Who knew eating out would be so hard

So it’s near the end of term and I am in the middle of a union meeting. Things have been going badly wrong at work and as the union steward I felt a meeting was called for to get everything out in the open.  I held it in the local carvery because they have a large (generally empty) bar and a massive car park.  Feelings were obviously running high because most of the workforce came and it lasted just shy of three hours.  All this time, although I was concentrating and taking minutes I was also smelling roast dinner.  Three hours of roast potatoes, gravy, stuffing etc. By the time I arrived home, I was tired and craving roast dinner.

I sold it to the spouse by saying “kids are out, lets go on a date night”

He was agreeable to this until I suggested the Carvery. He wrinkled his nose and proposed a a pizza. I wasn’t feeling Pizza. I was also a little surprised that he turned down carvery.  He NEVER turns down carvery.  He turns down sex more than carvery!

However, I booked a table and off we went. Once there he stood behind me when I was giving the details to the Waiter.  Behind me!  The waiter saw him and said “Hello Jim”,  And my! Was Jim sheepish. He squirmed on the way to the table.

Eventually I got he story out of him..Jim is a regular visitor to this establishment, had been there the week previous and had imbibed too much (not unusual for an alcoholic)

Jim had picked a fight with this man and told him the beer was off.  Its unclear, but he may have been escorted from the premises.

This is not unusual.  I have lost count of the number of places we cannot visit because he has been ejected and subsequently banned. You kind of get used to the embarrassment.

i must say the waiter was politeness itself and totally professional.  i just hope he didn’t spit in our drinks.

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Stress, cats and herbal cures

It’s a beautiful autumn day. Despite the fact that it is mid October I am in the garden in my t-shirt. I am pottering about, pulling weeds and sweeping leaves.

We have a swing in the garden.  It’s like a sofa and swings gently in the breeze, it was a present from the children for their father. Misty, the cat, has purloined it.


And, amazingly, we let her.  Because according to the vet, Misty is suffering from stress.  She is an over groomer.  She has washed herself so much that she is quite bald on both back legs. Any attempt to stop her washing gets us bitten. She is also quite bad tempered.

The vet prescribed herbal capsules for her, which can be sprinkled on the food.  They are pleasant to taste so the cats will eat it.  Will they heck!  she knows there is something on there and flatly refuses to eat.  I even mixed it in cream and she wont touch it.  In desperation I got a plug in diffuser with soothing  fluid in it. I put it in the lounge (her favourite spot after the swing.  She refuses to go into the lounge.  Does she want to be stressed?

Haunted catts

Meanwhile she continues to wash, continues to be bald, continues to be bad tempered.

It seems the only cure is to gently rock her on the swing.  If nothing else it momentarily stops her washing.



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So this is Semi retirement

A few months ago I made the decision to semi retire.  I am not that old, 58.  But my job is very challenging and to be honest I am the oldest one still doing it. I work in a special school and its a brilliant job, but you need to be full of energy.  I am not always full of energy.  By Friday I am almost dead. So I concluded, it was semi retirement, or dropping dead soon. I applied to work three days and to make up the pay I claimed a pension that I had on the back burner. Sadly, work would only give me two days, but to soften the blow offered me supply work on the other three days.  That means if they are short of staff, and my friend, they are always short of staff, I could go in and cover.  This seemed perfect.

This week, the one just finished, has been the first week. I was not called in on any of the days.  I think this is because its the beginning of term and no-one goes sick at the beginning of term. However, not everyone is happy with my new lifestyle. My spouse is particularly annoyed. Although it will not make any difference financially, he has decided to play the martyr.  “I will work until I die”  is one of his phrases.  ” some of us have to work now”  Stuff like that.

And I am not doing nothing on my days off.  I buy and sell on Ebay.  It’s going quite well.  I made £80 last month.  I mean I am not taking on Richard Branson but you know I am doing OK.

And the Fitbit?  Yeah, that’s going OK too.  7 or 8 thousand steps a day.  Seven hours sleep a night.

The rest of my life just started.

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Nice is nice

Sorry about the title. Couldn’t resist. So, I have been to Nice.  I probably would have enjoyed it if I hadn’t been accompanied by a psychopath.

I don’t care for hot weather and sitting on the beach staring endlessly into the middle distance is not my idea of fun. However, it is the spouse’s favourite pastime. And I was prepared to put up with it for a week.  Truly I was.  I packed suntan lotion, umbrella to protect me, and books. As for footwear, I packed flipflops and sandals.  See! Perfect prepared for holiday.

Well no, as it transpires. To punish me for not liking the whole beach thing spouse decided to do a lot of walking.  I wouldn’t mind this, I like walking, but I was not prepared.  My sandals wore out after three days. We were just walking along streets for no purpose and at the hottest part of the days.  Average temperatures were 29 degrees.

