Saturday, February 27, 2010

I forgot

My niece's fiance´ (Tony Jeffries) is dancing for sport relief in a few minutes on BBC1 as part of the boxers team. Right now it's Total Wipeout...and that's just how I feel.

I started well by fixing the burst elbow on the outside tap, but as soon as I started laying the floor in the loft, my enthusiasm deserted me. I persevered but I still feel drained.

Bev tells me it isn't the work I do that saps my energy, it's the hot baths I have. I  have it way too hot and step out looking like a lobster. It isn't good for me she says.

I forgot to mention that I woke up one morning this week speaking and thinking French (basic) and I was so happy. It's the first time its ever happened and I hope it isn't the last.

Yesterday I forgot to mention that I had my face pointing at the pavement as I walked because of the bad weather and was shocked at how many people spit their chewing gum out. The whole place was splattered with the stuff and looked like the pigeons had had a field day.

This morning I woke up thinking about the woman in fur boots standing in a bucket of water in Newark town centre last Saturday...I forgot to mention that too and wished I'd taken a picture.

Almost forgot...I had a nightmare last night about one of my sons who was a toddler again and threw an axe at the right-hand side of our current fireplace. It ended with me squeezing into a more and more confined space and feeling totally trapped. It was so claustrophobic that I was panicking. I woke up in a cold sweat in the early hours and crept downstairs to the kitchen for a cold drink. When I drifted off again, the dream seemed to continue. Perhaps that's the real reason why I'm feeling so tired today.

Don't want bad dreams tonight.

Friday, February 26, 2010

The most eventful day of my life.

I ripped an article out of a magazine in the waiting room just as my name flashed up to go through. He was a young doctor and he politely asked what the problem was as I pulled a list from my pocket...I was ready for him. His expression changed and he turned defensive and said 'You have ten minutes only, what is your priority on that list? 'All of them', I said. 'I rarely come here and it's nigh on impossible to get an appointment so I'm making the most of this visit and won't leave until I'm satisfied'.  I think he got the message. Twenty minutes later saw me clutching a prescription and leaving on friendly terms.

I'll live...and I'm not deaf Bev!

Most of the rest of the day was spent in the studio.

At 3:00pm I met up with Bev for a chocolate at Starbucks. The chocolate was overpriced, small, barely hot and the tables dirty. That was our very last visit to Starbucks.

The next port of call was the optician that I had my eye test with last Saturday. 'I'm sorry Sir, but we don't put our lenses in a competitor's frame'. I was ready for her. I stood my ground as she called for the manager. Eventually, the manager relented and we sat down to finalise things.

Apparently, the Zeis lenses in the size needed to fit the rogue frames were not the £149 ones but the £315 + £35 fitting. I'm sure I saw a glint in her eye.

Something happened in the opticians that later had a bearing on what turned out to be the most frightening experience of my entire married life.

We decided on leaving the optician to go for a meal at the Lord Ted restaurant. As we entered (5:45pm), Bev suddenly realised she'd left her mobile at the optician and asked me to order while she walked the two minutes to the call box to phone them. I'd left my phone at home and the restaurant didn't have a public phone, so I agreed and went to find a table and order.

15 minutes later, Bev hadn't come back and I was quite concerned. The meals eventually arrived and I asked if they could keep them warm as my wife hadn't returned. I left the restaurant and noticed the car still parked. It was raining and I was very worried at this point. Perhaps she had returned and had to go to the loo, so I went back, sat down and waited. Forty minutes after arriving, my mind was doing overtime...still no Bev. Something was seriously wrong. There was no way that she wouldn't return within 10 minutes unless something had happened to prevent her.

I walked in the rain to the phone box and attempted to ring home...card only. I made a mental note never to leave my phone at home again. I didn't have a card with me. I stood outside the phone box completely baffled and convinced something terrible had happened. The car was still in the car park with my keys inside the glove compartment and another scout around the restaurant proved fruitless.

I was very worried as I returned to the empty phone box. She either had an accident and had been  taken to hospital, had a seizure and lost her memory and is walking around Newark or has been attacked and lying in a ditch. A quick look around the bushes of the rehabilitation ex-offenders unit close to the restaurant gives you an indication of how plausible these options were to me by now.

