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JohnSimpson- Chunksters rule in 2018

This topic was continued by JohnSimpson- Chunksters rule in 2018 No 2..

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Dec 27, 2017, 3:50pm Top

My challenge for 2018 is to read books of 500 or more pages only this year, I know it sounds a bit crazy but we all need a bit of craziness now and again and I do have lots of Big Ones to go at and to add to the madness of this challenge I will try and read 75 of them.

So please come and join me on my thread and see how I progress with this crazy challenge, I will need all your support I think.

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 4:25pm Top

Edited: Jan 23, 4:08pm Top


1. Betrayal by Martina Cole, PB - 556pgs.
2. Mount by Jilly Cooper, PB - 681 pgs. Rutshire Chronicles No 10 of 10.
3. Echo Burning by Lee Child, PB - 572 pgs. Jack Reacher series No 5 of 22.
4. Taboo by Elizabeth Gage, PB - 623 pgs.

Edited: Jan 29, 4:17pm Top


1. The Riven Kingdom by Karen Miller, PB.
2. My Country's 'Keeper by Wally Grout, HB.
3. Endless Beach by Jenny Colgan, PB.
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, PB. Free via BBC promotion
5. Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott, PB. Free via BBC promotion
6. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine By Gail Honeyman, PB.

Edited: Jan 23, 4:24pm Top


The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 5:21pm Top

Hi I am John and this will be my fifth time with the 75ers and I must say I have made some great friends along the way.

I am 54 years old and have been married to Karen for 33 years, I have two children, Robert who is 30 and lives with his partner Louise and has a daughter Hannah who will be seven at the end of February and a step-daughter Shannon who is 15, and Amy who is 28 and married Andy in October 2015. We also have a cat called Leo who is 15.

I love books and currently have just over 2,350 books on my shelves and this doesn't include my Cricket collection which stands at about 350 books. While reading I do enjoy the odd pot or two of tea and in 2018 I will only be reading Big Fat Books.

Feel free to pop along and drop a comment or two and join the fun.

Dec 27, 2017, 4:05pm Top

Next ones yours.

Dec 27, 2017, 4:40pm Top

Welcome back for another year, John!

Edited: Dec 27, 2017, 4:43pm Top

>8 drneutron:, Thanks Jim, couldn't be without this group mate and thanks for administering again. Congrats on being my first visitor.

Edited: Dec 27, 2017, 4:52pm Top

I just love Big Books, these are my 1000+page reads so far with more to add.

1.Shogun by James Clavell, 1243 pgs
2.Gai-Jin by James Clavell, 1578 pgs
3.Noble House by James Clavell, 1435 pgs
4.War & Remembrance by Herman Wouk, 1171 pgs
5.Whirlwind by James Clavell, 1343 pgs
6.Centennial by James A. Michener 1100 pgs
7.The Covenant by James A. Michener, 1080 pgs
8.Sarum by Edward Rutherfurd, 1344 pgs
9.Homeland by John Jakes, 1138 pgs
10.Russka by Edward Rutherfurd, 1007 pgs
11.A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth, 1474 pgs
12.Love and War by John Jakes, 1019 pgs
13.Texas by James A. Michener, 1508 pgs
14.My Life by Bill Clinton, 1000 pgs
15.Child of the Phoenix by Barbara Erskine, 1086 pgs
16.Voyager by Diana Gabaldon, 1059 pgs
17.The Journeyer by Gary Jennings, 1219 pgs
18.Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton, 1144 pgs
19.Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton, 1235 pgs
20.Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon, 1185 pgs
21.Wicked by Jilly Cooper, 1007 pgs
22.The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon, 1412 pgs
23.London by Edward Rutherfurd, 1299 pgs
24.The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett, 1076 pgs
25.A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, 1391 pgs
26.World Without End by Ken Follett, 1111 pgs
27.Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey, 1,015 pgs
28.The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer, 1,056 pgs
29.An Echo in the Bone by Diana Gabaldon, 1,065 pgs
30.New York by Edward Rutherfurd, 1017 pgs
31.Hawaii by James A.Michener, 1130 pgs
32.The Company by Robert Littell, 1281 pgs
33.The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F.Hamilton, 1225 pgs
34.Spangle by Gary Jennings, 1276 pgs
35.Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell, 1024 pgs

Dec 27, 2017, 6:10pm Top

Hi John! Your challenges always overwhelm me, but I'm glad they're keeping you happy! Have a lovely 2018.

Dec 27, 2017, 6:13pm Top

Starred! Wouldn't miss your thread. : )

Dec 27, 2017, 6:59pm Top

Happy reading 2018, John. Dropped a .

Dec 27, 2017, 10:54pm Top

Good luck reading all those chunksters in 2018, John!

Dec 28, 2017, 11:27am Top

Popping in to add my star.

I love doorstopper novels, so I am excited to see which ones you read in 2018. I have Death and Mr. Pickwick soon in my rotation.

Dec 28, 2017, 2:29pm Top

Good luck with your doorstop challenge in 2018! I'd miss all my series if I tried to do that!

Dec 28, 2017, 3:28pm Top

Way behind already John! Wow, those 35 chunksters are CHUNK.Y.

Dec 28, 2017, 6:04pm Top

Stopping by to drop a star and wish you good luck with your challenge!

Dec 28, 2017, 6:30pm Top

Hi John. Happy new thread Ok, I need to know: how do you post so many different tickers in one post? When I tried to, the first one, posted twice. I had to post my 2 tickers in separate posts. And I had forgotten that the same thing happened with my 2017 thread. I'm sure there must be a way but it eludes me.

Dec 29, 2017, 1:56am Top

Excellent challenge, John! I wish you well, and I'll follow your progress in 2018.

Dec 29, 2017, 3:01pm Top

Great challenge, John, and ambitious! I'm wondering what chunksters you are considering for 2018.

Dec 30, 2017, 11:04am Top

>11 SqueakyChu:, Thank you Madeline my dear, I just love a challenge and the Big Ones need to be read.

>12 Berly:, Thank you Kim my dear.

>13 Ameise1:, Thank you Barbara my dear.

>14 Familyhistorian:, Thank you Meg my dear.

Dec 30, 2017, 11:09am Top

>15 libraryperilous:, Thank you Diana my dear, I have a few ideas with Ken Follett's Century Trilogy on the list along with Terry Goodkind and a number of standalone books from Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper to mention a few.

>16 thornton37814:, Thank you Lori my dear, I will miss a number of series but a couple will be completed early doors with the latest in the Rutshire Chronicles by Jilly Cooper and The last of the Kent Chronicles by John Jakes and some new ones started.

>17 richardderus:, Thank you Richard my friend, I love the REALLY Big Ones and there are a few to be read yet, might get four 1,000 page monsters done this year.

>18 witchyrichy:, Thank you Karen my dear.

Dec 30, 2017, 11:18am Top

>19 jessibud2:, Thank you Shelley my dear. As to the counters, set the ones you want up and then highlight each individually then control C and then on your page Control V, for a second on same post do as before then edit post and leave a line below the first counter then as above and that should do it. I hope this helps and doesn't seem as if I am trying to teach you to suck eggs ( as we say over here).

>20 kidzdoc:, Thank Darryl mate.

>21 kac522:, Thank you Kathy my dear, I will be completing some series and starting some new ones and some will be stand alone books. I will complete the Kent Chronicles by John Jakes, the Rutshire Chronicles by Jilly Cooper and then there is the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett, the Earth's Children series by Jean M.Auel and Terry Goodkind, Peter F.Hamilton and Markus Heitz's Dwarves series and The Spoils of Time by Penny Vincenzi along with more Jack Ryan books as well as a mix of authors I have stored for a few years. I must say that I could do this for at least a couple of years to get through the Big Ones and I have at least four 1,000 page monsters on track and there are a few more that will be awaiting their turn.

Dec 30, 2017, 4:26pm Top

I have selected my first read for 2018 and it is Betrayal by Martina Cole at 556pgs, this is just to ease me into 2018 and the challenge.

Dec 30, 2017, 4:55pm Top

I have set my page count for 2018 at 40,000 again and I may have a good chance of hitting it this time but sadly this year I failed and was slightly down on 2016 but hey ho it's only a number.

Dec 31, 2017, 11:15am Top

Happy reading in 2018, John, good luck reading the Big Tomes!

Dec 31, 2017, 11:15am Top

>27 FAMeulstee:, Thank you Anita my dear.

Dec 31, 2017, 12:33pm Top

Happy New Year! I wish you to read many good books in 2018.

Dec 31, 2017, 12:34pm Top

>29 The_Hibernator:, Thanks Rachel.

Dec 31, 2017, 5:24pm Top

view from Zürich's landmark mountain Üetliberg

Jan 1, 4:01am Top

Happy New Year
Happy New Group here
This place is full of friends
I hope it never ends
It brew of erudition and good cheer.

Jan 1, 8:57am Top

Happy New Year, John!

I hope you and Karen are fully recovered from the lurgy.

Good luck with your chunkster challenge. I'm sure you can do it.

I'm so glad to have gotten to know you and Karen and am sending love and kisses as always.

Jan 1, 12:01pm Top

A picture from a warmer day and a reminder that winter is great for reading and spring will come!

Jan 1, 12:06pm Top

May 2018 be filled with wonderful books and plenty of room to store them.

All good wishes for a happy year for you, Karen and your family.

Jan 1, 2:22pm Top

Happy 2018, John. I hope it's full of good reading for you.

Jan 1, 3:11pm Top

>31 Ameise1:, Thank you Barbara my dear.

>32 PaulCranswick:, Thank you Paul.

>33 karenmarie:, Thank you Karen, we are recovered from the lurgy and I am looking forward to my challenge. It is always nice to make new friends my dear and glad we are friends.

Jan 1, 3:14pm Top

>34 witchyrichy:, Thank you Karen my dear.

>35 Whisper1:, Thank you Linda my dear, I will always find room to store my books but Karen is running out of room, lol.

>36 jnwelch:, Thank you Joe.

Jan 1, 3:40pm Top

Last night we had a cozy evening watching a bit of TV, I made us a Whisky Snowball and then to toast the new year in we had a glass of Asti with a dash of peach liquor.

Once we were up and about this morning I went and got a newspaper before we had brunch and a pot of tea. After we had eaten we decided to go for a walk so we got our new walking boots and fleeces and drove to the village nature park and we had a nice steady stroll and did the whole trail which took about 90 minutes. We got back and were ready for a nice pot of tea and then caught up with a couple of programmes we had recorded. Not long after we got back from our walk it began to rain heavily. Our boots felt comfortable and we are looking forward to more walks.

We are both feeling a lot better and seem to have gotten over the bug we have had.

Edited: Jan 1, 3:46pm Top

Time now for a round-up of my 2017 reading stats and I will follow with my overall reading stats to the 1st January.

Latest reading stats:

Books on shelves at 1-12-17 - 2359
Books added in December - 3
Books read in December - 9

Revised book total - 2353

Pages to read at 1-11217 - 1,008,588
Pages added in December - 1,286
Pages read in December - 3,144

Revised total pages to read - 1,006,730

Jan 1, 3:43pm Top

*popcirn bowl* So. Statistics.

Edited: Jan 1, 3:50pm Top


Books Read...................... 9

No of Authors.................... 9

New Authors...................... 1

Male Authors..................... 6

Female Authors.................. 3

Pages Read....................... 3,144

Daily Avg........................... 101.42

Book Length avg................. 349.33

Pots of Tea Drunk................ 306


Books Read...................... 89

No of Authors.................... 57

New Authors...................... 19

Male Authors..................... 32

Female Authors.................. 25

Pages Read....................... 36,593

Daily Avg........................... 100.25

Book Length avg................. 411.16

Pots of Tea Drunk................ 3,616

Books Bought...................... 167

Jan 1, 3:59pm Top

As at the end of 2017 I have been noting down my reading for 8,220 days and in that time I have read 1,050 books totalling 484,397 pages at an average of 58.93 pages per day and have read 341 authors.

According to my Fictfact listing I have:

121 Series to start.

95 Series ongoing

27 Series completed

Plenty of reading to go at then, lol.

As you know I collate all sorts of stats and one is how many pages by an author I have read, this is just a snapshot:

Authors over 10,000 pages.......................................... 3

Authors 5,000 to 9,999 pages...................................... 18

Authors 2,000 to 4,999 pages...................................... 39

Authors 1,000 to 1,999 pages...................................... 42

Authors under 1,000 pages.......................................... 239

Jan 1, 4:05pm Top

Happy 2018!!

Jan 1, 4:07pm Top

After 1,050 books read.

Top Ten Authors by pages read.


