Category Archives: noz

Saturday 2nd September 2023 – YOU PROBABLY WON’T …

… believe this (or maybe you will, I dunno) but this afternoon and evening I have wiped off the various hard disks that are running at the moment from this computer a total of over 600GB of duplicate files.

That’s not all either because even as I’m typing this I’m coming across more files that I can delete so i’ve no idea how much free space I’ll create by the time that I finish.

That is, of course, if I ever do, because I’ve been at this project and off since August 2021 when I began to upload the contents of ever hard drive that I’ve ever owned that is still working.

And seeing as I bought my first PC over 30 years ago and always kept the hard drives when I dismantled them, you can imagine how many I have.

It’s now quite late so I’m hoping for a good sleep and a nice long lie-in in the morning, something that I didn’t have today.

Struggling to my feet when the alarm went off was quite an adventure and I still wasn’t feeling much like it when Caliburn and I hit the streets.

Noz was a big disappointment today because there was nothing of any interest in there.

However I struck it lucky in LeClerc There are some really nice but expensive vegan burger and vegan sausages that are well out of my price range but they had some on special offer in the Clearance range so I stocked up.

Something else that I bought was a set of cheap pyjamas. If I’m going into hospital sometime soon I’ll need a pair. I don’t like these hospital ones.

On the way home I went via the Biocoop. I need to make some more hummus and I don’t have a lot of tahini. They don’t sell that in LeClerc

Back at home I sorted out the freezer and packed away the stuff that I’d bought. The freezer now really is quite full but at least it’s full of stuff that I can eat. I’m not going to be short of interesting meals for a while now.

Armed with my coffee and my cheese on toast, I came back into here to sit down where I promptly crashed out, not that that’s any surprise given how things have been just recently.

When I eventually awoke, that was when I began to crack on with the duplicate files. There are a couple of handy utility programs that help here but the files still need to be sorted and filed away by hand first and that’s what takes the time.

Tea tonight was chips (potato and sweet potato) with a vegan salad and burger in a bun, made with my own home-made dough in the air fryer.

Following that I had my chat with Rosemary – quite a lengthy one as I suspected. She’s going to see a specialist at the end of the month and wanted to have a chat about it.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone from the night. One of the dreams involved a brawl between players at a women’s football match with a few despicable scenes that concluded with one player slamming another one’s head against a wall and a table on several occasions really hard. The noise of the head hitting the wood etc in my dream was awful, it really was.

There was another dream of which I can only remember bits. I was going to a rock concert somewhere. When I’d arrived or was on my way there I’d met these Hells Angels, I suppose. One of them took me under his wing a little. I can’t remember much about it but I had to change my clothes, ending up getting completely dirty working on a motor bike. At the end of the concert I had to leave of course. That guy said that he’d run me home. I thought that with all the beer he’s drinking and breaking wind it’ll certainly be uncomfortable on the back of his motor bike like that. Then I began to change my clothes. Then I realised that I had the model of a church or something that I’d built to exhibit somewhere. The whole idea was quite controversial so why don’t I ask this guy, seeing as I’m on his right side at the moment, whether he’d like to be a bodyguard for this model while it was being exhibited. There was much more to it than this but I can’t remember any more than this, which is a shame.

Did I dictate this huge long dream about writing a thesis? … "no you didn’t" – ed. I kept on being interrupted by all kinds of people. There was a deadline by which it had to be done. Not only that, I was staying in a hotel in the Pigalle. All of my possessions were there. The day was drawing on. When I finally finished I had to send it off. Then I realised that I had no conclusion so I had to think of a good one. The conclusion ended up not being very good because the final photo of my thesis was a group of people fighting. I had somehow to tie my conclusion to that. Then I still had to go to the Pigalle to pick up my affairs. I’d told them a while ago that I’d be another hour when they asked. I thought that at this rate it’s going to be another one of these things where they’ll take my possessions in charge and that will be that. There was then a queue of people all waiting to use the computer to send off their theses. Everything seemed to be going wrong. There was much more to it than this too but I can’t really remember the earlier parts of it

So having finished, I’m going to bed. And not before time either. Tomorrow I have some hummus to make and some tidying up to do ready for next week. Work is beginning to pile up yet again and I need to crack on and do it.

Saturday 26th August 2023 – ONE THING THAT I …

… do like about going to Noz is that fairly often I find some different food that I can eat that will vary my diet quit considerably.

There were some bags of 10 frozen quinoa wafer-burger type things but I’m not really talking about those, but I’m referring more to the bags of 1 kg of frozen sweet potato chips.

My ambition, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, is to continue to make room in my rather over-full freezer but there’s none at all now because a bag of the wafer-burgers and a bag of the sweet potato chips has now filled it to the brim.

And I did manage to fit in another frozen pepper too. They had the small ones at LeClerc today so I grabbed a couple. One is in the fridge ready for Monday and the other one has joined the three that are in the freezer.

So all in all it was a good day today around the shops.

Much better than the night, I have to say, because even though I was in bed fairly early for a change, it took me an absolute age to go off to sleep. And when I did, I awoke a couple of times during the night.

When the alarm went off I was dead to the World and it was a struggle to leave the bed. But after the medication I had a good wash and then headed off to the shops.

My parking space outside Noz was free so I was able to park close to the door which is always useful. And as well as the frozen stuff that I mentioned, they had some sachets of orange zest for adding to cakes and the like so I grabbed a few packets of that too.

LeClerc didn’t come up with anything special today – just the usual stuff. All in all, it wasn’t a very expensive shop today.

Back here I put everything away and then made my cheese on toast and coffee. back in here I sat down and began to think about doing some work but regrettably that was that, and for more than three hours too. Completely dead to the World yet again and I didn’t feel a thing.

While I was away I was off on my travels. I was arguing with a neighbour about some information that she had given me. I thought that it was incorrect and I was upset but she told me that I didn’t need to accept it and that I should have done my own research.

Later on, after I’d managed to come round into the Land of the Living again I transcribed the dictaphone notes to find out where I’d been during the night. Alison and I were in a queue for something. She was being attended to and I was talking to a couple of guys standing behind me, discussing these absurd rules about the airport. It turns out that one of them knew a small girl who was stopped because they wanted to confiscate her aspirins. She insisted that she was allergic to everything else. This was the only brand she could have. After much argument the girl on her own won her case and managed to take her aspirins with her through Security. We thought that that was tremendous so we then began to make a list of things that we’d assemble if we’d had that girl with us and what she could have brought through Customs for us. One of the guys said “we’d have needed to park our car quite close to the airport building in order to carry the stuff off in the end”. Alison turned round, saw and heard us, and asked what we were doing. I tried to explain the story of the girl to her but for some reason I kept on having it all wrong. I couldn’t explain it properly.

And then I was with a former friend of mine last night in an old Ford Transit van driving somewhere around the Potteries. We’d ended up somewhere around the Goldenhill area. We’d been doing a few things and ended up at a petrol station chatting to the owner, a woman. For some reason she gave my friend £1:00. It became time to leave so I said “I’ll say goodbye and go home”. He asked “aren’t you dropping me off?” in a real kind-of panicky way. I replied “don’t be silly. Of course I am but if I were to have a young girl with me I might change my mind”. I had something linked up about the spark plugs. I had 2 spark plugs in holders and plugged the holders into one of the HT leads. I asked him to check that they were working because I would simply swap the HT leads over when I was somewhere convenient to do it rather than take the plugs out and replace them at the side of the road. He could see the spark and said that it was sparking fine. I had a look and sure enough, it was. I’d done something to the mirrors so I couldn’t see out to the back of the van. When we got into the van at the parking place of this garage I asked him to look behind me to check the road for when I pull out. He didn’t understand and had a panic attack about something. He was shouting at me for something or other but I couldn’t work out what. Then I suddenly realised that we were already on the road. What I thought was where we had to cross over in order to leave was actually the other side of the dual carriageway. We would have been driving on this dual carriageway facing the wrong way. I understood his panic attack at that moment but I told him that I wished that he hadn’t shouted like that because it really distracted me. I wasn’t sure myself what was actually happening at that moment.

Having finished those I had a little play around with the radio programme that i’d been preparing in a kind-of desultory fashion over the last few days and then settled down to watch the football – Y Drenewydd v Aberystwyth.

Both teams were bottom of the league not having won a single point so far this season. That’s a strange position for Drenewydd but as I’ve said before, it’s one to which Aberystwyth fans will have to be accustomed.

One bright spark in the Aberystwyth side though is that veteran keeper David Jones, surprisingly released by Drenewydd at the end of last season, has washed up on their shores. It makes a world of difference to find a reliable and competent keeper between their posts.

The game flowed from end to end in a quite exciting game but with relatively few chances. There were probably no more than four or five clear chances throughout the whole of the game but the lack of many clear-cut chances didn’t spoil the game in any respect.

It finished 0-0 which was about right. Y Drenewydd was the better team but were unable to capitalise on their superiority.

One player who caught my eye was Aberystwyth’s young left-winger Luca Hogan. I’ve not seen him before. His match started off quietly but as other players tired towards the closing stages he really came into his own and began to tear them apart down the flanks.

Unfortunately he’s far from the finished article but at his age he can only improve his final ball into the penalty area.

In fact, from what I’ve seen so far this season, crosses, free kicks and corners into the penalty area are pretty depressing and if I had anything to do with it, I’d spend a lot of time working on making some dramatic improvement.

At this level of football it’s one way of putting defences and goalkeepers under a lot of pressure.

Tea tonight was chips in the air fryer, a mixture of potato and sweet potato. They were actually quite nice, especially with the salad and one of the kale burgers that I bought from Noz a few weeks ago.

So now I’m off to bed ready for a lie-in tomorrow. After all of my exertions I’m ready for it too. Having been to Stoke on Trent last night and not meeting up with Zero, I wonder with whom I’ll meet up tonight.

But if not, a good long sleep will do me some good. I hope that I’ll manage it this time.

Saturday 19th August 2023 – WE’RE JUST TWO …

… matches into the season and we already have a contender for “Goal of the Season”.

A long ball out of defence upfield by Colwyn Bay, Barry’s keeper Mike Lewis races out of his penalty area to head the ball to safety and THE REST IS HISTORY.

And while we’re on the subject, I probably had the Sleep of the Season this afternoon, crashed out on the chair in the office for several hours.

It all went wrong, as we might expect, last night when I took an age to go off to sleep, and then awoke at about 03:00 for several hours before dropping off back to sleep again.

