All posts by Lesley

Doggie and Kitty Revisited


Here’s a post from 2012. It was taken when Douggie the doggie was just a few months old and Shazza the kitty was about six weeks old.

I tried to repost the original but I couldn’t work out how to do it and it’s too ute a piture to just let it go so here it is:

Douggie & Shazza

They quite liked each other then but now that Shazza is all grow up she hates Douggie, even though he tries his best to be friendly, in the way that most dogs do. Funnily enough she seems affronted by his attention.

Golden retriever puppy and cute kitten
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Crazy Golf


A couple of weeks ago I had an itch that I really needed to scratch. As I’m writing this I’ve realised it was substantially more than a couple of weeks but just go with it…Stupid thing, I really, really wanted to go and play crazy golf after dark so the course would be all floodlit. Why? No idea. Crazy golf is nowhere near the top of my list of things I want to do, in fact I’m not sure it’s even on the list but it sure was at this point.

It was just before Christmas, a couple of weeks before Munki was due to go off up country to see her northern family.  The idea of going for a game of crazy golf was floated, “Anyone fancy a game of crazy golf after tea? I’ll be fun.”

Silence all round. “Oh, go on, it’ll be fun.”

“Maybe tomorrow”, Lashes piped up, much to my irritation. “Don’t patronise me or fob me off, I’m not six. That’ll be a no then.”

The itch got stronger and stronger. Every night I walked past the floodlit course with Douggie the doggie and really wanted to go in and play.  It is on our normal evening stroll route, I wasn’t getting all weird and going out of my way to gaze through the railings like Tiny Tim through the sweet shop window. It’s amazing how many people don’t play crazy golf at night and in winter. The course was always deserted.

“Pleeeeeeease can we go and play a game of crazy golf? Pleeeeeeeease?”

Eventually Boofuls caved in and nine year old Munki felt sorry enough for me to tag along because I lured her with the promise of photos with the lions, tigers and monkeys on this jungle themed course.

Off we trotted. It was fun! We had the entire place to ourselves on a  cold, clear and bright evening. Parts of it were a bit tricky as the flood lighting didn’t reach every part of the course. Watching Munki try to retrieve her ball from the water in the pitch black was brilliant, highlight of the evening – well almost but I’m coming to that.

Eventually, we got to the end of the course,  I was tired.  At that point I was still post op riding round on my buggy so being on my feet for the best part of an hour was hard work. It’s fair to say I’d got the crazy golf well and truly out of my system.

It was with a great deal of relief that we finally reached the final hole. This is the one where you return your ball by whacking it into a huge shed like construction with a slope and a small hole in the middle. If you manage to get the ball into the hole you win a free game, it’s almost impossible at the best of times. It was pitch black. No chance of getting this in there then I thought to myself. Skill and finesse had no place here.  I gave the ball an almighty whack and sent it flying into the black void. Two seconds later a loud bell rang out! I’d only been and gone and done it!

The chap sitting behind the counter looked up, shocked. Probably half as shocked as the rest of us. If I hadn’t been so tired I’d have done a happy dance. Munki anted to go and do the free game immediately, I told her we’d save it for a post Christmas treat.

Here are just a few photos of the evening. One of those simple and uncomplicated family times that are so precious. Even if I did have to beg, plead and bribe to get it haha.

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Drectly


Since coming to live in Devon we have discovered that all of the tradesmen seem to work for the same company – Drectly.

We have come across Drectly plumbers, Drectly electrical, Drectly interiors, you name it. They all have one thing in common. Every time you phone them to book an appointment, every one of them tells you – I’ll be there Drectly.

Drectly can be any time between one hour and in the case of one Drectly plumber, three months and still no sign of him showing up.

It’s a very laid back approach to business, a bit mañana but with added pasties and cider.

winsome


This afternoon I was a bit stuck for something to write about – well, I wasn’t but there was nothing I could write on here that is suitable for a family audience.

Many times I have contemplated started another blog on another site and calling it ‘The Dark Side’ and then posting on there all the bitching, anger, sarcasm, hurt and drama that I can’t post on here because too many people I know read this and they might be a bit shocked at what really goes on in my head. It would be a good way of getting the stuff out of my head though and freeing up a bit of room for less troublesome thoughts.

It would appear that I have a reputation for being quite outspoken. Really? You should hear the stuff I don’t say! I think I have some quite hefty filters between my brain and my mouth, really you’d be amazed at what would come out if I didn’t filter it.

The only reason I don’t start another blog (and I haven’t so don’t bother looking for it, Boofuls) is that I don’t want all that negativity in one place. Spreading it about a bit weakens it.

Anyway, back to the plot.

Because I was struggling for a topic to talk about I went onto the daily prompts and the word of the day is Winsome Obviously, my first thought, being the highly educated, well travelled  and wordly woman that I am, was ‘lose some.’

