Tag Archives: dream

Saturday 28th January 2023 – THERE WAS NO …

… danger of sleeping through the alarm this morning. This new phone has the loudest alarm that i’ve ever heard – loud to the point of being uncomfortable. But at least I know that it works which is good news. The way I am these days, I’d be totally lost without an alarm.

So when the alarms went off this morning, I was actually up and about for the second alarm and that makes quite a change. And after the medication and checking my mails and messages I had a quiet morning without doing all that much. Plenty of stuff on the dictaphone though. I must have had quite an active night. I can’t remember much about this first one though, except that I dropped a pile of spaghetti down on my trousers while I was eating my evening meal. That’s about everything unfortunately

And then I was out last night looking at apartments. Not for myself – I was with someone else. We’d been employed as investigators by some kind of TV company to go to look at apartments that were to let and look at the condition, examine them closely, find out what regulations were being broken, how the landlords were getting round the rules etc. It was quite interesting. There were plenty of landlords who refused even to be seen and conducted everything by phone or standing behind a door etc showing us these places. We said that we were questioning them but trying to make it sound that we were interested tenants. One actually said that I should be in politics, something that brought a guffaw of laughter from me and whoever I was with. Then Jimmy Clitheroe went out to look at an apartment and made a report on it too. It was all something extremely interesting.

There was something else going on last night of which I can only remember a little bit. It was to do with money and receipts, whether I was receiving money from being self-employed etc. This was the last time that I was receiving the money so I had to finish off my account book. That meant drawing a few vertical lines in it which I tried to do with a ruler and pencil but for some unknown reason it wouldn’t follow the line of the ruler and going off at slight diagonals somewhere making the whole thing look untidy when I’d been doing my best to try to keep it neat. One of the things was a payment that had been made to Nerina that needed to be included. Again, where her entry had to go was this problem with making these vertical lines for the columns. There was a lot more to it than this but it all evaporated away.

Later on I had to go out into the suburbs of the extreme south of London. I was in the north of London at the time so it meant catching a local train into Euston station, a metro down into the centre and then I could walk the rest of the way. I reached the underground station but I couldn’t find a money-changing machine. In the end I had to negotiate with a woman who was keeping one of the bars there. She gave me 4x50cents for a £2:00 coin. I worked out how to get onto the station. There were 5 platforms here. I had to work out which platform I wanted. As I approached the first platform a train to Kings Cross pulled in so there was a huge stampede of people for that train. It was amazing how quickly the station cleared. They all clambered aboard and their train went. She started to announce the next one, the announcer did, which I hoped would be mine.

And then Nerina turned up. She was in bed so I made breakfast in bed but I’d left it rather late. We had to be in church for 11:00 which meant leaving here at about 10:00 but that would be impossible as she would only have 15 minutes to eat her breakfast and prepare herself. I had a look round and found that there was a service at 12:00 because it was Pentecost so I told her to take her time. When we went out we had to go right the way across London on foot all the way out to the suburbs at the extreme south of the city. That meant catching a train from the north into Euston station, a metro on the Northern Line so far and then walking the rest of the way. We reached the station and had to hunt around to find out where our train was, which was on Platform 5. Something cropped up and as a result we were late and missed our train. We had to catch another one. This was right towards the end of the service. I went down to Platform 5 with Nerina. Of course I wasn’t even sure now that the next train we wanted would be at Platform 5. 2 TGVs went past then a couple of local trains. None of them stopped. A couple of buses pulled in so we went to find out about these buses. One was packed and the other was going somewhere that I didn’t recognise. I thought “if we’re not careful we’ll end up having to walk all the way from where we are. That’s going to take us another couple of hours to reach our destination in the end than it would do if we’d caught the train, the metro and then walked and that was long enough

It’s quite strange really how the second part of the fifth one is quite similar to all of the fourth one. I’m not sure whether or not that classes as stepping back into a dream or not.

After lunch there was football. Connah’s Quay against Y Bala in the Welsh League Cup Final. For a game that finished 0-0 after 90 minutes it was actually quite exciting. In fact both sides were unlucky to finish with 0 necause Jack Kenny up front for the Nomads and George Newell up front for Bala each missed a bagful of chances

Both sides finished with 10 men too, Bala after one of their players had thrown a ball at a spectator. and there was a little 10-minute period where on another day a couple of other players could have joined them in the dressing room for an early bath.

We ended up with penalties, which Bala won 4-3.

But some of the substitutions that Neil Gibson made from the Nomads bench were bewildering to say the least. I’d have played the last half-hour completely differently than he did.

The rest of the day has been writing notes for the radio programmes and one day I’ll have them finished, whenever that may be.

Tea tonight was one of those breadcrumbed tofu slices with baked potato and salad. I’m getting quite into these salads to make a change from vegetables, and tonight’s meal was totally delicious. I’m not sure what I’m going to do though when I run out of this vegan mayonnaise with garlic. I shall have to find a good recipe and give it a good go.

Tomorrow I have a couple of things to do which shouldn’t take me all that long on a good day, but I’m not having too many of those right now. In that case it will probably take me all day and then some more. But I want to finish these 2 radio programmes on Monday no matter what so the more I do tomorrow the less I have to do on Monday.

That of arrangement would suit me fine.

Friday 27th January 2023 – I HAD ANOTHER …

… lie-in this morning.

But that was completely involuntary and by accident because the alarm failed to go off this morning.

When I checked the mobile phone I found that the battery had gone flat and it had switched off. Further enquiry revealed that what had happened was that the charging plug had somehow become detached from the telephone. With no possibility to repair something like this, that was that.

We aren’t lost though. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few years ago I lost my mobile phone and being totally unable to find it, I bought another one. A few months later, when I was tidying Caliburn looking for something else, I found the ‘phone down underneath the driver’s seat. so it went into a drawer and I forgot all about it.

Today’s events made ne remember where it was so I hunted it down but found, to my dismay, that the SIM card wasn’t the same size. But not to worry – I’ll sort it out later.

The morning was spent working on the notes for the radio programmes that I’ll be doing on Monday and chatting to Liz and Rosemary on the internet. But once the afternoon came round I dressed myself up and went out to catch the bus.

And today I’m very proud of myself in one respect, but not in another. When the bus dropped me off at the Place Godal I set off on my marathon hike to the Orange Telecom shop. That really is quite a walk, only about 400 metres short of the railway station and I was really impressed that I made it all the way there on my crutches.

