Tag Archives: life

radiators and drains

It’s only six days into 2020 but you know what? It’ s already better than the whole of 2019 was. I think this year is going to be a good one.

Last weekend I got two really lovely compliments, totally unexpected and one was a bit of a sideways one but I’ll take it. You take your compliments where you can when you get to my age.

Let me tell you the story of last weekend.

On Saturday Lashes and I attended a choir workshop. We were singing songs from Les Miserables, one of our favourite shows, we can almost perform the whole show between us as we know it so well. It was advertised months ago and we have been counting down the days and practically wishing Christmas to be cancelled, we were looking forward to it so much. Anyway, Christmas came and went and the big day was upon us.

A couple of hundred people from all over the south west came to sing, it was very emotional and we had a thoroughly good time. Well, I did. Lashes defected from altos for the day to join the sopranos so we could sit together. That was a whole new singing experience for her. She’s used to singing the tune not embellishing the edges with stardust haha.

During the course of the day there was much chatting, giggling, new friendships were made, old ones renewed and everyone was united in their love of singing. The atmosphere was lovely. While I was chatting to one woman we know she asked about our plans for the future. “Well, if we ever sell Boofuls Towers Boofuls will retire but I’ll be looking for a job.”

“WHAT? A job? Work for me. I want you! I’ll wait. Choose your own hours.”

“I’ve never worked with kids before. Not disabled kids anyway. I am a qualified teacher though so I suppose I could muddle through.”

WHAAAAT?!? YOU’RE A TEACHER? Why didn’t I know this? I need you. Please, please come and work for me. You don’t need experience, you just need a big heart and yours is,” spreading her arms wide, “this big.”

Wow. It’s nice to be wanted. What a lovely compliment. I was quite emotional, especially since this woman is one I admire very much. Praise from her is praise indeed. She doesn’t suffer fools gladly.

The journey home from the workshop was a half hour or so drive. Lashes and I chatted, and listened to the recordings of the day that she’d made on her phone. Then conversation turned to a woman we know.

I commented to Lashes that I always felt drained after I’d been in her company. I found her very negative and needy and I tended to avoid her.

Lashes said, “That’s because she’s a drain. People are either radiators and make you feel warm and cosy or drains. She’s a drain. That’s why you feel drained around her, it’s because she drains you.”

Hhhmmm. I pondered this for a while. After such a rubbish year last year I wondered if I had become a drain.

“Am I a drain?”

“Drain? You? Are you kidding? You’re the biggest, stupidest, overfilled, fizzing out all over the place, bloody irritating radiator ever.”

Hahaaaa. I’ll take that. Thanks.

What a strange ​week​ that was!

Actually, the strange week started some weeks ago when I was talking to a local business woman via email.

“Oh, by the way, do you know anyone who might be looking for some work? I need someone for a few hours a week.” I quickly put myself forward for the position as Boofuls Towers Lodging Emporium has gone more than a little bit quiet for the winter. Keeping the proverbial wolf from the door has moved higher up my priority list over the last few weeks.

“I haven’t worked in an office or been employed by anyone except myself for over twenty years.  I can’t do spreadsheets, never used a PC for many a year, cappuccino drinking Mac user that I am. Boofuls Towers has to take priority so hours will need to be flexible.”

“Ok, come and talk to me.”

So I did.

We agreed that we would give each other a month’s trial and at the end of that time if either of us wasn’t happy then we would call it a day with no hard feelings. It sounded like a plan to me.

On Monday I rocked up at the appointed hour, having quickly prepped, cooked and served breakfast to our B&B guests. Stressed wasn’t in it!  Acutely aware that I smelt of bacon and eggs I sat my designated computer and began to familiarise myself with its workings. “Can you just knock me out a quick spreadsheet?” came a cheery voice from the office next door.

“I..er..um..of course.”

Not so much knocked out as dragged kicking and screaming out I eventually managed to produce a fairy passable spreadsheet. A spreadsheet I might add that was promptly laid on one side and not even glanced at.

That was the start of a learning curve that set off  in a vertical direction dragging my poor aching brain behind it.  “Do this, cross reference it to that, log it on this ledger, that has to be cross-referenced with this, file that, make a note on here and it all has to be spot on as we can be inspected by the FSA at any point. No pressure.”

” No pressure? There were times when I thought I wasn’t sure if it was going to be my brain exploding or my heart exploding from its many palpitations.

At the end of day one I sloped out at the appointed hour crestfallen, tired, headachy and glad to be leaving. On day two I left positively depressed ( is that a contradiction in terms?), the headache had developed to a migraine. Day three I got home to a dog bouncing off the walls demanding to be taken for a walk, a ton of my normal work to do and an alarm on my phone telling me I had an appointment in ten minutes. At that point I burst into tears and admitted to Boofuls that I hated the job.

