Tag Archives: lottery


Interesting day in the shop. It started with me arriving early to find all the parking had gone, and as I parked to cause maximum possible inconvenience to the people using our spaces one left, which left me with a dilemma. Continue to cause maximum inconvenience, or grab the slot and secure a parking space for the day with no need to move or argue.

I decided to park in the newly available space. As it was, we had a customer later and he blocked the bad mannered parkers in, so the woman in the big black car was still put to some inconvenience when she wanted to move. This is good, as it may make her think twice about parking outside the shop again. However, I know it probably won’t, as most people who park in our spaces think they have some sort of right to do it. Like the one who told me “I pay my taxes . . .”

Until then I didn’t know you could pay a tax that allowed you to park where you want (I am, of course being sarcastic here, as we don’t).

Bamforth comic card

The photo has nothing to do with the subject of the blog but I saw it whilst searching and thought I’d put it in.

We had a couple of questions – one surprisingly clear and one, unsurprisingly, the ramblings of a man who appears to think e can fill in the gaps with our mind-reading skills. He wants to know if he can offer us £50 for a coin. Well, I can’t stop him. What he really means, in his woolly-headed way is is if we will accept £50 for a coin. Confused? Me too. Traditionally questions like this come with a little more information, like which coin. He has obviously got one in mind on a drop down menu. Coins on the menu start at £35. I would be happy to sell him a £35 coin for £50, but I don’t think that’s what he has in mind. Most of the coins on the menu are £85 to £100. I imagine that is what he is thinking of. If we were making so much money we could afford to offer that level of discount I’d have retired years ago.

Harlow Carr Gardens – this may be too ambitious as a retirement project, but you need to have ambition.

At this point my thoughts always turn to winning the lottery and installing bollards that go up and down so we could keep people out of our spaces. Of course, what I always miss in this scenario is that if  won enough money to even think about retractable bollards, parking at work would no longer be an issue. Actually, I just checked. You can buy a cheap bollard (retractable or folding) for as little a £60, though I wouldn’t really trust an eBay dealer with my security needs. Around £100 labour to fit, they say, but it’s probably more. It’s always more . . .

There are, of course, more expensive choices.

However, getting back to the main question – if I won a significant sum on the Lottery would I let it change my life. Yes, I certainly would. Now that I’m on the verge of retirement I am getting impatient. I’ve just been looking up garden sheds, greenhouses and raspberry canes. Once I get a flat and easy to maintain garden I am going to take more interest. There are too many steps and slopes in our current one.

It’s strange what a difference a few months makes. When I first realised it was looming I grew afraid of retirement. Now I can’t wait.

Fat Rascal at Harlow Carr. In retirement I am going to do more baking. I may even buy a mixer to do the difficult bits.


Day 176

Went to bed early as part of my new healthy lifestyle. Got up several times in the night as not all parts of my body are buying into my new health regime. Woke up with a stiff back and the feeling that the old way was easier.

In the shop things were quiet. had a half day and took Julia to KFC. Well, you have to taper into this health thing. You can’t just dive in and be completely healthy in an instant. Back at home I fell asleep in front of TV, which could be a sign that spending longer in bed is no guarantee of better sleep.

Country Life has, as usual sent me an email with properties in it. If I have £50 million I can buy a “well-known sporting estate” near Newmarket. It has two farms, commercial property and a big field of solar panels, and has an income of over £500,000 a year. This demonstrates that is is far better to be born into a wealthy family than it is to win the lottery. Even if I did win the £140 million on offer with the Euromillions next week I’m not sure I’d want to blow s so much on a house.

I suppose the acid test of character is what you would do if you suddenly came into possession of £140 million. Would you buy an electric car, a compact energy efficient home and spend your time doing good works? Or would you buy a red Ford Mustang, head off for the South of France with your wife and send a text message to work telling them not to expect you back until the money ran out?

You’ve probably guessed from the level of detail that I have failed the test of character.

Tonight’s lottery only has a £4 million prize, but even so, it’s enough to fail the character test. Charity can have my money when I’m gone, a process I will be happy to accelerate with fast cars and good living. However, first I need to win . . .




Day 169

I won on the Lottery last night – £2.60. That’s enough to buy another ticket and have 10p left over. There’s not much I can do with 10p – can’t send a letter, can’t invest it and I’m not allowed sweets.

