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John Simpson - All Books Great and Small........ and Tea part 2

75 Books Challenge for 2020

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Feb 1, 4:39pm Top

Please come along for the journey.

Edited: Feb 1, 4:56pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Feb 1, 4:39pm Top

Hello everyone, this is my Seventh year being part of this wonderful group. I am John, 56 years old and married to Karen for 35 years and counting. We have two lovely children, Rob and Amy. Rob lives with his Fiance Louise, daughter Hannah who will be 9 in February. Amy married Andy in 2015 and they now have a cat called Combie.

Please come along and leave a message and let's see what fun we have.

I love books and currently have just over 2,500 books on my shelves and this doesn't include my Cricket collection which stands at about 400 books. While reading I do enjoy the odd pot or two of tea.

Edited: Feb 17, 4:12pm Top

Edited: Mar 17, 5:17pm Top


Edited: Feb 17, 4:13pm 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.
38.Chesapeake by James A. Michener, 1132 pgs
39. 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster, 1070 pgs.

Feb 1, 4:44pm Top


1. Chesapeake by James A. Michener, PB - 1132 pgs.
2. Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer, PB - 588 pgs.

Edited: Mar 17, 5:04pm Top


3. 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster, PB - 1070 pgs.
4. Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, PB - 771 pgs.


5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, PB - 864 pgs.
6. The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley, PB - 543 pgs.

Edited: Feb 13, 4:14pm Top


1. Twas the Nightshift before Christmas by Adam Kay.
2. Corpse at the Crystal Palace by Carola Dunn.
3. The Road to Grantchester by James Runcie.
4. The School at the Top of the Dale by Gervase Phinn.
5. Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano.

Feb 1, 4:45pm Top

Happy new thread for a new month!

Edited: Mar 1, 3:49pm Top


6. The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan.
7. The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson.
8. One Million Lovely Letters by Jodi Ann Bickley.
9. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley.
10. Sweet Danger by Margery Allingham.
11. One More Day by Mitch Albom.

Edited: Feb 1, 4:55pm Top


1. Wisden Cricketers Almanack 1958 by Norman Preston, PB.
2. Mrs Jeffries Pinches the Post by Emily Brightwell, PB.
3. Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions by Mario Giordano, PB.
4. One Million Lovely Letters by Jodi Ann Bickley, HB.
5. Fifty-Fifty by James Patterson, PB.
6. The American Agent by Jacqueline Winspear, PB.
7. The Burning Room by Michael Connelly, PB.
8. War Storm by Victoria Aveyard, PB.
9. Death in Fancy Dress by Anthony Gilbert, PB.
10. Murder by Matchlight by E. C. R. Lorac, PB.
11. Yorkshire County Cricket Yearbook 2019, HB.
12. Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint, PB.
13. An Island Christmas by Jenny Colgan, PB.
14. Crime at Christmas by C.H.B. Kitchin, PB.
15. The Bookshop on the Shore by Jenny Colgan, HB.
16. Jack Hobbs by Ronald Mason, HB.

Edited: Mar 30, 4:29pm Top


17. The Helpline by Katharine Collette, PB.
18. Nay Umpire by Jim Appleby, PB.
19. A Cotswold Casebook by Rebecca Tope, PB.
20. The Company of the Dead by David J. Kowalski, PB.
21. The Newcomer by Fern Britton, PB.
22. The Holocaust by Martin Gilbert, PB.
23. Kingdom by Robyn Young, PB.
24. A Family Recipe by Veronica Henry, PB.
25. Britt-Marie was Here by Fredrik Backman, PB.
26. The Troutbeck Testimony by Rebecca Tope, PB.
27. The Bowness Bequest by Rebecca Tope, PB.
28. The Good Doctor of Warsaw by Elisabeth Gifford, PB.
29. The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag, PB.
30. The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna Van Praag, PB.
31. Essex Poison by Ian Sansom, PB.
32. The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman, PB.
33. True Love at the Lonely Hearts Bookshop by Annie Darling, PB.
34. The Stationery Shop of Tehran by Marjan Kamali, PB.
35. A Dirty Death by Rebecca Tope, PB.
36. Death of a Friend by Rebecca Tope, PB.
37. Bridge of Souls by Fiona McIntosh, PB.
38. The Telephone Box Library by Racheal Lucas, PB.
39. A Rose Petal Summer by Katie Fforde, PB.
40. Snowed in at The Practice by Penny Parkes, PB.
41. Where there's a Will by Beth Corby, PB.
42. The Body on the Train by Frances Brody, PB.


43. Dead Ringer by M. C. Beaton, PB.
44. The Salt Path by Raynor Winn, PB.
45. A Nice Cup of Tea by Celia Imrie, PB.
46. The Lost Art of Letter Writing by Menna Van Praag, PB.
47. Out of Practice by Penny Parkes, PB.
48. Practice Makes Perfect by Penny Parkes, PB.
49. Best Practice by Penny Parkes, PB.
50. Wham! George & Me by Andrew Ridgeley, HB.
51. Died and Gone to Devon by TP Fielden, PB.
52. Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, PB.
53. Asking for the Moon by Reginald Hill, PB.
54. The War of the Flowers by Tad Williams, PB.
55. Precious Gifts by Danielle Steel, PB.
56. Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman, PB.
57. The Knife's Edge by Professor Stephen Westaby, PB.
58. Till the Cows Come Home by Sara Cox, PB.
59. Chasing the Dime by Michael Connelly, PB. Freebie from neighbour
60. Espedair Street by Iain Banks, PB. Freebie from neighbour.
61. Hold Tight by Harlen Coben, HB. Freebie from neighbour.
62. Promise Me by Harlen Coben, HB. Freebie from neighbour.
63. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, PB. From Karen's book club.
64. Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb, PB. From Karen's book club.
65. The Department of Sensitive Crimes by Alexander McCall Smith, PB.
66. The Strange Disappearance of a Bollywood Star by Vaseem Khan, PB.

Edited: Feb 1, 4:51pm Top

Latest reading stats:

Books on shelves at 1-1-2020 - 2572
Books added in January - 14
Books read in January - 2

Revised book total - 2584

Pages to read at 1-1-2020 - 1,078,424
Pages added in January - 4,697
Pages read in January - 1,720

Revised total pages to read - 1,081,401

Edited: Feb 1, 4:52pm Top


Books Read...................... 2

No of Authors.................... 2

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

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

Female Authors.................. 0

Pages Read....................... 1,720

Daily Avg........................... 55.48

Book Length avg................. 860

Feb 1, 4:48pm Top

>10 quondame:, Hi Susan, welcome you are the first dear Lady.

Feb 1, 4:59pm Top

Start of a new month and hopefully my reading will pick up and I will be visiting threads more from now on. Felix the cat is settling in more and more now, he had his first injections yesterday morning and he is booked in for neutering next Thursday and then two weeks later he will have his final injections and he will be microchipped.

Feb 1, 5:34pm Top

Happy new thread.

May you have a great month of reading ahead

Feb 1, 7:18pm Top

Happy new thread!

Feb 1, 7:19pm Top

Happy new thread! I'm glad Felix is settling in. He will not like the vet's for awhile with all those visits.

Feb 1, 8:11pm Top

Happy new one, John.

Feb 1, 8:27pm Top

Happy new thread, John!

Poor Felix, but it's necessary.

>6 johnsimpson: Of your list of big books I have read Shogun (liked it) and Pillars of the Earth. I tried A Suitable Boy, but got stuck halfway, and gave up on it. You definitely have more stamina than me.

Feb 1, 8:30pm Top

Happy new thread, John. Was the vet able to give you a better idea of Felix' age?

Feb 1, 8:38pm Top

Happy new one John. Love to Karen.

Feb 3, 3:46pm Top

>18 figsfromthistle:, Thanks Anita my dear, I think it will be a good reading month.

>19 drneutron:, Thanks Jim.

>20 thornton37814:, Thanks Lori my dear, Felix is well settled here at Chez Simpson and he will be fed up of the Vets my dear

Feb 3, 3:51pm Top

>21 jessibud2:, Thanks Shelley my dear.

>22 EllaTim:, Thanks Ella my dear, Felix doesn't realize that he needs all the injections and the neutering along with being micro-chipped. I do love a really BIG book as you may have noticed and my current read is 1,070 pages and I still have a few more 1,000 page behemoths to go.

>23 Familyhistorian:, Thanks Meg my dear, the Vet said he was probably around 8 months old so his birth date is 27/5/19 and he has settled really well and it is me that he likes to sleep on.

>24 PaulCranswick:, Thanks Paul, I will pass on your love to Karen, mate.

Feb 3, 4:06pm Top

The weekend was quite good although we didn't do too much, Karen was working on Saturday and after dropping her off I went into the store to get my usual copy of the Yorkshire Post and some cigars before popping into Wakefield to pick up a cheap fountain pen from the antique centre.

Not long after I got home Amy arrived, she had been to the hairdressers and it was just a quick call and a pot of coffee, we had a chat before she left to do some shopping at the Aldi in Featherstone before making her way home. I picked Karen up a few hours later and after she had a shower we had a pot of tea before having something to eat before watching some TV and then at 10pm we put the radio on to listen to Craig Charles and his two hour music show, it is like having a disco in your living room and the music he plays brings back happy memories.

On Sunday we had a lie with a pot of tea and Felix for company, once up and about we came downstairs to have breakfast and a pot of coffee before we popped out briefly. Once back home we had a pot of tea before Karen did the small bit of ironing and then we prepared the vegetables and put the Lamb steaks in the oven. While the Lamb was cooking Karen got on with using the Panettone to make a Panettone bread and butter pudding for me as she knows this is one of my favourites.

We had a lovely late Sunday lunch and a short while later we had some of the pudding before watching a bit of TV, I had to watch Doctor Who upstairs and then we both watched Call the Midwife.

Feb 5, 5:10pm Top

The last three days have been pretty good for both of us, On Monday Karen had to go to the doctors to see about the spot on her back. Not long ago Karen had two small moles removed by the GP and Nurse at the surgery and they have healed well but a small spot appeared to the left of the top mole. Karen had me squeeze it and nothing much came away but the top came off, she went to see the nurse about it and was given some cream and told if it had not cleared within a week she needed to see the doctor.

After seeing the doctor I took her to work and then made my way home, once home I made a pot of tea and played with Felix. I had a steady day doing a bit of reading and did the book stats on the two books read in January and ordered a TWSBI Go fountain pen and a ball cleaner. I picked Karen up from work at 6pm and we made our way to the hospital as she had an appointment at the Oral/ Maxillofacial clinic regarding her Lichen Planus in her mouth. Her appointment was for 7pm but she wasn't seen until 7.35pm and was in for 10 minutes before leaving with a prescription, we got home just after 8pm.

We were up with the alarm on Tuesday but no pot of tea in bed as Karen was in work for 9am, I dropped Karen off and then made my way home and had a pot of tea before playing with Felix. After this he settled down on my lap while I read and was happy to be put on the chair when I needed to make another drink. Just before noon I got on with the upstairs housework and Felix was not happy when I switched on the vacuum cleaner and he ran back downstairs. I made myself some lunch when the housework was done and then listened to the cricket on the radio until it was time to go and pick Karen up from work.

After we got home we had a pot of tea before Rob appeared briefly for a pot of tea before he went to his cricket meeting and then we had something to eat. We watched a bit of TV and I fired up the laptop to come on here.

Feb 6, 11:53am Top

Belated happy new thread, John!

Glad to see you mentioning playing with Felix, good for both of you.

Feb 7, 1:20am Top

Happy new one, John! Picture of Felix....? : )

Feb 8, 9:56am Top

Happy new thread! Hope you are well!

Feb 8, 10:09am Top

Hi John!

I'm glad to hear that Felix is settling in so well. Not at all surprised that he doesn't like the vacuum cleaner.

Sending love and hugs to you, Karen, and, of course Felix the cat.

Feb 8, 4:20pm Top

>29 FAMeulstee:, Hi Anita my dear, Felix loves to play and has to mad half hour spells where he wants to play and needs us to be involved.

>30 Berly:, Thank you Kim my dear, I will try and post some more pictures of Felix.

Feb 8, 4:23pm Top

>31 witchyrichy:, Hi Karen my dear, thank you and we are both fine dear friend.

>32 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, Felix is well settled although he didn't like us on Thursday when we brought him back from the Vets after his neutering op and micro-chipping. Leo didn't like the vacuum cleaner for many years and then he finally realised that I was just cleaning the carpets and wasn't going to get him and he just chilled in his bed.

Feb 8, 4:52pm Top

Wednesday was a steady day for us, we did the Aldi shop before getting back home and unpacking and putting the shopping away and then it was time for a pot of tea. We had a couple of little jobs to do and then I needed to set off to collect Hannah from school. I had no sooner got back with Hannah when Karen had a call from the doctors about the small lump on her back, they wanted to know if she could get to the doctors for 4.20pm and this was 3.45pm, I said it was fine and so she said yes.

We all got back in the car a short time later and took Karen to the doctors, she wasn't waiting too long before she was called in and about ten minutes later she was back out, all done and two stitches in the wound. Once home I made a pot of tea and we fed Hannah. Rob called in briefly on his way to Cricket training and Hannah had just been bathed and a short time later I took her home.

Thursday was quite a good day, after breakfast we took Felix to the Vets for his neutering op and also to be micro-chipped. After seeing the Vet we filled in the paperwork and then left him in their care, Helen the receptionist said she would call to let us know when he had come out of surgery and what time to pick him up. We left the Vets and decided to go to Hinchcliffe's Farm shop at Netherton.

It was only a short journey to Netherton from the centre of Wakefield and we were soon going through Netherton but no sign of a Farm shop. Karen decided to google Hinchcliffe's and came up with the post code but it was a Huddersfield code. I set the satnav up and off we went and after about 15 minutes I realised we were going towards Huddersfield, I continued and before long we were going through some strange countryside and no Farm shop was about. I was just at the point of saying sod it and going home when we came up to a give way and was told to turn left, Karen said to continue and just after we turned left we saw a sign saying Netherton. It would appear that there are two Netherton's within 15 miles of each other.

We followed the road and ten minutes later we found the Farm shop, we parked up and went into the coffee shop as we were thirsty, we ordered two latte's and a slice of Carrot Cake and a slice of Apple and Caramel Cake. the young lady brought our coffee's and cake over and we told her of our tour de Yorkshire, she laughed and was surprised there were two Netherton's so close. The Cakes were absolutely lovely, in fact it was the best Carrot Cake that I have had in quite a while. Once we had finished our drinks and cake we went into the Farm shop and had a good perusal and picked up a few bits and signed up for their loyalty card.