But not so impressed when I spoke to the assistant at the shop. he took both telephones, took the SIM card out of the one that i’m going to use, peeled off the small adapter that was around it, put the SIM card from the broken ‘phone into the adapter and put that in the other ‘phone.

It was as simple as that and had I noticed that earlier when I was at home this morning, I could have saved myself the walk.

However the walk did me good and it’s made me think a little more about how I might go for broke and try one of these days to walk on my crutches to the railway station. But the last 400 metres is a killer hill, and I bet that the whole route will be a lot more difficult when I have things to carry.

Back down in the town I went to the Carrefour and bought a few bits and pieces, like mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and the like.

At the bus stop there was a 45-minute wait for the bus and it was cold out there and so I decided that I’d cross over the road and catch the bus in the other direction, round to the terminus at the other end of the line and then rode the bus back. At least it was warm and comfortable on the bus out of the wind.

Just about 45 minutes after I returned home I had to go back out again. The taxi came to pick me up to take me to this nerve specialist. and I’ll tell you now that pumping electricity through me as he did was one of the most painful things that has ever happened to me.

There’s nothing much wrong with my arms but there’s an issue with my left leg. As for my right leg, well, the least said about that the better. It’s quite clear according to him that there’s some serious damage.

He’s going to discuss things with my doctor but he did warn me that I need to pack my suitcase. I suppose that I’ll have to buy a couple of pairs of pyjamas too. Hospital nightwear is pretty depressing and I … errr … don’t actually have any of my own.

After I returned I transcribed the notes of my voyages from last night. I’d just finished work and I needed something for the weekend, which was in Chester, so I set out for Chester. It was such a nice evening so I decided that I would walk. I took a t-shirt, a cagoule, a fleece and another rainproof jacket just in case. The walk as far as the suburbs of Chester was quite uneventful and I quite enjoyed it but as I arrived closer to the city, it went really dark. We suddenly had a torrential downpour of rain. Luckily with the 2 rain jackets that I had and the fleece in between the 2 I kept warm and dry. I was able to walk quite comfortably up to the traffic lights on the edge of the city. Then the rain stopped and it went bright again. I stopped to take off the rain jacket. There were some people coming the other way who started to admire my rain jacket and particularly my yellow fleece, starting to talk to each other about it. They asked me a few questions but for some unknown reason I replied in French. I could see a look of puzzle on their faces as I did so but I didn’t really want to hang around and chat to them because I had a lot to do. I wanted to have it done as quickly as possible because of course it’s a long way to Chester and a long way back if you are walking.

As an aside, I walked back through the night from Chester to where I was living near Audlem a couple of times – all 30 or so miles of it – when the girl whom I was seeing went to College there and I didn’t have a car. It didn’t take me as long as you might think and even once or twice I walked straight to work and did 8 hours before going home to bed. I couldn’t do it now, even if I didn’t have the crutches.

I can’t remember who I was with later on, but it was a married couple. They were my age. It concerned a Ford Granada and there was some work that needed doing on it, the front wheel bearings and a few other bits and pieces. It had been around for a while and the work hadn’t started. I was with the woman who said that she had had a dream last night about her husband who had gone off to do this and that and somethign else. She’d happened to mention the Granada and he replied “oh yes, I’m going to get down to do it starting tomorrow”. He seemed so enthusiastic so she said that that’s possibly a good sign that means that he will. I said “strangely enough, I had a dream about someone working on a Granada too”. Then I told her the story of a friend whom I knew who had a Granada and who had been in the same position. He just wouldn’t start doing the repairs which was something to do with the wheel bearings and the front wings. After so many months he’d just put everything in a box and sold it, including the car, for someone else to do. She was surprised. Next time I went round her husband was there. He said “by the way, I’d done one of those front wheel bearings. It only took me 15 minutes as well”.

Tea tonight was some of these mini sausage rolls with baked potatoes, veg and gravy. They were actually quite delicious. I’ll have to work out a way of ordering some more of these “Green Cuisine” products. Noz has them in on the odd occasion but I’d love to have a more regular supply. It’s not possible to order stuff like this from the UK these days, what with Brexit and all that.

So hopefully tomorrow the alarm will go of and awaken me properly this time. Not that I have too much to do this weekend – do my cleaner’s accounts, do some more work on sorting out how I’m going to pay for this apartment that I’m supposed to be buying and that kind of thing. So I might even finish the notes for these radio programmes.

And having been to the shops this week, I have everything that I need, I reckon, but I really am going to try to go out for a walk more often, even if it isn’t far. Having made it as far as the Orange Mobile place today, I need to keep up the good work and see if I can exercise myself back into some sort of condition.

Only time will tell.

Thursday 26th January 2023 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… quiet day today where I haven’t done all that much at all.

But it’s not been without interest. The physiotherapist has had me walking up and down the stairs here this afternoon, but leading with my left foot down and right leg up rather than the other way around. At first it was quite difficult but it didn’t take long to ease off. That’s one of the new exercises that I have to do now with effect from today.

And to my surprise, these exercises seem to be working. I was able to get into the bath for my shower and out again without too many problems. It’s still not 100% of course – far from it – but a vast improvement on the almost-impossible struggle that I had the first time that I tried it 6 weeks ago.

But as I said, it’s going to be a long, hard road.

Getting out of bed this morning was a long, hard road. Not helped in the least by still being up and about at 00:30 this morning. And so I was a little late getting out of bed this morning.

