This Is The Age Of…..Old Age !

I popped into an ASDA store yesterday to check if they had the coffee I like which is always very hard to find. Initially I couldn’t see it despite it being made by Nescafe but as I was leaving the coffee aisle, there it was, nowhere near the other Nescafe coffee products !

So I planned on taking a tray of 6 jars which would keep me going till Christmas as I only have a couple of mugs of coffee a day, if that.

Gotta keep a limit on my Amaretto consumption you know !

But it was 1pm, I was hungry and there was a McD’s inside the store. I decided to eat first and get the coffee afterwards. I’m not a McD’s fan but it was there….so I went to check it out.  The queue was long so that was enough for me and I went to the ASDA cafe instead and got an all day breakfast for £5 which was a bargain.

At the payment desk there was a sign saying that on a Wednesday, there was a 10% discount for customers aged 60+ so of course, having checked my watch to make sure it WAS a Wednesday (!), I asked for the discount.

Are you over 60 ?” asked the cashier who looked like she should have been in school.

Yes I am” I said proudly, showing her that people my age can still be alive.

Have you any proof” she asked sweetly, showing a row of braces that wouldn’t have been out of place on a horse.

By now I was beaming as it had been some time since my advanced age had been called into question. I pulled out my LeedsCard 60 (discounts from sports and leisure facilities to museums, theatres, restaurants and shops) which as well as having my photo on it, was clearly only issued to people over 60.  I then showed her my bus pass to seal the deal but by then I think she was eager to get rid of me before I collapsed and needed to be wheeled to a rest home !

old age 5


So with my 50p burning a hole in my incontinence pants, I shuffled off to my table to await my meal. About 5 minutes later a cafe staff member brought over my all day breakfast and I could see immediately that the bacon was dry and hard and I’d been given a fried egg when I asked for scrambled.

He had left before the plate had settled on the table so I just decided to tuck in and make do.  A few minutes later he came with a plate for another customer so as he was passing, I mentioned the egg and bacon and it was as if he knew himself that the bacon had been sub standard as he said he’d put more fresh on to grill and would be back with a portion for me.

Sure enough, he soon returned with another plate with 3 large rashers of freshly grilled back bacon AND a large portion of scrambled eggs.

I couldn’t eat all that on top of the original meal (he’d even added a hash brown as if to make up for the bacon) but as he kept looking over at me from the counter, I felt under pressure to do so.

With a lot of the scrambled egg, one slice of bread, a rasher of bacon and half the beans still to get through, I was stuffed – but my character wouldn’t let me leave it and have to pass by the counter with the young man giving me disapproving looks.

Like I’d ever see him again !

Then he went into the kitchen and in a flash I took my chance; still chewing the last of the sausage, I grabbed my phone and car keys, dumped the 2nd plate (now empty) on top of the original to hide my leftovers, shot off to the tray collection area, tossed it all on a shelf and, making a nonsense of being a LeedsCard 60 holder, sped out of the cafe area faster than Usain Bolt on roller skates.

Why do I do this to myself ???   

old age 4

Then I went and got my coffee and as all the checkouts had long queues, I went to the self checkout area.

I’m not a fan but with only 6 items, I wasn’t going to wait. I also decided to actually make use of my advanced age and stood looking lost and bewildered beside by an empty machine. In seconds a staff member came to ask if they could help and I pointed at my tray of 6 jars of coffee and asked if it was possible to scan one and do a times 6 to speed things up.

As I suspected, she took over and did everything for me and all I had to do was pop my card in to pay.

I do like playing the game !

Old Age 1

I’ve mentioned a few times about going on some UK road trips this year and wasn’t sure when to plan them. Well I may have to do one next week as my neighbours are having an extension built and the side of their house widened to come right up to my driveway.

I can imagine the noise and mess this will involve as most of their current side wall will have to be removed, foundations created and then there will be the actual new construction !!

The foundations are due to be started next Wednesday and the extension will be 6 weeks later so I’m thinking I need to be out of here while all that work is going on. I’m concerned my car will be at risk if on my driveway and I don’t like leaving it out on the street. But the idea of the noise alone has started me thinking of a road trip so no matter what the weather will be like, Wales and Scotland are calling to me !

At least this is one obvious benefit of retirement.

I can play that game as well !



Big Brother Is Watching……..Big Brother.