I hated the quiet, tap tap tap of the computers, I hated the quiet efficiency.  I hated the lack of bustle. I hated not knowing what I was doing. I hated being out of my depth and overwhelmed by the responsible nature of the job.  On day four I went in and resigned. Although I know my employer was disappointed, I suggested that it was better if I left while I was still completely useless rather than after I achieved a level of usefulness.

I was sorry that it didn’t work out as I’d hoped. If I had enjoyed the job I could probably have coped with the rest of the disruption to my life but I can honestly say that they were four of the worst days of my life. I was so relieved as I left for the last time.

So. What have I learnt from this debacle?

Mostly I have learnt that squiggle shaped pegs do not fit into square holes. Every single person who knows me knew that job wouldn’t suit me, as they all told me later.

Noise, a certain amount of chaos, creativity, music and laughter – along with a good dose of organisation, hard work and responsibility. Those are the elements that will make up the perfect job for me. Hmmmmm.

Any ideas, anyone?

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.


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?


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!

Is there anybody there?

Some of you may remember that it’s roughly a year ago since my little brother shuffled off his mortal coil and put on his angel wings. Funny that, our Rick putting on angel wings because he was a little devil as a kid and a proper sod when he grew up.

The exact date of the anniversary of his death is the 9th September. As the date got closer it loomed over me like a dark spectre, I was dreading it.

Ideally we’d have had no guests in that day but as money is very much a consideration I didn’t think it would be prudent to close for a day so I could feel sorry for myself. Instead, I decided that I’d go to a local beauty spot and at the exact time we turned off his life support machines I’d listen to the music we played as he died while I reflected on his life, his death and the time since.

As I was cooking breakfast for the guests that morning  I was absorbed in my work ( it requires a lot of concentration turning out two dozen full English breakfasts with all it’s variations). I was standing at the grill watching the bacon turn crispy. There is a fine line between crispy (brown) and buggered (black) and there’s only a minute or so between the two. Anyway, as I watched the bacon I saw the light on my right hand side change – as if someone had drawn a curtain.  That’s a good trick on it’s own as we don’t have curtains or blinds at that window. I turned to look and of course there was nothing there and everything was normal. Shrugging my shoulders I carried on with what I was doing and the rest of breakfast service passed uneventfully.

A little while later I was in the middle of servicing one of the bedrooms. As normal I had my music playing on my iPhone. The music in question was ‘Down the dust pipe’ by Status Quo. Rick liked Status Quo, you can’t go wrong with a bit o’ eight bar blues. The track ended and the music stopped instead of moving straight onto the next track. ‘Odd’, I thought. I walked over to my phone to see why it had stopped and the next song was cued up ready to play  – on the screen in large letters read, “I’m not dead.”



That was all I needed to cheer me up for the rest of the day. As a firm believer in life after death I can now happily say my little bro has moved onto better things. Happy days.

Gi’ ‘n’ tonc dahling

It’s all a bit of a whirlwind lately. Here I am just about to tell you all about Boofuls’ birthday on 4th July and it’s nearly August! 

They weren’t fibbing when they told us July and August were busy, busy months, our feet haven’t touched the floor for weeks!

Anyway, without further ado…

The birthday bash.

Since it was Boofuls’ birthday it seemed a good idea to invite some of the local hoteliers around  for a few drinkies and to make a few new friends. Invitations were sent out and every single person accepted. In our wisdom we thought that we’d make it an afternoon ‘do’ as it was a hoteliers school night and we all had to be up early the next morning.

What on earth was I thinking? This lot can party like there’s no tomorrow.

The sun shone, the patio was decorated with tubs of flowers and umbrella’d tables. It all looked lovely. One by one the guests turned up – heavily laden with bottles of champagne, prosecco, wine, beer and cider. Why oh why did we buy so much booze? They all brought enough to sink a battleship. 

Or so I thought.

As the afternoon wore on I realised that everyone except me had drunk their own weight in alcohol. I’d decided several days earlier that I’d be staying on the wagon for this one. One of us needed a clear head in the morning. I was glad I stood by my decision. Fair to say that Boofuls had a great time.

There was much ribaldry, banter and laughter, the wine flowed like water.

One woman had to be carried home and half an hour later so did her husband.  they run a five star establishment round the corner.  I’m absolutely sure they managed to get a decent breakfast out to their guests as they are consummate professionals but I’m also pretty sure they would have gone straight back to bed after.