When the alarm went of, I was flat out asleep and had a real struggle to pull myself to my feet. I don’t think that I’d recovered my senses (such as they are) when it was time to head out to the shops.

At Noz I didn’t buy any food as such but they did have a few things for which I’d been searching off and on for ages and ages. I’m slowly trying to move away from plastic and today they had some resealable glass containers suitable for storing my leftovers in the fridge.

LeClerc didn’t come up with anything special although the apricots did look nice so I bought myself half a kilo as a little treat. Looking though my notes, I noticed that last year they were giving grapes away for next to nothing but this year they seem to be more expensive than usual.

The drive back home through the tourists in the town was horrendous this afternoon, and then once back here I put away the frozen and chilled stuff and then came in here with my coffee and cheese on toast. And that was all that I remember for several hours.

Surprisingly, I had a conversation in Italian this afternoon. Someone keeps on ringing my doorbell, I don’t know why, and this afternoon I caught them.

It’s an Italian family staying in one of the let apartments in the building. There are a couple of apartments that are let on a weekly basis through one of these internet hosting services and we have all sorts coming to rent them.

Anyway, they seem to be trying all of the doorbells to make someone answering them and they’ve rung mine a few times. So having caught them at it, I “had words” with them.

While I was out and about this morning I decided that I wanted a burger on a bap for tea tonight with my chips and salad. I bought a couple of the burgers that I like but I couldn’t find any loose buns.

Consequently, I decided that I’d make one. After all, that’s why I have the air fryer. So anyway I made the dough enough for two and put half of it in the freezer for the next time I feel the urge.

That gave me an opportunity to deal with the dictaphone notes. We were in the heyday of Welsh radio, the period between the 2 World Wars. We had a family called the Hughes family. The radio programme described their adventures from their sons coming home at the end of World War I all the way up to the outbreak of World War II, all the way through the Depression etc. It was very interesting because of the social changes and the Great Depression, and the fact that many of the jobs went abroad in the 1930s and there was some kind of scheme to repatriate the jobs. Mr Hughes was really hopeful that he’d be one of the lucky beneficiaries of this but I didn’t reach the end before it finished.

Later we were on board THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR on our first trip. One of the things we had to do was to make a video. We were divided into groups and each had to make a video. I devised a plan whereby I’d ambush one of the trips that was going out in a lorry and change clothes with everyone who was on board. We managed to stop the lorry. Of course they were all women on it and we were mostly men so we swapped, put on their clothes, tied them up and left them at the side of the road. We’d arranged for them to be rescued and driven back to the ship. When there was a meeting, they were all there in their undies. We all came out of our cabins dressed in what they’d been wearing on the outside on their way out earlier in the evening.

Then we were with my usual Welsh tutor. She was teaching us how to turn our … errr … wind-breaking into weapons by the kind of food that we ate, things like dried peas etc were really good. There were certain foods that you had to avoid. She gave us a list and even helped us prepare a recipe and cook it ready to eat. This was interesting because the meeting took place in Canterbury. To reach there I had to walk through the town, walk through a church building, something like a monastery, climb these steps that were inside then go out of one of the doors onto a garden that was probably on the second floor then climb through the fence. Then I’d end up on a plateau-type of place with a lovely field etc. That’s where we were all meeting for our lesson

Finally, I was back living in Gainsborough Road. There were several other people living with me. Some girl had wanted to take over my house. of course I refused. I had no intention of leaving it. She turned quite violent so we had to barricade ourselves in. She turned up at about 04:00 banging on the windows. One of the people living there opened the window and began to talk to her. She said something like “How would you feel about swapping your house for a tent somewhere?” and they began to have a discussion. I felt that this was ridiculous. if this had been left to me I’d have been after her with a length of scaffolding pipe. I decided that I’d telephone the police but for some reason the telephone dial phone wasn’t working properly so it took much longer than it ought to have done. I had no intention whatever of giving up my house, certainly under any kind of threat like that. Barricading myself in my own property was totally ridiculous.

And then I settled down to the football. After their mauling at the hands of Caernarfon last week, Colwyn Bay made several changes for their second match of the season, against Y Barry.

They had been promoted from the Southern part of the second tier last season so it was going to be an interesting game. I was quite looking forward to it.

The first half of the game followed pretty much the pattern of the first half last week, with Colwyn Bay going on an all-out attack from the kick-off but gradually fading out and going behind to a goal after half an hour.

However, they didn’t fold up like they did last week. Steve Evans changed their shape around a little and they dug in, and Thomas Creamer wrote himself into Colwyn Bay immortality after an hour or so.

Barry were the better team, it has to be said, but the Bay rode their luck and clung on, and after all, that’s what counts. It’ll be a long hard season for the Bay but they should be encouraged by the result this evening.

Tea tonight was my burger on a bap. The bread was rather heavy, as most of my bread is, so it seems, but it was all nice and tasty and I enjoyed every mouthful of it.

So I’ll record the radio notes tonight and then go to bed. I’m hoping for a good lie-in but if those Italians keep on ringing my bell there will be yet more words said. I can’t be doing with all of this.

Saturday 12th August 2023 – HAVE YOU EVER …

… had one of those days when you have been half-way through doing something and suddenly realised that you should be something different?

This afternoon I was halfway through my third programme of the week when I suddenly realised the date on which it would be broadcast (if we stick to the plan) and that led to a rather rapid rethink and I started again with something different.

All of that work from yesterday and part of today has now been filed under CS because it can’t be used again – at least, not for another seven years, and I’ll be pushing up the daisies a long time before then.

Mind you, the way I felt today, I reckon that I’ll be pushing up the daisies by the end of the week because it’s been another difficult day.

The night was a slightly better night than in the recent past, and I managed once more to be up and about before the alarm went off, but that’s not to say that I was awake.

As the early part of the morning rolled on I gradually came round into the Land of the Living and then headed off to Noz.

My usual parking place was already taken even though the place wasn’t yet open, but there was another place at the front which involved a longer walk but was still a little more convenient than going around the back where I have a tendency to fall over.

There wasn’t much in there of any interest today, but I grabbed another couple of those jars of curry. They did however have some vegan ice cream made with oat milk and cookie dough. I had to grab a small tub of that.

At LeClerc I didn’t spend very much at all, but I’m still glad that I went because they had coffee on special offer (and about time too) so I grabbed a bag of 6 packets that cost less than 4 otherwise would have done.

Back here, the ice cream and I fought our way into the freezer and then I put everything away. I made my coffee and cheese on toast but regrettably I drifted off with the fairies and awoke several hours later (and I DO mean several hours later) to a mug of very cold coffee.

Once I was back on the same wavelength as everyone else I had a listen to the dictaphone. Not as much stuff on there as there has been just recently. There was someone dressed up as a King last night making some kind of exaggerated speech putting the emphasis on the pronouns in it. Some woman was calling him out saying that he didn’t really know his pronouns anyway and what he was saying was all wrong. She had the air of a schoolmaster or school woman-type of person

And then a new girl joined our office. She was very pleasant, chatty young girl but was covered from head to foot in tattoos. We had quite a few discussions about tattoos. She had a good sense of humour so it was fine. There was another guy in the office in a wheelchair who also had tattoos and in fact owned a parrot. In the relationship between the guy and the parrot it was the parrot that was in charge which caused some mirth. We suggested that the girl and the guy put on an Art exhibition of their bodies which she thought was quite funny. We had quite a chat about that too.

Finally, I was up at some kind of castle with a ginger cat and 2 kittens. The kittens were quite high up in the roof somewhere so I had to climb up a stone column all the way to the top. The cat and kittens crawled all over me. I gradually climbed down the column one of the scariest things I’d ever done. When I was near the bottom the cats began to climb back up so I had to climb back up after them. Again they climbed on top of me but for some reason or other I kept on going up. I went right to the top of the column. You could see that the cats were trying to work out how they would go down. If I were to drop them it’s a long way. I was worried about dropping them off. I was having to sit there to work out how. The first thing I needed to do was to turn round and face the column but I couldn’t do that with the cats all over me so I had to persuade them somehow to climb back onto a window ledge in the roof which was extremely complicated. I could see that they were not very happy about doing this but eventually I managed to persuade them. Then I had to deal with the 2 kittens. I was probably 200 feet up in the air clinging to this column with my back and a couple of kittens clambering all over me with no way whatever to move in any direction at all. This was a really frightening dream, which was quite surprising because heights don’t usually bother me at all.

Having done all that I had a tidy up of the stock of supplies under the shelf unit. There’s all kinds of stuff in there that has accumulated – herbs, spices, stuff like that picked up when I come across it and which I’ll never be able to find when I need it.

And then I made a start (and a finish) with the next radio programme.

Tea tonight was chips, salad and one of these breaded quorn fillets, delicious as usual, and then I tracked down the highlights of today’s football.

Tomorrow we have a live football game on the internet. Colwyn Bay making their debut in the Welsh Premier League against Caernarfon Town.

Caernarfon had a flaky defence and non-existent attack last season, but the best midfield unit that I’ve seen. However, a few significant changes have altered the team considerably and I’ll be watching them closely.

As for Colwyn Bay, the gap between the First and the Second Division is enormous, as Flint and Airbus will testify over the last couple of seasons. But a couple of canny signings and a team well-marshalled by former Wales international central defender Steve Evans should give them at least a fighting chance.

Their stadium was rebuilt over the summer and apparently it’s a full house, completely sold out, for the game tomorrow. So at least there will be a good atmosphere.

That’s tomorrow anyway. Tonight I’m going to dictate the radio notes so far and then go to bed. A nice lie-in, I hope and then I’ll be fighting fit for next week and the second week of my summer school.

And then I have other things to worry about.

Saturday 5th August 2023 – IT’S REALLY WILD …

… outside. Some of the strongest winds that I have known since I have been here are howling around outside as I write these notes.

It’s been like this all day although maybe it’s a little worse now than it was. It certainly didn’t keep me awake during the night.

Plenty of other things did though, and I wish that I knew what they were, for it was another night when it seemed to take an age for me to go off to sleep, no matter how tired I was.

When the alarm went off I had to struggle out of bed. And later on it was even more of a struggle to make my way to Caliburn. I’m not very steady on my crutches at the best of times, but with my shopping trolley in a howling gale and torrential rainstorm made it even worse.

They were late opening up at Noz so I had to sit in the van for a while. And I’m glad that I went there because I was rather lucky.

While I’d been waiting, I’d been lamenting on the state of Caliburn’s wheels that are dirty, pitted and rusting. I’d painted the spare wheels a while ago and there in Noz today was some rustproofing wheel paint so I bought a couple of tins.

