Tag Archives: crash out

Tuesday 24th January 2023 – I’VE BEEN, GORN …

… and dunnet now. And there’s no backing out from this.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I’m having some severe mobility issues right now and that I can’t go on like this much longer.

Regular readers of this rubbish will also recall, going back to the days when I moved from Belgium, that I sold my old apartment and had some money left over after everything was paid off.

When I moved here in 2017 I rented this apartment with the reasoning that I could look around the area and find somewhere nice to buy, but I love this apartment, this building and this little corner perched up here on the rock in the middle of these old Army barracks on the clifftop that I didn’t want to move anywhere else.

However, back at the end of November an apartment on the ground floor went up for sale and I made an offer on it. After much horse-trading we agreed on a price and this morning I went to the solicitor’s and signed the formal binding offer, having paid the deposit at the bank on Friday.

The story hasn’t quite ended yet. Everyone knows that Byzantine nature of French Civil Service and so I’m not expecting the formal exchange of contracts to be any time soon

Secondly, there is a problem in that the property is tenanted right now. But here I have a slight advantage over any other purchaser in that I’m a tenant here too and can negotiate with my own landlord for the tenant to take over this apartment in exchange if necessary.

And so when the alarm went off at 07:00 this morning I fell out of bed fairly quickly. Having had a good shower last night (and I can climb into the bath a little easier now as well) I didn’t need to hang about very much. On the way out of the building I put the wheeled shopping trolley in the back of Caliburn and then walked over to catch the bus.

The bus dropped me off at the terminus at the other end of the line and then I had a long walk down the hill to the LeClerc Hypermarket (why they can’t run the bus to what is the obvious terminus of this line instead of a roundabout 400 metres away completely beats me).

That walk took me long enough with my crutches and I was glad to reach the car hire offices at the back of the building.

After having gone through all of the paperwork I left the Hypermarket in a little Fiat 500. After having driven Caliburn and all other kinds of big vehicles, it was like being in charge of a roller skate but what did I care? Having made brief enquiries about the cost of a taxi to where I wanted to go, hiring a tiny car was a much better option.

First stop was Noz where I had a look round and ended up with some vegan chocolate and a bag of crisps. Next stop was the Biocoop where I bought some vegan sausages. But even though they have moved into larger premises, there is still no vegan cheese.

It was time now to head out into the sticks and the small town of La Haye-Pesnel. There’s a railway line here, the railway between Granville and Rennes, but the station closed a long time ago which was a shame.

Our appointment was for 10.30 but it was more like 11.00 when we were called in. And there was so much to read (and correct because some it it was incorrect) that it was about 13:00 when we left. And now I’m legally committed to purchase the apartment downstairs. No more steps to climb and, when I’ve installed a walk-in shower, no more bath to climb into.

And a much better kitchen too, which will be even better still when I’ve finished.

On the way home I stopped off at LeClerc and went berserk, spending just about €100:00. There was that much stuff that I needed that I didn’t have in stock, as well as the fact that there was a lot of stuff on special offer. I was in there for 90 minutes and the car was overloaded when I left.

Back here I put most of the stuff in the trolley and the bags in the back of Caliburn (I didn’t have to carry them far but it was a struggle all the same) and staggered up the stairs with the frozen food to put in the freezer.

And then back downstairs into the car and back to the Hypermarket to drop it off. I had travelled 48 kilometres, put in 3 litres of fuel to fill up the car, and paid would you believe €15:00 for the car hire. So €20:00 or so for 48 kilometres and a delivery of a huge load of shopping. You wouldn’t have had that with a taxi.

Mind you, how I’m going to get all of this stuff upstairs is another question entirely.

It was another cold walk back up the hill to the bus stop and I was exhausted – going uphill on crutches is not easy, I’ll tell you that. And then the bus to bring me home was late and I only just managed to beat the physiotherapist into the apartment.

He gave my muscles some manipulation … “PERSONipulation” – ed … and after he left I came in here and promptly crashed right out. It was a struggle to haul myself out of my chair to make some food. And now that I had a pepper, I stuffed it.

Liz and Rachel were both on line later so I had a really long chat with each of them and then I can sit down and write out my notes from the day.

And my journeys from the night too. I was busy working on and freezing a pile of carrots when the phone rang. It was the people whom I was going to see this morning ringing up to cancel the meeting as they had a cold. Of course, after all the arrangements that I’d undertaken to prepare I wasn’t in the least bit happy with the idea. I insisted that the meeting go ahead. It was such a shock that it awoke me.

Later on I was standing in the dining room with half a baguette in my hand. I wanted to speak to one of the big football managers who was in there. I had to wait a few minutes. Eventually he became free. I asked him pointing to this half-baguette “do you know whose this is?”. He mentioned a name, almost as if I should know immediately who that person was but it didn’t click with me. I thought “thanks” and wandered back to my seat. He said “he’s here, you know” and brought me back, pointing to the desk where this guy was sitting. I asked “do you mind if I eat your baguette because I’ve forgotten to bring mine”. He replied “go ahead and we can revise a page of our French together because this is our last week and our last lesson is on Friday”.

Well, now it looks very much like I’m going to be a householder again and I can’t say that I’m sorry about it. Caliburn will have to keep on running a little longer because there’s now going to be an enormous hole in my finances but that can’t be helped.

However a decent kitchen, a walk-in shower and no steps to climb will change my life dramatically and is worth far more to me than any value anyone else can place on it. I just hope that I can last out until I can finally take possession of the premises.

Friday 20th January 2023 – THAT’S PUT SOMETHING …

… of a hole in my bank account this afternoon.

And that’s just the start of things too. It’ll get much worse than this over the course of the next couple of months.

But that’s for some other time. There are many more things that are much more important going on right now.

Like yet again, I had a lot of trouble struggling out of bed again. Not as late as it has been sometimes just recently, but later than I would have liked.

And I couldn’t hang around too long because I had a taxi coming for me. Thanks to the doctor who issued me with a travel voucher, I had a free taxi this morning to and from this nerve specialist person with whom I had an appointment.

He didn’t give me the electric examination that was organised – he was much more interested in testing my reflexes with some kind of vibrating tuning fork. And sure enough, while I could feel the vibrations in the left leg, I felt nothing at all in the right leg. He seems to think that a hospital intervention might be needed, and so he’s called me back next Friday evening for a full examination and he’ll write an appropriate report.

And, as you might expect, I don’t like the sound of this at all. However, if it means that I might actually be able to regain some of my mobility it might well be worth the suffering.

While I was waiting for my lift back home, one of my neighbours drove past. he stopped for a chat and later on sent me a copy of an interview that a friend of his had carried out with the late lamented David Crosby. That will come in handy for something or other.

Back here I had a nice strong coffee and then had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. As for my first little voyage, you really don’t want to know about it, especially if you are eating your tea right now.

Later on Cardiff City had been relegated to the Welsh 2nd Division. They were playing at home for the 1st match so I went along to see. They had a new entrance to their front of the ground like an archway through into a park. We walked past there and round the top at the end of these houses then back down behind the houses to the pitch. It was basically being played on a public park that was full of timber that had been felled so the game was extremely bizarre watching them playing the ball and trying not to hit these piles of timber. I ended up chatting there to a guy who was telling me about everything that was wrong with Cardiff City and why they were relegated. He could see that they were pleying quite well but lacked any kind of enthusiasm. He said that it was something that the captain needed to organise to bring some enthusiasm and energy into the team.

