OK, So I Was A Tad Rude . . .Whatever!


Yesterday I sank to an all-time low – even for me. I’d like to state my case here and have you all say that my actions were well justified but I doubt that you will.

I have been suffering from migraine and visual disturbances since last Friday. Migraine is nothing new to me – I have suffered with it for a large part of my life, but the pattern with this latest attack was different. It hung on . . .  and hung on, one hour lessening . . . the next returning. Intermittently my right eye lost clarity, with flashing silver and black triangles, dancing like manic witches, on the periphery. This has happened 7 times, the seventh time being yesterday morning when I attempted to go to Morrison’s to buy cat food for Chea. Between the ‘chicken with gravy’ and the ‘chicken with jelly,’ my right eye vision started its familiar flashing.

Now, I have my own theory on the cause of all these migraines but no bugger will take me seriously. I truly believe that they are triggered by my 3 degenerative neck discs that have very little of that ‘spongy’ bit separating them now and are aggravating this condition.

So, I decided to call in at the doctors on my way home – that is if I could find my way home with only perfect vision in one eye – and explain this to the doctor and ask to be referred for another neck scan etc. I mean, less face it, no better time than when I’m in the throes of pain and semi blindness, hey?

The receptionist announced that there were no more appointments for that day and if I wanted to see my doctor of choice (brilliant, caring, and wonderful all round, by the way) I could come back next year. Yes, that is a slight exaggeration, but only slight. Had I been able to see the stupid woman I might have been tempted to stick her Biro up her prominent snout, but I was feeling less than confrontational, all things considered.

I felt my way home having settled for a phone call from the doctor – basically to see if I was worthy of being squeezed into his precious day.

After tending the chucks and cleaning the loo, with my mobile strapped to my person so that I didn’t miss the call, I waited . . . and waited.

Eventually the call arrived. It was a nurse. Now, I have nothing against nurses, not at all but . . .

She questioned me, listened, tapped away on the PC (I could hear it distinctly and it hurt my head) and then said, ‘Can you come down now?’

Well, yeah. I could have ‘come down’ two hours ago . . . in fact wasn’t I already there two hours ago, or had I imagined it?

Long story short now. Saw the doctor I had sworn I would never see (by choice) ever again and he insisted it was migraine – nothing to do with my neck – didn’t matter that the ‘pattern’ was totally different – no he couldn’t ‘do’ a referral, not unless ‘he’ thought there was a problem with my neck – no my neck would not cause this.

He struggled to realise that I’ve tried every medication on this planet over the years and nothing works. Medication makes me worse. I’m sensitive. Side affects almost kill me. However, he decided in his infinite wisdom that I should try a different ‘variation’ of a drug previously taken and printed off a prescription. He said, ‘Take one of these – see if they work.’

‘And if they don’t?’ I said.

‘Come back because it isn’t migraine.’


For the first time in my life I was rude, snatching up the damn thing and stropping off to the door.

‘Well, bye then,’ he said.

I didn’t answer.

As you can see this is very unlike me. Usually I’m charming, cheerful and hugely polite. I blame it on my brain. But there was more to come.

I walked into the pharmacy next door and the lovely assistant, who always seems to remember my name, said, ‘Hello, are you alright?’

She really should not have asked.

‘NO!’ I said, snatching her pen and filling in my name on the back of the prescription. ‘That lot are useless.’ I nodded in the direction of the surgery, next door. And then I said it . . . ‘Fucking useless!’

She didn’t look too distressed . . . or surprised and said, ‘Yes, we do hear that from time to time.’

‘Bastard!’ I said. ‘Useless bastards.’

We chatted for a bit and then I released her and took a seat . . . for 20 seconds. The other assistant called my name and I navigated my way to the counter. She fluttered the prescription in her hand and said, ‘Sorry, we don’t have these. We can get them for tomorrow?’

My first assistant screeched, ‘Oh, God, no, don’t tell her that!’

I simply held up my palms to the heavens and said calmly and with a bit of a snort, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll just drop down dead and save everyone any further trouble.’ I can do drama when required.

She looked worried . . . but then I laughed – well, snorted really. My vision had returned, some of my good humour – though I did hurl out mumbled curses into the ether as I walked back to the car, determined to fondle my voodoo doll on my return and twist a leg or two. Maybe even bang its head against the wall?  My imagination had no limit.

Someone once asked me if ‘they’ were in my novel. I replied, ‘Why would you be? I only write about interesting characters.’ In fact, I have never fashioned a fictional character on a real character but this may change.

