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 !)

Thursday, 29 June 2017


It's the 29th of June 2017 and England has returned to NOVEMBER ! I am freezing and my front garden is flooded ! My lawn seed which I sowed four days ago is lying dormant ! I am once again wearing thermally insulated winter trousers and about to venture out to take a seven year old to school in the pouring rain !

I forgot to turn the hot water back on three days ago after it was turned off for running over its time limit and so I shall shortly be shaving in cold water !

Friday, 23 June 2017


I DIDN'T get flashed because I stamped on the brakes and in a trice brought my speed down from an irresponsible 73 to 70 when I inadvertently had my eye on an idiot racing down a slip road determined to get ahead of me !

Plus my wife was getting the last few bits of dust in the bottom of a mixed nut packet shaken loose and ready to pour directly into my mouth !

This well practiced feeding method involves my staring up at the roof for about thirty seconds and enduring the contents of whatever I'm being fed going down my shirt collar and into my eyes and up my nose !

I try to keep my eyes on the road but with my head tipped so far back it's simply impossible !

Had we not been approaching Hexham from the west at the time, had Shirley NOT been determined to get the final, final, final bits out and down my throat....had she or for that matter I thought for a moment about what we were approaching....I wouldn't now be facing the dreaded drop of an envelope onto the carpet with a fine and three points in it !

We 'discussed' the matter for the next thirty miles during which, being a man, I accepted full responsibility and apologised many many times during her beratement !

Saturday, 20 May 2017


Last Sunday, for the first time in living memory my wife was too ill to make my sandwiches for market !

What a brave statement for a man to make these days eh ?

There are lots of reasons why she makes them but essentially it's because I never stop working plus the fact that the kitchen is her domain just as much as my room is mine !

With up to fifty food stalls to choose from at market I chose a '.......' one .

........? I would imagine any ......... in Newcastle would demand it was condemned and shut down !

What I got on top of a barely cooked flat round dough thing the size of a child's doll house tea plate and made of soggy paper were three small lumps of stringy meat plus a blob of gristle that made me retch.

On top of that was a bit of cut up raw cabbage and three scrapings of radish, listed as grated !

Nothing had flavour and retching on the gristle reminded me of how I retched on gristle the one and only time I stayed for school dinners when I was nine years old !

I could weep for you lot if you think that what I was served was a gastronomic experience worth getting up for !

You should taste and see what I get served at home by an admittedly reluctant Chef who presents me with Masterpieces even if whilst preparing and before serving it up she shouts out several times, "I fucking HATE cooking !"

Monday, 15 May 2017


I didn't take sandwiches to market yesterday because my wife was wrecked with coughing her guts up because of a particularly virulent bout of flu which hasn't hit me yet and I thought I'd let her go to bed early the night before and have a rest from slaving over me !

I'm a decent bloke for that I guess and anyway I don't do food as I make far too much mess which gets me into trouble for days after I've even touched a knife because she'll find a single crumb miles from the scene that she INSISTS will lure in millions of ants which will then eat ALL our food and build endless nests and eat our cupboards despite my reassuring her that they'd have to be termites to eat cupboards and that termites can't survive Northumberland temperatures !

I also fail to satisfactorily reseal the bread, put the butter back in the wrong area of the fridge after using FAR too much, use nearly every plate and piece of cutlery in the making of a cheese and cucumber sandwich, use too much salt and ignore the mountain of washing up that results from my best effort to show willing !

When she DOES make my sandwiches things go a bit like this......I'll still be working away quietly in my room at about 11pm having started at 7am when the door will be wrenched open with the strength of an outraged Rhino charging a Landrover, startling me and causing such a rush of adrenalin to course through my body that I nearly faint.....

"I suppose I'll have to make your sandwiches for tomorrow then as usual you lazy pig ?"

" If you wouldn't mind as I'm trying to get these hundred purses finished by midnight !"

"So what do you want on them ? I'm not a mind reader !"

"Cheese and cucumber please."


"Yes please."

"Or I could do you Tuna with or without pink sauce"

"No cheese and cucumber will be fine."

 "Or if I must I could do hard boiled eggs."

"No really cheese and cucumber with some salt will honestly be fine."

"You eat too much salt !"

"Just a little bit of salt then?"

"I've got some nearly out of date Wiltshire dry cure ham I could do with English mustard."

No really, really, just cheese and cucumber."

"But the ham needs eating!"

"RIGHT ! I'll have the ham then !"

"Well make up your mind !"

"I did, five minutes ago!"

"Pickled cucumbers with the ham ?"

"Yes please."

"Sliced lengthways or in rounds?"

"Sliced lengthways please."

"They could fall out!"

"Rounds then!"

"White or Brown?"

"Oh for fuck's sake, whichever you choose and I've just cut myself !"

"Don't you talk to me like that ! If your so-called invisible friends on Facebook could hear you they'd be disgusted ! You always blame me when you cut yourself !"

"That's because I can't concentrate on this trimming when you complicate something that could really have been so simple!"

"Well TOUGH and in fact you can make them yourself now you bully  and clear that blood up before you come up to bed because I'm not doing it !"

And that's why I didn't take any food with me yesterday because I was too busy getting my thumb sewn back on in A&E !


Monday, 8 May 2017

SALLY...Part 178. AT LAST !

I only had to scream down the phone one last time and they collapsed after eight months under the strain of my daily phone calls !

 My driving licence is BACK !

Thursday, 4 May 2017


It'll be a year next month since a funny turn made me stop driving for an hour and then saw me scuttling off to A&E where my blood pressure was seen to be sky high and I was sent home with the suggestion that I might like to ask for a Cardiology appointment to see whether there had been a deterioration in my non-sinister funny heart beat...called ventricular ectopics.

That appointment, scheduled for six weeks later saw the Consultant listen to my tale whereby she decided to carry out some tests and informed me that I shouldn't drive and must tell the DVLA !

So I surrendered my licence and when the tests proved nothing I got discharged from her clinic on October the 18th and it has taken since then to get my licence back !

The moral of the story is unless you want to lose your licence DON'T go to the Doctor until you are actually dying by which time it'll be too late !

Oh and I think the title should have been ANNUS HORIBILIS which is what the Queen had a few years ago !

Wednesday, 3 May 2017


As the sun finally came out I thought that it might just be possible to get Shirley and her bad knee to go for a gentle walk around Seaton Delaval Hall, our very local National Trust Property from which I am BANNED !

The bus would drop us right outside and I thought that if the pain was too bad then we could quickly get home !

She had actually admitted to feeling better having spent an hour or two yesterday bent from the waist pulling hundreds of dandelions out of our lawn and even managed a brave smile when she made us a picnic this morning !


Dismounting our transport she thrust our Scottish National Trust membership cards into my hand for me to show them upon entry as she will have nothing to do with the lower classes who sit behind desks checking such things !

