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Fun No More (until April)

I’ve been wonderfully distracted for the past two glorious weeks, BFF has been to play, stay, I meant stay. … and this time it was greatly needed by us both. Finally after all the stress, anxiety and sorrow attached to so many happenings I could cry my heart out and get physical console. But all too soon, the suitcase is being zipped up and it’s that dreadful time to try and hold the stiff upper lip and say ttfn.

Pre arrival plans had been put in place, a few DVD’s were ordered, two mahoosive boxes had arrived with the neatest of handwriting upon them (more wool to add to the packed suitcase stash) and the dozen bottles of cherry cola added to the grocery order.

We may both be in our golden years, but you’re never too old for a PJ party, and that’s what we do. It’s not all indulgent fun, there were chores and errands done too, the dentist visit with deep deeeep clean and the annual hospital appointment with my neurologist (test results, blood pressure, heart rate all ‘normal’, never thought that word would be attached to me). I supervised while BFF cleared out, sorted, organised my kitchen cupboards (nothing last century lurking in the dark corners), general tidy up of the bathroom and lounge, the resort and reorganising my bedroom draws and I feel sorted, organised, prepared for carers and helpers, etc.

We’ve mooched up and down my High Street, been back and forth to Morrison’s for eats and treats, sat outside enjoying the sun and breeze, took an afternoon stroll along the esplanade and I, yes me, suggested a ice-cream (it was lush), we even went to the cinema to see Downton Abbey (rather good).

Mostly we snoozed, nattered, laughed, chatted, rested, and watched stuff

  • Last Viceroy House
  • Mad Men Season 6 and 7
  • The Green Book
  • Trumbo
  • Edie
  • A Cat Named Leonard
  • Norma Rae
  • Pursuit Of Happyness
  • My Old Lady
  • The Favourite
  • Colette
  • Don’t Eat The Daisies
  • The Right Stuff
  • Spotlight
  • The Girl On The Train
  • Billy Rose’s Jumbo
  • Glass Bottom Boat
  • Man With A Horn
  • To Kill A Mockingbird

Of course the REAL prime reason for being together is a certain four legged furred charmer, known as Mickey, aka #NotMyCat, wandering in when he pleases, playing with his new toys, choosing one of the many seats to snooze upon, getting head rubs and chin scritches galore.

Three quarters of an hour ago we hugged, smiled, said “call you tomorrow”, and off she goes ……… just 199 days to go until we’re back together *fingers-crossed*

Thank you BFF for being everything I need and a heck of a lot more, words are not enough to convey all you do for me, help me, cajole me, entertain and help me.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 15, 2019 in Films, General, Life, people, Pets

 

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Letter Of Loss

Dear Big Sis,

It’s been a month already, but it’s been a lot longer since I last saw you. Wednesday July 3rd you left my flat early to go home as you weren’t feeling good, you were due to go on a short holiday on Saturday, but you ended up coming home early and the next day you were taken into hospital. I never got the opportunity to visit you, to spend any time with you, to have a conversation with you, we only had one brief interrupted crackly phone call.

Sitting here I am scanning for something of you to focus on, your black gillet often discarded to the kitchen chair, your wooden posh pen, anything tangible to state you were here but there isn’t anything. I see the numerous holiday gifts you brought with me in mind, I see the soft tigger you gave me one Christmas, I see the curtains and carpets you helped me choose when I moved here, tonight I’ll snuggle under the duvet set you bought for me, and so many more other things, but it’s not enough, it’s not you.

I flick through photograph after photograph, but there are so few of you, I have the one of you and me on your wedding day. That’s my earliest firm memory, aged five in the pretty pink dress, jumping out the front door as my cousins arrived, walking into church behind you, following you around the reception until we had that photo taken. Remember I told you, you could get married so long as you never left home. I remember staying at your house and the two cats deciding they would guard me all night by one sleeping between my knees and the other beside my head. I remember telling you a dirty joke, I was about twelve and as embarrassed as hell when you made me repeat it to your hubs. The Sundays we’d play cards, black jack, rummy, or Trivial Pursuit which turned into a mime game with help from ‘the audience’. More recently our trips out, to be holidaymakers instead of those working for holidaymakers. Our London trips, sitting in Westminster Abbey, walking around the Tower of London, being in awed during the Houses of Parliament Tour, being at the BBC Studios. Our world to rights conversations, watching programmes I’d recorded for us to enjoy, the evenings of dvd and take-away, reminiscing of our mutual work places and people. The planning and strategising around birthdays and Christmas. So very much, but still, it’s not you.

