Too Much Baggage? Keep The Fruit And Fibre…Lose The Pants!

Hi All

Two days to go and then I’ll be off into the bright blue yonder. I just hope that I come back through the bright blue yonder, after all, I have the promised arrival of the super-duper fridge freezer to look forwards to! I also have The Sleeping Field back from proofing and awaiting my last draft. See how little things mean a lot to someone like me?

I have started packing – well I would, wouldn’t I – I’m an organising freak. I very cleverly changed the scales from pounds to kilos (a simple button underneath but…) and popped on, weighing first myself and then yours truly plus case and was amazed at how little I’d packed, just 4k, and in the other case, the one I’m sharing with my cousin, Dawn, because she needs more space for dresses and heels (what’s a dress? Heels?) I’d packed a mere 5k. So I’ve now decided to pack my pillow (totally necessary for my chronic neck problem) an extra pair of boots, a family size box of Fruit and Fibre and two boxes of Quaker Oat bars.

I’m considering a tin of tuna and maybe some instant porridge. As I jokingly said to Richard yesterday, ‘If the case weighs a bit heavy I can always take out a pair of knickers.’

Richard (who was driving at the time) said, ‘Yeah, that’ll reduce the weight by 3k.’

Cheeky sod. I had to retaliate with, ‘Yes, Richard dear, but they’re still not as big as yours!’

Well they’re not. I can’t grow plants anywhere near the washing line because when I peg out Richards grundies they cast too much shadow, and as you know, not much grows in shadow! Well, not dense shadow.

You all know what I freak I am regarding my chucks and Chea, so I am winding myself up nicely, worrying if they will be OK, even though lovely Lauren from two doors up is coming in five million times a day. She is popping round today to receive her instructions. These will be passed to her verbally and on a ream of paper, written in upper case, with a marker pen, instructions underlined and highlighted. Lauren has been looking after my animals now for the last fifteen years but the poor love still has to go through the rigmarole of being spoken to like an idiot who doesn’t know one end of a chuck from the other or how to tear the top from a sachet of cat food.

Chea has already sensed that something is very different in her paradise home. There are clothes being ironed with a scary thing that hisses and spits more than the wildest cat. She has never witnessed me ironing before and frankly neither have many other people. Life’s too short, and creases in clothes take the eye away from creases in faces! Just joking.

Chea tugged at my heart yesterday when she played the sympathy card and curled up inside the bag that I was packing. When I walk out of the house on Saturday, I won’t be able to look at her. You see! THIS is why I never go anywhere. I can’t stand the guilt and those little eyes that blink tears and silently say, ‘Don’t go.’2013-10-23 08.45.41

When we had our ‘previous’ pets, Meg (collie) Oscar (Burmese cat) and Mishka (moggie cat) we hardly went anywhere. Lauren would look after the cats for a weekend and Meg would always come with us so we NEVER went abroad and mainly holidayed on the east coast. It suited us and it was perfect dog-walking country. Also, because we had Meg, we only ever went away in the winter or early spring, before the weather warmed up. We always said that when the threesome passed away we wouldn’t have any more animals because they had restricted us for the last nineteen years and ruled our lives. When the last oldie, Mishka, died at the age of nineteen, we were finally free to visit distant horizons.

After a year of so-called total freedom, and going absolutely nowhere, we had to accept that we are just simple souls taking pleasure in the simple things and happy in our own skins.  I do feel sorry for people who live only for holidays and die in the in-between bits and yes, I do know people like that!

Hence the arrival of Chea because, given the choice, it seems that we prefer animals to Arizona?  We don’t regret having her one little bit, but I do feel massively guilty leaving the little love for four days. When I come home I know that I will have to grovel to get back in favour but I can ‘do’ grovel. It doesn’t come easily or naturally but I can do it. And to be perfectly honest and frank, if it wasn’t for the fact that we are going to the villa that my brother has recently bought, we wouldn’t be going at all.

So, I will take my leave and if there are no gremlins on the wing I hope to be back soon.

