Thursday 31 December 2015

Bradgate park adventure

The day started still, bright and sunny so we opted for a brisk walk in Bradgate park, as did approximately half the population of Leicester, their children and their dogs. To say it was busy was an understatement. The weather turned windier and considerably colder so we abandoned our plan to eat lunch at the park cafe, which was full to capacity, and return home where lunch was consumed prior to a sleepy afternoon.

Wednesday 30 December 2015

Blood tests and op discussions

Early blood test appointment ( GP ) and an afternoon chat regarding future operations ( hospital ) which covers my diabetes and tumours treatment. 
Today is fine with gusty , cold winds.
We met Dr Boddy  who showed us a scan of my suspected gist, but until the endoscopy results they cannot be sure. They plan to do the internal scan in January, perhaps grab a cell or two and then decide future actions from there. It does not seem too serious but because of my history they are taking no chances.

Tuesday 29 December 2015

Good news and Staunton Harold church

Leicester hospital phoned this morning. They suspect I have a benign tumour attached to the stomach exterior and have arranged an appointment for further checks tomorrow. Overall very good news.
Arsenal beat Bournmouth to go top of the league again last night. 
Staunton Harold church "through the keyhole"
We opted to wedge all 5 of us into our little car and visit a vast estate and stately home at nearby Staunton Harold in very warm sunshine. Owen took the above photo through the estate church keyhole as the church was not open today. Beyond the window is the lake, estate gardens and garden centre. Our trip was curtailed by me suffering exhaustion and an overdose of wobbly legs, culmination of several active days.

Monday 28 December 2015

Watermead park and a fire by road

For today we've opted to visit a nature reserve at Watermead Park by road rather than by  boat. We spent a couple of hours walking around the lake, admiring the waterfowl and a model of a mammoth ( the bones of one were found as they dug the lake apparently ). In addition there were explosions and a big fire at a nearby industrial estate to help keep us entertained. We returned home knackered before darkness descended. The fire featured on the BBC news.

Saturday 26 December 2015

Feel good day until the football

I missed saying goodbye to Chloe by about 2 seconds very early this morning, but the rest of the day was good, including a reasonable walk and appetite. However, in the evening Arsenal failed to turn up for their match with Southampton and got thrashed 4......0.    No, you have not miss-read it, 4.......0.
It was probably their worst performance of the season. Typical..Arsenal. Get top of the league and play absolute rubbish. A bit like a Morris Marina in a Grand Prix.

Friday 25 December 2015

Christmas Day

The lack of young children allowed us a relatively relaxed Christmas Day, having a lay in till 0900 hrs. We now have Chloe staying with us until her return to duty in London Boxing Day, having mutually agreed with Paul to go their own ways. Lynne bought me a new shaver and some unique glass place mats spelling John. The Panasonic shaver replaces an antique Bosch one long past the end of it's effective life.
I have been feeling relatively good for a few days now,despite the family shananagins and my shock  pre Christmas illness news. My head is obviously in a good place and long may it last.

Thursday 24 December 2015

A blue night

Not my best night's sleep for a long time, largely due to my current predicament, healthwise. Thoughts of finishing my book and  adding dedications, but the list is endless. So many people have influenced my life in positive ways, some still around, others long gone, unfortunately, but all worthy of a mention.
Still no word  or cheque from MCC 
Happy Christmas to all my readers, where ever you are and have a wonderful New Year.

Wednesday 23 December 2015

Winter sunshine

A bright, sunny morning but cold. We are waiting for health and family conflict updates and the arrival of Margaret and Bob for their Xmas stay, so everything on hold for a while. The Beatles "In my life" is my stuck in the head tune for today, which is pleasant enough although the Bette Midler cover I always consider the best version

Monday 21 December 2015


Having blasted the diabetic consultant for not confirming my scan results prior to going on leave,Lynne received a late night phone call from the hospital saying I now have a gist in my stomach area. According to my research a gist is a small cancerous tumour, easily removed via surgery, but not good news.  
Lynne said this morning she had contacted Santa complaining she had requested humour, not tumour, which even made me smile a little.
Lots happening on the family front, all about relationship issues, so we're playing agony aunts this morning.
The hospital phoned again and the treatment wheels are already in motion, which is encouraging. First thing is an endoscopy, apparently, just to confirm where and what size the tumour is.

Sunday 20 December 2015

Family Xmas meal

We are all meeting for a family Xmas meal ( for 16 ),painstakingly arranged by Chloe at a pub/restaurant deep in the wilds of Hertfordshire. Getting everyone together is no mean feat, so congratulations all round.
All 16 arrived and took over the pub/restaurant. The meal was OK and the service less so, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and the afternoon flew by. We returned to Anstey with Joel and Sophie and quickly warmed the house whilst catching up on the Manchester news

Saturday 19 December 2015

A day in the country

Lynne and Chloe spent the afternoon in a spa near Luton whilst I took two corgis for a country walk. A very successful day overall.

Friday 18 December 2015

Blink and you miss it day.

A very warm day for the time of year ( tee shirts near Christmas ? ) but mind- boggling fast. Although I was stranded at Chloe's for some considerable time  with no door keys and not a hope in hell of re entry if I ventured out. What would I do for tea ? Lynne had promised me trip to the noodle shop but with time getting on and no contact, with injection/meal time looming one of my panics set in and I managed  to locate Lynne in an old friends place ( by phone), who confirmed our original arrangements stood. Within minutes we were off for very welcome noodles, from where we decided to see if we could find my Original rowing coach, who lives nearby. Somehow we succeeded in finding his house, but understandably he was out, by which time both Lynne and I were exhausted, having left Leicester very early this morning.
We made it to Chloe's by which time Lynne was clearly too tired to drive and we collapsed into bed.

Thursday 17 December 2015

Old friends

Steve and his wife Gina popped in for lunch yesterday from their home in Leeds. Steve and I have been very good friends since meeting at Hertfordshire College of Horticulture in the 1960's, subsequently moving on to Askham Bryan College of horticulture near York. He was best man at my first and second   wedding and I returned the compliment several years later. Whilst not living in each other's pockets we have always supported each other through life's ups and downs.

Tuesday 15 December 2015

A new scan

Another wet and miserable day. Leicester hospital had arranged yet another body scan, although this was a different type and very quick. I guess I will receive the results next week, an early Christmas present. 

Monday 14 December 2015

A dry day and not alone

For the first time in living memory it is not raining. Whoopee.
Lynne is home and I managed to cook an edible dinner of chicken steaks.carrots and potatoes. Whoopee.
No great plans for today but I might take advantage of the dryness and catch up on some gardening.
Arsenal are top of the league yet again, subject to the result of the chelski v Leicester match this afternoon. With matches virtually daily it is difficult keeping track of things at present. If Leicester win they go top again.
Leicester won.

Saturday 12 December 2015

Confused, or what? And Nokia.

Up and about at 05.30 this morning with my right leg giving pain for some unfathomable reason, but the reliable Paracetamol sorted that within minutes. Strangely I could have sworn Lynne was here last night, but no sign this morning, although she normally leaves later than this. No doubt all will be clarified when I speak to her later. I think I must be down to my last memory cell. Morris Marina. Checked my diary and today seems to be free, so, apart from getting something for my lunch and dinner  I can take life easy. Famous last words? 
My Morris Marina day continued, although this time it was not me with bits falling off. Firstly the bedroom phone has packed up. My dodgy leg is still dodgy so it took me forever to get downstairs to find my ringing mobile, which I keep threatening to throw in the bin. Nokia were recently taken over by Microsoft who have tinkered around with the previous cheapest version. "My"phone  I loved, so when it finally packed up I bought a new one, but unfortunately Microsoft had "improved " it. The damn thing is useless. Do not buy one. Making a text is a major event, as is every other function. i suspect Microsoft want me to buy a mega- expensive all singing and dancing model of their own make. I hope they are holding their breath. Wait for the headlines about the entire Microsoft top management dying of asphyxiation.

Windy again

Today started wet but has now turned to gale force winds once again, so I do not plan to venture far.
Lynne sneaked off to London today so i intend playing music home alone and cooking whatever she has prepared for  dinner , although I need to purchase something for myself tomorrow at some stage. Luckily the Co-Op supermarket is only a short walk away ( in distance, not time in my present physical state.)

Friday 11 December 2015

Morris Marina

The Morris Marina was a supposed replacement for the much loved Morris Minor built by British Leyland between 1971 until 1980. It was really constructed of various old British Leyland parts found lying around the factory and as a consequence was old fashioned, ugly and unreliable. I awoke this morning feeling like a Morris Marina,with mechanical and body parts failing left, right and centre, my right eye being the latest of many. I get patched up each time and relaunched on life,'s highway until the next part inevitably fails. 

Thursday 10 December 2015

Tv repair

Thanks once again to our family for putting us up, or should that be putting up with us?
Anyway, it's always nice to return home, albeit for a short time. The TV repair man is due today and I hope to get my hair cut (which one ? Lynne always asks .) 
Arsenal remain in the European Cup following a sensational 3.  -   0 win over the Greek champions last night, a brilliant performance. My mood has improved ten- fold.
MCC have been instructed by the court to repay the cost of boat repairs and legal costs before Christmas , subject to appeal. A pleasing and fast response, but I will be amazed if I get payment without the need for court bailiffs, knowing MCC as I do.
It was my annual diabetic eye check today. For many years my right eye has been deteriorating very slowly, but much quicker in the past year it seems. My left eye has always been no problem and continues to be so. I should get the report soon after Xmas but I would guess I will need to see a hospital optician and be issued glasses.  Whatever next will go wrong physically ?
Due to my eye check running half an hour late I missed the Tv repair man. The problem was due to the Sky box needing updating, which was done and all seems to be OK now.

Wednesday 9 December 2015

WWF party

The annual World Wildlife Fund Bromley Supporters Group Xmas party ( I use the word loosely) was held last night. Basically a get-together of the surviving core members of the extremely successful fund raising group of the late 1900's, this year it was held at a new venue near Bromley. As a founder  member and  ex Group Secretary I never miss this event,even though now living in Leicester. It gives everyone a chance to meet and   swop old memories of "the good old days", when we were the biggest fund-raising group in the UK.
The sat-nav lost us in South London so we were extremely late getting home.Lynne is working again and I will bus to Hounslow later for the return trip to Leicester.
In the event Chloe gave me a lift to Hounslow and Lynne and I promptly journeyed home without problem.