Your reflections funeral was beautiful. You’ll never know how many people were eager to travel so many miles to have paid respects to you. We did as you wanted, told them to spend a moment reflecting, smiling, remembering. It was tearful, emotional, especially when your boy stood and placed those two single white roses from the grands, one with T-bods best handwriting and the other a special drawing by mini-me, and the darling little pink elephant (that looked so much like the pink paraffin mascot) they won on their holiday. I knew you were so incredibly proud of your boy, his wife and family, how they are as a team instilling manners, love and boundaries with the grands, how they are trying their very best to keep things right.

I miss you so very much, I am forever changed, lost in many ways. I am empty.

 
7 Comments

Posted by on August 26, 2019 in people

 

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Big Sis, the biggest loss

I was not yet prepared to have to say the following. My Sister died Friday 26th, at 5am.

Last October she had an emergency op to remove two tumours from the edge of her brain (we joked she’d had her marbles removed) little knowing there was a lung tumour. She recovered well and had radiation treatment before commencing immunotherapy in February. She had been responding well despite a few issues.

A little over three weeks ago she was suddenly lethargic and severely dehydrated and admitted to hospital where they discovered she had infections. While there were signs of slow improvement on Thursday she suddenly deteriorated and died within moments of her hubs and son arriving.

The impact of this has not fully hit me yet, on top of the recent changes in my personal circumstances 2019 is not being kind to me and my nearest.

Give a loved one, even if it’s your dog or cat, a hug and recall a pleasant memory.

I will be okay.

I’ve spent the past few days dealing with the bureaucracy of death, going through the emails, unsubscribing from lists, shutting down online shopping accounts. Amazon is a nightmare! Make sure you have your partners email password and account password because there are numerous hoops to get tangled up with. Getting the contact details on utility bills and insurances switched to hubs details. Answering question after question over what’s to be done in accordance with her wishes.

Timing of life is tricky, today is her grand daughters 4th birthday.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on July 30, 2019 in people

 

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The Other PostCode Lottery

With having different people visit my hovel recently I’ve found myself having very similar conversations. Firstly it’s “I didn’t know these flats were here, how long have you lived here?” (27 years) and after a brief surprised silence I add “it’s okay the Royal Mail don’t know These flats are here either”.

You see a frequent occurrence happened again and this time (again) I began an official complaint about it with Royal Mail. I had ordered some clothing from a High Street store via their online site, carefully added my postcode and ding up popped the correct address in full. On Friday last week the PostPerson ‘tried’ to deliver it, my usual Postie knows to try the door when there’s a packet and leave it on my desk, but Friday must be his day off. What made it increasingly annoying was the red card shoved through the door was discovered as my primary care person was leaving, she looked at the time and remarked “I was here at 10:40 I never heard a knock” nor had I and to add salt she added “I was in here (the lounge, window beside front door) I would have seen him”.

Hmph …. blessed redelivery needed.

I went to the redelivery web page and tapped in my postcode and hit the ‘find address’ button, annddd my address does not appear, my street does not appear, my town does not appear! According to the proper official Royal Mail my street name is really my building name, the street is the street my road joins, and my town doesn’t warrant a mention. I took screen grabs of the errors and then manually added my address. Thankfully when Postie delivered on Monday it was my usual Postie and he brought the parcel in.

Twenty Seven years and ‘still’ the Royal Mail cannot get it right with the postcode they issued to my street.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on July 11, 2019 in Grumble, Life

 

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The Best Of Fun


Recently my BFF came to play stay for a couple of weeks. Our twice annual pyjama party complete with fabulous food, furry entertainment from #NotMyCat Mickey (aka Mickster, mooch, buggerboo, etc), lots of conversations and reminiscences, music, stitching and of course movies.

