Saturday, 20 August 2016

Sally Part 164...HITTING THE SPORT THING ON THE HEAD !

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

Sally..Part 163. SHIRLEY WOULD RATHER WATCH JOSH GROBAN SING THAN RUSH TO MY AID DURING A HEART ATTACK !

JOSH GROBAN !
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

SALLY...Part 161. ARE WE THE MOST TECHNOLOGICALLY INCOMPETENT COUPLE ON EARTH ?

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 !

 MY REAL PROBLEM IS THAT MY NEW INDOOR SHOES ARE IDENTICAL TO MY OUTDOOR ONES !

 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

Sally..Part 159, HOW CAN A CHEF FORGET ONE OF THE THREE COMPONENTS OF A MEAL !

THE COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL...OUR SUITE WAS ALL THREE FLOORS AS SEEN HERE !
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

Sally..Part 158. NOT AN UNTYPICAL NIGHT !

 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

Sally..Part 157. TONIGHT I WAS ACTUALLY RIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 44 YEARS !

DO THEY LOOK LIKE PISTACHIOS TO YOU ?
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 dysfunction...at this point in time ! You'll just have to go onto the wider internet for them !
ALL MY TROUBLES LORD WILL SOON BE OVER !

Friday, 5 February 2016

SALLY..PART 156 ! I AM FEELING HURT ! WOUNDED IN FACT !

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

SALLY..PART 155. CONGRATULATIONS TO ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA FOR BECOMING MY 100TH COUNTRY IN WHICH I'M READ !

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

Sally..Part 154. 99 COUNTRIES AND COUNTING ! SO WHICH ONE WILL BECOME THE ONE HUNDREDTH ONE IN WHICH I'M READ ?

NO-ONE HAS EVER TURNED UP TO MY WIDELY ADVERTISED READINGS BUT THAT HAS NEVER STOPPED ME GOING AHEAD WITH THEM ! I CERTAINLY MAKE ME LAUGH !
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

Sally...Part 153. THE BEST PRIME MINISTER THIS COUNTRY NEVER HAD !

I OCCASIONALLY TAKE A LITTLE HELP FROM A TUBE OR TWO !
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 !
THIS SIXTH FORMER (CENTRE) WAS SUMMONED TO THE OFFICE AND TOLD THAT SHE NEEDED TO BEHAVE WITH MORE HUMILTY ! HER ARROGANCE WAS ALREADY TOO FAR ADVANCED BY THIS TIME FOR ANY KIND OF REVERSAL !
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

Sally-Part 152. THE TRUTH ABOUT CHARLES DANCE AND I FOR MY DAUGHTER GEMMA !

CHARLES AS WORSHIPPED BY SHIRLEY !
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 !
AS HE APPEARS IN GAME OF THRONES . I DON'T THINK I HAVE ANYTHING TO WORRY ABOUT DO YOU ?
"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.
CHARLES AS I PREFER TO THINK OF HIM !
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

Sally-Part 151. "YOU CAN'T BUY MOUNT FUJI ON AMAZON!"

SADLY UNAVAILABLE ON AMAZON !
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!
PRETTY ACCURATE REALLY !
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!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Sally-Part 150...BEING WOKEN UP...SHIRLEY STYLE !

I was having one of those dreams where I was drowning in burning hot quicksand and was taking my final gasps !

In that dreadful paralised period just before consciousness creeps back and I throw myself out of bed desperate for air I knew that this really was it as I couldn't move !

My life didn't flash before me as I was fighting the terror and as I fought against the force holding me down !

My legs were trapped and my mouth was on fire and I was actually woken up being force-fed burning hot porridge and boiling coffee with Shirley sitting on my legs, because Shirley sits where she likes, whilst she poured an unrememorable stream of instructions into my brain !

We were cat-sitting at one of my son's and I had to get back to escort two of my Grandsons to school .