Tuesday 8 December 2015

Lost in Hounslow

We set off for London very early but stopped on the M1 near Luton for 2 hours caused by a car and Lorry crashing and igniting. Hence the normal 2 hour journey was doubled. Fortunately there were no injuries, unless you class bum-ache as one.
Before I headed home to Chloe's by bus I ventured to McDonalds for lunch and promptly got lost in Hounslow, occasionally phoning Lynne for some idea of my whereabouts.As a result the half hour trip took over 2 hours and caused virtual exhaustion, but Lynne's boss sensibly suggested I waited in the shop for when Lynne finished for the day ,which was a considerable relief. God only knows where I would have ended up asleep on that bloody bus ! 
Today was leisurely, resting at Chloe's. Apart from falling out of the bath/shower without injury or damage to furnishings the day proved uneventful.

Sunday 6 December 2015

Early start

In contrast to yesterday today had an 0600 start which meant me being dropped at the wedding shop and making my own way to Toleworth by bus and train  ( it's too complicated to explain, let alone undertake ). Wish me luck. 

Late start

My second sleep ended around 10am,confirmed by the obvious daylight. My quick calculations and a certain amount of guesswork last night resulted in excellent blood sugar results, which boosted my morale considerably and successfully returned me to my 62 year routine.

Saturday 5 December 2015

24 hour clock

Lynne watched the X Factor final ( it seems to go on forever ) on the tiny iPad screen whilst I listened from a discreet distance, falling asleep in the process, causing considerable confusion when I awoke around 10 pm.I was convinced I had administered my long-term overnight insulin dose and "supper", noting it in my record book. However, Lynne was unconvinced, so several minutes of confusion reigned. I was convinced it was 10 in the morning but obviously not supported by the darkness outside,in which case had I missed my overnight injection ? I have only been diabetic for 62 years, after all. Several blood tests failed to give a clue so eventually I settled on an agreed compromise of a chocolate biscuit and Coca Cola, plus an early morning blood sugar reading. Thus here I am at 05.30 doing just that. My readings ( twice for reassurance ) proved average, but at least I am back on schedule with no harm done, which is reassuring, but worrying all the same. Back to bed and an ambition to purchase a 24 hour clock.

Gales and more gales

The bright sunshine this morning cunningly disguised the warm gale force winds which meant merely standing outside proved a challenge for me and driving to the marina equally challenging for Lynne.     It was a definite non-cruising day, for sure. However, as much as yesterday was a"bad" day for me, today proved a "good" day, for no definable reason. My counsellor Chris has written a very detailed and accurate letter to Leicestershiire's top NHS neuro- Psychologist outlining my problems to see if he can help in any way.
The boat was fine but we, because of the strong winds, opted not to adjust the ties. John the fitter will attend to them when winterising Tardis Two within the next few days, but in the meantime there is not a problem.

Friday 4 December 2015

Walk off the earth

Another TV - less day. We were supposed to have gone food shopping, but after getting up early ( for me) and dressing ready to go out it was suggested I needed a shave. However, by the time that was completed (5 minutes) my shopping transport had gone so I sit here writing today's blog listening to Walk off  the Earth.

Thursday 3 December 2015

More radio 5

Lynne had as much success as me with the TV but thanks to John Lewis we discovered a few days of the 3 year guarantee remains. An engineer will visit in a week's time, armed with a temporary replacement in case he cannot fix it. Another week of radio 5 looms ,although we can catch the odd tv programme on the iPad if we need to escape the cold turkey.
It's raining again. We have the lights on indoors,as much to cheer the mood, as imitate sunlight.
Lynne's commute from London took 5 hours last night due to a series of M1 accidents and inevitable hold ups. 

Wednesday 2 December 2015

The Arsenal syndrome

Today was day something or other of my latest home alone sequence where despite having little to do my injury list mysteriously increases - known as the Arsenal syndrome. Today was particularly windy which severely hampered my getting out and about. Unsteady on legs, hills and gale force gusts are not an ideal mix. At times the only things keeping me upright were garden fences and/or railings. Lynne had requested from afar I collect a dozen or so Bramley apples from Derek's garden, a simple enough job in normal circumstances, but the aforementioned issues made it the equivalent of an African foot safari for me. Exhausted but unscathed I eventially returned home, leaving part two of the safari ( to the Co Op ) for later. On paper part two appears a doddle, but transferred to real up-hill terrain with in-your-face gales it  became a feat of sheer endurance, fortunately successfully completed although I collapsed on the settee for an hour or so of sleep once home.
To complete the weekend the TV packed up, leaving me with radio 5. Whoopee.  

Tuesday 1 December 2015

November/December. Spot the difference.

December started just as wet as November ended. The joint counselling session went well , indicating I may be at rock bottom depression-wise,which was no surprise to me but a shock to Lynne, who chose to take sole responsibility,for some unknown reason. Her solution is to allow space between us starting today as she is off to London again for a few days. I am fairly convinced she expects me to whither away, left to my own devices. But we shall see.

Sunday 29 November 2015

Party aftermath

The "party" went well until things got a bit lively, when we decided to leave, apparently just before the police arrived to part two fighting ladies throwing cup cakes at each other !     
In torrential rain and very high winds we returned home late afternoon

Saturday 28 November 2015

Party preface

One of the girls at the wedding shop is leaving today after long service so a "leaving do" has been arranged. Lynne is working today but aims to pick me up later from Chloe's, with train and bus back-up if necessary. What could possibly go wrong?

Friday 27 November 2015

Pre-party trip south

A wet day,mostly spent in bed.Lynne disappeared for a"quick" visit to Julie,but by the time she returned I was so fast asleep apparently she was unable to wake me. I could have been unconscious or dead? Suffice to say we left for London later than Lynne originally planned,for which I got the blame.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Signs of stress

Barring yet more errors in form filling the court papers are on their way. If I could quantify and afford to sue MCC for stress caused by their incompetence and billigerence I could be richer than Paul Mc Cartney and they would be out of business, but I now at least I have a boat that works and the stress is a thing of the past. (Fingers crossed).
Filling, re-filling the forms and filing the paperwork really created problems and frustration for me, something that was second nature to me prior to my last bout of treatment, but I have reached my new limitations, which, once accepted, will ensure I can at least enjoy the rest of my life?????

Wednesday 25 November 2015


A great nights sleep and the printer fixed, so we're back in business for the court papers, due to be posted later today ( fingers crossed ). Would you believe they have changed the court forms so we have had to re-do them all. With the fee-cheque attached they have been re-submitted, so hopefully we are now only awaiting a court date in Leicester. Talk about stressful. MCC will not be receiving an Xmas card from us.( as per usual ). The boat was supposed to be relaxing and stress free. If only.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

More dark dreams

Lynne arrived home early yesterday following yet another change of work plan, but no surprises there. I have  given up caring about changed plans to be honest 
Had another night of dark dreams but I managed to lie-in till 10.00 a m to catch up on lost sleep.

Sunday 22 November 2015

Dark dreams

 restless night with dark dreams featuring Hitler, Idi Amin, "Dances with Wolves","Soldier Blue" and. Hannibal Lecter in jumbled sequences together with "Forest Gump" and "Searching for Private Ryan", all part of my search for the original me and backed by "In my life" Beatles, "City of Dreams" Talking Heads, "Queen of Hollywood" Coors,"Vincent"Don McLean. Strange eh? I feel  I have lost track of the original me,replaced almost by a soul less cardboard cutout which has no great appeal to me,let alone anyone else. What I'm trying to decipher is what caused the change ? The treatment, my age, or what and is it irreversible?

What snow ?

Yesterday's snow only survived while it was snowing and disappeared as quick as it arrived, before most residents even awoke. I should have taken a photo as most people I mentioned it to immediately blamed the bump on my head. Having said that, it was only Lynne's ridiculously early departure that ensured I saw it at all.
My plans for today have yet to form but may include gardening or perhaps walking ? But now the cheque book has miraculously appeared I feel compelled to use it, having re-checked the court papers. I've managed to use check or cheque 3 times in the same sentence

Friday 20 November 2015

Problems resolved?

It is snowing this morning as Lynne sets off for a weekends work in London. Fortunately it is not settling as the ground was warmed by our recent mild temperatures, although conditions for driving are far from ideal, but who am I to argue? The "differences of opinion " issues appear to have been settled and better understood but for the record we are not destitute and/or broke. Neither are we in the Richard Branson income bracket. No further comment.


No, nothing to do with terrorists. A letter received from the consultant I entertained a couple of weeks  ago to which I wished to reply mysteriously disappeared,only reappearing after a heated exchange and a weak explanation. Similarly a request for a replacement cheque book from HMBC seems to have disappeared into the ether. A cheque is essential to progress our case against MCC but my guess is this action is no longer "required", but time is running out. It seems I need to restart the process, which takes at least a week at the best of times, 

Thursday 19 November 2015

All doom and gloom

The World news is all doom and gloom at present, what with the Paris terrorist attack, plus a local schoolgirl murder where it has taken our police over a week to find the body, but arrests have been made. In France there have been numerous arrests, extremely speedily. They don't muck about out there, you're either arrested or shot dead.
Despite all this, my personal mood is quite good, the bees are a distant memory,as are fuzzy heads.
My eye has repaired fairly well and now is a normal colour and size and appears to work well.
It's raining again.

Sunday 15 November 2015

Post terror liver scan.

As predicted the EU is running around like headless chickens, although I accept the analogy  is far from ideal. They know where the IS armies/leaders are and they have the means to remove them, but getting all governments to agree actions is like banging heads against brick walls, or pavements in my case. Speaking of which my eyes are much better and the stitches are due out this afternoon.
Removing them proved problematical, due to an unfortunate over-use of glue by the stitching surgeon who managed to add my bushy eyebrow's into the equation. 1of the 3 stitches still remains whilst my eyebrow now has a quiff stiffly fixed in place. I am afraid to enquire how it will be resolved.
Had all my internal organs ultra scanned this morning on behalf of my new, razor sharp diabetic consultant. Results pending.

Saturday 14 November 2015

Paris terror attacks

With reports of at least 108 deaths in Paris caused by terrorist attacks and France having closed it's borders the news was not good this morning, inevitable, but not good. Is this the beginning of the end of the Economic Union ?  I personally hope so, but I knew the politicians would  never make the decision unprompted. People power. In this case a group of religious fanatics, but People power all the same.
This morning my face has returned to nearer it's original shape and colour. 