  • Barefoot in the Park
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets
  • Cromwell
  • Goodbye Christopher Robin
  • The Way
  • Walk In The Woods
  • The Road
  • The Battle of the Sexes
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Darkest Hour
  • Stonehearst Asylum 
  • In The Shadow of the Moon
  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • To Catch a Thief
  • Summertime
  • The Fastest Indian in the World
  • Gravity
  • The Zookeepers Wife
  • Sybil
  • Blackboard Jungle
  • Mad Men season one, two, three, four and five

BFF had had a vertigo episode before she came to stay, and while resting in her bed she was able to focus on crocheting some cat blankets and brought 10 finished ones with her, along with a stash of double knitting yarn. She is such a quick stitcher that she could stitch a complete blanket every day. We paid a visit to the local wool shop to source a cotton blend to complete one of my blankets. Before long we had 23 blankets ready, and contacted the local cat protection branch for somebody to come and collect them. They posted a very nice thank you message on their Facebook page.

We ventured in to town to take care of a few errands, and often trotted to the local supermarket for nibbles and treats. On Easter Saturday we even went to the local beach and wondered the Esplanade before sitting on a bench and enjoying the sunshine. It was quite unexpected as often there is a cooling sea breeze but there was hardly any movement.

All too soon our fun has to come to an end, the suitcase is packed, and she is returning home. We re-set the counter for her return sometime in September. 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on April 27, 2019 in Life, people

 

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The Ying-Yang of Reality


It’s been a twenty four hours indeed. Yesterday, dear readers I was forgotten! FORGOTTEN!! Moi, the indignity.  BFF usually calls me as she walks home from work everyday. Yesterday circumstances meant she went home at lunchtime, but come 4pm no message so I readied myself, tv muted, phone in hand, and waited.  Hmmmm, 4:15 no call, perhaps she’s chit chatting with her boss (not unusual).  Hmmm, 4:30 no call, perhaps she’s calling after getting her prescription. Hmmm, 4:40 no call, perhaps her phone died.  I sent a message, immediately my phone starts ringing “I forgot about you”. Charming! Lol.

Today my niece and great neice popped in for lunch and to help with a chore or two (at above inflation living wage pocket money rates too!) and was bestowed the honour of an original piece of artwork.  We didn’t spend long discussing the modernist take on the abstract theme of the piece, very much leaving it to the fluid thoughts of the viewer.  It could be a statement on climate change and the rising of the blue waves, or it might be Rizzie the cat lounging in the sunshine.  Either way I am rather chuffed to be considered worthy of such thought.

Life – never a smooth road, keeps one in one’s place.

 
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Posted by on February 27, 2019 in Life, people

 

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The Holibobs Blues


Like the weather, my mood has dipped to decidedly chilly since my BFF fly off back home just over a week ago.  I’m sure the seventeen days she was here are the absolutely fastest of the year.  It’s amazing how a few days of simple changes can make such a difference.  Okay, so we are not the most adventurous vacationers, infact our greatest outing was to the cinema.  Spending our days chatting, reminiscing, stitching, playing with ‘Not My Cat’ (didn’t take him long to catch on treat giver was back, lol).  

So viewing pleasures ….. I’ve forgotten a few.

  • Funny Girl
  • Funny Lady
  • Churchill
  • Another Mother’s Son
  • Christine
  • Hitchcocks Lifeboat
  • The Girl
  • Breath
  • Shepherd & Butchers
  • Eight Days A Week
  • Love & Mercy
  • Eat Pray Love
  • Before You Go To Sleep
  • Deniel
  • Sully
  • Doc Martin
  • The Marvellous Mrs Maisel

Good food, treat food, tasty food, thoroughly enjoyed and relished.

It’s horrid to say good bye when we know it will be a few months before we are together again. 

To add salt to my blue mood, you remember that list, just a few things, that I set to do before BFF arrive Do? Yeah, well, erm, that didn’t go so good either, but that’s for another post.

 
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Posted by on October 23, 2018 in Films, General, Life, people

 

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United Diversity

What a fabulous photograph! Three beautiful young ladies engaging in the celebrations of a Royal event, coordinating their patriotic red, white and blue with their modesty ethos and headscarves. Three young Islamic followers sharing the joy of a Christian wedding.  I truly hope their experiences of the day was solely positive and affirming.

It’s a sad dark shadow on our society that there are those who will view this casual image so negatively. There are those who will snear and cry that these ‘types’ should go back from where they came (little realising that it’s likely somewhere like Bishop Stortford, or a country village, not some distant land; nor realising Islamists have lived, worked and died in the UK for a few thousand years).  There are also some who will genuinely believe these ladies have demeaned themselves, because they are not wearing black and they have their faces exposed.