 We walked HER chosen route twice and once she'd decided that she felt strong enough for an additional FOUR MILE route march across fields, along a Dene and down a coastal road to a bench out of the wind we set out ! That is SHE set out and I followed, laden down with a rucksack containing her usual collection of anti-thigh-rub gels, spare shoes, tops, coats, boots, sun creams of various strengths, several litres of water and her spare visor in case the wind took the one she was wearing !

She ate her wrap, well half of it but how was I to know THAT whilst I took photos in the grounds and searched for a short-cut through the churchyard which she had instructed me to go and find but which wasn't I failed in her I do with most things I try to do to please her !

We tried another short cut across the side of the front lawn which I'd stupidly suggested but which ended in an impossible-to-cross HA HA !

Her eyes narroewd even further as she barked insults at my stupidity !

Sometime later I fell well behind as with bone crunching against bone she stormed off across the land !

Down in the dene I begged her to ease off and let me sit to eat as my legs felt hollow but NO, she sped up and disappeared into the far distance !

So, faint with hunger I opened the sandwich box, saw two wraps and having received no instructions fell on the first one that came to hand and tore into it !

There were also two packets of posh Kettle crisps but as I knew I would be expected to eat the lesser 'Lightly Salted' ones, I left her much tastier 'Balsamic Vinegar' ones unopened and crunched through my alotted ounce and a quarter of nothingness !

When I eventually caught up with my now resting wife about an hour later she opened the box and demanded to know why I had eaten her other half of her cheese and cucumber wrap when I knew full well that she'd made me a Tuna one which she wouldn't have made for herself because she hates tuna !

My explanation of "I had no idea what was in a folded over wrap!" only managed to anger her more and she thanked me for being responsible for her having to starve as she HATED Tuna !

So, I grabbed the offensive piece of dough and reluctantly shovelled it down my still hungry throat without  noticing that a great deal of Tuna juice had run out of the bottom of the wrap as it unrolled itself and dripped onto my jacket sleeve which now stank to add to the atmosphere as we 'discussed' my selfishness !

I HATE wraps ! What is the point of the foul, soggy, tasteless things anyway ?

So off she shot, bad tempered and starving for a further two mile silent route march to Seaton Sluice where she could finally rest ALL her bone on bone AND cracking joints on a proper bench !

We love our little walks !


Tuesday, 25 April 2017


The forms went back to the relevant Government Office and got scanned onto their computer yesterday so when I phoned them today seven months after they revoked my driving licence whilst medical tests were carried out which proved me to be fit and well within a few weeks, the operative told me for about the thirtieth time that a procedure had to followed and would take time !

Once I had explained my position AGAIN and even emphasised that my Cardilogy Consultant had both written and telephoned them to pass me fit the man replied, "We don't know for sure that that person was genuinely who she said she was." or words to that effect !

"WHAT ?" I shouted ! "WHAT ? Are you telling me that a Hospital Consultant Cardiologist phoning up and talking to your medical team might not have been genuine ?"

He tried to backpeddle but the damage was done and I'm now waiting for his superviser to phone me back with undoubtedly some lame excuse !

Am I now to be branded a liar ?

Saturday, 8 April 2017


I have been banned from driving for feeling unwell since last October but was finally allowed to reapply for my licence a fortnight ago after my Consultant telephoned the agency responsible and gave me the all clear !

I had to fill in two medical enquiry forms, one about epileptic fits....which I've never had, and one about heart attacks and loss of consciousness....which I've also never had and got refused on the grounds that I DIDN'T COMPLETE THE FORMS !

The poor woman I telephoned got a real earbashing when she told me they were sending the forms back to me for completion !


"Just complete the forms Sir and resubmit them." replied the agent to whom I'd just explained that her forms were not relevant to ME !

"But you get three thousand applications a day, so another agent told me and this will take another three weeks before you even scan it and you're RUINING MY LIFE !"

"Just complete the forms Sir and resubmit them."

"BUT aren't you listening to me ? They are NOT RELEVANT !"

"Just complete the forms Sir and resubmit them."

At this point I agreed to do what she said and haven't stopped crying for days !

Tuesday, 21 March 2017


Without a driving licence, having lost it seven months ago to a medical decision that erred on the side of caution, life as we knew it is IMPOSSIBLE !

Everything is dependent on lifts from our family or public transport and I HATE being dependent on anyone !


HATE having to ask !

HATE having to be humble !


HATE being old and completely anonymous !


Now last week I was told by my Consultant's secretary to expect good news from The DVLA this week after my Consultant personally telephoned their medical staff and hopefully stuck a rocket up their collective behinds but so far NOTHING because they move at no pace whatsoever and either don't know or simply don't care how disrupted peoples lives can become without a car !

So planning a few days away becomes a monumental feat of planning by my wife who has had to spend hours checking timetables in order to get us over for a break in SW Scotland, a hundred and thirty miles or two and three quarter hours from home by car but six hours by public transport with at least four changes and several waits and very few public toilets and if there are any...CLEAN ones !

She's got a cold that's even worse than Manflu and the weather forecast said ZERO DEGREES tonight and heavy rain for a day and then one day of sun before we'd have to travel back to BABYSIT !


I'm glad that we haven't gone as I HATE the cold and HATE the rain and am quite happy to wait until things warm up a bit but didn't like to say as I'm not the one who makes decisions despite getting told occasionally that I SHOULD 'Man Up' by the decision maker !

Monday, 27 February 2017


When I spotted this brand new, hand-knitted Teddy lying face down in the mud outside Cullercoats Staion yesterday afternoon I picked him up and propped him on the station's windowsill in the hope that the owner's parent would retrace their steps and find him !

I then posted my photos on a photographic site I have received enormous acclaim from for my land and seascape work over the past weeks since joining asking people to 'SHARE' the shots in the hope of reuniting the two parties !

An 'Admin' stepped in and deleted the first person, a lady's comment for some reason I really didn't understand and when I asked him why he said he didn't have to explain his reasons to ANYONE !

I must admit that I replied to this and called him arrogant, pompous and pathetic after which he BANNED me from the Group !

So being public spirited has led to this !

Mind you a great number of people are REALLY upset with his action and have written to me expressing their utter bewilderment which was really heartwarmingly kind of them !

I've sent the shots and the story to Newcastle's Chronicle Newspaper and really hope that they launch an all out attack on him and shame him into a public apology !

Plus I'm now expecting calls from the WORLD'S press and television channels who will want to interview me and make me richer and more famous than I already am.....I see a film script coming out of this and a lucrative future in Hollywood !

Now I wish I'd taken Teddy home with me and got him cleaned up and ready for the countless public appearances I will now have to make on my own !

FURTHER TO THAT........Yesyerday the 17th of March a stalker revealed himself to me on Facebook and fortunately i photographed his message before the coward deleted it ! So here it is !
He never got to see my reply as written here because I rewrote it in a far less aggressive but more humiliating form !!

