Category Archives: nurse

Friday 24th May 2024 – “THERE’S NONE AS THICK …

… as them as wants to be” as my old grandfather used to say in his old Maelor-border accent

And so for the past few days finding it more and more difficult to rise up from my chair in here? I’ve been thinking about buying one of these chairs where there’s some kind of pump-action that raises and lowers the sear.

The last couple of days or so I’ve been discussing it with my cleaner but when she’s been in here this afternoon she asked me “what’s this handle for underneath the seat of your chair?”

You really couldn’t make it up, could you?

It’s a shame that there’s not one on the bed though. It’s all very well “going to bed” but that’s no earthly good if it takes 20 minutes to actually climb on. Honestly, I ache in so many different places it’s simply not true. There’s my groin, and my back, and regular readers will recall the stabbing pain in the sole of my right foot that goes all the way through my body. Well, that’s back too, as if I don’t have enough.

So last night was absolutely wretched. If there hadn’t been stuff on the dictaphone I’d have sworn that I hadn’t slept a wink all night

When the alarm went off I was a little quicker out of the blocks and not needing to dress saved me some time, so after I’d had my medication I began to make the weekend’s bread

After the nurse had been I carried on with my bread and I do have to say that it was perfection itself, which is nice. However it took a lot longer than it ought and so breakfast was quite late today.

Once breakfast was over I set to and made a mountain of hummus. One lot is chili flavoured and the other is olive and dried tomato, and most of it is in the freezer

Having done that I came back in here were I didn’t actually crash out but I was in some kind of vapid daze, not able to function at all but fully conscious of my surroundings.

The cleaner came round and awoke me from my reverie, and we had this chat about my chair. And then I transcribed the dictaphone notes. Someone was following the trail of her father at work. He had died and she had been following in his footsteps to find out more about his life. She went to his factory and found that he was given certain things. They gave her two of them. Then they all went for a meal at the restaurant where he used to go. They proposed soup, which was what he always had but mine was white creamy stuff like cottage cheese yet they insisted that it was soup, the soup that this guy always had though it looked nothing like soup to me. I was just on the point of tasting it when I awoke

It beats me as to why I would be there, but things sound right about the soup. No-one seems to care about my diet here.

A roll of insulation had fallen off a lorry on the M50 and had completely blocked the motorway for several miles so the whole motorway was closed while they thought of what they would do to roll this back up. There was a group of kids camping near there. The police wanted them moved on but when I saw the girl’s rucksack was absolutely full to the point of bulging yet weighed as light as a stone as if there were just bags of air inside it made me wonder what on earth was going on with these kids. What did their choice have to do with anything and why were they being pushed around like this

And young girls being pushed around by the police. Would you believe it?

While we were discussing the closing of the road by this insulation and how they were going to move me the engine on a cabin cruiser than was being towed and had stopped because of the police suddenly burst into flames. There was smoke and fumes everywhere while this happened.

There was also a good old-fashioned knock at the door at 06:00 but there was no chance of my opening it at all. Probably phantom knockers now, I reckon.

Then I paired off the music for the next radio programme but was interrupted by a ‘phone call. It was the hospital giving me appointments for Tuesday 11th. It looks as if I’ll be staying over when I go on the 10th. But apparently they’ve found an issue with my heart

They want a blood test too so I had to print off a pile of stuff including the prescription

Tea tonight was vegan nuggets with chips and vegan salad, and now I’m off to bed, if I can manage to climb onto it. But at least it’s not as bad as when I was married and I swapped our bed for a trampoline. Nerina hit the roof!

Thursday 23rd May 2024 – I’VE NO IDEA …

.. what I’ve done to myself, but I have aches in places I didn’t even realise that I had places.

At some time during the night I pulled a muscle in my groin in bed.

Usually I don’t mind pulling a muscle in my groin in bed, but only if there’s someone else in there pulling it with me. This time though it happened during the night when I was asleep and I didn’t realise until I had to leap out of bed to switch off the alarm

And then I did! Ohh yes.

And I’ve also done something to my lower back too so sitting down, even in my lovely office chair, is agonising too

When I went to bed last night, earlier than usual for a change, I was in perfect health. Well, as perfect as I can be, I suppose. And for a few hours I had a nice relaxing sleep.

However things went south from there. I was tossing and turning around, obviously far too much at one point.

When the alarm went off Billy Cotton cried his famous cry three times before I could reach the ‘phone to switch him off. Usually I can manage to do it before the first chorus ends but that’s when I don’t have pulled muscles in my body with which I have to contend.

In the bathroom it took me half an hour – yes, half an hour to dress myself. It really was so difficult to pick up my right leg with this agonising pain.

Eventually I managed it though and limped off into the living room to sort out the medication. It’s a day of everything today, even the Vitamin D supplement that I have to take these days with being stuck indoors.

When the nurse came I told her of my predicament and she insisted, absolutely insisted that I take a painkiller. I’m totally opposed to that idea but I could see the logic in her argument today.

However I had a few things to do that needed my attention beforehand

Once I’d organised everything I took a painkiller, with the predictable results. Having crowed yesterday about not crashing out at all, I was away with the fairies. And away for almost 4 hours too. It was 15:06 when I awoke and … errr … somewhat later when I started work.

The cleaner had been in while I’d been asleep and apparently we’d had a chat. I wonder what it was that I’d said. It can’t have been anything offensive because she came back later with other stuff. It seems that one of my neighbours has left me a couple of punnets of soft fruit which is really nice.

First thing that I did was to check the dictaphone to see where I’d been during the night. We were having a big discussion about teenagers wasting time. It turned into some kind of battle like a game of football or something. Whichever team I was on, we swept the field and won quite convincingly. This led to me moving into a new apartment. I had some help to do it. Afterwards we were settling down when the ‘phone rang. It was Rosemary so she and I had a good chat. She found out where I was living now, which was just down the road from ETS Elliott School and some of her stuff was there in a box so she wondered if we could go to pick it up at some point at lunchtime. I didn’t see any objection to that except that I wasn’t sure how I was going to carry it away. It would probably need to go into the car which meant coming back from work on the bus or tram, getting into the car, going to the school, getting the things, going back home and then going back to work on the bus or tram again. Certainly in theory it was possible anyway

Time is, after all, only wasted if you actually regret it. And when you are teenage you don’t worry about that

There’s a General Election taking place in the UK. I’ve been an MP for 5 years creaming the money off illicit contracts and tings like that from the NHS over Covid. Of course with the elections coming up there was likely to be a new Party, there’s likely to be a public enquiry which could eventually lead to prosecutions. I would have to admit at some stage or other that I was likely to be prosecuted for some misdeeds with regard to the Covid disaster and the aftermath of it. It was all extremely depressing for me as time passed on the approach to the date

Yes, I’ve caught the General Election fever right enough with all of this. It’ll be like this now for the next few weeks until it’s all over.

I was going somewhere on a train. The train was quite crowded. There was one guy behind me talking to one guy in front of me. Although they were talking quite quietly it was impossible for me to sleep. I had all kinds of dreams and things going through my head relating to the economy and knights in shining armour etc but of course with not being asleep they are only flitting through. In the end there was an incident on board the train. Someone made some kind of remark to me so I replied and mentioned about these two guys talking to each other and said that maybe now they can keep quiet and let everyone else go to sleep. I suddenly realised that not only was I sitting on a set of seats for two in this crowded train I was sitting on the one against the aisle and my feet were across the other one propped up on the back of the seat in front. I had stuff all over where I was sitting on the window ledge and on the tray of someone sitting across the aisle too. I suddenly realised that I’m the last person who ought to be lecturing passengers about their behaviour on this train. As it became more crowded and people were standing I suddenly realised that maybe I’m going to have to change my behaviour and let someone sit alongside me which would of course make the journey much more uncomfortable for me but make it much more comfortable for everyone else. It really did seem strange the way I was reacting when I was being twice as bad as everyone else when it came down to selfishness

And this isn’t like me, is it? I’m not usually the inconsiderate sort. Not these days anyway.

Next step was the radio programme. I’ve chosen all of the music and begun to pair it off. That should keep me out of mischief for the next few days, writing the radio notes for the music that I’ve chosen. There’s some good stuff in this programme.

Tea tonight was, as I said the other day, steamed veg with falafel in a vegan cheese sauce. That’s another one of my favourite meals and it was as delicious as always. That’s another meal I can eat every night of the week.

But seeing as I’m in agony I’m off to bed. Fully dressed because I’m not going through this morning’s pantomime again.

Tonight I feel like the woman who went to the doctor’s about her aches and pains.
"What did he say about the pain in your back?" asked her husband
"He told me to rub in this embrocation three times a day" she replied
"Did he say anything about the pain in your *rs*?"
"Yes" she replied. "He told me that I ought to apply for a divorce"

Wednesday 22nd May 2024 – I HAVE GONE …

… would you believe, for a whole day without falling asleep even once. And when was the last time that that happened?

It has to be said that I did waver for about 10 minutes round about 17:45 but Rosemary sending me a few text messages soon snapped me out of it.

The interesting thing will be to see how I manage tomorrow. Is this just a flash in the pan? Or is it a renaissance? My money is of course on the former because as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, nothing is so bad that it cannot deteriorate any further, but you never know.

That was the last thing that I was imagining when I finally crawled into bed last night, later than I would have liked it to be but earlier than some just recently.

It was another turbulent night too. I don’t think that I had all that much sleep. But I was definitely asleep when the alarm went off. No phantom alarms during the night – at least, not that I recall.

There was the usual morning routine with the nurse helping me put on my new slippers, and then I had a leisurely few hours while I slowly came round into the Land of the Living.

