Random Jottings Of Gildersleeve

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Location: United Kingdom

Perhaps you'll learn more about me as you read my blog. For anyone who translates my blog using the translator facility, don't forget if you wish to read the comments in your own language to click on the title of the post down the left hand side otherwise they will remain in english. Also I assume that the translation is accurate but I don't know, so please allow for errors.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Worn Out Again...

I was resting in a good place inbetween sleep and doing some plodding away on here when minutes ago I had a coughing do...when they start they really take it out of you. Eyes water, runny nose on top of everything else. I've settled again after a warm drink and am now sucking a throat sweet. Hopefully there will be peace again. The wheeze is back but hopefully that's temporary.

Since the above was written at least four hours of uninterrupted sleep and that's bliss. Upon waking a mug of weak milky coffee, meds taken and resting again, a little wheeze there and a small amount of coughing but so far, so good.

I have continued resting throughout the day, listening to the radio, have had the remainder of last night's salad. Time has passed reasonably well but feel a little down, nothing specific, not really thinking of anything in particular. It happens. I do know as with everything it will pass. I will stay in, if I go out at all perhaps I'll do that tomorrow.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

I May Risk Going To My Bingo Tonight.

I can get a taxi there and a lift home...as long as I don't wheeze too much, I will not cough. And the room we have the bingo is comfortable from the heat point of view.

I also need to have a look out to get my meds and collect a new card for a bank account that I reported missing.

I have been eating ham and tomato rolls, also drinking nice creamy cup a soups...

Otherwise, that is it.

Update:Back in business...almost. Bingo went well. All my earlier tasks went easily too. But with having kidney disease...what a carry on to find a safe cough bottle. Think we have managed in the end. The choice is small.

I made a lovely salad when I got home tonight and...found I could not eat it all so the remainder is in a storage box and will make another meal or sandwich later. Finally, resting.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Much Improved...Staying In...

Going to sleep the day away...

Glad that I am able to...

I'm resting but so far...no sleep...but I have had milky coffee and a cheese roll...

Update:Go on...convince me not to go out and continue to get better first...Still haven't fallen asleep and its not as if I am trying too hard. The time is now almost 4.30pm.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I'll Not Kidd Myself...

That I have shaken off the cough and cold I have but I have managed to get some sleep. And managed on only four paracetamol's in approx 10 hours. I am warm, so warm I have been able to remove blankets and the bedroom temperature is very mild(16c/60f)I think that I am going to remain indoors for the next 24 hours.

A cough really does take it out of you. I am quite pleased how quickly I have improved. So it could be quite quiet here.

Update:Now I have a dull ache in the left breast, a headache, the cough is less aggressive and I am colder than I was. Mainly, seeing that I am having warm drinks to avoid dehydration.  I am just doing what many are doing and many will be dealing with more serious medical conditions. When I cough my legs hurt.

Monday, February 24, 2014

I'm Really Not Very Well At All...

This cough of mine is really giving me problems, when it eases I'm ok but when it starts it makes me feel sick. I have tried lozenges and later may see if any cough medicine in the cupboard will help or perhaps I'll take some home made Lemsip(lemonade and paracetamols)I have access to honey too. I have taken to my bed and don't plan to move much. If I manage to sleep that will do me fine. I will be careful what I decide to take. It seems to be a dry tickle in the throat. To be honest I think it is finally coming out as a head cold which may mean I will shake it off quickly.

I did get out earlier and found some bread, bread buns and bananas.

Since coming home I have reported a lost bank card, I disliked doing so but I also reported the bus that left me standing the other night. It really did cause me problems. Especially, when the service at night is so limited anyhow. But I always feel as bad doing so and its the first official complaint I have done in all my years of travelling.

I have some extra video which I took of the of Durham and that is being posted on You Tube as I write. Also I have a small video of The Mallard and The Union Of South Africa leaving the Shildon Railway museum at 9am this morning.

I have been told that two more will leave between Tuesday and Wednesday. The remaining two will be at the museum for another six weeks. It was quite difficult to get a decent view and it moved really slowly. Whether it increased in speed when it reached the main line I am unsure.

On the way home I heard some people on the bus discussing the event and talking about how expensive the food and refreshments were(I don't know because I did not buy)and I assume we are talking about the contractors on site rather than the snack bar that is there all the time. I heard that it was £2.50 for a small tea in a plastic cup and around £7 for a burger. I have no idea if this is accurate.

I doubt that I will be doing very little today.

Update:How right I was...if I could have a few hours without a hacking cough I really would appreciate that. Its so lovely when you manage some time without doing that. I do think I am better laid on my side. If things stay as they are I will avoid the music club tomorrow. Its better for me and I am not spreading it around others. I also know where I caught it...last Thursday when I was given a lift when the bus failed to turn up another person was picked up who had been knocked for six in the preceeding days. And my compromised immune system has paid the price.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Having A Bit Of Coughing Fit...

However, lets forget about that, on the way back from Durham Cathedral I found there was an Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop I had missed before and it must be decades since I was last in one of those and there was a sale,  I could have come home with some lovely throws, travel rugs etc...all half price.

I am wondering if I should go back and get something whilst I can afford to and the offers are hopefully still available. Having said that I have looked at their website and there are some items I may save up for and like but the blankets that attracted me are only dry clean and that puts me off. I did see a new gadget called a Rice Cube(I am a sucker for gadgets)but not sure I can justify the cost or whether it will be used.

On the way to the ceremony at Durham Cathedral with the new Bishop, a street artist was setting up and I thought "Oh its one of those Human statues that stay still" but on the return home, the performer was not staying still and was holding lollipops in his hand and kept beckoning to people as they passed by. It just seemed a bit weird. Or perhaps its just me...

Found the following a bit weird in Durham Market Place. The holding of lollipops and not standing still like some.

What A Wild Night...

The blustery wind started as I reached home yesterday and it was good to be home as I was being blown around somewhat and when you are unsteady on your feet/mobility impaired its more difficult.

Now perhaps I'm glutton for punishment...I have discovered that something does happen outside Durham Cathedral today before the inauguration service but space is limited and I have been told to get there early. At least forty five minutes before. I may get swamped and see nothing but allowing the travel time by bus, my slowness and getting to the Cathedral once in Durham I shall make tracks in the next hour or so.