What has happened to TV over the last decade or so ?

I ask because “celebrity” shows have been taking over for some time and they’re getting worse, if that’s possible.  And I’m not just talking about anything to do with the Kardashians who seem to be only famous for being famous.

I’m not even sure what that means.

During TV peak hours we’re bombarded with young, pretty people doing bugger all but showing they have perfect teeth and bodies and who talk about……crap.  I admit I don’t know WHAT they talk about as I grab the remote and go looking for an interesting show or better still, a movie, to watch instead.

People with posh Chelsea or dreadful Newcastle accents pop up in resorts and/or hotels and we’re supposed to watch what they get up to.

No, no, no.  This is NOT peak time viewing.  This is 3am viewing (if shown at all) which just happens to coincide with my bed time.

What is this fascination “we” have for these shows ?  I know I’m not down with the youth but come on, surely even the youth don’t want mindless shows like these.

Maybe they do.

And don’t get me going about newspaper sites. Oh my days, as they say now.

Item after item about movies stars, usually female, being mocked for coming out of supermarkets at 7am wearing dreary sweaters, unfashionable sweatpants and crocs and carrying pints of milk; no makeup and hair a bit of a mess.

Who the feck cares ?  Really.  They (sometimes) entertain us on the big screen – I don’t care what they do or look like at other times.

But again, if the market wasn’t there, the paps wouldn’t have jobs and we’d all be blissfully unaware that Lady Gaga (may have) once ate a hot dog on Santa Monica Beach or Matthew Broderick caused the death of a mother and daughter and got off with a small ($175) fine.

Whoa…..back up a bit there.  He did what now ?

To quote the story from Wikipedia…….

On August 5, 1987, while driving a rented BMW in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, Broderick crossed into the wrong lane and collided head-on with a Volvo driven by Anna Gallagher, 30, accompanied by her mother, Margaret Doherty, 63, killing both instantly. He was vacationing with Jennifer Grey, (Dirty Dancing) whom he began dating in semi-secrecy during the filming of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; the crash publicly revealed their relationship. He had a fractured leg and ribs, a concussion, and a collapsed lung. She received minor injuries, including whiplash.

Broderick told police he had no recollection of the crash and did not know why he was in the wrong lane: “I don’t remember the day. I don’t remember even getting up in the morning. I don’t remember making my bed. What I first remember is waking up in the hospital, with a very strange feeling going on in my leg.” He was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and faced up to five years in prison, but was later convicted of the lesser charge of careless driving and fined $175.

The victims’ son and brother, Martin Doherty, called the verdict “a travesty of justice”. He later forgave Broderick, amid plans to meet with him in 2003, to gain a sense of closure. In February 2012, when Broderick was featured in a multi-million-dollar Honda commercial aired during the Super Bowl, Doherty said the meeting had not taken place and that Broderick “wasn’t the greatest choice of drivers, knowing his past.”

This scandalous story somehow passed me by at the time but I guess celebrity news wasn’t as well covered then as it is now. Can you imagine the headlines if it had been ?

Surely the keyboard warriors from the court of social media would never have allowed this to happen these days. A celeb in an accident that killed two people and he got off with a paltry fine ?

So maybe sometimes it’s good to have these people on our radar when off screen.

Just not when supermarket shopping at 7am.

Which kinda brings me to the point of the blog headline.

On Monday I was culpable for being a bit of a pap myself although MY celebrity wasn’t a celebrity at all and my involvement was somewhat accidental.

Confused ?  Probably.

On Monday my car was picked up at home by a dealership driver (who shall remain anonymous), taken for a service and returned to me some hours later. I was very impressed by the wash and valet it was given as it was really in showroom condition.

That much I could see. What I couldn’t see was what actually happened in the time it was away from my house.

Or could I ?

Well yes, for the most part, I could.  My car has a dashcam and it films when the ignition is on and also when there is enough vibration to activate it, like opening and closing a door – or putting it up on an inspection ramp for instance.

As it turned out, even the seemingly slight vibrations of a jet wash could start it filming.

Today I put the dashcam’s micro SD card into my laptop and sat back to watch what happened on Monday.

The drive to the dealership was uneventful apart from the driver ignoring his own GPS device and taking the most bizarre route to get there.  On the way, he pulled into a petrol station, parked up away from the pumps and left the car for 8 minutes –  maybe he was getting a snack. He also didn’t seem to like my choice of music (on the USB) so he tuned the radio to Radio Leeds.