And then I was in Lesotho of all places with an African guy who was driving some kind of small lorry. We were driving through this mountain pass and came to a small village. There was a policeman there who stepped out in front and stopped the vehicle. It turned out that he only had a 5-figure number on his vehicle which meant that it hadn’t had an overhaul in 5 years so the policeman decided to examine it. I was intrigued by this situation never having seen this kind of thing before. I was asking the policeman all kinds of information about what he was doing and the reasons. Eventually he waved on this guy to drive and I followed on behind on foot. As we came close to a big city I lost him in the traffic. I ended up walking into the centre of town through these parks etc trying to check my internet. One thing that I wanted to do was to log in while I was here so that everyone would know where I was but for some unknown reason the logging-in system on the mobile phone wasn’t working. Apparenty I read somewhere that not every country had adopted this system, which was probably why. Lesotho was one of them. I had to just wander around to try to find a quiet place where I wouldn’t be overlooked and disturbed and have a think about how I was going to do this.

This afternoon I had to go into town. The Belgian Government pays my Belgian Old-Age pension by cheque. And although it might only be €34:00 per month, it’s still something that I can spend and one of the cheques was about to run out of time. Luckily, the bus stops right outside my door here so I don’t have to walk far at all to catch it once I can get downstairs.

The walk at the other end though is quite long and I was interested to see how I would manage on my crutches. It was slow and laborious but I made it in the end and I paid in my cheques. So spend! Spend! Spend!

On the way, I bumped into the homeless guy who wanders around the town and we had a good chat. It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen him so we had a lot of things to say to each other.

But back at the bank, I had another reason to be there. I have a project on the go at the moment as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, and this is the moment to put my hand in my pocket. And how long do you think that it takes to transfer money from my savings account to my current account and then to make a bank transfer?

Back here at home on the internet I could do it in a couple of minutes but there’s a delay of a few days if I do that. The transfer needs to be done “on the spot” and done correctly too so I wanted the bank to do it and it took over an hour. And then the bank clerk forgot to give me back my card.

Once I’d recovered my card I went to the Carrefour in the town and did a bit of shopping. Mushrooms for the pizza and the stuffing, some salad and a couple of other things. Much as I would like to buy more, I can’t actually carry it. And if I take my wheeled trolley I can’t use my crutches so I can’t walk very well.

With having been so long at the bank I had a long wait at the bus stop for the bus back home. It was crowded too but I found a seat so I had a comfortable ride.

Back here I made a hot chocolate and then regrettably I crashed out – and for quite a while too. The walk to the bank must have worn me out but at least I have one less thing to worry about.

Tea tonight was my sausage, beans and chips and it was delicious. I really do like my air fryer although I feel that I ought to be doing more with it than I actually do. I shall have to find a recipe book from somewhere to see what vegan meals I can conjure up. There has to be something going on somewhere

So tomorrow I don’t have anything organised that needs doing so I can catch up with the radio programme that I’ve been trying to do for several days. What I can do, I suppose, is to prowl around in cyberspace and see what I need to make things more comfortable for me.

But having spent more today in one swell foop than I have ever spent of my own money in one day than I have spent for some considerable time and with plenty more to go out as well, I don’t know whether I’ll be able to afford anything else.

Monday 16th January 2023 – AND IN OTHER …

… exciting news today, when the alarm went off at 06:00 this morning I was busy adding the final touches to the radio programme that I was planning to prepare today.

Despite having gone to bed at the early time of 22:00 last night, at 02:28 I was still wide-awake and unable to go to sleep.

A short while later, still wide awake, I arose from the dead, made myself a coffee and by 03:00 I was sitting at the computer working on the radio programme. There’s no point pretending that I’m trying to sleep.

So by the time the alarms went off I was up and running and raring to go, so the first place I went to was the bathroom where I had a shower. I was hoping that maybe the nurse would come round and inject me and I need to be something like clean.

With no sign of the nurse though, by about 10:30 I was pretty well gone with the wind and I went to bed, where I slept for a couple of hours. I went off ona little wander here and there while I was asleep. I was somewhere in the country. There was a neighbour who was bad-tempered like the one who lives in Virlet. I was wandering around outside and saw that he had a lot of animals there. I walked that way to see what they were. He had a really vicious sheepdog thing that snarled and growled at me, pulled on his lead so I turned round and walked away from there

Rosemary had sent me a message while I was asleep so we had a good chat for a while once I awoke, and then I went for some more coffee and some food. It’s been a long day already.

During the afternoon I was extremely busy. There were some issues with my property in Canada that needed attention so I had an exchange of e-mails with the Provincial Government in New Brunswick. It’s nice to see someone who is quick and efficient.

Another thing that I’ve been doing is to shuffle some money around from one place to another. I have a feeling that I’m going to need to lay my hands on some money at some point in the future and as I’ve not touched my holiday fund since I went to the High Arctic in 2019 I need to bring it closer to home.

That’s not as easy as it might sound either and I had to rely on Rosemary to give me a little hand with one or two things. I’ve also had to send out a pile of e-mails to shake some people up and tell them to extricate their digits too.

One of my plans was to go outside to see how Caliburn is doing. But we’re in the middle of a hurricane right now. Just after 06:00 this morning a gust of wind of 162 kph was recorded. I made it outside with some rubbish to put into the bin but that was all that I was going to do because the wind was still roaring and quite literally it was blowing me over. I’m not as strong on my feet as I might be and I was nearly bowled over a couple of times so I came back in. I’ll have to have another go at some other time.

Tea tonight was a delicious stuffed pepper, with plenty of stuffing left over for my taco roll tomorrow. But with a Welsh lesson, the Social Services coming round to see me and then the physiotherapist, will I actually have time to eat it?

Sunday 15th January 2023 – WITH IT BEING …

… Sunday today, I’ve had one of my usual Sunday days where I’ve had a good lie-in and done next to nothing all day.

What else I’ve done, rather unfortunately, is to fall asleep at some point in the afternoon. As if 9 hours sleep during the night isn’t enough, especially seeing as I didn’t go to bed until 02:00 and get up at 11:00. I’ve no idea what’s going on with me these days.

There was plenty of time during the night to go on a few voyages too, such as I remember. We were working in an office somewhere. There was cake everywhere – everyone was either baking or bringing cake in and there could have been 8 or 10 different cakes in that office. I’d baked one and someone had given me one for my birthday etc. Someone came in to tidy up the office, a young guy. Before we could say anything he’d cut a slice off each of these cakes, dumped it onto my plate and took my plate away. I bawled him out for doing this, saying that in future when he comes, to leave the cake alone. He’s certainly not to cut or take my cake, the cake that I’d made or been given. If he wants anything for himself he should really ask before he just goes and helps himself like that. A huge pile of cake on a plate like that was just outrageous.

And then the problems between me and my partner reached a head. We’d already separated once then on the bus coming back from Chester to Winsford she suddenly alighted at a bus stop and the bus drove away and left her. When the bus reached Nantwich I alighted and decided that I’d walk back to Winsford, I’m not quite sure why. This involved a walk through a field then down an incredibly steep bank. There was a place to go down and a way in which you did it. I didn’t know this particular way. When I arrived at the top of the bank there was a guy there on a bike. he wondered what on earth I was going to do. I launched myself over the top and went down in a large S-shaped sweep down to the bottom and set off to walk back to Winsford. I’m not sure why or what I was hoping to do etc.

