Tag Archives: Leclerc

Saturday 2nd December 2023 – I AWOKE THIS …

… morning at 05:30, even after all of my exertions last night. And I was feeling so awake that by 05:40 I was seriously thinking about leaving the stinking pit.

But I’m glad I didn’t.

Some time later I must have fallen asleep again. And I’m glad that I did because during that little period I had a visitor. Zero came to visit me.

In fact her presence so startled me that I awoke bolt upright. And this time I actually did leave the bed before the alarm went off. Not my much, it has to be said, but any period of time is worth noting.

First port of call was to take my medication. And that was especially important seeing as how I’d abstained yesterday.

Second port of call was to check the temperature. When I lived in the Auvergne the temperature was just one of the several dozen records that I took twice a day so I could make graphs that would hopefully show a correlation between the different types of weather and the different types of energy that was being produced and consumed but I don’t do anything at all like that here.

What was important today was the fact that even though we’re so close to the sea, everything was iced up outside.

And sure enough, at 07:00 this morning the temperature was minus 3.5°C. That’s the lowest temperature that I’ve seen here, but it’s still a far cry from how things were in the Auvergne. Rosemary rang up for a chat later on (as you will find out in due course) and she told me that the temperature in the Combrailles had dropped to minus 7°C and as things had warmed up in the morning they’d had a fall of snow.

But as for my temperature (well, the temperature outside actually) it was enough to put me off going out.

After yesterday’s exertions I was really exhausted but I wondered whether I should force myself to go out but as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, if I fall over I can’t pick myself up again and staggering about on the ice in sub-zero temperatures is a recipe for disaster.

Instead, I came in here and finished off my order for LeClerc. I was going to send it off on Monday but instead I added in everything that I would otherwise buy at the Carrefour and it was on its way even before I’d had my morning coffee.

There were no tomatoes on delivery today but my cleaner usually goes to the market in town on Saturday morning so I sent her a message and she duly obliged.

Next stop was to listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. And, more importantly, who had come with me. I’d been collecting up tools, the kind that you’d find on market stalls in the northern UK. I’d been making a collection of all kinds of stuff. Then I’d been going through it and deciding what I wanted to keep and what I didn’t, and maybe I would advertise the rest for sale or something like that, maybe even visit a market stall to try to sell them or even try to have a market stall myself so much of last night was spent going through this collection of tools and making decisions. There were things like hammers and drifts, taps and dies, files etc that I would have loved to have had at another moment.

And in a certain region of India a man was having an extreme amount of difficulty trying to buy many items that would be considered to be normal, average everyday use in the rest of the World. At a certain moment he won £721 in a lottery for deprived areas so used his winnings to place an internet order to buy stuff on line that he could have sent to him. He went on one of these reality TV programmes to talk about his winnings and his order. Some visiting dignitary from his Province’s Government climbed onto the stage without invitation and immediately began to denounce everything that he’d ordered that had not yet been delivered, claiming that it was all Chinese warmongering equipment, even things like barbecue grills, and had no place in an ordinary decent home in his Province. he was picking up these things and throwing them about on the stage, coming out with all kinds of rhetoric. I tried to calm him down but he wasn’t going to have anything about this so in the end I reluctantly decided that the only way to deal with this matter is to have a huge confrontation with him on the TV and embarrass him by his lack of knowledge and obvious prejudice.

Later on there was a couple of domineering parents who had 4 teenage children. One day they decided that they would assassinate some kind of Russian emigré noblewoman. He knew where this noble emigré woman went to relax so the arranged to be present with rifles. As the woman was leaning against a wall smoking, the father gave a signal and everyone levelled their rifles across the room at this woman relaxing in the doorway. At the very last moment she saw them and swayed to one side as they fired. Instead of being killed outright one hit her in the cheek, another hit her in the shoulder and the other 4 missed. In a fit of anger she stormed over to this table where these 6 people were sitting and tore an absolute strip off the father and demanded that he give her a glass of gin. He was astonished that she was still moving and insisting on a glass of gin, which he poured for her. First he took a mouthful himself before giving it to her. One of this children piped up “just look at that! Now you can see what it is that we as kids have had to suffer for all our lives. He can’t even give someone a drink without having to take a drink of it himself. You’ve just met him for 10 minutes and he’s treated you like this but this is how he’s treated us all out lives”.