........WAKE UP YOU SNORING CHOKING IDIOT AND SWALLOW THIS AND STOP FIGHTING ME YOU'VE ONLY GOT AN HOUR AND A HALF TO GET READY AND DRIVE THE TEN MINUTES BACK HOME AND YOU HAVEN'T BEEN TO THE BATHROOM YET....OPEN....SWALLOW...DRINK... AND I'VE JUST HAD MY WORST NIGHTS SLEEP EVER AND I'VE BEEN UP SINCE FIVE THIRTY TWO AND THAT'S AFTER THREE WEES AND CLEANING OUT BOTH TRAYS AND THAT STRAY'S NOT BEEN IN....OPEN...SWALLOW...DRINK.... OR I'D HAVE HAD NO SLEEP AT ALL WHILST YOU JUST LIE THERE IN A COMA AND GEMMA'LL BE PHONING AND YOU'LL EITHER HAVE TO MEET THE BOYS....OPEN...SWALLOW...DRINK... AT THE FAR CAR PARK OR SHE'LL BRING THEM TO YOU IF IT'S STILL RAINING....OPEN...SWALLOW...DRINK ...QUICKLY I HAVEN'T GOT ALL DAY I'VE GOT TO CHECK OUT JOSH GROBAN'S TOUR DATES AGAIN AND SEE IF ANY TICKETS HAVE COME UP THAT YOU COULD EVEN VAGUELY AFFORD....OPEN...SWALLOW...DRINK...AND YOU'RE NOT TO SPILL THE CREAM THAT I'M SENDING HOME WITH YOU ALONG WITH THE CABBAGE WHICH I WON'T BE EATING TODAY AND THERE'S THE REST OF THE CHINESE FROM LAST NIGHT FOR YOUR LUNCH AND DON'T SPEND ALL DAY ON FACEBOOK...OPEN...SWALLOW...DRINK....AND DON'T FORGET TO GO TO ASSEMBLY...OPEN....SWALLOW...DRINK....BECAUSE DANIEL'S GETTING HIS BRONZE CERTIFICATE FOR NOT HEADBUTTING ANYONE THIS WEEK...OPEN...SWALLOW...DRINK....AND THERE'S A FREEZER BLOCK TO GO IN THE TOP SECTION OF THE FREEZER AS SOON AS YOU GET IN AND IF YOU USE ANY OF THE CHEESE DON'T FORGET TO CLOSE THE PACKET PROPERLY....OPEN...SWALLOW...DRINK....ARE YOU AWAKE YET BECAUSE I NEED TO KNOW THAT YOU HAVE HEARD AND UNDERSTOOD EVERYTHING AS I WON'T BE THERE TO ORGANISE YOU...OPEN...SWALLOW....DRINK...AND YOU'LL FORGET YOUR OWN NAME WITHOUT ME THERE...LAST ONE OPEN....SWALLOW....DRINK...AND I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE THAT WOMAN AT THE GOLF COURSE DARED TO CHARGE YOU NINE POUNDS TWENTY FIVE FOR A FEW SCAMPI A COUPLE OF DRIED LEAVES FROZEN CHIPS AND A SPOONFUL OF COLESLAW OUT OF A CATERING PACK YOU MUST BE MAD AND AS FOR YOUR DRINKING AN ORANGE FANTA INSTEAD OF A PINT OF BEER WELL WHAT SORT OF MAN ARE YOU YOU WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN OVER THE LIMIT AND I WAS SO EMBARRASSED TO HAVE TO SIT WITH YOU DRINKING THAT...ONE MORE OPEN...SALLOW...DRINK...NOW OPEN YOUR EYES AND GET UP!


Friday, 29 May 2015

Sally-part 149. WHY SHIRLEY WON'T BE GOING TO JOSH GROBAN'S CONCERT THIS YEAR !


JOSH SIGNING AUTOGRAPHS FOR EVERYONE WHO WANTED ONE A FEW YEARS AGO IN MANCHESTER ! SADLY SHIRLEY CAN'T BE SEEN GETTING HER PROGRAMME SIGNED AS SHE HAD BEEN KNOCKED TO THE GROUND AND TRAMPLED UNDERFOOT IN THE STAMPEDE TO GET TO THE MAN !
You would have to be dead not to know that ever since discovering the twenty one year old Josh Groban twelve or so years ago Shirley has read every single word written about him to date and seen him live seven times including a return trip one supposedly summery July evening from Cornwall where we were on holiday to Hampton Court Palace in London in one day to sit frozen to the bone as an Arctic blast set the entire audience and performers shivering to pieces !

It was even worse for me because I had borrowed a very early version of a digital camera from my daughter Gemma to record the show on, only to find that the primitive memory card could either take about twenty still shots or thirty seconds of video, all of which I lost when I later ignorantly pressed 'FORMAT' whilst trying to show Shirley the tiny amount I'd captured whilst actually missing the entire show because I couldn't concentrate on two things at once ! Oh ! And I was typically sat behind the biggest man in the audience who completely blocked my view !

Have you ever tried using an unfamiliar digital camera in the dark, illegally, with white fingers aching from the cold and eyes that couldn't read the tiny instructions or work out what the symbols on the screen even meant ?

We had only just driven from Newcastle the ten hours to Cornwall the very day after having driven the three hours back from Glasgow where we had seen him in concert as well !

I will do anything for my wife but this was well beyond the call of duty and only further confirmed in her mind the mistake she had made all those years ago in marrying me instead of waiting thirty more years for Josh to be born and start singing !

Well anyway, he's touring again in November this year which I read about whilst we were away a few weeks ago but as there was no way to buy a ticket at the time shirley waited the couple of days until we got home before plugging in her laptop to take a look !

Shirley called through to me devastated ! All the decent tickets for each of the three performances he was giving were gone.....Manchester, Birmingham and London !

It was true ! There was one single one left about fifty rows back in the upper gallery !

The touts had got them all !

And that Josh Groban, if you ever get to read this, is DIABOLICAL, not just for your show but for all seats at every show !

Within hours decent seats were reappearing on the web for £200 each and more !

Bought purely to make an absurd profit on and take advantage of true fans !

So we are not going aren't we not ?