Funny thing though, I already seem to have written a blog post so I don’t need the prompt after all. Oh well, Daily prompts, some days you win some and some days you lose some.

There, did I get it in context?  hahahahahahaaa

Oh no he isn’t!


OH YES HE IS!

IS! IS! IS!

ISN’T! ISN’T! ISN’T!

Have you guessed where I’ve been yet?

Ooh, that reminded me of a certain bearded antipodean chap who was very popular when I was a kid…let’s not dwell on THAT!

So. Where have I been?

To the pantomime !

Some friends of our, an English chap and his Thai partner were chatting with us the other week when the subject of pantos came up.   It would appear that in Thailand they don’t have pantos so our Thai friend had no idea what we were talking about.  Of course the shout was, “Let’s all go, to the pantomime, it’ll be great for the cultural experience and it might be also useful for the citizenship exam.”

That’s how Boofuls, me, a gay couple and my Devon bestie all ended up at the pantomime along with  a smallish child, Munki, who had also never been to a  good old English arived on the doorstep of the theatre.  Actually, with that lot we already had most of the ingredients to make our own pantomime. (Oh no you didn’t…..Oh yes we did…actually, that’s starting to get a bit old now).

For regular readers of this blog, you may be surprised to hear that Munki is now a clever, opinionated and very vocal nine year old. For non regular readers, Munki is our granddaughter.

The panto, Cinderella, was performed by a local amateur dramatics group and it was BRILLIANT! It had all the right ingredients. Ugly sisters, Buttons, a fairy godmother, songs, dances and lots of shouting.

As good as it was though the real entertainment was sitting right next to me in the theatre. No, not Boofuls, Munki!

She was enthralled by the whole thing and I was enthralled watching her. Normally she is a little bit reticent about becoming involved in things and especially in the company of people she doesn’t know very well. Last night she joined in with every second of it. Bizarrely enough, it was made even better by the fact that she forgot her glasses.

Eh?

Well, because she forgot her glasses she wasn’t able to see the wires attached to the fairy godmother enabling her to fly around the stage. Munki’s face was a picture!  She bounced forward in her seat, eyes like saucers,  almost screeching with delight “How? How, Nanny? Nanny, LOOK!”

“It’s magic, love.”

She shouted in all the right places. She was booing and hissing at the baddies and clapping along with the songs, even when no one else was. She loved every second of it. Mind you, what’s not to love about a song called, ‘eggs, sausage, chips and beans’? Every now and then she would bounce out of her seat and look at me with a look of pure joy on her face.

When the glitter ball projected stars round the theatre I thought she was going to fall off her seat trying to catch them.

The best bit of all for me was during the scene in the ballroom. The dancers were there in their showgirl outfits,  plumed  feathery headdresses and high cut leotards. Exactly as the music stopped Munki said really loudly, “Well, THEY shouldn’t be at the ball, Nanny. They’re in their SWIMMING COSTUMES!” Oh! Laugh?  I nearly bought a round!

Almost as funny was our Thai friend sitting with his face looking as bemused as Munki’s was joyful. He clearly had no idea what was going on and didn’t ‘get ‘ it at all. I think the whole thing just made him uncomfortable.

It’s been a very odd festive season this year but last night at the panto was definitely the best part of the whole thing. There can be very little in life more precious than seeing a small child totally caught up in the magic of a pantomime.

It certainly made it magical for me.

OHHHHHHHH NO IT DIDN”T………

 

I’m not doing it!


End of year reflective posts, a round-up of last year. Nah!

New Year resolutions? Nuh-uh. What is the point of making a ton of promises that you are only going to break in a couple of weeks and then feel guilty about? Life is tough enough without setting yourself up to fail.

Not fer me, thanks! 2017 has gone, see ya! What on earth is the point of looking back at it all, it’s gone, done with, finished, kaput.

2018 is here, let’s crack on with it. Actually, one resolution I can relate to: be nice to yourself and nice to others – and get the ‘c’ key fixed on the computer, it’s hard work having to go back and check that every ‘c’ word is fully formed. Apologies if I’ve missed any.

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Five minutes ago Munki and I came back from walking Douggie the doggie. As we were out we saw the moon rise.

Apparently it’s the biggest supermoon of this year. Yes, yes, I know it’s only the 1st day of the year so that isn’t much of a record to set. It could be tiny and still be the biggest moon of the year, couldn’t it?

No, what I mean is that it is the biggest supermoon we are going to get for the whole of this year, not the biggest one so far this year.

Got it?

Good, then we’ll move on.

