March 2010 - December 2011

31st - Saturday
- Off to Nuneaton with Michael around 11.00 a.m. - to Costa, Phillies and the Co-op.

Went over to Ian and Sam's for tea which was very nice.

1.00 p.m. and off to bed.

30th - Friday - Another quiet day at home with no visitors - apart fron one, but more of that later.
Packed up some line cords and went down to the Post Office, did some washing and prepared for the evening meal - corned beef hash - and yes, we love it!

Around 8.0 p.m. I noticed a man hovering at the end of my drive looking in my direction - I waved, and he waved back and made his way to my window. I asked him in. 'Ben' from Tucson, Arizona, it turned out had lost his wallet on a train while backpacking around the world.  He was looking for the vicarage of St.Giles Church, Exhall.  I made him some coffee and he said that he was hoping to take up a room at the Hylands Hotel in Coventry, £20. He rang the Vicar of St.Giles, Andrew, and Michael and I drove him down there, where they booked him a coach for London in the morning where he will be able to meet up with friends. Michael took some money from the cash point to give him too, and we drove him over to the hotel and then made our way home.  Looking forward to hear about his successful progress tomorrow. Quite an adventure! Remember the words of Jesus, 'I was a stranger and you took me in.'

Michael Deacon: Life with Nick Clegg and his tall, invisible dog.

Margaret Thatcher, ignored by her children again.

29th - Thursday - A quiet day at home with a visit from Richard and then Jordan.

Made myself a braised steak slow cook hot pot which was delicious.

Feeling a bit flat after Christmas.

28th - Wednesday - Michael has just arrived and taken Speckle for a walk.
We headed off to Nuneaton, renewed my Shopmobility membership for another year, had coffee at Costa, lunch at Anthony's Bistro and did a little shopping at the Co-op.
Jordan called in early afternoon to show me his new helmet.
Philip arrived to collect the birth announcement cards I'd printed.

Enjoyed a pork sandwich for tea, a mincepie and some Christmas cake.

27th - Tuesday - Spent a quiet day alone at home, no plans, no visitors.

26th - Monday - BOXING DAY - Michael and I popped into Costa Nuneaton for some coffee, then back to his, calling at Select and Save in Jubilee Crescent for a few things on the way.

25th - SUNDAY - CHRISTMAS DAY - Not feeling very well this morning, so lay down on the settee while Michael prepared vegetables etc in the kitchen.  Put the turkey in and then the carrots, potatoes, parsnips etc.  I had managed to feel a bit better by the time we served up around 1.30 p.m. so enjoyed the dinner Michael had mostly prepared.
Watched the Queen in the afternoon and Michael took Speckle for a very long walk while I read from my Kindle - one of the presents Michael got for me.
Went to bed very late.
Merry Christmas everybody!
24th - Saturday - So how did Christmas Eve creep up on us so quickly? ;)  Michael and I headed off to Nuneaton comme d'habitude.  Costa, Phillies and the Co-op were the lucky recipients of our benediction.
Jordan came round in the afternoon and Ian in the evening.

23rd - Friday - Sorry about yesterday folks, not exactly spreading Christmas cheer eh....

Today has been a much much better day.  Philip arrived around 11 to bring the Christmas cake Margaret has made for me and to collect the card and presents I have for them. Richard arrived shortly after he left, and then Jordan, so quite the little party we were, laughing and joking and generally feeling festive ;)

Had put on my slow cooker early in the morning, with top quality braising steak, potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips, mushrooms and celery.  The smell of this wonderful concoction filled the house all day until Michael got here at 5 and we set about enjoying the fruits of my inventive labour!

                                                                                                                                                                                  Christina Rossetti (1830 – 1894)


22nd - Thursday - Just had one of those heart-stopping , stomach-churning moments and I feel sick.  I was looking for some Christmas cards and found an old box of them in the cupboard in my study. Inside is my Mum's Christmas card list in her own lovely handwriting with ticks alongside names denoting each year she sent cards. It doesn't get any easier and right now feels as hard as it ever has.  Two years ago tomorrow, 8.30 in the morning, my Mother died in my arms.

21st - Wednesday - An excellent day. Went into Nuneaton with Michael as usual, to Costa and then to Waterstones to buy a couple of books as Christmas presents.  Chatted to one of the staff there, an impressive young man meeting new challenges.

Had a bowl of soup in Phillies. Did some shopping in the Co-op.

Carol called in to collect her Christmas menus and CDs.  Jordan arrived around 8 and watched some TV with me, including the excellent Obsessive Compulsive Hoarder.

Nick Clegg is worse than Prescott.

In the Bleak Midwinter

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, Whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, Whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.


20th - Tuesday - Richard came over late morning and helped with all the eBay orders and getting stuff ro the post office. So many things would not get done without him these days.

Pain and discomfort continue to be an issue.

What, exactly, does Europe do for us?

19th - Monday - A very busy day.  Did my morning shift at Myton Hospice shop, then straight on to a Patient Panel Meeting at the Holbrooks Surgery.
After an hour or two at home making up kits for eBay called in at the Post Office before visiting Morrisons for some seasonal fare.

18th - SUNDAY - A quiet day at home apart from a quick trip to Michael's to install his Triton handwash.

17th - Saturday - Off to Nuneaton again, to Costa, Cassandra's and the Co-op.
Rest of the day spent quietly at home.

Harry Judd wins Strictly Come Dancing.

16th - Friday - A quiet day spent at home with a visit from Richard who is full of cold and not well at all.  It was wonderful to see him and despite his not feeling well he still managed to cheer me up and insisted on taking parcels down the post office.

Jordan called in to say hello before heading off to work at his uncle's paintballing site.

Snow and ice hit UK - pictures.

15th - Thursday - A busy day.  Spent the morning making up telephone kits for eBay and doing some washing. Jordan came round to lend a hand with the kits. Went into Bedworth in the afternoon to get my hair cut.  How very irritating that all the disabled spaces were full outside the Co-op and Civic Hall, but more than half of them were cars not displaying a Blue Badge. Had to park a long way back and on double yellow lines and struggle to the hairdressers in the Co-op.  Afterwards I decided to go into Weatherspoons for a Christmas dinner and a latte. Very enjoyable.

The evening found Michael and myself heading back to Bablake school for their Carol Service. We were students there in 1958! It was indeed a trip down memory lane, the school hall and corridors providing for me mental images of a time when I was innocent and pain-free.  The service itself was wonderful, with some very impressive contributions, especially from student Rory Dulku * who sang unaccompanied 'Hark, the Herald Angels Sing'. Certainly one of the best evenings of the year for me.
* click/right click and choose 'open link in new window'

14th - Wednesday - Another very good day.  Went into Nuneaton with Michael, to Costa, Anthony's Bistro and the Co-op. On the way back we made a detour to Burbage to pick up a suit I'd won on eBay.

Jordan and Ross called in early evening to say hello and borrow some allen keys to fix his scooter.

Nathan came round and took away some eBay items for posting.

Pain continues to be the annoying and puzzling thing it is.

Voters like the veto - now they want more.

13th - Tuesday - Spent the morning at home and early afternoon popped into Bedworth to go to the bank and Post Office and take a couple of things into Myton Hospice Charity Shop.  From there I drove over to Walsgrave Hospital where I had an appointment with Mr Marzouk at 2.30 p.m.  Got there in good time so I could have coffee and a steak slice at Costa.  XRay first and then the long wait to see one of Mr Marzouk's registrars - to be told again that the weakness in my stomach wall are a result of nerve damage following the opening up of the chest to repair my hiatus hernia.  Have another appointment in six months time. Until then it's a matter of continuing with pain management which is becoming more of a challenge as each day goes by.

Nigel Farage of UKIP spoke in no uncertain terms to the Strasbourg Plenary today - one can only admire his courage and his choice of words, totally brilliant:

UKIP Leader Nigel Farage said that something had changed since the summit: "Mr Cameron may not know it but we are now on course - Britain is going to make the Great Escape.

"We are going to get out of this Union. We are going to be the first European country to get our freedom back. I suspect many others will follow and then what we'll have is our democracy back, our liberty back, and we'll have influence in the world as you lot head for disaster. It is going to happen," Mr Farage concluded.

"I often ask myself the question - why would a successful country that has enjoyed a thousand years of independence give up its right of self-government to the unelected non-entities which sit before us this morning?" Mr Farage asked at the beginning of his address.

"And the answer that comes back from the Foreign Office and the great of the good is that we must have influence in Europe; we must have a seat at the top table so we can change things.

