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JohnSimpson- Chunksters rule in 2018 No 5.

This is a continuation of the topic JohnSimpson- Chunksters rule in 2018 No 4..

This topic was continued by JohnSimpson- Chunksters rule in 2018 No 6..

75 Books Challenge for 2018

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Aug 1, 2018, 2:51pm Top

Please come along and peruse the thread and follow my chunkster journey.

Aug 1, 2018, 2:52pm 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.

Aug 1, 2018, 2:52pm Top

Aug 1, 2018, 2:53pm 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.
5. The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd, PB - 883 pgs.

Aug 1, 2018, 2:53pm Top


6. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith, PB - 550 pgs. No 1 of 3 Cormoran Strike Series.
7. No Safe Place by Richard North Patterson, PB - 581 pgs. No 1 of 3 in Kerry Kilcannon Series.
8. Never Look Back by Lesley Pearse, PB - 737 pgs.
9. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, PB - 620 pgs. No 1 of 5 in Robert Langdon Series.
10. Paragon Place by Harry Bowling, PB - 598 pgs.


11. Bad Boy Jack by Josephine Cox, PB - 632 pgs.
12. No Angel by Penny Vincenzi, PB - 626 pgs. No 1 of 3 in Spoils of Time Trilogy.
13. Protect and Defend by Richard North Patterson, PB - 704 pgs. No 2 of 3 in Kerry Kilcannon Series.
14. Crisis by Frank Gardner, PB - 558 pgs. No 1 of 2 in Luke Carlton Series.
15. The Americans by John Jakes, PB - 793 pgs. No 8 of 8 in The Kent Family Chronicles.

Aug 1, 2018, 2:54pm Top


16. The Au Pair by Janey Fraser, PB - 582 pgs.
17. Give Us This Day by R.F. Delderfield, PB - 767 pgs. No 3 of 3 in Swann Family Saga.
18. Alaska by James A. Michener, PB - 1073 pgs.
19. Blind Eye by Stuart Macbride, PB - 549 pgs. No 5 of 14 in the Logan McRae series.


20. The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, PB - 576pgs. No 2 of 4 in the Cormoran Strike series.
21. Something Dangerous by Penny Vincenzi, PB - 893 pgs. No 2 of 3 in Spoils of Time Trilogy.
22. The Summer Before The War by Helen Simonson, PB - 580 pgs.

Edited: Aug 15, 2018, 3:47pm Top


23. Into Temptation by Penny Vincenzi, PB - 876 pgs. No 3 of 3 in the Spoils of Time Trilogy.
24. Two Brothers by Ben Elton, PB - 617 pgs.
25. Godchildren by Nicholas Coleridge, PB - 711 pgs.
26. Digital Fortress by Dan Brown, PB - 510 pgs.
27. Trinity by Leon Uris, PB - 890 pgs.


28. Don't Look Twice by Andrew Gross, PB - 501 pgs.
29. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher, PB - 671 pgs.
30. The Dwarves by Markus Heitz, PB - 733 pgs. No 1 of 5 in the Dwarves Saga.

Edited: Sep 5, 2018, 4:04pm Top


31. The Country Escape by Fiona Walker, PB - 601 pgs.


32. Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson, PB - 1180 pgs. 3 of 10 in The Malazan Book of The Fallen Series.
33. The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes, PB - 531 pgs.

Aug 1, 2018, 2:55pm 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.


7. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, PB.
8. Fred, Portrait of a Fast Bowler by John Arlott, HB.
9. Death of a Bore by M.C. Beaton, PB.
10. Thanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern, PB.
11. The Little Bookshop of Promises by Debbie Macomber, PB.
12. The Don 1908 - 2001, The Definitive Biography of Sir Donald Bradman by Roland Perry, PB.
13. The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon, PB.
14. Death Wears a Mask by Ashley Weaver. PB.
15. Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor, PB.
16. Bertie Plays the Blues by Alexander McCall Smith, PB.
17. A Secret Garden by Katie Fforde, PB.
18. A Good Heart is Hard to Find by Trisha Ashley, PB.
19. The Prime of Ms Dolly Greene by E.V. Harte, PB.
20. A Most Novel Revenge by Ashley Weaver, PB.


21. The Cheltenham Square Murder by John Bude, PB.
22. The Z Murders by J. Jefferson Farjeon, PB.
23. Down the Wicket by Graeme Pollock, HB.
24. My Way by Glenn Turner, HB.
25. Property of a Noblewoman by Danielle Steel, PB.
26. The Woman who Stole my Life by Marian Keyes, PB.
27. Frank Worrell by Ernest Eytle, HB.
28. Island Cricketers by Clyde Walcott, HB.
29. Death in the Stars by Frances Brody, PB.
30. Forging On by Catherine Robinson, PB.
31. A Man called Ove by Fredrik Backman, PB.
32. The Fault in our Stars by John Green, PB.

Aug 1, 2018, 2:56pm Top

Happy New Thread

Aug 1, 2018, 2:57pm Top


33. A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman, PB.
34. Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich, PB.
35. Felix, The Railway Cat by Kate Moore, PB.
36. The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce, PB.
37. The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland, PB.
38. Midnight Tides by Steven Erikson, PB.
39. Reaper's Gale by Steven Erikson, PB.
40. The Bookshop on Rosemary Lane by Ellen Berry, PB.
41. Death at the Seaside by Frances Brody, PB.
42. Playfair Cricket Annual 2018 by Ian Marshall, PB.
43. A Beautiful Game by Mark Nicholas, PB.


44. Angelica's Smile by Andrea Camilleri, PB.
45. The Treasure Hunt by Andrea Camilleri, PB.
46. Death of a Kingfisher by M.C. Beaton, PB.
47. The Baboons Who Went This Way and That by Alexander McCall Smith, PB.
48. Dream Angus by Alexander McCall Smith, PB.
49. Chance Developments by Alexander McCall Smith, HB.
50. Fatty O'Leary's Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith, HB.
51. The Cleverness of Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith, PB.
52. Murder in the Museum by John Rowland, PB.
53. Resorting to Murder by Martin Edwards, PB.
54. The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley, PB.
55. Yorkshire County Cricket Club Yearbook 2017 by David Warner, HB.
56. Pagan Spring by G.M. Malliet, PB.
57. A Demon Summer by G.M. Malliet, PB.
58. A Fatal Winter by G.M. Malliet, PB.
59. The Dance of the Seagull by Andrea Camilleri, PB.


60. Rules, Things are Changing at the Little School by the Sea by Jenny Colgan, PB.
61. Loss by Victoria Hislop, PB.
62. The Riviera Express by T P Fielden, PB.
63. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, PB.
64. The Little Grey Men go Down the Bright Stream by 'BB', PB.
65. Sin Killer by Larry McMurtry, PB.
66. The Wandering Hill by Larry McMurtry, PB.
67. Sherlock Holmes and the Birth of the Ashes by Arunabha Sengupta, PB.
68. The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F. Hamilton, PB.
69. Cibola Burn by James S. A. Corey, PB.
70. The Burning Girl by Mark Billingham, PB.
71. Devil's Breath by G. M. Malliet, PB.
72. Death of a Cosywriter by G. M. Malliet, PB.
73. A Death at Fountains Abbey by Antonia Hodgson, PB.
74. Death of a Witch by M. C. Beaton, PB.
75. Death in Devon by Ian Sansom, PB.
76. Manhunt by Janet Evanovich, PB.
77. Don't Look Twice by Andrew Gross, PB.
78. The Sixth Man by David Baldacci, PB.
79. Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol by Gyles Brandreth, PB.
80. Death of a Valentine by M.C. Beaton, PB.
81. Damaged by Martina Cole, PB.


82. A Train in Winter by Caroline Moorehead, PB.
83. The Thousand Lights Hotel by Emylia Hall, PB.
84. Summer at Hope Meadows by Lucy Daniels, PB.
85. A Clear Blue Sky by Jonny Bairstow and Duncan Hamilton, PB.
86. Seven Stones to Stand or Fall by Diana Gabaldon, PB.
87. A Dark and Distant Shore by Reay Tannahill, PB.
88. Hitler, 1936 - 1945 Nemesis by Ian Kershaw, PB.
89. Capital Crimes by Martin Edwards, PB.
90. The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin, PB.
91. The 12.30 From Croydon by Freeman Wills Crofts, PB.
92. The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan, PB.
93. Morgan's Run by Colleen McCullough, PB.
94. Monte Cassino by Sven Hassel, PB.
95. Indian Cricket 1972 by P. N. Sundaresan, PB.
96. Cricket's Strangest Matches by Andrew Ward, PB.
97. The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy, HB.
98. Death of a Ghost by M. C. Beaton, PB.
99. Dragonfly Falling by Adrian Tchaikovsky, PB.
100. The Antiquary by Sir Walter Scott, HB.
101. Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott, HB.
102. Last Letter Home by Rachel Hore, PB.

Aug 1, 2018, 2:57pm Top

>10 quondame:, Congrats Susan on being my first visitor on thread number five my dear.

Edited: Sep 17, 2018, 3:46pm Top


103. Peril in the Cotswolds by Rebecca Tope, PB.
104. The Little Flower Shop by the Sea by Ali McNamara, PB.
105. In Prior's Wood by G. M. Malliet, PB.
106. The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson, PB.
107. Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher, PB.
108. 4321 by Paul Auster, PB.
109. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom, HB.
110. Lord Hawke, A Cricketing Legend by James P. Coldham, PB.
111. A Column of Fire by Ken Follett, PB.
112. for one more day by Mitch Albom, PB.
113. the first phone call from Heaven by Mitch Albom, PB.
114. Death and the Lit Chick by G. M. Malliet, PB.
115. Death at the Alma Mater by G. M. Malliet, PB.
116. Resort to Murder by TP Fielden, PB.
117. This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay, PB.
118. The Kicking the Bucket List by Cathy Hopkins, PB.
119. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, PB.


120. Westmoreland Alone by Ian Sansom, PB.
121. The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom, PB.
122. The Norfolk Mystery by Ian Sansom, PB.
123. Mr Dixon Disappears by Ian Sansom, PB.
124. Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers, PB.
125. Dancing over the Hill by Cathy Hopkins, PB.
126. The Woman who met Her Match by Fiona Gibson, PB.
127. You and me Always by Jill Mansell, PB.
128. The Essence of Malice by Ashley Weaver, PB.
129. The Little Breton Bistro by Nina George, PB.
130. The Bowness Bequest by Rebecca Tope, PB.
131. The Sunday Lunch Club by Juliet Ashton, PB.
132. Payment in Blood by Elizabeth George, PB.
133. Over the Edge by Jonathan Kellerman, PB.
134. The Alington Inheritance by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
135. Spotlight by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
136. The Catherine Wheel by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
137. Danger Point by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
138. Miss Silver Intervenes by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
139. The Gazebo by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
140. The Key by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
141. Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate, PB.
142. Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate, PB.
143. Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 1947 by Hubert Preston, HB.
144. Never Surrender by Michael Dobbs, PB.
145. Churchill's Triumph by Michael Dobbs, PB.
146. Handly Cross by Robert Smith Surtees, HB.
147. The Betrothed by Sir Walter Scott, HB.
148. The Test Match Career of Walter Hammond by Derek Lodge, HB.
149. Time Bomb by Jonathan Kellerman, PB.
150. Catalina by W. Somerset Maugham, HB.
151. Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes, HB.
152. Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom, HB.
153. Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell, PB.
154.Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, PB.
155. The Store by James Patterson, PB.
156. The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich, PB.
157. Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, PB.
158. The Book Of Dust Vol 1 (La Belle Sauvage) by Philip Pullman, PB.
159. The Toy Makers by Robert Dinsdale, PB.
160. The Pyramid of Mud by Andrea Camilleri, PB.

Edited: Sep 5, 2018, 4:20pm Top


The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
Perfect by Judith McNaught

Aug 1, 2018, 2:59pm 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.

Edited: Sep 2, 2018, 3:41pm 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
36.Alaska by James A. Michener, 1073 pgs.
37.Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson, 1180 pgs.

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 3:03pm Top

Latest reading stats:

Books on shelves at 1-7-18 - 2405
Books added in July - 20
Books read in July - 3

Revised book total - 2422

Pages to read at 1-7-18 - 1,015,943
Pages added in July - 10,120
Pages read in July - 1,905

Revised total pages to read - 1,024,158

Edited: Aug 1, 2018, 3:06pm Top


Books Read...................... 3

No of Authors.................... 3

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

Male Authors..................... 2

Female Authors.................. 1

Pages Read....................... 1,905

Daily Avg........................... 61.45

Book Length avg................. 635

Aug 1, 2018, 3:19pm Top

Today is Yorkshire Day and celebrations have been taking part across the broad acres with the main celebration being held in the smallest Yorkshire city, Ripon.

We have had a nice day today and the weather has been quite good but still not quite at the temperatures of last week but it is getting warmer by the day.

After a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed and then came downstairs to set a load of washing going and to make a drink and some breakfast. I got all our meds and vitamins out and we had a drink and breakfast and the meds and then set off to the Aldi at Featherstone to pick up a few bits. Once the bit of shopping was done we made our way home.

Once home Karen put the shopping away and then got rid of the old flowers in the vases' and sorted the new flowers out that she had just bought, I put the washing on the outside line. When we had finished our respective jobs I made us a pot of tea and put the radio on to listen to the first day of the Test match between England and India. A bit later Karen made us a sandwich and I made a pot of tea before we went to the cinema to watch Mamma Mia - Here We Go Again. I have not watched Mamma Mia but knew a bit about it so was not worried about seeing the sequel, I will watch the DVD of Mamma Mia later. We both really enjoyed the film and I was glad I went with Karen, it is a real feel good factor film and we came out of the cinema happy.

Once out of the cinema Karen went across to Pizza Hut to get us a pizza, chips and some ribs and then we made our way home. We had our food but could not eat it all, we had put the ribs aside for tomorrow before we started but we have some pizza left for tomorrow also. We watched the news and local news and then a magazine programme before I got the laptop out to come on here and Karen found a programme that we had recorded to watch. The programme is Who Do You Think You are ? and it is the 4th in the series and follows ex-ballroom dancer and now Head Judge of Strictly Come Dancing, Shirley Ballas. It is an interesting programme.

Aug 1, 2018, 5:01pm Top

Happy new thread, John!

Aug 1, 2018, 7:42pm Top

Happy New Thread, John.

I used to read anything by James Clavell that I could get my hands on. I've had A Suitable Boy on my "should read" list for forever.

Aug 1, 2018, 8:27pm Top

My mom and I had some Pizza Hut pizza tonight and watched a Miss Fisher episode.

The Mamma Mia sequel sounds delightful. I enjoyed the first film very much, especially Pierce Brosnan's off-key singing. I seem to recall one reviewer describing it as like a "drowning raccoon" or something similar.

Aug 1, 2018, 8:35pm Top

I've read two or three of those 1000 page+ books, but not too many. Most, if not all, were by Michener. I got on a kick on his books back years ago.

Aug 2, 2018, 2:05am Top

John--Tyring to get caught up here. Happy new one!

Aug 2, 2018, 3:38am Top

Happy new one, John.

Aug 2, 2018, 7:37am Top

Happy new thread, John!

Aug 2, 2018, 11:03am Top

Happy new thread, John!

Aug 2, 2018, 4:32pm Top

Thank you Anita, Joe, Diana, Lori, Kim, Barbara, Amber and Chelle.

Aug 2, 2018, 9:10pm Top

A very ambitious member of my real life book discussion group read A Suitable Boy a few years ago and said it was worth the time she had investing in reading it.

I have been trying to work my way through the Sharon Kay Penman series on Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II for a couple of years. Those are chunksters. All of them are over 500 pages and two of them are 1,000. They are great historical fiction.

Aug 3, 2018, 1:07am Top

Happy new thread, John. "Who Do You Think You Are" is one of my favourite programs but we don't get the UK one here, only the American one, unfortunately. I hope that you and Karen are doing well. Have a great weekend.

Aug 3, 2018, 9:13am Top

Happy new thread!

Aug 3, 2018, 10:37am Top

>30 Familyhistorian: I wish we could get the UK version here in addition to the US one.

Aug 7, 2018, 7:46am Top

Hope you are having a good week, John! How's your hedgehog doing? I saw a funny video on facebook about a hedgehog playing in a garden sprinkler and it was quite cute!

Aug 7, 2018, 7:56am Top

Hi John!

Belated Happy New Thread AND Belated Happy Anniversary to you and Karen.

Anticipation is half the pleasure, and I wish you many hours of anticipating your visit to Madeira next anniversary.

You are really doing well on the chunksters, John, and I have no doubt that you'll meet your goal this year.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

Aug 7, 2018, 3:41pm Top

Thank you Benita, Meg, Jim, Lori, Chelle and Karen.

Aug 7, 2018, 3:51pm Top

The last few days have been quite busy one way or another and I have been taking advantage of the good weather although I have felt as though I have been under a shower while doing my jobs.

The garden jobs are progressing nicely and the two big ones should be completed before we go away to Wales in the first week of September.

Because of the continuing hot weather the Hedgehogs are still coming on their nightly visits for the food we are putting down. On Sunday I cleared out the Robin nests in the garage and for two little birds the amount of material collected to make the nests is staggering, they are quite a work of art although the one they built around the paint tins was minimal. How they laid two eggs and raised two young in there I will never know.