James Patterson..................................................​ 42,172

John Jakes..................................................​ 11,023

John Grisham..................................................​ 8,533

Gerald Seymour..................................................​ 7,636

James A. Michener..................................................​ 7,400

James Clavell..................................................​ 7,231

Alexander McCall Smith............................................ 6,916

R.F. Delderfield..................................................​ 5,871

Jeffrey Archer..................................................​ 5,735

Graham Masterton..................................................​ 5,655


Martina Cole..................................................​ 13,148

Janet Evanovich..................................................​ 9.379

M.C. Beaton..................................................​ 8,639

Penny Vincenzi..................................................​ 8,491

Diana Gabaldon..................................................​ 7,938

Jilly Cooper..................................................​ 7,487

Fiona Walker..................................................​ 6,626

Carola Dunn..................................................​ 6,201

Elizabeth Elgin..................................................​ 6,133

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles............................................... 5,356

Jan 1, 4:14pm Top

Top Ten Authors by books read.


James Patterson..................................................​ 105

Alexander McCall Smith.................................................. 28

John Grisham..................................................​ 21

John Jakes..................................................​ 16

Gerald Seymour..................................................​ 16

Jeffrey Archer..................................................​ 12

Michael Connelly..................................................​ 12

Gervase Phinn..................................................​ 12

Alan Titchmarsh..................................................​ 12

R.F. Delderfield..................................................​ 11


M.C. Beaton..................................................​ 39

Janet Evanovich..................................................​ 28

Martina Cole..................................................​ 22

Carola Dunn..................................................​ 22

Cynthia Harrod-Eagles..................................................​ 12

Danielle Steel..................................................​ 10

Penny Vincenzi..................................................​ 10

Fiona Walker..................................................​ 10

Jilly Cooper..................................................​ 9

Elizabeth Elgin..................................................​ 9

Jan 1, 6:08pm Top

Hi, John! I'm so glad to see you back again for another year!

Jan 1, 6:10pm Top

Happy New Year, John! Good luck with your challenge this year!

Jan 1, 9:05pm Top

I love all your stats, John! Thanks for posting them. Absolutely amazing.

Jan 2, 3:03pm Top

>47 scaifea:, Hi Amber my dear, this group is my second family and I wouldn't be without you all.

>48 alcottacre:, Hi Stasia my dear, I think I will need lots of luck.

>49 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, I just love my stats and really many years ago when I left the mining industry I should have gone into this field of work. Oh well, hindsight is a good master.

Jan 2, 3:10pm Top

Glad you're feeling better and your walk sounds lovely.

Hee: You've hit me with an unintentional book bullet. The touchstone in >25 johnsimpson: went to a different title, which of course I added to my TBR.

Jan 2, 3:18pm Top

Happy New Year, John.

My first time to comment on your thread, but I felt I had to wish you good luck with your chunkster challenge!

I've read the first book on your list, Shogun, it's a long time ago, but I remember it was a fast and interesting read, with lots of action.

Jan 2, 3:36pm Top

>51 libraryperilous:, Hi Diana, the walk was lovely my dear and blew a few cobwebs off. This is the start of our new regime to keep ourselves as fit as possible, we have the walking boots and Polartec fleeces which were our Christmas presents to each other and today Karen used her Go Outdoors gift card and she got a mid size backpack, some walking socks (one pair for me as it was three packs for the price of two) and a Thinsulate Beanie hat for me, we went to another Outdoors store and Karen got a nice hat for herself.

Hope you are well my dear and are having a good week so far dear friend.

Jan 2, 3:40pm Top

>52 EllaTim:, Hi EllaTim, I love my Chunky books as you can see from the 1,000 page list of books already read over the last 22.5 years. With 2,353 books on the shelves to read I have a fair number of 500+ page books to go at so thought I would get to them this year and to make sure I reduce that pile it was only right to only read 500+ page books all year.

I have already had a quick perusal of the books in the loft and spotted at least six more 1,000+ page books to read and believe that there may be another ten I have not noticed.

Nice to see you here.

Jan 2, 3:55pm Top

We have had a pretty good day today, I awoke with the alarm and went and made us a pot of tea to have in bed and let Leo out. Once we had finished our tea we got washed, dressed and downstairs to put a load of washing on and then I made us a pot of tea and Karen sorted breakfast out. Once we had finished our breakfast the washer had finished and Karen put the washing on the airers and then set a dark load of washing off.

The next job was to clean upstairs, Karen vacuumed and dusted the bedrooms and I cleaned the bathroom and once we were done I made us a pot of tea. After we had finished our drinks we set off to Go Outdoors which is an outdoor and camping store as Karen had a £20 gift card to spend that she got off Rob and Louise. We had a good look around and eventually she picked up a mid-size backpack, some socks (three packs for the price of two, so one pair were for me) and a Thinsulate beanie hat for me. We left the store and headed towards home, I called into Asda to pick up a pack of mini-cigars and then we made our way to Spring Green Nurseries as they have a unit that does all camping and outdoor gear and Karen picked up a nice hat for herself. We are now ready to go for walks in the Yorkshire Dales although we do both need a better waterproof jacket and we spotted some today and they will be our next purchase probably for our respective birthdays.

Once Karen had her hat we made our way home and I made us a pot of tea and then we both read for a bit before having another pot of tea and then we decided we ought to have something to eat.

Jan 2, 4:48pm Top

Glad to hear that b8th of you feel much better and you were able for a long walk. xx

Jan 2, 4:53pm Top

>56 Ameise1:, Hi Barbara, we are both feeling a lot better and it was nice to have a steady walk around the Nature Park, the weather was quite good and we got used to our walking boots.

Hope all is well with you and the family dear friend, love and hugs.

Jan 2, 4:57pm Top

>57 johnsimpson: Everything is fine here. The forecast predict a stormy 24h ahead. So I'll do my errands tomorrow very quickly.

Jan 2, 5:02pm Top

>58 Ameise1:, I think it best to get your errands done quickly my dear. The weather at the moment is wet and cold but it has been so changeable over the last few days it could be dry and bright tomorrow.

Jan 3, 8:11am Top

I agree - this group is my second home, too!

Jan 3, 9:48am Top

>53 johnsimpson: Sounds like some solid purchasing that will make your walks comfy cozy. I love the sound of crunching snow. Then, to a fire with a mug of hot cocoa and a 500+ page novel. It sounds like a fine winter. I hope you get to do your Dales ramble soon.

This thread is reminding me that I am very behind in my UK nature books TBR list. Le sigh. Never enough time for all the books we mean to read!

Jan 3, 9:51am Top

I've finally made my way over here, John, to say Happy New Year to you and Karen. I hope there is lots of good reading ahead for both of us this year.

Jan 3, 3:40pm Top

>60 scaifea:, It so is my dear.

>61 libraryperilous:, Too many books, so little time sadly with everything else we have going on in our lives.

>62 rosalita:, Welcome Julia my dear, I am sure we will have lots of good reading done this year.

Jan 3, 4:35pm Top

After a night of high winds we awoke this morning with the alarm and I went and made us a pot of tea to have in bed before we got up and about. We had breakfast and set a load of washing going before I set off to pick Hannah up.

Once I had got Hannah we headed home via the supermarket, we went in to pick up a few bits and I got Hannah a magazine and once everything was paid for we made our way home. Once home Hannah had something to eat and a drink and I made Karen and I a pot of tea. Once we had our drink Karen got a large box of Polly Pocket stuff out and Hannah's eyes widened. She played with them all afternoon and watched a bit of Alvin and the Chipmunks.

We had some lunch around 3pm and Hannah loved the crackers and cheese and tried some different types of cheese. Hannah continued playing until Rob came to pick her up on his way home from the station. Just before Rob arrived I got the Christmas decoration boxes back out of the loft and once Rob and Hannah left Karen boxed up the decorations in the dining room and tomorrow we will take most of the decorations down just leaving a small amount until the 6th.

It has rained for most of the day and hopefully it will be better tomorrow.

Jan 3, 4:57pm Top

Well the Chunky book reading is going well and I am well on track to finishing my first of 2018, let's hope that this continues throughout the year ahead.

Jan 4, 9:16am Top

My "chunky" book for the moment is on my iPad which I accidentally left in my choir slot with the music last night. We had unexpected snow overnight so anything that follows the local school system, such as our church office, is on a 2-hour delay. I'll be there when it opens.

Jan 4, 9:26am Top

Hi there John! Happy New Year to you and Karen, and much love and hugs! I understand you have been having some wicked weather in your area. My nephew returned to the UK yesterday, after visiting here at home for 2 weeks - he is at school in the UK. My sister said the flight was delayed, and then when he caught the train to his University, it could not go the full way , due to the snow. So he'd tried to get a cab, but nothing arrived, so he ended up slogging along with his luggage back to school. Good thing he is a healthy 27 year old fellow.
Best with the chunky books!

Ah, my husband got some special tea samples from one of our son's for Christmas. Dave has a been having a lot of fun trying out such teas as " organic super ginger", organic cold 911" and " the spice is right' etc. Some of them really have quite an odour to them, but Dave has been enjoying his teas

Jan 4, 2:25pm Top

>64 johnsimpson: I hate taking down the decorations. The place seems rather bleak after that. I may wait until next week before I head out of town for a visit with an old friend.

Jan 4, 3:40pm Top

>66 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, the first Chunky book is coming along well and will probably be finished late tomorrow night, just looking at the two Billy bookcases in the smallest bedroom I have quite a choice of reading matter and so my choices are going to be hard to make, which one do I go for.

Hope the snow doesn't cause you too many problems my dear.

Jan 4, 3:44pm Top

>67 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deborah, the weather has been very up and down with rain all day today and colder weather to come over the next few days with the possibility of snow. I am enjoying my first chunky book my dear and have a good choice to go at.

I'm glad Dave is liking his tea samples my dear and I suppose the odours are just part of the experience.

Hope all is well with you, Dave and the family dear friend and send love and hugs to you all.

Jan 4, 3:46pm Top

>68 witchyrichy:, Hi Karen, it is awful when the decorations come down but it has to happen. We took all the decorations down this afternoon but left the cards up until Twelfth night.

Hope all is well with you and your husband dear friend.

Jan 4, 4:21pm Top

What a day it has been. We read last night until just after midnight and so when the alarm went off we still felt a little tired so I went and made us a pot of tea to have in bed. The weather was awful, it was dark and miserable with heavy rain. Once we had finished our drink of tea we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to make breakfast and a pot of tea.

Just before Christmas we got a letter to tell us that Northern Gas Networks would be on our streets replacing the old metal pipeworks with new plastic ones, we noticed them yesterday checking things out and marking the road and paths. Today they began the work.

As I made our pot of tea to have with our breakfast, Karen shouted to the lads outside if they wanted a drink, they looked very cold and wet. They wanted a drink and so four more pots of tea were made, after we had finished our breakfast we had a knock at the door and one of the lads brought back the empty pots and told us they would get on with our house first. He said ours was quite straight forward as we have a brick paved drive so it would be easy to make an opening to dig the hole for the entry into the house. We told them we were popping out for a couple of hours and he said that was fine as it would allow them to get on and then when we got back they could finish off into the house.

We left to go to the Freeport Outlet at Glasshoughten calling in at Asda Glasshoughten so that Karen could drop off a parcel to go back at their click and collect point. Once the parcel was dropped off we drove the short distance to the Outlet and parked up. We had a mooch around a couple of shops and Karen picked up a couple of bits at an outdoor shop before we went into Clarks shoe shop where I had a look at shoes and ended up with two pairs for £45. This was a really good bargain saving around 70% and as I needed a couple of pairs after seeing the podiatrist this was welcome. We mooched around the Outlet and Karen picked up some cards for birthdays and special events before we made our way back home.

Once home we made a pot of tea and one of the lads came to see if they could finish off the job and connect us in the house. We said yes and Karen asked if they wanted another drink, they said yes and Karen told them it was Yorkshire tea and one cheeky scamp asked if she did Yorkshire bacon, she told him he was cheeky but said she had biscuits and baking that they could have. They jumped at that and so six pots of tea were made including ours and forty minutes later we had all new connections and they re-sited the gas meter which made things better in the lobby and apart from the hole being filled in and brick pavers re-laid we were done. They will fill the hole on the drive tomorrow and I think the hole at the bottom of the drive on the pathway will be filled in tomorrow so I have had to park on the street as my driveway is a no go area at the moment.

Once we had finished our tea we got on with taking the Christmas decorations down, I passed decorations to Karen and she boxed the delicate items up and I sorted out the German wooden nativity scene and the German wooden candle decoration. When everything apart from the tree had been packed away we began on the tree. By the time Amy arrived for her hair cutting we had just about finished taking the tree down and started to vacuum the room. A short time after Amy arrived the hairdresser arrived and she had her hair cut. Once Bridget had left we tidied up in the room and I swept up the hair and vacuumed the dining room before we had something to eat. We had our food and I made us a drink and once that was drunk Amy left for home as Andy is unwell and looks as if he has caught the dreaded bug.

