Tag Archives: physiotherapist

Thursday 11th January 2024 – THERE SEEMS TO BE …

… some confusion about when I might be going home.

The doctor who came to see me this morning told me that if all goes well and my improvement continues, I might go home at the end of the weekend or on Monday.

The orderly who has just brought me my evening meal tells me that I might be going home as soon as tomorrow.

And if the evening meal that he brought me is anything to go by, tomorrow isn’t soon enough. On the other hand, if my medical condition isn’t up to it, then the longer that I stay here, the better, even if it means drinking more of the dreaded sodium sulphide.

They gave me another dose of it at midday, and I was out like a light again for several hours. I think in all honesty that they do that simply to sneak in here and turn down the heating while I’m away with the fairies. I wondered why it was going cold here.

So apart from being cold and being away with the fairies, I’ve been a busy bee today. Rhys and Helena have been sending me messages to which I’ve been replying.

Helena is one of my oldest friends and we go back well over 50 years to our school days in Nantwich. She, along with Robert, is part of my personal on-line medical staff, having been a nurse in Yorkshire for quite a while.

A couple of neighbours from Granville have spoken to me on the internet too and my neighbour who is currently in Paris spoke to me on the phone.

There have been the dictaphone notes to transcribe as well. With our amazingly busy schedule Nerina and I had hired help to do some of the more mundane tasks around the house. One of them was cutting all the lawns and there were specific days to do it. We were walking through Willaston one afternoon when it was a lawn-cutting day. Th guy who was cutting our lawn was there with our lawn mower and had just gone into a shop to buy a cup of coffee. So evidently I walked nonchalantly into the shop and said “hello” to him. His jaw dropped completely to the bottom. He’s obviously been doing someone else’s lawn and claiming payment for it as well as claiming payment for ours that he never did. He simply left, and left me with the lawnmower equipment which I had to pick up and bring back to the house

Later on, I was asleep in my hospital room when a machine started up, started to make its alarm noise. I waited a minute to see if it was the case then I rang the bell for the night porter like you do. It was actually for real. It really was bleeping and I really did ring the bell. The night nurse appeared. Of course my dream disappeared completely because what I was dreaming was actually the thruth about what was going on yet I’d done it all in my sleep.

I had a kind of field somewhere that needed cutting. I’d talked to a young Filipino boy whom I knew who worked as a coach driver for a local company taking schoolkids around. His boss had one, a tractor with a grasscutter so we agreed that he’d borrow his boss’s tractor and go to cut our grass one morning. I don’t know whether he’d discussed it with his boss or not but that wasn’t my particular concern. We drove him up there that morning but he was in quite an emotional state, going on about how he hated the job, how he hated the coaches, how he hated the boss, how he hated everything, how the boss had paid him £70:00 short on his wages once. It was a real emotional tirade from this young boy. I was sitting listening because if he really was going to throw in his job, that might make a vacancy for me. Talking about tatty coaches – I’ve driven tatty coaches in the past and it’s never bothered me. Tatty bosses, that’s never bothered me either too much so I was listening to all of this. We turned up at the buses place. The tractor with lawn mower attachments was still there. We all stepped out of the car and walked over to it

Having said that during the night, I was always very careful about whose coaches I drove. It was mainly for Shearings and its subsidiaries and one local coach company. And if I was operating “on my own account” the coaches only ever came from one company.

From several other companies I respectfully declined work, including the company who shared the yard from where our taxis operated.

Loads of medical staff have been by today. The doctor has stopped the perfusions because my legs are swelling and regrettably, after all my efforts, I’m gaining weight. So there will be probably something else that will keep me awake during the night now.

But it’s like I say – they give me some medication to cure something and it just creates a problem somewhere else in my body. I don’t think that I could have been assembled correctly in the factory.

The physiotherapist came round, took me for a walk, and then gave me plenty of exercises to do while I’m sitting down, many of which I was already doing.

So while I can certainly criticise the food, I can’t criticise the care that I’m receiving.

While all of this was going on, I’ve been listening to “Help Yourself”.

Effectively an artificial band created by Famepushers, the Entertainment Agency, as a support for singer-songwriter Malcolm Morley, they might be a London band but they have always been considered as honorary Welshmen following their participation in the “All Good Clean Fun” tour, their appearance at the Patti Pavilion with a whole host of Welsh bands at Christmas 1973 and the fact that on the drums was Dave Charles, who for many years was sound engineer at Rockfield Recording Studios in Monmouth.

Due to a failing memory I can’t remember where I met them but it was in the days when they had Ken Whaley and not Paul Burton on bass guitar, although it was Burton at the Patti Pavilion, I seem to remember.

Their claim to fame is the legendary track REAFFIRMATION on their album BEWARE THE SHADOW that just goes to prove that you don’t need to play a lead guitar solo of 10,000 notes in 10 seconds to produce something that is one of the best, if not the most bizarre, lead guitar solo in the history of rock music.

So right now that I’ve finished my notes I intend to go to bed, where I’m hoping to have the best, if not the most bizarre, dreams possible. Not that there’s too much chance of that with all of the noise that goes on around here, but we can always live in hope.

And tomorrow I’ll find out more about going home. But I can’t wait to be back there, if not for the food and decent internet.

Using a bluetooth tethering system is like going back 30 years to the days of dial-up and 14.4 kbs external modems. Click on a link and then go for a coffee and a walk around the village while it opens.

It really is doing my head in.

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?

Thursday 29th June 2023 – I’D BEEN OUT …

… last night walking in the countryside and seen a car that was being pushed about by this enormous ginger cat, really enormous, probably bigger than the car. I watched it for a while then carried on walking. I came across a grey tabby, a normal-sized one. I began to stroke it and it seemed quite friendly so I asked it where its food was. It led me round to someone’s front door where there were a couple of empty bowls. I said “that’s why you’re friendly then is it? You have no food out”. I was giving it a good stroke when the alarm went off and awoke me.

As it happens, i’m surprised that I was in such a deep sleep because for some of the night I was in total agony.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when I was out at the hops the other week I had a searing pain in my left leg followed by a heavy fall. While I was in bed I had exactly the same thing, and not once but twice. That was what I call agony.

When the physio came round this afternoon I told him about it but he was at something of a loss to explain it. But that’s no surprise really, I suppose.

But meanwhile, back at the ran … errr … bedroom I fell out of the bed when the alarm went off and went to perform my ablutions. And after the medication I came back in here to carry on with some work.

And I’ve been a very busy boy today and accomplished tons of stuff.

First thing was to go through and sort out the European Paper Mountain that has been building up, and file everything away. Not before time either because some of this stuff really did have whiskers on it.

Next thing was to do the accounts. Not only do I have to pay the cleaner but I have to do the paperwork that goes with it. I forgot last month so there was two months worth of that to do.

Next step was to fill in a form that my Belgian bank needed, and then to scan it and send it off. While I was at it I came across a couple of e-mails that I’d received and hadn’t answered so that was the next task.

While we’re on the subject of forms filling in … “well, one of us is” – ed … there was a form that the French Government needed. I could do it by going into my “personal space” but I don’t have an access key so I had to telephone them.

And when I finally made contact I was number 24 in the queue so I sat down to read “War and Peace”.

Eventually I spoke to a human and we did the necessary on the telephone. He reminded me that there was a payment outstanding so that was the next task, followed by a shower as the physiotherapist would be coming.

There was probably much more than that too, but I finished off by enrolling on my Welsh course for next year. Level one of the “Advanced” course, although it doesn’t seem much like it. I hope that all this stuff for which I’ve signed up throughout the Summer actually does me some good.

Right now I really don’t have any idea about what’s going on. I’m working on the principle that if you throw enough whatsit onto a wherever, some of it might stick. But that’s no way to run a business.

There was some more stuff on the dictaphone too from during the night. I was driving a coach for a local coach firm in Crewe for whom I did some work at one time during the winter when there was no work at SHearings. It’s the first time that I’ve driven a coach for nearly 30 years. I had to do a whole series of pickups around different places in Crewe. I suddenly realised that it’s 30 years since I’ve lived in Crewe. I don’t know where one or two places are and all the road layouts changed so what I might possibly have done years ago in order to go to the various places will all be different now. I don’t have a clue how I was going to do it. I got into the coach and drove it through the Flag Lane area and down Broad Street. When I reached the top of broad Street I had to do a right-left shunt into one of the streets there but I suddenly realised that it probably would have been better if I’d gone the other way but it’s a bit too late now. In the middle of all of this the owner’s wife called me up on the radio to ask me how long I’d be before I arrived at the pickup point. I was obviously later than I should have been. I just told her “a couple of minutes” but this was starting to become extremely uncomfortable one way or another with all of this that I didn’t know and hadn’t done for years.

After that I was in Brussels last night with a couple of people. One of them had a friend who worked for the European institutions. We were driving around the city. On the way back I pointed down the street towards the Parc Leopold, explaining that that was where the Parc Leopold was and where her friend worked. As we drove a little further on we went over into an area that was supposed to be Schaerbeek but wasn’t. I pointed out the beautiful Town Hall, which amazed them. We headed on back for my apartment.

