Tag Archives: family life


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!

 

 

 

 

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Spike


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.

You treat this place like a hotel!


No. Wait. Ok, it IS a hotel but you don’t need to treat it like one.

So what am I wittering on about today?

Munki. That’s what.

She’s got into the habit of strolling into the kitchen during breakfast service and ordering as a guest would.

For those of you who don’t know, Munki is our eight year old granddaughter who lives with us here at the Boofuls Towers B & B lodging emporium.

Yesterday she wandering in, looked around disdainfully, walked out again and into the guest dining room. Two minutes later she returned with a giant bowlful of the fruit salad, having taken all the strawberries and blueberries out of it and left the bits she didn’t like for the actual paying guests. Once she’d finished that – and I’d finished refreshing the fruit salad, she returned to the kitchen, “Can I just have two slices of bacon today please?” If I’m not too busy I’ll generally make it for her and yesterday she was lucky.

This morning we only had two guests in for breakfast and only one of them wanting a cooked breakfast. Service was over in about three minutes, long enough to produce two poached eggs on toast.

Munki strolled into the kitchen at her usual time. Her face fell. “What? Have I missed breakfast? I’m not late!”

I explained to her that breakfast was over and suggested she make herself some toast since she isn’t actually a paying guest. Her little face lit up and off she went.

The only trouble with Munki having toast is that she absolutely slathers it in my home made lemon curd. I can’t keep up with her demand for it. Only last week I made a fresh batch and it’s almost gone already. I may have to start rationing it. It wouldn’t be too bad if only I could stop her putting the knife into the jar after it’s been used for butter. Ugh. I can’t serve that to guests now. If I’ve told her once not to do that I’ve told her a thousand times, No exaggeration!

I think it’s a ploy she uses she she can have it all.

Anyway, still on the subject of Munki:

Her mum, Lashes has been picking up her old hobby of doing magic tricks.

She got really quite good at it at one point but then as so often happens at that age she lost interest and moved on to other things, boys, mostly.

Now she has started doing magic again. Please note that I was very careful not to say she was doing tricks. I said that last week to someone and then stood there mystified as they doubled up with laughter. I’m so innocent sometimes it’s ridiculous. I had no idea what I’d just said.

Anyway, I digress.

Lashes had just learned the old ‘coin in a bottle trick.’ She did it using a plastic bottle and we were all mighty impressed when this coin magically appeared inside it. She showed the same trick to MUnki who was astounded, begging her mum to do the trick again and pleading with her to show her how it was done.

Lashes, in the manner of all good magicians didn’t do the trick again but handed the bottle to Munki, “See if you can work it out.”

Lashes walked off smirking as Munki shook, rattled, peered into and generally gave the bottle a good inspection.

Five minutes later she came into see me. “Nanny, can I borrow some scissors, please?” Without giving giving a thought I handed over a pair of scissors and Munki disappeared into her bedroom.

Five minutes later again I heard a shout, “Why would you do that? Why? You’ve completely destroyed it.” Munki had only taken a pair of scissors to the plastic bottle to see the mechanics of the trick. Lashes was LIVID.

Well, you did tell her to see if she could work it out. You didn’t say she couldn’t destroy it to find the answer.

She’ll go far, that kid!

Room 8 it is then!!


Fed up of having the worst room in the house, Boofuls and I (ok, just me) decided that some decorating was in order.

The trouble with owning a B&B is that if anything breaks in one of the guest bedrooms it quite often gets replaced from our bedroom. The end result of which is that we have the ugliest, scruffiest, dirtiest, most out dated room in the entire house.

Well I’m fed up of it. Fed up I say!

When I go to bed I turn the light off quickly so I don’t have to look at the dump that we call our bedroom. It’s just depressing. Especially for someone like me who has studied interior design and loves colour, beautiful lights and fittings and gorgeous curtains..

I think it was last decorated circa 1980 and the wallpaper has been patched up for various reasons over the years with the added on bits having a marked difference in colour. No attempt at shade matching being possible I suppose after years of fading away in the wall. The worst bit though was the bit above the bed where it looks like someone has smeared the excavations from their nose onto the wall. It made me sick to look at it.

The carpet, apart from being a grim green fleur de lys patterned eyesore has been thrown up on by the dog at least three times and has also shrunk away from the wall over the years.

The furniture, in putrid pine, was obviously used by the teenage son of the previous owners, it has stickers on the drawers, scratches, engravings and none of it matches anything else except that it’s all putrid pine.

