Saturday 31 May 2008


The news this morning brings another horror stabbing story. What are we going to do? Most victims and perpetrators are young men; most stabbings are drug or alcohol related. I think that we need to turn this problem on its head by concentrating solely on how to keep our streets safe and then how to educate and intervene with the addiction problems. Lets first identify and tackle the real threats instead of (mataphorically speaking) throwing the whole problem at the wall hoping some of the mud will stick. I know that this is all very complex but I believe that it has to be addressed.

So, what doesn’t work? Stop and search is a complete waste of police resources and does nothing to keep our streets safe. Knives are freely available. They simply go and get another one.

Filling our prisons with “criminals”? who have committed petty crimes to feed their drug habit or whilst under the influence of alcohol doesn’t work either. They hit the streets again and the merry-go-round continues. But worse than that, they take up precious prison space that should be used for the real threats to society. The Canadian Foundation for Drug Policy states “….prisons are filled with drug "offenders", many with no other crime than simple possession of drugs for personal use. Scarce resources better spent on health, education and economic development are used on ever more expensive supply-reduction efforts. Sensible proposals to reduce drug-related crime, disease and death are abandoned in favour of proposals for "drug-free" societies, inhuman and unattainable though they may be”.

So, what do we do now? It is obviously complex and needs to be attacked on several fronts with joined up writing and there, in my humble opinion, lies the problem. The real experts in the field are not given credence because they don’t have “3rd tier learning”. I’m talking about the addicts and alcoholics who have successfully recovered and are willing to pass on the knowledge.

The Swiss philosopher Jeanne Hersch wrote. “Man has the right to make decisions. Drugs reduce this right of free choice. Drugs are the negation of human rights because they deny that permission to take them comes in the final analysis not from the doctor but from one’s own conscience. Because man can decide in a responsible manner, he has the duty to do so. Because he is capable of making decisions, he must do so. We cannot escape this obligation. This correlation between ability and duty to decide has existed since the day man was first created.”

Recovering addicts and alcoholics know this to be true. They also know how and when to intervene to help others by passing on their own experiences. This is not rocket science.

In the meantime how do we keep our streets safe? In our small market town there are a small percentage of nutters who could be considered dangerous and a menace to society, especially when they have been drinking and are known to the police. The rest of the drongoes are “wannabes”. So let's start with the nutters.

Make prison a harsher punishment and a deterrent to the real threats to society i.e. the small percent of really dangerous individuals, drug dealers and drug barons who, as I have already said, are well known to the police.

Remove drug abuse from the criminal justice system and treat it as a medical problem with registered addicts and, as used to be in the 1960’s, prescribed drugs, the same as someone suffering from Bipolar Disorder gets medication. But, you say, addiction is a self-inflicted condition. Is it though? Addiction is a little more complex than that. Why is it that I can drink without any ill effects, but some people can’t? Does that make me a better person then them? I don't think so. I don’t believe that anyone sets out to be an addict. I have a background knowledge in this because I know many, many people in 12 step programmes, including myself.

Make it more attractive for drug addicts to go to the medical people for clean, free supplies rather than resort to stealing etc. Without the addict stealing to feed the habit we immediately clean up our streets, Class A drugs cease to be a gold mine for criminals, police resources are freed up to be utilised more effectively and prisons would not be full of petty criminals. I know that this is an oversimplification, life is not black and white and there will always be drug related crimes, but I'm talking about improvements here, not total answers.

Currently resourses are being committed to ineffective policing and maintaining government agencies who demand the addict be drug free BEFORE they are able or willing to intervene and will drop the addict when they invariably test positive or miss an appointment. What a waste of money. Addicts need help spontaniously, not by appoitment. Addicts are not compliant individuals and will not respond to a regime. Rather than demand permanent absention from all addicts they should try to make inroads with the few willing and able to abstain immediately directing them to the free self help groups such as AA and NA for continued support. Also educate, keep track of and eventually offer the hand of help to the few that will eventually "get the message". In the meantim let's simply keep society safe.

I know that this is a contentious issue but don't get me wrong, I am NOT saying go easy on addicts. I AM saying let's make it a top priority to make our streets safe again.

And on a more personal note OG started chemo on Thursday and so far, so good. No unduly bad side effects. He has another session next Thursday and then a week off. If he can tolerate it this regime will continue for 12 weeks. Fingers and everything crossed.