It was hoped that I would meet-up with Paul Cranswick but he was busy going to pick Yasmyne up from York railway station and we had the kerfuffle with the gas and so circumstances worked against us so I will have to wait until Paul is next over here with more time.

After Amy had gone I made us a pot of tea and we settled down to relax for the evening and I fired up the laptop to come on here. Tomorrow all being well we will have a drive out to the Yorkshire Dales and visit Ribblehead Viaduct that is part of the Settle to Carlisle Railway line.

Jan 4, 4:26pm Top

Good gracious me! That is one *packed* day, John. Too bad about missing a visit with the Cranswicks. I was hoping you'd be able to fill us in on Paul's real haul of books from Hay-on-Wye, since I no more believe he stopped shy of 20 than I believe in 45's legitimacy as president.

Jan 4, 4:37pm Top

>73 richardderus:, Hi Richard, I am like you and think the haul was bigger than the photo although he does have to get them back to Malaysia. Talking of Hay, while Amy was here we sorted out our holiday break for later in the year and Amy booked a cottage for the four of us and I had already looked at the route to drive there and a stop off break at Hay can be fitted in. Well I will need some reading matter while we are in Tenby so what better place to pick up some reading matter (well that's my excuse and I am sticking to it). Karen is ok with this as I am the only driver between us two so I need a rest stop, Amy and Andy will join us the day after as they have a wedding to go to on the day we set off.

Hope all is well with you dear friend and send love and hugs from both of us.

Jan 4, 5:11pm Top

Hi John!

Exciting day and glad your house got done first.

I wanted to take decorations down today, mentioned it to Bill, but he is cranky right now so I won't bother. We'll do it tomorrow.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

Jan 4, 5:34pm Top

Hi John, Happy New Year and Happy first 2018 Thread! I'm so glad that everyone is feeling better! I was looking through your chunksters and I think that I have the Ken Follett Century Trilogy that belonged to my mom! Maybe, I will pull them out later this year and start them. Thanks for starring my 2018 thread and I promise that I do have better news than the squirrel car fire! Looking forward to keeping up with you and Karen and your wonderful adventures!

Jan 4, 5:55pm Top

Hope you are having a great start to 2018!

Jan 4, 7:17pm Top

I'm glad I'm not the only one who noted that wasn't quite a Cranswickian haul Paul reported from Hay-on-Wye. Enjoyed the story about the tea and the lads working on the gas lines.

Jan 4, 7:27pm Top

SO, the key to getting first in line with city repairs is to butter them up with pots of tea and biscuits. Noted.

Sounds like you have a good day - 45 for two pairs at Clarks is a really good value!

Jan 4, 7:33pm Top

My comments mirror >78 thornton37814: and >79 scaifea:! Goodbye Thursday, hello Friday!!

Jan 4, 8:08pm Top

>74 johnsimpson: What a perfect plan! I eagerly await your books-purchased list when the trip eventuates. Hugging and smooching back Englandward!

Jan 4, 9:15pm Top

>72 johnsimpson: You sound like a very good neighbour, John. But they do drink a lot of tea, six pots!

Jan 4, 9:57pm Top

I am back at work and taught my first class this evening. The semester is starting quickly. Glad to hear that you are getting new gas pipes. What happened with the loose tile that caused your fuse problem?

Jan 5, 3:43pm Top

>75 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, hope Bill is in a good mood today and he helps you take the decorations down my dear. Sending love and hugs dear friend.

>76 Dianekeenoy:, Hi Diane, looking forward to more good news coming from you and will make sure I keep in touch with your thread dear friend. Sending love and hugs.

>77 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle, it has not been a bad year so far and we have had a good week together, sending love and hugs dear friend.

Jan 5, 3:46pm Top

>78 thornton37814:, Hi Lori I am sure Paul had more books than he was letting on about. The Gas lads sorted the drive out first thing this morning which was good.

>79 scaifea:, Hi Amber it is always good to keep the workmen on your side especially if they treat you well, Amy took note of the Job number on the letter we got to see who the site foreman is so she can drop him a note, ha ha.

>80 Berly:, Hi Kim my dear, nice to see you here dear friend.

Jan 5, 3:51pm Top

>81 richardderus:, Hi Richard, I will supply a concise list of my purchases if the trip to Hay takes place which I have no doubt it will as I am the driver and will down steering wheel once parked up in Hay.

>82 EllaTim:, Hi Ella, the six pots of tea were for the four workmen plus one for me and Karen, we are good but not that good to them, lol.

>83 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, you do seem to be back early my dear, I thought that when I saw the Amber's son was back at school on Wednesday. The children here broke up on the 22nd and are back on the 8th of January. The tile had only moved slightly and is back in place and flashing checked.

Jan 5, 4:59pm Top

We have had a really lovely day today. We awoke with the alarm and got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to make a pot of tea and get some breakfast. Once I had finished my breakfast we filled the flask with coffee and buttered some slices of Panettone and put some biscuits in a bag and then we got our coats and made our way to the car. Whilst having breakfast I could hear a workman filling the hole at the side of the house and as we left he had nearly finished filling the hole and told us that when the pavers were put back we wouldn't be able to tell that they had been there.

We got in the car and set off to our first destination of Ribblehead Viaduct, I called into the Asda to get some cash and pick up my copy of the Yorkshire Post paper and a packet of mini cigars. Once this was done we continued to Ribblehead and once we arrived I parked up and put my walking boots on and we followed the walkway to the base of the viaduct. I must say that close up it is mightily impressive and I cannot imagine all the workmen and their families camped out there whilst the building work was done. At the base there was a monument to the workmen and the latter day workmen who made sure that it was sound when the Settle to Carlisle line was saved in the late 1980's. On the monument it gave direction as to what was north, south, east and west of the monument and we found that there were two walks we could do.

We left the monument and walked under the viaduct and wandered on for a mile or so before we turned back, the weather wasn't too bad for a walk. Once back at the car we changed out of our boots and then had a drink of coffee and some Panettone. Once we had finished our drink and food we made our way into Hawes and once parked we had a wander around the town picking up some Braising steak from a lovely Butchers shop and a couple of Fat Rascal (A flat fruit scone) and then made our way to the car. Once in the car we made our way to the Wensleydale Creamery and had some soup and a coffee in the café before having a look around the gift shop.

After leaving the Creamery we headed towards Leyburn, south of Hawes and once there we parked up and had a wander around. We had a look in the local Hospice charity shop and I picked up a book and then we continued wandering around. We popped into a gift shop that had some lovely things and Karen spotted a nice stuffed doorstop and I spotted a t-shirt designed for the Tour De Yorkshire and only available in this area due to a special licensing agreement. As I have to have some dental work starting on Monday we left the two gifts but when we know how much my dental treatment will be we will go back and get them. We left the gift shop and made our way back to the car and by this time it was just after 4.15pm and dark so once in the car we set off for home. After a nice steady drive we arrived back home just after 5.30pm and had a drink before making some cheese on toast as Karen picked up some Wensleydale cheese from the gift shop at the creamery.

After our food we have had a relaxing evening after a really lovely day out in each others company, just what the doctor ordered.

Jan 5, 8:48pm Top

I'm glad you two had a great day!

Jan 5, 8:53pm Top

Goodness, you've had a couple of packed days. Today sounds very lovely.

Jan 6, 4:55am Top

You had indeed some splendid days, John. Happy Saturday.

Jan 6, 7:55am Top

>87 johnsimpson: Oh, that sounds like such a wonderful day!

Jan 6, 3:32pm Top

>88 drneutron:, Thanks Jim, we like these days spent together.

>89 libraryperilous:, Thanks Diana, after two packed days we have had a relaxing day today.

>90 Ameise1:, Thanks Barbara, the last two days have been busy and enjoyable and today has had to be relaxing.

>91 scaifea:, Thanks Amber, it was a lovely day yesterday. After parking up at Ribblehead we set off to walk and it was so peaceful, not a sound and the scenery was glorious with a mist clouding the tops of the hills with a rare flicker of sunlight casting a shaft of light on the hills and then disappearing.

Jan 6, 3:53pm Top

First Chunkster of 2018 finished just before midnight yesterday, Betrayal by Martina Cole. Another classic from the undisputed Queen of British Crime Thrillers.

Aiden O'Hara has been the head of the family since he was a kid and he is going to keep it that way no matter what he has to do or who he upsets along the way and that includes family.

Jade Dixon watches his back, she is the mother of his son and she is the one who makes him invincible, without her he would make mistakes and mistakes in this game lead to being knocked off your perch as top dog and ultimately can lead to death.

But Jade has been in this game a lot longer than Aiden, she knows that no one is indestructible and when you are at the top, that's when you've got to watch the hardest.

Especially the ones closest to you........

Martina Cole doesn't pull any punches with her stories, they are gritty and real and provide an insight into this type of world that we only read about in newspapers or on the news.

Jan 6, 5:06pm Top

After the last two busy days we have had a nice relaxing day. We had a lie-in this morning although I did get up to make us a pot of tea. Once we decided to get up, we got washed and dressed and came downstairs to make a pot of tea and have some breakfast. While Karen was doing this I set a load of washing going and once the drinks were made Karen prepared the Braising steak we got from Hawes yesterday along with some vegetables in the slow cooker.

As soon as we had finished breakfast and our tea we popped into Wakefield as Karen had a parcel to collect from Marks and Spencers while I went to do the banking and pay the last payment for the 2017/18 Council Tax. Once I had done my bit I went into Sainsbury's to get my paper, rail magazine and I picked up a small notebook that was on sale along with a lottery ticket and some cigars. I made my way back to the Ridings shopping centre to meet back up with Karen, I tried ringing her but it just went to voicemail. Actually I wouldn't have got through to her as she had left her phone at home as she found out when she went to collect her parcel as the code was on her phone. Luckily they could also sort it out with her postcode and then she went to try the trousers on, they did not fit right and when on she didn't like them so she returned them there and then. She managed to get what she wanted done very quickly and just mooched around nearby knowing I would come back to this point within the hour that I had got for parking.

Once we met back up we went to the car and then headed to Aldi to pick up a few bits, Karen went into the store while I stayed in the car and read my magazine. Once Karen was back we made our way home and unpacked the little bit of shopping. Once the shopping was put away I unloaded the washing machine and Karen put it all on the airers while I made us a pot of tea.

The rest of the afternoon was spent reading and I listened to the football results show and having the odd pot of tea. We made some cheese on toast as a mid afternoon snack and then later Karen made me some dumplings and put them in the stew to cook and by the time it was all ready it was delicious. We watched a couple of programmes and then read until the Voice started and we watched that although Karen was on a group on her phone and I fired the laptop up to come on here and log my first completed book of 2018.

Jan 6, 5:09pm Top

The weather today has been dry but cool and as it has got to evening it is getting chilly but our chilly compared to what some of my North American friends are enduring is practically a heatwave so I won't go on about it as I would only look silly.

Keep warm dear friends.

Jan 6, 8:02pm Top

Congrats on completing your first chunkster!

Jan 6, 8:09pm Top

Congratulations on finishing that first big book even while it sounds like you have been busy!

Jan 6, 8:41pm Top

Hi John, congratulations on finishing your first chunkster! You're allowed to talk about your cold weather, we won't give you a hard time! When I was complaining to my brother in Florida about our 2 degree weather, he told me that he understood since it was 36 by him! But, 36 degrees in Florida is super cold for them since their blood is
so thin always having hot weather most of the time! Kevin keeps a fire going in our wood stove and it keeps the house nice and toasty. It also can cause napping with
little dogs curled up around you, too! Love to you and Karen.

Edited: Jan 7, 1:16pm Top

The weather here in Alabama is finally mitigating, but my electric bill is going to be outlandish! Classes at the university will be starting this coming week so I will have to go back to work for real tomorrow to get ready. I love the long winter break as it is great for reading.

I went to Birmingham, (Alabama that is) yesterday and picked up my fancy new eye glasses. They are very stylish but they were very expensive. I used some of my insurance benefits from last year to pay for the frames and since I didn’t get the glasses until this year I used my 2018 money to pay for the lenses. It worked out perfectly for me. Whew! If it hadn’t these glasses would have been something I would not have been able to get.

Jan 7, 11:00pm Top

Just catching up John.

I must say back up there that I didn't realise that James Patterson had written so many books. I take it that that includes the books he used other people to collaborate with?

Jan 8, 7:46am Top

>100 PaulCranswick: Patterson is popular, but in our library the ones he co-authors, with the exception of some of the Paetro ones, do not check out well. It would be quite easy to purchase a new Patterson title every month at the rate they come out.

Jan 8, 12:53pm Top

Hey John, I'm really impressed with your chunkster goals for 2018! Just came over from the 50 group to say hey and good luck with your reading this year!

