December 2010


Bev went down to my parents in Crawley late on Boxing Day, dropped off by her daughter Sara and partner on their way home.

It was a nice visit, particularly for my dad, who had a bit of peace, what with Bev occupying my mother.

Back by Megabus, on the 14.15 via Hddersfield and Halifax again. It is an OK journey in company, but it is only slightly quicker than National Express, and much more wearisome than the train.

A good Christmas. There may be this year’s card below, though it is 23.00 on Christmas night so there is a fair chance it wont work.

I cooked Christmas dinner, which was roast sirloin of beef and Finnish roast mashed potato, but with added swede, carrots and nutmeg. Afters was a bought in steamed chocolate pudding. It all went down brilliantly well, and even dad’s moaning was reduced to two or three.

In the afternoon I fitted the new toilet seat, which was easy, after taking the old one off, which was a job. I was surprised at the positive reaction; dad declaiming the glory of the new throne.

For supper I cooked welsh cakes that ma made.

I painted Bev’s portrait (the first time I have tried portraiture) for one of her presents (the others included a washing-up bowl). She thought I had captured her smile, it’s just a shame I could not be there to see it.

<Bradwan 2010 Xmas card linking to larger image.

Did two shops today and would have got all the essentials, apart from spicy nuts, if it was not for the fact that the cans of Greene King IPA I bought at Sainsburys was the vilest shit of a canned beer I can remember. I would have taken the can I opened back to the bar if I had bought it in a pub. I will be taking the 7 cans back, Greene King IPA draft has been taking the piss for years by only being drinkable if the pub was willing to mature it in the cellar, coz the brewery sent it out green, but canning under brewed shite with a yeast infection is not good.

At the end of today’s first shop I had well over 20 ibs (10 kg) of shopping in my bulging rucksack plus a plastic bag with chocolate in. I got a bus back.

As per normal after 9.30 ,ost of the passengers were old, although being Christams Eve they had double their normal shopping, ie a whole pint of milk and two tins of cat food.

I put my rucksack on my lap to leave the seat by me free, because I always do. The last one on the bus came to the seat by me and looked at the old bastards sat around me. Every single one was sitting in the aisle seat with their piddling shopping on the empty seat beside them. She obviously realized I would struggle to squeeze past her if she sat on the one by me, and glared at the tossers around me, but not one of them moved. The leather clad old cunt behind me with the long ‘rock star’ grey hair being the worst.

Come my stop, the bus had to wait several minutes while the lass by me got up and I struggled. I do wish I had made some comment, but I had barely the breath to get off with. The closer I get to being old people the less I like them; and I will probably have to live to 70 to get the free bus travel that allowed the gits on the bus today to occupy a seat for nowt.

Forgot to mention the massive bird of prey that took off from a field south of Newark as the train passed. Turned out to be a red kite.

The new bradwan Christmas card is now on my website.

Last night I had a half day bed holiday, the fourth or fifth in recent times, but the first where I was not woken by internal warfare. Also managed a massive backpack shop with 3 buses and a bit of walking today, so I guess I am alright.

Got my first Christmas present by accident. Mam has been house bound by the snow and cold so I bought a vest and long-johns set for her to give to dad, but could only find a medium and XXL size, and she had already declared that he already had too many clothes that hung on him like a sack. To be sure of the fit I modelled them, the idea being that if they were loose on me they would fit dad fine. She declared that they fitted me so well they were now my Christmas present, which is good as there a dirty great hole in the long-johns I am wearing. I had also got sherry, so the mam-dad present is sorted.

Also bought enough potatoes, cheese, crisp and crisp like snacks, and ginger wine for Christmas, and almost enough continental sausage. Am still short of cooking oil, spicy nuts, chocolate, beer and new toilet seat (one of which will be a surprise present for my parents, I’m good with gifts me).

Trains were ok today. Everything running late but smoothly, and the East Coast train almost empty until Peterborough.

Talked to a man that manages a betting exchange called Tom, and a woman going to have lunch with her sister. I may have given them a few bits and pieces of information.

