Tag Archives: caernarfon town

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.

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".

Saturday 9th March 2024 – GUESS WHO …

… forgot to switch his alarm back on last night?

It goes without saying that Bane of Britain was up to his usual tricks.

But what was so surprising was that I awoke at 07:35. None of this stuff that we experienced last weekend. And I was wide awake too – to such an extent that I was actually up quite quickly. And that’s even more surprising.

First thing that I did was to check the blood pressure. 16.7/9.4. and don’t ask me what it was last night because I forgot to take it.

But next time that I go to the hospital I’ll be taking my blood pressure machine with me. The figures at the hospital are nothing like the ones that I’ve been recording here. They are much more normal. So I wonder if there’s a fault in my machine or I’m not using it correctly.

If we can compare readings when I go back, that might help. And so will a little practical instruction. It’s not actually very likely that things will be worse here than at the hospital – that is, in respect of anything that’s likely to adversely affect my blood pressure

But fancy forgetting to record it last night. It was actually quite a relaxing late evening watching the football highlights from the games that took place. Nothing really exciting, except that TNS continued their monotonous, relentless march by stuffing second placed Connah’s Quay 5-1 – at the Quay’s home ground.

As I have said before … "and on many occasions too" – ed … I’d be really proud of TNS’s achievements in the domestic game in Wales if only they would transfer some of that form to the European games that they play. But regularly and consistently (or should I say “monotonously and relentlessly”?) they are knocked out in the first round.

Wouldn’t it be nice if they could make it to the group stages of a European competition some time soon, and give us all something about which we can cheer? I mentioned the other day that depressing, dismal game in Sweden where we had to sit through 90 minutes of tactical ineptitude by a manager who is out of his depth at this level of competition.

Anyway, I digress … "again" – ed

In the kitchen I collected the medication together and shovelled it in, piles of it. And it’s going to be even worse on Monday after my cleaner has been to the chemist’s with the new prescription. As if I don’t already have enough stuff in here.

But I’m glad that it’s the cleaner who goes to the chemist’s these days. I’m too embarrassed after the last incident that we had.

That time, I’d been to buy a pack of condoms. "What would you like?" she asked. "Ordinary? Or the new washable ones?"
"I’ll try the new washable ones" I said.
A week later, I went back to the chemists
"Can I have another pack of condoms, please?"
"What happened about the washable ones you had last week?" she asked
"Well, I’ve had this rather offensive letter from the laundry"

Having taken my medicine I went to make the bread for the weekend. And I forgot that it wasn’t Friday and that I wasn’t here, so I made three bread rolls as usual. So anyone who says that I don’t even have a clue what day it is is actually quite correct.

John Bongiovi TELLS THE DAY BY THE BOTTLES THAT (HE) DRINKS but I tell the days by the medication that I take, I reckon.

The bread still isn’t rising as well as it ought to, even though I’ve now moved on to a new type of flour. However, it wasn’t the abject failure of a couple of weeks ago and I suppose that we can be thankful for that

I tried baking it for slightly less time too, and that seemed to make a difference. But of course my oven is very much hit and miss so I can’t say with any certainty that it will be like that next week.

But anyway, it made a really nice toasted cheese sandwich, which was the name of the game anyway.

And that reminds me – me waxing lyrical about air fryers combined with a special offer on sale at LeClerc means that Rosemary has now joined the little air fryer community. As I have said before … "and on many occasions too" – ed … I’d be lost without my air fryer.

Next stop was to transcribe the dictaphone notes, not that there were all that many. There was a cute little girl at school who for some unknown reason seemed to attach herself to me, not that I minded particularly because I never did much at school except roam around. She caught me one day coming out of the school canteen. I asked her how she was. She wouldn’t say at first but in the end said that she’d failed her exam which I thought was something of a shame so I gave her a few encouraging words. Then she told me that she’d failed another one too so I didn’t think that things were going too well for her so I tried to boost her morale a little but I could see that she was rather sad. Then she asked, out of the blue, “do you want to be a GE?” which is the first level of work as a British diplomat in the Foreign Service. I asked why and it turned out that there was a meeting for schoolkids to hear a talk given by someone in the Foreign Service about careers with them. I thought to myself “I have to do something after I finish my exams, haven’t I?” so I said “yes, OK, I’ll come with you. I’ll be your invitee”. She said “you’re my second”. I asked “who’s the first?”, fearing the worst. And sure enough she mentioned the name of a student with whom I didn’t get on at all, who I thought was completely and utterly pretentious etc. She said “I’ve invited him”. I sighed and said “ohh well, OK” and said that I’d go with her to make her feel better. At least if she had two people coming with her it would do her some good in her exams which aren’t going too well anyway.

There seem to have been a few cute young girls attaching themselves to me during the course of the last few nights. I’ve no idea what’s going on here. I wish it had really been like that when I was at school.

And I wish that I knew who they were, so that I could see if it’s the same girl coming back, or a different girl each time. I’m intrigued to see how this serial ends, as I’m sure that you are. Doubtless though, one of my family will come along and shove le baton dans la rue at a crucial moment.

Like my brother, for example, who was “teacher’s pet” at school
"Why? Did teacher like him?" – ed
No – she kept him in a cage at the back of class.

But really – could you imagine me in the Diplomatic Service? It wouldn’t have been a shoe that I’d banged on the table as Nikita Khrushchev is alleged to have done, it would have been the heads of a few of the delegates.

