Tag Archives: bouquet granvillais

Tuesday 3rd October 2023 – AND ONCE AGAIN …

… I’m up and about before the alarm goes off.

Nothing like as dramatic as Monday. In fact, I only beat the alarm by a handful of minutes, but beat it I did all the same. I don’t know what’s going on right now.

After I’d had my medication and checked my mails and messages I transcribed the dictaphone notes from the night. I was actually dreaming about mobility scooters etc during the night which would be good and which would not, what type should I buy etc.

Later on I was on an expedition to the Far North and came across a camp of reasonably-modern explorers that had been abandoned. There was a load of stuff lying around, including all kinds of artefacts that had been discovered and labelled, and things like entrails of different types of seal going back hundreds of years and “the presence of (something) ruled out the presence of (something else)”. Some of the people with me found a couple of photographs of a girl but they were quite busy looking at that and making comments. I was quite busy looking at the collection of books, finding that there were several books in this collection that I actually owned. There was plenty of snow about and it was fairly cold but there didn’t seem to be any reason why this camp should have been abandoned in this way and what happened to the people who were camping here. We hadn’t met anyone on our travels around.

I was back in the High Arctic later. I’d been away for 3 weeks there and I’d still worn the same tee-shirt every day for all that time. I was going through the notes of the expedition that I’d found because I’d heard a story that my journalist friend from Pittsburgh had been part of the expedition and had made some discoveries so I looked through the notes for her name. Of course it wasn’t there that I could see and in any case it probably would have been in her maiden name anyway.

Having done that, I transcribed a few entries from the backlog of stuff from last autumn. There are now just 7 days left to transcribe but some of them are quite long files so it’s not going to be as quick as I would expect.

Once today’s lot was out of the way I sat down and prepared for my Welsh lesson. And then armed with my coffee and fruit bun, I connected up to the lesson.

The camera works really well. I’m impressed with the quality of the video, much better than that cheap throwaway camera that I found in a cheap shop, and the microphone is excellent too. Although it’s a comparatively cheap camera, it’s a reputable make and that probably makes a difference.

The lesson passed quite well, which was a surprise. I actually enjoyed it and that’s not something that happens every week.

Once I’d eaten my lunchtime fruit I spent the afternoon doing some radio stuff. I’ve chosen a whole pile of music for a few programmes in advance, and shuffled a few things around.

When I’ve finished the notes for the ones that I’ve prepared, I’ll be over 6 months in advance again and I want to keep on going like this. When the inevitable happens, I want to make sure that things go on (and on, and on).

Tea tonight was a taco roll with some of the leftover stuffing from last night, accompanied by rice and vegetables. It was really nice, just as all my meals seem to be.

So now I’m going to have another go at nipping out for the last of the stuff in Caliburn. I didn’t feel up to it last night.

Tomorrow, the cleaner is coming round again, and I want to have a good chat with her.

The idea of going to do a big shop at LeClerc is now on hold until I’ve sorted out how I’m going to sort out my transport arrangements. Consequently, I’m going to ask her if she’d go once every fortnight for me and do my shopping on my behalf.

It is of course possible to order my food on line but they don’t have all of the things that I buy, and whatever they do have is quite expensive. If I’m going to pay someone, I may as well pay someone who will do what I want rather than what they want.

Monday 2nd October 2023 – YOU PROBABLY WON’T …

… believe this, and I don’t blame you if you don’t, but at 04:20 this morning I was actually up and about.

And as it happens, I could have been up and about before that too because I spent a good 30 minutes trying to go back to sleep before I finally gave it up as a bad job.

By the time the first alarm went off I had finished one of the radio programmes on which I’d been working and had almost finished the second.

However, it’s not all roses. My condition is deteriorating by the minute and this morning I couldn’t even manage to climb into the bath to take a shower. It took me all of my force and guile to make it into the bath and then I had a difficult task of trying to stay upright while I showered.

The nurse came round and although he didn’t give me my Aranesp (I’ve had a mail from the hospital telling me to pause the injections) we had something of a chat about a few other things.

After he’d left I had a few things to do – the first of which was to reply to a letter that I’d received from the Mobility and Inclusion Department of the département.

They have now confirmed that I am entitled to a disabled person’s card and also a disabled parking permit. They want a photo of me for the card but the easiest way to do this is to create a personal account on the French Government’s “personal space” website.

On there, you can upload a photo of yourself and then it can be cross-referenced to any other Government site. You need a special code in order to set it up and they had sent it to me. It’s a rather complicated procedure but it works because eventually I had an acknowledgement.

Halfway through doing that, I crashed out and that’s no surprise. My 04:20 start was killing.

Once I’d recovered I had a coffee and a fruit bun, and then chose the music for the next radio programme.

Rosemary rang up for a chat so I made use of the opportunity to configure the new webcam that I’d bought the other day on-line. Not that she wants to see me of course, but I was more interested in the built-in microphone. That works an absolute treat, apparently, so I can now do on-line calls from the big computer in here.

As well as that, I’ve been chatting to several of my friends on-line. There’s something going on at the radio so I’ve been deep in conversation with them making a few plans and doing some work ready for an appointment next Monday.

Something else that I’ve been doing is thinking about motability scooters. However I want a motability scooter with Attitude so I’ve been thinking about some of these three-wheeled scooter things with the two close-coupled wheels at the front.

Several of my friends are still involved with motor bikes so I’ve been seeking advice.

There was the dictaphone to deal with too. I was in something like a Paul Temple adventure as Temple himself, investigating a kidnapping or murder that was taking place in Granville at the back of the market down there towards the car park. I went down there to look and was able to hop on and off the bus but everything else came to satisfy me. At one moment a guy whom I knew came over for a chat but he said that he wasn’t Temple. There were several other people who looked as if they were either doing something or waiting for them to be clear of what they were doing but we weren’t able to identify them at that moment

Later on I took the bus and went to the St Nicolas quartier of the town. When I alighted I saw Christophe there. We had a big chat about my health condition. Unfortunately I can’t remember very much of what this chat was like. Later on a girl and I were in an office working. She had to go through a rung binder and write down certain details about the information that was on cards in there. I was busy doing something else that was much more exciting. The phone rang which meant that she had to do something different. She turned to me and told me that I had to carry on her job. I understood that I was senior to her- it’s not really for her to tell me what to do . She asked if that was OK so I replied “no. I’d much rather do the job that I’d been doing”. She said “I’ve done half of it for you”. My argument was “it was your job. Doing your job means that I’m not doing mine”.

Strangely enough, I’ve been thinking about going to the quartier St Nicolas. The bus that I take into town drops me off at the bus stop by the port but for the return journey, there’s no raised kerb so I really struggle to climb back into the bus and it’s not going to be any easier as time goes on.

However, at the St Nicolas bus stop, there’s a little shopping precinct with a small Carrefour, a Post Office and a Pharmacy. I’m wondering if the kerb is going to be any better there.