So. Not having money to fritter away on rooms that don’t earn us money I engineered a master plan.

I decided that if I sold all my old professional cameras I’d get enough money to completely refurbish the room. Genius!

I got in touch with a camera shop who specialises in ‘pre loved’ camera equipment and shipped it all to them. Now all I have to do is sit back and wait for the money to roll in.

In the meantime, Boofuls and I decided that we’d use room 8 as our bedroom until ours was ready. It wouldn’t be possible to stay in our room as it needs to be completely gutted. I’ve ordered the new furniture, we’ve picked a new carpet and I’m researching curtains, wallpaper and light fittings. The furniture is due to be delivered in about four weeks. So exciting!

Wait! What? Excuse me Boofuls. What was that you just said? They got the date wrong and the furniture will be here Monday?

Well that puts a little spanner in the works. We’re not ready.

In light of this new information, Boofuls and I were in room 8 this afternoon deciding where we’d put all our stuff. It transpires that we have both always secretly loved that room. So much so that we’ve decided to keep it and make our room a letting room.

Busy week next week then. Happy days!!

Bingo!


It’s official. Munki  now sounds posh. Well, to northern ears she definitely sounds posh. It’s amazing how quickly children can pick up a new accent.

I took her for a riding lesson on Saturday and she referred to the little pony she was riding as a ‘hoarse’ rather than as she would have done a year ago as a ‘hoe-iss’. I love it!!

However, it’s only on a surface level, as I realised recently.

If you live in the UK and have watched tv at any point at all in the last little while then you can’t fail to have seen that irritating advert for Gala Bingo. You know the one:

The one with amply proportioned women  singing Gala la la. Gala la la. Gala la la hey hey hey BINGO!’

Sorry. That will be in your head all day now. Irritating but effective advertising.

Anyway, Munki was singing it in the bath. I was listening and chuckling away to myself. The I heard THIS:

“Gala la la. Gala la la. Gala la la hey hey hey BINGAW!”

Haha. Not quite so posh after all then.

She went away on a school trip week last week. Not exactly a safari adventure, they were about half an hour away but they loved it. Trying to make the most of child free time we suggested a grown up meal in a grown up restaurant.

Lashes of course had other ideas. She and her dad, Boofuls are partial to a game of bingo and have been out a few times to our local bingo emporium since we’ve lived here. I have been happy to babysit and get the house to myself. Bingo? I’d rather put pins in my eyes.

“Let’s all have a grown up night at bingo. It’s not often we all get to go out together”.  Not wanting to be a party pooper, I agreed, having been assured that it’s different now and it’s LOADS of fun.

We turned up at the bingo hall. Right mum, we have to get you registered. Me, Boofuls, Lashes and Lashes’ beau, The Prof, all stood at the enrolment desk. Who’s enrolling then, is it you?” the chap on the desk enquired to The Prof. “Actually, it’s me.” I volunteered and then laughed out loud as his eyebrows flew up so high they nearly fell off his head.

“I’m the last one you thought it would be, aren’t I?”

He agreed that I was and enquired as to how had I’d got to my age without going to bingo. Easily, I thought, it’s more painful than pins in my eyes. I didn’t say it out loud as I didn’t want to offend him or upset Lashes who was clearly enjoying having us all there.

It’s changed a bit since I last played bingo many, many years ago when my bezzie forced me to go as birthday treat. Birthday punishment more like! I remember spending the afternoon terrified of speaking too loudly and incurring the wrath of the assembled matriarchs, or calling out ‘house’ at the wrong time, getting all hot and bothered about  keeping up with scanning and marking my tickets quickly enough to keep up with the caller who spoke at a speed I didn’t even think was possible. The whole event was terrifying and not one I’ve been keen to repeat. How on earth could that be called entertainment?

Now they have electronic screens and you don’t have to do anything except watch it and press ‘claim’ when you  win. Exciting, eh? NOPE!

There are the big money games though where you have to tap the screen when a number pops up. Ooh, that must be exciting, eh?

SNORE!!!!

The chicken and chips were quite good though and to be honest, it all became a lot less boring when I won a tenner. Shame I didn’t win the four grand, I might have been persuaded to go back for a second visit.

It’s my birthday this week.  Happy birthday to me. I’ll be 21 and a few months old. How many months. I don’t know – I can’t count that high.

