New lifestyle - Feeling good - Moving on

What a difference a year makes ....

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30/07/2010 at 11:19

Feels chastened .. ok .. won't do anything more without your approval .. strooigoed .. they look great .. all kinds of little goodies .. banketstaaf ... mmmmm .. speculaas .. cinnamon and ginger .. delicious sounding .. I love cinnamon  ..  .. somewhere there is a web site that sells nothing but cinnamon flavoured food .. yummy ... but a whole load of stuff from it not so long back .. having to 'ration' myself so I don't eat it all at once hehehe

Thanks for sorting me out GC ... but I can't let you pay for anything ..

30/07/2010 at 11:51
Oh, yes, you're on the right lines now, Patootie ))) And i think we might throw in some cheese as well, don't you? I have a superb cheeseman who will vaccuum pack whatever we want. In NL you serve it in little blocks with a dish of mustard---you dip a block of cheese in the mustard and pop it in your mouth. Delish!

This really is a very fun season because there is so much seasonal stuff around, not expensive at all but colourful and fun, just what you want in those dark dreary days when winter is really settling in.

Don't worry about the cost, it won't be much anyway. And I often send over care packages to family and friends in Blighty, it's just fun to be able to share some of the stuff i'm lucky enough to experience. And anyway, it's your energy and imagination that will really MAKE the event, I'm just stocking up the engine room! xxx

30/07/2010 at 12:29

Awwww bless you GC ... you are a super and very kind person .. I will (of course) .. make sure that everyone knows a wonderful lady in France/Netherlands wherever you happen to be at the time is being a lovely caring friend to us all ...

And .. don't you dare not visit me the next time you are anywhere near my little corner of the earth ... I have a HUGE hug waiting for you

30/07/2010 at 15:06
Nah, don't mention me, Patootie. It's no big deal on my side, and in fact it is perfectly self-evident that the Good Holy Man (as he is sometimes known: de Goede Heligie Man)just likes people to come to his birthday party )))

You may of course live to regret your generous words, cos i WILL be in Cambridge sometime in the next year or so (and thereafter!) for the academic stuff I want to do and I WILL come to see you )) (I'll go a long way for a hug! ))
03/08/2010 at 10:18

Hugs waiting ... {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{GC}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} that's to be going on with ....

 Now ... an intriguing parcel arrived this morning posted from a part of France I think you may know quite well ... it was filled with some very posh, scumptious and delicious looking delicacies ... am I right in thinking it may have been posted by yourself .... if so you are very naughty .... but I lke it .. hehehe

http://www.graphics18.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/591894tnz6v3v681.gif

03/08/2010 at 15:07

What a grand day it's turning out to be .. a lovely parcel filled with exciting goodies arrives ... then ERNIE (UK Premium Bonds) awarded me with not one but TWO £25 monthly draw prizes ...  ... and ...

This lunch time I died and went to gelati heaven ...
https://mail.google.com/mail/e/gtalk.333

http://www.antoniofederici.com/Antonia Ferderici Gelato ... 4 flavours .. pistacchio, gianduia, caffe expresso and pannacotta .... voted the best ice cream in the world ... 2009/10 .. so good it's even sold in Harrods ... Ohhhhhhhhhhhh myyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ....... that's in .. I'm a gelati convert ... it's just amazing .. it's everything you ever wanted in an icecream and thought you'd never find .. it's gorgeous, creamy, satisfying, wonderful, gorgeous, creamy, gorgeous .. sigh .. I'm in love ...
https://mail.google.com/mail/e/B0C

One of the few moments in my life where I have put food in my mouth and instantly the world around me disappeared .. just lost in my own little gelati world of gorgeous, creamy adorable ice cream .. ohhh myyyy and they stock it just 1 mile up the road at my local sainsbury's supermarket ... how on earth am I going to live knowing hundreds upon hundreds of pots of Antonio Federici pannacotta gelati is so close ...
https://mail.google.com/mail/e/gtalk.32F

05/08/2010 at 09:22
Patootie, you must meet my better half someday---you two could sit and eat ice cream together )))) Sounds like one of those truly heavenly experiences when something is really, really, REALLY good! Definitely a reward you should give yourself often!!

