Tag Archives: welsh premier league

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.

Saturday 13th May 2023 – I WAS RIGHT …

… when I said that I couldn’t go to bed last night. My head was still spinning and everything was still churning up inside and it was 02:30 in the morning and I still hadn’t gone to bed.

At some point afterwards I finally did manage to stagger into bed and then it took me an age to drop off.

Surprisingly, when the alarm went off at 07:00 (because I forgot to switch it off) I awoke quite rapidly and although I turned over to go back to sleep, it was pretty pointless and it wasn’t long before I arose from the dead.

Had I remembered to switch on the immersion heater yesterday I would have had a shower but as I forgot I had to content myself with a cold water wash.

Despite everything else that was going on I decided that I’d go to the shops to pick up some stuff even though I didn’t need all that much. I couldn’t face Noz though so I went straight to LeClerc.

Not that I needed much but they had a sale of personal cleaning stuff like shampoo, shower gel and the like when they do ridiculous discounts for bulk, so I bought a pile of stuff to keep in the bathroom cabinet for whenever, totally forgetting that I did that last time that they had a sale and the stuff is still in the bathroom cupboard as yet untouched.

As I have said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … two things happen to you when you reach my age

  1. you forget absolutely everything
  2. I can’t remember what the second thing is

One thing that I did remember was the fresh ginger. I’ll now have to find a good recipe for honey and ginger biscuits.

Back here I had a coffee and some cheese on toast, and then came in here to recover from my exertions. To my surprise (and yours too) I managed to keep on going all day without crashing out despite the rather short night, although I didn’t actually accomplish anything.

There was some stuff on the dictaphone too, and that was surprising. I was living with someone but I can’t remember who it was. She’d had some friends round. I had to go out to do something and when I came back, fed up, cold and miserable and I thought that I’d go and have a bath to warm myself up properly. When I arrived there her friend was having a bath. She turned to me and said “so-and-so is having a bath now. You’ll just have to wait”. She turned round and walked away. I was already in a foul humour. There was a huge jar of catering-size mayonnaise on a table on the edge of a balcony. I kicked the jar off the table. it rolled onto the floor, rolled over the edge of the balcony onto the floor downstairs with a great big “smash” and spread mayonnaise everywhere. I remember thinking “that’s rather too bad, isn’t it?” and went to find some more stuff to kick over and generally disturb. There was much more to it than that but I can’t remember now.

Rosemary telephoned me later on and we had another one of our marathon chats. She’s having a few issues right now and although she knows how to resolve them, it’s a case of talking them through with people so that thoughts can be marshalled in the correct order

This led me nicely up to the football this evening. Haverfordwest County were playing Y Drenewydd for the final European place. In a match of few chances the score after 120 minutes was 1-1. This led to a penalty shootout and Haverfordwest’s New Zealand international keeper Zak Turner did it again, saving a shot from Aron Williams to put them through.

The first time that Haverfordwest have been in Europe since 2004 and it’s nice to see that former Hull City coach Tony Pennock has managed to accomplish something for the club after many years out in the wilderness.

Tea was a burger on a bap with a baked potato and salad. It was quite a nice tea too. Those vegan burgers that I found in Avranches a couple of weeks ago are quite nice.

Tomorrow I might even feel like doing some work. I’m always quite exhausted after a visit to the hospital at Leuven and it does take a while for me to recover.

However, my posting that “I couldn’t even run for my life” yesterday has brought forth a couple of invitations from some of my friends to go with them on another expedition or two to the High Arctic.

Don’t be misled by this. It’s not a gesture of solidarity. It relates to something else completely.

It’s a complete fallacy that in order to escape an attack by a polar bear, you have to be able to run faster than the bear. In fact, all you need to do is to run faster than one other person in your party. And I suppose that the thinking behind Mike’s and Jerry’s invitations is that if I go with them they will all be quite safe.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 5th May 2023 – TODAY HAS BEEN …

… a slightly better day today. Towards the end of the afternoon I started to feel a little more like it and actually managed to do some work.

Not that I was expecting to of course, because we had another depressing night. I was rather later than intended going to bed, and then although I was asleep quite early on I awoke a couple of times. Once at 06:30 when I couldn’t go back to sleep so by the time that the alarm went off at 07:00 I was up and about already.

Well, sort-of. I wouldn’t have said that I was wide awake.

Something that I’ve done today that I haven’t done for quite some considerable time was to have some breakfast. Over the past year or so I’ve been cutting down considerably on what I’ve been eating as I’m not as mobile as I once was.

Desserts and breakfast were the two things that were struck off my list but this morning I’m not sure why but I went for a bowl of cornflakes.

That actually led to a late lunch of my fruit bun and fru it. It did me good to wait for a while before eating. I’ll get to my target weight yet.

This afternoon I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was with a couple of people last night. We were planning on going somewhere in Wales. I was going t drive and take these 2 other people with me, a man and wife, but the wife insisted that we went via Reading instead of via Chester. I said that that was stupid because it’s hundreds of miles out of our way. She explained that she knew the way via Reading. I said that I knew the way via Chester. I lived in Chester (which I did, between 1972 and 1974) and I travelled through Chester dozens of times. She was absolutely adamant. This led to the most surprising argument etc. She was really in a fury. In the end her husband said “look, let’s go with you. I’ll persuade her and talk to her”. In the end they agreed to go with me but she said “he’s not having anything when he arrives”. I thought that at this stage I couldn’t really be bothered. We set out. When we were in Chester fuelling up at a petrol station I asked “what time did I say that we’d be in Chester?”. Someone replied “09:35” so I asked “what time is it now?”. It was 09:36. I said “it just goes to show, doesn’t it?”. On the way back we came to a road junction on the Calveley Straight. I turned left and found myself going back to Chester. I thought “God, here we go. She’s going to go off”. Everyone else thought it quite funny. We had to find somewhere to do a U-turn. There was a house with a large drive up ahead but I was going too fast. I ended up on the lawn and it was wet and slippery. I said “for God’s sake don’t let the car stop now”. But we did stop and slid up to the edge of the lawn. We all had to exit the car and lift it up over the edge onto the driveway so that we could drive away again. We were then in a garage of some description, all having to tidy it up. It seemed that the more we tidied it the more rubbish we found. In the end we were just brushing stuff into bins and bags etc. I had one guy brush a whole load of nails and tacks into a big plastic bag.

There was something else later about a debate as to whose car we would go in. In the end we agreed to go in mine so we all piled into it. It was when we had to be fully clothed to be outside. I remember thinking how lucky we were to be mainly together. On the way home my partner’s husband had died so she wanted to go that way to see him. I explained how they made the shine on but she wasn’t in the least bit interested. I said “but you’ll be finding out soon about this once you qualify” but no-one paid much attention …. and at this point I fell asleep. I’ve probably mentioned before that I’m actually asleep when I’m dictating but at this point in this dream (which was actually in places a meaningless jumble of indistinct words) there was dead silence followed by me snoring.