"We have done our best to prove what good Europeans we are. We go on paying you 50 millions pounds a day. We've helped the Euro bailout fund even though we did not join the currency, thank goodness. We've given you 80 percent of the fish stocks that swim in our waters, your fleets can come and take that from us.

"And we've applied every directive you have given us absolutely to the letter, all of it to gain influence. In fact, Nick Clegg is so deluded he still thinks we can take the lead in Europe.  

"When a British prime minister goes to a summit with a very modest proposal to protect a uniquely important British industry a snarling President Sarkozy tells him where to go, with German approval of course.

"And we find ourselves without a friend in the room. Some influence!

"Well, you have decided to head off on the Titanic towards economic and democratic disaster and we are now in a lifeboat outside the Titanic, but we're threatened by a bow wave that is going to come and engulf us if we're not careful - and it's retribution - We've heard the language of retribution this morning - financial market legislation is going to be imposed upon Britain and we will have no influence whatsoever over any of it.

"Something changed though on Friday. Mr Cameron may not know it but we are now on course - Britain is going to make the Great Escape.

"We are going to get out of this Union, we are going to be the first European country to get our freedom back. I suspect many others will follow and then what we'll have is our democracy back, our liberty back, and we'll have influence in the world as you lot head for disaster. It is going to happen."

Just listen to him,  so stirring!!
   <<<  you will need to click/right click on the word 'listen' and choose 'open link in new window' from the drop-down menu.


12th - Monday - A truly magical day.  Had a great time at the charity shop in the morning.  A lovely 90 year old lady I met a few weeks ago came in looking for a new handbag, so I sat her down and showed her several possibilities, making sure she had plenty of time and plenty of choice she finally selected a small tan leather one with a long strap which she could have over her shoulder.  A great privilege and very satisfying to help senior citizens and brighten their day.

Richard was here when I got back in time for us to take his Kangoo for its MOT.  Though it didn't pass we were able to leave it with BVS while they carried out the work so that an MOT cetificate could be issued towards tea time. In the meantime Richard and I took our post down to the Post Office and then popped into Weatherspoons in Bedworth for a bite to eat and a coffee. An excellent day.

11th - SUNDAY - A sense of approaching Christmas is in the air. 

It's Sunday, so a quiet day at home. Nathan came round late afternoon to bring some of the items he has listed and which are ending today.

Did some washing in the evening.

Britain wanted a deal, not a row, in Brussels.


10th - Saturday - Michael and I headed for Nuneaton as is our wont.  First to Costa, then Phillies and finally to the Co-op. After Michael had gone home I did some tidying up and then went into Bedworth to buy some fruit. Called in to Myton Charity Shop for a chat and a cup of tea and back to the warmth, comfort and safety of home.

Setting ourselves free from the fetters of Europe.


9th - Friday - AT LAST!!!!!!  Three cheers for David Cameron!!!  I thought I'd never see the day. What a brave move, just totally brilliant!

Cameron breaks the great taboo!

 Made corned beef hash for Michael and myself for dinner. Delicious!


8th - Thursday - Quite a frenzied start to the day as the firm delivering Michael's new easy chair decided to turn up without giving him the promised 30 mins notice!  He received a call from them while he was walking Speckle, so it was a mad rush over to his in the car. Happily they were still there and all was well.  A beautiful leather armchair now graces his living room - just right for sitting with the laptop playing Scrabble!

Further excitement followed with Nathan, Jordan and Clive at various points throughout the day - never a dull moment here!

Cameron is being conned by Merkel & Co.


7th - Wednesday - A break with routine today.  Off to Nuneaton as usual. but only to visit Costa for coffee and then back to Bedworth to check out the £27 million new Tesco.

We headed for the cafe first for something to eat and met a lovely young couple who we chatted to. Adrian told me that he recently had an operation for scoliosis and so we compared notes.  When I was finally diagnosed with the condition it was too late for me to have the operation and in my schooldays I was merely treated with exercises and heat lamps.  Still not sure how much worse things will get, but for now the pain is daily becoming more of an issue. Have an appointment with Raj my GP on Friday.


6th - Tuesday - Another busy day.  Went over to Margaret and Philip's late morning and then on to Hearsall Golf Club for the Govind Lifestyle Group Earlsdon Christmas meal. A very impressive traditional Christmas menu which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Back home by 3 and Jordan came round to make a start on the phones for Earlsdon Antiques which Steve dropped off on Monday evening.


5th - Monday - A totally amazing day,  but as it's now 2.30 in the morning, Tuesday, my comments on it will have to wait.  Watch this space ;)

OK, so I'm writing this on Tuesday morning after a very busy and tiring day yesterday. Did my 4 hours at Myton Hospice Charity in the morning, had several deep and sensitive chats to some of our callers, so worthwhile and such a privilege. Sorted out and posted some eBay items in the afternoon.  I agreed to pick up Nathan from Coventry Station at 11 p.m. but his train was delayed and he didn't actually arrive till around midnight 15.  I decided to warm up and get something to eat by throwing myself on the mercy of Shimla Spice, an Indian restaurant opposite the station. I had a steaming bowl of lentil soup, large warm naan bread, glass of wine and coffee for a tenner.  Stayed there about an hour and left a happy man!  After finally meeting up with Nathan brought him home for some tea and cheese on toast before running him home. Got to bed about 3,  tired but happy.


4th - SUNDAY - Went over to Michael's at 10 a.m. to help him take up his old lounge carpet and underfelt in readiness for his new carpet being fitted tomorrow morning. The whole operation went very smoothly.

Had the rest of the day to myself alone - alone with my thoughts as another Christmas approaches. Michael and I have discussed Christmas day, and we've decided not to go out to lunch and squander money unnecessarily, but I'm going to buy a turkey crown and all the trimmings and saty at home. Will try to find a lonely neighbour to invite along too.


3rd - Saturday - Michael and I headed off to Nuneaton, to Costa, Phillies and the Co-op - does anyone reading get the impression we're creatures of habit?

Spent a quiet afternoon and evening home alone.  Dougie Poynter won 'I'm a Celebrity' as I'd predicted, hey ho.

Art may soon be blooming on the box again!


2nd - Friday - Another excellent day.  Richard arrived in the morning with lots of telephone leads he's been making up from some cream cord, very impressive. He sorted out the eBay orders, wen to the Post Office and also Tesco Ricoh to pick up some things for tonight's dinner.

Nathan called in around tea time on his way back from the charity shop and stayed to eat with us.

Thinking how glad I am that I never made any video recordings of my Mum as I wouldn't be able to watch them.

The week in pictures.


1st DECEMBER  - Thursday - What an excellent day! Visits from Nathan, Clive and Andrew combined to create a very busy and happy atmosphere with the consumption of Belgian buns and cherry and coconut cake washed down by lots of tea!

Labour can't grasp the need for austerity.


30th  - Wednesday - Michael and I made our usual foray into Nuneaton, to Costa, Anthony's Bistro and the Co-op.

I made sure my friend Nathan was in clover by dropping off a buttery spread outside his front door as he was in isolation due to the lurgee.


29th  - Tuesday - Mightily relieved that Speckle seems much better today and has exhibited none of the strange behaviour of earlier in the week.

Spent the morning tidying up and processing eBay orders.

Picked up Michael around 2.30 p.m. to take him to get his new nest of tables and to order new carpet for his lounge.

Had a Governors' meeting at Keresley Newland at 5.15 p.m.  Met some new members of staff - six staff left last term. Made sausage batches with brown sauce when I got back home.

How much easier life would be without pain.

Greg Wallace: Why my school is staying open during the strike.


28th  - Monday - Speckle had another funny turn very early this morning and I decided not to go into the charity shop, but stayed at home to be with her.

Richard came over in the morning and made up some leads and kits and took his post and mine down to the Post Office.  Excellent.

Nathan called in on his way back from working a day at Myton and at the same time Jordan arrived.  He was looking for a Blackberry mobile and Nathan suggested we look on Gumtree and lo and behold we found one on there which had been listed just an hour previously, so we rang and arranged to see it - Rollason Road so not far away.  Jordan liked it, bought it and is delighted!

Speckle seems much better as I write this, 11.30 p.m.

A sane approach to health and safety at last.


27th  - SUNDAY - It's Sunday again.  Blue skies, wall to wall sunshine and 9C.

1. Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth and joyful rise
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

2. Thy precious time, mispent, redeem,
Each present day thy last Esteem,
Improve thy Talent with due Care,
For the Great Day thyself prepare.