Oh well, fair enough. He was as old as me but clearly wasn’t a fan of Ariana Grande.


The first surprise was that my already pretty clean car was given its wash and valet as soon as it arrived at the dealership; I really thought it would have been after the service.


Then it was driven to the inspection bay, the lights and indicators were checked, the bonnet (hood) was raised and then it was hoisted up on the ramp.


The camera didn’t record much at this time as it wasn’t activated.

90 mins later and the service was over and my car was taken for a short spin up and down the road between two roundabouts. Some time later it was driven back to me.

This is when it got really interesting for two reasons.

First up, the return journey was even more bizarre, taking him right through the city centre when the inner ring round was the way to go.

Then the real fun began.  If I had any doubts if the driver knew the dashcam was recording, they were dispelled at this point on the drive to my house. The driver not only enjoyed listening to Radio Leeds, he enjoyed a singalong when the right songs came on.

A favourite was The Four Tops with “Reach Out I’ll Be There” and he belted along with it, mostly during the chorus. Sadly he was tone deaf and his singing was excruciating.  But worse was to come because as he approached my house, he really let rip with ABBA’s Dancing Queen which we all like to accompany but this was special. Excruciatingly special.

I felt a bit bad listening to his efforts as let’s face it, we all singalong sometimes and would be mortified if our efforts were recorded and watched by a stranger. Hence the anonymity.

But is it any worse than reading about the off screen lives of celebs, major or minor or non existent ?

Well in this case I’m keeping his singing to myself, mostly, so am able to take the high moral ground.

I wish paps would do the same but then they have a job to do based on supply and demand.

I just wish the demand wasn’t there but we do seem to be interested, if not sometimes obsessed, with knowing what others are up to – especially when they are not aware they are being recorded.

I REALLY feel bad now !  And it’s a slippery slope to watching Made In Chelsea.


Spring Sunshine – Winter Temps.

The line between Winter and Spring has never been so blurred as it has been this year.  We’re in the 2nd half of March and over the weekend we had another dollop of snow which managed to lie to a fair depth in a short period of time. Then today the thaw arrived, big time. In fact it’s such a lovely sunny day today that looking out now, I see all the snow has gone. Bizarre.

The weather was an issue because I’d booked my car in for its service (2 years old on 23rd but 1 yr for me as I bought it as a dealership demo car) and over the weekend I was having doubts if they would be able to get here to pick it up. Going to bed last night, or more accurately this morning, I saw ice on the windscreen and planned to get up early and get rid of any buildup so the driver could quickly take it away for its service.

But the thaw started even earlier and when I looked out at the car from the landing window, it was not only clear of snow, but clear of ice too.


The service driver came before 11am and I’m now waiting for the call to tell me it’s on the way back to me. With a full service done, I can start planning some road trips – Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Spain.

Airbnb will be getting some action from me this year !

Today is the 36th anniversary of me buying this house, my first. When I left Norn Iron in 1970 and came over to England, my list of places where I lay my head started with a Hall of Residence “room” at Leicester University, moved on to a room in a house in Leicester, a room in a house in Leeds, a move upstairs to a different (bigger) room in the same house, becoming a lodger with a family in Leeds and finally, in 1982, this house in North Leeds.

I just decided one evening that it was time to buy. I got the local paper and circled all the houses for sale that fitted my criteria, mostly location and price. I wanted somewhere North of the outer ring road so I’d be a real suburbanite but knew nothing about the areas involved. I rang the 10 or so owners and made appointments to view the houses over a weekend with 5 viewings each day.  By the time I approached No.10 on the Sunday, I was preparing to start over another weekend as none of the previous 9 had hit the mark.

But No. 10 “spoke” to me and I wanted it right away and what a good decision that was. Its value has increased 10 fold but more than that, I’ve been very happy here. When I bought the house, it was classed as a starter home and there were plenty of young people and kids in the street and estate. Now, due to huge price increases, few young people can afford to move into this street and I see very few kids in the neighbourhood. Bucking this trend, my new neighbours ARE a young couple with 2 kids (baby and toddler) and thankfully we get on well – although in a sign of the times, we communicate via Whatsapp as much as we do face to face !

