I Was Minding My Own Business

OK, that’s not strictly true since I was at the computer reading other people’s thoughts and catching up on outstanding emails. It was 3.20 am this morning and I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t get comfortable Now I don’t want anyone to think I couldn’t admit to dozing off on the odd occasion since more than one person has sent me an email with a big question mark where I seem to have sent them a message in some rare Gnomish dialect. But, I was not dozing this morning.

Question. How many of you have watched/heard a cat when they jump from somewhere high to somewhere lower? There’s usually the sound of the front two feet followed quickly by the back two. Two little bumps but unmistakable. My computer table lies at a right angle to the bottom of my bed and I was sitting side on to the table so I could have my bad leg (and the lazy one) on the bed. There was the softest sound but two little shock waves ran up from my heels. Nope, the ceiling was still intact and nothing was there

Some of you may have read my Barsetshire Diaries Blog and been introduced to Oscar, one of my arch nemisisis. enemies. My wife’s cat, she could do no wrong in his eyes but I was treated with disdain. Mainly a house cat by choice he did occasionally go out but usually he chose some unearthly hour of the night to do so. Often like 3..20 am. One of his methods to get his own way was to jump from a tall bookshelf at the end of my bed directly on to my stomach (if I was lucky, or his aim was off). I swear he’s the reason I can only sleep curled up on my side now. other choices might be to lie on my face so I couldn’t breathe, put a paw under the covers and swipe the nearest piece of anatomy, or crawl under the covers and run his claws down the sole of my foot. Once I was awake he’d indicate his orders which might be like “Open a window serf” or perhaps “I don’t like what’s in my dish, fill it fool.” Ju used to get long and fascinating conversation from Oscar, I got orders.

I think he’s back. There have been strange noises all night since then and though my slippers re dry, I found my dressing gown belt was wet through at one end a short time ago. I’m willing to accept I was in the kitchen at 3.00 am and did have occasion to run some water in the sink so that on may have been me somehow but I’m starting not to like the odds. In fact now it isn’t a case of can’t sleep, it’s I’m afraid to go to sleep. Has anyone got a tent they’re not using so I can camp out?

Hugs to the World. We’re all family.

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Freedom Weekend

By dint of bribery, a great deal of pleading, and being forced to sing Nellie the Elephant while limping round the room in my kilt- Ha, I bet you didn’t know about the room In my kilt did you?- I managed to persuade the nurse to give me the weekend off. This was on the understanding that if things got worse I would phone them. At this point I think she’d forgotten I don’t use the phone at all, but later on Mike said he’d happily make the call if it got me into trouble.

As a rule I don’t bother going to bed on a Friday night. I’m up until Mike goes to bed about midnight, have to be up at 3.00 am anyway and then usually make Mike a coffee and call him at 6.00am knowing he’ll have ignored his alarm. I must have nodded off sometime after 4.30 am in my office chair as the next thing I knew Mike was giving me a gentle shake at 6.20 am complaining he’d had to make his own coffee (not really). .I got myself ready and then told Mike which bins were due out before we were.

Just before 7.00 am Mike took the rubbish out and went to bring his car to the front of the house so he could put the wheelchair in but he made me use my crutches to get there myself.

7…20 am and we were at the supermarket. I was in the wheelchair and at the cash machine where I found that it’s not the easiest thing in the world to cope with if you’re in a chair. Planners take note. Mike attached a wheelchair basket which is no fun if you have long legs. There’s nowhere to put your knees and I had to put my feet on the front bar of the wheel frame so at least I could push people out of my way Once inside we fairly whizzed round making sure the premium space in the trolley is saved for essentials, tins and boxes of sweets and my four bottles of Pepsi Max. Any food is a bonus.

From there we went to Flint to a Gregg’s Bakery so that we could have a coffee in the car and Mike could have a sausage and bacon bap. The moment I finished my coffee I told Mike I needed to pee and he had to rush me to another supermarket that had a loo and I was praying no-one was already there. I was lucky and came out dry. Close call. We carried on to our usual shop from there which I was going to do on my crutches but he wouldn’t let me. I’m so glad. The morning was moving on then so we shot off to the hot sandwich shop where Mike got a hot pork bap with stuffing, onion, and apple sauce. I had a ham bap with some onions. Back home we put the shopping away, me hopping the best I could as Mike passed it to me. I did my bloods and found it was very low so I must be the only person who gets 6 jelly babies to eat just before his lunch. Afterwards I put my leg up and drifted off to sleep snoring all the way through the film he was watching, or so he told me.

Hugs to everyone. Have a peace filled week.

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Beating Winter Hands Down.

The sound was like a siren approaching in the distance and getting closer by the second. It was only when it became piercing I realised it was issuing from my own mouth. I was hanging upside down from the ceiling and my fingernails were losing their grip. In truth I think I was losing my grip on reality.

Since I last wrote, at which time I mentioned not being too fond of the cold, my hands have taken to growing their own pair of gloves. There has grown a skin as thick and as strong as rhinoceros hide which has made bending the fingers very difficult indeed. I’m told this is another possible side effect to the vaccine which I hadn’t heard mentioned before. I can’t raise blood from the fingertips for testing my blood sugar so I’m having to be more adventurous. Yesterday the skin started to split just as it used to when my hands got very cold but each hand now appears to have 5 snakes in the process of shedding their skin.

This morning the nurse came and she was one of those sweet ones who hate to cause pain. I sat in my chair as usual anxious to see the results of Day 1 of the new super cream one of the senior nurses got the doctor to dispense. Rebecca cut away the stockinette, unwound the bandage, unwound the wool padding and unrolled the next stockinette. That hurt but we were down to the pads. She started to peel the first one away and I could see a big chunk of me coming away, it wasn’t cream they’d used but superglue. The agony grew and grew as she washed each section as she drew the pads away. I would have welcomed death with a handshake then. It was as we reached the heel and the various ulcers that I must have screamed, and judging by Mike’s chuckle it wasn’t just in my head,

“He’s always been a big baby” Mike told Rebecca as he helped me down from the ceiling lest I fall on him as I’d planned. As gently as she could Rebecca washed my leg down and applied new cream before forming a bootee from a large pad and starting the redressing process. Every slight touch was agony and my leg was on fire. There had been a fair amount of blood spilled, unfortunately all mine, which was cleaned up Pity I couldn’t save it for blood sugar tests. I took the bag of waste from her, exchanged it for some Easter chocolates for all the nurses and waved her goodbye. Most of the morning was over so Mike went out to get us some lunch while I lay in my chair, leg up, exhausted from the fray.