We left the Farm shop and headed back towards Wakefield, on the way the Vets rang to say Felix had had his op and was fine and could we pick him up at 4pm, we said yes that was ideal. We decided to go to Elsecar Antiques Centre as we now had plenty of time, we arrived just after 1pm and had a good look around. Karen picked up a couple of Brooches and I saw a couple of Fountain pens but wanted to do some research first. One was a Conway Stewart Fountain pen and pencil set at £28 and the other was a 'Fleetwood' fountain pen for £25, this was labelled 'Fleetwood' USA. I have tried to google it and found nothing and wondered if any of my lovely American friends had ever heard of this one, it was a lovely looking pen and had been fully serviced so I may go back on Monday and get it as I will get 10% off.

We set off for home at 3pm as I needed to pick up a padded collar instead of him having the Cone of shame, I dropped Karen at home and went and collected Felix. I paid the dues and demands and made an appointment for Monday morning for him to be checked over and then made my way home. Once home he went to his favourite chair and laid down and turned his back on us, the rest of the afternoon and evening he didn't want to know us.

Edited: Feb 8, 5:19pm Top

The look says, the indignity of this.

Feb 8, 5:19pm Top

Happy new thread, John.

>35 johnsimpson: Once home he went to his favourite chair and laid down and turned his back on us, the rest of the afternoon and evening he didn't want to know us.

Typical cat behavior!

Feb 8, 5:20pm Top

>37 alcottacre:, Exactly Stasia my dear.

Feb 9, 10:05am Top

Hi John!

Awww, poor Felix. I didn't know there was a padded collar - the cones of shame are so stressful for everybody involved that if we ever need to prevent a kitty from licking we'll get one.

Carrot cake - sigh. I need to make one soon. Was the one you had frosted and if so what kind of frosting? Just curious.

Sending love and hugs to all three of you.

Feb 9, 10:28am Top

>36 johnsimpson:

Good to read you are all feeling better.

Does a padded collar work as well as the dreaded cone?

Feb 9, 10:52am Top

I finally have time to check out your thread, John. Your family addition Felix keeps you busy. Is he already daddy's favourite?
We are happy to finally be on vacation. It has been a hectic time in the past few weeks and we are now enjoying being away from everyday life. Today we had nice weather and were on skis. The next few days are more likely that we will get to read a lot, but will not ski. A more dangerous storm with lots of snow is on the horizon.
Love and hugs to you and Karen. xxx

Feb 10, 9:37am Top

Hiya, John.

Poor, disgruntled Felix. Hopefully he'll forget it all quickly.

I've not heard of Fleetwood pens. There's a "Fleetwood Promotions" that sells pens: http://www.fleetwoodpromotions.com/ProductResults/?SearchTerms=Pens

Feb 10, 10:23am Top

Happy new thread!

>36 johnsimpson: poor kitty!

Feb 10, 4:17pm Top

>39 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, the padded collar has been good for Felix, a lady in Leeds makes these collars and gives the proceeds to Henry's Haven Cat Rescue, they should be on the market though as they are better than the Cones of Shame.

The Carrot cake was lovely but the topping wasn't frosted it was more like a very soft cream cheese topping with real carrot shavings as well.

Hope you have all had a good weekend and send love and hugs from both of us.

Edited: Feb 10, 4:20pm Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Feb 10, 4:22pm Top

>40 m.belljackson:, Hi Marianne my dear, the padded collar works well and is better than the dreaded Cone of Shame and the lady who makes them does them in all sizes, she gives the proceeds to Henry's Haven Cat Rescue.

Feb 10, 4:28pm Top

>41 Ameise1:, Hi Barbara my dear, the photos of your trip so far to Davos are really good and glad you are all having a nice time. We are in the process of going through Storm Ciara, yesterday was really bad but I feel so very sorry for the people living in the Calder Valley area covering Todmorden, Hebden Bridge, Sowerby Bridge and Mytholmroyd who are suffering their third flooding in the last eight years. There was also flooding in the Yorkshire Dales around Hawes and Pateley Bridge.

Felix is daddy's favourite although he did spend most of last night on Karen's lap, he is quite a comfort and is very playable although he can be a little naughty but he is only eight months old.

Enjoy the rest of your trip my dear and send love and hugs to you all from both of us.

Feb 10, 4:31pm Top

>42 jnwelch:, Hi Joe, I think Felix has forgiven us now and he has spent a lot of time on my lap and playing, he is quite cute but he has his naughty spells but he is only eight months old.

I will have to go back to the antiques centre to have a better look at the pen, it is labelled as being ready to go but I will check it out and if I am satisfied I will get it as it looks a really nice pen.

Feb 10, 4:32pm Top

>43 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle my dear, Felix is fine now, it was just on Thursday that he ignored us but now he is on my lap a lot of the time although he spent most of last night on Karen's lap.

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

Feb 10, 4:46pm Top

>47 johnsimpson: John I have been looking at the pictures and they look dreadful. My husband's grandparents lived in Mytholmroyd at one stage, although higher up.

Feb 10, 4:58pm Top

>50 SandDune:, Hi Rhian my dear, it is just heart breaking for the residents and businesses of the Calder Valley and what makes it worse is that the flood barrier at Mytholmroyd, although not finished, did not withstand this event and would not have done even if it had. The main problem is that although flood defences are being put in place, they are not looking at where the water is coming from, land management needs to be sorted out as well.

Feb 11, 3:55pm Top

The last few days have been pretty good apart from the weather as we are currently in the midst of Storm Ciara with Storm Dennis approaching for the weekend, more of this later.

Friday was a steady day, Karen was working 11am to 7pm and after a quick change I took her to Body shop party at our neighbours daughters in Old Sharlston. After dropping Karen at work I popped into store to do the little bit of shopping and once this was done I made my way home to unpack it all and put it away. Once all this was done it was time for a pot of tea and watch the lunchtime news before setting the DVD recorder up.

After my pot of tea I got on with the downstairs housework before having a bite to eat and then did a bit of reading with the customary pot of tea until it was time to pick Karen up.

Saturday and we were up with the alarm and after sorting Felix out we got on with getting breakfast and a pot of tea along with our meds before it was time to take Karen to work for 9am. After dropping Karen off I popped into the store to get my paper and then made my way home. Once home I made a pot of tea and spent most of the day reading and having copious pots of tea. I did have a short break to ink up my TWSBI Go and the all Black Parker Vector I picked up cheap, the Go was filled with Pure Pens Cadwaladyr, a gorgeous red and with the pen having a 1.1 Stub nib it completes the set of Stub pens to now transfer my reading data into the old ledger, the Parker was filled with Diamine Prussian Blue.

I made a pot of tea in the travel mug for Karen and went to collect her from work, once home we had another pot of tea before watching a bit of TV before transferring to the radio to listen to The Craig Charles Show. During the night the wind started to pick up, this was the start of Storm Ciara.

On Sunday morning I awoke with the alarm and went and made a pot of tea for both of us after sorting Felix's litter tray out and then he went up to our bedroom to see Karen. After we had finished our tea we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to get breakfast, a pot of coffee and our meds. After we had finished we popped out to Sainsbury's to pick up a couple of bits and then wandered over to the Jolley's pet store. Once done in the pet store we made our way home and had a pot of tea before Karen began to bake, I was tasked with zesting the Oranges and Lemons.

Karen made a Lemon and Orange Drizzle cake before making some Stem Ginger biscuits and then we peeled the vegetables and put them in pans and Karen put the Spatchcock Chicken in the oven. We had another pot of tea while our late Sunday lunch cooked. We had lunch when it was ready and had a short gap before we had some pudding. We then caught up on a couple of programmes we had recorded before watching Countryfile and then I had to go upstairs to watch Doctor Who and then I re-joined Karen to watch Call the Midwife.

During Sunday night/Monday morning we heard the wind really getting up and awoke to rain showers and high wind. We awoke with the alarm and I went and made us a pot of tea and Felix joined us before getting up and dressed and coming downstairs to have breakfast. Karen did some ironing while I took Felix to the Vets for a check-up regarding his neutering op. Felix got a clean bill of health, the wound was looking good and he can have his padded collar off on Wednesday and I booked him in for his last injections on the 21st of February.

Once I got back from the Vets Felix had been sick, it would appear as if he is travel sick as this is the second time he has done this. We had a pot of tea and then Karen got ready for work, I took Karen to work and then made my way home. I made a pot of tea when back and Felix joined me on my lap for the next hour although I did manage to get some reading done. After watching the lunchtime news and local news, I set up the DVD recorder and then went out to see "Auntie" May. May has known me all my life and used to work in the Newsagents in Sharlston until she retired, she has been married twice and took her good friend Laurie in when he was at a low edge after the loss of his wife. I used to write a monthly Cricket item for the Church magazine that May and Laurie organised and Laurie was a committee member with me at the Cricket club.

I arrived at her bungalow and she was pleased to see me, I had taken some ink cartridges with me as May had shown me some pens when I took the Christmas cards. May has a local lady come in to do her vacuuming and dusting and Mel was there when I arrived, Mel made a pot of tea for both of us and we chatted for the nest 90 minutes. May showed me two more pens, the pen that needed cartridges turned out to be a Platignum pen and I had brought Parker Cartridges but one of the other pens that she showed me was a Parker and so I fitted the Cartridge although the nib was slightly bent, I will go back and sort that out, the other pen was a Parker 17 but needed bottled ink. May told me to take the Platignum pen as I have cartridges for this one. I left May and made my way home and once back made a pot of tea and Felix joined me on my lap. Later I fitted a cartridge in the Platignum pen and surprise surprise it worked straight away, I didn't think it would as it had not been used for quite a number of years.

Rob messaged me to ask if I would pick him up from the station as he is car less at the moment as his fan belt snapped on Sunday, I picked him up at 5.45pm and took him home before making my way home. Karen didn't need me to pick her up as another colleague who lives in Walton was on the same shift as Karen. Once Karen was home we had a relaxing couple of hours before bedtime.

Feb 11, 8:45pm Top

>52 johnsimpson: As you know, John, my father grew up in Sharlston and I regularly go back to visit my "aunties" there. Aunt Dot and Aunt Ivy have both passed away but I do keep in touch with Ivy's children (all older than I am). We spent many a Sunday afternoon there growing up eating buttered cream crackers and sometimes tea-cakes and playing on the slag-heap behind the long row of terraced houses.

It is funny what you remember and what you price as memories from that time.

England have named the squad for Sri Lanka and it is a bit regressive if you ask me. I am not really in favour of a recall for Jennings and would have preferred James Hildreth to tour and Sam Northeast to join him. I would have taken Ben Brown with Foakes and left Buttler at home to ponder if he really fancies the 5-day game. I can see why the three spinners are Bess, Leach and Parkinson as we have an off-spinner (Bess), a slow left armer (Leach) and a wrist spinner (Parkinson). Not sure that Root gets Parkinson though and I fear he'll fail to get an opportunity at all. Virdi may have been worth a shout but I think Leach is the most likely to win us a game on a real turner.

Feb 12, 4:13pm Top

>53 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, mate. I keep in touch with "Auntie" May on a regular basis and always have a good natter with her and pick up bits that I had forgotten to ask my mum and dad. I may get to the cricket this year depending on the weather as I will have more time due to Karen's shift on a Saturday.

I am with you on the squad for Sri Lanka, Hildreth will never get a chance now and I really don't know what Northeast has to do to get the nod.

Feb 12, 4:19pm Top

Yesterday was a decent day and I got quite a bit of reading done, the weather was awful all day and will carry on being awful until Storm Dennis strikes on Saturday and that is due to last three days and could be as bad if not worse than Storm Ciara.

I took Karen to work for 9am and once home made a pot of tea and then began reading, this was the pattern until the lunchtime news came on. After watching the news I got on with the upstairs housework with Felix following me upstairs to see what I was doing.

Once the housework was done I put everything away and then had a pot of tea before deciding to have some soup, even though the heating was on I still felt a little cool and so wanted something hot to eat. Once I had finished my soup I made a pot of tea and then read until it was time to make a pot of tea in the travel mug for Karen when I picked her up from work.

We had a steady evening.

Feb 12, 4:33pm Top

Today has been a pretty good day but I think I am losing it.

We awoke with the alarm and I went and made a pot of tea for both of us, I sorted Felix's litter tray out and then he joined us on the bed. Once we were up and about we had breakfast and our meds before going to the Lidl at Featherstone and then the nearby Aldi to do the usual shopping. Once back home we unpacked and put away the shopping before we had a pot of tea.

While we were having our tea I realised that I needed to put our prescriptions in, Karen was going to the doctors at 2.10pm to have the stitches taken out on her back. I took Karen to the doctors and I went to the reception desk to sort my prescription out, the receptionist said I needed to see the doctor and she made me an appointment for 4.40pm.

I was able to take Karen home before going to pick Hannah up from school, I got back with Hannah at 3.40pm. A short time later I had to go to the toilet and suddenly thought I had missed my appointment, luckily it was only 3.50pm but that was where my luck ran out. I thought I had time for a pot of tea before going to the doctors and so made one but then got distracted with a programme on TV and with Hannah. We fed Hannah and then we had something to eat and then Karen bathed Hannah.

We were watching the local news when I suddenly realised that I had missed my doctors appointment, I had obviously had a brain failure and will have to ring them up in the morning to apologise and remake my appointment, I felt such a fool. We went to pick Rob up from cricket training and then I took Rob and Hannah to her other Grandad's so that Rob could pick up his car.

Feb 13, 8:26am Top

>55 johnsimpson: >56 johnsimpson: Sounds like you are enjoying those pots of tea. They just relax you a bit too much. I doubt you're "losing it."

Feb 13, 9:17am Top

Hi John!

>44 johnsimpson: ‘Padded recovery collars’ are available here in the US online – it’s very good of the lady in Leeds to donate the proceeds to the Cat Rescue.

I put cream cheese frosting on my carrot cake but never thought to put carrot shavings in it. Hmmm. Good thought for next time.

Glad Felix has a clean bill of health, although car sick isn’t a pleasant thing to look forward to. Perhaps he’ll outgrow it.

It’s easy to lose track of things, especially with Hannah and TV. I do it with books and kitties. *smile*

Sending love and hugs to you and Karen. Give Felix a hello and skritch from me.

Feb 13, 3:28pm Top

>57 thornton37814:, Hi Lori my dear, I had too much time from getting back with Hannah until the appointment and what with a pot of tea and watching The Farmers' Country Showdown, I just completely forgot my appointment. This morning on our way out we called into the Doctors and I apologised to the receptionist and remade my appointment and this time I won't forget it.

Feb 13, 3:34pm Top

>58 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, I am glad you have found the 'Padded Recovery Collars', Felix is so glad it is now off though but it was a lot better than the Cone of Shame.

