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The Games Children Play.

Hi All

I hadn’t realised how long it’s been since I posted something here and then a ‘friend’ enquired if I’d died? Well, no I’m still here.

The days flash past and I truly don’t know where the hours go to. Although, having said that, I do spend many, many hours in the garden at the moment.

The blackcurrants and gooseberries have come and gone and the strawberries are dwindling, but that might have something to do with little fingers plucking each and every one? Jake and Grace, (7 and 3 years) harvest the ripe fruits and eat them so fast that it’s a real struggle to make them wash them first. I know I should insist, but there is something about small children wandering through a garden wilderness, seeking and finding ripe berries and eating them immediately.

The red gooseberries didn’t last long either. They are (were) a particularly sweet variety and I have to admit to eating them by the dozen, straight from the bush. I couldn’t rescue any this year to turn into jam, because little fingers also found them, but I was luckier with the blackcurrants. I made a dozen jars of blackcurrant, apple, and ginger jam. Also, the rhubarb cropped heavily and is going like the clappers even now, so that was turned into rhubarb and ginger jam. You might be noticing a theme here? I seem to be adding ginger to everything these days.

I’m hoping that the apples, courgettes and tomatoes can get their acts together and be ready simultaneously as I’m now scouting for some interesting chutney recipes. I haven’t made any for a few years, mainly for two reasons. 1) The boiling vinegar gives me a migraine. 2) Richard eats half a jar at a time on chips and jacket potatoes and with no concern for the effort and time that has gone into producing the stuff.

So, there you go. I’m not dead – just busy with the garden. And I have to admit that I encourage Grace and Jake to ‘mess around’ out there, too. It pleases me to watch them play. To create things that only a child’s imagination might create. There are a hundred life-lessons to learn in a garden.

One of their favourite things is hunting for worms. This is something that I stand back and watch, even though cries of, ‘Grandma, come and look at this – it’s really big and this one is having babies!’ are constantly heard. I know my limitations, I’ve never been a great-picker-upper or lover of worms, but even so I insist that they find a pot from the potting shed and place a bed of soil in the bottom on which to place the worms, and then, when the harvesting is over they have to release the worms back into the damp, shady soil.

Jake’s passion is looking for treasure. This takes the form of stones. One time he will be looking for flint, another for smooth round stones. At the end of the session I find him a plastic cat pooh bag (unused by the way) and he takes them home, much to daddy’s displeasure. Daddy asks, ‘Do you really need to take those home? Haven’t we got enough of our own?’ Daddy doesn’t understand that these are not just any common or garden stone these are precious gems, discovered from underneath bushes and beneath soil. These stones could have lain with dinosaur bones. These stones had to be tracked with the compulsion and determination of Indiana Jones searching for The Holy Chalice!2014-06-02 08.38.31

Occasionally I have to answer questions like, ‘Grandma, why is that dragonfly on the back of that dragonfly?’ But we are quite grown-up about it all.

Other than the garden taking up my time, I have also started a fourth novel. So…busy, busy, busy.

I’ll be back in a day or two – this is really just me putting in a brief appearance to let certain people know that I’m alive and well – and looking in earnest for recipes that include ginger. If you have any be sure to let me know?

Take care my lovelies x

 

 

 

 

 

 
8 Comments

Posted by on July 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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I Can Truthfully Relate to Barry Manilow…

You know that Barry Manilow song, I Made It Through The Rain? Well, that’s how I’m feeling right now.

The week before last was horrendous. OK, so no one died, but it was still horrendous. Two steps forwards and one step back. Nothing went right, and then, as the week came to an end I thought, right, draw a very thick line under it and look forwards to next week (last week). Then came the killer blow…Richard announced that he was on holiday the next week (last week). It was at this point that someone did almost die…me.

The thought of another week, attempting to sort out the backlog of things that were still wrong, with Richard floating around, almost polished me off. It was at this point that I had to give myself a strong talking to and convince myself that I could, and would, get through this.

First on the agenda, bright and early Monday morning, was a ride out to my brother’s house. This was not a social visit. This was so that he could figure out what I was doing wrong in my futile attempts to contact the USA tax office. Richard did, in fact, come in quite useful because he drove and all this stress had given me a headache.

