Wednesday, 23 September 2020

70 Cocktail Sausages !


In between kitchen cupboard cleaning and organising 
I went to the cinema to see The Roads Not Taken .

The beautiful Selma Hayek 

A day in the life of Leo ( Javier Bardem) a Mexican author suffering from dementia like mental illness , isn’t an easy watch.
As Leo is taken to routine visits to the dentist and optometrist by his daughter Molly ( Ellie Fanning) we glimpse two former periods of his life, which are either muddled and sporadic memories or present day hallucinations and the film is a relentless study of a mind fragmented and a psychi blunted 
Don’t go and see it if you are at a low ebb.....
Bardem who is usually so animated and watchable in his movies captures that faraway vagueness of dementia quite brilliantly and Selma Hayek is worth watching too in a smallish but vital role as his grief stricken first wife

Hummmm yes depressing stuff

So on a brighter note, 
When I was out walking the younger dogs Winnie broke into a full shopping bag without breaking a dozen eggs and managed quite deftly to break open a container of 70 cocktail sausages ( 2 weeks treats ) and ate the lot

She remains unrepentant and rather flatulent after my return home

The cottage smells of pork


A nice moment of total control in this uncertain world
No covid
Blogger playing up
No rules
No work
No people with their mouths open like naked baby birds 
It’s Raining hard outside
And I am ordering my kitchen cabinets 
One by one


Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Bake Off

 I forgot bake off had started tonight 
Nuala messaged me and I caught up just in time 
As usual a nice lot... but a general representation of London UK not general UK 
Not many gays this year Too ! 
I’m disappointed in Matt Lucas.....

The Broken Hearts Gallery

I’ve been well overdue for a rom com, so one set in a beautifully photographed New York with a likeable cast and a witty script was just up my street today.
The Broken Hearts Gallery fits the bill nicely .
Although wordy ( blink and you will miss the machine gun delivery ) this is a story that will touch everyone who has been dumped in a relationship.

Geraldine Viswanathan 

Lucy Gulliver( Geraldine Viswanathan ) is a twenty something gallery supervisor who hordes memorabilia from every failed relationship She has ever been in . After being fired from her job after been dumped by her boss boyfriend she bumps into Cute as a button Nick ( Dacre Montgomery) Who is trying to built a bespoke  hotel and by chance opens up an art gallery in the Hotel’s  balcony , an art gallery filled with the public ‘s saved Souvenirs from past relationships .

Of course the plot after this isn’t rocket science to work out , but if you add to the mix Lucy’s wisecracking flatmates, Nick’s best friend Marcos (Arturo Castro) - who looks and sounds like an young Bill Murray and a botoxed to death Bernadette Peters as a wacky art expert you can see that writer and director Natalie Krinsky has thrown everything but the kitchen sink into this her first film .

The adorable Dacre Montgomery 

Generally the movie works. 
It’s amusing and sweet despite given a slightly hardened and foul mouthed New York tinge.
Viswanathan is sassy and bright in the lead. Montgomery is very easy on the eye and cries more than the heroine and the supporting cast is likeable and memorable and look like they enjoyed acting out the bright and sharply observed script.
In one interesting scene Lucy is finally able to dump an unsuitable boyfriend and her words to him  resonate amid the laughs “ You are the hero of your own love life And the villain in mine,!”

If you need an amusing , light romantic movie to fill a dull afternoon...try it out



My kitchen is looking more colourful of late
I noticed this this morning when I made pea and ham soup thickened with butternut squash and flavoured with extra garlic
The octopus dish I treated myself from John Lewis yesterday looks mighty fine and rather cheerful
I’m liking the splashes of colour
Going to the cinema later and have booked another cinema trip tomorrow 
Review later 

Monday, 21 September 2020


For those that don’t know , my brother died nine years ago of motor neurone disease 
It’s a cruel disease, possibly the cruelest and strange as it may seem North Wales has a cluster of people diagnosed with the condition 
The three hospices of North Wales often take these patients in for symptom relief, respite  and for end of life care and their care is usually challenging and intense .
Communication of needs is often the major difficult area to nurse and something like the “ simple” positioning of a limb can take an hour to achieve correctly 
Perhaps now you can understand why I had such a hard shift the other night.

Now I’m not being dramatic here. 
I am good at distancing myself from situations that can suddenly become personalised 
Most nurses of a certain age, have to be
But motor neurone patients have special needs and those are ones that we all take for granted 
They need to be understood and they need to feel empowered 
Looking after them can leave you worrying that you’ve failed them 
and I always thought I could have done more for my brother.
So caring for them, can be particularly challenging 

I admitted a patient with MND the other night 
The night I got home very late
A friend and colleague has just texted me to tell me that they had died peacefully..... 
Too sudden but fortunate with the hospice care

And I took the dogs out for a walk in the now cold night 
And in the darkness of the still village
I remembered a lot of stuff running around my head 
And had a brief cry


The vet’s bill hasn’t arrived as yet
Mary has has a special “ pellet “ of antifungal meds placed inside her ear canal and she is looking brighter for it even though her already selective hearing has become even more selective 
A new smiley and rather smarmy vet has started at the practice And he didn’t ingratiate himself with me especially after referring to Mary as looking a bit tatty
“ You don’t look all that spruce yourself “ I countered to little effect. 
Never insult the dog of an old queen 
We never forget 

I’m having a mooch day today which is involving sharing the new sofa with Dorothy ( an activity designed to reduce her anxiety and jealous feelings of the other dogs.