Monday 26 May 2008


Maggie May has tagged me to tell six things about myself that you may not know. So here goes.

ONE There is a 19 year-old perfectly formed and beautiful cowgirl secretly living inside this overweight and wrinkly body.

TWO I grew up in the Channel Islands and had an idyllic childhood roaming wild on the beaches and in the countryside.

THREE I am a tomboy with arthritis.

FOUR I really, really don’t like shopping, especially for clothes.

FIVE For the sake of the family I have tried to curb my wild, adventurous spirit. I am enough of an embarrassment to them as it is!

SIX I have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge but a poor memory and zilch intellect.

I pass this tag to.

Please pass it to six others and let me know when you have completed your challenge so that I can read all about you!

Saturday 24 May 2008


Last night our great-granddaughters slept over at their Great Aunt’s house (our eldest daughter). I would describe her as a Great British Eccentric and she absolutely adores children. They were feeding the wild ducks in her garden when one of the little girls said “do they have names?” “yes” replied our daughter without batting an eyelid “the one with the green head is called Idontgiveaflyingduck and the other is a Secret Agent duck called Deefaduck". See what I mean about her being eccentric? I have no idea where she gets that from!

Her house is beside the river and is now full of children. They adopted her husbands’ nephews when their mother died and now they have given a home to our grandson who has returned from France to resume his education in England.

I have great hopes for this grandson who is without a doubt the most intelligent of all the children (and we do have some bright kids in the family). If he keeps the standards up he will easily qualify for Oxbridge and could go on to higher things. Some of my colleagues in the office think that I should be Prime Minister (are they a biased, sycophantic bunch, or what?) but I seriously think that this boy could be one of the great and glorious in this land – so I will now attempt to influence him with my brand of truth.

To change the subject, interesting thing about my daughter living beside the river and feeding wild ducks, OG’s observation is “she’ll regret feeding those ducks, they shit all over the place. And they’ll eat all grass. It just goes in one end and straight out of the other”. And my mother, god-bless her, if she was still alive would have said “you don’t want to live near a river, you’ll have rats”. Whereas our blissfully optimistic daughter just sees that it’s lovely to live near the water and have wild duck to watch, feed and provide her family with fresh eggs. It’s all a matter of perspective.

And to change the subject again, although I guess it is related to perspective, yesterday I read that the Olympic creed was inspired by a sermon given in St. Paul’s Cathedral by Ethelbert Talbot, the Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, on 19th July 1908 when he said “the most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well.” Amen to that.

One last thing. I heard that immigrants that paid NI and claimed child allowance and tax credits in this country could have these payments credited to a bank account in their own country. Is this true? I tried checking it out on Google and got my knickers in a twist. I couldn’t find any reference to the rules on how payments were made but stumbled across another question. It seems that child allowance can be claimed in this country for children that still live in their homeland, not only that, in some instances child allowance can sometimes be claimed in both countries. Is this true?

I can’t believe that this government could be so stupid as to allow this. Or could they? Surely not when we have so much economic injustice in our own country, like, for instance the pittance that OAP’s are paid and they way they neglect to look after our armed forces etc, but that is another subject!

Thursday 22 May 2008


We have a lot of “stuff” going on at the moment -.

LIKE - our lovely granddaughter and her sporty partner have decided to get married before he goes into the army. So - it’s all excitement and planning for a small family wedding at the local hotel on 11th July. The schedule for that all kicks off this weekend with an engagement BBQ. Hope the weather behaves.

I think her sporty partner’s proposal was so romantic. First he asked the two girls (our great-granddaughters) if they minded him marrying their mummy. He told them that he wanted to ask her to marry him while they were on holiday in Turkey and swore them to secrecy. Now I ask you, how can two excited litle girls keep a secret like that. They immediately started telling everyone that their mummy was going to get married while they were on holiday. Oh how we all laughed. Why they would think such a silly thing as that?

Before they went on holiday he told OG and me of his intentions, asked if it was OK with us and showed us the ring that he had bought. Ahhh! Naturally we said we had no objections. It’s just so good to see them both so happy.

On holiday he went for a walk with our youngest great-granddaughter looking for the perfect spot to propose. They decided on a small island. He then asked a local boatman to take them over later in the day and that is where the deed was done. On one knee, in the overjoyed presence of two excited little girls. How wonderful is that?