All I need now is for the wind to drop and the rain to stop.

There was also some jars of curry – vegan lentil Korma – so I grabbed a couple of jars of that too for use one of these days.

LeClerc didn’t come up with much but I seemed to have been in there for ages. I was quite late coming back. Especially as I was held up by a van crawling along at 20kph with a tannoy blaring out of it.

There’s a circus somewhere in town and this van was announcing it. Driven by one of the clowns, most likely.

There was quite a battle to make it back to the apartment with all of this wind.

Having sorted out the shopping I had my coffee and cheese on toast, then came back in here where, true to form just recently, I crashed out. Good and proper too.

There was quite a lot of stuff on the dictaphone from the night too, as I found out later on. I was back in hospital. They stuck an intravenous drip in my arm and connected a drip-feed to it. When they finished they disconnected the drip and strapped the catheter under a bandage of plasters and everything and sent me home to come back in a week or so. I then had to go to a check-up a day or two later. I can’t remember now where this check-up was but it was something significant. They checked me and from what they could see everything was back to normal. There were a couple more measurements and readings they wanted to take. They were underneath the bandages and strapping so they needed to take it all off. I was aware of how much all of this hurt, putting these needles in and taking them out again so I made something of a face about it. She told me that if all went well they would take it out today. I thought “what about if I have to come back here in a few days?”. She didn’t really have an answer to that. I felt just totally fed up at this point that they were thinking about all these things and no-one was actually thinking about me and the effect that the needles were having on me.

I had to join in last night with some people engaged in a tug of war with a gigantic ginger cat. Apparently it was a security cat that belonged to some kind of building and had been massively over-fed. It was having severe health problems and needed to be taken to the vet. They had so much difficulty catching it that eventually they managed to get a lead around it but they needed some help to try to pull it into a cage because it was so big.

Later on I was coming from Chester. As I approached Nantwich I was having a debate with myself about whether it would be quicker to go through the town centre or around the by-pass. Eventually I chose to go round the by-pass. It was the wrong decision because it was chucking-out time at Reaseheath College. The whole area was swarming with people, pedestrians, cyclists etc. We were held up for ages. I was bringing a coupe back to the area, 2 people sitting in the back seat. They were flirting around. I was having to keep a close watch in my mirror in all this traffic but I couldn’t see the road because of these two people. I was trying at the time to work out how best to tell them to sit still and not move about so that I could see what was going on behind me.

It was also the end of term. A bunch of kids from school were off to University. One girl in particular whom I liked, I’d been helping her with all of her paperwork, to prepare it. She was packing and I was going to take her to the University to install her there. I had my car in the car park. We were going through the final preparation getting the paperwork ready when one of her friends who was going to the same University said that we’d take her as well. She asked which car it was. I told her that it was a pale blue Ford Cortina RBY623R. I told her where it was parked. We collected the other girl’s things and went to draw out some money and to photocopy a few documents. She asked if we could stop somewhere as we were passing through France to pick up some alcohol. She was a small girl who looked younger than she was. I told her to print out an extra copy of her birth certificate and put it in her purse with her so that she wouldn’t have any problems in places like that. We then went to the printer, which was like a cash point. We had to insert a document. There was a keyboard where you had to type whatever information you wanted to insert. She inserted some documents, typed a few things and then printed them out. There was a couple of other people waiting to use the machine. They complained about how long she was taking which I thought was strange as it was the only one for the entire school. There must have been queues like this before.

As I went back to sleep I was on a bus with my passengers. I was collecting up my paperwork, tools and a box full of washers, drill bits etc, getting ready. I had prepared a map of the area. We set off in the coach on the way home, stopping by various places on the way.

Later on I finished off the radio notes ready for dictating and then went back to my Canada 2017 trip. I’ve now crossed the Churchill River and on my way north-east.

Churchill River was interesting. Trying to research it is not very easy because it wasn’t called Churchill River until 1965. When it was originally observed by Europeans, they named it “Grand River” but in 1821 it was renamed “Hamilton River” in honour of the then-Governor of Newfoundland.

So you can see what I mean.

And it’s likely to become even more complicated in due course as there is a movement afoot to petition the Government to change the name to represent its Innu heritage.

In case you’re wondering, which I’m sure you are, there are three, and maybe four, ethnic groups here in Labrador. Along the coast, north of Hamilton Inlet but formerly much further south too, are the Inuit.

In the southern part of Labrador and the interior of the north are the Innu, recognised by themselves as forming one ethnic grouo but some people, including our hero Viano Tanner, suggest that the southern people, known by the French in the past as Montagnais and the people in the interior further north , known in the past as Naskapi, are distinct and discrete groups.

And since 1982 the Métis have been recognised as a distinct and discrete ethnic group.

Something else that I’ve been doing is hunting down Court injunctions.

In 2012 Valard, the company that is building the dam at the Muskrat Falls and Nalcor, the energy corporation of the Newfoundland and Labrador Government were granted an injunction which prohibited “NunatuKavut (the local Innu) members and others from going within 50 meters of the Site which included any areas of land that Nalcor is authorized to use, or shall be authorized to use in the future”.

A Court of Appeal hearing in 2014 found that this injunction “prohibited the people of NunatuKavut from carrying out traditional activities and accessing their traditional lands” in defiance of a Treaty of Native Rights and overturned the injunction.

But the lesson we can learn from that is that not even a Treaty with native people is allowed to stand in the way of one of the Newfoundland Government’s sacred cows, if the Government thinks that it can get away with it.

Tea tonight was chips, salad and one of those kale and lentil burgers that I bought the other day. The burger wasn’t at all what I expected but it was actually quite nice and I wished that I’d bought some more of them.

Having written my notes now I’m going to dictate my notes for the radio if the wind dies down and I can hear myself think. And then I’m off to bed.

Tomorrow I have fruit buns to make and radio programmes to prepare, so by the looks of things I’ll be busy. Mind you, I’ll probably fall asleep instead. That seems to be how things work these days.

Saturday 29th July 2023 – JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT …

… that it was safe to go back into the water, along came Len Fairclough.

And just when I thought that I was slowly pulling myself out of this quite depressing run of bad nights, there I go again

There’s not really much point in going to bed early if I can’t go off to sleep. And even when I do manage to go to sleep, if I’m waking up every five minutes it’s pretty pointless.

There are always sleeping pills of course, and this has been discussed before, but as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, my little voyages during the night are much more interesting and exciting than anything that ever happens to me during the day.

Life would be much less interesting if I never remembered where I went after dark.

When the alarm went off I was fast asleep and it really was quite an effort for me to haul myself out of bed.

It was even more of an effort to haul myself out of the apartment to go to the shops.

There wasn’t any point going to Noz because they had nothing there that I needed. It’s not all that often that I come away with nothing

LeClerc wasn’t all that much better either. There was nothing there of any interest today. They had one last box of falafel left so I threw that in my trolley to put in the freezer with the others. I don’t really need them but they are only on sale quite rarely so I stock up when I can.

Thinking on though, there are only three meals that I have that aren’t planned in advance. So now I have the falafel, sausages, sausage rolls, some Chinese whatsits, burgers, breaded quorn fillets, curries and once there’s some more room in the freezer there will be some vegan pie.

There’s enough in there to keep me going for a good while. I don’t have to worry too much about food.

Back here I had my cheese on toast and I hadn’t even finished my coffee before I crashed out. I was gone away with the fairies for hours and I felt absolutely dreadful afterwards.

Once I was awake again it took an age to gather up my wits, and then I had a listen to the dictaphone. I had a kind of manservant last night. I was going somewhere so I asked him to prepare some kind of meal that I could take with me. When I went to pick things up I couldn’t exactly tell what it was. It looked as if it was a curry. He said “no, it’s a green bean thing”. I had a look. I could see that it was enormous, what he’d cooked. It was in a vacuum-packed plastic bag thing. There looked enough in there for a couple of meals. It looked really interesting to take with me.

And then I was out on the Labrador coast last night trapping furs and animals. I was doing OK but felt that the agent guy whatever his name was was taking advantage of the power that he had over the people. A TV crew came to interview him and what he was doing there. It turns out that he was leaving after just a couple of years in his post and going somewhere. This was another dream with lots more to it than this but I can’t remember now.

Next I had to go to Manchester for work. As I was passing the railway company offices I thought that I’d call in there to book a ticket on the train. I went in there and they began to look through the timetable and wrote out an itinerary which was to leave Crewe, go to Chester, Chester-Liverpool, Liverpool-Manchester. The return was an express back at about 20:00. I thought “how is this possible? Why aren’t you booking a ticket for me on the local stopping train direct?”. The replied “you can’t buy that ticket from here at the railway offices, only the long-distance tickets you can have”. We had a really lengthy discussion about what were my plans, what I usually did etc. In the end they insisted and gave me this piece of paper with my itinerary on it. I realised that I had to return back to my office to pick up my possessions and return for the train. I only had 15 minutes to do that before the train leaves. I looked at the ticket and it wasn’t actually a ticket but a simple itinerary and told me that I had to call at the ticket office to pick up and pay for the ticket. I thought “I’m never going to be back here on that train in 15 minutes”. Back at my office I then had to enter a lift to go upstairs. There was a queue for the lift and it seemed to take ages. When I left the lift I was nearly knocked over by my boss. That led to some kind of discussion. All the time, time was ticking away. I could see that this was just going to be totally out of the question and absolutely impossible.

Back in that dream again about the railway tickets. We all climbed into the lift to leave the building. The first thing that I noticed was a CA Bedford ice cream van registered in Turkey. As the lift was going down I asked one of the guys if I could take a photo of it. He replied that it was his girlfriend’s so we had a big discussion about caravans. I told him about the two that I had down in the Auvergne and how I’d scrapped them. When I went to take a photo with my telephone it wouldn’t work. The one that I took with the big camera came out blurred and indistinct so I had to run to the car, give my things to someone to pack away and run back to the building to try to take another photo of it again. There was a dog there that I wanted to photograph too. All the while, time was just disappearing and I would never catch this train.

At one moment I was walking down a footpath with someone but as soon as I awoke all of it disappeared and I can’t remember anything more about that other than walking down the footpath with someone.

I was back in that dream about the railway again. We were all cramming into the lift ready to go back down again. I can’t remember now what happened once we were in the lift but again it was something else that went on for quite some time. All the time, time was just ebbing away and it was going to be impossible to pick up this ticket and be on this train at 09:00 or whatever.