Finally, I was in work last night in an office, and this is a recurring dream, isn’t it? For some reason I just wasn’t accomplishing anything – rather like my life at the moment as it happens. I couldn’t concentrate. In the end I gave it up as a bad job. It was coffee break so I went to the coffee room. There was some kind of party there with lots of food. It took me ages to get a coffee by which time most of the food had gone. I picked up something to eat and sat down. I must have fallen asleep because the next thing that I knew, the room was empty, everyone had gone and all of the food had been taken away. I had to redress myself quickly. I couldn’t find my clothes at first, then I couldn’t find how to switch off the TV. For some reason the remote control wasn’t working. In the end I left it and walked to the head of the stairs. I leapt over the handrail and dropped down onto the floor below. Then I couldn’t remember where my office was. I had a pnaic attack at that moment. I walked down the corridor and someone nearly ran me over with a trolley. A guy smiled at me so he obviously knew who I was. I thought he looked familiar but I couldn’t remember who. I eventually found my way back to my office where the people weren’t really concentrating. They were singing at their desks etc. It was all extremely weird. I thought “I’m just not getting anything done at all. I can’t concentrate. I’ll have to sit down, put my head down and work, maybe work all the way through my lunch break to make up for the time that I’ve wasted so far this morning”.

The rest of the day was spent finishing off the notes that I started the other day for a forthcoming radio programme. There wasn’t much to do but finding the motivation was the big issue here. Anyway, that’s all done and dusted and I’ll dictate them late tomorrow night when it’s all quiet.

Tea tonight was a salad with chips and some of those miniature vegan sausage rolls, the latter two cooked in the air fryer. And there’s definitely something wrong with my palette because they didn’t taste as they normally do either.

And then we had the football. The first of two semi-finals that shall eventually decide who’ll accompany TNS, Connahs Quay Nomads and Penybont into Europe. After their mauling at the weekend Y Bala were hoping to gain some consolation and we had quite an exciting match against Y Drenewydd.

The latter were the better team but Bala never stopped running and pushed them all the way. The big difference was that a coupke of shots from Y Drenewydd that hit the woodwork found their way into the back of the Bala net, whereas a couple of shots hitting the Drenewydd woodwork went out for goal kicks.

4-2 to Drenewydd was the final score and although they deserve their win, the scoreline was rather flattering. The winners will go on to play the winners of Saturday’s match between Cardiff Metro and Haverfordwest.

But that’s tomorrow. Tonight I have one or two more things to do and then I’m off to bed. Shopping in the morning and I don’t need much as I’m off to Leuven on Wednesday. Here’s hoping that I feel better.

Saturday 22nd April 2023 – I HAVE SEEN …

… some of the best, most exciting football over the last week or so that I have seen for the whole of my life. And I’ve seen plenty of matches in the past.

When you desperately need to win in order to have any chance at all of avoiding relegation and you go 1-0 down after 60 seconds to A GOAL LIKE THIS then you know that you are right up against it.

But then YOU EQUALISE only to find that you GO BEHIND AGAIN just a few minutes later.

And the game drifts on into the second half and you are 2-1 down, only for the MOST EXTRAORDINARY THING to happen. I’m surprised that the crossbar was still intact after Sam Litchfield’s header.

So deep into stoppage time with just seconds left to play. You couldn’t write A FINISH LIKE THIS because no-one would believe it. What a way to avoid relegation!

As I said the other day, I’ve really found out what it means to be gripping the edge of your seat tightly as events have unfolded.

But you have to feel sorry for Y Fflint. They have played some good football at times and I liked what I saw but silly errors at the back have been their undoing all season. And they just couldn’t get the ball forward often enough to Simmonds and Akpa-Akpro to counter the mistakes in defence.

While we’re talking about mistakes … “well, one of us is” – ed … I’m not sure what mistakes I made this morning but when the alarm went off at 07:00 I was sitting at my desk drinking coffee and dictating radio notes.

In fact I’d been awake since 04:20 and I gave up going back to sleep an hour later, and that was that.

Making the most of the peace and quiet at that time of the morning I dictated no fewer than three sets of radio notes and they are all loaded up. And in between everything else that happened I made a complete radio programme. That means that I can have a day off on Monday.

A lot of things did actually happen today. At 09:15 I nipped out into town on my crutches and ended up at the Carrefour supermarket in the town centre. I bought some mushrooms and they also had a net of those small-sized peppers, 2 for €0:99 that I like for making my stuffed peppers.

Even though there’s a pepper still in the freezer I bought a net of peppers because at LeClerc these days they only seem to have giant ones and I’m not an American.

The walk back up the hill was tiring and it took a while to make it home. But a strong coffee and some cheese on toast done in the air fryer soon revived me.

Next stop was to transcribe the dictaphone notes to find out where I’d been during the night. There were several bits and pieces last night as if they came out of a Harry Potter film. One part was a group of kids in a room shouting abuse at another group of kids walking past. Across the road was a religious group from a local church who thought that the abuse was directed at them. They complained to the headmaster so there was an identity parade to identify the culprits. Everyone was wearing false glasses and moustaches etc to try to hide from this Christian group

Later on one of the adults burst into one of the kids’ dormitories saying something like “just come here a moment to do this” waking everyone up and was met with a torrent of abuse including from me for I was fast asleep. It awoke me with a start too.

Later still one of the cleaning staff stole Harry Potter’s ring and that was complicated.

By the way, can you guess which film I’m watching at the moment while I eat my evening meal?

After the football I finished off the radio programme but that took much longer than it ought to have done because the early start to the day caught up with me during the late afternoon, as I thought that it might.

Tea tonight was a really delicious burger on a bun with chips from the air fryer and a lovely salad. As I’ve said before … “and on many occasions too” – ed … my diet these days is showing a vast improvement.

And while we’re on the subject of burgers … “well, one of us is” – ed … when I was at Aldi they had some cheap hamburger presses for sale so I bought one. For only €2:99 they do three sizes and that’s fine by me because I’m collecting a few recipes these days for things like not only burgers but hash browns and so on. A hamburger press doing different sizes is just what I want.

And while I remember, in the cookery sale at Noz yesterday they had some ready-ground nut power so I bought 300 grammes of it. Nutburgers will now be back on the menu in early course. I have some gram flour in a jar somewhere and I’d buy more oats if I only would remember.

But all that’s for another time. I’ve just finished another marathon phone call to Rosemary and despite my sleep this afternoon I’m pretty tired so I’m off to bed.

Nothing to do tomorrow as I have some biscuits and some fruit bread left and there’s some pizza dough in the freezer too. But I’m sure that I can find plenty of things to do to keep me out of mischief. I’m too old for that kind of nonsense these days.

Wednesday 19th April 2023 – MY LEFTOVER CURRY …

… tonight was even better than before. Adding some of that soya yoghurt that I bought instead of the soya cream has certainly made a difference.

And so has mopping up the curry sauce with a home-made garlic naan. That’s the final touch to what was a really excellent meal and I am well-pleased with that.

In fact, just as I am pleased with my night last night. Although I went to bed rather later than planned and took an age to go off to sleep I remember absolutely nothing whatever of the night.

It was 06:50 when I awoke spontaneously so I didn’t hang about. I was out of bed quite quickly.

After the medication and a good scrub Caliburn and I hit the road for the hospital. Once again, I was in and out fairly rapidly although there was a different crew of medical personnel there today who didn’t seem to be quite as rapid as the lot who were there earlier in the week.

Nevertheless, at about 11:30 or so they heaved me out after my perfusion and I was back here by 12:15.

A couple of my neighbours were outside so we had a good chat – it seems that I’m quite popular now that I’m to join the ranks of the owner-occupiers – and then I came in.