There is a downside to this, in that I’ll only have 15 minutes to do my shopping before the bus comes back so I’m going to be struggling for time. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Meanwhile, back in my dreams, I was round at the house of a former friend of mine showing him a new stuffed animal that I’d had – some kind of green furry rabbit. He had all of his dogs there. There was a cat there that was my particular favourite but I didn’t get on with any of the dogs. This cat was quite friendly with me. At some point there wa sa party about to take place so they’d cleaned up the house. I was absolutely tired by this and had to go to lie down. I went upstairs to the room where I usually crashed out but they’d folded the sofa up now so it was the sofa and not a bed. I just lay down on it any old how with a blanket over me and it was all the dogs that came to join me on the bed, not my favourite cat.

For about half an hour or so I transcribed a few notes from the arrears of last autumn. It should have been much more but I rather regrettably crashed out again.

Tea tonight was another stuffed pepper, and that was really tasty too. But that’s all that I’m going to be doing. I’m exhausted now so I’m going to crawl into bed. I have a Welsh lesson tomorrow so I need to be on form.

Sunday 1st October 2023 – HAVING SAID YESTERDAY …

… that I am no longer going to drive, it took me just about 20 minutes to break my promise.

After I’d finished my notes last night I decided to go to bed so I went to put my phone on charge.

However, I wasn’t able to find it. It certainly wasn’t in the apartment. I imagined that it had fallen out of my pocket into Caliburn during my gymnastics on the car park at LeClerc so I staggered out to Caliburn to see.

Sure enough, I found it on the driver’s seat. What I also found was that my little parking space just outside the building was now free so I took advantage of the opportunity and moved Caliburn accordingly.

And the moving wasn’t half painful, but not half as painful as the climb back up the stairs to my apartment – especially as I had taken advantage of the situation by bringing some more stuff up here in my backpack.

As a result of all of these manoeuvres, it was 03:00 or thereabouts when I went to bed.

What was so surprising about all of this is that by 09:00 I was actually up and about. And I can’t usually manage that on a Sunday morning when I’ve been to bed before midnight on the Saturday

So once I was up and about I eased myself gently into the day.

It doesn’t sound as if I’ve done much but I’ve not been totally idle. First task was to listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. At the hospital there was some kind of monster than got inside me and was attacking all my blood. I could feel that this was reaching a crisis. Suddenly one of my blood vessels burst. It sprayed the hospital with blood everywhere. At first no-one was in a rush to do anything about it because it was happening to several patients. In the end they managed to staunch the bleeding in my leg. Gradually it subsided and the panic died down but for those few moments it was really a horrifying experience.

And then I’d been invited to someone’s party so I’d been put on the train to go to the stop where I’d have to alight and some people would welcome me. It was dark so no-one knew exactly where we were. We pulled in for a long time and alighted. A scout suddenly came over to speak to me and confirmed what was actually said. But then I slipped back into where I’d been earlier. When I was at the station waiting for the people to come for me the room erupted like a volcano. There was blood etc everywhere. They had these two nurses looking after me trying to staunch the flow of blood. In the end the bleeding closed down and the help slipped away but for that minute or so everything felt like death. It was absolutely horrifying.

Finally I was on a Paris railway station and all of my strength was just ebbing away. I didn’t know how or when I was going to be able to proceed. I was just standing there waiting for something to happen

All of that is of course extremely topical – it’s a pretty good description of what’s going on with me right now. And I actually can feel my strength ebbing away. There’s no doubt that driving and climbing the stairs is much more difficult than it was even a week ago, and strange as it is to say it, I’m actually struggling to find the force to rise up from the saddle of the porcelain horse.

While I was at it, I transcribed a few more days’ worth of arrears from when I was in hospital last Autumn.

Something else that I did was to sort through a pile of paperwork. I have the nurse coming round tomorrow morning but he’s not going to inject me. I’ve had a letter from the hospital telling me to pause the injections for now. But I’ve been sent a voucher to have a flu injection and a Covid injection and I need the nurse to carry it out.

As well as that, I’ve received from the hospital a “prescription” relating to my lack of mobility and I need to know what to do with it. I’m sure that I’ll have much better advice from the nurse than I would if I were to ask you lot.

As well as sorting out the paperwork I’ve had something of a correspondence day today. Several people sent me best wishes for my stay in hospital, to which I’m extremely grateful. However, if you are writing to me using Gmail, I can’t reply to you. Google wants me to insert a few lines of its code into my server and if anyone thinks that I’m going to be putting someone else’s code on my server if they aren’t prepared to tell me why and what it does is totally mistaken.

There’s tons of music that needs editing too – various soundtracks that need cutting up and editing so I’ve been doing a few of those too during the day.

Finally, I went through the notes that I’d recorded for a radio programme last weekend. All this – and the one I edited last weekend – needs now is a final track and the words to go with it and I can finish them of and then start on the next batch.

Tea tonight was another delicious pizza and I’ll just nip downstairs to bring up another few bits and pieces from my Saturday shop before I do to bed. A good shower tomorrow morning, the visit on the nurse, and then I’ll have plenty of things to do.

But will I feel like doing them? I just can’t find any enthusiasm right now for anything.

Sunday 24th September 2023 – I WAS THINKING …

… and that’s always dangerous of course, about how much things have changed.

6 years ago to the day, I was in South Carolina visiting Rhys. I was at the end of a mega-voyage where I went to say goodbye to everyone whom I knew in North America and to cross off a few more things from my bucket list.

That voyage was because I felt that I was coming to the end of the road and didn’t want to forget anyone whom I knew.

However 6 years of living here in peace and quiet and comparative luxury gave me a new lease of life but tomorrow I shall be off to Paris for what will be a make-or-break hospital examination. During the next few days they’ll be examining me and it’ll either be good news or bad news. There’s nothing in between.

It’s a pity really that the decline in health over the last 18 months has happened at this time. I was having a lengthy chat on the internet today with one of the daughters of my niece currently in the USA. She’s getting married in November and, having followed her adventures quite closely, how I would love to be there to celebrate it with her.

However, as my trip to Leuven went to prove, I simply can’t make it. I even went to the lengths of costing how much it would cost to invite a friend to come with me for a week to hold my luggage and my hand. However there are few people whose company I would enjoy for that period of time and every one of them is either too ill to travel, otherwise occupied, or with other responsibilities.

My responsibility last night was to have a decent night’s sleep and for some reason, despite not going to bed until after 02:30, I was up and about by 09:45. That’s something that I don’t understand. It’s not like me at all on a Sunday.

For the morning I didn’t do very much – just a nice quiet relaxing morning, and then I had a listen to the dictaphone. I was back at home going through my record collection. There were some records there, some of this death-metal stuff. My brother decided that he didn’t particularly like it and this led to a huge argument between us. This argument turned violent. He started to attack me. At one point he was on my shoulders beating me so I took him to the top of the stairs and quite simply dropped my head forward. He fell off and went right down the stairs onto the floor of the hall below. I thought that this was really only a temporary solution. It’s just going to lead to yet more trouble and I really don’t know how I’m going to get myself out of this. It was another one of these occasions where I actually awoke with quite a start as if it was something that was extremely real.

