Almost hibernating

Up fairly early, meeting with Keith that stretched on and off all morning, while we sent some emails, and discussed various strategies for work and did bits and pieces for a couple of hour. The job stopped in its tracks last night, but will be picked up next month. To be honest, I am quite happy not to be slogging on another brief. I am very low on energy at the moment, and I want to put what I have into poetry instead for the rest of the year. But making plans seems futile, because every time I make one something else happens. Anton off to the stroke unit first thing, and they are pretty sure that he had a TIA the other week, although why is not he had it is not clear. Spoke to him on his way home -- and it is a lot to process. Sam left Kenny Towers for Scotland this morning so Lorraine and I have the house to ourselves for a few days. SadlyLorraine still ill with her chest infection, and now with a very sore eye. She spoke to her doctor again this morning, and will be off next week t

An American biff

Off colour and coughing this morning. Hard to separate the hypochondria from reality. I returned a dab of poo through the post to the bowel screening folks. It seems rude really. Keith and I started what was supposed to be seven days work with Americans this afternoon. The job was only confirmed at noon, and we were given a briefing late afternoon, on a particularly depressing medical matter. We were asked to reconvene at 10pm and where -- announced as good news -- the project was biffed till January. Somewhat galling as we had both put off other work to do this project. Business dealings in the last week or so are chaotic.  Lorraine at home, and officially off sick. She did, however, conduct a Governor's meeting from bed this evening, where it was officially confirmed she was going to finish in the summer. Otherwise she seems a mite brighter today. Sam prepping his trip up to Scotland tomorrow, and went out shopping and bought Lorraine chocolate and treats. I uploaded the new epis

A patch of sun

Lorraine went to work today, not feeling well at all. There was an enormous traveller funeral in the church next door. Horrible tragedy of a young entrepreneurial guy killed in a freak accident by an exploding truck tyre. Lorraine has organised more time off work as she has a bad chest infection, and after work saw her doctor and collected antibiotics. She will have to postpone her booster too unfortunately, which was for this weekend. I met her outside her surgery is just across the park.   As for me... Up early and doing final edits on the podcast, and then recording the intro with Robin. We had a laugh as usual. A bit of Santa banter on Tomorrow's episode. Had wanted a haircut today, as my barnet has tipped into its chaotic phase. Stacy was alone in the barbershop, and cannot do me till next week. I walked into town nevertheless. Spoke to Anton has to go for more check-ups on Friday.  Freelance a zone of confusion and uncertainty as usual. The job that was supposed to start tomo

Freelance shenanigans

Lorraine working from home, but feeling ill again. Taking care of her as best I can.  Assorted freelance shenanigans today. I am finding this kind of thing increasingly tiresome. The job I was supposed to start this Thursday has been bumped. I had been strung along for a few days waiting for them to finalise the details.  It may have started next week, but as I received another offer of work with Keith starting on Thursday I accepted this instead. Spoke to Keith, groggy and horrible after his Pfizer jab the day before.  Felt upbeat as the day ended, and as if things were more in control. Podcast editing most of the day. And a walk at the end of the day up to the Hillfort and had a good chat with Mum while I was roaming about around sundown. I was wanting to go up to Edgware to take Mum and Mas out on Christmas Day, but there seems nowhere to go, and we agreed it was better to do it a bit afterwards. Chats with Anton, and then Bob during the day too. Bob and I are hoping to get together

Snapping it up

Lorraine feeling somewhat improved today again. Late in the afternoon we got confirmation that she (or I) did not have Covid right now. Felt relieved about this. I felt much brighter after a gold sofa day, and went for a walk this afternoon up to the Hillfort. I enjoyed the pink and orange skies, and the way that makes the clouds seem blue. You could tell it had been windy as I saw three separate dogs wandering about carrying branches in their mouths, which looked sweet. Lorraine decided to buy me a camera tonight, as a combined birthday and Christmas present, with me adding a bit too. Felt a bit scary spending so much money to snap up a camera, but I do take photos most days, so I know it would not be wasted. Reading the book Innis lent me, and fiddling around with the camera he also lent me has been invaluable. Viscerally disgusted by Chelsea merely drawing at home with Manchester United today. I read Grief is the thing with feathers  by Max Porter. An interesting book harking back t

