Monday, 10 June 2019


Is it me or is it still winter ?

Even Shirley's wrapped in a blanket as she lays controlling the world from her Ipad...but wait, was that a glimmer of sunshine on one of the several weather charts she'd consulted before deciding whether we would go to Cragside for a restricted walk around at 2pm ?

I am inundated with orders for money pockets from the hundreds of Showmen who refuse to buy from anyone else and insist on mine so I don't care if we don't go...ANYWHERE...but somehow manage to show enthusiasm for the six hour round trip !

As I toiled away I heard the nut mix being poured into the Chinese takeaway container and could smell the rousing stench of eggs being boiled ready for the sandwiches that I would be genuinely grateful for as I collapsed with exhaustion whilst struggling to keep up with her as she route marched me for mile upon mile carrying an even heavier rucksack than usual !

My swollen ankles and calves, breathlessness and general exhaustion don't seem to bother her as much as they bother me as she piles even more stuff that she won't need into her ex SAS rucksack !

"Drive round first and park up at the car parks I point out !" she barked, Captain Mainwaring like !

It's a six mile single track circuit with 15MPH signs every few yards and there were no overtaking areas at all as we fell in irritably behind a dozen elderly drivers doing just under the 15 !

"Right pull in here, I can't stand it any more !" she urged only 100 yards into the drive, "I'm starving and I've only had my cereal so far, unlike you who've had cereal AND toast !"

So I stopped, about two feet short apparently so had to start up again and inch forward until I was told to forget it and drive on to the next rest area where she ate and reluctantly handed me a half round whilst reaching for the bottle of water she had filled at home.

"Oh GOD, I forgot to pack the water and that's what comes of having too much to do and think about to make sure YOU'VE got YOUR food and forgetting about myself ! We'll just have to carry on to the car park with toilets and I'll have to find something for you to fill with water as I know you can't eat without having an attack ! Can't you just squeeze a drink out of this pear ?"

MY PORTAL TO OTHER WORLDS (and not the vagina my wife said it looked like !)
Some wives might have apologised at this point but I have grown to unexpect this !

We drove on and parked for the third time. I didn't mind as the walk we would have done without water was all uphill and completely unenjoyable but Shirley has places she HAS to visit, like OCD really ! She would have reached the bench about ten minutes before me and fallen immediately asleep AND woken up several times before I'd arrived and then as I'd collapsed beside her, jumped to her feet and demanded, "Right, let's go !"

"Do you not carry a bottle of water in here ?" she asked staring into a box that quite clearly DIDN'T have a bottle in it !

"Right, I'll empty the nutmix into this carrier bag...hold go and fill it after rinsing it out PROPERLY and HURRY UP, I want to get to the next car park before the old pegs take up all the spaces !

I suspected that the water in such far flung places would be undrinkable but my thoughts on the matter were dismissed perfunctorily but guess what....I was RIGHT !

"Right drive on and we'll get a drink at the booth !"


"Did you see me put the water in the rucksack !"

"I wasn't watching !" and I'm certainly not brave enough to question whether she had or not !

Finally after a short walk around the top lake we staggered into the cafe for a pot of tea for one, for two, a scone with cream and jam to share....which they'd run out of....and two cups and saucers, two knives and two serviettes and a hidden table in the corner to hide our meanness in !

But Shirley took pity on the washers up and made me return the knives and serviettes, two plates and one cup and saucer so we shared one cup or rather I got the occasional sip whilst she downed the rest because she can drink scalding hot liquids and I can't which is another of the several hundred traits I have which annoy her !

We eventually arrived home with our nerves shredded only to discover the bottle of water had fallen out of the rucksack and lay under the passenger seat.....undrunk....and I got on with the money pockets !

Just before we got home Shirley let out the sort of howl you only normally hear at 'foreign' funerals !

"What is it pet ?" I said Geordily, "Your haemerrhoids playing up again ?"

"NO ! It's my Lanzarote visor ! I've left it hanging on the back of the toilet door at the cafe and I'll be lost without it !"

"Do you want me turn around and drive the thirty miles back ?"

Shirley NEVER goes back...anywhere !

"No but why didn't you realise I wasn't carrying it when I came back to drink your tea ?"

The truth is that that visor had haunted my life for twenty years, ever since she'd bought it with it's embroidered LANZAROTE across its peak which she'd made me glue a patch over so that her middle class teacher friends and everyone else would never know that we'd once fallen so low as to take a holiday on that working class island in the Canaries !

It was kept, greying and worn at the edges with a streak of ingrained dirt around the headband up on the shelf above the passenger seat in the car and regularly fell off whackin her on the head whenever I accelerated at anything above walking pace !

Now all she has is her gold lamee 'PLAYBOY' one which makes her look even cheaper than the Lanzarote one...but I'd never tell her that....would I ?

Tuesday, 14 May 2019


My 'EATING OUT' advisor suggested that I didn't go to eat lunch tomorrow with my son and his cousin.

"Leave the young things to eat alone and talk about the subjects that young people talk about these days !" I was advisored !

My son is 45 and his cousin is 43 so what would these 'YOUNG THINGS' possibly have to talk about that was cheerful and wasn't at least on the same level of misery and forlorness as the miseries I would have taken along to bring their spirits down with ?

Anyway, I dare say I would have been expected to foot the bill as usual so that's something to cheer me up...a bit !

Friday, 10 May 2019


I was just thinking the other morning, whilst cutting out another mountain of purses, about how tranquil married life had finally become after only forty six years when my adrenalin was sent skyrocketing around my body by the sound of a blood curdling scream and the clatter of a teaspoon being dropped onto a kitchen worktop !



So adopting my totally fed up look I trudged reluctantly through to where she stood towering below me and awaited....what, I couldn't imagine !

"There's a blob of wet coffee on the inside of the coffee jar because you keep putting a wet spoon into my used tea bag pot and then using it without drying it to make your next coffee and it has to STOP, so from now on I'm going to leave a dry spoon permanently in the coffee jar which you must replace into the jar before using my tea bag spoon to stir your coffee before putting it back into my used tea bag pot OK ?"

"What ?"

" I'm NOT repeating myself !"

I of course instantly forgot and what's more tore a tiny bit of the new Corn Flakes box lid when I opened it this morning although I DID manage to open the inner packet to her preferred width which allows one corn flake to exit it at a time !

I am now working away in my room awaiting the discovery of the tear !


I guess she's found it !

Wednesday, 20 March 2019


"Right STOP working, it's 16*C and sunny, you've had a dish of Rice Krispies, I'll do you a box of nuts and make me a sandwich whilst you put the bikes in the Babe Magnet and we'll go and do the cycle path around Wallington Hall before I go mad going nowhere !"

You'll notice that my opinion was not sought !

"GLOVES ?" she spluttered contemptuously as she stared sneeringly at my attire !

"And  a scarf." I said timorously, more to myself than her !

She threw her rucksack overhand at me and the sheer weight of it carried it clean through my outstretched arms and straight into my face !

I daren't cry out for fear of being told to "MAN UP !"

In that rucksack along with her two litres of water, two pre-wet flannels, a spare pair of shoes, a large tube of anti thigh rub gel, two apples, three oranges, an extra large pomegranate, clear spectacles, her phone, her iPad, her sandwich and several boiled sweets for HER was a small box of mixed nuts for me...."Otherwise you'll just be whingeing on about being starving !"