At some point or other I’d become an MP and theyw ere discussing the thing that I’d done in my constituency. I explained that I’d been away for a couple of weeks but before I went I ordered a pile of tickets for some of them to visit the Parliament. I’d been to the bank to organise some money. I should really go to pick it up but at the moment I’ve only just come back and need to regroup my strength before I go out to do something like that.

Later on I was walking down a street somewhere last night. There were shops and everything, a new parade of shops set at 45° on to the road further down towards the end. I was on my way down there and noticed that one of these shops was full of old motorcycles that had been recovered from barns etc and were up for sale. I was just about to stop for a good look when I had a really bad attack of cramp in the left calf again that awoke me. Yes, fancy that! Just as I get to the interesting bit.

As it happens, I miss my motorbike. When I came to Belgium I had a little Honda Vision scooter and at one time a big Honda CX500. I enjoyed driving that around the countryside in Northern Europe and one thing going through my mind was to buy another one at some time.

I have a CZ 175 down on the farm but it’s not really suitable for what I had in mind. But now even that is out of the question.

While I was rummaging around in the Land That Time Forg … errr … the fridge, I noticed some soya, carrot and lentil burgers that the dinosaurs must have left behind. One of those with some rice, veg and a pile of very thick onion gravy made a lovely tea tonight.

That’s one thing that you can say about round here – no matter how tough things might be, there’s always some good food to eat.

Tomorrow if I’m feeling better I’ll walk into town for a bit of food and post off the cheque that I wrote out today. And then in the afternoon I have the meeting of the owners of this building. I must make sure that my 250/10,000th of this building is adequately represented.

So I’d better have an early night. Here’s hoping that I can actually have a good night’s sleep for a change.

Tuesday 27th June 2023 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… miserable day today.

Not that you would have thought so from the way that things began, because when the alarm went off at 07:00 I was actually up and about already.

After the medication and checking the mails and messages I sat down to work through the Welsh lesson that we would be doing today. But once again, the Teflon brain made its appearance and nothing seemed to stick to it today.

It’s something that is becoming more and more of a daily occurrence, this. It makes me feel rather like Homer Simpson and “every time I learn something new, it pushes out something old”.

It reminds me of a discussion that I had with someone the other day on a Social Network group where I could remember the name of a family who lived in a certain house in village where I lived as a child, over 50 years ago.
“That’s pretty good going” said the woman to whom I was talking.
“That’s as maybe” I replied “but ask me why I walked into the kitchen 5 minutes ago”.

Anyway, the lesson itself was pretty dismal. I couldn’t remember anything and my head was full of spaghetti instead of any coherent thought. I was glad, if not relieved, when it was finished.

What didn’t help was the fact that I was desperately fighting off a wave of sleep. That’s the kind of thing that you can only do for so long and then at some point this afternoon I succumbed.

Out like a light too, and for quite a while. It was quite depressing today.

There’s a pretty good reason though why I was feeling so awful, as I found out when I transcribed the dictaphone notes. I was at home on my own. Everyone else had gone out. I put my phone on charge and was sitting doing a few things here and there. The place was quite untidy. Eventually I took hold of the telephone to check that it was charged and opened the door into the corridor, but opened it really quickly so as to frighten anyone who might possibly have been loitering around outside. There was no-one there so I made my way down the corridor and began to go down the stairs. I heard the front door open so I quickly dashed down to the bottom to turn the lights on to make it look as if I was working down there. I came back up. It was my mother who was for some reason quite angry saying something like I hadn’t spoken to her since she left to go out earlier. I replied that that’s hardly surprising because she wasn’t here. She was out.

Later on I was out in Labrador again, wandering around an old fishing village inspecting what remained there or traditional activities. The harbour was there of course but everything else was closed or run down or depleted. The place was looking really sad and sorry for itself. I hardly recognised it from its heyday when it was in the photos in a lot of the newspapers etc at the time.

Did I dictate the one about going on a coach trip … “no you didn’t” – ed. There had been snow in the mountains. We were staying somewhere for a couple of nights. We were having lots of problems with the snow but it stopped. I thought that this would be the moment to try to leave this valley, up into the mountains and out the other side. We sent the passengers off in a coach. Apparently the conditions were so bad in the mountains that the coach became stuck in the snow. I had to walk all the way after it, rescue the passengers and bring them back down the valley by walking. It took several days to do this. I managed to chivvy them up into being a little enthusiastic about it but it was clearly not going to work and there would be loads of complaints. In the end we managed to struggle back to the hotel where we’d been. I just hoped that the landlord hadn’t re-let the beds so that people had a place to go back to rest while we thought of another plan. Someone said to me that they knew that I’d tried my best but that I certainly wasn’t any expert. I replied that I’m certainly the first to admit that I have an awful lot to learn about everything.

Then we were back in Labrador. There had been a table lamp set up on a table there that over the years had melted a hole in the top of the television. You could travel in and out of this hole and broadcast yourself to wherever you wanted to go so I went to Labrador and had a look around. I found that the Europeans were packing up and making ready to move off somewhere else. These items said something about having flights back to the local people but I thought that it was more like that the company had exploited the area for all that it was worth. Now there was nothing whatever left of the interest so they were disposing of the evidence basically by giving it to the Inuit and hoing that the Inuit would clean it up.

Later still I was with another driver from Shearings spending the night in a Bed-and-Breakfast in Welsh Row, Nantwich. While we were out in the evening we came to this Australian group of older people who were quite intoxicated and in a bad temper. They were looking for some fish and chips. I don’t know why my friend did it but he rounded them up and told them to follow us and come to have some chips at the pub. I thought it strange because it was the last thing that I wanted to do, to be associated with people like this. They followed up and walked past 2 or 3 fish and chip shops. They were protesting. In the end they came to our pub. We went up to our room for the night. You could hear these Australians whining and moaning at the bar. Next morning I awoke. It was 09:20 and we had to be on the road at 10:30. I thought we’d have to hurry. My friend had been up and out once. I heard someone talking about a Mausolina. I asked him what it was. He replied that it was something that was petit, petit, petit, petit as in “small”. I thought that i’d better dress quickly and see if there’s any food. I don’t want to talk about these Australians because I had a feeling that things hadn’t gone very well with them last night and I didn’t want to stir the pot.

And finally I was a pilot on board an HMS sailing ship that had put into Labrador. We’d left the ship and went for an explore in a settlement on the coast that was formerly some kind of European colony. I can’t remember very much at all of this from here on.

It seems that I’m spending a lot of time in Labrador during the night. It’s probably the effect of wading through all of these notes that I wrote or am trying to write about my trip there in 2017. And I need to push on with that.

Today though I’ve been wading through the working files on the computer and deleted or moved, would you believe, 60GB of data from the working drive – something that I should have done a long time ago. Despite how awful I was feeling, that was some pretty good work today.

The physiotherapist came round today and we went for a walk outside. I told him that things are going downhill as far as my mobility goes and he’s going to have a think about what he can do try and pump me up to keep going. But right now it’s quite a struggle to move around.

Tea tonight was a taco roll with some of the stuffing that was left over. There’s still plenty for a chili sin carné tomorrow with some kidney beans added in.

While we’re on the subject of Welsh lessons … “well, one of us is ” – ed … regular readers of this rubbish will recall that I was thinking about doing 2 Welsh courses next year. One course as the successor to the one that I’m doing now and another to retake the current course.

What has happened though is that I noticed a three-week crash course on a full-time basis offered by the Gwent College of Further Education. I’ve undertaken a few courses with them in the past and quite enjoyed them, so I’ve signed up for this one.

That will keep me out of mischief for the month of August, so with the one-week Summer Revision School in July and three weeks in August to do the course again, if I haven’t grasped it by then, then I never will.

All I need now is to wind up my brain, but that’s a pretty hopeless cause these days. I’m losing my braincells at a rather rapid rate of knots. All I have left are my marbles but I’ll be losing them before too long.

Thursday 22nd June 2023 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… depressing day today. And I bet that you are as fed up of reading about it as I am about living it.

My own fault though. I had a doctor’s appointment at 10:00 this morning so I decided that I’d be brave and walk – or, rather, hobble – down the hill into town on my crutches.

The idea didn’t exactly fill me with confidence but I had to do it. And it passed without any serious incident, which was good news. Just the occasional wobble here and there.

But as you might expect, I was well out of it this afternoon. Totally out of my tree in fact.

And that’s not really much of a surprise because apart from the fact that it seems to be par for the course these days whenever I go anywhere, when the alarm went off this morning at 07:00 I’d been up for ages.

First thing that I did after the medication was to try to resolve a computer issue. I said yesterday that I’d fitted a new hard drive into this machine. A couple of my graphics programs weren’t functioning correctly so I left them in the end and went to bed.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, graphics is one of the reasons why I bought a machine like this big desktop machine. But it’s not a proprietary machine, it’s something of a “bitsa” with a collection of assorted bits and pieces for the best possible performance, and I’ve upgraded it since I’ve had it.

Consequently you’re wasting your time looking for a manufacturer’s upgrade.

