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Thursday, 21 January 2021

I am still here...

hanging by a thread.

The thread is 

Audrey.

Audrey is now in a care home which she constantly calls rehab.  Every time she says it Amy Winehouse springs to mind.  Sadly she has lost the plot.

She FaceTimes me numerous times a day if only to say she can’t hear.

After my voice rises to levels a foghorn would be proud I fall back into my recliner only for another call to ping in.

Limbering up I stretch the vocal chords in readiness for me to forecast that there is fog on Dogger Bank.



Tuesday, 29 December 2020

Ghost like her face...

 emerged. After a couple of days of radio silence my flat thing murmured.  As if by some ghastly trick, I could see her.  For months our flat things haven’t been producing pictures, now they are and I am sad at the sight before me.  Audrey complaining of the cold sat in her hospital room.

‘I don’t want to die cold!’

‘Perhaps it is your body getting in training for what is to come!’

‘They have just thrown a coat at me and left me to it! Anyway I am being discharged today and nothing has been said!’

‘The care package isn’t in place until the 29th Audrey so they won’t send you home before then’

We talked on until she once again had to dash to the loo.

‘FaceTime me later, love you Mum!’

‘I will, and I do you too!’

Will that be the last time we speak?

I got on to the ward to find out where the dressing gown was that had been delivered on Christmas Day by one of her neighbours.

A chatty nurse said it was in a carrier bag, soiled!?!  She then went on to say she has been complaining of the cold for days and she is toasty and her temperature is spot on.  Yesterday Audrey had a bad day, in bed not communicating.  Today she is a lot brighter, using her iPad.  Certainly she isn’t being discharged anytime soon! 

That was Monday. 

How is it going to end?  I worry when she doesn’t get in touch and now worry when I see the decline when she does.

Today Tuesday has ended with Audrey in bed in her own home?  The NHS have more pressing needs for her hospital bed.

Maybe her dream of dying at home comes one step closer?



We squelched, we...

 skidded, we squished, we slipped and slithered.  With stout legs pumping we valiantly wallowed on.

‘Imagine the Norman soldiers marching towards Ludlow Castle through this lot!’

‘All without Goretex and stout waterproofed boots’ my reply floated on the still snowy air.

Snow it really wasn’t, from a distance it looked, well snowy.  On closer inspection it was just frozen water.  Alright I am fully aware that that is exactly the composition of snow, however this was poor mans snow, thin like gruel.  

‘Let’s walk on the footpath at the fields edge instead of the lane’ intrepidly I cried.  I walked in at 5’4” out at 6’3” the mud, mud glorious mud, nothing quite like it for growing the bod. 

A family the other side of the hedgerow powered by as we ploughed valiantly on with ageing limbs screaming at the injustice.

‘Not the best of ideas!’ He said as we rejoined the lane at the footpath’s end.  Walking through puddles my inner child resurfaced as I cleaned my boots... 

Splish, splash, splosh, 

happy again.

The family far away on the horizon disappeared into the snowy landscape looking for all the world like Lowry figures as they diminished into the distance.  And in a puff of snow were gone.

Hanging in the hedge was a large chunk of straw...

‘Got a bag?’

‘Only a doggy-do bag!’

‘That’ll do!’

In wonder he watched as I carefully stuffed the bag full of the bounty of the hedgerow.

‘Been easier to buy what you want from a pet shop’ he chuntered under his breath. He has long ago given up on asking what the plan is I have in mind!

We took it in turns to carry it looking for all the world as if Ellie’s diet was straw and not much else?  Jauntily I walked along gaily swinging the thing pleased with my unlooked for treasure.



Getting home tired but happy, I charged Ellie’s Kong with cheese and special biscuits.

Meanwhile our chunks of homemade Christmas cake and wodge of strong cheddar undid all the good the walk had done.  Galleons of builders strength tea ensured these intrepid  soldiers were fortified on their return to camp.



Friday, 25 December 2020

Scowling I stalked along...


the river Teme.  stepping out for a walk on a cold, crisp and clear Christmas afternoon I was confronted with this...


Dozens and dozens of dog ends, coffin nails,call them what you will.  The cottage adjoining us is an Airbnb without a garden, the visitors sit on the doorstep, smoking in this case.  Now as I stepped/stomped (delete the word to suit) out, smoke by way of a new Pope being chosen was emanating from my chimney.  The phrases that came to mind were not 

#Tis the season to be jolly tra la la la la la la#... but that not so well known  carol... 

#You don’t sh*t on your own doorstep, just save it for a festive trip to Ludlow, la la la la la la#

Marching through the chilly afternoon I plotted my revenge... I know, I will sweep them up and post them through the door, that seems suitably charitable in this time of being kind to all men.

On arrival home I took a photograph and decided to go in have a warming mug of tea and try to find my spirit of good cheer, peace to all men and all that jazz.  Oddly all is not lost and there is room in the inn, just remember you are entering a no smoking environment.

What would you have done?


Sunday, 20 December 2020

I recline that’s...

 what I do.  My mother had good legs untrammelled by the ravages of the snaking vein of varicose.  Asking her the reason, she would always reply that at every turn putting your feet up was the only way.  Being of a slothful persuasion I have very much taken that onboard, even as I tap this out on my flat thing my legs are elevated.  In fact I modestly admit for a stout lass my legs are one of my better features, a grand piano would be proud.  



A soup├žon just to let you know I’m still here...


Monday, 14 December 2020

The apricot shop...

the man and me. 

Today’s trip was going swimmingly, the first supermarket was quiet and  I managed to get all the things on my list.  No old ladies were kicked into the air for me to get to the last pack of Izal.