My natural inclination has always been to moan and bitch about getting older but I don’t do that any more as that’s an option my little brother no longer has and it seems a bit crass to complain about being alive when he isn’t.  So now I enjoy life to the full (except for bingo) and make loads of new friends, explore the beaches and learn new skills.  Life is good, enjoy it while you can!

Flop, flump, sigh, fart


Lying in my bed the other night trying to get a bit of shut eye, and failing dismally I might add, I was struck by how much noise and activity there is in our bedroom.

Stop it!! You have such a rude mind! That isn’t what I meant at all. Wash your mind out!

Moving on…

The dog regularly sighs and walks round the room before flopping down with another huge sigh, sometimes stopping for a loud and slurpy drink from his bowl.  Unfortunately, I’m always on epilepsy alert and when he gets restless I’m always watching out for signs of an impending fit. Last night he did one of his nightly rounds of the bedroom and then flopped down on the floor at my side of the bed with his usual massive sigh. Suddenly the most horrendous smell wafted up from the floor. I can’t even begin to describe it. Oh my God! I turned over and put my hand over my mouth and nose in a vain attempt to  keep the sickening stench from assailing my nostrils further. God. It was horrendous.

Boofuls slept on, blissfully unaware of the gas attack going on in our bedroom. As he slept he snored gently like a little lawnmower. Eventually Douggie the doggie stopped farting and flopping round the room and settled down. That was Boofuls’s cue to take the snoring up a gear.

Good Lord! It was like lying next to a pneumatic drill singing a duet with a cow! DDDDDRRRRRRRRRRRRRMOOOOOOOOOOO!!

SHUDDUP AND TURN OVER!

Amazingly he did.

So did I.

CAWCAWSKREEEEEEEE!!

What the …?

Someone forgot to tell that screeching seagull that it’s called a dawn chorus because it happens at dawn, not the middle of the bloody night.  It’s no wonder I’m always exhausted. What I wouldn’t give for a peaceful nights sleep!

Munki on the other hand…

was in the bath and Lashes was putting clothes away in the next room. As usual, the telly on and she was watching hoarders. Munki shouted for her  to turn it off as she didn’t like it, “I don’t like ghost stories,  I’ll have nightmares”. “It’s not about ghosts, its about hoarders.” ” Oh right. Are they nobs?”

Lashes, shocked and trying to keep a straight face asked her to repeat what she’d said, Munki duly obliged: “Those people, the hoarder, are they nobs?”

Poor old Lashes  was shaking with the effort of trying not to laugh.

“Where did you hear that? From Youtube?  Nob is a swear word, it means you’re and idiot, don’t say it again and don’t watch that you tube channel again.”

Munki: “How many ‘o’s does it have in it?”

“One.”

” Oh. Then it’s not the same word.  I meant noob.”

Lashes collapsed on the floor laughing.

I’d forgotten how unwittingly entertaining a young child can be.

Generating too much heat


You know when you have what seems like a really good idea at the time but you quickly realise you’ve made terrible mistake and can’t then back out?

That was us a month or two ago.

The hoteliers group hold a monthly coffee morning in winter. The idea is that you put on coffee and cakes and provide entertainment of some sort and it’s a nice social occasion but not totally pointless.

Last month was a talk from a tax inspector. Riveting stuff.

Anyway. They asked for volunteers  to host the next coffee morning.

“We’ll do it”  I heard.

Mad fools, I thought. What? Wait! Was that MY voice? What the hell…? Have I  gone stark staring bonkers?

It seemed like a great idea at the time. We’ve done loads of work and I was keen to show it off.  We’re  really proud of our place now.

Still a few more jobs to go but we have bags of time, I thought. Four months. No problem.

Four months ago we had bags of time.

My, how time flies.

It was yesterday.

Fifty five hoteliers turned up for coffee and cake and to run their critical eyes over my soft furnishing and their wandering fingers over my dados.

In the last week we have ramped up the decorating, furniture painting, cleaning, polishing, and general sprucing up.

By Thursday of last week the pressure was getting to me and a migraine was building up – it was probably over exposure to paint fumes now I come to think of it. I’ve breathed in so much paint that I don’t even notice it any more.

Why the hell did I agree to do it and especially on bloody Valentine’s and half term week.

What a fool!

We had house full of loved up couples for Valentine’s weekend and by Sunday my migraine had me threatening to rip my eyeball out. Way beyond being able to cope and with the cocktail of pills I was taking failing to work I announced to Boofuls that I was off to bed to try and sleep it off.

Our bedroom used to be one of the guest rooms. We have room one.