After prowling around for a while in the innards of the machine, I found that it was working with the drivers for a Windows-generic video card and I couldn’t remember the make of the video card that we fitted. I had to work through quite a collection of drivers until I found the correct one.

It’s working so much better now, which is nice.

All I need to work out now is why although the operating system recognises the 32GB of RAM that’s fitted, only one bank of 16GB seems to be working.

Even so, with a Solid State Hard Drive powering the machine it’s working a lot quicker and a lot quieter too.

In between all of this I had a shower to make myself look pretty and then struggled down to the doctors for a check-up and for the prescription for the next lot of Aranesp. I mentioned the hospital in Paris and he says that it’s one of the best in the country with a famous nerve-centre, if you’ll excuse the pun.

But the good news, if you can call it that, is that because there is no obvious element that’s affecting my nervous system, he reckons that I’m classed as permanently disabled. He’ll type a report for me to pick up tomorrow and told me to go the the Mairie and tell them.

And so I did, and they gave me half a rain-forest worth of papers to fill in. And if I need any help I can call a Social Services rep to help me. I have to fill it in and send it to the Prefecture at St-Lô, and then prepare for a long wait.

But if I’m lucky, I’ll have a disabled parking pass, free transport on the buses (mind you, buses are free here in Granville anyway) and things like that.

Next stop was the Post Office.

Something else that I’d done this morning was to gather up the papers that I needed and to fill in my Tax Return. That needed to be posted and there was a recorded delivery letter to pick up.

Next week it’s the annual general meeting of the owners of this building and as I own 250/10,000 of it since April I’m invited. So there was another rain-forest worth of papers about that sent to me by recorded delivery.

There’s a new artisanal high-class bakery opened in town so I stopped off for some specialty bread for my cheese on toast. I thought that in view of the effort that I’d made, I deserved to pousser le bateau dehors as they might say around here.

Final stop was to go to the chemists to drop off the prescription. 6 months worth of Aranesp but they can only order it one month at a time. I have to ring her every 4 weeks to reorder it.

It was the nice cheerful girl who served me today. “do you want to pay for it now?” she asked.
“Just this four weeks” I replied. “Not all of it”
“That’s what I meant” she retorted.

It was a struggle to come back up the hill onto my rock and I was exhausted. I had my coffee and cheese on toast but that was really my lot. I was in no fit state to do anything else for quite a while.

Later on I did manage to have a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. And it’s a surprise to me that I was up and about so early because I travelled miles. In fact, I probably got out of bed on my way back home from my travels. I started out in Labrador last night. I’d been to visit a spot where a member of my family used to live. There was some information that I gathered there that I knew would be of interest to someone else who was hunting down family relics. I made a note and brought the information or copies of it with me and met up with this guy back at his place where because of the way that whatever was written on this information that I had, it was all about snow etc which of course would be most unlikely in South Cheshire but it was a very complicated ritual involved in making sure that he had the information. Then I had of course to get the information from him that he had found out about my family so it was all extremely confusing about this Labrador in Cheshire kind of thing.

Then there was a tractor for sale at a rather cheap price. I went to see it but when I returned Nerina asked me about it. I told her that basically it’s been taken in part-exchange and they want rid of it quite quickly so they’ll do a good deal for cash. She was wondering why it wasn’t on the forecourt. I explained that word about this tractor would go around by word of mouth quickly enough. They don’t need to make any effort to sell it etc. There was one guy there who insisted on shouting me down, giving me his own interpretation of what was happening even though I’d just been to talk to the owner about it. he wouldn’t let up no matter how I tried to explain to Nerina. In the end I told her “the vendor knows exactly how much that tractor owes him, exactly how much it’s costing them to keep it on the forecourt”, all the little details like that. They’ll know exactly where the breakeven point will be so if someone comes along with the cash they’d let it go. But this guy was not having any of this at all. It was really strange how he thought he knew absolutely everything without even having been to see it and talk to people about it. He thought that I was totally wrong.

I’d also been out with one of my schoolfriends. On the way back we stopped at his house. I started to chat to his sister who I fancied (and I actually did too in real life). We had something of a flirty exchange as a couple of teenagers would. I happened to mention something about Saturday night. she said that she was doing something that night which was a shame because I was hoping that she might be free and want to come out somewhere. We continued this chat and she asked me “what are you doing Tuesday night?”. I replied “nothing”. She continued “do you want to come with me on Tuesday night instead?”. Of course immediately my ears pricked up. I asked “where are we going?”. She asked “how do you fancy going to church?”. I replied “if it means going with you, I’ll come”. She said “it’s every fortnight”. I replied “that’s not a problem. I can manage that”. We arranged to meet on the Tuesday night. I went outside after that ready to go home. My friend was outside so I said “you’ll never guess what I’m doing on Tuesday night”. He replied “you’re going to church youth club aren’t you?”. I asked “how do you know?”. he didn’t really give me an answer about that but he obviously knew that there was something in the wind. She didn’t really like me all that much in real life when we were at school, which was no real surprise. But she went to University in Manchester while I was living there and we did meet up a few times, but nothing much ever came of it.

I was at work last night. I’d gone into the office which was packed. I went to find the lift to take me up to my floor. There were dozens of people hanging around the lift, people making music and singing Christmas carols, a little choir etc. It looked as if everyone was preparing fo Christmas. I was hoping that I’d see my Irish friend so that I could talk to her about my date on Tuesday night (so I must have gone back into that previous dream) but I can’t remember what happened after that.

She was a nice girl too and I liked her very much. We went on a skiing holiday once together which was really good fun but she had far too much good sense ever to become involved with me

Finally we were in Iceland waiting for a ferry back to the mainland of Europe. There was a storm and the ferry was delayed. It looked as if it wouldn’t sail for ages. Everyone was dashing around trying to find accommodation but I had a cunning plan. I would hire a van and sleep in it for a few nights which I reckoned would work out a lot cheaper. There was a young girl there whom I liked very much. We’d spent a lot of time chatting. We were standing in the queue and I bought her a coffee. I asked her what she intended to do. Obviously if she didn’t have any accommodation i was going to invite her to share the van. She mentioned Tom, another guy on this trip with us. She said “I’ll be spending the night with Tom, my boyfriend. I’ve been spending the last couple of nights with him anyway so another night won’t make any difference”. Of course you’ve absolutely no idea how disappointed I was, or maybe you have, I dunno. It’s quite a regular occurrence during the night – me being confounded like this while I’m engaged in the evil pursuit of nice young ladies. Anyway that was that.

The physiotherapist came round today too and massaged my right knee which is now playing up after my walk. I’m wondering what is going to break next. I’m at the stage where I’m afraid to go to the toilet.

Tea was a big bowl of pasta and veg with the rest of that vegan bolognaise stuff from last week. I livened it up with some chili and garlic salt and that gave it a kick.

Tomorrow I’m off to town again for my Aranesp and a bit of shopping. That means that in the afternoon I’ll be flat out on my chair again. It’s becoming far too much of a habit but there’s nothing that I can do about it regrettable. Onwards and upwards, hey?

Thursday 15th June 2023 – IF I EVER LAY …

… my hands on whoever rang my doorbell at some stupid time of the morning, like 04:00 or something like that, they won’t ever do it again.

What made matter worse was that despite what I’d said yesterday, I didn’t go to bed until quite late. Much later than usual in fact.

And when I did, I couldn’t sleep for ages afterwards. And then we had all that nonsense.

At least, I thought that it was the doorbell because that’s exactly what it sounded like. But there was always the possibility that I’d dreamt it. I’m not ruling that out.

And strange as it may seem, I was up early too. When the alarm went off I was sitting on the edge of the bed looking for my clothes. That was something I hadn’t done for a good few days.

After the medication I had another slow start to the day and it wasn’t until I’d had my mid-morning coffee and fruit bun that I was able to start work – that is, when I wasn’t curled up asleep on the chair.

And by the time that I knocked off I was in Paradise River poring over the diaries of George Cartwright, who in 1775 was the first European known to have visited the area and ” sent the people on shore to build the wharf on a point which I named Paradise”.

However what intrigues me is Carl Rafn’s “Antiquities Americanae” from 1846. I’ve been poring over them as well.

Rafn was the first scholar to take seriously the Norse Sagas of the visits to Vinland and his translations refer to a visit by Thorvald to an area and who was so pleased with this place, that he exclaimed “This is beautiful and here I should like well to fix my dwelling”

Thorvald describes in great detail the area where he is and it corresponds pretty much with what I see on a map when I look at Sandwich Bay. In fact, regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when I was near there I went out in a small boat to look at the geographical features along the coast there.

Rafn though made several miscalculations and ended up putting the Norse ashore in Massachusetts, something that confused people for 70 years.

Firstly, he calculated the distance that a Norse longboat would sail in an hour, multiplied that by 24 and then by the number of days to arrive at their destination.

However, in my opinion, it’s out of the question that, experienced sailors as they were, they would have sailed into unfamiliar waters and kept going through the hours of darkness. They would almost certainly have heaved to until daylight.

Secondly, Rafn calculated the distances based on the speed of a longboat. However the Sagas state that they bought a boat from a trader who put in to Erik the Red’s camp at Brattahlid.

