Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spending time in the past.

For several days I have been scanning old photos, slides and negatives so that I can store them on my computer. I must have done over a thousand by now and even then I have decided against doing some of them purely because they are of places that I have never visited. Some, especially from the seventies and eighties have deteriorated quite a bit and, despite my photo editing efforts, are not exactly worthy of display. There is something to be said for today's digital cameras! However, it has been an interesting process, but not from a practical point of view; it is more a case of looking at oneself.

When you are of an age (60+) where you have a head full of memories it is sometimes difficult to sift through them all and well, err 'remember' due to there being so much clutter. What this photo scanning has done, apart from getting them organised at last, is to take me on a journey of the past. It was like being led by a tour guide around some historic town and being allowed all the time I needed when reaching something interesting.

Most interesting were all the ones of my late wife while on holiday or when we were at some special event. Since her death I have, naturally, thought of her often, but usually the more prominent memories which occur on a regular basis. The photos have brought out the deep rooted ones that I haven't had a chance to relive since the day she died.

Was I tearful? No, because I think I shed all the tears I had in me the day after she died - Christmas Day. No, I was just a little sad and yet at the same time happy as I was able to relive each moment that we had together.

As I looked at the ones of our two children growing up I pondered on how little we knew at the time about what their futures would have in store for them. Our daughter, Melanie, developed a congenital heart desease and had a heart transplant at 13 years old. Our son, Matthew, was infected by a flesh eating super bug, as an adult and was on the verge of death when it got to within 1mm of his jugular vein. He survived, thanks to some brilliant surgeons, but it meant continually cutting away flesh and tissue from his neck and chest.

All this brings me to 'Faith'. At a period when there were a lot of events concerning health in my family, someone (who happened to be an atheist) asked me "Tell me, How do you keep going? Is it your Faith?" To which I replied straight away "Yes". The reason Faith means so much is because it came to us rather than we sought it out and I am talking about 'Faith' as opposed to a 'religion'. It still keeps me going and will never waver or faulter.

I remember one incident at Harefield Hospital soon after Melanie had had her transplant. It turned out that the nurses were a bit miffed at us because we had not reacted the same as other parents had after the operation (In other words, burst into tears, panic or what ever). When I explained to them that it was down to two things and that we did actually love our child and cared for her very much, things changed.

Firstly, she had been on the waiting list for two years. During that time, we had vowed never to show our inner fears to Melanie and always portrayed an air of hope and optimism. We couldn't suddenly switch it off overnight because of the operation. Secondly, we had a deep faith and knew it was in God's hands; that whatever would be, would be and we trusted him. Maybe, if we had started being evangelical around the place they'd have realised, but then we'd have been treated as a pain in the butt instead. Anyway, as I said before, it is about faith and not religion.

What of the other photos? The ones of relatives and friends. Well, the ones that made me ponder were those of people I no longer associate with - or wish to (yes, one or two relatives). There is a whole history of their children growing up and so on. There are photos that I know they do not have and, if I sent them copies, would be greatly treasured. By the same token, I have no doubt that they have photos that I would like also. For once, I found myself mellowing and considering the possibility of just sending them copies. However, I have decided against it. I reckon that they will see it as a sign that I want to associate with them again (which I don't).

I wonder how many millions of treasured photos are lost because people, like me, don't want to 'associate' again?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Who Can You Trust?

Certainly not the satellite dish installer who upgraded the dish at my home. He changed the 4 pod LNP to an 8 pod one (the bit that the cables connect to). The 4 pod one was less than a year old and it wasn't until the next day that I realised it was missing. I couldn't see any point in ringing him as all he had to say was he left it out the front and someone must have nicked it. It is probably on someone else's house now and he has made a nice little bit of extra profit.

Anyway, the main reason for the heading is funeral directors. It is 7 1/2 years since my late wife, Pauline, passed away and it might seem a bit pointless raising the issue, but it has always stuck in my craw a bit ever since. One would think, considering the circumstances, that funeral directors could be trusted, but they can't.

First thing is the urn that the ashes go in. The standard one is made of thick plastic and if you are going to scatter them at some point, there is no point in having anything else. This funeral director persuaded me to pay extra for an ornate metal one, which was a pretty easy thing to do considering my state of mind. However, on its own it is but a few pounds and wouldn't normally bother me much.

The second and most bothering item was the funeral itself, which was more about lack of respect than money. At this point you need to know about the funeral, which was being held in Maidstone, Kent. Pauline died up here in Lincolnshire and her body needed to be transported to Kent where another funeral director took over the arrangements.

Just a few days before the funeral, I was informed that there had been a cock up with the paperwork and it had to be postponed. I went ballistic! And took all my anger out on the frim in Maidstone, subsequently transferring the arrangements that end to another funeral director.

Now, here's the rub, people needed to be notified of the change of date at the earliest opportunity and one way was to put an advertisement in the paper. I suggested to the local funeral director that they put the reason down to 'an administrative error'. However, their chap said that 'unforeseen circumstances' might be best and I agreed. Now, there's nothing wrong with that is there?

Ah, but wait a minute, Pauline was a Christian Spiritualist and an excellent medium; her funeral was being held at a spiritualist church. See where I am coming from? He had his little joke at my and Pauline's expense. I have no doubt that that advert has been coveted by him ever since and probably even appeared in some trade magazine.

Unbeknown to him, the joke is on him. Pauline had told me several years earlier that she would die when she was 55 years old. She wasn't afraid of that knowledge; to us, returning to spirit was akin to returning 'home'. Personally, I was a bit surprised when she told me, particularly as I would rather she stayed around on Earth little bit longer. Pauline died a couple of months into her fifty-fifth year.

No, Mr funeral director, her death was not 'unforeseen circumstances', just your cock up was the unforeseen bit (not the firm in Maidstone as it turns out). It cost you financially in the end.

The funeral bill arrived and I had the money sitting in an account ready to be paid, but I made them wait ... and wait ... and wait; by then, my mind was beginning to clear and I had a better perspective. Eventually, they agreed to a substantial reduction which I added to the donations received from friends and relatives. The sum total was then used to buy two Oximeters for The Diana Princess of Wales ITU where they had fought to save Pauline's life.

For reasons unknown to me, the man at the local funeral firm eventually moved on to another company; I can only speculate.

Now, I expect that some of you may be thinking 'If Pauline knew when she was going to die, did she also give you the same information about yourself?'. Well, that is privileged information; I'll just repeat what I said earlier 'returning to spirit is akin to going home'. :-)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Double yolks and active brains.

I had the last of the double yolk eggs today (slapped on a bit of fried bread and stuck in a sandwich). It has been said that the odds of getting a double yolk egg are high and yet I know a market stall that only sells that type. As I sunk my teeth into the contrast of crunchy fried bread, soft succulent yolk and tangy Branston pickle, I realised that it was Sunday and the market was open.
Thus the dilemma. Should I waste petrol and go to Hemswell just to replemish my stock of eggs or wait until next Sunday? Could I last a week? In the end, I decided to wait and put the day to a better use. After all, having got up late, there isn't much of it left.

This past week I have been totally preoccupied, which means I am not very good company. My friend texted me just to see that I was okay having had a night out previously in which I had not exactly been my bubbly self. It is nice to know that I have friends like that. I reassured him that the reason for preoccupation was my writing and not because I was troubled or stressed out.

I have two to three projects on the go and was considering stealing a few bits from my other work to slot into them somewhere. However, for some reason, I suddenly decided to work on the lot of them at the same time which is no easy feat. However, I had done a similar thing once before (the FMP for my degree) and it had been successful. Having made the decision, I am excited and have a more positive sense of direction - I have a real challenge!

The downside is that I will be far more preoccupied than normal. That's the thing with creativity, the brain is always working away at it in the background day after day, no matter what you are doing.

My late wife, Pauline, was great at understanding this process and knew precisely when my quietness was due to preoccupation or just being worried.

So folks, when you see me, if I seem a little quiet and thoughtful, don't worry, it's only a brain at work and ticking over just fine.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Welcome to my new blog

Hi,

Due to Friends Reunited changing things, I have moved my blog to here. The very first entry consists of all the old entries from the FR site and therefore, unfortunately, it is a very long one. Well, you can always do a bit of copying and pasting for the bits you want.

I spend a lot of time on Facebook and have neglected my blog of late. However, I reckon there is far more versatility with a proper blog and this site look far more interesting than FR's.

So folks, dip in now and then. I'll add some photos as I go along and try to keep it interesting.

Tel.

All the blogs from old site

 What Funeral Music Would You Like?

No, I'm not being morbid. I was talking to my daughter yesterday about things in place for when I leave this Earth. We didn't feel awkward about it, because we have witnessed too many arguments and bust ups over money after a funeral. One thing we did not discuss was the music (actually, it never occurred to me at the time).

It may sound funny, but this problem has bugged me for years - well, you only get one chance on this one! There are so many songs, instrumentals and classical works that I love. I use 'mood' music regularly when I am trying to write and, because you end up going so deep, they tend to mean more to me than others. However, there are songs that mean a lot for other reasons, for instance one each for my two children ('She's So Beautiful' by Cliff Richard and 'My Boy' by Elvis Presley - plus 'Country Roads' by John Denver which we often sang in the car).

The dilemma comes when you have to decide what you want to achieve - is it for you or for them? Quite often, I have picked something for me (for the start) and something else to cheer them up (at the end).
Some of the composers and works that have been favourable at one time or another include Karl Jenkins, Pachabel (Canon), Gabriel's Oboe, Il Divo, Matt Monroe, Blade Runner, Last of The Mohicans and so on.
Well, I think I have at last made a firm decision based on what I want. I have no doubt that it will leave them crying their eyes out at the end, but I reckon that's a good thing as it's an opportunity to let it all out.

I had some 'mood' music on for my writing the other day. The composer is Hans Zimmer and it is from 'The Thin Red Line' which I think is a brilliant film and, when it comes to writing, have learned a lot from. I realised that there, in that music was the true me, the inner me that lives - no, exists, between reality and the world of my soul. At the time I stopped the work that I was doing and wrote a short piece of prose about it. The last few lines of that prose read:

"I enter on  'The Journey To The Line'"
And then, when I am done
'God Yu Tekkem Laef Blong Mi'

That is the music that will follow me as I go back home to spirit. If you want to know me, that is where you will find me.

What about you? What music would you like played at your funeral? And for what reason? I'd be interested to know. You can email me at terrycordrey@yahoo.co.uk.
Posted by terryboy at 9:01 am on the 23rd September, 2009

 

 

THE BATH

Do you like soaking in the bath? I'm not particularly fond of it and much prefer to jump into the shower. I haven't had a bath for yonks. I don't understand how people can wallow in there while the water is getting cold and just stare up at the ceiling. Oh, I know some have music and take books with them etc, but at the end of the day, it is still the same. Yes, I know you can top up the cold water with hot, but that usually involves sitting up to reach the taps at the end and you also burn your feet until the hot stuff gets to spread around a bit.

I used to know a lady friend who went through a whole ritual of bathing which involved, candles, music, aromatic oils and incense. Unfortunately, I only know this because she went into it in great detail and not because she gave me the opportunity to share it with her :-(
I seem to recall having a communal bath once after a rugby match. It was a bit like a concrete pit big enough to hold 30 men (sitting I might add), but that bath was okay because we were filthy, knackered and it helped soak the muscle pain away.

So, if I'm a shower man why do I raise the issue of baths? Quite simply, I had one the other day. I've had sciatica for nearly seven weeks now. It has improved a little, but the pain never goes away. Then I had a sudden brain wave - RADOX! The bubble bath that cures all physical ills. I wasted no time in getting it all ready. Val, my partner, was a bit reluctant for me to do it (in case I couldn't get back out), but in the end she decided to help me rather than come home one day and find  I'd done it on my own. I was a little concerned about the warm water on my leg as my skin has become very, very, VERY sensitive. Even the droplets from my daily shower are like a thousand needles shooting into my skin.

Well, the bath was filled, Val stood watching as I slid smoothly into the foamy briar - smooth as silk. Strangely enough, the water had no adverse effect on my skin which probably because there was no pressure behind it. Luverly Jubbly! I stretched out, relaxed and then found my knees sticking up in the air. "Oh no" I thought, "How can I relax like this? Shame" Oh well, just had to make do and change positions every now and then. When I had settled, I noticed that Val, instead of leaving, had sat down! Now, this is akin to someone watching you while you try to have a pee. I told her that I was alright and she could go off and watch the telly, but she just stayed there.
"You might fall asleep" she said.
So there I stayed with my knees up and a spectator. I eventually closed my eyes to relax in the warmth, pondering on how long the recommended soak was for it all to work. I soon opened them again as I suddenly remembered Val was there watching. I didn't want her reaching into the depths and dragging me out onto the floor.

I got bored in the end (surprise!). I thought it best to empty the water before I got out as I didn't want to slip and splash it all over the place. Could I reach the plug? Could I as heck and so I had to get her stick her arm in and fumble around for it. Thus was spent a few thumb twiddling minutes waiting for it all to drain away. Just to be safe, I got on all fours and climbed out that way without Val's assistance.

As I stood there drying down my now smooth, but wrinkly body I realised that was still in as much pain as before and so the whole thing had been a complete waste of time. Of course, the reason could be that I had been a cheapskate and used a super market brand instead of Radox - who's to know? It could also be that my pain was the wrong sort, which I think is more likely.

So, you go ahead and enjoy your bath. As for me, I won't bother anymore.
Posted by terryboy at 8:26 am on the 22nd September, 2009

 

 

And There It Was Gone!

Well, I had done a whole load of writing on the blog about bath time and then the computer re-booted. I don't know if my knee touched the reset switch or if the CPU overheated. Anyway, that meant that all my text vanished. I can't write it all again because my sciatic nerve trouble is flaring up and I am in pain.

So, watch this space. The Bath is coming soon.

Posted by terryboy at 7:11 pm on the 21st September, 2009

 

Quadra-bladed Shave

I am beginning to look old and, in seeing it, I feel old. Five weeks of constant pain, gradually gnawing away at my features has eaten away the richness beneath my skin. Now, there remain only wrinkles, loosely hanging around a thinner neck. I watch them gather every day as I dab away the moisture from a quadra-bladed shave.

 

'Sciatica' a simple word that hides the true suffering for a soul beneath its cloak and the helplessness of relying on a caring system that will see to you in its own time - for it does have its own time.

 

So debilitating the pain that only now do I find the mental energy to create. That life giver, the Sun, stimulates me to venture out, sit on a concrete step and feel the warmth of a summer's day. I hear the twittering of wild birds, the rustling of animals in the adjacent wood and the crystal flowing water of a nearby waterfall. And yet, all is silent, at peace with itself.

 

If I could have these every day, to go beyond the confines of walls, then system time would not seem so long, but it is not so. The Sun cannot prioritise all its energy for just one individual every day and so it goes away.

 

I look in the mirror, dab the moisture from my cheeks and prepare the quadra-bladed razor for another day.

Posted by terryboy at 3:43 pm on the 12th September, 2009

Limbo Time

As some of you may know already, I have been confined to my caravan for the past three weeks with sciatic nerve trouble (pain in the back and down one leg). It is only for the past few days that I have been able to get out of bed and hobble around. Now, in theory, it should have been an ideal time to do all my writing. However, the pain was such that even using a laptop was causing problems. Fortunately, it has eased enough for me to use one now.

"That's good" you may say, but it isn't quite that easy. You see, there are basically two separate cycles in the day/night. There is the pain cycle (when the painkillers have stopped working or need time to start) and there is the drowsy/dopey/who am I cycle (when the pain killers are working - or rather 'helping' - they never completely get rid of it). The problem is that the pain cycle is not conducive to writing because I am always fidgeting about trying to find a comfortable position. Whereas, with the drowsy cycle I can find a comfortable position, but my hands refuse to do anything no matter what I tell them. Thus I sit there like a zombie, staring at the screen.

As you may gather, this provides me with plenty of 'thinking time' and today I was doing just that - 'thinking'. I thought to myself 'If that is what happens all the time, how comes I have managed to get some writing done?' I expect you've been thinking that all the way through as well? Well, you needn't worry, I've worked it out for you.

You see, I've realised that there is a third cycle and it's called 'Limbo Time'. This happens twice a day for a short time after I have taken my painkillers (I'm only allowed them twice a day). Limbo Time is when the pain eases, but the painkillers haven't had enough time to turn me into a zombie. When my fingers start slipping off the keyboard and my eyes glaze as they stare straight ahead, I know I have run into drowsy/dopey time and sit there like a fairground clown waiting for someone to put a penny in the slot to activate pain time.

Oh, what a life I lead!
Posted by terryboy at 3:21 pm on the 31st August, 2009

I'm Back!

Where have you been Terry boy? Well, physically, I haven't been anywhere, but when it comes to writing I've been all over the place (so to speak). Most of my comments go onto Facebook now. At first I hated the thing, but my fellow team mates in The Sweat Shed are always using it for communication and so I had to have another go. Thankfully, I've got the hang of it now. However it wasn't just Facebook that was keeping me away from here, it was also the creative stuff. The Sweat Shed team is pretty dedicated when it comes to writing. I have also been working on a database for all the seal and wildlife rescues that they do at the seal sanctuary. I suggested it and then volunteered to do it. With the first click of the mouse I knew that it was gonna be a lot harder than I thought. I've had to learn as I've gone along. It is basically completed now, but I just need to find a way of making the user interface easier to use.

While I have been away, I have also been losing weight. I reckon it's about 3 stone I've lost so far and it is all thanks to my new diabetic injections and getting my meals organised. I must say that I also feel much more energetic (mentally wise and physically not so tired).

My cat, Rosie, is no longer with me. She was originally my daughter's cat and, due to Biko dying, she thought it would be better for her to move back in. Unfortunately, soon after moving there, Rosie done a bunk and is now enjoying the freedom of the local fields and barns.

Another reason for not writing on my blog lately is that I am virtually living in my caravan (having moved it to a site just down the road). I wished I had moved it there years ago. Plenty of wildlife, especially as I am right up against the edge of the forest.

It's been one of those sleepless nights again. I became so engrossed in 'creating' that I forgot the time and it is now nearly 5.30 am. Dread to think what I am going to be like later today as I have a few errands to do as well as an afternoon with the seals.

So, with that in mind, I bid you all good night (Good morning?) Yawn! Where's that bloomin' sofa?

Posted by terryboy at 5:29 am on the 05th August, 2009

Never mind the other drivers - get the burgers!

I wonder what happens to some people when the sun comes out? Does it frizzle their brains or are their minds so set on the beach or barbeque that they lose all track of what is going on around them? All I did was a 24 mile round trip to Grimsby yesterday and my car was dodging and leaping about all over the place!

You expect the odd dodgy encounter from idiot drivers, but yesterday was just mad! They must have had sunstroke! Dashing in from the left, the right, twirling round in front, braking for no reason, cutting across without looking - phew! I was glad to get home! On reflection, it was probably down to it being barbeque time for the unprepared and they were all rushing around searching for shops that still had some burgers and sausages left. I say this, because when I went to Morrison’s I could have frozen Morrison’s burgers or .... frozen Morrison’s burgers (naturally, there are other brands - which had all gone). Enough said?

I'm having trouble with this diabetic thing. Ever since Morrison’s (yes, them again) had Almond Magnums on special offer I've had a craving for them. Although, in my defence, I only have them as a dessert. However, it doesn't bode well for the monthly visit to the diabetic nurse in June. Could it be that Zanox awaits me? Groan ... I hope not.

Hull City stay up and Scunthorpe go back up to the Championship League - Hooray! And I'm not even a football fan. Not only that, but Hull KR are at the top of the Super League - even better!!
Posted by terryboy at 12:56 pm on the 26th May, 2009

The Whitby Effect

I had my usual monthly visit to the diabetic nurse on Wednesday. My weight had increased by 0.14kg. For those of a similar age to me, that equates to just over a quarter pound bag of sweets. Not much, but it is the first time in 8 months that I have not lost any weight. I put this down to the Whitby effect - aka the Skegness effect, Mablethorpe effect et al.

Let's face it, when you have a day out at the seaside you can't go around nibbling at a lettuce sandwich - it just isn't done! It has to be fish & chips (portions are never small up here), ice cream, doughnuts, whelks, and any other obscene, unhealthy grub you can lay your hands on.

My nurse expressed concern that this weight increase might demotivate me, but I didn't feel in the slightest bit demotivated. After all, it wasn't as if I had been very strict with my diet (which I hadn't) and still attained nothing. No, it was down to Whitby and, for the lovely day out I had, I reckon 0.14kg is a very small price to pay. However, If I stand on the scales next month and it is still the same I will be in big trouble! I'd better stick to whelks for the next few weeks (yes, I know they're stacked full of cholesterol).

Rosy now owns the bedroom - fact! She started peeing on the duvet and so I bought a waterproof cover in the hope that it was a one off. She carried on doing it and so I got the cat litter tray out and put it on the cover. She used it and, in the knowledge that she knew what it was for, I put the plastic top on it. after a few days, I did a crafty and put it on the floor. She ignored it and peed on the bed! I put the tray back.

It's a lucky thing that I have my caravan, as that is where I tend to sleep these days. Somehow, after removing the litter tray and the waterproof cover, the bed doesn't seem so inviting anymore. On the nights that I do spend at home I sleep on the sofa or in the recliner. Yes, I am a mug, but I'm working on it and will eventually come up with a solution. I dismissed the ideas of a nappy or bunging her up with a couple of corks. The thought of holding her up in the garden, removing the corks and decanting every few days made me feel ill.
Posted by terryboy at 8:02 am on the 15th May, 2009

 

Skinned Alive

I had an email today asking me to sign a petition about animal cruelty in China.

There was a link to some film footage and I was warned that it was horrible to watch. The link didn't work and so I thought it was a hoax. However, I noticed that there was a full stop missing in Peta's address. The second attempt worked and what I saw made me feel both angry and sick to the stomach.

Dogs were being dragged out of cages, being knocked semi-unconscious and skinned alive. After the skinning they were tossed into a pile (still alive). In one shot a dog even turns his head towards the camera.

Here is the link:
http://www.peta.org/feat/ChineseFurFarms/index.asp

You have been warned. The film is sickening and disturbing. Don't watch it if you are sensitive. I had to break the link after a few minutes as it was even too much for me (and I've seen quite a few disturbing sights in my time).
To think, this is the nation that hosted the Olympic Games!
Posted by terryboy at 8:34 am on the 03rd May, 2009

Whelks

I finished off two hundred grams of whelks today. I went to the seals instead of tomorrow and decided to take them for a snack (for me, not them!). Luckily, I had a brainwave before I left and decided to take the gristle out of each one first. That way I wouldn't get my hands all smelly and mucky while sitting at my laptop. This didn't quite work out because they still got a bit mucky and I now have a slimy, whelky handkerchief.

Anyway, I digress. The point is that when I was getting the gristle out it reminded me of my father, Joe. Now there are many little things that do that (eating pie & mash on a cold day for instance), but this one was a bit special. It was one of the times when he passed one of his skills on to me - how to get gristle from whelks. In fact, I didn't even know it was there, yet alone remove it.

Thus, I learned the intricate manoeuvre of holding the foot/head with two fingers of one hand and squeezing the back with two from the other hand. Out pops the end of the gristle and you just pull the rest out. The rest is then dipped in vinegar, popped into the mouth and chewed ... and chewed. The thing is, these days you don't get the faeces on the back-end like you used to (which was just as tasty). My favourites come from Folkestone, but the problem is that it is not often that I get the chance to go through that little ceremony because the gristle is, usually, already removed.

Sundays were always the day for the winkle man to call and the seafood hierarchy went like this: Whelks for dad (sometimes still in their shells), Scampi for mum, winkles and shrimps for us kids. All of them still in their shells/skin. It took ages, with the aid of a pin, to make a winkle sandwich! But it was worth it! The most impressive thing we had to go with this was butter. Yes, we actually had butter on a Sunday instead of the old Echo margarine. Slurp! Winkle, butter sandwich!

Thank you dad for teaching me a skill that has brought me much, much pleasure over the years. As for you lot? Enjoy your dinner Hehe!
Posted by terryboy at 8:06 pm on the 02nd May, 2009

Atlantic

    I've been creating a database for the seal sanctuary with all the rescued seals, birds and other animals on it. This came about because we had a telephone call a while back about a dead seal that had been found. It had an ID tag on it and they wanted to check the number with us. I helped to flick through the records and we eventually found it (yes, one of ours unfortunately).
    There's gotta be a quicker way of doing this. I thought to myself. Hence the database and, being very keen to see its fruition, I volunteered to chonk in all the data. One would think that it would be quite a laborious task (which it is to some degree), but it has been quite a revelation. I certainly get to see snippets of the work done there and sometimes take a particular interest in the well being of specific seals etc during the course of my normal writing. However, by reading all the records over the past years I have obtained a far bigger picture of what is going on not only at the sanctuary, but the natural world outside it.
    Every once and a while I seem to come to a batch of animals that didn't recover in spite of all the attention that they received. And as I turn the page to the next, I hold my breath in the hope that it will have a good result. If I reach a particularly long batch of negative results I usually pause the computer, grab an apple and have a walk around.
    Atlantic, a name that conjures up images of that vast powerful stretch of water between Great Britain and the USA, but in fact, I am referring to a small baby grey seal who had a heart as big as any ocean. I had hit another bad patch of seals that hadn't recovered, but somehow Atlantic's record held me spellbound. Maybe it was the paradox of the name for such a small creature - who knows?
    Sometimes, I have to pull the data sheets out of their clear folder in order to verify the facts written inside, which is exactly what I needed to do with Atlantic. As I read through the list it was like watching a small drama unfold on screen. That sort of thing had never happened to me before. Naturally, I quite often had a sort of still snapshot of an injury etc, but never a rolling film from beginning to end. I say 'end' because it did end for Atlantic. After two weeks of tremendous efforts by the staff and Atlantic's struggle for life, sadly, he died suddenly overnight. It was the 14th December 2006.

    So, the next time you see a pheasant go "Poof!" on your car bonnet, or see a dead badger on the road, or see people pestering seals on a beach, remember Atlantic. All they want is to enjoy the beauty of the wild, the unpolluted joys of the sea and the freedom of the sky. They didn't ask us to invade and spoil it for them - and subsequently us.
Posted by terryboy at 10:06 am on the 23rd April, 2009

2.4 Kg

   2.4 kg doesn't say a lot and is not much of a title, but when I heard those words on Wednesday the stress left my body and I breathed a sigh of relief. It was the time of my monthly visit to the diabetic nurse and I was standing on the scales. By the way, are you one of those (like me) who instinctively holds their tummy in in the hope that it will affect the weight? Yes, I know it's illogical, but I still do it.

    I'd been a bit foolish really. At the end of my previous visit I had (rashly) insisted on being set a target weight. A loss of 2.4 kg meant that I had reached it. I think it is more due to the new medication than my eating habits. However, my waist remained the same, but in light of the weight loss it was an insignificant matter (I wonder where I lost it from then? I hope it's not ... let's not go there eh?).

    This means that my total weight loss since starting the jabs is 11.7 kg, which in English is nearly 2 stone (sounds better than 1 stone 12.7 lbs). Now you would think I would be leaping with joy wouldn't you? Well, I'm not. Instead, I am constantly whinging in agony. Rather foolishly, I decided to concentrate on the waist a few days before the visit, just in case I didn't meet the weight target. At least that way there would have been something to be pleased about.

   Out came the sit-up bench and a regime of sit-ups and leg raises began. The pain began after about the fifth sit-up, but I remembered the old saying from my days at the gym "If it aint hurting, it aint working" - mug! It never occurred to me I was a lot younger and fitter in those days. So, here I am wincing with every movement of my tum wondering why I bothered in the first place seeing as my waist isn't any thinner.

   We've agreed to a new target for the next visit. My tum will have healed by then and I know I will do exactly the same thing again a few days before the check-up.

   Did you see Britain's Got Talent? I didn't and wondered why there was all this fuss about Susan Boyle. I watched her audition on YouTube and now I know.

   Here's the link:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wnmbJzH93NU

   It brought a few tears to my eyes and that incredible woman deserves every penny she can squeeze out of a very shallow and cynical entertainment industry.
Posted by terryboy at 8:11 am on the 18th April, 2009

Dreams

I'm in a thoughtful mood at the moment. Maybe it was the sound of the jingling Santa's voice getting slower and slower as I continued the eternal sorting of the back bedroom/office. Maybe it was the tugging at the heart strings as I ripped up yet another card with its emotional ties to Pauline ("She'll understand" I tell myself). We only have room for so much don't we? Be it physical or mental. All those cards that have been sorted and trimmed down countless of times. Space becomes a priority and, dare I say, the potential clutter left for others to sort when one goes into spirit also plays on the mind. Well, you have to be realistic!

It was two things really that got me meditating, reflecting. The first is one of my scribbles on a scrap of paper that I found:

Mental Health (2/5/02)
You can aspire to improvement, but do not dare to hope.
Hope leads to dreams and the establishment fears dreamers.

Just two short sentences, but they sum up my days in mental health, especially when campaigning for rights and self empowerment. When you are mentally ill, dreams are the only thing that you have and they might not even be realistic, but they are yours - the only thing they cannot take away, the only thing you have control of.
Over the past few years I have often wondered if things have really improved. Personally, I don't think they have apart from a few token crumbs thrown from the tables of power to keep bad publicity away. I can name at least one authority where the clients have no actual power at all and yet, at one point were a very essential and respected part of the service structure. Dreams were becoming a reality and professionals became uncomfortable. They stymied the dreams and killed the reality. Remember the old Asylums? Gone forever? Really? They're creeping back. They might be smaller, have posher titles and look modern, but they'll get bigger, more unmanageable and less easy to supervise when it comes to quality of service (But then, you need the right supervisor in charge in the first place).
If you want to remind yourself (or even find out if you didn't already know) what life was like in an asylum I recommend a book: 'Prisoners, Patients or People' by Rik Henderson and Mark Wallis, 1991, ISBN 0-095179-43-02.

The second was an original letter from Eileen Kaufman (dated August 1986). Her husband was Bob Kaufman (one of the original Beat Poets). I had bought an anthology by Bob Kaufman in Maidstone market for the bargain price of 50p. When I looked inside, it was obviously an original archive copy inscribed from Bob to Eileen. I made enquiries, found her address and offered her the book back. In her reply she describes how excited she felt and that the very next day they were having a farewell party for the book's editor. It was a very emotive letter. It turned out that all of her late husband's archives had been on route to the Sorbonne, Paris when they were lost at Victoria Station. They told her that they had been destroyed! So you can imagine how thrilled she felt on receipt of my copy.

Coincidence? I don't think so. It was meant to be (me finding the book). A lot of famous San Francisco poets were gathered at that party, they read my own poems out and all signed another copy of Bob's anthology just for me. What struck me about some of their individual quotes was that they obviously had an insight into my soul. Maybe, being fellow poets, they could see it in my writing.
One in particular has always stayed in my mind: "Much time, live ghost, ... memorable dream ..." E.W.

For me life has, is and always will be a "memorable dream"

God Bless.