Friday 13 November 2015

The Michael Jackson phenomena

Having watched Michael  change from black to white over many years, I appear to be doing the opposite over a matter of days, starting with my face and eyes. My left eye, previously unaffected by my argument with the pavement has now decided to swell and turn black whilst my right eye refuses to reverse into white, perhaps waiting for the 3 stitches and second "spray-on skin" to be removed in 4 days time. Needless to say I look far more of a mess than usual, even though I managed to shave this morning . No Hollywood starring role for me then, unless they intend making yet another of the Rocky series.
With a new alternator and battery the car appears to perform well, although the expense has tipped us back into negative equity, just as my prospective " publisher" is beginning to put excessive pressure on me to complete the book and ridiculously produce a huge contribution towards it's production costs.
Slum dog  millionaire springs to mind. Or perhaps I can assume a pseudonym? Something like Geoffrey Archer?

Thursday 12 November 2015

All things bright and beautiful

I have slept well  since my accident and the weather has taken a turn for the better, with bright sunshine greeting my late bed exit. My mood has brightened also. Only slightly worsened by Lynne informing me I now look like a panda  as my left eye is starting to blacken. 

Wednesday 11 November 2015

The morning after

After a surprisingly good nights sleep I awoke with a hideous black right eye, fully closed, a sore right thigh and a clear head. Apart from  some small grazes on my left hand that was the sum total of my previous battle with the pavement.

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Car maladies

The car failed to start again, involving another visit by Green Flag. The first guy had diagnosed a dodgy battery, later overruled by a battery dealer. However, this latest guy once again blamed the battery, but also found an intermittent fault with the alternator. I asked him to leave the engine running so we could get the car to a garage. He completed a report for the garage where we managed to leave the car, who promised to investigate, but not today.
We're talking once again and I intend doing a little gardening. My book publisher is starting to hassle me for completion, so I have more than enough to keep me busy, helped by the fact I have got through the recent "fuzzy head"  stage.
I intended doing about one and a half hours of gardening, which I did. However walking home down the hill I became aware of my legs struggling to keep up with my body. As my pace increased I was also aware of me shouting "slow down" loudly and repeatedly until I collided with the pavement and a lamppost,with a very sore head and laying in a pool of blood. Remarkably I was quickly surrounded by a group of "locals" , all kindly offering to help, one of whom phoned an ambulance, while another phoned Lynne, who was on site within seconds followed very quickly by a blue-lighted ambulance. My blood sugar was low so the paramedics concentrated on stabilising that before heading for Leicester Royal Infirmary Accident and Emergency department. I have been very critical of it in the past but tonight they surpassed themselves. We only waited about an hour to get in and the wound above my right eye was quickly cleaned, 3 stitches added and a dressing applied. Even so it was mid evening before we had dinner at home,Derek having kindly given us a lift,otherwise it would have been a very late night.

Monday 9 November 2015

Hospital by bus

Another silent morning, crowned by the car failing to start again. I diagnosed a starter motor problem as it was being moved by the battery but not engaging the engine (I should point out I am not a mechanic ). The battery had been proclaimed as A1 by a Halfords manager the previous day. Another Green Flag call-out looms. So my hospital visit was made by bus. The journey there was lengthy but largely uneventful,whilst the exact opposite was true of the return trip. Having been directed to the "correct" bus stop across the road by the bus driver, half an hour later we were directed back where we started by the bus driver( a different one ). Halfway back to Beaumont leas the driver parked on a bus stop where a "relief driver" was supposed to be waiting to return the bus to the depot, but he wasn't. After an exchange of views over the phone with his boss our driver agreed to drop off his remaining passengers and return the bus to the depot,presumably before finishing his shift. This he did by driving off-route at very high speeds and dropping his 10 remaining passengers as near to where they wanted to get, very politely. We were too far off route for a trip home but he dropped us off at another bus stop where we could get a bus home as we have free OAP bus passes. Overall a good day. My counsellor is arranging for me and her to meet the top dog in her department as early as possible in an attempt to resolve my depression and other maladies.

Sunday 8 November 2015

Remembrance Sunday

Yet another quiet, wet day, a large chunk of which I spent in Leicester,mooching about. Evening  buses to anstey  are few and far between so I hitched a taxi for a luxury ride home. Getting in and out of the large cab proved difficult as I staggered about a bit after all my exercise. I must have appeared drunk to the charming old Indian cabbie, but he helped me in and out without comment. I observed the traditional 2 minutes silence, in fact I observed an all day silence.

Saturday 7 November 2015

Deafening silence

The silence is earth-shatteringly deafening and consistent, but I suppose I'll get used to it. Outside it is still raining, conveniently mirroring the indoor gloom. Happy days, but all my fault so I cannot apportion blame elsewhere.
My digestive system appears to have called it a day, which does little to boost my spirits, the lowest of the low at present. Short of God giving me a call I cannot think of a worse scenario than my body parts  choosing to wave goodbye individually rather than in unison. Will the last one leaving please switch off the lights ?

Friday 6 November 2015

Promises, Promises.

I've lost count of the number of broken promises I have suffered over recent years, so I should be immune to them by now, but this is very clearly not the case.
"Our" plans changed yesterday afternoon when Lynne received an invite to a Lebanese meal Saturday night in Hounslow and 2 days work at the wedding shop, both options she found too tempting to resist, despite only recently confirming she would not be working there again ( the village idiot syndrome arises again). As the meal excluded me a babysitter was reguired. However,for various reasons the usual suspects were unavailable at such short notice so I was given the option of being home-alone at Chloe's or at home,alone.  i chose the latter,which was a big mistake I guess, as  i had an extremely quiet evening and an even quieter journey home this morning, but,as usual,it was all my fault. 
The tone of my day was matched by the weather, with heavy and continuous rain. We bought new daffodil bulbs and some potting compost for our garden tubs, again in silence.
Later in the afternoon Lynne decided to decline the weekend work offer, but will need to visit her London hairdresser at some time prior to the meal, yet to be confirmed to me. Time will tell.

Thursday 5 November 2015

Fireworks night

A wet day, all day, but we watched the city fireworks display from our bedroom window. I grabbed a nap during the afternoon and,after a shower, felt refreshed, although I am still well aware my body is far from fully recovered from my treatment,mainly internally.

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Brighter mood, lousy day

A very grey day, but for me, brighter.
We travelled to Colchester in pouring rain and very poor light. Terry downloaded "Radio Africa" for me and we looked for Chloe on sky news arresting students at today's riots in London.  

Monday 2 November 2015

The best laid plans

It's funny how an unexpected visitor can completely change plans. My carefully planned evening was thwarted by Derek "popping in" for a coffee and a chat, which in the end turned out to be a very good thing as I gradually realised my plans were very badly flawed. Back to the drawing board yet again.

Sunday 1 November 2015

Fog on a clear day

Anstey looked like a Hammer horror film set this morning with a very thick blanket of fog, which the sun quickly devoured, leaving a very clear, sunny day. Similarly my head is clear, having resolved the puzzle of the court paperwork and partially solved my fuzzy head mystery. Katie suffers similar problems apparently which she blames on iPad and computer screens. Having thought about it, she may have a point. I was perfectly OK prior to my surgery and treatment. I will investigate further and tell my Leicester Neurological consultant where to stick his next appointment and comedy show ( November 2016 apparently ).

Saturday 31 October 2015

He's leaving home

A title for Beatles officianado's. I went through another frustrating hour or two with the legal papers but only managed to dig the hole deeper, so to speak. The court apparently thought we were claiming from individual employee's so reguired us to fill in yet another complicated form to serve the writ on them at work, plus an additional £50 fee. Eddie and Marian ARE MCC. Luckily my head remained clear today which meant I had a chance to reconsider our approach during a long afternoon walk.We were trying to issue a writ against both owners of MCC, rather than the company itself. By changing the writ we save £50 and filling in another form. Unfortunately my walk involved Lynne giving me a lift home from Beaumont Lees, as I was becoming increasingly unsteady.
I think it was worth it,  relieving tension on Lynne and I, if nothing else.

Friday 30 October 2015

Waterworld 2

The rain continues, never ending, but light,for umpteen days. Solicitors fees are astronomical so I'll have another go at the small claims court papers myself, once I get a couple of "clear brain days" ( I wish ). The more I think about Dr. Critchleys perverse sense of humour the more angry and frustrated I become, which is counter productive. I'll let myself cool down before deciding what to do.
N.B. The variety club joke was by Jimmy Carr, not Frank Carson. ( thanks Google)

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Not a good day

A fuzzy head, Arsenal losing 3.    0. and it's raining,could it be worse? The small claims court papers were returned today with further instructions on how to fill them out,all in legal jargon, so we'll need to visit a solicitor anyway, which is what the system was supposed to by-pass, surely?  My fuzzy head is getting fuzzier.
I had an appointment with the neurologist at Leicester hospital, so I thought it might prove interesting to get his opinion on my fuzzy head and unbalanced periods, but apparently he thought my descriptions were amusing.Lynne noticed,but I didn't. She asked me to leave then gave him what for, wiping the smile off his face.
What chance do I stand if the medical "experts" find my symptoms amusing. I suggest he buys some jImmy Carr dvd's (although I think the infamous "Variety club coaches" one has been removed from sale following the mass complaints.)

Monday 26 October 2015

Blair. War criminal ?

Having made £ millions from dodgy jobs and memoirs Tony Blair, our ex dodgy Prime Miister, has finally admitted the Iraq war was"possibly" illegal and the extreme loss of lives on both sides "regrettable" . In addition he now admits to being largely responsible for the growth of Islamic State, ( a group of religious , blood thirsty terrorists),commencement of various Middle East wars and their thousands of victims. All this came to light in a USA tv show interview ( not the BBC , note ). 12 years late, but better late than never ?  Has this "apology" been brought on by the result of the Chilcott war enguiry, soon to be published after over 6 years delay ? i repeat, 6 years delay.
D is for delays and democracy. The moral of the story is severely delay publication of damning information ,allowing you to get your apologies in early on the other side of the world in "softer" surroundings.

Sunday 25 October 2015

Just in time

The two Manchester teams played a goal-less draw today, enough to topple Arsenal off the league top, so I am pleased I blogged when I did, just in time. 
Not a good day,  buzzy head and lousy balance. Friends from London popped in on their way home from Warwick to exchange news, which was good.

Arsenal top of league.