With the nights getting slowly shorter and me wanting to water late when it is a bit cooler has led me to being the target of midges and they have bitten me a couple of times, the little beggars. I have two rather large bites and they are itchy but I am managing to leave them alone and they are slowly starting to go.

Because of the garden work and the heat that has made me tired, hot and sleepy I have not read as much as I had hoped, think this could be another slow month but I am sure from September I will pick it up again.

Aug 7, 2018, 9:56pm Top

One of my German friends called today and told me that in the Rhineland Palatinate it is HOT! It is so hot that the wine growers have harvested the wine grapes almost a month early. He also said that they need rain.

It is still hot here, but I am thankful because that means that the grass in the lawn is not growing so it doesn’t have to be mowed. Heat has kept the Big Green Monster quiet this month.

Aug 8, 2018, 3:39pm Top

The weather has changed today, yesterday we had 27C and today down to 19C and then we had a short heavy rain spell mid afternoon. The next few days are to be mixed but temperatures back to want is normal for August but the Met Office has informed local authorities that warm temperatures possibly reaching 30C can be expected right through to the end of October. I still haven't mowed my lawn since the beginning of June and depending on how much rain we get over the next few days I may not have to mow it before we go away.

We have had a steady day, both of us had our hair cut this morning and we did a small shop at Aldi, during the afternoon we watched a bit of the European Championships in Glasgow and we also caught up with a few programmes we had recorded. Tomorrow we are having Hannah so hope the weather is not too bad as we would like to go out and let Hannah have a run about.

Aug 8, 2018, 7:15pm Top

I'm glad that the heat wave in Europe has finally ended, John. I'm hoping that the weather in Edinburgh will be seasonably cool when I arrive there next Thursday and stays that way.

Aug 9, 2018, 4:56pm Top

I'm afraid my final trip out to the beach is probably not going to happen tonight. We're in the midst of a terrible thunderstorm. If it keeps up, I may not even bother to go out for supper. I've got some fruit, cookies, and snack mix. Not a great meal, but it beats going out in this weather. We begin heading home in the morning. I wish we could stay another week. I'm just beginning to feel relaxed.

Aug 10, 2018, 2:45am Top

Just keeping up here, John. Stay cool!

Aug 10, 2018, 3:51pm Top

>39 kidzdoc:, Hi Darryl, I think you will not be disappointed with the Scottish weather when you get to Edinburgh mate, have a great trip and enjoy yourself.

Aug 10, 2018, 3:52pm Top

>40 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, hope the thunderstorm did not spoil the end of your trip my dear.

Aug 10, 2018, 3:52pm Top

>41 Berly:, Hi Kim, thanks for popping by my dear.

Aug 11, 2018, 5:21pm Top

>43 johnsimpson: No. It didn't spoil the end of it, but it would have been nice to make one more stroll along the beach. I did get to enjoy the crashing waves because they were loud enough to be heard in the room over the air conditioner!

Aug 12, 2018, 3:55pm Top

>45 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, that must have been some noise my dear.

Aug 12, 2018, 4:28pm Top

Yesterday was a steady day for us, after a slightly earlier alarm call due to Karen being in for work at 10am, we had breakfast and a drink before I took her to work. I popped into store to get my usual Saturday copy of the Yorkshire Post newspaper and some cigars and then I set the satnav to get me to Barnsley Antiques Centre. I got to the BAC without any bother and parked up and entered the centre. They had quite a mix of Antiques and Collectables, probably more Collectables to be honest.

I had a good look around but not much caught my eye apart from a couple of Fountain pens, I made my way back to the cabinet they were in but as I did I glanced into the cabinet next to it and spotted a Wyvern box with a pen and pencil in. This was a box I had never seen and I had to have it and so went to the desk and got one of the chaps to open the cabinet for me, we both said it looked art deco and I said yes I would have it. After paying I made my way back to the car and headed for home.

Once home I made a pot of tea and then had a good look at my purchase, after examining the pen I think it needs a new ink sac and as I need a new ink sac for a Conway Stewart I purchased earlier in the year I hope to get to the Antique fair at Wetherby race course next weekend where I know a chap called Nick will have his stand and he does repairs. I had a look online as I had spotted that my new purchase was a Wyvern 707, this was first made in 1948 in Leicester and the case is in plastic in Ivory or Ivory/Black. Mine is Ivory/Black with all original parts such as the plush base for the pens to rest on and all instructions and guarantee, sadly the company folded in 1955. It turns out that not many of these sets are still around and less so the box so I may have a winner.

After finishing my pot of tea I made another and then finished my book. After this I selected another read and then read my paper before listening to the cricket on the radio. Another pot of tea later and I then had some lunch before laying another bed of sharp sand for the blocks of the shed base. After doing this I made a pot of tea and listened to the cricket before going a bit earlier to pick Karen up as she wanted me to look at some shoes.

After picking Karen up we made our way home and had a pot of tea before making something to eat, we watched more action from the European Championships while eating Sticky Ribs, Samosas and homemade Garlic Bread. After watching the athletics we put food out for the Hedgehogs and saw the first one arrive and then we went up to bed as we were both tired.

Aug 12, 2018, 5:04pm Top

During the night it rained quite heavily and that was what today was supposed to be like but as we awoke with the alarm we noticed that it was bright and the sun was shining. I went and made us a pot of tea to have in bed and by the time we got up, washed and dressed there had been a short shower.

Once downstairs I got the meds and vitamins out and put the kettle on while Karen set a load of washing going and then put Crumpets in the toaster for breakfast. By the time we had our Crumpets and pot of tea and had our meds and vitamins the washing had finished but the weather had turned dull and it looked like rain. We put the washing on the indoor airer and then set off to Redbrick Mill to look at mattresses. Once we arrived I parked up and we went into the separate clearance mill, we had a good look around the ground floor, first floor and then went into the loft area. We looked at a good selection of mattresses and spotted one we wanted and then one that had "To Take Away" on it with a price of 175 pound. We went to the desk and inquired about delivery costs and that if we bought the mattress we wanted which was down to 399 pound would they hang onto the other until they could both be delivered together, she said that was okay and went and put a sold sign on the cheaper mattress. Our mattress is over 12 years old and needs replacing as we are both uncomfortable and the other is for the spare bed.

After paying for our purchases we wandered over to the main mill which has a lot of designer furniture in at designer prices sadly. After a good wander around we found the coffee shop and had a pit stop before making our way back to the car. As we left the motorway and headed home Karen decided we ought to go to our retail park to look at bed bases as the spare bed was given to us by a lady who was going to purchase Karen's dad's house after he passed away but due to serious illness of her husband the sale fell through but she gave us the bed as we had given her two single beds.

We looked at the first store and found what we wanted and that was in the sale, we said we would just need to measure up and would ring back later, we popped to another bed store to check them out. The other store had the same bed but the frame was slightly narrower and with flexible slats was an extra 59 pound. Just before we headed home we popped to DW Sports which was sadly closing down, I had been made aware by a Facebook friend that it was closing down and that he had got a good deal on a pair of trainers but they didn't have much left. He was quite right but I did manage to find a pair of Adidas VL Court shoes and it had another 20% off the marked price, they had my size and they were quickly purchased. After this we made our way home, on arrival we had a pot of tea or two while watching the Men's Cycling Road Race at the European Championships.

While I watched the race Karen put a Chicken in the oven for our late Sunday lunch, by the time the race had finished our lunch was ready and we had a good meal. Karen contacted Amy and said we would buy them a new bed base if she wanted as a house warming present (their mattress is ok but the bed base is a bit knackered). Amy got back to us and just wanted to know what the clearance from the floor to the bed side was for storage purposes, Karen rang Benson's back up and they went and measured and told Karen it was 25cm, she told them she would just check with Amy and get back to them. Karen rang Amy who said that was great and they would like the bed base so Karen ended the call and rang Benson's back, she got in touch with the lady we had spoken to in store and a short while later the bed bases were purchased and would be delivered on the 22nd of August. Luckily I had cashed in a very small pension on my 55th birthday and we knew we needed a new mattress for ourselves and for the spare bed and we always planned to get Amy and Andy a housewarming present and they wanted something useful.

So what was initially meant to be a fact finding mission turned out to be a spending spree, lol. At least we are all done now on the spending front until the January sales when I will look for a new laptop as the one I am on is getting to the end of its days.

Since we had our late lunch we have watched the last night of the European Championships with good wins for GB athletes and a sensational Pole Vault event with an 18 year old Swede decimating the field with a winning vault of 6.05 metres which along with last nights win in the 5,000 metres for an 17 year old Norwegian who had won the 1500 metres the night before. There must be something in the water in the Scandinavian countries and I could do with some, lol.

Aug 12, 2018, 8:10pm Top

The weather here in Alabama has turned a bit. It is still hot, but it is cooling off at night. It is also raining in the afternoons and that means that the gardens are still producing with no signs of slowing.

On Saturday I went to my yoga class but didn’t get much else done that day except to talk with my sister. She is having a rough time of it. My mother has had her hip replaced and she is now in an assisted living facility until she gets out of rehad. I have applied for FML (family medical leave) to go home to Kansas when she gets out and can come home. It looks like she will get out sometime around August 26, and so I will head back to Kansas around September 1. That is not good timing, as our academic year is just starting and we will only be about two weeks into it when I go home. I know that going home will affect my end-of-year statistics for work, but some things just can’t be helped. My sister needs some relief and I can provide it.

I spent the weekend with a co-worker. She was let go from the library without cause, but since she was a contract employee and her contract ended on August 15 there is little she can do except look for another job. I feel really bad about this, as I thoguht she was doing a good job given that she worked for a department head who didn’t provide her with any guidance or direction. It is sad situation and just shouldn’t have happened.

Aug 13, 2018, 3:34pm Top

Finished Chunkster number 31 early on Saturday afternoon, The Country Escape by Fiona Walker. This is a laugh out loud funny and romantic summer novel and I very much enjoyed it.

Hidden in the lush parkland, Eardisford is the ultimate English country retreat and it's just been sold for the first time in its history. Romantic daredevil Kat Mason has been bequeathed the estate's lakeside sanctuary, Lake Farm, until she dies or marries. Unfortunately for Kat, the new owners want her out now.....

In rides charming playboy Dougie Everett, the man hired to sweep Kat off her feet and off the property. Dougie loves nothing more than the thrill of the chase, but does he risk losing his heart along the way.

Aug 13, 2018, 4:13pm Top

We awoke this morning to a bright sunny day, once up and about I got our meds out while Karen washed her hair and I made myself a pot of tea. When Karen came downstairs she set a mini load of washing going and I made us both a pot of tea and I had my cereal. Once I was done and dusted with breakfast and my meds I set off out and Karen decided to make some chocolate brownies. I called at the pharmacy to pick up our prescriptions and as I had been delayed I only had time to go and collect a parcel from Next for Karen before I had to head off to the hospital for my physio appointment.

I read for a short while until I was called in, my physio Jo asked how I had been and then wanted to see how flexible my neck was. She was impressed with the amount of movement, pain free I had and discharged me from the clinic. Once back at the car I decided to go to the DIY store to pick up three more bags of sharp sand for the shed base.

Once home I brought in our prescriptions and the parcel and made us both a pot of tea, while I was out it had rained so the washing was on the inside airer. I made myself another pot of tea while Karen boiled some eggs for her brunch and she prepared her salad to take to work, while Karen was doing this she told me to put the big items of washing outside as it was sunny and warm. Before long it was time to take Karen to work, after dropping her off I went into store to pick up todays Yorkshire Post and some cigars and then made my way home. Once home I got my wheel barrow and took the bags of sharp sand out of the boot and put them near to the greenhouse. As I finished this I felt a few spots of rain and took the washing off the line, I put them back on the airer and made a pot of tea. I had only been sat down for about five minutes when the heavens opened and we had a heavy rainstorm with a few cracks of thunder thrown in. Karen rang me a short time later to ask if I had got the washing in as they were having problems in the warehouse with water leaking in due to the storm.

After reading my paper and finishing my pot of tea I decided to do the bank statements and then had some lunch. After I had finished eating I went upstairs to where we keep receipts and other documents and did a bit of sorting out and produced an amount for shredding along with receipts and old statements I had already put in a folder for shredding. The shredding took me quite a while but I got it all done. Once finished I had a pot of tea.

I popped outside as the rain had ceased a couple of hours earlier and the sun was back out and it was warm again and I moved some blocks so that I can put the sharp sand down for another row tomorrow. Once I had done this I had a pot of tea and then Amy rang me, she called to say that their house purchase will be completed by the end of the week. She had been worried all weekend as the lady at the end of the chain threatened to pull out if it wasn't sorted by the end of this week and so Amy rang Liam who is dealing with her conveyancing and explained this to him. He was just wanting one thing which he said he would have by lunchtime, Amy rang in the early afternoon and he said everything was good to go and so a date of the 20th has been agreed when keys are exchanged but all paperwork will be completed by Friday of this week. It seems that the people of the house Amy and Andy are buying from will be able to get the keys for their house on Friday and move out over the weekend as they have spoken to the lady they are buying from and that property is empty now. It would look like I will be moving things with them from next Tuesday, hurrah at last. Amy and Andy are so relieved that it is coming to a good end now.

Aug 13, 2018, 4:36pm Top

Nearly time to go and pick Karen up from work now, hope she is no too tired bless her.

Aug 15, 2018, 5:40am Top

Hi John! I am so glad to hear that your neck did well at your checkup. : ) Wonderful news about the house and Amy and Andy. You be careful moving things!! ; )

Aug 15, 2018, 3:06pm Top

>53 Berly:, Hi Kim, I will be very careful my dear and we will have a few bodies to help. I think all of Andy's Star Wars and Transformer gear won't be too heavy but not sure about the books and DVD's. We have some wheels to move things about and the cars will take the strain, just want to get them moved and then they have a little bit of time to sort things out before we all go on holiday.

Aug 15, 2018, 4:59pm Top

It has been a nice steady day for the pair of us, once we were up and about we stripped both beds and then made our way downstairs. While Karen set the first load of washing going I got our meds and vitamins out and then made us a pot of tea. I had another pot of tea and breakfast and then put the first load of washing on the line before we set off out.

I dropped Karen at the Aldi at Snowhill and then went to get Hannah, as I was picking Hannah up Louise asked if I could drop her and Shannon in town. Once Shannon arrived we got in the car and I dropped Louise and Shannon at the Trinity Walk shopping centre in Wakefield and then me and Hannah went to collect Karen. Once we had got Karen we made our way home and as Karen unpacked the shopping I put the second load of washing on the line. When this was done we got Hannah a drink and she disappeared upstairs to play with the dolls and Polly Pockets.

A short time later Hannah came downstairs and said she was hungry and so we had some lunch, Hannah had her Kindle and was watching something and we watched the news. Later Hannah went back upstairs as she said she was tired and so I went and laid some blocks on the sand bed I did yesterday and Karen was going to make some Pasteis de Nata but realised she had the wrong pastry so she made the Pasteis de Nata filling and used the pastry to make pastry cases, they turned out really nice but not as they should have done due to the wrong pastry. I will get the correct pastry on Friday and she will make the proper Pasteis de Nata on Saturday. By the time all this was done it was time to make some tea for Hannah and just after she had finished Louise and Shannon arrived waiting for Rob to arrive from work.

Rob arrived at about 5.45pm and after a quick chat they left for home and we had a pot of tea before making our bed up and then I went to fill the car with diesel and get some money and cigars and then made my way home. Once home I made a pot of tea for me and Karen did Beans on toast for tea as that was what we both fancied.

We have had a relaxing evening, Karen has knitted and I got the laptop out to come on here and we are currently watching The Real Marigold Hotel on TV.

Tomorrow we are having a drive out and going to head to Lancaster, the capital city of Lancashire, we haven't been for about 15 months and are looking forward to it and we may end up getting some books, if we do they will be the first in August.

Aug 15, 2018, 5:44pm Top

>55 johnsimpson: I looks like Pasteis de Nata are very close to my favorite sweet Dim Sum, Egg Tarts.

Aug 16, 2018, 7:44am Top

>55 johnsimpson: You'll have to let us know about any book hauls you achieve in your outing to Lancaster. Enjoy!

Aug 16, 2018, 7:48am Top

Hi John!

Yay for the Wyvern 707, happy to hear about Amy and Andy's house.

I hope your day in Lancaster is enjoyable and that books are acquired.

Sending love and hugs to you both.

Aug 16, 2018, 2:55pm Top

>50 johnsimpson: This sounds cute, although I find I don't do well with romance novels that are longer than 300 pages. I get bored with the forced conflicts that stretch out the plot.

I hope you're having a nice time on your road trip to Lancaster.

Aug 16, 2018, 9:14pm Top

>32 thornton37814: You and me both, Lori. I have much more research to do in the UK than the US and appreciate finding out about some of the sources.

>56 quondame: Dim Sum egg tarts are the best and they do look very much like Pasteis de Nata.

Good to hear that Amy and Andy's house purchase is finalized. It will be difficult for them to leave on vacation just a week after moving. I hope that they and you and Karen have a wonderful vacation.

Aug 21, 2018, 1:05pm Top

Hi, John. Hope this finds you happy and well. We are still dealing with the heat and bad air out here. Hoping it will clear up on Thursday. Hope your vacation is going well. : )

Aug 22, 2018, 4:08pm Top

Since last Wednesday we have been quite busy one way or another but everything is good. We had a lovely day out in Lancaster, I sometimes think we wander around with our eyes closed. As soon as we got off the park and ride bus we made our way to Café Nero for a coffee and a comfort break, we left the café and thought we were heading to Next so Karen could take some trousers back. We soon realised that this was a different shopping centre as we found another Waterstones, we thought the one near the bus stop was the only one but then the penny dropped for me and I said it was probably because Lancaster is a large University city.