Take care my lovelies x

PS A huge welcome to all new followers and thank you all for your likes and comments. I’d bring you all a Spanish donkey or a Spanish flea back but I have to watch my weight allowance! x

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With A Gremlin On The Wing –

Hi All

I’m off on a little holiday at the end of week and If I wasn’t so scared I’d be mega excited! We are flying – which isn’t my first choice of travel.

I have only flown once before and that was to Jersey, which was all of forty minutes, and some well-meaning woman on the plane forced vodka on me, which gave me a migraine and I threw up.

The trouble is, I can’t stop running a very ancient episode of The Twilight Zone through my head, the one where a gremlin sat on the wing of the plane, giggling and dismantling an engine. I swear, if I look out of the window to see a giggling gremlin dismantling an engine I’m out of there. I’ll risk my first free-fall parachute jump – obviously I’ll be taking a parachute in my 10k allowance hand luggage.

Two nights ago I sat up till 1.30 am watching a remake of The Omen. Richard had cleared off hours before, at least I think it was hours before, I turned around to request a cup of tea and he wasn’t there, so  Chea watched it with me, snuggled on my lap. In a particularly spooky bit she stretched her neck and head to look around me and sat staring into the other half of the room. I didn’t dare turn my head to look at whatever it was she was staring at. I truly believe cats see things that we don’t. Just as long as it stays that way!

Having said this, I have seen things that leave me in no doubt that ‘spirits’ exist and I don’t mean Jim Beam!

On a much nicer side of spooky, my little grandson, Jake, came over on Saturday and he helped to carve a pumpkin. He is such a lovely little character. He never stops talking – except to burst into song and he needs to be doing something every second. The weirdest thing is, and I don’t know if you will understand what I am going to say now, but from the very first second I laid eyes on him I knew exactly what his character and personality would be like.2013-10-19 10.08.55

He was only an hour old when I first saw him but he looked ‘ready’ to take on the world. My mum had a saying – ‘wiser than his/her years’ – and Jake appeared that way, to me, from the moment I saw him. I find it inexplicable but sometimes a feeling can take the place of a million words.

So I’ll leave you with a feeling today (?) and spare you the million words…

Take care my lovelies x2013-10-21 18.32.06

A Missed Opportunity? Nah!

Hi All

You are very lucky I’m here this morning (?) because I could have so easily been whisked away by a handsome stranger and now living the high life in the south of France. How? Why? I hear you ask, well…

I need to give you a little bit of ‘back story’ first.

I trotted off for my physio appointment at eight, with Doreen, a lovely lady. At least, she is now. When we first met she was very quiet and frankly, seemed rather wary of me. I can’t imagine why. But we have now had five sessions together and rabbit on like old friends. She tells me how much weight she has lost (I don’t – because I haven’t lost any! Well who would, sitting here all day editing a novel and writing this stuff?) and I tell her about…pretty much anything. My ramblings are not limited to social networking, I ramble in real life too. Our conversations know no boundaries as I sit with the four tingly pad things on my neck – the ones which feel like a million little spider legs playing on my neck. We decided to stretch out my next appointment to a month’s time so I won’t be chatting with Doreen next week, which is a shame because she’s sweet. However…

I then popped to a cheapo shop to see if I could get some printer paper. I could have bought a billion Christmas tree decorations and a plastic Santa who had the smile of a serial killer, but no printer paper. So I deviated to Morrison’s, where I purchased the winning lottery numbers (?) three bananas, a crusty loaf, and a mountain of food for Chea. Going back to the three bananas…what is it with bananas these days? I can never, ever, eat a whole banana without a part of it being bad. Their spines go black and they are inedible if you don’t eat them within two/three days. Hence…three bananas.

I spent quite a while looking through the magazines, especially the likes of ‘What Computer’ etc. I have a mind to buy a tablet. No, not paracetamol or ibuprofen, as you very well know. I can’t really justify buying one but I thought it might be nice to have one for when I’m slobbing in front of the fire, half watching the soaps at night? Whatever, it’s a thought in progress. No doubt I’ll have a rush of blood to the head at some stage and dash off, desperate to own one.