This was when I awoke at 05:30 and as I said just now, when I went back to sleep Zero put in an appearance. I was at school and it was the middle of summer. There were loads of kids milling around. I’d been working on a few of the radio programmes. One of the guys who ran the radio asked me if I’d put together a pile of programmes that had been broadcast previously which were my favourites. I had an enormous amount of difficulty trying to find the ones. I was looking for some certain live concerts but every time I opened a folder it was the wrong one. Eventually I put 4 or 5 together onto a memory stick and walked out of my classroom ready to go downstairs. I was wearing a shirt with no sleeves that was completely open, a tie that was actually around my neck and not around the collar of the shirt and a pair of shorts which I never ever wear. You could see the skin imperfections on my legs and you could also a great big scar running down the inside of my right arm. As I walked down the steps there were all these girls sitting down there. One or two made a remark about my sartorial elegance. I explained that if they thought that I would wear full school uniform on the hottest day of the year they are totally mistaken. One of the girls talking to me had a very white pasty face and hair as if she’d been covered in flour. There was another one, a much younger girl, who was flirting around with me as she was talking so naturally I was flirting around with her too as I was replying. Then I set off and ended up in Market Street in Crewe in the period before they demolished it all. Zero came in at some point as I was going through the directories looking for these particular files. Whether she was helping me or whether she was actually involved in one of the programmes I can’t remember now but she was certainly there as I was searching through these directories looking for the specific files.

But what is going on here? I’m flirting around with another girl while Zero is in the immediate vicinity? I really must be losing my touch these days!

By this time the shopping – including my bigarreaux confits – had arrived and I was in time to watch the delivery guy go head over heels on the stairs up to my apartment. No bones broken so he was lucky. Slabs of solid granite are really hard when you fall on them.

Before I’d sent off the order I checked the promotions to see what was on special offer, and they had broccoli heads at 99 cents so I’d ordered one.

It was more stalk than florets so after I’d trimmed it and blanched the florets ready for freezing, I decided to have a broccoli stalk soup for lunch.

  • Cut up an onion and fry it in oil in the base of a heavy saucepan
  • Add in your herbs. I used
    • chervil
    • tarragon
    • coriander
  • add in a sliced lump of garlic
  • dice your broccoli stalk finely and add it in
  • dice a potato ditto
  • fry it all up nicely for a few minutes
  • add back enough of the water in which you blanched the broccoli florets
  • Simmer it until everything in there is extremely soft, and then add in some cream. I used soya yoghurt as I have plenty that needs eating quickly
  • whizz it up with your magic wand
  • eat it with some of the crusty bread that you remembered to add onto your order with LeClerc

Fighting off (sometimes unsuccessfully) a few waves of sleep I carried on writing the notes for Canada 2022. I’m still wandering around the vieux port – I had no idea that I’d taken so many photos there.

Rosemary rang me up too (as I said just now) to find out how things went yesterday so I told her the bad news. She tells me that in the Spring next year she’ll come to visit if her operation passes ok.

If she does, I hope that she remembers to bring with her my big bass combo amp that’s sitting in her shed. That’s the one that I found in a pawn shop around the corner from Sandra’s in Ottawa in 2019.

And while we’re on the subject, sometime in the future I’ll be expecting another parcel delivery from Canada. In the back of Strider were a Fender bass and combo amp that travelled around North America with me. Now that Strider is, apparently, no more, it’ll be in the way at my niece’s house and I need to bring it here.

Apparently my talk about Christmas cake earlier in the week inspired Rosemary and she checked in her cupboard where she found that she had all of the important ingredients for a Christmas Cake.

She’s had all of her fruit soaking since then but now she can’t find her baking tin. And at least I can smile because although I moved to the Auvergne in 2006 and still haven’t unpacked yet, Rosemary moved to France more than 30 years ago and she is far from being unpacked even yet.

Anyway we agreed that cooking and baking is a fine hobby to have if your mobility is restricted. You don’t need to move around much and you can really enjoy the fruits of your labours – in the literal sense of the word.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap, which I can enjoy now that I’ve found that I can order on-line the special burgers that I like. With a baked potato and salad it was delicious.

So tomorrow I have a lot to do. Before I go to bed I’ll be dictating the radio notes that I prepared the other day (if I get pull my head round in the right direction) so that I can prepare a programme tomorrow.

Then there’s the Christmas Cake and Pudding that need baking too.

Finally too, I have biscuits to bake. I had a couple of store-bought packets lying around but while the first packet was fine, the odour that came from the second one that I opened today convinced me that I didn’t need to taste them.

