Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Indigestion. The Genuine Painful Heartburn Type.

Today is not a day for slouching. I have to sit here at my desk in a bolt upright position. Occasionally I shall utter a swear word. Luckily Bonnie the ginger cat is asleep. She hates to hear me swear. I know she does because I have seen the look of utter contempt she gives me when I do. Sadie the German Shepherd doesn't seem too bothered. I suppose she has got used to it. She's in no position to object anyway, because you should have heard what she said to that maurauding fox last night! I had to cover my ears. Mind you she had good cause. We found her marrowbone halfway across the back field this morning. That is the second time it's been stolen this week!

Why am I sitting bolt upright, instead of my usual slouch? Indi - bloody - gestion that's why. Heartburn. Painful? Too right! No one has ever had indigestion as bad as this. I am an absolute martyr to it and it's........ Oh that was good. I just did a big burp! Sorry. I beg your pardon. Excuse me. See how well mannered I am?

I was about to say. It's my own fault this indigestion. Foolishly I have stopped eating my oatmeal porridge in the mornings. I never get indigestion when I eat oatmeal porridge. Don't ask me why. I haven't a clue. All I know is that I read somewhere that it would prevent indigestion, and it does. Unfortunately it gets a bit boring after a few years and I felt I needed a change. So I have been eating bacon sandwiches instead. This is not a good thing to do, and I am ashamed of myself. I once swore never to eat bacon again, because I felt sad for the piggies. Then one day I was passing a workman's cafe and doesn't frying bacon smell nice?

Also I have run out of oatmeal. They do stock it in the nearby supermarket....Oh excuse me! I beg your pardon! That one caught me by surprise. However if I venture into the supermarket I tend to get carried away with spending and buy stuff I don't need. Last time I went into Sainbury's I bought four wood pigeons and a twelve pack of condoms (extra large). I had to throw the wood pigeons away because they went off. I don't even like wood pigeons. What? The pack of.....? Oi! Don't be so personal! All I will say is, that I am keeping a note of the use by date. There is still time!

Do you know what? I think those two big burps have done the trick. The pain has gone. Thank God for that! I can slouch again. I suppose I shall have to brave the supermarket tomorrow. I shall leave my bank card at home. Oh dear. Pardon me. I do apologise.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Gay And Posh People Are Very Welcome Here.

This internet thing. It's amazing, don't you think? This afternoon I ordered some art materials, and an hour later I got an email saying they had dispatched the goods by first class post. This could mean they will arrive in the morning! Flipping incredible! It's nearly as quick as going to the shops myself, and a heck of a lot cheaper.

Did you notice I just said 'heck'? I don't know where that came from. Do I say heck when I'm talking? I don't think so. I say 'hell' sometimes. I say, "What the hell!" But 'heck?" I never say heck. It doesn't go with my English voice. I definitely prefer hell. It sounds much more manly. Heck sounds a little bit gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that! He adds hastily. This is an all inclusive blog. We are all different. I know lots of gay people. No I don't! Why did I say that? I know about seven or eight gay people, if you include lesbians. I actually have two lesbians friends, and two lesbians I know to say hallo to, and am acquainted with some of their friends, who are lesbians.

I know two, no, four gay men. Actually six if I include Ken and Brian, but they have moved to France and I haven't seen them for ages. Nice. Not nice that I haven't seen them. Nice. That's where they moved to in France. Say it like this: Neese. It rhymes with geese. They eat geese liver pate`in France. That's not neese, nice I mean.

I suppose lesbians include themselves in the term gay. I don't know for sure. Next time I see Julia I shall ask her. She will know because she is a lesbian. I forgot about Julia. She shall be added to the list of gay people I know. Sorry I forgot you were a lesbian Julia.

There is a poem about Julia. Not the Julia I know. Although it could be. She is a good looking woman.

When as in silk my Julia goes,

Then, then me thinks,

How sweetly flows,

The liquifaction of her clothes.

Sorry. I can't remember the rest, or who wrote it. Maybe later I shall Google the words. It is an old poem but it might be on there. It is a nuisance forgetting things. The funny thing is, well it strikes me as funny anyway, is that I used to memorise poems as a way of improving my memory. How ironic is that? I wanted to use an exclamation mark there, but suddenly realised it was a question. Rather spoilt the effect I feel.

So yes, as I was saying. Hopefully my art supplies will be here in the morning. Jolly good service! Hold on, I never use the word jolly. I might say flipping good service or even bloody good service. But not jolly. That sounds a bit posh. Not that there is anything wrong with being posh. I know lots of posh people.....

Monday, 29 October 2012

Not A Nice Subject To Write About.

I have just written and deleted a whole blog post. It was about a well known BBC TV presenter who is thankfully now dead. It turns out that this bloke, a knight of the realm (I don't want his name on my blog) was, it has been said by the police, one of the most prolific paedophiles ever. The numbers of kids he abused runs into the hundreds so far, and that could be just the tip of the iceberg. He was also allegedly involved in other disgusting practices.

And do you know what? Many, many people he worked with at the BBC knew of his sordid predilection, and did nothing. The excuses they are coming out with are ridiculous. I won't go into them, you can read about it all over the place at the moment. But basically what it boils down to, is that they didn't want to rock the BBC's boat. In effect, and this is just my opinion, those people were condoning child abuse.

Not only that but it turns out, and this is unbelievable but true, that the police were also aware of this disgusting pervert, having had numerous complaints. But chose to do nothing. Again not wanting to rock the boat, because of the negative effect it would have on the slimy maggot's charitable fundraising. Fundraising which was mainly a front for his paedophilia.

It is all coming out now. The police are making inquiries into other alleged perverts. It seems that other well known 'celebrities' are involved. A lot of people will be shaking in their boots. Good. They will get some idea of the fear an abused child has to endure.

There are some things in the book I recently finished writing that deals with abuse I went through as a child, and this case has given me pause for thought. Some of you may have guessed that I am struggling in my mind about publishing.

My latest thinking is: Suppose people think I am jumping on the bandwagon that this case has already started. What I mean is: Child abuse is in the headlines again. There will be books and articles coming out of the woodwork. Not that it will make any difference. Nothing will change. I don't want to be part of all that. Even in my own self published little way.

Maybe I am using this as an excuse not to publish? I honestly don't know what I feel. It changes from one day to the next.

I know what doesn't change though. The way society deals with the subject.

Valerie's Blog.

Here is a link to Valerie's blog. She always puts a few jokes up on a Monday. And Monday is a day some of us need cheering up.   My favourite joke today is the one about the little girl in the pet shop. Hilarious! Valerie! What will the Women's Institute think?