 I have often dreamed of writing a blog title like that,so thought I'd do it now as it won't last long because the winner of today's match between the two Manchester clubs will go top, although a draw would be helpful.
My head remains in a not so good place and my balance similarly, which my nuerologist is investigating. 

Saturday 24 October 2015

Wills arrive.

Miraculously our wills arrived by post. Who needs emails? My brain is in a dark place at present, not the time to glean information from documents and use it constructively, so I'll wait for clearer times.

Friday 23 October 2015


I have requested copies of our wills as the originals, made many years ago,  have disappeared from our files, probably due to us misplacing them somewhere. My solicitor is an old friend of mine so has promised to replace them, which gives us a chance to make changes to ensure our worldly goods get distributed fairly among all the children, given recent changes in family circumstances.


Mowing the lawn came back to haunt me via aching muscles where I had no idea they existed,exacerbated by me accidentally spraying an unknown proportion of my evening insulin dose down my arm, which resulted in very high blood sugar readings during the night with frequent bathroom trips. It will take a few hours this morning to regain some form of control so in the meantime I'm snoozing on the settee.
As predicted blood sugar levels reached near normal around lunchtime but I was banned from removing the last remaining wood chip wallpaper from the landing. I'll have to resort to doing it when Lynne is out next, although standing on a step ladder without assistance could prove a challenge.

Thursday 22 October 2015

Electrifying lawn

A warm, sunny day. I chose to cut next door's lawn using her very old electric mower. I managed to get it working, intermittently. I managed to fall over once but the dead-man's handle ensured my hair and toe nails remained the same length. The lawn looks good, even if I say so myself, but I was knackered at the end. A hot shower beckons. 

Wednesday 21 October 2015


The day started early as the bins were put out prior to us aiming for St. George's hospital and my check-up brain scan at 12.30, which sounds easy until you have to factor in a large accident on the M1 near Watford, in which we were not involved apart from being stationary for 2 hrs.
The scan went brilliantly with no changes to the tumour over the past year or so. Naturally ,Lynne, Chloe and I were extremely pleased, as was my consultant.

Tuesday 20 October 2015


A bright,sunny morning,almost as bright as I feel, having slept right through to 0815. No set plans for today but gardening and stripping wallpaper are high up the list and Lynne returns early evening.
Lynne has reminded me I need to remain home and indoors to receive her long-awaited (by us both) new IPad.
It arrived around lunchtime giving me time to attend to our garden in the afternoon, interrupted by a  worrying phone call from my first wife, Maggie,who has been diagnosed with, believe it or not, a benign brain tumour. The news hit me very hard and got me thinking I must be some sort of magnet for serious illness ( stupid, or what?). However, I gave as much advice I could muster at very short notice and in a state of shock,  and promised Lynne will offer advice and guidance through the NHS maze in due course. All three of us get on really well, with no animosity at all.

Monday 19 October 2015

Home alone by choice

Lynne left for London at some unearthly hour. She hopes to be in Hounslow to open the shop for the day, and it's raining. This time we agreed I would stay in Anstey, partly to cause less disruption to the kids and partly to ease my inevitable boredom. It gives Lynne a chance to escape being with and caring for me 24/7, plus mixing with old friends. In other words, a welcome break I would imagine.
It also gives me a chance to show I can survive on my own for a couple of days. Fingers crossed.
I aim to get the court papers bundled,indexed and sent, by way of amusement. Fortunately I'm a stickler for old fashioned letter writing, whereas MCC  rarely, if ever, put pen to paper,leaving my bundle of evidence far in excess of theirs, I summise, and certainly more factual,I hope.
Right, I'm off to get my breakfast.
The court papers have gone but I do not expect any news for a while, given the pace of our legal system, but I'm reasonably confident of a positive result.

Sunday 18 October 2015

Tinned tuna

Green peace have been researching the sustainability of worldwide tuna fishing. Are they rod and line caught ? (Sustainable) or are they net caught ? ( which indiscriminately kills anything from turtles, small whales, dolphins, sharks, and " unspecified" fish species, many near extinction which are thrown back dead or dying. For many years John West ( now Thai owned) has been promising to move away from net caught tuna but has made little or no progress.
Basically we are being asked to avoid buying John West tinned tuna. The following brands are recommended as they are rod caught( in order of preference)
Marks and Spencer's

An uneventful morning so far but a Marks and Spencer, non tuna, shopping trip beckons.

Friday 16 October 2015

Lost sleep

A very early morning blog as sleep was hard to find,despite a generous dollop of whiskey during the night, a rare occurrence for me. My whole body itches but my blood sugar is reasonable and all else seems OK. Having sat up for a while I may try going back to bed, although I always try to avoid waking Lynne as God knows she must need her sleep. The sofa beckons. 
Before I arranged to get back to bed, Lynne appeared downstairs as Chloe had phoned her complaining of being face timed at some unearthly hour. ( a mistake by me ) A quick FaceTime lesson followed during which I learned Lynne was not on my contacts list and has a new email address, for no plausible reason. That has now been rectified. Funny how some things accidentally come to light, although I am now informed her "old"  email is still operational until further notice ,!!!
On a brighter note Arsenal followed their 3 - 0 away win against Manchester United with an identical away win against Watford this evening, taking them to second in the Premier league.

Lost phone?

Lynne was panicking big-time this morning as her phone still had not arrived and she was unable to track it.However, by late morning, panic over as the postman rang the doorbell and the phone had returned. As I write Lynne is catching up on lots of messages and her mood is considerably happier, which bodes well for the future.

Thursday 15 October 2015

Counselling again

It is fair to say Lynne and I are living on a knife edge at present, so today's session is very fortuitous.
Basically Lynne wants to move south again to rejoin her circle of friends down there whilst I am ok here, thanks very much. The huge divide between north and south property prices will cause a few problems, involving selling our house in Anstey and also, perhaps, the boat.
Poor Chris, playing peacemaker took her a long way out out of her comfort zone, bless her, but she coped splendidly and offered some useful  strategies which we have agreed to utilise, including talking the whole thing of my scatterbrained behaviour over with the big team at St. George's next week when I am scheduled to have a routine scan. Chris has agreed to meet me in early November to get our feedback. It is raining yet again.

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Boat visit

At long last we have an opportunity to check on the boat, mainly to retrieve items of clothing required now the temperatures have dropped, but it will be nice to be reunited once again. I am feeling fit enough to cruise, but the weather is against it with very cold , almost frosty mornings, although with the boat central heating now "fit for purpose" I suspect we would survive comfortably if necessary.
The government has recently changed the legal system to make it "easier to use" but, as usual they have made a pigs ear of it. Computers and government never, ever, make a good team.
The boat was immaculate, with the exception of a few cobwebs on the stern. Where do those darn spiders come from?
We ran the engine for an hour or so,  said our goodbyes and headed home again

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Phone return home

Lynne has arranged the return of her "lost" phone via our super reliable post system (gulp),which saves her driving all that way yet again.
A cold, sunny morning with nothing planned,apart from re-familiarising ourselves with where we keep things at home.
I spent the afternoon at my gardening job, longer than I intended which emphasised my lack of fitness and stamina. My work is beginning to show results but there is a lot still to do and I need to pace myself better.

Monday 12 October 2015


We leave for home this evening, once I meet Lynne in Hounslow after work. Once again our family has been very supportive, which is heart warming. A quiet time beckons?
Despite the hectic programme over the past few days I have survived with what's left of my brain relatively intact, so onwards and upwards.
Surprisingly I have been trusted to survive without a baby sitter today, plus make my way to Hounslow alone.  Watch this space.
All tasks successfully completed and we got home without problem, with the exception of Lynne leaving her phone in the wedding shop. Ways are being worked on to get it back.

Sunday 11 October 2015

Phase 3

Desperate situations lead to equally desperate remedies. Today Margaret, as a last resort, has been chosen as my babysitter for the day, via a convoluted plan whereby Chloe drops me off on her way to a bowling competition in Aylesbury and picks me up on her way home later today. The problem is solved tomorrow as we are due to return to Anstey and babysitting duties transfer back to Lynne I expect. In defiance I made my own toast for breakfast without setting fire to the toaster. 
As has become normal the day has started dry and bright, although temperatures have taken a well defined drop. Winter drawers on as the old joke goes ( no spelling mistake, honest ).

Saturday 10 October 2015

What went wrong?

I never got to make the meal arrangements as our friend was at a concert all evening and otherwise out and about so our calls kept missing each other, but persistence paid off and we're back on track.
Ahem, his niece was in hospital with a pregnancy emergency so the evening out got postponed for a while, but I somehow caused mayhem with Hayley, and Tom by not eating lunch with them and was wrongly accused of having a hypo, which somehow got back to Lynne, causing me severe grief and lots of explaining. It was all untrue but could be put down to a number of misunderstandings and coincidences which I do not have the space or the will to explain at this juncture. Luckily my blood sugar record book  backed up my story. Enough said.

Friday 9 October 2015

Complicated, or what?

The weekend has arrived and some complicated and convulated plans settled for the weekend, whereby Lynne goes to work, returns "home" to pick me up late afternoon and off we shoot to Kingston to meet a long-lost friend for a meal. On Sunday Chloe picks me up on her way to a bowling competition in Aylesbury and drops me off en-route for lunch with Margaret, who has opted to "baby sit" for the day. Chloe then picks me up on her way home and drops me back at Tom's. Got that?
Personally I find it mind boggling and somewhat demeaning but the aim is to stop me being bored, which is heart warming I suppose. Having written it down helps, but I still have to make arrangements for the meal tonight. What could possibly go wrong?


Home alone, but worse, home alone without an iPad.  I lie.  I did have an iPad, but unfortunately the  batteries where flat and the charger was mysteriously hidden.
Washing and drying a large basket of washing was the sum total of my entertainment for the day until our family outing to Noodle Express in the evening.

Geriatric day out again

Lynne and I had dinner with Marlene and Brian yesterday and I was the fittest person there ! Brian had a bad back whilst Marlene was recovering from foot surgery. I felt comparatively healthy and mildly self satisfied,I'm ashamed to say.
The new duvet worked well and I got up still feeling hunky dory and relatively proud of myself even though my Walk off the Earth tee shirt is confined to the washing machine following a full day's testing yesterday. " Who the hell are they?" Being the commonest question.
Today is yet another sunny day home alone although Lynne should be back around lunch time, but I'll believe that when I see it. 

