… it’s been a busy old week so far this week. I’ve been bombing around like a blue arsed wossname for the past four or five days and haven’t had a moment to think about this week’s blog at all yet, let alone write it. That’s my excuse, anyway, and I’m sticking to it. File under ‘stream of consciousness’ and you won’t be far wrong.

It didn’t help that Ben came home from school on Friday with piles of homework and GCSE revision, including a ‘field trip’ to a local park for an IT design project that had to be worked into the weekend somewhere. On the plus side, for him, he had a Baker’s day on Monday (that’s a teacher training day for my overseas readers – basically a day off skool for the kids and a day in the pub for the teachers) which gave him a bit more time to get everything done. On the downside, for me, he had a Baker’s day on Monday which meant I had even less time to get everything done along with the psychological trauma of ‘assisting’ him with his homework. Mainly this involves standing behind him while he reads aloud and beating him around the head whenever a particularly important point is reached in order to ‘knock it into him’. It sounds harsh, I know, but it’s the only thing that seems to work and apart from the nervous twitch and nightmares it doesn’t seem to be doing him any harm. Mind you, he is the only kid I know with a cauliflower cranium. That’s like a cauliflower ear only more extensive…

Last night I went to my writers’ group. It was really buzzing, with three new members showing up and lots of excited conversation around the group project we’ve been working on. More of that next week, when I’ll also be posting a few links to the group website for you to look at. Another big bonus for me about last night’s meet was that I finally got to take delivery of my very own Pingwing, which I have been on a promise for now for some time.

Pingwings, for those who don’t know, are delightful little creatures, similar to penguins, native to Kent woodlands and fields. From the mid-sixties onwards sightings of these beautiful creatures became increasingly rare, and it was feared that they faced extinction. Thankfully, conservationists working for the Dragon’s Friendly Society  were able to successfully intervene and numbers are now once again on the increase. I am delighted to now be the proud owner of my own Pingwing, having had my sanity challenged many times over the past couple of decades by people who had never heard of or had no recollection of them and believed them to be a figment (figments?) of my fevered imagination.

My new ward, now named ‘Pip’ (I have great expectations of him), had been having a hard time of it, sleeping rough around Tunbridge Wells and almost starving to death as a result of TWBC’s decision to close the voluntarily run soup-bowl project. He is so happy now in his new home that he donated some money, in the name of his rescuer Carolyn T. Gray, to the charity Shelter, in order that they can help provide for others who find themselves homeless and destitute. I was none too pleased to note that the little bugger had used my debit card to make the donation and more than a little perturbed that he had successfully cracked, in the space of one night, what I thought to be a fairly secure authorisation password, but I guess it shows he’s a resourceful little fella.

'Pip'. Of whom I have Great Expectations
‘Pip’. Of whom I have Great Expectations

Talking of charity donations, I was delighted to see when shopping in Tesco on Saturday a new charity initiative asking shoppers to buy and donate a few items of food while they do their weekly shop. I think this is a brilliant idea, and hope to see similar food drives in all the big supermarkets on a regular basis. Ben carried a basket and used the list provided by the Trussell Trust volunteers to inform his shopping decisions, making sure he got the best bang for his buck by taking advantage of special offers and buying ‘value’ products whenever the packaging wasn’t completely hideous and off-putting. He’s a wise child. Can’t think where he gets it from…

It was also good to see that Tesco were topping up donations by 30%. Of course, this undoubtedly falls into the category of ‘charity wanking’ (see previous blog) ‘cos it’s almost certainly coming out of Tesco’s regular charity-and-tax-break budget anyway, but it seems to me a very sensible charity to be supporting, particularly at this time of year when cold weather and hunger combine to make the worst implications of poverty even more devastating.

If I happen to be wrong about that 30% top- up and it’s a genuine 30% over and above what they normally give then let me know, Tesco, and I’ll happily apologise. I’ll even throw in another free advert for you that’ll be seen by each and every one of my two regular readers. Direct marketing – nothing like it.


IN OTHER NEWS: Have you seen that new ad for Rennies with the cartoon bloke with an upset tummy whose digestive juices are playing “Deck the halls with boughs of holly”? Ben rather likes it. He said it reminds him of our Florida holiday last year and the devastating bout of oemebic dysentery I suffered for most of the fortnight. Ahhh, happy days…

IN OTHER OTHER NEWS: I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but Tabitha, our Special Needs cat, has to take a steroid tablet every other day for her IBS. Basically, without the tablets she’s either got the squitts or bunged up like the sphinx (whose arsehole, as any singers of Welsh rugby songs will know, is “packed with the sands of the Nile”). Anyhoo, I gave her her tablet this morning in the usual way, holding her head back and massaging her neck for about 30 seconds, and the cheeky cow gave me a sly look and coughed it back out! Looking more closely, I found she’d also spit out Mondays tablet and concealed it under the edge of the tumble drier! Got to say I was quite impressed in one way because she’s as thick as two very short, very thick planks in every other respect (no matter how you throw her, she always lands on her head – Boom! Boom!), but it’s sod’s law that the one ‘trick’ she has managed to master is one that’s going to make her an even bigger pain in the arse than she is already. Ho bloody hum.

IN OTHER OTHER OTHER NEWS: Next week, all being well, I’ll be posting a little earlier, so remember to look in if you can on Tuesday or Wednesday. From Thursday I will be handing over the reins (big hint there) to a very special guest blogger who will be here for the full 12 days leading up to Christmas…

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed it. From a personal point of view I was quite pleased with it considering I hadn’t a clue where I was going to end up when I set out. Right, I’m off to feed the Pingwing and check the cat hasn’t got her paw down her throat in a last ditch attempt to upchuck her meds.

L8rs, T8rs.    


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