31 January 2019



Teapots seem to have gone out of fashion, although I do use a small brown teapot every day. What I really mean is: fancy teapots are out of fashion.

A recent decision to lessen the contents of one of my many cupboards made me think that I should start chucking out what I don’t use to save someone else having to do it when I’ve gone. In my bungalow there are wardrobes, cupboards and drawers galore, and another load of cupboards and drawers in a side passage outside the house… all full. A lot of the contents are in use but mostly they are merely stored on a `just in case’ basis.

Am I the only one that hoards? Actually, it hurts to see all the things Joe and I bought together and treasured together and are now lying in cupboards unused and unwanted. It wasn’t always so. At one time all the items in the cupboards were used, particularly when people visited. Now even the visitors are in short supply since we’ve all aged together and don’t get out much.

Quite by accident I found a new way of reducing the number of beakers … break a few! This time it was a sight problem, or so I thought. I could see perfectly well to reach up to take a cup from a shelf but the colour of the doors was also the colour of the shelf and everything else in the vicinity. This meant the brain couldn’t judge distance and bang would go the cup. I got fed up saying damn and blast so I rearranged everything to stop it happening again. I mean, there are only so many cups you can break without feeling a right ninny.

Hints would be nice if anyone cares to drop a few in my direction.

Anyway, the ladies next door are very good. Every time they take stuff to the charity shop they ask  if  I have anything to send. My motto now is ‘don’t break it, give it away.


26 January 2019



Printer breakdown needed expert help. Will come this afternoon, said my local computer man - only he didn’t. Apparently, he completely forgot! Perhaps when he does come I can forget to pay him! Meanwhile: Printer decided to bite the dust! Guy popped round to check and gave me the bad news. On a day when gas fire had its yearly check at a cost of £90 I then had to fork out a similar same amount for a new printer. Ever had that feeling it’s not your day?!

2 Printer replaced along with the iPad that decided to break down in sympathy. What a good job I had a tax rebate!

3 New iPad good but, unlike my old one, it won’t let me get on Apple – they and Google sent number codes in the middle of the night which by morning were invalid because I hadn’t used them straight away.

4 Next breakdown: Communication with Apple! Passwords not recognised, instead I am compelled to use the new (to me) fingerprint system. I wish I could, nothing happens when I try to do it.

5 Happily typing away, copying several pages for the blog and saving as I went along, I tuned in this morning to type some more, only to discover that NONE of my recent labours were saved. I had been using a link on the desktop – which I have done for years - but according to the mystery man who works in the background the link no longer works. Am having to type it all again. NOT A HAPPY BUNNY.

6 Rubbish phone calls… my latest was at 8.30 am from a foreign guy who informed me that it was time to renew my call blocking service.  I didn’t tell him I don’t have that service but I had great pleasure in slamming the phone down.

7 New Phone much better than the hopeless and useless one bought not too long ago. Cheapo phones these days means we take a chance on purchases.

8 Is there no end to breakdowns? Old TV died, never to be revived. I measured it before neighbours took me to the shop but nobody told me I had to measure corner to corner. No wonder I was surprised by the size of the new one.

9 I keep getting messages from Google asking if I want to create an ID that gets me everywhere, not just Google. Ooooh, I’m suspicious. Has anyone else heard of this and, if so, does it really work?

10 Finished retype of Doggy Tales. Now wondering about blogging it like I did Cat Tales.

11 Latest evening gear for women – jumpsuits. That must mean a complete strip to use the toilet.

12 Yet another problem in the house loo. Strange noises coming from (I thought) attic area turned out to be the start of a flood. Plumber fixed it in no time.

13 If there’s anything else I’ll leave the country!

20 January 2019


Trying to remember my now retired doctor’s name was a problem now that my brain has become addled. It wasn’t important but it annoyed me that I couldn’t remember it. Some folk may recall the letter I wrote to the doc when he was retiring. 

Back to the puzzle: my brain wouldn’t let the matter rest. The name Green came to mind but didn’t seem right. I went through the alphabet hoping that by doing so the name would come to me. No joy there.

After going through no end of names I came across Greenhough. It rang a few bells but I knew it wasn’t right. I spent the morning saying Greenhough over and over but it was useless.  Eventually, though, the brain woke up. I was cleaning my teeth at the time using a brush, which was the prompt I needed, bristles/brush/yeah BROOMHEAD. Thank goodness for toothbrushes. What’s the betting I will have forgotten it by tomorrow. 