We had a good wander around and picked up eight books in total and dropped on a few small bargains, I managed to get some Monteverde ink cartridges and a couple of other things. We decided to have a decent meal so that when we eventually got home we wouldn't have to start cooking, we found a really nice pub and had a good meal. After more and more wandering round we made our way to the bus station and got our bus back to the park and ride, after a coffee and some buns we headed for home.

Friday I was busy with the shopping and then housework before I did a bit of work in the garden, by the time I had picked Karen up and we had something to eat I was dropping to sleep on the sofa.

Saturday morning was steady and then I took Karen to work, after picking my paper up I set the satnav to get me to Ferry Fryston to pick up the Hedgehog house that had been made for us. As soon as I had collected the house I set off to Wetherby to go to the antique fair, I went there to see a good friend Nick Banks who sells and repairs Fountain pens. After parking up I went directly to the hall where I knew Nick would be and after greeting each other and his wife I produced the pens that needed some work doing to them. The first two Conway Stewarts were straight forward repairs and he told me the cost, after having a look at the Wyvern he quoted me 20 pound but it could be a fraction more or nothing at all if it is beyond repair. Once this business was concluded I said I would look at the pens for sale and before I could move he showed me one that had just been fully serviced and was new to him, he thought I would like it, I did. I had a good look at it and then put it back in the case, I looked at some others but went back to the pen he had shown me and said I wanted it, it was marked up at 58 pound and he said between us how was 40 pound, the deal was concluded. After leaving Nick I went and had a look around the fair before I set off for home. By the time I got home I just had time to have a sandwich and a pot of tea before it was time to pick Karen up from work. Once home Karen saw the hedgehog house and she decided where to place it and then we had a pot of tea. Karen got changed out of her work gear and then we had something to eat, by the time we had eaten and had some pudding we chatted about our day and she loved my pen but before long we were ready for bed as we were both tired.

Aug 22, 2018, 4:26pm Top

On Sunday we were both busy, after breakfast we had to briefly pop out and once back I got on with a few small jobs while Karen baked. Karen had 36 muffins to bake and decorate for the baby shower she was going to at 6pm and once they were done she made the correct Pasteis de Nata. Once the baking was done and everything cleaned and tidied we had a pot of tea and a sandwich before Karen went and had a shower and washed her hair before getting changed to go out.

I dropped Karen off at the baby shower and once back I had Prawn Linguine for my tea and then read for a bit, I got the food ready for the Hedgehogs and after another pot of tea Karen rang to say she was ready to be picked up. I brought Karen and two others home and after a pot of tea we went up to bed.

Monday was a busy day, we did a few small jobs and popped into town to pick a couple of things up, before we headed for home I picked up some more sharp sand and then we made our way home. After a pot of tea and some lunch it was time to take Karen to work. After dropping Karen off I picked up a copy of the Yorkshire Post and paid a bill before going home. After a quick pot of tea I got on with the shed base and have just about finished it off. Another pot of tea and I had a job that I wanted to get done with the top garden border and by the time I had completed this I was knackered. I had just washed my hands and was making a pot of tea before going for a well deserved shower when I spotted my neighbour, David, had just arrived home. I went to see David to see if his trolley wheels was ready as I would be going over to Amy's to start their house move on Tuesday. David got me the wheels and we had a quick chat. Once back inside I realised that I had missed a phone call but they had left a message. During the morning Karen had got the number of the chap who would be delivering our new mattresses and she left him a message, he had returned the call but I had missed it. I rang him back and arranged that they would be delivered on Tuesday between 11.50am and 1pm.

Once this was done I had a very nice shower and then made a pot of tea and put a pizza in the oven, once my pizza was ready I put it on a plate and put it on a mat on the coffee table, I thought I would let it rest a minute or two as I knew it would be a bit hot, what I didn't expect was to drop off to sleep. An hour later I had to warm it up so that I could eat, by the time this was done I made another drink and got the hedgehog food ready and by the time I had finished my drink I had time to make Karen one in the travel mug and then go and pick her up.

Once back with Karen I told her about the mattress delivery and we had a drink before going up to bed, luckily for me I was due my patches changing but I was a bit stiff, I had done a bit too much.

Aug 22, 2018, 4:55pm Top

>62 johnsimpson: Have the hedgehogs moved into their new digs?

Aug 22, 2018, 4:58pm Top

>64 quondame:, Yes they have Susan, they didn't need any food placed from the old feeding area to the box and they seem to like it as food has been eaten every night since.

Aug 23, 2018, 8:20am Top

Glad to see your reports for the last few days. The semester will begin next week, but some students are on campus due to orientations for some of the special programs such as "Faith and Justice Scholars."

Aug 23, 2018, 3:58pm Top

Tuesday was the really busy day, we had a steady morning and filled my car with Amy's dining room chairs, the trolley wheels and the flat bed trolley. I also had a bag of supplies and tools for taking the wardrobes apart. After a pot of tea it was time to take Karen to work, I dropped Karen off and then headed home as the mattresses were to be delivered between 11.50am and 1pm. I made a pot of tea and waited and at 12.20pm the mattresses arrived, the lads put both of them into the second bedroom. Once they had gone I finished my pot of tea and then set off to Selby for a busy few hours.

I got to Amy's at just before 1.30pm and found that Andy's mum and dad were there to help out, we had a pot of tea while we waited for a call to say the keys were ready to be picked up. The owners were a bit behind but just on 2pm Amy got the call and I walked down with her. I left Amy to get the keys and I popped into Selby to get my Cricket magazine. I met Amy on my way back as the owners had left something in the shed and had asked Amy if she would pop back with the keys. Once everything was sorted we headed back to Amy's to start moving things. Both Mike (Andy's dad) and I had things in our cars so we loaded the trolley wheels with those and took them down to the new house and then we went back to the house to pick up more boxes. For the next two and a half hours that is all me and Mike did, trips up and down the street. By 5.30pm the road at the bottom of the street was getting busy so we went back to Amy's and loaded our cars up and then drove to the new house and parked on the front half of the garden which was gravelled, we unloaded all the boxes and I left my car there and Mike took me back to Amy's. Mike and Pat (Andy's mum) left and then Andy ordered some food. After we had eaten and had a pot of tea I asked Amy to make another pot of tea for me and then we went upstairs to dismantle the wardrobes. Everything was done by 8.20pm and we walked down to the new house, Amy and Andy were going to move a few boxes into certain rooms to clear space for more to be brought down, I gave them both a hug and a kiss and set off for home at 8.30pm.

I got home by 9.15pm and had time for a pot of tea and to put the food down for the Hedgehogs and then made Karen a pot of tea in the travel mug and went to collect her. Once back home with Karen we had a pot of tea and then I had a well deserved shower before another pot of tea in bed and I just flicked through my magazine.

We had to be up early on Wednesday as the bed frames were being delivered and the firm had messaged me to say they would be delivered between 7am and 1pm. Once up and about I made us a pot of tea and Karen set a load of washing going, I then got our meds and vitamins out. I had another pot of tea and had my cereal and Karen had put another load of washing on. I was putting the washing on the line when the beds arrived, Karen told the lads that one was for upstairs and the other for the garage. Once the beds were in place and the lads had gone we got our mattress off the bed and brought it downstairs and put it outside upside the house. Once back inside we put our new mattress on our bed and Karen put the bottom sheet on and then we put the duvet and pillows back on.

We went back downstairs to try and put the old mattress in the car, it would not go in so I folded in half and got Karen to sit on it while I went into the garage to get some ties for the handles to keep it folded. Once the ties were on we manhandled it into the car and then I put the second load of washing on the line. Once this was done I took Karen to Wakefield to meet up with her best friend Tina and once I had dropped Karen off I headed to the recycle centre to dispose of the old mattress. After getting rid of the mattress I made my way home and had a pot of tea before going upstairs to build the bed frame. From starting to unwrap all the parts to finally clearing away all the packings and boxes it took me two and a half hours. I just had time then to have a pot of tea and have a biscuit before going to pick Karen and Tina up. I dropped Tina off and we went to the Aldi to get the usual few bits.

We made our way home and unpacked all the shopping and then I made us a pot of tea, later we had something to eat before doing a couple of jobs before settling down with the laptop to come on here.

Aug 23, 2018, 4:24pm Top

Today has been another steady day, after a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to have another pot of tea and some breakfast. After we had finished breakfast we popped into town as Karen wanted a couple of bits. We were only in town for about 45 minutes and then made our way home and had a pot of tea. After our tea we went upstairs to sort out the bed in the second bedroom, we put the new mattress on and then Karen sorted out the bedding. After the bedding was on we sorted out Hannah's toys and most of it fit under the bed. Once this was done Karen went back downstairs to do some biscuit baking and to make two lots of Flapjack while I dusted and vacuumed the bed rooms and then I cleaned the bathroom. I finished my jobs and came downstairs and made us both a pot of tea, the first two lots of biscuits were made by this time. I went into the living room and read while Karen finished off the baking and we had a biscuit each to check quality control, lol.

We both felt a bit tired so I went to the Fish shop to get fish and chips for our tea, since then we have had a relaxing evening until a few minutes ago when I had a bit of excitement. Karen realised that it was 9pm and we needed to put the food in the Hedgehog house, Karen put the food on the plate and I went to put it in the house. I lifted the lid and tried to put the plate in the usual spot but encountered a Hedgehog, I wasn't expecting this so I inadvertently tipped the plate slightly and some of the food slipped off into the house and onto the poor Hedgehog. I dashed back in the house to put some more food on the plate and told Karen who laughed and laughed. Karen came out with me and I used my phone's torch so she could see the Hedgehog. Karen is still chuckling at my misfortune and messaged Amy, I will not live this down for a few days. I bet the Hedgehog will be telling its friends to watch out for the chap at number 29 as he tips food on you, ha ha ha.

Aug 23, 2018, 5:06pm Top

I will be on her tomorrow but will not probably be on again until Monday. Karen is working 8am to 5pm on Saturday and once I have dropped her off I will head over to Selby with the new bed frame for Amy and will be helping with the move until 4pm. I will head back home to pick Karen up and after she has changed we will go back to Selby to do a bit more, we are staying overnight and will do more on Sunday. Amy and Andy are going to his cousins wedding blessing, I am taking them and we will do some cleaning in the old house. We will be staying over again as I am taking and picking them up from the wedding blessing and party. Hopefully we won't have much to do on Monday but we will head home by late afternoon so we can relax as Karen is in work on Tuesday.

Aug 23, 2018, 8:22pm Top

My goodness, John, you guys have been so busy and getting so much accomplished! I'm out of breath just reading about your days! Just wanted to check in and let you know I still love reading about your days!

Aug 23, 2018, 10:13pm Top

We will miss you while you are offline, but you are doing what is important.

Aug 24, 2018, 2:36am Top

Lots going on at the Simpson's . Is Amy's and Andy's new home close to your place? Hooray for the new matress. It's so important for a relaxed sleep. I hope you haven't done too much during the move and your back is ok. Sending love and hugs to all of you xxx

Aug 24, 2018, 7:13am Top

Oh gosh, I sympathize with the exhaustion of moving right now! You and Karen are such good parents to help out so much.

Aug 24, 2018, 8:11am Top

Hi John! Lots of exciting things going on, for sure.

I'm so glad to hear that Amy and Andy's house is now their house and hope the move has continued to go well.

What a riot - dumping food on a hedgehog.

Congrats on new frames and mattresses, too.

Sending love and hugs to you both.

Aug 24, 2018, 3:21pm Top

>70 Dianekeenoy:, Thank you Diane my dear, the days have been busy but worth it, they were both so excited on Monday night about getting the keys on Tuesday that they didn't sleep much. Hopefully everything will be moved tomorrow and then we can start cleaning the house ready for Amy and Andy to hand the keys back to Alan and get their bond back.

I still have days where I am not sure that the good folks on here want to read about my days but I can only put down what I have done however mundane it may seem. One of these days we will get over the pond to visit you and lots more of my wonderful LT friends.

Aug 24, 2018, 3:23pm Top

>71 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, it will just be the weekend my dear, I have no doubts that by evening I will be too tired to type anything and maybe even to read but it will all be worth it to see them in their new home with everything of theirs around them.

Aug 24, 2018, 3:28pm Top

>72 Ameise1:, Hi Barbara, they are still no nearer to us, they are only moving about 150yards from where they were renting but they will have their own parking for two cars and a private back garden. It is currently set up as a four bedroom house but that is only because the third bedroom has been split in two with a stud wall and that can be taken out easily if they wish to do so.

The new mattress is lovely and I do feel more comfortable I must say and the new bed in the spare bedroom looks great and know doubt Hannah will love it and want to sleep over more.

I had done too much on Tuesday but I also did a lot on Monday in the garden so combined it took it out of me but I am rested and refreshed so am good to go tomorrow.

Aug 24, 2018, 3:31pm Top

>73 scaifea:, Hi Amber, we just want to make sure they are out of the rented house by the end of the month and so not having to pay any more rent and Karen wants to have a good look at the new house. This house will see them right for quite a number of years so once they are fully settled they will start to think about babies. I will no doubt be called upon to use my painting skills as it needs re-decorating to freshen it up but that will be done over the next few months.

Aug 24, 2018, 3:37pm Top

>74 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, Amy and Andy are so excited that this is going to be their house and not paying rent for someone else's house. We are going to be busy over the weekend but it will be worth it and they are very grateful to us helping out.

The poor Hedgehog, I don't know who was more surprised me or it but I did put extra food down and it had all gone so it or they were happy. I have made sure the food is in the house tonight before they arrive, ha ha.

Our new mattress feels lovely and I already feel more comfortable and the new bed and mattress in the spare bedroom looks good, Hannah will love it and Amy and Andy will sleep better next time they stay over with us.

We are going to be very busy this weekend but it will be worth it for all of us and they appreciate us giving up the time to get them settled in.

Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Aug 26, 2018, 7:10am Top

>78 johnsimpson: Aha! The true motivation comes out - you're ready for more grandchildren! *grins*

Aug 28, 2018, 3:35pm Top

>80 scaifea: Not quite ready for more grandchildren just yet Amber but I know Amy is getting broody, a year or so when they have the house sorted a little bit and I will be ready then. Karen cannot wait for Amy to have one though, something about mothers and daughters she keeps saying, lol.

Aug 28, 2018, 4:00pm Top

Well I am back on here dear friends, tired and achy but well enough to type.

Saturday morning I took Karen to work and then had to come back to put the bed side bits in the car and have some breakfast before setting off to Selby. When I arrived I couldn't park in front of the new house as Amy had not left me enough room so I drove up to the old one and Amy was at the door. I explained my predicament and she walked down to move her car slightly and then I could park alongside. First job was to unload my car and put all the new bed bits in the main bedroom and assorted other bits. Once this was done I left my car there and we walked back up to the house.

Once up at the old house me and Andy started moving more boxes and bits and pieces, Andy's dad joined us about an hour later and we cracked on between us. The weather was quite warm and before long I had a sweat on and noticed my first war wound. On Tuesday night I noticed that I had taken a small thin layer of skin off my right arm just below the elbow, I thought nothing about it and it had scabbed over. Early doors on Saturday it was a little chilly so I still had my hoodie on and as I was coming down the steep stairs from the loft bedroom I felt a sharp pain as I used the wall side to keep my balance. I thought this is how I grazed my arm and went to pull my sleeve up and noticed blood staining my hoodie sleeve, as I had used the wall again for balance I had ripped the scab off and it was bleeding profusely. I was quickly patched up and off on my trek up and down with boxes.

While we were working away, Amy had rung up a place that collects household goods that are in good order to give to people on low incomes to help them out as the washer she had was not needed as she had purchased the washer and dishwasher from the owners of the house they had bought as they were moving into a property with everything fitted in. The place could not collect until the following Tuesday but if she could get it to them, they were open until 3pm. A natural break had occurred whereby we needed Andy and his dad to move things we had already taken down to other rooms to accommodate more stuff that needed moving. We loaded the washing machine into my car and Amy came with me to direct me to the place, they were very grateful and as I said it would have been a shame to have taken it to the tip as there was a good two or three years life left in it.

Once we got back we did another couple of runs on foot and then I filled my car with smaller bits and took that down and then emptied the car before going with Andy's dad to collect Andy's brother's bike and golf clubs which they were going to store for him. By the time we got back with the bike and golf clubs, Amy and Andy had moved more stuff upstairs to where it would eventually live. We continued moving stuff until 4pm when I had to leave to get Karen from work.

I picked Karen up and we made our way home, once home I made us a pot of tea as we were both thirsty, while I made the drink Karen went and got changed and then we packed the car with bedding for us as we were staying over Saturday and Sunday night as well as the vacuum, the steam mop and bucket of cleaning materials. While we had our drink I retrieved a parcel that had been delivered from the re-cycling bin and a card had been put through the door by the postman as I had a parcel that required signing for and so would be at the post office depot for me to collect from Sunday. We finished our drink and set off for Selby. We parked up at the house and unloaded everything and then Amy took Karen for a tour of the house. Amy and Andy had brought more stuff down while I was away and now we were all hungry. Amy made us all a drink and while we were deciding what to have to eat I went upstairs to the main bedroom to build the bed so that we could sleep comfortably that night. By the time I had the bed built and the mattress put on they had been to the mini supermarket for some food and it was in the oven. We had a nice meal and a drink and then chatted until about 10.30pm when we trooped up to bed, I was that tired I couldn't read.