Plenty of time to go off on my travels last night though. I was watching a film on the TV. It was a medieval film about a castle on the coast of England somewhere on the south-east where the knights in armour were occupying it. There was a danger of an invasion so the Lord was rallying his troops to do they best they could in case this invasion took place. One of the visiting knights had fallen in love with a girl whose father was a labourer in the castle. He spent a lot of time talking to her. All of a sudden this castle moved to the borders of Wales. From a nearby church tower someoe fired an arrow into the castle. That was a signal for a siege of this castle to begin. Just then my brother came in. He’d been out somewhere. He wasn’t impressed at all with this film and started to fool around while it was on. He was firing a bow and arrow around the house while I was trying to watch the film. I told him to clear off but he took no notice. Then my parents came in. This wouldn’t be the kind of film that would interest them at all so I could see the TV being changed over to another channel and that would be that once they established themselves in the living room

A little later I was in my father’s place of work. He was working in the office. I’d been doing a few things and I had something to do that required me sitting at a desk. I went to sit on the empty desk next to him but found that there was a young boy already there doing some homework. He’d dated his homework the 12th of whatever month. I thought “he’s started early because that’s not for another week”. I suddenly realised that it was today. I was running so far behind. I tried to squeeze in at this table too but my father told me not to disturb the boy. I did my best to fit in. My father started to talk to me but I had a lot of problems trying to understand what he said. He said that he had a transistor radio from someone. at first I couldn’t work out who but then I realised the shop that he had been to. I said “that’s because you’ve spent a load of money I suppose”. He thought that that was what it might be. Then he started to talk about a night club he used to visit years ago which I thought was in Winsford. He was telling me that someone had asked him for directions to go there, some taxi operator. I couldn’t remember exactly where it was. Then he told me that it wasn’t in Winsford anyway. By this time my father and this boy had worked their way down this table to the end so there was no room for me to sit there. I was then trying to work out where I was going to sit down to do my work because there didn’t seem to be any other empty space.

I had also been round to a former friend’s – someone who has a connection with Zero – for some reason or other. He was talking about the bread that he’d made. It was really light and fluffy. He said that he’d left the flour to soak before he’d actually used it so I was intrigued. He took me into the kitchen to show me some dough that he had soaking in some plastic bags. For some unknown reason I came away from there with a brush cutter. To drive past to his house we’d driven from the north end of Stoke on Trent past Port Vale’s football ground then past Stoke City’s football ground to his house. I mentioned some nickname to do with the club. He was surprised to hear me say this. He didn’t realise that I knew what it was. For some reason he lent me his brush cutter. I couldn’t think of what to do with it. There was some fuel in it. I carried it away. One of the reasons why I’d gone round there – I found that not one of my cars had an MoT or tax these days. I’d had 2 run out last year and suddenly remembered that the 3rd ran out in March but it was now May. I hadn’t a clue what I was going to do about that. I had this brush cutter and was back at the station. There was some kind of competition about getting on the last train. I had to cross over the bridge from the platform where I was up the steps and across the top to the other side then back down the other side and then come back again after a train has passed through. I headed that way towards the bridge, checked the signals to show that they were on green which meant that the train wasn’t coming for a while and crossed over. Then I was thinking about crossing back to catch this other train but I thought that that would drop me off in Altrincham and it would be a very long walk at some silly time of night back home where it’s much easier to catch the 1st train and forget about the train that’s going to be bringing me back. I ended up walking into the town from there to get on a bus but thought that with this brush cutter with fuel in it are they going to let me go on the bus?

So here we go again. Plenty of opportunities for my family to come along again and stick their oars into whatever I’m trying to do, and then being so close to Zero but yet so far. How could I get so close to you and still feel so far away as TOM PETTY SANG.

And while we’re on the subject – “One day you belonged to me. Next day I just wouldn’t know”. What does that remind you of? Yes, one day I’ll write those missing notes for those three days right at the beginning of September 2019.

So having dealt with the issues of the dictaphone I sat down and selected the music for the next batch of radio programmes. I’m working on the radio stuff on Thursday as well as Monday until I’ve build up my library of six months’ work.

Then I paired off the music for the next two programmes and made a start on writing the notes for them. It worked so well on Monday doing it like this that I thought that I’d try it again, although I’m hoping that it won’t be another 04:00 start.

In the middle of all of this I went for a shower. I have to be all clean and tidy and smell nice for the physiotherapist. And as I said, climbing into the bath for a shower was nothing like a difficult as it was when I first tried it after coming out of hospital

And climbing up and down the stairs, I bumped into a neighbour – the one who helped me so much in my plans to involve myself in that apartment downstairs. Having a mole on the inside track on the Residents’ Committee of the building enabled me to take several short-cuts that I would otherwise have been unwilling to take.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … I’m convinced that Rosemary installed a camera in this apartment when she came to visit. I’d hardly sat down at my desk after the physiotherapist had gone and she called me up. We had another one of our marathon chats as she prepares for her Asian adventure in a couple of weeks’ time.

And how I wish that my health had been better otherwise I might have been tempted to climb aboard the ‘plane with her.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bun with chips and a simple lettuce and tomato salad with vegan mayonnaise. It was delicious and I even now can still taste the mustard that I spread on the bun. Chips today means no chips tomorrow so I was wondering what to have for tea. And then I remembered the vegan sausage rolls in the freezer. They will go nicely with some baked potatoes.

So right now I’m going to bed. I might have a decent sleep tonight if I’m lucky, and then I have plenty of work to do. But my day will finish off with a visit to the specialist for my EMG – the electric tests on the nerves on my legs. And then I’ll have some news. Last time when I was there, it didn’t sound all that optimistic and the tests that he carried out seemed to confirm it. But who knows – something good might come of it.

Wednesday 25th January 2023 – AFTER ALL OF …

… the excitement and effort yesterday, I’ve been taking it easy today.

With not going to bed before midnight last night, I decided to ignore the alarms this morning and I stayed in bed until 09:45 this morning. That’s all very well for an odd day here and there but it’s not too good in the long term, that’s for sure, and I really do have to put in more of an effort to crawl out of bed at a more respectable time.

It must have been a really good night for sleeping too because I didn’t go far during on my travels. We were working in a garage during the night. There was a Hillman Imp van there that someone had partially dismantled the rear light unit on the left-hand side. I went to reassemble it. Just then A former friend of mine from school appeared in the distance and was wandering into the garage. He pointed out that he’d had some problems with the vehicle on that corner and had taken the rear light apart to look at the suspension. He found that the hi-fi speaker was missing out of the place where it goes which was accessible through the back of the rear light. I had a look and you could see that there was no speaker there. All the lugs had corroded so it looked as if it had been missing for quite some considerable time.

After a leisurely start to the day I started to edit the radio programme that will (hopefully) be broadcast on Friday. We’ve had another musician go off and play in that great big gig in the sky and that involved some editing of the programme. And surprisingly, it takes longer to edit something that I’ve already done than it does to actually make the programme.

Particularly when I miscalulate yet again (I shall have to take up this idea of more compulsory maths) and end up with 10 seconds short so I have to turn round and do it again.

