December 2009


It is illness. Not bad, and the house is warm, but don’t expect much action for a while.

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Just a short trip to Croydon to meet up with Gideon, then on to Wimbledon on the tram (through endless miles of wiggly tin world, then back via Clapham Junction. A pleasant afternoon jaunt, but it has left me feeling weaker than I have for weeks. It’s either accumulation or the start of something. I have a clearish day tomorrow though.

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Yesterday: No drink. Some food. One short walk. Bed very early.

Today: Ma took dad to the local mass (for young people and those whose family’s have been middle class for more than 3 generations, that means they went to a Catholic church. My father was the second Catholic in the family since the Reformation, after my brother Basil (fka Harry). My mother is Orthodox, but does consider God the concept to me more important than the franchise.

What that meant was I had the house to myself for the best part of two hours. Marvellous (I have to fell you at this point that my TestEdit told me I had misspelt Marvellous. I wrote Marvelous english speeling into the search engine (the search engine I cannot be arsed changing), and found out that Glynny fat fingers had risen forth after just 7/12th of a bottle of champaign, what was left of Vina Maipo (Basil’s choice of wine when he took ma for the big Christmas shop) and just a pint of sherry with lemonade.

Any road up. The point is I had a truly lovely time in the kitchen (and put all the ballbearings back into the broken wheel of my dad’s walking aid, and packed them in with vasiline {whilst in my pyjamas and with Top Gear on}); and washed the jumper ma had forced him to surrender last night.

I then sorted things for the recipe, which I saw on ITV’s Christmas Cook’s Challenge. I did look for a link to the spicy duck (we had duck for Christmas) recipe from Brian the Yorkshire tv chef. Unfortunately I agreed to do a survey for itv . com 9note how that will not form a hotlink on any browser), and that survey helped flush out any unused anger, and is at below in italics.

It is a shame itv are so bad, because it was a cracking recipe. I fried the cooked (in parts) duck with sesame oil; then gently fried the fancy stuffing. Added diced onion and crushed garlic, Added chilli mixed nuts, that would have hung around until Basil next visited; and a cartoon of chopped tomato,

I had already boiled small patoto cubes in the liquid from yesterday’s soup, with the red bone of duck I was not frying. Then fried cubes of rye bread. The dried potato (which had been mixed with tumeric). Controlled the freshly opened bottle of champaign (by me, it’s my job) and we all had a lovely dinner.

Glyn’s comment on itv . com

How angry do you cretins want to make people? That’s you designing this mind numbinly shite survey. What do you expect to find out from asking more questions than black youths being talked to by coppers near the end of their shift?

Clueless wankers is now the impression I have of itv . com. If you do not understand that people on the internet will, generally, answer no more than 10 questions and then skip, then it underlines the fact that Itv is being run by people who could not find anything better.

Also, I suspect; no more because after I got bored I was seeing pages as fast as I could press return; that there was a value gien to any page with no answer given. I doubt I will complain about the survey techique, but as a matter of statistics ‘no answer’ is the most siginificant indication of a badly designed survey.
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Betsey Dumplog’s eyes misted as she looked down at the young face of her charge.

What’s to go Master Pap? You looks all of a dither!

Mister Drunkfingers’ has found his way to the keyboard Betsey! What can we do?

Don’t you worry bout old Fatends. the worst he can do is a big brown blog; and if it blocks the bend, well there’s work there for those’s who’ll ave it.

Wonderful Christmas. Ma stuffed the duck, but I did almost everything else; including educating her about why her The Doctor said he should only have one drink! is even more annoying than my Dad’s The Welsh have been the citizens of two empires.

I managed to keep ma out of then kitchen whilst I cooked. It was like bejing a chef.I sung, then swore better than I have for years.

Fingers are missing then target now. Did the walk to Campbell’s Lake. Stopped at the Charcoal Burner to leave cad, and discover all my money was in the other trousers, and the rip off caSH MACHINE AT THE POST Office was not working.

I just had fresh air to sustain me until I got back, apart from an old bloke with an olden alstatian (yes that is splet wrong, but what do you expect on this time of a Christmas day?)

Oh, and there were two girls with another dog, who made him come back and say hello, because I was saying what a nice dog to Mark of Intrpid Videoss on my mobile.

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Happy Christmas. If you check back later I may have managed to put my card on this blog, but I am not promising.

One of my more intelligent readers (Hi Basil) contacted me to point out that queen bumble bees not only have stings, but have much worse ones than normal bumble bess, on account of having to fight off cuckoo bees and worse.

