Category: Life

Zombie Apocalypse…

I always wondered what it would be like when the eventual and inevitable Zombie Apocalypse hit. I am sure you all understand where I am coming from, and may have thought about it too. You know, the day when everything stops, life changes, and not necessarily for the good.

Thursday 21st September 10:28am

Whilst in a store just queued up ready to pay for winter coats, sweatshirts and some tee shirts the store lights went out. M and I looked at each other, I raised my eyebrows and said “uh oh!”, M nodded slowly in agreement. My first thought as I realised everything electrical was dead was “This is it, this is the end, this is the Zombie Apocalypse”.  After a few minutes of all standing about a worried looking male worker came rushing over to everyone and announced that we all had to evacuate the store.

I turned around and realised that we were sort of stuck as M is disabled, he cannot use the stairs, and the escalators and elevators were obviously not working.

I told M to call his brother and see if the power was out where he lived. He called, and he relayed that indeed the power was out there too, but he wasn’t at home, but miles further away again. The atmosphere was eerie and other people milling about were reporting to the group that everyone they called confirmed the same. I checked social media to see if a zombie apocalypse was happening or the Korean nutter Kim and gone to war with the other nut job Trump, so far, nothing was being reported, but no useful information was coming through either.

After about 15 minutes, we decided to take our chances. I drove through the town looking about, and indeed near everywhere was in darkness apart from the banks who have backup generators. The streets seemed to be lined with people on their phones looking for information or calling people, and I suggested again to M and his Dad of my zombie apocalypse theory as we headed away.

It was a very strange moment in time, and although the zombies were not to be seen, and after a few hours life in the town returned to normal and power was restored, I wondered if other people thought the same as me and if this really was the end, what would we have done. I know one thing though, I would have wanted to be back in my own country with M and the dogs, oh, and a full store of canned goods and bottled water.

Dark Days

I have not been in the best of moods over the past few days. I have been quite down, depressed some may say. I woke on Wednesday and felt a huge black cloud/dark mood come over me, and it has nestled there ever since. Indeed, it is not as bad now as it has been, but all the same, it is still there. I cannot pinpoint as to why I am feeling like this, but needless to say, it has been all encompassing.

I have avoided my email box, my blog, and other things that I do day to day. I have even deleted this post several times with the thought of “who wants to read this? really?”, then started again.

It is a holiday weekend, the last of the summer, and usually, I would be planning days out and fun things to do, but I just do not have it in me, and when I try to force myself to get back into the holiday spirit I tell myself “I cannot be arsed” and “I don’t care”, and right at this moment I don’t care. I feel like getting into bed, crawling under the duvet and letting the world pass by until I am ready to tackle it. But life is not like that and I have a partner and two dogs who depend on me. I have responsibilities that I have to attend to, and there is no way around it, so I carry on regardless of the building dark cloud.

I am tired, exhausted really, irritable to the point of flares of anger. My heart problem (atrial fibrillation) is really playing up, waking me, erratically missing beats, speeding up, stopping for long pauses, then trying to catch up on itself again. Although I am used to this, it still causes discomfort and worry/stress. This time it is adding to my dark mood, but not causing it.

My youngest dog seems to sense I am down as she keeps sitting on or by me staring at me, but not in the annoying way Eddie stares at Frasier, it is as though she is trying to help and her stares are longing loving stares. My older dog is only concerned with food, so has no interest. I told M on Wednesday that I was really down, but I have not spoken further about it. I was brought up to keep my feelings to myself, and cannot change a lifetime of conditioning.

Like all thing, it will pass.

Family Visit – The Conclusion…

Last night at 7:30 pm we left M’s father and brother at the port for them sailing home. It was a great relief. My initial thoughts detailed in “Family Visit” were on target. Friday we collected them at the port and drove the hour back home. M’s brother could not wait to start, or should I say, carry on drinking, which he did as though his life depended on it, quite literally inhaling the beer. However, I looked past this as I knew it would be like this and carried on with the evening. Eventually, everyone went to bed just before midnight as it had been a long day for them.