It’s now nearly 2.30 am on Sunday and I know someone will be coming to repeat this today.

For your own sake, if you know what vaccine you’ll be having. See if you can find out in advance what the possible allergic reactions are and be prepared. Check if you have underlying conditions that may be brought on by the vaccine. All of them will have some side effects. Remember though that a vaccine can save your life and some discomfort is surely worth that.

Happy Easter and Super Huge Hugs to you all.

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Over the years I’ve had more than my share of unwanted extras. The Christmas after passing the 11plus which for all our non-Brit friends used to be a big thing over here as it decided what type of school you got into as a senior, secondary school which concentrated on more brown collar jobs or grammar school where you were expected to be a leader amongst men/ or ladies. A system where mistakes were often made. anyway, that Christmas yours truly was obviously meant to be the next Samuel Pepys as I got 5 diaries. They all came with a scarf or gloves which were welcome as I’ve ever been fond of the warmth.

Skipping forward to my 21st, I had obviously moved up to novelist since I received 4 beautiful fountain pens from various members of the family. We were out for the evening and I was chatting with my much beloved cousins about, of all things, whether Hitler had done any good thins for Germany among which was mentioned the VW car and my own choice, the autobahns. A stop for drinks and one of my uncles ambled over and told me he didn’t think I could hold such a conversation, the implication being that I was thick. That was definitely amongst my leading unwanted extras.

Amongst the funniest was when I cut short a career path that would lead me into management of a shoe store to go into care of the elderly, three of my friends presented me with a costume nurses outfit. I wish I still had it as when my legs are behaving I have just the legs for it. As two nurses have pointed out this week, “your legs go on forever “. As a chat-up line I’ll take what I can get.

I’ve bought computer parts that have come with extras to tempt me, like I got a wire to connect an mp4 to the computer If only I’d buy an mp4. The was no information leading me to understand that it was the same wire as used to connect an mp3. Not that I didn’t want an mp4 as those days I lived in, haven’t got one, must have one land. I actually picked one up from ALDI. and then found out the problems of downloading music vids from YouTube to an mp4. Now you get all that advice for free from Google.

Just a week ago now, one week after the onset of this latest cellulitis gig I received another unwanted extra. My arms and the palms of my hands grew very itchy and broke out in a rash. My left ear quickly scabbed up and I could hear tidal waves washing around in there. It wasn’t good for my balance which was already at risk from the pain in my legs. I mentioned it to one or two nurses but they didn’t seem that interested until yesterday when one told me to get the doctor down to look at my ear. Knowing the boss would ask me what had been said I got in first and told her. I asked if she’d mention the rash at the same time. The receptionists at my surgery have received some form of training which allow them to be called something with ians on the end. One of them happily told Yvonne that the rash was probably from my AstroZeneca jab, A lot of people are complaining three or four weeks after the first jab about this. Why am I only just hearing about it? That’s just my time frame.

So the doctor came today and what a nice lady she was.(I’m glad I do a spell check sometimes, the missing D in lady gave the sentence connotations that she might not appreciate). Anyhoo, we quickly established that the antibiotics are not the right ones for my leg and that the new ones she’ll issue back at the surgery will hopefully do for my ear as well. She can’t believe the swabs done last week came back as negative. There’s no doubt there is an infection and my ears establish that though I’ve only tidal waves in one. She’s going to issue a good steroid cream for my legs and an emollient for my itchy arms which she doesn’t think is AstroZeneca as there’s too much of it. I’ll keep my judgement to myself at the moment as maybe my arms just go on forever too.

One thing I don’t think is an unwanted extra (or I hope not) is the Hugs I leave with you. If anyone isn’t sure, just go to my opening page and read how good Hugs are for your health So many benefits you’ll be hugging all day, Have a Wonderful weekend all.

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The Agony and No Ecstacy.

I’ve spoken in the past about the joys of cellulitis and how the itching can drive you insane (short journey I know). Sometimes it goes away with a liberal use of moisturiser but warning, don’t help yourself to your wife’s favourite brand unless you want scalping. Sometimes it takes a more specialised cream with a steroid and sometimes it takes anti-biotics in conjunction with one of the others. this last couple of weeks the itching has been a pain and didn’t respond to any of the usual stuff. The nurse has been coming round to do dressings and came Tuesday of last week when she decided to apply a pre-medicated gauze dressing with iodine in a paraffin base.

I had the usual discomfort for the first day or so where it felt like it was burning but I knew I could ring them if I needed to and anyway, she’d be back this Tuesday. Saturday I shopped as usual with Mike but for once I was glad there was nowhere open to eat as I waned to get home. By Monday I was in agony and had a problem putting my foot on the floor.. I couldn’t wait for Tuesday to arrive. She arrived late morning and commented how smart I looked. Blue trousers, flowered shirt and blue waistcoat. She spent 15 minutes washing my leg in small bursts trying to get the dressing away from the stranglehold it had on my leg. Not easy with the sharp intakes of breath and little whimpers from me. Finally it was done and the leg was a mess. I was losing a lot of water. She was going to redress it with a new iodine patch but I asked her not too as the burning would have been the last straw. She asked me to take my trousers off but as usual my imagination ran ahead of the facts. She wanted me just to put something comfortable on.

I grabbed the first thing to hand which to my shame turned out to be a pair of lounge pants covered with Animal from the Muppet Show. Of course I was still wearing shirt and waistcoat. Thank Heavens I wasn’t wearing a dickie-bow too. It’s not like my street cred hadn’t already nosedived. She took photographs of the offending site then packed great big pads around my foot/leg to try an hold in some of the fluid loss. I could see why losing the trousers was a necessity as I’d never get the legs over the bundle. I looked exactly like one of those irascible Colonels with Gout. She’s due back tomorrow and I’m hoping there are some antibiotics and painkillers in my immediate future. In the meantime I’m going to try for some sleep tonight if I can find a comfortable position for the leg.

Huge Hugs to all.