My neighbour on the other side was in his house when I bought mine so clearly we’ve known each other for 36 years. His wife died just over a year ago so we’re two old codgers who will probably be carried out of our respective houses when the time comes – or if I need looking after before that !

I don’t like thinking about either of those times.

Update : the dealership just rang to say my car is ready to be returned and I paid over the phone. Hopefully the guy hasn’t gone straight to TripAdvisor to book a summer holiday using my credit card details !

I’ve never made use of their pickup and return offer before as the dealership used to be near the city centre so I used to drive there, leave the car with them and spend a few hours in town. But since last year, they moved to near the Leeds United ground over on the South West of the city and even I didn’t fancy spending 4 hrs or so in the souvenir shop (nothing else in the area) so I decided to take up the dealership’s free P&R offer.

It’ll be strange to see my car coming onto my drive in a few minutes and me not in it but less worrying than seeing it leave my drive this morning without me in it !


On the subject of delivery, my prescription meds arrived this afternoon. I’m always impressed with this service which sees my 3 months supply of 6 pills delivered to my door about 10 days before the previous lot run out. A delivery has never been missed and although I could go to the pharmacy myself and have told them this several times, they say they’re delivering in my area anyway so it’s not a problem.

I just wonder how many people make use of this excellent service ?  When you think of the numbers getting repeat prescriptions from my pharmacy, it has to be limited to people over a certain age (seniors maybe) or the poor old delivery driver would be racking up hundreds of miles a day !

In any case, I’m more than happy with the service and despite not wanting home grocery deliveries at this point in my life, having my meds delivered works for me. I keep getting large money off my first order from supermarkets wanting to deliver my groceries.  But I quite like supermarket shopping and have the time to do it myself. I want to pick my own fresh food, thank you very much.

With supermarkets doing food deliveries, takeaways and restaurants doing meal deliveries, pharmacies doing meds deliveries and Amazon delivering everything else, I sometimes wonder how we lived before the internet !

And was that life worse for all that ?

Probably.   ( I Googled it !!)




A Brief History Of…..Me.

Is it Spring yet ?  Yes and no !

Some days the temp rises to an almost comfortable 10c but then plunges to minus overnight. Now the forecast is for snow at the weekend.

In mid March.

I was hoping to turn off the central heating till October but I guess that idea has gone out the window.  Despite the double glazing !

And despite only being Wednesday, I’ve had two medical type procedures already this week.

Yesterday I went to the local hospital’s outpatient dept to have an AAA….an abdominal aortic aneurysm screening.  This involved having an ultrasound scan of my abdomen to check the wall of my aorta, the main blood vessel that supplies blood to my body, which can get weak with age and start to expand. If it gets beyond a certain point, it can rupture and as that is usually followed by death, it’s a good idea to prevent that happening.

Our wonderful NHS offers this screening to those 65 and older and if all is normal, further screenings are not needed. The thinking is that you’re more likely to die from something else if the aorta is normal at this age.

So I tootled along at 2pm for my 2:10pm appointment and was seen immediately as I was the only one there. After my substantial belly was gelled and scanned, I was told my aorta’s diameter was 1.6 cms and with the normal diameter being less than 3.0cms, I was good to go.  It had just gone 2:10pm !!

Waiting….what waiting ?

While being scanned, I asked the technician if she could tell me if it was a boy or a girl and bless her, she didn’t say that was only the 300th time she’d been asked that and instead, gave a slight laugh and kept scanning.

What she thought was probably another matter.

Today I left the NHS behind and went to my dentist to have my temporary crown removed and replaced by a permanent ceramic one.  The procedure was over just as quickly, and painlessly, as my abdominal scan and I celebrated by going to the nearby Cooplands and having a bacon sandwich and a cappuccino.

Well I had to take the crown for a test run.

Of course these stories didn’t make the news because the death of Stephen Hawking overshadowed them.  No matter how often I listen to people describing why he was a genius and on a par with Einstein, I still can’t take it in.  I often wondered if one person said it back in his early days and no one had the nerve to disagree. I mean I’ve never seen video of him actually saying anything other than quotable quotes. Still, if nothing else, he deserves recognition for just surviving over 40 years with MND.