So…and this is the point I’m getting around to making, before me at the checkout was a man. A silver-haired fox. A little short, but you can’t have everything and he had two sections of items. In the first section were party poppers, balloons and all things party-ish. In the next section he had two magazines. Boat Owner and Yachting. He also had no wedding ring twinkling away – not that I really looked. He was a jolly soul (a big plus in my world) and grinned and passed a few words with the cashier. I edged a bit nearer, pushing my two reams of printer paper further along the conveyor belt, ready to inform him that I was a writer and needed the paper for my work. This, I felt sure, would impress him. Unfortunately he didn’t appear to notice said paper.

When he glanced my way I jumped in. ‘Having a party on your boat, hey? The one docked in the south of France?’ Yes, I said docked. I meant moored but I thought I was being so funny that I didn’t stop to think what I was saying, a major flaw in my personality!

He turned my way and laughed. I think he was laughing at my wit and not at me but I’ll never be sure. ‘I wish,’ he said.

‘Now, now,’ I said, ‘you don’t have to lie. You don’t have to invite us if you don’t want to.’ I included the cashier in the invite. Well it seemed only fair.

‘Ha ha,’ he said, bagging-up his party-poppers. ‘Actually, I do have a boat. I’ve just bought it but I haven’t taken delivery of it yet.’

‘There you go,’ I said, ‘and is it being MOORED in the south of France?’

‘Ha ha,’ he said, ‘I wish.’

‘You’ll be able to drive it over the sea to France,’ our friendly and lovely lady cashier said, even less familiar with boat speak than me.

‘Oh I think that’s a bit far for me,’ he said.

I may have been going off this bloke a bit at this point, because frankly, where was his spirit of adventure? Where was his ‘Captain Jack’ attitude of keeping a weather-eye on the horizon? What was all this, “I wish.” It smacked to me of a chap who spent most of his life wishing and hoping but not doing. However, I was prepared to overlook this….and the biro streaks on the outside of his grey suit’s pocket where he had obviously attempted to pocket his biro with the top off, missed and marked his suit. At least he was wearing a suit…in Morrison’s…at eight-thirty in the morning!

He flashed a few more smiles our way and then he took his leave.

‘What a lovely, happy man,’ I said to Joan (name badge pinned to her left breast) ‘What a friendly soul…and I bet he has got a boat in the south of France.’

‘Yes,’ she said, struggling with my printer paper.

‘Or a rowing boat down on the canal,’ I guffawed.

‘Yes,’ she said.

‘Anyway,’ I said, handing over the money, ‘I’ll see if I can catch him up in the car park!’

As I scooted off Joan shouted, ‘If you do…don’t forget me!’

‘I won’t,’ I shouted back over my shoulder.

Obviously he’d gone.

Oh well, poor sweet Richard will have to put up with me for a bit longer. I get sick-sea anyway. And here’s another little gem…I know why seagulls follow those boats which take the public on sea trips because I’ve been there and I’ve done it. When you hang your head over the side of the boat and yack-up your stomach contents the little darlings move in for….well you know…you get the gruesome picture. This was something I discovered on my one and only boat excursion to the Isle of Lundy, on – and I quote, from the most un Captain Jack-like bod I have ever seen in my life – “the worst crossing so far this year.” I thought I was in that movie, ‘The Perfect Storm.’ Slightly worrying seeing how none of them survived, including George Clooney.

Oh yes me hearties I’ve done it all, and on second thoughts, the silver-haired fox with his biro stained pocket is welcome to his life on the ocean waves.

So…must dash. Looks like rain and I need to get Little and Flight, the chucks from hell, out.015

Take care my lovelies x

Don’t Make Me Beat Down Your Door!

Hi All

I have to say that the weather has definitely changed here over the last three days. It has rained on and off, but mainly on, over the whole weekend. I thought Chea would take a distinct dislike to the wet but she has proved me wrong by trotting off out in it as soon as I open the door for her. Then she comes back wet and I have to stop what I’m doing and give her an energetic rub-down with a piece of kitchen towel. She seems to like that as well. I don’t think much water is going to penetrate the thick coat that she’s grown.