There’s some freh ginger lying around, some almonds and a few other bits and pieces so that looks as if it will make a really nice biscuit mix. It’s a good job that the vegan butter was on special offer today and I took full advantage by buying an extra packet.

So before I go to bed I’ll have a play about on the guitar and work my way through some more of my playlist. I might have a good run through RECOVERING THE SATELLITES

"We only stay in orbit
For a moment of time
And then you’re everybody’s satellite
I wish that you were mine"

Now who does that remind me of?

Thursday 16th November 2023 – I AM ABSOLUTELY …

… exhausted.

You have no idea just how tiring even putting away the shopping can be. And what didn’t help was having to clean, dice and blanch 2 kilos of carrots for the freezer.

Actually, today was just one long continuation of how the night had been because at one point I’d been lying awake for several hours in the middle of the night trying to go back to sleep after a really bad attack of cramp.

Last night I tried a new approach.

When my legs were functioning properly, I had some tough rubber bands that I used to build up my leg muscles when I was going running. Last night I dragged one out, put it around my two ankles and went to bed like that.

My nights are really quite mobile, as you can imagine, so while my legs are moving around in my sleep they are actually acting on each other and that might do something about the leg muscles. It can’t do any harm

And it actually seemed to work – ay least, judging by the way my legs were moving during the night.

At some point I must have gone off to sleep because I was flat-out when the alarm went off, and I staggered to my feet before the second alarm.

After the medication and checking the mails I ended up having a chat on the internet with one of my neighbours. There are several things around here that need attention and there will be one or two workmen coming into the building. As I’m here for most of the time these days, would I be a point of contact to let people in and out of the building?

In theory, it’s no problem to me but as usual, it’s the kind of thing that will happen just at the moment when I’m likely to be busy.

Next thing was to order a few things off the internet. Usually I would go to the shops for things like this but even if I could travel there on the bus, I wouldn’t have the strength to bring the stuff home.

Then there was the shopping from Leclerc. And such was my surprise when I found out that this week there were only the pears that weren’t available. I ended up having to take some stuff out of my on-line basket.

There’s a minimum order of €50 for delivery so I have my priority list and my “extras” list and I move things around depending on availability. So when almost everything in my priority list is available, I put some of the “extras” back ready for the next time in case the next order falls short

The problem was that there was no delivery window until the afternoon.

And so what I did was to go through some of the drawers in the kitchen, sort things out and … gulp … throw some things away that I no longer need. I’m clearly not feeling very well.

What prompted this was having ordered some ground ginger 2 weeks ago as I had run out, while I was filling up the cumin seeds last night I found three packets of ground ginger at the bottom of the box in which I keep the spare spices. High time that I sorted that out and made a list of what I have – and what I don’t have.

Luckily I have plenty of Indian spices so I’m not going to be short of spices for a while but with not going to Leuven and “Exotic World” – the Asian wholesalers – any more, things might become complicated in the future.

But anyway, I ended up with one kitchen drawer completely empty, and I have much more of an idea about what’s in stock here. Quite a few people have “made remarks” about the amount of food in stock around here, but there have been several times in the recent past when I have been totally unable do do anything about buying in food and the stock has come in useful.

While I was having a drink I had a listen to the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. There were all kinds of things like food crumbs all over the bed because I’d strapped my legs together and had gone to bed like that so that in the exercise that I’m forced to do during the night, one foot would affect the other and give it a kind of workout. It wasn’t quite as easy as that during the dream because I could hardly move and wasn’t able to tidy up or clean up and the place was deteriorating quite rapidly. I was extremely dismayed but there was nothing much that I could actually do about it.

When I saw my mother gliding across the room I asked her if she was on her way to dictate her first thought of the day, which was a silly thing to do because she replied that it was her second or third. The act of actually asking her made me completely forget what it was that I was going to dictate. But this thing about keeping my legs tied together is working to a certain degree but not to a certain other. I had a terrible attack of cramp in my left leg at that moment but it will ease off after I’ve had a few agonising moments. We’ll see how it goes on.