As I drifted off to sleep I suddenly heard a wailing coming from room two. Oh my good God! Ooh. Ooh. Ooh OOOOOHHHHHHH!!!!!

I thought bloody Lassie was in the next room!

I put my pillow over my heard and tried my best not to listen. Difficult above all the wailing.  Eventually it all calmed down and I drifted off to sleep.

RIIIIIIIINNNNGGGGGG!!!!!!

The fire alarm went off!

I leapt out of bed. Slipped on some shoes and proceeded to work my way round all the rooms, banging on the doors and shouting that it wasn’t a drill and it was time to go. I worked backwards round the corridor, starting at room 8.

Boofuls checked the fire alarm console and established where the fire was.

Room two.

We went and banged on the door and it was answered by the chap, zipping up his trousers. As soon as he opened the door it was obvious there was no fire. So far so good. Bear in mind that Boofuls had no idea about what had been going on in there just a few minutes before. “Have you been smoking in here?  Nope.  I struggled to keep the smirk off my face.

I wanted to save them further embarrassment at having literally been caught with their pants down and suggested that if they’d had the shower on it might have caused the alarm to go off.  At this exact point Boofuls said,  “You’ve obviously been generating too much heat in here.” Their faces were a picture.

Unable to contain myself any further I just walked off up the corridor stifling my guffaws while Boofuls looked at me in total bewilderment at the cause of my mirth.

It was blummin’ priceless! oh, how I love being a hotelier, it’s a laugh a minute.

We never did find out what actually caused the alarm to go off. Maybe it really was because they were hot stuff.

 

That was the week that was


This week alone we have had no internet which is a bit of a blow when your diary and booking system is all on online.

We’ve had no  phone.  Useful when you’re running a business.

Also, terrifyingly, we discovered we had no insurance cover. We’d put in a claim for a tv and it was overturned. It seems that due to an item in the small print we’d actually not been covered for weeks. OMFG!!!!

Thank God it was only a tv we’d claimed for and not a major claim. I’m not sure if it was some sort of celestial joke that caused the fire alarms to go off that day for no reason but I can tell you that I nearly dropped dead of fright right there on the spot.

You’ll be glad to know that it’s all sorted out now. I fucking hate insurance companies!

We had a gas leak, that was fun.

It’s a good job I clean behind the cooker at ridiculously regular intervals or it could all have been very nasty. While I was on the floor cleaning the pipes on ‘clean behind the cooker Monday’ which also turned into ‘clean behind the cooker Tuesday’ because I’d slopped food around that day. I heard hissing and noticed bubbles where the soapy water had touched the hole in the pipe.

The plumber was duly called who said he’ d come the following day. “The following day?!?” ” Can you smell gas?”  he enquired.

Well, no but…. “well it’s not gas then. It’ll be fine. Turns out it was gas and a bad one at that. The gas board’s emergency number was called and the genius gas man spent a good two hours fixing it while I made contingency plans about how to feed 26 people with no hob or oven to cook with.

While all that was going on we also had  guests keeping drugs in their room.  Boofuls had to have a word with them. Even he was a bit surprised when they said they’d store it at the parent’s house.

Electrical equipment has been falling over and dying like flies. We have about six vacuum cleaners and not one of them works properly.  It makes vacuuming ginormous bedrooms a bit of a pain to be honest.

Poor old Boofuls has spent far too much time this week holding, fixing and re-routing cables trying to make the tv in room 14 work.

We completely ran out of bedding as the laundry has consistently failed to return our linen to us. At one point they’d lost 20 double duvet covers. We suggested to them that we use their contract linen until they find our lost linen and they agreed to deliver it all the following day. Guess what? Yup. No linen.  We couldn’t make up a single matching bed set. Sigh. They turned up two days later at 8.45  this morning while we were serving breakfast. They couldn’t have picked a worse time to turn up. The driver just smirked when I voiced my discontent. I could have hit him round the head with a frying pan!

It’s not all doom and gloom though.  The breakfast order tickets coming into the kitchen often make me laugh out loud when I see the various abbreviations Lashes uses.

Generally we have B=bacon, E=egg, Be= beans, you get the idea, all very straight forward. The perfect breakfast is a FE, full English. Seven items, no messing about with fiddly stuff.

Of course it never goes that smoothly. It still makes me titter like a schoolboy when I get a ticket that says Nom  Nob. Can you guess what it means? This week we also had a Nom Not Nob. Teehee. Then of course we got the cryptic ticket which blew my brain.

