Let me solve all your problems


Bit of a stream of consciousness, this one. It might make sense, it might not…

Of course it’s dead easy to solve everyone else’s problems, isn’t it? I can solve all of your problems standing on my head. My solution will probably start with…”you should”.

Nothing I like better than being, as an old boss of mine used to say, ‘should upon’. To be honest not much will get my back up quicker than someone telling me that I should…

It’s not so bloody easy to solve your problem when it’s right in front of you and you are emotionally attached to the issue though, is it?

I have a well meaning, but somewhat bullying friend who has ALL the answers. At this present moment she is giving three of us the full brunt of her opinion. As we strolled along the beach the other day she told me that she is disappointed with all of her closest friends. Not wanted to engage in another nagging session, I simply replied, “I know.” and left it at that.

It’s not even that her opinion is wrong. Annoyingly, I know she is right.  However, what she doesn’t take into account is that it’s not always black and white. Except that for her it is. ‘Here’s the answer, just do it’, is her attitude.

So. What is it that has become such an issue. Obviously I’m not going to discuss the others, that’s none of my, or your, business. My issue is my big, fluffy, lovely  ball and chain, Douggie the doggie.

You all know I adore the boy and he adores me, he is my shadow. Most of the time it’s not an issue. Occasionally it is.  Occasionally, we have to go to places where he can’t go.  She’ll happily step in to dog sit and when I’d been in hospital she walked him almost daily for me. That was brilliant. The problem is that Douggie prefers to be with me and won’t settle terribly well at her house. That means overnight stays or holidays become difficult. Now, if Douggie was an ordinary doggie, he’d just have to toughen up.

But Douggie isn’t an ordinary doggie, is he? Douggie is an epileptic doggie who has fits when he gets stressed. Like I said, big, lovely, fluffy ball and chain. Yes, he takes medication, yes, I know she would know what to do in an emergency.  It sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Except that I know any fit could be his last, the strain on his body is horrendous.  His last fit was a humdinger. The sight of a six stone dog thrashing about on the floor having a fit stays with you. He managed to kick me in the face last time as we lifted him off the sofa where his grand mal started. OW!

First, I don’t want to put him in a stressful situation, like being away from home. Second, I would never forgive myself if he had a fit (possibly his last) while I was away. The whole situation makes me feel ill. Even though I know that Boofuls and I desperately need to get some time together and not have a break that revolves round the dog and his needs.

So, my friend’s solution is to stop letting the dog follow me everywhere. Stop taking him up to bed when I go. Stop considering his needs. Basically ignore him so he doesn’t care if I’m there or not so he will then happily stay with her.

Um. No.

I really don’t think I can do that. I like being the centre of his world. I am aware of the strength of that sentence. I know, I know,  I am my own worst enemy in this situation.

We made a commitment to him when we took him on and I take that very seriously.  We are leaving him more often and trying to build up more independence in him but it’s very difficult for both of us. Since we took him in six years ago he has never really been left alone as he used to come to work with us.

It might be a while before we get this one sorted. In the meantime I’ll just have to put up with the sighs, complaints that I treat my dog like a baby, dirty looks and snide comments from Mrs Black and White

 

 

 

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Fun with flags


What an exciting life we lead here at Boofuls Towers.

Recently, Boofuls decided that if he couldn’t beat them he was going to join them and so he has joined the choir that Lashes and I joined last September. Now we are all walking round the house mumbling songs at our various pitches as we try to learn them for the next practice.

Actually, it’s quite nice to have a bass, alto and soprano in the house. In theory we should be able to put on a passable performance of any of the songs in our repertoire. In practice it doesn’t quite work like that. The trouble with being a soprano and some of those high notes is that I have to sing louder to be able to reach them. Boofuls and Lashes tend to be a bit quieter so I’m having to work hard not to drown them out. More voice control needed. There is more to hitting those high notes than just hitting them, people might like to actually hear other parts sing as well.

Anyway, moving on before I start screeching to Hallelujah again: we are forming quite the little community in the choir and it has been suggested that we might like a flag. Any volunteers to create it?