I may include this ‘doctor’ in my next novel. He will be the character that dies a slow and painful death after having his ‘bits’ stung by a thousand bees. There will be a life-saving prescription on hand but, sadly, the pharmacy will have to order it in. Alas too late to save him. Oh, and perhaps a slight sting to his right eye?

Hell hath no fury like a migraine victim scorned . . . trust me on this one.

I’m off. Shouldn’t be looking at this bright screen!

And besides, I have to pick up the prescription that I won’t be taking.

Take care my lovelies x

PS A huge welcome to new blog followers! Thank you x




My Resolutions? Not To Make Any!

Hi All

OK, so you know for a fact that I’m going to have to witter on about it being the end of one year and the beginning of another, yada, yada, yada, so I’ll do us all a huge favour and keep it brief.

I’m going to thank each and every one of you who bought or borrowed one of my books. And I’m going to doubly thank everyone who has taken the time to leave a review.  There have only been the odd one or two one star reviews and over five books I don’t think that is a bad ratio. At first those ‘one stars’ sent me into a tailspin, until I convinced myself that the reviewer was an idiot, and then I moved on. I don’t usually ‘go on’ about these things, book sales, reviews, etc. because I find the whole thing rather akin to ‘bragging’ and I can’t bring myself to do that somehow. But I did need to thank you.

I’m not going to make any resolutions. When you get to my age you usually have yourself pretty much sorted, because let’s face it, if I still have bad habits now there’s a bloody  good chance they are too deeply embedded  to remove. Besides, I’m not sure that I have many bad habits.

I guess I could be too principled. This has led me to disaster now and then.  And I could be too critical. This has led to a very short Christmas card list. And I’m OCD regarding arranging foodstuffs in the cupboards. All tins have to be facing forwards, labels thrust out like ample bosoms, each showing their contents at just the right angle. And I could be guilty of snapping at Richard too much …on the rare occasion, well, OK,  a few times a day … but I figure I have reason for that, because I’m highly principled and over critical. But other than this I don’t think there is much room for improvement.

And anyway, I much prefer to converse with the chucks and Chea and the plants in the garden. They offer no argument and seem to appreciate me just the way I am.

I really have no plans for the New Year. No resolutions. No plans. I want my life to go on just as it is, with my family safe and healthy, and with my little world intact. This is enough for me. I possibly wouldn’t turn down a lottery win or a major book deal but they would be taken in my stride and nothing much would change.happy-new-year-2015-wallpaper-1024x768

I have one last major thing to get through in 2014 and that is to take Richard to the hospital on New Year’s Eve (tomorrow as I am writing) for his shoulder operation. He pretends he isn’t worried but I know he is …and so I am. An anesthetic is a risk to anyone, and at any time of their lives, but I will play the poker face and help him through it, because despite my many posts over this last year ridiculing him for one thing and another he is a dear soul and, along with my son, the closest thing to my heart. Shit! This blog post is getting really silly now so I’m going to end. When I start admitting that Richard is precious it is time to shut up.

So, dear friends, please have love, peace, and happiness in the New Year, but above all of this please find contentment.



Happy New Year my lovelies x

It Hasn’t Started Well!

Hi All

Well, that was a pleasant enough weekend, and what’s more the sun actually appeared and encouraged 10 baby spinach seedlings to leave the dark compost and head for the light. First thing Saturday morning, 5 little green shoots had ventured forth, and then, by midday, 5 more. And now I know you are frowning, shaking your head and thinking, ‘What kind of idiot counts seedlings twice a day?’ Simple answer…I do. And why not? Everyone likes to see the positive results of their efforts, don’t they?

Unfortunately I can’t report a similar success with the baby broad bean plants. I told you in the last post that I’d planted them and that within seconds Chea had smashed two into the ground, well, another poor plant was taken overnight by some renegade slug. It chomped through the stem and the plant was left, legless and cut off in its prime. Current score; Chea 2, slug 1, Gail 7. I fear that I will have to fight to the death for the remaining 7!

Chea has also decided that the season is changing and has started to shed her thick winter coat. Normally, Richard, being an asthmatic, can more or less cope with her hair, if it remains on her body, but after rolling around on the floor with her on Saturday evening, playing (?) Sunday morning found him with blood-shot eyes and the right eye appeared to have a hammock slung beneath it. I caught him examining the swelling in the mirror and then later bathing it with a piece of soggy kitchen towel. This had a dire effect and the hammock grew alarmingly. He then stood in front of the mirror, staring at himself through one eye, and exclaimed, ‘This isn’t getting any better.’