3. Let all thy converse be sincere,
Thy conscience as the noonday clear;
Think how the all-seeing God thy ways
And all thy secret thought surveys.

4. By influence of the Light Divine
Let thy own Light to others Shine,
Reflect all Heaven's propitious Rays,
In ardent Love, and cheerful Praise.

5. Wake and lift up thyself, my Heart,
And with the Angels bear thy part,
Who all Night long unwearied Sing
High Praise to the Eternal King.

6. I wake, I wake, ye Heavenly Choir,
May your Devotion me inspire,
That I like you my Age may spend,
Like you may on my God attend.

7. May I like you in God delight,
Have all day long my God in sight,
Perform like you my Maker's Will,
O may I nevermore do ill.

8. Had I your Wings, to Heaven I'd fly,
But God shall that Defect supply,
And my Soul, wing'd with warm desire,
Shall all Day long to Heaven aspire.

9. All praise to Thee, who safe hast kept
And hast refreshed me whilst I slept.
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake,
I may of endless light partake.

10. I would not wake nor rise again,
And Heaven itself I would disdain,
Were't not Thou there to be enjoy'd,
And I in Hymns to be employ'd.

11. Heav'n is, Dear Lord, where'er Thou art,
O never, then, from me depart;
For to my Soul 'tis Hell to be
But for one Moment void of Thee.

12. Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
Disperse my sins as morning dew;
Guard my first springs of thought and will
And with Thyself my spirit fill.

13. Direct, control, suggest, this day
All I design or do or say
That all my powers, with all their might,
In Thy sole glory may unite.

14. Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host:
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

                                                                                                                        Thomas Ken (1637 - 1711)

Speckle hasn't been very well today so I didn't go out to meet Michael as we'd arranged for this afternoon.

Nathan came round early afternoon to list some items on eBay.

Carol brought me a roast chicken dinner at teatime, delicious.

NHS failing in its care of the elderly.

Speckle is exhibiting some very strange behaviour.

Thinking about Mum again all day.

Pain in all its many forms is a constant companion.



26th  - Saturday - Quite a cold morning.  Michael and I headed off to Nuneaton, to Costa, Phillies and the Co-op.

Did some tidying up in the afternoon.  Thought a lot about Mum and sat looking at her photo for a very long time.


25th  - Friday - Richard arrived late morning and made up lots of leads and kits, went to the Post Office and into Bedworth to pick up some items for dinner.

Made minced beef and onions with mashed potatoes, sprouts and toast.


24th  -Thursday - Nathan arrived late morning and we spent a large part of the day listing items on eBay.


23rd  -Wednesday - Went into Coventry for a change, to Caffe Nero, Pizza Hut and the Co-op.

Jordan came round early evening to make up some telephone line cords.


22nd  -Tuesday - A massively busy day with visits from Nathan, Richard, Jordan, Carol and Vikki!!

Schoolgirl's tears of joy as she is reunited with her pet dog.


21st  - Monday - Enjoyed a busy morning at the shop.

Called in at the Post Office with some parcels early afternoon.

Jordan came to make up some leads and a phone.


20th  - SUNDAY - Spent the morning at home and picked Michael up in the afternoon to go to B & Q to buy some paint etc.

Jordan came round and made up lots of leads and kits for eBay. Excellent.

The tide of history is flowing against the Euro.


19th  - Saturday - Our usual Nuneaton visit with lunch at Anthony's Bistro.

Living on one's own is really not that much fun.

Duke of Edinburgh is not a fan of wind farms.


18th  - Friday - Clive called in early afternoon and brought wwith him a few things I needed from Morrison's.

Had jacket potatoes with beans and sausage followed by apple tart for dinner.


17th  - Thursday - The day began with a visit from Danny of Homesun who was here to look at the property with a view to installing solar panels.  Exciting.

Richard arrived late morning and did lots of tidying up, filing and eBay stuff culminating in a visit to the Post Office.


16th  - Wednesday - A very enjoyable day.  Clive picked me up at 12.30 p.m. and we headed off to Nuneaton for lunch.  Jordan called in late afternoon to make up some kits for eBay. Ian popped in to talk about his wedding next year.  Sue came round to say hello about 8.0 p.m.

Marvellous miniatures in the doll's house.


15th  - Tuesday - An excellent day!  Richard came over late morning and made up some line cords and kits to send out.  After dropping the mail off at the Post Office we headed for Gallagher Retail Park where we had a McDonald's and a quick look round the shops.


14th  - Monday - A busy morning at the shop - sold a very nice Carltonware tea set.

Sue picked me up at  6.30 p.m. for a trip to the theatre - the Talisman in Kenilworth to see 'Tom and Viv'.  Not very impressed.


13th  - SUNDAY

Rejoice, the Lord is King! Your Lord and King adore;
Mortals give thanks and sing, and triumph evermore;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Jesus, the Savior, reigns, the God of truth and love;
When He had purged our stains He took His seat above;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

His kingdom cannot fail, He rules o’er earth and Heav’n,
The keys of death and hell are to our Jesus giv’n;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

He sits at God’s right hand till all His foes submit,
And bow to His command, and fall beneath His feet:
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice;
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

He all His foes shall quell, shall all our sins destroy,
And every bosom swell with pure seraphic joy;
Lift up your heart, lift up your voice,
Rejoice, again I say, rejoice!

Rejoice in glorious hope! Jesus the Judge shall come,
And take His servants up to their eternal home.
We soon shall hear th’archangel’s voice;
The trump of God shall sound, rejoice!

                                                                                                                       Charles Wesley (1707 - 1788)


12th  - Saturday - Michael and I went into Nuneaton, to Costa, Antony's Bistro, Wilko and the Co-op.

Could not resist the temptation to nip down to the chip shop to get some chips for tea ;)


11th  - Friday - A quiet day at home.  Richard arrived late morning and we set about completing eBay orders.

Made meat pie, mashed potatoes, fried onions, sprouts and sweet corn for dinner followed by fruit and icecream.

Made up some more telephone leads in the evening.

We had a power cut late evening which affected around 4000 homes apparently but we were only off for about 20 minutes.


10th  - Thursday - Spent some time completing eBay orders to take down to the Post Office.

Clive called in during the afternoon and brought some cakes we so had a cup of tea and a chat.


9th  - Wednesday - Off to Nuneaton with Michael, to Costa, Cassandra's and the Co-op.

Jordan came round in the evening to make up some phones for eBay.

A rescue they will never forget.


8th  - Tuesday - Had a bit of a lie in this morning.  Did some tidying up and waited for Richard to arrive which he did late morning. He made up lots of leads and kits and took all the post down to the Post Office.

Had some chicken and stir fry vegetables for dinner.

Portrait of a public servant: Jimmy Carter.


7th  - Monday - A very busy and satisfying morning at the shop.

Went round to Nathan's and brought back some items for listing on eBay.

So much for Heath's land of milk and honey in the EU.


6th  - SUNDAY - So, Sunday has presented itself again.

Went to see Jean in the morning and while I was there Richard rang to say he'd arrived at my house, so I hurried back to see him and Peter.

Went over to Michael's in the afternoon and called in at Asda on the way back.  Made chicken, sprouts and potatoes for dinner.

Sarkosy is right - we island people don't get the EU.


  5th  - Saturday - Off to Nuneaton with Michael, to Caffe Nero, Cassandra's and the Co-op.

Speckle is quite good with the loud fireworks this evening but I'm giving her plenty of love and plenty of hugs.

Chinese president displays a gift for lateness.


4th  - Friday - Left wheelie bin out late last night to make sure it was there for emptying early this morning.

Made up some leads and kits for eBay in the morning and popped down to the Post Office early afternoon to post them and settle up for yesterday.

Made a meat pie for dinner followed by rice pudding.

Jordan called in to pick up the monster hoodie he'd ordered.

Picture taken with Ashley Blake at his recent book signing in Waterstones Coventry

The EU can't just muddle through.

Pictures of the week.


 >3rd  - Thursday - A busy day, with visits from Nathan, Clive and Jordan. Nathan came to discuss listing and selling some items on eBay. We popped into Bedworth in the afternoon.

Clive came to show me his recently acquired Lexus which he's had some work done on and looks amazing.

Jordan made up 30 black line cords for a bulk order.


2nd  - Wednesday - Off to Nuneaton with Michael.  Richard is here making up leads and kits, what a treasure!