Lashes had written:

Table 17

EBTS

FE – no HB/M/Be

OK. EBTS that’s easy,  it’s egg, bacon, tomato,sausage

Next breakfast: I stared and stared at the ticket and the two plates. It wouldn’t compute.  FE without hash browns, mushrooms and beans. This shouldn’t be so difficult, get it together woman!

OH!I’VE GOT IT!

FE no hb/m/be is EXACTLY the same breakfast as EBTS!!! Oh my God! Write it the same way, woman! I was so confused!

Heh.

On Tuesday we decided to have Prosecco Tuesday after we’d finished cleaning the rooms. Our little chambermaid can’t believe her luck! She’s never worked anywhere that has prosecco after work.

It’s not a bad old life, really.

No More Tripping Over Pebbles in the Dark


I’m going to tell you the story of Tripping Over Pebbles in the Dark.

Stupid name for a blog.

Pebbles is our little cat, also known as Cooking Fat.

Pebbles came into our lives when Lashes, as a small child, developed an irrational fear of cats. We thought the best course of action was to get her a little cat to scare her with when she misbehaved. No……wait…….. That’s not right. I’ll try again.

We thought that having a teeny, tiny, cute, little kitty around the place would get her over her fear of cats before it turned into a major phobia.  It sounded like a good plan to us.  So we duly turned up at the rescue centre that weekend, which is bloody miles away, only to be told that they didn’t have any kittens in but they knew of some – ten minutes away from home. Sigh. We drove all the way back to go and see said kitty.

It turned out that a woman had taken in a stray cat which promptly had kittens. Before she got rid of them all, one of the kittens had kittens. She was up to her ears in cats and fed up to her back teeth of her dog trying to eat them. We walked in saying that we’d like a little boy cat. “This is a boy” she said as she pointed to a tiny black ball of fluff. To be honest, I think if we’d gone in saying we wanted a martian she’d have pointed to it and told us it was a martian.

“Ok, we’ll take it.” That was when the fun started. This little ball of fluff had had to fight to survive the gnashing jaws of the dog and the squabbling of other cats. I don’t think it had been treated terribly kindly by the owner either. It had quickly learned that the best strategy for survival was to be quick on its feet.

As the woman bent to pick up the kitten, it  sprang into life and almost literally flew round the room at breakneck speed via the furniture and the curtains. It was bit like watching Evel Knieval on the wall of death. Round and round it went until it finally came to rest – hanging like a bat from the tv where it had got its claw stuck.

I went and gently plucked it from the tv while looking at Boofuls with one eyebrow raised, silently questioning if we were doing the right thing getting this tiny hell beast for our feline fearful daughter. However, once I had the little thing in my hands and it finally stopped shaking and howling we decided that there was no way we were leaving it behind. The poor creature was terrified.

A visit to the vet quickly ascertained that the little boy was a little girl and was younger that six weeks old, maybe five weeks old but probably a bit less.

Lashes decided that the hell beast was to be called Pebbles and I’d love to say that they became the best of friends but Pebbles never really lost her fear of everything and has always been a very skitty kitty and she definitely didn’t like children. If she did become best friends with anyone, it was with Boofuls, they’ve always had a special bond between them. Lashes though totally lost her fear of cats.

That was almost twenty one years ago. We worked out that she must have been a new year cat so her 21st birthday is any day now. Over the years she has remained tiny, a true lady but always fearful and nervous. As the years have gone on she has lost her eyesight and her hearing. She has become senile, walking round and round in the kitchen screaming “I don’t know where I am! Help! Help! He…ooh, food.” She has developed diabetes and arthritis. How she’s lived this long I have no idea. Obviously the country air agrees with  her. I open the door in the morning and look down as she looks up and we greet each other. Her by screaming  at me “Open the bloody door you fool!” and me by saying, “You’re still here then.”

She spends her days in the kitchen, right in the middle of the kitchen floor, circling round and round my feet as I’m trying to cook. How I’ve never tripped and sent a pan of something hot over her I’l never know. Or if she’s not in the kitchen she’s sleeping in bizarre places, halfway up the stairs, in the middle of the landing or right in front of the bathroom door. Many times I have tripped over her in the middle of the night on one of my nocturnal bathroom visits. Hence ‘Tripping over Pebbles in the Dark’. It’s a tribute to our little black cat.