I missed out a lot of this next dream. I can’t remember but later on we were discussing films, about making a horror film. I said that the tension is all in the soundtrack and film score. A lot of the tension if you took away the soundtrack and film score just wasn’t there at all. This was particularly true in comedy films. I explained a couple of examples like one or two of the “Carry On” films, about how the music and so on led people to the comedy moments. If you took those away the comedy moments themselves were very small and unimportant

Another dream about which I have forgotten a lot was that I’d gone to a chip shop to buy some chips. There was a huge queue of people loitering around outside so I passed over my order and waited. I ended up chatting to some people etc. I suddenly realised that I’d been there an hour and there was no sign of my chips. I went in and asked but trying to have some people understand what it was that I was trying to ask was extremely difficult for some reason. I couldn’t seem to make them understand that i’d ordered and paid for my meal a long time ago and not received anything.

My day, such as it was, started off with a good chat with Liz who showed me a video and took me on a guided tour of her new accommodation. It reminded me of the house in which my niece’s eldest daughter lives in Woodstock but is in much better condition and laid out much more sensibly.

After brunch of cornflakes, toast and coffee I made a start on doing some more notes for the radio programme that I’ll be doing tomorrow if I wake up in time. That is rather touch-and-go the way that I feel these days

And not that I did an awful lot because it was in the middle of all of this that I fell asleep.

Just as I was on the point of going out for my afternoon walk as I promised, Ingrid ‘phoned me and we had a long chat about all kinds of things. We both have our health issues right now so we compared notes.

When we finished I noticed that the sky had clouded over and it was on the point of raining. Not much point going out now so I made a batch of fruit buns. And they look wonderful too, probably some of the best that I have ever made. And if they taste as good as they look, they will be delicious. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

Last week I mentioned that there was something not quite right with the pizza that I made. The pizza that I made tonight with the same batch of dough was delicious so it must have been just a one-off last week. But I really want to have a decent oven to do my cooking because this tabletop oven that I have isn’t doing what it should.

So now I’m going off to bed. It’s early but I have a 06:00 start in the morning and if the nurse has picked up my message from Friday he’ll be coming round to give me my fortnightly injection. They are starting up again now that I have a proper prescription and some supplies.

Let’s see if I feel any better after this. After all, I couldn’t feel much worse.

Monday 9th January 2023 – IF I WERE …

… to tell you that my radio programme was finished, up and running by 07:30 this morning, you’ll probably be quite astonished, and wondering what on earth was going on.

The fact is though that it was bad news that brought all of this about, not good news.

As is usual on a Sunday evening I was in bed by 22:00 ready for a nice long sleep until the alarm at 06:00. I fell asleep quite quickly too but by the time that 01:00 came around I was wide awake again.

After that, I just couldn’t make myself comfortable, tossing and turning around trying to make myself comfortable but without success.

Round about 03:30 I had to wander off for a stroll along the parapet, and I made an executive decision (and for the benefit of new readers, an executive decision is a decision that if it is incorrect, the person making it is executed) that now that I’m up, I’m staying up. And I attacked the radio programme.

When I’d finished I had some cornflakes and coffee and then made a start on doing some work for a change. And I kept it up for a couple of hours too, much to my surprise.

Round about 10:30 I couldn’t keep going and gave up, going back to bed.

Having dozed off for a short while, an endless stream of phone calls kept me awake. It culminated with a ‘phone call from my doctor saying that he would be coming to see me “within the hour”.

That was enough to rouse me from wherever I was, and I went and had a quick shower and clean-up ready for my visit. I don’t mind being reasonably unkempt when I’m here on my own but with visitors, it’s different.

When he came we had a good chat and he’s sending me off to have one of these electrical tests where they check the flow of electricity down my nerves. He asked me if I’d had one before and while it’s true to say that I have, I told him that I hadn’t.

The reason for my “economy with the truth” is that when it was done before, it was done in Leuven and the report was printed in Flemish which my doctor didn’t understand. From this laboratory here in granville, the report will be in French which is far better.

Secondly, if I have it done here, any follow-up will be done here or hereabouts too and as I can’t make it to Leuven, then local treatment has to be an advantage, especially as I’m entitled to free transport.

Thirdly, a second opinion is always worth having, to make sure that everyone is working from the same page. My doctor seems to have the right kind of idea about my treatment anyway as he seems to be recommending the same as they did at Leuven.

After he left, then armed with a taxi voucher I rang up an ambulance service and booked a car to take me to my consultation on the 20th. If it’s free I may as well take advantage of it.

So next week I have the Social Services coming to see me on Tuesday and then the appointment on the Friday – things are moving quite rapidly around here. I wish that one or two other things would hurry up though.

There was quite a bit of stuff on the dictaphone too so I sat down this afternoon and transcribed it all. Yesterday’s notes are now updated and then I turned my attention to today’s. Some friends pf mine had played in a rock opera about Christmas. There was a professional performance of it taking place somewhere so I decided that I’d go along to see it. I bumped into someone whom I knew there. he was there with his wife and a couple of daughters. We all ended up sitting together but as the programme continued these 2 girls started to shout comments from the crowd up to the stage. This started to become quite embarrassing. He told the 2 girls to go and sit somewhere else if they were going to do that, so they did. It didn’t stop them so in the end he went and rounded up everyone and they sat in another row behind where I was sitting. This still carried on and it was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my life being there listening to all of this going on. I want to go and chat to the bassist afterwards but I thought that I couldn’t do that as he would associate me with these other people. Why the rest of the crowd didn’t say anything or turf these people out I really don’t know

Later on I was in a big house last night full of people, children and a couple of adults. The place was so untidy with all of these children in there. I’d been stroking a cat, then another one came up to me. I couldn’t see it properly but I picked it up and stroked it. The way that it was behaving, I was absolutely convinced that it was my old black cat. I was stroking it for 10 or 15 minutes, then I walked into a room where there was a light on. It wasn’t my black cat at all but a big ginger cat. I’d no idea how come I’d makde a mistake about this. I put the cat down. One of the women who was in charge of the house just kept on bringing more things into the room with these children. The place was becoming really out of control. I had a feeling somewhere that this place was on the Isle of Thanet somewhere near Margate or Ramsgate, somewhere like that but I don’t know.

Rosemary and I had a quick chat this evening too, and then I went for tea. A stuffed pepper with rice and, for a change these days, vegetables. It was quite nice too and I’ll get to enjoy it even more as there is quite a lot left over. There will be a taco roll tomorrow of course and then I’ll have to make a left-over curry with the remains on Wednesday.

Now though, I’m off to bed. I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow followed by the physiotherapist to I need to be on form. I really could do with a good sleep but that’s not always possible, especially these days. And tomorrow I can’t go back to sleep so I’ll have to keep on going as best as I can.

That should be quite interesting.

Saturday 7th January 2023 – I’VE DONE SOMETHING …

… today that I haven’t done for quite a while, and that was that I went back to bed this morning.

Not that I’m really surprised because despite going to bed after midnight, I was wide awake at 04:30 and try as I might, I couldn’t go back to sleep.

In the end I gave it up as a bad job and made a start on the day.

Something else that I did that I haven’t done for quite some time was to have some breakfast. Not really a surprise given my really early start. A bowl of cornflakes and soya milk went down really nicely at that time of the morning.