Fate seems to keep dangling the prospect of riches just outside my grasp.

If I do win big I’m going to buy an electric tandem and employ someone to pedal it for me if the battery runs out. I am a man of modest ambitions.

We finished the hoovering this morning, tidied under the workstations and washed the doors of the kitchen units, which I forgot to do yesterday. It’s looking smart for its inspection on Monday. All we need to do is polish the counter tops.

There was plenty of time for cleaning because we weren’t interrupted by many customers. We didn’t actually sell anything though the shop, but fortunately eBay came to the rescue with a steady stream of small sales during the day. This was fortunate, as very little sold over the last two nights. It’s been a quiet week, but with holidays, sun and constant talk of a cost of living crisis it’s not surprising people are holding back a bit.

It always makes me laugh when people on TV talk about a cost of living crisis. I’ve seen what they are paid, and it’s clear that we employ different definitions of the words. When you are paid this sort of money, the term “crisis” means cutting down on caviar so you can keep the kids in private education. When you are paid minimum wage, it’s a little harder to deal with.

However, that’s a discussion for a different day. Today is all about us having a clean shop and me winning the lottery.



Somebody just won the £184,000,000 lottery prize I was hoping for. I hope they will be very happy. I know I would be. Yes, there will be problems with being so rich, but I’m sure most of us would be happy to put up with them.

Most of the problems could be solved by having an accountant and a butler, and with that sort of money you should have no problem recruiting staff.

I just searched for a link to that to check my facts and see that Adidas had an advert for a sports bra banned because it shows pictures of naked breasts. I had to search for an example of the advert because most of the stories seem afraid to use it in an unblurred fashion. This blogging stuff is hard work, but I am prepared to do it for my readers.

As a result, I am able to report that I don’t find the  poster objectifies women, causes me any offence, or makes me want to buy a sports bra. It does make me think that while I have been frittering my time away, I have missed out on a worthwhile career.

On the other hand, despite frittering my life away, it could have been worse. I could have been an advertising executive, or I could have been a lawyer. With recent high profile legal cases like the Johnny Depp defamation case and the Rebekah Vardy social media case, I have a new found feeling of contempt for lawyers, and celebrities, and social media.

Remember that reporting of these cases is making the front pages where the UK’s declaration of support for Sweden and Finland, the war in Ukraine and the shooting of a reporter in Palestine.

There must be a whole academic area to be researched around this subject. What weighting do we give the antics of worthless celebrities compared to the lives of people slaughtered by occupying military forces? How do we feel about a poster full of bare breasts compared to illegal military occupations? And, would you rather your kids grew up to be lawyers, celebrities or ruthless war criminals?

I think I may christen the new academic discipline The Index of Worthlessness and try to get myself a PhD in why most celebrities would do more good for the environment if we composted them instead of giving them airtime.

Featured image is honesty – I’ll let you add your own tag line.



Day 15

Day 16 is coming to a close as I finally get round to Day 15’s events.

Saturday (or Day 15 as I call it in my new, dull, boring fashion) was a day of little promise. It started misty and eventually cleared so that it was just grey and cold.

I rose a little later than is my habit during the week, grabbed my bag and got to the shop just in time to secure the last parking space by the shop. I then breakfasted on the sandwich I had prepared in advance.

An email the previous night had told me that I had a winning lottery ticket but at £3 I am going to let it change my life. Yes, I am back buying lottery tickets. I don’t buy many and I don’t smoke or drink so I feel that the occasional lottery ticket won’t break the bank. The best bit is that in the time between buying it and realising I have not won, I can dream of cruises in warm places.

I also dream of buying twenty or thirty old cars and abandoning them in places that will cause the most inconvenience to people who have annoyed me by parking badly by the shop or in the street. If I had money it probably wouldn’t make me a nicer person.

We had a few sales in the shop, including a multiple purchase from someone who bought four items that we had listed less than a week (two of them had only been listed in the hour before we went home on Friday (Day 14) recently and three that had been on for ages. It just goes to show the benefits of putting things on regularly, as it attracts people onto your site.

We also had a couple of customers in to buy things and several coming in to sell, so it was a pleasant enough day. If I hadn’t have been at work I wouldn’t have done much anyway, with the cold, damp weather and my disinclination to mix with people. (See Day 16, when written, for an account of such a day).

What happens to all that time?