My brother fiddled with my phone before shutting me in his office and telling me to stop buggering about and just get on with it. With no confidence whatsoever I dialled the number and waited for the same old drivel, “I’m sorry but we are unable to process your call.” When that message didn’t actually slam back at me and a voice informed me, “Thank you for your call…the waiting time is 3 minutes,” I almost fainted.

So, job done. I’m legal. No, I am. Thanks to my brother, who is brilliant. Not sure why I’m bulling him up? He never reads a word I write. Sometimes I wonder if anyone does, but that’s insecurity…isn’t it?

On Tuesday, I took a day off from everything. In the morning, I let Richard take me to Melton market. This is a cattle market that is run every Tuesday. It also sells rabbits, chickens, ducks, garden produce, fertilised eggs, etc. It was here that I fell in love with a little duckling. He/she was all alone in a cardboard box and when I peered in, he/she peered back, and its little peepers said, ‘Buy me. I won’t be any trouble. Look how pretty I am with this little pompom on the top of my head.’ This is the point at which you just know that I came home with the duckling? Well, you are wrong. I zipped up my heart and walked away. I bought a dress instead. Did I mention that there was a dress stall? This is the only dress I own and it was purchased purely for sitting out in the garden…because I do a lot of that, don’t I? No. Hardly ever. Too much weeding, watering, hoeing, digging, compost turning….I think you get the picture?

Richard disappeared on Wednesday. I don’t mean he vaporised. I’m not that lucky (joke).  He roared off on his bike to some air force thing and so I was left with time to myself… and the chance to sort out some of the backlog.

I have now almost caught up. One thing is outstanding. An eBook is being reformatted. I know nothing about this but a virtual friend, who has now become so much more, is sorting that out for me.

You know me now, and you know that I believe that something positive always comes from something negative and yet again I have proved myself right. Through this very trying, hair-ripping-out time, virtual friends have stepped in, and for absolutely no gain of their own, have spent endless hours creating, advising, and just plain supporting me, and I will be eternally grateful. So, to these friends I say a heartfelt thank you… and my offer of returned support does not have a sell-by date.

You know who are you and I only refrain from naming you because I know you are all so God-damn modest. Oh, and the other reason is, if I tell everyone who you are, and that you are the nicest, most wonderful guys (gals) on the planet, they will all be scurrying to your doors and you will no longer have the time to get me out of my constant pooh pile! See, I’m not as stupid as I may appear.

Richard has gone back to work today. Weirdly, I’m kinda missing him. I have no excuse now to bugger around doing nothing. Sooooo I’m going to crack on.

Take care my lovelies x

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Lastly…I can now announce with a triumphant fanfare that …..The Sleeping Field is now available in paperback! Again, produced by a dear friend and absolutely nothing to do with me.

 

 
20 Comments

Posted by on July 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Path To My Inner Calm

Hi All

I still haven’t got through to the USA regarding the tax issue, although, in all fairness, I do have to admit that I have only tried once since last Thursday, and that was yesterday. I got the same old message, ‘Unable to process your request.’

I’m the kind of person who won’t give up until something is sorted and accomplished but by last Sunday I had reached the point where I wasn’t safe to be around and so I decided to take time out from this mental virtual world. 24 hours away from the computer.

Equipped with my mug of tea, and my feet rammed firmly into my wellies, I took off up the garden, letting the chucks out on the way. It was only 6.30 am and they blinked a bit in surprise at being allowed their freedom quite so early in the day.

I had a bit of a dawdle through the broad beans, fought off the million baby spiders hanging from threads in the greenhouse, and watered the tomatoes, and then, as I walked under the brick archway, decided to take up the entire path and replace it. Weeds had multiplied and pushed through the spaces making it look messy and untidy, and although the day was about to turn hotter by the hour it was nice and cool beneath the clematis covered arch.

It took me a couple of hours to lift the bricks and remove the weeds. It was at this point that Richard appeared and stood, with shaking head, and a scowl on his down-turned mush.