I must admit it was the first Carrot Cake that I have had that had dried Carrot shavings on top of the cream cheese frosting.

Felix is in good health and now wants to go out but it is only a week since his op and once he has had his last injections next Friday, then he is good to go.

I was so embarrassed when I realised that I had forgotten my appointment but on our way out this morning we did call in to the doctors and I apologised to the receptionist and remade my appointment for next Monday morning and I will not forget it.

I will give Felix a skritch from you and send love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.

Edited: Feb 13, 3:59pm Top

We awoke with the alarm and I went and made us a pot if tea to enjoy in bed, I sorted Felix out and then he joined us on the bed. Once we had finished our tea we got up and Karen went into the bathroom to get washed and then I went in to have a mini shave etc before we swopped again. When we were both washed and dressed we made our way downstairs to sort breakfast out.

Karen sorted out our breakfast while I got our meds and vitamins out, once we had finished we got ourselves ready and set off out on our first date day of the year. On the way we called into the doctors so that I could apologise to the receptionist and remake my appointment. Once this was done I put our prescriptions in and we continued on our way to Ilkley in the Dales.

We had a nice steady journey and got parked up just before 11am, once out of the car we headed to the Oxfam bookshop and after perusing the books I went back to the car to deposit our purchases. I joined Karen in WH Smiths where we had a wander around but we soon left and continued wandering about. We went into a few shops on the parade before heading for a coffee, on our way to the coffee shop we called into Grove Bookshop and after a good look around I purchased a book.

Next stop was coffee and something to eat, we called into Caffe Nero and had a nice sandwich and we shared a pastry and enjoyed our coffee. We both checked our phones as we had messages and I found out more of the government re-shuffle. It would appear that Boris has wreaked a bit of havoc with his cabinet changes, the man is an idiot.

We left the coffee shop and did more perusing, we went into Boyes store and picked up some bags of toffees and then continued wandering. We came across Just Books and came out of there with more books and some stationery before wandering around a bit more. We decided to curtail our trip as this has been the longest we have left Felix but we are going to Northallerton on Saturday as Karen has booked the day off work and it will be our Valentine trip out.

We ended up with a haul of 16 books with Karen leading the way.

Feb 13, 4:35pm Top

>61 johnsimpson: I love Ilkley, John and it seems to have been kind to you both, bookwise.

Seems storm Dennis has been replaced by Storm Boris with a bloodbath of a cabinet reshuffle.

Feb 13, 4:43pm Top

>62 PaulCranswick:, Ilkley was very good to us on the book front mate especially Karen.

I couldn't believe what was going on when I saw that Julian Smith had been sacked and then when we were having coffee I saw that Sajid Javid had resigned. I am not keen on any Tory MP but at least he stuck up for his staff and it will not be him that sacks them.

After the carnage in the Calder Valley and not to mention up around Hawes, Boris gives the go ahead to spend £106 billion on HST 2 and then wants to start a preliminary study on a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland and now Storm Dennis may dump another 80mm of rain on the Calder Valley this weekend. What must they be thinking, all this money on vanity projects YET they seem to be expendable with nothing much being done. Besides flood defences they need to spend money on land management to try and alleviate the flow of water down to the rivers.

Feb 13, 4:48pm Top

>63 johnsimpson: Successive governments have neglected the ecology of the UK, John, in fairness, but I agree that it is blindingly obvious that we need to look at our river systems and build flood defences. Building on flood plains is madness too and planning needs to be carefully examined.

I am a huge devotee of rail travel and a great train infrastructure is to be applauded but that won't be achieved by adding what is effectively a couple of main lines. I am just about old enough to remember when almost every village had its train station and the country needs to go back to that brilliant system with a nationalised rail service/network that efficiently takes people off the roads.

Feb 13, 5:01pm Top

>64 PaulCranswick:, I am a member of the Wakefield Historical Society on Facebook and recently old photos of old railway stations have been posted, I hadn't realised we had so many stations in the area. It has been really nice to see them.

Feb 13, 5:35pm Top

>66 PaulCranswick: I'd be keen to see some of those, John.

Feb 14, 8:28am Top

Looks like a nice book haul above!

Feb 14, 9:38pm Top

Dropping by to wish you a great weekend, John.

Feb 15, 8:07am Top

Hi John!

Lovely book haul, glad Felix is coming along.

Storm Dennis sounds terrible and the whole North Atlantic is one big bomb cyclone, apparently. Stay safe!

Feb 15, 8:25am Top

Hi John, storm Dennis looks like a bad one for the UK!

I saw some images of the floods in England after Ciara, poor people being flooded again. I think you are quite right about the land (and water) management that's needed.

Here in Holland there was high water as well, combination of storm winds from the west, extra high tides, and high river waters. It made for impressive pictures, but not much real damage.

Wishing you a nice, safe weekend.

Feb 15, 3:54pm Top

>66 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, the photos are lovely to look at and they range from the late 19th century rights through to today where they compare yesteryear to nowadays.

Feb 15, 3:58pm Top

>67 thornton37814:, Hi Lori my dear, it was a good book haul and we were both shocked at the amount, it is very easy to do though.

>68 PaulCranswick:, Thanks Paul.

Feb 15, 4:02pm Top

>69 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, it was a good book haul for both of us and Felix is fine apart from climbing onto the top of the doors, he seems to have no fear.

At the moment Storm Dennis is doing his worst and we will find out tomorrow what if any damage has been done in the Calder Valley, the rivers are expected to peak in the early hours of tomorrow. The residents and shop owners have done as much as they can with help from residents and the army. We were up in Northallerton and it rained for most of the day and was windy, we set off for home and it had stopped raining but as we got nearer home the wind was blowing and the rain was lashing down.

Feb 15, 4:07pm Top

>70 EllaTim:, Hi Ella my dear, everyone is hoping that Storm Dennis is not as bad as Storm Ciara, the Calder Valley has done as much as it can with help from the army but we won't know if any flooding has occurred until tomorrow as the rivers are not expected to peak until the early hours of Sunday morning.

The Storm seems to be hitting various parts of the country but as yet we have not heard or read of anything and hope that remains so.

I am not sure if this storm is going to get across to the Low Countries and if it does what strength it will have so I hope that it blows itself out over the North Sea.

Hope that you are both well and hope Marc is doing as fine as can be expected dear friend.

Feb 15, 4:15pm Top

After Thursdays mini date day we decided to celebrate Valentines day a day late and so we headed up to Northallerton in North Yorkshire. We set off in rain and light wind and it was still raining with light winds when we got parked up in Northallerton.

After a coffee in the George Hotel we had a wander up and down the high street, it was not a lot of fun in the rain and most of the market stalls had decided not to bother today. We picked up a few small bits and I picked up my usual Saturday copy of the Yorkshire Post newspaper and a book at 90% off. By the time we decided to have some lunch we had picked up a total of four books, even though we said we weren't going to buy any. Unfortunately the queue for Betty's Café was too long so we made our way to the car.

Before leaving Northallerton we went to Pets at Home to get Felix a couple of balls and then Karen needed to go to the B&M store and once this was done Karen said she needed a toilet stop so we called into Sainsbury's. Once we were all ready we set off for home, by this time the rain had stopped and the wind had dropped. We drove down the A1 but as we got nearer to home we could see the dark clouds and then we were back into heavy rain and wind.

Feb 15, 4:49pm Top

After the accrual of twenty books in the last three days I really need to get on with reading them, Karen is way ahead of me and I think she will stay that way through the year.

We have booked a five day trip to Edinburgh in July, Karen booked an apartment in the Portobello area of Edinburgh so we are quite near the city centre and are looking forward to exploring more of the city. Initially Karen found a nice place in Corstophine to the West of Edinburgh but the only drawback was lack of parking and so that had to be scrapped.

Feb 15, 4:56pm Top

Happy new thread...just a little late. But I saw your post on Twitter, too! You did get a few books, didn't you?

Sorry for the storm and wishing you a safe weekend!

Feb 15, 5:14pm Top

>77 witchyrichy:, Hi Karen my dear, do not worry about being late, you are here and that is all that matters. We were quite surprised when we totted up what we had bought and promised ourselves that we would behave for the rest of the month and then we go off for a late Valentines Day and pick up four more, we have decided that we have a problem, a very nice problem, but still a problem, lol.

Apart from rain and wind we are lucky compared to the lovely people in the Calder Valley who suffered so much last weekend and could do again, we won't know if the rivers have held until the early hours of tomorrow morning when they should peak. A secondhand bookshop in Todmorden lost lots of stock and they posted a photo on twitter of all the books damaged.

We found out earlier that Ilkley is under threat and the army have been there helping out, the river Wharfe looked high when we passed on Thursday but with a quiet-ish Friday we thought they would be ok, again we won't know until morning what the outcome is.

Hope you and your husband have a lovely weekend dear friend and send love and hugs to you both.

Feb 15, 7:18pm Top

> Nice haul! I am anxiously awaiting my local library's book sale in April.

I hope you get to dodge some of the rain, John. We have been getting a lot - a lot for Texas anyway - so I know how that goes.

Edited: Feb 15, 7:54pm Top

>61 johnsimpson: Great haul!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Feb 16, 8:48am Top

I wish I could find library book sales!

All the best to you and Karen, John.

Feb 16, 2:38pm Top

>81 PaulCranswick:

Paul - can you order online from abe.com?

Low prices and decent quality if you request Like New or Very Good.

Feb 16, 4:00pm Top

wish you a good new week

Feb 16, 5:07pm Top

Looks like South Wales is being hit very badly with Storm Dennis, John, as well as Yorkshire. I was looking on the news at a couple of flooded locations that I know well.

Feb 17, 9:26am Top

Hope you enjoyed a great weekend and have a happy Monday!

Feb 17, 4:19pm Top

Finished book 3 this afternoon, 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster, 1070 pages. As much as I enjoyed this book it was rather strange to read, it follows the story of Archibald Isaac Ferguson born in 1947. His life will take four simultaneous but entirely different paths. As each version of his life story rushes across the fractured terrain of mid-Twentieth-century America, a boy grows up - again and again and again.

Feb 18, 10:53pm Top

>82 m.belljackson: I can, Marianne, but I cop it for the shipping.

>86 johnsimpson: Sounds typically Austerian confuse methodology. I have the book on the shelves John but it scares me due to my previous encounters with him.

Feb 19, 4:25pm Top

>87 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, this is the first Auster I have read and although I did enjoy it in the end I am not in much of a rush to read more of his work at the moment.

Feb 19, 4:32pm Top

>79 alcottacre:, Hi Stasia, it was a good haul over the two days we were out, some of the charity shops are better than others. Oxfam tends to be the dearer one and when you consider that they are given books as donations they should look at the prices they put on some books. The best one for me is our local Hospice shop, they charge 50p for paperbacks and £1 for Hardbacks and I very rarely come out of there with less than four books.

The rain has been bad but compared to the Calder Valley, Ilkley, York, Wales, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Hereford and Gloucestershire we have been blessed that we have not had any flooding. Sadly more rain is forecast for the weekend with anything up to 100mm expected, the ground is saturated and can take no more and the rivers are still at high levels so more flooding could be expected, poor loves.

Feb 19, 4:32pm Top

>88 johnsimpson: I read his New York Trilogy sometime in the later 1990s and it is a book (because it is a slimish volume and certainly not three books worth of writing) and was largely non-plussed by it. I have a few of his others mainly because the 1001 books seemed to love him, but I don't have any enthusiasm for reading them.

Feb 19, 4:32pm Top

>80 figsfromthistle:, >81 PaulCranswick:, Thanks Anita and Paul.

Feb 19, 4:36pm Top

>91 johnsimpson: I see the England Lions are playing a few first class games in Australia. They sent Sibley and Crawley to open the batting which I think is a strange decision since they have already had two tours this winter with a third to come and on slower pitches too next. Jennings is also there which I don't understand as it is on pitches unlikely to be turners. Bess is another one and I really don't see the point at all other than to show he won't take wickets and shouldn't be touring.

Feb 19, 4:36pm Top

>90 PaulCranswick:, I read the blurb on the back of the book and thought it interesting and it had been on the shelves for about a year, seeing as I was doing some big books I though I would give it a go. Besides it being over 1,000 pages there is a lot of text per page and that adds to the feeling of it being heavy going.

Hope your mum is progressing nice and steady mate, lots of positive energy from you and Hanni and the kids have helped mate.

Feb 19, 4:45pm Top

>93 johnsimpson: Thanks John, I think it is the positive energy from so many sources for her that has helped her get this far.

Edited: Feb 21, 1:31am Top

Wow! You are reading some real chunksters, there, John. As I mentioned on my thread, I think of you often when I am spending time with my little granddaughter, who is soon to be 2 years old. She is really into Peppa Pig . I find myself reading Peppa Pig books to her and trying to sort out all of the characters. I need to study them all at home. :-) They don't allow her to watch TV, but she sure likes the little books, and the figures. I recall your granddaughter was a fan of Peppa Pig. Love and Hugs to you and Karen.

Congratulations on Felix! I hope you are enjoying him - I'm sure you are.

Feb 21, 4:53am Top

Happy Friday, John. Nice book haul. Sending love and hugs to you and Karen. xx

Feb 21, 10:50pm Top

We didn’t have Storm Dennis here, but so far in the month of February we have had 10.5 inches of rain in Tuscaloosa. Today the sun was out, but it is to rain again on Sunday and Monday. Much of the state of Mississippi is flooding, but here in Tuscaloosa we are OK. The river is very high but what flooding we had in town was street flooding and is the result of covering the ground with cement and asphalt. So far the weather here is doing exactly what scientist predicted back in the 1970’s regarding global warming - it is raining more and more. The states of Mississippi and Alabama are going to have to spend some money on water management and they aren’t going to like it. Here in Alabama they have already had to spend lots of money on bigger storm drains and drainage ditches in my neighborhood and some of the main shopping areas. They have also reasoned some areas and of course, the land owners are angry as they now have higher insurance rates.

It is Mardi Gras season here and I am going to bake my King Cake this weekend. I have the necessary sanding sugars and theBaby Jesus, all I need is the time to mix the drought and do the baking.

Feb 22, 5:26am Top

Happy weekend to Karen and you, John.

Feb 23, 8:16pm Top

I heard it is still windy and wet there, John.

Stay dry, drink plenty of tea, stay warm and read a chunkster or two.

Edited: Feb 24, 1:26pm Top

We are having rain again today. We had two days of sunshine and then back to rain. It is causing no problems here in Tuscaloosa, but we are upstream of most of the big rivers in this part of the state, so it is the areas south of us that are really catching it from the huge runoffs.