Yep, the parcel should have been with you weeks ago cos it was supposed to be a birthday present :-/ But although I had it almost ready to go 4 weeks ago, the confiture isn't really what I wanted. There is a farm near here that grows fraises (they are called 'wild strawberries' in English; but they aren't wild, and they aren't really strawberries, although closely related--they are something else that is very, very fragrant and flavourful). Anyway, we often go there to get fraises cos they don't ship at all well so you can really only eat them fresh where they grow. But the farm lady also makes the most heavenly jams from them, and that's what I wanted to send you. But her farm has been closed for the last month: this is unheard-of at this season, which is obviously the busy season, so I am afraid that there may have been something like a death or serious illness in her family ( Anyway, I waited for a month, but she is still closed, so I settled for another of the special local confitures. Mirabelles are tiny little plums, about the size of cherries, that make a lovely jam. At least I hope you like it. I think you deserve to be spoiled a bit!

And as for the Premium Bonds, it's good to see there is some justice in the world after all!!

Must dash, I have a houseful of people and we have to cart them off for the day to see Monpazier. A place you would be fascinated be. Look at this:

http://www.pays-de-bergerac.com/english/tourisme/site_remarquable/bastides/monpazier/index.asp

Back later! xx
07/08/2010 at 22:19

Monpazier looks a grand old place .. full of history, small nooks and crannies to explore .. interesting buildings and folk, cafes to sit and watch the world go by ..  and just the kind of thing I used to love doing when I could walk around freely .. I do miss being able to just go to places and get out the car and explore .. now it's a logistical nightmare, where's the nearest parking, are there steps, are there good signs so I can get straight to where I want to be, can I get a mobility scooter, ohh blimey .. by the time you get all that sorted you are too tired to think of going hahaha ...

Now ... I;m going to thank you again ... because the cakelets are little masterpieces of taste sensation .. terribly 'naughty' no doubt but delicious and ohhhhh so moreish ... lovely delicate flavours that fill your mouth .. yummy. The nut brittle is fantastic .. I've always 'hated' nut brittle that I buy here, so was rather dubious about trying it .. because the nuts in the nut brittle I'm used to are always hard and dried out and if you're lucky the toffee will only give you one broken tooth per mouthful heheh ... but it wasn't like that at all .. the nuts are/were moist and sweet (as are those on the dinky little cakelets) .. and the toffee was hard but soon softened to become delightfully long lasting and full of flavour ...sigh .. a small piece lasts a loooong time ..

Thank you for saying it was a plum conserve ... sadly my French is abyssmal and I was undecided whether it was a jam or a fruit chutney .. (silly me) .. and it is truly delicious .. not too sweet , full of fruit, it's far too good to just 'use up in every day meals' if you see what I mean .. so I am going to dig around in the online recipes and find some lovely 'special' ideas to where I can use it ... can't wait ...

And the two pates look extremely prestigious and expensive (ohh myy you are soo naughty) .. and I think they will need treating as 'precious' fare .. so I will put them away for a special ocassion .. something to look forward to when the nights get darker and the evenings are cool .. to be lovingly eaten with the respect that's due for such delicacies ...

07/08/2010 at 22:31

Talking of food ....

Made myself a couple of little puff pastry tartlets for dinner ... filled them with cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, some creamy soft cheese and a generous sprinkling of Australian Lemon Myrtle flakes (my sister sent me them and some Aboriginal Desert Flakes too) .. and I added a few leaves of fresh basil on top just before serving .. they were really nice, quick and easy too .. I had them hot but they would have been just as nice cold with a salad ..

Earlier in the week I made some nut roast mix 'sausage' patties .. I've never been keen on nut roast with gravy and veggies etc .. but the packet mix (really nice and so much easier than faffing around chopping nuts etc.) made some lovely. crunchy on the outside, soft in the middle, patties .. ever since eating those delicious Farm Shop sausages I've not been able to eat massed produced sausages again, and in any case the farm shop ones are too dear to buy very often .. but the nut roast mix is a delicious alternative, not fatty at all .. and nicely flavoured .. and ohh so cheap from the wholesale people .. 10 packets for 99p .. and I got 4 nice sized patties from just one packet ..

I do feel I can 'experiment' more with food now having bought it so cheaply ... if it all ends in an uneatable disaster it doesn't seem quite such a waste .. and it's to think up new ideas to use 'store cupboard' staples ..  mind you my 'pantry' is nowhere near big enough and some boxes have had to 'drift' into the bedroom ..  the boxes are tightly closed up and only unopened packets or tins are in the bedroom  .. it's just that everything seems to come in large amounts hehehe ...