I continued painting chocolate into an Easter egg mould – my latest waste of time and effort!

‘Did you hear me? This isn’t getting any better.’

‘And why would it?’ I said. ‘You’ve just used paper kitchen towel to clean your eye! What do they make paper from?’

‘Trees,’ he said.

‘So, why would you wipe your eye with wood?’

He looked at me (through the one good eye) and I couldn’t stand it any longer so I yelled, ‘Make me a cup of tea (I’ve never been known not to take advantage of a situation!) and then put the teabag in some boiled water! And then bathe your eye with it!’

‘What do I use to bathe it with?’ he said.

‘Well, not wood! Go and fetch some cotton wool.’

He toddled off, after listening to further instructions…up stairs…cupboard in the airing cupboard…top drawer…don’t bring the whole roll…

He then stood in front of the mirror, letting the cold tea drip onto the floor.

‘Get in the lounge and lie on the sofa,’ I yelled, following him and slopping the tea-soak cotton wool in his eye socket before going back to the kitchen and continuing with my Easter egg trial. Unfortunately I forgot all about him, (I’ve spent years turning that little trick into an art form) and it wasn’t until 30 minutes later, when his little voice piped up, ‘Can I get up now?’ that I realised he was still lying on the sofa with his face tea-stained and looking exactly the same.

Somehow he managed to struggle through the day. He’s gone to work now. We passed briefly at 6.00 am, as he was picking up the bike keys and I was struggling down the stairs with a wash load, a mug, a glass, and the printer. I have no idea how his eye is, I couldn’t actually see anything either – over the washing, the mug, the glass, and the printer…

The day hasn’t started well. I’ve spent 30 minutes trying to connect my iPod to the external speaker via Bluetooth…impossible, it won’t connect! I’ve attempted to remove the Easter eggs from their moulds…impossible, they all broke. I’ve tried to print-off a form…impossible, it won’t print. And the internet connection is dipping and diving!

I fear that this week is going to be a continuation of last week, where almost everything that could annoy, did annoy. I’ve given myself a headache already. So…I’m off to make some porridge, a mug of tea, and to source the paracetamol.

Today's Blog
Today’s Blog

Take care my lovelies x



Bittersweet March

Hi All

A couple of posts ago, I told you that I’ve been spending time in the garden each day, and that it is now ready for spring. Everything that has been ‘rooted’ over winter has now found a place somewhere and it’s all systems go. There is only one little, annoying fly in the ointment…Chea.

Two days ago, I decided that the weather, mild-ish and non-torrential, was suitable for planting out the broad beans, so, with beans and trowel in hand, I began. I’d made absolutely sure that Chea was off somewhere, having one of her totally captivating feline adventures, and off I went. Before I’d planted the second plant she arrived, trilling and grinning, expectant of the fun we were about to have!

I managed to keep her out of the planting holes, and avoided chopping off her paws, by rolling stones into the bushes. She mindlessly chased them and remained out of harm’s way. Unfortunately, as I planted the last bean, I took my eye off the ball and Chea galloped up and jumped on the string, marking out the straight row, and crushed two plants. They had only been in for five seconds.

Her next trick was to dig a hole, the size of a small bucket, right next to the new gooseberry bush, and then squat and pooh in it. This little visual treat lasted longer than her normal performance, as she appeared to struggle a bit. I’m now thinking that the super-expensive new Fisherman’s Delight might be a tad binding?

March is a strange month for me. Bittersweet really. It is the month in which my father had his birthday, and the month in which my father died. It is also the month in which Richard has his birthday and the month in which my mother died. Mum actually died on the same date as Richard’s birthday – 12th.

Mum died in 1999 and for many years her death overshadowed Richard’s birth. There was the obvious sadness and loss, but there was also the guilt that I felt regarding celebrating Richard’s birthday on the day that mum died. It sort of felt very disrespectful. However, I believe that all things run their course and a couple of years ago I decided that it was time for Richard to take priority on that day. That isn’t to say that mum’s passing is ever forgotten. Every year, on 12th March, I take flowers to the churchyard, but now I ‘sort out’ mum in the morning and then the rest of the day belongs to Richard. Not that it matters much to Richard. He is very laid back about his birthday.