She’s made a sweet little cat – a people cat actually, and is very generous with her affection. She disappeared for an hour yesterday but stupid Richard had shut the freezer-shed door on her and it wasn’t until I battled out later, through the lashing rain to give the chucks their corn, that I heard her plaintive meows, and I tracked her down to the shed. At least she was nice and dry but rather indignant!

Richard is so infuriatingly vague and slipshod at times. It isn’t the first time he has locked the shed door with something in there. He locked me in there once and then disappeared into the house and went for a shower. I went ballistic, hammering on the door, screaming his name and throwing things out of the window, hoping that the sound of plant pots crashing on the path might alert him to the fact that I was trapped in there.

He’s also locked us out of the house by bringing out the wrong keys (motorbike keys instead of the car keys) and last week he slammed the front door behind us and said, ‘have you got the car keys?’

I already had my bag, a banana, a cup of tea (in my stainless steel, tight-lidded mug) my coat and my walking boots in my hands. I stood there laden up to my neck and yelled, NO! Why would I have the keys, you’re driving, you ALWAYS DRIVE. Don’t tell me you’ve left the keys in the house again!’

‘I thought you had them,’ he repeated.

‘No you didn’t,’ I said. ‘You’re trying to put the blame on me because you’ve forgotten them – AGAIN!’

Fortunately we have spare keys buried outside in the garden, in an imitation rock thing, for such recurring emergencies. Then he had to bellyache about getting his hands dirty when he had to dig up the keys in the imitation rock thing.

Talking of freezers (and I did subliminally slip in the subject) the fridge-freezer delivery is back on! The super-duper-trooper fridge freezer.

I know, I don’t believe it either. Richard received a voice mail saying that if we still wanted the fridge freezer it could be with us by the end of the month/beginning of next month. I kindly returned the call and blasted a poor guy for half an hour and said there was no way he was having our money sitting in the their account for weeks on end, as they had already had it for three weeks before we cancelled and made them give it back to us, so they said they would take payment when the appliance arrived. The only reason they have been given another chance is because we can’t get the bloody thing anywhere else without having to wait for up to another six weeks.

We did go to Curry’s to have a look and that went down like a lead balloon. I had my ‘it’s the principle of it all’ head on. We arrived just before nine and they didn’t open until nine so we waited, almost patiently, with other people joining the queue behind us. It came to one minute past nine, and then two minutes past and so on. At five minutes past nine I lost my rag and beat on the door like a maniac trying to flee a burning building. Richard hid, pretending he wasn’t with me and the people in the queue just stared.

‘Well!’ I barked. ‘If they say they open at nine they should open at nine! What gives them the right to think that my time is less precious than theirs?’

Everyone nodded. Some chorused their agreement. And the odd person just looked at me like I was an impatient git. Not to worry, as I said, it was an odd person.

Someone came to open the door immediately, mumbling about a problem with the security system. Not my problem sunshine. None of this turned out favourably though because we were told by a sales assistant, in no uncertain terms, that the fridge freezer was only available to order via the internet and that they didn’t have a left-hinging one anyway!

I’m not joking when I say that I actually don’t care if this thing arrives now or not. In fact, I’d decided to keep the old fridge but Richard went all sulky and said he wanted it. Not too sure why that is because he won’t be allowed in most of it. I have already bagged the freezer part for my veggie bits. There will be no flesh allowed – unless of course  Richard inadvertently shuts anything in there. Hopefully it won’t be me because the only way that could happen is if he chopped me up first – and on that happy note, and because it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility, I shall go.

Take care my lovelies x

PS The blog is now a year old! Whoop woo! Happy Birthday to us!

2013-10-07 19.10.11

 

 

Even Pussies Roll With The Punches…

Hi All

Phew! What a week! I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged since last Wednesday. I have obviously had my reasons, but unfortunately most of them would bore you rigid so I won’t bother explaining them.

