Category Archives: 2017

Oh no he 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.


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.




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.


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!





We’re British, you know

How do we know we’re British?

Because we love a queue.

This was proved beyond any shadow of a doubt last Sunday when I went to a very nie hristmas fair at a very nice hotel with my lovely friend.

As we walked in we were faced with the most enormous queue. Without question we joined it. There must have been a hundred people in this queue, all standing patiently. After a couple of minutes a couple walked in behind us and also wordlessly joined it.

It was at that point, being a veteran of many a wedding fair, I tonight, hang on a minute. I’ve never seen a fair of any kind attract this much attention. Not only that but this queue was heading in the wrong direction.  After staking my place in the queue I walked up to the front. “Excuse me, are you waiting to get tickets for the Christmas fair?” “No. We are waiting to check out of the hotel.”

Bugger me! A hundred people stood in a queue and at least a third of them were stood there because they hadn’t had the nous to ask a simple question. For goodness sake! I know we love a good queue but I love a good Christmas fair more.

We hotfooted out of the hotel queue and into the non-existent Christmas fair queue. Within seconds we were happily munching on mince pies and sipping mulled wine as we explored the myriad sparkly and shiny festive items on display. The best bit of all though was the vintage clothing stand staffed by an elderly lady who was as mad as a box of frogs.

She positively encouraged us to try on all the 1920’s hats and coats, draping jewellery over us as we admired ourselves in the mirror and imagined ourselves in a more elegant era. We must have spent half an hour there, laughing, trying on clothes and soaking up the atmosphere. It reinforced that we are really only big kids after all.

Once we had finished playing in the dressing up box we sauntered out to listen to the choir sing. It is the same choir that Lashes and I joined a few weeks ago. We weren’t invited to sing at this event as we are a new choir and don’t know all the songs yet. Ha! I knew enough to be merrily singing along, drawing a few looks from the bass singers we were stood next to as I warbled quietly away to the soprano parts.

All in all it was a great start to the festive season. Since then I have attended two wreath making workshop and  two parties and watched a bunch of people perform a Christmas story round the harbour. It was all very sweet.

I think Boofuls would rather have put pins in his eyes than listen to the folk songs and watch the dancers dancing to music from a fiddle as the storyteller cleverly unfolded the story for us.  Street performances don’t seem to be his thing. Bless him, he put up with it all to keep me happy.  We still have a carol service, a lantern making event and umpteen parties to attend this side of Christmas. I’m not sure will help my convalescence but it will surely make the time go a lot  faster.


Advent is here! Yay!

That means that is officially Christmas. No. Wait. What?

By the standards of some people we have been posivitely lackadaisical when it comes to getting up our Christmas decorations, I mean, it’s the 2nd December. I know some people who have had them up for a month already.

Lashes made a start on our decorations today. Off I went to a Christmas fair and an event put on by the council celebrating Christmas by the sea. By the time I got back there was a hoofing great Christmas tree in the reception area of Boofuls Towers Lodging Emporium, half decorated and with various bits of tinsel, baubles, beads and innumerable other items of Christmas paraphernalia littered all over the floor, the stairs, the landing, the dining room and the living room. Obviously having got bored with the job half way through, it is still all over the place. She left the reception lights left on as well so all and sundry can admire the glittery detritus and half decorated tree through our humongously large glass doors and floor to ceiling windows. Basically, the front wall is made of glass. Good advert, eh?

Moving on to the dining room, that is in a state of total disarray due to the fact that we are having a new carpet put in there next week and I decided that all the woodwork needed a good coat of fresh paint before the new carpet went down. Boofuls and Lashes got to work moving out all the furniture and pulling back the old, disgusting carpet. Not that that room is big or anything but it was as cheap to buy a whole roll of carpet as it was to get it cut to the room size, so we decided to do the stairs and landing with the offcuts.

Those of you who know me or are have read the blog a few times might have noticed something odd.

What’s that? I can hear you saying. That, dear reader, is the fact that I have allowed another person to get involved in the decorating of the Christmas tree and other decorations. Unbloodyheardof. Lashes had to wait till I went out to make a start without my getting in the way and trying to muscle in on the job.

Why’s that then?

Convalescing, that’s what.

On the one hand, having a major operation in November is brilliant as I have all winter to get back to full strength.  On the negative side, it’s Christmas!  So much to do. So many parties to go to. So much Christmas shopping to do. So much decorating and renovating to do.

God, it’s hard handing it over to other people. It’s just not in my nature to let other people do all the work. If I wasn’t so exhausted I’d put up a hell of a fight. As it is, I just look at it all and go “That’s my job….I’ll just have a little snooze.”

It’ll all be worth it in the end. In the meantime, I have to take a back seat and let the other get on with it all.

Right, I’m going to sign off now, time for another little snooze. With a bit of luck all will be decorated and tidied up by the time I wake up.


Well that was a surprise.

Normally when I look at my blog stats it shows two, maybe three visits a day. Sometimes it gets are far as eight or nine but rarely goes into double figures these days. The price of not bothering with it while I was too busy living my life to be writing about it, I suppose.

Imagine my surprise yesterday then when I looked at my stats and it showed 176 views!!  apparently all of them of my copyright page. Wow! That must be  some  good copyright notice! I’m not sure what caused the spike but just for a moment I thought I’d hit the big time! professional blogging here I come!

On a more mundane note. The long dreaded date for my further surgery has been and gone. The deed has been done and I’m recovering with a cocktail of some rather splendid painkillers. If I were to sell them round town I am certain that there would be   pretty penny to be made from them. However, my need is greater than the local crack heads so I’ll be guarding them jealously for the next few weeks.