What was left of the day was spent out on the Trans Labrador Highway back in 2017 making my way towards Goose Bay

Tea tonight was chips (now that I have some potatoes) and a breaded quorn fillet with salad and quite enjoyable it was too, as usual. Meals are quite nice around here these days.

Having now written my notes I’m going to dictate the radio stuff and then go to bed. If I’m lucky I might even have a decent sleep, but that’s really not all that likely. Tomorrow I have some pizza dough to make as I’ve now run out, but I have the digestive biscuits to keep me going.

So why knows? Maybe I might even find something else to do too, if I can stay awake long enough to do it.

Saturday 22nd July 2023 – AS YOU MIGHT …

… expect, I’ve spent much of the afternoon asleep. Going to the shops this morning was, once again, far too much for me.

It might have helped if I’d had a decent night’s sleep but apart from going to bed later than I would have liked, I had to get up in the middle of the night for a reason that anyone of my age would tell you.

A few years ago that was quite a normal thing, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but I thought that I’d put it all behind me a long time ago.

When the alarm went off I was deep in the Arms of Morpheus and I had a struggle to leave my stinking pit before the second alarm.

But once I’d organised myself (which takes much longer these days than it ought) Caliburn and I headed out to the shops.

There was a parking space at the front of Noz so I could go there without a struggle. Mind you, I needn’t have bothered because there wasn’t anything interesting. I bought a couple more of those breadcrumbed quorn fillets and a couple more packets of digestives. I think that I have all of those now.

LeClerc didn’t come up with anything out of the ordinary. There was some falafel on offer, 350 grammes for €3:09 so I bought a box of those for the freezer seeing as the stocks are running down.

Back here I had my cheese on toast for brunch and then ended up yet again with another mug of very cold coffee after several hours flat out on the chair in the office.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone from the night. There were some people outside a courtroom who had some kind of tube with a candle in it. The idea was that as they took a brick out of the wall of this building and pushed this tube with a candle through the home they could somehow hear the proceedings of what was going on on the inside. They managed to remove the brick by putting 2 screws in it, twisting it round and pulling and then inserted the tube. It went into the room and was disguised by a window shutter on the inside that was folded back. There was me and someone else in there being tried for something or other. In all probability we were going to be found guilty. The penalty for this was death, which we knew very well Many people thought that we might just be transported but we were convinced that we were going to die. The one guy with me had some plans of his own and I also had some plans. I was going to have a way to sneak out of this prison one night before we would be moved away. I ended up at my friend’s in the Bourgogne on New Years Eve. He, his wife and I had a little party. He brought me a few items of food that he’d made himself and we were settling down to have a really nice evening. After everyone went to bed I took the opportunity to take his car and drive off and disappear, hopefully making good my escape.

Later on I had to go into work. As my brother was around I brought him with me. There was a group of us who were going. We reached the Place Madou. I explained to him that it was extremely complicated to manoeuvre around here and it’ll be even worse on the way back because of the one-way system against us. We crossed over the road and I had to look for the side street. Some of the people with me went off down the side street without any problem. For some reason I had a mental blank and couldn’t think where the side street was. I tried 3 or 4 back entries to shops etc. Suddenly I remembered where it was. I shouted at my brother to come but he was too busy looking himself. He wouldn’t come for a minute. In the end I started to go and he began to follow me. We bumped into our friends again who were waiting for us around the corner wondering what on earth had been the matter and what had been going on with us.

I was also on the radio last night. We’d been doing a series of programmes. One of them was about different pet foods. It turned out that the pet food we recommended was being run down. You couldn’t find it any more in the shops. I went to a grocer’s to try to find it. There was also something to do with someone asking why were we advertising events so far away when we don’t tell anyone anything about things in the area. I answered that that’s because people in the area don’t tell us about their events. Someone asked about a special offer for soup that was available at the local supermarket. I was in the supermarket at the time so we had a look around and found the offer but it had expired 2 years ago. There was a woman working in the supermarket who worked for the radio who I asked to do something. I gave her the information to collate but she was just sitting there at her desk not doing anything. She told me that she was waiting for bits and pieces but I couldn’t understand that because she didn’t actually need anything. I’d given her everything that she needed and I was beginning to become extremely frustrated by all of this

Rosemary rang me up too and we had another one of our mega-chats. It’s been a while since we have had a good chat. It’s quite funny really. We can talk for hours on the telephone but we don’t actually say all that much.

There wasn’t much time to spend on my trip to Canada. I managed to write some stuff but once more I was side-tracked. In 1848 Bishop Feild (and that’s not a spelling mistake) of St John’s in Newfoundland decided to go to visit the coasts of Labrador.

There’s no record that I can find of a priest having visited there before and it was really only about 20 years or so after the first settlers had made their home there. He kept a diary of his visit, which is really probably the earliest erudite account of “liveyer” or settler life out on the Labrador coast, and I managed to track down a copy of it.

Consequently I’ve been immersed in its pages. It’s full of all kinds of interesting anecdotes, including reports of the first marriage ceremonies carried out on the Labrador coast.

“Nine couples were married, and one couple rejected, because the man, as it appeared, had lived with another woman, whom he had deserted, or turned off… He is an Englishman from Devonshire—no credit, I fear, to his country or Church.”.

Tea was one of the breaded quorn fillets with chips and salad, delicious as ever and properly cooked too.

So seeing as I’m exhausted I’m going to dictate the radio notes now that it’s quiet, and I’ll sleep until I awaken. There’s nothing to do tomorrow so if necessary I can even catch up with my beauty sleep. And having looked in the mirror just recently, I certainly need it.

Saturday 15th July 2023 – I REALLY AM …

… fed up of all this.

By the looks of things, I can’t go anywhere or do anything without suffering for it afterwards. I went to the shops this morning as usual, and then spent most of the afternoon flat out asleep in my chair.

In fact I probably would still be asleep even now had I not had an attack of cramp again in one of my legs. And that was rather a shame because I was having a really good and interesting dream and the moment I awoke it all immediately evaporated and I can’t remember a thing about it.

Plenty of dreams during the night though. By the sound of what was on the dictaphone I was quite busy. I’d been cooking and made a big lentil curry. Afterwards I’d put the mixing bowl in the sink and filled it full of water but there was more waste stuff in there than I anticipated. When I tipped it all out into the sink it blocked the sink. The water level in the sink began to overflow so I had to start to scoop out all the stuff with my hands. There was tons of it. Even then although eventually it began to drain away there was still plenty of it left. I tipped the bowl out to empty it and tipped it into the bin, water waste and all but there was still that much stuff still in the sink that it blocked the sink again. I didn’t notice when I put the bowl back in again. It ended up being on top of what was in the sink. It was all an absolute awful mess. I was even contemplating taking the sink out and fitting a different sink at one time because I was certain that the waste trap would be blocked solid and it was such a difficulty to try to move it.

There was also the story of the English cricket team that played a match in Northern Labrador against some team or other. The Inuit were there watching. After the game the English cricketers moved away. A girl who had been watching found a cap left behind by one of the cricketers. She remembered whose cap it was so she walked all the way to their next destination, found out where they were playing and walked there. In the middle of the innings when there was a pause she walked on the field and gave him back his cap by putting it on his head for him. That excited a great deal of comment from all kinds of different people

I also had a really long rambling dream about going on holiday with a friend of mine. We reached the hotel so I alighted – I was on my crutches. Everyone swarmed off into the building. I had to hobble on behind. They were all sidetracked by all kinds of things going on when they arrived. I lost sight of my friend for the moment so I thought that I’d go to find my room. It was room M something. I had a look and the corridor M was miles away on the ground floor. I set off on my crutches. Some woman said where she was going. She said that she was hoping that someone young and fit would come with me to carry my bag. I apologised and pushed on. I somehow ended up in Canada on the border with the USA chatting to a young girl who was living there working in tourism. It seemed that she came from the USA living in a one-roomed shack on her parents’ property and drove a bus. As it happened I’d just won a bus on eBay, a double-decker. That had been the subject of quite some discussion amongst a lot of people. “Who’d Bought it?” “What were they going to do?” etc. We began to talk and ended up talking about all kinds of things. She found out that I was famous so she was pleased and said that she would tell all her friends. We chatted about life in Canada, life in the USA, about my friend in the USA etc. This was a conversation that went on for hours, another one of these conversations that made me feel really good in a dream. It all ended when I had an attack of cramp in my left leg and awoke.

It seems that most of my really interesting dreams are going to be interrupted by attacks of cramp these days. But at least I managed to remember that one.

To my surprise, I was up before the alarm too. Not by much, but by enough to make it a success. And after the medication, mails and messages I went and had a shower to make myself smell nice.

One of the parking spaces in front of Noz was vacant so I called in there. They had some more of those Chinese things so I bought another bag of them. They aren’t all that exciting but they are different.

There were a few other things in there too, together with some vegan Pesto. They had some a while back so I tried it and it was quite nice. I hope that this batch is as good.

Leclerc didn’t have anything exciting and I was wandering around with the impression that I’d forgotten something important. But I couldn’t think of what it might be so whatever it was, I came home without it.

It only turned out to be a small shopping excursion so I profited by topping up the supplies a little. Plenty of flour and stuff like that now, which is just as well as I have no fruit buns left so I need to make a batch tomorrow.

Back in here with my coffee and cheese on toast, and what ended up being a very, very cold second mug of coffee. Like I said, all this is becoming very depressing and I’m totally fed up of it.

Tea was a breadcrumbed quorn fillet and chips with some very sad salad. I should have checked how it was before going to the shops because it was all well past its sell-by date.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when I put the new hard drive in I had issues with the Graphics Card and needed to hunt down some new drivers. At some point during the proceedings my operating system (well, the computer’s – my operating system hasn’t been upgraded for years) must have performed an upgrade because when I went to fire up one of my graphics programs, it wouldn’t run.

Consequently whatever I was planning on doing after tea had to wait while I messed around configuring the Graphics Card and its drivers yet again. I hope that this isn’t going to become a regular feature.

Now that I’ve finished my notes I’ll dictate the stuff for the next radio program. That’s something that I can edit tomorrow.

Not tonight though, Josephine. Today has been one of those days that are better forgotten and the sooner I forget this one the better. I can start again tomorrow by making my fruit buns and see where that takes me. A lie-in will probably do me good but as usual, something will happen to disturb me.

Right now another album that sends me into a fit of depression has come round on the playlist. Arguably one of the greates ever live concerts along with COLOSSEUM LIVE, LIVE DATES by Wishbone Ash, Santana’s “Sight and Sound” (which surprisingly was never made into an album) and ALCHEMY LIVE by Dire Straits has to be LIVE IN THE CITY OF LIGHT.