But coming up the stairs I was surprised to find that,, at least for the first 7 or 8 of them, I could come up the stairs without leaning on the handrail or heaving myself up with the crutches. Only one step at a time leading with the left leg, not alternately leading with each foot in turn, but this is real progress.

It has to be said that I couldn’t do it with all of the stairs but even one of them, never mind seven or eight, is a vast improvement on what went before.

After my lunch I had a look – or rather, a listen – to the dictaphone. And to my surprise there was some stuff on there that I can’t remember at all. I was with a girl last night who reminded me very much of a girl whom I knew quite well at one time. We were living together in a small apartment. There was a guy who had come round to see us for something. She was standing on top of a ladder working away at something up on the ceiling. She was flirting a little with this guy. I pretended not to take a great deal of notice. I thought that I wouldn’t let it pass by unremarked. They were talking about things. I was standing underneath the ladder looking up. I said “the best view in the apartment is from where I’m standing at the moment” and things like that. Eventually she came down. I grabbed hold of her and gave her a great big hug saying “I’m glad that you’re down and not up there”. She replied “yes, I could see that you were a little worried”. “Yes” I answered “but I didn’t stop you did I?”. “No” she replied “but you made it quite clear that you weren’t happy”. “Yes, but I didn’t stop you all the same”.

Yes let’s imagine that she had 3 Father Christmas impersonators sitting on our front lawn instead of one so she was upset and threw a stone at her but it missed, hit a rock, bounced back and hit her instead. She ended up in hospital. How would you feel if that happened to you? And if you wonder what that’s all about, so do I for I don’t have a clue. I can’t believe that I dictated it and I’ve no idea what it’s supposed to mean.

Later on I was in my beige Cortina driving around mid-western USA. It was becoming dark and I was looking for a place to stay. I came across a place that was advertising cabins to rent so I thought that I’d go there. It was a right run-down place like something out of a Steinbeck novel. I went into a barn and there was everything there, a couple of old coaches, all sorts of stuff. I started to chat to the proprietor telling him what I want. We talked a little about what I’d been doing etc. He pointed up into the loft “there’s a bed up there. You come into the house, walk up the stairs and there’s a gangway across into the loft. You can sleep up there”. “How much do I owe you for that?”. “Nothing” he replied. “Don’t be silly” I said. He answered “you can stay here for nothing”. I wasn’t going to turn that down even though it was rather primitive. We had a chat and went outside. By this time I was driving a coach, an ancient Plaxton thing from the early 60s. He noticed the signwriting on the back and asked where I had the coach signwritten. I said that it was on the coach when I bought it. Then I went back over to the Cortina (which was strange), opened the boot and found the boot keys on the floor. I wondered how they got there. I started to go through the boot to sort out the stuff that I’d need for the night to take with me up to the bed in the loft of this barn.

The rest of the day has been spent pairing off the music that I started yesterday and then researching some stuff about what happened on 12th January in the history of rock music and then writing notes about it. Interestingly, that’s the date of release of led Zeppelin’s 1st album and also the date of the last album by Deep Purple II – at least, until that line-up reformed in the 1980s.

Tea I have already mentioned, and it was rather rushed because there was football on the internet – the replay of Y Fflint v Caernarfon that was abandoned in contentious circumstances a short while ago.

Once more, despite it being two basement teams, it was an excellent advert for Welsh football with both teams desperate for points and throwing everything including the kitchen sink at each other. No dramatic goals from any goalkeeper this evening but nevertheless watching Y Fflint’s former Burnley keeper Harry Allen make a decisive tackle against 2 Caernarfon attackers in the centre circle while the rest of his team was in the Caernarfon penalty area was exciting to say the least.

Caernarfon just about scraped home with a winning goal in the 85th minute and they are now safe from relegation. But Y Fflint need to do better than Aberystwyth on Saturday in order to keep themselves up.

So on that note I’m off to bed. Day 4 of the hospital tomorrow and my appointment with the neurologist. I wonder what she’ll have to tell me.

And I wonder when this stuff that I’m taking will start to work.

Saturday 15th April 2023 – JUST BY WAY …

… of a change, I was fast asleep in bed when the alarm went off this morning.

It’s been quite a while since that’s happened, hasn’t it?

Anyway, I struggled to my feet and went off for my medication and then I set the washing machine off on another cycle. That’s all of the arrears of washing done now, which is good news. I’ve been letting things build up too much again just recently.

Saturday is shopping day so braving the hurricane that was blowing outside (and I DO mean “hurricane”) Caliburn and I set out for the shops.

Noz came up with a few bits and pieces but nothing of any special excitement, and ditto at LeClerc, except that they had an icing bag with a few assorted nozzles on sale at €2:85. It’s nothing very much – just like a refillable tube of toothpaste really – but it would have been handy for putting the crosses on my hot cross buns the other day.

What usually happens with tools and things like that is that I’ll buy the cheapest thing to see how it works and how much use I’ll have from it. And if it’s something that I like and will use often, I’ll pousser le bateau dehors and buy an expensive, better one.

That’s the story of my apartment really. When I moved here I bought everything brand-new but at the cheapest possible price so that I could have everything all at once. And as it breaks down, replacing it with much better-quality stuff. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall my saying that the way my health was, I didn’t actually expect to outlive any of it.

Back here, I made it up the stairs quite comfortably with one crutch and the shopping trolley loaded to the brim with goodies, and after I’d put everything away I settled down with my cheese on toast and coffee.

After food I had a listen to where I’d been during the night. I was with my brother at one point. We were camping out somewhere in an old ruined house. We’d set up our kitchen outside. It became tea time so we went outside. The skies were really heavy, overcast and grey as if it would rain at any moment. We had to push on to make food. There wasn’t much to eat so we made the most of what we could find to hand. Some of the stuff had gone off, unfit for human consumption so it ended up in the bin. I was still hungry at the end of the meal and knew that there were more bread rolls in the car so I was going to go back to the car to fetch them while my brother went back into the house. I set off to the car to fetch them

And then I’d been doing some work on a car in a yard somewhere to do with a former friend of mine. There was an article going round on the TV about someone who had died and left some motorbikes one of which he wanted to be left in the original condition and the others he wasn’t all that bothered about. What they had done with one of the others with a Norton Featherbed frame was that they had taken off the fuel tank to fit on another bike, they’d taken out the engine to fit it somewhere else and they’d ended up with the Featherbed frame and wheels and very little else attached to it, no engine, tank, seat or anything. I thought “what a waste of a really good bike this is. It looked lovely before they started messing around and breaking it for bits”. By the time that I’d finished I had to leave the yard. There were so many vehicles parked in here that trying to leave was a nightmare. I had to reverse as far back as I could and then try to swing round somehow. I could see that I was getting it all wrong. Then the clutch started to slip. I put it in reverse at one point again and the clutch was slipping. The car was slowly rolling forward. That wasn’t what I had in mind at all. I thought that i’d have to rev the engine really hard to move from here and that’s not at all my way of driving.

Finally I was in the offices of a ferry company last night trying to arrange some kind of travel accommodation for that former friend and his wife who were going to Europe for the day but who would be stranded because of the ferry strike but the alarm went off in the middle of it. You’ve no idea how disappointing that was because those two actually have some kind of connection with Zero, a young lady of my acquaintance who figures in these voyages not half as often as she deserves or as I would like, and here’s a chance where at some point she might put in an appearance and the flaming alarm goes off.