Posted by terryboy at 2:47 pm on the 09th April, 2009

Talking of Christmas

 You probably aren't talking of Christmas, but I am and I think I might have a psychological problem.
Like everyone else, after last Christmas I shoved all the decorations, Christmas tree etc up in the loft. As you know, I am prone to sorting out my back bedroom/office at regular intervals (well, it's a sort of continuing process really). One day I dropped something and let out an expletive. All of a sudden I heard a little bell tinkling and an electronic voice singing "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to ride ..." I wondered what the hell was going on!
   Then a few things fell on the floor and when I looked up at the shelf  where they had come from, I could see a long red thing vibrating away (the movement having shimmied the bits off  the edge). What it was, was a long, lanky Santa with a bell on his hat and a loop to hang him up with. Once hung up, Santa dances, sings and rings his bell at the slightest noise. It now appears that he can also do it lying down.
   I was naive enough to think it was a one off, put the things back on the shelf and carried on with what I was doing. After all, it just wasn't worth the time and effort to shove one lanky Santa in the loft with all the other gubbins. Well, I am regretting that decision because he bursts into song at the most inconvenient times , but just can't bring myself to get rid of him.
   Take yesterday for instance. I suddenly found myself doing a balancing act with a scanner that was about to crash to the floor, some books about to slide of a shelf and a pile of washing (the usual - T-shirts) about to fall over. As I tried to compose myself and figure out how to handle it all "Ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling - Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way ..."  I watched as he did his little dance and vibrated a few CDs onto the floor. I lost all sense of reasoning and let everything go apart from the scanner which, thankfully, I saved and put back in its place.
   Santa went quiet, I looked at him and shouted "B******!"
   "Ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling. Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way ..."
   I lunged and grabbed him by the throat, but he still kept dancing.
   "Ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling. Jingle - gurgle -- bells, gurgle - jingle bells, gurgle, cough ..."
   I shoved him head first into the pile of washing
   "Ting-a- ling, ting-a-ling. Mah mah mah, mah mah mah, mahma maa mama ..."
   Silence.
   I picked up the CDs, put the books back in place and tidied the washing (one day I'll get around to ironing it).  For a brief moment, I forgot all about him until  I grabbed a T-shirt and watched him tumble to the floor.
   "Ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling ..."
  Rip out the battery I thought and so I clasped him by the belly (still vibrating), flipped him over and started to peel open the Velcro down his back.
   Couldn't do it. I just couldn't do it. I got half-way and felt guilty. It was as if I was about to rip the heart out of some poor stray animal. After all, it's not his fault that he is not up there in the loft with his mates (Rudolf, Joseph and Mary, Snowman etc).
   Sigh! He's back on the top shelf again, waiting for the next expletive or thump as I drop something on the floor, by which time I will have forgotten he is there and get a shock as he bursts into song.
   "Ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling. Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun ..."
   "Oh what fun ..." indeed.
   Terry boy ... you need help.

Posted by terryboy at 9:32 am on the 28th March, 2009

Tyson's Acting Odd

There's something odd going on with Tyson lately. That's Tyson the dog, not the boxer. He's been getting really excited every time I turn up at the seal sanctuary. Now, to some extent, this used to happen in the not too distant past, but that was because I was bringing him sausages. However, due to gaining weight, he doesn't get them any more. All he gets is a pat on the head and a tickle under the chin (maybe the ribs as well if he's lucky). For the first few days he used to give a double take as if to say" Hang on, hang on, what happened to the sausages?". Once he got used to the fact that they were definitely a thing of the past, his double take turned into a simple nod of the head and a "Woof, mornin'". Sometimes he couldn't even be bothered to get out of bed for me.

Now suddenly it's this "Woof, Yippee!" business and it's leaving me perplexed. It doesn't stop there though "Woof, can I come with you to the caravan? Can I? Can I?" as he jumps up and down before running rings around my legs. So, it's off to the caravan and he's still fussing and woofing as I get my laptop set up, which is fine as it's nice to feel wanted. There we have it, two buddies sitting together working on the computer - one with his fingers on the keyboard and the other on hind legs, paws on the table and panting all over the screen with his tongue hanging out. A lovely scenario with the sun shining and everything dandy.

However, it never lasts. I don't know who decided not to like who first, but it is just when we get to this settled stage that the adjacent cockatoo lets rip. Tyson, naturally, responds in kind because these minor celebrities need to know who the real star is. This would be okay (albeit noisy), but his method is to howl as if in extreme pain rather than with a simple bark. I assume that he isn't joining in a duet (surely not with a sound like that!). This is when I panic because I start wondering what the visitors must be thinking on the other side of the fence.
'He may be their writer, but listen to what that cruel b*****d's doing to that dog!'
No amount of fussing, stroking, tickling or "shooshing" shuts him up and so I just have to sit, suffer and wait until they stop (usually after Tyson wanders off because he's had enough).

The sun was shining yesterday and the sanctuary is coming out of its hibernation - luverlee! Roll on summer! I helped Joe feed the seals yesterday, which I haven't done for a long time. Naturally I wore a glove seeing as fish slime doesn't exactly go together with a laptop keyboard. Yes, I know I'm a whimp, but it saved wasting water washing my hands.

Posted by terryboy at 12:03 pm on the 19th March, 2009

 

The Kite Runner

Have you seen the film 'The Kite Runner'? It has been nominated for several awards (including the Oscar) and I watched it on TV last night. It is about a writer in California who returns to his native Afghanistan. A lot of the film is flashback to his childhood days in Kabul. It is an excellent film and I recommend that you see it.

Now, why do I mention this in my blog? Well, as a writer, I am no longer surprised at ideas that pop out of nowhere. So, there I was, totally engrossed in the story when suddenly I thought 'Terry, you've got it wrong'. It involves a screenplay that I am part way through writing. It was intended as a full length film, but I was advised that it would be better as a two-part TV drama. I saw their point straight away and was content to write it that way. Apart from the creative content, I have never given it another thought (so it wasn't as if I was struggling with it).

Anyway, there I was enjoying the film when suddenly 'Terry, that TV script should be a book'. I then started wondering why on earth that thought came into my head. It's amazing how the subconscious mind works! Within a few minutes the reasons were quite obvious. I won't bore you with the details, but suffice to say there are different techniques and restrictions between the two. A simple example would be "The room reeked of tiredness and lethargy", which is okay for a book, but no good in a script (you have to show it rather than tell it).

Given the amount of personal experience and involvement I am putting into my work of faction (fact/fiction) a script would not give me enough space to express it. However, up until now I have put novel writing way down on my list of priorities, but such is my commitment to the story that I'll just have to change that and get stuck in. I suppose that there is the added bonus that, once the story is written, it will be easier to convert to a screenplay. We'll see eh?

A sunny day for the seals today! I can't wait to get over there.
Posted by terryboy at 10:14 am on the 15th March, 2009

Thoughts and Prayers please

I would appreciate your thoughts and prayers for Peter who is seriously ill in Grimsby hospital.
I have only known Peter and his wife, Chris, for a few months, but in that time I have learned a lot about inner strength in the face of adversity. He has been ill and in constant pain for quite a long time, but in spite of that has continued to work hard for the support group that he believes in.

I have been involved in many support groups over the years and there are always one or two people who strive to go that extra yard and commit themselves to a little bit more in order to make the group a success. Peter is that sort of person who has put others' needs before his own. Although he has received medication for a long time in an effort to relieve his symptoms, it is only during the past few weeks that he has been given a definite diagnoses.

To use one of my favourite expression for genuine people like him  'He's a good egg' and thoroughly deserves all the thoughts and prayers you can spare.

Thank you for your thoughts for Don. He's doing well and I believe strong enough to even take a club hammer to his computer (should the need ever arise out of frustration! C'mon, we've all been there) :-)

Posted by terryboy at 3:55 pm on the 13th March, 2009

 

Fubar

Yes, I am still bunged up and miserable, hence the lack of blog entries. I've had to resort to antibiotics now. Remember that elbow X-ray that cost me £95 because my insurance company denied all knowledge of my phone call? Well, its healed up and there is very little wrong with it and so I am a bit miffed that I wasted the money (No, a little bit of reassurance isn't worth that amount!).

I saved a little Jenny Wren the other day. Bramble, the pussycat, dragged it screaming and shouting into the lounge and started playing with it. Make it a quick clean kill. I was thinking, certain in the knowledge that birds rarely survive the shock. However, Bramble was having none of it and so I managed to grab it and took it into the garden. Have I got the courage to give it the chop and put it out of its misery? I thought. Then I started thinking that it might just be okay because there didn't seem to be any blood anywhere. I decided that the best thing to do was take it out into the back alley out of sight from Bramble. I put it on the ground and then up it flew, away and over the fences - made my day! Bramble spent the next half an hour whinging and searching for it - serves him right as there's plenty enough toys around to play with.

I've always had it in my head that a trip to the optician's will cost me £169. I don't know why, but it has been like that for years. The only time it didn't was when I was going to evening classes and a fellow student managed to get me a discount because she worked at an optician's. By the time I got student, unemployment and staff (hers) discount my pair of Lacoste spectacles cost about £30. They were the best pair of glasses I ever owned.

Anyway, this thought of £169 has always put me off going until desperation or the efforts of relatives has forced me to go and get my eyes tested. Well, out of desperation, I have had to go again, but I was comforted by the thought that I qualified for a 30% discount which meant I would probably only pay just over £100 - wrong!
"You paid £270 for the last pair" She said, "Do you want the same style again?"
I sat like a frozen rabbit and stared out of the window, 'Was I on drugs last time?' I thought to myself.
"That did include a free second pair. Would you prefer the discount instead this time?" She added.

I decided to go and have another look at the cheaper frames. The trouble is that I have two things going against me. Firstly, I have a big head (now that's a surprise) and secondly, I am allergic to the nickel in the cheaper frames. After ages trying out what few frames were available for my head I decided that I couldn't be faffed anymore and ended up with the same style as last time. Fortunately, the lenses are cheaper now, but I still ended up paying £170.

Ever heard the expression "Fubar"? They say it a lot in American films. I always thought it was just a quaint expression of theirs until I found out what it meant. The 'bar'  stands for "... beyond all recognition". I'll let you work out the 'fu' bit. I can think of many situations in the past where a simple "Fubar" would have tidied them up nicely and put an end to the matter. Unfortunately, I can also remember some situations in mental health that were working well and became Fubar once politics, professional jealousy or ignorance stepped in.

As many of you know, My little writing den at the seal sanctuary is situated in a small caravan and quite often I am distracted from my laptop by wildlife activity outside (or when it comes to spiders - inside). I was lucky enough to watch a weasel on Sunday. Now I know it was a weasel (as against a stoat) because it didn't have a black tip on its tail. As I watched I couldn't help reflecting on how lithe and supple it was. It was a bit like a furry worm on legs. They reckon they can squeeze their way through anything and I am not surprised. What puzzles me is why the term 'weasel' is so negative when applied to humans. I found the caravan keys in my pocket when I got home and so made a special trip to return them yesterday (70 mile round trip).
"Why didn't you stick them in the post?" Chloe said when I got there.
Yes, exactly. I thought, Doh!

Posted by terryboy at 5:37 am on the 10th March, 2009

Have you cleaned your shoes?

Well, I'm swanning around in a bathrobe, coughing up gunge and sweating like a pig (I assume they do sweat?). If the cynics out there want to tell me I have 'Man Flu' then fine.
So what does one do when stricken down by this supposedly gender specific ailment? Not much actually, apart from sleeping a lot and smoking fewer cigars. However, I have spent some of the day delving into two boxes of photos and negatives. It was the negatives that proved to be the most interesting, because I found a load of old format ones (120?) that had been taken by my late mother-in-law and several strips of 35mm B&W ones of the fire service (I've got a sneaking suspicion they're of the annual competitions). I also found some tiny negatives that will never fit the scanner.

My mother-in-law, Florrie, had an old box camera and she took it with her when we all went to Switzerland. I was into photography at the time, had an SLR 35mm and used to spend ages setting up the shots. Florrie would just go "Smile" and then 'click. Well, you know what's coming next don't you? Yes, she got the best photos.

What I did find that brought great joy, was a photocopy of the Maidstone Technical High School for Boys photo from 1959, which is when I first went to the school. It is one of those long panoramic ones and the quality (obviously) is poor. Anyway, it is better than nothing. If you are wondering why I haven't got an original, the reason is simple - my family couldn't afford one. So, if any of you former Tech boys are reading this and have an original photo, I really would appreciate a scanned copy.

Now then, I have always had a big thing about fairness and injustice. The fairness bit comes from my mother who always insisted us kids were treated equally. The injustice bit comes from school days. At an assembly we were warned that there would be dire consequences for any boy that had dirty shoes for the following Speech Day. So, that morning I spent ages making sure my shoes were as bright as could be. However, this was obviously not good enough because I was spotted in the corridor, dragged off to the office and given a good caning for having 'dirty' shoes. My protestations meant nothing. The thing is, they weren't dirty! The only thing wrong with them was that they were wrinkled from wear and tear and no amount of polishing could get rid of that. Thus I was labelled a liar and caned for being poor.

Now how did this manifest itself in later life? Well for a start, if anyone lies to me we're finished as regards friendship - no ifs or buts. As for injustice? I would say that was the driving force behind my efforts in mental health.

My son-in-law, Ian, has emailed me for my opinion on a new computer system he is thinking of buying. It has a decent spec and the price is good. The trouble is it makes me take another look at my own PC and wonder if I should build another one. This is the longest I have ever stuck with one computer and it must be at least 4/5 years old now. Once upon a time I was swapping the motherboard at least once a year. The main problem is that it is doing what I want it to do, which is a bit of a bummer really. Maybe I can get Rosy to pee in it or something so that I have an excuse to replace it. Hmmm ... perhaps not ... I could end up with a fried dead pussy - too high a price!

Posted by terryboy at 6:54 am on the 08th February, 2009

 

Burglar or Ghost?

I had some sad news recently. A former work colleague and friend, Dick Sharr, died at the age of 81. We used to be part of the security team at I.C.I. Yalding, Kent. Dick was an ex-London fireman and what with me being an ex-fireman as well, we used to share a lot of stories which were usually based around fire service humour and station pranks. That kind of humour often manifested itself in our everyday security work.

I must tell you about one particular prank we pulled during a night shift when the site was empty. I had gone out on patrol, entered one of the main plants (in the dark) and suddenly saw a figure staring down at me from a mezzanine floor. Luckily, my ticker was in good shape then and so I survived the shock of what I thought was either a burglar or a ghost. Once I composed myself, I shone my torch at it and as I studied its horrific face I realised it was a home-made dummy.

I returned to the office (still a bit shaken) and told Dick all about it. We decided that the staff had obviously played a prank on us (wrongly as it turned out - they were actually making a point about staff shortages) and therefore set to work in getting our own back on them. So, we dragged the dummy over to the office and gave it 'the treatment'. I must say that he had guts as he didn't blab once. We tried everything: desk lamp in his face, kicking his chair away, rubber hose, wet towel, knee in the groin, but he stayed silent.

As he wouldn't confess to anything, we had to return him back to where he came from - well nearly. What we did was cover him in bandages, put one arm in a sling and coated him with liberal splashes of fake blood. The sight of him in such a mess still makes me feel faint at the thought of it all. After he had been 'treated', we stuck him smack bang in the middle of their tea room in the knowledge that that was the first place visited when the shift started. We also added a little confession for him (stuck a pen in his free hand)  where he warned everyone not to mess with security or they could end up like him.

I think we took it a little too far at the time as the first person who went in there got the fright of their life! There were repercussions, as they thought it was one of their own what done it - hehe! Naturally, we owned up in the end as we didn't want the innocent to suffer. I do have some crime pics of the incident and I have uploaded the 'before' shot to the 'Burglar or Ghost?' photo folder. I'll add more when I have scanned them to my computer - so keep your eyes open.

The pair of us also loved belly pork and rabbit. There was a mini-cooker in the back room and many was the time when staff would come to the office door only to find themselves breathing in the juicy aroma of a roast wafting past my ears as we spoke. Every time I met Dick after his retirement you could guarantee that the words 'belly pork' would be in the first sentences spoken.

God Bless you and rest in peace Dick. We did our job, but always found time for humour! And Dick, for goodness sake, please leave that artificial snot behind will yer - there are limits up there you know.
Posted by terryboy at 8:17 am on the 05th February, 2009

Apples are better in than out. - 29th January, 2009

How do you eat your apples? The reason I ask is because the other day I noticed I always take two bites at a time. Not two separate bites, rather a two-in-oner. I sort of bite, leave my lips in contact with the skin, move a millimetre and bite again. Now one could say that I was a bit of a pig (even I had my doubts!) and I began to wonder what people must think of me - "Oh no! He's got an apple! There he goes again! Shovel chops!"

Anyway, I gave it some thought and delved deep back into my past. In the good old days when I was a little sprog (Groan, here we go again) I lived on the edge of Maidstone near a village called Barming. The landscape consisted of houses, orchards, hop fields and woods (with an occasional strawberry field dotted around). We had no computer games or tellies in our bedrooms and so our playground was 'out there'.
Playtime could be very profitable, depending on what time of year it was and whether you was in the orchard. We are talking about 'scrumping' (commonly known as stealing apples). If your shirt was long enough and the waist-band of your trousers nice and tight, it was surprising how many apples could be secreted around one's belly. Me being me, I also ensured that there were plenty in my belly as well by the time I left the orchard.

This is where the double-bite was developed in order to maximise my intake. Why was this necessary? You may ask. Well, scrumping had its risks, two in fact. One was PC Farrow turning up on his bike and the other was the local farmer wizzing around the trees in his Mini-van. In the sprint for the hedge or barbed wire fence when escaping, it was highly likely that all the apples would come toppling out of the shirt and  we'd be left with nothing apart from a pair of torn trousers maybe. Hence the double-bite technique, which at least assured me of a full belly. Okay, so it slowed me down a bit, but not as much as the copper's boots did him.

So folks, when you hear my 'shovel mouth' going, I'm not being a pig. I am just indulging in a bit of nostalgia - okay? Hmmmm .... that reminds me ...'apple bungers' ... another day perhaps eh?

Posted by terryboy at 2:23 pm on the 29th January, 2009

Late Breakfast - 27th January, 2009

I had breakfast at about 3.30. pm yesterday. No, I wasn't lazy and got up late - Moi? I was just rather indecisive and silly that's all. I was going to make my first visit to a discount warehouse in Lincoln to take advantage of a 'first visit' discount and it all went a bit pear-shaped..

Receiving the first royalty payment from my seal sanctuary stories book required splashing out on a big celebration. When it comes to big celebrations there is only one that qualifies - a Morrison's Breakfast. Now then, do I turn left and go to the Grimsby one and then about turn to go to Lincoln? Or do I go past the discount warehouse in Lincoln and on to Morrison’s there before returning to the warehouse?

I decided to go to the warehouse and then on to Morrison’s Lincoln. Having driven but a few yards I realised that it would be far too late and so decided to go to Grimsby first. I stopped the car and did my jab in the knowledge that the timing would be just right for breakfast. However, before I got to the main road, I realised that it meant doubling back on myself later and so turned right with the intention of going straight to Morrison’s at Lincoln.

All went to plan until I saw the queue at the restaurant. So, I decided to go to the warehouse and then have breakfast at another supermarket in that area of town. The warehouse was a bit of a let down, but I managed to grab one or two bargains. From there it was on to the supermarket. There were no queues, but one look at the grub on offer made me realise why. What to do? Well, it was a case of grab a cheap sausage roll (Peuk! Yeuk! 8 for £1? What did I expect?) and then drive all the way back to Morrison’s at Grimsby.

By the time I arrived I had gone off a full English and had fresh fish & chips instead - luverlee! However, that day had to be a one off as the jab had been in my body for a good five hours. I dread to think what my diabetic nurse will say when she reads my diary. Maybe she'll miss that bit eh?

Remember me asking you to send out your thoughts for Don? Well, he is doing quite well and so thank you for your prayers. He needed a bit of help with his computer the other day. A particularly nasty piece of software had hijacked it (Malware) and wouldn't release control until he had paid for the solution ($49). The trouble was that it wasn't just a case of pop-ups, it had also hijacked the DNS settings for the internet. This meant that his browser would only go to their web site.

The (seemingly) simple cure was to install anti-spyware, but no matter which one I installed it needed to access the internet to complete the setup - which, obviously it couldn't do. I managed to get it working to a limited degree, but have now found the proper solution which is to manually sort out the DNS settings (found instructions how to do it) and then reinstall the anti-spyware.

So, all of you out there, make sure you have anti-spyware up and running on your computer (Plenty of free ones out there - Spybot, Ad-aware, Malwarebytes etc) and avoid Magic Software Inc, Spy Protect 2008 or 2009 like the plague! I think it is absolutely outrageous that a legitimate software company gets up to such tricks to sell their product. There is plenty of information on it if you do a search, but don't go to their web site.

Off to Hull today (more bargains?) which means paying the controversial bridge toll - dread to think what it is now. I'll let you know how the day goes.
Posted by terryboy at 6:40 am on the 27th January, 2009

The Trophy's Back - 24th January, 2009

I'm still at 'DEFCOM 3' Mel' (see entry DEFCOM 1).

I collected my trophy form Brigg and I know you are all very keen to find out how much that little bit of plastic cost me.
"£2.50" he said.
Well, I was lost for words! 'Couldn't you make it a tenner so we can have an argument?' I thought. In fact, I felt a little bit disappointed having built up such a cynical view of life in Britain. When I compare it to the cost of a tool for pushing telephone wires into their sockets (a small strip of moulded plastic with a tapered end £2.48!), he should have charged me twenty quid. After all, at least his bit had a hinge built into it - far more complicated. Anyway, what could I say?
"Lovely job" I said, "It's even better and stronger than the original"
Thus we parted, both content and happy.

Things haven't been going right lately. Having got fed up with waiting for my elbow to be x-rayed on the NHS (yes, the saga continues), I decided to go private. I got authorization from my insurance company via the phone and had it done. They forwarded the bill on to me for £95 and said it hadn't been authorized. I look forward to the inevitable long drawn out battle to follow.

This was followed by many wasted hours trying to get a new negative/slide film scanner to work on two computers and a laptop. I even tried an alternative operating system (Linux). The computer recognises the scanner and the software comes up, but when I press the copy button nothing happens. Therefore it is duff! So, looks like another little battle and probably a lot of hassle packaging it again and sending it off to the retailer. Perhaps I should have spent an extra £20 and bought it locally?
'Never mind' I thought, 'I'll use the gadget on my all-in-one printer for now'.
Slow? SLOW? I'll say it was bloomin' slow .... grrrrrrr!

I have scanned all my photos from a sponsored backpacking trip I did with my nephew, Sean in 1984. Brought back a few memories that did. It was the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path (about 180 miles long) and a lot of it was right on the edge of the cliffs which, on a windy day, was quite daunting. We raised a lot of money for Guy's Hospital Children's Renal Unit. Part of the way through the trek I developed an infection in my foot and when we reached Broadhaven the pain of walking was so bad I was ready to give up. However, as I stuck it in a pan of hot salty water, flopped back on the grass and looked up at the night sky, the clouds parted to show thousands of stars - which was nice. Suddenly, two shooting stars went over, one after the other.
"You know what Sean?" I said, "We will make it to the end".
I spent most of the next day walking barefoot in the sea parallel to the path and by the following morning my foot had healed. We crossed the finishing line (St Dogmael's) late at night on the last day, but not too late to go in a pub!

So, here's the little poem I wrote about it to end my blog entry with:
 
 BROAD HAVEN
I pour the water, scalding hot,
That bubbles from the brim,
Until it fills the shallow pot
Where tear drops form in steam
All motivation waning now
As blisters throb in pain.
To Coastal Path a time to bow
And never walk again
With weary eyes, an aching heart
And weather-beaten face,
Now is the time I must depart
And lose my inner race.
The wind and salt have blistered lips,
Last chance, this panacea
With these few grains of crystal sips
That melt and disappear.
And so, I stretch on ice cool grass
With eyes up to the sky
To see the clouds begin to pass
The sparkling stars up high.
Aching muscles raise the foot
Then lower to the scald
When pain shoots through my body thought
That sweats despite the cold.
I cannot cry, I know all’s lost,
I've searched my deepest soul
For motives o'er the land now crossed;
S't Dogmael’s was my goal
As puss seeps out into the brine,
A bed where dreaming sleeps,
Two shooting stars are only mine
And how my glad heart weeps.
Through all the toil on razor rocks,
Loose sand and rain soaked cliff,
Head low to look on dirt that mocks,
Blunt mind and muscles stiff
One can forget this special path
Is wider than a pace,
Its beauty, far as eye can see,
All lost in mental haste
The butterflies and nectar bees
On backgrounds of wild flowers,
And seals that play in cold blue seas
For that moment it was ours.
Warm locals always smiled and helped
"Keep going" their last bid
Now the stars have said the same:
We will finish … and we did!
 

Posted by terryboy at 9:00 am on the 24th January, 2009

Never mess With an Elder - 19th January, 2009

Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs! I got my fingers all greasy peeling off bits of nice cooked chicken for Rosy this morning and she turned her nose up at it! That just isn't like her you know. So, I had a think. Having thunk, I wondered if she actually preferred the cheap cat food that I had bought from a discount store in Brigg (originally just for an emergency). Whoopee! Yup, that's what it was and so I am going to save myself £1 a box in future - after I have recovered the cost of the chicken.

I was at the Seal Sanctuary yesterday and Joe was digging out an elder tree. Now Joe is built like a brick outhouse, is an ex-marine, indulges in weight training and martial arts (of the extreme kind - as in you can get hurt). So, half-way through this digging out business, Joe decides that it would be quicker and easier to just use brute force and rip it out of the ground. I don't know if it was coincidental, but I was passing by at the time and he asked me to help.

Me being me, as in ex-judo, weightlifter, ex-sea cadet and rugby player, decided to go all macho and agree. First we pushed it one way, then another, pulled it back, levered it edge ways and then stopped.
"There's another root" he said
Thank goodness for that I thought, Chop that and we're away.
"No it's not, it's a stone" he said
Oh I thought, Pity!
So we started all over again.
Me and my mouth! I thought, Why didn't I use the old ticker excuse and carry on walking by?.
The problem was that the bark was digging into my hands every time I used any force on the tree.

This time, I pushed my whole body against it and we gave a massive heave.
"Creak ... plonk" Down it went with me on top of it!
I did feel such a fool! Joe has very fast reaction times (so don't ever try to mess with him in a dark alley) and he reached out to save me, but just wasn't quick enough this time.

What could I do? Well, the only thing I could do and that was to burst out laughing ... ouch! .. haha ... ooch! Naturally, we apologised to the tree for having uprooted it (or is that Hawthorn you are supposed to do it to? Better safe than sorry I suppose).

I'm doing okay with my new web site. I've just purchased another domain name and I'm using it as a temporary try out site while I build it. That way, I can get continual feedback while the work is in progress.
If you want a preview of the new one, just email me and I will send you the web address.

Off to Brigg to collect my trophy that has been (hopefully) repaired. I wonder how much that bit of plastic is gonna cost me?
Posted by terryboy at 9:51 am on the 19th January, 2009

DEFCOM 1 - 11th January, 2009

It appears that this blog has become my health monitoring service. My daughter, Melanie, telephoned me the other day because blog activity had ceased (temporarily). Apparently she goes to DEFCOM 2 if there is no response to an email within a few days and checks my blog for activity. If the blog is in a state of limbo, she then goes to DEFCOM 1 and rings me up - "Are you still breathing daddy?" she asks. If I reply, all systems return to DEFCOM 3 and the status quo. Fortunately, I don't need to have that system in place because I actually know when I am breathing.

Well, have you had a good Christmas? I enjoyed mine, apart from the demise of Biko, but the grief is lessened by the fact that he was in such a state and death was a release for him. His ashes will be scattered in the same place as Tiggs' which is a pet cemetery at Scunthorpe (or 'Scunny' as I like to call it).

I'm pretty upbeat you know. I have actually got that back bedroom turned into an office at last. The trouble was that I spent most of yesterday troubleshooting the computer that is in it. It feels very comfortable and there is plenty of room to whiz backwards and forwards on my chair (in spite of the caravan junk in one corner). Everything is there to hand: USB turntable to convert all the old LPs to MP3; the slide/negative scanner to catch up on the photos; Video player for digitising me old films; cutting board for craft work (one figurine to do); drawing board and 'How to Draw'; shelf full of reference books and last (but not least) the telly.

Now then, we can't have all this without having a few luxuries such as: USB mini-fridge; USB desktop fan; USB desk light; USB mug warmer; USB Christmas tree; USB 'Whack It' game; USB fish tank; USB mini-hoover; USB horizontal, lighty, glittery thingy; USB lava lamp and a USB humping dog (I kid you not - you can read!). Fortunately, it still leaves room for the keyboard and mouse. One would have thought, in light of the fan for the summer, that they would have come up with a USB mini-halogen heater for the winter.

I spent a few days in my home town, Maidstone, and was amazed at how much it had changed - unfortunately not for the better! They seem to have stuck apartment blocks up on every tiny bit of space that could be found and in places where it couldn't, bulldozed a building to make one. All its character and uniqueness has disappeared. Even the market was a pathetic example of its former self. Thank goodness that there are places up here in Lincolnshire that still retain their sense of identity e.g Louth and Brigg. It was good to see my son, Matthew, and Mazzie as well as my brother and a couple of sisters, which made the trip well worth while.

On the way back, I stopped at The American Diner on the A1, which is built as the name implies with all neon lights etc. I have been curious about it for years and so this time was determined to give it a try - even if it was just the once. It had all the atmosphere inside with Rock and roll piped music playing and American style (I assume?) food on the menu. Had the works, naturally, which cost a bit more than is normally spent on the trips 'down south' and the coffee was so good I had three cups (unlimited refills). I probably wont go in there again, but at least my curiosity was satisfied and I wasn't disappointed.

I'm having a bit of a problem getting back to my healthy eating regime again. Well, it is not a problem in the sense that I don't want to do it. I still have loads of chocolates and things left over from Christmas and they need using up, so I am at the sort of 'in between stage' I suppose. I just sneak a few now and again - usually after my daily blood test. As for the nuts - don't even go there! Suffice to say that the pile is dwindling.

Off to the seals again today. They have just printed out their latest newsletter on the laser printer I donated and so it has already saved them money on printers' bills.

Happy New Year to you all.

P.s. USB humping dog - I dunno, somehow my laptop has never seemed the same since his hips started working away on the side of it. Oh, its working okay. I just find it hard to look it in the screen any more without feeling a slight sense of embarrassment.

Posted by terryboy at 8:47 am on the 11th January, 2009

Biko - 29th December, 2008

In 1993 I worked for The Medway Forum which was a mental health campaign/support group run by service users based in Chatham. I also edited their newsletter 'Respond'. Here is an extract from May 1993's issue:

" ... on a lighter note, if you notice a support worker with scratches down his arms, legs and b*m don't worry ... I now have a kitten called Biko (alias Mandela II, The Bullet, Bilko and on occasion The Little B****d). Biko was given the name Little B****d when he decided to do a sudden Tarzan act on my bare belly button one evening and then followed it up by clawing his way around under the duvet in the middle of the night (claw is the operative word - I tend to sleep as nature intended).The reason for the Little B****d ... er ... Biko is that we have two cats already and neither of them will sit on my lap. So it's another power tactic, but I think I am beginning to lose this one - Fluffy gave him a belt in the mouth this morning! While reading this, just remember that Biko was probably drawing blood, climbing up my legs, while (Ouch! You little ***!) I was typing. Following the mountaineering act, he usually sits on my shoulder like a parrot laughing his head off!"