Now I’d be the first to admit that theoretical physics isn’t my strong point and no matter how many episodes of The Big Bang Theory I watch, I’m still none the wiser. I do understand most of the jokes although there aren’t many about black holes or quantum mechanics and let’s face it, Barry Kripke is as hard to understand as Hawking.

Penny is great eye candy though so that’s a start.

Hawking On Geeks

I still think that given the levels of technology these days, his synthesised voice could have been updated to sound more like James Earl Jones and less like Darth Vader on helium.

The way these things happen, the death of a lesser genius was also announced today, namely Jim Bowen.

Much lesser.

JB was the host of the very popular dart themed quiz show, Bullseye.  One of his unintentional catchphrases was “here’s what you COULD have won” which he said at the end of the show if the contestants had failed to win the star prize.

The “curtain” would rise and out would come a car or a complete bathroom suite or a video of a fabulous holiday destination or some such prize while we’d be treated to a close up of a beaming Jim alongside the two contestants looking less than pleased with this outcome.

Classic tv.

One of the best was when a couple DID win the star prize and out from behind the curtain was pushed…..a speedboat.

The couple came from Birmingham, the UK’s second city and right in the middle of the country and despite having 3 rivers running through it, none is large enough or deep enough to be navigable by any boat of a reasonable size (i.e. by nothing much larger than a canoe).

And this was in pre eBay days.

I wonder where that speedboat is now ?   Probably full of flowers and plants in an allotment in Solihull.

RIP Stephen and Jim.

It Never Rains But…….

…it snows !  Yes the new obvious ending to that old chestnut this week with the total chaos caused by the Beast From The East.

Much more snow arrived from Putin yesterday evening and overnight so that by the time I rose this morning and peered out the bedroom window, a winter wonderland was laid out before my bleary eyes.

Well I say “this morning” but it was only just morning; I like to listen to the Pop Master quiz on BBC Radio 2 from 10:30 so it was about 10:50 when I left the warmth of my bed and staggered downstairs. I glanced at the indoor/outdoor weather station on the table and saw it was a quite mild, relatively speaking, -1.2c outside and paid scant attention to the 12.2c temp inside.

In the kitchen I fixed my cereal and then sat down to post a message on Facebook about probably needing to set the thermostat to a higher number overnight and in the middle of the sentence, the fog lifted from my brain and the penny dropped into the vacated area.

12.2c !

Inside !


I set the thermostat to 18c overnight so why was it only 12.2c ???

After checking the nearest radiator, as you do, to find it at cold as an American beer, I opened the boiler cupboard and all was silent with the blue power light flashing every 3 seconds. Damn and blast.

I’ve got Homecare boiler cover with British Gas so immediately rang the number.

Got this automated response over and over till I hung up……..

Sorry there is no reply…….sorry there is no reply

Tried the emergency number with misgivings as it really wasn’t an emergency.

Got this automated response………

Calling on the phone when driving can put you and other road users at risk. Please stay safe. Our agents will ask you to call back later if you’re driving.”

Then there was silence for the 3 minutes I waited before again hanging up.


Time for some famous DIY from yours truly.

Now my knowledge of boilers (and central heating systems) ends with me opening the cupboard to find the bloody thing and checking the blue power light is on.

But with a career in I.T. behind me and urging me on, I decided to use the old standby method of fixing most things electrical.

I powered it off and on.

Amazingly it did come on…..for about 4 minutes and then it powered off and the blue light flashed to mock my pathetic attempt to rectify the situation.

I wasn’t finished. I noticed a reset setting on the dial so moved it to that position.

The boiler powered up again and there were lots of interesting, and if I’m honest, slightly alarming, gurgles of water being sloshed around inside but after a slightly longer time, off it went again.

boiler cartoon 1

Time for a rethink.

Deciding the boiler might not be the problem, I thought about the pump as if it was the problem, then automatic safety systems inside the boiler might shut it down.

Impressed eh ?

I checked the fuse before doing anything more labour intensive but it was ok.

The pump was under the carpet, under the underlay and under the floorboards at the top of the stairs so it was no easy task to get to it. But I did and it checked out ok too.

boiler cartoon 2

With my DIY expertise now up against the brick wall, I turned to Twitter to see if others were having issues getting through to British Gas. And were they just.  Let’s just say today has been a bad day for them and draw a veil over that.