Well the thing is that Josh's new album has some absolutely wonderful tracks on it which I'm certain when performed live will bring the audience to their feet as one and we (and I honestedly do include myself here !) REALLY want to be there !

So unless Josh's Tour Management agree on some more dates for which I can get tickets, my bank account is going to have to take a severe hit as some scumbag gets my hard-earned money !

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Sally-Part 148. "DAVID ! YOU'VE RUINED MY BLUE COAT BY SLEEPING IN IT !"

It was a lovely sunny day last week in early April when coming back from somewhere neither of us can now remember we parked by the gigantic newsprint and wind turbine storage sheds and walked to Blyth's secret yacht basin and pier.
COULD BE THE MED !
After a ten minute stroll along the ancient wooden structure, straight into the face of almost no breeze at all, tutting at anything we saw, like fishermen doing nothing more innocuous than sitting quietly watching their lines or dogs on the beach, full of beans having a great time running for miles and swimming after sticks, we returned to the dunes where after dismissing the sheer enjoyment that some teenage lads were having running into the flat calm sea as vandalism that deserved them being locked up for ever and the key thrown away, we fell into a deep sleep !
WHO'D HAVE THOUGHT THAT THIS WOULD LEAD TO BEAUTY ?
I was woken from yet another 'losers' dream by Shirley demanding something incoherent !

"Burliurch ?" I stuttered, meaning to say, "What have I done NOW ?", tripping over my swollen desert-dry tongue !

"I said, you deaf idiot, WHY have you got MY blue coat on ?"

"Why have I WHAT ?" I replied, suddenly fully alert and looking down, saw that I was indeed wearing her blue coat and not my own ! How HAD I managed that when we have our own hooks ?

"I thought that you were looking particularly stupid when we were walking along ! Look at it ! The sleeves are too short, it hardly covers your arse and the zip's the wrong way round and I've looked after it for years and now you've ruined it by sleeping in it ! It looks like a sack and you look Gay and I am just too embarrassed to be seen walking along with you !"
TRYING TO RIDE A THIN WHEELED BIKE DOWN THE PIER IS NOT TO BE RECOMMENDED !
She often has a go at me and I generally feel aggrieved that I get blamed for everything but this time I knew she was right !

My mind is definitely on the blink and I, well both of us if the truth is to be known, forget things that I/we would never have forgotten in the past !

I think of things to note down before I forget them and have forgotten them before I've found a pen to note them down with !

We walked back to the car in silence except for Shirley's continuous,"My BEST coat RUINED !..RUINED !....God you are SUCH a liability !" raining down on my tinnitissian wrecked ears !

I resolved to pay more attention in the future and eat walnuts to improve my brainpower and we drove the entire half mile home in tight-jawed loathing of each other !

After I'd unlocked the front door, Shirley hissed at me through her still clenched jaws, "Now get my coat OFF you stupid, forgetful, impossible-to-live-with TWERP ! I'll NEVER get those creases out ! GOD ! What did I ever see in you ?"

I didn't, for once, bother arguing as I felt guilty as charged and went to hang her coat back up on her hook but couldn't because there was already a blue coat on her hook and I just stood agog trying to work out why I would have hung my blue coat on HER hook.......and then something dawned in my tiny brain.......!

"Shirley ! Come here ! NOW !" I actually dared to shout !

"What fool ?" she snorted back ! " Hurry up, 'Deal's about to start!'

"What is hanging on YOUR hook YOU fool ?"

"MY blue coat. WHY twit ?"

"Because if THAT is YOUR blue coat then WHAT have I been wearing ?"

It only took another five seconds of both of us staring at my empty hook to realise that my coat was missing !

"Shirley ! My coat's not there ! I must have left it somewhere but I haven't been anywhere have I ?"

"How am I supposed to know where you've been ? You'd forget your own stupid head if you didn't have me to organise every single thing in your pathetic little life !" she joshed playfully !

I stared at her and then at her coat and then at my empty hook and then at what I was wearing !

"Then what is THIS ?"

"Well I've never seen it before so there's no point asking ME !"

I think it dawned on both of us at precisely the same time that what I was wearing WAS my coat, the one that I had been wearing for about three years and that in fact fitted me perfectly, covered my arse and fitted to my wrists !

I really have NO idea what's going to happen as we start to really get old and forgetful !








Monday, 2 February 2015

Sally-Part 147. I AM NOT PARANOID BUT EVERYONE'S STARING AT ME !

Last Friday, late January, I suddenly fancied a sauna and a Turkish bath so dropped my cutting knife (What else does one do with a knife ? Stab I suppose !) and walked through to announce my intention to Shirley who was watching another film illegally !

I was going to nip along to my local 'Nifty at Fifty' which should be more accurately renamed 'Nearly Dead at Ninety' once the council look in on the decrepit old toads leaking into the Jacuzzi but Shirley suggested I treated myself to Whitley Bay's Leisure Suite and also recommended driving one eighth of a mile to the beach car park's far end from where I could then catch a bus the 5 miles to the place thus saving a quid on petrol whilst taking advantage of my free bus pass !