And later we were building some kind of framework to go in a gap in the bricks, like a window frame. Because I was unable to do anything someone else was helping me. It was so frustrating because he was doing this kind of thing in a very slapdash way trying to cut out lengths of wood with a cheap tooth-saw etc. When it came to trimming 20mm off something or other he did it by eye and it looked as if he was cutting off a whole centimetre. That would have defeated the whole purpose of this framework. In the end I had to stop him. I asked “wouldn’t you be better with a jigsaw doing that?”. He replied “if you have one” so I immediately produced one. Then I produced a battery-powered circular saw and asked “wouldn’t this be any better?”. I sat down and began to measure everything up and put a batten down to follow with the circular saw so that it would cut accurately. I was just so astonished by this guy trying to do this job without measuring properly or without any kind of proper tools – something that was so important.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that my DiY skills are nothing to write home about, particularly right at the beginning when I made a start on rebuilding the farm, but at least I knew how to measure up and cut with guides.

And some of the stuff that I was doing just before I fell ill was really impressive. My bedroom down there was magnificent.

It was really quite funny, actually. When I finished rebuilding the walls and putting the roof on and I began to fit out the attic and I thought that it was really good. But the further on I pressed, the more I wanted to go back to where I started, rip it all out and start again.

That’s one thing that I can say about the farm – I may not have been much good but I certainly learnt a lot.

When the shopping came I was … errr … resting, so it was a rather rapid struggle to my feet to open the door to let him into the building.

After I’d put away the frozen food I attacked the carrots. I hadn’t expected them to be available – the 2kg “econopacks” aren’t there all that often – so I was rather caught unawares. But the big soup tureen thing comes in handy for that.

They also had the econopacks of peppers so one went into the fridge for next Monday and the other was cleaned and trimmed and put in the freezer for another time.

To my surprise, the econopacks of aubergines were availabile too so now that there is some space in the freezer I did something that I haven’t done for ages and made one of my mega aubergine and kidney bean whatsits

There was enough for 5 meals so I had one for tea with pasta and veg, and the other four were packed ready for the freezer.

The freezer is in something of a disreputable state so I took out the vegetable drawer, cleaned it, repaired it and packed everything back in it, including the carrots that I’d blanched. It’s amazing how much room there is in the freezer when you tidy it out.

Here and there, I’ve been editing those radio notes that I dictated before going to bed last night. I was hoping to finish the programme today but I was overwhelmed by events as you can tell.

That should be a task to finish for tomorrow and then I’ll have to start the next one, hopefully to record on Saturday night.

Even though there’s some time before bed though, I’m not going to do it tonight. I’m thoroughly exhausted and after my blackcurrant, honey and lemon I’m off to bed.

While I’m asleep I’ll be trying that trick of the elastic strap around the ankle. Exercising in my sleep seems to be the way to go right now.

Tuesday 31st October 2023 – BANE OF BRITAIN …

… strikes again!

This morning, trying to connect to my Welsh class, nothing was working. My camera didn’t seem to connect to the site and neither did my microphone. Even worse, no-one accepted my request to be connected to the group.

You’ve no idea what I went through to make it work – connecting and reconnecting, even switching off and restarting the computer.

Eventually, the light went on in the back of my head and I worked out what was going on. It’s half-term, isn’t it?

Still, start as you mean to go on. I was asleep when the alarm went off this morning but I struggled to my feet fairly quickly. I went and had my medication, drinking the wrong drink this morning (yes, it definitely wasn’t my day) and then listened to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been.

I was in my Welsh class at first and told my tutor that I’d have to leave at 12:00 to go to the Re-education Clinic. She pulled a face which was a surprise. So i went outside and there was some old World War II equipment lying around outside. I could see various types of scenery relating to different arrangements. For example, Year 1 was a hat and a haversack, Year 2 was a grip bag and something else. I had to put them on the passenger seat in my car in the correct kind of order before I set off. It took some juggling to do. I thought that when I arrive where I’m going I’ll have to leave this stuff in the car while I attend my re-education lesson.

And then I was in hospital and had to go for an operation. They gathered me up but I couldn’t find my head and couldn’t find my thoughts and couldn’t find anything physical either that I needed to take with me. It was just my body that they put on the trolley. They began to discuss a few things. The story of putting things on the seat of the car – Army soldiers’ possessions – reared its ugly head too. That made me wonder because I imagined myself having a car that was comfortably and luxurious up to the operation. I didn’t count on having anything uncomfortable and rustic like a Land Rover.

We were then working in the shed last night, my brother and I. I’d spent hours going through all my tools tidying them up and sorting them out but he’d come along and borrowed them and they were in all kinds of mess and confusion. I couldn’t find half the stuff I wanted. he was building a framework in the shed to put one of his power tools on using big, thick beams of wood that he’d drilled through and nailed using a big sledgehammer to fasten these nails in. Where he was doing this, he was stopping me reaching my benchtop angle grinder, a machine that I used all the time. I could see straight away that we were going to be heading for an enormous row about how things were unfolding because my patience was drifting away considerably at a rapid rate of knots.

