Mike).

We drove home where Mike dropped me off then packed his suitcase and left for his fathers.My first stop of course was the computer where I worked on mail until 6.00 pm then I watched part of a film until 7.30 when X-Men 2 came on and I decided to stay and watch. At 10.00 pm when it finished I sprinted through here to work.

Monday. My sleep pattern at the moment wouldn’t be one I’d recommend using to knit a jumper by.Today I didn’t raise my little head ( Oi, watch it you) until 6.55 am and I had to by pass the computer and make straight for the kitchen. I fed the fish before they had time to mount a sulk, took my tabs and put my coffee on while I nipped to the loo. It was ready when I got back, ready but cold. It would be quicker mounting an expedition to look for the Yeti than taking a pee these days. I took the virtual frappe through and turned the computer on. I hadn’t felt like breakfast this morning so I’d saved some time. With no attempts to con me I worked steadily till 9.10 am then rather than refresh I got dressed and walked to Pauline’s for some baps and my cigarettes. It was beautiful out and I managed without a jacket. 

When I came back and refreshed there was enough to keep me going until 11.00 am and then I decided to print off some photographs to put in the three frames I bought on Saturday. Since the printer is now working fine with the right inks in I might as well use it. By the time I’d done that and cut the pictures out to fit the frames it was lunchtime. A beef steak (without peppercorn sauce) with onion gravy, new Jersey potatoes and peas with carrots made a wonderful meal. After washing the pots I indulged in an antiques show before returning to work. A fellow author expressed interest in reading my first book so I sent her the pdf copy with the instruction not to read it out of politeness. I don’t want to go down in her estimation. Actually another author recently contacted me to say she’s enjoying every minute of it but the family did advise me she had sunstroke. I worked until 4.30 pm when I wanted to see another Antiques Road Trip which is really fun. I was enjoying it until about 5.10 when a huge flash of lightning turned the TV off.

As I turned the TV back on there was a huge clap of thunder and down came the rain. And how it came down. It didn’t even pause for breath until 8.30 pm but then it started moving away. At 5.15 pm I watched a quiz, at 6.00 pm I watched a quiz and at 6.30 pm an older repeat of a different Antiques Road Trip. Not that I’m single minded or anything but I do like antiques. As I came through to the bedroom later on I found myself getting quite frustrated at the problems between Chrome and WordPress. Sometimes I can’t get into a wordpress site at all from someone’s post. Sometimes I can get in but it won’t let me comment and when it does, it makes me sign into my own wordpress account first. I keep getting the message ‘data not received’ which I’m sure will be on my headstone to explain why I didn’t get to heaven. I’d tear my hair out if I had any left after last week. Anyway, I managed to keep calm enough to clear my post before starting on the blog.

Many of you may remember mention of my friend Lis and her wonderful daughter Charlie. You may remember recently I told you of Charlie’s friend who was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer like Julia. I had hoped there might be some treatment for him but all they could offer was palliative care. Rob passed away on Sunday after getting married to his long time love the day before. my Best Wishes are with her in this most difficult of times. She hasn’t really had time to adjust to the news of the cancer before it’s parted them.

Tuesday. I shall cease complaining about my change of routine. I shall cease being smug about getting a lie in. It was 4.05 am this morning and I wasn’t ready. The winning lottery numbers for tonight’s draw were just about to appear and some joker decides I should be awake. I’d cleared the first batch by 6.00 am and the second batch by 6.30 am so the fish got lucky again. I  had some breakfast preparatory to going out, made myself a coffee and came back to get washed and dressed. There was even time to refresh the mail again and do a few more before 7.20 an when I needed to prepare. I’d checked the local weather forecasts for the day for both my postcode and for Yvonne’s. I was due to have rain about noon and Chester about 2.00 pm. Right, in case we’re still outside I’m wearing my long country ‘duster’ coat. I slung the haversack over my shoulders that contained the photographs I’d framed, carried the bag with Reuben’s new clothes in my right hand, put my gloves on, grabbed my crutches and locked the door.I unlocked it, went out and locked it again. My timing was perfect as the bus reached the stop just before I did.

My usual nod to the driver I went to the seat at the front. I leaned my sticks down and brought the bag of my back. Smash, the triple picture frame I’d done for Yvonne came free of the bag somehow leaving behind the bubble wrap and smashed on the floor of the bus. I put the bag with the other pictures on the seat. screamed ‘Why Me’ at the sky ( or the roof of the bus) and bent down to clean up. A lovely lady came out of her seat to help and using the back of the frame collected all the glass. The driver got out of his seat and instead of the anger I expected asked If I’d like the glass in the bin by the bus stop. I was very touched. He came back and handed me the frame. The very kind passenger asked if I’d like a carrier bag but without the weight of the glass I knew it would be safe back in my bag again. I managed to thank her and sat down. I found I was quite tired and was thinking of nodding off but the fates hadn’t finished with me yet. The bus pulled in at Holywell and I could hear raised voices. A young child got on the bus and was followed by a woman pulling a young boy, probably about 6 or 7 years old. He was in full tantrum mode and was screaming he wanted his crisps. His mother told the driver she’d just had to chase him round the square as he’d run off and she wasn’t too pleased. He sat in a small seat enear the front screaming, kicking the seat and banging on the window. She sat behind me and occasionally told him to stop.

Take my word for it, Flint is a long way away when you have that racket though it’s only about 6 miles taking the bus route. They got off in Flint. I was pleased. Passing by me the mother said “Kids eh?”. As the bus started again I closed my eyes and was gently nodding when I felt some pressure on my foot. Nothing terrible but enough to bring me round. The driver had stopped and a young woman with a twin buggy had got on and parked the buggy on my foot. I moved myself until nothing was jutting out ( Oi, keep it clean back there) and closed my eyes again. The rest of the journey was OK. When we drew into Chester the sun was shining so I opened my coat, held the haversack and Reuben’s bag in my hand and walked to Costa to meet them. Yvonne had my coffee and some fresh toast waiting on the table for me. I got a smile from Reuben but not for long as he was demolishing his own toast. When we’d finished Yvonne cleaned him up and I was able to have him on my knee. He showed his versatility by doing part of the Feet of Flames routine in my groin. We headed up to the market to find something for Yvonne ad to see if there was a shop selling frames. No joy. We went to the precinct where I’d bought the original. A very helpful young man told me they no longer sold them but he had some similar in the stockroom. It was a problem as he was on his own in the shop. If I could give him 15 mins he’d go down when his assistant arrived. We went for another coffee. After half an hour we headed back and true to his word the young man brought me 3 styles, one was very similar to the original but there was one I liked better. I bought it and only now do I feel guilty at not buying more after he’d got them. I could have always found a use.

We went to get some shoes for poor Yvonne as her current ones were pinching then it was time to change a smelly nappy ( No, not mine) and while there we found some nice outfits for Reuben at Buy One, Get One Half Price so I got him two and so did Yvonne. Then lunch was upon us. I had sausage, chips and beans while Yvonne starved as sh had soup at home for the diet. About 12.45 pm we finished and I was so hot in the sunshine that it looked like a tap dripping from my head. I was so uncomfortable I decided to leave early and go home. They walked me to the bus stop and I did my journey in reverse.

Back home I piled into the waiting messages and worked till 4.30 when the Antiques Road Trip came on.More work then a quiz, then a quiz then more work until 8.00 pm when Endeavour was on which is the young version of Morse. That brings us to 10.00 pm when I came through to start again until I knock off. It’s 11.45 pm now so when I finish this I’ve just time to do one last email check.

Wednesday. I woke, swung my legs out of bed and looked at the clock. 3.55 am. It was a matter of a microsecond of thought and my legs were swung back. I gripped my pillow tight and said “Not a cat in hell’s chance.” I managed to doze off again and the next  thing I knew it was 6.04 am, much better. Computer on, a trip to the loo and then work till 7.00 am. I had 32 left to do but they could wait till the fish were happy and I’d had some breakfast. When I got back there with my coffee I found an email from Amazon advising me they had some books I may like on Prime. Two of the first three books on the list were A Presence in Russell County by S.J. Sprague and  The Mulberry by yes, you’ve guessed it, S.J.Sprague. I was delighted to see these books being advertised as the author is a good friend and having read the first book I know how well she writes. What surprised me was why Amazon bothered advertising them to me since it was from Amazon I got them and it was on Amazon I left my review. Still, I hope they advertise far and wide for all of us and create sales.

At 9.30 am I went out to Pauline’s for some milk, cigarettes and my TV Magazine for next week. It’s hot enough for a tee shirt today again.The rain seems to have disappeared. I hope it stays that way over the weekend. I half expected the milk to turn to yoghurt on the way home but we made it. I had a spoon in my pocket just in case. On returning home, I worked till just before 11.00 am and found myself free. I did a quick check on Ebay then went through to the lounge where the sun had me nodding off in my chair. It was 12.15 pm when I woke up to see to lunch. After the strain of opening and closing the microwave door I needed another nap after lunch and didn’t get back to the mail until 1.30 pm. It had mounted up but I was on top form and got myself up to date. I was back and forth all afternoon keeping an eye as I wanted to be free to catch the next episode of my Antiques Road Trip. I made it no problems and without even taking another nap in the chair.  It was 5.15 pm and the quiz I often watch was about to start when I saw a familiar figure pass the window, my nephew Lee back from his travels in the Orient and ready to join his father and brother gaming when they arrive. I greeted him and poured a drink of water when he told me that Dil and Matt were also here but outside on the phone. Matt walked in moments later and I made him a coffee. I was shocked t see him there so early as he an his dad usually arrive about 5.45 pm. Then Dil came in , he’d finished work early to see the doctor as he’s got gout- (Dil, not the doctor). Poor soul I felt for him. It’s very painful .

Drinks done, TV off and the table out we went into battle.The first scrabble was a tight game despite me getting a 7 letter word as my first go in turn, but which scored me a piddling 77 points. End result a draw between Dil and myself. In the second Dil fared better and won outright. When it came to the Nomination Whist I was unstoppable and romped home to victory. After this Lee had to take his leave which was a shame but I remembered to give him his birthday card and present for tomorrow.  Dil dealt for Crazy 8’s which proved to be a disaster for me and left Matt with a big grin across his face as they got up to leave. After waving them goodbye and wishing the wounded warrior well I tidied up as usual, washed the pots and came through to get on with however many messages I had. It’s a lot. I’m stroking the chin of midnight before I’m able to get on with the blog and the chance of a decent read is a diminishing possibility.

Thursday. I managed a read until about 1.00 am but still found myself up at 5.31 am. I wasn’t feeling right but couldn’t put my finger on it, though I’m not sure if that’s legal anymore anyway. It’s been years since I’ve seen it never mind put my finger on it. Ridiculous as the time was, it did mean that I had the mail under control by 7.00 am when it was time to go visit with the fish and get my breakfast.  I  sauntered knowing how well I was doing but was halfway through breakfast when I suddenly started retching. It was all I could do to hop to the bathroom and kneel head bent over the loo feeling very sorry for myself. The feeling eventually subsided and I returned to the kitchen, made a coffee and started back in on the mail. I had a headache and realised I’d quite forgotten my meds last night but didn’t know if that had any bearing on how I felt then.