The afternoon turned into evening, the music played,  the conversation flowed as easily as the wine and a great time was had by all.  As the evening came to a close, Boofuls and I were sitting in the bar with a couple of German guests having a conversation via Google translate – which was hysterically funny.

Just after the clock struck 11.00 pm  two other guests walked into the bar. Two middle aged, knocking on the door of elderly, ladies who had been competing in a bridge tournament. I’m going to call them Strident and Curly.

Strident burst through the bar door; “Where’s the party? We know there’s a party, we saw it from our bedroom window. Where is it? HAVE WE MISSED IT? Oh Blahddy hell! Never mind. Get me drink!”

Clearly three sheets to the wind, I think it’s fair to say they’d also been partying.

The Germans looked at me unnerved by the somewhat wild and dishevelled looking woman shouting at me and staggering across the room.

Curly, waddled unsteadily behind her on her chubby, inebriated legs, collapsed on the sofa, and in a manner amazingly like Patsy Stone from Ab Fab, leaned off the chair arm, almost sliding to the floor and said wearily, “Gi’ ‘n’ tonc,  Dahling’.

“I’m sorry ladies. It’s gone eleven, I can’t serve you.”

Strident  answered, “Don’t be ridiculous. It’s only us, no one will know.  Just get us a drink!”

“Sorry ladies, can’t do it, we are only licensed till eleven.”

“Well don’t sell it to me, then  just GIVE me the blahddy drink” announced Strident stridently.

Once again I refused to serve them, at which point they took great umbrage, got unsteadily to their feet and declared;  “Oh, we might as well just go to Blahddy bed then, THEY’VE  (the Germans) have got a drink! So unfair!” They staggered angrily out of the bar. 

The Germans, who’d managed to get the gist of what was happening, and we ignored the complaining as it faded into the distance and carried on with our chat.

Before too long we trotted off to bed ready for a bright and early start the next morning to prepare breakfast for all of our lovely guests. Funnily enough, two of them didn’t make it down for breakfast. I wonder why?




An epiphany

One day this week while I was out walking and pondering over the events of the last few weeks it suddenly struck me that yes, I am grieving. I’m grieving for my brother, for our lovely dance teacher who’s death just got swept aside on a tide of other dramas, I’m missing our paso double Tuesdays and the fun we had at our lessons with him. I’m grieving for the loss of Douggie the doggie’s health and how it’s impacted on our lives, I’m grieving for all the other friends and family we’ve lost this year. I’m grieving for other things I can’t mention on here.

A friend phoned me to tell me she was worried about me. It came out all wrong and we ended up having a row. I may not be handling my grief the way she does it but I’m doing the best I can. Sorry if you don’t think I’m doing it correctly. I know she was trying to be helpful and caring so it’s all been resolved now .

It did however give me food for thought and that is the only reason I’m mentioning the fact that I had a row with my bestie.

A nice walk with the dog in the fresh clean air of the moors can be incredibly healing, I find. It gives me time to think and find the answers I’ve been looking for. Stomping along on the moors with the wind whipping my face and not another soul to be seen is when I had my epiphany.

Yes, I have a lot to grieve about and no, I wasn’t bouncing back. Why not?

Oh! There it is!

Our lives have changed so much this year. Boofuls sold his business. I’ve closed my business down in order to make a swift move to the south coast when we sell the house. Instead of the fast paced, sociable, stressful, fun life we used to lead all I have now is a silent home and solitary walks with Douggie. When we were working I’d be at the studio every day and popping in to see Boofuls and everyone else in the office. I had a  great social/work life. Some days I hardly had time to catch my breath.

I’m bored and lonely! Of course!

While the weather was nice I didn’t notice the isolation so much. Boofuls and I would get on with our respective jobs around the house and garden, catching up on all the things we haven’t had time to do over the years. Tidying up loose ends with work and  generally enjoying what was left of the summer. Now the weather has turned cold, all the jobs are done. All that’s left are days that stretch out endlessly while Boofuls, never a conversationalist at the best of times, goes to sleep watching anything on telly that has the word ‘star’ in the title. Douggie the doggie’s new medication means that he too is spending most of his time asleep. It makes for some loooooooooong  days and evenings.

I’m too gregarious a person to cope well with living a silent, solitary life. No wonder I’m bloody miserable.

It’s time to make some changes.


Feel free to move on right along without reading this post dedicated to self pity and misery. To be honest, it’s not really for your benefit so I’m not even going to try and make it upbeat, grammatically correct or well written. It’s just a self indulgent misery fest.