Jan 8, 3:22pm Top

>99 benitastrnad: Huzzah for new glasses. I left my very favorite pair of frames ever (black with gray and green sparkles) in a riad in Marrakesh. Sob.

Congrats, John, on finishing your first 2018 Doorstop-of-a-Novel.

Jan 8, 3:51pm Top

>96 thornton37814:, Thanks Lori.

>97 witchyrichy:, Thanks Karen.

>98 Dianekeenoy:, Hi Diane, you will need the fire going in your wood stove my dear and apart from being prone to napping because of the heat given out I could picture myself reading happily near it. One or two workplaces had wood stoves when I worked in the mining industry and my dad sometimes had to go to the cabin at the end of the liner train track before it exited onto the main line and before I started working I used to pop down and see him when on school holidays and in the winter he kept it well stocked and there was always a pot of tea on the go.

>99 benitastrnad:, I think a lot of bills will be large this winter my dear, let's hope it is not too bad. I hope the new glasses are ok, they sound really lovely from your description my dear.

Jan 8, 4:00pm Top

>100 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, the Patterson numbers include all the co-written ones but they will not be added to this year and in the future possibly Danielle Steel will surpass these numbers mate.

>101 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, it is very easy to pick up a Patterson every month my dear and sometimes more with the Bookshots he is linked to. I don't mind his books as I quite like them and I know some people are critical of his work but I always say that as in life we have surgeons and the like as well as refuse collectors and cleaners and in literature we have Dickens and the like and popular authors like Patterson and Macomber etc, all are needed to give a balance in life.

>102 utbw42:, Hi Andy, it was time to get back to the big ones on the various shelves so I thought lets have a full year at them to see how many I can get through.

>103 libraryperilous:, Thanks Diana.

Jan 8, 4:28pm Top

Yesterday was a nice relaxing day for both of us after our busy few days before and with Karen going back to work today after her short break off we didn't want to do much.

Once we were up and about we had a pot of tea and some breakfast before Karen did some ironing and I put the decorations back in the loft. We had a pot of tea after we had done this and then Karen did a list of who sent cards to us and I read for a bit. We had a bite to eat after this and a pot of tea before we peeled some vegetables to go with our stew from Saturday.

After we had a late Sunday lunch and after a gap had some Christmas pudding for afters we watched a bit of television before we both read for a while and then watched a couple more programmes.

Today we were up by 7.45am and once washed and dressed we came downstairs to make breakfast and a pot of tea. After we had our breakfast and tea I went outside to scrape the ice off the car and that took a while, I had another pot of tea and finished off de-iceing the car. Just before 10am Rob arrived and then I took him to the station to catch the mainline express as local trains are on reduced timetable due to strike action. Once back form dropping Rob off the washer had finished and I put the washing on the airers and then made us a pot of tea.

Before long it was time to take Karen to work, I dropped Karen off and then parked up near to the store entrance a popped in to pick up a card and a couple of bits before going to the filling station and putting some diesel in the car. Once I had fueled up I made my way home. Once home I made a pot of tea and read the paper I had picked up before doing some book stats work and then breaking off to read for a bit. Before long it was time for me to leave to go to my dentist appointment. Today was the first stage in sorting my loose crown out, he checked all my teeth to make sure there were no other problems and then cleaned my teeth before telling me what would then happen. I have to go back on Thursday morning to have an impression taken and then my crown will be taken out and a temporary one with attachment put in for a week while my new one and attaching crown on the tooth next to it is made. The following Friday I will have my new crown and attachment fitted and then we will sort out any more appointments that are required, all being well by the end of February everything will have been sorted out and I should have no more problems with the crown. The existing crown I have has been with me for 36 years and the tube in my gum that the crown fits into has cracked and that is why I have been having problems for the last two years and now the glue that holds it in is not lasting long so this is the solution and will last me for many years.

I was only at the dentist for just under 30 minutes and then made my way home, I made a pot of tea and read for a while and then continued with my book stats. This continued for the rest of the afternoon and by 5pm I had finished my book stats and so read for a bit with a pot of tea and then put something in the oven for my tea. I had a nice meal and then read until it was time to go and pick Rob up from the station. Once back with Rob we chatted for 10 minutes before he left for home and I finished off a couple of chapters before firing up the laptop to come on here. I will be going to pick Karen up from work in about 15 minutes.

Jan 8, 4:34pm Top

Hi John!

Congratulations on finishing your first chunkster. I still haven't read Martina Cole, but have one of hers on my shelves, Close.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

Jan 9, 7:33am Top

I know I've said it before, but I love reading about your days, John.

I've just had a tooth prepped for a crown and will go back in a little over a week to get the real one fitted. And Reba's just had one, too, I think. So many 75ers finally getting our due as royalty, which is nice to see, eh?

Jan 9, 7:53am Top

Congratulations on finishing your first chunkster, John! I too was at the dentist yesterday, getting a check up and cleaning! Took hour and half as usual. Sadly, I have two small cavities, and will have to return, though they did not have an appointment for me until May. As for having to scrape ice from the windshield, tis a travesty for those of living in fairly mild areas! :-) Yesterday was about 6 C or 43 F. Not bad, but it was damp and misty out .

Jan 9, 3:20pm Top

>107 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, first chunkster finished and half way through the next one, I am feeling good about my challenge so far.

Jan 9, 3:23pm Top

>108 scaifea:, Hi Amber, thank you for your lovely comment about my posts. I am always a little worried that they become a bit boring but this is how my days go, not always about our date days. I think we are due the spotlight regarding our royalty, lol.

Jan 9, 3:28pm Top

>109 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deborah, it seems that a few of us are visiting the dentist early in the new year. He checked me out and I have nothing untoward so it is just the Crown to be sorted out so that I am not having to see him every few weeks to have him use his magic glue to secure it a bit longer.

The car was parked at the bottom of the drive due to the gas works going on in our street and I have to drive in at an angle to get on the drive as they have dug a hole on the pavement in front of my drive instead of just driving up the drive and that was why it was frosted up all round whereas if it was at the top of the drive it would have benefitted a bit from the heat of the house and would not have been as bad.

Jan 9, 3:53pm Top

Hi John, I saw the dentist yeste4day too. He had to do only minor stuff so nothing to worry about.
Hugs for both of you. xx

Jan 9, 4:21pm Top

>113 Ameise1:, Hi Barbara, it really must be the month for dentist visits, the numbers are increasing my dear. Glad that it was only minor stuff dear friend.

Jan 10, 4:31pm Top

It has been a mixed day, when the alarm went off I went and made us a pot of tea to have in bed, as I let Leo out it was wet, dark and miserable and Leo didn't want to stay out long. We got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to have breakfast and have a pot of tea.

Rob arrived and had a pot of tea before I took him to the station and then I made my way back home. Not long after I got home Karen's nail lady arrived, I made us all a pot of tea and then read while Karen had her nails done. As the morning progressed it stopped raining and the sun came out.

When Debbie left I did a couple of small jobs before we had a bit of lunch and watched a couple of programmes we had recorded. After the second programme finished it was time for me to go and pick Hannah up from school. On my way to pick Hannah up I dropped a birthday card off at a friends house and then got Hannah, we made our way home and Hannah got some of the new toys down to play with.

Sadly Karen has been a bit under the weather all day and she has a stye in her right eye which is irritating her. We had something to eat and then Karen to Hannah up for a bath before she came back downstairs and had a biscuit and some milk and I went to get Rob from the station. By the time I got back with Rob Hannah was ready to go and they left shortly after.

I have been doing good with my reading since the start of the year and apart from our little jaunts out I have been finding it hard to get around the threads to leave some posts, so I do apologise if I haven't visited you all for a while but I will get back to my normal self and visit you.

Jan 10, 8:28pm Top

Just stopping by to say hello! Hope the dental work isn't too horrible!

Jan 11, 7:36am Top

I'm sorry that Karen's having eye trouble. I hope she feels better soon!

Jan 11, 8:47am Top

Congrats on finishing Chunkster #1 already! A propitious start to the new year. Now, good luck at the dentist and hope Karen's eye feels better soon. : )

Jan 11, 9:00am Top

Martina Cole FTW! I'm glad the first chunkster was a good read.

Jan 11, 3:34pm Top

>116 witchyrichy:, Hi Karen my dear, the dental visit today was very painless but just the start.

>117 scaifea:, Hi Amber my dear, Karen's eye seems a little better today thankfully.

>118 Berly:, Hi Kim my dear, it was a good start and Chunkster #2 should be finished tonight. The dental visit was painless and Karen's eye seems to be getting better slowly.

>119 richardderus:, Hi Richard, it was a good read as per usual from Ms Cole and the second Chunkster should be finished tonight.

Jan 11, 3:50pm Top

Not too bad a day after a bit of a fright this morning. I set the alarm last night and everything was ok but this morning I somehow missed the alarm. I awoke and the clock didn't look right, the radio channel was wrong so I set the station I wanted and once this was done the clock appeared and it said 8.23 am, I set the alarm for 7.45am. I jumped out of bed and quickly washed and got dressed before dashing back into the bathroom to have a shave, whilst I was doing this Karen went downstairs to make me a pot of tea and get our tablets out. While Karen brought her pot of tea back up to bed I got downstairs and had my pot of tea whilst I watched a bit of the news programme and then had my tablets before setting off for my dental appointment at 9.30am.

I had to do a bit of diversionary driving as there seemed to be a few traffic snarl ups but I got to the dentist at 9.20am. I sat and read until he called me in and then he explained what was going to be done this morning. He took moulds of my upper and lower sets of teeth and then told me what would happen next Friday when I go back. I was only in for 25 minutes and so left and popped next door to get a couple of large breadcakes.

Once home we had a pot of tea and I had some cereal and we watched Homes under the Hammer before going to Aldi so Karen could pick up a few bits, I stayed in the car and read. Once Karen was back in the car we went into Wakefield as Karen had a parcel to pick up from Next, I went across to the Trinity Walk shopping centre with her and she went for her parcel and I went to WHSmiths to pick up a rail magazine. We met back up and walked back across to the Ridings shopping centre and Karen went into Marks and Spencer's to pick up some ready meals to take to work and I went and found a bench to sit on and wait for her. Karen got her meals and then we went back to the car.

Once home I made us a pot of tea and put the lunchtime news on and a short time later Bridget the hairdresser arrived. Bridget coloured Karen's hair and then asked if I would wait while she had a bite to eat, she had been to a funeral this morning and only now felt ready to eat. I told her to eat as I didn't want her fainting especially as she is seven months pregnant. While Karen rinsed her colour off she cut my little bit of hair and then finished Karen off. Once Bridget was done and had been paid, she left and I tidied up the hair bits and then made us a pot of tea. After the pot of tea and a bit of reading Karen decided we should eat and so got some food out and put it in the oven and I had a pot of tea and read until it was ready. After we had eaten I read a bit more before putting the television back on for the news and then Michael Portillo's Great British Railway Journeys. Once the railway programme had finished it was time for me to go and pick Rob up from the station.

Jan 11, 7:29pm Top

Hi John! I got behind here but glad to see you and Karen are doing well!

Jan 11, 10:09pm Top

I am curious about the Great British Railway Show. What is it about? Trips around the UK or the history of railroads in the UK?

Jan 12, 8:05am Top

>121 johnsimpson: I think I've caught one or two of those Great British Railway Journeys or at least something similar here on cable--probably either the Travel Channel or BBC America.

Jan 12, 4:05pm Top

>122 ChelleBearss:, Thanks Chelle my dear.

>123 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita, The Great British Railway Journeys with Michael Portillo are journeys using Bradshaws guides. In the late 19th century George Bradshaw produced guides as the railways expanded across the UK and gave information about cities and towns, where to stay and points of interest. We are currently on series 9 of GBRJ's and he has also done Great Continental Railway Journey's and has done two series in the USA using the American equivalent which is Appleton's Railway Guide. The programmes are just 30 minutes long and each trip takes five programmes as he moves from his start point to journey's end, stopping off at various points to visit some place or monument and we get a bit of history about them and they are always linked to the railway.

>124 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, I think they have been shown in America.

Jan 12, 4:30pm Top

Finished my second Chunkster, Mount by Jilly Cooper. This is the tenth in the Rutshire Chronicles series and we once again follow the fortunes of Rupert Campbell-Black.

Rupert, once a famous Show Jumping legend turned racehorse trainer is consumed with one obsession: That Love Rat, his adored grey horse, be proclaimed "Leading Sire", the champion stallion of the cut-throat world of flat racing. He is determined to trounce the stallion owned by his detested rival Cosmo Rannaldini, which means abandoning his racing empire at Penscombe and his darling wife Taggie, and chasing winners in the richest races worldwide, from Dubai to Los Angeles to Melbourne.