As I brought the lavel way down I decided to nip to Ebay to see if I could get any inspiration for a gift. The first thing that greeted me was a message that I should change my password since their system had been hacked though they were quite sure nothing had been compromised. This is a tedious job owing to a mistake I made years ago when registering, I didn’t use my own email address. Eventually I was able to do it and started my search. The gift is for a good friend who doesn’t  live in the UK so either I have to buy a present from his home country and have it delivered direct or I have to be careful of weight if buying here because of postal costs. But, while I was there I found two teeshirts which I think would be perfect for Mike and his wonderful sense of humour.

From Ebay

From Ebay

 

From Ebay.

From Ebay.

They really appealed to me. Whether he’ll agree with me remains to be seen as he will assure me the second one is right in the first line. I got dressed about 9.15 am ready to go and get my lottery tickets. No win last night so if I want a holiday this year it’ll mean a long swim. It was a mechanics dream outside pouring Datsun cogs as it was so I had to wear a coat. Hood up I looked like a demented friar taking long hops with the crutches to get there and back quickly. I was just approaching home when I saw a car pulling away but I didn’t recognise it and wasn’t expecting anyone. I went inside to see if any note had been left but while I was checking the floor someone knocked on the door. The small man standing there wished me good morning and said he had an appointment to read the meter. “I have no appointments” I responded. He explained he’d been asked to come but that he had tried to ring first. I didn’t think that constituted an appointment and wasn’t too chuffed anyway as it’s Yvonne that’s supposed to get the call so she can contact me and prepare me. He was getting wet so I let him in. Before he could read the meter I had to clear a path to it which is what I was supposed to avoid having to do in a hurry, hence the reason for the advance notice. He told me they must be considering putting a smart meter in which left me confused because surely that was the decision that had been made by the last man to come? He got his reading and left as I collapsed on the bed with my nitrolingual spray. Ouch ouch ouch. On came the fresh headache that always arrives after using the nitro but luckily I was able to fall asleep.

I woke about 10.30 am and slowly got up to see how the mail was doing. There were three messages returning mail to me as undeliverable which was quite amazing since I hadn’t sent any of them in the first place, didn’t recognise the messages and didn’t know the addressees. I think they were spam but how they’d come from my machine I don’t know as I’m supposed to be protected….’Something for the Weekend Sir?’. I finished quite quickly and retired to the lounge where I started watching a programme where thieves are caught red-handed. I realised just how evil some people are when they’d rather steal someone else’s goods than work for their own. One couple had their safe stolen which held photographs and momentos of their daughter who’d died very young and were irreplaceable.  A couple of nasty gunmen trying to rob a jewellers got a surprise when the owner and his wife managed to trap them in the shop until the police arrived. The idiots made things worse for themselves by unlocking the inner door of the shop , going out and before they could open the outer door the inner one closed thus keeping them secure in like an airlock. If theft is a job these days these two deserved the sack. They won’t be working again for 12 and 10 years respectively.

After lunch I had allowed my eyes to close a little while I inspected my eyelids from inside. It took some time so it was 1.45 pm before I was back on the job again.  (Mail not theft I mean). I was up and down all afternoon trying to keep up so I have my Thursday evening free for Big Bang Theory and the last two episodes of Person of Interest. This blog was written between 8.30- 10.00 pm and then finished after 11.55 pm. I hope you appreciate the dedication.

Tastes better than food Ma.

Tastes better than food Ma.

Yes, you're right, I'm a scamp.

Yes, you’re right, I’m a scamp.

 

Friday. I was sort of ready to get up this morning. In fact I think my legs were on their way out of bed without the rest of me when I woke up. It was 5.31 am and my bladder said the timing was right. I’d had so many ice lollies yesterday it was coming out in icicles this morning and the outside temperature wasn’t helping as it seems Winter might be on the doorstep again, and the path, the garden and the road. It’s persisting down with rain too. A gloomy start to the day. I put the computer on and commenced work. One thing stood out as blindingly obvious today, the computer is behaving as normal, no Chrome v WordPress problems ( fingers crossed knock on wood). Every message seemed sensible bar one. A few days ago I tweeted a blog I’d read which I found funny. Someone retweeted it but kept my name there for some reason. A third person picked it up and must assume I’m the author and is taking swipes at me in his tweets.  Since the original blog wasn’t rude and my tweet of it wasn’t rude I don’t appreciate someone else’s rudeness. I was forced to tweet and tell him so and ask him to save his rude remarks for something I write that he hates. He came back later with an innocent ‘Who me?’ I’m just a commentator on politics blah blah screenwriter. Grrrrr.

At 7.00 am I went through to see to the fish and one of the ‘so called’ assassins was out. If he’s eaten anything it’s probably his partner and that’s why he’s been in hiding, digesting him. I just couldn’t be bothered with breakfast so after taking my meds and then doing a  new batch for the week I made a coffee and took it through with me.  I was delighted to read that a friend of mine who works all day every day on manuscripts for other people is actually going to take a three day weekend. It led me to thinking what a shame it is that I can’t meet some of the wonderful people I’ve met through the blog. Especially the ones in warmer climes today by coincidence of course. I think it must be a National holiday in Nigeria and Burkino Faso since none of them have written to me and maybe a power surge has shorted out a few crystal balls as well since none of the ‘seers’ has written to me in a while.

By 9.30 am I’d finished and rather than refresh and have to find a tissue for my eyes I got dressed, said a prayer to the patron saint of trench foot and went out. It had stopped raining ! I delivered my repeat prescription to the chemist and though I didn’t need anything decided to cross the road to the One Stop ( opposite Pauline’s) and just see what they’ve got in the six months since I was there last. I don’t know who’s stupid idea this was but I came out with a bag full and two rolls of kitchen paper towel under my arm. It’s just adding insult to injury that in Wales we have to pay for the carrier bags. I’m afraid there was nothing diabetic friendly in the bag either unless you count Maltesers. I struggled home. The minute I set foot on my step the rain came down again. Thank you St, Fungus.

Once in I unpacked then returned to the mail for a while, Toffee Crisp in hand. By 10.45 am I’d finished and decided to watch  a bit of TV coming up to lunch. People buying houses at auction and doing them up seemed favorite but after a short time my eyelids had other ideas and shut me down. I was awake for lunchtime and went through to see what was left. I’d got a minced beef hotpot. Wonderful….until I turned it over and found it wasn’t microwave suitable. Oops, I’d already taken my pre-lunch tablet and quickly had to make some cheese and coleslaw baps.I had a healthy yoghurt  to follow then a not so healthy 4 dark chocolate fingers. I’ve not heard anything from Mike to say whether he’s coming and I know the car is going in for repair today so I decide to keep attacking the mail as much as possible just in case. I have breaks for my antique programmes and for one of my quizzes but I’m pretty much on top now. I must have nodded a few minutes because on the second antiques programme they’re just heading for the auction where they sell everything then all of a sudden they’re taking food out of an oven. Oh wait, that’s somebody else completely with the food.

I was just on my way through to see how the mail was doing when I got a text message. I was excited for a moment until I saw it was my phone supplier reminding me to top up. I sat down at the computer and the phone beeped again. YAY, Mike’s on his way. It’s 7.55 pm so I have to give him 3 hours with the weather. So, I finish the mail and take a shower. I’ll go through to the TV and pretend I have company though I’ll keep popping through in the adverts.

It’s almost time for his arrival so I’m finishing this quickly so we have chance to speak. Though maybe this week I’ll have chance to speak to a human being instead of the TV and poor Mike can turn his hearing aid off an nod occasionally. Sometimes he nods and says Ah, or Yes, hoping they’re in the right place but I don’t really care.

This one’s for Mike.      

Saturday.  The was a noise last night as the door opened, something flew in, used the loo flushed and left again. I was left starting at a light on in the empty bathroom and a closed front door. Was it some random drunk from the local pub who couldn’t wait until he got home………. I put the kettle on just in case. Moments later the door opened again and in breezed a very relieved Mike who’s been at the end of his tether when he drew up and couldn’t wait to get has case from the boot ( trunk for my trans-Atlantic buddies). He threw his case on the bed and came to refill on coffee.It was my job to listen to his week because whenever he asks me how my week’s been I just tell him to read the blog! Every visitor counts. Which momentarily reminds me to mention my absolute surprise that people are still joining the blog. I had two new followers today alone. Welcome Newbies, you’ll soon learn the error of your ways. If I hadn’t been able to blackmail my regulars you’d be on your own here.

I didn’t get up until 6.30 am today but that’s OK. I went to the kitchen without turning the computer on and had a round of toast and made my coffee. I took all my tabs and sprays to waste time while I waited for Mike’s 7.00 am alarm. No joy. I went and turned the computer on and did a few messages. I had to decide whether to let the idle beggar poor tired fella sleep or grab a bucket of water. Any decision was futile as his alarm went off slightly before lunch at 7.30 am. I made a coffee and took it through.The alarm was off and the snoring was on. I was greeted by grunts when I told him in a voice loud enough to wake the dead his coffee was there. Then I returned to my emails. At 7.45 am the alarm went off again and it penetrated enough to get him up, well that and the fact I moved it out of reach. He took his drink through to the lounge and I followed him through. “Did my alarm go off at 7 am?” he asked. “No” I answered. “That explains it then.” he said but didn’t tell me what it explained. We had the usual loo visit just before which he thrust his mug at me for a refill. Would we get out before evening?

We eventually arrived at the supermarket when we’d usually be leaving. We managed to get round in quite good time and he wouldn’t let me have a coffee because I’d missed one thing from my list. He told me I could have a coffee in Flint and get my missing item there. We got to Flint and found my missing Loo Bloo then went to Temptations for a coffee. As usual I stood at the counter and chatted to Ceri as she made the order and Mike walked right past for the loo.I swear he’s like a dog marking his territory. As he came out I transferred the drinks to our table and ordered a teasted toecake for him before he started getting into his usual flirtatious conversation with Ceri himself. She was on her own this morning and quite busy. She also told us Daniel leaves at the end of next week which will be a loss . He’s also good fun on a Saturday morning and takes the teasing quite well.

We left and instead of going home headed for the Tweed Mill to see if we could find the broach Mike is looking for as  a gift. As I was afraid they didn’t have one but at least I got a cup of tea somewhere different. I suggested Afon Wen, the antiques centre which is where I got them previously. They did have one but it was a bit ‘spensive’ so it stayed in the cabinet. I’ve now suggested Ebay. We decided to go for lunch and set off across country to The Ivy where we found Angie very busy. The place was crowded. It was a while before Tariq appeared. He was serving and helping with the cooking but still had time for hugs. before going back to the kitchen. Shella was out doing a buffet so it was all hands to the pumps. When she returned he was able to come out a little more and chat though the crowds increased. After lunch I saw he was talking to a couple at the counter so I was able to go up behind them and just lay the money on the counter. By the time I’d got my coat on he was by my side arguing, as he was while I walked towards he door, opened it and got outside. Mike thought it was hilarious. We’ve never had anyone less anxious to take money from me before. At this rate he’ll be paying me to eat there.

Time to head home and unpack the shopping. That done I was desperate to get on to do my messages and Mike was going to deal with a phone his son, my nephew Anton had sent me. An HTC Wildfire, they’re trying to bring me out of the dark ages. There was moaning, groaning and cursing galore as he tried to set it up. He shouted to me, he visited me and interrupted me and then went back to cursing again.After continuous fiddling it was up and running by 10.30 pm. I’d done my mail, made our pre-tea pudding, watched a couple of programmes on TV, washed pots, watched TV, made tea, washed pots again, made more coffee all through the blue air of his swearing in the lounge session. Tomorrow my training starts in earnest ( if anyone knows where Earnest is please let me know) as I learn to allocate ring tones to specific people. Wish the world luck. After Mike found the episode of the Tomorrow People we missed earlier we watched that and I finally came through. I’m doing the blog before assaulting myself with the message catch-up again. Wishing you all a Fantastic Week.