The rest of the day has been spent sorting out some stuff for the spacerock festival about which I talked the other day. There’s well over a year before it becomes important but knowing me, I’ll lose track of time at some point and the date will be upon us before I know it.

It’ll take some research too because I know very little about most of the groups who appeared and who my friend’s son recorded when he was Hawkwind’s sound engineer – well, he was actually sound engineer for the Pink Fairies but there was an awful lot of overlap between the backroom staff of the groups who moved in that circle.

Later on, we were treated to one of the best football matches that I have seen in quite some considerable time. 2nd-bottom Aberystwyth Town were away at 5th-bottom Haverfordwest County in a game that they absolutely had to win, and which Haverfordwest needed to win too in order to keep their season alive

Consequently both teams threw everything that they had, including the kitchen sink, at each other for the whole 90 minutes and with the score at 1-1 with 10 minutes to go, I began to understand the meaning of the phrase “gripping the edge of your seat” because I was, and so, I imagine, was everyone else in the ground.

However it finished 1-1, not for any want of trying. And if you have a spare 90 minutes and want some decent entertainment, why not WATCH THE GAME yourself? If you’re a football fan you’ll quite enjoy it. I’ve even found you an English language commentary instead of the more usual Welsh

But one thing – well, more than one thing, but one thing in particular – impressed me with the Haverfordwest team today. They had their third-choice goalkeeper in between the posts today, a young lad called Zak Turner. Not only did he have an excellent game, he’s the first keeper whom I’ve seen for ages who would come off his line to intercept crosses like that Uruguayan goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz who had an outstanding World Cup in 1970 and impressed me greatly.

They had some of my favourite burgers in LeClerc today so tea tonight was a burger on a bun with diced fried potatoes and a big salad. And that was absolutely delicious too. I really am eating very well these days, especially with the air fryer.

Tomorrow I have to make some pizza bases as I’ve run out. I should also be baking fruit buns and biscuits too but there’s not really much point as I’m not going to be here to eat them next week. I’ll be in hospital being poked and prodded about.

So a quiet day tomorrow then. About time too. I need to build up my strength for next week.

Saturday 8th April 2023 – THAT WAS DISAPPOINTING

There I was this evening settled down in front of the internet to watch Y Fflint play Caernarfon Town. Y Fflint deep in trouble at the wrong end of the table and Caernarfon only a few points ahead desperate not to be dragged into a relegation scrap themselves.

It took just 90 seconds for Jean-Louis Akpa-Akpro, the Côte d’Ivoire international centre-forward to put Y Fflint 1-0 ahead. And after 9 minutes they went 2-0 up and we were going to be in for a cracking match that would promise everything as Caernarfon would have to throw the kitchen sink at them to get anything from this game.

But then what can only be described as an “incident” off the field which led to stewards, paramedics and the police being summoned led to the players being led from the pitch. After a delay of 45 minutes, the maximum allowed by rules, and the game still not being restarted, the match was abandoned.

There will doubtless be some repercussions about all of that. It was extremely disappointing.

Just like my night, really.

My clean and tidy bed was quite comfy and I nestled down in there quite early. I even managed to go to sleep quite quickly too but it didn’t last. In fact, when the alarm went off at 07:30 I was already up and about. I’d long-since abandoned the idea of going back to sleep.

After the medication and checking the mails and messages I set the washing machine off on a cycle (a very clever machine, mine) only to discover later that I’d forgotten a pillow case (but that’s another story) and then hit the streets, carefully dodging the crane that was outside the door repairing someone’ window surround on the top floor.

Noz came up with nothing except for a small hard-backed spiral-bound notebook that has now been pressed into service as a recipe book, and LeClerc was pretty much the same, although I found that I’d forgotten my vegan biscuits.

But never mind. That’s what the internet is for and I’m sure that i’ll be able to find a few good recipes there.

As I said yesterday, I went off with just one crutch which worked sort-of, but I still don’t have enough force in my left leg (never mind the right) to haul myself up a tall kerb. Back to two crutches it is then.

Back here, Liz told me that my web hosting sites were down so I had to chase that up. It appears that there had been an upgrade to the server during the night and instead of switching the main server back on, they’d switched off the back-up server instead, or something like that.

Having put away the frozen stuff and the cool stuff, I made some coffee and cheese on toast and had a very late breakfast / early lunch.

This afternoon I sorted out my paperwork and filed away a pile of stuff so the place is looking a little tidier. I’m going to try to do some stuff every day to reduce somewhat the amount of stuff I have to take with me when I finally move.

And then I turned my attention to the dictaphone. Despite the miserable night there was plenty of movement. At one point I was walking down the street on some kind of 1930s council house estate. There were all kinds of people at the window. I don’t know why they were there or what they were doing but you could see them there, and their shadows etc because it was late at night. It was something really weird.

And then I was with people who had gone out for a walk. They were staying in Yorkshire and were walking down some of these old stone-walled country lanes. They’d all gone their separate ways but met up again. I was watching them. Suddenly my whole perspective of view changed. It began to be a telephoto view as if I was miles and miles away. It was just zooming out all the time. I tried to bring myself back to the point of view where I could see them or to advance in little stages so that I could catch up with them again in stages but no matter where I was, my viewpoint ended up being miles away from where they were. I couldn’t bring myself back to be with them. I wasn’t with them physically. It was some distance from me standing there basically in the background as a spirit I suppose watching them

Later on I was with a rock group last night, either Semisonic or From Good Homes. A girl singer had not long joined them. She needed something doing to the roof of her house so someone from the group had arranged for her to have some slates. She went to pick them up but there was an argument about them. Considering that these slates were costing her nothing she should have kept quiet and just taken them. Instead she got into an argument that started the Gods sending thunderbolts at each other and the people taking part in this play.

Finally I was with the brother of a girl friend of mine from school who was with his wife. He was farming near Nantwich but had to go somewhere up in the mountains to bring back a trailer. I said that I’d go with him. We’d been camping out somewhere at this festival at first. I’d been there with another girl, whoever she might have been. I’d put our tent up. I was assembling something. I turned round to my wife and said “can you give me a screw” that brought everyone nearby to fits of laughter. When the festival finished we met up with this guy and went to pick up this trailer. I can’t remember what vehicle we were in but he was in a Land Rover. He said that one the way he’d drop off a box of stuff at someone. We set off through the mountains and eventually arrived where we had to be with this trailer. Then he realised that he hadn’t stopped to drop off this thing. He arranged that when he’d return home he’d post it. We coupled up this trailer to the Land Rover and set off back to Nantwich. It was a huge thing and was towing a trailer itself. How he was doing it with a Land Rover was anyone’s guess. Eventually we were back in Nantwich and went round to see his childhood home (which it wasn’t). It was being renovated and work was being done on it. He began to talk. He had the Land Rover, one of these Japanese pickups, a Volvo saloon and was thinking about selling maybe the Land Rover. He also had a Transit van by this time, not a Land Rover. He’d had the Transit from new, a brown swb one. He said that his wife didn’t understand why he still had it and he was thinking of selling it. I saod that the vehicle I would have sold could have been the Volvo saloon. Everything else was the right kind of vehicle to keep when you are working on a farm. He wasn’t convinced. He was talking about either moving back into the college or moving house into the area to do something differently. We talked about farming but at this point I fell back into sleep and all you can hear is me yawning.