Back at 2.00 p.m. We took all the post down to the Post Office then on to Michael's to pick up some Technics separates to take back with him to Peter.

The euro tragedy is reaching its bloody end with Greece.

Stunning pictures of Britain's glorious landscape.


1st NOVEMBER - Tuesday - Spent the morning making up leads and kits for eBay and took items down to the Post Office.

Other than that a quiet and uneventful day.


31st - Monday - Set off for the shop at 8.15 a.m.  A busy and satisfying morning.

Left the shop at 1.00 p.m. and headed for Michael's to install his new broadband box, after which we went to McDonalds for lunch.

Had missed two parcels while I was out so drove over to the Bedworth sorting office late afternoon to pick them up.

Lines that set Beeching on a one-way track: Michael Deacon, Daily Telegraph.


30th - SUNDAY - A quiet day at home, just me and my dog.

Did some tidying up and had chicken burgers, chips and beans for lunch.

Not a lot more to say.


29th - Saturday - Heading off to Coventry this morning to meet Ashley Blake - he's at Waterstones for a book signing,  so much looking forward to meeting him!

Well, we were there in good time, the first there in fact and Ashley arrived exactly at 11. He has a firm handshake and a winning smile. His warmth and genuine delight in being there shine from his eyes.  We had a chat and he signed my copy of his book that my brother bought me recently.  I actually read it in one sitting and I recommend it wholeheartedly. Get your copy here and read the excellent reviews.

Having watched him regularly presenting the news on BBC in the days when my Mother was alive and remembering his customary wave as he wished viewers well, it was a great privilege to meet him and assure him again of my continued interest and support .

Here he is with Rotring pen in hand which I gave him for the signings!

After the book signing Michael and I made our way to Pizza Hut for lunch, which was delicious.

A quick trip to the Co-op for some food shopping completed the morning's adventure!

Have been reading one of my favourite poems again:


Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

                                                                                                               William Ernest Henley   (1849–1903).

You just couldn't make it up - Tony Blair actually seems proud of the mess he made!



28th - Friday - Another busy day.  Prepared some telephone leads for eBay in the morning and did some washing.

Popped into Bedworth in the afternoon to buy a chicken and some vegetables for our Friday evening roast.

Have been tidying up and reminiscing - here's me aged 15 preparing to take my first church service.

I settled for an average chicken from the butchers instead of a free range one - big mistake, and the last time I'll make it.



27th - Thursday - A busy busy day!!  Jordan's tyres arrived very early in the morning, but our new wheelie bin - the 3rd bin we're going to have to use - arrived earlier still!

Had my student for an hour at 11.  Richard arrived around 12 and started on the numerous kits and line cords that needed to be prepared for sending out. He has such a knack of making them, just astounding. Jordan popped in shortly afterwards to collect his tyres and soon after returned on his bike with the tyres fitted.

Watched  a wonderful documentary fronted by Frank Skinner on The Life of George Formby.  Was so enjoyable.  George Formby's records played quite a part in the lives of Michael and myself as children - Dad was a great George Formby fan.

European solidarity is ebbing away.


26th - Wednesday - Michael and I went off to Nuneaton around 11 and visited Costa and Phillie's.  We did some food shopping at the Co-op before heading home.

Made up some line cords for Peter Rolf. Took in a parcel for Tony over the road.

Jordan called in for a chat early evening.

Kick out St. Paul's rabble.


25th - Tuesday - Took a friend to a hospital appointment this morning - midday appointment but she didn't get seen till 1.30 p.m and even then they could not locate her scans so was a wasted visit ;(.

Bought these tomatoes from my local store but was a bit puzzled by the label - what other shape do tomatoes come in?! ;)


24th - Monday - A quiet and uneventful day apart from an entertaining call from Joe at nPower ;)   Got my boiler and central heating covered now which given the nature of condensing boilers is probably a wise move!

More rubbish from Cameron.


23rd - SUNDAY - Yes, it's Sunday again.

Quet morning alone.  One or two phone calls. Carol called in to pick up some DVDs and the PC man came to collect the computer he won.

Did some washing and ironing in the evening.  Such a struggle to stand up long enough to iron a shirt and press some trousers. Pain is relentless and scary.


22nd - Saturday - We went into Nuneaton as usual, had coffee at Caffe Nero, lunch at Phillie's, shopped at Megabrokers and then the Co-op.


21st - Friday - Richard arrived late morning and not too long after so did the cable I have had on order for nearly a month!  Richard made up kits and leads - excellent!

Made a repeat of a meal I had recently for Michael and myself - minced beef, fried onions, roast potatoes and beans with a rice pudding for afters.

No curtsey - and no singing of the National Anthem either - Australia's PM shows herself up!


20th - Thursday - Had coffee at Margaret's late morning and called at Asda on the way home for a few things I needed.

Paid my Post Office bill in the afternoon.

Drowning in junk mail.


19th - Wednesday - Michael and I headed off to Nuneaton late morning. To Costa, Phillie's and the Co-op.

Had a quiet day at home with Liam calling in very late.


18th - Tuesday - Popped into Bedworth in the afternoon for a short while.

A quiet day with just Jordan calling in to pick up his coat which he'd ordered from eBay.


17th - Monday - Off to the Myton Hospice shop at 8.30 a.m.  Had a busy morning, then went to lunch with Michael at the Bull & Anchor.

Spent the rest of the day relaxing - Monday mornings take it out of me, but it's worth it.


16th - SUNDAY - Another quiet Sabbath day.

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all life thou givest to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish but nought changeth thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
'Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

                                                                                                                              Walter Chalmers Smith (1824-1908)

Decided to have minced beef and onions with roast potatoes and beans for lunch.

Sunday lunch - delicious!!

Had chocolate cake and custard for pudding but it looked so tempting I just had to dive in - a photograph was out of the question! ;)

Peter rang for a chat.

Jordan called in early evening and I sent him down the shop to get some crisps and sweets!


15th - Saturday - the eBay orders Michael and I headed for Nuneaton late Saturday morning, had coffee at Costa and lunch at Cassandra's. They do a lovely roast beef dinner which I greatly enjoyed.


14th - Friday - Richard came over late morning to cope with the eBay orders and pop into Bedworth for me.

Made a chicken curry with rice and naan bread for Michael and myself.


13th - Thursday - A quiet day alone after Michael left. No post and no visitors.

Decided to make a chocolate cake in the afternoon which is in the oven as I type.


12th - Wednesday - A much better day.  Richard arrived before Michael and I left for Nuneaton. Michael had written out an acrostic for the Shopmobility folks in the Ropewalk car park and they were very impressed and pleased with it.

When we got back home Richard had made up and wrapped all the eBay orders and taken them down to the post Office. Fantastic!


11th - Tuesday - Not a very good start to the day, felt unwell and weepy. Made it to the venue where Philip was giving his talk on the Romantic period in music.  We met at the Govind Helth Centre in Earlsdon.  Quite a good gathering, mostly ladies, and Philip did a good job. Back to Margaret and Philip's for a delicious roast chicken lunch.

Rest of the day was spent on my own quietly at home reflecting on life and the persistence of pain.


10th - Monday - Up at 7, not feeling too good.  Michael's broadband box arrived at 8.05 a.m.  Wonderful time at the shop, but oh so difficult as I felt so unwell.  Pain is so very annoying and makes me angry. A former student came in during the morning and has morphed into the most impressive and knowledgeable antiques dealer!

Had a lie down as soon as I got back and put a jacket potato in the oven and downed a solpadeine.  Hey ho.

Jordan called in early evening.  He has had a fall from his bike and is covered in cuts and bruises and obviously in some pain. I can sympathise.

Lots on my mind, looking back, looking forward, looking around, looking up.


9th - SUNDAY - Picked up Michael at 3.15 p.m. and we went to visit Pam, had a cup of tea and a chat, then I headed home to await the arrival of Liam who had some computer stuff to list on eBay.

Have been reading some poetry. Here's one of my favourite Monro poems - see if you can make any sense of it. I love it.

Real Property

Tell me about that harvest field.
Oh! Fifty acres of living bread.
The color has painted itself in my heart.
The form is patterned in my head.

So now I take it everywhere;
See it whenever I look round;
Hear it growing through every sound,
Know exactly the sound it makes--
Remembering, as one must all day,
Under the pavement the live earth aches.

Trees are at the farther end,
Limes all full of the mumbling bee:
So there must be a harvest field
Whenever one thinks of a linden tree.