We arrived in dull windy weather with the threat of rain hanging about us like an unwelcome house guest ! You get to an age when ALL house guests are unwelcome !

I untied and removed the bikes which hadn't moved one thousandth of a millimetre despite being forcefully told that they would fall over at every corner, heaved the rucksack onto my back and followed obediently through the endless gates that obstructed the route !

We headed into the dreariest weather imaginable, up slopes that defeated our lowest gears so that we both had to get off and push up dramatic inclines that even the men from The Ordnance Survey wouldn't have been able to detect !

I couldn't see a thing through my glasses because they were covered in a fine mist and couldn't see a thing without them on either as the cloud base was so low that the entire Wallington Estate had disappeared from view !


Now those who know my wife know that she doesn't do ANYTHING without checking at least a hundred weather forecasts from around the world before she's even taken her first breath each day so finding myself both hot and cold, exhausted and blind in the middle of I knew not where was not my idea of a day out !

It didn't help having a rubbishy old and heavy mountain bike, given reluctantly by a relative, with no mudguards, a worn out rear tyre and gears that I just can't make work properly but mine was state of the art compared to Shirley's 1960's three speed Sturmey Archer geared (she refuses to use them and cycles strongly in top gear with her fiercely independent Scottish legs) urban ladies example of an accident just waiting to happen which she rode in terror as the narrow, bald tyres had no grip whatsoever and the brakes made no difference as she hurtled down the hair raising slopes at speeds close to three and four miles per hour !

It didn't help her confidence much either knowing that she had had a terrifying incident at the harbour three weeks before when she tried to ride over a wet railway line and had gone down in an instant heap of severely bruised flesh !

We didn't and I won't wear a helmet as ALL people who do look like utter twerps, especially men of my age and I would rather end up dead in hospital looking good !

We rode alone and didn't see a soul, except for a warden who warned Shirley in a gentle way that there was a road to be crossed in a half mile which required care but it turned out that it was little more than a farm track and he must have thought that we looked like a pair of escaped Care In The Community clients !

So an hour and two miles later we arrived back at the car shattered and starving !

"We'll just grab a mouthful and go for a walk down to Capability Brown's garden." Shirley said, again without referring to my wishes and I defiantly refused !

 "I am NOT going for a walk as I am done in !" I insisted, choking on a burnt almond !

"You ARE !" she retorted swallowing her ham sandwich in one bite, made with ham from a £1 packet of wafer thin chemically enhanced reconstituted meat product from Home Bargains !

"I AM NOT !" I yelled, choking on a burnt cashew !


"AND I'M TELLING YOU I'M NOT !" I yelled, choking on a walnut half !

So we went !

Tuesday, 19 February 2019


"WHAT'S THAT ?" Shirley shouted, half leaping out of her skin, interrupting her tale of a noisy child running up and down a caravan somewhere we're not at at the moment because of Doctors appointments and grandchildren sitting !

"What's WHAT ?" I responded, all but deaf to anything remotely quiet coming from a different room !

"Oh it's the mobile, quick !" she howled once again half leaping out of her skin at a speed that almost defied belief !

But as she reappeared, grasping the iPhone 3 that one of our children had mothballed several years ago and then given her a month or so ago to replace something REALLY ancient from Nokia and staring myopically at the tiny screen that old technology had yet to improve on, the thing stopped ringing !

Of course 'RINGING' is not what it was was playing a tune that started quietly and then grew louder !

"Quick, it's the Doctors so it'll be for you ! Come on, leave that bloody computer alone and run upstairs where the reception's better !" and pressing redial she threw the thing at my instantly responsive athleticism !

".....all in this practice are bound by confidentiality....blah blah press ONE for blah blah blah...TWO for etc etc etc ad infinitum...."

I pressed FOUR for 'ANYTHING ELSE' !

"BLAH BLAH can I help ?"

"Someone just phoned this phone."
"Name ?"
"First name ?"
"David, well Jonathan David actually."
"Date of birth ?"
"The twentieth of January nineteen forty nine." I said, pronouncing things clearly as 20-1-49 has caused confusion in the past !
"How can I help ?"
"YOU just called ME !"
"Let me have a look. What was it about ?"
"How do I know, though I got a copy of a letter from the Cardiac Nurse yesterday, dated eleven days ago informing the doctor of a change of beta blockers."
"Ah ! The doctor's asked why !"
"But the reason is stated on the letter !"

At this point Shirley had run upstairs for the third time with my copy of the letter and the charging plug because the iPhone 3's battery only lasts about ten minutes and so began a struggle of listening to the receptionist whilst trying to work out how to plug the phone's charger into the phone one handed whilst also listening to Shirley telling me stuff which I couldn't concentrate on because the receptionist was also trying to tell me stuff and I was bent double sideways because the wire from the phone to the plug was too short !

"Oh it might be for me !" Shirley suddenly remembered as two weeks before she'd got me to hand in a letter from her optician who wanted the doctor to arrange some tests because he thought he's spotted the signs of a mini stroke on her retina....I didn't know they could do that...did you ?

"Hang on!" I said to the receptionist from my sideways curled position, "Your phone call this morning could have been for my wife...erm Shirley....I can't remember...May the something...same address yes...hang on she's sitting here so can I hand her the phone then I won't have to get her to give you her permission for me to continue talking to you about her...……………………………………..

And it WAS for her and she HADN'T seen the voicemail or something that they'd sent her!

Tuesday, 13 November 2018


We were driving back from EXACTLY one hour's frogmarch around the autumnal woods this afternoon when Shirley spotted the 309 stopping outside M&S to where we were heading because we had a '£5 off when you spend £30' voucher !

"I miss the bus journies we used to make when you were banned from driving !" Shirley said a quarter day dreaming and three quarters out of contempt !

I then had to slam on the brakes as some old bloke simply came to a halt right in front of me in the middle of nowhere whilst apparently wondering where he wanted to go !

"What do you mean by you miss the journeys ? You HATED the bus ! You HATED your fellow travellers ! Every journey was a nightmare of delays, suspended services, stinking humans and a fear of missing the bus back ! So what DO you mean ?"

"Well, for a start I didn't have to put up with your driving and your foul temper and your getting lost !"

"What do you mean my foul temper ? You mean when idiots stop in the middle of nowhere like that fool in front of us ? And it wouldn't drive YOU mad if you were a driver ? And what do you mean LOST ?"

"It's a young woman !"

"What do you mean it's a young woman ?" It's an old bloke !

"It's a young woman with shoulder length hair."

"It's an old man with long unwashed grey hair and GOD he's going to stop AGAIN ! Oh for ####'s SAKE ! Just where I was about to turn in to M&S !"

"OH GOD GIVE ME STRENGTH !" I yelled as I turned by mistake, slightly too early into the MacDonald's Car Park !

"Exactly what I was talking about !" Shirley smirked.

Monday, 20 August 2018


I've only had a four year and an eight year old on my own for seven hours but I am now determined to denounce this life and move permanently to a male only retreat in Outer Mongolia !

If I were a woman I would DEMAND to go to work full time after having had my bits and my brain torn asunder by the little horrors !

It's a combination of EVERYTHING, from having my hands permanently in the washing up bowl, scurrying around tidying up constantly in case my husband were to come home from work suddenly and think me a lazy pig, the endless questioning, the ENDLESS putting me down and the refusal to eat more than a teaspoonful of any hurriedly thrown together load of junk food !