After my coffee and fruit bun I had things to do. I’m going for a check-up in Paris on 10th June and I needed a bon de transport – a transport voucher – as my journey is more than 150 km

You’ve no idea how many times and how many different numbers I had to dial in order to find the Secretariat of the doctor. In the end I managed to contact them and they’ll send me one.

Next step was the taxi company to book the car to take me. As the journey is over 150 kms I need “prior authorisation” from the Social Security. No problem there because it seems that the doctor has asked for – and been given – “prior authorisation” for 15 trips. And so I invited the receptionist out to hit the high spots with me one night.

Next task was to transcribe the dictaphone notes. There were six of us living in a house all together. We had a few things to do, one of which was to play in some kind of cup final. The following day the film that had been taken of the match was shown to us. We could see the penalty shootout at the end where we’d scored penalties. They wanted us to do this again and then go to see a famous footballer to talk to him about the match. This meant leaving the bed and dressing. Someone had brought everything into the room for us to make our own sandwiches to eat on the trip. I was going to make a sort of burger, I suppose, with a burger and crudities on top but while I was cutting the cabbage or cauliflower or something like that, the cabbage or cauliflower fell onto the floor. No-one knew where it was. I couldn’t see it. In the end after several minutes someone pointed it out to me. By this time my quilt had fallen off the bed and had landed on top of it. I thought to myself that I would never ever have this sandwich like this. In the end I abandoned the attempt for the moment and chose other crudités to go on the pile. Then we slowly began to set off. I had the preferential place on the transport but I couldn’t think why because my goal to me was no more different than anyone else’s goal during this match

Later on I had a similar type of dream. A girl I knew in Brussels was there with me. We ended up driving to some kind of city and we were discussing a few things that had taken place over the last couple of days. I jokingly said to her “if you aren’t very careful I’ll be offering you a job”. Her eyes lit up at that and she wanted to know more about what I meant. Of course I meant it in fun but for some reason or other I felt like sharing my life with someone and she was there. We had a chat. It turned out that she wasn’t really all that interested. She asked what was involved so I talked about my future plans for next holiday, which was to go on a driving tour of places in Italy. She didn’t fancy that. She wanted to go to Borth in mid-Wales. I asked why and she replied that it’s handy for the airport if she wants to go somewhere else. I made a joke about “was it you, that person on the bicycle”? There had been some talk about a person on a bicycle. She was rather offended by that. She reminded me of a holiday that she’d done on a motor cycle previously. I explained that a motor cycle is far easier than going on a bike in any case. The discussion continued as we climbed into my car, the red Cortina. There was a guy loitering around. He had a really strange beard. I asked him if he wanted a lift. He replied “yes” but didn’t climb into the car as if he was waiting for someone else. I pulled forward out of the parking spot but he just shook his head then and walked away so I drove off and continued my discussion with the girl.

She was a strange girl too. Assistant to the Editor of the Brussels edition of “Time” magazine, she did have a short fuse if you touched one of her sacred cows. And she came to stay with me – for 12 months too – in 2003 while her apartment was rented out when she was short of money. And I never saw her again after she left

And so that dream continued. We walked mile after mile after mile all the way through South Cheshire, through Crewe. I was there with my youngest sister, leading her on trying to encourage her but with her little legs, it must have been a nightmare this trip. We just kept on going. Nothing distracted us all the way up Edleston Road past all of these cheap shops selling sweets and things, through a kind of market hall at the top and out onto Nantwich Road. We carried on walking towards Nantwich for whatever reason – I had no idea at all. Poor little sister. She must have been in hell trying to walk this journey with us with her small legs.

Why I said “so that dream continued” I have no idea. There’s probably something missing somewhere that I didn’t record and that’s a shame, especially if it includes Zero, Castor or TOTGA. They didn’t make it last night but it’s nice to see a couple of other people whom I know.

While the cleaner was here I finished off the radio notes for the programme on which I’ve been working, and I made a start on choosing the music for the next one. We have to push on.

Tea tonight was another delicious leftover curry with naan bread. That’s the last of the naan bread dough so I’ll have to make some more on Sunday along with the pizza dough and the biscuits. I’m running short of those.

But that’s for Sunday. Now I’m off to bed.

But the gist of Rosemary’s discussion was the UK General Election which will take place on 4th July and which will figure in these pages in fuller detail over the next few weeks when a whole variety of MPs will be preparing to head for the hills with their ill-gotten gains from the Covid scandal.

But that’s nothing to laugh at. A Chinese guy was taunting me about the state of the UK. I told him "at least the UK can change its Government every five years. When was the last time you had an election?"
"Just before blekfast" he retorted.

Tuesday 21st May 2024 – NOT ANOTHER HORRIBLE …

… miserable day when I’ve spent most of the afternoon fast asleep on my comfortable chair?

It’s gone from being 10 minutes every few days now to a couple of hours on a couple of occasions every day and you’ve no idea just how fed up I’m becoming of it.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I awoke as quickly as I went to sleep, but awakening is a long, drowsy process when I’m not able to do anything at all except vegetate and wait for my body to catch up with the spinning of the World

There’s nothing in the World that I’d like more than to be able to say “goodbye” to all of this. One way or the other – it doesn’t bother me at all, but this is simply no good at all.

It’s not as if I had a particularly late night last night. It was the wrong side of 23:00 to be sure, but not by enough to worry me. And I actually had a decent sleep for several hours too.

At a certain point I definitely heard the alarm go off but it didn’t feel like 07:00 so I checked my watch. Battery flat! So I had to leave the bed to check the time on the ‘phone. It was only 06:00 as it happened, so once more we must have had a phantom alarm call.

As for me, I crawled back under the covers and waited for the 07:00 alarm call.

When it rang I went through the usual procedure of leaving the bed to switch it off, and then the bathroom for a wash followed by the dining area for my medication and to set it out as the nurse likes it.

While I waited for her I transcribed the dictaphone notes. Here’s a dream about people escaping from a prisoner-of-war camp and we’ve had this before. People being disguised as couples or families doing their best to make their own escape kits of clothing and materials that they’ll need. The night before the escape they all have a dress rehearsal by all appearing in the hallway of one of the blocks where there’s a German guard but he doesn’t suspect anything with the unlikely arrival of a couple of women and children etc. They have this demonstration. There’s a dog there for some reason, probably a prison warden dog. Someone makes a joke to another potential escapee about “oh it’s OK to stroke the poor doggie. That’s quite all right”. Generally speaking the display passes off quite well and the people prepare themselves to break out the following night. Certainly a couple of nights later the camp is empty so the escape must have been successful to some certain degree

Then I dreamed that dream about Bala FC escaping from that prisoner-of-war camp again although one of the prison camp guards played for Chester. I’ve forgotten this dream now. He was a prison camp and later on was told quite dramatically that I am sure to be his position, sack all over the street (…fell asleep here …)

So what’s going on about all of these prisoner-of-war dreams that I’m having right now? It must be significant, I suppose, but I can’t think of what the significance might be.

The nurse went through the procedures with my feet and legs, and I think that she realises that she’s fighting a losing battle. I know that that’s how I’m thinking. There’s no improvement and it’s just delaying the inevitable, and for no good purpose too.

After she left I revised for my Welsh class. The lesson passed quite well today which makes a nice change. We were talking about music, and of course that’s a subject about which I can talk for ever.

One of the things that I mentioned – in Welsh – was a rock group called Sumé. They come from Greenland and sang – would you believe – in Inuit. It’s thanks to their songs that many words made their way into the Inuit language and their singing started a revolution.

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I began to learn Inuit but the problem with that language is that with the communities being so isolated and inter-community mixing so rare, each community has its own sub-language. What you learn in one settlement is different from the Inuit spoken in another settlement. So really you have to master about 20 different dialects

After the course was over I had my lunchtime fruit and then spent to afternoon fighting off – often unsuccessfully – wave after wave of sleep. While I was asleep at one point in the afternoon I’d been in some kind of dispute with someone and had climbed into my car ready to drive away to Manchester to fetch some things. I had someone with me. I realised that I was in no condition to drive and was on the verge of asking the person with me to take over when I realised what was happening was that I was slowly awakening.

Me being in dispute with someone? Surely not!

Despite the “wave after wave of sleep” I did manage to do some work. I wrote a few more notes for a future radio programme. With a bit of luck, God’s help and a Bobby I should be able to finish it tomorrow, if I don’t fall asleep.

The cleaner came round too to go through the medication. She brought me some new slippers that she’d picked up in LeClerc but it’s no good – despite them being two sizes too large I can’t actually put them on myself.

Tea tonight was a delicious taco roll with some more leftover stuffing. I can eat that with rice and veg every day of the week. There’s plenty of stuffing left to go into a left-over curry on Wednesday and I’ll have steamed veg and falafel in a cheese sauce on Thursday, I reckon, if I’m still here

They were actually discussing the funeral arrangements with someone not so long ago
"Would you like him buried in one of the new glass coffins?" asked the undertaker
"That’s a novel idea" said the client. "Do you think that it’ll ever become popular?"
"Remains to be seen" replied the undertaker

Monday 20th May 2024 – YOU’VE PROBABLY ALL …

… read yesterday’s embarrassing blog entry now that it’s on line.

Ohhh!! The shame of it all. I eventually managed to make my way to bed, fully-clothed, at about 02:30 which, seeing as the alarm was set for 07:00 was going to be something of an effort.

