“I’m just going into the charity shop,” Dad says, dismounting from his bike.  “To see if they have any brandy glasses.  Charity shops are a good place to find brandy glasses.”

“OK,” I say.  “I’ll wait for you here.”

It’s been an annoying shopping trip so far: have attempted to buy clips to attach my spin shoes to my real bike, but you need whole new pedals apparently:

They cost £46 in the local bike shop, so need to see if can find them, or something similar, cheaper elsewhere.

Dad rests his bike against the charity shop window.  Looking in the window, I see all the fluffy animals sitting on shelves.  What sort of person gives their furry animals away to a shop, I think.  How cruel.  Presumably some people grow out of them, or their mothers give the animals away.  Wish I could buy all of them and take them home, I think.  They look so sad sitting there, unloved.

And then my eye is caught by someone unusual.  At first glance I think he’s a mole, then decide he’s some sort of hedgehog and then I realise: he’s an echidna.  In all my years of looking at stuffed toys in shops, I’ve never seen an echidna before.  Here he is:

  Running into the shop, I pick him up and take him over to the till.  £2.50 it says on his label.

“This one please,” I say.

In the attached photo, he’s posing with today’s cocktail: gin, Grand Marnier, lime and diet Red Bull.

Happy Tuesday everyone! 
*2014.  By Chelsea Rooney.  Novel about paedophilia.

The Clinic*

“So are you still taking thirty milligrams of duloxetine?” my psychiatrist Dr Joshua Stein says, pen poised above my notes.

“Yeah but can I put it back up to sixty now?” I say.  Had to drop the dose due to mood going very high in hospital.

“I think we’ll leave it at thirty for the moment,” he says.  “You’ve got some more of this stressful period to come and we don’t want to rock the boat.”

“OK,” I say, although I really want to put it up.  Thirty milligrams isn’t a therapeutic dose.  But if am not allowed to, then I can’t.

“So how is your mood, do you think?” He says, looking at me. His ice blue eyes search my face for…I don’t know…signs of mental disorder.

“Yeah I feel OK,” I say.  “My thoughts aren’t racing or…well I’m very sleepy: was on antibiotics for a week and they wipe me out and…”

“How many hours are you sleeping at night?” He says.

“About twelve,” I say.  “Eight pm to eight am at the moment.”

“Good,” he says.  “How are things with Seb?”

“Great,” I say, smiling.  “He just came to stay for a couple of days.”

“So how are you feeling after your operation?” He says, looking concerned.

“Well it was healing up OK,” I say. “But then it got infected around the ends of the scar, so I went on antibiotics – I’ve finished them now.”

“Good,” he says, scribbling something in my notes.

“And I had an allergic reaction to the white micropore tape,” I say.  “But we found some more of the pink one, so that’s OK.  I’m just still in pain a bit and…oh…radiotherapy starts soon.  I’ve got a CT scan on Friday and I guess it starts soon after that.”

“Well if I don’t see you before then,” he says.  “I hope it’s not too gruelling.”

“Thank you,” I say.  “It’s the worst treatment I think: I got terrible burns last time and I have to have three times the usual dose, due to the skin involvement – even though the skin isn’t affected on my left side.”

“Well you’ll be able to spend some time with your pussycat,” he says.  Dr Josh is a Cat Person.

“I will,” I say.  “My fluffy monster.”

You can see the fluffy monster in his new nest in the attached photo.

Happy Monday everyone!
*1997.  By Jonathan Kellerman.  Detective novel in the Alex Delaware series.  Delaware is a forensic psychologist in the LAPD.

Problem Dog*

“The keys are in the little wooden bowl on the dining room table,” I say from the doorway, in the direction of the sleeping figure in the bed.  It’s dark in the bedroom.

“Alright,” Seb mumbles.

“So if you want anything, just text me,” I say.  “I’m getting The Sunday Times and…”

“What time is it,” Seb says into his pillow.

“Nine fifteen,” I say, pulling on my coat.

“Time for me still to be asleep,” Seb says.

Trudging through the slush in my ankle boots, pulling on my hood, I wonder what sort of idiot leaves a gorgeous sleeping boy in bed to go to a ten a.m. spin class.  The cold wind blows.  Am that idiot, but exercise demands such sacrifices.

Have been awake for ages anyway. If I know Seb, he’ll sleep for a bit and then wake up, slowly, watch the news.  Is better that am up and out as we’ll spend the rest of the day eating, resting, watching television.

It’s good to be back at my old gym.  On the not-plus side: haven’t got my spin shoes so am wearing trainers and it feels so much worse.  But well done me for being here, for an hour-long class.

Seb has popped out to see his sister, so have cracked open the Breaking Bad box set.  This is episode seven of series four: Problem Dog.  At least Jesse is painting his house and tidying up a bit, which is an improvement.  And his hair is growing back.  So that’s good.