It wasn’t until they carried out some excavations at Roskilde in the early 1960s that they came across a Norse trading vessel, or Knǿrr and that has completely different sailing characteristics

The physiotherapist came round this afternoon and had me walking up and down the stairs. And it’s difficult, that’s for sure. Nothing like as good as it was two weeks ago and that’s a real disappointment. I thought that I was making decent progress until that latest fall.

But still, no matter how bad I’m feeling, there are always people worse off than me.

With him coming I went and had a shower. And while I was at it I went one better than Dave Crosby. probably because I had the ‘flu for Christmas and it was increasing my paranoia. Sill, I’m not giving in an inch to fear because I promised myself this year – I feel like I owe it to someone.

This evening I was stuck for an idea for tea. But having a rummage around I came across some vegan bolognaise sauce with soya mince that I’d completely forgotten. The expiry date on the jar was about 100 years ago but in for a penny in for a pound and it was actually quite nice.

There’s half a jar left so I’ll have that next week with some more pasta and veg.

But a tragedy here – I’ve run out of brussels sprouts now after all of that pile I bought and froze at Christmas. I mustn’t forget to buy some more at the weekend, but I have a feeling that ready-frozen ones might have to do.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone from the night. Whenever whoever it was rang my doorbell, if that’s what it was, I was in Canada again, down at the end of a headland looking out to sea where there was another island. There was some kind of pond there. We’d measured it and it was 10kms across and ever so deep. There were all kinds of grids around, all marked with yellow paint as if there was something going to happen to them. There was talk about this island joining up with the part of Canada where we were. That would have happened much earlier had there not decided to be a vote on it. We made some kind of remark about how people complained that it was democratic where we were and not democratic on the island yet the agreement to unite had been taken by the mainland without any kind of vote at all yet the people on the island had been allowed to have a vote on it. We thought that to be extremely ironic.

Later on I was doing something for some kind of investigation. We had to go to Edinburgh so I went on the back of someone’s motorcycle. When we arrived in Edinburgh I couldn’t remember my way. Nothing in Edinburgh looked like anything that I ever knew. We became confused at a road junction on this motorbike and ended up on the pavement trying to work out our way. There were all kinds of people hanging around. The driver of the motorbike said “put your feet up on the pedals and hang on tight. These people don’t look very safe to me”. We set off still going the wrong way and came to an old house. We went in but couldn’t find what we wanted and lost our way again. We ended up back in a Government library with all kinds of old documents. We described this house to someone. he came up with several suggestions and showed us photos but none seemed to resemble this particular house, situated set back from the road on a corner by a railway line with a statue in front. While we were there we started to go through their records for something else. I found loads of interesting things like squardrom flying books from World War I. The papers we wanted we couldn’t find. They kept bringing us files telling us that these were the correct ones but none of the references matched. But I was having a whale of a time going through here reading all the old notebooks, pencils and Court reporters’ books. I thought that I could have moved in and lived here with all of this but none of this was actually finding the information that they wanted. He kept on coming up with stuff that he said was the correct reference but when I looked at it, it was nothing like the information that we wanted.

So now I really am going to bed. But I’ll change the bedding first now that I’m all clean and tidy. It’ll be nice to have some clean bedding. I really ought to change it more often than I do. Usually it walks into the linen basket on its own so I need to organise myself better than I do.

But not much hope of that. As Guildenstern said in “Hamlet” “dreams indeed are ambition, for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream”

But as an anonymous writer once said about the father of George Cartwright whom we discussed earlier,
He had a genius for encountering difficulties

Friday 9th June 2023 – I HAVEN’T ‘ARF …

… done a lot today. And I don’t know where all this energy has come from.

It certainly didn’t come from any rest that I might have had because I didn’t have very much of that. I spent most of the night tossing and turning and trying to make myself comfortable

Even worse, there was nothing on the dictaphone. That was really disappointing. As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I have said in the past … “and on more than one occasion too” – ed … that what goes on during the night is usually much more exciting than anything that ever happens to me during the day.

However, when the alarm went off I was deep in the depths of sleep and once more, it took quite an effort to raise myself from the dead.

After the meds and checking the mails and messages I sat down to work.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, Friday is usually the day that I walk into town for a little shopping. But not today because I really didn’t feel very much at all like it.

So what have I been doing today then?

I’ve been in Newfoundland again on my Canada 2017 journey. This morning I was hunting down stuff about the first commercial transatlantic flights with the Sikorsky S42; Boeing 314 Clipper and the Short Empire flying boats.

And then discussing the submarine and aircraft battles off the coast of Newfoundland and in the Gulf of St Lawrence.

Another name cropped up too – that of Sidney Cotton, inventor of the Sidcot flying suit in World War I and the guy who was responsible for the first aerial surveys of Newfoundland.

And in the late 1930s when he was joyriding in his aeroplane over Central Europe with his succession of teenage female “friends”, it transpired when Frederick Winterbottom published the memoirs of MI6 in 1974 that Cotton was secretly taking aerial photographs of every German military installation he could find.

As an aside, Winterbottom’s book is one of the most interesting that i’ve ever read. It was he who told the world about Turing and Ultra, and explained that the reason why its existence was never disclosed until then was that one country, believed to be Albania, was still using it thinking that it was unbreakable.

This afternoon I’ve been clambering over the wreckage of a 440-tonne steamer in the Strait of Belle Isle. There are plenty of wrecks along that coast and on our travels we’ve seen plenty.

They could never take away the scrap because there were no roads in that part of the world until comparatively recently. Newfoundland and Labrador didn’t actually become part of Canada until 1949. Prior to that they were a British colony and starved of resources just like any other colony.

The most interesting wreck on that coast that we saw though is that of HMS Raleigh. That was a cruiser that ran aground at Point Amour in 1922 and sat on the rocks for 4 years as a hazard. In the end they decided to remove it by force and calculated how much explosive they would need to break it into pieces and remove it by sea.

However they forgot about the ammunition still on board and as a result there are bits of her scattered all over the cliffs and the grass on top

That was where I met that lady who looked at the car I’d come in and asked me“have you just driven around the Trans-Labrador Highway in THA?”

And I replied “It’s not the car that counts, it’s the driver. And for my next journey I’m going to cross the Atlantic on a motor bike.”

However, as Kenneth Williams and Alfred Hitchcock will tell you, “it’s a waste of time telling jokes to foreigners”.

The physiotherapist came to see me this afternoon. He’s spoken to the nerve specialist whom I’m to see in a few days time. And it is as I suspected – that the problems are more-than-likely caused by the cancer that is slowly eating its way through my body and there’s not much that anyone can do about it.

And so I’ll just have to grin and bear it

Tea tonight was sausage, beans and chips. And what started that off was when I was going through my notes about Canada 2017, I spent that particular night in a wooden hut on a hillside where there was a microwave, and I had some potatoes, sausage and beans in the back of Strider to I treated myself. And that set my mouth a-watering.

Most of that trip was spent with the slow cooker and porridge for breakfast, whatever I could find for lunch, and pasta, a tin of mixed vey and a tin of soup also in the slow cooker in the evening. Slow cookers don’t draw much current so an inverter wired into Strider’s alternator heated up the cooker when needed.

Tomorrow I’m going to be brave, even though I don’t feel like it, and go to see what is about in the shops. I’ll just go to LeClerc I reckon, not to Noz as I don’t want to fall over on the car park again.

And then I’ll carry on with my notes. If I keep going like this I should be across the Strait of Belle Isle on the elderly MV Apollo, which is now beneath the waves in the Gulf of St Lawrence, but I’ll be somewhere up the coast of Labrador.

If I’m lucky

Thursday 8th June 2023 – I’VE JUST HAD …

… quite possibly the nicest tea that I’ve ever had – at least, that I’ve made myself.

Steamed vegetables in a cheese sauce with vegan meatballs, it was. And for the vegetables there was a small handful each of potatoes peas carrots, runner beans, sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli, cooked to absolute perfection with some dried mint in the steamer

There’s no doubt whatever though that the pièce de résistance was the broccoli that I froze the other day. It was a hundred times better than any frozen broccoli that I have ever bought from a shop

So when there’s more room in the freezer I’ll buy some cauliflower and freeze that too and see if that makes a difference. I’ve already commented in the past that the sprouts and carrots that I have frozen in the past are much better than any shop-frozen ones have ever been

The vegan fondant cheese that I put in my bechamel sauce was delicious too along with the fresh-ground black pepper and tarragon.

There’s no doubt in my mind that my cooking is slowly improving.

Which is more than can be said for my sleep. When the alarm went off this morning I really was deep in the arms of Morpheus and I had to struggle to my feet. But that was probably because I didn’t go to bed until long after midnight, being stuck in at my travel notes from 2017.

And that’s what i’ve been doing today, bashing out yet more stuff.

This morning I was dealing with the “Arrow Air” crash at Gander Lake, reading the Canadian Air Investigation Board reports where the investigators argued about the causes of the crash to such extent that the Board was wound up and a new organisation created.