Whilst there will always be those who favour an opposite negative opinion, and I hope they are a shrinking minority, can we please try and enjoy the positive, happy, inclusive, non-pigeon-holing of life.  It seems as society is trying to become inclusive and tolerant (detest that word), it is also becoming more focused on tagging and highlighting differences.  

I was reluctant to post this, you never quite know whether on such an explosive subject, readers will understand what I mean, and who will take offence. Fingers crossed.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 25, 2018 in In The News, Life

 

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Siri? Alexa? No, Aunty

Picture the scene……. You are sitting comfy on the sofa, feet up, the late afternoon sunshine warming your exposed toes, your mind is occupied watching Columbo run rings around William Shatner, you are contemplating when to go make your poached salmon with vegetable rice and a splash of soy sauce, when the phone rings…….

Now I never get unsolicited phone calls, BFF calls during the week during her walk home from work, Bro-In-Law and Big Sis are away for the weekend, Nephew & family would be eating their dinner, whose left to call! I scramble to mute the tv and grab the phone. 

“Hello?”

“Hello you, it’s me” (Bro-In-Law) Utoh, problems? Brain scurries every which way

“Hello you” my brain is bemused, coherence not engaged

“You by the pod” that’s code for within reach of t’internet

“Yeeaaahhhhssssssss?” My brain is reaching wtf mode

“What time does the GP start?” 

Really? No, Hey we’re having a fab time, missing us, food awesome at that pub, etc etc, just straight in with the important stuff, lol.

“6pm Channel Four”

“Ta much”

Who needs Google when you’ve a me!!!

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 13, 2018 in General, Life, people

 

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I Hate Halloween (still)

 

Time for a repost…

It all stems back to a incident in 1973/1974 and some decades later the fear within still resides and affects my behaviour.

Way back then I was a small child, only child of the house. We lived in a new house in the village, there were no street lights and few neighbours. The room beside the main lounge/dinner, always named the little lounge, was where I would play most evenings, not disturbing my parents. The window, at right angles from the main lounge windows, looked out across the lawn and across the neighbours drive. It was a very quiet village and as my street was a cul de sac of only a dozen properties not much traffic either. It was never unusual for the curtains to be left open after all there was no one to look-in.

One of the main streets [the village centered around a t-junction beside an ancient Priory and river crossing] had the affluent estates, mansions of six or seven bedrooms in acres of land, some only years old some dating pre-victorian, and as the oil industry was beginning to boom on the coast these executive dwellings were rented to upper managements families, thus why we had American families in the village.

The ‘festival’ of trick or treating was unknown to my neck of the woods, yes we were aware of All Hallow’s Eve, the night of witches and gouls, stories of fright but other than that is was a non-event.

I vividly recall that night without much prompting, I was playing gymnastics in the little lounge. forward rolls, backward rolls and so forth, balancing, pretending to tight-rope walk when there was a knock at the window. I looked up expecting to see a familiar face who had tried to gain our attention by knocking at the front door but had not been heard, but I was much mistaken. I saw a light shining upon a glowing disfigured face with a blood curdling moan eminating and nothing but pure blackness around. I was petrified, scared witless at this utter terror before me. I know I screamed with all the effort I could muster. I ran into the main lounge and leapt to my Mother startled by my activity, the leap was close to record breaking for a 5/6year old. I was shaking, howling, in such utter distress and hysteria.

My Father hurried from the house. It was not until many years later that someone else told me he caught one of the teens who had taken part in this deed, had grabbed him by the scruff of his jacket, pulling him to within an inch of his face and shouted most violently at him.

The next day as I boarded the bus for school, I knew instantly who had been involved, the two american teenage boys from the large house and one local boy, they were a gang of three, their snickers and glares displayed their guilt. I was so angry, yet utterly intimidated.

It is now approaching dusk and my nerves are already twitching to close the curtains and lock the door. When I first moved into my home the first couple of All Hallow’s Eve’s I could not bring myself to be in my kitchen and cook because there was nothing to cover the window and door, eventhough there was no way for anyone to get to them, the fear was there. When I worked flexi-time at the Agency I always left the moment core time was over and drove home to get hidden in my home.

I don’t for a moment imagine those three fellows even remember frightening me that night, but I do. I hate halloween.

EDIT :: I still close the curtains early, I am still on edge should there be a knock at my door (which would be ignored), but I know I’ll be fine.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2017 in General, Life, people

 

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