Many was the time he'd meow and whisper in my ear "I think you've left a comma out" or " two R's in that". I would just shrug my shoulders in response (made him wobble a bit - hehe!).

So why do I give you a quote from an old newsletter? Sadly, my dear, little furry friend of nearly sixteen years had to be put to sleep this morning. Even though he struggled on far beyond what was expected, the cancer had taken its toll.

Biko, you Little B****d, you were everything that a pain in the a**e should be - full of spirit, fun and much, muched loved. Rest in peace my dear, dear friend.

Posted by terryboy at 4:50 pm on the 29th December, 2008

Biko doesn't mean it - or does he? - 16th December, 2008

I'd been on edge all morning and the early part of the afternoon. Biko hadn't pooped anywhere and I was beginning to think he had changed his ways. The back bedroom door is always closed these days and so he couldn't have done anything in there. All mats have been removed from the bathroom to make things easier to clean (yes, he's even been there, but obviously couldn't lift the toilet lid.).

Well, it got to the stage where I felt I could relax and do my morning ablutions (ok, so 2pm was a bit late for a shave etc). Biko hung around whinging while I stripped off and went into the shower. Lovely, refreshing! Having finished, I turned of the tap and as I rubbed the excess water off my six-pack and bulging biceps a horrible feeling came over me. It was just a quick whiff and I froze. I braced myself and whiffed again. The B****d! I thought he does pick his bloomin' moments! Afraid to step anywhere, I peeked beyond the shower curtain and examined the floor. All was clear and so I stepped out and the smell got stronger. I knew he had only just done it the second I had switched off the shower (well, one can tell by the warmth of the whiff can't one).

I stared across the landing into the bedroom. Yes, there was steam wafting from the carpet at the foot of my bed. I just don't understand it. Prior to my shower I had spent ages stroking him while at my computer desk as I typed one-handed. Is this the gratitude I get?

It looks like I am going to have to delve into the garden shed and find the cat litter tray after all. Sigh! Hope I don't get lost in there. Dread to think what manner of things I am going to find as I claw my way through.

As for HIM? Well, he is as skinny as a rake (virtually skeletal)  and so all I can say is "There, there puss. You didn't mean it, never mind". I still have doubts though. I think he's playing games with me, but I can't prove it.

Soft? I'll say I'm bloomin' soft!
Posted by terryboy at 3:09 pm on the 16th December, 2008

Dickens, Biko and the best bit saved to the last. - 13th December, 2008

Charles Dickens, yes, well it was a very enjoyable evening and well acted (sorry, I do not have the actor's name to hand). However, poor old me had trouble with the lights again and so I had a job staying awake. The venue isn't geared up for that sort of thing and when I saw Lincoln (if you remember) he had a couple of lights behind him that played havoc with my eyes. Charlie went one better and, although he was in a different spot, had three small spotlights behind him. I began to wonder if I was sitting in the Mastermind chair! I did ask about them during the interval, but there wasn't much they could do.

99% of the Christmas cards have been done and posted. I am just left with the ones where I have some doubt. By that I mean "Are they still together or did I hear a rumour?" so I have to do a subtle bit of detective work as I certainly don't want to offend anyone. Still got all the wrapping of presents to do, but this year I have got a proper sellotape dispenser, which should make the job a lot easier.

Now then, this here Biko. I'm having a bit of a problem with him and when I feel like losing my temper,  I have to quickly switch into compassionate mode and go "Poor Biko, there .. there". He has decided that the best place to 'do his business' is indoors. Occasionally, it was obvious that he didn't have time to get outside (the runs), but there are times when it is perfectly normal. I could re-introduce the litter tray I suppose, but that would be a backward step I reckon. It took me long enough to wean the pair of them off it. So, that is my little daily chore, clear his mess up.

As you know, I had to completely empty my caravan ready for it to be moved. All its contents has been shoved into my back bedroom. The other day, I managed to get in there and crate it all up properly. What did I find at the far end of the room? Some old poop and 50 gallons of cat pee! I had run out of the special cat detergent and had to use normal disinfectant. I just know I am going to regret this! I thought to myself.

As many cat lovers will know, you don't use normal disinfectant etc on cats mess; it is using like for like (chemically wise), but I had to do something. Well, you can guess what happened. The strength of the smell of stale pee doubled and it didn't help sprinkling 'shake and Vac' on afterwards - what a mixture! I kept opening the door once a day just to check, but it stayed the same - yeuk! Anyway, I plucked up courage to go in there with a vacuum cleaner this morning and it seems to have calmed down a little.

Now, some very good news that I want to share.
Both my children (Matt and Mel) have had to have major surgery in the past and yes, both are lucky to be alive today. Although Matt is unable to work as a result of his illness (super bugs and gas gangrene in the neck and chest), he is enjoying life as best he can with his devoted partner, Maisie and their rescue doggies.

Melanie had a heart transplant and every year she has to go for an 'MOT' at Harefield Hospital. I want to share part of an email that she sent to me yesterday:

" ... Well we have just got back
from a long day at Harefield Hospital for my annual check up, it was 19
years on the 4th December.  No need for angio (yippee).  Very pleased
with me, heart, kidneys, liver , bloods, blood pressure etc all excellent. 
Cholesterol was 5 but is normally about 4, so not bothered as normally excellent
and was recently 4 at gp surgery, plus he said with Christmas coming up.  Lost a
little bit of weight since last time.  His words were that I am going for a
record and will be one of their record patients, there was no reason at all why
I wouldn’t reach 30 years post transplant as showing no slight signs of anything
being wrong with me (which I should have done years ago).  I am to carry on with
whatever I am doing as its working.  What excellent news!!!!  Considering when I
first had transplant was told I would have 10 years to live, I’ve done very
well.  Recently the longest heart transplant died at 30 years post transplant,
not related transplant death.  So I am very delighted and ecstatic!!!!   What a
lovely Christmas present ..."


Yes indeed, What a lovely Christmas present!

Posted by terryboy at 3:13 pm on the 13th December, 2008

Nice dinner - shame about the deer - 09th December, 2008

It was Christmas dinner time for the Seal Sanctuary yesterday (yes, with all the trimmings). Apart from having a lovely meal it was also enjoyable because it is the one time in the year when I get to be with all the staff at the same time. However, the day was marred a bit when I found out that Bambi had died in her sleep. Bambi was a rescued deer that had been savaged (no other word for it) on the neck by a dog - on a nature reserve of all places! It also transpires that they have had several seals brought in that have been savaged by dogs. Two of the seals subsequently died. Makes you despair doesn't it? After all, it doesn't take much to keep a dog on a lead when you are near vulnerable creatures.

I am off to see Charles Dickens tonight. He has risen from the grave to do a reading of A Christmas Carol at The Punch Bowl in Cleethorpes (either that or someone is impersonating him .... hmmm?). I'll let you know how it goes.

Busy day today - yes, time to do the Christmas cards.

Posted by terryboy at 10:28 am on the 09th December, 2008

Panto Time - 06th December, 2008

I decided to start a new blog rather than finish the previous one.  No, I haven't been too busy, just disorganised as well as getting the Christmas shopping.

I went to our local panto last night which is put on by Caistor Amateur Theatre Company (CATS). It was a production of Dick Whittington. Now my memories of things such as this is of little village/church halls with make-shift stages, cramped seating and a small audience. I haven't been to one in donkey's years (Yes, I've looked it up - it is the singular) and so I was quite surprised to be in a large hall, with a proper stage and lighting.

Now then, there's always one isn't there? The 'old' hand who has done it for years and is quite comfortable on stage no matter what happens. In fact, in this case there were two - Tommy Tiddler and Sarah the cook. I've no doubt there were others, but they were the ones that stood out, although King Rat didn't seem in the slightest bit fazed by a missing prompt. Anyway, the thing is when there are characters like that up there, they sort of gel everything don't they? It doesn't matter how many little cracks appear because they all seem to get subtly pasted over by the extrovert antics of the likes of Tommy and Sally. As for King Rat? Boo Hisssssss! He got what he deserved - a wooden sword shoved between his arm and chest. Oh no he didn't ... oh yes he ...

Dickens next week - Bah! Humbug! By the way, look up Wilkie Collins. Never heard of him? He was a contemporary of Charles Dickens. A good site to start is Paul (BBC Money Box) Lewis's site www.paullewis.co.uk .

Posted by terryboy at 12:47 pm on the 06th December, 2008

Mince pies and Mozart - 26th November, 2008

The usual 'get out of jail free card' for my diabetic diary is to put down "It needed using up". Two mince pies needed 'using up' today. Naturally, I did the right thing and used them up along with a large dollop of cream that happened to be in the same state of latency. It was horrible, vile, but I persevered and cleared the bowl.

Have you heard Mozart's clarinet concerto in A? I was listening to it while driving today and suddenly the world and its trouble was of no consequence. The only thing that mattered was the music and the road ahead.

(I'll finish this later)
Posted by terryboy at 10:08 pm on the 26th November, 2008

An economy lesson in meat - 22nd November, 2008

Well, I'll go to the foot of our stairs. It's unbelievable! Whatever next? I was looking in a Butcher's window yesterday and just shook my head in total disbelief. He was selling the knuckles off the shoulders of lamb - the KNUCKLES!

Sigh! I shouldn't be surprised I suppose. If the general public is gullible enough to spend a fortune on leg of lamb knuckles (lamb shanks), why not do a cheaper version and sell shoulder knuckles. If you do like lamb shanks, just bear in mind that the same money will probably get you half a shoulder of lamb (and if you pick the right half even better - see below).

Now then, as an ex-butcher, let me tell you a few things. In days gone by, them knuckles would be chopped off and go 'ping' into the bone bin whenever you bought the whole joint. Knuckle value about 1/2 a pence. If I owned a butchers shop now, I'd be laughing my socks off.

Let's look at a few other things eh? Lamb cutlets (the chops with the rib bone still in). When I was a kid, my mum would buy a couple of racks of them for Sunday roast and the reason she bought them was because they were dirt cheap - nobody wanted them. They cost a fortune now and there's hardly any meat on them.
Something else she used to buy was ox heart. I bought a job lot (16) of lambs hearts for 36p the other day, stuffed a few with Paxo and roasted them. The heart is all muscle - i.e. meat.

As for breasts of lamb? Well, we never knew what to do with them, couldn't even give them away sometimes. One butcher I worked for even put them in his pork sausages. They are so dear now that some shops even sell them in individual halves.

SOME TIPS:
Don't buy a pork steak. Buy a joint, any joint and cut a few slices off. It's cheaper that way and you end up with steaks and a joint. Any part of the pig can be fried, grilled or whatever, even the cheeks off its head (I kid you not as I have already tried it). Shoulder is cheaper than leg and more tasty (because of the marbled fat).

The same goes for lamb. Any part can be grilled or fried. "Ah" I hear you say, "but what about stewing lamb?" . Stewing lamb (neck, middle neck) is only classed as such because it has a lot of bone in it - that's all. When you buy a lamb fillet, the chances are that it is the strip of meat that runs down the neck and the shoulder. It's just that their wasn't much call for stewing lamb that day. I quite often, buy a shoulder and pull that strip of meat off for grilling later. It's easy to see if they have left it on. If the shoulder is basically flat then look for another one that has a ridge of meat down one side (you get more for your money).

Chicken? Hmmm ... chicken's chicken. But don't faff about buying bits. Buy a whole one, cut it up and put the spare in the freezer (much cheaper).

As for beef? Well, that's a little bit more complicated and so, as a general rule it will be safer to say "Go by what it says on the label". However, just a few tips: Buy Brisket and cook it slowly (why oh why do they remove all the bloomin' fat?). For a cheap frying steak, buy a piece of Chuck steak/braising steak, bash it with a tenderiser hammer (probably got them in the Poundshop). Now, on the animal the braising steak bit is right next to the Rib-eye bit, so scan all the packets until you get a bit that looks very much like the rib-eye steaks (it'll probably be slightly larger though). hey presto! pseudo rib-eye steak. Never use stewing beef (shin, leg etc) for this little trick because you will be chewing it until kingdom come.

There you are ladies and gentlemen. The whistle blowing butcher has spoken and you can thank the butcher who thought he would make a few bob selling lamb knuckles for that. If you want anymore tips or have a question about meat - email me.

Liver? Fry it and stick it between two bits of bread - luverleee!
Posted by terryboy at 11:46 am on the 22nd November, 2008

Sex is sex, but a large cappuccino is a drink. - 19th November, 2008

I reported in. You know, to the diabetic nurse. She's very pleased and it means I can now cut the blood testing down to just once a day. WHAT A RELIEF! For those of you who are not aware of the procedure, it involves pricking ones finger and getting the blood onto a test strip. The finger tips of my left hand are getting rather tender and beginning to resemble a pin cushion. Sore? I'll say they're bloomin' sore and no, I couldn't think of anywhere else to take my blood sample from.

Naturally, I celebrated with a full English breakfast. Well, it's about time I rewarded myself. The nausea is much improved and when it does occur it is quite mild. Unfortunately, I did have to use up the rest of
the bacon the following morning - shame (yes, I know I could have bunged it in the freezer! Give me some slack here).

I was in Grimsby town yesterday and decided to stop for a coffee. There used to be a place called The Coffee Club that did the best Cappuccino in town. It became my little oasis from all the rigours of doing my shopping. It was nice to just sit, relax and watch the world go by through its large panoramic windows. That very first sip of froth and liquid sweetened with two brown sugars (the only time I have sugar) would just flow through my body and ease away all the stress. A lot of the time it would be accompanied by a tuna, something and mayonnaise sandwich - heaven. Then, without warning, it closed down.

Luckily, I found a substitute at the Grimsby Institute’s bar, where my usual request was "Large cappuccino and a tuna & something, mayonnaise sandwich." Being a student, it was also nice and convenient. Then I graduated and have really missed that little ritual ever since.

Anyway, back to my coffee in Grimsby. Well, The Coffee Club has new owners and has re-opened under a different name. The layout is basically the same and so I thought I would give it a try. I was beginning to wonder if I had made the right decision when I walked in and had to wait by a sign that said 'Please wait here to be shown to a table'. Oh! I thought, but I was soon taken to a table and realised it was waitress service. Hmmm? I carried on thinking I don't know about all this. Then came the test, that first sip from a brim full of froth. Not bad, not bad at all, but it was just a tad too strong for my liking (better than being too weak though). However, it was as close as one could get to that perfect cappuccino that they used to serve there. I am still deciding on whether to go there again. I don't know if I like the idea of being waited on in a coffee shop. There is an alternative after all. I could become a full-time student again and start using the Institute's bar.
"Large cappuccino and a tuna and something sandwich with mayonnaise please."
Posted by terryboy at 8:38 am on the 19th November, 2008

Am I Being Haunted? - 16th November, 2008

I've got this white, fluffy snowflake that is about the size of a coaster. This WFS has a smiley face on it and the whole thing is one of the results of my late wife's needlework. Now the thing is, it is supposed to sit on the bedroom window sill and I have lost count of the number of times it has ended up on the floor. I mean, if the cats don't like it up there, they don't like it up there and so I gave up putting it back (well, almost). However, of late it has started turning up all over the place! Yesterday, it was in the middle of the lounge floor - I'm being haunted I thought to myself.

My bed has a lovely, semi-luxurious duvet on it and for protection (from the cats) I cover it with an old throw. Each night before getting into bed, the cover gets neatly folded so that I can make sure it is the right side up when I put it back in the morning. Well, I put the cover back on this morning and as I unfolded it, there was the bloomin' snowflake grinning back me! As I said, I'm haunted. I'll be dreaming about the thing next.

I had a reasonably good day, health wise, yesterday. The nausea and vertigo were much better. although not completely gone. So I decided to get back to the sanctuary today. However, having made scrambled egg on toast, I started to feel sick just before tucking into it. You've gotta get it down yer Telboy I thought. I did try, but all I could manage was one small wholemeal slice and the egg. I am just hoping that the nausea will have cleared by the time I get there.

Talking of yesterday, I made a big mistake. I did my morning jab and then settled down to working on my new web site for half an hour. (The amount of time I have to wait before eating breakfast). Umm ... yes ... well ... I moved away from the computer at 3 pm! Talk about panic when I realised what the time was! I couldn't even remember if I had had the jab, but decided that it was an automatic thing I do and so must have done. The trouble is, it all goes down in the diabetic diary and Pat the nurse is not going to be best pleased (unless she understands the eccentric ways of writers?)

I will await the rumble of thunder and bolt of lightning from Louth when I email the diary to her tomorrow - ouch!
Posted by terryboy at 10:33 am on the 16th November, 2008

Will Biko Live Forever? - 14th November, 2008

I think Biko is gonna live forever. It is either that or he is just getting back at the vet for getting it wrong with Tiggs (who had a brain haemorrhage and died the day after he said she would live for years). Biko is doing all the things he shouldn't be doing. Theoretically, he should be flat out making his last gasps by now, but he is back to eating biscuits and letting me brush his coat instead - even around his jaw where the growth is.

This is very unsettling. I spent months feeling a bit down, trying to imagine life without him, but these days I tend to forget all about it. He is nearly back to being the same old Biko, albeit a lot thinner. There is a neighbour's cat, Bramble, who keeps marching in through the cat flap every morning and making itself at home. It's got to the stage now where I put three bowls of food down instead of two. What does Biko do? When Bramble hisses a challenge, Biko just flops down and stares back as if to say "Yeh, yeh, but we both know I'm 'The Daddy!' get over it. Yawn!"

Now, Rosy is a little bit different. As you know, she has started to dominate the place having noticed that Biko isn't quite what he used to be. She just prowls around Bramble hissing back and saying "Keep your distance or I'll have yer!" which must be of great amusement to Biko.

As for me, I just do as I'm told, open the tin and spoon it out. The only problem I have is when Bramble gets under my chair and starts grabbing for my (bare) feet! If I let him continue to 'pop in' I am going to have to figure out how to give him his military training. We can't have him lounging around while Biko and Rosy stand and salute at the raising/lowering of the kitchen blind ceremony every dawn/dusk. I suppose the first thing I'll have to teach him is how to stand to attention on two paws. As for giving him the bugle to blow ... I think I'll forget that one.

My nausea. I have discovered that, strangely enough, ice cream helps. Which is all very nice, but doesn't exactly help the sugar levels. What do you think Pat's reaction will be? Hmmm ... maybe I should pack it in and just suffer eh? Sigh! Oh well, it was nice while it lasted (especially with honey and a banana).

I'm keeping a diabetic diary listing everything I eat and all the sugar levels. Those levels become an obsession and dictate your mood on any given day (the results rather than the biological effect). The trouble is, once I've ended up with a '9' instead of a '5' or '6' it is there for posterity. It sort of sits there in the column mocking me. Anyway, it has still got to be better than the '14' and upwards result I was originally getting.

Now, on a serious note, a very dear friend, Don, has just started having chemotherapy. I would appreciate your thoughts and prayers for him and his family. Don is an excellent DIY man (plumbing, bricklaying, carpentry, electrics - yes, annoying isn't it? Envy is the word I think, because I'm useless) and he is always willing to help out whenever his skills are needed. So, your thoughts please, even if it is only for a few minutes each day.
Posted by terryboy at 11:08 am on the 14th November, 2008

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do - slurp! - 12th November, 2008

I know I feel yeuky etc etc, but I am sorry Pat (my diabetic nurse) I've got this bit of gammon in a pot that is all nicely boiled and ready. I just kept staring at the nice dark, smoked rind and couldn't help myself. Errr ... well ... I did actually .... slurp! Gulp! Yes, yes, I know I am gonna be sick and regret it and it doesn't exactly fit the new eating regime. I'm gonna call it 'comfort food' and there's an end to the matter.

See how brave I am when her clinic is in Louth and I am sitting here at home? Hehe! Oh dear ... err ... oh dear ... I ...I ... errrr ... peuk! Splurge! Peuk again! Gasp!

Cough! Splutter! I ... groan ... still say it was worth it. Oooooh dear ... I don't feel well.

Sorry Biko. I didn't really mean to catch you with that last splatter. Oh, you enjoyed it eh? Good.
Now then, where's me mop gone?

Posted by terryboy at 4:54 pm on the 12th November, 2008

If You're Gonna Faint - Do It in Morrison’s - 12th November, 2008

I confess that I am jot really in the mood for writing this (or anything else for that matter). It's the nausea and vertigo - I'm sick of it (pun intended). It is not as bad as when I first started the new double dose injection last Wednesday, but it is still bad enough. The vertigo is unrelated to the jabs. At least the nausea only comes after each jab and food, where as before it was all day.

I had a bit of a crisis in Morrison’s last week. I'd decided to stay at home, but needed to get a few bits and so risked popping along to my favourite place. By the time I got to the checkout, I was near collapse and asked the operator for a First-aider. I think she thought I was joking, which I can't blame her for, because I am always having a bit of banter with them.
"I am being serious" I said.
Her face dropped, "First-aider to till please" she called.
Pow! Whistles, bells sirens, running feet and suddenly I felt all eyes upon me. It was as if the whole store had suddenly stopped and I had become the centre of attention.
"Whatever you do, don't call an ambulance" I said as they coerced me into a wheelchair. "Don't call an ambulance!" I pleaded as I looked back at her while being whisked away to the First-aid room.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, after a significant time resting I was able to get to a GP and home. Now, I might have exaggerated the bells and sirens bit a little, but I have to make it entertaining eh? In fact, Morrison’s staff were brilliant and so a well deserved bit of public praise for Amanda, Susan and Carl. A note for all you young ladies out there who might bump into Carl and swoon - he already has a girlfriend, sorry. (but if you want to know what you're missing, he is in the DVD section).

I was told that Ginger was good for vertigo and so I bought some ginger & lemon tea. In fact, I am just drinking my first cup of it now - not bad. I was nearly put off earlier though when the teabag was soaking in the cup. There didn't seem to be much change in the water colour and so I took the bag out and squeezed it. The bag wasn't very porous and so I squeezed harder - splut! All I can describe it as is something looking like a burst boil (I suppose you would get gunge rather than leaves with ginger). It nearly put me off, but I persevered and I am now enjoying the drink.

Apart from feeling horrible all day, it also means that I can't go to the seals and today will be the third time in a row that I have missed them. Tyson, the dog, will probably think I have done a bunk and start taking it out on everyone. Hmmmm ... no, on second thoughts, he knows where his bread is buttered. I do miss the place though. When I go there it is like walking into a unique, caring, magical kingdom and, although it is a sanctuary for God's creatures, it is also a kind of sanctuary for me. there is something special about all the staff who work there and the work they do.

A very dear friend and neighbour, Justine, died suddenly recently at the age of 36. She had just finished her studies for a social work degree and started a very good job in Social Services. Having spent a lot of time working in mental health, I know there are good ones and bad ones when it come to professionals. Justine was one of the former and would have been an excellent social worker and I was looking forward to seeing her career progress. Naturally, I went to her funeral and it was while sitting in the church I looked around and realised just how lucky I was. I reflected on my friends and neighbours sitting there as well and realised what a wonderful group of people they are. Would I live anywhere else? No, I like this little community of ours.

Remember my fall at Kilnsea Beach? Remember how I eventually went to the doctors and they sent off to get an X-ray appointment for me? I'm still waiting and I know it's not the doctors fault. I am still going around with an elbow that looks and feels like a water filled balloon. I should have used my medical insurance and gone to St Hugh's. Even better, gone into A&E in Hull on the day I fell. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?

I keep looking at those diddy little notebook computers. I like the idea of being so small and they are fine for WP and the internet. I've come close to shelling out the cash several times, but have to remember that I have a very good laptop. When I saw one at sub £150 I was really tempted, but still managed to drag myself away.  How long can I resist? Watch this space eh?
Posted by terryboy at 3:40 pm on the 12th November, 2008

The 'Look' - 03rd November, 2008

People are giving me funny looks and it is a bit disconcerting (ooh, what a lovely word! I think I'll save that one). You see, I look at some things in great depth and come up with a logical answer. When I mention the solution to others, I tend to forget that they haven't had the time to think about it, hence I get 'the look'. When I get 'the look' I do a complete mental survey of my body: Am I still in my dressing gown? Are my flies undone? Is my nose running? Have I got a custard ring round my lips? Is my cleavage ... no, forget that one, that's for dressing-up nights. I've had 'the look' several times today and I'm beginning to think it's best to keep me gob shut.

It concerns my caravan and here's a couple of examples:
Example #1
Anon, "Off to the seals?"
Me, "No. Nettleton"
Anon, "Nettleton?"
Me, "Yes. Moving my caravan from North Somercotes to there"
The look!
Anon, "That's just down the road"
The look again.
Me, "That's right"
Anon, "But it's just down the road. What's the point in that?"

Example #2
Anon2, "... work in Moortown ..."
Me, "Oh, I am moving my caravan near there to Nettleton"
The look!
Anon2, "!!!!?"
The look again
Anon2, "!!!? ... But you live in Caistor"
Me, "I know ..... "

Sigh! And so it continues. Just in case I meet any of you loyal readers in person, the logic goes like this. They have trimmed the trees back around my present plot and so a bit of the magic has gone (however, I do have a clean roof now). I haven't spent as much time as I would like in it over the years because of the pussies at home. I don't use my caravan as a base for day trips and so I am just interested in the site. With that in mind, it doesn't matter how near or far it is from my home.

Now then, being at Nettleton means that I save on petrol, can pop home and feed the cats (ten times a day if necessary), still be isolated on a nice caravan site and also have plenty of strolls in the massive Forestry Commission land that surrounds it. Okay? So, if you bump into me, please say "Hey Tel, what a good idea it was to move your caravan".

Some more good news for you. I was with the seals yesterday and they were about to release Belle (see photo gallery) back to the sea. I was gobsmacked! It appears that she had done so well that they were having a job keeping her in. Anyway, the release went very well and there is now one happy adult seal enjoying the freedom of the sea without a plastic garrotte around her neck.

There is more ... it is about the gennett (use your search engines for a description). It appears that the gennett conspired with someone on the outside and escaped. Suspicion fell on a certain wild badger who made an escape hole for him. I am glad to report that the gennet eventually came to his senses and was found curled up, back in his bed again a few days later. He knows where his bread is buttered eh?
By the way, 'gennett' is pronounced 'jennett'. I have been saying it with a hard 'G' for the past two years and none of the staff corrected me - oooh, I feel such a fool!

Posted by terryboy at 2:24 pm on the 03rd November, 2008

Flies, Fireworks and Forestry Commission - 02nd November, 2008

Pleasure can come at the most unexpected moments. I had one of those moments just as I was tidying the sink before going to bed. Something on top of the microwave oven caught my eye - a fly on its back with its legs up in the air. About time! I thought. That little geezer had been plaguing me for three days and would vanish every time I went for the fly spray. This meant that instead of pinpoint accuracy I had to use blanket coverage and saturate the lounge, kitchen and stairs. However, once the atmosphere had cleared it would suddenly turn up again (on my dinner plate, round my head, on the computer etc).

Anyway, I stood and gloated at the corpse wondering how it met its end. Maybe it got giddy and smashed its brains out on the wall - bang! Plop! Perhaps that spider I rescued has paid me back? Maybe Rosy got a claw to it. Whatever the cause of its demise, the fly has learned that 'whatever goes around, comes around' and I will leave it there for a while so that I can gloat a bit more.

I've burnt me bread board. It is one of those that catches all the crumbs and it took me ages to find one (I think I eventually bought it in Eastbourne). The funny thing is that, even with the crumb catcher, I still get crumbs all over the work top - perhaps being a slob comes naturally to me? I was frying some sausages and twigged there was something wrong when I could smell burning. The hob was on full, but there was no oil in the pan! I grabbed the handle and put it on the breadboard to cool down. Such was the heat that I didn't want to dribble any oil in it as it might have reached flashpoint (being an ex fireman, one knows about these things). Well, I levered the sausages loose, put some oil in, returned it to the hob and then saw the big dark ring on the board. Gutted! It takes quite a bit of heat to do that. I am going to have to replace it and so my quest has started all over again.

I went to our local bonfire display last night. The announcer said " ... it's windy, but thankfully there's no rain" - doh! Him and his mouth! Yes, it started raining. As the bonfire smoke floated among the gathered throng, I couldn't help but wonder how many of them were anti-smoking fanatics who would love to see smoking banned in the streets. Lung fulls of bonfire smoke don't seem to bother them it seems.

What did bother me though was the projectile that whizzed into my lip during the firework display (I think they call it collateral damage). It was akin to being shot with an air gun pellet (I kid you not and it bloomin' hurt). Now when this happens, there is an element in the world that would see a cash register in front of their eyes and seek out a lawyer. As for me? I couldn't be faffed. After all, go to a bonfire display and expect fireworks, that's my motto.

The whole thing was organised by Caistor Lions and they did a very good job. Admission was via donation and hotdogs etc very reasonably priced. Me being me, when the hotdog man said "With or without?" I naturally responded with "With or without what? Sausage?".

I am going to move my caravan. Don Amott, who owns the site at North Somercotes, also has one at Nettleton which is near Caistor. I figured out that once you are on a site, it doesn't matter what the distance is from home as you are still in your own little world. The Nettleton site is also smack in the middle of Forestry Commission land - luverleee! I reckon that I will be able to spend more time in the caravan once it is there as I can just pop home every day and feed the pussies. What I save on travel time and petrol will go a long way to recuperating the transfer fee.

A funny thing has happened to Biko. Thanks to the cancer in his jaw, he would never let you get anywhere near it when stroking him. Suddenly, he is sticking it out so that you can stroke it! Maybe spiritual healing is doing its bit eh? 

 Posted by terryboy at 8:16 am on the 02nd November, 2008

The Audition - 23rd October, 2008

I had cause to ponder on the film Blade Runner the other day and I was reciting the death speech of the replicant, Roy (Rutger Hauer)."... all these are but moments in time like tears in rain ... time to die" at which point he dies and lets go of the white dove. I thought to myself, Well, it had to be a dove. It wouldn't have looked right with a white chicken and it would have probably only plopped over the edge of the skyscraper any way.

Then I started imagining the audition for the part of the dove, maybe it went something like this

Done any acting?

Chicken: A little bit in the hen house when the cockerel arrives. Crouch down, think of England and all that.

Hmmm ... can you fly?

Chicken: A little bit.

What do you mean 'A little bit' ?

Chicken: Well, I sort of hop, flap me wings around, that sort of thing.

That's not flying.

Chicken: Well, can't do much in the chicken run, bit restrictive.

What about skyscrapers?

Chicken: There'll be a safety net?

No. Err ... we'll let you know eh? Next!

Emu: I've come to/

Yes, I know. Why are you covered in flour?

