Friday 3rd November 2017

Good morning, Houseboy watchers, how are you diddling? I hope you are diddling well, but not too well and certainly not in public, or you’ll get arrested in these politically charged times. You’ll also be tried and found guilty via social media before your case has chance to come to court. Technology eh? It hasn’t done much to bring out the best in us. We're still mob minded and want to burn witches. Sad. Those who are guilty should be found guilty by process of law, he said virtuously.

I’ll kick off by saying a heartfelt ta very much to all those who have emailed me, new and old. Always much appreciated, even if I seem somewhat heartless by not replying individually. Your stories often touch me as much as my stories seem to touch you. (And I mean that in a non sexual harassment sort of way. Honest, I'm now terrified of smiling at anyone in case it gets construed as inappropriate familiarity.)

‘Tis a dull November day here in my portion of Middle Earth. The sky is greyer than watered porridge and we’re another month closer to the year’s end and another step nearer the grave. Yes, I thought I’d pop in to cheer you up with my dazzling and cheery repartee.

October was quite a good month for me, on the whole and barring small pockets of tension and disagreement, which is the norm amongst those who dwell together. Got lots done in the garden with the interference, I mean help, of old ZZ. The garden has had a middling kind of season so we decided not to waste time and money on a ton of winter bedding, as it would just end up as snail and slug fodder. Pesky varmints. We pulled out all the old bedding plants and got rid of some shrubs that were past their best before digging over the soil and leaving it bare in the hope the frosts will kill off any pests harbouring there. We drained the pond and cleaned it properly. We also trimmed bushes and trees and treated the lawns with moss and weed killer before aerating them, to help encourage the grass to come back stronger and lusher next year. It was satisfying work. We made a couple of beauty bonfires with all the debris. I really enjoyed it and so did ZZ. We stood there like a couple of Worzels, coffee mugs in hand, watching the flames leap while revelling in the smell of wood smoke. Men and fire, eh? It’s a primeval thing.  

Things got a bit spiky towards the end of October. I was smitten with a cold that dragged on for days. I was a sneezy, snotty germ factory. There’s nothing you can really do about a cold. You have to grit your teeth and battle on, which I did. I went about the daily grind and I even got around to finishing my account of last April Fools’ Day. Hurrah! Bring out the brass bands.  I titled it Snakes and Ratters and pubbed it last weekend, but didn’t advertise it, not because I’m ashamed of it or because I wanted to test if anyone ever hit the books tab on site (rolls eyes in a certain direction) but because by then I was knackered and my throat was beginning to feel like it had a hedgehog lodged in it. Spiky!  

By Monday morning I was in agony and could barely swallow water or even speak, and you know me, I love a good natter. Shane got me an appointment with the doctor. It’s bloody amazing really. If I try to get an appointment at my doctor’s surgery I usually get told there’s nothing available for at least three years and only then if I beg.  He demands an appointment and gets one given same day with no questions asked.

It was a waste of time. I expected antibiotics, if not hospitalisation, I felt so ill. Nope. The doctor conceded my throat was pretty raw and inflamed but said there was no sign of pus, so antibiotics wouldn’t work. She prescribed rest and claimed gargling with salt water or soluble aspirin would soon sort it. It was three days before I began to feel better. I got through a ton of Strepsils.  I hate having a sore throat, especially when it affects my ability to eat. It was murder. I confess to whinging non-stop. I got on the men folk’s tits, but I didn’t care. I was poorly bad and felt the need to express it. Shane insisted on me having early nights, if only to give his and Dick’s lugs a rest from my constant complaining. I’m feeling better now and have passed the Hobnob test. I managed to neck half a packet without screaming in agony as I swallowed their rough oaty goodness.

Like I said, I finally knocked out my tale regarding the trick I played last April Fools’ Day. I hope it entertains those who are kind enough to read it. Thank you. I have received some criticism for sticking a purchase price on it, which did upset me a bit. My first instinct was to apologise, but then I thought no. I don’t make a heap of cash from my witterings. I don’t sleep on pillows stuffed with dollar bills or rest my feet on boxes bulging with bucks. The story costs less than a mug of coffee in some respects, and I say that without intending to disrespect or offend anyone on a limited income. Any revenue I make helps pay to keep the site online as well as covering cover costs and suchlike and I think that’s fair enough and hope you think so too.

Ciao for now, Peeps.

Thursday 30th November 2017

We’ve got snow, lots of it. It started tumbling from the sky this morning shortly after I’d waved Dick off to work.  Shane had left earlier, as he usually does. I’d just snapped on my Marigolds and made a start on washing the brekkie pots when the flakes began to fall. I was thrilled. Despite having no other company than the radio I pointed at the window and pealed like a joyful child, “It’s snowing!” It was proper snow too, not just a half-hearted spitty flurry. Big fat fluffy flakes whirled down, blown hither and thither by a strong breeze. In next to no time the garden was covered in a glistening white skin. It looked gorgeous. I wanted to dash out of the house to build a snowman, make a snow angel or leap on a sledge, if we had one. I can’t help it. Snow excites me. Even in this day and age there is still something preternatural and magical about snow.

My delight was somewhat dampened by two phone calls in quick succession. The first was from Shane and the second from Dick. Both had on their Daddy hats and both said pretty much the same thing. It’s like they have a psychic brain link. ‘Don’t spend the day staring out of the window like a mesmerised rabbit, Gilli. If you must look at the snow then look at it through your glasses and make sure you put them on before you go out.’

I confess to being irritated by their naggy nanny approach and was apt to be snappy, not that it bothered them. They just snapped back and told me to watch my lip or they’d make a point of coming home to snap a paddle across my arse. They were right though. You don’t need a brain with dodgy circuits to be affected by the bright white glare of snow. It can get you even if you have a well-wired brain. Mine isn’t well wired. I obeyed the rules and banged on my boxy Roy Orbison’s. It’s not quite the same as viewing the snow with the naked eye, but still, it’s better than not viewing it at all or viewing it while trembling and quivering like a jelly on a roller coaster.

I had my fun in the snow. I cleared the drive and paths and used the snow I shovelled to fashion a modest snowman complete with a carrot nose and a coupe of frozen sprouts for eyes. Childish? Me? Yeah, I guess so, and I don’t care.

My snow love is waning a little now. According to radio reports the roads are snarled up, us Brits can’t seem to handle snow, even a few flakes bring traffic chaos. I’ll be glad when the men folk are safe home from work.

Well, December tomorrow. I’ve got my Advent calendar all ready to start the Christmas countdown. Not sure what we’re doing on the festive front yet. As ever, many thanks and love to all who have emailed this month and also to everyone who indulged my ego and purchased a copy of Snakes and Ratters. You are most kind.  Take care chaps and chapesses.



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