I have the rest of the day to recover...the weekend actually.

I may also make an early start on Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday as I understand you can watch the locomotives that have been on show this past week being taken away from the museum but that's between 8am-9am so it will depend on the buses. One requires a journey and change of bus and that takes approx an hour or the other is fifteen minutes, one bus and arrives fifteen minutes later than the other one. So that's the easier option.

I have slept not too badly(considering my cough)and have my throat sweets at the ready. I will wrap up well in case its cold, wet and windy.

Update:The Right Reverend Paul Butler Bishop of Durham arrives at Durham Cathedral before the service of Enthronement. I like him and he has a very easy friendly manner about him and I have high hopes that he will bring something good to the position.              

The Right Reverend Paul Butler Bishop of Durham Talks with children/parents at Durham Cathedral February 22nd 2014

The Right Reverend Paul Butler Bishop of Durham at The Cathedral door for his inauguration February 22nd 2014

Again not unlike yesterday we were told to move though we were not in the way and the crowd was really small. The clergy had no problem with us but someone who obviously works in the PR department was a jobsworth. That person disappeared so in hindsight I probably could have returned to my originally location. And I suspect everyone else did, its all about control of image and cynically I perhaps did not fit it, that's how I feel rightly or wrongly. Over sensitive? Perhaps...

Until the children appeared I would guess there were only about six people to witness the ceremony and perhaps four people from the press taking pictures. The above is the genuine knocking on the door but earlier the pose was rehearsed for the press*. In general we were able to see what was happening. Perhaps I should have stayed to see him come out.

So much better than yesterday. The clergy even went out of their way to find me a seat for the service but I thought this ceremony where the new Bishop knocks on the door would probably be worth seeing and I would be so far away from the service I would not see anything. I was torn though.

I have some video footage I will try and tidy up and post a link to.

*Click on the link and that figure bottom right in my photo you can see the image he took.

I am not taking credit for this image(It is the Evening Chronicle)but I hope they don't mind that I put it here because I am in the background in the green hat.

Credit to the Evening Chronicle for this image but I am in the background. Durham Cathedral new Bishop of Durham

Here is a link to the story and more images in the Evening Chronicle

Friday, February 21, 2014

I Don't Suffer Much With Coughs And Colds...

it is advisable when you have an immune system problem and on steroids to do all that is possible to avoid compromising your health by catching one. And for many years I have kept out of crowds but lately probably because I have been more social, I do seem to have developed a bit of a sore throat and a cough. A cough is not ideal when you have a hernia either...ouch!

Thankfully, not enough(yet)to stop me sleeping so rest will play its part. I may have to see what I have in my medicine cabinet, reorganise it, see what is out of date. For now it seems to be mainly staying as a throat problem.

Going to wrap up well and attempt to see the historic welcoming of the New Bishop of Durham at Midday. I think I can get a bus ok and it will arrive in time for the ceremony.

Update:It was very busy at the welcoming and though I was one of the first there, I hardly saw a thing. The inauguration service is out unfortunately it is a ticket affair and so many have been sent out and then drawn for a lucky few. There are no spaces for some public to attend...better luck next time.

I do hope that the new Bishop of Durham has the common touch that some of his predecessors have had because today the contact I had with the Cathedral and some of the people attending the ceremony the impression was that "The Public" are not as important as the dignitaries. I appreciate that some official events and meetings have to be done as part of the job. And to be fair sometimes its those who work with/around someone in a position of power that keeps them from being more as one with who they serve.

The following article suggests that hopefully my fears are unnecessary.

Bishop is welcomed over the River Tees

Twitter entry of the event

The Right Reverend Paul Butler Bishop of Durham

I could not see much of the ceremony as others blocked my view and I just pointed the camera and hoped for the best, I also did not get a close up but I have managed to put that right with these two images and using computer software. 

I'm holding my own so far with the sore throat and have some throat sweets which seem to be ok. Perhaps I'll have a Hot Toddy. If I had thought sooner I could have had a home made version of Lemsip but I have run out of lemonade...or have I? I may have a bottle in the pantry that is flat but when heated that doesn't matter. And all I then do is take a couple of paracetamols. I'll see.

All Went Well...Sort Of...

Thursday was slow but ok. To be honest I was glad of the rest.

So around 5.30pm I shaved/dressed. Headed out the door by 6pm. Finally did my little shop and headed for the bus stop with approx 15 minutes before the bus was due. I have a clear view of the bus and it of me.

I put raised my arm to request it stopped and it drove straight passed and the driver was looking straight ahead, he never turned his head in my direction.

Now as buses at this time are few and are only one per hour its a good job that it was not a night where I was say going to an event.

But that still only left me 15 minutes to go where I planned and distance coupled with mobility problems I was in trouble.

So by luck/chance as I made my way to either attempt to get a taxi or slowly attempt to walk a car passed me and stopped. The driver called my name so obviously knew me. It turned out that she was going where I was. So the problem was solved. But the problem should not have happened in the first place.

I did not win at the bingo but I was pretty close on numerous occasions. Came home by 8.30pm(the bingo only lasts around 90minutes)went to bed and fell asleep quite quickly. I did want to listen to the radio but I guess I wanted the sleep more. Luckily, the PC was recording so I can hear what I have missed.

As there are no sittings at the houses of Parliament this week the BBC has a free hour for other programmes between 11pm - Midnight and plays some repeats/new programmes on Radio 4 and last night they ran a new production of the William Blatty book The Exorcist. I know of it because of the famous film and the furore it caused at the time but I have never seen it or read the book. So will listen later. That book was published 43 years ago.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Guess What...

I thought that I had not seen Kieran Halpin last evening...but I had and at my own music club maybe over a year ago. I only realised when he sang two songs in his set "Bat in the attic" and "Berlin Calling" He had a fabulous guitarist and backing vocalist with him called Jimmy Smith(wearing the cap in the image below)

I did not want to annoy with flash photography so this is the best I could do as often the lighting is subdued depending on the songs being sung. But I have had advice on how to fiddle with camera settings so in time this could improve.