A little later Liz was on the internet so we had a little chat for a short while too. It’s nice to keep in touch with good friends.

Round about 10:00 I could feel myself drifting away and spent a few minutes trying to fight off the wave of sleep but in the end I gave it up and hit the sack. It goes without saying that a short while later I had a phone call. It was one of the neighbours asking me if I needed anything from the shops. But having had a good shopping session on-line yesterday, there wasn’t anything that I needed.

It was round about 13:00 when I awoke again and after some toast and coffee I watched the football on the internet. Penybont swept aside a poor Caernarfon side 5-1. I’m not sure what has happened to Caernarfon but for a team that over the last couple of seasons has been so competitive, this season they have gone right off the boil.

That really is a surprise because although their defence hasn’t been up to all that much for a while, they have a very talented midfield that can usually carry the attack to the opposition but the fire seems to have gone out.

One of the things on the shopping list yesterday was 1.5kg of carrots. They have been washed, diced and blanched and are now sitting in the freezer quietly freezing. Well, actually in the freezer compartment of the fridge because the freezer itself is full to overflowing. Despite everything that has come out of it this last year or so, there is still no room.

At least there is plenty of stuff in there right now, including frozen vegetables because I had another salad for tea with my baked potato and vegan burgers. It was a good plan to treat myself to a salad this weekend as part of my order.

But with a little luck there will be some more room in there by the end of the weekend as a lump of pizza dough will go and some fruit buns will be taken out too. I’ll probably find something else to fill it though.

During the night, even though I didn’t have much sleep, still went on a voyage here and there. I was with my Greek friend. We were in Crewe making a curry. We had a little room in this factory complex where we lived. We had this curry going and it was simmering away, on “very low” so we planned on going to bed and letting it simmer away through the night. Just as I was getting into bed the alarm went off at the factory as if an intruder had come onto the premises. I looked out of the window but couldn’t see anything. Eventually I could hear one or two people walking towards the gate, like security staff. When my friend awoke I told her about this. We had a bit of a laugh about this security system. But this curry was all starting to go wrong. It was simmering away and looking really nice but it kept on rising up in the pan even on the lowest heat and threatening to overflow everywhere. She became quite angry. I was quite disappointed, particularly as some curry had gone on her clothes. She said that she would coat all my clothes in curry and see how I liked it but after a couple of minutes of this she started to smile and pat me on the shoulder as if either she wasn’t being serious or if the crisis had passed and we were friends again.

Even though I’d had a good sleep later in the morning and another one … errr … at some point in the evening, I didn’t go anywhere else.

But even if it is early, I’m going now, and that is to bed. Despite all the sleep that I’ve had I’m feeling pretty exhausted and miserable and a good sleep will do me good. A nice lie-in if I’m lucky, followed by a nice, strong coffee and I might feel better. I wish that I could find some energy from somewhere to sort myself out because nothing is being done right now. Everything is just too much of an effort.

Friday 6th January 2023 – I’VE HAD MY FIRST …

… home delivery from the supermarket today.

They said that my delivery slot would be between 18:00 and 20:00 and so it turned up at … errr … 17:15 before I’d made room to put everything away.

There were several things that didn’t work out.

Firstly, there’s a minimun limit of €50:00 and so despite the cupboards being quite bare in here, I had to scratch around to make up a worthwhile order. At least I now have plenty of rice, pasta, tomato sauce and stuff like that.

Secondly, prices are somewhat elevated. I’m paying a fair bit more than I would in the shop and so, added on to the €9:95 delivery charge, my shopping bills are going to be expensive for a while.

Thirdly, some of the stuff isn’t what I ordered. For example, the soya has come with added vanilla rather than the variety that has added calcium. And I don’t like vanilla in my soya.

However, everywhere is now stocked up which is good news. And I had a lovely tea tonight. Burger on a bap with chips and a salad and for the next couple of weeks I reckon that my meals will go back to being quite exciting again.

What I’m going to do though when stocks run down is another issue. There’s only so much bulk goods that I can store. I suppose that the next load, in a couple of weeks’ time, could have a supply of coffee as I’m starting to run low on that. But then I shall haveto have a good think.

And who knows? Maybe I’ll be better by then and can go and do the shopping on my own.

But one thing that I can say, and that is that this idea of ordering food to be delivered is actually an idea that is practical and it works well enough to stop me starving to death.

It should be said though is that perhaps in the past I’ve had the finger pointed at me by some people because of the amount of tinned stuff that I’ve had on hand here. I made the point that it’s all here for an emergency and it’s just as well that I had it here when I came back from hospital. That was what I called an “emergency”.

Perhaps last night should have been an emergency too because nothing seemed to go according to plan. I don’t know why but I just wasn’t tired at all. I was still up working at 05:00 this morning.

At some point rather later than that I did go to bed. I switched off the alarm because there was no point trying to heave myself out at 07:30 but even so, I was awake at 09:20. I couldn’t go back to sleep either and so I gave it up at about 10:00 and made a start.

To my surprise, there was even some stuff on the dictaphone so I must have had some kind of decent sleep at some point. I had a cat at at one moment during the night but can’t remember anything about it.

Later, it was carnival and fête time. There was a carnival and fête at Crewe and also at Nantwich. I was at the one at Nantwich round by the White Horse. Everyone was having a tremendous time. I’d arranged to meet my sister and her family back at her house with the idea that she could go to the hairdresser’s and then come on to one of the fêtes afterwards. After a while and I hadn’t heard from her I contacted her. She was ‘oh crikey! Oh I’m really sorry. I haven’t done it yet” etc, going way over the top making wild excuses. In the end I told her that what I wanted to talk to her about was the fact that with the Nantwich Carnival being so good we should all go round to Nantwich after. She thought that that was the best idea. But it was another one of these occasions where everyone was taking so long to be ready that I was convinced that by the time we were ready to go back everything would be all over.

It tok me a while to warm up, as you might expect, and then I finished off the radio programme that I’d been trying to do yesterday. That’s done now which is just as well, and starting Monday I’ll be doing two each week in order to catch up with where I want to be. I like to have about 6 months of programmes in advance because no-one knows what the future has in store for me. Seven weeks in hospital sending off radio programmes that I was unable to replace with others has made quite a hole in my little stock.

Having done that, I went through my order for the supermarket and sent it off. The plan was then to make space on the shelves so that I’d have somewhere to put it when it came but that fell by the wayside somewhere.

There are also developments with my little project that is simmering away in the background. I’ve been copied into an e-mail between two other people that shows that there is considerable progress going on behind the scenes. Maybe before too long I’ll have something to report in this respect.

At some point in the early evening I crashed out for half an hour. That’s no surprise given the rough night that I had What was a surprise was that it was for only half an hour.

Tea was delicious, as I mentioned earlier. The salad made quite a change and it won’t do any harm to have a couple more here and there. I don’t want to eat all of the frozen veg too quickly.

Tomorrow I’m going to have to make some plans. There are 1.5kg of carrots to peel, dice, blanch and freeze for a start although I’m not sure exactly where I’m going to put them as the freezer is once more packed to the gunwhales. I really should have bought a bigger freezer but I suppose that I would have filled that just as quickly too.

And at least there’s plenty of food here again and I can relax a little about that for now. Looking back over my last few meals I’ve been eating really well despite the limited supplies here. Things should start to become interesting now that my shopping order has come.