It took me forty minutes to walk home.  I hoped every car that passed would be Bev, but no such luck.
My first action on arriving home would be to phone the police. I was convinced the evening would yield awful results.

I approached the car in the drive, but I noticed something red through the front door glass panel. It was Bev's coat and I found her sitting red-eyed and bewildered on the sofa.

I have never been so happy to see her.

Now what do YOU think happened?

Bev's version...

After putting her card in the phone and dialling the optician, the message indicated insufficient funds. 'Insufficient funds! What on earth are you talking about?' She left the phone box exasperated and was just turning into the car park at about 6:00pm when she saw a silver Toyota Yaris with a male driver wearing glasses speed past her. She jumped up and down waving her arms and shouting for me to stop.

She couldn't believe her husband (who was sitting inside waiting for her) had just left the restaurant and driven past her. Why would he do that, she thought. Where was he going? Surely he could see me?

Unable to make sense of it, she walked all the way home in the tears.

Robin kindly gave us a lift back to have our meal and pick the car up. You can guess the topic of conversation as we ate.

Back home, Bev made us both a cup of hot chocolate that Starbucks can only dream of.

MIL said there was just one call...the opticians had rung to say they've found Bev's phone.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Off to bed

Martin & Sarah stayed over last night so that Sarah could catch the train to London to watch Phantom of the Opera with a few friends. Actually, it's the sequel 'Love never dies' which officially opens next week.

I heard a scream as I was in the bathroom and ran out to the source whilst taking care to knock first. Sarah was sat upright in bed opening presents. The birthday girl had just discovered she has tickets to see some singer with a name that sounds like Duvet, Toupe´ or Buble´. Whoever he is she was pretty excited about getting tickets for the show...some time in May.

I watched Inter v Chelsea with Bev tonight, but she only lasted about an hour before deciding on an early night. I don't think I'll ever fully understand her.

Sarah won't get back from London until about 1:00am and Martin is eager to stay up to hear all about it.

I can't wait! I mean I can't wait...I'm tired and I'm off to bed.  I don't think he'll ever fully understand me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

70's here I come

Kirsty had a stranded duck at the bottom of her garden this morning. It had fallen short of reaching its destination...a lake nearby. It was frozen solid in a block of ice which began life as a puddle, and has been trapped all day because Kirsty had to rush off to work. I'm looking forward to see how it all panned out.

Karen's husband left for work and took the house and car keys with him...HER house and car keys. She managed to get out of the house and a friend brought her to work. She hasn't had a bad word to say about him all day.

Life is so unpredictable and you just never know what's going to happen next.

I was thinking about this when my mobile rang and a frantic voice that I recognise as Bev informed me that her mum had rang to say her ceiling was turning into an ugly wet colour and that perhaps there was a leak in the loft. Great!

When I arrived to investigate, there was indeed unwelcome signs of water and I feared the worst as I dragged myself, torch in hand, through the loft hatch.

It wasn't the burst pipe I was expecting but an overflow pipe which I'd forgotten to extend to the outside when I built the extension. Bev adjusted the ball-cock in the bathroom and I wriggled through the hatch with a smile.

I've never been happier even though I have to make good a ceiling.

Yes, you just never know what will happen next and you know what, I like it that way...keeps me from stagnating, unless of course it's really bad news.

I learned today of a survey which indicates men are happiest in their 70's. I like surveys like that....don't know why.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bev is tops!

My profile states I'm 58. As of today I really am.

As I dragged these old bones out of bed and my dinosaur-like metatarsals hit the carpet, I determined to put a brave face on it. Bev had already cooked a full breakfast and had laid my presents out ready for me so I oozed appreciation and even smiled as we trudged across the frosted snow on the way to work.

I had an awful day from the second I entered the over-heated building that was my prison for the day. The only highlight was the birthday wishes and gifts from my thoughtful team mates.

Bev was waiting for me as my nostrils hit fresh air at the end of the day to whisk me to that rather posh Italian restaurant in town. We managed to park the car immediately outside...a good omen.