Yesterday morning when she came in it was very obvious that something was very wrong with her. She was almost dragging one of her legs behind her and was clearly very uncomfortable. Off to the vet’s we went. “Well, you know she is a hundred years old, don’t you?” Basically, he was telling us to prepare ourselves.

It wasn’t with any surprise but with a great deal of sadness that we discovered Pebbles crossed over the rainbow bridge at some point during the night last night. She went to sleep in her  basket and just didn’t wake up. Exactly the way we always hoped she’d go. We’re going to miss you, you howling, mewling, trip hazard.

No more tripping over Pebbles in the dark.

Christmas day in the Mad House


Boofuls was attacked by our giant tree. It was perfect this year, no knobbly or misshapen bits, all we had to do was trim a few inches off the top and decorate it. Marvellous! What do you think about the reindeer hat we saw in Sainsbury’s? Suits you, Sir.

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I’ve really enjoyed all the preparations for it this year. Of course, working for a florist has given me a few extra ideas for decorations.

I made some trees. What do you think?

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Sandra, who I’m working for gave me this amazing Christmas wreath. Isn’t it fabulous?

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So that’s it all done for another year.

I love Christmas and this year did not disappoint.

It was brilliant and I loved every minute of it.

Sophiscated, elegant, restrained and in impeccable taste. Nope, there wasn’t any of that. It was all good, riotous, family fun. I’d already braced myself for it being bonkers, with all the family and four dogs running around I know it wasn’t going to be peaceful. Who wants a peaceful Christmas anyway? Not me!

I’d bought myself a beautiful red dress for the big day but decided at the last minute it was too formal so I opted for my gawjuss, sparkly, red Christmas jumper, purple jeans and red boots. I was looking good – if I do say so myself.

As normal, we set off to bezzie mates for our croissants and champagne. Bezzie always pronounces it as crossont.  I told her I didn’t want any crossonts as I was in too much of a good mood for that, she looked at me strangely until I told her I’d have a happyont instead. So there we were, happyonts all round! Bezzie’s gift to me this year was a onesie, she’d got herself one the same so we went outside and wished the whole street a merry Christmas, – in our onesies, my beautiful Christmas ensemble was all covered up by a fleecy giraffe suit. Ah well. Douggie the doggie thought that I was a big cuddly toy to jump all over.

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This year I even got help in the kitchen from Number one son, The Rev. He’s been learning to cook and enjoyed lending a hand, along with Lashes and Boofuls. Hhhhhmmmm, too many cooks I can here you whispering. Actually, no. It was all very smooth. We did have a couple of teeny culinary issues but nothing to get upset about. I cooked and drained the sprouts only to find that a spider had been cooked along with them. When I announced that sprouts would not be joining us for luncheon this year a cheer went up! Then when I came to serve the carrot and swede batons I discovered that they weren’t so much al dente as break toothy so we didn’t bother with them either. Who needs veg anyway? Bring on the roasties!

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Among my unusual gifts this year was a pack of £50 notes to blow my nose on and some Marmite chocolate. I like Marmite, I like chocolate. Do I like them together? The jury is still out. I’m thinking not.

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Douggie had a great time opening his presents. He’d have opened everyones if he had been allowed. He loves presents.

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We had a brilliant game of don’t show Keith your teeth. It’s a word association game and you have to say your word without repeating what has been said previously and without showing your teeth. That reduced me to tears of laughter (you needed to be there).

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Lashes made this amazing snow scene cake. Big enough to feed about forty people it was most definitely a grand design – and a very nice bit o’ cake.Copyright

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Munki, aka ‘Tell it like it is’ or in this photo, Elsa, was her usual irrepressible self. She didn’t like one of her presents so she turned to me and in a loud voice said, “I don’t like THIS! Do you want it?” as I said, ‘tell it like it is’.

She was swinging between being hysterically funny to tantrumming and then being delightful again all in the space of seconds. You have to be quick to keep up with that child. Photo of the day, the one that made me laugh out loud, was this one. Munki refused to pose, Lashes was losing patience. Me? I howled laughing.  Christmas with kids summed up in one photograph.

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By 7.00pm, everyone had left. Douggie flopped exhausted onto my lap and didn’t move for the rest of the evening. But that was fine as Boofuls and I didn’t move either, except to scoff another chocolate for have a sip of some sweet and ridiculous concoction we wouldn’t dream of drinking at any other time of year. All in all it was a prefect family Christmas. Thank God it’s only once a year!

I truly hope you enjoyed yourChristmas as much as we enjoyed ours. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!