Having dictated the text for the next couple of radio programmes I settled down for the football but as I mentioned just now, that was rather a disappointing waste of time.

Tea tonight was more of those baby roast potatoes with a salad. I’d taken some stuff out of the freezer that I thought was small breaded quorn fillets but was in actual fact some small falafel discs. But they were nice anyway and the air fryer does do a nice job on stuff like this.

So now I’m going to bed. It’s a Day of Rest tomorrow but if it’s anything like last Sunday there won’t be much rest for me. But I’ll track down some biscuit recipes and see if I can’t have a little baking session.

It will be interesting to say the least.

1st April 2023 – HAVING SAID THAT …

… I didn’t need much from the shops last weekend and ended up spending a small fortune, I ended up spending next to nothing today, which is always good news for my bank account.

Noz came up with something for which I’ve been searching for years – a small biscuit tray for the oven. It’s still bigger than what I wanted but it’s small enough to let the heat circulate around the oven without blocking off the top from the bottom, which is always good news.

That’s all that I bought from there. From LeClerc I just bought the basic stuff for a mere €17:00. There wasn’t anything on offer or anything in the clearance bins or anything special that I needed.

At Intersport though a very nice young girl showed me the stuff that the physiotherapist says that I need and although it was expensive, the total that I spent today was still less than whatever I spent last weekend.

It was a good day at the shops today.

Much better than the night though.

Apart from the fact that I spent much of the night tossing and turning again, that stabbing pain in my foot came back. In the heel this time, not the sole of the foot. This kept me awake for quite some time and it wasn’t very nice.

Consequently it was a very weary and bleary me who staggered out of bed when the alarm went off but I still managed to summon up the effort to head out to the shops, despite the devastating wind that was blowing around outside.

And in news that will make everyone sit bolt upright, I actually just used one crutch and my wheelie shopping trolley today to do the shopping, and it all went off very well.

However, I’m still not too confident about it although there are signs of hope. I’ll keep on practising because if I can do it convincingly and confidently, then travelling with a suitcase comes right back on the agenda.

What with these improvements, I’m interested to see how I get on at the hospital and what they might be able to do for me to make life easier.

Back here I made some coffee and with the air fryer I made some cheese on toast with tomato. It was quite a nice brunch and I’ll have to do more of this. As you can gather, I’m becoming quite involved in this air fryer lark now

Once I’d finished eating I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I was cat-sitting someone’s cats. That person was actually there at the start. While we were organising ourselves 2 people knocked at the door. I went to see them and dealt with them. That seemed to be it but 2 other people knocked on the door – 2 people with whom I worked in the past. They came into the apartment and began to talk to whoever it was whose apartment it was while I continued getting these cats ready. One was a small kitten which was stuck behind a sofa and a door across a room. It couldn’t climb over the sofa to come back into the room. I had to help it. I noticed that while I was trying to sort it out there were 4 dummies lying around on the floor. I thought that the cats would be okay if they become lonely.

And then I was at an animal refuge last night having taken jars of sweet wrappings in as some kind of donation. There was one jar of sweet wrappers that was absolutely full to the brim. It was just not possible to fit anything else in there. I produced Tuppence, my old black cat, who was going to help me sort through it. If there was anything nice, she’d eat it. The people at the refuge took one look at her and began to ask me about her. I said that she’d been mine for years. We’re an old couple together. They said “yes but you really need to take her to the vet”. I replied “I’m afraid to take her to the vet because of what the vet might tell me. I don’t really want to lose her”. They said that I’d lose her anyway if she died so it’s much better that she’s looked at in comfort. There was a question about an old Alsatian dog there too but I’m not sure where that fitted into this.

A group of us were having a meeting at my house in Virlet although it was a different house. I’d been to my University exam which was on the fate of Sir John Franklin. I did absolutely dreadfully. I couldn’t even remember the name of his ship etc. All the basics had just evaporated out of my head. I ran out of time trying to think as well. Back at the house we’d been talking. I’d done some work on it since the last time they were there. My friend agreed to come and see it. We crawled through the hatchway into the front area of the house so I could show him the work that I’d done. It looked to me as if someone else had been doing stuff there to such an extent that I was confused as to where I was. It certainly looked as if someone else had been having a go at doing some work. I didn’t say anything. I just let them see it and peer through the broken floors etc. My friend pointed out a huge bulge in the wall. He asked “what’s going on there?”. I replied “nothing as far as I know”. I thought to myself that that bulge wasn’t there last time I was here. I wonder what’s going on. I noticed that someone had tied a blue cargo strap around it to stop it going any worse. I certainly hadn’t done that. I’d no idea what was happening there.

Even more interestingly I was in the middle of another dream when the alarm went off. It awoke me. When I looked it was actually 05:30 and it wasn’t the alarm at all that had gone off. I must have dreamt that. Whatever it was that I was dreaming at the time completely evaporated out of my head. I can’t remember anything at all about it.

Just recently I seem to have spent a lot of time thinking about cats during the night. I grew up with cats and when I had a more settled lifestyle I had a few of my own. One poor girl who I thought was wonderful, I showed her the door because she wanted me to choose between her and Tuppence.

Luckily Nerina liked cats as much as I did and so did Roxanne who acquired a couple of kittens for our little family much to her mother’s annoyance.

Maybe if I do eventually move onto the ground floor where there are windows to the outside and if my travelling days are over, any objection that I might have had to looking after another cat would no longer exist

Rather regrettably, I crashed out this afternoon, and that’s no surprise given how my night went. I’d dictated the notes for the two radio programmes that I wanted to do and was in the middle of editing the first one when I crashed out. I was gone for a good while too.

However I awoke just in time for the football – a bottom-of-the-table match between Pontypool United and Aberystwyth Town. Whoever would win would put some daylight between themselves and the loser in the battle to avoid relegation.

Pontypool played the better football in the first half and went into the break deservedly 1-0 up. Only some heroics from Aberystwyth keeper Matthew Turner had kept Aberystwyth within touching distance.

During the second half Aberystwyth slowly came back into the game and piled on the pressure, but still had to rely on Turner a couple of times and a couple of desperate goal-line clearance to prevent certain goals from Pontypool breakaways.

But deep into stoppage time, Aberystwyth won a corner. Turner went upfield in a brave attempt to put pressure on the Pontypool defence and I don’t think that there was anyone more surprised than him WHEN THE BALL FELL AT HIS FEET.

Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that last weekend I had a play around with the soundfile of a song and cut in a few extra bits and pieces. And after I finished it, I suddenly thought of a way that would have made everything so much easier.

So having listened to STEVE MARRIOTT yesterday and all of the memories that it brought back, I decided that the song wasn’t long enough so I had a play around with that. And now the song has extended from just over 3 minutes to just over 4 minutes and you can’t hear the joins.

That’s something that I must try to do more often, I suppose. It certainly makes things much different and much more interesting. With the truncated attention span that people have these days anything over 3 minutes is turned down flat by most record producers.

Ohhh! For the good old days of Southern Rock bands like Widespread Panic, Blackberry Smoke and the Marshall Tucker Band and lead guitar solos that could last for several weeks.