 

Ready for Summer

Ready for Summer

Summer Raspberry

Summer Raspberry

Father & Son

Father & Son

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Hey Ho Skip to the Loo, The Card Sharks Circle & My Home, The Manure Farm.

Sunday. I stopped reading last night and turned the light out about 1.00 am. Suddenly all the Fanta Orange ( sugar free) I’d been drinking came back to haunt me. On went the light again ( lesson learned ) and I nipped to the loo. When I got back m mouth was dry so I opened another can, Pepsi Max this time and had a little chug before trying to settle again. It seemed to take a while. When I next woke to nip to the loo I wasn’t impressed that it was still dark except for the light from my clock that told me it was 4.18 am. I went to the loo and by the time I returned I was wide awake. I turned the computer on and checked the lottery which just resulted in me throwing the ticket away in disgust and going to my post box. As usual there were quite a few responses to the blog. I’d been anxious to see how people felt about me taking up the banner again instead of trying to entertain. I’m glad that so many people felt / feel the way I do about certain things and are happy that I include them. Thank you all !

At 7.05 am I went through to have some breakfast and run through the normal morning routines. I can still see one of my assassins moving about but he just doesn’t seem to have the right idea. He’s supposed to move towards snails not away from them. Eating food off the bottom of the tank is supposed to be last resort not a table in a 4 star restaurant. I’m thinking of putting posters up on the glass but facing inwards saying ‘Please eat the Snails’ but I’m afraid my fish may take up the challenge and eat the wrong one ( I still can’t see the other). After breakfast and playtime I lay on the bed and got 55 minutes sleep. I wanted an hour but it wouldn’t let me. Back to work reading personal mail and some marvelous posts by other people. One such educated me to the fact that we have a major bee shortage. It may sound a bit funny, but it seems the crisis is serious because we rely on bees to pollinate so much from trees, to shrubs to plants. Without them the plant life is not replenished which is serious news for us. It seems the most likely cause is pesticide or more accurately too much pesticide. We’re spraying crops with the very thing that kills the bees that keep our plants going. Now that’s IRONY.

I worked till just before 11.00 am then had a break in the lounge. By 12.00 pm I was getting peckish and decided to think about lunch. I settled on a boil in the bag beef slices and some microchips. It tasted so much better than it looked. As I’d been up to date before lunch I decided to stay in my chair and enjoy a Sunday film. After an hour or so I decided I couldn’t settle and went back to work for a while.As soon as I was up to date I went to watch some Chariots of Fire and then Rush Hour 2 which was funnier than expected. At 9.00 pm I turned the set off and decided to call it a night. I’ve dome the mail and done the blog so now it’s time to sign off with a little music.

Monday. You’re going to find me very boring today as I didn’t leave the house so maybe if I say I got up, worked, saw to fish, breakfasted and took my coffee back to work we can skip a fair bit. If we also say my time was divided between work and doing the washing until lunchtime. I had bacon and beans with two of my baps which was lovely then I managed half an hours nap. I woke to a message from Tariq which said the Ivy was missing me. I wish I could get there to have a meal and take their sweets. Still, Mike will be back in two weeks I hope.

The rest of the afternoon was work or TV until my Law and Order at 6.00 pm. Then everything stops for tea. I had a bag of crisps and two small chocolate mousses while I was watching it. Then I was able to tun over and watch To Sir With Love with Sidney Poitier whom I rate as one of the greatest actors of his generation. The film is worth watching just for the fashion alone, and in all fairness though the accents weren’t fantastic ( especially Lulu) the East End of London was portrayed pretty fairly. The school of hard knocks was pretty common.

After the film I turned the TV off to concentrate on my mail which never takes long to build up. Tonight I’ve every intention of getting an early night ready to meet Yvonne in the morning provided I feel OK and the weather holds. I hope you’re not finding the musical choices too much. I’m choosing to do a few so that you have options since my taste won’t suit everybody. I do hope though that you find some that will just bring back memories of where you were and what you were doing at the time……..for those of you as old as me anyway. For you youngsters out there, maybe these will be brand new which is great, or perhaps you heard them played on some radio show for memories. So here are tonight’s, and we’ve almost run out of my favourites list.

Tuesday. Tuesday dawned early, somewhat before 5.00 am and I wasn’t a happy bunny. I was mid-dream between myself and an attractive woman ( I did say it was a dream, they don’t have to behave normally in dreams) it had just reached a crucial juncture  and I woke up shouting ” Yes, take them all off and I’ll show you how to use the washing machine.” Even in dreams I’m not lucky. There was no point in being in bed alone so I got up, switched the computer and the light on and went for a wee. Obviously that took a while with the inevitable stop-starts that come with age but also because I was having problems pointing downwards after the dream. I did mention she was attractive didn’t I? The computer was good to go when I got back but when I signed into messages I almost died. There were over 200. It turned out that many of them were duplicates of a ’cause’ one that I’d already had. Tonight I had an apology for the glitch in their system. They were nearly of a manslaughter charge.

I had every intent of going out today but when I went through to see to the fish and have breakfast at 7.00 am I had a message on my phone from Yvonne to say she wasn’t well and was going back to bed until the doctor came. I love my daughter but I have to admit I was relieved….not that she was ill of course, just   that I didn’t have to travel alone. Ugo was taking the day off to look after her and Reuben. She’s been very sick and had blacked out first thing, Ugo had only partly caught her before she landed on her nose. I was tense until the doctor had been and diagnosed  a trapped nerve in the neck that affected the blood supply too. Relief….even though it could take two or three days to clear.Yvonne thinks we should reschedule for Friday but I have blood tests that day. So anyway. I was able to slow down and there was no pressure to get dressed straight away. I could concentrate on clearing the mail and just clicking to delete all the duplicates. The problem with this situation is that I’m going stir crazy, I’m lonely and talking to myself even more than usual. Plus, as it got to lunchtime, I realise I never want to see another microwave cottage pie.

I managed a sleep this afternoon which must have been round the hour.The rest of the time was even more boring than that. I thought about buying some more Fruit of the Loom Teeshirts on ebay and putting things on the front and then I remembered that meant ironing and I already have loads of that. I made a list of birthday cards I need to buy as I have 5 more this month, that’s about as exciting as it gets. I caught up on emails and then had a couple of hours in front of the TV. I watched a programme called something like Storage Hunters where people bid on the contents of storage units that renters have defaulted on. There are some foul people out there who bid the price up just to see someone pay more than they needed to. I just hope what comes round, goes round.

Tonight I finish my favourites list off Youtube. I hope you’ve been enjoying my taste and the memories. No doubt I’ll drop some in sometimes as I think of them but for now………..

Wednesday. I lay in bed awake for an age this morning. I could not get my brain to shut down. It drifted from one inanity to the next without really focusing and I had to keep re-thinking until I had it straight. In the end I got up at 6.10 am and added Ricicles to my shopping list. It’s possible I might have some professional help this week if Yvonne comes over on Friday. It will depend on how she’s feeling of course, poor lamb. 

I turned the computer on and started in on the mail. I’ve come to the conclusion that Burkino Faso is full of banks . All the banks seem to have had clients with problems breathing and that it was fatal to multi-millionaires. Of course it goes without saying that there isn’t an honest manager in any of these banks yet they’re all extremely generous with the funds of the dear departed who regrettably had no family.Well, maybe they were too busy making money unless of course it had been given to them by generous bank managers. There was lots of normal post too. Before I finished I broke off for the fish and my meds. I tried to have 2 crumpets for breakfast but found that I really don’t enjoy them anymore. One was wasted and I had to have  a few cornflakes to top it off. I’m down to the crumbs almost.

I returned to work with my coffee and at 9.35 when I was up to date I dressed and went to Pauline’s. I remembered my baps, a magazine I needed for next week’s TV, 4 more birthday cards for nephews/nieces and my cigarettes but I was home again before I realised I’d forgotten the ricicles. Damn, it will have to be toast in the morning. For lunch I had some braised steak and mashed potatoes with two of my baps to soak up the gravy. I went straight back to work after that as I’d seen a programme I fancied at 3.15 pm. By 2.20 pm I was up to date again so I wen through to the lounge early and picked up a lemonade ice lolly on the way. I’d no sooner finished it than I nodded off but somehow managed to wake for my programme. From 5.00- 5.30 pm I watched a quiz then turned over for the end of a second one. I’d just started answering questions when I saw Dil and Matt approach. I shot into the kitchen to make their drinks and we finished the quiz together.

Games night started at 6.00 pm on the dot. It nearly ended at 6.35 when I lost the first game of scrabble but they persuaded me to play on by offering me a 50 point head start. I won the second game convincingly by at least 51 points. Feeling mollified I broke out the cards but Dil was obviously taking no prisoners and hammered me at Nomination Whist. You’d have heard the whining for miles if they hadn’t gagged me. We were now one game all. Out came the crib board and with a superb tactical display ( also known as cheating ) I won, but only just. There was time for one last game of crazy 8’s which may have been due to the fact I forgot all about making another drink after the scrabble. We decided just to play till one of us reached 200. Five hands in and the score was Matt 178, Dil 150, Me zilch. Hand 6 they made sure I wasn’t going to win with no points on the board  and did everything they could in a concerted effort to get me. They did and I ended on 62 points but at least I won the game. It was magic having their company, it was tragic they had to go, but once I’d made sure they couldn’t get back in and I hadn’t said Dil had forgotten his phone, I tidied up, washed the pots and came through to work. Unfair, 93 pieces of post since this afternoon and guess what, yes, Burkino Faso has two more crooked bankers. I hope you’ve all had  great day even though I know you won’t get to read this yet.x

Thursday. It wasn’t an early start today since I didn’t get up until 6.00 am and only had an hour on the computer before heading to the kitchen for the usual routine which you’ll remember on a Thursday includes doing my meds for the week. It would have gone an awful lot better if half of them had been there when I opened the drawer. The first box I came to was empty and a few more had a day or two’s supply in. I don’t know how I let it happen as a new prescription request should have gone in Monday. I don’t know if it was anything to do with the problems I had last week with the missing spray but it leaves me in a fix . At 9.00 am I dashed out ( I did get dressed first) and took the new request to the chemist. I probably won’t get the new one until Monday but they’ll try for tomorrow for me. I happen to know my Doctor is off on a Friday though. I did a little more work then decided I wanted to see my friends at the Ivy. I plucked up the courage to walk up there but chickened out ( cluck cluck) after five minutes standing there and other people came to the stop. I didn’t have my MP3 player. Back home again I realise I’m going through a lonely period. I also found out that I’d mislaid my outside tablets so it’s perhaps as well I didn’t go. I ended up making up another pill box with another 2 meal supply. I searched everywhere for the others and decided I must have left them somewhere the last time I was out with Yvonne. That gave me a clue and I remembered the last time I saw her it was raining. I checked the pockets of my raincoat and there it was.

I was sitting in the lounge and I saw an elderly neighbour pass the window. There was a knock on the door and sweet Dorothy passed me a bouquet of flowers for Julia. She told me she was away on Mothers day and then had a nasty fall that kept her in. It was so thoughtful of her to remember the anniversary like that but I felt so guilty that I hadn’t noticed she hadn’t been about and asked about her. It’s the result of not leaving the house very often and of becoming far too insular. Not a good thing. I’ll have to make it up to her. I found a vase for the flowers and put them with the other two vases Ju currently has. I hope I’ll be able to replace some of them this weekend.