Kieren Halpin and Jimmy Smith appearing at Bishop Auckland Town Hall February 2014

And before they appeared we were entertained by Copperhead Still who occasionally appear at my music club but Chuck Rutland of the group often appears on the Music Club's open mic nights...

Copperhead Still appearing at Bishop Auckland Town Hall February 2014

I had company too and was not alone...there is a good line up of acts planned for the next seven months and I do hope it is continued to be supported as last night we had a hint that there was a threat of closure hanging over the venue but there has been a reprieve...for now...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Middle Of The Week Already...

Its been quite mild overnight and outdoors the weather looks quite pleasant, blue skies and calm.

There is a national demonstration planned against the company that conducts the tests to decide who deserves welfare when they are ill and have on going health issues but really the campaign is aimed at the Government who decide the guidelines they follow. It is rumoured that the company will see the contract taken away and other companies are being lined up to takeover the work.

But pressure groups and charities see this as just a deflection and the same procedure will continue. Most feel that these companies should not be contracted to and your own Dr, Consultant, people you see in hospital and your medical records would be able to supply all the information required. Who would know you better?

The local demonstration is not so local, not so easy to get to without your own transport and unlike some it is really early. I'm not up to going myself and I could not get there in time anyhow.

I may go out later just for a very small shop...lettuce, spring onions, cheese twists, Marmite and sweeteners but that is it.

Nothing much happened yesterday except that the Music Club was as good as ever...

Tonight I see a music concert with my friend. Performing are Keiran Halpin and the supporting act is Copperhead Still. I suppose it would be classed as folk music but its unfair and difficult to hang that name on what will be played.  It is good that there are still some local live music events still available. We can put troubles aside for around three hours.

Monday, February 17, 2014

You Never Know What You May Find Yourself Hoping To Do...

I have discovered on Friday the following takes place if I can get there by public transport. If physically I am able to. As usual I have to pace myself and judge on the day.

Welcoming of the new Bishop of Durham

Then on Saturday in Durham Cathedral the new Bishop is inauguratated.

History in the making and something I have never witnessed.

I'm In Pocket...

Well, not really but if you end a week in the black anything is welcome and not to be dismissed.

I suppose over the year I spend or lose more than I win when I go to the few local social nights and play games of chance. I am not a big gambler. So unlikely to ever get rich.

However, last night I won the sticky thirteen card game(that's where someone calls out the card suites and numbers of a pack of playing cards)and everyone else has a hand of thirteen cards. As each card is called if you match, you lose it.

If your last card is called you win.

Sometimes you share but tonight I alone won. I picked my selection of cards(and usually go with my first choice)However, I decided to change my mind and I was lucky.

I won £25(US $42.04)but with what I spend on a couple of drinks, taxi, bingo, that's a profit of around £15($25.22)so I suppose the glass is half full rather than half empty? In a way it means the night was free and gave me back some of what I had spent earlier in the week on groceries etc...

I was lucky last Thursday or was it the week before, I forget, at the small bingo meeting at the sheltered accommodation where I won £8(US $13.45)but again with the cost of playing, using a taxi, having a drink of tea and a packet of crisps that wiped out the win and I was 10p(US $17c)out of pocket but you could say that it was a free night this time.

Small prizes but its social more than anything else.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

How Could I Forget To Post This...

In amongst all the hustle and bustle of yesterday at Shildon Railway Museum was this gentleman sitting quietly on his own indoors and as far as I could see he had no photo or anything in front of him to jog his memory but he was painting a water colour of one of the locomotives that were being displayed.

I have to assume that he had previously sketched the image on another visit earlier in the week when the exhibition was being set up but what a talent he processes...

An unknown gentleman painting a watercolour of a locomotive at the Shildon Railway Museum February 2014

If it could be timed correctly, I suspect it could be interesting watching the locomotives being taken away at the end of the exhibition. Some are taken by road and others on railway tracks but I am unsure if they do this at times when public access is limited on health and safety grounds and whenn the museum is closed or is more difficult to reach if you depend on public transport.

Will it be quieter during the week compared with the weekend? That's another difficult one to answer because it is half term school holidays and obviously they are hoping to attract children/families but this will probably mean they are hoping grandparents will take their grandchildren to the museum.

I have to link to the following story connected to the exhibition, its a little unusual...


Images From The Railway Event In Shildon...

Possibly the last time all seven of these steam locomotives will be seen together as they are about to be dispatched across the UK and two of them will return to Canada and the USA.

I'd like to post the video direct to this entry but to avoid using up the storage space that I am allowed to see the videos please click on any links you see highlighted.

The Sir Nigel Gresley that was giving very small rides at the exhibition, it is a pity that as this area is seen as the birthplace of the Railways the amount of track there is happens to be so small. The video has not been edited and is a little shaky and a finger gets in the way but I kept the video because by pure chance as the locomotive disappears under a bridge, a new train passes on its journey from Saltburn to Bishop Auckland, it was pure luck that the timing was so perfect.

Because of the limited space and crowds it was quite difficult to get decent images of the engines.

Sir Nigel Gresley at Shildon Railway Museum February 2014

The Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive.

Dwight D Eisenhower locomotive at Shildon Railway Museum February 2014

The Dwight D Eisenhower Locomotive.

Union Of South Africa locomotive at Shildon Railway Museum February 2014

The Union Of South Africa Locomotive.

The Mallard locomotive at the Railway Museum in Shildon February 2014

The Mallard Locomotive.

The plaque on the side of The Mallard.

The Dominion Of Canada and Bittern Locomotives at Shildon Railway Museum February 2014.

The Dominion Of Canada and Bittern Locomotives.

Another view of The Sir Nigel Gresley in action...

The Durham Police are already warning about how busy it is on the second day and how full all available space is for anyone attempting to arrive by car etc...

I'm Neither A Sceptic Nor A Believer...

in global warming and I would be an idiot not to believe some of what we as a race do has no effect but I think that I know enough to accept that many of the changes have happened before and will again whatever we do and a lot of what is being discussed is unproven and for what we know down the line what we think will slow down or halt the changes may actually add to the problem.

We have had extremes in climate where it has been hot or cold around the world even when humans and life in general as we know it did not exist. We have events that will happen that all the ideas being dreamt up will not change the ultimate plan for our planet as much of what will happen will be caused by events in space such as the Sun imploding or sending out heat in our direction, the Earth will also slow down eventually and start to resemble many of the planets we have observed or hope to in the future. We are not as clever as we believe we are.