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Way back in 2016 Donald Trump had a big lie in his back pocket. It was about how the ACA was a social security benefit and was therefore being paid for from the taxes of those who worked for the benefit of all the undocumented immigrants and people of colour. The lie was ACA had to go and would be replaced by another system designed by the Republicans which would be much better. The PINO (President In Name Only) did not allow for the fact that many Republican voters liked the ACA and didn’t want it to end. They got their wish since 4 years later the plan still stood and no other plan had been put forward to replace it.

There were lots of lies in the intervening period but in 2019 a new virus was found, or It would bed more accurate to say found us. At the start of 2020 a lot of Countries were in the grip of this Coronavirus (Covid19), some like Italy were in real trouble. It didn’t take long for the virus to spread, carried back by people who had been abroad. Soon enough the U.S. was struggling with the number being admitted to hospital and dying in huge amounts too. PINO told everyone this was nothing and there were only a small number of cases and it would be all over in a week. Currently many weeks later the number of cases is just short of 30 million and the number of deaths is at 543,000+.

In 2020 there was the Election during which PINO attempted to cripple USPS (United States Parcel Service)having given the job of managing it to one of his donors who had no experience. That was meant to hinder the delivery of postal ballots in time. He lied and told has base that Republicans were being refused permission to invigilate the count at various sites which was easily proven to be wrong but not easily got out of his base’s head. Lots of little lies and complaints led up to a big one. Even before the voting was over PINO claimed that votes were being stolen from him via illegal ballots. These claims were all checked and found to be untrue. The invigilators were still there. At the end of the count PINO was now ex-PINO and it was time for the Big Lie, that the election had been stolen and he was still PINO. Voter Fraud was responsible. Over 60 court cases later and all but one claim were thrown out for lack of proof. The one incidentally, showed claimant errors of less than 20 which weren’t enough to alter the result. He sulked and refused to acknowledge the loss and nor did he congratulate the winner and even refused to offer the usual courtesies to an incoming President. This lie was maintained through January until on Jan 6th after pointedly inviting a White Supremacy group (The Proud Boys) and his base to come to Washington to help overturn the counting of Votes in the Capitol. They came, and with a bit of encouragement stormed the building looking for Mike Pence with a hanging noose and for Nancy Pelosi. There were various injures from the day including one officer lost an eye and another one died. Some of these insurrectionists have been arrested since that day. Those in charge have not- so far.

I’m not going into the differences in policies between the two camps but at the moment the Democrats have just passed a huge package to help those suffering because of the Covid19 restrictions, that’s employers and employees as well as the unemployed and those with rent arrears. It’s a very comprehensive package. They’re also trying to get the minimum wage increased from $7.25 to $15.00 an hour, currently not one Republican will cross the floor and vote with the Democrats for this .Instead the emphasis seems to be on a number of states who are trying to push through changes in the law which will allow them to disenfranchise a number of groups, Blacks, Latinos, Indians, Native Americans from voting at all in their states. Like the shouts of fraud and cheating made by PINO and by them who still follow him, in their hypocrisy they are cheating too. It’s hardly a fair election if some of your opponents aren’t allowed to vote.

But to the crux of this. All of the Republican voters have heard the lies. All of the Republican politicians have heard the lies. Pino is currently telling the RNC not to use his image to collect money, he still likes the GOP though. Please send the money directly to him instead. How, with all that’s known about PINO could anyone want him back again? How is it he has the fealty of millions of people when he’s quite capable of using any donations to pay off his bar bill rather than put it to it’s proper use. Can there be anybody strong enough to stand against him and win to be the Republican nominee for President if he does stand in 2024? Can somebody else create enough good policies to appeal to the people and make them a viable party again? Perhaps they’ll have to in PINO is in prison at that point.

Hugs to all

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Update on my life. The Hypodeemic Nirdle.

Well, I managed to get through last week without any visits from the nurses. On Friday morning I got up and decided not to put the splint on my wrist. The 6 weeks was well up and it should be healing properly, Today (Wednesday ) is the first time I can actually raise it so there’s real progress. So I didn’t get to bed on Friday night as Mike was visiting so I stayed up with him then caught up on work later. My first chance at a nap came Saturday afternoon and he swears my snores rattled the windows.

Sunday night after Mike had gone home my legs were itching. I nodded off in my chair and woke to blood drenched hands. Joey seemed alright and I heard he usual mocking little laugh when he saw me. Obviously I hadn’t murdered him but his laugh came to an abrupt halt when he saw my hands. Finally the slow realisation that I was sore penetrated my brain . My talons had been at work again. I washed my hands and wiped off  the worst of he blood and applied antiseptic and a steroid cream.

Monday night was another sleepless one. I was not  what you’d call the brightest bulb that day so that when a nurse appeared on the scene just before 2.00 pm she was hardly through the door when I was rolling up my trouser leg and waggling the offending limb before her face. She must have thought it part of some ritual of Master Masons introducing themselves to each other. No, no David she said, I’m here to give you your covid innoculation.  Oh, said I trying to make believe I’d been brushing some dirt off the end of my trouser leg. If you’d like to go through to the lounge, I’ll be with you in a minute.. I was wearing three items on my top. Nothing to stress about. A waistcoat with four old man friendly big buttons and just three were fastened. They weren’t cooperative but I  managed it. That left just a lightweight polo-neck jumper and a tee-shirt, not even a rude one. I pulled at the jumper and it moved easily but with it came the teeshirt. I tried every way I could to separate them, I jer-jer-jiggled but to no avain so with a last pull I dragged them both off. Are you alright David, she called, I can come through to you if it’s easier. I’m OK, just getting my shirt off, I said kicking myself. Idiot, you’re not wearing one.

I righted my teeshirt and put it back on and went through to the lounge. Right hand or left hand she asked. For a moment I thought I was getting a treat but perhaps I’d made a big enough fool of myself already. I answered, Right handed and that seemed to be what she wanted. We’ll do it in your left arm then. I saw her pick up this large hypodeemic nirdle and gritted my teeth. Then I saw her putting it down again. Problem, I asked. All done she said,  A little suspiciously I wondered whether she was selling doses on the black maarkkkkkket (Sorry Money Supermarket advert got the best of me then) but it seemed unlikely given that each dose is only a couple of pounds. You might feel a slight headache for a while but don’t worry. Then your second one will be between eight and twelve weeks from now, if you haven’t heard from us within ten weeks just ring us to make sure you haven’t fall between the cracks. I didn’t even bother to joke it would have to be some crack for me to fall between. I gave her a bag of sweets for the surgery( a fair price) and waved her off. The headache came and went.