I bought some lovely tea the last time I ordered, Ceylon single estate tea (only picked from the highest part of the plantation) .. each tea bag is individually wrapped in a special protective air tight triangle package .. the tea is in a gossamer casing .. and they are supposed to be £12.95 per box of 40 tea bags .. but I got them for £0.99p... and it's really delicious tea .. delicately light, fragrant and naturally 'sweet' ... no need for sugar or milk .. it's made to be drunk on it's own ... I might just have to buy some more now I've tasted it .. it's scrumptious .. ! In fact I shall do that next .. 3 more boxes on their way to me even as I type hehehe !!

09/08/2010 at 16:46
Oh, nice tea is one of the real pleasures of life, Patootie. Although at 13 quid for a box of 40 I think I would more often admire it than buy it....!

I'm so glad you like the odd bits and pieces from here. It's just fun to share the taste of somewhere different. And don't get the wrong idea: it was NOT expensive at all. The difference between buying that sort of thing 'oop north' and down here, where it's all local produce, is huge. So enjoy it in good health, as my father would say.

By the way, it took me YEARS to work out what mirabelles were (couldn't seem to find anything about them anywhere) so I'm not surprised you didn't recognise them. I didn't either!

Loved the idea of your tomato tart. That's the kind of thing i MEANT to do this summer, but so far I haven't. The first 2 weeks here were full of practical requirements, the next 2 weeks were lost to food poisoning, and the last 2 have been full of visitors. (Who eat in the MOST tremendous quantities I've ever seen. They eat literally 3 or 4 times what we normally would (per person, I mean) and just trying to keep enough food in the house has been quite a challenge. They are dear friends, and we are glad to do it, but....wow, it's a LOT of provender!!

However, your account of your quiche has inspired me, so later this week I'll have a go with some of the fantastic tomatoes you get in the market here. (I managed to drag Mr C to a market last week, and he was amazed: 'In Holland the markets are full of things you can't get rid of otherwise; down here, the best stuff is in the markets.' Yep, that's about it. Especially the fruit and veg, which local producers bring. Fabulous abricots de Rousillon: a whole tray for 5 Euros. (Whether these are a special sort of apricot, or just apricots grown in a special region, I'm not sure, but they taste like nothing you've ever had before!) Enormous, sweeet peaches and nectarines; beautiful onions, marmande tomatoes, and everything at a fraction of what we pay for the in the north.
09/08/2010 at 16:52
And you really WOULD have loved Monpazier. I'm sure of it. And something else you would just adore is what we went to on Friday night. It's a re-enactment of the Battle of Castillon, the last battle of the Hundred Years' War. It is done in Castillon itself, by the local people, and it is simply spectacular. There are about 800 people taking part (along with about 30 horses, plus geese, oxen, dogs, pigs etc!). It's done after dark (starts at 10.30) against a hillside so that there is the 'set' of the village where the scenes of mediaeval life are depicted, and then on the hillside behind the scenes of the battle. It is superbly done, with some magnificent horsemanship. But what surprised me most was the political slant. The English were the 'good guys' who had granted liberties and rights to the lcoal people and had supported the all-important wine trade; so the English general, John Talbot, was a sort of tragic hero who was defeated by the superior artillery of the French, which was presented as a sort of violation of the laws of chivalry. The King of France who took voer cancelled the rights of the people, oppressed them with heavy taxes and prohibited the wine trade, which resulted in 9 years of poverty and misery for the people, until a new French king came to the throne who restored their liberties and allowed them to trade again, so there was a 'happy ending'. But the slant was very pro-English, to my surprise. And all of this preceded by a lovely barbeque dinner for about 800 people outside, with time then to look at the demonstrations of mediaeval swordplay, fire-eating, calligraphy, etc etc. Have a look at this and you'll see some of it:

http://www.batailledecastillon.com/

xxx
09/08/2010 at 16:55
Hey, Patootie, can I ask something? You seem to have got nut roast mix from a mail order house. Can I ask which one? The French don't do vegetarian, and being a veg I'm having trouble finding a source for things like TVP (textured vegetable protein---you rehydrate it and it's a good mince substitute in things like chili). I wondered if your supplier might have the kind of things I'm looking for?
14/08/2010 at 16:29

http://www.foodbargains.co.uk/

http://www.approvedfood.co.uk/

Both of these sites have reasonable delivery charges to the EU countries .. stock changes every few days .. and it can take up to a week to get your order picked and delivered (UK) .. however once picked the delivery is usual next day here (UK) so it's the 'picking' time that seems to take the time up .. so far any damages (just once) have been reimbursed quickly and missing items (once) refunded .. but when you think of how much I have ordered it's very good.

