The Waiting Game

I had a bit of time this weekend so thought I’d write. So I headed over to DeviantArt and found the image below. My flash came in at about 950 words, about a 6-7 minute read, so be warned!

“Have a look, Mrs Brennan, is he coming yet?”

Continue reading “The Waiting Game”

The Joy of Home Ownership

Last night at around midnight our freezer decided to go kaput.

Full of food. 2½ years old on a 2-year warranty. Liebherr.

I doubt I’ll have time to be around much until I get it sorted. Some posts are scheduled. Not many.

Merry (Go Round)

I wrote this sonnet for Ingrid’s Sonnet Sunday, where the theme is the festive season.

The gift-wrapped box sits primed beneath the tree,
I rattle, though it gives no clues away,
A tag attached confirms it’s meant for me,
But full reveal must wait a few more da

‘Til then, the gift lies guarded, well-disguised,
By lights and baubles, sentries of the hour,
I dare not peek; no hints unveil my prize,
Instead rely on patience and willpower.

Yet giving cycles endlessly rotate,
A gift received demands a like retort,
And balanced scales must measure equal weight,
A pantomime which neither might abort.

“You’re just in time: we’ve two more seats to sell.
Come hop aboard the Christmas Carousel.”

I’m generally not good at receiving gifts, I have two main issues.

The first is just the whole cycle of giving/receiving. One person gives a trinket, a token, something the other person doesn’t need or possibly even want*. Then, the other person feels obliged to respond with some gift of their own.

It’s nonsense. Seems to me that the only winner is the guy who owns the gift shop. It’s designed purely to make us all part with our cash.

I guarantee, I will think absolutely the same of someone on Boxing Day as I did on Christmas Eve.

The second is where one person gives a gift, and the second person just ups it a tiny bit. Which prompts the first person to up the ante still further… and you get this infinite “creep” in value.

I can actually reconcile this one. Sort of. I’m still uncomfortable. Even now, I can get sucked into buying too generously, when by rights I should be more concerned about how I’m going to pay next month’s mortgage. You hear about people taking out loans to pay for christmas; fortunately I’m not that bad.

I reconcile it by thinking back to when I earned well. I gave little thought to value. If I wanted to give, I gave. It’s something I’m only aware of now that I’m on a limited budget and can’t compete.

So I assume that when somebody gives me a gift, they do so without thoughts of value, either. If my gift is smaller, so what? I’m not gonna get hung up.

Furthermore, there’s a lot of pleasure to be had from giving, so by receiving gracefully, I’m actually doing them a favour 🤣

I just wish that sometimes, I could be a bit more graceful.

* edible items are always welcome!

Hard Times

Magnate once had the world at his feet,
But tough times made his downfall complete,
When his backers withdrew,
He had left not a sou,
And he ended up out on the street.

Reblog: #UnfoldTheUniverse

Here’s a challenge for all you arty people.

You heard of the Hubble space telescope, right? Well, NASA are about to launch its successor and have also “launched” an art competition to go with it. Sanjeet has the details:

Science is our Home

Hello folks. 👋 With James Webb Space Telescope launch so close, NASA recently started an art challenge by the name of #UnfoldTheUniverse. With this challenge they called out to people to make drawings, paintings, music, videos or whatever people might like to and show them what will James Webb Space Telescope show us when it will #UnfoldTheUniverse.

Hundreds of people across the globe have already shared what they think Webb will unfold once launched. To find out how to participate, click the above mentioned link to know the simple procedure. And to take a look at the current accepted arts for the NASA Art Gallery click on this link.

My girlfriend also participated in this challenge and submitted her drawings. I would like to show you all this beautifully crafted design of Webb.

Webb Space Telescope, @asyouwish_7

To explain it a little bit, below in the image is the…

View original post 137 more words

The Story So Far

photo of a glass of milk

I’ve just had a week of drinking artificial milk, experimenting with unsweetened soya milk and oat milk. I wasn’t looking to beat the taste/texture of cows’ milk, but for an alternative, which merely had to taste acceptable.

Either milk was acceptable.

I followed Charmer’s advice and bought chilled. Each one was good for about 10 days, five once opened. Neither could be frozen. But the “fresh” lifespan was perfect for me anyhow.

Do you remember those little UHT pots of creamy-white-stuff you used to get to put in coffee? Catered coffee? It was supposed to be a cream substitute, but UHT. Long life. You would open one of these pots, pour the entire contents into your cup of coffee, and end up with a whitened, creamy drink? Allegedly.

Do you remember how wrong those little pots used to taste, if you used them in tea? Because you just didn’t want that level of creaminess?

I found oat milk to be the same. For that reason, I had a preference for soya milk. A tiny shame, since I’m happier consuming oats than soya. A lot of forests are being destroyed to make way for soya. But I’m happy that either of these is less of a footprint than drinking cows’ milk. Cows are commonly fed on soya anyway, so I’m at least cutting out an inefficient bovine middleman.

Soya milk comes is all sorts of different styles. For a start, there is sweetened or unsweetened. As a diabetic, I figured unsweetened was the way to go.

Soya milk comes in different flavours. Dave Williams suggested vanilla. The trouble is, the price. Vanilla was about 50% more expensive than the regular milk. The one I tried was only slightly dearer than cows’ milk (89p versus 95p versus 150p for vanilla). I was certainly conscious of cost – ideally I didn’t want to spend a lot more than I’m already spending. Both oat and soya were the same price – there might have been 5p in it.

So, this week’s supermarket order will be soya milk (which happens to be vegan) and that, barring disasters, is what I will select going forward. I don’t intend becoming zealous over this. The goal is to consume less carbon, which I’ll be doing by consuming this milk at home. I’m sure I’ll still enjoy drinks at the local cafe, in the same way as I enjoy an occasional bacon sandwich from them.

