Tag Archives: Julia

Return to Cromer

Cromer Pier – Julia took it with her phone. Annoyingly it is better than the shot I took when we last visited, and I used a camera.

Julia has returned from her jolly to Norfolk. She reports that the Fish and Chip Restaurant where we dined is still there but has dialled itself back to be a top-class purveyor of ordinary fish and chips. It was more complicated when we dined there and though it was a great place to eat, we felt the experience of eating less common fish (she had some form of dogfish and I had hake) left something to be desired. There is a reason why cod and haddock are popular and the others are rarely seen. Fish and Chips at Cromer

Cromer – on our last visit

I said in my original post that Julia said she would go back again. I said I probably wouldn’t. Five years later (five years – where does the time go?) we both did what we said.

I notice that I also referred to the hake as tasting very fishy. I was being polite. It gets great write-ups in fish recipe sites for having a superior flavor to cod but this wasn’t my experience. It might have been a bad bit of fish, as I remember it as verging on unpleasant. I suppose I would see it differently if I had hake that needed selling.

The top picture is from No 1 Son. Julia put it on her Facebook page and several people wrote in to say it was awesome to see her in this seagoing gear. Others realised she was just sticking her head through a hole in a board. This goes some way to confirm my suspicions about the intelligence of many Facebook users.

They went round the Henry Blogg Museum while they were there. That was what led to Julia sticking her head though the board (she can’t resist them, I have several others like this somewhere) plus the stained glass window shot.

Although Henry Blogg is the famous one, there were many heroic lifeboatmen. Mainly they were modest men who performed acts of great gallantry on dark nights in raging seas, sometimes after rowing for hours to get there. If they’d have done it in daylight with drums and flags they would be a lot better known. maybe somebody should write a blog post on the subject.


Another Report from Sunday

It’s been cold today and Julia has been stopped by the police. Twice. I’m ambivalent about which is the most important thing to lead with. Early winter? My wife’s secret life as a delinquent? Tricky.

Julia went down to the laundrette and was, as I may have mentioned, stopped twice. I may have to stop writing “SWAG” on the laundry bag. The first pair stopped her and asked her name. The second pair stopped her about quarter of  mile away and again asked her name. When she was asked the second time she asked why she was being stopped and they said they were looking for a woman answering her description. The description? “Wearing a green top”. Some days you just have to stand back in wonder and admire the complexity of modern policing methods. I mean, all those years of police know-how and training and the best they can do is ask “May I ask your name?” On the second stop she nearly said “Yes.” just to see how things would go. But being a good and sensible citizen, she told them without sarcasm. It seems that they were looking for  woman who had been reported missing.

It wasn’t me. I’d registered she was taking longer than usual but she’d made bacon sandwiches before going out and I was writing, so the quiet time was a bonus. I know how to use a kettle so it’s unlikely I’d have considered her “missing” until the washing up bowl became full.

Meanwhile, and more seriously, I hope they find the missing woman

. Unfortunately, despite all the news on the internet, they never seem to report things like that.


Julia on the patio

Today I am using two relatively sophisticated photographs of Julia.


Holiday Day 2 Part 2

The Trees of Sherwood Forest

More Trees of Sherwood Forest

Sunday Sunbeams in Sherwood Forest

Those are links to three posts I did about Sherwood Forest. Some of them seem to be in galleries, so must date from the time I struggled with the new editor. Looking at them I wonder if it my be worth trying again. I just wish they would leave it alone and would keep it simple. I’m here to write, not to become computer literate to keep up with constantly changing systems. My brain is not wired like that.

However, I haven’t come here to complain about WP and modern life.

I just came here to add some links to blogs about Sherwood Forest. I’m sure there must be more, but I have probably omitted the word “Sherwood” from the titles.

Julia is not happy with me. We have, as I may have mentioned once or twice, been married 33 years. Two nights ago she dreamed that I was conduct an affair with another women. This is clearly not a likely scenario as I am a man of great fidelity. I am also lazy, bad at lying and, to be frank, look more like a tramp than a paramour.