A hedge is about it, very tall,
Hazy and cool, and breathing sweet.
Round paradise is such a wall
And all the day, in such a way,
In paradise the wild birds call.

You only need to close your eyes
And go within your secret mind,
And you'll be into paradise:
I've learnt quite easily to find
Some linden trees and drowsy bees,
A tall sweet hedge with the corn behind.

I will not have that harvest mown:
I'll keep the corn and leave the bread.
I've bought that field; it's now my own:
I've fifty acres in my head.
I take it as a dream to bed,
I carry it about all day. . . .

Sometimes when I have found a friend
I give a blade of corn away.

                                                                                  Harold Monro 1879 - 1932


8th - Saturday - Michael and I paid our customary visit to Nuneaton,to Costa, Cassandra's and the Co-op and thence to Wickes to buy some rolls of wallpaper for some decorating he's having done very soon.


7th - Friday - Did some ironing in the morning. Had a Governors' Meeting in the afternoon. 

Made corned beef hash and jam sponge for dinner.

A quiet evening passed without incident.


6th - Thursday - Richard came over in the morning, and after filling a couple of eBay orders we headed for the Griff where we had lunch - steak and ale pie for me and chicken and bacon salad for Richard.  Sun was streaming in through the windows.  Excellent.

Jordan called in during the evening, clearly tired and facing up to coping with life after school - a job for 2 days a week and college for three.

Watched the amazing documentary about Deepak, the boy born with a parasitic 'twin' attached to his chest.


5th - Wednesday - Into Nuneaton with Michael, to Costa and Cousins and some shopping at the Co-op.  Then on to Wickes to get some wallpaper for Michael's lounge and kitchen.

A quiet afternoon at home followed by a quiet evening completed the day.

Interesting leaves and tarmac - Nature's art.


4th - Tuesday - Richard came over late morning and made up leads and kits for posting out.

Carl popped in on his way into Bedworth.

Dave Alger arrived unexpectantly in the evening, telling me how well settled his daughter Megan is at Keresley Newland Primary School.


3rd - Monday - Another wonderful morning at the Myton Hospice shop and since we today launched another book sale it turned out to be very busy and lucrative. Excellent.

Carl came round soon after I got home and I helped him with his application form.

Simon Burtonshaw-Gunn called in completely out of the blue - he'd been to a conference in Rugby. Great to see him - one of my first ever students at Arbury High School Nuneaton in 1971.

Let sleeping cats lie! ;)


2nd - SUNDAY - A very quiet day at home with little contact with anyone. Clive called in to say hello before his trip to Thailand.


1st OCTOBER - Saturday - Into Nuneaton with Michael with coffee at Costa and lunch at Cassandra's.  A little shopping in the Co-op completed our Nuneaton adventure.


30th - Friday - Another lovely sunny day. Postman brought very little. Went to Morrisons mid afternoon to get some items for a salad tea.

Wish Mum was still here - I could make her a lovely salad and sit and chat.  Ah well...

The death of EU Fiscal Union.


29th - Thursday - Richard came over late morning and sorted out all the eBay orders, went to the Post Office and to Greggs.  What can I say?

He also put a larger HD in my PC and some extra memory. Excellent.

Indian summer in pictures.


28th - Wednesday - A very satisfying day, albeit a little crowded with activity. Carl and his dog called in just as Michael and I were about to leave for Nuneaton, so we delayed our departure as I was keen to have a chance to chat with Carl.

Had our usually enjoyable time in Nuneaton and arrived home around 2.10 p.m.  Philip arrived at 3.10 p.m. to collect the classical CD of musical extracts I'd prepared for him in readiness for his public lecture on the 10th October.

The day was punctuated by a Skype video chat with Lloyd Hannis, one of my former Woodway students who is now out in Lima, Peru, and has just this weekend got married!


27th - Tuesday - Richard came over in the morning, made up some eBay items and set up the PC.

Jordan called in to make up some more line cords.

David Alger arrived unexpectedly to return spare BT sockets and bring me up to date on his recent house move.


26th - Monday - Enjoyed a happy busy morning at the shop.

Wiped out by 1 and spent some time recovering.

Jordan called in early evening to make up some line cords for eBay.

Liam came to collect his posters and list some eBay items.

Labour is rewriting immigration history.


25th - SUNDAY - Picked Jean up at 12.15 p.m. and we headed off to The Plough for lunch, which was excellent.

Jordan called in for a chat.

Richard and Peter arrived unexpectedly after having been to the Furnace End car boot. Great to see them both!

Carol visited and brought me a plated beef roast dinner!


24th - Saturday - Off to Nuneaton as usual, to Costa and a hunt for a new duvet cover for my bedroom.  Michael had sandwiches from Greggs and shopped at the Co-op.

Jordan called in straight from working at the paintball site.

Had a quiet evening home alone.


23rd - Friday - A quiet day in apart from a brief visit to the Post Office in the afternoon.

Made a beef casserole for tea in the slow cooker - best stewing steak, carrots, parsnips, onions, celery with roast potatoes i did with goose fat in the oven. Delicious!



22nd - Thursday - Went over to see Margaret and Philip in the morning.  Had coffee and biscuits and a long chat to them.  Richard was here when I got back and he made up lots of cable for eBay and to send out to my friend Peter.

Did some shopping at Morrisons early evening.


21st - Wednesday - Took car into garage at 9.00 a.m. and was driven back home by Martin, one of the mechanics.

Michael and I went by taxi into Nuneaton and to the Shopmobility in the Rope Walk Car Park to avail myself again of one of their scooters.

Had coffee at Costa and lunch at Masons.  Did a little shopping at the Co-op and caught a taxi back home.

Had a phone call from garage at 3.00 p.m. to say car was ready - Martin came and picked me up and I took him back to BVS in Bayton Road, settled the bill and then drove on to the Bedworth sorting office to collect a parcel I'd missed during the morning.


20th - Tuesday - Up quite early to a less than promising day weather-wise.  Speckle makes me smile.  What a great thing it is to have a dog's unquestioning loyalty and love.

Richard arrived late morning and in his always efficient manner he made up some kits and line cords for eBay and went down to the Post Office and to Gregg's for a ham salad baguette, delicious!

Very wet early evening, so picked up my student and worked through some algebra and some English language with him.

Read some Wordsworth poetry. Thought a lot about Mum.

Baby squirrels rescued after being blown from their treetop nest.

Lots to think about.  Time for bed.


19th - Monday - Enjoyed my morning at the shop, though pain is definitely a developing issue, so not sure how much longer I'll manage to be there.

Car MOT at 2.0 p.m. Failed ;(  -  have to have some new rear brake pads and windscreen wipers.

Clive came over later in the afternoon and we purchased his new personalised number plate online.


18th - SUNDAY

O worship the King, all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

O tell of His might, O sing of His grace,
Whose robe is the light, whose canopy space,
His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
And dark is His path on the wings of the storm.

The earth with its store of wonders untold,
Almighty, Thy power hath founded of old;
Established it fast by a changeless decree,
And round it hath cast, like a mantle, the sea.

Thy bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
It streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
And sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.

O measureless might! Ineffable love!
While angels delight to worship Thee above,
The humbler creation, though feeble their lays,
With true adoration shall all sing Thy praise.

                                                                                                         Robert Grant  1779-1838

A very very quiet day at home, still feeling far from well all morning, but picked up a little in the afternoon and have cleaned and tidied my bedroom.

Haven't seen or spoken to anyone all day so far, 6.45 p.m.


17th - Saturday - Michael and I went into Nuneaton, to Costa Coffee, Cassandra's, Mega Brokers and the Co-op.  Not feeling too good on my return, but not long after Michael had left for home Richard and Peter arrived, which was wonderful. I hate being on my own when I'm not very well. The acid reflux is back and other symptoms I had before my hiatus hernia op.  These recent symptoms are a result of a 'surgical' hernia resulting from that operation in August of last year. Life is certainly a challenge.


16th - Friday - Another quiet day at home punctuated by a trip to the Post Office to send out more eBy items.

Did some cleaning and tidying up and made some beef and onion pies for tea.

The week in pictures.


15th - Thursday - Richard arrived mid-morning and prepared some line cords for eBay, went into Bedworth and also down to the Post Office.

Clive called in during the afternoon to show me the impressive car he's just bought.

Speckle is being good and is great company.


14th - Wednesday - An excellent day!  Jordan's bike wheels arrived at 6.45 a.m. !!  Michael arrived at 9.30 a.m. and Graeme called in shortly afterwards to collect his business cards.