Thursday, 9 February 2017


I have been informed that I must serve a full one year term without being able to drive and that's FINAL !

Decisions have been reached and cannot be gainsaid !

So two days ago I spoke to the secretaries of both my Cardiologist and my GP and asked them to ask their respective medical professionals to personally phone the DVLA and 'insist' as far as is possible on my getting my licence back as after all they had both written to the DVLA and passed me fit to drive !

This will be virtually my last ditch attempt to overturn the ruling....virtually but not quite !

Friday, 23 December 2016


Last June I felt unspecifically unwell whilst out driving relativelyclose to home and had to stop for an hour to recover, got home, took my blood pressure and found it to be rather high 195/95 when it should have been around 140/80 so took myself to A&E where they carried out tests which basicaly that I was fine but needed to get some pills to bring the BP down to an undangerous level !

The doctor reommended I had an annual check up back at my own hospital which had diagnosed me the previous year with a weird extra heartbeat in my left ventricle.

That Consultant instantly advised me to stop driving until the source of my unwellness had been investigated and said I had to inform the DVLA  which I did and they asked me to SURRENDER my licence which I did and then they 'revoked' it for a year starting in October this year because I had had recurrent episodes of 'loss of consciousness/altered awareness'....which I HAD NOT HAD !

I fell into THEIR category and I am unable to talk to anyone about this which is MADDENING !

All tests proved that there was essentially nothing wrong with me except DIVERTICULR DISEASE which is a GASTROLOGY problem but the DVLA have just informed me that following medical enquiries I cannot drive for a year....that'll be until next October so now I have a fight on my hands following the trail and finding out where things went wrong !

All appointment waiting times are around THREE MONTHS in England and so I have spent a LONG time waiting to see people and am absolutely frustrated by what has happened !

Although I DID think that something was wrong I SO wish I had never gone to A&E in the first place but crawled under a rock until things had righted themselves.....which they now have !

Friday, 16 December 2016


I think I might send a copy of this to be posted in all Cardiac Departments !



The bus stop I use to go into Newcastle is beside a set of traffic lights on a very busy main road and despite the dangers involved you can see endless numbers of people who STILL use their mobile phones despite it being an offence both whilst stopped for the red lights or whilst driving along !

Today I saw a young woman driving a 66 registered car...that means brand new in England...following a bus too closely and clearly NOT looking at the road but looking down to her right at what I presume was her mobile phone !

When the bus braked for the traffic lights she DIDN'T until the last moment when she suddenly looked up and just avoided a collision !

Shortly afterwards the bus pulled away quite some time before she noticed it had gone and signalled that it was turning into the bus stop and braked as it did so.

The woman who hadn't stopped texting the whole time didn't spot the bus halting once again until the last moment because she was back texting and glancing up had to apply her brakes suddenly AGAIN !

OK she didn't hit anything or anyone but how many people might she mow down ? How much damage MIGHT she do and at what cost !

How much will insurance companies end up paying out because of her recklessness ?

If you're reading this young lady, do reply and explain why you think it's OK to be so recklessly irresponsible !

It could be my Grandson crossing the road who you don't see next time you're texting !

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


Well it's not that I thought I was ACTUALLY dying 6 months ago but something was definitely up and having had to stop driving about twenty miles from home because of feelings too vague to provide a concrete diagnosis a cardiac consultant eventually told me I had to stop driving some twelve weeks or more AFTER I took myself to A&E where it was found I had a Blood Pressure reading of 207/110 and which probably caused the horribleness I'd experienced earlier that day !

A&E did NOT insist I stopped driving but advised me to have an annual heart check up because I DO have non-sinister ventricular ectopic beats which play no part other than being there.

A pain behind the rear left hand ribs DID lead to an ultrasound scan which showed I had kidney stones and a later MRI scan showed I DIDN'T and never had had any but I DID have something called Diverticular disease which has to do with Gastrology and not the Urology department where I had ended up after another thirteen week wait !

Now that was a brief recounting of a few medical visits but what it can't even get near to sharing is the sheer frustration of waiting about three months for a hospital appointment, especially when you're in, let's call it....discomfort and a state of ignorance because the pain in my back was dreadful but I believed it was kidney pain which would get sorted so I took strong painkillers and waited !

The DVLA asked me to surrender my driving licence until further assessments were carried out but they then REVOKED it and told me that as I'd had blackouts I couldn't drive for a year !

I hadn't had any such thing happen and simply felt unwell but their standardised categories meant I couldn't drive until they had gathered medical reports showing I was fine !

WELL a few weeks after my BP was brought back down to normal and for a long time now I have felt perfectly normal ! I never stopped working, babysitting or markets and I am just left in a limbo whilst awaiting beaurocracy to grind to a decision which I suspect it won't do for ages despite my impatiently phoning the DVLA many times and telling them that according to THEIR rules a person having had a stroke only has to stop driving for a month and someone having had an epileptic fit only has to stop driving for a week and that they had no category for a person who simply felt unwell !

They also state that once a reapplication is received, which they sent me the form to fill in, the applicant can drive...."But not in your case Sir as your licence was revoked and we are carrying out further investigations."

So DON'T go to A&E ! Don't tell anyone in an official position ANYTHING as they are duty bound to act on it...against you !

I have learnt my lesson and offer my tale as a warning !

Mind I DID feel AWFUL !

Saturday, 12 November 2016


I was carrying Shirley's coat and despite wearing four or five layers of my own I was still freezing whilst she sweated as the temperature was just above absolute zero !
We were walking in Holywell Dene this afternoon when a slobbering Labrador dog walked past with a mouthful of slobber hanging from it's jowls !

 It was ten feet short of Shirley when it shook its head violently from side to side sending most of the mucussy gunge flying in a circle that landed on top of its muzzle !

I retched but Shirley hadn't spotted it and carried on walking.

So get your boots on and get out there !
"Why" I said when I caught up with my wife, "do dogs slobber so much ?"

"I don't know!" she responded with contempt, "I don't know EVERYTHING !"

And that's when I fainted !

It's taken forty four years for those words to come out of her mouth and I'm still in shock three hours later !
Late autumn in England can be as gorgeous as this !

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Sally...Part 165.TRUST ME, IT WASN'T ME I SWEAR IT !

You might be as shocked as I was to discover that some thirty five years ago I momentarily relaxed my high moral standards and apparently allowed a woman to spend an afternoon with me !

How this information came to light had best not be revealed as it involves a degree of indiscretion by both the woman and the person she revealed the information to who then revealed it to the person I am married to who then asked to have a word with me in private, in her room !

Now obviously I was considerably younger then and evidently considered a dish by the 29 year old mother of seven who despite having so many children found the time to 'spend an afternoon' with me, seduce me and take from me what I held most dear, my cherry !