What she really took offence a was the fact that I described her as s “squeaky guinea pig”. I pointed out that it was her dream and she couldn’t blame me for what I did in her dream. It clearly irked her though, as she kept going back to it.

It would have been better if I hadn’t added, after holding this conversation half a dozen times, that if I were to describe her as anything in the pet line it would be a hamster because although they are small and squeaky, they are also cutely rotund. I won’t make that mistake again.

And I definitely won’t do my impression of a hamster using my fingers to form cheek pouches.

I thought I’d add some pictures of her looking glamorous to try and dig myself out of this one.

Julia – looking sophisticated in Bakewell

A Less Swollen Eye

At 4.20 this morning (after returning from a bathroom trip) I decided to show some husbandly concern for Julia’s face and asked her if she was awake. Apparently she wasn’t, as I had to ask her four times before she answered. It seems that her face was still aching. This seemed to be causing her some distress as she was quite grumpy and not at all as happy as a woman with a thoughtful and concerned husband ought to be.

By breakfast time the pain had subsided a little, as had the grumpiness. though the swelling persisted and she had trouble opening the eye. I suggested she should ring the doctor but she had a meeting this morning and decided to be brave. By the evening the swelling and pain had  subsided further, but there was enough left for me to take the moral high ground about doctors and cold compresses and lecture her on taking care of her health. It was a pleasant change not to be on the receiving end of this one. For some reason she became more grumpy.

It is now around 10.00pm and things continue to improve. She sends her thanks to everyone for their best wishes. There is still some swelling but the irritation, she tells me, continues.  It is possible that she is referring to the sting, but she has dropped the occasional comment about people waking her in the middle of the night, so it’s also a possibility that she is bearing a grudge . . .

I’m hoping that things continue to improve tomorrow, but as life seems so complicated these days we will have to wait and see, I will keep you posted.




Day 16

Got up after a lie in and had to unfold my back. The two are linked, but I don’t want to buy a new mattress until the end of the year, as we have to do some building and other dusty stuff. I have a couple of weeks of sleep troubled only by an ancient bladder and dreams of old age and poverty, Then I have a week of being troubled by the inability to straighten up when I( wake. It isn’t too bad, just takes ten minutes longer to get up.  After that it seems to pass off again.

Julia has been ill since Friday, but it seems to be passing today. We think it might be diet related and a few days of light diet and no cheese seem to have done the trick. She was particularly subdued yesterday when I got home from work, which is not like her. “No cheese” is my general treatment for all abdominal pain, and often seems to work. I had trouble with IBS about thirty years ago. The doctor told me that he would tell me to give up smoking but the resulting stress would probably be just as bad for me. That was in the days when doctors gave realistic and practical advice. He also told me that a cup of tea and two cigarettes was not a nutritionally sound way to start the day.

I started eating proper breakfasts, gave up smoking and put on weight. However, with that and a certain amount of caution regarding cheese. This gives me the moral high ground when it comes to lecturing Julia about her health. I fully intend to take advantage of this.

The photo is from January 2017. She was, as I recall, making some cutting remark about the statue being similar in build to me. Ah, good times!

A New Policy

I’m starting a new policy from today. I may not do it for all posts, but I’m imposing a thirty minute limit on writing a post for most of them, and this may include adding tags and photos. On the best of days tags and photos seem to take ten minutes so it may involve just writing for 20 minutes.

Photos for today are Julia posing in the front garden with a word. The word is “WE”. I’m not sure what the message will eventually spell, but this is Julia’s part of it. I would have liked to have drawn the word “EVIL” and stood next to her. My design would have to include a small stripy insect so that it could serve as a warning to gardeners about the evils of weevils. I know I keep saying this, but if I ever get round to writing that series of crime fiction I keep muttering about, I think I’ve found the title for the book that features gardeners.

As we did the photographs we also watched the neighbours from the corners of our eyes – they were holding some sort of three way conversation – two in the gardens and one on the footpath. They weren’t quite, to my eye, six feet apart, but young people are so careless.

For their part, they looked out of the corners of their eyes at the two elderly eccentrics taking pictures of a piece of paper in the front garden.