Really it’s more of an aide memoir so I can look back in a year or two and laugh and laugh at the tough times* she said drily*

That’s it. I’m down. After finding it harder and harder to get up after every punch I’ve had thrown at me recently, the universe has finally beaten me. I am now that woman walking along the street with eyes downcast, shoulders slumped, looking like she’s had the spirit beaten out of her.  You know you’ve had enough when you think you’re washing your hair and suddenly realise you’ve been standing in the shower holding your head and crying for the last five minutes.

Regular readers know that Boofuls and I have become professional funeral goers this year. The death roll is now well into double figures and it saddens me that there have been so many deaths this year that I can’t even instantly recall who they all are.

It started with a friend of over forty years, then it was Boofuls’ brother, followed by my cousin, a few friends and acquaintances, our lovely dance teacher of over fifteen years  and the most recent, my brother.  In another few days/weeks Boofuls’ best man at our wedding will lose his wife.

Our gorgeous daughter has had her own issues this year and all we can do is stand by and watch. It has broken my heart.

Seven years, oh yeah, S.E.V.E.N years after this lovely  house we live in went on the market – almost on the day the housing market crashed, it is still not sold.  Drop the price? Oh yeah, we never thought of that. We’ve dropped the price by £165,000, is that enough for you? Now we find ourselves in a position where …..never mind. Suffice to say I have never felt more like we are living on a knife edge.

I truly don’t know why it isn’t selling. It’s in a gorgeous position, it’s well maintained, it’s got land, barns and stables and planning permission for conversion.  Even now when I come home I look at it and think ‘what a lovely place we live in.’

Turning down a buyer for the business after trying so hard to find one wasn’t feasible but who would have thought all this time later we’d still be here and not in Devon?  Retirement was great when I thought it was only for a couple of months. If we don’t sell the house  soon I’ll have to get a job working on a checkout in Netto.

Then to cap it all, Boofuls, me and Douggie set off to Wales for a heel work competition this weekend. We checked into a lovely hotel yesterday, met some friends who were competing as well and had a great time, we were really starting to relax and unwind and I realised I was actually having fun for the first time in, well, ages.

Until….Douggie woke us up to four o’clock this morning to let us know he was going to have  a seizure. He paced the floor, whined, barked, let out an almighty howl and eventually jumped onto the bed. The trouble with having a five stone dog is that if he decided that’s where he’s going to have his seizure, that’s where he’ll have it and there ain’t nothing to be done about it.  So, he had his seizure on the hotel  bed, weeing all over it as he did it.

Then, just as he began to come round from his seizure he went straight into another seizure and then another. I really thought he had gone into status epilepticus and we were going to lose him. It was terrifying.  When he eventually came round he was hyperventilating and very distressed. He needed to be cooled down and calmed down. FAST.

The other hotel guests must have thought there was a major domestic going on as they heard all the scuffling going on in our room.  Douggie also managed to knock everything off the bedside table,  when he fell off the bed, what a commotion.

We spent the next hour and a half walking a whining, barking, distressed dog round a hotel car park in the early hours of the morning  in the pouring rain while Boofuls tried to get hold of a vet.

Curtains twitched, lights went on and voices were heard. Great. We’ve woken the whole hotel.

When the staff arrived for duty around 6.30 a.m. I explained and apologised profusely to the hotel management about the whole sorry incident, obviously paying for the extra night we decided not to stay for and ensuring that they checked the room  before we left so we could pay for anything Douggie may have damaged. Luckily, I’d had the presence of mind to strip the bed after he weed on it so the mattress was ok, that would have been pricey.

Needless to say we didn’t compete. Shame, his rehearsal the day before was brilliant. Damn me for saying to Boofuls, “I hope this isn’t a  case of good dress rehearsal, bad performance”, or as it turned out, no performance.

Instead we have come home.  Douggie has been restless and difficult.  Boofuls and I are both punch drunk, physically and mentally at the end of our tether.

If you believe in karma then Boofuls and I  must have been some proper bad bastards in a previous life. I know life isn’t a bed of roses but come on, this is way beyond a joke now.





Life, love and loss

Life has a way of taking over sometimes and just getting in the way of living – if you see what I mean.

No? Ok. let me explain.

Boofuls and I set off to Devon with Douggie the doggie, mostly for a nice end of summer break but also to view a couple more properties for sale. Almost from the moment we set off we were beset with difficulties and odd events. I’m not going to bang on about them – mostly because of a very inspiring post by Vanessa, my Farfetched friend – you can find the very post here.

Remember the cousin who got married earlier this year and then died a few days after? Well, On the way to Devon, although it isn’t really on the way at all, we decided to stop off to see my uncle and surviving cousin in Swindon. Having told them that we’d get a hotel for the night they suggested that we stay in my deceased cousin’s house as her husband was away for the weekend and had said we could have the run of the place. “How very nice of them, that’ll be lovely.”