Most of the day has been spend nipping between the lounge and the computer trying to keep up to date. Thursday brings me my new episode of Big Bang Theory at 8.00 pm then at 10.00 pm my new Person of Interest. I was aghast sitting there tonight to be told that they were showing two episodes but I couldn’t stay up watching till midnight and then be able to come back to blog and catch up with post. The sacrifices I’m prepared to make for my friends eh?                                                                                     Hopefully you’ve all had a better day than I’ve had but maybe we’ll all have a great one tomorrow.  Hugs all round.

Friday. It was a very lazy 6.05 am today. I even went and got washed and dressed before turning the computer on. I was so laid back I was almost horizontal. I took care of a few messages before going to turn the light on for the fish and I put milk in a mug before realising I hadn’t laid out any tablets to take. Instead, I poured most of it on some cornflakes and used the rest for my coffee. At 8.30 am I girded up my loins ( or lions when I’m dyslexic) and headed out the door for the bus. I made it just in time for the 8.40 am bus and was actually up in town at 8.45 am, a bit before expected. It took me a good 15 minutes to  walk as far as the doctors where I waited to see the receptionist. One I don’t know came towards me and I almost panicked but I was lucky that one who knows me stepped in. She knows not to try and get me to speak but knew I wasn’t there for an appointment or I’d have signed myself in. “Bloods” she asked and I nodded. She passed me the forms and I smiled at her and left. Just two minutes away is the hospital and I went straight to the waiting room though my appointment was for 9.35 am. A few people were called in turn and I was OK just waiting but at about 9.15 am the nurse came and announced a woman’s name.No response, another name, still no response and a third with the same result. 

“Is anyone here for bloods?” she asked the room in general. I would have remained sitting till my time had she not seen the form in my hands. She held out her hand for it just as another nurse came out and called my name. Whew, double shifts today. I was actually out of the hospital before I was due in. I walked back towards town fully intending to nip to a small shop for some lighters but as I approached town a bus appeared and with a slight increase in pace I made it and within 10 minutes was home and back at work. Safe in my little nest. I kept the mail as up to date as possible today as Yvonne was bringing Reuben. Maybe we’d go shopping, maybe not. It was just gone midday when she texted me to say she was on the bus. I knew she’d be here about 1.30 pm. At about twenty past I got my coat on to go and meet her from the bus to see what she wanted to do. Reuben was fast asleep in his pram. She explained he wasn’t very well and has been sick a few times up to breakfast- but not since- but that he now had an explosive stomach and needed changing. We just made it to the house when he woke up and greeted me with a smile.

Once inside she changed him and poor lamb was covered in it. Luckily she had a spare outfit. He came and sat with his pops and told me a right old story. Not a word of truth in it I’m sure. Within half an hour it happened again and off came the clean outfit. There were no more replacements so he had to sit in a nappy and his mum’s cardigan. He seemed quite chirpy in himself. He was obviously dehydrated and Yvonne decided to give him some milk though I favour boiled water. She was a little worried he hadn’t eaten anything since breakfast. I went to answer the door while she tried to tempt him with a little fruit puree. It was Dawn from the chemist with the drugs I’d requested yesterday. Within moments he’d thrown up all over his bib and the cardigan. I came back through and took the bib to flush the worst of it away and wash it clean. Not stressed at all as I didn’t want him to feel any tension. He sat back with a water based drink and demolished it while now wrapped in a blanket. Yvonne had to phone Ugo to ask him to come take them home. That was a good hour + journey in rush hour traffic. They left me about 6.15 pm I think. I had some tea that Ugo had kindly picked up on the way and then went to take a shower. I finished my evening by working out how to use catch up TV and found the episode of Person of Interest  I’d missed last night. I did my drugs for the week, took tonight’s and came through to find 93 messages waiting. Ouch. I’m never leaving this seat again.

Saturday. I repeated the 6.05 am today. Well, you just get stuck in a rut don’t you. A quick run to the bathroom and back and on with the show…….. I could only work until 7.00 am though. On went the fish tank light and the expectation of food turned to fin flicks of disgust when they became aware I wasn’t feeding them today. Having had my ‘supplier’ deliver my stash yesterday, I put the weeks drugs out and then took this mornings dose to get my daily ‘High’ before taking my coffee through. It was 7.20 am, time to get dressed and put on my shoes. By half past I was ready to go out the front door with some shopping bags and trailing the three recycling bags behind me. I dropped those and quickly pulled the two bins to the pick up point at the end of the path and was on my way. I caught the bus at 7.40 am and by 7.45 was at the supermarket. No-one at the cash machines- good, I reloaded my wallet. Then swiftly into battle in the near deserted shop. Flowers first, a nice bunch of red carnations  to fill in any little gaps in the vases. A quick sideways grab on the run netted me a punnet of strawberries and a little further on a left hand swipe got me two packets of my baps. I bought some cakes, but can you believe it they weren’t for me. Still on the run ( OK fast trot) it was butter, always my Lurpak and then milk. Some ready meals and change aisle please. I skirted the freezers as I wanted to go there last.

I avoided the picalilli as Yvonne caught me with two full jars and asked me what my fixation is. I did buy some malt vinegar though ( remember Prague, chips taste better with malt vinegar not balsamic which is disgusting on chips). I bought the latest DVD of the Hobbit but I won’t watch it until I have all three. Some biscuits, some pop, some ricicles for breakfast and I’m just about done except for the ice lollies. I raid the freezers and bulk buy. I should be OK till Monday now. Off to the checkout where a sympathetic assistant said she’s hold off until I’d unpacked so I could move the trolley along to pack the stuff. Ha, she got into a conversation with another member of staff and she’d finished scanning before I’d got the trolley ready. I made her wait for payment until I’d packed the bags. I was sweating a bit as I couldn’t see my friendly phone girl but as luck would have it, the lady on the lottery counter was someone Ju and I used to see a lot. She happily made my phone call for a taxi. I’d just got the stuff out and put the trolley away when it arrived, almost like it had been waiting round the corner. He must know I tip well. Before I could move anything or he could pick up a bag, someone placed a barrier between us. Some fool car company was having a sales drive on a discounted car and they were even backing the model up to the front of the taxi, and asking him to move. It’s possible there may have been a few words, one of which might have been patience whereas the other 99 made the hair in my ears crisp up and fall out. The barrier was moved and my stuff carried to the boot of the taxi as I climbed in.

At home it was the usual putting the shopping away. Then I took the cakes next door for Dorothy an her son before changing the dead flowers from my two vases and putting in the carnations. It wasn’t even 9.00 am. I went back to working on mail. One friend had asked about The Ivy and it hit me, heck I’d managed the bus once, why not again. I want to see my friends! At 10.00am I left the house with chocolates in a carrier bag and headed for the bus stop going the other way. I even called in at Pauline’s for cigarettes. Once I reached the bus stop I had time to try and dissuade myself from going. What if they’re busy, why should they be happy to see me, will they even have noticed I’m not there? Before I could go home the bus arrived. It was quite uncomfortable as the bust was fairly crowded and the disabled seats were taken. Awful as it sounds I has to sit on the aisle side of a double seat to stop anyone sitting beside me. It was quite a journey through some of the back lanes and small villages but eventually I rang the bell for my stop. I got off the bus shaking, lit a cigarette and started walking along the road to The Ivy. As I got there, I put the cigarette out then hesitated a minute or two outside the building. Steeling myself I went in. There were a few customers but no sign of any staff so I went to my usual table and started to divest myself of sticks and jacket. Tariq turned up behind me with a beaming smile and asked me how I got there. Was I with Michael? He was very surprised when I said I’d come by bus though I couldn’t really tell him how important The Ivy and my special friends are, which was why I’d chanced the bus. Then I saw Shell and spoke to her for a couple of minutes while Tariq made me a drink. The shaking started to subside.

I couldn’t decide between a late breakfast or an early lunch but bacon won the day. I took a tablet ready for it’s arrival. Tariq came over to chat frequently and even brought his laptop over to show me some things on ebay. Angie came on duty and I was able to speak to her for a few minutes. Like Tariq her interest seemed to be where Mike was so I understood he’s the main interest of everyone. Understandable really as he’s got such a quick humour.  I ate my breakfast then ordered a pot of tea. There were plenty more customers by now and I didn’t want to be in the way so I got ready to go. The usual fight with Tariq ensued about the bill and he came round from behind the counter to give me a hug goodbye and tied to stick money in my pocket. No way I was having that. I don’t want him to close down because they’re not making a profit. He saw me out of the building and across the busy coast road. I went to the bus stop but one flew past before I got there. No problem, the most I would wait is half an hour and I could smoke to calm the nerves. A large black car drew up and there was Shella  beckoning me to get in. Amazing, the dear heart had left the kitchen to run me home. I tried to refuse but she insisted. My home is quite a way from The Ivy but she didn’t seem to mind at all and ran me to the door.

The rest of the day has been work, TV and ice lollies.

A dedication to all the nice people in this world, especially my friends on t’interweb and at The Ivy, Temptations and Kassidy’s as well as those at Butterfly’s whom I don’t get to see anymore.

Reuben and friend

Reuben and friend

Best of Pals

Best of Pals

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The Cough, The Gas Man Cometh and the Runaway Cigarette.

Sunday. I managed to get up at 6.00 am and start right in on the mail but there were just so many this morning. I listened out for rain in case we were car booting again but heard nothing so I thought I’d just keep going as much as I could in case. We all know what it’s like, some messages you have to answer, some you need to comment on and others you think why’d they bother to send them. There were lots to answer to start me off as there were many comments on last night’s blog. Some of them didn’t even swear at me. In truth everyone was showing their usual amazing patience but surprisingly no-one mentioned the children’s choir I found so amazing. Says a lot for my taste doesn’t it.

Damn, Mike’s alarm went off at 7.00 am so it means it was either another mistake on his part or he was intending to car boot. Discretion being the better part of valour I went through to the kitchen to see to the fish, drugs and my coffee and while there I prepared Mike’s mug and stuck the kettle on. If he got up I could pretend to be ready for him, if not the mug would be ready. Great, no movement so I returned to my room and started again. I’d done about two answers when I heard him move but just as far as the loo. Back to the kitchen I reboiled the kettle and made his drink. I put it on the side table next to his chair and prepared to go back to writing for a while. As I passed the bedroom door I noticed he’d gone back to bed. I was ready to stamp my foot in frustration when a little voice said “I’m awake but I’m cold”. I would have suggested he put a dressing gown on but brought his coffee through instead. Back to my room and I sat down to continue when there was a padding of footsies. ” I’m in the lounge you know” he called. Sigh, back up I took my drink with me and entered the lounge. Mr ‘Cold I am’ is sitting in his trollies ( underpants) and tee shirt in a room with the window open. I finished my drink and suggested he let me know what he wanted to do and when he was ready to do it. As for me I went to get washed and dressed and get as much mail done before the movement orders came.