We headed off to Nuneaton around 11 and, using Shopmobility, visited our usual haunts and somewhere I hadn't noticed before, 'Megabrokers' in Harefield Street which sells lots of ends of lines at great prices.

Jordan popped in early evening to show me his new wheels fitted, and splendid they look too!


13th - Tuesday - Prepared some line cord orders for eBay. Had several telephone calls throughout the day.

Took post and parcels down to the Post Office early afternoon.

Jordan called in for half an hour after tea.

Produced some business cards for Graeme.


12th - Monday - Wasn't well enough to go into Myton shop today, woke up feeling and being sick this morning. Had another quiet day at home with no visitors.

David Walliams completes his Thames swim - what a man!


11th - SUNDAY - A very quiet day at home.

Jordan and Tyler visited early evening.


10th - Saturday - We headed off into Coventry, to Caffe Nero, then Chats for lunch and shopping at the Co-op. After Michael went home had a lie down on the settee

and reflected on the events of the day.

Jordan called in around 8 p.m. after being dropped off outside - he'd had a day working at the paintball site.


9th - Friday - Another madly busy day!  Visits from Vicki, Jordan and Graeme.

Made corned beef hash for dinner, followed by a syrup sponge pudding which I quickly knocked together and cooked in the microwave - four minutes and delicious!

Liam called in towards 11 p.m. for some A3 posters I'd produced for him.

Michael and I were up quite late,  1a.m. or thereabouts before we hit the hay.


8th - Thursday - A very busy day.  Had a doctors appointment at 9.20 a.m. for a further course of antibiotics and an assessment of my pain management medication.  Back on Tramadol.

Richard came over late morning and made up some line cords etc.  What a great help that is.

Clive popped in late afternoon with some custard tarts which we enjoyed with a cup of tea and a chat.


7th - Wednesday - Went into Nuneaton with Michael and visited our usual haunts.

Had to go to the sorting office upon our return to collect some parcels missed while we were out. Called in on Jean on the way back to drop off a photograph I'd copied for her. Tuned in her upstairs TV as required by the digital changeover.


6th - Tuesday - Had lunch with Andrew at the Bull & Anchor then drove into Bedworth to pick up a parcel from the sorting office that I missed yesterday whilst out at the shop.

After Andrew caught the bus home I finished preparation for my new student, Kyle, who arrived at 6. I think we were both a bit nervous, but things soon settled and I was impressed with his desire to learn and his speed in picking things up.  He's an intelligent young man and I feel sure he will do well.


5th - Monday - A lovely morning with pale sunshine and blue skies.  Up early to be at the shop in good time.  Had a great morning as ever and Marge brought in a jar of home made raspberry jam for me.

Richard was here when I got back busying himself as ever, wonderful.  He's got together all the trimphone spares we intend to see off as a job lot.

Despicable treatment of returning soldier who lost three limbs.


4th - SUNDAY - A quiet day with plenty of sunshine and little activity.

We plough the fields and scatter
The good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered
By God's almighty hand:
He sends the snow in winter,
The warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine,
And soft, refreshing rain.

All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above;
Then thank the Lord,
O thank the Lord,
For all his love.

He only is the maker
Of all things near and far;
He paints the wayside flower,
He lights the evening star;
The winds and waves obey him,
By him the birds are fed;
Much more to us, his children,
He gives our daily bread.

We thank thee then, O Father,
For all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest,
Our life, our health, our food.
Accept the gifts we offer
For all thy love imparts,
And what thou most desirest,
Our humble, thankful hearts.

                                                                                                               Words by Matthias Claudius (1740-1815)
                                                                                                                         Translated by Jane Montgomery Campbell (1817-78)

Did some ironing in the morning, watched DIY on QVC, had cheese on toast and tomatoes for lunch.

Had a long phone call from Margaret in France - she and Philip are having a few weeks away at their second home.

Here's a programme that will be worth watching: Melvyn Bragg - The Reel History of Britain.


3rd - Saturday - Today's the day when I finally 'bite the bullet' - just have to accept that my disability prevents me from walking very far without being in challenging pain.  Shopping has become an effort and a chore. Decided to join the 'Shopmobility' scheme - and how I wish I'd done it sooner! £5 per year to join, and £3 each time you need the loan of a motorised scooter. Excellent.  What a difference!

So, here I am outside my favourite coffee shop, Costa in Nuneaton, about to enjoy the benefits of my newfound freedom.

Enjoyed coffee at Costa, a roast beef lunch at Cassandras and shopping at the Co-op.

Back home at 2.0 p.m. and swiftly had three visitors, Barry, Graeme, and Chris who was here to wash and clean out my gutters in readiness for winter.

Pictures of the week.


2nd - Friday - Another lovely day!

Richard arrived in the morning and has done so much to help again today - making up line cords for eBay, going down to the Post Office - and taking this lovely picture of my wonderful Lurcher, Speckle:


• • • • • •

Here we have a pic of the pet photographer himself, Richard, in my workroom, poised to make yet another telephone line cord - a task he accomplishes at the speed of light and achieving the very highest standard.

Made minced beef, fried onions, mashed potato, sweetcorn and mushrooms for tea followed by rice pudding - home made of course.

Chris Tipple came round early evening to quote for cleaning gutters.


1st - SEPTEMBER - Thursday - A lovely sunny day with clear blue skies and wall to wall sunshine.

Took Clive into Nuneaton for lunch at Masons and coffee at Costa. Excellent.

Stunning remains of horses and chariots from 3000 years ago excavated in China.


31st - Wednesday - Into Nuneaton with Michael, to Costa, Phillie's and the Co-op. Pain, forgive the continued emphasis, is becoming a greater challenge, almost preventing me from walking any distance at all before needing to sit down and try to ease the pain. Alarm bells are ringing, more regular use of my wheelchair seems inevitable.

Jordan popped in just after we got back.  It's his 16th birthday today and he seems to be having a very enjoyable day.


30th - Tuesday - Constant pain really is a challenge to spiritual and emotional equilibrium and progress. Sigh.

It has been a very busy and stimulating day, punctuated as it has been by the company and/or contact with lots of important friends and special people, Richard, Jordan, Peter, Clive and Carol - to name but a few. I am a very lucky and very blessed man.

Watched 'The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' on BBC2 this evening. What can I say?  What a wonderful production, so beautifully written, full of so many contradictions and heart-rending moments culminating in such a tragic denouement.

So many conflicting ideas and emotions for me today, feeling upon feeling, idea on idea, thought after thought - almost too much to fit into one day. Lots to reflect on as the day draws to its close and I head for the safety and warmth of my bed.


29th - Monday - An excellent day!  Went into Hinckley with Michael, somewhere we haven't been in ages. Their Costa is spacious and central.  We had lunch and did some shopping in B & M Bargains - have a new toaster and some blank CDRs!

Jordan was back from his camping holiday earlier than expected and called in to see me around teatime.


28th - SUNDAY - A quiet day at home with no visitors.  Did some tidying up and some washing.

Praise to the Lord, the almighty, the King of creations;
O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation:
All ye who hear,
Now to his temple draw near,
Joining in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shieldeth thee gently from harm, or when fainting sustaineth:
Hast thou not seen
How thy heart's wishes have been
Granted in what he ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely his goodness and mercy shall daily attend thee:
Ponder anew
What the Almighty can do,
If to the end he befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him!
Let the Amen
Sound from his people again:
Gladly for ay we adore him.

                                                                                                                   Joachim Neander (1650 –1680)

Made some chocolate cakes early evening. Delicious.



27th - Saturday - Michael and I headed off to Nuneaton, to Costa, Cousins and some shopping at the Co-op.

Spent a quiet afternoon and evening at home.


26th - Friday - A very productive day with Richard here, filling eBay orders etc.

Ordered Snappy Tomato Pizza for dinner.

The week in pictures.


25th - Thursday - Had a quiet day at home with a visit from Clive for cake and tea in the afternoon.


24th - Wednesday - Michael and I had our typical Nuneaton day.

Jordan called in to say goodbye before setting off on his holiday with his parents.


23rd - Tuesday - What a busy day!  Barry came over to pick up his phone, Lee was doing some weeding in the garden, one of Peter's contacts, Vicki, brought some phones for me to check over, and Richard arrived late morning.


22nd - Monday - An excellent morning at the charity shop.  Had to pop back into Bedworth to pick up a parcel from the sorting office.

Spent a quiet afternoon relaxing.

Jordan came round in the evening to make up some line cords.