Trying times for hypochondriacs

Off then in the icy rain to get yet another Covid test with Lorraine. Luckily we went to Preston Park where there is a site in the park itself. Drove down some of the way, then toddle across the park. Bloody freezing today and windy. Snow and drama across the north of England. Cold and windy here. A gold sofa day all round, as the weather was horrible and my throat was sore again and I felt lifeless. This cold is a boomerang.  Had planned for Anton to come around but biffed him in case Lorraine had got Covid from school.  I want her to get her booster, and at least she was able to rebook it for a week earlier. She needs to hold on till next weekend. The news, however, full of a new Omicron variant of Covid, first identified in South  Africa. It will already be here of course. This diverges from the last variant in several ways. Nobody is clear what those ways are, or how well existing vaccines will work against it, other than it seems more transmissible than the Delta variant. Gods. Th

Sociable day

A very sociable day today, at ten I made off in the rain to Rotunda cafe at Preston Park at ten and met up with Adele, Sally, Frances, Deana, Ben and Rick around the corner in the cafe. Nice to chat with everyone, and was amused by Sally talking about her dog's phantom pregnancy. She has just moved to a big new house in the country, and I pictured it teeming with ghostly puppies.  From there I walked into town, and having plenty of time did a spot of shopping -- two new masks --  before meeting Catherine. Turns out I had the time wrong, and actually was twenty minutes late. We had some lunch in the Bath Arms, and slow pint of beer, followed by a pint of soda and lime. Catherine made me laugh telling me about some infuriating feedback on her writing she'd received from a friend. We celebrated her new job, which required her to learn six programming languages. She is a bit of a marvel, and the job sounds great for her, as it is lightly supervised and working from home. Fond farew

It's alive!

Decidedly improved this morning. Luck to be able to take my time over recovering, unlike Lorraine who has had to plunge back into the thick of things. Spent the day on several things, a good chat with Robin, a touch of recording. It did me good talking to her, as I am going through a bit of a despondent passage with my work. Not helped by feeling unwell and muddle headed. Negotiated with an agency, over a week or so work upcoming.  After dark, I mooched slowly over to see Anton in the evening, where he had made pizza dough, and we had a feast of pizzas washed down with assorted beers in (in the appropriately-labelled glasses) and listened to tunes. Deep conversations tonight, as the pizza dough bulged out of the bowl, and tore through the cling film Anton had stretched over the bowl. It truly was alive.  Fond farewells and a taxi home. Below the monstrous dough. 

A bit more human

A good night's sleep. And greatly improved, if not quite human something very close such as Homo erectus (pictured) or Australopithecus africanus .  Felt much better all round, and improved enough to get on with finishing editing the first draft of my interview with Alireza, did some copy, resolved some freelance stuff and seem to have negotiated work for December, and generally got my act together. In a much better frame of mind.  Lorraine had a horrid day at school. There is covid breaking out in her classes, a parent having a go at her, etc. All I can do is listen, and serve up a diner with mashed potatoes as one of the ingredients. This seems to help. Spoke to Anton, who had a major health checkup today, and needs to go for more. He has invited me to pop around for a pizza tomorrow night.   Below today's selfies. (Okay they are Homo erectus reconstructions, I nicked from the natural history museum site). 

Wasted day

Insomnia most of the night, by the morning the combination of cold and jab left me feeling like garbage. I 'binned off' my plans for making progress in any direction, and spent the day in a hypochondriac grump on the gold sofa feeling wussy every time I stood up. 