Thursday 8 October 2015

Walk off the earth review

Lynne, Tom and Hayley toddled off for our, long awaited Walk off the Earth concert at the Iconic Roundhouse theatre in London, ending up rushing as Tom lived up to his reputation for lateness. We had to get people moved out of our seats before taking them but the huge audience had a vast age range, reflecting WOKE's wide appeal. They were brilliant. I lost count of the number of instruments used but the list included a nerve shattering didgeridoo. One of the songs they " covered" was first recorded in 1962. We missed the last train to Chessington North so returned very late, but happy, by train and bus via Surbiton. I bought a "souvenir" WOTE" tee shirt for the usual exorbitant price at the Roundhouse, only to find inferior copies for sale at half the price outside.
Getting to bed was a drama as one of the cats had chosen to profusely pee on our duvet, but all was not lost as we finally slept under an array of beach towels, dressing gowns and jackets etc; very successfully, we aim to buy Tom and Hayley a new duvet today, by way of thanks for their endless hospitality.
It is a cracking day today, as Wallace used to say to Gromit. Ideal for duvet shopping.

Monday 5 October 2015

Mot and glasses

The car went in for a service and annual MOT early this morning where they recommended changing the brake fluid, (also manufacturers requirement every two years)passed with flying colours, as I did later with my diabetic check up with a new female consultant, with whom Lynne and I immediately bonded.( as opposed to the last one, a young whippersnapper just out of nappies who new sod all about diabetes ). 
During the afternoon Lynne's brand new, expensive glasses "exploded" ( her words not mine) into her cup of very hot tea. Needless to say they will be replaced ASAP and for free. It may be worth mentioning the glasses company as Specsavers.

Sunday 4 October 2015

Homeward bound yet again.

A lazy morning with no schedule, other than getting to Hounslow by 2 buses by 3pm, what could possibly go wrong?            Watch this space.  We don't own a boat called Tardis Two for nothing.
Sod's law. Several things went wrong. Lynne's last customer turned up very late, but at least bought a dress, but that made us late leaving. Lynne remained keen to get home ASAP and off we set,although we should have taken a break as she was very tired. Inevitably we took a wrong turning onto the M4 then missed the M25 turn off and ended up God  knows where. Fortunately Lynne found a pub for directions and decided to proceed via her sister's at Reading, from where she knew the way home.  However, Lynne and Brian plotted yet another "alternative" route to the M1 via Oxford and off we set again into the great unknown. Our nightmare journey continued, via a couple of wrong turnings and a hefty hypo whereby Lynne had no alternative but to stop for food at an M40 service station where we managed yet another Harry Ramsden's fish and chip meal plus tea and coffee. Against my advice, we set off far too soon again, but miraculously got to the M1 in an area we knew so Lynne could navigate by in-built radar, arriving home far later than originally intended, where we both collapsed on the sofa with whiskey and Cokes, thoroughly exhausted but giving me a chance to check on the Arsenal v Manchester United afternoon result, which cheerily the gunners won 3.    0, all scored in the first ten minutes.
We both learned a lesson, whereby Lynne should not drive when tired. A lens out of Lynne's expensive new glasses fell into her tea at Marlene's, but fortunately a spare pair allowed us to continue our journey home.

Saturday 3 October 2015

Lazy day, cooler mood

A calm, conciliatory night  and a morning without hangover, something I have not ever suffered. Lynne disappeared to sell wedding dresses and in no time at all I was home alone, although Paul appeared around lunchtime to provide coffee and a delicious ham sandwich, and again at teatime to cook and serve an equally delicious salmon dinner, before joining his family for dinner. I could easily get used to this room service so it may be just as well we are leaving tomorrow.

Friday 2 October 2015


We're off to London for a friend's wedding today. My suit gets the opportunity for it's annual outing, fortunately it still fits me.We'll stay down there for a day or two. 
We have the " Walk off the Earth " concert next week so will be zipping up and down the M1 like headless commuters.
The wedding was held at Sunbury golf club, a nice venu and a non- religious service, plus a huge meal and all the usual booze, most of which I sunk myself, my first drunken night for many years, probably brought on by an almighty row, which simmered throughout the evening,the details of which I do not intend to divulge but undoubtedly will have long-term consequences, one of which is an alteration to this week's plans.

Wednesday 30 September 2015


A week of big high's and even bigger lows has ended. Getting back on a bike relatively safely after very belatedly getting the puncture fixed were two definite high's, my return to gardening was an added bonus, particularly as I suffered minimal after-effects. Tilly's sad and unexplained death dented my good mood, which had strangely been deteriorating for a few days prior, perhaps due to commencement of my legal action against MCC. Although we have a cast-iron case against them it all adds pressure to my situation over which I have very little control.
Extremely belatedly MCC replied to my recent letters and supplied the "missing" report of March 2015 which contains the expected garbage. I have yet to cross-reference dates ,but at first sight there does appear to be some significant discrepancies. 
I spent the afternoon gardening and collecting half a bucket of damsons for more jam.
Lynne and I took the opportunity to review ourselves over the past few weeks, no holds barred. It proved an interesting session.

Tuesday 29 September 2015

A new pastime

A sort of return to work today, as my first stab at maintaining Julie's dad's garden where I spent an hour and a half reforming lawn edges and sweeping the main path. It raised very fond memories of my garden maintenance days and proved easier than I feared, but very rewarding.
The very sunny afternoon was spent drinking coffee with Derek at his nearby house. The evening presented excitement and sadness as Anne next door reported her wonderful cat Tilly missing. Hectic searches resulted in Lynne finding Tilly lying, crying and in obvious distress in Daryl's garden next door.
She seemed to be unable to move, but Anne got her into a cat basket and to a local vet, who was able immediately to discount a vehicle collision, but suspected some sort of poisoning due to her inability to use her front legs with no signs of injury. A very sad end for a magnificent feline who spent virtually every day on the roof of our garden shed or keeping guard on our garden fence, even when our cats were home.
A sad end to an enjoyable day.

Sunday 27 September 2015

Ill Effects

Another foggy morning. At first I awoke around 02am lying on top of the bedclothes in my dressing gown where I had collapsed and slept much earlier. My second awakening was considerably later and I was actually inside the bedclothes. No sign of fatigue, aches or pains after yesterday's exersions, which is encouraging. 
Derek returned from a few weeks in Cyprus which renewed discussions about us selling the boat and holidaying abroad.
I have commenced legal action against MCC to recoup our boat repair costs but the boat sale decision has still to be made.

Saturday 26 September 2015

Point proved

Having got over my being peeved regarding the bike repair saga (?) I childishly got Lynne to remove all her games from MY IPad yesterday afternoon having spent the whole day waiting to look at it whilst endless games of cards and similarly endless colouring pages  were completed,threatening me live-blogging the Leicester v Arsenal match, which the latter won 5 ..2 incidentally.  Interfere with me supporting Arsenal on my IPad at your peril. I got up early this morning for the "bike challenge" whereby one of us intends beating the other to a "quiet" Bradgate park for part two of the bike riding thriller. I am pleased to confirm it went very well, starting in the near-empty flat car park and continuing half way into the park, mainly downhill before returning uphill to the car park in thick fog.
I then went on a surprise trip to Lincoln show ground for the annual motor home show and spent some time looking successfully for a Wild West hat amongst the many stalls, to replace the one I lost last time I fell in the canal . Sunshine was very hot prior to our return to The Red Lion pub for Sunday dinner.
By the time we got home i was both thoroughly knackered and ready for a refreshing shower and bed.

Career moves

Following yesterday's job/hobby opportunities I have discussed them with Lynne and concluded to take the non- National Trust option as it is less formal and offers more flexibility to fit in boating escapes and other commitments, plus has less health and safety connotations. It is easily within my present and foreseeable capabilities, very local and a pleasant throwback to my garden maintenance business days. The disadvantage is more limited access to widening my present circle of friends and interests.
I managed to finally convince Lynne to transport me and my bike to Halfords to arrange repair of both punctures, which only took the guy about half an hour .A biking crash helmet was selected for me within seconds, but in its favour it was in Arsenal colours. Halfords to Bradgate park took all of twenty minutes to give me a chance to ascertain if bike riding (particularly the balance element) is within my present capabilities.Apart from one minor fall all went well and a decision was made to try the larger,flatter car park early tomorrow (Sunday) .who am I to argue.

Thursday 24 September 2015


Having re-read yesterday's blog I should add a comment regarding Chris,my counsellor,in whom I also have complete faith, particularly since her brilliant advice to re-adjust my aspirations to somewhere near reality, which has transformed my life virtually overnight. I have now accepted I cannot, for safety reasons, return to driving, cycling , rowing , long -distance walking or jogging ( not necessarily in that order ). Finally accepting those as facts has miraculously released self inflected pressure on what's left of my brain and simultaneously lifted my overall mood. Of course I can re-visit these individual decisions at the appropriate times in future, particularly as my balance and other problems sort themselves out, so all is not lost. Patience, John, patience.
The afternoon was spent at National Trust Stoneywell, a historic house and garden not far from Anstey, and very nice they were too. The purpose of our trip was to investigate the possibility of me volunteering my gardening skills on a volunteer basis, giving me an interest and some exercise outside my current "bubble". I grabbed an application form, enjoyed the house and garden tour and returned home via Julie's father in laws house, where I was offered the opportunity of tidying and maintaining his garden, again on a volunteer basis.


Like buses, you wait for ages then two come together. The same seems to apply to medical appointments. I have one with the District diabetic nurse, Lisa, this morning and one with my counsellor nurse Chris, this afternoon. I have complete and utter faith in Lisa, found completely by accident shortly after our move to Anstey. My previous diabetic nurse in London , Anne, was unsurpassably brilliant but got caught up in NHS cut-backs and was amazingly made redundant !!!!! The first rule of gutless redundancy decisions is to sack your best asset first to make the biggest impact and draw maximum attention to your plight.

Tuesday 22 September 2015

Clear head/nose day

For the first time in a couple of weeks I have a clear head with a matching nose, at least enabling me to breathe "normally", an almost forgotten luxury hitherto.
All is quiet in the village,even the infamous loud Suburu driver appears to be away upsetting another community.
Having said all is quiet in the village we later learned there had been a minor earthquake overnight, but no, the earth didn't move for us.

Post gold medal life

Almost back to normality, but life goes on. Chloe is packed and ready to continue her travels, whilst Lynne relaxes a little and enjoys her birthday. I am still recovering from my flue bug, almost there, but at least the sun is out and I feel a little better, ( where have I heard that before ?).