It’s all very well these leaders pronouncing wars and all of that, but they aren’t the ones who have to fight them. It’s always the young and the poor. As the Communist Party once said about the First World War, “a bayonet is a weapon with a worker at each end”.

In my opinion, if someone wants to start a war, there should be vote. And all those who vote in favour should be given a rifle and tin hat and sent to the Front to fight it while everyone else stays at home.

Next on the agenda was the football. Y Bala v Caernarfon.

Two teams challenging for fourth place but it didn’t look much like it. The gale-force wind had something to say about the standard of play, I suppose, but in all honesty it will be one those games that will be forgotten quite quickly.

There was a good crowd there, as there always is when Caernarfon play, but I think that they were probably expecting more for their money than a tame, lacklustre 1-1 draw.

The rest of the day, apart from 10 minutes when I was away with the fairies, was spent chopping up sound tracks. Only about 30 or 40 hours remain before I can start to attack the stuff that the Shrewsbury Folk Festival sent me at the start of the year.

And I shudder to think of how much there is to do there. I’ve told you before … "and on many occasions too" – ed … that i’m far too busy to die

Tea was baked potato with salad and one of the breaded quorn fillets that I like. And my home-made mayonnaise from the other week is still keeping on going. The garlic in there hasn’t dissolved the bottle, despite how muc I put in it. I really should put somewhat less in there than I do.

So having finished my notes, I’ll wait for it to go quite than do my dictating. Two programmes that need re-dictating and a third that I prepared last week. It’ll all be a right mess when I finish

Tomorrow there’s an alarm call – 11:00, which might be late for some but it’s early for me on a Sunday. I always stay up quite late because it’s only when the streets are perfectly quiet that I can dictate the notes properly

And then there’s pizza dough to make, and anything else that I can think of. I’ve not made any biscuits for ages, have I? Chocolate biscuits are always good but it’s been years since I’ve made any oat and honey ones. I might think about that.

Right now though I’m going to relax for a little while and find something interesting to read, like that friend of mine who read all of these horrifying reports on the effects of smoking.
"They frightened me so much that I gave up" he said
"Gave up smoking?" I asked
"No" he replied. "Reading"

Saturday 13th January 2024 – “IT SOUNDS TOO …

… good to be true”.

Yes, doesn’t it just?

There I was, lying awake, watching the clock on my fitbit tick round and round. 05:35 came round certainly – I saw it and watched it. And a few other times too.

It seems that even being a passenger in a car, never mind the driver, is having this effect on me. In the old days, as I have mentioned previously… "and on many occasions too" – ed … I’d go for a good run before going to bed in order to ease the stress, but I can’t even go for a good walk these days.

And even less so, starting from this afternoon

There was football on the internet, Cardiff Metropolitan v Caernarfon, and I watched the first half on my knees. I’d tripped over something coming into the bedroom and ended up flat on my knees. It took me 50 minutes before I could invent a means of standing up.

My right leg, which was bad before, is now completely impossible. I’d tell you more but there’s no feeling in it as you know. I’ll have to wait until I go to the Centre de Re-education on Tuesday to find out just how bad it is.

The good news (and there has been some today and, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, it’s been a long time since I’ve had any) is that my leek and potato soup was cooked to perfection and the home-made bread rolls were delicious too

For tonight’s meal, the oven chips cooked in the air fryer were done to absolute perfection too so the meal of salad, chips and one of those soya steaks in breadcrumbs was wonderful

Not so much the bread pudding. That was definitely the worse for wear after my week away from home so that’s now pushing up the daisies. But me no daft, me no silly, I’d cut a big pudding into 4 large sliced and there are still 3 in the freezer.

So meanwhile, back at the ran … err … bed I checked the dictaphone when I finally did awaken at 09:50 and there was tons of stuff on it.

We started off with me playing bass and singing in a rock group with a guitarist, my friend from the Wirral on rhythm guitar and a drummer, and we were playing a concert in a pub somewhere in Crewe. Neither the gear nor the van had arrived. It was my friend from the Wirral who was driving it. He eventually turned up, much to the applause of the audience and much to our relief, about an hour late, and we set up our instruments. My friend from the Wirral just sat on the floor, refused to move, refused to stand up and refused to play. He was known for having his moody fits and outbursts and was just in one of them at the moment. In the end the guitarist and I just shrugged our shoulders and began to play. We began to play BORN TO BE WILD. When I awoke I was actually singing it, live on stage, something that took me completely by surprise.

This dream is famous for several things.

Firstly, I did have a friend like that. He would freeze in times of stress and would be totally incapable of acting if a problem arose. On several occasions his friends have had to rally round and help him out of his problems.

Secondly, I was always happier playing in a power trio of drummer, guitarist and me. I had a very good drummer with whom I had a good rapport and we as a rhythm section played in several bands. But every time a fourth (or fifth) member came along, it usually dissoived into chaos.

One thing though, was that I loved to sing but the guitarist with whom I was most associated was also a singer who loved to sing so my chances were few and far between, even though I actually owned the PA that we used (a 200-watt Hiwatt amp with 2x 4×12″ columns and several treble horns).

There’s a story behind those horns too. I wanted a set and there was a pair advertised in the Manchester Evening News at an address in Stockport so we went round hot-foot. And who should open the door but Graham Gouldman, songwriter and bassist at Strawberry Studios down the road from there.

On the subject of people called Graham, I hear that Grahame and STRAWBERRY MOOSE have been having a lively chat via e-mail today.

But thirdly, there’s something that I really don’t understand about this dream is that although I didn’t dictate it, we had another person up on that stage for a while. And I know that we did because I even remember introducing her to the public, the words that I used to introduce her, and the songs that we played.