I have no recollection whatsoever of that afternoon which frankly would have been six minutes at best and whether or not as a red-blooded man I would have behaved in such a reprehensible way has to be a matter for discussion amongst those who once held me in esteem but who now hold me in contempt !

For my part I certainly had a shop at the time and a beard and shoulder length hair which was unusual for the town and skin tight bright blue jeans with red buttons down the front of the flies which I thought made me look hot though the thought of me prancing around in them now makes me feel hot under the collar but giving of myself to a woman, any woman and one with SEVEN children seems ridiculous !

Not that I would have stooped so low as to ask a potential conquest how many children she'd had before I indulged had I ever considered indulging which I absolutely deny because I am an honourable man !

As an aside and hopefully as an example of my trustworthiness, an extremely attractive and fit young woman of 18 once came in and asked me whether I could make her a leather bra and panties for her to wear when she entertained other young ladies which was her bent and when I said I could and would but would have to measure her whilst wearing only a pair of briefs....her not long as she brought along a chaperone, she said that she trusted me as I had to be Gay to make leather bags and therefore not a threat !

But that's by the by and I must return to my original tale........

In pleading my innocence and incredulity at the preposterous accusation I asked a couple of questions of my interrogator.......Would I, a married man, or any married man for that matter, risk his marriage for a moment's, well six minute's pleasure and did she think I wouldn't have run a mile from an obviously sex mad woman with what even I, with absolutely no knowledge of women, would have thought rather flaccid parts after having had seven children and with them...the children and not the parts....waiting at home for her to return to feed them and all ?

No of course I wouldn't have accepted her invitation ! I would have said, "Ma'am I am both flattered and horrified at the same time but I must decline your offer ! Now please leave my premises and never return !"

I would have then marched to my front door, flung IT open and her OUT !

I don't doubt the woman, if she was telling the truth had needs and settled on a young man with a shop to fulfil them but it wasn't me though it could have been a customer of mine who I'd asked to mind the shop whilst I popped out for a sandwich !

Yeh ! That must have been what happened !

I'm certain that my wife believed me though she has continued to question me about 'that slag', mostly at inconvenient times like at 2am, 3am, 4am, 5am and 6am after jabbing me sharply in the ribs with a violent elbow every night since the revelation !

Actually would a young woman of 29 with seven children really go on the prowl ?

I think not and believe that the woman who is now 64 is a fantasist !

And it's a good job that my wife and children implicitly trust me and accept my account !

Finally, I feel confident that future generations reading this will find it hard to believe that my version isn't` completely true even if other gold-digging skeletons emerge from the cupboard to sully my name before and/or after I am gone and can't defend myself !, a week after I wrote this I and my very forgiving and trusting wife got on a bus to Morpeth and on two front seat were three really gobby women who never shut up for a single minute throughout the forty five minute journey !

Next to me the woman who had researched Facebook thoroughly and come up with several photographs of the alleged lady suddenly said, "That's the one ! The blonde on the left !"

I told her she was daft and denied the incident ever took place, hoping that she wasn't about to create a scene which she didn't but I felt that she desperately wanted to say something ! In fact I know she did because she told me !

The ladies got off in Morpeth and four hours later the blonde and one of the other women got back on the same bus as we did and once again talked non-stop for the entire return journey !

If that wasn't bad enough the blonde then transferred onto our next bus home as well !

My wife couldn't wait to get home and bring up the photos which showed that indeed it WAS the alleged culprit !



Actually, my memory isn't that bad and I honestly have no idea who the woman was and the one on the bus absolutely certainly wasn't my type, then or now !

Saturday, 20 August 2016


ME: Shirley, did you see Usain Bolt winning the Men's four by one hundred metres relay race last night ?

SHIRLEY: No, I haven't watched a single second of the Olympics !

ME: Sighing and walking back to my room....OK.

SHIRLEY: Possibly trying to mend fences slightly...I'll guess he probably crossed a line quite quickly ?

ME: You've just hit sport on the head you genius !

Wednesday, 10 August 2016


ME !
I KNOW that I am less talented than Josh Groban !

I'm no longer a geeky looking thirty four year old with a magnificent baritone voice who can play the piano effortlessly and compose beautiful songs that reach deep into the souls of women !

Nor am I the sort of man that millions of women around the world want to crush to their breasts !

I never was any of those things !

I can't play the drums like a Rock God either and neither can I hold an audience of twenty thousand
adoring women in the palm of my hand but none of this prepared me for last night's 'request' when
during our watching of the Josh's DVD of his 'AWAKE' tour a searing pain cut through my left chest, making me gasp and cry out !

In response to my clutching my heart and collapsing backwards on the settee with my eyes rolling upwards and a dreadful agonised roar obliterating the fully cranked up TV volume , Shirley shouted above both dins, "Can you please NOT die until the end of this NOTE !" (a particularly long-held one) and carried on watching the man sing 'L'ULTIMA NOTTE' with tears running down her cheeeks and sobbing with her entire hanky virtually stuffed into her mouth !

I'm sure any woman reading this will fully appreciate my wife's dilemna especially as I then went on to admit that the pain was more than likely caused by my ribs being pressed hard against the 'piping' on the edge of the settee's arm which almost certainly 'twanged' a tiny inter-costal muscle !

And now I fear that when the real heart attack strikes I will be scoffed at and asked if I remember the story of the boy who cried wolf !

I'll stop writing now as Shirley insists on using the laptop to check on Josh's latest tweets !

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Sally...Part 162. BP 200/100 ! I TOLD YOU I WAS ILL ! 'MY FAVOURITE PHOTOS' collection starts here and will grow and grow !

And finally it's come to pass that tonight I will start my ACE inhibitor blood pressure reducing regime but only with a tiny 5mg dose ! The possible side effects of an irritating dry cough sounds unpleasant but as only I seem to know that the cure for that is three quarters of an 80% dark chocolate bar per day I am almost looking forward to it !

Three days ago I started a daily six mile bike ride in order to to try to counter the problem naturally but as my doctor told me to start exercising six months ago I might have started a bit late !
I am my own worst enemy as there was no need to get a speeding ticket on my first day out !
I'll take the speeding tickets if I'm going to be getting views like this !
In fact I'm seeing things I didn't know were there or was just too busy to see !
An empty tanker moored off Tynemouth and seen over the top of St. Mary's Island .

Moored in Seaton Sluice .
Storm clouds and a bird over Druridge Bay 25/6/2016

Monday, 2 May 2016


We were in seperate houses yesterday evening, each with our laptops and a selection of three mobile phones and four sim cards !

I have a mobile phone which I rarely use as I HATE mobile phones and the way they are DESTROYING family life, a pay-as-you-go thing that was once Shirley's main phone but which has bad reception and which I'm supposed to carry in case I get lost when out with a Grandchild and which I rarely remember to carry !

Shirley has three phones with their numbers written on the inside of my wallet but I don't know which one I'm supposed to phone when I'm lost.

