Tag Archives: New Year

An hour to waste…

As I said yesterday, I should calm down and be nicer and more patient so I’m writing this while I’m practising waiting. This is different  to merely waiting because there is an element of choice about it. I’m waiting patiently and trying to be positive.

And they say men can’t multi-task.

I saw one on Sunday who could push a shopping trolley, look at his phone, give a bad example to his children and breathe through his mouth, all at the same time.

I’m currently waiting for a gas company surveyor to check our new earthing arrangements ready for the renewal of the heating system.

They gave us a four hour time slot and I have had to take a morning off work. Fortunately they just rang to say they would be here just before 9.00, so I will actually be able to get to work on time. If this wasn’t the case I’m sure this post would have been a lot less positive.

It’s not that I really want to go to work, but I have little to commend me as an employee other than reliability and I don’t want to lose that.

Today, in addition to attempting to be more positive, I’m pondering the nature of diaries. I kept one sporadically when I was about ten, then another when I was about sixteen and in my poetic phase. Neither of them gave any hint that one day I would be a blogger with five years of blogging behind me, though it’s fair to say that they did give evidence to suggest that my spelling, grammar and punctuation would  need work. Looking back on old posts this is a theme which continues. I cannot believe how bad some of my old posts are in terms of typos, proof reading and poor writing.

This is about the time of year I normally start thinking of good intentions, New Year Resolutions and writing projects.

I have just about cured myself of the curse of New Year Resolutions and now know that good intentions butter no parsnips. However, what would life be without something to look forward to?

And so, it looks like I may become a diarist.

This, in my mind, means writing words on paper with a pen, rather than blogging, which is about cluttering cyberspace with links and pixels and all sorts of stuff I don’t understand.

Which all comes back to patience. I can knock out a blog post with a computer, some random overspill from a cluttered mind and a few spare minutes. But a diary, in my imagination at least, requires time and space and the gathering of thoughts at the end of the day. Possibly a leather topped desk, a log fire and a smoking jacket…

Sounds good.




The First Post

I’m not doing anything so I thought I might as well start blogging for 2019.

We saw the New Year in with fireworks from London and music from Madness. It was average. After seeing in 60 New Years it’s hard to raise much enthusiasm.

I’m currently using a hot water bottle to sooth my arthritic hand and am regularly swilling out my mouth with a saline mouth wash.

Julia has been quiet tonight. She says she’s worried that we are falling apart.

There’s no point in worrying, as I told her: we’re going to fall apart whether we worry about it or not. We might as well disintegrate cheerfully.

She doesn’t seem convinced. Normally I would cheer her up with chocolates, cake and my natural charm. However, we’re trying to lose weight and the charm is wearing thin after 30 years – I’m obviously going to have to work on that. Tootlepedal suggested a couple of tons of manure for the garden, it seems Mrs T was very pleased with this as a present. I’ll be honest – I’m not sure Julia wants manure

So, apart from that, what does 2019 have to offer?

There are approximately two weeks left of the posting challenge and the haiku challenge. After that I’m going to have to find some things to do.  I have a page-a-day diary ready and waiting and I’m going to use it every day, starting today. I’m not actually sure what I’m going to use it for, but I have 22 hours to work that out. I may go back to clerihews. The world needs 365 clerihews…

Thoughts and Stories

It was lighter when I left work tonight, which made me feel better.  I was also feeling happy because two of yesterday’s medallions (Sir  Francis Drake and Grace Kelly) sold overnight. They are now on their way to the customer.

I then started entering more items on eBay. We set ourselves the target of having 1,000 items of stock when I started in the shop, which looked like a big jump from the 600 we then had listed. When you consider the number we’ve sold, we must have entered around 2,000 items to get to this figure.

Here are some of the bits that went on today.

Masonic Past Master's Jewel - Heaton Lodge, Bolton, Lancashire

Masonic Past Master’s Jewel – Heaton Lodge, Bolton, Lancashire

RAOB Jewels Lord Balcarres Lodge, Chorley, Lancashire

RAOB Jewels Lord Balcarres Lodge, Chorley, Lancashire

People collect Freemasons regalia keenly, and though there are collectors for Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (otherwise known as RAOB or Buffs) it isn’t collected quite as keenly. They are both mysteries to me, though they are popular with many people. There are other friendly societies such as the Oddfellows, Druids and Foresters, but their regalia is not so common. Many of them were set up to provide health and insurance benefits for members in the days before the welfare state.

The last bit is a locket with pictures of two Great War soldiers in it – probably brothers, or maybe father and son. It’s had quite a lot of wear and I suspect there is quite a story behind it.  We bought it with a Green Howards cap badge but the vendor didn’t know anything about the history. It’s frightening how quickly families forget.

As a man who is interested in the past, it can be an interesting job.

We’re closed until the 2nd January now, but as that is my day off I have four days of leisure stretching ahead of me. I wonder what I should do to fill the time…

Two Resolutions

I’m only making two resolutions this year.

Clearly neither of them involve writing a blog of stunning originality, as the word “resolution” produced an endless stream of posts when I searched.

The first resolution is to eat what I want for the next two weeks and not to worry about my weight. There’s so much food left over, including a Christmas Pudding, that it seems silly not to enjoy it.

The second resolution is to only make two resolutions.

So far I’ve succeeded with number two and I’ve made a good start to the other one. To be honest, I’m feeling slightly smug at this success rate.

Did you make any resolutions?

How are they going?

The Roses of Success

It’s that time of year when it seems traditional to consider the ways you failed last year and to make resolutions so that you can establish a new pattern of failure early next year.

I’ve already noticed a few blogs like that.

The way I get round this is simply to look at my targets, and if I’m not meeting them I adjust them to meet reality. For instance, when we closed down for Christmas I set myself the target of writing my 300th post before the end of the year. That’s now. This is the 296th post. I just set a new target, to write 296 posts before the end of the year, and am currently basking in the warmth that comes from the satisfaction of meeting a target.

In truth it wasn’t an important target and I’d have been better not putting pressure on myself. That’s what we need to remember – most stuff isn’t important. Looking back on the year it’s pretty certain that you did what was important and that what didn’t get done wasn’t important, though it seemed so at the time.


I’ll leave it here, as one of my targets is to avoid being maudlin at New Year, so I’ll finish with a song that sums up my approach.

Happy New Year everybody.

Just 360 sleeps until Christmas

Ah well, back to work. Christmas has come and gone, I have caught up with my sleep, experimented with sloth and gluttony, moaned about the poor quality of TV and finally managed to get my new lap top working.  I’ve spent a year working on a netbook at home and a museum piece at work so it’s a pleasant change to work on something that doesn’t have to keep stopping to catch its breath.

The downside is that I will now be expected to produce a lot more work.

These are some photographs from a Christmas novelty we bought – it’s a special putty that allows you to make a snowman body, add plastic accessories and then watch it “melt” before doing it all again. It isn’t quite the right time for it but if I don’t use the photos now it will be another 50 weeks before I can use them.




Melted snowman

At the moment I am taking a break from Qercus plans for 2016 – that will start in a couple of days – but I am just deciding which personal resolutions I’m going to have a go at breaking for New Year. So far, having just made a sandwich from the remains of the Boxing Day ham, the one about weight loss isn’t going too well…