And you really don’t want to know the rest of that, especially if you are eating your tea or something.

Later on, Alison had gone off to see some friends. I was at home having to get ready to go to Paris where someone was going to meet me to take me to the hospital. Rather than rush around I thought that I’d have a nice lie-in and then make myself ready to go. Then I realised that trains are only every three hours to Paris. If I didn’t catch the one that I intended I would be 3 hours late, no-one would be waiting for me, the hospital would have closed its admissions and I’d be left high and dry. I had to start to hurry. It took me a couple of minutes to realise that the best thing to do would be to just take what I could carry and leave everything here, hope that Alison won’t mind, come back for it when I’m out of hospital and then move on back home. I couldn’t see how I was going to do that either. I was just in a state of total confusion. I’d written to Alison previously about a couple of special offers on things. She’d been impressed by an offer on cheese and had taken a pile of tickets with her. She had written to tell me that the cheese was a great success and she wished that she had some more. Was there any way that I could obtain some before I left? Of course it was far too late to do it now. She was talking about another type of cheese she’d had but I didn’t understand the message. Of course all the time I was sitting there worrying about my train. Would it go? Will I miss it? What am I going to do? in a total state of confusion.

Feeling energetic at that moment, which is not like me at all, especially on a Sunday, I transcribed a couple of entries from my hospital stay last November. There’s still plenty that need to be done but if I do a couple each day, it won’t take long.

Having had a lengthy chat with my niece’s daughter in the USA, I finished off the afternoon by dealing with one of the sets of notes that I’d dictated for those radio programmes. It was a miserable attempt at dictating and took a great deal of editing. One of them is now almost completed and I’ll deal with the other in due course.

Earlier on I’d taken out a lump of dough from the freezer and I made another pizza for tea, just as delicious as usual.

So now I’m off to bed. I have to be up at 04;30 and that’s not going to be nice. But once I reach the hospital, if I ever do, I can crash out and sleep for several days until they throw me out. But at least I’ll know what’s going on and what, if anything, they can do about it.

Thursday 21st September 2023 – DESPITE HAVING …

… spent most of the day dashing around doing things, it doesn’t seem as if I’ve accomplished all that much.

It’s quite true that for a while round about the early afternoon I was … errr … resting, but it wasn’t as if it was for hours on end.

This morning when the alarm went off I was flat out deep in the arms of Morpheus and it was a desperate stagger into the bathroom before the second alarm went off.

The letter from the hospital about my admission told me that I have to abstain from several medicaments. I couldn’t work out which ones they are so I’ve basically cut down to the bare minimum and hope that that’s the correct thing to do

Tomorrow I’m planning to go into town on the bus. There are some letters that need posting so I’ve had to collect up everything. It also involves a trip to the bank so that’s going to be interesting for sure.

There’s also a trip to the chemist’s as I’ve run out of Aranesp. That’s only available by special order so I had to telephone them to make sure that they have it in stock for tomorrow.

Something else that I’ll need to do is to have something of a more important shopping session in town. I’ve made an executive decision – which, for the benefit of new readers is a decision that you make that if it goes wrong you are executed – that I’m not going to the supermarket on Saturday. If I’m off to Paris on Monday I won’t need any shopping for the week.

So having written a pile of letters and made some plans I had a listen to the diictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. I was round at some girl’s house. She was extremely unhappy to see me, as if it was obvious that I shouldn’t be there. But with her having no parents there at that time I came in and stayed. Because she was so unhappy I kept to a small room upstairs. First of all there was a delivery of food with which someone in the house dealt. About 20 minutes later there was a knock at the door. I heard a voice from outside asking “is your dad in?”. Someone came up to shout for me. I went downstairs and saw that it was a man delivering two packets of soya milk and two packets of banana-flavoured soya milk in a couple of fancy little containers. I thanked him and said to the girl “don’t let such and such a girl see this. If she sees the banana-flavoured milk it’ll be gone within seconds”. It didn’t bring a smile out of her. All of this going on was extremely uncomfortable.

And a little later downstairs I went because someone else had come to the door. They’d brought some kind of special vegan food for me, followed a few minutes later by someone who had brought some vegan fruit but they’d disguised this as potatoes or something like that so I was making some kind of strange comments about these potato-looking vegetables. This girl who was there who seemed to be something to do with the owners of the house was extremely uneasy while I was there. I could certainly feel that atmosphere a great deal

There was another lengthy, really involved dream as well but I had a bad attack of cramp in the middle of it and it completely evaporated. I can’t remember a thing.

Later on I was going on an expedition to the Amazon. There was a group of us living in some kind of temporary accommodation near Edinburgh sorting out everything we would need and everything we were going to take. Once again, the thing that was worrying me was that there was no provision for any vegan food as far as I could see. That can’t have been right. We were all sitting around. Outside someone had put some tree trunks that they’d set alight that were a really bright light as they burnt. I asked for my shoes and socks back that someone else was wearing. he took his feet from his sleeping bag and gave them to me, and put on his own barefoot-type of shoe. We set off and I thought that we were going to the railway station across the road. Instead we walked for a while and boarded a train going somewhere else. I couldn’t understand why. They gave me a long complicated explanation about this. We alighted at a station and had to climb these stairs in this wrought-iron place like a Paris Metro. On the platform above we had to look for our tram to take us to wherever we needed to go. We couldn’t go to the platform until our tram was called. We waited there, then a TGV suddenly pulled in there. I asked if this was a tram but no-one seemed to be interested in replying. We wanted something like Tram 73 but this was Tram 9 so we had to wait for it to load up and clear off. It was really most extraordinary thing to see, a kind-of tram stop in a railway station.

Finally, we were in the foyer of a cinema or something waiting for something to happen. They were playing a piece of music that I recognised, a piece by Van Der Graaf Generator (as I thought in the dream) … “actually Alquin” – ed … I was humming a bass line along to it because there was no bass line. The girl with me looked at me and asked me what I was doing. I explained and she replied “yes, I was wondering what this would be like with a bass line added to it”. She said that the guy with us who wasn’t there at that particular moment knew Peter Hammill. She’d have him talk to Peter Hammill about playing it with a bassist. I replied that Peter Hammill wasn’t a big fan of bass guitar and quite often played without one. I didn’t think that he’d take very much notice. We were having this really intense discussion when the alarm went off.

Interestingly, I met Peter Hammill a few times when I lived in Manchester in the mid-70s and we had a good chat one night in Brussels when he was appearing in a café there one night not long after I moved there. And he didn’t like bassists all that much either. When Nic Potter, one of my heroes, left Van der Graaf, Hammill didn’t bother replacing him and had Hugh Banton play the bass parts on the foot-pedals of his organ.

While I was at it I waded through another pile of arrears on the dictaphone. Only 2 days to go and then I’ll have finished the stuff from Leuven last week. And then I have the stuff from the hospital last year to deal with. Despite all the time that I spent lying in bed during that couple of months, I couldn’t summon up the energy or enthusiasm to deal with them.