The cleaner came round this afternoon too for an hour and made the place look much more like home, for which I am grateful. Mind you, it’s the last Wednesday of the month so I have to think about paying her.

Once she’d gone I decided to go and make a start on bringing the shopping in from Caliburn. I decided that that would be the exercise for the next week – a dozen or so trips up and down the stairs carrying a small amount of stuff every time.

However it didn’t work out like that. I bumped into a couple of neighbours and they took it upon themselves to run a shuttle service up to my door, and everything was done before I even had time to lock Caliburn back up again.

It’s like I said, not only is the building and the area so nice, the neighbours are so wonderful too. I can’t understand why anyone would want to leave here.

With a mug of hot chocolate I transcribed the dictaphone notes and yesterday’s details are now on line for your perusal.

Tea tonight was a left-over curry and it was one of the best yet. I definitely have the hang of this now and my own mixture of spices seems to be working.

So now I have a few things to finish off and then i’m off to bed. I have a few important things to do tomorrow too and I have to set the ball rolling about gathering in what I need to pay for this apartment. I’ve already made a few enquiries about getting a workman in to help me with the shower but there’s plenty more to do too.

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.

Monday 23rd January 2023 – THAT RADIO PROGRAMME …

… that i’d been trying to do since Thursday was finished off today quite quickly.

and so was the one that I was going to do today. In fact they were both up and running and ready to go by about 11:30 and I was quite pleased about that.

Mind you, it was all thanks to yet another early start. I might have been in bed by 22:00 but I was awake again at 01:30. I couldn’t go back to sleep either and so by about 04:45 I was up and about having my medication. And then I sat down to start work.

Despite the short amount of time that I actually spent asleep, I managed to go off on quite a few travels. I was in Shavington, in Crewe Road with a great big rucksack on my back. A lorry went past me but he had to stop just afterwards because there was something large like a tractor parked in the road and he needed to go past the tractor. But there was something coming the other way. I could see that this was quite a big lorry so he was probably going to need to go on the pavement to go past the obstruction. The other vehicle was halfway across the road waiting to go past the tractor. I walked back down the path about 50 metres so that it could come past. It turned out to be a Land Rover towing a trailer loaded up with these wooden stakes that are used for making fences. As it went past me I thought that I could go to Crewe this way down a side street so I set off down there. The idea was to go and wait for Zero because I’d waited for her yesterday.

And then I was at work. Someone rang me up to ask if I could go to fetch some roast chicken for his lunch and a few other bits and pieces from the supermarket. It was quite late at night so I went out of the building but couldn’t see anything because it was pitch-black. I couldn’t find the footpath. Groping around, I heard a bicycle coming so I stopped. The bicycle went past me. I found that as my eyes adjusted to the light that I was in fact on the gravel path that leads up to the other office on top of the hill. I walked up the path thinking to myself that maybe I ought to ask for the footpath to be illuminated during the night because I was sure that it wasn’t just me who was asked every now and again to go out again in the dark. It must be helpful for people if they are going between the two offices when it’s dark and they could see where they are going. Eventually I walked through the town and came to where the supermarket was. As I approached I was wondering whether it would be open at this time of night because I wasn’t sure whether it was a 24-hour supermarket. As I turned the corner I could see down into the car park and saw that some of the lights were on, but I wasn’t convinced that there were enough lights on that meant that it was open

Later on I was at work again. My lunch hour finished and I walked through the office. I was originally heading back to my desk but it had been weeks and weeks since I’d actually been given any work to do. I just carried on walking and went out of the front door of the building and then up the hill to the corner of the road. On the left was a big square set down a few steps from road level with some lovely buildings in there. On the right were some more old buildings with a hotel and a market where there was a covered walkway that went over the road to connect two halves together. It was all very Gothic, Victorian etc. I was wondering whether to go for a big explore but I thought that I’d better turn round and retrace my steps and head back to the office just in case on the offchance there might be something for me to do.

There was much more than that too but if you are eating your meal right now you won’t thank me for telling you about it.

Once the radio programmes were finished and the dictaphone notes had been transcribed, the rest of the afternoon has been spent in an exchange of messages with the President of the Residents’ Committee for this building. There are one or two things thzt I need to discuss with her that are quite important but she wasn’t able to help me all that much. I shall have to figure out a few things for myself.

Another thing that I needed to do was to ring up for a lift to take me to this EMG thing on Friday late afternoon. If I have a free taxi voucher because of my health issues I may as well use it0

Tea tonight was a departure from the usual stuffed pepper. The pepper that I had in the fridge ended up in the bin and if it had stayed in the fridge for another 5 minutes it would have walked on its own into the bin without any help at all from me. It was just a shame that i’d already made the stuffing.

When I’ve finished these notes I’m off to have a shower. I have to be up early and out on my way for this important meeting tomorrow morning. And if I have a car I’m going to buy a big load of shopping. I might as well stock up with stuff while I can.

And hopefully Caliburn will be fixed next week so I can get back into the swing of things as I used to. But that will depend on the physiotherapist and what he has to say. I’ll find out about that tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday 22nd January 2023 – I REMEMBER SAYING …

… yesterday that I was worried about having a good night’s sleep last night.

Well, I needn’t have wasted my time writing any of that because we had another one of those nights where I didn’t have much sleep at all.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that a few weeks ago I had a night when I spent most of it fighting a stabbing pain in the sole of my right foot. Last night it was a stabbing pain in the heel of my left foot that went on for most of the night and kept me awake.

That’s a susprise because most of the issues that I’m having with my legs are in my right leg so a pain like that in the left leg is rather worrying.

At some point in the night – or rather, the morning because I definitely saw 07:40 on the fitbit – I did manage to fall asleep and so I wasn’t particularly concerned about not leaving the bed at 11:30. And I expected to be totally wasted too but I’ve managed to keep on going throughout the day.

The way that things were this morning, I didn’t do anything before my brunch, but afterwards the first thing that I did was to transcribe the dictaphone notes. Surprisingly, I had actually managed to go on a couple of voyages during the morning. I was trapped in a fire at some point. The people with me couldn’t actually extricate me from this building so they ran to fetch help. Eventually I was rescued and taken away but my gluteus maximus had burned off so I was going to be quite handicapped. Eventually my friends caught up with me and came to see me. One of them asked how I was so I explained what had happened to me. They were surprised by the way that I was telling this story. They thought that it should be much more serious although they didn’t want me to take out the seriousness on them. I couldn’t understand what was the point of the discussion. There was something in this dream to do with money. I’d had a lot of money that had all been paid to me in pennies. It was for music – albums and things like that. I thought that the only way I could dispose of it now was to change it all in taxis for pound notes etc or else take it to the bank. If I took it to the bank the bank would just put the money in my account and wouldn’t give it to me, so again I didn’t know what to do about these huge piles of coins that I had.