Especially as today is another Bank Holiday and usually you wouldn’t see my head poking out from under the covers until about 11:00 I suppose

But all of that was back in the olden days. How times have changed. And not for the better either

When the alarm went off I arose from the dead and went for a wash in the bathroom to clean up

The dining area needed arranging for the nurse too but I arranged it somewhat differently to make it easier for me to stand up. The heights for my arms to push up so that I can stand up have to be calculated pretty precisely .

The nurse noticed a deterioration today. I told him how fed up I was with it all. I need to start laying the foundations for my eventual depart

After he left I came back in here and with an old, pretty full A4 binder and my pillow, managed to raise up the height of the chair so I can sit down with no worries about getting up again. What kind of state am I really in?

At least I was able to write out the blog entry from last night and post it on line.

This afternoon I had a lot of personal stuff to do. And do you remember that issue that reared its ugly head in the UK? The bullet is bitten, the die is cast
"The Moving Finger writes, and, having writ,
Moves on; nor all your Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it"
and I shall be making one of the greatest expenditures in my life.

In fact, only the purchase of Expo, my second apartment in Brussels and my apartment downstairs here have cost me more, and the sad thing is that I won’t ever see the benefit of it.

Ahh well, such is life I suppose

That left me some time to transcribe last night’s diictaphone notes. And to my surprise, there was something. They were doing some kind of survey into criminal investigations. I’d been leading some kind of group that had a great deal of interest in this. We were comparing various things together to see about them. One year we had a graph that had an abnormal part in it so we looked further into it. That was what they called “The Irish Sex Scandal” when the Irish Government spent so long investigating a case before brining it to court that it was deemed to be – not “Perverting The Court of Justice” but whatever I mean … "defeating the ends of natural justice" – ed … to bring it to Court. The prosecution collapsed accordingly. We began to wonder whether there had been any other UK cases that had collapsed like this because of a want of prosecution. We began to look further into a lot of old cases to make sure that at least the defence had been correctly run and the correct information had been supplied to them for them to decide what to do with it

During the day I’d been crashing out here and there, which is no surprise given the sleep that I hadn’t had. When I was asleep in the morning I was doing something in the countryside. There was a campsite there. I was having a good wash but a couple of people were having a shower. It suddenly occurred to me “why don’t I have a shower instead?”. I gathered up my things and must have gone into twenty cubicles without finding a single cubicle that had everything one would need for a proper shower. There was always something missing. On one occasion I was menaced by a dog but as it approached me I menaced it back and it ran away. Twenty cabins I must have tried and not one of them had all one would need for a shower.

That sounds typical, doesn’t it?

There was still some time to write a few notes for a forthcoming radio programme before going to make my stuffed pepper and I’ll finish it tomorrow. But after my Welsh lesson. I’m going to bed now ready to be fighting fit for tomorrow

And by that, dear reader, I mean “fighting for breath and fit to drop”.

Sunday 19th May 2024 – WHAT AN EMBARRASSMENT

this evening I’ve been out and about – and how I wish that I hadn’t. It did not go well.

Actually it all began to go wrong the previous evening. Despite the promise of an extra hour in bed until 08:00, it was actually long after midnight before I finally hit the hay, what with one thing and another. And once you start, you’ll be surprised at how many other things there are.

It was another turbulent night when I don’t think that I may have had much sleep, and I was certainly in no mood to deal with the alarm that rang.

Anyway I staggered off into the bathroom having switched off the alarm, done what I’d needed to do and washed the floor (which was much more complicated than it ought to have been) I was interrupted mid-deshabillé by the early arrival of the nurse. So he had to wait for me to finish.

Once I was ready he did the necessary and departed, leaving me to prepare breakfast.

There was a ‘phone call shortly afterwards. It’s a neighbour’s birthday, the neighbour who was so helpful in putting me on the trail of the apartment downstairs. It’s a “special” birthday and she was having a big party in one of the public rooms here.

She wanted me to be there, which was nice, and se she’d asked another couple of neighbours to help me. They rang me up to confirm the arrangements.

At some point in between one or two of the constant waves of sleep that were overwhelming me I transcribed the dictaphone notes. I was a teacher at school last night talking to a couple of guys. As a result I was late to go to my class one morning. On another morning a similar situation occurred but on a third moment I was just late. I ran into a young teacher who was trying to make an impression who was also late coming into school. I told him to simply say that he had been to see these two other guys who had kept him longer than they should but he couldn’t understand it. He kept on being confused about how he should say and what he should say. When I mentioned a sum of money which was why I was late – I had to go to pay a bill somewhere he asked “yes, do I have to pay these guys a sum of money?” and he started to really confuse himself. In the end I wished that I hadn’t said anything and that he’s just gone in and treated his absence as though without any problem whatever. This was going to end up far too complicated for him to understand which is a total surprise. It was all pretty straightforward to me what he needed to do. The other two guys involved – they were quite happy to play ball with any suggestion whatsoever

That makes a change, doesn’t it? People playing ball and willing to fall in with my ideas.

And then I vaguely heard the alarm go off at 08:00 and then vaguely heard the doorbell – when he came I was still flat-out asleep in the bedroom. He had to come and hunt me down and do all the things that … fell asleep here …

Of course, that was the phantom alarm sounding and it wasn’t the nurse to come in to awaken me either. There are some strange things going on in this building.

When the alarm went off I was busy teaching someone some French. We were at a strange kind of house party last night with lots of excitement going on. Down in the garage outside was a builder mixing cement who had developed a way of doing it automatically. He showed me round and showed me how it worked. It looked quite an interesting way of doing things – you could certainly mix a lot of cement quite quickly in this way. He was the one asking me the French for all kinds of different phrases as we were going along

There are so many things like this in my dreams that if I could remember them correctly and patent them, I’d make a fortune

While I was asleep at lunchtime there was something about two girls being here. It might even have been Percy Penguin and someone else. I’d made a big plate of salad and given them a side plate each so that they could help themselves to some, but one of the girls complained that the side plates just weren’t big enough and they wanted dinner plates.

At the rate that I’m breaking crockery here, they should think themselves lucky that they were offered side plates. It was probably all that I had.

So continuing on with my struggle after a rather late lunch I chose all of the remaining music for the next radio programme and paired it off. For some reason that took a lot longer than it ought to have done.

And so did putting on my shoes. I had to take off my puttees of course but the subsequent battle with my shoes took almost 45 minutes and was the most depressing moment of my life – so far

When my two neighbours called and helped me downstairs, you’ve no idea how depressed I was. It was clear that my health has deteriorated badly since the last time that I went out because it was such a struggle. I was beginning to think that it was the wrong decision to come out because I’ll never get back up the stairs again.

As I hadn’t been out for ages they took me on a guided tour of the town to see the sights, which was very nice of them. It’s ages since I’ve had a good look around.

At the party I fell in with a very nice group of guys and gals and eventually a chair with arms was produced so that I could sit down outside, enjoy the sun, talk music and eat a big plate of crudités

Eventually we had to go inside for a main meal, and this is where the fun began – I couldn’t get out of the chair, no matter how many people tried to help me.

Four guys had to carry the chair – and me, like some Roman emperor, I suppose – inside the hall and drop me at a table. Surprisingly there was nothing arranged for me to eat. someone eventually produced a plate of green beans followed by a plate of cherries.

We were there until about midnight and then we had the same trouble. It was impossible for me to leave the chair.

In the end they carried my and the chair to the car and bundled me inside, and that was not without mishap. I fell over a couple of times trying to go from the chair to the car.

At the other end, outside here, they helped me from the car, put me in the chair as I still couldn’t stand up, and they carried the chair and me up the stairs and tipped me out on the bed.

What an ignominious, humiliating way to spend an evening. I should really never have gone out but it’s as well to find out my shortcomings while there were plenty of people to help. Heaven alone knows what it will be like when I have to go to Paris.

But at least my experience wasn’t as humiliating as for someone else there. A rather large lady, who took up a lot of space, appeared at the party and wanted to sit down
"Three chairs for this lady, please?" asked our host
"Hip! Hip! Hooray!" roared the crowd.

Saturday 18th May 2024 – THEY’VE DONE IT!

After all of this bad news and negativity that’s been going around and about just recently, it’s nice to have some good news to report for a change

But anyway it’s a pleasure to report that in the close season this year it will be the turn of the Cofi Army to hit the road out Europe way as Caernarfon Town swept aside Penybont for that discretional place in European club competition in front of a massive crowd that must in modern times at least be a club record

Last night I’d gone to bed, later than I would have liked of course, full of eager anticipation for this game.

Wales has traditionally three spots in European competition, one spot in the Champions League and two spots in the Europa League.

These spots are traditionally won by TNS, COnnah’s Quay Nomads and Bala Town but every so often there’s a fourth discretionary place awarded and then there’s a play-off between clubs between 4th and 7th

This is the “real” cup final because it gives the lesser clubs something to play for and an opportunity to sample the delights of European football

But for me, for some reason last night was quite turbulent. I went to bed in the “old” way which caused me no pain at all which was nice, but I kept tossing and turning, and couldn’t really settle down to sleep.

Nevertheless I must have gone to sleep at some point because I was dead to the world when the alarm went off. I fell out of bed, switched off the alarm and headed for the bathroom

One good wash and change of clothes later I was in the dining area taking my medication and then setting out the room as the nurse likes it.

He didn’t have much to say when he came and was soon gone. But then I had a problem – I couldn’t rise out of the chair on which I was sitting. I knew that it was going to be a bad day today.

Once I managed to rise to my feet, after a great battle, I began to make my broccoli stalk soup. I put a great deal of effort, not to mention a pot of soya yoghurt, into it and it was really delicious today with freshly ground black pepper and fresh home-made bread.