They seemed a little bit tense when we got there and there seemed to be a bit of an atmosphere but we put it down to the fact that they are very shy and we don’t see them that often. The conversation was a bit hard going at times but we spent a very nice evening with them, going out for a very nice meal in a very nice dog friendly restaurant. All in all very nice. Until……… cousin dropped a major bombshell. BOOM!

What is it with my family and major announcements in public places? For Gawd’s sake! There’s another story there but I’ll save that one for another day.

Cousin’s announcement forced me to release a couple of skeletons from the family closet. I felt like I had the starring role in an Alan Bennet play. It was awful. The news, which I have no choice but to pass on, will reverberate around the family for some time. The more I think about it the further I can envisage the shockwave and repercussions spreading.

It would appear that the cancer that took my cousin’s life is genetically linked.

Eventually it dawned on me that I would be have to tell the rest of the family. Withholding this little nugget of information could cost a family member or two their lives.

It’s no way to start a holiday.

We decided to have an early night.

As I carried out my evening ablutions I realised that my dead cousin’s toothbrush, make up wipes and other womanly paraphernalia were dotted around the bathroom.

As I walked into our bedroom for the evening the first thing my eyes fell on was an urn. Oh no! It can’t be! It was. An urn with my dead cousin’s ashes in it – in front of the urn were the dried flowers from her wedding. Her dressing gown hung on the door and the fan that cooled her as she lay dying was on the bedside table next to her bed, the bed we were about to sleep in. Oh!!! No no no no no no!!

I loved my cousin dearly. I understand what an honour it was that her husband allowed us not only to stay in their house but in their bedroom but OH MY GOD! Boofuls and I were both extremely uncomfortable with the whole situation. I felt like I was desecrating a shrine. Why oh why didn’t we stay in a hotel as we’d planned?

So there we are, dear reader. Our plans for a pleasant evening with family turned into a major life event, the ripples from which will be spreading out far and wide for some time.

A perfect example of life getting in the way of living.

This was only day one of this trip. Tune in later for more tales from the same trip.

What’s your favourite time of year and why?

You know how people sometimes ask you a question just so they can get your answer out of the way and talk about themselves?

Well, I’ve just done it to you. Sooooo, let’s talk about me.

What’s my favourite time of year?

Hhhhhmmmmmm, let’s have a think.

I love summer for the light nights. Going to bed at 11.30 and there still being some light in the sky just makes me happy. I don’t know why, silly, isn’t it?

I love summer for the sunshine and the warmth.  Going out without a fleece or a coat, even into the evening? Wow! That makes me feel like I’m on a foreign holiday and I like that feeling.

I love the combination of bright colours and the high contrast when the sun is shining. Ok, that’s the photographer in me,  but have you ever marvelled at the sheer blueness of the sky when it’s really blue? It’s amazing. Just me then? Dang.

I love the smell of the woods when the weather is hot. No, not the dog poo, tune that bit out. I’m talking about the scent of the pine and that dry tree smell. It transports me to Greece in my mind and I like that.

Pimms, white zinfandel, gin and tonic and other summer drinks that it just seems wrong to drink at other times of year. Some drinks just have summer written on every ice cube.  I love the summer fetes, the barbecues, the bunting.

I hate the flies, particularly the horse flies who seem to head straight for me to take a chunk out of me and to add insult to injury I get an allergic reaction which is very painful. While we’re on the subject of insects. I hate flies in my kitchen *shudders* midges who won’t et us sit out at night and general creepy crawlies.

I hate being hot. I am a plant of the tender varietal and can’t tolerate being in the sun or getting overheated.  as much as I love the hot weather I can’t actually be in it.  Anything over about sixteen degrees makes me wilt and get headachy and tetchy.  At the moment in this glorious weather I’m sidling along  in a decidedly shifty fashion trying to keep in the shade. I don’t keep these youthful good looks by allowing the sun on my face. Oh dear me, no.

I hate the pond life that seeps out of Jeremy Kyle’s studio and onto the streets, walking round with cans of beer in their hands and shouting.   I also hate the assault to my eyeballs when stout, portly or  downright fat men decide to walk round topless. Bleurgh. Similarly for  the ladies who walk round in outfits so small and tight that they look like an overstuffed sausage.


Ok, just  take a deep breath, avert your eyes and look at the sky. Oooh, pretty. That’s better.

Blimey. I didn’t realise I had so much to say about summer. I  might have to call this ‘part one’ and do it in instalments. I’m guessing four should cover it.  What do you think?