Mum’s flowers almost last until I once again visit the church, on 21st March, on what would have been dad’s birthday. I usually take mum daffodils. Strangely, she didn’t like them in the house but she liked to see them outdoors, and frankly, her wish is still my command. Dad liked carnations. I refuse to take carnations. Can’t stand them. I don’t know why. He usually gets daffodils as well. I can imagine mum and dad standing on some grassy mound, looking down, and dad saying, ‘Look! Look, Joyce. She’s brought me daffodils again! She knows carnations last longer.’ And mum would laugh and say, ‘She took no notice when you were alive, she’ll take none now.’ And then dad would also laugh, and he’d have that familiar twinkle in his eye…because he loved me.

I miss them like I would miss breathing.

Whoops…don’t know how I went from Chea, constipated in a gooseberry bush, to mum and dad standing in paradise discussing flowers and my contrary ways? But I guess some things don’t require an autopsy? Maybe that’s the wrong word to use there? Whatever.

Off to do something. Haven’t decided what yet, so I can’t really tell you…HPIM3166

Take care my lovelies x

A Blancmange No More…

Hi All

Today I thought I’d give a quick update on Chea. Blancmange Chea can now squeeze through a much narrower gap. Three weeks on a diet and she has started to develop her waist-line. She still has her little furry fat-sack but it’s empty. No storage of fat for when times get tough and the supermarket runs out of Gourmet. Oh, by the way, she now likes the new Gourmet, the one that costs 86p for a tiny, round metal dish.

I don’t know if she was feeling a bit peckish the other day because Richard said he spied her on the garage roof. We call it a garage but it isn’t, because you can’t get a car down the side of the house. It’s Richard’s dumping ground for all things manly and secretive…or so he thinks! Apparently, Chea was stalking a wood-pigeon. It was unaware of her presence until she was about a metre away and then it saw her. Instead of having a heart attack, it raised its head and started walking towards her. Chea held her ground for a minute before deciding that Mr Wood Pigeon was maybe a tad too big and powerful to take on, and she turned tail and ran.

I am dreading the arrival of the nesting season. DREADING it with a vengeance. Last year Chea took great delight in raiding a robin’s nest and trotting home with three chicks, one a day, for three days. I was horrified. HORRIFIED. The poor things were too young to survive and there was no way of knowing where they had come from, and so they died. I hated her so much for doing it. I even told Richard that he could take her back to the RSPCA. Richard would have rather stuck pins in his eyes (or mine) than to do that, and told me so. It took me a long time to accept that little episode and I fear that she may attempt the same thing this year. In her defence, and I hate to say it, because I believe that once you put a thought ‘out there’ it becomes a reality (unless it’s the thought of winning the lottery), to date Chea has never brought anything else back. She did once find a shrew but I don’t think its demise had anything to do with her. My CSI intuition told me that Mr Shrew had been dead a good few hours.

Chea’s latest trick is to pooh in the fine soil of the greenhouse border. She’s watched me liberally manuring the garden, and I think, in her little mind, she considers this helpful? I have two choices…remove said pooh, or reconsider the siting of the tomatoes this year. I am leaning towards the latter.

To be honest, spending time in the garden with Chea is one of my greatest and yet simplest pleasures. She’s funny. She makes me laugh. I don’t think it’s possible to remain angry, pent-up, up-tight, miserable, or furious at Richard for eating the last of the Victoria sandwich etc, when I am in the garden? I may be a simple soul who finds pleasure in the simple things but it seems to work for me. Give me a bit of cat-pooh to remove from the greenhouse border and I’m away with the fairies.

So! Off to whack in a few broad bean plants. I haven’t seen Chea for the last thirty minutes so if I’m quick, and I’m lucky, I will escape her attempts at helping.

Take care my lovelies xHPIM2817

Expensive Screw!

Hi All

Sunday morning and I’ve been abandoned. And the main reason for this is of my own doing. Richard has toddled off to a Land Rover show, but more to the point, Richard has toddled off to a Land Rover show in Betsy Land Rover. I still can’t believe that I play the ridiculous ‘name game’ with the great heap of detritus!

This is how it happened.

A week ago, a sad Richard looked up from his plate of gruel and moaned, ‘I need to find some spare cash so that I can get the Land Rover sorted.’

I flashed a murderous scowl across the room from my sofa (we have one each. I think it’s termed as territory?) and said, ‘What!’

‘I’m stuck with it,’ he said. ‘It’s not running right, I have to keep pumping the accelerator and running it on the choke and it keeps cutting out. I need someone who knows what they are doing to look at it…and that takes money.’

The murderous scowl remained. ‘I thought YOU knew what you were doing? At least that’s what you said when you wanted to bring the heap from your mother’s garage so that it could drip oil everywhere. There’s more oil on the paving than there is in Saudi Arabia!’