Nevertheless, I still fell asleep drinking a mug of strong coffee. It must be one of the pills that I’m taking that’s doing this.

Eventually I pulled myself around and went into the bedroom to check my messages and mails. And it seems that I have to go to the hospital in Paris on June 12 for a check-up and hopefully receive he results of my stay there the other week. They’ll have loads of news for me, and I bet that it’ll all be bad

Judging by the amount of stuff on the dictaphone the night must have been disturbed. In my version of “The Horror of War” or whatever it was called, when the Americans tried to make good their getaway in World War I from the prison camp they would actually succeed. Some would go to ground amongst the native population and some would head west looking for a front line to dodge behind. I don’t think that they would be still there sitting there in bed and waiting for something to happen to them if they had already broken out and made arrangements for where to go. It would be most unlikely that they would be just sitting there. They would be up there somewhere doing something and trying to be involved in the action and get away from their captivity.

And then I’d been doing something in Brussels. That involved staying in someone’s house while all this was done. It was some kind of work in the street but on the last day I decided that this would be it and I’d go home on the last train so I had to do what I was doing then come back to where I was living, change and then go back in the rain to give the final orders and then go straight to the station to catch the train home. As I was washing and putting on my clean clothes there were all kinds of disturbances. The girl who lived there came in to me to ask me if I’d show the owner of the house how to make an apple pie. I thought that this was the last thing that I needed at this time of night. I wanted to be off but the quicker that I did it, the quicker I’d be finished so I went over to see what he’d done. He’d done the pastry in a strange way. He’s cut it into eighths but in the circular way round do there wasn’t a bottom or top, just like eight slices of pie crust. Of course they had all to be joined together and the filling had to go in, the top had to go on. I thought to myself that the people were making this thing much more complicated than it ought to be but that was just how things used to go. No-one seemed to know just how to do anything ordinary and straightforward. It all had to be so complicated.

And that’s another story of my life, isn’t it? If there’s a simple way of doing something and a complicated way of doing it, you can bet your life which one anyone would choose when I’m involved. Even I’m not immune from this myself

I was in this big German prisoner-of-war camp in Russia weeding the garden and the band suddenly began to play the national anthem. It took me a few minutes to cotton on to what was happening nut suddenly I realised that it was the German national anthem and that meant that they were planning an escape. I wasn’t sure who was escaping but I learnt later on that 20 guys from hut two had escaped. For some reason I was held responsible for it. Whilst no real punitive action was taken against me I was treated like a prisoner, being shackled, by being … indistinct … I felt in the end it probably wouldn’t have ended up better for me had I tried to escape with the others rather than stay behind. I certainly couldn’t have been worse-treated once they left. And then one of the members playing the second time, I was supposed to either sing some songs or write some songs, the songs that shouldn’t have music and they turned out to be tracks off the album that were played to basically accompany the escape. Most of them were not good at all

Back in this dream again, the composer was well-known but he was not in the camp, he was dead so I took it that this was the signal for an escape. I was puzzled why I hadn’t been told about it seeing that I was one of the leaders of the camp from the prisoners’ point of view. Anyway everyone was immediately confined to bed. I saw my moment and escaped. Schopenhauser or whoever wrote it originally had chosen a different moment to escape but I chose that one. In the end I ended up down in the south of Germany where this girl tried to persuade me to help her paint her toenails red but I was unable to do so … fell asleep here …

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I don’t actually “fall asleep” because I’m already asleep when I’m dictating. What happens is that the disctaphone goes silent and eventually you hear deep rhythmic breahinf and occasional snoring.

But what’s going on with this obsession with prison camps tonight then?

Our nurse went to the local council tip during the night to throw away all of her incriminating paperwork. On the way her little brown Clio was involved in an accident with a couple of guys. It wasn’t particularly badly damaged or anything like that but it made her reflect for a couple of minutes and led to something of an argument before she agreed to invite the guys to her house one day when she wouldn’t be there. So she went there and threw away all of her paperwork. Then she was talking about this and that as if she’d already spoken to the female guards about it. They’d had some kind of friendly interaction but it didn’t sound right by the way that this dream was going. I think that she was trying to avoid all kinds of interaction while she disposed of this incriminating … fell asleep here …

“Si” is the French way of contradicting someone so this dentist woman or whatever she was started to use it to correct members of her team and then their team had been exposed to the Germans and they should make ready for a rather rapid flight before the Germans came along to arrest them.

Some of the stuff about which I dream really is bizarre for sure and quite often there’s no logical explanation for it. I often wonder what goes on in the depths of my subconscious.

Rosemary had left a message for me to call her so I gave her a “quick” ring – “quick’ being 56 minutes this afternoon while we put the World to rights as usual

And then it was the football.

For a town with a population of less than 10,000, a crowd of over 2,000 is immense but they were there singing away and cheering on their team

And their team rewarded them by roaring into a three-goal lead in the first 35 minutes with some beautiful play down the wings that tore the Penybont defence to shreds

Penybont pulled one back right at the death and quite right too as they played the more classy football. We had the usual chaos in the Caernarfon defence that we have had for several seasons too but they rode their luck

At the end of the game the fans flooded onto the pitch and the party began. For a club that was on the verge of extinction and in the third tier of football 15 years ago, the devotion of the fans, the most passionate in Europe, saved the club and they now have their reward

If you want to see the highlights of the game THEY ARE HERE

But as I said earlier, it’s this discretionary fourth place that has permitted all kinds of Welsh Clubs to sample European football, even Cefn Druids from the second tier one year.

After this I fell asleep for a while until tea time, and then baked potatoes, salad and one of my favourite quorn fillets.

But I broke another plate when I dropped a jar of pickled onions onto it. Luckily not one of my dinner service plates, but it’s still very bad news. I don’t know what’s the matter with me right now.

Right now though I’m off to bed. Tomorrow is another day and, I hope, a better one

And just be glad that Penybont didn’t play Their new signing. That guy who is half man, half horse
"and who is he" – ed
Why, their new centaur-forward of course.

Friday 17th May 2025 – I’VE JUST HAD …

… to defrost the freezer.

The build-up of ice in there was so much that the doors wouldn’t close correctly, which was making the freezer freeze up even more.

So, armed with the electric kettle and a saucepan with a heavy, thick base I went to work. It’s not perfectly defrosted, because the time that it would take, the frozen food wood melt, but at least the drawers fit better and the doors close, which was the aim of the whole exercise.

Mind you, it’s just about the only productive work that I’ve done all day. The other day, I mentioned that the partner of my friend in Munich had gone into palliative care. Unfortunately she didn’t pull through and just after midnight she left us to join the angels.
"Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee"

as John Donne wrote 400 years ago. I remember the delight that she felt when she came out of hospital a few years ago after just having her catheter port removed. For her it signified the end of the cancer treatment that she was having, that she was now fit and rehabilitated.

The removal of the catheter port was a symbol of victory back then. But how rapidly and wickedly fate can turn upon you. Rest in Peace, Ulli. It was a pleasure and a privilege to have known you.

As for myself, I’m not doing much better. My body is swelling up with all of these water retention issues that I’m having. And when I say “all” my body, I do mean “every bit of it”. I shall be looking like Bibendum, the Michelin Man, before too long

But last night anyway I managed to make it to bed and although it was a late night again, it was a decent sleep for a change and I can’t remember being interrupted at all, not even by a phantom alarm call. It was the Sleep of the Dead.

When the real alarm went off I fell out of bed to switch it off and then made my way to the bathroom for a clean-up, not that it did much good, I reckon.

Once I’d had my medication I set out the dining area for the nurse. My right leg is much better now, with the pain having diminished even more. But as I mentioned earlier, I have other issues with which to deal now that are causing me greater problems

While I was waiting I made a start on the bread dough for the weekend, mixing it, giving it a knead and then leaving it to proof for a while.

The nurs didn’t have much to say for himself today and was in and out quite rapidly After he’d gone I gave the bread its second working-over and divided into three lumps, one for each day.

Just for a change it went up like a lift, the best that I have ever made I reckon, and it baked really nicely too. My breakfast cheese-on-toast, which was almost lunchtime cheese-on-toast by the time that I’d finished, was delicious.

Back in here I crashed straight out despite the strong black coffee, and it was 13:00 when I finally rejoined the Land of the … well, perhaps not.

First thing was to check the dictaphone to see if there was anything on it from the night. And to my complete surprise, there was. This was before the Fall of France and we had a bomber aeroplane in Normandy. We’d given it a name. First of all we’d called it “Billy Jones” after the boy who was a dancer … "That was Billy Elliott. Billy Jones was guitarist with the Outlaws who committed suicide" – ed … but then we gave it some other name later but I can’t remember what it was. However the ‘plane was shot down on a flight over to the Channel Islands before the Channel Islands were invaded and unfortunately we lost it and the crew

Just a little reminder for the British people who criticised the French for not resisting the Occupier in World War II, the Channel Islands were occupied in June 1940 and no effort at all was made to free them until after the end of the War, never mind at D-Day or when the battle for Normandy had passed them by.

Of the eight ‘planes two were shot down taking off and the other six were shot down along the route but this dream continued lots of things – there was a young lad who was a store person who was enamoured of this girl who volunteered to sing a requiem but was not very good at at, dozens of things like that all through this dream that seemed to go on for ages

And if you are thinking that the one dream leads straight on to the other there was a three-hour gap between the two, according to the timestamps.

Having had my lunchtime fruit I checked over my order from LeClerc and then sent it off. It’s an expensive one this weekend but there’s stuff like coffee, olive oil and champagne on it.