I had the Oxford AstraZeneka vaccine so I’m cheering for the home team. I hear lots of reasons why people don’t want it ranging from they don’t trust the Government, there are nanos inside designed to keep tabs on us to quite simply Covid is not a real disease, it’s no worse that the flu. Whatever your reason, just bear in mind the number of deaths worldwide and you should think of keeping yourself and your family safe.

Be happy. Sending Hugs around the World


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My Life is Elastic and it’s Getting Rather Taut.

The lockdown here seems to have lasted forever. This is the second one and was introduced as a treat to stop me spending at Christmas. Lucky for my family that Amazon and Ebay were happy to take my money. I’ve been locked in since early December this time with Christmas day off for good behaviour though the suggestion was not to go anywhere. I did. I was invited to dinner by my daughter giving me chance to see my grandchildren and to tease my son-in-law. It was 4 glorious hours before I had to return to solitary confinement, apart from Joey of course. I’d wrapped some Holly round his seed bell but was he appreciative or festive, no chance. The little malcontent just sat huddled in a corner muttering. It’s not like he was in lockdown.

I’d had a fall the day before Christmas Eve, Wednesday I think I heard someone call it. I didn’t realise the day before Christmas Eve had a name. It shows you’re never too old to learn .I asked my brother to take me to get a splinted support for my wrist that was giving me some gyp. Fast forward through my birthday in solitary confinement since we’ve covered that. Let’s settle on February the month here when they were supposed to be vaccinating the 70 year olds and people with health issues that the coronavirus treats as something to attack. I qualify on a couple of things as well as the age. Accordingly I am sent an invitation to attend a leisure centre for the jab. It’s 9.9 miles away and I don’t drive. The queues outside stretch almost home so I could sty here and ask them to pass a dose backwards. Only trouble is some blighter would pinch it before half way. You can’t go in early and wait. On my sticks standing for a long time isn’t on.

My daughter thanked them but said No Thanks. They offered a chance to go on the same day but to our surgery. Under normal circumstances that would have been manageable. But, there was news that my particular area was a growth area for Covid19, I didn’t much fancy a bus ride and then a walk through town. Just to add to the mix it had been snowing . Now, I live at the bottom of a very steep hill and the snow doesn’t stick round here but it does in town. I’d have needed skis at the top of the hill and they’re away having new nails put on the bottom so I can climb to the bus stop .We decided I’d have to give that appointment a miss too. So we asked for a home visit from the nurse. Sharp intake of breath. “But that’s for the disabled and housebound” My daughters turn for the sharp intake of breath and I know to stand well back.” Have you ever noticed the crutches and the shortness of breath. You do realise he’s under lockdown so pretty much housebound wouldn’t you say”? She got an apology and a closer look at the file. “Ah yes a priority. I can offer you Wrexham (28.3 miles) or Llandudno (29.6 miles). That’s completely unacceptable said Yvonne, that means travelling by bus, a long journey in itself with the virus all around. We were told we’d have to speak to the surgery again. She was told this time I was on the list and had been since Feb 2nd and I must have slipped through a crack.( Highly unlikely with a stomach like mine.) So hopefully next week I should be able to report the first jab got. And today on the news it seems hopeful that Wales will come out of the lockdown in 3 more weeks with the kids returning to school on Monday. I don’t know if that’s a good idea but the kids have missed all their friends.

I hope those of you who have had your jabs are doing well and managing to get out a bit. For the rest of you in waiting, I hope the queue is short

Hugs to you all

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REDUX- What have you done today to make you feel proud?

Previously posted on 20th January 2016 this proved to be a very short but very popular post though of course there may well be a reason that short and popular go together when I’m writing. Tis one seems just as relevant now as back then.

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

Now there’s a question we can all ask ourselves at the end of every day. I for one would have had a hard time finding an answer yesterday when I didn’t set foot outside the house. Since I can’t speak to anyone on the telephone I wasn’t able to say something nice to anyone.

Since the only thing I did of any value at all was answer my emails and respond to some comments on one or other of my blogs. The only thing I can hope for is that I wrote  something nice enough to make someone feel a little better about themselves or maybe just made someone smile which also has a value.

It’s not really good enough though so I promise to go out this morning and find someone to hug before I come back. I will ask myself the same question every day and hope I can answer that I did find something I did to make me feel proud. I’m sure most of you won’t have a problem answering the question as you’re out and about so much but maybe if you have a day like me where you can’t find anything you’ll promise to make up for it the next day.

Go on, Light up someone’s life today.

Hugs to you all.

Stay careful, Stay well.

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For some strange reason I decided to re-visit some of my old posts on my Barsetshirediares blog. It was there I had the greatest fun sharing the antics of Oscar our cat and from the book about him. I came across this post of exactly 5 years ago this week that I thought maybe to share. You’ll find that the cast of characters is pretty much the same even now. I hope there’s something to suit everyone musically.

All the best, David.

Sunday 17th Jan.

Well, I posted the blog around midnight then had a couple of messages to deal with. I was in bed about 12.15 am reading. Lights out 12.45 am for sleep. I was allowed until 2.44 am I think Somnos must be in a bad mood and taking it out on me. I wasn’t downhearted though as there were some wonderful comments on the blog and some nice Birthday wishes. By 5.15 am I was clear and decided to have breakfast and take my meds. When I came back through with my coffee it wasn’t quite 6.00 am and I was yawning. I’d be no good trying to sent anything half intelligent out if I was tired and sleeping on my desk so I lay on the bed. I was gone and stayed gone until 8.45 am. When I woke I wandered through to the lounge to open Joey’s door. I heard Mike have a prolonged coughing fit and I knew it had woken him so I put the kettle on. A few minutes later he came through to the lounge and I gave him his drink and sat next to him. Whoomph I was a way again and for another hour. When I came too, I thought I’d dropped off without doing Mike’s drink and dashed off to make it. He asked me what I was doing as he had a drink already….he’d fallen asleep without drinking it. I was tired all morning and didn’t get to do any work.  I didn’t much want to go out but others had gone to trouble for me. I wandered off to find what I wanted to wear and got dressed.

