Sunday, 30 September 2018

For Starters

Read something in the news and it started with 'For starters' then went on to explain an observation someone had on Brexit. Brexit is all in the news now but why start with 'For starters'? I immediately wanted to know what they were eating. My favourite starter is Halloumi stuffed Peppers, just thought you would want to know
Halloumi stuffed Peppers

The editor of a well known newspaper once commented that he always asked his reporters and freelance reporters to send in articles of 800 words, he actually only wanted 600 words. He and his sub editors would then sharpen the article up, as he explained. That is so true, every time I write a blog I tend to ramble, far too much and when I proof it before publishing, I always find things to shorten, cutout or reword. 

Why is it at the beginning of spring and autumn we have this, almost epidemic, run of colds and flu? The change of season seems to bring in all the nasties. I am taking echinacea twice a day at the moment, hopefully will help to me from getting ill. Everywhere I go, someone has a cold or flu, almost getting to the stage that I am loath to go out. I know you cannot live your life thinking something might happen and it probably will not. The way I have abused my body over the years, even a simple bout of flu could finish me off. I think I will start with First Defence if I have the slightest feeling of a cold coming on, meant to work wonders, as it stops the cold taking hold and let's your body build up its defences before the virus spreads. Still I have not answered the question, why colds and flu seem to be everywhere at the change of the seasons. Any suggestions?

Changing the subject completely. It's something we do every day, close the car door. When the Duchess of Sussex closed her car door on Tuesday, the press was watching and now it is front page news. Arriving at the Royal Academy of Arts to attend her first solo event since marrying into the royal family, Meghan stepped out of a car - having had the door opened for her. She then closed it. I know, hard to believe but the photo clearly shows that offending car door being closed. I think it was an automatic action but it did get the press in rather a tither.  According to the Royal Advisor, there is no protocol and Royals are free to close their doors if they so wish. Now I find closing the door for Susan, is a bit of a control thing and I prefer to leave that to her, also gives her something to do and reinforces her independence.

Saturday, 29 September 2018


You all know that Susan and I do quite a lot of travelling, take today for an example, we drove to Ferndown and had breakfast at a Garden centre and then we are off to the Middle Smiths in Westbourne this afternoon. This is all very well but when Michael talks about travel, he tends to speak about countries not towns. 
‘What are your plans for the next few months?’ Susan asked Michael last time we chatted.
‘Hoping to go to New Zealand soon and then maybe Sri Lanka.’ Sounds better then Ferndown and Westbourne but then he still needs to see Europe when he gets back. Copenhagen, Brussels, Paris, the list goes on, I wonder if he will ever settle down.

I am in Caffe Nero just enjoying a coffee before shopping for dinner. Must admit the coffee has a definite superiority over the run of the mill coffee shops. Sandbanks used to have a good coffee as well, but through budget restraints and a greedy owner they are steadily going backwards. Pity as they pay a nominal rent to the council and should be offering a good service.

Did you see the story of the teenager who survived for just under two months on a floating fishing hut? It really s a floating hut, no engines or anything. Story goes he looks after this floating fishing hut out at sea, off Indonesian coast. Rough seas and the hut's anchor broke and he ended up near Guam. That is a long way, took him 49 days and then he was spotted by a cargo vessel and taken to Japan. They flew him home and he seems to be fine. The floating hut is actually called a Rompong, described as a floating fish trap without paddles or engine.

Now the classic expression we have in the UK is: do not try this at home, not even with adult supervision. Be like the blind leading the blind. I can just see some idiot taking his garden shed and securing it to a couple of drums and heading to France for cheap fags.

All for now.

Thursday, 20 September 2018


Rumour has it that Susan can get very angry, hard to believe but where there's smoke there's fire. It is also said that Robert enjoying watching Movies 24 and Movies 24+. I know, who would of thought it but then he has had to watch what we watch and has obviously taken a liken to the happily ever after films, that are currently on our viewing list.


Where has the summer gone, Storm Ali is set to reach the top of Scotland by late tonight and we are expecting rain and high winds in Dorset. Reality will be very different. Weather forecasting is one of those hit and miss sciences that quite frankly could do with some research. I still think the farmers of yesteryear did better. It is said they felt it in their bones, I would imagine they were better in tune with nature and knew the patterns of weather.

The one thing I have learnt living in the UK, no matter the weather, get out and have a walk. We think that because it is raining we can put it off but your couch will be there when you get back and it will feel more comfortable. Jenson takes me out in all weathers and I am better for it, I get soaked, wind blown and have bad hair days. All worth it and he is totally unaware of the sometimes trying conditions.