Luckily he can leave the fort at home in the hands of his assistant Gav, a genius with horses, fancied by every stable lass, but damaged by alcoholism and a vile wife. When Gala, a grieving but ravishing Zimbabwean widow moves in as carer for Rupert's wayward father, it is not just Gav whos is drawn to her. A returning Rupert finds himself dangerously attracted.

Gala adores horses, and when she switches to working in the yard, her carer's job is taken by a devastatingly handsome South African man who claims to be gay but seems far keener on caring for the angelic Taggie. And as increasingly sinister acts of sabotage strike at Penscombe, the game of musical loose boxes gathers apace.

With a cast of characters from the previous books plus new ones, the amount of sexual tension grows and the rivalries grow also. Will Rupert achieve his aim or will he be brought to his knees? Will Gav finally break free from the awful nickname he is known by, Floppy Dick?

This is another Bonkbuster of a novel but to appreciate it and who Rupert Campbell-Black is along with the other characters you need to begin with book one, Riders and then follow through them in order. I just love Jilly Cooper for this wonderful series and hope their is one final book to come.

Jan 13, 10:06am Top

Hi John!

Sorry to hear that Karen has (had?) a stye in her eye.

Congratulations on your second chunkster of the year.

Sending love and hugs to you both!

Jan 13, 4:29pm Top

>127 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, the stye has just about gone but I got some more cream for Karen to make sure it has fully gone. The first two books were just to break me in and I got through them pretty quickly and I think I will slot some popular authors with books of no more than 650 pages in now and again just to keep me on track. I haven't gone too big just yet as I don't want to get bogged down but I am enjoying my challenge which is good.

Jan 13, 4:42pm Top

It has been a steady day for us, after a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed and then came downstairs to make a pot of tea and have some breakfast and set a load of washing going. After we had breakfast we watched James Martin's Saturday Morning until it was time to take Karen to work.

After dropping Karen at work I popped into Wakefield to pay a bill and take some shoes back to Next as they were not right. Once I had done this I went to get my usual Saturday copy of the Yorkshire Post newspaper before having a quick mooch around. I had to go to Boots the Chemist to pick up some eye cream for Karen and then I popped into the Antiques and collectables centre for a quick look. I came away from the antiques centre with a Cricket book, this year I am trying to buy just books related to my love of Cricket.

Once I had paid for my purchase I made my way back tot he car and headed home, once home I made a pot of tea and read my paper. After I had finished my tea I went and cleaned the kitchen before making myself something to eat. After I had eaten I settled down with a pot of tea and put Final score on and whilst listening to the latest scores I read and then made another pot of tea and continued reading before it was time to go and pick Karen up from work. As soon as Karen got in the car we made our way to the front of the store as she had to go in to pick up a couple of bits she had put to one side and once she had got them we made our way home. I made us a pot of tea as soon as we got in and we relaxed and chatted while having our tea and then she went and got changed before making us something to eat.

We are now having a relaxing evening, Amy phoned and spoke to her mum and since the call ended we have just chatted and now Karen is reading while I am on here.

Jan 13, 6:14pm Top

Oh , missing an alarm is a frightening thing, John! Glad you were able to make it to the dentist on time. I hope Karen's eye is soon feeling 100%. I recall getting a sty in my eye many years ago and it was not pleasant.

Jan 14, 3:18pm Top

>130 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deborah, it's not nice to miss an alarm but luckily I had given myself enough time so even though I was a bit rushed I still had time to get to the dentist safely. Karen's eye is a lot better and the sty has just about gone.

Jan 14, 3:29pm Top

We have had a lovely day and this was topped off with a cinema date to go and see Darkest Hour, it was fabulous and a must see film and if Gary Oldman doesn't get an Oscar he will have been robbed. Also the make-up team deserve an Oscar as they have made Mr Oldman look just like Churchill compared to other actors who have played the part.

Karen laughed, cried and felt like she was there in the 1940's and feels so grateful to those who gave their lives and to those who survived be they human or animal for without their acts we would not be living in a free world.

We had a steady morning and after a pot of tea in bed, we got up, washed and dressed and then came downstairs to make another pot of tea and toast some crumpets as well as putting a load of washing on. Once we had eaten and drunk we popped out to go to Aldi at Featherstone to get a few bits and once this was done we made our way back home.

Once home Karen put the bit of shopping away while I made us a pot of tea and got the washing out of the washer. Karen put the washing on the airers and once this was done we had our tea, I read and Karen checked out what time the film was being shown and then checked her messages on Facebook. I read until it was time to set off to the cinema.

Once we got back home from the cinema I made us a pot of tea after getting some potatoes to go with the Sausage casserole that had been in the slow cooker since 12.30pm and once the potatoes were cooked we had our meal.

Jan 15, 6:20am Top

I'm glad you enjoyed the movie - I've heard great things about it, and I LOVE Oldman tons.

Jan 15, 3:39pm Top

>133 scaifea:, it is well worth seeing my dear, we loved it and next up I want to see The Post with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep which is due out here on Friday I believe.

Jan 15, 3:45pm Top

Good news, I can now get back on my drive properly after they filled in all the holes on the pavements that the gas workmen had made. It is only a little thing but when you have only been able to get on the bottom part at an angle it seems like a big thing.

It has been a mixed day weather wise with rain then it cleared up and the sun came out for a short time and then back to light rain and it is dropping colder. The forecast for the rest of the week is rain quickly turning to snow combined with gale force winds of up to 80mph and so temperatures will drop below freezing and add in the wind chill and it will feel like -8 to -10c. Following this is another weather front that starts out as rain as it comes across Northern Ireland and Eire and by the time it gets towards the Western Pennines it will turn to snow, so we may get more than a couple of inches of the white stuff, obviously nothing compared to what got dumped over in the US but hey, this is the UK.

Jan 16, 6:04am Top

I'm glad to read that Karen's sty is just about gone. We had a nice sunny day yesterday, and today we are supposed to be back to rain. Sorry for the snow- I think our weather here in Vancouver is very similar to the UK - we seldom get snow and when we do, it's a crisis! The buses have trouble, the " sky train" or our tube runs into trouble and we get a lot of ice . Vancouver was not designed for snow, nor are the cities prepared for it. Now, the rest of Canada - they are more accustomed to snow. We get some sort of warm weather from the Pacific Ocean here in the Vancouver area and that creates our fairly mild climate.

Jan 16, 6:38am Top

Hi John!

You're really moving on the chunksters. Glad the sty is about gone, glad your drive is back in commission.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen!

Edited: Jan 16, 2:56pm Top

>136 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deborah, the sty has gone finally so Karen is happy. Today has been a mix of sleet showers and rain but snow is forecast throughout the night, the problem we have is similar to you my dear but if we get a couple of inches then the country is thrown into a mass panic. We rarely get snow nowadays apart from the Scottish Highlands that people have forgotten what to do and I think we have been cosseting the young for the last 25 years that they just flap about and moan.

Sending love and hugs my dear.

Jan 16, 2:55pm Top

>137 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, the chunkys are moving well, I popped into the loft yesterday to bring a few down just to add to the choice I have already got but there are lots more up there, lol.

The sty has gone finally so Karen is happy and so nice to be able to use the full length of the drive again.

Sending love and hugs my dear.

Jan 16, 5:16pm Top

>135 johnsimpson: We have that same weather front passing, John, but if there is any snow left to fall it will be gone in the morning.
Two chunksters down! I started my second one two days ago.

Jan 17, 3:40pm Top

>140 FAMeulstee:, Hi Anita, the snow bypassed us, all we got was a few flakes and barely a dusting whereas South-West Scotland had blizzards and the main Motorway was closed in many places. I think the Western Yorkshire Dales have had a decent covering of snow but I think that is it for us.

I am nearing the end of Chunkster number three and will end up with five down by month end.

Jan 17, 5:05pm Top

What a disappointment to wake up this morning to find no snow and only rain to welcome the day. I went and made a pot of tea for both of us and we had it in bed, Karen had had a bad night and was still tired. Once the tea was finished we got up, washed and dressed and then while I came downstairs to move the car for when Rob arrived and then make a pot of tea and put our tablets out, Karen stripped the bedding off our bed.

I moved the car and got everything ready by the time Karen came downstairs, we had our tea and I had some cereal, Rob had arrived and he had a pot of tea with us before he gave us a bit of bad news. The firm he works for are finding things tough and have announced that 160 jobs have to go, the full announcement will be made on the 1st of February and if it goes ahead he has been told he is one of the 160. Rob has been looking around for another job for a few months as he thought something was amiss and has already applied for seven jobs and got in touch with a couple of job agencies. The news was a bit of a dampener but he seems positive and so will we.

I took Rob to the station and on the way back I dropped our repeat prescriptions in at the doctors and then made my way home. Once home I made us a pot of tea and we watched a bit of morning television. The bedding could not be put in the washing machine as we were waiting for the engineer to arrive to rectify the problem of the flashing dials that make us wait up to 10 minutes before we can set the washer going.

We had been told the engineer would arrive between 10.16 and 13.16 and he actually arrived at about 11.50am, once he was aware of the problem he said it was an easy job to fix and he was done in 30 minutes and then we got some washer cleaner off him. Once he left we had a pot of tea and set the washer off with the bedding and then when we had finished our tea we went upstairs and moved Rob's clothing still here and swapped it around with ours and then moved Hannah's toys with some of Rob's belongings.

When the washing had finished Karen put it on the airers and then we went back upstairs to put fresh bedding on our bed. We watched the news and then caught up on the Great British Railway journeys that I recorded last night and by the time this finished I had time for a pot of tea before going to pick Hannah up from school. I collected Hannah and we made our way home. Once home I made us all a drink and I went and got a box of toys that Hannah chose. Once we had had our drink Karen made us all something to eat and then after a bit of playing she took Hannah for a bath and washed her hair. They got back downstairs in time to watch The GBRJ and then I went to get Rob from the railway station.

Once back with Rob he had a quick chat with us and said he had received a few calls and texts from job agencies and was feeling quite good about things and then he took Hannah home. Since then we have read and watched a bit of TV before I came on here.

Jan 18, 3:41pm Top

Sorry to see your bad news for Rob. Hopefully he finds new work quickly

Jan 18, 8:52pm Top

Congratulations on two chunksters done, John. I hope that Rob is able to find a good job quickly.

Jan 19, 9:06am Top

Hi John!

Chunkster variety! Excellent.

I'm sorry to hear about Rob's job situation, but at least he already has some irons in the fire. I hope something good comes through quickly.

I'll trade you rain for snow - we got about 12" on Wednesday, lost power for about 7.5 hours (but have a generator), and haven't left the house since Tuesday. Getting a bit of cabin fever. I might try to persuade Bill to go into town with me later today for a meal out.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen!

Jan 19, 4:20pm Top

>143 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle, it is a bit of bad news for Rob but he has been looking around for a few months for a new job and had a couple of interviews but although shortlisted he was unsuccessful. He rang today and one he applied for he has been knocked back but he had a chat with an agency last night and a law firm has got in touch and he has a telephone interview next week . He is quite upbeat about things so fingers crossed my dear.

Jan 19, 4:22pm Top

>144 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg, third chunkster finished just before midnight last night my dear. Rob is quite upbeat and has applied for a number of jobs and is in touch with a number of recruitment agencies and has a telephone interview for next week so hopefully things will improve.

Jan 19, 4:29pm Top

>145 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, the only way I will get through this year like any other years challenge is with variety my dear, keeps me on my toes.

Rob is upbeat and has been very proactive and fingers crossed he will find a new position quickly. More rain for us my dear but the weather map shows snow for us between Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon but I will believe it when I see snow falling. We would happily swap you rain for a bit of snow, we don't mind snow but you have obviously had a decent dumping of the white stuff. I must admit it is not nice if you have power outages so it is good you have a generator my dear. Like you I would not want to be kept indoors for too long and I would venture out so I hope you persuade Bill to go into town.

Sending love and hugs to you both.

Jan 19, 4:43pm Top

Finished my third Chunkster just before midnight yesterday, Echo Burning by Lee Child. This is the fifth in the Jack Reacher series and finds Jack adrift in the hellish heat of Texas. Shortly after he awakes and gets ready to leave his motel room he spots the local police and one officer in particular. The previous evening he got into a scrape but didn't realise that the man he hit was a law officer. He jumps out of the room window and gets onto the highway well away from the motel and starts hitching for a ride.

A Cadillac stops. A ride, but with a hitch. A pretty young woman, alone. Her husband's in jail and when he comes out he's going to kill her.

Her family is hostile, she can't trust the cops, and lawyers won't help. Reacher is her last hope, will this be the first time he says no - to a lady in distress.

After a long chat and some arguments he says he will help her but not in the way she would like yet within 48 hours the situation changes and has Jack been hoodwinked.

Read and find out, well worth it, trust me.