We left about 11.30 am and arrived about midday. I was glad to see we were the first there. That meant as people arrived we could get their drink orders and then take meal orders so that we could all eat the same time. Not everyone would want a carvery…..I don’t know why not…..but they don’t. It worked fine and we managed to bully everyone into doing it my way so I could pay at the end…except my daughter who is the bane of my life as she hates to lose an argument. She transferred money to my bank which I will need to make sure I repay to her in some way or another doubled. The meal was fine and there was plenty of laughter especially having the children there. My great nephew Rylan who came with his grandma and his Pops. My Great nephew Nathan with his Mum and his Dad, Reuben and his new sister Amelie. There was Yvonne, Ugo and his mother Christina come to see her new granddaughter, my nephew Lee and his wife Jen, my nieces Karen and Jo , my brother Dil and his wife Lynne, Mike and myself. I had lots of cards and gifts which wasn’t necessary but it was nice. Mike paid half the bill at the end and I had to give it him back telling him I’d prepared to have enough cash for the bill and wanted to pay it. Towards the end I wanted to sink into the floor when staff arrived with a cake ( for the sake of safety they had the fire brigade standing by in case they used 65 candles) that had a number 6 and a number 5 candle alight on top to a chorus of Happy Birthday. I just shrunk back in my seat till it was over. I’m glad I don’t have to have any more birthdays like this now.                                                                                                                                                                                                      Reuben helped me blow the candles out and Karen took over the cutting up and dishing of the cake. Eventually it was over and people started to say goodbye. I went round everyone to say thanks for coming then went off to thank the staff who’d made sure it had gone quite smoothly then went outside for a cigarette. I didn’t knnow why I hadn’t thought of it sooner.

It wasn’t too long before we were back home again and I found myself fighting off sleep in my chair. Before I succumbed Mike said he’d make tracks for home. I notice the sneaky’ burger’ did it quickly before I noticed he hadn’t done Ju’s flowers again.He’s getting good at this. I decided I’d do them in the morning. I went through to my room to start work though I wasn’t looking forward to it after missing the morning session. It took me from 3.00 pm to 7.00 pm before I has a break for Beowulf and some tea. I watched Endeavour after that then came back to finish off at 10.00 pm.

Helping with candles.
Helping with candles.
Holding on by a finger.
Holding on by a finger.

Monday 18th Jan.

I was in bed by midnight and reading until my usual 1.00 am Nothing was different about the night except the time of getting up. 5.41 am this morning. It’s a long time since I’ve slept in that long yet I’m still tired today. I went through to the kitchen but decided against breakfast. I just ate a couple of Jaffa Cakes for the sake of the anti-smoking drug, and took my other meds while there. I put the washing machine on then made a coffee to bring through with me and returned to work. I wanted to get as many of last night’s and this mornings messages out of the way.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I didn’t do too well as the morning flood started at 6.10 am as usual.  I worked continuously until 8.45 am then went to unload the washing machine and put the clothes on the airer. I came back to get dressed as I needed to take my prescription request to the chemist. It was while I was getting dressed that I had my first cigarette of the day. I know this is the day I wanted to give up but I think over 3 hours before having one is nothing short of miraculous.

Once back from the chemist I worked until 10.00 am then broke off for Homes Under the Hammer. Joey and I enjoyed it. At 11.00 am though I had to return to work and smoked my second cigarette. At 11.10 am I had a knock on the door and Lis was there to bring a birthday gift. I was so pleased to see her but unfortunately it wasn’t for long as she was to get her grandchildren at lunchtime. Again I returned to work. at 11.25 am the doorbell rang. This time it was Bev returned from her holidays. She came in and once she saw the birthday cards I got a kiss.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         We had a good long chat about Christmas, New Year, her holiday, the birth of Amelie and being British, the weather.She stayed until 11.50 am and I had to go and finish the email I’d started before going to see to lunch. It was a corned beef hash today. I think they’ve changed the recipe and it hasn’t improved. I had to drown it in tomato sauce to eat it. I think that’s off my list in future.

At 1.00 pm after Bargain Hunt I returned to work yet again and despite attempts by my face to connect with the keyboard I managed to work until I was clear.That was about 2.20 pm and I went to my chair in the lounge after that intending to fall asleep. There were plenty of little power naps but nothing prolonged, at least not then. At 3.30 pm I went to see if there was more mail that needed dealing  with. There was, and it took me until the Road Trip time to do it so I was only just in time for the programme. I saw the start of it at 4.30 pm and the next thing I knew was the start of Pointless at 5.15 pm. I stuttered a bit in that but was fully awake for Eggheads and Railway Journeys. Next was the celebrity Road Trip and I missed about half of that including all the auction. After that I attempted to watch Medieval Dead and at 9.00 pm decided I’d be better working so came through and caught up again. Joey was still on the mirror when I left the lounge so I had to keep returning to see if he’d gone in his cage before locking up. The little beggar stayed out until almost 10.30 pm. After locking him up, I started on the blog.

All in all it’s been a lovely day and I’m really pleased with the smoking or lack thereof. Each day should be easier.

Tuesday 19th Jan.

We have a return to normal today. Lights out at 1.00 am and up at 2.35 am.I may not be happy about it but at least I know where I stand again after some odd days. After a visit to the loo I signed onto the computer and went to my gmail account. I was happy to see there were some positive comments on my Buthidar post of last night.  https://lorddavidprosser1.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/there-is-a-time/  it helps to know there are people of a similar mind to me and that they’re people I’m close to, who are special to me. I had cleared the mail by 4.20 am and wondered whether it was worth trying for 40 winks before the 6.10 deluge. I decided to give it a go. Woo Hoo, it was. I slept until 6.43 am.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      When I got up I knew the deluge had been but I didn’t care. I have all day. I went through to the kitchen to take my meds and prepare some breakfast. Once I’d eaten and taken the anti-smoking tablet I made a coffee to bring back with me and got stuck in. I worked solidly until 9.45 am then had a break to see to Joey and watch my house programme.