And then I found myself dictating this dream into my hand again while I was asleep. I was on board a ship. We’d been there for 2 weeks and were leaving. It was the final day. There was a girl whom I’d been chatting up while I’d been on board the ship with pretty much no success at all. On the last day when I went to sit down for breakfast someone was actually in my place. There was a place next to this girl so I thought “right, I’ll go and sit there and she’ll have to like it seeing as it’s the last meal anyway”. I put down my stuff next to her on the table and asked “does anyone want anything for breakfast?” because I only had a small breakfast and we were entitled to 5 different things. She said that she wanted something else so I said “yes, I can fetch that for you”. Someone else said that they wanted something. In the meantime I started to chat to this girl about breakfast etc. She didn’t seem in the least bit hostile or standoffish as she had done during the rest of this holiday so I wondered what was happening now.

Later on I was with a girl round at the home of my friend near Macon. I don’t know who the girl was, which was a shame. I had the Luton Transit, another van that might have been Caliburn and I had to get them both home. I also had a motorbike so the idea was to find a plank, put the motorbike up the plank into the back of one of the vans, drive the van home, get the motorbike out, come back the next day on the motorbike, pick up the other van, put the motorbike in the back and drive that back. That seems a pretty logical way to go about it but there was that much stuff in the back of the 2 vans that we had to think again. Then I saw that he was busy trying to put the motorbike into a trailer as if he was going to lend me the trailer. The trailer had been parked outside for years and as he put the motorbike in the trailer collapsed. He was sitting there looking at this trailer. I was wondering what was going to happen next and so was he. I still couldn’t get over the idea that simply tidying up the van to put the bike in it was the best way forward but it seemed to me that everyone was trying to complicate this thing rather unnecessarily.

With it being Sunday today it’s pizza day but I’ve no pizza dough left over so I had to make some more. And this batch turned out quite well too. Two lumps of it have gone into the freezer for the next couple of weeks and the third lump was left to proof.

When it was ready, I rolled it out and put it on the pizza tray to proof again so that I could assemble the pizza. And then I could cook it and eat it.

It was actually quite delicious too and I’ll make some more like that if I can work out what I did that worked so well.

While I was waiting around for things to happen I was finishing off the notes for the radio programme that I should have done on Thursday and then half of the notes for the one I’ll be doing tomorrow. I’m going to see if I can do both programmes tomorrow, always assuming that I can tear myself out of bed at 06:00 tomorrow.

So that reminds me – if I’m going to have an early start I need to have an early finish and so I’m off to bed. I’m surprised that I’ve kept on going for as long as I have today bearing in mind my awful night.

Saturday 21st January 2023 – MY EXCITING LIFE …

… reached its apogee today

there I was this afternoon in the kitchen having a wonderful time cleaning and defrosting the fridge. And it needed it too. I’d had one and a half kilos of carrots in there and they took some finding in all of the frost and ice.

There was some interesting stuff in there too – such as some vegan cream with a best-by date of October 2018. They went straight into the waste bin along with some other stuff and there’s actually some room in there now.

And even though I put the carrots in the freezer in the bathroom, there’s still some room there too. It won’t be long before everything is empty and then I can start again. Mind you, I’ve said that before about the freezer and I’ve not reached that point yet.

The kitchen looks a bit of a mess though, but that’s no surprise. I can’t work like I used to and have to go and sit down for an hour and recover after about 10 minutes of work.

And I’d had a better night last night too. Although it took me a while to go to sleep, I wasn’t disturbed as much as I have been in the recent past.

Just a few trips out and about during the night. I was with my mother at a house somewhere in Shavington. There had been a party and we had been tidying it up. It was in the most appalling mess after the party, glasses and food etc everywhere. I sat down to do the washing up which took me ages but eventually I did it. The whole of the work surface where I had the glasses was like a lake. We then decided that we really wanted to tidy up something else. After a while one thing that we realised that we hadn’t seen was the cat. We called this cat but it didn’t come so we carried on doing other things. Some time in mid-afternoon we saw it outside the window so we went to fetch it. It was shaking. The first thing that went through our mind was that it obviously hasn’t had anything to eat for a while so it’s probably starving. We took it into the kitchen and gave it a handful of cat biscuits but it didn’t seem all that keen on eating them. It wanted attention for something or other. It was still shaking but wasn’t all that interested in eating the cat biscuits so we wondered what was the matter with the cat

And then I was going to Canada on a plane. Before that was a meeting that I had to attend and it over-ran by hours. There was only half an hour left for me to catch my plane by the time the meeting finished. I had to enter the lift at the airport but everything was going wrong. She was calling out floors and stopping the lift but no-one was alighting. I was thinking that I would just be later and later as this goes on. I’m never ever going to recover my suitcase and catch the flight or even have time to make arrangements to catch another one going on the same day. I’m going to be in all kinds of difficulty if I miss this plane.

Finally I was at work. One of my colleagues was like Jon Pertwee, always being involved in schemes and blaming everyone else when they all went wrong. Something had happened at work and he said “it was Eric who did that”. By this time I was fed up for a start so I hit him so hard that he reeled right down the end of the room. I went after him but everyone else stopped me. I went back to my desk. On my way back I walked past my old garden which I had now given to my mother. I’d planted a couple of fruit bushes a couple of years ago. I had never done much with them but I noticed now that the fruit on them was enormous and it wasn’t summer yet. They weren’t ripe. The bushes had groaning under the weight of the fruit and it looked as if it was going to be a really bumper year for the crop.

And so I spent much of the night with members of my family. I wish that I knew why. I can’t seem to shift them out of my subconscious mind and replace them with people whom I’d be so much happier to see.

Such as Liz and Rosemary, for example. When I switched on the computer I found that Liz was on line so we had a chat for about an hour or so to catch up with each others’ latest news. We both have a lot going on right now and we haven’t spoken for a week or so.