I chose the Pollo Alla Diavola with a side bowl of FF's and salad. Bev had the Fusilli Alla Genovese. We sipped J2O Apple and mango and Vita & Monteforte...sparkling water to you and me. To finish off we had La Meringue-Nido and pancake filled with ice cream and draped in chocolate and cream.

The atmosphere was good as was the conversation and Bev sure looks good to me tonight...even more than usual.

Thanks Bev, for making the day memorable.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A day with my sons

This is what I woke up to...that's my studio (summer) at the bottom of the garden.
We still managed to get to church but not before a snowball fight seconds after this was perfect snow for snowballs. No, I didn't start it.

Yesterday was quite a day. I spent most of it with my sons who joined me for bacon butties at 8:00am. After breakfast they helped me by doing a few little jobs.

Martin removed overhanging branches into our neighbours garden (inspiration from Jeans recent post). Ashley washed our car and Jon downloaded a whole load of French audio stuff for me to put on my phone. We then hit town so they could help me choose a few ties and a new pair of specs.

Just look at how nice it was yesterday...
I tried to get the lamp coming out of Ashley's head, the parasol directly above Jon's head and the chimney pot coming out of Martin's head but couldn't quite manage it.
They were in a mischievous mood...
They just couldn't stop messing around...
I liked the contrasting light here as we came out of the butter market...

  • Messing around with all the specs in the two opticians we terrorised.
  • The temptation to dance to the accordion buskers music.
  • Jon dragging us into a womens fashion shop insisting they had a mens section right at the back. The female assistants were amused.
  • Sitting on the bench and chatting as we watched the flow of the market.
  • Turning quickly to walk straight into a bollard.
  • Two strikes at bowling (I came joint 2nd).
  • Evening meal at The Goose at Gamston with Martin, Sarah and Bev.
I thought this was funny as we passed it...

When I last had my eyes tested four years ago, the lenses alone cost £300 so I thought I'd be spending at least £450 including the frames. The identical lens will cost just £149 and the frames were reduced from £172 to £72. So it was a good day all round... marred only by the result of SAFC against Arsenal...can't win 'em all!

Final thought as I closed my eyes to sons are the best!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Blurrdd vision

I went out visiting tonight and came back feeling very positive about life. I was all right for most of the day, but it suddenly came into my mind that the combined ages of Bev and me is 110. When I went out I had this on my mind and was just a teensy-weensy bit miffed. Every year when it gets close to my birthday I feel like this. I'm fine now...for another year.

Apart from speaking with some of the good people of England I've stood in my studio and painted all day listening to the likes of The Dark Side of the Moon. I had a very good day.

On the subject of music, my son Martin went to see some group called Blur a while back. Tonight he found out that he's on the front cover of their new album and also on the video...along with others of course. All the same, he's really pleased. Given the name of the group I hope the pictures are in focus.

As for me, its been a long day and the type is all jumbled up...I am unable to focus.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My happy list

If Randi can have one so can I. Actually, I'll include things that bug as you know I'm not happy all the time.
  • I hate having a stupor of thought and just gaze into space looking like the fool that I feel.
  • I'm happy when I'm happy and it's the same when I'm laughing...I love it.
  • I hate wasting time, being late, letting people down or...darn it, I'm having a stupor of thought!
  • I'm really happy when everything comes together when I write, paint or am trying to explain something.
  • I hate hitting the caps lock and not realising until halfway into a sentence.
  • I love being inspired.
  • I hate having to lie to Bev when she asks how many quality street I've had while she was out.
  • I love honesty in marriage.
  • I hate the things some people do which impact on everyone else...burglary, fraud, drink driving...cheating at monopoly.
  • I'm really happy when I watch my family interact.
  • I hate being misunderstood.
  • I'm happy knocking walls down and re-building them elsewhere.
  • I hate buses being late when it's raining or drivers drenching you as they deliberately drive though puddles.
  • I'm happy chopping firewood.
  • I hate people who say yes but they don't.
  • I like people who say no but they do and I love people who say yes and do what they say.
  • I hate people being crude.
  • I'm really happy if I can see a film that I've read the book.
  • I really, really hate following a car who's occupants throw rubbish out.
  • I love music, painting, pottering in the garden, walking, visiting, helping out, moussaka, dandelion & burdock, compliments, pay increases, holidays, friends, grandchildren and...blogging!
I've done some of the above today and when Bev get back I'm prepared to lie again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

It's all in the mind

I love the way Wednesday comes around so quickly to leave me facing two blissful days of painting.