At 11.00 am I returned to work and with a real effort was clear by 11.50 am. I went to start preparing lunch  then sat down to enjoy Bargain Hunt with it. When 1.00 pm came I should have shifted but my bum was glued to my chair and without warning my eyelids went clunk. I slept for half an hour before conscience got the better of me. There had been a little surge in mail and in comments on the blog which was nice but which kept me occupied until 4.20 pm so I was only just in time to see my Antiques Road Trip after apologising to Joey for leaving him in the dark. I watched both my quizzes afterwards then a journey of discovery by train after which came the Celebrity Road Trip. I was going to come through but decided 8.00 pm might be a little early so watched a Star Trek episode instead and came through at 9.00 pm.                                  There was quite a bit of work waiting so I started on that which took me to just 10.25 pm and then I was able to start on the blog.

This is in memory of Glenn Frey guitarist and founder of The Eagles who dies aged 67 on my birthday. RIP Glenn and thanks for the music.

Wednesday 20th Jan.

As you can see from the length of yesterday’s post I was in bed early last night. So early in fact that after my read, the light went out at 12.30 am. I think I slept quickly. 2.00 am came but I pretended to be asleep so it went away. 3.13 am wasn’t taking excuses and just made sure I was awake, blew a raspberry and left. So, a trip to the loo and then sign into the computer to see what the email situation is. I worked on those until 4.45 am then went to get some breakfast and take the meds including the non-smoker despite the fact I had a cigarette to help time the gap between tablets and food intake this morning. At least it’s an hour and a half since I got up before having one instead of the usual minute and a half.

Coming back from breakfast I was distracted and did my second blogpost of the week on the Buthidars  https://lorddavidprosser1.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/what-have-you-done-today-to-make-you-feel-proud/  a reminder to myself that there was nothing to be proud of yesterday and today would be better. I turned back to addressing the mail until clear at 5.55 am.Then time to wash my mug up. By the time I meandered back and had a look at ebay , my new mail was in with the flood tide. I got stuck in and managed to empty the box at 9.11 am which was a perfect time to go to Pauline’s for bread and my TV mag and then come back and hoover the lounge.On my way back I met a neighbour on her way to collect her pension. I gave her an unexpected hug which she thought was lovely. Mission accomplished and I could go home and hoover before releasing Joey.  At home,I unpacked and put away the bread and chips with curry sauce I seemed to have acquired.                                                                                     After hoovering I replaced Joey’s seed and water then opened his door.. He was reluctant to come out as I was leaving the room to come back to work for a while but at least he had the freedom of choice. I’d be back in there for my House programme at 10.00 am anyway.

When I returned to the lounge Joey came out and started tap tapping on the mirror as usual. I so wish I’d learned morse code when I was with the Boy Scouts. Eventually when the brain damage was beyond repair he stopped tapping and started talking to me. Of course all I could understand was Joey, Joey, Joey as that’s all he’s bothered to learn in 6 or so months. As the music came on for Homes Under the Hammer the volume from Joey increased until finally he sounded like he was telling me off again During the programme itself he sat on the edge of the mirror quietly chunnering to himself for a while then flew back into his cage and did the same in there. I was almost glad when 11.00 am came and I could escape for a while.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Eventually lunchtime came and I had to return to the kitchen. First job was to take the pre-foodie tablets and lay out the post-foodies so they’re not forgotten. Then I did one of my chips in curry sauce and watched Bargain Hunt while I ate. Instead of my usual sleep at .00 pm I went back to my room for a while to send an email I needed to go to say thank you for a card I received. I decided to clear up and new messages while I was here then retreated to the lounge for Father Brown at 2.15 pm. It’s very bad really as I don’t even like the programme very much.

I had a return to the mail at 3.00 pm but there wasn’t much so I filled three of my small bottles of pepsi from a big one so they can go in the fridge to get cold. The fridge would be full if I put one big bottle in there. Longstanding readers of this blog may remember the new fridge that was bought not being very roomy, only to find out there was nothing wrong with the old fridge other than there was no power getting to it thanks to a switch we knew nothing about. The old fridge had been left outside for collection and gone far away before I found out. I went to sit with Joey until 4.30 pm and the Antiques Road Trip. Before it even began I saw Dil approach and had to nip into the kitchen to put his drink on.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       We had a natter about our respective weeks (so far) and both seem to be going well. I mentioned having a text from our cousin about coming down for a day when he retires in the Summer. He hoped I’d suggested an entrance fee of Titterton’s Pork Pies but since he’s moved I’m not sure Pete lives in the vicinity of any of their shops. If he did they wouldn’t have much stock left anyway. The whole of my family in this generation ( and a few of the next) are addicted to their pies.

We watched our usual programmes and then at 6.00 pm the TV went off and out came the games table. First off was the Yahtzee and in the first game I was hammered 4-2. I was ready to give up in despair onthe second game but the sixes on the dice suddenly decided to favour me in 3 games to two Yahtzees. I also won the last by the skin of my teeth so won 4-2 over all which meant we were even.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Trivial pursuits came next and at first it was fairly even until Dil put on a little burst of genius whenever he landed on a scoring space. Obscure answers were just dripping from his tongue. He filled his ‘pie’ first and reached the middle while I only had 4 of my 6 pieces. He answered the question I chose (Drat) and came out the winner. As it was still a little early we had time for two games of cribbage. I finally came into my own and beat him 2-0. It was time for him to go. Saying he’d see me next week I thanked him for coming and told him to be careful.

I tidied up, washed the pots, took my meds and came through to work. 50 emails again. I decided to work on them first and deal with the blog last. I’ll still be in bed for midnight though.

40 winks in comfort.
40 winks in comfort.

Thursday 21st Jan.

I was abed for midnight as promised and though I read it was for just half an hour so at 12.30 am off went the light. Sleep wasn’t slow in coming so I was pretty sure the small gods had lost interest in me for a while. That is until I was woken again at 1.07 am. I decided to box clever by pretending to get up and go to the loo. Instead I bypassed the loo and went straight to my chair in the lounge. Next thing I know it’s 3.53 am and I can cope with that. As I wandered back to the bedroom via the loo,I hoped the small gods thought I’d been in the loo the whole time and waited.                                                                                                                                                                                                      I signed onto the computer and attacked my gmail. For some reason this last few days I’ve been gaining new followers. This morning  was no different.At one time I would have automatically followed back but now I’m having to look at the blog to see if it’s an interest of mine. Much as I like art I won’t follow just art blogs or just poem blogs any more, blogs have to be more rounded to interest me.