It was a gorgeous view from the window, with snow cover all the way and white trees, but surprisingly subtle differences in the coverm a bit like I painted for the 2008 Christmas card

When I got in I went straight to bed for an hour for rest and to lower fuss levels. I will probably go back there.

J have had a very sore throat the last couple of days, but thankfully it was in a warm house, and the fact I am producing the densest phlegm for a very long time suggests, at least to me, that the worst is over.

I was warned about sucking menthol sweets in bed, or rather I assume the phrase:

Where you allowed to eat sweets in bed?

Actually means

Stop sucking sweets or you’ll choke!

The trouble was that it was the only way I had to dull the pain enough for sleep.

One by-product is an internal chemical reaction to the mass of menthol that could have made true Tony Blair’s lies about Iraq. The chemical emerged mid-afternoon and a cat was the only witness, but even he suffered.

One result of the throat is all Christmas stuff has fallen even further behind. I may be sending e-cards out on Christmas eve; depending if the travel chaos, especially the East Coast mainline, is sorted.

Snow cover again, with temperatures forecast to remain below freezing for a while.

Did a big shop at Lidl, and got presents for my parents. Ma is getting a large aluminium cooking pot to replace the lovely cast iron one she loves less than God and family, but not by much. It weighs enough to make me see flashing lights when I lift it out from under the sink, and she’s a women that gets angina if she sits up too quickly!

Dad gets a rechargable hair clippers and a free hair cutting voucher. The old one is not that old but I have not been happy with them for a while. I am pretty certain they are pulling his hair out but the begger will not complain unless asked directly.

I have not had a drink since Tuesdayy, and do not feel like one now. Despite this I have been a bit creative today, more to follow, if I remember.

Don Van Vliet, aka ‘Captain Beefheart’ has died in California. I got to know his music through the late, and much missed, John Peel. Favourite LP is Clear Spot, which is also his most accessible.

It is cold, and when it is cold and I am in my own house I generally keep to the bedroom, that being easier to warm than the room downstairs. It is not a warm house and has no central heating. While installing some would add value to the house it makes no sense otherwise. I doubt a central boiler could heat two rooms in a house any cheaper than plug in fires, and I have so longed lived hand-to-mouth that the thought of heating hardly used rooms would send even more shivers done my spine.

I have finally sorted out this year’s Christmas card, after many revisions. I will attempt to post on my site, and maybe facebook, within a week. I am behind-hand with posting but I seem more laid back (apart from swearing when the wrong image prints) than I ever have been.

Went to sing carols last night. It was a first for Baildon, and organized by the local churches. It was nice, though the band played too fast.

Brought the shin scraping sack-trolley back from Bev’s this morning. I had used it to shift her old washing machine months ago. It is better than nowt, but is old, soft steel Chinese, weighs more than most of the things it carries, has bolts that work loose with a breath, is easier to carry than wheel over any distance, and needs a lump of wood between the wheels before it can carry anything wider than itself; and it also now seems I will have to take it back to Bev’s.

Having trouble getting an image of this year’s bradwan Christmas picture. Both scanners have issues with it that require more carving on the image, and no method of downloading from my camera works (and I have spent several hours trying). I wanted to do the thing without using adobe but the next version will be the 12th attempt and will be built from the previous 11 and a new scan.

Saw Bev dancing with Wayzgoose in Otley on Sunday, and at that group’s social in Leeds yesterday. She started with them at about the same time we started actually going out, and is growing in confidence with their dancing and the group.

The possible Return to Teaching course is worrying me. There is a bursary that would make me slightly better off than the dole, before expenses, for 10 weeks, but payable in two payments, both in arrears (possibly 8 – 10 weeks for the second one). I could try and stay signing on, but would then probably have to surrender the bursary. It’s a sod.

There are a few other things adding to my teeth grinding; and while I am on teeth the one my idiot dentist tried to fix for the fourth or fifth time barely stopped giving problems, though not painful ones.
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