I understand ladies WHY you ignore your children so WHY do you want more than ONE of the little turds ?

It's ten hours since I was woken and I've finally sat down on my own for a moment before hearing a shelf of toys hit the deck AGAIN !

Why DO I bother !

If I was A WOMAN and a husband WAS about to arrive home I would be waiting for him to just TRY getting fruity before whacking him over the head with my rolling pin !

I feel that I AM now well and truly in touch with my 'feminine' side !

Friday, 27 July 2018


My sister in law was over from Spain with her daughter yesterday so the fridge is now FULL of Marks and Spencer's finest foods !

Even IT, the fridge that is, keeps letting out gasps of surprise at the quality and price of foodstuffs it's never held before and didn't know existed !

I'm sure I heard it say, "What the #### is Haddock Chowder Soup when it's in town ?"

It also means that meal portions are much smaller as a packet with three very thin slices of ham, costing a king's ransom has to be shared between four as does a packet of  five tiny 'Princess Charlotte Water Boiled New England New Potatoes Sluiced In Real Butter' !

Still, we bulked up on a largeish 'Prize Suffolk Radish' each and a 'Lancashire Tenderleaf Lettuce Leaf' which again had to be divided into four !

Everyone praised my wife's culinary skills as she whipped her kitchen scissors across each packet !

Cutting a single small 'Luxury Apple Slice With A French Flour Based Topping' required great skill and we tossed for the raisin, which I won but then had to hand over when my wife gave me one of her looks and I had to pretend that I didn't like raisins anyway !

After our meal my sister in law suddenly announced that there was to be a rare blood red moon between the hours of 8:30 and 10 and that she would very much like to see it.

Well our long hot eight week summer had literally just come to an end and we were experiencing an almighty thunder storm with huge banks of black cumulus clouds releasing lakesful of rain whilst sheets of lightning turned the entire sky varicosed white !

But she didn't understand that the moon would have been BEHIND the clouds and therefore invisible...see Father Ted 'Near and Far Away'...and kept peering out of the drenched patio doors.

Finally, I could stand it no more and grabbed a felt tipped pen and piece of card and bluetacked a blood red moon onto the door and called out, "Remarkably Debbie, the blood red moon IS visible through the cloud !" and she came excitedly running down the lounge with her Iphone in hand, snapping shots and shouting out, "Oh my God, look at it Shirley, it's magnificent !"

This is true and what's more she kept going back for another look !

She is a Professor of Astronomy in her adopted country and I didn't have the heart to tell her what I'd done !

Saturday, 14 July 2018


I returned home from my doctor's a little stunned yesterday afternoon !

Following MONTHS of waiting for appointments and then getting referred on for tests my GP told me yesterday that my left ventricle, the main heart chamber that pumps oxygenated blood through the body is working at 38% !

This is not particularly good and she's put me on beta blockers as well as high blood pressure and anticoagulants as I also have Atrial Fibrilation too which means that the atria have enlarged to compensate for the ventricular ectopics (irregular heart beats) and wall thickening which have been a long standing problem !

And yet I feel and look so well, not that I've ever looked well or felt it either !

So did my wife cradle me and rock me gently and weep over my face ?

NO !

She asked me to step to one side so she could watch Nadal at Wimbledon !

Later on she asked me what had happened at the Doctors and also asked me to look up various categories of life expectancy for men of my age with my condition !

She then asked me to put my Last Will And Testament into her shoulder bag before turning her attention back to the tennis !

Tuesday, 10 July 2018


I don't have time to cook and so rely on my wife To feed me at regular intervals which she does marvelously well despite telling me over and over again how much she HATES cooking !

She also apparently hates Hoovering, housework, shopping, flying and sex !

Anyway, this morning at 8:45 my workshop door creaked open and she handed me in...she will not cross the demarcation line between HER space and mine...two sliced juicily ripe nectarines, followed shortly afterwards by a plateful of nigh on totally incinerated hot roasted almonds with pieces of Asda's cheapest 30p a bar milk chocolate melting droolingly all over them !

And HOW delicious were they ?

YUM SCRUNCH that's how !

And she STILL says she can't cook !

She was then rather worried about the effects of eating burnt food and Googled burnt almonds and only told me later that they contain CYANIDE !

Goodbye everyone...Shirley knows where my Will her bag !

Friday, 15 June 2018


"WHAT have you done, written or posted to get you banned THIS time ?" Shirley snarled a couple of years ago when I got wiped from the Facebook page of a photographic group called Hidden Northumberland .

I was sat, staring shocked and feeling totally humiliated by some Admin's action ! I'd only joined the area's leading Group with it's twenty thousand Membership a couple of weeks before and had been basking in some of the Members enthusiastic response to my shots !

"I simply put on a shot of one of Northumberland's most iconic images and asked, tongue in cheek whether anyone knew where the four Gargoyle heads which had originally been on London Bridge were now on display and they banned me ! ME ! BANNED !"

She didn't even hand me a hanky to blow my nose and wipe away a tear but went straight in for the kill, "Serves you right ! You think you're funny and you're NOT ! How many times have I told you how unfunny you are ? I would have banned you myself ! These people are serious photographers and they don't want the likes of you as a Member ! Now forget it and concentrate on what you're good at which is making leather purses and NOT playing the guitar whilst accompanying your dreadful playing with your diabolical voice !"

Like old Steptoe I smirked to myself and immediately set up my own Facebook Photography Group which after a number of name changes is presently called 'POPPYCOCK' !

It has about four Members who contribute photos and insult me and a few more who simply insult me but it's been such fun that I can't let it go !

SO, if you want an unexpurgated, funny, non-banning, politically incorrect and getting more incorrect with every passing day Group, why not join us ? You don't have to be a photographer but it is after all a photographic Group and I don't care how good or bad your shots are or what the subject matter is...just post them !

Tuesday, 12 June 2018


I SO looked forward to seeing the live beaming of Swan Lake tonight, especially as I was going on my own due to Shirley's coughing fits preventing her accompanying me !

The problem with going anywhere with my wife is that NOTHING suits her, whether it's a cinema seat or an armless chair in a restaurant, the position of the table in said establishment or basically having to mix with other humans !

We tend to go at least half an hour early so that she can change tables or seats several times whilst at the same time growling at me not to introduce her to anyone I might happen to know !

So yesterday she told me NOT to buy her a ticket for the Ballet as she feared 'SUDDEN ONSET COUGHING FITS' during the performance caused by dust coming off the seats, the actual height of her seat above ground level, her proximity to other humans or the three week old cough that keeps grumbling on !

So I looked forward to a frictionless evening during which I could chat to people I knew and/or complete strangers !

But today she felt better so she came with me to a converted church where raked seating should have provided an uninterrupted view...except for the fact that the architect got his sums wrong and he put the screen too low down so we both had THE tallest people in town sat blockng our view !

I recognised several people but felt it best to ignore them and I think that they were under the same orders as I was ! What is it about women and their choice of the wrong husband ?

I moved right along the row where I had a splendid view, pushing past Lucinda who was so large she couldn't stand up or move her legs because she was wedged into her seat !

Lucinda's friend, whose name I couldn't catch because Lucinda's voice was one of those tremendously deep bossy ones, couldn't or wouldn't move either !