And no sooner had Liz gone off than Rosemary rang me for a chat for a while.

Apart from chatting to Liz and Rosemary I didn’t really do an awful lot this morning. I had a wander through cyberspace looking for new things that I’m going to need in the near future and make a little list. But finding what I want at a price that I can afford and which will do what I want to do isn’t very easy.

And then this afternoon I cleaned and defrosted the fridge. It’s amazing how much ice the fridge will make when my back is turned.

There was football on the internet later. A basement clash between Aberystwyth and Caernarfon Town. They have both been struggling for the last couple of months and Aberystwyth have been sucked into a relegation scrap down at the bottom. Caernarfon, for all their midfield stars who would grace any Welsh Premier League Club, have a wobbly defence and have no-one at all in attack,

Aberystwyth were the better side and eventually rattled up a 2-goal lead. And they could have had a couple more quite easily too. Caernarfon didn’t really mount a shot on goal until Rhys Alun Williams scored what will easily be THE GOAL OF THE SEASON to pull one back for a late consolation.

Tea was a burger on a bun with baked potato and salad. My meals are definitely improving even though I don’t have what it takes to go and do a proper load of shopping. However when I’m out and about on Tuesday I might do a lap around Lidl, LeClerc and the Bio shop to stock up with stuff that I need.

And as I’m feeling better and Caliburn is going in to be fixed, I might actually start again to go to the shops every now and again to see what I can do. I have to start up again some time.

But having already almost crashed out twice this evening I’m going to go to bed and I’ll worry about the shops some other time. I’m more worried right now about having a good sleep and a lie-in although if past history has anything to go by, I’ll be lucky.

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.

Thursday 19th January 2023 – I WAS PLANNING …

… on making a radio programme today but I haven’t. I’m very far from it as it happens not even having written all of the notes, never mind dictated and edited them. There have been planty of other things going on today, all of which have needed my attention.

The first was this thing for the radio that I did yesterday. I should have realised that it was only part of the story and that there was much more to do than that.

Secondly I had a couple of phone calls to make, one of which involves my day out on Tuesday. No-one has told me where I’m supposed to go, what I’m supposed to do, what I need to bring with me, despite a reminder that I sent on Monday.

Consequently I telephoned them this morning and they promised to send me the information today at some point. And so it’s now about 22:00 and the information still hasn’t been received. I can see me turning up on Tuesday morning (I found out by other means where I need to go) without any of the required information, a huge problem developing as a result, and me turning round and saying “hard luck”.

Rosemary rang me as well and we had one of our very lengthy chats about nothing much in particular. She’s currently under a couple of feet of snow down in the Auvergne, as is much of the country today. I saw a photo of the vinyard of my friend in the Saone valley and that’s pretty much in a white-out.

This afternoon I finally managed to contact the garage about the problems that i’m having with Caliburn. There’s no auto-electrician in Granville, as I reckoned, but he’s of my opinion that it’s either a bad earth or a bad starter. As a result he can have a go at fixing it and he’s arranged for me to call in on 31st January. He’ll have a play around to see if he can fix it before I make plans about taking it to Coutances and the auto-electrician.

So what am I going to do on Tuesday? It’s probably the most important meeting that I’ve had for many a year and I need to be there. And so I rang up about hiring a car for a morning. It works out to be about half the price of a taxi and I can even recover the cost by doing a shopping trip around LeClerc instead of having my monthly delivery.

The physiotherapist came round later and had a close look at how I walk. he’s identified another muscle that needs work so he’s given me some exercises for that too. I can see that I’ll be spending most of the rest of my life doing exercises at this rate.

And so that left me with the dictaphone notes to write. Those for yesterday were the first to do and then I updated yesterday’s entry. And then I had a look at today’s stuff. I was working on the radio last night speaking to a woman whom I knew who had a boy who was 6 or 7. They had come from a distant planet to live on the planet where we were. The son spoke the local language and also spoke the language of the planet where they lived before. They had lots of different experiences even down to the kind of pets that they would keep and how they looked after them so I was really keen to interview him. We had quite a long chat for 15 minutes learning all about pets, the way of life, how familes were composed, how they managed on their distant planet somewhere millions of light years away.

Next, I’d gone round to Aunt Mary’s flat to tidy it up. On the way I’d bumped into Nerina and we’d had quite a long chat. For some unknown reason we ended up back together again. I was in the middle of buying a house and was actually filling in a load of documents while she was there. I had to fill in a form with my father’s details. I thought “my father is dead. How do I find out this?”. She said “I didn’t know that he’d died”. Then it came to details of my wife’s parents. I put “not applicable”. She looked rather bizarrely at that. We carried on chatting all the same. We ended up at Aunt Mary’s flat. We thought from what we’d heard that my elder sister and her brother had been to see the place and had it almost ready but when we went in there was nothing whatever that had been done. There were papers all over the place. We made a start on collecting it all together but we couldn’t find any boxess so in the end I thought to myself “there’s no point being here. We may as well go. I’ll leave a note for my elder sister” but trying to find a blank piece of paper with nothing written on the reverse was next to impossible. I already had 2 attempts at pulling a piece of paper out of a notebook only to find that there was something on the back. In the end I thought “we’re wasting our time here. Nothing is going to be done, we aren’t going to find anything, there are no boxes to put anything, there’s no point taking anything away like this. In the end we just left.

Later on I was buying some property and had a pile of forms to sign. I was reading my way through them checking everything, seeing everything that was written down and thinking to myself “this fellow must have had a lot of money when he died to have been able to leave everything like this to all kinds of different people.

Did I dictate this just now or did I dream doing it? Apparently not. Anyway I was with Nerina again and we were chatting. She was saying that she’d given up judo etc. We’d been to some kind of health or other, then we’d gone away. I needed a paper from where we were. It was at this house. The servants were in there so I had to break in ever so quietly to fetch it. I went back there and quietly broke my way in. I was rifling through this paper when 2 people suddenly appeared. They asked if this house had 2 floors. I replied “not if you swam here by the river. It only has 2 floors if you come here by the road”. They disappeared off and I hurried to try to find this paper. They ended up back, and we ended up with quite a few more people. There was some kind of dinner party taking place. It was in the morning as well so we had a cooked breakfast. People were talking to Nerina, asking if it was true that she’d given up judo etc. One of the girls, the one who had come in with this guy while I was finding this paper, she had the tiniest breakfast imaginable, about a quarter of a slice of toast with 2 or 3 baked beans on it. We made a joke about if it was going to be enough. She said that she didn’t eat a lot. We said that she needed to eat to keep up her strength. What will she do if she’s hungry? Luckily she took the teasing in good nature rather than being offended.