Finally we were all back home again and I couldn’t work out what time it was on my watch. In the end I finally managed to send a message to a group on my social network. They all came back that it was 08:11 and I should have been up at 07:00. I staggered to my feet and began to rush to make myself ready. Everyone else left their beds and as usual in the morning when everyone was up and about it was total chaos. My brother was getting in the way as usual as I was trying to dress. I had this lovely white suit that I’d found somewhere and was trying to find some clothes that matched with it. I was trying to make myself look really smart (it must obviously have been a dream) but it wasn’t actually working (nothing new there, then). There was some kind of exchange between the two of us about some money that I’d had on top of my dressing table. In the end he ran off to tell mother what I’d said so I hurled some abuse at him. I went in for my breakfast, hours late, but no-one said anything. It was all just complete chaos from start to finish. I think that I had my tie on outside my shirt rather than under the collar etc.

Next step was to send off my order to LeClerc. And as usual, several items that I would buy were out of stock, even if they were shown as available on the website. That’s actually quite depressing because much of it is important.

Even worse, the grated vegan cheese isn’t even offered, and if I’m not careful I’ll be running out.

Having done that I had a couple of e-mails to send off and then I could finally sit down and revise for my Welsh class. That was interrupted because the shopping arrived and the frozen food had to be put in the freezer.

Back in here at the computer, and having realised that there was no class today, I went back into the kitchen, washed, peeled diced and blanched the carrots that had come with the shopping.

While all of that was going on I put away the rest of the shopping, had a really good wash and then made myself ready to go out.

The car that came to pick me up was early so I had to rush around but in the end we reached the Centre de Re-Education. I was led a merry dance around the building trying to find out where I had to go but in the end was directed to the reception.

There, I was registered as “in” and had to fill in a pile of forms. I was then sent off to see a nurse who filled in some more forms and asked me a pile of questions.

Eventually, I was taken to see the doctor, a young girl, who asked me a load more questions, gave me a good examination (and I felt sorry for her having to run her hands over my feet) and we had a good chat.

Apparently, my sessions of treatment aren’t starting until next week. Today was just the induction and to give them an opportunity to have a think about what to do with me. At the moment it seems that sessions of physiotherapy and sessions of ergotherapy are how they intend to start.

The doctor thinks that I ought to do better with a walkframe than crutches so I asked her if, bearing in mind my generation and my passions, whether anyone had launched the Sony Walkframe for people like me, but the comment went right over her head.

She also talked to me about hand-controlled cars but that’s a job for these APA people, whenever they might get around to it.

Back here, I struggled up the stairs . I can’t raise my left leg high enough now to climb the stairs and that’s the most depressing thing that can happen. If that continues, I’ll be a prisoner here in my apartment.

Armed with a mug of hot chocolate I came back in here where, regrettably, I crashed out for a while. I ended up doing nothing at all for quite a while, but to finish off the evening I’ve been editing and cropping a few very large sound files, just to say that I’ve done something today.

Tea tonight was a taco roll with some of the stuffing left over from last night. There’s still some left so I’ll be making a leftover curry tomorrow. I’d forgotten about the naan bread but when I was organising the freezer earlier I came across all of the naan dough that I made a while ago.

Tomorrow morning I have an important letter to write and then while the cleaner is here I’ll finish off the radio notes. And I might even be brave and start another programme.

While there’s nothing much going in, I may as well push on with some work and see how far I can get. But it’s not quite as easy as that.

Saturday 30th September 2023 – I HAVE MADE …

… an executive decision, and for the benefit of new readers, an executive decision is a decision that if it turns out to be the wrong one, the person making it is executed.

Anyway, I went to LeClerc this morning to do my shopping. The drive there was horrendous because I can’t now work the brake sufficiently in Caliburn, and the left foot is struggling now to work the clutch.

Not only that, I didn’t have the power to climb back into the cab after my shopping.

When I returned here, I found that my usual parking place had been taken. The only other parking place up against a kerb that was free was right across on the far side of the car park. Consequently my shopping trolley and most of my purchases are still in the back.

Luckily, having had an idea that I might find things difficult, I’d taken a backpack with me so at least I could manage to bring the frozen and chilled food upstairs.