We have the four sim cards for reasons I'm not really sure of and I certainly have no idea which company supplied them or why we need them. I leave all that stuff to her and nod approval when she tells me things like she can get £5 off if she pays three years advance rental at only £370 !

So last night she must have sent me a Facebook message and wrote, "Can you Facetime me ?"

"What's Facetime ?" I replied.

"Phone me and I'll explain ."

Now we have a house phone but the house where she was doesn't have one which meant that as it was too expensive for me to phone her mobile, whichever one that would have been, with our housephone and as she has a mobile on a contract that allowed her to make five hundred minutes of calls a month and I don't, what I had to do was give her 'free' mobile three rings with my 'expensive' one before pressing the off button and waiting for her to phone me back !

I used my initiative and rung each of her three phones for three rings on my house phone and waited.

She phoned my mobile which somehow happened to be in the house instead of in the car and I pressed the green phone symbol and said, "Hello ! Hello ! HELLO !!" before realising that I was holding it upside down ! Shirley was, by my third 'HELLO!!' screaming and just audible to me, "GO UPSTAIRS WHERE THE RECEPTION'S BETTER !" so I ran up, managing to end the call as I did so !

She phoned me back and as it had somehow turned itself round I could hear her clearly when she asked, "Have you got Facebook on so I can Facetime you ?"

"I have but I'm upstairs." I replied, "Hang on I'm walking down again ! Right, what's 'Facetime' ?"

"I can ring you on Facebook and we can talk for free. Just click on the 'answer' button when you hear it 'chirp'."

It 'chirped' and I clicked only to hear what sounded like garbled Martian coming through the speakers so I shouted, "I can't hear you Shirley ! SHIRLEY ? I CAN'T HEAR YOU so I'm going to click off !"

Shirley then phoned my mobile again to tell me to take the phone upstairs but as she was telling me what to do I felt a sneeze coming on and yelled, "Hang on, I'm going to sneeze!" and did so with such force that I pressed something obscure on my phone, ending the call and rendering the phone useless for a few minutes !

She then phoned the housephone and instructed me on how to Facetime HER but I just couldn't work it out !

What she wanted was for me to go upstairs with my mobile and listen to her instructions as I stood in front of two of her wardrobes to gather some clothing for her night away so I went back upstairs with my phone in my hand !

"Right ! The temperature's going up to 7*C tonight and I've only brought winter clothes so I'll need you to bring me some summer ones or I'll die from the heat ! In the right hand wardrobe you'll see my tops and right in the middle and to the right of the turquoise one with the flowers on as opposed to the one with the squiggles on you'll see a burgundy one with nothing on and get me the lightweight black trousers with the seam sewn down the middle and some underwear from out of the two drawers OK and bring them here ."

I of course managed to get the wrong trousers and couldn't see the burgundy top that she insisted was next to her turquoise one so I took all her tops ! I selected her bra and panties from a drawer that I have never looked in before, will never look in again and which left me feeling distinctly queazy !

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Sally...Part 160. MY SHOE NIGHTMARE !


 I can be anywhere these days when I suddenly can't remember which shoes I've got on or whether I've got any on at all! I can be seen stood, frozen to the spot and staring down at my feet in a panic!

 This anxiety is not a sign of senility but of Shirley's obsession to keep our
newly cleaned pale lounge carpet as spotless as possible even with grandchildren
ruining it with their unwelcome sticky fingers and nappy accidents.

 It was always a nightmare bringing up three children who more than once brought
in something very nasty they had trodden in on the way home from school and
deposited it on our then long-haired carpet for me to comb out and sterilise!

 So once our present carpet was cleaned Shirley had said to me, "David. DAVID ! LISTEN! Are
you listening to me or are you thinking about Facebook or your next Blog as usual?"

  "What? Yeh yeh I'm listening. What now? What have I done? What HAVEN'T I done?"

  "There's no need to get on your high horse, I was just going to say that I want
this carpet to stay clean so there's to be NO FOOD in here at ALL right? You, Janny and the
Grandchildren will have to eat in the kitchen from now on OK ?"

  "Yeh right, whatever."

  "And I don't even want them playing in here anymore so you'll have to have them
in your room or in the loft OK?"

   "Yeh right."

   "And no outdoor shoes in the house at all unless it's the Vicar or the Doctor right!"

   "Yeh fine."

   "Now repeat what I have just said!"

   "Something about Facebook and my Blog wasn't it?"

I now change from my IDENTICAL indoor shoes into my outdoor ones to leave the house and from my outdoor shoes into my indoor shoes whenever I re-enter the house even if I've only stepped out to the bin!

Sometimes I forget and fumble around in the hall pretending to change.

I have even known me to walk through to MY room carrying my wet indoor shoes hidden
behind my back after I'd forgotten to change into my outdoor ones to go to get the
Grandchildren from school !

My ears are ringing now to those terrible high-pitched growled words, "And what are you hiding from me you horrible, devious man?"

Sometimes I forget to fumble and walk through the lounge wearing the shoes I've just
been out in, only to be challenged with a snapped, "OI! I didn't hear you change! Are
they your outdoor shoes?"

"No! You obviously weren't listening as you had Josh (or DEAL) on so loud, I CHANGED
OK !", staring back with dread at where I'd just walked in case there were muddy
footprints to prove my guilt!

And this has all installed in me a phobia about whether I'm wearing the right or the
wrong shoes or any shoes at all!

It's far worse than realising my flies are open or that I forgot to open them in the first place!

No believe me it IS!

Friday, 25 March 2016


We were treated to a night in a Country House Hotel last night and found that we ate our evening meal alone !
Can anyone else see 'Buttered Leeks' and 'Crushed Potatoes' ? I'm sure that that's what it says !
Shirley had ordered for her main course 'Baked cod on shrivelled leeks and crushed potatoes' or some such thing and when it arrived she searched it thoroughly for any sign of leeks but found them missing !

Our Wine Waiter who was passing for the twentieth time and had nothing to do but look professional had a word with the Chef and returned to inform us that the Chef had forgotten to cook them but would instantly remedy the situation but of course you can't really shrivel leeks in the minute and a half it took him so Shirley ate almost raw warm leeks without complaining and her potatoes hadn't been crushed either !

We WERE offered a free glass of wine each as his way of apologising but as we were hard put to finish the 125ml of House Red we were about to pay a fiver each for we declined for fear of being seen reeling drunkenly up to our chamber !

As it was we fell into a heavy sleep by 9pm and Shirley missed the second episode of Emmerdale which vexed her when she woke for the day at 10pm !

We 'took' breakfast in the deserted Breakfast Room and thought it must be us but this gave us Carte Blanche to eat a full 'Continental' before requesting 'A Full English' !

Why the menu asked one to request Black Pudding or Baked Beans as an extra is beyond my comprehension and why Shirley got a Hash Brown and I DIDN'T also baffled me but the waitress was VERY pretty and I didn't want to appear quarrelsome !