Anyway, I shall go to bed and dream about cats and lead guitar solos. And a nice lie-in until tomorrow with nothing planned to do all day. High time I had a Day of Rest.

However something will probably come along to disturb me. It usually does.

Friday 24th March 2023 – JUST BY WAY …

… of a change, I wasn’t up and walking about at 04:45 this morning.

It was in fact 03:30 instead. And I think that that tells you all that you need to know about another miserable night that I had.

However, I didn’t manage to be up and about this morning before the alarm went off. I was definitely awake at 07:15 but I must have fallen back to sleep at one point because it was something of a rude awakenng at 07:30 and I staggered out of bed looking like a cross between The Death of Nelson and the Wreck of the Hesperus.

After the medication and checking the mails and messages (including one from this guy with whom I spoke the other day about my shower) I contacted the hospital at leuven to sort out these appointments. The result of this is that I’ve arranged for them all to be on the 11th May. That means that I can breathe some kind of sigh of relief about my congested fixture list.

For most of the day I’ve been planning. I’m planning in the future to reorganise my radio programmes to give them more structure, and I’ve been going through my record library making a list of songs that make reference to space exploration. At the moment I have Elton John’s Rocket Man off with Guns and Roses’ Rocket Queen on the Hooters’ Satellite for Bebop Deluxe’s Honeymoon on Mars, to name just a few of the tracks I’ve been sorting out.

The dictaphone contained a few sound files too that needed transcribing. I was at a class for French lessons at one point last night. We were divided into groups of 2. With me and my partner, who was an old guy, we had to wander around the streets looking at nouns and adjectives, finding where they’d been paired either before the noun or after. I was very difficult for me of course because I was on crutches but I did the best that I could. We spotted maybe half a dozen where the adjective was in front of the noun. I couldn’t remember what they were so we had to go to scrounge an old envelope and pencil off someone, go back and start again. On the way around I ended up with a bottle of wine. As I was returning to where our group was standing there were some people with a dog. It wasn’t on a lead and began to run at me, barking. Every time it came close I gave it a kick with my left foot. I was quite accurate too. They were surprised and so was I because the way that my health is for walking I was surprised that I could kick anything at all. This dog certainly knew that it had had half a dozen good kicks from me as it tried to close in. In the end I gave the bottle to one of the people who was there with the rest of the class.

And then I was in a LIDL somewhere. It was half-full of all kinds of end-of-range stuff. Nothing in there of any particular importance. The rest was stuff that they were assembling for the following day. I was having a look around and couldn’t see anything that I liked. There was a film crew in there. A guy was filming something. He was with his son. Something happened and the father bawled out his son and said to the film crew “I hope that you didn’t record that”. I asked “why? Are you ashamed of it? You ought to be! Fancy treating your son like that!”. He followed me down the aisle and started trying to provoke a fight. he was completely out of his mind.

At another moment I was a passenger in a minibus that was doing a school run. We were all dropped off somewhere. The driver wandered off. He came back and got into his bus. Then he came over to me and said “can I ask you something?”. I replied “yes”. He said “next time you fuel the bus up can you fill it right to the brim?”. I replied “yes. Of course I can. I always wondered what happened to this bus after I got off it”. Just them another guy came up. He said “excuse me but someone was telling me that you don’t have a PSV licence, the blue and yellow one”. I pointed to the sign on the door that said “Shearings Bus and Coach”. I replied “of course I do. I worked for Shearings before. I used to work for Shearings. You could see a strange look on the faces of both of these guys.

There was a break in the day’s programme for the physiotherapist, who was very pleased with my progress, and tea tonight was a rather rushed salad and chips with veggie balls.

Rushed because there was football on the internet. Connah’s Quay Nomads v Y Drenewydd. It’s never easy to play football in a howling gale and rainstorm as it proved tonight but Connah’s Quay, playing with the wind in the second half, took full advantage and scored two goals.

However, I would have liked to have been on the touchline to check the positions when Harry Franklin played the ball to Jack Kenny for the second goal. From up on a gantry on the halfway line you have a totally different view of the proceedings and the perspective.

Nevertheless, there were several moments when I was convinced that the referee and the linesmen were officiating a completely different game to the one that I was watching.

Shopping tomorrow, and I don’t need much, although I have said that before with disastrous results. In any case, as I’m out on Tuesday I might nip to Lidl on the way home from the doctor’s then, which means that I’ll need even less today.

But we’ll see. Just because I don’t need much doesn’t mean that I won’t be buying much, does it?

Friday 10th March 2023 – AFTER ALL OF …

… my exertions yesterday and the day before, discretion was the better part of valour today and I didn’t set foor out of my apartment.

And when you see what THE WEATHER WAS DOING this morning it’s hardly any surprise. Whoever took that video is a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

Last night I was in bed at my usual time and once again I had a great deal of difficulty going off to sleep. However I must have done at some point because when the alarm went off at 07:30 it shattered my eardrums. I’d been dead to the world.

Tons of stuff on the dictaphone too, none of which I could actually remember so it must have been a really deep sleep throughout the night. It started off with my brother and me in a car or bus or something. We reached the destination where we were going to have to drop off my brother. As he left he was saying that he thought that a certain task of renovation or some chore or other should be done on whatever vehicle we were in. I didn’t particularly see the need for that. In any case I wasn’t going to do it. Basically I told him to clear off. At some point my mother said that I wasn’t nicer to my brother but I told her what I thought of the situation as well

And then we had another one of these dreams where I was working long past my retirement date – quite a regular feature these days. I was completely fed up so I decided that when I’d go back into work on Monday I’d hand in 2 weeks notice and finish at the end of the month whether they liked it or not. There was still plenty of holiday time accruing to me so it would probably make it up to the 4 weeks notice but I didn’t really care all that much. I decided that I was going to retire and that was that. Then I awoke – and I must have been dreaming within a dream because I was actually still asleep, if you see what I mean – and it was 03:15. I remembered that the previous evening I’d been fixing the internet. When I went to the bathroom there was a massage on my phone. It was Liz asking me if everything was working fine. I tried to send her a message back but the keypad on my watch was so small that no matter how I tried I ended up sending some kind of garbled message to her.

And that will come as a surprise to many people because, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I can send garbled messages without making use of a small keypad.

And back in this dream later I was walking back up the Rue Paul Poirier back towards home. I heard someone whistle behind me so I turned round. It was one of my colleagues. He beckoned me to cross over the road to him for a chat. I went over the road but I actually awoke at that point and couldn’t remember what went on afterwards. And it’s very rare for me to dream about life in Granville, isn’t it?

Later on I’d had a message from my friend from Munich saying that he was on his way to visit me. It was quite late at night so I texted him to find out where he was. He said that he was just pulling into a fuel station 100 miles away for some fuel. I worked out that he would probably turn up at something like 03:00 or 04:00 and I’d be fast asleep in bed. He said that that’s not a problem. He’d be going to bed too as soon as he arrives

Finally I was bringing a girl back into Crewe from somewhere or other. I was in something of a rush but she said that she wanted to go back into Crewe so I said that I’d bring her. It ended up that she wanted to go up by Coppenhall, that area, which was well out of my way but I had her in the car now so I didn’t have much choice. On the way back we made a detour to go via Shavington because I had a notebook to drop off on someone on Park Estate. When we reached there, instea dof being the 3-bedroomed traditional semis that it is, it was all these horrible appalling dreadful high-rise buildings, the worst slums you’d see. We walked inside and they were dreadful. Everything was filthy and disgusting. We knocked on the apartment. Some woman answered the door. She was covered in cobwebs. There must have been 6 people sleeping in this room with clothes etc heaped up in a mess. The place was filthy. I’d never been in a place as disgusting as this. The person with me gave her the injection that she needed. Then we had to fight our way back out again. It really was the worst place in the world that I have ever visited in all my life and believe me – I’ve been in some places ….