Lucinda sneezed extremely loudly several times during the three hours we were there and immediately after loudly blew what sounded like nosefuls of thick green endless gunge into her hanky making me and several others around her, including I would imagine her friend, feel nauseous, to the point of retching some small amounts of our dinners back into our mouths !

Lucinda's other hugely irritating fault was her voicing of her opinion after each solo, like, "GOOD LINE WHAT ? I SAID GOOD LINE, HIM, THAT DANCER CHAPPIE ! HER HANDS ARE GOOD ! I SAID HER HANDS ARE GOOD ! HAVE YOU SEEN MY THIRD TUB ?"

Lucinda was obviously once a Colonial lady who was used to bellowing at her late husband and her servants !

Shirley joined me after the interval because she couldn't stand the man and his ever moving head blocking her view and to get away from Lucinda !

Lucinda also changed seats with her friend and sat next to me where her overwhelmingly large thigh pressed under our mutual armrest and hard up against my skinny little thigh, rapidly killing all feeling in that leg !

Her other problem was the size of her backside which she displayed at the end of the show when she bent down after she'd stood up to pick up her empty ice cream tubs from the floor, thereby revealing several layers of slightly discoloured underwear !

She continued to do this with other peoples tubs and beer glasses and I only stopped staring at her hideousness when my wife insisted that I pushed her out of our way, not an easy task, so we could get to the chip shop before it shut...which we failed because it WAS shut...just !

Monday, 11 June 2018


It's not that she's ever hit me because quite simply, I've never done anything to make her want to !

OK, I might have annoyed her a bit at times which I believe is unusual in itself because my male friends tell me that their wives never get upset with them .

When things get a bit sticky, she normally squeezes her eyes shut and counts silently to ten before opening them and smiling at me in an understanding way.

So what's all this about NOT hitting me then ?

Well I've had to start taking an anticoagulant drug to prevent my dodgy AF ridden heart pumping blood clots to my brain where they would possibly have a small effect on my life.

The trouble with the tablets is that there is no antidote to them and should I have a major bleed after being whacked across the skull by an angry woman I WOULD hemorrhage to death !

I must also avoid getting into fights up the pub, not have a high speed car crash, not fall over or cut my hand open with a Stanley knife !

My Grandson is not allowed to headbutt me or kick me in the shins anymore either !

So I was explaining this to Shirley when we had a drive today and after I said, "Shirley ! You can't hit me anymore !" she dismissed my words with, "I shall hit you if I want to !"

So everyone, anyone, I just want someone who reads this to bear in mind that if my death seems to be surrounded by mysterious circumstances I have probably been hit round the back of the head by my wife whose Crocodile tears WILL be totally false !

Please tell the police !

Friday, 25 May 2018


I don't use anything on this Blog so whatever the regulations are, they don't apply to me ! I DON'T pass on information or even have contact with anyone or anything ! NO ONE EVER comments on ANY of my 200 Blogs anyway and that COULD be because I and/or the Blogs are just too boring, or I've pressed something that I have no clue about and prevented commenting !

As far as I'm concerned my Blog is written to make my wife laugh so the rest of you are a bonus and I hope some of you at least smile at it occasionally !

Oh and I don't earn anything from it or allow advertisers access to it so I guess it'll probably be safe from whatever Europe is attempting to make us safe from !

Next Blog....Surving a holiday on an isolated Scottish Island with fifteen relatives....if I survive !

Saturday, 19 May 2018


"It's time to man up and pull yourself together !" Shirley said, whipping my quilt off me at 6:40am and pulling me back towards consciousness after an almighty forty eight hour dose of food poisoning which SOMETHING or SOMEONE gave me along with a heavy head cold !

At least I can see today and my head doesn't feel like it's being pounded by a sledge hammer !

"You won't be able to drive into Newcastle to watch Dylan march as the parking'll be impossible so I'll wrap up some toilet wipes and you'll just have to get off the bus and find a public toilet if you're that desperate !" she continued lovingly !

"I need some bread so get dressed and go and get me some but you'd better make it white and I suppose I'll have to eat it too as the last thing you need is roughage !" she called out as I emptied last night's wee pot, rinsed it and sprayed it and everything else I'd touched with anti-virus spray !

Heh and what ARE the 0.01% of bacteria and viruses it can't kill and where are they lurking ?

The wee pot ?

Oh, well, that's what I now have to use in 'MY' bedroom instead of going to the bathroom at night because even walking totally silently wakes Shirley who has finally hit a 'negative' sleep pattern after year upon year of telling me, "Well that was THE worst night's sleep yet !"

Although whenever I'm awake at night all I hear is evidence that she is soundly asleep !

So what gave it to me....what brought about that feeling in the abdomen that everyone knows ?

The chicken pies cooked and eaten in a rush before Hugo arrived ?

The slightly wet and only warmed through scampi ?

The overwhelming fumes from the block paving sealant I'd spent two days using !

Not to find myself in a position of never getting fed again I'll go with the fumes !

Saturday, 12 May 2018


I AM NOT PUBLISHING ANY PHOTOS OF THE DAMAGED PART...I'm just making that clear from the start to avoid any disappointment later on !

There was a fearful thump, a scream and silence for a second two nights ago when Shirley stepped into the buttoned up quilt cover that was draped too near the floor and tripped herself so suddenly that she didn't get the chance to thrust out a hand to save herself and crashed down onto the sharp corner of the central heating radiator at the end of our bed !

By the time I had slowly looked up, closed my book, stood up, brushed the crumbs off my lap onto the floor, checked my hair in the mirror, been to the toilet and got to her the pain was roaring through her body and there was nothing I could do to help except to be there...which she has never liked so I went away though alert to her needs as and when they arose !

I was told NOT to phone for an ambulance or stand staring as only time would sort things out so I did nothing !

At six the next morning I was woken by the sound of her setting out the very heavy patio table and chairs after turning them it over from their winter position which would have strained MY back but made no comment when I staggered through, bleary eyed and exhausted from lying worrying about her all night to find her bent over scraping the orange jelly mould off the aging veranda timbers !

The extensive bruising over the surface of her extremely ample boob which took the greater part of the force and probably prevented her ribs breaking was clearly apparent when I was eventually allowed to see it, the first time in forty five years that I have ever seen any part of her body naked and it coloured up concerningly during yesterday, her breathing became very painful and coughing was agony but still I daren't suggest she saw a medic !

I offered to cook lunch and dinner but was prevented from doing so by the words, "I wouldn't eat ANYTHING you cooked if I was dying !",so fed myself and sat watching her starve !

This all came to a head last night when as she was going to bed she came through to me and said, "Is this what you call washing up ?" as she thrust an unwashed up teaspoon under my nose, "It was in with the washing up to the left of the sink !"

"The washing up", I replied, "as you know is and has always been to the right of the sink on the draining board and that spoon was in my unwashed up apple strudle and cream dish to the left !"

"Well why ISN'T it washed up?"

So I went through my getting up ritual again and turned the hot tap on and waited for the hot water to come through, using those few seconds to squeee an invisibly small amount of washing up liquid into the dish.

"FAR TOO MUCH washing up liquid !" she growled, "No wonder half the bottle's gone today and you don't need hot water, tepid will do !"

"What, for cream ?" I asked timorously !