‘What!’ I said, which was pretty big of me considering that I wasn’t speaking to him because he’s a pillock and he’d caused me to have a major rant the night previously. I’d threatened him with putting the house on the market and sending him packing. I do this from time to time. It’s normal. He expects it. Anyway…I continued with, ‘The only other thing that pisses (yes I swore…and on a Sunday morning with church bells ringing in the distance) me off more than having to do this REALLY difficult job on my own, is YOU standing there WATCHING ME!’

‘Why are you doing this? I can’t be helping in this heat. If you did it at a sensible time I’d help,’ he said.

‘Sod off! I don’t need your help!’

He cleared off then, shuffling down the path in his stupid flip-flops, frightening pollen-feeding bees off the cosmos.

I found a roll of weed suppressant in the potting shed and laid that before embarking on the task of replacing the bricks. I found the whole thing extremely rewarding and, with each brick laid, I found the stresses and annoyances of the week evaporating. I can’t stay mad when I’m in the garden. It is my comfort blanket. Chea came and helped, laying on the weed suppressant and cleaning her paws as I laid the bricks around her.

Richard reappeared with a glass of iced water a while later and muttered something about, ‘Contrary to popular belief I don’t want you to get dehydrated.’

Well he wouldn’t would he? If I collapsed who would lay the path? Actually, I’d chilled by then and so I allowed him to fetch a bag of cement-type-stuff for between the awkward gaps. He wasn’t trusted to apply it though – so he watched.

Honestly, he drives me mad. The other night I caught him looking at me and when I turned to him with raised, questioning brows, he said, ‘When you lose weight your face gets thinner …and your hair looks thicker.’

What? What the hell did that mean? So normally I’m fat-faced with thin hair?

He can talk. At least I don’t hide my double chin beneath a stubbly beard – well, not yet.

Then, trying to justify the comment he said, ‘…or is it just that your hair needs cutting?’

I passed no comment. The look I flashed him said everything.  He blinked innocently a few times and then buried his nose in his laptop.

I’ve just had to close the door as Chea has come back to the house with a mouse. I don’t do mice. It has taken refuge behind the log basket. Richard will have to find it when he gets home. I’m making him a list, pick the broad beans, pick the peas, run me to the bank… and remove a mouse. At least I’ve calmed down enough to speak to him now, otherwise I’d have to leave him a note haha.

I think Chea must have found a family of mice because this is the third little creature she’s brought back. But here’s the lovely thing, she brings them back, gently releases them, and they scamper off back up the garden. Of course it could be the same mouse? If so it must be major peed off by now.

So, my answer to a week of hell? Turn off the computer. Take 24 hours – and go and smell the roses…or lay a brick path.

Take care my lovelies x2014-06-23 06.38.44

PS The promotion I set up for The Sleeping Field did actually work! I know, a bloody miracle, BUT it ends today at 6.00pm UK time, so if you would like a copy at 99p make sure you download before then. And a big thank you to those of you who have already supported me and purchased a copy. If I knew how to put a ‘smiley face’ here I would, but I don’t, so I can’t.

 

 

 

 
14 Comments

Posted by on June 25, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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To Stumble Blindly Over Molehills…

Hi All

I was busting my gut for Richard to toddle off back to work on Monday because I was going to move mountains without the-love-of-my-life (?) stuck under my feet and within a metre of my vision, and if not mountains then hills or…slight rises in unchartered territory. What I’ve actually done is nothing more than stumble blindly over molehills. Yes, I know, it’s the velvety coated Mr Mole who is almost blind but…

I feel like I’ve been trapped in one of those hamster-wheel thingy’s, running like mad and merely ending up where I originally started from. But, unlike the hamster, who merely stops after his exertions and pops off for a peanut, I was stuck, spinning faster and faster. Over dramatic? Possibly.

Anything and everything that I have attempted this week has been met with problems. I spent the whole day yesterday attempting to contact the USA tax office. I probably made twelve attempts? An automated, “We cannot process your request…we cannot process your request…’ informed me that – they could not process my request! How the hell did they know that they couldn’t process my request? I never got as far as making a request!