LIKE - the building work that is still ongoing after 1 year. But we are making progress! It seems like a lifetime ago that we sealed off one side of the house for extensive renovations to include a kitchen/family room with cathedral ceiling and the addition of my “Hollywood Bedroom/ensuite/dressingroom”

The new extension has now been rendered and any day now the scaffold will be coming down. Hurrah! The kitchen is being fitted out. Hurrah! The en-suite bathroom is being tiled. Hurrah! The walls have all been plastered and most have been decorated. Hurrah! Still to be done is the construction of a new glass and steel staircase and elevated walkway across the cathedral family room, the under-floor heating, fitting the kitchen units, tiling the kitchen and the finishing off of the bathroom. Anticipating the glorious move I am now shopping for carpets, curtains etc.

From the start everyone asked how long it would take. I said about 1 year and so it has, give or take. Hopefully we should be able to move over within the next couple of months.

Then we start renovating the part of the house that we are holed up in at the minute. How long will that take? About 6 months from start to finish? So my best guess is that the house should be finished by Christmas

LIKE - waiting for chemo to start. By this morning we still hadn’t had a date and I was getting a little aggitated about the delay so I decided, by hook or by crook, to get to the bottom of it. I randg the Health Care at Home service and spoke to a very nice young man called Graham. He said that Dr Kulkarni’s nurse Charlotte would call at the house for a pre-chemo visit on Tuesday and the treatment would start on Wednesday. I said “who’s Dr Kulkarni” “he’s your husband’s consultant isn’t he?” “no” “oh! I’ll have to get back to you then”. Here we blood go again! But we did get there eventually, a nurse called Janet will do the pre-chemo visit on Tuesday and start treatment on Thursday. Hopefully!!

Plus one of my grandsons will be 21 in a couple of weeks, and another is moving back from France this weekend to resume his education at the local grammar school because, amazingly enough, he says the standard of education is better here than it is at his private International School there! Now there's a surprise. Maybe this country ain't so bad after all.

So, as I said, we have a lot of "stuff" going on.

Saturday 17 May 2008


At last someone is singing from my hymn sheet.

The man has obviously been reading my blog. It’s not plastic bags that are the main culprit; it’s the excessive and unnecessary plastic wrapping that surrounds all our manufactured goods. THAT is where it needs to be addressed, not here in this rural two-person household.

Reporting on the Professors finding, a BBC reporter stood in front of a huge mound of plastic waste proclaiming that “only 2% of this plastic waste, destined for a landfill site, is made up of plastic bags”. Excuse me? Did I hear that right? Was he saying that all the plastic bottles and boxes that the council demand I carefully rinse out for re-cycling are not being re-cycled at all but are in actual fact going to a landfill site? Those same landfill sites that can’t cope with the amount of non-biodegradable waste we are producing? What’s that all about? Do you mean to tell me that they are not even being shipped to China? Disgraceful.

In the same report Environment minister Joan Ruddock admitted single use bags were only a small part of the waste stream. But she added: "We know that the public is on our side. They want action. It's very symbolic of our throw-away society and so we do need to do something quite dramatically to curb their use." Here we go again. Implying that it’s our fault because we are a “throw-away society”. Madam, if only we could throw you away life would improve exponentially.

But, assuming that this poxy stupid government even really does believe that plastic bags are a menace why has this council taken away our eco friendly re-cycling boxes and replaced them with PLASTIC BAGS.

Answer that, you can’t can you?

Friday 16 May 2008


Last week our Accounts Department Manager belatedly decided to respond to an invitation from the bank to set herself up for telephone banking. Unfortunately she couldn’t find the letter that had the access codes to set it up, so ‘phoned the bank.

I sauntered into the office on this sunny day and walked right into the middle of madness. My colleague and fellow director was on the telephone.

“…but I am a director of this company and a signatory on the account, why can’t you speak to me?” she looked at me “OK, I’ll pass you on to my colleague”

“Ann, Jackie wants to set herself up for telephone banking but they won’t speak to her and now they won’t speak to me either because they haven’t got me set up as a signatory on the account”

“But you ARE a signatory on the account”

“I know, but they haven’t got me set up as one”


“I don’t know”

“OK, let me speak to her”

“Hello, can I help?”

“Can I ask your name?” – I replied

“I’d like to take you through some security questions is that OK?”

“Sure, but why haven’t you got my colleague set up to do this, she is a signatory on the account?”
“I don’t know, can I go over these security questions with you?”