Aug 28, 2018, 4:34pm Top

We awoke on Sunday morning after a pretty good nights sleep and once up we got washed and dressed and came downstairs for breakfast. As we were finishing our drinks we made a plan of action for the day as Amy and Andy needed to stop at 1pm to have a bite to eat and then get changed as they were going to his cousins wedding blessing and party.

We took my car up to the house as the weather was not good and I made the loft bedroom the priority so that it could be cleaned once they had gone out in the afternoon. We managed to get everything out apart from the single bed and mattress. Andy was taking things down on the trolley wheels or the flat bed wheels before the rain started to come down to heavy, at this point we managed to fill the car with smaller items and transport stuff that way. Amy and Andy broke off at 12.45pm and we continued for another 30 minutes and then headed to the new house to make some food.

After we had eaten they finished off getting ready and then they got in my car and we set off to pick Andy's mum up. While was doing all this Karen went back up to the house to clean the kitchen which her and Amy had started on earlier. I picked up Andy's mum and then headed to the venue, once back at the old house I vacuumed the loft bedroom moving the bed and mattress around so that I could make sure it was all clean. Once this was done I needed to take apart their old bed and move the parts down to the front room and then with help from Karen we took the drawer unit down after taking the drawers out. Once this was done we vacuumed the room and then Karen used the steam mop to do the laminate flooring. Unfortunately Amy called to say she had forgotten some personal products and needed them so I had to break off and collect them from the new house and take them to the venue which wasn't far away luckily. Once back I vacuumed the stairs and then helped Karen clean the oven racks as she needed more elbow grease.

By the time we finished for the day everything left to be transported was in the front room and all the other rooms and bathroom were cleaned to the nth degree. We wandered back down the street to the new house and made a drink before Karen put a couple of pies in the oven for us, we were shattered. We had our food and had another pot of tea and tried to relax and chatted until Amy rang to say that everything was winding down at the party and could I collect them. By the time had gone and got them and got back it was about 9.15pm and we had a drink and chatted about the party and the blessing and then we went up to bed. Once we were showered and new patches were put on my back, I went and made myself a pot of tea and got Karen some milk and we managed to rea while we had our drinks and then went to sleep.

We awoke on Monday after a decent nights sleep and once up, washed and dressed we all came downstairs for breakfast. Once we had finished breakfast I said that what was left to do should only take us until about 1pm and we closed the door of the old house at 1.12pm. We made our way back to the new house to have some lunch and a drink. When we had finished, Amy took me to the DIY store to pick up a strong padlock for the shed and some Gorilla glue as I had knocked off a small staircase post plinth and we also needed some cam locks for the bedroom wardrobes. The DIY store didn't have the cam locks and we were directed to the Screwfix store for those, once we had got what we needed we made our way back home. After another drink we had hugs all round and they thanked us for all our help and we packed all our belongings in the car and made our weary way home.

I unpacked the car while Karen made us a drink and then we slumped onto the sofa and relaxed, we were both flagging by now. After another drink of tea we had beans on toast for tea and then while I sorted the hedgehogs out Karen caught up on a programme from Sunday night and then we watched Nadiya's family favourites before taking ourselves up to bed. We had a hot drink with us and read for a bit before I made a drink of tea for me and some milk for Karen and we read a bit more before lights out and we went to sleep in our own bed.

Aug 28, 2018, 5:58pm Top

You have been working hard, John, to get Amy and Andy moved.
Now get some rest, dear friend.

Aug 28, 2018, 9:39pm Top

>83 johnsimpson: Hooray for going to sleep in your own bed! I'm sure you were exhausted by the time you did all you did.

Aug 28, 2018, 10:19pm Top

I feel tired just reading all that you and Karen have been up to, John. I hope that you don't have much more to do for the move and that there is a break before you all start redecorating. It sounds like you could use it.

Aug 28, 2018, 11:37pm Top

Whew! You've been busy and the kids are lucky to have you on their team! Enjoy your own bed and a pot of tea in the morning. Job well done. : )

Aug 29, 2018, 1:22am Top

What a job you did. I don't know how a move works elswhere but here in Switzerland when the youngs are moving their friends help. So the older generation doesn't have to lift all these heavy stuff.
I hope you get some time to relax. Love and hugs to both of you xx

Edited: Aug 29, 2018, 9:50am Top

Hi John!

Excellent Move Report. I bet you are glad it's done, for sure.

I hope things settle back down and that you can get some good reading in.

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen.

Aug 29, 2018, 3:18pm Top

>84 FAMeulstee:, Thanks Anita, rest is definitely needed my dear.

>85 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, Sleep in our own bed was bliss, it wrapped itself around me and gave me a big cuddle.

>86 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg, all the moving has been done and rest will be taken before any decorating. The Kitchen is great and the bathroom is great apart from the bit of wall that is not tiled, not the last owners but the previous ones decided that with black sparkly tiles they would add Cerise to the non tiled area and I have said I will paint that for them.

Aug 29, 2018, 3:24pm Top

>87 Berly:, Hi Kim, it was a big job moving them although some of it was quite light as most of the stuff in the loft bedroom was Andy's collection of Transformers, Star Wars and Lego. Back in our own bed and a pot of tea was bliss my dear.

>88 Ameise1:, Hi Barbara, depending on how far you are moving it is what we have done as it was just down the street, about 200 to 250 yards away or if further you get a removal firm in. Any move we consider will involve a removal firm and that will cost, when they see our books the price will rocket, lol.

>89 karenmarie:, Hi Karen, we are so glad it is done and we can relax a bit but this month the reading has taken a battering. I can honestly say that this is the worst month of reading since I joined LT and probably a few more years before LT. September will get off to a good start and I hope improve thereon in.

Aug 29, 2018, 3:35pm Top

On Tuesday we thought we would get a bit of a lie in but just before we crawled up to bed on Monday night I noticed that Karen had an early appointment at the doctors for her B12 injection, bang went the pot of tea in bed.

We got up, washed and dressed and just had time for a quick pot of tea before I took Karen for her injection, this was quickly done and once home we had a proper relaxed pot of tea and breakfast. Once this was done we set a load of washing going and pottered about, a second load was set off and the first was put on the airer indoors as the weather didn't look good. We had time to put the second load on the airer and for Karen to get her lunch ready for work before we had a pot of tea and she got changed for work. I made sure that I had all the stuff in the car for the re-cycling centre.

I dropped Karen at work and then made my way to the re-cycling centre and got shut of all the cardboard packaging, non-recyclable stuff and some plastic. Once this was done I made my way to the main Post Office depot to collect my parcel and then parked up at the shopping centre to do some banking. Once I had done all this I made my way home and made a pot of tea before opening my parcel, I was correct in assuming what it was, it was my Fountain Pens that I had taken to the Wetherby Antique fair to see an old friend who sells and repairs all pens. I was extremely pleased that besides the two Conway-Stewarts that were easily sorted he had managed to fully repair the Wyvern 707 and the total cost was very reasonable. I contacted Nick to thank him and to say that as Karen is set up for paypal she would do the payment on Wednesday morning.

The rest of the afternoon was spent trying the pens out and doing a bit of reading before I made myself some lunch. I had a few small jobs to do in the house and did them before having a couple of pots of tea before making myself something to eat and then watching the Vuelta highlights on TV. Once this was done I got the laptop up and running and came on here.

Aug 29, 2018, 3:46pm Top

We managed a lie in with a pot of tea this morning and once that was done we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to make a pot of tea and have our meds and some breakfast. Once this was done I pottered about and Karen paid Nick for my pens until Debbie the nail technician came to do Karen's nails. I left to go and pick Hannah up and drop Louise and Shannon in Wakefield.

I got back with Hannah and showed her the new bed she would be sleeping in when she next sleeps over, she thought it was great. Not long after I got back with Hannah, Debbie had finished and left and we all had a drink and then Hannah went back upstairs to play with the Sylvanian house.

We quickly popped out to Aldi and Hannah went with Grandma to get the few bits we needed and came out with a comic, I stayed in the car listening to the cricket and reading. Once the shopping was done we made our way home and had some lunch before Hannah went back upstairs to play.

Both Karen and I just relaxed and read a bit and messed about with our phones before Karen did a bit of ironing. We had a pot of tea before Hannah said she was hungry so Karen made tea for us all and by the time we had finished it was time for me to take Hannah with me to pick up Rob from the railway station. As Rob approached the car he got me to wind my window down and apologised for not ringing earlier as he had got up a little late this morning and so drove to the station. I followed him to his car and Hannah got out of my car, gave me a hug and a kiss and went with daddy to his car and I made my way home. I thought Karen would be surprised I had got home so quickly but Rob had phoned her hoping to catch me before I left and to check I had gone to the right station.

I had a pot of tea and we watched the news and local news and then I took Karen to her ex sister-in-laws and then made my way back home and fired up the laptop.

Aug 29, 2018, 3:47pm Top

Woo, you're a good man, John - and Karen's a good woman. That's a lot of physical labor! I'm glad you got to relax and recuperate a bit today.

Aug 29, 2018, 4:10pm Top

>94 jnwelch:, Thanks Joe, it was a big job but it is all done now and they can now get furniture re-built and put their clothes away and sort out what goes in what room. It is a lovely old Victorian mid-terrace with some nice original features although some have been removed sadly. It is a nice family home and when they are fully settled they can think about starting a family as Amy is getting broody and Karen is looking forward to a new baby to cluck over sometime in the future.

Aug 29, 2018, 4:16pm Top

I read some really good news on Twitter today, a new bookshop is opening in the lovely Dales village of Grassington near Skipton. The owners are a mother and son and her sister has acquire the café next door, the book shop is called the Stripey Badger and the café is the Stripey Badger Coffee Shop and Kitchen with the two businesses working in tandem. I am looking forward to our next visit to Grassington to pay a visit to both establishments.

Aug 30, 2018, 7:12am Top

>96 johnsimpson: That sounds like a lovely combination! I hope you enjoy your next trip to the Dales.

Aug 30, 2018, 1:56pm Top

Hi there, John! Sounds like you have been busy! Hope you get some rest!

Aug 30, 2018, 3:59pm Top

>97 thornton37814:, We will Lori.

Aug 30, 2018, 4:01pm Top

>98 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle, it has been a busy period but now we are resting and looking forward to our holiday in Tenby, West Wales with Amy and Andy, nine days to go and some nice fresh sea air to breathe.

Aug 30, 2018, 4:31pm Top

We have had a good day today, after a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to have a pot of tea and our meds and vitamins. We decided to forgo breakfast and set off to Meadowhall shopping centre as I needed to get some new jeans.

We got to Meadowhall and went into the centre via the Debenhams store and decided to look for jeans first, the store has had a complete revamp and there seemed to be more space, everything was set out better. I couldn't find the Duffer of St George jeans as I like them and so asked an assistant who told me they no longer stock that brand. Karen was looking at the sales racks and found three pair of jeans for me to try and after trying them all on we settled on two pairs of Wranglers for a cost of 60 pounds instead of 150 pounds, I asked the assistant what had happened to the Pen Shop concession and she said they had gone as well so there is no where to buy decent pens in the centre. After paying for the jeans we went to Costa for a coffee and a bite to eat, after refreshing ourselves we called into Waterstones bookshop but didn't find much and so I said we would be better going into the larger branch further down the mall.

We had a good wander around and Karen got a nice blouse from Wallis and then we continued browsing. Karen called in to the Superdrug store to get a couple of bits and then I went to the bank to pay a bill and get some money out. We continued wandering about and while Karen went into Boots I went into WH Smiths store and that had also had a revamp. I saw nothing I wanted and was disappointed to find that they had cut down on a few things. We continued on our merry way and then decided we needed a drinks break so stopped off at a café for tea. Once refreshed we headed to the larger Waterstones only to find that it was closed for a re-fit and we think they are also expanding into the store next door which closed about a year ago. After another disappointment we went into Marks & Spencer to look at hooded sweatshirts but they only had a boring blue and a poor green. We left and headed back towards Debenhams and the car. On the way out of Debenhams Karen picked up some Lindt Chocolate bars as they had been reduced and would be good for some baking.

After picking up the chocolate we got back to the car and headed home, we made a slight detour to call in and see Debbie the nail technician to sort out one of Karen's nails. When the nail had been sorted out we made our way home. Once home I made us a pot of tea and then had another, a shirt time later Catherine from next door came around with a parcel for Karen that she had taken in from the postman, more books that Karen had ordered from World of Books. I was just going to make another pot of tea when Amy arrived, she had gone to the hairdresser straight from work and then came here. Amy has had a complete new hairstyle, it is quite short but really suits her. We had a drink and then Karen made us all something to eat, after eating we had a drink and a chat before Amy left for home. We are now relaxing, I am on the laptop and Karen is watching the first episode of the Great British Bake Off 2018 that I recorded for her on Tuesday.

Aug 30, 2018, 9:09pm Top

It's sad your didn't have bookstore success. I'm hoping to make it to our giant warehouse-sized used bookstore McKays sometime over the weekend. I know it will be terribly crowded since it is a holiday weekend, but if I can somehow manage to pick my way down the aisles, I'm ready to just go and browse for a bit to see what treasures might be found.

Aug 31, 2018, 3:02am Top

It sounds as though you and Karen had a productive shopping day, John. I've purchased several items of clothing from the Debenhams in Westfield London Shopping Centre when I've stayed at the Dorset Shepherd's Bush in West London, which is a short walk away.

Apparently Karen is not the only person trying to get me to eat broccoli. It's not going to happen!

Aug 31, 2018, 3:49pm Top

>102 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, hope you find some treasures at McKays my dear, just ignore the crowds. I am saving myself now until we get to Hay-on-Wye and then I will have a splurge. Have a great weekend dear friend.

Aug 31, 2018, 3:51pm Top

>103 kidzdoc:, Hi Darryl, it was a productive day for me and getting a good deal was a bonus. Karen says don't worry about the broccoli just eat what you like mate.

Aug 31, 2018, 4:03pm Top

Not a bad day and the weather has been really good. We were up with the alarm but no tea in bed this morning, we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs and set a load of washing going. I made us a pot of tea and Karen got the meds and vitamins out. After enjoying my pot of tea I had some breakfast before it was time to take Karen to work.

After dropping Karen off I went into store to do the weekly shopping, we didn't need much so I wasn't in too long, once I had gone through the checkout I made my way to the car and put the shopping in the boot and then set off to Amy's workplace to drop her phone off which she had left last night. I got to her workplace and rang her work phone so she could come down and collect it from me along with a card from Rob and Louise. Once I had done this I made my way home.

As soon as I got home I unpacked the shopping and put it all away and then made a pot of tea before putting the washing outside. When this was done I had my pot of tea while listening to the cricket on the radio. I made myself another pot of tea and read my paper and then read more of my book. I had another couple of pots of tea while reading and listening to the cricket before I had some lunch.

After I had my lunch I did the downstairs housework and cleaned the bathroom before having yet another pot of tea and continued listening to the cricket and read my book. Before long it was time to pick Karen up from work.
Once home with Karen I made us both a pot of tea before watching todays highlights of the Vuelta and then we had something to eat.

Another parcel of books came through the post for Karen, four more books from World of Books, I have told her she is banned from getting books in Hay-on-Wye, lol.

Aug 31, 2018, 4:11pm Top

>104 johnsimpson: I've decided to not go on Saturday to McKays. I may go Sunday after church since we have no evening services. I want to head to the American Museum of the House Cat tomorrow (Saturday). It's a couple hours away, but I've been wanting to go for awhile. I think it would make a nice day trip.

Aug 31, 2018, 4:20pm Top

>107 thornton37814:, That sounds like a nice day trip my dear, enjoy yourself.

Aug 31, 2018, 4:29pm Top

Sadly I won't be able to finish a second book in August so the stats are going to look sparse BUT September's will look very good. I need to have a good September to kick start the run-in to the end of the year and I may still reach my 60 book target.

Next year it will be a romp especially with all the books that Karen has purchased so far this year. I know it is a bit early to be thinking about reading for 2019 but I know I will have a good year already.

Looking forward to our holiday as I will be getting a few books and should be able to add to my Fountain Pen collection as in nearby Haverfordwest there is a decent Pen shop called Andy's pens and he has a really good selection of new and vintage pens along with a big range of inks.

Aug 31, 2018, 4:46pm Top

Looking at the weather forecast for early September it seems promising that we will have good weather with slightly above average temperature and mostly dry. We will be happy with this, as long as we don't have to have raincoats on or big sweaters that will do for us.

We have one or two places we would like to visit and are looking forward to exploring this part of Wales as we have never been here before.

Sep 2, 2018, 10:52am Top

Hi John!

>92 johnsimpson: On Tuesday we thought we would get a bit of a lie in but just before we crawled up to bed on Monday night I noticed that Karen had an early appointment at the doctors for her B12 injection, bang went the pot of tea in bed. I have learned since retiring that I don’t like getting up to an alarm at all, so try to make all appointments for 10:30 a.m. or later. It makes for a less stressful day for sure. Sometimes they can’t accommodate me, but most times people just seem amused when I tell them I don’t want to get up to alarm.

>96 johnsimpson: I love the idea of the Stripey Badger Book Shop. If I ever get to visit you and Karen, I’d love to go there with you both.

I’m glad you’re going to have good weather on your trip to Wales. Now, can you really ban Karen from buying books at Hay-on-Wye? *smile*

Sending love and hugs to you both.