Anyone care to guess who it was?

When I introduced her to the public from the stage in Crewe as she came up and put on her guitar, I used her real name (not the name by which she is known in these pages), I mentioned her age (which is something that I would absolutely not do these days for anyone) and so asked the audience to “be gentle with her, because I am gentle with her”, something that might have raised a good laugh 50 years ago but would be an absolutely outrageous thing to say today.

We played several numbers that we had worked on together on THE GOOD SHIP VE … errr … OCEAN ENDEAVOUR (so you’ve probably guessed now who she was) including that one by Green Day … "BOULEVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS" – ed … where that young Inuit boy on board joined in with us.

But what’s astonishing about this is that she put in an appearance and I didn’t dictate it. The other week when I mentioned that my subconscious must be creating a barrier between me and certain people, I wasn’t sure that I was being serious.

After last night’s escapade, I am now. And what I would like to know is how many times and for how long has it been doing that.

One of the most extraordinary things that came out of this exercise that we do about dreams was the girl who dreamt that she could run around in the fields and forests even though she was born without legs and had never un an inch in her life. But this can’t be far behind that.

What happened after this was pretty banal by these kinds of standards. I was part of a delegation that went to South Korea to a military air base there to discuss the products of our company with some people from the Korean military. One night while we were there the guests inn the bar were Widespread Panic. Of course, we went. There was a problem with the cash machine in the restaurant where the concert was to take place. It kept on ringing up ice cream as “various” and charging a purely nominal amount for it so of course we were ordering ice cream all the way through the night like most people would order a beer. We were eating tons of it and I was sure that we would be sick next morning. When we returned it showed the bill from this night at the restaurant had twice as many ices as we had ordered. Instead of there being three for some rounds there had been six. The accounts department was extremely concerned and called us in. I explained that at some part of the night another three people had noticed what we were doing and came over to talk to us. They joined in this ice cream orgy. The accounts department then asked why it was that we considered it to be appropriate that their ice cream should be added to our bill. I explained that these three people were in fact a delegation from Airbus there to see the Korean military too. We were of the opinion that it would be a good idea to entertain them to ice cream because it could open a lot of doors for our company in the UK and France which otherwise would never ever open to anyone. That seemed to settle the matter and everyone seemed quite happy. A few of our colleagues were surprised and disappointed and questioned the bill but that was more out of jealously than anything else.

I’ll have to stop leaning over to where my dictaphone would be in Paris. Anyway Nerina and I had gone on a boat trip around the harbour in St Helier and the Channel Islands area. It was one of these large motor yacht type of things that would carry a dozen couples or something. We boarded it and it set off. We were given something of a running commentary. We noticed that there were plenty of kids up at the front, fishing out of the water all kinds of plastic like old buckets, fishing buoys, jerry cans etc, trying to clean up the harbour. Anything that they noticed, they pulled out. I went to have a look. There were loads of letters there too so I began to fish them out. Many of them were addressed to me so I was quickly collecting a pocketful. There were some addressed to others and looked quite important. In the meantime this guy was busy talking. We noticed that one or two of the couples were actually jumping into the water, swimming around and then catching up the boat. For some reason Nerina and I jumped in and we had a great time splashing around in the harbour. We suddenly realised that the boat was a long way from us by now so we had to swim like hell to catch up with it. I was pulling out more letters from the water at the same time. Eventually we managed to climb aboard. She climbed up the steps at the back and asked me how I came on board. I pointed out a ladder that was there on the rear corner of the boat that she obviously hadn’t seen. We sat down again and I began to open these letters. There was one that was from Poland and had a diplomatic stamp on it. I wondered what this was all about. I managed to open it discreetly. There was a return envelope inside, a pre-stamped one with a Polish diplomatic pass stamp on it addressed to someone at our address urging them to make their donation to their war relief as quickly as possible. I showed it to Nerina to ask her what she thought about it. We sat there puzzling over it.

And as if I’d ever want to swim around in the harbour of St Helier. I’ve seen what’s pumped into there.

The soup was, as I said, delicious.

  • chop a small onion and fry it in olive oil and butter
  • add a couple of garlic cloves with coriander and chives
  • when these are browned and smell nice, add in your finely chopped leeks and potatoes, and stir round to fry for 10 minutes
  • add just enough water to cover, add a stock cube and leave to slow boil (with the lid on) until the potatoes and leeks are really mushy
  • add some soya cream
  • remove from the heat and whizz up with your whizzer
  • then eat with the fresh bread that you prepared earlier and baked while all of the above was going on

As for quantities – leeks and potatoes, how many do you have that need to be used?
And the rest – it’s all down to taste.

There had been some washing going on while all of this was happening so after lunch I hung it up to dry.

Then I … errr … had a little relax.

Watching the football from the floor was a new experience, although I managed to pull myself upright by half-time. Caernarfon had to do better against Cardiff Metropolitan than Hwlllffordd did against Y Bala in order to qualify for the playoffs for a European place next season.

And in a pulsating game that roared from end to end with Caernarfon’s new signing from Porthmadog, Morgan Owen, having an outstanding game, they were still 2-1 down with minutes to go while Hwllffordd were 2-1 up.

But in wild drama at the end, first Danny Gosset scored an equaliser for Caernarfon with just minutes to go, and then down in West Wales Y Bala scored 2 quick goals .

So it’s Caernarfon who push on for Europe while Hwllffordd have to join the fight against relegation.