21st - SUNDAY - A typically uneventful Sunday, no visitors and no excitement


20th - Saturday - We went into Nuneaton and to Costa, Masons and the Co-op.

Liam came over in the evening.


19th - Friday - Richard arrived late morning loaded down with trimphones he has been making up - just amazing!  What would I do without him? He took eBay items down to the Post Office and went into Bedworth.

UPS delived the cable order, excellent!

Not feeling too well in the afternoon so I didn't cook a meal for Michael and myself, but we had sausage sandwiches for supper.


18th - Thursday - Michael went back home after taking Speckle for a walk.

Spent a quiet day at home.  Jordan came round in the afternoon and mae up two phones for eBay.

The educational contract is broken.


17th - Wednesday - Michael and I decided to go into Coventry this morning for a change where we visited Caffe Nero for coffee and Chats for lunch.

Posted out a parcel and settled up at the Post Office.

Spent the rest of the day relaxing.

Sign language.


16th - Tuesday - Richard came over late morning and made up lots of leads and kits as well as packing phones for eBay and taking them all down to the Post Office. What would I do without him?  He brought me back a lovely bunch of red gerbera from his trip into Bedworth. Jordan popped in during the afternoon.  He hasn't been very well the last couple of days.

Had pork steaks, new potatoes and peas for dinner.

Just watching the most beautiful sunset.


15th - Monday - Another very enjoyable time at the Myton Hospice shop.  Michael arrived just after I got home, took Speckle for a walk and we headed off to The Bull & Anchor for lunch - roast chicken, mashed potatoes and veg.  Very acceptable.

Spent some time recovering from the exertions of the day.  Went to bed early.


14th - SUNDAY - Went to bed very late last night - early this morning in fact!  Woke up to Richard standing by my bed at 11.45 a.m!!

Had a cup of tea, some toast and a chat.

Carol brought me a roast dinner this afternoon.

Liam came round early evening. Had some food and listed a laptop on eBay, printed some blu-ray covers.

Ye holy angels bright,
who wait at God's right hand,
or through the realms of light
fly at your Lord's command,
assist our song,
for else the theme
too high doth seem
for mortal tongue.

Ye blessed souls at rest,
who ran this earthly race
and now, from sin released,
behold your Savior's face,
his praises sound,
as in his sight
with sweet delight
ye do abound.

Ye saints, who toil below,
adore your heavenly King,
and onward as ye go
some joyful anthem sing;
take what he gives
and praise him still,
through good or ill,
who ever lives!

My soul, bear thou thy part,
triumph in God above:
and with a well-tuned heart
sing thou the songs of love!
Let all thy days
till life shall end,
whate'er he send,
be filled with praise!

                                                                                    Richard Baxter (1615 - 1691)

                                                                                                                                                                    There are some very interesting and extra/alternative verses for this hymn here.


13th - Saturday - Went into Nuneaton with Michael.

Did some shopping at Morrisons late afternoon.

Clive called in during the evening


12th - Friday - Carol popped in to say hello and Richard arrived late morning, helped with eBay stuff and went to the Post Office and did some shopping.

Made chicken curry for dinner and had backed an apple pie with Bramley apples from the tree in the garden.


11th - Thursday - Spent the day at home apart from a visit to the post office.

Moral decay is not limited to rioters.


10th - Wednesday - Michael and I went into Nuneaton as usual.

Richard is here with all the trimphones he has made and he has made up lots of leads and done the eBay post!

PLEDGE £10 to help rebuild Reeves, the Croydon store destroyed by fire in the riots.

Man arrested on suspicion of arson on family run furniture store.


9th - Tuesday - Managed to get all my eBay items packed and posted.

Clive picked me up at 5.30 p.m. and we headed for the carvery at Walsgrave. It was SO busy, but worth the wait as the food was excellent.

Max Hastings on today's youngsters.


8th - Monday - Another very satisfying morning at Myton Hospice charity shop.

Did some washing and tidying up in the afternoon.


7th - SUNDAY - A quiet day at home me and my dog. Speckle is a great companion.

A grey day with heavy showers.


6th - Saturday - We went into Nuneaton for our customary jaunt to our customary haunts.

Jordan popped in to collect his headphones.

Why we don't care for the old.


5th - Friday - Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me! ;)  What a busy day!  Jordan, Barry, Sue, Richard, Clive have all visited today. Excellent.

Michael and I went to The Plough for a meal.


4th - Thursday - After Michael had left did some tidying up and prepared items to post out for eBay.

Went to the Post Office after lunch, then into Bedworth to get my hair cut and on into Nuneaton to get Michael#s presents and card.

Carol came to say hello late afternoon.

Jordan and Ross called in early evening.


3rd - Wednesday - We went into Coventry today so that we could pick up Michael's new television from the Sony Centre in the Precinct. First stop was Caffe Nero, recently opened in the listed Round Cafe after being empty for 2 years following the departure of O'Briens. The interior is very well laid out with a fine choice of coffee and cakes.

Did some shopping in Poundland then had lunch in Chats. More shopping at the Co-op before picking up the TV from the rear of the Sony Centre and headed for Michael's to set it up.

Rang The Plough in Smorrall lane to book a table for our 65th on Friday evening.


2nd - Tuesday - What a busy busy day, and HOT!!  Phew.......

Richard came over early morning, Jordan too, followed by Andrew and then the NPower read the meter man.  Finally Ian drove up in his van he wanted pictures taking of and listing on eBay.

Early evening, doing some washing and listening to Classic FM.

Another Top Gear blunder!

Was Michael's last day at work today and he seems pretty happy about it!

Lovely evening sunset.

The EU promotes welfare tourism.


1st - AUGUST - Monday - Had a wonderful morning at the Myton Hospice Charity shop - the best yet!

Went home and flaked out on the settee.

Clive called in during the afternoon.

Decided it was too hot for meat and 2 veg, so made myself a delicious salad - see ;)

University Challenge was at its very best this evening.

Libya: The end of Britain as a world power.


31st - SUNDAY - Richard and Peter called in after they'd been to the Furnace End car boot sale.

Liam came over early evening.


30th - Saturday - Michael and I went into Nuneaton, to Costa Coffee and Masons for lunch.

A guy from Birmingham came over as arranged with three 300 series phones for me to wire up. Sorted out one of them for him while he waited and will work on the others later.


29th - Friday - Had a quiet day at home, no visitors. Prepared a cottage pie for Michael and myself.

Cameron and the post-Murdoch age.


28th - Thursday - A brilliant day!  It began with Michael making me breakfast before he left for home. Richard arrived late morning and packed up my eBay items before taking them to the Post Office.

Went with Sue in the afternoon to Astley Book Farm for coffee and cake and chat. Met Sue's niece there with her boyfriend Tom, a very impressive couple. Excellent.

Decided to try the new Asda in Jubilee Crescent early evening. Many of the shelves were sparsely filled  -  their excuse was that they hadn't expected such a volume of shoppers - 'go figure' as our American friends would say.

Had spag bol for dinner and enjoyed a quiet night in with the TV and the Mac.


27th - Wednesday - Michael and I spent the morning in the usual way.

I had a doctors appointment in the afternoon to have some skin tags frozen off. Great fun ;)

Jordan called in early evening.


26th - Tuesday - An unexpectedly busy day with a visit from Carol who wanted some cassette tape songs burning to CD.

Went over to Clive's for dinner early evening. Graham was there and we enjoyed cottage pie and cherry tart - very nice.


25th - Monday - Up early to get ready for the shop.  Had quite a busy morning there and Marge came in again, this time with 3 jars of home made blackcurrant jam - one for me and one each for the ladies. Very thoughtful.

Richard was here when I got back which was excellent, as I was exhausted and in pain.  He wrapped my eBay items and took them down to the Post Office. He's made up 5 trimphones to list and sell. They look very good and will sell well.

Had to pop down to the One Stop to get some tea, passing the chip shop on the way, and you can guess the rest ;).


24th - SUNDAY - Another Sabbath day swings into action.

The Lord is King! lift up thy voice,
O earth; and all ye heav’ns, rejoice!
From world to world the joy shall ring,
“The Lord omnipotent is King.”

The Lord is King! who then shall dare
Resist His will, distrust His care,
Or murmur at His wise decrees,
Or doubt His royal promises?

The Lord is King! Child of the dust,
The Judge of all the earth is just;
Holy and true are all His ways;
Let every creature speak His praise.

O when His wisdom can mistake,
His might decay, His love forsake,
Then may His children cease to sing,
“The Lord omnipotent is King!”