She also writes excellent short stories. It is well worth a visit. Please have a look and leave a comment. You can tell her John sent you.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunday. That's All It Is.

I get lots of emails telling me what a wonderful blog this is, and what a fantastic writer I am. Thank you I really do appreciate it. Sadly though some of these emails are anonymous and come from dodgy sounding websites. I even got a couple from someone offering me Viagra. Offering me Viagra! Well that goes to prove they are not really reading my blog properly. As if I would need help in that direction. A man of my prowess!

I never used to get spam, but recently for some reason the readership on here has doubled, this is wonderful of course, but now the spam is coming in thick and fast. I get notifications about emails and eagerly go to see who is writing to me and then find it is spam. So disappointing.

It isn't nice at all. Why do they do it? I am never going to click on a link from an anonymous source. How do I stop them? There must be a way. Fortunately they rarely get as far as the comments section on here, but I suppose it is just a matter of time.There must be some reasoning behind these things, but for the life of me I just cannot figure out what it might be. Maybe it is just the price to pay for being popular. What must it be like for those blogs with hundreds, or thousands of followers?

The view across the back field. No houses for at least a mile. How lucky I am to have such an open view.
This has been a strange sort of day. It started off with a beautiful sunrise -I took this photo of it - and after a couple of hours it started raining and hasn't stopped yet. I am struggling to tell you about my day because after I saw Tricia and extremely handsome son George off on the train to Liverpool at 5.30 this morning nothing much has happened. Their train broke down -there is always something goes wrong with the trains in this country- and they made it to the match with five minutes to spare. They only did that by shelling out for a taxi to the football ground. Tricia is furious at the train company. She is going to claim the cab fare back from them. She will get it too, she is not one to give up easily.

Early morning frost. The grass needs cutting but the lawn mower is broken.
After they had gone, we, Sadie the German Shepherd and I walked over the fields. It was freezing. A heavy frost. When we got back I lit the fire in the tipi. I was interested in how warm it would get in really cold weather. Sure enough it did well. It only needs a small fire in there, and is very effective. I have also begun to line the inside with whatever I can find to make it even better insulated. Old curtains, a couple of dust sheets and I found a nice old striped blanket I had forgotten about in my magic shed.

After that I went down to Tricia's house and spent some time talking to her three dogs and two cats. The dogs hate it when Tricia isn't there and take to their beds for the duration of her absence. I am sure they are sulking. It definitely isn't pining, because they still like their food. I didn't take them out, because they are always reluctant to go with me. Two of them are quite elderly, and the other one Dixie follows their example and won't come with me either. She did condescend to come and play ball in the paddock though. She sure does love chasing!

I had a sleep this afternoon for a couple of hours. Went out like a light. All these late nights are catching up with me. I was woken by a phone call from my lovely neighbour Yola, asking if I would like to have some dinner. Would I? Too right I would! Pot Roast Brisket and root vegetables and a fruit pudding. Delicious! She is a fantastic cook. She already has a man, otherwise I would offer to marry her!

And now it is night. The clocks went back this morning at two. It is a strange time to do it. I am sure most people would rather go to bed, but no, rules is rules and we all have to stay up and change them at two o'clock. There is probably a way of avoiding staying up, but I can't think of it!

Sadie and Bonnie are sleeping and snoring gently. My eyes are heavy. I shall have an early night. Probably fall asleep reading my book.

Good night and may your God bless you.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

A Roaring Success All Round.

We have had a walk in the woods today. Me and Sadie the German Shepherd. Oh and a lady friend. It was cold and windy today, although it was mostly sunny, but of course in the woods it is sheltered from the wind and quickly feels warmer. Very enjoyable.

I am not going to write much. I am tired, and in the morning I must be up at 5.30 to see extremely handsome son George and his Mum off on the train to Liverpool. They are going to watch the best team in Liverpool play football, against a team called Liverpool FC. The best team is called Everton and they play in a blue strip.

I have been working on the Tipi this afternoon. I lit a fire to see if it would work as they say it should, and it did. Marvellous!

I am going to play my guitar for a while now and then take myself off to bed.

Here are some photos of the Tipi with a full moon, that I took tonight,

The fire was a roaring success!
To my new followers. Thank you for joining in. Great to have you along.

Goodnight all!

Friday, 26 October 2012

The First Sign Of Madness.

Despite it being a very windy night I am pleased to report that the Teepee -which shall henceforth be referred to as the Tipi, because I am to lazy to spell it the other way- did not get blown away, or blown over.

However, I did dismantle it today. What happened was I was inside it pretending to be an Indian, (Is it OK to say Indian? I seem to recall that they prefer Native American) when I suddenly realised that it was looking quite small. It is supposed to have a floor of approx fifteen feet in diameter. I thought to myself, I thought, "John boy, that don't look like no fifteen feet. In fact if you ask me John boy it looks more like ten foot."

I may not have thought it. I may have actually said it out loud. Oh look I'll be honest with you. I was talking to myself. Which as you know is the first sign of madness. Or it might be the second sign. I'm not sure. But it goes with what people have been saying about me. Well two people actually, both of the female persuasion. One lady was walking her dogs in the back field - she shouldn't be there you know, it is private property- saw me balanced precariously against the tipi on a ladder, and asked what I was up too. When I told her I was preparing my winter quarters, she told me I must be mad. No she didn't. She didn't say must be, she said, "You are mad!"

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, "Hang on, doesn't he walk in that back field which is private property?" Well yes I do, but I have permission. At least that's what I tell people who are nosey enough to ask. I don't have permission really. But over the years I have become quite proprietorial over the back field. She has no right to be there. I shall tell her that, next time I see her. Or I would if her husband wasn't such a big bloke!

Later I saw Mick, the bloke who gave me the new cock and hen - both doing well by the way, and putting on weight- and I asked him if he had any old canvas that I could use on my Tipi. He looked at me a bit strange, but he said he had an old awning at home, and he would bring it over. When he got here with it he said, "My Missus says to tell you. You are bloody mad!"

This is all very odd, because to tell you the truth, I have been thinking lately that I am perfectly sane, and that everyone else is mad. I mean what do they do with themselves. Watch rubbish stuff on telly all evening and spend the next day talking about it with people who watched it anyway. They ought to be outside in the fresh air making themselves a Tipi. How are they going to cope if disaster strikes? They won't have a clue. Mad. The lot of 'em. Not you though, my lovely readers, you are not mad. Mind you, you are reading this. Hmmm.