I sat alone downstairs on the deserted bus as even I think I'm pathetic for wanting to sit at the front upstairs and quickly noticed the bus driver staring at me in his rear view mirror !

I tried to ignore him but every time I glanced, he was STARING at me !

I furtively felt down to make sure my flies were done up which they're more than likely not to be  these days and reassured that they weren't open, causing his interest, tried to look like a dozy pensioner which isn't a difficult thing for me to do !

But still he stared !

I was so unnerved that I failed to press the stop button efficiently once I'd spotted my destination and as it remained silent the bus sailed through to the next halt, leaving me a half mile walk back !

Has anyone else ever pressed a bus bell inefficiently ?

I find these days that driving means I've never noticed things like how big the houses lining the sea front are .

Walking gave me the opportunity to stare at them and into them and I found the inhabitants staring back and reaching for their phones !

Well anyway the lady on the reception desk who managed to suppress a sneer as she fleeced me of £6:20 asked me in that dreadfully patronising way a fifty year old woman reserves for older men whether I knew where I was going !

I told her that I'd just follow the bright blue, clearly written 'SPA' signs with the arrows on and I was sure that I'd find it !

Unfortunately that answer wasn't good enough for her and leaving her Receptionist's seat which I happened to notice these days are made extra wide and coming round to the front she then, after placing her hand on my arm, instructed me on how to find my way by walking through various double doors, up flights of stairs and direction changes, none of which I paid the slightest attention to because after a lifetime of receiving overly copious ones every time I leave the house I now go immediately and completely deaf when a woman gives me instructions !

So I did actually manage to get lost and ended up in the Ladies changing room !

I very quickly turned around and left as the sights that greeted me of naked ancients was not a good one and despite their cries of "Come back young man !" I hurtled away !

I am uneasy in communal changing rooms and prefer my own cabin but needs must and aware that what looked frankly like many ex-cons hovering about elbowing each other when I walked in I was extra careful in not bending over to pick up my shorts whilst naked !

One particularly big bloke aged about forty just simply STARED at me with a Cheshire cat 's fixed grin whilst taking an age to get changed himself, folding up each article of clothing with studied care !

He suddenly piped up in a very curiously high pitched lisp, "I'm going to the Gym now ! Anyone want to chase me ?" and shot out giggling maniacally !

I felt ill at ease but after packing my clothes into my Asda bright green 'Bag For Life' I stuffed it into a locker, carefully pushing my pink leather change purse containing £1:20 in 20pees for a cup of tea afterwards to the bottom of it, I sallied forth without my glasses on and therefore BLIND !

Mr Magoo like I pressed my nose up against the signs outside the various 'rooms' but all every one said was....actually I can't remember what they said....and entered the first obviously steam room, finding myself surrounded by swirling clouds of mentholated super-heated water droplets which made me choke and gasping for my life I sat down without being able to focus on the activities going on around me  !

It was only when an allotment blackened hand squeezed my knee and a male voice simpered, "Hell LOW , YOU'RE new aren't you and such a big boy ?

Two seconds later I was out of there and stubbing my toes on the raised rim of the Jacuzzi, dived head first under the water coming up spluttering between a pair of fat man's thighs which had a neighbour's hand evidently protecting the chaps 'privates' so I leapt out of there and onto the most stupid thing of all, a roughly tiled heated reclined concrete bench that cooked anyone daft enough to lie on it !

 Hotter than I ever got in Egypt I stood under the ice bucket, pulled the chain and SCREAMED like a stuck pig and frozen half to death rushed for what fortunately turned out to be the sauna but realising after quickly finding my brain fried that Spas are the most stupid thing in the world and shaking with heat exhaustion stumbled for a shower where for some inexplicable reason I looked up into one of those appalling spotlights that have replaced proper bulbs which immediately triggered a violent visual migraine !

Staggering out to get dressed and bear in mind that this entire experience had so far only lasted four minutes I found myself towelling down in front of the same man who'd wanted chasing a few moments before !

Thankfully I spotted a man I vaguely knew from Blyth and called out, " Hello there ! How are you ?"

His response was neither expected nor welcome : " Not so bad now thanks ! I'm not bleeding so much from my rear end anymore and I seem to have got back the use of most things since my stroke three years ago !" (Strokes cause what's called 'disinhibition' which he was clearly still suffering from !) .

I threw my clothes on whilst I was still soaking and rushed out and down to the lobby bursting for a cup of Bovril and a packet of OXO crisps like I always had at the pool when a boy but they no longer serve such food of THE GODS !

Trying to ignore all the mothers who were ignoring their babies whilst on their i Phones I decided to go and have a cup of tea and a scone in The Rendezvous Cafe on the Prom !

I no longer cared that I'd blown £6:20 PLUS 20p for my locker and had decided to tell Shirley how much I'd enjoyed the whole thing even if she did notice that I was home rather sooner than she'd expected !

