Monday 1st November 2021

Dear Diary,

Just popping in for a bit of a chunter on this wet and grey November day. November? Already? Bloody hell, time really does fly.

Harry the houseguest left last Thursday, much to my relief. He was starting to hum, and by that I don’t mean he stank. If nothing else he was a hygienic houseguest. When I say hum, I literally mean hum. It was like he’d run out of random NZ facts, so had to resort to a kind of tuneless humming as he followed me around. At first I thought I’d developed an earwax problem. I was considering buying eardrops before I realised the humming was external rather than internal and was emanating from Harry rather than my lugs.

The bedroom is still not finished. The ceiling is painted. The doors and skirting are done. Three of the walls are painted in a pleasingly soft shade of white. However, the feature wall remains featureless. There was a contretemps regarding the wallpaper I’d picked out for it. When the sample arrived, the men folk didn’t like it.

Dick, after glancing at Shane, said: ‘it’s a bit busy, don’t you think, hun, with all those vivid colours, and um, birds?’

Shane said: ‘No.’

I was most put out. I argued. It would look fabulous when it was up, a real eye popping contrast to plain walls. They’d love it.

Dick said: ‘I’m not sure, honey, it’s just, a bit, too much.’

Shane said: ‘No.’

I argued some more. They needed to trust me. They needed to step out of their comfort zone and take a chance on something different.

Dick opened his mouth to say something, but Shane shushed him and said: ‘No.’

I said: ‘fine, just fine, forget it then. I’ll get the decorator to paint the wall fucking magnolia.’

Dick said: ‘fucking magnolia? Is that a new shade on the Dulux colour chart?’


So, the hunt is on for wallpaper we can all tolerate. I’ve ordered a few more samples.

We spent the Halloween weekend at Leo’s place. I was a bit tetchy about it to start with. I’d wanted to throw a Halloween costume party at our house. It’s ages since we did a good party. Shane vetoed it. He said it still isn’t the time for big gatherings. I suppose he’s right. Restrictions might not be as stringent as they were, but all the same we’re still confined to some extent by this CC (covid cunt)

In the event I enjoyed the weekend. Leo, as ever, pulled out the stops to make an occasion of it. We headed over there on Friday evening, had a nice dinner and watched a horror film. On Saturday Mike joined us. We drove out to the moors and had a long walk. I helped Leo with all the cooking. We argued and disagreed, as we do. It was fun. My only complaint was the decorations. Leo had pumpkins and gourds in all sizes shapes and colours arranged around and about in autumnal posings, but none were carved. He said carved pumpkins lacked sophistication. I told him he was a designer snob. In the end, to stop me sulking, he relented and allowed me to carve a couple to decorate the hearth with. He even admitted that when lit they lent some Halloween ambience to proceedings. We came home Sunday evening.

Well, I suppose I’ve chuntered long enough. Before I toddle off to do some housework, I just want to say a sincere thank you to all who kindly bought a copy of Revs. Thanks also to those of you who have emailed with kind comments. Much appreciated. I was nervous about releasing it after so long. It still feels kind of weird that it’s done. Some things were missed out of Revs, and I will write them up - eventually.

Ciao for now, Peeps, and take care.

Friday 5th November 2021

It’s Bondi night already, or Fireworks night or Guy Fawkes or bloody noisy night. Whatever you call it, it’s here. Of course I don’t partake as such, much as I’d like to. Flashing sparkles and wavering lights can be a trigger for me and with that in mind Shane has already erected steel shutters on all the windows and attempted to glue my eyelids shut. Nah, not really. I’m used to listening and not viewing now.

To be honest, I’m feeling a bit low at the moment. I always do at this time of year. Maybe it’s something to do with the clocks going back and life feeling like a sliver sandwiched between thick dark mornings and dense dark evenings. I don’t know why, but it just gets to me. I drop into misery mode and start worrying about anything and everything. I think lingering ancestral paganism might be partially responsible. Our ancient ancestors always got a bit jittery at this time of year when days got short and cold and they feared the sun might never return. I need to build huge bonfires in the garden and dance around them while sacrificing various animals or even humans to appease the gods and ensure the return of the sun. Shane would never allow it of course. It’s hard enough slipping on the heating when he’s around. There has to be frost on his cock before he admits it might be a bit chilly and central heating is justified.