“OK”. Off we go. After satisfactorily answering the stupid questions she said “How can I help you?”

“I don’t know it wasn’t me that ‘phoned you, I’ll get my colleague Jackie, she’ll tell you what she wants”

“I can’t speak to her because she isn’t set up for telephone banking”

My voice must have gone up an octave or two

“Look, dear, I’m a very busy person (I’m not, but I sure as hell ain’t going to let her know that) just tell me what we need to do to set her up for telephone banking”

“Don’t speak to me in that tone of voice”

“Just tell me what we have to do”

“You will have to contact your Branch Business Manager”

“Thank you" With great restraint I didn't add “shove it up your ass you moronic bastard”, but merely slammed the ‘phone down without waiting for a reply.

Next stop? The blood pressure pills to stop me going ape shit. I think that banks will be the downfall of the world. Or am I being overly dramatic again?

The IT Manager heard some of this and sent me this email


Thought you'd appreciate this....

This is apparently a real passport application letter!!


Dear Minister,

I'm in the process of renewing my passport but I am a total loss to understand or believe the hoops I am being asked to jump through.

How is it that Bert Smith of T.V. Rentals Basingstoke has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a satellite dish from them back in 1994, and yet, the Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date?

How come that nice West African immigrant chappy who comes round every Thursday night with his DVD rentals van can tell me every film or video I have had out since he started his business up eleven years ago, yet you still want me to remind you of my last three jobs, two of which were with contractors working for the government?

How come the T.V. detector van can tell if my T.V. is on, what channel I am watching and whether I have paid my licence or not, and yet if I win the government run lottery they have no idea I have won or where I am and will keep the bloody money to themselves if I fail to claim in good time.

Do you people do this by hand? You have my birth date on numerous files you hold on me, including the one with all the income tax forms I've filed for the past 30-odd years. It's on my health insurance card, my driver's licence, on the last four passports I've had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I've had to fill out before being allowed off the planes and boats over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms that are done every ten years and the electoral registration forms I have to complete, by law, every time our lords and masters are up for re-election.

Would somebody please take note, once and for all, I was born in Maidenhead on the 4th of March 1957, my mother's name is Mary, her maiden name was Reynolds, my father's name is Robert, and I'd be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and the day I die!

I apologise Minister. I'm obviously not myself this morning. But between you and me, I have simply had enough! You mail the application to my house, then you ask me for my address. What is going on? Do you have a gang of Neanderthals working there? Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don't want to activate the Fifth Reich for God's sake! I just want to go and park my weary backside on a sunny, sandy beach for a couple of week's well-earned rest away from all this crap.

Well, I have to go now, because I have to go to back to Salisbury and get another copy of my birth certificate because you lost the last one. AND to the tune of 60 quid! What a racket THAT is!! Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day? But nooooo, that'd be too damn easy and maybe make sense. You'd rather have us running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off, then find some tosser to confirm that it's really me on the goddamn picture - you know... the one where we're not allowed to smile in case we look as if we are enjoying the process! Hey, you know why we can't smile? 'Cause we're totally jacked off!

I served in the armed forces for more than 25 years including over ten years at the Ministry of Defence in London. I have had security clearances which allowed me to sit in the Cabinet Office, five seats away from the Prime Minister while he was being briefed on the first Gulf War and I have been doing volunteer work for the British Red Cross ever since I left the Services. However, I have to get someone "important" to verify who I am -- you know, someone like my doctor... who, before he got his medical degree 6 months ago WAS LIVING IN PAKISTAN...

Yours sincerely,

An Irate British Citizen

Thursday 15 May 2008


The morning rant began, as usual, during Breakfast TV. Today they featured a brave mother whose son had died of vCJD. She also happens to be a journalist and her natural inclination was to research and document the why’s where’s and how’s of the disease. What she uncovered is a national scandal (I know, another one) of lies and cover-ups perpetrated against the great British public by their elected and paid servants the Government, civil servants and petty bureaucrats who between them have managed to ruin a great Country. She has a website,

Because of this dishonourable bunch of tossers the water is now unfit to drink, the air is unfit to breath, the food is unfit to eat, our border controls are non-existent, our criminal justice system is ineffective because our prisons are full of druggies, our streets are dangerous and they won’t even collect our fucking garbage. Exaggeration? I don’t think so!