Champagne, yes. It’s a neighbour’s 80th birthday on Sunday and I’m invited, not that I’ll be drinking any of it of course. Last time I had any alcohol was in Bulgaria in 1994, and that was due to force majeure.

Back in here again I was reading something on the internet when the next thing that I remember were the dulcet tones of my cleaner awakening me. I’d had another one of these crashings-out where the light simply goes off and I can’t remember a thing.

She came round this afternoon to do her stuff again and it was a good job that she was here because the delivery came early.

The frozen food went into the freezer (which was when I noticed the door issues) and the rest I put away after she had left. Well, most of it anyway. There’s still some to do

But after I’d had my hot chocolate I blanched the florets of the broccoli that I’d bought ready for freezing and saved the stalk and the water for a broccoli stalk soup tomorrow

Back in here and the light went off again just as dramatically as earlier, and how I am sick of all of this. It was 18:38 when I awoke, but at least that gave me some more time to work on the next radio programme.

Tea this evening was a vegan salad with chips and some of those vegan nuggets done in the air fryer, and it was delicious as usual. My salads are works of art, and I really do seem to have the knack about these air-fryer chips now

So tonight there’s one more extra star in the sky looking down on us from above. It just goes to show that there’s no escape for any of us. The Grim Reaper will get us all sooner or later. I just hope that those who have gone on ahead have paved the way for the rest of us.

And as I said the other night, this is not the time for levity

Thursday 16th May 2024 – WELL, WASN’T THAT …

… a really strange night last night?

There have been some strange nights taking place here and there but the one that I had last night certainly seems to have beaten about everything.

As is usually the case these days I was quite late going to bed which annoyed me intensely, but my new method of going to bed which I mentioned briefly the other day, namely getting into bed face-down instead of as I used to do, on my back, certainly seems to be working

And as is also usual these days I was asleep quite quickly. And then it all headed south from there.

We had another phantom alarm during the night too, just to add to the confusion, but after that I’m not at all sure what happened.

It was a very distant alarm that awoke me at 07:00, if I wasn’t already awake. It seems that I’d left my phone in the pocket of my trousers which I’d left in the bathroom, and the alarm was ringing from there. I had to drag myself out of bed and stagger off in that direction before I could switch it off.

In the dining area I had my morning medication and then set out the room for the nurse so that it is how he likes it. Lifting my foot up onto the stool was easier yet and it’s feeling much better now.

However, I think that he’s becoming rather fed up of coming here every morning, and I can’t say that I blame him. But then again, he only does seven days on and seven days off. I have to do this thing every day.

My cleaner is neither help nor encouragement. She’s convinced that once the puttees were prescribed, they would be on my legs for life. Mind you, that’s not necessarily going to be a long time, is it?

After the nurse left I had a listen to the dictaphone. And this was where the fun began. One of the kings of Scotland died and left his son and heir as the new ruler-to-be. Unfortunately he had a very undesirable companion. The nobles made it clear that he would be an unacceptable monarch because of this. Consequently a plan was hatched to kill him. In the end they succeeded in murdering him and his lover and the two of them were burnt under pseudonyms in the middle of oe of the big squares in Edinburgh as a public warning

The phantom alarm this morning was at 03:35 and it was definitely a phantom alarm in my imagination because I happened to be awake at the time and was fully conscious of all the events that surrounded its ringing

But then again I’m not convinced that I was awake because I was actually continuing this dream about Scottish rulers. The daughter now was proving to be difficult so a plan had been instigated to remove her and replace her with someone else. The next couple of hours “asleep” were spent trying to prevent people visiting the daughter from encountering the new King as they would expose the plot, and the same about people visiting the King – keeping them well away from the daughter for the same reason, and that proved to be the more complicated of the two. This “dream” went on like this for hours and was still going on when the alarm went off. I had the genuine feeling that I was awake, but I wouldn’t have been behaving or thinking like this if I had been.

It really was a strange situation to be in, thinking that I was actually awake when in fact really I must have been asleep. I can see all kinds of problems and eventualities in a situation like this.

But never mind that – can you imagine just how relaxing it is to be half-asleep on a comfy chair with your head slowly drifting away into a NEIL YOUNG ACOUSTIC SOLO CONCERT?

There really is nothing quite like it

There was really nothing prepared for breakfast either so I had a bowl of porridge with my morning coffee which was delicious

The rest of the day has been spent tracking down some music. Finding stuff which Billy Jones, the poor guitarist/singer of “The Outlaws” who shot himself after being sacked from the group, wrote and sang wasn’t too difficult.

But then we had John “Pugwash” Weathers. It’s not every day that a drummer writes and sings stuff, but he did in fact write and sing a song on the Gentle Giant “Giant For A Day” album. And so have a guess which is the only Gentle Giant album I don’t own?

You couldn’t make it up.

So over the past few weeks I’ve been collecting and saving all kinds of different music that I’ll need for radio programmes in the near future. However it all needs reformatting into a useable format for the radio and remixing so I can have some kind of equalised volume, so that was this afternoon’s task.

Tea tonight was rather late so I didn’t do too much, just pasta and veg with cheese, olive oil and fresh-ground black pepper. It’s surprising, but it always seems to be the simple meals that taste the best

So I’m off to bed, late again, to dream of who knows what – or maybe I’m not dreaming at all.

It’s just like Tommy Cooper – "I knew a man who dreamed that he was awake" he said. "And when he awoke, he was!"

Wednesday 15th May 2024 – AFTER YESTERDAY’S LITTLE …

… outburst, I’m still here. Alive and while I’m not quite kicking there’s been further improvement in my right hip. The pain’s not so bad and I’m raising my leg a little more. Getting dressed and undressed is not quite as complicated a struggle as it was.

But going back to my … errr … somewhat intemperate outburst last night, new readers of this rubbish, of which there are more than just a few these days, will be wondering why I don’t come along later and edit them out.

The fact is, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, that my mental health is as important as my physical health and it needs monitoring just the same. These remarks are an important gauge of how my mental health is doing and I need to make a note of it so that I can look back later and compare notes, to see how I’m doing over the long-term.

But despite how bad things were looking last night, "When your back’s against the wall it’s time to turn round and fight" as John Major once famously said. "Better counsel comes overnight" Said Gotthold Lessing and so I eventually wandered off to bed, nothing like as early as I was hoping.

It was however yet again another turbulent night with a phantom alarm call which I managed to almost ignore, and stayed in bed until the real alarm went off at 07:00.

At the time that it went off I was in Thailand living with a Thai family. Apparently I’d been extremely ill and was living there for some kind of rest and recuperation although I’ve no idea about any more than that. And what kind of rest and recuperation I’d get with a Thai family in Thailand is anyone’s guess

And despite having had a drink with my medication before retiring, I had a thirst that you could photograph this morning. My pint of flavoured water with the morning’s medication didn’t last long, I’ll tell you

The nurse came round as usual just as I was watching yesterday’s game in one of the English play-offs and we sorted out the dressing on my right foot followed by my puttees.

He’s not impressed at all with the condition of my lower legs and frankly, neither am I. I don’t think that this problem is going to be resolved quickly if at all.

After he left I finished off watching my football match . When I had time, good health and good rail connections, like when I lived in Leuven, I’d go ground-hopping around various football matches all over that area of Europe, but these days I have to go virtual ground-hopping on the internet.

It’s not an ideal situation but as Frank Harris said in his controversial biography MY LIFE AND LOVES, "all human beings took what pleasure they could get whenever they could get it"

Once the match had finished and I’d had my coffee and (last) slice of flapjack I actually started work. And with a leisurely stroll through what I had to do, and a sleep of an hour between 11:00 and 12:00 I’d actually finished it by mid-afternoon.

This morning’s sleep was rather different than it has been for the last few weeks in that I actually felt myself falling asleep and so simply let myself go with it. I drifted off quietly and gently into never-land rather than the brutal and abrupt way that it has been just recently.

While the cleaner was here I transcribed the dictaphone notes from the night. There was a phantom alarm at 03:45 again this morning. At that time I was doing something with a girls’ football team from Florida, maybe training them or something like that but as soon as I awoke everything that I was dreaming evaporated. I can hardly remember a thing about it now.

There was something else about me being involved in a girls’ football or rugby team again. I was negotiating with High Schools or maybe other colleges to fetch girls to the college to train them for either football or rugby. This seemed to go on for hours. I had a really good team at the end – I built a tank whereby the weight of clothes would dry yourself afterwards was quite complicated but much more rapid than the normal way so it might even become a household word by the time that our team stopped doing it when I was badly injured

But what is all this about me being involved in girls football and rugby teams? There is no conceivable way that I would ever be involved in a rugby team. A girls’ football team is slightly more likely, but only slightly. And why should it suddenly have become a recurring theme?

After my cleaner had left and I’d had my hot chocolate I had the usual call from the hospital asking how I was so I gave them both barrels. I don’t expect to hear anything back from them but we shall see.

What I did was to come in here and start the next radio programme. Well, “start” is a big word because much of the time was spent looking for music that I need that I don’t actually have

However I did end up having a Southern Rock-fest that ended with Neil Young playing ALL ALONG THE WATCHTOWER

As regular readers of this rubbish will recall, I’m a big fan of Southern Rock, with lead guitar solos that can last sometimes several weeks. There was the Three Rivers Festival in Columbia, South Carolina where I managed to blag a way in with my little female Mexican friend to see Widespread Panic in 2005 which was exceptional, and for several reasons too.

Tea tonight was a delicious leftover curry that I really enjoyed, especially the naan bread that went with it. It’s a really good way to clear out the left-over food in the fridge

But right now I’m off to bed and hope for an even better day tomorrow. "dawn is ever the hope of men" said Aragorn in LORD OF THE RINGS and as long as I can get out of bed I’ll be OK.