Wednesday 4th January 2023 – MY SHEPHERD’S PIE …

… was absolutely delicious this evening. With the left-over pie filling from Christmas, the left-over mushrooms from the weekend and topped with potato mashed in milk and butter( vegan, of course), and not to mention made with real shepherds, it was really nice with vegetables and gravy.

This is going to be something that I’ll have to work on for the future – although I doubt that it will be every day that I have a mugful of lentil and tofu pie-filling lying around left over from a previous project.

It was much better than the sleep that I had last night, that’s for sure. I have a problem with an ingrowing toenail on my left foot and last night it began to play up – to such an extent that I had first to take off my elastic stocking and seeing that it didn’t resolve the problem, to take off the plaster that was protecting the toe.

That didn’t seem to help very much either, but at some point I managed to doze off into sleep. I ended up with the guys off The Navy Lark, Pertwee, Johnson and someone else. It was my birthday so I’d been round to see if they would come out with me but for some unknown reason the 2 girls didn’t realise that it was my birthday, they were busy or they didn’t want to come or something so in the end it was just the 4 of us. Just as we were leaving Pertwee’s apartment the telephone rang so we nipped back upstairs to see if it was anything for him. No it wasn’t, and nothing to do with any of us. They asked me where I’d like to go so I suggested that in the Chaussée de Wavre down the road there was a good Italian restaurant. Actually there were 2 but I meant a different one. They said “yes, let’s go there”. We walked down the Boulevard towards the Chaussée de Wavre and suddenly ended up in a restaurant, just the 4 of us, no-one else. The place was empty but it looked really nice, nice paintwork, curtains, tablecloths etc, very much the pastoral Italian place. I thought that if the food’s as nice as this place looks we should be OK here. We settled down at a table where there were 4 chairs by a fire.

When the alarm went off at 07:30 I was already awake but I wasn’t in much of a mood to leave the bed. I missed the second alarm too but when the third one went off at 08:00 I was actually up and about. High time that I showed willing.

Once I’d managed to come round into the Land of the Living, whenever that was, I made a start on tidying up in here. I was hard at it too and managed not only to put everything away and file away the pile of papers that had accumulated over the last few months, I wrote a couple of letters that were necessary – a couple of bills had come in at some point and I’d overlooked them.

All of that was enough to make me crash out for half an hour and I didn’t feel any regret because it does look so much better in the bedroom and I won’t be afraid or embarrassed to let people see inside here. In the run up to going away I had rubbish just about everywhere and nothing had improved since I’d been back. Quite the contrary, in fact.

My freidnly neighbourhood cleaner came round at 14:30 and spent an hour here. And she accomplished far more in the apartment in an hour than I have accomplished in all the time that I’ve lived here. She found tons of stuff that I’d missed as well and that was good news. I did wonder where half the stuff in this apartment had gone.

So it’s looking quite nice in the place at the moment. And as she catches up with the arrears it’ll look even nicer. I can’t wait for this place to look as if someone lives here.

Just now I mentioned tea. It really was nice and as I said yesterday, I ought to spend more time looking after myself properly as far as food goes.

And while I was at at, I had another look at my shopping list. I’ve decided that Friday afternoon is when I’ll send off my order to the supermarket and see how I get on with that. I’ll probably order a delivery every couple of weeks and in the meantime ask my cleaner if she’ll pick up some mushrooms for me on the weeks when I don’t pass an order. That was I can keep on top of everything.

And who knows? At some point I might even have another go at going to the shops myself if my walking improves. You never know.

But that’s for later. Right now, much later than I was hoping, I’m off to bed. Whether I sleep or not is another thing because I now have a pain in the other foot. It’s non-stop, isn’t it?

Sunday 1st January 2023 – EVEN AS I …

… type, it’s just coming up to 02:45 tomorrow.

Not that I’m complaining because having spent the last couple of months in such an air of indolence, if I end up doing something I may as well carry on as long as I can. After all, it’s high time that I did some work some time.

Not like last night though. I was busy doing nothing until about 00:30 when I finally staggered off into bed and there I stayed until 11:00 this morning. I’d awoken a couple of times during the night, including having another one of these night sweats that I used to have so regularly.

That was always something that worried me to a certain extent. Whenever I went to the hospital, they used to ask me the same 20 questions, one of which was “do you have night sweats?”. And whether I replied “yes” or “no”, it didn’t seem to make any difference with what they were doing to me so I didn’t know why they ask.

Still, they aren’t going to ask me tomorrow, for the simple reason that I’m not going to be there. Firstly, transport is quite limited today and secondly, I can’t walk that far.

Breakfast this morning was beans on toast with sausage and home-made hash browns followed by toast with mushroom paté. That’s almost all of my holiday food eaten. Just the last of the beans and some of the mushroom paté to finish off tomorrow.

Strange as it might seem, I fell asleep this afternoon. Even after all of the sleep that I had. But I did manage to pair of the music for the next radio programme that I’ll be preparing. Not that I’ll be doing it tomorrow though because I’m having another lie-in to catch up on the fact that it’s both a Sunday and a Bank Holiday today so I’ve really missed the Bank Holiday lie-in.

No neighbours today. In fact no-one disturbed me at all which makes a change considering the way that things have been just recently. It was quite a peaceful day.

Tea was nice – vegan pie with vegetables and gravy. That pie that I made for Christmas was a resounding success and I’l have to remember the recipe. There’s some stuffing left so I might even push the boat out and have a shepherd’s pie – made of real shepherds of course.

Some stuff on the dictaphone from last night too. There was a group of us going out to visit some submarines last night, probably I dunno about 20 of us. We all boarded some kind of pilot boat and set out from shore to the deep water. The sea was quite rough and there was plenty of spray going about. We sailed over a couple of submarines that we could see below us and then a pile of World War II bomber aircraft that had obviously crashed into the sea for scrapping that we saw down below. Then we were out in the bay about a mile or two and it really was rough. We pulled up alongside some kind of submarine. I had to call out the full names of the submarines one after the other so that people could sit in the right kind of position on board this pilot boat. Everyone was becoming soaked to death being taken off their boat onto this submarine thing. There were people with dogs. I wanted to make sure that the dogs were on board first before I moved otherwise that would be chaotic. Eventually we managed to have everyone moving and sorted out

And later I was in Canada last night driving, somewhere down the coast. There was a girl or woman hitch-hiking so I stopped to pick her up. She was going to the local supermarket to buy some stuff So I said that I’d run her as I had time. As we drove a little way along this road to where she told me to turn off I could see the signs for Miramichi so I knew where I was and was able to drive some of the way. I was torrential, pouring down with rain, a downpour. I took her so far. By now this passenger had turned into a guy. We were talking about old cars. He took me to some kind of abandoned street where there was a whole row of derelict houses. He took me down a pathway in between two derelict houses. I could see an old American car that I thought at first was a Peugeot 403 parked there. The closer I looked, I could see that there was probably about a dozen old cars there like an MG Allegro, a BMC MG1100, all kinds of things, all in various stages of disrepair. Some were quite valuable and interesting. Others had been cut up with an angle grinder. We talked about these. I asked if I could take some photos of them. He told me that I could but to leave one particular car out. He was by now this woman again. She asked me why I didn’t come down here every Saturday to have a play with them. That idea appealed to me somewhat for a variety of reasons. By now there were lots of other people down there, members of my family, so I took my camera and asked them all to stand still while I took some photos. It had to be a very long exposure because it was dark. For some reason the photos wouldn’t take. I was there for several seconds with my finger on the shutter trying to take these photos but they were just coming out blurred because the shutter wasn’t clicking off. I had to try on several occasions but nothing that I coud do would help me take some really good photos of these old cars.