I got two King Cakes baked last night. I am going to frost them today and I hope that it is not so humid that the sanding sugars melt! I had quite an adventure in baking them. I forgot to put in the butter and only realize it when I saw that I had a cup of butter in the microwave. I had to add it at the end of the mixing process. The cake's seem to not have had any adverse effects. I did put a baby in one of them, but I didn't have two babies so one doesn't have one in it.

Feb 24, 2:31pm Top

>100 benitastrnad: I've been wondering if I can find King Cakes around here. I'm in the mood to celebrate Fat Tuesday with one. Unfortunately I have the evening shift at the library today, and I needed to go vote this morning as well as run by the library and visit the massage therapist so there was no time earlier. In other words, I can't make my own. The Hispanic bakery may come closer to stocking them than the grocery stores, but I'll start with Ingles or Food City bakery in my search.

Feb 26, 4:09pm Top

Finished my fourth book of 2020 today, Lethal White by Robert Galbraith, 771 pages. This is the largest of the four Cormoran Strike books and was very enjoyable, looking forward to the release of the next book in September.

Feb 26, 6:51pm Top

>102 johnsimpson: I have that one on my TBR shelf. Glad you enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading all 771 pages of it ;)

Feb 26, 8:20pm Top

>86 johnsimpson: I do not believe that I have ever heard of that one. Sounds interesting. I will have to see if I can get hold of it.

>102 johnsimpson: One of these days I will get around to that series.

Have a great day, John!

Feb 27, 12:55am Top

Wow! 771 pages! You do love the big books, John. Things are going well in my neck of the woods. I'm sorry to hear about the flooding your area , and glad to hear about Felix. Love and hugs from Dave and me.

Edited: Feb 29, 10:14pm Top

i thought I was reading a big book this month. I have Lost Boy on the bedside table and I thought it was a big’un at 550 pages, but your book beats that number. Since you are reading this mystery/thriller and are likely to read another you might consider joining the March Murder and Mayhem group read. I am not sure where they are, but there is a thread somewhere on it.

Feb 29, 4:28pm Top

For the third weekend in a row we have another named storm, Storm Jorge, this was named by the Spanish Met Office as the winds would affect Northern Spain as well as the UK.

The situation is bad with the villages of Snaith and East Cowick under water, not from the river bursting its banks but the flood plain nearby cannot take anymore water and so they have copped for it. One bungalow is completely full of water as it reached the guttering and the owner said quite sanguinely that it would have to be knocked down and they would have to start again. The flood plain is as long as Lake Windermere and can take no more and with the rain yesterday and today up in the dales and hills, it will be a few days before it gets down to the flood plain and so more water will pour into the villages alongside the plain.

I am fully aware of the Coronavirus and the number of cases in the UK and that yesterday our idiot of a PM has called a COBRA crisis meeting for Monday, Monday for gods sake and yet with 15% of the country under water a COBRA meeting could not be called for that. The PM has hidden away from the media and has not talked about the floods or deigned to visit the flooded areas, what sort of person is he. Sadly we have got to suffer this bumbling idiot and his puppet master for five long years unless the people start to see the truth staring them in the face and rise up and get rid of this excuse for a government.

Meanwhile on the home front we are both well and Felix is now venturing outside to explore the garden and the gardens of our neighbours either side. Felix seems to like going out as long as it is not windy or raining. Karen is out tonight with Amy at the cinema watching Emma, I was not bothered and Andy is working so apart from 100 minutes this morning and 60 minutes when Karen finished work, that is all that I have seen of her today and Felix is missing his mummy.

On the reading front I am off to a good start on The Goldfinch, another large tome, which is my theme for the year and I hope to up my reading rate now that we are about to enter the third month of the year. I will start a new thread at some point tomorrow but in the meanwhile please continue visiting here.

Feb 29, 4:31pm Top

I have forgotten to mention that Hannah had a really lovely ninth birthday yesterday, she enjoyed the presents from us and from Auntie Amy and Uncle Andy and today she had a party with a few friends at the Lush shop in Wakefield. From the pictures that Louise posted it looks like they all had a really good time.

Feb 29, 5:14pm Top

I'm so sorry to hear that you're hit by another storm. Fingers crossed that in the end it won't be so bad.
I enjoyed reading The Goldfinch and I'm glad to read that you like it, too.
Wishing you and Karen a relaxed weekend. xx

Feb 29, 5:19pm Top

Batten down the hatches, John! I hope that you and yours stay out of the way of the storms.

Edited: Feb 29, 10:21pm Top

In contrast to your crummy weather it was nice in Tuscaloosa today. The clouds have finally moved on, but it is to rain again on Monday. We are in the same position as you - the ground is saturated and can’t hold any more water. When it rains next week, there will likely be flooding downstream.

A good friend of mine took off for Rome today. She said she was not worried about the corona virus any more than she would be worried about the flu. She is healthy and will be in Rome for two weeks and is not going to northern Italy, so she is going to take her chances. Even though she took travel insurance on this trip, she could not get her money back if she canceled because Rome was not in the designated danger area.

I sympathize with your desperation about your government. I feel the same way about mine.

I will interested to hear what you have to say about The Goldfinch. I have been trying to get it read for about 3 years and have not managed to finish it. I keep thinking I will give up on it, but every time I go to put into my giveaway box, I stop and put it back, thinking that I will finish it someday. Good luck to you on that one.

Mar 1, 8:58am Top

Ooof, stay safe through the storm, John. I can sympathize with your dangerously-idiotic leader woes, of course. And yay for Hannah's birthday! I can't believe she's *nine* already!!

Mar 1, 11:17am Top

>108 johnsimpson: A belated happy birthday to Hannah. Stay safe.

Mar 1, 3:30pm Top

>109 Ameise1:, Hi Barbara, luckily for us Storm Jorge has not been too bad with winds but not of a scale of Storms Ciara and Dennis.

I really am enjoying The Goldfinch and glad that I plucked it off the shelf. The weekend hasn't been too bad and Karen and Amy enjoyed watching Emma at the cinema last night.

Mar 1, 3:31pm Top

>110 alcottacre:, Hi Stasia, the storm was not as bad as expected for us and hopefully we will have some mostly dry and sunny days through to Thursday.

Mar 1, 3:34pm Top

>111 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita my dear, I hope that what rain is due is fairly light to avoid any flooding issues, Storm Jorge has been quite tame for us but all the rain on Friday and Saturday has still to percolate down from the hills and so we will not know how bad the flooding to the East of us will get.

I am enjoying The Goldfinch and glad that I took it off the shelf.

Mar 1, 3:39pm Top

>112 scaifea:, Hi Amber my dear, the storm was quite tame in our neck of the woods and hopefully dry and sunny weather is forecast for the next few days.

The Home Office Chief Civil Servant resigned yesterday morning and will sue the government for constructive dismissal and was very critical of the Home Secretary Priti Patel and then guess what, Bumbling Boris announces that he is engaged to his girlfriend and that she is pregnant. This was done to try and deflect from the morning resignation announcement.

I also cannot believe that my little angel, Hannah, is already nine years old, where has the time gone. She had a lovely birthday and had a lovely Lush party in Wakefield.

Mar 1, 3:39pm Top

>113 witchyrichy:, Hi Karen my dear, thank you for the birthday greetings for Hannah, Nine already, where has the time gone.

Mar 1, 3:45pm Top

How do I start a new thread with no prompt at the bottom of the page. don't want to confuse things.

Mar 1, 9:26pm Top

>107 johnsimpson: Successive governments have ignored the clear ecological warning signs that there is an urgent need to start to look after what nature has bequeathed us stewardship of, John.

As you know, I am no fan of BJ or his government but the Labour Party and Liberals too if I'm honest need to look at themselves as to how they allowed the agenda for change to be taken away from them.

Regarding Priti Patel, she apparently something of a hothead but I do not have too much sympathy for Civil Servants who don't appear to want to do their jobs. Bullying, really?

I saw something interesting about how many children have been potentially sired by Boris. His moral compass is as off true North as is his concern of the flooded areas of the country outside his immediate line of sight.

Mar 2, 11:38am Top

Sounds like you have been having one severe storm after another, John. Hopefully they will abate soon and those affected can start a clean up.

It is interesting to find out how you feel about the leader of your government. I thought I was in a minority for not trusting him but, from the sounds if it, I might be in the majority.

Are you going to do another year of chunkster reads? You have been reading some hefty ones for 2020!

Mar 2, 11:39am Top

>119 johnsimpson: It's easiest to just get to 151 posts or so and wait for the prompt to come up, John.

Mar 2, 2:37pm Top

>120 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, successive governments have ignored previous flood events and done nothing about land management, they seem to want build flood defences as that is something tangible that can be seen and in their narrow view they believe that the general population will say, oh look, they've built something. As you and I well know, it is a complete package that is needed, they are just reactive rather than being proactive.

Ms Patel seems to have previous on the bullying front with a young lady being paid 25K four years ago, what these government ministers do not realise is that all their promises they make at election time or through the budget or if the government is not in a good light have to be costed and able to be done over a time period. Apparently she has stated that a rise in police officers and police budget must come with results, what does she want, police nicking everybody to achieve targets, there will be more speed vans out trying to raise cash, she is not thinking things through, the police like education is not a business.

As for virile BJ, he has at least six kids and his four with his wife of 25 years who he is in the process of finalising his divorce and they are not happy with "Daddy" apparently with one of his daughters referring him as a Bastard.

All this with civil servants is down to that cretin Cummings, he thinks they are dispensable and he would use his weirdo's to do the job but that has already failed. We all thought Trump was a waste of space but little did we know he has a British twin, Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum.

Mar 2, 2:44pm Top

>121 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg my dear, hopefully the storms are all done with but the flood waters are not disappearing quickly and around Snaith and East Cowick it would appear that it will be another ten days before residents will be able to examine their properties.

We have now had ten years of Conservative government, after nine years of austerity measures we were told that things would now change, Brexit consumed government business for two years with not much mentioned about the state of the country. Now we have an idiot in No 10, a Brexit deal to sort out and he seems to be determined to go down the WTO route rather than talk to the EU and now we have the Coronavirus which could possibly cripple business around the globe. I do not think Boris is up to the job BUT then again we have no decent alternative so to be honest we are up the creek without a paddle.

At the moment I am on a Chunkster route as I have one or to series that I would like to finish and one or two other big ones that I have had quite a while and would like to read.

Mar 2, 2:45pm Top

>122 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg, thanks for this, I think I will wait until I get the prompt my dear.

Mar 2, 4:07pm Top

Happy Monday to you!

Hope you are faring well and that the storms have passed.

Mar 2, 4:18pm Top

>126 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita my dear, happy Monday to you as well, we are both fine and the latest storm didn't affect us luckily but the damage from the previous storms is still being felt up and down the country. Felix is now enjoying exploring the garden and our neighbours gardens.

Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Edited: Mar 2, 4:24pm Top

Latest reading stats:

Books on shelves at 1-2-2020 - 2584
Books added in February - 26
Books read in February - 2

Revised book total - 2608

Pages to read at 1-2-2020 - 1,081,401
Pages added in February - 10,502
Pages read in February - 1,841

Revised total pages to read - 1,090,062

Edited: Mar 2, 4:25pm Top


Books Read...................... 2

No of Authors.................... 2

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

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

Female Authors.................. 0

Pages Read....................... 1,841

Daily Avg........................... 63.48

Book Length avg................. 920.5

Mar 2, 6:48pm Top

Checking in here. Sorry to hear about the flooding. We had a little in our area again this year although it was not nearly so bad as last year. There's a dog kennel whose big outside enclosure where they let dogs play usually ends up underwater if there's a lot. This year they put a small inflatable raft with a toy dog in it just outside the fenced in area. I'm almost certain it is tied to their fence as it seems to "stay put." Those of us who pass it on the way to work talked about it, and others have gone by just to see it.

Mar 2, 7:51pm Top

I admire your ability to read through the huge tomes, John. One of these days I will be able to get back to those chunksters. Right now, I am still having trouble holding 200-300 page books.

Have a wonderful week! Glad to hear that the storms were not as bad as projected.

Mar 3, 3:37pm Top

>130 thornton37814:, Hi Lori my dear, since the 21st of September it has done nothing but rain with only December and January being classed as dry months. The land has got saturated over time and the first flooding was in South Yorkshire at the end of November. After a fairly dry period we had rain and then storms Ciara and Dennis that flooded the Calder Valley and parts of the Dales along with South Wales, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire along with parts of East Yorkshire. The River Ouse in York flooded pubs and other businesses along the riverside. In Snaith and East Cowick in East Yorkshire they were flooded because the flood plain could not cope and it spilled into these two villages. The flood plain is as large as Lake Windermere but not the depth and so farmers will not be able to plant until late summer and some vegetable fields have been destroyed with veg rotting in the field.

Mar 3, 3:40pm Top

>131 alcottacre:, Hi Stasia my dear, I do love a large tome and with a lot being part of series I thought I would get through a few this year.

We are having sunny spells with occasional showers but it is mainly dry but cold with overnight frosts, Felix is enjoying the dry weather and is making the best of it.

Mar 3, 3:56pm Top

John, I just read Fred Trueman's autobiography and I had to smile when he talks about current players and their hugging and screeching when they get a wicket. This should be read with the ECB's comments about fist pumps instead of handshakes given the coronavirus.

Yorkshire XI during my lifetime:

Boycott, Moxon, Vaughan, Root, Close, Hutton, Illingworth, Binks, Old, Gough, Trueman

Mar 3, 4:20pm Top

>134 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, Fred never minced his words, bless him, it was a really good read.

Yorkshire XI during my lifetime:

Boycott, Hampshire, Vaughan, Lehmann, Close, Bevan, Bairstow, Illingworth, Nicholson, Gough, Trueman.

Mar 3, 4:39pm Top

>135 johnsimpson: Yeah John, I went back to the old policy and only considered Yorkies for the team. Not sure which Bairstow you picked but there was not a finer glovesman alive than Jimmy Binks.

Still six players we agreed on which ain't half bad.

Mar 3, 4:44pm Top

>136 PaulCranswick:, Hi Mate, it's David behind the sticks purely on the better batting, Jimmy Binks was a superb gloveman and was unlucky not to play for England more but at that time we had a number of expert glovemen around. I decided to stick our two best overseas lads in as they would be sorely missed if left out.

We have similar thoughts mate on our Yorkies.

Mar 3, 4:52pm Top

>137 johnsimpson: Yes I almost went for Jackie Hampshire too, but had to pick Chris Old instead of Tony Nicholson. Not sure how successful his medium pacers would have been on the modern pitches and Old's batting was useful down the order.

Mar 3, 4:58pm Top

>138 PaulCranswick:, I would use Nicholson at one end and rotate Gough and Trueman, I believe the batting unit would put enough runs on the board for the bowlers and obviously we have Illy and the canny Closey.