The latest horrendous weather has been put down to another reason and it has happened before and predicted in the past. If you look back into the UK's history there was a time when we used to grow grapes to make wine not unlike places like Italy etc...

We have had and it will happen again when a major volcano erupted and caused the skies to block out sunlight across the world and that could mess up anything we are attempting to do to reverse current trends. Don't be surprised if at some point in the future we are heading for another ice age.

The trouble is we have instant access to media and digital data. This can then attract fuel extreme views/opinions not always based on reliable evidence. Or has been proven on other topics that often are political statistics are skewed to suit whoever is quoting them.

Its Warmer...

in my bedroom but it is true what they say...extra blankets and/or the adding of warmer items of close really do make a difference. Such as bed socks and I have been known to wear thermals and a pyjama top. If really cool and I am hammering on this laptop I will even wear fingerless gloves. Keeping extremities warm really does keep the rest of the body warm. Being reasonably bald I have even been known to wear a hat.

I have to go no further than the advice given by many charities and I can remember one of my aunties who made it to one hundred and three used wear a hat indoors and a heavy coat.

When I get warm enough I can remove said items.

The best part of being cosy is if you have to get up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning.

I've had some milky hot coffee which has helped too and I know its a strange hour perhaps but I found myself eating a cheese scone.

I've woken myself up now as I could not find a misplaced cable so I can charge/post my digital camera images, finally I have found it so I am going to see if I can get some of the images posted of my visit to the railway event yesterday.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Weather Stayed Reasonably Fine...

for the visit to the Railway event and it was heaving with people and it only opened at 9.30am and we were there by 9.50am. I took the best photo's that I was able but the way they were lined up and being as close as they were to each other...it wasn't easy. Also they had set up some portable steps(think the kind that sometimes are wheeled out to allow passengers off an airplane)and queues along the side, it didn't help.

Now the other problem is that many of us taking photo's walk past the trains in a way that allows unrestricted views and everyone gets a photo. Then others just say "Sod That!" As long as they get their photo they could care less and they'll walk in front of others or stand in the way. I don't know if it is done through ignorance or they just get so engrossed they don't realise.

I took quite a few myself and I am reasonably happy with the results. Will post some images soon. I did not take videos. The images will do...I did take a few videos of the one train that was giving small rides The Sir Nigel Gresley and I will put that up too.

Well, I was all done within a short time so I found a nearby bus stop and thought do I come home or because I was out should I continue elsewhere? I went onto Durham and purchased some items(reduced)I decided to come home for my fruit and possibly vegetables/bread. So within perhaps twenty minutes of arriving in Durham I was on my way home. I found some cakes, cereal bars and small cans of tomato juice(8 for £1)

Once home some home I got some Strawberries and grapes, I replaced two mugs(broken by my own stupidity)earlier in the day, I had managed to break the handles off, I found £4's worth of bread rolls(24)reduced to £1 in total so you could say what I saved on the buns paid for the mugs, there was some better quality boxes of soups containing 6 sachets being sold at half price(on offer)so not a bad day all in all.

The weather is not that bad again at present but it did turn a little blustery and wet between midday and 2pm.

The rest of the day I shall take it easy, perhaps have something nice to eat later*. And tomorrow do some general tidying up. I'm upto date with my washing(I had that all sorted between 7am and 9am this morning.

If you only have limited income and live alone perhaps it matters less but I noticed as I passed through **Spennymoor on the way to Durham that four supermarkets(two of which are discount ones)are virtually next to each other so perhaps in the future I'll take a look around there.

Good to see it is still a bit light with blue sky at 5.30pm, it proves that lighter nights are really returning...

*I have only had a cup a soup and will start afresh tomorrow.

**Of course the places that I mention will mean little to anyone in other parts of the UK/World but they are in the specific county that I live. And some are easier to get to then others.

Technology Pah!

My digital camera does not transfer images and especially videos as it used to and I know that I did nothing to cause the problem. Other than attach it to an older desktop PC, not sure if I will have to put up with the problem or can find a way to return it to how it was...

In the meantime at least the images can be posted or burned so not actually lost...

Today I planned to do absolutely nothing but the last chance to see six magnificent steam locomotives starts this week at the local train museum in Shildon in County Durham. Then they are dispatched to various places around the globe and the UK.

So though the weather is ghastly and I feel less than ready to attempt such a big task, I am going to give it a go. The sooner I go I may get the best view before the crowds decend so I could be out of the door by 8.30am. They are all wonderful but I am especially looking forward to seeing the Mallard and Sir Nigel Gresley.

If I manage some videos and images I will hopefully post them online on the blog and give impressions of the day.

Friday, February 14, 2014

They Say The Weather Will Be Bad Today...

But I must go out and pay utility bills and as I have been unable to get through to the Dr's surgery(I want to opt out of the new Government plan to allow anyone access to my medical records)so will call there too.

Not much else planned. I went down the easy route yesterday meal wise, finishing off the sandwich filler of Lemon Herb Chicken.

Now what to have this Friday...

Its a couple of degrees warmer in the bedroom compared to yesterday too. It has stopped raining for the time being, the calm before the storm?

Update:My tasks were completed so quickly and could have been done sooner. I went really slow because I expected the bank opened at 9.30am(it opened at 9am)the Dr's surgery opted me out at reception with a click on the computer and there was no queue at the post office.

I do struggle to get around and need to put a lot of effort in to do so. But there are still good people around. Two women in the space of three or four minutes specially opened or held open for me heavy doors to help me and one of them even wished me a "Happy Valentine's Day" that kind of made my day and was so thoughtful.

The weather is said to become nasty by this evening and is really hammering the South as I write this post. I will stay indoors and over the weekend do some tidying and vacuuming.

Everyone Has Sewing Kit...Right?

I suspect many of us probably have such a kit in an old box or tin and usually its untidy...I guess I'm no better. Well, it used to be in some kind of order and I am sure I have more than this but for various reasons this past year everything was misplaced.

Sewing Kit...