The wind is strong at the moment and it reminds me of Russell, my brother. We took him for a walk with Sam on Branksome beach many years ago. It was about 6 deg C but the wind factor created a feeling of it being much colder. He moaned the whole way, in a good natured way but maybe in hindsight we should have stayed in the comfort of our lounge. Must find out when he is coming this way again, it is time to enjoy a pint or two together. I did send him a card on his birthday but the mail is so unreliable in Africa, that I am sure it ended in landfill, once the person who opened it realised there was no money in it.

Just to fill full my promise to let you know how the Jewellery Course went. As can be seen from the bracelets and certificate it was a huge success. Susan passed with a 1st Class Honours (mentioned on the Dean's list), sadly one of her friends Lady Viv was not so well rewarded, rumour has it she is asking for a remark.

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Almost a Couch too far

Yesterday saw us helping Claudia Canosa collect a lounge suite for her flat. All looked very simple until we arrived and I tried to lift the one end to move the couch. Talk about heavy, weighed a ton. After much debate and attempts to get it through the first door, Dan showed his genius and we had it in the hallway. All attempts to get it around the corner and through the front door seemed to elude us, as there were ladies and children present, cursing was done under ones breath.
With some persuasion we finally achieved what seemed like the impossible and lifted the couch into the trusty Zafira. The chair we managed to fit in the Golf. Interesting evening and one that I do suggest we do not do too often. Praise must go to Daniel and Claudia, we were mere bystanders and they really have a gift for the seemingly impossible. Maybe a car washing business in not the answer, furniture removals with Claudia at the helm might be a logical alternative.

Today I find myself people watching from Nero's. Just before 5pm and after the very interesting day I have had, a small coffee is a fitting end to the daylight part of the day. The weather is being kind and we are in for a few warm days before the autumnal  season starts. 

My day started off with a quick trip to drop Claudia at the hospital for a checkup. Something like a service for a car, just our health service seeing what they are in for in the years to come. Took Alex home with me while Claudia was otherwise engaged. After giving him toast and butter, grapes and chocolate, I settled down to get some rather urgent work done. In the background the familiar sounds and voices of Thomas the Tank Engine reminded me of Robert's youth and all those wonderful times I read them the books and they fell asleep wondering if Thomas or Bunny Rabbit would come through.  

Alex soon found the box full of Lego and that kept him busy for quite a while. Gary arrives soon and I am sure they are all looking forward to that special occasion, Mika maybe more so as her and her mother are at odds at the moment. In my experience, mothers and growing up daughters are always a trying time. The normal problems happen.
"My mother does not understand me."
"My daughter does not listen to me." 
All very true but also part of the growing up process, if it did not happen, I would be worried. The same goes for father and sons. As with all things, it will pass, just do not burn too many bridges in the process.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Now that is Television

To start off. A fart is like a child, does not seem to bother the owner as much as the rest of us. Now that is television.

I am very pleased with myself. Why? I had a spam caller from Mumbai. Went like this, I know we have all had them but then this mentally retarded government we have, has introduced GDPR. Only works if you are living in the UK. 
I digress, polite Indian asks if I am the bill payer for my electricity? I asked what company he was calling from and got a very Indian mumble. His name was David, really, how many David's live in Indian?

Moving on, I hung up without describing his mother profession. He rang back and asked why I hung up on him. For a fraction of a second I was speechless. Duly composing myself I told him and I quote.
'You are a spam caller now go away, you silly little man.' Never heard from him again. Maybe berating their origin is not the best way to handle these irritating spam caller from Indian. In future I will be more considerate.

The start, this is a blog of exceptional proportions, let us see where it will take us. The quick brown fox, now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party. This could become a habit and that is all right. 

Susan say it is ridiculous to imagine that a coach would take 2 hours but then that is moderns life and life is not a television program. I learnt something new today, the coach takes 3 hours and the train takes a mere 2 hours, Susan told me that, along with some other things, I will think about and maybe pass on to you. Fountain of wisdom, is our Susan.

Actually Susan is on a jewellery making course today. As she was away from home from 8am to 3pm, a little panic set in and snacks were prepared. Quite a feast I thought, 2 salmon, cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches, 2 avocado and tomato sandwiches, 2 gammon and tomato sandwiches, 4 chicken and cucumber skewers and some grapes. 
Anyway, that is all for now. Will let you know how it went, that is once Susan is back from the workshop and subsequent feast.

Friday, 14 September 2018

The Winds of Change

Gary will be here within a few days, new chapter in his life will start with a school run I suspect. Better to hit the ground running I always say. Robert has started his internship and we can only hope he enjoys life in the real world, well almost, he is working at the university.