12 January 2019


This bit of nonsense was written in response to a friend who thought I'd gone too long without writing something. I was feeling lethargic, it was too much trouble to put the brain in gear. 

Deep discussions would take place. I was told if I didn't get cracking I would lose it altogether. I took no notice, until one day my pal lost her cool and shouted 'Come on, Val.... MOVE YOUR BUTT!' That did it. I think I wrote it inside half an hour. Anything to shut her up!

‘Val… move your butt!’

I stopped dead, wondering if the remark had been directed at me. Twisting round I saw three men in green overalls leaning against the bus shelter, paint brushes in their hands, several paint pots in a row beside them. They were grinning as if I was an object of amusement. I bristled at their nerve. Why didn’t they get on with their work and stop harassing women?

Annoyed, I tossed a lock of hair out of my face and strutted off. If I hurried I could still make the eleven o’clock train. Reaching the corner I waited at the pedestrian crossing for the lights to change.

‘Val… move your butt!’

The audacity of those men! 

Momentarily forgetting the time, I spun round, glared ferociously at the laughing trio. One man held his sides as he laughed. I guessed he was the one doing the shouting. I stormed up to him and cuffed his arm. ‘Would you mind telling me why you’re being so damn rude?’ I asked, hoping there was enough sarcasm to penetrate his infantile brain.

He looked me square in the eyes but didn’t reply. Merely grinned and shook his head. Even in my anger I couldn’t help noticing his deep blue eyes and slightly lopsided sensual mouth. 

‘Hey up, Missus, don’t look too long at Tom or you’ll be under his spell. E’s got a way with women. Sends ‘em silly with them cheeky eyes.’

I adopted a haughty posture and glowered at the speaker, a short red haired man with freckles and a jagged scar on his cheek. ‘Do you have to do his talking for him as well?’ I enquired acidly.

‘Nah. Missus, but Tom’s lost ‘is voice, see. I’m actin’ as spokesman.’

I glanced at Tom, foolishly pleased that he hadn’t been the culprit. He really was quite delectable, I thought, as he winked almost secretly. I flushed with something akin to delight.

Behind him the spokesman sniggered and nudged the third man who was so thin he looked as though a good dinner wouldn’t go amiss. ‘You wouldn’t believe me, ‘Arry, well you can see ‘Tom’s method for yourself. You might learn a thing or two.

The third man, obviously unsuccessful with women, beamed with pleasure as he gazed at Tom. 

At that moment Tom dropped his paintbrush and stepped towards me. His smile was cultivated, designed to trap a member of the opposite sex. Me! Curiously I smiled back, the time and the train completely forgotten. Taking my arm, he guided me to the railings opposite the bus shelter. I felt bewitched as his face drew close to mine and in a faint voice asked me my name.

‘Valerie,’ I whispered. 

And then it dawned on me … not one of the men could have told me to move my butt since they didn’t know my name. Suddenly mystified, I was about to question Tom when he pointed up to a window of the house behind the railings. It must be his house, I thought, becoming uneasy. It was obviously a bedroom window. 

Sanity returned and I decided to get the hell out of there. Cursing my stupidity I pushed him away and took my first steps towards the traffic lights. What in heaven’s name had I been thinking of, hanging around stupid painters just because one of them had a captivating smile.

‘Val… move your butt!’

Sweeping round, I raised my hand to hit him. He was where I’d left him, arm raised, still pointing to the window, I looked up then and saw what he was pointing at. Strutting on a perch inside the open window was an African Grey. A parrot! While I stared at the bird it began chanting in a very realistic voice:

‘Val… move your butt!’
‘Val… move your butt!’
‘Val… move your butt!’

That was a year ago, nine months before Tom and I got married. We never did discover who the other Val was, but we’re still laughing.

09 January 2019

Faculties intact... thank goodness.

A beautifully designed leaflet through the door stated:

My care at home services provide help with the basic functions of life to promote health and well being (companionship, preparing meals, cleaning, personal care). There are a variety of care plans available that I will tailor to suit the type of care you need and the number of visits required.

Name and email address were given so I knew the sender was female.
Notice the word companionship? It was that word that caught my attention and prompted me to explore further.

I rang her number and she said she would call round. Which she did. The lady is French but spoke beautiful English – that was good since I don’t speak French. We got on very well and after about an hour I had agreed on further occasional visits. When she prepared to leave, she asked me for £14 and upon seeing my surprise explained that she had to earn a living. She has a job but I gathered that she wanted to develop this ‘caring’ idea.