As for the rest of the day I’ve been going through the music again and I’ve sorted out another pile of stuff. Having had to load up this machine’s new hard drive from scratch I seem to have incorporated a great many duplicates into the mix and some of the stuff is in the wrong section of the hard drive.

That left some time to write out some more notes for the radio programme. They should be finished by tomorrow and then I can think about dictating them. Things are dropping slightly behind but when I come back from Paris and have finished with all of this health stuff I can concentrate better.

Tea tonight was fried rice and veg with some of those Chinese vegetable things. Fried in vegan margarine with piles of soy sauce it really was delicious.

So tomorrow I’ll be out and about, which means that I’ll be crashed out at some point somewhere. But once I come back from the shops I can pack my bags ready for Monday morning. That 04:30 start is going to kill me.

Wednesday 20th September 2023 – APPARENTLY THINGS ARE …

… hotting up around here.

My cleaner actually works for an association called APA – the Allocation Personnalisée d’autonomie, an association of which the aim is to help people in difficulty maintain their autonomy.

She’s recommended that I contact them with the details of my difficulties and see whether or not they may have something on offer that might be of help to me.

Consequently I’ve had an extremely busy day today doing all kinds of things.

For a change I had a nice deep sleep and awoke about 15 minutes before the alarm was due to go off. I was actually planning a dramatic raising from the dead but instead I fell asleep again and the alarm had to awaken me.

After the mails and medication I began to sort out the paperwork.

You have no idea the hoops through which I have to jump in order to go to this perishing hospital. As well as being admitted, I’ve been notified of several tests and I have to ring up to confirm each one.

And then there’s a form that I need to fill in in order to be admitted, with details of my health insurance, medication, all kinds of stuff like that.

Interestingly, one thing of which you don’t have to notify them is your dietary requirements. You are served a standard meal on the day of your arrival. That’s not much use to me, and probably many other people too, so I would have expected it to have been a priority.

Anyway, that took up a whole age of my time.

But there is some good news, and it just goes to underline why I like living here so much – and that’s the solidarity amongst the inhabitants that you don’t find in many other countries these days.

The president of the Residents’ Committee who helped me with the purchase of the apartment downstairs is in Paris next week. She wants to come to the station in Paris on Monday morning and help me on my way to the hospital.

That’s something that I found to be really sweet. It’s not really necessary because I will have the railway company’s personnel helping me, but I’m not going to discourage the best intentions and willingness of someone who is so keen to help

This afternoon I made a big batch of hummus. It’s been ages since I last made some, and this time I regrettably put too much salt in in. That’s not like me because I rarely use salt. But there’s plenty of garlic gone into it and I won’t have too much trouble with passing vampires once I start to eat it.

While the cleaner was here I made a start on writing the notes for the next radio programme, then after she left I had a listen to the dictaphone. We were going somewhere on a works outing from Crewe. We all piled into a coach and set out. We were supposed to be going to Stoke on Trent but we ended up round the Warmingham Road area. We went past the bit where they had straightened out the road. That would have been possible to go to Stoke on Trent that way. I thought that the road was too narrow so we carried on with the intention of going to the roundabout by the railway station and going down there. The guy in charge of the party came over and told me that we can’t go that way. There are all kinds of roadworks. I then suggested that we go to near Kidsgrove and drive down the A34 and took the A500 that way which he agreed. Then something happened and we ended up with not enough places on the bus or something. There was a motor bike there so I went on it and took someone as a passenger. I ended up being tangled up in a group of other motorcyclists. One one particular bend a woman fell off her motor bike. We carried on riding. We eventually ended up at our destination. Then I had a bad attack of cramp and awoke.

I was somewhere in the Philippines last night. There was a young boy doing some kind of DiY project to make some kind of really basic kitchen, basically no more than the size of a large tray. I could see immediately that there were several ways in which he could make things go better. We ended up having a talk about everything. I ended up giving him some help. He was pointing out a few things that I was doing that weren’t correct from his point of view. I was pointing out a few things that weren’t correct from mine. We were talking about all kinds of different things as we were assembling this kitchen arrangement that he was making out of scrap material

While I was at it I did another day’s worth of arrears from when I was at Alison’s just now. Just a couple more days of those to do and then I can attack the ones from when I was in hospital last year. I wish that I could organise myself better these days.

There were other things that I was hoping to do but instead I crashed out on the chair here in the office. Miles away I was too and I don’t understand that because it wasn’t as if I’d had a bad night. I’d been doing quite well just recently too.

Tea tonight was a chili sin carné, the leftovers in the fridge lengthened with a tin of kidney beans. It was actually quite nice too. The freezer is slowly emptying nowand if I’m not careful I might even be able to put the bag of carrots in there – the ones that are currently languishing in the fridge’s icebox.

With a bit of time left I went through another batch of music on the computer to weed out the duplicates, the live albums and to edit the metadata, now I know how to batch-edit it.

But now that I’ve finished the notes I’m off to bed. I’ve put all the clothes away that were loitering around here and it’s looking just a little more tidy. There’s still a lot to do but I’ll worry about that another time. I’ve done enough for one day.

Wednesday 6th September 2023 – AFTER YESTERDAY’S DISASTER …

… I’ve had a much better day today.

Mind you, having said that, it couldn’t have been any worse at all.

In fact, with a little application I could have been up before the alarm went off because I was awake at 06:56 but I wasn’t quick enough to haul myself out of bed.

When the alarm went off I stirred my stumps and hauled myself out of bed. As expected, it took me an absolute age to bring myself round into the Land of the Living, but at least I managed to have my morning coffee and fruit bun.

Later on, I staggered into the bathroom for a shower in the hope that it might awaken me and whether it did or not, at least I felt better – and cleaner too.

And while we’re on the subject of “cleaner”, I had a lap around the kitchen and dining area to make sure that the cleaner wouldn’t die of fright when she came.

The rest of the day has been spent on the radio programme. I completed the one that has been hanging around for a couple of weeks waiting to be finished, and then I managed to finish off the notes for the next one.

There was even a few moments for me to make some kind of desultory start on choosing the music for a further one.

The cleaner came round this afternoon and attacked the apartment. It’s looking much nicer and cleaner now which makes a change. Although how long it might last like this is anyone’s guess.

I don’t suppose that it will take too long to mess it up. As I have said before … "and on many occasions too" – ed … my kind of life reminds me of Ezra Pound’s comment about Ford Madox Ford – "Put Ford naked in an empty room and within an hour behold total chaos"

After she left I put the washing machine on. There was some bedding in there from the other week so I put it all on quite a hot heat today to give it a really good and deep washing. Normally I just put everything on a 40°C “mixed fibre” wash but every now and again it needs a little extra.