Emu: I'm a method actor, tried to be the part ... you know, like a dove.

A bit big aren't you?

Emu: It's a big part.

You do know that Rutger Hauer, the Rutger Hauer, will be holding you by the legs?

Emu: He'll manage.

Can you fly?

Emu: errr ... well ... err ... is it important?

Yes and it will be raining. You do realise that as he lowers his arm your head will bang on the ground?

Emu: I'll shorten my neck a bit, bury it in my breast.

Next!

Emu: errr ... look, why not change the script? See? I can bend my knees backwards.

Go! And for goodness sake get off them knees when you leave. Next!

Owl: I've/

Yes, yes! Get on with it.

Owl: I'm quite intelligent really, made a few wise decisions in my time.

Your point being?

Owl: I can read the script, good at acting and understand the other actors.

It's a non-speaking part. Can you fly?

Owl: Naturally.

What about being held upside down by your legs?

Owl: What's the pay like?

Pretty good.

Owl: No, I don't mind.

You sound ideal for the part. Can you start on Monday morning?

Owl: Morning?

Yes, Morning.

Owl: I only do night shifts.

Sigh! Next!

Gorilla: I've come about/

Don't waste my time! Next!

Dove: A very good morning to you. I am seeking employment as the dove.

You sound a bit posh.

Dove: Royal Shakespeare company.

Oh, really! You look pretty smart. Can you fly?

Dove: Yes.

Do you mind being held upside down by your legs?

Dove: No, not a problem at all and I can do a reasonable good take off even from that position.

What are your knees like?

Dove: Pretty sound and normal.

Just one thing, you're not an albino pigeon are you?

Dove: Don't be silly!

Good! You can start Monday morning. You don't mind day work?

Dove: No, that's fine.

Come Monday morning and the day of the shoot. The sprinklers are turned on and spraying simulated rain all over the set. The replicant, Roy, gives his speech, lets go of the dove and it jumps to the ground. They try several takes and it is always the same result. The dove refuses to fly.

What's the matter with you?

Dove: It's raining.

It's meant to be! Now get flying!

Dove: Can't.

Why not!

Dove: Didn't you know? Doves never fly in the rain.

Why didn't you tell me?

Dove: You never asked.

According to the Internet Movie Database, it is a fact that they do not fly in the rain and the actual dove refused to fly for that very reason. Hence, in the earlier versions, the dove is seen flying in a clear sky. Fortunately, they managed to sort it out for the later versions.

 

Posted by terryboy at 3:21 am on the 23rd October, 2008

I've been censored! - 20th October, 2008

Well folks, remember my recent blog about Belle the injured seal? It appears that the photos I uploaded have been censored by the powers that be.- hence just a few in her folder. There should be one of Belle on the beach with the plastic ring around her neck and another of the ring itself.

I’ve checked the 'House Rules' (bottom of the page), but am not sure what heading they come under, unless it is the submitting material twice one, in which case the originals should be there. Mind you, Belle was naked after all, maybe that's the reason. Anyway, she seems to be doing okay so far and I saw her snoozing away by the pool today.

It might be time to check out some other Blog hosting sites. I'll let you know if I change.
Posted by terryboy at 8:04 am on the 20th October, 2008

Oh Dear ... oh dear. - 19th October, 2008

I went through a period of nostalgia recently and it was in the middle of BHS at the Freshney Place shopping centre. My bank had not paid a few DD's and I had to make a second visit to their branch in Grimsby. Just in case anyone is sniggering, there is always ample funds in my account and so it wasn't my fault.

On my way back to the car (via the obligatory £1 shop- one must when one must eh?) I thought, It's no good Telboy, one pair of underpants just won't do. You can't keep going without every Sunday while they dry on the line. I usually buy them at Costco because they are durable, don't shrink, worth the money and never start falling down until after 4pm (it's true! ask anybody who's been out with me for a day). Now, I haven't been able to get to Costco for ages, which is understandable seeing as the two I use are in Derby and Thurrock. So, anyone who was thinking "Disgusting" at the thought of one pair of underpants will, hopefully, understand my dilemma now. (judge me for who I am, not for the filthy underwear).

Anyway, wanting quality at a reasonable price and seeing as I passed it on the way. I popped into BHS and up to the menswear department to get some. No messing, straight in, on to the rack 'They'll do' I thought and turned to go to the till. Oh dear ..... oh dearohdearohdear! I saw them and a wave of nostalgia flowed over me like a warm breeze of rose scented incense.

I felt giddy as a faint trace of emotion showed in a single tear. My mind went back to the days before I got a new washing machine to replace the one that worked, but didn't work. I stared longingly at the vast array of colours before me and my knees went wobbly. 'No Tel, don't .. resist ... don't let them seduce you .. you've no room ... pull yerself together boy'. I scrunched up the underpants as I clenched my fists in an attempt to get my will power together. 'Don't do it .... look, they're getting closer (my legs had automatically moved forward) ... no .... nooooooooooooo!'. I touched one of them, then another and another .... Oh, alright then. I gathered them up into my arms and navigated my way to the till by sound as I couldn't see above the bundle in my arms.

"Are you sure you want the underpants?" she asked
"Of course" I said.
"It's just that some men get a bit embarrassed about buying the other stuff in quantity and quite often they chicken out and pretend they came in for underpants" she added.
"They're a Christmas present" I said, "Wouldn't normally buy them"
"Oh." she said with a knowing smile.
I left the shop, still blushing at being found out. My wallet might have been empty, but I had a nice full carrier bag that I was dragging along the ground.

When I got home, I tipped everything out onto the bed and dived onto it - Heaven! Then came the hard work of chucking some of the old stuff away.

Oh? What's that you say? What did I succumb to? Sorry, I should have said. Those of you who have read my very early blog entries will remember that I had a thing about T-shirts (purely because it was easier to buy them than wash them). Naturally the crunch came when I discovered the mountain of them on the other side of the bed. So, ever since then and with the aid of a new washing machine, I have avoided buying any. The thing is, you don't realise just how much you miss something until it is staring you in the face. I drooled, succumbed and indulged. I'm not proud of it, but I bloomin' enjoyed it!
Anybody want some old rags and a pair of dirty underpants for dusters?
Posted by terryboy at 9:51 am on the 19th October, 2008

About Belle and the Seals - 17th October, 2008

Now then (as they say up here), I'm gonna' talk seriously today because it's about Belle. If you go to the photos section you will see some pictures of her (once they've been ok'd by FR).

If ever there was a seal that typified the pain and suffering they go through due to Man's thoughtlessness, she is the one. As you know, I am the writer in residence at Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary (www.thesealsanctuary.co.uk) and I am well versed in the excellent work they do with not only seals, but many other rescued animals and birds. I have seen a lot of seals in all sorts of states of pain, but Belles was particularly extreme and she was found in the nick of time. A day or two longer, alone on the beach and she would have died.

I will not describe her injuries as they are quite obvious from the photographs. What had happened was that she had played with a plastic ring/flange as a pup and it had lodged itself around her neck. From then on, she had grown into an adult and felt the ring get tighter and tighter, to the extent where it had serious consequences for her breathing and feeding. You can also see where her flesh has grown around it on either side and the subsequent wound to her neck from the continual chaffing and cutting.

She is being treated in the seal hospital and is now able to go out into its pool. In time she will graduate to other, bigger pools before being released sometime next year. Yes, she will survive - thankfully.

Apart from the horrific injuries she received, what struck me was that the plastic ring isn't your average piece of litter - eg. it is not a frisbee. The other thing is, that it is not the first time the sanctuary has come across those plastic rings. It is a thousand to one odds on coming across just one and so, when you see several, you begin to wonder just how many of them there are out there in the sea and where are they coming from?

I'm no expert, but it looks a bit like some sort of pipe flange/washer and there is obviously some idiot out there who is chucking them into the sea every time they replace one.

So, spare a thought for the dedicated staff and all the work they do at the sanctuary. It is all done on a tight budget and so any donations to the Seal Trust will go towards helping more seals like Belle. Or you can visit and have a lovely day out at the same time. The entrance fee is only a fiver.

That fiver compares very favourably with the fee charged by another particular sanctuary that I visited (not in this part of the country) that charged over twice as much. What did I see? Two seals and 3 pups. Me thinks they were more about making money than helping seals! And yes, I will be reporting them to the appropriate authority.

So folks, spare a thought for all the seals, birds and animals at Mablethorpe and the staff who care for them. Many thanks!

Posted by terryboy at 9:31 am on the 17th October, 2008

A Little Pome - 08th October, 2008

There was a fly
Sat on a wall.
It gave a buzz
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That's all.

Plagiarised from my shift supervisor when I worked at ICI (He stole it from his dad anyway!).
Posted by terryboy at 9:12 am on the 08th October, 2008

Getting the needle. - 07th October, 2008

I'm getting the needle tomorrow (literally). I should have got it today, but forgot to pick up the gubbins from the chemist before I went to see the nurse. So, I've got the gubbins now and will jab myself for the first time in the morning Oh, isn't it exciting! Not! Along with thousands of other diabetes sufferers, I am now gonna' be a jabber. At least it's not the old style insulin that made you put on weight. This is a new drug that makes you lose weight (it's not even weight neutral - gasp!) Hooray!
That's the good news. The bad news is that you suffer with nausea for the first few weeks. Now, if there are two things I absolutely hate they are nausea and feeling faint. It's going to be interesting folks!

Back to more important matters. I think Biko has gone veggie ... no, I tell a lie ... he has become an omnivore. I was waiting for my dinner to cook and needed something to keep my sugar levels up. The nearest thing to hand was a couple of mini (more like 'diddy') cheese & onion pasties. Well, you'd have thought I'd taken his favourite toy away! Whinging and fussing and screaming!
"Cheese & onion" I said, "you won't like it"
"Try me!" he meowed.
And so I gave him a bit (minus pastry). The little swine woofed it down! I gasped in amazement and had visions of him giving a big suck to the end of my pasty and leaving me with an empty pastry case - no chance! I got there before him.

I was looking at my photos from Scotland the other day, particularly the ones taken with my super dooper 4 megapixel mob phone camera. Now, things had been going fine with it until I discovered that it had a focussing device. "Just press the button until the grid turns green" it said in the booklet. Oh! I thought, better do that in future then which is exactly what I did. Why did I bother? Those last photos are c**p! I have also found out since, that I was supposed to turn the phone horizontally when doing a short video. I now have some wonderful movie shorts of people walking up walls instead of on a pavement. I think there might even be one of a ferry going vertically up a waterfall - so to speak.

I have just spent ten minutes sitting on the stairs with Rosy. She came belting out of the bedroom, whinging away as I was coming down. So, I sat down and played with her for a while.
"The pasties have all gone" I said.
"Meow, bloomin' liar!"
"A tickle under the chin is just as good" I added.
"Meow! Are you kidding? What planet are you on!"
"Here, I'll tickle your belly"
Meow, get stuffed!" And with that she slouched off back into the bedroom.
There's just no pleasing some animals is there?
Posted by terryboy at 9:47 pm on the 07th October, 2008

Frosty Corner - 03rd October, 2008

For a long time now, there's been this large lump of solid ice and frost in the corner of my kitchen. It has survived the heat of the summer (you may remember that one sunny day in August?) and the comments from visitors hinting that I should do something about it.

It was easy to ignore because it was behind the door - hehe! Poet or what? By saying "behind the door" I mean when it is open. All the doors in this house are left open, much to my annoyance, because cats rule and are not very good at using door handles.

Anyway, after another episode of Biko walking through the kitchen, pointing to the block of ice and 'tutting' in disgust, I decided to do something about it. Due to the fact that I am not in the possession of a flamethrower, I resorted to using a hair drier. You may wonder why a man with short hair has such a thing? I keep it for, shall we say "Any visitors with long hair who might stay overnight"
("Still virtually brand new then" Yeh ... yeh ... very funny!)

Guess what I found entombed in the ice? That's right, my old freezer and now that I know what it is, I am going to let it frost up again. I enjoyed a short period of sadistic pleasure hacking away at the ice with a plastic spatula - and want more! There's nothing better than wriggling it behind a particularly large chunk and levering it away. I suppose it's a bit like picking your nose and suddenly finding your finger nail hooking onto a rather large chunk (so I've heard). Hmmm ... I bet Biko finds that sort of activity a bit risky with his claws.

Talking of Biko, I woke up with a fright this morning. There was a large lump stuck right under my armpit and I thought I had suddenly developed a growth. Turned out it was him. If he gets much bloomin' closer, I'll book us a civil wedding - dread to think what cosy warm spot he's gonna find next!

No, I haven't forgotten about Rosy. She's very healthy and still tripping me up every now and then. You may remember my mentioning her peculiar meow in the past. I could never fully describe it to you. Well, I have found the answer, something that matches it exactly. My bathroom door has started creaking, That sounds familiar. I thought. Then I realised it sounded just like Rosy. Imagine listening to that a thousand times a day.

Thus, I cope with the pair of them - dribble, dribble and creak, creak. Sounds like a bloomin' firm of solicitors!
Posted by terryboy at 8:04 am on the 03rd October, 2008

 

Yes, I've been away for a week - 30th September, 2008


Picture it. Driving along in the pitch black Highland night on narrow (very narrow) tracks, floating up and down as if on a mini rollercoaster with the additional G-force of the odd S-bend, eyes glued to the dark silhouette of the car in front. Have you got it fixed in your brain? Good!

Well, every few minutes there'd be flashes coming from inside the car in front. Did this mean that there was a 'wet worker' sorting out the occupants 'ready for the fishes' with his shooter? No, it was my mate Bill 'Devonsnapper' Gooch taking photos. Ugh? Yes, UGH? You know what? I still haven't got a clue what he was snapping in the dark and I do mean DARK! Anyway, it is a nice bizarre image that just won't go away, sort of reminded me of some of them old Ealing comedy films. I never did ask if maybe he was sitting on his flash gun and it went off every time they hit a bump.

Bill does tend to go for the surreal though and a moving car provides the perfect platform. Among his collection (coming out soon) are such photos as 'Behind this tree is a castle you cannot see', 'This is a Highland Cow - behind the bushes', 'Here is the motorway service area we never stopped at', 'Here is the fish & chip shop in Oban where we didn't eat', 'Behind the crash barrier is a loch' and so on. Luckily, for those of you of a normal disposition, he also took a load when standing still and these can be seen in his albums on Facebook (just search for Bill Gooch).

Hmmmm ... no, it's no good, I've shook my head and seeing that car bobbing and popping in the dark just won't go away.

Anyway, now that I have got that off my chest, as you have probably fathomed out I have been away to the Scottish Highlands. We had a bit of a family reunion and rented some log cabins. Part of the reason for it was also to scatter Pauline's ashes on Loch Sunart. We found a really beautiful spot for her and knew it was perfect the moment two seals popped their heads above the water. We had a lovely little ceremony and then lit some rose scented incense sticks (see 'You're Free Now Pauline' folder in photos [taken by Bill]). Pauline loved that part of the world and the log cabins we stayed in were at the same place Pauline and me had been to before. It was nice to set her free at last.

God Bless.

Posted by terryboy at 11:49 pm on the 30th September, 2008

Dare Dar Doo Deeko? - 18th September, 2008

I think that instead of calling pets 'pets' we should call them Pita's. Biko thought he would play a little game yesterday - he disappeared. I got up, went to give him his medicine and he wasn't there! In fact, I realised that I hadn't seen him since late the previous night. Now, all sorts of things flash through one's mind, especially as he never wanders far these days. Is it true about cats creeping away to somewhere quiet to die? I thought to myself, He could at least have said goodbye first.

I called him, banged the spoon, popped the lid on the food tin and rattled the empty biscuit box (Ugh?). Nothing! Not a whimper, meow, hiss or scratching on the sofa. Hmmm ... what was even more puzzling was that Rosy didn't turn up either. I rushed up to the bedroom and had a look under the bed fully expecting to see a stiff corpse. All I found was the usual junk (no, not my washing!). Naturally, in my haste, I had become wedged between the carpet and the bottom of the bed with my legs stuck half-way up the wardrobe, but these are minor things in a time of crisis. Thankfully, I managed to reach up for some squirty moisturiser (men use it as well) by the clock, smothered my body in it and slithered my way out. Okay, so now you know I am usually half-naked first thing in the morning.

Perhaps he is comatosed under the bushes in the garden? I thought and so I ran downstairs, skated across the laminated lounge, tripped on the retainer by the door, stumbled, regained my balance, slithered across the kitchen tiles, banged my nose on the door and opened it. "dare dar doo deeko?" I ded .. sorry, said. There was no reply and so I searched around under the bushes - "Ooch ... ouch ... bum!" (I wish they'd poop on the other side of the garden).

It was my day for the seal sanctuary and so I had to abandon my search and leave. It was a very traumatic journey which wasn't helped by listening to Classic FM on the radio. I couldn't help but think of him stiff as a board somewhere out there, alone in the wilderness. My mind certainly wasn't conducive to creative thinking. Fortunately the sanctuary had other plans for me that day which involved teaching them all about their new laptop.

Couldn't wait to get back home, but as I entered my front door a feeling of despair came over me. There was an immediate smell of something rotten. Oh no, I thought, you've gone and died under the sofa. If only I had looked there this morning. I went out into the kitchen to mentally prepare myself for lifting up the sofa and then I realised that the smell was coming from the rubbish bin (no, he hadn't crawled in there and died - even Biko has limits).Anyway, still no Biko and so I went up to the loo and as I went in I thought I caught a glimpse of him on the landing. I did the backwards moonwalk and took a proper look. No, he wasn't there. Was that his spirit trying to tell me he's dead? I thought. What is my world gonna be like without Biko? I despaired, Heaven! I thought and smiled (only kidding folks!).

Well, the upshot is that when I returned to the kitchen, there he was sitting on the floor. "Where's me dinner then?" he said."B******d!" I replied. "And you can forget the medicine, it's too late."
Oh, what does 'Pita' stand for? Pain In The A*se.

Posted by terryboy at 11:36 am on the 18th September, 2008

The Horizontal Hokey Kokey - 11th September, 2008

I have some nice, horrible bruises up my right arm and at this point I refer you to the previous entry 'Floating into Space'. You see, I have gone and done it again, but this time in a more spectacular fashion.

I took my sister for a trip to Spurn Point, north of the Humber and, naturally, stopped at Kilnsea beach to throw flowers in the sea for Pauline. Now here's the rub, I went to the usual concrete bunker at the water's edge and climbed up. Then I stepped onto the final chunk, ready to throw the flowers. Big Mistake!!!! The surface of that lump was covered in slippery wet algae.

I reckon all my body weight went crashing through my arm - agony, absolute bloomin' agony. So, I lay there on my back still holding the flowers up in the air in my right arm and my spectacles in the left. I was waddling about like an upturned turtle.

I listened to the waves, Oh dear, I thought and took a sideways glance, Hmmm ... I should be okay - wont get swept away and drown. I stared at the sky and pondered my position. This rock's soaking wet! That's okay, you're wearing Gortex stay where you are. Is my back okay? Yes ... good! Can you use your arm to lever yourself up? No, it bloomin' hurts and anyway the flowers will get damaged (never occurred to me that I had another arm). Too slippery to roll over and get on my knees - oh dear. I'll just lay here then and hope my sister doesn't call the Coastguard. Lovely sky ... hmmmm.

How am I going to hold a cigar with an arm like that? (funny, the things that go through your mind). My sister was getting very worried because she couldn't reach me (as I said, it was too slippery). So I told her that I was okay lying there and would have a think.

Now, having learned all about physics and kinetic energy in the fire service (I kid you not) I eventually worked out that the rock was sloping down and my legs were pointing in the right direction. So, I wriggled my bum a bit, moved down a few inches and managed to just about pass the flowers and spectacles to my sister. After that, I did the horizontal hokey cokey and, with my arm gently resting on my chest, wriggled down to the edge of the rock. From there it just required the courage to lean forward and go 'plop' onto the sand. It was fortuitous that my feet ended up facing in that direction when I fell. If I had landed the other way round and wriggled down, my head would have landed in the sand first with my legs sticking up in the air looking like an ostrich with rigor mortis!

Having settled down, I threw the flowers into the sea and, as usual, Pauline floated one back to me (which I usually take home). As I reached down to pick it up, the sea took it back again, but not only that, it returned and rose above my ankles! Nike Trainers!

I've known for about a year now, that Pauline didn't want me to return there anymore (another story) and so I guess that this time she was really ramming the message home to me. In spite of my bad fortune, my sister struck it lucky and found an ammonite - certainly made her day. I've been going there for years and never found a sausage! Mind you, there was the time I came away with two large, live crabs - what a saga that turned out to be! Another time eh?

Posted by terryboy at 11:10 pm on the 11th September, 2008

Talking to Meself Again - 07th September, 2008

I've been at it again. You know, talking to meself or should I say 'a spider'. I was lowering the kitchen blind last night, which is a little ceremony we go through akin to lowering the Stars and Stripes. Biko and Rosy usually stand to attention just in front of the fridge and salute until the bottom 'clonks' on the crockery scrubber before knocking over the little plastic penguin. (it was an Xmas present that poops aniseed balls when you bend its head back - just haven't got the heart to get rid of it.).

Anyway, as I said, we were all correctly assembled last night and I started to lower the blind when I noticed something hanging from it - a little spider. "Hello" I said, "so are you gonna make me rich then? Eh? Good of you to come ... etc".

The lowering continued. "Careful now." I said as I tried to coordinate my lowering with the lengthening thread it was on. I was hoping that it would land safely on the sill and move before the penguin fell on top of it. Such was my skill that I missed, although it was also partly due to the spider suddenly doing a rapid SAS style abseil and landing on the worktop.

"Careful, it's wet.... " Too late! Its poor wee legs were stuck and flopping around in a puddle. Naturally, I rescued it, dried the legs and let it roam free on my medicine bag (which is quite an honour you know). After watching it for a while to make sure it was alright, I heard a faint 'meeow' and turned around (I'd forgotten about the cats).

Biko was wobbling a bit, while Rosy was leaning up against the wall and staring back at me with glazed eyes. "Can we stop saluting now and get back onto four legs?" she asked.

"Yes, of course you can." I said and with a collective sigh, they flopped back on all fours and mooched off.

"Well, at least I've just saved that spider's life." I shouted after them.

"Not for long" Rosy muttered, "I'll hunt it down tomorrow!" Biko didn't say anything. All he could do was stagger back to the sofa. I finished lowering the 'flag'. Right, I thought, that's the last time you two leave the parade ground early!

Posted by terryboy at 1:17 am on the 07th September, 2008

Lovely Juicy Tuna - 04th September, 2008

I think I'm losing it you know. I've just had a very long (one-sided) conversation with the cats in the kitchen.
First, I asked them if they would like tuna for a change and then I made their minds up for them - "Yes, lets have tuna eh?". Then I let them choose which brand by showing them the tins and letting them sniff them - "I think that's a good choice too. Shall we have this one then? This one is it?" Thus, it went on as I got everything ready and carried on chatting. "lovely juicy tuna ... earwigo ... look at this then .... slurp slurp .... etc"

It was only when I had finished chopping up the fish in their bowls that I realised what I had been doing. I'd been gabbling away to them as if they were part of the conversation. Well, I suppose they were, but it wasn't exactly human to human. I bet Biko was thinking, "For goodness sake shut up and give us the food."
It reminded me of that joke about the gorilla: what do you call a gorilla with a banana in each ear? Anything you like because he can't hear you. At that point I thought Why bother? and so just put the food down and went away to sulk (actually, I just felt like an idiot).

There's been a change in pussy dynamics in this house. Do you remember when Rosy was shy and Biko used to go 'whop!' and land on my lap? Well, it's changed. Rosy has taken over that little trick and she aint the light pussy she used to be. Biko? The closest he gets these days is when he spreads his body length ways down my chest when I'm asleep - obviously likes bare skin. Still, that's okay as he is getting pretty thin now and if that is one of his pleasures, so be it.

I don't know how much longer he's got. His mouth is deteriorating and I assume, being cancer, that it is the bits you can't see spreading through his body that will be the final blow. Many's the time I have looked at him and wondered Just how much pain are you in? What worries me is that they say cats are pretty tolerant to pain and tend to keep it to themselves.

I resisted temptation today. I went to Maplins to see what gear they had that would suit an interactive display for the sanctuary. Yes, well, I went with good intentions, had a look around and then realised I hadn't got a clue what I was looking for - back to the drawing board. Anyway, They had a nice little webcam for sale for £9.99 and it looked ideal for my laptop. I already have several web cams slung around in various dusty corners of the house, but none of them really suits a laptop. After playing Yoyo with the box on the shelf for ten minutes I decided to spend the money on a haircut instead. I made the right decision .... hmmm .... I'm sure of it .... who needs a web cam? ... Yes, I did the right thing ... hair looks lovely ....no doubt about it ... worth every penny .................................... yes, of course it is.

Maplins opens at 8.30 am. Hmmmm, £9.99 that's damn cheap you know.
?
?
No ..... No... Noooooooooooo! Hold me back!

Posted by terryboy at 10:45 pm on the 04th September, 2008

 

The Spider, Fly and Me. - 29th August, 2008

A lot has been going on lately, but it is more of a personal/family nature - sorry, you're not invited!
Anyway, I absolutely enjoy my work at the Seal Sanctuary and within that little oasis I can always find things that mirror everyday life. When this happens, the creative mind kicks in and it wanders on to wherever it is meant to go.

I was sitting at my computer, which happens to be in the caravan/office hidden away behind the cockatoos etc, when I heard a buzzing in my ear. Oh no! I thought, please not a wasp! I turned my head and saw a fly caught in a spider's web. It wasn't your usual shaped web; it was more like, well, a maze I suppose and was wrapped around the window hinge.

I thought the spider was a bit slow as there didn't seem to be any sign of him/her and I was tempted to pull the fly from the web. However, I suddenly realised that the spider was hanging onto the fly's rear and that is all he/she did. The fly kept struggling and gradually its efforts got slower and slower. Eventually the spider crawled over its back a few times  and then disappeared behind the hinge.

Odd. I thought, as I was looking forward to seeing it spin the fly around and cover it in web. I turned away and when I looked back the spider had dragged the fly deep into its 'maze. Saves doing a lot of spinning I suppose. I thought and that was an end to the matter.

Now then, there was a bit of a moral dilemma there. I did think of saving the fly at one point, but then (theoretically) the spider would have died instead through hunger. So, somebody had to die and I left it to mother nature. There was also another dilemma. Because I had never seen it happen before, I was going to take a photo/video with my mobile phone, but something stopped me - just a few words that came into my head, "There is no joy in death". 'There is no joy in death' or at least the process of death - not even a fly's.

In the feed room, flies have a fast death courtesy of a cobalt blue, ultraviolet zapper.
Life is like a fly's death. It can be long slow and painful or fast and cobalt blue. Thus it is so? Or thus we have made it so? I wonder?

And with that serious thought (just for once) this letter from Lincolnshire ends.
P.s. Yes, I still hate flies!!!!!!!

Posted by terryboy at 1:32 am on the 29th August, 2008

Graining Hard - 11th August, 2008

It was graining hard today. Yes, that's right graining hard.

I never get impatient with tractors & trailers because this is farming country and they were here before I was. At this time of year, there are a lot of them about and I really don't mind. I sit behind them and just chill out. They usually pull over after a while and let you go by anyway. The people that really annoy me are the car drivers who stick at 40 M.P.H. in a 60 zone and then drop to 30 in a 40 zone.

I was driving back from the Seal Sanctuary and ended up behind a tractor & trailer. Actually, speed wise, he wasn't doing so bad. Then I heard the pitter patter of stuff hitting my car and thought, Hmmm, a bit dusty, which was a bit puzzling as the tractor looked quite clean. Then I realised that it was blowing from the top of his trailer and the dust was in fact, wheat.

It's graining, I thought and for some strange reason pulled the sun visor down (I know, don't ask me, I still don't know why either). Well, it does throw you a bit doesn't it? I mean, I've heard of raining cats & dogs, even frogs, but wheat grains was a new one on me. I must have followed him for about 4/5 miles and wondered how much wheat he had lost in that time.

" ... and some fell on stoney ground." I had this vision of it all sprouting in a few months time and one day finding myself turning a bend and ending up driving through a field of wheat (where'd the road go?!). Then I remembered the words from the Bible and realised that tarmac isn't a good place for wheat (or even sowing your oats come to that).

So, I am looking forward to the day when I drive to the Sanctuary on a nice tarmac road with miles and miles of ripe golden wheat on either side blowing in the wind and the sun rising ahead on the horizon, the wind blowing in my hair etc etc. All thanks to someone who forgot to put a tarp' on his trailer.

Terry, you old romantic, get real - get a life! He he!

P.s. The tractor never did pull over, but I lost him when he turned left at the round-a-bout.

Posted by terryboy at 1:31 am on the 11th August, 2008

Woofo Cat - 09th August, 2008

The wounds from the fall have healed nicely - at last!
Biko is still doing okay, although he doesn't jump on the furniture as much as he used to. I opened up the usual special treat for his dinner, only to find that I had bought deluxe dog food by mistake. So, I let him sniff the pouch and he nearly snatched it out of my hand. Thank goodness for that! I thought. I stirred in his medicine, gave it to him and watched it disappear in a matter of seconds.

I assume that if cats enjoy dog food, it is logical that dogs enjoy cat food. So why don't they do a unipet food? I have just the right name for it - 'Woofo Cat'. Pretty catchy eh? Biko ignored a dead baby bird on the patio yesterday. It just isn't like him to ignore a treat like that - I must be feeding him too well.

My DVD recorder has been paying up a bit lately. Sometimes it won't format a new disc. I decided to replace it as it wasn't worth the hassle of arguing my rights under the sale of goods act (if you didn't know it - the usual 1 year warranty doesn't mean a thing. Under EU law you have much longer). I have had it over a year and it has taken a pounding lately with all the video tape conversions.

I had my mind set on a particular brand and model, but couldn't find it in the shops I went to. However, I walked past a 'cheap' shop and there were a load of DVD recorders stacked in the doorway. Large hard drive, built in VHS Video (which makes dubbing easy) and £40 less than I was gonna fork out. Anyway, I bought one, but still thought it was too good to be true.

When I got it home, I found out that it only writes to DVD-R/W (I've been doing mine on DVD+R/W). Serves me right, as I had assumed that all modern DVD recorders do both. I set it all up only to find that the RF output to the telly was blue. So, I packed it all away ready to return it and set up the old one again. Then I realised what the trouble might have been and so put the old one away and unpacked the new one. Everything is fine now. The old one is upstairs in my office connected via wireless link to the digi box downstairs.

I'm about two thirds of the way through dubbing my videos to DVD. The trouble is that I keep getting distracted by good films coming up on satellite and end up dubbing them instead.

The rag-and-bone man is coming on Monday and so I will be having a good clear out. I've got plenty of old computer parts that I really must stop clinging on to. In future, if anyone wants a computer repaired they'll have to fork out for a new bit. I've got five power units in the cupboard - why? You can buy better ones now for £12.