With the thought of how gazelle-like the years are sprinting away from me, I halted myself in the kitchen with this unwelcome ten years time, I will be just two short of my 70th birthday. 70!! That's old. That's really old! That's older than I wanted to be in twelve years time.

I'm horrified that I may just have about a dozen years to do all my mountain climbing, white water rafting, wind surfing, hiking, scuba diving, cliff jumping, roof slating, house building, tree lopping and a host of other 'ing's.

Kirsty at work reckons I'm looking older than I really am and others were too quick to agree. This prompted me to ask if there was a botox clinic in Newark. She thinks I would only be able to afford one line at a time which means I'll be long gone before the job is done. Now isn't that just typical!

It doesn't help watching Lindsey Vonn hurtling downhill like a lunatic to win gold at the Olympics, or Anja Paerson (not sure how to spell it) being suicidal on the final straight.

Oh well, no sense in throwing good money away. It's time to accept harsh reality. I'm an old geezer, or will be very soon!

No, I've changed my mind. My body may soon resemble a prune but my mind will race with the gazelles and ski with the loonies.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Those poor things...

It was good that their violent end wasn't captured on film. I witnessed it all. To my great shame I realise that I could have prevented it from happening.  Take it from me that they had a tragically short but sweet life. For the briefest of moments we crossed paths and for my part the experience was fulfilling. I always knew we'd meet one it a gut-feeling.

You just have to try pancakes filled with ice-cream. They are delicious!

Thanks for the suggestion Kirsty.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Best of both worlds

Yesterday I managed to see two of my sisters and one brother. I don't see enough of them really. At the current rate I would expect to see them a few dozen times before I peg-it. I'd like to see them many times more but the fact is we rarely meet. It's a good job we have other means of communication.

I have learned something about myself though which is at odds with wanting to see more of people. Although I'd hate not to have the freedom to visit whatever and whoever I like, I feel more comfortable in isolation. I think my life would be more fulfilled living a basic and simple life and lifestyle.

I find myself longing to chop wood in order to remain warm, growing things and being a part of a community small enough to know everyone on first-name terms.

I guess as we get older we tend to become more isolated anyway and the reality is that eventually I'll have a 50/50 chance of total isolation and hating every second of it. The strange thing is that I don't want to be alone all of the time. I just want to be alone when I want to be alone...about a 70/30 or 80/20 split. I love to blog, talk, share and interact.

I can see a time not far distant that I can have the best of both worlds.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


There's D-Day and there's V-Day. Do the wrong thing and there could well be parallels with war.

Bev, having stressed that we should not get involved with such sentimentality, coyly planted a kiss on my cheek while at the same time bringing forward a gift from behind her back. It was something for my neck. Not a noose for me today of all days, but a tie. And a very nice tie at that.

Had I not known her, I would have sheepishly protested that she wasn't being fair.  We had after all decided not to get caught up with it all. But I do know her and therefore was ready to reciprocate.

Why do we always play this game? She knows I dare not forget.

I know she loves me because of what she does for me and the way that she does it...year after year after year. She knows I love her because of what I do for her...year after year after year and despite the way I do it. We are well matched and far too sentimental for our own good.

Love is way more than what hangs around one's neck or adorns mantlepieces, but the absence of such tangible things on such occasions as this is something to consider at your peril.

I have to say that I was slightly disappointed that I didn't get a bar of Dairy Milk.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Good healthy sea air

Went to see UP with Chris and the grandkids while Bev and Juli hit the town for a bit of shopping. As we twisted up to the top floor of the car park I caught sight at every level of the area of Sunderland I grew up in...the river and docks in particular. As we got out of the car there was a poster encouraging getting to know and discover the very same places, and there it was...the first school I attended. It was quite nostalgic.