Where was I?  Oh yes.  The floor measurement. I got out the tape measure. I was well out. It was only twelve feet. That is not good, It has to be a minimum of fifteen for the fire to work properly. So I dismantled the whole thing and started again. I tell you, it was cold and raining, and I couldn't hardly feel a thing, but I persevered and managed to undo all the knots I had carefully tied the day before.

I spread the poles wider and the extra space made all the difference. It could really do with more covering. I shall keep my eyes open for anything suitable and add it on later. Tomorrow I shall light a fire inside it, just to try it out. It only has to be a small fire. I can't wait to see if it is as warm and cosy as they say it should be.

Blogger doesn't like me spelling cosy with an 's' they want me to spell it with a 'z' like the Americans do. You are funny you Americans with your spelling. However, you make up for it with your wonderful accents, and inventions, such as the Tipi.

I had better get to bed, it is half past one in the morning here. I went to bed late yesterday too. Or was it today. No it was yesterday. It is well past midnight, so it must be tomorrow already. If it is tomorrow now what will it be tomorro.... Oh dear, my head hurts! You don't think I'm going mad, do you?

Thursday, 25 October 2012

A Long, Tiring, But Satisfying Day.

Twenty minutes past two o'clock in the morning. I am tired so this is a shortie. What a long day it has been. After Sadie the German Shepherd and I had our walk across the fields this morning, Make that yesterday morning, we then went off to the woods. I was looking for a dozen straight poles at eighteen foot long. Why? Oh it is because of the Teepee I am making. Yes, I read somewhere that a Teepee, or Tipi is very easy to keep warm with just a small fire, and that they are remarkably cosy in even the most severe cold. So I thought I would have a go. If it works, I might move into it for the winter.

Unfortunately English woods don't have straight poles, well not that I could find. So My Teepee has to make do with the nearest I could get to straight. This means they are crooked. However I am sure that the native American tribes didn't always have the perfect poles available, and they did all right. So that's it, a Teepee with bent poles.
 My Teepee will not be made of nice white canvas either like the ones you see in films. I shall cover it with whatever I can find. In America they used Buffalo hides, but we don't have them, so I am going out tomorrow, I mean later today, to shoot some cows that are grazing in a field not too far away.

Here are some photos of progress on the project so far.

It doesn't look it, but these poles are eighteen feet in height.

This is not finished. But I was keen to see what it looked like.

It was getting dark by this stage.
Not only that but I have just finished a drawing. A commissioned work this time. You can see it on my RAG blog if you are so inclined. Yes it has been a long day. So I think I shall make myself scarce.

I was joking about shooting the cows. I shall do what the native Americans did and use a bow and arrows.

Good night, I mean good morning. God bless.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Love Techniques. How To Bring Back Forgotten Skills.

Last night I was very tired. It had been a long day and to tell the truth I was completely Kerry Packered, so after watching the football with my extremely handsome son George, I took myself off to bed at about eleven o'clock. This is an early night for me. Slept on my own again.  I mention that fact just in case anyone was wondering how I am getting on in the romance stakes.

I think I may have lost the edge when it comes to chatting up the ladies. It wasn't so long ago that all it took was a smouldering look from me and the women would be lining up to be next. Oh well it was good while it lasted. But hey, it may not be too late. I shall start practicing. Hone the old technique. It'll come back to me. Seduction is a bit like riding a bike. Once you have mastered the technique, it never leaves you. It's just that sometimes the chain comes off. If there was only some way of letting the ladies know how good I am at it, without the risk of sounding like a dirty old man? Kerry Packered? Oh that's rhyming slang for knackered. Knackered? Means tired, exhausted.

Why were you so tired last night John boy? What had you been up too?

Walking. That's what I'd been doing. We went for a walk. Me and Sadie the German Shepherd. We walked a trail through woodland on the edge of the South Downs.

Listen, can you keep a secret? Of course you can. So please don't tell anyone. No seriously. Don't tell anyone. Not a soul. There is enough rumour and gossip going on as it is. There was a woman with me. Yes I know. Unbelievable! Calm down! Calm down! It was only a walk for goodness sake. There was none of that blanket on the ground stuff going on. Not only that but we had arranged to meet. That's sort of like a date isn't it. The reason I was so tired afterwards is because I was enjoying her company so much that I forgot to stop walking, and just carried on, well past the time when I would normally turn around and head back. Even Sadie the German Shepherd was knackered afterwards, so that'll give you some idea of how far we walked. But it was so enjoyable. We are going to do it again.

Anyway that's why I think I may need to brush up my seduction technique. Because during the walk, all I could talk about was the nature all around us, "Look at that tree. What beautiful colours the leaves are. The Beech is one of my favourite trees. Hey did you see that? That was a dragonfly. Did you know it's called a hawker?. There are some quite rare plants growing in this chalky soil. Did you know that the chalkhill blue butterfly would be extinct if...?"

I never asked her once if she would fancy a bit of the other. See what I mean. I definitely need to brush up on things.

Not wanting to waste any time, I decided to see if I could get a date with an attractive woman who works in one of the local shops. I have fancied her for ages. So I went straight in for the kill. Both guns blazing.

"Hallo Gorgeous, You are looking lovely today. What time do you get off work? How about coming down the pub with me later?"

Do you know what she said? She said: "What's up with you John? Have you been drinking? Are you on drugs?"

"No," I said, "I do think you are lovely, and I wanted you to have the chance to find out what a fantastic lover I am."

"Oh you are funny," she said laughing uproariously. "Now go away, I have customers to serve."

Which I found quite hopeful. She never said no exactly, and I made her laugh. You know what they say: If you can make a woman laugh....

I knew the old skills were there. But you know if you don't use it, you might lose it. I am keeping that thought in mind. Look out ladies Mr Smooth is coming to get you!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Can't Think Of A Thing To Say.

I'm terribly sorry but there will not be a blog post tonight. My mind is a blank. Nothing there at all. Come on John. Think!  No nothing. My head is emptier than a... Than a... Oh what's it emptier than? I can't even think of that. Emptier than a..Than a... Than an empty thing. Oh how pathetic! Emptier than an empty thing? I'm supposed to be a writer. Oh dear this is hopeless! I shall tell you about my day.

This morning I got up late. So did Sadie the German Shepherd, and so did Bonnie the ginger cat. Next thing was I opened the door. Sadie stood by the door looking out. It was misty and drizzly. Sadie went back to her bed. Bonnie didn't even bother to move from the chair she was on. I put the kettle on, and while waiting for it to boil I had a pee. I did that in the bathroom, not beside the kettle. The kettle is in the kitchen. When the tea was made I thought I would have some toast. While the toaster was doing what it does I switched on the computer and read your emails. Not your emails, my emails that you sent, via the comments section at the bottom of this blog. That's how I know you have made a comment, before looking at this blog.