Tea as I said was excellent so now as I’m cold and in total agony from my knee, I’m off to bed.

Will the young lady from last night come to join me for the second half of our gig? Or will it be someone new?

And more to the point, if my subconscious really is trying to block out some people from visiting me, I can name half a dozen for a start and my subconscious can block them out starting tonight, with my full permission and pleasure.

Tuesday 2nd January 2024 – I DON’T KNOW …

… which one it is, but one of these new medicaments is having a strange effect on me.

It’s as if I’m drunk. My head is all light and airy and my co-ordination is gone. It’s quite a strange feeling really

There’s one of the ones that I take in the evening that is giving me these wonderful nocturnal voyages and whatever it is I’m not going to stop that one and miss out on a night of fun with Castor, Zero and TOTGA but the one that’s giving me this strange feeling, I’ll have to see about that.

When I was at the Centre de Re-education I mentioned it there to a couple of people and presumably it will pass to whichever doctor takes over my case now that Dr Sigaud has left.

There’s also the question of the Christmas pudding, as I mentioned the other day. Following my post the other day I had several suggestions as to what to do with it, some of which were physically impossible and that tells me more about my friends than it does about my pudding.

But I liked Sean’s suggestion best. “Why don’t you just eat it?” but he and a couple of other people suggested that I wrap it well and freeze it so, having had an extra helping this evening so it’s now down to half its size, I’ll probably try that. But the pudding was a perfect success and I was so pleased with it.

So this morning I was up as soon as the alarm went off, and I took my blood pressure. And something extremely embarrassing happened this morning. And I’m not going to say what happened so don’t bother to ask.

After the medication I came back in here to transcribe the dictaphone notes. I was in North America last night. I’d talked to my father that I was needing a new van. He said that he knew someone so I left it at that. I was upstairs with a friend of mine who was rather shy and timid and wouldn’t do anything unless he was pushed into it. He and I had a little chat. I understood that there was a girlfriend in the building in one of the floors below. We had to wait until these dancers either stopped or created a gap in their formation so that we could nip through. He went off to look at the girl. I went to the window to look at what was going on because my Canadian relative was running a garage and had all kinds of things in, like snowmobiles etc. He was expecting to buy a vehicle on a trailer – it might have been a small tractor or something similar, I can’t remember, so he was busy making room in his drive. But there were all vehicles parked outside. Suddenly someone nudged me and pointed to a queue of cars that were now being parked outside our house and next door’s house. At the end of the queue was a yellow transit series 1 so wondered if that was what my father meant. The driver exited and began to check the wheels and tyres, hitting them with a hammer etc. I was wondering about that. Then he must have come into the building because someone shouted that he was there. I quickly grabbed a few friends and made some chips. We had some cod in batter so we had cod and chips arranged and helping with this guy. We went down and met my friend and he joined us. I told him to go to telephone someone because we had a meeting arranged for this afternoon and it looked as if I was going to be unable to do it. He said “right-ho” and shot off. I thought “that’s not like him at all”. Anyway he reached the ground floor and we went over to the dance hall and began to talk to this guy. We were surrounded by a couple of young girls who were doing some dancing there. I was talking to the guy about the van. He gave me a price, which sounded quite realistic but I didn’t realise that this was his private vehicle which he only used in the winter for shovelling snow, and with a backplate on it, for towing other vehicles so I could understand the low mileage but I was worried about the treatment it had had as a towing vehicle and I wasn’t so sure about it now.

There was some dispute about the FA Cup. In the end the FA decided that they’d replay the previous round with all the clubs concerned still in it but they would give some kind of points adjustment from now on. Teams that were supposed to be really good would be given no points deduction and the lesser teams could be given as many as 12 on some kind of sliding scale. They decided that they’d play the previous round’s matches on this basis. The team for whom I played had a “minus 2” by the side of it. We went out to a game nut although we won it, it wasn’t enough to overcome the points deficit that they had. So I went back to work. People saw me come in and immediately asked about the result. I told them, and 1 or 2 people thought that it was funny as you might expect and 1 or 2 people were really seriously concerned

While I was transcribing I noticed that yesterday I was in Flagstaff, Arizona, and people were telling everyone else to be very careful about the town.

They aren’t joking either. John Bourke, the aide-de-camp of General Crook, was stationed there for a while as Crook and his army campaigned against the native Americans.

In his wonderful book ON THE BORDER WITH CROOK he describes several events and notes that "Man’s inhumanity to man is an awful thing".

It’s in Flagstaff that I had ONE OF THE STRANGEST MOMENTS OF MY LIFE, so strange and bizarre that I didn’t realise what was going on at the time. But I worked out what was going on quite quickly later on.

Anyway, this morning I came across a recording that I’d missed – a live football match featuring Caernarfon v Colwyn Bay. Of course, with no longer using social networks I don’t receive the updates and announcements that I used to.

But anyway, after years in the wilderness Colwyn Bay were unstoppable in the Cymru North division and were promoted to the Welsh Premier League this season.

However, as clubs like y FFlint, Airbus UK Broughton, Afan Lido and several others have found recently, the gulf between the second tier and the first tier is enormous, and Colwyn Bay, despite having made a few intelligent signings, are finding it tough going.

Caernarfon are renowned for having the best midfield in Wales and despite losing Noah Edwards and Rob Hughes in the summer, their replacements are even better

The defence has been rather fragile but the signing of Ben Maher and putting him alongside Dion Donohoe in the centre of defence has made them a much more formidable proposition.