“If you want anything other than egg and chips for supper you’ll have to buy it,” I tell Seb.

“Sounds nice actually,” Seb says.

Wish Mr Fluffypants was here for cuddles.  He is the opposite of a Problem Dog.  He is my Perfect Dog.

Attached photo is me at Spin this morning.

Happy Sunday everyone!
*2011.  Series 4 Episode 7.  Directed by Peter Gould.  Written by Peter Gould.  Created by Vince Gilligan.  Starring Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul and Dean Norris.

Bullet Points*

“How did everything get so screwed up?” Walt says to his lawyer Saul.

“You do have a little Shit Creek action happening,” Saul says.  “FYI – you can buy a paddle.”

Oy vey it is messy at Jesse’s house now, in Episode 4, Series 4 of Breaking Bad.  Must not start taking meth as it makes one’s home all dirty and full of drug addicts chatting rubbish and horrible loud music and broken bottles.  There is graffiti all over the walls.  The effects of meth seem just horrible.  Jesse has lost his lovely hair.  Don’t understand why they all like it so much.

Have settled in to wait for my Seb at the flat.  Am still recovering from a second Pyramid Experience trauma at spin this morning.  But now all I have to do is rest until my darling boy arrives.  May well attend spin at my gym near the flat tomorrow.

Ooohhhhh message from Seb: “Be there at 5.10pm.  Sorry it’s taken so long.”

Have made some small improvements to my own environment:

1.  Chucked out all the bags-full-of-bags in the hall cupboard so boots can live there.

2.  The New Chairs are unpacked and arranged around the table.

3.  New striped bath mats and towels are in my bathroom.

4.  New clean sheets are on my bed.

5.  The fridge is full of vegetables.

6.  The flat is clean.

7.  And tidy.

8.  Heating is on for first time this year.

9.  Thinking about what to cook for my Seb this evening.  Probably tofu, broccoli, mushroom and courgette stir fry.

10.  Have fed my birds, filled up their fatball feeder and changed their water.

11.  Hair and self are clean.

12.  Have brought a choice of two dresses to wear: the black wrap one with the snakeskin pattern and the Whistles navy sweater dress.  Going to make an effort to look pretty for my Seb.

The attached photo is today’s cocktail: a Gin Cooler.

Here is my fluffy monster earlier today:

Happy Saturday everyone!
*2011.  Breaking Bad series 4, episode 4.  Directed by Colin Bucksey.  Created by Vince Gilligan.  Written by Moira Walley-Beckett.  Starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn and Dean Norris.

Death on the Nile*

“Hi Dad,” I say.  “There’s a train in sixteen minutes.”

“You must have just missed one,” Dad says.  “Poor you.  I thought they were every few minutes this time of night.”

Am writing this in the open-ended waiting room which is just a glass lid on two glass panels.  It’s dark and very cold on the station platform and am wearing just one glove so can type.

On the plus side: achieve Pyramid Training at spin earlier.  It’s a ghastly thing where you sit-stand-sit-stand every few seconds for two minutes, then sit and race for two minutes, then repeat.  No breaks or rest tracks for forty minutes.  Photo taken before the horror:

Also achieve:

1.  A walk with LabradorInParis and his owner.

2.  Lunch with Mum:

3.  Elderflower Liquer and gin Bellini:

Attached photo is the world’s most beautiful fluffy monster.

Happy Friday everyone!
*1937. By Agatha Christie.  Hercule Poirot detective novel.

Murder For Pleasure*

“When I arrived home,” Mum says, “the kitchen door was closed and the fluffy monster was inside.  Do you two know anything about that?”

“No,” I say.  “I didn’t close the kitchen door.  Did you Dad?”

“No, I didn’t,” Dad says.  We’re in the car.  Mum is on the other end of the telephone.

“Neither of us shut the kitchen door,” I say.  “Anyway: at least he was inside.  He probably came in and somehow shut the door behind him.”

“I suppose that’s possible,” Mum says.  

“If he’d come in with the kitchen door shut, he’d have been shut in kitchen,” I say.  “So he must have been in the house when he left.”

“You’re sure the kitchen door was open when you left?” Mum says.

“Quite sure,” I say.

So: it’s a locked room mystery.  On the plus side: the fluffy monster isn’t overweight at 6.4kg, due to his enormous size.  So you can stop worrying about him being fat, because he’s not.  He’s just a large person.

My history course this term is about Significant Political Figures Of The Twentieth Century, kicking off with Gandhi.  Dad drives me there and back today, playing some chess whilst waiting for me.  We drop the new chairs at the flat on the way, racing in and out in under ten minutes.

After stopping at my aunt and uncle for a coffee on the way home, we’ve just arrived back and am shattered.  Am teaching Mum how to make the One-Pot-Kale-Spaghetti so we can have that for supper.  Yay!