This afternoon though I was hunting down stuff relating to the Newfoundland Railway, at one time in its heyday the longest narrow-gauge network in the World but which was closed down overnight in the 1980s during Canada’s ruthless savaging of its railway network that made Beeching look like a guardian angel.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall my misadventures trying to go to see my niece just now. There’s actually a railway station at the back of her office that would have been ideal of course but that line was closed in 1989 when the Canadian Pacific slashed its entire network east of Montreal.

There is now only one passenger train east of Québec City and that’s the train that I caught. It goes down to the coast at Halifax and runs every Preston Guild.

The physiotherapist came round today, and he says that he’ll be here tomorrow. He tells me that he’s quite concerned about the way that things are developing, and to be honest, so am I. But there’s not much that I can do about it. At least I had a shower before he came so that I would smell nice.

And after he went I crashed out for half an hour. I must admit that I was feeling dreadful for a while

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too from the night. Morton were playing in a football match, a Cup Final of some description. They had gone 1-0 up but towards the end of the game the opposition equalised. They were pressing forward and the keeper, Brian Schwake, made a really good and dramatic save with just seconds to play. he gathered the ball, kicked it downfield straight away and Jai Quitongo running down the field reached the ball and took it into the opposing penalty area to score past the keeper. As a result Morton won their first Cup competition for quite some considerable time. And no-one is more surprised that me that I can remember the names of Morton’s right-winger and on-loan Livingston goalkeeper when I’m asleep.

Not so much luck with this next one though. There was another dream somewhere about a few of us out walking. The girl with us was handicapped. Someone had to explain to one of the little boys what that actually meant and what the implications were but I can’t remember any more of this.

My delicious tea I’ve already mentioned, so now I might even have an early night. Tomorrow I’m carrying on with my little voyage around Newfoundland.

Amongst the places I’ll be visiting will be the site of where the very first commercial Transatlantic flights across the North Atlantic landed (well, they didn’t actually “land” but you’ll see what I mean when you eventually read the notes) in the late 1930s and also where the very first action of World War II on the American continent took place.

There’s no doubt that I was certainly getting around back in those days. Strider and STRAWBERRY MOOSE did me proud.

Tuesday 6th June 2023 – THERE WAS A LITTLE …

… more improvement through the night and for a change I had a better sleep than I’ve had for a few days.

It was 06:00 when I awoke and when the alarm went off at 07:00 I was already up and about.

After the medication and checking the mails and messages I revised for my Welsh lesson. And much to my surprise the lesson went quite well and I surprised myself with one or two things that I remembered that even impressed me.

But I think that I’ve reached a decision about my studies next year.

Having spent the first three months of the year in Canada or in hospital and so not being able to follow the course properly and as a result, deciding not to take the exam this year, I’m going to enrol in the next year’s course anyway but I’m going to find a way to retake this year.

There’s a Wednesday evening class that Coleg Cambria runs on-line from their College at Mold, but Coleg Cambria in Gwent also runs on-line courses and I’ve been to a few of their weekend and Summer schools. They might have something too

The difficulty is that the language in North Wales is different in many respects from that in South Wales.

A quick look at any map of Wales will see quite easily the line that’s drawn across the centre that represents the valleys of the Severn and the Mawddwy rivers. That’s the traditional route for invaders and occupiers.

Ever since the arrival of the Romans the country has effectively been split into two and the language has evolved differently in each part. With my grandmother coming from The Maelor I’m a northerner and say things like “rwan” instead of “nawr”, “efo” instead of “gyda” and “pres” instead of “arian”.

And that reminds me. If I do sign up to repeat the course in Gwent I’ll have to buy another course book. I won’t be able to use the one that I have.

For the rest of the day I’ve been working on my Canada 2017 voyage.

At St John’s I went to see my friend and we went for a meal together. And next morning I went off to Harbour Grace.

That’s one of the most interesting towns in the whole of Newfoundland. Apart from being a port and the centre of piracy in the early 17th Century, it’s the site of the terminus of the first railway line in Newfoundland and there’s an abandoned ship of several thousand tonnes that’s over 100 years old sitting on a sandbank offshore.

Much more interestingly though, there’s an airstrip above the town which was the site of the take-off of several of the earliest Transatlantic flights.

Amelia Earhart flew from there to become the first woman to pilot a plane across the Atlantic, and Brock and Schlee took off from there on one of the legs of their flight that became the first to circumnavigate the earth. All in all, 20 Transatlantic flights took off from there of which 9 of them failed to make it to their destination.

The physiotherapist came round this afternoon too. he thinks that i’ve twisted my ankle and that’s the cause of the problem.

He gave my ankle a massage and said that seeing as he’s in the building tomorrow he’ll look in and see how I am doing.

There was plenty of stuff on the dictaphone from the night. There was a group of Americans working with us in what was my old school in one of the classrooms. For some reason they finished what it was that they were doing but the rest of us were still working. What I did was to pick up a handful of cards, go through them to try to find one or two that they could take with them and go to the library to write some research notes on topics on a couple of these cards

Then I was monitoring a lion for some reason although I was doing it on the quiet. There was a public watchman and there was me. One day the public watchman left to go to the shops for something. Someone else came by in his car. He parked up and from my little observation spot he went to the video camera and changed some of the settings, presumably so that it would record different things. When he did that he reset the times and went off again. I was wondering what he was doing, thinking that it’s a good job that I was here. The guy was then back in the area somehow. I didn’t see him but his sheepdog came bounding off the road and through the rocks on the side of the lake. From where I was sitting the other side of the lake I could see the lion lurking among the rocks. As the dog bounded past the rocks with the lion, the lion bounded out and began to give chase.

Dorothée, my little friend from Montréal, put in an appearance last night. She sent us a voice message. When we listened to it the first thing that went through our head was that it was someone breaking wind. I wanted to send her a message saying “next time don’t eat quite so many beans” but for some unknown reason the touchscreen on my phone wasn’t working. I couldn’t activate the reply function or the reply box to this particular message. I was there for ages trying to push the screen to make it accept.

It’s been quite a while since she last put in an appearance during the night. Probably the last time that I saw her in any shape or form was in the flesh when she and I went for a coffee together when I was in Montréal in September.

Someone else who put in an appearance last night was Zero, and it’s been a while since she’s come to see me during the night, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall. She invited me to take her to the shops last night and of course I agreed.

But I sat up wide-awake at that point, obviously from shock. What a moment to wake up, just as I was about to ride off into the sunset with her.

Tea tonight was a taco roll with some of the left-over stuffing from yesterday. It was delicious too. And with the stuffing that remains I’ll add that to one of the half-portions of curry in the freezer.

So I’ll have to make some more naan bread tomorrow. That last lot was delicious and if I can make some more like that I’ll be extremely happy. I’m getting to be quite domesticated these days.

Thursday 1st June 2023 – MY LASAGNE …

… for tea tonight was actually quite good.

There’s room for improvement of course but bearing in mind that this is the first one that I’ve made since I was living in Reyers more than 25 years ago, it was by no means disappointing.

There wasn’t enough filling, but that’s a minor problem. There’s enough food left nevertheless to make two more meals so it’s just as well that it worked.

What I did was to put some lentils in the slow cooker and slowly bring them to the boil. Then they were rinsed and put back in with clean water and some basil, oregano and tarragon. Mind you, I almost forgot to rinse them and had to leave my comfortable bed to do that.

Later on this afternoon I added some bulghour and later still, because there was still plenty of water, I added some porridge oats to soak it up and stiffen the mix.

At teatime I fried an onion and garlic with more of the herbs, added my mix from the slow cooker and some tomato concentrate, then layered alternate layers of pasta sheet and my cooked mix, topped it off with a thick cheese sauce and baked it in the oven, and away we went.

During the night I went away too. So much so that for a change just recently I wasn’t up before the alarm. It awoke me with a start when it went off but I didn’t hang around at all in bed.

After the medication and checking the mails and messages I had a listen to the dictaphone notes. And I really Had been away. Back at Hogwarts at one point too during the night with HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE seeing the kids at their dance. Ron had split up from Lavender Brown. There was another girl there who was sulking for some reason or other. Ron went to ask her to dance but she replied “they aren’t playing our tune”. All her friends told him to leave her alone. Just then the music started to play it so a couple of people went to dance her and missed. She moved away. I don’t know what happened to Ron and this girl then but Hermione was there dancing with someone whom I didn’t know when the dance floor collapsed. They carried on dancing and it looked as if they would dance into the ladies’ lavatory. Someone just coming out of the door said to hermione “do you want some paper as well?”. It all was very strange.

Back in Harry Potter again later and there was something about spying on someone’s house. It was very difficult to do. There was a fallen tree with its branches and we had to hide ourselves in the fallen tree’s branches to do it. We piled into a car and set out to drive. There was a lot of traffic and I was weaving in and out of it and almost had a collision with someone. They went in front of me and put their brakes on to slow down so I did too. We had a slow drive with all the traffic on the road. We came to Barbridge where there was a fallen tree in the middle of the road. I said to the others “lock your doors and hang on because this is a trap” thinking that someone had cut down the tree for it to fall across the road to stop us and ambush us when we left the vehicle to see what was happening.