So now I’m going to bed, even if I’m not tired. No alarm tomorrow so I’ll wake up when I wake up, unless they ring me from the hospital to ask me why I’m not there. They probably ill do something like that, especially as I’ll be sleeping.

But it’s a silly idea to expect me to be there at 10:20 the day after a Bank Holiday when there’s no transport.

And a Happy New Year to everyone too. I’ve not said anything to celebrate the season because I’ve not been feeling very festive just recently and I’ve had plenty of other preoccupations.

I’m sure that you’ll all understand. It’s difficult for me to summon up any enthusiasm, when I have nothing to be enthusiastic about.

Saturday 31st December 2022 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… miserable, rotten day today and how I’m fed up with these right now. Nothing seems to be working my way.

Yesterday was a fairly early night and for a change I had one of the better sleeps that I’ve had just recently. That’s probably the nicest thing that I could say about the events of the day.

There was time during the night for me to go off on my travels too. I was working at the Fish Processing Plant last night and a young family came up with some shellfish. They dumped their bucket on the counter so I showed them how to do it all, explained to them to put it in a sieve and shake the loose soil out and to weigh it on a balance. It came to 5 units of something at €0:39 per unit. There was a little girl there who was quite chatty. I asked her what was her favourite colour. She told me and I gave her a lollipop to suck that was that colour.

And then I went to the library but when I arrived the place was in darkness. I switched on a couple of lights and found that there were plenty of people working away in there, referring to the books. I went to look for a book and ended up with a book about steam locomotives up to 1940 that included a collaboration between the British railway companies and the French railway companies and how they diverged after the invasion of France. I took the book with me to a quiet corner but that meant climbing up a kind-of ladder or shelf things. I realised then why in the past I’d worn a backpack and not carried a bag in my hand. I settled down there to work and all the lights went off again. It looked to me as if I’d been locked in there for the night and everyone had gone home and not thought to find out about where I was.

Once again, I didn’t bother about the alarms and it was … errr … somewhat later when I finally arose from the bed. And from then on I didn’t do much else except slept because that’s how my day has been spent.

There have been a couple of interruptions though. Firstly my mushrooms and peppers came, brought by my neighbour of the fourth floor.

And then another neighbour ‘phoned me up to ask if he could come to see me. I wondered what on earth was going on and why would anyone want to come to see me but it turned out that it was simply for a chat and that’s quite surprising. I’m not usually the kind of person with whom people like to pass the time, not being of a sociable turn.

And so after he left I was still none-the-wiser. One thing that I did notice though was that I could ease myself out of the settee a little easier than I did on Thursday, and also that I seem to be walking slightly easier. Only slightly, but anything is an improvement.

So that’s that really. Nothing else of any importance has happened today and I don’t really care either. I’m going to bed with no alarm set for the morning because it’s Sunday and also a Bank Holiday and so it’s going to be a similar day to today.

But I’ve taken the stuff for brunch out of the freezer so that’s currently defrosting so I won’t be going hungry when I finally awaken – whenever that might be.

Friday 30th December 2022 – I HAVE BEEN …

… out and about this evening socialising.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that there’s something going on in the background here in this building that might burst out into the open at some point in the future. Consequently I’ve been out to see one or two people in the building for a meal and for a good chinwag while we work out a cunning plan.

It certainly pays dividends to have the right people on your side at moments like this because you end up on the inside track when it’s all filtering through. But how things develop, we shall have to see because there’s many a slip ‘twixt cup and lip.

One of the slips was that I nearly didn’t make it. When it was time for me to go I was actually asleep on the chair in the office and I had quite a job to drag myself out and upstairs.

Not that you would have thought so because I was in no rush this morning to leave my bed. WHen the alarm(s) went off I could hear the howling gale roaring around outside. And so in the words of the old song, REMEMBERING MORNINGS, SHILLINGS SPENT, MADE NO SENSE TO LEAVE THE BED.

It was actually about 09:00 when I finally did leave the bed and for a change I had no pangs of guilt whatsoever. It’s clearly getting to me, this strange mood in which I find myself.

First things first – I had to do the finances for the end of the year to see how I stand. And to my surprise, I can actually afford my little project without making too much of a special effort.

And no-one is more surprised than me. When I embarked on this plan back in early November while I was lying in hospital I thought that I might be pushing out the boat a little too far but apparently not. So let’s get on with it. Unfortunately it doesn’t really depend on me – I’ve done all that I can for the moment and I’m waiting on others to extricate their digits.

When the streets had quietened down for lunchtime, I went out for a play in the pouring rain with Caliburn. He struggled into life again so I took him for another good run, but it’s still not made starting any easier. It sounds to me as if the starter motor must be on its way out. I’ve put the spare battery on charge and at some point I’ll swap them over to see whether that improves things.

In case you are wondering (which I’m sure you are) I’m not going far in Caliburn in busy times because with having no force in my right leg, braking is proving to be something of an issue. I’m having to leave plenty of space in front of me just in case an emergency arises

This afternoon I’ve had to register with URSSAF, the body that deals with minor self-employed people. My “cleaner” (and how embarrassing is it for me to admit that I have one?) is actually employed under these regulations and so I have to pay URSSAF for her services and they deal with all of the paperwork and any tax liability for all of her clients.

There’s some good news about this too (and it’s been a long time since I’ve had any) and that is that because I’m over 65 and suffering from a serious illness, I can actually claim part of my payments to be offset against my income tax. The French Social Security system is certainly up to the mark.

Although it had taken me ages to go off to sleep last night, I must have fallen asleep at some point because there was this huge, long rambling dream about me being in Crewe with STRAWBERRY MOOSE, my three sisters and all their kids and dozens of cats etc. I even ended up at a couple of their houses. I’ve no idea what was going on there but it was one of these things that went on for just about ever.

And then I’d been on my travels later on last night. I bumped into Claude and his daughter and her kids. It turned out that there had been some kind of water fair near where I’d been living and they’d been to see it that morning. They’d even bought some boats and had been sailing around on the canal. I couldn’t understand why I hadn’t gone, never mind not seen them. One of the things that was taking place was the throwing of some kind of mechanic’s tool like a set of Stilsons and embedding it in a door. This had all finished but I was throwing one or two things about and having some good results. I felt a shame that I’d missed the early part of this where it had been competitive and I might have had a good score. In the end after much messing around someone gave me a set of Stilsons to try. I threw it and it bounced off the door into the canal. I had to go to fish it out. Eventually I had to leave. It was like leaving one of these spaghetti western type of things with the plains and the shot in the distance, riding on a horse across the plains up the side of a hill into the mountains and disappearing out of the shot.

When the alarm went off for the first time I was with Beth I used to know from my time on the Scottish borders trying to relax her for an interview that she was due to take. I would have loved to know how all of this unfolded.