Around 9.00pm I gave up and watched the second half of England getting their backsides whipped. Why is it that I, knowing precious little about football – other than the ball goes one way for 45 minutes, before they all strut off to stuck on an orange, return, and the ball goes the other way for 45 minutes  - can sit on my sofa and see where they are so obviously going wrong? Oh! I also know that they have ‘injury’ time added on to that. That’s ‘real’ injury time (?) and ‘pretend’ injury time. Those precious minutes where a player goes down clutching a broken leg and then rises, like a phoenix from the ashes, to sprint down the pitch faster than the Derby winner to score a goal? The goals against us last night were scored in exactly the same way. England left the goal scoring area open and unprotected and Mr Whatever-his-name-is whacked in two goals. I can see that, why can’t they?

Anyway, I digressed there a bit.

It’s been a truly crap, waste of time week. The garden has been shouting at me to go and stand at stare at its splendour and the chucks have gone googled-eyed (more so than usual) straining their little necks, expecting to see me on my way up the garden to let them out. Yesterday they got so totally peed off that they started screeching like hell’s demons and made it impossible for me to continue with my call to the USA. I had to buckle and go and let them out. Actually, I needed it too. There is something about picking up warm chicken pooh that tends to refocus a person.2014-06-20 10.37.17

I put my short story collection on offer three weeks ago, or so I had thought. It never ran because I’d programmed it incorrectly. I have attempted to put The Sleeping Field on offer from Saturday 21st June – Wednesday 25th June. I say attempted because who knows? Nothing else has gone smoothly this week…or even right. However, having got myself into all sorts of dead ends, and horrendous time-wasting exercises, I do have to say that without a shadow of a doubt I have received tremendous help and advice from several friends. I would have imploded or jumped off one of those bloody mountains that I was expecting to climb, without your kind help. You know who you are (M.M, G.G.P, P.E, D.M) so thank you. Seriously.

Having experienced the kindness of these people it has once again confirmed my belief that something positive always comes from something negative. And because the chucks are screeching and demanding to come out to tear up the garden I will keep it short and go. There is no way I am attempting to contact the USA tax office today!

At least I have a friend in all this confusion!!

At least I have a friend in all this confusion!!

Take care my lovelies x

For those of you who are kind enough to support me, here is the link to ‘The Sleeping Field,’ BUT, please check that it is 99p and not list price…because I’m not yet convinced that my ‘messing everything up’ session has passed?

P.S. Welcome new followers, Baitress and Kim Clair Smith.

 

 

 

 

 
6 Comments

Posted by on June 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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It’s Like Coming Home.

Hi All

Just one more day and my DIY sparring partner goes back to work. I can hardly wait. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been quite nice having him around, under my feet for the last fortnight, and we have refurbished the bathroom, but my nerves are at an all-time high.

I need head-space. Time to think without being constantly bombarded with questions.

‘Are you hungry yet? What are we having for lunch? What time are we having dinner? Would you follow me in the car so that I can take my motorbike to that chap in Nova Scotia, (slight exaggeration) and pick me up, because it isn’t running right?’

That sodding motorbike is like a cloud of doom hanging over my head. I’ve lost count of the hours spent taking it up and down the motorway to the ‘’guy who is really good with bikes!’’ If he was so frigging good why have we just collected it for the third time in as many weeks? And then, when I’ve arranged my whole day around ‘us’ Richard announces, ‘Do you mind if I piss off out on my bike for a ride?’

He doesn’t actually say ‘piss off,’ but he may as well, because that’s what he means. By this time I’ve lost the will to live, besides anything else, and just spend the alone time scrolling Facebook instead of writing.

I controlled myself a little better last night, when the boy-racer took off for a quick spin…and spent two hours on You Tube listening to sad songs from artists that most of you wouldn’t even know. I’m feeling terribly vulnerable at the moment. Sad. A little depressed – well, quite a bit depressed, actually. I have no real reason or reasons. I think the trip-out to the coast last Monday started this dip.