"YES, for cream and watch you don't splash water onto the back of the sink or if you do wipe it up and make sure you've wiped the work surface or the ants will be all over it eating the sugar you're bound to have spilled !"

I did what I could as well as I could, knowing that I would be brought a streaked dish and spoon the next morning and told to leave everything to her in the future....which I happily will !

The truth is that until yesterday when I HAD to do it I NEVER did do the washing up or the cooking or the tidying as I ALWAYS did them wrong !


And I'm left wondering whether I am the only useless man on Earth ?

Monday, 16 April 2018


When my mother told my future wife, "Don't do it darling ! He'll never provide for you !" the night before our wedding, she was not alone in thinking we stood NO chance of making it through forty five weeks let alone forty five years !

Well somehow we did and we probably have no idea how !

We live in the same house we bought forty two years ago and have spent very little time apart !

We have never had a cross word and agree on everything ! Yeah right !

WE DO actually share the same bank account and if there's ONE piece of advice I would pass on it would be to do exactly that ! NO SECRETS !

You'll sleep better !

I took my new wife on honeymoon to the South Of France in a continuously breaking down Fiat 500 after spending much of our wedding night with an AA man on Dover Docks and that was NOT a good idea ! My mother's words of warning nearly came true !

And I still make her laugh so that's good !

Thursday, 12 April 2018


Shirley is a reluctant cook but what she does cook is almost always delicious and I tell her so even though she then generally tells me to get stuffed !

After all, I know which side my bread is buttered on !

Despite being a decade or so beyond most men's retirement age I still work from 8am 'til 11pm most days and was hard at it yesterday when I was summoned for my lunch, two chicken pies, leeks and mashed potatoes which come from a cleverly frozen package !

I instantly stop doing whatever it is I am doing and scuttle through to the kitchen and try to not let my chair squeal on the oaken floor as I take my place at the bottom of the table !

I sat turning on my laptop as quietly as I could as even pressing a key lightly can cause irritation and jumped as Shirley yowled in shock, swore like one of the actors on the American Murder Series she watches and grabbed at an airborne chicken pie which landed in the washing up bowl which was thankfully mostly empty !

"Move that bloody machine back before I wrap it round your head !" she roared as she slammed the plate down in front of me hard enough to break the table let alone the china ! "And don't tell me you're hungry again today or I WILL kill you !"

She then also slammed a small glass of water down beside the plate which mostly emptied onto the plate after leaping about two feet into the air !

I ate every scrap and not out of fear before rising to rinse the gravy slime from the plate before it set hard but didn't go as far as actually washing the thing as I would only have left some microscopically tiny particle somewhere which would have got me bellowed at !

Some time later I'm afraid I DID get bellowed at as Shirley found a pile of mashed potato in the sink !

She thrust the perfectly white lump of mash under my nose and scoffed !

"I heard you at the sink you little sneak, washing your dinner away ! You must know that you should NEVER wash food down the sink as it rots in the pipes and it'll be YOU who has to pay for the men to come and dig up your room to get at the drains !"

"I did NOT wash any food down the sink Shirley as I ate every scrap !"

"But unlike you I am not as deaf as a post and heard you doing it !"

"Shirley, I was simply trying to get in your good books by rinsing a small amount of congealed gravy off my plate before it set as hard as concrete !"

"Well you'll NEVER do that so just admit it ! I'm not stupid ! I HEARD you !"



And with that she disappeared and my weakened heart flashed through another hundred ventricular
ectopics without actually killing me !

Some time later my door opened quietly and not with the usual YANK !

"Erm, I might have been mistaken." she almost whispered !

"Oh REALLY ?  And what has brought you to this conclusion ?"

"Well you know when I shouted out ? The steam from one of your pies had shot out and scalded my hand as as I tried to put it on your plate it flew across the worktop and I think it might have scalped the top of the mashed potato which I now realise was what was in the sink as I did notice that the pile I had spooned out had gone strangely flat."

"So are you saying that you might NOT have heard me emptying food down the sink and that I won't have to pay for men to dig up my workroom floor and that I'm NOT a liar ?"

"yes", she said very quietly !

"Well if that's an apology I accept it !"

And with her usual look of defiance somewhat less defiant she returned to her next murder !

Tuesday, 3 April 2018


It all began around midday yesterday when my wife, deeply absorbed in yet another twelve part Scandi-noir opened my door and groaned, "You might have noticed that I'm not cooking anymore, so if you're hungry you'll have to sort yourself out !"
"OK." I said drily between clenched teeth and over the sound of a bubblingly empty stomach !
"Does that mean you ARE hungry but are too lazy to get off your backside and do something about it ?"
"No." I squeaked from my sewing machine chair from where I was involved in finishing off fourteen market traders money belts, seven large tool rolls and two pencil rolls ! "I'm not hungry at all !" as I bravely held my head high despite feeling faint from lack of food !
She returned to her Kindle, or was it her Asus or was it her Pavilion, each of which she has propped up in front of her whilst watching three things at once AND talking via the internet to either her sister or her daughter simultaneously in the way that only a woman can !
Two minutes later my door was forcefully pulled open again !
"Right, I suppose you ARE hungry though how you can possibly be when you only had your Shredded Wheat an hour ago is beyond me so what do you want ?"
"No really, I'm fine." I wheedled, trying my best not to irritate her: a skill I have failed to hone to a fine art !
"I could do you a couple of pears that are on the turn and need eating but I'm NOT cooking !" she sneered !
"Yes you said and the pears would be just fine !" I replied pleasantly !
They were there in a flash, washed, cored and cut with as little love as any pair of pears could have been prepared with and she was away, also in a flash but not before my eagle eye had spotted a black bit unremoved and unappetising !
"Shirley !" I somehow found the courage to call out, "You have left a black bit on the end of one of the pear quarters !"
That, in hindsight, was a mistake !
She returned in a flash, blasting the words, "WHAT ? WHAT ?" at my quivering shoulders ! "Where's a 'BLACK BIT' ?"
"The..the..the..there ." I mewled.
" THAT almost invisible mark is where I pulled the stalk out and is completely edible ! GOD have you ever seen what I leave of a pear and without pathetically coreing it first you wimp ?"
"Yes." I whispered, "The stalk."
"EXACTLY ! THE STALK ! God, if your accolytes knew what a pathetic man I married they would leave your Photographic Groups in DROVES ! DROVES I tell you ! What's it called now ?"
"I did done well." I ventured timidly
"WHAT ?" she bellowed
"I did done well" I ventured even more timidly.
"What does that mean ? It's RUBBISH !"
"I thought it was funny."
"FUNNY ? You wouldn't know FUNNY if it smacked you in the FACE ! What is self-delusion like is what I'd like to know 'cos you are SERIOUSLY self-delusional ! Now I insist that you take a photo of that 'BLACK BIT' and put it on your, what is it, Oh yes your pathetic, 'I DID DONE WELL' and see if any of THEM think it's funny !"

This hilarious banter carried on for a few more moments until she turned and stumbled over the same raised doorstep that separates my room from the rest of the house that she's stumbled over for the last thirty years and went back to get terrified by yet another diabolical murder !

Oh we do make each other laugh !

Thursday, 15 March 2018


My friend is in his late forties and last week I struggled to pull the truth out of him after a man more of my age went skipping off triumphantly after being given a little blue tablet by another man who, in his early thirties, supplied him and my friend !