Anyway, you’ll be relieved to know this is a quick visit and I won’t be hanging around dripping mystifying misery into your lugholes.

I was asked a question and though I posted a reply on the book page I just wanted to repeat it here in case it got missed. I am grateful that anyone should want to purchase a book of my ramblings. Where you buy it from is entirely up to you, whatever suits your personal preference. I publish on Smashwords because I feel Smashwords has a more honest respect for authors in general and us self-pubbed ones in particular. I’m well aware that self-published writers are still viewed with a certain amount of contempt and hence I feel more comfortable using a site that embraces rather than just tolerates our kind.

I realise some folk feel short-changed because I chose to skim over certain events in Revs. I’m sorry if that’s the case. If I’d gone into every event in detail then Revs would still be in process and more than likely never actually published. I felt I had to get it out this year or not at all. Too much time was passing. At some point I intend to turn those skimmed matters into full fat ones, if you get my drift. I even have a working title: Bits & Bobs. Yes, I know, it’s shite, and will never make it onto the Booker shortlist, but there you go. You can’t please everyone.

Ta-ta for now. Stay safe, be kind, and if you reside in Blighty then remember to provide ear defenders for your pets and keep them indoors tonight when the fireworks start exploding. 

PS - no agreement has been reached on the wallpaper front. Magnolia paint is a step closer!

Sunday 28th November 2021

Dear Diary,

It’s been a bit of a shite weekend, what with Storm Arwen followed by ice and snow. Arwen was the worst storm we’ve had for a while in these parts. We sustained some storm damage to the grounds, the worst of it from a travelling trampoline. In the early hours of Friday morning, angry Arwen picked it up from a garden several doors down from us and hurled it into the greenhouse with an almighty crash. It was really scary. At that point we didn’t know what the source of the crash was. I was all for jumping out of bed and racing out into the night to see what had happened, but Shane barked at me to stay where I was and cultivate some bloody commonsense. Only a fool would rush out into a storm and risk being hit by flying debris. The greenhouse needs several new panes of glass, and the trampoline needs binning. It’s totally knackered. The gardens in general are a mess, strewn with debris. I haven’t been able to begin operation clean up yet on account of the snow. It’s bitter cold. Shane actually put the heating on voluntarily.

Christmas is looming on the horizon. I’m not sure what we’re doing this year. To be honest I can’t work up any enthusiasm for the event. Another Covid variant seems to be making waves. I doubt we’ll have another lockdown, but some restrictions might be put in place and scupper plans for parties and gatherings. I suppose we shall just have to wait and see.  I’m sick of the whole thing. It feels like it will never end.

The bedroom project is complete. We finally chose wallpaper. It’s one of those mural styles that are on trend at the moment and it’s called ‘Amongst the Trees.’ It’s far from what I originally wanted and at first I was inclined to sulk about my choice being down voted. Once the paper was up though I loved it. The men folk were right about a bedroom needing a calm and restful ambience rather than something busy-busy and ‘in your face.’ As Dick said, waking up amongst misty trees is better than waking up in a psychedelic aviary.

We had visitors last weekend, one of who was Shane’s niece, Ruby. I used to love it when Ruby visited, even when Penny accompanied her, as she did last weekend. To be honest, the last few times Ruby has visited I’ve been glad to see the back of her. She’s coming up thirteen in December and I get that it’s a difficult age. Hormones are flying and she’s struggling to discover her forever self. What I don’t get is her sudden urge to be nasty to me, slyly, cruelly nasty. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but she really hurt me last week, to the point of tears, with something she said. I didn’t tell anyone, of course I didn’t. She’s just a kid and I’m not going to rat her out. I was glad when she went home all the same. I hope she’s just going through a phase. Life eh? Always throwing a curve ball.

Ciao for now, Peeps.


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