Make full use of every kilo you can .. Food Bargains delivery for France is 29kg for £14.99 .. and that's a LOT of food .. but keep an eye on how much weight you are up to because if you go even slightly over 29kg you pay another £14.99 ... the sites show you how much weight your order is as you go along .. so it's very easy to keep track ...

Approved foods delivery for the EU is slightly dearer ... £15 for 28kg ... (and again go over that amount and you pay the extra delivery in full ) approved foods have a larger assortment of foods to choose from ... but to my mind their packing skill isn't quite as good as food bargains ... food bargains are very skilled packers but don't have such a big range of food to choose from ... but I am happy to order from either site ... and haven't been disappointed ...

Approved foods do have a vegetarian section but lots of their foods that are suitable for vegetarians aren't in it for some reason (?) .. the vegetarian section is possibly more vegan based ... but you will know what you do and don't eat so obviously you can pick and choose as you please ..

The nut roast I bought is in the food bargains site .. Granose (brand) Mixed Nut Roast Mix 6 pkts x 150g for £0.99p  that's for all SIX not each packet ... the best before date is Nov 2009 but it's packed in sealed foil sachets and I had no problems at all with the freshness ... the recomended supermarket price would be £1.39 for EACH packet .. so you save a total of  £7.35 (based on UK prices) ! I followed the instructions exactly .. but once mixed I felt it needed a little drop more water and a bit longer to soak and allow the dry food. to swell properly .. the instructions say to put in a loaf tin etc ... but I prefer the idea of little patties or flattened sausage shapes ... and it cooks quicker too ... smells delicious as it's cooking and was a nice rich flavour with crusty outside and soft moist inside ...

Where items are beyond or near the best before date it tells you in the prouct details .. so you know exactly what you are buying ..

14/08/2010 at 16:48

Just imagine this ...

Fresh home baked crusty loaf ... fragrant and still warm from the oven ...

.. with .. rich yellow, creamy pure Irish butter ...gently melting into the still warm bread ..

.. then ... spread generously on top ... with some gorgeous Mirabelles artisan crafted  plum jam ...

Sounds like a marriage made in Heaven ... and ohhhh it was ....I can assure you .. it was simply delicious ... crisply crunching at first  .  warm and comforting ... then magically melting in the mouth .. all the wondrous tastes bursting on your tongue in a Heavenly dance of taste sensations ...

http://www.clker.com/cliparts/a/7/6/6/11970907811178303286johnny_automatic_bread_and_butter.svg.med.png

15/08/2010 at 13:16
Patootie, your description of eating bread and jam is worthy of Dickens!!! I saw the first mirabelles of the year in the market yesterday---tiny little yellow-green plums that I've never seen anywhere else. I'll still try to get you some fraise confiture, I think you'd like that too.

And thanks for the sites with the food. I am still trying to work out how to do things down here. In England it's very easy to find veggie food, even the supermarkets carry it. In Holland it's not as good, but you can still do it: there is a range of refrigerated veg stuff in most big supermarkets (although not nearly as many health food stores as as home). In France, they don't do veg. There is ONE kind of soya burger in the big supermarche here, and that's it. But in the winter I like to make soups and casseroles and like that, and I find that dear old TVP (textured veg protein, you rehydrate it and it's a good mince substitute) is the best. Your sites had some things along the sameline, so I'll have a good look later.

Really wished I could have shipped you some stuff from the markets here! In NL the market is where you sell what nobody really wants any more, here it's the BEST fruit and veg, local and cheap. Peaches, 3 Euros per kg and so fresh and sweet; big marmande tomatoes that taste fabulous; fresh lettuces of all different kinds (the iceberg stuff is hardly to be seen); and of course people with dozens of kinds of cheese, olives, sausage (the boys aren't veg), and all really superb. Even Mr C (who is---ahem!---NOT a natural shopper!) has been won round to the markets.