Not like the guy who turned p two hours late for work
"What’s the meaning of this?" asked his boss
"It’s that new travelling alarm clock that the wife bought" he replied
"What about it"
"I left it on the bedside table last night" replied the man "but it must have set off on its travels during the night. It’s nowhere to be found this morning"

Tuesday 14th May 2024 – TODAY HAS BEEN …

… yet another candidate for “worst day ever of my life”.

It really has too. In fact I’ve spent almost all the afternoon fast asleep on my chair in the office and I’m totally fed up of all of this. I haven’t done a stroke of work.

Last night I actually made a really good effort and tried my best to be in bed early. Not that I succeeded but I did find a much better way of getting into bed that didn’t hurt my painful hip anything at all like it has been doing.

Once I was in bed I settled down for a nice, comfortable sleep but there wasn’t much hope of that. Although I fell asleep quite quickly we had another phantom alarm call in the middle of the night

When the real alarm went off I staggered off into the bathroom and then into the dining area for my medication. But the bathroom was hilarious from the point of view of dressing myself. I’m beginning to lose all of the basic skills. However, the pain in my hip has lessened a little.

The nurse came round later. He helped me put my leg up on the stool and when he did it, it didn’t hurt at all. I wish that I knew what his secret is.

After he left I began to revise for my Welsh lesson. And having collected a slice of flapjack and made myself a pot of strong coffee I joined in later.

The lesson actually passed quite well today but there again we weren’t actually stretched. We had to talk about our home and then about music. Of course, I can do both those things for hours.

As i’ve said before … "and on many occasions too" – ed … in all the places in which I’ve ever lived, this is the only place for which I’ve ever felt homesick when I’ve been away. It’s the first place that I’ve ever called “home”.

By the end of the lesson though, I was flagging quite badly and once it was over I crashed out completely Totally and absolutely, and for ninety minutes too. I felt totally awful too when I awoke

Once I’d come back round into the Land of the Living (and that took longer than it ought) I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been just recently. So I was there with some young girl, a member of our family, and were taking it in turns to be treated by the opposition, one team at a time, about something or other. I was putting my feet up on a stool in front of me but suddenly there was no stool there and the table cloth with cups of coffee etc set out began to fall to the floor. I had to grab hold of it and hold it. I had no idea what I was going to do next because I couldn’t move and there I was, holding this table cloth with all of the crockery and cutlery all set out for tea etc. There was absolutely nothing whatever holding the table cloth except my two arms.

Later on at Cardiff we put the ball up there but elected to push on because that was our strength but Cardiff also relied on our strength to defend. They managed to hold out and push us backwards out of a decent range Our players were young and inexperienced and weren’t able to take the ball in a way that they might have been if they’d had more experience. In the end that left the field open for Cardiff to come on and score the winning try.

That was just like in the previous match where they’d waited until I’d replaced Findi (whoever Findi is or was) and they took advantage of that change of line-up to swarm all over our front line and push it back down out of range again and into their own half

For the final couple of minutes and we had possession but weren’t able to advance. We didn’t have our kicker on the field so we couldn’t kick, so it was a case of having to persevere with the attack by running as much as we can. In the end we ran for miles, it seemed, just to make a small amount of ground to find a crack in the defence and swarm through for that goal in the final two minutes. We scored a touch-down but it was so lucky and we did so well to win it

A phantom alarm at 04:10 this morning. At the time I was busy instructing my girls’ rugby team about how to advance that final yard to have a pushover try if it were to become necessary in the match against Cardiff.

So what am I doing involved in a rugby team? And a girls’ rugby team at that? Rugby is a game that holds no interest at all for me. It’s just a silly game played by men with odd-shaped balls

It’s true however that one of the daughters of my niece in Canada played for a girls’ rugby team at school, and at school they tried to make us play rugby instead of football but we were having none of it. Our tactic was that our scrum would win the ball, pass it to me and, because I could kick with either feet, I’d kick for a drop goal from just about anywhere on the field within range.

"You don’t play rugby like that!" bellowed our new games master

Well, we did. And in the end, he gave up, went back to the staff room for a coffee, we began to play football and that was the last we ever heard about playing rugby. And quite right too.

Finally it was the final day of this end-of-season sale in this camping and sports shop. The whole world was in there looking for stuff. I found one or two things that I liked. As the evening drew to a close I was hovering by the till waiting. When they announced the closing of the store we all stampeded to the tills. I reached a till. The girl said something to me that I didn’t understand but it carried on until the person in front of me was served. Then she just switched off her till and walked away at that point. I found the people with whom I’d come and told them – I said “you won’t believe it but they’ve done it again, switched off the till right in front of me when I’m ready, willing and able to buy stuff. There’s absolutely no accounting for British people these days. Turn down a pile of work just so that they can be away from work five minutes earlier and not have to deal with any particular work.

And it wouldn’t be the first time that that has happened to me either, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall.

When I was asleep in the afternoon I had another one of these series of hallucinations with all kinds of stuff briefly flitting through my mind. One of the things that I do remember from when I was asleep in the afternoon was taking a girl out in one of my old vans. We went for a walk in a field and then back at the van to go somewhere else she put her hand through the flap to open her door but her hand became stuck in the aperture.

What with all of this I was rather late going for my nice hot chocolate drink. Something simple but it really does cheer me up. And I would probably have been even later had the cleaner not awoken me bringing in yet more medical supplies

But than back in my chair I crashed out again, and that’s how I stayed until, would you believe, 19:10. I’d missed a whole afternoon with being asleep. But while I was asleep this time it was the school dance. I was asked to take everyone home by train at 16:00 so was warned to have nothing to eat or drink beforehand. But the dance rolled on and on, a long time past 16:00. I was starving hungry and thirsty so I went to look for the headmaster to complain. I couldn’t find him but instead came across my Geography teacher. I told her of my difficulties but she dismissed me rather unpleasantly. I wandered back into the building and found a group of people, including a good friend of mine, taking my PA mixer board from my room. I told them to put it back but they carried on taking it out with a laugh and a joke, but I grabbed it from them, put it back into my room and closed the door, using a few very choice words to describe my anger. My friend called me “a miserable old fart” but I didn’t care. I was incandescent with rage by this time.

And “incandescent with rage” was quite right too. Incandescent with rage that I’d missed out a whole afternoon flat-out like this for no good reason.

That was really disappointing too because I’ve spent all these years and all this effort and made all these sacrifices to bring my anger issues under control and to try to make myself a nicer person, and here I am being undermined by something as stupid as falling asleep

My whole life is falling apart right now with having to fight these health issues and I’m at the stage where I can’t fight any more. I just don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going.

It’s making me feel like Gwyneth Glyn and

My rice and veg to accompany my taco roll were cooked by the steam coming out of my ears tonight, not by electricity. I really need to get a grip of myself but I can’t believe that I have to do it all again. I don’t even know why I’m bothering to struggle. It’s not as if my health will ever improve and I’ll get better.

Many years in Belgium a solicitor who had been trying to contact me made the remark "Mr Hall! We all thought that you were dead!"
"Not at all" I replied. "I just smell like it"

Monday 13th May 2024 – TODAY HAS BEEN …

… a somewhat better day than yesterday, which is good news as far as I am concerned

And so it should be because yesterday was a pretty miserable one.

At least today I’ve managed to be able to leave my comfortable chair (up to present anyway) which is more than can be said on one occasion yesterday

At the end of the evening last night I did actually manage it again and was able to haul myself off to do whatever I need to do around the apartment before going to bed.

But going to bed was another adventure and I really felt at one moment as if I’d be sleeping for the night on my chair. And no joke – I actually know a lady in Canada who does just that. But her own chair of course, not mine.

After something of a considerable effort I managed to find my way into bed where I had another really turbulent night. God knows what it would be like if I had to share my bed with another person.

The night was completed by a couple of false alarm calls and I’m really bewildered as to what it might be that I’m hearing that’s awakening me like this under pretext that it’s my alarm.

Eventually though the 07:00 alarm went off and I had to fight the good fight to make my way out of bed to switch the alarm calls off, cutting off BILLY COTTON in his prime.

And I awoke to vision problems. The illness is spreading through my nervous system and so it’s bound to reach the eyes sooner or later, and one of the side effects of one of the pills that I’m taking is “disturbed vision”. I suppose that if it had to look at me for all this time, no wonder that it’s disturbed.

After the bathroom I went to the dining area for all of my medication and then to lay out the room for Isabelle the nurse. This is her last visit for a week so she’s off tomorrow – for 5 days in Lisbon. It’s all right for some, isn’t it?

She instructed me to wash my puttees for the boss, with whom she alternates, so I’ll do that this evening. Lucky that I have a spare set.

When she left I came back in here to see what was going on. First of all, if you want to see (some of) the highlights of the game between Y Drenewydd and Penybont to see just how bad Y Drenewydd were then LOOK HERE. but be prepared to hide behind the sofa as things become scary.

The highlights of CAERNARFON v CARDIFF METRO show a much more even but rather distorted view of that game. The truth is that Caernarfon were rampaging forward throughout the game, to the delight of the Cofi Army, the most passionate fans in Europe, but the Met just hit them on the break three or four times.

After my toast (the last of the bread that I made last week) and coffee I set myself an exciting project. I have a radio programme on the 14th February 2025 (if I’m still here) and 14th February 1970 is the date that LIVE AT LEEDS one of the greatest live albums ever, was recorded at Leeds University.

The live album itself is only 37 minutes long but I was absolutely certain that the concert itself would have been much longer than that.