Gold Medal

Monday 21 September 2015

Home again

Lynne drove for the first stint home and Chloe took charge for the second. 
The day was very dull and rainy so it was great to get home,although it was cold.

Sunday 20 September 2015

England and Chloe gold

 Chloe and the England Girls bowled GOLD.
I managed to see them win. A GREAT ACHIEVEMENT.
The medals will be awarded at tonight's banquet which we are unfortunately not invited to, deeply disappointing

One step forward and two back

A very comfortable night ended with a sore throat and lots of coughing. I opted out of supporting England for a return to bed. All this way to Scotland to admire a Premier Inn room !!! And very nice it is too, as are the staff who are only too happy to be helpful.

Saturday 19 September 2015

Shower and bowl and bed

I avoided the bath this morning but emerged from my room for breakfast and a very short drive to the bowl, feeling somewhat better for it, where we supported England (including Chloe) versus Scotland. I think Chloe won, as did England. The Bowling centre is very small ( 16 lanes )and in the middle of a huge deer park. My condition deteriorated , coughing and sneezing, so I returned to my room for a soup lunch and subsequently my bed, armed with boxes of tissues and anti-flue tablets. Lynne went back to the bowl via a chemist for further supplies.

Friday 18 September 2015

Marooned in bath

Lynne ran a bath and departed for breakfast. I stupidly also opted for a bath. Getting into the bloody thing was one thing, getting out quite another. I had visions of eventually being winched out by the fire brigade - embarrassing or what? After a relaxing bath what could be better for muscle/skin tone etc than sweating buckets trying to get out of the damn thing? Having preserved my dignity I  struggled to get dressed and collapsed exhausted on the bed until Lynne returned. I will stick to showers from now on. From watching Chloe in her England bowling debut I was restricted to watching Britain v Australia in the Davis cup on TV from the comfort of my hotel bed due to a streaming nose and sneezing fits.

Thursday 17 September 2015

Leicester to Edinburgh

At 09.10am we were in Anstey, England and 16.30pm in Edinburgh, Scotland  having been driven through stunningly beautiful scenery in the English Lakes and Scottish Highlands, sampling a wonderful lunch in Kendle en-route. Tiring or what? We are now esconsed in the Premier Inn at Livingston, (about 10 minutes from the bowling alley )where we had dinner and will have breakfast tomorrow morning. Chloe is bowling tomorrow afternoon so we plan some retail therapy in the morning before watching her play later.

Wednesday 16 September 2015

Role changes

My carer Lynne and Chloe have returned to Specsavers to collect Lynne's new glasses while I attempt to escape a headache which appeared when I woke up - not constant but annoyingly intermittent.
I guess it is fair to say Lynne and I are still getting used to her new role with a few adjustments still to be made, but the issues have been raised at a very early stage , so minimal damage done ( hopefully ).
We may visit the boat for a quick check today, which is cloudy and dull.
The boat was fine with nothing adverse to report. We re-fitted the ceiling TV and it seems to work well.
Chloe had a short practice driving our automatic Kia ready for the Scotland trip and I have checked the oil and water, so we are ready for the off tomorrow morning around 0900hrs.

Tuesday 15 September 2015

Rain threat

The forecast is for rain by 11.00am. These days the forecasts are far more accurate than they used to be, now giving actual rain times. Why don't the met office run Network Rail ? Please.
Lynne is now officially my carer, thanks to a very kindly surgery nurse who sorted it for us. However, my carer gave me a blasting this morning for telling her my tablets "had run out",but in the wrong way. It is a very fine line between wife and carer apparently, but I expect I'll soon get the hang of it ?
Oops, I've done it again at lunchtime but  with a lighter response, although still involving our local chemist  which is as useful as a chocolate tea pot. The next chemist is miles away. Convenience and possible death versus competence ? To be fair the good old days of physically collecting your prescription from the doctor's surgery and personally delivering it to the chemist have long gone, replaced by a much more "efficient"and"accurate"  system of pinging them around the airwaves where they invariably get lost. Progress?
I am not on top form today, more tired than anything else I guess.  The forecast was wrong, by the way.

Monday 14 September 2015

Clear head, rainy day.

Eh, by gum. It's raining in Leicestershire. Surprise,surprise. I slept in till 10.00am ( in our own bed -sheer bliss ) and awoke with a clear head, which bodes well. Discussing this with Lynne on our way home we concluded my recently lowered aspirations have been the main factor in this improvement in my mental state over the past few weeks. In addition Lynne is only drip-feeding me details of plans for the immediate future on a"need to know"basis which reduces brain overload considerably.
We have Chloe staying with us prior to her England debut, thus her and Lynne can share driving duties up to Scotland and back as they are both on our insurance, temporarily.

Sunday 13 September 2015

Up north

Homeward bound and once again relaxed and refreshed, thanks to Hayley and Tom ( and the cats ).
Train to Tolworth, bus to Hounslow, car to home. More straightforward than it sounds. ( I hope ).
Weather wise a dull day. Another pleasant dose of Harry Ramsden's fish and chips on the way home. Thoroughly recommended.
Arsenal are third in the Premier league following a 2 - 0 beating of Stoke cloggers.

Saturday 12 September 2015


The blog title is something of an understatement as Hayley has gone shopping, Tom is trying to fix his laptop with an expert friend and Lynne has returned to the Faulty Towers wedding shop, no doubt giving me a laugh or two as usual on her  return.

Friday 11 September 2015

Shower adventures

One of the challenges of staying with Tom has to be taking a shower without soaking the bathroom floor, walls and ceiling. I cannot get into or get out of the bath so I am forced to use the hand-held shower (without a shower curtain) which takes considerable skill and dexterity, sadly lacking for me.
Having said that, this morning was a relative success with only the minimum of water missing the bath. I must be getting the hang of it? Apart from the usual washing/drying routine I have no plans or chores for today, although I have been promised a trip to my favourite noodle restaurant this evening. A good behaviour award.?
Another clear-head day appears likely and it is sunny outside. ( good drying weather ). Things looking up?

Thursday 10 September 2015

Home from home

Lynne Tom and Hayley routinely departed for work whilst I had a lay-in . Nothing much planned for today other than Chloe collecting our freshly cut front door key for her future use. A slight snag with that plan was Lynne had mistakenly taken the key with her so she aims to drop it off on her way "home". In addition Lynne's car needed a jump start this morning (kindly provided by a friend) as she had left the interior light on overnight. "The best laid plans of mice and men".
Having hung the washing out I settled down for a musical afternoon starting with Heart and their terrific version of "stairway to heaven", followed by "There's a Place" by the Beatles. This track is particularly poignant for me as I played it over and over again the day after my Mum died, far too early, at 44,for which I stupidly blame myself. She was never a well person, having worked in a munitions factory during the war after a very hard childhood, so simply breathing was a hardship for her. Yet she was unfortunate enough to have me for a son, diabetic from the age of 3,requiring constant attention and long spells in hospital many miles and two buses from home, yet I do not remember her missing a daily visit through some grim winter smogs and frost/snow. Nor did she miss any of my subsequent primary school football matches, wherever they were and whatever the weather. I was school captain and the team was very successful in a "local" sort of way. The headmistress used to give her transport to and from matches once she realised how bad Mum's health issues were, following a dramatic incident after the school nativity play, at which I was the narrator. Mum failed to arrive, as promised, and so the event started, with me worrying what had happened to her (no mobile phones in those days) whilst still narrating. We had finished the play when Mum made a dramatic entrance, literally collapsing through the main door, gasping for breath. She had walked almost 2 miles from home, through woods and along a very rough track , determined not to let me down. After a rest and some medical attention for Mum we were driven home by the headmistress. A very haunting day.
Fortunately I am in a very good place today, otherwise it would have been impossible to relate the above tale without blathering over my IPad, causing major problems.
Today is sunny and reasonably warm.

Long and not-so winding road.

The trip to London was a 3 hour nightmare due to an accident closing the M1 just before it joins the M25, which thankfully remained clear and moving. Hence we arrived considerably later than planned, keeping Tom up way past his bedtime on door duty. No time was wasted unpacking so sleep arrived without further ado. Tom's flat is like home from home for us these days so we settled-in really fast.

Wednesday 9 September 2015


Lynne has been offered a bucket full of damsons by a nearby friend, which should keep her busy for a day or two. Jam? Pies? Crumble? I'll keep you posted. Talking of post,I have just posted my last letter to MCC Stensons giving them notice of legal action to recoup our costs to date and risk the court adding our severe inconvenience costs to their bill unless they cough up immediately. 
I have a clear head today,thankfully.

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Indian summer ends,as does bee absence.

A very cold morning ( no frost ) but not one of my better days with silent bees flying around in my head. For several days I have avoided an afternoon nap, but I suspect I may need one today? We are uncertain about our Scotland trip supporting Chloe playing her first ten pin bowling match for England.  
We feel we ought to be there ( and certainly want to be ) but are getting mixed vibes from Chloe at the moment,creating some doubts and mental conflict. 
A lengthy snooze during late morning combined with Lynne adding Chloe to our car insurance policy solved the issues of our Scotland trip and my threatened backslide into fuzzy-headed ness. Lynne and Chloe can share driving duties to and from Scotland ,whilst it saves me unnecessary worrying about arrangements.

Monday 7 September 2015

Leicester Indian summer. Ironic?

A perfect night's sleep in our "own" bed  revealed a very sunny morning in Anstey. I can only repeat how good I continue to feel, apart from some unsteadiness when I stand up, which I can live with I suppose.

Sunday 6 September 2015

Homeward bound

A beautiful sunny day for our trip home as,sadly, our time at Tom and Hayley's has come to an end. I feel so much better for the break, new people to talk to and old friends to reconnect with.  Brilliant.
The icing on the cake for me was the Harry Ramsden's fish and chip supper on the way home, the first I had tasted for many years. Harry's fish and chips swept the country many years ago and was considered the best in the World. I am pleased to confirm it still is. Crispy batter, "real" chips, fresh fish, non greasy and delicious. The perfect end to a perfect week.