Once inside the cinema, Anna-Belle sat on my knee for a while and promptly stretched her legs to almost rest on the head of the man sitting in front of us. It happened a few times.

The film was really very good and had me almost in tears a number of times. Cartoons are very good these days, aren't they?

Later, Bev and I took a drive along the seafront past the windmill and lighthouse before reaching Marsden where we parked up and took a little walk. The waves crashed violently and the gulls squealed as we read the various plaques on the commemorative benches that lined the cliff edge. I was horrified to read that most of the deaths were of men much younger than me. So much for healthy sea air.

Once back home, we were responsible for feeding, bathing, reading to and putting to bed all the kids while Chris and Juli went for a meal. We started about 4:30 and finished about 8:30pm. Hard work...particularly  for Bev who did the lions share.

Zonked! Not able to concentrate on French.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I don't usually receive awards but a little while ago I did...out of the blue. I've just remembered that there are things I should do after receiving it, but first of all thank you Jean A box of beads for sending it to me. 

The rules for accepting the award are :
  • Put the logo on your blog or within a post
  • Pass the award on to 12 bloggers
  • Link the nominees within your post
  • Let the nominees know they have received this award by commenting on their blog
  • Share the love and link the person from whom you received this award
My nominees for the award are:

Randi of Foreign Quang notoriety.
Bright, zingy, funny and Queen of Quang. She would be the Queen of England too if she was English and the job was vacant. Oops! Since when did being English have anything to do with being an English Monarch?

Blucamels in Brittany
Blu...for her incredible photographs, shared thoughts, observations and that link to a world I dream of from time to time.

Damp Flat Books
For giving me a little bit of inspiration and direction for my website...if it ever comes about.

French Fancy
For her honesty, loyalty, sympathy and easy style of communication.

The Machinists Wife and Daily Pie
Helen...for sharing her life, fears, ambitions and frustrations...all beautifully encapsulated within her own unique and warm way of communication.

Just pleasantly floundering around...Molly Potter, a woman still growing comfortably into her skin. This award is for her honesty and observation...a breath of fresh air to her readers...those who can keep up with her. She hails from Norwich(a place I couldn't spell until in my 30's), but hey, someone has to live there.

Artists who blog
For an inspirational collection of talent and insight...her own and hundreds of others.

Snippets...Vera, for sharing the struggle of living a dream and her warm heart.

The Poulton Family daughter Juli, for who she is and the way she mirrors her dad in the manic way she lives life.

Mug of strong tea...Phil, for his trials, attitude and love for food.

Ash & Amber...for keeping my granddaughter very close.

Polly-Vous Français...for her sheer sophistication.

Now I know Robert Brault won't be too interested in this so I won't pass it on, but he's probably the most talented person I know.

All of my nominees can be found to my right...'I keep tabs on these'.

Most of these incredible people have come into and shared my life over the past year.

My normal journal post for today will come from Sunderland this evening when the day is done.

It was a lovely non-stop and no traffic drive all the way to Sunderland. The day is done and so am I. I think I've only read three stories but I'm zonked! These grandkids of ours move so fast and change conversation so many times that it's hard to focus on which planet you're on. One of the stories was in French...Nemo! How cool is that?

I'm here to work but won't know exactly what I'll be doing until tomorrow.

The embers of the fire are dying and the place is quiet at last. Time to get my head down and dream of Pixars.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


It's 10:35pm and we've just got in. I've time for a Horlicks and a bit of shortcake and that's about it.

I was watching the mpg on the dashboard as we drove home and it reached 49.8. We were tempted to go round the island twice just so we could reach 50. I'm very pleased with our little car. Tomorrow we take it for a long run to Sunderland for the weekend so it should be interesting.

Its been a long day and an enjoyable one at that, but I'll have to write about it tomorrow as I'm all out of time.

I hope I don't forget what I did (I have been known to).

Incidentally, for those who are non-UK residents, an 'island' isn't a reference to England. It isn't anything other than a roundabout...a quirky substitute for crossroads.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Too much brain activity

I spent my entire working day training a young lad called Scott.  He lost his job about six months ago with RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) and hasn't worked since. He's bright and eager to learn and I'm really pleased he's found employment at last. My brain is frazzled now, not so much because of the training, but as a result of too much to think about. I've woken up really early for about a week now with my brain whirring away. I can't seem to switch off.