While it was rising it silhouetted a chimney stack, the moon looked huge behind it, proper Mary Poppins-esque. I did take a photo but my poor phone couldn’t cope with the task, on the photo you can see there is a moon and chimney but the detail, all the chimney pots, are lost in the wrap around effect of the moonlight. Just so you don’t totally miss out on it though, I’ve drawn you a picture of it. Missed my way, I should have been an artist. Haha. I can hear you shouting, “Don’t give up yer day job!”

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You can’t tell it from the original scene, can you? Hahahaha

I had to draw the chimneys in but other than that this is the scene exactly as it was.  Pretty, eh?

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This year I thought I’d try and put a bit more time into my blog again, it got a bit negleted last year. Hang on…isn’t that a resolution? Dammit. I’ve already broken my resolution not to make any resolutions. Told you – setting yourself up to fail. Tsk

Glossing over that and moving swiftly on, my plan is to join in with a few of the WordPress challenges.  That should be ok till Boofuls Towers Lodging Emporium gets busy again but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it and  see what happens. But in the meantime, the challenges I’ve accepted are, the weekly photo challenge, the postaweek challenge and the daily prompt.

Today’s daily prompt is ‘conversation’.

The fact that I’ve told you all about my plan qualifies as a conversation in my book so, hey! Go me! Task one completed!

 

Blowing away the cobwebs part two


Now I’ve been unshackled from my disability scooter and I can drive again it’s been nice venturing a bit further afield. Me and Douggie the doggie enjoyed a lovely stroll on a very windy beach, between the showers, this afternoon. Clearly Douggie doesn’t care what the weather is like.

In honour of the aforementioned disability scooter, here is a far better tribute to it than I could ever have penned courtesy of the Lancashire Hotpots.

Blowing away the cobwebs


Have you ever wondered what it is about all the excesses of Christmas that makes people want to do something really bloody stupid on Boxing Day? Something to blow away the cobwebs?

Not as stupid as actually box and kick the bejaysus out of another person, as the name  Boxing Day implies, but just something plain stupid and for no other reason than some other people are doing it too.

Well, that was me on Boxing Day.

Against the advice of Boxfuls and when I say advice I mean a proper ear bashing about how irresponsible I was and it was too soon after my op and he would have to go and swim out to save me when it all went tragically wrong. Swim out? How far did he think I was going?

Hang on. Back up. Swim out?

Yes, dear reader. The annual Boxing Day dip. When dozens of people get into their setsuits, cossies, mankinis or fancy dress and go for a dip in the sea.

When I say dip, that can mean a variety of things.

Two young girls in bikinis (bbbbbrrrrrrrrrrr) asked me how long they had to stay in for. Bless ’em. I was tempted to say ten minutes but they were already frozen so I took pity on them and informed them that it’s not an endurance test and if they only wanted to dip their toes in the water they’d completed the task. Fair to say I haven’t seen such relief on someone’s face for a long time.

Some people go for a proper swim and take it all very seriously. Most of us run into the sea screaming, splash about a bit and then get out. It’s fair to say I knew the exact second that the water got through my wetsuit and hit my bare skin. Chilleeeeeeee!!!

I was joined by two friends this year. One of whom only moved to the coast a few months ago and was so excited to be taking part in a local tradition that I thought the top of her head was going to blow off.

I took my brolly because I didn’t want to get wet haha. The look on Booful’s face just cracks me up.  You can see that Douggie the doggie was getting into the spirit of it all very nicely.

Hundreds of people lined the promenade, snugly dressed with their coats, hats, scarves and gloves cheering us on while proclaiming loudly that we all should be taken directly to the funny farm as we ran into the water at exactly 11.00 o’clock. At a party we went to last night people kept coming up to me and shaking my hand, telling me that they’d been there watching and how impressed they were that I’d done it. I felt like a minor celebrity. Look out for me next year on ‘I’m a celebrity’ becasue I’m definitely famous enough to do that now.

Anyway, here it is, without further ado. The Boxing Day Dip.

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Here’s the video that Boofuls took if you want to see the whole thing. It was great fun. I can’t wait to do it again next year.

Tis the season to be jolly


Now you know how much I love Christmas. It’s legendary. The staff are well used to me singing Christmas songs in July. I’m organised, presents bought and wrapped in good time, menu’s planned out. I love it all.

So, what about this year? Four weeks post operative, not able to shop for the perfect gifts, relying on others to do everything I would normally have done. Munki is away with her northern family so it was all a bit…odd.

In fact it’s been a funny old Christmas all round at Boofuls Towers.

Like an Alan Bennett play but without the comedic highlights.

Christmas Eve was lovely. A friend popped round and was still there eight hours later. The wine flowed, Lashes and I sang for her, the dog danced for her, we ate, drank and made merry. Perfect.

Roll the clock forward a few hours. If this was an advert at this point all the lovely, vibrant colours would fade to a cold and gloomy grey.