About 8.00 am Mike came through to my room wearing a coat complaining at me keeping him waiting. I had a choice, carry on writing and bite my tongue in half, carry on writing and finish the missive I was on or wrap my hands round his throat and later plead insanity. In the end I just put my jacket on, slipped a carrier bag in my pocket, crutches on my arms and headed for the door. We decided to head for the Countess of Chester Hospital in Chester because their carboots are usually quite big. We did have to allow for the fact that it had rained a bit during the night and despite the forecast was spitting now. When we arrived it was quite a poor showing. Also, Mike started to feel unwell as he suffers quite a few problems with his stomach, quite often the rest of us suffer quite a few problems with his stomach too, but at least we were outdoors. Poor sould had to shuffle past the stall so fast he didn’t see much. I bought two candles and that was it. We packed up to find him a loo. Luckily I kknow a Frankie and Benny’s opens at 9.00 am for breakfast on a Sunday and it wasn’t too far away. We arrived there and he did a little dance to the loo and left me to order. I knew he’d want his normal Americano with cold milk on the side and I ordered a big breakfast for him. ‘Cos I’m so good I had my latte and a small bacon, egg and beans Oh, with toast for us both of course. After that we headed for home.

At 12.45 am I’d virtually caught up with mail and we were ready to go for lunch though we couldn’t manage a full Sunday roast dinner. That meant we could go to the Ivy and have a snack instead. The Gannet’s snack was a lamb hock with saute potatoes and mine was something else ‘ahem’. I remembered to take tablets which I’d forgotten at breakfast. Everyone came over to talk to us which was great and Tariq managed quite a conversation, mainly along the lines of “Why do my other customers all disappear when you two walk in?” We were actually there quite a long time and as we left Tariq came out with us and forcibly stuffed my money back in my pocket as today’s meal was a treat from him. What am I going to do when he has to close down bankrupt?

We had a ride into Prestatyn to buy a BFG for supper then took a back road hoping to come out near the Castle for sale. No joy. We did end up going to Jackson’s nursery for a drink to make up for missing one two weeks ago. Then as I couldn’t find any inspiration for this month’s birthday presents we went home. I was almost 3 hours back on the computer as Mike was looking at ebay on the laptop in the lounge. At 7.00 pm I forced myself to take a break and half the 16 portion BFG disappeared for tea, and I had a piece too. We watched Endevour together and for me it just keeps getting better and better. At 10.00 pm I helped Mike settle an ebay problem and then came back through where I still am. But now at 12.30 am I think it’s time to close. Hope you all enjoyed a great weekend and have a great new week to follow. Cwtch.

Monday. I was up at 4.50 this morning and working on the mail. Cough, cough, wheeze, wheeze it was really annoying. By 6.30 I was shattered and lay down for a minute that became an hour. When I woke the second time it was 7.30 and I could hear Mike in the kitchen. Amazing, I didn’t think he knew where it was. ( By the time he reads this he’ll be in Canada and I’ll be safe from retribution). As I went through to say good morning I realised I hadn’t even heard his alarm go off which is unusual. I did my usual routine and took my coffee through to sit with him- I was sitting, not the coffee. He was already fairly well prepared to journey off to his Dad’s to meet with a social worker then travel home to his son’s to pick up his grandchildren from school. He only has a couple of days as he flies out on Wednesday for his month in Canada. Maybe I should be suspicious because I have another friend who flies out exactly a week later for 3 weeks. I know he likes her. Hopefully his sister will keep him in check. I must admit it was quite sad to wave him off this morning and know I’ll be missing out on laughs for a while but at least I know he’ll have a great time.

After I’d bolted the door so he couldn’t get back in I lay down for a while. The chest is a problem I have to live with but it does get wearing after a while. It wasn’t long before I got up again as I remembered the gas man cometh today between 10 – 2 o0 pm. I’m afraid I couldn’t be bothered getting dressed so I cleared as much as possible out of his way then plonked myself back in front of the computer. There was a knock at the door at 10.20 am and it was him. I sort of pointed him in the right direction- the loo- then towards the meter. He agreed it wasn’t an easy place for me-or anyone but said rather than raise the meter as I’d hoped, what he suggested was smart meters which actually send readings in every half hour so they never need to read the meter again. If that was what he suggested who was I to argue so he phoned the instructions in from his van and then came back to say I should get a phone call in a few weeks. I pointed out it should be on file that I don’t do phones so he said they’d write.I won’t take long and will probably be him as he’s local. He left and I was so pleased I’d just about coped that I emailed Yvonne straight away to tell her. It was a case of “Well done Daddy, but what about the handle for turning the gas off if you ever need to? That’s partly the reason for doing this.” I felt quite deflated as I hadn’t given that a thought. I’ll just have to wait until he comes back again and hope it’s a Tuesday when Yvonne is here.

The next thing was to check my gas balance on line. After the most recent fiasco’s it had gone from £200 in arrears to £300 in credit. Today’s reading left it just £97 in credit which was a blow. Have I used £200 of gas in the last 2-3 weeks and damn, I won’t be able to get a rebate now. I’m in credit of over £200 on the electric but they won’t rebate that without a new reading so If my chest is OK later this week I’ll go outside and get a new reading from that meter. I went back to work until lunchtime when I had a pie. The rest of them will have to be put in the bin now. I should have frozen some last Friday. There will be tears. After lunch I turned TV on but only saw a few minutes before I felt myself drop a cigarette and start to nod off. The cigarette had gone inside my pocket so I was dancing on the spot tying to gt it out. I did fall asleep afterwards. Later I went back to work till almost 6.00 pm then had tea and some more TV. I caught a Harrison Ford film I’d not seen before, Clear and Present Danger. When I say caught it, I mean in between noddy periods. I can’t believe how tired I am today. Back to work at 10.00 pm and I’m now up to date and have beaten the witching hour deadline. I’m off to bed. Night all !

Tuesday. Awake at 4.15 am but with just one thought in my head. No way Jose, I’m not ready. I went straight back to sleep until 7.30 am. I bypassed the computer and went straight into the kitchen to see to the fish. The snails are coming back again and I may have to buy an assassin snail. I love the idea of a kind of ninja snail on my payroll going round and taking out all those snails that have offended me. Had my meds, made a coffee and took it back to the bedroom. While I waited for the computer I took an antibiotic but judging by my breathing between the kitchen and here, they haven’t kicked in still. A few years ago it took 4 different lots and I still ended up in hospital so I can do without that happening again. Can you imagine the blog….Lay in bed all day, they took bloods, gave me oxygen and wouldn’t let me smoke.                   The mail was fairly heavy but that was OK as I wasn’t going anywhere. I have the chest and Yvonne has a cold, better the twain not meet. I worked all morning and was disappointed when the real postman didn’t pay a visit. I dearly want to see the book I ordered for Reuben about toys becoming real through being loved. I broke off at lunchtime for a small pizza and then fell asleep in the chair afterwards. A message from Yvonne woke me to say they were still coming for Tuesday night tea and she’s feeling much better. At that point I didn’t know Ugo had  taken the day off to be with Reuben while Yvonne slept it off during the morning. 

I worked some more once awake so as not to fall too far behind today. By 4.30 I’d had enough and went back through to the lounge. I was on the point of nodding off yet again when I caught a glimpse out of the window of someone moving across my field of view. They’d arrived early. I got to hold Reuben straight away and he was full of smiles for me. It was probably because he was planning his next moves that I wasn’t aware of. It didn’t take long to find out when he suddenly burst into life in my arms and grabbed the beard to hang on. My eyes leaked.Then he spotted the chain about my neck an he spent ages trying to get at it and remove it forcefully. He tried getting my glasses, chewing my finger off to get at my ring but all the time he was fixated on the chain. Ugo went out to collect tea from the hippy and when he returned I was exhausted and happy to hand Reuben over to his mum. I buttered and cut up some bread for her to give him. I enjoyed my sausage and chips and Ugo enjoyed his kebab after which I gave him the last of the BFG and knowing Reuben stood no chance of getting any, I brought him a chocolate biscuit to nibble on.                                                         All too soon it was 7.00 pm and they had to leave. Since I hadn’t been dressed all day I had to wave them off at the door. Reuben wondered why Pops wasn’t carrying him to the car but I’d have had no wind at all if I had done.

I did a little more work and watched TV from 8-9.00 pm. Work till 10.00 pm then a new episode the the Mentalist. Very good, but I’m not sure how I like the changes since they no longer have Red John to chase. Then back here to finish post and do the blog. I’ve timed it well enough to be able to read a little. I need to rest as I have to get dressed and visit the corner shop in the morning.  Sleep Well.

Wednesday. 4.15 am today and not a struggle. I nipped, nay skipped to the loo and then came back to see the damage. I was pretty amazed that there were 23 emails just from last night despite the time I’d finished and a further 61 between midnight and 4.15 am. Do none of you sleep?  I know here’s a time difference in some places but it should only be silver surfers like me on the computer between midnight and midday. Anyhoo I got stuck in. Two of the con artists from Nigeria were back on with their millions. Maybe they don’t know about my vow of poverty. ( I vow I’m sick of being poor). By 7.30 am I was pretty clear but decided not to refresh until I’d seen to the fish. I took my antibiotic and went to the kitchen.

When I refreshed there were quite a few posts from ‘Kitty’ who invariably has something interesting to say or to show. There have been some wonderful wildlife video’s to see but also some very disturbing posts about things happening in various parts of the world.  http://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/hummingbirds-flowers-and-iguana-in-costa-rica/  When it comes to things like one of our leading political parties having Neo Nazis as members and holocaust deniers then I’m very disturbed. When I see posts about a leading U.S. Bank suggesting Europe needs a dictatorial government to deny benefits to it’s peoples I’m even more disturbed especially when France already has a far right leader who is imposing austerity measures. I sat back and asked myself  why a bank should suggest imposing austerity measures when it can’t know what they mean. I doubt very much if any bank is intending to lead by example. It is worrying though that after all the conspiracy theories we read about banks wanting to take over an run the world, why they should want right wing governments in place to do so. Then a chap I admire greatly, the famous Pinkagendist had a post where the wife of a Minister, identity disguised, is blogging about gay people coming back to church to repent as though being gay is a sin, and being anti gay marriage , promoting opposition to same. What happened to live and let live, to tolerance, to the path in life suggested by Jesus who these Christians are supposed to follow? There will be questions and answers from both sides of the argument to come on Pinkagendists blog as each states their point of view.   http://pinkagendist.wordpress.com/   At this point I’m introducing a song for you all.

I got dressed at about 9.00  am and took a slow walk to Pauline’s. OK, I know I’m stupid but I needed cigarettes. I have cut down while my chest has been bad and tried to use one of the fake fags in between but I still enjoy the real thing. I worked most of the morning and finally cleared the box at just gone 11.30 am.My postman came and delivered a parcel for Mike. He looked at he name and said “That’s not you is it?” I had to explain I was taking parcels while Mike is away. He’d warned me one was coming and I knew what it is but when I picked this box up it’s as light as a feather. I wonder if the man who sent it forgot to put anything in?  Time to see what was on TV. Hellfire, just what I need this week, a choker. How do I eat lunch with a lump in my throat? As it happens I did manage but I didn’t really enjoy it so that should count for something. As usual I nipped in and out during the afternoon to try and keep current . For no reason other than it was one of Ju’s favorite records before she died and we played it at the funeral I’m posting a second song for you.

