Wednesday, 22 May 2019


There are two Downton Abbey movie trailers doing the rounds at the moment.
The first, ( and the best in my opinion) gives a more romantic view of the dying days of the 1920s with the robust Downton staff and owners getting ready for a right royal visit alongside obvious subplots where singleton Gay Mr Barrow and singleton straight, (Branston) both find a romantic ending.
The second video has all the same sort of shots but describes the action in a more Ealing Comedy type of way with the Great House's staff fighting back to retain control from the snooty Palace domestic staff,
The same film.
Two very different feels and looks.
Its a wonderful example of the power of a good editor

My favourite example of editing is this famous trailer from the film Amelie
Knowing full well that American audiences don't generally watch any movie with a subtitle
this trailer leaves the French speaking out completely !
You only see what the editors want you to see

and we are all editors of the movie trailers of our own lives

this is my movie trailer for today
It's only missing William,
skipping in circles,
chasing his bees 

Tuesday, 21 May 2019


Marilyn thank you for your Birthday card and the  20$
I was thrilled with both, but please don't keep spoiling me with such lovelies!
I will put the money towards a special car  harness for Mary. She now can sit safely in the front seat like my  old  Meg used to do.
She is my new co pilot.
My birthday is on June 1st and I will be 57 years old
I am working nights , so will be doing nothing but sleep on the day itself
I had a conversation about my birthday with my choir friend Peter tonight

It was a game he liked to play, I thought
" How many people have you known for all of the years you have been alive?" He asked me
I thought hard and finally answered
" My two sisters and my Aunt !" 
He was intrigued..... " So many" he said wistfully

I enjoyed choir tonight, I fucked up with several intros into the South African Anthem   and me a Peter giggled like schoolboys over it 

Nothing Done

The garden is full of alliums. The purple pom poms contrasting nicely with the yellow of the Welsh Poppies. May is the best time to appreciate my garden but this year it looks even better because the warm spells we have had during spring have brought everything out so much earlier and the Iris which only usually bloom on my birthday in June are already proud in their blue and yellow livery.
I've ear marked nothing else for myself today but gardening, but as usual its now 9.30 am and I am still working away on my laptop with my daily bucket of coffee.
This happened yesterday when Karen, the matriarch of the village Women's Institute, called around for a "chat", we ended up discussing local history for an age
I am now facilitating a history discussion at their meeting in June and the grass didn't get cut until well after 8pm!
It's now 10.20 and I am now searching for a cheap rail ticket in order to see Fleetwood Mac! I was given, yes GIVEN! a ticket to see them the other day! how fantastic is that?

10.45 am and I'm now texting friends in Sheffield for a possible meet up just after my birthday
10.53 am and Nu has just messaged me from Florence, it's her birthday today!
11.20 am I've used up an Christmas voucher to buy a couple of tickets to the outdoor  cinema showing of A Star is Born in the Roman Gardens in Chester....another birthday gift for another friend
I've got side  tracked into looking at what's on in the cinema

11.38am and George is tapdancing on the kitchen floor because he wants a pee.
I'll take him about for an amble presently, oh and when I am up in the village I need to check on farmer Basil who I heard is not 100%....
oh and I also need to drop the copy of the 1851 census to Nick from the community association
that will take me to around 1pm
……………..and still I would not have done a minute's worth of soddin gardening

Welcome to my world

12.29 pm and I have just started to prune my massive evergreen bush in the front garden
when after three snips I found this

12.31 pm ….….tools down!

Monday, 20 May 2019

Being Watched Over

For days now Mary has quietly stationed herself in the kitchen doorway facing the backdoor.
Gone have the cuddles at night and the first-on-the-couch snuggles up and so after dinner times and walks instead of her tightly curled up sleeps she remains on point and alert as the elder members of the household, scratch and snore and belch and fart in their slumbers.
Since William died, Mary now sees Household Protector as one of her roles,
It is a job she is ill equipped for and if my situation was less precarious than it is at the moment I would have brought in a gently assertive alpha male to relieve her of her anxieties.
Very early this morning  I found out just why she has been on guard.
I also worked out just why the cat food bill had gone up recently even though Albert has not even put on a pound in weight.
We have been infiltrated by a ginger Tom with attitude.
I was up around 5am waiting for a decongestant drink to brew in the kitchen when I heard Mary's low growl from the kitchen doorway.
I was propped up silently against the cabinets in a natty pair of boxer shorts and must have looked invisible to the ginger Tom who boldly thrust a meaty paw through the cat flap like a leopard,
Mary was still, her job was to protect the rest of the house and the Tom knew it, he was there just for Albert's food.
Theirs was a Mexican standoff
The tom's eyes flashed gold at Mary as he climbed confidently into the kitchen and he never saw the  half kilo bag of wholemeal pasta shapes until it hit him squarely in the mush.
Game Of Thrones couldn't have staged a better fight as when he panicked and circled in shock and fear Mary ran forward and sank her teeth into his fleeing ginger rump.