Having set that off on its way I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. And I’d gone quite a distance too. I’d been quite friendly with a girl and decided that I’d ask her out to the cinema or something. We agreed that we’d go out for the Friday night. In the meantime I was very friendly with a girl who worked in the Building Society (as indeed I used to be in real life years ago). I was laughing and joking to her about taking her out. She said “why not?” so we arranged to go out together on the Saturday to the theatre because there was something on. Later on (I’m not sure whether this would be the Saturday) I was with this girl walking through Crewe. She wanted to know about going home. I said that I had my car parked somewhere nearby. She then added “unless you want to go for a walk-around in the woods or something like that. It would be a great place to find some firewood. Do you need any firewood?”. Seeing as she was keen and it was her idea I said “yes, OK” and we walked into the wood, actually down on the west side of the town. We were in the town centre. We had an interesting discussion about Spain and the castles, how in certain circumstances some rebellious knights could be charged with treason for attacking the King but the charge for treason would be raised by the Constable of Spain. That seemed to be a strange situation in which to be, where it was someone else who would be deciding on treasonable activity and not the King. We had a really lengthy discussion about that.

There was another lengthy dream. I’ve forgotten most of it. It was about me owning an electric bus and doing some work in it. We were dividing up a kind-of list of things, ecological things, between us. I asked if I could do the beekeeping. That was agreed but it was disappointing news to someone else who wanted to do it. Later on we were told that we could have an assistant part-time so the lad who was refused the time before when I was given the job came over to me to ask if he could help. Considering that he was interested and seemed to know more about beekeeping that I did, of course I said “yes” because it would be quite useful to have someone who knows his stuff and is keen working with me.

And then we’d been out with my father somewhere around the Audlem way. He had a Rover 2000 estate and we’d gone in that. He was driving extremely quickly. The people whom we went to see were in some way distantly related to me. Another friend of mine was there with us too. He had to go inside to see these people. When he came out ha was going on about how poor they were etc. I don’t think that he realised that they were part of my family. I asked him if there was a weedy man there with a very short, very fat woman to which he replied “yes”. These were of course my uncle and aunt but I didn’t like to say anything to him. We drove back extremely quickly. My father was telling us of a Portuguese guy who lived in the village who had really been something of an odd-job man but had now bought one of the local small businesses and was running that. When we came into Nantwich my father said that it’s probably quicker to go home via Wells Green so we ended up driving through the centre of Nantwich past the bus station.

There was a Court hearing taking place about something or other. I was involved in some kind of abstract way as a potential witness or similar. We were taken in a vehicle to somewhere and left in the vehicle while they went into Court. This went on until about 13:00 when someone came back to tell us that we could go but we needed to come back the next day. So we had to sit in this vehicle again, and no-one came at all. In the end I was outraged and so were the other people sitting in the vehicle. We saw on of the Clerks of the Court walking down the street. I grabbed hold of her and asked her what was going on. We found out that it was 16:00, I’d missed a football match, I’d missed everything. I was really angry and tore strips off this girl. In the end several people came over. They explained that this Hearing was still going on and hadn’t finished. I still couldn’t get over this discourtesy of leaving us sitting here in a car or van in the middle of the town centre while all this was happening. We’d been there for what seemed like 8 hours, no refreshments or anything so I was in an absolutely foul mood. I was tearing shreds off everyone and they were scattering and disappearing. In the end there was someone on the ‘phone and I asked him about what was happening. He said that he was still on the ‘phone to the Court trying to make them hurry up with the case otherwise everyone would be going and the case would collapse. I told him a lot of home truths about my thoughts and opinions on the way that this was going on, how everyone had been treated and I was on my way up the stairs to this ‘phone in the gallery to wrench the ‘phone from his hands to speak myself to whoever it was to whom he was speaking.

That dream was something quite interesting. When I said that I was involved “in some kind of abstract way as a potential witness or similar”, it wouldn’t be anything unusual.

In fact in the Old Days in the Crewe and Nantwich Magistrates Court they had a special term to describe people like me. We were called “The Defendant”.

Some people would even say that I gave the local farces of law and order in South Cheshire a great deal of assistance. They always seemed to be asking me to help them with their enquiries.

Finally, I had another dream that I can’t remember how it began. We had to go somewhere. Someone was having to organise the trip. My mother was somehow involved but she was prevaricating about it and decided that she wouldn’t go. After some discussion I asked her to state unequivocally that she didn’t want to go, which she did so I said to another person “then we can go any time at your convenience then”.

Tea tonight was the remainder of the stuffing lengthened with a small tin of kidney beans, with rice and veg. With a little extra chili added to it, it really was delicious. But, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, my meals might be boring but they are delicious.

There are just a few things to do and then I’m off to bed. Surprisingly, I managed to go the whole day without crashing out and that’s something well-worth noting after yesterday. I hope that I can keep it up for the next few days.

Maybe an early night might help – I dunno. But it can’t do any harm.

Tuesday 5th September 2023 – I HAVE HAD …

… one of the worst days ever today. And, believe me, I’ve had a few bad days in recent times.

Yesterday’s efforts took far too much out of me, regrettably, and so I’ve spent most of the day asleep on my chair. And despite all of the sleep that I’ve had, I’m still feeling absolutely wasted and I won’t be staying up for long.

Surprisingly, I was able to leave the bed quite quickly this morning and for a while I actually felt like doing something useful.

After the medication I had a listen to the radio programmes that I’ll be sending off. Two of them, in fact, because I’m not going to be here next week. I shall be in Leuven (if I make it) so I want to make sure that there’s a radio programme there in case I forget to send it later.

And that reminds me – I’d better make sure that I have on the portable computer plenty of programmes that are already prepared. Regular readers of this rubbish will recall that when I went to hospital this time last year they took one look at me and kept me in for over two months.

The idea was that having listened to two hours of music I’d be sending them off straight away to be added into the playlist for the relevant weeks, but by that time I was well on my way out.

The way things were, I’ve not had my fruit bread and coffee, and I was hours late having my lunchtime fruit. It was more like mid-afternoon hot chocolate time.

Once I’d finally felt something-like, I had a listen to the dictaphone to find out where I’d been during the night. My mother was looking after a couple more children as well as us. One day I came home quite late and one of my sisters tried to wrestle my mobile phone from me. I wasn’t having that so I put up a fight. She said “you have to give me your mobile phone” so i told her to clear off. She pointed and there was a puppy sitting on her knee of one of the children. She said “we’ve been given a puppy today and we’ve been told not to do anything or make any noise etc that might frighten it”. I replied “I don’t want a puppy. I haven’t asked for one and I’ve no intention of having a puppy. I’ll carry on living as I am, doing what I want to do. I don’t care about anyone else”. This developed into an extremely acrimonious argument.