So do I have all that I need for most repairs? Have I enough colours? Am I missing something? What do you think? I can only think of a couple of items...buttons and that kind of tape that you iron and it bonds hems? I suspect I will never use more than a small amount of the above for the rest of my life.

i don't get that many clothes that wear out and when I am mainly buying from a charity shop often its easier/cheaper to replace an item. And many shops make things reasonably cheap or reduce items and though I appreciate beautifully made clothes its an expense that I am unable to justify.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Its A Cold One Today...

Even indoors but calm...Just checked and the termometer says 6c(40f)Shock!

Not like last night. I had to go out but nearly didn't and gave up on the concert I had booked ages ago when I saw the weather I was having to venture into.

The rain was freezing cold and stinging my face, occasionally you did well to stay on your feet. However, the bus arrived only five minutes late. As I said in my previous post I called into a supermarket near the venue to save the effort in my own town after the concert but that was a big fail and waste of time...

The wind was that bad I could actually hear it in the town hall even though the room for the concert is(from memory)windowless and the curtain at the back of the stage was moving so there must have been some way for the draught to find its way into the room. I have never seen or heard that before and by the second half I had put my coat back on to get warmer.

I am glad that I made the effort to go. Two hours of pure magic. Accomplished musicians at the top of the craft playing the music of and in the style of Jean "Django" Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli and brought to life thanks to Emma Fiske(violin)Mick Shoulder(double bass)James Birkett(guitar)and Giles Strong(guitar)under the guise of Djangologie.

Emma Fiske of Djangologie

Emma Fiske On Violin.

Mick Shoulder of Dangologie on Double Bass

Mick Shoulder on Double Bass

James Birkett of Dangologie

James Birkett on Guitar

Giles Strong of Djangologie on guitar

Giles Strong on Guitar

Djangologie in concert at Bishop Auckland Town Hall February 12th 2014

Djangologie in Concert at Bishop Auckland

Do look out for them if you see they are appearing locally, they do have CD's for purchase and apart from the website they are on Facebook too. And you can watch them on You Tube too. Its a good way to keep in touch with where they are appearing, their CD's and to hear just how good they are.

What Is It About Tomatoes?

As I came home last night I purchased a few cartons of the stuff...well I found some perfectly ok of the supermarkets own brand and buying a few saved a little on the total spend and I also put what I saved to a carton of V8 which has added spinach and lettuce amongst other things...but as 89% of that is tomato juice and it costs approx 69p more than plain I shall in future get my vitamin content of lettuce/spinach from...them in meals.

I like to make my own smoothies and juices but unless I am making them to save throwing out unused items, I cannot make them any cheaper myself. The only advantage is sometimes I can make combinations that are not on sale in the shops.

Oh I also purchased some Worcestershire sauce. I was going to buy the original but went for the newer flavour which has added(you guessed it)tomato...What a job to find juices if they were not in the chilled cabinet though. It was probably me but I went into one supermarket before the concert and could I find what I wanted? Even after asking an assistant. I called in because I wanted to avoid shopping at a late hour when I got home. I still had to do that in the end.

Oh the jacket potatoes in the fridge were still fine so I had one for supper when I came in from the music concert last night(I will put images)and a review up soon. I know I took more images than I appear to have and I cannot quite understand where they have disappeared(and they were my best)

A quick easy meal...I added some lemon and herb chicken sandwich filler on the potato and had cherry tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, celery, cucumber and spring onions. Probably came in at just over £1 for the meal. OK its only one course but often I really do have problems eating large meals these days or think I can manage what I put on my plate and then find myself struggling to finish it all.

Jacket potato with lemon/herb/chicken filling. Iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, celery, cucumber, spring onions.

Today we have sun, looks a bit cold(I love how we can tell how cold it is by looking)its calmer and mostly dry(much different to last night)I was warm enough in bed but I know it was colder than previously. I probably should have got out of bed and put on something extra or thrown another fleece on to the bed or prepared a hot water bottle but I couldn't be bothered. I just pulled the blanket over my head and was soon warm enough.

I gave in and as just about all my sewing needles have gone missing I also purchased some more whilst buying the juice. I'll keep these safe this time. Not the greatest sewer in the world but I can put a button on and now have a basic stitch that seems to work reasonably well. I think it is known as a switch stitch now if I can learn something a bit like a darning one for holes even better(though the switch stitch sometimes works for holes too)

I will start getting ready around teatime so I can get to the bingo in good time and hopefully catch the bus that takes me nearer the venue and saves me struggling to walk or catch a taxi.

Update:I was unable to walk, in pain and so much effort so I went by taxi. Every day, every hour can be different.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Got A Bargain...Missed A Bargain...

On the way home from the music club last evening I called into the local supermarket and found a flavour of porridge I was unable to buy a few weeks ago and it was on sale at £1 for ten sachets(they normally sell at £2.45)Recently the promotion was £1.25 a box which was good but this offer beat that. Before leaving I thought its too good a bargain to miss so I'll buy some extra boxes.

It was only ten minutes later but the price had changed and though still on another promotion they are now being sold at £4 for two boxes or £2.45 for one again.

At least I purchased two boxes before they changed the offer.

Even though I have powdered and long life milk to hand all the time, I now buy four pints of milk for £1. I'm sorry if that price is bad for milk producers but for me watching the pennies it does mean I am getting four pints of fresh milk for less than the price of two.

The supermarket I use I find it does not go off as quickly as another well known chain(even if it is not kept in the fridge)The other trick I often use for keeping it chilled is to stand the bottle in cold water in the bathroom sink. Saves trips downstairs.

I take a garlic capsule and often have garlic in my meals(if I remember to add it)but I found(and it saves waste)some diced in a jar and it was on offer for £1(saving 45p)and when opened if kept in the fridge it will stay fresh up to twelve weeks. I have found another with small slivers of ginger which could prove useful too.

New addition to the Kitchen Cabinet...

OK its really early in the morning but I am about to have a jacket potato, a sachet of white and wild rice vegetable mix(sweetcorn, peas, red pepper, mushroom and broccoli)with a wholemeal roll for my supper which has come in at around 90p(US $1.48)for the full meal. Quite a simple meal. Done in a microwave.