Saturday came, and M’s dad was up and about clattering about the kitchen at 6 am, so being a good host I got up and made tea, chatted then made breakfast for everyone. We went to Liverpool as M’s dad wanted to see both of the cathedrals there, which I was happy to take them to. Talk of going for Lunch at the docks was made, and his brother, being a complete ass hole said he, M and his dad could go and have lunch and bring something to me when they had finished as I had the dogs with me. I thought you cheeky bastard, so I have to sit and be a taxi, so he can go and get more drink down his neck. Needless to say, M was not happy about this and told him that this was not going to happen. Eventually, I took us to a pub on the river, and as it was a nice sunny day I said we can sit outside and eat (as lots of other people were doing) and the dogs could sit in the sun rather than in the car. This was met with complete disdain and they decided they wanted to sit inside. I left all the windows and the sun roof open and went in reluctantly, after about 10 minutes, I went outside and checked on the dogs and gave them another drink and made sure they were okay. His brother was throwing the beer down his neck at a rate of knots by this time, and I knew this was his real reason for being there. I went back in ate some of my lunch and walk out after about 10 minutes as I was not going to leave the dogs any longer stuck in the back of a hot car and took them for a walk. About 20 minutes later they came out, M had a face of thunder as he was totally pissed off that they were not listening.

His brother decided that he needed to go to the docks and look round the shops there and get the kids presents (why I have no idea as they were only away for a few nights), and dropped in the conversation that he wanted to go and watch the match at one of the Irish pubs. I assured him that I was not going to sitting about until 6 pm waiting on him and he would have to get the train back. M’s dad did not seem to agree with my thinking, but I was not going to stand for it. I dropped him off close to the pub and took us all back home.

Just after 6 pm, M’s brother sent a text to say he was about to get the train and would see us all soon. But again, rather than doing that, he decided to go to the pub by the station and carry on drinking, this time vodka, and after about 40 minutes finally got on the train.

Close to 8 pm I made us all dinner, which was not really eaten by M’s brother with the excuse that the fish he had at lunch had filled him and his stomach was suffering because of it. I found this laughable as he had drunk that much beer and vodka that this was more likely the reason for him being full and ill.

As soon as I started cleaning up, M’s brother decided he had to go to the shops and get some more beer. Now the shop is 5 minutes walk, take that into account both ways and say 5 minutes in the shop he should have been gone for 15 minutes, however, that time was doubled and we think he had gone into the village bar and had a few more drinks on his way.

Again he was literally inhaling the beer when he got back, but rather than drink one, put the empty can in the bin and get another one, he decided to have two on the go at the same time, obviously wanting to keep both hands exercised. No one else was drinking, but that did not phase him at all. Then he kicked his “spare” beer across my new carpet. I only noticed as one of the dogs started lapping it all up. This really was the last straw for me, and I exploded. I have a very short temper and do not suffer fools or drunks. He told me he would clean it up, I laughed in his face, and pushed past him and cleaned it up properly, and spot shampooed the carpet. I could not hide my hate for this man and wanted to break his neck and kick him out. About 15 minutes later he decided to go to bed, but I think this was because he could see my anger.

Last time he was at our home, 13 years ago, he and his wife decided to start fighting, which I would not allow in my house, he thought he would try his luck with me, so I pinned him against the wall by his neck pulled back my fist and told him one more word and I would beat the living daylights out of him. He had disrespected us and our house, not just fighting, but dropping lit cigarettes as he was that drunk.

Sunday, their final day came, he finally got out of bed at 10 am and told M that he could not go to Liverpool today. M asked him what made him think we were going to ferry him there again, and that that was never going to happen again. I needed to go to the farm and get more milk, walk the dogs and go to the farmers’ supermarket for a few bits. They all came with me, but he decided that he needed to go shopping for things for the kids. M told him to go up the road and get what he needed there as we were not going to have a repeat of yesterday. As soon as we got back he decided that he needed a beer to “level him out”, it was just after 1 pm, and of course one is never enough for an alcoholic, and after 3 he ate a bit of his lunch and decided to go back to bed as he was tired.  When he eventually go up again, he went straight to the fridge and got more beer, and this went on until we left for the port.