Finally, I was still in Slovakia or wherever I was. I’d been in a secondhand transport bookshop. There were tons of stuff in there but there was only one or two things that I wanted, little pamphlets. I picked them up. Someone else wanted something, an American boy who was talking to us about the Warburton Railway and one or two other bits and pieces. When we reached the checkout the guy told us that there was a sale on today. he went throught the stuff we’d bought and it came to 75 cents. he said “that kind of thing deserves a tip” so I gave him €1:00 and told him to keep the change. I gave a book to this American boy and told him “here, have this on me”. We walked off into the town

The vegan pie that I had for tea tonight was delicious, with vegetables and thick gravy. That was, I reckon, the last of the vegan pie so I’ll have to make some plans about making some moreat some point. But I really want to have a good run through the freezer and empty out what it in there first before I decide about making some more stuff. Tomorrow I’ll be taking out a couple of vegan sausages as I fancy some sausage, beans and chips. Those vegan sausages that I bought in Jersey last summer were delicious and I would love to find some more somewhere.

But that’s tomorrow. Right now I’m off to bed though. I have my electrical poking and prodding tomorrow and then I’m going shopping in town for mushrooms and to visit the bank. A little expedition on the bus and on my crutches should certainly be different.

Wednesday 18th January 2023 – I HAVE BEEN …

… really busy today.

So much so that I’ve not had time yet to transcribe the (pile of) dictaphone notes from last night.

Being … errr … somewhat later than the alarm didn’t really help matters too much. But as soon as I was finally sitting at the computer, the telephone rang. Someone was obviously checking up on me.

It was the guy from the radio on the telephone. On the 5th February there’s something going on at the local theatre and the radio needed some music doing. And I’m at the stage where if I don’t do something as soon as I have the instructions, I’ll either forget it or run out of time or something.

And so there is no time like the present to get on with the task.

At midday I took myself off outside as the rain had stopped for a short while. Caliburn struggled into life so we went for a good drive for about 25 kilometres. It’s still not enough to put a decent charge in the battery so when I returned home I started trying to track down an auto electrician who can put his equipment onto Caliburn’s starting and charging circuit.

It doesn’t seem to me to be the charging circuit or the battery that’s at fault because the battery doesn’t seem to be getting any worse. It’s either the starter that’s on its last legs or else there’s a bad earth somewhere. In the old days I’d be underneath Caliburn checking everything over but I’m really not up to that right now. For a start, if I were to lie down, I wouldn’t be able to stand up again.

Anyway, there doesn’t seem to be an auto-electrician anywhere in the vicinity. I shall have to ring up the guy in the garage and see if he knows of anyone or whether he has the equipment to do it.

The cleaner came round this afternoon and did some work on the place. She’s not impressed with the microwave and, to tell the truth, neither am I. Once I get myself organised, the microwave here will be going to the great kitchen in the sky and I’ll be having something decent.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, when I moved here in 2017 I bought everything new at the cheapest possible price on the grounds that I would have everything all at once, and then little by little I’d replace it with decent stuff as it wore out.

And then I had a ‘phone call from the UK. I mentioned the other day that I was having to sort out my finances and somewhere along the line I need to sort out the Royal Bank of Scotland. Their bank charges are somewhat exorbitant but there’s a way around this and it’s not the kind of thing that you can do on your own.

Tea tonight was a leftover curry. There were plenty of leftovers and so it was quite a decent curry. I’m getting the hang of these curries now and they really are delicious. Tomorrow night’s tea though will be a vegan pie, I recon. I found a slice in the freezer while I was looking for something else and by the looks of things it’s been in there for a while.

At some point in the future I managed to deal with the dictaphone notes. This was something to do with a football match where I was. The winger of one side and the full-back of the other side put in a really crunching tackle on each other and the ball ricochets out and goes into the back of the net of the attacking side. The commentator seemed to think that that was violent conduct, should be disallowed and a free kick given to the defence. Nevertheless the referee gave a goal. I could understand why he did it although I thought that there were many clubs who wouldn’t have been so lucky as to have the benefit of a decision like this go in their favour.

Watson and Holmes were in bed when a carriage pulled up outside, a big black open carriage the kind in which you would imagine Dracula riding. Someone alighted and awoke them both. He invited them to come with him for a consultation at some silly hour of the morning. They piled into this carriage. It turned out that they were going to somewhere near Chesterfield. They set out but Holmes was not impressed. They were dodging the traffic – these old 1950s Ford Anglias etc. Suddenly the guy with them started to panic pointing out “the red spot! The fourth red spot!”. It was only after they were able to focus, Holmes and Watson, that they could see floating in the air above them 4 tiny red spots like pieces of confetti as they headed out of north London. These were keeping just ahead of them, probably about 30 feet above the ground.

Then about half an hour or so later we had this Holmes and Watson story almost word-for-word again coming along.

Crewe Alex were playing in the Cheshire Senior Cup final against a team from Audlem called something to do with Geoff Barnes, the Geoff Barnes Thrash or something. Barnes was a former Crewe Alex player who could probably have been Eric Barnes who played centre-half for the Alex for years and then retired and owned a gents’ outfitters in the town. But in the dream he had this formidable amateur side that went on to win just about every competition that they ever entered for a year or two. I can’t remember any more about this dream than this

Finally I was at the BBC last night preparing a meal for the radio. We were making some kind of chili con carne with everything in it. There was a rat and we cut it into squares and started to add it but at the very last minute I decided that maybe this wasn’t a very good idea. I started to fish out all of the bits. It was a shame that I’d added it because it was looking so nice up to that point and fitted nicely into the saucepan but once I added these chunks of rat it overflowed so I had to grab a bigger saucepan. That was what made me ralise that there was too much and the rat ought to go.

So bedtime now. Tomorrow I have a radio programme to prepare and a few phone calls to make. Things are hotting up around here right now, and in more ways than one.