We travelled to Sheringham, on the east coast. Sheringham is a smallish town, very unspoilt and with the local ‘accent’ to be heard on every corner. I know it so well…Sheringham not the accent. My parents had a caravan there, when my brothers and I were young, and the memories I have of that place are ingrained in my heart forever. I remember stropping off, under instruction from my parents, to clamber up and slip down Beeston Hill, along the sea-front and into town to the local bakery at the crack of dawn to fetch a large uncut loaf. It felt like a bit of a chore then. It wouldn’t now. Not if I was returning with the still warm, freshly baked bread to two loving parents.

Somehow I seem to have an affinity with the place – the east coast. I guess that’s why I set my novel ‘Starfish’ in this area? It’s like coming home. I can only explain it that way. Travelling the coast road, seeing the places I saw so many times as a child, brings the memories flooding back. Sometimes they come as a ripple on the beach, sometimes they come as a tsunami. I can handle the ripples. The tsunami is harder.

And of course…it’s Father’s Day, and it’s mighty tough knowing that there is no one to buy a card for. Memories of my dad, like the childhood memories, come as daily ripples or a once in a while tsunami. Again, the ripples are easier to manage.

But…hey-ho all things pass and I will shortly rise from this gloomy me. I always do. And I really don’t mind feeling this way. I’m an extremist. I have black and white moments. I have manic highs and silly self-indulgent lows. It doesn’t matter. That’s me. And frankly, tell me, is there anything more sad and self-indulgent than Des O’Connor singing ‘My Cup Runneth Over,’ (You Tube ). It’s a bloody miracle I made it through the night!

So you see, I can’t blame Richard for this…well not totally. He is a bit to blame…

As I write this he is attempting to mend a leaky u bend beneath the kitchen sinks. I am having nothing to do with this. I am writing my gloomy blog. However, I fear that having mentioned ‘tsunami’ twice, I should lift my feet and wait for the flood to hit?2014-06-09 14.17.58

Take care my lovelies x

PS A special welcome to new followers Amy Saab, WilliamtheButler, Jonathan Roumain and theeditorsjournal.

 
17 Comments

Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Trust Me…It’ll Wreck Your Back…

Hi All

Those of you who have been ‘with me,’ on this blog for some time now, know that I am a great planner and organiser of people, chores and myself?  Some might call it ‘control freak syndrome,’ But we won’t worry about the opinions of people like that.

So…I had plans. Things that I wanted to do. Like…start a fourth book. Which, in all honesty, I did, but exactly that…start a fourth book. 4,500 words. Bear in mind that running side-by-side with this is the garden to attend to and all the other irritating bits of life, like shopping, cleaning and breathing etc. When I get into writing the later tend to get shelved, except for breathing of course, even I have to do that, though some may question why.

This is all leading to the announcement from Richard that he’d decided to take a fortnight’s holiday. This met with as much enthusiasm on my part as a dose of the trots. I know, harsh, but honestly, Richard being stuck under my feet for fourteen days wasn’t conducive to my great plans. I have long learnt that he has to be out of the house, or asleep, in order for me to be left to my own devices, so the fourth book has been shelved.

Obviously I had to turn my planning skills to something else.

It didn’t take long to come up with a plan…we would lay a new bathroom floor. As plans go it wasn’t mind-blowing but it would sure please me not to have walk on black tiles each time I used the loo. The bathroom was totally ‘done’ some years ago, when black was the new black, and very ‘in.’ Now it just looked out! So, after some discussion that somehow managed to conclude without blood flowing, we decided to lay a new ‘bathroom proof’ clicky laminate floor in off-white. The flooring was purchased, at what turned out to be great expense, and, after having a massive argument in B&Q, regarding how much we needed. Obviously, I was right because as already mentioned I am the planner, the whiz with a calculator and brilliant with a tape measure.

Five minutes into the job and we started bickering. Ten minutes into the job and we started yelling and Richard had to slam shut the bathroom window because the neighbour was conveniently sitting in his garden, listening to my every obscenity. Twenty minutes into the job and we were both prostrate on the bathroom floor with laminate stuck behind the radiator. 2 hours later and we’d decided to consider it an exercise in stupidity and to scrap the box that we had opened and to take the three remaining boxes back. Then my ‘won’t be beaten at any cost’ attitude kicked in and I changed our minds. We would continue and we would succeed.