I’d just finished my last update at 5.30 when I was surprised by the arrival  of Lee James. I thought he was in Japan. Turns out he goes on Friday. Blow me, not five minutes later his wife Jen appears from work and is joining us foe games night for a change. I’m so pleased. It was almost 6.00 pm before Dil and Matt arrived so by the time I’d sorted drinks we had a slightly later start.One of the nice things about having Jen with us was that I could suggest not playing scrabble. After last weeks horror losses I didn’t want to chance it. So, I got away with suggesting Balderdash first. Ha, they agreed and somehow I extracted my revenge with a whitewash. I suggested a second game and maybe LJ saw the glint in my eyes as he suggested changing to Absolute Balderdash. That lad has a cruel streak. But, being the (grit my teeth) good loser that I am I ak-wee-essed. What happened? Well, it was an even bigger whitewash, I romped to victory miles ahead of my nearest rival. WOO HOO !! L.J.and Jen chose that point to leave. I’m sure I hear muttering about the biggest bloody liar in the world but maybe my hearing is a bit off. I made another drink for Dil and Matt and grudgingly brought the biscuits out, I only left two in the packet just in case, but being noble I didn’t eat one. Matt drew up the score sheet for Nomination whist and Dil dealt the cards. The first couple of hands were a bit iffy but I did get into my stride. Bingo, I won that too. A clean sweep. We packed up and they left without hitting me once, mainly because I was barricaded in the kitchen, lethal that Matt can be. After they’d gone I did the pots, tidied up and came through to finish the mail and do the blog. It’s now almost 12.30 am and I’m listening to the end of a record I’ve not heard before by someone I’ve not heard of before. My last job of the night is to share it with you. If like me you’ll love someone for a thousand years, you’ll enjoy it too.

Thursday. Back to early starts again. It was just 4.35 am when the bladder alarm  struck and had me scuttling along to the loo for a stop start session that was worse than the works bus route in  morning. By the time I got back to the bedroom I was wide awake and so were all the birds who’d gone to sleep on the guttering outside the bathroom window. It’s not really my fault, when you pee standing up and in the dark you have to pee in the middle so you know you’re hitting water. Ignoring the birdie complaints, I wrote myself a note that if I go out later I must wear a rain mac, and then turned the computer on. One of the first items I found really delighted me, I’m due a £385.65 tax rebate…. or as the idiot who tried to take me in described it.. Tax Refound Notofication!  It would be nice if the crooks at least learned to spell the words they’re using to convince others. I also had quite a few messages about instant insurance quotations in seconds which I thought I’d take a look at. I dutifully filled in the online form with the info required like Age-Ancient, Smoker, Yes Please, Sex, more than Yes Please…..you get the picture. I get all the way to the bottom of the form and it says now provide your telephone number so one of our annoying sales reps  highly trained consultants who will scour the universe for the best quote, can speak to you. So, I put in a fake number and I hope they spent ages trying to get through.

I heard a little tapping sound and when I looked up I saw it was 8.10 am. I dashed ( stop laughing at the back) to the kitchen where one of the bull nose plecs was using a snail to tap a morse code message on the glass of the tank. It was only ten minutes for heavens sake. Yes, I know it was lunchtime yesterday but my brain is porous these days. Things slip out. I smiled and fed them. They turned their backs n me and swam away. I took my sprays and went to get my pharmacy from the lounge.Man, that drawer is heavy. Maybe it’s all the medicinal Mars Bars I hide from Mike- for his own good of course. I took my morning tabs and then refilled the container with a full week’s supply. I replaced the drawer and then made myself a coffee to take back to the bedroom. Before starting work again I got dressed as judging by my lottery results I need tickets for Friday and the weekend. Maybe I’ll have to double the bribe to £2 ? I worked on clearing the first batch of post until almost 9.30 am then took a four legged stroll to Pauline’s where I also bought some baps. The sun was really shining so I must have looked odd in my rain mac but you just don’t understand how vindictive a tired bird can be. I could return looking like I have white spot. I managed the journey unscathed however so I’m just hoping the sunshine put everyone if a good mood.

I refreshed my page and though there were only 41 I knew they’d take a while. I put my head down and forged ahead and cleared one because at that moment the postman came and delivered another watch I’d been waiting for and my book The Velveteen Rabbit, more accurately it’s Reuben’s book but I get first read. I’ve been hearing about it for a while as a modern classic and it certainly seems to be full of promise. I put it away ready to give it to him on Sunday. I wonder how long it will take to be devoured as he now has 3 teeth. I continued with my mail. It strikes me that though I’m often inundated with mail, I get to read some fantastic blogs of people I follow, some of whom have become tremendous friends over the time I’ve been blogging. I’m so grateful that some are dedicated to the most worthy projects possible, or some that just fill you full of hope. Others just manage to bring a constant smile to my face. At 11.30 am I knocked off to go and make lunch which as usual I sat with in front of the TV or is that sat in front of the TV with? I stayed there until 2.00 pm before starting the usual afternoon dodging back and forth. I wasn’t too bothered about anything early evening but I wanted to be free for 8.00 pm. I was free, and my Big Bang Theory lived up to it’s usual humorous promise. There were two other comedies with new episodes following that which I thought I’d try. How I met your Mother which I can take or leave and the new ( to me) Brooklyn Nine Nine which has a lot of mileage in it. It made me laugh out loud and not much does that. It’s usually quiet appreciation. Anyhoo, after that I came back through and brought the post up to date before coming to bore you to tears. To make up for it I have another blast from the past for you.

Friday. 6.15 today and I’m happy with that though it was 1.00 pm before I turned the light off last night. I had to check under the bed for the bogey man first. I’d been hoping for a boogie man but I’m told no-one does boogie now. While ploughing through my mail I was reading a post that shocked me. It said that in 1978 a record was banned in North America because they didn’t like the idea of 4 men in dresses. I had to sit and think for a while about who’d be threatened by that, it was done in such a humorous way. I don’t know whether the ban extended to the record as well as the video or whether the record company actually made an alternate video for the American market. Anyway, you all know what this is leading up to so without further ado I give you……………. QUEEN. 

The morning was as usual, the fish getting fed on time and me getting my coffee. I nipped to Pauline’s for some cash and bought some ciggies. Since the Government increased the tax on cigarettes yet again I now have to ask for 95 instead of 100 with my brand trying to keep the prices down. The Government complain that smokers use the health service with self inflicted illnesses. I accept that, but everyone else who complains should remember their treatment is subsidised by smokers through the taxes we pay. As I got back from the shop (sans Kitkat today) another parcel arrived for Mike but at least it wasn’t my postman today wondering if I use an alias. This parcel is of the right weight for what I was expecting so I’ll assume he ordered something very light earlier in the week….and it suddenly dawns on me that he’s ordered a homburg. Wednesday’s parcel is explained.

I had a pizza at lunchtime and followed it up with an afternoon kip.That lasted for a good hour before I returned to answering messages. I bobbed in and out to keep things as up to date as possible so I could have an evening break. I managed from 6.00 pm to 8.30 pm and only came back in here after Mastermind. Surprisingly I was able to answer at least a couple of everybody’s specialist subjects and some of the general knowledge. Back here it’s been a time of commenting on quite a few blogs and doing a number of tweets. People are brilliant at returning the favour. I left it until late to start the blog and I want to be in bed before midnight. As Mike always says, If I’m not in bed by midnight, I should go home. I hope all my friends in the Antipodes have had a great start to their weekends and I hope all my friends from elsewhere in the world get a great start when it arrives for them.  Hugs !

Saturday. There I was this morning at 5.40 am with plenty of time to work and not an alarm clock anywhere to disturb me. By 7.00 am I was feeling tense listening for the sound. I even got up and went through o the kitchen and put the kettle on- I don’t use the kettle for my drink. This fish must have been over the moon as I fed them and I don’t do that on a Saturday. Oh heck, things have gone to pot and he’s not even here. I took my tabs, made my drink and went back to my bedroom blowing a quick raspberry in the direction of Mike’s room as I passed it. For a Saturday morning there wasn’t too much post but I still worked steadily till 8.30 am. Still not quite getting my head round not going shopping and not trading insults with my bro I went to take a shower. See, he’s even skived off washing my hair and I had to revert to  bending in the middle and doing it with my arms now below my head. That only resulted in me having to sit down in a hurry as I overbalanced. Take my word for this, sitting on a shampoo bottle is not comfortable and doesn’t result in your nether regions getting covered in foam.  It does however result in some high pitched noises you hope the neighbours don”t want to investigate.

I got dressed. You must have heard the saying ‘All dressed up and nowhere to go’ I felt a fool so I changed into jeans for comfort. I brought my post up to date and decided to go out to Pauline’s. Instead I diverted to the One-Stop over the road and got some cash. Their machine was working for once. I chose there because they are affiliated with a bigger supermarket and often carry specials. I needed Easter eggs for my nieces for tomorrow and wanted to see their choice. They did me proud and while there I decided to get them for Yvonne, Ugo and Reuben. Then it was back over the road to Pauline’s where I tried to hide the contents of my bag so she wouldn’t know I’d shopped elsewhere. The choice of eggs there is awful. I bought my cigarettes for the weekend, one other item and left. Before going home I nipped to the ‘Savoy’ which is a little sandwih shop that also do some meals. I bought a nice ham salad sandwich ( heavy on the onions) for my lunch and a sausage roll for my tea.  Back at home I refreshed my screen and found a few messages had come while I was out. I also checked ebay and found I’d forgotten to bid on some books I wanted and the pesky auction had finished. Typically it was a low price too. I was up to date with mail again by 11.00 am and took a break. I stepped out to see if the bin men had been and met my postman arriving with a free pen I won. The bin men had been except the food bin man had collected everybody else’s but mine. I’ll be looking at a plague of flies outside the front door next week.Heaven knows what the inside of the bin will look like when I come to put the next bag in.

I sat with a book listening to a bit of music until lunchtime. Then it was time to enjoy my sandwich with a portion of BFG I’d got from Pauline’s. Well, I couldn’t go to my Ivy Emporium or Kassidy’s and I missed my morning coffee at Temptations, I deserved a treat. The only trouble is I’m missing my friends at the Ivy and am talking to the walls and this is only week 1. I had a nap in the afternoon as soon as I chose a film to watch. There was no snoring in the chair beside me and I know I was bored. Roll on tomorrow when the girls come. I nipped back and forth to keep an eye on the mail but it’s been quite manageable this week.  Mind you, I’ve had more opportunity to get at it. By 9.45 I knew I wasn’t taking anything on TV in so decided to call it a night. I’ve had chance to get up to date before coming to the blog to regale you with today’s non-happenings.  I hope Mike’s having a great time in Canada but I’ll be glad when the month is up.

The last song for this week is by one of my favourite artistes of all time. Mr James Taylor. I want to dedicate it to all my friends out there because it’s called Shower the People you Love with Love. Enjoy…….

Well padded camouflage.

Well padded camouflage.

Peace at last

Peace at last

I'm almost on my way.

I’m almost on my way.

My white afro.

My white afro.

 

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Future photos & Gurgle Jugs

Sunday. It was 5.56 this morning when I started. Since I’m on my own at this time of the day there was no rush. I was likely to be on my own for some time yet. I decided to break off at 7.00 am for meds and coffee and more importantly for the fish. Guilt at completely forgetting them yesterday made me decide to give them a longer run today and anyway, an earlier feed would confuse the little monsters. It was Mike who realised I’d forgotten them yesterday when we got back from Blakemere and he went to make a drink. Of course the sadistic beggar delighted in pointing out my memory is going.

I took my coffee back to my desk and continued answering comments on the blog and commenting on other posts. Despite my chair having supportive arms ( great for when I nod off) I almost fell out of it when Mike walked in at 8.00 am. It was at least another two hours before I expected him. I made him his first coffee then rushed around to get dressed.  I heard him put the kettle on a few minutes later and then go to wash and dress himself. He’s very good since I taught him how to do his own buttons and put a big L and R on his shoes. Shame I didn’t do it on his feet as well though………. By the time he started on his second drink I’d finished the mail and could go through to join him. He’d decided to try the car boot again so I raided Reuben’s piggy bank ( I put it all back honestly Yvonne) for some change and off we went.