It always brings me out into a terrible fit of nostalgia and I don’t know why because it doesn’t play any significant part in my life, as many other albums do. Maybe that’s why, I dunno. But sitting here listening to tracks like SOMEONE SOMEWHERE IN SUMMERTIME

“Somewhere there is some place, that one million eyes can’t see
And somewhere there is someone, who can see what I can see”

There certainly is, but they can’t get her arms out of the straightjacket.

Saturday 1st July 2023 – FOUR YEARS AGO …

… today I was on the deck of THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR in Aberdeen, Scotland (for the benefit of those who don’t know where Aberdeen is) waiting to cast off forr’ard and left hand down a bit on our way to Kugluktuk on the border between the Far North of Canada and Alaska.

When I set out I didn’t really have much of an idea when I’d be back home (if ever at all) and it wasn’t until late October that I finally returned to perch upon my little rock, having made a brief stop in Morocco on the way back.

That was some voyage. Rosemary came with me as far as Greenland of course, and HIS NIBS did the full circuit with me.

A great many of my lifetime ambitions were realised. I finally managed to visit the site – Hvalsey – in Greenland where the last known record of the Norse colony was recorded, and next stop, I went to visit Leif Ericson’s house at Brattahlid,

Higher up on the Canadian side of the Davis Strait I walked upon the site of one of Franklin’s camps – at Beechey Island – and visited the graves of some of his sailors and inspected the remains of the cabin and the boat that later explorers left for him and his party (in vain) in case they even made it back to civilisation, and I passed through the mythical North-West Passage.

Not only that, but when I had to leave the ship for a couple of weeks in Greenland when that party of schoolkids joined (I don’t have a North American police check of course) I flew out to the Rockies to continue my journey along the Emigrants’ Trail to California and walked up South Pass – the North American watershed where east drains into the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, and the west drains into the Pacific – to see the tracks of the covered wagons that made the journey between 1846 and 1861.

There was also standing on the stage where my grandmother performed with a variety of famous American music-hall artists in Winnipeg, the house where she lived, the church where she married and the grave where her first husband is buried.

And not to forget the rather “strange” encounter that I had over a period of three days right at the end of the voyage … “strange encounter?” – ed … “I told you not to mention that!”.

How I wish that I could go and do it all again but I’m struggling these days to even walk to the door of the apartment.

It was even a struggle to get out of bed this morning. I was dead to the world when the alarm went off.

That might possibly be something to do with the fact that I didn’t go straight to bed last night as I said that I would. I ended up having a nostalgic session on the guitar for quite a while – blow all the cobwebs away. So with not going to bed until late, I was not in the mood to do very much.

Nevertheless I did manage to struggle out to the shops this morning. And considering that I didn’t think that I’d need very much, I spent a small fortune.

Noz was quite expensive today, something not unconnected with the fact that they had some digestive biscuits in today. They were quite expensive, but ask me if I care.

LeClerc was expensive too but a lot of that was due to the fact that I’ve almost run out of coffee and I’ve not seen any on special offer for ages. It had to be stocked up at any price, so watch it be on sale next week.

On the way home I had to call at the pharmacy by the Agora – the only one on my route that it’s convenient to visit with a vehicle.

That’s because I had an e-mail from the nerve specialist yesterday that is a prescription. By the looks of things it’s for a blood test so I’ll have to talk to the nurse when he comes to give me my Aranesp on Monday.

There’s a whole pile of stuff that needs to be checked, including Hepatitis B and C, and also the creatinine in my urine. So I needed a sample pot and they are obtained from the chemist.

But looking at this list, it’s really quite ominous, the things that they want to check, and I’m wondering if it’s anything to do with a hospital admission. As the policeman said, when he was told about the hole that had been blown in the wall at the nudist camp, “I shall have to look into this”

After I came back home and had my coffee and cheese on toast, I went back into the bedroom – and passed out completely. All of the exercise today has totally worn me out. While I was asleep I was in Whitchurch living in a room somewhere. There was a fête on somewhere out in South Cheshire and I’d arranged to go there. It was becoming late and no-one had been to pick me up. I decided that what I’d do would be to set out and walk there. It might be 12 miles but the chances are that I’d meet the people for whom I’m looking on my way. Even if I didn’t the walk would do me good. I had to sit and think about how long it was since I’d actually been on a walk for that long. I was busy preparing myself. I had a half-eaten apple that I needed to finish. I was thinking that I’d better set off soon because otherwise if I had to walk it’ll be all over by the time I’d arrive. The thing about this dream was that it was just so real that when I awoke I actually began to think about leaving for this walk.

It’s no surprise that I didn’t feel very much like doing anything particular after that. It’s actually quite beyond a joke how tired I seem to be these days.

But having drank my very cold coffee I had a listen to the rest of the dictaphone because there was plenty on there from the night. We had a whole tribe of Zulu warriors, native African warriors of all ages in the jungle who’d gone to intercept a party of European girls. The girls had managed to put them to flight and chase them away. I’ve obviously been watching too many SAINT TRINIANS films. But each one of these Zulus was created as I’d create a figure in 3D as if it was some unseen hand guiding everything around, although of course the hand wouldn’t have been unseen because I could see it manipulating these 3D figures.

It actually reminds me of the old, hoary joke
“I was playing cards with some Africans last night”
“Zulus?”
“No. I won a fiver.”

I was on holiday with a young girl and we were sharing a room. Something had happened and she was absolutely outraged. I don’t think she was all that happy. Then we had to go to the bathroom to get ready for bed. First she went and then I went. I then went back in the bedroom getting ready to go to bed. There was a little kitten sitting there, obviously waiting for the two of us to go to bed because it would join us. It looked ever so cute. The girl seemed to be pleased to see it. We got into bed and the kitten joined us. Next morning we were in like a restaurant looking out of the window. We weren’t sure which town we could see. Someone asked me if it was Kherson. I said that Kherson was somewhere “over there. It might be Almaty or something”. While we were talking away 3 people took our seats. We said “hey we were sitting there”. The woman there said “you were talking Welsh. I didn’t realise what language you were talking”. In the end because the place was so full we all squidged up and sat around this table, all of us. One of their children came to join us too so we were all really crammed into this little café restaurant type of place like sardines.

Finally it was the birthday of a couple of kids. They were 11. They’d had a bike each for their birthday. Their father was really angry and annoyed because he said that the bikes were wrong. Someone tried to explain everything to him but he wouldn’t listen so they wandered away. he turned round to me to say this is what they said etc, laughing. I replied “you’ll probably find it even more funny when you find out later that they are totally correct” at which point he went berserk. In the end we bought two new bikes and measured them. There was absolutely no doubt about the measurements. We began to assemble them right in front of him. They went together completely naturally just as they ought to do with no adjustment or manoeuvre. It was quite obvious that the measurements for the 2 bikes that he’d been given had been perfectly correct.

That’s not all that happened last night but you really don’t want to know the rest, especially if you are eating your evening meal or something.

Later on I was invited out to visit some neighbours. There was a nice couple who were living here when I first moved in but my reputation had clearly preceded me because they left a short while after I arrived. But they were visiting so we were all invited for a chat.

Usually I’m not a very sociable person, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but I forced myself and stayed for a couple of hours and that surprised even me.

Consequently my evening meal was late. Chips and salad and one of these soya burgers in breadcrumbs. That’s the last of that batch and I’ll have to start now on the ones that I bought a few weeks ago

So later than usual, I’m off to bed. It’s Sunday so I can have a lie-in and won’t that be nice? I must say that I can do with one, especially if I can go on some exciting voyages.

It’s quite a shame really that all of the excitement that ever happens to me these days takes place when I’m asleep. At least they haven’t descended into the chaos felt by the poet Charles Sorley at the Battle of Loos
“When You See Millions Of The Mouthless Dead
Across Your Dreams In Pale Battalions Go …”

Saturday 17th June 2023 – I’M REALLY GLAD …

… that I decided in the end to go to Noz while I was out at the shops because I had a lovely tea tonight, and I’ll be having more of the same over the next few days.

Last night though I wasn’t all that sure and I was still undecided when I went to bed. And although it took me just as long as usual to go off to sleep I had a better night’s sleep for once, such as it was.

When the alarm went off this morning I was dead to the world and it was quite a battle to haul myself out of bed before the second alarm went off.

After the medication I caught up with a few bits and pieces and then set off for the shops.

What made me decide to go to Noz was that there was a parking space free right outside the front door so I didn’t have to go far.

And I did well in there today with quite a lot of stuff. Some of those frozen Chinese things that I had a while back, some Kale and Quinoa burgers, a new light fitting for the toilet, and a small pyrex bowl (I’ve been after one of these for a while) smaller than the standard size to fit in the air fryer with room to spare, and some other stuff too.

But pide of place was some more stuff from that German vegan company, such as a bake-it-yourself vegan apple and cinnamon roll and some vegan chocolate ice-cream. So my pudding tonight was marvellous. I’ve given up having dessert but as long as there’s this cinnamon roll and ice-cream I’ll carry on and make an exception.

And there are dramatic new developments at LeClerc. They are now selling vegan cheese of course and have been for a while, and they had some more in the short-date clearance bins too (“had” being the operative word here ‘cos it’s not there now, the ground’s all flat).

But now, even more progress is being made because they are now stocking vegan sausages. Wonders will never cease. We’re definitely being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st Century here.

Although I have a few packs of vegan sausages in the freezer I bought another one today. Not because I needed it but as a sign of solidarity. It’ll encourage them to keep on stocking them.

But two weeks on the run they’ve had no cheap frozen peas in. Just expensive ones. I think that someone has really been taking the peas over this.

Back here I made my cheese on toast and some nice strong coffee but regrettably crashed out. And crashed out good and proper too. Not once but twice and that’s depressing.

When I’ve not been asleep (which wasn’t often) I’ve been working on my Canada notes, hunting around the cemetery in Cartwright for the grave of Garnett Lethbridge.

The story told around Cartwright is that Lethbridge befriended a young fox-fur farmer called Clarence Birdseye whose farm at Muddy Bay was failing, and taught him a little technique that he’d learnt for freezing his catch of fish when he was out on the ice.

Birdseye took copious notes and when his fox farm failed in 1917 he went back to the USA to develop the technique that Lethbridge had taught him.

Birdseye went on to make millions while Lethbridge caught the flu in 1918 and died in poverty, being buried in a pauper’s grave.