Can’t wait to get to bed.  Surely it must be nearly eight o’clock.

Today’s breakfast: baked beans with salad –

Lunch: The Omelette with courgette, mushrooms, sweetcorn, peas, goat’s cheese:

Attached photo is one from yesterday with Mr Fluffypants.

Happy Thursday everyone!
*1941.  By Howard Haycraft.  History of detective fiction.

Making A Murderer*

Watching: Making A Murderer.  Shocking miscarriage of justice in which suspect is convicted on no physical evidence, who has an alibi.  Try and catch it on Netflix.

Cuddling: Mr Fluffypants – see attached photo.  Here’s a bit more of him –

Scribbling: WordPress usernames of some of my followers from my other blog.

Sending: invitations for them to follow this blog.

Eating:  cottage cheese, chicory, cucumber, radishes, hot paprika.

 plus about two feet of baguette that was left here for my consumption.

Drinking: minestrone cup-a-soup, coffee.

At the moment, am first at the party that is this new blog, sipping my coffee in an empty room, just waiting to see if anyone turns up.

Here’s an artistic shot of a Keeshond tail on my Fit Boutique trousers.  There’s far more tail than you can see here :  

 Here he is:  
 That face! 

Happy Wednesday everyone!
*2015.  True crime series.


Watching Breaking Bad to still the huge wave of anxiety arising from the fact that I’m putting my successful blog – over three hundred readers – into hibernation so that I can concentrate on this one.  At the moment, this blog has fourteen followers and a few other readers.  So, what can be done?

1.  Haul self onto WordPress blog parties and suchlike.  Have never really got involved in blog-networking events but maybe now I need to do so.

2.  Invite all my WordPress followers by their usernames, once have worked out how to do this.

3.  Email various readers who haven’t yet contacted to inform them of the existence of this new blog.

4.  Send Facebook messages to friends who aren’t on WordPress including a link to this blog.

Attached photo is at spin this morning.  Nail varnish is Jessica Casablanca with Maybelline Flash Cosmic on top.

Happy Tuesday evening everyone!

Go Hard Train

Could mean various things.  Is hard to tell without punctuation.  Go: Hard Train.  Go Hard, Train.  Go, Hard, Train.  Anyway – I digress.

Seem to have turned into this girl in all my bright patterned trousers.  Remember her?

Anyway, have some achievements to report:

1.  First ride on my real bicycle since the operation a few minutes ago.  We just did a circuit of more-or-less flat roads around the block for twenty minutes.  It’s amazing how much tougher outdoor cycling feels than indoor cycling: the fresh air assaulting my damaged lungs; pedalling; using arms and chest; wobbling across the road to turn.

2.  Am making a plan to visit MadFatRunner.  Fingers crossed can manage this before radiotherapy sets in at the start of February.  Feels good to be planning a minibreak anyway.  Will be in a different mental state to last time, when was severely depressed.  Her chums that we will be seeing have only seen me depressed so will be nice for them (hopefully) to see me more cheerful.  Am better (if more annoying) company in this mild state of hypomania.

3.  Looking after Mr Fluffypants tomorrow.  Can’t wait to cuddle him.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Space Oddity*

“A very bad thing has happened,” Mum says, sitting on my bed this morning.

“Uh, I’m asleep,” I say: crashing into the morning.  Was in a deep period of sleep – it’s a huge wrench waking up.

“David Bowie,” Mum says.  “He’s died.”

“But I didn’t even know he was ill,” I say, sitting up in bed, taking my coffee from my bedside table.

“Some sort of cancer,” Mum says.  “He’d been ill for eighteen months.”

“Which one?” I say, thinking that MadFatRunner will be devastated.

“They didn’t say,” Mum says.

“What time is it,” I say, sipping my coffee.

“Eight o’clock,” Mum says.

So, here’s my Space Oddity outfit in homage to the great man: 

Trousers: new today by Fit Boutique.  Moon boots by Fitflop. Seb will love the trousers: he loves things with the pattern of the universe on them.

Spin was tough today but it’s working: my posture is improving.  Have even dropped a size in the Fit Boutique trousers: my new ones are a Medium whereas the first two pairs a couple of weeks ago were both Large.

Going out for dinner tonight so had better post this and crack on with other blog and creating gin cocktail.

Have found some different protein bars at Tesco – these ones:  

My Quest bar habit is expensive as the bars are £3.40 each!   Tried an oat Trek one microwaved for thirty seconds and the chocolate melted – was nice.  The 9 bar is lovely: full of all different seeds.

Breakfast today was cottage cheese and salad, lunch was leftover Mexican Feast from yesterday.

Attached photo is self at Spin this morning.

Happy Monday everyone!
*1969.   Released as a single. By David Bowie.  Song.