The second supermarket right in the centre of town, their car park was full.  I happily trolled up to the roof parking my charabanc high in the clouds of town.  I was on a roll sadly not loo roll.  As I wandered into town with my flat thing it crossed my mind that as the problem was intermittent maybe let sleeping curs lie.  No, I’ve come this far and things are going so blooming well, it is silly to skiddadle home without at least letting these techwhizzards have a gander at my equipment.  The shop was empty,  the guy didn’t seem very interested when I asked for help.  In true computer geek mode his fingers flew over the soft downy skin of my apricot howsyourfather.  He managed in a few short nanoseconds to completely and utterly make my flat thing die!

He handed it back saying best you get the guy who sorted it out to unscramble what has been done.

‘Err, he is probably back home in Bulgaria, as he seems to have dropped off the trendy techie Ludlow scene!’ I testily replied.

‘I can’t help you, next’ he said handing it back to me and looking past me to the lady at the head of the queue.  The queue which had morphed out of the ether, as if by magic.

‘Hold tight, you are now attempting to send me out of the shop in a worse state than I came in after your fingers flew over the keyboard and completely and efficiently shafted my flat thing!  Now I am fully aware this technical stuff is imprinted in your DNA.  This just isn’t right!’  My irritation level was rising at about the same rate as the interest level of the queue.  They hadn’t had so much fun as this since last year’s ruddy panto. I swept out of the shop like Widow Twanky on speed, steam escaping from every orifice and a few more besides!

On arriving home still gently steaming, telling himself about my parson’s egg sort of trip, he said

‘It appears Google is down, maybe hacked!’



Well I don’t mind admitting I was blooming hacked off, but not that much, surely?

I always thought I had power... the ruddy mind boggles.

Sunday, 13 December 2020

A trip was...

 planned tomorrow to the Apricot shop in Hereford, while there I decided on a mercy mission to not one but two supermarkets for vital supplies like gin, truffles of the pongy-kind, champagne and a slither or two of salmon of the smoked.  You know the sort... vital.  Well that is until the breaking news our ‘esteemed’(?) government has suggested that the supermarkets start to stockpile in readiness for the end of the world... oops sorry end of the year madness.  Well to cut a long story short I will turbo power my Smart into the first supermarket car park and turbo it out pretty damn quick sticks if there is so much of a quiver of a queue... ditto the second one. 

I don’t do queueing or even stockpiling, so Christmas might be a bit thin on the ground here.  Just noodles on 26 layers of loo roll toasted to a crisp to resemble sourdough toast.



Ebenezer would be proud.

Saturday, 12 December 2020

I am doing a...

 No Dig Allotment.  Now before you think I am driven by idleness, you may in fact have a point, however I would never admit it in a court of law, or come to that I would never admit it... full stop.  When you see one Charles Dowding plying his trade you can see how it all seems to make perfect sense.  Why would you interfere with worms who it would seem make a blooming good job of turning the soil, alright they don’t do digging they just wriggle and squirm until the right texture is reached ie the crumbly cake crumb type.  Digging is so last century.  Cardboard is the must-have of the no-dig brigade.  You lay cardboard over weeds’n’stuff and pop on the top some soil, then plant directly into this.  Sound like a plan?  Yes it did to me.  Only today I have covered a deeply weedy patch with the aforesaid cardboard, and onto the top placed some homemade compost, planted two thyme plants and a clematis in the herb garden section of my allotment and stepped back and admired my handiwork.  Only time will tell...

My latest squeeze... Charles Dowding, look him up on YouTube.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

I have a little...

foible, which some might find a tad strange.  I am unashamedly addicted to tracking parcels.  On a par with stamp collecting, train spotting, numismatics, fag card collecting, I could go on.... and on.... and on.

The problem is exacerbated at this festive time of year.  I am fully aware I could get a consignment sent from some dodgy on-line purveyor of pills, portions, spills and spells.  Trouble is in the blink of a bat’s eye I would be tracking the ruddy parcel.

In fact only today as the person I have been tracking all day arrived I said I must get out more as... I have been charting your progress around Ludlow, did you stop in Castle Street for your luncheon? To which he replied my solicitor will be getting in touch with yours as stalking is an offence...

Oh dear will anyone make me a cake with a file in it?  Or even a file with a cake in it?

Call me a tart, I really don’t care... Bakewell it has to be. Tarte au Citron... nay!



Sunday, 29 November 2020

I’m having trouble with...

 me equipment!

I now find I can’t answer comments, well I can on occasions, however it seems to be something to do with my lunar cycle? Bi/tri/mono/tandem/penny farthing, luckily not menstrual.  If I run outside scantily dressed as a wood nymph casting fairy dust, the odd spell, three Hail Marys and a bowl of hearty porridge sometimes it works.  Now in amongst that cornucopia of mystical cavorting I inadvertently find the way in.  Trouble is next time I can’t ruddy remember the magical formula.  The ageing bod isn’t up to all this clambering in and out of wisps of floaty material, apart from the old grey cells not being up to speed on the sequence to the ‘Open Sesame!’ Of this infernal machine.

The dance of the Seven Veils could end badly as poor old Isadora Duncan found to her cost!  Oops that reminds me I forgot to put /motor/ in my list...




Friday, 27 November 2020

For sure I know age...

 creepeth upon me.  Fair bitten me on the bum.  No, no it is not the big pink knickers, elasticated legs notwithstanding.  



It is the sudden and unforeseen desire (I use the term loosely)... for of all things...


plaice.  

The food I had hitherto regarded as the food of the gummy godless, china choppers to a man.

Does this mean I am officially  in Tear 3 of decrepitude, I idly wonder?

I am still here...

hanging by a thread. The thread is  Audrey. Audrey is now in a care home which she constantly calls rehab.  Every time she says it Amy Wineh...