Lovely Boofuls, knowing how much I hated being housebound last time, decided to get me a motorised wheelchair so I can get out and about at least for short periods.  While he and my good friend Lynn took care of the breakfast service this morning at Boofuls Towers Lodging Emporium, I whizzed round the local park in my buggy with Douggie the doggie racing alongside me.

It’s not a bad start to the day. Get up at a sensible hour, shower at my leisure, a quick trip round the park in my buggy and then back for a cooked breakfast courtesy of my guest chef, Lynn. Followed by lounging around watching a bit of weekend telly. Blummin’ marvellous!

The plan for later is to go to our local stately home and make Christmas wreaths. Not that I am going to admit it but I am already starting to tire after all my exertion this morning so it might be a shorter day than I reckoned.

Whatever you are doing this weekend I hope you have a great time.

Good times

Boofuls Towers is a bit quiet at the moment. In fact, we only have one room booked out this weekend so if you fancy a nice weekend in Devon, give me a shout, I am certain I could find a little discount under the fridge.

Anyway, making the most of the peace and quiet we decided to crack on with a few jobs. Room seven has been beautified, just in time for the hotel inspector’s visit.

What a pularver that was, untucking my beautifully made beds so she could feel the mattress.
“It’s a bit lumpy, time you changed it.”
“It’s a new bed.”
“Hhmm, well put a topper on it then.”
“It’s got a topper on it, all our matresses have toppers on them.”

It was like she was determined to find something to criticise even when there was clearly nothing. Overall, she told what we need to do to improve our star rating and surprise, surprise we already knew. Fancy us knowing what needs doing in our own house?!

It does make me wonder what exactly it is that we pay for with Visit England other than using the logo and having the star rating plaque outside.

We started her tour in what we knew was our worst room and progressed from there. Suggestions were made to change the usage of a couple of our rooms from family rooms to suites. tempting idea, not taking kids but it’s oh so lucrative. These suggestions fell on stony ground with Boofuls who, when he heard them, just harrumphed and walked off.

When she reached room 7, which I’d been saving till last, she actually let out a squeal of delight. “Now THIS is what I’m talking about.” Obviously the bright yellow wall teamed with graphite grey worked for her. I must say, I’m very pleased with it. Even though I had a few collywobbles when I chose the colours but it does work, I’ll post photos for you when I get around to taking them.

So. Back to yesterday.

“Let’s have a bar night.” Boofuls said last week.

A bar night is when the hoteliers with bars fill up the long winter evenings by all going round to each others bars for food and drinkies. The host provides everything for the evening and it can get a bit pricey but then everyone takes a turn so it evens out over the course of the year.

For ease of catering we decided that cheese and biscuits would work well for the food. Beer, wine, prosecco are generally the drinks of choice so we make sure we are well stocked up. Approximately twenty hoteliers rocked up and with seconds of them arriving the party was in full swing. I have never seen a party kick off so quickly. There was no polite small talk, it was straight in to belly laughs and general silliness. What a great night.

Boofuls and our, bordering on being a giant, friend decided to have a karaoke. Dear Lord, what a racket.

People had tears streaming down their faces, I’m not sure if it was because they were laughing so hard or because their ears hurt but it was hysterical to watch.

It’s a hard job being a hotelier and during the summer we don’t even see our friends but my God, we make up for it in winter.

Next social – Tuesday!

Happy anniversary!

Despite all the odds, Boofuls have managed to stay avoid killing each other, running off with a younger model or dying of some medical condition for 32 whole years. In fact, after all these years we still actually like as well as love each other. There is no one else in this world that I would rather spend my time with, although Douggie the doggie does come a very close second.

Today, dear reader, is our thirty second wedding anniversary. Just to be clear, I mean mine and Boofuls, not mine and Douggie’s.

Although we don’t, and never have, made a big fuss about it anniversaries with cards and flowers and meaningless gestures, we do like to spend the day together.

Today’s anniversary outing is going to be to Plymouth to look at the poppy wave on The Hoe. It’s a warmish, dry and sunny day. perfect for a little jaunt out with my two best mates, yes Douggie the doggie is coming too.

Tonight we’ll be going to a very nice restaurant, sans dog,  where we will eat and drink far too much and reminisce about all our years together. Then we’ll drink a toast to the years we have left.

Lat night we were at a ‘we survived the summer season’ party thrown by some friends of ours. Lovely gay couple, he’s English and he’s Thai. That made for an interesting mix of food. Thai red curry, beautiful, spicy salads, hot and spicy side dishes…and a shepherd’s pie for Boofuls. How thoughtful was that?

The whole evening was amazing, relaxed, comfortable and just the right mix of people. Amazingly, for a room full of hoteliers, we manged to avoid talking about linen or laundry. I think all talk of linen should be banned until at least April of next year – but I digress.

When we got home we sat and chatted for a while. We chatted about life events that have overtaken a few people this year. We chatted about our own lives.  As we chatted it struck us that we have now lived more of our lives than we have left.

It was a strange realisation.

Life is so busy, we don’t often have time to just sit back and take stock. Never before have I considered my mortality and that the end might be nearer than I imagined. How did those years just disappear without us even noticing them?

For some time I have been banging on about buying a smaller B & B emporium or even retiring. Mostly for health reasons but after our conversation of last night it has made me think about it even more. We deserve to have some precious time together before one of us shuffles off our mortal coil and leaves the other wondering what the hell just happened.

I can feel another life shift coming on.