It was beautiful going over the mountain into the Wheeler Valley and seeing the sun shining in patches on the opposite side. We drove along to Love Lane in Mold and parked up. The car boot occupies most of the car park there. I found a brand new keyboard as a spare for the next time my nails take the letters and numbers off to make writing messages a guessing game. I paid just £2.00 for it. I’m sure I got something else too but for the life of me I can’t remember what. I was very excited to find a gurgle jug for Mike but we were both disappointed to find it had been repaired and not too well so it wasn’t bought. Still, we did find two great gurgle jugs yesterday……..

Gurgle Jug- Dartmouth Pottery

Gurgle Jug- Dartmouth Pottery

Also by Dartmouth Pottery

Also by Dartmouth Pottery

Dartmouth Pottery made the originals and they make quite a few colours. Other makers including Wade also made them and they make a great collection……………………

When we finished at the car boot we headed for Flint where we bought some chocs before heading in for a coffee at Temptations. Daniel and Trudie were on again and I was able to ask him if I could take a few pictures next time I go in to let you all see where I eat and drink as suggested by one of my friends. We had a nice break and then nipped next door where we found the perfect curtains for Yvonne. Silver, lined and a 90″ drop.

I needed some tins of pineapple so Mike drove me the 200 yards to the shop and reminded me to pick up more chocs. Having got what I needed we had a run down to Gronant along the Coast Road and lunched at The Ivy Emporium. Everyone came out to greet us from the kitchens and Shella offered to do a meal that wasn’t on the menu but which I love. Mike had a lamb shank with dauphinoise potatoes. Just being there is a treat knowing that Tariq, Shella, Angie and Helen will always come to say hello and there are hugs both coming and going. A little later Mike dropped me off and headed for his Dad’s. I headed straight for the mailbox on the computer and worked till about 4.00 pm when suddenly the front door opened.My heart stopped until a pushchair appeared followed by Yvonne and then Ugo. An unexpected treat. Ugo made himself something to eat while Reuben and I inspected his refection in the mirror. Ugo demolished half a pack of chocolate biscuits with his drink while Reuben was not happy at being missed out. He showed his displeasure on my beard, sideburns and moustache . OUCH. Ugo liked his git, Yvonne loved hers and also the curtains so I didn’t have to save them till Tuesday. They left about half five and I returned to mail till 6.00 when I gave up to watch TV for a while.

A text from Mike for info kept me occupied for a while but after that I watched a film until 9.00 pm when it was back to work. Here I am at 11.45 pm caught up and ready for a read. I wish you all goodnight and sweet dreams.

Monday. This is one of the first pieces of mail I opened this morning.  http://youtu.be/x1qQdjPyagU  I’m sorry Andrea, but here is scientific evidence that when you game too much you can no longer tell real life from the game.

On another note, for all you historical buffs, a new piece of work by one of our more classical composers came to light that was videoed at the time and was lost. I think the scene may be a Viennese Concert room but perhaps may be better identified by the costume.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT3SBzmDxGk

So my day started well though there was a goodly chunk of mail. In no rush I took it easy, breaking off at 8.00 am for the fish, mu uppers and a cuppa. I came back and carried on going until I finished just before 9.30. I got ready and took a walk to the chemist to drop off a prescription and then called in at Pauline’s for some baps. The bread kind that is. One of my friends suggested  that I should mention that in the UK baps is also a euphamism for boobs, knockers, boobies and buzooms. I assure you Pauline stocks none of these items. See Lottie, not a single snigger from the audience but I might now get a visit from the respectability police. Coming home again I found the postman had been. It’s a new one these days and I can’t make head nor tail of his times. Anyway, he delivered the missing credit card holder that stops cards being copied as it’s metal. He also, much to my delight, delivered a letter from my cousin in California. I haven’t heard from her for a couple of years though Christmas cards always come. I know when we retire things often get forgotten but I’m so pleased to hear from her. I dashed off an answer and then walked back up to the Post Office to send it par avion. Things were so much easier when she worked and had a computer. Her son lives on the East Coast and I haven’t seen him since he was about 10 years old, he’s 47 this year !!

I worked till lunchtime at twelve then made something to eat and sat down to watch a bit of TV. All mindnumbing stuff usually at this time of the day. After I’d eaten I washed the pots and sat down again with my eyes closed for a minute. What a long minute that was. It was gone 3.00 pm before I got back to work and the post box was full again. That took until 5.45 to clear but it was worth the effort. I made some tea which translates as I had a sandwich ( a bap) and opened a tin of fruit. Washed up again and watched Law and Order. I stayed with TV until 9.00 pm before coming back through to see who was still expecting me to work at this time of night. More of you than I thought it seems. Time to go get some beauty sleep ( I heard that remark about there not being THAT much time). Yvonne and Reuben are coming tomorrow as I have blood tests , no not Reuben biting me again. Proper blood tests so I may meet them in town and go from there. Maybe we have time for a small shop before coming home as Lis is visiting then……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Susperbaby 5 USE.

parky 2 USE

Two generations

Two generations

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Wednesday. I didn’t get up till 6.00 am but who cares, there’s no one to tell tales on me here. I worked for two hours and then went through the daily routine. The fish were happy to be back at normal time. How the heck are they going to cope with the clocks going forward and them losing an hour. I took my coffee back and finished the first round of mail. Next on the list was getting dressed. I put a waistcoat on as it looked a bit nippy out there this morning. About half past nine my phone burped and Yvonne said she was on the bus. Allowing for traffic,  a little rain, the driver’s ciggie break and an outbreak of dandruff in Kowloon I arranged to meet her in Holywell at 10.45 am. Two hours before the bloodtests but time enough for coffee and a spot of lunch.  I reached Holywell with a following wind at 10.15 am and decided to look round a shop. It was as well I came out early as I saw Yvonne’s bus pull in at 10.30 am. I’d forgotten my phone and might have missed her.

Reuben was awake and I got one smile before he started to look at me with some suspicion. I’m obviously not his Dad who he adores, at least we know he’s not colour blind. I took a walk round another shop while Yvonne visited the bank. He please must have fallen on deaf ears because they joined me a minute later. The total faff surrounding a name change at a bank is amazing. You now need to make an appointment to do it even when the staff are free. She’ll have to do that at her home branch now. We spotted my favourite word ‘SALE’ on the window of a clothes shop and Ihad to turn a deaf ear to her moans at me in order to get Reuben a couple of things. Then we headed for lunch. Kassidy’s was fairly quiet so we found a nice table and got Reuben out of his pushchair and onto my knee where he promptly grabbed two handfuls of my facial hair and pulled. Yvonne ordered a strawberry tea with a baked potato and tuna. I had a pot of tea and a b***n sandwich. Reuben has some milk, blown back out with a raspberry and some dinner which went the same way. I just had to tell people they were natural flecks of colour in my jacket.

The women all thought Reuben was a Cutie and Chris came out of the kitchen to coo a little. Meanwhile he has such a death grip on my moustache I had to offer a corner of my bread to occupy his hands. Just as well he didn’t realise the bread was sans content. As we finished there and Reuben was once again in his trolley, poor Yvonne had to move furniture around to clean up the floor.Reuben had made a bit of a mess too. We left and went to get him some more baby food before heading back up town. It was still just mid-day so we had a wander round Lidl. It must have taken longer than we thought as I had to leave them at the till and fly to get to the hospital. I made it. I didn’t have long to wait before it was over again for a couple of months. I must be nearly empty now though. I came out of the hospital slowly looking about for a missing daughter and grandson. I was halfway back to town before I met them. Yvonne had missed the hospital ( just one road away). How anyone can lose a building that big I don’t know.

We got home safely and my phone had a message to say Lis wasn’t well and wasn’t able to come out. That meant I could be bullied by Reuben without a break now. He did eventually nod off, no doubt knackered from beating me up. As Yvonne held him on her lap I nipped outside for a ciggie and then did some messages so tonight’s batch wasn’t too bad. My prescription drugs were delivered and I took Reuben when the phone rang and it was the Gas Company to sort out my problems. Yvonne got all my queries answered and someone is coming out in April to assess moving the meter. Also, towards the end of April they’ll assess my payments again an d issue a refund for the credit’s on my accounts. Just as well since they’ve changed the direct debit for gas up by £20 a month despite owing me and not the other way round.

It was 7.00pm before Ugo arrived tonight since the traffic was bad an then the local chippie was closed and he had to go back into town. I was about to start on Rueben’s arm when he turned up. I couldn’t finish it all but Ugo had no problem with his plus his chocolate puddings. Reuben used great big Doe eyes but couldn’t get a taste. It was 7.45 pm before they left and baby was tired. Still he was as good as gold when I put him in his car seat. I hugged them all and they’d gone. I came back in and tried to make it look like a herd of buffalo hadn’t just passed through then straight in here to start work. I’m up to date for now but think I’ll call it a night. It’s a Night ! Off to read a book.

Wednesday. It was a late start this morning as I lay in bed until almost 7.30 am. I was awake but not motivated at all. When I finally moved, I had time to turn the computer on, nip to the loo and then do about four messages before going to feed the fish. I took my coffee back to the computer and resisted the urge to go back to bed. Just before 9.30 I got washed and dressed to go out for some baps, ciggies and a kitkat that miraculously appeared in my hand at the till. I did manage to get as far as home before eating it. I worked on until the first batch of post was cleared at about 10.15 am then decided to go through to the lounge. Unusually I made a second coffee and sat down to watch a film about George Washington and the Continental Army that was about to start.  I was no more than a couple of minutes into it when glancing out of the window I saw my nephew David approaching and he was carrying a box.

Intrigued I went and opened the front door for him. I was greeted with his usual smile and he placed the box in my arms telling me it was something he’d picked up free of charge ( I never believe him) at the weekend. As we went through to the lounge and he headed off to make himself a cuppa I found the box was full of discs from the front of various Family Tree and Genealogy magazines. There look to be some excellent records there which may help in my quest to get past some stumbling blocks. I’m really very grateful. Though he wouldn’t accept anything for them, there was a small job on the computer I was at least able to help him with. He’s not been lucky enough to develop the kind of interest as I have and therefore has no idea what to do sitting in front of the screen. A shame really as he has the time to become really good. He wouldn’t stay for lunch but left to go and do some shopping before going home.

I had lunch and then spent the early part of the afternoon thinking of my nieces Karen and Jo. They’re in my mind quite often and I’m just looking forward to seeing them in early April. It’s just hit me what an odd month that will be. Mike away, my nephew Lee away, I think Yvonne and Ugo are away for a week of it and then Ugo’s mother will be staying with them over Easter. My world will be quite empty except when the card sharps visit on a Wednesday.Talking of which, that’s today. I did some catch-up work between about 3.00- 5.30 pm then went to put a quiz on the box while I awaited my visitors.  Dil and Matt turned up at about 5.45 pm and watched the end of the quiz while I made drinks. As it finished I erected the card table and set out the Scrabble. We’d just managed two words each when Lee turned up so we abandoned the game and started again with all four of us. Lee was telling us about going to Japan with his lovely wife in April for a month. Then the subject turned to the problems in The Ukraine and also the missing airliner. Concentration was not on the game for a change. I can remember that I lost and Dil won. Out came the cards for Nomination Whist, I lost again. This is becoming habit forming now. Dil suggested as there were four of us that perhaps we play partners at cribbage. I had Lee as my partner and he’s not played before. I found it hard to try and explain the basics .The game was progressing well and it had been Matt’s deal so his was the box. ( For non-players, the box is a second hand the dealer gets). When we’d played the lay-down part and it came to counting points in the hand Matt ‘accidentaly’ mixed his hand and his box together so Dil ( his partner) helped sort out what he’s played and passed the two hands back to him. His hand had some thing like 6 points, but when he turned the box over it was a 24 pointer with two eights, a seven and a six with a seven as the turn-up card. He admitted he’s not sure if he separated the two hands correctly but it would have been criminal not to have the box with the cards it now had. The cheating didn’t save them as Lee and I won ( Come on, I was doing the scoring). They left at just gone 9.30 pm.