Sep 2, 2018, 3:33pm Top

>111 karenmarie:, Hi Karen banning Karen from buying books in Hay is not even possible, I was just chancing my arm, lol.

If you ever get over here my dear I will take you to all my favourite book haunts, I think we would all get on very well and you and Karen would really hit it off.

Sep 2, 2018, 3:35pm Top

BREAKING NEWS..., Hold the front page... I have finally finished a book.

After a fairly miserable August on the reading front I am hoping this will kick start September and the remainder of the year.

Edited: Sep 2, 2018, 3:43pm Top

Latest reading stats:

Books on shelves at 1-8-18 - 2422
Books added in August - 17
Books read in August - 1

Revised book total - 2438

Pages to read at 1-8-18 - 1,024,158
Pages added in August - 7,036
Pages read in August - 601

Revised total pages to read - 1,030,593

Edited: Sep 2, 2018, 3:44pm Top


Books Read...................... 1

No of Authors.................... 1

New Authors...................... 0

Male Authors..................... 0

Female Authors.................. 1

Pages Read....................... 601

Daily Avg........................... 19.39

Book Length avg................. 601

Sep 2, 2018, 3:56pm Top

Finally finished book 32 of the Chunksters, Memories of Ice by Steven Erikson. This is the third in the Malazan Book of the Fallen Series.

In this we find the ravaged continent of Genabackis has given birth to a terrifying new empire: The Pannion Domin. Like a tide of corrupted blood, it seethes across the land, devouring all who fail to heed the word of its prophet, the Pannion Seer. In its path stands and uneasy alliance; Dujek Onearm's Host and Whiskeyjack's veteran Bridgeburners alongside their enemies of old - the forces of Warlord Caladon Brood, Anomander Rake and his Tiste Andii, and the Rhivi people of the Plains. Outnumbered and mistrustful, they must get word to potential allies, including the mercenary brotherhood, the Grey Swords, whose orders are to hold the besieged city of Capustan at all costs.

But more ancient clans too are gathering. As if in answer to some primal summons, the T'lan Imass have risen. For it would seem something altogether darker and more malign threatens this world. The Warrens are poisoned and rumours abound that the Crippled God is now unchained and intent on a terrible revenge....

Another epic read from Steven Erikson in this series and I fully enjoyed it, I need to get to the rest in fairly quick order as it takes a while to get into the next book in the series if there is a sizable gap between reading them.

Sep 2, 2018, 4:32pm Top

It has not been a bad weekend overall, yesterday began with a pot of tea in bed before we got up. washed and dressed and then we stripped the bedding off our bed to be washed. Once downstairs I put the bedding in the washing machine and set it off, once this was done I got the meds and vitamins out and made us a pot of tea.

We had our pot of tea and then I had some cereal and when this was finished the washing was ready to be put on the line. I put the washing out and then made us a pot of tea while Karen got her work food ready and then she had some scrambled eggs. Before long it was time to take Karen to work, I dropped Karen off and then popped into store to get some cigars and my copy of the Yorkshire Post paper.

On the way back to the car I got some money out of the cash machine and then set off to Cawthorne Antique Centre. After a short drive I got parked up at the antique centre and went in for a good look around. After a good perusal and not finding any Fountain pens or anything related to Cricket I got back to the car and made my way home.

Once home I made myself a pot of tea and had a read of my paper while listening to the cricket on the radio. After reading the paper I picked up my book and continued reading along with another pot of tea, after another pot of tea I went outside to mow the lawn. Mowing the lawn has been a rarity this year with the dry weather as the grass has hardly grown, it was two months ago since the lawn had its last cut. After the lawn was cut I did a bit of pruning of the plants before going into the front garden to do some more pruning.

The pruning was done aided by a couple of pots of tea and I just got finished and cleaned up in time to go to pick Karen up from work. I had to get there a bit earlier as Karen wanted me to come to the George desk to pick up a couple of items she had put to one side. After collecting the items I went back to the car and read while waiting for Karen to clock off. Once Karen was in the car we made our way the short distance to the Aldi store as Karen wanted to pick up a few bits, I stayed in the car and read. Once Karen had got the few bits she wanted she got in the car and we made our way home.

Once home I made us a pot of tea and we had this while having a chat, Karen went upstairs to get changed and I made us another pot of tea. When Karen came back downstairs she browned off the Steak mince I had got on Friday and I got some vegetables out and the base for the cottage pie was made. Karen put all the ingredients in the slow cooker and set it off and once this was done we put a pie in the oven and some frozen chips for my tea and Karen sorted herself out. We had our food when it was ready and then I watched the days highlights of the Vuelta before we had pudding for afters. After this I put the food out for the hedgehogs and we watched a bit of TV before going up to bed with a pot of tea and read.

Sep 2, 2018, 4:50pm Top

Today was another sunny and warm day and when the alarm went off I made us a pot of tea to have in bed, when this was finished we got up, washed and dressed and then came downstairs. We set a load of dark washing going and I put our meds and vitamins out before making another pot of tea while Karen put the crumpets in the toaster. I had my crumpets and tea and had my tablets and vitamins before I set off to Kwik-Fit to have my tyres checked as I thought the tread looked worn. As it turned out only the front passenger tyre needed replacing so while this was done I read and got to within 20 pages of finishing it.

When the car was ready I made my way home, while out Karen had put the washing on the line before Debbie the nail technician came to sort her nails out as they had not taken properly. Debbie had just finished when I got back and I just had time to say hello and then goodbye before she left. I made us a pot of tea and when this was finished we went up to put fresh bedding on our bed. Once this was done Karen got me to sort out what T-shirts, shirts and socks and underwear I was going to take on holiday. Karen continued to sort out some of her things while I went and made a pot of tea for both of us.

We had a nice couple of hours and I finally finished book 32 of the year and then we got the mashed potatoes done to put on top of the cottage pie mince and veg and then put it in the oven. While it was cooking I had a pot of tea and then 45 minutes later we had a late lunch and the cottage pie, all homemade, was lovely with enough left for me to have some tomorrow and enough for Karen to take to work on Monday and Tuesday. after we had eaten we cleared up and then relaxed in the living room and I listened to the cricket on the radio. About an hour later we had some cake and a pot of tea. The day has been a good one and we have had a nice evening.

Sep 4, 2018, 10:53am Top

Glad to see that pots of tea are still being made and books are being read. : ) Love the sound of that new bookshop!

Sep 4, 2018, 3:29pm Top

>119 Berly:, Hi Kim, always got to have pots of tea and the books are being read although I am picking up speed a bit now. I am looking forward to visiting the new bookshop in Grassington, it was officially opened on the 1st September and the owners had got local author, Julia Chapman who writes the gorgeous Dales Mystery series, to open it.

Sep 4, 2018, 3:42pm Top

Yesterday I was quite busy but didn't seem to get much done. After a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to make a pot of tea and some breakfast. Karen was in a bit of pain with her knee and got in touch with her department boss to say she would do 4pm until 9pm if that was ok and would have had a sick day if not, she got that sorted.

After breakfast I went to get a haircut and drop our repeat prescriptions off at the doctors, I called in to Barber Joe's but there were a number of gents in so left and dropped the scripts off. After dropping the scripts off I called at Sainsbury's supermarket to try and get the magazine Karen wanted along with the Yorkshire Post and some cigars, this I duly did and then made my way home. Once home I had a pot of tea and then vacuumed the car while Karen ironed the few garments in the ironing basket. By the time I had cleaned the inside of the car the weather looked distinctly bad and it seemed as if we were going to have a rainstorm.

We had a pot of tea and watched the news before we both had some more of the cottage pie that Karen had made on Sunday. I was waiting for a call from Amy to say her car was ready to collect as I was going to go and get it as the garage would be shut by the time she got home. The call came just before I took Karen to work so I dropped Karen off and then made my way to Selby. Whilst taking Karen to work she messaged Amy for me to say I would collect the keys and leave the car just outside the garage yard in a secure parking spot so that I did not have to move her seat or rearview mirror, also I was not insured for her car. Amy rang the garage and they were ok with this.

I got to the garage at 4.35pm and collected the keys and then made my way to where Amy works to collect her as her next bus was ay 5.30pm. I collected Amy at 5.15pm and we were back at the garage by 5.50pm and then she got in her car and I followed back to the house. We were back at her house by 6pm, if she had got the bus and then walked from the bus station she would not have been home much before 7pm. Amy made me a pot of tea and showed me a couple of things and then Andy arrived home from work. After a quick chat Andy made something to eat for us all and when I had finished I set off to go and collect Karen from work.

Although I didn't get much done personally I had done a lot one way or another.

Sep 4, 2018, 3:49pm Top

This morning we had a pot of tea in bed before we got up and about, we came downstairs and Karen set a small load of washing going while I got our meds and vitamins out and then made a pot of tea. We had breakfast with our tea and after I had finished and had my meds I went and got a haircut. Karen's knee was feeling better today but she decided to go in at 3pm instead of noon but she is still finishing at 10pm.

Once back from having my haircut we had a pot of tea and then watched a couple of programmes that I had recorded before we had some lunch and a pot of tea. Once we had eaten we both read for a bit and then Karen got into her work gear and I took her to work. After dropping Karen off I went into Wakefield to pay my Council Tax bill and then had a quick look around before heading home. Once home I made a pot of tea and read the new copy of the Radio Times listings magazine that had come in the post and then I picked up my book. In between reading I had a couple of pots of tea before I had something substantial for my tea and then read a bit more before firing up the laptop to come on here.

Sep 4, 2018, 4:03pm Top

I forgot to mention in the post about Monday that the Postman was late and it wasn't until we got home last night that I saw the post and that there was a package behind the main bin. I went and retrieved the package and it was more books that Karen had ordered from World of Books, what am I going to do with her. I will have to keep a beady eye on her in Hay on Saturday, although how I will manage that if my arms are filled with books I do not know.

Sep 5, 2018, 4:13pm Top

Finished book 33 a short time ago, The Woman Who Stole My Life by Marian Keyes. One day while sitting in traffic, Stella Sweeney, a married mum, attempts to do a good deed but only collides with a Range Rover and meets a very handsome man who wants her telephone number. Confused by this and thinking he was an arrogant man she dismisses the incident.

Little does Stella know that she is destined to meet this handsome man again and he will play an important part in her life, more so when she develops a life threatening, rare auto-immune disorder called Guillain-Barre syndrome. Was meeting handsome Mr Range Rover driver destiny or karma? Should she be grateful or just hopping mad? And can she grab the chance at real, honest-to-goodness happiness now it finally seems within her reach? Or as usual will it all go tits up? Read and find out what happens.

Sep 5, 2018, 4:28pm Top

Two new books to start and third already selected, these should keep me busy for the next two days and then the week we are in Wales. Just over 2,300 pages should be enough and hopefully will keep me on track for a good month to give me a good run in for the final quarter of the year. If it looks like I have no chance to reach my 60 book target I will select a serious biggie to finish the year.

Sep 6, 2018, 4:22pm Top

A nice steady day for us, we had a pot of tea in bed before getting up and about. After breakfast and a pot of tea I was sent to pick up some storage boxes from Aldi and to pick up our prescriptions from the pharmacy. I got the storage boxes and meds and once back home I made us a pot of tea. After the pot of tea we decanted the Red Gooseberry Gin and the Raspberry Vodka and made sure we had a drop to take away with us. When this was done Karen decided to clean the kitchen while I went and did the bedrooms.

Once we had done the housework we had a pot of tea and watched a recorded programme before having some lunch. After lunch we pottered about until it was time for me to go and pick Hannah up from school. I collected Hannah and we made our way home, once home Hannah went to see "her" new bed and then wanted the Lego out. Because of our packing on the bed we brought the Lego downstairs and she played happily, she asked for a glass of milk and when she had finished she asked grandma for her tablet so she could play her game and she went up to our bedroom as she wanted a lie down. We had a pot of tea and chatted and then Karen made Hannah something to eat. After her tea Hannah went back upstairs with the tablet and came down When Rob arrived to collect her.

After Rob and Hannah had gone we had a pot of tea before Karen made us something to eat and then we watched the news and local news programme. After the news we put the food out for the hedgehog(s) and Karen went upstairs to watch what she wanted while I watched today's Vuelta highlights.

Sep 6, 2018, 4:47pm Top

I forgot to mention that another book appeared from World of Books for Karen, she was surprised as she couldn't think of a book that hadn't already arrived. Methinks she needs to take a break from World of Books, lol.

Sep 7, 2018, 1:30pm Top

Wishing you and Karen a wonderful vacation in Wales. Love and hugs xx

Sep 7, 2018, 4:05pm Top

>128 Ameise1:, Thanks Barbara my dear, love and hugs.

Sep 7, 2018, 4:22pm Top

Today has been pretty good, after a pot of tea in bed we got up and about and got downstairs and got our meds and vitamins out, I made us a pot of tea and then had some breakfast. Once this was all done we headed into Wakefield calling at the pharmacy to pick up some of my prescriptions that had to be picked up today. Once the prescriptions were got we made our way into Wakefield and got parked up.

Karen went to Boots to get a couple of things and then we went to The Works hoping that her book order had arrived. Karen ordered some books last Thursday and it said it would be three to five days for delivery to store, Karen contacted the store on Wednesday and was told they were in transit as of Monday. She wasn't very happy about this with us going away on Saturday, she spoke to a nice chap who apologised about the state of affairs and they way she had been responded to by e-mail. Karen rang the store yesterday and still they weren't here and so as we were in town we thought we would pop in. The girls in store thought it was ridiculous that they hadn't been delivered and went to have a look in their store room for the books in question. No joy there so the store supervisor, Leanne rang her area manager at the Sheffield store and it was left at that and we were done in town so headed home.

Leanne had said she would ring later in the day to let us know what was going on, we had been home about an hour when the phone rang, Leanne told Karen that they would refund fully the amount spent BUT just as the call to Sheffield ended they had a delivery and found that Karen's books were in the delivery. Leanne said I could pick the books up, they would be free as her money was being refunded, Karen thanked Leanne and Sarah for all their help in this matter. As Karen put the phone down she got an e-mail on her cell phone from the Works to let her know that her money was being refunded and would be back in her account within the hour and that they were very sorry for this episode. The money was back in the account as stated and she has her books free gratis, result.

Once home with the books I had a pot of tea and then washed the car ready for our holidays and then sorted a few bits out. After another pot of tea I went to the Fish Shop in Sharlston to get a fish bit butty and a portion of chips for our tea. After we had eaten and had a pot of tea we loaded the car with our suitcases and coats and other bits. We are going to West Wales but it looks like we have enough for an expedition to Everest. When the car was loaded I went and had a shower and by the time I had had my shower and was dressed, Amy and Andy had arrived. They had also called at the fish shop and were eating their food when I got back downstairs, we are now chatting before we turn in for the night ready to get up at 6.45am in the morning with a hope we are ready to go at 8am.

Sep 7, 2018, 9:20pm Top

>130 johnsimpson: It is good they cared enough about your business to offer the books free of charge.

Sep 8, 2018, 1:38am Top

Great, that they gave you the books gratis. Safe journey.

Sep 8, 2018, 8:13am Top

Hi John!

More than excellent customer service from World Books, for sure. So does that refund add to the amount that Karen gets to spend in Hay-on-Wye? *smile*

Sending love and hugs and best wishes for a wonderful trip to both of you!

Sep 8, 2018, 1:50pm Top

John--You have a most wonderful, sneaky wife in Karen! World of Books likes her, too. LOL Happy weekend to you both. : )

Sep 9, 2018, 3:26pm Top

>131 thornton37814:, >132 Ameise1:, >133 karenmarie:, >134 Berly:, Thank you guys for the lovely messages.

Sep 9, 2018, 3:52pm Top

We were all up by 7am and after a drink and we had our meds we set off on our jollies. We had a good drive down the motorway and had a pit stop to get a bite to eat and use the facilities. Once we were fed and watered we continue on our way down the M5 and then came off onto "A" roads through to Hay. We arrived just before 1pm and made our way from the car park onto the streets of Hay and began looking at books. Amy was the first to get any books getting two from the open air shelves in the grounds of Hay Castle, we moved further along and found a nice shop where I picked up three books. We left Amy and Andy perusing and went to Bartrums Stationery shop to sort my Monteverde Fountain pen out. When we got in the shop the main person had just gone for lunch and the young lady we spoke to was only a Saturday girl, we asked if we could come back in 20 minutes and we said yes. After leaving Bartrums we went and got a pot of tea, Amy and Andy joined us and then Andy popped back to the first shop to get a book.

After we had finished our tea and Andy had re-joined us we went back to Bartrums, the main lady was back and I explained the problem to her. She was very helpful and offered me a choice of them sending it to be repaired, getting my money back or she could replace it but sadly they only had the blue pen and mine was yellow. I opted for the replacement blue and when that was sorted out I went downstairs to look at the pen department. While down there she came down to see how I was going on and asked if I wanted to try any and recommended the new Twsbi's. I selected the Twsbi eco-t and she got the ink out for me to try, while I tried it I passed her my "Unique" pen that I had got recently. I loved the Twsbi and decided to buy it and she loved the vintage "Unique" and the old Pelikan that I showed her. A short time later I had purchased my new pen.