‘Old Land Rovers do that,’ he said.

‘Apparently!’ I said.

This was the end of the conversation because if it had continued it was going to turn ugly. Anyone who has been with this blog for any amount of time will know that ‘Betsy’ has been under repair and renovation for the last year and although she is now running, it is very badly, and in fits and starts. Richard’s conclusion, because he accepts defeat way too easily, is to get some grease monkey (sorry) to repair it at great expense. This was an option but I hate the fact that Richard throws in the towel and thinks he can’t do these things, because judging by the amount of time he spends on the internet, slobbering over these damn vehicles, he should be able to build one from scratch.

Finding £300/£400/£500 to get Betsy running was not an option, so I gently approached my brother and insisted that he came over with his friend, who, I had been reliably informed was a mechanic and knew all about Land Rovers.

They came over two Sunday’s ago and within fifteen minutes my brother’s friend had Betsy purring. I asked Richard (demanded actually) why it had only taken Chris fifteen minutes to sort out something that had, so far, taken Richard a year not to sort out.

Apparently, the mixture was too rich and Chris had merely turned some screw thingy ( I try not to get too swamped with info, especially  irrelevant info) three times and Betsy took a deep breath and burst into life, singing as sweetly as…er…not sure who sings sweetly…so…

Chris insisted that he didn’t want anything for fifteen minutes work and for turning a screw three times so I fed him some chocolate biscuits, and two cups of tea, and then he and my brother went on their jolly way. I gave my brother a lovely floor lamp that I’d decided I no longer needed. I don’t think he needed it either but it was the thought that counted.

I’ve since found out that Chris drinks Jack Daniels so I tracked down a bottle in Morrison’s the other day. I couldn’t believe the price! Jack Daniels is also Richard’s favourite tipple and I’m damn sure when I used to treat him to a bottle, now and then, it was around £2.99. The price on it said £28.99 and that was with £5 off! I had a lightning moment of mental arithmetic and to my reckoning that would have meant £10 per turn of the screw! Bloody hell.

I feel massively disgusted with myself when I tell you that I didn’t buy it…but having thought about it I have to, don’t I? I’ll go back. Today. When they open.

So you see, it was actually me who sorted out Betsy, me who is going back to Morrison’s today, me who will buy a £30 bottle of Jack Daniels, and me who has been dumped, whilst Richard bounces off across country, to meet up with his friend, Darren, at the Land Rover show and play like big kids. Lord, he even took a flask of coffee!

Obviously the money for the JD will come out of the housekeeping monies (see last post) which Richard provides…but that’s not the point.

I do have some sad news to report…Chea’s best and only friend, Bobby, has gone! His family moved to their new house over the weekend. They met-up for the last time on Friday and toggled off together, arm in arm, on an adventure. Now she sits in the lounge window, looking across at Bobby’s lounge window, but his little face doesn’t appear. Poor Chea. And to add insult to injury, she’s been put on a diet by the wicked witch of the house, AND the ground is frozen this morning so she has had to come back into the house to use her litter tray for a pooh. As luck would have it she managed to fit it in just before Richard left so he had the pleasure of removing said pooh from said tray.HPIM2818

Off to Morrison’s…

Take care my lovelies x

All You Need Is Love…Really?

Hi All

Valentine’s Day! Brilliant! Not! I’ve actually got to put on my ‘outdoor’ clothes  and linkedHeartstraipse off to Morrison’s to find a box of chocolates, or something equally as non-healthy, for Richard. I don’t know why. It isn’t like he is my real Valentine is it? Aren’t Valentines supposed to be secret? People you fancy and such like?

We go through this same crap every year. He buys me a card and ten bunches of dreadful carnations, in abominable colours that throw-out the whole ‘colour and feel’ of the house, because he thinks I’ll be buying him a card and he doesn’t want to be in the dog house till Christmas. Then I’ll forget all about it and not get him a card, so the following year he won’t get me one, but I’ll get him one…blah, blah, blah. The whole thing is a political nightmare.

He’ll even say, ‘Are we buying each other a card this year?’

‘Shall we not bother?’ I’ll say.

And that’s fine, but then he’ll do something nice on the 13th Feb and it’ll make me love him a bit and I’ll pop out at the last-minute and buy him half of Thornton’s shop! God knows why I’m going to all the effort of putting on my boots and battling the gale-force winds that are blowing here, because he certainly hasn’t done anything nice recently!

I think it has something to do with the fact that I like to keep him guessing? After all these years he still never knows which way I’ll jump in any situation.