The second draft of The Sleeping Field is going far worse than expected and two nights ago I sat up until 1.30 am attempting to get a short passage of no more than 200 words right. I couldn’t. So last night I gave it until midnight and achieved the same thing – nothing. Not to be beaten, I have been at it since getting back from the physio and I have, finally, sorted it – I think.

The other day a writer friend posted a question on our Facebook writers’ site, Black On White (check it out)  https://www.facebook.com/groups/566769810009304/ asking, ‘what is the biggest lesson that you have learnt that you could pass on to aspiring writers?’ At the time I said something like, ‘be aware that not ALL advice is GOOD advice,’ and I do believe that, because I have had some truly crap advice dished out to me in my time.

Aside from that I’d have to say, ‘roll with the punches,’ because like bad advice, there are endless punches waiting to hit home. Two nights and half a morning to fix 200 words is a pretty big punch but I have taken my own advice and rolled with it.

I don’t think writing is much different to life, is it? Aren’t we all rolling with life’s punches? Flipping ‘eck, I think my brain is still in serious mode and hasn’t escaped from the novel yet! That’ll never do so I’m out of there now…

Little Chea has had her first boosters. Whoooo! She was not impressed. You should never make the mistake of thinking that pussies are stupid. Chea remembers the cat carrier and the place to which she is carried to when forced to go into it. And I mean forced. I let Richard ‘load her up’ on Monday because frankly, I’m sick of playing good-cop, bad-cop, with me being…yes you guessed it…bad cop. I’m the one who has to ping the worm tablet down her throat. I’m the one who has to drip the wormer solution between her shoulder blades. I’m the one who cuts her front nails and dew-claws down to the quick.

Richard, on the other hand, is the one who gives her treats (behind my back – or so he thinks) when she has turned-up her nose at her dish of very expensive cat food. He’s the one who plays her favourite rough stroking games each time she retrieves her smelly little felt bird for him. He’s the one who throws another log on the wood burner for her when she sleeps with her paw over her nose, indicative that she’s a wee bit chilly.

Get it? Good cop – Richard. Bad cop – me.

So I decided that Richard could load up the beast into her cat-carrier prison. I almost weakened after his fourth attempt. The one where Chea reversed backwards and pissed off up the stairs, but no, I stood my ground, listening to Richard sweetly asking her to come out from under the bed. He brought her down and said, ‘do you want to put her in it?’

I merely said, ‘no, you do it. What’s going to happen when you have finally driven me mad and I’m carted off to the funny farm, who’ll do it then?’

‘Wouldn’t you take her with you?’ he said.

Pillock!

Richard did have a slight bad-cop moment when we were called through to the consulting room and enquired if he should, tip Chea out of the basket, because she wouldn’t come out. I think I made both him and the vet wet their pants when I screeched, ‘NO YOU SHOULDN’T TIP HER OUT – GOOD GOD!’

She’s actually very sweet when she’s on the table and she tucks her little head right under my armpit and hides her face. I love that because I know that I am the one she trusts – her sanctuary. She didn’t object to the jab and had no problem whatsoever in going back into the carrier. No freaking off this time. No four paws rammed against the outside of the door, back arched and full of indignation. Even indignant little pussies have to roll with the punches sometimes.2013-10-03 23.07.21

Take care my lovelies x

From One Drama To The Next…

Morning

It is sorted. A done deal. The case of the disappearing fridge freezer has been resolved. Apparently they have given us another delivery date – 9th/10th October. This was extremely annoying BUT at least it was only another week. But then, like most people under stress, they didn’t know when to quit when they were ahead, and added the word – probably.

Huh? Probably? Now call me a sceptic but probably, in my mind, means possibly, and possibly means unlikely, and unlikely means…it aint coming sunshine. As you know, if you read this blog yesterday, and I hope you did or you won’t have the slightest idea of what I’m bleating on about, I wasn’t in the best of moods. I’m a jolly little soul usually, unless some dick-head operation has lost my fridge freezer and I have already been out buying frozen veggie foods, in pretty packaging, to put into said new freezer. The thought of my lovely new veggie stuff sitting in the old chest freezer, outside in the shed, fuelled my irritability and I told them to stick the super-duper-top-of-the-range thing.