The butter was hard, even though it wasn't in the fridge. Luckily the toast was hot, so I managed to spread it. I hate it when the butter is so hard that it tears the bread to bits. I put marmalade on the toast as well. Actually it was made of lemons, is that still marmalade? A poem I am making up as I go along:

When the day is cold and the butter won't spread,

And the knife you are using, tears the bread.

Do not despair, make some toast instead,

And take yourself  back to your nice warm bed.

That's not what I did. I perched myself on the edge of the chair - on the edge so as not to disturb Bonnie the cat- and ate my toast and drank my tea, whilst reading bits of yesterday's newspaper. Then I got dressed, because it was cold sitting there naked.

Next thing I did was to look up formatting on Google. There is quite a lot about formatting, but I didn't understand any of it. So I shut the computer down, and went into feeling sorry for myself mode. I am never going to get this book published. It's a rubbish bloody book anyway. Wish I had enough money to have someone do it for me. Don't know why I ever started the damn thing in the first place. That sort of mode. Then I thought "Sod it. I'm going for a walk."

That's what I did.  Me and Sadie the German Shepherd. On the way home I stopped in the shop and bought some bacon. I thought about taking Sadie in the shop with me, even though they don't allow dogs normally. I was going to pretend she was my guide dog, but when I looked in the shop, I saw it was staff who know me, and they know I'm not blind, so I tied Sadie up outside. She doesn't mind, as long as I don't forget she is there and go home without her. Which I would never do of course. Well never again I mean. Not after the last few times. She means the world to me that dog. They were genuine memory lapses. Anyway no harm was done, and it was only for a few hours each time.

I am of course extremely grateful to the people who brought her home to me. Thank you Vicar. Thank you Mrs Bagshott- Carruthers- Smythe's manservant, and a special thank you to the very elderly lady in the wheelchair for struggling all that way with Sadie, in the rain too. I realise you went several miles out of your way to bring her home. By the way elderly lady in the wheelchair, I am sorry I could not mend your punctured tyre or give you a lift back to your house, but I was busy. Sorry about the pnuemonia too. Hope you are recovered now. Please do stay out of the rain.

When we got back I made us both a bacon sandwich. Sadie likes hers with the crusts taken off, which is handy because it gives me something to throw to the hens.

Later I did this picture of Jon from Open Mic with Sedge and Jon.  I put it on facebook for him to see. I think he likes it. I am enjoying doing these drawings of the Open Mic lot. When I get a bit better at it I shall offer it as a service. Drawings from your facebook page. Sounds like a winner. This time next year I shall probably be a millionaire.

After that I thought about doing my blog, but can't think of anything to say. So I shall give it a miss for tonight. I'm terribly sorry about that.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

About Andrew Mitchell MP. I'm Not Into Politics.

I'm not into politics. Never have been, and don't suppose I ever will be. As far as I'm concerned they never seem to achieve much. And as for the promises they make when trying to get into power.... Don't get me started.

The fact is, and this might not be a fact, this might just be my opinion. If they -the government- did what they say they are going to do, and consulted the people on important issues, they would probably stay in power for ever. I mean if they are good at it, why change it? Just do what you are elected to do, and we will keep voting for you. It seems fairly straightforward to me. But then, as I say, I'm not into politics. Never have been, and don't suppose I ever will be.


The government Chief Whip has had to resign. It is alleged that he called a couple of the coppers who guard the gates of Downing Street, plebs. I expect you know what a pleb is so I won't insult your intelligence by explaining what it means. So if you would kindly look away for a moment, I shall try and explain pleb to those of us who don't know.

It is a word that refers to the lowest in society. From what I can gather, that would be the working class, and lower. I am probably a pleb. When a millionaire member of parliament refers to someone as a pleb, he is being nasty. He is using it to belittle. For it is a derogatory word. The word pleb isn't a word, that would normally be used by the ordinary man or woman in the street. It is a word used only by wealthy,  posh people. I am not sure if it should have a capital letter P.

The thing is, it is only alleged that Mr Mitchell the Chief Whip used the word. He has consistently denied it. He has admitted however that he did swear at the police officers. He got upset because they wouldn't open the gates for him and he had to walk his bike through a side entrance.  Yes it is true, some of our politicians ride bikes. They do this in an effort to appear environmentally aware. They take us for mugs. We all know there is a limousine waiting for them around the corner.

The point I am trying to make here is this. I couldn't care less if Mr Mitchell got angry and swore at the police. In fact I rather admire him for it. It shows him as a real person with real feelings. We could do with more of this sort of thing. I say to politicians be yourselves. If you get angry at something or someone, show you are angry. It is an honest emotion. We the people want you to be real. Mr Mitchell swore at a couple of  police officers. Oh dear, how sad! They must be the only policemen in Britain who have never been sworn at. Our police officers are such sensitive little souls. It must have really hurt when that nasty Mr Mitchell said a rude word to them. They probably had to go and have a lie down after that with a wet flannel on their fevered brows. It was only a swear word. Get over it for fucks sake!

Back to the real insult. The pleb word. He denied using the word. Nobody has come forward to say they heard him use it, except for the officer he allegedly said it to. So there is no proof. If this came to court, and I was the judge, I would say there is no case to answer. Even if he did use the word, so bloody what! No need to pillory the bloke for it.

Mr Mitchell was the Chief Whip. His job is to be a tough guy in parliament and make sure government MP's toe the party line. He cannot afford to be a soft touch. He needs to get angry at times. He has a bit of a temper. This is probably why the Prime Minister gave him the job. He should not have had to resign. And another thing. What about the police officers? What was it they said that made him swear? I bet they are not whiter than white. The police do like to wind people up. I know that for a fact. Bloody plebs!

By the way I am not anti police. I would hate to live in a society without them. Just thought I had better mention that.

Some people say, as a member of parliament Mr Mitchell should be setting an example. Well I say he did set an example. He showed his human side. What's wrong with that?

Anyway that is my opinion on the matter for what it's worth. As I say, I'm not into politics. Never have been and don't suppose I ever will be.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Wash Day Blues.

It is that time of year again, when I make my annual pilgrimage to the launderette. They have an extra large washing machine there. Which is useful for me, due to the large amount of accumulated laundry I manage to amass over the course of a year.

I get such a kick out of finding a forgotten item of clothing that has been buried in a composting heap of unwashed articles for many months. I expect many of you have experienced the same thrill. Some laundry piles, especially those where there is more than one person living in the home, must be enormous. How exciting!