If WP continue down the slippery slope of the New Editor it may be that I only write twenty words per post, the rest of the time being devoted to struggling with technology and swearing at the computer.

Nothing much has happened apart from that. On the other hand, it’s only just coming up to 4pm. There is time yet.

I spoke to my sister by telephone this morning because we are are not technological enough to Skype or Zoom or any of that stuff. Ideally I would write, using a fountain pen and sitting at a desk in my study, but I’m too lazy to do it regularly and end up having to wash the pen before use. By the time I’ve done that I normally either forget about it or send an email instead.


Part of a lockdown message project

The letters in Julia’s photos may ring a few bells. The “W” is designed to look like a water melon and the “E” is an elephant.

The alarm just went. Four hundred words in twenty minutes. They didn’t take much thought or research so it wasn’t too hard. Time to add tags and photos.

P.S. – the shop owner rang today. We will be having a meeting on Friday to discuss the resumption of eBay work in the shop. We may hold the meeting in the open air to avoid breaking too many guidelines. However, we won’t be open to the public for a while yet.

Photos and tags didn’t take too long, so it’s all done and dusted in 30 minutes. I wonder if that will ever happen again…

P.P.S. – my contributor’s copy of Medal News arrived today with a cheque. I’m beginning to like this writing business.

All’s Right With the World

Having gone to bed just before midnight, I found myself awake and ready to creak into action just before 7am. There’s something inevitable about it. As a result, I will potter about until mid-afternoon. If I make the mistake of sitting down in front of TV I will then sleep. I don’t know why, but 3pm on a Sunday just seems to be made for sleeping.

It is now 8am and, having just discovered that I’ve left my camera at the shop, I am muttering at the computer screen and using this quiet sliver of time to blog.

Julia has had her weekly lie-in (she calls it that to make me feel guilty about my sluggardly habits) and is moving around upstairs.

She will be down soon, disturbing my day by pressing cups of tea on me and asking if I would like her to wash my shirts. She means well but seems unable to understand that a creative artist needs time and space in which to write.

I do need tea and clean shirts, but I want them to appear magically rather than have to answer questions about them when I’m pursuing my career as a 21st century Samuel Pepys.

At this time of the week I like to mull over events and draw lessons from them.

In this case the events of the week were uneventful and I learned that I didn’t know much.

I did manage to work the word “skullduggery” into an eBay description, the first time I’ve used it in writing in my life, though I’m still deciding how to spell it. There are choices. This might be the first time I’ve used the word “orthography” in writing too. I don’t recall using it before, but why would you, when “spelling” is just as good for most purposes?

It cropped up in something I was reading during the week and I thought, “I’ve never used the word “orthography” in writing.” Now I’ve used it twice.

I read it in a book about Shakespeare. I doubt that he ever used it, but if he did it would have been ironic, in that he would probably have spelt it in several different ways. The Elizabethans did that, and Shakespeare was hard pressed to spell his own name the same way twice.

Just some old photos again, due to lack of camera. The title comes from the fact that, miserable as I am, there can’t be much wrong with life when Julia is making cups of tea and I still have new words to use.

Even if I only have a picture of a cup of coffee.

Help, get me out of here!

Help, get me out of here!

The Scone Chronicles – XV

Another one with no scones.

We’ve not been out much recently, partly because Julia has been making me give books away (or “declutter” as she likes to call it) and partly because we are trying to economise. Despite my lottery win we are still adjusting to Julia only having one job.

On Friday, we decided to treat ourselves to a McDonald’s breakfast. It’s not something to boast about, but as they serve 3.5 million customers a day in the UK it’s not like I’m alone in my poor diet choice. The problem, of course, was that I’d already had one on Monday. One a month is acceptable, one a week is borderline. Two a week is a source of shame.

Anyway, as we haven’t had scones recently, I decided that this would have to do.

Sausage and Egg McMuffin

Sausage and Egg McMuffin

It’s difficult, when looking at a Sausage and Egg McMuffin, to work out where the sausage element is.

British sausage (bangers) recipe.

These are sausages. Proper British breakfast sausages.