But I did notice a tweet from someone who was a British Gas engineer on his off day giving advice to someone who was having a similar issue as me. He told him it seemed to be a problem with the cold weather freezing the condensation pipe which runs from the boiler to the outside and along to a grate. He said this would be a white pipe and to pour boiling water along it to unfreeze it and try the boiler again.

Well my condensation pipe is black but that seemed like a great idea to me so I rushed to my kettle, boiled the water and stepped outside to do the biz.  I refilled the kettle and did it again just to be sure and then started up the boiler again and what do you know………it’s been going ever since and 2 hrs later my house is toasty warm again.

boiler cartoon 3

I gave the Twitter engineer a huge thanks and as he was helping many others with the same advice, I hope he gets a bonus from British Gas.

Probably not.

So with today back on track, I’ll give an update on my tooth saga which didn’t go as planned with my visit to the dentist yesterday to sort out the fractured filling which had been temporarily “fixed” last week.

The visit yesterday was initially to decide what options were available and of course I was advised to have the filling replaced with a crown as anything else would still be classed as temporary. As the whole tooth was basically a filling sitting on top of not much tooth, I took that to mean a sort of extraction would be done so wasn’t looking forward to that but I said to go for it.

I was relieved when I learned it actually involved only filing down the filling so it could take a crown and after the injection of the anesthetic, the process began.

All went well for a while and then the dentist said “oops” and he and the assistant went into furious action. The drill thingy had slipped off my tooth (bottom left molar) and cut the thin skin below my gums down in that valley as deep as your tongue can get to.

Many swabs and a lot of suction later, the dentist said he’d have to use stitches so I knew things were bad. I’m on blood thinners for my heart condition so any bleeding can go on for ages. I was trying to remind him of that but with a mouth full of cotton swabs and that Dyson attachment making a right racket sucking up my precious blood, what I actually said was “uhhh…uhhhh…ahh..uhhh….ahhhh”

“Yes I know” he answered.

Now either he’s a Google master at translation or he was basically telling me he was too busy to bother with me, I donno, but in any case after 2 stitches, he said the bleeding had stopped and he was returning to the tooth work.

With filing done and impressions taken, he fitted a temporary crown and I was on my way.

I think he’d given me the anesthetic meant for a horse as it took all evening to wear off but as it did, I could feel the stitches scraping under my tongue which wasn’t pleasant at all. I looked up how long they take to dissolve and it ranged from 3-5 days to several weeks depending on the material used !

Imagine my joy when I felt something in my mouth this morning (don’t even GO there) and it was a bit of a stitch. I ran my tongue to where they had been and felt nothing. They’d dissolved overnight. I guess dental stitches are different.


Now I need to wait 2 weeks to have the proper crown fitted and that should be the end of it all.

Quite a 2 days but at least I was cheered up with my walk to and from the dentist as the weather was glorious after the snowfall with the clear blue sky and lack of wind making for a delightful stroll.

Walk to Dentist 2

Walk to Dentist

Walk to Dentist 3

Given the weather and with more snow to come, we’ll probably cancel our “Chinese and a Movie” evening tomorrow. Thankfully my freezer is full so I’ve no need to venture out and once again I can lie in bed and listen to everyone clearing their driveways and cars and attempting to get to work.

I just hope my condensation pipe doesn’t also need clearing but if it does, I’m now an expert.

boiler cartoon 4

Snug As A Bug….In A T-Shirt.

The media have designated this current cold spell as “The Beast From The East” because the sub zero temps are coming all the way from Russia…..although without much love in this case.

We, meaning the UK, got a bit of snow but as it was initially in the South East, then everything from trains, planes and automobiles came to a halt because we don’t know how to deal with snow and ice.

Trains were cancelled the evening before and when no snow appeared in many places, commuters were naturally angry. Of course, to be fair to the rail companies, it’s not always snow that stops trains running but ice on the overhead power lines – where such forms of power are used.

Fair enough.

Here in Leeds, I woke to a light dusting of snow and that’s when I realised I should’ve closed the bedroom skylight last night !

Shaking myself off, I had a lovely warm shower before looking outside and sure enough, although the roads were clear, my car was covered. Of course my car is white so it may not have been much of a covering but given this and a few other things, I cancelled my lunch plans at the local pub and decided to binge watch episodes of Line of Duty from the start. I only managed 2 so that leaves 21 for another time.

Excellent series.