Of course not.

Eventually, I offered to design it and a couple of other people who can sew offered to make it. Lashes offered to paint it (?).

Putting out a call for suggestions for the design I was hit by a wall of apathy, so much so that I just got on and created it, putting forward ideas for approval at various stages. Well. Funny how all those people who didn’t want to get involved have suddenly turned into flag design experts. ‘Do this, put that, it needs to the the other, What about the reverse? I don’t like that, use this logo, you have to use a palm, it’s iconic.’ And so it went on.

Of course I ignored them all and went with my own design. I must say Im rather pleased with it. For the purposes of anonymity and not wanting to be stalked I won’t be posting it on here as it gives away way too much information so you’ll just have to take my word for it, it’s pretty smucking fart!

Five minutes ago I posted the final version online for review by the group. I kid you not, one person has come along and suggested I change the whole format of it and make it a long, thin flag instead. I suggested that she do one.

 

Jump on the bandwagon!


It’s not often I get on a bandwagon. Normally I’d run the other way when I see a bandwagon coming along but this one has got me right on board.

Now that we live by the sea and Douggie the doggie and I take our daily constitutional on some beach or other, we notice things.

We noticed, for instance, when a dead dolphin was washed up on the beach. We noticed stupid people coming to take selfies with it to post on Facebook. We noticed them prodding it with their feet and laughing.

No one noticed me, crying quietly at the indignity of this wonderful creature rolling around on the water’s edge and being laughed at as a spectacle, a tourist attraction.

Even I was amazed at how profoundly it affected me.

With the benefit of hindsight, and much mulling over, I realised it was a reaction to the death of my brother, the realisation that death can come swiftly and unexpectedly, robbing you and those you leave behind of any dignity in your passing.

Anyway…*shakes to remove maudlin feelings creeping in* that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about the things we notice on the beach. The plastic, the litter, the cigarette ends, the dog poo, the coffee cups.

Recently, I have taken to picking up a dog poo bag’s worth of rubbish every day. Some days two. Some days I could use a giant sack. One day last week, I happened to be on the beach as the tide was coming in. The amount of litter left behind by people was appalling. I looked at it, scowled and walked on. “I’m not picking it up, why should I pick it up? It’s not my litter. The council should do it. People should take their litter home. IT’S NOT MY PROBLEM!”

The tide came in a bit more.

I continued to walk up and down the rapidly disappearing beach scowling at all the rubbish and thinking that it should be tourists banned from the beach in summer, not dogs.

Eventually, I gave in. DAMMIT!! I couldn’t leave all the rubbish there knowing that within half an hour it would be floating around in the sea for some poor dolphin, porpoise or any other marine animal to ingest and be killed by ( I’m focusing on that today, not the pollution, I’ll save that for another rant).

I began to pick up armsful of rubbish. After several trips up the overflowing rubbish bin ( take note council, you are part of the issue), I noticed some other locals had joined in with the clean up. It restored my faith in people, just a little bit.

Some time ago I picked up some postcards from a display on the beach. It was the Marine Conservation Society. It was about flushing wet wipes down the loo and where they end up.  I took a stack of these postcards and put one into every guest room. I’m not sure if it made any difference but if it helps to raise awareness it’s got to be worth a go.

Here’s the link to their website. Take a look, it’s interesting and a bit terrifying.

http://www.wetwipesturnnasty.com

Now it seems to be becoming a little bit fashionable to avoid using plastics. Pubs are switching from plastic straws. Bottled water in plastic bottles is becoming a no no. I like this.  Genuine efforts are being made to reduce the amount of rubbish going into our seas and ending up on our beaches. This makes me happy.

So. For the sake of our marine life and our planet, please, jump onto this bandwagon and jump onto it right now. If we all just did a little bit, what a difference it would make.

I’m in with the in crowd


I go where the in crowd goes.
I’m in with the in crowd
And I know what the in crowd knows

The truth is, I’ve never been in with any in crowd in my  entire life. The geeks, fruitcakes and uncool people are the ones I tend to hang about with.