From Bartrums we wandered around before going into Richard Booth's books, after a quick look around the ground floor I spotted some Wisdens that looked as if they had just come in, I picked up a hardback 1947 Wisden that was decent but had a bit of discolouration on the pages, it had no price. We had seen a decent copy in the first shop and it was 200 pounds, while I wandered away Karen asked how much it was. A short time later she was told it was 15 pounds and she asked if I wanted it, I nodded and had got a bargain. By this time we were quite hungry so went to the shop café and had a nice lunch.

After our lunch we went to the basement while Amy and Andy wandered about upstairs, by the time we got back together we had picked up 11 more books, we paid for them and as we had spent just over 30 pounds we got a nice Richard Booth's books cotton bag for free. We left the bookshop and made our way back to the car and set off for our final destination of Penally, a mile outside of Tenby.

We arrived at our cottage just before 7pm and quickly got our cases etc out of the car and selected which bedroom we were both having. Once most of the unpacking was done I made us a pot of tea and Amy made her and Andy a juice and we settled down to watch Strictly Come Dancing where the celebrities were paired up with their professional Dancers. We ordered some Pizza's as we were a bit peckish. After our food we chatted and the girls sorted some more things out before we turned in for the night.

Sep 9, 2018, 4:04pm Top

We had a pretty good nights sleep and we awoke at 8am and I made me and Karen a pot of tea. Once we had finished our tea we got washed and dressed and went to the kitchen to make a drink, get our meds out and prepare breakfast. By the time this was done, Amy and Andy were up and about. We all had a drink and breakfast and then decided to walk into Tenby.

As we got going we got a nice surprise as today was the Tenby Ironman Triathlon, a lot of roads were closed and the streets of Tenby were coned down the middle as the streets were part of the course.

We had a really good stroll around Tenby, admiring the pastel painted houses and businesses. We had a coffee stop and once refreshed we continued wandering about Tenby, we fell in love with the place. We saw the tri-athletes on their bikes and got towards the harbour which looked lovely. We made our way onto the beach and walked along for about three-quarters of a mile before we got back up to street level. By this time we were feeling hungry and found a nice restaurant/café and had fish and chips with peas.

Once our hunger had been sated we wandered to the far side of Tenby town centre and mooched around the shops whilst clapping the athletes who were now on the run stage of the Ironman. After a while both Karen and Amy were feeling tired and a bit foot sore so we made our way back to the cottage via a food store as we needed a few supplies.

Once back at the cottage I made us all a drink and then me and Karen had another pot of tea, we chatted about our day and about what we might like to do during the rest of the week. A short time later Karen and Amy made some sandwiches and we got some pastries as well. While eating I watched today's highlights of the Vuelta before we all watched Fake or Fortune and I fired up the laptop to come on here.

Sep 9, 2018, 4:24pm Top

This is the book haul we got during our visit to Hay-on-Wye yesterday, today we have not bought any more books but there is the rest of the week to go at, lol.

Payment in Blood by Elizabeth George, PB.
Over the Edge by Jonathan Kellerman, PB.
The Alington Inheritance by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
Spotlight by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
The Catherine Wheel by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
Danger Point by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
Miss Silver Intervenes by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
The Gazebo by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
The Key by Patricia Wentworth, PB.
Verdict of Twelve by Raymond Postgate, PB.
Somebody at the Door by Raymond Postgate, PB.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack 1947 by Hubert Preston, HB.
Never Surrender by Michael Dobbs, PB.
Churchill's Triumph by Michael Dobbs, PB.
Handly Cross by Robert Smith Surtees, HB.

Sep 10, 2018, 7:49am Top

>138 johnsimpson: Good haul, John!
And one day without buying a book testifies of great restrength ;-)

Sep 10, 2018, 1:42pm Top

>138 johnsimpson: Nice haul. I think we are all a bit jealous of your trip to Hay-on-Wye.

Sep 10, 2018, 2:17pm Top

John, your trip sounds lovely so far. I am especially glad that you got your fountain pens 'sorted out' as you would put it, and congrats on the book haul.

Sending love to you and Karen, and even though they don't know me, to Amy and Andy too!

Edited: Sep 11, 2018, 4:54pm Top

Here are some photos from Picton Castle and Gardens, hope you like them.

Edited: Sep 11, 2018, 5:03pm Top

>139 FAMeulstee:, Hi Anita, now three days without any book purchases my dear but we have found out about a bookshop in the woods about 50 miles away that we are thinking of calling in at on our way home. It is housed in an 18th century barn with over 25,000 books on a farm, it is called Pendlebury's.

Sep 11, 2018, 5:07pm Top

>140 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, Hay is a magical place for book lovers and we love to visit at least once a year plus the fact I love Bartrums Stationers and a gap of a year means that they have an updated selection of pens to look at and drool over.

Sep 11, 2018, 5:11pm Top

Is for sale?

Sep 11, 2018, 5:16pm Top

>141 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, the staff at Bartrums were really great about the Monteverde pen and I could not fault them and the young lady I was speaking to has a love of fountain pens like me and she recommended the Twsbi pen and she was in "heaven" when I showed her the vintage "Unique" pen I had with me and when she tried it while I tried the Twsbi she loved it and then I showed her my vintage Pelikan pen which she contrasted with the modern versions.

The book haul was pretty good and we haven't added to it yet but we have seen online the bookshop in the hills which is about 50 miles away from us and we are going to call in on the way home. It is part of a farm and the books (25,000) are housed in an 18th century barn.

I am starting to post photos that Karen and Andy have taken and Andy has shown me how to get more for each post, I am getting better at this lark now, lol.

Sep 11, 2018, 9:44pm Top

John--Ah, now I know you are in heaven: fountain pens and a bookshop hidden in the woods!! So glad you are having fun. Hugs to you and Karen!

Sep 12, 2018, 5:23am Top

Hi, John! Wonderful photos! It looks like you're having a great time!

Sep 12, 2018, 5:59am Top

Wonderful photos John. The library, of course, but the gardens look great as well. Have a good holiday, and a nice visit to that bookshop in the hills.

Edited: Sep 16, 2018, 1:49pm Top

Photos of the Owls at the Secret Owl garden in the grounds of Picton Castle. The first two are of Lily the Barn Owl who was flying around when we arrived and the next two are of Frodo who was flying around as we were leaving.

These three characters are Arthos, Porthos and Aramis aka The Three Musketeers

Sep 16, 2018, 2:33pm Top

We are back now from our holiday in Penally, a mile from Tenby. We had a really lovely week exploring the West Wales area with Amy and Andy although we did have a day apart to do our own thing.

As can be seen from the above photos we spent Monday at Picton Castle and gardens and to one side of the gardens is The Secret Owl Garden that is home to 30+ species of Owls. The Castle was great and had been in the Phillips family from 1281 until 1998, along the way subsequent heirs married into other families and money with some characters among them. As well as the Castle it is sat in 40 acres but at one time the family had other tracts of land in Pembrokeshire and Ireland totally over 100,000 acres. The Castle and gardens are now run by the Picton Castle trust which was set up in 1993 and took over fully when the last resident died without any heirs.

After wandering around the Castle and gardens we wandered over to The Secret Owl gardens and after checking in we came upon Lily the Barn owl flying around with one of the handlers. Lily is quite the diva and sometimes would not play and she did her own thing. The sight of a Barn Owl flying towards you is unreal and the handler told us to stand still and Lily would be aware of us. At one point she skimmed Andy's head and he never felt a thing, no breath of air as she passed over, it was breathtaking. We wandered around all the enclosures to see the Owls of the world, at some point each day most of them are taken out to fly around and after closing hours they come out for some time to fly around the woods. As we were making our way back to the entrance/exit we came across Frodo and his handler, he was so sweet and he has a great moustache which he uses to sense his food. Frodo was really cheeky and flew close to us at all times and nearly landed on us more than once until the handler gave a command. This is a wonderful place to visit along with the Castle and its gardens.

Sep 16, 2018, 2:50pm Top

On Tuesday we all decided that we would go to the smallest Cathedral city in the UK, St Davids, set on the West coast of Wales. It was a picturesque drive through some small villages and very winding, steep roads. Once parked up not far from the Cathedral we made our way to it, we wandered through the gardens and saw the original Bishops Palace which is no longer used as it is a ruin but most of it is still standing apart from a roof.

We were welcomed into the Cathedral by one of the volunteer guides and after giving us a quick overview and a map of the Cathedral we were left to explore. The Cathedral is spectacular and again well worth a visit and scattered around the Cathedral on pews there are Thirteen Perspex figures that represent the Thirteen villages who died in World War One. Up and down the country Perspex figures are on display in churches, public buildings and sports grounds etc where men were from before they joined up to fight. After a good explore around the Cathedral we left and went up into the village and had a coffee before wandering around.

We left St Davids and headed towards the little seaside resort of Saundersfoot, this held some memories for Andy as he and his family spent many family holidays here. Once Andy had got his bearings he took Amy to try and find where they stayed and a short while later he gave us a shout as he had found the cottage they rented for a week. Along with Saundersfoot, his family also stayed in Tenby and that was one of the reasons he selected this area to holiday in. The last time Andy had been here was in 1988, a year after Amy was born.

After a good wander around we were hungry and found a pub/restaurant called The Old Chemist Inn, we had a lovely meal and chat with the landlady. As we were leaving I didn't duck low enough and so hit the stone entranceway, I was shook up a bit and after being made to sit down and rest it turned out I had taken two lots of skin off the top of my head. Andy took charge of looking after me and once they were sure I was safe to drive we made the short drive back to Penally. Once back in the cottage Andy cleaned my wound and brushed on some second skin to heal the wound.

After a bit of time in the cottage we got changed and went into Tenby to go to an Indian restaurant, we eventually found it, it is a hidden gem to be honest. We had a great meal and the service was brilliant.

Sep 16, 2018, 3:30pm Top

On Wednesday we decided to go our separate ways, Amy and Andy went to the local zoo and animal park while we went off to find the Bookshop in the Hills near a place called Llandwyr. We drove back on the road we had come along from Hay-on-Wye for about 45 miles before turning off. I had satnav on and we followed winding roads through gorgeous countryside before we got to our turn off point, from there I could have done with a 4x4 vehicle as it was a single track, uphill route. At one point I said to Karen that I hoped as we turned around a sharp corner that we didn't run into a tractor. We kept following the track as satnav told me until we came to a point where I thought we were lost, luckily at the side of the track was a box on a post with fresh eggs for sale and a couple walking were having a quick rest. We asked the couple and they pointed just behind us to a track that went up to the left and said follow that and we would find the bookshop. I reversed and took the turning and went along a rough track until we came to the farmhouse.

As we got out of the car the owner was just coming out with his dog, he told us to go in and he would be with us in a minute. Sure enough he came back and gave us a guide around the barn and then left us to our perusing, a short time later he found us and asked if we would like a drink, we asked for a coffee each and a few minutes later he brought our drinks. He had a really good selection of books although it was a bit light on fiction, undeterred I picked up a couple of books and Karen got some cookery books and a couple of children's books for Amy and Hannah. We paid for our purchases and he apologised for all the boxes of books that were all around, he had just picked up over 80 large boxes of books with some more in another barn. He told me that he had picked up a lot of cricket books from a gent who was downsizing and had a collection of 7,000 cricket books. He hadn't had time to unpack them but took my details and would get back to me with what he had got. We thanked him and after taking a couple of photos we got back in the car and with better instructions for getting back to the main road we headed off.

Once back onto the main A40 we headed back towards Tenby but decided to call into the small market town of Narberth. After a decent drive we pulled into Narberth and got parked up, we wanted to come here as there were four decent antique shops/centres. We perused the first antique centre but didn't find much, we wandered down the street but the next one was mainly furniture so we moved on. We crossed the market square and headed to Lily Matilda's antique shop, again we didn't find much apart from a Sheaffer pen in a cabinet. We inquired about it and the lady said it was part of a group of bits she was asked to sell on behalf of the local church but she didn't know much about pens. Karen asked what I was prepared to pay and I gave her a figure and then when we asked Lily she said 25 pounds, Karen asked if she would accept 20 pound and the deal was done. It is a lovely Sheaffer Imperial 770 and I have seen them on Pen sites for upwards of 50 pounds.

We left after making our purchase and wandered back to the car where we had a sandwich and a drink before getting satnav to point us in the direction of the Bazaar vintage warehouse. We arrived a few minutes later and went in to peruse the warehouse, they had some nice things and Karen picked up a couple of brooches and a small miniature oil painting. I have been looking for sometime for an old fashioned ledger with predominantly blank pages, as I turned a corner I saw six ledgers and my heart skipped a beat. A few minutes later I was sadly disappointed as all were predominantly written in. When we paid for our purchases we asked the lady about ledgers and she said occasionally they do come in mostly blank and the last two were a few months ago and one was bought to use as a guest book and another for a wedding book. At least I had my pen so I was quite happy. We left and headed back to Penally.

Once back I made us a pot of tea and Amy and Andy told us about their day out, later we had food cooked by Amy and Karen. Most nights we were worn out from what we were doing and the sea air.

Sep 16, 2018, 3:56pm Top

On Thursday we decided to go to the capital town of Pembrokeshire, Haverfordwest. After breakfast we set off and first stop was to drop Karen, Amy and Andy at the Wickedly Welsh Chocolate company to have a go at making some chocolate and pick what moulds they wanted to do, I was going to Andy's pens while they did the chocolate experience.

Sadly I was disappointed, I found the address which was a private house on a new estate. I knocked on the door and a lady of a similar age to me opened the door in her dressing gown, I asked if this was Andy's pens and she said it was but he was now online only. I apologised for disturbing them and she said not to worry, she had just got up after a lie-in and her husband was in his office talking to one of the pen manufacturers. She explained that they had moved from Ashford in Kent where he had a shop, which I remembered, but the business was being done mainly online now and his health was being affected so they sold up and moved to West Wales which they love. She said they saw this new estate and it was called Ashford Park and as they were from Ashford they bought the house and he has his office and can get on without any stress, he does have visitors by appointment but was busy all day and the rest of the week. She hoped I hadn't travelled far and when I said we were on holiday nearby so I thought as we were coming to Haverfordwest I would call in.

I said goodbye and made my way back to the Chocolate place to wait for them to finish. I wasn't waiting long before they came out and we made our way into the town centre, sadly there wasn't much to look at but I did manage to pick up a few books. After a coffee and a short perusal we went back to the car and headed back to Tenby.

We parked up and made our way to the harbour and found a nice spot with a bench and we had our picnic. After we finished our food we had a short mooch around before we went back to the car as Karen's knee was causing her some pain. Sadly her knee had been causing her some pain since we had spent most of Sunday walking from the cottage into Tenby and then walking around Tenby watching the Ironman competition. We spent the rest of the late afternoon resting in the cottage and then she felt fit enough to make something to eat along with Amy. We had a nice evening chatting and watching a bit of TV before she started packing some of our things in one of the cases.

Sep 16, 2018, 4:27pm Top

Friday was our last day in Tenby and West Wales and we needed to get a few things so after breakfast we decided to spend the day in Tenby. We parked up at the park and ride and after a short wait we caught the bus into the centre of Tenby. We decided to have a steady mooch around while Andy and Amy wanted to go over the beach to the fort. We parted and they shot off to the beach, we went into a surf shop and picked up a t-shirt for Karen and I got a zipped hoodie. We had just come out of the shop when I got a phone call to ask where we were, I told Amy and they said they would meet us. They met up with us and explained that the tide was in and so they would have to wait to go across. Karen had just popped into a jewelry and collectables shop, I was just going to go in when she came out and asked me to come in with her. As I was doing this a couple in their late Thirties/ early Forties were in the doorway with their dogs, the lady said to me, "don't let a woman go in a jewellers on her own", I laughed. A couple of minutes later her partner came into the shop and asked the price of a ring, he was told what it was and he turned to his girlfriend and said we can afford it, do you want it, she demurred for a while not believing it was affordable but said she really, really liked it and had not seen anything like it whilst they had been looking. It turned out they had been together for a number of years and she had been looking for the right engagement ring, this was it and she was overcome with tears, Karen gave her a cuddle and her boyfriend paid for the ring. I gave her a hug and congratulated her and then her boyfriend and then when Karen had explained to Amy and Andy they offered their congratulations. If she had walked away saying they couldn't afford it, she would have regretted it for the rest of her life. By this time there were tears all around with the couple and me and Karen, they asked how long we had been married and were surprised when we said 34 years, they looked so happy it made our morning.

Once they had left Karen showed me a brooch she liked and I liked it and bought it for her.

We left the jewellers and spent the rest of the day wandering around Tenby picking up a few gifts and having a coffee and then an ice-cream before I picked up another three books. Around mid-afternoon Karen's knee was troubling her so we got back to the park and ride stop and got the bus back to the car park. Once back at the car park we got in the car and went back to the cottage, after a pot of tea or two Karen finished off the packing. Amy packed their things and then got ready to go out, they were going to drive to Swansea to see and old friend of Andy's and his wife and have a meal while they had a catch up. While all the packing was going on I went down the road for a walk to collect some sloes for sloe gin. I was on my way back when they passed me on their way to Swansea. Once back I made us a pot of tea before we got ready to go out and find a pub for a meal.

Once we were ready we drove as if we were going to Narberth to fine the Boars Head pub, I had to park just up from the pub as their car park was full. Once inside we asked if there was a table apologising for not pre-booking. The lady told us we might have to wait awhile so I got us both a drink and we found some seats. Fifteen minutes later we were told a table was available and we ended up having a really lovely meal. The food was delicious and my pudding was glorious, we paid our bill and made our way back to Penally. Once back in we made a pot of tea and chatted before going to bed to read for a bit. The packing was just about done apart from toiletries etc and we read for a short while before falling asleep. Amy and Andy arrived back just after midnight.