I needed to go to the farm and get more milk, walk the dogs and go to the farmers’ supermarket for a few bits. They all came with me, but he decided that he needed to go shopping for things for the kids. M told him to go up the road and get what he needed there as we were not going to have a repeat of yesterday. As soon as we got back he decided that he needed a beer to “level him out”, it was just after 1 pm, and of course one is never enough for an alcoholic, and after 3 he ate a bit of his lunch and decided to go back to bed as he was tired, although I think he was in hiding.  When he eventually go up again, he went straight to the fridge and got more beer, and this went on until we left for the port.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I like a beer now and again, but as I am out driving all the time I do not partake, and I have no problem with people having a drink, but obsessive boozing round the clock with no care about the people around them really annoys me.

I tried my hardest to keep my feelings to myself and my temper in check due to M’s dad being there, but it was showing, and I could not wait for them to go back to Ireland. I told M that his brother was no longer welcome in our home, and if he suggests coming to visit us again to pass the phone to me and I would inform him of my feelings and that he was not welcome, that this was my decision, and that if he has a problem then he needs to take it up with me and me alone.

The sad thing is that this weekend was supposed to be about M’s dad visiting us for the first time, but the brother made it about him and his alcoholism.

They say you cannot choose your family, but I for one will choose not to be in M’s brother’s company again.

Family visits…

I do not want to sound uncharitable, but I really cannot be bothered with the forthcoming visit by the in-laws. I know, I sound positively dreadful saying this, but I feel the need to say it. M’s father and brother are coming over this week from Ireland for the weekend. Now, I hear you all saying, well, what is wrong with that. The simple answer is this, I cannot be bothered with it all. Yes, I am a miserable sod, but I love my own space, and quite frankly prefer the quiet life. This, of course, is not against M’s family, I feel the same way about my family. A visit of a few hours to me is like a handshake, but a weekend is like a hug, which I do not do (yes, you guessed it, I am not demonstrative at all).

We have built our home around us, and the things that we like and enjoy, along with our dogs. We have three bedrooms, so have room for guests, and the guest rooms are always ready for said visitors, but I like, no, I love the vacancy of the rooms. I know, I can hear the rolling of your eyes, but I cannot change the way I am. Whenever we have had guests stay over, 90% of the time I have wanted to rip my arm off and hit them with it shouting at them “it is time to go, come on, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out”. That feeling is usually as soon as I get up which is always early. Our nieces stayed for a week a few years ago, and I felt I had been sent to hell, and was shacking up with the devil himself. The room they occupied was quite literally and figuratively destroyed, makeup on the bedding, their hair straighteners left on, sitting on the bed, trying to burn its way through and finally set fire to the house. Luckily, I had the intelligence to check every day. This along with the floor containing everything they brought with them (no carpet or rugs could be seen), and a mountain of rubbish and other detritus scattered there and in our lounge made me vow never to have anyone else stay over ever again, a vow to this day I have never broken.

Another visitor/guest was my little brother.  A good few years back he came for Christmas.  Well, he invited himself to be accurate, but I thought I would go along with it.  Christmas Eve, he turned up drunk, hours after he was supposed to have arrived, he stayed until Boxing day morning as he was going to my Mum’s as she always has a gathering of the family, an occasion I avoid like the plague. I dropped him off and drove back home like a lunatic so that I could start my Christmas, but in all honesty, it was a Christmas that never was.

When we were given the dates of them coming, we set to work on correcting little things about the house, like touching up a few scuff marks on paintwork, putting away our current projects and making sure the guest rooms are clean and freshened up. Laundering of the guest towels to ensure maximum freshness etc. It has not been much of an effort, but it was things that needed to be done.

Next on the list is planning all the meals I have to cook whilst they are here, that was not too much of a bind, and I hope that they like what they are given, at least I am a great cook. Then it’s the entertainment, what to do, where to go, will they want to go out sight seeing or just potter about the village, should I dig out my chauffeur’s cap?