I wasn’t rude. I rarely am. I am an absolute firm believer in the pen being mightier than the sword. Besides, the moment you start effing and blinding and screaming and shouting, you have lost the argument/war/whatever. No. A cool head and a few well-chosen words are all that’s needed.

I merely said, ‘Forget it, the gulls are welcome to it.’

They bleated on about it not being their fault and that it was the fault of the manufacturer.

I said,’ we purchased it from you. You took the money – which you can now kindly return to my account – so it’s your responsibility.’

So there you go. A swift chopping off of my nose to spite my face and the charade is over. No new fridge freezer.

And today another drama is about to unfold. A very quiet (no humour) little man is coming to fit a new bedroom window. This is going to be a total blast, I can feel it in my water. Initially I thought it was cystitis – but no. Richard is off to work at 1.30 and I shall be left to entertain the little window man. I find him such hard work because he isn’t the type that I have anything in common with. If I attempt to engage him in  a conversation he stops work, turns and looks at me with wide, staring eyes (excessively wide because he wears bifocals) and after a time delay of some fifteen seconds answers. I tell you, this really is going to be fun without laughing. I guess I should go because he said he would probably be here for 11.30 but then again, as we all now know, probably means possibly, and possibly means unlikely, and unlikely means – he ain’t coming sunshine…MB900278680

At least I’ve stopped itching and scratching, so why do I still resemble The Elephant Man! Bummer!

Take care my lovelies x

PS Richard has just received a phone call from the little window man – he’s going to be a bit late! But…at least he sounded definite!

So! Today I’m Not Happy And The World Can Go And Do One!

Hi All

If I were a lesser person I would give up and go and live in a cave in some far and distant land. Thank the Lord that I am not a lesser person, at least, not in the context that I am talking about. I mean, how difficult is it to bid the world to go away for a short time so that I can get on with the second draft of The Sleeping Field?

Today was pencilled in for writing and what happens? I develop an allergic reaction overnight to some obscure moisturiser (not cheap), and I have surfaced this morning looking like The Elephant Man. I have been so itchy that I haven’t slept for a second and consequently my eyes have virtually disappeared behind swollen lids, due to lack of sleep and allergy. I dragged my carcass down the stairs at 1.00 am and took an antihistamine and I needn’t have bothered because it had zero effect. So now, here I am, waiting to go to the doctor, and what’s the betting that I shall bump into everyone that I don’t want to bump into whilst I’m imitating a badly bred Shar Pei!

I may be jumping to the wrong conclusion because, if you remember, a few weeks ago, I started all this itching and scratching and generally ripping off my skin after eating pistachios? Whatever! I do know that this has now screwed up today. Even if I can find the inclination I doubt that I could find the keypad.

And another thing…that bloody super-duper fridge freezer that we ordered three weeks ago this Thursday, was supposed to come today and is it coming? No! Why? Because the morons have lost it. Lost it! How do you lose a frigging fridge freezer? Did it slip out of the container whilst crossing the channel and it is now a landing ramp to a colony of gulls? Did they deliver it, by mistake, to some cute eye-candy guy who had actually only ordered a beer fridge? Idiots! Honestly, one of these days I will actually implode at the stupidity of others. Lost it? You misplace car keys, mobile phones, small change, not a fridge freezer the size of a small house!

Considering I was at the doctor’s yesterday (yes just yesterday!) having my B12 jab, (the jab that saves Richard’s life by turning me back into a well-balanced, non knife wielding sweetie) I’m still feeling very unbalanced, not at all sweet and I’m turning my head towards the knife drawer as I type.

All things considered, and because it is almost appointment time, I’ll go, and if I can stop scratching my face long enough to type, I’ll be back tomorrow. And hopefully the B12 will have flooded my bloodstream by then and I’ll be calm…and nice… and stuff. And those moronic fridge people will have fished-out my fridge from the ocean. I’ll tell you this my friends…if it doesn’t arrive pronto I shall be naming and shaming them on every virtual platform. I’ll teach them not to lose my posh fridge!MB900440679

Take care my lovelies x