Thy had no attack whatsoever last season but Jack Clarke from Chester and Adam Davies from Airbus UK Broughton, the power up front is impressive.

However there’s an injury and suspension crisis at the club right now and neither Donohoe and Maher were on the field.

The crisis has hit the goalkeepers too and between the posts was youth team keeper 16 year-old Hari Thomas. And when they have a “save on the Month” programme I’ll let you see the save that he made from Colwyn Bay midfielder Tom McCready. And if you can’t wait until the end of the month, go to 00:01:23:00 of THIS LINK.

Despite the injury and suspension problems there was really only one team in it but they made hard work of a 2-1 victory. I can’t understand why, with the signings that Caernarfon have made in the close season, why they are only 6th in the table. They should be doing much better than that.

After that, for the rest of the day while I’ve been here I’ve been dealing with the concerts that I’ve been sent from Shrewsbury, including one by Judy “I’ve Looked At Clouds” Collins – 82 years old and still able to rock a large crowd. Would you believe it?

Yes,
"So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way"

Except that it wasn’t clouds that got in my way

And
"Oh, but now old friends they’re acting strange
They shake their heads and say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day"

they are sentiments with which I can relate too.

However
"But now it’s just another show
And you leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away"

Doesn’t that bring back a few memories and regrets?

At midday I had a good wash and at 13:00 the taxi came for me to go to the Centre de Re-education. Two sessions today, one with the ergotherapist and the other with Severine on the couch.

While I was at it, I mentioned this problem with one of the medicaments and hopefully they’ll report it

There was some stuffing left over as well as the Christmas pudding, so I had a stuffed pepper today using the stuffing instead of the bulghour or quinoa that I usually use.

And do you know what? It actually worked and was delicious. Plenty left over for a taco roll tomorrow and a leftover curry on Thursday. I’m really doing well with my meals.

So now that I’ve finished my notes I’m going to bed. Tomorrow I’m at the Centre de Re-education almost all afternoon and there’s plenty of paperwork to do in the morning. I’ll be a busy bee for the next few days.

At least if keeps me out of mischief, so the story goes, But I can get into mischief regardless of any constraints. There has been years of experience.

Saturday 23rd September 2023 – AS I SAID …

… yesterday, I was going to have a quiet, relaxing day today without doing very much at all. And much to my surprise, I actually managed it too.

It was just as well because I had another miserable night last night. It took me an age to go off to sleep and then I awoke in the small hours and couldn’t go back to sleep for what seemed like an age.

However I must have gone off to sleep at some point because I awoke again later and was actually out of bed before the alarm went off. So what with all of that, I wasn’t feeling all that much like doing anything anyway.

After the medication I checked my mails and messages and then came in here for a little relax for a while. And although I didn’t actually crash out, I can’t say that I had a productive morning.

For a change today I had real sliced bread for my cheese on toast. I’d made a small loaf yesterday and if I’d have had any sheep’s eyes I would have put them in it so that it will see me through the weekend.

One thing that I have done is to transcribe the dictaphone notes. Not just from last night but from the rest of the time that I spent in Leuven too. You can read the arrears in due course when I upload them to the relevant entries, but meantime there were 4 of us last night, me on my crutches, someone in a wheelchair and 2 others. We piled into this Morris Traveller to go to the seaside. The person in the wheelchair might have been my neighbour who had her bad fall a few months ago. We arrived at the seaside and left the car, making our way as best as we could down to the promenade. There was something about staying one night here and a coupe of nights somewhere else but at this point I lost track of it all again

And then at a disciplinary meeting following an Olympic Games ice hockey match during which a female player had been sent off. She’d then been summoned before this committee for having abused the linesman and officials after the sending-off had been given. When it was announced that she was going to receive a further 10-match penalty she because exceedingly aggressive towards the committee that was disciplining her, with threats of physical violence etc. The committee then adjourned to consider taking further action.

Then I was with the 3 other people from earlier, one of whom might have been my cleaner. We’d gone for a walk around Granville. We ended up sitting on a bench overlooking the beach by the sailing school chatting about all kinds of things. I remember thinking about how bad all of this is for me when I can’t go anywhere except extremely slowly and with someone to look after me in case I fall.

There was football on the internet later in the afternoon, Caernarfon v Pontypridd. It was a dour mid-table struggle with several moments of real skill but also even more moments of less-than-skilful action.

There were several chances for each team but having in previous seasons criticised the defence of Caernarfon as being somewhat fragile, the current pairing of Dion Donohue and Phil Mooney in the centre of the defence looks as if they’ve finally found a good pairing and Wales under-21 keeper Lewis Webb didn’t have much to do.

The game was on the point of petering out as a 0-0 draw when with 5 minutes to go a deep cross into the box following a corner kick found the head of Phil Mooney to give them a victory that quite frankly I wasn’t expecting.

The strange thing was that many other referees would have disallowed the goal for a push in the box, and had the referee been better positioned on a couple of other occasions he might have blown for a couple of penalties at the other end. But he can only give what he can see.

For tea tonight I tried the silicon liners in the air fryer to make my chips. The potatoes didn’t stick and the fryer was much, much cleaner, which is a major improvement, but the food took longer to cook properly. And another thing is that I need even less oil that I’m currently using too.

So all in all, It’s a big step in the right direction.

While I was at it, I tried my various cake tins, and the smallest one fits in the air fryer. So when I come back from Paris, if I ever do, I might have a go at baking a cake in it to see what happens.

And now that I have my pudding steamer, I might even have a go at a chocolate pudding too.