Shirley ate a pastry after her Full Continental but BEFORE her Full English and sent me back for a French Yogurt and another pastry AFTER her Full English which bafflingly included a poached egg with ALL the white removed !
Hotel bathrooms without an opening window or a properly functioning fan are not conducive to romance !
We were stuffed when we left at ten and made our way across country to Howick Hall where after an hour and a halfs exhausting walk and before we did another hour and a halfs even more exhausting walk, Shirley asked that if we went into the restaurant whether I would be happy to share a sandwich and a cream tea .

Now a sandwich at Howick hall is a massive affair with salad and coleslaw and I was still feeling stuffed as she'd made ME eat her French yogurt at breakfast because after opening it she didn't like it when she KNEW I'd already had Rice Krispies, a Full English, a slice of toast and jam and a pastry, two cups of coffee and a glass of apple juice so I said "I'm really still not hungry but you have them." in a kindly voice.

"Well that's ruined my day then just because YOU say YOU'RE not hungry that has to mean I'M not hungry when I AM !"

We walked on in silence until I lied, "Actually I DO feel hungry now so we WILL share a sandwich and a Cream Tea !"

"You're just saying it aren't you ? Well it's too late and I've lost my appetite thanks to your selfishness !"

"No HONESTLY, I AM hungry now and I REALLY didn't mean to upset you so come on Poochy Poo, say you will !"

"OK then but I'll spread your clotted cream or you'll scoff the lot !"

So when the waitress approached to take our order Shirley said, "I'd like a slice of Mars Bar Crispy Cake and a Cream Tea with Earl Grey and milk, not lemon please and my husband will have a pot of coffee."

Anyone notice a sandwich missing from the order there ? The sandwich that nearly caused a divorce !

"Shirley, I thought you wanted one of their sandwiches ?" I probed gently.

"I hate sandwiches, you know I do !"

I was then allowed a sliver of Mars Bar Crispy Cake and a corner of her massive scone onto which she smeared an almost invisible layer of butter, jam and clotted cream !

We then completed our walk with about 8000 calories inside one of us !

Thursday, 17 March 2016


 I creep to bed on tiptoes whenever Shirley has gone to bed before me and last night as I crept towards the twin strident cacophonies of harsh voices on the radio and lady-snoring I knew from the years of experience which have turned me into a nervous wreck that even something as imperceptible as one of my eyelashes falling out and crashing to the floor will wake her instantly and she will let fly with a tirade calling my parentage into question and highlighting my selfishness !

   I NEVER listen to the radio in bed because I like silence and for me there's nothing worse than being kept awake by Shirley's radio which blasts, somewhat muffled, through her torso until two in the morning and tuned into 5 Live, a talk programme dedicated to sport and politics and phone-ins which attract every sleepless nutter in the world !

    The oddest thing is that Shirley can't stand the radio during the day and becomes suffused with anger if the sound from mine permeates the two thick walls and twenty feet that divides us as I work in my room and she sits with her laptop on a disability tray that leaks polystyrene balls searching through at least five hundred Google pages to satisfy her insatiable hunger to discover weather patterns across the North East of England and the South West of Scotland !

    Last night I didn't want to go to bed at nine thirty as she did and stayed up until the witching hour of ten thirty to sort out my millions of photos before my creep to the bathroom !

     I swear that I made no noise whatsoever, didn't flush the toilet or clean my teeth and got undressed in the lounge before entering the bedchamber and without breathing lifted the quilt with the lightness of touch of the fairy I'm often accused of being and slipped beneath into my regulated position of ramrod straightness with nothing touching any part of her body !

Her radio was blasting out at top volume and I hoped, really beyond hope that my actions would go unnoticed but NO, as my head touched my pillow I got bellowed at even though she had been deeply asleep until that instant, "Who's turned my radio on ? Why have you done that ? I was fast asleep and now my night is RUINED ! I can't believe you've done that AGAIN ! You know what a light sleeper I am ! You're going to have to sleep in the other room and I might as well get up because my night's ruined thanks to you !

And with that she was instantly asleep again and denied any memory of the incident this morning !

I lay there, not daring to move and forced to listen to the appalling Edwina Curry boring the life out of the country with Shirley's freezing left foot rammed up my crutch !



Monday, 29 February 2016


The medical advice to reverse erectile and heart dysfunctions is to eat watermelon and pistachio nuts which both contain chemicals that clean out the arteries and I bet you never thought you'd learn that in one of my Blogs did you ?

So yesterday at Aldi where I was harassingly followed relentlessly by an old and very VERY large yet extremely short woman who leaned against and rested both her arms and her gigantic bosoms on and over her trolley handle, I headed for the nut area and threw in a packet of the aforementioned fruits.

Her husband's enormously ponderous gut, the sort that actually fills out the top of the thigh portions of a man's trousers, also kept blotting out the daylight as he stared  lasciviously at every other woman in the aisles !

The very short lady in question was already leaning her arms on her trolley handle when fixing me, I swear, with a 'LOOK' as I was weighing up a watermelon in each hand, heaved her at least 70" breasts up and over and frankly into the area designed for a child to sit in !

Shirley even nudged me sharply in the ribs and nodding as subtly as she could in the other woman's direction hissed, "Jesus Christ ! This is the last time I ever go shopping on a Saturday morning !"

So anyway just now at 11pm I said that I fancied a dish of pistachios to which Shirley said, "Well you'll have a job as we don't have any !"

"Of course we do !" I ventured, "We bought some in Aldi on Saturday !"

"Don't be an idiot, you know I showed you yesterday that you'd bought cashews and not pistachios !" she retorted with her very special contempt fired at me whenever I dare to say anything at all !

"That was on Thursday, two days before we went to Aldi and a week after we last went shopping when I admit I did buy the wrong nuts !" I reminded her with as much courtesy as my superior manner would allow !

"Look ! I'm not not arguing with you, I can't be bothered now that your brain is going but I can assure you without even looking in the nut tin that we did NOT buy any pistachios on Saturday !"

"We DID because if you remember I once again picked up the cashews before realising my mistake upon which we BOTH went to the pistachio box !"

"Look ! You need to see a doctor because you are losing the plot very badly and I'm REALLY getting fed up with you ! Now just to prove a point, I'm going to open the nut tin and prove to you, once and for all that you are living in a fantasy land because as you will see there are NO PISTACHIOS ! RIGHT ? "

So Shirley lifted the lid of the nut tin with a SNORT OF DISGUST and there on the top of all the packets of heart and erectile dysfunction curing packets of nuts, seeds and milled flax was my packet of PISTACHIOS !

So WHO needs to see a doctor then ? NOT ME !

Oh and I've decided NOT to put on any photos showing erectile this point in time ! You'll just have to go onto the wider internet for them !