The setlist is available on SETLIST.FM and it can’t have been less than two hours so I set myself a task to prove that I am worthy, and that was to track down a recording of the entire concert. There must be one somewhere.

And sure enough, after some diligent searching, I can now tell you that the concert lasts 2:07:04 and that’s some going. I can see me doing a lot of editing.

After my lunchtime fruit and a discussion with my cleaner, I had a listen to the dictaphone. And I was right because there certainly was a couple of false alarms. However I started off in the Soviet Union during the war there was a huge loss of male population so as some kind of Commissar I tried to organise means to increase the population. I found a book written by some obscure author on this point that promoted the idea so I praised him and praised his thoughts etc. It then turned out that Stalin had another opinion, another idea, and I had quickly to undo the praise that I’d done and given the author. One of my nieces had become pregnant in this project so we had to find her and give her an abortion but she was full of praise for this guy and totally refused to co-operate. That made life difficult for all of us

Mind you, I could think of several ways in which I could help increase the population of another country without having to rely on any author – except perhaps whoever was the author of the Karma Sutra

First false alarm at 04:10 – I was dreaming at the time that I was still working for the Soviet Union. Another book had been examined about someone’s sporting achievements but as usual he’d fallen foul of the regime so we’d had to edit it all out from any future book. The guy himself was called to a meeting. He eventually arrived, having had a conflict with a group of females on the doorstep and as he switched to the news we saw a huge supertanker of ICI had run aground on one of the inland lakes and they were now waiting for a change in the tide so that they could try to float it off

And don’t worry if nothing makes sense. I can’t understand it either.

Another call at 06:06 – a false alarm

What I was dreaming of at 06:06 was of some old man living on the street who was always there with his sign and a list of the things that he needed. He was arrested in Leeds, for vagrancy presumably and was carted off. We didn’t see him for several months. Then after several months had passed we saw him again on the streets of Liverpool with two signs saying “the seeds of business £25”. He was saying that he’d expanded his area of research from what he had learned at police college

The rest of the day has been working on more radio stuff. All of the music has been chosen for the next radio programme, it’s been paired off and I’ve started to write the notes. It’ll be quite a sad one because it will be broadcast on the anniversary of the death of one of my friends and will include one of his more … errr … esoteric tracks.

My cleaner came back with supplies and a neighbour came to visit. I really am in great demand these days and I’ve no idea why.

Tea was a stuffed pepper, delicious as usual with plenty of stuffing left over for the next couple of days. I should take advantage of it, after all, many people have told me that I need a good stuffing.

But on the subject of all things Russian during the night, Zero once told me that at school she’d taken part in a Russian ballet.
"Why Russian?" I asked her.
"I don’t know" she replied. "I suppose that it’s because I had to go Russian onto the stage at the start, go Russian around while the music played, and then go Russian off at the end."

Sunday 12th May 2024 – I’LL BE GLAD …

… when today ends and I can crawl off into the warmth and comfort of my nice little bed.

It’s been a horrible day so far. Just now I couldn’t even find the strength to rise up from my comfy chair to go to take my pizza from the oven. Just how bad is that?

And to think that I was so looking forward to it too. Being for once early in bed I was looking forward to a nice long uninterrupted sleep last night.

But that didn’t happen either. We had two false or phantom alarms during the night and as I said the other day, I’ve no idea what’s happening there.

The second time, after having almost persuaded myself that it was time to leave the bed, was at 06:20. And then I couldn’t go back to sleep. I lay there vegetating until 08:00.

When I did finally stir my stumps as the alarm rang out, I headed for the bathroom where I had a really good wash and a change of clothes. The previous set of clothing walked into the wash basket on its own

The nurse came round later than usual. She sorted out my dressing and puttees but she couldn’t hang around and was soon gone. I had some corn flakes and coffee and then came back in here.

It’s not as if I did much either. I was flat out on my chair for a couple of hours completely involuntarily, and the hallucinations that I had were just like that time in hospital a few months ago.

Once I came back into the Land of the Living I watched Stranraer grub out a 2-2 draw against East Kilbride in the promotion – relegation play-off. It’s a good job that the second leg is in Stranraer because I think that they’ll need rather more than home advantage.

After lunch I transcribed the dictaphone notes, of which there were more than just a few. I was at a football match but a match where every player had to lie on a bed and perform some kind of ritual movement and then would be joining the team but the team was not so good in the goals and there were certain rhythms and routines that the players had to follow based on different lines in a series of books. every now and again someone would reposition these things so you’d change direction and go off again. I was busy trying to kill someone off the game. This was an extremely complicated manoeuvre too because I had to follow certain rules and they were complicated too in doing different things. In the meantime of course the person was trying to kill me. Then we were going to have a small game and I was going to take part in the main game so I was being briefed ready to take my position at the next interchange of players. It was all about playing up and down these steps as they changed function . It looked extremely complicated and on many times I had to confirm it with my notes that I’d taken a while ago which were still with the person with whom I was originally paired. Eventually they told me to stop that and just follow these instructions which completely confused me because I can’t remember all kinds of things like that that they wanted me to do. Then there were all kinds of different rules, regulations and other things. Then there was this guy trying to kill me from this subsidiary game. It was just so complicated.

And isn’t “I can’t remember all kinds of things” the story of my life? I can remember the lyrics of all kinds of obscure rock songs of the 196s but ask me why I’ve just come into the kitchen.

Then I was back in that game again. One of the guys who had started off the game was very seriously hurt, I suppose, and lost all the power in his spear or javelin or something so we were going to have to find someone else who would take over the position and maybe play from there. There was lots more to it too but I’ve forgotten all of that now.

Didn’t I say so? And it’s not my spear or javelin in which I’ve lost power these days

Then yet again I was back in this dream fighting a war. I went to sit down but missed my aim and fell onto the floor but I wasn’t on the floor so I thought that maybe I’d managed to sit up and extricate myself without a great deal of difficulty. Then I suddenly realised that I was actually lying on the bed. That’s not complicated at all to stand up from so I might be able to be lucky and get back into the game quite quickly.

Another phantom alarm tonight at 03:05

The voting formula has changed. It’s where people who were franchised members of a particular party all still voted and their vote was taken into account somehow but now they’ve decided that this can rise up to a million as more and more people stay at home with OCVID rampant. In 2017 the chief of the college came in with a car equipped with its winter tyres. There were already three cars there having their summer tyres fitted but as usual he fought his way to the front of the queue and tried to break in there to be dealt with earlier. The woman at that position was not having any of it despite how much of a period of voting she’s going to learn to lose because of the confrontation

And if you are wondering why my dreams don’t make sense, they are dreams. They don’t have to. In fact you’ll be lucky if anything that I write does.

Did I mention another false alarm at about 06:20 this morning?… "yes you did" – ed

In between all of this I’d taken some pizza dough from the freezer and it had been defrosting. I rolled it out ready to assemble but I was interrupted. One of my neighbours came to see me for a chat which was nice of her

And so, running late yet again, I assembled my pizza and baked it. It was delicious as usual.

So now, at long last, I’m ready for bed, if I can get out of my chair.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, despite how it might seem. The good news is that the new Crewe Bus Station has opened – something that I should have reported a couple of days ago except that my “moles on various committees” have not been getting about as aften as they should and they’ll receive a kick in the nether regions in due course.

The even better news is that the new bus station has public toilets. That means that in due course all the residents of The Land That Time Forgot will have the same opportunity that I did of passing Biology ‘O’ level thanks to the helpful drawings that will doubtless appear on the walls before long.

They had guided tours of the public conveniences on the open day. It cost 2/6d for a visit – or 2/7d if you wanted to see all of it.

But going back to this story about not remembering anything. Two things happen to you when you reach my age. One is that you forget absolutely everything.
"And what’s the second thing?" – ed
I don’t know. I can’t remember.

11th May 2024 – I’VE HAD A …

… footfest this afternoon. It’s the semi-finals of the play-offs to decide which Welsh team will take the fourth place allotted to Wales in European Club competition in the forthcoming season.

TNS will go into the Champions League, hoping to qualify for the group stages at long last

Connah’s Quay and Y Bala will go into the Europa League by virtue of finishing second and third, and another place in the Europa League due to Wales will be awarded to the winner of the playoffs

And so we started off with Y Drenewydd v Penybont followed by Caernarfon v Cardiff Metro.

As you might expect, I was quite looking forward to it all. And for the first time since I can’t remember, I was actually in bed before 23:00. And that’s not something that happens all that often these days. I could have been in bed much earlier than I was too but with all of the aches and pains that I was carrying, it was really difficult to actually get into bed.

With having this early night, I was looking forward to a long, undisturbed sleep but it wasn’t to be. It was a really disturbed, turbulent night.

There was another phantom alarm call and I forget how many of these we’ve had just recently. I’ve no idea what’s going on with them – where they are coming from and what they are doing – but it’s certainly confusing.

When the real alarm went off I found that it was easier to move out of bed. Many of the aches and pains had gone and the pain in my hip had reduced a little and I could lift my leg more.

So now that I was out of bed I went to the bathroom and then into the dining area for my medication.

Having done that I set out the room for the nurse and came in here to see what’s happening in the big wide world. But as any student of history will tell you, the news today is just the same things happening to different people in different places at different times.