When I came back from my evening out I watched the football. Y Drenewydd were playing Aberystwyth and the least said about this the better as Aberystwyth were simply swept aside. It was really no contest and how the score was only 1-0 at half-time was one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

But 10 minutes of madness shortly after the restart saw Y Drenewydd rattle in 4 more goals and they scored a sixh later in the game that was the result of some of the worst defending that I have ever seen in my life. Aberystwyth scored a goal out of nothing in the dying minutes of the game but the game was long-since finished by then.

Tomorrow I’m having a little shopping done for me. Some mushrooms and peppers ready for my meals next week but that’s about it. Walking around today, I seemed to be moving a little easier and I might have been tempted to have another go on the bus into town had it not been a day when we might have the crowds out in the streets doing their shopping for the New Year.

And i’ll try to make an effort to haul myself out of bed at some reasonable time too, except that its already much later than it ought to be. I’m going to have to organise myself much better than this.

Wednesday 28th December 2022 – I’VE JUST BEEN …

… completely crashed out on my chair in the office. Out of my tree completely.

Anyone would thing that I must have had a hectic day but actually nothing could be farther from the truth. The most strenuous thing that I’ve done today is to eat my taco roll and rice for tea.

Strangely enough, I’d had a lie-in this morning too. never mind the 07:30 alarm going off – I didn’t get out of bed until the wrong side of 08:30 and if I hadn’t had to go for a ride on the porcelain horse I’d probably still be in bed.

During the night I’d been on my travels too, although nothing like the travels of yesterday. We started off at some kind of school, a science laboratory or something. I can’t remember anything like all of this at all but there was someone involved in this who shouldn’t have been involved like a Mafia boss or something. It all had very strange complications. Something had happened in there and they asked me for my opinion of it. That was that seeing as the lab was currently closed for investigation they should develop some kind of rocket-assisted propulsion, use it and get back to sync with it and propose to that Mafia boss some kind of advantage from the invention like a getaway vehicle so he would see a need for the lab to keep on his good side etc without any issues that they might expect once the investigation had gone under way and all things were covered. But there was much more to it than this that I can’t remember.

And then I was round on the Pyms Lane area of Crewe on a few council estates with a bus picking up and dropping off schoolkids. It was lunchtime and there were school buses parked everywhere. It was quite a nightmare to get through. In the end we ended up being on board a dustbin lorry. The driver tried a short cut but there was a bus blocking the end of that so he had to reverse out. I had to get out and direct him. The bus wouldn’t move and a Thames Trader lorry came along and got in the way again. I finally managed to climb back aboard this dustcart. It was brand new and was really nicely trimmed inside. One of the girls said that we out to get the group’s van trimmed like this but I mouthed “new vans” because the vans that they had were old. It was my plan to split the gear into two, first of all the heavy stage gear that would go in one van and then the musicians, their instruments and light stage gear in the other. The one wouldn’t have to be dependent upon the other. That led to a bit of a discussion.

Finally, there had been a bus route that had gone out of town down Victoria Avenue and round to West Street back into town that way. I was trying to have this bus rerouted so instead of going down Wistaston Road it would run down Gainsborough Road past my house. That seemed to be some kind of logical way to go, where there were more passengers but I wasn’t having any luck with that at the moment.

The highlight of my day was chatting to Liz on the internet. And then one of my neighbours rang to ask if I needed anything from the shops – so I now have a kilo of onions. Pretty vital stuff as far as I’m concerned. I can’t live without them.

And that is that. All the excitement of my day today. No reason whatever for me to be so tired, except presumably that I’m not very well. Although I ought to be doing so much better than this.

One of these days I’ll have the answer to all of this, but right now I can’t even work out whet the question is. I’ll just go to bed instead and start again tomorrow. When I’m feeling like this, things can only get better.

Sunday 25th December 2022 – A MERRY CHRISTMAS …

… to all of my readers. And no mention of the public conveniences on Crewe Bus Station this year because they are just a dim and distant memory.

There was a story going round about how someone filmed a film about a nuclear explosion where the explosion was created without any CGI whatsoever. It’s a little-know fact that the aftermath of the nuclear explosion was filmed in Crewe Town centre, also without any CGI. The modern shopping centre in Crewe that I remember being built when I was a small child has how been completely flattened in an act that even the Luftwaffe would have been proud to accomplish.

Talking of the Luftwaffe, another little-known fact is that in 1941 there was a Luftwaffe attack on Crewe that caused £14,000,000 worth of improvements.

Anyway, I digress.

Today I have emulated my namesake the mathematician and done three-fifths of five-eights of … errr … nothing. It is Christmas Day after all and with nothing whatever happening anywhere that I can go to see, there wasn’t really much point in doing anything else.

In fact my most exciting activities took place during the night. I was involved in another fight or argument with my brother over all kinds of stuff, usually about breakfast food. I ended up insisting that I was going to have what I wanted to have and it was too bad if he didn’t like it or wanted it himself. We were in a big house and it was full of people and pets and very unhygenic sitting there trying to eat this breakfast cereal in the middle of all of this was extremely uncomfortable. I wished that I was somewhere else without having to put up with all of this nonsense that I was having.

Later on I was trying to bake some bread or something. In the end it ended up erupting like sourdough and going all over the place making an absolute mess. It took me ages to clear it all up away from everywhere. Then I threw it into the fire as a way of disposing of it. It was awful, a horrible mess. At that moment there was a knock on the back door. I went to open it and the 4 little girls who had been to dancing class came in. They went to sit in the living room. I thought “thank God I managed to dispose of the worst of the stuff”. I asked them how they got on. The eldest one who was about 11 said that she hadn’t done very well. She’d ended up biting people. I thought that I’d find a quiet moment and have her sit on my knee and she can tell me all about it. I’ll see if I can’t come up with some suggestions about what the problem is.

Finally there was me, the parents of Zero and someone else round at Zero’s’s bungalow somewhere. We’d all been working and were quite dirty. The question of a bath came up. Zero’s mother made a bath in the living room by the fire but told me not to go in it until the agenda was covered. I wasn’t sure what she meant by that. We prepared to go into the bath. I went to go in but she said that the agenda wasn’t covered yet, which probably meant that people could still see. I said that I’d wait. She passed me a couple of items of clothing,including a T-shirt. She asked me to put the T-shirt in the bin as it was dirty on both sides. I went outside to the bin to put the T-shirt away.

How many times is this now that a dream has shuddered to a halt without Zero putting in an appearance when the rest of her family has been there? Someone is trying to tell me something and I wish that I knew who it was and what was going on. Somehow, though, members of my family manage to rear their ugly heads uninvited and I can’t seem to shake them off.

For brunch I had toast with beans, sausage and potato cakes followed by chocolate cake and for tea I had my vegan pie with veg and gravy.

So that’s it. I hope that you all had a more exciting day than I did. Tomorrow I have a few things going on, not the least of which is the physiotherapist coming to see me. I’m supposed to be radioing as usual but not on your Nelly when it’s a Bank Holiday. I’ll still have to be up early though but I shall be having a little rest at some point. I had a brief 15 minutes doze before tea and I don’t mind having another tomorrow.

Saturday 24th December 2022 – I WAS REALLY …

… late going to bed last night. That’s because before retiring last night I changed al lthe bedding.

And while it smelled rather damp, it was beautiful to nestle down into something clean and comfortable for a change and I must do this more often.

It therefore goes without saying that I took no notice whatsoever of the alarms this morning and it was round about 09:40 when I finally crawled out of bed. And quite right too.