Posted by terryboy at 4:20 pm on the 09th August, 2008

Floating into Space - 04th August, 2008

"Stop walking about in bare feet" .... "Tie your shoelaces up" etc. How many times have I heard that? I should have listened. I had a little accident the other day.
I have a small patio and a few steps down to the rest of the garden and the washing line (Yes, I do use it sometimes). It was a lovely sunny day and I was just taking the washing back in - pegs in one hand, T-shirts on my arm - when I suddenly found myself floating into space. It all happened in slow motion and I distinctly remember trying to make sure the washing didn't touch the ground (how odd!). I was like a falling ... ouch ... tree ... crash! Me being me, all I had on was a pair of shorts and trainers which left plenty of bare skin.

As I said, it was a sunny day and so I just lay there for a while. Apart from the ... ouch ... grazes, it was quite comfortable. I didn't recall tripping over the step or anything, but then I looked back and saw that my laces were undone, Oh! I thought, will I need any help? I established that there were no broken bones and so laid there for a bit longer (as I said, it was quite comfortable). Biko and Rosy just sat and stared at me. I'm sure I heard him mutter "Lazy B*****d"

It dawned on me how vulnerable one could be when living alone. I did get up eventually with my washing and pegs in tact - used my elbows (yes, I know - I could have put the pegs down, but I didn't realise until afterwards). Anyway, I have designed a 'Get the washing in' suit for myself. It consists of a pair of slip-on shoes and a Duvet (king-size naturally) with a couple of arm holes cut in it. I'm not sure what to protect my head with - maybe a large saucepan? Anyway, Put something on yer feet and tie yer shoelaces up!

Well, I went to Skegness and parked near the beach. The charge was £6. I'll say it slowly s.i.x  p.o.u.n.d.s! I then needed to use the gents and they wanted 20p to get in. Bloomin' cheek I thought. Now, this is where we had the problem. The turnstile would only accept 20p pieces. No problem, I'll get one off the attendant I thought. "Aint got any mate" He said.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"Don't carry any change" he said.
"Bloody ridiculous!"  I retorted
"Not my problem" he said.
And so, along with several other people, I left with my legs crossed and muttered a few obscenities. I tell you, I was sorely tempted to stand there and pee against  the main door just to teach him a  lesson.

There is a post script. I returned later in the day with my 20p piece ready. However, someone had levered down  the bar (it's hinged) on the exit side of the turnstile and so I walked straight in. I then watched some little brat walk out and lever it back up again! Some kids just can't keep their bloomin' hands to themselves.

I managed to get my jellied eels and fish & chips, but decided against the ice cream. I saw a woman buy one and watched it melting from the moment she received it. What a mess! Obviously, the vendor was intent on making a killing that day and had over-done the water in the whippy machine. I didn't buy any of those things I didn't know I wanted in the cheap shops either. Couldn't afford it after the car park charge.

Things are going really well on the creative front. I'm working on three scripts at the same time and my brain is fully geared up and churning it out.

Talking of washing earlier. A joke from Chubby Brown. A man was at work when his neighbour rang him to say that his wife had hung herself on the washing line. The man broke down in tears.
"Are you okay?" his neighbour asked.
"Yes," he replied, "But can you please do something for me?"
"Of course" the neighbour said.
"If it starts raining, can you bring her back in?"

Posted by terryboy at 12:11 pm on the 04th August, 2008

 

Biko, Cheaters and Whelks - 30th July, 2008

Now, where was I? My goodness, time flies.
Biko is doing okay and Rosy is getting bolder. Biko still has enough energy to leap from the edge of the sofa onto the window sill. Apart from being very thin and dribbling, you wouldn't think there was anything wrong with him. I wince every time I see the price (56p) of small tin of gourmet cat food, but he's worth it. He certainly thinks so as it is gone in a flash!

What do you think of people who cheat eh? I wonder what goes through their mind as they step up to collect their prize? I wonder if they ever consider all those who relied on their own efforts and perhaps didn't do as well? Who has the better prize? It would be nice to think that the cheater's one will be a constant reminder to them that they did, indeed, Cheat and will become more of a burden than something to cherish.

I had a lovely surprise last weekend. I was doing a book signing/reading session at the seal sanctuary and there in the back row, was an old friend of mine and his wife from my days at ICI. I retired from ICI in 1991 and so it has been a long time since I last saw him. They moved from Kent to Mablethorpe 18 months ago. He doesn't normally buy the local paper, but decided to get one on impulse and inside was an article about my book signing. Talk about a fluke! Anyway, we spent most of the day nattering and will be keeping in touch.

Talking of Mablethorpe, I spent a day there with Melanie, Ian and Eva (Melanie and Ian like the amusements - kids eh?). They decided to go on the ten pin bowling and a reluctant Terry joined them. Laugh? We had an absolute scream and couldn't play properly half the time because of our hysterics. Naturally, I had to have a portion of Whelks while we were there and guess what? They were better than the ones you get from Folkestone! I kid you not. Jellied eels are another matter though, but they'll do considering.

As you know, I have been converting all my videos to DVD and because they are nearly done, I have built a database in Excel listing the titles, main actors, director etc. At the moment, I am drawing the line at putting them in alphabetical order on the shelf. Anyway, having added a few more entries to the list, I decided to click on the 'alphabetical order' button. Up comes the dialogue box that asks if I want the rest of the data sorted as well. Of course not, I thought - Doh! Big mistake! I now have Patrick Stewart as the star of 'Rambo' and Ang Lee directing 'Nil by Mouth'! Unfortunately the 'Undo' button didn't work. Back to the bloomin' drawing board, but at least the titles are in alphabetical order.

I'm off to Skegness for the day soon. Whelks, jellied eels, doughnuts, ice cream, fish & chips and probably a sick bag after that lot. Most importantly of all, a lot of impulse buying in the cheap shops getting all the stuff I didn't know I needed. Now, that's what I call a day out! Might even go on the penny machines.
Posted by terryboy at 11:34 am on the 30th July, 2008

He Doesn't Know Anything About It - 06th July, 2008


"Don't worry, he doesn't know anything about it." That's what the vet nurse said.
"I'd better not let anything slip out then" I replied, "or he might find out."

When Biko had his mouth sorted, they did some tests. The results are back and he has a particularly aggressive form of cancer in his mouth. It's terminal and we are looking at just a few months left. Well, I reckon that animals always know when it is near to 'that time', but I still don't mention it in front of him.

It leaves you with a mixture of emotions. For a couple of days you go through a sort of premature grieving process. You imagine the scenarios: The patio without him sitting there looking up; relaxing in the recliner and no Biko sitting beside you on the arm; waking up without his bum in your face; walking upstairs without tripping over him; being able to see your computer monitor without shoving him to the side of the desk and so on and so on.

Then you try and combat it with a bit of humour:
"So what happens now?"
"I did the only thing I could do."
"What was that?"
"Took his special biscuits back to the vet for a refund."
(I did actually, because he will never heal up enough to eat them again). However, the humour was a waste of time and didn't last long.

As you can imagine, He is going to be one hell of a pampered cat from now on. I gave him milk on very rare occasions and I've decided he can have as much as he wants in future. Like an idiot, I asked the nurse if it would do him any harm in the long term. She just stared at me (naturally!) as if to say "You for real? He's got Cancer."

So, I'm stocking up with fresh chicken, tuna chunks, Pilchards in tomato sauce - all his favourite grub and I might even get a small tin of caviar. If he doesn't like that last one, I'll just have to eat it myself.

House rules have also changed. Biko can do exactly what he likes ("No change there then." I hear you cynics say).

"He doesn't know anything about it."  That's as maybe, but I do and the only thing that is keeping me cheerful  is the thought that my emotions have a knock on effect on Biko. So, the happier I appear to be: the more relaxed he is.

Posted by terryboy at 1:38 am on the 06th July, 2008

Gas Masks are Cheaper than Vets - 28th June, 2008

Now, where was I? Better ration the black pudding or I'll get sick of it and we can't have that. Sugar levels still too high - "Must try harder" she said ... hmmm. The book's on sale now - good! Another job jobbed. Overlaid again, which means another morning wasted. Just can't rely on Biko lately  so I suppose I had better set the alarm clock in future. Biko ... hmmm yes ... Biko, that's what I need to write about. Get it off me chest so to speak.

Biko is not himself anymore. Having either fainted or stiffened up, wide-eyed like a frightened rabbit every time he breathed on me, I decided to do something about it. No, I didn't don a gas mask; I took him to the vet. What a game that was (as usual). Unfortunately, it was also time for them to have their booster jabs. Thus, double trouble, after all, no matter what you do to a cat basket it is still a cat basket and they know it and where they are going.

Having chased them around the house several times, dived after them under the bed, lifted the sofa and shooed them out, I eventually got them cornered on the landing and into the baskets. Now, this is quite an achievement, because I have never managed it with both of them before.

Ignoring the scratches and blood pouring from my arms, I whisked them straight off to the vet. I got plenty of smug looks from the dog owners in the waiting room as they looked at my arms. I knew what they were thinking, that's what you get for owning a cat - mug! Even the vet just gave a cursory glance - after all, he's seen it all before I suppose.

They decided to keep Biko in for the day and operate on his teeth and gums. Rosy got away with just a jab, but she has got to go back next week to have her teeth cleaned. When I collected Biko later that day, he looked p*****d and wasn't all that bothered about seeing me. I suppose it is understandable considering he had three teeth removed and an abscess dealt with.

Naturally, Rosy took full advantage of the situation and bullied him once we were back home. She was a bit silly really, because he aint going to forget you know. One would think that this is now an end to the matter, but no. Biko has got to have a pill every twelve hours for the next ten days. See where I am coming from? Do I need to say anything?

I caught him by surprise the first time, but now he is in the know. Every time I get vertical he runs away! I got round that this morning by collaring him while I was still horizontal in bed - no mean feat I can tell you! Naturally, it will only work once and so I am going to have to use all my ingenuity to get every pill down him. Only eighteen to go - sigh!

That little operation cost over £200 and what do I get in return for relieving all his suffering? Sent to Coventry and scars all over my arms. It would have been cheaper to buy a gas mask, but then, I might have started to enjoy the smell and feel of rubber. No doubt I would have ended up buying a complete outfit and being no better off financially (I wonder if they do one in XXX? Or are you supposed to buy one too small so it fits tighter? I'm a bit of a novice with those sort of things).

A bit of advice: if you are going to buy a cat, make sure it barks and answers to the name of Rover. Believe me, you'll thank me for it in the long run. Otherwise, wear a suit of armour every time you need to take it to the vets.

Posted by terryboy at 1:06 pm on the 28th June, 2008

Biko 1 - starlings 0 - 28th May, 2008

He's at it again, Biko that is. I was relaxing in my recliner last night and enjoying Newsnight (how sad is that eh?), when I heard the clunk of the cat flap. Then it came, that demonistic, blood thirsty meow of triumph. I looked down at Biko: he looked up at me with a wicked smile. The poor starling did nothing, having gone to that great birds' nest in the sky.

"Yes, yes, well done." I said as I resisted the urge to vomit while patting him on the back. He gave it a few licks (Yeuk!) and was obviously going to make it last. Usually it is a case of "Crunch, crunch" and it quickly disappears. Anyway, he'd had his praise and so I got the dustpan, picked it up and put it out on the patio.

The look of puzzlement on Biko's face was a picture (he he!).
"Just a minute. What's going on?" he said.
"Eat it on the patio." I replied.
He went out, I closed the door and settled back to Newsnight.

A few minutes later I heard "Clunk kerplunk" as the cat flap went again and the starling magically appeared at my feet. I retrieved the dustpan and stuck it back out on the patio. Biko followed and I shut the door.
A few minutes later, "Clunk kerplunk" and there it was again. Sigh! I went and got the dustpan again ... etc.

Thus we played YoYo for a good ten minutes until he eventually gave up. Biko gave me a sulking look of defeat and went upstairs to bed. Makes a change to get one over him, I thought I must remember that it's still out there in the morning and get rid of it.

The following morning, I drowsily stumbled, half-naked, into the kitchen and saw the corpse on the floor. Biko was sitting beside it with a big grin on his face. Now, the sight of a wet rotting corpse is bad enough at that time of the day, but by then the local flies had also taken an interest - peuk!
"Why can't you be like Rosy?" I said to him, "She just catches flies and moths"
"That's for amateurs." He  replied.
"Oh." I said, realising there was no point in debating the issue.

Out came the dustpan again, but this time the corpse went straight into the swing bin. Biko just sat there with his mouth wide open. The entire contents was then transferred to the wheelie bin. Biko went off in a huff, but I am sure I heard him mutter "B*****d!" as he left.

One would think that was the end of the story, but it wasn't. Remember them flies? Well, they've stayed and no amount of fly spray will get rid of them. Rosy? Unfortunately, she seems to be having a day off. Either that or I am feeding her too much.

I hate flies. I repeat - I HATE FLIES .... GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!
Perhaps I should retrieve the starling, cover it in glue and hang it from the kitchen ceiling? Or even better, maybe I should hang a sticky Biko from the cei ... (now, now Telboy ... don't even go there!).
Posted by terryboy at 1:56 pm on the 28th May, 2008

Blood on the Breadknife - 27th May, 2008

There's blood on the breadknife - yes, it's real. I did the deed this afternoon. Just in case, Biko is fine. Tempting as it may be, I haven't done him in - yet! He's far too quick for any lunges I might make at him anyway.
It's me that's the victim. I was slicing a roll and the knife carried on through my finger. Either the Tesco rolls are very delicate or my breadknife is really Excalibur and ultra sharp. I think possibly a bit of both.

I should have expected it really as it has been one of those days, especially having accidentally stabbed myself in the stomach an hour earlier. Do you know what my first thought was as the blood gushed from my finger? (apart from 'Ouch!') Is the roll okay? How silly is that eh?

The thing is, I just couldn't have eaten it with blood on, even if it was my own blood. Plus the fact that it's a round trip of 24 miles to go and get them (making each roll worth 4 miles). So you can understand my reluctance to throw any away. Thanks to my quick reactions, the roll survived and I stemmed the blood with a whacking great wad of kitchen roll.

That's gonna be sore later, I thought and decided to do a mental check to make sure it wasn't one of the fingers that gets used a lot. Nose, finger-salute, ear, bum, cup scouring, tooth pick, peeling bananas, typing ... hmmm, none of those. That finger's probably just for balance then - good!

Last week I went to a variety of shops (Lidol, Aldi, Asda, Tesco and of course - Morrison's) and ended up with with bits of stuff that I had never tried before. So today I decided to get some more of the stuff I had liked and at the same time bag a specific bargain from PCWorld. Naturally, PCWorld had sold out and thus the tone for the day was set.

I didn't find a thing that I was after in any of them and had to buy close alternatives. My last port of call was Morrison's in the hope that they had the particular DVD I was after (which they had) and blow me if I didn't find all the other stuff in there - Doh!

Well, you know what it's like after a shopping expedition. Everything gets slung in the cupboard, how am I supposed to remember which shop it all came from?
Posted by terryboy at 5:05 pm on the 27th May, 2008

Mixed Bag - 20th May, 2008

A bit of a mixed bag this time.

    Anything with fur and paws that walks on my kitchen worktop is guilty of a flogging offence. If it commits the same offence, but grabs food that was meant for it in the first place anyway, the offence is still the same. However, if it starts licking MY butter ... well, that's a hanging offence! Seeing as I had to cut the contaminated portion off and throw it away, do not be surprised if the word 'Biko' suddenly disappears from my vocabulary. I will sleep on it. Meanwhile, I will let him sweat a little.

Pie & Mash
    I have just watched a program in which a woman was talking about her life in the East end and she was being interviewed in a pie & mash shop. There it all was on the table: a big bowl of jellied eels, plate of pie, mash and liquor. Rotten so and so's - I have a craving for it now and have a desperate urge to drive down to Peckham, Romford or even Woolwich to have some (not sure if there is still one in Canning Town).

    I remember having a nostalgic trip to Canning Town with dad once. We went into the pie & mash shop on Rathbone Street and it was a cold day. I'll never forget the contrast between his shivering and the steaming hot food going into his mouth. Loved his pie & mash and so did I.

Mental Health
    I also watched another program on channel4 'The Doctor Who Hears Voices' and the link is:  http://www.channel4.com/health/microsites/D/dr_hears_voices/programme.html
    For those of you who might take an interest in mental health issues it is a bit of an eye opener. It can be said that my view on psychiatrists is not a positive one and even that is being kind (with a few individual exceptions - a certain Dr Kemp being one). During my time campaigning in mental health, we tended to put more faith in clinical psychologists as they seemed to think 'outside the box' more.

    Under conventional medicine, the subject of the program, a female doctor, would have been Sectioned and forcibly medicated against her will. This would have led to a 'dumbing down' and loss of her career. However, instead of this, she went to Rufus May, clinical psychologist, for help (www.rufusmay.com). He used straightforward therapy to help her get her life back again. If you want a quick education on the restraints of a mental health system that is supposed to help, but most of the time just makes you 'manageable', you should watch this program if you ever get the chance.

Dentist
    Yes, another trip to the dentist for a filling this morning. I very much doubt if there will be another power cut this time and so I am going to be sucking soup for dinner. I am going to have to console myself with a trip to Asda nearby afterwards and maybe a look at PCWorld - oh well, bang goes the budget for this week.

Back to the Cat
    Well, seeing as I can't find any rope, I will let him off with a final warning. Yes, I know ... I know ... I'm just an old softy. He has got seven lives left (that offence has just gotta be worth two).
Posted by terryboy at 5:13 am on the 20th May, 2008

The Evil Eye - 17th May, 2008

He's been very quiet lately. You know who I mean - Biko - the scourge of Partridge Close. It's very unsettling. Biko is not ill or anything; he's just bloomin' well behaved and keeping his mouth shut. He even cuddles up to me on the settee instead of using my belly as a trampoline.

If I go into the bedroom when he is asleep on the bed, he just lifts an eyebrow as if to say "Wha'da you want?", follows my every move with one eyeball and then goes back to sleep as soon as I leave (not a word said). It always makes me shudder, as if I've just been fixed by the evil eye and it's watching me as I walk down the stairs. And no, it wouldn't surprise me if that little b*****d could see through walls.

He's up to something and I just wish he would hurry up and get it over with.
Posted by terryboy at 12:44 am on the 17th May, 2008

Seals don't have sleeves. - 12th May, 2008

    I was at the seal sanctuary yesterday and what a beautiful sunny day it was! At the end of the day, I was hanging about at the front waiting to give a colleague a lift home. This is the area where the bull seals Nooky and Popeye have their own pool.

    Nooky was sunbathing and it was the first time I had actually seen him completely out of the water. He is MASSIVE! And I just stared and chatted to him. He wasn't too sure about me and kept lifting his head to check that I wasn't up to anything. Popeye didn't give a dam and just kept doing pirouettes in the water (what a contrast to their abilities on land).

    Anyway, for want of a better term, Nooky had snot hanging from his nostrils. We are a funny bunch we humans, because I was desperate to climb over the fence, get my hanky out and wipe his nose. I could imagine how me gran felt before whipping a hanky out of her apron, squeezing it (painfully) against my nose, patting me on the back of the head and sending me on my way.

    As I said, nooky is massive and so I just had to watch and do nothing. Eventually, he joined Popeye in the pool and I thought the snot would wash away, but no - his head popped up and it was still dangling down.

Pity I thought, another couple of millimetres and you will be able to suck it in through you mouth - just like I used to when granny wasn't around.

Enjoy your dinner!
Posted by terryboy at 11:28 am on the 12th May, 2008

Maybe I Will Stick to Baskets. - 08th May, 2008


    Many of you will know of my passion for Morrison's supermarket. Commonly referred to as my 'Day centre' or 'Social club' by some of my friends. If I don't get a daily fix of Morrison's I get withdrawal symptoms.

    I was there yesterday morning and, for once, I actually used a trolley instead of a basket which slows me down a bit. Oh, it is not because of the wheels; it is just in the knowledge that I can't use the basket tills and will have to wait at the main ones. In which case I think Why rush then? and just poodle along at my leisure.

    I ended up waiting at the till behind a couple with a load of shopping, who were faffing about and gassing with the till girl. And ... the till girl was gassing back - disaster! I couldn't reverse out because there several more people behind me by the time I had realised.

    Well, anyway, I listened to the full medical history of all three of them, how good the internet is for info and that the woman will be 71 on Sunday. Happy bloomin' birthday I thought.   They finally paid and then ... oops! they had a second lot to go through and, believe it or not, a smaller third one.

    Now in these sort of circumstances a pressure vent opens in the top of my head and steam comes out. And it keeps coming out until all of my shopping has gone through the scanner. Then, when the girl asks for my money I tell her to put it all back on the shelves because I am not paying and explain why. Obviously, this tactic usually upsets all those behind me, but that's the till girl's problem not mine.

    However, today I was quite relaxed and calm and, dare I say, even slightly amused by it all. When it came to my turn, the girl started gossiping to the ones behind and ignored me. Actually this suited in a way, because I was able to pack faster than she was willing to scan. Thus I listened to more news about what you can find on the internet. Suddenly, she realised I had been left out.
    "Sun bum today?" she said.
    I ignored it in the hope that the stuff would keep passing over that scanner.
The scanning stopped, she turned and stared, the people behind followed her gaze with a look that said "Bl**dy answer her then".
"Sun bum today?" she repeated.

    All movement went on 'pause', my open hand waiting for the mixed salad and the feta cheese. So, I decided to rub it in (no, not the cheese!).
"Yes, a beautiful day just like yesterday and I will be sunbathing again later. I am retired, a man of leisure, I bum around 24/7 and every day is a beautiful day."

    The word 'day' activated the 'play button'; the salad and cheese floated down the slope, I paid and she went back to gossiping with the others. I'm sure there was a collective sigh of relief from my fellow shoppers  when I eventually answered.
 
    What I had told her wasn't exactly the truth, but she deserved it. I am surprised that I remained so cool and it didn't spoil my day one little bit. In fact, I thought the whole episode was quite funny.

FOOT UPDATE.
    The x-ray was okay and so I saw the doc. He pointed out that the medication I had been given previously wasn't just a painkiller, but an anti-inflammatory one as well.
    "Oh" I said.
    I hadn't been taking them because I take enough bloomin' pills already (I thought they were just painkillers). So, I have got to start taking them and see him again in a week. If those pills cure it and I could have solved the problem weeks ago, I will be very upset.

P.S.
Some people are not sure if my blog on the 'Dunes Duo' Ricky and Rocky is a little piece of fiction. I can only assure you that they are real rooks and on the run from The Seal Sanctuary, Mablethorpe. No, sorry, there's no reward for turning them in (If you wanna be a Grass that is).

Posted by terryboy at 2:33 am on the 08th May, 2008

Ricky & Rocky Do a Runner - 04th May, 2008

    Now, you haven't heard of Ricky & Rocky, but they are two characters from my book 'Seal Sanctuary Stories' (ready for the printer and out soon). The book is a collection of tales about different animals at the sanctuary and is ideal for bedtime reading to children. Ricky & Rocky are rooks and an essential part of my masterpiece of creative genius.

    I was at the sanctuary yesterday and we were looking at the final draft during tea break. Then the bombshell came:
"Ricky and Rocky have escaped".
 "Gasp! .... Splutter!

    I nearly choked on my tea! Knew I should have made them sign a contract. The thing is, they shouldn't be fit enough to do a runner in the first place. The only reason they are/were there was because they wouldn't survive in the wild. How did they escape? Suspicion falls on a certain sparrow, Cheeky Chappie, who was continually in their enclosure, but nobody knew how he managed to get in there.

    They found the escape route eventually. It was a hole in the wire mesh hidden behind a picture of the Tower of London (Echoes of 'The Shawshank Redemption' starring Tim Robbins here). You may wonder why they chose that particular picture. Well, all is revealed in their biography (which happens to be in my book). They were last seen holding wings and fluttering in a southerly direction. We considered getting Tyson, the dog to track them down, but the only smells he recognises are cucumbers, cheese, doggie treats and sausages.

    This event poses a problem. It is inevitable that some of the characters in my book may die at some time (there is no other way of putting it - dead is dead) and the solution was to just put an addendum inside the covers with something like "Sorry kids, but ***** has now kicked the bucket" or "**** has gone to that great aviary in the sky". So, here I am having to put an addendum in before it is even published, "Sorry kids, Ricky & Rocky have done a bunk".

    Linda pointed out to me that there was still a rook in with the crows. A rook? It is quite possible that if he ran around fast enough, the kids would be fooled into thinking there were two of them, but somehow I think they would suss it straight away. Anyway, all the stress and running would probably kill it within a couple of weeks.

    My only hope is that the general public will watch out for the 'Dunes Duo' and report them straight away (I need them for my book). You'll find their mug shots in the photos section under 'Wanted - the Dunes Duo'. This is a still photo taken from covert cctv footage and shows them conspiring with Cheeky Chappie to escape.

P.s. No, I am not sending Biko out to find them. We want them brought back alive if possible.

Posted by terryboy at 10:20 am on the 04th May, 2008

The Quarterly Slog. - 02nd May, 2008


Puff .........................................................

pant ............................................

gasp ............................................

groan ...........................................

moan ..........................................

Yes!

No, I'm not having an orgasm. Nearly finished ironing February, March and April's washing.
"It's alright Biko. You can put the iron down now. I'll do that last hanky myself." (Well, I don't want a perfectly good paintbrush like him getting completely worn out now do I?).
Posted by terryboy at 5:15 pm on the 02nd May, 2008

Tango'd - 01st May, 2008

My pussies are a little bit confused at the moment and the sadistic streak in me says "Good, it'll show them who's boss". I've got rid of one of the wardrobes in the bedroom (plus a few other bits and bobs) and had a move round. I now have plenty of space to play in (No, not that sort of 'play'). The pussies haven't quite fathomed it all out yet and it is quite funny watching Biko jumping onto a table that isn't there anymore - Hup! Plop!

The wicker chair has gone and so they keep trying other areas to sleep on and getting to the window sill is a little bit more challenging as well. I guess they will figure it all out in the end and settle down. I must admit that even I find it a bit odd, especially when getting dressed. I used to sort of hunch myself up and breathe in when putting on my underpants and trousers as there was only about 6 inches of space to stand in. I still do it instinctively, but when I fall over because the bed is further away than before, I start swinging my arms and breathing out - oh joy of joy! At least I have more floor space for the dirty washing now.

Now, there's a downside to this. I can see more of the bedroom wall and it is bright orange (I kid you not). So most of the time I feel as if I've been Tango'd. Hmmm ... maybe that's what is affecting the cats? Maybe staring at an orange wall all day has made them psychotic. Their eyes do look a bit glazed when they come out of there. Therefore, at some stage, I am obviously going to have to decorate the place.

The cats hate it when I do painting and decorating, because that's one of those rare moments when they actually earn their keep. I use Biko for the edges and around the window frames and Rosy for the large splashes of colour on the walls and ceiling. One might think it is cruel, but I never use gloss paint and so it is quite easy to wash them out afterwards and use them again.

Pussy Food
I slipped up yesterday and bought some of Sainsbury's own brand tinned cat food. I saved 90 pence a pack and with savings like that it was hard to resist. As it turns out, I don't think I am saving anything in the end because they are woofing it down and instead of two feeds a day I am having to do three. Still, if they get fatter, they'll hold more paint I suppose - swings and round-a-bouts as they say.

My Foot
I popped into the Gp's surgery yesterday and my blood results are ok and so I suppose Gout is out of the question. The x-rays haven't arrived yet, but I can only conclude that, if it isn't Gout, there must be something broken there. I hope they hurry up and let me know. I keep checking my foot to see if it is turning into a frying pan and I'm getting worried. (see 'Flat Foot')

Goodbye Trophy
Well, the year is up and I had to return my SourceFour Trophy to the college ready for the next recipient. It was rather funny actually. I had to walk up one flight of stairs and when I got into the office I was so out of breath I couldn't speak. So, like a dummy, I just stood there and thrust the trophy out in front of me. The secretary was getting very concerned, but by means of sign language I managed to persuade her that I was quite alright. I don't think it was the stairs that did it, probably the bloomin' long walk from the car park before hand I expect. With the trophy gone, I am now left with the little wooden shield that came with it. Doesn't seem the same somehow. That trophy was ideal for extra large ice-cream sundaes.
Posted by terryboy at 2:25 pm on the 01st May, 2008

 

Flat Foot - 24th April, 2008

I've been thinking. I'm a bit worried about this injured foot of mine. Let's suppose that there is a broken bone in it. Without that rigid structure it is bound to go floppy eventually, maybe even splay out and go flat like a frying pan.
Now this would be fine if I was to go scuba diving, but it's not exactly ideal for driving or walking about. People would stare, point, laugh and I would be forced to hide from society. My only joyful thought is that Biko might curl up and fall asleep on it. I could then flip him up in the air like tossed pancake - he wouldn't know what hit him!

I was at my desk this morning when he jumped up onto the back of the settee. After about the twentieth "Meow" (He's so bloomin' persistent) I turned to him and said "Hello". He went silent, just stared, slowly opened his mouth and exhaled quite deliberately into my face. I can only say that I went through a process of mummification as the smell of stale, digested cat food curled over me like a dark mist. My eyes glazed and I couldn't move. Duly satisfied, Biko gave a giggle, leapt into my recliner chair, lit a cigar and read the paper. The Ba***d! I continued staring into space - who needs dope?

Posted by terryboy at 9:32 am on the 24th April, 2008

Respec man, respec. - 23rd April, 2008

I went to the hospital for my foot x-ray today. I left a bit early because my nearest hospital isn't renowned for its parking facilities. Oh, there's plenty of spaces okay, but they are always full. I got fed up waiting in the queue and so shot off to the overflow right at the back of the site. This was not a good idea.

The space between the parking rows is too narrow to turn round in (they all end in a dead end) and when you see a space it turns out to have an iddy biddy car in it hidden behind a big one. Or you find some lazy twat has decided to screw up two spaces instead of one.

The clock was ticking, I was getting impatient and reversed into a wooden post (a very strong one unfortunately)."Oh dear" I said. I did eventually get a space and had just enough time to hobble to x-ray. I was fuming with the thought of my cracked rear light and the pain in my foot was driving me nuts.

I could hear wheels spinning in mud and looked up to see a car stuck in the car park. Serves you right for getting a bleedin' space. I thought. yes, I was really bitchy by then. I was even getting angry with the cars that were actually using the road that I wanted to cross to get to the main building.

When I arrived at reception, the receptionist was in no hurry to see me and then I was joined by a porter with a patient on a stretcher. I'm ready for you. Just you get seen before me mate and see what happens! I thought as I bit through my lower lip. Anyway, The x-ray was done by an emotionless radiographer (even a bought of cramp had no effect on her) and I was told to wait outside.

Five minutes later, a male nurse came up and confirmed my name. Ah, I thought, it must mean that something is broken and they are going to plaster it up. "You can go Mr Cordrey. See your GP in 8 - 10 days" he said. Blast! So I still don't know what's wrong with it.

"So what?" you may say. Well, it's Biko you see. I'm right-footed (the injured one) and I haven't been able to give Biko a good kick up the bum for 6/7 weeks now. I did try with my left foot once, but (naturally) fell over. Biko just sat back on his haunches, held his belly with his front paws and laughed his head off. There is some consolation in the fact that when the pain really gets to me, I just sulk and push him off my lap - even shout at him. However, he doesn't care, because he knows that I am like a toothless lion.