The turkey that didn’t get put into the oven the night before needed cooking, the veg need ed preparing and all the other traditionally Christmas Eve jobs still needed doing.

We were due at a friend’s house for champagne and croissants at ten o’clock. Lashes and her boyfriend were not up for it. Being, as they say down here, hanging, the thought of socialising at that time of day didn’t appeal much to them, despite the fact that they knew our friends had gone to a lot of time, effort and expense to get it all ready.

Boofuls and I went on our own and made excuses for her. There was a bit of an atmosphere and we could see our friends were a bit annoyed but we ploughed on regardless with outr forced jollity and over loud laughter. The croissants were good though.

When we got back home, Lashes and her boyfriend were just saying goodbye to each other as he was heading off to his family for Christmas. As he left he dropped it in the conversation that he wouldn’t be back for almost a week. Lashes had thought it was going to be two days so that cooled the Christmas warmth down a bit more – to glacial levels, actually. Thanks for that, Boyfriend.

For the first time in thirty two years it was just Boofuls, me and Lashes round the dinner table. Normally we host the big family dinner and I love it. The bustle, the noise and the mess of Christmas is what makes it all special for me. Instead we had Lashes hurt, hungover, angry and upset. Me angry, missing my family and exhausted from doing too much, trying to get all the jobs done and then there was Boofuls, silent and morose at the dinner table occasionally trying to be funny and being met with half-hearted smiles.

Not so much a celebration of Christmas as an endurance test. Every now and then a dog’s head would pop up hopefully looking for a titbit to come their way only to be met with “Get down!” from all three of us.

We tried, we really did. It was just too hard. We put on the Christmas music and the hats from the crackers but try as we might It was a relief when it was all over and we could turn on the television and not have to talk to each other.

As Christmases go, I’d have to rank this one as being the worst. I gave up and went to bed at 9pm glad to see the back of it.

Merry Christm….oh just sod off!


Well, Boofuls Towers has been a hive of Christmas activity – except for me that is, I’ve been sitting around and being waited on hand hand and foot, occasionally going out on my disability scooter and generally lolling about.

Most of the Christmas decorating has come down to Lashes, and she has done a very good job of it. She has decorated the tree in our reception area and also trimmed up the dining room beautifully. Of course, those being the guest areas, that all has to be tastefully done and not necessarily what we would choose for ourselves.

As Munki won’t be with us for this year, due to the fact that she is spending Christmas with her dad ‘oop north’ Lashes decided that she wouldn’t bother with a tree in her living room.  Not worth it if there are no kids about. Instead she thought she would decorate my living room Christmas tree. Being incapacitated I wasn’t really in a state to argue much about it. Until, that is, she told me it would be decorated in her trademark, Alice in Wonderland style.

Pretty as that is, it reflects her personality, not mine so I drew the line. It’s mine and Booful’s living space and we have to look at it all day, every day so we have to like it.  She uses our living room only to walk through on her way outside for a cigarette.   I refused to let her decorate my tree in her style, however, I compromised and said I would be happy to have  a multi coloured tree. She threw a strop. Well, bugger you then, I’ll do it myself, I thought. If you want a tree in your style then ut it in your room.

Spirit of goodwill and all that, I set about decorating the tree in the foulest of moods.

Not able to do the whole thing in one go, it atually took me three days. Three days of mess, decorations strewn all over the floor, piles of working and non working fairy lights and  general Christmas detritus. I hate mess, nothing will depress me quicker than mess. Not the best start to Christmas. I persevered though and eventually I ended up with a  multicoloured tree the like of which I haven’t done since the kids were small. Multi coloured lights mingle with multi coloured baubles,  topped with a grinning  Christmas snowman.  It couldn’t be further from my usual style of decorating if I tried.

I love it!

Even Lashes, after getting in one or two snide remarks about me having ‘promised’  to let her do it her way (I didn’t)   had to concede that it looks lovely.

Bizarrely, after all the fuss she eventually looked at the tree and piped up. “Yes, it’s very pretty but I have to admit, there is something very nice about a beautifully ordered, single colour, grown up Christmas tree. ” Whaaaaaaat? She’s been complaining at me for years that my trees are boring and now she’s telling me that that is what she likes!

Ever since Lashes reached adulthood we have differed in our views of how to trim up. Now we live in the same house it has become more difficult with each of us wanting it done in our own way. Isn’t it funny how protective people get about their trees? I like it my way, she likes it her way and never the twain shall meet.

The one thing that we do all agree on though is that we are going to make the most of having a child free  Christmas. It’s going to be odd with just the three of us here but we have stocked up on lovely goodies to eat and drink, lined up a selection of great telly to watch and  we are generally going to  relax and just please ourselves.

Whatever you are doing this Christmas I hope you have the best of times and the happiest, wealthiest but most importantly, the healthiest of New Years.

Happy Christmas!