Jan 19, 7:47pm Top

Ah, sorry to read about Rob's work situation and I'm wishing him the best. I'm glad he has many iron's in the fire and leads to other work. Plenty rain my way too. I mentioned the tea sampler that my son got my husband for Christmas? Well, poor old Dave got a big rash all over his body shortly after Christmas and we could only think of the variety of teas that Dave had been trying. So Dave quietly got rid of his teas and the rash went away after a couple of days. Dave tends to be allergic to things.

My dad was a big fan of Lee Child. Me, not as much. Dave is currently reading a new Robert Crais. He's a big fan of thriller and mysteries.

Love and hugs to you and Karen .

Jan 19, 8:53pm Top

>149 johnsimpson: I've read a few of the Lee Child books, but not many of them. I don't dislike them, but I just like other series better.

Jan 20, 7:33am Top

Hi John! I didn't think of the Reacher series as being chunksters, but well done!

I just finished No Middle Name, a book of Reacher short stories. I'm not usually a fan of short stories, but I've read two books of them so far this year - Sue Grafton's Kinsey and Me and the Reacher ones.

Is snow still in the picture?

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

Jan 21, 1:17am Top

>149 johnsimpson: Glad you managed to fit in a "light" chunkster! Sorry to hear about Rob and I hope he finds something soon. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, sir. Hugs to you and Karen.

Jan 21, 3:05pm Top

>150 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deborah, Rob is feeling quite upbeat and has a couple of interviews lined up over the next couple of days so hopefully he will find something. It turns out that it will be the end of February when he will be made redundant and if he is lucky with the interviews he has lined up I hope that they do not want him to start until the beginning of March so that he can get his redundancy payment even though it will not be large.

Sorry to hear that Dave had an allergic reaction to the tea samples and I hope it has not put him off trying new tea varieties.

Sending love and hugs to you both my dear.

Jan 21, 3:08pm Top

>152 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, it just qualifies as it is over the 500 page barrier but I would normally class a chunkster as over 600 pages.

Snow has been missing in action, the only bit we have had has been a bit of sleet but nothing that has built up, I do wish they would not promise something and show on the weather map that it would cover our area and then nothing happens.

Sending love and hugs.

Jan 21, 3:10pm Top

>153 Berly:, Hi Kim, another light chunkster finished and replaced with an 883 page chunkster. Rob is feeling quite chipper my dear and has two interviews lined up so fingers crossed for him.

Sending love and hugs to you and the family my dear.

Jan 21, 3:52pm Top

The last few days have been good and busy in one way or another.

On Thursday we went down to Meadowhall shopping centre, Karen had a product to change and once that was done we had a mooch around before leaving and driving a bit further down the motorway to go to Boundary Mill outlet seeing as we were nearby. We our free drink on arrival and then had a look around, we picked up a couple of mugs and a couple of other bits before leaving and making our way home. On the way home we called into Aldi to get the few bits we required and while Karen did this I sat in the car and read. Once home we had a pot of tea or two before Amy arrived. We had a drink with Amy before Karen made something to eat and then we chatted for a couple of hours before Amy left for home.

On Friday we had a steady morning until it was time to take Karen to work, after dropping Karen off I went into store to do the weekly shopping and some bits for Rob and Louise. By the time I had done the shopping and got through the checkout and then out to the car in the snow shower, time was moving on. I got home and unpacked our shopping and put it away and put Rob and Louise's bits to one side and then I just had time for a small pot of tea before going to the dentist to have my temporary Crown fitted.

I had forgotten that the dentist would have to get the old tube out that had held the original Crown, after making sure I was well injected and numbed he proceeded to try and get it out. Whilst I felt no pain, I did feel as if he was trying to pull my nose inside out. He managed to get it out and after cleaning me up he fitted the temporary crown and plate. The plate felt funny and after the numbness had worn off it felt a bit tender, the dentist did say that I had to keep the plate in overnight and then on Saturday morning take it out, brush my teeth and gargle with a salt solution to help the gum heal and then put the plate back in. The rest of Friday evening we were fairly busy and I felt a bit tired and tender.

Saturday was once again nice and steady during the morning. I did as the dentist advised and the plate didn't feel too bad although the gum was a bit sore. At 10.45am Rob, Louise, Shannon and Hannah arrived, we had a quick chat and he left Hannah's things as she was staying overnight. They left and shortly after I took Karen to work with Hannah and after we had dropped her off we made our way home via the newsagents so I could pick up my paper. Hannah went upstairs with her Kindle and phone and I watched Football Focus before I made us some lunch. Once we had eaten Hannah went back upstairs and I got on with the downstairs housework. I checked on Hannah and she was playing with the Polly Pockets and quite happy to be upstairs. Just after 4.30pm I got Hannah to put her socks and boots on and we went to pick Karen up from work. We had a lovely evening after we had eaten with Hannah playing before Karen took her for a bath and washed her hair. By the time we got sorted it was too late for me to come on here and shortly after we went up to bed and read before turning the lights out.

Today has been good, after a pot of tea in bed while Hannah watched a bit of kids TV we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to have a bit of breakfast and a drink. Once we had breakfast Hannah went back upstairs while we prepared the vegetables for Sunday lunch and Karen put the Gammon joint in the oven. Lunch was ready for 1pm and Rob and Louise arrived at 12.50pm. We had a nice lunch and then later some chocolate brownies with ice cream and then we went into the living room and had a good catch up. Rob, Louise and Hannah left just before 5pm and once we had emptied the dishwasher and then set the last load going we settled down and relaxed with a pot of tea.

The last few days have been pretty good and I am slowly getting used to my temporary crown and will go for final check and fitting at the beginning of April.

Jan 21, 6:46pm Top

It sounds like you a had a nice Sunday with family.

I just added Great British Railway Journeys to my wish list...they sound like something my husband and I would both enjoy.

I hope you have a good week and the temporary crown isn't too much trouble.

Jan 22, 10:42am Top

Sounds like you had a good weekend!

Jan 22, 3:26pm Top

>158 witchyrichy:, Hi Karen, Sunday was really good and very informative to me and Karen. We just love GBRJ and this week it is his Great American Railway Journeys with a new series (No 3) with 20 episodes so that is something to look forward to. The week has started reasonably good so hopefully the rest of the week will be good.

Jan 22, 3:26pm Top

>159 ChelleBearss:, Thanks Chelle, the weekend was pretty good and a nice start to the week so far my dear.

Jan 22, 3:55pm Top

Not a bad day for me and the weather has changed slightly. Once up and about I had a pot of tea and moved the car ready for Rob to arrive, he was coming early has he had to be in Leeds for and interview with a recruitment agency at 10am. After dropping Rob off I made my way back home and had a pot of tea and some cereal.

Karen was up and about when I got back and she was already enjoying a pot of tea before she did some ironing. We had another pot of tea and watched the news before it was time to take Karen to work. I dropped Karen off and then parked nearer to the store which was quite lucky for Karen as I had intended to go straight into Wakefield. Karen rang me to say she had forgotten her work pot and her tablet, I told her I would pop back home and get it for her. After doing what I needed to do in store I went home and collected her pot and tablet and then went back to Asda and parked up before going into store to give her the said items. After doing this I went into town and once parked up I went to the O2 store to get an upgrade to my phone as mine did not have the correct storage capacity and has been driving me mad since Friday.

I sorted out a new phone and paid off the £15 due on my current contract and then while they transferred all my data I went and picked up a parcel for Karen from NEXT. I had a mooch around until it was time to collect my phone. I got my phone and then went back to the car and made my way home. Once home I made a pot of tea and had a play with my new phone, I got things sorted out apart from setting my email up. For some reason it wouldn't accept my email password so I decided to change this. I went on line on the laptop and then the trauma began. As I answered the security questions it would not accept my mother's maiden name, after a few tries I rang BT up to sort it out. After a short while he told me he had sorted it out and gave me a very basic password to access my email and when I asked if I could change it he told me it would direct me, I ended the call and went back on the laptop to change my password. HE LIED. It would not do it so I tried again following the online access and ended up having an online chat with an advisor. Eventually after nearly an hour it was sorted and I had a new password. I was now sorted via the laptop but the phone won't accept this so I have to go back to the store tomorrow to get them to do it, aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh.

By this time I was hungry and thirsty so I made a drink and then warmed up the lunch Karen had left for me, by the time I had finished I had time for another drink before going to pick Rob up from the station. He said his interview went well and he would be doing the same tomorrow so would be here early to get to the station. He is busy with either interviews with agencies or employers all week which is good news for him and hopefully something will come from all this.

Jan 23, 6:45am Top

Hi John!

Dentists. *shudder*

New cell phones. *shudder* The one I have now is hateful. We just finished paying it off and I hesitate to incur more phone charges per month, but I'm seriously tempted to go back to Samsung. This Motorola I have stinks.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen!

Jan 23, 3:36pm Top

>163 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, the new phone is another Sony, this time it is the X1A just like Karen's so we need to make sure they don't get mixed up. It is on a two year contract with the cost split between the cost of the phone and the texts, data and minutes so it is £8 for the phone and £18 for the calls etc each month.

Dentist don't make me shudder but I didn't want to go back today but because of the temporary crown plate I have been eating either side of my mouth and that has shown up a problem with a tooth on the lower left, I rang up as I suspected an abscess and this was at 2.10pm and she said could I get there for 3pm. I said yes but it wouldn't be with my usual dentist which did not bother me, I got there just before 3pm and a short time later was seen, she examined and then took an x-ray and sure enough it is an abscess, she prescribed amoxicillin for a week. Hope fully I caught it early before a real toothache took hold. Hope nothing else happens now, lol.

Sending love and hugs.

Jan 23, 3:49pm Top

>164 johnsimpson: Hope you're going to be abscess free soon.

Jan 23, 3:53pm Top

>165 richardderus:, Hi Richard, I hope so too, think it takes about 48 hours for the tablets to kick in but hopefully I have caught it in time before the real pain starts.

Jan 23, 4:20pm Top

Finished my fourth chunkster late last night, Taboo by Elizabeth Gage. Set in the 1930's, the golden age of Hollywood, the story revolves around three characters, Kate Hamilton, Eve Sinclair and Joseph Knight.

Kate grew up in an unhappy household and didn't try hard at school, her main interest was in Eve Sinclair who was a child actress and she had clippings and magazines all about her. Once she was of age her mother's partner tried to have his way with her, her mother caught them and blamed her daughter and threw her out. After a circuitous few years she ended up in Hollywood waitressing and was talked into going to audition for bit parts and then hit the big time.

Eve Sinclair was a child actress who moved on to teen movies and was no stranger to the casting couch and gradually made it as a grown woman but who allows her erotic obsession to rule her.

Joseph Knight left home and took on jobs to earn money to support his mother, he has a brilliant mind and picks up things quickly and does well in whatever he does. After being set up by a surly foreman in the oilfields he get his revenge and $40,000, he invests $30,000 and sends his mother the rest. Sadly his mother has never spent a cent of what he sent her and when she dies he inherits a house and a tidy sum of money. Life has been good to Joseph and his investments pay off. After a few trials and tribulations he ends up in Hollywood and enters the film industry where his midas touch doesn't desert him.

All three are bound together by links of love and sorrow, secrecy and pain, their story is the story of the movies: of glamour, corruption and betrayal, of passion and death and the price we all must pay for a few brief moments of joy.

A good read I must say.

Jan 23, 4:43pm Top

A bit of a mixed day for me today. I was up early again as Rob had to be in Leeds by 10am for another meeting at a recruitment agency. I can't fault the lad he is busy all week with meetings with agencies, telephone interviews and one to one interviews. As soon as he had parked up we set off in my car to the station and once I had dropped him off I made my way home.

Once home I had a pot of tea and some breakfast before setting off to a workmates of Karens to pick up a drawer unit, a childs farm set and got a bonus of a bag of wool and needles for Karen. Once back home with this lot I brought the farm set and bag of wool in to the house and then between us we brought the drawer unit in. I put the kettle on to make us a pot of tea while we took the drawer unit into the second bedroom and after vacuuming the space it was going into we put the drawer unit in position. I went and made a pot of tea for us while Karen got changed for work.

While we were having our pot of tea I realised that I had a tooth problem and needed to get in touch with the dentist. I took Karen to work then went into town to try and get my new phone sorted out as I cannot set up my email account. Unfortunately the guru was unavailable and so I have made an appointment for Friday afternoon. I left the phone shop and took the shoes I picked up from NEXT yesterday back as they were not right for Karen. I then made my way home and made a pot of tea and then when it got to 2pm I could ring the dentist up. I rang the dentist and told her my problem, that I thought I had an abscess and she asked if I could get there for 3pm. I arrived just before 3pm and after a short wait I was seen, she examined the tooth and took an x-ray and confirmed my suspicion and so prescribed me with some Amoxicillin antibiotics for a week. I got home after picking the tablets up and took one straight away and then made a pot of tea.