£14 – for a chat!?

It’s not that I can’t afford £14 but, crikey, I can go outside and talk to neighbours at no cost. I have since emailed her to cancel the Monday appointment and anything else she might offer. 

02 January 2019



Woof goes home tomorrow. I heard mom making arrangements for her sister to collect him after lunch. As far as I was concerned it was bad news. I’d got so used to him being there all the time and didn’t want to think about him leaving. It was up to me now to make the remaining hours memorable, for both of us.

I tried to think up some special things to do on the last day. Maybe a walk to the local park would make a nice change; it’s only a few minutes away from the house.  Then it dawned on me that we’d never been out at night. Well I had, but not Woof. I was sure he’d like the experience.

Mom and dad were watching the television when we stole out through the cat flap. The pair of us raced out into the garden as if we’d been liberated from a cattery. Woof was already showing a spirit for adventure. He didn’t topple over once. For a change, instead of following the path alongside the lawn I steered him towards the road, squeezing through the five barred gate onto the footpath. I warned him to stick close to me in case one of those big cars came hurtling by. I’ve seen dead cats in the road before and it’s not a pretty sight. We’re supposed to have nine lives but I have yet to meet a cat who’s on his second or third or even more.

By the time we reached the corner of the road, having stopped a couple of times while Woof explored some front gardens, it had started to drizzle. Well, you know I don’t like getting wet so I hustled my little friend into a red-tiled porch. There were no lights on in the house so I assumed we would be safe.

Safe? Not on your life. From our vantage point we saw Foxy, already streaked by the rain, ambling down the road on the opposite side. Before I could say don’t go out in the rain Woof shot out of the porch and straight into the road. My heart was in my mouth as I ran after him; I just knew the big blue truck wasn’t going to slow down. Imagine my relief when it passed and I saw that Woof had made it up the kerb. I had visions of being belted from hell to breakfast if mom and dad found out what I’d done. Not to mention mom’s sister, who was noted for her temper. But what happened was the lesser of two evils, just imagine the state Woof would have been in if Foxy had tried to eat him.

Well I gave that little varmint what for; I told him that if he valued his life and mine he’d got to do as he was told. I was beginning to feel my age after this experience. Older and wiser? What rubbish! Older and brainless, more like.

Thankfully, Foxy had disappeared and the rest of the jaunt was somewhat subdued.

Since it had stopped raining we continued our mission for adventure. The grass verge smelled good after its watering and was lovely to walk on. Wet grass is great for cooling paws, makes them feel fresh. We did a lot of sniffing and prodding on the sidewalk before reaching the tennis courts on the corner and it was while I was trying to find a way in that Woof stopped me. His meow was only faint but I knew he was trying to tell me something.

I jumped down from the stump from which I’d hoped to leap over the netting surrounding the courts. Woof did a strange thing. He lay down. At first I thought he was hurt but he seemed okay, he wasn’t fretful at all, he simply lay on a bed of moss, looked at me ... and yawned. That’s when I realised the poor little mite was tired. I’d worn him out with my grand idea of exploring the night away.

Laying beside him, I put a paw on his neck. He turned to give it a lick, his eyes blinking with tiredness. My heart lifted. I knew then that I would look after him every chance I had, starting now. You might think it was motherly instinct, but me not being a mother I can’t really say. Anyway, I let him sleep for a short while then, when I noticed his eyelid flicker, I urged him to try and walk home. Fortunately we hadn’t actually come too far from the house. We did it in sections, walk and rest, walk and rest, until we arrived at the front gate.

 I pushed him through the cat flap first and, after a quick shake of fur, jumped through myself. We could hear the television so presumed mom and dad were still watching. That pleased me. It meant they wouldn’t know that Woof had been out of the house. So I nudged him, indicating that he should go to bed and have a nice long sleep.

I was just about to go to my own bed when I had the idea that sharing with Woof would be pleasant, especially as it was his last night. So I crept in beside him. He opened one sleepy eye, looked at me, purred a couple of times, then twisted round to get comfortable. Somewhat drowsily I snuggled against him, feeling his warmth, and knew that before long I would fall into a nice dreamy sleep. 

Even though my idea of adventure had almost gone wrong, I was satisfied that I’d achieved my aim in making Woofs visit one to remember. I mean, how could he forget nearly being run over? I hope it was a lesson he’d remember for evermore. I certainly wouldn’t forget.

Well goodnight all. Pleasant dreams.