We opened the bathroom window after that because we weren’t really talking to each other.

Slowly we regained our humour and continued, that is until we were inches away from the airing cupboard door and with only a third left to do. Richard said a very naughty word that began with F and slammed the window shut again. I couldn’t see anything wrong, and certainly nothing to warrant the ‘F’ word, that is until Richard pointed to the airing cupboard door and then attempted to open it. To my horror it would only open six inches before banging against the heightened floor. And Richard couldn’t take it off because he couldn’t open it wide enough to access the hinges.

The floor came up.

We continued and an hour later we were back where we had started when I noticed, in the very first row, unclicked boards. Richard said he couldn’t see the problem.

I bellowed, Are you frigging blind?’

He bellowed,’ Yes I am!’

And frankly he isn’t far off. I had to tell him which way the screw heads were facing before he could get the screwdriver lined-up to take off the airing cupboard door!

I said, ‘That’s it! I’m making you an appointment at Specsavers!’

He said, ‘Well you’ll have to lead me there.’

The floor came up.

Eventually, we finished and trotted off to B&Q to get something for skirting etc. Unfortunately, Richard jumped into the car at an awkward angle and did his lower back.

The task of ‘No Nailing’ the skirting to the walls was down to me, with Richard, doubled-up in agony, (or so he pretended) hanging on to the door frame, issuing instructions, that is until I informed him that if he didn’t shut up I’d be ‘No Nailing’ his mouth to his gums.

As a last ‘nice touch’ I hung a lovely little beach hut thingy, which looked stupid because it had been threaded back to front, so I removed the string and rethreaded it. Except, because of my nerve-dead forefinger I couldn’t thread the second side, so Richard attempted to do it. Half-blind and with the string unravelling, he tried to push it through the hole and succeeded in buggering up the end.

I said, ‘You need to lick it! Lick it with your tongue! Put it in your mouth! Make it stick together!’

The sound of falling terracotta came from the neighbour’s garden, and for good measure, after realising how my instructions could be misconstrued, I shouted, ‘That’s it! Push it a bit more. You’ve got it in!’

Well, the bloody neighbour knows more about my life than I do – and I’m the one living it.

Lord knows what we will get up to next week, that’s if I can plan something that doesn’t require Richard’s poor eyesight or weak back. Just one more week and then I can get back to the new novel – probably?

Take care my lovelies x

A pretty little picture - that has nothing at all to do with this post - just to add calm.

A pretty little picture – that has nothing at all to do with this post – just to add calm.

PS I do have to own up to cutting the window blind an inch too short…but I’m sure it had something to do with Richard’s faulty tape measure?

 

 

 

 

 
14 Comments

Posted by on June 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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One Prick Too Many?

Hi All

Anyone who knows me, or reads this blog, knows that I have an affinity with most flora and fauna. I say most because I have a massive dislike of greenfly, blackfly, slugs and snails. This little foursome attempt to destroy anything green that pops its head above soil level.

I lovingly and attentively attend to my garden’s every need and I can be found on many a 5am morning tying-in tomato plants, watering a thirsty cutting, weeding seedlings etc. etc. so it rather goes against the grain when it comes to cacti and the fact that they thrive on negligence.

When we had the kitchen extended, four-ish years ago, I decided that it might be nice to have a ten-foot high shelf on the wall, near to one of the Velux roof windows, as a permanent home for my cacti collection. OK, so I would need a ladder to access them each time they needed watering, but that wasn’t a problem because they wouldn’t require watering very often. And with them sitting in the lap of the Gods it would prevent me from ‘spoiling’ them and killing them with kindness. However, I do think there is a point at which even cacti become the victims of negligence and recently I fear my cacti fell into that category.

I’d asked Richard to water them 3 weeks ago – you see the job has now fallen to Richard? There is a reason for that. Richard can just about reach them by standing on a kitchen chair and not having to go to the trouble of releasing one of his ladders from the roof of his garage. We call it a garage, but it isn’t because we can’t get a car down the side of the house.