Coming back up the stairs, I did something else that I have never done. The lifts here are on the half-landing so I staggered (and I DO mean “staggered”) up as far as the first half-landing and took the lift up to the next one, and then walked down to my front door.

So in other words, what this means is that I am no longer going to drive. That is, not until I can find a car that works with hand controls only.

Meanwhile, back in the apartment, when the alarm went off I was reading a letter from a company to someone else about a lock-up garage that they were renting and for some reason they hadn’t paid their instalments. There was a family waiting to take it over so what were they planning to do with it. I don’t know why I’d had this copy but it immediately made me interested so I was busy sending it off to our company secretary to see what they could do about it.

So I crawled to my feet and wandered off into the bathroom. And then round about 08:40 I struggled down the stairs with my shopping trolley as far as Caliburn, and then the excitement began.

At LeClerc they had nothing exciting, but I found some vegan camembert-type cheese on sale on special offer so I treated myself to it for a change.

When I finally made it back here, I put away whatever it was that I’d managed to bring upstairs, and then made myself some cheese on toast and a pot of very hot, strong coffee.

Not that it did me much good, because I crashed out on my chair – and no surprise either because I was totally exhausted.

Later on I had a listen to the rest of the dictaphone notes. A group of us was going camping. One of my friends – it might have been a girl – had been to work so I said that I’d pick her up at about 01:30. I set my alarm for about 01:15 and went to bed. When the alarm went off I arose but I had so much to do that 15 minutes was going to be far too optimistic to accomplish it. Meantime I’d been collecting stuff to take with us. One of the things was like a stake that you drove into the ground and you added more stakes to it until it was quite tall and then a basketball hoop. It was extremely high off the ground like this but what my interest was that if I had some kind of long cloth I could make some kind of really nice wind protector for my tent or for when I’m sitting down on the beach, by sewing loops in it and putting each individual stake through each pair of loops to hold it. It was all packed in a big canvas bag like a tent bag so at the moment it was going to be quite easy to manoeuvre. Then I had my dishes to wash, things like that, and that was going to take me ages

And then I went to see my Aunt in London, and I had a woman and daughter with me, who might have been Laurence and Roxanne. We had to go so Roxanne carried STRAWBERRY MOOSE. We walked down from this big building where she lived to where I’d parked the car which was in some kind of extremely steep, muddy car park. I was right at the top so we didn’t have far to walk at all. We piled in and said our goodbyes. I had a packet of digestive biscuits. I made some remark about having made them specially. My aunt said “don’t be silly, Eric. You’ve bought them from a shop to eat on your journey home”. We rolled the car, which was my red Cortina estate, down to the bottom of the hill ready to set off. I remembered something that I had to take back so I left the two of them and the car there and ran all the way back up again. Really, what I wanted to do was to say goodnight to my aunt privately and to ask her about any situation going on that I ought to know. She anticipated this and came down. We met at the entrance to her building after I’d run back up the car park. It was quite an emotional reunion considering, and then we began to chat.

There was also something about some rocky fields and stone walls but I can’t remember anything more than that about it

There was football on the Internet this afternoon – Connah’s Quay Nomads v Penybont, played in a monsoon in a swamp in the Welsh Premier League – second v third.

And despite the conditions, it was an entertaining game with plenty of skill, really enjoyable to watch. And for 60 minutes or so Connah’s Quay roared into a 3-0 lead.

But then, a strange thing happened. Henry Jones, one of the best players in the league when he chooses to be, had been on the bench for Penybont and at the hour mark, Rhys Griffiths sent him on to play.

And a couple of minutes later we had two of the most bizarre substitutions that I had ever seen. I’ve no idea what must have been going through Neil Gibson’s mind but two of his best players, Harry Franklin and one of my favourites, Jack Kenny, who had been running the Penybont defence ragged, were then replaced.

As a result, 15 minutes later the score was now 3-2 and Penybont were going all out for an equaliser. A breakaway at the end of 90 minutes led to a fourth goal for Connah’s Quay but it could have been so, so different.

However, some of the substitutions that one or two of these managers make sometimes totally baffles me.

Tea tonight was a burger on a bap with salad and chips. And it was really delicious too yet again. I seem to be making good progress with my meals these days and I’m eating well, which is always good news.

So now having had a nice relaxing evening, I’m off to bed, to have sweet dreams and think about how my car-less life is going to pan out in the future.