I read the new TV listings magazine and then went and did the upstairs housework before coming back downstairs and reading for a while. I watched the news and then made myself some soup and bread and a sandwich and had them with a pot of tea and then went to pick Rob up from the station. After he had gone I fired up the laptop to come on here. I will be closing down now as I need to pick Karen up from work.

Jan 23, 7:34pm Top

>168 johnsimpson: You are fortunate to be able to take "cillin" antibiotics. I'm allergic to them.

Jan 24, 7:42am Top

Well, dang to the tooth troubles, John. I hope the antibiotics help! I'm off to the dentist this morning for my crown, and I wish it were as glamorous as it sounds...

Jan 24, 9:01am Top

Hi John!

Congrats on another chunkster read.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen!

Jan 24, 9:07am Top

I hope the Amoxicillin takes care of the tooth problem, John, and I'm glad the latest chunkster was a fun read for you. A lot of pages is A-OK if they fly by. I'm glad Echo Burning hit the spot, too - you're tempting me to go back and re-read it.

Jan 24, 3:27pm Top

>169 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, sorry to hear you are allergic to cillin antibiotics my dear.

>170 scaifea:, Hi Amber, I was lucky in catching it early and getting in to see the dentist, the antibiotics have kicked in and doing their stuff thankfully. Hope that your visit to the dentist for your crown goes well my dear.

Jan 24, 3:31pm Top

>171 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, not a bad start to my chunkster year but I will need to up the pace to try and read 75 of them, love and hugs to you my dear.

>172 jnwelch:, Hi Joe, the amoxicillin is doing the trick and it is a lot easier thankfully. My chunky reads have been good so far this year and the two I am on with now are good so things are going to plan. I think I will have to up my pace to get 75 reads in for the year though.

I do love the Reacher books and as long as they qualify for my challenge I will read some more during the year, I need to get the next two to continue the series and then I have the next three following these two.

Jan 24, 3:43pm Top

Not too bad a day for us, once we were up and about we had a pot of tea and then Rob arrived, we all got in the car and I dropped Karen off at the doctors for her appointment and then took Rob to the station. After dropping Rob off I made my way back to the doctors to get Karen, sadly she had not been seen by the time I got there so I joined her in the waiting room. Not long after she was called in and five minutes or so later she came back out and then we made our way home.

Once home I made a pot of tea for me and Karen made the porridge, we had our breakfast and I had my tea and we watched the magazine programme and then the news. I made us both a pot of tea and we decided to catch up on some programmes I had recorded for us. After watching a couple I made us another pot of tea and Karen made us something to eat and then we watched a couple more programmes. By the time the second one had finished it was time for me to go and pick Hannah up from school.

I went and collected Hannah and when I got back Karen gave me some good news that Rob had been offered a job and they are sending him some more details, he has an interview tomorrow so he is just hanging on for a couple of days to see how things progress. Hannah played with the farm set we got off Karen's work colleague and she was very happy with it.

Before long Hannah said she was hungry so Karen made her something to eat and then a short time later we had a bite to eat. After we had finished Karen took Hannah for a bath while I watched the Great American Railroad Journey and then they came down just before it ended. A short time later we got in the car as Karen wanted to drop a birthday present off to her best friend and then I took her to see her ex sister in law. After dropping Karen off we made our way to the railway station to wait for Rob and not long after he arrived. We made our way home and he and Hannah got in his car and went home and I made a pot of tea and fired up the laptop to come on here. While waiting for the laptop to get going I checked my phone and then had another go at setting up my email account and this time everything worked and it is set up, I can cancel my O2 guru appointment on Friday now which will free up some reading time, yay.

Jan 24, 4:01pm Top

Tomorrow we are having a cinema date afternoon and are going to see The Post, I am really looking forward to this film.

Jan 24, 4:17pm Top

It is funny how you miss certain things, last year I monitored my tea drinking and noted down each pot of tea I had daily to get a monthly total. At times it seemed like a chore but I did it religiously and now I am not monitoring my tea intake I find that I am missing it, strange.

Jan 24, 5:11pm Top

>177 johnsimpson: We all are creatures of habit, John ;-)

Jan 24, 10:11pm Top

Hi John. So sorry about the tooth woes. Hope the 'cillin does the trick. 75 chunksters--you are an ambitious guy!! Sending best of luck to Rob on the job hunt. Hugs to you and Karen.

Jan 25, 7:29am Top

Oh, congrats to Rob for the job offer! I hope it turns out to be just what he wants/needs.

Jan 25, 8:20am Top

Enjoy your movie date!

Jan 25, 8:24am Top

So pleased that things are going well for Rob, John. You and Karen are wonderful parents! Sorry to hear about your teeth troubles and I'm glad yo got on it quickly and that the amoxicillin is working.

Jan 25, 4:32pm Top

>178 FAMeulstee:, We really are Anita my dear.

>179 Berly:, Hi Kim, the tooth woes are fading thanks to the 'cillin my dear. As for my target of 75, you have to be positive so as long as I aim for 75 if I get near I will be happy. If I lowered my target I might get complacent and I am on track for five this month so multiply by 12 and that gets me to 60 so I only have to find time to fit in 15 to get to 75. Rob is very positive and very proactive and the job he has been offered is good and they are prepared to break their rules to get him on board. It is a conveyancing job and although he hasn't quite got everything they require they are prepared to pay him what he is on at the moment rather than lose him as he can't take the pay cut they would normally pay for the position so they are being pretty good. Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Jan 25, 4:35pm Top

>180 scaifea:, Hi Amber, Rob is chuffed about the job offer but doesn't want to jump straight away and they have given him a bit of time to make a decision. It is similar work to what he is doing but he doesn't have all they require BUT they are prepared to pay him what he is already on rather than lose him which is pretty good of them and he is impressed with them. They have given him a bit of time to make a decision which is also good of them.

Sending love and hugs dear friend.

>181 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle, we loved the film and had a really nice afternoon my dear, sending love and hugs.

Jan 25, 4:41pm Top

>182 vancouverdeb:, Things seem to be going well with Rob's job hunt and he has one offer and it is pretty good, the firm are breaking their rules and will pay him what he is on to secure him as the pay for the job is below what he is currently on but they do want him, he has been given a bit of time to make a decision which is good of them.

Thank you for your lovely comment about us being wonderful parents, we just want the best for the kids and if we can help them we will one way or another as our parents helped us. My problem tooth has eased thanks to the amoxicillin and my quick thinking that it was an infection rather than a crack in the filling or a hole.

Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Jan 25, 5:11pm Top

We have had a lovely day today, after a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed and came down and I set a load of washing going before making a pot of tea for both of us and one for Rob. I went and moved the car so Rob could park up and then had some breakfast. Rob arrived and had his pot of tea before he popped upstairs to take a call that he was expecting and it was another telephone interview. Once he had finished his call we set off to the station, Karen came along as we were going off once Rob was dropped off.

After dropping Rob off we headed to Blacker Hall farm shop to pick up some veg and bread and we also got a couple of custard tarts. Once we had done our shopping we then headed towards home stopping off at Aldi, I dropped Karen off and I went across to Asda to pick up a pack of mini cigars and then went and parked up and read while waiting for Karen. Once Karen was back in the car we made our way home and unpacked our shopping before putting the washing on the airer and radiators and then we had a pot of tea.

We had another pot of tea before Karen made some lunch and once we had eaten Karen did a bit of knitting while I read until it was time for us to set off to the cinema. We really enjoyed The Post and both Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks performances as the main characters. As we came out I said I ought to get All the Presidents Men on DVD as this follows this story. We made our way home and had a nice pot of tea or two before I went and picked Rob up from the station. After Rob had gone we had a bite to eat before watching a bit of TV and I fired up the laptop to come on here.

Jan 25, 10:14pm Top

I think I need to visit your house just to have a cup of tea! Reading your thread always makes me want to put on the kettle.

Jan 26, 3:29pm Top

>187 thornton37814:, You would be most welcome Lori my dear, I do enjoy my pots of tea.

Jan 27, 6:28am Top

Hi John!

It's interesting that you miss the tea tally. Habits, even of only one year's duration, get ingrained.

Congrats on Rob's job offer - it sounds as though they really want him.

I'm glad to see that you enjoyed The Post. I'd like to see it and am actually surprised that it's playing at the theater in the conservative Christian evangelical town I used to work in, about 28 miles from here. I read the book and saw All the President's Men in the theater when it came out in 1976 with my boyfriend Michael, who was a reporter for a small paper in San Pedro, California. Watergate was and is a fascinating subject.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

Jan 27, 8:17am Top

Morning, John! Glad to see that Rob has a job offer! That must be a relief to him!

Jan 27, 3:36pm Top

>189 karenmarie:, Hi Karen it was fun keeping a tally of my tea drinking but that was last year, time to move on. Rob is pleased that he got an offer this quick and they have given him time to assess his options.

I agree with you that Watergate was and is a fascinating subject and I now want to investigate more as I love history in all its forms.

Love and hugs my dear.

Jan 27, 3:37pm Top

>190 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle, Rob is relieved that he has an offer so soon and he just wants to make the right move for him and his family.

Sending love and hugs.

Jan 27, 4:16pm Top

It has been a good day for me but not for Karen, bless her. We had a steady morning watching James Martin's cookery programme before I took Karen to work. Karen was feeling a little bit sickly but thought It would pass, as I dropped her off she said she would come home early if she got worse but as I was popping over to see Amy I left her with my set of house keys as she didn't have her handbag with her.

I left Karen and then drove over to Selby to help Amy with a couple of jobs. I got there after a couple of delays on the road and we had a pot of tea before getting on with the jobs. One job she wanted doing couldn't be done so that just left getting some sealant for the shower tray. We went over to Homebase DIY store, we checked on wardrobe hanging rails but nothing would have been suitable, Amy picked up some bulbs for her kitchen lights and some winter coolant for the car, once Amy had paid we left and went to the Argos store and Amy ordered an Ironing Board. As we got back to the car it came to me what we had come out for which was the Sealant, Amy laughed and we went back into Homebase where she picked up the Sealant and the tool to get the Sealant out. Once back at her house I scraped out the old Sealant and cleaned the work area up and then I told Amy what she needed to do. Amy did a really good job applying the Sealant and making it smooth, we cleaned up and then went and had a pot of tea. After the tea I put the bulbs in as I could reach from the Pouffe but she couldn't. A short while later I left to go and pick Karen up.

I got to Asda with five minutes to spare and when Karen got in the car I could tell she wasn't well, once home I made us a pot of tea and after she had that she went up to bed as she felt cold even though her skin was warm to touch and the heating was on. I made myself something to eat and then made Karen another pot of tea and she is wrapped up in bed watching the voice although it is a good job that the programme is to pick singers so she can let her eyes shut and still hear what is going on.

Jan 27, 4:18pm Top

I forgot to mention that I have joined Twitter, mainly to keep in touch with the commentators on Test Match Special and the County Cricket matches that are on radio although if I get annoyed Trump might have to watch out, lol.

Jan 27, 4:40pm Top

Hoping Karen's chill is short-lived and your 'cillin-ed tooth continues to mend!

Jan 27, 5:05pm Top

>195 richardderus:, Hopefully Karen has not got the dreaded flu bug that is doing the rounds but I will make sure she is well looked after dear friend and my tooth is getting better and better by the day.

Jan 27, 5:36pm Top

Hope Karen starts to feel better quickly!

Jan 27, 6:31pm Top

Yeah, I hope it’s not the flu too. It’s been nasty this year.

Jan 28, 3:31pm Top

You have lots going on, John. I can't imagine going through dental woes and technology problems at the same time. I hope that things are cleared up on both fronts now. it's good to hear about Rob's job offer. Seems to me that Amy went through this not too long ago. I hope that Karen is feeling better.

Jan 28, 3:53pm Top

>197 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle, sadly Karen has got worse overnight and she has been in bed all day bless her. I resumed my doctor role and have made sure she has had drinks hot or cold as required, and have kept her company in short spells. Everything that can ache does and she is still feeling cold whilst she is wrapped up in bed and reading either magazines or books have been done in short spells. Looks like i am in the spare bed tonight as unfortunately i was snoring last night and gave her a disturbed night.

Jan 28, 3:55pm Top

>198 drneutron:, Hi Jim, not sure if it is the flu or not yet, her throat has been a little sore during the afternoon but she doesn't feel well at all. She has felt cold most of the day whilst being in bed and while sitting up she has a nice blanket around her, we both had the flu jab last October but if it is the Aussie flu then we are not covered.