The other big news is the Dickens are planning a trip to the UK next year. Must be the attraction of the middle smiths that brings them hot footed over at such short notice. Seriously it will be the most amazing experience to meet all those little dickens, who I know only through photos. Names spring to mind, like Benjamin, Lilly, David, will be wonderful to be calling them to keep up, walking around Corfe Castle. Must admit, just to hug my favourite daughter, is the icing on the cake.
Daniel starts his first day at his new school today, hopefully that went well. Always difficult being a new boy in the class. We walked around Kingston Lacy yesterday and I did manage to get a few good photos, this being one of Alex, yep the same Alex who claims to have not broken Corfe Castle.

Susan gave her first presentation to the board today and from all accounts has survived to tell the tale. So much talent in one person does rather leave me in awe. I did fall asleep last night listening to her business voice, practising and admonishing herself when not pitch perfect.

The only thing that has changed for me is I received double points today at Caffe Nero, quite handy, 10 points gives me a free coffee. Just in case you are wondering, I have an Americano in a double expresso cup, hint of sugar and a touch of skim milk.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Start of a New Career

Robert starts work at the University of Essex on Monday and I am already imagining the hole he will be leaving behind. Susan will take a day or two and then bemoan the fact that her boys are away. When they here, they sometimes drive her mad, dirty cloths, unwashed dishes and the whole house used as their exclusive wardrobe. When they away, they are remembered for only their darling points, as all mummies little darlings are.

Susan and Robert are getting a little retail therapy in before he leaves, long flannels and a shirt of two. Why are all the styles slimline? How many slimline people do you see walking around now days, incredible few in Poole as I have eluded to in my previous blog or two. I have documented our chubby population and where may I ask, do they get their flannels from? There are no big and tall shops here. I think it is time I followed one of the numerous chubby couples to see where they shop. Will have to be discreet, cannot very well ask a chubby couple, where do you get clothes for fat people from. They might just take exception to what is a perfectly honest question. Just to keep you up to-date, Susan and Robert are back, subdued but I can happily say, successful. 

This time we are lucky in that the Middle Smiths are relatively close and she can pop around and take them for a walk on the beach with JB. With both boys away I have no doubt that some of the Middle Smiths will be fitter and wiser, going for walks and other fun things that Susan does when she has ants in her pants. Joking apart, there are some lovely places to see and she will take them often. We have not really seen them growing up and now is an ideal opportunity to really get to know them and they us. 

On a lighter note. I must warn some of these young ladies, who wear flared, short dresses or skirts. Be careful when you bend over your pram. I just witness a very near accident as a quite attractive young lady bent down to do something with her baby and gave everyone a perfect view of her bum, complete with pink g string panties and a rather pretty flower at the top. No cellulite and quite pleasing on the eye. Cab driver nearly ran into a Wilts and Dorset bus. Fashionable wear can have its inherit dangers. Thankfully my glasses bring the subject into sharp focus when one is given a fleeting chance. 

Friday, 7 September 2018


What world is this that we need to know our username and passwords for everything we do. Stopped at Nero's for a quick coffee and suddenly I had to login to my Nero app to get my free cup of coffee. Updated my iPhone and now all my apps want me to login again. Do I know my username, yes but which one did I use for Nero? I have about 10 usernames and all have their own passwords. Back to good old cash and I now sit and lament the taste of free coffee, as opposed to the one I just had to pay for.

While on the subject of our smart phones, I suggest a new feature for the iPhone, when someone is talking it automatically switches off, that way we listen to each other and if we really need to engage with our iPhone, we take ourselves off somewhere quiet and get enthralled by the magic of our iPhone, away from the madding crowd and not annoying everyone around us. Just seen three girls walk in, all talking and as soon as they sat down, silence, except the tapping of thumbs on the small screen.

Bournemouth Airshow on this weekend and I must confess, I was invited, but made an excuse that I would be away, not untrue, away from the Airshow that is. One can only take so many noisy planes flying over with coloured smoke trailing behind. Also, the waiting, 5 minute display and a 25 minute wait for the next 5 minute display, all a little tiresome.
Hopefully the Middle Smiths will see some of the display, they were going to walk down to Branksome beach, nice view from there.

Talking about usernames again, the Middle Smiths have now been connected to broadband and Sky Television. The mighty Alex has already insisted that Sky Kids gets added to his long list of programs to watch. Such a confident child and has a great friend in Jenson, who follows him around everywhere.

The talk is that Gary will be here on the 19th, really please all the Middle Smiths Clan. We are aiming to have our traditional Friday evening meal, burgers and chips. It is a celebration really, Mika having survived her first 3 days at Corfe Hills school, Alex going to play school today and Daniel going to school on Monday. But the most exciting celebration is Claudia filled the car with fuel, now you might not think that is something to celebrate but in all her numerous years of driving, in the UK you have to do it yourself, awesome achievement.