Mar 3, 5:04pm Top

>139 johnsimpson: Even with the personalities it wouldn't be hard to captain. Probably have Close as captain, although Illy wouldn't be far behind.

Mar 3, 5:06pm Top

>140 PaulCranswick:, Closey would be my choice and Illy as vice just in case Closey got hit hard enough he had to go off, highly unlikely as he was a hard bugger.

Mar 4, 1:21am Top

>124 johnsimpson: Were leaders always so lackluster, John? I'm currently reading a book about Chamberlain and the appeasement policy. It seems that leaders weren't that good back then either.

Mar 4, 12:37pm Top

Hi, John.

I'm glad you liked Lethal White so much. Me, too. I can't wait for the next Comoran and Robin book.

Have you watched the tv adaptation, C.B. Strike? Pretty darn good. Last I knew they were working on new episodes based on Lethal White.

Mar 4, 3:39pm Top

>142 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg, I do think that most leaders have a lacklustre streak in them and as you are doing if you read about leaders from the past you will find the said streak.

On the positive front I do hope you are enjoying the book dear friend.

Mar 4, 3:41pm Top

>143 jnwelch:, Hi Joe, I really do love the Strike books and am looking forward to the next one although I may wait for it in paperback and in the meantime it would be good to see the adaptation of Lethal White on television. I am wondering if it will come out in time for the book five launch.

Mar 4, 3:50pm Top

We awoke to a sunny morning after two frosty mornings and so while the kettle boiled I sorted out Felix's litter tray while he went racing upstairs to see Karen. We had our pot of tea with Felix for company and then got up, washed and dressed.

Once downstairs I emptied the dishwasher while Karen set a load of washing going and then I got our meds and vitamins out while Karen made us a coffee and got breakfast sorted out.

Once we had breakfast we headed off to the Aldi at Featherstone to get a few bits and pieces before making our way home to unpack and put the shopping away. Felix was outside exploring while we were out and came back in while we were putting the shopping away. Once everything was done we put the washing on the airers and then had a pot of tea.

I did a bit of reading while Karen sorted a few things out and after another pot of tea I went to collect Hannah from school. I picked Hannah up and she wanted to know what Felix was up to, once home we heard some miaowing and I asked Karen if she had been in the garage. Karen said that she had but didn't think Felix had followed her in, I opened the garage and Felix shot out.

Hannah had a drink and some cheese before leaving us to go upstairs to play with Felix tagging along, we had a pot of tea and watched a bit of TV before I picked up my book again while Karen bathed Hannah. After a short while we made Hannah something to eat before she went back to playing. Before long it was time to take Hannah home.

Mar 7, 9:42am Top

Hi John!

I hope you, Karen, and Felix are all well and staying as dry as possible with the wet late winter.

>102 johnsimpson: I’m listening to Lethal White. I read it when it came out in 2018 and am re-listening to the series. What luck, too, because I didn’t realize #5, Troubled Blood, will be out in September. I’ve pre-ordered it, ‘natch. Thanks for the heads up!

>107 johnsimpson: Your PM and the president of some people of the United States are both total idiots, especially regarding COVID-19. Yay for Felix venturing outdoors. I’m in the strange position of wanting to let Zoe, the 16 month old new kitty, out, but don’t feel right about letting Wash, her 5-month old son out, so haven’t started letting Zoe out yet. It involves a closed kitty door and already escorting Inara out when she wants to go out even though the kitty door is set for her to come in by herself. I’ll have it figured out soon…

another large tome, which is my theme for the year Back to chunksters? I read and loved The Goldfinch but it’s not to everyone’s taste. I hope you enjoy it.

Sending love and hugs to you, Karen, and Felix!

Mar 8, 4:17pm Top

>147 karenmarie:, Thanks for stopping by Karen my dear. The last couple of days or so have not been too bad but it started to rain about an hour ago and that is the theme for the next couple of days. Felix has been doing more exploring around the neighbours gardens but if it is wet or windy he doesn't want to go out.

Sending love and hugs to you, Bill and Jenna and the Kitty's.

Mar 8, 4:33pm Top

Yesterday was a lovely day all round. We were up with the alarm and after sorting Felix out we set a load of washing going before getting our meds and vitamins out, sorting breakfast and making a pot of tea. Once breakfast was done I took Karen to work and after dropping her off I popped into store to get my copy of the Yorkshire Post and some cigars.

After getting my paper I made my way to Queen Elizabeth Boys Grammar School to have a wander around the Antique fair. I was looking at the third stall where the lady had a box of cigarette cards, I was looking at the Cricket ones when she offered me the box full for £10, I decided to go for it and paid her and she put it to one side while I looked around the rest of the fair. I must say that I was a little disappointed, not as many stallholders as last October but I did find one stall with some fountain pens and picked up a Platignum pen and pencil set for the princely sum of £3, it was in mint condition but he just wanted to get shut of it.

After paying for the pen set I made my way back to the main hall and picked up my box of cigarette cards and then went back to the car and headed home.

Once home I made a pot of tea and then started to sort through the cigarette cards, I had just finished and gone into the kitchen when I spotted the wedding car outside my neighbours. I picked up my phone and went outside, our neighbours, David and Catherine's daughter was getting married to Jonny.

I was under orders from Karen to take some photos with her being at work and I wanted to see Helen in her dress. The car took the three bridesmaids and Catherine up to the church before coming back for David and Helen. Helen looked really lovely and I took the required photos. Once Helen had set off to church I went back inside to have a pot of tea before filling my new fountain pen with Robert Oster Dark Chocolate from my Brinkvenk ink samples.

The rest of the afternoon was spent reading and drinking tea before it was time to pick Karen up from work. I took Karen a drink of tea in the travel mug and once home we had a pot of tea before we both got ready to go to Helen and Jonny's wedding night do at Bagden Hall. We had a lovely night celebrating their big day and left just after 11pm, sadly I was in a bit of pain and had to sleep in the spare room as Karen was not too good either.

Mar 8, 6:54pm Top

>149 johnsimpson: Sorry about the pain and the rain, though it does sound as if you had numerous distractions.

Mar 10, 5:10pm Top

Sunday was a nice steady, relaxing day for both of us, after a pot of tea in bed and sorting Felix out we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to get our meds and vitamins out and breakfast sorted. After we had our breakfast we popped out to pick up a couple of bits and then made our way home for a nice pot of tea.

After our drink of tea we got Sunday lunch prepared and had that around 3pm, the rest of the day was spent reading and watching a bit of television.

We awoke with the alarm on Monday morning and I went and made us a pot of tea to enjoy in bed and sorted Felix out, by the time I got back upstairs with our tea, Felix had already made himself comfortable, After we finished our tea we got up and came down to make breakfast, We had our breakfast and watched a bit of morning television before it was time to take Karen to work.

I dropped Karen at work and then popped into store to take a blouse back for Karen and pick up some cigars before heading to the Hospice shop to peruse their books. I had a good look at their stock of books and picked up four books for the princely sum of £1. Once I had my books I made my way home and had a pot of tea before taking advantage of the dry sunny weather and move the magnolia and one of the apple trees.

The Magnolia came up quite easily and I took it into the front garden, I dug a hole for it and then planted it. Once I made sure it was in ok I went back into the back garden and lifted the Apple tree out, again it came out quite easily and then prepared a new hole where the Magnolia had been and planted it. I knocked in the stake and sorted the bed out and had just put my tools away when it began to rain. After a lovely morning and early afternoon the dreaded rain that was expected arrived slightly earlier than was forecast.

I cleaned myself up and made a pot of tea and read before having my prepared sandwiches and some of the wedding cake we brought home. I continued reading until the early evening news came on and the I made myself something to eat and drink before reading until it was time to go and pick Karen up from work. I felt pretty good after the gardening work although my patches were due to be changed that night.

Mar 10, 5:18pm Top

Today began wet and miserable but soon brightened up although there were intermittent showers. We got up with the alarm and had breakfast and our meds and vitamins along with sorting Felix out before it was time to take Karen to work. After dropping Karen at work I made my way home and made a pot of tea, put the news on and set about finishing my book.

I had a pot of tea or two and let Felix out whilst trying to finish my book, I finally finished my book just after 11am and then selected my next book before letting Felix back in as it began to rain quite hard. After making another pot of tea I changed Felix's litter and as it is stored in the kitchen lobby I must have twisted slightly awkwardly as it is a bit confined and a short time later I felt a sharp pain from the left side of my neck, through my shoulder blades to the base of my back, it felt as if a sword was being shoved down and twisted.

The afternoon was spent reading after I managed to vacuum and dust the bedrooms, the pain was getting worse and I ended up going upstairs to lie on the bed and read, Felix joined me for awhile. I made another pot of tea and Felix wanted to go out. I read until it was time to make Karen a drink in the travel mug and then go and pick her up from work. Once Karen was home we had a pot of tea before we made something to eat and we watched the news and a couple of programmes before I fired up the laptop to come on here.

Mar 10, 5:46pm Top

Finished my fifth book of the year, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. This has been on my bookshelf for a few years and so this years reading plan got me to look it out and start it. I can fully understand why it was the Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2014. I thoroughly enjoyed this book from the start and pleased that I picked it up off the shelf.

Mar 10, 7:11pm Top

>153 johnsimpson: The Goldfinch seems to be a divisive book here on LT. I have seen both good and bad reviews of it. I am going to have to try it one of these years. Glad to see you enjoyed it, John!

Mar 10, 7:25pm Top

Hello Friend John

I see that you have collected, and read some mighty good books. I tried to read The Goldfinch, but maybe it wasn't the right time. I own a copy, so after I read some of these wonderful library books that made there way into two of my canvas bags.

I send all good wishes to you and Karen.

Mar 11, 7:58am Top

Dropping by to wish you and Karen all the very best.

See the Health Minister has the Coronavirus. I think we can all see the irony in that. That said I do wish her a full recovery.

Mar 11, 2:28pm Top

It seems like Felix is a going concern, John. It's wonderful how these little furry creatures become a part of our lives.

Mar 11, 3:19pm Top

>153 johnsimpson: Loved The Goldfinch. : )

Glad you got some gardening done before the rain came (again). Stay warm and say Hi! to Felix and Karen for me. Hugs.

Mar 11, 5:11pm Top

>154 alcottacre:, Hi Stasia my dear, i gather that The Goldfinch has been divisive since it was published but i must say i was a little apprehensive at first and for the first 50 pages or so i was unsure if i would like it but it grew on me and by the end i loved it.

Mar 11, 5:14pm Top

>155 Whisper1:, Hi Linda my dear, i seem to have a penchant for big books and as i have one or two series to finish that are big books i decided to go with it again. The Goldfinch has been sat looking at me for a long time so this years choice of book challenge meant i could give it a go with out feeling as if i was ignoring the standard book length books i had been reading.

As with you, it has to be the right time to read this book and this was the right time for me and i hope the timing will be right for you my dear friend.

Mar 11, 5:20pm Top

>156 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, it was a bit of a shock to find out that Nadine Dorries had come out and said she had the Coronavirus but this just goes to show that no one is immune. I have just learnt that we have now had eight fatalities to the virus and all had other underlying health issues.

I think that the government are doing the right thing at the moment, it is always hard trying to decide how hard to go at something like this with calls for schools to be shut etc but from what the Chief Medical Officer is saying i think that within another ten days or so we will hit that point and we may end up with a lockdown.

I hope all is well with you mate and we converse with Hanni on Facebook so all bases covered mate, the big worry is that the Cricket season may be affected.

Mar 11, 5:24pm Top

>157 Familyhistorian:, Hi Meg my dear, Felix is a definite part of the family now, it feels as if he has been with us for a lot longer than he has been. I must say that he has calmed down quite a bit now that he can go out and explore but he is so loving and he spends an equal amount of time with both of us and loves to join us on a morning on the bed while we enjoy a pot of tea.

At the moment he is eating us out of house and home and we think he is on a growth spurt, with the size of his back feet and the width of his whiskers he looks as if he is going to be a big cat.

Sending love and hugs to you from both of us dear friend.

Mar 11, 5:29pm Top

>158 Berly:, Hi Kim my dear, it was so nice to be able to get back into the garden after so long, Karen has been pestering me to move them both but the weather has always been against me for so long. It looks like they are both settled in their new positions and the rain is helping to bed them in, i hope that next week i will be able to do a bit more as the forecast from Sunday looks to be pretty good.

The last two days have been sunny with short sharp showers and the next two days may be the same but from the weekend onwards it looks to be getting better. Felix is loving the dry, warmer weather and makes the most of his opportunities to go out and explore.

Mar 11, 5:57pm Top

The day began well with a pot of tea in bed and Felix joined us on the bed, he really enjoys his morning visits and comes to both of us for fussing before laying mainly on Karen. Once we were up and about we had breakfast after setting a load of washing going.

Once the washing was finished i was able to put the bedding on the line for the first time in 2020, the sun was out with a good breeze. We then had a pot of tea before Debbie the nail technician arrived to do Karen's nails and she waxed my back. I made us all a pot of tea and later made us another one before Debbie left. As soon as Debbie had gone we got ready and went to the Aldi at Featherstone to do the weekly shop, Karen picked up everything we needed so that i do not have to go to the Asda on Friday.

Once the shopping was done we made our way home and unpacked the shopping, i left Karen to put it all away as i had to leave to go and pick Hannah up from school. By the time i got back with Hannah, Karen had put all the shopping away, got the washing off the line as the weather looked threatening and done one or two other things. While Hannah had to run to the toilet i popped out to pick a parcel up from a neighbours and then made us both a pot of tea. Hannah took the tablet computer upstairs to chill out while we watched a bit of TV.

We fed Hannah before we went and put fresh bedding on our bed and then Karen bathed Hannah and then we had something to eat before i took Hannah home and then dropped some things off for Henry's Haven table top sale.

Tomorrow we are popping over to Selby to see Amy and Andy, they are both off this week and Karen is off until next Friday.

Mar 11, 6:02pm Top

>153 johnsimpson: Glad you enjoyed it! I liked it as well.

You are certainly tackling the chunksters this year!

Mar 11, 8:13pm Top

Give my best to your fuzzy new overlord, Felix!

Mar 11, 9:36pm Top

So glad Felix is enjoying his new digs and wrapping you around his paw.

Mar 11, 9:52pm Top

I've yet to read The Goldfinch . I confess that door stoppers kind of scare me. My current read is over 500 pages and that seems like plenty to me. Say hi to Felix.

Mar 12, 9:51am Top

Enjoy your days off with Karen!

Mar 14, 5:50pm Top

>165 figsfromthistle:, Hi Anita my dear, i do love a good Chunkster.

Mar 14, 5:50pm Top

>166 quondame:, Hi Susan my dear, Felix says hello.