Jon, Serene and Austin dropped by and spent the evening with us. It was really good to have a chat and chill.

I'm struggling about the size and location of our store that we'll be building in France this year. I thought I'd settled in my mind exactly where it should be and now that I've spent days thinking about it, it's back in the original location...for now.

Well, there are 23 English Shires and between 42 and 48 they say! There are also 32 Irish and 32 Scottish Councils.

Now that my education is complete, I'll be able to enjoy a good nights sleep and give my brain a rest.

Perhaps I'll be lucky enough to sleep all the way to 7:00am.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010


I discovered my Welsh and tried out my Scottish, Irish, Brummie and Yorkshire accents today at work. I think my Scottish was the best. Kirsty laughed at my new-found Welsh and Karen thumped me for insulting her Yorkshire roots.

It made me think about how much I know about my beloved England. Not much as it happens. I appear to be proud of being something of which I know little about.

For instance, I didn't really know how many counties there were, or how many shires.  Do you, without googling it? I know how many states there are in America and in France, young children can recite all the departments with ease, yet I still don't know how many there are. It's not that I can't remember or anything...I never knew to begin with.

Anyway, before I completely embarrass myself...
Welcome to Rajeev Arora who left a comment recently and I've just noticed that he is a follower (silhouette).  Where do you hail from, live or hang out Raj? Let us know a little something about you...but it's okay if you don't really want to.

Sometimes I'm just a bit too pushy for my own good.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Film night.

I didn't check the rating but was surprised to see so many virtual toddlers. We crept to our seats in darkness after the film was a few minutes old and it wasn't long before the constant kicking at the back of our seat commenced. I looked around ready to give them a piece of my mind only to be confronted by a little angel. A quick glance uncovered a whole lot of parents with kids in tow.

Those poor kids will have nightmares.

I have to admit to it being an excellent film...all the more so because of the generosity of Bev's bosses who ensured we didn't have to spend a single penny. Well, not until the end at least. It was a case of AVA...treat on us. TA' very much!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Random thoughts

I often entertain the thought that people of bygone ages experienced the same emotions and saw the same things as me...trees, water, sky, sun, moon, stars, fire and colour as well as happiness, sadness, fear, warmth, hostility, frustration or anger.  I think about them...the people who lived their entire lives, and wonder how they would respond to the things they never experienced, but I do...cornflakes, TV, internet, electricity, roads, plane, trains and automobiles.

We can attend functions on different continents on the same day or speak to different people 'live' anywhere on the planet. Goodness knows what will be happening in 40 years when I may still be alive.

Anyway, such were my thoughts today during our travels.

I thought this odd little thought it possible to think about something I'm not thinking about? After about ten minutes of struggle I concluded that it wasn't.

Enjoyed is usually and thankfully the case.

I'm ready for whatever next week has in store.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Can't complain

Yes, we'll catch the market in Nottingham. There's bound to be a bargain to pick up. Perhaps brass door knobs for France or a really nice sideboard from the auction rooms. No, it was cold and dreary and people were scavenging and scurrying around total rubbish in the vain hope of capturing a gem.

A few weeks ago Eileen recommended us dropping into a retail park and viewing a sideboard or two. We did, but no, nothing close to what we were looking for.

David and Eileen weren't in either so the idea of a hot chocolate and a friendly chat was dashed.

Driving back to Newark I set the sat-nav for Josselin in Brittany. It's an eleven hour drive...we're tempted but decide instead to pull in at a farm shop for a snack. What a dreary place. The cutlery wasn't clean and was easily bent. The crockery, service and general feel of the place were also sub-standard. Two bikers, or at least their bikes, provided the only interest.

Back in the car park we noticed a long scratch on our car. That's nice!

An hour putting together a supposedly simple computer desk, putting a new rug down in the hallway, having a haircut, bath and a good tidy up (not in that order) made me feel a lot better.

Should have washed the car but didn't.