It’s also difficult, having read that it was inspired by Eggs Benedict, to actually see the similarity, apart from the egg and muffin.  That’s a bit like calling a bicycle a horse and cart just because it has wheels and a saddle.

Despite this, the sausage and egg McMuffin, particularly with the addition of BBQ Sauce and black pepper is a good start to the day.

The best bit is probably the chance to sit and talk for a while. Too many of our mornings are spent rushing about, and it worries me that Julia doesn’t see enough of me. That’s why I took the final photograph – I thought you’d like to see a picture of a woman spending quality time with her loved one. Note that I got us the best table, just by the toilet door.

Help, get me out of here!

Help, get me out of here!

Things That Worry Me

Number One – my teeth disintegrating. As you may know, I’m in for a tooth extraction tomorrow (despite the fact it’s barely twinged since I went to the dentist about it).

I have been thinking I was over-reacting, but last night it started aching again and I’m now very keen on having it removed. It’s been going on a while so it’s time to be decisive.

For the last few months I seem to have been finding a lot of chalky bits in my mouth. It’s worrying, particularly after I had one disintegrate a couple of years back.

I seem to spend a lot of the evening finding bits of chalk in my mouth, which is bad news, and has been occupying my thoughts far too much. However, I realised what it is a couple of days ago. It’s the chalky bits from the tablets I take every night.

Number Two – plumbing. The house’s plumbing, not mine. Mine is way down the list. In winter I always worry about the plumbing. We’ve been here 30 years, we’ve had a couple of plumbing problems, but nothing we can’t cope with. But I spend several weeks each year worrying about it. It’s a Christmas tradition.



As you can see from the black spot in the duck picture I’m using the old camera. I’ll explain why in a later post. The spot only shows when you use the zoom.

Number Three – cocking up Christmas. A month before Christmas Julia starts refusing to tell me what she wants as a present. Then, a week or two later, she hands me a wad of cash and tells me the whole Christmas holiday depends on me. Then, just as we reach the posting deadline for Amazon, she tells me what she wants.

I wake up at night sweating at the idea of disappointing Julia or failing to produce Christmas dinner.

It was quite relaxing spending last Christmas in Suffolk, though I did worry about the plumbing a lot while we were away.

A number of you are probably shouting “death” at the blog. This, I hope, is a comment on the fear of death, rather than a critical reaction to my blogging.

Well, to be honest, I’m not much afraid of death. At 60 I can still pretend it’s a long way off. Anyway, compared to the stress of Christmas, death isn’t that bad.


This afternoon, to avert the chance of a disappointed wife, I took a trip to Bakewell, where I visited an excellent jeweller, ate a hot turkey sandwich and was shown how to avoid paying 20 pence to use the toilet. I saw “shown” as I’m not admitting to anything…

I can show you the shop but as she reads the blog I can’t picture the things I bought. I may show them on Boxing Day. Prepare to be surprised by my lack of imagination.


It’s Christmas…


Home for 4.30.

The days can be short in winter…

In which the day takes a turn for the worse…

I was third in at the phlebotomist, which was about the last thing that went right with the blood testing.

“Hello,” said the smiling young lady, “my name is Lucretia, and I’m a trainee phlebotomist.  Is it alright if I take your blood?”

She wasn’t actually called Lucretia, but I’ve changed names to protect identities.

The whole idea of going to the hospital to be stabbed in the arm is that they are experts and only need to stab once. However, everyone has to learn so I smiled and submitted.

After being stabbed in both arms, I was passed over to a more experienced taker of blood, who nailed it in one.

And that, it would be nice to think, was where it ended.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

After a day of sticking stamps and scanning medallions I got a telephone call from the surgery, telling me, in a slightly panicky way, that the anticoagulant clinic required me to take a test urgently on Friday morning. I’m now booked in for a test at 8.40 tomorrow morning to see what all the fuss is about.

When I find out I’ll let you know.

I’m off to pick Julia up from work now and see how she’s survived her first full day back at work (a day in the gardens followed by an evening as a receptionist).  Then I have to break the news that I won’t be able to take her to work tomorrow because I’m in for more blood tests…