Later still I’d seen an AC Cobra for sale in the local newspaper so Laurence and I went round to see it with Roxanne. It was somewhere off nantwich Road in Crewe so we eventually managed to find the house. We walked straight into the house without knocking. We found the car in a downstairs room covered by a blanket. First of all my taxi detector wouldn’t work. Then I realised that an AC Cobra wouldn’t have been a taxi anyway. Found the guy and his wife sitting in a room next door, not in the least perturbed by the fact that we were in their house. We went back into the room and began to look around at this vehicle. He told me that he wanted £30,000 for it, which I thought was cheap. But that turned out to be the deposit to take it for a test drive – it was really £250,000. There was no way that I could afford that. I pretended that I was interested and got down to look underneath it. It was quite badly rotten around the edges. I thought to myself “he’s asking for a lot of money for something in this kind of condition. Even if I were to buy it, I didn’t have the mobility to crawl around underneath it with welding tackle etc these days. There’s no way that I could consider this vehicle” but I wasn’t going to tell him that until I’d had a good look around to find out what else was wrong.

I was back in this dream again later on and we were leaving. Down at the bus station was a bus going to Mold. We were saying our goodbyes but the driver prepared to close the doors. This woman and I ran to the door and scrambled aboard. We had a look for the guy who was with us but he wasn’t on board. By now the bus had set off. I thought “never mind. We’re on here and Roxanne is on here”. I asked for two and a half to Mold. he smiled and said “I’m not going to Mold”. “Well, take us to wherever you’re going”. He gave me two and a half tickets which came to 11/-. The first thing that I did was seeing as I had some money ready I said that I’d give him the shilling but it was a £10 note. Then I had a 10/- note for him. He looked at me and asked “is that correct?”. I suddenly realised that I’d done, took the £10 note back and gave him 1/-. I went to sit down and to worry about contacting the other guy later. There were 2 boys on the bus who made some kind fo remark about me handing over a £10 note and how did I spot it from that distance? I replied “when you reach a certain age you don’t look at the money, you can smell the difference between the notes.

Much of the rest of the day has been spent on Day Two of my 2017 trip to North America and the page is practically finished. However, we did hit an obstruction.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that one thing always leads to another, and once you start, you’ll be surprised just how many other things there are.

The subject of Marguerite de Bourgeoys cropped up on that web page.

She was a big friend of Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, the founder of Montreal and she was on one of the very first emigrant voyages to Nouvelle France where she occupied herself with spiritual works and the welfare of the filles du roi, the young girls from orphanages who were sent out to become brides for the soldiers who remained there to settle after having been discharged from the army.

They both came from Troyes which was on my shuttle route between Virlet and Brussels so on the very last time that I drove the route, instead of doing it overnight as I usually did, I took a whole week and visited every place of interest that I could find along the way.

One of the places that I visited was the family home of the Chomedeys and I found all of my photos. But seeing as Troyes is such a beautiful old town I took dozens of photos of many old house and I couldn’t remember which one was his.

No trace of the notes that I made, which was a surprise – especially as they were written up from the following day all the way back to Virlet.

In the end, I had to dive back into the bowels of the back-up disk and find the dictaphone recordings from the journey and re-transcribe the notes for the relevant day and mate them to the photos.

That’s another project that I’ll have to do one of these days. The road between the Belgian border at Rocroi and down to Nevers is one of the most beautiful and historic in all of France. I had a plan that when I was stuck for something to do (whenever that might be) I’d pick a long road like that, explore it thoroughly and write a book about it.

The TRANS LABRADOR HIGHWAY was done in 2010, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall and I’m doing Version 2.0 even as we speak.

After that, I wrote a pile of stuff about Lanouiller and de Bécancour’s CHEMIN DU ROY between Montreal and the city of Québec and all the way down the “Forgotten Coast” as far as it’s possible to go.

The road between Rocroi and Nevers was to be the third of the trilogy but ill-health and feeling sorry for myself somehow conspired to get in the way of all of my plans.

Someone else for whom I was feeling sorry for was the physiotherapist. He came by at 17:00 to tell me that he’s busy and will be back at 19:30. That was a major inconvenience, disrupting my evening like that and I made sure that he knew.

Rosemary phoned me at lunchtime and we had another one of our marathon chats that go on for ever. She’s being swept up by the turn of events and it’s not easy for “a stranger in a strange land” to deal with some of the things that go on. It’s not something that bothers me too much because I couldn’t care less, but Rosemary is much more sensible and focused than I ever am.

After she hung up, I went for a shower to clean myself up ready for His Nibs to come round and put me through my paces

As I mentioned earlier, tea was delicious. And now that I’ve finished my notes I’m off to bed.

Tomorrow I have to nip into town which will do me good. And then I have to carry on with Canada 2017 and sort out the mess that will be Trans-Labrador Highway Version 2.0

So once I finish that I’ll have to do Rocroi-Nevers next, then carry on with the Arctic stuff, go back and carry on with the Emigrant Trails stuff, organise the Grand Banks trips and probably 1000 other things too.

Never mind anything else – I’m far too busy to die right now.

Tuesday 30th May 2023 – HAVING SAID THAT …

… I wouldn’t do any Harry Potter impersonations last night, I ended up in a swimming costume last night. It had taken ages to actually make it fit and to put it on properly. For some reason I began to have a panic attack while I was wearing it. I couldn’t understand why because there was nothing out of the ordinary or unusual at all about it.

That make a change, doesn’t it? Panic attacks when I’m asleep don’t happen all that often. I can only recall a dozen or so in total.

And while we’re on the subject of dreams … “well, one of us is” – ed … while I was going through the back-up disk a week or so ago, I came across all of the notes that I’d made when this project first started. Right back in 2000, as it happens. It’ll be interesting to see who was featuring in the voyages back in those days and what were the interesting topics that came to mind.

This morning was another morning when I was awake and up and about before the alarm went off. Well, maybe I ought to says “awake” in inverted commas because while the spirit was willing, the flesh was somewhat weaker.

Once I’d had the medication and checked the mails and messages I had a listen to the dictaphone because there was some other stuff on there too. I obtained a part-time job working in a library last night. I just turned up on the Monday evening when I was supposed to be there . There was a girl at the counter so I introduced myself. She asked me if I’d be comfortable stamping the books when they were either returned or handed out. I smiled and laughed “I could just about manage that, I reckon”, put my stuff down and went round behind the desk to sit there and start work.

And then later on I stepped back into that dream back in the library. I was extremely busy and having to organise some girl’s research etc. As well as that I was swamped with phone calls of people making other kinds of enquiries.

Most of the rest of the day has been spent sorting through the photos from my journey around North America in 2017. It’s going to take an age to sort them all out, and that’s before I even think about writing the notes.

Today I’ve sailed the Gulf of St Lawrence, been to see my friend in St Johns, driven all the way across Newfoundland and across Labrador, and I’m currently in a motel on the edge of the city of Québec which I still think is THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CITY IN NORTH AMERICA – but that’s probably because it’s the most “European-medieval” city on the continent

And that reminds me. I wrote my magnum opus on the city of Québec in 2012 and I’ve been there several times since then. So I must have tons more notes and photos that need adding in.

The high winds that we had yesterday had dropped this morning so I sorted out the glass and plastic rubbish ready to take out. So evidently, once everything was sorted out and ready to go, the wind got up again. Just gale force today though, not hurricane force like yesterday so I decided to brave it.

It’s not easy because I’m not steady on my feet even with crutches and the bags of rubbish acted as sails that blew me around the front of the building. It was quite a struggle to go there, empty my stuff and then stagger back.

The physiotherapist came round this evening too. He’s beginning to be concerned that the progress that I made over the early part of the year has now ground to a halt and that there are no signs of further improvement

He’s not the only one. I was quite pleased about how things were going and I was optimistic that I could pick up my bed and walk before too long. But it doesn’t seem to be going to end like that at all.

Tea tonight was a taco roll with some of the left-over stuffing from yesterday, accompanied by rice and veg. And as usual, the stuffing improves when left overnight.

There’s still some stuffing left but not a great deal. But last week I made some curry and froze it in half-portions and I’ll add the leftover stuffing into one of those along with anything else that’s lingering in the fridge

And I must remember to put some lentils in the slow cooker when I go to bed tomorrow. I’m going to have a bash at making a lasagne on Thursday and I need some stuff to go with the pasta and cheese sauce.

Yes, a cheese sauce. Now that I can find a reasonable supply of vegan cheese I intend to make the most of it

Tuesday 23rd May 2023 – REMEMBER YESTERDAY …

… when I said that I was feeling that my injections weren’t doing what they used to do?

You probably won’t believe this, but I promise you that it happened. But this afternoon I had a phone call from the hospital in Leuven.
“Over the last two weeks we’ve been examining your medical results from your last visit to the hospital. We’ve noticed several anomalies in the tests and so we want you to have your Aranesp injections every week instead of every fortnight starting from next Monday, and for your doctor at home to have blood tests taken every four weeks to control the results”

Things are obviously heating up around here now. So whatever will happen next?

Actually, I know what didn’t happen. And that was that it was today, not Thursday, that I should have had my appointment with the nerve specialist but I mixed up the dates. So I’ll have to contact him tomorrow too and rearrange the appointment.