There are people, and you are going to find this unbelievable, there are people who actually do their washing every week! There is even a rumour in the village that Mrs Bagshott-Carruthers-Smythe from the big house, does laundry every day! Or her maid does I should say. I do stress that this is only a rumour. No one has been able to prove anything, because the crafty woman has got one of them tumble dryer things and so never has to put washing on the line. So please, I beg of you, do not start writing her nasty letters just yet.

Personally I cannot understand why people as wealthy as the Bagshott-Carruthers-Smythe's should do laundry at all. Surely with all the money they have, it would be far easier to have new clothes delivered every day? This is something I do. Although on a much smaller scale. Every few months weeks I will buy a new pair of socks, whether the old ones are dirty or not, and simply throw the old ones away. I don't have them delivered. But I have recently found out that these modern supermarkets that are springing up everywhere, do have a delivery service. So I am considering it.

Anyway back to the launderette. When I was waiting for my first load to finish, (max heat, heavy soiled, prewash) I got into conversation with a bloke who was using one of the tumble dryers. We didn't start conversing immediately, because he was a stranger, so first of all we had to spend a few minutes glancing suspiciously at each other out of the corner of our eyes. We do that in this village, glance suspiciously at strangers. But after a while I let my curiousity get the better of me and ventured a tentative hallo. Well not exactly hallo. More like "All right mate." Well that got him started. You should have seen his face. It got kind of twisted and really upset looking.

"She sent me down 'ere," he said. "The only bleedin' day off  I've 'ad in bleedin' months, and she sent me down 'ere with the bleedin' washing. I've 'ad enough of it to tell the truth," he went on. "Fourteen grand. Fourteen bleedin' grand I just spent on the 'ouse, and now she wants a new bleedin' kitchen. Nine bleedin' grands worth of bleedin' kitchen. I'm up to 'ere with it." He raised a hand above his head to demonstrate how far up to 'ere he was. "Seventeen bleedin' years we been married. Seventeen bleedin' years. Are you married?" He asked me, "No need to answer that," he said, "I can tell by looking. You ain't, are you? You look too bleedin' 'appy. I was about to tell him that I had been married once but he hadn't finished yet. "I just been bleedin' rooked out of seven grand. Seven bleedin' grand. Bloke didn't pay me for a job I did. A granite fire surround. He is just refusing to pay up. Offered me three and an 'arf grand. I'll 'ave to take it. I got people after me for money. I likes to pay me debts on time. But three and an arf? The blokes 'aving a bleedin' laugh. I thought about sending the 'eavies in, to give 'im a slap, but I ain't really into that sort of thing. I got to get some money coming in soon. She's talking about an holiday. Somewhere warm she says. Gawd knows how much that's gonna cost. The last one cost over four bleedin' grand, and...."

"Hey look!" I interrupted him. "Your washing's dry."

As he emptied the machine he told me that the reason he was doing the drying in the launderette was because the tumble dryer at home had been causing damp problems in the ceiling above it. "Probably gonna cost several bleedin' grand to sort that out," he said, "I've 'ad it up to 'ere." As he was folding a large pair of ladies bloomers he wasn't able to show me this time, just how far he'd had it up to. But I got the impression it was pretty far up.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Up, Up, And Away.

When I was small. Even smaller than I am today, probably around five, six, or seven years old. I was able to fly. No seriously this is not a joke. I could fly. Incredible isn't it?

Without mechanical assistance either. I just used to take off. A bit like Superman I suppose, except that I didn't have a cape, and I never had to get changed first in a phone kiosk.

All I did was, I floated about six inches off the ground for a few seconds, and then just took off. Up into the air. I could go really high too. Sometimes the earth below me looked like a page out of an atlas. I never flew that high often. It could get quite cold up there, and I have to confess it could be a little bit scary. You have to bear in mind that I was very young.

Sometimes when I took off, I could hear the grown ups shouting angrily. But that didn't bother me because I was well out of reach.

If I was very careful I could, and I know you won't believe this, I could sit on a cloud. Honest. This is a true fact. Even lie back on one and rest. It was so beautiful to be sitting there. I had to keep my wits about me though, because certain types of clouds can disappear in an instant. The best ones I found were the really big fluffy ones. The ones that like to linger.

Of course eventually I had to come back down to earth, and face the angry people. But, and you might find this hard to believe too, I could make myself really, really miniscule, until I was almost invisible. That way they never saw me come back and I was able to sneak back into the cupboard under the stairs without them noticing. They never, ever found out how I did that. It used to drive them crazy.


I have been having a go at designing a cover for my book tonight. I thought I would share this with you. I was pleased with it, but I don't know if it will be the one I use.

I suppose this ought to go on the Ramshackle Art Gallery blog really. Or maybe not. It isn't going to be for sale. Not yet anyway.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Interview That Never Was.

       Phil phoned today. He is a reporter from the local paper. I thought he was phoning to find out where I live so that he could come and interview me, so I gave him directions to where I am. I was just about to say, "See you later," when I realised he was still talking. We had quite a conversation, and I was thinking, "Look mate, put the phone down. Get in your car and you will be here in fifteen minutes, and you can talk to me then."

He was really chatty, asking me all sorts of things, and I was asking him things too, about how long he had lived in the area? Did he enjoy his work? Did he have any kids? All those sorts of conversational things, one says when talking to someone you don't know.

Eventually he said, "Nice talking to you John," and I said, "Nice talking to you Phil." And he said, "Goodbye." And I laughed and said, "So when are you coming to interview me then Phil?" And he said, "That was the interview John." And I said, "Oh, I didn't realise." And he said, "Yes, I have got plenty of information. I shall phone you later to let you know when the photographer can come." And then we both said goodbye.

I can't for the life of me remember what I told him about the Ramshackle Gallery. I thought we were just making polite conversation. I even put clean clothes on because I thought he would want to come and see me. Well they were quite clean. I found them on the floor, so it is likely they had been worn, and hadn't yet made it to the laundry basket. Not likely to either, because I don't have a laundry basket. I did once have a cardboard box for dirty clothes, but it wore out and since then it has become traditional to throw dirty clothes on the floor. But never mind all that. I am really upset about the interview. There was so much I wanted to tell him about. I don't even think he realised that all the pictures are done by me. He probably thinks I am running a gallery for all the local artists. The whole thing is a complete mess.