But that’s for another time. Right now I’m off to bed when I’ve dictated the radio notes. Another Day of Rest tomorrow and then I’m off to Paris at some God-forsaken time on Monday morning. And I’m not looking forward to that.

Friday 1st September 2023 – FOURTEEN MINUTES …

… of added time was played at the end of the second half of the game between Caernarfon and Connah’s Quay this evening.

When a spectator ran onto the pitch after 53 minutes I thought “here we go again. A repeat of what happened at the game of Y Fflint v Caernarfon towards the end of last season”.

However, it was slightly different this evening. The fan was wildly gesticulating at the Medics’ bench and they suddenly got the message because they sprinted over to the supporter with their medical bags.

After much confusion and a lengthy waiting period, we saw the two medics helping from the ground someone who was clearly in a great amount of distress. And then the game could restart.

When I awoke this morning I was in great distress too because I’d had another turbulent night, as seems to be the pattern these days. I managed to beat the second alarm, but not by much, and then gradually dragged myself into the Land of the Living.

The 09:10 bus was late this morning and so I had to hang around in the wind for a while. But I made it to Carrefour with enough time to do some shopping for the weekend. A few bits and pieces including a couple more small peppers.

The freezer is now full of those but that’s just as well because I can’t ever find them when I want them. Giant peppers I can find by the dozen but they are too big for my air fryer. and there is too much of them anyway for a small appetite like mine.

Back here I had my coffee and cheese on toast and then attacked this back-up task that I’ve been planning.

And by now it’s all ready in principle. I just want one more hard drive for the images which I want to keep separate from everything else. There’s a spare drive bay (in fact there are two) in the array on the shelf so there’s no problem there.

While I was waiting for things to happen I transcribed the dictaphone notes. And I had a surprise visitor. I’d been round to Stoke on Trent to talk to someone whom I used to know. Just at that moment Zero came back home. She went into the house and came out on a scooter, a 3-wheeled thing where you put both feet on and push yourself off and go whizzing down the hill. Her mother ran after her and I ran after her too. Then her mother was on a bike and I ran. She shouted at me “come on Eric, keep up”. I thought “there’s no way that I could keep up with people going at this speed the way I am”. She reached the bottom of the hill, turned round and came back up, came up alongside me, stopped and jumped off She said “get on, we’re going to ..” I thought she said “Meir” so I replied “that’s miles away”. “No” she replied” My house nearby”. She shot off and I chased after her on the scooter thing.

Mind you, I didn’t catch her. Even in the ethereal world she manages to keep well out of the way of my evil clutches as, as regular readers of this rubbish will recall, so does TOTGA.

That wasn’t the only excitement of the night either. I’d been away somewhere and then come back with a load of clothes etc all of which I’d washed and hung up. We were a big family living in this house, sleeping anywhere. We didn’t so much have bedrooms allocated. I slept on the sofa in the living room and my chest of drawers of clothes was behind it. Someone whom I knew came and began to disrupt my entire routine. I had to go to have a shower. The first thing that I needed was some clothes so I went to fetch some but the only top that I could find was a thermal vest top. I thought “never mind – I’ll take that”. My mother asked me if I was taking that. I replied “yes”. Once I’d climbed over this rubbish and back to my settee I had to climb back because I needed my deodorant etc to take with me into the bathroom. The visitor was ever so confused about what was happening and so I think was everyone else including me.

Later on I was looking for clothes for one of my 3D figures. I’d just uploaded a whole pile of brand-new stuff and the folders weren’t sorted out correctly as I would like so things were in a bit of a mess. I wasn’t quite sure where I should be looking to find the item of clothing that I wanted my figure to wear. This meant that I was going to have to start to do a big organisation of all of that but I certainly didn’t feel like it at this time of the morning when I’d been asleep.

I’d also invented some kind of leg brace to improve the posture on young girls, like a V_shape with holders at the open end of the V in which you’d put your legs so your legs were always a constant distance apart and could only go forwards and backwards so much. This was intended to keep their composure and poise while walking. They could buy one for use at home if they didn’t have access to one during the day

Finally, and depressingly, I was with my family last night, a whole bunch of them. Everyone was there and many more besides. My youngest sister was marrying and I’d been invited to the wedding. I didn’t want to go but I couldn’t find a good excuse to turn it down. There was some pre-wedding meeting. I’d finished doing a taxi job so I went. From the freezer I brought some things that I’d cooked to take with me as some kind of offering, only to find that they’d leaked in the car. I arrived and everyone tried to hoist onto me the job of giving my sister away. I flatly refused, saying that it’s my father’s job. He was unwilling because he wasn’t very confident. I just didn’t want to become involved at all in any respect other than to be there and then only reluctantly. I was telling my father that he’d been working up his life for giving away his daughter and there he was, “bang!” she’s gone and I’ve given her away. Everyone looked at me, outraged, when I said that. But I added “well, that’s what the gist of it is, isn’t it?”. It wasn’t very popular at all but then again neither am I.

So much for all of that. After the sunshine comes the rain, as we all very well know.

Tea tonight was chips from the air fryer with vegan salad and some of those nuggets. Eaten quickly because of the football.

Caernarfon were second in the table, unbeaten so far this season, and Connah’s Quay were uncharacteristically quite low down having been swept aside by TNS the other week and then beaten by Y Bala. So we were expecting a really tough match

The Cofis, having been known for their flaky defence for the past few seasons, had been playing much better this season and had been the main reason why their team was second in the table, so no-one expected them to fold up so dramatically.