It’s been one of those days where not all that much has gone right. For a start, I didn’t beat the alarm this morning. I’d had a late night but even so, it’s not very often that I sleep right through until the alarm. But at least, I awoke in bed rather than on top of it.

And then I couldn’t get going. It took an age to finally come round into the Land of the Living and start to prepare for my Welsh lesson.

And then we had a tragedy. The college at Mold doesn’t have much money so we’ve been making do with whatever on-line video conferencing has been available. And the one that we used until recently revoked all of the free licences so we had to go elsewhere.

The only free video-conferencing that they could find is one that’s very resource-hungry and it won’t run on any of the portable computers around here (there are, for various reasons, five of those that work at the moment, including the one that I bought in desperation in North Dakota in 2019).

However, luckily, ages ago I’d bought a cheap webcam so I had to configure all of that and run it off the big desktop machine, something that I didn’t want to do.

And then to configure a microphone to run directly off the computer because everything here usually runs through various mixer desks

In the end I missed half of the lesson with all of this messing around but at least it worked. And once the lesson was up and running it passed off quite well too.

This afternoon, sorting out a few things that I needed to do, I came across a football match that I’d missed from 2 years ago, Caernarfon Town v Barry Town in a Europa Cup playoff match. So despite everything else going on, I took a couple of hours off to watch it.

And in news that will surprise almost everyone (because it certainly surprised me) I carried on with what I started last week and did some more rearranging of the bedroom. It’s starting to look a bit more like home now, which is always nice.

After a good session on the guitars, I had a listen to the dictaphone. Despite being stark out during the night there was some stuff on there from a little voyage. There was some kind of case going on about a large company where there was some manipulation about to take place with the shareholding in respect of a battle over who had control. Whilst I didn’t fully understand the implications of what was happening, it all sounded extremely suspicious to me. When I was looking through some paperwork I found that the company had been brought to the attention of the authorities on another occasion in respect of something or other underhand and was undergoing investigation. I thought that I should make a report of this conversation and pass it through to whoever it was who was investigating it but as I couldn’t grasp the implications of it and couldn’t really understand much of what was taking place, it was very difficult to write a note. I thought that the more I keep it waiting while I make up my mind what to write, the more distant this is going to be and the more I’m going to forget. It’s not going to help anyone by me waiting for too long. I need to pull myself together and write something down immediately

After the ‘phone call from the hospital and missing my nerve specialist, the physiotherapist came round. He gave me a really good workout – the longest session that we have had so far and I was exhausted at the end of it.

Tea was a taco roll with rice and veg, but the cooking session isn’t over by any means. There’s not very much in the way of leftovers for a curry tomorrow night so as I have plenty of tofu and some lentils, I’ve set the slow cooker on the go.

The lentils are being cleaned right now and as soon as I’ve finished this, I’ll take them out of the slow cooker and rinse them, and then put them back in with the spinach-flavoured tofu that I have and a load of spices, and leave it all to marinade in the slow cooker until tomorrow evening

That should make a really good curry, and I do have to admit that I’m in the right kind of mood for one of those.

In fact, anything to distract me because I’m not very happy about the idea of doubling the dose of Aranesp. It’s the medicine of last resort and there’s a warning that it is “recommended for patients with chronic kidney failure or cancer to use the lowest possible dose”.

Over the last year or so I’ve gone from 20mg a week to 60mg a week to keep me going and I’m not sure where you can go after all of this.

Friday 19th May 2023 – AT LONG LAST …

… the internet is back up and running, as you might have noticed.

What has apparently happened, as the technician who came round just after lunch told me, was that there was a short-circuit in one of the apartments that had fused the main installation in the building.

They had repaired the installation but the short circuit persisted so they had to disconnect the circuit and gradually reinstate it apartment by apartment until they could find out which one it was.

Of course, it was in one of the apartments that is a “second home” for someone from Paris who wasn’t here so it couldn’t be fixed until they’d contacted the apartment owner and found a keyholder so they could go in, and of course it was in the circuit before mine which meant that I was disconnected while all of this was going on.

Whether that’s the case or not, I don’t know. But it will explain why the connection flickered on a couple of times quite briefly during all of this.

But every cloud has a silver lining, and it’s a real ill wind that doesn’t blow anyone any good. It gave me an opportunity to catch up on a mountain of outstanding work, which isn’t all done but it’s still progress, and also, because the technicians were coming to check my installation, it meant that I had to tidy up the bedroom. I even had the vacuum cleaner going for a while.

And while I was tidying up, I found the missing spare battery for the NIKON D3000 that I lost a long time (as in several years) ago. It had fallen underneath one of my bookcase units.

So how did I celebrate everything? Well, while I was in town this afternoon I treated myself to an ice cream. I felt that I deserved it.

Especially after last night. I was so engrossed in a couple of tasks that it was long after midnight when I finally crawled into bed. And when the alarm went off at 07:00 I was stark out. It was an effort to haul myself up out of bed before the second alarm went off five minutes later.

Mind you, after the distance that I travelled durning the night, I was surprised that I made it back in time for the alarm. At one point I was living with a group of Mexicans from 100 or so years ago, the time of the Revolution. We were living on the margins. We weren’t actually revolutionaries or criminals. I can’t remember most of this but there was one part where we were in a cave and there was some kind of event taking place concerning someone who had made a promise that he’d pay to have his wine crop blessed and fruitful but hadn’t done so. And so they held him to submitting his youngest daughter, who was 10, to be sacrificed. He had to fill in all this form to state about her etc and that he was willing for her to go and that he recognised that he was in default for not having thanked whoever it was properly for promoting the fruitfulness of his crops

Did I mention the story … “no you didn’t” – ed … about the 2 girls who had tried to buy some wine from an off-licence to get a teacher at school into trouble? The server recognised them and wouldn’t sell it to them. He had his revenge quite accidentally. It was the school outing and he’d forgotten to tell the parents of one of these girls. She hadn’t gone to school that day – she was paying truant. She thought that everyone else would be at school and cover for her but of course not being there on a day when there were so few students her absence was noticed and someone complained to her parents. When this all came out, the shopkeeper had forgotten to tell the parents about the trip as well, he said “don’t forget that I remember you from the day when you were in my shop so be careful not to make a fuss. You can see why karma has caught up with you”.

And then I had to go to meet someone in the centre of London so Aunt Mary had given me a book, an ancient book about Civil Engineering that she wanted to sell and have some money. All of the booksellers were around Angel Bridge Railway Station. I arrived at the Metro and the guy in the ticket office saw me coming. He had a ticket all ready. I asked for a return too but he replied “no. This is a weekend ticket and you can use it any time like but you’ll have to hurry. The train is in”. I took the ticket, paid for it and dashed downstairs but missed the train, found that I was on the wrong platform, walk back up halfway and enquire of the guard or look at the sign to find myself on the correct platform ready to go. But there was something else in this dream about someone being pregnant. They were discussing the pregnancy and talking about gifts that they should buy. One of the girls was very upset that someone else had been chosen to buy the nappies etc because she said that she didn’t have all that much money. That would have been an ideal present for her bearing in mind her shortage of money.

And we’ve had quite a few dreams when I’ve been wandering around the Underground in London, haven’t we?

Finally I had to go to do some research on Emerson Lake and Palmer. I found someone who had some information on them who lived in London so I went down. She was a bus conductor on the buses. Rummaging around in her office I came across a book that was an assembly of photocopied press cuttings going back all the way to 1967, news articles and everything. It was an absolute goldmine and I was enthralled reading it. It mentioned a whole load of clubs and places in London that you could see from the window of this woman’s house. I was there making notes. When she came up onto the top deck of the bus to show someone some damage that needed to be repaired I told her about the book and told her that on no account was she to let it out of her sight. It’s something that she really ought to keep for posterity. When I finished I was going back downstairs to her house. They were talking about a car going for an MoT. I thought “I’m not doing anything this afternoon so I can take it”. I put the book in my rucksack hoping that no-one noticed and went round to see about this car. It turned out to be a pedal car for children. I thought “this is strange” but I’d already offered now so I’ll have to go. I asked her where I’d go. She replied “turn out of here, go up the hill to the roundabout and it’s the 5th street on the right down there”. I was trying to make a mental note of this but it sounded like more than 5 minutes away but I was already committed now so I’d have to go and do it. This book of press cuttings is a little gold mine. I’ve never seen anything quite like this, especially in a dream.

After the medication I came here and slowly unwound myself and then attacked another project. A while ago I’d found the soundtrack of an obscure German rock band that had performed at one of the Hawkfests some time ago.

Back in those days technology wasn’t what it is today and this was full of holes from a worn recording tape. Using the techniques that I’d been practising just recently about “cutting in” pieces of music from elsewhere in the track, I set about repairing the holes. It wasn’t easy, but I managed in the end to make something quite presentable and you’d never find the joins. Even I was impressed.

There was a break for coffee and a fruit bun and I do have to say that the fruit buns that I made in the week are excellent. And as for the biscuits, that I have yet to mention, they have really worked and are even better than the chocolate ones that I made a while back

By now it wasn’t far off lunchtime so seeing as I was expecting visitors I started to prepare for a shower but bang on the dot Rosemary rang me for one of our marathon chats.