As well as that, instead of a film of the type that we’ve been having recently, last night we had a radio programme. It concerned a young weedy little man who lived with his mother. He’d suddenly acquired a girlfriend called Susan. Something had happened that had sent him off the rails. He and Susan had effectively gone on the run. They hadn’t gone far because at the moment no-one suspected any crimes. They were silly crimes, like they had a coffee machine that they’d take to events, set up a little stand, sell the coffee then disappear. No-one had worked out what crime was being committed yet. Nevertheless they could feel the Police closing in. He sent Susan off after they had abandoned the coffee machine by setting it up for a demonstration in an Italian restaurant. He’d made a mistake there – when the proprietor had given him £100 he’d given him back £10:00 change in notes. Of course, his fingerprints would be on it. He disappeared anyway. I was listening to this programme by being in a queue of traffic on the way to a racecourse. When we reached the racecourse I was following these people who were listening to the radio on a portable radio. When we came to the entrance booth they paid to get it. I didn’t have any money so I lost the radio programme. In the end I went into a café where they had a radio and I tuned it in to listen to the end. One of my friends came in. He’d been the victim of some kind of confidence trick about a game of golf. He was a bank manager so he was naturally extremely careful about what he said or did. He’d been away from work waiting for the storm to blow over. he came into this café and people recognised him. I did too. They were commiserating with him and it was disrupting my listening to the programme. Eventually I caught up with the programme again. He’d gone back home and had disappeared again. The Police had turned up to his house because there had been an incident involving his mother and who she thought was a burglar who had tied balloons to her shower. It was a strange shower – it had a kind-of toilet where she could sit while she was washing, and had been burning papers. The mother happened to mention the name of this girl, Susan, which of course the people of this who had been traced by this confidence trickster would know because of the two of them working together. That was drawing the noose even tighter. Then the guy was in his hide-out. He had a letter that had come in a long time ago but he hadn’t actually opened it. He opened it this time. It turned out to tell him something about his spin drier. He said with amazement “so that’s what happened to my spin drier. It wasn’t the Police at all. all this need never have started had I seen this letter right at the very beginning”.

Having organised that, I actually managed to do some work on one of the radio programmes in the pipeline. I had a pile of notes so I edited them down and if I feel up to it later I’ll assemble the programme. I did manage to send off the two to which I’d listened earlier.

Tea was taco rolls with some of the leftover stuffing, and that’s about everything for today, I reckon.

However I really do feel awful right now so an early night is definitely on the cards. Not that it’ll do me much good of course but we can always hope. I’m going to have to feel better by Friday as I have a long voyage to Leuven, and I’ll be walking for a lot of the way with a rucksack. I’m not looking forward to that.

Saturday 26th August 2023 – ONE THING THAT I …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday 21st August 2023 – IT MIGHT NOT …

… seem like it, but I’ve been very busy today. It’s taken even me by surprise.

It was another late night last night and once more, when the alarm went off it was a real struggle to leave the bed. And I really wish that I could have stayed in there longer, especially after what happened on Sunday.

It took a while, as usual, for me to bring myself round into the Land of the Living but I did speed things up by going for an early shower. I don’t want to frighten away the nurse.

She was a few minutes late coming round today, but once she gave me her injection and left, I could crack on with revising my Welsh for the lesson today.

The lesson today seemed to pass OK, although I didn’t really get to say very much. I was in a side room with two young girls who know each other from College and so they were chatting away 13 to the dozen about pubs and night clubs, so I left them to it.

But we learnt a lot today and to my surprise, some of it actually stuck. I’m not sure what happened there.

During one of the breaks I had a listen to the dictaphone notes from the night. We’d been for a walk, a group of us, in some countryside area with plenty of mountains. I’d taken a camera with me but because of the weight issues I’d only taken the one. This time I’d taken the NIKON D3000 and telephoto lens. It wasn’t long before I realised that I’d made a mistake trying to take a photo of the sunlight coming out of the valley halfway up the mountains. I wanted to take a photo of the windows inside a storage cupboard in a castle where the lens was just overwhelming the image. I felt really sad that I hadn’t brought my standard lens and the NIKON 1 J5, hadn’t brought absolutely anything with me to make my photos work. It was just going to be too bad. In the end I tried to take a couple of photos with just the camera on the telephone which I don’t like doing anyway. It really was a shock when I realised that I didn’t have the camera bag with me, all the spare lenses etc.

There was also a play being put on about a murder. I was interested in doing something with it so I’d spoken to the producers and was hoping to have an appointment but it never happened. I turned up one day but no-one ever spoke to me or invited me so I decided that well maybe it’s quite simply not going to happen. There had also been some physiotherapy arranged for me by a doctor at the hospital but one of my friends went to this doctor on his own and there was no mention of anything being arranged for me, which disappointed me too.

Later on I went to Ramsgate to find out more about this play. That turned out to be something of a wild goose chase too as nothing seemed to happen about it when I arrived either.

When the lesson was over I had my hot chocolate and then spent the rest of the afternoon finishing off the radio programme. That’s all up and running now and there’s just one more in the pipeline. I shall be making a start on the next one this week too.

Tea tonight was one of the stuffed peppers that I bought on Friday. And seeing that I’d forgotten to put the herbs into it to season it, it tasted quite nice.

But what was good news is that the glass containers that I bought on Saturday to store the leftovers in the fridge instead of some kind of ad-hoc plastic arrangement are exactly the right size. I’m quite pleased about that because I’m trying slowly to move away from plastic if I can and when the opportunity arises.

Anyway, I’m off to bed now. Later than intended but I’ll do the best that I can. See where I end up during the night and then wake up fighting fit ready for tomorrow. God help them.

Sunday 20th August 2023 – THESE DAYS THE DAY …

… is dawning round about 06:30 in the morning. Ask me how I know.

Sometimes I don’t understand what’s going on (not that that’s anything new, of course) but last night I sat and watched the clock go round and round and wasn’t at all tired enough to go to bed.

It was just after 06:30 when I finally hauled myself off, but that was more by force of habit than anything else because it took me an absolute age to drift off into the Land of Nod.

What made things even worse was that I was awake again by 11:30 and after having tried valiantly to go back to sleep, by about 12:30 I gave it up as a bad job and raised myself from the dead.

After having had something to eat, the night’s efforts caught up with me and that was that for a while unfortunately.

It took me quite a while to come to my senses, which is a surprise given how few senses I have these days, and then I made a slow (and I DO mean “slow”) start on the radio programme.

It’s taking a total age to finish it because I’m not in any kind of state do do any work right now after everything else that has (or hasn’t) happened.

There was time to listen to whatever there was on the dictaphone. In fact it was a real surprise that there was something on there from the very short period when I must have drifted away into Neverland during the morning while I was in bed. We were talking about football in the Welsh class discussing bits of vocabulary etc that are important to know. I explained how much the lessons have helped me understand a lot more about what’s happening. A couple of people listened to the soundtrack of the game, the commentary. They seemed to think that it was easy to follow. I explained that that was because they already know some Welsh and had learnt some Welsh. When I first started listening to it years ago I hardly understood anything at all. I think that we’ve made enormous strides with what we’ve done today

Meanwhile, in other news, my pizzas are getting better and better.