Saturday 5 September 2015

Happier times

Another bright morning, not weather-wise, but healthwise. Plans for today include a visit to the shops to get a plug-in shaver point ( Tom's flat lacks one ) and a visit to Tolworth Bowl where all my "old" bowling buddies are taking part in a sponsored tournament , so it offers a good opportunity to catch up with them and their news ( if any ).
We may even have supper at our favourite noodle bar in New Malden, meeting more friends ( including the staff ). Tomorrow the plan is a return to Anstey  and home. I have found this week most rewarding, relaxing and welcome, restoring my mood to as good as it has been for ages, thanks to Lynne, Hayley ( who was successfully interviewed for a prestigious new job ),and of course,Tom.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Clear head habit

The combination of a few days in Colchester and London has transformed my head, no more fuzziness.
Long may it last. Without being too dramatic,  life seems more liveable in this state.

Birthday sorted

As usual, Chloe has undertaken all the hard work in deciding and financing Lynne's forthcoming birthday present on behalf of the family who have all agreed to  contribute. Rather her than me.
Yesterday was the day for my contribution, involving a trip to Epsom with Chloe. Cloak and dagger stuff.
My buzz-free days continue, thankfully, but my balance problems continue. I've got my head round the idea of further adjustments to my lifestyle to fit my current mental and physical condition, but that is not to say I've given up on improving things. We have reluctantly decided the boat must go but we are still debating when, delaying the inevitable, I guess. Head over heart stuff, but that is an uneven contest at present.

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Eureka. A dry day

Yes, no rain today yet, but there is still time. The sky is currently clear ,as is my head, We are staying at Tom's flat in London for a few days, doing little more than relax, other than giving Stenson/MCC yet another opportunity to reconsider their total indifference to our plight of duff batteries on Tardis Two over a period of several years, prior to them ending up in court at a possibly higher cost,with the judge inevitably taking into account our severe inconvenience and years of avoidable frustration  if MCC had abided by their obligations within the law. I have mentally formulated my last letter to MCC which I will transfer to print on our return home from Tom's, but I don't expect capitulation by them prior to appearing in court, because I doubt they may realise it is the cheaper option for them until it is too late.

Wetter still

When will it ever stop raining? We're seriously contemplating converting Tardis Two into an ark for small to medium British mammals ( excluding rats ). As I write this the sun comes out. Typical. 
My latest counselling session concluded Lynne and I should reconsider our targets and aspirations, given the obvious limitations of my illness and treatment . Selling the boat and concentrating on some luxury holidays seems the likely route. Sad but true.

Sunday 30 August 2015

Wet Bank Holiday

Rain and a sleepless night combined to make  my return to Anstey less of a success than anticipated,but life can be like that. Lynne is suffering severe toothache but our dentist could identify no reason, which did little to help my sleep pattern or return me to a routine, but overall I still feel better for my Colchester break, thanks to Linda, Terry and some decent last night there proved strange in that, on one of my many trips to the loo I got tremendously disorientated and wandered around the upstairs landing looking for the bathroom door,even though, by then, I was very familiar with the layout .  I eventually found it and successfully completed my mission.  This morning at home I had a similar experience with an identical mission,again successfully completed, but worrying all the same. The old " am I going nuts ?"question inevitably arose without an answer ( my blood sugars were ok and the fuzzy-headed ness had not returned ). Yet another puzzle.

Colchester to Leicester.

My feel-good factor continues  but reluctantly my extended Colchester stay must end, so on the road we go. The Colchester air and water? Change of scenery? Change of company? BT  AND  Sky Sports? Decent weather? Your guess is as good as mine, but whatever it was I wish I could bottle it.
It started to rain as we reached home but it was a good journey otherwise.

Saturday 29 August 2015

Yet another clear day

More sunshine. This is habit forming. My mood since arriving in Colchester  has been good,as has the weather. Lynne has returned to bed with a migraine ( sounds like a refugee, eh? ) can'win them all I suppose.
Newcastle v Arsenal on TV today,early afternoon. The days when all football matches were on Saturday afternoon at 3.00pm are long gone unfortunately. Arsenal have started the season "averagely" and currently sit mid table,sadly expectation has far exceeded reality so far, but such has been the case since I first started supporting them when in Primary school and short trousers (congers up a picture, eh?).

Friday 28 August 2015

All things bright and beautiful

A bright, sunny morning in Colchester and a sneaky lie in until 10.00am. Terry and I went odds and sods shopping whilst the girls inevitably went clothes shopping after lunch. I returned "home" with a  new "Walk off the Earth" cd and a bucket, both unmissable bargains.
From the cd we learnt there is a Walk off the Earth ITunes video channel which kept us fully entertained for the entire afternoon and evening. Terry is now a Walk off the Earth convert. They are absolutely brilliant, but don't take my word for it, check them out yourself. You will not be disappointed.
As you will have gathered, today has been another good one for me health-wise.

Wednesday 26 August 2015

Everything pending

I have lots of issues pending at the moment, in mid air so to speak.
1) The boat legal situation. MCC have replied as expected, denying any fault, but we are waiting for further legal advice prior to  the next stage of the saga.
2) My medical state. The NHS has yet again postponed my diabetic check up. I have seriously lost count of the number of postponements imposed to date, but it is certainly in double figures so I have taken the bull by the horns and made my own appointment with an excellent district diabetic nurse I have complete faith in. Sod the consultants.
3) Counselling. Once again I've said " Sod the consultants" and a two year wait so I am arranging more frequent meetings with a phsyciatric counsellor nurse and a nurse experienced with brain tumours. 
We are spending a few days with Linda and Terry in Colchester before a few days with Tom and Hayley in London. It makes a pleasant, relaxing time and changes of scenery.

Tuesday 25 August 2015

More brighter times

The beehive is missing, as are the bees, and the sun is shining, so a good start to the day. Katie and the girls departed whilst I was having a recuperatory snooze upstairs but got home safely in very wet conditions. Lynne has gone off to her Police speed awareness course, having been caught doing 34 in a 30mph zone by a hand held camera near home a few months ago, much to her annoyance, caused by the "sneakiness" of someone hiding behind a bush with a speed camera, which she considers shifts the blame from her to elsewhere. The fact that she was speeding remains a fact.
The rain set in and it got decidedly cooler, requiring a blast of central heating.

Monday 24 August 2015

Brighter times

Sunny morning and a clear head for a change as we waited for Katie and grandchildren to arrive from a very wet south of England, prior to taking them out to lunch at the Red Lion. Not a brilliant meal but a good time was had by all and the rain arrived, whilst southern England flooded again. The girls entertained themselves with my remote control helicopter, one of these days I'll get to play with it myself.

Sunday 23 August 2015


Having re-read yesterday's blog I realise some clarification is necessary. Why not solve the buzzy head problem with a Paracetamol?  Unfortunately, the buzzy head is further complicated by being combined with the insects flying around randomly in my scull 24/7. Paracetamol helps with the buzzing ( actually  a loud background hum ) but unfortunately does nothing for the flying insects. Fact.
Today is a clear head day so I will attempt to make the most of it, although how remains to be decided.
Derek took us out  for a wonderful lunch during which the warm, sunny weather changed to heavy rain and considerably lower temperatures. Prior to lunch I opted to walk to Bradgate Park ( and back, obviously ). In the event I failed miserably, only making it to the park entrance, admittedly all uphill.
Strangely, walking uphill proved easier than my return journey downhill, during which I felt very unsteady. The reason for turning round earlier than intended was purely down to common sense, a distinct lack of stamina and the need for me to get home unaided.

Saturday 22 August 2015

Slippery slope

To quote Jeremy Clarkson, after yesterday's bombshell today we are seeking alternative counselling avenues,but where to start? Today is bright, sunny and warm weather wise, so I am attempting to match my mood with it through this continuous fuzz in what's left of my brain, with limited success so far, but it's still early I suppose.
If you can imagine carrying a beehive around in your head,day and night, you'll have some idea of my predicament. It is debilitating and exhausting, with no respite.
MCC/Stensons eventually replied to my letter of 3rd March but it had literally "been round the houses" and was,as expected, a load of bulls**t and downright lies which I will need to decipher on a clearer day.

Friday 21 August 2015

Ups and downs

Yesterday managed massive ups and downs . The first up was a clear head, the second was meeting Chloe at Nuneaton bowl,picking up new bowling bowls for her pending England debut. We had time for a meal before our return home, when a letter arrived very late in the afternoon asking me to contact St George's hospital for an appointment with a consultant took almost ten minutes to get connected from the switchboard to the relevant extension, to be informed the earliest appointment is September 2016.......... I repeat, September 2016. Lynne burst out laughing and informed them I or she, or both, would likely be dead by then !  Good old NHS. Always good for a laugh. The lady on the phone became very flustered, bless her, and promised to see if she could shorten the wait, but we won't hold our breath. Another massive down.

Wednesday 19 August 2015


Joel and Sophie arrived with somewhere near two tons of Joel's dirty washing, accumulated over the last few months whilst his washing machine had been terminally ill. A night of sweat and toil by Lynne miraculously produced somewhere near two tons of clean, dry washing, much nearer it's original colour ( we think ). Whilst it was lovely to see Joel again after many months, the same cannot be said of his washing. 
I awoke with an un-fuzzy head and blood sugar levels suggesting I've cracked that particular problem, which is a big relief. Today is bright and sunny, perfectly reflecting my mood. No plans for today, depending on those of Joel and Sophie, yet to put in an appearance.
The washing was deposited in Joel's car, allowing space for a driver and passenger.
Joel owns a very old top of the range,Vauxhall Astra, bought from an old client of mine with virtually no mileage on the clock in immaculate condition, originally offered to Nicholas, but strangely rejected by him. It has performed faultlessly ever since, never failing the MOT . Amusingly Nick has been through umpteen old bangers since, Vw's, Citroen's,fiat's, all ending up on the scrap heap after breaking down, blowing up, failing MOT's or other sad endings.

Tuesday 18 August 2015

Counselling Dentist

One of my cloudy headed days, not helped by Lynne and I having different appointment times for both counsellor and dentist. It was nice to bounce my health issues off a third person, and I've requested a brain tumour "expert" to attend our next meeting in two weeks to determine fact from fiction in my head. Both Lynne and I gained a little from the meeting so some progress was made. The dentist appointment was an hour later than we thought, so our afternoon schedule required hasty rescheduling to fit a visit from Joel and new girlfriend in, but Lynne had it all sorted before what's left of my brain went into free fall.

Monday 17 August 2015


Today started bright and sunny, as did my mental condition, but all went downhill later. The day became overcast and cold,as did my mood. An afternoon in bed cured the latter whilst the weather was beyond my control, unfortunately. My long-awaited NHS counselling session is tomorrow, together with a visit to my dentist, hopefully to replace chunks of fillings that continually contribute crunchy bits to my meals.