On a separate note, we lost one of the chickens this morning. I know… we shouldn’t have favourites, but… She just went totally downhill in the last 48 hours. I need to bury my head into things today, take my mind off it.

The Saddo

Over on Songshine Sounds, Where Were You Tuesday asked about the last live concert we went to.

That guy dyes his hair, surely?

That’s an easy one to remember. At least, who it was.

I’m not quite so clear as to when. It was definitely before the stroke, and I think before all the shit went down with my daughter, because we had a conversation about whether it was wise to leave her home alone. It was definitely summer, so my best guess is 2015 or shortly before.

If that seems a long time ago, it’s because however enjoyable music might be, there are more important things in life.

It was in Bristol, UK. Someplace there. The venue wasn’t memorable.

Paul Heaton was a guy I loved way back when I was a teen in the mid-Eighties. He was the lead singer with The Housemartins, who I’ve mentioned before were a favourite. After they split, he formed a band called The Beautiful South, who I guess you’ve all heard of.

Jacqui Abbott was recruited to sing for the band in about the mid-Nineties. She has an excellent voice and it added a new dimension to their music, but she quit in about 2000. It was quite strange because by all accounts she had this regular family life alongside the pop star existence, it became increasingly impossible to juggle the two, and she walked away from the music.

Fifteen years later, kids presumably done and dusted, and Heaton, now solo, and Abbot decided to tour again and played a superb concert in Bristol.

One of the things I liked was the audience. Heaton was originally from my youth, and by the looks of things, everybody else’s youth too, and the audience was about my age. So, this wasn’t stoned teeny-boppers not being able to handle their drink, it was stoned forty-somethings instead 🤣. Only joking, I’m sure there wasn’t a joint in the place.

Here are Heaton and Abbott singing as The Beautiful South. I think you’ll agree, her voice is sublime.

Incidentally, I almost did another gig in the year before COVID. I felt I’d recovered enough from the stroke by then, although I’d never have been able to stand for long.

Manic Street Preachers.

Always loved ’em, from their early days when I was a student living in Cardiff (they’re from the Cardiff area too) and they were unknown.

But they wanted so much for the tickets… two tickets for the gig (Mrs Bump too) was the equivalent to a year’s Spotify subscription. I’m not thirteen any more, and these days, that’s a no-brainer.

Spammer in the Works

Just had to share this email. Looks like I’ve been rumbled! Feel free to give up early but be warned… the laughs keep coming.


I have got two not really pleasant news for you.

I have been monitoring your internet activities for some time by now.

The only person to blame in this situation is you, since you are a big fan of adult websites and also have got an uncontrollable desire to indulge yourself with another orgasm.

Simply speaking, all your porn websites search requests have become a key to access your device.

The thing is that I word in a company that provides services related to security and performance of email providers, including xxxx as well.

During the pandemic outbreak a lot of providers have faced difficulties in maintaining a huge number of staff in their offices and so they have decided to use outsourcing instead.

While working remotely from home, I have got unlimited abilities to access the user databases.

I can easily decrypt passwords of users, access their chat history and online traffic with help of cookie-files.

I have decided to analyse users traffic related to adult websites and adult content.

I was truly shocked to discover that nearly 75% of users regularly access porn websites or participates in sex chats.

I have filtered out the worst perverts from the list. Yeah, you are one of them. Not everyone chooses to watch such hardcore videos… Basically, I have infected your device with one of the best Trojan viruses in the market. It was relatively easy, since I have access to your email address (xxxxx).

It was sufficient to prepare one of your routine emails asking you to click the harmful link…

My spyware functions as a driver. Hence, I can fully control your device and have access to your microphone, camera, cursor and set of symbols.

Generally speaking, your device is some sort of my remote PC.

Since this spyware is driver-based, then I can constantly update its signatures, so that no antivirus can detect it.

While digging through your hard drive, I have saved your entire contact list, social media access, chat history and media files.

One week ago, I have montaged a videoclip, which shows you masturbating on one side of the screen and on the other side a porn video that you were watching at that moment of time – recently this type of exotic stuff is really popular on the internet!

Don’t worry, I will need just a few mouse clicks in order to share this video with your entire contact list and upload it to some porn website, like Bigle.

I believe that you would not like this to happen, since a long holiday season is just about to start soon – just imagine the number of silly jokes and loud laughter that would get provoked by your video all over the neighbourhood bars and pubs…

I am offering a simple and reasonable solution:

All you need to do is transfer an amount equivalent to $1150 (USA Dollars) to my bitcoin wallet and we both forget about this silly story forever.

All your data and this video will be deleted by me once and for all. You have my honest word!

You’ve got to agree, this amount is really insignificant. Just imagine how much time and resources I have spent to get this done… If you don’t know how to operate the cryptocurrency – you can always search for assistance online. It is that simple.

Here is my bitcoin wallet (BTC): bc1qtzqgwqe3cd4cnv26vawxvfg3kr09r0jv53p8nw

You have exactly 2 days (48 hours) from the moment of opening this email.

I can easily track when you have opened this email (my software will notify me about it). Once you complete the transaction – I will be able to see and confirm that.

Please, do not try replying me via this email – there is no point in that (as you can see the email is sent from your address).

Remember that there is no point to complain anywhere, since I cannot be found (Bitcoin system is anonymous and I am also using I2P network in order to access your device).

I have considered all the small details.

In case, if 48 hours after you have opened this email, I still don’t receive the required amount of money, then your videoclip will be automatically sent to all your contact list and uploaded to public websites.

Good luck and please don’t hate me too much!

This is life! You are merely out of luck this time.

Who knows, maybe next time you will get lucky at something else…

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