Our lovely next door neighbour is very much in with the in crowd. In fact, she’s the queen of the in crowd. She keeps inviting us to things and we’ve been to a few but the fact is we are simply just not cool enough to fit in. A classic case of square pegs in round holes. We were uncomfortable and we made others uncomfortable by changing the dynamic of the group.  After a few attempts at joining in with the in crowd we decided we aren’t cut out for coolness.  Photograph taking, dog dancing choristers do not cool people make.

One day last week we decided on that nice day (remember that one?)   to have a barbeque. We invited a few choir members and also our lovely, cool  neighbour whose husband was away, we thought she might enjoy the company. No one was more amazed than us when she said yes.

As it happened she had quite a nice time, she is very got on very well with one of our other guests. It was all going swimmingly until her husband arrived back early. Don’t get me wrong, her hubs is a great bloke but too cool for school. Just as he started tucking into his burger and coleslaw one of the choir members decided we were all going to have a sing.  Of course all the others immediately jumped up to join in.

Poor Neighbour’s face was a picture. He really thought he was going to be asked to sing. The relief when he realised he wasn’t going to have to was palpable.

Instead, he had to sit and listen as eight semi drunk choristers went into a shambolic performance of all their latest songs. The poor guy looked mortified. He sat so far forward in his set that his face was parallel to the ground. I couldn’t help but laugh, which was mean of me as he was clearly uncomfortable.  He finished his burger and was out of the door before we finished the final note.

Lashes decided to show off her new circus skills. I keep thinking she’s going to run off and join the circus one day. To be fair, I think that fire juggling is quite cool. As her mother though I have to watch through my fingers and have a fire extinguisher ready.

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Eventually, long after the sun had dipped over the horizon, we decided to take the party inside. Then it got really silly.

You know what? I love my silly, geeky, funny friends. You can keep being cool. We have so much more fun. Drinking, clubbing, golfing and going on ladies lunch dates where the bitching is rife isn’t my idea of fun anyway.

Kung Fu Canine


It’s been a bit quieter down in darkest Devon this last couple of days. Why’s that? I can hear you ask. Well, it’s because I got kicked in the face by Douggie the Doggie and every time I opened my mouth my jaw clicked. I can tell you it cuts right down on that chat when it’s all interspersed with ‘click, click, clicking’.

He definitely knocked my jaw out of alignment, I could feel my teeth weren’t sitting in their normal position. You’ll be glad to know it all seems to be in the correct place again now.

I never thought I’d get drop kicked by the dog but that very thing happened on Monday.

So how did all this come about? I know you’re dying to know. Well. Here we go then…Douggie the Doggie has got an impressive array of tricks in his repertoire but Kung Fu? That’s a new one.

In the early hours of the morning he woke us up to let us know he was going to have a fit.  As normal, we stumbled bleary eyed downstairs and waited for it to happen. Experience has taught us that there really isn’t a lot of point in trying to stop it as he just tends to have a really nasty fit a few days later if we don’t just let it happen. So, as much as it goes against the grain, we just wait. We snooze. We listen. For his part Douggie the Doggie usually goes back to sleep for a while. Then he paces. He whines. He bobs his head.

Then it happens.

This time he jumped onto the settee just before it happened. He leaned into me and his head went down. “Here it comes”, I thought. I was right.

Poor old Douggie started trying to shake himself apart. Boofuls and I have a routine now, we just calmy lift him onto the floor so he can’t fall and hurt himself. Then we wait quietly, timing the duration of the fit and trying not to panic. It never gets any easier. Every time he has a fit I think it’s going to be his last, it terrifies me. Anyway, let’s not dwell on that.  This time I had the back end. Just as we lifted him off the settee his foot shot out and he kicked me straight in the jaw. Oh my Gawd! That made my eyes water.

They say that humans have an unnatural strength when they have a fit and I can tell you it’s the same for dogs. That was a  kick and a half. I spent the next day nursing my clicking jaw and cut chin and Douggie spent most of his time getting his brain back in order. You’ll be glad to know that we are now both absolutely fine and looking as gorgeous as ever.