Well, he would have been, except that the pauper objected so he had to have one of his own.

As an aside, in the Census of 1911 there were 49 inhabitants of Cartwright. And 17 people were buried in the cemetery who had died of flu in November 1918.

As another aside, in the period 1911-1921 the population of the island of Newfoundland rose by 8.5%. In the same period in Labrador the population fell from 3949 to 3774 despite a net migration gain of 106 people.

But returning to Lethbridge, his grandfather was an interesting character. He came from Devon and was one of the first settlers on the coast. A tinsmith by trade, he came to Labrador with Hunt and Henley when their salmon-canning factory opened .

When the Hudson’s Bay Company bought out Hunt and Henley’s business they closed down the plant. Lethbridge senior was so incensed that he refused to have any dealings with them and on his deathbed ordered that all of his possessions, including his boat, should be burnt so as not to fall into the hands of the company.

There were exciting times on the Labrador coast all those years ago. I would have been quite at home there.

Especially when you have a close look at the Censuses for that period, and two columns that caught my eye. The enumerators had to record the number of people who were “crazy or lunatic” or “idiotic or silly”. And I’m sure that you think that I’m making this up.

There was also time to go through the dictaphone and see what happened during the night. There was something going on in Guildford to do with some wrestler’s wife who was going to take on some kind of role in running the town and maybe going to be given the keys to the treasury. That led to some kind of scandal. Members of the council ended up being impeached. As a result of a huge press campaign coverage it never happened but there was a little more contentious issues of a similar nature somewhere else in the vicinity too that attracted a lot of attention

Later on a group of us had been out somewhere in Germany on a tram. We’d been out and had to catch this tram. The tran station was absolutely heaving. When the tram pulled in we had to fight to board. Everyone was on one side of the track but we noticed that it was a single track and there was a platform on the other side. When the tram pulled in we swung round the other side where there were fewer people and swarmed aboard. We managed to grab a seat. It was an extremely uncomfortable seat but we managed it all the same. At some point we alighted. There had been some issues about the railway line. We’d been cutting up these railway lines. We suddenly realised that we’d cut the railway line for the tram. We were sitting here with this big square-profile length of wood like a chevron or a demi-chevron or something. We suddenly realised that this was our tram. A couple that had gone past weren’t actually ours. They were much smaller anyway. We eventually ended up back at home, or at least I did. Something had happened and the washing machine hadn’t been put back in the right place. There was some coffee in the pot so I poured it. It was cold. I went to put it in the microwave. I thought that I would have to move the washing machine before I go. I wondered how I was actually going to do it. I suddenly had this eerie feeling that here I am in the house, the doors are open and there’s coffee around but there isn’t anyone. There should be people so why aren’t there any people? It was really weird, all this, about what was actually happening in this house.

Tea was a salad and chips and something that I found in the freezer that had been in there since the Dawn of Time. “Surely not very old” I hear you say. “Well, geologically speaking, I suppose not” I reply. And followed my a bit of the cinnamon roll and ice cream.

Tomorrow is Sunday so I’m having a lie-in. And I have to make some pizza dough too because I’ve run out. The big question is whether there’s enough room in the freezer to store the excess, but I’ll worry about that at the appropriate moment.

Right now I have other fish to fry, like a nice warm bed.

Saturday 3rd June 2023 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… really bad fall today.

And this one is the worst that I’ve had. Even worse than the one on the boat coming back from Jersey last summer.

And not only that, it’s much more worrying too. usually what happens is that all of a sudden there’s no sensation at all in my right leg and when I put my foot down I simply fall over gently as if there’s no leg there.

However today, it was the left leg, my good (or maybe I should say less bad) leg, there was a stabbing pain all the way up my left leg and I had a really heavy fall.

It happened on the car park at Noz and I wasn’t able to stand up afterwards. I had to crawl on my hands and knees to Caliburn and lean on him to help me up.

Right now, I can’t move without being on crutches and each time I try to stand up or put my leg in an unusual position the pain comes back.

It’s not a “broken leg” type of pain but definitely a muscle or nerve issue. I’ll have to wait until the physio next comes to see me and have a chat with him. In the meantime I’ll be taking it easy

Not that I took it easy during the night. I stayed up until I finished the notes for the day in Canada 2017 on which I’d been working so that I could go to bed with a clean slate.

But once more, we seem to be back in the “tossing and turning during the night” stages. I thought that we’d got over all of that, but apparently not.

When the alarm went off this morning I was fast asleep again and it was a struggle to beat the second alarm.

There were a few things that I needed to do before setting out and then Caliburn and I went out to the shops.

And today I didn’t buy a thing at Noz. It really was a waste of time going and had I known how it would turn out I wouldn’t have gone at all.

At LeClerc I bought everything that I needed (although I bet that I’ve forgotten something) and then went to the appliances department in a separate building to buy a gas cylinder for my sodastream

Back here I had a fight with the freezer to fit in the beans that I’d bought and then settled down with my coffee and cheese on toast.

Regrettably, I crashed out for a while too. That’s becoming a habit, it seems, whenever I go out and about.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone from the night. I was a passenger on a coach trip with a young girl, someone like my youngest sister. We were in like a ballroom place sitting down talking. There were all kinds of things happening. We’d left the room for some reason but when we returned the band was just striking up a waltz. I grabbed hold of whoever I was with and we waltzed into the room. We were the only couple on the dance floor. my friend from Germany was there so she took her husband and they began to dance. We began to have a ballroom dance-type of thing. My partner wasn’t particularly good but I was able to guide her around somewhat. It began to be a nice pleasant evening.

Later on there was a family, something like the Lyons (as in “Life of Lyons”) family who lived at 222 some street or other. One of their children had to go to the radio centre to introduce a radio show. I went to pick him up. First of all I was surprised. I was expecting mansions, all this kind of thing but they were just modern terraced houses in a big square. I drove around and found the house. What was interesting here was that there was no front door. The living room overflowed into a common area. The doors behind went into the kitchens and bedrooms. I could hear the children talking in there. I recognised the voices so I went and knocked on the door leading to the back and they began to come out.

At that moment though I had a horrible attack of cramp in my left calf and that awoke me so I’ll never know how that would have ended..

Finally I had to go to a Tax Office last night to take all my papers. The first thing that I had to do was to take a plastic bag in which to put everything. There was a big pile of them. I took one that implied that I was Moroccan. I don’t know why I did that. I put all my papers in and had to join this queue. There were probably 20 clerks sitting at a long desk. You just went to stand at the desk and one of them would talk to you. I handed all the papers of my employment to her. I was marked down as “leaving definitively”. I had to hand in another certificate to the guy sitting next to this girl. He looked at it and said “we already have these. You didn’t need to bring this”. I replied “I bring everything anyway”. he began to go through all my paperwork with the girl. he asked me “do you have any more income with the Commonwealth?”. I replied “no”.

The rest of the day has been spent feeling sorry for myself and writing up the notes for the next day’s walk (in the days when I could walk) around Québec.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that years ago I wrote something about THE CHEMIN DU ROY from Montreal to Québec. I started from Repentigny because I wasn’t sure of the route out of Montreal but over time I traced the route and so I was on foot from the centre of the town out as far as the Jacques Cartier Bridge and a little bit futher east.

And one thing that I’ve often wondered. In North America most of the landmarks are named for the first European who actually saw them. I always wondered what Jacques Cartier must have said when he sailed up the St Lawrence to what in those days was the Iroquois settlement of Hochelaga in 1535 and saw that massive bridge.

There was a burger that had been in the fridge for a while and when I inspected it this evening I decided that the best thing to do with it would be to file it under CS. Consequently I had a further fight with the freezer and put one of the two remaining lasagne slices in there to keep

The other one, I ate tonight with a vegan salad and it was all extremely delicious. I’m really impressed with that lasagne, that’s for sure.

Not so impressed with my health though. It seems that I only have to think about going back to the Land of my Great Grandfather and I have a bad fall, just like last year.

However that time, I ignored it and went all the same, and look how that turned out. I think that my body is trying to tell me something.

What I’ll do for now is to carry on around the Port of Montreal ship-spotting and when things quieten down, dictate some radio notes that I’ve prepared.

No alarm tomorrow. I’ll have a good lie-in. But I have to be a-baking though. I’ve run out of fruit buns. No idea where I’m going to put the ones that need to be stored though. We’re back to where we were ages ago with not even the hint of a place to put stuff

Well, it’ll all work out somehow. It usually does. I just wish that I would.

Saturday 27th May 2023 – WE ARE NOW BACK …

… in the position where we were a few months ago. The freezer is now full to bursting once more.

It was a good day round at the shops to-day and once again, Noz came up trumps as it does every so often.

But anyway, I didn’t beat the alarm this morning. I was somewhere down in Newcastle under Lyme at the PMT bus garage where I was to pick up a bus to work a local service around Newcastle. They’d given me the information and then given me a route map but the map was a kind-of abstract map. I couldn’t identify anything on this map compared to how it is in real life so I had to find someone to explain the route to me. I was wandering around this depot trying to find someone. I found one or two people but they were of no help whatsoever. I really needed an inspector or something but I just couldn’t find anyone at all. There were all these buses parked up. No-one had actually told me which one was mine. I thought to myself “I can see this being a disaster too if I don’t organise things quite quickly” and that’s something that is a recurring theme too.

It didn’t take too long to organise myself this morning, which is a surprise. and it’s just as well because Alison phoned. She needed to talk about things like kitchens and showers so we were there on the ‘phone for about an hour discussing various things.

As a result I was rather later than usual going out to the shops but who cares? I’d much rather talk to my friends than almost anything. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I don’t have many friends but those whom I have are the best in the World.

So at Noz, the first thing that I discovered was a pile of McVitie’s ginger biscuits, and the vegan version too. I know that I like to bake my own biscuits these days but I’m not going to miss out on several rolls of these.

And in the deep freezer they had carrot burgers from some Italian company and a pile of those breaded quorn fillets that I like, only a Findus variety with the labelling in Danish and Swedish.

My diet can be somewhat monotonous if I’m not feeling adventurous so I’m not going to miss out on the chance to add some extra stuff into it so I grabbed several boxes of each of those to shake things up a little.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, Noz is a chain of shops that buys bankrupt stock, surpluses, short lifespan products and the like and sells them off quite cheaply. I’ve had piles of stuff from there over the past 10 or 12 years since I first encountered one and there’s usually always something in there to add some excitement to my diet.