Just as she finished, Christian from the radio came round for the radio programme that will be broadcast this weekend. We had a drink and chat, and he told me about a local musician who is looking for a bassist. That piqued my interest, as you can imagine. It’s quite lonely here sitting in my bedroom playing with myself.

As soon as he left, the technician came round and checked that everything was working properly, and once he’d gone I could finally have my shower.

It was a painful walk into town to find some mushrooms for my salad tonight, and whet there were were pretty grim. Mind you they had some of those small peppers so I bought a couple for future use.

Next stop was the estate agent to drop off this paperwork, and then the long painful walk back up the hill to home, punctuated by a call at the new ice cream parlour that’s just opened

Back here I cleaned the peppers and put them in the freezer, and finally the physiotherapist turned up. His “marathon session” turned out to be 20 minutes but he had me working quite hard. I was glad when he left and I could have my hot chocolate and delicious ginger oatmeal biscuits.

And then , regrettably, I crashed out for about an hour.

Liz awoke me and we had a chat on the internet (now that I have an internet on which to chat) for a while and then I ended up with a late tea. Chips and mini sausage rolls cooked in the air fryer with a salad.

The mini sausage rolls are starting to run out now so I’m going to have to search for a vegan savoury stuffing so that I can make my own. Puff pastry is quite time-consuming and difficult to make so I might have to by a roll of ready-made stuff and use that.

So shopping to morrow, so I’d better have an early night. I’ll pop into Noz and see what there is there on offer. I could do with a change of diet. I’m still wading my way through the asparagus tips that they had but there are bound to be other exciting things.

Mustn’t forget the vegan yoghurt either. I’ve run out of that and it makes a lovely addition to my leftover curries. Things are definitely looking up around here.

Tuesday 16th May 2023 – IF YOU CAN …

… read this, then normal service has been resumed and we have our internet back. Round about 08:00 this morning when I was trying to do something interesting, the internet went “phut”.

Having contacted the Internet provider, they informed me that there was a “technical issue” and it will be out until at least Wednesday morning. As a gesture, they have offered us 200mb of mobile internet per day via our smartphones, but have you ever tried to type out on a smartphone keyboard the rubbish that I churn out?

Anyway, I had another more reasonable night last night and that makes quite a change. It’s a shame that I was rather busy and ended up not going to bed until later than I intended. It would have been quite nice to have had a longer more reasonable night.

And that’s not all either. I awoke bolt-upright at about 06:25 and couldn’t go back to sleep. Consequently, when the alarm went off at 07:00 I was already up and about.

with the internet crashing out, I wasn’t able to do anything of the things that I needed to do and so in the end I transcribed the notes on the dictaphone from the night. I was with 2 friends at some point. We were driving somewhere down a narrow lane. As we continued a cement mixer came towards us. For some reason he had a change of opinion and decided to perform a U-turn and return the way that he had come. He stopped and reversed off to the side of the road ready to pull back round the other way but the bank of the road gave way underneath him and the lorry fell over on its side. We dashed over there. When we arrived he was busy extricating himself from the wreck. We asked him if he was OK. he replied “yes, there’s no problem”. We then wanted to know if there was anything that we could do but he couldn’t think of anything that needed doing. He could quite happily arrange all of that himself. To be on the safe side I took his phone number and gave him mine. I said that I’d phone him in half an hour and se what he was up to. where this happened was near a railway line. Just as we were talking a 4-4-2 tank engine fitted with condensing apparatus went past on the railway line obviously pulling an old London Underground train. We climbed back into our van and set off. These 2 people with me, 1 was a guy and 1 was a girl. They were a couple. I know who they are but I just can’t think who.

There was a group of us going into the house. We’d been out shopping, buying stuff. As we went in, one of the people noticed that my shoelaces were undone so he bent down to tie them for me. Of course I had a lot of trouble with my legs. Where he put his hand was right on one of my sore spots. I told him to stop, that he was hurting but he couldn’t understand and carried on trying to tie my laces. I was going berserk. I told him that I had cancer. He replied that I must be imagining the pain. For some reason it became a very complicated thing. In the end we went in. He was sulking somewhat. He asked “what about that think we were going to do if we had the part?”. I replied “I don’t have it but I know that it’s in here. It can’t be anywhere else”. He sat down and looked at his watch and made a note of the date and time, sitting there with his arms folded waiting for it to be produced.

With not much to do until my Welsh lesson, I did some revision, However, the trouble is that with having a teflon brain, nothing sticks to it and I needn’t have bothered really. My memory issues are quite annoying. And it’s strange – I can remember the words of some kind of extremely obscure rock song from the mid-60s but ask me why I wanted to go into the kitchen 5 minutes ago.

Trying to have a Welsh lesson on a smartphone isn’t easy either but it went so much better than I expected, and far better than when I tried it in Canada back in October.

Once the lesson was over, I had a really big baking session.

There is now another pile of fruit buns, most of which are in the freezer waiting for another day, and there’s a mountain of lovely biscuits. And I DO mean “lovely”, because I sampled them.

It’s the basic 4/8/10 recipe (sugar, vegan butter and flour) with vanilla essence, fleur d’orange, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and yeast.

Added to that was some diced fresh ginger and then some honey, and several tablespoons of oatmeal to restore the consistency after the addition of the honey.

You won’t find me telling you about times and temperatures because, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, my oven is pretty much hit-and-miss and nothing is consistent. Here in this apartment, it’s all done by trial and error.

While I was waiting for everything to happen I sorted through my collection of herbs and spices. And just like the bathroom stuff at the weekend, I found that I’d actually bought the spices that I needed when I was there on a previous occasion and had forgotten about them.

Ahh well! See my bit about “memory” above.

The rest of the day has been spent dealing with the dictaphone notes from when I was in hospital. The coughing, spluttering and rasping throat were difficult to decipher so I hadn’t really touched them until I would feel more like it, so I had a bash today, with nothing better to do.

There are still plenty more to go at of course – this isn’t something that will be done in 5 minutes, or even in the next week or so. It’s taken me 6 months to reach this point.

When the physiotherapist came round, I was actually … errr … relaxing, so he awoke me. But he needn’t have bothered because my neighbour in this building, whon he also sees, has had a bad fall and he’ll be spending all of his time with her.

How many sessions is this that he’s missed with me just recently?

Tea was a lovely taco roll with rice, using some of the stuffing left over from yesterday. There’s still a bit left so I’ll have a leftover curry tomorrow, with one of my naan breads from out of the freezer.

Looking back (and forward) to my meals just recently and my cooking and baking, things are definitely taking a turn for the better around here. Living down on the farm was enjoyable when I was fit and healthy, but cooking was somewhat limited and for obvious reasons too. Things are so much better here and when I eventually have a real and proper kitchen things will be even better.

But that’s something about which to worry on another occasion. Right now, I have things to do before going to bed. And with a bit of luck, the internet might be back up tomorrow and I catch up with whatever needs doing.

Tuesday 2nd May 2023 – TODAY WAS A …

… day that I really want to forget.

Not that there was all that much to forget because it was what I would call a very short day today.

Last night however was a lot longer. Bright sunlight streaming in through the windows, birds chirping around outside and kids on their way to school and I hadn’t gone to bed yet. 07:10 and I was still up and about.

That’ll teach me to have an unscheduled lie-in on a Monday morning.

It was some time later than that that I finally went off to bed, with the alarm set for 13:00 just in case I happened to fall asleep deeper than I was expecting.

However that was a waste of time because although I did end up going to sleep at some point it was only for a couple of hours. I was back awake again at 10:00 and at 12:00 I’d given up any thought whatever of going off to sleep. And that was that.

After what might have been a breakfast or was probably more like a lunch, I had a listen to the dictaphone. There was something going on while I was asleep certainly but when I awoke it completely evaporated and I couldn’t remember anything at all about it. I certainly knew that I’d been away somewhere.

Next step was to listen to the radio programme that I was to send off for broadcasting this coming weekend.

It was one that I’d prepared last September before going off on my voyage to eternity, one of the batch when something must have happened to the tone controls because there was just far too much bass on it and it sounded really muffled.

Having spent a while trying to edit it, I gave up and redid it. It sounds much better now.

There was an interruption when the physiotherapist called. He had a look at my right leg, checked on my exercises and then that was that. he wasn’t here long. But I wasn’t happy when he went into my bedroom to grab a pillow. I don’t like people wandering around in my apartment like that.

Tea tonight was a taco roll with rice and veg, all very nice and tasty. There’s not a lot left over for a curry tomorrow night so I might have to lengthen it out with a potato or something.

And while we’re on the subject of tomorrow … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’m having to have a bake-in. I’ve run out of my delicious chocolate biscuits, run out of naan bread, and I also used the last of the pizza bases on Sunday too.

Nice as my chocolate biscuits were, I’ll have to think of a new type of biscuit to make. I should have bought some fresh ginger at the weekend but there’s always some sort of stuff lying around that I can use as flavouring in a regular 4/8/10 mixture.

But the naan bread will be interesting. I shall have fun with another batch of those.