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cold tits and warm tits


I came across this post just now and it made me smile. I hope it makes you smile too.

Tripping Over Pebbles No More

Winter’s here!

Well, I say winter’s here but it’s been a balmy 9 degrees for the last few days. That is all set to change later in the week though when the wind from Siberia is set to swoosh its way down at a rapid rate of knots bringing its pal, snow with it.

That’ll turn a few warm tits into cold tits.

Rude?

I’m not being rude. Let me explain, dear reader.

Many years ago when Boofuls and I were trainee microlight pilots our instructor was the late, great Tony Wells, otherwise known as Uncle Dumper.

The name came about when Boofuls gained his pilot’s licence, I was still circuit bashing,  and we would want to go off flying together, which of course we couldn’t do in a microlight with a baby in tow so we’d say to Tony, “Can we dump her her on you for an hour?”…

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And the special today is…


Munki is away for a couple of weeks. She’s gone back to that land of perfect potato pies and flattened vowels. It’s been a bit quiet here at Boofuls Towers without her. Quiet but strangely liberating.  I’d forgotten how simple life is when there are no children to consider. Feeling  a bit lightheaded  at the freedom we are enjoying, Lashes and I decided a night at a grown up restaurant was in order.  There is a very good fish restaurant in town that is so expensive you need to sell a kidney to afford to eat there but we decided that as a special treat we’d go. Who needs two kidneys anyway?

Boofuls was somewhat less keen to go as he has a well known allergy to prawns and was scared of dying. I assured him that he would be perfectly safe as a restaurant of that calibre probably has some stringent food hygiene procedures in place and are well used to dealing with allergies. Just to be on the safe side we mentioned his allergy as we went in. You’ll be glad to know he didn’t die and wasn’t even a little bit ill.

Lashes and I ordered a magnificent starter of mussels, prawns and scallops. Boofuls refused to kiss me just in case I contaminated him. He opted for stuffed mushrooms, always a good choice.

Main courses were more mussels for Lashes, monkfish for me and cod and chips for Boofuls, we thought he’d be fairly safe with that.

As my monkfish was placed on the table Lashes began to smirk. “What are you laughing at?” “Your fish, turn the plate round.”

Curiosity got the better of me and I turned the plate round to see what was causing so much hilarity. I saw it instantly and burst out laughing. My monkfish looked exactly like..er…um…lady parts.

Quick as a flash Lashes said,” Mum, it’s the snatch of the day!” I nearly choked on my sauvignon blanc.

That fuelled a very silly discussion about the restaurant putting up a specials board.

SNATCH OF THE DAY 

Mermaids Minge or Triton’s Tuppence

We laughed till we couldn’t breathe. So much for a grown up and sophisticated child free night out.

On a different note, we had a family from Brazil stay with us last week. Really lovely family, the father is an A & E consultant and heart specialist.  I literally bumped into him as I came running out of one of the bedrooms singing,  thinking that I was in an empty house. We both nearly jumped out of our skin. He composed himself as I stood there holding my chest and said to me, “You no worry, if your heart break I can fix.” Hahahaaa what a star.

I reminds me of the murder mystery party we had a few weeks ago. What a disaster. One of the guests, a chap from Thailand who doesn’t speak much English and reads even less really threw himself into his part as an English vicar. He was hysterical and hammed it up brilliantly for his audience.

One of our other guests, an English man, highly educated and well travelled behaved like an absolute moron and ruined the game for everyone, at one point throwing down his character booklet and storming out.

It just goes to show, a language barrier does not need to be a barrier to communication and being a native speaker does not mean you will be able to communicate with your peers. It’s all about attitudes and respect.

Grandad! This is really important


Young Munki has had a friend round to play this afternoon. Munki and her friend have had quite a boring afternoon. It’s really cold so they can’t play in the garden for long, they can’t be bothered with anything really. That’s never a good thing.