The photographer is coming on the 26th of this month, that's about ten days time. I should be able to find a reasonably clean shirt by then. I might even have time to wash one and get it dry in time. If I am very careful I could use my hot air paint stripper to dry one. But I would have to be very careful indeed. I haven't yet got over the trauma of the last time I used it. Ruined a perfectly serviceable pair of Y- fronts. Actually, I seem to remember I lined the cats basket with a shirt. That might do.

How much do laundry baskets cost these days? If I sell a painting I might have enough money to buy one.
The reporters name is Phil. Did I tell you that? I can't remember. I suppose I could use the cats basket for dirty laundry. I have already made a start on that.

The whole thing is so annoying. Oh no! I just had a thought. Do you think he was recording me? Oh gawd! What did I say?

If I use the cats basket where will the cat sleep?

Monday, 15 October 2012

An Inspirational Email..

This is an email from Stuart  who is my mentor/agent as I begin preparations to publish my book. In it he talks about the ending of the book, which I added extra to, because the original ending was too abrupt.

Something about his words has made me feel a lot more positive that what I have written is worthwhile. I have no idea if he intended his email to be so inspirational, but it has certainly had that effect on me. I had better get those illustrations finished. I am sure it won't be long now.

Hi John.

How are the illustrations going?  Just had a proper look at the ending of your early memoirs and thought it was brilliant.  It's still as you say a bit random and unfocussed but I like that quality as I know you do.   We seem to have a sort of ending too - how you ended up as an angry young man, with hints of deeply troubled times ahead.  Fantastic resonance for anyone wondering how kids end up so fucked up.   We don't need the rest of the journey for it to feel complete   What is really nice is we sense the voice of the placid amiable man you are now, but how you got there is a story that has yet to come.  A sequel in the making?

One thought I have which might help sell the book and direct the reader to the theme is a slight change to your title.  Keep 'Elbows Off The Table' but change the sub-title to something like 'The Making of a Teenage Delinquent'.     This kind of fits with your contemporary image as a Ramshackle Maverick...  the beginnings of a journey that led to prison, fights, and ultimately living in a field in Yapton and sticking up two fingers to authority...  But also it hits the universal idea that troubled, violent young men are not born but made without being preachy or right on about it.   I think this might appeal as a text for anyone currently in care, or struggling to come to terms with a past in care and you could find your book being adopted by support groups concerned with such.   Always good to have a market/niche in mind...

What to do you think?


Another good thing about this email is that I  don't have a lot of writing to do on this post. Although I love writing for you, he adds hastily.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

What Day Is it? Is It? Really?

Do you know I have spent all day thinking it's Sunday. Good job I don't go to church. I would have been the only one there. Mind you it isn't unusual for me not to know what day it is. Or even what month come to that. But at least I know that the year is 2011 so that is something in my favour.

Oh d'you know what. I was going to put a youtube video up because I opened the Ramshackle Art Gallery today, but I forgot to upload it to youtube. I'm not thinking straight. I tell you what. I shall go and do that now. I might see you later.

Oh, what a fool I am. I did upload it. What is up with me? I really shouldn't have eaten a whole bag of Everton mints. I think the sugar has gone to my head. Or the E numbers. What is the recommended daily quota of E numbers?

Here is the video. Filmed by Tricia, and expertly directed by me. Perhaps this should be on the RAG blog? Although if it was you might miss it, and you wouldn't want that to happen would you? Especially since you have waited so patiently for the momentous occasion. I think I will put it on the RAG blog too.

I decided to keep the opening low key. I want this gallery to grow into a world famous place, but to do it slowly and organically. Actually I don't know why I just said that, because I want it to get famous quickly. Also I don't know why I used the word organically. Except it may have been because I bought a bottle of organic milk today and that word was on my mind. D'you know it cost 30p extra to buy organic milk? I don't normally fall for that nonsense but today they were out of ordinary stock. Hey! Maybe that's why I thought it was Sunday?

At the beginning of the video, Tricia jokes about being from the local rag. She didn't realise that RAG is the acronym for the Ramshackle Art Gallery. When I pointed it out to her afterwards she said the acronym should be TRAG. That is because she included 'the' which those of us in the know wouldn't do. If I was going to be really pedantic I could have told her that the really genuine proper acronym should be TAWFRAG, if one was to include the words 'the almost world famous'.

When the RAG does become world famous instead of almost world famous the acronym would then be TWFRAG. This to me would sound and look awful. I apologise to any Welsh people, because you could probably pronounce it perfectly. But it wouldn't do for me, so I shall be sticking with RAG for now. I hope that has cleared everything up for you.

Anyway, I do hope you enjoy the video, and that you get the same sense of professionalism as I do from it. I  am thinking that for my next project I might become a film director. I think this video shows my potential. This time next year I could be a millionaire!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Open Mic With Sedge And Jon.

I am happy. I have just got back from an Open Mic night. That isn't why I'm happy, because I am back from it. I am happy because I went there and enjoyed myself.

As this blog is now read all over the world I am going to give Open Mic it's full title. It is properly called 'Open Mic with Sedge and Jon'.  The Mic bit is pronounced 'mike'

Open Mic With Sedge and Jon.
Anyone can get up and have a go. You get all standards of musicians, some bands play there too. Some people write and recite poetry. The odd comedian has a go. It is a great place to start out on the show business road for the aspiring performer, and I tell you what, a lot of these youngsters are far better than the so called talent on so called talent shows. Which to my mind are full of wannabe's who just wanna be famous.

Most Open Mic performers are there because they love to play, sing, and listen to music. And enjoy a happy time socialising, and enjoying a drink with friends. My favourite acts tonight, were a young chap called Shaun, who has the voice of an angel, and a very beautiful young lady called Sam, who sings wonderfully and has a smile to melt the hardest heart.

Musicians do tend, in my experience to be a happy lot. I would thoroughly recommend an Open Mic night, if you want to hear the best music, and it isn't expensive either. Next time you see an Open Mic event advertised, why not go along and have a good time. Even if it is just to listen.

There are so many pubs and bars closing these days. Live music can help to stop this happening. But they need to be supported.

I am off now. I am going to make myself a toasted bacon sandwich. It is hungry work singing and playing my guitar.

In my case too, I always have to fight off the women. There is something about me that drives them to lose their inhibitions. I had a lot of knickers thrown at me tonight. That isn't too much of a problem. I shall auction them off for charity. I like to help where I can. Although there are a couple of silk pairs with rather nice lace edging I might keep.

Just to remind you, it is 'Open Mic with Sedge and Jon'. It is an odd name isn't it, but that really is his name, Jon. You can find them on facebook. And as I say, now that this blog is read all over the world they will be famous. In a nice way that is. Sedge and Jon are not wannabe's. Well...