There's also a posh cafe at the back but I wanted a view so I sat in the fifties throwback,with plastic chairs and unable to look out onto the view I wanted because the windows were running with condensation from the cooking and the wet dogs which were allowed in and ate a rather dry item smeared with butter and jam and which exploded when I tried to lift it, scattering itself across a suspiciously uninviting table top !

No-one talked in the place and it really wasn't terribly nice but the scraps of scone I gathered up and swallowed with my tea re-energised me and afterwards I went and stood on the prom where I was swiftly joined by a very fat and old Pug dog whose owner couldn't shift it from where it had collapsed on my foot ! It smelt awful and feeling sick I forced my foot out from beneath it's bulk and went for my bus !

Now ! How come when as a car driver all I see is buses but when I actually want one I end up standing freezing and spotted by the local nutter ?

This charming lady in her thirties must have seen me from some distance because I couldn't help but notice her dreadfully knock-kneed enormous legs clumping rapidly in a straight line for me with her top half invisible behind a wreath of cigarette smoke !

"Con yee see it ?" she wheezed, "Cos I canna !"

Thankfully 'IT' appeared and I'm afraid I did NOT for the one and only time in my life, stand aside to let this fouly dressed vision of horribleness on first ! Shame on me !

I plonked my bus pass with the photo of me looking dead onto the reader, took my ticket and fled upstairs where a young man sitting alone in a front seat of the deserted level turned and STARED at me with incomprehension in his eyes ! I sat at the back....he sat turned in his seat and stared at me the entire journey back !

Perhaps I AM paranoid !

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Sally-part 146. 'TWAS A SPIDER NOT MOULD ON THE CEILING OF SHIRLEY'S BATHROOM !

I DID NOT OPEN THAT WINDOW !

Whilst I was finishing off my last Blog, Shirley asked if I could go in and clean the ceiling of 'her' caravan bathroom !
To all you foreigners........Now THIS is what a 'caravan' is over here ! Ours sits high above Wigtown Bay in South West Scotland and here's the highly skilled man I paid to paint the decking painting the decking !
'Mine' is the larger of the two and frankly no couple should have to live with only one !
And this my friends is a typically glorious sunset seen from our decking !
She said that there appeared to be a light covering of mould which would only get worse over the coming winter months when we wouldn't be visiting .

So in I went, mixed up a mild bleach solution in the smallest sink in the world and dipping in my kitchen towel was about to start wiping when I spied a spider weaving it's web across the entire surface .
I've trawled through the internet and this is as near as I can get to what I let climb onto my hand before blowing it out of the window !

This web was in fact the 'mould' that Shirley had seen !

Anyway, opening the window wide I introduced the spider to the outside world and carried on cleaning the place despite the lack of mould because after eight years I thought it was about time to wipe over ledges and blinds and things like that that had gathered a small amount of dust !
OK so I admit it wasn't really a Redback but it was this real MONSTER !
I sat back down to edit my last post and felt a cold breeze and when Shirley saw me looking around, just before her first snooze of several, asked what was up .

I said that there was a strong cold breeze which was surprising as all the windows were shut and carried on writing.

Shirley came back from inspecting my cleaning project and said that she'd closed the bathroom window as that was the likely source of the cold air.

"Well I'd already closed it when I found it open when I went in to clean the ceiling !" I said, confused !

"Well I didn't open it and in fact haven't even been in there this morning as I used your bathroom  !"

"You used my bathroom ? Why would you do that ?"

"It's closer to the bedroom and if you didn't open it and I certainly didn't then that means it was open all last night and a burglar could have gotten in and taken all or valuables you idiot ! You're in charge of locking the place up at night !"

"I never go in your bathroom so I wouldn't have known the window was open so you should have closed it yourself and so I'm not the idiot am I ?"

"You're always an idiot and if you want any dinner you'd better apologise for calling me one !"

"I don't see why I SHOULD apologise as I didn't actually say you were an idiot did I ?"

"Do you want any dinner or not ?"

"OK ! I'm sorry ! What's for dinner ?"

"I'll tell you what though !" Shirley said as the mood returned to calm...for us anyway, "If neither of us can remember opening the window it's a bit worrying isn't it ?"

"Ah don't worry about it ! We're just getting older that's all ! Hey ! Guess what ? When I went in to clean the ceiling there was a spider weaving a web right across the place so I got rid of it before I started "!

"What did you do with it ? Not down the toilet ? "

"No No ! I put it out the window !"

Perhaps it's the cold that's affecting me or I really am getting old !


Sally-part 145. EGYPT WAS SOMEWHERE I WASN'T GOING TO GO BACK TO !

For those of you who have read EGYPT 2013, EGYPT 2011 or EGYPT 2010, you'll recall that I said that I would never go again as I was really quite scared at being in a Middle Eastern Arab country on the brink of political instability and at the mercy of armed guards should any of them decide to kill me for a bit of fun !

Since then the extremists in Syria and Iraq and elsewhere have shown themselves to be well organised, well armed and determined to sieze power and return the Arab world to a time when every aspect of life was controlled by Clerics.

They have beheaded western journalists and charity workers on video and posted their terror onto the internet for the eyes of those sick enough to watch !