The thirty year old apparently takes a double dose though what a Doctor would say about it I wouldn't care to think !

My friend tried one for the first time a week before and he had a DISASTER !

About twenty minutes after swallowing it he started to feel oddly overheated, his face flushed, his head felt 'funny', he felt extremely irritable and he found himself the owner of a stonking WEAPON !

But then his companion asked him something completely reasonable and he blew up at her for no reason he could explain and THAT ruined the atmosphere somewhat !

So, as no apology was accepted he found himself almost in tears and desperate for an antidote for which there is none !

The lady apparently then reluctantly accepted his grovelling and normal relations followed which even he admitted went on for far too long, to the point where she reached for her book to read behind his head and he later collapsed with a terrible pain in his lower back which he still had a week later, during which NO 'relations' were even remotely possible for him !

When he spoke to me there was no triumph in his tale, no bragging and his face was still flushed after eight days so there has to be a moral to this story doesn't there ?

Tuesday, 13 March 2018


Lying is never acceptable and although I didn't actually lie this morning I didn't tell the truth either, which is pathetic !

My grandson Dylan cooked a delicious chicken stirfry last night and despite being only twelve he made a great job of it !

I did the washing up and although we're staying at my daughter's house we never use the dishwasher which to us is an abomination and represents the height of decadence and laziness !

This morning I got it in the neck when Shirley put the washing up away and I must say somewhat over dramatically thrust a serving spoon in my face and pointed at the tiny bit of 'SOY SAUCE' still clinging to an edge !

"Might as well have done it myself!" she muttered as pieces of cutlery hit their respective compartments unnecessarily forcefully, I thought silently !

I chose not to tell her that it WASN'T Soy Sauce at all but Douwe Egbert's coffee !

You see, when I came down at 7am to put the kettle on I reached for that nasty nasty vacuum sealed jar they sell their granules in and grabbed for the top which instead of remaining stubbornly in place shot off like a rocket with a mountain of granules shooting out of the jar and landing in a heap on the damp worktop which I cleared with said spoon before inadequately rinsing it....obviously !

Had I told her what I'd done I'd have been in even more trouble for not having properly sealed the jar the previous evening !

OH and the disturbingly large lump in my neck which I've known about for a month and told no-one about, which I thought spelled the beginning of the end turned out to be nothing more than a common lipoma according to the Ultrasound I had this afternoon !

Friday, 9 March 2018


Leaving for a three hour drive at 11am on the first warm, sunny day we'd had since arriving two days before to go back to BABYSIT a four year old until midnight might seem like going that one step too far to help your children,especially when you're SIXTY NINE but that's what we were doing when all hell struck !

Half an hour into the journey and already tired because I'd repacked the car, Hoovered the place and drained it off in case another cold blast hits in the next month, Shirley suddenly grabbed her head in her hands and let out the howl to beat all howls !

A shot of adrenalin surged through my body in response as I imagined the sort of devastating heart attack she must have just had and my right foot twitched sending my speed rocketing at least two mph beyond the thirty miles an hour she insists I stick to on major roads !

I was looking for a layby to stop in to administer the first aid her attack seemed to warrant when she whimpered, "David, I think I've left the toothbrush charger plugged in !"

"AND ?" I replied.

"I left the toothbrush in the bathroom !", she groaned.

"AND ?" I requizzed.

"What if the charger overheats and catches fire and burns the place down ?"

"It's made by ORAL B and if a single ORAL B toothbrush charger had EVER caught fire and burned a place down ORAL B as a company would be finished, so stop worrying ! There's no current going through the thing so it can't heat up let alone overheat !"

"I'm going to have to phone Gemma !"

"Gemma, it's Mum and I think I've left the toothbrush charger plugged in without the toothbrush on it and we haven't got time to go back as we're babysitting this aftenoon ! Do you think I should phone someone and pay the thirty five pound call out charge for someone to go in and have a look ?"

"Oh I can't risk that in case they see the carrier bag Dad placed over the kitchen extractor fan to stop the gale blasting through and OH GOD, they'll see the plastic bag he put over the smoke detector when I made my toast this morning and the forensic team are bound to see the solidified pool of plastic under where the smoke detector had been and our insurance will be null and void so what do you think ?"

"WHAT TWO AMPS ! Is that a LOT ? David, the tothbrush charger uses two amps ! I'm going to have to text Julian !"

"Julian's texted back to tell me to stop being so stupid because something not connected to its charger means neither it nor the charger can overheat and/or catch fire and you're doing thirty two !"

"And I bet you've already forgotten that you need to bring an 'invisible' plaster to put over that loose nail and the tape to put round the short piece of lagging pipe you put around the bed leg to stop me stubbing my toe on when I come back from the bathroom in the dead of night, haven't you ? Oh and the candle for greasing the curtain rails !"

"Right we'll have to make sure we have a list of things to do before we leave in the future and I'm putting YOU in charge of that !"

She fell back in a half faint with her eyes closed and sucked on my three quarters eaten apple core that she always finishes off when we're driving and I let my speed creep up to thirty five, which you would have thought would have been enough to stop all the hooting and flashing lights from behind but didn't !

Monday, 1 January 2018




She just said, "There you go, I'm trying to talk to you and you're on that bloody computer !"

Monday, 11 December 2017


For years and years Shirley has DELIBERATELY been speaking to me in an ever quieter voice to make me believe that I was going deaf !

She would say things to me from two rooms away or from upstairs and I'd have no idea what she had said and as she wouldn't come through to me because she was reviewing some performance or other that Josh Groban had just given or couldn't tear herself away from the latest photograph of his newly shaven face or from learning more about his dog Sweeney's arthritis, I'd have to stop work and go through to her !

"Say all that again!" I'd say, pretending to be remotely interested in what she was saying.

"No I won't you deaf idiot ! If you didn't hear it the first time I'm not repeating it ! GOD you drive me MAD ! Get your hearing tested !"

We laugh our heads off at that every time she says it but finally I did go and get it tested and guess what ? I AM DEAF !

Today I got fitted with two invisible hearing aids and for the first time in years I can hear birds singing and my trousers ruffling and...and...and.........MY WIFE !!!....who I've had to ask to stop SHOUTING as she's giving me a headache !

Now I'll not be able to avoid hearing all about JOSH GROBAN !

Thursday, 16 November 2017


Apparently, according to the 'pe' which appears under my Blogs I'm now registered in PERU so how has THAT happened !

Does someone with a farm full of Llamas now 'own' me !

Answers to my email on if you have any idea whatsoever !

Thursday, 2 November 2017


It's taking MONTHS for my dentist to work through his latest plans for me and he dismissed a niggling pain in an upper rear monster as being insignificant, though I KNEW it wasn't !

So it niggled and it niggled until three days ago when the pain became UNBEARABLE just after I'd returned to Scotland, after having gone back home to do a market !

Shirley and I have different pain thresholds and I would be writhing on the floor before she'd even noticed a tingle so she wasn't terribly happy when I suggested I HAD to get help before my jaw exploded and I died !

"Well you're not DRIVING back because Julian wants to come over for golf and cycling up Kirroughtree ! Why didn't you just stay at home and get the emergency appointment on Monday ? I would have been alright on my own for ONE more night ! After all we spend more time apart these days than together !"