Sunday 16 August 2015

Wetted appetite.

An unexpected visit to Tardis Two yesterday on one of my "better days" certainly wetted my appetite for further boating adventures in the future. Given recent health and safety issues aboard I had been seriously considering "selling up" and enjoying more sedate passtimes, perhaps sunning myself in Corsica? 
Lynne had a well deserved lie-in this morning, emerging to announce I had a hypo at 01.15 last night,which was a relief as I had doubted the success of my insulin "changes"yesterday  due to my blood sugar being higher than expected this morning ,no doubt due to the counter-hypo Twix's and Lucozade correctly administered by Lynne but without my knowledge at the time. Another mystery solved ?

Saturday 15 August 2015

Puzzle solved

The ongoing issue of my lethargic state is currently and belatedly being tackled. Even with my scrambled brain it had become obvious the link was my insulin not performing as normal, rather than any tumour changes, but with 63 years of diabetic control experience it should have been spotted far,far sooner via my abnormally high blood sugar readings. I have always kept a stock of spare insulin phials which need to be kept in a fridge, but definitely not frozen or allowed to get warm. Having led a fairly active life, including camping across the African Serenghetti  and the Australian outback,I have always managed to keep my insulin stock at a constant temperature via a very clever, but simple devise called a Frio pouch. However, somewhere on our canal travels something has gone wrong with my storage regime ( ? ) and some insulin has gone "off". Insulin is made in batches, each carrying a unique number for traceability ,so at 0300 hrs this morning I was attempting to isolate the dodgy batch or batches, with some initial success. At this point I should stress the insulin manufacturers were almost certainly not at fault, more likely dodgy storage/ transport. Sorting out the rogue batches proved very difficult with the current state of my brain, but I got there ( I think ).  Because our extended canal trips force me to carry more spares than usual and the limited fridge space,we had used the boat underfloor drinks cabinet as a back-up, obviously unsuccessfully. But onwards and upwards.
I put in a repeat prescription to my chemist for fresh insulin supplies and the remaining sorted ones worked perfectly so I had an active, alert day, including a visit to Tardis Two and friends at the marina.
The evening was spent attempting to repair punctures in our two folding bikes,unsuccessfully as it transpired. But there is always tomorrow.

Friday 14 August 2015

Despite rain, a brighter day.

For the first time in ages I awoke late with no sign of a fuzzy head. The steady rain outside meant my original gardening plans were severely curtailed, but  I intend avoiding sleeping until tonight. My London Councils Freedom pass suffered badly during my last swim in the canal, refusing to work on buses and the underground. It seems impossible to replace it so I have been forced to apply for the Leicester version which should work everywhere except on the London Underground. Moral of the story being, take out your wallet from your trousers before falling into a canal, or avoid falling in at all.

Thursday 13 August 2015

More of the same

From the heights of the top of the pile,I now find myself firmly at the bottom, for reasons beyond my comprehension. I feel lethargic, my joints ache , my balance is iffy and I struggle to stay awake. To say it is worrying is a major understatement. 
Apart from an hour during late afternoon I fought the need to sleep with great success, and still suffered a fuzzy head when I awoke, but also remained cold, another unwelcome feature of my current condition. Middle of July and I'm suffering being cold !!! 

Wednesday 12 August 2015

Me and my big mouth

Having admitted to being in a better place after a hassle free week  it quickly turned out to be an empty statement, caused by subsequent external events. Lynne, bless her, is working her socks off to avert a possible disaster. That is all I will say on the subject, other than I intend keeping a low profile on this one and work to recover myself to the better place I had reached.

Tuesday 11 August 2015

Bridgewater monument

A leisurely breakfast and we are off to the National Trust Bridgewater Monument, Ashridge estate,( note the canal link ),to visit my sister Margaret and her husband Bob on our way home. Weather overcast but warm.
My life seems much calmer at present,I'm pleased to say. Long may it last. 

Monday 10 August 2015

Reading by road.

Nothing went wrong with our meeting arrangements or our transfer to Reading (the town, not the library) where Brian had prepared a delicious dinner for us and an equally delicious breakfast this morning. Lynne and Marlene then left us to collect next year's Women's Institute calendar ( not another rude one apparently - what a shame.) in the meantime Brian and I popped round the corner to tidy and water an old boys garden. He is retired, diabetic and almost blind, but has a small garden which only took an hour or so for us to complete, between showers, although he obviously won't notice. It was good to get on the end of a hoe after so long. Satisfying but tiring.

Sunday 9 August 2015

Hassle free end

It is the end of my hassle free week, but I think the experiment has been a great success. All that remains is for me to link up with Lynne at the wedding shop and we will make a fast exit to Reading for a short stay with my sister in law.  What could possibly go wrong?  Tom, Hayley, Chloe and Paul have, as usual, been great support. We'll be sorry to leave, but I do so in a better state than on arrival.

Saturday 8 August 2015

Seamless transfer

A bright,sunny and warm start to our short stay with Tom and Hayley. Lynne continues working at the wedding shop where Sky TV plan filming this weekend, but I suspect Lynne will shun the bright lights and the chance of fame by hiding in the shadows. The plan tonight is to pack our worldly goods in the car and I'll meet Lynne at the shop tomorrow for a quick getaway to Reading during the afternoon. That's the plan anyway,and in my current relaxed state I'm not bothered by it in any way , which is progress I suppose.

Friday 7 August 2015

Hassle-free week analysis

The hassle-free week experiment has ended with Lynne and I scheduled to move to Tom and Hayley's this evening before returning North on Sunday or Monday, perhaps via Lynne's sister in Reading. I have massively gained from the week, although others have clearly not, which causes me problems in that it acts as a stark reminder life is not just about me, even at this late stage.
Today is the first of the Premier League season with real signs of an Arsenal challenge for the title, following an un beaten pre season against some very strong opposition,winning the Charity Shield and Emirates Cup in the process. 

Thursday 6 August 2015

Hassle-free 4. Groundhog Day

A virtual repeat of day one,home alone with my music, but after yesterday's gargantuan effort I can have no complaints.
All things considered I have very few aches or pains, which is encouraging and something of a relief after all the threatened ailments painfully suffered yesterday afternoon. This has been a real mental boost, alongside disproving my physical fears. Thank you Chloe.

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Hassle-free day 3 but knackering.

Chloe, bless her, opted to give me a day out at Port Lympne Reserve, part of the Aspinall As a life member from my younger days today was my first visit for many years and my, how it's changed.
I failed to recognise it.We chose to take the safari trucks, as my legs and stamina indicated them as the essential option. It was great to see all my old gorilla and other animal friends again in brilliant sunshine and overall I fully  approved of the "improvements". Chloe's newfangled watch which measures breaths, heartbeats, blood pressure, steps and poohs, amongst almost everything else, told us we had walked over 6 kilometres and Port Lympne is very,very hilly. I was knackered and slept most of the way home, but thoroughly enjoyed the day.
However, it also emphasises my inability to achieve anything without the help of others. If I could drive I could repeat today as often as I wished, which would lift my spirits enormously, but it is not to be.

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Hassle-free day 2

Continuing my hassle-free week today was spent helping Chloe transporting nanny to and from her day centre, interspersed by a spot of clothes shopping in Hounslow and having lunch with Lynne in the wedding shop. I came "home" with two new tee shirts for wearing on the boat, one bright yellow so I can be easily spotted when I next fall in.

Hassle-free day1.

As a hassle-free day yesterday could not be bettered. I spent the day listening to my iPad music collection, with a break for an impromptu lunch, a shower and then awaiting the return of Lynne and Chloe for tea. No phone calls ( apart from one, or two, or more check -up calls from Chloe and Lynne),reassuring at least.

Sunday 2 August 2015

Hassle-free week planned.

On dry'ish land for a few days, hassle free hopefully, but time will tell. My mental ups and downs reach both ends of the scale quite regularly these days for no perceptical reason, equally frustrating for both Lynne and I. It is easy to blame my treatment, particularly the radiopherapy which has scrambled my brain, but it is probably too easy to lay all the fault there. Given the total void of NHS counselling it became necessary for Lynne and I to improvise, but after the initial success we seem to have hit a brick wall. An added frustration was the time and effort it took me to compile the initial letter to MCC, even with help from Citizen's Advice, claiming compensation. Normally, and pre-treatment, letter writing was enjoyable and easy for me, but not now. Along with driving and the associated freedom, it is a considerable loss.
Lynne will be working in the London wedding dress shop for a few days while I stay with daughter Chloe, who promises to transport me to Port Lympne animal park for a re-union with my old gorilla pals, which should be very enjoyable, weather permitting.
Keep checking for blogs. They won't be daily ( thank God, I hear you say) but I'll attempt one whenever the mood takes me.
We took 92 year old nanny Weames out to lunch yesterday ( we still know how to have a good time ) followed by her "exercise walk" in a nearby park, when she proved to be far more sprightly than me.
Later I had a roast dinner with Chloe and Paul at their flat Prior to "flaking out"with a hypo  before bed. I remained totally confused by the new surroundings for a considerable time before regaining some composure for a good night's sleep.

Thursday 30 July 2015

2015 review so far

1) the boat electrics got fixed after 3 long years, umpteen battles with Stensen's/MCC and at additional expense to us ( to be recovered via legal action, hopefully ).
2) The Grand Union Canal/ River Trent sampled. The Trent proved to be exciting, the GUC rewarding.
3) Surviving accidents. I managed to fall in twice with minimal injuries ( pride excepted ).
4) discovering Johno at Union Canal Carriers Ltd, Braunston who made sense of our boat electrics, fixed it and eased our stresses.
5) health.I'm still here !!!!!!!!!

1) the weather. Global warming/climate change. Don't make me laugh. The first year I can remember wearing thermal clothing and using central heating in July.
2) the losses of both Phoebe ( stomach cancer ) and Sadie ( blindness and cancer ). Sister cats now reunited in our garden. 
3) my health.  Apart from being still here ,  inevitably both physically and mentally a gradual downward slope.

Friday 24 July 2015

Racing winter

Back in the marina we woke to a very cold morning in late July. Don't talk to me about global warming.
Scientists? What the hell do they know? I accept that our recent winters have been milder but are we expected to accept that global warming is selectively seasonal? My wounded leg resembles a United Nations war zone but is relatively painless. I will need to be very careful transferring our worldly possessions from the boat to the car and then to the house, although we have some vague plans to cruise again this year, once our obligations have been fulfilled.