Egyptian politics are in a state of uncertainty and insecurity with masses rioting in the streets of Cairo and....and....and.... WHY would I want to go back again this year !

Of course Sharm El Sheikh is hundreds of miles from any trouble and surrounded by speed bumps, armed police and soldiers and once inside the ring of steel all seems normal !

Of course it IS normal....the charming workers work and the holidaymakers relax .

I hit one or other of my elbows on joints in everyone of those slides as I screamed in fear on each descent !
The fantastic complex, The Royal Albatros Moderne, apparently had five hundred staff and five pools, a major waterslide park, about eight restaurants and a jetty six hundred metres long reaching out to the drop-off point where scuba divers ventured down a hundred feet to see what the snorkellers could easily see about three feet down without the risk of drowning or getting the bends !

The water was crystal clear and as one peered down from the three or four mid stages where ladders into the three feet deep water could be accessed one could easily see down the cleavages of all the lithe Russian supermodels cavorting in the water whilst being photographed by their much older and very podgy Mafia 'boyfriends' !

My son-in-law and I often found ourselves a long way behind our family admiring those podgy 'boyfriends' or discovering that we'd 'left' something on the beach or 'dropped' a towel much further back which meant we had to walk very slowly back to retrieve them !
I did say CRYSTAL clear didn't I ? Here's Derek leading Jack !
It was all Shirley's fault that I returned to Egypt this year because when Gemma told her that she was about to book, I was approached with the sentence, " Are you SURE you don't want to go to Egypt this year ?" "Absolutely NOT !" I replied.
"But you enjoyed it so much last year and I'm not stopping you from going !" "Yes but I promised you that we would spend more time away at the caravan this year and my taking a week away by going with Gemma will ruin two weeks at the caravan because of the flight times!" "Look forget about me !" Shirley groaned in exasperation, "I'll be alright ! Now do you want to go or not ?" (Shirley doesn't go to Egypt as it's too hot for her !) "Absolutely certain!" I repeated, "I'm ignored by everyone anyway, I eat less than a fly, despite the choice of about fifty dishes at every meal and even the little I eat will upset my delicate system whilst there and for weeks after I get back, I can't stand the ten hours from  waking up to arrival, hate flying, hate mosquitoes, feel sick if I accidently swallow even the tiniest drop of the extra salty Red Sea, can't sunbathe for even five minutes without my skin falling off, have to stay alert every waking second to make sure the children aren't falling off something, getting stung by jellyfish, are eating properly, washing their hands after going to the toilet where I'VE wiped their backsides, got sea sick whilst babysitting on dive boats, developed exploding piles riding a hideous Quadbike, been forced to shout out 'EGYPT!" with my eyes shut and whilst standing in the middle of absolutely nowhere under the only tree for a thousand miles so that we could hear an echo ! NO ! I don't want to go back EVER and I can live without Gemma screaming at me to 'GET BACK ON THE F#####G BUS !' when I got off it (leaving an unattended baby with an armed youth) to photograph everyone else riding camels into the 'Bedouin Night' where Daniel, then a few months old and I were 'greeted' by two utterly miserable and badly dressed 'guards' toting machine guns with spare clips in their hands before getting eaten alive by massive red ants! NO NEVER AGAIN !"
I told you the jetty was six hundred metres long and this was just a resting station half way along !
"OK ! Keep your hat on ! I was only asking!" Shirley said, reaching for the phone. "Hello Gemma, your dad definitely doesn't want to go to Egypt ! What ? The Albatross ? With it's own Aqua Park ? Right on the beach ? Fully inclusive Five Star resort you say with everything anyone could ever want ? I'll  tell him ! Hang on ! DAVID !"

I had been hiding behind the door and listening, squeaking with envy at the thought of what I'd be missing out on !

"COMING !" I called out, pretending to have no idea what she was about to say !

"David, the hotel sounds amazing and look, here's the photos and the recommendations on Tripadvisor and you DON'T have to worry about me !"

"OK !" I said in a split second, "I'll go !"

Laurence of Arabia dressed as me leading Jack !
It was fantastic, I LOVED our Camel ride and now I'm wondering which Hotel I'll be forced to go to next year !

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Sally-Part 144. "YOU ARE A REALLY DETESTABLE MAN !"

I am NOT what I would call a horrible man so I was quite surprised, when driving over to Scotland the other day, my wife of forty one years suddenly blurted out, " You are a really detestable man and if I wasn't married to you, you would be the sort of man I would absolutely loathe ! In fact you ARE the sort of man I can't stand and how I haven't plunged an axe into your scrawny neck on any of a million occasions I'll never know ! "

Oh how we laughed and drove on in that companionable silence that accompanies an outburst of that sort !

To earn her wrath I simply wrote about the three dog-rage incidents I'd had in two days, including dog poo all over my hands on Whitley Bay's Municipal 'Pitch And Putt' course where I didn't notice the uncleared gifts I'd put my clubs down in !