Reading more Piaf, sketching, making plans and generally chilling.

Another day gone without losing home, health, family or friends. Can't complain!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Being catty...

Knowing how I feel about many of our overpaid, sleazy, cheating, crooked politicians, imagine my surprise when I turned the radio on to hear they are being prosecuted for making false claims. My smile broadened as the politicians were exposed one at a time. My smile was gigantic when the next crooked politician was mentioned. He'd been making claims for years for a non-existant mortgage and I was really giving him a piece of my mind as I cheered each false claim on the list. His name was Mr Devine. I almost choked!

The finger was pointed at me all of a sudden and it made me think of all the things that would be raked up if I became a politician.

I now admire those who go into politics...leaving me to take on the role of chief complainer with impunity. Besides which, one Devine in politics is quite sufficient I think.

"Let him without sin cast the first stone", was a scripture that came to mind. I painted in silence for the rest of the day like a scolded cat with it's tail between it's legs.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

That's odd.

By choice I've had no radio or TV today. It's amazing how much more focussed I am without them.

I moved the old computer upstairs and set it all up for Bev to use exclusively for genealogy. She was really pleased when she got home. For some strange reason the old mouse wouldn't work so we walked down to Currys and bought another.  It comes to something when you have to go out to buy a mouse.

Tonight we checked out ferry prices for our visit to France in May.

So, how do I feel on this my most recent day of life? What are my thoughts? 

Do I feel excited, young at heart, optimistic and secure? No, I feel tight, tired, old, a touch bland, a tad pessimistic and a teensy-weensy bit insecure. Yesterday I was none of these so I only hope normal service is resumed tomorrow. I put it down to staying up late the other night to watch Pierce Morgan in Dubai  mixing it with the mega-rich.

I'm signing off today with an ice-cream and a glass of water. Yes, that's how I feel...odd!

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Back to normal

I walked in the freezing sleet and arrived home wet and uncomfortable. The heating wasn't on because we had turned the water off. When David arrived he informed us that the central heating has it's own supply and that turning the water off didn't affect it. We didn't have to freeze. I thought this was funny in a perverse sort of way...poor MIL has been without heat all day.

Well done David. After a few little trips to Homebase the job was completed and we can all go to the loo now.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

A friend in need...

Mike arrived tonight with our bed for the spare room and we struggled to get it upstairs. There was a time when I could manage a mattress easily. I don't know what they put in them these days but they weigh a ton.

We had to push it halfway into the bathroom and then out onto the landing before we could get it into the bedroom. As we twisted it out of the bathroom we heard a very loud hissing accompanied by a shriek. "Ken, the stop-cock!" It was only when I saw a fountain of water gushing in every direction that I understood what she meant, and while I frantically scrambled over the mattress trying to figure out where the heck the stop-cock was, Bev sailed by me and rushed downstairs leaving me to try and stem the tide with a few towels.

The water was now flowing through and down into the kitchen below.  One stop-cock didn't seem enough until we swapped places and I spotted a second.  We are all dry now but the problem hasn't been solved. I have the tools but I just can't secure it enough for normal use.

They say that a friend in need is a pest and, although I didn't really want to, I phoned the best friend a person can who is skilled. I tried to discern if I really was a pest, but he seemed to disguise it as he cheerfully agreed to pop over tomorrow evening to help me.

Thanks David.

Oh, the mattress wasn't affected by all the water and the bed is now all made up in the spare room ready to accommodate  visitors...but they'll have to share a bathroom with my MIL if they turn up tonight.

Monday, February 01, 2010

What invasion?

I obtained an address without a telephone number of a French tutor living not more than 10 minutes away. My only option was to drive over and hope someone will answer the door.

A middle-aged well-spoken woman answered the door and it soon became apparent that the information I had gleaned from the internet was false.

My only other lead was in the Pleasley area of Mansfield which is about half hour drive from us. I called twice and there was no reply.

I'm a little deflated so I'm going to spend the rest of the evening reading my Piaf book and squeezing a bit of French study in...or should that be the other way round?

I found out yesterday that the Tower of London is built with French a French invader.

C'mon William, you could have sent a few countrymen as far as Newark!