Although they had their moments in the attack, they didn’t amount to anything and conceded four of the sloppiest goals that I have seen ever since Aberystwyth shipped a miserable bagful against TNS 9 months ago.

A 0-4 home defeat was a disaster and they are going to have to do much better than they did tonight.

But not right now because I’m off to bed. Shopping tomorrow but I won’t need much Rosemary gave me a quick ring this evening just before kick-off so she’s going to ring me tomorrow. I’ll have to lay in some supplies though as it will be a long phone call.

Sunday 13th August 2023 – SO WHILE WE’RE WAITING …

… for my webhost to upgrade the *.php version to correspond with the latest *.sql configuration, we’ll continue the notes ready for upgrading.

And despite not going to bed until about 02:30 this morning, I was still up and about at 10:00 this morning and had I forced myself, I could have been up even earlier. But let’s not go berserk on a Sunday, hey?

It took me a while to wind myself up ready for work but once I was feeling up to it (which takes much longer than it really ought to) I made a start on the radio programme.

What with one thing and another (and once you make a start, you’ve no idea how many other things there are) it took me all day to finish one of them. I dictated the other set of notes last night too but I haven’t even started on that lot yet

It’s probably due to the fact that there was so much stuff on the dictaphone. I had a really busy night last night. A was working for a French radio company last night. We’d prepared a whole series of programmes. As they started, we found that there were changes to be made. One was the introduction to the programme. It needed someone to say something like “it’s now 09:00 and the following programme is ..” whatever. We decided that I’d do that. I picked up a microphone and one or two other things then set off on my motorbike and sidecar down Bedford Street into Gresty Road and headed out of Crewe. I’d no idea what time it was etc but it looked like the correct time so I pulled off the road onto a footpath where I could park a 2-wheeled vehicle. I had to force my way down the track on this motorbike and sidecar, damaging pillars etc until I came to the other end of the parking area where there was somewhere to park. I began to make my announcement but I couldn’t remember what to say at first. I had to give the matter a great deal of thought. Someone else had to help me with that. But the idea of recording all of these introductions then just pressing the relevant button before the programme began just didn’t enter into my head.

The people in these provocative tee-shirts set out, the Americans, these people for 24 hours, the British being much more polite. The people set out on this kind-of race. At the radio station we had to manage to cover it somehow but we had no real equipment and very little time spare left over, and not much size on the radio station’s internet storage on which to store it all. Whatever all that is about, I really don’t know.

There was also the question of the English boy’s vest and pants didn’t fit. They had to break into somewhere and steal another one, much to the annoyance of the Welsh tutor and that’s all that I can remember.

Then I was having another dream in French just now about all this food that was to be eaten at this horror show party. A mother cat came along and brought her kittens one by one. When she thought that each kitten had had enough to eat she took it out of the bowl where the food was, take it somewhere else and fetch another kitten, repeating the process. It was really interesting to watch, the way this mother was making sure that all of her kittens had enough food to eat without overdoing anything.

Later on when these important people took to the stage I began to dream in Welsh to present them. It’s all happening here.

I was back with my cats playing American Football again. I had a cat n°11 who was complaining that he had a stone in his eye. That was presumably while he’d been acting like a wild thing during the earlier stages of the game. Once more I’m missing loads of this dream that I knew happened but I can’t remember as soon as I picked up the dictaphone.

Then there was a discussion about the Saudi Arabian football team and their n°11. Sure enough he was the first name on the screen, a description about him and how he was going to be their star player during their next World Cup adventures.

Finally I was with my father and someone else. The other person and I had come into our village by coming through the mountains on an old road that was all overgrown with brambles and weeds etc. It had taken ages. We passed several old roads on the way that looked extremely interesting. When we met my father we recounted our journey so he asked us to take him. We agreed and set off back, fought our way back all the way up the hill through a forest, undergrowth etc. We came to a spot where someone’s back garden of a house backed onto the path. Those people were in there having a party. I told my father “what we’ll do is to climb over the hedge here, push those big weeds around there and climb over the one there and not take any notice or pay any attention to the people in their back garden”. We explained the procedures so he replied “fair enough”. He’d noticed a post box and said “I have to post a letter. I’ve already written it, it’s in an envelope with a stamp. Seeing as there’s a post box here I’ll put it in there”. I said “well ok but this is the kind of box that’s only emptied once every Preston Guild. You want at least to make sure when the next connection will be otherwise it could be in here for ever”.

It’s hardly surprising that it took ages to type out all of that. It’s even more surprising that I was up and about so early too

There was football on the internet too this afternoon so as well as trying to resolve my web-hosting issues I was watching the football – Colwyn Bay v Caernarfon in Colwyn Bay’s beautiful, modernised stadium.

Colwyn Bay’s first match in the Premier League watched by the biggest crowd in North Wales for several years, and they were treated to a full-blooded affair with no holds barred. A proper North Wales derby.

For the first hour or so Colwyn Bay had the upper hand although Caernarfon had far too many old hands on the field to be caught out and were actually leading 1-0.

But then lack of experience, lack of concentration and a few silly mistakes undid them and Caernarfon rattled in 3 more goals quite quickly and the game petered out.

If the final whistle had gone after an hour, Colwyn Bay could have been quite satisfied about their prospects for the rest of the season but how quickly the fell away at the end is bound to be a source of worry for the manager and the team.

But right now I’m going to worry about my Welsh course tomorrow, my *.php coding and whether I’m going to have a good night’s sleep. I need to make the most of whatever time I have in bed if I want to be fighting fit in the morning.