Friday, 5 February 2016


As we started our walk to the beach yesterday Shirley said, "If you died tomorrow I don't really know what I'd live on once I'd spent your modest savings ! I suppose I'd have to sell the house and move into Sheltered Accomodation !"

I said, "Surely you would die of grief within a week?"

I actually thought, 'Where did THAT come from ? She doesn't want me dead does she ?'

She stopped walking and exploded with laughter and continued to laugh hard all the way to the promenade with tears pouring down her cheeks and every time she tried to look at me, presumably to apologise, she started up all over again, guffawing and snotting and snorting with people staring at her and elbowing each other and getting out the way of what they presumed was a day-release patient, all the time giving me sympathetic nods !

Eventually I got her home where she lay for the rest of the evening on the sofa holding her stomach and hooting in derision every few minutes shouting out, "GRIEF?" in a continuous stream !

Sunday, 3 January 2016


Well who would have thought it eh ? A reader in Antigua and Barbuda has made history for his country come alive by making it the 100th country in which I am read !
It's taken nearly four years and 50,000 readers but now the landmark has been reached and will probably NOT be celebrated in that country, this country or in fact ANY country !
I don't want a dismissive TUT from my wife or so I won't even bother mentioning it to her but secretly I feel proud of myself !

Onwards and upwards into even greater obscurity !

Saturday, 2 January 2016


Well who would have thought that I would ever be asking THAT question ?

Certainly not me when I set out a few years ago to write things as I saw them.

I blame everything on my mother who sailed through life in a dream in which she really believed everyone  would be fascinated by her permanently carried collection of ancient family photos and my wife who through her complete lack of good judgement ended up spending, so far, 43 years with an idiot !

I actually set out to make people laugh, especially my wife and I succeeded but had no idea how much loathing, anger and resentment I would stir up in other parts of the family !

It is, after all, MY view and a little insight into the past for the generations who will follow in about a hundred years or so if the technological companies allow Blogs to remain accessible.

I have very few copies in 'Notebook' and have yet to discover a way of printing all the Blogs into a handholdable form together with their photo.

ANYONE know if that would be possible ?

Tuesday, 22 December 2015


It's not that I didn't suspect this on the day we were wed but I married a born organiser and a woman not prepared to let HER opinion be overridden by any other mere mortal !
That's only one woman by the way as I wouldn't have been stupid enough to have wed two women on  the same day !

Advice on all matters has been her forte and I wish I could only remember a fraction of the ideas I've presented that have been met with that well known stoney stare of contempt beloved by all husbands !

Why DO men pretend to their mates that they are in charge and make all the major decisions in their families ? I wouldn't, if I had any mates, and have never made a single decision in my life !

At the moment her, literally, upstairs has a horrendous bout of something handed down to her by her daughter through HER children and I have been found wanting in the caring department !

Well, in truth, I have offered all sorts of things like a hot drink every five or six hours or a biscuit but that just wasn't good enough for her ! She wanted a meal for God's sake and she wouldn't even consider letting me help her to get dressed and ambulanced to a restaurant. NO ! She expected me to COOK her one !

No-one has EVER eaten anything I have ever attempted to produce and I have been banished from the kitchen for decades ! I didn't even know we had a kitchen !

This morning I worked out how to light the oven and put in four part-baked rolls before going to my room and forgetting all about them ! I rushed back in, removed them and wasn't allowed to fill one for her as I would have put on too much butter and got the miniscule amount of jam she likes on hers wrong, TOTALLY WRONG !

I ate mine, whilst reading my own Blog with the horrible ham I insisted on buying, topped off with Pease Pudding which smelt like it's 'use by' day had expired some time last century, without noticing that the insides were on the cool side.

When the croaking one appeared, flustered and slightly angry because SHE had had to find a defunct passport of mine for distant family legal reasons, she made her own roll which she instantly spat out because I had in fact panicked and removed them after three instead of twelve minutes and hadn't apparently pre-warmed the oven first !

It was suggested that I was worse than useless and that she couldn't wait for me to go down with what she was suffering !

For that reason I will not allow her to kiss me for several more days and have luckily been invited to look after a grandson for four or five hours after looking after a different one yesterday for twelve !

I shall start working on the screenplay shortly, as recommended by an American fan !

Tuesday, 1 September 2015


My daughter Gemma has suddenly changed and got her mojo back after seeing her first delivery now that she has started training as a midwife !

But enough about her !

Except that she made me an excellent cheese omelette today and I complimented her and told her that it was the best one I'd had since I visited Yugoslavia as a twenty year old !

"You went to Yugoslavia as a twenty year old ? You've kept that one quiet haven't you ? I never knew you'd been to Yugoslavia!" she continued somewhat repetitively.

Shirley explained to her that I'd been part of my College's Drama Group which had won a trip there thanks to The Sunday Times because we were so brilliant !

"And that's when I found my girlfriend in the arms of my fellow student Charles Dance when I opened the door to our old-fashioned railway compartment as we sped through Austria and I don't think that from what I saw that they were going over the script !" I snivelled pathetically, still full of self-pity over forty five years later !
"Oh you shared a flat with him didn't you?" she asked without showing a moment's compassion for her father being cuckholded !

"No I didn't and I have never said I did!" I retorted, smarting from her lack of sympathy for me, "Charles once lent me his Jeep to move my stuff and we put on a two man and a woman play once which I only remember as a disaster because on the night my parents came to see it as I totally dried up at one point and blushed to my roots as nothing the prompt said very loudly from the wings made any sense or helped me get restarted until we had all returned to about ten lines before and leapt back in and just to show you that I am not alone in forgetting lines, ask your mother about the night she skipped a whole act in that play where she stomped across the stage in Jack Boots and really set the cast adrift !"

"Pardon me for pointing out that you were hardly a match for Charles Dance then and most certainly not now !" Shirley chipped in, equally dismissively. SHE fell for him when he was in Jewel In The Crown and wouldn't come out to dinner with us when he played Coriolanus in Newcastle twenty five years ago.
To those of you wondering why not, well she said, "When I have dinner with Charles Dance, YOU won't be there !"

Charles is really responsible for my not drinking now as my response to the heinous discovery and a lost girlfriend and my first real girlfriend at that and the one to whom I lost something irrecoverable and somewhat later in life than now seems believable, was to go and get myself blind drunk on Slibervitz which burnt my stomach and has made me pretty much intolerant towards alcohol ever since !

WE hadn't been friends at college and we hadn't remained in touch as he climbed the ladder to international acclaim and it was me who got in touch with him when I read that he was coming up to Newcastle . He wrote back saying something like,"Ah there you are Nashy ! Come round to the Stage Door after market and we'll sort out a meal after the show one night." So wringing wet after a day of steady rain and wearing a ridiculous pale lilac totally unwaterproof ski suit I duly turned up at the door to be looked down upon by a man reading The Sunday Sun as if I was a rather smelly drowned rat and who snorted with disbelief when I told him that I was a friend of the Star and would like to see him !