Before all that, and after my shower, I got dressed.  I only mention this because there was a story about it today.

The idea of dressing with multiple layers of clothing is well established but I’ve only been doing it this winter for the first time…….when in the house. When I was regularly going to The States, I bought loads of t-shirts, mostly ones with logos/art work on the front. Over there it’s quite acceptable to wear these wherever you are and whatever age you are…..just look at the spectators at golf events !

But at 65, and for many years before, I’ve felt those t-shirts were not suitable for the UK and so they’ve hung unused in my wardrobes. Then I had the idea to use them as vests or undershirts as they’d not be seen but would be excellent as my first layer of clothing. This has worked very well because being from the 90’s, they are a bit of a tight fit these days, hugging my more fulsome figure so snugly that my body heat has nowhere to go except to remain trapped twixt the t-shirt and my body resulting in a toasty me.

So as I looked at the row of rather colourful t-shirts in my wardrobe, I picked what looked like a plain red one but once out, I saw I’d been looking at the back and the front had a rather garish logo for the Georgia Bulldogs, the American football team of the University of Georgia.

Back in the early 90’s when I was touring the US on all my work holidays and was anywhere near Georgia, I’d often stay a while with friends in Gainesville, just an hour’s drive from the University in Athens. I guess I bought the t-shirt as a souvenir back then but the point of this story is that I never wore it…till today.

I was pulling it over my head when I felt the price tag on my neck and sure enough, I’d bought it for $7.99 from a Goody’s Department Store, quite expensive for the early 90’s but then it was a licensed football shirt so probably a good deal.

T-Shirt Price Tag

I do have a supply of unworn US t-shirts, mostly with Disney, Universal or KSC (not KFC) logos on them but I didn’t know I had an unworn football shirt, albeit a college football shirt.  The Bulldog one I’m now wearing is almost constricting my blood flow as it’s a snug fit over the muscle bound, sculptured body I have these days.

(Shut up)

With the pub lunch cancelled, I fixed my own and then decided to have a coffee while watching the first episode of Line Of Duty. I donno if it was seeing the snow falling or the fact that the bottle was to hand, but I may have poured more Amaretto than usual into the cup… warm me up of course !

An hour afterwards and with the second episode ready to watch, I decided to do so whilst walking on the treadmill. After a few minutes I found I was having to steady myself on the handrails as I was wandering all over the place.

Tipsy on a treadmill !

I think I’ll go back to measuring the Amaretto rather than just pouring it from the bottle into the cup !

I did enjoy my walk though……………

Homer On Treadmill

Tomorrow I’m back to the dentist to have my filling rebuilt or removed and replaced with a crown or something. The temporary fix last week has worked well and I’d be all for leaving things as they are but I know the dentist won’t agree.

I can but ask,

Or beg !!



Five Rise Locks & Scalebar Falls

I’d planned to do today’s trip yesterday (Tues) but on Monday evening I was eating supper and bit into a really hard part of a breaded chicken goujon and it really jarred a bottom molar. Little did I realise at the time that it may have caused a crack in the molar which was really a solid filling sitting on top of the remnants of the tooth.

And probably 30 years old !

Later that night I had a chocolate chip muffin and felt that a choc piece was exceptionally hard so took it out for a look and saw it wasn’t chocolate at all……but a bit of the filling.


As it was after 10pm I could only leave a msg on the dentist’s answer machine – I didn’t need the emergency service as I was in no pain.

Next morning (Tue) the clinic rang to give me a noon appointment and of course that messed up my travel plans and so I went today instead.

I’m taking the lazy way out by linking to the edited video which I uploaded to Vimeo. To see it at its best, make sure you click on the little nut icon and pick 1080p. It wasn’t great footage as the cold affected the battery life and in my efforts to get lots of views before the “Return to Home” feature kicked in, it all went a bit Pete Tong and there was too much jerkiness.

At one point, when at Scalebar Falls, I looked away from the drone while it was moving and it went into some tree branches and fell into the shallows near the falls. I feared the worst and clambered over the rocks expecting to see the drone under water and ruined (which seemed to be the case from the onboard camera view which I was seeing on my phone) but I was very fortunate; the drone had landed mostly on the rocks and although partly wet and with one of the four propellers broken, the body at least was dry.

As it came with a spare propeller, I got away lightly and again will learn from it.