Tuesday 23rd May 2023 – REMEMBER YESTERDAY …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 22nd April 2023 – I HAVE SEEN …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday 19th April 2023 – MY LEFTOVER CURRY …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday 8th April 2023 – THAT WAS DISAPPOINTING

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

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

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

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

Just like my night, really.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It will be interesting to say the least.

Saturday 21st January 2023 – MY EXCITING LIFE …

… reached its apogee today

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday 23rd December 2022 – I’VE HAD ANOTHER …

… miserable, depressing, dismal day today.

This is probably the worst that I’ve had for years. Not only did I fail dismally to beat the second alarm, I have spent most of the day curled up on my seat not moving, and even asleep for considerable periods.

The fact is that moving is so much effort. That’s part of the problem. Instead of things easing up the more I walk, things seem to be deteriorating. Being in an awkward position with my right leg, I now have aches in my right foot that weren’t there before.

And when I try to ease the knee joint, I just have a pain in my back. So I’ve no idea what’s happening here.

And just walking around is becoming pretty much impossible. I may well have treated myself to a shopping trolley but I wonder if I’m going to have the opportunity to use it.

Having said yesterday how much of a better night I’d had and how much I was looking forward to another one, it goes without saying that last night was quite miserable and is probably the reason why I was so exhausted.

Although I was asleep early, I wasn’t asleep for long and spent several hours later tossing and turning around trying to make myself comfortable – without any appreciable degree of success. It ws for that reason that I wasn’t rushed to leave the bed this morning, although any excuse will probably do.

As for work and the like, all I’ve done today is to have a shower, cut my hair (the first time since late September) and ice my sponge cake. The icing didn’t work particularly well, but then again it never really does. I don’t have the hang of doing the icing. However with having let the cake cool down overnight, at least the icing didn’t go all over the place and slide off.

The chemist came as well and brought me a couple more injections. With there being an increased doze, the price has gone through the roof.

Tea tonight was pasta with falafel and it was quite delicious as usual. The freezer is slowly thinning out and if I’m not careful I might even be able to fit these frozen carrots in there instead of leaving them in the ridge’s freezer compartment. I’m really going to have to buy a different, bigger freezer.

Next plan was to type out the dictaphone notes. I was somewhere in Europe planning on travelling. It was the mdweek sometime and there were a few people loitering around who were travelling too. We ended up standing by a bus stop somewhere in the street. Far below us, lower down in the street, a door opened and a train came through. I said to these people that if they want to catch a train they were standing in the wrong place. This is a bus station. We all picked up our things and moved a bit further down the hill where this other group of people were waiting. There was a huge crowd there. This train pulled in and I swarmed on board. I couldn’t see any of these other people so I wondered if they were all having some kind of fun at my expense or whether they were still going by bus regardless or something. I felt that I was the only one of this group of people who had been together at the beginning who had actually boarded. Someone else said something and I realised that a girl and her daughter had boarded the train too. The train set off and I was having to stand going to Montreal, that I had to stand until 23:00 tomorrow. For some reason we ended up around a Council estate in Crewe, the Brookhouse Drive estate, on foot. We were heading towards another bus stop. I was taking this girl and her daughter. I knew all the short cuts so I was taking them through these short cuts on this council estate. She said “we’ll get well ahead of all the others by the time we reach the bus stop”. We were having to go somewhere like Wybunbury or Audlem or Market Drayton. I couldn’t remember the times of the buses but I thought that even if there wasn’t a direct bus we could take a bus from here that would take us to Nantwich and then work our way on from that way to see how we could progress. But I was certain that we’d make progress and quite rapidly too going like this.

Later on I stepped right back into this dream again. We’d been on this train and I alighted at some point with this woman and her daughter. We were walking towards the bus stop to catch the bus to go the rest of the way. I remember hoping that my leg would hold out because I was starting to have these pains and cramps in my right leg again, the type that I have been having. I thought that this isn’t really the time to go down with a cramp like this when we are in between bus stops in a rush to catch the bus to take us further on.

And then I can’t remember very much about this but there was a woman who had run down some animal or something. She was extremely distraught. Some of my friends from Canada were in it but I don’t know why or what they were doing

Finally we had football. Y Fflint v Caernarfon. Y Fflint are on a woeful run despite having looked really good at the start of the season. They took the lead early in the game but gradually Caernarfon pulled themselves back into the game and equalised after 55 minutes.

But what a different story it might have been had the two stonewall penalties that I would have awarded to Y Fflint had been awarded by the referee. In fact I was convinced that there were times when I was convinced that the referee was officiating at a different game to the one that I was watching.

With 20 minutes to go, a couple of substitutions on either side ignited the game and we were treated to a really exciting spell of football as the game swung from one end to the other. A deciding goal was well on the cards but it was all a case of who would score it as either team looked quite likely.

Y Fflint’s centre forward from the Cote d’Ivoire had missed a couple of good chances and when another of his attempts was well-blocked by Josh Tibbetts in the Caernarfon’s goal just as we came up to injury time, I thought “here we go again” but Akpa-Akpro stuck out a foot and just about managed to divert it back to the far post where Larnell Cole sidefooted it into the net.

So justice was done because Y Fflint were in my opinion the better side and deserved something from the game, especially after some of the decisions that went again them.

Tomorrow I have to summon up some energy and tidy up as I’m expecting visitors. I’ve no idea how I’m going to do this after the past couple of days but I’ll have to do my best. Let’s hope that my best is good enough.