and twenty five minutes after I had returned to bed Mary returned to her usual nightly position  curled up under my armpit

Sunday, 19 May 2019


Madonna coming down the staircase at Eurovision

I often work with a gentle, soft spoken Indian woman called Sonia on night shift.
Last night she could see I was struggling in between turns and patient checks so when I fell asleep, whilst reading some drug information , sat at the office desk . She left me a little while on tip toed feet and completed  some of our joint duties alone.
I wasn't asleep long, just enough time for the paracetmol to kick in and the cold to dry up but it was just enough to recharge and feel a little more human

This afternoon I was bright enough to play the supermarket shopping trolley game and managed to get 2 packets of nappies, a box of bran flakes, a child's paddling pool water pistol and one packet of bird seed into the trolley of a former Intensive Care nurse manager without being detected.

It was more fun than watching a re run of  Eurovision 
Madonna really needs to retire ...she was sooo crap

Saturday, 18 May 2019


I'm after advice
I'm full of another cold and sore throat This is the ninth in one calendar year.
Apart from stress and the body clock fuck up which is night duty
I'm doing more or less what I think I need to do
I'm loosing weight
I'm now eating properly ( I had been comfort eating.)
I'm talking vitamin c
I've reduced alcohol intake
I only drink one bucket of coffee a day
I'm being slaughtered at badminton by Georgous Dave ( we could play a bit more admittedly)


The colds keep a coming!
Any advice would be gratefully reviewed
Answers on a post card
I shall leave you with a mini vlog of this morning's amble

Friday, 17 May 2019


I've never seen the musical Annie
What a revelation !
Middle aged and gay and never seen the ginger moppet belting out " TOMORROW, TOMORROW I'll love ya Tomorrow!!!!" 
It was about time.

Tonight my sister treated me to a ticket ( at London Prices! Thank you) to the London revival with an impossibly busty Craig Revel Horwood as the Thelma Ritter sounding Miss Hannigan and despite most of the audience being made up of prepubescent girls and the fact that I don't really like American musicals I found myself enjoying every rather polished moment of it.

For me, ( and I know I am in the minority here) my highlight was a wheelchair bound President Roosevelt belting out " The sun will come out tomorrow!" 
Now THATS a fucking set piece!

The dog made me sniff a bit too

..and the little one said.....

I wonder if dating in the gay world has significantly changed over the years.
According to the " immediacy" of gay dating sites, you can now locate a fellow homo to a matter of metres 24/7 a consumer improvement which goes hand in hand with all aspects of the Internet .
In a matter of minutes yesterday, I had located and bought some stove cleaning logs for my fire, sorted out two birthday gifts and downloaded an application form for a new job.
All done when I waited for the chimney sweep to tie up his brushes.
The internet just allows you to meet other gay men quicker and easier.
A significant number of these guys are married/ partnered [to men] and report they are in open relationships .
Their apps are happy to share fun can be had singularly or together.
In fact I was somewhat surprised to see an ex partner from years ago on one, bare arsed with a present and much younger boyfriend trolling for a third!
When I was with him he nearly had a stroke when I was innocently stopped by a friendly bear at a nun's drag queen show in San Francisco
But like they say, that's another story.
I was always chosen second from last at school games, (a painful and oh so common childhood trauma me thinks ) so anything that echoes those old feelings of comparison and competition even in the bedroom, Im afraid, just leaves me rather cold and at a loss.
I've never really subscribed to the notion of having your cake and eating it either.
So, it would seem that I'm not built, physically and psychologically for sharing
The thought of it , kind of morphed me into Alan Bennett.
" You two just carry on and I'll pop out to the shops!" 

Swinging , sharing , open relationships are not the prerogative of gay life
Modern day sexuality seems to far more complicated and varied than it was ever seen to have been.

So If a married couple of attractive men wanted me to join them under an Indian cotton duvet than I would be very flattered.