Saturday 16th September 2023 – I UPLOADED …

… all of the soundfiles from the dictaphone onto the computer this afternoon. You wouldn’t believe how many there are either that accumulated while I was away. I must have had a few really lively, mobile nights.

It’s going to take an age to transcribe them and there are also quite a few from when I was in hospital from last Autumn that I have yet to transcribe. I suppose that that will make a nice task for me when I’m away in hospital.

Strangely enough, there was only one soundfile from last night. And even more surprisingly, you don’t really want to know about it either, especially if you are eating your tea right now.

But there’s only the one because I had another bad night. Despite all of my efforts during the day I wasn’t in the least bit tired. It was long after 01:00 when I went to bed and I wasn’t in the least bit tired.

It took an absolute age to go to sleep and I was actually awake again at 06:30. I’d changed the alarm to 08:00 following my late night but I was already up and about by then.

The drive to the shops was a horror. My left leg is now giving out and I had some trouble even making it to Caliburn with one crutch and my shopping trolley. And then I had a great deal of difficulty climbing into the cab.

Trying to work the brake was difficult too so it was quite a slow drive to the supermarket. Unless they can work miracles at the hospital and at this physiotherapy place, I can see that it won’t be long before I have to abandon the idea of driving.

For obvious reasons, I didn’t go to Noz. I didn’t feel as if I could manoeuvre around on the car park and then walk around the shop with just one crutch. Instead, I went straight to Leclerc.

Being early, I was lucky enough to find a reasonable parking place. Even so, it was a desperate stagger around the supermarket leaning on a shopping trolley.

There wasn’t anything special on offer today but one or two things in the clearance bin were interesting, like vegan margarine and a pack of hamburger buns.

Another slow drive back home and I couldn’t manage my shopping trolley. I had to leave a few things in Caliburn to pick up another time. And someone going past from the other entrance to the building helped me by carrying my shopping trolley upstairs for me, which was very nice.

Having put everything away I made my coffee and cheese on toast, and then came in here where I crashed out for almost two hours. I suppose that it was the tiredness of the last few days and the effects of going to the shops this morning.

At Leclerc I’d bought 2kg of carrots because they were on offer. I cleaned them, diced them and blanched them. Later on I put them in the freezer – at least, as much as I could because the freezer is full to capacity. One of the two bags of carrots has gone into the ice-box in the fridge until I can make some space.

Tea tonight was strange. I found that I’d forgotten to buy a lettuce so in the end I made a potato salad. That would have been nice had I remembered to buy the salad dressing. Instead I had to make a vinaigrette dressing with olive oil, wine vinegar and herbs.

Now that everything is done, I’m off to bed. I’ve no intention of leaving my bed early tomorrow. I have a lot of sleep that I need to catch up and so I hope that I’ll have a comfortable, relaxing night back in my own bed.

After what has gone on over the last couple of days, I reckon that I’ve earned it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 26th August 2023 – ONE THING THAT I …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 12th August 2023 – HAVE YOU EVER …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then I have other things to worry about.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So you can see what I mean.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 29th July 2023 – JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 22nd July 2023 – AS YOU MIGHT …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 15th July 2023 – I REALLY AM …

… fed up of all this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday 6th July 2023 – MY PHYSIOTHERAPIST …

… came round late this afternoon to tell me that he’s not going to be coming back again.

He and my neighbour have apparently had a dispute and she has told him that she doesn’t want to see him again. So he’s told me that it’s not worth his while to come out here just for me. It’s quite a way out of town.

Actually, it’s not as if I’m really bothered. I’ve said before that he has a kind of manner that I don’t really appreciate all that much. Anyway, he’s given me the phone number of a colleague and told me to contact him.

But we shall see. Because right now, I’m too tired to do anything.

It’s not as if I had a bad night either. Fair enough, I was in bed later than I intended but I’ve been to bed much later than this. And had more-restless nights too.

When the alarm went off I was stark out as well and it was a real struggle to haul myself out of bed before the second alarm.

No medication for me. I had a quick wash and brush up and headed out for the laboratory. I arrived bang-on 08:30 and found myself to be the only person there.

It was necessary to wait 20 minutes though. There’s a special test that needs to be carried out that involves a heated tube so I had to wait for it to be warmed up.

But the nurse found a vein and took a sample straight away first go without any difficulty at all. They are pretty good at this laboratory.

When I came out of the cubicle I found the place heaving with people. I’d arrived just at the correct time by the looks of things.