Of course my nine year old grandson Dylan laughed his head off when he saw me running screaming into the nearest bunker to scrub my hands clean, which I managed, though without removing the stench !

The assistant disinfected me and the clubs which were smothered in the stuff and told me that there was a continuing problem with owners who bring their dogs onto the course and allow them to foul without clearing up after them !

So dog owners of Whitley Bay and everywhere else ! Clear up after your dogs or get rid of the dog !
A 'SWARM' or 'PLAGUE' of dog walkers !
I suppose that having had an uncontrolled Bull Terrier run full tilt within inches of my four year old grandson on the beach whilst it's owners sat gormlessly nearby on the beach started it off .

Then returning to my son's house where we were staying to look after his two cats who poo a great deal and by choice on the stairs or in the bath instead of in their TWO cat trays, I was greeted by the delightful sight of three slightly loose piles outside his front gate, blocking our re-entry !

So I went on a bit on Facebook about hating not only dog owners who don't clear up after their dogs but dog owners in general, especially those who DO clear up after them and then carry their dear one's little parcels in clear or just opaque plastic bags, on full display, like trophies, to prove what conscientious souls they are and the sight of which makes me retch for some inexplicable reason !

An unbloodrelated dog-owning relative wrote in response, " I'm sorry to read that I disgust you David!" to which I playfully replied,"You would disgust me even if you didn't own a dog!"

My rapier wit caused a ruction which saw me resentfully forced to write an apology for overstepping the mark !

And then to add insult to injury, the unbloodrelated relative 'Blocked' me before putting on one of those REALLY ANNOYING 'quote' posters which are apparently put on, according to research so it must be true, by people of lower intellect which read, 'NEVER APOLOGISE etc etc !'

That relative, with whom I share no blood, and I will be sharing responsibility for looking after three grandsons in Egypt shortly where I will be spouseless and therefore unprotected !

I might survive and I might not because without my wife I have no-one to advise me about my lack of an edit button and I may well say some other things which I consider hilarious and which others won't !

Keep an eye out !

By the way it's not just dog owners I hate, I hate everyone and everyone seems to hate me too though I have absolutely no idea why !

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Sally-Part 143. A THREE P REFUND ALL THE WAY FROM SOUTH AFRICA !

When I was a boy I had an Aunt who lived in New York and once in a blue moon my father would 'book' a call to her .

I seem to remember it costing a pound a minute which meant that it cost more than four day's pay for a three minute call !

When I was sixteen I earned seventy five pence a DAY working as an assistant storeman on Saturdays at Woolworths !

So a call to The States was significant and expensive and not to be made lightly !

So what's all this about then ?

Well whenever Tescos delivers our shopping which is something they do about once every few weeks because we can't stand mixing with the working class people who frequent our local Supermarkets, they inevitably send items on the point of exceeding their 'sell by' dates, a loaf with a larger than acceptable air hole at one end, a lettuce with a slight browning of one leaf, apples of a variety other than those ordered, large pots of 'Finest' Coleslaw  rather than the 'Extra Creamy' one requested or Aunt Bessie's Roasted Potatoes instead of Aunt Bessie's ROSTI Potatoes as desired !

The 'ROSTI' problem has occured on more than one occasion and Shirley gets particularly incensed!

Then there are the inevitable frustrations caused by being overcharged by as much as three pence on an item and the maddening list of 'alternatives' supplied by overworked 'shoppers' who probably forgot to collect the wanted items when they passed them and couldn't be bothered to go back !

Whatever the reasons, Shirley gets straight onto the internet once she has expressed her frustration at me about the lack of storage space for three hundred pounds worth of groceries and informs the system of her concerns !

This is followed by a phone call the next day usually because to save a delivery charge she selects the free 10pm to 1am slot...and here comes the nub of the reason for writing the lead-in...from a truly humble administrative assistant in SOUTH AFRICA to tell her or more likely me, because Shirley HATES answering the phone, that the company apologises for any mistakes made and to let her know that the overcharge of three pence will be refunded to her account and that if she wishes a man in a van can be dispatched to pick up the nearly out of date products !

She never actually takes advantage of their offer so what happens is that I end up eating large quantities of 'on the turn' items that then make me ill !

How can phoning from South Africa be cost effective and why don't the companies have offices in the UK instead where people phoning me wouldn't be asked to repeat what they have said several times because I simply can't understand their accents ?

Well that's as long as the offices weren't operating out of Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Liverpool, Newcastle or anywhere in Yorkshire !

And don't get me started on the Africans, Indians and South Americans who phone me to tell me that I've won their National Lottery.....without even buying a ticket.....and all I'd have to do to receive several million pounds is to give them my bank details !

And I will scream if anyone mentions the calls I run to from the toilet that are silent or sales pitches from 'Home Improvement Companies' or anyone telling me that as a pensioner I'm eligible for a new boiler !

Friday, 27 June 2014

Sally-Part 142. AN ENCOUNTER WITH AN OUTTHRUSTLY BUSTY YORKSHIRE COUGAR !

Today Shirley and I touched index fingertips and swore never to go on holiday again !