Actually I think I shall have an egg with that bacon sandwich too. If I eat it slowly the indigestion shouldn't be too bad.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Christian Grey And His Lady.

Allow me to introduce my new associates, Mr Christian Grey and his lady friend Ms Blackrock. They have moved here from a house across the road. I thought it was very generous of the chap when he asked if I would like a hen. As my flock has been rather severely depleted due to the predatory instincts of Mr Reynard, of course I said yes, thinking that Sunny Jim my big cock would be pleased to add to his harem.

What the chap from across the road failed to mention was that Ms Blackrock, was already in a relationship. So when he brought her along with her fiance, I was a bit put out to say the least.

"No, I can't take him too," I said, "I already have a big cock. They will fight each other to the death."

"Sorry mate, he said, "I thought you realised about the cock. They come as a pair. But if you don't want the cock, you can always chop it's 'ed orft. Does you 'ave an axe?"

"Why didn't you chop it's 'ed orft, er head off?" I asked him.

"Nah mate. I couldn't do that. 'E's a family pet, that cock is. Me kids love 'im.

"Well why are you giving him to me then?"

"Er, it's the Missus mate. She don't like 'im. She's 'lergic to fevver's. It's 'eartbreakin' for me kids, but e's got to go. Fink of 'im as a bonus mate, an if you want's to fatten 'im up, you orta get a few good dinner's out of it."

So anyway the upshot is that I am now the proud owner of two cocks. Bearing in mind that the last time I had two cocks, it resulted in a fight to the death between them, this is a bit of a nuisance. I have had to build a temporary pen for the new arrivals. It was a nice day today too, and I should have been getting on with the Ramshackle Art Gallery. There is always something delaying things.

In a few days I shall let them free range, and see what the reaction of Sunny Jim is. If they start fighting I shall have to separate them again.

He is a beautiful looking cock. Lots of shades of grey in him. At least fifty I would think. The breed is Cuckoo Maran. I know from experience with this breed that they can be aggressive. Not just to other cocks either. I have been attacked by one in the past.

Both he and the little hen are very underweight. Not really up to fighting at the moment luckily. Hopefully they will thrive here.

Sunny Jim did not father any chicks this year. I suspect he is infertile. I am sure Mr Christian Grey can do a lot better.

I found out later why he really had to get rid of the cock. It was nothing to do with his wife being allergic to feathers. It was because Mr Christian Grey, likes to let the whole neighbourhood know, in a very loud way, that it is morning. There had been a few complaints. Oh dear!

Oh and by the way. Mr Christian Grey will not end up in the pot.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Paw Prints On The Table.

I am definitely affected by the weather. Today for instance it has rained all day, almost nonstop. It drives me nuts. And d'you know what, it is getting worse. The weather I mean, and my attitude to it. It is so bloody difficult to keep this place nice when everything is wet. Wet clothes, wet boots, wet dog, wet cat, Arghh!

Bonnie is getting me down. In and out she goes, and every time she comes in she jumps straight up on the table, and leaves little wet pawprints over every thing in sight. Sadie the German Shepherd comes in, soaking wet and even though I quickly wrap her in a towel and dry her off, once I let her go she shakes herself from head to toe, spraying droplets all over the place. And if I'm not careful she will climb onto my favourite chair and soak that too.

I can't get on with anything when it's raining either, and goodness knows I'm not short of things to do. But I get despondent, and just mope around, feeling sorry for myself. What a pathetic wretch I am sometimes.

It could be I suppose that because I spend most of my life outdoors, I am more affected when I cannot get out. It might sound odd, but in this wagon, when both the doors are open, even when I'm in, I'm out. That's what they call living close to nature. Most of the time I love it. I can deal with most types of weather, but not the rain. Not when it keeps on and on and on and flipping well on..

Bonnie has just come in, she has jumped straight onto the table. I am going to take some photos of her and her pawprints. Excuse me a moment, I'll be right back.

Can you see what I mean. If I left any of my writing or artwork uncovered, she would destroy it. She sometimes does too. I just told her off. She doesn't have a clue what she has done to upset me. In fact she pays no attention. The only one who feels bad is me, for shouting at her. Sorry Bonnie.

I wouldn't want to be without these two housemates though, even though they drive me crazy. I suppose we will just have to get along with each other, despite the rain.

It is changing you know. The climate. We definitely get more rain than we ever used too. I might buy myself a campervan and take off to sunnier climes in the winter. I could do that, I am a retired man.

Guess what the weather forecast is for tomorrow? Yep, more rain. Not that they always get it right. In fact they get it wrong most of the time. It will probably be dry and sunny tomorrow.

You see, you must stay positive. I always do!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Fifty Shades Of Grey In My Beard.

Oh blimey, look at the state of me! I made this video without putting a lot of thought into the way I looked. I apologise. I had just been outside enjoying a bonfire. It has been such a dull day, and a bonfire always cheers me up.

What happened was I came indoors thinking about my blog, and this song was in my mind. "I know," I thought to myself,  "I shall sing this song."

That is odd, isn't it? The phrase, 'I thought to myself'. Of course I thought it to myself. How could I think it to someone else?

Sorry. I'm drifting off subject again. Anyway my mind was on recording the song and as you can see, it wasn't on making myself look presentable for the camera. Or indeed the viewers. If I had my wits about me I would have at least put on a clean shirt.

I hope you will forgive my unkempt appearance. Although to be honest it is the way I normally look when I'm at home. But I will just point out that I did take the time to have my hair thinned and my beard thickened! Just look at that beard! Talk about fifty shades of grey.

My rendition of the song isn't great either, and so many bad notes on the guitar too. Towards the end I got a frog in my throat, but kept on gamely.

If I was you I wouldn't bother to listen. If you do though, please bear in mind that it was done in one take. As all my singing efforts are. Rough and ready. Just like me.

Today's post title might attract a few extra readers.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

I Really Am A Most Talented Writer.

How long is it since I told you I had finished writing my book? I can't remember. Weeks ago wasn't it? Guess what I have just been doing? What? Certainly not! I'm far too old for those sort of shenanigans. Besides the opportunity never presents itself these days. Now then where was I before you knocked me off course. Oh yes. The book.

I was wrong to say it was finished the first time I said it. I was wrong to say it was finished the second time too. But I really did think, the third time I said it that it was finished. I even sent the manuscript to Stuart to have a look at.

What has happened now is, because we changed our minds about the publisher, I have had the chance to add another chapter. It isn't just an afterthought either. I think it is an important part of the book. So anyway the book is getting longer all the time. It is now at almost 54.000 words. A decent size book I think.