I am utterly exhausted and they have not arrived yet, at this rate I will be ready for my grave by the time they leave.

So much for plans…

So much for wanting to post each day! Yesterday afternoon I started to feel crappy, then I started to ache all over, I felt dreadfully tired, drained of all energy, my head started pounding and I just wanted to go to bed and sleep this “sickness” off. I eventually got home and exhausted and if possible, enveloped with even more aches including my toes, a temperature followed by feeling cold I took to the sofa, had a few hot drinks and about 7:30/8pm I took myself off to bed. I tried to read, but alas I had no concentration and couldn’t get comfortable, then I was too hot and so it went.

This morning I woke and the mysterious illness was gone. I admit I had a headache, but that is nothing new, I don’t drink enough water at times, so dehydration is always an issue.

Whatever it was, it has vanished, so back to the original schedule.

Screw this, I’m outta here.

I enjoy helping people, but sometimes I just want to tell them to get stuffed. This was very much my tone this week. After installing a new PC for my mother, which she did not need, and took close to four hours, I was half way home and got a call saying that it was not working. Frustrated, I explained that it was working when I left and that it was not something I had done. After a few more now agonising conversations asking her to check her hub with a reply of “what’s that?”  really made me want to tear my eyeballs out. I started my journey back only to get a call that she eventually discovered that the power cable had come out of the router, and I turned round and continued my journey home.

I then get a call a few days later as their camera system HD is full and they it had stopped recording. I told them to change the options but questioned why it was not recording over the old footage as I had set it to this in the first place. Then they went to the shop to find out if they could help (obviously not) and then called me again. I told her husband that if I had changed it (doubtful) it would be something she would remember and would have told her to write it down, but this obviously never happened as the default number did not work. Then the texts started back and forward, and again I wanted to claw my eyes out in frustration as they were relentless. I pointed out that I had set it to record over old footage, and that they had been in the settings the night I had installed the camera system, and I remember them telling me and asking about certain settings. I know that I will have to visit and sort it out and no doubt find that it is set to one of the passcodes that I already told them about.

The next saga was their three Amazon sticks, which they bought from a third party so they had Kodi on them and other crap. None of them was working as all said “No stream available”. I told them that Amazon was working on blocking access to illegal content and they would have to deal just have the sticks as they were supposed to be. This didn’t go down too well, but in the end, they decided to reluctantly accept it. I then reset the sticks to factory settings, tried one last time to sideload Kodi, which worked but would not stream films, thus as per my original point that streaming was blocked.  So, resetting it, and making sure the sticks had the latest Amazon software one and were added to her account, I text to say they were done but without Kodi. The text back was quite dismissive regarding Kodi and a simple thank you, which I felt was not really meant. I told them that one of the remotes was not working and I had sorted that out, but this was not acknowledged, and in the end, I thought what the hell am I doing?

After all that I have decided to say screw this, and I am not going to bother helping out again. After all, I only tend to hear from people when they want or need something, which now is becoming very apparent, and not just from my family, but from so called friends.

Harvest Time…

Yes, it is that time of year in my garden when I start harvesting my little crops.  I have so far I have only had one green bean pod from three plants, so the beans have been eaten and the plants were thrown into the compost bin.  Tomatoes are starting to come on, I have had quite a few courgettes so far, the pumpkin and squash plants are thriving to the point of overtaking the garden. Rhubarb along with all the herbs are growing like mad, but they do all year round without me having to tend to them.

I harvested some of my potatoes today, and some a few days ago, and I have to say they taste fantastic.  I cannot wait to have some more this evening with my dinner.

Being a country boy I have always grown my own produce and started early in life. I have grown everything from veg to fruit.  I have grown a few apple trees and tomato plants from seeds from apples and tomatoes that I bought in the supermarket. I found doing this really easy by soaking the seeds in a solution of hydrogen peroxide and distilled water in order to kill off any bacteria or mold spoors that would end up killing it.  I then put the seeds in a sandwich of damp paper towels, then place this inside sandwich bags and put them in the fridge for 6 weeks.  This caused the seed to go through a “season” and thus germinate.  After moving them from the fridge, I placed them in the larder which was cool for a few weeks, representing spring, then out into pots.  A few of the seeds had started to sprout already which was great.  I did this with seeds from trees which also worked, but some of them I had to do it backwards, in that I prep them but rather than put them in the fridge first, I put them in a cool part of the house for six weeks, then in the fridge for 4, then straight out to plant. Again, some of them had already sprouted too.