Edited: Sep 17, 2018, 3:46pm Top

This is the rest of the book haul apart from a few cookery books that Karen picked up. Total number apart from the cook books is 27 for the week.

The Betrothed by Sir Walter Scott, HB.
The Test Match Career of Walter Hammond by Derek Lodge, HB.
Time Bomb by Jonathan Kellerman, PB.
Catalina by W. Somerset Maugham, HB.
Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes, HB.
Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom, HB.
Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell, PB.
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding, PB.
The Store by James Patterson, PB.
The Unwomanly Face of War by Svetlana Alexievich, PB.
Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, PB.
The Book Of Dust Vol 1 (La Belle Sauvage) by Philip Pullman, PB.

Sep 16, 2018, 9:36pm Top

Nice haul!

Sep 17, 2018, 3:06pm Top

I enjoyed catching up with all of your activities. I have been in Kansas for two weeks and away from my computer as a result. It is really hard to get an internet connection so I didn't go on LT very much. I spent the two weeks getting things done for my mother who is recovering from a hip replacement. She is doing well, but her attitude is in need of some adjustment. She thinks she is incapacitated when the reality is that she should be able to move around much better than she did before the replacement. I think she will improve and it is possible that I will go home once again in October to check and make sure that things are going well. For now, I am back and will be checking in with you on your adventures.

I was glad to see that you got done with the move without any physical problems and that you were able to take a small break. Wales is one of the places I would like to visit someday. I want to do the walking trail that is called the Poet's Trail. I think it is a branch of the South England Walkway, but this portion is all in Wales. It is one that "someday" list we all keep, so someday I will get to it.

Sep 17, 2018, 3:31pm Top

>157 drneutron:, Thanks Jim.

Sep 17, 2018, 3:41pm Top

>158 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita my dear, I was just a bit worried that I was being a bit wordy with the daily activities, I didn't want it to sound like we did this then and did this at this point etc.

I hope your mom is recovering well, I concur with your point about her attitude adjustment, the hip has been replaced therefore a new perfectly formed hip will be good to go as opposed to the knackered joint that was causing pain and poor movement.

The move went quite well apart from me having a bump on my head from not ducking, having very little hair means I have no cushion or sense of something quite close. We really enjoyed our time in West Wales and feel refreshed, just Eleven and a half weeks before we go down to Salisbury for a four day break to set us up for Christmas. We are like you my dear with a someday list and places or things get added every now and then.

Hope all is well with you my dear and that Autumn is treating you well with the weather, sending love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

Sep 17, 2018, 4:00pm Top

More photos this time from our visit to the smallest Cathedral city in the UK, St Davids

This is a photo of the harbour at Tenby, we just love the colours of the buildings.

Sep 17, 2018, 4:14pm Top

Once we were up and about on Saturday morning we packed all our belongings in our cars and then had breakfast before having a last check around the cottage to make sure we hadn't forgotten anything. Once the checks had been done we locked up and put the keys in the safe key box and set off on our way home.

We had decided to call into Hereford for a wander around and some lunch so that was where I was heading along the A40 with Amy following. About 25 miles from Hereford I noticed that Amy had turned off and then we got a call to say she had spotted a café sign and had turned off before Andy could phone us, Amy needed to use the facilities and Andy needed to get out to stretch his legs and he was feeling a bit queasy. I realised where she had gone and turned the car around and joined them, both of us also needed the facilities and then Karen got a coffee for Amy and herself and a piece of Cinnamon cake for us. After a quick rest we continued on into Hereford.

As we got nearer to the City centre I made sure that Amy was close behind and made sure that we were both able to get through any traffic lights together as she had never driven or even been to this area of the country before. We got parked up quite easily at the edge of town retail park and once we had got our parking permits we headed off into the city. Karen needed to pop into a store first so we did that and then we went and found a café for a spot of lunch and a drink. Once we were fed and watered we wandered around and popped into one or two stores and I ended up picking up another book although I gave it to Amy as she will need it before me.

After a good stretch of our legs we headed back to the retail park and had a quick mooch around there before going back to the car and heading out of Hereford and getting to the motorway to go home. It was a three hour journey including the short pitstop from Tenby to Hereford and then it took us three hours to get from Hereford to home.

Once home we quickly unpacked our car and Amy and Andy just got an overnight case out and then I made us a drink. After our drink it was gone 8pm and we didn't really know what to have to eat so we settled for comfort food and had Fish Finger sandwiches. After we had eaten and had a pot of tea we decided to have a alcoholic drink or two before retiring to bed.

Sep 17, 2018, 4:22pm Top

Sunday was a very restfull day for us all, when the alarm went off at 8.30am I went and made a pot of tea from Karen and I and after we had finished our drink we got up, washed and dressed before letting Amy and Andy know the bathroom was free.

By the time Amy and Andy had come downstairs we had set a load of washing going and I had got our meds and vitamins ready, Karen was getting the breakfast ready for us all with either cereal or crumpets on offer. We had a nice leisurely breakfast and when we had finished all the crockery and cutlery was placed in the dishwasher and that was set off.

The first load of washing had finished and I emptied the washer and then went to hang it out while Karen set another load going, this was repeated again a short time later. The weather was quite good and a lot better than was forecast, this was good for the village as it was the annual scarecrow festival that weekend but we were too tired and achy to go wandering around the village this time. We spent the time chatting and catching up on social media with friends and having drinks and some more food.

Amy and Andy left for home just after 5.30pm as they wanted to get home and unpack and then have some time to unwind in their own home. We had beans on toast for tea and then settled down to watch a bit of TV and I came on here.

Sep 17, 2018, 4:39pm Top

We awoke with the alarm at 8am and I went and made us a pot of tea to have in bed, we finished our tea and snoozed for a few more minutes before getting up and about. I got everything ready downstairs while Karen sorted her hair out and after we had our breakfast and drink we set off into Wakefield.

I dropped Karen at the out of town retail park as she needed to go into a couple of stores and then I went into the city centre and got parked up to do some banking and pay a bill. Once I had done the banking and bill paying I went into Waterstones book shop to try and sort Karen's new Waterstones Plus card out, sadly the IT was running slow so left it and the young lady took her details and would try again later. I perused the books and took advantage of the buy one get one half price offer and in doing so I updated my old Waterstones card and stamp card for the Waterstones Plus card, these are just loyalty card but are worthwhile.

After paying for my books and getting my new card I entered the Ridings Shopping Centre on my way back to the car and thought I would have a look at the new re-located Wakefield Antiques Centre. The Antiques centre looked bigger than the previous location and I had a good look around, in doing so I spotted a Fountain pen, the pen was marked Northern for the rail company and at 8 pounds was a good price so I asked the young lady at the desk if she could get the key to cabinet 69 as I wanted the pen. A minute or so later and I had paid for my purchase and was a satisfied customer, I made my way back to the car and headed to the Sainsbury's supermarket at the retail park and parked up before letting Karen know I was there. She told me she was approaching the checkouts and would be with me shortly. Once Karen was back at the car we headed for home.

Once home I put some washing that had been on the indoor airer outside and then made us a pot of tea, we had our tea and then another before we sorted a couple of things out. Once this was done Karen warmed up some homemade soup that had defrosted and we had lunch and I also had a pot of tea before going to collect Hannah from school. I picked Hannah up and the we went and parked near to where Louise was working at the bakery store and waited for her to finish. We were only waiting for about 20 minutes and then I took them both home. I taken Hannah's holiday present with me and she loved it and thought we were both the best.

After dropping Louise and Hannah home I made my way home, while I was out Karen had done a bit of ironing and so when I arrived I made us both a pot of tea. After our tea we went upstairs and I put my ironing away and then left Karen to put hers away and she was also going to sort out her jewellery box out, I went and made myself a pot of tea, Karen didn't want one.

Later we had a pot oft tea together before Karen made us something to eat, after eating we watched the news and a bit more TV before I fired up the laptop to come on here.

Sep 18, 2018, 4:29pm Top

We have had a pretty good day today culminating with going to the cinema to see Christopher Robin and we really enjoyed it.

Sep 19, 2018, 9:31am Top

Hi John!

I love the photos from your holiday. The trip sounds wonderful, with lots of interesting and fun things to do, especially the impromptu bits.

Sending love and hugs to you both.

Sep 19, 2018, 4:05pm Top

>166 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, it is a really lovely area and a good base to explore from. I mentioned that we visited the market town of Narberth, I have found out today that it has been nominated as one of the seven Welsh towns for the best High Street in Britain competition. A couple of years ago Skipton in North Yorkshire won this competition and is one of our favourites so I hope all goes well for Narberth.

We both feel refreshed and ready for the rest of the year although we have our four day stay in Salisbury to come at the beginning of December to come although with everything that has gone on in this lovely City since March we will be being very careful.

Glad you liked the photos my dear and send love and hugs to you, Bill and Jenna from both of us dear friend.

Edited: Sep 20, 2018, 7:05pm Top

I took my mother, sister, and step-neice to see Christopher Robin while I was home. I enjoyed the time with them and the movie was one of those that made everybody in the theater feel good. The next week I took my Mom back to see Crazy Rich Asians. My mother wanted to know if Singapore really looks like it did in the movie. I told her I had a friend who could probably attest to what it looks like in real life as he was from a city just up the road - Kuala Lumpore. I would recommend that movie to you and Karen. I haven’t read the books but the movie made me want to do so.

Sep 21, 2018, 4:59pm Top

Had a great day today but sadly Karen couldn't be with me as it was her first day back at work after our holiday break.

We got up with the alarm and were soon washed and dressed and downstairs, Karen got all the meds out and I made the pot of tea and sorted my breakfast out. Once we were all done it was time to take Karen to work, after dropping Karen off I made my way into York for an LT meet-up with Joe and Debbi Welch.

I got into York and parked up at the Clifford's Tower car park and then made my way through the centre of York towards the Bootham area to get to the café where we were meeting up. Joe and Debbi were already there when I arrived and I ordered a Latte which confused Debbi as I am normally the Tea monster. We had a really good chat and spoke to the café owners daughter who was fascinated that we had only just met and it was all down to LT, Debbi explained all about LibraryThing and the amounts of books we all read.

After we finished our drinks and cakes Joe and Debbi wanted to go to the Shambles and so I was their guide, we took a steady stroll from the café under the Roman wall at the top of Bootham and on towards York Minster, from there I took them a short way down Stonegate before going down a couple more streets before we arrived at the Shambles. We had a pleasant stroll down the Shambles popping into one or two shops and Debbi took some photos, from there we wandered down another street and we came across a yarn shop which Debbi wanted to go into. Joe and I followed her in but I don't think we were much help to her so it was a good job the shop owner could point Debbi in the right direction.

After leaving the yarn shop Joe and Debbi needed to head back into the centre of York and we came across the Food and Drink Festival, we wandered around and Debbi picked up some food for their train journey back to London. We wandered back around and were all given an apple as part of a promotion for Bill's restaurant, from there I took them towards the famous Betty's Café and pointed out the famous Fat Rascals. Joe said he had been told a lot about Betty's and I said it is a must visit but they didn't have the time on this trip but it is a future place for them to visit next time they are in York. From here I gave them directions back to the café we met in so they could go back and pick up their luggage, we parted with hugs all around and promised to meet up again next time they are over here and Karen will be with me then. We got on really well and it was as if I had known them for a long time, the chat was so easy and I am sure Karen would have got on like a house on fire with both of them, so much so that I think it would be a case of me and Joe wandering off and leaving the girls to it as we would probably be surplus to them, lol.

On parting with Joe and Debbi I wandered back towards the car park calling into Waterstones but coming out empty handed. After leaving Waterstones I went into WH Smiths to pick up my paper and rail magazine and I picked up a 5th generation Parker pen that had been reduced by 80%. After leaving WH Smiths I popped into Boots to say hello to my son-in-law Andy and then made my way back to the car and headed back towards home. I went to pick Hannah up from school and arrived a bit early so parked up and read until it was time to get out of the car and get Hannah. After collecting Hannah we went to go and pick up Louise from work but were early so we called into the Tesco Express store and I got the I paper and Hannah chose some chocolate, we parked up and waited for Louise to finish. Once Louise had finished she got in the car and I took them home before driving back home. Once home I had time for a pot of tea before going to pick Karen up from work, once Karen was in the car she asked how the meet up with Joe and Debbi had gone, I told her all about it and that they sent their love to her as she could not be with me.

We have had a nice relaxing evening after we had a pot of tea and some food. LT meet-ups are so special and today has been a really great day and would have been better if Karen could have been with me, that's for a future meet-up, thanks Joe and Debbi.

Sep 21, 2018, 6:26pm Top

>169 johnsimpson: Sounds like a nice day!

Sep 21, 2018, 6:38pm Top

I am so glad that you got to meet Joe and Debi and had a great time. It really is amazing how LT'ers have lots to talk about due to the connections they make on these threads. I am glad you got to meet them.

Sep 22, 2018, 2:53am Top

I'm so glad that you had a splendid time with Debbi and Joe. It's always nice to meet LT friends.
Your book haul from your holiday is impressive. You still have some room left to store them ;-)
Wishing you and Karen a lovely weekend. Love and hugs xx

Sep 22, 2018, 3:13pm Top

Hi John. Sounds like you had a good time away and a good meet up! Love the pictures you've posted

Sep 23, 2018, 9:45am Top

Hi, John! So jealous of the meet-up, on both sides!

Sep 23, 2018, 2:57pm Top

>170 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, it was great to meet up with Joe and Debbi and they were grateful that I travelled over in the horrible weather but it is only a 45 to 50 minute drive for me to get to York and we pop over three or four times a year anyway along with other nice places in York. It was just a shame that Karen could not be with me as I know she would have got on well with them both especially Debbi as they have so much in common. I think me and Joe would have been sent on our way while they got on with things, lol.

Sep 23, 2018, 3:00pm Top

>171 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita it was great to meet Joe and Debbi, we got on well from the very start and the café owners daughter who was serving us was surprised that this was the first time we had met. We ended up telling her all about LT and how it works and what we do and that we get the chance for these meet-ups.

Sep 23, 2018, 3:05pm Top

>172 Ameise1:, Hi Barbara, we had a great meet up my dear and like with you and Thomas we got on well from the start, sadly Karen could not be with me as it was her first day back at work after our holidays, she would have enjoyed herself.

It was a pretty good book haul and add to that I picked up two on Monday as well, we always find room for them but space is getting smaller all the time. Although I am freeing space up with the big ones this year I am not reading very many so next year when it is a free for all I should free up more space although I need Karen to read more as she is adding to the pile mainly this year.

Thank you for the get well message my dear, I was fine on Friday but yesterday morning I felt very tired and had a heavy feeling all over. By last night it was obvious I was getting a cold as I was sniffling and my throat was feeling slightly tender and this morning I just felt yuk.

Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Sep 23, 2018, 3:08pm Top

>173 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle, we had a really lovely holiday and I had a great meet up with Joe and Debbi, just a shame Karen could not be with me. I am glad you liked the photos my dear, they were taken by Karen and Andy, Karen's improved when Andy gave her a couple of tips to get better photos with her phone and she was pleased when they worked out.

Sep 23, 2018, 3:10pm Top

>174 scaifea:, Hi Amber my dear, it was a great meet up for us and it was lucky I was checking my phone or I may have missed the opportunity. It was just a shame that Karen could not be with me as she would have had a good time as well. Hopefully one of these days we can get over to the States and meet up with you and a few more LT friends, that would be really good.

Sep 23, 2018, 3:27pm Top

After a great day for me on Friday I awoke not feeling too good on Saturday morning. I awoke with the alarm and went and made us both a pot of tea and came back up to bed but I wasn't feeling great. By the time we were getting up I told Karen that I could just stay in bed as everything felt heavy and I was sniffling. We finally got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to get the meds out and make a pot of tea and some breakfast.

I managed to eat some crumpets and have my meds and pot of tea and we watched a bit of TV before Robert dropped Hannah off. Hannah hadn't been with us long before it was time to take Karen to work, we had to pop into store as Karen had a couple of things to take back and I needed to pick up some bleach and milk for Rob. I left Karen and me and Hannah got the bleach and milk and then I picked up my paper and some cigars before we headed home.

Once home with Hannah I made her a drink and she finished her sandwich off and had some crisps before going upstairs to play with the Polly Pockets. We were only home for just under an hour before we had to go and pick up Louise from work. I dropped Louise and Hannah home and Louise had left an uncut granary loaf, some wholemeal scones and two Peach tarts in the car for us, they would only have gone to waste as the bakery where she works now closed at 1pm.

After dropping Louise and Hannah home I made my way home and once home made a pot of tea and read my paper, my head was feeling a bit woolly and my eyes were closing. I made another pot of tea and listened to the football results programme while I relaxed. I was supposed to do the downstairs house work but didn't feel up to it, I tried to read and managed a few pages periodically during the rest of the afternoon. Before long it was time to go and pick Karen up from work which I did, when Karen got in the car she could tell I wasn't feeling too well.

Once home with Karen I made us a pot of tea and then Karen went to get changed before she made us something to eat before the new series of Strictly Come Dancing started. We enjoyed the opening episode with all the celebrities doing their first dances. When Strictly finished we turned the television off as there was nothing much to watch and we chatted while looking at things on our phones. I was looking at a couple of Pen sites as I want a nice ink for the new pen I got in Hay and then Karen started looking for me to add to her order to make sure we got free postage. By the time we decided to go up to bed I was feeling horrible, Karen changed my patches and we read a bit before I went to the spare bed in the hope that I didn't pass on this bug to her.