Tuesday 17th January 2023 – THIS SOCIAL SERVICES …

… visitor who came to see me after lunch wasn’t really of all that much help. She had a chat with me, handed me a brochure and a few notes, and then left again. And so I’m no further forwrd than I was before.

What I was actually hoping was to have been placed on some kind of “at risk” register because I’m not under too many illusions that I’m ever going to be much better than I am and I’m sure that things will continue to deteriorate. I would have expected there to have been some kind of register of people living alone who are suffering from serious illness.

And so it looks as if I shall have to make my own arrangements to secure my own future.

That’s quite the normal situation and so it’s not a big deal from my point of view, but it’s still a disappointment all the same.

Last night was a disappointment as well. I didn’t go to bed particularly early but even so it took me a whole age to go off to sleep. I was certainly still awake at 01:30 or so when I checked the time.

But I did doze off at some point, only to become embroiled in yet another altercation with members of my family. I was busy working on the computer doing something with an old-world programme. My brother just walked up to my desk, opened a drawer, took out my packet of sweets and walked off with it. I ran after him, grabbed hold of it, put it back in my drawer and slammed it shut. He went off telling his mother that I’d pinched his sweets so my mother told me to give them back to him straight away. I told her “what are you on about? I bought these on Saturday night and put them in my drawer” so she had a shouting match with him. I was trying to work out this old program that I used to use years ago but it wasn’t working very well. I was sure that I ought to be doing much better with this than I was but there were just so many distractions.

It beats me why they keep on showing up during my nocturnal voyages. I have many more things that are much more important than worrying about them.

The Welsh lesson with something of a disappointment. Although I was up quite quickly when the alarm rang (for a change) I wasn’t in all that much of a mood to do any revision today. I worked my way through some stuff in order to prepare myself but I didn’t feel much like it and I could have done much better.

After the Social Services had been for a visit I sat down to choose some music for the next series of radio programmes until the physiotherapist came round. he was quite pleased with the progress that I seem to have been making and he’s given me some more hints and tips. That’s nore stuff to work on for the next while.

Tea tonight was a delicious taco roll, and there’s still some stuffing that’s left over. That’s the cue for a nice left-over curry tomorrow to keep me out of mischief. I hope that it will turn out to be as good as the last couple that I have made because it seems that I have the hang of them now.

Tomorrow the cleaner is coming round so I’ll have to spend an hour or so tidying up the place in the morning to make it look nice. Then I’ll have to go for a play with Caliburn and mak sure that he starts ready for a trip out next week.

If not, I’ll have to think of a Plan B because I have an appointment that I can’t afford to miss.

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.

Saturday 14th January 2023 – THAT WAS A …

… rather quiet day today.

Despite everything that I said yesterday about going out for a walk today, it’s been pouring down with rain all day and so I’ve not set foot out of the building at all.

However, I have set foot outside the apartment, and a couple of times too. Round about 17:00 we had a series of power cuts in the building and I had to go downstairs to see what was happening. Mind you, someone beat me to it each time so I may just as well have stayed in here.

When I awoke this morning, I was in agony. My knees were hurting in a couple of places, presumably as a result of my efforts yesterday. However, once I was actually up and about and moving around, not only did the pain ease up but I could move around a little easier too. I think that it did me some good to go for a walk yesterday and I wish that the weather would brighten up a little so that I could go for another one.

Apart from that I’ve had a very quiet day today. All I’ve done is to pair up the music and write a few notes for the radio programme that I’ll be preparing on Monday. I might even do some more tomorrow but I have other fish to fry, like making some fruit buns. I was going to make a loaf but I’ll do that later in the week, I reckon, if I have time. I can’t believe how busy my week is going to be next week.

There was football on the Internet this afternoon too, Llanelli third in the Second Division at home to Connah’s Quay Nomads, second in the First Division in a Welsh Cup match. There was only ever going to be one winner in this game but hats off to Llanelli who made the Nomads work hard and kept them down to just 2 goals.

And how different might things have been had Llanelli scored the penalty that they were given in the second half when they were just 1-0 down?

But it goes to show how wide the gulf is between the First and Second Division, as Airbus UK Broughton and Pontypridd United are finding this season after having been promoted at the end of last season.

Tea tonight was some of those small burgers with baked potato and a salad. I’m really getting the hang of these salads now and not only do they taste nice, they look nice too with lettuce, tomato, mushroom, sweet corn and vegan mayonnaise.

Later on, I had a listen to the dictaphone. I pulled up at this huge, expensive hotel. I was in something big like a Rolls-Royce. There was all kinds of confusion where you park the cars. I had to shout at someone who was continually getting in my way while I was trying to park. Then I had to walk into the reception and fillin a card. It asked for my father’s details and my mother’s details too but the writing was so small that there wasn’t any space to write the answers so I just wrote anything down. Nothing of it was accurate which was just as well because my writing was so small that you couldn’t read it anyway. I was thinking to myself that it would have been far simpler to have handed over at least a passport of my father because my mother was dead. At some point it occurred to me that instead of giving my mother’s details I was giving them Aunt Mary’s details. I don’t know what was happening about that.

And later on I’d gone on a walking tour again with some people camping in the forest and going for a walk along this path. The first morning that we awoke the guy in charge said that we were going to rehearse one of the longer routes that we’d be taking. We started off by the tents. He told me that I didn’t need to come if I didn’t want to but I was there so I said that I would. He was very pernickety about his equipment and about his ownership of all kinds of maps and everything with him and photos, how we would align himself when he was walking through the forest – walk towards this cabin then off towards this rock etc which I thought was probably overdoing everything. We eventually started and I ended up with 2 girls whom I didn’t know. We were in this sports ground, an old type of pre-Taylor-Report football ground type of thing. We ended up in a queue. They said that they wanted a bun or something and did I want one? I replied “no” because there was nothing there that I could eat. But when they came away from this queue they had cups of tea etc with them. I thought that if I knew that they were going to have a drink I’d have had a coffee. Then we had to go to find a place to sit down but there was all this grass seed blowing around everywhere. You couldn’t really sit down because it would all be in your drink etc.

It looks as if I have the subject of holidays running around in my subconscious mind right now. But I can forget all about them until at least I’m mobile again. I can’t go anywhere right now as I am.

However, that’s for later. Right now I’m going to bed as I reckon that i’ve had enough of today. Tomorrow is another day and next week is another week. With an appointment basically every day next week, I need to extricate my digit.