On Tuesday I was listening to the radio whilst waiting for the dentist to open. The subject was that, shock, horror, Nottingham City Council is going to charge businesses for parking places at their premises on the pretext that it will stop people using their cars. Huh! Our office is in the middle of the countryside, no-one can get here by public transport and we are charged council tax for the 36 parking places we provide on our own land. It is purely a revenue generating initiative. This is where the lying begins and where does it end? Covering up CJD because of the power of the meat lobby. Let's demand zero tollerance rom those lying bastards

Rant over. Grrrr! Sorry about the swearing, I HAVE been trying to contain myself, honest, but this morning I had to let rip.

Calm down Ann, calm down. And now to something completely different. Here is one for Stinking Billie who thought it was a pity that OG and I weren't in the office photograph. Well Billie, this is the rogues gallery as of 1st April (there have been a couple of changes since then) see if you can spot us.

Monday 12 May 2008


On Saturday I went to my grandsons graduation ceremony at Cambridge. This is the second time I have had the privilege of being invited to a graduation ceremony there and I find that words are inadequate to explain the experience.

First, let me declare my love of the City of Cambridge itself. I love the youth, exhuberance, leafiness and quirkiness of the place. On a guided walking tour of the City our guide pointed out an insignificant looking three story terraced building down a side street and told us that she had worked there alongside 3 Nobel Prize winners who had unraveled the mysteries of DNA. That seems to sum up the craziness of the place to me. WOW WITH BELLS ON!!

She also told us that the University of Cambridge, founded in 1209, was unique in the way that it worked. There is no such thing as a “university” building, it is actually a collection of independent colleges. I am not good at retaining information, and I’m sure DogLover will put me straight, but I seem to remember her saying that each college has students from all disciplines so an economics student will be living alongside an engineering student, a medical student etc. This makes for a very broad educational experience.

I believe that the only “universal” building is the Senate-House where graduation ceremonies have been held for over 800 years and which, as you would expect, are steeped in tradition. Each college has it’s own ceremony starting after lunch with King’s, Trinity, St .John’s, Peterhouse and finishing at about 2000 with Homerton.

After the formal lunch with visitors at their colleges the granuands are walked in all their regalia through the city to the Senate-House. Our ceremony was scheduled for 1700 and started bang on time as the bell chimed. Impressive when you consider that each college will have upward of 100 students graduating. The lady in front of us put it very well, "after all, they have had 800 years to get this right”.

Visitors are seated on tiered benches either in the Gallery or on the floor of the Senate-House and cannot leave until a “break in the proceedings” i.e. the end. We were fortunate enough to be seated on the floor immediately beside where the ceremony was to take place.

The ceremony commences when the Vice-Chancellor enters the Senate-House in procession, led by the Esquire Bedells bearing maces. All the big-wig participants then have little rituals to perform and there is much bowing and scraping and taking off of hats. Apart from a short welcome in English the entire proceedings take place entirely in Latin.

The graduands are led forward four at a time and the person presenting them holds out his hand for each graduand to hold one finger. He then says in Latin “Most worthy Vice-Chancellor and the whole University, I present to you this man (woman) whom I know to be suitable as much by character as by learning to proceed to the degree of (name of degree); for which I pledge my faith to you and to the whole University”. The graduand then kneels and after enclosing the graduand’s hands between his own, the Vice-Chancellor says in Latin “by the authority committed to me I admit you to the degree of (name of degree) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.

As this was taking place one poor lady started to have a fit. My grandson said afterwards that he was a bit surprised that they hadn’t stopped the proceedings until she had been carried from the building. I said that I was surprised that they had even allowed her to be carried from the building, bearing in mind they said we couldn’t leave until a “break in the proceedings”! As my husband once said “I suppose that’s what makes England great" (he is Scottish and was being extremely ironic in a similar circumstance).

My grandson studied for his MA at Edinburgh University but he said that graduating from Cambridge as a Master of Philosophy was a whole different ball game. Like I said in the beginning, hard to put into words, but he said that the level of intellect and excellence increases by a factor of 10. He hadn’t realised how spending the year in this rarefied atmosphere would add so much to his confidence. And it's tangible, you can see it. He walks tall and is an exceedingly fine and proud young man.
Originally uploaded by anninfotel


Here they are leaving for their long walk through the city. And while I have this opportunity, I would like to point out, again, that intellect comes down the female line. I have that on good authority, but I forget who told me. Ah! I remember now, DogLover told me. He also told me that I am a crap photographer. He, as you would expect, is a great photographer. He also went to Cambridge (Trinity? or was it St. John's?), spent his whole time playing golf but probably still managed a 1/1. Not good to have friends like that, they make you feel very stupid!