Actually, I found that last episode to be extremely disturbing.

Today, I haven’t actually done all that much. I had a shower, and what was interesting about that was that I didn’t remember getting out of the bath afterwards. It must have been completely uneventful and that can only be good news. It must have been as close to normal as things can be right now.

The physiotherapist came rather later than planned too. We had a lengthy chat and decided that when I come back from the hospital with the report that they will probably give me, we’ll make plans. He’s going to try to get me in at this gym place where they do sports therapy. I had a consultation there last summer, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, but I was overtaken by events.

And then I wrote some more text for one of the radio programmes. I have quite a nice collection now that I need to start recording at some point in the near future.

Tea tonight was a burger with pasta and veg. There have been so many special offers on vegan burgers just recently that it seems like I have the European Vegan Burger Mountain in my fridge and a couple of them are starting to go out of date. Consequently some of them need polishing off rather quickly.

There’s stuff in the freezer than needs eating too and I’ll have to deal with some of that at some point. Not the least reason being that there’s other stuff in the fridge that needs using and I could make all kinds of stuff with that if only there was some space in the freezer to freeze it.

There was football on the internet tonight. It should have been TNS against Y Bala but apparently the pitch at Oswestry was under a foot of snow. Instead the cameras went down the road from the studio to Cyncoed to watch Cardiff Metro play Y Drenewydd.

That match finished 0-0 without a great deal of goalmouth action, but it wasn’t a boring match by any means. It was quite interesting with two rather skilful teams trying to jostle their way into position for a shot on goal.

There’s some exciting news on the football front too. Cymru under-17s have won their way through to the next round of the European Junior Championship. There are three games taking place at the end of the month, against Iceland, Montenegro and a third team that I’ve forgotten. And my Welsh newsfeed service has won the right to broadcast them on the internet.

And then the Welsh part-time XI is playing the English part-time XI in a couple of weeks and they are broadcasting that match too.

So it looks as if we are going to be in for a foot-fest at some point. I’d better go to bed for a good sleep in order to prepare myself for all this excitement.

Saturday 18th February 2023 – THAT FOOTBALL MATCH …

… this afternoon was actually quite entertaining.

Considering that the teams were second-bottom and third-bottom of the table, it was quite a skilful match, all thing being considered and I quite enjoyed watching it.

But you can see why Aberystwyth are struggling down in the basement. Leading 3-1 going into injury time, Pontypridd pulled two late goals back to equalise by the final whistle.

As well as that, midway through the first half they had two gilt-edged chances within a minute to score but one shot went wide and the other one went over the bar. And the first goal that they conceded was the result of a careless error.

It’s stupid things like this that has dragged them into the relegation maelstrom and unless they stiffen up at the back and cut out the silly errors they will be out of the league for the first time since the league was formed in 1992 and that will leave Y Drenewydd as the only ever-present.

While we’re on the subject of dragging … “well, one of us is” – ed … I had a hard time dragging myself out of bed this morning. I’d had a pretty rough night yet again, taking hours to go off to sleep and then going off for quite a few travels that must have disturbed my sleep. I started off at some kind of farm or somewhere like thatg with someone who may have been my father. Someone bought a pile of shopping which had been stacked up outside. We were having to wait until about 20:00 when something would happen or someone would come so we were loitering around outside. I was trying hard to find something to do. In the end I went to put the shopping away but found that my father had beaten me to it. Then I thought that I’d go into the washhouse and see what was happening in there. He said that our sister had her boyfriend in there so maybe it wasn’t a good idea. At that point she opened the door and asked if anyone knew how to fix the little light that was in there. I went in there, trying to figure out what light she meant. She had one of these tea lights inside a glass lantern type of thing. She passed the latches to me. When I opened the box it was smoking so I told her about putting used matches back in the box. It was dangerous. I lit the tea light for her inside this lantern. She’d covered the lantern in black plastic so I told her that that would need to be removed too or it would all melt and make a mess.

The next was, according to what I dictated at the time, a dream that produced one of the best nights that I’ve ever had. I was with a friend from Cheshire. I’d been playing around with my 3D programs. Someone else had come along. It might have been Nerina who was talking about designing dresses etc. I began to tell her about the 3D programs for making 3D objects. She suggested it herself so I tried to give her some information about it without letting on that I knew too much. Suddenly my friend from Cheshire became rather belligerent. She tried to pretend to everyone that the two of us were a couple. Then my friend from Cheshire and I ended up on the floor. She had fallen and I’d fallen with her or something but this discussion with half a dozen people went on all around. Then we decided that we’d have to go. Someone asked my friend from Cheshire if she wanted to have some maths lessons to improve her position. She snapped back in a manner that really offended me and probably offended a lot of other people too. We all set off to walk. I tried to hold on to my friend from Cheshire to stop her doing anything rash but as we made our way from one lift to another to go down this building she wrestled away from me and pushed herself forward after someone who was with us. As we all crammed into a lift some of us were left behind including me and another person and a small child who belonged to someone. That was bound to disrupt all kinds of proceedings now that a small child had become separated from her mother. I tried to take hold of the child. This led to all kinds of confusion about getting into the lifts. We were disrupting the other passengers. I could immediately imagine a scenario where I’d be taking the child down in one lift and the mother would be coming back up in another lift to pick up her child again. I could see that this whole evening had descended into total chaos.

But why I would say that this was one of the best nights that I’ve ever had I’ve really no idea.

And then I was with a couple of other people in a house somewhere waiting for my father to come round. I knew that he was due any minute so I thought that we’d go to stand outside but I couldn’t attract their attention enough to make them stop what they were doing and come out. Then I saw Caliburn in the distance turning into the drive that led up to this house so I tried to round them up again. They didn’t move until Caliburn pulled up outside the door. It took them so long to be ready that by the time I’d set foot out of the door my father had become fed up and had driven away. They were all furious but I tried to explain that that was just how my father was . So what happens now? I said “if it’s left to me I’d easily walk after him but you lot go back in the house and I’ll be back in a few minutes”. They seemed to take this as some kind of personal insult. You could tell by the determination on their faces that they intended to go marching down after him, catching up with him and giving him a piece of their mind, maybe more. I thought that that was something that would only inflame the situation even further and make things even worse than they already are. I was extremely unhappy about how this was going to unfold.

Later on there was a dream about Sherlock Holmes who was going back to college to study something. Lestrade was taking the mickey out of him for doing that. I awoke just as I was about to dictate and everything was immediately wiped away from my mind about what was going on in this particular dream. I couldn’t remember anything at all.

At one point Hercule Poirot was undertaking an investigation. He’d invited everyone to a meeting. Someone made the point that maybe in mentioning the past it was his aim to enquire about the present. I told them that it was usually the other way around. When people have a meeting and start to enquire about the present, usually it’s because they want to know something about the past. Someone is trying to put everyone at ease by asking the question about the present.