Mar 14, 5:51pm Top

>167 thornton37814:, Hi Lori my dear, Felix has both of us wrapped around his paw, lol.

Mar 14, 5:52pm Top

>168 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deborah my dear, i do love a good Chunkster but i am a bit behind where i was two years ago.

Mar 14, 5:53pm Top

>169 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle my dear, we are enjoying our days together despite Coronavirus.

Mar 14, 5:59pm Top

We had a nice few hours with Amy and Andy on Thursday, it was nice to catch up with them and spend time with them.

Yesterday we went to York, we wanted to visit the National Railway Museum to see the original Rocket. We had a nice time wandering around the museum and then had a coffee in the Great Hall surrounded by iconic Locomotives. We left the museum and headed back into the centre of the city and had a mooch around. Despite me not having my book notebooks we ended up with three books.

We stopped off at a small cafe for lunch before doing a bit more wandering about despite the light rain that was falling. We picked up a couple of things and something for our tea before heading back to the car.

Mar 14, 6:13pm Top

We are both thinking that the UK should be doing more about the Coronavirus seeing what other countries are doing but there is nothing we can do about it. Despite what our current situation is, we have decided to stay in as much as possible to avoid any contact, this is not what Karen really wanted to do seeing as she is off work until Friday but as she works in retail and she needs to work it is probably for the best.

I popped out very briefly this morning and the Supermarket looked a bit crazy with some shelves bare but the toilet roll and kitchen roll aisle was as bare as an Egyptian Cat. Should the situation get really crazy we have enough supplies to last us a month at least, we are making sure we have all the essentials and plenty of flour so that Karen can bake and all this has been and is being done without having a trolley full as if hoarding. We always have plenty of tin products over the late Autumn and Winter period in case we have a rare heavy snowfall as if this happens it is always a problem getting out of our estate. Usually our supplies are all used up by the end of April/ start of May and then in late September i stock up again as soups etc are usually on offer. What is happening at the moment is stupid and people are not thinking of the elderly or disabled or those on low incomes when they are clearing the shelves and to be honest i wonder what they are going to do with mountains of toilet paper and humungous amounts of pasta.

Along with essential food supplies we have enough reading matter and that is all that matters, so over the next few days we will get some serious amounts of reading done between us.

P.S. We have enough food for Felix as well.

Mar 14, 7:15pm Top

>176 johnsimpson: Hi John. It is a scary situation, isn't it? Here in Holland the government had decided not to close the schools, but there was a lot of opposition in parliament. And today physicians are saying they think this is wrong. So maybe they will finally come round and close schools, who knows.

People here are stocking up as well, toilet paper, why? I still have a freezer full of pumpkins, I will manage.

Dear John, stay safe, sane and healthy. You seem to have the right ideas of what to do!

Mar 14, 8:01pm Top

>176 johnsimpson: The pasta will probably support large populations of weevils or whatever those bugs are that I have to spoon out of ancient pasta. I hope the hoarders are all insectophobes.

Mar 14, 8:31pm Top

Thought of you when we opened the latest Metropolitan Museum of Art catalogue -
the newest set of notecards is titled: BRITISH TEAPOTS and are shaped accordingly!

The ERTE ones are cool too.

Online connection is - store.metmuseum.org.

Mar 15, 9:22am Top

I've never seen anything like the empty shelves in the grocery stores we're seeing at the moment. I came up with a list of things I probably should have gotten when I stocked up last week. I'll try to get them tomorrow on the way home from work. I'm hoping I can just place an online order for curbside pickup; however, I've heard some stores are suspending that option. I really don't think anything on my list will be completely out so I should be okay.

Mar 15, 5:06pm Top

>177 EllaTim:, Hi Ella my dear, i think that closing schools is a tricky one, quite a lot of Health Service staff would find child care problematical and more so if they decide to advise people aged 70 and over to stay indoors for up to four months.

The food shopping problem is absolutely crazy, one or two stores are now going to let elderly shoppers only into store when they open for the first two hours to make sure they can get supplies.

I hope that you and Marc are OK and safe and that Marc is doing well, sending love and hugs to both of you from both of us.

Mar 15, 5:07pm Top

>178 quondame:, Hi Susan my dear, storing certain food stuffs is problematical and it is wrong that some of these may go off etc when others could have made use of them.

Mar 15, 5:09pm Top

>179 m.belljackson:, Hi Marianne my dear, the notecards are really lovely as are the ERTE cards.

Mar 15, 5:11pm Top

>180 thornton37814:, Hi Lori my dear, the way some people are raiding the supermarkets is crazy, i watched a video on Facebook of the crazy queues of people at a Costco somewhere in the UK. It seems that our online deliveries are at capacity and some have got delivery slots booked but in a weeks time.

Mar 15, 5:28pm Top

Day one of staying in and keeping safe and it has been a nice steady day. After a bit of a lie-in we had a pot of tea in bed, Felix joined us as usual. Once up and about we had our meds and vitamins and a pot of coffee before having some Hot-Cross buns. We put the news on to see what the UK and Worldwide position on Coronavirus was, it seems that the number of UK deaths is starting to increase and as they are saying we are about two to three weeks behind Italy on this, we are going to see some sizable rises. Later in the day i saw a report saying that the Italian situation has not reached its peak yet so things could get really serious and Spain is also seeing a large number of deaths so far and has gone into lockdown.

We both read and had pots of tea before deciding to sort lunch out. The rest of the day has been nice and steady for both of us.

Mar 15, 5:54pm Top

Hi John! Crazy indeed, isn't it? I'm glad you and Karen are staying in as much as possible. Our book sale is cancelled, our board meetings are cancelled, our book sorting is cancelled. Since that's the bulk of my social life, I'm going to be able to stay in. Bill's still going to work but works for a very small company, so we'll see.

Sending love and hugs to you, Karen, and Felix.

Mar 16, 4:18pm Top

>186 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, thanks for stopping by. Things are crazy with stockpiling going on at apace, we popped to the Asda this morning as we needed some milk and a couple of other bits. None of what we got could be classed as stockpiling, more to ensure that if we have to self-isolate because of having the virus we are okay. Once this was done we headed to the Aldi at Featherstone to try and get items we couldn't get at Asda.

All in all we are now stocked up and can stay at home although we may go for a walk tomorrow but this will be in an area where there may be a few people but we will all keep at a distance. I hope you can manage with all this reading time like us and Bill is okay at work.

Sending love and hugs to you, Bill, Jenna and your furry friends dear friend.

Mar 16, 4:35pm Top

We awoke with the alarm this morning and i went to make us a pot of tea, while the kettle boiled i cleaned Felix's litter tray and put it in the bin. While the tea mashed i stood at the back door and had a cigar, Felix had gone to see Karen. I took our tea upstairs and Felix settled down on Karen after he let me give him a stroke.

Once we finished our tea we got washed and dressed and came downstairs to sort breakfast out and our meds and to feed Felix. After we had finished our breakfast we set off to the Asda to get some milk and a few essentials, i dropped Karen off and then made my way to the doctors to drop our repeat prescriptions off. Once back at Asda i went into store to find Karen, i was amazed at how many shelves were empty, i think the news we have been given over the weekend has made people think a bit more and so items like tinned soup, beans, rice pudding etc are now being bought and some of these shelves were getting cleared.

Once we were done at Asda we headed to the Aldi at Featherstone to try and get items not available at Asda, karen went into the store and got what she could and then after putting them in the car she popped into the Home Bargains store to get some things we normally get there. When all this was done we made our way home and unpacked the shopping and put it all away. Should either of us get the virus we will be able to manage the two week isolation period.

Once all this was done we had a pot of tea and decided that our proposed trip out to Doncaster tomorrow should be cancelled, we will go for a walk nearby where we will be lucky to see many people and if we do we will be a distance away from them. After another pot of tea we had something to eat and just at that moment Gary the window cleaner arrived, Karen asked him if he would like a coffee and he said yes, when she gave him the coffee she paid him. We watched some afternoon TV but the programmes had changed as we are now having a daily Coronavirus update from 4.30pm to 6pm with the Prime Minister and his health advisors.

After today's Coronavirus update we have been advised to do what we have already decided to do, hopefully Karen will be okay at work when she goes back on Friday. After this the main evening news came on and Karen warmed up our plated meal from yesterdays Sunday lunch and we had that and then watched our local news programme.

We have both got some reading done and will get more done over the next few days.

I do hope all my LT friends are coping well with all the various restrictions in countries around the globe and i do hope we all avoid getting caught by the virus.

Mar 16, 8:32pm Top

I had the brilliant (or not so brilliant) idea to order a few things online for curbside pickup at the grocery store. I got there at the time they were supposed to be ready. I was 3rd in line. When the lady came, she asked if I'd gotten a text yet. I told her I hadn't. She said she'd go check but that they were running behind because they'd been slammed with orders. (I'd already sat about 20 minutes in the parking lot waiting for my slot.) She came back out and told me my order would be ready in 30 minutes. At that point, it was already 15 minutes past the time the order was supposed to be ready. After no message had come and it had been 45 minutes since I'd been told it would be 30 minutes, I got back in line. Finally 15 minutes later, my order came out. Honestly it would have been much easier to fight the crowds myself. They were out of yeast. Since I had ice in my order, I didn't go to another store. I'll check another store on the way to work. I was just going to get one 3 pack. I guess everyone else wanted yeast on hand in case they needed to make their own bread too. Definitely strange times.

Mar 17, 5:12pm Top

Finished my sixth book of 2020 late last night, The Girl on the Cliff by Lucinda Riley. This book was very good with a very good story behind it.

Troubled by recent loss, Grania Ryan has returned to Ireland and the arms of her loving family. And it is here, on a cliff edge, that she first meets a young girl, Aurora, who will profoundly change her life.

Mysteriously drawn to Aurora, Grania discovers that the histories of their families are strangely and deeply entwined....

From a bittersweet romance in wartime London to a troubled relationship in contemporary New York, from devotion to a foundling child to forgotten memories of a lost brother, the Ryans and the Lisles, past and present, have been entangled for a century. Ultimately, it will be Aurora whose intuition and remarkable spirit help break the spell and unlock the chains of the past.

This is a book i would recommend reading, well worth the time.

Mar 17, 5:43pm Top

It has been a nice steady day for both of us in light of our personal self isolation. After a pot of tea in bed we got up, washed and dressed before coming downstairs for some breakfast. We watched the news and then the Victoria Derbyshire programme to see what was happening with the Coronavirus.

We popped out after preparing the meat and vegetables for the stew to made in the slow cooker, Karen wanted to get some semi-skimmed milk and some frozen peas. I stayed in the car while Karen popped in, sadly she couldn't get any but picked up a couple of other items.

Once home we had a pot of tea or two and watched the lunchtime news before Karen decided to go to the cinema to see Military Wives before the cinema's close tomorrow, i was not really bothered about this. We had some lunch and a pot of tea before i took Karen to Cineworld. After dropping Karen off i went to source the semi-skimmed milk and frozen peas which i managed.

Once home i made a pot of tea and checked my phone, Karen had done a video on her phone as at that point she was the only person in the screening, just before the film started four more people came in. I watched the daily briefing from the Prime Minister and his Chancellor and Scientific adviser. The Chancellor announced £330 billion of measures with more to follow and the adviser said they wanted to keep deaths under 20,000, oh my god.

This is going to get a lot worse and schools haven't been closed down yet but this will happen within the next two weeks i think. We are all being advised to stay indoors as much as possible now.

Mar 17, 8:45pm Top

>191 johnsimpson: The cinemas are closing here in the States too. Stores operate with reduced hours. The forecast for this pandemic worsens daily.

Mar 19, 3:56pm Top

>192 thornton37814: Hi Lori my dear, on Tuesday Asda announced new opening hours. Instead of being open from 7am on Monday until 10pm on Saturday and 10am until 4pm on Sunday, they were going to be open from 6am until 10pm each except Sunday. Rob was going to go on Wednesday morning at 6am but we said we would get the few bits he needed, we got up at 7am and were at the store by 7.30am and it was busy and some shelves were empty by then. We spoke to some of the colleagues and they said that people were throwing meat around and were very ignorant and abusive to staff.

We got everything that they needed and went home to have a pot of tea and then breakfast but it is getting ridiculous now, human nature gone mad.

Mar 19, 4:05pm Top

Yesterday we were up at 7am so that we could go to the Asda to get a few bits that Rob and Louise wanted, Rob was going to get to the store for it opening at 6am but we said we would get it so that he could have a bit longer in bed before going to work. The store was busy and even at 7.30am some shelves were stripped bare, we talked to colleagues and they said it was carnage at the 6am opening with people throwing meat around and generally being abusive to staff.

We got the bit they required and made our way home for a pot of tea and then breakfast. We had breakfast and watched the news to see what the latest situation was before setting off to the bakery where Louise works to pick up some bread and some meat and pastries. Karen also picked up some bread and pastries for us, after Karen had got the supplies we went and dropped everything off with Louise. Louise has had a bug and thought she was clear but it came back last week and she was worried that it might be Covid-19, after some problems with the doctor's she was told to stay in and isolate just in case and to be honest she looked shocking and they have kept Hannah off school as a precaution.

We knocked on the door and stepped back and they stepped back while i put the bags of shopping in the doorway, after a quick chat we set off for home. Once home we had a pot of tea and then later had lunch before watching the latest update from the PM. It was announced that from school closing time on Friday, Schools will remain closed possibly until September although they will be open to take in children of people who work in the essential services but they haven't listed who the essential services are.

Mar 19, 4:29pm Top

Today we haven't left the house as we have intended. We awoke with the alarm at 8am and i went and made us a pot of tea to enjoy in bed, Felix shot off upstairs as soon as i came downstairs. Once i was back upstairs we our tea and back in bed, Felix wanted to sleep on my legs for a change.

After we had finished our tea we got up, washed and dressed and came back downstairs and set a load of washing going before we got our meds and vitamins out and i made us a coffee. We had breakfast and watched the morning news programme to see the latest on the Covid -19 situation in the UK.

After a pot of tea Karen went to wash her hair while i did my book notes and stats and then picked up my book for a while. Once Karen was back downstairs i put the washing on the line outside and brought the new bottle of washing liquid from the garage before taking the vacuum upstairs so that i could do the upstairs housework while Karen made a Carrot cake using the pre-prepared mix out of the cupboard.

Once the housework was done i came back downstairs and made us a pot of tea, we watched the lunchtime news before turning the TV off and we both picked our books up and read. Later we put the TV back on for Escape to the Country but we had seen the episode before so continued reading and then watched Ready, Steady, Cook before today's Covid- 19, PM update. It would seem that things are being ramped up and more financial help looks as though it is going to be provided for people who are on zero hours contracts and a lot have been released by firms. If nothing major is done there could be a sharp rise in unemployment as small firms go out of business, not everyone can work from home. Karen is quite worried now about going back to work tomorrow as we are sure people are not buying clothes at this time and she will be re-deployed elsewhere in the store. I would say that the spring and summer fashions will not appear in store as they are the last things on people's minds at this time.