One of my apple trees is about 7 foot tall now, and another is about 4 foot, so all going well, and they were transplanted outside last year so winter did not affect them.

A few photos of the potatoes from the garden, and a small courgette.  The photo with the red/pink potatoes you can see something that looks like a green tomato, and yes, it was growing on the potato plants. Every year I have a few on the plants.  Needless to say, they are not tomatoes, and CANNOT be eaten as they contain massive amounts of solanine which is poisonous.  Potatoes are related to tomatoes, so hence the fruit, but it is quite a freak of nature and the weather to get these little potato fruits.

Day in the Lakes

This morning M and I decided that we would go to the Lakes for the day.  We got there at 10 am and went to many places throughout the day.  This B&W was in Wordsworth country (Rydal).  Such a lovely place to sit and watch the world go by.

Lilu-Dallas relaxing on the drive.  Harper-Lee is at the far back of the car with her head shoved out the side window.

Bridge on the River Rothay, leading to the Rydal Caves.

Sadness and horror hits London, again!

In the last few months, and mainly the last several weeks we in the UK have seen some dreadful things happening.  Terrorism in London and Manchester, and today we woke to the latest tragedy to hit, the terrible fire in the 24 floor Grenfell Tower in West London.

My heart goes out to all those affected.  The news states so far only 12 lives lost, but this block houses approximately 650 people, and the speed and ferocity of the fire mean the death toll will rise.  It was a sorrowful thing to hear about, people throwing their children out the windows to save them, many adults leaping, and no doubt enduring severe injury from the drop.

I could not imagine what these people went through, and the survivors are currently going through.  The enormity and horror of it are overwhelming, and as such we become voyeurs watching it unfold, rigid in front of the televisions, hoping for the best, but witnessing the worst, and all along grateful that we are not the victims.

It seems week in week out that something unpleasant happens, and London lately has been taking the hit constantly.  I like many others, hope that this spate of terror and horror is at an end, and people can live again without all the fears borne from these events.

God bless those that have perished.

Blogging, a short history

blog-buttonI used to blog, and I really do me blog a lot.  From mid 2003 till late 2008 I had my own server, I blogged about everything many many times a day, and I loved it.  But at the end of my blogging days, I had family members criticising me about content that I put on of my civil partnership.  I had not asked any of my siblings to it because we just wanted something small and to our way of liking especially without any interference.  The photos that were taken that day I started to put on my site, my stepfather decided that he did not want the pictures there as one of my sisters may be pissed off at the fact that he and my mother were there.  I replied that it was my site, my wedding, and to get over himself.  However, the critique and messages started to come thick and fast, and in the end, having my own Britney Speers moment, I lost the plot and deleted the whole site.  Thousands of posts, photographs and close to 6 years of input vanished.  I did not delete it in the usual way either, I went full tilt and made it beyond recovery using military grade software.  Needless to say, I was angry with the reaction of family, and it really did spoil the day, yes it was after the wedding, but I look back and remember it not for the lovely day that it was (drunken too), but for the spleen venting that came after.

I learned my lesson that family should be blocked from knowing about my writings, and any social media that I am on.  9 years later and they are truly blocked on all social sites, and I never tell of any writings I have done over the years.  I have tried to blog and everytime closed them down as I did not feel I had it in me, again the bitterness of the past creeping into what was a passion.

Now, 2017, I feel I want to write and blog again.  I have a passion for knitting photography and reading, so this will be a main base for my blog, mosstly knitting though as I love it.  I have in the past few months written poety, so maybe that will apear here too, who knows.  One thing I do know, I am here to stay.

Till next time….

 

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