LeClerc came up with the goods too. Some of that sliced fondue vegan cheese in the clearance range so I liberated a pile of that too. I also bought some lasagne. It’s years since I made myself a lasagne and I had a sudden craving for one. I might have a go at that next week.

But there was something rather surprising in LeClerc today. They have a few assistants who roam around the store to help the elderly and infirm with their shopping, and one of them came over to me to ask if I needed help.

In the past I’ve been told, and on one or two occasions quite bluntly too, that I didn’t look as if I’m dying. But after my adventures last autumn everyone who saw me on my return told me how ill I was looking and how they were worried that I might not pull through – even my doctor. But I reckon that it’s becoming clearer by the minute now and if Regina is reading this, then “I told you so”.

It’s all very reminiscent of when I used to live in Brussels and one of my friends happened to see me
“Eric!” he exclaimed. “We thought that you were dead”
“Not at all. It just smells like it.”

Back here the first thing that I did was to clean and dice the 2kg of carrots that I’d bought and set them off a–blanching. I’m running low on carrots in the freezer so I need to stock up. And then I had breakfast – cheese on toast and some nice, strong coffee.

There was time to transcribe the rest of the dictaphone notes, because I’d been on my travels quite a lot during the night. I was in a group last night with a few other people. There was a keyboard player and a guitarist whom I remember. The guitarist was quite young. We took the stage and began to play. A girl came up and went over to the guy playing the guitar and singing and began to gyrate around him. It was clear that she was putting him completely off his stroke. When it came to the part where he was supposed to sing he turned to the keyboard player and said “you’ll have to sing this”. This led to an argument between the two of them. As soon as the concert finished and it was already undignified with a few spectators and someone was getting an awful amount of mileage out of this, teasing them both about their group, how disorganised and how bad it was.

And isn’t that a shame? I seem to have gone beyond the days when girls would come along and gyrate all around me – even when I’m off on another plane of existence. I’m losing count of the number of times that I’ve snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in this respect during the night, without counting the number of times members of my family have come along to queer my pitch in the middle of something exciting.

Later on I’d been staying in a cabin with a couple of old guys, the type of thing that you’d find on the frontier 150 years ago. Cabin fever was definitely striking and we were arguing about just about anything. One of the guys decided that he would let rip with a full-blown argument point out to me all my faults and defects. I had an answer for everything that he said but it was just one of those things that if you became involved in this argument you’d be there for ever and nothing would ever be resolved.

And that’s something else, isn’t it? Cabin fever is quite a well-known phenomenon in the High Arctic and there were several cases amongst some of us after several months on THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR. My suggestion that we round up the more cantankerous members of our party and send them ashore on the first zodiac to see whether there were any polar bears about did not however meet with universal approval, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

Immediately after that little episode I awoke with a terrible pain in my right knee as if I’d over-exerted it yesterday. However it eased off after a while and I went back to sleep.

Once the carrots were draining and drying off I headed into town in the beautiful sunshine. And do you know – it’s taken me about 6 months to realise that if there is a set of steps with the handrail on the right, I can go down much quicker and easier if I go down backwards?

The Aranesp was waiting for me so I picked it up and headed home. Having struggled with my shoulder bag falling off my shoulder and knocking me and my crutches out of balance, I’d found a backpack that I’d bought ages ago to use as a day pack when I go out walkies (not that I’ll be doing much of that these days) and that was much better.

On the way back I fell in with one of my neighbours, Pierre, the one who owned the Spirit of Conrad on which we sailed down the Brittany coast FOR A WEEK a few years ago. We had a good chat about this and that. As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I seem to be the flavour of the Month since I now own a share of this building.

From there I came back in a regrettably, at that point I … errr … had a little relax, just as I thought that I might. It’s all becoming rather monotonous, but there’s nothing that I can buy in Noz to alleviate that.

While Alison and I had been chatting earlier I’d told her that I’d sort out a few photos of the kitchen that I’d had installed in Expo so I had a rummage around in various old directories (yes, they are still “directories” – I haven’t recovered after learning DOS 5.0) and sorted out a few to send to her.

The rest of the day has been spent resurrecting an old project. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when they opened the road over Eagle Plateau in 2010 so that you could drive all the way across from northern Québec to the Labrador coast, I was one of the first TO ATTEMPT IT

At that time I went as a tourist and I had no idea what to expect so after I returned I did a pile of research and went again in 2014 and then in 2015 by which time I’d bought Strider who was a much-more suitable vehicle for going off-roading. The aim on those occasions was write a sequel but from a historical and social point of view.

Unfortunately that project ground to a halt because a few months after returning in 2015 I was swept up in all of this.

And as well as that, I went again in 2017 when I went out in a couple of small boats to visit some of the abandoned settlements that were cleared out under Joey Smallwood’s “bigger is better” policy of the 1950s and for which even 70 years later the people of the Labrador coast are still paying the price.

However, I digress … “yet again” – ed.

The task therefore, if I choose to accept it, is to resurrect what I was doing in 2015 and to add in the stuff from 2017 and start again. So this afternoon I’ve been trying to find all the notes that I made back in those days.

Tea tonight was a couple of small breaded quorn fillets that I’d bought ages ago and were festering in the freezer. Wo while I pulled them out, I stuck the carrots in. I had the fillets along with a salad and some fried potato cubes done in the air fryer. That was really nice.

Tomorrow is a Sunday of course so I’ll be having a lie-in. But I have some radio notes that I’ve written and I’ll dictate them tonight once the street outside is quiet. That’ll give me something to do tomorrow and on Monday, and then I can crack on with this and that.

But before I go, yesterday I was talking about South Pass. There’s one song that I always associate with South Pass and THAT CAME ROUND on the playlist.
“We rolled across the high plains
Deep into the mountains
Felt so good to me
Finally, feelin’ free
Somewhere along a high road
The air began to turn cold
She said she missed her home
I headed on alone, oh, oh”

(and who do those last two lines bring to mind?)

The song is all about “The High Plains” of Wyoming, which WE VISITED IN 2002 when I was on my course at the Solar Energy Institute but the photo in the posted extract is a long, long way from the High Plains of Wyoming. Regular readers of this rubbish in one of its earlier guises will recall having seen that image BEFORE.

“Next time
We’ll get it right”

Saturday 20th May 2023 – YOU CAN TELL …

… that it’s THAT time of the year again.

All the way back from the shops this morning, stuck behind two perishing motorhomes crawling along at 10 miles per hour admiring the scenery and occasionally coming to a dead stop. “Ohh look Petunia! A seagull!” all the way to the motor home camp site which, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, is just 200 yards down the road from here on the way to the lighthouse.

So it won’t be long before Caliburn and I will be playing skittles with the hordes of tourists swarming across the road without even looking before they step off the edge of the pavement.

Anyway, that’s for later on in the season.

Right now I’m more interested in what happened today, and especially this morning when just as I was on the point of throwing the bedclothes off and raising myself from the dead, the alarm went off. So we’ll call than a honourable draw this morning.

There was some paperwork that needed doing first thing after my medication so I did that and then it was time for me to nip out to the shops. And I noticed the tenant in my new apartment cleaning the windows. Word has spread around quite quickly.

Noz came up with a few things, including a new non-stick pie tin to replace the old cheap metal ones that I had. It’s the same pattern design as the frying pan I bought the other week.

Matching frying pan and pie tin? Whatever next? I’ll be going for colour-co-ordinated curtains at this rate. They were having a “cat accessory” sale as well. After what I’ve been dreaming just recently, do you think that someone is trying to tell me something?

At Leclerc I hardly spend anything. There wasn’t much that I needed apart from the fruit and some soya desserts that were in the clearance bin. And then I had to go across the road to post a letter to the property management company of this building.

Back here I had coffee and breakfast – more cheese on toast (it’s lovely being able to buy vegan cheese) – and then checked the dictaphone. I was in Caliburn at one point. We were driving somewhere through the countryside and came to what looked like a steep hill. I got out to push Caliburn up the hill but it wasn’t actually an uphill but a downhill. Caliburn roared away all on his own and I had to run after him. I ran for a couple of miles and came eventually to a bad bend. There was a Bova-bodied coach that Caliburn had hit. Several people in it were badly injured. There was shattered wood and a couple of other cars badly damaged all around there. My first thought was that I was really really sorry about all of this. I said it about 3 or 4 times. One guy on the coach who seemed to be uninjured said “I’ve bandaged some of the people over here as best as I can but there’s all that side down there. I felt really dreadful

And then I was with, of all people, that strange Burmese girl whom I met in Brussels. We were in Egypt and I had to go to Cairo to pick up a hire car but I was the wrong side of the Nile. I met some friends of mine – it might have been my friends from the Wirral in fact – and we were chatting. Then I thought “God! I’m going to have to go”. I had a choice between saying goodbye to the Burmese girl or to a cat and strangely I chose the cat. I picked up the cat and stroked it. everyone else in the area came round and started to stroke it. In the meantime the Burmese girl was hiding in a little recess somewhere. She wouldn’t come out and her mother was scolding her for this and that. In the end she asked me when I was coming back. I said a date and she said “I’ll make sure that she’s here to see you”. I thought that that was strange but anyway that was what we arranged. I had to set off to walk to Cairo. They rang me up from the hire company and said that they’d dropped off the car somewhere. I thought “I now have to go to walk and pick up this car and come all the way back and load it. Why couldn’t they have dropped it off at the hotel where I could simply have loaded the car and gone?”. I set off and met the husband from the Wirral. The vehicle that they had for me was one of these big American semi-trailer rigs, just the cab unit. I thought “this is enormous”. Alvin got out and said that it’s a 5-speed and started to give me a whole run-down but I couldn’t hear a word that he said. He wandered off and the Burmese girl and I climbed in – what she was doing there with me – she said something like “wouldn’t it have been a better idea to have arranged this vehicle differently?”. I was beginning to think that driving something big like this through the streets of Cairo she was probably right. I wish that I’d done it differently now but it’s too late. She was nervous and asked “shouldn’t we have this vehicle towed?”. I said that if anyone is going to do any towing it’s going to be this. This is the correct vehicle to do that. We set off anyway and I suddenly realised that I didn’t know whether this was a petrol or diesel engine. What’s going to happen now when I come to fuel up?

I stepped back into this dream later on and she was wandering around a supermarket looking for some hamburger buns so she could make hamburgers for tea.

And then she was there again a third time. The two of us were actually at a rifle range at a fairground, in a booth, a sort-of shooting gallery. The guy in control of the place was behaving rather strangely so we were keeping some kind of eye on him at the same time that we were shooting to find out what was going on.