Richard has this massively annoying way of arranging things, usually beneath or behind something else and access is never easy. Even when I turn two locks and struggle to pull back a sticking, massive door I have to lean across his BMW heap of shit just to get a masonry nail out of a cupboard. I’m not actually allowed masonry nails because he goes off on one about how many times I have to bang it into the wall, wrecking the plaster, just to get one picture in the right place. But I digress…

Since my initial request for him to water the cacti I have mentioned it three more times. Saturday, when my son and grandchildren were here, I glanced up at the shelf and merely mumbled, ‘We really will have to get those plants watered.’ The next thing I knew Richard was balanced on a chair, long-handled watering can in hand, holding a conversation with my son, when all hell broke loose. Cacti, gravel, grit and bone-dry compost rained down on him. One hit him smack on the head, bounced off and almost took out little Jake who was on hands and knees retrieving his Angry Bird from beneath the chair. As compost fell like water gushing down The Niagara Falls, everyone froze. Mouths dropped open and Jake, assuming that it was caused by something he had done, dropped his little lip and almost burst into tears. All that stopped him was grandma’s instant bollocking of grandad.

‘You sodding idiot. You’ve smashed 4 of my plants! Why can’t you look what you’re doing?’

You’ll appreciate that this comment was tempered. Little ears were present.

Richard half fell off the chair, rubbing his head, showering compost all over my Kitchen Aid mixer, turning it from a lovely shade of cream into a horrid shade of brown.

‘Why can’t you look what you’re doing?’ I bellowed again as the grandchildren, by this time, had sought the sanctuary of sensible grandma and were over the worst of the shock and were beginning to smile. Jake even chirped up with, ‘Yeah, Grandad, you’ve smashed grandma’s plants. Hasn’t he Grandma?’

‘Yes, Jake, he HAS!’

Richard then bumbled off into the garden, still showering compost, and squeaking, ‘I’ve got pricks all in my head and arm!….I’m covered in pricks!’

Sometimes I find it best not to comment! Especially in front of a 3-year-old and a 7-year-old.

Richard spent the next half-hour out in the garden with two mirrors and my posh tweezers removing cacti spikes from his head, back, shoulder and thumb. I, of course, had my priorities right and set about cleaning my Kitchen Aid, work surfaces, waste bin, sinks, hob, and both pairs of kiddie’s wellies.

Jake, holding the dustpan, enquired, ‘Grandma, is Grandad an idiot?’

‘Yes!’ I said.

I have this thing about telling lies, especially to children. Potentially they have a lifetime ahead of them of listening to lies from one source or another. It certainly isn’t going to start with me.

This isn’t the first time Richard has spiked his ample body with ‘pricks.’ One night, a few years ago, Richard had a drink or six and in the early hours of the morning visited the loo. I was jolted from my slumber by a thunderous crash. I found Richard lying on top of my lovely, huge aloe vera specimen that had right of place between the loo and the shower. He was squirming, squinting, barely able to open his hung-over eyes and groaning.

‘What the hell have you done?’ I yelled. (See how I always tackle disaster with a personal attack?)

He staggered to his feet, holding his head and butt. ‘I fell over,’ he moaned, wincing.

Now call me suspicious but no one falls over standing at the loo having a pee?

We moved to the bedroom and I spent the next twenty minutes removing aloe vera spikes from his forehead and backside. But don’t go thinking that I softened. Oh no. Each spike yanked from his backside was taken with just the tiniest bit of skin and an open smirk from yours truly.

It transpired that he had gone to the bathroom for a wee and fallen asleep standing up. This is what I have to live with. See? Idiot!

But I do have to admit that Richard’s shenanigan’s keep friends and family amused for decades. The aloe vera has long gone…Richard, to date, is still here.

All that remains of my cacti collection!

All that remains of my cacti collection!

 

Take care my lovelies x

 

* Welcome new followers Maggie Wilson, A Woman’s Wisdom and Brian Marggraf.

 
21 Comments

Posted by on May 27, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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