Frankly, considering it’s a ‘fancy’ and a ‘secret’ thing I don’t see why I can’t just buy Sherlock a card? Maybe not? But here’s a funny thing…two weeks ago I noticed that there was a small package in with the mail. It was addressed to Richard, so I left it. I never open his post. Not because I’m a lovely human being, but because in twenty-three years I’ve never known him to have anything of interest drop through the letter box. I digress…

When he came home he handed me the package and said, ‘I’ve bought you something.’

My psychic powers rushed to the fore and I said, ‘It’s a Sherlock thing, isn’t it?’

‘How the bloody hell do you know that?’ he said.

I opened it and it was a fridge magnet with a picture of Sherlock on it. I tell you, Richard is bloody dafter than me. Why would I want a stupid fridge magnet with a picture of Sherlock Holmes on it? And why would I want to put it on my super-duper, recently purchased, new fridge freezer? And why would Richard want to perpetuate my ridiculous crush on another man? It did make me smile though, and that is never a bad thing. Obviously I had to put it on the fridge freezer. It would have been rude not too.

So that’s that. I am now going to get ready to go and battle the elements, all in the name of love…or something…

For those romantics out there – have a good one. Not that I’m not romantic…sometimes…well I do love the cat and the chucks and often whisper sweet nothings in their cute little ears. Oh OK, I do love Richard a bit. Where are my boots? Oh I forgot to mention, the card and chocolates will be coming out of the housekeeping fund. Richard never knows. He bought a new printer out of the housekeeping monies the other day and he hasn’t a clue. Maybe that’s why I love him a bit? He’s adoringly clueless…

Take care my lovelies x

You Say Cute…I Say Cruel!

Hi All

I have finally come to a conclusion…do not have a cat if you don’t have a cat flap! Chea is driving me nuts (more than usual) by constantly wanting to go out and then come in, all in the space of five minutes maximum. She seems unable to grasp the fact that it’s pouring with rain, and that it will be all day, most likely. I’m sure, in her tiny little feline brain, she thinks that if she pops back into the house, has a turnaround, and then demands to go out again, the rain will have stopped and it will be summer.

Right now I’m leaving her sitting on the opposite side of the door (it’s under cover, I’m not that cruel), and I’m hiding behind the laptop screen, pretending I’m not here. I don’t think I’m her favourite person right now because I’ve put her on a diet. A very, very strict diet. I’ve always thought that fat, obese animals are a result of negligence and ignorance on the part of the owner and a form of cruelty, and I have no reason to change that opinion now. This comment does not apply to animals with thyroid and similar problems, obviously. Medical conditions are quite another thing.

I saw a photo on Facebook the other day of a woman holding a gigantic, obese cat and there had been comments left like, ‘how cute!’ How cute?? No it isn’t. It’s cruel. How would you like your internal organs squished and squashed? Idiots! Anyway… back to Chea. She hasn’t reached blancmange size yet, but she has a fat sack swaying. This is not acceptable. And even more so because I know better!

I blame a lot of it on Richard – well I would, wouldn’t I? He is always giving her treats. (Just got up to let her in! I hung that out for all of five minutes!) Every time he sees her he’s in the cupboard scouting out something for her. I’ve now hidden all of her treats and banned him from feeding her. Having said this, I still walk through the kitchen and catch her hurriedly munching a chunk of corned beef or gammon that Richard has quietly sneaked onto her feeding station. They really are partners in crime. Chea loves and adores Richard with all of her heart. I’ve always suspected that Chea is a bit barmy and frankly that confirms it.

In Chea’s defence I will say that she has a very thick coat – but that’s hardly an excuse for a fat sack! So, a diet it is.

The chucks are not much impressed with me right now, either. They are being fed a week of wormer on their feed. Although, having said that they don’t seem to mind it, but what a kafuffle! The feed has to be measured, critically, and then a small amount of olive oil added and stirred in so that the wormer powder will adhere to the pellets evenly. It’s worse than attempting the perfect soufflé…not that I’ve ever attempted a soufflé. I did attempt 48 muffin type things at the weekend when Jake (7) and Grace (2 and a bit) came over for the day. Baking with the grand kiddies is always a hoot…they destroy the entire kitchen and somehow manage to get cake mixture into every orifice…well, almost. Surprisingly, I don’t mind this at all. Children are like border collies …if you don’t channel their enthusiasm they will find ways of channelling it for themselves. To allow this is a very dangerous thing.cake making 008

After the cake baking session, Grace disappeared with Richard (she also adores him. God knows why?) and Jake set about a new book I’d picked up for him. He had to look in the mirror and then write down 5 things about his face.