Alike pervaded by His eye,
All parts of His dominion lie;
This world of ours, and worlds unseen,
And thin the boundary between.

He reigns! ye saints, exalt your strains;
Your God is King, your Father reigns;
And He is at the Father’s side,
The Man of love, the Crucified.

Come, make your wants, your burdens known;
He will present them at the throne;
And angel bands are waiting there
His messages of love to bear.

One Lord, one empire, all secures;
He reigns, and life and death are yours:
Through earth and Heav’n shall ring,
“The Lord omnipotent is King!”

                                                                                                     Josiah Conder(1789 - 1855)

Peter and Richard called in for a cup of tea after they'd been to the car boot sale, so nice to have their company for a while, especially on a Sunday.

Ian sent Charlotte round for me to download and burn to disc some music from YouTube.

Early evening - have made a delicious chocolate cake with strawberry jam filling. Yum ;)


23rd - Saturday - We went into Nuneaton as is our wont.  Here are some of the places we eat when we're there:

Phillies, Masons, Cassandras, Cousins.  All are heartily recommended.

The week in pictures.


22nd - Friday - Had a quiet day at home.  Richard came over late morning and went to the shops - got me a tin of corned beef for the corned beef hash for dinner.

Michael and I enjoyed our dinner of corned beef hash followed by a lovely trifle which he'd bought from M & S.


21st - Thursday - Have a doctors appointment at 12.30 today. 

It's Exhall Grange School Diamond Jubilee this afternoon and I plan on putting in an appearance in my capacity as one of the school governors.

Went straight from my doctors appointment to the Exhall Grange School celebrations. What a privilege to be there. We began in the staff room with tea, coffee and cakes.  Met up with some former students - one from when the school opened in 1951!!  She and her husband drove up from Suffolk for the day.
The 'street party' was wonderful - long lines of tables with students, staff, parents and supporters. Chatted to a good many students who seem SO happy at Exhall.  What a great privilege to be a part of it all!



20th - Wednesday - Wednesday's come round again very soon it seems.  Michael and I went into Nuneaton, to  Costas, Masons and the Co-op - creatures of habit eh..

Speckle managed to open the door to my workroom while we were out and found a roll of bubblewrap - you can guess the rest!

Popped out to Homebase early evening to get a piece of architrave to fit about the new blind here in the workroom, just a finishing touch and tidying up job after Richard fitted it for me yesterday.


19th - Tuesday - A difficult day as I woke up with a touch of benign positional vertigo.  Haven't done very much, but Richard came over late morning and has been a massive help.


18th - Monday - A damp, grey morning.  Set off for Myton Hospice Shop at 8.30.  Had a really great time again!  One of the customers I served and chatted to last week came in with a jar of home made strawberry jam for me.  Very busy morning with sales of all sorts of things - blouses, jigsaws, vases, books, ganes.....

Jordan came round just after I got back and after I'd been down to the Post Office.  He busied himself with testing and repairing telephone dials.

Luke came over early evening to borrow some WD40 and Andrea followed shortly afterwards with her CV to correct and print.

Had sausage and mash with mushy peas for dinner.

Just had some bad news from Jamie in London who was coming up to see me tomorrow.  On his way to collect his tickets he fell off his bike and has broken his left arm.  He is no in hospital possibly needing an operation - and won't get a refund on his return rail tickets ;(.


17th - SUNDAY 

Ye holy angels bright,
who wait at God's right hand,
or through the realms of light
fly at your Lord's command,
assist our song,
for else the theme
too high doth seem
for mortal tongue.

Ye blessed souls at rest,
who ran this earthly race
and now, from sin released,
behold your Saviour's face,
his praises sound,
as in his sight
with sweet delight
ye do abound.

Ye saints, who toil below,
adore your heavenly King,
and onward as ye go
some joyful anthem sing;
take what he gives
and praise him still,
through good or ill,
who ever lives!

My soul, bear thou thy part,
triumph in God above:
and with a well-tuned heart
sing thou the songs of love!
Let all thy days
till life shall end,
whate'er he send,
be filled with praise!

                                                                                    Richard Baxter (1615-1691)

Picked Michael up around 2.30 p.m. and we went over to see Pam who has had a very unpleasant fall in the garden recently.

Listed Andrew's water-damaged Macbook Pro early evening.

Had meat pie, mashed potatoes and peas for dinner before a big tidy up of the workroom.


16th - Saturday - Grey skies and drizzle at the start of the day.  Michael and I will be off out soon for another Nuneaton adventure.

Coffee at Costa, lunch at Masons and shopping at the Co-op completed our trilogy of delights.

Weather looks very unsettled, let's hope it finds a more comfortable place soon.

Gordon Brown can't have it both ways.

Needed some mature cheddar cheese so decided to pop down to Morrisons  -  came back with more than just cheese as you might imagine ;).

Britain has turned into a giant rubbish bin.


15th - Friday - Up early for the bin men, window cleaner, wheelie bin cleaning man and postman.

Richard arrived later morning and has popped down to the PO and into Bedworth for some victuals.

Have been reading more Sassoon, here's another of my favourites:

The Hero

‘Jack fell as he’d have wished’, the mother said,
And folded up the letter that she’d read.
‘The colonel writes so nicely.’ Something broke
In the tired voice that quavered to a choke.
She half looked up. ‘We mothers are so proud
Of our dead soldiers.’ Then her face was bowed.

Quietly the brother officer went out
He’d told the poor old dear some gallant lies
That she would nourish all her days, no doubt,
For while he coughed and mumbled her weak eyes
Had shone with gentle triumph, brimmed with joy,
Because he’d been so brave, her glorious boy.

He thought how ‘Jack’, cold footed useless swine,
Had panicked down the trench that night the mine
Went up at Wicked Corner; how he’d tried
To get sent home and how at last, he died,
Blown to small bits. And no one seemed to care
Except that lonely woman with white hair.

Siegfried Sassoon

Pictures of the day.

Aid budget needs U turn.

Jordan came round early afternoon. It's his Prom tonight and he's very excited.  I'm sure he'll have a great time.

Made minced beef, new potatoes, carrots, podded peas and fried onions for dinner.


14th - Thursday - A lovely fine day, clear blue skies and sunshine - salvias are looking stunning! Here's the view of the front garden from my workroom window:

Spent a large part of the morning getting an ericofon to work.  Bagged up eBay purchases ready to take to the Post Office.

Clive called in with cakes during the afternoon and we had tea and cakes and chat.

Brendon, a former student of mine from Ash Green, arrived unexpectedly to see hello. He has moved back to Bedworth from Scotland. Good to see him.


13th - Wednesday - Michael and I set off for Nuneaton late morning and visited our usual haunts.

Richard was here when we got back beavering away as usual. Excellent.

Cameron's shocking lack of judgment.

INTO my heart an air that kills   

From yon far country blows:

What are those blue remembered hills,   

What spires, what farms are those?  


That is the land of lost content,        

 I see it shining plain,

The happy highways where I went   

And cannot come again.

                                                                                                  A. E. Housman (1859–1936).



12th - Tuesday - Spent some time in the morning making up leads for overnight orders.  Jordan arrived lete morning, and Andrew came over with his water-damagaed laptop for me to list on eBay.

Sue picked me up at 6.45 p.m. for our trip to the theatre. We went to The Loft, Leamington, to see 'Daisy Pulls It Off' which was excellent.  Got back home around 11.15.

Cheques will not be scrapped in 2018.


11th - Monday - Went to sleep and woke up with the same deep thoughts occasioned by Derek's return to Liverpool, so well expressed in another poem from my yesterday's Astley Book Farm purchase:


"When I'm alone"—the words tripped off his tongue
As though to be alone were nothing strange.
"When I was young," he said; "when I was young..."

I thought of age, and loneliness, and change.
I thought how strange we grow when we're alone,
And how unlike the selves that meet and talk,
And blow the candles out, and say good night.

Alone... The word is life endured and known.
It is the stillness where our spirits walk
And all but inmost faith is overthrown.

Siegfried Sassoon

Had a very enjoyable time at the Myton Hospice Charity shop in the morning.  Richard was waiting for me when I got back home and had busied himself making a goodly number of telephone line cords - simply brilliant!

Feral children don't need anger management.

Royal Tour in pictures.

Jordan called in early evening and made up a phone for eBay.

Had Bird's Eye chicken burgers, roast potatoes and peas for dinner.

Just noticed that a new series of University Challenge has started. Excellent.