Feeling worn out today, and sniffles and sneezes returning. I felt that I had overdone it a bit yesterday. People getting in touch about work and so on, which was, frankly, the last thing I wanted. Good news was that I had my Pfizer booster, in the pharmacy across Preston Park. Had to wait for 15 mins afterwards. Even though I am okay with being jabbed, I appreciated the relaxed and chattiness of the woman who vaccinated me. I was a bit worried that I would be sent packing because of my cold, but I was routinely jabbed.  The walk there and back through the autumnal park, on a beautiful day, just about did for me on the energy front. Spent the rest of the day feeling worn out and thinking about all the things I should really be getting on with should I have any energy. Chatted with Mum today, and Anton. Lorraine back to work on a half day today... Poking her toe back into the shark tank for the afternoon. 

Betty's birthday lunch

A lunchtime birthday party for Beth today, her birthday was yesterday, and luckily as I felt a good deal better, I jumped in the cab with Lorraine and Sam. We travelled to The Station pub in Portslade by taxi, which made things easy. Beth had an excellent Birthday yesterday, being taken up to see Hamilton in the West End by James, and cried with happiness through the first several songs. She and James also had a nice meal with Gary and Sophie. I loved being out and seeing friends like James Kuszewski -- who'd acted in my Christmas play We Three Kings and is such a creative soul, met his partner Rob too, who I really liked.  Amy down from Chester too, sporting excellent blue hair, last seen by me -- I think -- when we were up in Edinburgh doing A Glass of Nothing . Dawn and her new boyfriend Paul were there getting on like a house on fire. Innis and Rosie, and lots of Beth's friends pals, from drama and also Sarah who is Betty's boss when she does her first aid training, an

Safe little dramas

A poor night's sleep and woke early feeling a bit wretched still, but then brightened steadily as the day wore on. I had a shower, and cooked breakfast while Lorraine was running about doing various things. I think I am going to recover more speedily than Lorraine. Tried to do some writing, but I kept losing interest and hating everything. Also received a poetry rejection tonight, just to keep spirits up.  Reading about autism today, articles in the Guardian about people diagnosed as adults, and I also visited the site. Before this I did a short quiz online with Lorraine when we were in bed this morning, supposedly to discern if we had any autism traits. The suggestion, which should be taken with a pinch of salt, was that I scored low, and Lorraine, scored somewhat higher. Became diverted by football and its stories and dramas. It is a safe little world in its own way. Could it be that Chelsea are three points clear at the top of the league, or is it that Manchester U

Best laid plans

I now have Lorraine's evil cold too. Just as Lorraine had been doing earlier in the week, I spent lots of the day in bed, alongside intermittent bouts of sneezing, coughing, streaming and so on before making it to the gold sofa for the evening. Decided to book a covid test, although Lorraine did proper one and two lateral flows all of which were negative. Luckily Lorraine is improved enough to deal with the carpet layer who arrived today who replaced the carpet on the stairs. She also took care of me bringing me teas and food upstairs, despite not being fully recovered herself, bless her. I spoke to carpet fitter from my bed.  Also Beth and James were going to come around tonight, but decided against it as they did not want to get the terrible cold. Instead Beth picked up her presents at the door with her and James wearing masks.  I also had to text Catherine to postpone our lunch. I think it is unlikely I can attend Beth's Sunday lunch party. Hopefully Lorraine will however.  


My new MacBook Air arrived today. Spent much of the day setting it up, quite a bit of it sitting with Lorraine in bed.  They are things of beauty. Chats with Catherine this morning, who told me she has been offered a programming job. We are planning to celebrate her resilience and generally inspirational quality in the Bath Arms tomorrow.  Today, a bit of writing and thinking, and looking after Lorraine, who is slowly improving after days of feeling horrid. Spoke to Mum too. Off this afternoon for a brisk walk, around and about, after buying Beth a card and some wrapping paper for her birthday this weekend. Love walking through the autumnal scenes nearby. In the evening, however, I began to stream and sneeze and generally exhibit all the signs of Lorraine's cold. Gah.