Jan 28, 4:16pm Top

>199 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg, there have been lots going on so far this month but we are getting through them. My dental woes are not too bad, the infected tooth has responded to the antibiotics and I am getting used to my temporary crown and plate. On the technology front the new phone is wonderful, the problem was the size of memory as my old phone was 8gb and the new one is 32gb, I can have apps that I couldn't have before and i have more of everything else so that is good. The only tech problem i have now is the laptop, it has been on for 11 hours and has not yet completed the windows 10 update and the battery is knackered and so i am always plugged into the mains, hopefully we will have funds to get a new laptop as it is draining new batteries and it is quite old now and i slowing down but for the moment it does the job and keeps me on here.

It is a similar time of year when Amy lost her job and she managed to get her current job within six weeks so hopefully Rob will be the same. From what he told us last week he may know more later this week or he may take the job that is on offer at the moment, it is on hold at the moment for him and i appreciate he wants to make the right decision so that has been good of them.

Sadly Karen has got worse and has been in bed all day as she has felt as if everything that can ache does and she has felt cold all day even though she is in bed and when sat up to try and read or watch TV she has anice blanket around her and the heating is on.

Jan 28, 4:29pm Top

>202 johnsimpson: A new cell phone and the windows 10 update, you are a glutton for punishment, John. Updating to windows 10 completely bogged down my desktop computer so that I could no longer use Windows on it. My son was able to switch it over to Linux and retrieve some of my stuff.

It is hard to make decisions about taking a new job. Best of luck to Rob on that account. Hopefully Karen will get over this bug quickly.

Jan 28, 4:32pm Top

Karen has spent today in bed, she was not feeling well when she came home from work yesterday and spent yesterday evening in bed and sadly had a bad nights sleep due to yours truly who was snoring apparently. I got up with the alarm and made us a pot of tea to enjoy in bed and once drunk we both fell asleep. It was about 9.45am when i got up, washed and dressed and left Karen in bed while i made us another pot of tea and also took Karen her tablets and vitamins with a glass of juice. Once i knew Karen was sorted i made myself some cereal and had that with my pot of tea. I caught up with the sports news and then watched a bit of TV in between making sure Karen was ok. Into the early afternoon i watched the highlights of the Australian Men's Tennis final and picked up my book. I read a great number of pages with occasional interruptions to make Karen a drink and take her knitting up to her which i brought back down not long after as she couldn't concentrate on it.

Late afternoon Karen came down as she felt like eating something but didn't know what to have, i sorted her out and then made a sandwich for myself and had that before resuming reading. Not long after i went up to keep her company and she told me to read as just my presence was enough. I have made sure Karen has drinks when required and she has her phone and whatever else she requires.

I had something more substantial to eat a couple of hours ago and since then have made a coupel of drinks for both of us. I don't think Karen will be at work tomorrow the way she is at the moment.

Jan 28, 4:34pm Top

>203 Familyhistorian:, Thank you for your lovely message my dear and hopefully tomorrow i will get around the threads and post some messages as i have been quite remiss this month.

Jan 28, 4:49pm Top

I think because i have managed to get quite a bit of reading done today that i will finish my latest chunkster before month end which is a bonus.

Jan 28, 4:55pm Top

When i visited Amy yesterday she told me that Andy has got a part in the next Joseph Rowntree Players production which is an Alan Ayckborn play, the Bedroom Farce. He is playing alongside his good friend Marie and they are one of four couples in the play, need to get tickets to see this now.

Jan 28, 5:11pm Top

>204 johnsimpson: Sorry to read Karen didn't feel well, John. I hope she recovers soon.
Sendling love and hugs to you both, and some comforting thoughts for Karen.

Jan 28, 8:13pm Top

Hope Karen is on the mend soon.

Jan 29, 3:53am Top

Tell Karen I hope she feels better ASAP!! And best wishes to her very kind nurse-at-home. ; )

Jan 29, 5:39am Top

>208 FAMeulstee:, Thank you Anita, she is still not much better this morning and has rung into work to say she will not be in, she just feels wiped out bless her.

Jan 29, 5:40am Top

>209 thornton37814:, Thank you Lori.

Jan 29, 5:41am Top

>210 Berly:, Thank you Kim my dear, she is no better this morning and has rung work to say she will not be in. I am getting used this nursing job, just need the outfit now, lol.

Jan 29, 6:28am Top

I'm sorry that Karen isn't feeling well! Please give her a gentle hug from me, and I hope she's already feeling better.

Jan 29, 8:11am Top

>214 scaifea:, Thanks Amber, I will give her a gentle hug shortly my dear, still not any better sadly.

Jan 29, 10:18am Top

Sorry to see that Karen still isn't well. Is it flu or just run down with a cold?

Jan 29, 1:34pm Top

Hope Karen gets better soon!

Jan 29, 3:39pm Top

>216 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle, not really sure my dear, she says every part of her body aches and she is feeling cold inwardly yet her body is warm to touch and she is wrapped up in bed and when she does sit up she has a nice warm shawl around her shoulders and the heating is on.

Jan 29, 3:39pm Top

>217 The_Hibernator:, Thanks Rachel my dear.

Jan 29, 3:47pm Top

Karen is stiil in bed feeling bleugh and she gave me a bit of a shock in the late afternoon, i heard her go to the toilet and then suddenly heard a bang and as i quickly dashed upstairs i found her lying on the bathroom floor. It seems that as she was leaning to flush the toilet she had a dizzy spell and just fell to the floor, luckily she didn't do any damage to herself apart from being a bit shook up. I got her into bed and then made her a drink.

Karen has managed half a tin of tomato soup and then i made her another drink and she is trying to watch a bit of television.

After i got up and made us a drink i had some breakfast after setting a load of washing going. When the washer finished i put the washing on the airers and then made Karen a drink and made sure she was ok before i had to go into town to do some banking, pay a bill and collect a parcel for Karen. I was only out for just over an hour and when i got back i made us both a drink. I have done quite a bit of reading during the afternoon and kept Karen company and we watched Escape to the Country together. I read for a while while she watched another programme and then made us a drink and something to eat, Karen had a bit of toast while i had a sandwich.

Jan 29, 4:49pm Top

My heart is breaking for poor little Hannah. Due to a fallout between Louise and her parents and after hearing what was said by them to Louise and Rob in their house I can understand why Louise fell out with them, but they seem to be shunning Hannah. Louise has got to the end of her patience trying to pacify Hannah with excuses why her other grandparents are not in touch and she hasn't been to visit them.

Karen was so upset when she spoke to both Rob and Louise about it and it is Hannah's seventh birthday at the end of February and Louise is not sure whether they wiil send a card or a present. As Louise says, they don't have to speak to her she will stay upstairs when they arrive and Hannah will be downstairs waitin to go but it seems as if what they said (which was very hurtful to both of them) is true and if they don't like it then that is the end of things. How can they do that to their granddaughter, they have Shannon and think nothing of it.

Just needed to vent, sorry.

Jan 29, 10:33pm Top

Sorry that Karen's feeling so lousy, John. That crash to the floor sounds scary.

Sorry to hear about poor little Hannah, too. We're about to have our first grandchild and we're so chuffed. Hard to imagine looking at things that way.

Jan 30, 7:28am Top

Oh, poor Hannah. Charlie is old enough now that he sees a big difference between his two sets of grandparents, but he also knows that he has one set who are amazing and love him very much and that's what counts. Hannah knows that, too, of course - you and Karen are wonderful grandparents.

Jan 30, 8:45am Top

Sorry to hear of Karen's fall. Poor thing! Hope things improve very soon for her!

Jan 30, 9:19am Top

Hope things turn around quickly for Karen, John! Hang in there

Jan 30, 9:22am Top

John, I'm sorry to hear that Karen is still feeling poorly. It seems the flu has been particularly rough this winter here. I hope she gets to feeling better very soon. You're doing a fine job caring for her!

Jan 30, 9:30am Top

Hi John!

Wow, I'm sorry that Karen is so ill, and then to get dizzy and fall. You're doing a great job of nursing her, for sure. I do hope she starts feeling better soon. Did you guys get flu shots? Do you think this is the flu?

Poor Hannah. She has had way too much 'emotion' in her young life, and to top it off with grandparents shunning her is just terrible. Taking things out on a child is just wicked.

It sounds like your time with Amy was fun and companionable.

Good luck to Rob to make the right decision.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen, and a special get-well-hug to Karen!

Jan 30, 3:45pm Top

>222 jnwelch:, Hi Joe, the crash was scary and when I realised what had happened I was just hoping she wasn't hurt bad, as it has turned out she has a couple of small bruises and just felt shook up.

Congrats on being grandparents soon mate, when things were bad with Rob and Louise we still had access to Hannah and Louise would never stop her seeing us. As things are with Louise and her parents that is between them as far as she is concerned and she wants them to see Hannah but it seems that contact has been cut. Karen advised both Louise and Rob to be open to them seeing Hannah and Shannon and let them close the doors then they cannot be accused of cutting off ties. As things are they think Louise was stupid to get involved with Rob and then have a child and that is a large part of Louise's problems as she has always felt that she wasn't good enough for them and as much as the last year has been taxing for them she has always thought more of Karen than her mum because Karen does not pigeon hole her and listens to her and offers an opinion and advice.

Hopefully Hannah will get a card and presents and the situation will resolve itself but the ball is in their court, Louise and Rob can do no more than they already have.

Jan 30, 3:48pm Top

>223 scaifea:, Hi Amber, it is a sad situation and as you say Hannah knows we love her to bits but she is of an age now where she knows about her other grandparents and wants to know why she doesn't see them. We have always treated Shannon and Hannah the same, as far as we are concerned we have two grandchildren at the moment.

Jan 30, 3:50pm Top

>224 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle, apart from a couple of bruises and feeling a bit shook up she is ok on that front but still feels ill bless her. I am maintaining my nursing duties and making sure she has drinks and when she has felt up to some toast or soup I have made it for her. Hopefully she is getting to the point of the worst of it and should start to recover towards the weekend, fingers crossed.

Jan 30, 3:51pm Top

>225 jessibud2:, Thanks Shelley, hopefully things will improve soon my dear.

Jan 30, 3:53pm Top

>226 rosalita:, Hi Julia, I think the Flu bug has been very virulent this winter and we both thought we had escaped it but it is still doing the rounds and Karen has picked it up bless her.

Jan 30, 4:31pm Top

It has been a steady day looking after Karen again, poor love. The alarm went off I went and made us a pot of tea and let Leo out, we had our tea in bed and then when we had finished I got washed and dressed before Karen went for a shower and I stood guard to make sure she didn't fall or faint. Once Karen was out of the shower and drying herself and I knew she was safe I went and made us a pot of tea and got our tablets and vitamins out. I took Karen her drink and meds and then came back downstairs to have some cereal.

I made sure Karen was ok and had everything she needed and then I had to pop out to put a prescription in for Karen and then to pick up a couple of bits for her. I was only out for about 45 minutes and once back made us both a drink. A bit later I made us another drink and joined Karen for a while before getting on with the upstairs housework. I did the dusting and vacuuming before I sat on the bed with Karen to watch Escape to the Country and when that finished I cleaned the bathroom.

Once the housework was done I made us both a drink and then I read until Karen asked for the other half of the soup she had yesterday and some toast. Once the food and toast was ready I took it up to Karen and then resumed reading. Just before the evening news came on I put some chips and sausage in the oven for my tea and read until it was ready. I ate while watching Michael Portillo's Great American Railroad Journey. Once I had finished and the programme had finished I made us both another drink and then read for an hour before getting the laptop out to come on here.

Jan 31, 7:35pm Top

I finally caught up with you and Karen. I have had a hard time keeping up with the threads and in fact had to skip several of them as I just haven't had time to read them. It is the beginning of the semester and I have been busy at work and tired when I go home at night, so I haven't been writing on the threads, but I have been reading.

I have one more week of lots of library instruction and then things will settle down to more normal levels.

We have had winter here in Alabama! I hate to think what my electric bill will be this month as it has been quite cold here in the evenings. That has not been the norm here in the last 5 to 7 years, but is actually normal winter temperatures for this area. For some of my newer colleagues who have not experienced these temperatures here it seems unusual.

Feb 1, 7:39am Top

Hi John! Love and hugs. Love and hugs.

Feb 1, 12:05pm Top

>234 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita my dear, you have been a busy lady but at least things will settle down soon for you. From what I have seen on here and on the news you have had a heavy winter with quite sizeable amounts of snow and really cold temperatures compared to previous years. I think a lot of people will be wondering what their heating bills are going to be like.

Hope all is well with you apart from being busy at work but at least you have been able to get some reading done. Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Feb 1, 12:05pm Top

>235 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, sending love and hugs right back at you dear friend.

Feb 1, 12:06pm Top

Think it is time for a new thread so please give me a few minutes to get it set up and then please stop by to say hello.

This topic was continued by JohnSimpson- Chunksters rule in 2018 No 2..

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