It's all about respect you see and he is rapidly losing all respect for me. We hardly ever head butt lately and I am sure it is because he thinks I am now a push-over and not worth the effort. What to do eh? I am beginning to feel like a naughty school boy who has been sent to the corner of the room. I will consider my options ... might nick all the jelly out of the cat food, that'll teach him and show who's still the boss (who am I kidding?).

P.s. I have glued the light together. Knowing my luck, it's a sealed unit and would cost a fortune.
Posted by terryboy at 9:35 pm on the 23rd April, 2008

Everything Comes to He Who Waits - 21st April, 2008

Now, here's a thing, something has turned up. I refer you to the previous blog titled 'Where Did it Go?' dated 14th November 2007.  Re: the lost plastic cover to my mouse.

After spending the day at the seal sanctuary, I went to Eva's for a nice roast dinner (bootiful, bootiful! Slurp!) and (get this) homemade rice pudding! Anyway, Just before I left, we went to her laptop and there on the desk was the mouse cover. I recognised it straight away, Hello, hello, hello I thought. Eva hadn't got a clue what it was, but had hung on to it anyway. All I have got to do is remember where I put the rest of it - somewhere safe obviously. Hmmmmm ....

I've had an invite from Greenwoods a major menswear shop in Grimsby. All I have to do is go there and pick up my free gift (watch, cufflink and tie set). This is because I carry one of their discount cards. Apparently the shop has been revamped and I don't have to buy anything. Too good to be true? The thing is that I just know I will end up buying something out of guilt. The last time I bought something there was when I needed a tuxedo for an awards night. The shirt was free, but ended up being about three sizes too big. It was too late to change it and so I had elastic bands all over the place pulling it in. I bowed to my better judgement and didn't put one around the neck.

The cats are behaving today. It's very unnerving. Watch this space.
Posted by terryboy at 11:31 am on the 21st April, 2008

This is a Bust! - 18th April, 2008

    I was having a doze on the settee when there was a sudden banging on my front door. I sat bolt upright, not knowing who I was, where I was or what it was. There was more banging and I just froze.

    Now then, have you ever noticed that whenever the cops, spooks, drug busters and SAS do a raid they always bang on the door before kicking it in? Why don't they use the doorbell? I've got a doorbell. It's the bright white thing screwed to the dark wooden door frame. It's not exactly camouflaged is it?

    Well, my body may have been frozen, but my mind was very active. Why are they picking on me? I thought, Dope? No, I've got a bad heart. Bootlegging? Nope, teetotal. Smuggling baccy? Hmmm ... no, the cigars are crap (cough! Er, so I have been told). Dog mess up the local recreation ground? Wrong house and I haven't got a dog. Parking in Sainsbury's without going into the shop? No, I always go in just to get a refund of the ticket.

    It can't be the SAS because the door would have been blown to bits by now.

    Hmmmm ... it can only be one thing then. They've been monitoring Radio Humberside and heard me say that the Royals are a bunch of  bl**dy parasites. Better let them in then I thought and resigned to my fate (treason?), I went over and opened it.

    He barged in, trod on my feet and pushed past me.
    "Mornin'" he said.
    "Where's your warrant card?" I asked.
    He ignored me. My eyes stared daggers into his back as he strutted towards the food bowls on the kitchen floor.

    "YOU'VE GOT A BL**DY CATFLAP IN THE BACK DOOR! IF IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ROSY; IT'S GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU - USE IT NEXT TIME!" I shouted.

    Think I'll lower that doorbell in the morning though - just incase.

Posted by terryboy at 6:57 pm on the 18th April, 2008

Biko Aerobics - 16th April, 2008

    Sorry I've been away so long. I have either been very busy, working, mending computers, tired, in pain or just plain been lazy - take your pick.

    Have you ever seen those cartoon characters that seem to bounce up and down on stiff legs? Well, I think Biko has been watching someone else's telly (certainly not mine because I don't watch cartoons). Now and then, I like to lie on the settee and watch telly. Sometimes, I nod off for a little while. In the old days, Biko used to paddy paw my face for attention or just gently climb up beside me and fall asleep. This was before he saw cartoons (I bet he saw them on Steve's telly a few doors down).  What we get now is  "Meow ... hup ... boing ... boing ... thud ... purr."  Somewhere between the  'boing'  and 'boing'  I respond with  "Whoooah! ... groan!" as I flex up, grab my belly  and see Biko smiling down at me from the back of the settee.

    A quick "You bast**d!", a few more rubs on the tum and I fall back to sleep again. Just as I'm nodding off there's a "Meow ... yippee ... boing ... boing" and a clutter as he lands back on the floor again. Once again I find myself rubbing my tum and groaning.

    Thus the time passes; Biko doing his Reebok step aerobics and me doing an impression of a nodding doggie (or one of those ornamental ostriches that keeps dipping its beak into a glass of water). I've told him that if he keeps stiffening his legs like that they will eventually stay like it (either that or he'll need glasses), but he doesn't give a toss. On the other hand, if I lose my patience he might find himself on crutches (knowing him, he would probably end up using them to play golf with his favourite ping pong ball anyway - my open mouth being the eighteenth hole).

Grizzle ... grizzle ... I just can't win.

Posted by terryboy at 2:39 am on the 16th April, 2008

Roger's Rangers - 10th March, 2008

Now then, I am going to try and avoid talking about the pussies this time. I have loads of videos full of films recorded from the TV and have decided to copy them on to DVD. I thought this would be an easy task until I realised they were full of adverts that needed to be edited out. This means it has been rather labourious because I have to press 'pause' every time and 'record' when the adverts finish. It also means that I have to watch every film all the way through.

The trouble is that sometimes during the 'pause' phase my mind wanders and I either forget to restart 'record' or panic and press the wrong buttons. The consequence of this has been that I've watched some films three or four times in a row. At the moment I am dubbing 'Northwest Passage' and decided to let the adverts run. I have had that film for years and it happens to be one of my favourites. I also have the book (which is, in fact, two books in one - the film being about book one). The film stars Spencer Tracey as Major Rogers doing a raid on the Indian village at St Francis.

The trouble with gaining a bit of academia is that it can affect one's enjoyment of life. College taught me how to deconstruct and analyse films which is all part of the scriptwriting process. My automatic response now is to do that whenever I watch them and, yes, it can be quite enjoyable when it comes to noticing all the little things that a director has cleverly put in. But, with some films it doesn't work - like' Northwest Passage' for instance.
Take it from me, if you ever watch the film, any Indian that is moving slowly is gonna get killed. Some examples are: the Indian crawling out of the river - shot!; the one about to throw a knife - oops too slow! Killed by a Ranger's rubber one; Half-jogging in front of a musket? Sorry - bang! Wanna get bayonetted? Just stand there for a minute while I lift me musket.

It used to be my favourite film because I could fall asleep half-way through, wake up and still carry on enjoying it - I'd watched that many times. But now? I will remember it forever as 'the rubber knife film' which sort of takes all the excitement and edge off it. However, I still have my book (written by Kenneth Roberts) which is far better than any film and if you like that sort of thing, I recommend another 'The Peacemaker' by Richard Harper which is based on the life of Simon Kenton.

Well, that's it for now, must get back to the film. The raid is over, Frenchies and Indians are chasing them, they're starving and desperate to get to old Fort Wentworth - "...only three days away." I just hope they make it. They always have done in the past, but that is no guarantee, especially with them bloomin' adverts popping up!

Posted by terryboy at 3:01 pm on the 10th March, 2008

Lincolnshire earthquake. - 27th February, 2008

    It is a little unnerving reclining in an armchair, sipping tea in the middle of the night and listening to a rumble that makes the house shake. At first you think it is another low-flying aircraft, but then the rumble gets louder and the floor starts moving - now that is really scary! I felt very unsafe in those four walls and so rushed outside to see what had happened. Lights were coming on in other houses and some neighbours came out into the street. Some houses stayed in darkness and how they managed to sleep through that I will never know.
    Well, it turned out that it was an earthquake which, according to one boffin in the USA, measured 4.7 on the Richter scale; however, a British boffin reckons it was over 5. That was the first time I have ever experienced an earthquake and don't fancy another. I live right near the epicentre of it and so got the full works.
    I can't sleep at the moment because I am hanging around waiting for the aftershocks that are supposed to be on their way. As I said, a moving floor is a really weird experience! Thought the bloomin house was gonna fall down!
Posted by terryboy at 3:04 am on the 27th February, 2008

Is Biko Gay? - 25th February, 2008

    Now, I'm getting a little bit concerned about Biko. There I was, stretched out on the settee watching the telly, when he jumped up and blocked the view (in other words demanding attention). "Nothing wrong in that." you may say, but the thing is, he was facing away from me. That's odd I thought, what's he up to? And then he lifted his tail, showed me his a**e and just stood there motionless. If he thinks I'm gonna sniff it, he's got another think coming - even if it is clean I thought.

    I'm beginning to wonder if he really thinks he's human and turning gay. As you know, he is always getting under my feet and following me every where in the house, but it is getting worse. He has even changed positions on the bed and sleeps above my head on the pillow now. I made the mistake of giving both cats some milk the other day and now he demands it all the time. I reckon he'll be asking for meat and three veg soon.

    Anyway, back to Biko's bum. It was very unnerving as you never know what is going to happen next. Don't get me wrong, I do love all sorts of art form (especial surrealism) and if he's proud of it - fine, but it doesn't mean I have to stare at it. A frame stuck round it might have been an improvement, but I digress. I was just so glad that he had obviously cleaned it earlier (dread to think what his mouth was like!). He kept turning his head and looking at me as if to say "Well? Get on with it then." and I would just raise my arms and say "What?".

    He stayed there for ages and I even tried blowing at his bum to make him feel uncomfortable, but I got the impression he was actually enjoying it and so I soon stopped that. The least he can do is put his tail down. I thought. After subtly adjusting my position, I managed to peek under his belly and watch the bottom half of the TV screen - better than nothing eh? (Note: must write a screenplay that is just about feet, legs, bums and the occasional chest).

    In the end, the commercials came on and Biko was still there as rigid as a sentry at Buckingham Palace; his tail standing erect and pointing to the ceiling. It was a ridiculous situation and something had to be done. So, I did the only thing that made any sense; I grabbed hold of his tail and used him to dust all the furniture and the mantelpiece. He must have been happy, because I didn't see him anymore for the rest of the evening or on my pillow when I went to bed. If only he had told me in the first place.

Posted by terryboy at 10:26 pm on the 25th February, 2008

A Visitor - 14th February, 2008

There I was sitting in my high backed chair, watching Montel on the telly, and I felt a slight draught on my left ear. I assumed that the back door had blown open a little bit further and took no notice. Then I felt it again and so turned my head and came eyeball to eyeball with a sparrow.

He just fluttered up and away to the kitchen, back out of the door and waited for me just outside. It showed no sign of fear or distress and so I had a little natter with it before getting some bread crumbs. By the time I returned, it had gone, but I threw the crumbs on to the patio anyway.

I like to think it was nice that the sparrow trusted me enough to make its way through the kitchen, into the lounge to say 'hello'. It obviously knew that Biko and Rosy were snoring their heads off upstairs. Anyway, it made my day - aaagh ... bless.

Posted by terryboy at 5:36 pm on the 14th February, 2008

The Dark Abyss - 14th February, 2008

There was a hollow echo to my breathing as I lowered my head into the wooden void. It darkened as my body frame squeezed further into it and my heart started pounding. If only I had brought a torch. I thought as my bare buttocks rose even further into the air as I stretched forward.

I felt the chill wind from an open door and warm breath from laughing pussies on my bare skin. Vulnerable and scared, I reached forward searching the bottom and edges of the black abyss. There has to be something here surely? I was getting desperate, beginning to worry that if I went too far, I would get stuck and be lost to all humanity for ever.

My body felt weak. It had taken all my courage and effort to even venture so far and I knew this was make or break time. Do I give up? Or risk that little bit of extra effort?  I decided to give it one more ... just one more try, which was a very risky thing to do.

Sucking in a lung full of air and gritting my teeth, I stretched and stretched my arm as far as it would go. Then I felt it! Just a fleeting touch - soft, gentle, but welcoming. Thank goodness. I was so relieved that it didn't bite and it was everything I was hoping it to be. I reached out, felt its touch again and clenched it with my fingers.

With a rapid wriggle I got out of there as fast as I could, sat back and held my prize aloft. The little beauty! My last pair of clean underpants! I closed the empty drawer and put them on. The three weeks of washing that needed doing could wait for another day.

Posted by terryboy at 12:32 am on the 14th February, 2008

I Sewed Sails for Nelson - Perhaps? - 08th February, 2008

I tuned into my feminine side today. Well, it's a sunny day, I've had a lie in and so I thought I might as well do something out of the ordinary. Actually, there's a bit more to it than that. I went out to lunch with two of my sisters yesterday and needed a clean pair of jeans. Having put on some weight at Christmas, my usual clean jeans didn't fit and so I had to wear an old pair.

Perfect I thought until I put my money in a pocket only to feel it roll down my leg and scatter to freedom under the bed. Oh! I thought, There's always the other pocket. And so I put my GTN spray in there only to feel it slowly slide down and go 'plop' by my ankle. "Pity." I said (if you believe that you'll believe anything!). In the end, I crawled under the bed and fought off Rosy with one hand while picking up my pennies with the other. They were then wrapped in a handkerchief so they wouldn't go through the hole in my pocket (Now c'mon gents - you've all done it at some time or other).

It got a little bit embarrassing in the restaurant when I pulled out my handkerchief to pay as my sisters looked the other way and pretended not to be with me (ever felt lonely?). The image of Scrooge came to mind and so I decided to do something about it. Yes, This is where I turned to my feminine side and decided to sew them up.
I needed Pauline's sewing basket for this, but couldn't find it. I knew I had seen it somewhere, but blowed if I knew where. In the end, there was only one place left to look - that's right - under the bed! Perhaps my coins had a mind of their own and were showing me where it was the day before? I breathed a big sigh of relief when I noticed one of those gadgets that threads the needle for you, otherwise it would have taken me ages.

Now, I don't know if it is because we are impatient or whether it is something in the genes that's a hangover from sewing sails for Nelson, but we always use big stitches don't we (men I mean). Being a bit paranoid, I decided to do about 4/5 rows of stitches with half-a-dozen knots at each end. For some reason, Biko sat down in front of me and quietly watched the whole process. He was either dwelling on memories of Pauline and her sewing or thinking You wooss. Still, the main thing was that he behaved himself.

I am reasonably happy with the result, but there's a little part of me dreading the day when the stitching comes undone half-way round Morrison’s and a crowd of shoppers dive at my feet, fighting each other for my money. At which point I will bend down, retrieve my GTN spray, have squirt, go home and cry.
Posted by terryboy at 3:33 pm on the 08th February, 2008

Will the Hunting Stop? - 02nd February, 2008

You may remember that I switched tinned cat food for the pussies? And I did wonder if this was the cause of Biko starting hunting again. I have noticed that they never completely empty their food bowls and there is usually some stale stuff to chuck away. Now, this is false economy and I was also feeling sorry for them every time I looked at the contents of the tin (It's not the same you know. Never looks as good as Felix).

Well, the status quo has been re-established and they are back on Felix again. The trouble now is that I can't keep up with them - woofing it down they are. It'll be worth it in the end if it stops their little hunting trips. I just couldn't bear waking up to another mouse crunching session in the middle of the night.

Biko knew what he was doing and, obviously, got his own way again.

Posted by terryboy at 2:53 am on the 02nd February, 2008

Tyson - The Pseudo Vegetarian. - 02nd February, 2008

The seal sanctuary is closed during the week at this time of year, which means there is no cafe. Quite often, I will take a sarnie with me and other times I will not and risk a hypo on the way home. I made cheese and cucumber sandwiches for my last visit, but forgot to get hold of something for Tyson (see 'Tyson - Man's best friend ....'). I am usually in a bit of a pickle getting stuff for him because I assume he is vegetarian.
I tried doggie dental sticks once, but he turned his nose up at them. He used to like Hoola Hoops, but last time was not so keen and I had to bung 'em in his bed in the end.
Anyway, as I got closer to the sanctuary on my last visit, my stress level increased relative to the distance. What am I gonna tell him? I kept thinking. The thought of the little tears of disappointment in his eyes when I showed him an empty hand made it even worse and the stress became more acute with the added guilt.
As I pulled up outside, I had a brainwave. Cheese and cucumber sandwiches. Of course! His favourite! So, full of joy, I greeted him in the feeding room and broke off half of one of my sarnies. He loved it and then spat out the bits of cucumber on to the floor. Nothing else, not a bread crumb or sliver of cheese, just nice clean cucumber slices. Do you know how much cucumbers are these days? I said to him, but he just carried on sniffing my sandwich bag. Wish I had a tongue that could do that, I thought, but then again, he does things with it that I wouldn't want to do and so I think I'll stick with my own.
I mentioned this to the others at tea break (the cucumber - not my tongue!) and said, "Pity he's vegetarian. I've got a load of cooked sausages in the freezer."
"He's not vegetarian." they said, "Loves sausages."
Well, blow me down! All those months of trying to keep him happy and I needn't have worried. Such is my life eh?
Posted by terryboy at 2:36 am on the 02nd February, 2008

The Hunting Continues - 25th January, 2008

I thought it was a dream last night when I heard the familiar "Meow hehe" noise coming from the darkness. Nothing else happened and so my sleep was uninterrupted. When I woke up I discovered that it wasn't a dream after all. Waiting for me at the bottom of the bed was the carcase of a large bird (possibly a blackbird).
"No wonder there was no 'crunch ... crackle'. To big eh?" I thought.
Yes, I gave Biko a pat on the head, said thank you and told him what a good boy he was! (Apparently you're supposed to do that, because they have brought you a present - pity it wasn't a pack of cigars).

I don't know what has got into him lately; he gave up hunting years ago. I can only conclude that it has something to do with changing his food from Felix to Morrison’s. There must be something in the jelly that brings out the 'animal' in him. The thing is, where will it all end? I can imagine the day when a sweating, puffing Biko wakes me up, points to a dead fox and says, "Phew! Had to take me coat off for that one"

The thing is now, this here bird, what do I do with it? Cook it, throw it in the bin or bury it? I have already got my dinner for today and so it is either the bin or the ground. Pity Biko can't use a shovel!
Posted by terryboy at 11:54 am on the 25th January, 2008

Happy hunting - 23rd January, 2008

It was 4 am. The bedroom was in darkness and silence. I had only just, nodded off and my first snore was yet to come. A "Meow-hehe" snatched me back from the edge of dreamworld. It repeated and grew louder as it came up the stairs "Meow-hehe ... meow - hehe" I knew that particular sound well and cringed with anticipation of what was to come.
"Groan, not now ... not now please!" I thought as I tried to disappear under the duvet, but the voice still penetrated.
Then it stopped; there was silence and darkness once again. "Could there be a burglar in the house?" I asked my self. "Nah!" and thus reassured, I fell blissfully back to sleep again.
I snored once (I believe) and then the creature from the black lagoon started up again: "Meow - hehe ... meow - hehe!". It was making its way back up the stairs again and I broke into a cold sweat. I started to cringe in anticipation again, but then relaxed. After all, it didn't happen the first time and so why should it happen this time?
I was perplexed as there is only one occasion when he makes that noise. I waited ... and waited until I decided to give up and rest my head on the pillow once more.
Then it happened! "Cerrrunch ... Crackle ... Purrr ...dribble ... crunchcrunch!". I screamed, curled into a ball and twitched with every agonising sound coming from the landing.
"You bas****d!" I shouted, but he wasn't listening. "Better not be any left on the carpet in the morning and that includes its tail this time" I added.
Match play result: Biko 1 - Mice 0.

Remember my disaster with the sausage stew? Well, Eva made me a proper one with real sausages from the butcher's. Bootiful! Bootiful! Slurp! Thank you Eva.

Posted by terryboy at 11:18 pm on the 23rd January, 2008

Bouquet Garni, Catapults, Magical Gardens and Transplants - 19th January, 2008

Well, it seemed like a good idea: use the juice from the boiled ham to make a nice sausage stew. I've never made one before. Anyway, I knew things were not working out right when I bit into the bouquet garni bag having mistaken it for a lump of cabbage. As for the Tesco sausages - ghastly! Then came the pulses that I had forgotten about and thrown into the pot at the last minute. I suppose one can liken it to eating peanuts in gravy. I decided to eat one sausage, the potatoes, liquid and ditched the rest. Luckily, there was still some boiled ham left so that I could have a sandwich.

I always listen to Radio Humberside and there has been an interesting topic on 'Soapbox'. People have been expressing concern about the transport interchange (they used to call them Bus Stations) at the new St Stephen's shopping centre in Hull. It is alleged that it's very dodgy for pedestrians crossing from one part to another (notice the avoidance of libellous statements there - 'alleged') and listeners have come up with all sorts of solutions. One of these was to have a human catapult that could ping people to their appropriate bus stop.

Now, this is all very well and probably cheaper than building pedestrian subways, but ... well ... I wonder if it would really work? I can't help thinking that there would be a few that fell short and went 'splat' on the side of the top deck, slide down the window to the lower deck and lay comatosed on the road below. Would the bus driver wait? Or pull away because of a tight schedule?

I went to a magical house the other day. I had taken something to a friend at the seal sanctuary and, because it was a bit heavy to take on the bus, gave them a lift home. Seeing as they were then going on to somewhere else, it was a case of just popping it indoors and then dropping them off again. I waited in the walled garden which was right beside a river. Despite their apologies for the garden being in a bit of chaos (flat packed shed etc lying about) and the fact that it was dark, it was obvious that every old stone, brick, timber had character - it was like a little oasis. It isn't much bigger than my house, but I was envious, "Boy, would I like to live here!" I thought to myself. It is the perfect place for an artist or writer (my friend is an artist) and there is an atmosphere that says, "This is where you will find all the characters, plots and ideas you will ever need". I have never seen a place that has said so much. Naturally, I have been to places that have inspired me, but never any quite like that house. I just hope I can get some photos to pin up and use as a creative stimulant.

Now, a bit of good family news. Melanie has had her regular check-up at Harefield Hospital (known as the MOT) and her health is fantastic. Some of the results are even better than those found in people who are supposedly healthy. In celebrating Melanie's good news, let us not forget the bravery of the donor of her heart, Damien Hevey who passed away after undergoing a second heart & lung transplant.

Posted by terryboy at 4:18 am on the 19th January, 2008

New Photos Scottish Highlands - 13th January, 2008

I have just uploaded some photos taken when Pauline and I were holidaying in Scotland. I must confess that they are more for the benefit of my immediate family so that they can see what our trip will be like later this year.

Part of the reason is to scatter Pauline's ashes. It has been a bit of a dilemma since she died as there are three possible sites to do it and I could never be sure which would be the right one. The three (Isle of Man, Scotland and Kilnsea Beach) all have their own merits and Pauline loved them all. Time passed and I must admit I was getting a little concerned at the delay.

As many of you will know, I am a spiritualist and have been for nearly twenty-five years. During one deep meditation I found myself laying on the ground and a large Scotsman came near and plunged his claymore into it beside my head. This obviously bothered me at first, but then a voice in my mind said, "Now you know where Pauline really wants to be".

So, that is where Pauline will go. I have always had a feeling that would be the place in the end. Melanie has managed to book us into the same log cabins that we had all those years ago, which will make it particularly special. It will also be really nice to have some quality time together and I am really looking forward to that.

Posted by terryboy at 3:11 am on the 13th January, 2008

Haircuts, Hermits and Sausages. - 12th January, 2008

I had my haircut today and it was a completely different experience to the last one. The hairdresser took her time, had a natter and made sure it was a pleasurable experience. The last time I had it done it was a case of 'Biff, bash, bosh', a pat on the back of the head and back out into the street again! I had to stand there for a few seconds to reassure myself that, yes, I had been in and just had a haircut. However, I must say that she did do a very good job of it.

I've become a bit of a hermit lately and, to be quite honest, I'm happy with that. I have no doubt that some of it is down to bereavement at this time of year, but most of it is down to focussing on getting things done. Apart from my work at the sanctuary, I haven't done a lot of other writing since leaving college - and it just won't do! The trouble is that I am one of those writers that needs seclusion in order to think and create. When ideas come they don't just turn off and on again at will because, no matter what I am doing, they are always there buzzing away in the background. Sometimes it even gets irritating when the cats start meowing for attention.

Now, all this is fine, but then people start getting concerned and feel I should get out more. I never seem to be able to get it across that being like this is all part of the 'process' from which my best stuff flows. If the rest of the world don't like it - tough!

I had a funny experience with my sausages the other day (that's right 'sausages'). I had some pre-cooked ones in the freezer and decided to microwave them for breakfast. While I was pouring out the first of 'three cups' I could hear the noise of a dentist's drill. "Ooh err!" I thought and stuck my head out of the door to see where it was coming from. Nope, nothing out there and then I realised that it was coming from the microwave. "Can't be the sausages", I thought "wrong noise" and I double checked the source - definitely the microwave. What should I do? Was it going to blow up? Ironically, I had been looking at new ones the day before. I stared through the glass door trying to pin the noise down to a specific part of the oven, which was pretty stupid really considering it might have blown up. Anyhow, it turned out that it was the sausages, which is a pity really as I was beginning to look forward to a new oven. My sausage sandwich wasn't all that brilliant either. I think I'll stick to fresh in future.

Posted by terryboy at 2:32 am on the 12th January, 2008

Who are they kidding? - 04th January, 2008

Excuse me while I have a little whinge. I have just had my Grimsby Telegraph delivered and a bit of news is really peeing me off! On the front page they have put the heading 'WE WON'T TOLERATE LITTERING' and underneath is a picture of a butt-end. Turn the page and there is another one.
Now what gets me is that considering it is about littering in general (supposedly), the facts speak for themselves. Twenty-nine people were prosecuted of which twenty-five were for dropped butt-ends and three for dog fouling. That just leaves one prosecution for a dropped sandwich box. A council spokesman said: "It doesn't matter what litter you drop ... our response will be the same"
Hmmm ... yes, of course, we can see that as the facts speak for themselves - not! I can only assume that the people I regularly see dropping paper bags, burger boxes, sweet wrappers, empty drink cans and bottles in Grimsby town centre are a figment of my imagination.
Just one sandwich box offence? Get real!

Posted by terryboy at 4:10 pm on the 04th January, 2008

Jingle Balls - 03rd January, 2008

Yes, that's right, 'Jingle Balls'. They were a cheap impulsive buy for my pussies and consist of plastic lattice type balls with a bell inside. I had my doubts about them (will the cats play with them and are they durable?).

Now my cats have all manner of toys, but their favourites used to be three little plastic balls and it would often befall me to retrieve them from the nooks and crannys that the cats couldn't get to. Over a period of time the number of balls dwindled to two, one and then none as my efforts at retrieval became unsuccessful (After all if I can't find 'em, I can't get 'em). They weren't the slightest bit interested in the rest of the toys, apart from a metre long piece of butcher's string that I had to hold at one end and jiggle to make it look like a snake (or maybe they thought it was a long worm - they're not that brave!).This did not solve their boredom and so they continually vented their frustration on any cardboard box that came into view. You'd be amazed at how much mess a cardboard box can make once they have been at it!

Anyway, Christmas came and so I decided to treat them to the Jingle Balls. I thought it prudent to buy several packets in the knowledge that they tend to get lost. That was where the hesitation came in, because if the first pack proved to be unpopular, the others would be a waste of money. When I got home I opened one pack and rolled the three Jingle Balls towards the cats and they completely ignored them. However, I thought I would give them time to get used to them and left them there. Oh dear! My bare foot found one when I got up in the morning, 'Crunch!' and another after breakfast 'Crunch!'. "I think I'll leave the rest in the packets" I thought to myself and got out the butcher's string again.

Yesterday, one of the bitter ironies of life came into play. I am having a mega move around at home and found all three of the old lost balls in a far corner of the lounge.  "So much for your housework then", you might say, but they were right behind a heavy piece of furniture and my hoover doesn't reach that far anyway.

So, I wasted money on Jingle Balls, get arm ache from waving butchers string about, back ache from picking up shredded cardboard and now they seem to have forgotten what they used to do with the old balls. Looks like it is gonna be another year of feline fun!
Posted by terryboy at 2:51 am on the 03rd January, 2008

Time to stroll into 2008 - 01st January, 2008

Another year eh? Well, time to go on the diet then and warm up the cross-trainer upstairs. I have a choice between two methods of losing weight. There is Weight Watchers and Campbell's: one is £5.50 a week and the other is on offer at 26 pence a can at the moment. £5.50 divided by 26 pence gets me 21 cans of soup, which equals three a day. The Campbell's one has the advantage of not having a contractual agreement and so - soup it is then.
Now, this might seem a bit odd, but with a bit of luck, it will replace the bread, potatoes etc. My doctor recently advised me to eat plenty of dark green vegetables and red meat because my iron levels are low. So, when you put them all together it aint so bad.

I was roused from yesterday's afternoon nap by 'thump ... clunk' noises coming from the kitchen. At first I thought it was the cats repeatedly going in and out of the cat flap, but it just went on and on and on! In the end I got up and investigated. It was Biko having a wrestling match on the floor with a large turkey drumstick. Half the meat was still on it and it was nearly as big as he was. "Oops!" I thought, "I wonder who is going to go without their turkey curry today?"
I crept past him and looked out the window to check that he hadn't been followed. The garden was empty and so it would seem that he had got away with his thieving. Rosy just stood there watching in silence. It was quite entertaining; seeing Biko attacking it with gusto was a bit like watching WWF on the telly. In the end, Rosy went back to her jellied Tuna, I started on the cheese savouries and we left him to it. Suffice to say that this morning there was a little pile of pussy puke on the rug to clear up. Serves him right for being a thief as well as being bloody greedy!

You all know my preoccupation with bargain hunting in the supermarket and now is the time to make a killing as they flog off all the Christmas stuff cheap. You know what? I couldn't be bothered ... couldn't be 'faffed' so to speak. I took one look at them all fighting, clawing, kicking and biting each other as they tried to grab stuff, that I thought it prudent to just walk on by. Perhaps I was just being snobbish as that sort of behaviour does bring the refined art of 'economic shopping' down to a rather base level. Thinking back on it, there was an air of the 'Noel Coward' about me as I strolled by that day. Hmmm ... maybe I am getting old then. Still, if that is an attitude to enter 2008 with perhaps things wont be so bad eh?
May God Bless you and 2008 bring you good health, contentment and even a little bit of prosperity.

Posted by terryboy at 12:57 am on the 01st January, 2008

Tyson - man's best friend some of the time. - 20th December, 2007

Have you ever noticed that if you happen to be on the computer at midnight, all sorts of screens start popping up and getting in the way? (like Yahoo "Mornin' Terry" for instance). Annoying isn't it!
I think my energy boosting jab is a bit slow this time (see previous blog) as I fell asleep on the settee tonight. I woke up at 10.30 pm and so still have time to go to bed.