My feet looked like this


My sandals covered in blood and pus.  Oh the hand isn’t mine, in case you wonder why they don’t match.

How far did we walk?


Yes, during the week I walked 46 miles on broken unsuitable sandals in burning heat.  Sometimes I suggested stopping for water or a rest.  No, we ate a fairly substantial breakfast and then nothing until dinner at eight or so. If he wanted a beer I  got water but was teased for it.  Clearly I should be drinking beer. Yuk!

On the way back, he had packed a mini bottle of wine in the hand luggage which  was obviously confiscated. So glad it wasn’t me that did that.  I would never hear the end of it.

Nice is beautiful.  Just wish I had been with someone else.


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Another year, another attempt at getting fit.

So, I had a birthday. How did I get to be 58. I still feel 23.  Well, not in the mornings I don’t. When I tentatively  creep down the stairs one at a time creaking as I go. Then I fell 80.

Anyway, I had a birthday and one of the presents is a fit  bit.  Actually not a fit bit but a fit bit type thing. It counts steps, records my heart rate and my sleep.  The steps is cool, makes me walk more to up the steps. My heart rate is erratic and sometime shows my heart is working at all.  Worrying.

My sleep is the most surprising. I found i don’t have deep sleep that often. 45 minutes maybe and the rest is light sleep. That is if this thing is accurate.

Setting is up was quite funny. I know my age and height but I never weigh myself so I guessed my weight. So it probably means the calorie count is wrong. Oh yes it counts calories too.

So I shall be writing again next birthday saying I am twig like and super fit. And sleeping like a log.  🙂 :):)

Oh for anyone that’s interested in 48 hours I fly to Nice.  Last minute as ever.

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Holidays, more trouble than they are worth?

Holidays, are they more trouble than they are worth? I think I should confess right here and now that I am not a fan of holidays.  Well, really I am not a fan of holidays abroad. Well, really when you get down to it. I am not a fan of last minute holidays abroad.  I realize that is quite specific. In the last few years spouse has got a liking for booking last minute.  I mean really last minute.  48 hours before departure.  I am a planner, I like to gather things bit by bit.  For me, Christmas shopping and planning starts in August!

Holiday planning should start in January…Or at least Easter. I try, I do try.  I mention possible holiday destinations, but no, last minute is the key.  I don’t even know when because he can book his time off at 48 hours notice too.  So most of the summer holiday, I don’t plan anything because at any moment we could whizz off somewhere.

And while I am on this rant, I don’t like the heat of abroad. Relentless heat,  insufferable boredom on the beach. At one time we had an agreement that one year abroad and one year at home.  That pretty soon went by the board and its every year abroad.  And then there is the cost.  It takes all year to recover, just in time to whizz off again.

And finally, yes finally once there we spend at least a day searching for places for him to watch the blessed football. Yes, that’s how I want to spend my holiday, in a smokey crowded bar watching 22 millionaires ruin a piece of grass dressed in their underwear.

Here we are two weeks of summer holiday left . Me in a permanent tizz.  Are we going away this year?  Who knows.  Ask me in 48 hours.

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Funerals are for the living, not the dead

Yesterday I went to a funeral.  I realize I am not unusual. People die every day and people go to funerals every day. But this one, my husbands best friend, was a strange one.  Dave had suffered from lung cancer for five years and when his body could take no more, he passed away. He had always stated he didn’t want any fuss when he went. But, as we have discovered, the funeral was not for him.  It was for the people he left behind. His four siblings were estranged from him and each other. His brother confided in me that they were, in effect, four strangers in a room brought together to grieve for another stranger. I got the impression he regretted not having more of a relationship with Dave.  It was not really their fault.  Sent to five separate boarding schools, only seeing each other in holidays, they did not stand a chance.

My husband, his friend for over thirty years was more of a brother, our children nieces and nephew.  It became clear that my husband was leading the funeral, he spoke at the service, he was the first to lead out of the crematorium and no-one dared move to the wake until he did. He did everything he could to make the right funeral for him. And I think that has helped him move on.

At the wake, it was he they all lined up to say goodbye to.  So strange. When Dave was in the hospice my husband visited him daily.  No one else came.  When we arrived to also visit, the hospital staff seemed startled.  They gave me a look of “wow, you are tolerant”. And I realized that they thought he as gay and my husband his partner.  He was, after all, down as next of kin. They were aware of his four siblings and just made an assumption.

But I have digressed. The funeral. It was a simple affair but touching.  Just a few flowers, no fuss.  Few tributes, but they were heartfelt. The wake I think he would have approved of.  In the pub, swapping Dave stories of which there were many and drinking to his memory.

Rest in Peace Dave, in pain no longer.


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