Dorothy was Sooooo pissed off

It’s not working as you can see.
As Mary has just joined us
Dorothy is now  in a foul mood 

I’ve made pesto and sour dough bread this morning and my friend Colin is coming for dinner later which will be nice ( before the trolls say anything he’s in my bubble) 

I’ve just listened to the Whitty and Valance Speech on COVID too
Things seem a little glum and I wonder what gems Boris will come out with tomorrow 
It feels how we just have to live with COVID now and for some the axe will fall

Still maintaining “Dorothy “ time 
I’ve paid bills online, watched the trailer of the Walking Dead finale which airs in two weeks and written some emails 
And after Mary went off to mooch elsewhere Dorothy has had me all to herself 
And her sulking and tantrums subsided to a peaceful hug and her face on my feet 

 I need to get up soon 
The grass needs mowing 

Sunday, 20 September 2020


Me, Sara, Eleanor and Pask

Chic Eleanor picked me up around noon
No pashmina but she was sporting a very expensive Italian scarf which was looped informally around her neck
“ Darling John “ she purred behind her face mask as she stopped “ it’s been too long!”
We didn’t kiss as we usually do

We met friends Sara and Pask up the Conwy valley and was treated to a real Italian meal with four courses, antipasti ( and a special  scotch egg just for me), orecchiette pasta, locally caught muscles in garlic and white wine and meringue with raspberries 

It was lovely 
Quite lovely 
My scotch egg antipasti


Saturday, 19 September 2020


 Violas are such cheerful and robust little fellows
Unlike the fat headed pansies that resemble them .. I detest those
I’ve planted them out in pots around cyclamen of varying shades of pink and red and have placed them on the kitchen wall with enough gaps in between so that the regular gifts of tomato’s and the like can be left with ease.

It’s been a nice day, most of which I’ve missed after an extra Night shift
Lunch out with friends and Chic Eleanor tomorrow
Tonight already I’m lighting the fire against the already crisp autumn evening as I watch the live action Beauty and the beast on tv

Tonight I’ve been watching Carrie Fisher give tribute speeches on YouTube 
What a wonderful orator she was
I became quite tearful at her power and intelligence 
Tearful because I’m tired 

Friday, 18 September 2020

After All Tomorrow is Another day

I’m working tonight to cover sickness but had a lovely afternoon catching up with two old friends Ruth and Dale.

After lunch in the garden we had a mooch around the village, seeing all the locals I’ve written about over the years. 

Nice day

Thursday, 17 September 2020


 I’ve had one of those “ firefighting” shifts at work .
To be fair they don’t happen very often and so I’m not complaining , I’m merely telling you, but I’ve only just got home this evening and it’s 10pm .....15 and half hours after I left this morning.
I’ve done as much as I could for a complex patient, but it wasn’t quite good enough and I’m left feeling rather disappointed and very tired.
I’m 58 and I feel it today

I’m too old for this shit 
But at least Dorothy has licked my sore feet back into shape 
Hey ho 

Wednesday, 16 September 2020

5 of Us

Mary a beautiful study by boffin Cameron

When I finish a day shift it is now very dark when I get home.
It was today and will be tomorrow
Albert is always sat on the kitchen wall waiting for me rather impatiently and gets down after a face to face rub to follow me to Trendy Carol’s to Collect the girls.
He never walks through her gate, for he knows he would be attacked by Carol’s fox terrier if he ever did so, so he stands and waits for the reunion he so clearly loves and craves for with tail swishing and eyes glowing.
The bulldogs bounce out of the conservatory like baby hippos and we all have to wait with everyone tap dancing In excitement for Mary who is usually secreted away on Carol’s knee for her daily love in .
Then the five of us walk home, with Winnie in the lead and with Albert trying manfully to rub heads with each of the dogs that don’t quite understand the greeting.
All they want is dinner
All he wants is for his pals to be together.

Half an hour later all four are crammed onto my new sofa fast asleep

I’m looking into getting Mary covered by a Welsh Terrier stud
One set of puppies before she gets too old
If all goes to plan I will keep one male puppy ( who will be called Roger ) and will give Trendy Carol  a gift of a bitch to thank her for all of her kindnesses with the dogs since my divorce.
Without her, I could never have kept them with me, so it’s the least I and Mary can do

Another adventure in the making me thinks.

Hey ho

Roses Around The Door

Lunch with a friend who is having a bad time.
Mary’s vet visit and steroid treatment for her bad ear,
A troll who irritatedly took my time
A heavy heart at work tomorrow when I’m not quite ready for it
But at dusk
I stood in the garden and realised that the climbing rose around the door had bloomed again
And everything was well