Now when you're in REAL pain, the sort that stops you breathing and prevents clear thinking, the LAST thing you need is a LACK OF SYMPATHY !

I took myself to bed only to be woken within the hour by Shirley bursting in with a list of bus and train times to get me home and several alternative lists in case the first one didn't work out !

"Are you listening David ? DAVID !"


"You get up at 6:50 and by the time you've shaved and had a cup of tea your bus will be at the stop a half mile away ! Now I'll do you a banana sandwich to take which I'll make now although it'll be black by the time you eat it and I'll put in two more unpeeled ones for the train, right ?"

I was by this time semi-comatosed with pain and grunted my acceptance !

"The bus'll take just over an hour and as long as it's on time and you can get through to the dentist once you get to the train station they open at 8:45 and you'll just have time to book the emergency slot before you get the train OK ? I'm giving you MY phone as yours doesn't work and you'd better not lose it right ?"


"IF the bus gets in late and you miss the train there's another one in an hour OK ?"


"But if the dentist CAN'T see you you'll have to wait 'til 10:37 for a bus back here right ?"


"If you DO get the train, it's straight through to The Metro Centre where if you run you'll be able to get the 'Valley 10' to Eldon Square where if you run again you'll be able to get the X9 home OK ?"


"You'll have to cycle to the dentist and depending on what time you get out and whether or not you have had an extraction and have taken these two bags of Halloween Maoams to Gemma's (who remarked on how pain brought a remarkably corpse-like quality to my face !) or just go home to rest you HAVE to get the X9 back to Julian's by 8 so he can drive you back here for a couple of days cycling and golf OK ?"


"Now repeat all that so I know you know what you're doing !"


Tuesday, 24 October 2017

SALLY...PART 188. THE SHOWER THAT NEARLY KILLED ME ! NEARLY the real version and not the Facebook one !

I was replying to yet another Facebook insult when a mouthful of THE most dreadful profanities brought me to my senses and I leapt up as slowly as I could to find out why my wife was hurling abuse at me THIS time !

"The ####### shower's just gone FREEZING so ####### well fix it !" she screamed !

I trundled to the boiler cupboard and saw everything functioning properly and called out, "Nothing wrong this end !"

"I can't ######## hear you you #### as the shower's on and drumming against the glass doors !"

So I opened the bathroom door and stepped up to the shower cubicle and stared at the tap to make sure she'd rotated the temperature control right up...which she had !

"Close the ####### door and get OUT !" she screamed for no really good reason that I could work out and I went back to the cupboard, switched the electric mains off and then on again after which the heat came back on and I returned to my first love....FACEBOOK !

Within five seconds another piercing scream rendered the air blue and I returned to the bathroom where upon entering I was ordered to "#### off !" again and as you don't not do what you're told not to do in my marriage I left and returned to the cupboard where this time, as payback, I pretended to jiggle some stuff and called out, "That should sort it !" to which she responded at a decibel level that sent my appalling tinnitus into overdrive, "Well it ######## hasn't you ######## ! Now get up to Reception and tell them to get whoever serviced the ####### boiler back here right now ! I'm dying for ####'s sake !"

"Why not let me get you a towel and you can get wrapped up and in front of the fire 'til I get back." I suggested timidly .

"I've got ####### shampoo in my hair and no way to rinse it off so #### off NOW with your ####### brilliant ideas ! My mother was right about you all along !"

Before things got any more personal I slipped on my jacket, slipped out of our Scottish residence and instantly slipped on the sopping wet grass, going instantaneously down in a directly vertical manner with the back of my head strikng the ground first !

Any silent movie slapstick star would have been envious of my pratfall !

Regaining consciousness and with a greater fear of another tongue lashing than of death, I staggered the half mile to Reception and meekly asked for help with the boiler whilst standing covered head to toe in mud with a lump the size of a potato rapidly growing on the back of my skull !

The Receptionist seemed not to notice the state of me and typed something into her computer which miraculously said "Yes" and drawled something indecipherable whilst chewing bubblegum before she sent me packing !

By the time I got back the raging Harridan had turned into a giggling schoolgirl and virtually UNwrapped in a very skimpy short towel no bigger than a face flannel was laughing with the engineer who had been instantly dispatched and had even made him a cup of tea and a sandwich which he scoffed with his head in the cupboard !

She stared at me and my mud as if we were something unfit for human consumption, ordered me to undress outside and pointed at the cupboard under the sink where the liquid soap was kept, at the sink and at me before returning to the plumber with, "As I was saying, I'll have to pop back into the shower now you've sorted it and no peeping you naughty boy !"

Tuesday, 19 September 2017


There is NO preparing yourself for the full horror of a dental impression !

It is HORRIBLE ! And if you think you DON'T have a 'Gagging Reflex' YOU DO !

Don't let anyone tell you otherwise !

Don't believe a word your dentist says !

Breathe slowly and deeply through your mouth whilst having pleasant thoughts ?


And when he takes it out it's just as bad if not WORSE !

Next time I will insist on a General Anaesthetic !

I am going to write two apologetic cards if they print such to my dentist and one to his nurse !

As his 'tool' hit my gagging spot I grabbed his wrist in a vice like grip desperate to force his diabolical 'tray' device out of my mouth but he overcame my force with even greater force and pushed it in further and HELD it there for a full YEAR whilst Nurse Sarah held my other hand and stroked it, urging me to breathe deeply through my nose...which I couldn't because holding my jaws apart shut off those normally quite sizeable passages !

Now retching whilst your being sick is a doddle compared to the retching you'll do when having an impression taken and I'm NOT joking !

As I sat there flailing and retching abominably, fighting against my dentist Mr Williamson's determination, Nurse Sarah kept an iron grip on my left hand whilst strokng it furiously yet gently enough for me to start having disgusting thoughts about her, thoughts that nearly made me miss her gently cooing voice......."Think nice thoughts Mr Nash ! Think of you getting a hole in one on the golf course on a bright sunny day ! Try and imagine lying in a field of daisies whilst your favourite dental nurse lies sleeping beside you ! Try and picture a tinkling stream or puffy clouds over a lake in Switzerland and other lovely things ! Do you know 'High On A Hill Sat A Lonely Goat Herd from The Sound Of Music Mr Nash ? I'll sing it if you hum along ! Come on now Mr Williamson, you whistle the tune for us !"

And that's how we got through the whole DISGUSTING experience...Mr Williamson whistling, Nurse Sarah singing her heart out and me trying to bravely retch in harmony !

It'll be two weeks before I go back to complete my course of treatment and I don't even think I'll let that deeply brain vibrating slow drill thing bother me after today !

Friday, 15 September 2017


Months ago it was when Shirley came to me HORRIFIED !

"Have you ever been down on your knees and looked up and under the toilet bowl's rim ?" she hurled at me mercilessly !

"Can't say I have pet no !" I answered with trepidation, fearing the worst !

"Well it's DISGUSTING and you're the one who cleans the toilet so SORT IT NOW !"

" I'm just finishing off these purs........

"NOW !"

So up I went obediently and frankly couldn't see what she was on about ! I clean that toilet perfectly every day and have even considered opening my own Public Toilet in my front garden now that England no longer has a single one in any town !

 I could sell Cream Teas whilst people waited or after they'd been and make a fortune !

"Shirley ! You could eat your dinner off my rim !" I said incorrectly !