Tomorrow, apart from taking and picking Karen up from work, i will not go out and so i should get more reading done, at least with staying in i may up my reading a bit even though i am on the Chunksters.

Mar 20, 1:16pm Top

Hi John,
Here is a little music to uplift:


It's terrific. I don't know if you know this song or would recognize many of the famous Broadway contributors but it's still lovely. Enjoy.

Edited: Mar 20, 2:18pm Top

>195 johnsimpson: Hi John. Here we hear about people misbehaving in stores as well. It depends a bit on which store you visit, the quieter ones are doing alright, but the big price fighters not so much.

I've read advice for standing in line at the checkouts: keep your grocery cart behind you, for automatic distance to the customer behind you. You can then easily keep the required distance to the customer in front.

I think stores should organise this kind of thing as well. Like, For example, hanging a list outside of articles they are out of. I hope Karen's store will start thinking about those kind of measures as well. Lots of people will be thankful, and it's better for their own people as well!

Mar 20, 4:13pm Top

>197 EllaTim: If stores posted what they were out of, you might not go in and buy what you could get. Yes, they should post what they don't have, but they might have reasons not to.

Mar 22, 5:06pm Top

>196 jessibud2:, Hi Shelley my dear, the song is exactly what is needed in this present situation but for some they don't seem to want to share the love. On Friday a checkout lady was assaulted for refusing to serve a customer the five packs of nappies when the store policy was only three of the same item, his wife stood next to him never said a word. He was told to leave his shopping and banned from the store, they followed him out and got his car licence plate number and informed the police. I have read today that at some Asda stores in Scotland, staff have had items of food thrown at them, it is getting ridiculous at the moment.

Mar 22, 5:12pm Top

>197 EllaTim:, Hi Ella my dear, it would seem that abuse of supermarket is rife, on Friday a checkout operator was assaulted for refusing to put through five packs of nappies when the store policy was only three of each product. The chap's wife was stood at the side of him and never said a word, one wonders if he hits her. He was told to leave his shopping and leave the store, was told they were banned and as he wouldn't answer his name they followed him to his car at a distance and took his licence plate number and informed the police.

Today i have read of Asda staff in Scotland being abused with food thrown at them, it is getting ridiculous, there is plenty of food but they can't get it on the shelves quick enough. Apparently £1 billion of food has being bought in the last three weeks, so a lot of homes have massive stockpiles.

Mar 22, 5:13pm Top

>198 quondame:, Hi Susan my dear, the staff are too busy trying to re-stock shelves to put out lists and to be honest. some of the people going to the stores would ignore it thinking that they were lying about what was on the shelves. The level of abuse is getting out of hand.

Mar 22, 5:31pm Top

On Friday i dropped Karen at work and then popped into store to get some cigars and i checked to see if they had some McVitie's Waffles, the Waffles had just been re-stocked so i picked up three packets. These were for a lady with an autistic boy who only eats Waffles and she was struggling to get some and had posted on a Facebook Covid-19 help group and Karen has answered.

Once home i had a few pots of tea and read for a while before doing the downstairs housework and then had something to eat before watching the daily update from the PM. When i picked Karen up she was tired as expected as it was her first shift for ten days. Karen told me that a checkout operator had been assaulted for refusing to let a chap buy five packs of nappies when the store was informing customers every ten minutes that they could only get three of each item. The chap's wife was stood at his side and never said a word, one wonders if he hits her, he was told to leave his shopping and leave the store, they have been banned and they followed him discreetly to get his car licence plate number and then they informed the police.

On Saturday morning we were up with the alarm and soon washed and dressed and downstairs to have our meds and vitamins, make a pot of tea and have breakfast. I took Karen to work and then popped into store to get the few bits we needed, some vegetables, milk etc. Once this was done i picked up my paper and some cigars and then went to the Aldi to get some frozen fruit for Karen and some pizza's. Once my little bit of shopping was done i went to deliver the Waffles that i got on Friday for the autistic boy. I dropped them off at a friends and she went to get the money to pay me, they came to £4.50 but after staff discount it was £4.05 which i made £4, she gave me a £5 note and as i went to my pocket for the £1 change i was told not to, i told her i could not do this and said she had to take the change, i was not in it for money and glad that we could help out, i also said that if she was struggling to get any to just let us know as i am at the Asda eight times a week dropping and picking Karen up. My good deed for the day done, i made my way home and put our little bit of shopping away and had a pot of tea and read.

I spent the rest of the day drinking tea and reading, either my book or my paper and watched the virus update before going to pick Karen up. When Karen got in the car she was shattered, she started on her department and then was deployed on other sections helping to stock up etc. When we got home, Amy and Andy had arrived with Karen's Mother's Day card and little present.

We all had a drink and a chat before we put some pizza's in the oven and we had these before having cake and ice-cream. We chatted for another hour or two before they both left for home and we listened to the Craig Charles show on Radio Two before retiring to bed.

Mar 22, 5:45pm Top

Today we had a lie-in, having not got to sleep until midnight. We awoke with the alarm and i went to make us a pot of tea to enjoy in bed, Felix shot off upstairs as usual. After we finished our tea the phone rang and Karen answered, it was Rob checking we were going to be in as they were popping over with a Mother's Day card and a gift.

We got up, washed and dressed before coming downstairs to set a load of washing going and then sorting Felix out before i got our meds and vitamins out and Karen made us a coffee and got the Hot Cross Buns ready on the grill to have when we had finished our coffee. By the time we had our breakfast the washer had finished and i was just putting the washing on the line when Rob, Louise and Hannah arrived. We kept a bit of distance between us as we had done with Amy and Andy the night before, we then had a drink and chatted and Karen opened her card and present. They stayed for about 90 minutes before making their way home and we prepared the vegetables and set them off to cook and put the Pork Chops in the oven.

We had a pot of tea while lunch was cooking and i put the news channel on to see what the latest news was of the virus, it seems that with most shops closed and the pubs, restaurants etc closed, people decided to go to the beach or into the countryside yesterday when they should have been self distancing. We had our lunch and then i watched some classic football matches before today's PM update.

Boris made it clear that the population needed to take things more seriously and the over seventies and vulnerable people who have had cancer or transplants etc would have to stay indoors for at least 12 weeks. Things are getting really serious now and as the afternoon wore on, more and more stores put out emails of notices on social media that they were closing either at close of business today or tomorrow. Before long only food shops and the Post Office will be open for business on the high street although most have an online presence.

Karen is getting fearful for the rest of her shifts this week as opening hours at all supermarkets are now going to be 8am to 8pm to allow enough time to try and stock the shelves up. No doubts there will be queues at 8am in the morning and hopefully folks will be more polite to supermarket staff than they have been.

Mar 22, 6:33pm Top

Hi John. What a nice thing to drop off the waffles for that lady. : )

I haven't heard of any scuffles over limits on food supplies here. What a shame. I hope Karen stays safe and well.

Enjoy your tea and books my friend!!

Mar 22, 9:00pm Top

Hi John!

Twelve weeks? The longest I've heard for anybody here in the US is through about the first week of April.

Stay safe, and sending love and hugs to you both.

Mar 23, 4:57am Top

Thanks for the Yorkshire Love, John . It is always much appreciated. As far as shopping goes, I've not heard of any brawls at all. Yesterday after scouring about 6 stores, I finally found some loo paper online and ordered some for Friday. I had not done any " panic buying" and we are running low in the loo paper department. One milk jug per customer at one of our local store, and my husband was lucky to find a dozen eggs. But we are going okay.

Here, quite few of the stores are opening up at 7 am to 8am for seniors and immune comprised to shop without the the hoi polloi like Dave and I. Actually Dave is nearing being a senior as he is 63, but he says he is not getting up for those hours. :-) Other than for work.

Mar 24, 4:35pm Top

>204 Berly:, Hi Kim my dear, i was just doing my bit to help out really and with Hannah having autism, it stuck a chord for us. I think the fighting has eased off now but it just shows how low some will go. I have company for the next two weeks as Karen is on furlough from work as she has a minor auto-immune deficiency, has an annual flu jab and has arthritis.

Sending love and hugs to you all dear friend.

Mar 24, 4:44pm Top

>205 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, things have really tightened up over here with Boris on TV last night for just five minutes to tell us we were on lockdown. You can only go out to do food shopping and that has to be limited, all other shops are closed, you can go out once for a walk, you can go to the doctors or pharmacy and to go to work. Everyone over 70 and another 1.5 million most vulnerable have to stay indoors for 12 weeks. The police have been given measures to make sure the lockdown is adhered to.

I have company for the next two weeks as Karen has been put on furlough by work as she has a mild auto-immune deficiency, has the yearly flu jab and has arthritis, they told her they have to make sure staff are looked after, she is on full pay luckily.

Stay safe, Karen, Bill and Jenna, sending love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.

Mar 24, 4:51pm Top

>206 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deborah my dear, i think the brawls have eased off in the supermarket but now we have had to let NHS staff know to take their badges off when they finish work as some have been mugged for their ID to get preferential treatment in the supermarkets.

We are on lockdown now as of last night, we can only go out to shop,(sparingly), to take a walk, to go to the doctors or pharmacy and to go to work. I have company for the next two weeks as Karen has been put on furlough by work as she has a minor auto-immune deficiency, has a yearly flu jab and has arthritis, luckily she is on full pay.

Hope you both stay safe Deborah and we send love and hugs to you all from both of us dear friend.

Mar 24, 5:02pm Top

>209 johnsimpson: I hope you and Karen stay well and have many books and shows to enjoy.

Mar 24, 5:19pm Top

Yesterday we got up with the alarm and were soon washed and dressed and downstairs to get our meds and vitamins out, make a pot of tea and get breakfast ready and sort Felix out. I just had my meds and vitamins and my pot of tea as i had to go and collect Hannah and take Louise to work. Once back home with Hannah i had my breakfast and while she played and Karen did the little bit of ironing, i went to collect my patches and Duloxetine from the pharmacy.

Once back from the pharmacy i made us a pot of tea and found that Felix had been a bit naughty, Hannah got some milk and put it at the side of her while she did some colouring and Felix jumped up onto the table and stuck his head in her milk and started to drink.

We all got in the car to take Karen to work and then after dropping Karen off we went back to Hannah's house until it was time to pick Louise up from work. We picked Louise up from work and i took them home before making my way home. Once home i made a pot of tea before i made myself something to eat and then i read until the early evening news came on.

I spent the rest of the time reading until it was time to go and pick Karen up from work, once back home with Karen we sorted the flowers she had brought home from work before watching Boris Johnson's address to the nation at 8.30pm. His short five minute address completely changed everything with the country put on lockdown, we can now only go out to do some shopping, to go for a walk, to go to the doctors or pharmacy and to go to work if you are one of the key workers.

Mar 24, 5:28pm Top

Once again we were up with the alarm and washed and dressed and quickly downstairs to get everything ready and sort Felix out. Once we were done it was time to take Karen to work, i dropped her off and then went into store to get some cigars.

Once home i made myself a drink and put the TV on to catch up with what had gone on overnight. I had another drink of tea before i got a message off Karen to say some tinned meat had come in, she had got three tins for us and told me to come and get three for Rob. I finished my tea and went and got the tinned meat, some milk and three Easter Eggs for Rob, Louise and Hannah.

Once back home i had another drink of tea and watched the lunchtime news before having some lunch and then i got on with the upstairs housework. Once the housework was done i made a pot of tea and did the bank statements before making a drink for Karen and going to pick her up from work.

Once Karen got in the car she told me she had been put on two weeks furlough as she has a minor auto-immune deficiency, has an annual flu jab and has arthritis, she is off on full pay luckily. We watched the news and saw that we had had a big jump in Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours as well as a big jump in positive Covid-19 tests. Things are getting very serious now and we must take note of what the government wants us to do.

Mar 24, 9:11pm Top

Hi John. Our government is taking things more seriously as well. Not a complete lockdown, but it is getting nearer to it. I think it's a relief, as things are scary.

Is Karen glad to be able to stay away from her busy work?

Wishing you a healthy and careful week!

Mar 25, 4:26pm Top

>213 EllaTim:, Hi Ella my dear, thanks for stopping by, i think it is getting more and more serious by the hour sadly. Karen is getting used to being at home again but on the other hand she feels she is letting the team down even though it is them that have put her on furlough.

I hope that you and Marc are OK and wish you a very healthy week ahead and send Yorkshire love and hugs dear friend.

Mar 25, 4:40pm Top

Day two of Karen's furlough and we began it with a pot of tea in bed as we awoke well before the alarm was due to go off. As usual Felix shot off upstairs to see 'Mummy' while i made the tea but as soon as i was esconced back in bed it was me he decided to go to sleep on. Once we had finished our tea we got up, washed and dressed and then stripped the bedding off to be washed.

Once downstairs i sorted Felix out and then got our meds and vitamins out while Karen put the bedding in the washer and set it off. I made us a coffee and Karen got the cereal out for us and we had breakfast watching the news.

After breakfast we set off to the Aldi at Featherstone to get our usual shopping, Karen was lucky as she got into the store before they closed the doors as the requisite number of shoppers were inside. Sadly the queue that built up outside failed to to the social distancing which annoyed me as i sat in the car reading. After a short time Karen put the shopping in the car and then quickly popped next door to the Home Bargains store. Once she was done we made our way home and as Karen unpacked and put the shopping away, i put the washing on the line outside.

When we were both done with our tasks we had a pot of tea before i took Karen to her nail technician, Debbie's home to have her nails done for the last time until this is all over. At least Debbie has earned a little bit of money while she gets things sorted out with what the government are doing for the self-employed. I left Karen and made my way home and made a pot of tea and read with the news on in the background.

I picked Karen up a couple of hours later and we headed to Rob's to drop off the Easter Eggs and some yoghurts for Hannah, Karen social distanced while handing the bag over and then we made our way home and another pot of tea while watching the Update special with the PM's address at 5pm.

The weather has been gorgeous over the last few days with the sun shining but by the weekend it has to turn cooler with possible wintry showers next week. I am hoping to get some gardening done over the next few days, mow the lawn and do some weeding at least.

Mar 25, 4:51pm Top

It is high time I checked in on you again, John! I do hope Karen is enjoying her furlough.

Glad to hear that the weather has been gorgeous. Hopefully it will stay that way for at least a little while.

>190 johnsimpson: Adding that one to the BlackHole. Thanks for the recommendation!