Finally, we were talking about history later and Pliny the Younger whose eye-witness accounts of things like the eruption at Pompeii in which his father was killed was the basis of a lot of modern history.

It’s strange though, thinking about that Burmese girl turning up in the middle of the night. What brought her into the proceedings?

In fact, it was pretty strange all round. About 20 or so years ago (I was still working and had the armoured Opel Omega) she sent me an e-mail. “I’m a Burmese illegal and I need help. I think you can help me”.

What help I would be to a young desperate girl is anyone’s guess, and how did she find my e-mail address?.

That’s the kind of thing that piques my interest and has brought me more than my fair share of trouble in the past, as events in the High Arctic will demonstrate, but anyway, I must know more about this.

We met and I took her for a drive and then a walk, taking all of the usual precautions. She regaled me about how she’d fled Myanmar through the jungle swamps and into Thailand and stowed away on an aeroplane – you know, the usual story.

But while she was telling me this I was looking her over. Perfectly manicured hands and skin, designer denim jacket and jeans – someone who’s fled through the jungle and stowed away on an aeroplane? If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck and that’s all there is to it.

So I was wondering where all of this was going to go, so seeing as we were close to Valentine’s Day I sent her a bunch or red roses a couple of days later to try to draw her out but I don’t think that she was born yesterday because she cottoned on to my game, I reckon. After she’d tried to up the ante with a story about how she “really did have a passport” and I still didn’t take the bait, it petered out.

There have been a few bizarre encounters in my life, and that was certainly one of them. And I wasn’t on a ship remixing a Colosseum live concert either. I must have been losing my touch.

For the rest of the day I haven’t done very much. Just a leisurely ramble around here and there, and I had the guitars out for a while a well.

For tea there were no chips because the potatoes aren’t big enough. So I cubed them and fried them and they were just as good with a salad and some of those small breaded quornburgers. There’s still a few left before I start on the big ones, but the freezer is now emptying quite quickly and I’ll have to start another marathon baking session soon.

Hence the new pie dish.

So before I go to bed I’ll dictate some radio notes. That will give me something to do tomorrow and at least make sure that i’ve actually achieved something this weekend. High time I did some work.

Saturday 6th May 2023 – I REALLY DON’T KNOW …

… why I went to the shops this morning in the rain. It wasn’t as if I needed very much at all and it ended up being one of the cheapest shopping days that I’ve had for quite some considerable time.

For all the good I did, I may as well have stayed in bed, but that wasn’t anything that was going to work because despite not going to bed until midnight last night, I was up and about yet again before the alarm went off after another night spent with a great deal of tossing and turning.

Anyway, after the medication and checking my mails and messages I had a shower and then set the washing machine off with a load of dirty clothes while I went to the shops.

Noz came up with some vegan chocolate and some almond milk, and LeClerc had nothing whatever of any interest. In theory I could have done without anything that I bought today.

Back here I had a coffee and some cheese on toast, and then came in here to vegetate seeing as I’ve already done my weekend’s work.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too, slightly more coherent than the previous day’s rubbish. I was writing a report on a Welsh football match that I’d seen. One of the teams that was playing was Barry Town. I remember dictating that there was no need for the opposition striker to head the ball exactly where he did, straight into the hands of the Barry keeper. he had the whole of the goal at which to aim. That’s all that I remember of this particular dream.

And then later on I’d gone to the bank last night to organise things about my new property. I had a pile of paperwork with me. I was standing in the queue waiting to be served but people who worked there were just coming along picking people out of the queue with whom to deal regardless of any order. I was left standing there while everyone else was served. I grabbed hold of one of these people and asked “how come he’s being served before me?”. She just looked at me and said “I don’t know” and carried on taking this other guy off somewhere to sit. I was standing there totally amazed at this, and it all seemed so real as well.

This afternoon I’ve been planning. If things really are going to take longer than I hope about moving house, I need to set a few things in motion. My microwave oven is way beyond its last legs and needs replacing as a matter of urgency. And then it might be an idea to assemble my kitchen cabinets anyway. We shall have to see about that.

There was football on the internet later. The second of the playoff semi-finals between Cardiff Metropolitan and Haverfordwest. And surprisingly, it was Haverfordwest who won the match despite finishing 3 places lower than the Met and playing on their ground.

They had New Zealand international goalkeeper Zak Turner to thank for their win. He impressed me the last time that I saw him, and today he saved a penalty and then made a brilliant stop in a one-on-one with Stuart Jones in the final minutes of the game.

In the penalty shootout he saved a couple of penalties too and when much-travelled former Swindon Town striker Elliott Dugan scored the winner the large away contingent erupted.

But seriously, it was a disappointing match as both teams were afraid to commit themselves, and Haverfordwest will have to play much better than this against Newtown if they want to get back into Europe for the first time since their UEFA cup adventure in 2004.

Tea tonight was the last of those little quinoa burgers with some chips and salad. A nice salad too and I’m getting so much better at this.

So now I’m going to dictate the radio notes that I wrote the other day and then I’m off to bed. I’m hoping for a nice lie-in tomorrow but it’s unlikely that I’ll have one, if the last few days have been anything to go by.

Saturday 29th April 2023 – THAT WAS EMBARRASSING

It’s cup final weekend in Wales at the moment. The Welsh Cup is being played tomorrow between TNS and Y Bala, but today at lunchtime we had the final of the Welsh Amateur Cup between Trethomas Bluebirds and Denbigh Town and this evening, the 2nd Division Cup between Barry Town and Colwyn Bay.

It was the latter game to which I’m referring right now. Barry had won the southern division and Colwyn Bay the northern, having had some really impressive runs all the way to the league titles. Colwyn Bay for example had only lost once this season and Barry twice, and they have both been promoted to the Welsh Premier League next season.

They both had reached the final of the cup competition at something of a canter and so we were all expecting a real humdinger of a match this evening.

However, for reasons that have no place being discussed here, Colwyn Bay sent out their youth team to face a Barry Town team in full cry. And the result was rather predictable. Even strolling around at a leisurely pace with no sense of urgency at all, they still had far, far too much in the tank for Colwyn Bay.

The other match finished 2-1 for Trethomas and the scoreline was an understatement because in all honesty Trethomas should have been down the road and out of sight a long time before the final whistle. But at least it was entertainment and not punishment.

While we’re on the subject of punishment … “” – ed … I actually had a better night last night for a while. I was fast asleep quite quickly, and doesn’t that make a change? However, I was back wide awake again at 04:20 and I spent the next couple of hours tossing and turning about.

Mind you, I didn’t beat the alarm this morning. At some point after 06:30 I must have dropped off to sleep because I was flat out asleep when the alarm went off at 07:00 and I had a struggle to beat the second alarm.

Anyway, once I organised myself Caliburn and I set sail for the shops.

First port of call was at Noz where I didn’t buy anything special. I did however buy a new pizza tray. I had to butcher my old one to make it fit into this little oven and I’ll need a proper one for the new oven, whenever I might actually install it. So seeing as they had a stock at a silly price I bought one.

That’s the thing with a shop like Noz. It sells all kinds of end-of-ranges, bankrupt stock, that kind of thing, so if you see something you buy it, even if you don’t need it yet because when you do need it, they won’t have it.

Leclerc came up with nothing at all of any interest so I headed for home, where I had a chat with a neighbour on the doorstep. I seem to be flavour of the month right now.

After a coffee and a cheese on toast there was time to transcribe the dictaphone notes. This is only part of a dream last night . I had to do something about my family and this involved involving my brother. I had to go to find him. I knew where he was, in his dormitory, so I crossed over the road and stood at the bottom of the stairs. I looked up to the dormitory and shouted. There were a few people walking around there but he didn’t come. I shouted again but he still didn’t come. In the end I gave up and decided to do something different on my own and walked away. As I walked down the stairs to go out of the building I bumped into him. he asked about something or other. I replied that I’d shouted twice and he hadn’t come so I was just going to leave it. The dream carried on from there but I can’t remember any more now

There was something else about me having a couple of cats as well. I’d built some play activities for them, one of which was something extremely tall. Someone made a pun about it saying “that’s a bit over the top isn’t it, that one?”.

And finally there was a cricket or football match taking place somewhere outside town one afternoon. I set out to walk there to see what was happening. As I drew closer I could see a group of people there wearing crash helmets. I thought “this is strange”. I suddenly realised that I didn’t have my camera with me. I thought “that’s disappointing but I don’t have time to go home to pick it up and come back again”. When I arrived at this field, a while before this match was due to start, there were these kids playing a kind of ice hockey. There was someone there who bore a strong resemblance to Nigel Garbage throwing a puck up in the air. These kids were practising hitting it. One kid hit the puck and it flew past me. I put out my hand instinctively and almost caught it. I thought “I wonder if they are looking for a goalkeeper … “net minder” – ed. We made ourselves ready for what was going to happen. One thing was quite strange – all through this dream I had a feeling that Zero was there. I couldn’t see her and had no evidence to suppose that she was. There was just this really uncomfortable feeling that she was there in this dream somewhere and I think it was that that awoke me

Earlier on I mentioned the Welsh Amateur Cup. This is for clubs who don’t qualify for the professional cup. There were 250 clubs who participated and in the end it came down to two clubs from the 3rd tier – Denbigh from the 3rd tier north-west and Trethomas from – I think – the 3rd tier south-west.

Both clubs are third in their respective leagues so we were expecting a tough match. However it was nothing like it. As I side, the score might have been close but the play wasn’t and Trethomas made really heavy weather of what should have been a simple task.

As for the second match, well, I’m not going to say anything because I imagine that there will be quite enough said about that elsewhere.

The rest of the day has been spent, would you believe, working on the photos from 2019. It’s been ages since I’ve edited those so I carried on with a few more today. We’re still in Peel Sound right now somewhere in between Somerset Island and Prince of Wales Island heading for my Appointment with Destiny on one of the days that is missing from my blog .

One day I’ll have to write up those missing days.

Tea tonight was chips – not frozen chips because they were quite expensive and they had normal potatoes at a good price. Plenty of rather elderly burgers in breadcrumbs in the freezer so two small ones bit the dust today with the chips and a delicious salad. Over the next few weeks I’ll have to dispose of a pile more, and then give serious consideration to make a start on making them.

But it’s late now – early morning in fact – and I can’t sleep. I’ll feel like death in the morning but having done my radio programme for next week I’m not bothered if I sleep all day really.

As long as I don’t miss TNS v Y Bala. I know what the score will be already but we have to go through the motions, I suppose.