Over the last few days I’ve found myself sitting looking at a computer screen in the evening wondering what has happened to the day.

Twelve hours pass, and I look at the jobs I’ve done and wonder what happened. (Yesterday was washing up, shredding two lots of paper, taking Julia to work and picking her up, blogging, writing a few haiku, reading a few haiku and making soup and a stir fry.) Even with a snooze and some TV it is hardly a full day.

Tomorrow I will sort books out because once the charity shops open again and customers start coming back to the shop I can start moving them on again. The car boot is absolutely crammed and there are bags of books in the back floor wells too. I also have them piling up at home.

It is a sad thing, but they had taken over and life is, I confess, more relaxing without so much stuff in the house. As a bonus, when we move (which is planned for some point in the next few years) we won’t have as much stuff to sort or move. We will be moving 150 miles, so the less we take, the better. I will probably have to give the kids our new address as Julia seems to want to keep them, but apart from that I’m aiming for a fresh start.

Country Life sent me the normal weekly email and, as long as I can manage an immoderate lottery win, I think I have found just the place for us. I mean, a library by Rennie Mackintosh, a herd of Highland cattle and fifteen bedrooms. That means you can have clean bedclothes every night for a fortnight before you need to start doing housework. If only it wasn’t just 500 yards away from Loch Lomond. I seem to recall it being famous for midges. and after my last experience with them I’m not sure I want another go.

That was how I used to organise myself as a bachelor- fifteen sets of everything and then do the laundry once a fortnight. It’s a good system.

However, talking of Lottery wins, it’s going to have to happen soon, as I’m going to stop buying Lottery Tickets. I never win so I might as well save the money and buy something useful. As of January 1st I’m going to drop the money in a jar and buy Premium Bonds.  There’s still a chance of winning a cash prize and you can actually get your money back when you want it.

Tree Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire - dramatic setting

Dreams of Lottery Wins

We didn’t, I must confess, get much work done today. Well, not much work of a decluttering nature. I spent most of the morning writing instead of working and Julia spent most of the day preparing for an art session she is running tomorrow. It won’t be appreciated by the organisation, though the clients will enjoy it. That seems to be the  way of things at the moment. Normally, when I dream of winning the lottery, I see myself giving a month’s notice and acting as a responsible employee should.

However, if we win enough (my normal £2 win won’t be enough, I’m afraid) I’m going to take great pleasure in listening to Julia’s end of the phone call where she rings up the morning after the win and hands in her notice instantly.

There’s a £70 million rollover on Friday. If I win that I will suggest that we retire early.

Then I locked my keyboard. Not entirely sure how I did it, but I did. The computer was supposed to be off but it switched itself on and when I got back to it, after stacking stuff all over the table, there were messages on the screen. One must have related to locking the keyboard, because that is what happened.

I got Julia to look up how to unlock a keyboard, but it didn’t work. So I tried the old keyboard we had hanging around. It wouldn’t plug into the back of the computer. Fortunately we had a third one, the one I used to use with my laptop on the farm (yes, we really do need to declutter – but look how useful it is to have three keyboards). This one plugs into a USB port and fortunately the computer, though old, does have several, so I was able to connect it up and get going. I really do hate computers…

…and computers feel the same way about me.

If I win the £70 million at the weekend I will probably get a new computer too. But mainly I will buy myself a house enclosed in a bubble, with filtered air and an airlock for a door so the grocery delivery man can deliver them without breathing on me. Let nobody accuse me of not taking Covid seriously.

This is not at all like I used to dream of spending my lottery winnings.

Sea Buckthorn

Two problems solved…

Well, one problem has been solved. The bank has provided me with a new card in record time. It was a bit awkward at one point, because I couldn’t reserve a delivery slot at ASDA without  a card, and had to register Julia’s card on the account,. However, that’s the worst thing that happened. Overall it’s not been a problem and the bank has provided excellent service.

I’ve also solved the problem which I don’t think I’ve mentioned.I think I said I’d scratched arms and hands after cutting my sister’s pyracantha last week. They are spiky plants, and I’ve often damaged myself when pruning them. I once even injured a foot when one of the spines punctured the sole of my shoes. That’s why you should garden in boots.

One of the wounds quite clearly wasn’t healing. in fact it was swelling, going red, itching and generally showing all the signs of being infected. I tried using antiseptic ointment and  all the usual things but it just became slightly worse day by day. This afternoon I got fed up of it and, using my jeweller’s eyeglass and a scalpel, I started to dig. There was, as I expected, the point of a thorn broken off in there. It’s not there now and the hand already feels better despite the DIY surgery.