Sep 23, 2018, 3:41pm Top

I awoke just as my alarm went off and Karen was just coming to wake me up, I went and made us a pot of tea which we had in bed before we got up, washed and dressed. Once downstairs I got our meds out while Karen made the tea and the crumpets. I was still under the weather but felt reasonably ok first thing so that wasn't too bad. Once breakfast was done with Karen decided to bake to cheer me up and she made a Lemon Madeira cake with Lemon Curd and Buttercream and she also made some Rock Buns. As she was mixing the cake mixture I suddenly realised that I had not gone and picked up a parcel for Karen yesterday so I put my coat on and got in the car and went to collect it.

By the time I got back the cake and Rockbuns were on cooling racks and Karen had gone for a shower and washed her hair. When she came back downstairs I made us a pot of tea and she opened her parcel and tried the coat on, the coat looked lovely but as she turned around I spotted two large dirty marks on it and as she further examined it she realised that the nature of the material would rub up badly so it is going back in the morning, she was very disappointed as that was the last in her size.

We had another pot of tea and I read for a bit while Karen did a bit of knitting, later Karen went to prepare the vegetables for a late lunch and then put the Lamb in the oven before later putting the vegetables on. While waiting for our food to be ready we both perused our phones and I worked out an order for some bottled inks and a pen while Karen was looking at books. A short time later our food was ready and after I had mashed the potatoes Karen plated up our food and I set the table. The late Sunday lunch was lovely but I only had a smaller than usual amount as I was feeling as hungry as I would normally be. After we finished our lunch we tidied every thing up and then be both read for a while before I made us a pot of tea and we had some Lemon Madeira cake and a Rock bun. Once we had finished I put the pots and plates in the dishwasher and set it off.

We decided to watch a couple of programmes we had recorded and I made us a pot of tea before we watched the news and then Countryfile and we are now watching Antiques Roadshow.

Sep 23, 2018, 4:14pm Top

I am hopeful that I will finish the two books I am currently reading and that I will start another before the month end, sadly I will be one book down on the month target and so I will be so far behind on my target of 60 for the year that I have revised my year target to 50. I am going to continue with the chunksters right to the end of the year as I set myself this challenge and I don't like to quit. I think I will leave this type of challenge for a year or two before having another go as I still have lots of big ones to go at.

Sep 23, 2018, 10:37pm Top

50 chunksters is still a significant amount of reading!

Sep 24, 2018, 12:10am Top

John--Your holiday sounds lovely and thank you for all the pictures. All the different owls were amazing! Glad to hear that you got along well with Joe and Debi, although not a bit surprised. Your chunkstser reading is still quite impressive, so carry on! Hugs.

Sep 24, 2018, 3:43pm Top

>183 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, 50 chunksters is still a decent amount but I am disappointed not to be able to get to 60 as planned.

Sep 24, 2018, 3:48pm Top

>184 Berly:, Hi Kim, glad you liked the pictures my dear, the Owls were fabulous and to be able to get so close to these wonderful birds was just the icing on the cake. I never for one moment thought we would not get on and it was like meeting up with Barbara and Thomas, the conversation was so easy it felt like I had known them for years, just a shame Karen wasn't with me but that's for another time I hope.

I know 50 chunksters is pretty impressive but 60 would have been better, if it had been a poor summer over here I would still be on track but I will take the nice weather over the ten books that will be missing anytime as we have to take the good weather over here when we get it and the books will always be waiting for me. I am sure I can hear them calling, lol.

Sep 24, 2018, 4:02pm Top

I must say that the Lemon Madeira cake could now be Karen's new signature cake as it is so delicious and the Rock Buns don't even need anything on them, they just melt in the mouth. OK OK, I know that I am a bit biased here guys but boy does she look after me especially when I am a bit under the weather with some darn bug.

Sep 24, 2018, 10:36pm Top

>187 johnsimpson: It sounds like a very tasty cake! You're making me want a slice!

Sep 25, 2018, 3:58pm Top

Glad you both had a good time on vacation, John, and glad you also had the opportunity to meet Joe and Debbi :-)
Sorry you were not feeling well, but I bet you felt a lot better after Karen made you that delicious cake!

Sep 26, 2018, 3:22pm Top

>188 thornton37814:, Hi Lori, the cake was gorgeous so sadly I cannot send a slice over my dear.

Sep 26, 2018, 3:26pm Top

>189 FAMeulstee:, Hi Anita, the holiday was really good even the trip to the bookshop in the hills. The chance to meet up with Joe and Debbi came purely by chance and then it looked as if I had got the date wrong but Debbi saved the day as she had got it mixed up, they were so pleased that I had made it to York in the horrible weather but it is only a 45 to 50 minute drive for us to get to York.

Sadly Karen now has the bug but I did feel a lot better with the delicious cake and Rock buns to help me get better.

Sep 26, 2018, 3:41pm Top

Yesterday we had a steady morning before I took Karen to work and after dropping her off I went into Wakefield to pay a bill before making my way home. Once home I made a pot of tea and read the new listings magazine that had come in the post and then read for a bit before setting the DVD up to record three programmes for Karen.

Once everything was done I went out into the garden to cut down the old Raspberry canes and then started to tie up the new stems which will produce fruit next year. Because Raspberry canes are like Strawberry plants in sending out runners I had Raspberry canes coming up in places where they should not be, I dug the rogue ones up and as I separated them I put them into the wheelbarrow that had filled up with water from the recent rains. Once all the canes had been dug up I turned the soil over and started planting canes where I wanted them and tied them in to make sure they grow ok and don't get damaged if we have any wind. By the time I had finished planting what I wanted, I have 12 plants, I then potted up the rest and will see if anyone wants them. I ended up with six single pots and three doubles as these were smaller canes but will be ok.

Once all the planting and potting up was done I got myself cleaned up and then made a pot of tea and listened to the cricket on the radio and also picked my book up. Another pot of tea later and it was time to make myself something to eat which I had while watching the news. Once I had eaten I had a pot of tea and then put all the crockery and cutlery in the dishwasher and set it off.

I was feeling a bit under the weather after all the planting and potting and so perused some Fountain pen websites looking at pens and inks, I am after a couple of nice fancy inks for the Twsbi pen I got in Hay. Once the web perusing was done I made another pot of tea and read until it was time to go and pick Karen up from work.

Sep 26, 2018, 4:06pm Top

This morning we awoke with the alarm and I went and made us a pot of tea, Karen was not feeling too good and the bug seems to have taken more of a hold. Once we had finished our tea we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs. While I got our meds and vits out Karen set a half load of white washing going and then I made us a pot of tea. Once the tea was made Karen made porridge for both of us and we had that, by the time I had finished my porridge the washer had stopped so I put it out on the line as it was a beautiful morning, the sun was out and it was quite warm for the end of September.

Karen set a full load of dark washing going and we set off to go to the Aldi in Featherstone, once parked up Karen went to get the few bits while I listened to the cricket on the radio and read. Once Karen had done the Aldi shopping she put it in the car and then went across to the B&M store to get a few bits, I continued reading and listening to the cricket. Karen wasn't long as they didn't have everything she was looking for so she got back in the car and we made our way home.

once home we got the shopping out of the car and into the kitchen and while Karen sorted it out I put the washing that had finished while we were out onto the line to benefit from the sunshine. After I had sorted the washing out I made us a pot of tea while Karen finished off putting the shopping away. we had our tea and a short time later we had another along with some cake and when that was finished I went out into the garden to do a bit of work while the weather was good. I marked out a straight line in the lawn with the lawn edger and then took up all the edging bricks and then took up the bit of lawn I had marked out. Taking this bit of lawn up has extended the top border by another 16 inches and will allow us to plant more in there next year when we decide what roses we want and what plants to complement them. Once the lawn had been taken up I started to turn over the soil but I had to take it steady as I was coming up with bits of roots from the old shrubs that had been in this border along with large stones and a couple of half bricks. Before long I knew I would not be able to finish turning over the soil as the bending along with my cold was causing me some pain. I stopped rather than doing too much and being in a lot of pain and spoiling the rest of the day and possibly tomorrow.

Once cleaned up I made a pot of tea and then checked the cricket scores before going online on my phone and ordering some bottled ink from Pure Pens, I selected a Diamine Earl Grey ink, a Pure Pens own ink Cadwaladr and then a J.Herbin gift set which was a Transparent Fountain pen and two small bottles of ink, the inks are blue one is Blue Pervenche and the other is Eclat de Saphir. The Cadwaladr and Earl Grey are for the TWSBI Pen I got from Bartrums in Hay while we were on our way to Tenby. I am looking for a nice pen that someone can get me for Christmas or failing that some nice inks, I never thought there were so many inks and in so many colours. I love my Fountain pens and have found a few sites where I can look and drool at lovely pens, I know that sounds a bit sad but along with my love of books I am a bit of a Fountain Pen geek.

While I was gardening Karen was baking and made a Cinnamon cake and prepared some fruit ready to make a crumble as she had already picked all the apples from our two minature trees. After a pot of tea we made something to eat before the news came on and after finishing eating we watched the news and then Strictly Takes Two. We also caught up on The Great British Bake Off that I recorded last night and are now watching Grand Designs which we love.

Sep 26, 2018, 4:15pm Top

>193 johnsimpson: My husband and daughter are avid watchers of The Great British Bake Off. My hearing makes it hard for me to follow, so I just get the music from the TV room which seems very dramatic.

Sep 26, 2018, 4:39pm Top

>194 quondame:, Hi Susan, sorry to read that your hearing problem makes it hard to follow the GBBO but I agree that the music makes it seem dramatic my dear. My good lady has made a Cinnamon cake today and it is delicious but then I am a bit biased.

Hope you are having a good week my dear and send love and hugs dear friend.

Sep 26, 2018, 6:26pm Top

>193 johnsimpson: Hi John! It's nice to read about all the gardening you are doing. I have an allotment garden, so I do some as well. Yes, careful with the back pain, better to prevent problems. Lots of bending is a problem for me as well. I try to avoid it, but sometimes you just have to.

Like the names of those colours, Cadwaladr really?

Hmm for cinnamon cake and apple crumble, why am I starting to feel hungry?

Sep 27, 2018, 2:11am Top

John--Great. Now I am hungry and I think my garden looks sadly uncared for. Sigh. Can you come over here and help me out? ; ) Take care of your back.

Sep 27, 2018, 12:39pm Top

Hi, John. We're back and I'm catching up.

What a good time we had with you in York. Thanks for making the time and the drive. As you say in >169 johnsimpson:, it was as if we'd all known each other for a long time. For me, there was the extra thrill of finally meeting someone who'd also read the whole Wheel of Time series. I loved it, even with its failings (several books in the middle seemed bloated and in need of editing to me - probably the result of him getting let off the leash after the success of the first few). I hope your daughter likes the whole thing. As we discussed, Brandon Sanderson did a surprisingly excellent job of finishing it off after Jordan passed away.

It sounds like a great holiday in Wales, and I enjoyed those photos up above, particularly of Picton Castle and Gardens. A Secret Owl Garden - the idea is irresistible. I'd love to get there some day.

Good luck with the gardening, mate, and say hello to Karen for us. Can't wait for the next time we cross paths.

Sep 27, 2018, 4:01pm Top

>196 EllaTim:, Hi Ella, I have always enjoyed gardening and many years ago I had an allotment shared with my father-in-law and was sad to have to give it up, I hope you enjoy yours. I am being careful with my back but as you say there are some jobs that have to be done and it does cause the back to ache, hopefully when all is done it will mostly manage itself. The top border will be roses and shrubs along with perennials and I will put bark chippings down to try to suppress the weeds.

The ink names come from the fact that Pure Pens are a Welsh company and although they stock a wide range of bottled Inks they decided to develop their own and used the British Isles for name inspirations. The current list follows:

Cotswold - Autumn Brown
Flower of Scotland - Blue/purple
Pendine Sands - Sandy Orange
Windermere - Blue/Grey
St George's Cross - A Welsh Red
Buckingham Blue - Royal Blue
Saltire Blue - Blue that sits between Royal and Navy
Cwm Idwal - Dark murky green with a blue hue
Cadwaladr - Blood red/Claret
Celtic Sea - A Bright Green/Blue
Llanberis Slate - Mid-Grey with a Purple undertone
Pothcurno Cove - Turquoise
Glens of Antrim - Mid/Dark Green

The colours look really lovely and I will be getting a few more over the coming months, I also saw a reference for Akkerman's Inks and so had a look at their website to peruse the Inks and the Fountain Pens on offer, they had a really good range so I may give them a go at some point but it depends on cost and postage costs which is quite sad really.

The Cinnamon cake is really lovely and this afternoon when I picked Hannah up from school she made some Muffins with a little bit of help from Karen and they were Apple and Vanilla and they are gorgeous.

Hope you are well my dear and enjoy the reading and gardening dear friend.

Sep 27, 2018, 4:06pm Top

>197 Berly:, Hi Kim, I will have to come over to sort your garden out my dear and I will make sure Karen brings some baking gifts and then you can both make more baking gifts for the gardener, lol. I will take care of my back as there is still a little bit more heavy digging to be done and then all the soil needs improving with some good old manure.

When I picked Hannah up and brought her back here she ended up doing some baking with Karen, most of the work was Hannah's and they made Apple and Vanilla muffins and they are really lovely, sorry. If you ever got over here Karen would make sure you were well looked after on the food front both meals and baking as she just loves to cook and bake.

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

Sep 27, 2018, 4:13pm Top

>198 jnwelch:, Hi Joe, Glad you enjoyed York and my company, it was great to meet you both and Karen would really enjoy your company. Karen says hello to both of you and looks forward to meeting you both at some point, she says just let us know when you are over and she can put some holiday leave in and we can make it a bit of a break and have a decent meet up mate.

I am glad you liked the photos and I am sure you would love West Wales and the gems such as Picton Castle and Gardens with The Secret Owl garden off to one side of the main gardens.

Looking forward to meeting up with you both again and maybe Darryl and one or two others, that would be good but it would be good to meet you both and have a mooch around together, the girls would get on like a house on fire and we wouldn't have to visit wool shops either, ha ha.

Hope you are having a good week back home mate and give our love to Debbi.

Sep 29, 2018, 11:42pm Top

>201 johnsimpson: Having met you both, John, I am not surprised that you got along fine.

Wishing you a lovely Sunday and give my love to Karen.

Sep 30, 2018, 7:21am Top

>199 johnsimpson: I'm sorry you had to give up your allotment, John, but glad you have a garden to enjoy.

Those ink names, wonderful, beautiful names, and they get the imagination going. Glens of Antrim... now I want to visit.

Yes, pens and costs, they can be so expensive!

Wishing you a nice Sunday, John!

Oct 1, 2018, 4:46am Top

Long time no see John! I was reminiscing with Berly about how you prompted us to count pages last year (the year before?), and now we have both carried on the tradition. I am over 10,000 now so have come to celebrate that with you :)

Oct 1, 2018, 10:08am Top

>202 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, I think we all are quite similar and so it seems to be easy to get along with each other and we are quickly at ease, I found this with you, Barbara and Joe and Debbi. If we all met up and I had Karen along I think there would be a male/female split after so long and the men would be superfluous to the event, ha ha.

We have had a good weekend mate and I hope the same can be said of you and the family, sending love and hugs from the mother county.

Oct 1, 2018, 10:12am Top

>203 EllaTim:, Hi Ella, it was sad to have to give up the allotment but it was for the best but I could concentrate on the garden at home and now it is in another phase of planning and planting under supervision from Mrs S I hasten to add, lol.

The ink names are great and it has given Amy some ideas for adding a little bit to my Christmas present so it is a win win situation for me. I do love my pens but some of them are so expensive that they are well out of my league, I have one expensive pen which Karen got for my 50th birthday which is a Montegrappa Espressione and I do treasure it.

Hope you had a great Sunday my dear, sending love and hugs from across the Channel/North Sea.

Oct 1, 2018, 10:21am Top

>204 LovingLit:, Hi Megan my dear, I have been very lax this year getting around the threads and it is so nice to see you here. I have seen that you are both still counting pages read after I inflicted this on you both, lol, I like to see how much I have read and am a bit geeky on that sort of thing. I think it is because I love my cricket so much and did my early maths learning via the Wisden Cricketers Almanack and the Playfair pocket annual and that has stayed with me for the last 47 years.

I must admit that sometimes the stats do overwhelm me but I still persevere with them and if I ever stopped it wouldn't be for long as I would miss them so much. Sadly it is going to be another year where I fail to reach the now magical 40,000 page mark, when I first started keeping my book notes and stats the target was always to average 50 pages read a day and 25,000 pages read in a year, now they are both north of that mark, lol.

Let me congratulate you on getting to 10,000 pages read dear friend especially with your busy life and family, when you get in your dotage (sic) like me you will find the realms of 25 to 40,000 pages a year are calling you.

I know you are infront of us time wise but I hope you and the family had a really great weekend and hope you are having a great week ahead, sending love and hugs to you and the family from both of us dear friend.

Oct 1, 2018, 10:53am Top

Hello everyone, as it is the 1st of October I think it is time for a new thread. Please come along and join me on the new thread in about 20 minutes time.

This topic was continued by JohnSimpson- Chunksters rule in 2018 No 6..

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2018

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