He started with, ‘I have blue eyes.’ And then he was stuck.

I suggested, ‘I have red hair.’

‘I haven’t got red hair, Grandma, it’s orange!’ he said very indignantly.

‘Yes,’ I said, ‘but it’s called red.’

Jake picked up a red crayon and scribbled on a piece of paper. ‘Grandma! THIS is red. My hair isn’t red. It’s orange!’

What could I say? It is orange. I had no further argument. Jake seems to be very proud of the fact that he has orange hair so…

Right! Chea is requesting to go out again, into the torrential downpour, so her human slave will get off her posterior and go and obey her wishes, and then I’ll stir the broccoli and Stilton soup that I’m making, and then I’ll go and watch The Fifth Estate…with you know who in it!! Why? Because I can.cake making 002

Take care my lovelies x

I’ve Stopped The Obsession!

Hi All

Standing at the checkout in Morrison’s this morning, I came to a decision. Bear in mind it was pretty deserted. They open at 7 am and I wasn’t much later than that. For once I decided not to drift down the biscuit/crisps/cake/anything bad aisle, and so I wasn’t in there for long. Back to the decision at the checkout… I decided to cut back on watching and re watching Sherlock… and here’s why.

In front of me was a little man. When I say a little man I mean that he was short and fat. His hair was tidy though and his clothes were clean. He wore flat, plimsoll type shoes and he needed the cashier to pack his groceries. Unbeknown to me I was staring at him and doing a ‘Sherlock.’ “Lives alone…wife dead…no one to talk to…needs to hold a long conversation with the cashier…stays tidy though. Huge stomach…eats crap and Morrison’s buy-one-get-two-free doughnuts…flat shoes…slightly creased at the back where a shoe-horn is used…shoe-horn used because of huge stomach and inability to bend over…” (If you have never watched Sherlock this will mean nothing to you and you have probably already tuned out!)

As the dear soul toddled off and the cashier turned to me with a, ‘Good morning,’ I jolted from my deductions and realised that I hadn’t loaded the conveyor belt thingy. I just hope someone wasn’t standing in the shadows of the cat food aisle deducing me.

So, I’m stopping all of this now before someone really does think that I’m a freak…or a stalker. Not sure what my next obsession will be, but I’m sure I’ll think of something.

Actually, it won’t be long before I’m turning my thoughts and energy towards the garden. It had a bit of a makeover towards the end of last year. I removed several small areas of cottagy-type flowery things and made the area into a larger veggie plot. I’m going to be very precise regarding what I grow this year. I have a battle every year with snails, although, I saw a gardening programme on the TV the other week and they had used old snail shells on the top of garden canes as a preventative against taking out your eyes when bending down. I thought this was an excellent use of snail shells. And if the snails are lucky I’ll wait until they vacate the shells before using them! If not? C’est la vie.

I don’t wage war on many creatures. The list is rather short…slugs, snails, greenfly and blackfly. Everything else can have a place in my garden, although, having said that, I’m not enamoured with cabbage white butterflies. And there’s a special, discreet little shit, that lays its eggs on the gooseberry bush and the caterpillars hatch out and eat every available leaf! Strangely, they don’t touch the fruit. It’s a kind of ‘share and share alike’ thing.

Those of you who regularly read this blog will know that my house is a semi-detached, and that the neighbour’s house has been up for sale for quite some time (probably due to me as a neighbour?) but the other night, my neighbour, Tracey, announced that it has sold. Apparently the new neighbours are a young couple and Mr Neighbour is a gardener. I figure anyone who likes gardening can’t be all bad, and although I hate change and people moving out of my life, (there are exceptions, obviously, some I’d buy a one-way ticket to a dung heap), I have already begun to visualise the forthcoming summer scenario. Me and Mr New Neighbour chatting over a cup of tea, discussing ground conditions to prevent forking carrots (that was forking) and the right time to bed-out your little gems. Yes I can see it all. I know masses about gardening (?)so I’ll be an instant hit. There’s only one fly in the proverbial ointment…we erected a six-foot fence last year and can’t see a bloody thing over it. Maybe I’ll just continue my reclusive ways and keep my gardening secrets to myself? I certainly won’t be divulging my ‘snails on sticks’ to anyone!