Originally uploaded by anninfotel

Saturday 10 May 2008


OG has been toting around a trade tool magazine. I have a stationery fetish; he has a tool fetish, a marriage made in heaven. As his major operation was only 2 months ago and he is two weeks off starting chemo he shouldn’t be doing anything too physical and I have, therefore, been studiously avoiding asking what is on his mind, but I recognise the symptoms. He is the same when he wants to change his car. He starts mooning around the place, looking pathetic until I bring the subject up, then he whittles on and on until I finally give in. But this time I have ignored him.

He is having his “mate” in the office research something, another sure sign he is up to no good. But I won’t give in. He is having long telephone conversations with his lifelong builder chum “’s great and comes with two batteries..” which I am closing my ears to. Finally, yesterday, he asked the Oncologist “is there anything that I shouldn’t being doing?” “Such as?” I jump in “Don’t get involved in this, he is thinking of buying a Kango” “A Kango? What’s that, a Playstation Game?” “No, its a concrete breaker-upper”. He steps back, aghast, “A concrete breaker-upper, why, what are you planning on doing?”, “I want to take down a chimney”. Shit, now I have been told what he is planning, I'm involved and the whittling begins. But I won’t give in.

Now I am off to my grandson's graduation ceremony in Cambridge for the day, go God knows what he will get up to while I'm gone. Keep an eye on him for me.

Saturday 3 May 2008


At last, a colourful personality in politics. I was told to watch Boris by my Swiss neighbour last summer. He was her MP in Henley and she said he is one smart cookie, not at all the buffoon that he likes to portray. I think we will be treated to a few gloriously eccentric years with him and, who knows, he may even turn out to be one hell of a Mayor. At the very least I suspect he will be remembered. But there again, I may be wrong.

As you would expect from such an exhubertant personality he has confessed to having a "past" and probably still has a "present". The opposition spin doctors and media will now get to work at trashing him. Will he survive? I think so. I hope so.

Whilst on the subject of Mayors did you know that three Lord Mayors of London (a civic as opposed to political post) came from this little village? Not a lot of people know that. OG thinks that it might be because in the middle ages King's courtiers would fall out of favour and be banished to the country. Some came to Lincolnshire. In fact the ship carrying King John's gold is reputed to have sunk in the Wash on the way to our little market town proving that this part of the country was, indeed, very important.

Another interesting and completely unrelated fact is that there was no feudal system in Lincolnshire because the people were too independent and would not be subjugated. Another interesting fact is that they were called stilt walkers because the land is so boggy. Another interesting fact is that farmers could claim rights over land reclaimed from the sea which is why there are so many long narrow farms along the coastline. These facts are from my head and may not be entirely accurate because I am famous for knowing lots of dodgy information.

Friday 2 May 2008


This is a photograph taken outside our office on 1st April, the annual staff get together day (actually it’s 2 hours - not a whole day!). Each year we have a rah-rah session to beat everyone up for their failures last year and threaten them that they had better do better this year.

Unfortunately, I was unable to be present for this ritual public humiliation because OG was in hospital. Drat. They actually all seem to be quite happy don’t they? Just goes to show what the promise of a free lunch will do. You can tell that I really love them all can't you?

May Bank Holiday weekend is the highlight of the year for this small market town. We hit the Big Time every year with the Annual Flower Parade (it’s all annual stuff at the moment isn’t it?) OG hates crowds and marching bands (hence his name – Old Grumpy) but I love them. I think that I might have mentioned the very same thing last year.

At the moment I am saved the need to get mad with OG because he is such a party pooper. I forgive him everything and anything until he gets better - then I will resume shouting and slamming doors at him again. As he has decided to go ahead with the chemo I guess he will be spared my bad temper for a few months longer.

So – getting back to tomorrow, I will mosey on down to town at about lunch-time, sample a few cocktails with my low key (not) friend, have a bite to eat, laugh at fascinating tales of her recent mishaps in New York and, depending on my intake of cocktails, either sedately watch the parade with friends or attempt to de-throne the Flower Queen, join in with the marching bands and possibly upset and insult several local dignitaries. I might even get arrested.