At one point they came in from outside for the umpteenth time, leaving the door wide open yet again. “Grandad! We need you to do something.” His reply was that he was working and to find something to do. “Grandad, this is really important! You need to stop working and do this for us, it’s really important. With a huge sigh he turned to Munki and Anna.

“What’s so important that I have to stop work and do this immediately for you?” “Well, Anna’s cat ran away in 2016 and we need you to make a poster about it in case anyone has found it.”

“I beg your pardon? You want me to stop working to make a poster about a cat that went missing two years ago?” “Yes, someone might have seen it.” It was about point when Boofuls suggested that Munki might like to create and print a poster on her own computer. Her reply went a bit like this. “I’VE TOLD YOU I CAN’T PRINT ON MY COMPUTER!!!” She might as well have added, ‘You stupid man!’

Munki is getting to the stage where she likes to live dangerously, It was certainly dangerous for Boofuls, I thought he was going to have a stroke! He went bright red and huffed a bit before gaining control of himself and suggesting that they might like to find something else to occupy their time with.

Moving on – in other news. My friend Kery saw a poster advertising a psychic night in a local cavern. Yes, you did read that correctly it was a cavern and not a tavern.  There is a place nearby that has caverns, stalagmites, stalactites, eerie rock formations and very good mood lighting. Actually, a perfect location for a night with the spooks.

We coughed up our £25 each and turned up at the appointed hour excited and ready to receive spectacular evidence from beyond the grave. chairs were set out theatre style and the mediums worked from the front of the cavern. Shame that, we couldn’t see a damn thing.  The show started – with a man and his guitar singing a song about Torquay.  I’m trying to be kind here – it was utter rubbish.

It went along the  lines of: ‘Here’s a town called Torquay, it’s next to the sea, let’s go, you and me, to a town called Torquay. Like I said, utter rubbish. Kerry, being from Essex and very outspoken voiced her opinion in a stage whisper that would have woken the dead.

“What a load of facking’ rubbish. I ain’t payin’ good fackin’ money to sit through this fackin’ shit, Fack me. I could fackin’ write a better fackin’ song than fackin’ that. “Ere, cam on – let’s go and get a fackin’ drink.

So, we went off into the reception area where various mediums had set out their stalls to do mini readings for a fee of £8 each. “Well, it’s gotta be fackin’ better than that fackin’ shit in there. Let’s have a readin’ aht ‘ere.” Of course her volume control is non existent and disapproving heads turned towards us from every direction. I giggled with embarrassment and looked at the floor.

She went off to have her reading, with the man in the clown-esque suit while I sat and waited for her. As I sat, a woman came and sat down next to me, plonking a laden tea tray in front of me. “You’re sharing  a pot of tea with me”, she said in a voice that brooked no argument. Inwardly I stated boldly that I don’t like tea but one look at her face told me that I was better keeping that opinion to myself.

The woman poured me a cup of tea and then proceeded to tell me that she was furious because Wales had been kicked out of the rugby so she got drunk that afternoon and her friend made her come here tonight and it was all rubbish. Then she began to tell me in great detail all about the rugby game. I was effectively her prisoner.

Best night out ever. Worth 25 quid of anybody’s money this lot.

Eventually Kerry came back, thank God. “Let’s go back into the cavern, I suggested, it’ll be a different medium now so it might be better.  We went back into the cavern and managed to get a seat very near to the front so we could at least see what was going on. It was a different medium but sadly, no better. Her whole demonstration consisted of leading questions, wild guesses and a string of names.  The ‘evidence’ consisted of things like,” You’ve had a lot of problems lately haven’t you?” Well, who hasn’t?  “Can you take the name, Margaret? No? Look around for it, you’ll find out at some point.” What a load of tosh.

You will have already guessed that Kerry was still not impressed. She sighed loudly and often. Leaning over to me from time to time to tell me what a load of old shite it was. For my part I just sat quietly in the freezing cold cavern telling myself I wasn’t cold and making the most of the time by doing my pelvic floor exercises.