Mar 25, 5:12pm Top

>216 alcottacre:, I think you will enjoy The Girl on the Cliff my dear.

Mar 25, 5:43pm Top

My book numbers are down but my tea consumption is rising i think, just need to up the reading now.

Mar 25, 5:48pm Top

Well, paid furlough sounds pretty good in this situation. Glad Karen will be safer and so will you! Happy gardening and reading, John. Hugs.

Mar 25, 5:50pm Top

>219 Berly:, Thanks Kim my dear.

Mar 26, 7:50am Top

Hi John!

>215 johnsimpson: I made us a coffee Really? Coffee? I think this is the first time I’ve seen the Non-Tea-Word on your thread.

I hope you and Karen stay safe. Sending love and hugs to you both. And Felix, too, of course!

Mar 26, 10:37am Top

>215 johnsimpson: Well spotted by Karen, John. Who would have thought after all this time that the coffee would get brought out - there really is a world crisis!

>218 johnsimpson: Is that really possible, John!

Take care mate and make sure that Karen and the rest of your family staff as safe as possible.

Mar 29, 11:09am Top

Been seeing you on Twitter! Too many online meetings made me too tired to do much else online. I try to keep up with Twitter as a lot of our members and friends follow us there for news and resources.

Hope you and your family are well.

Mar 29, 2:10pm Top

>221 karenmarie:, Hi Karen my dear, well spotted, the non-tea word is allowed on this thread. The first drink of the day is always a pot of tea but apart from Tuesdays and Saturdays i have been having a coffee with Karen before we have breakfast. I tend to have a coffee when we are out and about and since we were in Madeira i have been having coffee with out sugar, sadly tea in Madeira is a bit hit and miss so it was easier to have coffee.

We are both fine and are part of the COVID-19 Network for Walton, we are both along with a young lady we know well, our estate co-ordinators as well as local are volunteers. If anybody who is self-isolating needs shopping, prescriptions, mail to be posted or just want a chat or anything else that they cannot do for themselves, we are here to respond or to put on the WhatsApp group for other volunteers to come to their aid. It is nice to be able to help fellow villagers in this time of crisis.

I do hope all is well with you, Bill and Jenna and that you are all keeping safe and sound, sending special Yorkshire love and hugs to you all dear friend.

Mar 29, 2:19pm Top

>222 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, i have been outed as a coffee drinker, hahaha, the first drink of the day is always tea and apart from Tuesday and Saturday, i have a coffee as drink number two before we have breakfast.

As for the second point, even with the pot of coffee, the tea drinking seems to be on the rise due to the virus crisis as i cannot go wandering off when Karen is at work, not really sure the book reading will take off seeing as i am attacking the Chunksters again and while Karen is at home she is wanting to get some household jobs done and i have to help (SWMBO) or else, lol.

Hope you and Belle are fine considering all the restrictions being put in place in each country, we are both well and are now part of the COVID-19, Network for Walton group of volunteers. We are both our estates co-ordinators for any residents requiring help due to self-isolation.

Sending love and hugs to you and Belle and obviously Kyra wherever she is and Hanni and Kyran here in the UK.

Mar 29, 2:20pm Top

>224 johnsimpson: That sounds like a good plan. I called a single person about my age who goes to our church yesterday just to make sure she was okay. I know she doesn't drive so I wanted to make certain she had what she needed.

Mar 29, 2:23pm Top

>223 witchyrichy:, Hi Karen my dear, i have seen that you are busy on Twitter and can understand not going online when you are busy online during the daytime with work matters. I hope you and your husband are well during the Coronavirus crisis, we are both well and making ourselves useful being part of the COVID-19 Network for Walton group, we are co-ordinators for our estate so anyone who is self-isolating can contact us for help or if we are not available we can put estate volunteers in touch with them and they will deal with what is required.

Sending love and hugs to you and your husband from both of us dear friend.

Mar 29, 2:35pm Top

>226 thornton37814:, Hi Lori my dear, since the Working for Walton group was set up a few years ago, our village has got its spirit back and we are one big community. We have many events throughout the year and it has brought villagers together especially since the council closed the library and a volunteer group took over its running. It reminds us how the village was when we first moved here nearly 36 years ago but sadly just after the Millennium things folded but now with Working for Walton things are great in the village.

We dealt with our first call on Friday, we were in Wakefield getting some shopping while i did some banking and i saw a message on the WhatsApp group that a prescription needed picking up from the hospital, as we were the nearest i replied to the message and so we did it. It was a bit convoluted as the lady got confused about the prescription for her husband but after we had got home without anything we found out that she had the prescription note and so i went on my own to pick up the details and go and get the prescription from the hospital, the lady thought she had messed us about and had left a £10 note for me to cover fuel costs but i refused to take it and said if she wanted to do something with it, to donate it to the WFW group or to the local hospice. As volunteers we are not allowed to take any money, if we do anything that requires payment, we have to pay and fill in a receipt invoice for the resident, then take a photo of it and submit it to the WFW group, the resident pays following the instructions to WFW and then WFW pays us by transfer to our bank account so that money is not touched and also we are bot given bank cards and pin numbers by residents to avoid any fraud.

I do hope you and the furboys are well despite the current Coronavirus crisis and send love and hugs to you from both of us dear friend.

Edited: Mar 29, 4:32pm Top

On Thursday and Friday we sorted the back and front garden out by doing some weeding, i did the border while Karen did the pots. Once this was done we washed and cleaned out a few pots and moved an outdoor Fuchsia and then i mowed the lawn for the first time this year. The front garden needed more work doing to it but it is now ready for a little bit of planting. We were both stiff and sore and yet we had both been sensible and not bending down too much but still ached.

We wanted to get it done as the weather was to change on Saturday and by Saturday morning we were glad we had done it.

The weekend has been nice and steady, the only thing we did on Saturday was sort through some boxes of books and a large crate of Sci-fi DVD's from our nest door neighbour who was going to get rid of them at a Car boot sale but Coronavirus has put paid to that and Ctherine has told him everything in the garage needs to go. we picked out a few books for us and some cookery books for Amy and a selection of Stargate SG 1 and Farscape DVD's for Andy.

Today we have cleaned all the windows and the light fittings and Karen wiped down the wardrobes while i did the windows downstairs.

We have had a welcome visitor, the Hedgehog(s) are back and i have been putting food down for the last four nights and i noticed that the Blackbirds are nesting in the Conifer hedge again, the ones at the top of the garden are a returning couple i think as the male had a deformed left leg and he was back again although i don't think they are happy that we have a cat again. Felix has been climbing up to the top of the kitchen cupboards again, i will post a photo.

Edited: Mar 29, 6:14pm Top

>228 johnsimpson: The WFW sounds like something each of our communities would benefit from these days. >229 johnsimpson: Felix looks very entertaining.

Mar 30, 8:17am Top

>224 johnsimpson: That's so nice that you are able to help in your community like that!

Mar 30, 4:07pm Top

>230 quondame:, Hi Susan my dear, something like WFW is definitely the way to go for communities, life in the village has improved vastly since it was formed.

Felix is very entertaining, he loves to explore everything and climbs easily as can be seen, he is lovable and is equally at home on either of our laps.

Hope you have a good week my dear despite various lockdowns.

Mar 30, 4:08pm Top

>231 ChelleBearss:, Hi Chelle my dear, across the 22 sections that the village has been split into, there are just under 200 volunteers ready to help residents who need help.

Mar 30, 4:23pm Top

Although it has been dry today, there has been a bitter chill to things and it is to be the same for the next couple of days with things to improve towards the weekend.

We began the day with a pot of tea in bed before getting up, washed and dressed before coming downstairs to sort Felix out and then get our meds and vitamins out, breakfast sorted and another pot of tea. As soon as we finished breakfast Karen checked her messages and the leaflets we needed had been printed and delivered to our front door step by one of the estate volunteers.

We split the leaflets in two and set off out to deliver one to each household, we split up to do the outer circuit of the estate and then we did the two inner sections between us. Just as was near to finishing a lady who was taking a walk asked how to join the group, i took her details and said we would get the information for her as she would need a volunteer badge and some sheets to keep a track of any help she gives to residents.

As soon as i got back we had a pot of tea to try and warm up a bit before we got on with giving the kitchen a thorough clean. I popped out to get some milk and cigars and by the time i got back, Karen had made a start. I did all the high spots and the window and after a couple of hours it was cleaned to within an inch of its life.

We had a coffee and watched Escape to the Country before watching the latest update from the government and latest figures of confirmed cases and deaths. After a while Karen went to put the Fish Cakes in the oven and then warmed up the vegetables and potatoes leftover from yesterday so that we could have a nice tea.

It has been a busy day and now we are relaxing, tomorrow will be similar to today and then all the big jobs have been done. Karen got a message from her workplace and union and there is a possibility that Karen may have to stay home for 12 weeks due ti her auto-immune issue but she won't know until next week when her store rings her.

Mar 30, 9:13pm Top

Good idea, John, this community project. And good for you, you and Karen both helping. It's nice when so many people are volunteering.

Mar 30, 9:41pm Top

>229 johnsimpson: Felix is adorable. It's funny how cats manage to get to the most awkward spots. Have a great start to your week.

Mar 31, 2:15am Top

Hmm, so there is a non tea beverage in your home, is there, John! I won't say another word. It is lovely that you and Karen are volunteering to help out in your area. I'd love to have your as neighbours. I love my Christmas Morning Stash Tea and all of a sudden it's become a " seasonal tea." So I ordered 500 tea bags online. I hope that will keep me until fall.

Mar 31, 12:23pm Top

I am trying to get caught up here on LT.

I have been trying to read Goldfinch for years and keep getting bogged down in it. I feel guilty that I can't seem to like it, so I put it away. I have about 350 pages of it read, but I just don't like the main character. I am fortunate that there are plenty of other books to read.

Tomorrow I will get my mobile hot spot and will get back to work. I think I have enough work at home work to keep me busy for a week. After that I will probably only be checking e-mail, but I am fortunate that I will still get paid. The news here is that by the end of April we will be up to 30% unemployed with many of those unable to get jobs because so many small businesses will have closed due to bankruptcy.

I did get my Christmas letters sent out and so I did my bit to keep the USPS going.

Mar 31, 3:57pm Top

>235 EllaTim:, Hi Ella my dear, it is lovely that the village has come together at this time and the fact that 200 villagers have signed up to help out across the 22 sections is a testament to the togetherness of the village.

Hope all is well with you and Marc my dear and we send love and hugs to both of you dear friend.

Mar 31, 4:01pm Top

>236 figsfromthistle:, Hi Anita my dear, Felix is a lovable rogue, bless him. He quickly found all the high spots in the house, our two previous cats were never like Felix so it has been an experience so far.

We are having a good week so far, we have been busy with the Elmwood Estate Covid-19 group as we are two of the three Co-ordinators for our estate and we delivered a letter to each household yesterday to let them know that we are here to help if needed.

I hope your week has been good so far despite the Covid-19 crisis, how is it affecting you my dear?

Sending love and hugs dear friend.

Mar 31, 4:05pm Top

>237 vancouverdeb:, Hi Deborah my dear, thank you for your lovely comments, it would be great if we could be neighbours and if we get the chance to come over to Vancouver we will pop in and see you dear friend.

I am glad you like your Christmas Morning Stash tea and i am sure your supplies will last you, i have plenty of tea at the moment so that is not a worry but i am using more with Karen being at home at the moment.

Hope you are having a good start to the week and we both send love and hugs dear friend.

Mar 31, 4:10pm Top

>238 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita my dear, i hope that you are managing to cope with the current crisis but it is so sad that businessess are suffering so much at this time. I hope that the 2 Trillion package gets to the right people and not just big business in the same way that the package our Treasury Minister has unveiled over here.

Don't worry about The Goldfinch as you have plenty of books to go at and you may be in the right frame of mind to finish it at a later date.

Hope your week is good so far and we both send love and hugs dear friend.

Mar 31, 4:25pm Top

We began the day with a pot of tea in bed with Felix joining us as usual, once we had finished our tea we got up, washed and dressed and came downstairs to sort Felix out and then get breakfast, meds and vitamins and a pot of coffee done. Once we finished our breakfast we went upstairs to do the housework, i vacuumed the bedrooms and then took the two small shelving units down in the bathroom and cleared everything else out so that it could be given a good clean.

We took a short break to go and collect some eggs from a local farm and once this was done we got back to the cleaning. I cleaned the top three rows of tiles as Karen could not reach, when i finished Karen took over and cleaned the rest of the tiles while i had a pot of tea. when Karen had finished i made her a pot of tea and then i went to clean the the rest of the bathroom. Teamwork between us got the job done in a reasonable amount of time and then we had a pot of tea before having a sandwich and yoghurt for lunch.

After lunch we watched Escape to the Country before the latest Covid-19 news and Government update, things are moving apace here now with nearly 400 deaths in the past 24 hours. We watched the start of the main evening news before having Sausage, Chips and Egg for tea.

Tomorrow will be a nice relaxing day, we have done all the major jobs that we needed to do and so it is time for a bit of relaxation unless we get any calls from our estate residents.

Mar 31, 6:49pm Top

Eggs! You have eggs! Eggs are in short supply here in Tuscaloosa. I have been rationing my baking due to the egg shortage.

Mar 31, 9:43pm Top

Hi, John. The coffee discussion brought back a fond memory, when Debbi and I met you at that cafe in York. You ordered coffee, and Debbi and I looked at each other in shock. One of us said to you, aren’t you ordering tea?! As you have here, you explained that you often drink coffee when out. Who knew?

Apr 1, 10:32am Top

>245 jnwelch: Yeah, I was pulling his leg, Joe, because we usually have a coffee in the Costa coffee place in Wakefield situated conveniently opposite the Cathedral and the bookstore.

Apr 1, 3:17pm Top

>244 benitastrnad:, Hi Benita my dear, although eggs quickly disappeared off the supermarket shelves we have been able to get eggs from Aldi as usual. These eggs are fresh from the farm near to us, we got half a dozen yesterday as that is all she had left and i have half a dozen more to pick up tomorrow.

Your Christmas missive arrived today my dear and i have had a good read. Hope all is well with you and send love and hugs from both of us dear friend.

Apr 1, 3:20pm Top

>245 jnwelch:, Hi Joe mate, i do have an occasional coffee but tea is my main drink of choice, i have coffee when out unless they have it from a teapot, normally tea in cafe's is not very good sad to say. The only place where i can get a good pot of tea is at Betty's Cafe's and of course it is Yorkshire tea.

Apr 1, 3:21pm Top

>246 PaulCranswick:, Hi Paul, we always have a coffee when we meet up, Costa tea is not too good to be honest.

Apr 1, 3:22pm Top

A new month and time for a new thread, please come and join me on my new thread in a short while.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2020

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