I went to the Seal Sanctuary today and do you remember Tyson the dog? The furry friend who fails to follow on a frosty footpath? Well, I think I am making progress. I took him two digestive biscuits today and he woofed them down in no time (pun intended!). I decided to have a stroll around, but particularly wanted to study the monkey enclosure which is at the far end of the site. After a few yards, I realised I was not alone and looked down to see Tyson staring back at me. It was a look that said, "Well? What you stopping for?" and so, after patting him a few times, we continued. I must admit it was nice having him tag along. Naturally, we paused every now and then while he lifted his leg and re-marked the occasional bush. I did wonder if I should follow suit, but decided better of it. With the aid of my water tablets I could probably have out-gunned him, but it would only have given him a complex, so why spoil a budding relationship?

We reached the Monkey enclosure and he rushed in, had a scout around and then came out.
"All clear" he said and then disappeared over to the pony field.
"Considerate of him", I thought as it meant I could focus on Charlie the Vervet. I am writing a short story and needed to study her behaviour. I have been going to the sanctuary for over eighteen months now and it is the first time that she has actually come right up to the glass to see me. Having given me the good once over, she settled down to her routine and I just watched for a while.

When I came out, Tyson was still lolling about in the field and so I called him over to continue our tour. He just kept staring back and ignored all encouragement to join me.
"Nah, I'm quite happy here rolling about in the grass and mud" he said.
"Shame" I thought.
Somehow, continuing on through the Ice Age cave, past the wildcats and the seals had lost its appeal without him beside me.
"Best get to work then" I said and walked back the way I came so that I could get stuck back into the business of writing. I have come to the conclusion that if two digestives gets his company for half a tour, it follows that four of 'em will probably get me the full tour. He aint silly is he! I might try that next time, but I'll play safe and give him two biscuits at the start and the other two at the monkey enclosure.
Posted by terryboy at 2:02 am on the 20th December, 2007

The Dreaded Retina Scan - 17th December, 2007

I live at the bottom of a hill while everything else (apart from the duck factory) is near the top. When the wind blows in the wrong direction, I sometimes wish that the duck factory was near the top as well. I used to be a butcher and have gutted many fowl in my time and so I should consider the smell of duck guts very nostalgic - not! I had two appointments at the medical centre today (that's right - it's up there with the rest of 'em). The first was my regular 12 weekly energy boosting jab and posed no problem as I could use the car to get there.

 

The second was the dreaded RETINA SCAN, which is usually done in a mobile unit outside. I say dreaded because I am not allowed to drive for 4 hours afterwards. "That's alright" you might say, "It's downhill going home". Ah, but I have to get there in the first place you see, which means ... gasp ... WALKING and it's a long and winding road. As usual, I left a little bit late and had to put extra effort into my strides. I won't bore you with the details of the journey, suffice to say it involved many stops, gasping and panting, stiff legs and back ache. Thankfully, with two minutes to spare the unit came into view and, like a man stranded in the desert who has just spotted an oasis, I felt the urge to run towards it, but found it physically impossible.

 

I clawed and staggered my way up the steps and fell into the waiting room much to the amusement of another patient and the receptionist. "I think you are in the wrong area" she said. I couldn't speak, managing only to gesticulate with my hands, but eventually pointed to the seats. She nodded and I sat down. They still kept smiling and obviously knew something that I wasn't privy to. "You're in the wrong area" she repeated. "Is it in the other end then?" I asked. "No" she replied, "This is for breast screening ... all of it". They still kept smiling and were obviously thinking, "Men! Typical!". “Retina scan is in the main building. It was written in your letter," she added. I mumbled some excuse for not reading it and made an effort to make light of what happened, "Well, seeing as I am here anyway, can you ...?

 

"No" she said. I left with my tail between my legs.

 

So, still not knowing where to go, I presented myself at the Centre's reception desk and said to the three of them, "I've had me breasts scanned, now where's the retina clinic?". They burst out laughing and pointed the way. Well, if you end up being an idiot, why fight it?

 

The reason you are not allowed to drive is because they put drops in your eyes to dilate your pupils and everything goes fuzzy for a few hours. It didn't half sting this time and I was in tears (no, not crying!). An elderly patient sat opposite, watching. "All men are cowards," I said. She nodded - cheek! When a few more came in and had their drops, they were pre-warned that it would sting. "What happened to my warning?" I thought.

 

Now, I am glad the walk home was downhill because, as you can imagine, everything was fuzzy. Had I been going uphill in fuzz, people would have thought I was drunk what with me bumping into things, slurring me speech and staggering. I can only liken it to being on a 'trip' without the euphoria. Large lumps that moved and had colour were obviously vehicles. Anything on the pavement coming towards me that kept stopping was obviously another person with angina. Joggers were easy to spot, as they were the blobs that kept bobbing up and down. As for dogs? Well, if they were little they could have been anything - after all, we are in the Wolds.

As I got nearer home, I began to worry about walking into the wrong house, as I couldn't read the door numbers. Then I remembered that I wasn't in my car and my house would be the one with the big blue thing outside. Thankfully, I was right and when I got in I watched two black blobs of fur running backwards and forwards. "I'll feed you later" I thought, "After all, I might open a tin of salmon by mistake right now and we can't have that can we?"


Posted by terryboy at 4:45 pm on the 17th December, 2007

Invisible Pussy - 15th December, 2007

I was feeling lonely today and decided to have a counselling session – Morrison’s Supermarket. I think it is probably because the cats seemed to want nothing to do with me this morning. They got fed and then disappeared! Where they went and what they got up to is anybody’s guess. It was very unnerving with all that silence: no whinging, no paddy pawing and ripping my jeans to shreds, no tripping over Biko as I try to get to the loo, no doing the hand jive as he slurps the tap. After a couple of hours, I had had enough and so off I went.

It was obvious that I would need a double session and so I grabbed a trolley instead of the usual basket. The counselling session was going okay and was very therapeutic until I reached the kitchenware aisle. At this point, I refer you to a previous Blog ‘The Computer Said No’. The two items I bought in Comet are now on sale in Morrison’s at a third of the price! Blast! Doesn’t that just sum up Christmas shopping! I was not a happy bunny! I was so distraught that I abandoned the rest of the shopping and went straight to the till.

Now you’d think that there would be lovely long queues at this time of year wouldn’t you? And I was ready for one, ready to take ‘em on and push and shove and take me time paying. Sadly, the tills were on the ball and the one I went to only had half a person in front of me. By that, I mean that half their shopping had already gone through. So, I was forced to be pleasant, smile and have a nice bit of banter with the checkout girl.

“Do you want any saver stamps?” she said. That always puzzles me, because this is the time to actually cash them in. I declined seeing as the last lot I had were stuck in the drawer for 4 years (I can’t help having a bad memory!).

I’m back home (together with a little bit of comfort food) and I see that the cats’ bowls are empty. Do you remember me mentioning about switching their food sachets? I nearly switched their tinned meat to Morrison’s today, but then I thought I would leave it a couple more weeks, seeing as it is Christmas.

“So, my little darlin’s, your bowls are empty – shame. Oh, you want to keep me company now eh? Just realised where your bread is buttered? Go on – BEG!” At last! Someone to vent my anger at, "Here kitty kitty, come back".

Posted by terryboy at 4:40 pm on the 15th December, 2007

Furniture Moving - 15th December, 2007

Oh dear .... oh dear, using inspiration, initiative, sheer mathematical genius and a tape measure I realised that the chest of drawers in the back bedroom would fit into the walk-in wardrobe in the main one. Well, it is like this - my bed is covered with junk as is the floor and I will be sleeping on the sofa tonight. At least the chest of drawers went in with room to spare. One thing led to another and a few other bits of furniture got moved.
Naturally, I came across old memories again and just had to stop and study them. The one thing that does perplex me though is how I came to own two toy fire engines - I should only have one. I also found three Christmas music CDs which was timely.
Biko's not happy with the temporary lack of room because he has to sleep on the landing. Rosy is quite happy to sleep under the bed. I caught Biko sleeping on the sofa earlier and guess what he was using as a pillow? Two reference books I had temporarily put down. He didn't half look odd, especially with his head at an angle like that. Still, he seemed happy and so I left him there. Perhaps I had better tell him that if he wants to learn in his sleep he needs a talking book; not a normal one.
I think they've conned me out of an extra meal tonight. Their bowls were empty, they kept circling them like Indians attacking a wagon train and I gave them a questioning look. "Are you sure I haven't fed you already?" I said. Biko looked me in the eyes, purrrsed his lips and shook his head from side to side "Meowyes" he muttered. Rosy turned her head away and pretended to be looking for flies. It was Rosy's action that made me suspicious - she's not a very good liar. Anyway, I couldn't prove anything and so fed 'em. It serves them right if they put on weight.
Since we are talking about moving furniture, I am dying to move the desk in the lounge to the upstairs back bedroom. It's too big though, as in it will go in there easy enough, but totally dominate the room at one end. Under normal circumstances I would get rid of it and buy another one that suited better, but this is Pauline's old desk you see. I also did three years of college work on it and so we are sort of attached now (practically engaged even!).

Lesson for today: If you get any bright ideas about moving even one piece of furniture either forget all about it or set aside a couple of free days in which to do it.
Posted by terryboy at 2:14 am on the 15th December, 2007

Seal sanctuary selebration - 13th December, 2007

I'm beginning to think I am not quite all there you know. The Seal Sanctuary had its Christmas dinner today and I must admit I had to motor a bit in the hope of getting there in time. As I parked the car I was relieved to see that it was 1.10pm and thought I was only a few minutes late. It was held at the local bowls club which also has a restaurant. I wasted a bit of time walking up and down outside looking for the door only to find it right in front of my face.

"We wondered what had happened to you" they said. Which I thought was nice considering it was only a few minutes. Then I looked at the table and saw the desserts appearing "Oh" I thought. It turns out I should have been there at 12. I tell you what, I was so relieved that they hadn't waited for me! Anyway, we all had a laugh and it was so nice to be able to sit down with all the staff and volunteers at the same time. The meal was fantastic! So, if any of you are in Mablethorpe and want a meal, that is the place to go. It is behind Lidl's and is The Linkage Green Bowls Club - open 12 - 2pm.

I thought I would use the opportunity to let the seals, birds etc see me in a shirt and decent trousers for once instead of my usual tramp's outfit. So, I went to the sanctuary and had a walk around afterwards. The place was in absolute silence. I can only assume that seeing me like that was quite a shock and they were all dumbstruck. I nearly got Tyson, the dog, to walk around with me (which would have been a first), but as soon as we got to the frosty path he must have thought  "Er ... hang on a minute ... woof ... I've changed me mind" and he turned and went back - shame.
Posted by terryboy at 10:17 pm on the 13th December, 2007

Lost Me Cherry - 13th December, 2007

Before I mention the cherry, I must give an example of well thought out food labelling. The thing to do when shopping in Grimsby town is to park in Sainsbury and then walk off to Freshney Place to get all your shopping . When you return, you go and do a little bit more in Sainsbury’s to get a refund on your car park ticket.
Anyway, I bought me bread and milk, a couple of cheap cakes and two reduced Pukka pies. So I'm standing in the queue at the till wondering what to look at while the lady in front took her time and I studied the Pukka pie label.
'Totally full filling .......... How to achieve piefection: bake for 20 mins at 170 or gas mark 3. Enjoy! Good things come to those who wait. Never heat your pie in the microwave.'
Now doesn't that have a human voice, a soul to it? Like they really value and care about you?  'Piefection'?  'Enjoy!' ?  As for heating pies in a microwave, well I have often wondered about that. It comes out soggy and if you don't eat it quick enough it goes rock hard.
The thing is, I did it again didn't I, got the shakes while I was reading the pie label. I looked around for some chocolate bars at the till, but they don't do that at Sainsbury’s. "Don't tell me I have got to scoff a cold pie" I thought to myself. It was all very well Pukka saying 'Good things come to those who wait', but I don't think they had people having Hypo's in mind at the time. Wait? WAIT?! Then I remembered the cakes, "That'll do, I'll eat one in the car".

When I got to the car I was shaking so much I had a job getting the key in the boot. Once the shopping was stowed, I started on the cake straight away and kept munching while getting into my seat. Are you the sort of person that leaves the glace cherry until last? Well I was munching my way around it, getting sticky syrup all over my hands (curses!), when there was a 'plop!' and the middle bit with the cherry on fell out. I looked down, but the car was in darkness, "Please ... please ... please ... not the floor!". I switched on the interior light and looked down - it was on the floor!
I call my car 'The mobile ashtray' and in that context will leave the rest to your imagination. I did pick it up and guess what? I actually blew the fluff off just before putting it into the rubbish bag. Doh! What on earth was I thinking about? I had a swig from my water bottle and as I did so I realised, "Telboy, you had a bottle of milk in that shopping - the quick fix for shakes" (pun intentional). Just shows how the hypo addled me brain again. Will I never learn?
Posted by terryboy at 12:43 am on the 13th December, 2007

The Computer Said "No" - 12th December, 2007

Firstly, Biko is getting under my feet this morning and I am getting annoyed. However, I will take some deep breaths and get my karma right (or kick him up the bum).

I needed to get something quite specific for someone's present and, being a lazy sausage at the time, I browsed major chain stores via the internet. Comet had exactly what I wanted, but it stated that my local one (Grimsby) was out of stock and the next nearest was Scunthorpe. They also had another item that I needed for a couple of presents and it was cheaper than anywhere else. So, off I went with a smile on my face.
When I got there, I couldn't find the main item I wanted, but did find that last one. The shop assistant asked what I was looking for and checked his computer. The computer said "No". "So much for checking the internet then" I said.

"I'll just take two ***** then" I said and showed him what I wanted. He went out the back and when he returned empty handed it was obvious they were out of stock. He offered me the next model up (another £6). "Do I drive to Grimsby and get the ones I wanted?" I thought and then, after weighing it up against the cost of petrol and time, decided to buy the upgraded ones.
Now, here's the good bit.
He took them to the counter and I followed, but up a different aisle. As I got near the door I came across a large stack of that 'specific' item that I had wanted in the first place. So, I just grabbed one, plonked it on the counter and said "Oh, I'll have one of these as well please". He just stared at it in silence - gobsmacked! Hehe! "Wha ... where ... wha ..." he went. "By the door" I said, "Whole stack of them".
I think the computer needs sacking don't you?

Now, you may wonder why I haven't named the items. The reason is because the recipients read my Blob as well and it would spoil the surprise on Christmas Day. (That's right 'Blob' - Melaniez, blame her for the rename - see previous entry).

Posted by terryboy at 11:32 am on the 12th December, 2007

Welcome to my Blob - 11th December, 2007

My daughter, Melanie, has been on a mission to change the English language for years. Her efforts are what we in the family affectionately call 'Melanisms' e.g. "Par Cark". Melanie came out with a new one last night, "Blob site". Apparently  she enjoyed reading my 'blob site'  the day before.  We had a laugh when she came out with it and I think it is easier to just accept that  I have a 'blob site' now instead of a 'blog site'.
So - welcome to my Blob!

I had both a terrible and a very good day yesterday. Melanie and Ian came over for the day and then we went to Eva's for a wonderful roast dinner. Maybe one day I will be able to do roast potatoes as good as hers? On the down side, my operation on the nether regions decided to really play up and it felt like I'd been kicked by a horse. The stitches are out (as you know) but the wound isn't holding together very well and I am afraid that the content might pop out, fall down my jeans and go rolling across the floor. Now that would be embarrassing! Especially if I had to chase after it and try and put it back in! Fortunately, after a good nights sleep, it hasn't been too bad today. So I did a little bit of shopping.

Are you like me and always have a decko at what the person in front at the till has bought? I usually have a good look and then glance at the shopper to see if it all matches. Well, there was this bloke in front of me today and he bought organic pitta bread and organic milk, but with it was two packs of cheap chicken breasts, economy bacon and a few other non-organic products. "Why did you bother?" I thought. I came to the assumption that he was an 'organic beginner' and wasn't quite sure about the true facts. It could also be that by the time he had got the pitta bread and milk, he didn't have enough dosh to proceed with the organic theme. Had that been me, I'd have replaced the pitta bread and milk for the norm' as I'd have been too embarrassed to go to the till with that assortment (you never know if someone is watching over your shoulder).

I think I have got one over the cats. The supermarket ran out of their favourite sachets of Felix fish in jelly and so I had to make do with the shop's own brand. They love it! And it is 50p a box cheaper! Just got to try and work the same trick with their tinned stuff now.

95% of my Christmas cards are done and all ready for posting and most of the presents have been bought (just need wrapping - groan). I will be having Christmas Day on my own and if last year is anything to go by, it will be a very relaxing and enjoyable day. Sausage rolls to the left, Mince pies to the right and alcohol free beer in the fridge - luverly! Biko can do the cooking and Rosy the serving (in my dreams - the lazy b***ds!).

Posted by terryboy at 1:56 am on the 11th December, 2007

Hannibal the Cattibal - 06th December, 2007

I got up late again today. Suffice to say that it was an afternoon breakfast and consisted of herring roe on toast. Yes, I know what you're thinking, but when bargain hunting you get what your given, which in this case was a 15p item from the fish counter yesterday. Naturally, if bacon was 15p I'd have had a bacon sandwich.
Whenever I see herring roe I always think of dad because he used to like it. So there I was toying with the stuff in the frying pan, happy with my memories of dad and listening to the sounds of contented cats slurping at their food bowls. As I watched the roe curl up I suddenly thought of Hannibal Lecter, "He'd enjoy this" I thought, "Bottle of Chianti and all that - sliver!"
You can't disguise herring roe can you. Whatever you do with it, it either looks like someone's innards or pieces of brain. "I hope this doesn't give me a taste for ... flesh" I thought. The toast popped out of the toaster, I looked at the cats and salivated ... hmmm, it would be a solution. Biko gave a little tremble, but carried on eating and pretended not to notice. Rosy gave him a sideways glance, but was reassured by his bravery and carried on slurping. "Blowed if I am popping up to the Co-op for a bottle of wine" I thought and decided to stick with the roe.
The day started well: Terry 1 - cats 0.

Blow me, they are even dominating my blog now - do you think I need help?

Posted by terryboy at 2:36 pm on the 06th December, 2007

In a flap about a flap. - 06th December, 2007

Morrison’s have done it again - give away time! I started at the fish counter and worked my way round the salad,  hot meat, ignored the bread, on to the fresh meat and up to the chilled food. It went like this: 15p, 15p, 15p, 15p, 89p, (fish & seafood); 49p (salad); 89p (hot meat), 9p, 89p (fresh meat). The last item was a joint of Scottish Topside. I only went in for cat food.
Sad aint I? Don't answer!

Now then, there's something going on between these two cats of mine. I think they're playing me for a sucker. You all know that Biko is an expert, but Rosy is at it as well now. We were in the kitchen and she was pacing up and down and up and down - "Wah! Wah! Wah!" (Rosy that is and no, it shouldn't be meow). So I kicked the food bowl towards her. She stopped, had a sniff and walked away - Wah! Wah! Wah! Up and down and up and down, so I stopped what I was doing and spoke to her in a friendly voice, "STOP WHINGING!!!!". Having got my attention again, she went to the cat flap, looked up at me and went Wah! Wah! Wah!
Against my better judgement, I stuck my finger on the cat flap and pushed it open. She ignored it, moved to the edge of the door and pointed with her little paw to the handle. "Lazy cow!" I thought and opened it, resisting the urge to pull it quickly and thus flick her back into the lounge (I'm only human).
I stood there waiting for her to leave, but she only went half-way then sat down. I watched her expectantly, but all she did was sniff the air and stare at the sky. I waited and waited ... and waited.
"Well? You going then? Nice night tonight" I said.
"Yes, it is" she replied, then turned and sauntered back into the lounge.
I closed the door and started banging my head against the wall, "Wah! Wah! Wah!"
 Posted by terryboy at 2:35 am on the 06th December, 2007

Thousand year old egg - part two - 04th December, 2007

I decided not to have eggs yesterday and opened it this morning. I can hardly say 'cracked' as most of the shell had dissolved. Having worked in a butcher's shop where knives were laying about everywhere, I tend to see potential accidents before they happen. However, there are moments when I forget that I was a butcher and ... have an accident.

I was in 'butcher' mode today and emptied the egg into a cup rather than straight into the frying pan. Good job I did! I can only describe what came out as something like the end product from an ejaculating squid. Would that be the right term? Or Squirt? No, I think the former sums it up better. It looked obscene! A large yellow eye staring up at me from a bed of black runny fluid. I shuddered and threw it in the bin. "So much for making a killing at the boot fairs" I thought to myself.

In hindsight, I should have plucked up the courage to stay with it. White (egg) had become the new black. I could have used it for black meringues and sold them to Goths - black Pavlova, black souffl├ęs, black lemon meringues with a balsamic twist? Anyone fancy coming round for dessert?
Posted by terryboy at 1:17 pm on the 04th December, 2007

Who's the boss? - 04th December, 2007

Biko's not happy and Rosy couldn't give a monkeys. I am trying to de-programme Biko so that he won't keep drinking from the tap. I was getting really fed up with watching all that money trickling away down the plug hole and waiting for him to finish drinking every time. So, I have moved his former drinking bowl from the bath to the sink and just top it up when I have washed my hands. It has confused him and he does not like it, but I will persevere - after all, who's the boss in this house? (don't answer that!).

I was talking to my mate, Bill on Yahoo Messenger last night. Now, he's my mate because a) he's all that a mate should be and b) In spite of his own health problems at the time, he stood up and campaigned for the rights of others for which he often took a bit of flack. We usually end up talking about two subjects  - mental health or computers.  He lives in Devon with his partner, Christine and so we rarely get to see each other. The good mark of a friendship is when you haven't spoken for months and then pick up the phone and say "Now, where were we?". Naturally, we speak/message for hours when we do get in touch! The main thing is that we both have a very dry sense of humour and always have a good laugh!

I went to the Seal Sanctuary again yesterday and guess what? Yup, I did it again! Left the memory stick at home, but at least my laptop was up to date this time. Once again, I became so engrossed in what I was doing that I forgot to turn on the heating and lighting. The thing is that I only noticed the cold when it was time to pack up and go home.

Part of the reason for not feeling the cold was because I was wearing a moleskin jacket instead of my usual Gortex. This jacket is my favourite, but there is a problem - it makes me look like a tramp. It seems to be able to pick up all sorts of dirt within 24 hours of being cleaned. What really annoys me is that the collar (which should be black like the rest) is a muddy brown. Even a spell at the cleaners doesn't change it back to black. I tend to just wear it in the dark or when I go to places where people don't know me. The Seal Sanctuary is closed to the public this time of year (apart from weekends) and so wearing it yesterday was okay.

Thanks to that spell of recuperation and lazing about after my op' I have put on weight. There are those of you who might say that it is due more to opening my mouth and swallowing, but I prefer the previous excuse. So, it looks like I'll have to go on a diet in the new year. Oh, do you remember me mentioning that the diabetic nurse wanted to see me?  I was relieved to hear that she was reminding me that my 12-weekly jab was due - phew! Which would explain my recent bouts of tiredness.
Posted by terryboy at 10:56 am on the 04th December, 2007

Thousand year old Egg - 03rd December, 2007

I opened the fridge and noticed that one of the eggs was looking a bit manky. Then I realised that balsamic vinegar dressing on the shelf above had been leaking. That'll teach me to screw bottle tops on properly! "No probs" I thought to myself, "just give it a rinse". The trouble is that it is akin to pulling off that little bit of wallpaper that leads to a complete paper stripping session. The egg led to the rusty corn beef tin, the mayonnaise jar, the milk bottle etc. Balsamic vinegar dressing is horrible stuff to mop up.

The odd thing with this egg was that once it was rinsed off, I realised that the hard shell had dissolved on the parts where the vinegar had been and it reassembled a thousand year old egg (Chinese style). So, it is going to be interesting this morning when I have it for breakfast (or not, as the case may be). Will it come out normal or in one mummified lump? Either way I am a winner. I could make a small fortune flogging thousand year old eggs at boot fairs. People must be getting fed up with normal pickled eggs and walnuts by now surely?
Posted by terryboy at 10:52 am on the 03rd December, 2007

Take Me Home. - 03rd December, 2007

He's gone you know; nowhere to be seen, the fly that is. It probably means that I have a corpse lying around the house somewhere and will find it just when I have nothing on my feet - crunch! At least when I tread on Cat Bisks or jellified cat meat and I can pick it off and put it back in their bowl. Scraping off a blob consisting of a thousand fly eyes doesn't bear thinking about.

Have you watched that cat cartoon yet? I keep looking at it and still fall about laughing because it really does mirror my relationship with Biko. The only annoying habit that Rosy has is weaving in and out of my legs when I am at the computer, which makes me cringe.

I have just been watching 'Take Me Home', John Denver's life story. I love all his songs, but I also love a lot of other types of music as well. How can one answer the question 'What is your favourite music?' with any complete honesty? I just reckon that each arrives on time at the right moment for the most meaning. I guess tonight was just right for John Denver eh? In the past, I have driven around the Lincolnshire countryside with Bob Dylan blaring out of my car speakers. It fitted the mood, the scenery and the day, and yet another day it didn't and so I played Classical.

I really missed the caravan today for the first time since shutdown. It has been raining hard for most of the day and the place to listen and enjoy it is the caravan - shame.
Had a funny letter yesterday. The Student Finance Company reckon the Inland Revenue have never heard of me - ugh?! I wonder if the Tax Office has been a victim of ID theft and all that tax I have been paying this past year is financing some villain in Spain? Actually, I haven't been 'paying' it as such - they've been 'taking' it. What really annoys me with the SFC is that they double the interest rate in one fell swoop just as it gets around to me paying it back. So much for a Labour government who really are testing my loyalty these days. "Education, education, education ..." yeh, right!

The diabetic nurse wants me to see her. I am sure my check-up isn't due until the new year and so this must be a crafty spot check. I'm not happy, because there seems to be a temporary blip in my sugar level and it has been a bit high for a couple of days (I wonder why ... hmmm?). So, I expect I will get a good talking to. If only she'd been patient and waited until January we'd have both been happy.
On the subject of health: all is going well ... er ... 'down below'. I'm nearly walking normally at last.

Do you like the photo of me as kwasi ... qwassi ... the Hunchback of Notradame? That's Pauline beside me. We went to a fancy dress do at ICI and I won first prize (Bottle of wine). The evening was marred slightly because a woman kept insisting on dancing with me and was always trying to put her hand up my skirt. She never did find the bottle (I assume that was what she was after).

Posted by terryboy at 1:26 am on the 03rd December, 2007

A cartoon paints a thousand words - 01st December, 2007

I saw a cartoon film through Facebook this morning It is actually on YouTube, but it sums up my relationship with Biko exactly! I think it's great!

http://youtube.com/watch?v=GmwqpHsMExg

Posted by terryboy at 2:18 pm on the 01st December, 2007

Global Warming - 30th November, 2007

I've got company tonight: Biko, Rosy and ... a fly. I HATE flies. It must be the biggest one I have ever seen and keeps popping in and out of the kitchen and lounge like a miniature zeppelin. Driving me nuts! Just when I have forgotten it's there it suddenly floats into my line of vision. I think a fly that size must be either very mature or being fed on the quiet by one of my neighbours. I also reckon it is hi-tech as it doesn't make a noise, which means it could also be a ghost.
It must know that it is the last day of November and shouldn't be here.

I can't understand why Rosy isn't watching it like a hawk. She used to zoom in on any insect with wings, drool, give a little chatter of excitement through her teeth and then pounce! She's not the slightest bit interested tonight; probably doesn't believe her own eyes either. I'm wondering if this fly is a result of global warming? After all, it is very big and the wrong time of year. All these scientists talk about the ozone layer and the ice caps melting when, perhaps, they should be checking out the flies. Is that what we face? A house full of flies? Not just flies, but big mutant ones?

The cheeky so and so! Guess what? The b****d's only just turned up again and is now sitting on the box of pens on my desk! Does it fear nothing?! Gobsmacked! "Get out the fly spray" you may say, but that is a little bit awkward you see. It is all very well doing it in the summer when there are loads of them flying about, but when there is just one big one (virtually human) it becomes a little bit too personal - a one-on-one situation. How can I look him in the eyes ... eyes ...eyes ...eyes ... eyes ... eyes and press the button without feeling guilty?

There is only one thing for it, I'll turn the heating off, open the doors and windows then let it die of old age - which I estimate will be around midnight.

Posted by terryboy at 10:31 pm on the 30th November, 2007

Christmas shopping's started - 29th November, 2007

Stitches taken out today - yippee! I'm free!
I popped into Maplins today to get a couple of adapters. Now the thing is that I wasn't going to buy myself any Christmas presents. The car had cost a fortune on its MOT and I won that new laptop anyway. One should never shop when miserable (comfort spending) or when happy (who cares about cost? shopping). Shopping should always be done when 'normal';  a sort of auto mode when your mind is elsewhere, but your wallet knows where to go and what to get.

I went to Maplins straight from the hospital and so ... dear oh dear ... I was in happy mode. You've guessed it; instead of coming out with two thimble sized adapters, I came out with my arms full of stuff for Christmas presents. Amongst that lot were two that I had bought for myself. I don't know what they are because I like surprises on Christmas Day, but I do know that I really need them (yeah, right!).

The problem is that I will have to wrap them with my eyes shut as I don't want to spoil my own surprise. I'll manage somehow. Maybe Biko will guide me with the sellotape (right a bit bit ... up a bit ... meow cut!). On second thoughts, perhaps not. He'll probably wait until I have one finger between the scissor blades.

By the way, I did remember to buy the adaptors.

Posted by terryboy at 8:55 pm on the 29th November, 2007

A Sleepless Night - 29th November, 2007

Biko had me worried the other night. I went to bed and he was nowhere to be seen. Oh, I wasn't concerned about his wellbeing, after all he can take care of himself and if he can't - tough! It just wasn't like him not to be there and lead the way up the stairs and quite often I have to give him a nudge up the bum to make him move faster. After that, he leads the way into the bathroom and then plonks himself on the duvet. It was very unsettling him not being there..

I was sure he was up to something or maybe he was psyching me out. "Have I upset him?" I thought, "Is he gonna get his own back?". So I laid there in the dark staring at where the ceiling usually is, listening to every little sound that pierced the void.

Rosy seized the opportunity to make hay while the sun shone and pranced all over the duvet, pillows, me and any bare bit of flesh she could find. She always lingers on bare flesh because she likes to lick it (for the salt I suppose) and I thought it might calm me down anyway thus sending me to sleep, but it didn't work.

The seconds, minutes and hours ticked by as I watched the illuminated digits on my clock click in sequence. Eventually it got to the point where I could stand the tension no more and was about to get up. Suddenly 'Whop!' and a loud groan from me as something heavy landed on my groin. "Meow, hello" he said - the b****d! Think I'll put him on a diet. Rosy? She was out that door before he had even landed!

P.s. The stitches come out today - whoopee!