There is still just a little bit more I feel the need to write, maybe another thousand words and then it will definitely be finished. Apart from illustrations that it, but they are coming along.

So please forgive me for keep saying it is finished. I can't seem to help adding to it. But I'll tell you what, and I realise I shouldn't perhaps say this, because it might sound a bit big headed, but I have just read through the whole thing again, and it is a bloody good read. I am proud of it. Feeling positive. Yeah! I don't usually feel so positive. It must be something I ate. I haven't partaken of any alcohol today. I just feel good.

How I shall feel about it tomorrow I really don't know. But tonight. Yeah!

That's enough of that. Have a look at this photo. This is the only comfy chair I have, and I can't even sit in it. Sometimes I think I am being manipulated by these two upstarts. My newspaper is under them too. I was hoping to do the crossword. Nice to see them being such good friends though.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Calm Down Ladies. Daniel Craig And Me. We Are Just Ordinary Blokes.

I am so flipping excited today. A money spinning opportunity has presented itself to me, and I cannot for the life of me think why I never thought of it before.

What has happened is: I was reading in the paper that Daniel Craig, the actor who plays James Bond, has sold his swimming trunks for, wait for it, £44.000. Yes really. I shall spell it for you in case you think I have written it down wrong. Forty four thousand pounds!

Do you know why they fetched so much money? Because they hadn't been washed. Amazing! Anyway it got me thinking. I love easy ways to make money

Personally I fail to see what all the fuss is about. He probably has an egg box down his trunks!
Unfortunately I only possess one pair of swimming trunks, and I don't really want to sell them, but what I do have in abundance, in a big pile on my bedroom floor is underpants, and the wonderful thing is, they are unwashed! Marvellous isn't it. Can you see where I'm heading with this?

Now I am not going to be greedy. I think if I charged perhaps in the region of twenty pounds per pair, I should do all right out of this venture. There are loads of dirty socks too. I think five pounds is a fair price for them. I shall have to charge for postage. Some of these items have been in that pile for a considerable time and I need to package them securely. I wouldn't want them escaping.

Well I must get on. I have to set up an online store to sell these things. Once I have that set up, all I have to do, is become a famous, good looking film star. No problem there that I can think of.

I will not bother to show you photos. The items in question are mainly grey and tattered. A bit like me really.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Ramshackle Art Gallery Has A Blog Page.

I have felt slightly downhearted today. Things started off all right. The sun was out for a change, and I was getting on with getting the Ramshackle Art Gallery ready. I hope some of you might follow it on this new blog. Which I hope to keep more up to date with, than the artful sketch book.

The postman arrived with a book I had ordered from Amazon. It is a self published book, and I was interested to see the quality, because that is what I have been investigating for my proposed book.

I was so disappointed. I didn't like the shiny cover, I didn't like the typeface, I didn't like the startlingly white paper it has been printed on. The paper is awful and cheap looking. In fact the text looks just like it has been typed onto the page. You can see right through it. In fact it could, if you were so inclined, be used as a tracing paper, it is that thin. Also the book has no feeling of quality about it. The cover is very thin too. The whole book is very floppy. It wasn't cheap to buy either. Including the postage it came to over £10.

When the parcel arrived I thought there must be some mistake. Surely I thought, the book I ordered is not in that thin packet? This is all such a shame because the book itself, although I have just started to read it, seems like a good read.

It would certainly not be suitable for my pen and ink illustrations. They would show right through the page.. Still I suppose, as the old saying goes, beggars can't be choosers. If one wants to self publish for free, then I suppose one has to put up with it.

But no, I am not going to. Stuart and I are looking at other publishing options. I cannot abide the idea of putting out my book, unless it is the very best I can get it. Unless it looks like a proper book. I wish I was rich enough to have it all done perfectly. This week I shall attempt once again to win the lottery, then you can all have a free signed copy.

So back to square one. But at least it gives me time to work on the cover design and illustrations. I am sorry. I know some of you are keen to read it. We will get there in the end. In the meantime here is another illustration for you to have a look at. I spent many a long hour in that cellar. There should be an air of menace about this one.

See you later alligator.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Thinking About Cheering Myself Up.

It's been raining a lot recently over the last few days. It is intermittent but determined, if you know what I mean. I no sooner get outside to do more work on the 'Ramshackle Art Gallery' than the heavens open and down it comes.

I am getting irritated by it now. Living in this wagon is normally fine, but when waterproof clothing, welly boots and wet German Shepherds come into the equation it is not fun. I could build a covered porch onto the wagon, where I could leave wet clothing and the wet dog I suppose, but it would not look right. I am having to think about it though.

Last evening I felt so damp and miserable that I lit the fire to try and cheer myself up. Guess what? It didn't want to light. It was just too damp, and I suspect the chimney needs sweeping. I showed you the lovely old stove in a post some time ago. It does look good and if it is not too cold it is quite effective, but I am tempted to buy one of the new generation of wood stoves, because they are very good. Easy to keep ticking over during the night.

Oh boy, to think of it, 24 hour warmth. I won't know I'm born. I think I need a little bit of comfort as I am getting older. Just imagine it ladies, me, stark naked, basking on a leopard skin rug, in front of a roaring log fire. There's a good one for the proposed calendar. Oh dear, I am sorry about that. I got carried away. I do hope I haven't put you off your dinner.

I am still fit and healthy, apart from my bad toe. I'm a martyr to it you know. I am well able to deal with the hardships of this simple life, but it seems silly to suffer, if there are things to help make life easier. I shall have to earn some money first though, even though I have just received a letter from the bank raising my credit limit.

"Hooray, I'm rich!" I shouted to Tricia and George when I opened the letter. They both exchanged knowing looks. "No, don't worry," I assured them, "I will make a fortune from my book and pay it straight back." They exchanged knowing looks again. "I shall sell a painting," I went on. They exchanged knowing looks once more. I could have gone on explaining how I would easily pay off my credit card, but I was a bit worried that the two of them would run out of knowing looks completely.

I am hopeless with money. I think to myself, if the bank want to lend me money, who am I to disappoint them? I tend to worry about minor details such as paying it back, when it is too late, and the damage has been done. Will I ever learn? Probably not. I am too old to change now. At least that is my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I always think something will turn up, or my favourite thought, 'the Lord will provide'. So far, something has always turned up, or the Lord has provided. I suppose though, there will come a day when reality will strike.

In the meantime though, hey ho, and on we go. I only have one life, and I am fed up with spending it wet and miserable. I heard on the weather forecast that tomorrow is going to be bright and sunny.

Now then where did I put that credit card?