I may be tired of jacket potatoes by tonight as I cannot get them all in the freezer so I may have to use those up before bedtime but out of a carton of four, one is in the freezer, two to use in the fridge and the one I am having now.

Here's an image of my meal...

I decided I wanted a jacket potato, saw some microwave rice and vegetables and thought they'd go well together.

I rather enjoyed that...

Its funny how you discover something new or return to something you have not eaten in years.

At the music club, the same was true, all I had was a tonic water and then I noticed who I was sitting next to was having a tomato juice, so I had one too. When I next shop I am going to buy a carton of it.

Since coming home I sat down on a chair in the bedroom and with my limited sewing skills I repaired some holes that I had found in a beanie hat I had purchased not too long ago(I seem to have done a reasonable repair)and I have a pair of gloves that need repairing too but when I came to get up off the chair I could hardly walk and was in pain(still am)so I shall rest overnight and hope I improve soon as I have a concert to go to. As I write I do remember this happened last year and I think it improved when I reduced the dosage of my daily water tablets which for a time also gave symptoms similar to gout.

We have had a small dusting of snow tonight and it has hardened without it being icy. It is quite crunchy underfoot, wonder what it will be like later today.(Update:Seems to have disappeared)

Seeing I have mentioned the music club it is always a good night and very friendly. Tonight a regular duo appeared with an extra performer so became a trio The John Wrightson Band and instead of being accompanied by one acoustic guitar we had an extra  bass guitar and  keyboards giving a richer sound.

The John Wrightson Band

And an unexpected interval set was performed by a favourite singer of mine, Flossie Malavialle so I was extra pleased.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How Things Come Back To Your Mind...

When I was doing my little shop on Saturday night I was in the discount store and with it being not too far off closing time, there were few customers in the store and the staff were catching up on the tidying of the store and checking shelves...one assistant was in a world of his own and I guess after a long day and lets be honest some tasks are a bit monotonous. So as he went about his work he was singing reasonably quietly to himself but he was really putting a performance on of what I assume to be a favourite of his...

What was it?

Me and Mrs Jones mostly associated with Billy Paul.

Its the little things that make me smile.

Monday, February 10, 2014

I Do Like Tomatoes...

I would not have said that years ago...I ate almost a complete container of cherry tomatoes last night. And for supper a chicken pie with creamy sauce and some oven chips...

Today, I think its salad all the way perhaps with a jacket potato? And some of one of the sandwich fillers I purchased on Friday. Fruit during the day...

No alcohol last night...a small Pepsi(the club doesn't sell Coke)and the second drink was just tonic water.

No, I didn't win anything either.

Considering the suffering many people in the UK are going through with floods in my own area the weather is quite mild. But I am sure there will be pockets of local flooding in surrounding areas. We have been lucky this time.

A kind of warm jacket I have had for years has had zip on a pocket break(missing teeth)its not worth attempting to replace/repair nor throw the jacket away so I'll put up with it. If I can find a decent replacement or one in a charity shop I may treat myself. I'll have a look over the coming days...I don't want to spend a lot of money

Update:I can't add to the above post for today because I have done so little...avoided going out for the sake of doing so, today was mainly sleeping. I don't beat myself up over that because I must need it and it allows me to more on other days and when you sleep generally you are at peace so it also helps heal you mentally.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Lost A Reader And Criticised...

Sorry to see that on both counts...

I have responded to all comments the same way and yes published them even if I find them late. I did not see these particular comments on this occasion either. Finding them amongst an area I was unaware of...these things happen I guess. So it appeared that I had avoided posting it. And even with my security measures, some spam is getting through so just as well the moderation is still in place. And to some extent I do take some of this to heart, I don't just dismiss criticism as meaningless.

Update:Anyhow, I gave in and went out around 8pm, I had to get out, at least I hit a point where the wind had dropped, the rain had stopped and wasn't that cold.

Basics purchased fruit(bananas/blueberries/apples/honeydew melon)vegetables(iceberg lettuce/cherry tomatoes/spring onions)bread/bread buns/cheese twists. I don't know what has happened but the supermarket was practically out of any salad items. I struggled to get what I needed. Good job I had gone elsewhere first where they had more in stock and were cheaper even though they were not reduced because of their dates. I am now thinking perhaps the shelves were empty because of the floods affecting what is available and deliveries.

I went down the cheap route tonight and came back with four pots of sandwich fillers...thinking I can make rolls/sandwiches, put it on toast or perhaps have a jacket potato. There were some new flavours too(chicken and stuffing/chicken and bacon/chicken and herb/all day breakfast)I got to thinking I could put some of those on a jacket potato when I have one.

I have also remembered I have another turkey joint to cook so I shall do that tomorrow. That gives me a few options.

I won a bottle of cider in a raffle earlier in the week so I have had that, its close on 10pm and I am now cosy, rested and yes in bed listening to the radio again...but though its quite a boring night I am out for the next few all being well...the bingo tomorrow, music club Tuesday, a concert on Wednesday and yes bingo again on Thursday.

I shall have a good wash and shave tomorrow too and tidy myself up a bit.

I'm Awake...

but cannot complain because I did have quite a session of sleep. However, I did have what would be considered a weird nightmarish dream which brought me back to consciousness. I don't remember much of it but I know there was blood and animals. The context was strange and I was thinking...why? But as I type I think that I have worked that out for myself.

I use Twitter quite a bit and...recently there have been lots of images posted via a new way of putting them there which often means the images are open and they involve animal cruelty. I bet that is the reason why.

As I am awake I debating as it is unnecessary should I stay in or get ready and go somewhere even just for an hour or two. There are only a few places and I know them so well and its just going around shops. Or I can rest and stay indoors. But am I wasting time?  Then again it is still Winter.

I'll probably just go to the supermarket and at best buy some bread/milk.

Scratch that...the weather is so horrible I've stayed put. Not even going to the supermarket. Had dreams that were weird(only flashes remain)but this time my mum and two uncles were somewhere in that mix.

Friday, February 07, 2014

Not That Bad...

thank heavens at present...its not raining, isn't windy and my little inexpensive thermometer says approx 26c(80f)in bed, well its less than that but that's the heat being radiated around my body. Cosy.

I have chicken pies to use, vegetables too so I guess that's taken care of my choice of food for today...