But I wouldn't believe a bloody word of it

Thursday, 16 May 2019

A Cat In The Laundry Basket

I had just settled down with Eurovision when there was a knock on the back door.
It was a girl from London road with a laundry basket.
" Have you got a black cat with a bit of white on him?" She asked seriously
A small still figure in the basket was covered with a towel
"He was just hit by a car!" 
The dogs started to crowd around
I took a deep breath
It wasn't Albert, it was an older cat with more white on him than Albert's tiny white chest star, he looked peaceful
I told the girl I would post her find on the village website forum and she left still sad.
I was watching the Netherlands' melancholic entry when finally Albert  walked into the living room after a day who knows where.......he sideswiped Mary purely out of devilment and she fell from the couch with a bang
He head rubbed each of the dogs in turn then grazed my cheek with his forehead in an awkward hello
And for a moment I found myself shedding the briefest of tears.
These animals will be the death of me

Fat Bastard Breakfast

The problem with low fat bread is that it burns so very easily
Smoke filled the cottage this morning so much so that the dogs and Albert evacuated themselves to the back garden where I eventually flung the cremated crusts amid some tearful coughing and sputtering.
I should have known better as Winnie in a panic of greediness tried to eat one burnt slice whole necessitating me to perform a rather robust Heimleck manoeuvre amid the aquilegia and poppies.
Dr Barnsley from the Rectory passed as the drama unfolded but had the good sense to keep his head down

We are waiting for the chimney sweep to arrive.
Usually I sweep my own flues!!!! Oh err missus but as the cottage fire is still filling the place with smoke when lit, I've had to get the big guns in.
Thank goodness work is paying me for working my allotted holiday week last week.
Chimney Sweeps don't come cheap.

Winnie will be in heaven when he arrives, all thought of her near death experience forgotten at the sight of a pair of overalls.
The closest she could get to the sweep was to lie on his dust sheets

The nice weather we are experiencing is allowing me to stick to my diet pretty well this week.
Now, I'm a big fan of the Facebook group Rate My Plate, in fact it is the only group I follow on line so for those of you that have not heard of it, all I need to tell you that it is basically just photographs of what members are going to have for their tea that day!
( and believe me there are some doozies to be seen!)

Anyhow I shall leave you with a photograph ( and recipe ) for my own version of  fat bastard breakfast
You can eat as much as you like  and not put on an ounce!

Fat Bastard Breakfast 


1 tin of cherry tomatoes 
2 extra large eggs
Chilli paste 
Low fat spray oil 
Sliced Mushrooms ( a whole box)

Light fry mushrooms in low fat spray, chilli and garlic
Add tomatoes and simmer until everything is gloriously mushy
Add eggs and poach
Pile high on dry toast 

Wednesday, 15 May 2019


I worked for almost two decades with people paralysed by trauma and accident and during that time I never once heard the question
" Will I ever walk again?"
In my experience, most patients already know the answer to  that question but the reality, and its a truly massive reality, of the whole trauma thing has to be put so deeply behind every coping mechanism going that the conscious mind reminds me of that time  I found my feet standing on the shoreline of an icy lake. The painful total emersion is buffered by fearful tiny steps away from that frozen water.

I once had the privilege of watching the spinal injury consultant, Mr Ganapatiraju Ravichandran ( know to all as Just " Ravi") at his very best. During a ward round, where a gaggle of professionals , medics, physiotherapists , occupational therapists and nurses surrounded a patient in a bed, he caught my eye that the patient and his mother needed a one to one moment.
As the others moved off, I pulled the curtains around the bed, and Ravi, who was a tiny whippet of a man, stood quietly at the bedhead in silence. The patient was a man in his twenties who had broken his neck in a diving accident on holiday a month before  He had no movement or sensations below his nipple line and was single with his dark eyed mother who had sat at his bedside for the duration
They were exhausted and both looked at Ravi very carefully.
" Nothing has improved has it?" the man asked eventually, as his mother covered her mouth with a fist and Ravi paused giving the question the dignity of some thought.
"No it hasn't !" he said his eyes filling with tears.
It was the first time I had ever seen him emotional in the clinical situation.
I sort of held my breath
" Can we still hope?" the mother eventually asked, her face crumpled and grey and Ravi lifted his hand to where there was a thin chink in the curtain surrounding the bed which let the thinnest sliver of sunshine to catch on his brown hand.
He and they looked at the light for a moment
" Let's hope together" he said gently, and he sat down to talk

( click on link below)