While I was out, I nipped to LeClerc.. Caliburn is running low on diesel and whenever I go to the supermarket there’s usually an enormous queue. It’s not often that I’m out early on a weekday morning so I nipped out that way to check. To my surprise, there was a pump empty so I bunged in 50 litres. That will do me for several months, I reckon.

Back here I had my medication and then spent some time unwinding. I had another call from the nurse. She couldn’t read the stuff that I sent the other day so could I send some different stuff.

Having scanned that and sent it off, the doctor rang me. He still hadn’t received it so I told him that I’d print it out and bring it with me when I go tomorrow. So I printed it all and then the nurse phoned me back to say that he’d now received it and I needn’t bother printing it out.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone during the night. And by the sound of things, I was literally in the Wars. There was a train that we had to go somewhere to board. I think that we were probably prisoners or something. Before I boarded the train I felt the urgent need to go to the bathroom but there wasn’t anywhere to go and I wasn’t able to go standing by the side of the train. In the end I just climbed aboard anyway. I opened a hatch and somehow managed to pull myself inside ready for the train to set off. I don’t know whether we were fighting the Turks or someone like that

We were in the War last night. We left our support trench to go to the Front Line. We had to charge. We swarmed out of the door into No-Man’s Land but didn’t go very far at all. We just took shelter once we were clear. The Germans started to lob hand grenades, really like explosive charges fitted into glass jars. They always seemed to be landing where I was. I had to dodge around quite a lot in order to escape being blown up by one of them. Just at the moment when I was at my least comfortable a German General came round the corner with a couple of orderlies. I don’t know who was more surprised, me or him. He actually ordered me back to my trench instead of wanting to shoot me or anything like that. Then our Colonel came up. He went over to the German General and handed him a file. It turned out that he had given him the whole information about our defences. When I asked why the Colonel said “another part of the Front is much weaker than ours. I wanted to encourage the Germans to go to attack that and leave us all alone

Then I was away somewhere on a voyage and had a really bad attack of cramp in my left calf again. That wiped away every memory that I had of what I was doing and where I had been

Finally I’d been round to see someone. Someone else came with me. This other person was an older person who lived on his own. We were in a car somewhere in Belgium. The first person whom I’d been to see asked me which way I’d come. I told him and he was trying to tell me a better way to arrive that was quicker etc. I wasn’t really sure about this. Then the other person turned up. We got into the car to go somewhere else . I asked him about the first guy “is he always like this?”. He replied “yes, he loves to take control”. Just then the alarm clock somewhere went off. This guy said “yes that’s my alarm clock. I wasn’t sure what was going to be happening so I went to bed and set the alarm for now but as it happens I got up earlier. It’s no problem”. We began to drive to where we were supposed to be going.

Having dealt with that I did some more work on my radio notes and then went back to the Labrador coast. I was interested to read that our hero Vaino Tanner told us a story that when he was in Cartwright he heard a tale of dogs that had attacked and killed a small child, and how all of the locals denied that such a thing had happened.

Yet there I was, out in the abandoned cemetery in the abandoned village of North River across on the other side of Sandwich Bay, looking at the headstone of the grave of Ephraim Williams aged 4 years and 8 months “who was killed by dogs”.

Not only that, looking even deeper into things, I came across the story of little three year-old Willie Davis down the bay at Long Point. His cousin Tom told a reporter that “These dogs come and fastened right into him. I don’t know if Mother was looking or if she heard something. When she started pelting rocks at them, all the proper dogs went away, all but this old black one, he just stayed there and tore away at Willie. “

So small children being attacked, and sometimes killed by dogs is nothing new. In fact, during the Influenza epidemic that almost wiped out the Inuit community of Okak up the coast, it was reported that “dozens of sled dogs grew wild with hunger and began eating the corpses or attacking sick humans”

As well as all of this I’ve been trying to revise the next batch of my Welsh but today it was more a case of fighting off an overwhelming urge to go to sleep. I’m really not doing very well.

Tea was another one of these quinoa and lentil burgers with rice, veg and some thick onion gravy. For some reason, the gravy wasn’t as nice as last week which was a shame. nevertheless, I did manage to eat it all.

Tomorrow I have my appointment with the nerve specialist who is going to do his worst, and I’m not at all looking forward to that. It hurts like hell, but I suppose that it has to be done. I’d better go and have an early night for once in my life.

Wouldn’t it be awkward if I were to fall asleep in the middle of his test?

Saturday 1st July 2023 – FOUR YEARS AGO …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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