After the nurse had gone, having given me a shopping list of items needed, I came in here for a relax. And then I listened to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I had another niece last night. It was a non-existent niece, someone small and petite. She sat and we chatted for ages about her course and the future. When she was ready to go I asked her where she was staying. She hadn’t booked anywhere so I told her that my settee was really comfortable and she was welcome to stay on it. She wondered how any other person was going to stay there because there were two nieces wandering around and how I was going to distinguish which was which too. That was easy because one had a tie with a small emblem on it. The other one had a tie with a big emblem on it so I could distinguish them by that. I could see that this was going to be complicated but it didn’t seem to bother me on the ground that it’s all going to work out normally anyway. Then we had someone coming, brandishing a gun and being obnoxious. I don’t know what he wanted or anything like that but he totally disrupted everything that we were trying to do.

That’s nothing new. Whenever I was trying to do something back in the old days, there would always be someone coming along being obnoxious and trying to disrupt whatever it was that I was doing. And if there was a young girl involved anywhere, you could bet your life that they’d be down in droves to put le baton dans la roue as they say around here.

Then at one point a girl was pouring some new information into my travelling laptop. I was very concerned so I awoke to try to stop her but just at the point where it became liquid memory she began to pour the liquid memory I had to shout at her to make her stop and I really did shout as well. I washed hem and got ready and ended up back in bed until the alarm

Yes, I really did shout in the middle of my sleep. It’s a good job that these walls are 1m20 of solid granite or whatever would the neighbours have said?

Then we finished off with this complicated story about addition and subtraction over the numbers. I had quite a batch to do which I did mainly right and managed to ensure my team’s presence in the Scottish League 2 next season

And that reminds me – we have the first leg of the playoffs between Stranraer of Scottish League 2 and East Kilbride of the Scottish Lowland League at some point this weekend.

And then I had a message. There’s an “issue” simmering in the UK that’s been simmering away for almost 30 years. I think that I’ve mentioned this before. It’s now erupted and like Pandora’s Box, once the lid is off then that’s it.

There’s a considerable amount of work that needs to be done that should really have been done 40 years ago but it wasn’t, and the events of the last 28 years haven’t helped. So if you see me loitering on Boots Corner any time, you’ll know why I’m there.

After this I crashed out – from 10:00 until 11:50. Dead to the World as well. But not that I’m complaining this time because I saw Zero. While I was asleep this morning I was with a former friend. I’d finally managed to persuade him to come to see me with the intentions of thrashing out some programme about repairing all these cars that I have. I’d walked down this track through this forest and encountered Zero playing in a school playground so we’d chatted but that was all. I pushed on and came across my former friend and we began to chat. I was going to tell him that I had £90:000 for the programme but we never reached that far in the discussion. We had several bikes ad had to move them by moving two, dropping them down, running back for two more and advancing lie this. At one point I had to run back miles because the exhaust had dropped off a motor bike we were moving. While I was up on top of this grassy bank my former friend came back to see what I was doing so I showed him. He was furious. “this is jus attention to detail” he raged and urged me to hurry up. By now this grassy bank had changed into a roof with a chimney and some dormer windows and I couldn’t work out how to descend. I thought that manoeuvring by holding on to the chimney and pivoting round by hanging on to the edge of the dormer window would be my best bet but the window opened and I was left dangling in thin air with no prospect whatever of improving my position.

It was really nice to see Zero of course but this “no prospect of improving my position” sounds like how my finances will be in a few months after the news that I received earlier.

By now, breakfast had become lunch so I fuelled up with food and then settled down to watch the football.

Y Drenewydd finished 4th in the league and Penybont 7th so the game was held at Drenewydd. But home advantage counted for nothing as they were swept aside by what can only be described as a Penybont masterclass.

The game finished 5-0 for Penybont and believe me – Y Drenewydd were lucky to get nil. They were awful. It wasn’t just that Penybont were so good but that Y Drenewydd offered nothing at all

The other game between 5th and 6th and played at Caernarfon in front of a massive crowd was much more exciting.

Caernarfon roared down the left flank with a combination of Louis LLoyd and Morgan Owen more times than you can mention but the final ball was always either too short of too long.

On the other hand the Met soaked up the pressure and tried to hit on the breakaway and had three excellent chances to score but couldn’t find the target.

The game was drifting to a 0-0 draw and penalties when Marc Williams drilled a powerful shot through a crowd of players into the net

And as Cardiff Metro were throwing everything forward to try to equalise in the closing stages a breakaway involving Sion Bradley and Adam Davies saw Davies score a second for the Cofis

So the final next weekend will be between Caernarfon and Penybont and played at Caernarfon.

And then, dear reader, I crashed out again. And for an hour or so too.

Tea tonight was one of my breaded quorn fillets with baked potato and salad. I know that it’s monotonous, but it’s also delicious.

So that’s all that I’m doing tonight. I’m going to try to be in bed early and see if Zero will come back into my dreams.

And I’ll tell her "I dreamed about you this morning"
"Did you?" she’ll reply.
"No" I’ll answer. "You wouldn’t let me".

Friday 10th May 2024 – ON TOP OF SPAGHETTI …

… all covered in cheese
I lost my poor meatball
when somebody sneezed
It rolled onto the table
then onto the floor
and then my poor meatball
went out of the door

Well, I didn’t have spaghetti and cheese, and no-one sneezed but one of my vegan meatballs did make a break for freedom this evening and I intercepted it as it was heading for the door.

But what kind of state am I in that I can throw half of my dinner onto the floor like that? Things are not looking so good.

And indeed they aren’t. I was late going to bed last night and because of all my aches and pains it took me an absolute age to find a comfortable position to go to sleep

It was rather a turbulent night too and I really didn’t like the idea of hauling myself out of bed when the alarm went off.

Still, nevertheless I did and having switched it off I headed for the bathroom and then the dining area to take my medication and to sort out everything ready for the nurse.

As I can’t seem to move my hip right now she had to grovel on the floor at my feet in order to change my dressing and put on my puttees. I’m sure that she’s not too happy about the idea but then again neither am I.

After she left I came in here to vegetate for a while and then went for breakfast – cheese on toast and hot strong coffee

Back in here after my delicious food I crashed out for an hour or so – well away with the fairies I was – before having a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I was during the night.

I was with a group of people last night. We were driving around the town visiting all kinds of different places. There was a girl in this group who I really liked but most of the time some other guy insisted on sitting in the front passenger seat. I was beginning to become annoyed by this because it was obvious what I was doing and what I was after. I was after this girl but he wouldn’t understand and this carried on and on and on. One day we were in the centre of Nantwich. We parked up on the Swine Market and all swarmed out of the car. Just then a group of motorcycles turned up. This girl crossed over the road and went straight to one of these motorcyclists. She said to me in passing “isn’t it wonderful ; (… so and so…) is back. He’s been away in the Isle of Man doing 23 teenagers. I replied sarcastically “so he says”. She was insistent that it was true. Then she began to describe her relationship with him in the most intimate of details but of course I had no interest in hearing it at all but she did carry on and on. I wondered whether her aim was to make me aware of the fact that she wasn’t as interested in me as I was in her.

Thinking on, it’s been a while since we’ve been to Nantwich on a nocturnal ramble. At one time we would be there all the time. But this story about me being more interested in some girls than they are of me – that’s the story of my life too.

Later on we were playing a game of football against a team wearing dark blue shirts with numbers on them. The font was a short, fat one and knew immediately who the team was because of the colour of the shirt and the font that they used but I just couldn’t think of it as the game went on. It was really annoying me that my memory had gone.

And I di know who wears navy blue shorts with numbers done in a font like that but can I think of it while I’m awake, up and about?

There were all kinds of things going through my head later on. I dreamed that I was asleep, up and about, and there was the possibility to swap this illness for a different type of illness that I needed to think and consider. They were talking about making a drink but I thought that I’d have it instead of my morning hot chocolate at 10:00 or maybe I’d have it at some other time. I couldn’t believe that I was actually in bed and hadn’t arisen yet. There were lots more things like that in the dream but they must just have evaporated just as soon as I awoke.

It’s quite true that I dreamed that I was awake, up and about and had a shock (in my sleep) to find out (in my sleep) that I was still in bed.

There was something else about a girl who was going to have a visit. They wondered what language the visit was going to be in but in the end they decided that it would be in French. The girl set to to clean out her room but when she moved the chest of drawers that was in the corner she found a cockroach nest. She was horrified and ran off, searching for some boiling water to pour on them

Then I was going for an exam level 3 to decide whether I was capable of living on my own or whether I’d still need a chaperone. It included a romantic assignment with a girl or woman which was worrying me because I’m not the sort of person who would do that anyway. I wouldn’t know where to begin but that was how it is. I found when I opened the zip file that all the names of the files in there were all confused. It wasn’t easy to work out which file I wanted. I began to make some kind of list myself. I thought that it would be much better if I could write to the organisers, tell them what a mess they’d made of this and explain a better way of doing it to them, where all the files for each exam were all in a different folder and all clearly labelled with the correct name on it instead of being some haphazard jungle like it was.

Of course I’m not fit to live on my own and ought to have a chaperone. I’d certainly never pass this romantic assignment test, that’s for sure. But it would be just like me to spend my time sorting out their filing system rather than doing anything positive for this test.

This afternoon I had a leisurely saunter through the remaining radio notes for this latest programme. Fighting off (not always successfully) wave after wave of sleep I managed to complete them all, so that’s another good job done. I really must find some quiet time to dictate them one of these days, if only all the tourists would go home

Tea tonight was a vegan salad with chips done in the air fryer with a few vegan meatballs – not as many as I planned. And now I’m off to bed. Every bone in my body is aching right now and I’m feeling awful. A good night’s sleep flat-out in bed might do me good.

At least all of these aches and pains aren’t like the guy who came into my office with a stiff neck once
"How did you get that?" I enquired
"It’s my own fault" he replied. "I didn’t swallow the viagra quickly enough last night"