The best part of the whole evening was the very camp gay medium who saw his own breath and commented, “Did anyone else see that? Oh my God! I thought I’d passed and come back as a message.” Heh. For a second I lost count of my pelvic floors.

As nights out go it probably wasn’t the best one ever.  For future reference, if I ever go out with Kerry again it will be somewhere with plenty of background noise so if she isn’t impressed the sound of her disapproval will be lost in the general hubbub. On the plus side….nope, can’t think of one. It was purgatory from start to finish and it cost me £25!

 

 

 

 

The kid’s way too clever


“Nanny! Nanny! Come here a minute, I want to tell you something.”

I popped my head into Munki’s bedroom with a sigh thinking it was more bedtime procrastinating.

“Yes, what is it? Why aren’t you in bed?”

“I’m doing an experiment but it’s a secret, I can’t tell you what it is yet.”

That was how we left it, I didn’t push for details and she didn’t offer any. In fact, rather than try and keep me talking as she normally does, she hopped straight into bed.

Fast forward to first thing this morning when she greeted me with a big smile telling me that her experiment was now complete.

“Did it work?”

“No Nanny.”

“Oh, ok. You look very happy about it. Can you tell me what it was now?”

“Yes. My tooth finally fell out yesterday and I wanted to find out if the tooth fairy was real or if you grown-ups just made it up so I decided not to tell any grown-ups about it to see if the tooth fairy still came. She didn’t. I proved she’s not real, didn’t I?”

Dammit! The child is too clever. What to reply?

After a moment’s deliberation, I decided that the game was up and trying to brazen it out was probably not the way to go, she’d proved her point.

“Ok you clever little Munki the tooth fairy is nanny shaped and here is a pound for you.”

Her little eyes lit up as she eagerly accepted my gift. “Thanks, Nanny!”

She’s so clever to have worked out a plan and carried it out as she did and I’m really proud of her…and just a little sad that that little piece of childhood magic has ended for her.

Why do they grow up so fast?

Social Whirl and Family Ties


Wow! Our feet haven’t touched the ground in the last week or so.

Visitors from up country have been replaced by more visitors from up country to be replaced by yet more visitors from up country.

Yeah? So? You own a B&B I can hear you saying.

Very true, we do. Paying guests coming and going is one thing. Personal guests coming and going is so much more exhausting!

Don’t think this is a complaint. It’s been absolutely lovely having friends and family coming to stay. Especially my brother who hasn’t been before.

It’s fair to say we have a bit of a precarious relationship with him and his wife so I wanted everything to be absolutely perfect.

I fretted.

Would they like the room? Shall we eat in or eat out? If we eat out what kind of restaurant are they going to want, I didn’t want to insult him by going to the cheapest place in town or put him in a difficult position by going to an expensive restaurant. How much time were we expected to spend with them? Were we supposed to spend all day or just part of the day. I didn’t want him thinking we were hijacking their holiday or ignoring them when they wanted to spend time with us. What about breakfast? Shall I offer them the works or simplify it as they were the only people here. Shall we eat with them or treat them as paying guests and wait on them hand and foot?

You get the idea. There wasn’t a single aspect of their stay I didn’t fret about.

It was very stressful.

They brought their six year old granddaughter with them and she made everything so much easier. She and Munki got on like a house on fire so they had a whale of a time and you know what they say…happy kids = happy adults.

I know you’re dying to ask me, how was it then?

It was brilliant. I suspect we were all a little bit tense, and trying that much harder to make it work. And it worked! We ate out (carvery, wins every time!), we laughed, we chatted we indulged the kids. What we didn’t really do was rake over old ground or bring up our tumultuous past. It went so well that they are talking about coming down again in October!

I haven’t always had the best relationship with my brother and his wife for all sorts of reasons. I have often felt like I have lost both of my brothers, my younger brother died three years ago.

I was thrilled a few months ago when I discovered that he quietly follows me on Facebook, he rarely comments on anything but I know he’s there and taking an interest and that is massive. I always thought he really wasn’t interested in my life.  Knowing that, and having had the last few days has rebuilt our relationship a little bit and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Roll on October !

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