It's summer and instead of sun we're sitting under lead-heavy cloud !

We went to a privately owned 'National Garden Schemes' or something garden that promised much, according to it's write up and delivered an overgrown mess!

Shirley's jaw set stone-like within one second of my putting ten instead of nine pounds in the honesty box and I then watched as it turned from stone into concrete before she asked for the car keys and left, almost apologising for making me drive fifty miles to see it.

Anywhere with garden gnomes does that to her....and me really !

I know just how long I can safely leave Shirley before she starts shouting for me so I stayed for a further ten minutes taking a few shots which thanks to my magic filter made the place look enchanting but no overcast day helps any garden look it's best.

I TRIED not to talk to anyone but had to say something to a plump grandiosely outthrustly busty lady with an appalling claim written on her T-shirt ! She was in her sixties or seventies and I found myself forced to assure her that I wasn't stalking her as I followed her behind an overgrown thicket or two along slippy paths too narrow for her immense girth !
She giggled in a deeply cigarette-damaged voice and rather to my chagrin SHE  turned into the stalker and I found it very hard not to bump into her on several occasions despite being aware that she kept trying to hide herself behind various trees and sheds once she had spied out my route along a series of darkly hilly paths !

She'd leap out of nowhere with her lipstick reapplied too thickly and her eyes freshly enlarged by Abba-blue mascara and ask in her grating rasp, "'ast thou t'seen Meconopsis Alpinatis 'cos if not I'll t'show yers !" or, "Thems Eucalyptusses are grand t'aint they ?"
EXTRA LARGE PHOTO FOR EXTRA LARGE NORKS ! ( face hidden for legal reasons and because it was hideous !)
I tricked her into taking a steep path upwards and saying I'd join her at the Rhododendron Nepalesearctus shot back to the car and sweating a bit too much for a garden stroll started the engine and drove off at high speed without checking to see if Shirley was in the passenger seat, which she wasn't as she'd apparently taken a stroll across the road to see the 'remarkable' contemporary copies of mesolithic cup and concentric ring carvings in a lower field !

I quickly realised she wasn't there when I hadn't been instructed how to drive for four bends and braking violently, reversed to find her steamingly angry and staring helplessly at her signaless mobile phone on which she was desperately trying to call our daughter Gemma to tell her what had happened and to get HER to phone me on the mobile I carry uncharged in the car for emergencies like this !

I skidded to a halt, threw open her door and yelled at her to get in when I saw in the rearview mirror the distressed fat woman charging down the road waving her wobbly arms at me, shaking her fists whilst sobbing and shouting out something about thinking we'd made a date and screaming, "ANOTHER LIAR!" as I hurtled away !

I was emotionally drained and try as I might I couldn't get Shirley to believe my tale of the 'Cougar' who had set her sights on me !

We drove on in silence as I quickly stuffed down my smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwich which Shirley had made for me this morning when she still trusted me !

"Shirley! She's mad!" I bravely ventured."Come on ! Talk to me!"

"You never change do you after all I've ever done and sacrificed for you! All I have to do is turn my back for one second, ONE SECOND and you're trying it on with another woman! Well I've had enough this time so you can just drop me here and go back for that...that Trollop and good riddance !"

I called her a dafty, promised never to talk to another woman ever again and she gradually calmed down enough for me to gently ease the carving knife out of her clenched fist !

"Cor ! Me and women eh?" I joked and joshed her under her chin until I coaxed a smile out of her as she wiped the tears that had been streaming down her face !

"I'm sorry for always going over the top!" she murmured, "But I can't bare the thought of living without you! Come on, I'm starving ! Let's go and eat !"...and the crisis had passed !

So there you go, I'd cleverly engineered an apology and brilliantly calmed the situation before the insufferable drive back through the overcrowded Ambleside, over the too-narrow Kirkstone Pass and the roads that endlessly twisted and turned along the uninteresting shores of Lake Ullswater before returning to my favourite cafe in Pooley Bridge where I yesterday absolutely refused to pay a machine in a car park seven pounds for a four hour stay whilst I sat freezing and bored to death on an uncomfortable and noisy boat trip....don't they know people need seats with backrests and not bum-numbing hardwood slatted benches !

Unfortunately Shirley's BATTERED Whitby Cod Goujons which I had specifically requested were BREADED, her Chips were awful, the Tartare Sauce foul and her Mushy Peas disgusting so I'm afraid her face quickly turned to stone once more !
WE ATE IN THE SHADOW OF THE BRIDGE WHERE WE WERE ABLE TO ENJOY THE SIGHT OF A LOCAL FARMER REPEATEDLY PASSING WITH HIS STINKING SLURRY TANK EITHER FULL AND SPLASHING OR EMPTY AND STAINED !
I wasn't allowed to complain and once I'd wolfed down my delicious Meat and Potato Pie, bought two slabs of cake to bring home and shelled out twenty five quid for something we could have bought for six quid in Aldi agreed NEVER to eat out or, in fact, go on holiday ever again !

Now where DID I put that Yorkshire woman's phone number ?