If only all my problems could be cured by ringing the bank or jabbing them with a scalpel.

I did win the Lottery again last week – £2.20. At this rate it’s going to take me 833,000 years to win a million on the Lottery, and cost me around £7.500.000. It’s probably not a great long term strategy.

Money, Money, Money…

Sorry if you’ve previously been to this page and found just a photo and a title – I seem to have deleted the post, but I’ve found it again (eventually) and it’s back where it needs to be.

I won on Friday night’s lottery. Of course, things are never that simple and with great wealth comes the worry and responsibility of managing the cash. Fortunately the National Lottery realises this and they have a system to help you with the burden. In my case they have further decided to lighten the financial burden and have kept the prize manageable, sending me the sum of £1.60 electronically. In an ideal world they would also have provided me with a magnifying glass to ensure I could see the prize.

I’ve now won five times during lockdown, which is probably a sign I’ve been playing too much. As the total winnings have been £46.60 I’ve decide not to let it change my life. I’ve also decided to stop doing the lottery. There is an old joke, which can be used for many purposes. It goes:
“How do you make a small fortune from gambling/the antiques trade/farming/stocks and shares?”

Answer: “Start with a large one.”

It is useful for many industries and activities.

At this rate it’ll be a long time before I run out of money, but have been thinking about it and have decided that I really should give up. The chances of a proper win are small and the thought of becoming rich brings out the worst in me. Although I’d like to do some good with the money, I’m not sure it would be good for the kids to be assured of financial stability in life and I don’t think I have the required moral fibre to give it all to good causes.

sea sunset beach couple

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I also lack the enthusiasm to lead a millionaire lifestyle. I have no desire to pour money down the drain owning a football team or a racehorse, don’t like too much sun, prefer Fanta to Champagne, don’t want to buy an island, would have difficulty getting in and out of a sports car, and only need three bedrooms at most (one for us, one for guests and one for the computer). If you have too many bedrooms you end up with visitors, who will eat your food and you will have to be nice to them.

To be honest, it really ought to go to someone who would appreciate it.

I do have a couple of plans in case I win the lottery but they don’t reflect much credit on me. One is to annoy the neighbours on one side by engaging workmen to constantly hammer and drill (we had half an hour of hammering again today) and on the other by planting a tall shady tree.

The second is to buy a large number of second-hand cars and park them where they will cause the most annoyance to the people who have annoyed me by their inconsiderate parking over the years. I reckon forty cars should do it. Even with tax, insurance and paying a few drivers this will be considerably cheaper than owning a racehorse, and much more satisfying.

As you see, being rich would not be good for me.

It’s time I reviewed my charitable giving, but that is a different story, and will be the subject of another, more serious, post.

bank banking black and white budget

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com



I decided to do three or four short posts today by way of a change. I did about 1,500 words last night, which now need editing, and I am looking for a change of pace.

It’s just after 7.00 and I have been watching a programme about canals. I like canals but I’m too rickety to start canal cruising now. I will have a short daydream tonight about how I should have started 30 years ago, then I will switch over to the lottery winner daydream.  If I win the lottery I can buy a luxury narrow boat and a crew to do all the work. Sounds like a workable system.

Julia is currently on some sort of technological miracle that allows various people to squawk at her, even though it’s several hours after the end of her working day. It’s going to be fun when she goes back to work if they all insist on ringing her in the evening too.

Time to start cooking now, but I’m not sure what to have.

We have some breaded chicken which I bought because I was fed up with high-quality healthy ingredients. It was cheap and, after eating the first half of the packet, it seems to be value for money. Didn’t cost much, tastes like eating a pan scourer.

There is also the remains of last week’s gammon joint, which has already provided two meals, and a large bag of ready cut stir-fry vegetables which have come with noodles and sauce as a special deal.

Then there are the ratatouille and baked potato options, the veggie curries and the stews…

So much food.

Decision time. Gammon wins, on the grounds that if I leave it too long it has the power to kill me. And it’s easy to throw some veg in the oven and walk away instead of fiddling about with loads of ingredients.

That’s 311 words, so it’s quite a long snapshot.

Photo is a Green Woodpecker from our farm days.