He slowly folded his paper whilst staring fixedly at this time waster, climbed down from his stool and clenching a roll-up in his gritted teeth limped resentfully away into the depths of the Theatre Royal.

He returned rather promptly, virtually grovelling and beseeching me to follow him as he walked backwards bowing before showing me humbly into the hallowed presence !

Charles was sitting naked to the waist pulling weights and looking up cried, "DAYVIDE!" a little too dramatically for my liking and proffered a hand backside up, for kissing I presumed !

"Oi Charles ! It's me not one of your Luvvies and I'm dying for a pee!" I said crossing his dressing room once I'd seen his private facilities and leaving a trail of mud across his plush carpet !

Anyway, the play was awful and the dinner equally so because he had an old female acquantance fawning over him, the two of them making it abundantly clear that I was not welcome and we parted company, never to meet again....except ONCE many years later....sort of....when I heard his voice in a Cornish town where he was directing a film and although he didn't spot me as he lavished bon mots on some sycophantic doters, I spotted HIM and said to Shirley, "There's Charles Dance, would you like to meet him ?" to which she replied, as he walked away from us,"NO because that BALD man is NOT Charles Dance !"

But it was !

Thursday, 20 August 2015


My wife's brain works at least a thousand times faster than mine and each thought seems to be accompanied by a million subthoughts which in turn are accompanied by a billion others so it's hardly a wonder that she thinks I'm thick and we don't really listen to each other which probably isn't that surprising after more than four decades together!
Well actually she won't listen to me because I'm a man and I don't listen to her because my mind is generally full, according to her, of unhilarious things to write to my friends on Facebook and completely made-up lies about her for my next Blog !

If, for example, I'm about to drive to the doctor's to get nothing wrong with me looked at again by one of the most attractive lady doctors in the world or catch a bus for another multi-hour babysitting round trip and I'm asked what I want in my sandwiches, the answer to which is always cheese, I also become aware of being given a list of confusing things to get and do or not do just as I'm leaving plus the times of departure of at least twelve other buses if I miss the seventeen minutes to the hour one which leaves thirty seconds after I get into the first bus station which is about a four minute fast sprint from the second one!

Little of what's been 'advised' enters my fogged brain and a written list would just get left somewhere I couldn't remember!

When her equally verbose sister and her husband were visiting a couple of weeks ago neither woman remained silent long enough for either man to say anything, despite trying several times by holding a polite finger up meaning that one or other of us had a salient point to make, so we two chaps moved along to the relative privacy at the end of my thirty three foot long lounge to chat about manly things like, well frankly very little but generalities because my brother-in-law is an academic and I'm not.

I have very little interest in the course on Spanish lesbian literature that he attended a few years ago and he, being a retired Spanish Professor of Literature, showed surprisingly little interest in the manufacture of small leathergoods in Northumberland!

However we found things to mull over despite the women's tongues drowning us out as they machine-gunned 'stuff' at nineteen to the dozen and his wife even managed to admonish him several times by somehow miraculously picking out overheard words which might relate in any way to parts of the female anatomy whilst talking loudly and rapidly about  herself and the subtle differences in the many hundreds of cups of Earl Grey tea she'd drunk on her world travels or the nuances of the endless Scandinavian detective series that both she and Shirley watch !

I'm actually sitting freezing in August in our static caravan at 7pm in appalling weather and whilst thinking, glanced up and watched a Weathergirl with a very pretty face and an unusually low cut top telling the nation about tomorrow's weather which I found myself not listening to as I was staring at her cleavage! Is that so wrong when it felt so right ?

A few minutes before that Shirley had got up, turned the telly off and holding a blanket over her arm for no reason I could fathom called out,"I haven't got a clue what sort of heater they've got next door but it's massive! OI! Deaf ears! I said that they've got a MASSIVE heater next door so come and have a look and tell me if you know what make it is 'cos I couldn't live with one that size!" This confused me as I didn't know 'we' were contemplating buying a heater as Shirley's core temperature remains at around 200*C even in mid-winter whilst mine languishes around minus thirty even in a heatwave !

I reluctantly stood up and as I was about to take a look Shirley continued, "Oh no! It's the woman herself, lit from above and not a heater!" so I sat down again and Shirley turned the telly back on to watch Emmerdale which I have watched four times in thirty years and to tell you the truth, it doesn't seem to have moved on much in all that time does it? At this precise moment a Geordie woman is sitting on the end of a settee with her arm around the neck and her right breast almost resting on the shoulder of a disappointed looking man! Had it been me on that settee I would have looked anything but disappointed and would probably have had a hard time remembering my lines as I tried to control a chap's natural urge to fondle such a gift placed anywhere within several feet of one's face!

Many years ago I spent nearly thirty years at market every Sunday standing beside an ugly, leering, ill-educated fifty year old idiot and one day, just for a challenge I asked a young, beautiful and charming female trader colleague to flirt with him and ask him out after I got fed up with his tales of how perfect his wife was, so she approached and did whatever was necessary to lure him into debauchery before returning to me with a look of abject failure on her face!

"Well I got REALLY close, like leant on him a bit, told him how much I liked him and how I'd fancied him for months and asked him what he was doing tonight and he said that he would be having one of his wife's splendid dinners which would be sitting ready for him when he walked in at precisely 5pm and backed off from me!"

Later on I asked this twit whether he'd noticed the girl who'd told me that she fancied him and he replied, "Aye ! And she pressed her breast against my arm and I can do without THAT!" (Names and addresses withheld)

So, much more interesting than that is the fact that my camera's on the blink for the third time in twenty months and I've started looking for a new one even before waiting for Olympus to respond to my public groan on their Facebook page.

I've found the one I want and reported back that I'd found it on Amazon considerably cheaper than the major shops.

"Well you need to read the reviews and press 'buy' under the enquiry to see who's selling it." I was advised though not really listening !

"What? There's a button I can press under a review?" I asked, genuinely surprised as I never do read reviews, leaving it to my organiser to do so as she'll read several thousand reviews of a thing she wants even if they all, right from the start and without fail say, 'This item is brilliant and you'd be a fool not to buy it'!

"So I can buy anything I want just by selecting 'buy' under it?" I asked amazed!

"That's NOT what I said deaf ears if you'd only LISTEN for once in your life! Gemma's right ! YOU NEVER LISTEN ! I said that when you type something into Google and press enter then you get a range of options which appear under the headlines like 'Images...Videos....Maps...Shopping' and it's the 'Shopping' one that you have to press, OK ?" she cajoled with some irritation in her voice which surprised me !

"So I can buy anything I want on Amazon by pressing 'Shopping' then ?"

"Well you can't buy Mount Fuji on Amazon you fool but that's what Amazon's for....buying stuff!"

And so I've learnt something new today though I have no idea where Mount Fuji came from !

Oh God! Coronation Street's just started so I'm OFF!