Some of the morning was spent tidying up in the kitchen. Not very much though. I could do about 10 minutes and then I’d have to go and sit down for an hour to recover and, on at least one occasion, crash out for 20 mintes.

There was a pile of plastic, metal and glass rubbish that needed to be taken down to the bins. I put it in the new shopping trolley and set off. And I do have to say that that’s not going to work as well as I would like either. In fact it took me over half an hour and it’s only just across the road from here.

However, when Laurent from the radio came round to see me the place did actually look better and I felt much more comfortable in having people round.

That’s just the living room and part of the kitchen though. The rest is pretty appalling. I’m hoping that Social Services will contact me soon about having some assistance because I can’t manage on my own.

But I’ve had another ‘phone call. A different physiotherapist wants to come to see me on Tuesdays and Thursdays in addition (apparently) to the first one who wants to come round on Mondays. So what’s kindled his excitement?

Tea was a baked potato with veg and a couple of these small breaded quorn fillets that are really nice. And on that subject the delivery from Amazon with the vegan food in it turned up today too. So mushroo pâté on my toast for breakfast tomorrow.

Some stuff on the dictaphone too. I was retiring from work (and that’s a recurring dream, isn’t it?). With getting everything ready I wanted to go to say goodbye to the people with whom I used to work in Chester years ago in the early 70s. I recalled that I’d bumped into one of them a couple of years ago telling him that I was thinking of moving on. He said not to forget to call in. It was a fraught journey. I had to catch a train to Chester that arrived at about 08:20 but with all of the roadworks and diversion and new one-way systems it took an age and an age to actually make our way across the city to Stanley Place where the insurance company used to be situated. I thought at one time that we would never ever arrive. Some woman had come with me, a girl, and I was talking to her about it. I kept on having flashbacks to remember different bits of this story. All the time we were walking I was gradually piecing things together about how it had come about that i’d met this guy again after all these years and he’d invited me back. Even then I couldn’t recall the complete story and we were still wandering around the city trying to find a way to reach where we wanted to be with things having changed so much that I hardly recognised anything of the route these days.

And then it all became confusing. The next thing on the list was that I was back in this dream again – but which dream again – about going on this camping thing. We’d stopped at the side of the road to have something to eat and to check all of our possessions. By now the vehicle in which we were travelling had become a 4-seater saloon rather than a 2-seater van with a guy sitting in the back. We couldn’t find half of the stuff. Some of it was missing etc and we couldn’t find anything that we needed for certain tasks. The woman suddenly remembered that on one occasion we’d even taken the doors off the railway carriages to construct a shelter. I said “for God’s sake don’t mention that to anyone or you’ll have no idea what they are going to take off. Let’s hope that no-one else on this trip actually remembers .

A little later I remembered some more of this other dream that I’d woken up back into. It was about me showing some people around the southern part of Brussels. There was a mural on a wall about someone who had been killed in a trapeze accident. We ended up back in my apartment which was a tip even worse than it normally is. I’d made these people a coffee but it was as weak as hell, there was no sugar etc. We decided that we would set off somewhere to go on a camping trip, me and a woman sitting in the front of this Escort van and a guy who was sitting in the back of it. There was much more to it than this but I can’t remember now.

So I was clearly becoming all mixed up in my wanderings last night, which is no surprise.

It’s Christmas Day tomorrow and I want to apologise in advance for my lack of festive spirit. I’m not feeling in the least bit Christmassy with all of this going on right now and it’s all too much of an effort.

Rest assured though that I appreciate all of your help and support and wish you all a very Merry Christmas, even if I’m not feeling much like it myself.

Wednesday 21st December 2022 – I’VE HAD A …

… horrible, really horrible day today. In fact I’ve spent most of it fast asleep on my chair with no enthusiasm to do anything and much of the stuff that I planned to do today has remained undone.

It actually started off quite well too. Although I didn’t beat the second alarm to my feet, There wasn’t much in it and I was good and ready if the pharmacist decided to bring me my injections. But, as you might expect, she didn’t come past.

Someone who did come past though was one of my neighbours saying that she was going shopping. I passed an order for potatoes, carrots, sprouts, pears and clementines. It cost a fortune but now I’m set up with everything in the fruit and veg line for the next two or three weeks.

In the time that it took for her to go and come back, I was flat out asleep on the chair in here. I really have never felt so awful as I did this morning and I’ve no idea why. I reckon that the effects of yesterday were just far too much for me.

This afternoon I’ve been asleep for quite a while too but when you look at what I’ve managed to do, it looks impressive nevertheless. Like tidying up, for example. The place looks a little better now that I’ve cleared a few things away.

And a big load of washing too. Surprisingly that’s all up-to-date now and it’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that.

1kg of sprouts and 1.5kg of carrots took some peeling and blanching, but they are all done now too. The sprouts went into the freezer but there was no room for the carrots so for the moment they are in the ice box in the fridge. It’s not ideal but I wasn’t going to miss out on the opportunity to stock up.

For my Christmas meal, seeing as I don’t have anything special, I’ve decided that I will make a nice pie. So I put a cup full of lentils in the slow cooker. When they boiled up, I drained and rinsed them and put them back with some tofu and a pile of herbs and some garlic. They will marinade on a slow heat overnight and should be delicious.

Tomorrow I’ll fry some onions and add the tuff from the slow cooker and then add porridge oats to bind it all together. And when it’s cooled, I’ll make a nice tasty pie. But I can’t find the pie dish that I want to use and I have a feeling that I might have to invent something for that.

Ingrid telephoned me too and we had a chat. Not quite a Rosemaryesque chat but a long and interesting one nevertheless. She’s just as appalled as everyone else about what went on in the hospital in Leuven.

So this afternoon, I’ve been a really busy little beaver despite the fact that I didn’t feel at all like it and didn’t think that I’d done all that much.

Although I didn’t make any progress with the radio programme that I’ll be trying to prepare tomorrow, I managed to find the energy to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I started off taking a coach tour party to Blackpool. We made it as far as a motorway service area where we’d stop for half an hour although I forgot to tell everyone that it would be just half an hour. It was so tight in there that I had to get off the coach, shunt the other coaches around so I could find myself into a place to park. So there I was, heaving and mauling on these coaches. Eventually I put mine into a decent place. There was a guy with me who was looking at it. I said “it’s a good job that I can do this on my own, isn’t it? I used to be married”. We had a little chat. Gradually the passengers started to drift back. We ended up having another talk about monsters and that kind of thing, how gruesome and everything these slimy creatures were, the kind of stuff that I wouldn’t normally print on my blog but I seem to be doing it a lot just recently.

This next one is a story about a group of kids and adults, all extremely wealthy except 2 boys. 2 young girls move into their neighbourhood and the two boys seem to be more interested in the new girls than these women and girls who had been here before in this rich type of scenario. It starts to cause a load of problems.

So tomorrow I’ll be having a go with making my pie. I also have to make some more fruit buns as there are only enough for breakfast tomorrow. What i’m going to do with the ones that I don’t eat quickly I really don’t know as there is now no room in the freezer.

But that’s a problem for tomorrow. Right now I’m going to bed even if it is early. It’s been a horrible day – the kind that you just want to switch off and start again. But I’ve had a quick taste of my simmering pie filling and it is rather special. provided that I can find a pie dish it should work out really well.

Here’s hoping.