20 June 2018

Latest Groan!

The latest ‘breakdown’ at my house was part of the guttering. I had a message from neighbours to say water was pouring into their yard from broken guttering - mine. It must have been collecting rainwater for a while and then WHOOSH, got rid of it. It has been a bit quiet on the repairs front so this came as a surprise. Oh well, let’s get it repaired.

First, find someone to do the work.

Gutter Guys is the name of the firm I chose from Yellow Pages Directory. Yes, the girl said, someone will check it out on Saturday between 9 and 12 o’clock; that’s the first day after the complaint. Not bad going, I thought, except nobody turned up.

Rang the firm the same day and was told someone would be out between 3 and 6pm. Again, no-one turned up. You can imagine my mood.

As soon as I calmed down I contacted another company. This time, on line. I am always a bit dubious about doing stuff on line, forgetting the success rate of most of my efforts. So, a guy called Andy responded to my plea for help. He is local to me, which made me feel a bit better. I mean, I have his address… I can always pop round with a battering ram if he lets me down. I don’t think that will happen because the guy not only responded to the on-line approach, he went to the trouble of phoning me and fixing a time and date, even apologising for the fact that he is going on holiday first.

Well, Andy returned from wherever and straight away sent a text to confirm the appointment. A few days later he repaired and cleaned the gutters. 

Now we’re all happy...

Until the next breakdown...

Watch this space!

17 June 2018


1.   Charlie, the cat, makes me laugh. Lately he has got into the habit of leaping on the kitchen counter, right under the cupboard where his bowls are kept. He gets up there and paws the cupboard door as much as to say ‘this is where they are, now get the blue bowl and fill the damn thing.’

2.   Great excitement when I saw a pair of colourful goldfinches in the garden. Not seen any for about three years so I’m hoping they’ve made a long term comeback.

3.   I never thought I would be comforted by a cat. No longer do I sleep in a lonely bed now that Charlie spends the latter half of night-time fast asleep by my side, or my face, depending on his mood!

4.   I have said it before and I will say it again. Television is partly responsible for the violence we see, hear and read about. So much anger and violence is taking over the world. Who needs guns when the now popular way to kill and maim is with knives. I live in a respectable area; never did I think we would be targets.

5.   Lately Charlie has refused a particular brand of ‘goody’, his preference lying with a well tried and loved biscuit. Guided by price, I thought he should have a change, but he refused to eat the new variety. Rather than throw it away, I put some out for the birds, selecting a special rock that is always used for feeding purposes. Well, Charlie didn’t like the thought of birds eating the food so he got stuck in to eat it himself, closely watched by a magpie. Some food was still there when I realised Charlie wasn’t there. It was then I learned the wiles of a cat. He had gone into hiding, behind some greenery, close to the rock, waiting to pounce. Needless to say, no more biscuits will be put out in the garden.

6.   Trying to think of something to write that doesn’t include Charlie…………

7.   Lunched out this week with my good friend. Lovely! Only fault was the cost of taxi fare there and back. Friend paid for my lunch to make the taxi fares more tolerable. How nice was that?

8.   Looking for a gardener now. The bushes out there are growing upwards and outwards, taking over the lawn. The garden certainly lives up to the name ‘wild’. The past month has seen spectacular flowers from self-seeded plants but the bushes need sorting. Did manage to cut some lower branches off the apple tree since the mower man has to bend double to get to the second lawn. 

9.   Gone back to skirts. Jeans were too hot with our rare bout of hot weather. Two extremely hot days and now back to cool day. Thinking again about the jeans!

10.  That’s all. Bye for now!

12 June 2018

DOUBLE CROSS (last posted 2014)

Still clad in stripy blue pyjamas and heavy dressing gown, Philip Abbott stood at the sink washing breakfast things. Outside, raindrops sprayed the window, driven by squally winds, to match his mood. Except for the clatter of plates, the clicking clock, and the thrumming of the fridge-freezer, the room was still. Pam had gone back to bed, claiming to have a migraine. As he stacked plates on the draining board, Phil’s mind raced through their rare night of passion. Pam was like dynamite. Once her touch-paper ignited she went at sex as if she was running out of future. The experience had left him thoroughly enervated. And unhappy.
The last plate stacked in the drainer, Phil wrung out the dishcloth and draped it over the mixer tap. Leaning his belly against the sink, he stared trance-like through the net-draped window. He was totally oblivious to the antics of two very wet fox cubs trying and failing to drink from the garden pond.

Had Pam told the truth, he wondered when questioning her unintelligible, frenzied cry? Without exception she cried out when roused, usually repeatedly uttering his name whilst scraping her nails down his back, but in the early hours he could have sworn the name she called was Jerry. Jerry? It had stopped him in his tracks. Coming as it did mid-copulation it doused his verve and ultimate ejaculation.


Overcome by surging grief, Phil had a mental image of his wife’s boss, Jeremy Ifield: a maddeningly handsome face with prominent eyebrows, arched in perpetual bewilderment above sharp eyes that blazed with vitriolic scorn. The hewn cheekbones and fashionably styled grey-streaked dark hair were more like an all-American movie star. At first meeting he seemed like a nice guy but longer acquaintance revealed a superficial personality.
With a heavy heart, Phil pushed away from the sink and balanced on one of the tall kitchen stools. His mind darted from one incident of Pam's unpunctuality to another, all of them assigned to pressure of work. Her words. Her excuses. Excuses he had no reason to doubt until a few hours ago.
He had challenged her. It transpired that he had mistaken Pam's wild utterance for 'hurry'. So why did he feel encumbered by sickening qualms? If she was having an affair with Ifield ... Violently shaking his head, Phil tried to oust the notion, insisting that Pam's persistent absence was valid, that her breathless diction was easily distorted. If it wasn’t, he would surely kill her. Or him. In a short space of time he had learned to hate Jeremy Ifield with all the passion of a practiced killer.
Yet, he told himself, it took two to make a deal. Ifield was a free man who had nothing to lose by seducing Pam. But she had a man of her own, a husband, a legal lover, one who had given her everything her heart desired. Seemed she wanted more. Didn’t she realise that Phil could provide her with more … much more than she bargained for?
It was cold in the kitchen, the sort of damp cold that seeps into the soul. Phil started to dry the crocks and put them away. Only one knife remained; the sharp one used to slice bacon. Catching the light from the window, the shiny blade almost beckoned. Slowly and quite deliberately Phil picked it up. Watched as dribbles of water rolled from blade to handle. It crossed his mind that a wet knife might lose its edge. Carefully, almost lovingly, he wiped away the remaining drops and rubbed the blade dry. Pam hated to see smears on cutlery. Well, she wouldn’t see any on this knife ... ever again.

10 June 2018

MEMORIES (a repeat from 2012)

Picture sorting
Memories thrive
Times when courting
Happy … alive.

Happy couple
Hand in hand
Wading in
The sea and sand.

Sunrays, sunshine
Carefree fun
Crowded beach
Tan overdone.

Sunscreen reminder
Paid no heed
Soreness, sorrow
Regretful deed.

Specialist implored
‘Heed my advice’
He was ignored
Yet he said it twice.

Picture sorting
Memories thrive
Times when courting
Happy … alive.