I'll be back in NL in 4 weeks, and will get in touch with you then to start planning for the Sinterklaas party. It should be pretty easy to get a CD with the seasonal songs, vaccuum wrapped cheese for the 'kaas met mosterd' (and the mustard, of course!), decorations, and the seasonal goodies. By early October most of it will probably be in the shops because the good Saint arrives on 15 November....so we can do some plotting soon!
16/08/2010 at 21:36

Just wondering if sites like this would help you locate vegetarian foods ..

http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/

http://www.goodnessdirect.co.uk/cgi-local/frameset/script/search.html?query=vege

That's the vege section !

On the site you can sort the products by suitable for vegans or vegetarians .. and there seems to be quite a lot of choice .. if you go to the delivery info pages you can choose your country .. if thi is the sort of site you are looking for I will try and find some more for you ...  

Edited: 16/08/2010 at 21:38
24/08/2010 at 08:33
Oh Patootie, how kind of you! I had a look at those sites, which do have some good stuff. And I will look on the Vegetarian Society site, which also has some of this, I think. It's not very much that i need, just a few specific things, but in the autumn I must get organised and just order a big batch of it and have done. Right now, with such a lot going on, I don't seem to get town to thinking in a straight line very much. But i've saved those sites!

Are you DROWNED up there? The weather for Cambs has looked just dreadful, and of course so much of it is low-lying anyway. I do hope you arent completely stranded!

By contrast, after a couple of weeks of (comparatively) cool and mainly cloudy weather, its been very hot here. On Saturday night our Anglican church had a hog roast (they kindly made aubergine bake for me!): it was 38 C when we arrived at 7 pm, and didn't cool off (ie down to around 23) until well after midnight. More of that this weekend. You will remember this from Africa, I expect; but I have to say when it's that hot I stay thankfully inside the house, where it stays cool.

We are back to NL in 2-1/2 weeks, and I'm already plotting hot to get the Sinterklaas stuff for you! We'll have to see what's in the shops as it will be a bit early. We shall put our heads together on that as soon as I'm in situ.

Have you been to your lovely farm shop recently? We had a lovely one near us in Cobham (our home in Surrey), associated with a huge pick your own farm that the kids used to love, so I feel very nostalgic when you talk about it!

Today is the day to go to the enormous (I mean. ENORMOUS!) Carrefour in Bergerac, so back later! xxx
29/08/2010 at 15:30

Weather: ohh myyy, what on earth is going on .. rain, sun, sleet, wind, calm, cool, hot .. I think in this last 10 days we've had a full years worth of weather .. only snow was missing ..  .. the fibro has muddled me so much I haven't hardly known which bit of me aches more than the other .. and from morning to afternoon it's all changed .. so I've been giving my body a rest .. afternoon siestas .. lots of reading .. and just pottering .. at the height of the rain on a couple of days our car park has been completely flooded .. we are about 10 feet lower than the main road .. so heavy rain tends to shoot down our drive way and then the 'soakaway' drains can't handle all the rain and the run off from the road 

But, I did get a chance to drive my car to the chap who put the electronic hoist in some years ago (to get my old scooter in and out the car without me having to lift it) .. the hoist is now removed and the car goes back to the dealers on Tuesday ... and that will be the end of an era .. no more car for me .. I just don't go far enough, or often enough to warrant paying the Motability lease of £50 a week .. so somewhat reluctantly I am giving the car up ... and there is a LOT I can do with £50 extra every week .. I've discovered there are some wonderful coach trips .. and if I get a disability rail card I can get 1/3rd of rail fares .. so ironically I might just go to more places once the car has gone ...

Giving up driving is a big wrench .. I've always enjoyed driving (sadly, only when I feel up to it these days though) .. but I can see not having a car will push me to look for alternative ways to get to places ..  the car has always been my 'safe haven' when I've gone places .. somewhere I can get back to and 'slump' for an hour or so if I need to ... but I'm now thinking if I am 'resting' more by travelling on a coach or a train to my destination I may not get so exhausted once I get there ...  .. and of course it's all sitting down on the way home again .. no worry about getting 'lost' or keeping my concentration going ..  .. and I can take my scooter on trains too ... so as long as I pick a destination where the train station is right in town I will have my own transport ready to go sightseeing ... and lots of places now have scooters that you can hire for free ... so I reckon I shall be better off without the car .. all things considered ... and get a whopping income boost too ..