Last weekend I’d used the last of the pizza dough in the freezer so I had to make some more today. a couple of lumps went into the freezer and I assembled the pizza for tonight’s tea on the third one which I had already rolled out

The vegan cheese from LeClerc and the cherry tomatoes on top make all of the difference. This new cheese melts quite nicely and the cherry tomatoes give it a certain je ne sais quoi and I wish that I knew what it was because I would make use of it more often.

So if I can summon up the energy and enthusiasm I’ll carry on with the radio programme and then crawl into bed. And I can’t say that I’ll regret it either because I’m exhausted, as you might expect.

The last week of my Welsh course starts tomorrow and then the following week I have to think about going to that hospital in Paris.

It’s never-ending, isn’t it?

Friday 18th August 2023 – WHAT SURPRISES ME …

… is that I managed to keep on going for as long as I did today after all of my exertions.

As I predicted (well, it really wasn’t much of a prediction) I lay awake for hours after going to bed last night and just couldn’t settle down. As I’ve said before … "and on many occasions too" – ed … there’s no point going to bed early if I’m not able to go to sleep.

But sleep I must have done at some point during the night because when the alarm went off I was flat out miles away, deep in the Arms of Morpheus.

Leaving the bed before the second alarm was something of a struggle but I managed it all the same, and then had something of slow drag around into consciousness.

Despite everything else I managed to fall into the shower and have a good scrub up, and then I hit the town.

The bus was already at the bus stop so I staggered aboard, and then staggered out at the bus stop by the port.

First stop was at the doctor’s to pick up my prescription. I’m running out of medication so I need to stock up.

next stop was at the Carrefour around the corner where I bought a few supplies to keep me going, like peppers, mushrooms, potatoes and the like.

The reason why I buy my peppers here is that they sell two for €0:99 – teacup sized ones that are ideal for making stuffed peppers. The ones that you buy elsewhere are often quite enormous and overwhelm whatever it is that I’m cooking.

Final port of call was at the chemist for my Aranesp and to have the prescription dispensed.

By the time that I’d bought everything that I needed, my backpack was quite heavy and it was a struggle to come back up the hill. It took me an absolute age and I was exhausted. I had to make dozens of pauses

Back here I cleaned out one of the peppers and put it in the freezer and then armed with my coffee and cheese and toast I came in here, rather later then intended, for my Welsh lesson.

During the pause at lunchtime, I wrote up the dictaphone notes. I was waiting at Goodall’s Corner in Shavington for a bus to go to Nantwich for a hospital appointment. It seemed as if I’d been there for hours but no bus came. I’d seen buses coming in the other direction from Nantwich but none going that way. Eventually someone told me that there wzs a change on the route. He offered to take me to his house in Stock Lane because the buses were going past there at the moment. He took me down there. I went into his house. There were a few people in there, all denying that I was ill. In the end I had to show them my scars where the needles had been in my arms, the site of my old catheter etc before they eventually agreed that I was undergoing some medical treatment. Then we heard the bus so I went outside. The bus pulled up and I boarded. There was a driver and a couple of other passengers. The whole lower deck of this bus was covered in dolls etc. The driver, while he was driving, was playing a game of some kind like cards or something with another one of the passengers. I thought that this was the most weird bus trip that i’d ever had.

What was interesting about this dream was that I was waiting for the bus on the “wrong” side of the road, as I would do if I were in Europe. And all the traffic was driving on the right too.

And then, half an hour later we had a suddenly this dream came alive. The person who was being me began to take off after the girl in this particular scene. That caused a lot of embarrassment. First of all, what was happening was that we’d been paired off. There was a doll that was me, a doll that was a girl, there were several of these pairs and we’d been paired off each at someone’s house but at first nothing had ever happened until we suddenly began to come to life” and I have absolutely no recollection of this or no idea at all what it concerns.

Then we had a dream that was quite similar to that again with 2 dolls, a male and a female. It wasn’t until they’d been together for a while that people noticed that these dolls were starting to turn themselves into a couple

Next I was at a supermarket. There were these toy things, dolls or whatever, tied up at a kind of hitching rail outside the store. All of a sudden a few people came along and began to push themselves into the queue in the wrong place. I thought to myself that there’s going to be some kind of severe confrontation with this lot any minute now.

I was then with Mike Harris, the chairman from TNS. We were talking about the European Cup Final between his team and a team that I was representing from Wales. He said that he wanted to approach UEFA to see whether they’d agree to host the game in Budapest. I said that in principle I’d agree but I’d like to play the game in Leichtenstein. Apart from the fact that there’s a lovely stadium there, it’s the crossroads of Europe etc. He asked me how we’d go about it. I told him that I knew Mike Lee, the Press Officer who went on to lead the UK’s bid for the Olympics in London. I imagined that he’d have a replacement and we’d start of by contacting him.

What’s strange about this is that I BO – or did – know Mike Lee, and he was Press Officer for UEFA and he did leave to work as leader of the team what worked on bringing the Olympic Games to London. And the football stadium at Vaduz in Leichtenstein is quite nice, AS REGULAR READERS OF THIS RUBBISH WILL RECALL.

But no Zero last night, and no California either. I must be slipping.

The Welsh lesson went quite well for a change, even though I had to fight off several waves of sleep. But once it was over and I was armed with my hot chocolate I wasn’t so lucky and ended off drifting away for half an hour or so.

That actually makes a change. usually, going into tow and back exhausts me completely and I’m flat out on my chair a long time before this.

There was time to spend an hour or two writing radio programme notes and then I went for tea – chips with salad and some of those quorn nuggets that are really nice.

But now I’m ready for bed, I reckon, not that I’m particularly tired after having crashed out just now. But it’ll catch up with me sooner or later. Shopping tomorrow, and with some room in the freezer, I hope that there’s some good stuff in Noz now that I have room for it

And having been to the shops I’ll probably be flat out in the afternoon. As long as I don’t miss the football tomorrow evening.

Thursday 17th August 2023 – I’VE HAD A REALLY …

… horrible afternoon today.

There were a couple of moment during my Welsh lesson when, for some reason or other, I felt myself drifting away into never-land. Then later on, after I’d had my hot chocolate when the lesson finished, I crashed out completely.

And I DO mean “completely” too. For about 2.5 hours I was totally out like a light in probably the deepest sleep I’ve had for quite some considerable time. Not a thing was moving during that time.

It’s not as if I didn’t need it though. What with one thing and another I didn’t go to bed until after midnight last night. Just as I was on the point of going to bed a Paul Temple mystery came round on the playlist so I stayed up to listen to it.

Despite all of that, I had woken up and was out and about (after a fashion) before the alarm went off, which goes to prove that there’s no pattern to what’s going on inside what’s left of my brain right now.

As usual, it took a good while to wind myself up, and then I had a couple of phone calls to make. Firstly there was to the chemists to order the next month’s supply of Aranesp, and then to the doctor to order another supply of medicine as I’m running out of certain supplies.