Snap happy with Innis

Lorraine a little better today, which is still a country mile away from being well. She is not going back to school this week, which is absolutely the correct decision. Beth came by this morning briefly. Just as Lorraine and I were getting up. One good thing about Lorraine being off work, is that I find myself getting up at 8, which seems decadent and late.  Spoke to Mum as I waited for a bus, heading off to the Peace Statue at Hove, where I met up with Innis. Very kindly, he has offered to lend me one of his nifty cameras, so I could try one out, and he lent be a book called, Read this if you want to take great photographs which I flipped through at home, and seems excellent.  Innis explained about proper cameras to me in a way that made more sense to me than it ever had. The relationship between the size of the aperture and shutter speed and so on. We sat at the cafe by drinking tea and having small bits of cake, and then we mooched up and down by the sea for some time. It was a gor

Lorraine a little better

Poor Lorraine still suffering. In fact she got up in the night and ended up sleeping on the sofa, after having a hot herbal tea. She went to bed again in the morning, and I took her up tea and so on. I don't think she should go back to school this week. I feel happy I can take care of her, and am not bogged down with work this week. Had a meeting with Keith and his lovely daughter Ffion who was on the call as it was take your daughter to work day at her school. Keith works in his kitchen mainly, so it probably wasn't the most exciting thing for her. She likes writing, however, and when I asked her what kind of thing she writes, she replied 'Books'. Shows ambition. Later we spoke briefly again, to screen grab us talking for her school report. Otherwise sent off work to the mes amis in Paris, faffed about somewhat ineffectually on my own writing. I did some editing on my interview with Alireza Abiz. Thank God I can edit out some of my more idiotic moments before it goes t

Packs of hounds and ear splitting-sneezes

Monday and Lorraine suffering from a dreadful cold, and doing her customised ear-splitting sneezes. I took care of her as best I could. She is absolutely too ill to work.  I don't have any symptoms but am feeling lethargic. Had time to do stuff today, such as chasing an agency for payment, billing the guys we worked with last week, and receiving a few hours of work form the French agency, which I did this afternoon. I also added to a new strange story, tentatively called The Bottle Garden, which is still in its early stages, and fiddled in an inconsequential way with a couple of poems. Shortly before sundown I went for a quick walk. Dogs everywhere as darkness fell. Most dogs wearing collars with coloured LED lights. One baying like the Hound of the Baskervilles into the night near the hillfort. One stealthy cur jumping up out of the dark at me as I walked down Hollingbury Park.  Cooked and then Lorraine, suffering on the sofa, but soldiering on with Star Dew Valley (she is feeling

A streak of rosy light

Another poor night's sleep. Working with Keith on a job which appears to be going well *nervously touches wood* judging by a presentation in the middle of the day. A few business negotiations going on in the background (with me biffing a booking). A smidge of work sent over by mes amis in Paris. Received a notification that boosters were now bookable. I went online, and the nearest place on offer for my vaccination was effing Crawley. I shall give it a couple of days. Toby has had his booster already.   Trying to avoid the news, all the stuff about Cop 26 is so numbingly appalling. Political and business fools still haggling for advantage as the world ends. After work a walk at sundown up to the top of the hill. Lorraine very tired tonight, and we slugged on the sofa all day. Roasted red peppers and mushrooms and ate with cold chicken and oven chips. An early night with a shattered wifey.  The final streak of rosy light beneath the glowering clouds over Brighton.

Mad squirrels for Catherine

Lorraine and I had a nice afternoon. We whizzed over to Catherine and Tanya's house for some fizz with them and Guy and Tim for Catherine's birthday. We gave Catherine some cheese and cheese plates. Guy and Tim brought Catherine a trip to the circus. Guy told us that he and Tim had bought each other genetic testing kits, and found out they were both bog northern, with a touch of Irish. Guy surprised to learn that he had above average Neanderthal DNA too, finally dispelling his dreams of really being suavely French.  Then an amble down to the Giggling Squid followed by Brass Monkey ice creams, consumed int he cold outside. Excellent ice cream. I had a black sesame -- the first time I had ever had licked a black ice cream. It was nutty and nice. Spent lots of time chatting to Guy, who was telling me about the appalling journey he had to get a diagnosis and operation just a short time ago for an endocrine problem which has been blighting his life for the last seventeen years. Tim