Finally, I was in work, and not threatening to retire either which makes a change. It was time to go home so we all flooded out of the place into the car park underneath. I went to find my car but in the position where I’d parked it was a Ford Anglia 100E hearse. I’d actually come in the same but a saloon. The hearse was black and all mildewy with dirt and cobwebs whereas mine was at least black and tidy. I spent a good 10 minutes prowling around trying to find mine and wondering what on earth was going on. The I came across the Senator. I thought to myself “did I come here in the Senator instead?” I was confused about the car. In the end I got into the Senator and set off to drive. Going down the road was a car parked at the bottom, a gold Ford Cortina MkIII. It left practically no room to get through. It was a real squeeze for me to get the Senator through. I brushed down the side of this car with the Senator. When I looked there was someone actually sitting in the passenger seat. I thought that this will lead to a few problems now because there’s no insurance on the Senator but then the guy shouldn’t have been sitting there anyway. When I went round the corner some woman flagged me down and muttered something. I wondered what she wanted. After about 3 or 4 times it turned out that what she was asking for was whether the speed limit in here was 30mph or 40. I couldn’t understand why she wanted to know that. What I’d been doing in the office was writing an essay for my University course. I’d actually finished as much as I wanted to write except for the conclusion. I wanted to check that I had enough words. When I turned over the page to write the conclusion I found that I’d already written stuff in about something completely different. It seemed that I’d been writing out this essay in my notebook so I was going to have to go home and copy it all out onto some fresh sheets of paper and add my conclusion at the end before I could submit it.

With all of that, it’s hardly any surprise that I was totally exhausted this morning. But nevertheless, I did manage to beat the second alarm.

After the medication and checking my mails and messages I pushed on and completed all of the text for the two radio programmes. And before I go to bed tonight I’ll dictate them. It’s not been possible to do that as yet because with Carnaval and the crowds in caravanettes on the car park, it’s been too noisy to dictate anything. I’ll have to wait until the noise outside dies down.

After the football I didn’t really do very much. After all it took me long enough to type out all of the dictaphone notes. But then I’m entitled to take things easy every now and again.

Tea tonight was quite late. I was chatting to someone on-line and let the time run away with me. But when I finally managed to go for it, it was delicious. Baked potato and salad with one of those breadcrumbed soya fillets. They are really nice and as luck would have it, they had some more in LIDL yesterday so I bought a couple more for the next few weeks.

Tonight I’ll be having a lie-in. It’s Sunday tomorrow and all of my work will be done so I can take it easy. I might even have a go at baking some bread in the air fryer to see what happens. That will be interesting and no mistake.

Saturday 11th February 2023 – I’M ABSOLUTELY WHACKED!

Yes – not only did I walk (well, hobble) down into town this morning on my crutches, I walked (well, hobbled) back as well. How about that?

Last night I said that I would give it a try anyway and that was on my mind when I went to bed last night.

And I must have spent a lot of time thinking about it because it took me an age to drop off to sleep, lying there tossing and turning for much of the night. Having that stabbing pain in my foot again didn’t help.

Nevertheless there was time for me to go off for a little voyage here and there during the night. At one point I was having a discussion with my brother. We were 2 small children. We ended up talking about religion and a few things came up. A short while later our father came into the room. He said that he’d heard that we had been talking and come out with some fancy long words. Could we write them down for him? He said something like “covent” which of course immediately reminded us of the Covenanters from the south of Scotland etc. We said that we’d do that.

And then I’d gone on a coach tour around the USA last night, one of these Coach America things. It was our first night and we stopped at this hotel. It was a really expensive hotel but was all included in our price. We registered and I was given a room. Next morning we were being picked up at 09:30 so at 08:30 I left my room and suitcase to go to find where to check out and where to go for breakfast etc. They were talking about the optional extras. They asked me which ones I was doing. I replied that I wasn’t doing any. They looked surprised and asked why. I replied “firstly I’ve seen the USA before and secondly I’m on the economy budget package”. I wandered off to find the checkout. It was miles away but mys suitcase was doing really well rolling and pushing it was no problem. I didn’t have much in my backpack. I found the reception desk and checked out. There were no extras to pay, which pleased me greatly. I started to wander back. I suddenly realised that I didn’t know where to leave my suitcase and didn’t know where the bus was going to pick us up – whether it was here at the main part of the hotel or over in the part where we had our rooms and where I had to go for breakfast etc. I thought to myself that I’m not being very well prepared for this holiday anyway.

When the alarm went off I was out of bed quickly enough, and after I’d had my medication and checked my mails and messages, I prepared myself to set out on my walk.

It wasn’t easy going all that way on crutches but it was downhill all the way. I went carefully and took my time and made it to the chemist’s slowly but surely.

Surprisingly, I didn’t actually feel in much discomfort and with at least half an hour before the next bus was due, I decided that I’d give it a try and walk back up the hill towards home. It was very slow, very agonising and very painful. There were plenty of stops and pauses on the way back up the hill but I made it all the same.

Mind you, I was glad to be back home. I made myself some toast and coffee and checked the time. What would normally be a 20-minute walk had taken me an hour and a quarter . That told me everything that I needed to know about my efforts.

But what I’m going to try to do is to walk down into town carrying a backpack with stuff in it. It’s annoying that the bus that stops outside the door doesn’t go to the railway station. Those buses run from the centre of the town so if I need to go to the station I need to take the bus from down there. if I go to Leuven again I’ll have to take stuff with me so I need to know that I can carry it.

Having had my breakfast I made myself comfortable on my chair and it’s no surprise to anyone to learn that I dozed off to sleep.

Mind you, I awoke in time to watch the football on the Internet, Cardiff Metro against TNS.

And while there’s no denying that the money that has been sunk into TNS by the owner has done a great deal to improve the standards of the club and the chasing pack who are obliged to invest heavily in their teams and facilities in order to keep pace with what goes on down in the Marches, it’s still quite boring to watch an endless procession of TNS victories and Championships.

So when they roared into a 0-2 lead after just 15 minutes everyone could be excused for thinking “here we go again”. But then the unexpected happened. The Met pulled one back just before half-time. And just after half time they scored again.

Even more surprisingly, they scored a third after an hour and despite a lengthy period of injury time and mystery time that would have made Alex Ferguson jealous, TNS couldn’t pull a goal back.

That’s the first time that TNS have been defeated this season in the league and I did have to work hard to conceal my delight.

After the game I finished off the radio notes and then did some more work on preparation for my 200th programme later in the year. I didn’t ever think that I would get that far before I would keel over and peg out, but it is coming closer and closer and I have to crack on and do something about it.

Tea tonight was another delicious meal of baked potato, salad and one of these breadcrumbed soya fillets. And I’m definitely pleased with how the salads are panning out. However at some point I’m going to start to run out of vegan mayonnaise and I need to give some thought about how I’m going to make some more if I don’t go to Leuven to buy it.

So before I go to bed tonight I’ll dictate my radio notes so that I really can have a day off tomorrow. I have some pizza dough to make so I’m thinking that I might have a go at making some bread and baking it in the air fryer to see what happens.

It should be interesting, to say the least.

Saturday 21st January 2023 – MY EXCITING LIFE …

… reached its apogee today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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