But as I type the thought of scrambled eggs(or should that be fried or poached eggs?)is in my mind with something else. Perhaps over the weekend I shall have what appears to be known as a full english...but what to include in the selection? Baked beans, tomatoes, bacon, mushrooms, sausages. I did have a few such meals when Mum passed away and enjoyed them but its been over a year now.

Update:Getting ready to have something. Seems a bit colder for some reason, not quite sure why, may stick another clothes item on to stay warm in bed or make up a hot water bottle.

Avoided going out for the sake of it.

So the Winter Olympics have started in Russia. Don't hate me but I won't be watching, then again I avoided the Summer Olympics in the UK in 2012. It was probably ever thus but they are too tied up in the world of politics and are used by Governments often to hide a lot of things that should not be happening socially and economically they put on a glossy image for their own people and the world at large. If it happens on events like this what else is going on?

For those who do enjoy, that's fine.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Quiet Day...

I have been living on bread and Marmite today(well the supermarket version)I can and do avoid too much butter/margarine but if I like it...I have it. I've come this far and I won't worry now. I was always fairly careful diet wise and still came away with kidney damage, loss of my teeth and other health issues so why worry now. Mum was similarly affected health wise eventually. And though a little more expensive I do like Clover so always looking for any that are on offer.

I was slightly late to the bingo, only missed one game but I did win a line so clawed back £4 of what I spent. With the bingo, tea, bag of crisps and taxi the night was approx £8 and the win halved that amount. If I had been on time and avoided the taxi I could have broke even. A totally free night. Remind me not to stay at home until the last possible minute.

Purchased some tomatoes whilst waiting for the taxi so I can have some salads again...Been in bed already for approx 90 minutes and am reasonably cosy. I have a habit of "Dropping off" without realising that I have and wake to find something I am listening to on the radio has moved on or my laptop is still on my knees.

Legs are going to give me trouble tonight I suspect, bit of the either cannot get comfortable or restless. Will see how it goes.

Update:Went better than expected but I may have a snooze during the morning.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

I So Hope That I Shall See...

this beauty in approx one weeks time when it is on show at the Railway Museum in Shildon with another five or six iconic railway engines. Many will be returning to countries around the world so it could be the last time we shall see them altogether in one location.

Such Weather...

Think I am staying indoors, I can manage. Nowhere as bad as other parts of the UK. Some areas flooded for over 5 weeks now and yesterday I was watching a video of a train stranded at Dawlish and the rail line runs within feet of the sea and it was coming over the train.

Today, that line is washed away and hanging without any support and it is said it will take months to repair**

Embedded image permalink

Lots of views here both sad and spectacular.

A day for something warm in the old tummy...I will start with porridge and perhaps a chicken pie/vegetables and potatoes for the evening meal.

When I came in from the music club I managed to put a quick salad together with added fish and chips.

Now I await the computer repairman to see how easy/difficult it will be to fix the laptop and how expensive. Whether it can be repaired here or needs to be taken away.

Update:That's the laptop fixed and £20 lighter...I'm fine, reasonably cosy in bed. Can't hear any bad weather outside. And I am seriously fine but so far have not eaten anything. *May have a microwaveable type of soup/meal that I happen to have in the cupboard later(needs using up)it will be warm, filling and reasonably tasty.

*I had the following with some bread, it was actually a year over its Best Before Date and tasted fine.

** I have since heard a newspaper report from around one hundred years ago and the same thing happened in Dawlish so history does have a habit of repeating itself.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Thirty Years Ago Today...

my father passed away. I was not writing a blog back then. However, I am sure that I did write about my Dad and his illness. Taken by cancer and it wasn't good(if it ever can be)but he was at home except for the last twelve hours and had Mum and myself known how close it was perhaps we would have done all that we could've to keep him in his home.

Which in hindsight(and if anyone has read back)I would have preferred to have Mum here in the home that she loved and I know that I could've continued to make her final days comfortable and stress free, at a push we could have had extra care even from charities that deal with those who are terminally ill. In the end it felt as though you battling for your loved one, for your own acceptance of the situation and against authority figures who don't always know what's best.

I hope that I can take it easy and be reflective, that nothing spoils it.

No plans for going out other than the Music Club in the evening.

Update:Oh great, that's all I need, looks like my laptop has been infected with a virus or Trojan program so more expense. I hope I don't lose my files and it doesn't cost too much to fix. Especially with a limited income.

Not Saying That I Will Never Eat...

pasta in all its different incarnations as I understand it can be good for you and is part of the infamous Mediterranean diet. But I have come to conclusion that I don't like it. The only one I can getaway with is spaghetti and generally that is the kind that comes in a can rather than the kind that you cook yourself.

I'm not a picky eater and will try just about anything put in front of me. I have even found myself returning to some items that I have not tried in many years. Off the top of my head the only other items I am likely to avoid knowingly would be offal(though occasionally I have eaten kidney and liver but that's rare) and I don't ever see me being persuaded to eat oysters, cockles, muscles, scallops and octopus. Otherwise pretty well everything else is up for grabs. That still leaves a lot of fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, grains, cereals and dairy items. So all that would stop me is if my body and Dr says no.

I've caught up on bits and pieces so will get back to proper meals today rather than snacking.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Slept Well...

after the usual Sunday visit to the bingo and turn. Some as you'd expect are better than others. He thought he was good...but hey, its free. If you take away the cost of any drinks and a £1 admission fee.

Once a week I have taken to having a little extra alcohol. Not the rest of the week. It lightens the mood and relaxes me. I never was a big drinker. Last night it was vodka and orange.

I used up what was left of our little buffet when I came home, it was simple fare...some cheese, cheese twists, a ham roll, plum tomatoes.

Today, I'm thinking salad rolls during the day and perhaps something warm for the evening meal.

Listening to a thoughtful Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4, first instalment of Where Memories Go: Why Dementia Changes Everything by Sally Magnusson. The fear is that more of us will be affected and if not ourselves we wlll see more of our loved ones with this affliction. So yes we live longer thanks to medical intervention but at what cost? I think I can see signs that suggest my own Mum was showing signs on top of everything else.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

All Done And Dusted...

