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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The House Rules

Wow, nearly a year since I last blogged! eek!

Anyway, lets crack on. I have a house guest.  This is not unusual.  I have two grown children still living with me (that’s another blog waiting to be written).  So the odd house guest is quite normal.  I like having people here, I like cooking for them, chatting to them.  I like being a host.  I just want to put that out there.  I like being a host.

So, you are asking, why do you want house rules?  Well, it’s not me, it’s the house. This is a weird and wonderful house to live in.  We are used to it, but when anyone else comes I am worried they will accidentally burn it down due to the unusual nature of the house.

Here goes, lets start upstairs where you have awoken to what you think is a normal house.

  1. The bathroom.  One of the newish rooms, being that it is in the extension.  Don’t let this fool you. If you are going to have a shower, DO NOT flush the toilet first.  However grim that might be, do not flush it.  If you do, you will run out of cold water.  And that shower gets mighty hot. If you use the toilet and need a good flush, have a bucket of water standing by.  One flush will not get rid of anything except a light wee.
  2. Upstairs hallway.  I don’t care if its a hundred degrees up there, do not open the hall window.  It is completely rotten. The last time it was opened it nearly fell off.  Only some mighty fine acrobatics on my part prevented that. Not doing that again.
  3. Downstairs bathroom.  The toilet has the same problem as upstairs.  Bucket of water on standby.  Don’t try to have a shower here.  For one, the bath is full of shoes.  (nowhere else to keep them) and two, it’s under the stairs and you will scrape your fingers on the ceiling when you wash your hair. The cold water tap on the basin has never worked.  The hot water tap is fine as long as you don’t wash your hands for too long.  The hot water is HOT.
  4. The lounge.  The lounge is fine.  I mean it’s messy with piles of junk oh I mean treasured items everywhere, but you know it’s fine.  Oh except in heavy rain there is a leak in the cupboard with all the electrics. Don’t worry too much about this, just make sure the bucket is in place and no-one has pinched it for the bathroom.
  5. Which brings us to the kitchen. Look, it’s very old so it’s likely that any door or drawer you open will come of fin the hands.  Don’t worry about this, just leave is next to where it should be. The fridge might be humming or rattling away.  Just lean on it slightly and it will stop. If you want to cook, the auto light does not work on the hob, just use the matches in the drawer.  Don’t even try the cooker hood.  Hasn’t worked in twenty years.  And, the oven.  Now the auto light does work.  Sort of.  Turn the oven on and leave the door ajar slightly to clear the fumes. If you don’t it will click really annoyingly all through the cooking. I find jamming a spoon in the door does the trick. Please remember that when you remove the spoon it will be very hot!
  6. The cats.  Three cats live here, although there may be more in the garden as some just come and sit there and our cats do nothing about it.  The cats have been fed.  No matter how much they beg, they have been fed.
  7. And lastly, the front door. Last person to leave, double locks the porch door.  If they don’t know you are here or forget then you are locked in.  There is a wonderful array of spare keys on the rack behind the front door.  One of those will probably fit the porch to let you out.  I can’t say which one.  Some of those keys I have no idea what they are for, but have fun trying.

So, honoured guest Welcome to this house and enjoy your stay.


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The weekend was somewhat difficult. I was up early enough on Saturday to secure a Tesco Christmas delivery spot. True, I hadn’t won the Euromillions lottery the night before but it all looked like it was going to be a good weekend.

I was due a Tesco delivery that morning. I swear I am not addicted to Tesco, its just the way it worked out. Ten minutes after it was due I received an automated phone call informing me that the delivery was cancelled. Just like that. I was incensed. I didn’t have time for this. My Saturday was carefully planned!

Printing out my list, I resolved that I would go shopping myself. Spouse insisted on accompanying me. I thought it would be a good experiment to go to a different supermarket and see if it cost less. Fat chance. 

With spouse accompanying, it did not cost the estimated £138. No, no, it cost £195!

 £195! so that’s two hours and sixty pounds behind schedule. 

Once home I got a call from my friend informing me that the Piccadilly Line was broken. The Piccadilly line that was going to take us to a gig that night. Every alternative route was problematic as Network Rail was having engineering work done. After a lot of stress a good route was calculated and away we went. 

As it happens it was an excellent gig. The Damned at their finest. The O2 Brixton is a great venue. Or it might be the double gin I had as compensation for stress. 

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Goodbye to all that

Much comment will be made on 2016

Brexit, Trump, Celebrity deaths. From my perspective, I would just say it’s been unexpected. Nothing seems to have gone to plan.

My early retirement plans have been put on hold. My daughter is not studying at Kings as she has planned. My son is not doing his dream job.  My eldest daughter is struggling with working, studying and running a house.

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad.

I have got an unexpected promotion. I am happy at work and I don’t remember the last time I said that. Whilst my daughter is not studying at Kings she is in UCL and is happy there.

But it’s my son that worries me. He is doing a Christmas job at a popular Internet Shopping firm.  He is picking and packing.  I am not complaining. It’s a job.The firm are a strange one to work for.  Such archaic rules and regs.  Not allowed to wear a watch and you only know the time from the bells telling you its break, or time to go home. Late for work?  one point,. Day off sick? one point. Fall below target? one point.  Six points and you are gone. Where is the duty of care?

But his general morale is so low. I even suggested giving up the job early but whole point of doing the job was to get experience and a reference.  Something that would help him get a better  job. He is working nights, which having done so myself, I warned would make him disorientated and not know what day it was. He only has a month left.  I hope he makes it though and gets somewhere more satisfying.

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New class, new challenges

So this academic year (I realise I am a bit behind) I have got a lovely new class.

And they are lovely.  I work in a special school and sometimes it can be quite challenging.  This class, the only thing you need is earplugs because they are NOISY! There are a  few tantrums too.  Tantrums I can handle.

The hot weather was the worse challenge I faced and I was mighty glad when the weather changed and cooler weather blew in.  You can always warm up, not so easy to cool down.

Because I was lucky enough to get a bit of promotion it means I occasionally cover class.  For the first time in my school career, I don’t mind doing it a bit.  The class is sometimes a little chaotic but then it is when other people cover too so I don’t feel so bad.

So, although my home life is still stressful, work-life is going well.

For now.

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