Posted by terryboy at 10:59 am on the 29th November, 2007

No spitting - 28th November, 2007

A sign brought a smile to my face tonight. The college has little smoking areas outside that look a little bit like bus shelters. They are designed to keep the rain off, but that only works if it is falling straight down rather than coming at you at an angle.

I was a teeny bit stressed as it was the last class tonight and my web creation had to be handed in at the end. Such was my level of concentration that I forgot to have my cigar break and had to sidle off half an hour later than usual. The positive side to this was that I found myself all alone in the shelter. So I puffed and stared ... puffed and stared ... into space - while resisting the urge to throw half of it away and get on with my work.

Then I saw it, a brand new yellow sticker on the glass panel right beside the ashtray-topped litter bin, "These ashtrays are for butt ends - no spitting". It took a while for me to believe what I was seeing; after all, it is not everyday you see the words 'spit' and 'ashtray' in the same sentence. "Oooh err?" I thought to myself, "How odd".

In my years at college I have never actually seen anyone spit into the ashtrays (or anything else for that matter). Generally, the spitters aim for a bigger target like the pavement (in the absence of a barn door no doubt). It got me thinking, "Perhaps they have misunderstood the culprit?". After all, he/she had seemingly three choices: swallow it, aim for the pavement or (in this case) the ashtray. I like to think he/she was being considerate as swallowing is obviously out of the question and flobbing phlegm on the pavement could cause an accident. That person is going to be in quite a dilemma when they go to the shelter again.

Perhaps they could compromise and change the sign. 'The pavement is for walking on and ashtrays for butt ends. We appreciate your concern for others, but if you wanna spit please aim for the litter bin under the ashtray'.

If I decide to go back to college again, I think I will keep my eyes peeled to the ground when going for a puff.

Posted by terryboy at 1:02 am on the 28th November, 2007

Biko has learned a new habit - 26th November, 2007

I don't know if they spoiled him during his stay at the vets, but Biko is becoming a little bit more demanding. Every morning after my shower I fill a drinking bowl with water and leave it in the bath for him (His idea not mine).

It appears that that is not good enough anymore. He now wants fresh sips regularly throughout the day and achieves this every time I go to the bathroom sink. Sometimes he will straddle both sides of the sink and I have to weave my hands around him to get at the water. If I get annoyed and 'accidently ' nudge him, he just stands on one edge and gives me 'The Look'.  What he is waiting for of course, is for me to finish and leave the coldwater tap running so he can get his head under it and start slurping.

The thing is, that I am on a water meter and water's money so to speak. So, I have to stand there and wait until he is finished before turning the tap off. The stupid thing is that I still put the water bowl in the bath every morning for him. You know what? My life isn't my own any more and there aint a thing I can do about it.
Posted by terryboy at 3:23 pm on the 26th November, 2007

What happened to the trees? - 26th November, 2007

I have just come back from my caravan. I was quite shocked when I turned up there on Sunday as a lot of the trees had gone. No, I wasn't shocked - I was gutted to be honest with you. It lets in more sunlight, but it also means I can see the cars on the main road. I just hope that the trees that are left will blossom with plenty of leaves next year. I suppose the site owner wanted to make it all look that much prettier, but I preferred the 'jungle' look.

It just goes to show that there are things that are beyond one's own control. You find a nice bit of heaven and someone eventually mucks about with it.
Posted by terryboy at 2:52 pm on the 26th November, 2007

Back to Food Again - 23rd November, 2007

Firstly, I sorted me pin number out, got my money and then the petrol -Phew! It was a tense few seconds waiting for the ATM to start counting cash rather than going 'Burp! Thank you very much it's mine now'

I always listen to Radio Humberside and my particular favourite is Blaire Jacobs and Soapbox. It is a phone-in program and deals with anything that the listeners want to discuss. However, today he brought back 'Feel good Friday' and most of the time was spent talking about food and the good old days. The usual stuff came up (no pun intended!) chitterlings, tripe, black pudding, pigs trotters, a recipe for Junket and so on.

One interesting item was the Bedfordshire Block (I believe it was 'Block) which consisted of suet pastry in a dish with a pastry wall down the middle. Meat was put in one side and jam in the other, then it was turned over, put in a cloth and cooked. I couldn't help but feel that at least some hot jam or gravy would find some little hole somewhere and contaminate the other side. Then I thought that it probably wouldn't be so bad after all - a bit like sweet & sour pudding.

As a schoolboy I worked part-time at a local butchers and the sausages were made every Wednesday.  All the ones left from the previous week were shared out among the staff and I used to go home with a nice big bundle (note: in the days of wrapping in newspaper!). Somehow they always seemed a lot tastier after spending a week in the fridge. The only drawback to working for him was the fish (yes, he sold that as well) which I had to put out on display every morning before going to school. As you can imagine, the smell remained with me throughout the lessons.

In these days of Health & Safety and Hygiene I still marvel at the fact that he used to smoke his pipe when serving customers and pee in the large sink behind the fish counter when the shop was empty. One day while he was 'at the sink' I watched a customer approaching and decided to keep my mouth shut and see what unfolded - hehe! When he glimpsed around and saw her, he went ashen, mumbled something about the tap being okay now and adjusted his apron - oh joy of joys!

We lived on the edge of town and most of the countryside was covered with either orchards or hop fields. A nice little sideline for us kids was to go scrumping and flog the apples and fruit to another local butcher who would then sell it 'under the counter' so to speak.

When I first started work full-time, I used to enjoy returning home to my cheap lodgings known as Mum and Dad's B&B (home in other words) and sitting down to a hot pork pie and homemade chips. Yes, I could go on about all sorts of lovely grub from them days, but the succulent, juicy, warm pork pie will always take a bit of beating.

Posted by terryboy at 5:53 pm on the 23rd November, 2007

My Freezer Never says 'No' to a Bargain - 22nd November, 2007

Let's get the laptop biz out of the way first. I needed to install some expensive software onto the new one (for those in the know, it was QuarkXPress). Unfortunately, it didn't like Windows Vista and so I downloaded the updater for it that was Vista compatible. However, the updater expects the older version to be on there already - catch twenty-two as they say. In the end I sent an email to their support and received a reply the next day in which they told me where to download the latest full version (Vista certified) that would also accept my activation key. Problem solved! B***dy Vista!

I have been with the seals today. The office heater was replaced and the lights switched on (see 'I Really am Losing it You Know') and I managed to get in quite a bit of writing, which made my day. My cigar stock and fuel tank were getting low and so I decided to go to my social club (Morrison's of course) on the way home. Needing more money, I went to the cash machine ... oh dear! I entered the pin wrong twice in a row and couldn't afford to do a third one in case they kept my card. Panic! Usually I do it automatically, but today I started thinking about my number as I left the car and that is dangerous because the digits start getting muddled.

So there was a choice - petrol or cigars and a bit of food. The cigars won. I was hoping to mentally keep a track of my spending so that I would have about a fiver left. Naturally my priorities were the bargain corners and low and behold I found two trays of best Scottish sirloin steak reduced from £7.99 each to 89pence. I'll just repeat that again 89 pence! "Just my luck" I thought "Here's me trying to clear out the freezer and they go and do this to me". Anyway, those steaks (along with some 19 pence stewing beef) went into my basket so fast they nearly cooked with friction.

When it came to the checkout and time to pay, the bill was £18.25 and I started sweating "This may be embarrassing" I thought, hoping that there was enough change in my pocket to go with the Tenner. Phew! Just enough! Now, I am in the habit of checking the till receipt as I walk away, especially if I have had reduced stuff and I noticed that something had cost me £8.25. One of the steaks hadn't gone through properly, but luckily I got a refund.

The petrol warning light and buzzer came on just as I was leaving the car park. I hope I can remember my pin number by tomorrow.

The lesson for today is to always check your till receipts. Don't leave it until you get home, because it might be a long trip back.
Posted by terryboy at 1:39 am on the 22nd November, 2007

Ironing - 20th November, 2007

I hate ironing! I feel such a wally with the ironing board just under my chin and my hands at shoulder height holding the iron. Ironing is kept to the bare minimum and the only things that qualify are jeans and T-shirts. Now and then I will do the odd hanky, but only if I am going somewhere posh.

I have had offers from people who enjoy ironing ('Enjoy'? Can you actually believe that?), but I like to be my own man. Now, initially I used to get around this little problem by continually popping into BHS and getting new ones - believe me, they are the T-shirts and nothing else will do. This worked fine for quite a while and it was nice to say "Stuff the ironing" each morning and just get another new one out of the wardrobe. However, one sunny day I decided to venture to the other side of the bed and open the window for the pussies. This is an area of the bedroom I do not venture in very often - no need really. I reached out for the latch and fell down  'plop' onto something soft. "Mattress doesn't reach this far" I thought.

Biko looked down at me from the window sill and gave a 'tut' as if to say "Get on with it then". I looked around me and realised I had landed on a mountain of dirty T-shirts. It was like a little treasure trove really and some of them brought back memories: the tatty black one with red cedar paint stains from doing the fence two years earlier; another with 'Medway Forum' printed on it from the short period when mental health users actually had some power and a bluey grey one from Matt's time in hospital. The list was endless and Biko waited patiently while I continued my exploration.

Well, obviously this state of affairs couldn't continue and so I decided to throw some away. Err ... I managed two and thus the big wash-in began. "Good Boy", you may be saying, but I have had to compromise I am afraid. It follows that I now have a gigantic pile of ironing, but what I do is iron just one every morning (unless I am late or feeling lazy and then another new one comes out of the wardrobe). I think it is about time BHS came out with a non-iron T-shirt don't you? There is also a bit more news about the new laptop, but I'll save that for another time - grrrr!

Posted by terryboy at 3:59 pm on the 20th November, 2007

All Gone - 18th November, 2007

I refer you to an earlier blog entry 'Wednesday Was Not a Good Day'. Remember that mountain of cakes and biscuits I suddenly found myself with? Well, I have just scoffed the last biscuit! The last bit of sponge cake went yesterday, by which time it was nice and crunchy - waste not: want not, that's my motto. Suffice to say, I am sick of all things sweet now.

Did you like the photo of little me in a sailor's suit? I always wanted to join the Navy and then latterly the Royal Marines. Then I found out that it helps if you can swim - oops! Laugh! Laugh? Me a Marine? Perhaps I ought to be a Fantasy fiction writer. Hahahaha! Now, what did I do with that stale pork pie? In the bloomin' wardrobe probably! Wonder if the battery cover off my mouse is up there?

Posted by terryboy at 1:10 pm on the 18th November, 2007

I really am losing it you know - 18th November, 2007

Now then, this here laptop needs to have Dreamweaver installed on it. Dreamweaver is a website creation software and I am using it at college. In fact, the two things I am using most at the moment are that and Word.

For days and days now I have been searching for the original disk. All my important software is kept in one of three places: boxed stuff in the wardrobe, regular use stuff in a pigeon hole on my desk and other stuff in a plastic CD box. I couldn't remember if I had thrown the box away and just kept the disk or kept the whole thing and thrown that away by mistake.

As you all know, when you lose something (no matter how small) you just can't settle and the last few days have been purgatory. I spent a few more hours this morning sifting through everything and I do mean EVERYTHING. Still no joy, but then I found a back-up image on my pc (without the serial number). I buzzed up the program on my main computer and found it in the 'about' section.

I still wasn't happy. After all, using that backup would be like using something second-hand. So, off I went upstairs to have another look. I went to the wardrobe first in the hope that I might have stuck it into another box. Then I saw it right in front of my face 'Studio 8' written on the edge of a box. "Hang on" I thought "That rings a bell" and yes, it was Dreamweaver Studio 8!

I've lost count of the amount of times I'd seen it and assumed it was part of my video editing software.  You'd have thought that Adobe software could at least have added the word 'Dreamweaver' on the edge wouldn't you! They are obviously not catering for the lowest common denominator - idiots like me.

Anyway, I am a very happy bunny now.

Posted by terryboy at 10:30 am on the 18th November, 2007

Left in the Dark + New Recipe - 17th November, 2007

Yes, the two are related - sort of.
I was at the Seal Sanctuary yesterday and fully equipped this time (USB stick, laptop, cheese & cucumber rolls etc). I like to give Tyson (the dog) a treat every time I go, but this time I had some dental sticks for him to chew. I have been giving him doggie chocolate in the past, but thought that too much of it might be bad for him. He turned his nose up at them and so I am stuck with a bag of dental sticks that even my cats wouldn't like.

The heater still wasn't working, primarily because I forgot to tell them about it last time and so I kept my coat on. I became so engrossed in what I was doing that I even forgot to have a cigar break - gasp! The trouble with being paranoid about one's files/documents is that sometimes you save the wrong version and so some of that time was spent sorting all that out.

So, duly sorted, the creative brain went into action and the time passed very quickly. Eventually, the door opened and a voice said "How you doin'?". I looked up and couldn't see a thing! It was pitch dark. The glow from my laptop screen reassured me that I hadn't gone blind which was a bit of a relief. Paul (the owner) had come to have a chat and was having a chuckle (must have thought I was a right oddball). It was timely as my laptop battery was about to die and it was time to go home. If he hadn't turned up I would probably have switched it to mains and continued into the early hours. Linda (Paul's partner) had a laugh when I left and I told her that I had a mini-light I could have plugged into the laptop, she pointed out that there was a light switch - Doh! Did I feel an idiot.

Anyway, tired, cold and hungry I went home and decided that my dinner would come out of tins (potatoes, peas and minced beef - all Morrison’s naturally). At the last minute I thought I had better make it a 'healthy' meal and switched the tinned potatoes for real ones. I opened the tin of minced beef and emptied it into the saucepan. Did it land with a 'plop'? a 'thud'? No, it landed with a splash! Which meant that I would have to mash the potatoes in order to soak up the gravy. This is where things started to go wrong. I ended up with far too much milk in the mash and while sorting that out the peas boiled away merrily into nothingness.
The combination on my plate was not a pretty sight - a greenish white brown slurry. "Soup it is then" I thought and ravenously tucked in with my spoon. It tasted okay.

So there you have a new recipe for Potato, pea and tinned mince soup. I would suggest that if you want to make a pie you use real meat or another brand of tinned meat.
I am reminded of a Firehouse Curry recipe given to me many years ago by my dear friend Alex Matches (Vancouver Fire Dept - retired). One tin of condensed Campbell’s oxtail soup, minced beef and curry powder  blend and heat. Try it sometime (avoid the tinned meat though).

Posted by terryboy at 1:27 pm on the 17th November, 2007

Laptop - Problem Solved - 15th November, 2007

Even though I have been shovelling all my software onto the new laptop, I have still been feeling a tad guilty. I just keep getting the feeling that Father Christmas is going to slip down my chimney (or in my case - knock on the door seeing as I haven't got one) and take my present away instead of leaving one.
The only clue I had was that it had PPE Ltd on the box and so I did a 'Google' and found their phone number. "We sent them on behalf of Tesco" she said, "So you are a prize winner". Aha! So! I can relax now and enjoy it.
Just got to wait for Dolmio to send me a telly now (in my dreams!).
Going shopping today and so, just this once as a thank you, I will drive past Morrison’s and go to Tesco. The car won't like it as it never goes past Morrison’s. So there might be a bit of a tussle at the round-a-bout.

Posted by terryboy at 2:52 pm on the 15th November, 2007

Wednesday Was Not a Good Day - 15th November, 2007

I got up far too early for a start off and knew I was gonna pay for it later. Having had several weeks off while my nether regions were slashed and pampered, it was time to get back to the Seal Sanctuary. It is a 70 mile round trip which is the longest journey since the op' and I wondered how my tender bits would cope (which they did).

All my Sanctuary writing is kept on a USB memory stick with backups on my PC, another at the office and my (old) laptop. I think it would be fair to say that I am paranoid! I left my USB stick ready to take with me and decided to take the new laptop.

When I got to the Sanctuary I found that the season had ended and they are now closed to the public apart from weekends. So? You may ask, well it also means that the cafe is closed and if the cafe is closed, I can't go through my usual ritual of buying a cheese & cucumber sandwich to eat while I unpack. Anyway, so I unpack and start up the laptop only to find that I had left the USB stick at home. This meant that the only copies of my files available were on the office PC. That's alright then you may say, but no it isn't. If I work on them I need to take them home with me and there was no means of synchronising the two computers.

Oh dear! No sandwiches, no USB and no work; I decided to have a look around the site. It was so quiet and still and yet all the animals seemed happy. It was as if they were enjoying their rest from the general public. I wandered around and stopped every few yards to look and listen, spiritually resting on the blanket 'hum' of the sea beyond the dunes. It brought the comfort of the 'night sound' without the darkness. It was creatively stimulating and solved my problem, because all I did was write something new straight onto the laptop. I have called it 'End of Season'.

Everything was okay then? No, because the heater in the office went on the blink and I sat there and froze. As the afternoon went on, I found myself nodding off while typing and getting all sorts of menus on the screen (one's fingers have a mind of their own when drowsy). It was time to give up and go home.

Now what happens to a diabetic when they don't eat all day (and should know better by now)? Yes, as I neared Caistor I got the shakes and so went into the Co-op. Here's a lesson for you - never, never do your shopping when you are hypoing. Firstly your brain is confused and secondly you end up with a basket full of cakes and chocolate. I woofed down a Snickers as soon as I got into the car and then polished off a few cakes as soon as I got home. Once the shakes had stopped I sat in the recliner and crashed out.

I eventually woke up at 10.30 pm and was rather annoyed at all the time that had been wasted, especially as it was too late to have a proper meal. I became even more irritated when I saw the pile of cakes and chocolate biscuits in the kitchen, because I am not really a cake/biscuit man and don't usually have them in the house. I really don't know what happened there as my usual tried and tested solution for hypo's is to buy a bottle of cold milk, which seems to get into my system quite quickly. Maybe I left it just a little bit too late this time? Hmm ... story of my life!

I just hope that Biko and Rosy are fond of coconut covered jam sponge.

Posted by terryboy at 5:10 am on the 15th November, 2007

Where Did It Go? - 14th November, 2007

Back to the new laptop again. The distance between my recliner chair and the sofa is but a few feet, but somehow I managed to lose something within that space. I have (had?) a wireless mouse that is specifically for my laptop and stored in its only little pocket on my computer bag. I usually dismantle it as it has the annoying habit of switching itself on and draining the batteries.

My laptop was setup by my chair and the bag was on the sofa. I then took the mouse bits out, went to my chair and started to put them together only to find that the plastic battery cover was missing. I know that all the bits were in my bag and so it must be in that little bit of space between the two bits of furniture. Not a sausage! Nowhere to be seen. The mind boggles!

Now, an interesting thought occurred to me. I am loath to get rid of that mouse (what's left of it), had it been the other way round where I was left with only the plastic lid, I'd have just thrown it away.

I wonder how many other useless remnants in life we cling on to just because we are left with the greater part of the whole?

Posted by terryboy at 5:18 am on the 14th November, 2007

Freezer Clear Out - 14th November, 2007

Over the past few weeks I have been gradually using up all the food in my freezer. This is because the one in my caravan will need emptying at the end of the season on November 30th and I will need to transfer the contents back home.

Unfortunately, this has meant that I have had to ignore all those little freezer/chilled food bargains at the supermarket. Checking for these reduced item bargains is one of the few pleasures I get in life (yes, I know - sad isn't it) and I know every nook and cranny where they can be found.

It has been an interesting journey which culminated in having two, freezer burned burgers last night. I don't have much success with burgers as they always turn out crunchy when I cook them, which explains why those ones were so old. Still, there is not much left in there now; sausages, more sausages, two Aunt Bessie dumplings, some more sausages, mince, 3 very special Chatsworth Farm pork chops, Haggis, veggie burgers and a whole salmon.

Those last two are gonna be a bit of a problem. Veggie burgers, though colourful never really appeal to me and every time I open the freezer I cringe at the thought that one day I am going to have to eat them. The salmon, on the other hand, is no problem at all as it is my favourite fish. The thing is that it is a whole salmon and I can't thaw it out, chop it up and re-freeze it. Now one can have 'too much cake' as they say and I am a little concerned that I might eat so much in one go that it will put me off for life.

It is a sobering thought that while I am worrying about too much salmon there are women and children in the Third World who face not only famine, but war as well. I bet they wish that their only problem was a whole salmon - makes you think eh?

Posted by terryboy at 4:55 am on the 14th November, 2007

An Idiot, Hammer and Laptop - 13th November, 2007

The time had come to do the dirty deed; I could take no more. I sat back in my recliner chair, hammer beside me and new laptop in front of me ... then nodded off!

I awoke many hours later suitably refreshed and decided to give it another go. I re-read all the old paperwork from when I first set my modem up. Doh! I had been using the wrong password all the time! At least I could access its configuration at last. What do I find when I have a decko in there? The wireless bit of it was not enabled ... another Doh!

And thus it was so and all things came to life while software updates and registrations sped off into the ether and the room was alive with bells and whistles and lights ... and Terry was happy.

Just knew it would be something stupid and simple.
Posted by terryboy at 8:59 am on the 13th November, 2007

This Here New Laptop - 12th November, 2007

Now surprising as it may seem, I am fully dressed! Well, one has to get some wear out of ones clothes at sometime or other.

We've all been there haven't we? Those moments when you just want to pick up the damn computer and throw it out of the window? I'm having one right now with that new laptop. Bloody Windows Vista! All I want to do is connect wirelessly to my network and the internet. Vista doesn't want me to do that, it wants to play all on its own - b****d! Mwah! I want Windows XP! Grizzle, grizzle.

I had a nice treat yesterday when Eva invited me for dinner - yummy! It had to be a roast obviously, with apple pie and custard for sweet. Trouble is, I fell asleep after that and by the time I woke up (to a nice cup of tea), did a few bits on her computer and sorted out a take-away 'doggie bag' it was the early hours of the morning. As I was driving home a cop car pulled out in front of me. Most of Grimsby is 30mph and were they doing 30mph? No! they slowed down to 28mph, then 27 and up to 29. "They're winding me up" I thought "Can't they read?". It reminded me of them cyclists in the Velodrome Centre trying to psyche each other out and then sprinting for the finishing line. In our case the sprint line was at the 50mph sign on Bradley cross-roads. Just when I was gonna stick me toe down and overtake, they turned left to Waltham! Bummer! Oh well, gave us both a bit of pleasure for a few minutes.

My 'injury' is getting better and I have decided to dispense with the Tuff Guy Thong. Let's hope it carries on that way eh? Now, what did I do with that hammer? Must get back to the laptop.

Posted by terryboy at 8:42 pm on the 12th November, 2007

Bath Mats - 11th November, 2007

As I was having a shower and admiring my brand new £3.49 bath mats, I thought that you might think that it was a strange thing to get excited about (?). The reason is simple, I had to throw the other ones away.

Let me take you back to the night before my operation. They asked me to ... well ... you know .... shave 'down there'. I assume this was so that the surgeon could see where his scalpel was going. I thought of many ways of doing it including screwing a mirror to the bedroom ceiling and lying on the bed with a razor. In the end, it was a sit on the edge of the bath job. It started reasonably well, Garden shears, scissors and then razor, all done without the aid of a mirror (live dangerously, that's me!). About two thirds of the way through, I realised that something wasn't quite right. I looked down and nearly fainted! There was blood spurting everywhere! "Femoral artery! I'm a gonna!" screamed through my head and my first thought was to run out into the street. Then I remembered that I was using a safety razor, not a butcher's knife and calmed down. Once I had wiped away most of the blood, I saw that it was the tiniest of cuts and I can't believe the amount of blood that came from it.

So, I spent the next ten minutes with one hand holding gauze to my injury and the other mopping up the floor, walls and mat. Seeing as I was naked at the time, I did feel a bit stupid - what an image! Anyway, the mat had to go. I decided to leave the rest of the shaving to the surgeon and his scalpel.

If there is ever a next time, I will be calling for volunteers to do it for me, so be prepared - you might get a call.
Posted by terryboy at 12:53 pm on the 11th November, 2007

R.I.P. Pussy - 11th November, 2007

This sitting here naked apart from a bathrobe is getting to be a habit! I must change my ways.

Melanie's cat, Pip, died just after 11 pm last night. He was really quite ill and sometimes you get the feeling that a pet's time has come no matter how much you try to make them better. Even Biko and Rosy seem a little subdued this morning, so maybe they have heard on the 'cats telepathic grapevine'.
Posted by terryboy at 9:46 am on the 11th November, 2007

Boys and Toys? - 10th November, 2007

I decided to get some Pierre Cardin Y-fronts (yes, back to the nether regions again) as I thought they might be far more suitable than the contraption supplied by the hospital. My local Morrison’s had sold out and so I went to the one at Scunthorpe. No joy, I'm afraid, but while there I decided to hobble over to the far side of the car park and check out Instore. "They might not have Pierre Cardin" I thought, "But they might have something like Macho Man Pants, Tuff Guy Thong or something similar".

I walked down the clothing aisle following the signs; 'Kids', 'Women' and finally 'Men' where I did a sharp left and ended up in some dark lonely corner. For some reason it was full of toys! "I bet that's their perspective of men" I thought and determined to prove them wrong I resisted playing with them (yes, it was hard).

The thing is, I always feel very guilty leaving a shop with an empty basket and I have all the things that I didn't know I really wanted for a £1 already. Dilemma! However, It seems that Instore do know their 'Men' after all. Right on the end of that little hide-away was a rack of bath mats and I have been meaning to get some new ones for ages. I like the idea of these ones because they are double-sided, which means that when they get dirty I can just turn them over instead of washing them - perfect! Just the sort of thing every single man and widower needs. Even Morrison’s haven't thought of that one.

On a serious note. Pip, one of Melanie & Ian's cats is seriously ill tonight and so your thoughts and prayers would be most welcome.

Posted by terryboy at 9:24 pm on the 10th November, 2007

The Little Pleasures in Life - 10th November, 2007

It's that time of day again when I sit here, naked except for a bathrobe and slurp my way through the three cups of tea. The cats have disappeared with full bellies. I usually check my emails and text messages at this time in case anything has arrived overnight. What puzzles me is that there are never any on a Saturday morning. Is it that all you workers out there are having a lie in after a night out on the town? So, Saturday mornings are spent playing a few games of Freecell instead of replying to mail.

This morning was a time for a sigh and a moment of bliss - the sort of moment a woman feels when loosening a tight corset. You may remember the operation on my nether regions that I wrote about earlier. Recuperation involves wearing a support (similar to a jock strap) for a few weeks. It is not particularly comfortable and the metal clip digs into my skin. I decided to take it off for a few hours, at least until after my shower. Oh, the little pleasures in life! Freedom! I am even tempted to open the front and back doors to allow a bit of a draught to waft up my legs, but then I'll get arrested and taken off to the local nick. They are very tolerant in Caistor, but there are limits!

So, here I am with my legs open, hoping to catch the occasional draught from the cat flap and waiting for the postman. Hmmm ... I think I phrased that wrong! What I mean is that I am waiting for the post in the hope that a letter arrives from whoever it was who sent the laptop.

Time to go I am afraid. The combination of tea and water tablets has just kicked in and will keep me busy for a while! Oh, the joys of reaching middle-age (yes, okay, but give me some lee-way here eh?).

Posted by terryboy at 10:57 am on the 10th November, 2007

Life's Little Surprises - 09th November, 2007

I have been priding myself lately on the fact that I managed to talk a wireless router out of one of my magazines. New subscribers get one free, where as old subscribers, like me, get nothing. I renewed my subs over the phone and eventually sweet talked the girl into sending me one. It arrived earlier this week and is very nice thank you - not that I needed it anyway, but hey, it was free. So my week was complete, or so I thought.

A parcel van turned up this morning and the driver came to my door. "Not for me obviously" I said, thinking that it was for a neighbour. "Yes it is" he replied and re-checked the address. "Another freebie" I thought and started hacking away at the box with a craft knife. "Don't weigh a lot and so it can't be much. Free car sponge?" Then I spotted the word 'Acer' and, like the proverbial magician yanking a rabbit out of a Top Hat, I held up a brand new laptop! GULP!

Now, I aint playing with it much at the mo'; not until I know where it's come from. I can only think of two sources. I entered two competitions some time ago and one of them had laptops as prizes, but I can't remember who ran the comp. The other one was Dolmio, but that was for televisions. The only other alternative is that it is a belated addition to my trophy from college.

I am sure you will all wait with baited breath now until I find out who it is.
Goodnight.

Posted by terryboy at 8:22 pm on the 09th November, 2007

Stuff the Shower - 09th November, 2007

I have these odd days when I wake up in the morning and think "Stuff the shower, the shaving and cleaning my teeth"; going to the loo, however is unavoidable. This morning is one of those times when my thoughts of tea (3 cups) dominated everything else. So, I slid my slim, sensual, naked body (lying sod) from beneath the duvet, moved to one side as Biko hit the floor with a 'Plop! meow!' and reached for my bathrobe. Assured that he was okay I went downstairs. Now, when I am dressed in nothing but a bathrobe, I always worry that someone is going to knock on the door and so I am always a little on edge, even when supping me tea.

There is a routine in the morning. The kettle goes on and while I am waiting for it to boil I feed the cats. I still find it hard to believe that with the claws that Biko's got he can't open the can himself - I think I am being conned!

As I started shovelling out the pussy food, I realised I was in a dilemma. It dawned on me that I had forgotten to go to the loo first before coming downstairs. Now this is a very awkward position to be in, what do I do? Should I try to hang on and get the cats sorted or drop the tin and rush up stairs? I turned around and saw Biko and Rosy patiently waiting and blocking my exit. Their pointed stares told me that they knew of my dilemma and had made the choice for me (okay, so I'm a coward).

I continued with my task as the beads of sweat trickled from my brow. "This is gonna be a close run thing" I thought to myself. The climax would be in trying to put their dishes down while clenching the cheeks of my bum at the same time - how much pressure can a man take? Needless to say, I accomplished the task and dashed upstairs with milli-seconds to spare. As I sat there I could hear Biko sniggering, which seemed to have a chilling, ghostly echo in the hollow confines of the bathroom. I'll get him back one day.

The moral of the tale is that if you decide to have a cat as a pet, be prepared to be its slave. I wasn't prepared, but I am resigned to it now. Have a nice day!

Posted by terryboy at 10:05 am on the 09th November, 2007

In the Beginning - 08th November, 2007

This is the first entry for the site and I will try and keep it  fairly up to date.

At the moment I am resting at home after a minor operation on my nether regions. Suffice to say I am walking like a cowboy without a horse! It also involves putting a cushion on my lap when I relax in the armchair to protect me from the probing paws of Biko (head pussy/concho). Biko usually likes to take a running jump from out of nowhere before suddenly landing on my groin. Rosy, however, is different as she tends to sit by the chair and wait for my permission.

Now, in a sense this enforced rest is good, because I have no excuses for not getting down to doing some writing. I even had a whole afternoon of meditation the other day without falling asleep. The stimulus of the soundtrack from The Thin Red Line played on a continuous loop and the ideas began to flow. It was quite refreshing and I would recommend that soundtrack/film to you all.

There isn't much in the way of photos at the moment, but I will review what I have on the PC and upload a few more eventually. I do have a website: www.terryboy.com, but most of the day to day stuff will be put on this blog.

Posted by terryboy at 1:19 pm on the 08th November, 2007