If only I had known that yesterday, it would not have made the slightest difference. One thing I forgot to mention was that I twice tried to nudge the queen into a hole, and both times she ended up hanging hooked on just one leg to my finger.

Did another liquid heavy shop this morning, then cut dad’s hair. Gave up on trying to get to Brighton to try and find the Russian plain chant and to drink beer, and drunk beer in Crawley instead.

Went to the library, mostly in the hope of seeing Debbie, and giving her a Christmas card, but got there 10 minutes after closing for the holidays. Saw bossman Mandy outside, who had not only got my e-card but replied. I was walking with her, me towards Wetherspoons and her to the station and Christmas, when someone called my name. Proved to be James Pegg, who I had not seen since 79! Decent bloke and lovely to see him.

I then had alcohol and conversations in 3 pubs, oh, and bought slippers for mum to give to dad (he will loudly claim that he does not need them, or want them, and he has one foot in the grave, so why does he need new things. It was ever thus.),

Did a really good prawn, corn and brocelli curry as well.
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The Christmas card is now on my bradwan homepage.

It rained heavily this morning, so the snow has gone or is compacted, and the ice started to melt.

I did two heavy shops today. I shop with a large rucksack and either carry it all the way back or use a bus for most of the way.

The first shop was local, one collection of drugs for each parent, with a chat to the manager of the chemist about the mad world of Watkins. I also got birdseed, flowers for dad (to give to mum), his daily fix of bad news and outrage, and liquids.

The second trip was to town. I cannot walk along ice and snow covered pavements without trying to clear a way for those that follow, and if there is melt water that just adds to the joy of the challenge. It is tiring though.

I bought fruit and more liquid, I was going to get a bus, but saw a very wet queen bumble bee crawling across the pavement outside a hamburger joint. I left her crawl on my finger and tried to give her some glucose tablet melted with snow (human spit is poisonous to insects). I cannot be sure she took any, She cleaned itself very clumsily.

She crawled around my hands a few times and tried to go up my sleeve (I could feel the hooks in the end of her legs). A few people stopped to watch and ask questions as it was moving, and I then had the issue of what to do next. It had obviously been woken from hibernation, perhaps by melting snow wash out or dislodging its resting place. I thought about putting it in a hole in a post or building, but any such hole is likely to have a spider. I finally decided to carry it to dad’s disused shed, on my hand.

She spent most of the journey with her head in the space between the bottom of two fingers. Near home she started to move about much more freely. I took her up to an ivy covered oak tree and she flew off before I could try and place her.

If it does not freeze tonight she has a slim chance of surviving, but a fatter one than she had before I saw her on the pavement (btw. queen bees have no sting).
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If I use Three Bridges Station tomorrow it will make it the fifth day in seven, which makes it the closest I have been to a commutor for a very long time.

This trip was to meet up with friend John for a drink and to talk about a possible Curry & Kipling, and old mate Gideon.

Before I set off I had to get dad’s Daily Mail (I hide it under my coat on the way back incase anyone sees me with it, as I cannot be bothered buying a porn mag to hide it in) but also book an appointment for ma at the doctors.

Met John at the Duke of Chandos (a Sam Smiths pub) then went looking for a cd of Russian plain chant. It’s John’s old manor, and he still knows people around Charing Cross Road/Shaftsbury Avenue/Oxford Street. I got a cd of Russian vespers at Harold Moores Records but not the one I wanted. It was a good walk, with us both having history to relate, with John’s being more detailed and up to date.

We went in two pubs, one was next to Moores and the other I think called the Blue Posts, whose landlord was a friend of John’s.

Then back to the Chandos to meet Gideon. Me and John ordered food, at which point I discovered I had not brought my insulin. If I had had it I would have spent a couple more hours chatting to Gideon, but not more as I had to get back to take ma to the appointment in the evening.

A good day, full of learning.

The walk back from Three Bridges was the slippiest so far. Lots of the paths were clear after some melting, but the roads and some of the paths had turned in polished old ice or new black ice.

Ma was feeling better than this morning, and the trip to the doc’s was the first night out since the Crawley, Carr and Kipling Show. She got drops, and two new tablets. We came back via the Coop, so a grand night out; but if I had not been home there is would have been a far too high a chance of her breaking bones. There appears not to have been a single grit or grain of salt put down on any road, let alone pavement. She could have asked for a home visit, but that is as likely as me asking Tony Blair how I could help him get richer.
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