At 4.45 am I took a break and headed for the kitchen to take my meds and to have breakfast. I returned at about 5.10 am and started work again. By 5.55 am I’d cleared the box,it was just a case of waiting for the deluge now. I went to my online bank to see if there was any change to the money going in, hoping maybe my state pension had been calculated, but nothing had changed. I wonder how long it’s going to take them. It my well affect other benefits I get so I could end up with a bill if there is an increase backdated to this week.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 When the deluge came I was ready for it and had cleared the box again by 8.40 am. I got dressed. I thought that was preferable to walking to the chemist’s in my lounge pants, Simpson’s teeshirt and big bunny rabbit slippers. At 9.00 am I left to go to see where my drugs are from the prescription I handed in on Monday. I was told there had been an item short which had to be ordered. It had arrived and my drugs were on the van for delivery. I left and made my way to Pauline’s to buy the winning Lotto ticket. I’m told it’s rolled over again so Saturday’s jackpot should be quite good. The thing is, it’s the Winning Euro lottery ticket I want.That was on £68m before this latest rollover. Coming out of Pauline’s I was about to cross the road when I saw Dawn in her van approaching. I waited on the kerb and she pulled up and brought my drugs out to me as well as the book to sign. I thanked her and left for home.

Once I was in I went to see to Joey.It was such a grey day he was reluctant to leave his cage without me putting a light on. I hoped it would lighten up a bit outside but it didn’t and started raining later anyway. Back to work for a while and then it was time for Homes Under the Hammer which at least encouraged Joey to come out even if it was just to squawk as hard and as loud as he could. I was back at work at 11.00 am but for just half an hour when I went to peel my sweet potatoes while my sausages cooked and then I put them in the microwave to cook. I got a tin of beans out to cook too. It was a delightful dinner.                                                                                                                After lunch I shot daggers in Joey’s direction as he settled for his nap and I had to come back to work. I was as good as gold and stayed until dragged out to try a new  Antiques gameshow which I probably won’t repeat. I returned to the fray until 4.20 pm then until the genuine Antiques programme could draw me away again. I gave way to my viewing then 2 quizzes, 1 train ride, 1 Celebrity Antiques Road Trip, 1 fascinating programme about the death of the Princes in the Tower and whether their uncle was the monster he was made out to be. It was 9.00 pm and I was going to go to bed honestly but it was Joey’s fault I couldn’t. He decided it was time to come out and play just at the wrong time. I turned the TV back on and ended up watching Death in Paradise with the new cast. Joey went back in after about ten minutes and I locked the cage but by then I’d already started watching and couldn’t give up.

Mike had texted me about 8.30 pm to say he was on his way. That meant somewhere after 10.30 pm he’d arrive. As I went to the bedroom at 10.00 pm I put the outside light on for him and readied his cup by the kettle. I was part way into the big catch up when he arrived at 10.45 pm and we spent some time catching up as I was trying to work so anyone who gets gobbldegook now knows why, my attention was diverted elsewhere.

Just one more pirouette then.
Just one more pirouette then.
If he tells that story one more time....
If he tells that story one more time……. I’m bored Rigid.

Friday 22nd Jan.

It was late to bed last night but I still only read until 1.00 am.  I had tremendous difficulty getting to sleep and for a lot of the time I just lay there thinking. I’m under the impression I spent most of the night like that but I can’t be sure. I did eventually get up at 5.03 am  because on Fridays I prepare the weeks drug trays. I nipped to the Pee Palace and then (after washing my hands) went through to the kitchen. I couldn’t face breakfast so I took the non-smoking tab, had my sprays then took my meds for this morning. Once hey were out of the way I got my drug drawer and brought it through to the kitchen, filled the gaps from this weeks delivery and prepared all my drugs for the next week starting tonight.

I went to work on my mail and was doing quite well until the morning surge came at 6.10  am I had to step up the pace a bit then. At 7.00 am Mike’s alarm went off so I took a coffee through. I wasn’t sure whether to leave him or not as he was only getting up at that time for my sake. He’d offered to take me to the surgery and then carry on to see his Dad and his sister in Manchester. His alarm went off four times and was ignored each time. I thought I could just go out and catch the bus but I was worried that he wouldn’t get up in time to reach Manchester for a meeting. I went through to say his coffee was cold now and that was enough motivation for him to move.                                   We got to the surgery in time for me to sign in with three minutes to spare for 8.30  am.

The nurse was lovely as always. She was pleased with my non-smoking progress and very pleased with my blood pressure.  She did me a prescription for more of the 1mg tablets of the Champix then I asked her a question about a powder I used to get to sprinkle on wounds which was excellent stuff. She knew what I spoke of but said it’s n longer available and there was a new treatment for open wounds. She wanted to know why I was asking which led to me being given anti-biotics for the cellulitis flare-up in my left leg and also led to me having to visit the minor injuries room at the hospital.                                                                                                                                                                                       At the hospital the nurse applied the largest sticking plaster I’ve ever seen and told me to go back next Tuesday to have it checked. I won’t be going on Tuesday which is my Chester day, and anyway, I want to put off the evil day when I lose the last of my hairs from that leg.                                                                                                                                          Coming home from the hospital I didn’t have long to wait for a bus but when I got off it was quite a walk to the chemist’s only to be told he hadn’t arrived and my drugs would be delivered later.  I ‘m guessing that’s true and will wait in.

Joey was in fine form when I got in. He was tearing a shred off me for having the temerity to be out when he wanted out of his cage. His little head was bobbing up and down in anger and his screech was loud but at least worse than his bite I hoped. Speaking calmly to him I opened the cage door . “Come on you ungrateful little green wretch”I said in the most loving voice possible. But, he stayed where he was, turned his back on me and started chomping on his millet. I had to work almost till lunchtime but took a chance and walked to the chippy hoping the chemist’s van hadn’t been while I was out. Sausage, chips, peas and gravy I had. Better than having to nuke something. I had Bargain Hunt on while I ate  and at the end of it, instead of indulging in my nap I came back to work. I went back through to the lounge about 2.15 pm and was there when Mike tapped on the window at 3.30 pm because he didn’t have his key. He felt his trip today had been a waste of time and had come back early. Oops, five more minutes and I’d have been snoring. We watched the new antiques programme then I came back to work until 4.30 pm when the Road Trip was on.