I came through once I’d tidied up and stored what few biscuits Matt had left me. ( One I think). I’ve caught up with the mail again and managed this post for 11.30 pm so I have time for a short read now. Before I go though, it interests me to ask how many of you still play games at home either with your children or just as adults. With the advent of the computer I’m sure lots of people game, but alone these days or in RPG’s on the net and I just wonder if the social aspect is being lost with all the laughs that can be had. Night all.

……………….1004520_709315322452748_1750083583_nWhat’s the blank to make a 7 letter word. Picture credit the Scrabble Site …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Thursday. Sleep at about 1.00 am and up again at 3.10 am so I went to see if I could nod off on my chair in the lounge. Fat Chance ! I’m not especially nosy but every movement outside caught my attention. One elderly male neighbour turned his light on and walked stark naked into his lounge. Hell, I wish he’d used an iron. Lucky for me the light was soon turned off again but I’d already put dark glasses on so I could see nothing more. It wasn’t too long before some dozy beggar woke the birds and their morning chorus started.  I gave up trying to sleep and came through to the computer. I never open the curtains there as the screen faces the window and it makes it extremely hard to see. At least there are no distractions.

I saw to the fish at 8.00 am and spent half an hour sorting my drugs for the week before making myself a coffee and taking it back through to continue with my mail.  The latest annoyance are messages that look genuine until opened which then say my payment owed of $212.50 ( or similar ) is ready to be paid if I just click the link. Since I know no-one owes me anything it’s a pain not being able to just delete them. The wind started howling outside in a repeat of yesterday’s gales but today the rain came too. I’m not going to complain as the Spring flowers need a drink and we’ve had a reasonable run of dry and sunny weather. It does sound awful out there though. By 9.30 am I’d finished and got myself ready to go out. Unfortunately I need my lottery tickets and some biscuits. At Pauline’s shop I met Darren the postman who said he had a parcel for me. Amazing since the item was only ordered yesterday. I texted my nephew David to let him know and had a response later to say I’d have a visit tomorrow.

More mail and blog comments when I got back and the parcel was delivered. I put it to one side for David to open in the morning. Lunchtime came and I fed my face on a lamb shank. Thanks Asda, it was very tasty. As soon as I’d washed up I turned on an old film and promptly nodded off. I didn’t wake till 3.00 pm. On checking the computer I found a message from Yvonne to thank me for a parcel she’d received along with a message from me. It was full of bags of apple crisps apparently. I confess here and now that if Yvonne hadn’t told me about the message in the parcel I might have denied it was me. I’ve only got a vague recollection of doing it a couple of weeks or so ago. I worked until 5.30 pm then went for tea before Law and Order started. I watched TV until 8.00 pm and then came back through to find 82 pieces of mail waiting. I also wanted to order something from Amazon.com for delivery in the U.S.- it wouldn’t let me so I went to my account with Amazon.co.uk. It let me get through the order process then refused to send the good abroad even though .com import via the same firm. Aarrrgghh. In the end I went to  http://www.englishteastore.com/ where if you live in the U.S. you can get a great selection of British food…….including my Border Dark Chocolate Gingers. It’s probably not the only place but they’ve been excellent with their service so far. Anyway, someone is due to get a nice birthday gift soon. Mail done, blog done, it’s time for a short read I think.

Friday. It was 3.55 today and even though I was reluctant, I knew I wouldn’t nod off again just yet. It was worth starting on the post to give myself  a little leeway later. I worked up to 6.15 which brought me up to date with the 82 waiting in my box so I took a chance and lay on top of the bed. It seemed to take a while but I did manage and stayed there until 7.20 am. I’d had a treat so I gave the fish one and fed them early today. There were only 30 new messages when I got back so I was able to get washed and dressed before 9.30 as I’d no idea what time David would call for his parcel. As it happened I worked on and off between mail and family tree until almost 11.30 am when I decided to go through to the lounge  I’d just stood up from my desk when there was a knock at the door and David came in. He was going to Broughton Park near Chester to a shop he’s heard about and asked if I’d like the ride out. Me- Shops, what do you think? I was in the car before he was. It turned out the shop is my favourite shop there, it’s called Home Sense and has really nice and unusual gifts, furnishings etc. It’s partnered with TKMAXX.

David was after some items from the sale displays and went straight to the appropriate shelves. I paused a little and enjoyed some of the wonderful Japanese style furniture and some of their ceramics. I was just catching up to David when I saw some tea bags with green tea, pomegranate and cranberry that I thought Yvonne might enjoy. Then a cute little table caught my eye with a glass top under which sits an ornate clock so there’s no chance of not knowing what time it is if you’re having a cuppa. Lastly I saw a sale if the craft section and found a sweet little motto and surrounding leaves that go on a wall I thought  might look quite sweet in the hallway. I’ll have to ask Mike what he thinks as his hands are steadier than mine. Having finished in there we nipped next door to have a coffee and sandwich as my lunchtime meds were late.  David ran me home again then headed off to collect some thing to go on his next Charity Car Boot Stall. I’m always happy to donate stuff to that as he does it for the hospice Ju was in at the end. I think he’s brave considering the last traces of his own cancer haven’t been eradicated yet.

I worked all afternoon on the mail and was glad to see a couple of KDP Royalty payments for last month. I stopped at 5.00pm to make a sandwich and watch a quiz. I wasn’t sure what time Mike would arrive as he’d gone to his Dad’s today to sort some problems for him.  He still wasn’t here at 7.00pm so I didn’t get a decent hairwash this week but I can do so tomorrow. The man has nails and uses them. I get my hair washed and my head scratched at the same time. I really miss being able to do that. It’s one of those odd things that brings on an angina attack, like raising my arms above my head sometimes does. It’s as well I don’t have to cheer Wales beating England at rugby these days or I’d be in trouble. He eventually arrived at 8.30 halfway through Agents of Shield which he likes so we had to start it again at 9.00 pm so he could see it all. I decided to head through here then as he complained he hadn’t had much of my company. No Comment. I finished the mail which was a measly 29 this time, had chance to do my blog and am now going to read a little more about King Alfred and the Danes. See you all tomorrow.

Saturday.I’ve already been threatened with exposure in the comments so I’ll confess my guilt up front and admit I didn’t get up this morning until Mike’s alarm went off and woke me at 7.00 am. I have no idea what happened but as I went to the loo a voice chirped out a good morning to me as I passed his bedroom. I was frankly amazed he was awake and thought he must realize I’d only just got up. A few minutes later as I was preparing drinks Mike came to the kitchen. He said something along the lines of  “Aren’t you surprised I’ve come through for my drink?” My less than charitable response was ” I’m surprised yo’re not  waiting for the second alarm before moving at all.” I expected a sharp retort as usual but was rewarded with ” Huh, starting on me when I’ve  just got up.” I should have bitten my tongue off at that point but no, I had to open my mouth, “No, I’m starting on you when I’ve just go up.” That was it. The realisation of what I’d said registered and I knew I’ll not live this down easily and won’t be able to tease him about not getting up in future. It strikes me now that I’m sure he drugged me last night.

We left at about 7.45 am and my computer wasn’t turned on. All I could think about was unanswered messages and how many more there’s be when I got home. We arrived at the store just before 8.00 am and I’ve never seen anyone look so smug. Nothing at all I could say. We shopped, we had coffee ( mine was iced) and we left. First stop on the way back was Flint and we picked up a couple of things I needed from Home Bargains, a brilliant shop, then headed for another coffee at Temptations. No Ceri today as somehow she’s managed to get another weekend off to avoid us. Anyway, as per a suggestion here are some shots of Temptations for you.

Temptations

Temptations 

Daniel at work

Daniel at work

Great Staff

Great Staff

Temptations to resist

Temptations to resist

I sort of promised I wouldn’t call Mike a pig in this post so let me just say The Gannet has a teasted toecake as well as both his and my biscuits with his drink. He did allow me to have real sugar with my drink bless him.  There was a good conversation going on about learning to drive and before I could stop him Mike took his revenge early and related a story about some unforgiving hedges upcountry that a certain nameless person became acquainted with. When we left Flint it had just begun to rain so we drove home to unpack the shopping. That didn’t take too long as I can’t afford food these days with all the clothes I bought recently. So, I left Mike showing his feminine side sorting out Ju’s flowers and putting them in a vase. He let me escape to the computer to check how bad the mail was. I was very relieved to find it less than 100 and made a start. I’s almost done at 12.30 pm when Mike came to see what we were doing about lunch. I knew Tariq had made him a brilliant and kind offer to help make a lid for his fishtank that he could use a new lighting system on. I also knew he’d bought and brought with him  a piano hinge to fit on the lid so The Ivy Emporium seemed the best place ( as well as being a great choice anyway). As soon as I finished the mail we headed off. Just as well as I was starving and needed my lunchtime tablets. The traffic was atrocious as the coast road seems to have work parties digging up or laying down every hundred metres. We eventually arrived and found a table. Angie came over to say hello and Mike went in search of Tariq who as usual was working on one of his projects. I followed to say hello to Tariq and to ask Mike what he wanted me to order. “Jerked pork” came the response and I promise I bit my tongue.

As I got back to the table the lovely Helen came for a welcome hug . As she headed back to the kitchen I took the chocolate I’d brought with me to the counter just as Tariq came to take my order and sort the drinks. I have to say I haven’t had the great pleasure of meeting many people like Tariq and he did bring a lump somewhere when he made a comment later about moving from the friends stage to family which is actually a fairly good way of describing my feelings- and I’m supposed to be the wordsmith in this family. Lunch came and was dutifully eaten, though Mike said he was surprised I could finish considering I had two lunches……completely untrue.

Ivy Empori

Ivy Empori

Ivy 2

Tariq the barista

Tariq the barista

Where the puds are.

Where the puds are.

After leaving we had a change and headed for Prestatyn where we scoured the charity shops and an antique shop looking for a set of fire digs and some fire irons. We were only partly successful. On the way home Mike stopped off at a small antique place you may remember from a couple of weeks ago and managed to find a small set of fire irons. Not what we wanted exactly, but they’ll do for now. We arrived home safely and Mike went off to watch the football results on TV so I was able to gt on with some work. By the time I’d finished the results were in and Mike wasn’t looking too happy. It’s not that his team had lost, they hadn’t, but that the competition in the league had won so convincingly they were ahead of his team. He improved a bit when his lot won 2-0 a little later after a late kick off. I went through to watch a little TV with him and then had a shower after he’d been kind enough to was my hair again. A bit more TV and some supper brought us to 10.00 pm when I’ d no choice but to come finish the mail off. That done I could start on the weekly epistle which I’m happy to say is now done. I wish you all a fantastic weekend, or what’s left of it and a brilliant new week, hopefully full of Hugs.

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