There was the dictaphone to listen to, to find out where i’d been during the night. I was with someone like that guy whom I knew when I had my taxis, me and a girl. For some reason we’d gone to California in Caliburn but he was driving. We went all the way to California. The girl and I were talking about settling down there, going to school etc, creating a new life for ourselves. We had to go back to collect our equipment. They drove us back and they said “we’ve been in your bank accounts and paid back all the money that you spent on this trip”. I told them that they didn’t need to because it was for us anyway, but they insisted. I began to collect my things together. I disposed of one scrap car out of my garage but there was a gold Cortina MkIII in there where I had half the axle out but a rear wheel had seized on a bearing so that bearing was still in the axle. He brought a pile of screws and nuts for me. They were mine anyway but he said that he wanted me to have them back. I went into the garage to find a box for them but he followed me in. He was looking at my tools and equipment saying how wonderful they were. he looked at the Cortina. I told him about the wheel. He replied “we can have that off”. I explained that I’d tried just about everything for months but I’ll end up having to cut it off. In the end we were preparing to go. But this thing about him turning up looking around my garage began to fill me with unease. I’d no idea why that would have been

And later I was back in this dream again talking to a friend of mine about my illness. We were talking about Zero. He was saying that if I’d been in good health she would have probably been living with me by now. I was chatting to Zero (so welcome back to her, who has been absent from my voyages for quite a while) and I asked her how she fancied living in California. I explained to her about portable oxygen cylinders, how I could buy one and walk around etc. She was worried that the heat in California would be too much for me. I explained that if we were to live by the sea it would be quite comfortable. We had a long, lengthy chat about moving, living down there by the sea etc. This was another one of these rare dreams where everything seemed to be going so right. It really felt much more than just an ordinary boring dream, a lot more intense feeling that there was in most, which was quite a surprise.

And what’s going on with California? I’ve been going there quite a lot just recently which is bewildering because I’ve never been farther west THAN ARIZONA OR UTAH. So I’ve no idea what’s happening about that.

After spending some time doing my Welsh homework I went for my lesson. The morning didn’t go too badly but gradually as the afternoon went on I found myself fading away, and that kind of thing is doing me no good at all.

During my brief moments of lucidity today I’ve been writing notes for my forthcoming radio programme and then I went for tea.

Tonight’s tea was another really good one – mixed veg and falafel in a vegan cheese sauce. And I’ve got the hang of all of this now.

It makes a world of difference being able to lay my hands on what to date is proving to be a consistent supply of vegan cheese. In the past I’ve only been able to grab it when I can but it looks as if the supply from LeClerc is going to keep on running for the foreseeable future, although nothing in this World is certain.

Having done all of that I’m off to bed, ready for a trip down into town before my lesson. Mind you, I probably won’t sleep, having had a really good session this afternoon.

But it was nice to see Zero again last night and it would be even nicer to see her again tonight. But what on earth is going on about California?


Well, yes.

Monday 14th August 2023 – MY WELSH LESSON …

… wasn’t as good as it might have been today.

It’s possible that it has something to do with the fact that I was absolutely exhausted and had a struggle to keep my eyes open for some of the time.

And I’ve no idea why that might be either because I was in bed at some kind of reasonable time for a change, and the night wasn’t quite so turbulent as some have been just recently.

When the alarm went off this morning I was flat out in bed and it was a struggle for me to haul myself out of bed. And the morning was a struggle to such an extent that I didn’t go for a shower before the nurse came round to give me my injection.

There was however some time enough to transcribe the dictaphone notes from the night. We’d been to the library like the one at Crewe. We’d been in a friend’s taxi so I didn’t take my crutches with me. When it was time to leave, the steps down to the main road were quite long and steep so I was taking my time. I could see the taxi. It wasn’t parked on the street but in the car park backing up onto the steps at the bottom of the steps where we would come down. Of course everyone else was quite quick in getting to the taxi except me. They all piled in and it drove away. When I finally came down to where the taxi had been I couldn’t see it at all. I couldn’t believe that they’d driven off and abandoned me like this with no crutches or anything

Later on I was in the USA at San Francisco thinking about going home from work. I could see the Golden Gate Bridge from my office. There was plenty of traffic on it. It looked really nice in the dark with the lights of the vehicle so I tried to take a photo but it didn’t work out. Later on at some other point I had to go to the top floor of our building. That was impressively high, probably 30,000 feet. The view of San Francisco below and the clouds etc was really impressive. We had once again a view of the bridge and all of the traffic in the dark. I tried again to take a couple of photos. The first one didn’t come out very well so I reset the exposure and adjustment times, took another and that didn’t seem to work out either. I was extremely disappointed at this.

And then there I was in this high building and we went down in the lift. We didn’t know from which floor we had to exit. I guessed “n°10”. I was one of these express lifts that stopped quite rapidly so I couldn’t believe that we were at Floor 10 already. Someone convinced us that we were so we piled out. We found that we had to walk down a couple of flights of stairs to go out of the building. There was a river right outside the building and the end of the runway of a light airfield with a light aircraft going in to land. There was like a Plaza or something there with a few sandstone buttes, only tiny, so I walked over to there. I could see that there was a good view of the building etc so I went to take out my camera. I’d been walking through the desert at one point and the whole of the inside of the camera bag was filled with sand. The camera was covered with sand so I had to clean it off before I could take a photograph that I wanted of the building and surrounding area.

I was back in San Francisco yet again working on a car. A boy went past. There was a dog running around the street. He told me to keep my dog under control. I told him to clear off. The dog wasn’t mine. I carried on. Then some official turned up on a bike, a young guy. He said “I’m going to give you a citation for your dog being off its leash”. I asked “have you seen my dog off its leash?”. He replied “yes”. I said “you must have some extremely good eyes. My dog’s back at home in Europe”. He replied “that doesn’t matter. I’m going to give you a citation”. When he gave it to me I took a piece of paper out of Caliburn. He was looking at all the notes in my notebook so I told him to clear off. My notes were nothing to do with him. I wrote out my address, handed it to him and said “I’m not paying your citation. You summon me. This should be fun”. He took my piece of paper, tore it up and threw it away. I said “fair enough” and carried on doing what I was doing. He disappeared and then I set off back for home.

What’s surprising in all of this is that I’ve never been to San Francisco in my life

The Welsh lesson, as I said, didn’t go too well. Being as tired as I seem to be these days, I just can’t concentrate on anything at all. At least we were one person more than last week as someone new has joined the party so we’re spread out more.

During the lunch break and for a while afterwards I chose the music for the radio programme that I started. I even managed to pair off some of the tracks but I ended up being overwhelmed. I didn’t actually crash out, which is a miracle in itself, but I may as well have done for all the good that I did.

Tea was, as usual, a stuffed pepper with pasta and vegetables, and while I was taking a few things out of the freezer I actually tidied up the vegetable drawer. There’s a little more room in there now.

But right now I’m going to bed. I’ve really had enough for one day and I won’t be doing much else today. There’s some homework that I need to do tomorrow for my course so I need to be on form. But I think that it needs more than I have to offer right now.

Saturday 12th August 2023 – HAVE YOU EVER …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And then I have other things to worry about.