The chemist made the delivery and I was able to start the antibiotics. In the break between our programmes I made some tea which in my case was one ham bap and some pineapple chunks. All this fruit must be making me healthy now. At 6.30 pm after Eggheads I went for my shower with Mike washing my hair again to stop me putting my arms above my head When I came out it was great timing for the Road Trip with Celebrities. It was good fun tonight, Then came Mastermind during which Mike asked me if I was going to doze, then promptly did. Last week we started a new serial at 9.00 pm which seemed to have promise. This week the second episode threw our theories into chaos.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        At 10.00 pm I called it a day and came through to work. There was plenty to keep me going between emails and the blog. I’m still aiming for midnight though…..and a lie-in tomorrow.

Just call me Nanook of the North.
Just call me Nanook of the North.
I'm not as drink as you thunk I am.
I’m not as drink as you thunk I am.

Saturday 23rd Jan.

I made my target last night and after applying cream to my legs I was in bed for midnight. I only read until 12.45 am as I was tired having lost the chance of my power nap during the day. Despite the tiredness, sleep didn’t come too easily. Being awake came much more easily, though at 2.23 am I wasn’t as pleased as I could be. I went to the loo then came back and signed onto the computer. My gmail was the ultimate target but I was surprised for a change to find just 42 messages waiting for me. I was clear of those at 4.05 am. After that it was either trying to go back to sleep without sleeping later than I wanted or doing a search on Ebay. The search just confirmed what I suspected, I’d never be able to afford Joe Brown’s  clothes without a lottery win. Despite that I would be putting on 2  items of clothing from Joe Brown’s range this morning thanks to my daughter. With a paisley shirt I should look as I did in the 60’s, set off with  plain waistcoat I should be even better than I did then especially as the plain waistcoat is not made of sheepskin or goatskin that reeked in the rain.

My trousers during the early part of the 70’s were good as I lived in Hackney at the time and my girlfriend’s mother sewed trousers for Carnaby Street. I’ll never know how she managed as she had crippling arthritis that affected her hands. I never saw anything as bad until I saw my mother-in-law’s hands with the fingers gnarled and knobbly like claws. Julia’s hands were just starting on a journey in that direction. I don’t know if there’s anything they could have done for her had she lived. Anyway, back to the trousers, I had velvet flares in two or three colours and felt the bee’s knees.                                                                                                                                                                                                     I got dressed and wandered off to the kitchen for breakfast and my usual meds. I’d have to wait until 6.00 am for my antibiotic as it can’t be taken on a full stomach. A nearly 2 hour gap should do it. It was either that or taking the antibiotic and coming back an hour or so later for everything else. Better to just delay the one I thought. Breakfast over I returned with my coffee to the bedroom. There were just 3 messages to deal with so I got quite a bit of time on ebay.

At 6.10 am just before trouble hit I went to take my antibiotic. As I went past Mike’s room I heard the alarm go off so I put the kettle on and prepared his mug. As soon as it boiled I made a coffee and took it through. Knowing my mail would be in now I returned to the bedroom again and made a start. Th alarm went off three times more before Mike surfaced. Once he was in the lounge I went to wish him good morning and found him chomping a jam sandwich to take his own antibiotic with. I offered him sunglasses to help him cope with my shirt but he just suggested I didn’t get too close, about a mile should do it.                                                                                                                            We left the house a bit later this morning but still got to the supermarket in good time, at about 7.55 am. As usual I hit the cash machine while Mike got a trolley. I didn’t think Ju’s flowers had weathered well this week so I bought two bunches again. Getting round the shop didn’t take too long today as I didn’t want much in the food line other than basics so we were soon in the queue for paying. Mike complained that the lady on the till hadn’t scared me enough to make my heart start, the bill should always be over £50.00. I just beat it today and my heart started anyway the minute I opened my wallet and had to part with money. We settled down in the cafe for a drink.

Next stop Flint. We pulled up outside Temptations but I needed to shop first. The supermarket hadn’t had a good choice of chocolates so I needed some for the girls and I also needed some more seed bells for Joey. I got a couple of other little items then we decided to make our way to Temptations for a drink. I enjoyed a cigarette on the walk but on the plus side, I didn’t buy any today. Kyle served us and said thanks for the chocolates on behalf of everyone. Mike decided on crumpets today so Kyle put them under the grill while he did our drinks. I nipped to the loo then came back to refill.                                                                                                                                                                          When we’d finished there I walked over to the car parts place as Mike said he wanted some windscreen wash but refused to buy the ready diluted. He joined me and went in to buy a big bottle of the undiluted type. We did one more shop there then decided we’d better consider lunch and I’d better take my next antibiotic. After some discussion we decided to go to The Dragon for lunch. We took a drive out there only to find it closed and with no notices around it. The next nearest place was Misty Waters so we started heading back towards home. Would you Adam and Eve it! That was closed too.                                                                                                                                                                            We’d passed a pub called the Halfway House when going towards The Dragon and that had the open sign outside so we decided to go there. We used to go a lot a long time ago but found the staff not very friendly. It’s changed hands since then. The menu looked OK but it was expensive for what it was. I ordered a local sausages with mash and onion gravy. The sausages were very fatty I found though the taste wasn’t bad. The mash was bland which was a shame as I love mash and the onion gravy was onion- and gravy. The onions appeared to have been shaved into the tiniest pieces of string and then deep fried. Tasty but not enough of them. Mike wasn’t too impressed with his basic burger either. Such a shame as they seemed a really nice family. Not one to repeat in a hurry.

We came home. It was lucky I’d asked Mike when his team were playing and he said Monday but checked , just as well as they were on this afternoon. That meant he’d want to see the game on his tablet and I could work. So, once the shopping was unpacked and the budgie placated Mike settled in his chair and I made a break for my bedroom. There was such a lot to do with so many emails so I started at 2.30 pm and finished at 6.00 pm, or at least took a break. The game was over, his team had lost. I knew that as I hadn’t been deafened by cheering. I took my next tab then we watched Pointless celebrity. Then I made some tea and we settled to watch a film that finished at 9.00 pm. Mike wanted to watch something he’s missed in the week so he went to select the repeat. By the time he’d done it was 9.15 pm and he found he’s seen it. I just gave up and came back to work again.

Poor very miserable Spotty Muldoon.
Poor very miserable Spotty Muldoon.

By special Request Reuben and Amelie as they are today.

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