I keep thinking back to that 'poor wretch of a woman' that I was only a few years ago .. I can't believe I had got so dispirited and depressed .. I really feel like I have 'evolved' into a 'new me' .. in fact changed several times over .. I've uprooted myself and moved to a new area, started doing lots of new things, now giving up my cherished car, so I can move on (again) into doing even more new things .. goodness .. however would I have been had I not found Runners World forum and it's good people .. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say it probably saved my life posting in the forum that day .. or perhaps more correctly ... posting gave me a life ..

30/08/2010 at 17:57
You know, Patootie, it's funny, I was reading back to your very first posts a week or two back, and thinking that you are one of the people who really HAS taken hold of life with both hands and changed their world. Everything you said is true---and when I see you now, I feel so much admiration for all the things you have done, and are still doing.

Giving up the car must have been a wrench in some ways, but as you said, it is actually giving you MORE independence and mobility because you won't have to drive yourself. And having moved from the very rural setting into somewhere with good transport links, near Cambridge, you really will have a much wider scope to get around than if you had to factor in the time and energy of driving. I think it sounds fab!!

The rain however sounds pretty awful! It seems to have been a real mother of storms: NL was absolutely inundated, literally. It was a record amount of rain that fell last Thursday morning. It was so bad the public broadcasters were telling people not to go out at all; some shops had to be cleared because the cellars (where the electrical systems are) were flooded in an hour, which made everyone in the shop unsafe. Sounds awful!

And I guess the fibro reacts very badly to this sort of thing. It sounds as if you had a pretty nasty time with it all, Patootie. I hope it's better now---I guess it is, or you wouldn't be posting.

The weather here was very odd last week too. During the day here it normally is in the high 20's or low 30's, but last Thursday we had this bizarre weather: very hot wind, very high temperatures---it was 41 in our little village. Truly infernal. Then in the late afternoon you could FEEL it passing off, and within about an hour the temperature fell by more than 10 degrees. It was still hot, but not that strange infernal heat. Maybe it was a bit of the mistral that moved up here (much further north and west than usual), it certainly felt like nothing I've ever experienced before except once, years ago, when I was in Baghdad in July.

Anyway, it's cooled off now and is an idyllic 26 or so during the day with cool nights--perfect weather! But I'm thinking ahead a bit now, as we are going back to NL at the end of next week and I have firmly on my list to see how much Sinterklaas stuff we can get hold of then. You mentioned maybe doing the party a bit later than the statutory date of 5 December---are you still going to do that? The reason is that I'll probably be back in NL by the beginning of December, and if you were going to do the party a bit later then I would have time to rush things over if we can't get what we need in the next few weeks. Lets see what I can do this time around....

I hope the fibro stays quiet now, Patootie, so you can enjoy the new possibilities of mobility when you don't have to bother driving. Lots of nice new things! And be in no doubt, we're here cheering you on, but YOU are the one who's doing all these good things. Give yourself a big gold star )))))))))))))))))))))))
07/09/2010 at 00:26

The weather is still affecting me .. just got used to having high pressure .. and now the barometer has plummeted again .. pouring with rain here at the moment . never mind .. I shall be off to bed in a few moments .. just trying to catch up with a few emails and important forumy type things ..

But, your rain sounds like it was much worse tha ours .. a positive deluge of Biblical proportions .. the worlds weather is getting pretty scary .. I think I am glad I won't be around when the global warming effect really gets going .. I feel sorry for the young folks who will have to try and cope with the mess we are handing over to them .. I wonder if they will ever forgive us ??

I haven't missed the car at all yet .. to be honest it''s a weight off my shoulders and I should have done it ages ago .. the day before driving I needed to rest .. extra meds and getting exhausted on the day .. night cramps in my legs after driving then another day afterwards getting over it all .. so any journey but the very shortest had a three day impact .. tomorrow night I have a Housing Association meeting .. and it's easy peasy .. just walk downstairs at 6pm and step into the taxi they are laying on for me .. no worries about my concentration .. just sit and look at the scenery hehehe ..

Baghdad  .. ohh myyy ... hopefully you were there before the wars .. !!

Now some sad news .. belatedly I have just learned my 'lovely old chap' died sometime last week .. his daughter didn't bother to let me know .. dratted woman .. it was pretty much expected .. he'd become so frail from his last illness and time in hospital .. but it was a gentle and peaceful death in his sleep .. he was a warm hearted man and a good friend .. I shall miss him ..

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