The greatest sadness in all of this is that Chea and Bobby’s relationship will be severed. They probably have a fortnight-ish left of each other’s company. I have never known such a friendship among cats. They really do like and respect each other. I only have to mention that Bobby is at the door and Chea ‘trills’ and trots off to greet him. On days when Bobby is nowhere in sight I’ll let Chea out and within minutes she’s back with him in tow and then, without jealousy or argument, they share a treat. Other cats come into the garden Chea and Bobbyand they frighten the life out of Chea. She is a kind, loving little individual, without a nasty hair on her body, and because of her ‘relationship’ with Bobby I think she finds it confusing when other cats are vindictive and spiteful. To date, we have never known Chea to hiss, spit or scratch. She just isn’t wired that way. She loves going into Bobby’s wilderness-garden, and I’m thinking that if the new neighbours have a dog, that will also have to stop. Perhaps I can encourage them to have chucks? Maybe a cockerel? And then I can borrow him and let him fertilise my chucks’ eggs? Then I can hatch-out some chicks? Cool. Yes I’m sure, if I try, I can find a positive in these changes that are about to come?

Take care my lovelies x

Not Exactly Laptop Dancing…

Hi All

I think I must be missing something when it comes to computers…or in my case laptops. I have this sneaky feeling that my laptop holds out on me. Only provides me with the barest and briefest of information. I ask, ‘Benedict Cumberbatch’s home address?’ and it puts up, ‘Benedict Cumberbatch nuzzling some girl.’

Yes, shut up, I’m joking. Crikey, do you think I’m a stalker or something? What I mean is, you see these people on the TV tapping away on their keypads faster than mating rabbits and they never get a typo and they always get enough information to go and split the atom. How do they do that? Is there an app somewhere? Do you have to download something? And then you merely tap in, ‘How to break into Lloyd’s Bank,’ and it flashes up twelve suggestions on the screen. Be hilarious if some computer somewhere picks up on that, ‘How to break into Lloyd’s Bank,’ wouldn’t it? A flashing light has just gone past the house but I think it was a fire engine! Probably racing off to pump-out water from some poor sod’s house. The weather here is atrocious just now, rain, rain and more rain. My lawn looks like a paddy field and it wouldn’t surprise me one little bit if we get a crop of rice springing up shortly. The chucks have just about got used to having to splash through water each day to reach the garden – which, by the way, is nothing much more than a mud bath for them. Little has changed from a white Light Sussex to a brown Light Sussex and looks unloved and uncared for. I digress. Back to computers…

I change my laptop very frequently. I always choose one with massive storage and one that is really fast. I probably have 140 songs stored and a few stories and such like, and I still think and type slowly, so the aforementioned attributes are completely unnecessary. But I still like walking down the line of laptops and comparing specs. Specs! See, I know the lingo. No idea what most of them mean, mind.  I hide that little fact so well don’t I?

Regardless of the ‘specs’ and the cost, every laptop goes through the same abuse. It still gets bawled at. It seems to rebound obscenities like The Starship Enterprise’s shields – or whatever they are called, and they have no effect whatsoever.

Sometimes, as an act of love and devotion to it, I Mr Sheen it, making it all new and shiny. This, naturally makes it very slippy and difficult to transport from room to room and I have now realised that I must transport said laptop into the lounge first and then go back for my mug of tea and sticky bun. Failure to comply leaves a soggy fireside rug and a sticky bun that has rolled under the sofa and adhered every cat hair to its form. These are the things that we all learn in time – the hard way!

At least I have found the right holes to plug-in accessories. There’s a little designated orifice for my memory stick, headphones, power cable, external speaker, camera adapter, a big saucer thingy for my CD/DVD, etc. etc. etc, and most times I get everything in the right place. I did get the headphones stuck once because I’d forced them into the wrong hole.

Anyway, enough. I have learnt the following five points about my laptop (computer – not the flesh one) and they might help you to avoid trouble.

1. The cable to the laptop has to actually be turned on at the plug or the laptop won’t charge.

2. The laptop fingerprint access won’t let you in if your designated fingertip is smeared with cholesterol-reducing butter after attempting to eat a crumpet and blog at the same time.

3. If you use the laptop as a form of heat to your knees, in a freezing cold house, the laptop will overheat and cut out.

4. The laptop should not be used for internet banking when the cat is around. Little paws walk across the top numeral keys and you will be transferring £5,000 into the ether, instead of £50 to your ISA.

5. The laptop NEVER replies no matter how much you scream at it and demand, “What?!!!”

Take care my lovelies xcropped-2013-07-30-19-17-101.jpg

Off to enter the Cumberbatch question into the search box again!