"No you couldn't you blind fool and as usual I'm going to have to be the one who does something about it !"

So three days of research threw up a twenty five pound under rim model from Tescos and I was told to buy one next time I was near a store.


"If that's what they cost then that's what you'll spend you tight fisted git !" she bellowed !

So months later I bought it and took it home triumphantly, adopting a 'Statue Of Liberty' pose as I presented it to my wife, disturbing her greatly as she hadn't finished checking the world's weather reports only ten hours after she'd once again woken at 4am !

"DAH DAAAH !" I roared !

"What is THAT ?" she sneered .

"That my darling is the twenty five quid under rim toilet brush you commanded me to buy months ago !" I replied awaiting her approval.

"Don't be STUPID ! No-one would pay twenty five quid for a toilet brush whether it cleans under the rim or not and I did not 'COMMAND' you to buy anything, never COMMAND you to do anything and certainly not to buy an under rim toilet brush for twenty five quid ! I'm going to have a heart attack and keep youir voice down or the neighbours will hear !" she threw back in my face !

"So you are actually denying that you spent DAYS researching under rim toilet brushes are you ?" I fumed, choking with hatred as I knew she HAD !

"I most certainly did NOT and if you want a good kicking just try carrying on with that tone in your voice !" she snarled, wiping the spittle off her chin with her fetid sleeve !

So that sorted that out and so we went out into the garden for our daily game of Scrabble which today was in the rain !
Several days later and it's GONE !

The nice lady at Tescos gave me my money back without asking why I was returning it which was a pity really because I would have loved to have repeated some of Shirley's choicest swear words when she first saw it !
I hid under a tree at tescos to take this shot as I didn't want anyone to see me and think me weird and report me !
And my next stop was B&Q to replace the 'wrong' jointing sand with the correct jointing sand !

Friday, 11 August 2017


I would be lying if I said that I was the exception to this ancient rule !

I was engrossed in my latest SAS type book when it was kicked from my grasp by the angriest person I have ever met...except for TERRY THE SAUSAGE MAN at my market who is in a pemanent state of rage !

She said, "I SAID, do you think Josh (Groban) should keep his long beard, trim it to a short one or go clean shaven again ?"

Hoping that my answer would get me rewarded with at least a couple of slices of buttered toast I replied, "Clean Shaven."

"WELL I DON'T ! I think he should just trim it !"

"Oh yes of course, just a trim would suit him." I lied.

My eyes then lowered themselves automatically to my book which I had retrieved from the other end of the caravan where we had spent several days in close company enjoying the cold gale force rains of a Scottish summer, when it was kicked out of my hands again !

"That's the trouble with our marriage ! You don't listen to me and we never talk ! You might as well move into a colony of Facebookers who will all be as pathetic as you are writing to your false friends !"

I tried not to let out a 'Here we go again' groan as I put my book down and said, "I don't even dare BREATHE if you're reading in case I disturb you but whatever, what would you like to chat about ?"

At that moment her Kindle beeped for the thousandth time since 5:30am as another message was coming through from Denmark or Blyth !

The truth is that men shouldn't have to live with women unless the woman is interested in cars, golf, athletics, technical stuff or doing NOTHING and women should live in tribes with other women where they could talk and talk and talk and talk and talk.....and talk........generally about the same things they've discussed a hundred times before !

And for once I KNOW what I'm talking about !

Actually we did end our litle spat with an agreement that if my wife wants to talk to me whilst I'm reading then she will rap loudly on a table with a serving spoon and on that prompt I am allowed to read on until a convenient full stop before paying attention to her....which has turned me into a nervous wreck.....waiting for the rap !


"Yes dear ?"


Saturday, 22 July 2017


I've been listening to, "I HATE this self-heal and the way it's invading the lawn !" for years and watched my wife choosing a different place to lie down and rest on following another hideous night's sleep in order to pull out and make another pile of the plants before leaving them to rot on the lower step of our descent into the garden from my room !

So one day, two months ago, when she was away for a week or two I impulse bought a huge quantity of 'WEED AND MOSS KILLER WITH ADDED LAWN FOOD' and smothered our few acres with it, little suspecting the devastation I had released would very nearly end my marriage of forty five years !

Had I even had an inkling that that could have been the result I would have bought more...much more of the stuff !

Here's a shot of what greeted my wife's eyes when she returned !

What was even worse was that it stunk to high heaven and rendered the air unbreathable so there was only one thing to do.....HOOVER it up !

So out I went with the VAX and away I went on one of the most ridiculous ventures of my life !

The air was filled with great sobs thundering across the neighbourhood from the back bedroom where my wife had locked herself away, my lungs and nose were filled with the finely ground up particles of POISON that the Vax was spraying in every direction and the machine itself rapidly clogged up with grass every three seconds !

Ten minutes later and sweating like a pig from the effort of trying to push an upright vacuum cleaner over a desolate piece of rough wasteland my cunning plan ground to a halt and having burnt out the motor I crept upstairs to knock quietly on her door and offer an apology....which wasn't accepted !

I even suggested that she tried calming down and would perhaps enjoying returning to the kitchen to cook me some scampi and chips but that quite surprisingly, if I may say so, didn't work and for some unfathomable reason only made things worse and I have yet to try to do with the scampi what she said I could do for all she cared !

She shouted through the keyhole that she had packed her bag and was going back to her mother and there was nothing I could do to stop her but I found that reminding her as calmly as I could that her mother had departed this world many years before worked a treat !

Forward to three days later and after reading EVERYTHING on the internet about lawns and why one should never use weed killer Shirley came downstairs and though still sobbing admitted that there had to be worse things in life though she couldn't think of any and allowed me to reseed and awaited results which actually are pretty amazing.....eight weeks later !
The Self Heal has all gone, the devastation is a thing of the past and we now have a lawn you can once again lie on and sunbathe....if only we had some sun !

Wednesday, 19 July 2017


Three weekends ago my 37 year old son Julian persevered through HELL to compete a in a CITY TO SUMMIT race in Scotland so severe that one wonders why anyone would want to put themselves through it !
Here are the details for historic purposes to show his descendents where their toughness stems from !
130 people began the day at 4:30am with a 15 mile run from Queensferry across the Forth Road Bridge back into Edinburgh before riding their bikes for 115 miles towards Fort William and finishing their 19 plus hour days with a FULL MARATON over totally rocky terrain which included climbing and descending Britain's highest mountain Ben Nevis where temperatures at the summit were -5*C !
They cycled and ran through twelve solid hours of gale force winds and rain which hit them full in the face !
All feeling had gone from their extremities and hypothermia was a mere breath away for most of those 40 who managed to finish !

AS you can tell 90 gave up somewhere along the line !

Julian couldn't face the mountain but somehow dug deep and found the extra resources to keep going !
He has since failed to recover fully and is still fighting off a chest infection which I hadn't realised is par for the course for extreme sportsmen and women and thankfully he has decided never to take part in any such thing again !
My wife had followed the ordeal via the internet and nearly burst with pride when Julian's name showed that he had got to the top of Ben Nevis, shouting out, "HE'S DONE IT !" at about 11:15pm !

Naturally his entire family is extremely proud of him but also completely flummoxed by his need to do such things after he had cycled 385 miles in two days a couple of weeks before this madness !

Long may it NOT continue !

(Julian is only in some of the photos...which aren't necessarily shown in the right order !)