I left home around 5.45pm and called into Aldi's for some sweets in case I got a tickle in the throat during the concert. As it happened...I didn't so most of them came home with me. I had some time to wait for the bus so I sat on the seat and ate my sandwiches(red salmon and cucumber)and crispy sticks.

I ended up taking a litre bottle of soda water that I happened to have in the house.

I arrived in Durham around 7pm and was in my theatre seat by 7.15pm. I should have played safe and probably caught an earlier bus but all was well. Three rows from the front and centre. I don't believe there is a bad view from anywhere in the building. And plenty of leg room.

Now considering how my neighbour has occasionally criticised me playing the TV(as she calls it)too loud(never did when Mum was alive)I have to laugh because the opposite is true. I had earplugs in for the show(even the performers do that)and coming home on the bus the passengers were babbling so much I put the earplugs in for the journey home.

The concert was very loud even with the plugs in...

So it started at 7.30pm and Gerry Marsden's backing band started the night and then Gerry walked on stage. They still call the band The Pacemakers but none of them are from the original line up. We did not get any stories as I expected but what would be called banter between Gerry and his band and the audience. And there is that "Cheeky" Liverpool attitude often part of the attraction of many of the bands of the 60's that came out of that city.

We had some of his hits of the time but a lot of more recent material associated with singers like Bette Midler and The Eagles. Can I remember any of what I heard? "I'm The One" "I Like It" "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" "I'll Be There" "You'll Never Walk Alone" "Ferry Cross The Mersey" "Its Gonna Be Alright" "Great Balls Of Fire" "Jambalaya" "Peaceful Easy Feeling"(Not bad for a quick list from memory)

My photos aren't great because I refuse to use flash that will annoy others and often images are blured and yet others using mobiles just seem to shoot without any problem.

I tried to get an  idea of when the show would end to help me regarding the bus home and was told to expect it to end around 10pm. It ended around 9.30pm. And that included a twenty minute interval. Gerry and the band came into the foyer and gave their time(unrushed)to meet the audience, have photo's taken, sign DVD's and CD's the audience were well behaved and formed an orderly queue. He was still there when I took my leave. They are staying locally in what used to be known as a pit village just on the outskirts of Durham called Pity Me. Approx 5 minutes away.

When he came into the foyer Gerry was probably around my height or just slightly taller. I'd guess around 5' 4" to 5' 6" I don't do metric...

It was a very enjoyable night and well received.

I was home by 11pm and by 11.30pm I was eating a small supper(an unidentified ready meal)I had taken out of the freezer to make space for something else. I still have no idea what it was but I know it had some potato wedges, chicken pieces and a kind of tomato base with little pieces of what looked like peppers. Probably tasted better than it looks.

And I am now in bed, cosy, fed and rested. Listening to Bob Harris on Radio 2 who is being on the nostalgic kick as tomorrow(well today now)it is the 55th anniversary of the air crash that saw the demise of Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper(JP Richardson)and Ritchie Valens.

Saturday, February 01, 2014


wet. cold, windy day but in the next couple of hours I set off for a concert starring the 60's pop star Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers singing songs from his musical career and telling anecdotes of his career.

Not sure when the show is expected to end so I am unsure if I have to leave early to catch the last bus home, whether it will end leaving me enough time to get from the theatre to the bus station, whether to order a taxi and wait until one is available(being a Saturday night they'll be busy)get a bus that will get me nearer to home and is 45 minutes later/try and get a taxi from there. I can't find my mobile phone's charger and the power is getting down.

Or bite the bullet and pay a silly amount of money to get home(whilst that is possible)and just enjoy myself...we'll see.

I will take a pack of sandwiches with me and I have some of my salt and vinegar crispy sticks remaining so if I can find a small bottle to put a drink in(or buy a bottle of water on the way to the theatre)I'll be ok.

Perhaps I'll take a small packet of sweets just in case I get a tickle in the throat and being so close to the front of the stage I don't want that to happen. I'd love to take a picture but whether I can/allowed to depends on the artist and the policy of the theatre.

So I'm away to get shaved and dressed.

Update:I could've taken photo's all night. Stuck to only a few and some are not as good as hoped. Good enough for my blog. I will post them on the next entry. Gerry is approachable/not precious and nor is the theatre in Durham unlike some in the area.

A Sleepy Kind Of Day...

but I did go out...perhaps I will tomorrow.(Update:I am out tomorrow after all, I have a concert to see in Durham and nearly forgot about it. More later)

Firstly today, I had to make an appointment to see my Dr. You phone the surgery at 8am and hope you get into the queue. I made who knows how many calls. The line was engaged and so it was a case of last number redial, cut the connection and go through that procedure for approx 15 minutes. I'm guessing at least ten calls per minute. At least it is a free number again.

He's happy with my progress and has continued my medication(you know that I am on a mild AD)so mild that I could be doing the work myself but if it is helping, I don't care. I am more my normal nature and who I have been most of my life. But I am in control and do not feel fuzzy or like a zombie.

On Monday(and this is not being reported outside of the UK)and very little in the UK but the government are to give access to our medical records virtually to whoever wants them and trying to say our anonymity is protected and the leaflet explaining what's happening manages to make it seem as though everything is fine. If you don't opt out, your details are shared. Many Dr's are unhappy about the changes.

I kept it simple today...

Mugs of weak coffee(was going to buy some fancy coffee)but settled for some supermarket value brand and have 200g for £1(US $1.64)its good enough for me, I treated myself to a small bottle of vodkashocked 11  So the money saved on the coffee was a bit like reducing the vodka by £2(US $3.29)I won't be drinking every day and it makes my cocktails(say a coke and vodka)come in at around 50p(US 82c)a glass which is approx £1.70(US $2.79)cheaper than in a pub.

I found some reduced sandwiches so all I have had tonight was two chicken and stuffing wholemeal sandwiches with a tomato, spring onions and some salt and vinegar crispy sticks. And a cherry yogurt.

I don't feel too bad tonight and I have checked the temperature in bed and its a cosy 24c(76f)against the colder room temp.

I wondered how today was going to be as early this morning before I started making my calls to the Dr's and putting the wheelie bin out for collection, I had that awful feeling that I have not had for a very long time where you feel as though you(sorry about this)want to throw up. But thankfully I shook the feeling off pretty quickly.